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|April 23, 1998||
How Readers responded to Varsha Bhosle's earlier columns
Date sent: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 16:30:45 -0400
I have become an instant fan of Ms Varsha Bhosle after reading her latest article "Is nationalism the burden of Hindus alone." This is the first time I am reading her article, and I have already marked as my home site.
I wish we had more and more such writers, writing hundreds of such articles to educate people around the country and world about the sorry state of our so-called "secular" politicians. In the name of secular India, it is they who have brought us to this state.
I will continue to ready her articles from now on and also try to catch up on all the previous ones I have missed! Hope I get enough time to do that.
Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 22:39:31 -0400
I am reading your article for the first time and am very impressed with your writing. I am happy to find a writer who doesn't write about stars, matinee idols, sex, voilence and all sorts of gossip, but with a burning desire of nationalism, concern about national issues and a strong pen. I am proud of you as a fellow citizen.
I am an ordinary software programmer in USA. I have been here for a few months. I am a small person as far as age and experience is concerned. But your article has impressed me.
I was happy after Sri L K Advaniji announced the issuing of ID cards. I would like to make a few suggestions regarding the multi-identity cards:
1. Our countrymen should be made aware of the advantages of an ID card, such as avoid middlemen, avoiding bribery. A positive atmosphere would be generated from the public, rural in particular (hoping urban will follow) so that the Congress and Communist vultures don't make it an issue by giving a communal wash and sideline the progress.
2. Wide publicity should be given in the media.
3. Like-minded persons should write letters to the editors, articles, seminars.
4. If you want any information about ID cards and social security number system in USA, should we find out?
5. Whatever is the burden on the exchequer form this project, it should be assessed.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 16:39:54 -0700
I think Rediff would be better off without bad writers like Varsha Bhosle. If you think you are giving EVERYONE an equal opportunity to be a writer, then it might be a better idea to go to schools/colleges and try to scout for writing talents from there. It would really be refreshing to know the thoughts of younger people from rural schools/colleges. If they don't know English well, perhaps some translators could do the translation.
Varsha Bhosle does not deserve any more chances to improve. She cannot. The way she responded to some reader's comments is fit only for newsgroups where unemployed people foul-mouth each other, not for an important and respected site like Rediff.
I hope you realise that people spend time on your web site to get news about India, and to know how the people are living there. Please don't allow real bad writers, how much ever good their knowledge of how many ever languages is to abuse this site for protecting their egos.
A fresh batch of writers is URGENTLY needed.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 18:35:34 -0400
Another article from Varsha on the target! I really appriciate her writings. And I totally agree L K Advani's idea of issuing multipurpose I-cards to each and every citizen of India with immediate effect.
We are bunch of people who will follow each and every law when we are in a foreign country, and when we come back to India we see to it that we break each and every law. We know how to shout about ghooskhori, but we are not willing to do anything to exterminate it. I have visited the UK and US and what I understood is that all the kids in their schools are taught that your country comes first and then everything else.
Our countrymen really need a bitter dose of Desh-prem. In 1971, BEST started charging 5 naya paisa surcharge for the war, today we are still paying that surchage. We brought freedom to Bangladesh to add one more country to our list of enemies. Varsha, I like and support your views to a great extent. Please do not let that 'Kalam' rest.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:54:43 -0700
While most people call Varsha Bhosle popular -- I believe she is not objective in her criticisms and tends to flame with her words. Rediff has a good audience and it is in their best interest to provide objective coverage and not rhetoric. There's no way you can categorise people as good or bad because they belong to a certain ethnic group. We don't necessarily have to inculcate the 'ghetto' mentality of our neighbours.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:32:58 -0700
This is with reference to the above article by Ms Varsha Bhosle. I would like to congratulate Ms Bhosle on producing some good facts and figures, but at the same time I think the problem of illegal immigrants is a universal problem and has nothing to do with religion, caste or colour. She should keep in mind that as we are surrounded by two Islamic countries, which unfortunately have been invloved in wars and problems, so we will get Muslim immigrants only.
If you take the Sindh border, there are Sindhis who came into India and are still coming. From Nepal, we get a lot of Gurkhas, who are very polite, useful, peaceful.... but they are also illegal immigrants.
I would like to request her to use the wonderful talent she has for suggesting ways to slove these problems peacefully rather then putting ghee in fire."
In her tailpiece she mentioned about one Mr Rao, and I was shocked to see her response. She has called him a moron, illiterate and what not. She goes to the extent of commenting upon the holy book of another religion, which according to me is not a good gesture. And she definitely does not have any authority over any religion/tribe in such manner.
I hope that her writings will continue to be as critical as ever but she becomes more matured in her responses.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 16:33:49 PDT
Varsha's article is great. It gives a a very good picture of what is happening in the North-East. I have few friends who have worked in the North-East regions under various projects of Hindu organisations. The infiltration is continuing unchecked. Already eight districts of Assam have become Muslim majority. Pakistan has already opened up terrorist training camps in there. Please see last year's government report on this.
The Communists and Congress have been supporting the infiltration for votes. I would rather call them anti-national rather then secularists. The Congress, in fact, opposed in the assembly the recent gunning down of Dawood's gang in Gujarat by the police from whom 10 kgs of RDX was recovered. I do not know when Indians will wake up from their apathy.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 08:03:18 -0700
How very true that our own Hindu politicians have sold our country to the Muslims to plunder again just because they want to remain in high offices. We should have a method of deporting illegals migrants like Singapore does. They cane them first before sending them away. Illegal immigrants have caused enough trouble for Indians and it is time to get back at them. Identifying illegal migrants should be in the national policy and should be done as humanely as possible.
Our Hindu counterparts in Pakistan had to change their religions to survive in Pakistan. The Muslims have never known to be tolerant, only tyrants. "Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, and if you are an illegal migrant in India we give you a BOOT."
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:37:05 -0400
Awesome!! Varsha, you should run for office some day. I think India needs enlightened individuals like yourself.
PS: Go easy on people who don't agree with you. I am sure Bapa Rao agrees!!
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:36:31 CDT
I read Varsha's article on nationalism: burden of Hindus, and in the tailpiece, her tirade against one of the readers who responded to her article. It clearly shows total lack of maturity on her part. If she can't take criticism without demeaning the readers, she better stop writing.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 01:21:53 -0500 (CDT)
Please keep your columns coming. Living in the US for a few years often leads me to forget about the venomous communalism that has plagued my country, and the people like you who spew it. Your column serves as a constant reminder to me of what the Sangh Parivar really stands for, regardless of the countless olive branches held by Vajpayee and his ilk. I fear for my community back in India, and that how many Varshas they may have to face everyday, everytime they get out of their houses. Varshas -- who know nothing better than to insult their religion, their lifestyle and their culture.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 22:27:17 -0400
I have been reading her columns once in a while but today's tailpiece speaks a lot more than all her previous columns. I am not sure if all your readers understand what is SCI, but those who have ever read it also know that there is no typical moron on SCI. If there is anyone who fits the description then it is VB herself.
I did not know that anyone gave any weight to the discussions that go on the unmoderated SCI, and if that is the source of her information about her audience then Rediff would be better off finding some columnist more logical and respectable.
Have a peaceful and prosperous day.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 00:44:17 EDT
Let me begin by asking Varsha a question: Do you know Urdu or did you have someone else read that news from Deccan Chronicle? As far as the news is concerned, it makes me mad and sad at the same time. I get mad because it is terribly wrong to kill innocent people, be they Hindus or whoever. I feel sad because you failed to recognise the difference between real news and tabloid.
Are you familiar with this kind of journalism? If it is tabloid journalism, then you are making a big deal out of it. I mean, will you consider it real when some tabloid news says, "we have discovered a fire spilling lizard in China?" Come on Varsha grow up...
Nonetheless, you have asked a very important question in your quest of writing some junk news. Is nationalism the burden of Hindus alone? My answer is both yes and an emphatic no. If the Muslims of India are deemed as just a "vote-bank" and nothing else, then yes -- nationalism is the burden of Hindus alone. If the Muslims of India are treated as suspects for no good reason, then yes -- nationalism is the burden of Hindus alone. If the Muslims are left alone to build themselves up without any assistance from the government of India, then yes -- nationalism is the burden of Hindus alone.
If India is to be ruled by some religious crooks, then yes -- nationalism is the burden of Hindus alone. If Muslims are blamed for all terrorist acts committed on Indian soil, then yes -- nationalism is the burden of Hindus alone.
When Muslims's genuine love to their country is accepted through cynicism or doubt, then you bet you read my mind!!! (YES). Nationalism is the burden of Hindus alone.
Consider this fact:
India plays Pakistan (and WON) in the quarterfinal at Bangalore during the last World Cup cricket tournament. Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin is the first Indian player to hit a six. Though the stadium is packed with Indian fans, very few rise and wave the Indian flag to applaud Azhar. Now I ask you and people alike WHY? Of course, Indian Muslims are going to stop their appreciation for India if they don't get a positive response from their countrymen. And now people like you ask why do Muslims celebrate when India loses to Pakistan? The reason is obvious and does not require one to be a rocket scientist to give some intellectual in-depth analysis.
India won the final game at Sharjah about three years ago. Man of the match is none other than Azhar (90+ not out). How do the local Hindus react to this great victory? Well, India won, but Indians didn't. What does that say about Azhar? Is he not an Indian?
People like you Ms Bhosle are creating divisions among Indian masses. You are the one who suspected the good acts of people like Mother Teresa and Shabana Azmi. You doubt their efforts in helping poor Indians. Sometimes you charge Mother Teresa with proselytising and other times you say Shabanaji is helping Indian Muslims in particular and not Indians in general. When in fact they are out there helping the needy irrespective of his/her faith.
Before you write articles on either nationalism or any topic that could invite heresy, I suggest you do some research. Are you familiar with this part of journalism at all? If you are, then start doing it. If not, then sign up for some class in home economics. For journalism requires people who show no predilection to anyone and expose the facts and have genuine interest of elevating their country in all fields. They do not create factions.
Speaking of illegal immigrants from Pakistan/Bangladesh, I don't think they should deserve any better treatment than illegal immigrants from Nepal or Sri Lanka for that matter. The reason why local Muslims support illegal immigrants from Pak/Bangladesh is similar to the Hindu support for Nepalese. They both are wrong. But guess only Muslims are blamed while Hindus are deemed innocent. Do you really think all those RSS's, VHP's, BJP's, et al members are pure Indians? I doubt it. Don't get me wrong. I don't support the Congress either. As a matter of fact I make fun of the Congress. (PRO:CON:: PROGRESS:CONGRESS) Why do Hindus have no problem in accepting Hindus from Nepal? If that is not the case, then how come Manisha Koirala is so successful. Don't give me that talent crap as an answer. Will the Indian film industry accept an actress from either Pak or Bangladesh? (Not a chance in the hell).
Narrow-minded people like you create such disparities and blame Muslims for India's problems. I am not saying that all Hindus are narrow-minded or all Muslims are innocent. Yes we have bad people on both sides. It's about time to acknowledge this fact and clean up in order to raise India economically, and if time and circumstances allow why not make India a giant superpower by making nuclear bombs. We have the talent and the ability to do so. All we need is the right government.
Finally, your comment about Mr Rao is very rude to say the least. Indeed it is none of my business, but I do think that you have acquired the 'No Failure Syndrome.' Admit it Ms Bhosle, that you are sometimes wrong and stop calling people names. And remember: when you point your index finger at others, there are three other fingers of your own hand that point toward yourself. For a writer it's not just guts that is required to write about a controversial topic, but also guts to take criticism that follows his/her perspective on it. And for your information, Hinduism is a mythology sort of similar to Egyptian and Greek. If you study about Hinduism, you will come to the same conclusion that it is not a religion.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 17:48:16 -0500 (CDT)
I find it hard to believe that a responsible media can allow articles by people like Varsha Bhosle to be published on their site. Her language is poor with an excessive number of Hindi phrases. She frequently throws "facts" in the air without any signs of a legitimate source. She resorts to personal attacks frequently like the recent disparaging of Mr Rao in one of her articles.
I fail to understand how you can allow such direct attacks on your readers in one of your articles. She cannot stand the fact that there are people who do not think like her. Such crass journalism is starting to repulse me from visiting Rediff, a site I have been visiting almost everyday. I sincerely hope Rediff is not turning into a sensationalist tabloid magazine.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 15:43:23 -0700
This lady should be covering the WWF. She can be sensational there. The article makes a pertinent and serious issue look like a joke. Only because she sees Muslim bogeymen everywhere. It is flattering to know that I belong to the Ummah of such bad Jihad-prone (HA!HA!HA!) people bent on genocide as the ideal form of existence. As I said her paranoia is a bit overwhelming, but I guess it is the sign of the times. Sad too! Because as far as I can remember, my ancestors have been honest, hard working farmers and merchant men.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 17:45:15 -0400
Very interesting reading. Varsha you're quite the firebrand, one of the few at Rediff with a discernable point of view! I will look you up more often everytime I'm here.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:00:54 -0700 (PDT)
Certainly not. Illegal immigration is a national problem and cannot be a particular religion's headache. Although the repercussions of illegal immigration are relevant to India's economy, referring to it as Hindu's problem is incorrect. Varsha, India does not belong to Hindus alone! Reading between the lines of your article reveals the cleverly concealed right-wing ideologies -- as a rock wrapped in a candy paper!
As in the past, in this article too you patronise Bal Thackeray! You condone his vicious attitude, and glorify his acts. Since when did he start thinking of India's welfare? Bal Thackeray's call to evict illegal immigrants is directed towards a particular community. As was his act of cleansing Bombay of South Indians (Bombay Bachao, Lungi Hatao). I call that as "Ethnic Cleansing"-- not different from Hitler's Nazism, the objective being to target minorities.
I foresee significant misuse if at all the Illegal Migrants Act is passed. First, its administration will be an issue, and second, it will target the wrong population. It is extremely important to seal our borders and punish those who consciously support illegal immigration for political gains. But who will bell the cat?
Finally, although illegal immigration is a global phenomenon, the West has applied its anti-infiltration laws consistently on its people. Any loopholes that target a particular population section are unheard of. India has indeed a long way to go.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 20:21:33 EDT
I was enjoying this article of Varsha when suddenly I was hit by this tailpiece condemning one Mr Bapa Rao. I am quite amazed to see how a journalist reacts to a reader's comments. Varsha thinks that she (or is it he??) only knows what Hinduism is or what the holy Gita is. Varsha was being ignorant of Gita. Mr Bapa Rao corrected her/his doubts about the Gita.
Varsha, let me tell you one thing, you have to take thousand births to understand the Gita and Hinduism. People who know the holy Gita just keep quiet and do their work with one thing in mind "Means justify the ends." And you said the Bible?? It will take you another thousand births to understand the holy Bible.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 19:46:30 EDT
The points you make are absolutely right. But right now you are barking on a wrong tree. If you really believe in Hinduism and want to remain a Hindu, better start looking for another country where you can live like a Hindu. It may seem like a defeatist's call but the truth of the matter is that no force -- at least Hindu force -- can now stop what is still India from becoming a Muslim country.
You can make your choice -- whether you want to remain in what is still India then you will have to become a Muslim, or whether you want to remain a Hindu. In that case you better start looking for another country. There will no room for a kafir specially one like you in the new Islamistan.
India was offered a golden opportunity to remain a "secular but non-Muslim" country when Jinnah offered and Ambedkar and Patel suggested population transfer in 1947, but our leaders were so enmoured with Islam that they turned it down. They could not imagine a "secular non-Muslim" country. The way things are going now there is no way of stopping the ultimate take over of India by Islam. It was the Muslim desire to have a separate country for themselves, then what was the purpose of keeping them in India? I have failed to understand. I hope our Father of the Nation will come and explain!
Balraj Madhokji wrote a book Kaash Gandhiji ne Koran padhi hoti and how I wish Gandhi had read the Koran and understood it. It was an opener for me -- both the book as well the Koran.
One thing I have never understood -- every Indian leader is trying to prove that he is not anti-Muslim, why? If Muslims and Muslim countries do not mind declaring themselves anti-Hindu openly, some of them don't even allow the open practice of Hindu religion, why is it the Hindus's burden to declare that they are not anti-Muslim? If Muslims around the world do not mind declaring they are going to fight jihad in Kashmir and be proud of it, why do Hindus have to declare their love for Muslims? If the Koran can be openly anti-every-non- Muslim, why still every non-Muslim has to declare his love for every Muslim? Doesn't logic play any role in society? Why is it always a one-way love affair?
Anyway, now there is no use in crying over spilt milk. India made its choice. India chose Gandhi over Tilak and Ambedkar, India chose Nehru over Savarkar and Lajpat Rai and Patel. The choice was India's -- the choice was Hindus's. It is no use blaming Pakistan or ISI. They had said that the die had been cast in 1947 -- BJP or no BJP, the future is all set. It is not that the trend cannot be reversed, but there is no desire to reverse it. It is not that Hindus are not capable of regaining their own country but they do not think they have lost the country. Before you try to get what you have lost you have to realise that you have lost it. I see that feeling has not yet taken root.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 15:26:12 -0400 (EDT)
I would like to thank Ms Bhosle for bringing to our attention the problem of Bangladeshi immigration. While I agree with most of what she has to say, I feel compelled to disagree with one aspect of her post. She says -- "And how do Bangladeshis feel about India?" and then proceeds to talk about statements by BNP leaders. She seems to have wilfully (or mistakenly, who knows) ignored the OTHER major Bangladeshi political party (also the ruling party) -- the Awami League is very pro-India -- and not surprisingly, it IS the ruling party, that is, it has the mandate of the Bangladeshi people, not the BNP.
And as far as Rajakars are concerned, Varsha should probably tell her readers that the very word is a gaali in Bangladesh, and politicians who flaunt being a Rajakar are in no way representative of the people of Bangladesh.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 11:35:58 -0700 (PDT)
This is a totally biased article. Why don't you write similar articles on the LTTE, BODO and many other problems which have nothing to do with Muslims or Pakistan? Probably the author belongs to the BJP or Shiv Sena.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 12:31:45 -0600
I would have to say this is one of those very good articles which the majority of our politicians would ignore simply because it raises questions for which they have no answers, and exposes the spineless selfishness of their creed. It's amazing how Indians have taken sycophancy to such new heights and for no obvious reasons! I mean, all these illegal immigrants are not even useful in anyway to the country that we should tolerate them, but still nothing is said against them because they are not Hindus.
Secularism in India means opposing the Hindu majority. Anything un-Indian is worshippable in India. A housewife turned leader like Rabri Devi is ridiculed, and another housewife turned leader like Sonia Gandhi is worshipped!
I am not a great admirer of the likes of Advani or anything, but the fact that he is continuously harping about something as insignificant as a mandir for more than a decade proves that Indian nationalism is long dead and someone has to find it. Short cuts to reignite that.
A true Indian wouldn't have resorted to a religion, which preaches tolerance, if it were not for the fact that Indians are a breed close to extinction, to be replaced by a mob of soulless sycophants and their machinating leaders (Both ably supported by the cunning neighbors who feed their inflated egos by euphemising their so- called secularistic nature).
Congrats to the author on a good show!
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 12:18:40 -0400
This is an excellent and impartial analysis of the situation in India. The so-called famous writers like Mr Dilip D'Souza and the MAHA Leftist Pritish Nandy never comment on the topics of infiltration and Islamic fundamentalism in India. I was wondering the fact that wherever the Muslims are in a minority, there is terrorism and violence. Is this because of the fact that they don't want to live in peace with others and want to force their views on others.
Pritish and Dilip are picking up issues like rock shows and other items just to keep their ego of being against BJP active. I wonder if they have the guts to comment on real issues like nationalism, internal security, infiltration and true secularism. I would love to read their reactions.
I stick to Rediff for the only fact that people like Varsha bring out the truth.
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 17:10:38 PDT
This sounds like yet another one of your hate provoking/compeletely biased/full of lies/partially useless masterpieces. While I do agree that we have a serious problem with illegal immigrants, but you are the one who is communalising this whole issue.
I seriously think we already have too much population, cannot take more now, but this problem has to be addressed by the government, not by political parties, and unfortunately all the parties (yes, including Sena/BJP pals) are trying to politicise this issue and gain votes out of it. We definitely need stircter immigration laws, YES WE NEED to protect our borders better, please don't communalise this.
Funny part is you are contradicting yourself in many places in the article, and also make lots of statements without substantial evidence to prove it. Dear, this is journalism not your story telling class. You are writing for one of the most important web-based news networks, so please do some research about your topics before writing.
I'm sure you must have seen some poor Muslim (one of the 120 million poor Muslim), so thought why not, he must be an illegal immigrant, because he doesn't have any proof to show that he was born in India, so let's write a story about him which still can be called a brilliant piece of jounalism by the saffrons.
In your article you mentioned, that a lot of Bangladeshi Hindus also migrated to India, but you only criticise and want to send back Muslim immigrants, just because you assume that they may be in trouble in their motherland. People migrate not just for protection, but also for financial reasons, so why not send all of them back, YES including Bangladeshi Hindus.
So let's start by asking you -- you look like a Bangladeshi Hindu to me, so I'll send you back, show me some proof, this is not your passport, this is not where you live, I have proof to show that Varsha Bhosle was long dead in a riot, while taking pictures of Muslims being killed by your Guruji (Bal). How does it sound? I am sure you would hate to be questioned about your Indianness, but would like millions of innocent Muslims to go through this process, just because you want it.
My problem is with the people for whom you want to accomplish this. Let me remind you again (last time), they already have a track record of demolishing Muslim places of worship, wants to demolish more, have killed/slaughtered/raped thousands of Muslims and have absolutely no regret about it and in fact given a chance want to repeat it with more vigour. Open your biased eyes lady, of course, I'm not in any way suggesting that this needs to be done by the Congress/UF.
You must be deaf because when Rajiv sent the military to fight the LTTE, there was a loud uproar in TN. Please do check your eyesight too, if you missed those articles in the papers. You admire Bal Thackeray, who in turn admires Hitler, so that makes you a Hitler admirer. Well I just wanted to clear this for all those who read your articles and get frustrated.
Lastly, I challenge you to write a similar article on why the Maharashtra government is NOT tabling the Srikrishna Commission report, but I know very well you NEVER WOULD DO THIS, BECAUSE YOU WILL LOSE YOUR POSITION IN THE SENA AND probably an upcoming MP or ministerial nomination.
Tailpiece: OOOOOH!!!!! So you are one of those SCI products, I am glad to know this. At least now, I don't have to waste my energy reading your articles. I am sure you must be a big STAR over there, because there are lots of them like you. Thank you for this piece of valuable information. BTW, "dharma-sansthapana-arthaya," doesn't mean "reestablishment of the state of dharma," but rather the "establishment of the state of dharma. "I think you only read the manifesto of the saffron brigade, and concluded that everything has to be redone (such as city names), re-establish, reconstruct etc...
Date sent: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 19:07:18 -0600
Varsha rules! India cannot afford Bangladeshi refugees when our own people live in conditions worse than refugees.
Date sent: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 01:13:28 +0100
The article is based on many incorrect facts. I would like to point two issues:
1. Vegetarianism of the Aryans and
2. Flourishing Hinduism.
If you read books on India by A L Basham and many other authors, one will find that Aryans were against cow slaughter for it was a source food (milk) for them in their nomadic life till they settled in the Gangetic plains. Buddhism was also a central force for vegetarianism.
Most Indians know that several kshatriya communities are vegetarian. Only the Huns that invaded India and later settled into some kshatriya communities eat meat.
Flourishing Hinduism? And we live in a four dimensional world. Whatever evidence one sees of Hinduism is due to the conviction of a small group of people retaining the central tenets over 800 years of persecution. Contrary to intellectual prostitution advocated in the article, one should take pride in our way of life and that includes at least 2,000 years of rejecting cow slaughter.
The reason contemporaries of Hinduism succumbed to other religions is the failure of beliefs in the face of persecution. An elegant idea of vegetarianism and rejection of cow slaughter that has survived so many centuries is clearly a good one.
No known suffering can be attributed to lack of beef. Certainly tens of millions of cows appreciate it. For those intellectually challenged people who argue that meat eating endows prowess, one will find many people from India have gained international acclaim while being vegetarian.
The author could save herself some health problems by staying off bacon and practising a vegetarian diet. Clear scientific evidence exists that it is inefficient to use cattle to provide protein when compared to vegetarian sources. Also, most of our evolutionary ancestors are vegetarian. Large masses of bone found near human settlements in Africa were identified as bones collected by primitive humans to eat the marrow rather than animals killed by them.
Vegetarians win. A state of supreme happiness for animals (including humans). A raw deal for plant life. Well that's what plants get for having a genetic structure than animals.
Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 06:03:39 +0530
The topic in discussion is swadeshi and videshi, the BJP, etc. But what I am commenting on is a little removed from the topic but quite relevant to Hindutva and Hinduism today. What has prompted me to write this is the fact that M/s VB has quoted Vedic scriptures to support meat eating and alcohol!
I suspect that these so-called broad and liberated Hindu views of most educated Hindus are more a result of a total lack in any kind of training or education in their own profound scriptures, or philosophy -- as they grow up or even after. Apart from a quick temple visit Hindu friends of mine have never been put through any kind of education -- unlike Muslim and Christian kids. For generations most Hindus have just picked up their religion from either Max Mueller, mythological movies, grandmother tales, television and even Gandhiji.
This appalling ignorance and the lack of definite conclusions in their religious life, is then projected as broadmindedness and tolerance. As a result most Hindus I know are quite ignorant of their own scriptures. Many pious Hindus are even downright atheistic without realising it themselves. As a common factor -- every Hindu I knew had no definite conclusions about the religion. And yet they bear the good fruits that are mentioned in other religions. All said and done, they are a tolerant, genuinely broadminded and mature lot. If only they really knew their scriptures better!
The word Hindu has no Sanskrit base. It has been -- quite ironically -- coined by early Muslim Afghans and Arabs who used it to refer to those beyond the river Sindhu in present Pakistan. In that sense the word Hindu is indeed a Muslim word. Most Hindus who claim to be proud of being one aren't aware of this!
Varsha Bhosle is a good example to prove my point -- the typical urbanised convent educated (?) Hindu. Under global social pressure to fit and look right in a world that looks westward and founded on conclusions of modern science -- (the world of boozing, meat eating, successful Christians, Jews and Muslims ) VB is in need of some scripture backing to allow her to indulge in the same pleasures of life. This is another good "fruit" -- wanting to abide by the scriptures, even if it is to indulge in activities that are not too religious. (Wonder where she got her translations of the Vedas from -- the Drunken Monk?)
Or maybe, she is attempting the attitude of -- "See, our gods are cool dudes who allow us to booze and are themselves boozers and womanisers, thus making us Hindus the coolest ones here on this planet."
But, think about it. Is there is a need for a code or a scripture to become deeply irreligious? For the kind of attitude VB is projecting and trying to follow, why bother to refer to any scripture at all? And yet, VB has quoted extensively to support meat eating, intoxication and so on. Guilt? What about unrestricted sex, murder and abortion (for a good cause -- of course)? I sure some could find appropriate verses to twist to indulge in the same. This is the danger if the Vedas are left open to any kind of interpretation by anybody.
I am not a Hindu but I am sure the sages responsible for the Hindu scriptures were surely clever enough to figure out that there is no need for detailed instructions and philosophy to get a people to do anything they felt like. Is the great Vedic literature finally just to say: "Hey! Do your own thing -- anything is OK. Just do it?"
I am sure the Vedic scriptures are not the kind to be handled the way most of our Hindu friends do -- an activity that is given a very low priority. Also I doubt if a conclusion can be drawn from these works having read even the original Sanskrit texts like a paperback (forget translations -- that every retired college professor, Sanskrit lecturer and self styled, saffron-robed-and-bearded swamis churn out). I think Hindus must offer their scriptures more respect and refrain from using it to prove their points in mundane matters.
In spite of their weird looks, strange ways and foreign births, the Hare Krishna chaps somehow seem to treat the Veda with the reverence that seems more appropriate. Could be because they probably know this religion better than those born into it? Who knows?
Joseph N R
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 16:00:27 -0500
I admire her gutsy writings. I feel it is wrong to call Hare Krishna -- a 'cult.' Missionaries call all Hindu denominations cults. Hinduism is a broad tolerant family of religions, with a great deal of freedom for the individual's spiritual advancement. It is also most misunderstood and attacked. I hope Varsha would avoid hurting people's sentiments by her sweeping remarks, and also avoid aiming more ammunition to those who attack Hinduism.
T R Rao
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:04:57 -0600
I want to comment on the following, quoted from your article: "However, even after centuries of glorification of the Utopian concept of ahimsa, today, only about a quarter of India's population is fully vegetarian. (Thank god for the Kshatriyas and Shudhras.)"
You seem to indicate that one needs to be thankful for the propagation of non-vegetarianism, as if it is a virtue. By all means, go ahead and eat beef or any other meat if you wish but please do not label it either as a sign of progress or something great. By eating an animal, we are taking away life from it and knowing how desparately we cling to our own lives, it is not proper to look upon this killing as a happy event.
Would you be as happy if there were a more powerful animal inhabiting the earth that would like to eat us and milk human women for making their coffee? We may not be able to do much in that case, but I am sure you will agree with me that we will not be happy. Go ahead and eat meat, but at least pity the animal.
If one must eat meat, I think beef is better than chicken or fish because you get more meat per life and thus need to terminate less lives. In case you want to object that plants have life too, remember that plants are the lowest in the food chain and so by eating plants you minimise the loss of pain and suffering.
Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 00:17:18 -0400
One of the simplest ways to demonstrate the irrationality of cow slaughter is to compare the nutritional values of milk a cow produces in its lifetime if it is allowed to live WITH the nutritional values of meat it will provide if slaughtered. An American cow on an average produces about 14, 244 lbs of milk per lactation. In it's natural life, it will have about 8 to 10 lactations. Assuming an average of 8 lactations in its life will mean that an average American cow will produce about 113,952 lbs of milk in its lifetime which will contain 1,6000,000 gms of protein.
On the other hand, if a cow is slaughtered, it will produce about 500 lbs of beef which will provide about 50,000 gms of protein. That will indicate that if we decide to get our dietary requirement of animal proteins from milk instead of beef, we can reduce the number of cows to about 1/30 and still get the same quantity of animal protein suitable for human consumption. That will mean that we may be able to decrease the agriculture fodder necessary to feed these cows by 1/30.
Such drastic decrease in agriculture will lead to decrease in use of fertilisers and insecticides which is one of the major causes of the pollution of our rivers and streams. Furthermore, cut in agriculture will slow down an ever increasing rush to clear rain forests to create agriculture land, and help us preserve our echo system and environment.
Hinduism groups cereals, vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products (i e lacto vegetarian diet) as Satvic (or superior food). Studies have shown that vegetarian diet lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood and hence helps cut back a person's risk of developing heart attack or stroke. Studies have also demonstrated that lower cholesterol content of vegetarian diet may not be the only reason for lowering cholesterol level in blood, it is possible that high fiber content of vegetarian diet helps decrease the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine.
Studies have shown that people who increase their intake of fat by adding red meat to their diet significantly increase their chances of developing colon cancer and severe prostate cancer. No increase in the incidence of colon or prostate cancer was noted when people increase their fat intake by adding milk or milk products to their diet. This by itself indicates that milk containing diet is superior to a beef containing diet. It will be irrational for somebody to replace a superior milk containing diet with the inferior meat containing diet by the process of cow slaughter.
Bhosle flaunts her carnivorous habits as a symbol of modernity, while the western world is coming to realise the benefits of vegetarianism. Modern science was not even aware of the fact that our diet consists of proteins, glucose, vitamin, minerals and other essential nutrients until the nineteenth century. Therefore it had no concept of a nutritionally complete diet till that time. But Hinduism proposed a nutritionally complete lacto-vegetarian diet millenia before that.
Bhosle has never bothered to learn anything about her own religion, she even flaunts her atheism. God is a personal matter, but I personally do not understand how people disbelieve in the existence of God, while the whole world around us is a manifestaion of God.
In her style, Bhosle is loud and often crass and childish, unworthy of being called a journalist. "Yuck! Bhindi, Karela." I love my bhindi and karela.
(Scientific Basis of Hinduism by Dr Parveen Khosla MD, has been used for this write-up)
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