December 10, 2005

Why do 50-odd 'international academics' humiliate the hindu?

Open letter to the 50-odd 'international academics' who were co-signatories of Nov.8, Nov. 26 Witzel letters

This is from a hindu, with two grandchildren studying in US schools. This is a plea for vinaya, a plea submitted in all humility. This is a plea to remember the Tamil saying: naalu per enna solluvaa? (Trans. What will four people say?) The four people are the four who will carry my corpse to the smas'aanam, the cremation grounds. They are the social conscience who dictate my social responsibility. I am sure that there are perceptions of similar social morality in all societies in all civilizations as guides to action in a framework of vratam, human responsibility beyond human rights.

You are scholars, please decide for yourself, touching your conscience -- aatman --, on what type of legacy you would like to leave behind you, as a contributor to the whole gamut of human thought.

Aryan hoax was a British colonial creation. Evidence: William Jones shown on a marble panel on Oxford College Chapel wearing a skull-cap; that is, he was a christian missionary and no Sanskrit lover. http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/kalyan97/detail?.dir=57ce&.dnm=e3ad.jpg So was the 'caste system' a British colonial creation with the start of the 1871 census. (Caste itself is not a bharatiya word but a Portuguese word, casta, meaning 'race'). The words used in hindu tradition to discuss social groups are varna and jaati. Jaati refers to birth, to species, to genus as seen from innumerable references in texts in the veda-bauddha-jaina continuum of hindu tradition. Jaati in Telug means 'nation'. Varna is derived from dhaatu, root vr. 'to choose'; that is choice of skills and professions based on one's proclivities and preferences for social participation.

The roots of the Aryan hoax lie in the belief of christians in creation in 5th millennium BCE. To perpetuate this hoax in this day and age of DNA studies shows that many 'international academics' are living in a world of their own making, Alice's wonderland, removed from the reality of accumulating evidence and not only the discovery but also the rebirth of River Sarasvati, on the banks of which hindu civilization was nurtured and continues even today in an unparalleled continuum of over 5 millennia. 'International academics' seem to read only what suits their pet hallucinations about a eurocentric world. There are 'scholars' who are in a state of denial; who want to deny River Sarasvati as a myth; it is like what is said in a Tamil proverb: muzhu poosanikkaaye sottile maraikka paarkkiraanga (Trans. they are attempting to hide an entire pumpkin in a morsel of rice). Do the 50-odd 'international academics' know the meaning of satyam? The pitru vaakyam is: na brooyaat satyam apriyam. Go figure out.

We are dealing with the future of children and what learning is imparted to them. This is a mahaavratam we are engaged in and the vratam should be performed with a high sense of responsibility. Not by indulging in politicking and trying to score 'scholarly' points. We need vinaya (rough translation: humility), that treasure which all vidyaa, all education is supposed to impart.
In the process indulged in wittingly or unwittingly by 50-odd 'international academics', the hindu community has been defamed.
There are good reasons why Witzel nurtures the Aryan hoax; his knowledge of Sanskrit, of Sayana, of Panini, of hindu civilization is rather warped, apart from being limited. But why do 50-odd 'international academics' join the Witzel bandwagon to nurture the Aryan hoax? In Witzel's letters of Nov. 8 and Nov. 26, the reasons become clear. They are concerned about 'hindutva'. They misunderstand the word. As in tat-tva, the suffix -tva in hindu-tva connotes just 'essence'. That are You (tat tvam asi) is a tat-tva, a philosophical inquiry. Similarly hindu-tva means 'essence of hindu, being hindu, or something like hindu-ness). They also seem to be politically and religiously motivated. They are not really concerned about conveying to children through school textbooks the glory and heritage of hindu civilization. They want to present a distorted, biased, warped picture of the civilization using stereotypes and prejudiced opinions and false theories or myths. They have arrogated to themselves (they think they have the adhikaara) the role of arbitrators of 'scholarship'.

What is scholarship? In hindu civilizational tradition, scholarship is that which contributes to loka hitam. The phrase loka hitam is used in many ancient texts as the author tries to explain in the last s'loka or statement as to why he wrote down what he or she did. The author would say: I am doing this for loka hitam.

Are these 'international academics' contributing to loka hitam by threatening an international scandal if the Califorina School Board of Education (SBE) presents hindu-tva through meanings understood in hindu tradition? The subjects being dealt with in the review process are not isssues of 'scholarship' but about the meanings of the traditions, in the grand narrative called hindu civilization. The issues were not merely about historical facts or historical chronologies; they were substantially about meanings which can be comprehended only by practitioners of sanaatana dharma (which is also called in Bauddha continuum esha dhammo sanantano). Only the hindu have the adhikaara to provide a fair representation of hindu-tva, of being hindu.

The 50-odd 'international academics' who have signed the Witzel letter in haste should retract their signatures. They should distance themselves from Witzel. This should be the minimum demand of the hindu communities world-over. Their midnight interjection in a due process of review put in place by SBE is a denial of due process and equal opportunity protections under US laws. More than the defamation which their participation in the Witzel letter involves, they have crossed the line of universal ethical principle: respect for the ability of groups of people to creatively develop their own world-view, gestalt (A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.) The meaning of the lives and traditions of the hindu cannot be subjected to ridicule by non-hindu, they do NOT have the adhikaara to pontificate and cast aspersions on being hindu, on hindu-tva.

The 50-odd 'international academics' owe a public apology to the hindu samajam; they should also do prayas'cittam for their hasty involvement with crude attempts at perpetuation of an Aryan hoax, castigating a hindu samajam with false representations such as 'caste system' and interjecting in a process which could have profound effects on the hindu children's future and their self-identity.

BBC website has recorded the reasons why Aryan Invasion/Migraiton Theory is pursued with such doggedness http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history5.shtml

'Scholars' who pursue this theory are exemplified by Michael Witzel. It is a moot question if all the 50-odd 'scholars' who signed the bigoted Witzel letter ( http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/witzelletter.pdf This pdf has list of signatories and also their emails) also believed with Witzel in the Aryan hoax.

As BBC report notes, the theory continues to be the 'mantra' because it included racist ideas'. To put it mildly, do the 50-odd 'international academics desire to protect their own superstitions and notions of superiority of their own 'faiths'? Do the 50-odd 'international academics' desire to control the discourse on hindu civilization by repeating that hindu are heathen or kafir, savage, needing their souls to be saved? Why do the 50-odd 'international academics' try to intimidate many school-teachers who are Curiculum Commissioners in California trying to determine what the hindu children should be told about hindu civilization? Aren't the 50-odd 'international academics' accountable to the community that they are supposed to serve? The hindu community in USA may be a minority, but they are a significant minority with over 3 million hindu in America and over 15 million Americans who practice hindu traditions of yoga, meditation, ayurveda. Are the 50-odd 'international academics' opposed to these hindu traditions just because they are hindu-tva, the essence of being hindu; don't they care for hindu sentiments and the future of hindu children who will search for their hindu identity after being deluded through biased, bigoted, prejudiced views represented in the classrooms?

An effective way to counter racism is to review the results produced by genetic investigations. This is what Stan Metzenberg, Commissioner of California Curriculum Commission did (see appended note).

BBC's views on why Aryan hoax is sought to be perpetuated

[quote] The theory was not just wrong, it included unacceptably racist ideas:
it suggested that Indian culture was not a culture in its own right, but a synthesis of elements from other cultures
it implied that Hinduism was not an authentically Indian religion but the result of cultural imperialism
it suggested that Indian culture was static, and only changed under outside influences
it suggested that the dark-skinned Dravidian people of the South of India had got their faith from light-skinned Aryan invaders
it implied that indigenous people were incapable of creatively developing their faith
it suggested that indigenous peoples could only acquire new religious and cultural ideas from other races, by invasion or other processes
it accepted that race was a biologically based concept (rather than, at least in part, a social construct) that provided a sensible way of ranking people in a hierarchy, which provided a partial basis for the caste system
it provided a basis for racism in the Imperial context by suggesting that the peoples of Northern India were descended from invaders from Europe and so racially closer to the British Raj
it gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier
it downgraded the intellectual status of India and its people by giving a falsely late date to elements of Indian science and culture
[unquote]

Thanking you for your consideration and with the fond hope that vinaya will prevail,

Dhanyavaadah.

S. Kalyanaraman
kalyan97@gmail.com Sarasvati Research Centre, Chennai 600015.

On genetics which can effectively counter racist ideas, see : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/83021

Thanks to Aravindan Nilakandan for this post. Posted on Dec. 10, 2005 by Aravindan Nilakandan hindoo_humanist@yahoo.co.uk



Dr. Stan Metzenberg was kind enough to inform me what he read to the committee: It was from a 1999 paper by Kivisild, et al. (Current Biology, vol 9 pp.1331-1334):

"A commonly held hypothesis, albeit not the only one, suggests a massive Indo-Aryan invasion to India some 4,000 years ago [1]. Recent limited analysis of maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Indian populations has been interpreted as supporting this concept [2 and 3]. Here, this interpretation is questioned. We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations.Our estimate for this split is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia [4, 5, 6, 7 and 8] and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe. Only a small fraction of the �Caucasoid-specific� mtDNA lineages found in Indian populations can be ascribed to a relatively recent admixture."

He also read from the same paper:

"Thus, we have shown that the overwhelming majority of the so-called western-Eurasian-specific mtDNA lineages in Indian populations, estimated here to be carried by more than a hundred million contemporary Indians, belong in fact to an Indian-specific variety of haplogroup U of a late Pleistocene origin. The latter exhibits a direct common phylogenetic origin with its sister groups found in western Eurasia (Figure 1), but it should not be interpreted in terms of a recent admixture of western Caucasoids with Indians caused by a putative Indo-Aryan invasion 3,000 �4,000 years BP. From the deep time depth of the split between the predominant Indian and European haplogroup U varieties, it could be speculated that haplogroup U arose in neither of the two regions. This split could have already happened in Africa, for example, in Ethiopia, where haplogroup U was recently described [21]."



See also: http://protovedic.blogspot.com
Fwd. A note on Michael Witzel's ignorance of Sayana and Panini. K.


Panini's Grammar, Sayanacharya's Vedic Bhashyas

& Michael Witzel's 'Philology'

While criticizing David Frawley's interpretation of samudra 'ocean' in the Rigveda (The Hindu, Open page, 06 August 2002) Mr. Michael Witzel , Harvard University, has stated, "That Vedic language, like all others, did change from the Rigveda to the Upanishads" …… He further continues, "The Rigveda has many grammatical forms that had simply disappeared by the time of Panini. He and Sayana do not know e.g. of the injunctive (e.g. han Indro' him han)". By this above allegation Mr. Witzel tells his readers, in unambiguous language, that Panini and Sayana are ignorant of several Vedic grammatical forms of which the Rigvedic passage – bracketed in the above citation – illustrates one. We shall now undertake a close study of Panini and Sayana and see what result it will yield.



Panini recognizes two distinct phases of Sanskrit, Chandas (the Vedic) and Bhasha (the post Vedic) and he wrote his grammar, ashtadhyayi, for both the phases of Sanskrit. He had even taken into consideration the dialectal variations of the Sanskrit of his time, reckoning two prominent dialects – the Eastern and the Northern. He had traversed the entire ground not leaving anything to be taken up by future grammarians, as a careful study of his grammar would reveal. On the Vedic side he had taken due note of all the threefold divisions of the Vedas, viz. Samhita, Brahmana and Aranyaka.



Panini's grammar has been considered as one among the six ancillary disciplines indispensable for a correct understanding or interpretation of the Vedas; therefore nothing in the Vedic language could have escaped the notice of Panini. Patanjali's (author of the Mahabhashya, an ancient commentary on Panini's grammar) observations on the relation of Panini's grammar to the Vedas deserve special mention in this connection -



'Panini's grammar teaches formation of words belonging to both the Vedic and spoken Sanskrit'. 'Grammar is the foremost among the six ancillaries of the Veda'. 'One ought to study (Panini's) grammar for preserving the purity of the Vedas, both in form and sense'. 'Words such as usha, tera, chakra and pecha are not found in use in the current language since there are other words that could replace them'. 'In fact the words said to be not in use are found in frequent use in the Vedas.' ' Even formation of words that had fallen into disuse ought to be taught.'



Patanjali's observations clearly highlight the importance of knowledge of Panini's grammar for the study of the Vedas and bring to the fore the fact that Panini had accounted for the formation of all the Vedic words though a good number of them had ceased to exist in the Sanskrit of his time.



Panini was fully aware of the richness of the grammatical forms in and the distinctive features of the Vedic language. The language of the Vedas is accented and Panini has framed hundreds of rules dealing with the Vedic accent though accentuation has almost disappeared from the language of his time. He has reckoned twelve infinitives of which eleven had become extinct in classical Sanskrit. The subjunctive forms, though frequently met with in the Vedas, had vanished from the post Vedic language without leaving any trace; and yet, Panini has formulated a number of rules dealing with subjunctive forms.



Instances of Panini noticing the peculiarities of the Vedic language are too numerous. While evidences of Panini's comprehensive and penetrating study of the grammatical forms of the Vedic language are overwhelming, Mr. Witzel's above allegation attributing ignorance to Panini can hardly sustain.



The injunctive had survived; it had not become defunct. Right from the Rigveda the use of the injunctive in association with the prohibitive negative particle ma has been a continuous flow, down the ages, till date, for an e.g., ma gam, ma karshih, ma bhut, ma sma bhut, ma sma bhavat etc. It defies one's understanding as to how Panini, who has spared no pains to record and explain the formation of even antiquated and obsolete forms, had not taken cognizance of the injunctive which has been in regular use both in the Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit.



Injunctive is a term by which European orientalists refer to the forms of the non-augmented past tense forms, viz. the imperfect, aorist and pluperfect; it conveys the same sense as the subjunctive or the imperative or the optative or the precative does. In form, the injunctive is identical with the non-augmented imperfect, aorist and pluperfect and therefore Panini has not framed separate rules for deriving the injunctive forms. He does not treat the pluperfect as a distinct tense since he regards the pluperfect as a variety of the aorist for the reason that it admits only secondary terminations.



The Vedic language presents the forms of the past tenses under two different types - the augmented and the non-augmented. The augmented past tense: The augment is a prefix of the past tense forms and is taught by P.VI-4-71 and 72. Since the terminations for all the augmented past tense verbs are almost the same, Panini teaches the respective verbal formations by the same set of rules; The active forms by III. 4.78,99-101, 109-111 and VII.1.3,4 and 45 and the middle forms by III.4.78, VII.1.3 and 5 and VII.2.81.

The non-augmented past tense form, which falls under two heads – the one with and the other without the prohibitive particle ma - is obtained by dropping the augment according P.VI.4.74 and 75. The non-augmented past without ma is restricted to the Vedic (bahulam chhandasi amanyogepi VI.4.75) whereas the other one, i.e. with ma, is freely used in both the Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit ( na man yoge VI.4.74)

The non-augmented past tense form accompanied by ma is always used as injunctive. e.g. ma vidam, mas stham, ma gah, ma isata, ma vadhit and so on. Whereas the unaugmented past tense form without ma is used as injunctive as well as past indicative.

Indicative usage : e.g. dhatam, jani, paprathat, sidan, manvata etc.

Injunctive usage : e.g. vocam, dhah, takshat, vadhit, gat etc.

The aorist is used to express a past action in general (P III.2.110 ), the imperfect an action of the near past (III-2-111) and the perfect an action of the remote past (P III.2.115). The terms aorist, imperfect (and perfect ), in the rules cited, stand for both the augmented and non-augmented forms because the rules do not contain any qualifying term that might restrict their scope to any one of the two. Further, the past tenses – the aorist, imperfect and perfect – are employed optionally, in the Vedas, in the sense of other tenses and moods (P III.4.6) i.e. they are used as past, present and future indicatives and also as the subjunctive, imperative, optative and precative moods. From the four rules referred to above, it transpires that Panini has noticed the usage of the augmented and non-augmented past tenses in both the temporal and modal senses. Confining ourselves to the matter on hand, it is obvious that Panini had seen and recorded in his grammar the Vedic usage of the non-augmented imperfect, aorist and pluperfect in the sense of the injunctive, subjunctive, imperative, optative or precative and the past indicative - "In sense the forms that drop the augment are either indicative or injunctive".

Panini does not employ any special term to refer to the injunctive (unaugmented past tense) of the European Orientalists because it does not possess a sense of its own that is distinct from those conveyed by the subjunctive, imperative, optative and precative - "The general meaning of the injunctive expresses a desire, combining the senses of the subjunctive, the optative and the imperative".

It is highly significant, in this connection, to pay our attention on P VIII.3.50 wherein Panini notices the injunctive, subjunctive and the imperative forms of the root kri- kah, karat, karati, kridhi and kritam

Sayana is the well-known exegete of all the four Vedas. The excellence of his Vedic commentaries has largely thrown the earlier commentaries into oblivion. Every page of his commentaries unfailingly convinces the reader of the earnestness in his approach and the devotion and sincerity he exhibits in accomplishing the stupendous task he has set before himself. In his lengthy introduction to his commentary on the Rigveda Samhita he has explained in clear terms the method he has followed in writing his commentary. He has made full use of the traditional ancillary sciences, fourteen in number, and has also consulted the earlier commentaries on the Vedas. He has not failed to tap any source connected with the Vedas, directly or indirectly and closely or remotely, wherefrom he could derive the material necessary for achieving his target. Even a cursory reader of his Vedic commentaries will be astonished at his mastery over the fourteen disciplines and the utmost ease with which he quotes from them. At times he differs from the earlier authorities, while always expressing his views in all humility and politeness. Nothing has been left out unexplained. As a responsible commentator he has been extremely cautious in utilizing the available sources, starting with the padapatha and Brahmanas down to the works of his times. One of the main principles he strictly adheres to in his commentaries is due consideration of the context. He explains the text in harmony with the context; he carefully avoids whatever that runs repugnant to the context.

Since the non-augmented past tense and the injunctive are identical in from one will find it extremely difficult to fix the identify of the given non-augmented verbal formation from its mere form.. One will have to necessarily seek the help of the context in fixing the nature of the verb – temporal or modal. In other words the context is the infallible guide under such circumstances.

Sayana is cognizant of the dual function of the non-augmented past tense forms. Referring to the pertinent rules of Panini he accounts for their formation and gives their meanings in accordance with the context in which they occur.

Examples of non-augmented past tense forms :

sakat ( RV.I.10.6 ), jushata (I.25.18), cyavanta (I.48.2), ni-kramih (I.51.6), bhinat ( I.52.5), ni-barhayah (I.53.7), srijat (I.55.6), bharat (I-60-1), vidhyat (I.61.7), anu-dayi (I.61.15 ), kah (VI.26.5), Sayana gives the meanings of these non-augmented past tense forms either by their corresponding augmented ( indicative ) forms and past active participle in the case of familiar verbs and by means of the augmented past tense forms and past active participle forms of verbs having the same meaning in the case of the not familiar verbs.

Examples of injunctive forms :

jushanta (RV.I.3.9 ), dat (I.24.1), dat (I.24.2), rinoh (I-30-14 ), mimrishah (I-31-16), tarishtam (I-34-11), mrikshatam ( I.34.11), Karat (I.43.2), tatananta (I.52.11), Kshipat ( X.182.1-3), pari-gat (II.33-14). Citing the relevant rules of Panini, Sayana accounts for these injunctive forms and gives their meaning accordingly. He is at liberty to indicate the meaning of the injunctive by any one of the four modal forms – subj., imp, opt or prec – according to P III.3.157, III-3-159, III-3-161, III-3-162, III-3-173 and III.4.7. (It has been pointed out already that the injunctive is used in the sense of the other four moods). But he presents the meaning of the injunctive by means of the corresponding imperative or optative (or less frequently precative) forms. The reason behind Sayana's choice is quite clear. To a student of classical Sanskrit who is well acquainted only with the imperative, optative and precative moods and not with the subjunctive it is reasonable to present the meanings through the known modal forms and not through the unknown.

It will be of much interest to know how Sayana deals with ' dat' which occurs twice among the examples for the injunctive. In the first instance i.e. R.V.I.24.1, the context suggests uncertainty and therefore he gives the meaning by the optative, dadyat and in the second instance, I.24.2 the context implies a wish and hence by the imperative dadatu. In both the instances the meaning given are vouched by the context. The paramount importance that Sayana attaches to the context is well brought out by this example.

The illustration as presented by Mr. Michael Witzel (i.e. the three words 'indro him han' in immediate succession) as an evidence of Panini's ignorance of the Vedic injunctive is to be met with nowhere in the Rigveda Samhita. In RV.V.29.2 the two words ahim and han are found to be in immediate succession. Here han is an non-augmented imperfect form expressing a past action and as such it cannot be taken as an injunctive form. Our concern here is only with han; we need not bother about the sentence of which it may be a member.

Instances of the use of the non-augmented han as both indicative and injunctive are met with in the Rigveda and duly noticed by Sayana. The verbal form han may be either II person singular or III person singular since the II and III person singular forms of the root han are identical.

The non-augmented han is used as past indicative in the following instances. RV.V-29-2, VI-18-5, VI-20-2, VI-26-5, VI-27-5 and VI-47-2. Quoting the relevant rules from Panini, Sayana accounts for the form and gives their meaning by either the corresponding augmented past tense form or the past active participle of the root han. The non-augmented han is used as injunctive in RV.VII.9.6, and X.182. 1-3. With a reference to the concerned rules of Panini, Sayana explains the formation and presents the meaning by the imperative II and III person singular forms, as demanded by the context. i.e., jahi and apa-hantu respectively.

From the above, the reader will find that, contrary to Mr. Witzel's allegation, Panini and Sayana possess a thorough knowledge of the grammatical forms which, according to Mr. Witzel, are unknown to both of them. Further, the foregoing study conclusively establishes Mr. Witzel's own innocence of Panini and Sayana. That he has not made a serious study of either Panini or Sayana in the original needs no mention. His attribution of ignorance to both of them is a disclosure of his own ignorance of the monumental works of these outstanding ancient Indian authors. It is not fair on the part of Mr. Witzel to indulge in pernicious allegation against the exalted personalities of Panini and Sayana and mislead the reading public thereby.

Mr. Witzel accepts the usefulness of the ancillary disciplines in the interpretation of the Vedic texts. But he has denied to himself the advantageous utilization of the ancillary sciences when he dubs Panini, with a single stroke of his pen, as ignorant of many grammatical forms in the Vedas. As a Vedic scholar he should have made a thorough study of Panini and Sayana before passing any judgment over their writings. Witzel formulates a number of rules, in the Open Page referred to already, for the guidance of a researcher in regard to the utilization of the material he has got on hand. But he conveniently sets them aside in his own case; perhaps he meant them exclusively for others. We refrain from referring to some more contradictory and inconsistent statements as they fall outside the scope of our write up.

[Note: All the references preceded by 'P' refer to Panini's Ashtadhyayi]

V. Swaminathan (Retd. Principal, Guruvayur Sanskrit Vidyapeeth)
http://www.bharatvani.org/indology/philology.html (From Google cached page).

50-odd signatories (as cited in witzelletter.pdf at Witzel's website):

Homi Bhabha, Prof., Harvard University, hbhabha@fas.harvard.edu
Win van Binsbergen, Prof., Anthropology, Universities of Leiden and Rotterdam, Netherlands, binsbergen@chello.nl
Kalpana Desai, Indus Valley Heritage Center, kalpanadesai@hotmail.com
Madhav Deshpande, Indian Studies, Prof., University of Michigan, mmdesh@umich.edu
Patricia Donegan, Prof., Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Manoa, donegan@hawaii.edu
Dr. Caren Dreyer, Institut Fuer Indische Philogie und Kunstgeschichte, Berlin, Germany, mail@caren-dreyer.de
Shingo Einoo, Prof., Indian Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan, seino@ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Garrett Fagan, Prof., History, Pennsylvania State University, ggf2@psu.edu
Harry Falk, Prof., Indology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany, falk@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Dr.Steve Farmer, Comparative History, Portola Valley, California, saf@safarmer.com
Dr. Lars Martin Fosse, Lecturer in Sanskrit, University of Oslo, Norway, infosse@chello.no
Robert Goldman, Prof. of Sanskrit and Director of the University of California Study Abroad Center in India, University of California at Berkeley, rpg@calmail.berkeley.edu
Sally Sutherland Goldman, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit, University of California at Berkeley.
Phyllis Herman, Prof., California State University Northridge, Phyllis.K.Herman@csun.edu
Pochi Huang, Prof., National Chenchen University, Taipei, Taiwan, huang9@nccu.edu.tw
Dwijendra Jha, Prof., History, Delhi University, New Delhi, India, dnjha@del2.vsnl.net.in
Jonathan Kenoyer, Prof., Archaeology, and co-director of the excavation at Harappa, (HARP), jkenoyer@wisc.edu
Joanna Kirkpatrick, Professor of Anthropology (retired), Bennington College jkirk@spro.net
Rajesh Kocchar, former Director, NISTADS (CSIR) New Delhi, India, rkk@nistads.res.in
Agnes Korn, Department of Linguistics, University of Frankfurt a M., Germany a.korn@em.uni-frankfurt.de
Hiroshi Marui, Prof., University of Tokyo, Japan, hiroshimarui@hotmail.com
Richard Meadow, Sen. Lecturer of Archaeology, and co-director of the excavations at Harappa (HARP), Harvard University, meadow@fas.harvard.edu
Rafique Mughal, Prof., archaeology and former Director of Archaeology, Pakistan; Boston University, mughal@bu.edu
Hideaki Nakatani, Prof., Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan. nakatani@rr.iij4u.or.jp
S. Palaniappan, University of Pennsylvania Ph.D., palaniappa@aol.com
Asko Parpola, Prof. emer., Indology, University of Helsinki, Finland, asko.parpola@helsinki.fi
Parimal Patil, Prof., Harvard University, ppatil@fas.harvard.edu
Sheldon Pollock, Prof., Indian Studies, Columbia University, NY, pollock@uchicago.edu
Boris Oguibenine, Prof. Indology, University of Strasbourg, France, oguibeni@umb.u-strasbg.fr
Patrick Olivelle, Prof., Indian Studies, University of Texas, Austin, jpo@uts.cc.utexas.edu
Shereen Ratnagar, Prof. emeriga, History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, rshereen@vsnl.com
Don Ringe, Prof., Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, dringe@mail.sas.upenn.edu
Hartmut Scharfe, Prof Emeritus of Vedic and Indo-European Studies, UCLA, Scharfe@humnet.ucla.edu
Sudha R. Shenoy, Ph.D., School of Economics & Politics, University of Newcastle, Australia
Georg von Simson, Prof. Emer., Indology, University of Oslo, Norway, georg@vonsimson.com
Fred Smith, Prof., Indology, University of Iowa, frederick-smith@uiowa.edu
Frank Southworth, Prof. Emer., Indian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, frank.southworth@gmail.com
David Stampe, Prof., Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Manoa, stampe@hawaii.edu
Romila Thapar, Prof. Emer., History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, romila@sapta.com
Muneo Tokunaga, Prof. Indology, University of Kyoto, Japan, mtokunaga@bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Maurizio Tosi, Prof. of Archaeology, University of Bologna, Italy maurizio.tosi@tiscali.it
Alexander Vovin, Prof. Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Manoa, sashavovin@yahoo.com
Stanley Wolpert, Prof., History, University of California, Los Angeles, wolpert@history.ucla.edu
Dr. Dominik Wujastyk, Senior Research Fellow, University College London, ucgadkw@ucl.ac.uk
Michael Witzel, Wales Prof. of Sanskrit, Harvard University, witzel@fas.harvard.edu
Stefan Zimmer, Prof. Linguistics, Free University, Berlin, Germany, st.w.zimmer@t-online.de
Claus Peter Zoller, Prof. Hindi Section, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Lnguages, University of Oslo, Norway, peter_zoller@yahoo.com

Source: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/witzelletter.pdf

Copies of Nov. 26 letter of Witzel were sent to:

Arlo Griffiths Prof. of Sanskrit, Leiden Univ., a.griffiths@theol.rug.nl

Raka Ray, Chair in Indian Studies Associate Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asian Studies , UCAL, Berkeley, rakaray@berkeley.edu
Leonard van der Kuijp Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies and Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at Harvard University , vanderk@fas.harvard.edu


Head of the School of Asian Studies (1998-1999), Univ. of Edinburgh, JLBrockington@ ed.ac.uk

Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive

December 11, 2005
Propaganda
Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive
By JEFF GERTH

The media center in Fayetteville, N.C., would be the envy of any global communications company.

In state of the art studios, producers prepare the daily mix of music and news for the group's radio stations or spots for friendly television outlets. Writers putting out newspapers and magazines in Baghdad and Kabul converse via teleconferences. Mobile trailers with high-tech gear are parked outside, ready for the next crisis.

The center is not part of a news organization, but a military operation, and those writers and producers are soldiers. The 1,200-strong psychological operations unit based at Fort Bragg turns out what its officers call "truthful messages" to support the United States government's objectives, though its commander acknowledges that those stories are one-sided and their American sponsorship is hidden.

"We call our stuff information and the enemy's propaganda," said Col. Jack N. Summe, then the commander of the Fourth Psychological Operations Group, during a tour in June. Even in the Pentagon, "some public affairs professionals see us unfavorably," and inaccurately, he said, as "lying, dirty tricksters."

The recent disclosures that a Pentagon contractor in Iraq paid newspapers to print "good news" articles written by American soldiers prompted an outcry in Washington, where members of Congress said the practice undermined American credibility and top military and White House officials disavowed any knowledge of it. President Bush was described by Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser, as "very troubled" about the matter. The Pentagon is investigating.

But the work of the contractor, the Lincoln Group, was not a rogue operation. Hoping to counter anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, the Bush administration has been conducting an information war that is extensive, costly and often hidden, according to documents and interviews with contractors, government officials and military personnel.

The campaign was begun by the White House, which set up a secret panel soon after the Sept. 11 attacks to coordinate information operations by the Pentagon, other government agencies and private contractors.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the focus of most of the activities, the military operates radio stations and newspapers, but does not disclose their American ties. Those outlets produce news material that is at times attributed to the "International Information Center," an untraceable organization.

Lincoln says it planted more than 1,000 articles in the Iraqi and Arab press and placed editorials on an Iraqi Web site, Pentagon documents show. For an expanded stealth persuasion effort into neighboring countries, Lincoln presented plans, since rejected, for an underground newspaper, television news shows and an anti-terrorist comedy based on "The Three Stooges."

Like the Lincoln Group, Army psychological operations units sometimes pay to deliver their message, offering television stations money to run unattributed segments or contracting with writers of newspaper opinion pieces, military officials said.

"We don't want somebody to look at the product and see the U.S. government and tune out," said Col. James Treadwell, who ran psychological operations support at the Special Operations Command in Tampa.

The United States Agency for International Development also masks its role at times. AID finances about 30 radio stations in Afghanistan, but keeps that from listeners. The agency has distributed tens of thousands of iPod-like audio devices in Iraq and Afghanistan that play prepackaged civic messages, but it does so through a contractor that promises "there is no U.S. footprint."

As the Bush administration tries to build democracies overseas and support a free press, getting out its message is critical. But that is enormously difficult, given widespread hostility in the Muslim world over the war in Iraq, deep suspicion of American ambitions and the influence of antagonistic voices. The American message makers who are wary of identifying their role can cite findings by the Pentagon, pollsters and others underscoring the United States' fundamental problems of credibility abroad.

Defenders of influence campaigns argue that they are appropriate. "Psychological operations are an essential part of warfare, more so in the electronic age than ever," said Lt. Col. Charles A. Krohn, a retired Army spokesman and journalism professor. "If you're going to invade a country and eject its government and occupy its territory, you ought to tell people who live there why you've done it. That requires a well-thought-out communications program."

But covert information battles may backfire, others warn, or prove ineffective. The news that the American military was buying influence was met mostly with shrugs in Baghdad, where readers tend to be skeptical about the media. An Iraqi daily newspaper, Azzaman, complained in an editorial that the propaganda campaign was an American effort "to humiliate the independent national press." Many Iraqis say that no amount of money spent on trying to mold public opinion is likely to have much impact, given the harsh conditions under the American military occupation.

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While the United States does not ban the distribution of government propaganda overseas, as it does domestically, the Government Accountability Office said in a recent report that lack of attribution could undermine the credibility of news videos. In finding that video news releases by the Bush administration that appeared on American television were improper, the G.A.O. said that such articles "are no longer purely factual" because "the essential fact of attribution is missing."

In an article titled "War of the Words," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld wrote about the importance of disclosure in America's communications in The Wall Street Journal in July. "The American system of openness works," he wrote. The United States must find "new and better ways to communicate America's mission abroad," including "a healthy culture of communication and transparency between government and public."

Trying to Make a Case

After the Sept. 11 attacks forced many Americans to recognize the nation's precarious standing in the Arab world, the Bush administration decided to act to improve the country's image and promote its values.

"We've got to do a better job of making our case," President Bush told reporters after the attacks.

Much of the government's information machinery, including the United States Information Agency and some C.I.A. programs, was dismantled after the cold war. In that struggle with the Soviet Union, the information warriors benefited from the perception that the United States was backing victims of tyrannical rule. Many Muslims today view Washington as too close to what they characterize as authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and elsewhere.

The White House turned to John Rendon, who runs a Washington communications company, to help influence foreign audiences. Before the war in Afghanistan, he helped set up centers in Washington, London and Pakistan so the American government could respond rapidly in the foreign media to Taliban claims. "We were clueless," said Mary Matalin, then the communications aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Mr. Rendon's business, the Rendon Group, had a history of government work in trouble spots, In the 1990's, the C.I.A. hired him to secretly help the nascent Iraqi National Congress wage a public relations campaign against Saddam Hussein.

While advising the White House, Mr. Rendon also signed on with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, under a $27.6 million contract, to conduct focus groups around the world and media analysis of outlets like Al Jazeera, the satellite network based in Qatar.

About the same time, the White House recruited Jeffrey B. Jones, a former Army colonel who ran the Fort Bragg psychological operations group, to coordinate the new information war. He led a secret committee, the existence of which has not been previously reported, that dealt with everything from public diplomacy, which includes education, aid and exchange programs, to covert information operations.

The group even examined the president's words. Concerned about alienating Muslims overseas, panel members said, they tried unsuccessfully to stop Mr. Bush from ending speeches with the refrain "God bless America."

The panel, later named the Counter Terrorism Information Strategy Policy Coordinating Committee, included members from the State Department, the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies. Mr. Rendon advised a subgroup on counterpropaganda issues.

Mr. Jones's endeavor stalled within months, though, because of furor over a Pentagon initiative. In February 2002, unnamed officials told The New York Times that a new Pentagon operation called the Office of Strategic Influence planned "to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign news organizations." Though the report was denied and a subsequent Pentagon review found no evidence of plans to use disinformation, Mr. Rumsfeld shut down the office within days.

The incident weakened Mr. Jones's effort to develop a sweeping strategy to win over the Muslim world. The White House grew skittish, some agencies dropped out, and panel members soon were distracted by the war in Iraq, said Mr. Jones, who left his post this year. The White House did not respond to a request to discuss the committee's work.

What had begun as an ambitious effort to bolster America's image largely devolved into a secret propaganda war to counter the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon, which had money to spend and leaders committed to the cause, took the lead. In late 2002 Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters he gave the press a "corpse" by closing the Office of Strategic Influence, but he intended to "keep doing every single thing that needs to be done."

The Pentagon increased spending on its psychological and influence operations and for the first time outsourced work to contractors. One beneficiary has been the Rendon Group, which won additional multimillion-dollar Pentagon contracts for media analysis and a media operations center in Baghdad, including "damage control planning." The new Lincoln Group was another winner.

Pentagon Contracts

It is something of a mystery how Lincoln came to land more than $25 million in Pentagon contracts in a war zone.

The two men who ran the small business had no background in public relations or the media, according to associates and a résumé. Before coming to Washington and setting up Lincoln in 2004, Christian Bailey, born in Britain and now 30, had worked briefly in California and New York. Paige Craig, now 31, was a former Marine intelligence officer.

When the company was incorporated last year, using the name Iraqex, its stated purpose was to provide support services for business development, trade and investment in Iraq. The company's earliest ventures there included providing security to the military and renovating buildings. Iraqex also started a short-lived online business publication.

In mid-2004, the company formed a partnership with the Rendon Group and later won a $5 million Pentagon contract for an advertising and public relations campaign to "accurately inform the Iraqi people of the Coalition's goals and gain their support." Soon, the company changed its name to Lincoln Group. It is not clear how the partnership was formed; Rendon dropped out weeks after the contract was awarded.

Within a few months, Lincoln shifted to information operations and psychological operations, two former employees said. The company was awarded three new Pentagon contracts, worth tens of millions of dollars, they added. A Lincoln spokeswoman referred a reporter's inquiry about the contracts to Pentagon officials.

The company's work was part of an effort to counter disinformation in the Iraqi press. With nearly $100 million in United States aid, the Iraqi media has sharply expanded since the fall of Mr. Hussein. About 200 Iraq-owned newspapers and 15 to 17 Iraq-owned television stations operate in the country. Many, though, are affiliated with political parties, and are fiercely partisan, with fixed pro- or anti-American stances, and some publish rumors, half-truths and outright lies.

From quarters at Camp Victory, the American base, the Lincoln Group works to get out the military's message.

Lincoln's employees work virtually side by side with soldiers. Army officers supervise Lincoln's work and demand to see details of article placements and costs, said one of the former employees, speaking on condition of anonymity because Lincoln's Pentagon contract prohibits workers from discussing their activities.

"Almost nothing we did did not have the command's approval," he said.

The employees would take news dispatches, called storyboards, written by the troops, translate them into Arabic and distribute them to newspapers. Lincoln hired former Arab journalists and paid advertising agencies to place the material.

Typically, Lincoln paid newspapers from $40 to $2,000 to run the articles as news articles or advertisements, documents provided to The New York Times by a former employee show. More than 1,000 articles appeared in 12 to 15 Iraqi and Arab newspapers, according to Pentagon documents. The publications did not disclose that the articles were generated by the military.

A company worker also often visited the Baghdad convention center, where the Iraqi press corps hung out, to recruit journalists who would write and place opinion pieces, paying them $400 to $500 as a monthly stipend, the employees said.

Like the dispatches produced at Fort Bragg, those storyboards were one-sided and upbeat. Each had a target audience, "Iraq General" or "Shi'ia," for example; an underlying theme like "Anti-intimidation" or "Success and Legitimacy of the ISF," or Iraqi Security Forces; and a target newspaper.

Articles written by the soldiers at Camp Victory often assumed the voice of Iraqis. "We, all Iraqis, are the government. It is our country," noted one article. Another said, "The time has come for the ordinary Iraqi, you, me, our neighbors, family and friends to come together."

While some were plodding accounts filled with military jargon and bureaucratese, others favored the language of tabloids: "blood-thirsty apostates," "crawled on their bellies like dogs in the mud," "dim-witted fanatics," and "terror kingpin."

A former Lincoln employee said the ploy of making the articles appear to be written by Iraqis by removing any American fingerprints was not very effective. "Many Iraqis know it's from Americans," he said.

The military has sought to expand its media influence efforts beyond Iraq to neighboring states, including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan, Pentagon documents say. Lincoln submitted a plan that was subsequently rejected, a Pentagon spokesman said. The company proposed placing editorials in magazines, newspapers and Web sites. In Iraq, the company posted editorials on a Web site, but military commanders stopped the operation for fear that the site's global accessibility might violate the federal ban on distributing propaganda to American audiences, according to Pentagon documents and a former Lincoln employee.

In its rejected plan, the company looked to American popular culture for ways to influence new audiences. Lincoln proposed variations of the satirical paper "The Onion," and an underground paper to be called "The Voice," documents show. And it planned comedies modeled after "Cheers" and the Three Stooges, with the trio as bumbling wannabe terrorists.

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The Pentagon's media effort in Afghanistan began soon after the ouster of the Taliban. In what had been a barren media environment, 350 magazines and newspapers and 68 television and radio stations now operate. Most are independent; the rest are run by the government. The United States has provided money to support the media, as well as training for journalists and government spokesmen.

But much of the American role remains hidden from local readers and audiences.

The Pentagon, for example, took over the Taliban's radio station, renamed it Peace radio and began powerful shortwave broadcasts in local dialects, defense officials said. Its programs include music as well as 9 daily news scripts and 16 daily public service messages, according to Col. James Yonts, a United States military spokesman in Afghanistan. Its news accounts, which sometimes are attributed to the International Information Center, often put a positive spin on events or serve government needs.

The United States Army publishes a sister paper in Afghanistan, also called Peace. An examination of issues from last spring found no bad news.

"We have no requirements to adhere to journalistic principles of objectivity," Colonel Summe, the Army psychological operations specialist, said. "We tell the U.S. side of the story to approved targeted audiences" using truthful information. Neither the radio station nor the paper discloses its ties to the American military.

Similarly, AID does not locally disclose that dozens of Afghanistan radio stations get its support, through grants to a London-based nonprofit group, Internews. (AID discloses its support in public documents in Washington, most of which can be found globally on the Internet.)

The AID representative in Afghanistan, in an e-mail message relayed by Peggy O'Ban, an agency spokeswoman, explained the nondisclosure: "We want to maintain the perception (if not the reality) that these radio stations are in fact fully independent."

Recipients are required to adhere to standards. If a news organization produced "a daily drumbeat of criticism of the American military, it would become an issue," said James Kunder, an AID assistant administrator, He added that in combat zones, the issue of disclosure was a balancing act between security and assuring credibility.

The American role is also not revealed by another recipient of AID grants, Voice for Humanity, a nonprofit organization in Lexington, Ky. It supplied tens of thousands of audio devices in Iraq and Afghanistan with messages intended to encourage people to vote. Rick Ifland, the group's director, said the messages were part of the "positive developments in democracy, freedom and human rights in the Middle East."

It is not clear how effective the messages were or what recipients did with iPod-like devices, pink for women and silver for men, that could not be altered to play music or other recordings. Mr. Ifland said they were designed so "only a consistent, secure official message can be disseminated."

To show off the new media in Afghanistan, AID officials invited Ms. Matalin, the former Cheney aide and conservative commentator, and the talk show host Rush Limbaugh to visit in February. Mr. Limbaugh told his listeners that students at a journalism school asked him "some of the best questions about journalism and about America that I've ever been asked."

One of the first queries, Mr. Limbaugh said, was "How do you balance justice and truth and objectivity?"

His reply: report the truth, don't hide any opinions or "interest in the outcome of events." Tell "people who you are," he said, and "they'll respect your credibility."

Carlotta Gall and Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed reporting from Afghanistan for this article

Taliban Killing: Kummanam Rajasekharan to seek Presidents's intervention

12/9/2005 1:24:15 PM Mahadev


Kochi, Dec 09

The Hindu Aikya Vedi General Secretary, Mr Kummanam Rajasekharan, is to meet the President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam to seek his intervention to get the compensation to the wife of Manikandan Raman Kutty who was abducted and killed by the Taliban militants.

Mr Rajasekharan told HK today that he would be leaving for Delhi next week and expected to call on the President some time the week after. He said that the killing of the Border Road Organization (BRO) driver in Afghanistan was shrouded by mysteries.

According to him Maniappan was sent to the militant infested war ravaged country on a two-year contract on a monthly salary of Rs50,000. Even at this rate the compensation on this account alone should have come to Rs 12 lakh . He was brutally murdered about one month after his joining duty there.

He said that there were conflicting reports on who had kidnapped and killed Maniappan. In a report Taliban was quoted to have said that it did not carry out the killing of Maniappan. “In that case who has done this heinous act?”, Kummanam asked.

The reconstruction of Afghanisthan is done under the UN initiative the works have been allotted to different governments also by the UN. In the case of abduction and killing of Maniappan the United Nations also therefore has the responsibility to find out what had actually happened, he said.

He said that had the Indian government acted on time and promptly with the same spirit and vigour it had shown in getting Mr Sijo released from the US captivity in Iraq and the concerted efforts it is currently taking to get the punishment to Nausad by the Saudi Arabiaian government reduced, perhaps Maniappan would not have been killed by the Afghan militants. Mr Sijo had told the media here that he was well treated by the American soldiers when they came to know that he was a Roman Catholic.

He alleged that the Central government had taken a impervious attitude in his case as the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan should have swung into action to establish a communication channel with the kidnappers who had given 48 hours time to meet their demands. Instead, the embassy reportedly waited for the militants to contact the mission.

Given these factors the government should have to come out with a white paper on the whole issue. “I am meeting the President to seek his intervention. I want to present these facts before Dr Abdul Kalam”, he said

December 09, 2005

Harvard professor launches anti-Hindu crusade

http://tinyurl.com/c3f4b

Harvard professor launches anti-Hindu Crusade

Dr. Srinivasan Kalyanaraman

Quiz # 1:


"Hindus in the USA are lost or abandoned people!"

"NRI stands for Non-Returning Indians!"

"Indians in the USA do not invest in the higher education of their children!"

Who in the USA do you think would have made derogatory statements to this effect?

A. A Ku Klux Klansman

B. A Bible thumping fundamentalist from Alabama

C. A Xenophobe who is paranoid about immigrants settling in the USA

D. A Harvard Sanskrit professor

Correct answer: D.

I am sure none of you scored right on this. So, read on and get informed.
Harvard professor disparages Hindus

Recently, in a Communist-leaning political list better known for its uncritical beliefs in myths like Aryan Invasion and its negation of historical facts, Harvard professor Michael Witzel made some startling claims about Hindu immigrants to the USA. One of his acolytes invented the acronym HINA for Hindus in North America. Witzel disingenuously and infamously transliterated it as "hiina" and translated it as "lost" or "abandoned." This Sanskrit word has many other derogatory meanings such as "inferior," "insecure," "lowly" and "defective."
It caught my attention that Witzel had described Hindus using the very same phrase – "lost people" – which a rabid Christian fundamentalist and anti-Semite had used to describe the Jews a few years ago.

Rev. Bailey Smith, then-president of the Southern Baptists, had infamously declared:

"God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew" and added, "without Jesus Christ, they [the Jews] are lost." [1]

One does not know whether, or to what extant, Witzel shares Smith's fanatical and bigoted beliefs. But Witzel was instrumental in urging activism against the Hindu initiative, as a result of which his cosignatory urged a Hindu-bashing Christian fundamentalist to mobilize a show of strength against the Hindus of California, as we will see later. Witzel also makes fun of the Hindu custom of cremating their dead:

"[Hindus immigrants to the USA] have begun ---as an old, very conservative US Brahmin friend pointed out to me already in 1994— building crematoria as well." [2]

Witzel also makes fun of Hindu Gods, rituals and second generation American Hindus:

"Second generation [Hindu] people just understand [Hinduism] as "boaring rituals" (puja, etc.), temple visits and Indian (mythological) comic books ... All such items add to the heady brew that we have seen emerging here..." [3]

Considering that our Harvard professor has specifically enclosed the words "boaring rituals" within quotes, one cannot but assume that it was intended to make fun of the Hindu God Vishnu, who incarnated as a boar.
Background

Some of the proposed textbooks for grade six of the State of California portrayed Hinduism in the most derogatory manner. A textbook described Goddess Kali as "bloodthirsty" and, while talking about the Ramayana and Lord Hanuman, asked the students to look around and see if there was a monkey in the classroom. Another textbook claimed that Hinduism taught that women were inferior. Yet another textbook repeated the long discredited racist theory, which contrasted the supposedly tall, blond and blue-eyed invading Aryans with the supposedly curly-haired, snub-nosed native Dravidians.

Naturally, Hindus in California were offended by this offensive treatment of their religion and culture. So, they worked with the State Board of Education, understood the procedures and submitted a list of proposed changes with due explanation. Perhaps, Max Muller, the 19 th century German racist and Christian fundamentalist, who had stated very clearly that Hindus as a race are inferior to the Whites but superior to the Blacks, [4] would not have countenanced such audacious gestures from erstwhile colonial slaves seeking parity with other religionists according to rules. A section of Eurocentric academics that faithfully propagate Muller's racist theory and chronology of Indian history too did not tolerate such a gesture from the Hindus.
'Rev.' Witzel launches anti-Hindu Crusade

Witzel and some of his cosignatories admitted that they knew nothing about the nature of the changes proposed . But, in the same breath, they concluded that this is an unacceptable Hindutva initiative, which must be opposed tooth and nail. On Sunday, November 06, 2005 9:46 AM Steve Farmer [a cosignatory and originator of Witzel et al's protest petition] wrote:

"There is little time to research and respond to exactly what is happening in California, since we only learned about organized Hindutva challenges to California history textbooks yesterday. ... The final School Board meeting on this will apparently occur in Sacramento (the state capital) in three days. Even given the short time, a collective response of some nature by internationally known S. Asianists is certainly in order. At a minimum, the Board should be made aware in some way of the religious and political nature of the attacks, be provided with a quick overview of similar attacks on textbooks in S. Asia in the last decade, and be given notice of the opposition of the vast majority of S. Asian researchers to such changes. Given the short time frame, the response may have to be largely symbolic, but a letter endorsed by a dozen or more internationally known S. Asianists from every continent might still have some effect." [5]

Witzel, on behalf of another 46 signatories, petitioned the State Board of Education [SBE] against the proposed changes [the nature of which he and his cosignatories were unaware]. He launched an ad hominem and slanderous attack on the Hindus who had proposed the changes.

The petition, like Lallu Prasad's election campaign, provided a "balanced" mix of ignorance, slander and comic relief. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, whose parents were Christian missionaries in Asia, was one of the signatories on the petition. He is also the author of the proposed textbook from the Oxford University Press. California Hindus had reviewed the OUP textbook and suggested changes in a meeting with OUP officials. The OUP officials informed in writing that Kenoyer agreed with the suggestions. Should one then suspect the inclusion of Kenoyer's name in the petition or was Kenoyer filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues [The New Testament, Acts 19:6]?

Sometime back, in a review of Edwin Bryant's 2001 book, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture – the Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Witzel wrote:

"[Bryant's book is] A balanced description and evaluation of the two century old debate dealing with the origins of the Indo-Aryan speaking peoples of South Asia. [Bryant] presents both sides of the issue, that is the traditional western, linguistic and philological consensus of immigration from Central Asia, and the more recent Indian position that denies any immigration and that asserts an indigenous South Asian origin."

Now, the same Witzel calls it Hindu Nationalistic propaganda when California Hindus say the same! Perhaps, he is filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues!
The SBE of California capitulates

In 1850 CE, when the Harvard Medical School admitted three black men and a white woman, racists protested against the move. The school capitulated. [6] Just like those racists offered no substantive arguments for throwing out the blacks and the woman, this time too, the infamous petitioners offered no substantive reason for campaigning against the changes suggested by Hindus. Still, the SBE capitulated. One wonders if the SBE wanted to emulate the Harvard of 1850 CE.

The SBE went a step further. It appointed two of the signatories – Michael Witzel and Stanley Wolpert - and James Heitzman, who protested at the venue repeating Witzel's ad hominem attack to review the suggested changes. Is not appointing a petitioner to review suggested changes tantamount to conflict of interest?

On the other hand, the SBE is not known to have acted on a letter signed by over 30 distinguished experts that included world's foremost archeologists who have been working on the IVC and its script for decades. These signatories cited many references showing why Aryan Invasion is merely an unsubstantiated myth.

The above said letter was sent on November 21, 2005. The SBE, for reasons unknown, did not accord it the same respect it accorded Witzel's defamatory petition.
Crusaders form an axis of protestors

Witzel made it clear that he was a political activist. On November 26, 2005 17:26, he wrote his fellow petitioners:

"There will be a meeting with California Dept. of Education [...] Please note that on Dec. 1/2 a higher body than last time, the Curriculum Commission, is scheduled to take up this issue in the morning on December 2 (note all times are tentative—if they move through the agenda faster than expected, things will happen earlier).

This is not a public hearing. But all that means is that there is no official published time for the public to speak before the commissioners take action . Nonetheless, each meeting has a time for "public comment" and people will be allowed to come up and speak. (Thus, we have to be present).

If they follow the order of the published agenda, public comment comes after the actual vote. They will only hear Tom Adam's (CA Dept. of Education) report on the earlier (Hindutva-inspired) and our (Wolpert, Heitzman, Witzel) findings.

But if they see the huge Hindutva crowd expected and decide to let them speak first, it is possible votes will be swayed back the other way simply because no political person likes to say no, in public, to an unhappy minority group seeking redress of grievances.

It also appears that in the afternoon of December 1, the day before the vote, the History-Social Science subcommittee will hear reports about recent events in the adoption of the text books. This should not involve any discussion of the "Hindu" issue. But the Hindu groups might show up for that discussion too. Public comment is allowed and it will give them a chance to speak to some of the commissioners before the vote the next day.

SO PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION: Alert your friends in California to attend! " [7]

How appropriate is it for a reviewer on contract with the SBE who is expected to be neutral, to indulge in political activism, falsely label California Hindus as of a political persuasion and seek unethical mobilization of support? How appropriate is it for the SBE to hire such politicized academics to review school textbooks?

In any case, Lars Martin Fosse, a cosignatory on the petition and a collaborator of Witzel, wrote John Dayal and Amarjit Singh, citing Witzel's letter:

"It would probably be an advantage if Dalits were present and could demonstrate that the Hindutvavadins do not speak for all Indians. I have been reluctant to announce this on the Dalit lists because we don't know if they are infiltrated, we therefore turn to you for advice and help. Is there a way to (discretely) mobilize Dalits in California and elsewhere in this matter? Could you get some support from Afro-American organizations here? We don't want to create the impression that only a few outsiders are against the Hindutva version of history." [8]

Please note that Fosse uses the word "WE," clearly indicating that he is writing on behalf of a group while seeking mobilization of protestors. The only group one could think of in this situation is the list of cosignatories on the petition whom Witzel had addressed in his email. So, who are these people - John Dayal and Amarjit Singh - whom Fosse writes? P.N. Benjamin, a distinguished Christian scholar and the coordinator of Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue [BIRD], says of John Dayal:

"[John Dayal] opens his mouth and wields his pen only to spew venom on the Hindu community." [9]

Benjamin then goes on to expose the kind of lies that the likes of Dayal perpetrate when they invent stories of Hindu rape of Christian nuns and propagate those abroad with the sole intent of discrediting the Hindus. John Dayal is also infamous for ardently supporting Benny Hinn, who defrauds the poorest illiterates in the Third World by promising them "miracle healing." [10]

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal [SATP], Amarjit Singh is closely associated with the banned terror organization International Sikh Youth Federation [ISYF]. [11] Many countries such as the USA [12] and the UK [13] have designated ISYF as a terrorist organization. Singh also heads the Khalistan Affairs Centre [KAC]. I am not implying that KAC is connected with Khalistani terrorism as I have no means to judge that but it is a well-known fact that Khalistani terrorists have massacred 21,000 innocent civilian Hindus and Sikhs, and have committed untold crimes such as rape of countless Sikh women. [14] A US State department notification states:

"Sikh terrorism is sponsored by expatriate and Indian Sikh groups who want to carve out an independent Sikh state called Khalistan (Land of the Pure) from Indian territory." [15]

Khalistani terrorists were also tried for the bombing of the Air India civilian aircraft "Kanishka" in 1985, killing hundreds of innocent passengers. [16] Amarjit Singh is an advocate of Khalistan ideology.

There is no indication that Witzel or any other signatory on the petition condemned Fosse [himself a signatory] for unethically mobilizing political support and that too, by instigating highly controversial persons. It is beyond my comprehension how an academic could join hands with a rabid Christian fundamentalist and a proponent of the lethal Khalistan ideology. What kind of academics would sign the petition but remain silent and not condemn unethically seeking support from such controversial individuals?
Quiz # 2:

"The miraculously undecayed body of Saint Francis Xavier is still on public view in a glass coffin at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa."

Who in the USA do you think would have made a statement to this effect?

A. A pre-school child visiting Goa for the first time

B. A Bible thumping Catholic Christian fundamentalist

C. A Creation scientist

D. A U C Davis history professor

Correct answer: D.

I am sure you got this too wrong. So, read on and get informed.

An SBE appointed reviewer advertises Christian miracles

James Heitzman, professor of history at U C Davis, is one of the three reviewers appointed by the SBE. It does not seem as if he accepts that mummified bodies do not decay. [17] He is wonderstruck that it is a miracle that the mummified body of the infamous St. Francis Xavier, who sought the terrible Inquisition of Goa, [18] which persecuted Hindus, Indian Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims in the most vicious manner, should be preserved for five centuries. Someone needs to direct our distinguished professor to any museum of natural history, where Egyptian mummies are preserved. Of course, one cannot guarantee that Heitzman will return scientifically informed. He may see the hand of miracle in their preservation too!

It seems as if Heitzman strongly believes that history should be supplanted with false propaganda if it suits the proselytizing efforts of the Christian Church. He writes:

"Christianity, represented by almost all denominations, traces its history in India back to the time of the apostles and counted 19.6 million members in India in 1991." [19]

Numerous scholars have refuted this dangerous fiction, which falsely painted the Brahmin ethnic minority as Thomas-killers, and resulted in their demonization and persecution, just as the false myth of the Jews as Jesus-killers resulted in their historic persecution. The Vatican itself has declared that this is an unverified claim. Numerous distinguished academics such as E.J. Rapson, Sylvain Levi, K.S. Latourette, Fr. H.Heras etc, to name a few, have refuted that St. Thomas ever came to India. [20] It seems as if Heitzman prefers dangerous Christian fiction to facts.

Heitzman believes in revelations

Heitzman unquestioningly accepts revelations. He writes:

"Muhammad received visions in which the Archangel Gabriel revealed the word of God to him . After 620 he publicly preached the message of these visions, stressing the oneness of God (Allah), denouncing the polytheism of his fellow Arabs, and calling for moral uplift of the population." [21]

Since Heitzman is mesmerized by revelations, he is unimpressed by the inquiries into the truth, a common feature of Hindu philosophy, which he dismisses as speculations. He writes:

"Some of the later hymns of the Rig Veda contain speculations that form the basis for much of Indian religious and philosophical thought." [22]

Heitzman, while discussing Hindu festivals, calls Hindus cross-dressers:

"Major Hindu events include Ramanavami, the birthday of Ram in the month of Chaitra (March-April), and Holi, celebrated at the end of the month of Phalguna (February-March), when people engage in cross-dressing, play tricks on each other, and squirt colored water or powder on each other." [23]

How can the SBE nominate an academic, who believes in miracles and fits history to suit Christian propaganda, to review contents relating to Hinduism in school textbooks, especially when he is also a signatory on Witzel's petition? Does the SBE agree with Heitzman's uncharitable remarks on Hinduism and Hindus?
Quiz # 3:

"The most important invasion in all of India's history, since the Aryans brought with their Caucasian genes [is Aryan invasion]."

Who in the USA do you think would have made a statement to this effect?

A. A Ku Klux Klansman

B. A eugenics advocate

C. A White Supremacist

D. A U C Los Angeles history professor

Correct answer: D.

I am sure you got this too wrong, unless you have by now learnt that only Western historians can make such statements. Anyway, read on.

Wolpert celebrates the Caucasian gene

While discussing Aryan invasion theory [AIT], Stanley Wolpert, a UCLA historian writes:

"This was the most important invasion in all of India's history, since the Aryans brought with their Caucasian genes a new language – Sanskrit – and a new pantheon of gods…" [24]

It seems that to our UCLA professor the importance of an invasion depends on whether it involved the inflow of Caucasian genes! Hey, what is next? The most important invasion in all of Americas' history is the 16 th century invasion of Europeans because it brought in Caucasian genes? Thank god, African Americans, who do not possess Caucasian genes, did not invade Americas!

I could not but think of the 18th century racist Benjamin Rush's writings on "Lovely White" skin contrasted with the Black skin as I read Wolpert wax eloquent on the importance of coming in of the Caucasian genes. Benjamin Rush, a medical doctor, attributed Black skin to leprosy and advocated "curing" African-Americans by bleeding and purging. [25]

Not to be outdone by Heitzman, Wolpert also repeats the dangerous Christian propaganda of the imagined visit of St. Thomas to India. He writes:

"A small but influential group of Syrian Christians in Kerala persist in claiming that their sect was founded by St. Thomas, who may have sailed to Malabar in the first century and who was supposedly martyred at Mylapore , a suburb of modern Madras, in A.D. 68. The tiny Jewish community of Cochin also claims to have been founded in the first century, but no clear historical evidence of such early Jewish settlement in Malabar has as yet been discovered." [26]

The reference of Mylapore is to the mythical killing of St. Thomas by a peaceful and scholarly ethnic minority of Tamil Brahmins. A rational person might be at a loss to understand how St. Thomas, who did not even visit India, could have been killed there. But, Wolpert has no compunctions in repeating this perniciously false propaganda, which, since the Portuguese colonial period, has resulted in the most terrible persecution of Brahmins. Is anything acceptable if it helps demonize Hindus and help perpetuate Christianity?

Why is the SBE nominating such a biased academic, who is also a signatory on Witzel's petition, to review contents relating to Hinduism?
Conclusion

1. I have shown that the SBE capitulated to political pressure by nominating a trio of academics who have indulged in the most despicable form of political activism, disparaged Hinduism or collaborated with controversial elements.

2. The SBE did not accord any respect to the scholars who supported the Hindu initiative by presenting solid references.

3. One of these academics has also expressed his admiration for Christian miracles, while another has propagated falsified [over 80 years ago!] Christian propaganda.

4. Is it not a clear violation of guidelines, and law, to subject Hinduism and Hindus to such treatment? Does the SBE want Hindu children of California to be indoctrinated in false propaganda?

5. It is heartening to note that the Commission constituted by the SBE dismissed virtually all demands made by this trio – Witzel, Wolpert and Heitzman – with the contempt they deserved. According to a report of December 4, 2005 by the HPI, Heitzman unsuccessfully pleaded to replace Aryan Invasion Theory [AIT] with Aryan Migration Theory [AMT]. But Commissioner Metzenberg, a biologist, objected on scientific grounds. He said:

"I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians."

It was finally agreed to say, "Some historians believe in the theory of an Aryan migration."

This shows how false theories motivated by racist politics never stand scientific scrutiny. Of course, there is no justification even in retaining AMT, which is merely a belief, and not supported by facts. Hindus must meet the SBE to ensure that theories which are not scientifically substantiated be removed altogether.

6. Heitzman, apparently frustrated that his advocacies failed the test of scientific evidence, said to the Commission:

"I advise you to err on the side of conservatism and be very careful about adopting any of these changes."

Commissioner Metzenberg replied pointedly:

"On the contrary, to err on the side of conservatism, we should use the Hindu suggestions. After all, it's their religion."

7. Metzenberg also felt a comment by Witzel's panel on one edit was "insensitive." The edit was to fix the incorrect statement that the Ramayana was written later than the Mahabharata. Witzel's group wrote condescendingly:

"Who in Sixth Grade cares which epic was 'written' first?"

Metzenberg observed that "it obviously matters to Hindus."

8. Hindus must also make it very clear to the SBE that no academic that is known to be inimical to Hinduism or known to have distorted facts to fit pet beliefs be not allowed to have any say in the process of reviewing and amending textbooks. As such, the trio of reviewers was admitted into the process without justification. I have presented solid evidence that they indulged in political activism contrary to the spirit of their contract with the SBE. Hindus must demand that the SBE should terminate their contract right away.

9. Hindus must demand that the SBE does not entertain any of the signatories of Witzel's petition in the textbook review and adoption process as I have already demonstrated that they are biased and politically motivated.

10. Witzel has ridiculed the most sacred of the Hindu mantras or sacred chants. He writes:

"Many short mantras (the later biija mantras) like oM have humble origins the Veda. Him (hiM) is used in the Veda to call your goat .. and your wife." [27]

Steve Farmer's [who initiated the petition] and also signed on Witzel's petition declared, in pathetic attempt at humor, that he would try this mantra on his girlfriend. [28] Hindus must demand that academics with a history of disparaging Hinduism cannot influence what goes into textbooks meant for children.

11. Finally, only academics and experts on religion with a non-controversial record should be nominated to influence the process of textbook adoption. Academics that are accused of having used unethical means of scholarship should not be used for this purpose.

Prof. B.B. Lal, the world's foremost archeologist and expert on Indus Valley Civilization, in his most recent publication, The Homeland of the Aryans – Evidence of Rigvedic Flora and Fauna & Archaeology, pp. 85-89 (New Delhi, 2005) writes that Dr. Witzel unethically and willfully assigned two opposite meanings to two occurrences of the same Sanskrit word to artificially make the verse support Aryan migration into India, whereas the verse actually makes it very clear that Aryans migrated in two branches, one to the West and another to the East, from northwestern India.

It was a very sad day for Sanskrit scholarship in general, and Harvard in particular when one of its academics was accused of and disgraced for willfully and unethically mistranslating a verse. When the error was pointed to him in the past, Witzel conveniently blamed it on the editor of the relevant publication concerned, despite the fact that the same mistranslation has been printed by him in many other publications of his.

12. Even in the petition he sent the SBE, Witzel claims that one of the signatories, S. Palaniappan as: "S. Palaniappan, PhD, Indology, Texas." It must be pointed out that Palaniappan, who works for the Minute Maid Company in Texas, is not an Indologist by any stretch of that word. Certainly, he is not a Ph.D. in Indology as Witzel misleads in his petition. Palaniappan received his doctorate in engineering. Should one then infer that Palaniappan is a 'made in a minute' instant Indologist? Did Witzel use Heitzman's miracle to transform engineer Palaniappan into an Indologist?

Dr. Srinivasan Kalyanaraman, a former Sr. Exec. of Asian Development Bank, is a Hindu. His two grandchildren, US citizens, study in US schools. His email id is kalyan97@gmail.com


[1] http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_chrr.htm

[2] Vide message number 2300 at Yahoo groups Indo-Eurasian_research

[3] In the above message

[4] Muller, M.: History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, page 294. Also see, a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm

[5] Vide message number 2225 Yahoo groups Indo-Eurasian_research

[6] Takaki, R.T.: Iron Cages – Race and Culture in 19th Century America, p. 137

[7] This email was posted vide message number 8893 at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bahujan/message/8893

[8] Cited from the abovementioned email

[9] Benjamin, P.N .: When Intolerance Begets Loss Of Reason. Available at http://www.hvk.org/articles/0905/43.html

[10] http://www.rickross.com/reference/hinn/hinn32.html

[11] http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/kpsgill/security/04Feb21Pio.htm

[12] http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/1999report/appb.html and http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20040430-33.html

[13] http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/security/terrorism-and-the-law/terrorism-act/proscribed-groups?version=1

[14] Bruce Hoffman "Holy Terror": The Implications Of Terrorism Motivated By A Religious Imperative RAND Paper P-7834, 1993 http://www.nwcitizen.com/publicgood/reports/holywar3.htm#endn39 cf. Komerath, N: http://www.geocities.com/charcha_2000/essays/Lashkar-e-Pinocchio.html#_ednref6

[15] http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/1999report/appb.html

[16] http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/states/punjab/backgrounder/Kanishka.htm

[17] Heitzman, J. and Worden, R.L.: A Country Study: India, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: Other Minority Religions – Christianity), Library of Congress Call Number DS407. cf. a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm .

[18] Priolkar, A.K.: The Terrible Tribunal for the East – The Goa Inquisition. In a letter dated May 16, 2005, St. Xavier writing D. Joao III, king of Portugal, demanded Inquisition against the Jews and Muslims of Goa. Even though the wise king turned down the demand, ultimately, due to intense pressure from the Catholic Church, the most terrible Inquisition would be unleashed, first on the Jews of India, then the Muslims and finally, in a most oppressive manner, on the Hindus.

[19] Heitzman, J. and Worden, R.L.: A Country Study: India, Chapter 3 – Religious Life, Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html cf. a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm

[20] For an excellent discussion, see Sharan, I.: The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple, p. 73

[21] Heitzman, J. and Worden, R.L.: A Country Study: India, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: Islam – Origins and Tenets), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html cf. a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm

[22] Heitzman, J. and Worden, R.L.: A Country Study: India, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: The Roots of Indian Religion – The Vedas and Polytheism), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html cf. a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm

[23] Heitzman, J. and Worden, R.L.: A Country Study: India, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: The Ceremonies of Hinduism – Public Worship – Festivals), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html cf. a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm

[24] Wolpert, S.: A New History of India, Fifth Edition, page 27 cf. a paper presented by Arvind Kumar at the SBE hearing: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ProAryanInvasionTheoryargumentspresentedbyaWitzelsupporter.htm

[25] Takaki, R.T .: Iron Cages – Race and Culture in 19th Century America, pp. 28-32

[26] Wolpert, S.: A New History of India, Fifth Edition, page 84.

[27] Vide message number 2133 at Yahoo groups Indo-Eurasian_research

[28] Vide message number 2164 at Yahoo groups Indo-Eurasian_research

December 08, 2005

10,000 incidents of minority attack in Bangladesh since2001

By Nazrul Islam, Dhaka, Oct 11 : A White Paper on minority repression in Bangladesh has revealed more than 10,000 incidents of communal torture have taken place in the country during the last four years of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led right wing government of Khaleda Zia.

Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (the committee for annihilation of collaborators of 1971), an organisation of the civil society members, launched the whitepaper Monday giving its observation that in most cases the police ignored to record complaints by the victims of the minority repression.

“The unprecedented torture of religious minority and ethnic sects, which began centring the 2001 general elections, has not stopped even after 1,500 days,” reads the introduction of the 2,760-page White Paper.

Writer Shahriar Kabir who edited the whitepaper published in three parts said, the people did not disclose many of the incidents fearing further torture and harassment.

Binodbihari Chowdhury, an advisor of the committee, announced release of the whitepaper, which carries newspaper reports, editorials, columns, articles and opinion on repression of minorities that has taken place since the previous caretaker government took over on July 13, 2001 and 46 months from the coalition government’s taking office.

A selection of 2,786 reports have been compiled in the first two parts while the third part carries headlines of 4,092 reports published in 16 newspapers published from Dhaka.

The whitepaper observed that the repression on the minorities increased after the last general elections.

“No single day could be found in the first three months of the coalition government’s taking power when repression of minorities did not take place,” reads the whitepaper adding that the incidents of physical torture, looting, setting fire to households, forced extortion and rape were more than the number of killings.

The victims of murder included people of different ages, from new-born babies to 70-year-olds. Even priests of temples, Buddhist monks and elderly scholars could not escape murder.

In some cases, Hindus were forced to convert to Islam, while Muslims or ethnic people who converted to Christianity willingly were tortured and even killed.

The White Paper said local activists and supporters of the four-party alliance started attacking, torturing, terrorising and even killing minority religious sects, especially Hindus, at different parts of the country from mid-July of 2001.

They worked to ensure that Hindus do not go to voting centres and, if they go, do not cast their vote for any one other than the alliance candidates.

Blaming the government for its continual denial of the repression from the very beginning, the white paper said the local administration did not take any effective steps against the torture due to the government’s denial. Complaints of the victims were not even recorded at police stations, it added.

The organisers criticized the opposition political parties saying although the degree of repression of minorities during the coalition rule was higher than that of any other past reign, the opposition failed to take effective steps to stop it.

They suggested formation of a high-profile commission comprising a Supreme Court judge, joint-secretary-level representatives from home and law ministries and human rights organisations to make inquiries into reported incidents of minority repression in the last four years.

The commission will submit its report in six months and make recommendations for stopping torture and discrimination of minority sects. They also suggests implementation of a secular constitution like that of 1972.

Indian Criminal justice system encourages the wrong doers

Inordinate delay in awarding judgements encourages the wrong doers to continue their job. Mumbai bomb blast offence was committed in 1993 and still, for two years, the judge is writing his judgement. If there are 150 accused and, again 150 lawyers, they do not have even a court room to accommodate the accused and their lawyers. If each witness is examined by 150 lawyers, imagine how the trial will ever come to an end. In the mean time, some accused may have died, some have run away. The whole criminal justice system is crumbling. This requires to be remedied immediately.

RAM JETMILANI
Source

Internal security scenario in the country --SHRI ARUN SHOURIE

SHRI ARUN SHOURIE, initiating the discussion in The Parliament , said: We are discussing the subject after one year from the last discussion and we will soon be given the figures about the decrease in the number of causalities in Jammu and Kashmir and the increase in the number of tourists. I have been hearing these figures for almost seven years since. But the fact of the matter is, there has been very great deterioration of the situation in many parts of the country. I have very grave apprehension about the general approach of the Government on security matters. This approach is comounding the problem of security and the problem for the security services in the naxalite areas, in the North East, and in Jammu and Kashmir. Last time, I had mentioned that the number of districts which have been affected by the naxalite activity has gone up from 143 to 157. But, the home Minister denied the fact. Now, we have 165 districts which are affected by the naxalite activities and they expand to over 14 States. What were guerrilla pockets became guerrilla zones.

Replying to the discussion on this subject last year, the Hon'ble Home Minister had assured the House that he would reply orally to all the 50 points made by the hon'ble Members and in addition, he would also send replies in writing. No written reply came to me nor to anybody else. The result of laxity shown by the government is that not only the figure of affected districts has now gone from 157 last time to 165 districts 14 States, there is a complete change in the pattern of assault.

It is a matter of grave concern to the Home Minister and the Prime Minister. According to the statement of Mr. Jaiswal in Lok Sabha on 13th November, at Jahanabad, 300 to 400 naxalites gathered. They simultaneously attacked the sub-jail the district court, the district armoury and the S.S. College, where a para-military camp had been set up. They looted arms and ammunition and killed six people on the spot. The Minister of State for Home said that there had been intelligence inputs that they would be doing all this. It was happening when the State Government was under the direct control of the Central Government for seven months. Two days before there had been a similar attack on the Home Guard Training School at Girdih in Jharkhand. There also, they looted 183 guns, two revolvers and 2500 rounds of ammunition.

On 23rd June, 200 naxalites attacked in East Champaran. It was a synchronised attack on the police station, on the branches of the SBI, the Central bank of India. On 6th February, in Koraput in Orissa, there was a prolonged operation of district armoury lasting several hours. They looted 2000 firearms. In Karbi Anglong that has happened. Hundred people were massacred. That was happening also in 2004. The point to ponder is that: what the mechanism has done, that the Home Minister was telling us in the statement he made on the 29th in the Lok Sabha.



They have done another study. In my reckoning, this is the eighth study on left wing extremism. Higher technology is being used in the explosives that they are using. There are synchronised attacks at many locations over many hours. And, they are, now, in each of these, looting enough arms and ammunition to start equipping a small army. Now, in large parts of the country, individual officers do not dare go individually. They go with company and there they become easy targets of landmines. In large parts of the country, civilian life, economic life is being ceded to these groups. They collect taxes. They demand protection money from Government officers, from forest guards. They set up Kangaroo courts to dispense the so-called justice. In Eastern UP and four districts of Bihar are today completely under the grip of mafia. The rule of law exists only on paper. In Ghazipur district, where the BJP, MLA was killed along with six others, most of the station House officers owe their position to the local don.



We are protecting people in Afghanistan; but, here, this is our situation. It is said that cross border linkages of Maoists constituted an even greater threat to India than militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East.


The apprehension is that all this is now happening with ULFA without that precondition which the Prime Minister had prescribed, and it is happening just on the eve of the next elections that are going to take place. My suggestion for the consideration of the hon. Home Minister is, please, violence is not due to any of these causes. With regard to this development expenditure, each time throw more money there. This violence is spreading because civil and police administration and the criminal justice systems in these areas have just evaporated. Therefore, you must establish the authority of the State in those areas before just pouring in money, and please, give up the illusion that you can sweet talk them out of their objective. Everyone who violates the law must be brought to book by the utmost severity of law. My another suggestion is to establish the authority of law. Unless the police station is strengthened, nothing will happen.

Of the one thousand persons in a battalion, 350 persons are available for operations. Please, make your own inquiries about the condition of the police stations and their effectiveness on the ground in the 165 districts. I have examined instances where technologies were denied to security forces. It is the attitude, which is the problem. And I would plead with the hon. Home Minister to work on this matter. An important point is that much of this is happening not because of naxalites or Ulfas, but because of the local dons and the mafia. This nexus has to be broken. Please start publishing a white paper, about the links of various groups with various persons. Similarly, publish the reports of the task forces on internal security and on border management. Because it is only when the people realise how alarming the situation is that Governments will be able to get the support they need.



We must stand by the security personnel. I would urge that an inquiry be made about the civil administrators and the magistrates who just fled from the area and did nothing at that time. In Jammu and Kashmir, 35,000 people have been killed. Only 15 convictions have been there for minor offences. There should be a similar investigation and disclosure to the House about the so-called NGOs that functioning immediately in areas that get disturbed. What was the basis of the allegations that the Human Rights Organisations were making?



I will also urge upon the Home Minister to publish a White Paper on the depredations done by these terrorist groups in different States. There should be a joint command and I would urge that the law under the Constitution should be amended for these types of areas. I will take up the question of Nepal because the hon. Home Minister said that it is affecting the security of the northern areas. This is the exact situation, that happened in Myanmar. We followed the lead of Western Governments and Myanmar went to China. So, why are we repeating this in Nepal? Pakistan is pursuing a clear objective to acquire Kashmir. What is our objective? We would be very delighted to be educated as to whether you stand by IMDT Act. The concerned persons were asked to do the seventh study on the ruinous impact of infiltration and this study is even more reliable.

(Speech finished)

Rajya Sabha Debate






DR. P.C.ALEXANDER: I had given a notice to raise a Short Duration Discussion on internal security. My intention is to raise certain basic issues relevant to internal security in our country, which I feel have not received the attention of our country ever since independence. We need not identify these problems as the problems of internal security. Whenever we have discussed the issue of national security, we have forgotten the most important dimension, of internal security. In all developing countries national security is developing certain new dimensions. We have been ignoring it. We have ignored it for about 60 years now. We speak of national security, only in terms of defence, maintaining national sovereignty, forgetting the most important pressing problem of internal security. We take the problem of internal security as a mere law and order problems. I am going to give three or four practical suggestions.

My first suggestion for your consideration is that there should be an Internal Security Advisor in the Home Ministry, who will have full time attention to the problem of internal security, who will coordinate with the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office and there should be an Internal Security Advisory Council of experts, and this Council should meet. It should be an active Council, which should meet regularly and which should come out with ideas, proposals, etc. You should set up an Institute on the same lines as the National Institute of Defence and Analysis. That institute should not merely consist of officers of the Government. It should consist of academics, experts, people from Intelligence, people from Defence Force and that should meet regularly. The suggestion that I have to make is you should have a proactive role, covering not merely problems of sending policemen but also coordinating development programmes designed to prevent the troubles that are created in the Naxal areas. Finally, you should have an approach, which will help you to coordinate development programmes designed for the areas, which are potential areas of trouble.

Having said all these things, I shall come back to Jahanabad and just raise three to four points, for which, I hope, you will give a clarification.

1. " Why did the people in Jehanabad not use the Intelligence report that they received that there is going to be an attack somewhere. "

2. "why did they keep the Maoists and the Ranbir Sena together in one jail? Everybody knows the background of these two forces. "

3 . " why were the Ranbir Sena persons kept in the same place as the other prisoners were? Why was Ajay Kannu shifted from his own place to Jehanabad? "

4. " Finally, how could the police forces behave in the manner in which they behaved when the DGP and the Chief Secretary visited Jehanabad? I think you (Shiv Raj Patil) will give all these clarifications? "