1. FESTIVALS: Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima, falling on Oct 14 this year, is a harvest festival. The rainy season is over and brightness of the full moon brings special joy. A traditional celebration of the moon, it is also called Kaumudi celebration, Kaumudi meaning moonlight.
At night, goddess Lakshmi is worshipped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits. Then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshipped the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.
Some people believe that on this night Lakshmi moves from place to place asking, "Who is awake?" ("Kojagarti?") and showers her pleasure on those she finds awake.
It is a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout the country, particularly by Maharashtrians. In Gujarat, the night is known as Sharad Poonam and people celebrate it by doing Garba and Raas.
2. MATRI SAMMELAN IN RANCHI BY SEWA BHARATI: RSS Sarsanghachalak K.S. Sudarshan appealed to the women to identify their strength and come forward to defeat the evil forces, which are causing damage to the nation. He was addressing a gathering of over 25,000 women in Ranchi on September 14. The sammelan was organised by local unit of Sewa Bharati. Sadhvi Ritambhara also addressed the sammalen.
Shri Sudarshan said the victorious phase of Bharatiya women began from the Jammu agitation for Shri Amarnath Shrine land. “If the women had not come out from their houses for this agitation, it was difficult to achieve the victory. Despite imposition of curfew more than two lakh people courted arrest on a day. Not only this, more than one lakh children also held a demonstration the next day. Nowhere in the world, demonstration of women strength of such magnitude has been displayed earlier. It was the impact of their agitation that the government had to return the land to the Shrine Board,” Shri Sudarshan added. He said the Hindu shastras give equal respect to the women and consider both man and women as complimentary.
3. NORTH-EAST JANAJATI LEADERS’ CONFERENCE: A bid to protect indigenous faith: Janajati Faith and Culture Protection Forum organised a three-day conference at Hojai, Nagaon, Assam, from September 5, in which 342 leaders from 56 Vanvasi communities representing their major 46 organisations along with more than 500 delegates (both male and female), several scholars and experts from all over Bharat, took part to discuss all complicated and critical issues, which had endangered the existence of Vanvasis, their peace, harmony, livelihood, unity and integrity.
Inaugurating the conference, Guru Tulku Rimpoche of Abbot of Tawang Monastry (Arunachal Pradesh) said: “Faith and culture are one’s identity and it is our foremost duty to preserve our age-old culture and faith. Conversion of people by enticement and allurement is totally against the practice of religion. This kind of religious conversion should not be encouraged or followed furthermore; forced conversion is not good at all. In this regard, China’s role is suspicious. It is claiming half of Arunachal Pradesh and fuelling the separatist elements in the region.”
Indresh Kumar, National Executive Member of RSS, said so far in the world, church has ruined more than hundred indigenous civilisations and now it is active in the North-East for the same.
Dr Krishna Gopal, Kshetra Pracharak, said in Brahmputra-Barrak valley, 3,000 new Muslim villages have come up, and that more than 6,000 villages in Assam are controlled by Muslims.
Teche Guvin, president, Nisyi Vanvasi community said it is the need of the hour to open several prayer halls and welfare centres of the respective Vanvasi communities. An American scholar, Shri B.B Parker, said that in the world, Christianity has failed to give the people peace and happiness.
Leaders from Tagin, Mismi, Ade, Hilmiri, Apatani, Tokta, Karbi, Dimasa, Kachari, Bodo, Dewri, Reang, Narginary, Basumatari, Khasi, Garo, Jayantia, Hazong, Koch, Rongmoi, Maring, Leliyang, Munda, Santhali, Oraon, Angami, Tripuri, Lepcha, Subba, Sherpa, Tamang and other Vanvasi communities from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya addressed the convention in different sessions.
4. IMPRESSIVE GHOSH DISPLAY BY SWAYAMSEVAKS AT WAGAH BORDER: It was perhaps for the first time that Sangh swayamsevaks displayed RSS ghosh (band) at the Wagah Border in Amritsar on September 6. It was a surprise for both the security personnel of Bharat and Pakistan and also for the people of both the countries who visited the border that day to see the retreat and the ceremonial lowering of the flag ceremony. The ghosh display touched the heart of the audience.
After the ghosh display was over an army officer went to Jagdishji, Akhil Bharateeya Ghosh Pramukh, and enquired from him about the training the swayamsevaks get. Jagdishji told him that they were all RSS swayamsevaks and learnt the ghosh in daily shakhas.
5. GODHRA WAS PRE-PLANNED: Clean chit for Modi: The Nanavati-Mehta Commission probing the Godhra train carnage has termed the burning of the coach that led to the death of 59 people and injuries to another 48 as a pre-planned conspiracy to cause harm to the kar sevaks travelling in coach number S-6 of the Sabarmati Express.The report which was tabled in the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha on September 25 also states that there is absolutely no evidence to show that either the Chief Minister (Narendra Modi) or any of his Ministers or police officers had played any role in the Godhra incident or that there was any lapse on their part in providing relief and rehabilitation to the victims of the communal riots or in the matter of not complying with the recommendations and directions given by the National Human Rights Commission.
According to the commission, the burning of the coach was a pre-planned act. According to two attendants, Ranjitsinh Patel and Prabhatsinh Patel serving at a petrol pump in Godhra, two persons, Salim Panwala and Raja Kurkur, had come in a tempo at around 10 pm on February 26 and collected 140 litres of petrol in containers in a tempo. The containers were subsequently stored in a guest house of Raja while Salim went to the station to enquire whether the train was on time or delayed. It was he who informed that the train was running late by four hours.
According to the recorded confessions before the commission, Salim and some others had gone along with the petrol containers in the morning to position themselves near the A cabin of the Godhra railway station.
"It was Mohameed Latika who cut the vestibule between coach S-6 and S-7 and entered the coach through the opening. Along with Salim, the two together had pressed open the door to coach S-6, entered it and poured petrol from two carboys on the coach floor while burning rags were hurled inside the coach by Hasan Lalu and a raging fire had followed.
The report states that the decision to plan for the attack on the coach was taken the previous evening (February 26, 2002). "It is likely that the conspirators had decided to burn a coach of this train as it used to pass Godhra in the night. That would have enabled them to carry out their objective without being noticed or identified. However, since the train was late, changes had to be made in the plan and accordingly a rumour was circulated that a ghanchi Muslim girl had been abducted by the kar sevaks.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court declined to stay proposed action against publishing Nanavati Commission Report.
6. MOHANJI'S PRAVAS TO CARRIBEANS - USA-UK: RSS Sarkaryavaha Shri Mohan Bhagwat was on a 3-week tour to Carribeans (Surinam, Guyana and Trinidad), USA and UK. A brief report about his programs follows:
Hindu Poster Exhibition in Guyana: Hindu civilization was reflected in a poster exhibition hosted by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) Guyana at the National Library in Georgetown.
The display showed Hindu contribution to the world through Science, Mathematics and Culture, chronicling some of the major achievements.
Speaking at the opening of the exhibition Head of HSS Guyana, Shri Swami Aksharananda said “…very few people know that India has been the Mother of sciences, technology and things of that interest.” Briefing the gathering on the exhibition, Saumitra Gokhale, HSS pracharak for America zone, recalled that the idea, conceptualized in 2006 in US, has attracted 50,000 people during the exhibitions at 300 locations across USA.
Indian High Commissioner, Subit Kumar Mandal said that Hindus have contributed significantly to the force of development from the early age to the present and reiterated that Bharatiya civilization is one of the greatest and oldest civilizations of the world. Shri Mohan Bhagwat said that science and spirituality must both go together for betterment of the world.
Hindu leaders call for unity: Hindu religious leaders from across Guyana echoed the call for unity amongst Hindus at the (Hindu Sanghatan Divas) Hindu Unity Day; organised by HSS Guyana at the Saraswati Vidya Niketan in Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara on Sept 21.
Swami Aksharananda, in his welcoming remarks, said, “It is important that we strive for some unity in the Hindu society, and we have been doing so ever since the HSS has been established in Guyana.”
Sarkaryavaha Shri Mohan Bhagwat, in his feature address said “Hindus are one, therefore they should unite…the spirit of oneness, we must nurture in our own heart and then we must come together and work for the common good of the country.” He lauded the efforts of the HSS, saying that, “I am confident that the HSS will take that role.”
Swami Brahmadeo Ji of Brahma Vidya Peetham, in his brief remarks noted that that Hinduism is the management of diversity.”
Personal Assistant to President Bharrat Jagdeo and Hindu Missionary, Shri Prakash Gossai said, “I think all of us have this burning desire to see a more unified Hindu community.”
The event started with prayers and the symbolic lighting of the lamp by the leaders of the Hindu community, and reading of messages advocating unity from various religious leaders.
The programme also included prayers and bhajans, and an inspirational dance was done by members of the De Edward Mandir, West Bank Berbice.
Among those present were Head of the Public and Press Affairs Unit of the Office of the President, Dr Prem Misir, who also delivered brief remarks.
Book Release In New York And London: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA, released a book entitled, "M.S. Golwalkar: His Vision and Mission" in New York, NY on September 26, in presence of the chief guest Mohan Bhagwat, and Prof. Ved Nanda, President of HSS, USA. The book provides the reader an insight into the vision of Shri Golwalkar about the Hindu worldview, the wellbeing of humanity, and the eternal principles of Dharma. It also offers guiding principles for workers engaged in social causes.
An audience of 250 invitees and the media representatives attended the event. Prof. Ved Nanda, Sanghachalak HSS - USA spoke about the impact of RSS and Shri Guruji, emphasizing that the values advocated by the Sangh are not limited to any group but are applicable to the entire humanity. Shri Mohan Bhagwat said that Shri Guruji’s message was to protect and widely disseminate the eternal values of Dharma and to organize Hindus so as to enable them to work incessantly for the wellbeing of humanity.
A programme was organised by HSS (UK) on Sunday 28 September. The venue was SKLP Community Centre in Northolt, North London.
Dignitaries on the Dias apart from Shri Bhagwatji included the Chief Guest Dr Ashok Kumar MP; Shri Pravinbhai Ruparelia, UK Sanghchalak; Shri Tatwawadi, Vishwa Vibhag Pracharak. Shri Dhirajbhai Shah, UK Karyavah. An audience of over 600 was present for the function.
Dr Ashok Kumar, who released the book, stated in his address that Hindus need to be united and organised as their fragmentation diffuses their positive energies. He urged the British Hindus to play an active role in mainstream politics which would bring universal dharmeek values into British politics.
Sh. Mohanji in the beginning referring to the book clarified that Guruji's vision is actually the traditional vision of Hindus which articulates the Dharmic view and approach, that has been the core of Bharat's philosophy.
He added that, dharma can not be classified as religion. It does not have a sectarian connotation. The wisdom to know where to start and when/where to stop is Dharma. Hence what we preach is dharma and not religion. Today there are people and groups who want to fit everything and everybody into a single model with a straight jacket approach. This is where the role of dharma and the Hindus comes in i.e. to impart dharmic knowledge to the world.
While appealing that the book needs to be read, understood and brought into practice Sh. Mohanji concluded by stating that the forthcoming editions of this book need to come from our lives (as we strive to live this book)
Several Hindu organizations offered donations to Sewa International’s (SI) appeal for Bihar Relief Fund. Shri Bhagwat and Shanti bhai Mistry, President, SI UK accepted the donations.
Dr Anand Arya, Sampark Pramukh of HSS (UK) compered the proceedings. while Shri Dhirajbhai Shah, UK Karyawaha proposed a vote of thanks.
7. COPYCAT TERROR: After the spate of arrests in Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere, there was speculation that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) may have been fatally crippled and a cautious hope that the rash of terror attacks would come to an end. Whether the IM is truly depleted or not, Saturday’s blast in Delhi left that hope battered. Monday night’s blasts in Maharashtra and Gujarat all but administered it the coup de grace.
The truly worrying aspect of this is that it seems possible these new terror attacks have nothing to do with the IM. The modus operandi is different with no warning e-mail sent before the attacks and the bombs placed in a different manner; similarly, the explosive devices used were cruder with no timers. This has far-reaching implications.
The business of terror has never been a monopoly. Even so, the virulence and frequency of the IM’s attacks have been startling. If it is indeed another outfit or group of individuals that has followed suit — it is unlikely that the three attacks dating from Saturday were completely unconnected given their similarities and the timing of the Maharashtra and Gujarat blasts — it goes to show that the culture of terrorism is becoming alarmingly equal opportunity. This is something that the country can ill afford; a nationwide fear psychosis can have crippling, divisive effects.
Enough has been said about the security measures that should be adopted by the government. However, none of the proposed measures are likely to have much effect unless backed by a corresponding shift in political culture. Groups suspected of indulging in terrorist activities and mass violence should be pursued with vigour irrespective of the community they belong to or political affiliations.
Political parties must resist the temptation to use the security issue as a blunt instrument in the electoral arena and work to achieve a consensus on redefining India’s anti-terror apparatus. Partisan politics in this regard will achieve nothing other than undermining the efforts of the police and intelligence agencies.
Above all, the single most important thing that political groups can do is to frame the security question in a way that emphasises an inclusive national identity. If every community is an equal stakeholder in the process, the new breed of terrorist groups coming into existence across the country is left with no fig leaf. -- Editorial, 1 October, 2008, Times of India.
8. MODI DEMANDS APOLOGY ON GODHRA: Those who had spread lies to save the killers of the Godhra train carnage should apologise, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said after part of the report of the Nanavati Commission which enquired into the Gujarat violence of 2002 was made public.
Modi said on Sep 25 after dedicating the Pandit Deen Dayal Road at the Kankaria area, these people were now too ashamed to show their face. If they value truth and justice, they should apologise to the people of Gujarat."
"The bogus secular forces were shouting hoarse against us. Yet we kept our silence in the hope that the truth will come out one day and the secular mask will be ripped off the faces of these men," Modi said. He said the formation and empanelling of the judges was done under the direction of the Supreme Court and neither he nor his government had any role to play.
9. HSS BAY AREA VIDYARTHI VIKAS YOJANA 2008: 7 Vidyarthis Neha - San Jose, Bhavisha - Sunnyvale, Anand - Cupertino, Alankrita - Fremont, Vikalp/Shailadish/Shree - San Ramon from bay area met every weekend for around 4 hours learning how to take khel, doing samata and learning ghosh. More than 50 swayamsevaks attended the apartment shakhas started by these vidyarthis at Cupertion, Vallage, Village Green, Sunnyvale, Ran Ramon and Countrybrooks.
10. 11TH DR WAKANKAR AWARD PRESENTED TO PROF. BALRAJ MADHOK: Eleventh Dr Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar award was presented to noted academician, thinker, historian, writer and political analyst Prof. Balraj Madhok at a function in New Delhi on September 20. The award, which consists of a cheque of Rs 51,000, a citation and a memento, was presented by Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti, Delhi. Immediately after receiving the award, Prof. Madhok donated full amount of the award to Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti for the noble work the Samiti is doing in restoring the history of the nation and also propagation of Samskrit. Last year, the award was given to Dr S.R. Rao.
Former Governor of Goa and Sikkim Kidarnath Sahni, VHP president Ashok Singhal, RSS National Executive Member Indresh Kumar, veteran RSS Pracharak Thakur Ram Singh and Delhi Prant Sanghachalak Ramesh Prakash Sharma were present on the occasion. Receiving the award Prof. Madhok said the politics of the country must be rooted in Hinduism. “The thinking of double standard will not work at all. Only a Hindu polity can truly be secular and can provide equal rights to the minorities,” he said.
11. HAL FINALIZING ROADMAP FOR CIVILIAN PASSENGER AIRCRAFT: Aerospace and defence manufacturing giant Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is preparing a roadmap for implementation of its "dream project" to produce the country's first indigenously developed civilian passenger aircraft. The project is in the planning stage and a final roadmap is being prepared so that work on it could be started soon.
"It has been conceived as a dream project of HAL and we are in the process of finalizing the finer details," a top official of the company said.
The project is considered to be a major leap in Bharat's civil aviation sector and its successful completion would put the Bangalore-based PSU in the league of some of the leading global players.
12. JANA GANA MANA CONFERRED AS BEST NATINAL ANTHEM: UNESCO has announced that the Indian national Anthem "Jana Gana Mana ...." is the best National Anthem in the world. Jana Gana Mana was written in Sanskritised Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore. It was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress, on 27 December 1911. The Constituent Assembly of India officially adopted this song as the Indian National Anthem on 24 January 1950. A formal rendition of Jana Gana Mana takes about forty-eight to fifty-two seconds.
13. HINDU SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH, SACRAMENTO organized the annual Hindu Heritage Camp (HHC) on September 14 at Shri Laxmi Narayan Mandir in which 125 volunteers participated from two shakhas of all age groups. Saraswati Vandana, ice breaker Khel (games), yoga, group activities, art of cloths dyeing in Bandhej style, Quick Relaxation Technique , stories for character building, shlokas, discussions, introduction to different projects to create awareness, and bhajans to divulge bhakti were main activities done in the camp.
14. CABINET NOD FOR CHANDRAYAAN-II: The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave the nod to Chandrayaan-II which is to be an Indo-Russian mission with a projected launch in 2011-12.
Scientists are planning to land a rover on the moon for carrying out chemical analysis of the lunar surface and explore other resources there.
Mineral samples from the moon contained Helium 3, a variant of the gas used in refrigerators, and Chandrayaan-II will also look out for the gas which experts believe may offer a solution to energy shortages. Chandrayaan-II will benefit from the country's maiden moon mission which will survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography over a two-year period. The survey of the lunar surface will help scientists identify the exact place for landing the rover and strategic locations to carry out experiments.
15. GANESH FESTIVAL IN HOLLAND: The Hague, Netherlands hosted the momentous Ganesh Chaturthi Mahotsav (festival) celebrated for the first time ever in mainland Europe.
The three day event from 29th -31st August 2008 was a great success, beyond all expectations creating a unique chapter in the history of the Netherlands. The Vedic ethos of world peace and harmony was not only theorised but physically implemented during the festival by involving the participation of numerous local and international faith and cultural organisations.
16. SANSKRIT GETS A NEW LEASE OF LIFE IN US: A two-day Sanskrit seminar, the first of its kind in Nevada, concluded in Reno with chanting of Sanskrit shlokas (verses) by Andrea Forman, lead singer of Shanti Shanti, the only Sanskrit rock band in the world.
The seminar, attended by about 36 participants, proclaimed January 12 as Sanskrit Day in Washoe County, Nevada, apparently the first time any county in the US has dedicated a day to Sanskrit.
'As Hinduism expands in the West, it is important that to understand Hinduism, one should have a working knowledge of Sanskrit,' Robert M Larkin, chairman, Washoe County Commission, who signed and read the proclamation at the inauguration, said.
17. INTEL UNVEILS FIRST MADE-IN-INDIA CHIP: The world’s largest chipmaker, Intel, on September 16 unveiled its latest microprocessor for servers, designed entirely by its Bangalore team and developed in a record two years. The Intel R&D centre in Bangalore designed the Xeon 7400 series processor and it marked the first time that work on the 45 nanometre technology was taken up by the company outside its US home base. A 300-member team from Bangalore undertook the work with support from units in the US and Costa Rica, Intel India president Praveen Vishakantaiah said.
18. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Dr. Shankar Tatwawadi, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will be in Bharat from Oct 10 to attend the ABKM baithak at Vishakhapattanam. Visitors: Dr. Manish Tayal, Shri Ratibhai Shah from UK; Shri Rajesh Shukla from USA; Shri Ashok Chaddha from Germany.
19. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Inevitably every religion converged on an Ideal, in the form of a Person, an Impersonal Being, a Law, a Presence, or an Essence, that had a compelling appeal on people of every land and every age. Inevitably too, all religions began to see that whatever attitudes or activities were in contradiction of their Ideal had to be given up. Renunciation thus became the cornerstone of personal conduct, and the basis of the ethics of all societies. - Swami Vivekananda
JAI SHREE RAM
P.N.BENJAMINA senior RSS leader told me once: "The incidents of violence against Christians are a reaction to the aggressive propaganda and mindless evangelism, abusing the Hindu Gods and indulging in similar activities. The incidents are bloated out of proportion. We have decided not to tolerate intolerance of other faiths. Let the Church declare that there can be salvation outside the Church also, and the whole atmosphere will undergo a radical change…" The real source of danger to the Indian Christian community is not the handful of Hindu extremists. Most of the violent incidents have been due to aggressive evangelising. Other than this there have been few attacks on Christians. Finally the sensitive and sensible Christians must realize that acts of certain groups of Christian evangelists who denigrate Hindu gods and abuse Hindu rituals as barbaric are the root cause of tension between Christian and Hindu communities. Christian leaders known for their erudition, equipoise and empathy should come out in the open to disown such acts of intolerance. The statistical approach implied in the words "the unreached millions" is derogatory to neighbours of other faiths. "Unreached" by whom? When Indian Christians themselves use these phrases, which have originated outside the country, to describe their neighbours living next door to them in the community, Christians should not be surprised if the neighbours are offended. (Dr. Stanley Samartha: Courage for Dialogue)The best and perhaps the only way Indian Christians can bear witness to their faith, is by extending their unconditional love to their neighbours and expecting nothing in return as Jesus Christ showed the world. As such, most of the Indian Christians are against aggressive faith marketing by any religious group because such efforts discredit India's tradition of respecting all religious thought and also runs counter to the true spirit in which the Constitution grants people the right to profess, practice and propagate their faith. Many of the Indian Christians were born into Christianity and some others freely chose to embrace it. They also believe that the Great Commission in the Gospel according to Matthew unequivocally calls us to witness Christ in a pluralistic setting without violating the right of the others to preach, practice and profess his/her faith. Witnessing Jesus cannot in any case be done by questionable means, whether by exploiting people's socio-psychological vulnerabilities or by running down other religions. The Christian injunction to make disciples of all nations in today’s context is best honoured by the bearers of the Good News living exemplary Christian lives and showing respect for the nation’s commitment to pluralism, for the larger public good in a civil society. Conversion of faith, given its life-changing nature, stems from a considered personal experience and is less likely in this day and age to be the stuff of dramatic immediacy.
When India’s Supreme Court ruled, in 1977, that a citizen’s right to "profess, practice and propagate" one’s religion does not include the right to convert another it was merely reaffirming both tradition and the Constitution. We believe that every nation should give primacy to maintenance of public order by ensuring safety and security to the life and property of its citizens. India’s all-encompassing culture and secular Constitution allows not only its citizens but also visitors the freedom of religious practice. But, Article 25 of the Constitution which guarantees that right also subjects it to the maintenance of "public order, morality and health" of the citizenry.
Militant Islam and evangelical Christianity are the two remaining Neanderthals who are still committed to proselytization and religious conversions. India will continue to remain hospitable to all religions only if the Muslim fanatics and the Christian fundamentalists will accept the pluralistic tradition of Hindus which is to consider all religions as equal. Pluralistic Christians and liberated Muslims of India have done that. The overwhelming majority of Hindus practice it.
Fundamentalist Christians assert that they alone are the holders of valid visas to heaven and paradise! Many preachers of the Gospel lay enticing traps for people whom they think must be "saved" at all costs. It is worse still that their attitudes, though they (Christians) are a tiny minority in India, often create counter-reaction from among militant Hindus who sometimes incite violence against Christians. The Hindu fundamentalism is a reaction to the provocations of Christian proselytizers. The fanatics among the Christian faith will soon realize that theirs is a losing battle even if they derive their financial and other means of support from the wealthy nations overseas. Will the Christians listen to the words of sanity of Dr. Ken Gnanakan, well known Christian scholar who told this writer the other day: "Preach Christ, but do not condemn others". Even Jesus said in John 3.17 – "God did not send his Son to condemn the world..." ? (Deccan Herald, 23/09/08)
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN BHARATIt is necessary to respond yet again to the invasive interference in Bharatmata’s culture. This time the interference has been the assassination of Sri Swami Laxmananandaji Sarasvathi prompting the Vishva Hindu Parishad to respond in pain and anger to this barbaric act. The VHP speaks of the menace of Maoist and Jehadi terrorism and increasingly violent Christian proselytisation activities. The Swami was killed because he prevented Hindus from converting to Christianity. Foreign churches are obviously aided by Indian subordinates and brainwashed thugs to do their dirty work for them. If it is not obvious to Christians, Muslims, Baha’is and Maoists that their presence in India is an absolute embarrassment to peace loving Hindus, Buddhists and Jains then there is something very seriously wrong somewhere. All intelligent, religiously enlightened people know that at the cultural level India is a very remarkable country. It is the first country in the world to have expressed herself at the religious level by producing the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures that spawned many schools of religion and philosophy. It continuously gives the world great teachers such as Rishis, Avatars, Acharyas, Mahatmas, Swamis and others.
Dr. Thillayvel Naidoo
Dr. Thillayvel Naidoo
From this arises the most important question Semitic peoples will ever face in their history. Precisely what spiritual message have Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha’is and Maoists ever given to India? Four religions were born in the Middle East under what must be perceived as very dubious if not deceitful circumstances. The biographies of Jesus and Mohammed make this very clear. Is it not the duty of religiously decent people to face this question with a sense of integrity? Those of us with a very deep love for India’s cultural heritage carry this ever growing burden of having to face these compunctionless, invasive intrusions into India. They obviously have incredible financial resources for their activities motivated by a demented inferiority complex. Painfully despondent Hindus are not similarly motivated. They, aware of these immoral activities, watch to become culturally insecure in their own country. One is forced to ask in all seriousness if people like Jesus and Mohammed ever had the decent intelligence to foresee in their time this unfolding scenario. The appeal is made for Christians and Muslims to put aside their competitive ideals and attitudes of superiority to outdo each other in winning converts.
That many churches build schools, clinics, dispensaries and social service facilities in India is acknowledged. If a man is given a fish he eats for a day. If he learns to fish he eats for the rest of his life. Will these churches and others never have the brain to understand that if Hindu organizations are taught to establish such institutions for themselves, as many do, they would view their own shortcomings more intelligently and learn to help themselves without having to wait for handouts from unscrupulous foreigners? If Hindus had any self-respect they would never allow others to practice charity on them. India is a growing economic power. It is Twenty20 cricket’s financial powerhouse and Bollywood makes Hollywood look like a midget. What sense is there to continuously practice charity on her? It is not difficult to conclude that western churches are run by conniving thugs. I will deeply appreciate the opportunity to face in open, public debate the details of these issues. A meeting must be convened by the World Council of Churches, World Conference for Religion and Peace, UNESCO, the Catholic or any other Church that will have the decency to explain honestly how Hindus can best understand missionary behaviour. Are there any decent Christians and Muslims worldwide who can offer valid explanations for it? They are obliged to say how the presence in India of any religion of Middle Eastern origin can be morally justified. I go down on my knees to beg them to say precisely who this God is that spawned these religions that have no respect for India’s culture. I want desperately for them to say what they see wrong with our Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Religion), if they have the intelligence to understand it. My suspicions are they never will. But we will wait in patient anticipation. (The author, based in South Africa, is a regular receipent of 'SAMVAD')