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News : Archive (November 2002)
  • Campaign Charges IDRF Is Funding Sangh Parivar
    By Ashfaque Swapan, Special to India-West (San Leandro, CA / USA), November 29, 2002
    "The Campaign to Stop Funding Hate," a loose organization of predominantly Indian American activists, has accused the U.S.-based non-profit organization India Development and Relief Fund of misleading donors by calling itself a non-sectarian and non-political philanthropic organization while funneling funds to furthering the political agenda of the Sangh Parivar.

  • Modi proposes and EC disposes
    Himanshu Kaushik, The Indian Express, November 29, 2002
    Ahmedabad, November 29: Following an Election Commission directive, Ahmedabad police today lopped off part of a hoarding that translated the Narendra Modi caretaker government’s attitude towards Prime Minister Vajpayee’s assertion that Godhra wasn’t an election issue into words and images.

  • Modi refreshes memory, says 'impossible' to forget Godhra
    Press Trust of India, November 29, 2002
    Deodhar (Gujarat), November 29 Notwithstanding Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's appeal to refrain from using Godhra as an issue, caretaker Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that it was “impossible” to forget the killing of innocent people in Godhra.

  • Modi Mould
    Editorial, November 29, 2002
    Round one of the electoral battle in Gujarat has gone to Narendra Modi. The acting chief minister has had his way in terms of distribution of party tickets, most notably in the Ellisbridge constituency in Ahmedabad where he denied his bete noire and three-time MLA, Haren Pandya, a nomination despite every effort to the contrary by party and parivar bosses in Delhi.

  • Gujarat riots: Cong. promises special courts
    By Our Special Correspondent, The Hindu, November 29, 2002
    AHMEDABAD NOV. 28. A "riot-free Gujarat'' where the people will be able to live in "peace, prosperity, happiness and security'' and special courts or inquiry commissions to try the communal riot and the cooperative bank scam cases have been promised by the Congress in its election manifesto for the December 12 Assembly elections.

  • IDRF funds: For Hindus Only?
    Sujeet Rajan in New York, The Indian Express - North American Edition, November 29, 2002
    A group of NRIs from the US have released a 91-page report on the funds received by various political parties in India from NRIs. The report, A Foreign Exchange of Hate, has accused the Maryland-based Indian Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) of funding Sangh Parivar outfits to spread hate and violence in society.

  • Gujarat’s Saffron Hues: Not the United Colours of India
    Kingshuk Nag, November 28, 2002
    As campaigning for one of the most important polls in the history of India gets underway in Gujarat, political pundits are holding forth with their views on what will happen to the country if Narendra Modi wins the elections by a large majority.

  • Sarva dharma...if only
    Mukul Dube, The Indian Express, November 28, 2002
    Indians like to intone sarva dharma sambhava — ‘equal value to all religions’. But equal value to all is possible only in specific circumstances: when each occupies its distinct ‘space’ without intruding into the space of others; and when there is a hermetic separation of the religious and the secular.

  • They led rioters, now they lead BJP campaign
    Raveen Thukral, The Hindustan Times, November 27, 2002
    Each time these two BJP candidates come knocking at their doors seeking votes, the minorities are horrified.

    Horrified because these were the very people who had allegedly led the mobs that went on rampage, bloodying the narrow lanes and bylanes of this part of the city in the days when Gujarat was on fire.

  • Justice above all
    Mukul Dube, The Hindustan Times, November 27, 2002
    Compassion is needed. But I would give equal weight to justice. The first is needed because people have suffered; the second, for the same reason and to ensure that others do not suffer in the same way ever again. Compassion should be seen as no more than the people’s right, their legitimate entitlement in the circumstances. But as with any other right, this too will not come to people by itself. It must be fought for. The fight for it must be part of the larger fight for justice.

  • VHP wages pamphlet war on Muslims
    Rathin Das, The Hindustan Times, November 27, 2002
    The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is distributing a pamphlet attacking Muslims. Titled "Bicharo, Samjho" (Think and Understand), the eight-page pamphlet written in Gujarati raises questions about the conduct of Muslims as well as the Congress.

  • 2002 is not 1984
    By Harish Khare, The Hindu, November 27, 2002
    The Gujarat voters, like their counterparts in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in recent months, can be expected to maturely weed out the jingoistic sound-bytes.

  • An uphill struggle
    By Pratap Bhanu Mehta, The Hindu, November 26, 2002
    Many Hindus harbour the illusion that they can accept the VHP's critique of the secular state and minorities and still not be implicated in the violence that this ideology produces.

  • BJP and the Hindu state
    Will the real Advani please stand up?
    Mani Shankar Aiyar, The Indian Express, November 26, 2002

    So, who is the real L.K. Advani? The deputy prime minister who says he has no intention of establishing a Hindu state in India? Or the Advani we have all grown up with?

  • No Shades in Saffron Conflict Moves Further Right
    Mahesh Daga, The Times of India, November 26, 2002
    Among the many occupational hazards facing political hacks in India, there is none more thankless than distinguishing between different shades of saffron. Yet, we have happily spent the best part of a decade trying to do exactly that.

  • Modi back in control, says Tribunal unfair
    Times News Network, November 25, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: Making the first public appearance after his brief ailment, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the Concerned Citizen's Tribunal for condemning the Gujarat administration for the post-Godhra violence.

  • Communalism elsewhere
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, November 25, 2002
    Indians are no strangers to communal mayhem in the name of religion. Nor are we unaware of the explosive effects of cultural insensitivity and intolerance.

    So even though one stares with disbelief at the news of more than 100 people being killed because of riots sparked off by the Miss World pageant which was scheduled to be held in Nigeria, there is also a feeling that one knows about this kind of madness only too well.

  • RSS terms attack as challenge to nation
    Times news network, november 24, 2002
    NEW DELHI: The RSS on Sunday described the attack on Raghunath temple in Jammu as a "challenge to the nation," while the VHP blamed the state government's "policy" towards terrorists and separatists for the incident.

  • Mettle Of The Steel Frame
    Freed—if temporarily—from the Modi regime's Orwellian ways, bureaucrats and police take a breather in borrowed oxygen
    Darshan Desai,, Magazine, December 2, 2002

    Lyngdoh acting tough came as no surprise to the VHP. But what caught them out completely was the no-nonsense approach from an unexpected quarter—the police and the bureaucracy. In one unambiguous order, additional chief secretary (home) Ashok Narayan banned Togadia and Dharmendra's entry into Godhra.

  • 'Report not politically motivated'
    By Anjali Mody, The Hindu, November 23, 2002
    NEW DELHI NOV. 22. The Citizen's Tribunal on the Gujarat carnage, which indicted the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, "for crimes against humanity", contested the BJP's claims that the timing of its report was politically motivated. Its tentative findings had been sent to both the State and Central Governments on August 20, retired Supreme Court Judge, P.B. Sawant, who is a member of the tribunal, said today. The Government had been given enough time to respond to its findings long before the announcement of the election, he said.

  • Tribunal pricks Togadia, he threatens court
    Express News Service, November 23, 2002
    Ahmedabad, November 22: Accusing the Concerned Citizens Tribunal, led by Justice Krishna Iyer, of acting at ‘‘the behest of radical Islamic and pseudo-secularist groups", VHP international secretary Pravin Togadia today threatened to take the tribunal to court if it did not tender an apology for making ‘‘derogatory and false’’ allegations against him.

  • ‘Gujarat’s a blot on us, as when we came to power, there was fear that minorities would not be safe’
    The Indian Express, November 23, 2002
    The text of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s reply during the Lok Sabha discussion on Gujarat on Monday

  • US Christian bodies want RSS funds issue probed
    S Rajagopalan, Washington, The Hindustan Times, November 22, 2002
    Indian Christian organisations in the US are up in arms against an Indian-American charity’s reported diversion of funds to ‘Sangh Parivar’ affiliates for carrying out their “hate campaign” against minorities.

  • Togadia threatens to sue citizens tribunal
    Times News Network, November 22, 2002
    GANDHINAGAR: The state government has clarified that the Concerned Citizens Tribunal,which has indicted the state government in its report published on Friday, is not a government-appointed body and, therefore, has no statutory authority to conduct an inquiry.

  • We are not duping NRIs, US firms: IDRF
    Rediff, November 22, 2002
    The India Development and Relief Fund, a Maryland-based charity, has denied allegations that it is duping non-resident Indians and American corporations of millions of dollars to fund the Sangh Parivar's "hate campaign" in India.

  • Citizens Tribunal Indicts Modi for Riots
    Times News Network, November 21, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: In the worst indictment of the BJP government in Gujarat since the communal riots broke out in February, the Concerned Citizens tribunal headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Krishna Iyer, released on Thursday a comprehensive report on the 'genocide'in which over 1,000 people were killed.
    (Copy of this report is available here)

  • IT giants plug funds to Sangh
    Chetan Krishnaswamy, Times News Network, November 22, 2002
    BANGALORE: Silicon Valley companies have been caught unawares after being accused of donating considerable sums of money to the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF).

  • Modi’s slip is showing
    Here is no all-conquering hero; here is a man fearful of his own future
    The Indian Express, November 21, 2002

    So which is the real Narendra Modi? The all-conquering Hindutva hero, certified by those-who-know as the second most popular leader in the country, man of the muscular rhetoric, poised—according to the prescient—to ride the crest of the great Hindu tidal wave that will sweep Gujarat and then everywhere else?

  • Advani has betrayed Hindus: Thackeray
    HT Correspondent, Mumbai, November 21, 2002
    Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray mounted an assault on deputy prime minister LK Advani on Thursday for "backstabbing the cause of staunch Hindutva". Strongly opposing Advani's statement in Parliament about the country not becoming a Hindu nation, Thackeray wrote in the party's mouthpiece Saamna that India is and would continue to be a Hindu nation.

  • Where do RSS funds come from?
    Times News Network, November 20, 2002
    For the last 13 years, the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), a US-based charity has reportedly misused American corporate philanthropy to fund RSS-affiliated organisations here. For instance, the IDRF obtained vast sums from CISCO, a leading technology company in the US with a substantial number of NRIs on its rolls by saying its activities are "secular" since company rules explicitly prohibit donations to organisations of a "religious" nature.

  • Sangh in red: Report questions VHP funding
    NDTV Correspondent, November 20, 2002
    A report released today in New Delhi claims it provides evidence that various Sangh Parivar organizations have received millions of dollars for charitable purposes.

  • U.S. corporates funding hate?
    By Anjali Mody, The Hindu, November 21, 2002
    NEW DELHI NOV. 20. Global software major, Cisco Systems donated $ 70,000 in just one year to a U.S.-based Sangh Parivar fund-raising outfit, the Indian Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), which has channelled millions of dollars to Sangh Parivar organisations, like the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, linked with anti-minority violence in many States.

  • US firms, NRIs being duped into 'funding hatred': Study
    Josy Joseph in New Delhi, Rediff, November 20, 2002
    A study released in New Delhi on Wednesday says many American corporations and non-resident Indians are duped into funding rightwing fundamentalist groups that are spreading communal violence and hatred in India, a charge that the Sangh Parivar denies.

  • Governance, not Godhra? Modi must be kidding
    Sunil Jain, The Indian Express, November 20, 2002
    New Delhi, November 19: Chief Minister Narendra Modi may just have shot himself in the foot when he declared that his government’s performance, and not the events around Godhra, would be the determining factor in the forthcoming elections in Gujarat.

  • VHP flays Advani's remarks, RSS defends him
    Smita Gupta, Times News Network, November 19, 2002
    NEW DELHI: From time to time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has taken a tongue-lashing from his Sangh brothers in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. On Tuesday, it was Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani's turn: He was hoist with his own petard when the VHP top brass dubbed him "pseudo-secular" an expression he had himself coined about a decade ago to berate his own political enemies.

  • BJP, Bajrang Dal on collision course
    Times News Network, November 19, 2002
    VADODARA: The growing rift in the Sangh Parivar was evident once again on Tuesday, as the BJP and the Bajrang Dal went on a collision course in Godhra over ticket distribution.

  • After Vajpayee, Advani is in VHP line of fire
    HT Correspondent, New Delhi, November 20, 2002
    After Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is now deeply upset with his deputy L.K.Advani.

    Bristling over his statement in the Lok Sabha that India can never be turned into a "Hindu rashtra", the VHP leadership on Tuesday sharply attacked the Deputy Prime Minister. Advani is ignorant about Hindutva and his remark is uncalled for in the present situation, the VHP said.

  • Beating Retreat
    Editorial, Times of India, November 19, 2002
    There is not one thing religious about the Gujarat shenanigans, starting with the timing of the VHP's yatra which conveniently coincided with the announcement of elections. If anything, the VHP, which styles itself as a religio-cultural organisation, has made so bold as to openly canvass votes for Narendra Modi.

  • EC determined, Modi relaxed, VHP in no hurry
    EC traces 2.24 lakh riot migrants, 20 special observers on the job
    Kota Neelima, The Indian Express, November 18, 2002

    New Delhi, November 18: The Election Commission plans to make special polling arrangements for Gujarat voters who have moved home, including those who have shifted out of the state and are not prepared to return to cast votes during the Assembly elections next month.

  • Politics by yatra
    Editorial, The Hindu, November 19, 2002
    THE CARETAKER NARENDRA Modi regime in Gujarat has, through a series of appropriate administrative measures, honoured the Election Commission's directive that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's communally inflammatory `yatra' from Godhra, planned for November 17, should not be allowed to take place. With the State already in election mode, the Government would have been in serious trouble, had it chosen to be indifferent to the EC's fiat or faltered in enforcing the ban.

  • India can never be a Hindu state: Advani
    Times News Network, November 18, 2002
    Stating that the violence had been condemned by everybody and that he himself had described it as a "blot on the government", he said that by raking up the issue repeatedly, the opposition was not being fair to the country. Worldwide, the impression had gained ground that Muslims were not safe where Hindus were in the majority.

    This, according to Advani, was absolutely incorrect as India could never be converted into a Hindu state and was deeply committed to secularism which had been spelt out clearly in the constitution.

  • Togadia climbs down, says VHP yatra after poll
    Express News Service, November 18, 2002
    Ahmedabad, November 18: VHP international general secretary Pravin Togadia today announced the postponement of his yatra till the electoral process is over in Gujarat but asserted that the three-point dharma jagran of the VHP will begin soon.

  • Never a Hindu state: Advani in Lok Sabha
    Quorum bell rung to summon MPs to a near-empty House
    Arati R Jerath & Pradeep Kaushal, The Indian Express, November 18, 2002

    L K Advani New Delhi, November 18: Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said today that India could never become a Hindu Rashtra adding that people would neither condone communal violence nor tolerate ‘‘pseudo-secularism.’’

  • Godhra won’t be poll issue, says Advani
    HT Correspondent New Delhi, November 18, 2002
    Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Monday assured the Lok Sabha that the Godhra massacre would not be an election issue in Gujarat. He was repeating an assurance given last week by Prime Minister AB Vajpayee.

  • Blowing up the past
    Amulya Ganguli, The Hindustan Times, November 17, 2002
    Murli Manohar Joshi may get caught in his own trap. He started out with a simple objective. To replace the existing version of Indian history with the one favoured by the RSS. In doing so, he was not bothered about objectivity or truthfulness.

  • Politics of cow protection
    By Nonica Datta, The Hindu, November 18, 2002
    THE BRUTAL lynching of five Dalits in Jhajjar shows the level to which Haryana politics and society have descended. It suggests the growing success of the Hindutva forces in the State. The Ram mandir movement, much to the disappointment of the Sangh Parivar, did not bear fruit here.

  • VHP, Modi: more con than conflict
    YATRA ABORTED | Togadia seeks mandate for ‘Hindu Rashtra’ party as Dec 12 birthday gift
    Meghdoot Sharon & Pradeep Kaushal, The Indian Express, November 18, 2002

    Ahmedabad/new Delhi, November 17 It was quite a tame affair if you consider the build-up to what was billed as a major confrontation, days before riot-scarred Gujarat goes to polls. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary Praveen Togadia and its sant samiti president Acharya Dharmendra were today allowed to perform puja at the Somnath temple here, arrested at its gate afterwards to prevent them from going to Godhra, and then released in four hours.

  • The VHP Hardsell
    Shailaja Bajpai, The Indian Express, November 18, 2002
    William Gates presence filled the screen, till Pravin Togadia elbowed him out. During every crisis involving VHP — on an average there’s one every fortnight — we see, listen to Giriraj Kishore and Togadia. Surely, giving the VHP multiple voices, though good television, is bad practice? It’s not about (dis)agreeing with VHP. It’s about impartiality and everyone being equal before the camera.

  • Govt foils VHP's attempt to take out yatra
    Times News Network, November 17, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: The VHP’s defiance of the ban on its yatra by the Election Commission proved short-lived as its leaders, Pravin Togadia and Acharya Dharmendra, among others, were arrested on Sunday morning as they prepared to leave for Godhra to launch the controversial programme.

  • VHP to change form of yatra
    PTI, November 17, 2002
    NEW DELHI: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Sunday announced it would change the form of its 'Padpadshahi Yatra' in Gujarat following arrest of its senior leaders Praveen Togadia and Acharya Dharmendra but asserted it would maintain peace at all costs.

  • Gujarat bars Togadia's march, blocks yatra
    Times News Network, November 17, 2002
    Gandhinagar/VADODARA: The Godhra administration on Saturday dismantled the stage erected by the VHP, banned the entry of its leaders Pravin Togadia and Acharya Dharmendra and set up check-posts at all entry points to prevent its workers from entering the district.

  • VHP yatra: Zero tolerance
    World watching, govt tells cops to follow EC line
    Milind Ghatwai, The Indian Express, November 17, 2002

    Godhra, November 16: The district administration issued prohibitory orders on Saturday banning the assembly of four or more persons in the entire Panchmahals and banned the entry of VHP leaders Pravin Togadia and Acharya Dharmendra to Godhra, where the Parishad plans to hold a dharma sabha on Sunday.

  • BJP has deserted Hindu organisations: VHP
    PTI Saturday, November 16, 2002
    Kanpur: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Satursday accused the BJP of surrendering before the NDA government at the centre and deserting Hindu organisations that have supported it in the past.

  • Govt cracks whip, VHP softens stand
    Vinay Menon/Rathin Das, Ahmedabad/Godhra, November 16, 2002
    The VHP climbed down, saying it would avoid a confrontation with the Gujarat administration. But it kept its rhetoric against Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh going.

  • PM asks parties not to incite communal passions
    Press Trust of India, November 16, 2002
    New Delhi, November 16 Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday asked all political parties and organisations not to incite communal passions during the election campaign in Gujarat, recalling "inappropriate" events that had occurred in Godhra and elsewhere in the state.

  • Honour EC directive: PM
    By Harish Khare, The Hindu, November 16, 2002
    New Delhi Nov. 15. Just a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the Election Commission for its decision to ban the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's proposed "yatras" in Gujarat, the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, has stood by the Commission. "The Government of Gujarat has done the right thing by acting as per the directive of the Election Commission to prohibit religious processions,'' he said today.

  • VHP rejects appeal
    By Manas Dasgupta, The Hindu, November 16, 2002
    AHMEDABAD NOV. 15. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today reaffirmed its decision to take out the controversial "vijay yatra" from Godhra on Sunday and threatened to make use of the train carnage to "arouse Hindutva." Rejecting the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee's appeal to call off the yatra, the VHP international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, instead urged him to "protect the religious and fundamental rights of Hindus.''

  • PM backs EC, but VHP says it will go on
    Times News Network, November 15, 2002
    NEW DELHI: With the Vishwa Hindu Parishad rejecting Prime Minister Vajpayee's appeal to cancel its provocative Vijay Yatra in Gujarat, the stage is set for a confrontation between the Centre and the Sangh Parivar.

  • RSS flays Lyngdoh; directs cadres not to violate law
    Times News Network, November 15, 2002
    NEW DELHI: The RSS on Friday charged Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh with "crossing the limits of his jurisdiction" by asking the Gujarat government to ban the VHP yatra even as it advised its cadres "not to violate the law of the land."

  • Top VHP, Dal leaders' meet to discuss Yatra plans
    Press Trust of India, Ahmedabad, November 15, 2002
    With the Gujarat government having denied permission for the proposed padshahi yatra, top brass of VHP and Bajrang Dal are meeting here today to 'discuss further course of action'.

  • Lynch-Protest
    Villagers block roads from Jhajjar as protests continue
    Chandigarh, PTI, November 15 , 2002

    Villagers blocked various roads from Jhajjar in Haryana to different destinations as protests continued against the arrest of five persons in connection with the lynching of five dalits who had allegedly skinned a cow.

  • Hindu card holds the key to power in Gujarat
    Kumkum Chadha Ahmedabad, The Hindustan Times, November 15, 2002
    "If the Hindu card does the trick, we'll get 130 seats, otherwise you get 130 seats": a BJP worker to a Congressman.

    Nothing sums up the Gujarat scenario better. This election hinges on the Hindu card and how the major contenders use it. The political perception here is that it is a black or white situation. No shades of grey here.

  • Gujarat refuses to permit VHP Yatra
    Vinay Menon Ahmedabad, The Hindustan Times, November 14, 2002
    The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Thursday declared it had no intention of obeying the Election Commission’s directive banning religious rallies in Gujarat. The VHP said it will not postpone or cancel the controversial Vijay Yatra, which it plans to roll across the state.

  • No go for VHP
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, November 14, 2002
    The Election Commission’s decision calling for a ban on the VHP yatra in Gujarat means yet another setback for the Narendra Modi government.

    This time, it cannot even protest against the move since the decision was based on a state government report acknowledging that the yatra would lead to communal trouble. Yet, there can be no doubt that Mr Modi and his party would have dearly loved the VHP to do what they cannot because of the model code of conduct — accentuate the communal polarisation in the BJP’s favour.

  • EC bans VHP yatra citing Gujarat Govt. report
    By J. Venkatesan, The Hindu, November 14, 2002
    NEW DELHI Nov. 13. Apprehending large-scale communal violence and disturbance to communal harmony, on the basis of the Gujarat Government's assessment, the Election Commission today imposed a ban on the proposed "Vijay yatra" by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Gujarat from Friday, November 15.

  • VHP to defy yatra ban; BJP plays it safe
    Times News Network, November 13, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: A defiant Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Wednesday said that its yatra would go ahead despite the ban imposed by the Election Commission even as the state government said it would have to obey the directive of the EC not to allow the programme to go ahead.

  • 'Small group' responsible for Gujarat riots: Gill
    By Our Diplomatic Correspondent, The Hindu, November 14, 2002
    NEW DELHI Nov. 13. The former security adviser to the Gujarat Government, K.P.S. Gill, said today that a "small group'' of people was responsible for the communal carnage in Gujarat earlier this year.

  • VHP criticises Lyngdoh, discusses 'alternative'
    The Hindu, November 14, 2002
    Ahmedabad Nov. 13. Leaders of the Gujarat unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad tonight discussed a possible alternative to its proposed controversial `Vijay yatra' across the State in the light of the Election Commission's ban on it.

  • Preparing the pitch
    Editorial, The Hindustan Times, November 13, 2002
    After the successful supervision of the Kashmir elections, the Election Commission now has to ensure that the Gujarat polls, too, not only pass off peacefully but also reflect the will of the people.

  • VHP girls swear by Durga and a gun
    119 Mumbai girls get arms training and temple-talk
    Satish Nandgaonkar, The Indian Express, November 13, 2002

    The VHP women’s wing camp in Mumbai, November 12: Karate is okay but jeans are not. Or so the VHP’s women’s wing, the Durgavahini, tells women attending a three-day bravery training camp (Mahilansathi Shaurya Prashikshan Shibir ) here recently. The 119 women — college students, mostly — have been taking lessons in karate, yoga, fighting with bamboo sticks and rifle-shooting — and believe that women shouldn’t wear jeans.

  • Godhra to be theme of VHP's yatra
    Times News Network, November 12, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has altered its plan slightly on its controversial yatra in Gujarat by announcing that it will launch the campaign from Godhra on November 17, instead of from Akshardham, as announced earlier.

  • VHP 'activist' held for involvement in riots (Vadodara)
    Times News Network, November 12, 2002
    The district police arrested one Jayanti Rathwa, said to be Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) worker, for his alleged involvement in the communal riots that took place in the tribal belt of the district in the aftermath of the Sabarmati Express carnage.

  • Modi crosses Lyngdoh line - CM blames minority community
    Basant Rawat, The Telegraph, November 12, 2002
    As the chief election commissioner asked the Gujarat government to submit a report on the VHP’s proposed yatra from Godhra on Sunday, the chief minister rolled into the flashpoint town saying what Lyngdoh asked politicians not to say.

  • VHP’s Gujarat agenda: Yatra, vitriol, votes
    Pradeep Kaushal, The Indian Express, November 12, 2002
    New Delhi, November 11: The VHP today made public its agenda for the Gujarat elections, pushing itself towards a confrontation with the authorities as well as the BJP. The outfit announced a yatra for ‘‘public awakening’’, despite an Election Commission directive against it, and demanded a share of seats from the BJP to contest polls.

  • Anti-conversion Bill unjustified: AIDWA
    By Our Staff Reporter, The Hindu, November 12, 2002
    Madurai Nov. 11 . The Bill banning forcible conversions will affect the rights of minorities and Dalits ensured in the Constitution, the State Council of the All-India Democratic Women's Association has said.

  • Observers will monitor polls in Gujarat: EC
    Times News Network, November 12, 2002
    “The credibility of Indian democracy will be under the scanner,’’Mr Lyngdoh said. Special observers will be deputed for the December 12 polling, as was the case with the J&K polls. “The situation in Gujarat may not be as dangerous as in J&K,’’ he said, “but it is nasty here.’’

  • EC seeks report on VHP yatra
    Times News Network, November 12, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: Chief election commissioner J M Lyngdoh has asked the Gujarat government to submit a report on the proposed Hindu Pad Padshahi Yatra to be taken out by the VHP from November 15. After receiving the report, the EC will decide whether to allow the yatra or not.

  • Fresh Gujarat violence kills six
    Agence France-Presse, Ahmedabad, November 11, 2002
    At least six people were killed and several injured in sudden outbreak of violence in various parts of Gujarat on a day coinciding with the visit of the Election Commission to assess poll preparations for the December 12 polls.

  • Set house in order before inviting guests
    Why my community’s response to Jayalalithaa’s new law is wrong
    Andalib Akhter, The Indian Express, November 11, 2002

    The Jayalalithaa government’s new law has revived the debate over conversions. In fact, her move has had alarming consequences, with minority groups taking to the streets in protest. To add fuel to fire, some vocal political supporters of minorities have gone to the extent of venting their ire on Hinduism in vituperative terms. Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s utterances, for instance, are most unfortunate. His remarks may fetch him temporary political mileage, but it will in no way help minorities.

  • Victims blame shadowy instigators behind riots
    Radha Sharma, Times News Network, November 11, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: Jasiben and Hafiz are both victims of the communal madness that refuses to loosen its grip on Ahmedabad, the latest targets being Jamalpur and Gomtipur where fresh violence erupted earlier this week.

  • EC on two-day Gujarat visit from tomorrow
    Press Trust of India, November 10, 2002
    New Delhi, November 10 Sorting out the issue of deployment of Central paramilitary forces in Gujarat, the full Election Commission, headed by Chief Election Commissioner JM Lyngdoh, will go there Monday to review the poll preparations for the December 12 Assembly elections in the State.

  • `EC should ban VHP from campaigning in Gujarat'
    By Manas Dasgupta, The Hindu, November 10, 2002
    AHMEDABAD Nov. 9. The Congress will demand that the Election Commission ban the Vishwa Hindu Parishad from campaigning in the elections to the Gujarat Assembly, the State party president, Shankarsinh Waghela, said here today. And it would do so on Monday when the Chief Election Commissioner, J. M. Lyngdoh, and the two Election Commissioners would be here on a two-day visit to the State to oversee the security arrangements for the December 12 elections, Mr. Waghela told mediapersons.

  • Law will be enforced rigidly in Gujarat: CEC
    The Hindu, November 9, 2002
    NEW DELHI NOV. 8. In a warning to politicians seeking to exploit religion for political gains, the Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh, has said the Election Commission would enforce the law "rigidly" in Gujarat in the coming Assembly elections.

  • Ninth phase of Gaurav Yatra from Monday
    Times News Network, November 08, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: The two-day ninth phase of BJP sponsored Gujarat Gaurav Yatra led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi will commence from temple town of Dakor in Kaira district and reach Vadodara via Godhra assembly constituency, and culminate with a public meeting in Surat on Tuesday.

  • 16 hurt in Gujarat violence
    Agence France-Presse, Ahmedabad, November 7, 2002
    Trouble began on Wednesday when Muslims protested against Hindus lighting firecrackers in the Jamaalpura area of Gujarat's commercial capital of Ahmedabad on the occasion of Diwali, a police spokesman said.

  • Buddha’s smile
    Amit Sengupta, The Hindustan Times, November 7, 2002
    As an Indian ‘secularist dog’, thanks to my upper caste credentials, I don’t have to skin a dead cow for a living.

    Nor are my ‘community members’ not allowed to enter temples or stopped from drinking water from village wells, or forced to use a ‘marked’ cup in the local tea-shop, or made to eat human excreta as divine punishment. Nor are women of my caste routinely stripped and paraded naked as a public spectacle, if not raped by a collective jury. Besides, our little children are not beaten to death, as in the killing fields of the Ranvir Sena’s Bihar, because they might turn out to be ‘rebel snakes’ when they grow up, demanding social dignity and the right to vote.

  • A carnival gone wrong
    By Dipankar Gupta, The Hindu, November 8, 2002
    In true carnival-inspired disturbances the existing norms of society are supposed to undergo thoroughgoing reversals... Instead, in Jhajjar, the deepest and most established biases of dominant castes came to the fore.

  • Conversion politics - II
    By P. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu, November 07, 2002
    When the state has hardly any concern for the Dalits, and they are still victims of untouchability and social ostracism, why should it be a stumbling block to their regeneration with the help of other religions?  (Read Conversion Politics I)

  • 'Holy' Cow And 'Unholy' Dalit
    The bovine becomes divine, the cow becomes 'mother', the untouchables get dehumanised.
    S. Anand,, November 06, 2002

    The dalits account for 165 million of India’s one billion-plus human population. The population of cows is pegged at 206 million. There are more cows than dalits in India. The cows, therefore, have more rights than dalits. For instance, you can kill dalits before thousands of witnesses and get away with it. But the imagined murder of a cow will not be suffered. The state promotes the drinking of cow urine and dung, while dalits are forced to eat the shit and piss of caste Hindus.

  • Jats Close Ranks
    A Maha Cover-Up In Jhajjar
    Dipankar Gupta, November 07, 2002

    On the evening of Dussehra, five Dalits were killed on a dusty track near village Dulina, Jhajjar district, Haryana. The police are duty-bound to investigate and charge those who were responsible for these deaths. In this case, the option of folding up the case as an unsolved one does not exist as the killers were part of the mob that lynched the Dalits in full view of the police.

  • Caste politics makes its debut in American poll
    By K.P. Nayar, The Telegraph on Yahoo News India, November 6, 2002
    Washington, Nov. 5: As Americans head for polling booths to elect a new House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, 36 Governors and numerous state legislatures, Indian American voters have been galvanised at the eleventh hour by the Republican party's decision to withdraw support to one of its candidates in Iowa who attacked her opponent's Hindu upbringing.

  • Conversion politics - I
    By P. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu, November 6, 2002
    In the context of secularism and religious pluralism, conversions are legitimate, well within the Constitutional provisions, and entirely a personal affair of the citizens.

  • Kashmir: Sangh Parivar's Waterloo
    By Navnita Chadha Behera, The Hindu, November 6, 2002
    The BJP and the RSS fail to realise that their defeat was... because their understanding of the socio-political realities of Jammu and Kashmir society is fundamentally flawed.

  • The Islamic World
    Najid Hussain,, November 5, 2002
    Taken at its face value, the Quran does ask for killing infidels; the Quran does ask for subjugating women; the Quran does ask for capital, inhumane punishments; and the Quran does allow slavery.

  • The Leap Of Faith
    The Jhajjar lynchings set off aftershocks in the form of a spate of political conversions.
    Ranjit Bhushan,, November 11, 2002

    "We pick up the dead cows. The moral guardians of society and the benign upper castes never show up when a cow dies."

  • ‘You call us fundamentalists, we are actually reformists’
    Pravin Togadia's interview with Tavleen Singh, The Indian Express, November 5, 2002
    Five Dalits may have been lynched in Jhajjar but that has nothing to do with caste or the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, says Pravin Togadia, the organisation’s general secretary. And the post-lynching conversions are a “conspiracy” to convert “harijans”. Concluding excerpts from an interview with Tavleen Singh.

  • BJP to apprise non-resident Gujaratis about polls through Net
    Anil Pathak, Times News Network, November 04, 2002
    The election, fought in the backdrop of the Godhra massacre and the ensuing riots, has aroused great curiosity among BJP sympathisers settled in America and other European nations. The BJP will keep them posted about the political developments after active campaigning is launched in the state.

  • All Aboard!
    Recovering hastily from the EC judgement, Modi begins his election campaign in right earnest, as does Vaghela.
    Darshan Desai, Magazine,, November 11, 2002

    When Gujarat goes to the polls on December 12, it will be no ordinary election. Many in Gandhinagar see it as a watershed, one that could well determine the future political strategies of the BJP and the Congress. And it is not the BJP alone which will discover how far communal polarisation works. The elections will also be a test for the Congress, which carries on its head the accusation of playing minority votebank politics. Casteism will also rear its head like never before with the state going to the polls for the first time without an upper-caste Patel spearheading the campaign on either side.

  • Can the polls wash away their pain?
    Editorial, Anjali Modi, November 3, 2002
    In Gujarat, those living with the consequencies of the carnage expect little from the polls. For, the other institutions that make a democracy do not work for them. Anjali Mody reports.

  • Jurist Sachar for non-official observers during Gujarat polls
    Press Trust of India, New Delhi, The Hindustan Times, November 02, 2002
    Lauding the Election Commission's efforts for a free and fair assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, noted jurist Rajindar Sachar on Saturday hoped that the Commission would allow non-official observers during the Gujarat polls.

  • Readying for the contest
    Manas Dasgupta, The Hindu, November 3, 2002
    Given the urban rural divide, it is not clear whether the communal card alone will see the BJP through past the Congress, writes Manas Dasgupta.

  • Explaining Islam
    Times News Network, November 02, 2002
    Though Hindus and Muslims have co-existed in the sub-continent for over a thousand years, their knowledge of each other's religion is next to nil. Rare is the example of a contemporary Muslim writer who has explored the eclectic faiths and beliefs of Hinduism with empathy. Rarer still is the example of a Hindu writer who has approached Islam with scholarly detachment. This appalling ignorance explains in large measure the mutual suspicion and hostility between the two communities.

  • Alternative voices
    Editorial, The Hindu, November 3, 2002
    From Gandhians to Marxists, they have come together to form the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti to campaign for the BJP's ouster.

  • EC seeks compliance report from Gujarat govt
    Press Trust of India, New Delhi, November 02, 2002
    The Election Commission has asked for a compliance report from the Gujarat Government on its directive on transfer of officers, including senior-level police officials, who have served in a particular district or were posted in their home district for the last four years.

  • Remove `communal hoardings', EC tells Gujarat
    By J. Venkatesan, The Hindu, November 2, 2002
    NEW DELHI NOV. 1. In a strong indictment of the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat, the Election Commission today directed the removal forthwith of all hoardings and posters displayed in the State "on communal lines".

  • Gaurav Yatra to resume after Diwali
    Times News Network, November 02, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: After completing eighth phase of Gujarat Gaurav Yatra at Sanand on Thursday night, the Bharatiya Janata Party has announced that the yatra would be resumed after Diwali, most likely from Godhra.

  • They hope cash will bridge the caste divide here
    Trade hit as workers, buyers stay away, caste no bar here
    Sankarshan Thakur, The Indian Express, November 2,2002

    Jhajjar, November 1: For more than a fortnight now, nobody has dared set out to scavenge for dead cattle in the district; the Jhajjar lynching has sent a scare rippling among dalits—the community involved in the business of hiding of tanning—and even though theirs is an entirely above-board occupation, they have been panicked into suspending their trade.

  • VHP yatra to prop up BJP prospects
    Anil Pathak, Times News Network, November 01, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: The VHP’s reported differences with Prime Minister Vajpayee notwithstanding, the Parishad looks determined not to leave any stone unturned to ensure that the Hindutva upsurge in Gujarat translates into votes for the BJP on December 12.

  • Insomnia, paranoia cases on the rise
    Radha Sharma, Times News Network, November 01, 2002
    AHMEDABAD: Gujarat has lost its sleep. Literally. The onslaught of natural and man-made disasters for the last two years have stripped Gujaratis of that good-night sleep, as fear-induced depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric illnesses keep more and more people wide awake through the night.

  • More - Archive One (October, 2002)