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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Is **Right Wing Hindu Nationalists** a Balanced and Fair Reporting???

When we allow this flavour of reporting to go unchallenged we unwittingly weaken India’s ability to negotiate with the world on our own terms. Mr. Sankrant Sanu asks why avowedly Christian leaders in the UK and US are not similarly tagged.

As a new government is taking charge in India, it is time to reflect on the terminology used about India in the Western press and also by English-language Indian journalists writing in India and abroad.

Western news outlets routinely describe Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP as “right-wing Hindu-nationalist” in practically every news report. This is problematic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is not clear that the label “right” and “left” so easily apply to Indian politics and do not map clearly to Western political categories. Certainly no economically right-wing politician in the West would declare in their first major address after being elected that the “the new government is completely dedicated to the poor” as Modi did in his first meeting of the BJP parliamentary committee.

Nor is the label “Hindu-nationalist” entirely accurate, particularly since it is used pejoratively. British Prime Minister David Cameron, recently wrote in The Church Times, the leading Anglican newspaper, “I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.”

Now, it is worth remembering that Britian is not officially secular. It has a state religion and an official Church, the Church of England. Their head of state, the Queen, is also head of the Church. Despite Prime Minister Cameron’s clear espousal of Christianity, and its centrality, both legally and restated by him, in the conception of their nation, the Conservative party is not routinely called a Christian-nationalist party.

To make this contrast even clearer, let us imagine that Prime Minister Modi made the statement:
“I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Hindu rashtra, more ambitious about expanding the role of Hindu organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about spreading Hinduism to make a difference to people’s lives.”

All hell would break loose in India if Modi were to say this. However, this is just a restatement of Prime Minister Cameron’s statement about Christianity and Britain. But for some reason, Prime Minister Modi apparently has to be tagged as a “Hindu nationalist” in every press report while Cameron is not tagged as a “Christian nationalist”.

An even clearer example is George Bush Jr., who made no bones about his faith as a born-again Christian. Bush explicitly loosened the purse strings so that federal money could flow to “faith-based” organizations. But he was not routinely described as an evangelical Christian in every news report. There is a misconception, however, that Bush was somewhat unique in modern American presidents. Every US president, Republican or Democrat, publically avows his Christian faith. Bill Clinton was Southern Baptist, a conservative Christian denomination and attended church every week till he went to college. He could “quote scripture with the best of them.” Jimmy Carter was a self-described evangelical born-again Christian. Obama also avowed “I am a Christian. I have a deep faith.”

Despite affirmation of (Christian) faith being practically a pre-requisite to be President of the United States, presidents are not tagged by their religion in every press report. We must start to question when Prime Minister Modi continues to be tagged as such.

This is not only the question of a level playing field. It also leads to a mis-understanding of India and its pluralistic nature. The BJP is not a Hindu party that will impose Manusmriti on everyone. People in Pakistan are very surprised to learn that the BJP has a Muslim general secretary and Christian MLA’s and MP’s. An improper equivalence is created, fanned by Indian writers in Pakistani newspapers, that the BJP is somehow the equivalent of its Jamaat-e-Islami, which is fighting to have Sharia law in Pakistan.

Now the odds of the Jamaat having a Hindu or Christian general secretary are, to put it mildly, quite low. But this incorrect equivalence causes Pakistanis to make statements like “unlike India, we have never had the religious right win an election.” This misunderstanding can become an obstacle to peace and also provide further impetus for atrocities on Pakistan’s vanishing Hindu minority. If you actually examined the parties’ official positions and religious affirmations you will find the BJP left of the leftmost mainstream political party in Pakistan. The BJP affirms its commitment to secularism, even if it derides its opponents’ flavour of it. A Pakistani party can only affirm its commitment to the Islamic state.

While we are on the subject of Pakistan, practically every Western news agency finds it necessary to use the phrase “nuclear-armed neighbours” in any article about the two. Perhaps it is time we start repaying that reminder when talking about “nuclear-armed neighbours UK and France” or in the case of the United States, the “only country to have deployed a nuclear weapon in war”, in every foreign policy report about these countries. Nor does every report dealing with US-China relations state they have nuclear warheads pointed at each other. We need to start recognising the messaging when “nuclear-armed neighbours” is repeated in every report, just as “right-wing Hindu nationalist” is. It is the Western gaze on the natives that they do not apply to themselves.

When we allow this flavor of reporting to go unchallenged we unwittingly weaken India’s ability to negotiate with the world on our own terms.

{Mr. Sankrant Sanu is an author and entrepreneur based in Seattle and Gurgaon. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and the University of Texas and holds six technology patents}.

 

 

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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sanskrit: First words recorded on a gramophone disk were from the Rig Veda – WHN

Bharata Bharati

Thomas Edison HMV had once published a pamphlet giving the history of gramophone record. Gramophone was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in the 19th century. Edison, who had invented many other gadgets like electric light and the motion picture camera, had become a legend even in his own time.

When he invented the gramophone record, which could record human voice for posterity, he wanted to record the voice of an eminent scholar on his first piece. For that he chose Prof. Max Muller of  England, another great personality of the 19th century. He wrote to Max Muller saying, “I want to meet you and record your voice. When should I come?” Max Muller who had great respect for Edison asked him to come on a suitable time when most of the scholars of the Europe would be gathering in England .

Friedrich Max Muller by Lock & WhitfieldAccordingly Edison took a ship and went to  England. He was introduced to the…

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Modi Govt must dismantle all anti-Hindu intellectual base in different Govt and NGO handles.

Struggle for Hindu Existence

Will the Modi Govt dismantle the large & complex anti-Hindu intellectual base in different Govt and NGO set up?

~ Rajiv Malhotra. 

Ancient India - The base of Modern societyHRD, the Department of Human Resources Development alone controls the following well funded institutions where anti-Hindu scholars thrive and from where they project influence far and wide.

ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Sciences Research): The entire Council and various Committees are filled/dominated by secular and pseudo-sec leaders, right from the chairman down. They research by targeting Hinduism to explain human rights abuses, women abuses, child abuse, minority abuse, promoting Dalitism, pseudo-secularism, fragmentation, breaking India elements, etc. They run powerful journals, conferences, select/influence PhD dissertation themes, funding of scholars, international travel to make their team into big shots, get them awards like Padam Shree and Padam Bhushan, etc. Hence the brand building of those on their ideology.

ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research): Apex funding agency for research on…

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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Uncategorized