November 13, 2005

It’s aimed at Hindus: Says Bajrang Dal on sterilisation camp

(Indian Express, November 11, 2005)

It’s aimed at Hindus: Says Bajrang Dal on sterilisation camp

by Milind Ghatwai

BHOPAL, NOVEMBER 10: There are men who don’t go to family planning camps. But here, they run away after having reached it. Ask the Bajrang Dal workers standing guard at the vasectomy camp in Siwni (near Hoshangabad) and they will tell you, it’s like conversion — men were lured to the camp. They just changed their mind.

To make sure, Bajrang Dal members have been stopping the officials at work as well.

Not only this. Days before the camp, they went around spreading ‘‘awareness’’ in the Hoshangabad district, trying to convince villagers that the camp was aimed at Hindu men. Officials said persuading men was always difficult, and the Bajrang Dal has made it more so. Doctors have to be accompanied by policemen. Dal activists allege that Muslims are not being sterilised.

This is the camp which the Dal would rather reserve only for minorities. But the free-of-cost government NSV (non-scalpel vasectomy) camp, where the male gets Rs 265 and the motivator Rs 25 per case, is a Central government scheme open for all.

On Wednesday, the first day of the camp, Bajrang Dal men gathered outside the town’s community health centre and argued with officials. The few men who came from nearby villages ran away.

On Thursday, 50 policemen had to be deployed, but the Dal men continued to raise slogans. Dal’s prant sanyojak Manish Dube said: ‘‘We won’t tolerate our men being lured to the camp. Why don’t they bring Muslims?’’

‘‘Those who escaped must have been brought on false promises,’’ he alleged. ‘‘We will oppose such camps,’’ he warned and announced that he will take up the issue at Dal’s three-day national executive meeting to begin at Haridwar on Saturday.

SDM Niaz Ahmed admitted that the Dal’s drive affected turnout. ‘‘We are unlikely to cover all 253 males who had given written consent.’’

Additional collector V.P. Deharia said: ‘‘We are approached only when doctors fail to meet the target.’

November 12, 2005

VHP to launch Hindu Sena in Assam

(Hindustan Times, November 11, 2005)

VHP to launch Hindu Sena in Assam
Guwahati, November 11, 2005

After the All Assam Students Union which launched its Asom Sena some time back, it is now time for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to launch a similar outfit in the state.

The VHP's outfit, which is being formed to "protect the interests of the indigenous communities in the state" is being called the Hindu Sena, said senior leaders of the Parishad.

According to the VHP leaders, it had become necessary to form an organisation such as the Hindu Sena as the government had failed to protect indigenous people as the activities of Pakistan's ISI was growing in the state. "It is now up to the VHP to take the responsibility of ensuring that the Indian communities here are not compromised," they said.

The All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (AKRASU) has meanwhile opposed the proposed Sena of the VHP. President of the Bongaigaon unit of the AKRASU Phanindra Singha said that his organisation would not allow parties to play politics in the name of religion.

November 04, 2005

The View from the Right

(Indian Express, November 4, 2005)

The View from the Right
Excerpts from the Organiser, the mouthpiece of the RSS, Deepavali Special Issue


The Deepavali special issue of the Organiser is in a magazine rather than the usual tabloid format. In a signed two-page editorial, editor R. Balashankar outlines the various legends behind Deepavali in different parts of the country and then slams ‘‘the communal, pro-Muslim, pro-Pakistani vocal brigade in the media and politics in India.’’ Accusing them of resisting ‘‘all voices of nationality, patriotism, native aspirations and cultural heritage,’’ he concludes: ‘‘This divisive loyalty, the trans-national commitments, anti-Hindu attitudes are the contemporary manifestations of Ravana and Narakasura. These have not yet gained the strength that God should incarnate. They are very much within our power to demolish. Let’s drop the veil on vigil and reveal our vibrant energy and power. [Deepavali] is the celebration of victory. Let’s give meaning to our celebration. Or it will become a meaningless splurge.’’


The cover story entitled ‘Mau burnt as Mulayam fiddled’ is a six-page detailed “investigation” on the riots that broke out on October 13. It claims that ‘‘99% of the victims’’ were Hindus and ‘‘if any Muslim suffered, it was due to action of security forces against the rioters.’’ Disputing the official toll figure of 14, the report says the unofficial figure ‘‘is believed to be more than 200 dead, 500 injured and over 300 missing.’’ No evidence, though, is provided to substantiate this belief. Writer Pramod Kumar also notes how ‘‘Muslims have criminalised and communalised the region’’ through the uncontrolled mushrooming of madrasas and mosques and warns that the Mau riots ‘‘appear just a beginning of a larger disaster. The Hindus, whichever political party they support, are going to face serious troubles.’’


The article under this subheading by Ashoke Dasgupta entitled ‘Marxism is dead but UPA keeps it alive’ attacks CPI and CPM for carrying the deadwood of Marxism but, confusingly, also criticises them for not being Marxist enough. It says,‘‘Once a political party commits itself to Marxism, it has to wage political class struggle for the establishment of socialism. The two communist parties minus policies to achieve socialism are, in this way of assessment, two ghost parties that deceitfully exhibit as if they have not bonded themselves in a coalition submitting themselves to the hegemony of Sonia’s party.’’ It concludes with the dire prediction that ‘‘a weak, aimless Sonia party’s coalition government under the stranglehold of ghost Marxists’’ is turning India into a soft state ‘‘which may be the initial steps to becoming a banana republic.’’


The reprinted article under this rubric by Anthony Browne in Brussels gives an objective account of the debate raging in the Netherlands on the Dutch government’s proposal to ban the burqa. The author quotes opposition to the move and notes how the Netherlands ‘‘ has become less liberal’’ over the years in its attitude towards immigrants. Curiously, the main blurb in the piece does not figure in the actual article at all. It says, ‘‘Why can’t India implement similar measures the Dutch are doing? Well, we know the answer, the vote banks and secularism that support fatwas against Imrana or Sania. Secularism of the Indian kind, which does not exist anywhere else, is dangerous not only to the security of India but also to civilisation in general.’’


A report on the three-day Hindu Dharmacharya Sabha conference in Mumbai from October 16-18 notes the presence of two special invitees to the conference — VHP leader Ashok Singhal and Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy. The report extensively quotes Swamy’s speech on how Hindus are under siege today but are not speaking out enough. ‘‘It is not enough if today’s Hindu is pious or rich. What matters is the mindset of the Hindu that recognises that India shall forever be a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors are Hindus or those we accepted in our land as refugees (Parsis, Jews and Syrian Christians). Such Hindus must always retaliate in a deterrent way when attacked even mildly,’’ Swamy is quoted as having said to the acharyas who gave him ‘‘a prolonged ovation.’’

(Compiled by Manini Chatterjee)