Friday, July 11, 2008

Now, Church fights conversion as Mizos embrace Judaism

Pioneer, July 10, 2008

Alarmed at the prospect of hordes of Mizos embracing Judaism and deserting the Church for Jerusalem, Christian groups are believed to have lodged their protest with the Union Home Ministry and blocked the migration of Israel's lost tribe to the promised land.
Hundreds of newly-converted tribal Jews in Mizoram feel "devastated" after New Delhi refused them permission to migrate to Israel. The denial, the Jewish community leaders say, follows protests by Christian groups.

Full Text :

Now, Church fights conversion as Mizos embrace Judaism

Syed Zarir Hussain | Aizawl

Alarmed at the prospect of hordes of Mizos embracing Judaism and deserting the Church for Jerusalem, Christian groups are believed to have lodged their protest with the Union Home Ministry and blocked the migration of Israel's lost tribe to the promised land.

Hundreds of newly-converted tribal Jews in Mizoram feel "devastated" after New Delhi refused them permission to migrate to Israel. The denial, the Jewish community leaders say, follows protests by Christian groups.

"We are shattered with the Indian Government rejecting our applications for migrating to Israel," Jeremia Hnamte, administrator of the Mizoram chapter of the Shavei Israel Organisation (SIO), said.

The SIO is a group headquartered in Jerusalem and dedicated to searching for lost tribes of Israel and helps them return to their Promised Land. Rabbinical leaders announced in 2006 that some 6,000 members of the Bnei Menashe tribe in India's North-East were descendants of ancient Israelites or one of the Biblical 10 lost tribes. The recognition from Israel came after tribe members sent scores of applications seeking to migrate to Israel, or the "Promised Land", saying it was their right to do so.

According to Israeli law, every Jew enjoys the "right of return" or the right of abode in the country. "We understand that a group of Christians lodged a formal protest with the Indian External Affairs and Home Ministry saying they should not allow Mizo Jews to migrate to Israel and stop conversions," Hnamte said.

"We are fighting for our right to migrate and hope to get a positive nod from the Indian Government soon." "There was tremendous pressure from the Church and the Mizoram Government on New Delhi to force Israel to ban the conversions," a community elder of the Bnei Menashe tribe said requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, a group of about 200 Mizos were awaiting clearance from the Government after they were officially recognised as Jews.

After the recognition, a group of rabbis visited Mizoram last year and converted the batch of nearly 200 Mizo tribal people to Judaism after they took a holy dip at a mikvah or a ritual bath.

"The new converts are practising the religion perfectly. Once they are allowed to migrate to Israel, they will undergo a year-long course there to learn other aspects of Judaism at Government expense," Itzkhak Colney, a Jewish clergy, said.

Colney was a convert and migrated to Israel in 1997 and is now in Mizoram to help the locals here to preach Judaism and the Hebrew language among the Mizo Jews.

Some 1,000 people from Mizoram and neighbouring Manipur State have migrated to Israel since 1994 when a private body, the Amishav Association took up their case. The last batch of 218 Mizos left the North-East for Jerusalem in 2006.

Mizoram is a predominantly Christian State, while most Manipuris follow Hinduism. Most Jews in the two States were Christian by birth.

Apart from names, the converts share many practices in common with traditional Jews - such as keeping mezuzahs or parchment inscribed with verses of the Torah at the entrance to their homes. The men wear a kippah or headgear during prayers.

"I have no regrets at all to leave my birth place because Israel is our Promised Land. We are dying to leave," Peer Tlau, a practising Jew in Mizoram, said.

"A vast majority of the people do not know Hebrew although many of them are now earning the language and following the religion like the one practised in Israel," Zaitthangchungi, a local researcher and author of a book Israel Mizo Identity, said.

Letter to the Editor:

Church converts too
This has reference to Mr Syed Zarir Hussain’s report, “Now, Church fights conversion as Mizos embrace Judaism”, published on July 10.

I am surprised by the opposition of the Church in Mizoram to conversion of Mizos (born Christians) to Judaism while it is only too eager to convert Hindus to Christianity. This is transparently dishonest. But what is deplorable is that the Government of Mizoram, which should have been secular and neutral, is lending its support to the Church.

On the world scene, Christians constitute the largest section of humanity followed by Muslims. Jews do not constitute even one per cent of the world Christian population. The Church should have been liberal and gracious to Mizo Jews — after all, Jesus himself was a Jew — instead of being niggardly and reactively panicky.

One wonders why, the human rights busybodies, who are quick to jump to the aid of minorities, are silent on this issue. I, as a senior citizen, appeal to the Government of India, which prides itself as secular to recognise the rights of the Mizo Jews to migrate to Israel and facilitate their passage to their promised land.

SC Panda

Bhagat Singh again called terrorist : July 10, 2008

From the PIONEER

Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Amidst the ideological arm-wrestling of political parties of the country, history texts are always at the receiving end. The recent one is labelling the freedom fighters Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Ram Prasad Bismil as 'terrorists'. The 12th class text books circulated by the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) has used the word "Aaatankwadi" (Terrorists) for the legends Bhagat, Azad and Bismil who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle of India.

The words like Aatankwad, Aatankawadi or Aatankwadiyon have been used 11 times for the extremist freedom fighters in the text book's page no 170-171 in the chapter titled 'Bhartiya Rashtriya Andolan (1905-39)'. The book, published in July 2007 by Indian Printers Association under aegis of Central Government have been edited by Anita Priydarshni and co-ordinator Naina Dasgupta. The panel includes history scholars from across the country including top professors from Delhi University.

In a couple of instances a line says - "during the Simon Commission protests Lala Lajpat Rai was injured which infuriated the terrorists". At one point the text book says - "the terrorists under the banner of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association was led by Chandrashekhar Azad".

Enraged over the issue, senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Prof Jagdish Mukhi has written a letter to the Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh and NIOS Chairman M C Pant demanding immediate removal of the word terrorists used for the great freedom fighters. "They must use dignified words to glorify their sacrifices. They belonged to the Garam Dal and thus should be termed as Krantikari (. Calling freedom fighters as terrorists is undone and the people of India would not spare the writers who have committed such a blunder. This has been done at the instance of the ruling UPA Government and its supporters including the Leftists,"Mukhi said in the Capital on Thursday.

Where is the outrage?

Court convicts parents for murdering daughter in Mumbai

Mumbai, July 11: Parents of an 18-year-old girl were sentenced to life by a Court in Mumbai for murdering and cutting her into several pieces.
Additional sessions judge O S Jaiswal on Friday held Mohammad Munna Sardar Khan (38) and his wife Shenaz Khan (35) guilty of murdering their daughter on July 2, 2006 and for disposing off her body by cutting it into 11 pieces and dumping them in a gunny bag.

The gruesome act was committed by the parents after their daughter Mehnaz Khan eloped and married a Hindu boy.

The Court, while sentencing them to life imprisonment, observed that it is not a “rarest of the rare case” since they cut her into 11 pieces only after strangulating her to death with a towel. {Who is this judge Jaiswal, two maniacs cut a teen in 11 pieces and it is NOT rarest of rare crimes, WTF??}

The Court considering the two accused’s moral responsibility towards their five other children showed leniency and sentenced them to the minimum punishment of life.

Defence Advocate Wahab Khan argued before the Court on Friday, “They committed the murder only to set an example for their two other daughters so that they also do not follow their sister’s track.” On July 2, 2006 Khan and his wife had learnt that their daughter had eloped with a Hindu Maharashtrian boy Vidyanand Jadhav to Panvel and had got married to him there.

When the Khans learnt of it they went to Panvel and pleaded with Mehnaz to return home. Khan and his wife assured Mehnaz that once she comes home they would accept her marrige to Jadhav.

However after she returned home at 2300 hrs, Khan strangulated Mehnaz to death while her mother sat on her to avoid her to escape.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rubbing Eyes: In Defence Of The State

Can't believe that TOIletries have grown a pair of balls and actually printed this article.

Source: TOI

The Indian state has become a favoured punching bag for intellectuals of all hues from fuchsia pink to carmine red, especially when it comes to its handling of terrorism. The vituperation is directed at almost everything the state does in this regard, from targeting suspects to methods of interrogation to counter-terrorism tactics.

An attempt is made to paint the state as a macabre monster whose only objective is to target the innocent, incarcerate the hapless, throttle all forms of dissent, routinely use sadistic torture during interrogation and regularly arrange elimination of suspect individuals through what is known in India as 'fake encounters' with the state's security apparatus.

Words like 'pogrom', 'fascism', 'decimation' and 'atrocities' are glibly bandied about in the outpourings of these concerned individuals in all manner of media. Those not living in this country, but knowing about it solely through this blame lens, may be forgiven for concluding that India is governed by some highly vicious form of resurrected Nazism instead of being one of the world's freest democracies.

The more mischievous among those who posit themselves as 'radical thinkers' freely interchange the state with the majority community and label the latter, by inference, as vile, vicious, vindictive and violent. In some insanely devious manner, these would-be Lancelots — but in reality Don Quixotes — transform the victims of terrorism into its perpetrators.

These human rights defenders are also very selective when it comes to berating the state for its acts of omission and commission. While there is outright condemnation of the pressure exerted by the security forces during anti-insurgency operations, there is no word on the inhuman killings and exploitation of their own people by the insurgents, whether it is Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland or Assam.

The 'protectors of the suppressed' maintain a studied silence when Naxalites calculatedly go about ruthlessly eliminating all those who come in their way of establishing hegemony over remote tribal areas. But they lose no time in raising a horrified outcry when the Naxalites start getting a taste of their own medicine by villagers who are organised into self-defence forces by the state.

It's not for me to seek to flip off the sanctimonious halos of these 'intellectual' vigilantes. They are welcome to this headgear, to the extent that they limit their criticism to the wrongdoings of the crooked in the state apparatus. But, consider what the impact is when they indulge in constant carping and wholesale denunciation of everything that the state does. No matter how thick-skinned the persons manning the security apparatus of the state may be, at one time or the other, this continuous criticism starts to demoralise them. At this rate, our security personnel may soon reach that state of mind when they feel that it is pointless risking their lives for an ungrateful public and perform with the minimum effort needed to retain their jobs.

Unfortunately these knights of human rights have a way with words and a gift of the gab that makes them darlings of the mainstream media. They have a high public profile which makes our political masters wary of them. The defence for the state is put up very weakly and, therefore, lacks conviction. Who, for example, pays heed to the pathetic bleating of Union home minister Shivraj Patil?

Recall the Naxalite insurgency in West Bengal in the seventies and the Khalistani imbroglio in Punjab in the eighties. It was only a strong response from the state which finally put an end to those near civil war situations. In many places, the country again faces similar crises. If political will is weakened by the constant criticism of state action, those at the helm may not find the courage to take the harsh steps needed to counter insurgency decisively. Ironically, the ones most hurt because of this are the aam aadmi, those that the human rights defenders seek to protect.

The writer is a Bangalore-based business analyst.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Indian Supreme Court is a farce

Two articles:

SC refuses to be drawn into Amarnath shrine land row

Fearing 'judicial overreach' criticism, it refused to examine the legality of Ghulam Nabi Azad government's decision to revoke allotment of nearly 40 acres of forest land at Baltal to the shrine board to erect make-shift camping sites for pilgrims.

.....The bench(Bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and G S Singhvi) refused to get into the political arena as the allotment and its revocation had triggered violent protests in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region, respectively. {These venal cowards should resign and wear bangles if they are so afraid of consequences while pronouncing verdicts. Lesson they have given to Hindus is, riot and protest violently just like mohammedans and we (SC) will sh*t in our pants and reserve the verdict.}

"The courts have suffered enough criticism. We will not deal with this issue," the bench said.
We don't find Nandy's articles objectionable: SC

The Gujarat government and the state police attracted stinging criticism from the Supreme Court on Tuesday for filing an FIR against political psychologist and sociologist Ashis Nandy for allegedly promoting enmity between communities in an article he wrote analysing the outcome of the 2007 assembly poll.

While their observations about the diminishing tolerance for criticism appeared to apply to the political class as a whole, the court made a specific reference to the situation in Gujarat. “Why are people coming from the land of Mahatma Gandhi so intolerant towards such criticism? There are worst examples than this.” {It is the land of Lord Ram, Krishan too, who taught never to tolerate lies or adharm and if need be, fight for it but the 'secular' judges won't understand it. Same Justices Altamas Kabir and G S Singhvi did not think about judicial over-reach in this case.}

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

TOI Goof Up: Cops stunned over Nazi man's capture

BANGALORE/BELGAUM: Sunday morning's reports about the capture of a former Nazi official on the Karnataka-Goa border have stunned even the authorities of both states.

Karnataka home minister V S Acharya claimed no knowledge of any such operation. "We should have known about it by now," he said. Goa IGP Kishan Kumar also had no clue.

In what must have had readers spill their morning cuppa, a section of the media carried reports based on a release circulated via email, that a certain German intelligence agency, Perus Narkp, and Indian intelligence agencies had picked up Johann Bach (88), a former Nazi officer accused of killing of 12,000 Jews in the run-up to the second World War, in the jungles of Khanapur on Friday.

The agencies, the release claimed, had apprehended Bach, who had been absconding for 50 years. According to the reports, he was a high-ranking Waffen SS (Schutzstaffel) colonel in Nazi army.

Indian newspapers fall for Nazi hoax

The press release has been regurgitated on the front pages of the Deccan Herald and the Indian Express and inside the Telegraph, citing Perus Narkp, “the intelligence wing of the Berlin-based German Chancellor’s Core (sic)”, as the source.

Perus Narkp, a not especially Germanic name, is an anagram of “Super Prank”.