Racism in India

43.5% of Indians, the highest percentage in the world, say they do not want to have a neighbor of a different race, according to a Washington Post report based on World's Values Survey.

About Pakistan, the report says that  "although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch".

Housing Discrimination: 

It appears that there is a small but militant minority in Pakistan that is highly intolerant, but the vast majority of people are tolerant. My own experience as a  former Karachi-ite  is that there is little or no race or religion based housing segregation, the kind that is rampant in India where Muslims are not welcome in most Hindu-dominated neighborhoods. There have been many reports of top Muslim Bollywood stars having difficulty finding housing in Mumbai's upscale neighborhoods. A common excuse used to exclude them is the ostensible requirement to be vegetarian to live there.

Source: World Values Survey and Washington Post

Hate Against Indian Muslims:

The idea of racial purity is central to Hindu nationalists in India who have a long history of admiration for Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, including his "Final Solution".

In his book "We" (1939), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, the leader of the Hindu Nationalist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) wrote, "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Caste-based Apartheid:

While Golwalar's principal target in the above paragraph were Indian Muslims, the treatment of lower caste Hindus in India also falls in the category of racism. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) now includes discrimination based on caste. Dating back to 1969, the ICERD convention has been ratified by 173 countries, including India. Despite this, and despite the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights reiterating that discrimination based on work and descent is a form of racial discrimination, the Indian government's stand on this issue has remained the same: caste is not race.

Over 250 million people are victims of caste-based discrimination and segregation in India. They live miserable lives, shunned by much of society because of their ranks as untouchables or Dalits at the bottom of a rigid caste system in Hindu India. Dalits are discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in slave-like conditions, and routinely abused, even killed, at the hands of the police and of higher-caste groups that enjoy the state's protection, according to Human Rights Watch.

Gandhi's Disdain for Black Africans:

It's not just the Hindu Nationalists who are racists. Even Mohandas K. Gandhi, Mahatma or the Great Soul, was not immune to Indians' racist tendencies. In 1908, recording his first experience in a South African prison, Gandhi referred to black South Africans as "kaffirs". According Joseph Lelyveld, the author of "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India", Gandhi wrote: "We were then marched off to prison intended for kaffirs. ..we could understand not being classed with the whites, but to be placed with the Natives seemed too much to put up with. It is indubitably right that Indians should have separate cells."

Summary:

The findings of World's Values Survey on India are well-supported by other evidence such as the Hindutva ideology as spelled out by RSS leader Golwalkar, the existence of widespread caste-based discrimination classified as racism by the United Nations and lots of other anecdotal evidence. Just this month, Indian racism was on full display at a lavish Indian wedding in South Africa where guests flown in from India refused to be served by black waiters and drivers.

Let me conclude this post with a video interview of Professor Ahmad Hasan Dani who attended Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and studied archaeology, and said that he was ostracized and treated as a pariah by Hindu students and faculty at BHU. He was not allowed to sit and eat with his fellow students, he was asked to keep his plates and dishes separate in his room, and required to stand outside the dining hall to be served his meal and then wash the dishes himself. Later, when he graduated at the top of the archaeology class, he was offered a faculty position, but the University head and former president of India Radhakrishnan told him that he would be paid a salary but he would not be allowed to teach. Here is a video clip of late Prof Dani talking about it:


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Indians Admire Israel and Hitler

Caste Apartheid in India

Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India

Who Killed Karkare?

Procrastinating on Hindutva Terror

India's Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs

Hindutva Government in Israeli Exile?

Growing US-India Military Ties Worry Pakistan

The 21st Century Challenges For Resurgent India

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Recent studies have suggested that India’s traditional caste system remains surprisingly intact despite the country’s economic surge. A 2011 report, for instance, found that in “40 percent of the schools across sample districts in Uttar Pradesh—India’s most populous state, with 199 million people—teachers and students refuse to partake of government-sponsored free midday meals because they are cooked by dalits (once known as untouchables).” It's also certainly still a factor in the country's politics, as shown by the emergence of the controversial Dalit politician Mayawati.
But when did the caste system actually begin? One team of researchers believes the country’s genetic history holds the key. In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, researchers from Harvard, MIT, and the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad assembled what they call the “most comprehensive sampling of Indian genetic variation to date,” using samples collected from 571 individuals belonging to 73 “well-defined ethno-linguistic groups.” The data allowed the authors to trace not just the genetic mixture between these groups but how long ago this mixture occurred.
Five thousand years ago, the ancestors of modern Indians were comprised primarily of two groups: ancestral North Indians, who related to people of Central Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Europe, and ancestral South Indians, who are not closely related to groups outside the subcontinent. The mixture between these two groups and their many subcategories happened mostly between 4,200 and 1,900 years ago, according to the study. The authors note that this period is significant as it was a "time of profound change in India, characterized by the deurbanization of the Indus civilization, increasing population density in the central and downstream portions of the Gangetic system, shifts in burial practices, and the likely first appearance of Indo-European languages and Vedic religion in the subcontinent.”
Around 1,900 years ago, the mixture largely stopped, as Indian society moved toward endogamy—the practice of avoiding intermarriage or close relationships between ethnic groups—which reached its most extreme form in the creation of the caste system. As one of the study’s authors told the Times of India, "the present-day structure of the caste system came into being only relatively recently in Indian history."
How long it will last into the future is another question.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2013/08/20/origins_of_india_s_caste_system_genetic_research_suggests_the_country_s.html
Riaz Haq said…
Is "Waar" anti-India? How about #Pakistan-bashing in #Bollywood films "Border", "Gadar", "Maa Tujhe Salaam", etc http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/04/indias-hostility-toward-pakistan.html

Here's NY Times piece on how #India's #Bollywood negatively stereotypes #Pakistan

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/how-bollywoods-views-on-pakistan-evolved/
Riaz Haq said…
Origins of races in India:

The species known as Ramapithecus was found in the Siwalik foothills of the northwestern Himalayas. This species believed to be the first in the line of hominids lived some 14 million years ago. Researches have found that a species resembling the Australopithecus lived in India some 2 million years ago. Scientists have so far not been able to account for an evolutionary gap of as much as 12 million years since the appearance of Ramapithecus.

The people of India belong to different anthropological stocks. According to Dr. B. S. Guha, the population of India is derived from six main ethnic groups:

(1) Negritos: The Negritos or the brachycephalic (broad headed) from Africa were the earliest people to inhabit India. They are survived in their original habitat in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Jarewas, Onges, Sentelenese and Great Andamanis tribes are the examples. Studies have indicated that the Onges tribes have been living in the Andamans for the last 60,000 years. Some hill tribes like Irulas, Kodars, Paniyans and Kurumbas are found only in patches among the hills of south India on the mainland.

(2) Pro-Australoids or Austrics: This group was the next to come to India after the Negritos. They represent a race of people, with wavy hair plentifully distributed over their brown bodies, long heads with low foreheads and prominent eye ridges, noses with low and broad roots, thick jaws, large palates and teeth and small chins. Austrics tribes, which are spread over the whole of India, Myanmar and the islands of South East Asia, are said to "form the bedrock of the people". The Austrics were the main builders of the Indus Valley Civilisation. They cultivated rice and vegetables and made sugar from sugarcane. Their language has survived in the Kol or Munda (Mundari) in Eastern and Central India.

(3) Mongoloids: These people have features that are common to those of the people of Mongolia, China and Tibet. These tribal groups are located in the Northeastern part of India in states like Assam, Nagaland and Meghalya and also in Ladakh and Sikkim. Generally, they are people of yellow complexion, oblique eyes, high cheekbones, sparse hair and medium height.

(4) Mediterranean or Dravidian: This group came to India from the Southwest Asia and appear to be people of the same stock as the peoples of Asia Minor and Crete and the pre-Hellenic Aegeans of Greece. They are reputed to have built up the city civilization of the Indus Valley, whose remains have been found at Mohenjodaro and Harappa and other Indus cities. The Dravidians must have spread to the whole of India, supplanting Austrics and Negritos alike. Dravidians comprise all the three sub-types, Paleo-Mediterranean, the true Mediterranean and Oriental Mediterranean. This group constitutes the bulk of the scheduled castes in the North India. This group has a sub-type called Oriental group.

(5) Western Brachycephals: These include the Alpinoids, Dinaries and Armenois. The Coorgis and Parsis fall into this category.

(6) Nordics: Nordics or Indo-Aryans are the last immigrants into India. Nordic Aryans were a branch of Indo-Iranians, who had originally left their homes in Central Asia, some 5000 years ago, and had settled in Mesopotamia for some centuries. The Aryans must have come into India between 2000 and 1500 B.C. Their first home in India was western and northern Punjab, from where they spread to the Valley of the Ganga and beyond. These tribes are now mainly found in the Northwest and the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). Many of these tribes belong to the "upper castes".

http://www.culturopedia.net/Tribes/tribesintro.html
Riaz Haq said…
#India's #Hindu Nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh goes global. Its ‘shakha’ spreads its wings to 39 countries http://toi.in/-i9QCZ

Growing up on the outskirts of Pune, Girish Bagmar came from a family of Congress supporters. While he was fed up of UPA's scams in 2014, he's more inclined towards centrist politics than the right-wing BJP. Yet Bagmar, now based in Boston, sends both his sons to shakhas run by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the overseas wing of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Many of his Indian friends in the US work for HSS and offered to take his children to the shakha. "I've never attended HSS shakhas. I send my children there so they can socialize with other Indian children and learn about Indian culture. Growing up in India, we learnt of our culture from our grandparents' stories. I feel my children may be deprived of this; my mother cannot visit the US frequently," says Bagmar.

USA is one of 39 countries where HSS runs shakhas, says Ramesh Subramaniam, Mumbai coordinator of RSS's overseas work. He helped set up shakhas in Mauritius from 1996 to 2004 and now heads Sewa, a platform for overseas Indians to fund RSS service projects. He says HSS works closely with other Hindu cultural organizations abroad including the Chinmaya and Ramakrishna missions.
"We don't call it Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh overseas. It's not on Indian soil so we can't use the word 'Rashtriya'. We call it Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh as it unites Hindus worldwide," says Subramaniam, adding that RSS's overseas wing is bigger than its affiliate, Vishwa Hindu Parishad. RSS is the ideological parent of nearly 40 official affiliates including VHP and India's ruling party, BJP.

The 39 countries where shakhas are held include five in the Middle East where outdoor shakhas are not permitted and are replaced by gatherings at people's homes. Finland has only an e-shakha where activities are conducted via video-camera over the internet for people from over 20 countries living in areas where HSS units are absent.
"The diaspora's longing for a connection with 'Indian culture', 'history' and 'traditions' in a context in which they are a minority that is not represented in the mainstream, provides a ready social basis for the RSS," says Subir Sinha, academician at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

"While Nepal has the largest number of shakhas outside India, US comes second with 146. We are present in every state of the US. We have shakhas in cities like New York, Washington DC, Seattle and Miami," says Satish Modh, who has been associated with RSS work abroad for over 25 years. While shakhas in India take place in open maidans, in the US, most shakhas are held in university campuses on hired parking lots, says Modh.

Most overseas shakhas are held once a week. In London, they are held twice a week. UK has 84 shakhas.
"The sangh parivar got a boost in the UK under Blairite 'multiculturalism' in which culture was identified with religion and religion with its most hardcore version," says Sinha.
Riaz Haq said…
#African-American Business Traveler's View: #India ranks way up there among the most ‘#racist’ http://bodahub.com/american-says-india-most-racist/ … via @bodahub

In 2013, the Washington Post released a map based on a study by two Swedish economists that colour coded the map of the earth based on racist attitudes.

The study was simple: they asked people whether they would have a problem with a neighbour of another race. Only two nations – India at 43.5% and Jordan at 51.4% – scored over 40% in racial intolerance.

The question has since become increasingly relevant. As we have written about earlier, Bollywood actors have launched movements that aimed at extolling the beauty of dark skin, politicians have repeatedly made the point. There have been horrific race-motivated attacks on Africans just within the last year even!

Recently, the question was posed on Quora as to which was the most racist country in the world, and Dave Adali, an American, had a poignant and saddening answer to it.

“I am an African-American in the IT field and I have thus far had the good fortune to live and travel extensively throughout Western and parts of Eastern Europe and many countries in Asia. I have lived or traveled in the UK and most of the EU countries as well as Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and several other Asian countries including India.

Of all the countries I have been to, India ranks way up there among the most ‘racist’, IMHO. Indians aren’t so much ‘racist’ as they are intolerant. Indians discriminate against fellow citizens to a degree that I have NEVER encountered in ANY other country. Without a doubt, Indians are the the most color obsessed people I have ever encountered anywhere in the world. No doubt because of all that saturation advertisements for ‘Fair and Lovely’, ‘Fair and Handsome’ and all manners of skin-whitening creams, lotions, soaps etc. Even if you are 100% Indian, your fellow Indians might still discriminate against you on the basis of the color of your skin, which region of India you come from, what language you speak, your religion, your caste etc, etc.

If you are of obvious African ancestry, including African-American, you can find life really, really tough in India if you are going to be in India for a while. Indians can be such unabashed, in your face racists. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that oftentimes, lighter-skinned Indians despise darker-skinned Indians every bit as much as much as they despise us people of African ancestry. Apart from that, there is also considerable antipathy between North Indians and South Indians

Indians outside of India endlessly complain about the intolerance and racism they have to put up with in places like Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and even Africa. These very same Indians conveniently choose to ignore the fact that Indians themselves can be such pathological bigots against their fellow Indians, other Asians and especially people of African ancestry. `. In Amritsar, one of my best friends was Gyan, a Nepali whom I initially mistook for a Chinese. Indians disdainfully call him “Chinki” or “Bahadur”, which Gyan hated. As a matter of fact, Indian citizens from India’s North-Eastern states, who often have Chinese facial features are routinely referred to, usually disparagingly as ‘Chinkis’.
Riaz Haq said…
Protests by #African diplomats is another reminder of #India’s deep-seated #racism http://qz.com/691948 via @qzindia

African diplomats in India have had enough.
The heads of mission of 42 African countries have threatened to boycott Africa Day celebrations in New Delhi to protest against the ceaseless racist attacks on their citizens in India.
A week-long celebration was planned to showcase Africa and build on the newfound bonhomie following last October’s India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. But African diplomats may not attend.
The immediate trigger was the death of 29-year-old Masonda Ketada Olivier, a Congolese national. A French language teacher in New Delhi, Oliver was allegedly killed by three drunk men following an argument over hiring an auto-rickshaw. The police have so far arrested two suspects, and are on the lookout for the third.

This isn’t the first time an African national has been attacked in India. In February, a 21-year-old Tanzanian woman was allegedly stripped and beaten up by a mob in Bengaluru after a Sudanese man ran over a local. A few months before that, three African men were beaten up by a mob in New Delhi after they objected to locals taking their pictures. In Jan. 2015, a minister of the Delhi government even raided a neighbourhood inhabited by African nationals, alleging that they were peddling drugs and ran a prostitution ring.
Olivier’s death, though, seems to have been the final straw. Eschewing diplomatic channels, the heads of African embassies in New Delhi have written a strongly-worded letter to the Indian government to take “concrete steps” to ensure the safety of Africans.
“Given the pervading climate of fear and insecurity in Delhi,” Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, ambassador of Eritrea and dean of the African Group Head of Mission, said, “the African heads of mission are left with little option than to consider recommending to their governments not to send new students to India, unless and until their safety can be guaranteed.”
Image management

Shortly after the statements were made public, India’s ministry of external affairs, led by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, swung into damage control mode.

-------

For Modi and the Indian government, the open rebuke by African nations couldn’t have come at a worse time.
The Indian prime minister is all set to travel to Africa in the next two months, as part of his plan to broaden engagements with the continent. While trade between India and African countries has risen in recent years, there’s much left to be done.
Last October, New Delhi announced a doubling of India’s assistance to African nations, with $10 billion in concessional loans over the next five years. India also offered $600 million in grant assistance to African countries for focused spending on key areas such as healthcare, education, and technology.
Although some of the big spending is with an eye on China’s growing influence in the region, the Modi government is also aware of the massive investment opportunities in the continent.
Riaz Haq said…
#Africans in #India face constant battles with #racism | Fox News |

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/06/09/africans-in-india-face-constant-battles-with-racism.html

The daily indignities Africans suffer usually go undocumented both by the police and local media.

That changed on May 20, when Congolese student Masunda Kitada Oliver was fatally attacked in a dispute over hiring an autorickshaw in New Delhi. Three men who insisted they had hired the vehicle beat him up and hit him on the head with a rock, killing him, according to police.

The death made the city's African students, diplomats and business owners rally together demanding quick justice. The African Heads of Mission in New Delhi issued a statement asking the government to address "racism and Afro-phobia" in the country.

"Given the pervading climate of fear and insecurity in Delhi, the African Heads of Mission are left with little option than to consider recommending to their governments not to send new students to India, unless and until their safety can be guaranteed," the statement said.

The killing and the outrage it sparked drew an unusually prompt reaction from local police and India's foreign ministry. Two men suspected in the attack were arrested within a day, while a third remains at large.

Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that her ministry asked for "stringent action against the culprits." But the ministry also said all criminal acts involving Africans should not be seen as racial in nature.

The bad press the country got as a result of the killing prompted India's glacial government machinery to move quickly to try to address the issue.

An India-Africa art exhibition was cobbled together at government expense and on short notice. A protest planned by African students in the Indian capital was put off after government officials reached out to African student groups.

The police and government began holding workshops in neighborhoods across the city to try to sensitize local residents about their African neighbors.

There were other well publicized examples of anti-African prejudice in India before Oliver's death.

In February, a Tanzanian woman was beaten and stripped naked by a mob in the southern city of Bangalore after a Sudanese student's car hit an Indian woman. In September 2014, a video of three African men being beaten inside a security booth at a New Delhi Metro station went viral. For several minutes a large mob beat the men with bare hands and sticks and shoes as they climbed up the walls of the glass booth in terror. The police were absent.

These incidents made it to the local newspapers. Hundreds more do not.

Prejudice is open in India. The matrimonial columns of the newspaper are strictly segregated along caste lines. Landlords in cities like Delhi and Mumbai deny homes to people based on race and religion.

Indians from northeastern India, who look different because of their Asian features, are routinely harassed and have to endure being called names on the streets.

But the worst kind of discrimination is reserved for the Africans. In a country obsessed with fair skin and skin lightening beauty treatments, their dark skin draws a mixture of fear and ridicule.

Landlords shun Africans in all but the poorest neighborhoods, and in those they are charged unusually high rent. African students in the New Delhi neighborhood of Chhatarapur reported paying 15,000 rupees ($225) a month for a single room and bathroom that would normally rent for 6,000 to 7,000 rupees.

Strangers point at them and laugh — or gang up and assault them.
Riaz Haq said…
BBC News - #India #Dalit couple hacked to death over minuscule debt

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36921346


A man from India's Dalit community has been beheaded and his wife hacked to death after a row over a 15 rupees (22 cents; 16 pence) debt in Uttar Pradesh state.
Police said the couple were murdered by an upper caste grocer on Thursday when they told him they needed time to pay for biscuits they had bought from him.
The grocer has been arrested.
Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, form the lowest rung of India's caste hierarchy.
Police told the Press Trust of India news agency the incident took place in Mainpuri district early on Thursday as the couple were on their way to work.
They were stopped by Ashok Mishra, the owner of a village grocery, who demanded that the couple pay the money for three packets of biscuits that they had bought for their three children a few days ago, reports say.
Protests
The couple reportedly told him they would pay after they received their daily wages later in the evening.
"While Mishra kept shouting for the money, the couple started walking towards the fields. Mishra then ran to his house nearby and returned with an axe. He hacked Bharat repeatedly and then attacked Mamta who was trying to rescue her husband. The couple died on the spot," Nadeem, a local villager, told The Indian Express newspaper.
The Dalit community in the village have blocked roads and protested over the incident.
Earlier this month four low-caste Dalit men were assaulted by cow protection vigilantes while trying to skin a dead cow in western Gujarat state.
Many Hindus consider cows sacred and the slaughter of the animal is banned in many Indian states.
In March, a Dalit man was murdered for marrying a woman from a higher caste in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The woman's father handed himself in and admitted to carrying out the attack on a busy road in daylight, police said.
Riaz Haq said…
India’s Eternal Inequality
NY Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer
By AATISH TASEER OCT. 12, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/opinion/indias-eternal-inequality.html?_r=0

I was in Varanasi, India’s most sacred city, conducting research for a book about Brahmins, the priestly caste at the top of the Hindu hierarchy. I was speaking at length to a young student who, like his Brahmin ancestors, was steeped in the study of Sanskrit and the Veda. One day, we drove together to the village where he came from. Our driver on this five-hour journey was a voluble man from the neighboring state of Bihar. Along the way, the driver, the student and I chatted amicably, but as we neared the Brahmin village, our dynamics swiftly changed.

My father was Muslim, and since religion in India is patrilineal, my presence in the Brahmin household should have been an unspeakable defilement. But it wasn’t. I belong to India’s English-speaking upper class and, in the eyes of my host, I was exempt from the rules of caste. As we approached the village, he did make one small adjustment: He stopped calling me by my conspicuously Muslim name, and rechristened me Nitish, a Hindu name.

The visit was going well. But, as evening fell, and we finished dinner with my Brahmin host and his parents, a terrific tension came over the household. Unbeknown to me, the family had made an extraordinary exception: They had allowed the driver, who was of a peasant caste called Yadav, lower in the hierarchy, to eat with us, in their house, using their plates. But now there was something they absolutely could not do.

----

Caste is a religious notion of spiritual purity that defines one’s function on earth. It comes alongside strict restrictions on how a person can live and what a person can eat and whom they can marry. Caste, or jati, as it is known in Hindi, is a bio-spiritual identity, which has nothing to do with money or power, and offers no escape save for death or renunciation. As Octavio Paz, the Mexican writer and onetime ambassador to India, wrote caste is “the first and last reality.”

India’s last caste census was conducted in the early 1930s, when the country was still part of the British Empire. It found that while Brahmins constituted only some 6 percent of the population, the other lower castes, even without Dalits and the tribal people, who are not part of the caste system, came to as much as 40 percent.

In 2010, Vinod K. Jose, writing in The Caravan, conjectured that the shape of society was roughly the same, and “as a block, the Shudras and untouchables could reach 70 percent of the Indian population.” In 2011, the government conducted a “socio-economic census,” but its findings on caste were never released, in part because the issue is so explosive.

The modern Indian state has tried to correct the imbalances that caste creates. The Constitution bans discrimination based on caste, and the government has instituted quotas for low-caste people in government jobs and at universities. But the wound is so deep that even when this form of affirmative action throws up the odd success story, tragedy can quickly ensue.

The same week that my driver in Varanasi was forced to wash his own plate, the issue of caste roared back to the forefront of Indian political life.

Rohith Vemula, 26, was a Ph.D. student at the University of Hyderabad, in southern India.....

------------------

The contradiction presented by caste and nationalism was never clearer than in the searing images that emerged from Mr. Modi’s own home state, Gujarat, in July. They showed Dalit boys being stripped and beaten with iron rods. They were accused of killing a sacred Indian cow. But they claimed they were only skinning a cow that was already dead, work that is typically reserved for people of low caste. The irony could not have been more stark: It was caste on one hand that had forced this occupation upon them, and it was caste that was degrading them further.
Riaz Haq said…
Permitting Exclusive #Brahmin-Only Housing Development in #Bangalore, #India Reinforces #Hindu #Caste #Apartheid

https://www.thequint.com/india/2016/08/03/how-a-brahmin-only-township-was-allowed-in-21st-century-karnataka


A township strictly meant for Brahmins claims to revive the “lost traditions” of the Brahmin community. The architecture, the lifestyle and culture will ensure a “Brahmanic way of life.”
Welcome to The Vedic Village- Shankar Agraharam, a ‘Brahmin only’ housing project that was planned in the outskirts of Bengaluru in 2013.
With the launch of the township, national and international media picked up the story and reported the disturbing trend of ‘segregated housing’ and ‘housing apartheid’ in India. A group of activist lawyers wrote to the state government and human rights commission to immediately scrap the project because it promoted caste-discrimination.

Three years down the lane, Vedic Village is nearing completion and has received the ‘proud’ approval of the Department of Town and Country planning in Karnataka. Project managers even claim to have sold 900 units of the planned 1800 in the integrated township.

The Sanathana Dharma Parirakshana Trust that is funding and developing the project is backed by the Brahmin community. The trust believes in:
emancipation of the living conditions of the Brahmin community and to closely work towards creating a liveable environment, and assets for the future generation of the community. Source: www.vedicgraham.com
The housing project is not open to non-brahmins, but that isn’t the only problem with the project. The website and the brochures repeatedly emphasise that it is a township for the ‘superior’.
Our plots are clearly earmarked for Brahmins only…Our motto, to give the highest to the highest in all respects. Source: www.vedicgraham.com
Riaz Haq said…
Analysis: #India, #Pakistan in race to destroy young minds with false #history #textbooks
http://www.dawn.com/news/1313938/analysis-india-pakistan-in-race-to-destroy-young-minds

Consider the latest attempt at subversion from India. According to reports on Thursday, ministers in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled (BJP) Rajasthan state have proposed that the outcome should be rewritten in the mediaeval battle of Haldighati that was fought between the forces of Mughal emperor Akbar and Rajput chieftain Rana Pratap.

It ended in a stalemate with the latter retreating deeper into Mewar, but Hindutva historians are determined to show him as the clear victor.

It is less widely admitted that his Rajput General Mansingh led Akbar’s 1576 campaign.

If Hindutva historians have their way they would project even Alexander of Macedonia as an anti-India Muslim marauder.

Cinematic versions of Alexander’s war with King Porus have already attempted this in a way, showing the foreigner speaking in Urdu, implying a Muslim language, while the vanquished Indian ruler spoke chaste Hindi, erroneously projected as a Hindu language.

It would be equally embarrassing for Hindutva historians to admit that Maratha king Shivaji communicated with his arch-foe Emperor Aurangzeb in Persian while conducting his Maratha empire’s administration in Modhi, a less discussed precursor of Marathi.

It is routine among Hindutva historians to claim mediaeval monuments as Hindu structures grabbed by Muslims. According to P.N. Oak, an early myth-maker in this genre, Taj Mahal was a Hindu palace as was the Asafi Imambarha of Lucknow.

According to Oak, Christianity is Chrisn-nity, an ascription to Lord Krishna. “Christianity is in fact a popular variation of the Hindu, Sanscrit [sic] term Chrisn-neety, i.e. the way of life preached, advocated or exemplified by the Hindu incarnation Lord Chrisn, spelled variously as Crsn, Krsn, Krishn, Chrisn, Crisna or Krisna also,” Mr Oak wrote.

To keep the spirit from flagging, even Wagner’s theory of continental drift was harnessed to claim that light-skinned Indians originally came from the border of Bihar and Orissa.

Later, the border drifted away to form the North Pole, thus implying that Caucasian and Central Asian genes travelled from India to their current abode, not the other way round.

As in India, rigging the chronology of history has been honed into a craft in Pakistan too, and it is difficult to say who between the two is better in conjuring myths that exhort young minds to violence.

A recent study in Pakistan found that the country’s public school textbooks negatively portrayed religious minorities, including Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis, as “untrustworthy, religiously inferior, and ideologically scheming”.

The report, “Teaching Intolerance in Pakistan: Religious Bias in Public School Textbooks”, analysed 78 textbooks from all four provinces covering grades five through 10.
Riaz Haq said…
#India is world's 4th worst for religious violence after #Syria (1) , #Nigeria (2), #Iraq (3). #Pakistan at no 10. https://qz.com/959802
India historically touts itself as a secular state, one where all religions are recognized and can peacefully co-exist. Well, at least in theory, it is. Unfortunately, the reality is much different.
An April 11 Pew Research Center analysis of 198 countries ranked India as fourth worst in the world for religious intolerance. In the country of 1.3 billion, the incidence of hostility related to religion trailed only Syria, Nigeria and Iraq, all places where sectarian violence is widespread.
India is not alone in seeing more religious unrest. Globally, Pew says, government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015 for the first time in three years.
Pew analyzed cases that involved hate crimes, mob violence, communal violence, religion-related terror, the use of force to prevent religious practice, the harassment of women for not conforming to religious dress codes, and violence over conversion or proselytizing.
Tensions between religious groups—especially Hindus and Muslims—has long divided India, but the rifts have intensified. “[In 2015,] Muslims in India at times experienced attacks by Hindus because of alleged cow slaughter, while Hindus were also sometimes the targets of hostilities by Muslims as well,” Katayoun Kishi, the study’s lead author, told Quartz. “In addition, there were multiple incidents of rioting and mob violence involving the two groups.”
Lynchings of beef-eating Muslims have compromised India’s status as a secular country. But a re-burgeoning Hindutva nationalist agenda has not made even the majority Hindus immune to discrimination, in India or elsewhere. Around the world, Hindus were harassed in 18 countries, fewer places than some other groups. “But the vast majority of the world’s Hindus—95%—live in India, where harassment of Hindus by both government and social groups was reported in 2015,” the study’s authors note. Dalits, the lowest-caste Hindus, were especially ill-treated in society. (Dalits are often secluded from basic government institutions and services, such as education and health care, too.)
National crime statistics in India also indicated that, compared with other caste affiliations, assailants most often perpetrated rape against Dalit women, according to the US State Department’s human-rights country report. Many of the assailants are not prosecuted. On June 24, 2015, attackers beheaded Dalit engineer V. Gokulraj in Pallipallayam, Tamil Nadu, reportedly because of a romantic relationship with an upper-caste Hindu classmate. The primary suspect, local caste leader S. Yuvaraj, absconded for months after the incident. (He later surrendered.)
Riaz Haq said…
'Straight out of the Nazi playbook': Hindu nationalists try to engineer 'genius' babies in India http://wapo.st/2pnhDKH?tid=ss_tw … by @anniegowen

Members of a Hindu far-right organization called Arogya Bharati say they are working with expectant couples in the country to produce “customized” babies, who, they hope, will be taller, fairer and smarter than other babies, according to a report in the Indian Express newspaper.

The group's health officials claimed that their program — a combination of diet, ayurvedic medicine and other practices — has led to 450 of these babies, and they hope to have “thousands” more by 2020, the report said.

“The parents may have lower IQ, with a poor educational background, but their baby can be extremely bright. If the proper procedure is followed, babies of dark-skinned parents with lesser height can have fair complexion and grow taller,” Hitesh Jani, the group's national convener, told the newspaper.

Jani explained that the program consists of a “purification of energy channels” and body before a pregnancy, and mantra-chanting and “proper food,” such as meals rich in calcium and vitamin A, after the baby is born.

The newspaper identified the group as the “health wing” of the conservative Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, but Ramesh Gautam, Arogya Bharati's national general secretary, said the group was merely “inspired” by the conservative ideology of the RSS rather than being officially supported by it. Arogya Bharati's website says it is a "voluntary organization of service minded people who have an interest in the health of society.”

On Saturday, the chairwoman for a state child rights commission tried to attend one of the workshops where couples are counseled on how to produce these “genius” babies — as the Economic Times termed it — but was barred by organizers, that newspaper said.

“This is an unscientific thing that’s happening here. It cannot continue,” Ananya Chatterjee, the chair of the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said. The group countered that her charges were “politically motivated.”

Responding to a petition from the commission, the West Bengal state high court later mandated that organizers present an affidavit and video of the proceedings, which went off as scheduled.

The program launched over a decade ago and has spread to several Indian states. Organizers said it was inspired by a RSS leader who met a woman in Germany more than 40 years ago. An official said the woman led a post World War II re-population effort in Germany for “signature children” based on the same principles, according to the Indian Express report.

This comment — and its evocation of the legacy of Third Reich era eugenics — prompted immediate backlash on social media, with one critic writing on the Daily O opinion website that this “dystopia in the womb” was “straight out of the Nazi playbook.”

The RSS was founded in 1925 as a volunteer organization to advance the rights of Hindus. Over the years, it has given rise to many of the country’s more successful conservative politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A few of its founders praised in essays and books the totalitarian movements of Nazism and fascism sweeping Europe at the time, scholars have noted.

“The original RSS stalwarts found a political validity in racial resurrection championed by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich,” Angshukanta Chakraborty, an opinion writer on the Daily O website, wrote, adding, “And even now, a racially pure search for homeland or creation of one along racially/communally pure lines appeals to the RSS and is the heart of its ideology.”

Riaz Haq said…
I Am A Practicing Muslim. My Concerns Right Now For India Are... by Indian Journalist Rana Ayub

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/in-response-to-naseeruddin-shah-1707581


My family was forced to move from the cosmopolitan Sahar village to the rather lower middle class Deonar which was considered safer. My brother and my father applied for a credit card thrice while we lived in that area and were which was rejected on all occasions.

We were told later that these companies have specific instructions to not issue cards to Muslims living in 'such' areas. The building in which we stayed was next to the famous Deonar dumping ground and the abattoir from where the stench would fill the neighbourhood. But we and many like us continued to stay there because it was "safe".

Despite maintaining the best of hygiene, we had to live with the stink and airborne diseases. BMC workers who would mark their presence every morning in the swanky neighbourhoods of Mumbai like Peddar Road didn't mind taking days off in our neighbourhood with the garbage piling up because we (the Muslims and our many lower middle classes companions) could live with it.

Another problematic assertion in Naseer's column is that Muslims must stop feeling victimized. I have and continue to believe as a Muslim who has had to bear two communal riots that the community, like most communities in India, has been resilient and has chosen to put its dreaded past behind it, voting in every election for a change. But when every day you have videos emerging asking Muslims to chant "Bharat Mata ki Jai" before they are thrashed and cattle traders are lynched in public, the Muslim of the country does not feel a healing touch on the scars of the past.

If indeed we are so concerned about the plight of Muslims, their education, hygiene, then the topic of discussion should be to ensure that Muslim-dominated areas, government schools for Muslims have the same level of cleanliness and attention paid to them as other areas of Swachh Bharat. Muslims in this country have moved beyond the pain of the Babri demolition, but if the well-being of Muslims is indeed the criteria, those in power move on from Ayodhya and lets discuss corruption in the Waqf Board whose proceeds could help get Muslims access to higher education and a better status in society.

The alleged participation of Indian Muslims in ISIS is 0.0002 percent of the total number across the globe. To fault them for this and use it as an excuse to deny the 99.99 percent Muslims a dignified life is the worst one can offer to one of the largest minority in the country which has a glorious past in the country's freedom struggle. And which is now, as I keep hearing from many around me, leaving me feeling like a "second-class citizen".

(Rana Ayyub is an award-winning investigative journalist and political writer. She is the author of 'Gujarat Files', a book on the politics of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Gujarat.)
Riaz Haq said…
#Caste Battles Threaten #India’s Grand #Hindu Coalition. #BJP #Modi #UP #Dalit #Rajput

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/872966635157573632

The violence erupted after one April afternoon, when the Dalits in Shabirpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh, about 115 miles from New Delhi, were celebrating the birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, their greatest leader and an architect of the Indian Constitution.

Mr. Ambedkar was instrumental in abolishing untouchability, criminalizing caste discrimination and violence in independent India, and enshrining a system of affirmative action in the Indian laws.

On Mr. Ambedkar’s anniversary millions of Dalits honor him by garlanding his statues, which reproduce an iconic image of the bookish messiah: Mr. Ambedkar wearing a pair of rectangular glasses over a blue three-piece suit, a copy of the Indian Constitution in his left hand, the index finger of his right hand pointing at a distant horizon. For centuries before independence, the Dalits could barely clothe themselves. Mr. Ambedkar’s suit became a negation of that oppression, a symbol of dignity and aspiration.

The upper castes resent the defiant and proud Ambedkar imagery. As the Dalits celebrated in Shabirpur, the Uttar Pradesh village, their upper-caste Rajput neighbors stopped them from installing a statue of Mr. Ambedkar in their temple. They objected that the outstretched index finger of the statue would point toward upper-caste women who would walk past it.

In recent years, to counterbalance the Ambedkar celebrations, the upper castes, especially the Rajputs, began celebrating Rana Pratap, a medieval Hindu Rajput king, who fought several battles against the Mughal Empire, as an ideal Rajput and Hindu nationalistic icon.

Indian festival celebrations often come with processions of believers through public spaces. In polarized regions, they often become occasions for violence between different religious or caste groups.

A few weeks after the Rajputs in Shabirpur village objected to Mr. Ambedkar’s statue, they set out in a procession to celebrate the Rajput king Rana Pratap’s anniversary in an adjacent village. The Rajputs played overtly loud music. The Dalits objected. An argument turned into a violent clash. One Rajput man was killed and more than 20 Dalits and Rajputs were injured. More than 25 Dalit homes were set on fire.

Such violence spells trouble for the Hindu nationalist project. Leaders of India’s Hindu nationalist movement had figured early on that caste antagonism prevented a grand Hindu consolidation. They campaigned for social reforms and for allowing Dalits entry to temples, and promoted shared meals between the upper castes and lower castes, but caste prejudice was deeply entrenched among their followers and change remained superficial. Despite their efforts, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliate groups were always identified with the upper castes.

Marginalized communities in India have their own internal hierarchies. Over the past decade and a half, the B.J.P. developed a new strategy of playing on their internal differences and fragmenting Dalits and other lower castes into smaller, political groups and enlisting the breakaway units into their ambit.

--------------


Large sections of Dalits voted for Mr. Modi in 2014 and again for his party in March 2017 state elections in Uttar Pradesh because of the absence of a pan-Indian Dalit political identity. But if upper castes continue violent attacks on Dalits irrespective of their sub-castes, it will force consolidation among them.

Recent caste violence has shown that India’s Hindu nationalists are struggling with the challenges of caste. And it will be the eventual hurdle to permanent Hindu consolidation and their continued electoral dominance.
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of Audrey Truschke's Aurangzeb


https://books.google.com/books?id=oUUkDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=aurangzeb+by+audrey+truschke&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwibz_Hvn4XVAhUS32MKHdNlAKIQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=British&f=false


Across the border in Pakistan, too, many endorse the vision of an evil Aurangzeb. As Shahid Nadeem, a Pakistani playwright, recently put it: " Seeds of partition were sown when Aurangzeb triumphed over [his brother] Dara Shikoh". Such far-fetched suggestions would be farcical, if so many did not endorse them.


British colonial thinkers had long impugned thew Mughals on a range of charges, including that they were effeminate, oppressive, and Muslims. As early as 1772, Alexander Dow remarked in a discussion of Mughal governance that "the faith of Mahommed is peculiarly calculated for despotism; and it is one of the greatest causes which must fix for ever the duration of that species of government in the East". For the British the solution to such an entrenched problem was clear: British rule over India. While the Indian independence leaders rejected this final step of the colonial logic, many swallowed the earlier parts wholesale. Such ideas filtered to society at large via textbooks and mass media, and several generations have continued to eat up and regurgitate the colonial take that Aurangzeb was a tyrant driven by religious fanaticism.

Over the centuries, many commentators have spread the myth of of the bigoted, evil Aurangzeb on the basis of shockingly thin evidence. Many false ideas still mar popular memory of Aurangzeb , including that he massacred millions of Hindus and destroyed thousands of temples. Neither of these commonly believed "facts" is supported by historical evidence although some scholars have attempted, usually in bad faith, to provide an alleged basis for such tales.

-----------------------


Such views have roots in colonial-era scholarship, where positing timeless Hindu-Muslim animosity embodied the British strategy of divide and conquer. Today, multiple websites claim to list Aurangzeb's "atrocities" against Hindus (typically playing fast and loose with the facts) and fuel communal fires. There are numerous gaping holes in the proposition that Aurangzeb razed temples because he hated Hindus, however. Most glaringly, Aurangzeb counted thousands of Hindu temples within his domain and yet destroyed, at most, few dozen.....A historically legitimate view of Aurangzeb must explain why he protected Hindu temples more often than he demolished them.

----------------------

The bulk of Mughal histories are written in Persian, the official administrative language of the Mughal empire but a foreign tongue in India today. Out of necessity and ease, many historians disregard the original Persian text and rely instead on English translations. This approach narrows the the library of materials drastically, and many translations of the Mughal texts are of questionable quality, brimming with mistranslations and abridgments. Some of these changes conveniently served the agendas of the translators, especially colonial-era translations that tend to show Indo--Muslim kings at their worst so that the British would seem virtuous by comparison (foremost here is Elliot and Dowson's History of India as Told by Its Own Historians). Such materials are great for learning about British colonialism, but they present an inaccurate picture of Mughal India.
Riaz Haq said…
BBC News - The defiance of an 'untouchable' #NewYork subway worker. #India #Dalit #Apartheid #Caste

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-40702242#

Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla

(In New York), she says, she faced racism. And caste was right here too. She says she found "petty caste discrimination" among the Indian community.

---------

The 53-year-old subway conductor has been luckier than most Dalits back home, women especially, who suffer unspeakable cruelty, are employed in menial jobs including cleaning of human excreta and are segregated by their communities.
Unlike most of her lot, her family was "middle class", thanks to the help of Canadian missionaries in her region who aided in education and offered them religion. Her family was thus Christian and benefited with education. Her parents held jobs as college teachers.
Gidla says that proselytization didn't help her lot. "Christians, untouchables - it came to the same thing. All Christians in India were untouchable. I knew no Christian who did not turn servile in the presence of a Hindu."
The book chronicles unflinchingly the caste slurs and segregation Gidla and Dalits like her have to endure in India.

Gidla lists how she and other Dalits are humiliated in India by other castes.
They are forced to eat from separate plates and glasses in eateries; barred from the community's main source of drinking water; allowed to ride a bicycle or wear footwear only in segregated areas; rejected in love and denied opportunities. She recalls her hurt when a junior school classmate refused to touch the sweet she offered. Things like this are constant reminders to Dalits of their status as social outcastes.
Since her teens Gidla was spurred to rebel with her uncle, the rebel Telugu language poet Shivasagar, setting an example. His call to join the Communists and later the guerrilla movement of the region demanding social justice held appeal for the young Gidla.

---------

In America, writes Gilda, "people know only my skin colour, not birth status".
"One time in a bar in Atlanta I told a guy I was untouchable, and he said, 'Oh, but you're so touchable'."
Riaz Haq said…
BBC suspends #British #Indian host Tommy Sandhu & starts major inquiry into his racist, sexist, anti-#Pakistan slurs

https://www.geo.tv/latest/152540-bbc-starts-major-inquiry-into-staff-over-racist-anti-pakistan-slurs

LONDON: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has suspended a star of its Asian Network, in a row over online messages littered with lewd comments and racist slurs – including racist attacks on Pakistanis and the BBC’s British Pakistani staff members.

Indian origin DJ and BBC host Tommy Sandhu, 40, is amongst at least four colleagues allegedly part of WhatsApp groups sharing sexist comments as well as homophobic remarks and a derogatory terms for Pakistanis.

One of the men in the group suggested that they refuse to play any music by Pakistanis on the breakfast show, even though the network was set up to cater to all Asian groups.

This is not the first time that BBC's asian network has been accused of anti-Pakistani bias, on several occasions it has emerged that BBC Asian Network’s hosts and DJs have refused to give due coverage to Pakistan's arts and culture.

Allegations have been made by insiders that the broadcaster's asian network has an intolerant policy towards Pakistani music and musicians.

Another message shared on the group referred to BBC’s British Pakistani entertainment reporter Haroon Rashid as a ‘Paki’ – a derogatory term used to attack Pakistani origin individuals.

It was also discussed in the group that one of the DJs who worked with British Pakistani presenter Noreen Khan had been converted by ‘Pakis’.

When one of the men did an assignment with Noreen Khan, another BBC Asian Network DJ, they were asked on the messaging group “have them Pakis converted you?”, according to sources who revealed evidence to British media.

Vile sexist comments were also made about female staff working with the network, including young assistant producer Amanpreet Kaur.

These messages, said media reports, were accidentally linked to a BBC laptop where Kaur stumbled across them, forming the basis for the BBC to open a major investigation, including disciplinary action against some of those involved.

It is not clear how many people were part of the secret messaging groups but they included Asheesh Sharma and Kejal Kamani, two radio producers who routinely join Sandhu on air, and a disc jockey known as DJ Sachy.

Sharma has been given a final written warning and Kamani has been fired. DJ Sachy, who has worked at the station as a freelance for years, has been told he will not get any more shifts, insiders claimed.

Sources close to Sandhu claimed he did not make derogatory comments himself and was simply part of WhatsApp groups where some of the remarks were made. It is understood that he did not object to comments and did not raise complaints, but was an active member of the group.

BBC Asian Network staff also used the messaging groups to make vile homophobic slurs, calling one colleague a ‘batty boy’ and used highly offensive terms for homosexuals – using an Urdu/Hindi expression used by Pakistanis and Indians.

They also accused a fellow radio host of being gay, even though he is married.

“We never comment on matters concerning any individuals working with the BBC. Any allegations of inappropriate behaviour would always be taken extremely seriously and would be dealt with swiftly and appropriately,” said a BBC spokesman.

The BBC Asian Network costs around £7.5 million a year to run and is listened to by nearly 650,000 people a week, according to latest figures available.

It was nearly shut in 2010 when it was pulling in just 477,000 listeners a week.
Riaz Haq said…
A study in contrasts: Muslims in India vs Pakistan by Dr. Ata ur Rahman ... The per capita income of Muslims in Pakistan is about $1,460 while the per capita income of Muslims in India is only about $400 – less than one-fourth of the country’s national Indian GDP. About 52.3 percent of Muslims in India live below the poverty line, with an average monthly income of $5 or less. Muslims constitute about 14.5 percent of the total Indian population. However, only between two percent and three percent of them pass the civil services examinations.
----
The literacy level of Muslims in India is also much lower than the national average. Only about four percent (one in 25) of Indians who receive education up to the high school level are Muslims, while only 1.7 percent (one in 60) of college graduates in India are Muslims. When we consider that one in seven people in India is a Muslim, these figures bring out the stark disparities that exist in India between Hindus and Muslims. In his book, ‘India’s Muslim Problem’, V T Rajshekar states that Muslims “are in many ways worse than untouchables and in recent years they are facing dangers of mass annihilation”.

The mass killings of Muslims in Indian towns and cities also add strength to the Two-Nation Theory. About 630 Muslims lost their lives during the 1969 Gujarat riots. This was followed by anti-Muslim violence in the Indian towns of Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad in 1970 when a large number of properties of Muslims were burnt and many Muslims killed. During anti-Muslim violence in Moradabad in 1980, about 2,500 Muslims were killed by extremist Hindu elements. Another 1,800 Muslims were slaughtered in the state of Assam in 1983 in a village called Nellie. The official 600-page Tiwari Commission Report on the Nellie massacre has remained a closely guarded secret since 1984.

The destruction of Babri Masjid in December 1992 by Hindu nationalists led to the Bombay Riots. BBC correspondent Toral Varia concluded that the riots were “a pre-planned pogrom” that had been in the making since 1990. According to many independent scholars, extremist Hindu rioters had been given access to information about the locations of Muslim homes and businesses through confidential government sources. This violence was planned and executed by Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist group led by Bal Thackeray.

The anti-Muslim riots that occurred in Bombay in January 1993 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, were reported in the following manner by international and Indian newspapers:

“Bombay: Day after day after day, for nine days and nights beginning on January 6, mobs of Hindus rampaged through this city, killing and burning people only because they were Muslims. No Muslim was safe – not in the slums, not in high-rise apartments, not in the city’s bustling offices – in an orgy of violence that left 600 people dead and 2,000 injured...Interviews have suggested, moreover, that the killing, arson and looting were far from random. In fact, they were organized by Hindu gangs, abetted by the Bombay police, and directed at Muslim families and businesses. The extent of police cooperation with the Hindu mobs appears to have spread through the entire police force, excluding only the most senior officers...neither the Maharashtra authorities nor the central government in New Delhi made any effort to stanch the flow of blood.” (The New York Times, February 4, 1993)

“Tragedy has struck Surat (Muslim) women… for them, it was hell let loose... While men were thrown into bonfires, torched alive or had burning tyres put around their necks, women were stripped of all their clothes and ordered to ‘run till they can’t… run”. (The Times of India, December 22, 1992).

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/223824-A-study-in-contrasts
Riaz Haq said…
Muslims have lowest living standard in India: Govt survey

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslims-have-lowest-living-standard-in-India-Govt-survey/articleshow/21936020.cms

Among various religious groups, Muslims have the lowest living standard with the average per capita expenditure of just Rs 32.66 in a day, says a government survey. At the other end of the spectrum, Sikh community enjoys a much better lifestyle as the average per capita spending among them is Rs 55.30 per day, while the same for Hindus is Rs 37.50. For Christians it is Rs 51.43.

"At all-India level, the average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) of a Sikh household was Rs 1,659 while that for a Muslim household was Rs 980 in 2009-10," said an NSSO study titled 'Employment and Unemployment Situation Among Major Religious Groups in India'.

The average household MPCE is a proxy for income and reflects that living standards of a family.

According to the study, the average MPCE for Hindus and Christians were Rs 1,125 and Rs 1,543, respectively.

The survey said that average monthly per capita consumption at all-India level was Rs 901 in villages and Rs 1,773 in cities. Overall, the average MPCE was Rs 1,128.

Muslims were at the bottom in rural areas, with an average MPCE of Rs 833, followed by Hindus at Rs 888, Christians at Rs 1,296 and Sikhs 1,498.

In urban areas, Muslims' average MPCE was also the lowest at Rs 1,272 followed by Hindus at Rs 1,797, Christians Rs 2,053 and Sikhs at Rs 2,180.
Riaz Haq said…
India’s Muslims and the Price of Partition
By AJAZ ASHRAFAUG. 17, 2017

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/opinion/india-muslims-hindus-partition.html

The League began to argue that the Hindu majority of undivided India would swamp Muslims and suppress their religion and culture. As evidence, the League pointed to Hindu-Muslim riots in the northern states of Bihar and the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), both ruled by the Congress, as an ominous portent. They argued that the movement to ban the slaughter of cows, led by an assortment of religious leaders, Hindu nationalist groups and some members of the Congress, was aimed at subverting Muslim culture. Unlike Muslims, Christians, Jews and animists, a segment of Hindus worship the cow and don’t eat its meat.

In 1937, Congress adopted as the national song of India some verses from “Vande Mataram,” or “I praise you, Mother,” a poem written in the 1870s by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, a Bengali poet and novelist, as an ode to the Hindu goddess Durga. The League objected to its singing as it depicted India as Mother Goddess, which the League construed to promote idolatry, anathema to Muslims.

The most alarming trend has been the lynching of Muslims suspected of possessing beef, for ferrying home cattle purchased legitimately from cattle markets elsewhere.

The markers of Muslim identity — beards, skullcaps and head scarves — invite frowns, even violence, in India. On a late June afternoon, Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old Muslim boy, was stabbed to death on a train near New Delhi. Mr. Khan was traveling with his older brother and two friends. They were identified as Muslim because of their clothes and skullcaps. After an argument over a train seat, their fellow passengers threw religious slurs at them, killed Mr. Khan and injured the other boys.

-----------

India’s Muslims didn’t feel secure and weren’t flourishing before the B.J.P.’s rise. There were Hindu-Muslim riots then as well; Muslims were targeted and discriminated against. Their representation in elite government services has been less than 5 percent, according to the Indian government report in 2006.

Today India’s Muslims are apprehensive. Before sectarian violence was often orchestrated to win elections in a clutch of seats, almost always followed by a process of reconciliation. The Hindu-Muslim rivalry never constituted the political language of the Congress Party, the principal recipient of Muslim votes for much of India’s 70 years. The B.J.P. seeks to permanently consolidate Hindus against Muslims and keep the social caldron simmering.

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