Thursday, June 30, 2011

Exit Christ! Exit Conversion!!


“We must get rid of that Christ, we must get rid of that Christ!” so spoke Ralf Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), one of the wisest and one of the most loveable of men. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), wrote thus in 1850, “If I had my way, the world would hear a pretty stern command – EXIT CHRIST!”

The great English poet P.B Shelley (1792-1822) paid this poetic tribute to Jesus Christ: “Who was Christ? He is called the “divine teacher”. Yes, -

He led
The crowd, he taught them justice, truth, and peace,
In semblance, but he lit within their souls
The quenchless flames of zeal, and blessed the sword
He brought on Earth to satiate with the blood
Of truth and freedom his malignant soul!”

Since the days of Emerson and Carlyle in the 19th Century, a revolution has taken place in the thoughts of men all over the world and more particularly in Europe, U.S.A and the Western World. From their minds Jesus Christ has made his EXIT. To quote the words of Professor Goldwin Smith, “The mighty and Supreme Jesus who was to transfigure all humanity by his divine wit and grace --- this Jesus has flown.” The Supernatural Christ of the New Testament, the God of Orthodox Christianity, is dead in the West. NOT SO IN A PSEUDO-SECULAR ANTI-HINDU, CHRISTIANITY-EMBRACING COUNTRY LIKE INDIA. The UPA II Government of India, under the stranglehold of a woman Catholic usurper from Italy (the firangi memsahib to be precise), is functioning as the most potent marketing manager of proselytising Catholic Christianity and Protestant Christianity. India today has become a despicable land of rampantly fraudulent Christian conversions with the full political support of Sonia Congress UPA II Government in New Delhi.

The solid foundations of today’s Christian Church thievery and state-assisted dacoity in India were solidly laid during the colonial days of British Raj. Recently, I came across a copy of a journal called ‘THE ARYAN PATH’. I have presented the Front Cover of the August 1944 issue of this Journal below. 
I came across the following news item in this issue of ‘The Aryan Path’
“Verrier Elwin’s renewed protest against the proselytizing activities of Christian Missionaries in the Wholly and Partially Excluded Areas deserves immediate attention. His account of proselytizing methods, particularly in the Mandla District, appeared in the Bombay Chronicle of 14th June. Not only, he indicates, are conversions effected through the offer of facilities, e.g., schools, but more objectionable methods are reported of exploiting the ignorance and poverty of the tribal people. Money-lending in impoverished India offers great opportunity, no doubt, through disinterested philanthropy, but it does establish a hold on the borrower. It should, in their own reputation’s interest, be eschewed by those who have a stake in getting helpless illiterates under their influence. Mr Elwin cites a case in which a too zealous missionary propagandist resorted to a threat of force against one of Mr Elwin’s own workers if he dared to oppose the Christians. Already the Dutch Catholic Missionaries are operating through more than a hundred minor centres, besides their Sijhora Training School with its thirty buildings. The withdrawal of a part of the Government Grant to this institution has apparently embarrassed them not at all. And Mandla is being invaded by Protestant missionaries as well. Mr Elwin charges openly that nearly every day he hears of new converts being “tricked, bullied or purchased into the Church”. The fact that the areas are nominally segregated has been helpful in avoiding public scrutiny of proselytizing methods “that would have been considered disgraceful in the Middle Ages”. The ostensible segregation was designed to preserve the cultural and religious integrity of the aboriginal population, and this is the way their cultural interests are being guarded. Without imputing any deliberate connivance on the part of the Government, its allowing of foreign missionaries an almost free hand must lay it open to misunderstanding. Mr Elwin demands that all schools opened in Mandla District since the passing of the Act of 1935 be taken over by the Government and that missionary money-lending and proselytizing activities generally be prohibited in all Excluded Areas.”

Verrier Elwin (1902–1964)

Verrier Elwin was a self-trained anthropologist, ethnologist and tribal activist, who began his career in India as a Christian missionary. He was a charismatic figure who first abandoned the clergy, to work with Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, later converted to Hinduism in 1935 after staying in the Gandhian ashram.

After Independence, Nehru appointed him as an adviser on tribal affairs for north-eastern India. Later he became the Anthropological Adviser to the Government of NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh). His autobiography, The Tribal World of Verrier Elwin won him the 1965 Sahitya Akademi Award in English Language, given by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.

Priyadarshan Pant

My esteemed friend Priyadarshan Pant from Mumbai has sent me a beautiful article written by him in which he has written with great feeling of anguish against forced or induced Christian conversions in India and how many traditional Hindu families get wrenched from their ROOTS. He has rightly compared this pernicious process with what he calls the UPROOTING OF TREES in a forest. I am giving below the full text of this article:


Normally, trees growing anywhere are known by the locality they grow in. Thus, a tree which is growing in Rani Lakshmibai Park would be termed as belonging to Rani Lakshmibai Park. Similarly, if a tree is growing in my garden, I might say that that tree belongs to or is part of my garden and so on. On the other hand, if there is a tree lying uprooted in a field and finding that there is no cavity in the ground where that tree may have once stood, if someone were to ask where that tree belonged to, the answer might be – I don’t know. Why? Because we don’t know where its roots were!

Human beings are much the same as trees, as far as their roots are concerned. Humans too have roots and sometimes these roots are much stronger and deeper than roots that are visible to the naked eye. Amongst other things, Patriotism grows out of these roots.

A tree takes in air, water, minerals from its environment and gives back to its environment – clean air; flowers; fruits; cool shade; eco-balance; a beautiful ambience; poetry; literature; music and more.

A man living in a particular country would normally be taking sustenance from things in that country. He would observe the local rules, customs, norms, mores etc. and have much in common with other citizens of that country. Much the same as monkeys live with other monkeys he too would feel at home in his home country since he has so many things in common with others around him. This is the normal scenario.

Unlike trees which cannot float and live, a man can! He can continue to live in one and the same place and, only by programming his mind, a “disconnect” could be created between him and his surrounds. Thus, when a man converts to another religion, at least in India, he starts learning and speaking the language that is perceived as belonging to that religion – for instance, Urdu and Farsi for a convert to Islam, and English for a convert to Christianity. A woman convert may start wearing burqas or frocks as the case may be; her name would become Ayesha or Mary; men would shave off their moustaches and start wearing dirty perforated caps with short pyjamas and long kurtas to boot; Id and Christmas start getting celebrated – just as they are done in the respective lands of their origin; psalms are sung instead of bhajans and the loud speakers shout azans at a deafening 200 db; Mama must become Mamu or Uncle and Chacha must become Chachu or Uncle and so on. Local Hindu customs are discarded as being pagan, heathen or plain kafiri in the new religious incarnation. What were once the customs and religion of their forefathers for thousands of years and continue to be so for crores of their brothers and sisters, in an instant become things to fight against and “root” out. The human being thus shows itself out to be a strange kind of Tree – one that will bite, cut and destroy its own roots!

The jihadis and the crusaders say that their religions and only their respective gods are true. Neither the jihadis nor the crusaders pause to answer a few questions – What is the real name of God? Does he have a name at all? Why should {a (hopefully) just and correct thinking} God favour one set of men (say, Muslims or Christians) and not another (Hindus)? Does God have a religion? If God is Christian or Muslim, would he not be going to a Church or Mosque? If he is God then does he need to go to a Church or Mosque or a Temple?

Some Hindus go to temples and some don’t; some Hindus believe that God has form and some don’t; some Hindus believe in caste and some don’t and so on. The plain and simple fact the Hindus know is that God is known by many names; He has many forms but is only one! How come this is missed by the other religionists? It could, of course, be that now they have come to know the truth from the Hindus but they do not want to acknowledge it as that might lead to terrible monetary and political losses.

Why do people convert to other religions? The reasons are as varied as one can think them out but the major ones are – pecuniary or plain conning.

The harm that is done to a country that is beset with the accursed problem of “foreign religious conversions” is terrible, to say the least. Even as it is, there are so many divisions in society – language, money, caste, regions and regionalism as promoted by the government etc. On these are superimposed the foreign religious divides. INSTEAD OF UNIFYING US, FOREIGN RELIGIOUS CONVERSIONS DIVIDE US. The problem of blind beliefs (religious beliefs too are blind for the vast majority) continues; poverty, ignorance, follow-the-stupid-leader, indiscipline etc. all continue. Why then should any government interested in the well-being of a country allow foreign religious conversions? This could have only three possible answers – the government is stupid, a knave or both!

Whether religious conversions are mainly foreign in nature can be easily answered by the gargantuan proportions inflows of foreign funds have taken. These funds go into Christian and Muslim organizations, churches, mosques, so-called charities etc. The funds are then made to flow through many streams (books, pamphlets, television, teams upon teams of proselytizers etc.) into breaking Hindu Society, building more churches and mosques and even into jihadi terrorism.

The question we must ask of the government and the floating trees is how far will they go – would they even sell our own mother to gain, be it political power, money and other within-nose-tip-range benefits? VANDE MATARAM!

Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the Convenor of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha views every act of Christian conversion as an act of unprovoked violence. In this context, let me quote the words of this great and revolutionary champion of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma

“Christians, regardless of their denomination, are mandated by their theology to ‘bear witness to Christ’ which, in simple terms, means sharing the faith with a stranger. Why share the faith with a stranger? The vast majority of Christian believers are firmly convinced that unless a person ‘accepts Christ as his saviour’, he is, at the very least, denied entry to Heaven. More extreme, but not less common, believers are convinced that he will definitely go to Hell - and forever. So, given the theological compulsion to share the faith with a stranger, a serious Christian has no option except to exert and ‘save’ the person, inevitably a non-Christian, from such a fate. That is to say convert him to Christianity. See the effect. Obviously the theological belief that no faith other than Christianity can guarantee salvation, or that other faiths can only lead to Hell, cannot amount to honouring non-Christian religions. Can a Christian, who believes this, view a non-Christian religion as anything but inferior or, as is often the case, dangerous? So in the innocuous mandate to ‘bear witness’ to Christ inheres the denigration of the religion of the ‘other’, if not explicitly, certainly implicitly. Herein lies concealed the propensity and the potential for disharmony, for, when one’s religion is denigrated a great violence is done to what one holds most dear. … Conversion comes at the cost of extermination of native people’s cultural diversity and way of living. Without preserving as they are, the existing religious traditions and the people that practised them, we cannot access these knowledge-bases that contain the lessons of harmonious co-existence. I would unhesitatingly call the Jewish, the Zoroastrian and the Hindu traditions as non-aggressive traditions for just this reason: they do not convert. Conversion UPROOTS individuals, devastates families, creates discord in communities and destroys ancient cultures. … Destruction of culture is destruction of religion. Destruction of religion is destruction of culture. If this destruction is not violence, what else is violence? Aggression need not be physical. It need not be the Kargil type. There are a varieties of aggression. You can either be emotionally, economically or verbally aggressive. But, the worst aggression, more than physical aggression, is cultural aggression or religious aggression. That is why we say ‘Conversion is Violence’. It is the deepest and most profound violence.”

I would like to end this story with a poem titled Pagan Questions by Padma Sundaram which poetically brings out the points of view of both Priyadarshan Pant and Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

Pagan Questions!!
India is no longer the PUNYA BHOOMI (Holy land)
          envisaged by our ancestors
It has become a NARAK BHOOMI (Land of Hell)
What with Quota Mad Politicians
And Quislings of pseudo-secularism
Islamic terrorists and
Christian Evangelists
Oh God we Hindus feel Hell is a better place
For in hell at least there is no Quota
For the ABC’s and EFG’s of Quota Raj
Or reserved treatment for Christians and Islamists

India is surrounded by vultures even before the people are dead
The vultures of Islam and hyenas of Evangelizing Christianity
Islam says convert or die, for Indiaslambad belongs to us
Evangelists tempt you with
Vanilla Ice-cream (Seventh Day Adventists!)
Chocolate Ice-cream (Catholics!)
Pista Ice-cream (Born-Again Christians!)
Cassata (Pentecostals!)
Tutti-frutti (Anglicans!)
For the Evangelists say
Why fall for Islam
When we have so many varieties to offer you!!
With Christian compassion and benediction

But when the Hindus cry out
We don’t want to convert, Leave us alone!!
The Soul-saving Evangelists say
But you cannot remain a black dirty heathenish pagan,
For when we offer you the chance to become
A black clean Baptist Christian
How can you ever say no!
To this offer of Christian heaven on earth
From a trans-national departmental store
For your total salvation

Terrorist Islam says
In terms Jihadic
You leave them to us
We know how to bring these infidels to heel
They are not fit to be offered ice-cream and such dishes delectable
They must know
It is Believe The Book or else it is sure death
Dear God, I as a devout pagan Hindu cry out
I have nothing to do with the Book
I know nothing about the Book
For God’s sake
Leave me alone in peace.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why is Sonia Gandhi so scared of Narendra Modi?

By Francois Gautier

One hopes that the people of India are not blind to the utter cynicism of some of its politicians. The way they are efficiently and ruthlessly killing the whole Lokpal movement with the help of deceit and slander is frightening. All the while, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, whose party is not only the main recipient of corruption but has actually institutionalised it, throw decoys at us with declarations of 'zero tolerance of corruption'. It is funny how this government is hell bent in preserving what is corrupt, untruthful, inefficient - as symbolised by the deal they have made with Karunanidhi that they will not touch his family - and fanatic about destroying what is free of corruption and is prosperous.

Sonia has been on a personal vendetta against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for a long time. She had a useful tool in Teesta Setalvad, who, it is now discovered, has bribed witnesses, filed false affidavits, and committed repeated perjuries in court. Teesta's usefulness is nearing an end as she may soon land up in jail, so the Congress has now found another willing tool in Gujarat police officer Sanjiv Bhatt to implicate Modi in the post-Godhra riots.

The government has subverted its investigative instruments such that the CBI goes after Modi even as it closes its eyes to the wrongs that chief ministers of the Congress or its allies, such as the DMK, are openly doing. For example, the CBI requested the judiciary to drop the case against Jagdish Tytler, who was seen by innumerable witnesses leading mobs to murder Sikhs, while it is going all guns blazing against Modi, who at best was caught off guard when the riots in Gujarat broke out in 2002, or at the worst, delayed in calling the army. But did not Rajiv Gandhi do the same thing ("When a big tree falls, the earth shakes," he had said) after his mother was murdered by her own bodyguards? Rajiv also delayed calling in the security forces.

It is illogical that the legal instruments of Indian democracy are used to pin down the CM of India's most lawful, and prosperous and least corrupt state, which impresses even non-BJP tycoons such Ratan Tata, when a Lalu Prasad was allowed to loot Bihar and keep it in the most desolate state because he was an ally.

Is it logical today that the Indian media only highlight the 2002 Gujarat riots, carefully omitting the fact that they were triggered by the horrifying murder of 57 Hindus, 36 of them innocent women and children, burnt in the Sabarmati Express? Riots of that intensity do not happen in a day; they are the result of long-term pent-up anger and a spark - like the killing of Hindus, whose only crime was that they believed that Ram was born in Ayodhya.

It is widely known that the dreaded Khalistan movement in Punjab was quelled in the '80's by supercop KPS Gill in a ruthless manner by a number of 'fake encounters' that killed top Sikh separatists. This was done under a Congress government, both at the Centre and in Punjab. Rajiv was the PM then, but he was never indicted. This is so because terrorists have no law and they kill innocent people; and sometimes ruthless methods have to be used against them.

Why is Sonia going so single-mindedly against Modi? Because, he seems to be the only alternative to her son Rahul Gandhi becoming prime minister in the next general elections. We should give credit to Sonia for her cunning and ruthlessness.

It is no good being a Hindu in Sonia Gandhi's India. It is better to be a Quattrocchi, who was exonerated by the CBI. Or a terrorist like Sohrabuddin from whose house in Madhya Pradesh 40 AK-47 rifles, and a number of live hand grenades and bullets were confiscated, who was declared "Wanted" in five states with 40 cases registered against him. Then you stand a chance to be protected by the government of India, while those who have at heart their country's integrity go to jail.

Sonia has achieved such terrifying power, a glance of her, a silence, just being there, is enough for her inner circle to act; she has subverted so much of the instruments of Indian democracy and she controls such huge amounts of unlisted money that sooner or later this 'karma' may come back to her under one form or the other.

Author: By Francois Gautier

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Comments on the draft bill - Communal Violene Bill by NAC

3(c) “Secular fabric of the nation” – a legally sound definition is required. If it means all secular matters (food, clothing, roof, etc.) with equal respect accorded to all the religions in India while at the same time with no support to any religion by the State, it must be clearly stated. If selective support to selective religions is accorded, as is our present practice of secularism, such religions must be spelled out.

3(e) “Group” must be redefined as any group, since there is, and likely to be in the future too, no group in India that is majority, unless “Hindus” as a group is clearly stated to be outside the purview of the benefits of this bill. Otherwise, this vagueness will render the entire law unconstitutional. Can the democratic State form laws to perpetually favor any section of the society and harm another? Constitutionally, it may be able to impose a burden on the Hindus (to protect other minority groups), but such intention of the law must be clearly stated.

3(f) “Hostile environment against a group” – does this cover acts of brutality by the State, such as happened in 1984 against the Sikh community in Delhi by the government itself, or in 2011 against the sleeping citizens on Ramalila grounds past midnight by the Delhi police?

8 “Hate propaganda” – is calling someone as communal, thug, maut ka saudagar, or thief in public meetings or press conferences included in this definition? Where does the law draw the line between violence and freedom of speech? Every Congress neta will be in jail if this loose canon really becomes a law. Beware of the court’s judgments – any religion in India is a minority religion, i.e., no religion has followers > 50% of the population, and even Narendra Modi belongs to a minority religion. Within the secular worldview as well as the Supreme Court’s interpretations, Hindus are divided into followers of numerous religions (Shaiva, Vaishanava, Shrivaishnava, Shaakta, Gaanapatya, Kaumaarya, tribal/animic, Swaminarayan, Bauddha, Jaina, Sikh, etc.) as well as atheists (DMK followers) and agnostics (leftists). Even with the stated definition of “group” as in the draft, Congress is designing a can of deadly worms and its own death through this really stupid bill.

9 “Organized Communal and Targeted Violence” – This clause is so vague that it applies to the Congress party or Church proselytizers more than to any other. The public servants and the Congress governments in Nagaland and Mizoram have systematically failed to stop the Church violence against various “groups”. Again, Congress is designing its own death through this bill.

10 “Aiding financially…” – all Church funding sources will be in deep trouble.

20 “Power of the central government…” – Bringing in Article 355 within this bill is quite dangerous. Don’t live in a well of your urban comforts; walk unnoticed in the villages and the slums and see the reality. Using this proposed law, a non-Congress central government in the future can dismiss any Congress government in no time. Whatever the NAC is attempting to do can work against it through this very bill. Never underestimate the Indian voter. Many foreigners have been buried unsung here in India’s 5000-year history. Sonia Gandhi is placing herself to this list through this ill-thought bill.

21 “National Authority” – As worded in this draft, this seven-member authority can have all its members who are Hindus from different groups within the Hindu fold. A future BJP central government may just do that, if this bill becomes law. Don’t live in the secluded well and think that will never happen. Indira Gandhi thought the same way, misled by brainless intelligence personnel and her deceptive inner circle, when resorting to “Emergency”; it only resulted in the rise of the BJP and the eclipse of the Congress. The only way to avoid such a potential outcome is to clearly state that the Chair, Vice-Chair, and at least two more members will be non-Hindus. Sonia Gandhi is making the singular mistake of trusting her inner circle. This will cost her dearly.

23 “Qualifications” – (1)(d) – increase “one year” to “five years.” A reasonably complete disassociation from politics and political ambitions will be essential.

29 (4) “through any persons appointed by it or through such other procedures and mechanisms it may adopt” – this broad freedom can be misused, such as using a foreign person (Hadley) or agency (CIA, KGB, or ISI). It must be deleted.

44 “State Authorities” – comments are as in #21 above.

46 (1)(d) – comments are as in #23 above.

61 (2) – the witnesses to the recording of the statements of the victim or informant by the Police Officer must not be from the same group as that of the victim or the informant. Both witnesses must not belong to any one group. If the witnesses are from the same group, there is room for reasonable doubt that the complaint may not be genuine. Three in any group can get together and create any story of violence and make a mockery of justice and unnecessarily drain the country’s resources.

All other clauses add a few layers of public servants to the existing system of justice, leaving the actual investigation, trial, and dispensation of justice to the police and the courts. They only open avenues for vested interests such as some NGOs to create communal havoc and corruption; they will not deter or cure communal violence.

For all its hoopla, this proposed bill accomplishes nothing but more babugiri and greater room for central politicians to play disastrous games. Also completely missing in this entire bill is the accountability of these politicians in power.

All in all, the proposed bill is childish, sectarian, and bigoted. It must be thrown to trash without any remorse.

Dr. S. K. Shastry

Friday, June 10, 2011

Suggestions on Communal Riots Bill to NAC

Suggestions on Communal Riots Bill

Thursday, June 9, 2011

From Shilanyas to Berlin Wall - Can Indian be Pride restored?

Jay Dubashi
History has its quirks but there is a method behind the madness.  I said in my last column that November 9, 1989, would go down in Indian history as one of those dates that actually make history.  I was not aware at the time that on the very same day the first brick of the Ramshila foundation was being laid at Ayodhya, the Berliners were removing bricks from the Berlin Wall. While a temple was going up in Ayodhya, a communist temple was being demolished five thousand miles away in Europe. If this is not history, I do not know what is.

There hasn’t been a squeak out of our commie friends on Berlin Wall, or, for that matter, on the turmoil in the communist world that now lies as shattered as Hitler’s fascist empire after the last war. Where is our great Mr. Know-All, the ultra-verbose pandit of Kerala who only the other day was lecturing us poor Hindus on the pitfalls of communalism? Where is Harkishan Singh Surjeet, the great oracle of Punjab, who since his operation in Moscow, seems to have given up the ghost altogether?  Even their great Natural Ally, the one and only Vishwanath Pratap Singh, has not said a word about the Berlin Wall, though he keeps advising us about what to do in Ayodhya, or rather what not to do.

The two events, one at Ayodhya and the other in Berlin, are not unrelated.  They are like the two events in Einstein’s relativity theory which appear totally unconnected but are not.

They mark the end of the post-Nehru era and the beginning of a truly national era in India on the one hand, and the end of the post-communist era and the beginning of a truly democratic era in Europe on the other.  History has rejected Nehru in India and also overthrown communism in Europe.  It is not an accident that the two events are taking place at the same time. Both Nehruism and communism were phoney creeds, though it has taken us a long time to see through the phoneyness. Some of us had seen it a long ago, but there were others, the so-called leftists and progressives, who had not. The scales have still not fallen from their eyes, but that is now only a matter of time.

The phoniest are the so-called radical humanists in India, who have given up communist clothes but not the authoritarian way of thinking, which is the hallmark of communism. Their reaction to all popular movements is authoritarian. These men helped the British during the Quit India Movement-just as their brethren the commies did-on the ground that an Allied victory was more important than freedom for India.  Now they are saying the same thing.

According to the Tarkundes and other phoneys, the Nehru version of secularism is more important than full-blooded Hindu nationalism, which is what the Ayodhya movement signifies. The Tarkundes even went to the court on the issue asking its help in stopping the Shilapujan.

The Pujan was a perfectly democratic affair carried on peacefully by citizens of this country who happen to be in a majority. If Indians do not have a right to have temples in their own country, who has?

But this is not the way these secular worthies look upon the issue. These men are elitist by nature and for them any popular movement, no matter how democratic and mass-based, is almost ipso fact suspect if it does not meet their prejudiced convictions. This is Stalinism of the worst kind, the kind that led to the building of the Berlin Wall, one of the ugliest structures in the world.

Who is Tarkunde to decide that a temple in Ayodhya is anti-social? Who was M.N. Roy to decide that Gandhi’s Quit India Movement was anti-national and not in national interest? Who are these men who mock history and then are bloodied by it? They belong to the same class as Stalin in Soviet Russia and Hitler in Nazi Germany, who presume to know what is good for you and me, the ordinary mortals. And these man will go the same dusty way as the tyrants whose bodies are now being exhumed all over the Soviet empire and thrown to the vultures.

The men who presume to think what is good for the man in the street are the most dangerous species and should be locked up in asylums. Jawaharlal Nehru was one such man. He knew what was good for you and me, just as Stalin and Hitler did, and for almost 20 years went on forcing his ideas on this hapless country.  He and his advisers decided how much steel we should have and how much electricity. They decided who should get paid what, and who should import what. They laid down laws for who should produce what and where, and whether a particular industry should be given to Tatas or Birlas or some babus in the government. What was the basis for these decisions? None at all. Simply an arrogant assumption that the Big Brother knows best what is good for you, and you should not ask too many questions.

Those who went to court on the Ayodhya issue are the same Mr. Know-Alls, the arrogant busybodies who presume to know what is good for us. This presumptuousness-that masses do not matter and do not count-was the core of the Marxist doctrine of which Nehru’s phoney socialism and Tarkunde’s equally phoney radical humanism are offshoots. What they have not still grasped-but Mikhail Gorbachev has-is that this is precisely the reason Marxism failed wherever it has been put to work, and why Nehruism has failed in India.

That is also the reason why there was no enthusiasm whatsoever for the sarkari jamboree in the name of the Nehru centenary year, for the common man in India is a victim of this Nehruism just as the common man in Russia is the victim of communism. And in healthy societies, victims don’t celebrate centenaries of tyrants.

There are a number of Nehru men in India, not only in the ruling party1 but also in the opposition and we must be on guard against them.  But this generation is on its way out, though their flame may flicker for a while.

The post-Nehru era began at Ayodhya on November 9, and it will gather momentum in the years to come, just as the post-communist era in Europe and elsewhere. It will not be an easy task, but no great task is easy.
Organiser, November 26, 1989


1 The ruling Party, at the time this article was written, was the Indian National Congress.  Courtesy :

November 9 Will Change History (Berlin Wall) - Can Indians rise to change their History?

Jay Dubashi

What is the need of the hour, someone asked me the other day.  Is it stability, is it unity, is it communal peace?  It is none of these things, I told him.  The need of the hour is COURAGE.

We Hindus have become a timid race, almost a cowardly race.  We lack the courage of our convictions.  Some of us don’t even have any convictions, and have been trying to hide our shame under high-sounding but empty phrases like secularism.  For the last so many centuries, the history of the Hindus has been created by non-Hindus, first the Moghuls, then the British.  Even today, the Hindus are being denied their right to write their own history, which, to me, is almost like genocide.  Until we write our own history, this land cannot be ours.

Upendra Baxi, director of the Indian Law Institute and a noted jurist, said the other day that “when the foundation of the proposed Ram Temple will be put up in Ayodhya, it will change decisively the history of India and no amount of condemnation of the Indian psyche or public self-flagellation will change that history.” He is right.  The whole purpose of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement is to change the history of India, nothing less, nothing more.

Those who do not see this do not know what India is.  For the first time in several centuries, the history of India is being made by Indians, call them Hindu, call them anything else, if the word Hindu sticks in your gullet, as it did in Nehru’s.  The Ayodhya movement is therefore a historic movement, far more historic than Gandhi’s Dandi March or the Quit India Movement.

Freedom does not mean flying your own flag or having your own government. Freedom means making your own history, writing it in your own blood on the pages of Time.  As I said earlier, fate precluded us from doing so for so many centuries.  Now the time has come to open up the pages of Time and begin writing what every great race in this world has been doing for so long, every great race except the Hindus.
Small-minded people like Namboodiripad or editors of Indo-Anglian papers who bring out special editions at Christmas time but never on Diwali, will not understand this, because they do not know Indian history.  Whatever little they understand has been learnt from foreign historians, and from foreign books like Das Capital.  We must pity these men. Namboodiripad thinks that the Ayodhya movement is communal, a word he has learnt from the British, for whom some of his friends spied, and he repeats it parrot-like, as children do their lessons in schools.  Communists are political parrots who have been intoning Marx for years without realising that the man is already out of date.  All over Europe, his corpse is being exhumed for public exhibition.  But Indian communists are half a century behind everybody else, including their own brethren elsewhere.  Because their own faith has come down crumbling, and that too in less than three quarters of a century, they have started cursing other faiths.

But we Hindus were not born yesterday. We were not born in the British Museum and did not emerge from dog-eared copies of ancient history books.  We are history personified, history with a capital H. And we are going to survive for another five thousand years, not just fifty years, as Namboodiripad’s gods did.
I simply cannot understand what is so communal about a community trying to build a temple, the most honourable of acts, in their own land.  Would anyone deny Catholics their right to put up a church in Rome? Would anyone say no if the Saudis wanted to build a mosque in Mecca? Why on earth should there be a mosque in Ayodhya of all places? How would they feel if someone tried to build a Rama temple in Mecca?  The Babari mosque was built by Babar who had no business to be in India.  He came here as a conqueror but the right of a conqueror ceases as soon as he ceases to be a conqueror.  This country is now ours, not Babar’s and what is all this freedom worth if we cannot undo a wrong? That is also what history is, the undoing of a patently wrong act committed by a conqueror in the full flush of power.  This is what I meant when I said that we are going to re-write history, for, I repeat again, that is precisely the meaning of freedom.

I consider the time we were under foreign conquerors, no matter where they came from and who they were-and also how they came-as the most shameful time of our history.  This is what Gandhi also said and that is why we vowed to throw the British out.  If the British were foreigners, so were the Moghuls, and so is everything they left behind.  We have taken over old British firms and Indianised them.  We have taken over their railways, their ports and harbours, their buildings, their offices, even their vice-regal house.  We would have been perfectly within our rights to demolish their leftovers including the vice-regal house.  Mahatma Gandhi actually wanted to turn that house into a hospital.

Surely, if we can do all that, we can also take over their churches and cathedrals, as also those of other conquerors that preceded them.  We have not, done that, but I do not see why not.  If the descendants of these conquerors believe that their houses of worship are too important to be treated like other buildings they left behind, surely you cannot blame the Hindus if they think that their houses of worship are also too important to be defiled by foreigners.  What is good for others, is also good for us.  You cannot have one law for others, just because they happen to be in a minority, and another for the majority because it happens to be too generous, or too timid to fight back.

Make no mistake.  We are going to change history and we have begun doing so on November 9, 1989.
Organiser, November 19, 1989

Historians Versus History - Defacing the Indian History

Ram Swarup

Wole Soyinka, African Nobel Laureate, delivering the 20th Nehru Memorial Lecture on November 13, 1988, made an important though by no means a new observation - that the colonial histories have been written from the European viewpoint.  Speaking about Indian histories, he said that “there is a big question mark on everything that the British historians have written”.  He added that serious efforts are being made by historians back home “to rewrite African history.”

We do not know what this project involves and how it is faring in Africa, but in India efforts in this direction have yielded meagre results.  Not that there has been a dearth of rewriters, but their talent has not been equal to their zeal.

The phrase “re-writing of history” leaves a bad taste in the mouth and it is offensive to our sense of truth.  Recent instances of rewriting have not helped to improve the image of the task and they inspired little confidence.  In most cases one did not know where legitimate rewriting ended and forgery began.  In practical terms, it has meant that history is written to support the latest party line, or the latest dictator.
What does, therefore, the rewriting of history mean? How far can we go in that direction? Does it mean saying good-bye to all sense of truth and objectivity, or does it mean only restoring some neglected truths and perspective? Some have looked at our present through the eyes of the past, but will it be any better to look at our past through the eyes of the present, or even go further and write about our past and present-in the spirit of “socialist realism”-in terms of the future, in terms of tasks conceived and planned by our avante garde for the future of the country?

There are other related questions.  Is the European history of Asia and Africa all wrong and does it need wholesale replacement? Or does it also have some valuable elements, particularly in its methodology if not in its conclusions, which should be retained and even further developed? In the Indian context, is the British history of India monolithic, all painted black by motivated historians? Or, is it also pluralistic and contains many views, some of them highly appreciative of the country’s culture, philosophy and artistic creations?

And also, looked at objectively, apart from the intentions of the writers and even in spite of their jaundiced views, have not their histories sometimes helped us to become better aware of our past and made us in some ways rediscover ourselves in the limited sense in which the words ‘past’ and ‘rediscovery’ are understood today?

To hold that all British history of India was wrong will be highly unrealistic and will have few buyers.  True, many British, historians were prejudiced.  But there were also others who had genuine curiosity and in spite of their pre-conceived notions, they tried to do their job faithfully in the spirit of objectivity.  In the pursuit of their researches, they applied methods followed in Europe.  They collected, collated and compared old manuscripts.  They desciphered old, forgotten scripts and in the process discovered an important segment of our past.  They developed linguistics, archaeology, carbon-dating, numismatics; they found for us ample evidence of India in Asia.  They discovered for us much new data, local and international.  True, many times they tried to twist this data and put fanciful constructions on it, but this new respect for facts imposed its own discipline and tended to evolve objective criteria.  Because of the objective nature of the criteria, their findings did not always support their prejudices and preconceived notions.  For example, their data proved that India represented an ancient culture with remarkable continuity and widespread influence and that it had a long and well-established tradition of self-rule and self-governing republics, and free institutions and free discussion.

However, while admitting these positive factors, it is also true that the British historians distorted Indian history on some most essential points.  The distortion was not conscious but was unconscious; however, it was not less real and potent on that account.

British Historians

The mind of British scholars was shaped by their position as rulers of a fast-expanding Empire and by its need to consolidate itself ideologically and politically.  As rulers, they felt a new racial and cultural superiority and, reinforced by their religion, developed a strong conviction of their civilizing mission.  Many of them also felt a great urge to bring the blessings of Christian morals and a Christian God to a benighted paganhood, as long as the attempt did not endanger the Empire.

The rulers had also more palpable political needs.  The subject people should have no higher notion of their past beyond their present status, which they should also learn to accept without murmur and even with thankfulness.  The British rulers had an interest in telling the Indian people that the latter had never been a nation but a conglomerate of miscellaneous people drawn from diverse sources and informed by no principle of unity; that their history had been an history of invaders and conquerors and that they had never known indigenous rule; and that, indeed, they were indifferent to self-rule and that so long as their village-life was intact, they did not bother who ruled at the Centre. All these lessons were tirelessly taught and dutifully learnt, so much so that even after the British have left, these assumptions and categories still shape our larger political thinking and historical perspective.  That India is multi-racial, multi-national, multi-linguistic, multi-cultural painfully trying to acquire a principle of unity under their aegis is also the assumption of our own new leaders and elite.

These were the basic attitudes and unspoken interests that shaped the minds of the British historians, but within this framework there was room enough for individual preferences and temperamental peculiarities.  Some of them could show their genuine appreciation for Hindu language, grammar, architecture, and other, cultural achievements, but this appreciation would not go beyond a certain point, nor in a direction which began to feed the people's wider national consciousness and pride in themselves as an ancient nation.  In this respect too, our intellectual elite follow the lead of the British scholars.  Many of them-unless they are Marxists or Macaulayists - are not without a measure of appreciation and pride for some of our old cultural creations.  But this appreciation does not extend to that larger culture itself which put forth those creations, and that religion and spirit in which that culture was rooted and those people and that society which upheld that religion and that culture.

We are told that the British highlighted Hindu-Muslim differences.  They certainly did.  But they had no interest in telling the Indians that their forefathers shared a common religion, that some of them got converted under peculiar circumstances, that those circumstances were no longer valid, and that they should not lose their consciousness of their original and wider fold.  On the other hand, the way the British wrote their history perpetuated the myth of a Muslim rule and a Muslim period which could not but accentuate Hindu-Muslim differences and promote Muslim separatism.

The main interest of the British was to write a history which justified their presence in India.  They were imperial rulers and by their situation and function they felt a bond of sympathy and affinity with the rulers that had preceded them.  They held India by the right of conquest; therefore, they had to recognise the legitimacy of this right in the case of the Moghuls, the Afghans and the Arabs too.

But this justification was too crude and naked for the British conscience.  To assuage it, the British offered a legal and moral alibi.  They held that they were legitimate successors of the Moghuls and represented continuity with India’s past.  The Moghuls were presented as empire builders, those who united India and gave it law and order, peace and stability - the natural blessings of an Imperial order.  And the British themselves were merely the successors of the Imperial rights of the Moghuls and upheld the Imperial authority of Delhi.  Whatever elevated Moghul authority at Delhi, elevated their imperial authority too.

Facts sometimes compelled the British historians to speak of cruelties and vandalism of the Muslim rule but this did not stop them from upholding its authority.  For they knew that the myth of Imperialism is one and that the glory of the Moghul rulers and the myth of their invincibility added to the glory and the myth of the British Empire itself.

Thus all these factors made the British give a new boost to the Muslim rule in India. While trying to legitimise their own rule, they also gave to their predecessor a kind of legitimacy which they never had in the eyes of the Indian people.  In fact, in the larger national consciousness, the Muslim rule had as little legitimacy as the British rule had later on.  Both were considered as foreign impositions and resisted as such as far as time, opportunity and the prevailing power equation allowed it.

But by the same token and for the same reason this resistance, long and stubborn, was underplayed by British historians and presented as “revolts” or “rebellions” against the legitimate Imperial authority of the Centre.  They felt, and quite rightly from their viewpoint, that Indian history should have nothing to show that its people waged many battles and repulsed many invaders.  Thus, in this way, India came to have a history which is the history of its invaders, whose dominion its people accepted meekly.

Muslim Historians

Even before the British came on the stage, Muslim historians had written similar histories.  Those histories were mostly annals written by scribes or munshis employed by Muslim kings.  The task of these annalists was to glorify Islam and their immediate patrons, a task which they performed with great zeal and rhetoric.  In the performance of this task, they resorted to no moral or intellectual disguise.  The glory of Islam and the extension of Darul-Islam (the Muslim equivalent of the British “Empire”) was self-justified and needed no artificial props.  They spoke of the massacres of the infidels, of their forcible conversions, of their temples raced and of similar tyrannies perpetrated with great rejoice, as Sir H.M. Elliot points out.

“Hindu” Historians

The results were no better when the annalist employed happened to be a Hindu.  Elliot again observes that from “one of that nation we might have expected to have learnt what were the feelings, hopes, faiths, fears, and yearnings, of his subject race,” but this was not to be.  On the other hand, in his writing, there is “nothing to betray his religion or his nation… With him, a Hindu is an ‘infidel’, and a Muhammadan ‘one of true faith’,… With him, when Hindus are killed, ‘their souls are despatched to hell’, and when a Muhammadan suffers the same fate, he ‘drinks the cup of martyrdom’… He speaks of the ‘light of Islam shedding its refulgence on the world’.”

But what comes next intrigues Elliot even more.  Even after the tyrant was no more and the falsification of history through terror was no longer necessary (Elliot quotes Tacitus : Teberii ac Neronis res ob metum falsae), he finds that there is still “not one of this slavish crew who treats the history of his native country subjectively, or presents us with the thoughts, emotions, and raptures which a long oppressed race might be supposed to give vent to.”

This tribe of Hindu munshis or the “slavish crew” of Elliot have a long life and show a remarkable continuity.  Instead of diminishing, their number has multiplied with time.  Today, they dominate the universities, the media and the country’s political thinking.

They were reinforced by another set of historians - those who carry the British tradition.  One very important thing in common with them is that they continue to look at India through the eyes of Muslim and British rulers even long after their rule has ceased.

Elliot regards the problem with moral indignation but the phenomenon involves deep psychological and sociological factors.  It is more complex than the question of patronage enjoyed or tyranny withdrawn.
Hindus have lived under very trying circumstances for many centuries and during this time their psyche suffered much damage.  Short term tyranny may prove a challenge but long-term, sustained tyranny tends to benumb and dehumanize.  Under continued military and ideological attack, many Hindus lost initiative and originality; they lost naturalness and self-confidence; they lost pride in themselves, pride in their past and in their history and in their nation.  They learnt to live a sort of underground life, furtively and apologetically.  Some tried to save their self-respect by identifying themselves with the thoughts and sentiments of the rulers.  They even adopted the rulers’ contempt for their own people.

These attitudes imbibed over a long period have become our second nature, and they have acquired an independence and dynamism of their own.  We have begun to look at ourselves through the eyes of our rulers.

Post-Independence Period

One would have thought that all this would change after we attained Independence, but this did not happen.  It shows that to throw off an intellectual and cultural yoke is far more difficult than to throw off a political yoke.

By and large we have retained our old history written by our rulers.  The leaders of the nationalist movement are quite content with it, except that they have added to it one more chapter at the end which depicts them in a super-heroic role.  The new leaders have no greater vision of Indian history and they look forward to no greater task than to perpetuate themselves.

In fact they have developed a vested interest in old history which propagates that India was never a nation, that it had not known any freedom or freedom-struggle in the past.  By sheer contrast, it exalts their role and proves something they would like to believe - that they are the first nation-builders, that they led the first freedom struggle India has ever known and, indeed, she became free for the first time under their aegis.  This highly flatters their ego, and to give themselves this unique status we find that their attacks on India’s past are as vicious and ignorant as those of the British and Muslim historians.  No wonder histories continue to be written with all the contempt we learnt to feel for our past, and with all the lack of understanding we developed for our culture during the days of foreign domination.

A new source of distortion was opened during the period of the freedom struggle itself.  Nationalist leaders strove to win Muslim support for the Independence struggle.  In the hope of achieving this end, Indian nationalism itself began to rewrite the history of medieval times.  Under this motivation, Muslim rule became ‘indigenous’, and Muslim kings became ‘national’ kings, and even nationalists, those who fought them began to receive a low score.  R.C. Mojumdar tells us how, under this motivation, national leaders created an “imaginary history”, one of them even proclaiming that “Hindus were not at all a subject race during the Muslim rule,” and how “these absurd notions, which would have been laughed at by Indian leaders at the beginning of the 19th century, passed current as history… at the end of that century”.

Marxist Distortions

Marxists have taken to rewriting Indian history on a large scale and it has meant its systematic falsification.  They have a dogmatic view of history and for them the use of any history is to prove their dogma.  Their very approach is hurtful to truth.  But this is a large subject and we would not go into it here, even though it is related intimately to the subject under discussion.

The Marxists’ contempt for India, particularly the India of religion, culture and philosophy, is deep and theoretically fortified.  It exceeds the contempt ever shown by the most die-hard imperialists.  Some of the British had an orientalist’s fascination for the East or an administrator's paternal concern for their wards, but Marxists suffer from no such sentimentality.  The very “Asiatic mode of production” was primitive and any, “superstructure” of ideas and culture built on that foundation must be barbaric too and it had better go.

Not many realize how thoroughly European Marx was in his orientation.  He treated all Asia and Africa as an appendage of the West and, indeed, of the Anglo-Saxon Great Britain.  He borrowed all his theses on India from British rulers and fully subscribed to them.  With them he believes that “Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history,” and that what “we call its history, is the history of successive intruders.” With them he also believes that India “has neither known nor cared for self-rule.” In fact, he rules out self-rule for India altogether and in this matter gives her no choice.  He says that the question is “not whether the English bad a right to conquer India, but whether we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the Persian, by the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton.” His own choice was clear.

Indian Marxists fully accept this thesis, except that they are also near-equal admirers of the “Turkish” conquest of India.  Indian Marxists get quite lyrical about this conquest and find quite fulfilment in it.  Let us illustrate the point with the example of M.N. Roy.  We are told that he gave up Marxism but he kept enough of it to retain his admiration for Muslim Imperialism.  He admires the “historical role of Islam” in a book of the same name and praises the “Arab Empire” as a “magnificent monument to the memory of Mohammad.” He hails Muslim invasion of India and tells us how “it was welcomed as a message of hope and freedom by the multitudinous victims of Brahmanical reaction.”

Earlier, Roy had spoken of “our country” which “had become almost liberated from the Moslem Empire.” But that was long ago when he was merely a nationalist and had not come under the influence of Marxism.  Marxism teaches a new appreciation for Imperialism; it idealises old Imperialisms and prepares a people for a new one.  Its moving power is deep-rooted self-alienation and its greatest ally is cultural and spiritual illiteracy.

Marxist writers and historians of a sort are all over the place and they are well entrenched in the academic and media sectors.  They have a great say in University appointments and promotions, in the awarding of research grants, in drawing up syllabi, and in the choosing and prescribing of text-books.  No true history of India is possible without countering their philosophy, ideas and influence.

Indian Express, January 15, 1989


In the Name of Religion - Expansionist religions

Sita Ram Goel
We shall now take up the explanation provided by the theology of Islam derived from the Quran and the Hadis.

Ibn Ishaq, the first biographer of the Prophet, devotes many pages to a description of Arab polytheism at the time when Islam started taking shape.  Every Arab household, he tells us, had an idol of some God or Goddess.  He also gives the names of many idols which were housed in sanctuaries maintained by different tribes across the Arab peninsula.  The Ka‘ba at Mecca which housed 360 idols was only one of these sanctuaries, though it was the most prestigious.  One of the idols in the Ka’ba was named Allah.  Though it had some primacy over other idols, it was far from being an exclusive deity.  Besides, there were many sacred groves and places of pilgrimage visited by Arabs on special occasions.

At the same time, Ibn Ishaq informs us that Monotheism was becoming an attractive creed among some sections of the Arab elite.  It was the creed of the Roman, Iranian and Abyssinian empires which inspired awe and admiration among the Arabs at that time.  Many Jews and Christians were present, individually or in communities, in the more important Arab towns.  These People of the Book took great pride in their worship of the one and only God and looked down upon the Arabs who had had no Prophet, who possessed no Book and who worshipped stones and stocks.  They aroused a sense of inferiority in the minds of those Arabs who came in close contact with them but who were not equipped with an alternate theology that could defend their own Gods and Goddesses.  Such Arabs looked forward to the day when Arabia also would have a Prophet and a Book of its own.

Those who have compared the Bible and the Quran know how close the two are in spirit and language on the subject of idols and idol-worshippers.  Like Jehovah of the Bible, Allah also advances his claim to be the one and only God.  He denounces the mushriks (idolaters) as the doubly damned category of kafirs (unbelievers) when compared to the other category, the People of the Book.  The idols, proclaims Allah while abrogating the so-called Satanic Verses, are mere names invented by the ancestors of the Arabs.  They have neither eyes nor ears nor hands nor feet and can, therefore, neither help nor harm.  They cannot respond to prayers and will fail to save their worshippers from bell on the Day of Judgement.  They will themselves burn in the fire of hell together with those who worship them.  Meanwhile, they render their worshippers napak (abominable) in the eyes of Allah.

In the early days of Islam, Muslims were too weak to practice iconoclasm at Mecca.  They had to rest content with expressing their contempt for idols.  Food which had first been offered to idols was spurned.  Names which referred to some pagan God or Goddess were changed as soon as the bearers entered the fold of Islam.  But the clarion call had come.  “Herd them together,” said Allah, “those who commit transgression and those whom they worship, and start them on the road to hellfire” (Quran, 37.22-23). The Prophet saw Amr bin Lubayy “dragging his intestines in Fire.” Amr was a second century king, supposed to have brought idols from Syria and set them up in Arabia.

Medina where Muslims were stronger witnessed some acts of iconoclasm even before the Prophet migrated to that city.  Ibn Ishaq tells us how the idol of Amr Ibnul-Jamuh was stolen at night by a group of Muslims and thrown into a cesspit, again and again till Amr lost faith in it and became a Muslim.  At nearby Quba, Sahl broke up the idols of his tribe at night and took the pieces to a Muslim woman who used them as fuel.

The Prophet made iconoclasm a pious performance for all Muslims for all time to come when he practised it himself on the very day he conquered Mecca.  “When the Prophet,” writes Ibn Ishaq, “prayed the noon prayer on the day of the conquest he ordered that all the idols which were round the Ka‘ba should be collected and burnt with fire and broken up.” Citing some other sources, the Encyclopaedia of Islam says, “Muhammad when he entered Mecca as victor is stated to have struck them in the eyes with the end of his bow before he had them dragged down and destroyed by fire.” Pictorial representations of Ali standing on the shoulders of the Prophet and tearing down the idol of Hubal from top of a Ka‘ba wall, have been published by Shias.1

Soon after, expeditions were sent to other parts of Arabia for doing what had been done at Mecca.  Idols were smashed and temples destroyed or converted into mosques everywhere, Muslim poets vied with each other to record the events in rapturous verse.  Fazal bin al-Mulawwih sang:
Had you seen Muhammad and his troops,
The day the idols were smashed when he entered,
You would have seen God’s light become manifest,
In darkness covering the face of idolatry.
And Kab bin Malik:
We foresook al-Lat, al-Uzza and Wudd
We stripped off their necklaces and earrings.
And al-Mustaughir Bin Rabia who was a warrior as well as a poet:
I smashed Ruda so completely that
I left it a black ruin in a hollow.
“Growing Islam,” concludes the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “was from the very beginning intent upon the destruction of all traces of pagan idolatry and was so successful that the anti-quarians of the second and third century of the Hadira could glean only very scanty details.  Some of the idols were made use of for other purposes, as for example, the idol Dhul-Kalasa… which was worshipped at Tabala, a place on the road from Mekka to Yaman in the time of Ibn al-Kalbi (about 200 A.D.), was used as a stepping stone under the door of the mosque at Tabala.  Other stones which had been worshipped as idols were actually used as corner-stones of the Ka‘ba.”

Muslim historians tell us on the authority of the Prophet that idolaters of Arabia had set up idols in places which were meant to be mosques when they were established for the first time by Abraham.  The mosque of Ka‘ba, we are told, had been built by Abraham at the very centre of the earth.2  Those who dismiss Rama as mythological gossip and deny him a place of birth at Ayodhya may well enquire whether Abraham was a historical person who actually presided over the building of the Ka‘ba.

It is, however, recorded history that the armies of Islam did everywhere what had been done in Arabia, as they advanced into Iran, Khorasan, Transoxiana, Seistan, Afghanistan and India.  Hundreds of thousands of Fire Temples of the Zoroastrians, Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples disappeared or yielded place to mosques, ziarats and dargahs.  Modern archaeology, has reconstructed what happened along the trail of Islamic invasion of all these ancient lands.

Maulana Minhaj-us-Siraj, the thirteenth century historian, sums up the theology of Islam vis-a-vis idols and idol-temples when he comes to Mahmud of Ghazni in his Tabqat-i-Nasiri. “He was endowed,” he writes, “with great virtues and vast abilities; and the same predominant star was in the ascendant at his birth as appeared at the dawn of Islam itself.  When Sultan Mahmud ascended the throne of sovereignty his illustrious deeds became manifest unto all mankind within the pale of Islam when he converted so many thousands of idol-temples into masjids and captured many of the cities of Hindustan… He led an army to Naharwala of Gujarat, and brought away Manat, the idol from Somnath, and had it broken into four parts, one of which was cast before the centre of the great masjid at Ghaznin, the second before the gateway of the Sultan’s palace, and the third and fourth were sent to Makkah and Madinah respectively.” Mahmud’s coins struck at Lahore in the seventh year of his reign describe him as the “right hand of the Caliph” and “the breaker of idols.”

This is the simple and straightforward explanation of why Islamic invaders desecrated the idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, destroyed Hindu temples and converted them into mosques.  It covers all facts, completely and consistently, and leaves no loopholes.
Indian Express, May 21, 1989


1 When Muhammad entered the Ka‘ba after his conquest of Mecca by overwhelming force, he declared, “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished” (Sahih Muslim, 4397).  Ram Swarup comments, “It takes more than an invading army or crusaders or a demolition squad with sledge-hammers to establish the domain of Truth… Similarly, it is not that easy to get over ‘falsehood’… True spiritual demolition involves the demolition of desire-gods and ego-gods, the demolition of the false gods that reside in conceited theologies, in pretentious revelations and fond belief…” (Understanding Islam Through Hadis, Voice of India, Second Reprint, 1987, Pp. 115-16.)
2 The Prophet of Islam gave not only a new, ‘religion’ to his country-men but also a new history of Arabia, the same as the prophets of Secularism have been doing in India since the days of Pandit Nehru’s dominance.


A Need to Face the Truth - Religious Expansionism and Atrocities

Ram Swarup
The article “Hideaway Communalism” (Indian Express, February 5, 1989), is unusual.  It discusses a question which has been a taboo and speaks on it with a frankness rare among Indian intellectuals.

Similarly, in his articles “The Tip of An Iceberg” and “In the Name of Religion” (February 9, May 21) Sita Ram Goel brings to the subject unequalled research and discusses it in a larger historical perspective.
In the history of Islam, iconoclasm and razing other peoples’ temples are not aberrations - stray acts of zealous but misguided rulers - but are central to the faith.  They derive their justification and validity from the Quranic Revelation and the Prophet’s Sunna or practice.  It is another matter though that these could not always be implemented in their full theological rigour due to many unfavourable circumstances - an exigency for which Islamic theology makes ample provisions.

Early Islam

Shrines and idols of the unbelievers began to be destroyed during the Prophet’s own time and, indeed, at his own behest. Sirat-un-Nabi, the first pious biography of the Prophet, tells us how during the earliest days of Islam, young men at Medina influenced by Islamic teachings repeatedly crept into a house every night and carried its idol and threw “it on its face into a cesspit.”

However, desecration and destruction began in earnest when Mecca was conquered.  Ali was chosen to destroy the idols at Ka‘ba which, we are told, he did mounting on the shoulders of the Prophet.  Umar was chosen for destroying the pictures on the walls of the shrine.  After this, as Tarikh-i-Tabari tells us, raiding parties were sent in all directions to destroy the images of deities held in special veneration by different tribes including the images of al-Manat, al-Lat and al-Uzza, intercessories of the Satanic Verses.  Sa’d was sent to destroy the shrine of al-Manat, the deity of the tribes of Aus and Khazraj.  When the shrine of al-Lat was invaded, its devotees resisted.  But finding themselves overpowered, they surrendered and became Muslims.  The women-worshippers wept to see how their deity was
“Deserted by Her servants,
Who did not show enough manliness in defending Her.”
Similarly, Walid was sent by the prophet to destroy the idol of al-Uzza at Nakhla, venerated by the tribes of Kinan and Nadar.  Overawed, the guardians left the deity to defend herself.  They called out:
O Uzza! make an annihilating attack on Khalid,
O Uzza! if you do not kill the man Khalid
Then bear a swift punishment or become a Christian.
Why Christian? The word should have been Muslim.  It seems the tradition belongs to the very early period of Islam when at least, on the popular level, Christians and Muslims were mistaken for each other.  For, both shared a common outlook, both indulged in forced conversions and both destroyed shrines belonging to others.

Semitic Revelation

The fact is that the Revelation of the Prophet of Islam does not stand alone.  It is rooted in the older Judaic Revelation from which Christianity also derives.  The two Revelations differ in some particulars but they have important similarities.  The God of both is exclusive and brooks no rivals, no partner.  He demands exclusive loyalty and commands that his followers would “worship no other God.” But though so demanding in their worship, he does not make himself known to them directly.  On the other hand, he communicates his will to them indirectly through a favourite messenger or prophet, or a special incarnation.

This God is so different from God in other religious traditions.  For example, in Hindu tradition, a God is not exclusive.  He lives in friendliness with other Gods.  In fact, “other” Gods are His own manifestations.  In this tradition, He also has no rigid form and is conceived in widely different ways: plurally, singly, monistically.  He also recognises no single favourite intermediary but reveals Himself to all who approach Him with devotion and in wisdom.  No Semitic protocol here.  The Hindu tradition also accords fullest freedom of worship.  Not only every one has a right to worship his God in his own way but every God is also entitled to the worship of His own devotees.  Freedom indeed, both for men as well as for Gods.  It was on this principle that early Christians enjoyed their freedom of worship.

“Chosen” People

The other side of the coin of a “Jealous God” is the concept of a “Chosen People” or a Church or Ummah.  The chosen God has a chosen people (and even his chosen enemies).  Both assist each other.  While their God helps the believers in fighting their neighbours, the believers help their God in fighting his rival-Gods.

It is common for men and women everywhere to invoke the help of their Gods in their various undertakings, big or small.  But the God of the believers also calls upon them to fight for his greater glory, to fight his enemies and to extend his dominion on the earth.  In short, they are to become his swordsmen and salesmen, his “witnesses”, his martyrs and Ghazis.  They must fight not only their unbelieving neighbours but also, even more specifically, their (neighbours’) Gods.  For these Gods are not only the Gods of their enemies, but they are also the enemies of their God, which is even worse.

The believers have taken this god-given mission seriously. The Hedaya (Guidance), the Muslim Law Book par excellence, quotes the Prophet and lays down: “We are directed to make war upon men until such time as they shall confess.  There is no God but Allah.”

Earthly Reward

However, it is not all God and his glory all the time.  The undertaking has its practical side too.  The crusaders are not without their earthly rewards.  They work to extend the sovereignty of their God and, in the process, their own too.  A pious tradition proclaims that the earth belongs to Allah and his Prophet.  Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that the infidels are merely squatters, and they should be dispossessed and the land returned to its rightful owners, the believers.

Today, the intellectual fashion is to emphasize the political and economic aims of imperialism and to neglect its theological component.  But history shows that the most durable imperialisms have been those which had the support of a continuing theological motive.  Such imperialisms dominated without a conscience - or, rather, whatever conscience they had supported their domination.  The power of faith killed all possible doubts and self-criticism.

“Hideaway Communalism” quotes extensively from the Foreword of Maulana Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi which he contributed to the book, Hindustan under Islamic Rule.  These quotes show that in its self-estimation and self-righteousness, the white-man’s burden of civilising the world is a poor match to Islam’s responsibility of bringing the earth under Allah and his Prophet.


Semitic “My-Godism” described as Monotheism has another dimension: Iconoclasm.  In fact, the two are two sides of the same coin.  When worshippers of the Semitic God came into Contact with their neighbours, it was not clear what they abhorred more, their Gods or their idols.  In point of fact, they made no such fine distinction.  Trained as they were, they made war on both indiscriminately.

The Judaic God commands his worshippers that when they enter the land of their enemies, they will “destroy their altars, and break their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graves images with fire” (Bible, Deut. 7.5). Perhaps the Judaic Revelation was meant to apply only to the territory of the Promised Land; but when Christianity and, in due course, Islam became its proud inheritors and adopted the Biblical God, its operation became university.  Wherever the two creeds went, temple-razing followed.  Today, Christianity seems to present a different face but during the better part of its career it was stoutly iconoclastic In the Mediterranean countries, in Northern Europe, in Asia and the two Americas, it destroyed shrines of the pagans with unparalleled thoroughness and perfect self-satisfaction.  When America was discovered, the Benedictine monks who came in the train of Columbus boasted of having destroyed single-handed 170,000 images in Haiti alone.  Juan de Zummarage, the first Bishop of Mexico, writing as early as 1531, claimed that he destroyed 500 temples and 20,000 idols of the heathens.  In our own country, in Goa, Jesuit fathers destroyed many Hindu temples.

Islam did the same.  Wherever it went, it carried fire and sword and destroyed the temples of the conquered people.  Goel has documented some of the cases but as he himself says they represent merely the tip of an iceberg.

Islam’s Religious Policy

Like its monotheism, Semitic iconoclasm too was essentially a hegemonistic idea.  No imperialism is secure unless it destroys the pride, culture and valour of a conquered people.  People who retain their religions, their Gods and their priests make poor subjects and remain potential rebels.

Islam knew this and it developed a full-fledged theory of Religious domination.  Temples were destroyed not for their “hoarded wealth” as Marxist historians propagate - who ever heard of Hindus being specially in the habit of hoarding their wealth in their temples? - nor were they destroyed by invaders in the first flush of their victory.  On the other hand, these formed part of a larger policy of religious persecution which was followed in peace-time too when the Muslim rule was established.  The policy of persecution had a purpose-it was meant to keep down the people and to disarm them culturally and spiritually, to destroy their pride and self-respect, and to remind them that they were Zimmis, an inferior breed.

According to this policy, Zimmis were allowed to exercise their religion in low key so long as they accepted civic and political disabilities and paid Jizya “in abasement”.  There were many restrictions, particularly in cities.  The Muslim Law (Hedaya) lays down that “as the tokens of Islam (such as public prayers, festivals, and so forth) appear in the cities, Zimmis should not be permitted to celebrate the tokens of infidelity there.” Some of these restrictions placed on Hindu processions and celebrations still continue.  This is a legacy of the Muslim period.

The same law laid down that the infidels could not build new temples though they could repair old ones.  Probably this explains why there is no record of a worthwhile Hindu temple built since 1192 in Delhi.  The first such temple Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, came up in 1938, after a lapse of more than seven hundred years.

No Easy Solution

The foregoing discussion shows that the problem is not that of the Rama Janmabhumi Temple of Ayodhya, or the Krishna Temple of Mathura or the Visveshvara Temple of Varanasi.  In its deeper aspect, the problem relates to an aggressive theology and political ideology which created an aggressive tradition of history.  Needless to say that the problem in all its huge dimensions admits of no easy solution.  In an ordinary situation, one could appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober, from a man’s passion to his reason and conscience.  But in the present case when Islamic theology is on the side of its historical practice and its more aggressive aims, this option is hardly available. But even then while showing, by exercising firmness, that aggression will not pay, we must yet be patient and understanding.  We must realize that the problem is not Muslims but Islam or Islamic theology.  Therefore, this theology needs a more critical examination than has been hitherto done.  We must properly study Revelatory religions, their Gods and their prophets, their theories of special covenants and favoured ummahs, their doctrine of one God and two humanities, their categories of believers and infidels or pagans, their theory of Prophetism, their divinely ordained mission to convert and crusade.

It is a task which needs the creative labour of all seekers and articulators of truth.  Closed creeds are a threat both to deeper spirituality and to deeper humanity, and they badly need some sort of glasnost, openness and freedom.  A wider discussion will help them to open up.

In this task, Muslim intellectuals can play an important role.  In fact, it is expected of them.  It may start a new process of rethinking among the Muslims on their fundamentals - a different and truer sort of fundamentalism than they have hitherto known.

It is also a task which imposes an inescapable duty on Hindu-Buddhist thinkers with their inheritance of Yoga.  In fact, India’s Yoga has a lot to contribute to the discussion.  We are told that Revelations come from Gods.  But from another angle, Revelations and Gods themselves come from man and his psyche, as Yoga teaches us.  This psyche in turn has its various levels of purity and inwardness and every level projects its own God, Revelation and Theology.  Therefore, not all Gods and Revelations have the same purity.  In fact, some of them are not worthy enough and they support an equally questionable politics.
Such a conclusion may disappoint many Hindu wise men who fondly cling to the belief that all religions are the same and all prophets preach and say the same things.  But they must learn not to evade issues and even while seeking unities, they must yet learn to recognise differences where they exist.

At the end, we again return to “Hideaway Communalism” which tells us of “evasion and concealment” and the need to “face the truth.” However, the sorry fact is that in order to avoid facing truth we have built up an elaborate system of evasion and concealment which protects not merely “hideaway communalism”, but also shields and even fosters more sinister forces of a “hideaway Imperialism” and a “hideaway theology” which distorts relations between man and Gods and between man and man.  The need is to become aware of the problem at a deeper level and in its larger antecedents and consequences.

Indian Express, June 18, 1989