August 27, 2004

Sing Vande Mataram in Bombay schools or leave India: Shiv Sena

Mid-Day - August 27, 2004

Sing Vande Mataram or leave India: Sena
  By: PTI
  August 26, 2004

Adopting a tough posture over Vande Mataram, the Shiv Sena today said those refusing to sing the prayer-song for the motherland have no right to stay in this country.

Vande Mataram is our national pride those refusing to sing it have no right to stay in this country, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said.

The Sena leaders reaction came when his attention was drawn to Raza Academy, a minority organisation, opposing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's decision to make rendering of Vande Mataram compulsory in all civic schools across the metropolis.

The Sena-BJP ruled BMC yesterday decided to make singing of the song compulsory in all civic schools in the city.

"If you can not pay obeisance to our nation, then you do not have any right to stay here," Thackeray said and adopting an aggressive stance asked if "we are not supposed to sing Vande Mataram, then are we expected to pay respect to Dawood Ibrahim."

The Sena leader strongly supported the BMC, ruled by the saffron combine, to make compulsory singing of Vande Mataram in civic schools.

August 22, 2004

Sangh Swayamsevaks engaged in flood relief

Organiser - August 22, 2004 | Page: 20/36

Sangh Samachar
One thousand teams of Sangh Swayamsevaks engaged in flood relief
Hindusthan Samachar
Over one thousand teams of Sangh Swayamsevaks belonging to different RSS-associated organisations like Sewa Bharati, National Medicos’ Organisation, Bharat Vikas Parishad, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Rashtra Sevika Samiti, ABVP, Vidya Bharati, etc. are engaged in flood relief activities right from the first day when floods inundated Assam and Bihar.
In the first phase of relief, the Swayamsevaks rescued the affected people and provided them with meals, drinking water, milk for children, clothes and utensils. With the exception of two districts, the floods have hit 28 districts of Assam, 17 of which are affected severely. In the second phase, the Swayamsevaks collected relief material worth lakhs of rupees from the local resources and helped the flood victims. They concentrated more on the villages where the government or non-governmental organisations have failed to reach.
In the third phase, they concentrated on medical relief, as there is a possibility that the flood-hit areas might be caught in the grip of water-borne diseases which could become an epidemic. Besides the local help, the Swayamsevaks have also received medicines from Gujarat, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
The Sangh-associated organ-isations have been working under the banner of Sewa Bharati. They have formed several teams of doctors at various districts and other prominent places. Every team organises two or three camps daily in the affected areas. In Guwahati alone, six teams of 40 doctors have been formed, which have been working under the supervision of Dr Dilip Sarkar, a retired doctor of Guwahati Medical College and vice president of National Medicos Organisation. Dr Sarkar has appealed to medical professionals of the country to assist in the relief measures. Several teams of Arogya Rakshak are also working under the banner of Sewa Bharati. They include teams in Golaghat, eight in Hojoi, two in Kampur, four in Bilasipara, three in Golokganj, four in Barpeta, three in Nalbari, six in Mangaldoi, four in Tezpur and 35 in Silchar.

August 19, 2004

Sena to train cadre in trident-handling

The Indian Express - August 19, 2004

Sena to train cadre in trident-handling
Aims at removing ‘hurdles’ in the path of construction of Ram Temple
Express News Service
Lucknow, August 18: SHIV Sena has decided to train its volnuteers in “effective way of trishul-handling” for “self-defence” purposes so that they can face all the “hurdles coming in the way of construction of Ram temple”.

The training will start with trishul pujan that will be held all over the state at the all district units of Shiv Sena on August 23.

During the pujan, Shiv Sainiks will impart trishul training to thousands of volunteers across the state. Vijay Tiwari, chief of party’s state unit, has issued directives to all the district units in this regard.

His deputy Ajay Katiyar said during the pujan, the Shiv Sainiks will pray to God to give them strength to over come all hurdles and face bravely those who are “creating obstructions” on their way in building the temple.

Katiyar said that through trishul pujan programme, Sena wants to convey the message to the public that “there is a bunch of politicains and few groups of minorities who do not want the temple to take shape.

Even the government of the country was manipulating the innocent public by discribing the site of temple in Ayodhya to be in dispute.”

Lashing out at the present as well as the privious governments at the Centre, he said that all the governments had unnecessarily created controversies regarding Ram Janmabhoomi and thereby entangling the issue in a legal battle.

“But this will adversely affect their own future,” he warned all the parties who ruled at the Centre, including the BJP.

Katiyar informed that after the trishul training programme, party volunteers would hold a sankalp yagya in Varanasi in September.

August 18, 2004

ABVP stones Professor Geelani’s car in JNU

Indian Express - August 18, 2004

ABVP stones Geelani’s car in JNU
Moved to a safe place after protests, professor returns later to make speech at hostel.
Prarthna Gahilote
New Delhi, August 17: AFTER two hours of drama that rocked the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Tuesday night, Professor S. A. R. Geelani returned to address the public meeting he had been driven away from earlier in the evening.

Geelani, who had arrived at the Sutlej hostel at 9.30 pm to address a public meeting , had to be taken to a safe place on the campus after over 100 Akhil Bharitya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists gheraoed his car and pelted stones, forcing him to drive away.

For two hours, the ABVP staged a dharna outside the hostel. They refused to let the organisers — the All India Democratic Students Union and the Students Federation of India (SFI) — bring Geelani back to speak at the hostel.

Geelani had been invited to JNU, in his first public meeting since he was acquitted by the Delhi High Court in October 2003 in the Parliament attack case, to speak on the ‘Question of Political Prisoners in a Democracy’. An exhibition based on Geelani’s trial, called Lies of Our Times is also being held at JNU.

At 11.30 pm Geelani finally made it back to the Sutlej hostel to speak to students. Geelani barely got 10 minutes to speak to students about issues pertaining to Kashmir and national security. He had to be escorted out by a human chain.

Nandita Haksar from the All India Geelani Defence Committee, who had accompanied Geelani to the university said, ‘‘This is absolutely undemocartic. We are ready to speak to the ABVP if they have an issue over this public meeting, but stopping Professor Geelani from entering the hostel and addressing the students is not done.’’

Haksar added, ‘‘This is our nation too and that is what brings us together. JNU was the first place to support the release of political prisoners. What is happening now?’’

DSU General Secretary Arvind Radhakrishnan called the demonstration ridiculous. “Professor Geelani is a free man and has every right to express his views. The exhibition on his trial has now been on for a day which the ABVP tried to stop but did not manage,” he said.

NSUI’s Mohammad Zahid-ul-Haq said the ABVP was not respecting the law of the land when it opposes Geelani’s talk. “They are politicising the issue,” he said.

However, ABVP’s vice president Rituraj said ‘‘Geelani a terrorist. Calling him here is a deliberate attempt to disrupt the paeceful atmosphere in an educational institution. It is our right to stop these kinds of things.’’

Shiv Sena to have trishul distribution in New Delhi

Source URL:


Shiv Sena to give trishul diksha in the capital
New Delhi, Aug 17 [2004] The Shiv Sena will soon distribute 'trishuls' (tridents) in the capital, it was announced today.
'Trishul diksha' will be given to the members of the Shiv Sena and other Hindu social organisations at a function, the date of which will be decided after getting clearance from Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Sena Delhi unit leader Abhimanyu Gulati said.
''When the Sikhs can keep 'kripan' for protection, which can't Shiv Saniks keep trishul, which is a symbol of Shiva,'' he asked.
He said since ''trishul'' represents the power of Shiva and Durga, it would be an insult to the Gods and Goddesses to misuse it.

August 17, 2004

Shiv Sena and the other nickerwalas for Savarkar

The Telegraph - August 18, 2004

Savarkar sting for Aiyar

New Delhi, Aug. 17: An aggressive Shiv Sena today set the tone for the battle ahead in Maharashtra as it targeted Union petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for reportedly “insulting” the memory of freedom fighter and state icon Veer Savarkar.

Citing media reports, Sena leader Anant Geete said Aiyar during a recent visit ordered Indian Oil officials to remove Savarkar’s quotes inscribed on the walls of Port Blair Cellular Jail along with those of other freedom fighters who were imprisoned there.

“It is not only an insult to Savarkar’s memory but also an insult to all freedom fighters,” the Sena parliamentary party leader asserted, pointing out that just a year ago, all parties had agreed to install Savarkar’s portrait in Parliament’s Central Hall.

The Sena, which along with the BJP is making a strong bid to oust the Congress-led Democratic Front government in the crucial western state in the October polls, demanded an apology from Aiyar.

Supported by BJP members, Sena MPs also forced deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal to adjourn the Lok Sabha till noon, forgetting that the Opposition had just a few days ago given its word not to disrupt question hour proceedings.

In the Upper House, too, the saffron parties forced a brief adjournment close to the lunch break.

Today’s offensive against the Congress comes in the wake of the Sena’s recent broadside on drought and malnutrition deaths in the state.

Aiyar was in the Rajya Sabha when Geete raised the issue in the Lower House. By the time Sena member in the Upper House Sanjay Nirupam raised the issue, Aiyar had left.

RSS releases `proof' of its innocence

The Hindu - August 18, 2004
RSS releases `proof' of its innocence

By Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI, AUG. 17. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today denied that it had anything to do with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and as "proof" of its innocence circulated a copy of a letter written by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to Jawaharlal Nehru just 28 days after the murder. However, it seems that the RSS overlooked the fact that the same letter blamed V.D. Savarkar for hatching the conspiracy and "seeing it through" while emphasising that "the assassination was welcomed by those of the RSS and the [Hindu] Mahasabha."

Defamation suit

Today, the RSS spokesperson, Ram Madhav, told a press conference that the organisation would wait for a week for a formal reply to its legal notice to the Human Resource Development Minister, Arjun Singh, after which it would file a criminal defamation suit against the Minister under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code for his written statement that the Mahatma's murder was the "only achievement of the RSS." Mr. Singh has already challenged the RSS to "do its worst" and has said that there is no question of his offering an apology.

To substantiate his assertion that the RSS had nothing to do with the Mahatma's assassination, Mr. Madhav circulated copies of Sardar Patel's letter of February 20, 1948 addressed to Nehru.

The three-page letter went into details of the investigation into the assassination and said that, "it clearly emerges from these statements [made by various people during investigations] that the RSS was not involved in it at all."

But the very next sentence stated: "It was a fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under Savarkar that [hatched] the conspiracy and saw it through."

The letter also stated that the Mahatma's assassination "was welcomed by those of the RSS and the [Hindu] Mahasabha who were strongly opposed to his way of thinking and to his policy ... the RSS has undoubtedly other sins and crimes to answer for, but not for this one."

Savarkar controversy

It appeared that while the RSS was absolving itself of any guilt in the Mahatma's assassination, it unwittingly added fuel to the Savarkar controversy that raised its head in Parliament today.

Mr. Madhav today charged Mr. Singh with having no commitment to any ideology but power and for using the RSS as a "whipping boy" and the Mahatma's assassination as an instrument in the Congress' internal power politics. "Whenever there is an internal power struggle in the Congress party the often repeated old charges related to Gandhi's assassination surface," Mr. Madhav said.

Admitting that the Mahatma's assassin, Nathuram Godse, was an RSS member, he said, "he had left [the RSS]" before the assassination. "So many become our members and then leave," he added.

Mr. Madhav said that the Sarshanghchalak at that time, M.S. Golwalkar, had condemned the assassination and had ordered the suspension of all RSS activities for 13 days as a mark of respect. Asked whether the Sangh had ever condemned Godse, Mr. Madhav shot back: "When we condemned the assassination did not that mean condemnation of the assassin?"

Rajasthan: Raje govt revokes trishul ban

Indian Express
August 17, 2004

Raje govt revokes trishul ban
JAIPUR, AUGUST 16: Buckling under pressure from the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, the Rajasthan government has revoked its controversial order, banning trishuls in the state. The decision came late on Monday night after the two organisations defied the ban and held trishul deeksha ceremonies here.

After spending months persuading the Vasundhara Raje government to revoke the ordinance, put in place by the previous Ashok Gehlot government, the VHP and Bajrang Dal took to the streets over the weekend, distributing tridents in the heart of Jaipur city. And in the past week, they signed up a ‘‘whole new army’’ of trishul-bearing youth.

Caught in the crossfire, the Raje government was forced to withdraw the notification. Defending the move, Home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said: ‘‘The notification was misleading, and in any case, it did not mention the trishul. These things have been part of our religious ceremonies. To avoid all the confusion and because this does not threaten anyone we have revoked the order.’’

In the VHP, they knew it was coming. So this Independence Day, they celebrated their freedom from the ‘‘autocratic Congress rule’’ of Gehlot and merrily distributed trishuls. Last week, in Kotputli, 60 trishuls were distributed, in Bharatpur 58, in Jhunjhunu 70, in Karauli 40 and in Sikar 80. On Sunday, there were programmes in Devli and Niwai. In Jaipur, 51 people ‘‘signed up’’.

‘‘We do it every year,’’ says Radhey Shyam Gautam, state general secretary of the VHP. ‘‘We celebrate the Akhand Bharat Sankalp Divas annually to protest the division of akhand bharat. And, we also pledge to ensure that it never happens again. During this, any young person who wants to take the trishul diksha does so. No law can stop us.’’

But last year, one law did stop them. On April 8, 2003 former CM Gehlot stopped the entire process with a curtly worded notification. Without mentioning the word trishul, his Home Department issued a notification that vividly described a trident and clamped down on all trishul diksha programmes. The decision subsequently led to the arrest of Pravin Togadia for violating the ban.

In its late night decision, the BJP government has reversed one of Gehlot’s most applauded decisions during his last few months in office and given the VHP and Bajrang Dal a free run in the state.

August 14, 2004

BJP Panel To Look Into Bangladeshi Infiltration

Financial Express
BJP Panel To Look Into Bangladeshi Infiltration
Posted online: Saturday, August 14, 2004 at 0000 hours IST
NEW DELHI, AUG 13:  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday constituted a committee on “demographic invasion to study the grave problem of large-scale Bangladeshis” into India’s north-eastern region and other parts.

With Murli Manohar Joshi as convenor, the committee will comprise Arun Shourie, Sushil Modi, Tathagat Roy and Indramani Bora. Infiltration by Bangladeshi Muslims has been an old and favourite issue of the BJP and earlier of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the BJP’s previous avatar.

While in power, the BJP hardly ever raised the issue. But, with the chintan baithak urging the party to go back to Hindutva, the party intends to play up the issue. [...].