Thursday, October 16, 2008

This is something we can do.

WE THE READERS….

This article came like a breath of fresh, unpolluted air after all the voices of hatred we have been hearing everywhere.

If you like it please let DNA and Ranjona Banerji know here. Why should you bother? Well, we all know they just want to sell their Newspaper? So here’s our chance to let them & their advertisers know that we the readers prefer to read about tolerance, peace and sanity. Let’s make a difference when we can.



History is not an excuse for carnage

Ranjona Banerji

Monday, October 13, 2008 22:23 IST

Hinduism is whatever Praveen Togadia or some random illiterate says

It is true that Mahmood of Ghazni arrived in India and went through the land with sword and fire. He also raided the Somnath Temple many times. There. I said it. The only problem is that Ghazni died in 1030 AD. This does not affect me personally, so it is not that kind of a problem. The problem is that I find myself unable to understand the logic that connects his excesses to explain why it is somehow okay for Muslims to be burnt to death in Andhra Pradesh in 2008.

And so, now, I feel the wrath of the “majority community” or the Hindutva brigade, in other words. “Do you have the guts to write about Muslims being terrorists?” All right, here you are: There are Muslims who are terrorists and terrorists who are Muslim.
Could you please now tell me the logic that connects some Muslims being terrorists to a family of six Muslims being burnt to death in Bhainsa, Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh? The fight in Bhainsa was something to do with Dassera versus Eid celebrations. Now I get it.

When Hindus and Muslims collide, the Muslims get burnt to death because Mahmood of Ghazni ransacked Somnath several times between 1024 to 1026, because Muslims in pre-Independent India partitioned the country and because Kashmiri pandits were driven out of Kashmir by militancy — also by Muslims. And I’m supposed to believe that all this justifies, in no uncertain terms, that 2000 Muslims were brutally killed in Gujarat in 2002? Oh, now I know what I’m going to hear: who threw the first stone? If Godhra had not happened and the rest of the Hindutva rant. Well, how about this? What happened in Godhra is not clear, the recent report of the Nanavati commission notwithstanding. Worse, how do the deaths of 59 people — horrible though they were — justify large-scale rioting and the deaths of 2000 people who had nothing to do with the Godhra attack? And even stranger, why did the Hindutva parties, so ready to stand up and fight when their cock-eyed version of Hinduism is attacked, do nothing to help the victims of the Godhra attack? Why did the father of some of the victims of S6 of the Sabarmati Express come out and attack the Narendra Modi government for its
indifference?

No, we’re not allowed to talk about all that. We’re not allowed to talk about the recent brutal and disgusting attacks on Christians and Muslims by Hindutva mobs, because by doing so, we are being anti-Hindu. This insult is so bad, that we must, to avoid it, ignore all the atrocities done by the Sangh Parivar. That way, we become good Hindus, even if we have never read the Bhagvad Gita or believe in karma or the transmigration of souls. All that stuff is not Hinduism. Hinduism is whatever Praveen Togadia or some random illiterate says at any point in time. Hindus, incidentally, according to this Hindutva theory, only believe in Hindutva and only feel disgusted when Hindus die. However, they do not feel so bad when lower caste Hindus die and that is why there were no Hindutva-led riots when members of the Bhotmange family of Khailanji were massacred. They were Dalits. Hindutva does not know what to do with Dalits.

The question which Hindutva does not answer is what about those of us — regardless of our faiths or the faiths we were born into or the faiths we may have acquired ourselves — who object to what is going on because we are Indians, who owe allegiance to the Republic of India first? Or those of us who think killing is wrong, regardless of whether it is by Hindus or Muslims or Christians or anybody? Indians who do not narrowly limit our definition of ourselves to instructions from a political party? Indians who are willing to discuss our faults and limitations and not mistake that discussion for one more assault by Mahmood of Ghazni (dead since 1030)?

George Santayana said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. What could you say to those who distort their history or never understood it in the first place?

Email: b_ranjona@dnaindia.net

25 comments:

@lankr1ta said...

IHM, these are more than my own views, only I can never put them down so simply and so succinctly. i will write to the lady tomorrow, its very late here- and I have to prep for school so have to go to bed early, but I am going to forward it to as many people I know. Thank you for posting this.

Indian Home Maker said...

@@lankrita I felt the same way! Thanks for commenting...no thanks for just thinking the way you do :)

Monika,Ansh said...

There is certainly no logic to any of the questions raised. Sometimes I think that Religion should never have been a community thing, you know. IT should have been a very personal thing, just between u & almighty. Whatever is happening in the name of "religion" is sickening. I only hope that as parents we are able to influence how the next generations thinks about religion.

Pinku said...

thanks, it was a good read and the best part is to see it in a mainline publication instead of some blog post.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Monika.ansh I agree whatever is happening in the name of religion is just so ridiculous.
//should have been a very personal thing, just between u & almighty//
Totally with you on that!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Pinku Yes, but we must encourage such articles by writing to DNA. Newspapers & advertisers should know what we are reading and appreciating or not appreciating.

Nita said...

It is a very good idea to let newspapers know which article is appreciated. Usually editors do decide by comments...but alas, the number of comments! For a nice article, we keep quiet, we may not have anything to say but for a controversial article, often sensational, you will get a reaction! I guess that goes for blogs too. Many people evaluate their post by the number of comments but actually the number of comments simply shows that people have different views, something to add.

D said...

I just want to know one thing: why does the writer keep saying that she cannot talk about being anti-Hindutva when she's doing exactly that? I'm with her when she condemns what's wrong, but why paint a picture that's not true? Newspapers have not shied away from lambasting the Hindutva outfits that have committed atrocities on any minority community. There is a never-ending tirade agaisnt Narendra Modi in all leading magazines and newspapers. How can the writer then say that "we’re not allowed to talk about all that. We’re not allowed to talk about the recent brutal and disgusting attacks on Christians and Muslims by Hindutva mobs, because by doing so, we are being anti-Hindu."

Of course, if the terrorists caught are Muslims that gets reported. But please tell me which publication has said that all Muslims are terrorists? It's a perception perhaps but not one that can go in print.

phoenixritu said...

Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing it. I am glad that this school of thought is being shared by more and more people.

Indian Home Maker said...

Nita You put it so correctly, and I hope this sort of reaction from us makes the paper see that we appreciate such articles!
About comments on blogs, you are right of course, but if there were no comments, I'd worry & wonder if anybody was even reading :(

Indian Home Maker said...

@D I think she means, those amongst us who won't let you talk against Hindutva - not Hinduism, but the VHP defined aggressive, violent and fundamentalist Hindutva.
In the same Newspaper I have been reading other articles saying exactly the opposite of what she is, this may be an answer to all such articles and talks...

nimis540 said...

Wow..Great article..I am so late to read this...

She talks my thoughts as plainly and straight as possible..

See,almost all problesm we see around us today have its roots on some incident that happened conturies ago..Let me share you something..Yu know that i am a muslim..Ever heard of sunni-shia fight..Heck,it is based on some succession issues that happened 1400 yrs ago..I have wondered whetehr that perticular person who diead 1400 yrs ago will come back from grave and become the Caliph,simply bcoz sunnis and shia bang head to each other even today..Likewise,almost all what we see around is emotionally linked to some crap history..I say crap bcoz history is dead and gone..People are still mourning over "mughals invading india","hindus killed muslims 488 years ago" bla bla bla..Its all lame..I wonder when will people learn to live "HERE AND NOW"

Its high time we all have a global amnesia and forget our past and have a fresh start..But since it is not going to happen in real,let us look as to what can be done practically.

Its been long boring and tough time when the whole world painted muslim communty as terrorists..Now its hindu communities turn and now hinuds are feeling bad and hurt when i use tersm hindu fundamentalism and hindu terrorism..what is the term worng when you yourself used it conviniently against muslims..So now its ur turn to look back and understand the mistaked you did knwoingly or unknowingly..


These criminals are neither jihadists or hindutvas..No religous person can do this barbarism..So deal with them as you'ld deal with criminals..


Some people say that religion is the cause for all evils..I disagree.Even if we all were of same or none religion,w'll still find something to pick on each other..So better be tolerant and secualr enough to accomodate each others views and opinions..unless you want yourslef and your kids to get banged to each others head..


All of us do mistakes,nobody is perfect..Point is in accomodating each others views and living in peace and harmony..

Thanks for sharing IHM :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@hey Nimmy that's exactly how I felt when I read this article :)
Let's just learn some tolerance!

Monika said...

as i always say and believe all this has actually nothing to do with religion its a mere political chaal.... the article is just lovely

Ajit said...

@IHM,
Great article, I just wish I could write like that someday!!
What she says if so true, and the heading
"History is not an excuse for carnage" is so true.

Mahmood of Ghazni died long ago, but people just keep bringing him back from the dead.....

I was speaking to a friend yesterday on the topic of banning the Bajrang dal, and he was totally against it. This discussion (not our friendship)ended with him questioning my "Hindutva".
Yes, maybe it is time for the real Hindus to stand up and show character and stop all this nonsense!

Ajit said...

@IHM,
One of the famous saying by Periyar,(E. V. Ramasami Naicker)
"Every one has the right to refute any opinion. But no one has the right to prevent its expression."

More people need to come out and speak up on this and then maybe the tide would change!! (I hope so).

Indian Home Maker said...

@Ajit Yes, more people must come and speak on this...
There are many who do not realise that this is not Hindu bashing, this is Sangh parivar created, neo-Hinduism, 'Hindutva' bashing :(

I agree with you, "maybe it is time for the real Hindus to stand up and show character and stop all this nonsense!?"

Aneela Z said...

I am so glad someone has taken up the issue of the perversions of inherited (faulty) memories...South Asia is caught up in a very complicated web of 'constructed'histories (does anyone remember teh quote that in 'tareekh' (history) only the tareekh (dates) are correct), debatable oral histories and well just very colored and subjective analysis of events.
I understand that none of us can escape the past...but there should be a forum where we can 'dumb down' the voices of the past and concentrate on the issues today and handle them in contemporary ways rather than indulging in a ridiculous tit for tat.

Anonymous said...

Killing innocent people in the name of any religion cannot be justified. I'm a Hindu and I'm ashamed of what is happening around me. The worst part is that few people believe (read - sangh pariwar) that they represent a certain section of the society (read- hindus). If Bajrang Dal kills innocent muslims, then it is no different from Indian Mujahidin or the Lashkar.
I don't want such extremists in my country. I wish people could let me live as an Indian not a hindu or a brahmin or a north Indian

Indian Home Maker said...

@Anonymous I agree. A crime is a crime, no matter what we call it. And killing with any excuse is absolutely condemnable.
Those who support violence with some excuse do it only because the violence is not against them.

Jupiter said...

yes , we all condemn violence whoever commits...

yes when some people in a particular community commits violence, no doubt we should not target the entire community..

but if some investigations happen and some members of a particluar community are arrested , then why they should think that their community is targeted?

kapil sibal alongwith others went to PM to show their displeasure on jamia encounter..then sufficient evidence are shown about the genuiness of the encounter...( newsitem)

i read in times of india, shashi tharoor and others firmly condemning hindu violence..but the same paper carries article written by MJ Akbar, who i dont think condemns..but you find articles saying that babri masjid demolition, gujarat riots are making these youths to do such things...people try to justify these acts..this is what it is worrying...

even in the recent events in karnataka...there is no blame on those who printed pamplets denegrating hindu gods...

the reason why many hindus indirectly suport these BD etc is because they want to show that we can also retaliate...rather i can ask whether we hindus are pushed to support these groups, though we all condemn violence?

in muscat newspaper in a letter to the editor, one writes that the govt should find the root cause why these youths are doing such things...meaning they squarely blame the govt for delineating their community from the mainstream ...
a kind of justification for the acts committed?

i know muslims are tired everytime they want to show their solidarity towards India..to convey i have a muslim friend who is so ferociuos indian supporter who can never digest india losing..

let us punish with firm hands whoever commits violence...

odzer said...

@ Indian home maker : It is a well written article indeed. I agree with monika about her views about religion being a herd thing, it should be personal. It often is not though. Good intentions cause much misery. If only people would allow everyone to live the way they want to.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Jupiter But why generalise? ...if one person of one community does something wrong why do we blame all of them?
I can't even imagine somebody thinking that just because I am a Hindu, I should be hated for Bajrang Dal, Sangh Parivar or Modi's crimes!!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Odzer Yes, you are right, religion should be a personal thing! If only we could totally separate politics from any kind of separatism.

Charakan said...

The article is a good read. Let me give another perspective to Mahmud of Ghazni's raids.Mahmud wanted Gold and he raided the Somanatha temple several times because it was so rich with wealth.Temples were also seats of power. Many Hindu kings have raided temples in enemy territory for looting wealth.
The communalists whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian just need an excuse to make people hate each other.Create insecurity and divide the society, then they can achieve their political goals.