Archives for posts with tag: United States
The Times of India, Bangalore, on June 17, 2007 put out a report on the “politically neglected” Karnataka Brahmins, who form just 3%, giving them ideas so that they could also like UP form some “caste combination” to come to power.
The reporters met some Brahmin politicians to goad them to action but found the response too discouraging. To their utter shock they found these Brahmins not only a micro-minority caste but also the most hated lot and trusted by no other castes.
So much so the 3% Brahmins, ignored by everybody else, have finally beelined to BJP and made it their home.
Caste composition
There are 42 lakh Brahmins in Karnataka, of which 15 lakh are in Bangalore, according to H.N. Hiriyannaswamy of Akhila Karnataka Brahmana Mahasabha (AKMS).
Smartha Brahmins have 12 subcastes.
Madhwa Brahmins 4 subcastes and 14 mutts.
Srivaishnava Brahmins 5 subcastes.
Brahmins in India as a whole have 65 subcastes. (Source: website of AKBM)
How to deceive people: The Times even published a cartoon giving ideas to their jatwalas about capturing political power: make all other non-Brahmin castes fight each other. As they get busy fighting, you quickly climb to the top of ladder. This is the good old time-tested Brahminical trick of divide and rule. And it is still working in their favour in many parts of the country.
But there is one point which the Times journalists did not answer. Day in day out, these Brahmin journalists ridicule the politicians, call them corrupt, manufacture all sorts of stories to malign them to make them the most hated lot. Why then they want the Brahmins to get into the same “political class”?
Hate-Muslim campaign not working: They are trying through their toilet papers (English dailies are read by not even 4% of the country’s population) to make us hate the politicians. But the reality is despite their best efforts to weaken the legislature, boost the judiciary, media, IT, financial sector, educational institutions etc., they find to their utter shock that the hated political power is the ultimate power. SC/ST/BCs and Muslim/Christian/Sikhs — 85% who constitute the Bahujans —alone have the strength of numbers. And the Brahmins being mere 3% can never gain political power. Their good old game of instigating “Hindus” against Muslims has stopped working. They are deeply worried and this worry has made them think of the UP formula of “caste combination”.
The Brahmins being a cunning clan also know the UP formula is confined only to UP where the Brahmin percentage is as high as 15. It can’t be extended to any other state. (DV Edit June 1, 2007: “Dalits alone can protect Brahmin life & property: Lessons of UP election”).
Why shudra castes are hated: What is puzzling is a caste which claims itself to be the country’s “most intelligent”, is not intelligent enough to understand that the Bahujan (85%) concept not only does not include the Brahmin but it also keeps out not merely the Brahmin but also the Kshatriya, Vaishya and the landed shudra castes like Karnataka’s Lingayats and Vokkaligas who are much more hated than the Brahmins.
Brahmins are not the only hated jati. In UP, the Dalits consider Yadavas as oppressors. In different parts of India different jatis are oppressors.
The Brahmana Jati Party (BJP) in Karnataka is loaded with Lingayats. BJP’s top leader is a Lingayat, presently Dy. CM in the JD(S)-BJP coalition govt. They also form the largest chunk of MPs from Karnataka.
Lingayats and Vokkaligas are the state’s landed (shudra) gentry and all landlord communities are oppressive all over the country. Marathas (MS), Jats (Punjab), Nairs (Kerala), Reddis and Khammas (AP), Mudaliar and Goundars (TN), Rajputs, Patels (Gujarat). It is this class of landed gentry — despite pushed to the despised fourth -grade place in the Brahminical caste hierarchy — that has gone closer to the Brahmins instead of remaining nearer to the Bahujans.
In other words the Enemy No.1 of the Bahujans is the shudra landed castes — and not so much the Brahmins.
We had cleared this point while writing on Mayawati victory in UP (DV Edit June 1, 2007). The Yadavas of UP despite being part of the Bahujan Samaj tormented the Dalits so much that they readily agreed to join the Brahmins.
Does it not become clear that the Bahujans have nothing against Brahmins. In the caste pyramid, the Brahmins are at the top and the Untouchable Dalits are at the bottom. The two have no chance to meet like the North Pole and South Pole. How then can there be any Dalit hostility against Brahmins?
Why the “brainy Brahmins” go on saying that Dr. Ambedkar suffered from intense anti-Brahmin mania and DV is generating Brahmin hatred (DV Edit July 16, 2005: “In defence of Brahmins”).
Babasaheb Ambedkar had many Brahmin friends, many Brahmins joined him while he embraced Budhism in a mass conversion.
Truth never admitted: The “brainy Brahmins” may know the truth but they will not admit this truth. This is the problem with them.
All these are facts of history. And yet the “brainy Brahmins” have not read this history. And that is why they are losing on all fronts and have now become the target of all-round attack. Thousands of them are fleeing India itself and settling with their White Western racial family.
The problem with the Brahmin is any amount of study, experience, travel or long stay in a foreign country will not change his mental make-up which is a genetic characteristic. The hate mail from Brahmins we get daily after seeing our website come mostly from very young Brahmins. Not the oldies. Some of them say they are working as nuclear scientists in USA. But whether he is a scientist, a philosopher or Harward professor he is first a Brahmin. This is also the case with the Jew. After all the “Jews of India” are their brothers.
The Times headline for their conspiratorial story is “Caste calculations”. Fine. But there is a problem here. When we talk about our caste, the Brahmin is the first to pounce and warn us not to talk of caste. They hate caste-based reservation and insist “merit” alone shall be the criterion (Merit, My Foot, DSA-2006, Rs30). We have received hundreds of emails and letters warning us not to talk of caste. The Brahmin hates any talk of caste because he knows any discussion on caste promotes caste consciousness.
Caste as a nation: That is why he always likes to talk on “casteless society” even as he continues to strengthen his caste.
When we wrote our book, Caste — A Nation Within the Nation (Books for Change, Bangalore, 2004-3rd print) and the publishers sent the book for review they simply threw it to waste paper basket. Not a single paper in India reviewed it. They did not publish even the PTI report from London announcing our book getting the prestigious international LISA award in London (2005). Such is the Brahmin hatred for caste. But the same Brahminical Times has now made a story on “caste calculations” for its Sunday edition so that the Brahmins of Karnataka could hatch a UP- type conspiracy to come to power.
In other words the Brahmins will like “caste” and love “caste” if the caste helps their jati to gain power. As they are not getting political power because of their numerical minority they are provoking their readers to hate caste and hate everything with caste.
Manuwadi marxists: Their own Manuwadi marxist parties in Bengal and Kerala have suppressed the entire Bahujans by destroying their caste consciousness. In Calcutta, the two political leaders hating each other suddenly embraced each when they found the Dalit-Muslim unity growing because of SEZ agitation. (DV July 1, 2007 p.8: “Jyoti Basu-Mamata unity to scuttle Dalit-Muslim unity” ?).
Despite all these Brahminical tricks to kill caste and destroy our caste consciousness through their Manuwadi marxism on one side and Hindu terrorist party bid for “Hindu unity” on the other, caste is in tact and growing. Nay. The Bahujans of India have never forgotten their caste because that constitutes their ethnic roots. You destroy the roots, the tree falls and dies.
Now that the country’s largest circulated English daily — though going totally mad in its monkey business — has admitted that caste has a big role to play by asking its principal Brahmin readership to go back to caste, it must continue to apply the same yardstick, the same principle, when it comes to all other castes.
Treachery: India’s two greatest critics on Brahmins are the Budha and Babasaheb Ambedkar. The first eradicated Brahminism and caused the “golden period of Indian history” which the Brahmins destroyed and brought India back to darkness. The only other person who could equal the Budha was Babasaheb Ambedkar, “independent” India’s tallest titan. This is history.
Both these historical personalities have written thousands of pages on the crimes of Brahmins without ever hating an individual Brahmin. Many Brahmins were admitted to Budha’s Dhamma. So also Babasaheb.
Almost all the revolutionaries of India have written against Brahmins (V.T. Rajshekar, Brahminism, DSA-2001). We have nothing more to add to this long list of Brahminical treacheries given by all these great people. We are only repeating what they have said hundred and one times. Yet not an iota of the Brahmin behaviour has changed since the Budha first wrote about their treachery.
Law of contradictions: The Times telling the Brahmin to resort to “caste calculations” to come to power is not new. Brahmins have been applying the “law of contradictions” (write to DV for a copy of the book by Mao Tse-Tung, Rs. 40) to play one caste against the other in every part of India to see that their illegally usurped properties and privileges are not lost when Babasaheb’s constitution brought parliamentary democracy throwing the Brahmins into dog house. Earlier, they launched the “freedom movement” against the British so that they could take over from the British. But Babasaheb’s constitution struck the first nail on the Brahminical coffin. Different state govts. passed into the hands of non-Brahmins. Since about eight years, even the Union Govt. is going out of their hands because caste and region -based parties have ousted all “national” (read Brahmin) parties like the Congress, BJP, CPI-CPM etc.
The coming parliamentary election will see the final death of all “national” parties and the Govt. of India will be capured by caste and regional parties. This is the DV prediction.
Foreign elements in India: Naturally, Brahmins are seriously worried. We pity their plight. But if they need our sympathy, they must stop playing all their heinous game, start behaving like normal human beings and assure the Bahujans that despite their alien origin they would live within India like all other people and be one with them. Brahmins are not the only foreign elements in India. There are many others. But the Bahujans have no trouble with the other alien elements except the Brahmins.
This is just an advice. Millions before us have given the same advice. Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy knew that such an advice will never be accepted as the loyalty of the Brahmin is to his caste and not to his country. Their talk of Hindutva and Hinduism is to do business but practice Brahminism.
Who killed Gandhi: In the light of such serious contradictions in the very psyche of the Brahmin, we can only say the future of Bhoodevatas will be extremely precarious.
A set of people who killed their own “Father of Nation” — one who did so much for them to drive out the British and instal their own man in Delhi— what can be said about them? We have exhausted all words trying to put sanity into their heads but they are declining to be sane and straight.
History is not on their side. They know it. And we also know it. The war that began with the Budha and continued with Babasaheb Ambedkar is going on. It will not end until one side emerges victorious. We also know that it will be a prolonged war. All the Brahminical diversionary talk of 10% growth rate and “India shining” business will not make the Bahujans forget their caste and target their centuries-old oppressors.
Advertisements
Rahul-gandhi

Image via Wikipedia

NEW DELHI: Coming under attack after his reported statement that “radicalised Hindu groups” posed a bigger threat than outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Rahul Gandhi today diluted his comments saying that terrorism and communalism of all types are a threat to India.

“Rahul Gandhi’s view is that terrorism and communalism of all types are a threat to India.We need to remain vigilant against acts of terrorism of all kinds no matter who commits them,” AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a release issued on his behalf.

The statement came hours after Congress grappled with the issue of the WikiLeaks cable which claimed that Rahul Gandhi had told US Ambassador Timothy Roemer that growth of “radicalised Hindu groups” which create religious tensions in India could pose a bigger threat to the country than activities of groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

This in a way is the first acknowledgement from the Congress that Gandhi had indeed talked to Roemer on the issue.

The initial reaction of the Congress on the issue was one of dilemma with party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi saying, “We will respond to it after verifying the facts. There is no reason to react in an excited manner. The issue should first be looked into and verified”.

Dwivedi, who is also AICC media department chairman, had first suspected a conspiracy behind the release of WikiLeaks cable saying, ” Let us verify the truth. May be there is some conspiracy behind the pattern with which this all is being done.”

However, a clarification came quickly with the media department in-charge confining his remarks to “let us verify the truth”.

Asked what is there to doubt in the issue, the Singhvi remarked, “I am not questioning anything and I am questioning everything”.

To a query on whether what he says indicates that the party is distancing itself from Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, Singhvi said, “The question does not arise.It is your interpretation.”

According to a secret US diplomatic cable from New Delhi released by WikiLeaks, at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in July 2009, the Congress General Secretary was asked by the US ambassador about LeT’s activities in the region and immediate threat to India.

“Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community,” the cable notes.

“However, Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community,” it says.

With the emergence of Hindutva fascist forces and their alliance with Neo consand Zionists,  India witnessed a sharp increase in the number of research institutes, media houses and lobbying groups.  According to a  study by Think Tanks & Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania,  India has 422  think tanks, second only to the US, which has over 2,000 such institutions.

Out of 422 recognized Indian think tanks, around 63 are engaged in security research and foreign policy matters,  which are heavily funded by global weapon industry.  India’s Retired spies,  Police officers,  Military personals, Diplomats and Journalists are hired by such  national  security &  foreign policy research institutes which gets enormous fund from  global weapon industry.  These dreaded institutions  are in fact has a hidden agenda.  Behind the veil, they work as the  public relations arm of weapon industry.  They  create fake terror stories with the help of media and intelligence wing,  manipulate explosions  through criminals in areas of tribals, dalits or minorities in order to get public acceptance for weapon contracts.

By creating conflicts in this poor country, Brahmin spin masters get huge commission from the sale of weapons to government forces. To this corrupt bureaucrats,  India’s  ‘National Interest‘ simply means ‘their self Interest’. Their lobbying power bring more wealth to their families as lucrative jobs, citizenship of rich countries and educational opportunities abroad.

Mentionable that India is one of the world’s largest weapons importers. Between 2000 and 2007 India ranked world’s second largest arms importer accounting for 7.5 % of all major weapons transfers.  It stood fourth among the largest military spender in terms of purchasing power in 2007 followed by US, China and Russia.

Over 1,130 companies in 98 countries manufacture arms, ammunitions and components. 90 % of Conventional arms exports in the world are from the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council namely USA, UK, Russia, China & France. The countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East hold 51 per cent of the world’s heavy weapons.

The Defence Offset Facilitation Agency estimating the expenditure on the sector at USD 100 billion for next five years. At least 38 court cases relating to arms agreements are still pending against bureaucrats and military officers. Hindu fascist forces currently enjoy upper hand in media, civil service, judiciary, defence and educational streams of Indian society. Sooner or later, 25,000 strong democratic institutions in India will be collapsed and the country will be transformed to a limited democracy under the rule of security regime like Turkey or Israel.  Hindutva’s security centric nationalism never was capable of bringing peace and protection to the life of  our ordinary citizens.

According to Global Peace Index, India currently ranked on bottom, (122 with 2.422 score).  Interestingly, our favourite arms supplier, Israel  is among the worst performer  when it comes to peace ranking. (141).  It reminds a simple fact that the  peace cannot be attained by sophisticated security apparatus.

Further more, India topped  on Asian Risk Prospects -2009,  with the highest political and social risk, scoring 6.87, mainly because of internal and external instability (PERC)

by Archbishop Cheenath

Mumbai’s night of terror underscores a phenomenon concealed by the Indian governmentand intelligence agencies and deliberately ignored by a biased Anglo-American media for a long time: The rise of a virulent form of Hindu terrorism that begets violence from other minorities. Here is a list of almost one hundred groups that are fighting the Indian government. All of them thrive in India. The context for what has happened in Mumbai is stunning only for those unaware how a cocktail mix of wrong policies, official patronage to extremism, and separatist movements have come together to destabilize India. The night of Nov. 26, 2008 to Sep. 29, 2010  will go down in history as the days when India’s homegrown terrorism reared its head after years of silent mushroom growth.

This terrorism in Mumbai is not surprising, unlike the reactions in most of the western media. India’s terrorist underground has been flourishing for many years. While the U.S. media was busy last year likening Pakistan to Iraq in a politically motivated campaign aligned with U.S. military objectives, experts were ranking India only second to Iraq in the number of people who died as a result of terrorist attacks between 2002 to 2010, according to one survey by an American think tank.

The Indian government has been artfully concealing a worrying development for at least sixteen years under an organized hype centered on economic growth and military power projection with a focus on China and Pakistan.

Indian terrorism is a confusing mix. Journalists and observers outside the region often miss the simmering tensions beneath the surface that occasionally burst into the open, surprising many and raising questions like how could there be so much violence in what is supposed to be a secular democracy and a rising economy where such things should not happen.

In India, there is a cocktail mix of wrong policies, official patronage to extremism, and separatist movements, all coming together to destabilize India. At least 600 Christians, churches, nuns and priests were targeted by Hindu mobs in eastern India in August this year. Almost the entire Muslim population of Kashmir is up in arms against the excesses, arrests, murders and rapes by the Indian army. For years there has been a media trial of Indian Muslims for real and imaginary involvement in violence. News such as the arrest this month of two serving Indian army officers involved in crimes that were attributed to Indian Muslims has served to increase disgruntlement among minorities. In 2002, close to 2,500 Indian Muslim men, women and children were burned alive in the first religious genocide of 21st century. In 1984, Sikhs were hauled off buses in New Delhi and beaten or burned to death following the assassination of Indian prime minister Indra Gandhi at the hands of Sikh bodyguards. And finally, between 12 to 14 separatist insurgencies currently rage across India’s north and northeast.

All of this makes for a dangerous combination that simmers quietly under the surface. The Indian media’s self-imposed ban on discussing these problems helps keep the lid on them. But when the pressure becomes unbearable, things occasionally burst into the open in the shape of terrorist acts. This only surprises those who do no know how India has been gradually relapsing into religious extremism in the period between 1990 and 2010. This history is important in order to understand why the Indian claims of Pakistani complicity in the attacks have often sought to simplify a complex situation.

Hindu militant groups have mushroomed in the past few years. In 2008 arrest of two serving Indian army officers has confirmed speculation that Hindu terrorist groups have infiltrated Indian military and political establishments.

1992 was the definite year that saw Hindu fundamentalism express itself politically. Hundreds of religious terrorists descended on a north Indian city with tools in hand. They climbed on top of a majestic, 500-year-old mosque built by the same Muslim rulers who built the famous Taj Mahal. Imbibed with religious hatred, the Hindu mobs razed the building to the ground. Indian government authorities did nothing to stop it.

This Indian betrayal of a carefully crafted secular image would prove fatal later. In 1999, a Hindu mob surrounded the car of Graham Staines, an Australian priest, and his underage boy and girl and burned them alive.

Australia maintained an unusual quiet till this day about this major act of terrorism. The bias is easily detectable when compared to Australia’s reaction and statements to ‘Muslim terrorism’, especially in Indonesia and later in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In this sense, countries like United States, Britain and Australia are partially responsible for letting the growth of India terrorism – with its mix of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and ethnic insurgencies – go unnoticed for so many years. These western countries have done this in order not to disturb the Anglo-Saxon project of grooming India as a bulwark against China and Russia and other regional powers.

Following is a list of various indigenous separatist, militant and terrorist organizations operating in India against the Indian federal government. This list has been compiled using information available in the public domain, news reports and specialized publications. During any given incident in India, a combination of some or all of these organizations is a suspect, including in the Mumbai blasts and in any other militant activity. Blaming Kashmiris or Pakistanis for Indian internal problems would be a factual misrepresentation that must be countered with full force by Pakistan.

It should also be noted that the Indian establishment is cracking down on Tamil separatists due to violence in Sri Lanka as Tamils are regrouping in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tamils have to their credit the last significant political assassination in India, the blowing up of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984. They continue to be the most ruthless terror outfit in India. Mumbai blasts carry the fingerprints of many terror groups operating inside India, each with a long list of grievances against the Indian government and enough motivation to carry out such terrorist acts.

Not all groups in this list are necessarily terrorist organizations. But all of them are active against the Indian government.

Image via Wikipedia

Last year in the village of Manoharpur, India, a mob of Hindu supremacists burned to death Australian missionary Graham Stewart Staines and his two young sons. The mainstream U.S. media, which typically casts its jaded gaze on that part of the world only to report death tolls after typhoons, bus, or train disasters, responded predictably. But while the American public generally responds to news from this part of the world with a bewildered shrug, the response to this story was one of collective, visceral, revulsion. For many Americans, still reeling from another horrific event that recently occurred on their own soil – the Texas dragging death of James Byrd Jr. – the story put India squarely on the map, bringing a grotesque culmination to preceding weeks of church-burnings and rumors of anti-Christian hatred.

More than twenty months have now passed since the Staines murder, and South Asia has once again retreated to the periphery of American awareness. Yet the violence against the Christian minority in India continues unabated. And while the government of Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee responds ambivalently to this crisis, its cohorts in the religious right do not — organizations such as the Shiv Sena (“Army of God”) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (“World Hindu Council”) continue to put forth divisive and inflammatory propaganda, with tangible and far-reaching results. Whether by parliamentary bill to restrict “mixed faith” marriages, state-sanctioned “reconversion” campaigns or the movement to rewrite the history of India as an unalloyed Hindu “Zion,” religious nationalism is reshaping the national agenda of the world’s largest democracy.

This brand of religious revivalism – Hindutva as it is known – has the dimensions of a sustained movement with ambitions of political and cultural reform. Its rhetoric of Hindu supremacy, virulent with the demonization of minorities and exaggerated threats to national identity, resonates among many members of the conservative upper and middle classes. This growing grassroots support has emboldened the movement and placed its ideologies into public office, from local government to Parliament. Even Rabindra Pal (“Dara”) Singh, the man accused of organizing the Staines murder, is now considering a bid for public office.

Representatives of the movement offer little regret for the Staines murders or the other acts of religious hatred that have plagued the country. Instead of unequivocally condemning the violence, mouthpieces for outfits like the VHP indignantly retort that Christian missionaries are waging a campaign to deculturalize “Hindu” India by perpetrating “forced conversions” of its poorest, and most vulnerable, communities. VHP Vice President Giriraj Kishore, for example, has publicly maligned men like Staines as “traitors” and “desecrators of Hindu gods”, implying in essence that violence against them is an act of cultural self defense. In other words, they’re getting what they deserve.

Meanwhile, the Vajpayee government publicly condemns the communal violence but is reticent when it comes to assigning responsibility. Vajpayee prefers to rationalize the killings, beatings, and church bombings as aberrations or “isolated events,” and fidgets away from any suggestion that blame should be laid at the feet of VHP or its militant affiliates, whose members have been clearly implicated in several cases. This is no surprise, as Vajpayee’s BJP (“Indian People’s Party”) is considered the parliamentary arm of the Hindutva movement.

Evidence has supposedly been uncovered that links some recent incidents with operatives of Pakistan’s intelligence services, whose mission, presumably, is to embarrass India among its democratic peers. Such claims may take the heat off Vajpayee for the time being, but if true they should be more cause for alarm than vindication, because they suggest that the social unrest wrought by Hindutva extremism is so disruptive that it has invited exploitation by India’s military rival. The divisiveness of Hindu supremacy, then, may not only be dangerous to India’s democratic institutions, but to its national security as well. But such considerations may be lost on the radical right, for whom Pakistan is frequently invoked as a source of the nation’s ills. Now, with a convenient circle of logic, not only can the enemies of India be blamed for the campaign of “forced conversions,” but can be likewise accused of the ongoing campaign of vigilante “justice.”

Ultimately, it is in its definition of “enemy” versus “Indian” where Hindutva reveals its true colors, for at root is the assertion that the only “true” Indians are Hindus, while all others – particularly Muslims and Christians – are not. The latter religions, termed “semitic” according to the Hindutva theory of history, are alien faiths imposed from the outside on “Hindu India” by foreign aggressors. Such exclusionism makes Hindutva, at its philosophical core, not merely “nationalistic” but supremacist. And any ideology that defines nationhood – with the concomitant rights and enfranchisement that this implies – by membership in a privileged race, culture, or religion, is nothing less than fascist.

This label is not applied glibly. The philosophical parent of the Hindutva movement, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (“National Volunteers Union”), is an ideological organization that has an influence upon domestic conservative politics comparable to that of the U.S.’s Christian Coalition. The head of the RSS during the Gandhi era, Madhav Golwalkar, once famously praised Hitler for showing the world “how well nigh impossible” it is for different races and cultures, “having differences going to the root,” to be assimilated into a national whole. The purging by Germany of the “semitic Races,” Golwalkar goes on to say, is a “good lesson for us in Hindusthan [India] to learn and profit by.”

Such statements of course are not widely publicized, though Golwalkar is still highly respected in Hindutva circles. One need only read pro-Hindutva literature, however, to find that the spirit of his remarks is still alive and well. While downplaying the “petty differences” of creed and race on one hand, or claiming that only nationalism is the “religion” of Hindutva, the RSS for instance goes on to assert that in a “free and prosperous India” Muslims and Christians would “naturally return” to their “ancient faith and traditions.” The message is quite clear – in an India free of constitutional “appeasements” of religious minorities and vigilant in cleansing the nation of the polluting influences of foreign missionaries, converts to “alien” faiths will naturally recognize the superiority of Hinduism, and re-embrace it. Those without the wisdom to do so would be suspect, and thus worthy of second-class citizenship – or worse.

During the last century a diaspora of Indian émigrés spread their culture to communities as far afield as Johannesburg and Jackson Heights; at the beginning of this century Indian cuisine, music, literature, and film enjoy an unprecedented popularity abroad. That Indian culture not only competes with but also penetrates the commercial monolith of Western culture testifies to its modern robustness and vitality. For its part, the religion called “Hinduism” – the amorphous family of traditions and philosophies that comprise historical reality, and not the neo-orthodoxy of the Hindutva movement – will continue to endure by virtue of its inherent inclusiveness, tolerance, and its unique recognition that no creed has a monopoly over truth.

No, the likes of Graham Staines or his converts do not pose a credible threat to India or her culture. The true danger thrives in the demagogues of the religious right, their proselytes, and the creed of bigotry they pander in the name of cultural revival.