Sunday, December 25, 2011


An anti-Hindu clique has made a mockery of academic freedom using an unwieldy administrative mechanism to cancel Subramanian Swamy’s courses. The result has been a fierce backlash.
Part I
Dr. Navaratna Rajaram
Background: Insular Indologists and generous donor

Georges Clemenceau (1841 – 1929), prime minister of France during World War I once said: “War is too important a matter to be left to the generals.” This wisdom can now be applied to those calling themselves by names like Indologist, India Studies Expert, South Asia Expert (the latest fashion) and so forth. Thanks to their ham-handed expulsion of the economist and visiting professor Dr Subramanian Swamy, Harvard now has a major public relations problem on its hands.
To understand the nature of Harvard’s public relations problem, it helps to recognize that Harvard has a dual personality: it is a university that is also a business. Harvard University is part of the Harvard Corporation which answers to its board. (Actually it has two boards, of fellows and of overseers—don’t ask me why.) It is the richest university in the world with assets (called endowment) valued at $32 billion (over one lakh sixty thousand crore rupees in today’s values). Its assets are managed by the Harvard Management Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard.
In 2007, its assets stood at $36 billion. During the global economic downturn Harvard endowment lost 22 percent of its value or eight billion dollars. It has recovered somewhat in the past two years and is now valued at $32 billion, better but still well short of what it was five years ago. To grow, Harvard needs money from two sources— income from its assets and contributions from its ‘customers’. The latter may now take a hit thanks to the controversy and the backlash following the cancellation of Subramanian Swamy’s courses.
Like any successful business Harvard treats customer loyalty as its most valuable asset; it takes extraordinary care to cultivate and nurture good relations. Its customers are its alumni. They donate generously and also send their children to Harvard. Increasingly, Harvard is drawing its students—and donations—from the wealthy Indian-American community and in recent years from businesses and professionals in India. In the past year alone, individuals from major Indian business houses like Tata, Infosys and Mahindras (to name just a couple) have given tens of millions of dollars to Harvard.

Hubris results in backlash

The last thing that Harvard needs at this juncture is as it is just recovering from the fallout of the financial crisis is a public relations disaster of this nature. A question that needs to be answered is— how could Harvard, whose public relations skills are second to none, allow itself to be blindsided by an avalanche of this magnitude? The only answer I can think of is hubris—it took the goodwill and loyalty of an important segment of its ‘customers’— the Indian alumni and students—for granted and failed to respond adequately to their complaints over the shrill anti-Hindu and anti-Indian rhetoric and propaganda of some of its faculty. The worst offenders were Indologist Michael Witzel and a few of his associates.
The dismissal of Subramanian Swamy was the last straw. He is regarded as a hero by a large number of Indians because of his uncompromising stand against terrorism and his crusade against corruption. Judged by Witzel’s record over the past several years, going back to his unseemly involvement in the California school curriculum controversy— and the anti-Hindu rants of his hate group IER (Indo-Eurasian Research), it was a disaster waiting to happen. I had brought his unsavory activities to the attention of Harvard administration more than once, but they had always advised me that however disagreeable it may be, Witzel’s (and other’s) views were protected by academic freedom. (This was before Dr Faust took over as president.)
All this was public knowledge, and I was not the only one to object. Now for Harvard to dismiss Subramanian Swamy at the instigation of people like Witzel and his departmental colleague Diana Eck looks like hypocrisy of the first order. It is not only Indians that are outraged by this decision: academics and free thinkers who have nothing to do with India or Hinduism have expressed their outrage. This is made worse by the fact that other institutions like Yale have also buckled under Islamist pressure. Last summer (2011), Yale expelled Dr Charles Small (of the Yale Initiative for the Inter-disciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism), because he held a conference in which Islamic anti-Semitism and Islamic terrorism were discussed. The following excerpt from a blog by a non-Indian (Pamela Geller) gives an idea.
“In response to the triple bombing in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 that left 26 people dead, Former Indian Law Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy published an op-ed in a mainstream Indian daily called 'How To Wipe Out Islamic Terror'. Dr. Swamy is not much loved by the current Indian government as it was through his anti-corruption campaigning efforts that the previous Telecoms Minister ended up in jail on corruption charges, and he is actively pursuing other high ranking members of the government on similar charges.
“The article was unquestionably provocative, but what it provoked was debate -- a good thing for any democracy, especially on a difficult topic. However, it seems, it was too much free speech for Harvard University. For years Dr. Swamy, a Harvard Ph.D. and former Commerce and Industry Minister of India, has taught summer courses in economics at Harvard. This year, in an unprecedented move, his courses were taken away based on the article.”
The author of the article went on to point out that the Harvard Crimson justified the move by saying, in part, "there is the further concern that his publications may incite religious violence." Religious violence where? On the Harvard campus? There were no incidents of ‘religious violence’ in India following the publication of Dr. Swamy’s article. The Harvard Crimson seems to have a low opinion of the intelligence and maturity of its readers, of Harvard students and faculty in particular.
Unwieldy administration, disgruntled faculty
It is understandable that Harvard President Drew Faust should have caught of much of the flak in this avoidable backlash. Actually, she seems to have been a victim of circumstances beyond her control: a combination of circumstances allowed a disgruntled faculty in its shrinking Sanskrit and India Studies program to take advantage of an unwieldy administrative mechanism. I will look at the former in some detail later, but a brief observation on the latter as seen by a U.S. academic (and administrator) with several decades of experience may be in order. (A phone call to the President’s office at Harvard elicited the response that she, the President had nothing to do with the cancellation.) Here is how the cancellation of Swamy’s courses seems to have come about.
The procedure at Harvard requires that the whole faculty of the college in question vote on the courses and instructors for each term, in this case the college of arts and sciences on the summer courses to be offered in 2012. Swamy’s economics courses were voted down at the instigation of Diana Eck, a religious studies professor who heads something called the ‘pluralism project’. As we shall see later Eck invoked reasons which made faculty competence irrelevant and steamrolled over the wishes of the economics department chair.
This strikes one as an unwieldy and inefficient procedure. Things were quite different in colleges where I taught. Once the department in question gets its budget approved by the college, the department chair, assisted by a departmental committee decides on the courses and assigns instructors. After all they have the competence. One cannot have the absurd situation—as happened at Harvard—of a theologian exercising veto power over science and mathematics courses! (One of the courses cancelled was ‘Quantitative Methods in Economics’.) The last time anything like it happened was in Italy 500 years ago when Galileo was forbidden by the Church to teach astronomy.
Actually there is more to this bizarre episode than meets the eye. Diana Eck was sending a political message to President Drew Faust no less! Eck gave the game away when she haughtily told the faculty why Swamy’s courses should be cancelled. Here is a revealing report (The Harvard Crimson):
"In her remarks, Eck emphasized the ‘destructive’ nature of the positions Swamy advocated in India, and characterized the proposals as going well beyond free speech to the advocacy of abrogating human rights, curtailing civil rights, and intruding on freedom of religion. She wondered why the courses had not been ‘quietly dropped’, rather than submitted for approval in 2012. Swamy’s positions crossed the line to ‘incitement’ and to ‘demonizing’ Indian minorities, and were therefore sharply at odds with Harvard’s pluralism,” Eck said.
But here was the real message: “Given President Faust’s planned trip to Mumbai and New Delhi in January, it would be important for people in that country to know where the faculty stood on the views Swamy advocated."
(Dr Swamy’s response: “… the vote at Harvard was nothing serious. …non-economists at Harvard don’t like my views on how to protect India.” Citing Eck and a colleague who also wanted his courses dropped, Swamy tweeted: “I have been held accountable at Harvard for what I write in India. This means India studies’ [Michael] Witzel and Eck are accountable in India. Healthy?”)
To get back to Eck’s reasoning, she wants President Faust to tell ALL Indians—1.2 billion of them— most of whom have never heard of Harvard let alone Professor Eck, that they should toe the line drawn for them by this religious scholar— a Christian who claims to speak for all of Harvard in the name of ‘pluralism’. Hinduism is and has always been a pluralistic "religion," which Christianity and Islam with their exclusive beliefs are not, but this Christian theologian would stand this on its head as only a theologian can.

L’affaire Swamy: policing academic freedom

So this committed Christian fanatic masquerading as a ‘pluralist’ wants to turn the Harvard President’s goodwill visit to India into a crusade against Hinduism! It is not hard to imagine what President Faust can expect if she were to carry Diana Eck’s message to India! As it is, she can expect a torrid time defending the sacking of Dr Swamy against Harvard’s own professed policy of safeguarding academic freedom.
This brings us back to Eck’s (and her colleagues’) contempt for academic freedom when it rubs against their Orwellian brand of pluralism. It may not be out of place here to mention that a large number of Christian theologians led by Diana Eck signed a long letter of apology addressed to Muslim divines for past Christian violence against Muslims including the Crusades. No such apology has been forthcoming for violence against Hindus and other pagans during the Goa Inquisition in India (instigated by ‘Saint’ Xavier).
It is hardly necessary to point out that academic freedom cannot come with strings attached. In the memorable words of Abraham Lincoln, 150 years ago, "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free." This applies to academic freedom no less than to personal freedom. But Diana Eck was able to persuade her faculty colleagues that her higher principle of pluralism cancelled out Swamy’s academic freedom along with the freedom of the economics department to choose whom it may to teach its courses.
When it comes to curtailing academic freedom, the problem is where to draw the line? Can a theologian like Diana Eck be allowed to act as thought police cum moral police to rule on the freedom of others? What if one were to apply a similar standard to Eck and her ilk? It is no secret (see Wikipedia) that she (and her likeminded colleague Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago Divinity School) follows a lifestyle that many in India and even in the U.S. consider perverse. Can this be brought up in approving Eck's fitness to teach her courses? It can be argued, and has been argued that such people should be kept away from impressionable young minds who might be corrupted by their teaching and example. There would be howls of protests if Eck were treated in the same manner as Swamy for her personal conduct in her private life and for her negative public image in the eyes of majority in the U.S.
Actually what Subramanian Swamy wrote and said had been said before by others before him including Jawaharlal Nehru and B.R. Ambedkar. (In addition, Swamy himself has close relatives who are non-Hindus including a Parsi-Zoroastrian wife and a Muslim son-in-law. He doesn’t need any lessons in pluralism.) All that is beside the point, what is at stake is academic freedom being derailed by moral policing. Even at Harvard, other faculty members have engaged in hateful activity (which Swamy has not) that has been defended in the name of academic freedom. Diana Eck’s colleague Michael Witzel is a prime example.
It is unnecessary to go into the details of the now discredited campaign by Michael Witzel and his associates trying to stop the removal of references to the Aryans and their invasion from California school text-books. What is remarkable is that a senior tenured professor at Harvard of German origin should have concern himself with how Hinduism is taught to children in California. Witzel is a linguist, but he presumed to tell California schools how Hinduism should be taught to children. It turned out that Hinduism was a convenient cover; his real concern was saving his pet Aryan myth from being erased from books. (This is not to deny his dislike of Hindus, especially those who question him, more of which below.) In the same way, Eck and her colleagues too are concerned about academic survival— of themselves as well as their discipline.

Preserving a defunct belief system

The reaction of the likes of Eck and Witzel can be understood only when we recognize that though Nazism and European colonialism, the twin pillars that supported Indology up to World War II are now defunct, some of their beliefs are part and parcel of what these academics represent. In particular they hold on to the notion of Indians, especially Hindus, as an inferior subject race who should submit to their stereotyping and behave accordingly. The fact that they don’t makes them react viscerally when challenged as seen in what Eck did to Swamy and Witzel’s reaction to Hindus rejecting his Aryan theories. Having seen Eck’s reaction, it is worth taking a brief look at Witzel.
In addition to his support for the Aryan theories and the California campaign, Witzel is known for his association with the notorious Indo-Eurasian Research (IER), which has been accused of a hate campaign against the Hindus. An article that appeared on December 25, 2005 in the New Delhi daily The Pioneer (for which Rudyard Kipling used to write) began: “Boorish comments denigrating India, Hindus and Hinduism by a self-proclaimed ‘Indologist’ who is on the faculty of Harvard University has unleashed a fierce debate over the increasing political activism of ’scholars’ who teach at this prestigious American university.
“Prof Michael Witzel, Wales professor of Sanskrit at Harvard, is in the centre of the storm because he tried to prevent the removal of references to India, Hinduism and Sikhism in the curriculum followed by schools in California which parents of Indian origin found to be inadequate, inaccurate or just outright insensitive.”  The author of The Pioneer article (Kanchan Gupta) went on to observe: “Witzel declared Hindu-Americans to be "lost" or "abandoned", parroting anti-Semite slurs against Jewish people. Coincidence or symptom? Witzel's fantasies are ominously reminiscent of WWII German genocide. He says that 'Since they won't be returning to India, [Hindu immigrants to the USA] have begun building crematoria as well. …”
This extraordinary behavior on the part of Witzel, Eck and their colleagues can be understood only when we recognize their venial fear that the academic discipline which they represent may be on the verge of extinction. This is what we may look at next.

Indology is an anachronism with colonial and racist roots that has outlived its purpose. India Studies should outgrow Indology if it hopes to be relevant and not join Indology in the dustbin of history.
Navaratna Rajaram
Part II
A dying discipline
To understand the visceral reaction of Diana Eck and her colleagues within and outside Harvard, it helps to recognize that the discipline they are part of is on its way into the dustbin of history. This is thanks to science and progress. The fact that Eck, a religious scholar who knows little or no Sanskrit should be the chair of the Sanskrit Department (or was until recently when the department became part of South Asia Studies) is testimony to the state of Sanskrit at Harvard. There are village schools and undergraduate colleges in India with better Sanskrit scholars—and students—than those on the faculty of Sanskrit Department at Harvard today.
Diana Eck wears several hats: in addition to religious studies she is listed as Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society and also heads her pet pluralism project. In other words, she is many things except a "Sanskrit scholar." The fact that someone like her should be the Sanskrit chair speaks eloquently on the state of her discipline and the department she headed. This cannot go on forever and they know it. So these people have to find some gimmick just for academic survival. For Eck it is her ‘pluralism’ project; for her colleague Michael Witzel, it is the Aryan myth and fighting ‘Hindutva forces’.
These academics are surviving on the decaying remains of the subject called Indology that came into existence during the British colonial era. It was created by ‘scholars’ sponsored by the British East India Company and Christian missionaries. Its goal was to help the British administer its expanding possessions by making British rule acceptable to Indians. At the core of this was the Aryan myth, a racial-cum-cultural myth that sought to attribute all Indian achievements to a mythical race of invaders known as Aryans.
This is the famous or infamous Aryan Invasion Theory (or AIT). It had two incarnations—British colonial-missionary and the German nationalist that led to Nazism. The German version and the horrors of Nazism are well known but for some reason the way the British put the myth to political use has remained largely unnoticed. As a recent BBC report admitted (October 6, 2005):
“It [Aryan invasion theory] gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier.”
Although both versions have been fully discredited, its proponents have found a refuge in U.S. academia behind some fig leaf like Eck’s ‘pluralism’. This too is now under threat. This is what is behind her unusually blunt message to President Faust quoted earlier: “Given President Faust’s planned trip to Mumbai and New Delhi in January, it would be important for people in that country to know where the faculty stood on the views Swamy advocated." Eck’s real concern is not survival of pluralism in India which owes nothing to Eck or her message to President Faust but Hinduism’s innate tolerance; her concern is the survival of her own pluralism project which may also come under the axe.
It is a similar story with Indology as a whole. Ever since he moved to Harvard from Germany, Witzel has seen the fortunes of his department and his field, gradually sink into irrelevance. Problems at Harvard are part of a wider problem in Western academia in his field. Indology departments and programs are shutting down across Europe. One of the oldest and most prestigious, at Cambridge University in England, has recently shut down. This was followed by the closure of the equally prestigious Berlin Institute of Indology founded way back in 1821.
Positions like the one Witzel holds (Wales Professor of Sanskrit, previously known as the Prince of Wales Professor) were created during the colonial era to serve as interpreters of India and Indian tradition to the ruling powers. They have lost their relevance and are disappearing from academia. No one today goes to these ‘experts’ to learn anything about India and Indians when they can get it from a next door neighbor, an office colleague or a relative by marriage. So these people need to show something to justify their existence. This was the real story behind Witzel’s California school campaign— not teaching Hinduism to California children.
Institutionalized anti-Hinduism
Indology as practiced by colonial scholars and their successors like Eck and Witzel should really be called Hindu Studies. Their targets are the Hindus, their religion, traditions and history. While they treat Islam and Muslims with utmost deference, partly out of fear of violent reaction, they don’t hesitate to heap criticism and abuse on Hindus and their beliefs. It is safe because Hindus usually don’t get violent.
A central though usually unstated premise of these Indologists is that the Hindus are an inferior race and they should accept this characterisation without question, and also anything said about them by these scholars who constitute a superior race in every way. They have even constructed a ‘history’ of Hindus as a people who owe everything to a race of invaders called Aryans (or Indo-Europeans). Some religious scholars, notably Wendy Doniger of Chicago can see nothing but sex in Hindu texts. (It seems she can see nothing but sex in anything. She denounced the famous Bhagavadgita, probably because it gives no scope for her sexual fantasies. What is it about ‘religious scholars’ that makes them sex obsessed?)
If any Hindu scholars that object to this stereotyping pointing to recent discoveries in natural history, genetics and archaeology that have discredited all these claims of these Indologists, are immediately denounced by them as chauvinists and fanatics incapable of logic or reason. Western scholars like Koenraad Elst and David Frawley are also not spared for criticizing their theories as unsound.
This bizarre conduct of Indologists (calling themselves also Indo-Europeanists) intrigued the Swedish scholar Stefan Arvidsson who went on to ask: “Today it is disputed whether or not the downfall of the Third Reich brought about a sobering among scholars working with 'Aryan' religions.” One may rephrase the question: “Did the end of the Nazi regime put an end to race based theories in academia?” We may answer it by saying it is surviving in mutated forms on the fringes of Western academia in the hands of people like Eck and Witzel though they vehemently reject they are racists. (Who admits it?)
In this academic and political conundrum it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the Aryan myth is a modern European creation that has little to do with ancient India. The word Arya appears for the first time in the Rig Veda, India’s oldest text. Its meaning is obscure but seems to refer to members of a settled agricultural community. Also, it was nowhere as important in India as it came to be in Europe. In the whole the Rig Veda, in all of its ten books, the word Arya appears only about forty times. In contrast, Hitler’s Mein Kampf uses the term Arya and Aryan many times more. Hitler did not invent it. The idea of Aryans as a superior race was already in the air— in Europe, not India.
Before World War II reduced Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich to ashes, anti-Semitism was very much part of the discourse about Aryans and Indo-Europeans. But following the war this was no longer academically respectable. The American Civil Rights Movement that followed placed Afro-Americans (or Negros as they were then called) also beyond the pale of these theories. Race is now a dirty word so some subterfuges have to be found to advance the same ideas, especially of one’s own superiority over a lesser race like the heathen Hindus, if no longer the Hebrews. This is the dirty little secret of Indology that India Studies seems to have inherited.
The final word on their discipline was pronounced by Stefan Arvidsson quoted earlier. He observed: “There is something in the nature of research about Indo-Europeans [or Aryans] that makes it especially prone to ideological abuse— perhaps something related to the fact that for the past two centuries, the majority of scholars who have done research on the Indo-Europeans have considered themselves descendants of this mythical race.” Implicit yet unstated— a superior race.
This is what is driving the likes of Eck and Witzel. To make matters worse, after a long period of colonization, Indians today, Hindus in particular, are on the ascendant, excelling in many fields and prospering economically while Indologists and their discipline are heading into oblivion. Worse, Indians are no longer looking up to these scholars much less supporting them. They are donating generously but to programs in science, technology and other professions where Indians and persons of Indian origin are visibly successful. Even at Harvard, there are few students of Indian origin in their Sanskrit department, whatever it may now call itself.
Given the situation, the growing importance of India and Indians in the U.S. and the world and their own precipitous decline, it is natural that Witzel, Eck and their colleagues should have made common cause with other anti-Hindu groups and individuals. So it should not be surprising that these and pro-Pakistani groups and Jihad apologists, as ‘birds of a feather’ should be drawn to each other by the common platform of anti-Hinduism and also as a matter of expediency.
It is worth noting here that while the Jews and the Hindus have been willing to stand up to intimidation by Islamists (or Islamofascists to use President George Bush’s memorable if infelicitous phrase) the Christian leadership has all but surrendered to it. This is evident from the letter of apology for Christian violence against Muslims through history signed by Diana Eck and a host of her Christian theologian colleagues. But others have gone further and sought to use anti-Hinduism as a potential source of funding from Islamic sources.
One of the first acts of Michael Witzel following his California campaign was to advertise his services in Pakistan’s leading newspaper Dawn as a ‘South Asia Expert’ on education. His pitch was he could serve as a consultant to publishers and others to maintain academic integrity on works on South Asia. He didn’t mention he was a Professor of Sanskrit, which might have turned off potential Pakistani clients, but a South Asia Expert. (He knew that Pakistanis have no great love for Sanskrit.) At first the Indian Marxist historian Romila Thapar was also part of his enterprise, but prudently withdrew.
A combination of anti-Hinduism and financial compulsions has brought together this motley group of academics, writers and propagandists on platforms spewing anti-India (and anti-Hindu) propaganda. Some like the novelist Arundhati Roy are publicity seekers while others like the India baiter Angana Chatterji are academic lightweights trying to make hay while the sun shines by pandering to anti-India outfits like Pakistan’s Interservices Intelligence Agency (ISI).
It has now come to light that Chatterji, who taught anthropology at something called the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) was being funded by the ISI agent Gulam Nabi Fai. Fai has pleaded guilty to being an unauthorized lobbyist for the ISI and Pakistan. He had funded several anti-India propagandists including Chatterji. The FBI brought this to the attention of the CIIS authorities who dismissed her. The curious thing is that the Harvard history professor has participated in programs organized by Chatterji even at Harvard.
Sugata Bose is the odd man out. Unlike Angana who is at best a fringe figure in academia, Bose is a respected scholar of modern history; he has no need to have any truck with a character like Chatterji. He takes pride in the fact that he is the grand-nephew of the Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, but he is anything but pro-India. One possibility is that he was acting under the influence of his Pakistani wife Ayesha Jalal, also a distinguished scholar. As a prominent member of the South Asia group at Harvard he is seen as part of the anti-Hindu clique. His was one of the influential voices to lend support to Diana Eck’s demand for the expulsion of Subramanian Swamy.
India Studies: real pluralism, not clash of civilizations
As India and persons of Indian origin gain in importance in the world, the study of India should necessarily keep pace with it. But this cannot be based on anachronistic notions based on defunct ideologies of the colonial era or scientifically discredited race theories in whatever disguise. The distinguishing feature of the Indian civilization throughout history has been and remains pluralism in the real sense. This should be at the center of any study of India today. This brings us close to one of the popular academic theories of our time.
One of the more influential political theories of our time is Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilizations thesis. It holds that future conflicts will be along civilizational fault lines of which he identifies several, most notably what he calls Islam and its ‘bloody frontiers’. It would be an interesting study to see if this thesis can be extended to academia also— like what we are currently witnessing at places like Yale and Harvard. There is no denying that the influence of Islam, largely because of its accumulated wealth (from oil) is quite pervasive in academia. The tension created by its presence in academia and academic freedom may be seen as a manifestation of the clash of civilizations extending its reach into academia.
At the same time, academia (and society in general) has to live today in a secular world whose distinguishing feature is pluralism— pluralism in the real sense and not the Orwellian travesty held up by the likes of Diana Eck. Pluralism has to serve as an effective counter to civilizational clash, but that will require both imagination and openness to new ways of looking at history and civilization.
Here is where India Studies can make a contribution if constructively studied. While pluralism is relatively recent in the West, beginning with French Revolution and the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, it is of untold antiquity in India. Unlike the exclusivist Christianity and Islam with their one God (and the only true One) Hinduism left the choice of which god to worship—or none at all—to the individual. The separation of priestly power from secular power is also an ancient tradition. (The Buddha who was born a prince gave up his right to rule before being recognized as a religious leader. And there are other such examples beginning with Vishwamitra.)
Hindu India welcomed and allowed Judaism to survive unmolested for thousands of years. Even when Islam came with its exclusivist binary vision of believer and kaffir, the Indian genius somehow found a way to preserve its pluralism. If India today is a thriving pluralistic society it is because pluralism is an integral part of the Hindu tradition and experience, and not because of the advocacy of phony pluralists like Diana Eck or their gimmicks. (It is curious that Eck and other theologians in their letter of apology to Muslims should not have mentioned pluralism. Her pluralism message is only for the consumption of inherently pluralist Hindus, not for those who really need it. Those who want to destroy pluralism get apologies!)
Here is an important lesson. The problem faced by the West (U.S. and Europe) today is that Islam is seen to be threatening long standing traditions founded on pluralism and individual freedom. The same problems were faced by India a thousand years ago. The West like India values pluralism. Islam abhors it. At the same time, Islam with its billion people and enormous economic power cannot be wished away. So some balance must be achieved. This is the challenge of our time.
This suggests that academic study of India, or India Studies have a lot to learn from Hindu India and should make pluralism of the Hindu civilization and its capacity to survive for centuries in the face of repeated attacks one of its central concerns. In contrast, China under Mao lost its pluralistic character in a single generation, and went on to erase it from Tibet also. This is of more than academic importance. In today’s world businessmen, diplomats and others have to deal with India and Indians in the real world. These cannot be left to the mercy of ‘India experts’ trapped in the past, of whom Shakespeare wrote: “What private griefs these men have, alas I know not.” We need new thinking.
Conclusion: Free India Studies from India Experts
The 200 year-old discipline called Indology as it now exists represents the soft underbelly of academia. Its creation was an accident of history, perpetuated by a combination of scientific ignorance and the self-interest of an academic priesthood. As far back as 1939, Sir Julian Huxley, one of the great natural scientists of the twentieth century wrote:
“In England and America the phrase ‘Aryan race’ has quite ceased to be used by writers with scientific knowledge, though it appears occasionally in political and propagandist literature…. In Germany, the idea of the ‘Aryan race’ received no more scientific support than in England. Nevertheless, it found able and very persistent literary advocates who made it appear very flattering to local vanity. It therefore steadily spread, fostered by special conditions.” (Emphasis added.) Needless to say, these ‘special conditions’ were the rise of Nazism in Germany and British imperial interests in India.
But this product of ‘special conditions’ continues to survive on the fringes of academia— thanks to a priesthood striving to maintain a precarious existence. It has no value beyond being a nuisance to better understanding between India and the West. What we need today are not ‘experts’ trapped in the past but a new generation of thinkers aware of present needs and sensitive to the beliefs and practices of others in a pluralistic world. This will not come from the likes of Diana Eck and her colleagues. As Max Planck once observed:
“An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.”
Planck was one of the founders of modern physics and his observation was about the reaction to the quantum revolution that he (and Einstein) had launched. But his observation applies equally to other fields like what we have discussed in this essay. It means that a new generation has to make a fresh start and let history take care of these anachronisms.
Dr Navaratna Rajaram is a scientist and historian who has written extensively on the subjects of this article.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Dr. Seshachalam Dutta

Samuel Huntington’s popular book The Clash of Civilizations has been re-released recently with the introduction by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former security advisor to Jimmy Carter. He together with Huntington engineered the strategy to defeat Soviets in Afghanistan, in the process promoting most insidious and fanatical Taliban which is being fought by America at the expense of enormous money and blood of young people. The worst scenario of influence of Soviets would not have resulted in such a disaster. It would have resulted, for better or worse, in a secular or a communist state.

Huntington’s book is a classic document of extreme racism and xenophobia, although well presented for academia with extensive authority, and more importantly to the conservative political groups...

His main thesis is that, with the decline of Soviet Union and defeat of communism, future conflicts would be based on cultural differences and not on nationalism or economic and political self interests. He paints the picture of decline of the West (with his own definition of the "West"), China overtaking the world and we all being forced to speak Chinese Mandarin rather than English. China is likely to become so powerful that America with the help their reluctant allies and Russia will invade that country. Meanwhile India would attack Pakistan to destroy its nuclear installations. The “HINDU” India will face military challenge from Indonesia and Myanmar with the help of Australia. The Europeans will be reluctant to join the Americans and Muslim countries will align with China.

Even if such geopolitical scenario is purely fanciful conjecture of the author, there are several incongruities in the logic of the narrative. The cultures of Muslim Countries including those of Pakistan and others have nothing in common with Chinese. Therefore such alliance would not be cultural. By calling India "HINDU" India, he ignores the fact that India is the home of the second largest Muslim population in the world next to Indonesia. For this scenario in which America invades China, he advances the strategy of including Russia in western alliance since they are no longer communists. Europeans it seems except the Russians would be reluctant to get involved in the “cultural wars”. When all is devastated, Africa, to use his exact words, “disgorges hordes of socially mobilized people to prey on the remains”. This is an expression of naked racism which he could only afford by caricaturing the Africans in Africa who have no political constituency like African-Americans.

This is the book that is being glorified by Brzezinski as the “seminal work that will revolutionize our understanding of international affairs.” Little wonder that young Americans are being sent to killing fields as canon fodder for over a decade on the advice of these political theorists who formulated a semi-self-fulfilling prophesy.

He goes on to say that the burden of maintaining the Western integrity falls on the United States as the Europe weakens economically and becomes demoralized by steady immigration of Muslims with high birth rate in contrast with European low birth rate. In journalistic jargon, the expression "the West" is variously used to refer to European and other countries with population of European origins. But, Huntington has very narrow definition of the West and western identity... It is defined as a group of democratic countries of Western alliance particularly Britain, Germany, France (despite latter being Catholic), and the United States. True West is not only democratic but should be protestant according to him. Thus Greece is not the part of the West. In order to consolidate identity one should not only appreciate “who he is, but who he is not and more importantly who he is against!” Thus the identity of the West is achieved by espousing anti-communism. With the collapse of communism, they now need a new enemy like Muslims. The Europeans show this antagonism to Muslim Turkey by not allowing its entry into NATO and the indifference of them to the Croatian Muslims which is well documented during Bosnian war. Bill Clinton is criticized for recognizing this cultural distinction. The West by itself stands separate from the rest of the world by its identity defined as liberal democracies devoted to protestant ethics and modernism. By this definition Serbians, Greeks, Spanish and South Americans are not considered western. How about Jewish people? They have not only a religious identity but they also have distinct ethnicity. He failed to mention that Hindus also have distinct ethnicity which would not change by proselytizing them. A Hindu may be atheist or he /she may worship Jesus or he may be a Muslim Sufi like Abdullah of Nagapatnam and he still will be a Hindu in his cultural identity as well as ethnicity.

Western Universalism:

Western Universalism is advocacy of western values including democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights in an attempt to universalize them throughout the world. While some of them who preach such Universalism may be benign, other movements like "religious freedom" disguise propagation of fundamental Christianity through proselytizing people of other religions and cultures, alienating them from their native cultures and also teaching them to berate their native cultures although many may not have even comprehended its values. There is resistance in the world against alienating people from their native cultures and weakening integrity of the races. Colonial Britain tried this in China which prompted Boxer revolution in response to the massacre of Chinese by British. There are present day Western "intellectuals" like Patrick Buchanan who think the West has its ultimate purpose of ‘civilizing and Christianizing’ the world. The notion of "white man's burden" is rooted in such grandiosity.

It is argued by Huntington that Western movement for Universalism will only lead to confrontation with non-western cultures. They may modernize other cultures, but not Westernize them fully until they become Protestants. Eating Big Mac and listening to Western music is not Westernization. These cultures may be modernized, but not Westernized until they turn Protestant. There is no basis for this argument. Eating Big Mac in preference to ethnic food and listening to Hip-Hop leads to westernization. In a scientific study at University of Michigan, Mehta (1988) found that Asian students who listen to Western Music and do not prefer ethnic food are likely to marry outside their ethnic groups. Food and music are elements of culture. Is that not the reason African Americans (Blacks), when in confrontation with the Jewish in New York a few years ago, pejoratively called them ‘bagel eating Hymees’? Huntington argues even if westernized, the non-westerners when they return to their countries are indigenized and return to their original mold, like Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Here the author is mistaken. Jinnah was modern to the end. He was only fighting a sectarian fight, not religious and cultural. He was fighting, mistakenly, what he considered best for the "power" of his people. The author makes similar simplistic statements that BJP youth in India are a Scruffies-saffron clad yuppies. They are modernized but not westernized. It is also indicated that the West was happy and was relieved that BJP, the Nationalist party in India, was defeated, never mind that the communist supported coalition came into power. Is the West afraid of Hindu Nationalism more than Indian Communism? While there is extensive bibliography, the book is replete with errors; for instance, it is mentioned that English is not the second language of communication even in the extreme South India. Also, that Indians speak English with different accent has no bearing on westernization; after all Georgians and the French speak English differently than New Yorkers.

The main issue with Huntington's work is his conflating of Christianity with modernity. It goes against the history of church and development of modernism in Europe. Modern advances in sciences and scientific and even industrial development as well as every modern intellectual thought came by resisting the influence of Christianity. Science and Church stand opposite to one another in modernization. This is exemplified by a quotation by him of the papal letter of Cardinal Gibbons of U.S.A (1899) regarding false doctrine of Americans, “Americanism is a path of corruption leading to the worst form of modernism, individualism, materialism and liberalism.” By Authors own account Catholics were discriminated in America in Employment and immigration well into 20th century. Until a few decades ago they were not allowed by law to hold State employment in North Carolina. In 1899 a Catholic Church was burnt down in Massachusetts. So much for the American creed and liberalism! Church is still fighting Evolution theory and characterizes anthropology as artifactual. Every development in modern science came by overcoming the resistance from Christianity. It is therefore absurd to give credit for Western modernism to Christianity and view Christianity as synonymous with modernism.

Quoting Arthur Schlesinger, the author makes a fantastic claim that "ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, rule of law, human rights and cultural freedom are European ideas, not Asian…." We can dismiss this as patently false. Further he claims that the Western Culture embodies "most liberal, most rational, most modern and most civilized world culture.” This is self-serving Jingoism, since one can say in the same breath that world suffered untold misery because of this culture, its practice of colonialism, slavery, ethnic brutality and destruction of the world by two world wars which cannot be dismissed from our recent memory. Also, Nazism, Fascism, and Communist Totalitarianism are undoubtedly the legacy of Western culture.

The suggestion that India would attack Pakistan at an opportune time when America is engaged in the war with China is either a wishful thinking or simplistic assumption. A destroyed nuclear plant can be rebuilt. That both India and Pakistan are nuclear states would preempt such an action as the nuclear weapons actually act as deterrent. When all the religious fervor dies down , very much like Canada and the U.S.A, Pakistan would be a peaceful neighbor to India with its second largest Muslim world population that is larger than the Muslim population of Pakistan, and therefore, waging a war with India is nothing but a demagogic proposition.

Lastly, Huntington exhorts that America should lead the West in keeping at a distance from culture wars and maintain their supremacy; but agonizes that America is trending towards becoming a ‘cleft’ society with enormous Latino immigration that will provide a large latino population that is non-westernized, therefore, unassimilable into American culture. They (the Latinos) would not support the Western Europe in case of confrontation with non-West. America is becoming slowly bilingual as the Latinos keep their identity. He doesn’t discuss much about African Americans (blacks and black Muslims) in America in this context. For this we have go to the followers of his political persuasion and learn where his line of thinking can lead us.

In an article in USA today, Dorothy Rabinowitz (June9,2010) accuses President Obama for being an “Alien in the White House.” He removed the bust of Winston Churchill and gave it away to the visiting former Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair! Churchill was the hero of the West, but not of majority of the Nations that suffered under colonialism. After all, he once admired the Fascist dictator Mussolini, and called Gandhi a half naked Fakir and Indian National leaders straw men who should not be heeded and insisted that Britain should hold on to Colonial India. Ironicaly Britain could not keep even tiny Israel after the second world war under its thumb. Every Indian has to debrief their children when they come home hearing the admiration of Churchill in the American schools. For Dorothy, Obama is a stranger but not to the rest of non-western Americans so far, as a amatter of fact, the rest of the world. American press may celebrate royal wedding and divorces, but Americans in some time future would not shed their blood to defend the so called West as envisioned by Huntington, because if one of the results of profound demographic changes in America and cultural distancing from Protestant British standing for the "West."

When he talks about cultural assimilation, the author shows poor appreciation of the complex process of assimilation of immigrants and their children into American culture. It is not a matter of eating Big Mac and abandoning enchiladas. The immigrant suffers first the identity crisis having lost his family and friends in a distant land, and undergoes a period of mourning. Then he reconciles to the fact of his new home, new country and life. His new identity comes from the fact that the new land is his destiny, even if he may be discriminated by the locals. The realization that this is the country of his children and grand children makes him bind to the soil and makes him patriotic American. First Italians, next Irish and the Catholic immigrants and now the Hispanic are going through this same process. Which language they speak and whether they are bilingual or multi-lingual has nothing to do with their love of their adopted land and the home of their future children and grand children. They are essentially assimilated or integrageted more appropriately, whether their men wear sombreros or women wear saris or head scarfs. It is extreme racism to discriminate against them because they do not conform to protestant Christianity and so called protestant ethic.

Psychoanalyst H.C. Sabelli succinctly stated the feelings of modern immigrants to America when he wrote “Only those who hate their own self, family and culture can abandon them to become American; it must be I who become American. My latin spirit must survive”.(Quoted from Immigrants By Salman Akthar). The idea of America as a melting pot, God's crucible, as popularized in the then famous play by Israel Zangwell in1909 is no longer valid as the notion was re-examined. Nathan Glazer reexamined it in another play in 1960s . Patric Moynihan, an Irish American, endorsed it. Huntington refers to the incident of Jewish Professor Alan Darshowitz’s son's marriage to a Catholic girl. Dershowitz's agony resulted in a publication of a book on this subject. The theme is integration , Yes: assimilation, No.

Finally, there is universalism not of the kind advocated by the proselytizers. West touts their form of universalism as the basis of human rights protection through non state organizations, for instance India is accused of abridging or restricting the religious freedom because the evangelist are not allowed to demean Hinduism and convert Hindus to Christianity. There could be as well Islamic universalism if the world accepts Islam as the standard of modern civilization. It is possible to conceive Universalism based on Scientific Humanism and accepting the best of all cultures on a rational basis. This is what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he called himself a Hindu, a Muslim and also a Christian, not that there is such a cult that integrates a composite of all three. What made Man Human is the primordial innate instincts of kindness, tolerance, mutual love and sense of fairness inherent in all human beings, prior to the birth of any of the religions. Religions perhaps only emphasized best of what existed in Man.

This is exactly what was expressed in the words of Rudyard Kipling when he wrote:
“Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall never meet
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at Gods great Judgment Seat;”
The he went on to say: “But there is neither East or West, Border nor Breed, nor birth, when two strong men stand face to face from the ends of the Earth”

More elegantly Hindu Scriptures say:
Ayam Nijah, Iti Paraavrutti Gananaa Laghuchetasanaam
Udaarcharitaanaam tu Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
Small and petty minded regard “these are my people and others don’t count”; yet "for noble minded the world is a family."

This is not to say there are no differences among cultures and traditions but there is underlying humanity that binds us all. Unless this is recognized, there won’t be real peace in the world .

Editor's Note:

Please read: "Hinduness for World Peace and Harmony" on this blog, as well as on in the article section.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Report : Equality and Inclusion (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes)


Dr. Rakesh Bahadur



Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

09/04/2011 13:35:30

The 97 page report ‘Equality and Inclusion :Progress and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Independent India (August 15, 2011)’ is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the enormous strides made by independent India on behalf of the schedules castes (SCs) and the scheduled tribes (STs) of India.

The author Dr. Rakesh Bahadur and his dedicated team have produced a document that is detailed and authentic. The references drawn from governmental, scholarly and NGO sources indicate that the team has been involved in the conceptualization of the question and the painstaking task of data collection and analyses. The document abounds with tables, charts and graphs that are relevant to tracking the work done by independent India.

They have not hesitated to include criticisms that argue that the lot of the SCs /STs has not substantially improved in the last 67 years of independence. Bahadur and his team refute these claims by hard core stats and analyses, rather than emotional rhetoric. This is the strength of the report. It can be relied upon to provide valid data and sober analysis.

The report shows improvements in real time as opposed to preconceived notions and prejudices surrounding the question. To quote from Subhash Kak (cited in the report):

“No aspect of Indian society is as poorly understood as its social organization. The caste system, as described in Indian textbooks, is a creation of (the western scholars- Editorial note) anthropologists and sociologists of the nineteenth century who were then studying the bewildering complexity of Indian society. The informants of these social scientists used the theories of the archaic Dharma Sastras to fit the communities in a four-varna model. Although such classification was wrong, it has been used by generations of Indologists and filtering into popular books it has, by endless repetition, received a certain validity and authority. In an example of reality being fashioned in the image of a simulacrum, many Indians have started believing in the enduring truth of the classification (Subash Kak, 1994)”

The sober methodology of this report is, therefore, crucial in dispelling some of the myths propagated by those fishing in troubled waters and who continue to impale India on the topic of SCs/STs. Their political agenda needs to be defeated and the Bahadur report does just that. The Report offers an analysis of long term trends based on the parameters of literacy rate, poverty, human development index, crime rate, human rights violations, job reservations in legislative bodies and executive bodies. The real to life improvements of the condition of the SCs/STs can be seen in real time, rather than in the context of abstractions.

The various relevant chapters of the Report (which has 11 chapters in all) describe the reservation policies of the government of India for SCs/STs and the impact these affirmative action policies (whether in education and employment) have on the progress and development of these communities. The Report also examines the reservation of jobs in the private sector “which is simply unparalleled anywhere in the world” (p.10). This applies also to job security in the public sector, which is also unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Chapter 10 discusses the reports by foreign governments and international agencies and how wrong conclusions are arrived at because of ignoring ground realities. The US State Department, United Nations Development Program and Human Rights Watch come under close and critical scrutiny.

The overall result of the Report shows not only changes in real time in the status of the SCs/STs but also the often ignored fact that human rights violations occur primarily owing to general lawlessness. These violations should objectively speaking come under the rubric of law and order problems.

Three informative appendices emphasize the substantial work undertaken by this Report.They are (1) ‘Origin and Definitions of the Terms SC/ST, (2) Constitutional and Legal Protections for Development of SC/ST and (3)Affirmative Action in the U.S.: A Case Study. This pertains to affirmative action for African Americans (mainly initiated in the 1960's) .

In this third appendix the Report analyzes the following parameters : population, education, income, unemployment, and homeownership rate. Interestingly the study concludes thus:

“Affrimative action in the United States is similar to India’s policies for the upliftment of SCs/STs. The main difference is that there are no constitutionally required quotas for admission to educational institutions, jobs, promotions, reserved seats in the US Congress and the Senate etc. Table 31 shows that even after the introduction of affirmative action, there exists a significant difference between White and African Americans. The long term trends between White and African Americans show that the gap is not narrowing between the two races. This trend is exactly opposite to the trend between the general population and SC/ST in India. It may be noted that in the very beginning of the Indian Republic (1949), specific quotas for various disadvantaged categories were fixed. Even after half a century of affirmative action, the African American population is lagging behind the white population in all the socio-economic parameters." (p.97)

Owing to the detailed nature of the Report’s illustrations via tables, charts and graphs, and the general statistical nature of the work (noted by Shri R.Venkatnarayan in his Preface to the Report) the reader is advised to go through the entire document to get a feel and understanding of this work which is indeed a labor of love.

Those readers who are also interested in the historical question of varna, jati and caste there are brief sections on the same. However, as the author notes, the Report is not focused on those questions which have been dealt with by other authors elsewhere (e.g., see This Report itself emphasizes the dynamic nature of social systems which change in real time and with well implemented affirmative actions that assist in that change.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

Monday, August 15, 2011


Multiculturalism is for the Birds – 4

Diversity is not multiculturalism


Radha Rajan

The riots with racial overtones engulfing London and other parts of UK in the first week of August 2011 seem to have been timed fortuitously to quickly vindicate Anders Breivik’s act of terror in Norway on 22 July, allegedly against multiculturalism.

The writer had drawn a parallel to events in India where Sonia Gandhi’s UPA has literally created a brand new phenomenon called Hindu terror. Some very striking points of similarity between Anders Breivik and Hindus who have been arrested for acts of terror –

· While all of them allegedly belong to some known organization or political party (Abhinav Bharat, Progress Party), they acted as individuals with little or no backing from the organizations to which they belonged

· All of them, according to available reports were trained and funded by shadowy figures who have not been identified so far

· All of them were chosen for their commitment to a defined political ideology related to multiculturalism

· All of them supposedly used ammonium nitrate and fuel oil to manufacture IEDs

· All of them were amateur terrorists, first time offenders, almost certain to be arrested

If Christian terrorism sent the signal that Europe and America had reached the end of their multiculturalism tether and wanted it to end, inventing the phenomenon of Hindu terror sent the signal that resistance by Hindu nationalists to multiculturalism would not be countenanced. The Generic Church, it was clear wanted multiculturalism like jihad to end in Europe and America but wanted it alive and active in India.

(Editor's Note: All social evils racism, slavery, genocides, trail of tears, banishment to reserations, intolerance of extreme nature in the West needs to be forgotten as the thing of the past and attention needs to be focused on India for all social evils that do not even have the fraction of the magnitude of the violence and disrespect for human life evinced in the West thoughout the last several centuries and especially in the 20th century continuing into the 21st century,- obviously a double standard. )

And that is why the plot to launch new-wave Christian terrorism and Hindu terrorism must have been hatched around the same time by the same forces for exactly opposite reasons.

Multiculturalism is a misnomer for warring monotheisms. When Prime Minister David Cameron said state multiculturalism had failed in the UK and Hillary Clinton, while on a state visit to India last month said she was going to Chennai to get a sense of the city’s culture, two of the world’s most influential political leaders used the word culture in entirely different ways.

When David Cameron spoke about state multiculturalism what he actually meant was government policy to invite people of different races, different religions and different countries to make the United Kingdom their home so that Pizza and Paratha, Bharatanatyam and Flamenco could live together happily ever after. It is not surprising that multiculturalism failed in the UK and is failing everywhere in the world.

Elsewhere the writer had observed that the Hindu nation is formed on the basis of what unites us, what we have in common while Abrahamic religionists fragment their countries into smaller countries and states on the basis of how they differ from each other.

If all three Abrahamic religions owe allegiance to the same god and hold the same prophets in reverence, why are Christians and Muslims at each others’ throats in several parts of the world; why are Muslims and Jews at each others’ throats in the middle-east; why did Christians persecute the Jews over centuries?

Fundamental and irreconcilable differences among them which make them warring monotheisms are –

· Judaism holds the cults of Jesus and Mohammed to be heretic faiths

· The Jews do not believe that Jesus is either the son of god or even the promised messiah and are still waiting for God fulfil his promise to the Jews

· While Muslims revere Jesus as one of the messengers of God, they do not believe that Jesus is the son of god while Christians do not believe God spoke to Mohammed through Angel Gabriel

· Even as the Jews are still waiting for God to send them the promised Messiah the Muslims have pronounced Mohammed to be the last Prophet

All three Abrahamic siblings share the common belief that the last and final war before the end of time/end of world will be fought among themselves to decide who among them is god’s chosen people. For this final confrontation to take place, the world must be rid of all other (false) gods and all other (illegitimate) religions so that only their one true god remains to rule the world and only they, the three Abrahamic siblings remain to fight the last war.

This is not culture; this is the Abrahamic worldview or the world as the Abrahamic religionists view it. According to this worldview –

· The world is divided broadly as Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic

· The non-Abrahamic world, the territory and people, must be transformed to become Abrahamic

· This entailed either converting the people to one of the Abrahamic religions or forcibly taking over the territory and bringing it under the rule of an Abrahamic king

· The noun Messiah is transliteration of the Hebrew noun ‘Mashiach’ which derives from the verb ‘mashach’ which means to anoint. Mashiach or Messiah literally means the anointed one. In the Abrahamic worldview, only three categories of people are anointed – prophets, priests and kings. The prophet was considered as representing god to the people; the priest represented the people in all their interactions with god and the king protected the people, ruled over them and defended the territory (the kingdom or nation) which belonged to the god of Abraham. The person so anointed, prophet, priest or king, then became divinely enabled so that he and he alone was chosen by god and authorized by god to serve god and fulfil god’s purpose

· The purpose of the god of Abraham was to first subjugate and enslave the people who did not owe allegiance to the god of Abraham (Abrahamic kings and god’s soldiers did that), then take away the territory of these non-believers (their kingdom and nation) and bring both people and territory under the control of the god of Abraham after destroying the (false) gods and their places of worship

· This was god’s task and purpose which he entrusted to prophets, priests and kings

The Abrahamic worldview where the world is divided into two adversarial, conflicting segments, therefore placed the adherents of Abrahamic religions in a constant state of war – against non-Abrahamic nations, peoples and gods and among themselves as countdown and empowerment for the final showdown which will decide who among them is the chosen people of the god of Abraham.

This explains why –

· The Jews have always tried to control money and resources which makes up for their numerical inferiority because one is born a Jew and is never converted to the Judaic faith

· The prophets – Israelite, Ishmaelite both have such violent histories

· Islam and Christianity must expand into every continent of the world using violence, and leaving behind a trail of abuse and total destruction, even as both of them persecute the numerically inferior Jews across continents and deny the Jews any settled place to live

· Almost every pre-Islam and pre-Christian faith in all the continents, entire nations, tribes and kingdoms have been destroyed for ever with no living trace of these once prosperous, thriving and vibrant religions and civilizations; they are all, people and continents both, either entirely Muslim or Christian or neatly carved up between both

· Why the Pope can speak from both corners of the mouth at the same time; one corner of the mouth says freedom of religion be damned, multiculturalism be damned, secularism be damned, he does not want ‘Asiatic, Muslim Turkey inside Christian Europe; while the other corner of the mouth says at the same time that he will plant the cross in Asia; Muslim Turkey will not be allowed to move into Christian Europe but the white Church must be permitted by secular India to enter and expand across the territory of Hindu India, Confucian China and Buddhist Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Myanmar

Contrast the Abrahamic worldview with Hindu worldview –

· Dharma is supreme, even our gods are subject and subordinate to dharma

· Dharma can be embodied not only in gods but also in humans and non-humans

· A Hindu acquires his worldview not from understanding time, space and the cosmos first (western science and philosophy) and then place the individual within this understanding but by knowing the nature of the individual first and proceeding from that to understand the nature of the rest of the world – time, space, and cosmos

· The journey within the self and from the self to the world is a Hindu’s religion, his spirituality

· God (devas) is the name Hindus give to the extraordinary power, intelligence which permeates all creation

· Because this power, this intelligence (god) is already present, already permeates the world, Hindus do not have to be in a constant state of war with the world to bring any nation or kingdom under the control of our devas

· There are as many gods as there are humans and as many layers of understanding the truth that every god, every method to know the truth, so long as it is subjected to and governed by dharma, is legitimate and deserving of respect

· Wars were waged by kings to establish dharma and the victorious king had to be a dharma vijayi and not a lobha (plunder) or asura vijayi (rape, plunder, murder, mayhem and destruction)

· Within the Hindu nation, Hindus who worshipped Shiva or Vishnu, Kali or Aiyanar, mountain or river, stick or stone or his parents, even if he chose not to worship anyone or anything (that itself indicated simply one level of understanding and he would be born again and again until the fruits of his karma enabled him to know the nature of the self; after that words like belief or non-belief become redundant) could all live together without killing in the name of their god because everything was god and godly when the worshipper was ruled by dharma

· When people lived by dharma and were ruled by dharma, there were no multi-cultures as the Abrahamic world understands the word; there was only one worldview and all creative expressions proceeding from this worldview was culture.

Monotheisms cause multiculturalism and multiculturalism breeds conflict and wages war. Wherever Abrahamic religions exist and their adherents the very nature of their god and their responsibility to fulfil their god’s purpose inevitably places them in constant state of war against the rest of the world.

Within the Hindu nation, Islam and Christianity both are at war against the Hindus. Hindus have to be forced to give up their dharma and their worship either by terror, fear, bribes or blandishments (religious conversion) followed by eventual control of territory (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jammu and Kashmir, North-East, south Tamil Nadu, the eastern and western coastal regions) until Hindu India is fragmented into Christian states like East Timor or South Korea, or Muslim states like Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan.

The rise of Hindu nationalism once again after 1909, in the second half of the 1990s decade rests on the understanding –

· All gods are not the same

· All religions do not have the same objective and so do not lead to the same goal

· Hindus have never conquered territory, enslaved other nations and cultures in the name of their gods and will therefore resist efforts by Abrahamic religions within the nation and outside to make Hindu India another Abrahamic fiefdom

· This means Hindu nationalists will not allow religious conversion and will not surrender Hindu territory to Islam or Christianity

· Will not allow Muslims and Christians in India to claim Hindu territory because their god and their religion has placed this religious mandate upon them

That is why Hindus are reacting violently to increasing Muslim and Christian provocations. When Hindus use force against the constantly warring adherents of Islam and Christianity, they are only protecting their dharma and defending their native land, their janmabhumi.

If India and the rest of Asia have to be transformed for the last war or Armageddon, India’s Hindus must always be kept in a state of weakness, they must never be allowed to capture state power.

It is to attain this objective, to break the backbone of Hindu nationalism again as they did in 1909, that Hindus defending their nation have been labelled terrorists. If the state in India had derived from Hindus then the state would ban religious conversion, the Hindu state would resist forcefully any territorial claim by Muslims and Christians.

But the post 1947 state in India does not derive from the Hindu nation; it derives from Gandhi’s understanding of nation and Nehru’s un-Hindu and anti-Hindu ideology for governance.

Gandhi’s unnatural and unreal understanding of the Hindu nation was typical of general Hindu foolishness that all gods are the same and all religions have the same goal. Gandhi failed to acknowledge even in 1947 when the Hindu nation was vivisected that Islam and Christianity both are mandated by their god and prophets to conquer Hindu territory.

It is this stubborn foolishness which made Gandhi think that Hindus and Muslims, Hindus and Christians in India are brothers because they have the same ancestors. Gandhi should have read the Bible and the Koran with political sense to grasp the political objectives of both books of revelation. Both books declare, a brother is he who worships the same god; if your blood brother worships another god, he is an infidel; convert him or kill him.

Gandhi had no such political sense and Nehru was an irreligious man; and that is why the Hindu nation, governed by the Gandhi-Nehru INC, is destined to be enslaved by Gandhian sense of the nation –

If Hindus believe India should be peopled only by Hindus, they are living in a fool’s paradise. Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, and Christians who have made India their home are fellow countrymen; they will have to live in unity if only for their own intests. In no part of the world are one nationality and one religion synonymous terms, nor has this ever been the case in India. (Hind Swaraj, Chapter X, The Condition of India (cont.): The Hindus and the Mahomedans, pp 52-53)

Savarkar on the other hand suffered from no such delusions –

As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. Our well-meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities… The solid fact is that the so-called communal questions are but a legacy handed down to us by centuries of a cultural, religious and national antagonism between the Hindus and the Moslems. When time is ripe you can solve them but you cannot suppress them by merely refusing recognition of them. (Savarkar’s Presidential address to the 19th session of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha at Karnavati (Ahmedabad) in 1937)

To make sure the Gandhian sense of nation prevails in India and to make sure that Hindu nationalism never raises its head to threaten the movement towards the two stage Apocalypse-Armageddon end of world, the US is making moves, going by this news report, to interfere actively in India’s internal affairs:

The legislative process in the United States Congress on the bill tabled by Congressman Frank Wolf and co-sponsored by Representative Anna Eshoo from California promises to be a fateful happening for the 'defining partnership' between US and India. It is titled as 'To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia'. A hearing has been already held by the House of Representatives although the Indian media hasn't yet apparently caught on what is unfolding on the Hill. The bill has bipartisan support, especially from Christian Conservatives, and there is strong likelihood of it becoming law. India is specifically mentioned as one of the countries where the US will closely monitor the plight of the minorities. The bill demands the creation of the post of a special envoy in the State Department specifically to monitor countries like India. Pakistan has been included in the scope of the bill along with India, but China is not- although Beijing has been openly defying the Vatican's right to control the appointment of Church functionaries in China. As the text of the bill envisages, the proposed US special envoy is expected to:

a) "promote the right of religious freedom of religious minorities" and recommend "appropriate responses" by Washington to instances of violation of the rights;

b) "monitor and combat acts of religious intolerance and incitement targeted against religious minorities";

c) "work to ensure the unique needs of religious minority communities... including the economic and security needs of these communities";

d) work with Indian NGOs and take up with the GOI any Indian laws that are "inherently discriminatory" to minorities; and,

e) raise the issues on the multilateral fora, including the UN and the OSCE.

1 million dollars will be allocated annually to facilitate the work of the special envoy in undertaking activities such as conducting investigations. The bill says: "The Special Envoy should be a person of recognised distinction in the fields of human rights and religious freedom who shall have the rank of ambassador and shall hold office at the pleasure of the President." It seems the Barack Obama administration may already be having a nominee in mind.

From all appearances, the law would be geared in the Indian context to bring under the scanner the working of the Sangh Parivar organisations which have often been implicated in violence against minorities. Most certainly, the latest moves by public organisations in the US to monitor the activities of the Sangh Privar outfits in America now assume even greater significance.(

The proposed Communal Violence Bill, the arrest of Pujya Swami Aseemanand and Sadhvi Pragya and the proposed Bill to monitor rights of minorities in America are all of the same piece.

This explains why Hindu PIOs felt compelled to explain Dr. Subramanian Swamy to protestors at Harvard University in the following Abrahamic multiculturist idiom -

I cannot understand how anyone can call Dr.Subramanian Swamy a BIGOT. Dr.Swamy’s brother-in-law is Jewish, his son-in-law Muslim, his sister-in-law Christian and his wife Parsi. One of his two daughters is married to an Indian Muslim with whom he has closest relations, and therefore how can he possibly be a bigot against the Indian Muslims or Christians.

Multiculturalism is for the birds; the Hindu twit (Concluded)

13th August, 2011.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Multiculturalism is for the birds - I

Moving towards Armageddon


Radha Rajan

Anders Behring Breivik’s bomb besides killing 76 people in Norway, besides exploding several popular, motivated myths about terrorism and the war on terror, also exposed the hollowness of so-called liberal Christian political theories dominating international political discourse.

The concept of ‘universal human rights’ was crafted in the wake of public pronouncement by the Generic Church at the end of colonialism, slavery, and World War I and II; the Generic Church conceived the idea with great far-sightedness and had it legitimized internationally by its pan national constituent, the United Nations, with no real challenge from any member country to the purpose of the law or its content.

“Human Rights,” the Church’s offspring, is expected to be the pervasive universal virtue for all times, of all actions of all governments of the world, in domestic and international affairs. In reality, it is the Generic Church’s bloodless weapon in the “war-by-other-means.”

Even as ‘Human Rights’ became (even if only in theory) the centripetal force drawing towards it all other dominant so-called ‘liberal’ Christian political theories like democracy, freedom of religion, multiculturalism, freedom of religion, and protection of individual rights, the centrifugal force which determined the actual conduct of Abrahamic countries, propelling it in the exact opposite direction to human rights was the hard-headed political objective lying at the core of all three Abrahamic religions. (Editor’s note: Two concurrently operating contradicting thrusts, one overt and one covert, generated by the same force)

The tragedy of Iraq and Afghanistan, the continuing tragedy of Libya, the very creation and continued existence of Pakistan, and the persistent bleeding of India attest to the fact. Read this together with the economic melt-down in America and Europe and we know that all three Abrahamic religions are determined to do each other in and drag the rest of the non-Abrahamic world towards their Armageddon. (Editor’s note: see “Terrorism: An Indian Perspective” “Dhee: The Essence of Hinduness” )

Islam and the Generic Church continue to pursue world conquest and domination through control of territory and people as their ultimate goal; while Judaism continues to pursue (very successfully) its goal of dominating world affairs by directly or indirectly controlling all world capital.

It bears mention that the money flow with the power to move and direct world affairs originates in the drug trade and western financial corporate world including the most powerful banks, and quite possibly controlled indirectly by the same forces. Which would explain the suddenness with which large banks collapse and then recover with Abrahamic miracle; economic crises, market melt-downs and banks collapse unfailingly whenever the Generic Church has made a major move, unacceptable to Israeli interests, to resolve the Israel-Palestine crisis.

With all three Abrahamic religions pursuing a historically mandated predatory global agenda, the Generic Church is beginning to talk of post nation-state amorphous entities which will facilitate yet again, the free movement of Abrahamic religions into non-Abrahamic territories; only this time the Generic Church would ideally like the conquest to be bloodless, legitimized by its pan-national structures and ‘liberal’ Christian political idiom.

Freedom of Religion, which the Generic Church claims is a fundamental human right and deriving from that the two bloodless territory-conquering rights – religious conversion and rights of religious minorities, open markets, free (one-way) flow of capital, self-determination, borderless states and humanitarian intervention are the new calling cards specifically designed within this political idiom for what the Abrahamic religions think will be the second and decisive Abrahamic conquest of the world culminating in Abrahamic Apocalypse.

The third and final war will be fought bloodily among themselves in what will be an All-Abrahamic Armageddon with one victor emerging while the other two may be exterminated or subjugated in slavery. The world, as Hindus continue to sleep unconcerned, is moving inch by determined inch only in this direction. Norway was an unwitting give-away of the Generic Church’s movement towards this two-stage Apocalypse-Armageddon.

The motivated and thundering propaganda that Islam was the fertile womb for terror and the Generic Church was the Universal Soldier fighting the War against Terror came to a totally unforeseen and abrupt end on July 22 in Norway. Norway proved conclusively what Hindu nationalists have always been maintaining - that ‘liberal Christian’ is as much an oxymoron as ‘liberal Muslim’ and that multiculturalism, popularly known as pluralism in India, is only for the birds; for the Hindu twit. (Editor’s note: Here the word Christian and Muslim need to be understood as the organized Christian religions and organized Islamist religions)

Norway revealed to the world the ugly face of Christian terrorism, which Hindus and non-Christian tribal peoples have known and suffered in Orissa’s Maoist-infested districts, in Nagaland, Manipur and other states of India’s North-East. India’s Hindus will pick blindfold Generic Church/Christian Terrorism as accurately as they will pick Jihadi terrorism in any police parade of Crimes against Humanity.

Considering that contrary to initial hysterical outbursts from western media and politicians in the first 24 hours about Islamic terror in idyllic Norway, neither the perpetrator of the outrage nor its victims were Muslim; the Christian world should look deep within itself, its religion and the methods it has used historically over centuries to expand and conquer the world, if it wants answers to explain Anders Behring and Timothy McVeigh. The self-righteous Christian world must confront the ugly truth that the fundamentals of their religion too, like its younger sibling Islam makes monsters of ordinary people.

The forces which handpicked Behring to do what he did find themselves in exactly the same unenviable position that P Chidambaram and his goons in the Maharashtra ATS, NIA and CBI found themselves in today after they invented Hindu terror. And, the driving force in all their twisted minds curiously is the fear of Hindu nationalism.

One idea that has taken a beating since 9/11 and Norway event of July 22nd is multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, as it is known and experienced today, the defining political virtue holding sway since the last quarter of the twentieth century was a bogus virtue born of necessity – the necessity, called the Great Depression. Britain’s fond hope that the sun would never set on the British Empire ended when Tilak, Aurobindo and Savarkar blew the bugle for India’s total political independence from colonial rule.

Details about why after the end of World War II the Generic Church could not make a villain of Nazism without ending colonialism and without simultaneously ending slavery and all its morphed manifestations in America, is not the subject of this column but suffice it to say - if the end of colonialism put paid to the rape and plunder of the natural resources of two continents, Asia and Africa, by the Jewish people and White Christians, ending colonialism and slavery denied them two important sources of slave labor for their slave-labor-intensive economy.

The Generic Church had to think on its feet to quickly regain what it had lost; in 1944, even as World War II was coming to a close, it created the Bretton Woods Bandits to attain the objective. The Bandits first delivered the idea that all world trade would now be pegged to the American Dollar; in one fell stroke all national currencies were devalued and their worth was judged in comparison to the Dollar with the balance tilted artificially in the Bandits’ favor.

The Bretton Woods Bandits created the IMF and the World Bank and the Generic Church kept both pirate banks firmly in its control. Not surprising, considering that the BWB comprised in the main all arms-manufacturing countries whose economic might in 1944, besides the plunder from the colonized countries of Asia, America, and Africa rested only or mainly on the war industry. The war industry was about the only indigenous industry of the Generic Church in those times, not to say the most profitable. While America kept the reins of the World Bank in its hands, the IMF reins were controlled by Europe. (Editor’s note: International firearms and small weapons trade in the black market is equally significant industry and created the monsters in Afghanistan and other areas of the world mostly far away from America and Europe.)

There was just so much that the Bretton Woods Bandits could do to control world trade and commerce through control of international monetary structures and capital flows without commensurate access to manpower, natural resources, and markets for their manufactured goods. The Generic Church also realized that extraordinary intelligence and genius besides hard work and industry was the basis of India’s pre-colonial fabled wealth. (Editor's note: This was an economy that did not exploit other countries and other cultures with no war industry deployed on large scale for empire building. This economy was not based on monopolies, patents, control of market share by a few profiteers.)

The time was right for new methods to access the riches of other countries and new slave labor to be moved into their own continents to power their war-torn economy; the Generic Church prodded the BWB to invent immigration even as it began to lay the foundation for the formidable structure of globalization. Immigration to BWB countries, both temporary and permanent, came in three waves, pre-globalization, during globalization and at the height of the Information Technology pandemic. Multiculturalism became, to that end, a necessary official political virtue. (To be continued)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Multiculturalism is for the Birds – 2


Radha Rajan

Monotheism breeds multiculturalism

Immigration to BWB countries came in two forms – slave labor which performed hard, physical manual work as skilled laborers in their factories, and as ‘unskilled labor’ comprising a major segment of their service industry; all for the privilege of being allowed to view from a distance the American Holy Grail Dream.

In the second stage, well-camouflaged slave labor was promoted and elevated to the status of domestic help when bogus Christian egalitarianism allowed them to live inside the home of the master and eat off the kitchen table. This labour came into these countries as doctors, engineers, scientists, educationists, yoga gurus and IT experts.

Multiculturalism in America and Europe was a necessary virtue when it was multi-flavoured Christianity - newly-liberated, end-of-segregation African American, Cuban, Irish, Italian and Latin-American; multiculturalism as immigration from countries which they had colonised and impoverished was suffered as token Christian reparation for war crimes and the crimes of colonization; multiculturalism was also a show-and-tell virtue when it was docile, self-effacing, hardworking Hindus and Sikhs who knew their place, were immensely grateful for being allowed to graze on green pastures, and who, despite more wealth in the bank than their masters, did not threaten hostile take-over of the house, bless their Hindu souls!!

Multiculturalism began to lose its sheen and virtuous veneer when it came to Muslims – Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani Muslims, African Muslims and growing numbers of a new wave of Africans fleeing poverty, hunger and Aids. The increasing visibility of migrants from Asia – from India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and from Africa was altering the racial demography of the white landscape and multiculturalism was beginning to pinch.

It began to pinch painfully when the new wave of Muslim immigrants, unlike the Hindus refused not only to remain confined to the kitchen and service quarters but insisted on running amok in the garden and the living room. Some of them even declared their intent to subjugate and take over America and Europe by altering the religious demography of the American and European landscape and eventually to do unto Europe and America what they had already done to India in 1947 and what Europe and America had done to Indonesia, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Sudan.

All this was unsettling to the White Christian-ness of public spaces in Europe and America compounded by the imminent danger from multiculturalism to the pre-eminent position of the White Christian, ruling supra-elite.

America and Europe were forced to revisit multiculturalism as a political virtue when Islam’s symbols and way of life began to pervade the two continents. Samuel Huntington had to undertake a massive exercise to probe the content of being ‘American’ while Britain and France, Australia and Canada began to analyse and describe their national culture and ethos. All of them concluded ridiculously that the ability to speak English or French, and not permitting Muslim women to wear the veil constituted the essence of white culture.

Democracy was thrown in as a component of self-description only to juxtapose it against what the Generic Church considered was non-democratic, non-liberal Muslim social and political culture. (, State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron)

The first important step in Europe towards self-description came in 2002 from Pope John Paul II and the then Cardinal Ratzinger, now incumbent Pope; in America, around the same time the process of self-description was marked by Samuel Huntington’s Who are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity (Simon & Schuster, 2004) and a renewed national debate over whether the Pledge of Allegiance (not to be confused with the Oath of Allegiance) was mandatory for all students in American schools.

America’s multiculturalism was heaving and churning, threatening to dislodge the cowboy.

When the fall of the Berlin Wall was engineered by the Generic Church to coincide with neo-colonialism’s globalization, neo-Imperialism smacked its lips as new frontiers beckoned it and new vistas for expansion opened up. Greed for new territories to occupy and control was tempered by the sobering realization that a significant part of Eastern Europe was Muslim and even if one did not factor globalization-immigration into Europe, parts of the continent were as distinctly Muslim as other parts were Christian.

As the European Union was emerging from its chrysalis, the Pope had to speak up, as others had, to emphasize Europe’s Christian-ness before Multiculturalism was made Europe’s defining virtue.

Q: There is a debate over the inclusion of the word 'God' and references to Europe's Christian past in the preambles of the future [European] Constitution. Do you think there can be a united Europe that has turned its back on its Christian past?

A: I am convinced that Europe must not just be something economic [or] political; rather, it is in need of spiritual foundations.

It is a historical fact that Europe is Christian, and that it has grown on the foundation of the Christian faith, which continues to be the foundation of the values for this continent, which in turn has influenced other continents.

It is imperative to have a foundation of values and, if we ask ourselves what that foundation is, we realize that, beyond the confessions, there are no others outside the great values of the Christian faith. And this is why it is imperative that in the future Constitution of Europe mention is made of the Christian foundations of Europe. (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from an interview given on 1 December 2002 to a group of journalists at the Catholic University of St. Anthony, Murcia, Spain)

Europe is a cultural and not a geographical continent. It is united by its culture which gives it a common identity. The roots which formed ... this continent are those of Christianity. (Josef Ratzinger prior to his election as Pope Benedict XIV, in an Interview in Le Figaro, August 2004, putting the case for the exclusion of Turkey on religious grounds)

Turkey [is] an Asiatic nation, its capital is not in Europe, 95% of its population is outside Europe. Turkey has a different culture, a different approach, a different way of life. Letting it in would be the end of the European Union. (Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, French President 1974-1981, President of Commission for drafting the EU Constitution set up in 2002. Widely taken to mean he doesn't want Turkey to join because it is a majority Muslim country)

Europe's founders, like Adenauer, De Gaspari and Schuman, put their Christian [Catholic] faith at the centre of their political lives. How can we underestimate, for example, the fact that in 1951, before beginning the delicate negotiations which would lead to the adoption of the Treaty of Paris, they wished to meet in a Benedictine monastery on the Rhine for meditation and prayer? (Pope John Paul II, 7 November 2003, Audience with members of European Christian Democrat Foundation, appealing to have Christianity mentioned in the EU Constitution)

We will be joined to a Europe in which the Catholic religion will be the dominant faith, and in which the application of the Catholic Social Doctrine will be the major factor in everyday political and economic life. (Shirley Williams, British Labor Minister and later co-founder of Social Democrats)

Besides turning the Genesis on its head by attributing human Founders for Europe and besides giving short shrift to geography, the following ideas emerge unambiguously from these statements –

· The then Pope, the incumbent Pope and important political leaders in Europe declare firmly that Europe is Christian

· The bare-faced lie that Europe grew on the foundations of Christianity

· That Europe is not a geographic but a cultural entity and Europe’s Founders put their Christian faith at the centre of their political lives

· The Generic Church will not acknowledge, much less legitimise any pre-Christian past or roots for Europe

· The incumbent Pope and a former President of France (the spectre of Algeria was haunting France) do not want Muslim Turkey within the Christian European Union which would effectively make Turkey a European country

This is not the only instance when the Church has rejected multiculturalism on its turf. The Church closed ranks and rejected the Muslim demand to build a mosque adjacent to the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth. The Basilica of Annunciation is built on the site where the Church claims Angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus.

Muslims claim that the site is important to them too historically because it is the final resting place of Shahib-al-Din, nephew of Saladin who commanded the Jihadi army which defeated the Crusaders in 1187. The Israeli government at first permitted the Muslims to build the mosque and the marble cornerstone was unveiled with much fanfare on November 23, 1999.

The Christian world reacted with anger over the Muslim demand and over the Israeli government’s decision to allow the mosque to come up next to the Basilica. This notwithstanding the fact that Nazareth is important to both Christians and Muslims; that the site in question is historically important to both communities; most significantly, notwithstanding the fact that Muslims today constitute two-thirds of Nazareth’s population.

Considering the lectures on pluralism, freedom of religion and rights of minorities which the U.S and the Vatican have given to India’s Hindus, this makes interesting reading –

A special Israeli government committee is debating whether Nazareth officials should allow Muslims to continue building a mosque alongside the famous Basilica of the Annunciation.

Israeli officials created the committee in response to a new wave of international appeals. Israel decided in 1998 to allow the mosque's construction, despite protests from Nazareth's Christians. The Vatican, the White House, and an international coalition of Catholic and Protestant Christian church groups have opposed construction.

Critics have said that the new mosque could physically overwhelm the adjacent church site and threaten the delicate status quo between Nazareth's Muslim Arab majority and Christian Arab minority.

The mosque might contain multiple spires that would tower over the black-coned dome of the basilica, says Dave Parsons, a spokesman for the International Christian Embassy, one of the groups protesting the construction.

"It will demean the basilica and force Christians to run a gantlet from the main street to the church," Parsons said. "We want the city authorities to restore the public plaza and establish a buffer zone against any future encroachment attempts.” (

America fares no better than Europe at self-description and dealing with multiculturalism. Samuel Huntington, like President Kennedy before him described the United States of America as a Nation of Immigrants. For “an anguished, frantic, over-burdened academic producing scholarly works”, the description was a travesty of truth which condemned Native Americans and African Americans to non-existence by leaving them outside the pale of this popular description.

Native Americans were native or indigenous to the continent and Bering Strait theory notwithstanding cannot be termed immigrants; and the forcible transportation of Africans to the American continent can hardly be termed immigration. If we discount from Huntington’s description the blatant falsehood of calling European Christian genociders, invaders, freebooters, settlers-by-force, slave holders and slave traders as immigrants, what remains of the American populace – Germans, Irish, Scandinavians, Latin Americans and Asians - fits the description. America is a nation of immigrants.

America could not be described in terms of race, ethnicity or religion. Except for Native Americans who belonged to the soil, the rest of the populace was not bound to the nation by primordial, umbilical ties. Huntington and the White House had to confront the truth that there were powerful “sub-national, dual-national and transnational” identities which were always simmering at the top of the people’s consciousness.

That people feel a permanent sense of belonging to each other only when they share a common sense of belonging to the soil is a truth that is always fudged, swept under the carpet and rejected outright; but the truth keeps coming back as is the way of truth.

Faced by the sobering truth that there was nothing that could hold the artificial entity called United States of America together, the ruling elite was compelled to invent the onion called American Creed. When Huntington peeled the onion he was forced, like the Pope to conclude that America was white Christian!

The ‘American Creed’ as initially formulated by Thomas Jefferson and elaborated by many others, is widely viewed as the crucial defining element of American identity. The Creed, however, was the product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers of America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Key elements of that culture include the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; English concepts of the rule of law, the responsibility of rulers, and the rights of individuals; and dissenting Protestant values of individualism, the work ethic, and the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to try to create a heaven on earth, a “city on a hill.” Historically, millions of immigrants were attracted to America because of this culture and the economic opportunities it helped to make possible. (Samuel Huntington, Who are We, pp xv-xvi)

Huntington admits –

· American Creed is the essence of American nationalism

· Nationalism is culture

· Culture derives from religion

· American Nationalism is a mixture of Anglo-Protestant cultural and political values like individualism and the religious commitment of the individual

· This cultural nationalism, if it finds no favour with non-Christians as it doesn’t, is made attractive with ‘economic opportunities’ seasoning

· America, like any other Christian country or society is only a sum total of individuals

White Christian America, after inventing the binding glue called American Creed realized that the glue did not always work and its populace kept looking back wistfully for the nation they had left behind for the American Dream. The American state needed something more than the voluntary code of the American Creed to survive; it crafted the Oath of Allegiance, which immigrants had to take when they opted for American citizenship; and the Pledge of Allegiance which adults and school children took every morning around the American flag.

The Oath of Allegiance is intended to make a new-convert-to-the-faith of the immigrant – reject all previous fidelity to previous gods, reject totally your previous gods and worship none but this one true god.

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform non-combatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

So help me God! Which God?

The Pledge of Allegiance, which is an oath of loyalty to the American flag and the American Republic, composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally accepted by the American Congress in 1942, reads as follows –

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The American state is one state under god and indivisible! Considering the numbers of dictators America has supported, the violence it has triggered and sustained around the world, the separatist and secessionist movements and groups it has funded and encouraged, the nations it has torn apart and divided, the Oath and Pledge of Allegiance is a telling commentary on the Abrahamic monotheisms.

The words of the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance are perfect examples of monotheist intolerance which is the very antithesis of multiculturalism or pluralism. They also testify as nothing else can, that monotheist religions, ideologies and countries want for themselves what they deny to others.

Monotheist religions and political ideologies have brought the following conflicting dichotomies into political discourse –

Nation – State

Nationality – Citizenship

Nationalism – Patriotism

Multiculturalism/Pluralism – Diversity

These conflicting, warring dichotomies arose from the political objectives which lie at the core of all three Abrahamic religions; the Abrahamic religious objective to destroy all other ways of life, all other worldviews, all other religions and faiths, all other gods, all other objects of loyalty and reverence.

It is the Abrahamic politico-religious culture which has made possible what Hindu dharma rejects strongly –

· That the state does not derive from the nation

· That a person’s nationality can be different from one’s citizenship

· That nationalism and patriotism can be two entirely different things and

· That multiculturalism is the complete opposite of diversity.

(To be continued)