Will Modi conduct India’s namkaran?
There is a slow but systematic attempt to change India’s name from Bharat to Hindustan — playing up the word “Hindu” in Hindustan and trying to repackage it as the abode of the Hindus. B.R. Ambedkar and his team that drafted the Constitution of India consciously avoided the term “Hindustan” as they could foresee its implications in a land that takes pride in its diversity.
Shortly after the Bharatiya Janata Party toppled the power equations in Delhi and Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister, a Shiv Sena MP, Prataprao Jadhav, remarked in the Lok Sabha that a saffron flag should be hoisted atop the historic Red Fort as “Hindustan” belongs to Hindus. His lone argument was that Hindu-stan is a Hindu nation.
Goa’s deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza turned out to be more loyal than his master. “All Indians in Hindustan are Hindus,” he said in the Goa Assembly on July 25.
Pertinently these are not isolated demands as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s chief Mohan Bhagwat has also been repeatedly making such statements. Mr Bhagwat recently said that Hindustan is a Hindu nation and Hindutva is its identity. This led to a debate in Parliament and there were several protests in the Opposition benches regarding attempts to change the name of the country. But this has not deterred Mr Bhagwat.
Meanwhile, Subramanian Swamy, a rabid anti-Muslim intellectual of the BJP, took the debate to another level by stating on a TV channel that only those who own the Hindu heritage should be given the right to vote in Hindustan.
What is even more crucial is that Prime Minister Modi chose to employ the term “Hindustan” during his speech on India’s Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort. If my memory serves me right, Mr Modi would describe India as “Bharat” when making a speech in Hindi, or as “India” in English as he did on Independence Day with the catchphrase, “Come make in India”. The reference at the Red Fort of India as “Hindustan” seems to be a conscious deviation. This could be because of Mr Bhagwat’s message to his followers — including Mr Modi.
What is interesting is that the nomenclature — “Hind” or “Hindustan” — was given by Muslim scholars and rulers. It was Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (973-1048), an Iranian historian, philosopher and astronomer, who studied Indian society in the 11th century, and first called the people who were living around the river Sindh Hindus.
Al-Biruni came with Mahmud of Ghazni and his classic work is titled Al-Hind (The Hind). Till then the brahmins had preferred the terms Aryavarta or Bharata Khanda to describe the subcontinent. It was eventually Akbar the Great, whom the Hindutva forces do not like, who institutionalised India’s name as Hindustan, through his farmans (orders), revenue records and military documents.
The sad part is that without fully comprehending the implication of the name — Hindustan — Muslims universally use it as an Urdu generic to describe the country. They fail to fathom that there is a religious connotation to the name, which can trap their own existence.
Later it were Raja Rammohan Roy and Vivekananda who used the term Hinduism. Before this there is no evidence of a brahmin pandit or a rishi employing the name “Hinduism” for this brahminic religion hitherto referred to as Varna dharma, Sanatan dharma or Arya dharma.
Till Mahatma Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj in 1908, no brahminic thinker had accepted the name “Hindu” for their religion. In fact, the peetadipathis (Shivas or Vaishnavas) had refused to refer to their religion as “Hindu”. Even now they do not accept this term.
However, after Gandhi used the phrase “Hind Swaraj”, meaning “Free India”, a more rigorous Hindu ownership started with the establishment of a Hindu Mahasabha in 1914 by some upper caste leaders, who developed differences with the leadership of the Indian National Congress.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar added one more communal chapter to the history of the country by propagating the ideology of “Hindutva” and a “Hindu Rashtra” in the 1940s. Since then the term “Hindu” for the religion and “Hindutva” for their political propaganda — to intimidate Muslims and denigrate Islamic thought — has spread like wild fire. When Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of mainland India, a counter force — the Muslim League — emerged and that led to the Partition of India.
The Sangh Parivar’s strategy seems to be to fast-forward towards changing the name of the country in the Constitution of India. Let us not forget that they had made such an attempt when Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The then National Democratic Alliance government constituted a Constitutional Review Commission (not a committee) with M.N. Venkatachaliah as its chairman. Only after protests, particularly by dalits, they slackened the move.
Once again the incumbent government’s cultural nationalist agenda has come to the fore with full force. If these forces keep baying for cultural nationalist agendas that have massive implications on minority religions and also on the dalit-bahujans, Mr Modi will become helpless. Even his corporate development agenda will undergo a change and he will not be able to stop these culture-vultures from eating away the body politic of democracy.
The way the Hindutva forces are re-reading Indian history is amazing. They have a pathological hatred towards the contribution of Muslims as people and also their ancient scholars and rulers.
They claim their brahminic intellectuals discovered everything — right from the aeroplane to knowledge about the stem cell. Ironically, they now want to accord a name — Hindustan — to the country, a name which was given by Muslim scholars.
They refuse to admit that knowledge can come from anybody and at any point of time. They refuse to accept that this country is what it is today because of multiple knowledge systems that crisscrossed centuries.
Brahminic knowledge alone would not have brought us where we are. In fact, it was never inclusive. The names that they adopted for this country would not have allowed unification of castes and religions during the freedom struggle.
The name “Hindu” sounded non-racist and non-casteist, therefore dalits, the backward castes and tribals supported the upper castes. When Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj (it was banned in Bombay province) he must have been aware of the inclusiveness of the word “Hindu” and how it could benefit the caste-divided religion. Before this name was alluded to the brahminic religion it was faceless against a unified Islam and Christianity.
If these forces are serious about development they must evolve an agenda of social reform following in the footsteps of Mahatma Phule or Ambedkar. Or they should allow the state structure to follow its developmental agenda — strictly confined to economic issues.
While those who run ministries talk about economic development, the sister organisations of the BJP keep setting agendas that create communal carnages. If this trend keeps up, the poor of the country will remain poor. The Prime Minister must put his foot down and say no more communal politics. A moratorium is not enough, Mr Prime Minister! (The Asian Age).
The writer is director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
We Must Defeat the So-Called Islamic State
To defeat this lethal organization will require the organized military forces of nations. The United States has started bombing areas around Mosul in Iraq and other IS strongholds. Muslims nations must leave politics aside and unite to support the United States in whatever capacity they can.
Meanwhile, ordinary Muslims everywhere must unequivocally condemn the IS and its practices. In mosques from coast to coast in America, for instance, we must use the platform of the Friday sermons to take a stand against the IS. The black banner of the IS and all the cruelties it represents must be torn down before it has a chance to flutter in the wind.
Sending messages is fine but that is not enough. A lot more is needed.
The succus are demanding that Sanghis should show proper respect to URA because he is dead now.
This article is an example of how a succu, Outlook, showed its respect to a dead Thackeray.
Surely average Hindus and Muslims are not children of the monstrous Islamism or Hindutva."
Ms. Saroja, maybe you are just rhetoricizing but you are making a meaningless statement. Religion-based political groupings like islamism and hindutva are made of the people who back the religion -- there is no wishing it away by randomly redefining the role of religion in Indian politics. Political hinduism is a reaction to political islam that started to take away space from the average hindu, with the willing cooperation of the "Secular" parties that have "ruled" (I would not use the word "governed") India since independence.
It is funny to see alleged constitutional experts crawl out of the woodwork when there is precedence for no leader of the opposition on two occassions in the past. All these "experts" are dishonest and politically compromised and have no business opining on matters where they have an axe to grind, not to mention all the media houses that provide space to such losers. The entire english media in India is compromised in a very serious way.
Is India a banana republic or what? Why is the Supreme court interfering with the rules of parliament -- do Indian SC judges not understand the concept of separation of powers? But this is not the first time the SC judges have overstepped their bounds and been involved in legislation rather than interpreting the law as they are supposed to.
"Irrelevant! You targetted Islam." CAIR pracharak
Given the 1,300 year long history of Islamic barbarism targeted at Hindus, this squeak from the CAIR pracharak is as disgusting as a Brahmin calling Dalits bigots if they highlight the barbarism of caste discrimination in Hinduism.
The man literally abused Modi and Modi expresses a solid obituary to him. Narasimha Rao was a Congressman to the core and yet Sonia Gandhi refused to place his body in Congress HQ.
According to the succus and the media, Modi is classless while Sonia is a Saint.
I fully agree with you.
When he said that he dont want to live in India
under Modi Raj, I never felt, his prenomination.
RIP, None can fill the space he left,
May his soul rest in peace.
"Samskara" of U. R. Ananthamurthy was one of the major book V. S. Naipaul read to understand India.
Unfortunately Naipaul's opponents used that same book to oppose his Nobel prize.
You did wonderful to enriched our knowledge, literature and culture. I wish you peace and tranquility wherever you are!!
I wanted too much, but can't hold it:
.... and this guy abused Modi tooth and nail, literally:
Shri UR Ananthamurthy's demise is a loss to Kannada literature. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.
Shri UR Ananthamurthy's demise is a loss to Kannada literature. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.
1 relations With the guy who oppose my09 D L Narayan Sir
I fully agree with you. We need to discuss about the content.
not shoot the messenger. Sir, I do always strive to Keep better relation with the guy who oppose my views who has every right to that and I respect that. We need to tolerate the opposite views to that. I do admire your posts though I dont agree with your views. But I expect we all discuss in a civilised manner. Anwaar sure has right to express his views.
But I sincerely feel that he is attacked by many.
That i feel is not just.
Six months back ISIS was simply a group of local thugs.
America spends enormous amount of money for its CIA, DIA etc and for what????
>> Teesta Setalvad, darling of secularists, comparing ISIS with Hindu religion
Got to love the sickos, their bhakts who are able to see them purely as brave activists, and the media that build them up.
This is rich-coming from a party which created the problem in the first place.
Hooray for the too big to fail banks! Rajan is swimming against the stream. VINASHA KALE VIPAREETHA BUDDHIHI is what this reminds me of.India does not need one more problem!
Do not waste time. Copy the European Standards.
Money talks better than chanting the mantra "innovate, innovate, innovate....". Instead of chanting, fund desirable items using free money = FISCAL DEFICIT. The economy will do the rest.
To support good education we need good teachers, good labs, good equipment, and so on. In short money. Of course money is available in plenty. I am talking about created money called FISCAL DEFICIT, any amount of which can be created for free. The benefit is not only better education but more GDP by 5 times the money spent.
The answer is more FISCAL DEFICIT. This answer also applies to all commons. Free healthcare, free infrastructure, free universal income, free social security, almost free railways, free monorail etc.
"However in this forum, these activists are called thieves, jehadists and bitches. '' Saroja
This from someone, who never sheds a single tear for the genocide perpetrated and discrimination codified into law, in the name of Islam upon minority Hindus in every muslim majority area of Indian subcontinent from Pakistan to Kashmir Valley in India, seeks alternate theories on Godhra carnage, brought tears to my eyes !
SC hinted that a situation has arisen where there is no leader of opposition but it also questioned the government whether any selection can be fair without the leader of opposition.''
WHAT WAS FAIR FOR 67 YEARS WHY IT CAN'T BE FAIR ANOTHER 5 YEARS ??
CAN SC GIVE DIRECTIVES TO SPEAKER ?
SOME EAT BEEF & SO OTHERS WILL EAT PORK THAT TOO IN THE SAME MESS !!
Chalo khan tak chslte ho ??
Outlook put out a zillion articles on the Gaza issue but no articles on the cancellation of talks. What happened to the candlelight crowd?
I was so happy to see Praful Bidwai slamming Modi for the cancellation of talks. We now know for sure that Modi did the right thing.
However in this forum, these activists are called thieves, jehadists and bitches. '' Bi Saroja
KOI SHAK ???
I dont know Kannada but people who know the language say he is a terrific writer in that language. RIP.
Not SC but only Speaker can appoint or not any one as LOP.
So can SC GIVE DIRECTIONS TO THE SPEAKER ? Suppose Speaker disagrees saying SC that issue is within his or her jurisdiction then what ???
Well hooters can be planted by Congress Dirty Tricks Department to blame BJP .WHY NOT ?? After all Congress is quite old & capable and experienced Party specially in mischief mongering ..
THE 10 % system is a Century old system of the British Parliament. And still being followed .
LOP IS NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL POST BUT A RULE BEING FOLLOWED BY THE PARLIAMENT LAST 67 YEARS LAID DOWN BY THE THEN SPEAKER MALVANKAR .
NEHRU,INDIRA AND RAJIV NEVER ALLOTTED THE POST OF THE LOP TO THE OPPOSITION PARTY AS NONE HAD 10% NUMBERS OF THE HOUSE.
CAN SC OR ANY COURT GIVE DIRECTIONS TO TO INDIAN PARLIAMENT OR SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE TO WAVE THIS 10% RULE hither too followed for 67 years by the Indian Parliament?? Doubtful .
DID NOT JUSTICE LODHA HIMSELF SAID THAT PARLIAMENT AND SC HAS ITS OWN AREAS OF JURISDICTION AND BOTH SHOULD NOT TRANSGRESS INTO EACH OTHER'S TERRITORY. ??
Muslims do not just pose a threat to Islam in Sri Lanka. Islam has posed a mortal threat to non-muslims ever since muhammads time and continues to do so.
If it qualks like a duck and acts like a duck - then its a duck.
That appplies to ideologies too. In Islam the intolerance towards non-muslims is not restricted to the verses in Koran ( whicch by the way they claim are words of God ) , but Islamist majority states have put them into practice and results are for all to see from 7th century to modern day in Pakistan to Iraq to Nigeria.
People of Bihar (and UP) get government they deserve. Both states Bihar and UP has been Arm-pits of India for a long time. Who is responsible for that?
How much government has spent tax payers' money to keep this lady alive? When the government is sure that it is not going to abolish AFSPA as she is demanding, might as well let her wish to die peacefully be fulfilled and then burry her unceremoneously.
Is it true that Teesta has apologized for the photshop?
I am surprised the woman was given only a Padmashree. Given her anti-hindu tendencies, she must have been given a Bharat Ratna.
January 2014: US said ISIS is not a threat and are a bunch of local thugs
August 2014: US says ISIS is now the greatest threat to US.
So the assessment changed. What has not changed is Obama's holidaying habits. I used to think that the President of India has the most relaxing "job" in the world. He enjoys a lot of perks for doing nothing.
Obama has a much more relaxing job than Pranab Mukherjee.
Obama got the message from ISIS. He is working very hard on his swing.
CVC appointment has a member called LoP-but then it specifically says that if there is no LoP, then the leader of largest group will be the third member.
Modi can either fight it out and win. Or, if he decides a confrontation at this stage with the judiciary is not worth it, he can issue an ordinance that gives the same definition as the CVC act.
That aside, the behavior of CJI is extremely disasppointing. His ego is getting the better of him and he is bringing disgrace to the position he is holding.
BTW, just 2-3 weeks back, SC dismissed a PIL about LoP saying that it was purely a political process and the court has no role in it.
Now CJI screws his own people.
1. The SC has no locus standi in the LoP issue.
2. The LoP is not a constitutional requirement. On 7 previous occasions, there has been no LoP.
3. The second largest party, the Congress does not meet the stipulation for LoP.
4. G V Mavalankar, India’s first Speaker, had on the basis of too-small-an-Opposition established such a precedent that Lok Sabha had not designated a Leader of Opposition till 1969.
5. In 1984, the second largest party, the TDP, was not given the LoP.
The number of people who are ready to get outraged over every small incident is indeed staggering.
No small number !!
(1) It is better to straight away concede that truly independent media (whether print media or television news channels) is a big myth. Paid news, advertorials and paid interviews on TV channels have all become so common today, and their threat to independent journalism cannot be underestimated. This unfortunately is the bitter scenario prevailing in our country today. (2) Thanks are due to Mr. Vinod Mehta for highlighting growing of influence of pro-BJP journalists. Earlier, there were pro-Congress and pro-Sonia Gandhi groups in the media. Now their influence is slowly diminishing. But, as mentioned by Mr. Mehta, nowadays readers rarely come across truly independent views. Most of the articles, excepting a very few, are views of prejudiced writers. Thus, let us accept that editors will have to endeavour to satisfy discerning readers who wish to read balanced articles. (3) Thanks are also due to Mr. Vinod Mehta for highlighting serious lacuna in the field of training for journalists although there are institutes for training journalists and there are colleges which offer graduate courses in mass media. But still, as pointed out by Mr. Mehta, there are no gurus who will teach how to write with clarity of thoughts and maintaining high standards of objectivity.