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Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2019


'CAUTIOUS WORDS OF SPIRITUAL EXPRESSION OF A WELL-WISHER'
RSS Role in 1984 Sikh Massacre; What Nana Deshmukh wrote?
31.10.19 - PROF SHAMSUL ISLAM
RSS Role in 1984 Sikh Massacre; What Nana Deshmukh wrote?



The Indian state is still searching for the criminals behind 1984 massacre of Sikhs even after elapsing more than three decades. This attitude proves once again that perpetrators of violence against minorities whether in case of Nellie massacre (1983), Sikh massacre (1984), massacre of Muslims in post-Babri mosque demolition (1992), Kandhmal violence against Christians (1997) and Gujarat genocide (2002) will never be punished. In nation-wide cases of horrible killing of Dalits since Independence the reality is as bad. The best Indian State would do is to establish commissions of inquiry and more commissions of inquiry.

In the case of 1984 massacre it is generally believed that the Congress cadres were behind this genocide. This may be true but there were other forces too which actively participated in this massacre and whose role has never been investigated. Those who were witness to the genocide of 1984 were stunned by the swiftness and military precision of the killer marauding gangs (later on witnessed during the Babri mosque demolition, burning alive of Dr. Graham Steins with his two sons, 2002 pogrom of the Muslims in Gujarat and cleansing of Christians in parts of Orissa) who went on a burning spree of the innocent Sikhs. This, surely, was beyond the capacity of the thugs led by many Congress leaders.

This document circulated by a prominent ideologue and luminary of RSS, Nana Deshmukh on November 8, 1984 may help in unmasking the whole lot of criminals involved in the massacre of innocent Sikhs who had nothing to do with the killing of Indira Gandhi. This document may also throw light on where the cadres came from, who meticulously organized the killing of Sikhs. Mr. Nana Deshmukh in this document is seen outlining the justification of the massacre of the Sikh community in 1984. According to him the massacre of Sikhs was not the handiwork of any group or anti-social elements but the result of a genuine feeling of anger among Hindus of India.
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This document also shows the true degenerated and fascist attitude of the RSS towards all the minorities of India. The RSS has been arguing that they are against Muslims and Christians because they are the followers of foreign religions. Here we find them justifying the butchering of Sikhs who according to their own categorization happened to be the followers of an indigenous religion.

The RSS often poses as a firm believer in Hindu-Sikh unity. But in this document we will hear from the horse’s mouth that the RSS like the then Congress leadership believed that the massacre of the innocent Sikhs was justified. Deshmukh in this document is seen outlining the justification of the massacre of the Sikh community in 1984. His defence of the carnage can be summed up as in the following:
  • The massacre of Sikhs was not the handiwork of any group or anti-social elements but the result of a genuine feeling of anger.

  • Deshmukh did not distinguish the action of the two security personnel of Indira Gandhi, who happened to be Sikhs, from that of the whole Sikh community. From his document it emerges that the killers of Indira Gandhi were working under some kind of mandate of their community. Hence attacks on Sikhs were justified.

  • Sikhs themselves invited these attacks, thus advancing the Congress theory of justifying the massacre of the Sikhs.

  • He glorified the ‘Operation Blue Star’ and described any opposition to it as anti-national. When Sikhs were being killed in thousands he was warning the country of Sikh extremism, thus offering ideological defense of those killings.
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  • It was Sikh community as a whole which was responsible for violence in Punjab. 
  • Sikhs should have done nothing in self-defence but showed patience and tolerance against the killer mobs.

  • These were Sikh intellectuals and not killer mobs which were responsible for the massacre. They had turned Sikhs into a militant community, cutting them off from their Hindu roots, thus inviting attacks from the nationalist Indians. Interestingly, Deshmukh would not mind having militant Hindus. Moreover, he treated all Sikhs as part of the same gang and defended attacks on them as a reaction of the nationalist Hindus.

  • He described Indira Gandhi as the only leader who could keep the country united and on the killing of such a great leader such killings could not be avoided.
  • Rajiv Gandhi who succeeded Mrs. Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India and justified the nation-wide killings of Sikhs by saying, "When a huge tree falls there are always tremors felt”, was lauded and blessed by Nana Deshmukh at the end of the document.

  • Shockingly, the massacre of Sikhs was being equated with the attacks on the RSS cadres after the killing of Gandhiji and we find Deshmukh advising Sikhs to suffer silently. Everybody knows that the killing of Gandhiji was inspired by the RSS and the Hindutva Ideology whereas the common innocent Sikhs had nothing to do with the murder of Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

  • There was not a single sentence in the Deshmukh document demanding, from the then Congress Government at the Centre, remedial measures for controlling the violence against the minority community. Mind it, that Deshmukh circulated this document on November 8, 1984, and from October 31 to this date Sikhs were left alone to face the killing gangs. In fact November 5-10 was the period when the maximum killings of Sikhs took place. Deshmukh was just not bothered about all this.

Sikh women hold photographs of riot victims during a protest in Delhi.

The Deshmukh document did not happen in isolation. It represented the real RSS attitude towards Sikh genocide of 1984. It may be relevant to know here that the RSS cadres did not come forward in defence of the Sikhs. The RSS is very fond of circulating publicity material, especially photographs of its khaki shorts-clad cadres doing social work. For the 1984 violence they have none. In fact, Deshmukh’s article also made no mention of the RSS cadres going to the rescue of Sikhs under siege. This shows the real intentions of the RSS during the genocide.

This document was published in the Hindi Weekly Pratipaksh edited by George Fernandes who later became Defence Minister of India in the NDA regime, in its edition of November 25, 1984 titled ‘Indira Congress-RSS collusion’ with the following editorial comment:

"The author of the following document is known as an ideologue and policy formulator of the RSS. After the killing of Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) he distributed this document among prominent politicians. It has a historical significance that is why we have decided to publish it, violating policy of our Weekly. This document highlights the new affinities developing between the Indira Congress and the RSS. We produce here the Hindi translation of the document.

[The Deshmukh document is reproduced below. It is translated here from Hindi by Shamsul Islam.]

MOMENTS OF SOUL SEARCHING

Indira Gandhi ultimately did secure a permanent place at the doorstep of history as a great martyr. With her dynamism borne out of her fearlessness and dexterity, she was able to take the country forward like a colossus for over a decade and was able to build an opinion that she alone understood the realities of the country, that she alone had the ability to run the decadent political system of our corrupt and divided society, and probably that she alone could keep the country united. She was a great lady and her death as a brave leader had added to her greatness. She was killed by a person in whom she kept faith despite several complaints. Such an influential and busy personality was killed by a person who had the duty to protect her person. This act came as a blow not only to her admirers in the country and the world but also her critics. This cowardly and treacherous act of killing not only ended the life of a great leader but also killed, in the name of the Panth, the mutual faith of humanity. Explosion of sudden arson and violent hysteria throughout the country was probably a direction-less and improper expression of the hurt, anger and feeling of loss of her followers. Lakhs of her followers used to see her as the only defender, powerful protector, and a symbol of united India. It is a different matter whether this is right or wrong.

For these innocent and uninformed followers, the treacherous murder of Indira Gandhi was the tragic culmination of the poisonous campaign of separatism, antagonism and violence conducted over the previous three years in which hundreds of innocents had to lose their invaluable lives and the sanctity of religious places was destroyed. This campaign assumed an ominous pace after the painful army action in June which, in the eyes of most of the people of the country, had become necessary to protect the sanctity of the religious places. Barring a few exceptions, the Sikh community observed silence for a long time on the barbaric massacres and heinous killings of innocent people, but they condemned the long-pending army action with anger and dangerous explosiveness. The country was stunned at their attitude. The army action was compared to the "ghallu ghara” action of Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1762 to desecrate the Harmandir Sahib.

Without going into the objectives of the two incidents, Mrs. Gandhi was pushed into the category of Ahmed Shah Abdali. She was termed the enemy of the Sikh panth and big prizes were announced on her head. On the other hand Bhindrawale who was guilty of heinous crimes against humanity in the name of religion was hailed as a martyr. Open display of such feelings in different parts of the country and abroad played a special role in increasing the distrust and alienation between the Sikhs and the rest of Indians. In the background of this distrust and alienation, stunned and bewildered people accepted the validity of the rumours of celebrations by the Sikhs at the heinous murder of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation of the army action. Of these the most hurting explanation was that of Giani Kripal Singh who being the Head Granthi considered himself to be the sole spokesman of the Sikh community. He said that he expressed no sorrow at the death of Indira Gandhi. This statement added fuel to the fire of boiling anger. No immediate and natural condemnation of this despicable statement by an important leader came from responsible Sikh leaders, intellectuals or organization. Therefore the already angered common and unimaginative people took it as correct that the Sikhs celebrated the death of Indira Gandhi. Because of this belief, selfish elements could succeed in making the common people become violent against the hapless Sikhs.

This was a most explosive situation which needed utmost patience and skillful conduct on behalf of our Sikh brothers. I am saying this, being a life member of the RSS, because on January 30, 1948 a Hindu fanatic, who was a Marathi and had no relation with the RSS, rather was a bitter critic of the Sangh, committed unfortunate killing of Mahatma Gandhi. On this occasion we also suffered the sudden eruption of hysteria, loot and atrocities of misdirected people. We ourselves saw how selfish elements who were well acquainted with this incident, deliberately declared a murderer to be a member of the RSS and also spread the rumour that the RSS people were celebrating throughout the country death of Mahatma Gandhi, and thus they succeeded in diverting the love and the feeling of loss and hurt in the hearts of people for Gandhi. Such feelings were spread against Swayamsewaks and their families, particularly in Maharashtra.

Having gone through such experiences myself, I can understand the strong reaction and feeling of innocent Sikh brothers who became of victims of sudden eruption of people’s violent hysteria. In fact, I would like to condemn in strongest words the inhuman barbarity and cruelty on Sikh brothers in Delhi and elsewhere. I feel proud of all those Hindu neighbours who protected lives and property of troubled Sikh brothers without caring for their lives. Such things one being heard from all over Delhi. These things have practically increased the faith in natural goodness of human behavior and particularly faith in Hindu nature.

I am also worried at the Sikh reaction in such delicate and explosive situation. As an activist engaged in national reconstruction and unity for half a century and being a well-wisher of Sikh community I am hesitating in saying that if reactive armed action by Sikhs is even partly true then they have not been able to evaluate the situation correctly and comprehensively and as a result could not respond according to the situation.

Here I wish to draw the attention of all my countrymen including Sikhs that in a similar difficult situation arising out of murder of Mahatma Gandhi when in the hysteria against the RSS crimes of destruction of property, heinous burning alive of children, inhuman cruelty etc. were being committed and the news was reaching Nagpur from all over India, then the ‘dictator’ of the RSS known as the so-called big private army, the then head of the Sangh late M.S. Golwalkar issued an appeal in Nagpur on February 1, 1948 to the lakhs of armed young followers throughout the country in the following unforgettable words:
 M.S. Golwalkar
 
‘I direct all my Swayamsewak brothers that despite spread of provocation due to lack of understanding, they should adopt cordial attitude towards all and remember that this mutual distrust and improper hysteria is the result of the love and respect that the whole country has for Mahatma who made the country great in the eyes of the world. We salute such great respected departed soul’.

These were not empty words to hide cowardice and helplessness in the hopeless situation. In those life threatening serious moments he proved that every word of his appeal had a meaning. On the evening of February 1, hundreds of Swayamsewaks in Nagpur urged for armed resistance and resisting till the last drop of their blood to stop the probable attack on their leader the same night. And some associates of Guruji told him of a conspiracy against his life and requested to shift his residence to a safe place before the attack, Guruji told them in such a black moment also that if the same people whom he had truly and with full ability, served throughout his life wanted to take his life, then why and for whom he should save his life. Thereafter he cautioned them in stern voice that even if a drop of blood of his countrymen was shed in saving him, then such a life would be useless for him. History is a witness that lakhs of Swayamsewaks spread throughout the country followed this directive word by word. Though they had to digest vulgarities in exchange of their patience and tolerance but there was a faith to give them patience that whatever may happen to them in present condition, history will definitely prove them innocent.

I hope that in present difficult situation my Sikh brothers will also show the above-referred patience and tolerance. But I am deeply pained to know that rather than displaying such tolerance and patience at some places they have retaliated against the crowd with arms and played into the hands of such selfish elements who were eager to spread the trouble. I am surprised how a section of our society considered to be most disciplined, organized and religious, adopted such a negative and self-defeating attitude. May be they could not get proper leadership at the moments of such a crisis. Through my scanty study and understanding of Sikh history I consider that such a nonpolitical reaction of Sikhs in moments of such a crisis came from their complete involvement with teachings of love, tolerance and sacrifice of Sikh nature. Warrior nature of Sikh religion was a short time provision against barbarity of foreign Mughals which was taught by tenth Guru. For him Khalsa was a relatively small part of a broad Hindu-Sikh brotherhood and was designed as an armed hand to defend Hindu community and its traditions. Guru Govind Singh laid down for Khalsa followers five KS (Kesh, Kripan, Kangha, Kara and Kachha) and ‘Singh’ in the name of Khalsas. This was a symbol of their being soldiers. But unfortunately today these only are being projected as basic and necessary forms of Sikh religion.

I am sorry to say that Sikh intellectuals too have failed to understand that conversion of Sikh religion into Khalsaism is a much later event and this was due to deliberate plan of British imperialists to divide and rule in Punjab. Its aim was to cut the Sikhs off from their Hindu environ. Unfortunately, after independence power hungry politicians kept alive for their own interest the unnaturally born problems of separation and equal existence, and carried forward the game of imperialists to divide and rule by their vote bank politics. This improper equating of Sikhs with militant Khalsaism is not only the basic root of separatist tendencies in some parts of Sikh community, but it also raised militancy and faith in the power of weapons to the level of religious worship.

This religious worship gave rise to terrorist movement like Babbar Khalsa in the second decade and recently Indira Gandhi was killed as a result of terrorist wave under the leadership of Bhindranwale (in pic) and a long ‘hit list’ is yet to be executed.

I used to imagine that Sikh community has freed itself totally from illiteracy, ignorance, frustration and defeatism in which it was in the fifth decade of 19th century after losing its freedom and which was exploited by cunning British imperialists and selfish Sikh elites for their selfish interests. It is clear that in eighth decade Sikhs adorning the places of high responsibility represent highly educated, laborious, vigilant, relatively rich, enlightened and active section of Indian society in every walk of life. In nineteenth century their experiences and vision was limited to the boundaries of the then Punjab but today they are spread not only throughout India but throughout the world, and they are in a situation to directly know the conspiracies of big powers which are being hatched against independent and united India rising strongly in the world. In such an advantageous situation they should know their historical development as an integral part of India.
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Such a revaluation of history will give them the opportunity to see many wrong formulations of their own religion and past which has been systematically drilled into their brains by wrong and distorted historical writings by British administrators and intellectuals about nature and development of their religion. Such an attempt will take them to their real roots.

This is the time that our Sikh brothers should search their hearts so that they can get rid of the false description inserted by British imperialists and power greedy opportunist people into their basic religious nature. Removal of such false descriptions is necessary to bridge the gulf of distrust and alienation between two communities of similar destiny, nature and similar traditions. I am afraid that without such a self-introspection and revaluation of history they would not be able to live with peace among themselves and with other countrymen. A disinterested analysis of their own enlightened interests will be enough to make them understand that their fate is indivisibly linked with the destiny of India. Such an understanding will save them from falling prey to the disruptive and destructive interests of foreign powers.

I disbelieve [sic] that my Sikh brothers will accept the cautious words of spiritual expression of a well-wisher.

Lastly, it is not to deny the truth that sudden removal of Indira Gandhi from Indian political scene has created a dangerous void in the Indian common life. But India has always displayed a characteristic inner strength in the moments of such crisis and uncertainty. According to our traditions, responsibility of power has been placed on the inexperienced shoulders of relatively young person in a lively and peaceful manner. It will be hasty to judge the potentialities of his leadership at this time. We should give him some time to show his ability.

On such challenging juncture of the country, in the meanwhile he is entitled to get full cooperation and sympathy from the countrymen, though they may belong to any language, religion, caste or political belief.

In the capacity of a nonpolitical constructive worker I only hope and pray that God bless him with more mature, balanced, inner strength and ability to give an impartial Govt. to the people so that he can take the country to real prosperous unity and glory.

Guru Nanak Divas
November 8, 1984
Nana Deshmukh
 
(Courtesy: caravandaily.com )
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

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550th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF GURU NANAK
Teachings of Guru Nanak and Khalistan
30.10.19 - Justice Markandey Katju
Teachings of Guru Nanak and Khalistan



The 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak is being observed worldwide.

In this connection I was invited by the Sikh community in the Bay Area (Silicon Valley) of California, USA to address them in a gurdwara in Milpitas (which is very near Fremont where I am presently staying).

Many of the Sikhs here had come as refugees (not on visas) following the events in India in the 1980s, and many are strong supporters of Khalistan and Bhindranwaale.
 
Before the function to which I was invited, some Sikhs met me and said that I had put up a fb post and blog some years back critical of Bhindranwaale, and I should delete it. I said I will certainly not delete it, but I will not speak about him in the function.

At the function, attended by a large number of Sikhs, I said that the spirit of service (seva bhaavna) which I found in Sikhs I found in no other community in the world.
 
I referred to the recent Bihar floods and mentioned that almost the whole of Patna had become a lake. At that time Sikh youth from various places arrived to help the victims, and I posted on my Facebook page their photos giving relief.
 
In Gurgaon, Sikh youth rescued passengers whose car had gone underwater from drowning.
 
I also referred to the video which went viral of police sub inspector Gagandeep Singh (in pic) saving a Muslim youth who was in love with a Hindu girl from being beaten (and perhaps lynched) by a frenzied mob by taking their blows on his own body.
 
I have not seen this spirit in any other community, and this is due to the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, who placed great emphasis on service to fellow humans.

I said you Sikhs want Khalistan, I too want it, but my concept of Khalistan is different from yours. You want a portion of Punjab, where the majority is Sikh, to be given independence and declared Khalistan.
 
I want the whole of India to be declared Khalistan, in the sense that all Indians must learn the spirit of service from our Sikh brothers and sisters, for only then can India progress and prosper. If you leave us, who will be our gurus.
 
The word 'Sikh' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'shishya' which means disciple. Sikhs are disciples of Guru Nanak, but we Indians want to become your disciples i.e. Sikhs of the Sikhs.

Having praised Sikhs, I then went on to criticise them. I said that Sikhism arose as a revolt against the inhuman caste system, and Guru Nanak taught equality of all humans, but do you practise that? Jat Sikhs, who are the dominant Sikh caste, and are big land holders, look down on dalit (mazhabi) Sikhs, regarding them as inferior, and will not inter marry with them.
 
In the Indian army, the Sikh Regiment has Jat Sikhs, while the Sikh Light Infantry has dalit Sikhs. This indicates that Jat and dalit Sikh soldiers have to kept apart otherwise there will be fights among them, as Jat Sikhs regard dalit Sikhs as inferior. Is this what Guru Nanak has taught you, I asked ?

When I said this, many Sikhs in the audience said what I spoke was not correct, but I said don't tell me lies. You can't bluff me. I am a real Sikh, a real disciple of Guru Nanak, because I regard everyone as equal, whereas you discriminate among yourselves on caste basis, and so you are fake Sikhs.

Now I am an old man of over 73, whereas many of those in the audience were strongly built Sikh youths, yet they could do me no harm, because the truth was on my side. Many even said that we are ashamed but what you said is true.
 
Satya mein badi shakti hoti hai, and that is why it is said ' Satyamev Jayate ' (Truth is ultimately victorious)

  
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






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HUMAN RIGHTS IN KASHMIR
Aarti Tikoo Singh's speech before the US Congress
25.10.19 - Justice Markandey Katju
Aarti Tikoo Singh's speech before the US Congress



The Indian journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh was surely economical of the truth while speaking recently before the US Congress on Human Rights in South Asia. I have read her speech in detail. She has put the entire blame regarding the situation in Kashmir on Pakistan and its agents, and for this she has received fulsome praise and plaudits in India. I regret to have the unenviable task of pouring some cold water on all this bonhomie and hoopla.

A reading of her speech indicates that Aarti believes that

(1) The villain in Kashmir is Pakistan alone and Pakistani inspired terrorism
 
(2) The Kashmiri people are with India, and they wish to remain with India
 
(3) The abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 will benefit Kashmiris.

Now I agree that for long Pakistan was supporting terrorism in Kashmir. I also condemn what was done to Kashmiri Pandits who were hounded out of the valley. But it is misleading, fallacious and a gross oversimplification to blame Pakistan alone for the present situation in Kashmir.

What Aarti conveniently overlooks is that due to the continuous stupidity of the Indian Governments for decades the situation today is that almost the entire Kashmiri people are totally alienated and bitterly hostile to India. Aarti totally ignored this fact in her speech, and that is why it was disingenuous. 

Aarti blames Lashkar-e-Toiba for Shujaat Bukhaari's murder. But what proof does she have that Lashkar-e-Toiba was responsible for the murder?
 
She also blames Jaish-e-Muhammad, again without proof. She has sought to create an impression that but for Pakistan Kashmiris are hunky dory, cozy and gemütlich with India. This is false. The truth is that almost all Kashmiris (except Pandits) hate India.
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Arrest of hundreds of Kashmiri leaders have blocked any space for democratic dissent. Will this not drive more Kashmiris to militancy?
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As regards abrogation of Articles 35A and 370, Aarti praises it. However, my own opinion is that it was a gimmick (like Yoga Day, building Ram Mandir, cow protection, Swatchata Abhiyan, etc) by a beleaguered govt to divert attention from the terrible economic crisis looming before India, which the government has no idea how to solve.
 
To say that now businessmen will buy land in Kashmir and set up factories there thus providing employment to Kashmiris is silly. Businessmen are not fools, and will never set up factories in a disturbed area where bullets may be flying around.

Aarti was utterly mendacious when she said that abrogation of Article 370 "would provide Kashmiris with equal protection under the law, and all the rights other Indian citizens enjoy, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion or social class. It would give Kashmiris access to educational and economic opportunities". Here she is clearly toeing the Govt of India line.

Aarti no doubt refers to the inconvenience caused by the restrictions imposed in Kashmir after 5th August when Article 370 was abrogated, but let me ask her: will she not feel miserable if deprived of mobile and Internet facilities for even one day? Internet and mobile are not luxuries but necessities today. After 72 days post paid mobile service was restored, but Internet is banned even today in Kashmir. Curfews are still in force in many parts of Kashmir.

Many forms can be filled in online sitting at home, but now Kashmiris have often to go 20 kms or more for doing so. Same with air and train reservations. Emails can be sent by Internet, but not if the facility is unavailable. 

These restrictions, apart from curfews etc have made lives miserable for Kashmiris. Arrest of hundreds of Kashmiri leaders have blocked any space for democratic dissent. Will this not drive more Kashmiris to militancy ?

I regret to say that Aarti Tikoo Singh has acted more as an agent of the Govt of India rather than as an objective, neutral and fair journalist in her address to the US Congress. 
 
 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
 
 
-------------------
 
Also watch: 
A Kashmiri Pandit expert Dr Nitasha Kaul, giving testimony before US Congress committee about human rights violations in Kashmir. 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

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Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

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POLITICAL SLUGFEST OVER 550th PARKASH PURB
Is the history of 1999 repeating itself?
20.10.19 - IP SINGH*
Is the history of 1999 repeating itself?



History does have a habit of repeating itself. And the slanging match between Punjab government and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) regarding the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak does take us back to 1999, when the one-upmanship game played during tercentenary of foundation of Khalsa ruined the celebrations.
 
The tercentenary celebrations were remembered more for the political slugfest, extending its shadow on important Sikh institutions, which has left behind an impression so strong that even time is unable to heal.

Now, the question that is creating a ripple in the Sikh community: Will the fighting reach the levels of bitterness of what was witnessed in 1999 or will sanity prevail?

At that time, appeals and pleas that political issues be thrashed out later were just trashed and people witnessed new levels of unbridled political interference in the SGPC affairs and the working of Akal Takht. Not surprisingly, against the backdrop of such developments, 1999 became a turning point in the erosion of the authority of Akal Takht.

"Ironically, the tercentenary of Khalsa foundation became the occasion for worst kind of political interference in Sikh institutions, especially in the working of Akal Takht and SGPC. The downslide triggered then is yet to be arrested. The current controversy and related happenings should be seen in continuation of what happened in 1999,” says author Gurbachan Singh, who witnessed happenings of 1999 from close quarters.

However, SAD secretary and spokesperson, Daljit Singh, argues, "It is a matter of record that Punjab government will prepare the stage for celebrations, but it was always conducted by SGPC and, in 1999 also SGPC conducted the stage even as Badal government had made all the arrangements.”

TRIGGER AT TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS OF 1999

It was a statement by then SGPC president, late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, in second week of December 1998 which triggered (or was used as a trigger for) the political slugfest. Tohra advised then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was also president of SAD, to appoint a working president, as he was not getting enough time to attend to party activities. He cited SAD losing Adampur byelection and said party needed more time.

This statement from Tohra came when tension between him and Badal was already brewing — Tohra had earlier said days of unconditional support to BJP were over as BJP-led NDA government had ditched Akali Dal on a couple of very important issues. Badal had reportedly taken umbrage to this. After Tohra’s statement, all hell broke loose and a campaign was started against him and the much junior leaders were made to issue statements against the Akali stalwart. Ironically, years later the same set of leaders welcomed appointment of Sukhbir Singh Badal as acting president in March 2007, just after Badal senior formed his fourth government.

-----------
The political angst that is casting a huge shadow on the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak is nothing new to Sikhs. In 1999, too, the squabble between politicians ruined the Tercentenary celebrations of the foundation of Khalsa.
-----------

AKAL TAKHT INTERVENED, JATHEDAR SACKED

Now, Akali Dal leaders, including party president Sukhhbir are saying that Akal Takht is supreme and every word of the Takht jathedar is final for them. They are accusing Congress, especially chief minister (CM) Amarinder Singh, of attempting to erode the authority of Akal Takht. On his part, CM has already written a letter to Akal Takht jathedar offering to hold the function at Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12 under the patronage of Akal Takht and with the support of the SGPC. However, 20 years ago, Akal Takht jathedar was even removed when he intervened asking the warring sides to postpone their contentious issues till the tercentenary functions.

As fight between Badal and Tohra intensified, Badal while speaking at Fatehgarh Sahib in the last week of December, claimed that SGPC was a wing of SAD. As things appeared spiralling out of control, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), prominent Sikhs and Sikh organisations appealed to the Akal Takht to intervene following which then Akal Takht jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh and four other high priests issued a directive on December 31, 1998, that both the groups of Akali Dal should not attack each other till April 14, 1999, and disciplinary committee of SAD should open Tohra’s answer to its show cause notice only on April 15, 1999 (when all the celebrations would have concluded).

Then SGPC secretary Kulwant Singh Randhawa, who sided with Badal camp and advised then CM and his camp on crucial issues during this fight, later disclosed the inside accounts of these happenings in his book, ‘June 84, Shiromanni Committee noon grehan’ (June 84 When SGPC Was Eclipsed).

He has made several allegations in his book about how CM and his key men were orchestrating the happenings in SGPC, how meetings took place at CM house and how 10 executive members of SGPC, who were Badal’s loyalists, would follow the script prepared at CM house.

He also alleged in his book that the new appointments in Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission and other important decisions regarding the issue as well as strategies for legal and political fights were discussed at CM’s house. Randhawa also discussed in his book how SGPC members reported at CM’s house after replacing the Akal Takht jathedar and how corrections were made in the record of the proceedings of SGPC executive.

ALL RIGHTS WERE GIVEN TO CHIEF MINISTER

Amid this bitterness, Badal called a meeting of SAD office bearers, MLAs and SGPC members at Anandpur Sahib on January 7, 1999, where rights to form sub-committees for the smooth organisation of the tercentenary celebrations were given to Badal. Later, when the 10-member SGPC executive passed a resolution on February 10, 1999, to remove Akal Takht jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh from the post, they recorded this resolution, mentioning "on January 7 meeting SAD’s political affairs committee, working committee, MPs, MLAs, district presidents, SGPC members and office bearers had unanimously decided to give responsibility of planning and executing these tercentenary celebrations to SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC executive ratifies that decision and gives its approval.”

NEW JATHEDAR ANNOUNCED FROM CIRCUIT HOUSE

Randhawa’s book also details how Akali ministers, camping at circuit house in Amritsar, were handling the operations on ground for removal of the Akal Takht jathedar on February 10, 1999, by the SGPC executive, which held its meeting at Guru Nanak Niwas. They were also involved in the appointment of new jathedar as well as other high priests, according to the book.
 
The appointment of Giani Pooran Singh as new jathedar of Akal Takht was announced by SGPC executive members in the evening of February 10 while sitting at circuit house. For the first time in history, appointment of jathedar was announced by the SGPC from a sarkari place. Earlier, on January 10, Badal faction paraded 115 members of SGPC before media at the same circuit house.

"I recorded these for two reasons – that truth should come out and that community should learn lessons. However, little has changed and narrow political considerations continue to take precedence over everything else,” says Kulwant Singh Randhawa while speaking to TOI. "The accounts I have disclosed have never been challenged,” he says.

SGPC FAXES JATHEDAR FROM CM’S HOUSE

On January 17, 1999, a letter signed by 131 members of SGPC to Akal Takht jathedar was faxed from CM’s house and later when Takht jathedar on January 25 sought clarification from SGPC members about this letter he specifically mentioned that the letter was received from the fax number of CM’s house.
 
‘NOW, THEY ARE CRYING HOARSE?’

"It could not be more ironical that Sikh principles and traditions were dumped on the tercentenary of Khalsa foundation. Badal senior set new precedents of political interference in Akal Takht and SGPC and he controlled the celebrations in 1999. But now his party is crying hoarse when Punjab government is organising anniversary celebrations for Guru Nanakji,” says former Akal Takht jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh. Singh, after he was removed from his post, held a parallel function at Anandpur Sahib, which got huge response.
 
 

*IP Singh is Assistant Editor at The Times of India, Jalandhar. This article first appeared in timesofindia.indiatimes.com and is being reproduced here courtesy TOI.


 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT



 




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'Gau Mata' and the beef issue
17.10.19 - Justice Markandey Katju
'Gau Mata' and the beef issue



 
I was really not inclined to discuss this issue again. I was not so inclined because I have already spoken and written a lot on it, and am now fed up trying to educate asinine blockheads who unfortunately are the vast majority in India, and who believe that a cow is 'Gau Mata' when even a little common sense can tell us that an animal cannot be the mother of a human being. A cow cannot be venerated as a mother just because it gives us milk to drink, otherwise we must also venerate goats, buffaloes, camels, yaks, deer etc because humans drink their milk too.

Eating beef cannot be regarded wicked, otherwise we will have to regard over 90% of the world's population (Americans, Europeans, Africans, Arabs, Chinese, Russians, Turks, Afghans, Pakistanis, Thais, and even some of our own countrymen like Keralites, Bengalis, Goans, North Easterners etc) who eat beef as wicked. So are 90% of the people in the world wicked and we Hindus alone sadhu sants?

I have said this several times earlier in writings and speeches, but I have now been instigated to write again on this topic after reading an article by Dilip Mandal in the print.in titled 'From Constituent Assembly to Azam Khan, Indian Muslims have supported cow slaughter ban'. 
 
This article in a subtle way insinuates that to stop communal hatred and have communal harmony in India cow slaughter should be totally banned all over India, at least that is the demand of Indian Muslims.

I am totally against ban on cow slaughter, and in fact want laws against cow slaughter, which are in force in most Indian states, to be repealed, and everyone who wants to eat beef (including me) should be free to do so. In my opinion laws banning cow slaughter are laws revealing a feudal mindset, and it is this feudal mindset among Indians which has to be destroyed if India is to progress. 
-----------
I am a totally scientific person, and though born a Brahmin (surely that is not my fault) eat beef. I regard a cow as just another animal, like a horse or a dog.
-----------
The feudal economy in India was largely destroyed after Independence in 1947 by the zamindari abolition laws enacted in almost all Indian states. However, the feudal mindset continues in most Indians, as is evident from the rampant casteism and communalism prevalent everywhere.
 
The ban on cow slaughter is part of this feudal mindset. So supporting this ban is supporting feudalism and backwardness, which are the main enemies of India today. To my mind therefore whoever supports ban on cow slaughter and eating beef is unwittingly harming India.

In his article Dilip Mandal says that in the Constituent Assembly 2 Muslims supported ban on cow slaughter, and many orthodox Hindu members supported the ban on two grounds:
 
First, India has a predominantly agricultural economy, and to grow more food we must protect cows as they give manure which is used as a fertilizer, and bullocks are needed to till the fields.
 
Second, to respect the feelings of the majority Hindu community, and maintain good relations between Hindus and Muslims.

But these grounds are specious. As regards the first, this is the age of chemical fertilisers, not cow dung, and fields are now tilled by tractors, not bullocks.

And as regards the second, the reply to those who say that cow veneration is part of Hindu culture is that there is a lot of rubbish in Hindu culture too e.g. caste system and looking down on dalits.
 
Should that be continued too? No, we must not blindly continue everything in Hindu culture. We must sift the good from the bad, and continue only that part of our culture which is rational and useful to us and contributes to our progress.

To think that ban on cow slaughter will put an end to communalism in India is silly and ignores realities. Communalism will be stoked up by vested interests for getting votes, ban or no ban.
 
Has communalism ended in states where it is banned? Ikhlaq, Pehlu Khan, Tabrez, etc were lynched in states where cow slaughter is banned. 

I am a totally scientific person, and though born a Brahmin (surely that is not my fault) eat beef. I regard a cow as just another animal, like a horse or a dog. We make ourselves a laughing stock before the whole world by calling a cow 'Gomata' and worshipping it.
 
 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 10


Comment by: P kansal

I read your article, sorry but Your knowledge is pedestrian, you should not publish, articles , specially, relating to this topic like cow or science.

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