Today I want to list some of the top stories from national and international newspapers, magazines and web sites, those published from Monday, the day my last column appeared, through Friday, as I begin writing this column. Five days, that's it. Please note, "top stories" are those that aren't tucked away on page 8 or so, or in the regional/city sections. Too, my pick is shaped by human limitations -- I can't keep tabs on every publication, or file away every item that appears on a given day. Meaning, there's tons of stuff I've missed -- stuff which is linked by a common thread:
This is the same country whose people, once rid of the dictator, began screaming, "Yes, yes to Islam, no to America, no to Israel" as they worked themselves into a religious frenzy during Muharram.
Heard of America, the country that attacked Iraq? The same one whose 'offshore' administration broadcasts Arabic and Farsi programmes in Iraq to spread the Gospel among Muslims? 'Gospel' as in religion...?
During the biggest protest in India over the Iraq crisis, our Muslims shouted "Muslims of Iraq, we are with you," as they marched through old Delhi after Friday prayers. "If America attacks Iraq, we warn Bush that this will be seen as an attack on Islam... Today, it is not just the question of Iraq but the pride of Islam that is at stake," Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, had said at the prayers. The protest came a day after more than 100 Muslims in Bombay pledged to head for Iraq as 'human shields.'
You can see religion hidden in here somewhere, don't you? The thing that made our very principled politicians clamour for a "condemnation" of the US, just in case they lost the "Indian" protestors' votes?
This is bloody boring. So here are the rest, in no particular sequence. Skip over the entire block if you want:
If you're wondering what President Musharraf and the LoC are doing in a religion-linked list -- hel-lo! -- remember the 'two-nation' theory, the partition of India on religious grounds, as well as Islamic jihad from across the border? Where's the religion in Sharad Pawar's and Mulayam Singh's volte-face on Elle Duce...? Simple: anything to thrash the Hindu fundamentalists. And NCERT's history books...? Oh come on, Hindu fundamentalists "inventing" history, of course!
Probably the most hilarious juxtaposition is that of items 13 and 14. In the Post, Rama Lakshmi writes: "According to human rights groups in New Delhi, scores of Muslim students, traders and professionals who quit violence-wracked Kashmir for other parts of India in search of education and job opportunities have faced increased harassment and discrimination..." Whereas the IE informs us that the Jammu & Kashmir government has filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court against the ruling of a high court that had ordered an end to the discrimination meted out to women residents of the state who were married to men from outside the state. That is, a J&K law nullifies a woman's status as a state subject after her marriage to an "outsider."
Don't get it? So-called "Muslim-majority" Kashmir... Hindu king... special status... Article 370... separate laws... UCC... And they weep over "discrimination" against Muslim Kashmiris in other states. And they wonder why evenhanded Hindus hold personal laws against Muslims...
Probably the most perplexing is item 17: The plea of scamster Zaheer Rana, accused in the multilevel marketing scam, is that he's being targeted by the Gujarat government because of his 'minority' status. To wit, "Just as minority community was targeted during the communal riots, Rana is being targeted in the same manner in this case."
Thirty-nine items is what's left after deleting duplications. That's about 8 items on religion-based issues per day -- top stories, at that. And guess what, I'm supposed to ignore ALLLL of the above, including the utter farce created by Islamists and their pinko goombahs vis-à-vis the Nanavati Commission hearings and the Ayodhya excavation report. I'm supposed to close my eyes to the rekindling of Sikh Khalistan in Punjab, the Marad massacre of Hindus, the Muslim terrorism in Mumbai, etc, etc, ETC, because... "I think we have had enough of these religious articles," or, "Whenever I come across an article of this sort the first question that comes to my mind is WHY??," or, "uve got a million things to write about besides RELEGION" (this, from "an upper caste hindu," if you please).
That every Mosie was going to react in the mode of "There is no way you can ask for a uniform civil law just because there is uniform criminal law" or "ISLAM rules are for developing the human nature so there is no need for change" or "Islam doest not require correction by humans. It is the word of GOD. So, its Final" -- I already knew.
Just as I knew that every Hindu "secularist" would take the line that I am promoting hate... by asking for a common secular code for all. That's the warped mind for you.
Point is, do these supposedly-Hindu, even "upper caste hindu," dorks ever tell the "secular" columnists, newspapers, politicians and activists that they are very, very tired of a huge group of Hindus being branded as Nazis, and that it's time to do away with that politically-motivated demonisation? Do they stop reading newspapers -- all of which have nothing but slurs and slants against a group of Hindus?
Of course not! For, these are the ideological progeny of the very people who not only chose Mahatma Gandhi over the extremely practical saint and freedom fighter, Sri Aurobindo Ghose, as their idol for all times, but also made a deity out of that mortal. These are the nuts who would applaud -- and force us to follow -- Gandhiji's thoughts in his 1940 'open letter' to the British:
"I want you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings... If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child to be slaughtered... I am telling His Excellency the Viceroy that my services are at the disposal of His Majesty's government, should they consider them of any practical use in enhancing my appeal." (From Stanley Wolpert's Jinnah of Pakistan.)
Sri Aurobindo's reaction when he heard this, as recorded in his book India's Rebirth: "He must be a little cracked."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That about sums up my feelings about the please-don't-make-waves-when-we're-ready-to-bend-and-spread kinda remarks.
If everything isn't nice-nice when there is a Muslim Personal Law, why would anything change if Hindu nationalists stop promoting the UCC? Besides which, do people living merrily abroad know anything at all about the mind of the Muslim in Godhra, Marad, Coimbatore, Padgha, Malegaon? Do they know what infuriates the Hindu of Vadodra, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Nagpur? Guys, go eat your Aunt Jemima pancakes and leave India to its resident, thinking adults. Undermining Hinduism in India is like banishing Christianity from the Vatican. Dump that pinko pipedream.