//तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय //
Monday, October 27, 2008
Why no outrage over persecuted Hindus?
By Richard L. Benkin
Chicago, IL, United States, — There have been several attempts at genocide since the middle of the last century. European Nazis murdered 6 million Jews in the 1940s. In the1960s Fulani-led Nigerians slaughtered around 1 million ethnic Ibos who formed the Republic of Biafra. Three decades later, majority Hutus murdered almost 1 million Tutsis in Rwanda, and Serbs did the same to about 10,000 ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Ethnic Arabs are still killing non-Arab Sudanese; so far over half a million.
These crimes grabbed the world's attention – albeit too late and only after the bodies were piled too high to ignore. The United Nations issued proclamations and sent aid through its human rights and refugee organizations. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others loudly condemned the perpetrators, documenting the atrocities and raising money for their aid programs. Several international celebrities took on highly visible roles and massive protests worldwide gave vent to peoples' outrage.
Yet there is another case of ethnic cleansing in numbers that dwarf these crimes, a-genocide-in-the-making, that has been proceeding for decades with little more than the occasional whimper. When Bangladesh won its independence from Pakistan in 1971, Hindus made up almost one in five of its citizens. Today, they are less than one in ten. Demographers and others estimate that approximately 20 million Bangladeshi Hindus have disappeared.
Twenty million people are missing, and many more are at risk – but no George Clooney or Angelina Jolie has stood up; no declaration has come from the United Nations, despite its mandate to stop such atrocities. Even the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has done nothing to help the victims, though several organizations have documented their suffering.
The international human rights industry, too, has been silent. Amnesty International has devoted pages upon Web pages to the United States and Guantanamo and spends a high percentage of its resources criticizing Israeli democracy. Its current cover story is about Shia Muslims being "treated like second class citizens." But to date it has shown no stomach to oppose what could be the worst case of ethnic cleansing in our time. The last time AI or Human Rights Watch gave the Bangladeshi Hindus even passing mention was in 2006.
This is not the first time the world has ignored mass murder in South Asia. Toward the end of the Bangladeshi war of independence, Pakistani troops and their Islamist allies slaughtered between 2 and 3 million mostly Hindu Bangladeshis – noncombatants, women, children and the elderly. All manner of brutality from mutilation to ritualized gang rape accompanied the carnage, but the world still remains silent even when the victims' descendants cry out for justice.
NATO sent troops into Kosovo when thousands were at risk but did nothing to save millions in East Bengal. Hindu refugees flood West Bengal, India, and live in semi-legal squalor, but the UNHCR refuses to recognize them as refugees. Earlier this year I visited almost two dozen extra-legal camps in West Bengal and saw these people's need for help.
Several refugees and others attribute this disparity to religious bias. Fear of terrorist reprisals, the lure of petrodollars, and a rigid political correctness prevent many from taking a stand against Islamists, according to one Indian activist. But he and others blame "our own nature" that mitigates against activism and tolerates corruption.
As I told Indian journalists, "Everyone in India seems to know about the Bangladeshi Hindus, but no one is doing anything about it." The actions of Bangladeshi Islamists, while atrocious, are not unexpected. However, their treatment by Indian Hindus is surprising.
Imagine refugees barely escaping with their lives, leaving murdered loved ones behind. They described crossing into the largest Hindu nation in the world, but found no welcome in the arms of their co-religionists. Instead, they were "treated like trespassers," and given no aid or shelter. They reported being forced into camps, where their captors took advantage of then no less than did their Islamist tormentors.
In West Bengal, refugees testified that locals let them squat on the land, but in exchange they were forced to attend communist rallies. They received voter's cards only to be told that officials of the Communist Party of India/Marxist would fill them in for them. But if anyone else desired the land, the refugees would be ejected; something I observed firsthand.
Today an economic and military powerhouse, India has yet to advocate for the thousands of victims streaming across its borders. It has never pressed the case of the Bangladeshi Hindus before any international body. If it has protested the ethnic cleansing to Bangladesh, it has done so meekly.
Moreover, this great nation seems content to cede the integrity of its borders. Several refugees testified that even now Islamists from surrounding villages and from Bangladesh attack them with the knowledge of West Bengal officials.
Once the CPIM got wind of my visits to the camps, we would alter our itinerary to arrive before the local commissar intimidated refugees into silence about anything that might embarrass the communist government. In one camp their tactic appeared to work. We were about to leave when one elderly woman stood up, with a commissar looking on, and said, "I'm not afraid of anybody," and began to talk about the ongoing attacks.
Is the Indian government's silence little more than a ploy to keep votes, a reflection of its pseudo-secularist policy? If it is, that does not explain the silence of those parties that have no chance of gaining significant numbers of Muslim or communist votes, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party and other rightwing parties. Why are they not championing the Bangladeshi Hindus, and using this as a rallying point for all Indians who recognize the immorality of remaining silent while others are oppressed?
In my travels in West Bengal, when I offered to act with others to protest what is happening there, the response was almost always, "People are afraid." That made sense when we were speaking with refugees who have known nothing in the way of protection or the law. But this was the answer of Indian citizens, often people whose organizations claim to be working for the refugees.
In my advocacy for the refugees in the West, I encounter skepticism from those who question India's silence if things are so dire; who question why there are few public protests; who ask, after hearing about attacks inside India, why none of the 800 million Indian Hindus have traveled to these camps to defend the victims against Islamist aggression.
(Dr. Richard L. Benkin is vice president of Gallagher Bassett Services in Chicago, Illinois. He is also U.S. correspondent for the "Weekly Blitz," published in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and special advisor on Bangladeshi affairs to the Washington D.C.-based Intelligence Summit. He has written numerous essays and commentaries on the Middle East, Bangladesh and South Asia.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Francois Gautier [expressbuzz]
I was born in a Catholic family. My uncle was a priest, a wonderful man of warmth and compassion and I spent most my early years in Catholic boarding schools. When I was young I wanted to become a missionary and to ‘convert’ pagans in Asia.
What I was taught by priests was that Hindus worship false gods and they needed to be brought back to the True Word by Jesus Christ.
Then of course, I came to India and discovered that actually Hindus, far from being the heathens, as had been portrayed in Europe, not only believed God’s diversity, the wonderful concept of avatar, but had given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted), the Armenians, or today the Tibetans.
I am also aghast at the one-sided coverage by the Indian media of the Christian- Hindu problem: blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus in Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai train blasts, Jaipur, etc. Yet, neither Manmohan Singh nor Sonia Gandhi have pronounced once the word ‘Islamic terrorism.’
But when furious Hindus, tired of being made fun of, of witnessing their brothers and sisters converted by financials traps, of seeing a 84-year-old swami and his Mataji brutally murdered, of reading blasphemy about their Gods, vent their anger against churches, many of them makeshifts, the Indian government goes after the soft target which the Hindus are.
The same thing applies to the United States: they never warned Muslim organisations in India about the killing of Hindus, but when dollars are used to buy new converts and it angers the majority community of India,Washington has the arrogance to issue a warning, and Manmohan Singh does not have the pride to tell the US to mind its own business.
Neither the Indian press nor the western correspondents bothered to write about what made Hindus angry in Karnataka: Newlife, one important westernfunded missionary centre ( http://www.newlifev oice.org) , began making conversions in and around Mangalore by accosting poor people in market areas, or in bus stands, befriending them and then taking them to churches to introduce them to the father.
Upon introduction they were paid Rs 2,500 per person and then taken to the Velankanni shrine, in Tamil Nadu, where they would get another Rs. 3,000.
When they finally converted to Christianity by changing the name, they got an incentive of Rs 10,000 onwards.
Newlife would then give them instructions to abandon wearing tilak on forehead, not to visit and offer prayers at the Hindu temples, replacing the photos and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses with a Cross, etc.
But what really angered local Hindus was when Newlife went one step further and published a book in Kannada — Satya Darshini — which was widely distributed by its missionaries.
Here below is the translation of some of the most abusive passages:
“Urvashi — the daughter of Lord Vishnu — is a prostitute.
Vashistha is the son of this prostitute.
He in turn married his own Mother. Such a degraded person is the Guru of the Hindu God Rama. (page 48).
When Krishna himself is wallowing in darkness of hell, how can he enlighten others? Since Krishna himself is a shady character, there is a need for us to liberate his misled followers (page 50).
It was Brahma himself who kidnapped Sita.“Since Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were themselves victims of lust, it is a sin to consider them as Gods. (page 39).
When the Trinity of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) are consumed by lust and anger, how can they liberate others? The projection of them as Gods is nothing but a joke. (page 39).
God, please liberate the sinful people of India who are worshipping False Gods. (Page 39).”
When blasphemy and much worse is brought against the most sacred Hindu Gods, Hindus are supposed to take it meekly as sheep and let themselves be converted to a foreign religion!
There are more than 4,000 foreign Christian missionaries involved in conversion activities across different states.
In Tripura, there were no Christians at the time of independence. There are 1,20,000 today, a 90 per cent increase since 1991.
The figures are even more striking in Arunachal Pradesh, where there were only 1,710 Christians in 1961, but 1.2 million today, as well as 780 churches!
In Andhra Pradesh, churches are coming up every day in far-flung villages and there was even an attempt to set up one near Tirupati.
Christians throughout the ages have strived on the concept of persecution and as a brought up Catholic, I remember feeling bad about all those martyred saints of Christianity.
Christians in India like to say that they are only two per cent and can do no harm. But it is a sham: in the Tamil Nadu coastal belt from Chennai to Kanyakumari, there must be now 10 per cent Christians posttsunami and the same may be true in other parts of south India.
My heart goes out to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa who took a courageous stand against unethical Christian conversions, but is now under pressure from the Centre.
The BJP, having learnt from bitter experience that the Congress has no qualm in invoking President’s rule under fallacious pretexts in states which are ruled by non-Congress governments is in a quandary: it must show some action against militant Hindu groups while remaining true to itself.
This is why Yeddyurappa took some action against Hindu groups while saying that his government will not tolerate forcible conversions and will take stringent action against missionaries involved in conversions.
And ultimately, the blame must fall on Hindus: they are 800 million in India, the overwhelming majority; they have the brains, they have the money and they have the power. But either their intellectual and political class sides with the minorities, out of fear, inferiority complex imbedded by the British or just sheer crass political opportunism, or the bigger mass is indifferent inert, selfish, un-civic conscious.
Every Hindu is the inheritor of the only surviving spiritual knowledge which at the moment is under a concerted attack by Christian missionaries, Americanisation, Marxism and Islamic fundamentalism. http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Swamiji, popularly known as Kartick Maharaj, is a monk of Bharat Sevashram Sangha and he is the President of Beldanga Ashram. He runs 'seva projects' in Murshidabad district. In one of his centers at Chanak near Baharampur in Murshidabad district, 400 tribal girls get education with fooding and lodging facilities.
He is prominent member of Advisory Council of Hindu Samhati. He was main speaker in the inaugeral function of Hindu Samhati on 14 February this year at Kolkata.
Murshidabad district is Muslim majority district. According to 2001 Census Report, out of total 26 development blocks of the district, 25 blocks are Muslim majority. The only block with Hindu majority, namely Barwan block has a Muslim population of 40 percent. One can imagine the plight of the Hindus in this district.
Statesman News ServiceBALURGHAT, Oct. 6: People belonging to two communities clashed at a Durga puja pandal at Dewoor, under Kumarganj police station in South Dinajpur district this morning, forcing police to fire in the air, burst tear gas shells and make a baton-charge to bring the situation under control.The South Dinajpur district magistrate and the superintendent of police were among some 20 persons hurt in during the commotion. The police arrested 26 people including four women over the incident. Section 144 of the CrPC has been promulgated in the area and two platoons of BSF have been deployed to help the police keep the situation under control.The incident caused tension in other areas too, with the residents of Baul, which is close to Dewoor, blocking the Balurghat - Malda state highway for three hours after the incident.
Police resorted to a baton-charge to clear the roadblock. In retaliation, the agitators attacked the police and damaged the Balurghat police station IC's vehicle. At least five persons were injured in the police action. All shops and establishments closed down after the Dewoor incident, demanding the arrest of the culprits. According to Mr Bilash Kanti Sarker, secretary, Dewoor Baroari Puja Committee, unknown persons shut off the illuminations of the puja pandal in the wee hours today and hung up the severed leg of a cow at the pandal."Upset over the incident, the locals converged at the puja site demanding the arrest of the culprits," he said,adding that instead of going after the culprits, the police used force on the protestors. "More than 20 agitators were injured and several were arrested," he added. "The police have arrested 26 persons in connection with the incident," said the South Dinajpur SP Mr Swapan Bandopadhyay Purna Patro. The DM, Mr Swapan Chatterjee, said that Section 144 has been promulgated in the area and the situation was now under control.
passes away on October 5, 2008.
Born on November 5, 1934 in Calcutta, Dr Sujit Dhar had a brilliant academic career all through his student life. A merit scholar in the undergraduate medical course in the Calcutta Medical College, from where he graduated in 1957, he topped the merit list in the postgraduate examination of the
Calcutta University in the subject of his specialization Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases. He has to his credit 12 original scientific papers published in leading medical journals. For a long spell of 10 years (1964 – 73), he was the Chief of the Editorial Department of the Journal of the Indian Medical Association. Since 1974, he is practicing in Calcutta as a Consulted Physician and Cardiologist.
In his early boyhood he was attracted to RSS movement and as an ardent worker of the organization, shouldered various guidance of the Late Eknath Ranade from 1949 and it was at his behest that Dr Dhar became a Pracharak (a whole time worker) of RSS for 3 years (1960-63). In 1964, Dr Dhar joined Sri Ranade to work for the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Project. In 1970, when West Bengal was passing through a critical phase and the atmosphere was surcharged with violence and terror, a forum for rendering social services and fostering a nationalist intellectual movement was started in Calcutta under the name of “Yoyakshema”, and Dr Dhar was the General Secretary of this well-known and prestigious forum ever since its inception.
Besides being the Mahanagar Sanghachalak (President) of RSS, Calcutta, he was a member, Central Board of Trustees and an All-India Vice-President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad; Vice President, World Buddhist Cultural Foundation; Member of the Governing Council of the Rural Development and Research Project, New Delhi, Member of the Managing Committee of Deendayal Research Institute, New Delhi; All-India President of the National Medicos Organisation (NMO); Honorary Visiting Cardiologist of the B M Birla Heart Research Centre and the Vivekananda Sishu Kalyan Kendra; and was connected with many other social organizations. As the Convener-Secretary of the Purvanchal Council of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, he had been closely watching the complex cross-currents operating in the sensitive and problem-ridden North-Eastern region of the country and disseminating valuable information on the subject to various all-India forums.
Dr. Dhar was very close to three RSS Sarsanghachalaks Sri M.S.Golwalkar, Sri Balasaheb Deoras and Sri K.S.Sudarshan and he was a close associate of RSS stalwart Sri Balasaheb Deoras. Under his guidance Dr. Dhar did a lot of work at time of Bangladesh War on this eastern front in 1971.
An impressive orator, who was equally fluent in Bengali, Hindi and English and published many articles in different national news magazines and journals. He was also known for his in-depth study of Bangladesh affairs. Recently, he took over the onerous duties of the General Secretary of the Seemanta Shanti O Suraksha Samiti, West Bengal, which had been set up in February 1986, to mobilize public opinion against the massive illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims in West Bengal