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What was Gandhi’s Caste and what did Congress represent?
by Ram Puniyani
Volumes have been written on Gandhi and Indian National Congress. There are diverse views about both. The views on them depend on the ideology of the person giving these views">
Why Dalits Are Looking To Embrace Religions Other Than Hinduism?
by Ram Puniyani
The politics of Hindu nationalism is the polar opposite of the path and goal of those oppressed by the caste system. One recalls Bhimrao Ambedkar, standing for social justice; democracy went on to support the burning of Manusmriti, while it has been the core book eulogized by RSS ideologues like M S Golwalkar.
Hindu Rashtra: Is it good for Hindus?
by Ram Puniyani
Hindu Rashtra is the goal of Hindu nationalist politics, which is also called as Hindutva. In contrast to Hinduism, Hindutva is a politics of in the name of Hinduism with Brahmanism as the core of the same. In nutshell Hindutva is a politics based on Brahmanical values of caste and gender hierarchy. The concept of Hindutva-Hindu nation is a modern one, which developed as a parallel to Islamic nationalism, and in opposition to the concept of Indian Nationalism. Indian nationalism developed during colonial period as the inclusive nationalism of people of all religions, different castes, languages and regions based on values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
What is our Nationality: Indian or Hindu?
by Ram Puniyani
Debate around the words Hindu, Hinduism, Hindutva is not new. Recently the assertion by Mohan Bhagwat, the Sarsanghchalk (Supreme Dictator) of RSS that ‘everyone living in India is Hindu’ and that Muslims might be Muslim by religion but they are Hindus by nationality’, is yet another interpretation of Word Hindu. ...Read More
Indian Republic 2017; Times are a Changing
by Ram Puniyani
As we pass the republic day (2017) many questions haunt our mind. What has been the direction of our politics in last few decades, does it conform to what was expected of our Republic as outlined in our Constitution? Are we living up to the dreams and visions of the freedom fighters and the founding fathers of India? ...Read More
Demonitization: An Assault on people
by Ram Puniyani
The month old gamble of Mr. Modi (November 2016) has put the whole country in an unprecedented chaos. Nearly seventy people have died in the queues to withdraw the money from Banks/ATMs. ...Read More
Election Season and Return of Lord Ram
by Ram Puniyani
Lord Ram has served the BJP very well so far. It was the Ram temple issue around which seeds of the divisive politics were sown all over the country. The Rath yatra of Lal Krishna Advani precipitated deeper polarization and was followed by the trail of violence. ...Read More
Kandhamal: Long Wait for Justice
by Ram Puniyani
Today, nearly a decade later when we are remember with pain the horrific violence of Kandhmal in 2008, many issues related to the state of affairs of communal violence, state of minorities, the state of justice delivery system come to one’s mind. ...Read More
A World Gripped by the Cancer of Terror
by Ram Puniyani
The current times are very disturbing as so many innocent lives are being lost and social resources being destroyed due to the dastardly phenomenon of terror. To cap it all, this phenomenon has been linked to religion in the popular perception. ...Read More
Did Ashoka’s embracing Buddhism, promoting Ahimsa Weaken India?
by Ram Puniyani
Past is used by communal politics for their present political agenda.Now we are witnessing the distortion of ancient history being marshaled to undermine Buddhism vis a vis Brahmanism. ...Read More
Bogey of 'Exodus of Hindus from Kairana'
Attempted Polarization in UP by Ram Puniyani by Ram Puniyani
The home of Vijay Jain and Praveen Jain in Kairana. Vijay died 10 years ago, Praveen left Kairana a year ago. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)...Read More
Modi Sarkar: Unfolding of Hindutva Agenda
E book by Ram Puniyani
Modi came to power with a bang. Riding on the support of the Corporate World, the RSS combine, the media blitz and the promises of sky; he managed to get 31% of votes and 262 seats in the Lok Sabha. This is the first time BJP managed a simple majority in lower house of Parliament. This also became an occasion for Modi-BJP-RSS to unfold their agenda in full. While economic promises have floundered, the protective policies for the average downtrodden have been partly retracted along with the claims of great economic achievement by RSS combine and its supporters. The reality of economic situation has forced the substantial section of media to take cognizance of the plight of the people and criticize the failure of the Government on economic and many other fronts..... READ FULL STORY
Welcoming 2016 - Idea of India
As we welcome the New Year (2016) with hope and optimism, the events of the year gone by flash to our mind; those events which are going to have influences in the times to come..... READ FULL STORY
Intolerance has gone up due to Sectarianism
The major factor leading to present atmosphere lies in the qualitative transformation of ‘hate for others’. The stereotyping of minorities has assumed horrendous proportions. Intolerance has been there earlier also, now it is changing qualitatively for the worse. We need to combat the threat of sectarian nationalism looming large on our democratic society, the threat of sectarian propaganda and politics leading to stifling of democratic space. And these are not the ordinary times, the divisive process, intolerance have assumed menacing proportions and cannot be hidden by the illusory growth story..... READ FULL STORY
A Secularist Responds to Minister Rajnath Singh..... READ FULL STORY
Returning honors is an attempt to save democracy
Last few weeks have seen a flood of ‘returning’ honors by writers, scientists and artists. These awardees in way have stood up to make themselves to be counted. There are also various statements from academics, historians, artists and scientists showing their concern about the growing intolerance and erosion of our plural values. ..... READ FULL STORY
Three Murders and a Lynching
Laws of nature cannot be applied to human society so directly. Still sometimes these have been used to explain-justify social catastrophes, “When a big tree falls. Earth shakes (in the aftermath of anti Sikh massacre 1984), ‘every action has equal and opposite reaction’ (during Gujarat carnage of 2002) are too well known. I have been very puzzled from last month or so since the scholars-writers, who have returned their honors and are being questioned as to why they did not do so when emergency happened or anti Sikh violence took place or when the mass migration of Kashmiri pundits took place or when the Mumbai train blasts killed hundreds of innocent lives. I am tempted to think of the laws of physics of ‘qualitative transformation’ during heating or cooling of water, the temperature remains the same but water becomes either steam or ice. ..... READ FULL STORY
Assault on Syncretic Traditions
The country is undergoing a regressive attack in different fields of life. Apart from the political undermining of secularism, pluralism and Indian nationalism, the cultural pluralism and valued syncretic traditions are also under severe attack. The intensity is increasing. On the back of the murders of dissenting rationalists (Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi), the bans on food,, a literary siege is being erected. The writers steeped in a multicultural, plural milieu are under attack on sectarian grounds. ..... READ FULL STORY
आहार और विचार पर प्रतिबंध के बीच पिसती आजादी
“असहिष्णुता, सामाजिक जीवन के किसी एक क्षेत्र में एकांत में ही नहीं फलती-फूलती बल्कि जीवन के विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में समांतर रूप से फैलती है। महाराष्ट्र में सत्ता में बैठी भाजपा के बहुमत वाली सरकार ने कुछ महीनों पहले बीफ बेचने और खाने पर प्रतिबंध लगाया था। इस फैसले ने मीट उद्योग से जुड़े कामगारों के सामने रोजगार का संकट पैदा कर दिया। मुंबई के सबसे बड़े देवनार बूचड़खाने के कामगार बेरोजगारी की मार से छटपटा रहे हैं। ”..... READ FULL STORY
Killing a Rationalist: Silencing Reason
The killing of Professor Maleeshappa Madhivallapa Kalburgi on 30th August 2015 came as a severe jolt to all those who are for an open, liberal society, who uphold the values of reason and are against blind faith......... READ FULL STORY
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: To Each Ones’ Own!
Some concerned citizens have filed a Public Interest Litigation (August 17 2015) to stop the highest award of Maharashtra Government, Maharashtra Bhushan to Babasaheb Purandare. Purandare is known for his work ‘Raja Shivaji Chatrapati’ and the play ‘Jaanata Raja’ (wise king) his is not the first time that such a controversy around Purandare has come up........ READ FULL STORY
What did Colonialism do to India?
A video of Shashi Tharoor speaking at Oxford on a debate related to the colonial period has been ‘viral’ on the social circuit for a while. In this video Tharoor makes a passionate plea to the British that they make reparations for the losses to Indian economy during the British rule....... READ FULL STORY
Saluting Courage: Memorial for Vasant and Rajab
Vasant Rao Hegishte and Rajab Ali Lakhani, close friends and workers of Congress Seva Dal, came to the streets to stop the 1946 killings. Vasant Rao trying to protect Muslims and Rajab Ali stood firm to save the Hindus. Both were done to death by the mobs...... READ FULL STORY
State must not organize Religious festivals
After staging the Yoga on 21st June 2015 on Raj Path, Delhi, Modi Sarkar has planned to celebrate Rakhi, Raksha Bandhan at a grand scale in late August. This plan has full approval of its parent organization, the RSS. Now a Hindu religious festival will be given the status of a national festival so blatantly. It surely is indication of the type of deeper agenda of narrow nationalism this Government has in mind? ..... READ FULL STORY
In the name of Islam?
The World at large has suffered massive inhuman acts of violence, terrorism in the name of Islam. There are many glaring insane, cruel acts which cannot be forgotten and condoned in any way. Be it the killing of nearly three thousand innocent people in the attack of 9/11 (which was upheld by Osama bin Laden), the attack on Peshawar school children, the abduction of schoolgirls by Boko Haram, attack on Charlie Hebdo, the violence by ISIS, all are equally condemnable and global society has to put its head together to stop this insanity. ..... READ FULL STORY
Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka: It’s not about King George
In the national anthem, ‘adhinayak’ refers to the ‘dispenser of human destiny’.Jana Gana Mana emerged as the most acceptable song to be the national anthem as it reflected the pluralism of the country..... READ FULL STORY
Where do Ram and Allah Live ?
Contrary to the belief of communal forces; for most of the medieval saints; the place of worship was within one’s own heart and soul.... READ FULL STORY
Manufacturing and Undermining National Icons: RSS Style
Many a social and political processes related to projection of some icons and undermining of the others.... READ FULL STORY
One Year of Modi Sarkar: Hate Speech Galore
The coming to power of Narendra Modi in a way gave an open license to all the affiliates of RSS combine to indulge in open hate speech against the religious minorities. The current agenda behind the hate speech is to consolidate the communal polarization of the society along lines of religion.
Bhakti-Sufi Traditions: Uniting Humanity
The essence of Sufi and Bhakti tradition are reminders to us that spirituality, morality part of the religion has been undermined in the current times. The inclusive-humane nature of these traditions needs to be upheld and the divisive-exclusionary versions of religions have to be ignored for better future of humanity.
The PEW Research Center has released a report (2nd April 2015); which gives the projections of populations in times to come. It says that in India the population of Hindus will fall down from present 79.5 % to 76.7% and the Muslim population will rise up to 18% by 2050. The population of Indian Muslims will overtake the population of Muslims in Indonesia and Pakistan.
Color Coding of Communal Politics
Whether Hindus and Muslims can ever live like this again, whether the composite culture which India inherits has any chance of survival in the prevalent divisive political scenario!
Ambedkar’s Ideology: Religion, Nationalism and Indian Constitution
The attempt by Mr. Bhagwat is like putting wool in the eyes of people to achieve their political goals and to get legitimacy from amongst the sections of people who are deeply wedded to ideological values of Ambedkar.
Political Ideology and Interpretation of History
Apart from the official school text books as such RSS has been running a chain of schools, Sarswati Shishu Mandirs, Ekal Vidyalayas and Vidya Bharati, which are using the version of History. It is this version form RSS stable schools, which they are proposing for the state run institutions. This is what will be a very divisive move for our plural country with immense diversity.
Attacking the Cross:Rise in Anti Christian Violence
Christian’s plight in recent times is something to which the concerned democratic rights individuals need to wake up to. This seems to be unfolding of the script, Pehle Kasai Phir Isai, (First Muslim, then Christians).
Religion, Politics and Society, A Birds Eye view
What has religion to do with politics? What has violence to do with religion? And how does the expression of major political agenda shape itself in contemporary times? Roughly speaking it seems that the religion is being used as a cover for many a political phenomenon. This seems to be the observation more so from South Asian-West Asian perspective.
Holy Cow-Beef and Indian Political Games
In a PIL filed in the Bombay High Court the petitioner argues that this ban on beef infringes on the fundamental right of citizens to choose meat of their choice is fundamental. The hope is that the society overcomes such abuse of ‘identity issues’ for political goals and lets the people have their own choices in matters of food habits, and let those who are making their living from this trade do so peacefully.Read More...
Attempt to Undermine Secularism?
Words are not mere words; they do indicate our values and the basis of our association when it comes to the books like Constitution of India. Recently the controversy was created by dropping the words Secular and Socialist from Indian Constitution’s preamble in the advertisement released by the Modi Government on the eve of Republic day.
What was Gandhi’s Evaluation of RSS?
In Harijan on 9th August 1942, Gandhi writes, “I had heard of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its activities; and also know that it was a communal organization. In response to the rowdyism indulged by communal organizations he writes, “I hear many things about RSS. I have heard it said the Sangh is at the root of all this mischief.”(Gandhi, xcviii, 320-322). Read More....
Paris, Peshawar and Boko Haram- Religion, Politics and Violence
Massacre of hundreds of children in Peshawar by Pakistani Taliban, the atrocities: murders-kidnappings by Boko Haram, an Islamist group and the attack on Paris cartoon magazine Charlie Hadbo killing 16, have occurred in a short span of few months. The popular perception of relationship between violence and Islam got a further boost.Read More....
What’s in store for Kashmiris if BJP is part of the Government?
Kashmir is standing on the cross roads. It has suffered a lot due to the militancy and the ways of army in the valley. In case the BJP is in the driver’s seat or in the driving car, the plight of Kashmir will worsen. Read More....
Resurgence of Godse Worship
Officially RSS family kept dissociating from Gandhi’s murder by Godse, in private many a members not only uphold the dastardly act, but also have even succeeded in undermining the importance of Mahatma and they do ‘sympathize’ with Godse. This complex trick kept going on so far. Now with Modi Sarkar there is no need to hide the true ideology and thinking of this combine and so the open efforts to glorify Godse! Read More....
How is Ghar Vapasi Different from Forcible Conversions ?
The heroes of RSS parivar like Yogi Adityanath are saying that those being subjected to ghar vapasi will be given the Gotra and caste from which they converted! So come what may the caste structure and rigidities remain and thrive. That’s what the agenda of nationalism in the name of Hinduism is! Read More....
Are all Indians Sons of Ram?
BJP leadership faces the dilemma. In Parliament and for the global consumption it has to keep the face of ‘Development’, while to keep its political power it has to go with the divisive agenda of its parent organization as unfolded by its associates and many elements within the party.Click to read more...
AMU, Raja Mahendra Pratap and attempts of polarization
Those resorting to communal politics have not only perfected their techniques of polarizing the communities along religious lines, but have been constantly resorting to new methods for dividing the society. On the backdrop of Muzzafar nagar, where ‘Love Jihad’ propaganda was used to enhance the divisive agenda, now in Aligarh an icon of matchless virtues, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh is being employed for the similar purposes. Read More....
Targeting Nehruvian Legacy ?
In no way they can appropriate Nehru, as Nehru lived after Independence to nurture the values of Indian nationalism, pluralism, liberalism and diversity, the principles which were the cementing factors of Indian national movement, the biggest ever mass movement in the World.So this Keasri, RSS mouthpiece article and the façade of its being disowned! Read More....
Modi Sarkar: Politics through Culture
Where are we heading to becomes clear in the last few weeks of Modi Sarkar. The government will be trying to stick to the language which will be subtle while undertaking steps in Hinduization. Its associates, VHP-RSS will tell us bluntly about their agenda. Needless to repeat that this agenda, being unfolded is that of Hindu nation, where religious minorities will be relegated to secondary position and the Chaturvarnya system will be slipped in a subtle manner. Read More....
Is the Face of Hinduism Changing?
Hinduism has traditionally been the most tolerant of all Indian faiths. But, recurrent instances of religious tension, fanned by fanaticism and hate speech, have shown that the Hindu tradition of tolerance is showing signs of strain...my apprehension is that Hinduism is somehow changing its benign face.Read More....
Tools for Divisive Politics: Hate Speech and Patriarchy
The ‘Love Jihad’ propaganda is a double-edged weapon: By stating that Muslim youth are being trained to lure Hindu girls, on one hand they demonize Muslims and on the other they tighten their control of the lives of girls and women. Read More....
ISIS, Oil Politics and Peaking of Islamophobia
How can we bring in reason in ‘social thinking’ in the face of powerful vested interests who want to use and abuse religion for their political goals, demonize a religious community is a question not easy to resolve. Challenging the prevalence of ideas of the dominant sections, dominant social powers; is a tall order, which has to be taken up in all seriousness if we want peace and progress in our society. Read More....
Does love know Religious boundaries?
The politics in the name of religion, the politics of Sangh Parivar here in India or that of Taliban’s in Afghanistan, Islamic fundamentalists, or even Christian fundamentalists all operate on the same wavelength as far as crushing the rights of women is concerned. Read More....
Is ‘Hindu’ our National Identity?
What Sangh Combine had been aspiring from last nine decades is being asserted with bigger authority with Modi Sarkar at center. What Bhagwat of RSS is saying and followers are speaking on the TV debates is a clear violation of the values of Indian Constitution. Read More....
The Modi Sarkar: Initial Symptoms
The need is to ensure that interests of the country’s people are kept uppermost, the way invitation to Nawaz Sharif shows, should be appreciated. The other measures show that there is an attempt to undermine the diverse nature of our polity, there is an attempt to bring in RSS agenda through education and culture, which are dangerous and need to be opposed. Read More....
Ideology as a cover for political agenda
New ICHR Chief is a Communal Ideologue. Electoral and political arena is only one of the grounds through which political agenda of vested interests is achieved. Capturing of people’s mind, the ideological propagation, is the foundation on which political agenda stands and perpetuates itself. Read More....
Debating Secularism in a Communalized Society
"We (BJP) have always said secularism should mean justice for all, appeasement of none, discrimination against none” Ironically this assertion, which negates the very concept of a democratic and secular society, has come to be perceived by many as "the secularism". Read More....
Hate Crimes and Communal Polarization
The Modi Sarkar has been installed in power from last three weeks or so (May 16, 2014). While there is lots of hope from this government by sections of society, there are other types of fears which have started getting actualized and the consequences of that are being felt with great amount of horror. After the morphed images of Bal Thackeray and Shivaji were uploaded on social sites a well planned attack on Muslim minorities was orchestrated in Pune. Read More....
Can Modi be compared to Hitler?
The national daily Hindustan Times carried an article (‘Comparing Hitler’s Germany with India 2014 is odious’, Marcus Pindur and Padma Rao Sunderji, HT 23rd may 2014), the following is the response to that. Read More....
Understanding Article 370
In view of the recent controversy on Article 370 by the statement of MoS in PMO an article which helps in understanding Article 370 is reproduced. Read More....
23 May, 2014
Modi Wins 2014 Elections
Victory of Development or Divisiveness
We should note that this time around Congress’s 19.3% votes translated into 44 seats while during last general elections of 2009 BJP's 18.5% had fetched it 116 seats. That’s a tale by itself, the crying need for electoral reforms which has been pending despite such glaring disparities which weaken the representative character of our Parliament. Read More....
17 मई, 2014
कश्मीरी पंडितों की बदहाली का राजनीतिकरण
अपने चुनाव अभियान के दौरान, भाजपा के प्रधानमंत्री पद के उम्मीदवार नरेन्द्र मोदी ने कई ऐसी बातें कहीं जो या तो तथ्यात्मक दृष्टि से गलत थीं या फिर घटनाओं की सांप्रदायिक व्याख्या पर आधारित थीं। उन्होंने कहा कि देश के धर्मनिरपेक्ष ढांचे को सबसे बड़ी चोट तब पहुंची जब कश्मीरी पंडितों को कश्मीर घाटी से पलायन करना पड़ा। Read More....
१२ मई, २०१४
असम: नस्लीय, सांप्रदायिक हिंसा का तांडव
हाल में (मई १-२, २०१४) असम के कोकराझार में ४४ बांग्लाभाषी मुसलमानों की हत्या ने एक बार फिर क्षेत्र के बोडो व मुस्लिम रहवासियों के बीच पसरे तनाव को रेखांकित किया है। इस हिंसा के पीछे बोडोलैण्ड पीपुल्स फ्रन्ट का हाथ बताया जाता है, जिसकी विधायक प्रमिलारानी ब्रह्म ने कथित रूप से कहा था कि उनकी पार्टी के उम्मीदवार व असम के मंत्री वर्तमान चुनाव में विजय हासिल नहीं कर पाएंगे क्योंकि मुसलमानों ने उन्हें वोट न देकर एक गैर-बोडो उम्मीदवार को वोट दिया है। विधायक ने नहीं बताया कि उन्हें यह कैसे पता चला कि मुसलमानों ने किसे वोट दिया है। Read More....
२३ अप्रैल, २०१४
पत्रकार अरूण शौरी, एनडीए सरकार में मंत्री थे। वे न केवल भाजपा के सदस्य थे वरन् उसके प्रमुख विचारक भी थे। उन्होंने अनेक पुस्तकें लिखी हैं, जिनमें से कई अल्पसंख्यकों और दलितों के विरूद्ध हैं। ऐसी ही एक पुस्तक, जिसका आमजनों, विशेषकर दलितों, ने जमकर विरोध किया था, वह थी ‘वर्शिपिंग फाल्स गॉड्स’ (नकली भगवानों की आराधना)। Read More....
२३ मार्च, २०१४
फासीवाद के लक्षण
फासीवाद, जो यूरोप में प्रथम विश्वयुद्ध के बाद जन्मा, के द्वारा मानवता को दिए गए त्रास को हमारी दुनिया आज तक नहीं भुला सकी है। फासीवाद क्रूर था, वह प्रजातंत्र को कुचलने में यकीन रखता था, वह अल्पसंख्यकों को निशाना बनाता था, वह राष्ट्र की शक्ति को बढ़ा-चढ़ा कर प्रस्तुत करता था, वह अति-राष्ट्रवादी था, वह अपने नेता को ‘मजबूत’ नेता के रूप में प्रचारित करता था और उसके आसपास एक आभामंडल का निर्माण करता था। उस दौर में जो कुछ घटा, उसे हम आज तक भुला नहीं पाए हैं और हम नहीं चाहते कि हमारी दुनिया को उस दौर से फिर कभी गुजरना पड़े। तभी से ये दो शब्द-फासिज्म और हिटलर-हमारी दैनिक शब्दावली का हिस्सा बन गए। ये हमें उस तानाशाहीपूर्ण शासन और उस क्रूर तानाशाह की याद दिलाते हैं। कई बार इन शब्दों को किसी भी तानाशाहीपूर्ण शासन या अपनी मनमानी करने वाले किसी भी व्यक्ति या नेता के लिए प्रयुक्त किया जाता है। इस राजनैतिक परिघटना के लक्षण बहुत विशिष्ट हैं और किसी व्यक्ति या शासन व्यवस्था पर हिटलर या फासीवादी का लेबल चस्पा करने से पहले हमें यह बात ध्यान में रखनी चाहिए। Read More....