May 23, 2022

May 21, 2022

India: Arrey Ramlal, i havent seen you anytime in the temple | RemicComics


India: Why Hindu petitioners in Gyanvapi Mosque case have split -- acrimony between the Hindutva organisations behind the case ?


Farzi’ organisation: Why Hindu petitioners in Gyanvapi case have split

The four Varanasi petitioners have now parted ways with the lone Delhi petitioner.

May 20, 2022

India: CPI(M) press Statement on the Gyanvapi Mosque Issue

 May 19, 2022
Press Statement
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the
following statement:
On Gyanvapi Mosque issue
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses serious concern over the
fact that the District Court, Varanasi took an ill-considered decision to
allow videography under its supervision within the premises of the Gyanvapi
Mosque that has resulted in a situation which can be utilised by communal
The Supreme Court has now intervened in the matter and the CPI(M) demands
that the utmost caution be exercised and that no violation, in letter and
spirit, of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 takes
place. The Act came into existence precisely to ensure that such
controversies over religious places are avoided and that efforts to change
their existing character not be permitted.
[For CPI(M) Central Committee Office]

May 19, 2022

India: ‘Hindutva Forces Responsible for Planting Saffron Flag on Top of Mosque’ - PUCL Bihar

 ‘Hindutva Forces Responsible for Planting Saffron Flag on Top of Mosque’: PUCL Bihar https://www.newsclick.in/hindutva-forces-responsible-planting-saffron-flag-top-mosque-PUCL-bihar

May 18, 2022

Press Statement Gyanvapi Masjid Case. India gets played. Again | Socialist Party

Press Statement

Gyanvapi Masjid Case. India gets played. Again.

With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens - inflation at a multi-year highrupee at an all-time lownegative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon, what’s a serially-incompetent government to do ? Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this - as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece. 

The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of  real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are suddenly experiencing a nuclear cloudburst of daily anti-Muslim rhetoric promoting their defenestration all over the country. 

In the second quarter of 2021, just as the horrors of the Covid spike were in full swing, five women decided to petition the court to open up - what they considered as a then-currently somewhat inaccessible ‘Goddess Shringar Gauri' place of worship - situated - they believed -  adjacent to a mosque in Varanasi. One of the five - a Delhi woman aided by her husband-founder of a 2018 era Yet-Another-Vishwa-Vedic-Sanathan-Sangh drove the petition - along with 4 other Varanasi women - among the latter a wife of a VHP Varanasi officer bearer; others seem to be stand-ins and foot-soldiers - proxies really for the Hindutva complex. Either way, the court accepted the plea (more on the court’s jurisdiction later) - and ordered a survey using video of the relevant area. The case came into the limelight this May because the Mosque management filed a counter-plea against the commissioner in-charge - asking for his removal - alleging that he was exceeding his mandate and had insisted on filming areas not authorised by the court. The court on hearing the plea doubled down on its original order, not only retaining the commissioner but also provided him two additional legal assistants to complete his work. The two-page order (OneTwo) asks for submission of timebound results. Over the weekend, accordingly work proceeded.

Opponents to this legal drama are furious and have been insisting that this in-Limine (at the outset) violates 'The Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act', a 3-page 1991 law that lays a framework for exactly such scenarios. The law calls for a standstill in all and any such cases. It compels cease-and-desist - from any party - that attempts to convert a religious-house to a different denomination - retroactive to the known religious status of such places - as of and on August 15th, 1947. Here:

3. Bar of conversion of places of Worship

No person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination or any section thereof  into a place of worship of different section of the same religious denomination or of a different religious denomination or any section thereof.

4, Declaration as to the religious character of certain places of worship and bar of jurisdiction of courts, etc.

 (1) It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.

More pertinently, the act itself bars - effective as of Sept 1991 going into the future - the involvement of courts in such matters. Note the last line in the extract below : 

‘(2) If, on the commencement of this Act. any suit, appeal or other proceeding with respect to the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, existing on the 15th day of August, 1947, is pending before any court, tribunal of other authority, the same shall abate, and no suit, appeal or other proceeding with respect to any such matter shall lie on or after such commencement in any court, tribunal or other authority.

 It is therefore troubling that the court took this case up - when expressly barred from exerting jurisprudence on it - and is indicative of the extent of ongoing judicial capture. Socialist Party (India) strongly objects to the politicization of this matter, and the use of illegal lawfare - expressly to keep the communal pot simmering. This is a waste of public legal resources at a time when critical attention is needed towards solving pressing issues such as mass hunger. We urge the government and/or the Supreme Court to follow the written law of the land and halt/dismiss motions of the original petitioners. 

Socialist Party (India)

Drafted by: Venkatesh Narayanan, email.venkatesh.narayanan@gmail.com

Spokespersons: Bobby Ramakant, bobbyramakant@yahoo.com, Manoj Sarang, 9446835833, 8921519296

Kashmir Today: Are Pandits secure? | Ram Puniyani

Striving for Peace in Strife Torn Kashmir

Ram Puniyani

Killings by Pakistan trained; pro- Pakistan terrorists have been unrelenting in Kashmir. When Modi announced demonetization one of the arguments was that this is aimed at containing terrorism in Kashmir. Later even while abolishing article 370 and 35A this was to be one of the aims. In this background we get the disturbing news of the killing of Rahul Bhat (May 2022), A Kashmiri Pandit (KP) by Kashmir Tigers, a militant pro Pakistan outfit. The loud mouths from the ruling establishment are silent on this while the Whatsapp University got one more point to blame the Kashmiri Muslims for this brutal killing. As such the brutal act has been done by the terrorist outfit, trained into inhuman methods by the Pakistan based training camps funded by America.

The Kashmir issue has multiple factors contributing to the present turmoil. The alienation of the locals due to erosion of autonomy has been the fertile ground on which the crops of terrorists were grown by the neighbor fully backed by America. America’s goal was to keep control on the oil resources of West Asia. The complementary aspect of geographically strategic importance of Kashmir was also one of the reasons for America to operate through its vassal Pakistan.

Earlier attempts were made even by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to have dialogue with diverse groups of Kashmiri dissidents. He very aptly said that the solution to the Kashmir issue lies in ‘Insaniyat, Jamhoriyat and Kashmiriyat’ (Humanism, Democracy and Kashmiri culture). Later Dr. Manmohan Singh also attempted to have dialogue with dissidents to solve the problem. Today while Vajpayee’s meetings with dissidents are put under the wraps, the meeting of Dr. Singh with Yasin Malik is highlighted to project as if Congress has encouraged such dastardly actions.

The act of releasing the terrorists took place when Rubaiya Saeed was kidnapped (VP Singh Government), are put under the carpet and Congress is blamed for the present plight in the region. The most needed process is of course that of rooting democracy and restoring autonomy. In turn what is being imposed is the Central rule and undermining the democratic process. The presence of the military in the area is the constant eye sore for civilian life. After 2014, with Modi coming to power the process is going in a reverse direction as far as democratic mechanisms are concerned.

One recalls that during the UPA regime there was a sincere effort to make the Pandits go back to their beloved land. A process was conceptualized to rehabilitate a few pandit families back in the Valley. Good deal of monetary allocation was also provided for this work. One of the most important steps, which by now have been frozen, was the interlocutors report. The team of interlocutors sent by the UPA, was constituted by Dileep Padgaonkar, M.M. Ansari and Radha Kumar. The team travelled extensively and recommended the gradual restoration of autonomy.

Abolition of Article 370 has been always on the agenda of BJP and was supposed to be a solution for all problems related to Kashmir. Two years down the line the civic life is much worse and democratic voices do not have much place in the policy making in the state. The murder of Rahul Bhat has underlined the continuing issues which dog the state.

The state of democracy can be gauged from what happened to the protestors who were trying to meet Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha. He did not turn up to meet KPs and other protestors, so they planned a march to the airport. The police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. The manner in which the state is dealing with issues is well summed up in the tweet by Omar Abdullah, who called the move shameful “It’s shameful that legitimate & justified protests are met with a heavy-handed response. This is not new for the people of Kashmir because when all the administration has is a hammer every problem resembles a nail. If the LG’s Govt can’t protect KPs they have a right to protest,”   

The perception is created all over the country that Kashmir issue is a Hindu Muslim issue, with Hindu minority being oppressed by the local Muslims. This is what was forcefully presented in the film Kashmir Files, approved by bigwigs of rightwing. In contrast the reality is very different. Protesting Pandits in Anantnag on the killing of Rahul Bhat question whether this is the new Kashmir Modi is talking about.  KPs also are thanking Kashmiri Muslims for supporting them in their hour of grief.

While the claims of efficient administration abound, the agitating Pandits highlighted the state of security of the civilians where the militants can enter the Government building and kill the employee. Rahul Bhat’s widow Meenakshi Bhat said that PM Modi and Amit Shah are using KP’s as scapegoats, they are using KPs as cannon fodder for their politics. I challenge them to come to Kashmir and roam around without security. “At the same time 350 Pandit employees tendered their resignations for security reasons.

It is not that only Pandits have to face such a plight. In the aftermath of Rahul Bhat’s murder Riyaz Ahmed was also murdered. An RTI activist’s inquiry is very revealing. Terrorists in Kashmir killed 1,724 people - of whom 89 were Kashmiri Pandits and the rest were "people of other faiths", including Muslims - over the past 31 years. This information comes after a wave of civilian killings in parts of J&K, including Srinagar, in the past few months, in which Kashmiri Pandits as well as many from other communities, including Muslims, and those from outside the union territory, were shot dead. Those killed are mostly pro-India elements.

The communal forces have totally misrepresented the complex processes of Kashmir imbroglio. The killing of Rahul Bhat and Riyaz Ahmed is to be seen as a part of the same process. In the light of the support of Kashmiri Muslims to Rahul Bhat’s murder we can clearly see the reality of local population Hindus and Muslims are together at social level.