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News : Archive (January 2003)
  • Uddhav rules out change of functioning in Sena
    Press Trust of India, Mumbai, January 31, 2003
    Firmly ruling out any change of style in Shiv Sena's functioning, the newly appointed party executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said Sena would continue to work on the agenda of staunch Hindutva laid down by party supremo Bal Thackeray.

  • Saving Hinduism
    Khushwant Singh, The Hindustan Times, January 31, 2003
    Karan Singh hit the nail on the head when he said in his article Keep the light shining (HT, January 20): "It would be tragic if we do to Hinduism what jehadis have done to Islam." He is a wise man who knows a lot more about Hindu religion than all the thekedars who profess to be its guardians.

  • India's Milosevic
    Peace activists challenge corporate India's courting of Narendra Modi, By Jairus Banaji, Communalism Combat, January 2003 , Year 9 No.83
    It is outrageous that a corporate body like the CII which claims to be in the forefront of modernisation in India should give credibility and support to a politician with Modi's track record. It is a mere technicality that Modi and his ministers are not being tried in the Hague today before the International Criminal Court, the way Milosevic is being tried.

  • Puri Shankaracharya slams Sangh Parivar
    Press Trust of India, The Hindustan Times, Allahabad, January 30, 2003
    Swami Adhokshananad, the Shankaracharya of Puri Peeth, on Thursday blamed the Sangh Parivar for "orchestrating" communal riots in Gujarat and demanded slapping of Prevention Of Terrorism Act (POTA) against its office-bearers.

  • Fascism alive in Gujarat: Arundhati Roy
    Rediff.Com, January 29, 2003
    Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy has said that 'fascism is alive and well and living in Gujarat'.

    "Gujarat, the only major state in India with a government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, has for some years been the petri dish in which Hindu fascism has been fomenting an elaborate political experiment and in spring of 2002, the initial results were put on public display," Roy wrote in the inaugural issue of the Indobrit, a quarterly magazine launched in London on Tuesday night.

  • Now VHP to ‘save’ Hindus by insurance
    Ens & Agencies, Mumbai, January 29, 2003
    The VHP plans to start a Life Insurance For Future (LIFF) for Hindus and their future generations as the organisation feels ‘‘Hindus are more unsafe than minorities’’.

  • Intellectual betrayals
    By Pratap Bhanu Mehta, The Hindu, January 31, 2003
    When the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently tried to stifle debate by unceremoniously ejecting Jairus Banaji for asking a pertinent question of Narendra Modi, the outcry was clear and justified. But the manner in which so many men and women of letters, the heads of the most prestigious scientific, literary, philosophical and historical bodies paid tributes to the honourable Minister, tributes that on the face of it are so inauthentic that anyone ought to be embarrassed receiving them, suggests that the servility of the CII pales in comparison to what so many intellectuals are up to these days. And it does not augur well for democracy.

  • Don't try to demonise Hinduism
    K R Narayanaswamy, The Times of India, January 30, 2003
    In the Indian context, therefore, religious freedom should only mean the right to practise the faith that one is born into, not the right to preach and convert.

    The concept of religious freedom as one that includes the right to preach and convert is a European concept and it made sense in the European context.

  • Madness and civilisation
    Krishna Kumar, The Hindustan Times, January 29, 2003
    After the Gujarat elections, the game of making distinctions has gained tedious popularity. Interestingly, the opposite game of obfuscation — claiming the absence of a distinction — is also on. BJP ideologues have been arguing that there is no difference between Hinduism and Hindutva. Their latest claim is that Hindutva and secularism are one.

  • The long march to another world - II
    By Jai Sen, The Hindu, January 30, 2003
    There has to be a constant struggle to remain tolerant and pluralist and to guard against becoming fundamentalist in our own views.

  • Secularists helped ISI spread network: VHP
    Press Trust of India, Allahabad, January 28, 2003
    Accusing the "secularists" of supporting the minorities "enabling Pakistan's ISI to spread its network across the country", VHP on Tuesday called for rooting them out to build a powerful India keeping in view the sentiments of "the majority Hindus".

  • Liberties at risk
    By Kuldip Nayar, The Hindu, January 28, 2003
    The attack on an American missionary in Kerala and the illegal detention of a journalist from Kashmir show a type of vindictiveness that is alien to our culture.

  • A new role for NGOs
    By V. Krishna Ananth, The Hindu, January 28, 2003
    An organic unity of the mainstream Left and the new social movements alone can help build resistance to the Right.

  • In Dhaka, Delhi on the mind
    It is time we stopped treating Bangladesh as a poor relation
    Kuldip Nayar, The Indian Express, January 28, 2003

    At Dhaka no one takes Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s assertion that there are 20 million Bangladeshis in India seriously. It is considered part of the BJP’s political propaganda to heighten Hindu suspicions against the Indian Muslim in order to garner votes. There is, however, a feeling that secularism in India has eroded over the last few years. More disconcerting is the growing conviction that the doings of the ruling BJP are justifying Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory.

  • Ambedkar, Muslims And Partition
    By Asghar Ali Engineer, Indian Currents, February 3, 2003
    The Sangh Parivar keeps on raking up caste and communal issues since it has no pro-people programmes. It thrives only on casteism and communalism and raking up issues pertaining to caste and communal controversies. After Gujarat carnage, in which entire Sangh Parivar was involved, now Mr. Katiyar of Bajrang Dal and president of U.P. BJP has raked up issue of Ambedkar and Muslims and that Ambedkar was anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan.

  • Church in Kerala Burnt
    By Mukundan C. Menon, Indian Currents, February 3, 2003
    Wayanad: Amidst controversies ranging over the RSS attack on Rev. Joseph W. Cooper near Thiruvananthapuram last week, the Full Gospel Church at Cheengavallam, near Ambalawayal in Wayanad district, was totally burnt down on the intervening night of January 22-23.

  • Not Gandhi’s Gujarat
    By Khushwant Singh, The Hindustan Times, January 24, 2003
    Many of us laboured under the illusion that since Bapu Gandhi was a Gujarati, most of his legacy would go to the people of Gujarat. We thought that they would continue to show us the way in making India into a peace-loving and progressive country free of communal prejudices.

  • The political economy of hunger
    By Sudhanshu Ranade, The Hindu, January 26, 2003
    There will be a lot of flag-waving today. Most of it will be under official auspices because most of us have yet to discover that there is really nothing official about it. This is sad because it allows us to shirk our responsibility for nation-building, allows us the luxury of simply wallowing in distressed statements about how the Government has failed to perform this duty, neglected that one and made a mess of things in general.

  • Supping With The Devil - Indian businessmen have no need to fête Narendra Modi
    Rudrangshu Mukherjee, The Telgraph, January 26, 2003
    It was absolutely in the fitness of things for Jairus to stand up in a meeting to accuse Modi of having blood on his hands and to deplore the CII for providing such a person with a forum.

  • It is poverty, not cold
    By V. Krishna Ananth, The Hindu, January 25, 2003
    Amid reports of an imminent war in the Persian Gulf and the mutual expulsions of diplomatic personnel by India and Pakistan, the deaths across the northern Indian States caught in the cold wave, have hardly got the media attention they deserved.

  • Big biz, low cunning
    By Praful Bidwai, The Hindustan Times, January 24, 2003
    One must congratulate Oxford-based historian and secular activist Jairus Banaji for courageously confronting Narendra Milosevic Modi with awkward, but pertinent and long-overdue questions at the huge ‘Gujarat Unlimited’ congregation of ‘business leaders’ organised for Modi’s benefit last Saturday in Mumbai by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

  • Citizen's Conscience
    Today's Interview, The Times of India, , January 24, 2003
    Jairus Banaji, economic historian and author of a recent report on Indian corporate governance, recently created a stir at a meeting hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). He spoke to Rajni Bakshi about the need for initiatives from the corporate sector to ensure good governance in India.

  • 'BJP opponents have brought Hindutva agenda to fore'
    By Special Correspondent , The Hindu, January 23, 2003
    LUCKNOW JAN. 22. Hindutva had been forced as an agenda on the political centre-stage of the country no matter whether the BJP likes it or not, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Murli Manohar Joshi, said here today.

  • Who will apologise to Gilani?
    By Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu, January 22, 2003
    You do not have to be a Kashmiri or a Muslim to worry. Anyone who dissents from the dominant order today is under threat.

  • Rites of Passage
    Editorial, The Times of India, January 22, 2003
    It might well be that Mr Cooper was in technical breach of visa restrictions. But it’s equally clear that the decision to invoke the technical clause was motivated by reasons other than the bona fide one of upholding the law. A sign of our growing intolerance, it also implicitly amounts to a post-facto rationalisation of the earlier attack.

  • 'Yagna' outside Qutub Minar
    The Hindu, January 22, 2003
    NEW DELHI JAN. 21. As many as 120 activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Hindu Sena, including the Delhi VHP secretary, Arun Verma, and the Hindu Sena general secretary, Rohit Sharma, were detained today when they tried to enter the Qutub Minar premises to perform a `yagna' before a Ganesha idol sculpted in a wall of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque situated at the tower's base.

  • Conversion Bill: After Cong, it’s BJP’s turn
    Rajiv Shah, Times News Network, January 21, 2003
    GANDHINAGAR: While the Narendra Modi ministry braces itself up to have a look at the initial draft of the controversial religious conversion Bill, at its weekly meeting here on Wednesday, records of the legislative assembly show that it was the Congress which had brought the first such legislation 30 years back.

  • Advani should be consistent on Hindutva: VHP
    PTI, January 21, 2003
    NEW DELHI: The VHP on Tuesday welcomed Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani's assertion that the BJP need not be apologetic about its Hindutva ideology but expressed hope he would remain "consistent" in his views.

  • Pseudo-secularism — II
    By Gail Omvedt, The Hindu, January 21, 2003
    A defence of secularism... has to begin with a critique of the ideas that religion and society were uniquely intertwined in India, and that Hinduism was uniquely tolerant.

  • BJP to test allies, will raise pet issues ahead of Nov polls
    Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi, The Hindustan Times, January 21, 2003
    The BJP election machinery is cranking into action. In the run-up to the assembly polls in MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi, senior BJP leaders on Monday gave the green signal to raise pet issues like Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and Ayodhya.

  • Anti-consensus, pro-hate
    A.G. Noorani, The Hindustan Times, January 20, 2003
    The year 2002 witnessed one of the worst pogroms in the country since Independence and a systematic spread of hate to secure an electoral victory.

  • Gujarat: which way forward?
    By Balakrishnan Rajagopal, The Hindu, January 20, 2003
    What is needed is an ideological remobilisation that can lead to a total societal response. If that cannot be done without religion, it must be appropriated from the Sangh.

  • Replicating the Experiment
    By Mukul Dube, January 20, 2003
    Maybe the Sangh Parivar cannot repeat elsewhere all that it has done in Gujarat: but certainly it has made great progress in poisoning the minds of the majority.

  • Pseudo-secularism — I
    By Gail Omvedt, The Hindu, January 20, 2003
    The subtraction of Hindutva from Hinduism has proved impossible for the defenders of secularism to make, since their arguments remain at an abstract level without an analysis of the historical construction of Hinduism itself.

  • Singhal warning
    The Hindu, January 20, 2003
    Akola Jan. 19. The VHP international working president, Ashok Singhal, has warned of ``another Mahabharat'' if the Centre does not allow construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

  • VHP to organise Hindu maha sammelan across country
    PTI, Sunday, January 19, 2003
    PATNA: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad would organise Hindu maha sammelan across the country in February-March this year to popularise Hindu culture and religion among people, senior VHP leader Y Raghvallu said here on Sunday.

  • Modi gets earful at CII function
    Times News Network, January 19, 2003
    While the business community was listening raptly to Mr Modi’s vision for "Gujarat Unlimited" and his promises to make his state industry-friendly, a group of anti-communalism activists, led by visiting Oxford fellow Jairus Banaji, asked Mr Modi how he could talk of corporate governance without offering justice to the thousands of people who lost their lives in Gujarat last year.

  • It's 'naya daur' for dalits
    Ambarish Mishra, Times News Network, January 19, 2003
    His installation as CM is a clear indication that in the wake of the Gujarat elections, the state Congress has chosen to be led by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar's desire to pursue Dalit empowerment in an attempt to thwart the Hindutva challenge, say political observers.

  • Alienating minorities Putting Hindutva in place
    Editorial, The Statesman, January 18, 2003
    Buoyed by his win at the hustings, Narendra Modi now seeks to implement the manifesto on which he managed to come to power — Hindutva. To him it means putting minorities in their place. He is already planning a Bill to ban “forced” conversions and look into reforming madrasas. Judging by the past record of dealing with minorities both steps are worrying. Christians in Gujarat have faced the largest number of attacks on churches, priests and nuns by the VHP lumpen in the last few years than anywhere else in the country — all ostensibly to discourage conversions.

  • Modi woos biz men to rebuild Gujarat
    Mumbai, Siffy News, January 18, 2002
    Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday wooed top industrialists and businessmen in a bid to rebuild his riot-ravaged state.

    Urging industrialists to make large investments in the state, Modi said the new government's top priority would be privatisation, transparency, and changing red tape to "red carpet."

  • VHP creates rumpus at Jabalpur bookstall
    HT Correspondent, Jabalpur, January 18, 2003
    Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers Friday stormed a stall at a Jabalpur book fair and forced the police to register a case against the bookseller for "selling books that show Hindu gods and goddesses in poor light".

  • Stand up for self, VHP to US Hindus
    Siffy News, New delhi, Jan 17, 2003
    In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) in the United States has advised Hindus, constituting a majority of the 1.6 million strong Non-Resident Indian community there, to stand up and be counted as Hindus-if not out of pride, then eventually out of fear and compulsion.

  • Times Samvad: Hindutva as Bharateeyata
    Time of India, January 18, 2003
    Hindutva and cultural nationalism are pluralistic worldviews: Balbir K Punj, convenor, BJP Think Tank

    Hindutva is neither Bharateeyata nor Hinduism; it's sectarian politics: Mahesh Daga, assistant editor, The Times of India

  • Needed: a code of conduct
    By Swami Agnivesh and Valson Thampu, The Hindu, January 17, 2003
    Religion is becoming a ready excuse for indulging in irrational and otherwise indefensible behaviour. From encroaching public land to browbeating jurisprudence to one's own advance, religion is being increasingly deployed for sanctifying no-sense, even non-sense. "Politics,'' said George Bernard Shaw, "is the last resort of scoundrels.'' We must ensure that religion does not suffer a similar degradation in this land of religions.

  • Nip it in the bud
    The Hindustan Times, January 16, 2002
    It is disconcerting to note in this context the manner in which riots were recently set off in a town in Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh with the spreading of rumours that a cow was being slaughtered in the house of a Muslim. Mercifully, the outbreak was relatively minor. But the modus operandi of the instigators is familiar enough. It is entirely possible that the well-oiled propaganda machinery of the Sangh parivar will be set in motion prior to the polls to vitiate the communal atmosphere and thereby polarise the voters — the main basis of ‘Moditva’.

  • Victims blame VHP for ‘organised’ violence
    Hartosh Singh Bal, The Indian Express, January 16, 2003
    Ganj Basoda, January 15: VHP and BJP leaders have been named in the FIRs registered in connection with the cases of arson and looting that took place here yesterday following the arrest of a butcher on charges of alleged cow slaughter.

  • Doubts from the believer
    The Hindustan Times, January 15, 2003
    The V.S. Naipaul that we know has been a champion of ‘Hindu pride’, and by extension a keen supporter of the BJP-led government. Effectively, he has been the cultured, English hat-adorned, international brand ambassador of the Sangh parivar’s worldview of Indian history and civilisation. So when the same Mr Naipaul shakes his head disconcertingly about the government, one listens to his complaint.

  • Naipaul’s middle passage to India
    Sagarika Ghose, The Indian Express, January 16, 2003
    But while he celebrates Hindu awakening on the one hand, he is curiously disdainful of Hindu literature on the other. On the dais with Atal Behari Vajpayee at the inauguration of a literary festival two years ago, he waved aside the prime minister’s speech on ancient Indian literature and stories from bhasha literature and argued for a robust modernism that creates new modern writing rather than looking to the stories from the Hindu past.

  • Big bully finds another slave
    Ravi Nair, The Hindustan Times, January 15, 2003
    The recent signing of a bilateral agreement between the US and India — not to surrender each other’s nationals to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) — once again emphasises the lack of informed Indian foreign policy thinking, if any, on such issues. The South Block’s readiness to sign on the dotted line at Washington’s foggy bottom diktats once again underlines how isolated the present Indian government’s foreign policy is.

  • Modi gears up for Mission Madhya Pradesh
    Gujarat CM offers to peddle hardline Hindutva in Digvijay country, awaits party’s nod
    Pradeep Kaushal, The Indian Express, January 16, 2003

    Narendra Modi New Delhi, January 15: After the conquest of Gujarat and the crowd-pulling rally at the Shivaji Park, Narendra Modi is ready for Madhya Pradesh. He has offered to the party to take on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, sources say.

  • Curfew in MP town after communal tension
    HT Correspondent, Bhopal, January 14, 2003
    An indefinite curfew was clamped on Ganj Basoda town in Vidisha district in the wake of communal tension on Tuesday. According to police, an angry mob set afire some three dozen shops and resorted to heavy stone-pelting following reports about slaughtering of a cow, according to police.

  • Set Indians against Indians
    Balbir K. Punj, The Hindustan Times, January 14, 2003
    The ‘secularist’ cabal generally talks with a forked tongue. One of its heads works along the argument: while Hinduism is noble, Hindutva stinks of communalism and blood… Hindus are generally good and tolerant, but it is the RSS variety which is rotten and deserves to be squashed.

  • Mixing of cultures a dynamic force
    By Anjali Mody, The Hindu, January 13, 2003
    Among the men and women who attended the three-day Pravasi event were those who had made their mark, not merely in terms of their personal bank balances, in societies that were not always completely accepting them — societies in which they were ethnic and religious minorities.

  • BJP's Gaurav
    Editorial, The Times of India, January 14, 2003
    Indeed, the logic of Gujarat 2002 demands that the elders in the BJP slowly, but surely, give way to Mr Modi and his brand of blunt politics. Atalji's public support for Mr Modi and his flip-flop musings on 'hard' and 'soft' Hindutva testify to his dilemma: In the Modi era, emulate him or perish. But then this is easier said than done.

  • Shiv Sena ruffled over Modi rally
    Ambarish Mishra, Times News Network, January 13, 2003
    MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena has chosen to be circumspect about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's rally on Sunday which attracted a huge gathering at Shivaji Park here.

  • BJP wields Modi magic against Shiv Sena
    Smita Gupta, Times News Network, January 14, 2003
    NEW DELHI: With a little over a year left for both assembly and general elections in Maharashtra, the BJP has already got into poll mode there. The rally addressed on Sunday by Gujarat chief minister and the BJP's newest Hindu hridaysamrat, Narendra Modi, on Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's turf, Mumbai's Shivaji Park, is being seen as a challenge both to the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra as well as the Sena.

  • Blind to ordinary deaths
    Swami Agnivesh/Valson Thampu, The Hindustan Times, January 13, 2003
    Deaths due to cold or starvation should be deemed a darker blot on the State than the toll of terrorism. They are predictable and preventable. We know who are the enemies and where the victims are. We have the resources required to avert these tragedies. But nothing is done and the toll continues to rise.

  • Rights Activists Decry Hate Campaign against Indian Writer
    Kalyani,OneWorld South Asia, January 13, 2003
    NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (OWSA) - Human rights activists have urged the government of the southern Indian state of Kerala to protect the right to expression of reputed Indian writer-journalist, Paul Zacharia, who, they said, was being threatened by members of a Hindu religious cult.

  • We are being sold another lemon
    Sauvik Chakraverti, The Indian Express, January 13, 2003
    We, as a nation, have been prone to chasing utopian dreams. The strong, centralised state was set up to yield Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of a ‘socialistic pattern of society’. The same state, which has degenerated into a kleptocracy, is now being sold another utopia: one based on cultural nationalism.

  • So many Ghaznis
    Dileep Padgaonkar, The Times of India, January 13, 2003
    No matter how eloquently the prime minister tries to project a humane, tolerant and sane image of Hindutva, and how persuasively his party leaders and party propagandists strive to equate Hindutva with secularism, it is the rhetoric of the zealots of the sangh parivar that sets the pace of political debate in the country. Following the BJP's stunning victory in the Gujarat elections, VHP leaders like Messrs Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore and especially Praveen Togadia miss no opportunity to debunk any 'softening' of Hindutva as an apostasy. Taken together, their statements during the past few weeks expose a strategy that is devoid of the slightest ambivalence.

  • Pravasis fire Gujarat salvo
    Siddharth Srivastava, Times News Network, January 13, 2003
    The NRIs' session with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi witnessed a virtual stampede with the riots in the state again threatening to take the centrestage. Interrupting Modi's address, a few NRIs condemned the incident as shameful. "The incidents in Gujarat had made the Indians in Europe hang their heads in shame," said Devsmita Patnaik, who teaches dance in Paris.

  • BJP can be defeated, not Hindutva: Modi
    PTI, January 12, 2003
    MUMBAI: Carrying forward his Hindutva poll plank in neighbouring Maharashtra which goes to assembly poll next year, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday equated the concept with nationhood and lashed out at Congress President Sonia Gandhi for her attack on Hindutva forces.

  • Modi flays opponents of Hindutva
    PTI, January 12, 2003
    NEW DELHI: Asserting Hindutva is not an obstacle to progress, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi challenged its critics to have an open debate on the issue.

  • Dual Rhetoric
    Editorial, The Times of India, January 11, 2003
    The parivar's cultural nationalism is precisely built around the demand that everyone in India, especially the minorities, subscribe to a set of ideas, beliefs and practices that derive from its own highly selective and distorted reading of a pluralistic, open-ended faith like Hinduism. One can only hope that the parivar would see the logic of the prime minister's argument and extend it to the myriad minorities of this ancient land, the space for cultural self-expression which can help them become proud citizens of this republic without compromising their unique and diverse identities.

  • A great movement is born
    Praful Bidwai, The Hindustan Times, January 9, 2003
    The just-concluded Asian Social Forum (ASF) saw a unique confluence of grassroots social movements, people’s organisations and radical NGOs which interrogate globalisation and counterpose equality, human rights and justice to the shop-worn agendas of transnational big business.

  • Query for Lady Naipaul
    Tarun Vijay, The Hindustan Times, January 11, 2003
    When Advani spoke and used the same simile to appreciate Indianness in their hearts, Lady Naipaul suddenly stood up and asked Advani about Muslims. Do they have to have Ram and Sita in their hearts to show they belong to this land? Perhaps Advani didn’t want to join her in a debate there, but he did repeat the nation’s commitment to secularism.

  • No discrimination on grounds of faith, religion: Advani
    Press Trust of India, January 10, 2003
    Seeking to dispel misgivings among NRIs in the wake of the Gujarat violence, Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Friday said there would be no discrimination against any citizen on the ground of faith or religion and that India will never become a theocratic State.

  • NHRC chief deplores tardy relief to Gujarat riot victims
    By J. Venkatesan, The Hindu, January 10, 2003
    NEW DELHI JAN. 9. The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Justice J.S. Verma, has deplored the tardy progress in providing relief to the riot victims of Gujarat.

  • Beginning of the end
    Rajni Kothari, The Hindustan Times, January 10, 2003
    The full import of the Gujarat elections lies in the central role played by violence and its harvest. This was far more than the specific role played by either the BJP or even Narendra Modi. The groundswell of support for Modi and his party is to be found particularly in areas where communal riots were engineered or simply took place.

  • A `gaurav yatra' in New York?
    By Manas Dasgupta, The Hindu, January 9, 2003
    AHMEDABAD Jan. 8. A "Gujarat gaurav rath yatra'' on the streets of New York city? This is the suggestion given to the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, by a section of the Non-Resident Gujaratis settled in the United States to "improve'' the soiled image of the State abroad.

  • TOGADIA: PM's musings on Hindutva encouraged Islamic terrorism: Togadia
    PTI, Jan 8, 2003
    Stepping up the attack on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Goa year-end musings on Hindutva, the VHP today said they have "encouraged" Islamic terrorism by not mentioning the threat posed by it.

  • Post-Goa dilemma
    By Prem Shankar Jha, The Hindustan Times, January 8, 2003
    It is symptomatic of the Congress party’s confusion and loss of moorings that the challenge to the VHP’s vision of India has come not from it but from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • BJP-CONGRESS: Oppon analysis of Guj polls exercise in self deception: BJP
    PTI, Jan 6, 2003
    Seeking to counter Congress' attack on it for its Gujarat poll plank of Hindutva as distinct from Hinduism, the BJP today described as "exercise in self-deception" the opposition party's analysis of Gujarat assembly election outcome.

  • Unconcealed aggression
    Editorial, The Hindu, January 8, 2003
    THE VISHWA HINDU Parishad appears determined to sustain, despite the painful social and political costs, the pursuit of its Ram temple agenda. Added to this is a greater display of aggressiveness and defiance. Having choreographed the return of the BJP under Narendra Modi to power by using the Godhra carnage to set off a campaign of hate against the Muslims and create a deep communal polarisation, the VHP obviously now feels emboldened to push ahead with the temple construction "at any cost".

  • A conspiracy of silence & inaction
    By Jyoti Punwani, The Hindu, January 8, 2003
    A decade has not been enough for the victims of Mumbai's post-Babri Masjid demolition riots to get justice, neither in the crudest sense of compensation, nor in the fullest sense of punishment to those who ruined their lives.

  • The Congress after Gujarat
    By Harish Khare, The Hindu, January 8, 2003
    The need of the hour is to bring the Congress in sync with the new India, an India that refuses to be mesmerised by past heroes... as it finds itself having to cope with new threats and new opportunities.

  • Democracy of judicial remedies
    By V.R. Krishna Iyer, The Hindu, January 7, 2003
    The Judiciary is bound to shape the processes of law to actualise the constitutional resolve to secure equal justice to all.

  • Case against Togadia for creating 'communal disharmony'
    Press Trust of India, Bangalore, January 6, 2003
    Karnataka police have slapped a case against VHP International General Secretary Praveen Togadia on charge of "creating communal disharmony by his speech" at Chikamagalur recently, a senior police official said on Monday.

  • Ambedkar versus Moditva
    Udit Raj, The Hindustan Times, January 5, 2003
    The ideology of the Sangh parivar is a bundle of thoughts that are so elastic that they can fit into all circumstances. The common thread in this intellectual opportunism is that its protagonists are totally bereft of any moral bindings.

  • VHP to take aggressive stand on Hindutva issue
    Press Trust of India, Pune, January 5, 2003
    Judging by the mood of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad during its recent weeklong meet in Pune, it is clear that VHP is going to be aggressive in its Hindutva stand and especially on the issue of Ram Janambhoomi.

  • Muslims and the musings
    Rafiq Zakaria, The Hindustan Times, January 5, 2003
    After Gujarat, many people are asking the question: Muslims in India, do they have any future? The secular Hindus are quiet but the communal ones are euphoric.

  • Hindutva to be BJP plank in all polls: Advani
    Times News Network, January 05, 2003
    GANDHINAGAR: Deputy prime minister LK Advani, equating the concept of Hindutva with secularism, declared on Saturday: "India has been a Hindu nation, hence it is secular."

  • Competitive Hindutva
    Coomi Kapoor, The Indian Express, January 5, 2003
    Coomi Kapoor If L K Advani fears that Narendra Modi is trying to usurp his position as the darling of the Hindutva hardcore, Modi should be equally concerned that Pravin Togadia does not try to upstage him.

  • The enemy lies within
    The Shashi Tharoor Column, The Hindu, January 5, 2003
    Must every believing Hindu automatically be assumed to believe in the Hindutva project? It is hardly paradoxical to suggest that Hinduism, India's ancient home-grown faith, can help strengthen Indianness in ways that the proponents of Hindutva have not understood. In one sense Hinduism is almost the ideal faith for the 21st Century: a faith without apostasy, where there are no heretics to cast out because there has never been any such thing as a Hindu heresy, a faith that is eclectic and non-doctrinaire, responds ideally to the incertitudes of a post-modern world.

  • Wanted: Sreedharans, not Togadias
    P Chidambaram, The Indian Express, January 5, 2003
    Instead, what we have are Praveen Togadia, Vinay Katiyar, Giriraj Kishore and their like. The fault does not lie with them, but with those who allow them to thrive and with those who do not shut them up. Why is there so much talk about Hinduism being in danger and about Hindutva? In a country where the overwhelming majority is Hindu, Hinduism can never be in danger. The threat to civil society comes from terrorism. The terrorist could be Hindu or Muslim or Sikh. A terrorist threat is a ‘‘secular’’ threat (i.e. temporal, worldly, unspiritual) and must be dealt with by a ‘‘secular’’ State using its vast arsenal of powers.

  • State BJP to blend Hindutva with development
    Times News Network, January 04, 2003
    GANDHINAGAR: The BJP state executive, which met for a daylong session here on Saturday, decided to keep the tempo on after the assembly election victory in view of the 89 nagarpalika, two district panchayat and several taluka panchayat elections likely to be held in mid-February.

  • Watch Them Turn
    Dilip D'Souza,, January 4, 2003
    What is common to these two inquiries, you might ask. That is, apart from what is common to every such inquiry in India: they meander along at taxpayer-paid glacial speeds, cope with deliberate delays, are forced to ask for repeated extensions, eventually produce reports that nobody reads and governments refuse to act on, and are then forgotten. They are also the perfect screen for governments that have no desire to punish criminals and still want to pretend that they do. All those apply to these two inquiries, I'm positive.

  • Ulta Pulta
    Editorial Article, The Times of India, January 04, 2003
    Over the years, Gujarat may have emerged as the self-styled laboratory of Hindutva politics but no one will deny that it was in the dusty plains of Uttar Pradesh that it first acquired prominence.

    And given the numbers game in Parliament, it is still the electoral arithmetic in UP that will determine Hindutva's long-term destiny. It stands to reason therefore that the BJP should want to follow its spectacular showing in Gujarat, by getting its act together in UP.

  • A time for introspection
    By Raju Rajagopal, The Hindu, January 4, 2003
    There will be no communal harmony in the nation unless we make a concerted effort to win back the hearts and minds of "Middle India".

  • ‘India secular by temperament, by belief
    Talking with Justice J S Verma, The Indian Express, January 4, 2003
    His innings as chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) saw him lock horns with the Gujarat government over its handling of the post-Godhra communal riots. His tenure runs out on January 18 but Justice Jagdish Sharan Verma maintains that India will never be a theocratic state. In an exit interview, Verma tells Kota Neelima that Indians are secular by ‘temperament and belief’, pointing out that the harshest criticism of any wrongdoing against the minorities comes from the majority community.

  • Marathi stage set for saffron drama
    Times News Network, January 03, 2003
    MUMBAI: Marathi theatre producers will meet in Dadar on Sunday to discuss how to counter threats by fundamentalist organisations to disrupt plays that they claim show disrespect to Hindu gods.

  • Hinduism in danger?
    By Andre Beteille, The Hindu, January 3, 2003
    If Hinduism is in danger today, the main source of that danger may lie within and not outside it.

  • VHP calls Vajpayee a 'pseudo-Hindu'
    By Neena Vyas, The Hindu, January 3, 2003
    NEW DELHI JAN. 2. Acharya Giriraj Kishore, senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, today hit out at the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, describing him as a "pseudo-Hindu''. He then added that he saw "no difference'' between Mr. Vajpayee and the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani.

  • Hand over Ayodhya land by Feb 22: VHP to govt
    PTI, JANUARY 02, 2003
    NEW DELHI: Mounting a renewed offensive on the Ram temple issue, the VHP on Thursday served an ultimatum to the BJP-led NDA government to return the "undisputed" land, acquired by the Centre at Ayodhya, before February 22 or face confrontation.

  • Hindutva not a means for gaining power: BJP
    PTI, JANUARY 02, 2003
    NEW DELHI: Taking exception to the VHP's attack on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee over his interpretation of Hindutva, the BJP on Thursday asserted Hindutva was never a means for gaining power.

  • Sena never deviated from Hindutva: Thackeray
    PTI, JANUARY 02, 2003
    MUMBAI: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Thursday said his party has never deviated from the concept of Hindutva "unlike the BJP, which had now and again modified its view on the subject".

  • Nothing at all to Lose - The Congress does not know how to oppose political Hindutva
    Achin Vanaik, The Telegraph, January 2, 2003
    For the sangh to carry out fully its Hindutva agenda (the establishment of an anti-democratic regime, and an authoritarian civil society) it must achieve an electoral majority or close enough to it so that it can rule on its own. Even better would be achieving the two-thirds majority that would enable it to permanently change the Indian Constitution and institutionalize irrevocably a Hindu rashtra. Standing in the way of this electoral route to decisive political authority is the Congress. The Congress must suffer a virtual electoral demise if political Hindutva is to fully triumph.

  • Partisan and Politicised
    Rajeev Dhawan, The Hindustan Times, January 2, 2003
    The current controversy involving the governor of Rajasthan, Anshuman Singh, for directly patronising a religious programme has brought the issue of the governor's politicisation in sharp focus. This is a dangerous trend.

  • The Gujarat Referendum - Hindutva was the only question before the Gujarat electorate
    Dipankar Gupta, The Telegraph, January 1, 2003
    As there was just no other issue, the elections took on the characteristics of a referendum. Therefore, the poll results should also be analysed as one would a referendum or a plebiscite.

    In spite of the fact that the BJP won a clear two-thirds majority in terms of seats, it did not do that well if one looks at the results in terms of a referendum. Less than 50 per cent voted for the BJP, and in many areas, Hindutva forces in fact lost ground. Those who did not vote in favour of the BJP were clearly opposed to the ideology of Hindutva.

  • More - Archive One (December, 2002)