September 30, 2014

The Chaddi Uprising by Orijit Sen

"The motorcar existed during the Vedic period" and other nonsense made in India by Dinanath Batra

The Anashva Rath Will Run Again
India was the fountainhead of everything. Now, we have to catalyse ‘Make in India’ into ‘Made in India’.
Dinanath Batra

India: Modi to give a National Radio Address on the Hindu Festival Dussehra - in the tradion of the RSS chief's annual address

[Should the head of a secular state b giving an an official address to the nation on Dussehra ? Will he do so on all religious events of the year or is this to mark the dominance of Hinduism in India ? see article below by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay]

Deccan Chronicle

Modi, RSS ki Ramlila
DC | Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay | September 27, 2014, 06.09 am IST

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and PM Narendra Modi (File Photos)

So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to talk to the people of India from All India Radio on October 3, Dussehra, one of the biggest festivals of Hindus who mark this day as a joyous occasion when good triumphs over evil. Mr Modi’s speech to the nation will, in all likelihood, become a monthly affair, if not a weekly one. (mygov.in is holding an opinion poll on periodicity. Majority prefer it to be monthly, weekly is the second choice, fortnightly the third, and a daily speech, thankfully, is among the last preferences.) Mr Modi is going to, in all probability, stick to his favourite extempore format, making live simulcasting in Indian languages a very difficult task.

For the last nine decades this festival has also been important in the nation’s political calendar because the Sarsanghchalak or chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh would deliver the traditional Vijay Dashami — as Dussehra is also called — speech from Nagpur’s Reshmi Bagh, the RSS headquarters. In the initial decades of the organisation, this speech was important only to those wedded to the ideals of the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates. Since the Vishwa Hindu Parishad initiated the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the mid-1980s and the idea of cultural nationalism started becoming a mainstream idea, the annual sermon of the Sarsanghchalak began grabbing substantial space in the media. This was because the tone and tenor often influenced policies and programmes of the Bharatiya Janata Party and other RSS affiliates.

In the days when there was no Internet, reporters like me spoke to contacts within the RSS in Nagpur to secure briefings about what the chief, Balasaheb Deoras during my time, would say. The speech was important because the RSS chief rarely opened his mouth through the year, remaining an enigmatic recluse for the media. The Vijay Dashami speech was undoubtedly one of the biggest “events” in the RSS political calendar. Though in recent years Sarsanghchalaks like Rajju Bhaiya, K.S. Sudarshan and Mohan Bhagwat became more vocal, the significance of the speech remained because they’d give a macro-view of the Sangh’s approach to major challenges facing the nation, instead of focusing on day-to-day developments.

With his plan to address the nation — at least several hours before the early evening RSS event — Mr Modi seems to have stolen the thunder from the RSS event. But will Mr Modi’s Dussehra speech become more politically significant and attract greater public attention than what the Sarsanghchalak says?
Will people and the media compare Mr Modi’s speech with Mr Bhagwat’s and rate them, as is the general wont now? With this initiative is Mr Modi trying to become bigger than the RSS?

The RSS faced no challenge from Atal Behari Vajpayee during his days as Prime Minister because he did not usurp its ideology and did not intrude into the space of the RSS leadership. The relevance of the RSS remained because the organisation and its affiliates protested against several policies besides, of course, maintaining its distinct political identity. Mr Modi does not appear keen on providing the RSS with such an opportunity because only a rare policy of his has riled Nagpur.

In return for adhering to the basics of the Sangh Parivar’s ideology, Mr Modi wants to push everyone else to the brink of irrelevance. Mr Modi made public his bid to become Prime Minister in 2011 with the Sadbhavana programme. Since then, the Sangh Parivar witnessed a battle of nerves between him and the RSS top brass led by Mr Bhagwat.

Relations between the RSS and Mr Modi were sour during his years as chief minister over the question of primacy — was Mr Modi higher in the hierarchy than the Prant Pracharak? The most asked question then was if the RSS would accept someone like him as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate or plug for someone more pliable, like Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj or even Lal Krishna Advani?

Eventually the RSS accepted Mr Modi on his terms as the electoral mascot because its leaders felt that he was most likely to secure a victory for the BJP. They assessed Mr Modi would not deviate majorly from RSS programmes barring ones that could be explained to the cadres as “compulsions of governance”.
RSS leaders know Mr Modi better than anyone and are aware of his abrasive style and searing ambition. They realised he would eventually pose a threat to the existence of the RSS because Mr Modi immensely dislikes other power centres. Yet the RSS opted for the Modi-way to get its agenda back nationally, leaving its battle with him for another day.

There is one fundamental difference between Mr Modi and the RSS. While all his actions are aimed at consolidating personal power and influence, and RSS leaders also work on achieving the same agenda long-term basis ideologically and organisationally, they are not solely driven by personal ambition. In contrast, Mr Modi is not an institution builder. Take Gujarat, for instance: he did not build the party in the state that could effectively take charge after his departure.

As a result, within four months of his exit, the BJP lost three out of nine seats it held previously in recent bypolls. Despite Mr Modi’s ratings remaining as high as ever, defeat of BJP candidates indicates a crisis in the organisation. Mr Modi will undoubtedly steal the thunder from the RSS this Dussehra and may continue to do so for several years. What strategy the RSS devises to weather this storm and stage a comeback is to be seen. RSS leaders would like to believe that Mr Modi poses no threat to their influence, yet deep down they are aware that the longer he remains a political force, the greater the chances of the organisation’s marginalisation.

As it happens with every hyped event related to Mr Modi, there will be little debate on the appropriateness of a Prime Minister using a religious festival or occasion to preside over a government funded event. The RSS has this freedom, as do Imams to deliver sermons on festivals of Muslims. But the Prime Minister delivering a Dussehra address? This question would not have risen if Mr Modi had chosen any other day for his radio talk. But then it wouldn’t have set up a clash for TRPs with Mr Bhagwat. Mr Modi sends clear messages. It’s for us to perceive them.

The writer is the author of Narendra Modi: The Man, the Times

BJP deploying Vasudev - the Maharashtrian folk baladeers who traditionally sing about Krishna and moral living

BJP employs 200 folk singers to compete with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra
Vasudevs, traditional Maharashtrian town criers, will now sing praises of the BJP instead of Lord Krishna.

by Aarefa Johari

For the next 15 days, the Bharatiya Janata Party plans to woo Maharashtrian voters with the songs of folk artistes dressed in long white robes, with peacock-feathered hats and jingling cymbals in their hands.

To project itself as a party that’s as clued into Marathi culture as its former ally Shiv Sena, the state BJP has zeroed in on the "Vasudev" – a traditional Maharashtrian folk singer – to spearhead its campaign in the run up to the October 15 state election. [. . .]


September 29, 2014

India: Hindutva leaders Sadhvi Rithambara, Ram Madhav (RSS) were in the US working with OFBJP preparing for the Modi show

Business Standard
Nitin Sethi | New Delhi Sep 27, 2014
Last Updated at 10:19 PM IST
It wasn't a cakewalk for Madison event organisers
NRI businessmen, volunteers of Overseas Friends of BJP and Hindu leaders put in efforts to make Modi function a success
The $1 million-plus event at the Madison Square Garden for Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had to overcome all kinds of legal and logistical wrangling to be pulled off. It's taken the might of volunteers, non-resident Indian (NRI) businessmen of all kinds, religious Hindu leaders, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadre and leaders in the US and India to make sure the 19,000-capacity event on Sunday is a resounding success.

Upon instructions from 'Delhi', the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) formed a new a politically and religiously neutral entity 'Indian American Community Foundation (IACF)' to hold the event. The entity, it was decided, would be dissolved after the event. But the Madison Square Garden (MSG) authorities would not give it permission to book for Modi's event. In stepped an event management company Poojanka Entertainment, run by one, Bharat Jotwani. "Several other organisations could not get the place but with my company's 15 years of experience, the MSG authorities were happy to provide it. I am very glad to be part of this landmark event for the prime minister as a volunteer and a member of the committee organising it," said Jotwani. IACF signed a back agreement with Poojanka Entertainment to then run the event.

Jotwani's name found its way in Indian media last year with singer Sonu Nigam claiming underworld kingpin Chhota Shakeel had threatened the former must work with Jotwani. But Jotwani told Business Standard it was all a dirty game played by his rivals to stop him from gaining more business.

The IACF faced a different niggling legal trouble though, while organising the event. It got a legal notice from a group called the National Indian American Public Policy Institute, another NRI group in the US, threatening to sue IACF on being blocked from buying advertising space for the event and patron sponsorship. It specifically referred to actions of Dr Bharat Barai, claiming they fell afoul of US laws. Business Standard couldn't reach Barai despite repeated attempts, but Jotwani, said the group filing the case have enough credibility to start a lawsuit. "We have organised this most cleanly, legally and professionally," he said.

IACF, its organisation, also gained a lot from the organisational and cadre strength of OFBJP and other affiliates. Chandrakanta Patel, head of OFBJP and chairman of IACF, said many karyakartas (workers) of OFBJP had volunteered through Modi's trip and at the event to make it a success. "It's a huge responsibility and all of us are working day and night to make it a success," he said. "Of course, OFBJP has played a major role but all Indian diaspora is joining in," he added.

While BJP leaders Vijay Jolly and RSS/BJP leader Ram Madhav were in the US to prepare the grounds for Modi's visit too, another help came from Sadhvi Rithambara. After years of being unable to visit the US, she finally made a trip to the country, in time to hold seven meetings under the aegis of Param Shakti Peeth of America and the Param Shakti Peeth of East Coast. Virendra K Labroo of the East Coast group said he was involved in the two meetings in New Jersey which pulled in almost 800 people. "We expect 75-85 per cent" of these to attend the MSG event. Those who hold Pujya Didi Ma (Sadhvi Rithambara) in high regard also feel the same for Prime Minister Modi."

Patel said Rithambara will also be part of the MSG event. "Both (Sadhvi and Modi) have a good relationship, she shall be there as an observer," he told. While Patel said she had made her own plans to come to the US, Labroo said she had been asked by the organisers of the event to come though said his organisation itself was not so closely involved in the event.

To go by Jotwani, all the collective efforts seem to have worked out well. "We have a 16,000 waiting list of guests and are going to give away 1,000 tickets by lottery on Sunday. Our voluntary financial contribution target was topped two days ago," he said.

USA: Eleven Congresspersons urge President Obama to discuss protection of religious minorities with Prime Minister Modi

CAG banner .jpg
Eleven Congresspersons urge President Obama to discuss protection of religious minorities with Prime Minister Modi

Increase in violence against Christians and Muslims cited as concern, while Congressional panel holds a briefing on 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom 


Monday, September 29th, 2014

Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), a broad alliance dedicated to justice and accountability for the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 and to defending India's secular tradition, has welcomed a letter to President Obama by eleven members of Congress, urging him to discuss "religions inclusion and the protection of religious minorities in India," during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi on Monday, September 28.

The letter draws the President's attention to the fact that "there has been an increase in violence against Muslims and Christians in the first hundred days of Prime Minister Modi's term," and that such violence "echoes the deadly 2002 riots in Gujarat, which happened while Prime Minister Modi was chief minister of the region."

In a separate development, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission will hold a briefing on the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres in Delhi, in which over 3,000 Sikhs were killed and thousands more injured. Titled "Thirty Years of Impunity: The November 1984 anti-Sikh Pogroms in India," the hearing will be held on September 30, 2014, and will discuss "India's failure to prosecute the architects of the pogroms."

The lawmakers' letter to President Obama also comes on the heels of massive protests outside Madison Square Garden organized by the Alliance for Justice and Accountability, during Mr. Modi's speech to Indian Americans. These developments reflect continued concerns in the US and across the world, about the state of human rights and religious freedom in India.

In addition to the 11 member letter by Congress released today, Congressman Mike Honda had earlier written to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to support the inclusion of human rights and religious freedom in the US-India Strategic Dialogues where Mr. Modi is to meet with the President today. Quoting the US Commission for International Religious Freedom 2014 Annual Report, Rep. Honda had noted the increase in religiously motivated violence in India. Acknowledging that some positive steps had been taken towards religious minorities, the letter noted that "periodic outbreaks of large-scale communal violence continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable religious minorities in India; especially impacting women and girls."

"All of us who cherish India's traditionally inclusive society, understand the level of concern about the threats to secularism and pluralism in India, " said Dr. Raja Swamy, a CAG spokesperson. "The first 100 days of Mr. Modi's tenure as PM have shown that such concern is justified and has gained added urgency, " added Dr. Swamy.

Reflecting the growing intolerance, both in India as well as the diaspora, reports indicate veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai was assaulted by a mob of Modi supporters outside Madison Square Garden on Sunday, September 28. The provocation was Mr. Sardesai's willingness to pay attention to a protester who wished to express his views, and clarify reasons for protesting.

"India can be a strong democracy only when dissent is given its space, and the freedom of the press is respected," said Dr. Shaik Ubaid, another CAG spokesperson.

CAG appeals to President Obama to respond to the concerns expressed by the eleven Congresspersons as well as Rep. Honda, and to accept their recommendation on his imminent meeting with PM Modi. Without international attention on the growing intolerance in India, millions of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits and other minorities will continue to see a steady erosion of their religious freedom and civil liberties.

CAG is a broad-based coalition representing a diverse cross section of the religious and political spectrum of the Indian diaspora, including Hindu and other faith-based organizations. The coalition is committed to democracy, pluralism and to the preservation of the idea of India.

Fast track to troubling times: 100 days of Narendra Modi

1. Dr. Shaik Ubaid 
Phone: 516-567-0783

2. Dr. Raja Swamy
Phone: 864-804-0216
3. Coalition Against Genocide

India: RSS's Akhil Bharatiya Itihaas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY) hosting a seminar at National Museum

Indian Express

RSS discovers a new Hindu icon: Hemu, who fought Akbar

Written by Shyamlal Yadav | New Delhi | Posted: September 28, 2014 3:16 am

National Museum to host symposium on ‘Last Hindu Emperor of Delhi’

After Maharana Pratap and Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has found a new Hindu icon among medieval Indian royalty: Hemu, the vanquished combatant in the Second Battle of Panipat, whose defeat ended the shortlived rule of a Hindu king over Delhi, and led to the resurrection of Mughal power in India.

The Akhil Bharatiya Itihaas Sankalan Yojana (ABISY), the history wing of the RSS, will next month pay tributes to “Maharaja Hemchandra Vikramaditya”, the “Great Warrior of India”, and “the last Hindu Emperor of Delhi”.

The ceremony, at Delhi’s National Museum on October 5, will be presided over by the Union Minister of Culture, Shripad Yesso Naik. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy will be the chief guest. Among the speakers will be Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) joint general secretary Vinayak Deshpande.
Hemu, a brilliant military commander for the Afghan successors of Sher Shah Suri had, after a trail of successful campaigns against both Afghan rebels and the Mughals, declared himself emperor of Delhi in October 1556 — the first Hindu king to control the city since the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate at the beginning of the 13th century.

Barely a month later, on November 5, 1556, Hemu met the Mughal army led by the generals of the then 14-year-old Akbar at the battlefield of Panipat.
He led from the front, and was said to have been on the verge of victory, when a freak arrow struck him in the eye, knocking him off his battle elephant, and triggering panic among his troops.

The battle changed course dramatically after that, and a general massacre of Hemu’s army followed. The injured Hemu himself was captured and beheaded by Bairam Khan, Akbar’s guardian, paving the way for re-establishment of Mughal rule in Delhi, which lasted for another 300 years before it was ended by the British.

The invitation card for the October 5 ceremony describes the event as “A Forgotten Hindu Emperor Maharaja Hemchandra Vikramaditya: A Tribute”. B M Pande, organising secretary of ABISY, who will speak at the event, told The Sunday Express, “We are always in favour of recognising and remembering our forgotten, real heroes who were deliberately ignored by the biased historians of the Mughal and British era.”
Shivaji and Pratap, who resisted the Mughals, are already huge icons for the RSS. June 6, Shivaji’s Coronation Day, is among the five festivals the

RSS celebrates officially every year (the others being Guru Purnima, Raksha Bandhan, Makar Sankranti and Varsh Pratipada).

The ABISY is an RSS front engaged in writing and propagating the Sangh’s view of India’s history. As reported by The Indian Express recently, one of its major ongoing projects is to provide an “Indian perspective” to history by writing it on the basis of the Puranas. The ABISY is also working on a “district-level history”, and the history of over 600 Indian tribes.

This is the first time that an RSS programme is being organised at the National Museum. A museum officer said that while the Minister would chair the programme, the museum has only allowed the organisers the use of its auditorium, which is meant for cultural and academic events.

Historian Prof Sunil Kumar of Delhi University declined to comment on the celebration of Hemu. “There is no history (in programmes such as these)… This is just politicisation of history. A historian cannot comment on this,” Prof Kumar said.

Pande denied the RSS was making a fresh bid to re-interpret India’s history because a BJP-led government was back in power at the Centre. “It is just a coincidence. This is part of our ongoing programme. We are here to remember all our heroes. It is our duty to remember Hemu and his valour,” he said.
- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/rss-discovers-a-new-hindu-icon-hemu-who-fought-akbar/99