India wins freedom 2.0
BY TAREK FATAH
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: AUG 6, 2019
A major shift took place in the Indian subcontinent on Monday when the government of India revoked the special status it had conferred on its only Muslim-majority state – the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
In doing so, India demonstrated a spinal cord of steel, this coming after 1,000 years of Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan Islamic invasions, followed by Portuguese, French and British colonization, had reduced it to mere spaghetti.
India today stands as tall as the Himalayas and walks as gracefully as the Bengal tiger.
As expected, Pakistan invoked its self-styled role as the godfather of India’s Islamists. The country’s military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan made a barely concealed threat of a nuclear attack unless India revoked its actions taken on its own sovereign territory.
Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan parliament, “if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world,” he thundered. Then, as if to mollify his threat of a worldwide nuclear catastrophe, Khan fooled no one by insisting: “This is not nuclear blackmail.”
Khan then played the race card: “What they (Indian government) did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology … ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.”
India’s actions were taken through a change in two articles of its constitution that won approval in both houses of the country’s parliament. The fact this led Pakistan to threaten nuclear war tells us why so many of us consider the country not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but a threat to world peace under a military that is carrying out a genocide on its own people in the occupied once independent country of Balochistan.
India has a peculiarity to its history. Unlike the Persian and Egyptian civilizations that crumbled in the face of Islamic expansionism of the 7th and 8th centuries, India’s Hindu society was able to survive despite the total erasure of Hinduism from the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization by the Arab marauder Muhammad Bin Qasim and later murderous plunderers such as Tamerlane and the Moguls ending with the looting of its riches and resources by the British.
When they finally left in 1947, Britain amputated India’s limbs to partition the ancient land into three, with the Islamic State of Pakistan flanking India on both its eastern and western borders.
On paper India had won its freedom in August 15, 1947, but on the ground the ancient plundered land was not free until Monday.
Acting in good faith and making India secular to accommodate its Muslim minority, for decades its Hindu leaders distanced themselves from their heritage.
India’s first education minister came from a family in Mecca that claimed to be a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad.
In fact, India is the only major civilization country where you are systematically taught to hate your heritage and glorify the invaders who came to destroy it. And this absurdity is called “secularism.”
Anyone standing up for the rights of India’s Hindu heritage of its indigenous and aboriginal population, who took pride in their ancient Vedic texts was labelled by the slur of being an “ultra-right Hindu nationalist,” while those who propagated the total Islamization of India under the Arab doctrine of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” and the eradication of every Hindu Temple were free to claim such hate as being their “right” to practice their faith.
But in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a changing.” India has finally won its freedom from the clutches of those who mock its heritage and wish it harm.
Under this new freedom, India’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be equals before the law and not hide behind “special status.”
Source : The New Indian Express
Describing the character of an entire group of people is difficult. And, it is almost impossible to describe the character of Hindus—divided by region, language, caste and sect. Nonetheless, foreign observers have attempted the task based on their personal experience. The following is an account of some of these over time.
Ktesias, the Greek Physician of Persian King Artaxerxes [404-358 BC] has a special chapter “on the justice of the Hindus” in his Indica. Megasthenes [c.350–c.290 BC] states thefts were extremely rare, and the people honoured truth and virtue. Arrian [c.86-160 AD] on officials: “They oversee what goes on in the country or towns, and report everything to the king, where the people have a king, and to the magistrates, where the people are self-governed, and it is against the use and wont of these to give a false report; but indeed no Hindu is accused of lying.”
The Chinese Buddhist Hiuen-Tsiang, who travelled in India between 629 and 645 AD made nearly 30 specific comments on the “disposition”, “nature” and “manners” of the people of the various regions he visited. We can put these comments into five groups. The first group: “active and impetuous; lively and courageous; brave, true and upright; brave and impetuous; hard and fierce; regard justice and bravery; simple and honest, resolute and fierce, ardent and courageous”. The second: “timid and soft; soft and agreeable; docile and virtuous; soft and complacent … contended and peaceful; light and frivolous, weak, pusillanimous”. The third: “sincere and truthful (mentioned three times); pure and honest and honest and sincere”. The fourth described many negative qualities but combined them with positive ones: “soft and effeminate, and somewhat sly and crafty; fierce and value highly the quality of courage, given to deceit; no refinement; hard and rough … cold and insincere”. The fifth group described the unpleasant elements: “rough and rude; quick and violent; savage kind; violent and headstrong; quick and hasty”
Marco Polo [1254-1324] says: “… these Abraiaman [of Mysore] are the best merchants in the world, and the most truthful, for they would not tell a lie for anything on earth”.
Muslim chroniclers also wrote of their Hindu subjects. Idrisi, in his Geography [11th century] summed up his opinion of Hindus: “The Hindus are naturally inclined to justice, and never depart from it in their action. Their good faith, honesty, and fidelity to their engagements are well known, and they are so famous for these qualities that people flock to their country from every side.” In the 13th century, Shems-ed-din Abu Abdullah [1320–1380] (quotes Bedi ezr Zenan): “The Hindus are innumerable, like grains of sand, free from all deceit and violence. They fear neither death nor life.”
In the 16th century, Akbar’s Minister, Abul Fazl [1551–1602] states: “The Hindus are religious, affable, cheerful, lovers of justice, given to retirement, able in business, admirers of truth, and grateful and of unbounded fidelity; and the soldiers know not to what it is to fly from the field of battle.”
British comments of their Hindu subjects are interesting. Warren Hastings [1732-1818]: “They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any people on the face of the earth; faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority.” Bishop Heber [1783-1826]: “The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement; sober, industrious, dutiful to parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with.”
Sir Thomas Munro [1761-1827]: “I do not exactly know what it means by civilizing the people of India. In the theory and practice of good government they may be deficient; but, if a good system of agriculture, if unrivaled manufactures, if the establishment of schools for reading and writing, if the general practice of kindness and hospitality, and, above all, if a scrupulous respect and delicacy towards the female sex denote civilized people; then the Hindus are not inferior in civilization to the people of Europe.”
About the working people, H H Wilson [1786-1860]: “always found amongst them cheerful and unwearied industry, good humoured compliance with the bane of their superiors, and a readiness to make whatever exertions were demanded from them: there was among them no drunkenness, no disorderly conduct, no insubordination …There was considerable skill and ready docility… I should say that where there is confidence without fear, frankness is one of the most universal features in the Indian character.”
Wilson of the Pundits: “In them I found the similar merits of industry, intelligence, cheerfulness, frankness, with others peculiar to their avocation.”
Of the higher classes, Wilson found “polished manners, clearness and comprehensiveness of understanding, liberality of feeling and independence of principle that would have stamped them gentleman in any country in the world”.
Sir William Sleeman [1788-1856]: “They adhere habitually, and I may say religiously, to the truth; and I have had before me hundreds of cases in which a man’s property, liberty, or life has depended upon his telling a lie, and he has refused to tell it to save either … I believe there is no class of men in the world more strictly honourable in their dealings than the mercantile classes of India.”
If this is how some foreigners especially those important ones who exercised power over the people and ruled over the land felt about their Hindu subjects, how then had character of the Hindus changed—if at all?
Former Dean of Research at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad
Two Hindu boys shot in Pakistan’s Sindh province over blasphemy allegations. One of the victims, 17-year-old Dewan Sateesh Kumar, succumbed to his injuries while his friend Avinash is in a critical condition, media reports said.
Two Hindu teenagers were shot in Pakistan’s Sindh province over allegations of Quran desecration today (July 27) while another was arrested for blasphemy. One of the victims, 17-year-old Dewan Sateesh Kumar, succumbed to his injuries while his friend Avinash is in a critical condition, Dawn reported.
The incident comes a day after a Hindu man was arrested over blasphemy charges in Ghotki area of the province, which shares its border with India. According to reports in the Pakistani media, one Amar Lal was arrested and booked for blashphemy after massive protests by Muslims in Ghotki. “A Hindu man was arrested for allegedly desecrating Holy Quran following massive protests and shutdown by Muslim community in Ghotki District of Sindh,” a report in the Dawn stated.
Communal tension in Sindh
Tension prevails in Sindh following the arrest of Amar Lal. Police claims Amar is suffering from psychotic disorder. Shops remained shut and other daily activities remained affected in response to a shutdown called by Muslims in Ghotki. Several protesters blocked the national highway passing through the town causing a huge traffic jam. Shops owned by Hindus also remained shut. Sindh was in news recently when Hindus in the region had raised objections over the sale of shoes with ‘Om’ inscriptions. Hindus had staged massive protests in the region over reports of sale of such footwear.
Section 295 (B) of the Pakistan Penal Code deals with blasphemy under which over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy from 1987 to 2014. The vast majority of the accusations were lodged for desecration of the Quran.
– By Sravanthi Boinala
The wounds of Bangladesh partition remained unhealed. This nation was born in 1971 on the basis of cultural identity representing democratic, secular, socialist state but later on, this nation emerged to be a triumph of Bangladeshi Muslim culture. The formation led to the death of nearly 3 million people causing genocide and brutal attacks on minorities, leaving numerous women raped and killed.
Even after 45 years of formation, millions of broken hearts are waiting to seek justice before Bangladesh International War Crime Tribunal and on the other hand the series of attacks continue to target the minorities. Though gradually the war criminals mostly belonging to fundamentalist organisation Jamaat-e-islami were awarded with capital punishment, even today thousands of minorities are struggling for their existence in the Bangla land. The minorities include Hindus, Christians and Buddhists who are being targeted systematically. In the month of June 2016, newspapers have reported two Hindus were attacked by Islamic militants and another one received a threatening letter. One is a Hindu Ashram worker Nityaranjan Pandey, aged 60 years, who was hacked to death in Pabna district on 10th of June. Days later another brutal attack on a Mathematics lecturer Ripon Chakrabarti, aged 50 years, was seriously wounded after being hacked by militants in the Southern town of Madripur on 15th of June. And on the same day evening Ramakrishna Mission priest received a death threat letter from the militants. The Hindu priest was ordered by the sender of the letter not to preach his religion; otherwise he would be hacked to death with machetes. The letter reads, “You are Hindus, Bangladesh is an Islamic country. You cannot preach Hindu religion in the country. Go to India. Otherwise, you will be hacked to death”. This kind of attacks resemble a recent spate of brutal assaults on religious minorities, were militants have killed more than 30 people in Bangladesh since last year. The most targeted group include atheist bloggers, liberal academics, foreign aid workers and other religious groups. Blogger’s are the people who express their dissent against extremists through their posts, who are now hacked to death and their freedom of speech and expression is suppressed. Earlier it has happened in the case of Taslima Nasreen, an eminent writer from Bangladesh, exiled for her writings against war crimes, women atrocities and Islamic fundamentalism. So far since 2015, five bloggers have been killed by the Islamic militants. The last blogger among a string of brutal attacks is Nazimuddin Samad, a post graduate law student from the state-run Jagannath University, was hacked to death in April. Samad was an outspoken writer against injustice and militancy. His facebook posts showed that he was a member of the Shabhag movement, which has been pushing to prosecute those who fought for Pakistan during 1971 liberation war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. In some of his social media posts, he supported a petition to remove Islam as Bangladesh’s state religion and urged the government to take a tougher line with Islamic groups. Similar kind of social media posts were observed among all other bloggers who were hacked to death. With these attacks many bloggers flew away from their homes, but threats continue. Responding to bloggers death, Amnesty International said that the killing was a reminder that authorities in Bangladesh are failing to protect people who were exercising their right to freedom of expression. There is an alarming decline among Hindu population that has came down from 33% to 8% since the liberation war; Bangladeshi-Hindus struggle for their existence has been exacerbated.
Indian government swung into action after the threat letter received by Ramakrishna Mission priest. Reacting to the present scenario, Union External Affairs Minister, Smt.Sushma Swaraj expressed concern over a series of attacks on Hindus and other minority communities by fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh. She said that India has strongly taken this up with the Bangladesh government; security has been increase around the Dhakeshwari temple.
Need of the hour for the Modi government is, to raise their voice in support of Bangladesh minorities and against brutal Islamic attacks, as majority of the minorities hail from Indian origin. Till today we can identify the roots of Hinduism either in the form of the Nation’s name which was originated from the Bengali language or the rivers that are named after Hindu tradition and even the National Anthem that was taken from a poem of Rabindranath Tagore, and the majority of Bengali influence was inherited in Bangla-community ethos. The government should consider providing asylum to Hindu minorities of Bangladesh. Necessary measures are to be implemented for the protection of Hindus and other minorities by projecting the issue on international lines and seek justice for minority community.