Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How do we tackle corruption and ensure propriety?

Chavan and Adarsh Scam in Maharashtra, BSY episode in Karnataka and Resignation of Rosaiah in Andhrapradesh  highlights the interplay of corruption, propriety and political ambitions of individuals creating political instability.  2G Scam, Radia tapes, Landscams in Karnataka, CVC appointment have exposed all political parties and some journalists.  In this context, tackling corruption and ensuring propriety in public affairs becomes important.  Lone voices (example - samAlochaka) are heard attempting to analyze the situation. Here is contribution by media.syndicate.

Corruption and Honesty
Everyone talks about political corruption all the time. Public perception about almost all Prime Minister (PM) / Chief Minister (CM) / minister is the same - that they are corrupt. With little differences. But only some of them are caught. People think that it their fate! Still, strangely, some politicians are still perceived as honest (relatively?) and they command respect (relatively in the true sense). How is it possible?

In today’s political climate, money is playing a significant role. Persons who could spend money are considered for candidature from all political parties. Stability of the government is also dependent on the money power of the people who are managing it. Political parties need huge amounts of money to fight elections and to save government.

In this context, honesty (or corruption), it is said, has taken a new definition. It is not who (who is not) honest (or corrupt). The questions is who is more (or less) corrupt (honest)?

If the corruption money goes to the party coffers, then it is widely accepted. If the money is meant for the wider circle of neighborhood of the corrupt, it is okay. The corruption is unacceptable only if it is destined to the restricted circle of relatives and personal friends.

High command culture
Prominent office bearers at the national level is called High Command. The party has a responsibility of ensuring that propriety in public life. It may have to discipline Chief Minister of a state, as an example. Presently public opinion has become the sole criteria for measuring propriety. It has many negative consequences. General public will not know many things. Manipulation of the perception of the public could be easy. In these contexts, political managers, if they depend only on the public opinion as the criteria for deciding boundaries of propriety, then, their actions and decisions can only become sheer adhocness in perpetuity.

Democracy and political parties
The process of decision making involving High Command model is debatable from constitution perspective. Can High Command of a political party decide to replace a Chief Minister of a state? Whether the High Command of the political party be allowed to modify the verdict given by the people of a state? Under what circumstances?

The questions are pertinent because, a coterie of people at the center may subvert the aspirations of the people and this could go against principles of democracy. All the political parties are known for their reluctance to promote internal democracy. Office bearers are more comfortable with obedient subordinates and there is no sincere effort to promote dynamic leadership.

Funding for political parties
Political parties need funds to fight elections. This necessity is promoting the role of the money in public life to newer heights. There is a wide agreement that financial requirements of political parties is a major factor for the corruption at individual level as well as at the systemic level.

To reduce the role of money in public affairs, there is a suggestion that budgetary allocation to be made available to meet the expenses of the political parties. But there are several consequences. Some of the weaker political entities may not be able to get government funds. Secondly, major political parties who get funds will be able to create authoritative High Commands who will eventually dictate terms to local democratic institutions and elected representatives.

Personal ambitions and political stability
In the present system, and probably in any other revamped systems as well, personal ambitions has been identified as a major factor in the generation of political crises. Desire to become PM / CM / Minister, eagerness to replace the incumbent are causing political instability to governments in many cases. How can a political party contain personal ambitions of its leaders? What are the mechanisms a political party should adopt to motivate its leaders to work together to fight its political adversaries and simultaneously not fight among themselves for power?

[Contributed by mksri and SW]

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Discussion on Fundamental concepts

In one of the previous discussion, opinions were exchanged over the definitions of various terms like Dharma, Dharmashastra etc. In fact, we observe that discussions around various aspects of India and Hindu Dharma revolve round this kind of discussions.
To resolve some of these topics once and for all, a separate discussion on the fundamental concepts is found necessary. In this blog, we would like to address the following concepts.

1. Are truth, Justice, equality relative? Or absolute?
2. Is religion and Dharma same? Or different?
3. Is religion/Dharma one? Or many
4. Are all religions same? Are the eseence of their teaching same?
5. What are Dharma Shasta’s? Could we consider Quran, Bible, Manusmrithi as Dharmashastras?
6. Could/should we change Dharmashastras over time?
7. Could we change Vedas? In accordance with our times?
8. If Varna is birth based, is it impossible to justify?
9. Is it not possible to prove that Hinduism as a just system with Varnashrama as its integral part?
Please note that this discussion will focus on fundamental concepts equipping us to resolve more complicated socio-political problems of the day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Article 25 and Admissible Belief Systems

Article by Pankaj

The Constitution of India gives fundamental rights to its citizens, vide article 25 – The right to a) freedom of conscience, b) profess, practice and propagate religion.

25. (1) Subject to public order, morality and health

and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are

equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right

freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.

(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation

of any existing law or prevent the State from making

any law—

(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial,

political or other secular activity which may be

associated with religious practice;

(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the

throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a

public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.

However, there are certain religions or religious systems / institutions, which do NOT give to its followers the right to their belief or conscience. One MUST Believe in the system, a certain God, etc. More specifically, its followers MUST subjugate their conscience to their specific religious principles, which are not just some principles but more specifically religious dogma. This is exemplified by those systems which themselves claim to 'harvest the souls' of the persons and keep it in the 'custody' of the ecclesiastical authority, rather than let it remain where it originally, naturally and rightfully belongs – as the conscience of the person, with the person.

[An aside – that there are fundamental differences in the systems is a known fact. As an example, it is a judgement of the High court that the Hindu marriage is a 'sacrament' whereas the christian or islamic marriages are a 'contract'.]

Moreover, not only does it not approve of any of its followers the right to freely practice and modify or even change his / her beliefs, it goes further so as to DENY this right. There are religions / systems which go even beyond a Denial of the right. The followers who do so may be excommunicated or sentenced with death, as per the beliefs and practices of such systems. As an example, not believing in Allah but some other God, or the prophet, may be heresy or apostasy, punishable with death in Islam. Similarly, the church denies its followers the right to move out of the system at all or practice varying or other beliefs, even within the christian fold.

The above are not some kind of restrictions or peer pressure, rather they are a matter of principle and practice, which is enforced by such systems. Hence, such religions or institutions not only abrogate the fundamental rights of Citizens, who happen to be its followers, they go further so as to deny the most fundamental and basic 'right', existence itself. Thereafter, they go even further, to the extreme, by punishing with death. Moreover, in doing so, it assumes for itself an extra judicial and extra constitutional authority – note.

Hence, the Constitution cannot explicitly or implicitly recognize, or allow to operate, Institutions or systems connected to or depending on such belief systems.

The other rights, to minority rights for example, do not explicitly specify which kind of Religions or their allied institutions in particular are allowed or not – surely they cannot be any of those which deny or abrogate the fundamental rights, or as a matter of principle may deny the right to exist (by means of the death penalty) itself.

As the State can legislate on the secular aspects of any religious institutions or rights, the State can ask any such institution to give an explicit undertaking that it does NOT deny or abrogate any fundamental rights of the citizens. Surely those propagating christianity or islam, or allied institutions doing any social service, cannot be permitted. Note that the citizens who are the followers finally do not have any say in this matter but rather it is the church or clergy / mullahs who have the authority in their respective systems.

In other words, if such (allied) institutions want to operate at all, it is the church or ulema which must declare that they themselves permit the right to conscience / belief, practice and worship freely. More specifically, they must permit the right of their followers to convert out of their belief systems into others, freely, as a matter of principle.

Also, the right to convert, or freely practice any belief system, of a citizen, has an obvious Fundamental

Limitation – they cannot convert into a system which itself abrogates the fundamental rights of the citizen him / herself. So the constitution cannot recognize conversion into christianity or islam for that matter, or even recognise the two religions, or christians and muslims, as the fundamental nature of the constitution itself would be changed (refer the Keshavananda Bharati case), if it does so.

The constitution obviously recognizes the Hindu family of religions, which do NOT abrogate the Fundamental Rights of the citizens to freely believe, practice or worship but THEMSELVES GRANT this right.

Any admissible system per the constitution must obviously not deny or abrogate or murder any Fundamental Rights. Any exercise of the right to change / convert or practice his / her beliefs cannot be into a system which itself abrogates the Fundamental Rights. Suicide and murder are not allowed as a fundamental limitation of the right to freedom.

It is not just ultra vires, ab initio void but also in direct contradiction and opposition to the fundamental nature of the constitution itself and the existence of a citizen as a citizen, along with his / her Fundamental Rights.

Some of the major problems we face as a nation are because we do not recognize this fact.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ambedkar's conclusions on Shudras - are they valid?

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was a scholar. He studied scriptures and came out with the following 10 conclusions about various aspects of Varnashrma and status of Shudras. Are they valid conclusions? Here is a debate.

What is the position of Shudra in the social order?
BRA summarises that the Shudra was to take the last place in the social order.

Is Shudra impure?
BRA summarises that Shudra was impure and therefore no sacred act should be done within his sight and within his hearing.

Should Shudra be not shown respect?
BRA summarises that the Shudra is not to be respected in the same way as the other classes.

Is life of a Shudra less valuable compared to others?
BRA summarises that the life of a Shudra is of no value and anybody may kill him without having to pay compensation and if at all of small value as compared with that of the Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishya.

Should Shudras be denied of Education?
BRA summarises that the Shudra must not acquire knowledge and it is a sin and a crime to give him education.

Should Shudras not be allowed to acquire property?
BRA summarises that a Shudra must not acquire property. A Brahmin can take his property at his pleasure.

Should Shudras be denied of holding public office?
BRA summarises that a Shudra cannot hold office under the State.

Should Shudra serve higher classess as a means of attaining salvation?
BRA summarises that the duty and salvation of the Shudra lies in his serving the higher classes.

Could other varnas keep a Shudra woman as a concubine?
BRA summarises that the higher Classes must not inter-marry with the Shudra. They can however keep a Shudra woman as a concubine But if the Shudra touches a woman of the higher classes he will be liable to dire punishment.

Should Shudra be kept in servility forever?
BRA summarises that the Shudra is born in servility and must be kept in servility for ever.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

medsyn policy statement on freedom of expression

media.syndicate always committed to support free speech and healthy discussion. We dont censor writings of the authors of the syndicated blog. It is a policy and we are serious about it.

media.syndicate is not owned by its chief editor(s) or the owner(s) of the site / blog. It is not meant to promote a particular ideology. Not that we dont have values - or that they can not be articulated. This only means that our values are not codified (or inflexible). We dont choose this occasion - in the aftermath of the statement of samalochaka that he has resigned - to reiterate or explain our policy. We dont react - we take actions proactively. We continue our policy of supporting free expression of authors of the syndicated blog.

So far, penname Samalochaka was used to publish analysis of issues of current affairs. medsyn blog continues to publish similar writings in the future too. Old Samalochaka has suggested media syndicate to continue the same penname. We are not averse. We are not sure - whether it will be one or a group of Samalochakas, a Newsamalochaka or some other name. Whether it will be on medsyn blog or a new blog - media syndicate has ready made framework to support any of these options. Whatever it is, media syndicate readers will not miss news analysis.

media.syndicate will also evolve its policy on blog posting and add new features in future and publish it to all the authors of the syndicated blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Author Behind Samalochaka Resigns

Syndicated blogging is a strange thing. Like politics, it makes for strange bed-fellows, and further it turns old friends into ideological foes.

Who would have dreamt that after being invited to write in a blog (along with the companion blog - samAlochaka) this author would some day be shown the door. Well, almost the same has happened.

I, the resigning author, have developed so serious differences with the chief editor of this blog that I find it no longer tenable to continue contributing to this blog. I, for one, have always been candid, and it is this candor which seems to ruffle many a feather. We (I and the Editor) reached a point where either I have to tone down what I want to say or the Editor will delete whatever I wrote.

So, we decided to have a frank discussion. And it turns out that parting our blogging ways is the only solution. So here I am, informing you all, that I, until now known to you as samAlochaka, resign from this blog. I requested the Editor to retain this name which is my intellectual child, and he has kindly agreed. He has further promised that he will appoint a new author to write on behalf of the same author-name, and try to emulate the spirit as much as possible, and as much as allowed in the blog.

So from tomorrow, when you read samAlochaka, understand that you are reading a different author, although in the same name. It has been nice having your audience, and I thank you all for the attention you have given me.

I wish all of you and this blog, all the very best. And I request you all to expect, nay demand, from the new author, the same outspokenness that you have got used to.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kashmir Update - July 2010

From June 11, 2010 onwards, 15 protesting civilians have been killed in Kashmir valley by Police and Paramilitary forces. Starting with the first death of a 17-year old student by a police teargas shell, each death has sparked a new cycle of violence. Hardline separatists urged residents to march to the streets and continue with the protests. Kupwara and Handwara in the north, Kakpora and Pulwama in south and Gandherbal in the east , Sopore, Srinagar and Anantnag were the maily affected places. Eight more companies of the BSF and the CRPF have been sent to assist the police.

The army was called in to control the situation. No local newspapers hit the stands for the second day running amid tight restrictions on the local and international media. The state's Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, under pressure to contain the violence. Union Home Minister has appealed to the people of Kashmir to respect the curfew. He also urged parents to discourage their children from participating in the mob violence.

The protests have been characterised by stone throwing by hundreds of protestors throughout the day. Separatists have devised stone-pelting as an instrument of organized and orchestrated protest. Instead of acting tough against the professional stone pelters, the government declared a rehabilitation package for such 'surrendered stone pelters'.

The Union home ministry has found evidence that stone throwers in the Kashmir Valley are being paid from abroad by Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives through a money-transfer agency. One of the well-known agency in the business of channelling funds across countries has been used by the Lashkar operatives in Pakistan to route money to Dubai and then transfer it to Srinagar and other towns in Kashmir. The remittances for throwing stones sometimes as less as Rs 300 daily have been tracked by intelligence agencies. In the last year, the agencies were perplexed by observing transfer of small amounts of money from places in Europe to Kashmir. The riddle has apparently been solved now. Involvement of hardline separatists in engineering some of the violence in the Kashmir valley is indicated by an intercepted conversations. According to the transcript, two of the office-bearers, Ghulam Ahmed Dar and Shabir Ahmed Wani were heard planning at least 15 people more deaths among the protestors.

Protests in Kashmir in recent years follow a known pattern. Anything can provoke anger - blasphemous cartoons, America's invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, Pakistan's Lal Masjid, Kashmir's infamous sex scandal, murder, rape, or for that matter the death of a militant in a gun battle with the Indian Army or police. Roadblocks follow the demonstrations and any vehicle that passes by becomes a target of stone pelting. Police personnel swing in and the action starts. The area around the mosque every Friday afternoon smells of burning rubber tyres and tear gas, and one can also intermittently hear the sound of cracking windshields. In the months of Apri-June, 2010, 716 incidents of violence have been reported in the Valley and more than 200 paramilitary personnel injured.

Pro Pakistani lobbies are exploiting the situation for their advantage. The Kashmiri-American Council has asked the international community to conduct an impartial probe into the killings of innocent unarmed civilians in the heavily militarized Indian Occupied Kashmir.Commenting on the massive riots taking place in Kashmir, due to the deaths of more than 17 civilians including women and children, Dr.Ghulam Nabi Fai, head of the Council, stated the myth of Indian democracy and respect for the rights of others has been exposed with the deaths and injuries throughout the occupied Kashmir.

[Contributed by mksri]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Who do I criticize and Why do I criticize.

A reader has blamed me for being selective in my criticisms. In particular, the reader, sdn, wrote:

To preserving hindu interest what we need is forward looking outlook what to be done next, by whom, how constructive suggestions proactive actions.

But typically what we are seeing is reassessment of past - where nothing is new but gaining more and more experience and expertise!

Blame Nehru, Gandhi, Indira, Vajpayee, LKA and now add Golwalkar (dont talk about Namboodari pad, Charu Mujumdar, Lohia ....)

Blame game - RSS blaming Congress, VoI blaming RSS, etc.

Skewed analysis criticising LKA talking of Hindu ethos (Note that Manmohan singh, Gadkari, Karat and Laloo dont talk about Hindu ethos and they are not criticised)

SDN's comment has two parts.

1. That
reassessment of past is incompatible with forward looking outlook.


2. I criticize many but not all. Specifically, I have not criticized Namboodripad, Charu Majumdar, Lohia, Manmohan and so on.

The first point is moot. If SDN is recommending that we must not look at and reassess the past, and that we must just concentrate on deciding future course of actions, one can at best sympathize with his acumen. Endless reassessment with no hint of a plan for proactive future action may merit disapproval, but censuring even a reasonable reassessment before action is downright foolhardiness.

The attempt to understand the past is indeed intended to develop a proper attitude for forward looking outlook. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past. Any preoccupation with an urgency for the new with no understanding of the past will result in merely a cosmetic change of the policies of the past. This will clearly precipitate in the very mistakes that we should actively want to avoid.

This partially answers why I criticize.

The second point is rather good. Even though I often clarify my stand on targets of my frequent criticism, I have never outlined a principled stand regarding my choice.

The purpose of this author is to work towards bringing about a reestablishment through reawakening of Truth Based Civilization. We have been using the terms, Sanatana Dharma, or Hindu-WOL (Hindu Way of Life) synonymously.

Mohandasian Non-violence, Jawaharian Secular State, Socialistic Affirmative-action have all been termed poisonous. Having swept all political leaders belonging to this creed in one stroke, I do not think there is any need to mention them and their follies again and again. In my opinion, they are so worthless that it is not worth criticizing them except occasionally.

Sangh Parivar and its members are a different matter. They claim to be the protectors of the Hindu interests. So, to the undiscerning, they appear quite worthy. I have also mentioned that some of their actions which spring from their heart do merit appreciation. However, their biggest shortcoming is in the cerebral domain. Despite claiming to be avowed opponents of poisonous ideologies, their words often betray implicit acceptance of the very poisonous ideas.

What can one surmise to be the fate of Hindus, if their best protagonists are so far below the necessary standards? What should one do, if not to point out this lacunae again and again, till the points sink in and understanding emerges?

Who should one criticize, if not those who lay claim on the crown of protectors of the Hindus? Is it worth wasting the critical acumen on worthless creeps, which is what Congress and Communist parties of various denominations mostly comprise of?

The need of the hour is to work towards a political scenario wherein even the Communist parties fight for always the cause of Hindus, rather than continuing in the present situation wherein the Hindutva brigade remains busy proving itself to be secular! And under these circumstance, it is only those who claim to profess Hindutva, while betraying secularism, who need to be chastised. The non-Hindutva types do not even deserve mention, except sparingly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Some important questions about Bharat Swabhiman Andolan (BSA), Baba Ramdev (BR), and RSS

A reader, Kiran, has posed two very important questions in my blog entry on Sangh Parivar (SP). And they are:

1. Does BSA or Baba Ramadev support Dar ul Uloom as a back up plan if his drive for Hindutva in BSA fails?

2. Has RSS too become secular(so called) in nature and in action? They started Andolans, but why it stopped/fazed?


Before we address these questions, we need to understand the mind-set of Hindus in India, and how that mind-set has come about. If we take a look at the state of our nation, it is not difficult to observe that:

1. Hindus think that being Secular is a great virtue, Hinduism is Secular and India is, rightly, a Secular country.

2. Non-Hindus (Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs ...) think that India is a Hindu country, but it should be a Secular country, and it is the responsibility of Hindus in India to ensure that India becomes a truly Secular country.

Contemporary History:

Let me outline a few points from my understanding of the contemporary history.

1. Mohandas, who is touted as the role model for Indians, always claimed that he was a Sanatani Hindu, and therefore arrogated himself to be the sole representative of all the Hindus, was in his actions always an appeaser of non-Hindus, especially the Muslims.

Mr. Nathuram Godse has very clearly and skillfully analyzed and presented this aspect, in his defense statement.

2. Jawahar, who was Mohandas's illegitimate intellectual child was proactively anti-traditions, and since he identified Hinduism as representing Indian tradition, he was proactively and violently anti-hindu. That he was opposed to his daughter, Indira, marrying a Muslim, is another story, but it reveals how hypocritical this man was.

3. Mr. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, perceived the plight of Hindus, as he noticed that during most riots, which were quite frequent in his times (early twentieth centuries), Muslims were aggressors and Hindus were at the receiving end.

4. Mohandas proclaimed that a typical Muslim was a brave bully while a typical Hindu was a coward.

This might well have been true, and Mr. Hedgewar rightly wanted to change the attitude of the Hindus.

5. Further, as a consequence of Jawaharian direction in education, Communists of the likes of Romila Thapar, wrote, rather rewrote a doctored history of Indian subcontinent. The whole design was to achieve mass-indoctrination of the following two points :

a. Hinduism preaches tolerance, is secular, and is open from all sides.

b. Anything in Hinduism, that is other than the above, is superstition, casteism, and sexually perverted stories.

The Mistakes:

While Jawahar was being touted as a great intellectual (phew), and Mohandas was being hoisted as the role model (huh); most Hindus sucked up to it. And as a consequence of Jawaharian education with Mohandas as the role model, the above mentioned mass-indoctrination has been eminently successful.

Hedgewar entrusted the intellectual leadership with Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, and in my opinion, he was less than equal to the job. Notwithstanding his other insights and his spiritual-intellectual competence, he expressed, at some places, his greatest admiration for the founder of Islam. And that has been one of his greatest undoings.

In my opinion, Hedgewar is the heart (emotion) of RSS, while Golwalkar is the head (reason) of RSS. It is not difficult to appreciate that while the heart of RSS may be passable, but its head is undeniably egregious.

The Present:

Owing to the success of the evil design of the education system, most Hindus have wrong ideas and even worse suicidal tendencies regarding India as the nation.

In that sense, it is not surprising that even some of the so called leaders, be it Atal Bihari Vajpeyee or Lal Krishna Advani, exhibit such rank stupidity when it comes to the survival or security of Hindus.

Needless to add that I have skipped the mention of Congress-Prime-Ministers as most of them including the current PM and super-PM, except Lal Bahadur Shastry, have been arch traitors, and have callously betrayed the Hindu electorate, who invested their confidence in them.

The members of the RSS, as well as Baba Ramdev are the products of the same educational-ethos. So it is not surprising that they have imbibed Mohandasian and Jawaharian instincts.

The Conclusion:

In light of the above, my answers to the questions you have posed are:

1. Baba Ramdev might shamelessly surrender to the Dar ul Uloom, even if he gets the support of very large number of hindus.

2. RSS is Secular in nature and in action, because they allow their Golwalkarian head to over-ride their (hopefully) Hedgewarian heart. Thus they start with a heart, and then stop without a head.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Can we dream Sangh Parivar taking such initiatives?

When I lambaste RSS, BJP and the Sangh Parivar (SP), people often feel that I am over doing it. But when it comes to matters of head, these organizations have surely proven to be headless chickens.

Fortunately the world is not that bad. While the limp-d*ck old man was depicting nudity in the name of Hindu goddesses; Danish people were publishing, and republishing cartoons. Naturally it ruffled a lot of feathers. Now it turns out that it has ruffled a lot of forefathers as well.

Pamela Geller in her blog reported a nice item. I have copy pasted the item for the readers below, but don't miss the comments section at the original post.


Reverse lawfare -- a lawsuit is being prepared against the 94,000 Moe descendants for over a millennium of jihad wars, land expropriations, enslavements, and humiliations of the conquered non-Muslim populations on three continents.

Back in March I reported on a new front that opened in the Islamic litigation jihad on the vastly superior West. A Saudi Arabian law firm launched a mega Muslim lawfare attack against the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten for the cartoons of Muhammad. The Saudi firm claims to represent 94,000 of Muhammad’s descendants.

In a major counter offensive, Hans Erling Jensen, Eticha (HEJ), has counter sued -- "now we know where to send our claims for all the threats, the bullying and violent acts that have come out of the Quran and hadith the last many centuries!” The Quran violates Danish law, specifically the well known 'hate speech' article 266b. Turning lawfare against jihad. I love it!

The lawsuit demands that the verses, suras, Islamic texts and teachings that prescribe, command, demand jihad be changed or expunged from Islam. The suit is to claim that Muhammad is responsible for a centuries-old persecution of women by asserting that they are worth less than men in intelligence, in matters of inheritance economy and parentage.

A future lawsuit will address that the Quran and Hadith imply that non-Muslims are the enemies of Allah and therefore were and are to be treated as outlaws. Due to the fact that Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi claimed that not he but Allah was the author of this insult, and thus ascribed the saying to him, we find this not only blasphemous but also a thinly disguised attempt to decriminalize Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi's own misdemeanors.

The lawsuit demands that designated changes be made in libraries, in all mosques and other public places in which these abominations are disseminated before December 31, 2010. Prior to this date the owners (we assume that Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants possess the rights to the koran, their ancestor's work!) must forbid publication in its present variation and likewise forbid its distribution by anybody remotely connected to Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants. It must neither be financed by funds nor organisations supporting these descendants in any other issue

Hans Erling Jensen, Founder of Eticha, sent me the following backgrounder and letter to the Saudi law firm outlining the lawsuit. This is the primer, the template on which to forge ahead. Clearly Armenia, Bosnia, Batak, Darfur, Nigeria, and all the countless genocides committed in the name of allah and jihad must be redressed as well. Legal minds, start your engines.

Robert and I of SIOA, Anders Gravers of SIOE, and Siad strongly support this action.

Eticha informs lawyer Faizal Yamani of upcoming lawsuit against Muhammad's descendants Supported by a number of Danish and foreign associations, the virtual network Eticha is planning to sue the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s descendants, the group preparing a libel case against a number of Danish newspapers. ______________________________________________________________________________________


It all began when Jyllands Posten in September 2005 published the now famous Muhammad cartoons. After half a year of boycotts, flag and embassy burnings, and various diplomatic crises between Denmark and the Muslim countries, we thought it was over. But no, nay, never! In the spring of 2008 the CIA revealed a plot to murder Kurt Westergaard - the cartoonist who had placed the bomb in Mo’s turban, and thus created the greatest symbol of "freedom of speech and expression" yet in this century.

The Danish newspapers reprinted the cartoons to show solidarity with Kurt Westergaard, which got the ball rolling. In august 2009, Faizal Yamana demanded an unconditional apology from the 15 newspapers to be published in various media across the world, in four different languages. By reprinting the drawings - and especially that of Kurt Westergaard – the newspapers had, according to Faizal Yamani, made themselves guilty of slander against the Muslim prophet Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

Consequently, Hans Erling Jensen of, sent his now famous letter to the law firm, where he drew attention to Denmark's position in history and in the world. But little did it help.

Lawyer Yamani claims to represent 94,000 people, all descendants of Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, who demand an apology for the insult (they claim) their ancestor was subjected to by the Danish newspapers once again publishing the infamous cartoons.

Faizal Yamana intends to open a libel case in London against the Danish newspapers. Not that he expects to win it, he is too well educated to even dream of that. On the other hand, he has funding from a very wealthy foundation whose, objective is to protect Muhammad’s reputation at any cost. This libel case therefore constitutes nothing else than economic blackmail. One newspaper, Politiken, has already done the bean-counting, caved, and apologized.

At, we presented a new plan. Due to Yamanis' unethical initiative targeting the Danish newspapers, there was an obvious opportunity to countersue Muhammad's descendants, to one time for all obtain an apology from people as closely related as possible to the source of the outrageous accusations, slander and the consequences of these statements that generations of innocent and defenseless people have suffered for (the Koran). In contrast to Mr. Yamani, we have a solid case, and now we even know exactly who to target with the lawsuit, that we can achieve justice.

As of today’s date, we have sent the following letter to the law firm in Saudi Arabia:

Law Firm Of Ahmed Zaki Yamani Lawyers and Legal Consultants 35 Hassan Yamani Street, Al Hamra District P.O Box 1351 Jeddah 21431 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Denmark, 15th of April 2010

Dear Mr. Faisal A Z. Yamani

I am writing to you after being notified that your legal firm represents 94.000 descendants of the prophet Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi in a libel suit against several Danish newspapers. It is a relief to learn that the descendants of Muhammad have a representative, to whom we can raise our claim on behalf of people verbally vilified and physically attacked by the adherents of your religion.

This year alone, we have been contacted by a large number of individuals and organizations who are of the impression that you and your clients are not disposed to change your attitudes with regard to the scripture that Muslims allege to be Allah's words to Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

You and your clients apparently continue to insist that Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi may not be portrayed or caricatured. This implies that you and your clients give your unconditional support to the text of the Quran, as it exists today, as well as to the Hadith that, combined with the Quran (and the Sirat) form the basis of Islam and Sharia.

The descendants of the people whom your clients' forefather compared to apes, pigs and rats, and whose case we now represent, feel not only personally insulted, but also emotionally aggrieved by these denigrations, as their own ancestors have been ridiculed, persecuted and expelled from their lands, since the Quran and Hadith imply that non-Muslims are the enemies of Allah and therefore were and are to be treated as outlaws. Due to the fact that Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi claimed, that not he, but Allah was the author of this insult and thus ascribed the saying to him, we find this not only blasphemous but also a thinly disguised attempt to decriminalize Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi's own misdemeanors. This will possibly be addressed in a later court case.

Descendants' claim

With regard to the above, we request you to contact Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants, to demand an unconditional rejection of and an apology for a series of statements and verses in the Quran and Hadith which the said descendants must remove. This includes articles on the world wide web and all new editions of the Quran, Hadith and Sirat.
Our demand includes a long series of texts and/or assertions which your clients' self-appointed prophet said that he received as direct commands from Allah (via the archangel Gabriel) and which insult and intimidate non-muslims while inciting muslims either to violence or at best to the oppression of people who do not unconditionally submit to islam's dogma
Unacceptable passages

We have made a list of passages obviously inappropriate for a religion professing to preach peace and tolerance. There are passages asserting that certain Jews are descendants of apes and pigs [1], that there is only one god and that this god is Allah [2], that Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is his last prophet [3], that everyone who does not believe this and the day of judgment are doomed to spend eternity in hell and here on earth they shall be persecuted, tortured or murdered unless they convert to the Muslims' god Allah and approve the Muslims' prophet Muhammed as god’s messenger [4], that Allah should furnish detailed revelations of certain people's sex-life [5], that Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi seen in today's light still is the best example people can have (in spite of his barbaric behavior) [6]. We also claim that the said Muhammad is responsible for a century-old persecution of women by asserting that they are worth less than men in intelligence, in matters of inheritance economy and parentage. For that we need a major alteration to be made public [7]

Changes necessary

These changes must also be made in libraries, in all mosques and other public places in which these abominations are disseminated before December 31 st 2010. Prior to this date the owners (we assume that Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants possess the rights to the koran, their ancestor's work!) must forbid publication in its present variation and likewise forbid its distribution by anybody remotely connected to Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants. It must neither be financed by funds nor organisations supporting these descendants in any other issue

We also demand that you before the termination of the year 2010 on behalf of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants publish a clear and unconditional correction of and apology for the long series of gross insults, violations and persecutions of an immense number of people of other persuasions resulting from Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s koran and its influence on his uncritical proselytes.

The corrections and apologies must be published globally with press-releases in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. We are acquainted with the fact that your legal firm has previously produced texts for this kind of apology and have therefore no hesitation in allotting this task to you and the descendants of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, in conjunction with whom we are confident you will produce a suitable document.

Regarding the apology and the desired corrections in the Koran we imagine that the affair will have such high news value that it not will be necessary to make specific demands on which media are to be employed. We have confidence in the media's own ability to administrate and disseminate this fitting gesture from Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants. If you fulfill our demands before ultimo December 2010 the involved parties I have been in contact with will relinquish all further demands on Muhammed ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Hashimi al-Qurashi’s descendants and proselytes. Here in Eticha we are at your disposal for any further information that may be necessary.


We are convinced that fulfillment of the conditions stated above will be seen as a commendable sign of respect and understanding among first of all women, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Asa-worshippers and atheists of all kinds in the entire world, and that you thereby will contribute to resolving the serious conflict which the koran's irreconcilable and denunciatory message has created through the centuries

I would appreciate an answer from you at your earliest convenience - though not later than 60 days from today's date - informing me as to whether your clients intend to fulfill the above mentioned demands or can suggest a compromise worth discussing.

If your clients - contrary to our expectations - decide not to collaborate, we reserve the right to initiate a global process of which the principal aim will be a court case against your clients for breach of compliance with international law on hate-crimes, incitement to persecution of dissidents and incitement to committing genocide.

Hans Erling Jensen, Fu. POBOX
XXXX Døllefjelle


Now, Sitaram Goyal did initiate such a thing in India, called the Calcutta Koran Petition. But these are not things that you must let go. The Parivar (SP) could have easily kept the fire burning all the while. That would have been a sample of serious and intelligent politics. Attacking the evil at the highest intellectual level. But again, what head can one expect in headless chickens? Instead, as I lamented, LKA is busy blabbering about Hindu-Ethos!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Advani and his blabber on Hindu Ethos

Now the former president of the BJP, Mr. Lal Krishna Advani (LKA) has jumped into the fray for sermonizing on Hindu Ethos. Of all the people in the world, LKA could find only Mr. Fareed Zakaria (FZ) as the expert, and thus LKA has, in his sermon, quoted FZ: "Zakaria argues that it is this non-doctrinaire character that gives Hinduism its absorptive and assimilative power. I hold that it is this Hindu ethos that accounts for the success of both democracy as well as secularism in India,".

The emphasis is on tolerance, secularism and democracy. The same old bull-sh*t, like the one propagandized about "Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti". If LKA has lost the ability to pursue on his own the understanding of the scriptures of Hinduism, why can he not learn from numerous Sadhus and Sants who will be more than willing to explain the Dharma-Shastras to him.

But No! LKA is too big a hypocrite to be so humble. So he will lead mobs to demolish structures, and then lament that it was a sad event in Indian History. Where was LKA's Hindu Ethos of tolerance, secularism and democracy on that fateful day? Or was he being tolerant towards those who wanted to demolish the structure thus agreeing to lead their movement, secular towards those who wanted the structure to remain intact thus lamenting it to be a sad event, and democratic towards election and thus use this incident in making electoral gains?

If LKA is so tolerant, why did he endorse expulsion of Mr. Jaswant Singh (JS), even though LKA himself had orchestrated opinions similar to those of JS on Pakistani soil?

If LKA is so secular, why does he not speak the truth about Islam?

If LKA respects democracy so much, why is he bent upon hoisting his stooges like Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj etc., on the BJP despite opposition from grass-roots level?

The answers are simple. LKA and many leaders of the BJP, e.g. Atal Bihari Vajpeyee (ABV), are neither tolerant, nor secular, nor democratic. They could not tolerate a Govidacharya, a Kalyan Singh, or a Uma Bharti. Claiming to represent "Hindu Ethos", they have never spoken the truth about Islam, the single most dangerous thing against tolerance, secularism, and democracy. And they are so democratic that they indulge in holding the "high-command", just like the Congress which they are so wont to criticize.

Again, lest my readers feel confused about my point of view, I present my opinion in the following. In my opinion, Truth Based Civilization (And the related discoveries and "doctrines" of Sanatana Dharma) is the most important thing. If we hold, Satyameva Jayate (सत्यमेवजयते) as a part of our national icon then we must owe allegiance to truth. And not to tolerance, secularism or democracy per se. We have to have the freedom, necessary diligence, and unlimited perseverance to pursue Truth. And then have courage to live by what we discover and/or learn.

The Dumb Fuckery of parrot like repetition of someone's scribblings amounting to attempted indoctrination, although using phrases like "non-doctrinaire character of ethos", can at best beguile unsuspecting masses. In the eyes of the discerning, this is cheap gimmicks, treacherous leadership, and unadulterated stupidity.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Baba Ramdev, BJP and Politics ...

So, Baba Ramdev (BR) wants to float a political party, and BJP wants Baba Ramdev to shun his plans lest Hindu votes be divided! See the news item here.

Baba Ramdev wants to arouse the self-respect of Bharat, and Gadkari of the BJP assumes that BR will be representing Hindus. Hence his fear that BR will eat into BJP's Hindu vote bank.

In this way, the confusion regarding India, Bharat and Hindus starts all over again! BR is replacing India with Bharat. One more emotional technique to trap unsuspecting, gullible, and frankly speaking downright stupid Hindu citizens.

BR claims that he wants to promote Yoga for all Indians, and is busy establishing his secular credentials (presumably) by teaching Yoga to Darul Uloom Deoband. BR also recommends 50 percent quota for women.

So when I say that Indian blood has been so deeply poisoned by this Mohandas and Jawahar that secularism (read sacrificing interests of the adherents of Sanatana Dharma), and affirmative-action (read sacrificing interests of healthy upper-caste males who are adherents of Sanatana Dharma) form their logical core; I am not exaggerating a bit! Indian politicians, past, present and aspiring ones, betray the poison unabashedly.

Gadkari wrongly assumes that BJP represents the interests of the Hindus. Never mind the confusion regarding the term Hindu. We take it to mean Hindu-WOL. And he wrongly fears that BR will divide Hindu votes. BJP and the party that would be floated by BR, are both secular Mohandasian, Jawaharian parties pretending to be protectors of Hindus.

And lest it should give my readers the impression that others like the Congress are any better, I must mention that Congress, the Left and the rest do not even feel the need to pretend. They are blatantly anti-Hindu, anti-upper-caste-healthy-hindu-male.

Nevertheless, I recommend that let there be many parties who pretend to be Hindu-protectors, which can later be forced by the will of the Hindu people to be more and more pro-Hindu; and who compete with each other to be more and more pro-Hindu. This should exactly be similar to the situation now where all political parties (certainly including the BJP and future party of BR) are competing against each other to be more and more secular.

So BR is welcome to launch his political party, but Hindus beware, his party will be as secular as they come!

The need of the hour is to detoxify the effects of the poison of Mohandas and Jawahar. BR is extremely prone to fall prey to Mohandas instincts; as A B Vajpeyee fell prey to Jawaharian instincts!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A possible deconvolution for the convoluted logic of RSS: What Mohan Bhagwat could have said ....

In a recent blog entry the chief of RSS, Mr. Mohan Bhagwat (MB) was criticised for saying: He who is an Indian is a Hindu and he who is not a Hindu is not an Indian.

A long and winding debate ensued. It was desirable to retain the informal notions related to the words Hindu and Indian, and yet certain specificity was needed for precision, unambiguousness and substantiveness.

Mr. Thammayya, in one of his comments, had asked: Hey, I have another suggestion. What do you think, MB should have told? Interesting to know this.

I have recently outlined an abstract version of Hindu-WOL (Hindu Way of Life), terming it, for various reasons, Sanatana Dharma. In light of this article, here is my take on what MB could have said:


One of the essential underpinnings of an open and free mind regarding religious truths is: There can be points of view regarding the Truth and the ways of attaining the Truth which are seemingly quite different from the ones I uphold but are equally valid.

Hindus pursue and practice such openness and freedom.

A belief in exclusive monopoly regarding religious truths and/or insistence on one's concrete details regarding the same, is inconsistent with this notion of freedom.

India, in our view, is a home-nation for Hindus. Those who are not Hindus are not legitimately Indian.



0. The term Hindu is not defined comprehensively here. And yet, whatever is essential for the political debate is captured in terms of the concepts of openness and freedom.

For example:
a. The term Hindu is free from geographical, racial, linguistic, regional connotations and overtones.

b. So there can be Hindus residing as citizens of other nations.

1. Similarly, India, although not defined comprehensively, is hinted in the last sentence, to be the current geopolitical entity, whose citizens we are. This suffices for the political debate.

For example:

a. The term India is free from racial, linguistic, and regional connotations and overtones.

b. Those, who are currently residing in India as citizens but do not honor this openness and freedom are termed illegitimate citizens.

This allows us to use the terms "Hindu" and "India" with specificity necessary for the relevant aspects of political debate, while retaining the same informal notions regarding these words, which most of us may entertain.

Nonetheless, this is still a tentative version, and is open to be improved upon. Readers' suggestions are welcome.

Interestingly, a Dutch Politician, Geert Wilders has said many things which RSS could have, and should have articulated long long ago. Some of these are, I have provided links obtained from the same wikipedia page: "not tolerate the intolerant", "Ban Koran like Mein Kampf", and "There might be moderate muslims, but there is no moderate Islam".

However, as I have repeatedly alleged, owing to intellectual lethargy among those who are supposed to provide India with political leadership, these things have not happened here in India.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma, ... Truth Based Civilization.

This entry is still under preparation, however, readers are encouraged to participate in its preparation. Please write short, specific, and precise comments. It will make discussion more useful and convenient. If you have lots of things to say then please state them in different comments after breaking them into smaller parts. Thank You.

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In a recent blog entry there has been a debate on what Hinduism is. In another entry the author KMS has proposed his answers to the question :"Who is a Hindu?"

Here we propose what we believe to be a very general and yet specific definition of Hinduism. We will also point out, that often various confusions arise out of inappropriate mix of concepts. And therefore we will make a case for our preferred term for the subject matter of the present description.

To begin with, we call this perspective a belief-system or world-view.


Belief-System, World-view:

0. Truth, whatever that may be, is amenable to being investigated using one or many from a myriad of tools, for example, reason, experience, perception, emotion, etc.; and Truth can stand any inquiry.

1. In the past, various investigations have been conducted into Truth, and many of the findings have been recorded or handed down through generations.

2. One is free to investigate ab initio, and one is also free to investigate, starting from some or all of previous findings and continuing them further. Also one is free to make use of previous findings if and when these are available.

It is evident that there are two broad methodologies:

2.a One begins with a willingness to try out some of the previous findings (This is called the Faith aspect), and attempts to verify them to gain conviction for oneself (This is the Confidence aspect).

2.b One sets out with a clean slate and attempts to discover things for oneself (This is the inquiry aspect).

3. Properly conducted investigations -- whether by an individual or in a collaborative way, whether conducted in the past, present or future, independent of the tools used for investigation -- lead to fundamentally and essentially identical results and eventually final understanding; albeit the expressions of the understanding may vary and differ depending upon time, location, language, context, understanding capacity of the listener and also the speaker.

4. Science too is a part of the outcome of such an investigation. Usually science focuses on demonstrable (Personal, Objective) truths, whereas the larger truth encompasses the verifiable (Impersonal, Subjective) truths as well.

5. The underlying principles, that provide sustenance to a Civilization based on such an understanding of Truth, are called Sanatana Dharma.


We can now propose that those who accept, even if tentatively, such a broad understanding of Sanatana Dharma, and live by it, can be stated to be leading a Hindu-Way-of-Life.


0. Sanatana Dharma
is not confined to geo-political India and so on. It may be practiced anywhere and by any people, speaking whatsoever language.

1. The validity or applicability of this Sanatana Dharma is universal and does not depend upon whether someone knows it or not. It was pointed out that some scholar once remarked that everyone was subject to the Eternal Law and it was not a matter of choice!

2. The discoverers of these truths have been called seers, sages or Rishis. Those who pondered over the discoveries were called Munis and so on.

3. There are no fixed text-books for Sanatana Dharma. However, there are many usable text-books. Some of them are even considered canonical.

4. Incidentally, Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti, एकं सत विप्राः बहुधा वदन्ति। does not mean that "All religions contain the same Truth". Sat is technically synonymous with immutable, and the purport of this dictum is to state that This unique immutable can be referred to by many different names.

5. As we tend to agree that even if human civilization forgot all of science and began from scratch, they will rediscover largely the same science again; similarly Sanatana Dharma will also be rediscovered.

6. The word Hindu, historically was used for a geographical region, and the word India came from Hind(u), hence there usually is a confusion between the ancient Way-of-life and current geographical situation.

7. On a more technical footing, the word Dharma is an equally usable term, however since it can be confused with Dhamma of the Buddhists, we prefer the term Sanatana Dharma. However, we are open to new suggestions.

8. It can be conjectured that if there ever has to be a Universal framework for various belief-systems, Sanatana Dharma would be a logical and legitimate choice.

9. Like there are occasional frauds in Science, there can be frauds in religious life as well.

Socio-Cultural and Political Consequences:

0. There may be a way seemingly different from what a person oneself might prefer, which would lead to an understanding of the same Truth, is inherent in Sanatana Dharma. Certain observable aspects like variety, and tolerance, are eminent and exemplary outcomes of this inherent quality.

1. Sanatana Dharma thrived without the need for the notion of a Single-Nation-State to be felt. We welcome more and more peoples and nations to adopt Sanatana Dharma and they have no need to become a part of India! This is again is the same as the fact that India (or any other nation-state) does not become a colony of Europe or USA merely by adopting Science and Technology for its development.

2. Similarly language too was never a barrier. Various kingdoms could exists, and even fight wars without in any way destroying this underlying unity. This is like the axis-countries fighting against the allied-forces during Worl War II, both having the same world-view regarding Science.

3. This does not mean that we encourage fissiparous or secessionist tendencies of the likes of Maoists. We surely disagree with those who claim that Hinduism is the cause of such separatist movements. If at all, the intellectual ideologies behind these movements are the real cause for such political strife. And nothing else, other than, a perspective emerging out of Sanatana Dharma can salvage India from such a turmoil.

Certain Inconvenient Facts:

0. In view of the first point in the previous section, it is a simple corollary that Islamic claims regarding some person being the final messenger are all inconsistent with Sanatana Dharma.

Therefore a muslim, inasmuch as he/she is a follower of Islam, can not be a leading a Hindu-WOL. Period.

1. Similarly a christian, inasmuch as he/she believes his holy-book, the Bible, to be the only and exclusive source of Truth, can not be leading a Hindu-WOL. Period.

2. Even some of those who claim to be Hindus, like the followers of ISCKON, inasmuch as they insist, that their point of view is the only correct view, are not leading a Hindu-WOL.

3. Merely stating that they accept all as True, does not make one a Hindu-WOL. Accepting all as true is like a scientist who accepts all superstitions as true.

4. It is important to be broadminded with regards to Truth, but it is also important to reject the False.

5. Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs largely honor a similar understanding, however they CLAIM to begin with the recorded discoveries of only their preferred masters, viz., The Buddha, The Teerthankaras, and The Gurus.

We emphasize the word Claim, because the doctrines of Karma, and rebirth which had already been there with the ancient "Hindus" for long period, were co-opted by all these three; and yet each of these insist that they are all Original and New, and pretend as if they began from Scratch!

Therefore, often the followers of Sanatana Dharma consider these to be co-travellers, but these groups in their own view consider themselves to be different, for various reasons including Philosophical reasons, and not excluding social, political, financial reasons.

still in progress ...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who is a Hindu?

To answer this question, first we need to characterize Hinduism. Here is a tentative list.

1. Varnashrama - Caste, marriage, family, Sanyasa.
2. Vedic gods - in various forms as idols, female, animals and plants.
3. Rituals - Samskar, shradda and special occasions like Grahana, melas (Kumbh)
4. Philosophy - Vedas, Upanishads, Ayurveda, Yoga, Gita, Ramayana
5. Hindu values - stable families, harmonious living, etc
6. Associated with India.

One who has some characteristic of Hinduism could be called as a Hindu.
1. Those who are followers of Varnashrama Dharma
2. Those who worship idols, gods and goddesses - of Vedas, animals and plants.
3. Those who perform shradda, rituals during Grahana
4. Those who understand Vedic philosophy - rebirth and karma, benefit from Ayurveda and Yoga.
5. Those who have an inbuilt sense of tolerance, harmonious approach towards diversity.
6. Those who reside in (citizens of) India.


Those who are aligned with Varna Dharma, even partially, are readily identified as Hindus. Caste identities and associated life style features determine could be used to identify a Hindu. Such a person may not be aware of Vedic philosophy or other important aspects of Hinduism. But he/she cannot be excluded from being termed as Hindu.

A Hindu worships Gods of Vedas and Puranas - as an idol, in the form of female form, as an animal or as a plant, many of them simultaneously. Performer of rituals related to Shradda, Grahana, Melas, variants of them – is a Hindu.

Those who are not aligned with rituals may still be influenced by Upanishads and other parts of Vedas. Those who believe in rebirth and causal Karma cannot be termed anything other than Hindu. Slightly extending, those who are benefiting from yoga, Ayurveda could also be considered as Hindus.

All of them, have an inbuilt sense of tolerance towards those who follow different rituals, lifestyle and thought process. They have a predisposition towards a harmonious living.

A nation is defined on a common history, culture and people. Historically, India was a land of Hindus. Today, majority of the people are Hindus and cultural elements of the nation are dominantly Hindu. Hindu culture and Hindu as religion is naturally the main stream culture and religion of the modern India. The harmonious living of various diverse groups including Muslims and Christians is possible only if some of the tolerant ways of Hindus are adopted as a public policy. When these statements are inverted, Hindus could be generally defined as those who are in India.

In current times, there are two trends in defining Hindu/Hinduism. One is to include all aspects of the Hinduism which are good (or beneficial to the society) into the definition and exclude all the other aspects which are difficult to understand and explain. Second one is to include all aspects which are attracting criticism into the definition and to separate attractive and demonstrably useful characteristics from Hinduism.

A – Exclude Varna & rituals - Include Upanishads & Yoga
Some people try to restrict Hinduism to a subset of noble aspects of Upanishads and exclude ritualistic and Varna and caste characterization from Hinduism. These people argue that rituals and noble thoughts of Vedas, Darshanas are separable. Varnashrama, for them, is time and space dependent. For the present, Varna is obsolete or irrelevant. They may be proud or possessive about Yoga or Ayurveda. Some of them define Hinduism as the set of all concepts which are demonstrably beneficial.

B – Include Varna & rituals – Exclude Upanishads & Yoga
On the other hand, there are some who are keener to restrict Hindu definition to ritualistic aspects. They accept Varnashrama as an integral part of Hinduism. Untouchability, for them, is an unavoidable consequence of Varna vyavastha. Some of them don’t accept that rituals are inseparable from the noble Upanishad philosophy, Yoga or any such topic. They would prefer to use them in isolation and independently. Some of them would like to delink them from Hinduism.
Interestingly, both camps A and B agree that rituals and the philosophy are separable. It is instructive to identify the groups in each of the camp.

Group A – Who exclude rituals and include Yoga

1. Those who are not following rituals
2. Those who are finding it difficult to follow rituals
3. Who are not able to explain rituals or who have not understood them or both
4. Those who are unable to explain or understand Varnashrama system.

Typically, Educated Hindus (precisely stating, those who have imbibed western values), those who have accepted the criticism against rituals and Varna vyavastha are in this category. Restricting the definition of Hindu is an attempt to avoid problems.

Group B – Who exclude Yoga and include rituals

1. Those who are trying to undermine Hindus (Hinduism)
2. Those who are detached from Hinduism
3. Those who are trying to hijack Yoga and Upanishads away from Hinduism
4. Those who lack understanding or unable to get into the details.

Mostly non Hindus - mainly proselytizing Christians, Jihadi Muslims and other intolerants are in this category. Hindus who have detached themselves with wrong notions also fall under this category. People who lack understanding of fairness and justice and misinterpret Varna are included in this category.
With the above considerations, it is fair to define a Hindu in the following way

One who is guided by Sanatana Dharma in all aspects of life
Who see divinity in many forms, human, plants and animals – as an idol
Who adopts Dharmic lifestyle based on Varnashrama, rituals, samskaras, shradda etc
Who adopts values and outlook determined by Vedas, Upanishads, Smrithis, Puranas
Who receives guidance through guru, inspiration from India.
Sanatana Dharma being the sustaining principle of the manifestation.

The real question is how much you are Hindu? Not whether you are a Hindu?

[Contributed by VS and SH]