Sunday, October 15, 2017

Another hate-monger against the Ahmadi religious minority in Pakistan

 Nasir Khan, October 15, 2017

Muhammad Safdar Awan is a politician and a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He has made an extremely venomous hate speech against the Ahmadis, who are an oppressed and victimized religious minority in the 'Islamic Republic' of Pakistan.

What this legislator said would be horrifying in the sight of every civilized person in this age and in these times. But ironically, such people have power and influence in Pakistan, a country where Islam has routinely been used as an easy weapon for inciting hatred against other religious minorities and thus provoke ordinary Sunni Muslims, who are a dominant majority in Pakistan, to commit all sorts of crimes against them.


I condemn the obnoxious and toxic nonsense of this hatemonger in the clearest possible words and ask my international friends and comrades to do the same. This person should be stripped of his immunity for using the National Assembly for his criminal utterances and be tried for his hate speech and criminal incitement.



 
Safdar gave references of appointment of and promotion of military officers who he said were members of the Ahmadi community and said that they
news18.com

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Forcible conversion of Hindu girls to Islam in Pakistan and then marrying them


Nasir Khan, October 5, 2017

One gruesome aspect of the Islamic fanaticism in Pakistan that started right after the partition of India in 1947 was the vulnerability of the religious minorities of Pakistan. We know what happened in the communal frenzy and violence when large scale migration of some 15 million people took place; Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India and Indian Muslims came to Pakistan.


The communal killings of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were over one million. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people became victim of the hatred caused by the partition of India, and countless women from all religious communities - Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs - were raped, sexually abused, humiliated and in some cases were also 'converted' to the religions of their new owners. When a female victim has no options left, the owners can do whatever they want to do with her, including forcing their own own religion on her. Such violence perpetrated upon women cannot be termed as conversion; it is criminal coercion and a cowardly act.

The Hindu minority of Pakistan has been a special soft target of Islamic preachers, missionaries and Islamic fanatics. This has been going on for the last 7 decades. The cases of Hindu girls being abducted from their homes and then made brides for some Muslim men after 'converting' them to Islam have been going on unhindered. The following video shows the utter bestiality committed by so-called Muslim men against a Hindu girl.

This writer in the clearest possible language condemns this barbarity and appeals to all Pakistani politically active democratic people, human rights activists and organizations to oppose these criminal actions of some misguided Muslims and do their best to speak out on behalf of the Pakistani Hindus and their girls. The Hindu girls of Pakistan are our daughters and sisters; we should not let them be the prey of such misguided predators who call themselves Muslims.

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Conversion of Hindu Girls in Sindh, Pakistan - BBC URDU

https://www.facebook.com/bhawan.das.73/videos/1963457190577298/

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Islamic laws and modern legal systems

–Nasir Khan

Those who are well-acquainted with the Sharia laws and modern legal systems should be in a position to show what the Sharia laws of Islam are and how they are inadequate to protect and safeguard people and their rights in these times.

No doubt, during the early period of Islamic rule, the system of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqah) that developed had its basis in the Qur’anic legislation and they were progressive and innovative according to the standards of those times. Prominent Muslim jurists (fuqhah) used various devices, such as ijtihad, analogy, istihsan, ijma, istidlal, to extend the laws and their application.

But around the 13th century things changed and Islamic jurisprudence came to a standstill. It was no more able to move with the changing times. And that condition still prevails. In addition, the Sharia law has become more regressive and inequitable in places where it has been enforced, especially in matters of women’s rights, male domination, criminal offences, etc. etc.

Many ordinary people who have their traditional Islamic identity and customs don’t have the slightest clue about the Sharia laws. Their way of thinking is shaped not by any independent thinking or observations, but by what they hear in the sermons of their clergy and religious preachers. Their thinking in such matters is very simple: The Sharia laws are made by God; therefore they are always the best for all! Once they become the laws in our countries, justice and truth will prevail; injustice and violations of human rights will disappear. The true rule of God on earth will appear. The lion and the goat will drink water from the same pond!

In sum, this is all what they think and nothing more. But unfortunately all this is illusory and has no basis in reality. Now the big question is: How to remove such daydreaming and misunderstandings? The answer lies in giving the correct information. That involves a gradual and systematic educational process. This can be performed by those who know the inadequacy of the Sharia laws that don’t and can’t meet the needs of people in this age. To do so is not an easy task for many reasons. However, it is essential to impart such information in a polite and humane way without resorting to abusive or aggressive language or making any attacks on traditional religious beliefs and customs.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The role of Mr Jinnah in a historical perspective

Nasir Khan, September 3, 2017

For many historians of the Indian subcontinent Mr Jinnah’s role both as a leader and a statesman in pre-partition India is controversial. Personally, I have never accepted even for a second his communalist perspective that led to the demand for Pakistan. Right from the start, the “Two Nation Theory” was hollow and untenable, which in practice became a dead albatross round the necks of the people of the Indian subcontinent and is still choking them.

During the Second World War, the British used the leaders of the Muslim League to weaken the demands of the Indian National Congress for independence when Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement and a major civil disobedience movement became a threat to the British in India. At that critical juncture in the national struggle for India’s independence, the British were able to resort to lure the leaders of the Muslim League to reject the struggle for independence and side with the British, which they did under Mr Jinnah. Thus the groundwork for the partition of India was becoming a reality under the patronage of the British. That’s exactly what they did in 1947 and divided India on Hindu-Muslim lines as two different nations, thus defying both common sense and practical issues involved in such a partition plan.

The religious card had served Mr. Jinnah well and he succeeded in his ambitious plans. But at what a cost! The Muslims spread throughout the length and breadth of India were left in an extremely vulnerable position and the subsequent history of the subcontinent has shown how the Indian Muslims become marginalized and left at the mercy of Hindutva forces and militant reactionary Hindus. In fact, these people were sacrificed for a cause which proved to be a disaster for all.

Now coming to Mr. Jinnah’s role as the Governor-General of the newly-established state of Pakistan, Mr Jinnah was aware that the reality of Pakistan as a state was different from the rhetorical propaganda that was used for the creation of such a state before the partition of 1947. This new country didn’t have only Muslims, but also had large religious minorities of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and followers of other faiths! He could no longer repeat the previous slogan of Pakistan only for the Muslims. Now, Pakistan had followers of different faiths.

To meet the needs of all religious communities, he made his famous speech in which advanced his views for a state where religion was not to affect the democratic state or to impose only one religion on the people of this country. That was a realistic assessment of the situation in the new country. But he was an ailing person; he didn’t live long enough to lay the foundations of any such policy as the guiding principles that could have led Pakistan in a direction than the one it followed after his death in 1948.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Some thoughts on killing and eating animals


-- Nasir Khan, September 1, 2017

"A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite." 

-- The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

In this saying, the greatest Russian writer of all time had a particular perspective on humanity, a perspective in which the members of this species are viewed as fully human and humane who can live perfectly well by using diverse products of nature that come from the Earth, but without killing other animals to use as food. 

For an uncultivated mind, such a perspective definitely is far too idealistic and remote from what the humans mostly do as they have done for hundreds of thousands of years. But that message is not for such people. This message is for people who can understand that we as human beings have also a responsibility to protect other animals and not to kill them as humans did in the early periods as hunters and gatherers.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

On the question of choosing or merely following religions

Nasir Khan

“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons.”
― Anaïs Nin (1903-1977)

This is my short explanation of Anaïs Nin’s point about religion in the above quotation:
First, in the past ages there have been mass conversions from one religion to the other. But not any longer in this age.

In fact, most of us are born into a religious community; we inherit religions from our parents and our societies. As a result, the followers of a religion regard their religion true and the embodiment of all virtues that human beings need. They don’t say they are following their religion ‘blindly’. Never. 

They think they are rational human beings and what they believe in is true and the only right way.
Some may ‘tolerate’ the followers of other faiths; but that extends only to tolerating them, nothing more than that!

Secondly, in these times only a limited number of people change their religion for a new one. No mass conversions take place.

Thirdly, religious people do not accept any argument that goes against their religion and its dogmas. No rational exchange of views is possible with such people. They will justify what they believe in by appealing to some ‘Authority’ they can never question. Full stop.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

The ideologue of Hindutva fascism, S.M. Golwalkar

Nasir Khan, August 19, 2017

In many Facebook groups, including 'International Finance, Economic Affairs, International Relations' some ultra right wing Hindtva journalists and devotees always target Indian Muslims and Pakistan in the crudest possible manner. The rising tide of Hindtva power in India and their vast network of political and militant parties and organisations is a great danger to the Indian secular state and its democratic system. 

The fascist cadres of Hindutva also target those who oppose and expose this extremist ideology. The following article on the life of the chief ideologue of Hindutva fascism, M.S. Golwalkar, is written by an Indian Hindu, which will help our readers to understand some issues.
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M.S. Golwalkar: Conceptualizing Hindutva Fascism


By Ram Puniyani

10 March, 2006
Countercurrents.org

Beginning this twenty Fourth February, RSS combine has undertaken programs in different parts of the country to celebrate the centenary year of RSS second Sarsnghchalak (supreme dictator), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, known in Sangh circles as Shri Guruji. What are going to be the implications of this celebration? To answer this, we will have to delve into the work of Golwlakar, who penned a small book, 'We or our Nationhood Defined' (We…), which gives an outline of his ideology and later his articles were published as a compilation, 'Bunch of Thoughts'. In both these books and also in various other outpourings of his, he denigrates democracy and pluralism on one hand and upholds fascist concept of nationhood and sectarian version of culture on the other. His writing is most intimidating to the minorities in particular. He was the chief of RSS for 33 long years and was instrumental in giving RSS a direction, which assumed menacing proportions in times to come, and strengthening the foundations of the 'hate minorities' ideology resulting in the consequent waves of violence, undermining the democratic norms in the society. He can also be 'credited' with giving the sharp formulations which laid the ideological foundation of different carnages in the country.
Golwalkar praises Lord Manu as the greatest law giver mankind ever had. It was the same law giver Manu's book, which was burnt by Dr. Ambedkar in his pursuit of getting justice for the dalits. In current times, Golwalkars' successor also demanded a throwing away of Indian constitution, to be replaced by the one which is based on Hindu holy books, implying Manusmriti, of course.
His formulations of Hindutva Fascism are so blatant that even his followers, the RSS combine, is running for cover and claiming that this book, having a naked hatred for minorities and eulogies for the likes of Hitler, We…, was not written by him. They avoid owning these ideas. But one knows that this book was penned by him. In an affidavit submitted to the charity commissioner, Rajendra Singh, a later Sarsanghchalak pleaded, "With a view to give a scientific base to propagate the idea-India being historically from time immemorial a Hindu nation-the late Shri M.S. Golwalkar had written a book entitled 'We or Our Nationhood defined', which was published in 1938." (Quoted in Islam, Undoing India: The RSS way) J.A. Curran in his classic study, RSS: Militant Hinduism in India Politics- A study of RSS: points out "The genuine ideology of Sangh is based upon principles formulated by its founder, Dr. Hedgewar. These principles have been consolidated and amplified by the present leader ( i.e. Golwalkar) in a small book called "We or our nationhood defined". It is a basic primer in the indoctrination of Sangh volunteers… (Curran 1979, p.39). Since its quotations have been brought to the notice of people, RSS publishing houses have stopped republishing this book. What does Golwalkar say in this book?
In this book he rejects the notions of Indian nationhood, India as a Nation in the making. He rejects the idea that all the citizens will be equal. He goes on to harp the notions of nationhood borrowed from Hitler's Nazi movement. He rejects that India is a secular nation and posits that it is a Hindu Rashtra. He rejects the territorial-political concept of nationhood and puts forward the concept of cultural nationalism, which was the foundation of Nazi ideology. His admiration of Hitler's ideology and politics is the running thread of the book and he takes inspiration from the massive holocaust which decimated millions of people in Germany. He uses this as a shield to propagate his political ideology. It is this ideology which formed the base of communal common sense amongst a section of the population. "German national pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races, the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into a united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by." (We…, 1938, p.37)
In the Sangh circles this book is regarded as their Gita. The implications for Indian minorities are presented here in a forthright manner. Today the swayamsevaks brought up on this Gita, do believe in all this but the language of expression is being made more polished so that the poison is coated with honey and administered with ease. Golwalkar goes on to assert, "From the standpoint sanctioned by the experience of shrewd nations, the non-Hindu people in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but the glorification of Hindu nation i.e. they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ingratitude towards this land and its age long traditions, but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead; in one word, they must cease to be foreigners or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, for less any preferential treatment, not even the citizen's rights." (Ibid p.52).
When the Hindutva politics came up in the late 1980s, in the beginning an unsuspecting observer could not comprehend from where has the concept of Hindu nation come up suddenly, why such an intense hatred for minorities, a glance at We… and one becomes clear that those fed on this ideology cannot but be what they are, cannot do anything else than what they did and have been doing since 1990, the Babri demolition, the anti minority violence and an open violation of democratic ethos of the country. These ideas were translated into the stories of atrocities of Muslim kings, the myth of Hindus owning this land from times immemorial and a lot of such make believe concoction. Irrespective of the fact the freedom movement rejected this ideology and its formulations, it was kept alive through the ideological indoctrination work in the RSS shakhas going on ceaselessly.
Golwalkar was also faced with some of the naïve swaymasevaks wishing to participate in the national movement, more so after the massive Quit India movement was launched. That time Golwalkar was the RSS chief and he dissuaded the people from participating in the movement, and some of them who participated did it in their personal capacity, some of them now claim that they also participated. ( e.g. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was onlooker in the anti British movement, was arrested but wriggled out of the jail and later claimed to have participated in the movement.) As matter of fact Golwalkar was very contemptuous towards the anti British movement. There is no mention of presence of RSS in the anti British movement even in most of the sympathetic accounts written about it. Even Nanaji Deshmukh, the foremost leaders of RSS puts this question, why did RSS not take part in the liberation struggle as an organization? (Deshmukh, Victim of Slander, Vision Books, 1979, p.70) Since Golwalkar propounded religion based nationalism, there was no place for anti British stance. "The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis of our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu Nationhood and made many of the 'freedom movements' virtually anti-British movements. Anti Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of freedom movement…" (Bunch of thoughts, 1996, p.138). In a frank defense of British colonialist he reminds the people of RSS pledge, "We should remember that in our pledge we have talked of freedom of the country through defending religion and culture. There is no mention of departure of British in that." (Shri Guruji Samgra Darshan, Vol 4, p. 2) With allies like this British could merrily pursue their policy of divide and rule!
No wonder British never repressed RSS. Also the collusion between Religion based nationalism and colonialism can be understood from such statements. Later the World saw that in tune with this pro imperialist ideology, Golwalkar was to support the US aggression on Vietnam and his successor Sudarshan defended the US aggression against Iraq.
The murder of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi by a Hindutva follower Nathuram Godse not only shocked the whole nation; it led RSS followers to celebrate this event by distributing sweets. While RSS followers were celebrating, and the links of Godse with RSS became apparent, RSS was banned and Golwalkar was arrested. They denied that RSS had any links with Godse. At that time it was easy to claim so as RSS had no written constitution and membership lists, enrollment register etc. Godse was RSS Pracharak and later he joined Hindu Mahasabha and was editing a newspaper, Agrani (leader), the subtitle of the paper was Hindu Rashtra. In the court he denied any links with RSS. Later his brother Gopal Godse, who was also an accomplice in the murder, in an interview given to Times of India (25 Jan 98) stated that his brother Nathuram spoke a deliberate lie in the court, "The appeasement policy followed by him (Gandhi) and imposed on all Congress governments' encouraged the Muslim separatist tendencies that eventually created Pakistan…Technically and theoretically he (Nathuram) was a member (of RSS), but he stopped workings for it later. His statement in the court that he had left the RSS was to protect the RSS workers who would be imprisoned following the murder. On the understanding that they (RSS workers) would benefit from his dissociating himself from the RSS, he gladly did it."
In the wake of the murder of Gandhi, RSS was banned and Golwalkar was jailed, from where he wrote a letter to the Government of India offering to cooperate with the government in 'dealing with the menace of Communism' in return for being released from the jail. Incidentally it was also the period when US was on the witch hunt of communists world over. Today, the global US agenda of demonization of Islam, and Muslims world over matches with the RSS agenda, coincidence again? Is this running parallel in the matching agenda US and RSS policies a mere coincidence?
For him the notion of Hindu Rashtra remained supreme and he could never reconcile to the secular values of Indian constitution. Time and over again he kept on harping on how UnBharat the constitution is and how Manu's rules are more desirable and profound one's. The partition of India and the consequent tragedy was registered through the Hindutva eyes, "Even to this day there are many who say, 'now there is no Muslim problem at all. All those riotous elements who supported Pakistan have gone away once for all. The remaining Muslims are devoted to our country. After all they have no other place to go and they are all bound to remain loyal…It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriot overnight after the creation of Pakistan. On the contrary, Muslim menace has increased a hundredfold by the creation of Pakistan, which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country." (Bunch of Thoughts, Bangalore, 1996, p. 177-78)
The way to look at Indian communities as Hindus and Muslims as uniform monoliths continues to be exhibited all through. Further he also goes on to label Muslims, Christians and Communists as internal threats to Hindu nation. And this is the 'ideological fodder ' of RSS shakhas and its practical unfoldment is visible in the regular occurrence of attacks against Muslims and Christians. With collapse of Soviet Union, the venom against communists has been given a different turn. And in the third category secularist have also been added up as a threat to Hindu nation.
It was Golwalkar again under whose stewardship the RSS gave birth to other organizations to play the divisive role in different arenas of social and political life. He was instrumental in helping bring up Bharatiya Jansangh, Akhil Bhartiya Vidayarthi Parishad, Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, amongst others. The infiltration of RSS cadres in different wings of state apparatus; army, police, bureaucracy, judiciary, education and media was another move initiated by Golwalkar, the effects of which are visible prominently from last two decades.
While secular democratic elements, activists have a long road ahead, we need to take care that in the already vitiated atmosphere, the communal divide is not accentuated further by this move of RSS and we put forward the values of humane plural and democratic society and dispel the ideologies which have been playing a very divisive role in the society.