jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:08 am

http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/12/15/india.gujarat/index.html

Another example of how religion corrupts politics.

The right wing faction of the ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party ("BJP") in India has won state-wide elections by campaigning on an extreme right wing Hindu fundamentalist platform. The election comes after months of rioting in India's industrializing Gujarat State in which 58 Hindus, mostly associated with Hindu parties, were killed in a train attack ostensibly by Muslims, leading in turn to months of retributive attacks in which between 1500 - 2000 Muslims were massacred by right wing Hindu fundamentalists. In some instances, young Muslim women were raped in public, then brutally slaughtered. Some disturbing film footage chronicling the attacks shows the hacked bodies of young women, including a pregnant office worker whose 7-month old unborn child was carved out of her body and then set ablaze as she bled to death. That this should occur in a relatively modern citiy in India, is all the more disturbing.

The Chief minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi, who won his own seat is accused by human rights groups of deliberately failing to protect Muslims during the rioting, a charge he denies. As he campaigned to be re-elected, his speeches made much of the train burning but no mention of the violence that followed. However, under his watch, few if any charges have been brought against perpetrators of the Muslim massacres while numerous leaders of the anti-Muslim pogroms have been feted and re-elected. Furthermore, even as the BJP railed against Islamic fundamentalits, no valid evidence has been brought forward of Muslim involvement in the train burnings. Monetary reparations for the survivors of the thousands of killed Muslims lags behind in amount as well as degree of enforcement in comparison with that granted to survivors of the 58 Hindu victims. Through all of this, Mr. modi has never once visited survivor camps for Muslims, and has continued to make comments in which he stated that the pogroms against Muslims was a natural and expected event.

The anti-Muslim pogroms of Gujarat are India's modern day version of kristallnacht. If left unchecked, it could spill over to the rest of India's Hindu belt, an over-populated region wracked by poverty, ignorance, corruption, political toady-ism and fomenting religious tensions. The Hindu right wing uses statements made by right wing Muslim fundamentalists in India to further their own agenda, which is a tawdry exercise in hatred against innocent Muslims. Unsubstantiated accusations incriminating Pakistan further fuel Hindu fear - and retribution. Sadly, this has occured in the state of Gujarat, a relatively modern state, which is home to some of India's most enterprising industrialists and entrepreneurs, as well as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, India's "Father of the Nation" who inspired the political tradition of non-violence all over the world.

The Gujarat elections represent the use of democratic institutions to achieve a rule by the majority based on fear and religious intolerance. This is a crying shame for a country that constantly trots out its purported democratic values and is second to none in playing the game of diplomatic hypocrisy when it comes to human rights abuses in other countries.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
Guest

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:57 pm

sucks for India.

so wht will happen? will congress get their house in order or will BJP sweep the entire country?

not a good situation for a secular india or for Indian Muslims.

 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:38 pm

The BJP’s victory is not surprising. Their victory was assured the day the train was burnt in Godhra. That single act set off a chain of events that resulted in the deaths of almost 1200 Muslims and put an indelible blot on Indian Democracy.

Lets remember where it all started from. Last year, the BJP was at its lowest politically speaking, with a resurgent Congress winning just about every state-level election. Since 1998, when Sonia Gandhi took charge of the Congress, it has come to power in 14 states sa the senior partner and one state (Kashmir) as a junior partner. The BJP, on the other hand lost power in 14 states and gained only 5 new states, 2 as a junior partner (Orissa and Goa). In the state of Gujarat, regarded as a BJP bastion, the BJP was routed by the Congress in the Panchayat level elections. This prompted the Sangha Parivar to replace the Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel with that vile butcher called Narendra Modi.

Then mysteriously a train carrying Hindu extremists was burnt at Godhra railway station, allegedly by Muslim extremists. There are lots of theories about why this happened, but what followed was even more reprehensible. Groups within the Sangh Parivar like the VHP and the Bajrang Dal began a reign of terror, systematically sealing off Muslim areas and letting loose a reign of terror on the hapless people. Narendra Modi said that he would bring the situation under control “within 72 hours” and asked his police force, the one force that could bring the situation under control, to do nothing for 72-hours. So the police sat back and watched as the Sangh Parivar goondas went on a rampage.

In many ways, the story of Kausar Bano that Jay talks about, represents the horror of what happened in Gujarat. A “normal” office going woman, she was attacked by a mob led by VHP activists. Her belly was split open and an 8-month old foetus was ripped out of her womb. Truly an example of how, for those 3 days, our people had truly gone mad.

And even more appalling was the sight of George Fernandes, our very own equivalent of Colin “Uncle Tom” Powell, standing in Parliament and justifying the Kausar Bano incident!

And why did all this take place? To ensure total polarisation of the population which would result in a landslide for the fascist BJP. Is it just a coincidence that the riots took place ONLY in northern and central Gujarat where the Congress has traditionally been strong? Why were BJP strongholds like Saurashtra and Southern Gujarat (which have more Muslims percentage wise) not affected by this carnage?

It is obvious that the riots were stage-managed to create a polarisation which would get more votes for the “Hindu” BJP. Our investigation has shown, that intelligence reports prior to Godhra indicated that groups of VHP and BD activists were holding daily meetings in villages in Central and Northern Gujarat. Weapons like Trishuls were being distributed in shakha meetings across this region in the period preceeding Godhra, which leads us to believe that these people were indeed planning something big. The question: Why did the central Govt choose to ignore these reports?

To convert what was a lost election into a victory. In the process they have demonstrated that how a fascist party like the BJP can exploit loopholes in the democratic process to come to power.

The big fear in everybodys mind is whether the Sangh Parivar will exploit the victory in Gujarat to stage similar incidents in other parts of the country. Atleast 10 states are going to see elections within a year, and these states are those where the Congress is dominant or is expected to trounce the BJP. So would the BJP stage a Godhra and repeat the Gujarat-like incidents in these places as well? After all, Mr.Advani had openly talked of Gujarat being a “laboratory” for the Hindutva experiment!

One indication was provided by Pravin Togadia and that superbitch Uma Bharati (also the union sports minister). She spoke on National Television, and promised to turn India into a “Hindu Rashtra” within 2 years and consign Secularism to the dustbin.

That’s the biggest fear: That these fascists will turn India into some kind of a Hindu Pakistan as it were. Pakistanis should have reason to rejoice!

-Roy


 
jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Tue Dec 17, 2002 7:47 am

The super bitch, Unions Sports Minister Uma Bharati's only real contribution to sports in India has been the banning of all cricket matches between India and Pakistan. Fits in quite well with her idiotic agenda.

Why does India even need a sports minister? Can you imagine what cricket would be like, if it were under the supervision of the Indian no-good government? I guess it would have the same track history and distinction of every other sport in India. A big fat zero.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
Stratofish
Posts: 1034
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:38 am

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:34 am

Indianguy: An interesting and VERY worrying insight.
Tells me to have an eye on it again, after I lost India out of my view.

Stratofish

P.S.: I still believe that so called "attack on the parliament" was staged, but that may be a little off topic.

The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
 
jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:59 am

I don't know if they were staged (never thought about that), but I do think that the attempts at analogizing it as an Indian version of 9-11 were ludicrous.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Tue Dec 17, 2002 5:42 pm


Why does India even need a sports minister? Can you imagine what cricket would be like, if it were under the supervision of the Indian no-good government?

Good question. I don’t find it surprising that this country of a billion people finds it impossible to win a single gold medal at the olympics. With such screwed up ministers around…!

What hurts me most is that the virus of Gujarat seems to be spreading its tentacles. The polarisation seems to be near complete, even among my supposedly educated and “liberated” friends.

I am part of a forum which studies the political situation in the country, and out there we had a discussion on riots in Gujarat. A few of my friends who had come to the meeting only to hear me speak walked out midway and told me later that they strongly disagreed with what I and the others at the forum had said. Some even went to the extent of calling me and the others, variously as Pakistani/Italian or even American agents!!! One of them, a US returned software engineer actually talked of how Muslims in India had it coming, followed by the usual Sangh clap-trap of Muslims bursting crackers when Pakistan beats India in Cricket! I was stunned to see this complete polarisation. I mean its one thing when people like Togadia spew venom. But hearing highly educated, foreign-returned guy like him speaking like this was truly shocking! And he is by no means the only one!

What is even more shocking is some of the figures that we guys happened to see. Did you know that the Sangh Parivar receives most of its funding not from within India, but from abroad! A study commissioned by a group of Indians (Gujaratis) living in the UK revealed that many British and American companies donations for charity have ended up in the Sangh Parivars kitty. Many companies contribute to a fund which flows to various “charities” affiliated to the Sangh, among them the “Vanvasi Vikas Sangh” which is affiliated to the VHP. I only had a passing glance at the printout of this report, so I don’t remember all of it, but the networking giant, CISCO is one of the companies directly named as one of the biggest contributors to its kitty. Following these revelations, and seeing the role that these organisations played in the riots, the British Govt has recently tightened the rules to prevent such things from happening, and now the US should be expected to do the same.

Jay, I am curious. How does the Indian community in the US (and I mean the Hindus) react to the Gujarat riots? What is their take on this whole issue? Who do they hold responsbile for this pogrom? Is there the sort of blind justification and support for the BJP actions that I am seeing around here?

I would hope, atleast for India’s sake, that they do not!

-Roy
 
jaysit
Posts: 10186
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Tue Dec 17, 2002 11:27 pm

..highly educated, foreign-returned guy like him speaking like this was truly shocking...

Well, you will be surprised to see how retrograde some of theses "foreign returned" guys are. After all, they're the ones running around demanding dowries of millions of rupees.

Indianguy - the Indian community is split on this issue like most other issues. Most Indians are not Indians first - but tend to split along ethnic, linguistic or religious lines. However, my imprssion is that even those who don't support the BJP's communal positions, fund it politically because of the promise of economic liberalization pomoted by BJP spokerspersons overseas. A year ago, I asked for donations to the survivors of the Gujarat riots, and all I heard was a lot of clucking from people on how awful Godhra was. Sympathy for the riot victims was almost an afterthought. This is anecdotal, and indicative of only my personal experience only.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Religious Fundamentalism Wins Again

Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:11 pm


Well, you will be surprised to see how retrograde some of theses "foreign returned" guys are. After all, they're the ones running around demanding dowries of millions of rupees.

I know what you mean! one babe I know who has been born and brought up in the US of A was throwing a tantrum, demanding a “sangeet” just like the one in “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” with a gold-embroidered sari to match. That she’s Maharashtrian (hence no sangeet) didn’t seem to matter and her father had to shell out quite a packet! These “born again” Indians always seem to want to be more patriotic than their resident counterparts. Unfortunately, this comes out in quite idiotic ways!

And It is these sort of misguided characters who are funding these organisations of Hate.


However, my imprssion is that even those who don't support the BJP's communal positions, fund it politically because of the promise of economic liberalization pomoted by BJP spokerspersons overseas.

Rather surprising. Since the BJP's economic policies are not radically different from those of the Congress. I think the Congress needs to market itself better. After all it was the Congress that launched liberalisation process (albeit after 47 yearsof lethargy!) and the pace of progress was much faster during the Congress years than it is now. Right now the BJP/NDA seems totally lost as far as economic policies are concerned! (or for that matter Defence!).

-Roy

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