September 16, 2002


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Varsha Bhosle

What's the Hindu bias in that?!

Undoubtedly, the story of the week was the Supreme Court's upholding the National Curriculum for Secondary Education, thereby rubbishing all those shrieks on "saffronisation" of education. Which now gives me the opportunity to emit a resounding BRRRRRACKK at the holy trinity of Roy, Verghese and Tyabji and all those they represent, especially my "secularist" readers. Oooh... victory feels goooood.

However, before I go any further, I need to rustle up some humility and apologise to Murli Manohar Joshi for my hard article of October 1998 -- which I had totally forgotten, and which my editors kindly linked to the news report (obviously, there's a Joshi devotee lurking at the edit desk). If Dr Joshi had stayed put as I'd wanted him to, and hadn't dared to single-handedly take on the pinkos, there would have been no case, no ruling, no vindication of his policy of curricular restructuring, and no triumph. There's a lesson to learn from this: If you really believe in something, don't let anybody stop you from working on it. So ok, I'm very sorry for all the harsh words, Dr Joshi, and you're "persona grata" again. See how meek I really am?!

Savour the triumph till it lasts, guys -- for it won't last long. If you think the wretched "secularists" will graciously accept defeat, think again. The newspaper that's increasingly beginning to read like the Left Front's mouthpiece has already issued a clarion call in its editorial for a "political and intellectual debate that must remain alive outside the court, despite Thursday's judgement." Yes, barely two days after the verdict, The Indian Express found it imperative to warn us about the "ministerial diktat" and the "real danger" in the "operationalising" of the curriculum, and the "bad faith" demonstrated by the HRD ministry. And why wouldn't it, after being primed by the "secularists" the day before?

I just can't get over the brazenness of this lot! The Congress' Eduardo Faliero said, "We have to keep in mind that the judgment is divided on some visible lines, it is not a unanimous judgement." And the CPI-M proposed that the "majority judgment be reviewed by the full bench of the Supreme Court"! No wonder Britain's leftist daily, The Guardian, had the nerve to caption the news with, "Indian court accused of Hindu bias."

"Bias"?? WHAT'S the bias?! Would the court have been accused of an Atheist bias if the pinkos had won on a 2:1 judgement? Of course NOT! That would be justice!!

Each time a verdict goes against the world-view of the "secularists," there's gotta be something wrong about the judgment. Therefore, it gives the author of -- according to a former chairman of the Booker Prize panel -- an "execrable... over-sweet, sticky pudding" of a novel the right to insult the Supreme Court and be hailed as a national heroine for spending a night in jail (Arundhati chickened out of the full sentence after getting acquainted with the roaches in Tihar). Apropos the court's punishment, the CPI's A B Bardhan said, "It is time that the Law of Contempt be coded so that the issue of contempt cannot be interpreted as one likes, and becomes an instrument to muzzle all criticism of judicial decisions."

Thing is, by asking for a review of the NCSE verdict on the basis of its being a "majority" judgement instead of an unanimous one, the CPI-M has, in effect, cast doubt on the ability of the two judges who ruled in favour of Dr Joshi. They are saying, the judge who dissented was correct.

Now, if I were as dim-witted and publicity-hungry as the sticky-pudding pinko, I could have played devil's advocate and laid down here an argument on why the judgment was divided, what could have made it unanimous, as well as a darn good reason for Hindus to get furious at the judgment for being divided. You see, in a milieu where defeated parties find pretexts to slam and review unfavourable judgments, the victor would hit back with all s/he had! I, for instance, will never sit back and let anyone get away unchallenged. But, in the end, where will this trend of casting aspersions on the decisions of the Supreme Court and the judiciary lead us, and, when will it stop? Is there no institution that the "secularists" hold -- and will let us hold - sacred?

I've always maintained that, if not for the "secularists" and pinkos, communal strife would have been negligible in India. No matter what the denials, we all know the harm that Rajiv Gandhi committed by nullifying the Supreme Court's ruling on the Shah Bano case. If at all it should ever come to pass, it will take several decades for that grudge that Hindus bear against Muslims to disappear. Funny thing is, the object of that resentment should have been the Congress, the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board, and the Bukharis and Shahabuddins of this world. Instead, it got directed to the Muslim next door. C'est la vie.

I'm predicting it today: If a certain lawsuit goes in the favour of Hindus, we will see another riot in the country. For the pinkos will never accept a Sangh Parivar victory and do their utmost to fan the communal fires -- beginning with questioning the Supreme Court's decree. As for the Islamists, the AIMPLB has already rejected the Mumbai high court judgment that makes it imperative for the husband to prove in the court that he has fulfilled the conditions for divorce as per personal law, with, "there is no scope for any interference by either Supreme Court or any high court or any court of the land in the Muslim Personal Law." This attitude, too, has been noted -- and carried to the violent classes. To tell you the truth, I don't see any hope.


I know, I know, you're thinking: but the 9/11 anniversary was the story of the week! Well, where I live, human lives are so abundant -- experts say, Bombay will be home to 27.4 million people by 2005 -- that they're cheap. Besides, the majority of Mumbaikars aren't the sort to hold candlelight vigils; we quietly went to work the day after the Bombay blasts. Then there's the Asian attitude of minimum rona-dhona at far greater tragedies -- Hiroshima, for instance. And, what with the incessant murders in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir -- directly instigated by the country hailed by President Bush as a "frontline ally" -- I don't see why I should join the show-sha and put in my two bits to soothe Americans jolted out of their Alice-in-Wonderland stupor.

Between the 6th and 12th of September, Pakistani jihadis killed:

  • 5 people of a Hindu family in Dodasanpai village of Rajouri district.
  • 3 policemen of Nuslapur in Budgam district.
  • 1 jawan, 1 village defence committee personnel and 1 civilian in Udhampur district.
  • 1 official of a state-owned silk factory in Srinagar.
  • 1 woman in the Batamaloo area of Srinagar.
  • 7 people at a bus stop in Surankot in Poonch district.
  • 10 BSF jawans and 2 civilians in Surankot town.
  • J&K Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone, and 3 of his guards at Lolab in Kupwara district.
  • 9 persons in Poonch district.
  • Independent candidate Abdul Rehman Sheikh in Handwara, Kupwara district.
  • National Conference's Mehra Begum in Baramulla town.
  • 1 jawan and 1 civilian at Wagoora.
  • 1 BSF head constable near Islamia College in Srinagar.
  • Independent candidate Abdul Rehman, and 3 accompanying persons at Machhipora in Kupwara district.
  • PDP worker Pir Mohammad Amin Shah.

That's 55 lives in those 7 days. From news items I happened upon; don't know how many I missed.

And, Pakistan has informed the US that participation in Op Enduring Freedom had cost it over $700 million. And, the US will pay Pakistan $300 million now, with the rest to be reimbursed soon. And I should remember 9/11...? You gotta be kidding me.


The Times of India's Rashmee Z Ahmed had an intriguing bit to add to the debate on Elle Duce's origins. We were told that "leading British Indians" had "angrily" demanded that the government slap down the "hypocritical nonsense" about Sonia Gandhi's rights to become prime minister of India.

Apart from the fact that no one has ever denied that the Italian currently does enjoy that right, and that the point in debate is whether a foreign-born Indian citizen should be barred from holding the highest executive post in the government, I was curious about who and how many these "leading British Indians" were.

Guess what, there were precisely two of these species: Lord Adam Hafejee Patel and Hardip Singh Duhra -- their names couched between "others say they want" and "British Indians, who include," thereby creating an illusion that the entire community is one with Elle Duce. While Patel is a Muslim from riot-torn Gujarat, Duhra, I kid you not, is "of the CPI." What's it, Ms Ahmed couldn't find a single leading British Hindu in London to back the Shroud of Turin...?

While Duhra felt that "right-wing elements could say [Southall's] Mr Khabra should not be an MP," Patel claimed that "If the Indian government doesn't step in and stop such talk about Mrs Gandhi's 'foreign' origins, people might ask if India is willing for similar rules to apply to prominent expatriates here."

Which is such an amazing view, especially when it comes from a British peer. It presupposes that the Indian government has, or should have, the power to control what the people of India feel, think and debate. Moreover, it demands that the government should suppress all such debates which could make the careers of emigrants difficult abroad. Like, we're here only to make their lives easier there...

The reporter, probably a worried expat herself, then added that "they," ie, Patel and "others," want to highlight "the 'violation of Mrs Gandhi's human rights' before the wider world community."

Hain? "Human rights"?? Debating over the eventuality of a foreign-born person from controlling our destiny is violating human rights??? Meaning, not only do we natives lack the right to deliberate on what kind of person should lead us, but we also need to be shown our place by a bunch of twits who've left these shores forever.

As things are, there's also that reason why the Shroud should be barred from, not only prime-ministership, but all politics: Subramanian Swamy's PIL filed in the Delhi high court charging Sonia with having worked for the KGB "for monetary and pecuniary considerations" and dispatched Indian antiques to her sister in Orbassano, Italy, by giving antiques false certification as non-antiques. The Great Wall of Chennai, Ms Jayalalithaa, recently said that, in 1993, the CBI had filed an FIR for the smuggling of Chola bronzes from Chennai to Italy. Actually, I've been suggesting myself hoarse on the smuggling suspicion since years; check out this September 1999 piece.


Hilarious news item of the week, from the Pinko Express of September 13: "Hate greets NRIs in Gujarat village." Apparently, the furious villagers of Delol, near Vadodara, booted out the team of goody-two-shoes almost as soon as they arrived. Members said that they felt so threatened, and the villagers seemed so aggressive, that they left immediately.

And how aggressive were the dehatis? Well, hahahahahaha.... "the atmosphere was so charged that one of the members had to leave without collecting her slippers." I could just picture this goody-no-shoes scooting into the horizon, oblivious of the hot ground.

Frankly, if some clueless aliens entered my strife-struck home -- the problems of which only I knew best -- and told me stuff like one team member, Shrikumar Poddar, did ("We were trying to explain to them that it was only through peace and harmony that normalcy can return to the state"), I'd have waved my trishul, too.

But I did wonder about who these guys were and what their agenda really was. And sure enough, the web threw up all the clues. For instance, a letter from Poddar to an Indian journalist: "Sangh Parivar has fired the first shot to attack everyone... Every Hindu and every Muslim and members of all other faiths are at risk, unless this virus is stopped... I do not believe all the polls that say that the people of Gujarat will make BJP win the next election... Sangh Parivar has offered Indian land for foreign troops. India will conduct joint military exercises with US in Alaska... Do tell me how you can your colleagues can stop genocide and promote unity among people."

"Offered land for foreign troops"?? Hain? The lies simply go on - as in, "The association will, after enough repetition, become 'fact' in the public mind."

Varsha Bhosle

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