Report: MIT workshop on Challenges to Secularism and Rule of Law in India




By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net,

What are the threats to secularism and the rule of law in India? Some of the best minds of academia, activism, media, and administration came together to discuss various challenges to India at the two-day workshop organized at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.

Program opened on Friday April 9th by a keynote speaker by Professor Paul R. Brass. Prof. Brass research on India expands four decades. He examined in details the anatomy of communal riots. Communal riots unfolds in three stages with pre and post riots stages as important as what happens during the actual violence. Each of these stages have various actors that seek to gain from this violence. Almost all group violence are means to a political end. Prof. Brass opined that all district magistrates have the capability of stopping the violence if they so wished.



Day two was packed with five sessions that looked closely the meaning of secularism in Indian context, conduct of state agencies during violence, assessing police performance in countering violence, challenges in justice, and media reporting of terrorism.

Session 1: Secularism and the State: Changing Contours




L to R: Ratna Kapur, Srirupa Roy, Haimanti Roy, Ornit Shani

“Secular Subjects: Refugees, Minorities and the Citizenship Act of 1955” by Haimanti Roy: Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh are called refugees while Muslims coming to India are treated as infiltrators. Muslims from Bangladesh are migrating due to economic reasons.

“Normalizing Violence in and Through the Legal Discourse of Secularism” by Ratna Kapur: Secularism in India is a contested term. It is important to recognize that various religions including a dominant religion continues to be present in any secular society.

“Multiplex Secularism” by Srirupa Roy: Secularism debate in India, simply put, is how majority and minorities can live together. There has been regionalization of politics in India and there exists multiple forms of secularism. Muslim religious and cultural autonomy is the main focus of Indian secularism.

Secularism is always framed as a national challenge. Therefore in 1980s it meant a strong state with commanding economy. She argued that secularism also need to regionalized with different strategies needed for different regions. For example, challenge to secularism in Gujarat is violence against Muslims while in West Bengal it is the socio-economic discrimination of Muslims. So secular response to these challenges will need to be different in both states.

Hindutva is only one of the challenges to secularism in India. Character of prime opponent of secularism which used to be Hindutva has changed. Invisible and banal violence need to be looked at too, as challenge to secularism. Secularism in India is always reacting, seeking justice in the aftermath of violence.

Ornit Shani of Univ. of Haifa who chaired this session said that the principal of equal treatment allows differential treatment to bring everyone to equality. A Supreme Court judge had once said that secularism can not be separated from social justice.

Shani added that a multi-faceted secularism also means secularism is not applied uniformly or consistently. Discrimination against Muslims are normalized within liberal legal framework. She gave the example of how religion and caste was fused for Hindus for reservation benefits while Muslims and Christians were viewed as homogenized group and therefore denied the reservation benefit to Dalits amongst them.

Session 2: State Performance during Group Violence: Case Studies




L to R: Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, B. Rajagopal, Chinnaiah Jangam

“Caste & Violence: A Study of Atrocities on Dalits” by Chinnaiah Jangam: To understand caste violence one has to understand democratic politics in India. Every hour two Dalits are killed and two Dalit women are raped. Atrocities on Dalits have increased in India; growing assertion of Dalits ensures that violence gets recorded.

Middle castes have replaced Brahmins in post-independent India as the dominating force over Dalits. This domination is asserted through violence. Violence is used not only to suppress Dalits but also as a show of political strength by Reddys in AP.

Indian state dominated by caste Hindus continue to subvert neutral state institutions and legal guarantees.

“Kandhamal, Orissa, 2008: Hindu Majoritarian State and its “Others”” by Angana Chatterji: Hindutvaization of Orissa due to Hindutva-State association. Freedom of religion act, protection of cows act are some of the examples of this association.

Violence in Orissa was to discipline and terrorize. A Hindu man was attacked for advocating Hindu-Christian unity. Even Hindu women participating in looting Dalit properties. Christians were identified as Maoists and conversion terrorists post-Kandhamal.

“Ahimsa, Identification, and Sacrifice in the Gujarat Pogrom, 2002” by Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi: Godhra incident was perceived as something outside of the ordinary logic which was already perceiving Muslims as violent.

Psychological mobilization as happened after Godhra train bombing was missing in other terrorist attacks in India. People were mobilized by use of languages and procession of Godhra victims. Gujarati newspaper played a big role in this psychological mobilization. Gujarat Samachar and Sandesh published suggestive stories of Hindu women being abducted. These stories were found to be false.

What was imagined to be done to Hindu girls in Godhra was done to Muslim women in the pogrom.



“State Failure and Governance: A Rethinking” by B. Rajagopal: There is a belief that the state has a monopoly in use of force and it fails to act. The belief is R2P: Responsibility to protect

Sub-state failure is more common than complete state failure e.g. Gujarat. Somalia is considered a failed state but within this country Southern Somalia was failing but Somali land was functioning as a state. Very few state fails entirely.

What should be the indicator of a state failure?

When we consider an entire state as failure then partial successes as in Somal Land or failures as in Gujarat 2002 are hidden. A micro level analysis of failed state will give early warning system.

Gujarat even though economically growing but falters in many social indicators. Gujarat is a paradox which failed to create a community. wonderful road but no equal justice under law, so is it a success or failure?

There has been complete impunity under both Congress and BJP since violence in 1960s. Indicators need to take both consensus and consequence factors to analyze failure of state.

Only 4% of communal violence has taken place in rural area where 65% of India's population lives. Cities with 5% population account for 85% of communal violence in India.

Even if state plans the pogrom it is still considered a failed state according to the international law. Gujarat 2002 is a sign of state failure. Since admittance of failure is a sign of weakness so state indulge in denial.

Session 3: Countering Violence: Assessing Police Performance.

“Dynamics of Security Sector Performance” by Omar Khalidi: Balraj Madhok said Indian Muslims were born of India but they are not of India. Sardar Patel's directive to Home ministries- keep muslims away from police employment.

Morarji Desai in response to Ahmedabad 1969: Muslim asked for it. Rajiv Gandhi same sentiment in 1984 against Sikhs.

Batla House encounter- arrested youth were made to wear kiffiyeh. to show association with global terrorism?

Only one muslim became Min. of Home Affairs in independent India.

No outcry when Dalit reservation was asked in Army in 2004 but huge outcry when Sachar asked for Muslim headcount in Indian army.



Muslims nearly absent in IB & RAW. No Sikh bodyguard for Manmohan Singh.

Muslims and Dalit officers in police are kept away from sensitive departments such as intelligence, law & order assignments etc.

Overwhelming evidence of nexus between police and Sangh Parivar.

Lower level of police involved in Dalit atrocities even with SC act and BSP govt. police is dominated by upper caste.

Police should be representative of the society. when political establishment is committed then peace can prevail.

Army has better performance record in keeping peace.

Core problem- characterization of Muslims and Christians as foreigners.




Arvind Verma, former IPS officer

“Assessing the Role of Police in Containing Mob Violence” by Arvind Verma

Indian police performance is not dismal, it could be even better than other world police forces.

Analysis based on media reports is not fair since they take up only bigger events and not all.

Indian police are very good in dealing with large crowds since they do it on almost on a daily basis.

If an SP is able to stand up to political leadership then message goes to all police officers that this SP can be trusted.

Police strength is always limited. If police feel they are under threat then police leadership play important role in directing the outcome.

“chhota neta syndrome” lowest foot soldier of a bigger leader. He is a major local actor. These local elements are known by police officers and if signal is given that control is required then these people are picked up.

If a riot continues for several hours then there is some sort of complicity that keeps the violence going.

In Palamu 1984, police leadership in the absence of communication was able to take action quickly but still took 6 hours to control the violence.

In Bhagalpur 1989, Congress was apprehensive of BJP growth so administration was reluctant to take action against Hindu rioters. Bhagalpur 1989 simmered on for two months. Once Rajiv Gandhi intervened then riots were controlled in short time.

SP role need to be there in daily interaction. If SP sets the tone for law enforcement then his lead is followed.

Indian police force has been designed as colonial police by the British and there has been no change in that. There have been many demands for police reforms but it still continue to act as a colonial force though it has learned to function in electoral democracy of India.

Session 4: Bringing Violence Perpetrators to Justice: Experience and Prospects

Delhi: Manoj Mitta: Only 25 judgments in 25 years since 1984 Sikh violence. No serious analysis of group violence can overlook involvement of judiciary in impunity.

Army was part of impunity in 1984, killings continued even after the deployment of the Army. Violence stopped only after the funeral of Indira Gandhi, as if on a cue.

Both judiciary and army should be treated as part of the process of impunity in India.



Mukul Sinha explaining analysis of phone calls of Gujarat 2002 accused

Gujarat: Mukul Sinha: Golwalkar said minorities could live one nation if they accept the rule of the majority.

No one is sure what secularism in India means.

In Gujarat all complaints were filed by police themselves and in almost all cases it was written that "mob reacted."

Narendra Modi was using same language as George Bush. Godhra was presented as an act of "Islamic terrorism."

Nanavati was brought in to prove what Gujarat govt was saying was true.

Modi as posed as an Hindu icon who is being targeted by global terrorism. All fake encounter FIRs had reason that the person killed was there to target Modi.

Burn patterns of survivors of S6 coach shows police claim was false.

Phone calls of Jaydeep Patel was analyzed by Jan Sangharsh Manch. Analysis of MK Tandon police officer shows that he moved away from Gulbarga after getting call from Jaydeep Patel and came back only after the assault had ended.

Encounters in Gujarat stopped after the arrest of Vanzara. May be because he is the main terrorist.




Advocate Shafeeq Mahajir

Andhra: Shafeeq Mahajir

Mecca Masjid May 18th, 2007 blast during juma prayer and subsequent police firing. Police claimed that it fired on the violent crowd. Pictures show people are peaceful. Police are shown throwing stones but none on their feet to show people responded.

250 armed uniformed police, not more than 100-150 people in the vicinity. police claimed 500 people.

Pictures show crowd of spectators who provoked the crowd to respond?

Police said rubber bullets were fired first, no record of rubber bullets in AP police, none spent casing of these bullets found from the scene.

Pictures clearly shows shots fired at head or shoulder level. Bullets were fired at the back of the people.

People helping injured were fired upon.

Fabrication of evidence submitted to commissions of inquiry.

Session 5: Terrorism and the challenge to secularism and rule of law



Meenakshi Ganguly and Dr. Omar Khalidi

“Terrorism and the challenge of advocacy for Human Rights” by Meenakshi Ganguly: States now are more assertive, trying to solve their own terrorism cases. Rajasthan blamed HUJI and targeted Bangla speaking Muslims.

Counter-terrorism in India follows a pattern- a group is identified, arbitrary detention, illegally detained, tortured. Killing of suspects was most gruesome in Punjab, thousands killed and burned.

KPS Gill under whose watch this happened continue to roam freely, give wrong message to the society.

Pin pricks of insults builds up hate. racial profiling

There need to be presumption of innoncence even in cases of terrorism.

Humarn Rights Watch is taking up the violation of religious rights of malegaon accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.




Manoj Mitta

“Terrorism and the Media Reportage,” Manoj Mitta, Senior Editor The Times of India

Azamgarh youth Shahzad Ahmad was projected as doing 9/11 type flying plane attack. That idea didn't fly, then he was projected as the person who shot MC Sharma.

Media always buy into what police tells them even with all contradictions. There is a pattern of these stories planted in media just before important dates and events.

Pakistani media is more anti-establishment than Indian media.

National interest is what benefits people of the nation not the ruling class.

Program was well-attended with all chairs filled and people standing and sitting on the floors.

Comments

This was wonderful event

This was wonderful event that I have attended. I like theme and overall very educational event.

Amazing. Wish I could have

Amazing. Wish I could have attended. Superb news reporting

MIT Workshop - Questions and highlights

Reading the report covering 2-day MIT Worshop on Challenges to Secularism and Rule of Law in India, I would like to highlight some important points, as portrayed by honourable presenters - from multi-cultural cross-selection.

Professor Paul R. Brass highlighted:
----------------------------
a) Almost all GROUP VIOLENCE are means to a POLITICAL end

b) Magistrates have CAPABILITY of STOPPING VIOLENCE, but failed to act

c) Conduct of state agencies during violence, police performance in countering (handling violence), challenges in justice (I would call it INJUSTICE), and media's role in reporting TERRORISM is "copy-cat" version of police versions (without questioning or verifying - implies acceptance of CASH envelopes from interested politicians).

Haimanti Roy highlighted:
-----------------------------
Hindus coming from Pakistan and Bangladesh are called "REFUGEES" (soft corner), while Muslims coming to India are labeled as "infiltrators" (media bias).
This reminds me of international media reporting Palestinians as TERRORISTS, rather than being CORRECTLY REPORTED as "Freedom Fighters".

Ornit Shani - University of Haifa:
----------------------------------
Secularism cannot be separated from SOCIAL JUSTICE. She emphasized that SECULARISM needs to be applied UNIFORMLY and CONSISTENTLY for SUCCESS of a STATE (which is UNTRUE in case of Gujarat).

Chinniah Jangam - Caste and violence:
--------------------
Statistics reveal EVERY HOUR two DALITS are KILLED, and TWO DALIT women are RAPED.
To me this is "mind-boggling" or "eye-opening", and as An Indian, I feel ASHAMED reading / writing this statistics.

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi - highlighted:
-------------------------
Gujarati newspapers played a big-role in psychological mobilization, especially about Hindu women being abducted, which later was found to be FALSE (media bias and false reporting).

B. Rajagopal - highlighted some important facts:
------------------
Gujarat is a PARADOX which failed to create a community, with NO EQUAL JUSTICE.
His statistics further revealed some EYE-OPENING FACTS i.e.:
RURAL India which accounts for 65% INDIAN POPULATION accounts for 4% COMMUNAL VIOLENCE,
whereas
URBAN (cities) which account for 5% INDIAN POPULATION accounts for 85% COMMUNAL VIOLENCE.

Time and TCN permitting, I will endeavour to comment on some more highlights of Workshop covered under Session 3, 4 and 5.

Thank you.

An Indian

Anti-Hindu Hate Groups

Wow, what raging hatred against Hinduism. These are the usual gang working to destroy Hindus. A toxic mix of Islamo-fascists, Jesus Jihadi's and Communists. Usual propaganda. Usual divide and rule tactics inherited from British rule. However they fail to answer the most obvious question, Why is Hindu Nationalism rising in India? Could it be that people are sick of the crusaders, Jihadi's, and Maoist gangsters aided by foreign governments trying to destroy Hindu civilization?

Don't call Anti-Hindu - Call it PRO-JUSTICE

It IS NOT rage against Hinduism, as commented by "Ttyl", but it is "mirror reflection" as portrayed by PRO-JUSTICE Group exposing High-Caste Nationalism. The panel have successfully EXPOSED that TRUE Hindu Religious Belief(s) are highjacked, and FALSELY imposed by "banner carriers" of Hindutva / Sangh Parivar Ideals / Principles.

Facts revealed - Imposter Sadhus and Sandhvis, projected / protected by Hindutva (Sangh Parivar) to achieve POLITICAL GOALS, thereby TAINTING Hindu Religion - which is UNACCEPTABLE to majority Hindus.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as HINDU NATIONALISM - it is HINDUTVA (High Caste) "abuse" to gain Power, but there IS NO "such thing" in SECULAR INDIA.

An Indian

anything anti-hindu is projustice in India

In India minorities are pampered while anything anti -HINDU is projustice. But in other ISLAMIC countries reverse is true. Anything pro-ISLAMIC is JUSTICE and anti-minoritism is the RULE. EVEN in PAK the BLASPHEMY LAW is a cognizable offense allowing police to arrest any MINORITY without arrest warrant. Hindus have to unite to get out of this problem.

Regarding HAJ subsidy, PAKIS pay equivalent to Rs 49000/- Indian Rupess as airfare for HAJ and back from Lahore while Indians MUSLIMS pay just 12000/- only. Let any Indian MUSLIM get a HAJ air ticket for less than Rs 60000/- and then claim that there is no subsidy. HAJ SUBSIDY is haram and so the TAAQUIA that the subsidy is to Air India is being propagated. OR LET INDIAN MUSLIMS DECLARE THAT THEY WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANY POLITICAL PARTY WHICH DOES NOT SUPPORT WITHDRAWAL OF HAJ SUBSIDY.

Airfare Mumbai or Delhi to London

Whom are you trying to FOOL, LGBT Anonymous diverting from main issue???

Here is the Mumbai or Delhi to London airfare, published at Rs. 6,930/- one-way. Click this web-link and read with your own OR borrowed eyes:

http://www.yatra.com/international/YT/fares.html?citytype=MD&departure=D...

Next time, don't try to divert ABUSING "Wet", "Dry" and "Damp" lease by AIR INDIA or any airlines MIS-MANAGEMENT to support your views about SLEEPING / INTOXICATED AIR-INDIA MAHARAJA. If price of OIL - I mean jet-fuel has gone up the roof OR sky, don't try to "shy-away" from a signed contract following GOI's policy. In Mumbai or Delhi to London sector, AIR-INDIA serves passenger with LIQUOR, which they can save in Mumbai - Jeddah sector, carrying Hajj passengers.

Thank you, and good luck.

An India

P.S.:
------
There is no doubt, AIR INDIA is BENEFITING from Hajj flights and Hajj subsidy which is ASSURED Annual PASSENGERS.

Do you own maths if, Mumbai to London (double the distance) is Rs. 6,900/- what should be reasonable airfare Mumbai to Jeddah return ???

Sorry folks, I am diverting from the topic, but I am forced - since some HOLLOW / FOOLISH commentators centuries old tactics is to divert, obfuscate, and confuse !!! They are used to centuries old cast-discrimination practices.

Like the latest Bollywood Movie: Atithi Tum Kab Jaoogey!!! - I am forced to question:

High-Caste Indians - Tum Kab Jhooth Boolna Choodogey ???
High-Caste Indians - Tum Kab Danga / Fasaad Phailanaa Choodogey ???
High-Caste Indians - Tum Kab Doosroon Kay Masjid Giranaa Choodogey ???
High-Caste Indians - Tum Kab Bey-Kasoor Naari aur Bachchoon ki Hatya Karna Choodogey ???
High-Caste Indians - Tum Kab Bewaoon aur Yateemon (Widow and Orphans) kii sankhya badanaa kam karoogey ???

Very good that - lets defeat them at their own game

These hollow/foolish commentators alway try diverting the issue. Call for genocides of Muslims and they bring Pandits from Kashmeer as if nothing had happened before 1989. If these castists have any shame left in them, they should reply your questions. In fact I have researched and found that these creatures are brought up fed on the notion that all things are for them and the 'others' are for their service. It is like the mentality of the Jews where all non-Jews are "genitals" so for their service. That is the reason despite all the law-less-ness of the Zionist entity, only India is going all out though we hardly have any Jewish lobby like what the USA has. It is like the Europe which tries to usurp all the world resources by any means and the 20% white population of this world uses 90% of the resources. The only point is these castists are ready to be second/third rate to the white race while we see all to be equal. This is the reason there are many admirers of Hitler in indian political system.

Abject ridiculous Mr/Ms Ttyl

First of all, you have to understand what the word Hindu means.The word Hindu means one who resides on the other side of Sindhu River.Hindu can be a Sikh or Christian or Muslim if he is born and living in present India.But the clever racist Brahmanical group, a big minority, wants to cover the ugly face of Brahmanical religion using words such as Hindu,Hinduism and Hindutva.Hindu religion is nothing but a false propaganda to assimilate Dravidians and Tribal people, who have their own customs and rituals different from that of Brahmanical Group.The process of assimilation is being successfully carried out among Sikhs,Christians,Tribals and Dravidians.Islam is believed to be strong enough to resist the evil Brahmanical design.That is why Muslims are targeted and being terrorised by demolishing worshipping places,genocide and fake encounters.You must understand the word Hindu is alien, originated from Persian language and will never work as an organised religion.

The trend has been that

The trend has been that incidents of arson and violence are often done by Hindu nationalists themselves to incite mob violence and fury. So, Why is Hindu Nationalism rising in India?
Answer(s): After demolishing Babri Masjid, they are emboldened. False sense of nationalism. Learning hate from an early age. Insecurity about themselves. Fascism viz. "Tell a lie so many times, that it becomes the truth" and the list can go on.

what happened to coverage of

what happened to coverage of Dr. Angana Chatterji's amazing work?

"Statistics reveal EVERY

"Statistics reveal EVERY HOUR two DALITS are KILLED, and TWO DALIT women are RAPED.
To me this is "mind-boggling" or "eye-opening", and as An Indian, I feel ASHAMED reading / writing this statistics."

Chinniah Jangam is a convert to Christianity so hardly an unbiased source. Don't know where he get's his statistics from. Anyway, the BBC news had an article on Dalit Christians, I would like to know his opinion on that, since we hear only evil Hindus have tribalism.
These statistics actually make no sense at all because it adds up to 17532 Dalits killed 17532 Dalit women raped per year. That's a very small number out of 200 million Dalits. The more important question is who is commiting these crimes, are they Muslims or other Hindu ethnicities? Dalit is a made up identity of various different ethnicities. So called Brahmins (like Dalits, there is no such thing as a pan Brahmin identity) face horrendous discrimination in education and jobs and actually have the highest poverty rate in India. Yet Brahmins are regularly attacked by these same "human" rights groups. Why? Because in their minds weakening Brahmins will weaken Hinduism and a rich soul harvest can be made for Jesus or Allah.
These tactics are fairly outdated and infact through greater awareness of these subversive agents of foreign powers, Hindu Nationalism is actually growing at the street level in India.

Coverage of Dr. Angana

Coverage of Dr. Angana Chatterji's presentation of her courageous and commendable work is not here. She used her book 'Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present' and addressed issues facing Christians, Muslims, adivasis and dalits and the role and crisis of the nation state in majoritarianism that led to the riots against Dalit Christians in August 2008 in Orissa. She was among the most prominent at the conference and was underreported. Why was this so?

Air India is fleecing Hajis and hoodwinking the nation.

It is extremely heartining to know that there are few people still left in India who are recording and discussing the injustices done to weaker sections of the Indian society, on one or the other context.

I learnt that the Air India is fleecing Hajis and even after giving the benifits in the name of so called haj subsidies, hajis are paying more than the normal fare. Had Hajis were not mandatarily travel by Air India for Haj & Umrah, Air India would have been written off from the aviation Industry many years back, due to the poor cash flow. In truth hajis have rescued Air India, which any person of very little knowledge of mathematics can understand However, Media & Govt. agencies are hoodwinking masses using haj subsidy to convince that the govt. promote every religious sects. This needs to be discussed and clarified in such a firm.

Yes my dear, we need to work on educating others

Dear Sameer,

We need to talk about this whenever we talk of India as a nation. The problem of secularisation is such that anything related to religion is relegated to 'banished' topics while we find that religion is taught in the garb of culture and history. The damage by castiest and communalists cannot be defeated by mere absenting from the talks because even if you aovid religion, why we think that the individual will purge himself/herself of his/her prejudices. So, just by being 'you' if it is cause of loss, why not to talk and be loser. There are chances when the talk will have positive effect. One need to remember that pointing falsehood is our duty, least being just consiering so in oneself. Talking about it is second and the best is to prevent.

The voice of the conscience of Mother India

Two days of intense focus on the conscience of the Indian nation; where is the Indian society going as the nation makes remarkable econmic and industrial progress? Why the educated and well to do Indians and their institutions do not pay attention to such flagrant denial of equality and simple social justice to one third of the Indians - about 300 million souls.

Why for 40 years the federal governments and state governments have refused to prevent group violence based on religious differences? Why they have so completly shut out the voices of the common Hindu, common Muslim, common sik, common Christian?

How in the face of the awsome abuse of power and gory, uncontrolled sectarian violence against the helpless poor people, a few social justice activists are struggling to uphold basic and ancient Indian values alive?

Such intense and powerful issues were discussed in a calm and reasoned atmosphere with academic undertones in the august home of the world renowned MIT. Such events should be held every year all around North America to motivate NRIs to take the lead in purging group and religion-based violence from our motherland, so that India can once again be the leading nation on earth: "saare jahan se acchha Hindostan hamaara" - in real terms.

What the RSS guy said makes a lot of sense...(regarding muslims

I came across an interview of the Karnataka RSS chief in a kannada newspaper...

When asked, why does RSS hate muslims, he said...

" We dont have a problem with our muslim countrymen who join the mainstream and do not have any extra-territorial loyalties..."

Interviewer : " Do you mean Pakistan ? "

..." Yes.... but we do have a lot of problem with those Indian muslims who are brainwashed in their childhood in their childhood in mosques and madrassas to hate India and hindus. And there are unfortunately many such muslims in our country".....

......................

Well said !!! My sentiments exactly. How can we treat those who cheer for Pakistan and send their daughters to Pakistan as our countrymen ?

And regarding this conference at MIT... just a bunch of India hating hindu hating thugs gathered together in one place. Some of the comments here seem to be made from the same category of people.

Do RSS and its goons make/have sense? Mr Prashant

Once you read "Bunch of Thought" you will never say that RSS would make sense unless otherwise you are born to be a racist Aryan/Brahmin.The content of Bunch of thought urges RSS thugs to establish supremacy over non-Aryans(Dalits,Tribal,Muslims,Christians and Communists) by eliminating or subjugating them.Just think how much terrorism/hate it propagates in a Democracy.RSS founder had praised Hitler many times for the persecution of Jews in Germany to establish Aryan Supremacy.As of Creation of Pakistan,Brahmana/Baniya group had contributed more than Muslims in the creation of Pakistan.If you read the recently published book written by Mr. Jaswant Singh,ofcourse everyone will come to the conclusion that Pakistan is created totally (100%) in the interest of Brahmanical Group in order to eliminate or diminish the presence of Muslims in India.Good Game and So Clever.You create Pakistan and keep saying Indian Muslims are loyal to Pakistan and just terrorise and alienate Muslims from the mainstream.I think the Rules of the Game is going to be changed soon.It is a matter of time.

RSS makes a lot of NON-SENSE

I have no problem with the commentators, but I disagree with the comments and ideology of RSS - a high-caste SUPERIORITY-MONGERING organization.

One commentator makes sense out of RSS spokesperson's comment about Muslims. How about your views, on a small laundry-list of injustices, committed by RSS / Sangh Parivar

a) Assassination/killing of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, a one-time RSS member
b) Distancing from Maharshis / Pujaris whenever caught "OFF-GUARD"
c) Elimination of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, erecting a smokescreen, abusing K.P.Raghuvanshi's services
d) Professing and abuse of Imposter - Pragha Singh Thakur - Malegaon Blast suspect
e) Protection of Imposter Sadhu - Dayanand Pandey - Malegaon Blast suspect
f) Projection of Naari-Hatyakaari CM of Gujarat, and feel-good about his notorious accomplishment(s) abusing power
g) Planting bombs at Goa / Pune targeting Hindus and common/innocent Indians
h) Hate anyone other than High-Caste Indians
i) Identify themselves as PURE / SOLE flag-bearers of Hindu Religion
j) Justify any and all their WRONGDOINGS
k) Kar-Seva and doing Badnaam / Beykaam seva
l) Lynching and torching Kar Sevaks, when job accomplished
m) Benefiting and returning to power ABUSING "emotions"/"sympathy" votes

Shall I continue with "laundry-list" of crimes by Sangh Parivar???

Whenever HIGH-CASTE injustices are exposed by any organization, they come-up with defense - whether JUSTIFIABLE or NOT, whether TRUE or NOT, whether ACCEPTABLE or NOT.

One commentator says: Chinniah Jangam is a new Christian convert. If Chinniah Jangam is a Christian convert - what forced him to go for conversion ?? Don't you think it is because of caste-discrimination ?? Don't you think it is because of constructing / erecting LING outside Temples, specifically dedicated for low-caste darshan / pooja ?? And readers will be ashamed to find the meaning of LING !!!

And then, the commentator continues justifying killings of Dalits and raping Dalit Women is miniscule compared to total population, even though the crimes are committed at the rate of two per hour. Shamelessly, an accusing finger is pointed at Christians or Muslims. Ooh just shut-up, instead of spilling wrong ideas / ideals!!!

Now you tell me, about facts of these FEW, but "recent articles". It's only a sample list, from a list of pandora box full of High-Caste Crimes, a population which forms less than TWO percent of total Indians. Here they are:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/maharashtra/Dalit-killed-for-dig...

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/04/07/16-get-death-sentence-in-bihar-dalit-...

http://www.indiablooms.com/NewsDetailsPage/newsDetails040410g.php

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/raped-dalit-girl-kills-self-as-cops-letoff-th...

How do you like these articles, from mainstream India media ??? Are they biased ??? Or are your views distorted ???

Now coming back to your "so-called" justifiable statistics coming out with a "hallucinatory / magic" figure of killing and raping 17,532 dalits ? Did the culprits get justice ? One dalit girl committed suicide upon hearing the killer-cop was let-off. And you will note from all four web-links, culprits are High-Caste Indians - centuries old caste-discrimination.

Wake up buddies, before Bhajpa / RSS / Sangh Parivar colours not-only their hands with BLOOD of innocent Indians, BUT, if allowed, they will not hesitate to have a BLOOD-SNAN (Blood Bath) using innocent Indians Blood.

Amamazed

P.S.:
------
Laundry-list of PAAP or SINS committed by Bhajpa / Sangh Parivar are TOO GREAT to forgive OR forget, by anyone !!!

Even Bhagwaan Raam, may feel ashamed looking at SINS committed in his name. My sincere apologies, if I hurt any "True" Raam-Bhakts' feeling(s).

Where are the Indians in India?

Democracy means an independent judiciary with common civil, criminal & personal laws for every citizen and a culture that values expression as well as equal respect for all religions. In America, Europe and Canada Democracy also means that citizenship and nationality are one and the same. But that’s not the case in India. People are first Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Christian etc. then they are Jat, Ahir, Brahmin, Vashya, Kayasth, Kshatriya, Bhapey, Ramgariye, Shia, Suni, Wahabi, Catholic, Protestant etc. and then they are Gujarati, Bihari, Punjabi, Maratha, Bengali, Rajasthani etc None of them ever feel or say they are Indian first.

India lacks an identity that supersedes caste, ethnicity, religion and region, which can unify all its citizens as equal members of a shared Nation with a shared destiny reached through common goals. The multi-fractured nature of Indian society goes beyond the healthy human disagreement and debate inherent to a healthy democracy, instead prompting the question whether India’s 1.2 billion citizens; Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Christian further sub-divided into more factions are actually want to be “Indians’.

Question the objectivity of this conference?

If India is as bad as this conference makes it out to be for Muslims, who are the greatest adored and highest paid hindi movie actors? Who was the Cricket captain? If India has issues, why is it for many centuries India provided solace to so many religions? It would have been wiser if this conference includes self searching of lack of accommodation for other religions in Islam, social problems of Muslims such as Polygamy, uncontrolled number of children, lack of preference to education and most importantly treating a Muslim woman with respect and dignity like any other human being. The sum of this conference is it is like some brain washed marxists cherry picking data to project an image. Also, I find offense with Angana's comment of highly revered Hindu saint as some Hindu man. Are these people going to be objective? Give me a break.

Regards,
Sekhar

Logical objective question by Sekhar Bapatla

Questions you raised are JUST and OBJECTIVE Mr. Sekhar Bapatla. However, propping someone to become Indian Cricket Team Captain, and paying Movie Heroes highest pay or giving greatest adoration, DOES NOT MEAN there is no INJUSTICE and DISCRIMINATORY practice(s) in India. Daily Newspapers and TV news stories are full of ILLEGAL PRACTICES by High-Caste Pandits / Pujaris.

It is true, India provided solace to so many religions prior to independence. It's not India that provided - it's the rulers of that time who accommodated multi-religious, multi-racial assimilation OR mutual-coexistence. And that's the reason those religious-followers preferred to stay back in India, after independence. Upon seeing that "quite the opposite" of what is promised under Constitution of India is being practiced, they are demanding JUSTICE.

No-one is asking which is not laid out in INDIAN CONSTITUTION. Follow RULE of LAW, without bias / discrimination.

Try to understand the issue, instead of trying to point accusing finger(s) at others. Thank you.

An Indian

MIT forum!

It is a big lie that anybody is systematically discriminated against in India. I am sure some people ahve deep rooted opinions about various things and groups.

I do hate the so called secularists lumping Christians, Muslims, non-caste Hindus etc together as suppressed. Christians defdinitely are not (I can vouch for it). They control all aspects of Kerala. They have many ministers in central cabinet including AK Antony for Defense (a non-elected person)..George Fernandez was a defence minister too. Sonia Gandhi is a Christian lady, that too a foreign born one. Indians do not have a problem in accepting her as leader. So many Kerala Christians have gone on to variuous leadership positions in politics, academics, reserach,coomeerce and finance. The milk revolution oin india would not ahve been possible without the contributions of Dr Varghese kurien. IIM Ahmedabad would not have been in its present gflorious position had it not been for Ravi Mathai. The list is endless. Yes, recet converts in some of the north Indian states may have experienced some problems. Those are all natural problems of a society growing, adapting, adjusting. US has militias and hate groups who taunt blacks and jews; that does not mnake US a "lesser" democracy. I wish all these secularists will go to ISlamic countries and assess the way they treat minoroties in those countries.

Raju Kurien a big hypocrite

Mr. RAJU,Have you ever visited any Muslim country? I have visted many Muslim and European countries.I do not hear regular news of persecution and killings of Indians from Arab-Muslim coutries but from Australia and Europe, the centre of Christianity.Can you negate this fact? Now you are welcome to some Muslim coutries, where Christian missionaries are working freely and converting many Hindus to Christianity eg:- Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar etc.You will find there a lot of churches and businesses run by Indian Christians.They are successfully running BARS and Brothels covertly and openly.I understand what bothers you.Your perverted belief does not find place in the land of Muslims.When I had interacted with many Keralite Christians,they showed a sort of imperialism and hypocrisy in their behaviour.There is no place for imperialism and hypocrisy among true Muslims.

You hv right to comment BUT don't try to divert from issue

Raju Kurien, Sekhar Bapatla, Nonymouse, Anonymous, Ttyl, Prashant and others have all RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES to COMMENT - unlike at Saamna and other Bhajpas' corrupt / dominated websites, where others' views are blocked or restricted.

On TCN, don't try to DIVERT from ISSUE - Challenges to Secularism and Rule of Law in India. That's the CRUST and MAIN ISSUE of the MIT Workshop, as that's what is in practice in India - affecting Indians across the board.

Most commentators have raised issues UNRELATING to article published above. Having all answers, and being a logical / rightful commentator, I am, on my own compelling to restrict myself to the subject under article.

I hope all commentators do accordingly, following educated and civilized citizens dictates.

An Indian

The biggest challenge to secularism in India is MUSLIMS.

The first time I came to know about religion was when I was in class ONE and one of my class mate came to the class with a "skull cap". When asked why is he wearing it he told us that his father insisted that he wear it- and his father was a Govt servant. This resulted in most us-me and my friends asking our parents as to why just one of our friend dresses differently and various explanation could have been given but the net result was that the MUSLIM boy was given a "non-secular nickname" from the next day. It can be claimed that constitution grants anyone the right to dress as he please but the first seeds of "religious difference" came amongst us from the action of MUSLIMS themselves. The many Christians boys in our class did not dress differently and so never projected a separate identity like the MUSLIM BOY.

So when the MUSLIMS themselves persist on "projecting a separate identity in everything they do"- dressing, eating, talking (that boy gave his mother tongue as URDU even though he could only speak the local language- not a word of URDU), why complain when people treat MUSLIMS as a separate entity?? Muslims will have to integrate with the society they live in and become secular FIRST if they wanted to be treated as secular.

Learn to respect others Mr.Anon

Why do you want to insist on others to dress,speak and eat as you do? Only Fascists can not accept things which has different taste and look.First you have to learn to respect others.

"The Biggest Challenge to Secularism in India" good question

Thank you "Anonymous" for your BEAUTIFUL and INTERESTING question about "The Biggest Challenge to Secularism in India". Readers having audio / video software on your PC's can click and watch this short "YouTube" video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN6Ty-djVTc

Thank you for your understanding.

An Indian

Report should have given more coverage to Sikhs and Christians

This news report of the excellent 2 day "Human Rights in India" conference at MIT is very comprehensive and has tried to cover almost all the speakers. Congratulations to the writer for producing the report so quickly.

However in the process the coverages of group violece against Christians in Orissa (2004-2009) and Sikhs in Delhi & Punjab (1984-86) have received small coverage. In the conference itself Dr Angana Chatterji spoke at length about the large scale organized violence against Christians in Orissa. And Mr Mitta spoke at length about the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and Punjab.

Although in the last 50 years Muslims have been the continual target of group violence abetted by the police; Sikhs, Christians and Dalit Hindus have also suffered a lot. In the conference itself this is how most attendees felt. I hope another report will bring it out.

Report of the MIT Event

The MIT event is suppose to be an eye openner for those who do not know about Indian Polity based on religion and cast. I suggest Mr. Kashif to load actual papers on this net so that those who are not living in Boston/Cambridge could go through the actual content of papers.

@ An Indian

I hope the well intentioned folks at MIT can hold a similar event to discuss and debate the minority related issues in Muslim countries in conjunction with such an event on India.

1) Can they talk about the riots around the world just on the small issue of a few images of the prophet being depicted by a danish newspaper?

2)Can they display those images and prove their secular credentials ? Or are these reserved only for taking a customary swipe on hindus/jews (India/Israel)?

3) Can they talk about the draconian blasphemy laws in Islamic countries too ?

4) Can they talk about the plight of women in Saudi as well ?

5)It seems that where ever there is conflict in the world (Middle-east, South Asia, Europe, Russia, US), regardless of what the other party might be - one party is always Sslamic. Why ? Can it be something to do with Islam ? Or is it just the fault of the rest of the world.

6)Besides aren't some of the participants in this obviously anti-Hindu anti-India event hindu/indians themselves? Says something about us being able to criticize over selves. ? Doesn't it ?

Let me try a logic that probably people like you ( Mr. "An Indian" - most probably a closet jihadi) may understand ...

Islam means peace - hence no muslim is a terrorist.

Hinduism,Sikhism, Judaism and Christianity mean equality and acceptance of diversity of other people - hence no hindu, jew, sikh or christian that is living in India or anywhere else in this world can be what you are trying to describe.

Another Indian

Anonymous - facts are different from what you write about India

Sorry "Anonymous" !

Facts, as we see / read are DIFFERENT from what you write in your list of WRONGFUL ACCUSATION of OTHERS.

I wrote earlier - A PERSON HAS RIGHT TO CARRY AN UMBRELLA TO PROTECT FROM RAIN OR SUN. While carrying an umbrella, it cannot be poked, at others. Other's around, have right to privacy-of-space, which cannot AND should-not be violated. Practice in India is along same lines violating other's rights, including inciting MOBS, carrying out RIOTS, and ABUSING Kar-Seva.

A person has right to criticize other's actions, but that person cannot hurt other's feelings by exercising that right - in a civilized society. One has right to criticize, but cannot publicly making fun, hurting other's religious customs / practice(s). That's abuse.

World Famous Televangelist Mr. Jimmy Swaggart, during a debate in U.S.A. with Ahmed Deedat challenged Mr. Deedat to have a debate in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Ahmed Deedat, not being a Saudi National, plainly answered, and I quote his statement:

Quote:
-------
I have no objection to having a debate with you in the centre of world - Makkah. But you should know, every country has requirements to enter a country i.e. obtain visa. To enter Makkah, one needs to be a Muslim. Just satisfy that requirement - you may get a visa, and we can have a debate there, provided that country allows!
Unquote:
---------

Don't try to be NAIVE, by arguing on sidelines - diverting from main issue i.e. Challenges to Secularism and Rule of Law in India being discussed at MIT Workshop.

Those delegates are not discussing about issues relating solely to Muslims, but they have included other Indians - and you can see in pictures there are Sikhs and Christians. They are discussing rights of Dalits, Adivasis, Vanvasis, SC's and ST's, including other minorities who are being sidelined ABUSED by High-Caste Supremacists. Yes, there is diversity in India - but practice of diversity is being ABUSED for political benefit. Thank you for your understanding.

An Indian

P.S.:
------
Read any mainstream or sidestream newspaper in India or any TV News Channel, and you will know facts - firsthand.

Where to from here?

Present-day hindus are being compared to Jews in the third reich as having some particalur hereditary chromosome deficiency in their genes.In Nazi Germany this meant justifisable genocide on these and other grounds,such as promiscuity,immoral sexual pracices and depravity.Why has the clock started ticking again,heading towards an uncertain future for the world.
Labelling many hindus as "untermenschen" or sub-humans like thier jewish counterparts cannot help the plight of those contingent to peaceful living and a life of their own.But if the aspirations of such are being impeded by hindu-jew policy in socio-religio-economic structures,I fear the worst,not only for jews and hindus but also for their sympathisers.

If the organizers of this

If the organizers of this propaganda are so convinced of the authenticity of their mission, how come they are afraid to invite to have speakers with opposing views to their meets. People with shallow principles have to take recourse to one-sided debates to publicize their untruths.
Please read this book: Lies,lies and More Lies.The Campaign to defame Hindu Nationalism (ISBN 9780595435494- available on Amazon.com)

Organizers have right to SELECTION of panelists !!!

"Anonymous Baabu"

Organizers of the event have RIGHT to SELECTION of panelists. If those intending to present their views are as IGNORANT as you, in conveying OR posting views, ORGANIZERS do not WISH to TAINT themselves, nor spoil the event's SUCCESS.

By the way, and for your information - MIT Workshop was a BIG SUCCESS. If the TRUTH is "pinching OR itching" you and your LIAR Hindutva / Sangh Parivar ((BADI JHOOTHI PARTY)) leaders - please FEEL FREE, to clarify, unlike @ Saamna and other Hindutva Controlled websites, where IMPARTIAL and TRUTHFUL views are BLOCKED selectively.

Try to especially prove that, Babri Masjid was not destructed ILLEGALLY.

Prove Godhra Train Fire was carried out BY Hindutva / Kar-Sevaks.

Prove that CHEAP Minister, DID NOT divert from NORMAL PROCEDURE of sending 58-dead for post-mortem. We know he ABUSED his power, brought all 58-dead bodies to Ahmedabad for TAMASHA / FANNING EMOTIONS - incited masses, created CHAOS and RIOTS.

It's better if LIARS keep shut, and save face - instead of poking their ((BLOOD STAINED)) nose, inviting more s... to hit - then TAKE precaution, and USE some WISDOM - although it's too late. Thank you.

An Indian

P.S.:
------
Please do not forget to view the latest cartoon on "Kasab" hanging and the remaining THREE HONOURABLE KASABS, hiding behind for YEARS, to escape JUSTICE.