Archive for August, 2012

a saga of death and denial


I had written this article for Centre Right India (facebook, twitter, website) and present it here with some minor modifications and with an addendum wherein I have analysed the article by Banajit Hussain that appeared in The Hindu on 8th August, virtually dismissing the existence of Bangladeshi immigration in India. Aberrations may be pointed out. Thank You.

While Tarun Gogoi may dismiss that the entire state of Assam is not burning and only a few districts are it also goes on to highlight the fact that the three times chief minister (since 2001) of the north-eastern state thinks it all right to live in denial. Illegal Immigration of Bangladeshis is a historical problem for Assam and to dismiss the violence as an isolated conflict affecting only a few districts is outright silly. This matter is a cause of much concern and a source of constant strife between the migrants and the majority Assamese communities (Rajbongshis, Mishings, Rabhas, Tiwas, Boros, Axomiyas, Bengalis, etc). The political clout of the still-in-majority-but-god-knows-for-how-long primarily Hindu tribes is getting diminished by a flood of migrants from the neighboring country who are mostly Muslims. Some see this as a sinister ISI-backed design by anti-India forces to destabilize the insurgency hit North Eastern part of the country while still others as a grand plan of Bangladesh and Pakistan to Islamize India (Greater Bangladesh or greater Pakistan as they call it). Indigenous Muslims in Assam thus feel isolated in such conflicts because it is almost always impossible to distinguish between a genuine Bengali Muslim from India and one who has come from across the border. It is quite another thing that though the Urban class from Assam is quite vocal about illegal migration nothing much has transpired on ground. The trials and tribulations of Assam Agitation are still fresh in the minds of many but Assam continues to see an upsurge in its population of the Muslim Bengali and this has been a cause of much cultural and socio-economic conflict in this part of the country, where resources are limited for the teeming millions.

map of assam sowing the lower brahmaputra districts

I will not get into further historical anecdotes but the IMDT Act, 1983 which was struck down by honorable Supreme Court of India in 2005 (thanks to the efforts of former AGP legislator and incumbent BJP member Sarbananda Sonowal of Dibrugarh) virtually ensured that Bangladeshis who illegally entered India after 25th March, 1971 stay put in Assam and further consolidate their hold in the state. A window opening of more than two decades where the onus was on the accuser to prove that the accused was not from the country is more than a state could afford. I often think why was the Foreigner’s Act, 1946 amended to make it more immigration friendly when the Assam Agitation’s main purpose was to piggy bank on the discord between the indigenous and non-indigenous Assamese an push the illegal entrants out of the state? Perhaps a mutual understanding of sorts! First the Hiteshwar Saikia government in tandem with Indira Gandhi framed the IMDT Act in 1983 in wake of the Nellie Massacre (February, 1983) and two years down the line, in 1985, a lollipop was served which saw Asom Gana Parishad, led by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, coming to power in Assam. It is Nehruvian to frame laws for short-term benefits discounting national interest and the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act was no exception.

In the above historical context, it has become clear that Assam has reached the stage that no political party can dream to come to power without the help of the Bangladeshis and thus everyone continues to have a casual approach to this matter. Whether INC, AIUDF or the politically reduced AGP, all need the minorities to win seats. While some are emotionally attached to the Bangladeshis for cultural affinities or otherwise others might not be but ultimately it puts a question on the fight between limited resources between Assamese and the Bangladeshis. The Bodoland riots are a reflection of that angst, unaddressed by the Central and State government in the way it is required. There is absolutely no urgency felt by the incumbents at Dispur or at New Delhi to make illegal immigration an offence in Assam. Fencing of the border, albeit a slow and difficult task, empowering and managing the BSF efficiently and making stringent laws to curb down on infiltration are genuine demands by the citizenry of Assam concerned about their future and that of the state. Amidst this is the chasm shared by indigenous Muslims of Assam. They often bear the brunt of being either sympathetic towards their brethren from the other side of the border or plain confused or merely angry. So far the government continues to be indifferent to the plight of Assamese Hindu tribes this problem will hardly cool down.

map of dhubri showing the area in red where brahmaputra cuts into bangladesh

Coming to July, 2012, the riots in Kokrajhar and neighboring districts of Assam which have so far left at least 77 people dead, many missing and almost 4 lakh displaced (all approximate official figures only), is just a marker of the times to come. Tension was building up in Kokrajhar right from the first week of July when unidentified gunmen shot and killed two Muslims (leaders of All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union and the All Assam Minority Students’ Union) on 4th July at Magurmari which was followed by retaliatory killing of four former Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT) members on 19th July at Joypur. That resulted in an array of killing and counter killings that soon engulfed most of Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri. Lakhs of Bodos and Muslims were displaced without medical or ration facilities. Trains entering or moving out of North East were badly hit causing much inconvenience to the public at large while the center and the state government decided to wait and watch and slept over it for almost 4 days. A chronology of events wants answers to many baffling questions including the indifference of the Indian state over loss of lives and precautionary methodologies adopted in advance.

4th July: Two minority student union leaders killed in Magurmari by unidentified gunmen

19th July: Two more minority students were lynched by unidentified gunmen. People fail to identify the miscreants and tension simmers in the area.

20th July: Four former BLT members killed at Joypur by armed Muslims in retaliation

23rd July: PM Manmohan Singh instructs CM Tarun Gogoi to do whatever it takes to restore peace

24th July: Stone pelting at Guwahati bound Rajdhani Express by miscreants at Srirampur railway station (Kokrajhar district)

24th July: Centre deploys paramilitary forces and 13 columns of the Indian Army

24th July: Amidst continuing violence, shoot-at-sight orders issued in Kokrajhar

25th July: Indian Army conducts flag marches

26th July: Shoot-at-sight order extended to an indefinite period in Kokrajhar and night-curfews imposed in Chirang and Dhubri districts

26th July: CM Tarun Gogoi finally visits Kokrajhar after a delay of so many days (which raises important question over the reason for such laxity) and announced Rs 6 lakh as compensation to the closest kin of those who were dead and assured that people who were rendered homeless or displaced would be provided new houses at government expenses. He also assured that peace would soon return to the violence-affected areas. Besides the clichés nothing concrete came out and we perfectly understand why

28th July: PM Manmohan Singh visits Kokrajhar and said he was closely working with the state government to provide a sense of security to all affected areas and to ensure that they can go back to their houses in the knowledge that their lives and livelihood are secure. Singh said Rs 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of those who died and Rs 50,000 to the injured. He announced Rs 100 crore for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people in the six affected districts, Rs 100 crore as Special Plan assistance for development programmes in the affected areas and another Rs 100 crore under the Indira Awaas Yojana. Rs 30,000 each would be given to those, whose houses were completely damaged, Rs 20,000 under the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to those whose houses were partially damaged. The prime minister ordered an inquiry committee to be set up to look into the violence and directed the state government to provide security to the affected people so that they can go back home. Much like the CM of Assam, Manmohan’s visit was high on political rhetoric and less on substance. If money could buy peace then the world would have been a much peaceful place but sadly it doesn’t

28th July: Tarun Gogoi said that the late arrival of central forces, including the Army, led to the spread of clashes in the State. So the buck stops nowhere when it comes to taking responsibilities

It is quite clear from the above that the response from the State and the Centre has been awfully late and merely in announcing cash discounts to the affected most of whom will have to undergo bureaucratic hassles as and when peace gets restored which is not the solution to this problem. Not once did, either the PM or the CM, touch upon the issue of illegal immigration and the tensions thereof. A fact-finding team from BJP, led by Vijay Goel, did touch upon the issue but the party hardly has a voice in the state. It said, “Timely action could have been taken, but the State government failed to assess and control the situation because of its vote-bank politics.” It also pointed that Illegal migration was at the heart of the problem, as the Assam government neither bothered to prepare the National Register of Citizens nor identified the illegal migrants, especially Muslims from Bangladesh and asked the border with Bangladesh to be sealed.” Most political parties and journalists pounced on the BJP labeling their stand reeking of political opportunism. Understandingly so! Some journalists and a large section of the minority community on the contrary even said that the bogey of Bangladeshi immigration is a hyperbole! Sibalism is making inroads.

Vast stretches of the Assam-Bangladesh border are porous and somewhere it is almost impossible to have fencing, especially where the mighty Brahmaputra cuts into the neighboring state in Dhubri. Constant and closely monitored guarding, adoption of scientific patrolling in the border areas, efficient intelligence gathering, proficient maintenance of the National Register of Citizens are some of the ways by which infiltration can be checked but it requires strong political will which is hard to come by in a state which depends majorly on who the Bangladeshis vote and so far that happens it’s only a matter of time before a similar event erupts and the Assamese society gets further divided on lines of religion and a communal fire engulfs the whole state leaving no room for Mr. Tarun Gogoi to indulge in wordplay.

Meanwhile, media’s role has been hardly surprising. For the first week it tried to suppress the story but in today’s world of active citizenry on social media it is hard to fool people and hide facts or present them in the desired way to suit political or corporate agendas. Unethical comparisons were made to allegedly larger riots in India as if riots are a commodity requiring attention only when casualties are of a particular scale. (In reality, riots are to be reported when it happens in a particular state.) When it became clear that they can no longer hide it – when casualties kept mounting up, reports began appearing in newspapers from as late as 23rd July, hitting headlines only a day later. Journalists kept inflating the agony of the Muslims while downplaying the issue of illegal infiltration or the Bodo dilemma and suffering. The Hindu kept on harping how Muslims who have been living there for ages (didn’t mention for how long) were targeted. The problems of the Bodos, slowly being driven to a minority status were ignored and they were almost always referred to as “militants.”

are all these ancestors of early migrants mr banajit hussain?

Kokrajhar continues to boil and while the media continues to downplay the event and so does the central and state government it is for the aam junta at large to decide the course of their land free from alien encroachment. It must continue pushing its governing bodies for sincerity in identifying genuine Indian citizens and pushing out illegal ones so that the fight for resources is legitimate and doesn’t spiral down to a black hole because as we clearly see the blame will not be put on the responsible parties (the Indian National Congress in this case) but made into a general issue of how all political parties are the same and Indians themselves are apathetic to concerns of the poor Bangladeshis who provide cheap labor ignoring the fact that they indulge in population explosion, demographic change, cultural change, social tensions, land grabbing, arson n crime besides being a threat to national integrity.

Most of the articles I read in newspapers and newsmagazines were their usual self saying the humanitarian crisis needs to be contained, both Hindu Bodos and Muslims Bengalis (from Bangladesh) are equally to be blamed, Bodos must not forget their violent past, Muslims Bengalis have often not adhered to law and order themselves but what struck me hard was an article by some former scholar Banajit Hussain who puts Kapil Sibal to shame (of zero loss theory fame in 2G Scam) when he dismisses illegal Bangladeshi immigration as a bogey and goes on to present an analysis of Kokrajhar’s growth model to imply that all Muslims in Assam are descendants of early settlers, since circa 1901. Phew!

Banajit Hussain first says that in the period of 1901 to 1941, Assam’s population increased from 3.3 million (assuming all of them to be indigenous) to around 6.7 million of which Muslims comprised some 1.7 million which was way beyond the projected figure of 0.9 million (assuming the state grew in sync with the national figure of 75%). The additional 0.8 million Muslims he says were peasants who migrated from Bangladesh and occupied many parts of lower Assam, majorly Goalpara where their population in the span of 1901-1931 stood at 0.5 million. He then asks the Election commissioner of India, Harishankar Brahma, himself a Bodo, where are the descendants of those early settlers? I mean, why ask the question to him? They are very much there thriving in Assam and multiplying and bringing more of their kind. Mr Brahma merely said that illegal Bangladeshis (taking into the period since India became independent and not a loony 1901-1941 Mr Hussain talks of instead) are behind the (Kokrajhar) violence, and that this stream of migration into Assam started during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mr Hussain prefers to ignore his assertions and understandably so. Migration of Bangladeshis into India has been happening since time immemorial and what Mr Hussain wrote is simply an assertion of that fact though he actually wanted to deny it. I mean the early settlers formed a base in Assam all right but they breed like what to ensure that their growth of population remained well above the national average ever since I have known (read the growth model from 1971 to 2001). The 2001-2011 growth chart would be no exception.

Let me break it down for the sake of clarity. Mr Hussain talks of 1901-41 when Muslims grew alarmingly in Assam but India wasn’t independent then. Mr Brahma talked of illegal immigration in the span of 1960s and 1970s of independent India. Mr Hussain says they (the ones from 1960s and 1970s) are not migrants but descendants of early settlers. Ok! Assuming the base of even 1971 weren’t Muslims then supposed to grow at the national average (since that is the hypothesis taken by Mr Hussain) and not by a margin of almost 25% greater in the period since then. Mr Hussain can wittingly assume the national growth to extrapolate Muslim population in pre-independence times but prefers to ignore the growth percentage after the liberation of Bangladesh or is he poor with percentages?

In the earlier paragraphs he cries that people assume that entire Muslim population in lower Assam is illegal. I mean does he assume himself to be the only smart person on earth or does he follow dimwits like himself? If he had cared to follow right wing groups he would notice that it’s precisely them who have cared to segregate the fact that in the melee of violence indigenous Assamese Bengali Muslims are also suffering but they prefer to ignore it and cry bias because that paints them as victims when actually the largest noise against illegal Bangladeshi immigration should have been made by indigenous Assamese Muslims themselves. They ignore that and prefer to write tepid articles of bias and all that blah and rants against Hindu right-wing. Clichéd!

Towards the end Mr Hussain gives an example of Kokrajhar saying that population base of Muslims in the state has been only marginally rising ignoring the fact that the district has seen a continuous chain of violence and Muslims have been forced to flee from the district to other areas where the Assamese populace has been vocal but far more accommodating. In any case they comprise some 20% of Kokrajhar’s population as per 2001 but the growth has reduced in 2001-2011 implying the plight of Muslims from the district. He wouldn’t care to examine the neighboring districts of Goalpara and Dhubri because that would expose him out right. The rest of the article is as hogwash as it can be.

So in a nutshell, his article further reinforces that Muslims either breed in huge numbers or continue migrating into India and in districts where they try to consolidate their numbers against the majority they are pushed out and then these kinds of scholars cry foul by publishing bogus articles never caring to concentrate their energy on the fact that millions of Bangladeshis in India is a glaring reality, no matter how much they cry. Period!

Advertisements

swimming at london olympics 2012


Swimming is one of the most watched sports at Olympics and the pool is where many medals are won by individual athletes, records are broken and stars born and this year has been no exception. We got to see some interesting rivalries between Lochte, Phelps, Yang and Tae-Hwan in men’s swimming and Shiwen, Coutts, Soni, Kromowidjojo and Gerasimenia in women’s swimming.

The largest contingent of swimmers this time were from China (51), America (49), Australia (47), Great Britain (44), Italy (35), Russia (35), Hungary (32), Canada (33), France (31), Germany (30), Japan (29) and South Africa (20). All the above countries won at least one medal with the exception of Italy and Germany. America, China and France meanwhile ruled the pools in terms of Gold medal and also Australia and Japan in terms of total medals won.

An analysis of medal trends vis-a-vis the 2000 Sydney Olympics indicate just one thing, the rise and rise of China.

total medal count in swimming

2000: America was right at the top with 33 medals (14G,8S,11B) followed by Australia with 18 medals (5G,9S,4B) and Netherlands with 8 medals (5G,1S,2B). China was no where in the scene.

2004: America was right at the top with 28 medals (12G,9S,7B) followed by Australia with 15 medals (7G,5S,3B) and Japan with 8 medals (3G,1S,4B). China won a gold and a silver to finish 10th.

2008: America was right at the top with 31 medals (12G,9S,10B) followed by Australia with 20 medals (6G,6S,8B) and Great Britain with 6 medals (2G,2S,2B). China scaled up further with 1 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze and finished 7th.

2012: While America still sits comfortable at the top China has dislodged Australia and is placed 2nd while the later has been pushed to 6th place.

Michael Phelps won the most number of medals all over again with 4G, 2S followed by Missy Franklin with 4G, 1B and Allison Schmitt with 3G, 1S, 1B

Here is a brief description of all multiple gold medal winners.

MEN:

1)      Michael Phelps (USA, 4G,2S)

clos (south africa, silver), phelps (america, gold), korotyshkin (russia, silver) at 100m butterfly

He had come to his third and perhaps last Olympics with 14 gold medals (6 in Athens and 8 in Beijing) already in his kitty and an appetite to get gold all over again in his pet events of butterfly, medley and relay but he was cut short by American Ryan Lochte in the 400m individual medley to an outside podium finish. Phelps buckled up and went on to win gold in the 200m individual medley outclassing Lochte to contend with silver. He further won the 100m butterfly but lost the 200m butterfly to South African swimmer Chad le Clos. He ended the event on a high winning the 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays and getting silver in 4x100m freestyle relay which was won by France. He finished the games with an all time medal haul of 22 medals (18G,2S,2B) surpassing Larisa Latynina of former Soviet Union who had won 18 overall medals in gymnastics (9G,5S,4B)

2)      Ryan Lochte (USA, 2G, 2S, 1B)

pereira (brazil, silver), lochte (america, gold), hagino (japan, bronze) at 400m individual medley

Prior to London Olympics Lochte had never won gold in any previous Olympics but he was the major challenger to Phelps in the medley; the longer of which (400m) he comfortably won (Phelps was 4th) though he lost to Phelps in the shorter course (200m). Lochte was part of the gold winning American 4x200m freestyle relay team and the silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay team. He also won a bronze in 200m backstroke which was won by American Tyler Clary.

3)      Sun Yang (China, 2G,1S,1B)

tae-hwan (south korea, silver), yang (china, gold), vanderkaay (america, bronze) at 400m individual medley

Competing in his first Olympics the freestyle Chinese swimmer heralded the arrival of China in international swimming winning the 400m and 1500m freestyle in great style. His rivalry with South Korean Park Tae-Hwan is well-known and he ensured the Korean goes home without a single gold. Park was second in 400m freestyle and 4th in 1500m freestyle. Sun and Park were tied for the silver in the 200m freestyle which was won by Frenchman Yannick Agnel. Sun Yang was also part of the bronze winning 4x200m freestyle relay team.

4)      Nathan Adrian (USA, 2G,1S)

adrian after winning the 100m freestyle gold

Adrian is a short course freestyle swimmer and proved his worth winning the 100m freestyle by 1/100th of a second against Australian James Magnussen. He was part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay and silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay.

5)      Matt Grevers (USA, 2G,1S)

a joyous grevers on winning the 100m backstroke gold

Grevers is a short course backstroke swimmer and won the gold in 100m backstroke. He was part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay and silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay.

WOMEN:

1)      Missy Franklin (USA, 4G,1B)

franklin with her 200m backstroke gold

The 17 year old teenager debuted at Olympics with a bang. Backstroke is her forte and she won both the versions (100m and 200m) in great style breaking national and world records. She was part of the gold winning 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams as also the bronze winning 4x100m freestyle relay team.

2)      Allison Schmitt (USA,3G,1S,1B)

schmitt (left, america) being congratulated by barratt (australia, bronze) at 200m freestyle

Schmitt is a freestyle swimmer and won gold in 200m and silver in 400m and broke the national records in both the swims. She was part of the gold winning 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams as also the bronze winning 4x100m freestyle relay team.

3)      Dana Vollmer (USA,3G)

an ecstatic vollmer after her world record breaking performance in 100m butterfly

Vollmer won the 100m butterfly gold breaking the world record and was part of the gold winning 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay teams.

4)      Rebecca Soni  (USA,2G,1S)

suzuki (japan, silver), soni (america, gold), yefimova (russia, bronze) at 200m breaststroke

Soni is a breaststroke swimmer and won gold in 200m and silver in 100m breaking the world record in the former. She was part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay team.

5)      Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands,2G,1S)

gerasimenia (belarus, silver), kromowidjojo (holland, gold), veldhuis (holland, bronze) at 50m freestyle

She is a freestyle swimmer and won gold in both the 50m and 100m events outclassing Belarusian Aleksandra Gerasimenya to contend with silvers. She was also part of the silver winning 4x100m freestyle relay team.

6)      Ye Shiwen (China,2G)

xuanxu (china, bronze), shiwen (china, gold), beisel (america, silver) at 400m individual medley

With country mate Sun Yang setting the men’s pool on fire the 16 year old teenager won gold in both the individual medleys (200m, 400m) creating an Olympic record in the former and a world record in the later. Her remarkable wins met with apprehensions by critics but hers has been a remarkable feat and I congratulate her for that.

Notice Board:

Ullalmath Gagan (India)

ullalmath gagan

He was the lone Indian in the pool finishing last among the thirty one 1500m freestyle swimmers with a timing of 16m 31.14s. The event was won by Chinese sensation Sun Yang with a world record timing of 14m 31.02s, a difference of almost 2m with respect to the Indian. Can you even imagine what can a person do in 2 minutes? No wonder China is so ahead of us in almost every sport.

Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania, 100m breaststroke gold)

an emotional ruta after winning the 100m breaststroke

Ruta is only 15 years old and one of the youngest gold medalist from the pools and from a country not known for producing international class swimmers. Ruta won the gold against all odds and in a time of 1m 5.47s narrowly leaving American Rebecca Soni settle for a silver by a margin of just 0.08s. She participated in the 50m and 100m freestyle events too but failed to qualify. I wish her all the very best for all her future endeavors. Lithuania had a small swimming contingent of 4 swimmers.

i defend till i die : john dayal


Sri Sri John Dayal Ji,

Hope you don’t mind me addressing you with the adage “Sri Sri” usually reserved for highly revered people in India of the likes of Mr Ravi Shankar but even if you mind I wouldn’t dither. I actually felt very sorry that “Sanghi trolls” are at your neck on twitter. Forgive them o savior of India’s national integration, for they know not what they do.

sri sri john dayal ji (secular)

I read your worthless article which you wrote in Outlook defending the sorry tales of sex and scandal in Indian churches which was unsurprisingly full of anti-Hindu clichés and I felt like puking but quickly realized Hinduism doesn’t allow knowingly puking on paper which we consider as an embodiment of goddess Saraswati. Besides, by now, I have gotten used to Outlook quite often carrying such apologies for their reports because it’s a cruel world out there and they have to sell copies even at the cost of ethical journalism. Kancha Ilaiah, Meera Kandaswamy and your highness belong to the ever increasing flock of sensational writers, full of crass and no substance.

I have been following you on twitter for quite a while now and I know your ingrained hatred towards Hinduism and a cursory glance at your tweets, articles and defenses says it all but you see despite all your nobility the world still fails to see the good work done by the likes of Mother Teresa and still harps on the duplicity of the church. I pity you. Despite a “secular” government at the centre how dare a one-penny magazine carry an article on the scandals of the churchdom with “the publicity photograph of a rather bad actress playing a nun?” Is Rajshri Ponnappa listening?

You begin your article saying “It is no consolation that the media also covers the sexual peccadilloes of Hindu savants including Shankaracharyas and even those who think of themselves as avatars of God” the latter of which you elaborate when you say that “Weekly and Blitz, now defunct, did cover stories on the late Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, accusing him of homosexuality” and then you go on crying how Outlook indulges in sensationalism and that “the damage has been done, and a mere apology alone won’t do.” Pardon my ignorance o noble one but exactly who apologized to whom and where? You lament the fact that the church is primarily indulged in spreading smiles and only a minority, who are only humans, indulge in corruption, manipulations, sodomy, libido, sex and all that clearly ignoring that Hinduism is also too vast a religion to be associated with just Sai Baba or Shankaracharya. And whether Sai Baba was a homosexual or fake shouldn’t be of anybody’s concern if they conveniently choose to ignore the schools and hospitals he ran just like your Christian demi-gods but that is precisely the problem with honorable citizens of India like you who think every Hindu who confronts you with uncomfortable questions on your arrogance and stupidity is a Sanghi troll and every piece of article that exposes the corruption in church is sensationalism when what you yourself, Mr Dayal, write is precisely that. Well, never mind! And yes, have you read the countless articles appearing in the western press itself that accuse Christ of being gay?

You further point out that the magazine expose comes at a time when the Indian right-wing (you couldn’t say all over again but you meant only the Hindus aggressively championing the cause of their faith as you do for your own and yes how can you exclude yourself from the definition when you yourself are a right-winger! huh!) and fundamentalist groups have been mounting a campaign against the Church. I mean what campaign against the church are you talking about? Rather than crying over it you should file a PIL and follow-up with the independent CBI. That would have been really helpful to contain the right wingers but oh! you can only rant in a magazine because you get space there provided by the powers that be. You don’t have evidence and where you have you would have an equal number, if not more of your own kind, equally involved so the backseat is obvious as also the chest-beating in “secular” newsmagazines.  You say, “A look at the Organiser and Panchajanya, official organs of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is evidence of this.” Evidence of what? Is it a crime to expose the ambitions of the church spreading their faith in India, often illegally and coercively or by various other methodologies it is so well famous for? Your discomfort is visible when you say that many states are going for anti-conversion laws. Why are you so terribly bothered? If your sole purpose is the oh-so-good-work done by the church why do you care about your numbers and not the faith per se or is it that Christianity is the only religion that does good work? You cry about the hounding of the fatherdom but do your care to know how evangelists are a source of constant pain in areas where they are forcibly running their writ?

Your rants continue. “The denial of constitutional rights to Dalit Christians and the utter miscarriage of justice to the victims of the violence in Kandhamal in 2007 and 2008 are a case in point. It does not matter which political party rules, even the Congress governments are guilty. The BJP governments, of course, lead the pack.” Yawn! Blah! Blah! Blah! Let’s get it straight Mr Dayal it’s perfectly constitutional not to recognize Dalit Christians as SC or OBC because only Hindus have to bear the brunt and the infamy of being a divided house. If you preach that all men in your fold are one why do you cry about their rights which are actually reservation you are talking about? Precisely the same dilemma you share with your Muslim brotherhood. And please don’t even talk of Kandhamal. First go and enquire about the murder of Swami Lakshmananda about whom you would never mention. Isn’t it so easy to squarely put the blame on the administration and on Hindus for being minority tormentors without even once looking at your own deeds but oh! you people are secular and so you must be right even if you merely put figments of your imagination as facts. And yes, Dayali ji, you didn’t have to prove your well-known secular credentials by saying that all are guilty and that BJP leads the pack. You are no authority to tell us that.

You then gleefully say “We are not responding with references to Mother Teresa whose love for the poor puts her in the list of top 10 Indians after Mahatma Gandhi” but you just did put in that reference despite the fact that a guttersnipe polling can’t be put in for references and mother Teresa is an entirely different debate. Let’s not get in there for the time being because it’s not about her.

The rest of the article is full of church propaganda which you do best. I understand that you felt angry that Christianity was being sullied by such an article but why glee at the bad in other religions and put that as references and frown at the importance given to the ills in their own. You are a hypocrite of the worst order if you chose to defend your faith shoving all the bad under the carpet by bringing in bad from other religions. It just doesn’t serve the purpose. On the contrary it says a lot about your character and your ambitions. For others, a cursory glance of Dayal’s work is sufficient enough. I need not spend any more time on exposing evangelists who masquerade as secularists, a norm in our country and so far this continue such articles, meant for the sewer, will keep making guest appearances.