Was homosexuality illegal during the early Muslim rule of the Indian subcontinent?

Was homosexuality illegal during the early Muslim rule of the Indian subcontinent?

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Was homosexuality punished under the early Muslim rule in India, beginning with the Umayyad conquest of Punjab and Sinh in 712? The early Muslims were Arabs and part of a universal caliphate. After the caliphate collapsed, they were replaced in India by the Persian Samanid Empire, and the Persianised Ghaznavid dynasty.

Thus, unlike the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire in the 13th and 16th centuries, which were largely confined to India and became progressively more native, the earlier Islamic regimes were wholly foreign and based outside of India.

The Most Perfect Muslim

Those with some common sense will question the actions of the prophet and the commands in the Quran. It is very clear that the Quran supports all the actions of the prophet. This is because ‘Allah is the messenger of Muhammad’.

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Christians often claim that, if we just return to the morality of the Christian Bible, all will be well.

Just one example is needed to show the folly of such a claim. Consider Exodus 21:7-11:

“If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she SHALL NOT be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she DOES NOT please the man who bought her, then he shall let her be bought back again but the man HAS NO POWER to sell her to foreigners, since the man has wronged her by no longer wanting her after marrying her. And if the man arranges an engagement between a Hebrew slave-girl and his son, then the man may NO LONGER treat her as a slave-girl, but must treat her as a ‘daughter’. If the man himself marries her AND THEN TAKES ANOTHER WIFE, the man MAY NOT reduce her food or clothing, or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If the man fails in any of these three things, then she may leave freely without any payment.”

Here in the “Holy” Christian book allegedly inspired by Christian “God the Father”, we see that Christian “God the Father” supports the idea that women are the property of men, that a man can sell his daughter into sex-slavery, that the buyer can arrange a marriage for her, and that the man can take on additional wives.

What do world’s faithful Christians say about this?

Usually that, the Old Testament doesn’t count.

If that’s the case, then world’s faithful Christians should remove the Old Testament from their Bibles.

But even given that, Christians should not be allowed to get away with this charade — the God of the Old Testament is the same “God the Father” that world’s faithful Christians worship.

Christians are fond of saying that morality and what is right or wrong doesn’t change because “God the Father” doesn’t change.

World’s faithful Christians broadcast the idea that, morality DOES NOT change over time and therefore claim, for example, that homosexuality cannot ever be accepted because it is clearly considered an abomination in the “Holy” Christian Bible.

Given that, then we should still be able to sell our daughters into sex-slavery because Christian “God the Father” doesn’t change, and it is STILL IN THE “HOLY” CHRISTIAN BIBLE.’

The founder of Jainism, Mahavira — who lived six centuries before Jesus was born — produced a moral code in one sentence that outshines anything written in the Jewish-Christian Bible.

The following is a quote from Sam Harris’ book “Letter to a Christian Nation,” p. 23:

Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Christian Bible with a just single sentence:

“DO NOT injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.”

Imagine how different our world would have been if the Jewish-Christian Bible contained this as its central precept.

It should be obvious that morality DID NOT originate with Judeo-Christian-Islam, but rather that morality deteriorated with the spread of Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion.

Under the supposed authority of their faith, Christians violated every one of Mahavira’s precepts and justified it all by reference to their “holy” scriptures.’

Christians have been telling lies for centuries, lying to themselves and to others in a desperate attempt to maintain a tenuous hold on their faith.

— The Bible has NO contradictions.

— The Bible treats women as equals.

— Atheists have no morals, feelings, or emotions because, human ethics and morality as well as the rule of laws that we see today are solely due to Christianity.

— Biological evolution is false and cannot be true.

— The United States of America is a country founded on Christianity.

— The Bible is the ultimate source of morality, because without Bible there are immoral behaviors all around us.

— Life has no meaning without religion.

— Homosexuality is a choice.

— The Bible treats marriage solely between one man and ONLY ONE WOMAN.

— The Bible does NOT support slavery because, human-slavery originated from “Paganism”.

— A fertilized egg is a person!

— Christianity is a peaceful, loving religion because, before the advent of Christianity there were too many wars.

— Christians give more to the poor than the atheists do.

— The Earth is 10,000 years old.

— Christianity is under attack all over the world.

What should be noted here is that a true, factual religion would have NO need to tell any lies, because truth and reality would always be supportive of its doctrine.

On the other hand, a man-made false religion such as Christianity would need constantly to tell a litany of untruths as well as outright bold-faced lies in order to keep its followers from doubting their faith.

“Phil says: The ONLY reason our society has ethics and morals as developed in the west is due to the message of Jesus and the reformers. Check history and the truth for yourself.”


Like a slowly developing train wreck, the child abuse scandal of the Christian Church has been unfolding over the past several decades. Hundreds if not thousands of children have been subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of Christian priests.

It is likely that the recent revelations are simply a product of a more open society and that similar abuses have been ongoing to some degree for the entire 2000-year history of the Christian church.

It is undeniable that the Popes, Cardinals, and other church authorities undertook a concerted effort to COVER UP the scandal, taking far too few punitive actions, while simply moving troublesome priests to other churches where they could find new targets for their addiction for naked boys!

Why would Christian “God the Father” have allowed this to happen?

If Christian God the Father has the perceptive and potency capabilities as assumed by most Christians, it would seem that Christian God the Father would have intervened to stop the damaging abuse to the children as well as the embarrassing devastation to the Christian Church’s reputation.

Wouldn’t Christian God the Father have communicated somehow with the church authorities in whatever manner possible to prod them into taking the correct and humane actions necessary to bring this abomination to an end?

The fact that this DIDN’T HAPPEN suggests that the type of “God the Father” assumed by most Christians is NOT real.’

William Benjamin Smith, “Ecce Deus: Studies of Primitive Christianity”, London, England, 1912

William James Durant & Ariel Kaufman Durant, “The Story of Civilization (Volumes I to XI)”, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, USA, 1935

Louis Gordon Rylands, “Did Jesus Ever Live?”, Watts & Co., London, England, Second Edition, 1936

Ramesh Chandra Majumder, “The History and Culture of the Indian People (Volumes I to XI)”, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Educational Trust, Mumbai, India, 1951

Damodar P. Singhal, “India and World Civilization”, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1969

Morton Smith, “Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark”,
English, Greek and Latin Edition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1973

John Van Seters, “Abraham in History and Tradition”, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, 1975

Paul Johnson, “A History of Christianity”, Penguin Books, London, England, 1978

Michael Thomas Walter Arnheim, “Is Christianity True?”, London, England, 1984

George Albert Wells, “Did Jesus Exist?”, London, England, Second Edition, 1986

Pierre Chuvin, “A Chronicle of the Last Pagans (Revealing Antiquity)”, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1990

Ram Gopal Misra, “Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders Up To 1206 A.D.”, Anu Books, Meerut City, India, Reprint 1992

Koenraad Elst, “Psychology of Prophetism: A Secular Look at the Bible”, New Delhi, India, 1993

Ishwar Sharan, “The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple”, South Asia Books, Columbia, Missouri, USA, Revised Edition, 1995

Charles Bradley Templeton, “Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith”, McClelland & Stewart, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1996

Earl J. Doherty, “The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?”, Canadian Humanist Publications, Ottawa, Canada, 1999

Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt, “Judgments on History and Historians”, Liberty Fund, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Second Edition, 1999

Daniel Edwin Barker, “Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist”, Fourth Printing, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 2003

Pranati Ghosal, “Lifestyle of the Vedic People (Reconstructing Indian History and Culture), D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India, 2005

Robert Louis Wilken, “The Myth of Christian Beginnings”, Wipf & Stock Publishers, Oregon, USA, Reprint 2009

Sita Ram Goel, “History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (AD 304 to 1996)”, New Delhi, India, Second Edition, 2010

Edward Gibbon, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volumes I to VI)”, Everyman’s Library, New York, USA, Reprint 2010

Thomas L. Thompson, “The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham”, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin, Germany, Reprint 2016

Kishori Saran Lal, “Muslim Slave System in Medieval India”, South Asia Books, Columbia, Missouri, USA, Reprint 2016

James Joseph O’Donnell, “Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity”, Ecco Press, New York, USA, Reprint 2016

Michael Shermer, “Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia”, Henry Holt and Co., New York, USA, 2018

The Bible also advocates slavery, rape, slaughter of innocent, stoning, looting, hatred, intolerance etc… Please read the Bible, it’s all there. The Quran is evil, and the Bible is ugly.

The ONLY reason our society has ethics and morals as developed in the west is due to the message of Jesus and the reformers. Check history and the truth for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9owpRbxrCg0


The Bible condones slavery.

Some Christians today claim that the Bible actually refers to servants, who were presumably working voluntarily for wages!

The following scriptures demonstrate otherwise:

“If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.”

“You may purchase male slave or female sex-slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.

You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.

You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.

You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.”

“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Jesus Christ not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Jesus Christ, doing the will of God the Father from the heart.

With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”

Either the persons who wrote these scriptures were not inspired by God, or God is not good and should not be worshipped.

If the former is true, it still must be noted that God did not intervene to remove these verses from the Christian Bible.

A real God would have known that slavery is morally wrong and that it would eventually be outlawed through most of the world for this reason, God would have prohibited slavery to be practiced by his chosen people.

The Christian Bible’s indifference to and tacit support of slavery indicates that it is not the work of a supernatural being, but rather the work of men writing in accord with the customs of their time.

This point is best summed up by a quote from Jefferson Davis, the president of the Christian Confederacy during the American Civil War:

Slavery was established by decree of almighty Christian God…it is sanctioned in the Christian Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation…it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts…Let the gentleman go to Revelation to learn the decree of Christian God — let him go to the Bible…I said that slavery was sanctioned in the Christian Bible, authorized, regulated, and recognized from Genesis to Revelation…Slavery existed then in the earliest ages, and among the chosen people of Christian God and in Revelation we are told that it shall exist till the end of time shall come. You find it in the Old and New Testaments — in the prophecies, psalms, and the epistles of Paul you find slavery recognized, sanctioned everywhere.”

It is next to certain that if a real God intervened in human affairs, the real or true God would immediately prohibit the practice of slavery.

The Christian God failed to do this and, therefore, Christian God is extremely likely to be false and mythical.

Christians and Muslims were always together when it came to human-slavery!

“In short, slavery became a divinely ordained Christian institution.” — HELL NO

It was Christian West that banned slavery first in the world.

It was Christians(North) who fought against Christians(South) to defeat slavery. There has been no civilization in the world who fought against there own people against slavery.

“Hitherto, slavery had been a creation of the crude in human nature the urge to dominate over others, to make use of others for private comfort and profit.

Now it was ordained that the God the Father of the Christians had bestowed the whole Earth and all its wealth on the believers, that the infidels had no natural or human rights, and that the Christian believers could do to the infidels whatever they chose — kill them, plunder them, reduce them to the status of slaves or non-citizens.

In short, slavery became a divinely ordained Christian institution.

With the advent of Islam, slavery became inalienable with religion and culture and was accorded a permanent place in society.

It goes to the credit of Islam to create slave trade on a large scale, and run it for profit like any other business.

Islam’s Prophet Muhammad had not only accepted the prevailing Arab practice of making slaves, but also set a precedent when he sold some Jewish women and children of Medina in exchange for horses and arms!

War was prescribed on religious grounds, and became an integral part of Islam.

The Quran expressly permitted the Muslims to acquire slaves through conquest.”

Kishori Saran Lal, “Muslim Slave System in Medieval India”, South Asia Books, Columbia, Missouri, USA, Reprint 2016

“And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.” (Deuteronomy 2:34 KJV)

Deutronomy is not written by JESUS.. NANANANA Dancing Dancing Dancing.

John W. Loftus, at his website “Why I Am Not a Christian” — I urge upon John W Loftus to go the nearest ADL’s office and condemn why is written in OLD testament. It seems like that guy is an anti-semite and cannot stand Jewish history and customs.

World’s Christians DO NOT teach biological evolutionary darwinism because according to darwinsim there is no SIN and if someone got killed it is because they were not fittest to propogate their DNA. Darwinism condones holocaust.

Christians teach intelligent creation. A level 6 or 7 civilization could have as well created the universe. Who knows if Absolute Goodness is from Level 6 or Level 7 civilization?


The Christian Bible speaks of a world that you can only experience by reading its books.

Look for it not in your neighborhood, your city, your state, your country, or anywhere on planet Earth — it is a world gone with the wind, or much more likely, a world that never really existed.

The following quote is taken from John W. Loftus, at his website “Why I Am Not a Christian”:

“The Christian Bible is filled with superstitious beliefs that modern people rightly reject.

It describes a world where a snake and a donkey communicated with human beings in a human language, where people could reach upward of 900 years old, where a woman instantaneously transformed into a pillar of salt, where a pillar of fire could lead people by night, and where the sun stopped moving across the sky or could even back up.

In this imaginary world an ax head could float on water, a star could point down to a specific home, people could instantly speak in unlearned foreign languages, and one’s shadow or handkerchief could heal people.

It is a world where a flood can cover the whole earth, and a man can walk on water, calm a stormy sea, change water into wine, or be swallowed by a “great fish” and live to tell about it.

This world is populated by demons that can wreak havoc on Earth and make people very sick.

It is a world of idol-worship, where human and animal sacrifices please Christian God.

Visions, inspired dreams, prophetic utterances, miracle workers, magicians, diviners, and sorcerers also populate this world.

It is a world where Christian God lived in the sky (Heaven), and the dead “lived” on in the dark recesses of the Earth (Sheol).

This is a strange world when compared to our world, but Christians believe that this world was real in the past.

My contention is not that ancient people were stupid, but that they were very superstitious.”

The Christian world is also one that was created in 6 days with Earth at its center, a world where Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and Homo habilis have no place in history, where dead people rose out of their graves, walked about the city and conversed with the living, a place where demons could enter pigs and cause them to run off a cliff and drown themselves, where two bears can maul and kill 42 children, a place where a woman can conceive and deliver while remaining a virgin, where the act of sending dead people to a place of eternal torture can be seen as a just punishment for living an ordinary human life, a place where angels interact with the local citizenry and make important proclamations, where slavery is held up as an honorable ‘enterprise,’ where women are a form of property, and where rebellious children, adulterers, and homosexuals are considered so evil that they deserve to be stoned to death.

And finally it is a world where Christian God feels that he must kill his own son because he can find no other way to forgive people of their sins!

Yes, this seems like a very strange world to anyone alive today.

It should take only a few moments of reflection to understand, to grasp, to figure this whole thing out, that the God of Christianity is to adults as Santa Claus is to children — an imaginary friend.

World’s Christians and Muslims and Jews and Mormons believe that, our Earth as well as the entire universe was created within 6 days, because the fictitious “God the Father” or fictitious “Allah” or fictitious “Jehovah” took one day for resting purpose(s) since the fictitious almighty got VERY tired after creating a physically and materially imperfect Earth!

World’s Christians and Muslims DO NOT teach biological evolutionary process(es) to their kids, because world’s Christians and Muslims DO NOT want to offend the fictitious “God the Father” or fictitious “Allah”.

World’s Christians and Muslims NOW tell us (i.e., non-believers) that, science, scientific discoveries, and scientific thought-process(es) came directly from Christian New Testament and Islamic al’Quran.


Dinosaurs ruled and dominated Earth around 66 million years ago, before they suddenly went extinct.

The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event is the name given to this mass extinction.

It was believed for many years that the changing climate destroyed the food chain of the huge reptiles.

In the 1980’s, archaeologists discovered a layer of iridium.

This is an element that is rare on Earth, but is found in vast quantities in space.

When this was dated, it coincided precisely with when the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record.

A decade later, scientists uncovered the massive Chicxulub Crater at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which dates to the period in question.

Scientific consensus now says that these two factors are linked and they were both probably caused by an enormous asteroid crashing to Earth.

With the projected size and impact velocity, the collision would have caused an enormous shock-wave and likely triggered seismic activities.

The fallout would have created plumes of ash that likely covered all of the planet and made it impossible for dinosaurs to survive!

Other animals and plant species had a shorter time-span between generations, which allowed them to survive.

There are several other theories as to what caused the demise of the famous animals.

One early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur-eggs and another proposes that toxic angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them off.’


The stories of the raising of Lazarus from the dead and the woman saved after caught in adultery are extremely important in the effort to define who Jesus was.

One tells of his immense power, and the other tells of his divine wisdom!

Both would have been told and re-told throughout the region, spread virally, and held up as convincing evidence for having faith in Jesus.

However, CURIOUSLY, neither of these events is documented in the first three Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke).

Not until the Gospel of John — written at least 70 years after the death of Jesus — is the raising of Lazarus documented in scripture.

And the story of the woman caught in adultery is NOT found in the oldest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, and only appears in manuscripts beginning in the fifth century A.D.

This casts considerable doubt on the historical truth of these FICTITIOUS events.’


No matter what Christianity has evolved into after 2000 years, it is instructive and illuminating to consider the types of people who became its first followers.

This gives a clue as to the degree of credibility it possessed at a time when the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the chronological contemporaries of Jesus were still alive — that is, while the original history of the church was still fresh in peoples’ minds.

It would be similar as looking today at the history of World War II through the lens of what people had heard from their deceased ancestors.

Unfortunately for Christianity, the early followers of the faith were almost exclusively from the lower classes, mostly uneducated, unskilled, and illiterate.

The following excerpt is taken from:

The character of the early Christians would probably be most surprising to modern lay Christians.

The bulk of the early converts were from the lower classes in the cities.

As the great historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) summarized in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (1788):

“the new sect of the Christians was almost entirely composed of the dregs of the populace, of peasants and mechanists, of boys and women, of beggars and slaves, the last of whom might sometimes introduce the missionaries into the rich and noble families to whom they belonged. These obscure teachers … are as mute in public as they are loquacious and dogmatical in private. Whilst they cautiously avoid the dangerous encounter of philosophers, they mingle with the rude and illiterate crowd, and insinuate themselves into these minds whom their age, their sex, or their best education had the best disposed to receive the impression of superstitious errors.”

…. for now it is enough to note that by and large the early Christians were mainly illiterate, uncultured and incapable of critical thinking. Hence Christianity competed for these people, not with the Roman thinkers, but with the mystery religions. Both Christianity and the mystery religions have irrational elements which were of much appeal to such a group of people. The skeptic J.M. Robertson (1856-1933) summarizes their character such:

“Taken individually … an average Christians of the second century was likely to be unlettered townsman of the “lower middle” or poorer classes either bitterly averse to “idols”, theaters, the circus, and the public baths, or persuaded that he ought to be utterly credulous as to demons and miracles incapable of criticism as to sacred books readily emotional towards the crucified God and the sacred mystery in which were given the “body and blood” devoid alike of aesthetic and of philosophic faculty much given to his ritual capable of fanatical hatred.”

It is also important to note that the great thinkers of the time rejected Christianity out of hand.

It is therefore not surprising that the greatest thinkers of that age, philosophers such as Seneca (c5BC-AD65), Epictetus (c1st cent) and Marcus Aurelius (c121-180) statesmen such as Pliny the Elder (AD23-79), his adopted son Pliny the Younger (c62-114) historians such as Plutarch (c46-120) and Tacitus (c55-c117) and prominent physicians such as Galen (c2nd cent) who through their work and contemplation had “purified their mind from the prejudices of popular superstition”, either rejected outright or did not consider the nascent religion of Christianity.

The fallacies and deceptions surrounding Christianity were plainly evident in the first hundred years of its existence, allowing the learned class to summarily dismiss it as a fraudulent enterprise!

It was only after a few centuries passed, followed by the adoption of Christianity as the Roman state religion, that it began to attract members of the landed and ruling class.

However, even then it was often more for political purposes than an expression of genuine faith.

The recent history of Christianity, exhibited by the decline in the mainstream liberal churches and the rise of the conservative fundamentalist Pentecostal ones is, in effect, a return to early Christianity.

Currently, most of the truly exuberant followers of the Christian faith are poorly educated, scientifically illiterate people with poor critical thinking skills.

Thus, if this trend continues, Christianity may well end up in a few centuries being perceived in a similar way as it was 2000 years ago.’

William Benjamin Smith, “Ecce Deus: Studies of Primitive Christianity”, London, England, 1912

Louis Gordon Rylands, “Did Jesus Ever Live?”, Watts & Co., London, England, Second Edition, 1936

William James Durant, “The Story of Civilization, Part III, Caesar and Christ”, Fourth Printing, New York, USA, 1944

Morton Smith, “Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark”,
English, Greek and Latin Edition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1973

John Van Seters, “Abraham in History and Tradition”, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, 1975

Paul Johnson, “A History of Christianity”, Penguin Books, London, England, 1978

Michael Thomas Walter Arnheim, “Is Christianity True?”, London, England, 1984

George Albert Wells, “Did Jesus Exist?”, London, England, Second Edition, 1986

Ram Gopal Misra, “Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders Up To 1206 A.D.”, Anu Books, Meerut City, India, Reprint 1992

Koenraad Elst, “Psychology of Prophetism: A Secular Look at the Bible”, New Delhi, India, 1993

Charles Bradley Templeton, “Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith”, McClelland & Stewart, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1996

Earl J. Doherty, “The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?”, Canadian Humanist Publications, Ottawa, Canada, 1999

Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt, “Judgments on History and Historians”, Liberty Fund, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Second Edition, 1999

Daniel Edwin Barker, “Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist”, Fourth Printing, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 2003

Sita Ram Goel, “History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (AD 304 to 1996)”, New Delhi, India, Second Edition, 2010

Edward Gibbon, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volumes I to VI)”, Everyman’s Library, New York, USA, Reprint 2010

Thomas L. Thompson, “The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham”, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin, Germany, Reprint 2016

Michael Shermer, “Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia”, Henry Holt and Co., New York, USA, 2018

“The God of the Bible gave the Israelites the biggest victory in all its wars” Funny that the God of the bible did nothing to stop the genocide of six million of his beloved “Israelites” eh?

When Jesus appeared 2000 years ago. People were being killed, his own disciples were being crucified, and he himself was crucified. He could do absolutely nothing to save anyone. How do you explain him being God?

God is supposed to be All powerful and in Full control All ways?

Many Christians have been massacred by the Muslims, why didn’t the God of the Bible save them?

“Some work to do for admins.” Good luck to them.

“Christians are often banned from Islamic forums if they become too critical, so FFI is a good alternative.” The problem is Muslims rarely comment on this site, so maybe something else the admins are going to have to work on?

“words like “mythical Godman” are denigrating.” 1) Jesus of Nazareth is a fictional character. 2) All mainstream Christian sects believe Jesus was both God and man therefore I correctly describe him as a “God-man”.

screen-name whatever says:
well its very puzzling, how come mohammad had been so successful to have spread his hate cult almost all the arabia with only handful of followers.


















Why did’t Jews and christens and pagans were able to fight this monster.





Not only Arabia Islamic raiders had been highly successful in crushing turkey, Iran, Indian subcontinent.













I don’t understand how could Arabian monsters were able to ravage large part of world by force.




may be there was some paranormal force(aliens) behind them…..
this is so mind boggling puzzling thing for me, once your people are killed and looted you always hit enemies with full force, but mohammad and his goons seemed like they had some strange force behind them.








a person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture in a religion.
“religious fundamentalists”

I unequivocally have stated on this forum and elsewhere:

1. Bible is not wrriten by Jesus.
2. Bible is not the word of God but Bible has word of God (Life of Jesus = Word of God)
3. Bible is written by men inspired by the greatness of God and not inspired directly by God.
4. Bible is history with opinions of which some opinions are wrong as well.

I would never fit into the defintion of a fundamentalist – just saying bro.

Religion = way of life. Even Atheism, Music, Nazism are all religions. US constitutioin does not define religion and rightfully so. If one person says Athiesm, Wicca, Music, Nazism or Christianity is a religion then by virtue of 1st amendment we are required to accept it. SCOTUS have repeatedly affirmed this.

Having said this I do not believe all religions are the same. Some religions are good some evil and some in between.

Christianity and Budhism are good religions.
Nazism and Islam are evil religions.
Other religions that I know of falling in between good and evil.

Why did you skip “try to have genuine discussions”?

“If you are talking about me then you don’t know the meaning about “fundamentalism”.

“If you have alt-definitions please share.”

You already gave an alt-definition, but that is too narrow in my opinion, it can be broader.

“Christian fundamentalists like Amish and Mennonites don’t go about killing non-Christians.”

Do they kill christians? What about the JWs or the Westboro Baptists? These denominations have at least two things in common, they are american and believe in the bible alone. Their ancestors fled protestant europe to have their own brand of christianity in the New World. There are thousands upon thousands of these groups, but by what authority?

“This site is purely dedicated to criticize Muhammad.”

Many of the comments here are offtopic.Some work to do for admins.

“In case you haven’t notice Muslims rarely comment on this site.”

Christians are often banned from Islamic forums if they become too critical, so FFI is a good alternative.

“Christians who start discussions about their religion by claiming their mythical Godman is solely responsible for western civilisation or claims of that nature or who start criticising “Hinduism”.

Criticising is, as early as you can go, a good habit in the history of western society. Old habits die hard. Bear in mind that western civilisation is much broader than christianity. My point is to critsise in a positive and constructive way, words like “mythical Godman” are denigrating.

“whom you hate” When did I say I hate Christians? All I have talked about is that your God man is a myth and that Christianity and the so called holy church did a great deal of harm to western civilisation. That doesn’t qualify as hate.

“You want me to suppress a fact that WCC is so successful” When have I told you to suppress the fact that western (so called) Christian civilisation is successful?

“especially Muslims are lining up Western Consulates to get into West? Why should I?” When I have even spoke about this issue? The only time I discussed that on this site was about 2 years ago when I told someone else (who was accusing white people of racism by their reluctance to have Muslim refugees in their country). That the idea of universal compassion doesn’t exist outside of white European democracies – everywhere else in the world you have to give respect to be shown respect there is no such thing as “human rights” anywhere else. If Muslim refugees behaved like they did in Europe anywhere else in the world they would either have to get out the country or they would get killed. And I’m not telling anyone to suppress this fact.

schizophrenic > Steve < schizophrenic

Open your eyes and look at the success of Western Christian Civilization where 99% reject allahTheSATAN and 90% try to live sinless like JESUS and celebrate Christmas.

It is not my problem that non-Christians could not create successful civilization like WCC. If you have a civilization that is as successful as WCC please show me. I always agree Buddhist created the next best civilization.

Why is that you don't want to go far away from Christians whom you hate and create a successful civilization. Why live among Christians?

You want me to suppress a fact that WCC is so successful and non-Christians especially Muslims are lining up Western Consulates to get into West? Why should I?

“This site is purely dedicated to criticize Muhammad.” In case you haven’t notice Muslims rarely comment on this site. It’s usually Christians who start discussions about their religion by claiming their mythical Godman is solely responsible for western civilisation or claims of that nature or who start criticising “Hinduism”.

If you are talking about me then you don’t know the meaning about “fundamentalism”. If you have alt-definitions please share..

Christian fundamentalists like Amish and Mennonites don’t go about killing non-Christians.

I would please with you to not criticize Hindus unless schizophrenic Steve or face the truth start bashing Christianity. This site is purely dedicated to criticize Muhammad.

Try to have genuine discussions here, and please leave out christian fundamentalism.

Christianity = way of live where people TRY to live sinless like JESUS.

JESUS never owned slaves and slave owning would be directly disregarding all of the teachings of JESUS – so slavery is not incompatible with Christianity. PERIOD.

Has Christians owned slaves? Hell Ya!! Yes Christians have and they are the SINNED Christians. I am consistent that all Christians including founding fathers of USA who owned slaves against the teachings of JESUS is now rotting in HELL along with Muhammad the slave owner.

Bible is NOT written by JESUS.
Leviticus is NOT written by JESUS.
Deuteronomy is NOT written by JESUS.

Arabs had 4 times slaves than Christian West ever had but have you noticed there are so few blacks in Arabia this is because Arabs used to castrate black male slaves and kill any dark skinned baby born to black female slaves.

It was Christian West that banned slavery first in the world. It was Christians (American Northerners) who fought against Christians who supported slavery and won the American Civil War. Show me another civilization where people fought against their own people against slavery.

Thanks to Buddha. He also banned slave trade not the institution of slavery. This is why Buddhist could create the second best civilization on planet earth.

Muhammad only asked to free muslim slaves — this is apartheid and worse apartheid than South Africa.
Muhammad has at least twice cancelled manumission can you imagine this someone had compassion in his/her heart that they decided to free a slave and Muhammad comes along and cancels manumission. And this is the great man ever lived – give me a break!!

Please always quote the whole story and not parts to deceive people. Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives, but there were also 16,108 Krishnas. One Krishna for each wife. This is simple proof that He was God. Only God can duplicate His body into 16,108 100% identical forms. Also, out these wives, 16,100 girls were rejected by society and they asked Him to marry them. So Lord Krishna being most merciful and loving, married the rejected girls. he married them all at the same time in different venues. This is proof He was God. He was present at 16,100 locations at the same time in the same body forms. This is proof He was God.

Manu Smrithi is NOT Authoritative Scripture of Hindu religion. ‘manu’ means man and ‘smrithi’ means remembered. Thus Manu Smrithi is from man and not God.

The Hindu scripture directly from God is the Bhagavad-Gita.

Found The Truth
I would please with you to not criticize Hindus unless schizophrenic Steve or face the truth start bashing Christianity. This site is purely dedicated to criticize Muhammad.

I believe it is million times better to worship Idol than worshiping the SATAN(allah). SATAN worship is the worst of the worst worship.

ISLAM = ONLY religion whose founder was a vile slave owner.

JESUS never owned slaves. Muhammad owned slaves.
JESUS never boned female slaves. Muhammad frequently boned female slaves.

What is more racist than respecting a vile slave owner as the greatest man ever lived?

We will not allow Muhammad the slave owner to be respected in Christian West. PERIOD.

There is no slavery taught by Hindu scriptures. You can easily verify this by going to India and visiting any Brahmins. They don’t keep anyone as slaves. The word ‘slave’ is used in some verses as English translation to mean a worker who is dedicated to doing work for others and especially the priestly persons (Brahmins) for the advancement of religion and welfare of people. It does not mean slave as it is used in the Bible and Quran.

In Hinduism there are many scriptures, the most authoritive is the Bhagavad-Gita, because it is spoken by the proven God in person, Lord Krishna. Please quote from the Bhagavad-Gita to support any claims. This was spoken on the battlefield where millions of soldiers were killed and thus there millions of widows and daughters without fathers. Not a single female was taken captive by any side, not one. Lord Krishna Himself saved many people and destroyed the demonic. He only destroyed the demonic who were harrassing the public, this is clear from the scriptures (Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 10). Lord Krishna never ordered slavery, nor looting, nor raping. He also does not curse anyone, every living entity is dear to Him. He never preached eternal damnation for any soul. This is because all living entities are part of Him, and He loves all equally.

Lord Krishna commands His devotees to love everyone.

“One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me…” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 12.13-14)

“Who treats alike both friend and enemy…” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 14.22-25)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Fearlessness purification of one’s existence cultivation of spiritual knowledge charity self-control performance of sacrifice study of the Vedas austerity simplicity nonviolence truthfulness freedom from anger renunciation tranquility aversion to faultfinding compassion for all living entities freedom from covetousness gentleness modesty steady determination vigor forgiveness fortitude cleanliness and freedom from envy and from the passion for honor – these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 16.1-3)

Lord Krishna proved that He is forgiving by giving everyone, unlimited chances and not just one.

Everyone is eternally existing and gets unlimited chances

“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.12-13)

Lord Krishna states above that we are all eternal and we get unlimited chances or lives. There is no eternal damnation for any soul.

Lord Krishna proved that He is most responsible.

Lord Krishna considers everyone to be His family member

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 15.7)

Lord Krishna gives us free will

“Thus, I have explained to you knowledge still more confidential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 18.63)

Lord Krishna does not force anyone to follow Him, nor curse, nor torment anyone. This is because, Lord Krishna is the most responsible Person.

“You may have male and female slaves but buy them from the nations around you.” (Leviticus 25:44)

Slavery is banned everywhere in the world by human laws because it is evil.

“But the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, even all its plunder, you shall take for plunder for yourself. You may use the plunder of your enemies which Yahweh your God has given you.” (Deuteronomy 20:14)

Taking women and children captive in war or outside war is considered most barbaric by those who are civilized.

“If a man or woman among you in one of your towns that the Lord your God will give you is discovered doing evil in the sight of the Lord your God and violating his covenant 3 and has gone to serve other gods by bowing in worship to the sun, moon, or all the stars in the sky—which I have forbidden— 4 and if you are told or hear about it, then investigate it thoroughly. If the report turns out to be true that this detestable act has been done in Israel, 5 you are to bring out to your city gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing and stone them to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:2-5)

Slaughter of surrendered men and women:

“Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

“But bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence.’” (Luke 19:27 CSB)

Only one example should suffice to illustrate the success of Jesus’ teaching “slaughter them in my presence.”
Godfrey of Bouillon conquest of Jerusalem (c1060-1100) ― Known as the “First Crusade:”
“The defenders fled along the walls and through the city, and our men pursued them killing and cutting them down as far as Solomon’s Temple, where there was such a massacre that our men were wading ankle deep in blood … Then the crusaders rushed around the whole city, seizing gold and silver, horses and mules, and looting the housing that were full of costly things. Then, rejoicing and weeping from excess of happiness, they all came to worship and give thanks at the sepulcher of our savior Jesus. Next morning, they went cautiously up the temple roof and attacked the Saracens, both men and women [who had taken refuge there], cutting off their heads with drawn swords … Our leaders then gave orders that all the Saracen corpses should be thrown outside the city because of the stench, for almost the whole city was full of dead bodies … such a slaughter of pagans had never been seen or heard of, for they were burned in pyres like pyramids, and none save God alone knows how many they were.”
Raymond of Aguiles provided eyewitness account which shows the spiritual excitement that the carnage produced among the Christians.
“Wonderful sights were to be seen. Some of our men (and this was more merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies others shoot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers others tortured them longer by casting them into flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are normally chanted … in the temple and the porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed it was a just and splendid judgement of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies.”

The Bible and the Quran both advocate slavery, taking women captive, stoning men and women, looting, use of fear to get followers. For the followers of both these scriptures, God is unseen, unknown, and unknowable.

There is no God of the Bible, please read the Bible. Jesus is not God based on his own admission in many Bible verses. Also there is ZERO evidence for Jesus being God. He never saved anyone. Multiplying food, bring back those who have been dead for a few days, and walking on water does not make one God. All these micky mouse miracles have been performed by millions of humans before Jesus. Read all the documents on the planets to know the truth and not just one book (Bible).

God is only described in the scriptures of one religion. God has only been seen by the followers of one religion. God is only proven in one religion. This is because, God is One. This one God loves everyone who lives a sinless life, regardless of which religion they follow. This is because, He is forgiving and merciful to all. This God does not anyone to eternal hell. Only the man concocted gods use fear to get followers, not the real God.

This is the answer to whatever’s question.

Islamic forces are Satanic forces which generally prevail and have historically prevailed over Pagan (Hindu, Persian, Buddhist, Tribal) and Atheist forces. This Satanic force may be superhuman but is not divine.

Judeo-Christian forces who believe in the only true God who exists (i.e. the triune God of the Bible reflected in Christ) will generally prevail and has historically prevailed over Islamic, Pagan and Atheist forces.

The forces who believe and have the God of Bible on their side will always prevail over Anti-Christian forces whether Pagan, Islamic or Atheist.

On the above list of behavior and teaching of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Number 13 informs the reader that Muhammad had nine wives. To this the light of the Bible reveals that polygamy is not sanctioned by God. For example God gave Adam one wife. Furthermore, in the New Testament Jesus taught “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife…” Jesus said “wife.” Not “wives” Mathew 19:5. [K.J.V.] Likewise, in First Timothy 3:2. In instructs “A bishop the must be blameless, the husband on one wife.” Here again it’s “one wife” Nevertheless, there are some people who will act as apologists for polygamy by say the king David of Israel and then later his son ,who became King Solomon of Israel did practice polygamy. Such people aren’t taking into account both the time and place. For the only reason that God did tolerate this tradition was not because it was right or that He approved of it. It was because this practice of having many wives was such an entrenched custom in the ancient Middle East that God allowed it for the above mentioned Kings of Israel. This does not mean that this custom, of polygamy, was to keep on going in other times and places.

As for the information list about the founder and prophet of Islam., Muhammad. Number 8 on the list reads “The prophet kept slaves, including black slaves… ” Therefore about Muslims kidnapping girls and women and using them as sex slaves. This actually started with the prophet of Islam, Muhammad . Who all Muslims look to as an example of how to behave. It’s revealed in the book JESUS AND THE JIHADIS by the Christian authors Graig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnson For on page 124 it informs the reader about Muhammad that that he “Mohammad endorsed enslavement of all types: he personally owned two ”Black slaves… ” he endorsed sex-slavery as a gift from Allah, and enjoyed offering sex-slaves as gifts…” Further on the very next page it also exposes that “Islam has enslaved more people than any other culture.”

The answer to user:whatever question is very simple. The non-Muslims (Christians, Hindus, Jews, others) never would think that such monsters as Muslims would exist among the humans. The civilized (non-Muslims) only think of others as civilized. It’s this mentality among the non-Muslims that has enabled Muslims to conquer and take over countries. Even today, most non-Muslims still believe Muslims are civilized humans who simply want to leave peacefully. This is completely false, but this is the reality. Non-Muslims are basically being deceived by Muslims but still most non-Muslims cannot see it. Even after 911 and thousands of terror attacks.

Wake up civilized humans, not all humans are civilized.

Well its very puzzling,how come Mohammad had been so successful to have spread his hate cult almost all the Arabia with only handful of followers. Why did’t Jews and christens and pagans were able to fight this monster.
Not only Arabia Islamic raiders had been highly successful in crushing turkey,Iran,Indian subcontinent. I don’t understand how could Arabian monsters were able to ravage large part of world by force.

Boundaries Blurred? Folklore, Mythology, History and the Quest for an Alternative Genealogy in North-east India 1

This paper analyses the use of religious folklore among the Meitei people of Manipur in northeastern India in the creation of a racial identity. After the Meiteis, who are ethnically Southeast Asian, were forced to convert to Hinduism in the early eighteenth century by the Manipuri king Garibniwaz, they were provided with a number of folklores regarding their origin that combined Hindu and indigenous Meitei deities and myths. Recently, the rise of anti-Hindu sentiment in Manipur—spurred by a movement to revive the indigenous Meitei religion and a strained political relationship with India—has led to the questioning of the validity of these stories by Meitei academics. As a result a new cannon of literature is being developed by scholars that link the origin of the community to its Southeast Asian roots. Discovering the racial identity of the Meitei people has motived this movement. This paper analyzes the multiple meanings that mythologies concerning origin hold in contemporary Meitei society and challenges the modern notion that historical consciousness is absolute truth.


You can drive around the country in the course of this five-week election, and the one thing on which you will find remarkable unanimity among the thinking classes is that this is an “issue-less” election. Or, that in the absence of a real pan-national issue, the election is being fought entirely on local concerns, as if this was municipal or panchayat election by another name. It is tough to argue against this yawn-inspiring view. The failure of both national parties, the Congress and the BJP, to build a pan-national contest is phenomenal, and disappointing at a time when voter fatigue is increasing with small parties — the spoilers and spoil-hunters of split verdicts. This failure has reduced the leaders of both parties to being like admirals or generals who command vast fleets and armies, and have great ambitions, but have wound up fighting in penny pockets, for minor pickings.

If we continue, seeking parallels in military science (because electoral politics is war by another name, only more vicious), our politics, for exactly two decades now, has been a kind of stalemated, stationary trench warfare. The unlocking of the Babri Masjid, and the shilanyas of Ram Janma-bhoomi in the last months of Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership, made secularism the centre-point of our natural politics, particularly in the Hindi heartland combined with a Mandal-ignited OBC surge, it led to the destruction of the Congress in the entire Gangetic plain — even today, it can barely hope to touch 20 in India’s most politicised zone, from Uttarakhand to West Bengal, out of a total of 167. The BJP was able to harvest this for some time, as the Ram Temple fervour overwhelmed caste. But it declined shortly thereafter, as the promise of building a grand new temple for Lord Ram did not quite have the oomph that the idea of destroying an old mosque did. As history, ever since man discovered God, shows, destroying has always held much greater sex-appeal than building. So the Ram Janma-bhoomi-Babri site has remained frozen in time since 1992, and so has our politics. This new polarisation is loosely defined as secular versus communal, or who can afford to join hands with the BJP and who cannot. Its corollary is that it enables parties with total ideological, philosophical and even political conflicts to come together on the principle of secularism or anti-BJP-ism. This is the now-fossilised state of our politics, and that is why the boredom, issuelessness, sameness and indecisive verdicts. There has to be a reason why the same voters who give us such utterly clear verdicts in the states give us such muddled ones nationally.

The BJP would say this analysis is simplistic, even hypocritical. They will say: the secular-communal discourse is just a camouflage for a large number of political parties effectively handing out to Muslim voters a veto on who can rule India. Any party that needs (and has a realistic chance of getting) the Muslim vote, will “blindly” oppose the BJP, they say. That is why, according to them, the BJP and the NDA have to build their politics in a field with a maximum of 325 out of a House of 543, since at least five parties — the Congress, the Left, the SP, the RJD and the NCP — can have nothing to do with them. That is the line of untouchability in our politics. Or perhaps the line that separates the rival trenches, and political mobility, therefore, is confined to hopping from one trench to another, mostly on the same side — barring some small, serial defectors like the Gowdas, Paswan, Ramadoss and Ajit Singh, the entirely mobile operators blessed with total ideological fungibility.

You can feel sorry for the BJP. But this is a problem for the BJP to fix. No political party can grow, even survive, by only feeling sorry for itself. Beginning in 1989, the polarisation had helped the BJP. By 1998, it had peaked. It was for the party’s vastly experienced leadership to read the writing on the wall. And probably it did, but did not quite have the conviction, the fibre to lead a change, an evolution that would have repositioned the BJP as a party of the centre-right rather than a party of the Hindu Right.

Vajpayee, the BJP leader most respected by the minorities, tried, but lost his nerve at the most decisive moment, a moment that, if seized, would have placed him among India’s great statesmen for ever, in fact our first real statesman of the Right, or may be the second, if you place Sardar Patel somewhere there. This moment was the killings of Gujarat in 2002 — on the flight to Goa, for the party national executive meeting, when he had to decide on sacking Modi after his “Raj-dharma” speech. But he blinked. In the process, he diminished himself, and his party, and gave its opponents Modi as their second rallying point after Ayodhya.

That Advani tried to address the same ideological isolation subsequently, with his statement on Jinnah, underlines the fact that, deep down, political wisdom does exist while the will and conviction are lacking. He has tried to re-position his party closer to the centre in a slightly more complex, but fascinating manner. The alliance with the Akalis in Punjab and with Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh, he thought, had helped move his party to the centre and while the Muslims may still not vote for it, if he could simply persuade them not to treat the BJP as their permanent enemy — that needed to be defeated by voting tactically against it all over the country — he could change its politics fundamentally. But neither had he prepared his party and its ideological mentors, nor had he the audacity and conviction to bash on regardless. So this break-out from the trenches remained short, half-hearted and a failure. Yet again, Advani and his BJP blew an opportunity presented by Varun Gandhi’s speeches. Imagine if, instead of rushing to his defence and demanding a forensic examination of the DVDs, Advani stated unequivocally that he abhorred such language and politics and dropped Varun as his candidate? In one stroke, it would have brought his party closer to the centre, given it wider acceptability, and enhanced his stature in a manner that no website or ad-campaign, howsoever brilliant, could ever have done.

Indian democracy is not unique in having to deal with such a divisive issue of history and legacy. Race and segregation was a divide that determined American politics for a long time. But the Republicans cut their losses in the course of time and so it ceased to be the central issue. Surely, many more Blacks still vote for the Democrats but the Republicans totally dumped the race issue, giving America its most prominent Black public leaders in Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — and the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas. And while the larger majority of voters of colour were still on the “other” side, and there was no foreseeable prospect of those “vote banks” shifting, remember how even George Bush (junior) dealt with Trent Lott, the Senate Republican leader who, in a 2002 fund-raiser to celebrate Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday, made remarks that appeared to raise the race-issue again. (He said “problems” could have been avoided had Thurmond’s 1948 presidential bid succeeded Thurmond had based that campaign on a racial segregation platform.) Bush dumped Lott immediately, and two weeks later he had lost his job.

The beauty of democratic politics is that such opportunities do arise every now and then. Smart leaders seize them, particularly when it is an opportunity to rectify fundamental imbalances in the national political debate. Vajpayee had his big moment once, with Modi Advani has had his, twice, with Jinnah and Varun. But the BJP, and Indian politics, are now paying the price for those long marchers having blown all three. And that is why their politics, or India’s, remains frozen. That is what will give at least three other possible “fronts” space to try setting up a “secular coalition” after May 16, the only factor overriding all enmities and contradictions among likely new partners being the “exclusion of the BJP.”

Until the leaders of the BJP accept the inevitability, and the wisdom, of moving closer to the ideological centre-right, and of growing out of the fantasy of one day reaping the harvest of Hindu resurgence, there will be, to steal the words of one of its own stalwarts (Jagmohan), no unfreezing this political turbulence. Of course, the Congress too has had its failures and lost opportunities to break out of this low-150s stagnation. But let that be an argument, a sermon for another day.

Readers’ Comments – Online Indian Express:

AssumptionsBy: fromusa | Saturday , 9 May 󈧍 19:16:50 PM Reply | Forward Analysis is based assumption that religious minority vote can be trusted to factor good things and change their mind. And congress allows that to happen. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan tried that. Media has luxury of not being accountable. They can get away with keeping painting BJP in a particular way rather than highlighting governance given by BJP and ruining of institutions by Congress.

Indian Muslims and the 2009 Elections – Challenges and Prospects of Political Success – By Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Editor-in-Chief, Milli Gazette, New Delhi

Indian Muslims and the 2009 Elections

Challenges and Prospects of Political Success

voters stand in a queue outside a booth at polling station in Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, April 16, 2009. (Reuters photo)

India, the world’s largest democracy with a total of 714 million voters, is undergoing these days a marathon election exercise over five phases which will conclude on 13 May. Results will start coming in from 16 May and the new parliament will be in place on June 2. As usual, India’s 160 million Muslims, making up about 14 percent of the population, are taking part in these elections both as voters and as contestants.

Indian Muslims are the biggest minority group whose vote is critical in key swing states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the north, Assam in the northeast, West Bengal in the east and Kerala in the south.

All parties, including the BJP which is perceived as anti-Muslim, have fielded Muslim candidates from places where Muslims may win as a result of large concentration of Muslims in at least 80 out of the current parliament’s 543 constituencies or in order to show that the concerned party cares about the community’s political empowerment.

Indian Muslims have been traditionally complaining that they are always under-represented in the national parliament as well as in provincial legislative assemblies. In the outgoing parliament there are 37 Muslim members out of their proportional entitlement of 76 seats. The highest number of seats Muslim could ever win was in 1980 when they secured 46 seats. [See the chart here, page 15]

Indian Muslims are found in sizeable numbers in over 80 constituencies, especially in north India.

Under-representation The Muslim under-representation is due to a number of reasons, such as disunity in Muslim ranks, major parties’ disinclination in nominating enough number of Muslims in winnable constituencies and reservation of Muslim-dominated constituencies as reserved seats for Dalits, the so-called untouchables, in addition to the age-old trick of gerrymandering aimed at dividing Muslim-dominated pockets over a number of constituencies in order to break Muslims’ strength.

Among glaring examples is the nomination of actress Jayaprada from the traditionally Muslim seat of Rampur by an alleged Muslim-friendly party. In Delhi, where Muslims deserve at least one seat, no major party has nominated any Muslim in these polls.

Indian Muslims are found in sizeable numbers in over 80 constituencies, especially in north India, where they can help any candidate win or lose by voting for or against them. Muslims are concentrated in about 16 states where 97% Indian Muslims reside, with 1% or more in each state.

They have sizable concentration in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Assam and Kerala. In another nine states, namely Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, MP, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana they have a lower proportion.

Constituency-wise, there are only 14 Muslim majority constituencies, in addition to another 28 with high Muslim-concentration of above 30% and 60 other constituencies where they constitute more than 20% of the electorate. All these 100 constituencies or so are targeted by secular parties to secure maximum Muslim votes for their candidates.

The Congress failed to act decisively on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee which found out that Muslims were at the bottom of the Indian society by any yardstick of backwardness.

Background Traditionally, Indian Muslims voted for the Congress Party, but this started to change in mid-1970 as a result of the excesses during the Emergency period.

As a result, the Congress for the first time was voted out of power in 1977. The demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992 was the final proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and resulted in almost total boycott of the Congress party by Muslims. Many other parties and coalitions ruled, as a result, and the Congress could come back to power only in 2004, as the leader of a coalition called UPA.

The half-hearted implementation of the Congress-led government’s various pro-Muslim schemes have failed to win back the trust of the Muslim voters. The Congress-led government for the first time in India established a “Minority Affairs Ministry” which has literally done nothing apart from disbursing a few thousand scholarships to Muslim students. Even its meager budget for the last year was not fully utilized.

The Congress failed to act decisively on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee which found out that Muslims were at the bottom of the Indian society by any yardstick of backwardness. Sachar report disclosed that Muslim representation has plummeted to as low as three and five percent in the government and public sector companies.

The Congress has also consigned to the cold storage the report of the Mishra Commission which recommended 10 percent reservation for Muslims in government jobs, schemes and bank credits. The Congress has consistently followed an anti-Muslim policy in Assam which has a 30% Muslim population.

The Congress failed to stop the anti-Muslim campaign in the name of fighting terrorism which was unleashed by the previous BJP-led government which ruled during 1999-2004. In fact, the campaign only intensified especially in states ruled by the Congress like the Mahrashtra and Andhra Pradesh which have witnessed some of the worst excesses, including extra-judicial killings, against Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism.

The Congress government at the Centre has also failed to take any action against the tainted Gujarat government of Narendra Modi who presided over the pogroms of 2002 and still rules the state. The Congress government has steadfastly refused a judicial enquiry into the cold-blooded murder last September by the police of two Muslim alleged “terrorist” youths in what is known as “Batla House Encounter”. As a result, Muslims are voting for all kinds of “secular” parties in the current elections.

A new phenomenon this time is the emergence of a number of small Muslim parties.

New Phenomenon The new phenomenon of small regional parties has offered new choices to the Muslim voter as an alternative to national political parties. Small Muslim parties are concluding alliances with small regional parties for their mutual benefit.

A new phenomenon this time is the emergence of a number of small Muslim parties. Muslims already have the Indian Union Muslim League in the southern state of Kerala (with 2-3 members of Parliament and a sizeable presence in the provincial legislative assembly) and Majlis Ittehadul Muslimin in the southern city of Hyderabad (one member of Parliament and about a dozen in the provincial assembly).

A new Muslim entrant from the last year is the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) in the northeastern state of Assam which won nine seats in the provincial assembly elections last year and expects to win 4-5 seat in the current national elections. The AUDF has now stretched its wings to other states too and is fighting elections in a number of northern states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. [See the map of Muslims distribution here, page 13]

Another new entrant is the Ulama Council (UC) of Uttar Pradesh which emerged as a protest movement against the “Batla House Encounter”. UC’s popularity in the Azamgarh area of Uttar Pradesh led it to enter the elections in a number of constituencies in that state.

This is a new Muslim experiment which will stabilize by the time the next general elections are held in five years times. For the first time since independence in 1947, Indian Muslims are seeking to stand on their own two feet to ensure their political empowerment. Earlier they used to be part of various parties and thereby bound by the agendas and policies of those parties.

Ilyas Azmi, a seasoned member of Parliament, candidly portrayed the position of Muslims in various parties when he said recently that the position of Muslim members of Parliament in their respective parties is “worse than that of slaves”. These members are not allowed to have their own independent views or air them in public without prior clearance with their leadership which is Hindu even in the case of communist and socialist parties.

Major Muslim organizations like the All India Muslim Majli-se Mushawarat (AIMMM), Jamaat-e Islami Hind (JIH) and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind are trying to empower Muslim voters.

Empowering Muslim Voters There are said to be no less than 22 small Muslim-led parties contesting elections mainly in the north though their chances are slim. These parties include Peace Party in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Muslim Munettra Khazhagam in Tamil Nadu and People’s Democratic Council in West Bengal. They all claim to be “secular” parties working for the weak and marginalized sections of society.

These parties, including the UC, will at best only split Muslim votes and thereby indirectly helping the Hindu extremist BJP to win elections as the Hindu vote will be cast solidly for a single candidate while secular and Muslim votes will be split among a number of candidates.

Major Indian Muslim organizations like the All India Muslim Majli-se Mushawarat (AIMMM), Jamaat-e Islami Hind (JIH) and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind are trying to influence Muslim voters by advising them to vote for a Muslim candidate in Muslim-majority seats and for strong and winnable secular candidates in other seats.
While AIMMM has concentrated this time round on a single demand, i.e., reservation for Muslims in government jobs and facilities, others like JIH have issued elaborate charter of demands.

Muslim organizations this time have refrained from supporting any single party. Instead, they are supporting specific candidates belonging to various secular parties based on the record of the party and the winnablity of its candidate. The only exception is the Hindu communal parties, like BJP and Shiv Sena which have a clear anti-Muslim agenda.

Even these anti-Msulim parties have tried hard to show that they are not anti-Muslim and have included in their agendas some promises for Muslim uplift. Muslim organizations are also supporting Muslim candidates who are fighting elections as independents.

The change in the Indian part of Kashmir was observed last year when people overwhelmingly took part in the provincial assembly elections.

Important Development Another important development in these elections is that one of the two wings of the separatist Hurriyat Conference is not asking people this time round to boycott elections while Sajad Lone, a leading Kashmiri separatist who is the leader of People’s Conference, has for the first time since 1988 decided to take part in the polls.

The change in the Indian part of Kashmir was observed last year when people overwhelmingly took part in the provincial assembly elections. Hitherto the separatist groups had held that Kashmiris should not take part in elections before the solution of the problem of Kashmir.

Presently, there are no truly national parties which may be in a position to secure an overall majority in the next parliament and form a government on their own. Moreover, there is no political unity even among the secular parties as they operate more or less as regional or local parties.

For Election 2009, three political formations have emerged, headed by the INC, the BJP and the Left. This leaves out a few unattached parties which are now talking of a fourth front.

A new alignment will emerge after the elections in which many of the parties now in the third and fourth fronts will go back to the Congress-led coalition.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


While LK Advani’s branding of Manmohan Singh as ‘weak’ Prime Minister was cheap device to denigrate the office of Prime Ministership, now that BJP is in a very desperate position Indian Muslims have already realised that technocrat Manmohan Singh had been merely exploited by Sonia Gandhi as a caretaker regent, till her dynastic plans to plant Rahul Gandhi most undemocratically, taking undue advantage of loop-holes in Indian laws and that Manmohan Singh’s oft repeated assurance to Muslim community that they should have first right to claim redressal as they have been marginalized in share government patronage, as has been so generously showered on other favourites.

It is possible that though he had spoken about Muslim’s first right on the nation’s budget, he was shot down by the Congress High Command that is riddled with communalized soft-Hindutva protagonists. Even in Congress, nobody is ready to accept that the decades long Congress government has let down the same Muslims, whose vote bank had loyally supported Congress all along.

The key-word is scare. Congress is scared of BJP’s Hindutva propaganda while the BJP is scared that Muslim appeasement will bring back the Mughal rule.

In the event, Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister had no guts to counter the Hindutva communalism and fight an internal war in the same manner or with the same misguided but dogged conviction when struggling to finalize 123 nuclear agreement with US.

If he was weak, he would not have travelled such a long distance with the Congress, while forcing even a break in the UPA and the risk of losing his government. Apparently, that strength and that power of conviction were not availed by him, when he was advocating affirmative action for Indian Muslims.

He failed to tackle:

  1. Babri Masjid cases for early settlement of the dispute and due punishment to the culprits. (Is he waiting for a Muslim to take up the new ritual of throwing the shoe at him and then resorting to chakka jam all over the country?).
  1. His Congress government has not lifted a finger on Sri Krishna Commission report inMaharashtra. If he is a real Prime Minister, he should have the gust to do justice to his people, be that from either Sikh community or from any community, whosoever from any part ofIndia.
  1. He has done nothing to initiate legislation against hate crimes, so thatIndiacan be rid of the curse of communalism and casteism. If he was so endeared of theUSA, why not borrow a leaf fromUSlegislation and crackdown heavily on Hate Crime and heavy recompense for the wronged.
  1. Gross injustice inherent in his economic policies that impoverish the very chunk of people that were already impoverished. His trickle down policies only heaped misery on the people. Rising unemployment is built-in and grass-root inflation choking people has no interest to him. He cannot fool dishing out statistics that show wholesale price indices and camouflage out inflation that has bloated the family burden for even survival level existence.

Just as he has rightly stated that L. K. Advani will be known ONLY for demolition of Babri Masjid, Manmohan Singh should be rest assured that he would ONLY be known for paving the way for US and Israel to take over India, in any of the various ways, a nation loses its sovereignty and integrity.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

India’s Muslims in Crisis – By Aryan Baker – TIME Newsmagazine

The disembodied voice was chilling in its rage. A gunman, holed up in the Oberoi Trident hotel in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), where some 40 people had been taken hostage, told an Indian news channel that the attacks were revenge for the persecution of Muslims in India. “We love this as our country, but when our mothers and sisters were being killed, where was everybody?” he asked via telephone. No answer came. But then he probably wasn’t expecting one.

The roots of Muslim rage run deep in India, nourished by a long-held sense of injustice over what many Indian Muslims believe is institutionalized discrimination against the country’s largest minority group. The disparities between Muslims, who make up 13.4% of the population, and India’s Hindus, who hover at around 80%, are striking. There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking, Muslim Indians have shorter life spans, worse health, lower literacy levels and lower-paying jobs. Add to that toxic brew the lingering resentment over 2002’s anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat. The riots, instigated by Hindu nationalists, killed some 2,000 people, most of them Muslims. To this day, few of the perpetrators have been convicted. (See pictures of the terrorist shootings in Mumbai.)

The huge gap between Muslims and Hindus will continue to haunt India’s — and neighboring Pakistan’s — progress toward peace and prosperity. But before intercommunal relations can improve, there are even bigger problems that must first be worked out: the schism in subcontinental Islam and the religion’s place and role in modern India and Pakistan. It is a crisis 150 years in the making.

The Beginning of the Problem

On the afternoon of March 29, 1857, Mangal Pandey, a handsome, mustachioed soldier in the East India Company’s native regiment, attacked his British lieutenant. His hanging a week later sparked a subcontinental revolt known to Indians as the first war of independence and to the British as the Sepoy Mutiny. Retribution was swift, and though Pandey was a Hindu, it was the subcontinent’s Muslims, whose Mughal King nominally held power in Delhi, who bore the brunt of British rage. The remnants of the Mughal Empire were dismantled, and 500 years of Muslim supremacy on the subcontinent came to a halt.

Muslim society in India collapsed. The British imposed English as the official language. The impact was cataclysmic. Muslims went from near 100% literacy to 20% within a half-century. The country’s educated Muslim élite was effectively blocked from administrative jobs in the government. Between 1858 and 1878, only 57 out of 3,100 graduates of Calcutta University — then the center of South Asian education — were Muslims. While discrimination by both Hindus and the British played a role, it was as if the whole of Muslim society had retreated to lick its collective wounds.

Out of this period of introspection, two rival movements emerged to foster an Islamic ascendancy. Revivalist groups blamed the collapse of their empire on a society that had strayed too far from the teachings of the Koran. They promoted a return to a purer form of Islam, modeled on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Others embraced the modern ways of their new rulers, seeking Muslim advancement through the pursuit of Western sciences, culture and law. From these movements two great Islamic institutions were born: Darul Uloom Deoband in northern India, rivaled only by Al Azhar University in Cairo for its teaching of Islam, and Aligarh Muslim University, a secular institution that promoted Muslim culture, philosophy and languages but left religion to the mosque. These two schools embody the fundamental split that continues to divide Islam in the subcontinent today. “You could say that Deoband and Aligarh are husband and wife, born from the same historical events,” says Adil Siddiqui, information coordinator for Deoband. “But they live at daggers drawn.”

The campus at Deoband is only a three-hour drive from New Delhi through the modern megasuburb of Noida. Strip malls and monster shopping complexes have consumed many of the mango groves that once framed the road to Deoband, but the contemporary world stops at the gate. The courtyards are packed with bearded young men wearing long, collared shirts and white caps. The air thrums with the voices of hundreds of students reciting the Koran from open-door classrooms.

See TIME’s Pictures of the Week.

Founded in 1866, the Deoband school quickly set itself apart from other traditional madrasahs, which were usually based in the home of the village mosque’s prayer leader. Deoband’s founders, a group of Muslim scholars from New Delhi, instituted a regimented system of classrooms, coursework, texts and exams. Instruction is in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, and the curriculum closely follows the teachings of the 18th century Indian Islamic scholar Mullah Nizamuddin Sehalvi. Graduates go on to study at Cairo’s Al Azhar or the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, or they found their own Deobandi institutions.

Today, more than 9,000 Deobandi madrasahs are scattered throughout India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, most infamously the Dara-ul-Uloom Haqaniya Akora Khattak, near Peshawar, Pakistan, where Mullah Mohammed Omar and several other leaders of Afghanistan’s Taliban first tasted a life lived in accordance with Shari’a. Siddiqui visibly stiffens when those names are brought up. They have become synonymous with Islamic radicalism, and Siddiqui is careful to dissociate his institution from those who carry on its traditions, without actually condemning their actions. “Our books are being taught there,” he says. “They have the same system and rules. But if someone is following the path of terrorism, it is because of local compulsions and local politics.”

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who founded the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College at Aligarh in 1877, studied under the same teachers as the founders of Deoband. But he believed that the downfall of India’s Muslims was due to their unwillingness to embrace modern ways. He decoupled religion from education and in his school sought to emulate the culture and training of India’s new colonial masters. Islamic culture was part of the curriculum, but so were the latest advances in sciences, medicine and Western philosophy. The medium was English, the better to prepare students for civil-service jobs. He called his school the Oxford of the East. In architecture alone, the campus lives up to that name. A euphoric blend of clock towers, crenellated battlements, Mughal arches, domes and the staid red brick of Victorian institutions that only India’s enthusiastic embrace of all things European could produce, the central campus of Aligarh today is haven to a diverse crowd of male and female, Hindu and Muslim students. Its law and medicine schools are among the top-ranked in India, but so are its arts faculty and Quranic Studies Centre. “With all this diversity, language, culture, secularism was the only way to go forward as a nation,” says Aligarh’s vice chancellor, P.K. Abdul Azis. “It was the new religion.”

This fracture in religious doctrine — whether Islam should embrace the modern or revert to its fundamental origins — between two schools less than a day’s donkey ride apart when they were founded, was barely remarked upon at the time. But over the course of the next 100 years, that tiny crack would split Islam into two warring ideologies with repercussions that reverberate around the world to this day. Before the split became a crisis, however, the founders of the Deoband and Aligarh universities shared the common goal of an independent India. Pedagogical leanings were overlooked as students and staff of both institutions joined with Hindus across the subcontinent to remove the yoke of colonial rule in the early decades of the 20th century.

But nationalistic trends were pulling at the fragile alliance, and India began to splinter along ethnic and religious lines. Following World War I, a populist Muslim poet-philosopher by the name of Muhammad Iqbal framed the Islamic zeitgeist when he questioned the position of minority Muslims in a future, independent India. The solution, Iqbal proposed, was an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India, a separate country where Muslims would rule themselves. The idea of Pakistan was born.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Savile Row–suited lawyer who midwifed Pakistan into existence on Aug. 14, 1947, was notoriously ambiguous about how he envisioned the country once it became an independent state. Both he and Iqbal, who were friends until the poet’s death in 1938, had repeatedly stated their dream for a “modern, moderate and very enlightened Pakistan,” says Sharifuddin Pirzada, Jinnah’s personal secretary. Jinnah’s own wish was that the Pakistani people, as members of a new, modern and democratic nation, would decide the country’s direction.

But rarely in Pakistan’s history have its people lived Jinnah’s vision of a modern Muslim democracy. Only three times in its 62-year history has Pakistan seen a peaceful, democratic transition of power. With four disparate provinces, more than a dozen languages and dialects, and powerful neighbors, the country’s leaders — be they Presidents, Prime Ministers or army chiefs — have been forced to knit the nation together with the only thing Pakistanis have in common: religion.

Following the 1971 civil war, when East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, broke away, the populist Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto embarked on a Muslim-identity program to prevent the country from fracturing further. General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq continued the Islamization campaign when he overthrew Bhutto in 1977, hoping to garner favor with the religious parties, the only constituency available to a military dictator. He instituted Shari’a courts, made blasphemy illegal and established laws that punished fornicators with lashes and held that rape victims could be convicted of adultery. When the Soviet Union invaded neighboring Afghanistan in December 1979, Pakistan was already poised for its own Islamic revolution.

Almost overnight, thousands of refugees poured over the border into Pakistan. Camps mushroomed, and so did madrasahs. Ostensibly created to educate the refugees, they provided the ideal recruiting ground for a new breed of soldier: mujahedin, or holy warriors, trained to vanquish the infidel invaders in America’s proxy war with the Soviet Union. Thousands of Pakistanis joined fellow Muslims from across the world to fight the Soviets. As far away as Karachi, high school kids started wearing “jihadi jackets,” the pocketed vests popular with the mujahedin. Says Hamid Gul, then head of the Pakistan intelligence agency charged with arming and training the mujahedin: “In the 1980s, the world watched the people of Afghanistan stand up to tyranny, oppression and slavery. The spirit of jihad was rekindled, and it gave a new vision to the youth of Pakistan.”

But jihad, as it is described in the Koran, does not end merely with political gain. It ends in a perfect Islamic state. The West’s, and Pakistan’s, cynical resurrection of something so profoundly powerful and complex unleashed a force that gave root to al-Qaeda’s rage, the Taliban’s dream of an Islamic utopia in Afghanistan, and in the dozens of radical Islamic groups rapidly replicating themselves in India and around the world today. “The promise of jihad was never fulfilled,” says Gul. “Is it any wonder the fighting continues to this day?” Religion may have been used to unite Pakistan, but it is also tearing it apart.

In India, Islam is, in contrast, the other — purged by the British, denigrated by the Hindu right, mistrusted by the majority, marginalized by society. There are nearly as many Muslims in India as in all of Pakistan, but in a nation of more than a billion, they are still a minority, with all the burdens that minorities anywhere carry. Government surveys show that Muslims live shorter, poorer and unhealthier lives than Hindus and are often excluded from the better jobs. To be sure, there are Muslim success stories in the booming economy. Azim Premji, the founder of the outsourcing giant Wipro, is one of the richest individuals in India. But for many Muslims, the inequality of the boom has reinforced their exclusion.

Kashmir, a Muslim-dominated state whose fate had been left undecided in the chaos that led up to partition, remains a suppurating wound in India’s Muslim psyche. As the cause of three wars between India and Pakistan — one of which nearly went nuclear in 1999 — Kashmir has become a symbol of profound injustice to Indian Muslims, who believe that their government cares little for Kashmir’s claim of independence — which is based upon a 1948 U.N. resolution promising a plebiscite to determine the Kashmiri people’s future. That frustration has spilled into the rest of India in the form of several devastating terrorist attacks that have made Indian Muslims both perpetrators and victims.

A mounting sense of persecution, fueled by the government’s seeming reluctance to address the brutal anti-Muslim riots that killed more than 2,000 in the state of Gujarat in 2002, has aided the cause of homegrown militant groups. They include the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was accused of detonating nine bombs in Mumbai during the course of 2003, killing close to 80. The 2006 terrorist attacks on the Mumbai commuter-rail system that killed 183 people were also blamed on SIMI as well as the pro-Kashmir Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Those incidents exposed the all-too-common Hindu belief that Muslims aren’t really Indian. “LeT, SIMI — it doesn’t matter who was behind these attacks. They are all children of [Pervez] Musharraf,” sneered Manish Shah, a Mumbai resident who lost his best friend in the explosions, referring to the then President of Pakistan. In India, unlike Pakistan, Islam does not unify but divide.

Still, many South Asian Muslims insist Islam is the one and only force that can bring the subcontinent together and return it to pre-eminence as a single whole. “We [Muslims] were the legal rulers of India, and in 1857 the British took that away from us,” says Tarik Jan, a gentle-mannered scholar at Islamabad’s Institute of Policy Studies. “In 1947 they should have given that back to the Muslims.” Jan is no militant, but he pines for the golden era of the Mughal period in the 1700s and has a fervent desire to see India, Pakistan and Bangladesh reunited under Islamic rule.

That sense of injustice is at the root of Muslim identity today. It has permeated every aspect of society and forms the basis of rising Islamic radicalism on the subcontinent. “People are hungry for justice,” says Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist and author of the new bookDescent into Chaos. “It is perceived to be the fundamental promise of the Koran.” These twin phenomena — the longing many Muslims feel to see their religion restored as the subcontinent’s core, and the marks of both piety and extremism Islam bears — reflect the lack of strong political and civic institutions in the region for people to have faith in. If the subcontinent’s governments can’t provide those institutions, then terrorists like the Trident’s mysterious caller will continue asking questions. And providing their own answers.

— With reporting by Jyoti Thottam / Mumbai and Ershad Mahmud / Islamabad

Copyright © 2008 Time Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Obama win – a lesson for Indian Muslims: We can do it – By Ghulam Muhammed

Obama win – a lesson for Indian Muslims: We can do it

Obama belonged to an ostracized community that was historically brought to the United States of America as slaves, to slog in the cotton fields of the landed white aristocracy. He rose against tremendous odds and presented himself as a united voice of sanity in the backdrop of cacophony of bigotry and elitism. He took his nation to dream of unity and equal opportunity. His win has special significance for Indian Muslims, not because his middle name is Hussein. His win is a resounding message to 150 million Muslims, who are reduced within the last 60 years of Indian independence as a community to the existence of the lowest of the low. Obama rose from the pettiness of the old politics and nursed a vision for his country to be a united nation. He rose above the divisions of color and region and economic status. If any one single community that can lead India to a future of unity and universal brotherhood, it is the Muslim community. Indian Muslims have a long history of being at the helm of the affair of their country and had promoted a composite culture that thrived on the finer graces of diversities and inner aspirations of each and every individual as part and parcel of this great nation. In last sixty years, a small clique of Macaulay Brahmins, raised on the notions of the ruler and ruled, has drained the people of all their cherished dreams. While a few privileged amassed unimaginable wealth and influence, the people of India suffered stoically the ravages of governance that primarily was of the elite, for the elite, by the elite who successfully brainwashed the poor masses into a fatalistic existence of poverty and degradation. The appearance of Obama on the world horizon is a sign that the whole world is at the threshold of a historical change for the better. Injustices and deprivations have to be exorcised. And they will be. No civilization can survive merely on the basis of its material progress, if it is robbed of its innermost gift to human bonding. Indian civilization itself survived for millenniums as it accommodated and rejoiced in pluralities and diversities.

I call upon my Muslim brethrens to realise their duty and responsibility towards their homeland. Realise their strengths, their noble traditions, their inbuilt calling of universal brotherhood of all human being and unite with a deep sense of purpose and commitment to bring change to India the paradigm change that will break down the walls of injustice and prejudice. Muslims should open their hearts and minds to all who seek to bring that change. And add their unique existence within the comity of the communities to become the glue for unity and justice. Let Obama be their role model to herald a new Idea of India that would be a role model to the world.

Nine Islamists jailed for plotting terror attacks

From: savarkar vinayak, [email protected]

Nine Islamists jailed for plotting terror attacks.


A British court on Thursday jailed nine Islamists inspired by slain Al-Qaeda lynchpin Anwar al-Awlaqi for planning terror attacks on targets including the London Stock Exchange.

The nine men, who are all British nationals of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin, had pleaded guilty to a variety of terror-related offences at a hearing a week ago at Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London.

Judge Alan Wilkie sentenced three of the men to “imprisonment for public protection” — an indeterminate jail term for suspects regarded as dangerous — while the other sentences ranged from 16 years to five years.

Wilkie said they were “fundamentalist Islamists who have turned to violent terrorism in direct response to material, both propagandist and instructive, issued on the Internet by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”

Awlaqi, the US-born leader of AQAP, was killed on September 30 in an air strike in Yemen.

Wilkie added that it was a “difficult and complex sentencing” that “gives rise to a number of issues of principle and has a high profile”.

Prosecutors said the men belonged to a group of fundamentalists who planned a spate of mail bomb attacks during the run-up to Christmas 2010 and discussed launching a “Mumbai-style” atrocity.

Four of the men — Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and Shah Rahman, 28, from London and brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah 25, from Cardiff — admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.

Miah was jailed for 16 years and 10 months, Chowdhury for 13 years eight months, Rahman and Desai for 12 years each.

Three others, Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, Usman Khan, 20, and Nazam Hussain, 26, all from Stoke in central England, received indeterminate sentences with a minimum of eight years for making longer-term plans which included taking part in “terrorist training” in Pakistan.

Another man, Omar Latif, 28, from Cardiff, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism but was not involved in the specific plots and was jailed for 10 years four months.

Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke, admitted possessing a copy of Inspire, an Internet magazine produced by AQAP, and was jailed for five years.

The Crown Prosecution Service said after the hearing that the men were “not members of Al-Qaeda but they were clearly influenced” by Awlaqi.

“What they had in common was that they all held extreme fundamentalist religious beliefs and were committed to converting those beliefs into terrorist action,” CPS counter-terrorism lawyer Piers Arnold said.

During the case, prosecutors said police found a handwritten target list at the home of one of the men that included the Stock Exchange, the US embassy in London, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and two rabbis.

They also talked about travelling to a militant training camp in Pakistani Kashmir.

The group, who met due to their membership of various extremist Islamic groups, had originally challenged the charges against them and were due to stand trial, but at the 11th hour they changed their pleas to guilty.


Ashis Nandy, The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983), 7.

Nandy, Intimate Enemy, 11–18. In addition to the use of the trope of sexual domination, Ashis Nandy points out infantilization as an important strategy used by British colonialism to construct the Indians as docile subjects.

Ruth Vanita, Gender, Sex and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India, 1780–1870 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 27.

Mirza Abu Talib wrote the account in Persian upon his return to India in 1803 and called it Masir-i-Talibi. Charles Stewart, one of his pupils, later translated Masir-i-Talibi into English under the title The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan and it was published in 1810. See Daniel O’Quinn, “A Brief Chronology,” Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan (1810), by Mirza Abu Talib, trans. Charles Stewart, ed. Daniel O’Quinn (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2012), 49–53.

For a succinct history of the rise and fall of the Nawabs, see Michael H. Fisher, “The World of Eighteenth-Century India,” in The Travels of Dean Mahomet: An Eighteenth-Century Journey Through India, ed. Michael H. Fisher (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 1–7.

For a summary of the Mirzanama, see Annemarie Schimmel, The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture, trans. Corinne Attwood, ed. Burzine K. Waghmar (London: Reaktion Books, 2004), 225–27.

Note that Lady Anne Barnard transcribes the Indo-Persian word once as “Sayb” and again as “Saijb” but it is still recognizable: “I have sent a few letters of Introduction with Capt. Richardson & Khan Sayb [Mirza Abu Talib Khan] the first is man of learning and intelligence who returns for heath chiefly after 20 years spent in India he is much esteemed, and is of the party with Khan Saijb, a Persian chief, a clever, agreeable & good man, a man of letters also, and far superior to most of the Grandees of Indostan.” See Daniel O’Quinn, Introduction, The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, 9.

Saleem Kidwai, “Introduction: Medieval Materials in the Perso-Urdu Tradition,” in Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History, eds. Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000), 107–8.

John R. McLane, Land and Local Kingship in Eighteenth-Century Bengal (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 97. For a similar account of the significance of public display of wealth and consumption in the Mughal imperial power structure, see Andrea Hintze, The Mughal Empire and Its Decline: An Interpretation of the Sources of Social Power (Brookfield: Ashgate, 1997), 50–57.

C. A. Bayly, Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770–1870 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 266.

Michael Herbert Fisher, A Clash of Cultures: Awadh, the British, and the Mughals (Riverdale: Riverdale Company, 1987), 162–87.

Annemarie Schimmel, Pain and Grace: A Study of Two Mystical Writers of Eighteenth-Century Muslim India (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1976), 106.

Jim Wafer, “Vision and Passion: The Symbolism of Male Love in Islamic Mystical Literature,” Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature, eds. Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 107–9.

Kidwai, “Introduction,” Same-Sex Love, 116.

Kidwai, “Introduction,” Same-Sex Love, 119–22.

Stephen O. Murray, “The Will Not to Know: Islamic Accommodations of Male Homosexuality,” in Islamic Homosexualites, 31.

Daniel O’Quinn, Introduction,” The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, 17.

Mirza Abu Talib, The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan (1810), trans. Charles Stewart, ed. Daniel O’Quinn (Peterborough: Broadview Press). All subsequent citations from The Travels will appear in the text.

Srinivas Aravamudan, Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688–1804 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), 224–25.

William Dalrymple, White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India (New York: Viking, 2003), xiv.

O’Quinn, “Introduction,” Travels, 34.

O’Quinn, Introduction, Travels, 22.

Syed Hasan Shah, The Nautch Girl: A Novel, trans. Qurratulain Hyder (New Delhi: Sterling Press, 1992), 54, n1.

Interesting facts about the world’s least-known countries

Christopher Hogue Thompson/Creative Commons

A selection of some of the most interesting facts about the world’s least-known countries we’ve picked up over the years

This is a subjective topic I know. What counts as an interesting fact? What counts as one of the world’s least-known countries?

There is no scientific answer but when this question was posed on Q&A site Quora, it certainly threw up some noteworthy particulars about some of the more obscure sovereign and not-so-sovereign states of the world.

Below I’ve picked out some of the most interesting facts about the world’s least-known countries we’ve gleaned from visiting over 80 countries.

1. Nauru has the most overweight population in the world with over 95% of its population overweight.

2. The Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean are the most endangered island nation and have the highest risk of flooding due to climate change.

3. Prince Phillip, husband to the British Queen, is worshipped by villagers of Yaohnanen on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. Followers of the Prince Philip Movement believe the Duke descended from one of their spirit ancestors and in 2016 will visit them and – if they are lucky – take up residence among them.

4. In French Polynesia, Tematangi Atoll is the antipode of Mecca. This means that Muslims wishing to pray on the island can kneel and face any direction as they would theoretically always be facing Mecca.

5. A large proportion of roads in Guam are made of a coral/oil mixture, as the island doesn’t have a supply of natural sand. During wet weather the oil tends to float to the surface of the roads making them dangerous. Because of this, the speed limit on most of the island is just 35mph.

6. Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world with 851 individual languages listed. Of these, 839 are living and 12 are extinct. English is its official language, though only 1-2% of the population actually speak it.

7. San Marino is the oldest state in world with a history dating back to 301AD. It is also the only state with more cars than humans with 1,263 road motor vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants.

8. Niger has the most youthful population in the world. In 2013, over half of Niger’s population (50.09%) was under the age of 14. At the other end of the scale are Germany and Japan where just 13% of the population is under 14.

9. Kiribati is the only country in the world to fall into all four hemispheres, straddling the equator and extending into the eastern and western hemispheres. Kiribati was also the first country to see the dawn of the third millennium on 1 st January 2000.

10. Comoros is the only state with membership of the African Union, Francophonie, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League (where it’s the southernmost and only member entirely within the Southern Hemisphere) and the Indian Ocean Commission. A bit confused about its national identity, maybe?

11. Fiji is the only country other than India with Hindi as an official language. Native Fijians make up 54% of the population. Under British rule, Indian labourers were brought to Fiji to work on sugarcane crops. Descendants of these labourers are called Indo-Fijians and today they account for around 40% of the population.

12. Transsexual people, known as Fa’afafine, are a third gender officially recognised and accepted in Samoa since at least the early 20th century.

13. Liberia is one of only two countries in Africa that were not colonised by the European powers. The other is Ethiopia.

14. Making its second appearance on this list, Nauru does not have an official capital but Yaren is the largest settlement and the seat of parliament.

15. Red Star OS is the official and only operating system used in North Korea. It is based on Linux and was developed by the Korean Computer Center. It looks remarkably similar to Apple’s early versions of Mac OS X.

16. The tiny island nation Niue only has a population 1,190 but is the world’s first and only wifi nation (i.e. with nationwide free access to wifi provided to citizens by the government).

17. Bhutan is the only country to measure happiness instead of GDP (Gross Domestic Produce). The GNH (Gross National Happiness) concept, used in Bhutan since 1972, has inspired a modern political happiness movement and in 2011 the UN General Assembly placed “happiness” on the global development agenda, adopting it unanimously.

18. Bhutan is also a country where paintings of phallic penises are commonplace. The Bhutanese believe the immodest image of an erect penis helps fertility, offers protection from evil and dispels spiteful gossip. The murals can be spotted painted on the walls of their homes and hanging from the eaves of their houses.

19. Lesotho, San Marino and Vatican City are the only sovereign states in the world landlocked by a single country on all sides, making them enclaves. Lesotho is landlocked by South Africa, the others by Italy.

20. For a long time, Tuvalu was unable to join the United Nations because it couldn’t afford the $100,000 entrance fee. When domain names were first distributed to countries, Tuvalu received the desirable abbreviation of .tv. In 2000, the country negotiated a 12-year $50m lease contract for its domain, and again in 2011. It has used the profits to put electricity on outer islands, create scholarships and finally join the UN.

21. There are 22 countries in the world that do not have an army, the large majority comprising tiny island states or enclaves. Incidentally, this doesn’t include the Vatican City, which has the Swiss Guard as a military corps.

22. Despite the beautiful game’s popularity in Greenland, the country can’t join FIFA (the international governing body of football) because the extreme weather conditions mean grass cannot grow there. In 2006, they were allowed to participate in two World Cup qualifying games. They lost both.

23. For the third and final time, Nauru makes an appearance on the list. The country makes more money than its GDP by recognising breakaway and disputed countries. A state aiming for sovereignty can only be taken seriously if it is recognised by other UN member states (the more, the better). In 2009, Nauru recognised Russian-backed Abkhazia and South Ossetia in exchange for $50m in Russian aid. There have been other controversial examples involving Kosovo and Taiwan.

24. Lichtenstein and Uzbekistan are the only countries in the world that are doubly landlocked. The first is locked by Switzerland and Austria, the second by Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan all of which are landlocked themselves.

25. In 2018, Swaziland changed its name to ‘the Kingdom of Eswatini’. King Mswati III renamed the country from announced the official change in a stadium during celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Swazi independence from British rule.

Celebrate the world with Lonely Planet’s international best seller, The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World with 229 countries and destinations to explore and 817 beautiful images to inspire.

The initial conspiracy involved the election of 1972. When candidates run for President (for office or reelection), it is usual for the National Committee of their party to manage their election. Thus it would have been usual for the Republican National Committee to manage Nixon's reelection, but instead he chose to use his own group. The Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) was formed of men loyal to Nixon, and created a conspiracy designed to ensure Nixon's reelection through the discrediting of Democratic candidates and the raising of large campaign contributions.

CREEP leaders obtained large contributions from business executives, in cash, by implying that government favors would be withheld without it, or by promising government contracts to those who contributed. Both types of action are illegal and violate Congressional statutes. CREEP used the money thus obtained to create false documents about Democratic candidates, and to engage in surveillance of Democratic activities, particularly the offices of the Democratic National Committee. Activities designed to sabotage the campaigns of others were referred to as "dirty tricks".

CREEP also conspired to make the FBI, IRS and Department of Justice harass members of the news media and other individuals who might oppose Nixon's reelection. Many members of the opposition were suddenly facing charges of tax evasion. CREEP used CIA methods and equipment in surveillance. On June 17, 1972, five men broke into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters. Rumor has it that they were caught because they put the duct tape designed to hold down the lock crossway across the door lock, instead of longway where it wouldn't be seen. A security guard saw the tape and called for back-up. A grand jury investigation followed the arrests burglary was the charge.

On the day the grand jury met, the judge was a man named Sirica. The judge noticed that neither attorney asked pertinent questions of the accused, such as inquiring who they were working for. It so happened that a reporter from the Washington Post newspaper, irate at not getting a better story, was also sitting in the court room, and became suspicious. The Post teamed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the investigative report, and the two began to dig up information connecting the "burglars" (it turned out they were there to repair surveillance phone taps, not burgle) to CREEP.

Nixon won re-election in November 1972. By this time reporters were questioning the administration's connection to the Watergate break-in, and public statements were issued denying any connection. A Senate Select Committee was formed, ostensibly to investigate unethical activities in campaigns in general. At this time, Nixon met with CREEP leaders here at the La Costa Hotel and Spa, where they conspired to undermine the Senate investigation. In July 1973, the Committee discovered that Nixon had kept audio tapes of all Oval Office conversations, and subpeonaed the tapes. (The Oval Office taping system had been set up by Kennedy, but he had erased his tapes.) Nixon evoked "executive privilege", claiming that issues of national security were discussed on the tapes that would be damaging to the country if made public.

Nixon had some insiders listen to the tapes to see if they contained anything damning. The tape for July 23, 1972 (about a month after the break-in) had Nixon ordering the CIA to halt the FBI investigation of anything which might prevent his reelection. This would be only one example of the President obstructing justice in this case. In 1973, Nixon publicly denied that any money was unlawfully obtained, as you can hear in his speech .

You may recall that with the Second Red Scare, the Senate had the Army-McCarthy hearings while the House had HUAC. The House got involved in Watergate too, setting up the House Judiciary Committee to discuss impeachment. They were ready to recommend impeachment on the following charges: obstruction of justice, abusing presidential powers, disobeying committee subpeonas, and (I love this one) evading income tax. Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974 to avoid being impeached.

There are several important historical points to be made here. The first, analyzed in the late 70s by Bill Moyers in a film called "Essay on Watergate", involves the attitudes of CREEP leaders such as Erlichman, Haldeman, and Dean, who believed that what they were doing was right. All CREEP leaders seemed to believe that the nation was falling apart in 1972: anti-war protests, Kent State, hippies, labor disputes, riots, Vietnam. Only Nixon, they felt, could save the nation from sliding into social chaos. But they did not trust the American people to understand their point of view, so they felt they had to change the odds.

Moyers says there were three reasons why. One was that Vietnam had caused a change in thinking about winning, since it was an unwinnable war. The mentality of it being "necessary to destroy the town to save it" led to twisted thinking. He uses an example from football. Knute Rockney used to say, "it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game". But by this time, Vince Lombardi of Green Bay was saying, "winning isn't everything -- it's the only thing".

The second reason was that the leaders of CREEP were second-rate men who knew they were second-rate. They felt from the beginning that they could not do a good enough job for Nixon without "cheating". And the last reason was that they had become inured to illegality. With the civil rights movement and anti-war protestors violating the laws left and right, they felt it was OK to break the law if it was for the right cause. This made it OK to violate the Constitution, and if they hadn't been caught, says Moyers, it would have made it OK for all future governments to break the law to fulfill their own ends. But, he says, the Constitution held strong.

But the ultimate effect on the American people was a loss of trust in government, and in the President. It's hard to understand the way Americans viewed their Presidents prior to 1974, but they were viewed with much more respect and awe than today. Even when they had affairs, or had questionable personal habits, it tended to be overlooked so long as they did a good job. But after Watergate, people no longer trusted the President the idea that all politicians are crooks seemed to have been proven once and for all.

Click on the link to the right to see the trailer to the movie "All the President's Men". This was a fictionalized version of Woodward and Bernstein's work that exposed Watergate.


India has fallen 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index. Last year, India ranked 112th among 153 countries. Most depressing are the Political Empowerment sub-index, in which India fell 13.5 percentage points, and a reduction in women’s participation in the labour force. The estimated income earned by women in India was one-fifth that of men, putting India among the bottom 10 countries globally on that indicator.

The BBC reports that anger over Modi’s visit to Bangladesh is a clear warning to Delhi ― if the sensitivities of its neighbour are not addressed, India may remain friends only with the government in Dhaka, and not with the people of Bangladesh. At least 12 people died in the protests against the policies of the Modi government. Meanwhile, Chinese telecom giant Huawei has denied claims that the company may be blocked by the Indian government.

India is deporting a Rohingya child, a 14-yr old girl, to Myanmar. She asked to be sent to her parents, who are in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh. India ignored her request.

Pakistan’s private sector has been given permission to import 0.5 million tonnes of white sugar from India, Pakistan Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said. He added that the country will also import cotton from India from end-June this year.

The Bombay High Court has asked former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh why he did not lodge a police complaint against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh if he was aware of wrongdoing by him. “You were duty-bound to register a complaint against any wrongdoing. Despite knowing that an offence is being committed by your boss, you remained silent,” Chief Justice Datta said.

A Karnataka BJP minister has submitted a formal complaint against Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to Governor Vajubhai Vala, accusing him of “serious lapses” and of running the administration in an “authoritarian way”. In a five-page letter, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa also accused the CM of making allocations of Rs 774 crore from his department, bypassing him. The National Investigation Agency has conducted raids at the homes of writers, activists and others suspected of Maoist links, and has seized digital devices and papers. The PUCL alleges that “more than 25 senior activists who mostly belong to human rights, civil liberties, women’s and writers’ organisations, and are academics, writers, feminists and lawyers” have been raided.

On the last day for linking Aadhaar with PAN, the Income Tax Department announced last evening that the deadline is being extended to June 30 due to the ongoing pandemic. Linking PAN with Aadhaar has been hugely controversial. The Reserve Bank of India has extended the timeline by six months to comply with guidelines for recurring online transactions with Additional Factor of Authentication via SMS, but warned all banks including RRBs, NBFCs and payment gateways, that non-compliance is a “serious concern”.

India’s coronavirus situation shows no sign of letting up. India reported its biggest one-day spike since October ― 72,330 newcases, 40,382 discharges, and 459 deaths in the last 24 hours. Experts believe that India is facing a “severe and intense” second wave, fuelled by people being less cautious ― and mixed messaging by the government. A more aggressive vaccination plan before infections spread again was required. The government must explain its sluggishness.

A survey conducted on 8,000 workers who were forced to migrate after the sudden announcement of lockdowns last year has revealed that 75% of them have been left without any source of income, 45 per cent face food shortages and 31 per cent have no access to the healthcare system. In other news on incomes, the Adani Group rules in the post-pandemic rally in FY21, adding Rs 5.34 trillion to its market cap.

Sandeep Adhwaryu @CartoonistSan

A UK government-commissioned review of racism has concluded that it is not an institutionally racist country, prompting a backlash from critics who described the findings as an “utter whitewash”. In a much-anticipated report published yesterday, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities said the UK was not yet a “post-racial country” but should be regarded as a “model for other white-majority countries”, citing achievements towards equality. This has been met with derision, given the wide disparities that the pandemic brought out starkly.

Jammu, the city of temples, will soon get another one, as the Centrally-run administration in Jammu and Kashmir has agreed to lease a large plot of land to the Tirumala Tiruoati Devasthanam for the construction of a new temple complex in the Union Territory’s summer capital.

PDP chief and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti asks a question that other Indians are raising, too.

Mehbooba Mufti @MehboobaMufti

SC recognised right to travel abroad as part of fundamental right to life &amp personal liberty under Article 21. Denying former BJP ally &amp ex CM @MehboobaMufti a new passport opens door to arbitrary misuse of Passport Act provisions against all citizens https://t.co/IWk3jAOlYX

Small savings order rescinded under pressure

Another deadly blow was dealt to small savers ( blows have been delivered continuously, ever since this government took charge), where the Finance Ministry announced a cut in the small savings deposit rate from 4% to 3.5% for the first quarter of the financial year starting today. One-year time deposit rates were cut to 4.4% from 5.5%, and rates for recurring deposits of two to five years were also slashed. No one was spared in these unprecedented cuts.

The interest rate for senior citizens’ savings schemes was also to be reduced to 6.5% from 7.4%, while interest rates on PPF would have hit a 46 year low of 6.4%. It is purely coincidental that at the last low, 46 years ago, an Emergency was officially declared in India. But taken aback by the massive pushback, the Finance Minister declared an “oversight” and withdrew the order in the early hours of the morning! Maybe it has been postponed until after the West Bengal and Tamil Nadu polls ― these states’ contribution to small savings is among the highest in India. Someone must have told the BJP.

Farmers to march to Parliament, Supreme Court gets sealed cover report

As agitating farmers press on with their demand for withdrawal of the three farm laws instituted by an obstinate government, a three-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court has submitted its report in a sealed cover, detailing measures to end the deadlock. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde – which had on January 12 stayed the implementation of the three laws till further orders and appointed a panel to suggest measures to end the stalemate – is expected to take up the matter on April 5.

Meanwhile, the farmers have announced their plans for the next two months, which includes a march to Parliament on foot in May. The date is yet to be decided, but women, the unemployed and labourers who have been supporting the movement will join in. Farmers said that the march would be carried out in a “peaceful” manner, and special care would be taken to see that “what happened on January 26 is not repeated”.

No one killed Ishrat Jahan

A special CBI court in Ahmedabad yesterday discharged three policemen including Inspector General of Police GL Singhal, accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, after the CBI did not contest the Gujarat government’s denial of sanction to prosecute these cops. Jahan of Mumbra was 19 when she was killed with three others in an encounter near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 that the CBI says was staged. The CBI had named seven police officers ― PP Pandey, DG Vanzara, NK Amin, Singhal, Barot, Parmar and Chaudhary ― as accused in its first chargesheet filed in 2013.

In 2019, the CBI court dropped proceedings against former police officers Vanzara and Amin, after the state government refused sanction to prosecute them. Earlier, in 2018, former Director General of Police PP Pandey was discharged from the case. “We haven’t got justice and the killers are being set free. This is nothing new. These are their people, their law and their verdict. What else can be expected?” said Jahan’s mother, Shamim Kausar.

Jammu to deport Rohingyas

The process of deporting over 150 Rohingya Muslims detained in Jammu in a special drive against illegal immigrants on March 8 has been initiated in the Union Territory. These people, who escaped massive violence in Myanmar a few years back, are presently lodged at a ‘holding centre’ in Kathua district. Meanwhile, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has issued a pointed call to Myanmar’s neighbours and said it “is appalled by the escalating violence in Myanmar and the resulting human suffering and displacement this is causing. We are shocked by the indiscriminate violence against civilians across the country… We urgently call on countries across the region to offer refuge and protection to all those fleeing for safety. It is vital that anyone crossing the border, seeking asylum in another country, is able to access it.”

Spooked by the criticism and anxious about possible sanctions, the Adani Group said it would consult authorities and stakeholders on its port project in Myanmar, after human rights groups reported its subsidiary had agreed to pay millions of dollars in rent to a military-controlled firm. AFP reported, citing the UNHRC Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar and the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute’s Arms Transfers Database, that public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was a major supplier to the Myanmar military between 2017 and 2019, a charge denied by the Bangalore-based defence PSU.

MANJUL @MANJULtoons #Myanmar #democracy My #cartoon for @firstpost Telegram: telegram.me/MANJULtoons

The Long Cable

India’s rulers accept refugees only when it is politically expedient to do so

Burma was administratively a part of British India from 1824 to 1937, when London decided the two colonies were best ruled separately. I mention this because historical and cultural affinity was cited as the reason for singling out refugees from three of India’s neighbours – Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan – for special treatment under the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act that the Narendra Modi government passed in 2019. Myanmar was deliberately left out despite being a part of undivided India for more than a century for the simple reason that refugees from there are unlikely to form a reliable vote bank for the Bharatiya Janata Party and their plight cannot be used to promote religious polarisation in India.

Until 2019, India may not have a refugee law and may not have signed up to the UN Refugee Convention but successive governments did at least respect the customary international law norm of non-refoulement – under which refugees who enter a country with or without valid documentation cannot be sent back if their return would pose a threat to their life and liberty. Under this very Indian system of jugaad, lakhs of refugees from Tibet, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other countries had made India their home over the past few decades, enriching Indian society, culture – and the economy – in the process.

The CAA upturned India’s traditional refugee policy on three grounds: (1) it arbitrarily excluded refugees from all countries except three, (2) it arbitrarily excluded refugees from the three listed countries if they were Muslims and (3) it imposed a cut-off of December 2014, meaning even non-Muslim refugees who entered India after that date from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan would be considered ‘illegal’ and liable to forcible repatriation.

The CAA offered a pathway for not just permanent, legal residence in India for the listed beneficiaries but also Indian citizenship. However, this also meant that all other refugees – regardless of the degree to which they have faced persecution at home or the threats to their life and liberty if repatriated – would perpetually remain ‘illegal’ and under the shadow of deportation.

Over the past few years, fuelled largely by the Islamophobic politics of the BJP, the Modi government has been trying to deport Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar. This despite the international consensus that the military regime there is implementing a genocidal policy towards the ethnic group. There is an active genocide case against Myanmar before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and the ICJ has issued provisional orders which the generals in Naypyidaw are obliged to implement.

The irony is that at the international level, the same Modi government accepts that the Rohingya are not migrants or ‘infiltrators’ – the atrocious term used in India to describe undocumented migrants – but ‘forcibly displaced”. Yet, when it comes to domestic action, these “forcibly displaced” persons are described in official affidavits as illegal migrants who must be sent back home. Sadly, even the Supreme Court of India appears unwilling to uphold India’s non-refoulement obligations.

India’s sordid refugee policy stands even more discredited today in the aftermath of the military coup in Myanmar, which has led to a slow but steady trickle of refugees – mostly non-Rohingya – across the border to the states of Manipur and Mizoram. The Union Home Ministry does not want any refugees allowed in and those who manage to enter are either pushed back, into the repressive arms of the Myanmar military, or subject to harsh official treatment. The Manipur government issued orders to this effect only to rescind them when outrage followed. On the ground, however, nothing has changed. Most unconscionable of all is the deportation of minors, with or without their parents.

The BJP takes pride in India having served as a home for persecuted people and even ascribes India’s openness to the virtues of the Hindu religion. But its official policy while in government is testimony to the party’s utter contempt for Indian traditions, not to speak of international law.


The West Bengal Legislative Assembly election began on March 27 and will continue in eight phases until April 29. In the last week of March, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members and supporters shared an image each. The images claim that rival political parties have faced unfavourable results. Not surprising, because once this trend had been started by the BJP after 2014, other parties ― especially those hiring Prashant Kishor ― have also upped their game with similar antics.

In Assam, the Election Commission has sent a notice to Himanta Biswa Sarma of the BJP for threatening Hagrama Mohilary of Congress ally Bodo People’s Front with arrest by the misuse of central agencies.

Deep Dive

India’s employment guarantee scheme

The Right to Work or MGNREGA, now in its 15th year, has turned around lives and sustainably, mainly through natural resource management projects including a large number of water harvesting structures and soil moisture conservation works.

Core sectors contract, economic health poor

India’s core sectors contracted again after two months, and at -4.6%, the shrinking is at the sharpest pace since August 2020. All of the eight core industries contracted in February. A ‘D-shaped’ rate of growth, or de-growth, is in play.

Against its worst instincts, the government has decided to count. It has launched two national surveys ― one to track migrants, their socioeconomic conditions and shifting preference for jobs, and the other to gather primary job creation numbers from 150,000 companies. Its track record of sharing data it collects is dreadful, but let us hope that changes.

The World Bank calculates that per capita income will decline over two years in India. “Given that the very rich are doing better, this is real bad news for the less well-off”, quipped Prof Kaushik Basu.

‘Saviour of steel’ collapsing

UK-based India-born metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s group has been hit with winding-up orders from investors, and legal action that threatens to bring down the empire of the “saviour of steel”. The UK was rocked by news of Gupta acquiring public money and buying a mansion with it. Now, the Financial Times reports that US investment bank Citigroup has filed a flurry of applications in London’s insolvency court against some of Gupta’s commodities and industrial businesses. Gupta’s Greensill Capital collapsed this month. It packaged up debts from Gupta’s businesses into products, which were then sold to investors. Gupta had asked the government for £170 million and was turned down. He now says he is “not waiting for anybody to come to the rescue.”

Facebook on unfamiliar ground, grapples hate

In somewhat hilarious comments, Facebook has said it is taking steps to combat hate speech and misinformation in India as elections proceed in five states. “We recognise that there are certain types of content, such as hate speech, that could lead to imminent, offline harm,” the social networking giant said in a blog post the day before. Facebook had been in the eye of a storm globally for encouraging polarisation and in India, for being partial to the ruling party, the BJP. Its controversial public policy head Ankhi Das stepped down last year.

Facebook claims that it is taking several measures, including reducing distribution of content deemed to be hate speech, as part of its efforts to curb the spread of misinformation during Assembly elections.

Op-Eds you don’t want to miss

Seema Chishti, (a contributor to The India Cable) lists reasons to show that the Election Commission’s neutrality is in doubt following its actions over the past few years, which have contributed to democratic backsliding in India.

History shows that farmers’ agitations are usually sparked off by a sense of ‘injustice’ experienced by the farming community, and threats to their survival, write Akshay Dhume and RS Deshpande.

Pratinav Anil writes in Himal that Congress socialism is a myth as Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were never really on the left to begin with.

Many countries have succumbed to religious fundamentalism, with disastrous consequences for their economies. Bangladesh is notable for having withstood this danger and also provides many other lessons on economic success, writes Kaushik Basu.

“Any refugee from any community or religion, if they are seeking their life, we have to help them. Be it Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Christian. If they enter in Mizoram, we have to give separate status of refugees,” says Rajya Sabha member K Vanlalvena of the Mizo National Front.

Jayadeva Ranade writes that India will have to contend with a much-improved strategic border defence infrastructure and considerably enhanced Chinese military presence, that will pose a long-term potential threat as China pursues its long-term plans.

We need not grudge it if the young feel that wearing frayed or ripped jeans seals their camaraderie and oneness with the global youth, writes Jawhar Sircar. After all, they have to work together to mend the world we have messed up and will leave behind.

The BJP’s high-pitched divisive Hindutva ecampaign may not have gone down too well with the privileged Assamese who, like the Bengali bhadralok, refuse to be seen as communal, writes Kishalay Bhattacharjee.

Listen Up

Checking up on democracy

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who is in the news nowadays, examines the vital signs of India’s democracy. This is an episode of The President’s Inbox, a special series on the future of democracy.

Watch Out

India’s second spike

Professor Ashish Jha of Brown University tells Karan Thapar that the second coronavirus spike in India could be worse than the first, “This is a concerning situation. The speed at which infections are rising suggests exponential growth, particularly in Maharashtra.” He says this year’s growth data compared to that of the first spike last year shows “the speed of growth is faster”. In the US and Europe, second spikes were uniformly worse than the first and India seems to be following suit.

It’ll be raining hilsa this year

In 1928, Dhan Gopal Mukerji won the American Library Association’s Newbery Medal for his children’s book Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon. He was the first writer of colour and the only Indian to win the prize. The book’s protagonist is the eponymous Gay Neck, who, along with its companion Hira, serves as a messenger pigeon during World War I. Through the pigeon’s adventures, Mukerji obliquely speaks of the futility of war.

Hilsa, the darling of fish lovers across West Bengal and Bangladesh, could be breeding upstream in the Ganges later this year, after almost four decades in which it was locked out by the Farakka Barrage. A new navigation lock in the barrage, which was built to save Bihar and West Bengal from flooding and to generate hydel power, will enable hilsa breeding in the next few months. Fish connoisseurs along the Ganga up to Allahabad may be able to savour fresh hilsa, which can now swim upstream beyond Farakka.

The 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award is to be conferred upon actor Rajinikanth. This is not a Rajini ‘fact’. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said it. And it has nothing to do with the Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

That’s it for today. We’ll be back with you tomorrow, on a device near you. If The India Cable was forwarded to you by a friend (perhaps a common friend!) book your own copy by SUBSCRIBING HERE.

November 16, 2008

Vatican owes us an apology for their murders

His Majesty the king has ordered that there shall be no Brahmins in his land and that they should be banished.”
“In the name of his Majesty I order that no Hindu can or shall perform marriages…”
“The marriages of the supplicants are superstitious acts or functions which include Hindu rites and ceremonies as well as cult, adoration and prayers of Hindu temples…”
“I order that no Hindu temples be erected in any of the territories of my king… and that Hindu temples which already have been erected be not repaired…’

Anybody familiar with the brutalisation of Hindu customs and practices, indeed Hindu faith and belief, could mistakenly believe these extracts have been taken from royal decrees issued during Muslim rule. The harshness with which suppression is prescribed in these decrees, the callous disregard that is advocated for the other’s sentiment, the cruelty that is so palpable in both thought and action, suggest that thesefirman could have been issued by one of the “shadows of god” who ruled this land, laying to waste Hindu lives and temples.

But these are not extracts from firman issued by the Mughal court of, say, Aurangzeb. They have been taken from firmans issued by the Portuguese who ruled Goa and recognised no religion other than Christianity as the legitimate means of communion with god. It was no secular rule that they imposed, but a ruthless system of pillage disguised as trade and a cruel administration for whom Hindus were nothing more than “supplicants” to be crushed into submission or exiled into oblivion.

The horrors inflicted on Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition — the Vatican has now admitted that the Church was wrong and Galileo was right — are well known. Not that well-known, and tragically so, are the horrors inflicted by the Goa Inquisition. Every child reads about Galileo’s trial and how it is symbolic of the triumph of science over faith. But there is no reference — indeed, all reference is scrupulously avoided — to the brutal attempts of the Church to stamp out Hinduism in the territories controlled by the Portuguese in India.

And this silence is not because there exists no evidence: There exist, in full text, orders issued by the Portuguese Viceroy and the Governor. There exist, in written records and travelogues, penned not by the persecuted but by the persecutors, full details of the horrors perpetrated in the name of Christ. Hindus who dared oppose the persecution were punished, swiftly and mercilessly. Those who were fortunate, got away with being banished. The less fortunate had their property seized and auctioned — the money was used, in large measures, for furthering proselytisation. The least fortunate were forced to serve as slave labour on the galleys that transported loot from Indian shores to Portuguese coffers.

Viceroy D Constantine de Braganca issued an order on April 2, 1560, instructing that Brahmins should be thrown out of Goa and other areas under Portuguese control. They had a month’s time to sell their property — it is obvious who gained from such distress sale. Those found violating the viceregal order, it was declared, would have their properties seized. Another order was issued, this time by Governor Antonio Morez Barreto, on February 7, 1575, decreeing that the estates of Brahmins whose “presence was prejudicial to Christianity” would be confiscated and used for “providing clothes to the New Christians”.

The attitude of the Portuguese administrators in India and the Church hardened over the years, to a point where each fiat, each decree, each order, each letter, became an instrument of religious persecution. The Third Concilio Provincial — a gathering of bishops and other clerics — met in 1585 to review, among other things, the progress of converting the “heathens” to the “only faith”. The Concilio adopted a resolution which said, ‘His Majesty the king has on occasion ordered the Viceroys and Governors of India that there should be no Brahmins in his lands, and that they should be banished therefrom together with the physicians and other infidels who are prejudicial to Christianity, after taking the opinion of the Archbishop and other religious persons who have experience in the matter. As the orders of His Majesty in this regard have not been executed, great impediments in the way of conversion and the community of New Christians have followed and continue to follow.”

One can quote from many other orders, resolutions and instructions that resulted in the hideous Vatican-backed Goa Inquisition. The details are not unknown to most of us they are definitely well known to the Vatican. The reason I have raised the issue of the Goa Inquisition is two-fold. First, Pope Benedict XVI should bear in mind the horrors inflicted on Hindus in the name of Christianity before he berates them for being intolerant towards Christians. Second, the Vatican owes an apology for the crimes committed during the Goa Inquisition it must apologise and repent for its misdeeds against Hindus and gross attempts to stamp out Hinduism. Not to do so would amount to continued endorsement of the crimes and the unfair practices of missionaries.

Ten years ago, the Vatican issued a 14-page document, ‘apologising’ and ‘repenting’ for not doing enough to save Europe’s Jews from the Holocaust. While it is common knowledge that Pope Pius XII did not feel particularly appalled by Hitler’s ‘final solution’, the Vatican claimed in its 1998 document that he was unaware of the concentration camps, the mass slaughter, the gas chambers and the furnaces. The document, understandably, failed to impress Jews who have made it clear that Pope Benedict XVI is not welcome to visit Israel unless he offers an unqualified apology and makes public documents of that period which are now stored in the Vatican’s archives. The Vatican may have eliminated the phrase “perfidious Jews” from its liturgy and Pope John Paul II may have made it fashionable for the Pontiff to refer to Jews as “older brothers”, these are seen as no more than meaningless, insincere gestures.

The purpose of securing an apology for the Goa Inquisition is not to belittle the Vatican, but to drive home the point that it cannot seek to occupy the moral high ground till such time it has apologised and atoned for the sins committed against Hindus. If the Vatican can say sorry to others, there is no reason why it cannot say sorry to Hindus. Their faith is no less than those of the Book