Nonsense about Kashmir : I am amazed that so many Indian commentators (see below) and foreign correspondents, who are invariably hostile to India (like my former student, the FT's Amy Kazmin) persist with a ridiculous fantasy that it is within the power of an allegedly malicious Indian State to come up with a peace proposal that protesting Kashmiris will find acceptable. Quite clearly, this conviction is completely nonsensical. The majority of Kashmiris would probably acquiesce to a peaceful life that enables them to go about their daily lives unhindered, preferably without intrusive road blocks and jobs for their menfolk. Equally, a significant minority is determined to make sure that it does not happen. Kashmiri leaders themselves are not about to let this difficulty get in the way of the opportunity for a good life that political troubles have created, by allowing them extract as much as they can from the rest of India. Unfortunately, no political solution can be implemented in Kashmir if Pakistan wishes to prevent it because inciting a small minority to make sure that turmoil persists is extremely easy. And Pakistan will settle for nothing short of ejecting India from Kashmir or putting in place a diabolical agreement that it judges will be an eventual prelude to exactly that: cessation of Indian sovereignty. An Islamist civil war will then erupt in another part of India and interlocutors will be dispatched to engage with another set of stone pelters. These precious, but not very bright creatures will probably begin singing the same absurd tune about Constitutional amendments, etc. etc with a barely concealed subtext of the culpability of an oppressive Indian State. I do not even consider, for the moment, the serious military and strategic implications for the rest of India of ceding Kashmir (or is it to be the whole of J&K?). The position of military vulnerability that such an outcome would create will be too much of a temptation for India's sworn enemies, namely, Pakistan and its ever-eager patron, China, to pass up. They will begin a fresh and deadlier campaign to derail a more vulnerable India, a country in which ceding Kashmir will put intolerable strain on Hindu Muslim relations; a situation earnestly desired by the barbarians at India's door. In such a context, breathless school girl excitability about Constitutional amendments to accommodate alleged Kashmiri aspirations is dangerous because it shifts the onus for change in a direction that can only lead to secession, with all its grim consequences. Whether the costly contemporary impasse in Kashmir will alter and subside in time owing to India's economic advance and on-going social transformation remains to be seen. In the meantime, India must resign itself to prolonged military confrontation over Kashmir with a malevolent, but ever-weakening adversary, a battle India is clearly not losing, unless pleasing the BBC and NYT is the real goal to which its benighted intelligentsia aspires. However, ways must be found to raise the cost for Pakistan and this requires imagination and patience though it is surely feasible. Amen!
-Dr GAUTAM SEN, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Atheism in India This refers to MSN Menon’s write-up titled, "Atheism in India" (Organiser, 3-10-2010). He has advocated Svabhavada (Naturalism). He has every right to do so, but he has made some sweeping statements which cannot stand the rational and historical scrutiny. He writes: There is only a casual reference to God in Nyaya; Yoga is a means to acquire supernatural powers even to surpass Gods; There is no place for God in Chanakya’s philosophy; The Hindus grew up in the cradle of atheism till the advent of Islam. Firstly, Nyaya philosophy is rationally theistic. Udayanacharaya wrote Nyayakusumanjali to demonstrate the existence of God as the efficient cause or the architect to the universe. Secondly, yoga is a means to self-realisation. Patanjali asserts that a yogi in his yogic journey develops miraculous powers and warns that they are obstacles in one’s attempt to realise oneself. Moreover, it is also a Vedic system of philosophy and Patanjali introduces the devotion and dedication to all-knowing God as the sure means of self-realisation. Thirdly, it is wrong to say that Chanakya was an atheist. He begins his Neetishashtra with prayer to Lord Vishnu (Pranamya Shirasa Vishnum...) Lastly, it is wrong to say that the Hindus grew up in the cradle of atheism till the advaent of Islam. Since Vedic times the sages have been proclaiming the doctrine of unity of Godhead, who is called by many names. ‘One God with many names’ is the message adocated by the Vedic and Upanishadic seers. The universe emanates from One Divinity is sustained by the same Divinity, and finally will be dissolved in the same Divine reality. It is Pan-en-theism rather than semitic exclusive theism. The world is in God but the latter is more than the world. There is no place for jealous God in Hindusim. There are a lot of different concepts of God. Of course it is true that during the medieval period the semitic values for which Charavaka stands were neglected by Hindus thinkers, but Vedic sages advocated the synthesis of secular as well as spiritual values. This is very clearly expressed in the concent of preyas (the pleasant) and shreyas (the beneficial).
-Dr S G NIGAL, Tattwajnaan Vidhyapeeth, Apna Bazaar, Thane-400 610
The cult of extravagance (Organiser, 4-4-2010); Sanjay Maheshwari has given a vivid description of political culture, extravagantly vulgar living and life style of Jawaharlal Nehru, which is being followed till today. However, Maheshwari’s views about Gandhiji, calling him "Father of the nation", and his sermons on observance of austerity in life are absolutely wrong. Once Sarojani Naidu pointed out, that "It costs India a lot to keep Gandhiji poor". (see Sunday Reading dt. 16-2-1997, Page-18). Wherever he went, herbs, vegetables and chaste goats would be garnered, building scrubbed, whitewashed and decorated in an appropriate style, and mud refrigerated for him to smear on his stomach as one of his nature cure remedies. He always travelled with a giant entourage of disciples, many of whom were renowned for their cold hauteur towards outsiders. Yet Gandhiji claimed to dislike special treatment. (a review in the Tribune dated 7-9-1997 of a book titled, Liberty or Death; India’s Journey to Independence and Division by Patrick French). It is clear that Mahatma Gandhi and not Nehru is the architect of the political culture of extravagantly vulgar living.
-ANAND PRAKASH, 72/Sector-8, Panchkula -134 109
Swami Agnivesh, voice of Maoist missionary axis An old saying ‘a man is known by the company he keeps’, is true and relevant even today. Swami Agnivesh’s recent lecture at St. Stephens College, Delhi along with an eminent cleric and his co-thinker-writer Rev Valson Thampu, was the right platform and right environ to berate Indian state’s lawful efforts to rein in the menace of Maoism in many parts of the country saying ‘State violenc is more dangerous than Moists’ and thus expressing his solidarity with Missionary-Maoist axis resolutely determined to first subvert and ultimately overthrow the constitutionally established system of governance in India but dare not in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where they are mortally afraid of Muslim backlash, because Islam is not a soft target like Hinduism and Buddhism. In old Sanskrit texts one finds a saying pardoning animals sacrifice in yajnas: Vedici hinsa hinsa na bhavati (to kill for yajna is no violence). For Swamiji Maoists’ slaughter of hundred of innocent citizens -men, women, children, teachers, medical personnel, sabotage and derailment of trains is no violence, rather a fulfillment of a nobel cause like the Goddess Durga’s killing of demons. May I ask Swamiji was he as much pained and raised his voice, if at all as loudly over the brutal assassination of, Swami Laxmanananda and his associate in their ashram in Odisha’s Kandhmal distt. as over the killing of Maoists leader Chekuri Rajkumar alias ‘Azadi’. Perhaps no, since he believes that the church inspired Maoists have every right to eliminate all those who oppose evangelisation.
-SURYA NARAIN SAXENA, B-79, Swasthya Vihar, Vikas Mang, Delhi-92.
No point having talks with Pakistan There should not be any second thoughts on continuing dialogue with Pakistan. Non stop efforts on part of India towards bilateral conflict resolution and repeated humiliation by Pakistan, as a result, are not good for the country’s image in international fora even if they are sparked by US pressure. It is clear from the statements of Pakistani Foreign Minister SM Qureshi that Islamabad is not interested in having peace with India. India must put its foot down and desist from participating in future talks. The belligerent outburst of Pakistan Foreign Minister at the bilateral talks in Islamabad recently was a reflection of Pakistan’s injured psyche and deep seated fear of India which proved counter-productive to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries. SM Qureshi’s body language and his words casting aspersions on SM Krishna and the Indian government were not diplomatic
-MAHESH CHANDRA SHARMA, E-198, Panki, Kanpur
Seema Jan Kalyan Samiti to set up 50 Shakti Kendras in Rajasthan border areas (Organiser, 31-8- 2010): It is very heartening to learn that the Seema Jan Kalyan Smiti (SJKS), which was hitherto a State level organisation, has planned to broaden its area of activities converting itself into a national organisation covering various west and north-western states and by setting up 50 Shakti Kendras in the border districts of those states. I would like to appeal to the office bearers of SJKS that it should simultaneously launch in and spread its organisational activities urgently to the border districts of all the north-eastern estates also. This is so because these areas have proved to be the haven for those who are crossing the border and settling in our country from Bangladesh. I am sure once launched in those porous areas, SKJS can work for the welfare matters of the Indian residents of those areas as well as educate and enlighten them to keep a vigil on those who jump over the border into our territory upsetting our demographic balance.
-R GOPALAKRISHNAN NAIR, by email: email@example.com
Kashmir is an integral part of India Ever since the Instrument of Accession was signed by the Maharaja of J&K, Shri Hari Singh on 26-10-1947, and subsequent seal of approval by Governor-General Mountbatten on 27-10-1947, the State became an integral part of India. So the claim of separatist is based on ignorance. Indian security forces are duty-bound to protect their territory. It is a fact that no other Indian State has been as pampered as Kashmir, and this at the cost of the rest of India! Our Armed Forces need the support of the Central government and all patriots of this nation, including Kashmiris, so that the nation's integrity can be protected at all costs. Pakistan's evil designs on Kashmir must be thwarted effectively. Anti-nationals supporting separatism must be jailed and tried for treason.
-VIJAYALAKSHMI G, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congress has not learnt any lesson from the past The Congress is back in its favourite hobby of making life difficult for the non Congress governments, especially the BJP. The Congress has not learnt any lesson form the past. The more they attack on the BJP, the stronger it becomes. Soon after Sonia Gandhi, called Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi as maut ka saudagar in the run-up of the 2007 Gujarat Assembly elections, he returned to power with a thumping majority leaving the Congress licking its wounds. The astounding victory of the BJP in the recently concluded civic polls in six cities must have made the Congress leaders running for reasons. The total number of seats won by the Congress is 110 out of 550 seats whose results were declared. It is quite possible that the Congress may allege booth capturing , money, muscle power or some extraneous causes to explain Shri Narendra Modi’s romp of victory. The Congress should admit with grace that their policy of minority appeasement alienated the majority community and thus should take a relook at their policies.
-MAYA MISHRA, C-403, Purvasha , Mayur Vihar-1.
Say ‘No’ to reservation Reservation on the basis of caste is a dangerous trend. It was justified at the time of Independence. But now after six decades of Independence it has no relevance. The policy of reservation has dampened the spirit of the aspiring youth. Today a situation has come when every section of the society is demanding reservation. Jobs should be given only on the basis of merit. If the reservation policy cannot be done away with, then it should be done on the basis of economic criterion only.
-RAM CHANDER NEHRA, by email
India is India due to festivals Matt Wade the special correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age (Melbourne ) writes from Delhi " During the Commonwealth Games most of the seats for the spectators were vacant but at the Dussehra festival there were crowds of millions watching the festival. The Dussehra signifies the victory of Good over Evil. In response to this I wrote to these papers that India is alive due to these festivals and we are proud of these festivals.
-AMAR JIT SINGH GORAYA, 30 Gillmartin, Dr Griffith NSW, Australia 2680
Sushma Swaraj’s remark Smt Sushma Swaraj’s recent remark on Shri Narendra Modi is most unfortunate and unbecoming of senior leader. This way we cannot build Hindu rashtra for which many swayamsevaks are working.
-B V RAO, 66 ‘Vinaya Purana’, 5th Cross, Netaji Layout, Attiguppe,Vijayanagara, Bengaluru-556 004
US to provide $2 B military aid to Pakistan US will once again supply latest weaponry to Pakistan on the specious plea that Pakistani army does not have resources to fight terrorism. It may seem that we are having increased co-operation with US, but still when it comes to Pakistan based terrorism, US is clearly discriminating against India. All these years despite India bleeding due to Pak supported terrorism , US turned a blind eye towards Pakistani activities, its nuclear weapons and missiles programmes, etc as it wanted to get its support in Afghanistan. Recently US had to apologise to Pakistan when it closed its supply channels for NATO in Afghanistan due to drone attacks. All the so called money and arms got by Pakistan for war against terrorism have been used or are to be used against India only. One must appreciate Pakistan is using both USA and China to its advantage while making continuous fool of "intellectuals of India". Both are in its good books or say cannot ignore its requirements and whishes. It is high time India uses its other power i.e. market power to bring the US to right path. But do our leaders have the requisite spinal cord for the same?
-MANISH GARG 383 Vinayak Apartments, Sec 62 Noida, UP-201 307.
LDF Debacle in Kerala Soon after the abject and ignominious debacle the LDF suffered in the Kerala local bodies’ election recently, CPM and its cohorts have been trying to portray the reason for the drubbing it received. According to them it was due its alienating Christian church establishments by its "secular principle" in education and its Muslim allies. This is an absolutely brazen falsification of the actual situation prevailing in the State of Kerala. For, it is a well known fact that the LDF’s new higher education policy was so designed as to serve the interest of the already wealthy Christian church establishments and that the rhetoric by certain LDF leaders claiming to liberate the field of education from the clutches of the private sector was just a camouflage to obfuscate the general public. As for the another reason being attributed for the LDF’s rout, i.e. alienating some Muslim allies, it is also contrary to what actually happened in Kerala. As a matter of fact, the LDF was fighting the election, as it did during the last Assembly election, with the help of the most radical faction of Muslims, viz. Popular Democratic Front (PDF) and its political wing SDPI, some of the activists of which have been booked for the crime of chopping the hands of a college professor in July 2010. Actually, an impassionate assessment will reveal that what contributed to the humiliating debacle of the LDF in this election was its various nefarious actions during the last four years of its incumbency that alienated the majority section of the people, the Hindus. The unprecedented victory of BJP candidates in many Municipalities and pantheist will testify this glaring truth, if one looks discerningly at the number of votes each BJP candidate secured. Curiously, it was also evidenced in the final assessment of the voting patterns in many constituencies that the arch enemies, LDF and UDF, were immorally in league and helped each other in order to ensure the failure of BJP candidates.
-R GOPALAKRISHNAN NAIR, by e-mail: email@example.com
Needed- Collective Hindu vision and political objective (Organiser, 26-9-2010); Shri Shakeel Ahmed mentions that Abraham, believed to be the common ancestor of Jews, Christians and Muslims, was a strict monotheist. So what? In Sanatana Dharma, popuilarly known as Hinduism, an adherent can be an atheist, agnostic or a believer from one God to 33 crore Gods and Goddesses which is polytheism. Not only that every man can be a God and every woman, a Goddess if they conduct themselves in exemplary manner i.e., think and do good to others, helping and not harrassing, admiring and not envying, never be the cause of sorrow of others, etc. It is as clear as day light that while polytheism includes monotheism, the latter excludes the former. So which is broadbased? The Almighty referred to by Mr Ahmed is vehemently denied by the atheists, ignored by agnostics. So are they ( atheists and agnostics) to be condemned? Do not they have the right to exist? History informs us that both Christianity and Islam were programmed to conquer the world, capture power and do any thing they liked with the defeated people. Definitely, this is not based on any canon of morality. He mentions the rule of four Caliphs succeeding Prophet Mohammed as ideal. Out of the four, three were murdered by rival Muslims.One wonders what kind of idealism is this? He asserts that the Muslim rulers of India were not the role models and this can not be used to denigrate Islam. May I ask him a few questions:
(1) Does Islam respect other faiths including Hinduism?(2) Is mocking, ridiculing, desecrating or destroying an idol civilised or worshipping it as a God or Goddess?
- SC Panda, 1/2 HIG BDA Colony, Bhubaneswar 751 016