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21 December, 2006

Communalism Or Affirmative Action
By Ram Puniyani

Had there not been the fear of backlash of RSS combine, reservations for Muslims would be the ideal solution out of this impasse. In the present scenario all steps short of reservations should and need to be taken to work towards the democratic goal of equality

19 December, 2006

Victims Of Meerut's Hashimpura Killings:
Brutalised, But Not Broken

By Harsh Mander

They mounted the truck and opened fire blindly, killing at least half the men there. They dragged out the bodies and threw them into the canal. Zulfikar listened as the truck finally drove away. He came to know later that they then drove to the Hindon Canal, and completed the massacre of the remaining men. Of the nearly 50 men who the PAC picked up, only six survived

08 December, 2006

God And Faith In The Life Of Indians
By Subhash Gatade

The observations of recent survey tend to emphasise the growing religiosity of the Indian people, especially its younger lot, and thus could boost the ratings of social/political formations whose weltanshauung itself revolves around god. They also demonstrate the growing 'market of spirituality'

06 December, 2006

The Legacy Of Babri Masjid
By Farzana Versey

Why do 800 million Indians find us a threat? The Muslim is an abstraction now. S/he would be forced to ask: Who am I? And the response would be…I am the AK-47 rifle, I am the detonated bomb, I am the dynamite that has blown up cars, trains, bodies, I am the beard, the burqa, I am the voice that shouts out loud in the streets to support dictators who look like thieves, I am the bent over figure taking up public space for my prayers, I am the loudspeaker that beckons believers and is a nuisance to the ears, I am the butcher with the knife over a poor goat's neck, I am the one that the metal detector detects faster than anyone else. I am not like you anymore. This is the legacy of Babri

28 November, 2006

Golwalkar- The Guru Of Hate
By Ramachandra Guha

Golwalkar's book disparages democracy as alien to the Hindu ethos and extols the code of Manu

25 November, 2006

India's Veneer Of Religious Integration
By Praful Bidwai

Media stories based on official data being gathered by a government-appointed committee have shockingly disclosed that Muslims, India's largest religious minority, face systematic exclusion and serious discrimination at multiple levels

22 November, 2006

Democracy Besieged
By Ram Puniyani

Rajinder Sachar Committee, on the basis of thorough inquiry has not only confirmed what Gopal Singh Commission found but also that trends are in the direction of further worsening of the socio-political indices of Muslim minorities. The data shows that Muslim community is at the bottom of economic indices, being worse than even the SCs, STs. They are worse off in education, and are far behind OBCs in employment. Their representation in judiciary, bureaucracy is very poor compared to their percentage in population, and more so in class I and II jobs, they are very low down in landholdings, and much worse in employment in private sector

21 November, 2006

Questioning The Concept Of ‘Nationalism’
By Arnab Roy Chowdhury

Singing ‘Vande-Mataram’ may be an exhilarating experience for many of us, but it can’t be the scale to gauge ‘Nationalism’. The saffron Brigade has time and again come up with various ploys and designs to put various questions framed in ‘game-theoretical’ situations to the minorities, which are infact done to rejuvenate their waning influence in their heartlands

15 November, 2006

In India, The Wages Of Distrust
By Sudha Ramachandran

India's intelligence and security services adhere to an unwritten code not to recruit Muslims on grounds that they can't be trusted. This exclusion mirrors other sectors of professional life, and the country is poorer for it

09 November, 2006

Ghettoes Reserved For Muslims?
By Farzana Versey

The mainstream in contemporary India is not a stagnant pool of historical rights and wrongs. Therefore, no one community can define it or circumscribe it for others. It is time for everyone to get out of the ghettoes of their minds

07 November, 2006

Malegaon Bomb Blast Trail: Whatever
Happened To The 'Fake Beard?'

By Subhash Gatade

Can it be now said that the truth is finally out as far as Malegaon bomb blast is concerned ? And the real perpetrators of the gory carnage have been apprehended ? Or there are still loose ends which are to be met

RSS Run Schools: Indoctrinating In Sectarianism
By Ram Puniyani

RSS run schools are coming under a scanner, with MHRD minister contemplating action against them (Oct 2006). In last three decades thousands of schools of different variety have mushroomed, Ekal Vidyalaya, Sarswati Shishu Mandirs, and Vidya Bharati, run by RSS combine

06 November, 2006

Malegaon's Date with Terror: 9/8
By Mubasshir Ahmed

It took 40 innocent lives to highlight the sheer governmental apathy and the neglect which has persisted for decades in Malegaon. The bomb blasts have exposed the vulnerable underbelly of 'two Indias' — The India of Mumbai and the India of Malegaon

26 October, 2006

The Hindu Islamist
By Farzana Versey

Dhiren Barot is the first person in Britain to be convicted for a terrorist conspiracy. There has been silence among op-ed writers about the episode. What is curious about this case is not that he is an Al Qaeda activist, but the arguments being dished out by the British Indian community to delink themselves from him. It isn't because of their immense concern about terrorism, but due to their covert Islamophobia

25 October, 2006

Mayhem In Mangalore
By Yoginder Sikand

Early this month, a series of violent incidents rocked Mangalore and several nearby towns and villages in coastal Karnataka. Two people were killed, dozens injured and property worth several lakhs was destroyed. Although a semblance of peace has now been restored, tension remains

13 October, 2006

Hindutva And The Defence Of
'Upper' Caste Hegemony

By Yoginder Sikand

The ideology and politics of Hindutva are geared to protecting and promoting the hegemony of 'high' caste Hindu elites. Claiming to speak on behalf of all 'Hindus', Hindutva formations have made no bones about defending 'upper' caste privilege.This is clearly evident in their opposition to caste-based reservations

09 October, 2006

Should Mohammad Afzal Guru Be Hanged?
By Ram Puniyani

While Supreme Court deserves all the respect, one has to see that the primary investigation done by the police, whatever its flaws, forms the base of the judgment. When that investigation has holes should it be accepted as it is presented? When the primary culprits are either dead are some of them absconding, can 'the whole truth be out'? Or is it that somebody has anyway to be punished to quench the thirst for revenge, and who better than the one who has a Muslim name and happens to be from Kashmir

07 October, 2006

Looney American Foundation Threatens
To Sue The Nobel Committee

By Ra Ravishankar

An (as yet) imaginary account of the developments following the announcement of the Nobel Physics Prize in a Hindutva community; the lack of context and critical information (in the account below) is typical of how the mainstream press has covered Hindutva-related issues in the U.S.

06 October, 2006

A Prelude To Malegaon Bomb Blast
By Aleem Faizee

All the Muslims are continually demanding with their fellow secular non-Muslim friends that impartial and independent inquiry should be made about not only Malegaon blast but all terror acts on Indian soil then why government of India is afraid of independent inquiry is a question in the minds of plenty of people

04 October, 2006

Reclaiming Not "Converting To" The Sufi Way
By Jayshree Kewalramani

The Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill 2006 not only encroaches upon individual space, it further seeks to perpetuate Hindus (subsuming Jains & Buddhists), Muslims and Christians as mutually exclusive and, what are worse, hostile categories. It is not business of the state to determine or monitor the parameters of individual preference, especially those pertaining to matters of personal faith

29 September, 2006

Malegaon Blasts Investigation -
A Litmus Test Of Impartiality

By Praful Bidwai

Fairness of the investigations into the Malegaon blasts will decide whether the Indian state can re-establish its secular credentials and win Muslim hearts

26 September, 2006

Hashimpura Muslim Massacre Trial Reopens:
Can Justice Be Expected?

By Azim A. Khan Sherwani

In May 1987 policemen belonging to the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) shot dead 42 Muslim men, most of them youths, including some minors, from the Hashimpura locality in Meerut. The massacre occurred in the wake of the communal riots that broke out in Meerut in April that year after the Rajiv Gandhi government decided to open the gates of the Babri Masjid to allow Hindus to worship therein

25 September, 2006

The Discourse On Terrorism And
The Missing Muslim Voice

By Yoginder Sikand

However, while on the subject of 'fidayeen elements' or Islamist militants, it is striking how general discourse on terrorism in India, as elsewhere as well, is now so heavily lopsided, focusing, as it does, largely on militant acts committed by some Muslims. Terrorism in India is now talked about almost wholly in the context of fringe Islamist or Muslim militant groups, whereas similar acts of terrorism by other actors, including the state or by Hindutva outfits, are rarely described as such in the 'mainstream' media or by politicians

23 September, 2006

Citizen Tipu And Saffronazis
By Subhash Gatade

The move to obliterate Tipu's name from the pages of Kannada history is another vindication that Sangh Parivar has taken it upon themselves the task left unfinished by the colonialists

21 September, 2006

Gujarat Bill: Denying Religious
Freedom In Freedom's Name

By Yoginder Sikand

The recent passing of a controversial bill by the Gujarat Assembly has, understandably enough, generated a storm of protest. Ironically called the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill 2006, the Bill, critics argue, represents a major assault on religious freedom, particularly of non-Hindus, in Gujarat

The Judgement Takes Effect,
But The Cause?

Outlook Editorial

Even as the CBI, Mumbai police and governments pat themselves on the back, and citizens demand death penalty for all the Memons—four of the family have been convicted, three acquitted—there has been no conviction in any of the thousands of cases registered during and after the post-Babri riots from December 7, 1992, to January 21, 1993

18 September, 2006

Update On Malegaon
By Subhash Gatade

As of now the formal position vis-à-vis the identity of the perpetrators is still unchanged. It could be Lashkar or Bajrang Dal. It just means the roots and the perpetrators of the bomb blasts in Malegaon on Shab-e-Barat could be traced to either the Lashkar-ISI nexus or to the Bajrang Dal-Mossad connection

16 September, 2006

Investigation Into Malegaon Blasts
By Ram Puniyani

While every other thing is being highlighted and the usual suspects are being further demonized through the hard work of communal organizations and media, there is only a small section of media and popular opinion which will bother to state that the organizations like Bajrang Dal also need to be probed and put on the scanner

15 September, 2006

A Song, A Blast And The Indian
Media's 'Secular'Pretensions

By Yoginder Sikand

Bias against Muslims is deeply-rooted in large sections of the Hindu-owned media in India, even in influential sections of the English press that prides itself in its claim of being 'secular' and 'progressive'. Two ongoing controversies-the Vande Mataram affair and the Malegaon bomb blasts-suffice to confirm this argument

Malegaon Blasts: Footprints Of Nanded?
By Subhash Gatade

The most important lesson, which should be remembered, is that the law and order machinery should be even handed in its approach in unearthing the truth. It should not repeat its earlier folly of stigmatizing the whole community, which it is alleged to have engaged in after the Bombay blasts. It should also not be seen going soft on Hindu militant formations for fear of providing political capital to Hindutva organizations

Lesson From The Malegaon Carnage:
Price Of Alienating A Community

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

An Indian has to defend the secular values of the country and believe in fair play. A country denying dignity and right to its minorities cannot remain peaceful and would rarely progress if it alienates its second majority, the Muslims

02 September, 2006

Fascism Versus Indigenous People
By Goldy M. George

In a broader perspective, communalism of polity is preliminary to fascism of polity. In today’s context it is not mere communalism of polity, rather it is the fascism of state under the Hindutva brigade is what is ongoing in India. Hence as an activist working with Dalits, and also associated with some of the Adivasi movements, I would like to emphasis some of the major threats faced by the Dalits and Adivasis or Indigenous people

31 August, 2006

Song For The Nation - Vande Matram Controversy
By Ram Puniyani

After Arjun Singh, MHRD Minister clarified that singing of the (August 2006) of Vande Matram is voluntary, on 7th September, the supposed centenary year of this song, BJP went hammer and tongs blaming Congress for this 'appeasement' of minorities

18 August, 2006

Islam And Indian Nationalism
By Yoginder Sikand

The claim that Muslims cannot be loyal citizens of India because of their faith, articulated in different ways by both Hindutva and radical Islamist ideologues, has been stoutly refuted by a major section of the Indian ulama or Muslim clerics. In fact, numerous ulama, particularly those associated with the Deoband madrasa, played a major role in the Indian freedom movement

16 August, 2006

India's Tryst With Secular Democracy
By Ram Puniyani

This 15th August, India completed 59 years of its independence. Today where do we stand in our resolve to have a secular democratic India? It is a tragedy that conditions have so shaped during last couple of decades that one is forced to think about the very future of the democratic foundation of the country

15 August, 2006

'Karmayogi' Golwalkar Guruji-
Coming Soon To A Theater Near You

By Subhash Gatade

As part of the grand birthday centenary celebrations of the second Supremo of RSS, Madhav Sadhashiv Golwalkar the Sangh Parivar is organising number of programmes intended to sanitise the man including a film directed by Nitish Bhardwaj,( of ‘Mahabharat’ fame)

10 August, 2006

Stop Harrassing The Innocents
An Appeal from All India Secular Forum

The Mumbai blasts shook the nation and killed over 200 innocent people. This act is highly condemnable and the perpetrators of this ghastly crime need to be punished with all severity. In the wake of horrific bomb blasts the police is blindly operating on the formula that all Muslims are suspects and has been arresting and harassing innumerable innocent Muslims

08 August, 2006

Terrorism And Muslims!
By Ram Puniyani

Doctoring of Mass Consciousness in the era of US Oil Hunger

07 August, 2006

Police And Communal Riots
By Vibhuti Narain Rai & Yoginder Sikand

Vibhuti Narain Rai is a senior Indian Police Service officer. He is also the author of 'Combating Communal Conflicts--Perception of Police Neutrality During Hindu-Muslim Riots in India'. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand he talks about the role of the Indian police in handling communal riots

05 August, 2006

Ayodhya's Forgotten Muslim Past
By Yoginder Sikand

The Ayodhya controversy continues to drag on, with no sign of any solution in sight. Hindutva ideologues insist that Ayodhya must be theirs alone. Reinventing tradition and myth, they claim that Ayodhya has always been Hindu, thus promoting it to the status of a Hindu Vatican. Yet, as critical historians have pointed out, this claim is completely unsubstantiated

03 August, 2006

When Is Violence ‘Terror’ And When Is It Not?
By M R Narayan Swamy

There was nothing ‘natural’ about the slaughter of Sikhs in 1984, and nothing ‘natural’ about Gujarat 2002

31 July, 2006

Islam, Madrasas And Cultural 'Arabisation':
Insights From India

By Yoginder Sikand

Mindless berating of the madrasas for allegedly being actively engaged in promoting 'Arabisation', without looking at the phenomenon as, at least in part, a reaction to Hindutva and to the homogenising agenda of the Indian state that defines itself in Brahminical Hindu terms, is hardly fair and can only further reinforce the insular, exclusivist character that most madrasas are today identified with

29 July, 2006

Hashimpura : Not Just The Name Of A Massacre
By Subhash Gatade

The court of Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi has finally framed charges of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, abduction, unlawful confinement, assault and unlawful compulsory labour against these PAC men charged with killing Muslims during curfew in Meerut on May 22, 1987. And the trial has started on 15 th July after an agonising wait for 19 years

28 July, 2006

Mumbai Blasts: Hindutva Lobby
Launches Anti-Muslim Tirade

By Yoginder Sikand

Even as scores of Indian Muslim organizations have forcefully denounced the recent Mumbai train blasts and called for an impartial investigation into the carnage, the Hindutva lobby, ever on the prowl for an excuse to hound Muslims, has launched a massive anti-Muslim tirade

18 July, 2006

Understanding Jana Gana Mana
By Shumon Sengupta

A friend of mine recently forwarded me an email chain that aims at mobilizing support to substitute Jana Gana Mana with Vande Mataram as India’s National Anthem. And as far as the contrived Jana Gana Mana controversy is concerned, I would urge everyone to study Tagore more extensively before jumping on the bandwagon or making unsubstantiated pronouncements

15 July, 2006

The SIMI Story
By Yoginder Sikand

Whether or not the SIMI was behind the blasts in Mumbai will be known only after a fair and impartial investigation. Yet, the fact remains that groups like the SIMI, although representing a tiny fringe of the varied landscape of Islam in India, do pose a grave threat not only to the country as a whole but, equally, to the Indian Muslims as well

13 July, 2006

Fact Finding Report On The Attack
On RSS Head Quarters

Fact Finding Report

All these confounding happenings lead the team to question the veracity of the Commissioner of Police's narration of the encounter. The 'Cock and Bull' story of the encounter thus compels the team to infer that the encounter appears to be fake and requires, at the interest of the nation society, a fair probing

Terror Attacks: More To It Than Meets The Eye
By Ram Puniyani

The claim to unearth the arms and ammunition, the projection of terrorist activity in nearby areas, the probable stage managed attack on Nagpur Head Quarter of RSS, are these meant to hide, the Nanded blasts and involvement of RSS affiliates in the ghastly crime, under the carpet?

22 April, 2006

The Real Threat?
By Subhash Gatade

Lal Krishna Advani, ex President of BJP would not have imagined in his wildest dreams that Sangh Parivar's own people, would get caught in making illegal bombs just when he with his entourage was busy sermonising all and sundry about threats before the nation

21 April, 2006

Tackling Terrorism - Varanasi,
Jama Masjid Show the Way

By Ram Puniyani

The Varanasi example which the Shahi Imam quoted has become a good deal of landmark in how to respond to terror attacks

06 April, 2006

Adivasis: A Cultural Cooption
By Ram Puniyani

From 1987 Sangh (RSS) has activated its offshoot Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) into higher gear of activity. Adivasis, the most neglected part of society are being wooed through newly devised cultural mechanisms

13 March, 2006

Move Over Intelligent Design,
Here Comes Bhartiya Creationism

By Ra Ravishankar

A fictional account of a tete-a-tete between Swami Prakashanand Saraswati, the spiritual leader of the Texas-based Vedic Foundation and a Hindutva activist

10 March, 2006

M.S. Golwalkar: Conceptualizing Hindutva Fascism
By Ram Puniyani

Beginning this twenty Fourth February, RSS combine has undertaken programs in different parts of the country to celebrate the centenary year of RSS second Sarsnghchalak (supreme dictator), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, known in Sangh circles as Shri Guruji. What are going to be the implications of this celebration?

25 February, 2006

Gujarat: Four Years After The Genocide
By Azim Khan

The Gujarat police are almost completely saffronised,cooking up false cases of sedition, illegal arms and criminal conspiracy against young and innocent boys of the Muslim community. Extending illegal detention of poor Muslims by the Anti-Terrorist Squad and Crime Branch is an everyday affair. In Modi's Gujarat equality before the law and equal protection of the law have no meaning

Shared Traditions In Gujarat
Challenge The Communal Divide

By Yoginder Sikand

Exactly four years ago, Gujarat witnessed a state-sponsored genocide that culminated in the deaths of some three thousand Muslims and led to a complete breakdown of inter-community relations, the scars of which have still not healed. Yet, despite the relentless assault of Hindutva forces in Gujarat, all is not lost

23 February, 2006

Sanitising The Supremo
By Subhash Gatade

On the birth anniversary of Golwalkar Guruji

13 February, 2006

Muslim-Buddhist Clashes In Ladakh:
The Politics Behind The 'Religious' Conflict

By Yoginder Sikand

The underlying causes of the simmering conflict in Ladakh are thus largely political and economic, and not religious as such, although this is how it has been sought to be presented

10 February, 2006

Communalism 2005
By Ram Puniyani

Year 2005 turned out to be a year of mixed fortunes for the right wing Hindutva politics in India. At surface it seemed that it is crumbling but deep down its grip on societal affairs is getting firmer at places

07 February, 2006

Ghettoisation Of Muslims In India
By Imran Ali and Yoginder Sikand

A major issue afflicting Muslims in some parts of India is that of enforced ghettoisation. Periodic anti-Muslim riots and pogroms, sometimes instigated by state authorities in league with fiercely anti-Muslim Hindutva groups, have forced Muslims in several places to shift to separate localities for safety

03 February, 2006

Intimidating A Minority
By Ram Puniyani

There has been a continuous rise in the number of incidents of anti Christian violence since last one decade in India. Currently this violence has become a regular feature in Madhya Pradesh and other BJP ruling states in particular and in other parts of the country in general

23 January, 2006

India: Cultural Nationalism Or Secular Democracy?
By Ram Puniyani

After going through the turmoil created by Advani's 'Secular Jinnah' statement, its controller, RSS decided to get rid of him and finally appointed Rajnath Singh, a regional leader, and hardcore hindutwa fanatic as the President of BJP

08 January, 2006

Now, Hindu Nationalists Rewriting
California Textbooks

By Angana Chatterji

The attempts of diasporic Hindu nationalist organizations in the United States to intervene in revising segments on India, Indian history, and Hinduism in 6th grade textbooks in California State schools is disturbing

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