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  Secularism: A Conspectus of its Consequences  
 

 

By: Adity Sharma
October 23, 2005
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iews expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.

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A retaliatory attack on Muslims after hundreds have been killed, an isolated attack on a Christian after thousands have been fraudulently proselytized; the former bit of information makes headlines, the latter people barely know of. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn`t it? Whose fault is it? The Islamic terrorists? The Christian missionaries? Before we can point the finger of blame at any group, we must realize the cold fact that people among our own midst are fomenting anti-Hindu anti-India hatred and spreading spurious information.

Over the last few decades, a leftist, self-styled clerisy has emerged with an ideology that is a detriment to the survival of Hinduism in India or anywhere in the world. This farrago also known as secularists consists of politicians, academia, religious figures, human rights activists, journalists, and the most likely incognizant hoi polli whose main objective whether conscientiously or unaware is to stay away from and denigrate anything remotely resembling Hinduism or Hindutva. This is all usually done in the name of so-called secularism and impartiality. With these anti-India secularists leading the way, Islamic terrorists, and Christian missionaries follow the example with celerity.

Secularism`s essential pillar is indifference to or exclusion of religion. Through examining events that were highlighted most in the media, this essay endeavors to challenge and prove that the secularists network of worldwide anti-India propaganda is a detriment to the survival of Hindus. It came as no surprise then, when the "secular" crowd went livid with rage ensuing the Babri mosque demolition on December sixth 1992, the fact that the mosque stood on the site of a decimated temple, one of Hinduism`s most sacred places was of no importance to this crowed. Nor did they care about the ample evidence in favor of Ram temple`s previous existence. This proof included the archeological survey of India in 1975 and again in 2003 which excavated the site and found revealing artifacts proving the temple`s existence from past centuries. Another incrimination is that Muslim invaders themselves wrote gleefully about the destruction of Hindu temples not just at Ayodhya but also at Kashi and Mathura. From another perspective Babri Mosque was emblematic of Muslim domination and brutality because Ayodhya is just one place that the Muslims destroyed in their conquest of India. In a way by demolishing the mosque, Hindus have shortened the list of places where Islamic intolerance was glaringly perspicuous nothing of this sort is mentioned in any "secular" writings. The only thing that is stressed ad nauseam is how India`s secularity and its "helpless" Muslims are increasingly becoming a target of the purported Hindu extremists.

A question that these "secularists" have still not answered is, where were they when 300,000 Kashmiri Hindus were ethnically cleansed from their homes, and hundreds killed, their properties looted or burned. All of the support for this terrorism comes from the "helpless" Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Also, no one was killed on December sixth 1992. But what about on March 12, 1993 when several bombs exploded in Mumbai seriatim killing 257 people and injuring more than 1,400. How can any sane person condone such an outrageous and unprovoked act of terror! Some blamed it on Babri demolition; what is the sense in that? The recent attacks on the makeshift temple in July did not get any condemnation from the "secularists" at all. The Indian foreign minister himself assured everyone that, "The peace process with Pakistan would continue unimpeded unless there is a terrorist attack like the one witnessed in London". Gems of wisdom from India`s own homegrown anti-Indians. Clearly, from this and many other unwise statements on something as serious as terrorism how can the world take India seriously? Leadership matters within the borders of a nation, but to an extent it is even more pivotal when it comes to making a wholesome international impression. The queen of secularism Mrs. Sonia Gandhi went on the offensive and said that the event should not be politicized or publicized by the Sangh. So now it is a crime to publicize the truth, but it is fine to highlight lies.

Then, from 1998 to 2000, reports of attacks on Christian missionaries made sensational headlines and got the world`s full condemnation and outrage at the Hindu right and its associates who had recently won elections. One such case was where nuns were raped in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh in 1998; this was quickly blamed on the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Another event that was blown completely out of proportion was the murder of Australian missionary Graham Stains and his two children in Orisa in January 1999. Several bomb attacks on churches in Kerala were also blamed on Hindu organizations. The obvious pattern here is that no matter what the crime is, if it affects the minorities, Hindu activists automatically without any substantial evidence are denounced. Now, with further investigation and personal testimonies, it turned out that all of the attacks were all carried by Islamic terrorists, tribals who were fed up with perpetual conversion attempts by the missionaries, or they were inter-Christian feuds. Even with this evidence some tendentious human rights organizations such as the U.S. commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) continued to blame Hindu organizations for anti-Christian activities.

While the world especially the Indian "secularists" shed tears over putative minority harassment, Hindus continue to be the real victims of terrorism. No one really seems to be paying much attention to the terrorism that was and still continues to go on in the Northeast. For instance, in may 1999 four Rashtrya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers were kidnapped by the national Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and were taken to forests in Bangladesh. Ransom was demanded from the organization which refused to pay, and the four were put to death around December 2000. What was their crime? They were preaching Hinduism among the tribals! Other terrorist organizations operating in the Northeast include, Darjeeling Gorkha, Naga, Manipuri, Tripuri, United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) Bodo with assistance from Pakistan`s Inter-services intelligence (ISI). More attacks by NLFT followed in January 2001 where 13 people were shot dead while they shopped. Also, during that year the NLFT killed around 20 Hindus because they refused to become "believers". These brutal killings did not even get one eighth of the "secular" media`s sympathies that the minorities enjoy.

How many times have we heard from organizations like Gospels for Asia (GFA) and World Vision asserting that missionary work is strictly circumscribed to humanitarian work? But (GFA) is not interested in just helping the poor, they and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest and richest denomination in the U.S., were very upset over anti-conversion laws passed in several states, thus exposing their own ulterior motive.

They assert that Hindus themselves come to inquire about Christ. Maybe this is true for some, but overall the assertion is completely false. From time immemorial missionaries have been trying to Christianize India going back to when the Portuguese set foot on the Malabar coast. Today India has the fourth largest population of Catholic priests, and that shows something. Money, fraud, and in some case sheer force is a major factor in conversions. The Indian "secularists" and the anti-India cabal sloughs over this aspect of the situation. The tribals like so many others were furious with Graham Stains, so they resorted to desperate measures. That murder was given maximum attention by the media but what about the enormities committed against the innocent Hindus in the Northeast, in Kashmir, and the never-ending conversion attempts?

Infamous people like Angana Chatterjee and Marxist Ramila Thapar constantly accuse Hindu organizations of infiltrating in to tribal society and preaching Hinduism. The fact is that the practices by tribals are much closer to Hinduism than the monotheistic faiths. These people are also forgetting one important fact that missionaries do the same thing. Do they understand that the actions of the Sangh is not harming Hindu society but the missionary proselytizing is because the proselyte is isolated from Hindu culture and is hence used as a vehicle to spread the "good news" to other unaware persons? The proselyte is also taught to hate the cultural/social way of life (Hinduism) which is the single thread that holds the nation together.

In addition to conversions and the Kashmir dispute, the religious demography of the Northeast region due to Christian terrorism and Bangladeshi infiltration is changing at an alarming rate. According to the 2001 census, Christian population has gone from 39 percent in 1991 to 45.5 in 2001. States such as Mizrom, Tripura, and Nagaland have almost completely been Christianized. Manipur, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh previously unaffected are now also quickly being proselytized. In Assam and West Bengal where Bangledeshi infiltration goes on unhindered, the Hindu population has declined by 3 and 2 percent respectively. In Uttar Predesh and Bihar, the population has declined by nearly 1 percent from 1991-2001, and the Muslim population has steadily gone up. These figures come as no surprise given the missionaries insatiable rapacity for new "believers", and the high birthrate among Muslims. It is also no secret that aside from seeking a better living, the illegal infiltrators have a subversive agenda which is to inundate border states and propagate Islam.

While Kashmiri Hindus are evicted from their 5,000 year old homeland, the facts about Ram temple at Ayodhya skewed, and the demographic changes in religious makeup of the Northeast all demand immediate attention and action, the "secularists" and the anti-Indian cabal go on condemning spurious acts, and ignore or significantly play down the real problem. After all, every life is precious, right? Wrong! If this was the case for every atrocity committed against Christians there are ten atrocities against Hindus that should get equal media coverage but are not.

It is also an unfortunate thing that separatism is intrinsic to both Islam and Christianity; If Hindus do not wake up and realize this unsavory fact, then 1947 and 1971 are ineluctable.

The offensive called secularism continued. On February 27 2002, 59 Hindu pilgrims (mostly women and children) returning from Ayodhya by train were burnt to death by a Muslim mob at Godhra town in Gujarat state. A cycle of violence followed the attack where 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed. It was an unprovoked attack and that caused the subsequent rioting. The "secular" media`s reaction to this was disturbing to say the least. Just as the Stains Murder was exaggerated, this event also had more than its share of slanted reporting. If there was nothing sensational about a news item, tails were invented to create that sensation and garner sympathy from an unsuspecting world.

Malefic canards were and still continue to be disseminated through bogus one sided human rights organizations and the media. One such lie was that 2,000 people (mostly Muslims) were killed in Gujarat riots. Absolutely False! The figures released in March prove that there were around 1,000 killed in riots. Despite these figures, many continue to satisfy themselves with a game of reality and fact distortion. Its an incontrovertible fact however, that the Muslim death toll was indeed higher, but who killed 59 innocent people in the first place? The state Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government led by chief minister Narendra Modi is accused of complicity in the riots, for fomenting, and justifying them. In its 2002 report "We Have No Orders to Save You" - state participation and complicity in communal violence in Gujarat HRW alleges that the Modi government and the police force were doing exactly what the report`s title says. It did not provide an iota of evidence to substantiate its wild allegation however.

Some reasons why this allegation is likely false is that, firstly, the fact remains that the violence was not a one sided affair; both Hindus and Muslims were victims. If the Hindu nationalist government truly wanted to do what it is accused of doing, then there would be no Hindu death toll to account for. Secondly, assistance from the army was sought within 24 hours after the Godhra attack to stop any further violence. Although, the chaos continued, one has to understand that there are limits to everything; this attack was probably one too many. For a long time, Hindus have been victims of Islamic terrorism. Some instances include: the Mumbai blasts in 1993 killing 257, the attack in Coimbatore in 1998 killing 40, the attack on Delhi parliament in 2001 killing 8, the attack on Akshardham temple in 2002 killing 39, constant attacks in the Northeast and the incessant harassment of Hindus in Kashmir. All these events have one essential commonality, which is that there was absolutely no reprisal! The third reason is as mentioned earlier, there is no proof that the state government really fomented riots. HRW then describes in painstaking detail, the attacks against Muslims, but when describing attacks on Hindus, it brushes them aside as being retaliatory! So, with this logic, the violence that ensued the Godhra incident should also have been considered retaliatory. The media behaved as if these riots had never taken place before. The truth is that there are innumerable examples of riots that have claimed many more lives in the last 50 years. What was special about these riots, was that the secularists and anti-Indians had presaged the worst scenarios for the minorities if BJP came to power, but to their dismay they were wrong. But now the riots were an opportune moment to once again make gloomy forecasts and once again they were back in the propaganda business!

Furthermore, some anti-Indian propagandists have transgressed the limits of respectable falsehood and have shamelessly termed what may very well be called a mere reaction to a brutal attack as being genocide or ethnic cleansing. These propagandists do not comprehend the dire implications of genocide or ethnic cleansing at all. Perhaps, they should all take a trip to Pakistan or Bangladesh and report on the plight of the Hindu minorities, there they might understand the true definition of the term they abuse with impunity. Genocide means when people are deliberately and systematically exterminated because of their religious, political or social beliefs. What took place in Gujarat most certainly does not amount to genocide, even if the term was to be used in its broadest sense. In Pakistan, Hindus that constituted 20 percent of the population, now they constitute around 2 percent. Similarly, in Bangladesh the Hindu population was 30 percent in 1971; today it is less than 10 percent, a perfect instance of genocide.

An apotheosis of ethnic cleansing is when 300,000 Hindus were kicked out of Kashmir. But these are venial matters and can easily be explained away with excuses. Besides, "secularists" and human rights organizations are too preoccupied with reporting untruths and have no time to pay any attention to issues of real concern. Instead of using their famed names to expose real and not fabricated enormities committed against humanity novelist, Arundhati Roy and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad are too preoccupied with their anti-India agenda. For instance, Arundhati Roy expatiated about the abuses against women during the post-Godhra riots, which turned out to be nonexistent and recently she had the nerve to demand the complete withdrawal of Indian troops from Kashmir. How about demanding the complete withdrawal of terrorism from the region!

But for how long can lies last for? Recently, in the Best Bakery Case in which the star witness Zahira Sheik accused a mob of 21 men of entering her family`s bakery and killing 14 people. It turns out that the ,best Bakery Case was indeed a best fakery case, Sheik does not know who the real culprits were; she has changed her testimony about three times which spells incredibility. Of course, Teesta Setalvad has a role to play in defending human "rights". It just so happens that last November Sheik admitted that Setalvad had tutored her on what to say in court. Sheik also revealed that Setalvad had threatened to kill her if she did not say exactly what Setalvad wanted her to. This is the "secularists" concept of human rights; so, now we have witnesses being taught to manufacture and recite untruths.

Unchallenged, "secularists" continue their manipulation games even outside of India. These U.S. based organizations such as Federation of Indian Leftist (FOIL) Sabrang, Coalition Against Communalism (CAC), Indian Muslim Council of USA (IMC), Association of India`s development (AID), Association of Indian Muslim of USA (AIM), Promise of India (POI), Federation of Indian-American Christian organization of North America (FIACONA), and the newly formed coalition Against Genocide (CAG) have formed to fulfill their hate driven agenda of Hindu bashing. They write in meticulous detail and hold seminars about topics like Gujarat riots and imaginary Christian persecutions. Terrorism in Kashmir, Christian militancy in the northeast, literal annihilation of the Hindu population in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the perpetual massacres of Hindus is never a cause of worry for them.

So as one would expect, in 2003 U.S. based organizations Sabrang and (Foil) released what they called a fact finding report on the funding of so-called Hindu fundamentalist groups in India after the Gujarat earthquake by a charitable organization India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF). These recipient organizations that were targeted by Sabrang/Foil were namely VHP, Bajrang Dal, RSS, and Ekal Vidyalaya (Single teacher schools) which were all accused of fomenting communal hatred; strange that at least IDRF does not fund organizations that engage in killing innocent people, indulge in fraud conversions, or pose a threat to the nation`s security and integrity but the organizations that actually fund hate are free to do what they please.

The Sabrang/Foil allegations according to the rejoinder titled A Factual Response to the, hate Attack on the India Development and Relief Fund are false because the material in question was cited from biased sources, and taken from websites and manipulated to fit a longtime campaign of calumniation of Hindu groups by the propaganda agenda of Sabrang/Foil. IDRF was also accused of funding sangh programs whose supposed agenda is Hinduization of tribals, and what about the less than benefic agenda of Christianization or Islamization, all of which is being completely elided. But what is not false is the simple fact that the Kashmiri terrorists get support from across the Islamic world and much of the weapons used by the Christian militancy in the northeast are by in large funded by Churches especially of the Baptist denomination here in the U.S. The motive is all too obvious, this was purely a diversionary tactic so the needy won`t get help and at the same time once again the world realizes how the "poor" minority is in great peril. Improving lives is not even a priority on these people`s list of evils, but it is to obstruct India`s development in any way possible. These orgs have strongly opposed India`s acquisition of nuclear weapons, arguing that this move further endangers the Islamic world which already faces an ostensible threat from Israel. Not a word was uttered when Pakistan also acquired nuclear weapons. It is never the security of India, of Hindus but the security of Muslims whose thirst has ‘till not been quenched by the taking of hundreds of thousands of lives.

In March, Coalition Against Genocide and Indian Muslim Council of USA claimed to have pressured the U.S. State department to deny Mr. Modi a visa. It is disturbing that with a law oriented maxim of (innocent till proven guilty), our government would yield to such allegations by dubious organizations. Modi has not been indicted let alone convicted by an Indian or the international court. Uscirf`s International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) was used to justify this unjust action by the U.S. government; the act states that any government official who engages in violation of religious freedom in his/her nation, is ineligible for a U.S. visa. It is odd that this act was in existence for seven years but was used for the first time in March; there were countless occasions where it could have been applied. For instance, in the case of any government official from Bangladesh, Pakistan, or China would all fit in to this category of the act the secularists never make a sound when the terrorist President of Pakistan comes to the U.S. This is also yet another manifestation of the U.S. human rights organizations proclivity to be pro-Christian no matter what the situation is. The neo-conservatives that have grown more powerful with Bush`s reelection probably could not stand the fact that the chief minister opposed conversions and took appropriate measures to neutralize them in his state. (Justice for all, appeasement of none).

Along with distorting, manufacturing, and ignoring facts, another problem in India is minority appeasement. Now, any democratic country that indulges in placating any section of the population based on religion can not be considered secular in its actual sense. Last year when the Indian government foolishly repealed the Prevention of Terrorism (POTA), it clearly wanted to please the minorities, and it is just one example of the secularist`s way of justice. The U.S. government will never discard the Patriot Act simply because a section of the minority population feels that it is being unfairly discriminated against. The question, who is responsible for most of the terrorist activity around the globe, is not an esoteric one at all.

Another example is, after the death of Pope John Paul 2 in March, the Indian government declared three days of official mourning. Mourning for the head of an institution (Catholic Church) that refused to apologize for the Goa inquisition that was responsible for the death of more than 100,000 people! In a predominantly Hindu nation, three days of official mourning were declared, when in countries such as Ireland, and France did not declare even a single day of mourning.

A couple of months ago Andra Pradesh government announced five percent reservations in education and employment for Muslims. What’s more is that about a month this same government also was willing to grant Muslims five percent reservations in political representation. These activities are clearly antipodal to the true ideals of secularism. How many Islamic countries accord Hindus reservations in living a fear-free life let alone in political representation, education, or employment? In Saudi Arabia Indians were warned against carrying religious scriptures to the country.

While churches across the country have acres and acres of lands, the Communist Party of India (CPI) demands that Hindus give up their temple lands to the poor. Of course the needy should be taken care of, but with land that belongs to the Hindus? Another classic example of appeasement! These communists will not dare demand lands from any other religious community. So, this overview evinces only a fraction of how a concept that should serve as equipoise between different religious communities, has been permanently turned in to a deleterious situation for a society that had given a warm welcome to all humanity that came to its shores.

It is truly astonishing that people who make claims and then are proven wrong, people who display flagrant disregard for facts, people who willfully distort information, and people who indulge in appeasement to ensure their own political success, are held in high esteem, and with the slightest incidents, are consulted for answers they obviously do not have.

Now, the way to stop or greatly reduce this propaganda networks damaging affect depends on what options are employed; the best option is to create awareness among the masses, and that is the single most powerful counteraction that will actually work. Awareness, in the sense that educational/informational seminars should be held both inside and outside of India. The second part to awareness is a media outlet where events and viewpoints are analyzed objectively. Only then can the "secularists" and their anti-Hindu, anti-Indian cabal be defeated at the intellectual level which is probably the most consequential level. For example, to counter American hegemony, a few Latin American countries have united and have come up with a television channel whose primary goal is to air the Latin American perspective. The Hindus would do well to emulate this noble example. Of course it will take some hard work and a fairly long time but the eventual outcome will surely be rewarding.

Adity Sharma

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References

1 "The peace process with Pakistan would continue unimpeded unless there is a terrorist attack like the one witnessed in London". The New Base Against Terror by Claude Arpi July 20, 2005 http://www.dailypioneer.com/ 

2 Ayodhya: "A Case Against the Temple by Koenraad Elst http://www/bharatvani.org/ 

3 Facts on Kashmir http://www.ikashmir.org 

4 Nlft - The Christian Al-Qaeda by S. Aravindan Neelakandan May 2, 2002 http://www.sulekha.com/ 

5 Anti-conversion laws a danger June 28, 2005 http://www.gfa.org/ 

6 Religious demography of India: 2001 version by Center for Policy Studies, Chennai, September 2004 http://www.vigilonline.com/ 

7 India: "We Have no Orders to Save You" - State participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat by Human Rights Watch (HRW) April 2002 http://www.hrw.org/ 

8 Key Witness in India Riot Case Retracts Testimony by John Lancaster November 4, 2004 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ 

9 Who Mourned the Pope by Balbir K. Panje Http://www.bjp.org 

10 AP Gov`t considering Political Reservations For Muslims by R. Akaileshwari August 10, 2005 http://www.deccanherald.com/


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