He's the original cause of the anti-defection law, an everlasting symbol of the political phenomenon of legislators defecting from their parties for power—and hard cash. In 1967, this MLA from Hassanpur, Haryana, changed parties faster than you and I change our socks, switching his allegiance three times in 24 hours, thus enshrining in the political vocabulary the phrase, "Aya Ram, Gaya Ram" to describe shameless side-switching.
The faceless terrorist
He was born the moment the nation sounded the chimes of freedom. He was viscerally opposed to the very idea of India: its geography, its ethos, its vision of the future. He shunned democracy for the gun, smearing the last 60 years with the blood of innocents. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, his outrageous passion has been harnessed, sometimes with help from across the border, to promote three different causes—secession, retaliation against a perceived religious hurt, and economic liberation of the countryside from the rapacity of urban India. His existence is symptomatic of India's hopes gone awry.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
He's a reminder of how quests for religious purity can turn rabid. He emerged in the 1970s as a preacher seeking to reform the Sikhs who, swayed by prosperity and modernity, had taken to drugs and clipping their beards. This 'holy quest' inspired him to target the Nirankari sect, whom he considered untrue Sikhs, earning himself a huge following overnight. Emboldened, Bhindranwale hijacked Punjab's autonomy movement, subsequently piloting it on a flight to Khalistan. He ordered killings of Hindus as well as of Sikhs who opposed him. The nightmare lingered even after he died in Operation Bluestar in June 1984.
Indira Gandhi loved Sanjay as only mothers can—unconditionally. And he exploited it to wreak havoc in those dark days of the Emergency, of midnight knocks and arrests. Sanjay became an extra-constitutional authority. He lorded it over cabinet ministers, manacled the press, bulldozed slums to beautify Delhi, initiated a family planning programme that resulted in forced vasectomies. His excesses earned him the sobriquet of Sanjay the Terrible.
Long before he burst on to the national scene, social-psychologist Ashis Nandy had interviewed Narendra Modi, then a simple rss pracharak. Nandy emerged from the interaction believing he had found a "classic, clinical case of a fascist." He writes, "Modi had the same mix of puritanical rigidity, narrowing of emotional life...denial and fear of his own passions combined with fantasies of violence—all set within the matrix of clear paranoid and obsessive personality traits." Nandy was prescient. In 2002, as chief minister, Modi refused to stop (read: encouraged) the rampaging mobs of Hindus who committed acts of unspeakable barbarity against Muslims.
He won't be remembered so much for his wristy elegance as for robbing Indian cricket of its romance; for sowing doubts in the minds of viewers about whether a dismissal has been deliberately crafted, whether slow batting is on the orders of bookies, whether hopes of easy victory have been sold for easy money. A CBI inquiry found Azhar (and three others) guilty of an unholy liaison with bookies, prompting the BCCI to ban him from cricket. Azhar has moved the court to have his suspension revoked.
This former cartoonist has reduced democratic politics to a poor caricature of what it was supposed to be—in style, in substance, and even rhetoric. He built his political following by demonising 'the other'. The South Indian in Bombay was his initial object of hate, later it became the Muslim. His speeches and articles following the demolition of the Babri Masjid sparked the ghastly 1992 Mumbai riots. His mindset is best revealed through these words of admiration for Hitler: "He did very cruel and ugly things. But he was an artist, I love him. He had the power to carry the whole nation, the mob with him. You have to think what magic he had. He was a miracle."
Outlook Under Attack
HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler
They are the Congress party triad accused of fomenting the grisly 1984 Delhi riots, during which helpless Sikhs were set upon by bloodthirsty mobs aiming to avenge the assassination of Indira Gandhi. One inquiry commission after another—the last being the Nanavati Commission—has found evidence of their complicity in what was, like the Gujarat riots, a veritable pogrom. But all the 'credible evidence' couldn't nail the trinity in any court, revealing the Indian state's propensity to align with communalism. Writer Khushwant Singh said about those days, "I felt like a refugee in my country. In fact, I felt like a Jew in Nazi Germany."
He defies imagination, surpassing underworld dons who have preceded him. Starting as a petty hitman, he later built a transnational empire worth millions. Politicians courted him, a well-known actress bore his child; no one turned down invites to his lavish parties. He subsequently set up home in the United Arab Emirates, where he waved the Indian flag during cricket matches. Yet he organised the 1993 serial bombings in Bombay, killing hundreds. After this challenge to the Indian state, Dawood had to retreat from the public arena and drop anchor in Pakistan. In 2003, the United States placed him on the list of global terrorists.
Beant Singh and Satwant Singh
When Indira Gandhi stepped out of her 1, Safdarjung Road residence on October 31, 1984, her scheduled appointment with British actor-director Peter Ustinov turned into a tryst with death. As she approached the wicket gate connecting her home to her 1, Akbar Road office, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh opened fire. Ustinov, years later, said, "What struck me as almost incredible was the activity of squirrels and vultures in the garden. They went on through the whole unpleasant business without interruption." But India was never the same. Indira's assassination prompted vast changes in the security architecture: its structure became mammoth, the vetting of security guards on VIP duty an elaborate, complex—even communal—exercise.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
if you guys did not know Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was not spreading word about corruption, he was actually spreading word about the injustice done my Indra Ghandi, who was a good president but made some stupid choices, when she had cut off water supply to punjab jarnail singh had went across punjab informing the people of the injustice and wrong being committed. when indra ghandi got word of this she immidiately listed Jarnail Singh as a terrorist, Jarnail singh wanted no part of violence but when Indra threatened an attack he gathered a group of eight men and surrounding the perimiter of the golden temple, fighting off the entire indian army for a couple of days to a week. after when Jarnail Singh inevitably lost the battle, Indra ghandis personal bodyguards, whom were Sikh mind you felt she had treated their religion with so much disrespect that it was going against their religion to stand anyfurther and alllow this to happen, that is when they shot her, after which commiting suicide. So for all you misinformed poor souls please take time to do your reasearch and not just here the lies and propoganda being implanted into your brains by the corrupt indian government.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT