Monday, April 19, 2010



By Shree Vinekar and Seshachalam Dutta

Published 01/06/2008 Indian Politics

This is a sequel to “Terrorism: An Indian Perspective” originally published on and republished on


Demo-narchy Of Democratic Republic of India - 2

After condemning the brutal assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and with all due sympathies to late Benazir Bhutto’s family, it is imperative to examine the precedence being set by her in the South Asian Subcontinent to perpetuate dynasties within democracies to control the destiny of the country and its political parties from the grave as if these are personal estates that can be bequeathed in ones last will. If political leaders of the country start bequeathing their personal estates through their last will, there would be no questions asked, although any last will could be legally challenged by legitimate interests. If Kings and Queens in the 21st Century appoint their heirs to the throne that may be quite understandable.

There is really no custom or convention in the constitutional law or in the political parties for such a phenomenon. Nepotism during the lifetime of the political leaders is reluctantly accepted by their followers. Bilawal Bhutto, Rahul Gandhi and Pankaj Singh each may be viewed as the heir apparent for their respective party leadership positions in remote future. The difference is Bilawal, as precocious as he is, is appointed as per the last will the chairman of the party in absentia with proxy given to his father Assif Ali Zardari now newly renamed “Bhutto Zardari.”

Bilawal’s lofty statements regarding his faith in democracy and avenging his mother’s assassination through democracy are normal expressions of a grieving and mourning teenager but alas he does not see how democracy is highjacked in his political party. Of course, Pakistan has never been a true democracy and, at the very least, is more immature for a democracy than India. What is interesting though is that the population in India and Pakistan seems to take such developments in their political history in stride without any protestation.

There are ample number of responsible and mature citizens in both countries that not only look askance but justify these practices as necessary given the political immaturity of the population. There are many factors that play a part in such events and this essay will examine the historical, cultural, and other roots of such political immaturity both in Pakistan and India leading to a mindset that prefers “Demonarchy” in the South Asian or Indian Subcontinent. Necessarily the focus will not be exclusively on Pakistan. A non-compartmentalized, compare and contrast, approach will be used to illustrate the phenomena.

Some thoughts on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination from an Indian perspective may be in order prior to delving into the reasons for and consequences of “Demonarchies” in South Asian Subcontinent.

It appears that Benazir Bhutto believed in a form of Islam that does not exist. For example, she believed in a myth that assassination of a woman was unthinkable in Islam. After her reentry into Pakistan even after the attack by suicide bombers who killed 140 individuals she courageously left her position in house arrest admonishing the Muslims approaching her that she was a woman and not to be harmed by a good Muslim. She forgot the pointblank shootings in the head of women by Taliban captured on the video.

She had unwittingly supported Taliban as well as the Saudis among whom the Wahabis routinely behead women. One has to wonder how she developed such conviction of her invulnerability and her faith in chivalrous Muslims and especially in the harmlessness of terrorist Islamists.

Surely she was aware of the risks and had a premonition that she could fall victim to terrorists and so wrote her last will two days before her assassination. It indicates that her convictions regarding no fellow Muslim harming her because of her status as a woman and as a beloved political leader may have been a “denial” of Islam approving homicidal violence against women. She needed such denial, psychologically, and it may have had its unconscious roots in her exposure to Hindu culture. Conversely, this idea of “Islam” as stated in the previous statement does not represent, necessarily, the true spiritual philosophy of Islam but, rather, the skewed and grey-lined idea of primitive fundamentalist Islam which incorporates “laws” punishable by inhumane force.


This brings us to examine closely the cultural affinity the Pakistani Muslims have with Indian Muslims and Hindu culture rather than the Arabic ethos as erroneously some Muslims would like to believe. Even among the converted Indian Muslims their original caste, skin color, and “khaan-daan” is a major consideration in matrimonial arrangements. They also seem to marry with Muslims speaking the same local language rather than one who speaks only Urdu. Their apparel and food habits and culture are closer to the culture of their domicile state or region. They have friendly relationship with their non-Muslim neighbors and generally they fit in very well in the cosmopolitan cities in India and generally all over India amongst Hindus unless instigated by politicians or terrorist fundamentalist Mullahs.
This fact is not known to many non-Indians and especially the Muslims residing in foreign countries who do not seem to know that India has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia. That is not to deny that many would like to imitate their Arabian Islamic brethren and assume that their original culture was Arabic because their religion took birth in Arabia and/or they were indoctrinated to do so. In actuality most Indian and Pakistani Muslims do not have a biologically speaking Arabic or Middle Eastern racial identity.

They are all typically classified as belonging to an “East Indian” race along with the Hindus in India.

“Yad hai jub utara caravan hamara – Sare Jahanse Accha Hindoasatan Hamara” (Do you remember our caravan coming down here? Our Hindustan is better than the entire world”) are the words of Iqbal, himself a grandson of a Kashmiri Brahmin, reminding the Pakistani and Indian Muslims that they are the descendents of the invaders who entered India on caravans. Such cultural miseducation is deeply rooted in the Pakistani and Indian Muslim minds. For example Pakistan took pride in naming its missile after an invader Ghori but no self respecting Indian will name an Indian missile Alexander although there may be residual Greek “blood” in some Indians.

This has presented a confusion of identity for the Muslims in India and in addition created a serious conflict of loyalty with half their heart pulled to Arabia though those who tried to live in middle East have sadly discovered that their social status in those countries is not elevated simply by virtue of their religion and that the status of Indian or Pakistani Muslims is not equal to that of the Middle Eastern Muslims in the Middle East.
Benazir had the same psychological need to identify with her Western Muslim neighbors rather than accept her cultural roots as Indian Sindhi. Such sympathetic identification may also be a reason for her deluding herself with denial of inhumanities of the Middle Eastern and Afghan fundamental Islam and the reason for her belief in a more humane Islam surrounding her than that was in actuality. Otherwise she would have insisted on stronger security from the government although it can now be questioned whether such was lacking by design.

Muslims of Indian Subcontinent have no distinct linguistic identity

Most Pakistani and some Indian Muslims consider Urdu as their mother tongue instead of Arabic. Urdu is a language born in India with Hindi grammar and structure with Parsee and some Arabic words interspersed. Many Urdu scholars and writers are Hindu, for example, Munshi Premchand. Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee is one such person who is proficient in Urdu and had excellent rapport established with General Parvez Musharraf. Neither Musharraf nor Vajpayee considered India or Pakistan as Banana Republics to allow foreign elements to enter freely to investigate internal matters.

What is amazing in the life and death of this leader, Benazir, is the generic problem of identity incidental to separation and partition from India that is the problem of Pakistan. This problem is in the psychological need to deny that the population of Pakistan has a Hindu soul with all its faults as illustrated below with many examples. The Pakistanis are cut out of the same cloth as the Indian Muslims and even the Hindus of India.

The evidence for this statement is the position of veneration enjoyed by Benazir Bhutto herself. It is only in India where the basic tenet of the society is that “wherever the women are venerated is where even the Gods choose to live.” Where else in the Muslim world other than in the Indian Subcontinent a Muslim woman can be a leader at the helm of a nation? This is true only for Bangladesh once and twice in Pakistan. The latter is still in its identity crisis trying to discover its soul. In Bangladesh there is no question the identity is easy for an average citizen as there is close identification with the Bengali language, literature and culture.

One must admit that Pakistan may have a different religion but not a different national identity as Allama Iqbal conceived. Even Iqbal may not have for psychological and political reasons recognized or accepted that the heart of Hindu soul throbs in all people of the Indian subcontinent. This, of course, cannot be fathomed by Sonia Gandhi, an Italian with legacy of notorious mafia connections and legacy of Nero and most cruel fascist like Mussolini besides her Catholic lineage and limited stay in India during her formative years. She was so quick to accuse the son of the soil, Narendra Modi, of being a “Mout ka saudagar.” It is besides the point that she was promptly reprimanded by the Indian Elections Commission for this expression. Such irresponsible language is inflammatory and adds fuel to fire and the damage done by this distortion may yet to take shape.
Demonization of political opponents presents them as enemies rather than just rivals. The Congress party may have to teach her some manners instead of writing her Hindi speeches in Roman script and setting her up as an empty headed reader. If they do, they may yet win next time even in Gujrat!! Congress when in power has the responsibility to put a stop to creation of a hostile atmosphere. There have been riots even in the times of Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi but they were not blamed then by their political opponents as ‘Moutke Saudagars.” For example 3000 Sikhs were killed in the riots after Indira’s assassination.

The question Sonia and Rahul should have asked in Gujrat was how come the Muslims could not live peacefully and dare to initiate violence against innocent Hindus rather than create a demon out of Modi for responding with bringing the army in to quell the riots on March 1st after they broke out on or around February 28th, 2002, (Godhra train burning of February 27th by terrorists caused these riots) distorted much later by the media who forgot February had only 28 days and not 31 when they reported that Modi waited for 3 days before responding responsibly. It does not behoove well for responsible national leaders and the so called secular media to have such protracted falsifying histrionics over spurious issues that were not any different than with other riots in other eras when the Nehru dynasty was in power; it does not accomplish any good purpose besides further instigating psychotic and sociopathic Islamic terrorists.

As stated in the article on “Terrorism,” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are two internationally recognized major instigators and state supporters of international terrorism, yet strangely they are the trusted allies of the U.S. The recent political events in Pakistan leading to a deplorable and deteriorating tragic condition with increasing focus on virulent terrorism backfiring on their own leaders needed a word to capture this state of affairs. Sadly in the interest of brevity the authors regrettably choose to do so by using the word “Khatumstan.” The British and U.S. encouragement for poor (rich) Benazir Bhutto to return to her beloved Pakistan turned out to be her last journey to her “Khatumstan.” “Khatum” is a word in Urdu and Hindi that means “end” or “finish.” These encouraging foreign political elements did not ensure her safety. The chaos generated after her death, it is feared, may lead to the end of Pakistan at least as we know it today. If that happens, it may also be called “Khatumstan.” The serious thesis of this article is that both India (Hindustan) and Pakistan have a potential to become “Khatumstans” if the destructive political events are not properly grasped by the leadership of both countries. The shape of both these countries could change if the current fragmenting psychosis is not precipitously diagnosed and treated. There is already great activism by expatriate Pakistani citizens mostly residing in U.K. to begin movement to divide Pakistan into many different countries. See Divide Pakistan to Eliminate Terrorism - Syed Jamaluddin

“US: CNN airs mysterious 'Divide Pakistan' advertisements
UK-based author buys spots on news network to advertise book

Times of India
Sunday, March 11, 2007

By Chidanand Rajghatta posting from Washington”

Courtesy “Times of India”

These activists were hoping that Benazir Bhutto would win the elections and support their cause of dividing the country. They were surely dreaming. However, if she lost the elections, they proposed she should become the President of newly created country, Sindhudesh (a new name for Sindh province of Pakistan). All this may be mere hype to sell a book for profits through, it is postulated.
On the other hand, there may be a hand of foreign governments in promoting such exorbitantly expensive propaganda. If so, this leads us to the Part II of our article, Demonarchy in Democratic India-2. There are many American academicians who are predicting that India too will be divided into many countries. Then with such Balkanization as was the fate of Yugoslavia, it will be a Federation of Pakistani states and Federation of Indian states that will emerge in the South Asian subcontinent.
There are many lessons to be learned from the recent events in Pakistan for India. Given the similarity of psychological gestalt of Indian and Pakistani population, regardless of religion, the fragmentation could easily occur if not guarded against with some form of unifying identity which poets like Iqbal tried to instill but may have failed in doing so. Similarly in India there has been any number of visionaries who have tried to unite Hindus or notably also Mahatma Gandhi who tried to unite the entire population both Hindus and Muslims on the basis of a common racial identity and have not succeeded spectacularly. Therefore, both countries are easy prey to the cunning political or even religious imperialistic interests wielding divide and rule tactics. Alas, both countries have failed to recognize who their true friends and foes are and have been taken on a ride for nearly a century now focusing their animosities on each other draining their economies to defend against each other while some other parties are constantly amused and profiting.


First, dynasties die hard even in a democracy. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi representing UPA and Congress can be read like a book by the majority of Gujratis and recognized as fake and lacking in substance. Their sympathies were clearly for the terrorists as expressed by their reluctance to support the Supreme Court decision vigorously supported by Narendra Modi. Name calling a law abiding Chief Minister of Gujrat, a “soudagar of mout” or “merchant of death” for insisting that law of the land be followed especially after the heart of India was systematically attacked by the brutal terrorist was quite absurd. It exposed their lack of loyalty to the victims of terrorism. Such tactics of vote bank placation for solicitation of political favors are quite transparent besides subtly encouraging terrorists against those who oppose them.
Presuming that their dismal defeat in Gurjat is a preview of their fate in the ensuing elections, one can envision the replication of what happened in Gujrat in almost all other states except West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. In the event such wishful thinking does not actualize, one needs to envision future consolidation of dynastic rule in the Indian Republic. If that happens, the Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supported terrorism is likely to show an upheaval. The rest of India will need to recognize that to maintain its present economic engine in the same current momentum terrorism needs to be totally eliminated from India. That means there is no room for sympathizers of terrorists in the Indian politics.
Naturally, it is time that UPA and Congress seek an unceremonious exit from the Indian Political scene in all states. Otherwise under the fake banner of “Secularism” these parties will continue to support minorities defending minority terrorism rather than aligning with the mature, modern, progressive peace loving and anti-terrorist Muslims and other minorities that will pledge allegiance with India that is Bharat.
They are the “soudagars of fake secularism” using the word “secularism” as a marketable shield against a demonized “communalism.” In so doing they will blatantly and subtly support terrorism, cause divisiveness, and unrest in the population at large. What they forget is that even what they call communalism is a phenomenon that springs in reaction to age old endemic terrorism.
The goal of uniting Hindus should not be any less noble than ecumenical movement among the Christians. It would be absurd to call ecumenical efforts communalism. The dynasty survives in India using such illogical psychological warfare with people, constantly profiting from dividing the society rather than trying to unite it, because it buys the vote bank.

Secondly, India is like Pakistan divided by different languages and cultural identities and more so. Currently, the secular Indian identity is not the mode for the majority. Ideally, the standard of secular humanistic nationalism dreamed by developed countries is one divorced from race, religion, language, caste and class, and culture. Such nationalism needs to be the binding force for uniting the entire population of India. Let us face it; India is far from reaching this stage. Pakistan too has the same problem. So long as there is no oath of allegiance for every citizen to be loyal to his or her country, the question of secular national identity becomes moot. There is reluctance among Indians to accept the basic identity of Hinduness and Hindu culture as what is uniting India.
The Bollywood movies and songs smuggling in Hindi language through the movies in many states might lead to a common culture or pop-culture, but that will not arouse the national sentiments in the people to give a unity of spirit. Just on the side, the most cordial relationship between Muslims and Hindus in the Bollywood Film Industry since 1896 is quite remarkable and attests to their humane and human friendship. Just as even in a mature democracy like U.S. politicians routinely respect the “faith” of their constituency and openly align with it in a generic fashion, the politicians in India will need to use this cultural identity to establish rapport with their constituency which forms the majority. Building constituency for political leaders is a major challenge. After the end of the Independence movement and unity against the British, the Indian National Congress has not found any burning overriding principles or issues to develop and foster a national identity. There is no charismatic visionary leader swaying Indian population at large with issues like the social reforms, infrastructure development, national security, anti-terrorism, uniform sustained economic growth and development, elimination of poverty and corruption, uplifting of the disadvantaged, uniform civil code, better government, competing with China in manufacturing, maintaining sustained double digit economic growth, improved healthcare, sound foreign policy, entry into UN security Council, strategies to prevent fragmentation of the country, better educational opportunity for the masses and other widely appealing agendas in a manifesto that a common man on the street can identify with, speaking his/her language. Such talents could develop a constituency in a secular society. Rahul does not seem to have a potential to foot this bill.
In the absence of such secular National leadership, with hypnotizing but sincere appeal to all Indians, the Hindu cultural identity or identification with underprivileged masses, chosen by Mayavathi, as a medium to build a national constituency become viable alternatives. It is never to be anti-national and divisive in nature, in fact, always it is more nationalistic as well as hopefully all inclusive. To accuse such identity as “communal” and those adhering to such identity “saudagars of Dharma” in a pejorative manner is unrealistic. The Majority will wise up to it.
Having a strong identification with the majority is not to be looked down upon. The corrupt thinking that such identification only means that the politician will treat all minorities as second class citizens comes from a paranoia based upon the experiences with the Muslim regimes of the past and is also a vestige of the Colonial era. It is now sixty years since independence. It is high time that Indian people not remain paranoid and brain washed with Jawaharlal Nehru’s antiquated world view about such matters, although it has been swallowed lock, stock, and barrel by the so-called secular English media in India.
If strong efforts are not made by the majority across the length and breadth of India to unite, we can speculate that it will not be too long before we see foreign activism, interference, and financing to fragment India just like the current thrust in fragmenting Pakistan. The current exploitation of a positive transference to the name Nehru and Gandhi is not sufficient to produce a strong nationalistic unifying power like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Rahul is not competent and cannot hold a candle to Jawaharlal Nehru or Indira Gandhi, leave alone Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Weak demonarchs like Sonia and Rahul will not only stymie and stifle even more talented and competent Congress politicians from growth in their popularity within and outside the Congress Party but will also create increasingly weak center that is difficult for people of India to identify with besides silly preference for dynasty rewarding incompetence at the helm of the nation.
That will lead to more powerful autonomous states like Gujrat and Tamilnadu, etc. which might seek separation from the Center especially if instigated by foreign powers. This is only a scenario and not the authors’ reading of the character of these states. The cursory look at the World history should show that the British and other Colonial European powers are adept at surreptitiously fueling violence between different “groups” and profiting by selling arms to both sides and later patronizingly come back with a price to establish peace in the same region they had ignited. India and Pakistan have been made fools once in the Kashmir conflict but are targets for many such future conflicts.
It can be easily surmised that Balochistan, Sindh, Pakhtoon, etc., are easy future targets like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and may be even states much closer to Delhi. These elements have been well suppressed by the military rule in Pakistan but will be difficult to handle if flare up in India. It is crucial therefore that Narendra Modi be recognized as being on target for providing a solution for strong India relying on the National Hindu Unity in the interest of national security and national integrity.
The usual mistake is to misinterpret that Hindus if united are only doing so to bully or fight the minorities. There is no historical basis for such paranoia.

Jawaharlal Nehru was quite astute in recognizing that the Hindu culture was the uniting force for the Indian people as he clearly expressed it in his book “Discovery of India” as “Unity in Diversity,” but his political acumen recognized that political leaders of the Majority will be his strong political rivals and he consciously or unconsciously became averse to them and implemented a divide and rule politics which he had learned so well from the British for political survival. It is conceivable though that if 800 million Hindus unite and organize themselves they may be a formidable force and not to be bullied with irrationalities as is the current plight of the non-united Hindus. Hindus will need to have a social reform to eliminate social evils in their own society and likewise to not allow other primitive people impose their primitive culture and laws upon the women and children of India no matter what religion they belong to.
Freedom to practice ones religion to attain spiritual peace is not to be construed as freedom to encroach upon other peoples’ rights, for example, by polluting the atmosphere with high decibel sounds all hours of the day and night even against the ordinances of the City (and the police) under the name of practice of religion. Such irrationalities will need to be curbed by placing pressure by the majority. Nonviolent persuasion will be the best policy and non-corrupt enforced law and order among the majority and minority will be the next avenue. Modi will be able to demonstrate it in his state of Gujrat. All citizens will need to be educated to carry their civic responsibility.

Third, although there is no central military rule in India the accusation that the Indian government is a Brahmin-Bania (Bumman-Bania) majority venture is like Punjabi Muslims being in control of Pakistan, its politics, economics, business, real estate, and military. Similar perception about India will be deleterious, if it persists sixty years after the independence, although the highly educated barristers and other politicians who led the freedom movement and inherited the political power in India were from the privileged classes.
The solution to this problem is to make education available to all Indians and especially to the underprivileged and encourage higher education in all fields for the underprivileged lower socioeconomic classes regardless of caste or OBC (“Other Backward Classes”) status. This thrust will eventually encourage young men and women from all classes and castes, minority and majority communities, to enter politics to partake in the governance of the country. If this is not done rapidly the divisive elements will replicate what is happening in Pakistan in India.
The question, “What next,” applies to the fate of both countries that have same flaws in their mindsets at a deeper level. India has no room to be complacent while Pakistan is rapidly disintegrating. India too could be on the verge of similar problems because of the weak dynasty trying to hold the fort at the center. It cannot be denied that neither Sonia nor Rahul have the command over the Indian public nor the organizational skills like those demonstrated by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Both countries, India and Pakistan, though not equal, are beset by the same faults. One of them is the irresistible loyalty to dynasties running contrary to democratic traditions, yet trying to fashion a Western type of democracy. This situation is fertile for foreign interference and control to use the puppet masters of the state to achieve the goals of other imperialistic countries. That may be what that threatened the insecure elements in Pakistan that may have sensed foreign hand in Benazir Bhutto’s return. Bilawal and his deputed acting chairman of the party, his father, may also be vulnerable to similar paranoid reactions and perceptions when the time comes for them to assume the helm of the country.
How can there be democracy where there is no democracy internally in the political parties partaking in the democracy? Besides, the morality and ethics, if not the legality, of such practices goes unquestioned. Nineteen year old son not even eligible for party membership is bequeathed the throne of the party with his father as his acting deputy. (Incidentally, Bilawal’s father was once nicknamed Mr. 10% Zardari for his corruption.) This resembles Akbar’s ascension to throne at age of 13 when the concept of democracy did not exist, but Zardari is no non-corrupt Birbal known for his genius. Bairon Khan was the guardian of Akbar who got rid of him in 4 years choosing Birbal as his friend, guide, and philosopher.
With all of her Oxford education Benazir Bhutto observed the tradition of the subcontinent, married one approved or chosen by her mother, unlike Rajiv Gandhi; she behaved like the Moghul kings of the past in naming her heir to the throne. She was sadly assassinated without provocation while Rajiv was a victim of his own military misadventure in Sri Lanka, sending Indian army to kill his fellow Indians settled there.

In the unlikely event of his being elected, will Bilawal bring Western style of “secular” peaceful democracy (secular may be a misnomer for a theocracy which Pakistan truly is) or will he relapse into the nativity on his return is the question, -- as this happens with so many Western educated leaders who on their return to their homelands have half forgotten the values they learned, if they learned them at all at Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard.
The education of children of political leaders of developing countries in these Universities is a sham unless they are inherently brilliant like Jawaharlal Nehru or King Husain of Jordan. Their social promotion is guaranteed and looked askance by faculty for these independently wealthy students who are the political pawns of the future who are sure to return to their countries of origin to assume power and present no threat to employment market, local workers, or professionals. Their Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard qualifications are more often ornamental and are never verified by local employment experts in human resources department as is the sole privilege of the commoners and not of the “royalty” in demonarchies!!
These monarchs in democracy do not have to go through background check to have access to higher than top security issues or documents, with or without official position in the government. They can be the easy targets for foreign espionage and control, so they can maintain stability in the region by catering to their masters. Even though accused of mega corruptions they can repeatedly assume power defying the public interest using their political power and positions to quash the investigative or judicial processes.

Is weakened Pakistan a favorable situation for India? No, if it means upper hand for the primitive Islamists in Pakistan including their terrorist training grounds. Promoting the think tanks to formulate the impact of fragmented Pakistan or some form weakened Pakistan, if not “Khatumstan,” on the west of India is an urgent necessity.

The progressive, moderate, and educated Muslims who love democracy in India and who love India and have been enjoying peaceful pursuit of their businesses and careers need to join these think tanks and help Hindus and other Indians understand that there are truly peace loving friendly civic minded Muslims in India that want a strong India devoid of terrorist threats, and they too desire peaceful and harmonious society. They, too, are against Islamic terrorism just like Benazir Bhutto was during her lifetime. They need to be willing to accept the just and judicial consequences proffered to identified terrorists and any actions taken to redress the past injustices of imperialistic terrorism perpetrated upon the Hindu majority in India.
The economic growth of India is in the ultimate interest of all including minorities choosing to live in India, and also beneficial for Pakistan and Bangladesh. Hindu majority has been uniquely hospitable to all religions historically for 2000 years and will continue to be hospitable if not aggressed upon in the democratic Republic of India. There have been millions of Gandhis among the Indian Hindus in 5000 years who espoused Ahinsa (Non-violence). Mahatma Gandhi was a product of this culture. Fighting the majority and creating disturbances of peace is hardly the way to go. If this is not recognized and peaceful coexistence is not urgently implemented, the Pakistan Khatumstan history could repeat in India within a matter of few years. India probably has a special obligation to help stabilize Pakistan, if called upon, to ensure anti-terrorism oriented stable government in Pakistan.
There is all the more need now to have friendly relationship with Pakistan as initiated by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Demonarchy thrives on divisiveness. The dynasty and demonarchy that engages in fragmenting Indian society and promulgating divisive policies must be seen as doomed in India, if India is to progress in the 21st Century. The Muslims and Hindus in India need to come together and not be further divided by vote-seeking politicians, for ultimate economic prosperity of the sub-continent through practice of mature democracy. For this to occur, “de-monarchization” needs to begin promptly (see previous articles for definitions) in India and hopefully in Pakistan too to prevent demonarchization of democracy. The people of both countries need to first become keenly aware of these phenomena to begin this process.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Demystifying Shri Ganesha



Date: June 30th 2005

Some of us Hindus celebrated Ganesh Jayanti or Shri Ganesha's birthday on the 12th of February 2005. One wonders what the difference is between Ganesha Jayanti and Ganesha Chaturthi (Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi), or the Sankashta Harana Chaturthi which comes once every month. Shri Ganesha is worshipped with sixteen different offerings. It is, of course, a mythological event of a "birth" with a mythological date. Ten days of Ganesh Chaturthi are thus set aside every year to remember Him reverently, glorify Him, and worship Him besides the two conjectural birthdays mentioned above.

According to our ancient Indian philosophy Shri Ganesha is the first "shabda" (AUM) or vibrations manifested when the manifest Universe begins. Hence, He is associated with the "beginning." Some people have loosely described him as the "Lord of Beginning." The word "shabda" is usually wrongly translated as the "word" or "sound." These "vibrations," that are ubiquitous in the Universe, are not mythological entities but verifiable someday perhaps with modern scientific sensing techniques that can be extended far beyond the human senses. However, the attribution of a quality of supreme knowledge and primordial design of the multidimensional universe as "information" in invisible form entailed in this entity of "vibrations" is still difficult for the human mind, trained in modern science (which sees the intellect as a faculty of the mind, which is in turn the function of the human brain and, therefore, a by-product of the physico-chemical processes in the nerve cells or biological entities, etc.) to comprehend. The presence of the Universal Intelligence as preceding the emergence of life in the universe is difficult for the scientifically trained mind to comprehend and fathom. It is like the drop of ocean water attempting to comprehend the magnificence of the entire body of ocean waters on the earth and realize that the drop is made of the same substance. It is quite possible that the human intelligence which is no doubt quite amazing in its capabilities is only a miniscule drop in the ocean of the Universal Intelligence though sharing some of its elementary qualities in minutiae. In a circular argument human intelligence which is the product of the human brain that is a supreme example of what the supreme Universal intelligence could design and produce if one could attribute intentionality to the Universal Intelligence. Therefore, the Vedic culture appropriately recognizes this problem and assigns this form of knowledge a different category known as "para" (roughly equated with "meta") "vidya" (roughly translated as knowledge or the intellectual or meditative processes entailed in acquiring knowledge or "jnaana")(Such knowledge is theoretically not entirely based on the information processing at the cognitive level or through the left cerebral hemisphere of the human brain. The faculty responsible for this and other human knowledge is termed "Dhee." Please see "Dhee:The Essence of Hinduness" on : for Part I and for Part II

Therefore, the sincere students who truly want to understand these esoteric concepts of Vedic philosophy or "vedic science" need to have the intellectual honesty to accept the limitations of the human brain and mind in conceptualizing the essence of the true nature of the Universe with their "acquired" crystallized intelligence or cognitive pragmatism which is generally used to analyze and comprehend other usual and familiar subjects in the human affairs. The modern physics and psychology, or even psychoanalytic thinking, even if these are correctly applied, (they are often misapplied, as for example, by the infamous Paul Courtright and Wendy Doniger, as well as a bunch of Emory and Chicago University cadre) are not amenable to fathom the depths of the (ultimately scientific) "truths" that are beyond the dimensions of the time-space-mass-energy-mind-dimension-complex. Simply put, the current cultural and scientific software, available to the human brains, with all due respect to the advances of the so-called Western science, is not equipped to comprehend this "greatest shabda" which is the beginning of the Universe with all of its order, beauty, magnificence, creativity, as well as the chaos, disorder, destruction and dissolution, all programmed into this incomprehensible "shabdabrahma" which was identified with the sound "OM," which in turn may have the closest resonance with the original shabdabrahma, which does not require the presence of air to vibrate and exist, as it predates the origin of air.

This "shabdabrahma" is termed "pranava" or "om-kara." "Pranava," because it is not only the primordial ("beeja"-seed- or aadibeeja) universe, but it is also the entity from which all life energy, "Prana" (bioelectric energy) emerges. The ancient Tantric philosophers were ingenious in using symbols that had the power to reach the deepest layers of the human mind and they were also expert iconographers with enormous creativity that would capture the fancy of multitude of generations that had a sincere desire to be curious about the nature of the Universe. They also understood the meditative techniques that could be used successfully to gain insight into the "para-vidya" and hence they transformed "OM" first into a symbol and then anthropomorphized it into an image for personal and group worship (and of course, meditation). They built this image into a mythological human form with a head that had resemblance to the elephant head. This created the mystique of the form of Shri Ganesha which baffled many Indian and Western scholars who had no access to the original Tantric esoteric or arcane knowledge.

As they have done it with their concrete and limited minds, sometimes with deliberate ulterior motive to demean, and take a pejorative view of the Hindu culture, or sometimes out of mere ignorance, they have turned Shri Hanumana into the "Monkey God" and Shri Ganesha into the "Elephant God" of the "Hindus." The reason to place quotation marks around the word Hindus is that the word "Hindu" did not exist when the concept of "OM" and "Shri Ganesha and Ganapati" emerged in ancient India. Many uninformed Hindus have learned about their culture and their religion from these erroneous English or European translations that are essentially demeaning or ignorant representations of their Hindu culture, religion, and their Hindu objects of worship which are naturally merely viewed as "curiosities" by the Westerners who did not have any respect for the profound philosophy or the insights into the cosmogony that the ancient Indian Vedic culture had elaborated over the ages, leave alone any reverence.

'Om-kara' personified is Shri Ganesha. It is also known as 'Pranava' or a precursor of 'Praan Shakti', at the beginning of the creation. It emerged from Sadashiva, (sada) "always" only pure consciousness (shiva), who is always in meditation (limitless potential energy of creation that is supposed to be forever in meditation, undisturbed by it all while creating and dissolving) and his consort Shakti or Parvati (the energy of creation) which is the origin of all that is manifest as matter, time-space and energy complex to the humans. The manifest Universe emerges from the combination of Shiva and Shakti through the "birth" of Shabdabrahama "OM" represented by Shri Ganesha.

In Dnyanaeshwary, which is the Marathi representation of (commentary on) Shri Bhagwat Gita written by Santa Dnyanaeshwara, while saluting Shri Ganesha at the beginning of the first chapter, Dyanaeshwara describes Him in Marathi language thus:

"A-kaara Charan yugala/ Uu-kara udara visha(a)la/ Ma-kaara
mahamandala/ mastakakaren/ He tinhi ekavatale/
Tithen Shabdabrahma kavalalen/ Ten miyan Shree Gurukrupa
Namilen/ Aadibeeja/"

Santa Dnyanaeshwara says describing the form (roopa) of Shri Ganesha: "The vowel or the sound of 'a' are your two legs. Vowel or sound of 'u' is your huge abdomen. Letter or consonant of 'm' is the enormous shape of your head. These three sounds merged together and limitless energy of the greatest shabda emerged. It is concentrated in the shape of your face. I witnessed it with the help of the great blessings from my Guru (spiritual teacher)- Santa Nivruttinatha. That is the original seed of creation." (This, of course, is an approximate translation as all translations in English for such quotations normally are.) Without the basic knowledge of the "beejaksharas" and concept of "Aadi" as the beginning in the non-linear concept of cyclic time, etc., the translation in itself sounds very concrete for the uninitiated.

In Vedic philosophy the "time" is a function of the manifest universe and therefore, a secondary quality of the universe and is a concept that becomes amenable for cognition only after the beginning is initiated by Shakti-Prakriti-Kali.(Interesting that Prakriti which is necessary for time to become an entity or a dimention is called Kaali and time is "kaala.") One cannot "go back in time" and catch the moment of "creation." Time does not exist without space, matter, and energy, and presence of time pre-supposes some motion of one entity relative to another. When the Universe "jagat" becomes manifest something that is born or emerging, "ja," immediately, as it were, almost simultaneously acquires motion, "gat," and therefore, the entire universe qualifies for the term "jagat." To understand the true nature of the Universal Consciousness, the Human Consciousness has to go beyond or cut through the "Moola-Prakriti" by meditating on the primordial Universal Shabdabrahman "OM." This process is known in Yoga as "pratiprasava." It literally means retracing steps of the process of emergence of human consciousness. (Retracing the ontogenesis of Human Consciousness back in opposite direction to "Sad-Chid-Aananda,"--- the human awareness or "chitta" being a mere reflection or a derivative of the "Chid" nature of the Brahman.) Opposite of "jagat" or "jaga" is "gaja" a word that curiously stands for the "elephant." The Tantric mystics had a message beyond the simple coincidence that the symbol "OM" turned 90 degrees clockwise assumed the likeness (or the shape) of the elephant's head with a twisted curved trunk -"vakratunda." Meditating on "OM" can lead to the identification with the Universal or Cosmic Consciousness.

Such identification can occur only in the Fourth state of Consciousness or "Turiya." This state of consciousness is experienced as the most enjoyable bliss (and therefore, "Modaka"- that which gives bliss and joy- is the name given to the sweet pastry which is offered and is in the hand of Shri Ganesha.)

The secret message of the Tantrik Ganesha image and its birth on the fourth day of the Lunar calendar every month is that the Vedic culture values the emergence of this "fourth" state of consciousness in which as if the Ganesha is potentially born in any human mind. The Hindus and the followers of the Vedic or Hindu culture (Jains, Buddhists,and Sikhs) revere Ganesha as the Ultimate Absolute or the Shabdabrahma and the Hindus worship Him on the Chaturthi of every Shukla paksha or the fourth day of the waxing moon every month. The fourth day of the waxing Moon in the Lunar calendar symbolically represents "Turiya" and is a reminder of the fourth state of consciousness.

Thus can be explained the mythology of the birth of Shri Ganesha on the "chaturthi" and the mythology of the date of his birth. There is no pain or suffering once the Cosmic consciousness is attained. Since the cosmic consciousness figuratively "rules over" all the order and chaos in the universe, it is also capable of relieving all discomfort, remove all obstacles, and establish harmony and bring all processes to complete fruition. Such interpretation will throw light on the concept of the loosely translated words as "vighnaharta" and "vighnakarta" as the remover of obstacles who can also pose obstacles. The appelation Vinaayaka is a distortion of the word Vighna-Nayaka or controller of Vighnas or obstacles. There is no "trickery" here. This Universe comes with its "baggage" of order and chaos. There is no human value system to be projected on the Cosmic Consciousness which is beyond all three Gunas. These three gunas are Satva (negative entropy, order, purity, harmony and beauty, etc.), Rajas (dynamism, motion, ambition, competence, etc.) and Tamas, (darkness, disorder, chaos, ignorance, entropy, dissolution, and destruction,etc.). These are the all three qualities(Gunas)of Prakriti(Nature).

Sankata Hara Chaturthi is an opportunity presented every month for contemplation on the above clarified concepts that are very profound and when meditated upon may likely yield immense benefits for internal peace for those who understand Shri Ganesha and what he stands for. For those with limited minds like that of Paul Courtright, Shri Ganesha is only an "elephant headed God" with a proboscis which in contrast to its true strength in the animal world is chosen by Paul Coutright to be viewed as a "limp" organ. Paul Courtright has taken the liberty to project his own vulgar fantasies on this "elephant's head and proboscis" to depict his utter ignorance of the arcane and esoteric noble knowledge conveyed by the symbol "OM" and its anthromorphic representation in Shri Ganesha.

Let us illustrate how the two vowels and one consonant merge into Shri Ganesha's shape (see accompanying image: Graphic OM). Please see the image beside this
article on .

Now adorn this figure with clothes and ornaments and Aayudhas meaning weapons each one of which also has its symbolic meaning in the "para vidya" which incidentally does not yield usually to psychoanalytic interpretation though no one can stop anyone from interpreting any symbol with any psychoanalytic jargon. This article will not go into elaborating the meanings of all the Aayudhas or the Mushaka vahana of Shri Ganesha (the meaning of the mouse on which He rides) and reserve those explanations for a future article.

Thus "Lord" Shri Ganesha is Shabda Brahma, i.e., the cosmic vibratory energy on the continuum of electromagnetic waves intuitively perceived by human meditating mind as waves of sound and not necessarily auditorily "heard," although some yogis will get engrossed in the "naada" of OM after constantly meditating on the sound of OM. He is also the Aadibeeja or the original seed of energy which is the egg of Creation where there is a perpetual action of creation along with dissolution and every conceivable action in between.

Shri Ganesha has limitless attributes because He is "Tat" or that total manifest and non-manifest Brahman, e.g., "Twam Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahmaasi, Twam Sakshaat (d) Aatmaasi Nityam". Various shlokas or stuties attempt to describe him and admit to his limitlessness that is hard to fathom. It is, therefore, somewhat meaningless for us, who cannot fully comprehend Shri Ganesha,to believe that he existed and exists in a human form and he took birth on a particular day and actually had a brother, mother, and a father, etc., and believe in all the mythological stories that have been accretions around his legends as anything more than an attempt to simplify the most profound philosophy for the simple-minded. These stories are concrete and thus can be fascinating for child-like minds and sometimes quite confusing and bewildering. All cultures have such stories that are enchanting because they are a combination of the childlike primary process thinking mixed with adultlike secondary process thinking illustrating the abstract with concrete conepts simplified for the simple-minded. Most people love to hear the entertaining stories from the Epics or the Puranas that are more fascinating than the deep philosophy of the East or the West, from the Vedas, Vedantas, or philosophical treatises. In the Indian culture the stories illustrating the deepest philosophical truths are called the "Divya Kathas" (enlightening stories) but the concrete minded have great difficulty in making a leap from the symbols to the level of the abstract principles (tatvas) illustrated. Also, the poetic figurative representations are viewed as literal by some poor souls. Not unlike some stand-up comedians some pranksters place them in unexpected context to create humor or bizarre pejorative parodies or caricatures. In this context it may be intriguing to note that Vyasa dictated the Mahabharata to Shri Ganesha who actually transcribed the dictation. The epic of Mahabharata may thus be the divya katha to illustrate in an enchanting manner the story of the spiritual struggles of the human race "written" by no one else than the deity of knowledge and wisdom.

The questions that were raised at the beginning in the first paragraph as to the difference between the Ganesha Chaturthi on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi and the Ganesha Jayanti become moot issues for those who view Shri Ganesha for Who He really IS.