Stories about RSS

Destroying Jinnah’s house will not undo the Partition, Mangal Lodha

The sordid saga of ultra-nationalism unfolding in the subcontinent took a new twist this week. The Times of India reports that a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, demanded that Jinnah’s house in Mumbai be demolished and replaced by a centre representing Maharashtra’s culture.  Jinnah’s residence is a mansion in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai where Mohammad Ali Jinnah resided following his return to India from England in 1936. It continued to be his primary residence till 1944, following which he started transitioning to the Flagstaff House in Karachi where he moved permanently after Partition. Before anything else, let’s dispense one clarification: jingoism ...

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An open letter to AJK Chief Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Zia

Respected AJK Chief Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Zia, According to newspaper reports, you have announced that the annual salary increments of those working in your court will be based on “how regularly they offer their prayers”. You also declared that you would lead some of the prayers yourself, ostensibly to observe which of the court’s officers offer prayers and to secretly check whether they are complying with your order or not. Your honour, do you realise that your order violates Islam’s injunction which clearly states that there ‘should be no compulsion in Islam’ (Surah Baqarah, verse 256)? Since those who do not ...

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An open letter to Indians

Dear Indians, As someone whose recent family history is very much a consequence of partition, I am no stranger to the divisiveness of Pak-India politics. Despite a shared history and culture, we stand today as two nuclear armed nations that have fought three wars against each other. Hatred for the other is fostered in both countries – neither India nor Pakistan is innocent as far as propagating hyper-nationalist aggression is concerned, but this time around, it feels slightly different. This time around, your government, sections of your media, and sections of your civil society (in concert with the government) are behaving in an exceptionally immature and dangerous manner. They ...

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Is India making the same mistake Pakistan made by allying with the US?

The post-colonial history tells us that Uncle Sam has been more of a destabiliser than a divine presence in the region. Pakistan has been a close ally of the US since the 50s. But has the Islamic country been a real beneficiary by playing the western world’s game in South Asia? In its blind desire to get military parity with India and neutralise the existential threat from its eastern neighbour, Islamabad became a front for Washington in the NATO’s war against communist Soviet Russia. As a result, Pakistan, a newly born country, lost its strategic autonomy quite early in its life and became a pawn in the larger game ...

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Today, India is not what it was before he won the elections

Is India paying the price for electing Narendra Modi as its prime minister? I ask this question regularly because since Modi assumed office in Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been hurtling the country from one controversy to another. An atmosphere of fear has been created where any opposition to majoritarian politics is termed anti-national and the questioning of the government’s divisive agenda invites counter protests and blame for vitiating the atmosphere of the country. The state, therefore, has created enemies out of its own citizens by labelling them liberals, seculars, freethinkers and religious minority. The current controversy involving New Delhi based Jawaharlal Nehru ...

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If this continues, India will no longer be the big brother of the sub-continent

Pakistan proposes and India disposes. One wants to talk but the other doesn’t. Paranoia defines the relationship between these two South Asian neighbours. They clearly haven’t learnt from history, nor do they desire to create a better future. India aims to play a big role at the international arena, yet remains stuck in a time warp. As a result the subcontinent remains disturbed and volatile, thereby, affecting the progress and prosperity of one of the oldest civilisations of the world. India has again demonstrated its paranoia by rejecting Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s peace overtures. It has proven that the big brother ...

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Can a journalist in India write against Modi or the RSS?

A few days ago, a journalist friend of mine was laconically told by his editor that he would not be allowed to write against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), apparently because “we should allow the BJP government to enjoy its honeymoon for a while”. Ironically, the very next day, I was told that the very same editor wrote a pro-Modi article, eulogising the Hindu nationalist leader to the extent that would make the bhakts (admirers) explode with delight. When he protested and entreated the powers-that-be to vent his views on critical issues plaguing the ...

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Banning and unbanning pornographic sites, Modi is as unstable as his decisions

Indian people are under siege by the government which was elected by them. Today, the popularly chosen regime decides what the masses should watch, what they should hear, what they should eat, how they should exercise, and how they should behave as citizens of the nation. Any deviation or questioning is termed as anti-national activity. Governance has now given way to policing. How will the government justify the blocking of more than 800 porn sites on the internet? In a country which boasts of the traditions of Kamasutra and where people throng in large number to see the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho ...

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‘Beti Bachao, Selfie Banao’: Modi finally takes a step in the right direction

It’s hard to take Narendra Modi seriously. As a member of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh political party) and a controversial one at that, his election to the post of the 15th Prime Minister of India is more likely to make most people raise their brows in amazement. But every tub can stand on its own bottom even if it wobbles at times, and Mr Modi proves he too has some stable ideas. Mr Modi has suggested that Indians should take selfies. Not just random selfies but selfies of themselves with their daughters and post these pictures onto any social media platform with a ...

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‘Modi is the best thing to happen to India’ – Think again

Interacting with the Indian diaspora in Shanghai and Seoul recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that his countrymen world-over feel proud of their Indian origin ever since he has become the prime minister of the country. In his address to non-resident Indians (NRIs), he added that it was a moment of shame to be an Indian before his assumption of power in Delhi. Such churlish and insulting statements by the Indian leadership at a foreign soil drew large scale condemnation both inside and outside India. Modi would like the world to believe that he is the best thing to happen ...

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