Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aseemanand questions bail to Malegaon 7, claims was tortured

Ten days after seven accused in the 2006 Malegaon blast case were released on bail, partly because of his confession that Hindu extremists were behind the attack, Swami Aseemanand has questioned the decision, reiterating that he had already retracted that statement made by him under “extortion”.

In a memorandum sent to President Pratibha Patil yesterday, with copies to the prime minister, home minister and the National Human Rights Commission among others, Aseemanand also alleged that he had been tortured “on account of my religion”.

“How can my extorted confession that was retracted be taken... to the aid of the Malegaon accused when no court has pronounced on my retracted confession? How can NIA (National Investigation Agency) support the bail pleas of Muslim accused in the Malegaon case in the face of the confession by these accused and the inputs shared by the government of India with the US and the UNO?” Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand, who had been arrested in Mecca Masjid blast case in 2007, says in the memorandum.

“What a travesty of justice! On one hand a Hindu sanyasi like me is being made to suffer unimaginable and unbearable indignities by investigating agencies and state actors so as to extort my confessions. On the other hand, Muslim accused in the Malegaon case are allowed bail on the stand of the Union Home Ministry and the NIA using this extorted (retracted) confession,” stated Aseemanand.

In November 2010, he had been arrested by CBI officials from Haridwar en route Delhi, said Aseemanand. “CBI officials on several occasions stopped the vehicle on the roadside in pitch dark and made me kneel on the ground. After putting pistol on my temple they threatened to kill me if I did not act as per their desire. Upon my refusal they threatened that they would push me towards on-coming speeding traffic and that my death would be in accident. In this situation I felt ashamed that as a Hindu I have no human rights; I was subjected to torture on account of my religion. In custody, I was isolated. Losing all hope and to save my family members, I succumbed to their pressure and torture.”

He said that CBI officials “tortured” him to give 164 statements. He alleged that even in judicial custody CBI and NIA personnel enjoyed free and unregulated access to him. “On occasions even after midnight I was insultingly treated and (accused of) involvement in various blast cases. They also threatened to eliminate my mother, brother, and other relatives if I did not succumb to their demands,” stated Aseemanand, adding that when he was produced before the magistrate in Delhi on December 18, 2010, CBI officials were present in plainclothes and one of them “directed” him to depose “as per his instructions and the typed statement given by him”.

“Because of the immense mental and physical pressure I could not muster enough courage to tell the magistrate that I was making the statement under compulsion.”

He gave graphic details of his “unbearable physical torture” and stated, “They indicated that if I ever failed to tow their line, my mother would be brought from Hubli, I would be subjected to indignities before her after being undressed.”

“While in judicial custody in Tihar jail, I was kept in a cell along with two Muslim prisoners. They knew who I am. I was under traumatic condition and had no courage to resist the threats. I made the statement before the court as desired and tutored by the CBI officials,” said Aseemanand.

He said on January 15, 2011, he was taken to the room of “Dept” Superintendent, Central Jail Ambala, where NIA officials were present.

They gave him draft of the statement and directed him to make the said statement before the magistrate.

“Surrounded by such desperately deadly law enforcement agencies I again succumbed to the dictates of NIA officials and got recorded confessional statement on 15.01.2011 before the Panchkula court,” said Aseemanand, adding that ATS Rajasthan too “forced” him to write an application to become approver in the Ajmer blast case.

“Madam President, my confession was a result of the unimaginable physical and mental torture. This has been retracted. No judicial court has pronounced on my confession one way or the other. How can the accused in the Malegaon be shown indulgence of bail on the basis of my retracted confession when they had themselves given their confessional statement in the case? I get an impression that I am being targeted because I am a Hindu...,” said Aseemanand.

He added, “Madam President, it is astonishing to learn how after carrying out detailed investigations, and having informed the United Nations and the US about the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba and HUJi terrorist behind the Samjhauta blast, the home ministry has taken a summersault and started to rely upon criminally extorted confessional statement, which has already been retracted by me.”


Friday, November 25, 2011

Islamic hatred to Hindus knows no end

Even in the mid-80s and early 90s there was a hope (although faint undoubtedly) in the Indian political arena that with the spread of rapid urbanization to cope with the fast changing reality worldwide, fundamentalism will fall behind in Pakistan and hence, the saga of communalism there would lose its momentum. But that faint hope has faded too with the passing of years and latest documents prove that the entire analysis then was wrong and all these happened thanks to the inhuman dearth of knowledge with experience of the true nature of Islam among Indian intellectuals, perhaps a part of the legacy Hindus have been carrying on for more than last millennium. Here is the question. What’s the fundament behind concluding like this?

Only a few days back an US government report created sensation among several countries, not to speak of India. In accordance with the report the one and only aim of education system (depicted through text books in Pakistani schools) is to promote hatred and intolerance of minorities, the Hindus in particular and teachers look at these groups “as enemies of Islam.”

Pakistan and Social Studies textbooks are rife with negative comments regarding India and Great Britain, but Hindus are often singled out for particular criticism in texts and in interview responses,” said the report. “This intolerance and prejudice also extends to other minorities like the Christians and Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslims but are not considered so by the Pakistani constitution.”

Well, you still, like any secular and left-wing intellectual, can thrust all these aside terming as fictitious or the ploy of an imperialist force to create havoc among two neighboring countries making efforts to comprehend and come near to each other after decades. But it’s not possible to close the eyes to words of Pakistani youth in this regard. Right?

A few Pakistani youth, attending a workshop conducted by the Sociology Department of Mumbai University these days, has stated clearly that young children in the length and breadth of Pakistan are taught to hate India. It is to be noted, the entire group is in the Indian financial capital as part of a mission of promoting the practice of harmony and bonding amongst the young people of both nations.

One of these happens to be Sitara Jabeen, an MPhil student in Peace and Conflicts Studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad and as per her, anti-India mindset, one time, was regarded as the true patriotism even if the need of a change and peace is being seriously felt there these days. Sidra Tariq, studying MPhil in International Relations at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad, terms that both Pakistan and India are victims to terrorism. Same views have been shared by other members and Hina Anwar Ali, architect and youth activist in Lahore, was found to say that youth can work as a centre of peace process between the two countries.

But what about the verses in al-Qur'an spreading hatred against infidels? Some are listed below:

“And KILL them (the unbelievers) wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.” (Sura 2, verse 191).

“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.” (Sura 3, verse 28).

Pakistanis in the mission, like any other Muslim across the globe, can’t ignore this and here from, the entire dilemma starts. If ignored, Islam will have to be thrown out and no Muslim can go against it. He/she has got to digest and enact whatever Islam teaches and hence, talk of harmony and need of reduction of violence, secularism by Pakistanis or any Muslim is a prank. What can we deduce? This is an innovative approach to swindle infidels, especially Hindus, further.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Truth behind the appeal to Hindus

Vatican’s thinking about Indian Christians is not based on facts and that is why the Pope’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue issued a message for Hindus on the eve of Dipawali. The message urged Hindus to fight against anti-Christian propaganda in the country. The appeal says that Dipawali is the festival of the conquest of the forces of light over darkness. It says Hindus and Christian should jointly fight and pave the way for religious freedom.

The Vatican’s appeal is very shrewd; it justifies Conversion in the garb of freedom of religion.

The Vatican is well aware that the Catholic Church in India enjoys equal freedom to Hindus. The representative of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, directly appoints Bishops in India without any problem. The Church is continuously building new churches and schools in the name of minority rights. How much more freedom does the Vatican truly need?

The Vatican maintains that Christians have been victimized by Hindu extremists in the last few years and that this has posed problems for missionaries. But Vatican needs to understand that the main reason behind these conflicts is Conversion.

Many enquiry commissions set up by various states in Odisha, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have pointed fingers towards this direction. At the same time, all Christians enjoy the right and freedom to follow their religion in India.

The problem arises only when and where missionaries try to increase the empire of the church. Is this not a fact that poverty stricken areas of tribal regions are the target of these missionaries? Why do missionaries help only those who accept their religion? “Jesus had said that if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect. (Math. 5:47-48)”

Missionaries face problem only at places where they try to convert the populace. This has increased tensions in tribal regions. Hindu organizations believe that the Vatican is preparing the ground for conversions on the basis of huge foreign funds. The fact is that these funds are received for social activity. But there is no improvement in the conditions of those who have already converted.

Ten percent of the total population of Catholic Christians in India lies in the Chotanagpur region. Even church documents accept that 91.47 percent of domestic girl workers are Christians, while the non-Christian (Sarna) comprise merely 1.3 percent. Sixty percent of the converted SC (dalit) Christians comprise the total population of Christians in this country. Yet the Church is currently trying to include them in the list of Hindu dalits.

It is a clear admission that conversion does not open the doors of liberation. The opposite seems to be true.

Kanchi Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati and some other spiritual leaders met with Cardinal Jean Louis Pierre Tauran, President of Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue for Communal Harmony in 2009, in Mumbai. Here everybody accepted that conversion is the main obstacle in the path of religious harmony. Now Pope Benedict XVI is meeting the world’s spiritual leaders in Asisi, Ital,y and they are again discussing communal harmony.

The problem is that the success of evangelical activity has been linked with an increase in numbers. India is no exception. In the north-east region, Protestants and Catholics are fighting among themselves. The local Catholic Bishop Jose Mukala says that Protestant Christians are forcing Catholics to become Protestant in the Kohima region. Properties of Catholics are being subjected to arson. They have appealed for their safety to the United Nations! Some years ago, Catholic and Protestant missionaries had agreed that they would not convert each others’ members; but the question arises, from where will the numbers come?

In October 2011, hundreds of tribal representatives from nine states were called by the Catholic Church to Bhopal, for an Adivasi Mahotsava. The motive was to liberate them from social, economic and political exploitation. They were indoctrinated that they were not Hindus and were free to chose their religion. The motive is obvious.

Two years ago, the Catholic Church had told the Vatican that the church is still in infancy stage among tribal people. The meaning is obvious. But now, the rift between tribal Christians and non-Christians is getting wider.

The Vatican appeal to Hindus talks about anti-conversion laws in some Indian States and the problems these pose for missionaries. But the Vatican must be made to understand that the Indian constitution permits citizens to follow any faith of their choice.

The Indian constitution allows citizens to propagate any religion. But there is a thin line between Conversion and Propagating a religion. It is the duty of the State to restrict the freedom of those whose only goal is to just convert people.

It is well known that wherever people have been converted, social tension has increased. Now, the onus of establishing social harmony lies on the shoulders of the Church. The Church should spend the money it collects in the millions on the welfare of those who have already been converted and are now being exploited inside the Church. The Vatican should think about their genuine liberation.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Importance of the Cow in Vedic Culture

By Subramanian Swamy

Our West-influenced intellectuals sneer at the mention of the cow. The same intellectuals first sneered at yoga. Now it is a fashion to do pranayama at cocktail parties The arguments in the West for cow slaughter are no more uncontested. They also sneered at our sanyasis as `godmen'. Now they flock to ashrams with their white friends ever since the Beatles. Who knows, they may soon have a cow in their backyards.

India has 150 million cows, each of them giving an average of less than 200 litres of milk per year. If they could be fed and looked after, they can give 11,000 litres, as Israeli cows do. That would provide milk for the whole world. The milk we produce today is the cheapest in the world. With enhanced production we could become the world's largest exporter of milk and it could be India's biggest foreign exchange earner.

For those of us who are desi by pedigree and conviction, I place some facts about the cow in the perspective of modern Hindutva.

The cow was elevated to divinity in the Rig Veda. In Book VI, Hymn XXVIII attributed to Rishi Bhardwaja extols the virtue of the cow. In Atharva Veda (Book X, Hymn X), the cow is formally designated as Vishnu, and `all that the Sun surveys'.

Indian society has addressed the cow as gow mata. The Churning of the Sea episode brings to light the story of the creation of the cow. Five divine Kamadhenus (wish cows), viz, Nanda, Subhadra, Surabhi, Sushila, Bahula emerged in the churning.

Thousands of names in our country are cow-related: Gauhati, Gorakhpur, Goa, Godhra, Gondiya, Godavari, Goverdhan, Gautam, Gomukh, Gokarna, Goyal, Gochar etc.

They signify reverence for the cow, and our abiding faith that the cow is Annapurna.

In 2003, the National Commission on Cattle under Justice G. M. Lodha submitted its recommendations to the NDA government. The report called for stringent laws to protect the cow and its progeny in the interest of the rural economy, a constitutional requirement under Directive Principles of State Policy. Article 48 of the Constitution says: `The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle'. During the First War of Independence in 1857, when Bahadur Shah `Zafar' was installed as emperor by the Hindus in Delhi for a brief period, his Hindu prime minister, on the emperor's proclamation, made cow killing a capital offence. In Maharaja Ranjit Singh's kingdom, the only crime that invited capital punishment was cow slaughter.

The cow, according to the Vedas, provides four products for human use: (i) Godugdha (cow milk): As per Ayurveda, cow milk has fat, carbohydrates, minerals and Vitamin B, and even a capacity for body resistance to radiation and for regenerating brain cells. (ii) Goghruta (ghee): The best ghee, it is, as per Ayurveda useful in many disorders. In yajna, it improves the air's oxygen level. (iii) Gomutra (urine): Eight types of urine are used for medicinal purpose nowadays, among which cow urine is held to be the best. The Americans are busy patenting it. It has anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties.

It has immune-modulator properties, which makes it useful for immune deficiency diseases. In the classics there are many references to cow urine as a drug of choice. Even the Parsis follow this practice.

Lastly, (iv), Gomaya (dung) is considered as valuable as Gomutra and used to purify the environment, as it has radium and checks radiation effects.

Ancient Hindu wisdom on the medicinal properties of cow urine is borne out by two patents granted in the US for cow urine distillate (Patent numbers 6410059 and 6896907).

Even China has granted the distillate a patent as a DNA protector. A global patent has been granted for cow urine, neem and garlic as a pest repellent and for fungicidal and growth promoting properties for different crops (WHO 2004/ 087618A1). A US patent has been granted for strains from Sahiwal cow milk for plant growth promoter phytopathogenic fungi controlling activity, abiotic stress tolerating capability, phosphatic solubilisation capability, etc. And CSIR has filed for a US patent for amrit pani, a mixture of cow dung, cow urine and jiggery, for soil health improvement properties.

These claims were initially made in the Charaka Samhita, Sushrut, Vaghbhati and Nighantu, Ratnakar, etc. They prove the utility of cow dung and urine for sustainable agriculture as well as for disease prevention.

The arguments in the West for cow slaughter are no more uncontested. There are better sources of protein than beef. Any dietician's chart shows that beef with 22 per cent protein ranks below soya-bean (43), groundnut (31) and pulses (24 per cent). One kilogram of beef takes seven kg of crops and 7,000 kg of water to produce.

Thus cow protection makes economic and ecological sense. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, convenor of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, has argued that non-vegetarianism indirectly contributes heavily to greenhouse gases and other pollution.

He quotes a UN report from 2006 that says, "Raising animals for meat as food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined". Ten of billions of animals farmed for food release gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide through their massive amounts of manure. "The released methane", the report says, "has 23 times the global warming potential of CO2". For these animals to graze, virgin forests are cleared. The livestock industry also needs vast stretches of land to raise mono-crops to feed the animals. The CO2 that the trees and plants store escapes into the air when they are destroyed.

Growing fodder implies heavy use of synthetic fertilizers produced with fossil fuels.

While this process emits a huge amount of CO2, the fertilizer itself releases nitrous oxide (3) -- a greenhouse gas that is 296 times more potent than CO2. Alarming though these facts are, all that people have to do is to avoid red meat. There will be no need to breed millions of animals for daily slaughter. The animal population will consequently decline.

A single individual by not consuming meat prevents the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions in a year. This is more than the one tonne of CO 2 prevented by switching from a large sedan to a small car.

So there are a number of reasons to be a vegetarian. People who eat meat think a pure vegetarian diet is optional. But now they have no choice if they are alive to what is happening to this life-bearing planet. There is no justification for eating meat, given the devastating consequences for the planet.

A new fervor for a cow renaissance is necessary. It is constitutional (for India) and we should defend it with all our might.