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:
- Al Qaeda in America: The Enemy Within. Newsweek, issue of June 23. Heard of Al Qaeda? The network whose members declared jihad against infidels? 'Jihad' as in Quran? 'Quran' as in Islam? 'Islam' as in religion?
- No troops to Iraq till consensus, says PM. The Hindustan Times, June 16. Heard of Iraq? The country which once had a secular dictator, about whom John F Burns wrote in The New York Times of January 27, "...scores of women have been executed under a new twist in a 'return to faith' campaign proclaimed by [Saddam] Hussein. Aimed at bolstering his support across the Islamic world, the campaign led early on to a ban on drinking alcohol in public. Then, some time in the last two years, it widened to include the public killing of accused prostitutes..."
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?
- A Drive To Register Muslims As Voters In New York State. NYT, June 16: "[Ghazi Khankan] wanted to make voters of everyone present, as part of his effort to register 100,000 Muslims across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. 'As Muslims, as you are, so shall your rulers be. If we do not participate in the political process, we will not be able to influence it...' Khankan, president of the New York CAIR, told the worshipers."
- Cheerleaders for Terrorism. FrontPageMagazine.com, June 17: About Lynne Stewart, the pinko champion of the National Lawyers Guild who made headlines when she was arrested for providing material support to the Islamic Group, an Egypt-based terrorist organisation closely linked to Al Qaeda.
- VHP: Seer is Shaivite, unsuitable for Ayodhya. The Asian Age, June 19: "A VHP leader claimed the Kanchi seer is a Shaivite and that only Vaishnavites 'worship Rama since he is an avatar of Lord Vishnu'... He claimed that Adi Shankaracharya 'is regarded as a staunch Shaivite and to his devotees he is Lord Shiva himself'." The journalist, as is the case in every "report" that purports to expose the "truth" about the Parivar, did not name a single "leader."
- Jharkhand NGOs under scanner over funding Naxals. The Pioneer, June 19: "In some cases the Maoist groups from other parts of the country and foreign countries channel their funds through these NGOs... 'No church, priests or nuns have been attacked despite the fact that they are working in extremist infested areas. The role of Christian missionaries is under scanner'... said a top police official." Religion, here, too...?
- Kerala ultras brainwashing youth. The Hindu, June 19: "Recent inputs from various agencies... have cautioned that ultras in Kerala are brainwashing unemployed youth from poor families in Coimbatore and suburbs... The needle of suspicion pointed to Truth Voice (a replacement for the banned Al-Umma)."
This is bloody boring. So here are the rest, in no particular sequence. Skip over the entire block if you want:
- No proposal of handing over protected Mosques to Muslims: ASI. The Pioneer, June 19.
- For God's sake! Children chained by madarsa in UP. The Pioneer, June 18.
- NCP to focus on defeating NDA, not Sonia origin. The Asian Age, June 20.
- Only legal solution to end tangle, says CPM. The Asian Age, June 20.
- Kashmir-born US driver doubled as a terrorist. HT, June 20.
- Let us decide the status of woman married to outsider: J&K. IE, June 19.
- Kashmiri Students in India Face Discrimination. The Washington Post, June 17.
- NCERT defends move to reject history manuscript. IE, June 17.
- 'Go back' greets Nanavati panel. The Times of India, June 17.
- Guj Govt targeting Zaheer Rana, alleges lawyer. HT, June 16.
- Gujarat to probe 'coercion' of witnesses. IE, June 20.
- The Jagadguru seems to want to help the BJP. Deccan Chronicle, June 16.
- We will oppose any legislation on Ayodhya: Cong. ToI, June 17.
- Bukhari rejects seer plan. The Asian Age, June 18.
- Kanchi seer forwards new plan to Muslims. HT, June 18.
- Historians lambast magazine report on Ayodhya. ToI, June 18.
- 'Babri Masjid not built on temple.' IE, June 18.
- Temple hawks get Sangh claws. The Telegraph, June 18.
- 'Jagmohan forcing ASI to dig up evidence.' IE, June 18.
- Jagmohan flays historians, reminds them of HC order. IE, June 19.
- Excavation shows no evidence of temple: SAHMAT. ToI, June 18.
- VHP rejects ASI report on Ayodhya. The Asian Age, June 20.
- Imam's killing triggers protest in Kashmir, ToI, June 16.
- Pak demands implementation of UN resolution on Kashmir. IE, June 16.
- Lull on LoC cannot be sustained: Musharraf. The Hindu, June 19.
- How does a foreigner turn Indian? Just ask Mulayam. IE, June 17.
- UK police allow Muslim cops to wear turbans. ToI, June 17.
- Row over MCC-link slur on missionaries. The Telegraph, June 16.
- Criticism of Pope termed 'disdainful.' The Hindu, June 17.
- Dara Singh was a BJP activist, says witness. The Asian Age, June 18.
- Defamation proceedings for editorial on anti-conversion law. The Hindu, June 17.
- Experts call Biblical artifact a fake. Associated Press, June 18.
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.