Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ahmadiyas are Indians, too

Liberty abridged

The Pioneer Edit Desk, Editorial, 18 June 2008

Ahmadiyas are Indians, too

The cancellation of a conference of the Ahmadiya community by the Andhra Pradesh Government last Sunday is a gross infringement of the secular principles on which the country is founded. The State Government cancelled this conference, which was to be held at the open air Lalitha Kala Thornam in Hyderabad, by citing a patently spurious 'technical' reason -- that there was a "major breakdown" in the electricity supply line. This would have held more water had it not been that several fundamentalist Muslim organisations, which are not particularly representative but claim to be so, had threatened to besiege the place if the Ahmadiyas were allowed to hold the proposed meeting. Clearly the Congress Government in the State was eager to oblige these organisations and thus appease mullahs as part of the party's minority appeasement policy that subverts India's secular polity and divides its society along communal lines. This abject capitulation is in keeping with the manner in which the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre has been pandering to Muslim fanatics under the cover of 'secular' politics. Such capitulation flies in the face of constitutional guarantees and is unacceptable. Followers of every religion, faith and sect are free to practice and preach their beliefs in India; by disallowing the Ahmadiya conference, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, which has sworn to uphold the Constitution of India, has abridged this fundamental right and thus harmed the cause of liberty. Indeed, what the Congress has done is to legitimise the persecution of Ahmadiyas by fundamentalist Muslims -- what is widespread in Islamic countries where theocracy prevails over democracy, has now been given official recognition in India. Coming as it does in the wake of Bangladeshi dissident writer Taslima Nasreen being hounded out of this country simply because some mullahs and their cohorts wedded to intolerant Islam and given to violence in the name of Islam willed it so, the cancellation of the Ahmadiya meeting only serves to confirm, if at all confirmation was needed, that the Prime Minister's "Muslims first" policy is in reality "Muslim fanatics first" policy. In the process, India has been shamed, though not for the first time on account of the Congress's perverse notions of 'secularism'.

The Ahmadiyas are as Islamic as those Muslims who deny them the right to practice Islam and thus denude them of their religious identity. In any event, it is not for a secular state to decide who is or is not a Muslim -- or, for that matter, a Hindu, a Christian or a Sikh -- nor is it incumbent on a secular state to accept the primacy of one sect over another. What the Andhra Pradesh Government has done, and knowingly so, is to set an extremely dangerous and sinister precedent. Its decision will embolden fanatics to force their warped perception on both the state and society. To prevent this from happening and to dampen the spirit of those who are celebrating the suppression of the rights of Ahmadiyas in free India, everybody who cherishes liberty and pluralism must protest against the Andhra Pradesh Government's decision. It would be nice to see our self-righteous human rights activists speak up in support of the Ahmadiyas. It would also be in order for the Opposition to rally support for this persecuted community, unless it is as desperate as the Congress to stoop to any extent for a fistful of votes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

You represent India not China, BJP reminds CPI

Bhartiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh on Sunday expressed concern over Communist Party of India general secretary A B Bardhan's remarks that the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal would make India a US outpost against China.

In a statement issued to the media on Sunday, Rajnath said: 'The CPI in its over-enthusiasm towards China seems to have forgotten that it is not a Chinese but an Indian political party. Ever since the idea of the nuclear deal has been mooted, the Left Front parties have consistently indicated that they are more concerned about protecting China's interests than our own national and strategic interests.'

'The BJP is the only political party that has opposed the proposed nuclear deal on pure nationalistic grounds. Playing the role of a constructive opposition party, the BJP has vociferously protested against certain provisions of the proposed deal that could jeopardize our long term strategic sovereignty and interests,' he said.

'Instead of properly addressing the nationalist concerns being raised by the BJP, the UPA government and its allies are consistently engaging in regular bouts of verbal boxing through the media and in the public domain without recognising the fact that such statements and public posturing could actually jeopardize our long term and strategic relations with both the United States and China.

'The Left parties are trying to politicize the issue in an attempt to regain their losing political relevance and mass support. However, in this process the Left parties are in reality thoroughly exposing their true colours and their cross border affiliations before the public,' he added.

Source: Rediff

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pusillanimous and Fattu Kerala Women's Panel

Start of christian bigotry against women and cowardice of Kerala's Women's Panel. Read on,

Kerala women's panel freezes move on nuns

VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram

Faced with stiff opposition from the powerful Christian Church and Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Kerala State Commission for Women, nominated by the CPI(M)-led LDF regime, has decided to put in cold storage its recommendation for a law to impose restrictions on girls becoming nuns in Christian convents.

The commission decided on Wednesday to submit its recommendation for a law to ensure that girls below the age of 18 were not made nuns and for other controls only after elaborate studies in the context of the widespread protests and the CPM's official announcement that it was not interested in the issue. CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday told newspersons that girls becoming nuns in convents was an issue of the Christian religion and the Marxist party had nothing to do with it.

The Women's Commission had taken the decision on June 3 while acting upon a complaint. Suggesting a law for ensuring a higher age limit for girls to become nuns, the panel had also said that parents who forced their children to become nuns before the age of 18 should be punishable under law. It also wanted a portion of ancestral property to be registered in the name of the nun and a scheme for rehabilitation of nuns if they quit convents. The Church had seen all this as an infringement on its religious rights.

The decision taken by the commission, headed by chairperson Justice D Sreedevi, or the recommendation for law on nuns had become a huge controversy after various leaders and priests aired strong objections to it, saying the Church had its own stringent laws regarding induction of nuns and their life. The Church had interpreted the decision of the commission as part of a conspiracy to defame and destroy it.

The Congress demanded the resignation of commission chairperson Justice Sreedevi, who had admitted that the panel had not conducted any studies before deciding to recommend the revolutionary law. State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said the commission's move was a continuation of the programme designed by the CPM to restrict the constitutional rights and freedom of religious minorities.

Sources said the commission's decision to impose a freeze on its move was the direct result of the CPM's not looking interested in it. The new controversy is detrimental to the interests of the CPM, which has already been facing opposition on various fronts from the Church, in the context of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The CPM State secretary said the party had nothing to do with nuns or the commission's recommendation. He said no discussions had taken place in the party on the matter. The CPM is already facing the Church's ire on several issues.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Conference said the commission's decision was "an accident" which occurred due to its ignorance. The Church had earlier clarified that its canon laws had prescribed the minimum age for girls for being appointed nuns as 18 years. It had also clarified that no girl could be made a nun unless she chose the path herself.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Old 2006 article: RSS for Dalit head priests in temples

RSS for Dalit head priests in temples

NEW DELHI: In what could raise eyebrows in several circles, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mouthpiece Panchjanya has suggested that Dalits and other backward classes be trained and appointed as head priests at major temples in the country.

TOI's breast beatings

Here They Go Again

Competitive identity politics in Mumbai has taken yet another ugly turn. In the process, it has chipped away, again, at India's liberal, democratic foundations.

When activists claiming allegiance to the Shivsangram Sangathana - which has links with the NCP - vandalised the house of Loksatta editor, Kumar Ketkar, on Thursday, it was our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression that was under assault, along with the life and property of Ketkar and his wife.

Vinayak Mehte, a former NCP MLC, claimed his organisation was upset by an editorial written by Ketkar, which had criticised the Maharashtra government's decision to erect a statue of Shivaji in the Arabian Sea.

Anyone who has read the editorial will see that it simply did not denigrate the great Maratha warrior. What it did was ask whether such a project was necessary when the state had so many pressing problems - including farmer suicides and malnutrition - facing it. {Can't it be argued that why can't Mr Ketkar write about "pressing problems" and focus on them instead of going after the statue of C. Shivaji Maharaj?}

It's a valid question, and as a journalist Ketkar has the right to raise it. Indeed, any other citizen could have asked the same. Freedom of expression is every Indian's fundamental right.

However, such questioning in Maharashtra seems to be an invitation to trouble, especially if Shivaji figures in the equation. We know that the Shiv Sena links pride in the warrior and his heritage to Marathi asmita and sets its cadre amok, especially in Mumbai, whenever it decides this pride has been offended in a book, a movie or elsewhere.

Successive administrations of other political dispensations, instead of countering this regressive brand of politics, have adopted it.

Though the NCP and the Congress do not speak the language of Bal Thackeray or Raj Thackeray - at least officially - they are in effect doing so by merely watching instead of coming down hard on the violent mobs. Four years ago, it was the Congress government that banned historian James Laine's book on Shivaji and an NCP-backed organisation that ransacked Bhandarkar Institute in Pune.

In their crude attempts to gain political capital by presenting themselves as protectors of Shivaji's legacy, political parties in Maharashtra are impoverishing India's liberal tradition.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Gujarat, freedom of the press is under attack as well, for different reasons. Angered by investigative reports against him by this newspaper, Ahmedabad's police chief O P Mathur - instead of suing for defamation - pressed sedition charges. {Shri OP Mathur should have labelled TOI jholawallas as treasonous bast*rds, which TOI is, and given them a sound beating, who cares for the evidence. TOI does it again and again, it is just a matter of time when the tables are turned against these delusional and retarded TOI jholawallas.}

This is a dangerous move. It could have damaging consequences for not just journalists but all citizens. Freedom of expression, which includes the freedom of the press, is vital to a healthy democracy, which protects individual and collective rights.

Increasingly, in one way or another, we seem to be fighting a losing battle {You will lose, no doubt in my mind, because satyameva jayate, truth always wins} against those who have little regard or respect for the liberal values on which this nation was founded.

Indian church and their bigotry against women

Kerala women's panel, Church lock horns over nuns
J Gopikrishnan | New Delhi

A major controversy has erupted in Kerala with the State women's commission asking the CPI(M)-led Government to enact a law barring appointment of girls under 18 years of age as nuns by churches. Accusing the Church of "brain-washing adolescent girls" to accept "sisterhood", the commission has called for protection of their property rights.

The issue has brought the Church and the State Government face to face, with the clergy launching a 'crusade' against the women's commission. The Congress has sided with the Church and dubbed the commission's recommendation "anti-minority".

The recommendations, mooted by KWC chairperson Justice D Sreedevi, include banning the entry of girls below the age of 18 into convents, penal provisions for parents and/or persons forcing the girls into sisterhood, ensuring that the property rights of girls appointed by convents are protected and re-habilitation of those withdrawing from 'sisterhood'. The other recommendations which irked the Church are preventing the bequeathal of nuns' properties to the Church and provisions for retrieval of such properties as and when nuns decide to quit the convent.

The Church has vehemently opposed the KWC move and described the recommendations as a "thoughtless process". It was allowing only girls above 18 years of age as nuns, it clarified.

"The commission's remarks have hurt the sentiments of the community of nuns and priests, who have been serving the society irrespective of caste and creed for centuries," said the Major Archbishop of Syro Malankara Catholic Church in a Press release. He said that the commission should have studied the issue before commenting on it. "According to our canon, no person can become a priest or nun without attaining 18 years of age. However, prescribing an age limit for a person interested in priesthood would be a breach of individual freedom," he said.

"As a matter of fact, no woman can be a nun before the age of 20. Then too, a person takes temporary vows initially," Rev Dr Babu Jospeh, spokesperson for the Catholic Bishop Council of India, said.

But the KWC chairperson refutes the arguments. "I have seen a lot many incidents to the contrary and received several complaints. I agree that a girl becomes a nun only after 18 or 20. My objection is against the recruitment of poor girls at the age of 12 or 13 by providing/promising free education, accommodation and offering money to their parents," Justice Sreedevi told The Pioneer over telephone from Thiruvananthapuram.

"The girls are being moulded or brainwashed at a tender age to accept the life of nuns. This is not fair. How can a parent decide the fate of his daughter without her consent? I am not against any religion. I am here for social justice and empowerment of women," argued Justice Sreedevi.

While the Church denied appointing under-18 girls to the convent, it stoutly defended the property right provisions. "As regards the right to family property, first of all it is the prerogative of parents to bequeath their property to their children. As per the Church rules, the share of property given to a religious person becomes the property of the organisation he/she belongs to.

This is so because of (a) a religious person voluntarily renounces the right to individual ownership of property at the time of becoming a permanent member of a religious congregation; (b) a religious person is entitled to all the legitimate rights within the religious congregation; and (c) in a religious congregation all properties are held in common," said Rev Dr Babu Jospeh.

"It would have been highly desirable had the Kerala Women's Commission ascertained all the right information regarding the Church's practices and then made its recommendation," he added.

However, dissenting notes were heard from within the community. Joseph Pulikunnel, who has been campaigning for reforms in the Catholic Church, termed the commission recommendation "a landmark". He said there were cases of girls below 18 years of age, especially those from poor families, who had been forced to join convents. Then, he added, there had been instances of nuns who left convents after some years and failed to get back their family assets. He chose to describe the commission's recommendations as an issue of human rights rather than that of religion.

To get the early-bird advantage, the Congress spared no time in reacting. State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala slammed the KWC recommendations as "anti-minority" and demanded the ouster of Justice Sreedevi. Reacting to the Congress' allegation, Justice Sreedevi said she was sad about the stand of political parties "who are supposed to lead the moves ensuring social justice and empowerment of women".

"Such parties should look at their past and glorious deeds of their predecessors in a bid to achieve social justice. But now all of them are looking for vote banks. Anyway, I am committed to my point and there's no going back," she added.

Major provisions in the recommendation

# Ban the entry of under-18 girls to convents

# Prosecute parents/persons forcing girls to become nuns

# Protect the family share of girls who become nuns

# Nuns' properties should not be bequeathed to churches

# Rehabilitate girls who leave churches

Source: Daily Pioneer

UPA Govt lacks determination to fight terrorism: Experts

In what is being seen as a major failure for the counter-terrorism response of the UPA Government at the Centre and those in the States, investigations into most sensational terror attacks during the last four years are mostly incomplete and key "plotters" and "executioners" still traceless. In most of the cases relating to terrorist strikes -- including the recent ones like Jaipur serial blasts (May 13, 2008), Ajmer Sharif dargah blast (October 11, 2007) and bomb blasts at the Mecca Masjid (May 18, 2007) -- the agencies are yet to conclude the investigation.

Former director of Intelligence Bureau AK Doval told The Pioneer that single-minded determination was lacking to fight terrorism both at the policy formulation and execution levels. "The counter-terrorism efforts leave much to be desired," he added.

The Samjhauta Express blasts (18/19 February, 2007) incident is still being probed by the Haryana Police. The Union Home Ministry is awaiting the result of narco-analysis test of SIMI activists Safdar Nagori, Kamruddin, Parvez, Abdul Razak and Raies, who were arrested in Madhya Pradesh. Haryana Police had also questioned the SIMI activists and is expected to send a report to the Centre about the progress of the investigations into the case that left nearly 70 dead and injured over 100 persons.

Likewise, in the Malegaon blasts (September 8, 2006) case, the prosecution is solely dependent on the six accused persons' confessions, recorded under Section 18 of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Of these six accused, three did not confirm their confessions before the judge and the case is still lingering in the courts.

Investigations into the Mumbai local train blasts case (July 11, 2006) have concluded and chargesheets filed against 13 persons. But 15 accused, including 10 Pakistani nationals, are still absconding. The fugitives have also been chargesheeted. The MCOCA designated court, Mumbai, has issued non-bailable warrants against these 15 absconders. Red Corner Notices have been issued against two absconding accused, Rizwan Dawrey and Rahil Sheikh. The 13 accused are using all delaying tactics, like challenging the provisions of MCOCA, non-signing of charges, boycott by their lawyers. Now they have levelled allegations against the MCOCA special judge, according to the inputs available with the Union Home Ministry.

After receiving a setback at the Bombay High Court, these accused have filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court and challenged the constitutional validity of MCOCA. A petition by the accused regarding their not having faith in the special judge has also been dismissed by the Bombay High Court.

In the Aurangabad arms haul case (May 9 to 14, 2006), a chargesheet has been filed against the 17 arrested persons, but eight accused are still wanted. One of the main accused wanted by the anti-terrorist squad, Mumbai, is Zabiuddin who is believed to be in Bangladesh.

Chargesheets have been filed in the Varanasi bomb blasts case (March 7, 2006. An accused was killed in an encounter in May that year and another prime suspect is in judicial custody. However, an Indian and three Bangladeshis are still wanted. Even Red Corner Notices could not be issued against the wanted Bangladeshi nationals for want of personal details. The chargesheet has been filed against prime accused Waliullah and another accused Shamim, who is absconding.

The terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (December 28, 2005), is still being investigated. However, eight accused -- mostly owing allegiance to Lashkar-e-Tayyaba -- have been arrested. Seven of the eight accused in the case have been chargesheeted.

There are eight accused in the Delhi triple blasts case (October 29, 2005). Of these accused, three Indians have been prosecuted and two wanted accused -- Abu Hufeza and Rashid -- have been killed in an encounter. The remaining three, including Abu Alqama and Zaid, are still at large as Red Corner Noticess could not be issued against them for want of personal details.

The case pertaining to the attack on Ram Janmabhumi Complex in Ayodhya (July 5, 2005) is at evidence stage. There are five accused and an Allahabad court has examined 18 witnesses. Of the six wanted accused, two have been liquidated in encounters and efforts are being made to find out the names and addresses of the remaining four accused.

The Centre is still to draw any lesson from the past terror attacks for putting in place an effective mechanism to counter the intensity as well as the spatial spread of terrorist outfits. Incidentally, it is happening despite intelligence assessments about the possibility of more terror attacks by the growing presence of sleeper cells, which are funded through a sophisticated network of hawala operators.

Coordination from the multi-agency centre and joint task force on intelligence of the Intelligence Bureau and the regular follow-up meetings of the Union Home Ministry with the States where terrorist strikes have occurred, has hardly helped in improving the situation.

Counter-terrorism expert Ajay Sahni said, "In the absence of intensive intelligence build-up, post-incident investigations are unlikely to produce results as terrorist outfits operate in a highly decentralised manner and execute their designs through an opportunistic alliance at the field level."

The basic police paraphernalia, technical infrastructure, specialised training and the requisite numbers in the police and investigating agencies are lacking, Sahni said. "The lack of coherent policy at the political executive level, both at the Centre as well as in States, is the greatest failure. The political executive has failed to frame an institutionalised response to the threat posed by the terrorist outfits," he added.

At dead end

# Jaipur serial blasts (May 13, 2008) Sixty-nine killed, 100 injured.

Being probed by Jaipur Police and supported by the Central intelligence. No headway so far

# Attack on CRPF Group Centre at Rampur (January 1, 2008)

Seven CRPF personnel & a civilian killed, five injured. Terror module responsible identified, six LeT terrorists, including three Pak nationals, arrested. Further investigation continues

# Ajmer blasts (October 11, 2007) Three killed, 28 injured.

Case being probed by the Rajasthan police, yet to be wrapped up

# Bomb blasts in Shingar Cinema Hall, Ludhiana

Three persons arrested. Investigation still continues in the case

# Mecca masjid blasts (May 18, 2007), Hyderabad

Ten killed, 50 injured.

Case stll being probed by CBI

# Samjhauta Express blasts (February 18/19, 2007)

Sixty-seven killed, dozens injured

SIMI cadres believed to be behind the blasts put to narco analysis tests, reports being analysed, probe continues

Source: Daily Pioneer

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nato general’s sarcastic remarks against Pakistani troops


This is how he was quoted while describing the incident in a report carried by a Western wire service. “Pakistan had a very difficult year, with a huge wave of suicide bombers, the Lal Masjid event, 257 soldiers captured by 20 insurgents.” (ROFLOL)

There was no doubt that he was sarcastic while referring to the incident. He made sure that he highlighted the figures to make the point as to how Pakistan Army was faring in its campaign against the militants. So he gave those figures about 257 soldiers getting captured by 20 insurgents only.

Ansar Burney deported-TOI's lazy jholawalla's

India sends back Ansar Burney: TOI
Burney said he was not given any reason by the immigration officials but was told to go back to Dubai.
And TOI's lazy assed ch*tya journalists too did not investigate the reasons for his deportation, contrast the TOI's stupid journalists with paki-jihad-journos. Way to go.

India deports Ansar Burney: Daily Times (Paki paper)
Sources said, however, that Burney had a visa to disembark at a different port, but he chose to arrive at the Delhi airport without seeking a prior permission.