Monday, March 23, 2009

EC wants BJP to drop Varun; BJP says no way!

The BJP, which was eager to disown, disprove of and disassociate with Varun Gandhi's comments (“The BJP completely disowns and dissociates itself from the statements attributed to Varun Gandhi,” BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad told newspersons) seems to have gathered courage and has at last decided to stand by him.
But first the Election Commission of India's stunning March 22 order after serving notice to the BJP and Varun Gandhi:

No. 464/UP-HP/2009 Dated : 22nd March, 2009.
In re : Notice to Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata
Party for violation of the Model Code of Conduct on his
offensive speeches on 7th and 8th March, 2009 in Pilibhit
District, Uttar Pradesh.
Two incidents of speeches given by Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi,
a member of the Bhartiya Janta Party, and who, as per media reports, is a
likely candidate for the current general election to the Lok Sabha, from
Pilibhit Parliamentary Constituency in Uttar Pradesh, at two public meetings
in Mohalla Dalchand, Kotwali Pilibhit and at Kasba Barkheda on 7th March,
2009 and 08.03.2009, respectively, were brought to the notice of the
Commission on 17.03.2009, by the District Election Officer, Pilibhit. A
copy of a communication dated 09.03.2009 sent by the Police
Superintendent to the District Election Officer, Pilibhit, containing reference
to the aforesaid speeches and a video CD containing the recording of the
speeches were also furnished to the Commission.
2. The Commission went through the reports and viewed the video
CD of the two speeches. The two speeches contained highly derogatory
references and seriously provocative language of a wholly unacceptable
nature against a certain community. The Commission considered the
speeches as a grave violation of the provisions of clauses (1) and (3) of
Item 1 (General Conduct) of the Model Code of Conduct, apart from
amounting to promoting feelings of enmity and hatred between different
classes on the ground of religion, outraging the religious feeling of a
particular community, and promoting hatred and ill-will between two classes
of citizens and provoking a section of the citizens to indulge in violence.
3. The Commission, taking suo motu cognizance of the incidents,
on 18.03.2009, issued a notice to Shri Varun Gandhi, asking him to furnish
his reply in the matter by 20.03.09. Simultaneously, notices were also issued
to the Bharatiya Janata Party, both at the central level as well as at the State
level, asking the Party to submit its reply. The Commission also directed the
Chief Electoral Officer, Uttar Pradesh, to file criminal cases against Shri
Varun Gandhi under the provisions of Sections 153A (promoting enmity
between different groups on grounds of religion), Section 295A (deliberate
and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class of
Indian citizens by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Section 505 (2)
(statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes)
and under Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act,
1951(promoting enmity between classes in connection with elections).
4. In reply to the Commission’s notice, the Bharatiya Janata Party,
submitted that the party was not aware of the speeches made by Shri Varun
Gandhi, and that the party completely disagrees, disassociates, and
disapproves the contents of the CD and that these do not represent the views
of the party. The party also added that it had already disapproved and
disassociated from the contents (of the speeches) even before the notice from
the Commission. They further submitted that the party stands by the Model
Code of Conduct in its entirety, and that the party is independently looking
into the matter. The Uttar Pradesh state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party
submitted a reply stating that the state unit adopts the reply given by the
Central Office of the Party.
5. Shri Varun Gandhi, in his reply submitted on 20.03.2009, stated
as follows:-
• He may be given access to the report of the DEO and the
material on the basis of which the report was prepared and the
name and details of the complainant, the number of persons and
institutions who handled the CD before it reached the
Commission, and those who allegedly photographed the event.
• Alleged speeches were made on 7th & 8th March, 09 but the
controversy erupted 10 days later on the basis of some private
unofficial tape, which could have been put together for private
and political motives.
• What is happening appears to be a trial by the media to provide
a platform for political opponents and others to create an
atmosphere of hostility against him. It seemed that political
opponents provided the tapes to the media and for public
circulation. The entire initiative was politically tainted,
technically deficient and manipulated.
• Given the time in and during which the undisclosed report of
the incident was received by the Commission it was not
possible that there was due application of mind after examining
all the materials.
• Any notice issued to him, inter alia affects his rights under
Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India, thereby
requiring rigorous scrutiny.
• The CD received by the Commission is not the original one but
is allegedly an edited copy of the original. Without having
access to the original unedited recording of the speeches in their
entirely, the CD cannot be relied upon for any action against
• He firmly believes in all constitutional values and respect for all
religions and fully subscribes to the law of the land.
Shri Varun Gandhi submitted that all allegations in the notice dated
18.03.2009, which are wholly unsubstantiated, are denied. However, he has
neither specifically accepted nor rejected the contents of the speeches and
the inflammatory and derogatory tone, tenor and language used in the two
6. The Commission has carefully perused and duly examined the
explanation furnished by Shri Varun Gandhi (hereinafter, for short, the
respondent). The Commission is not at all convinced with the explanation
which the respondent has tried to take recourse to for wriggling out of the
situation which he has created by making the inflammatory and highly
derogatory speeches. The main plank of his defence is that the CD
containing the recording of his impugned speeches is morphed and doctored
so as to politically malign him. The Commission is far from convinced with
such bald assertions. He has not denied anywhere in his explanation that he
held the meetings covered and recorded in the CD and that he addressed the
audience at those meetings and made speeches thereat. The Commission has
seen the CD, not once but several times repeatedly, and is fully convinced
and satisfied that the CD has not been tampered with, doctored or morphed,
as alleged by the respondent. The copy of the CD in question was duly
furnished to him with the Commission’s notice and the onus lay on him to
prove his allegation that the CD is not genuine or authentic as is alleged by
7. In regard to the stand taken by respondent that he should be
shown the complaint received by the Commission and furnished with the
information as to how and through whom the CD reached the Commission,
the Commission would like to clarify that the Commission took suo motu
notice of the impugned speeches of the respondent which were also widely
shown on several national TV channels. It is immaterial to know the source
from which the CD reached the Commission or has been obtained by it.
What is material and relevant are the contents of the impugned speeches
made by him and as recorded in the said CD. The said CD is only a piece of
evidence to prove that he made those speeches. As already observed above,
the respondent has not denied having held the meetings under reference and
made speeches thereat. Nor has he shown or even indicated as to which
portions of his impugned speeches were morphed, doctored, manipulated or
interpolated. He was asked to explain his position with regard to the
genuineness or authenticity of the offensive statements made by him in his
speeches and not with regard to the genuineness or authenticity of the CD.
8. The respondent’s next explanation is that the CD in question
surfaced after a gap of about ten days after his meetings held on 7th and 8th
March, 2009. This explanation too cuts no ice. Any delay in the surfacing
of the CD does not lessen the gravity of the offensive statements made by
him. Also, the late surfacing of the CD does not by itself lead to any
conclusion that the CD was morphed or doctored meanwhile, unless proved
otherwise by the respondent to the satisfaction of the Commission.
9. The Commission also sees no force in his contention that he is
being tried by the media because exposure by media does not amount to trial
by media. The Commission, in fact, viewed a more comprehensive CD, a
copy of which was given to the respondent, than what was shown on some
of the electronic media. The Commission monitors all inputs, including
media reports, and whenever it observes any serious violation of the Model
Code of Conduct or commission of any electoral offences being indulged in
by any party or a person, the Commission is obliged under the Constitution
to take note of such violations and to initiate and take appropriate actions to
bring such violators of the Model Code of Conduct and electoral laws to
10. Now coming to the offensive statements made by the
respondent in his impugned speeches, the Commission deliberately does not
intend to repeat or quote here those offensive portions of his impugned
speeches. The same have been seen very widely on the electronic media and
read equally widely in the print media right across the whole country, which
have stirred the nation’s conscience and aroused nation wide condemnation.
11. In this context, the Commission would like to remind the
respondent of the sane advice given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in
Ziauddin Burhanuddin Bukhari v Brijmohan Ramdass Mehra (AIR 1975 SC
1788) that:
“Our Constitution makers certainly intended to set up a Secular
Democratic Republic the binding spirit of which is summed up by the
objectives set forth in the preamble to the Constitution. No democratic
political and social order, in which the conditions of freedom and their
progressive expansion for all make some regulation of all activities
imperative, could endure without an agreement on the basic essentials
which could unite and hold citizens together despite all the differences
of religion, race, caste, community, culture, creed, and language. Our
political history made it particularly necessary that these differences,
which can generate powerful emotions, depriving people of their
powers of rational thought and action, should not be permitted to be
exploited lest the imperative conditions for the preservation of
democratic freedoms are disturbed.
…….. Due respect for the religious beliefs and practices, race, creed,
culture, and language of other citizens is one of the basic postulates of
our democratic system. Under the guise of protecting your own
religion, culture, or creed you cannot embark on personal attacks on
those of others or whip up low herd instincts and animosities or
irrational fears between groups to secure electoral victories.”
12. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had further observed in Abdul
Hussain Mir Vs. Shamsul Huda (AIR 1975 SC 1612) that ‘religious appeal
or communal appetite is stronger in a bigoted and backward population than
in an enlightened or indifferent or other area with a long tradition of peaceful
co-existence of variegated religious groups or cosmopolitan people. It all
depends on the socio-political pathology or sensibility of each province or
constituency.’ It is well known that the area in which the impugned
speeches were made by the respondent is highly communally sensitive and
surcharged with religious tensions.
13. Again, in the case of Dr. Ramesh Yeshwant Prabhoo Vs.
Prabhakar Kashinath Kunte and Others [(1996) 1 SCC 130], the Hon’ble
Supreme Court held that the speeches made by Shri Bal Thackeray, wherein
he appealed to the voters belonging to his religion to vote for the candidate
of his party because he also belonged to the same religion and wherein he
also made some derogatory references to the members of another
community, were highly offensive and amounted to promoting or attempting
to promote feelings of enmity and hatred between different classes of
citizens on the ground of religion and were of very serious and grave nature.
14. While tendering its opinion to the Hon’ble President of India
under section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, in the above
referred case of Dr. Ramesh Yeshwant Prabhoo on the question as to
whether Shri Prabhoo should be disqualified and, if so, for what period, the
Commission observed in its opinion dated 15th October, 1997 that :
“There cannot be two opinions that such pernicious practices which
are highly dangerous and can threaten the very survival of democracy
must be viewed with utmost concern and put down with a heavy hand
without any leniency. Persons indulging in such nefarious practices
must be visited with the severest penalty permissible under the law, as
any leniency shown to them would mean compromising with those
corrupt practices which sully the purity of elections.”
The same view was reiterated by the Commission in its opinion dated 22nd
September, 1998, to the Hon’ble President of India in the case of Shri Bal
Thackeray and both Dr. Ramesh Yeshwant Prabhoo and Shri Bal Thackeray
were disqualified for the period of six years, i.e., the maximum period for
which they could be disqualified by the President under the said section 8A
of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
15. The above sane advice of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the
above referred cases of Ziauddin Burhanuddin Bukhari and Abdul Hussain
Mir (supra) has obviously been thrown to the winds and the impugned
speeches by the respondent have been made by him in utter disregard of the
same and in blatant violation of the provisions and spirit of the Model Code
of Conduct and the law on the subject. The Commission would also like to
reiterate its above quoted observations in its opinion dated 15th October,
1997 and 22nd December, 1998 in the cases of Dr. Ramesh Yeshwant
Prabhoo and Shri Bal Thackeray (supra) and to emphatically state that the
impugned speeches of the respondent are also highly dangerous, threatening
the very survival of democracy and the communal harmony – the basic
tenets enshrined in the Constitution of India – and deserve to be condemned
in the severest terms.
16. In the considered opinion of the Commission, the respondent
does not deserve to be a candidate at the present general elections since
every candidate must solemnly make and subscribe an oath under the
Constitution that he will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution
and that he will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. However, the
Commission is conscious of its limitations under the law, as it stands at
present, that it cannot impose such disqualification on the respondent and
debar him from contesting elections unless he is convicted or held guilty by
a competent court of law in an appropriate legal proceeding. In the
circumstances, the Commission strongly condemns and censures the
respondent, Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi.
17. Here, it is pertinent to add that, on the initiative of the
Commission, two criminal cases have already been registered against
Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi, under sections 153A, 295A and 505(2) of the
Indian Penal Code and section 125 of the Representation of the People
Act, 1951, in the concerned Police Stations – Kotwali Police Station,
Pilibhit, and Police Station of Kasba Barkheda, Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh. The
Commission hereby directs the State Government authorities concerned
of Uttar Pradesh to expeditiously investigate the matter with utmost
alacrity and the speed with which this matter deserves to be dealt with
at all levels. The Commission would be keeping a close watch on the
progress in the investigation and would also be taking all legally permissible
steps for the expeditious trial of the matter till it reaches its logical
conclusion. It is pertinent to add here that the Commission has directed the
Chief Electoral Officer, Uttar Pradesh to keep a close track of all
programmes of Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi, and whenever and wherever
public meetings and rallies involving his speeches are held a proper a
continuous video tracking would be done and the cameraman for such video
tracking would be accompanied by a Magistrate to ensure proper video
18. As regards the notice to Bharatiya Janata Party, as already
observed in para 4 above, the party in its reply has stated that the party was
not aware of the speeches made by Shri Varun Gandhi, and that the party
completely disagrees, disassociates, and disapproves the contents of the CD
and that these do not represent the views of the party. The party also added
that it had already disapproved and disassociated from the contents (of the
speeches) even before the notice from the Commission. The party further
submitted that the party stands by the Model Code of Conduct in its entirety,
and that the party is independently looking into the matter. In view of the
above stand of the party, the Commission expects that the least that the party
must do is to deny the party nomination to Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi as its
candidate at the present general election to the Lok Sabha. This will be fully
in keeping with the assertion of the party that it completely disagrees,
disassociates, and disapproves the views of Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi and
that the party stands by the Model Code of Conduct in its entirety. Any
sponsorship of his candidature by the Bharatiya Janata Party, or any other
Political Party at this election would be perceived as endorsing his
unpardonable acts of inciting violence and creating feelings of enmity and
hatred between different classes of citizens of India, destroying the social,
democratic and plural fabric of the country, as enshrined in the Constitution
of India which all the political parties have undertaken to uphold, at the time
of their registration with the Election Commission under section 29A of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951.
(S.Y. Quraishi) (N. Gopalaswami) (Navin B. Chawla)
Election Commissioner Chief Election Commissioner Election Commissioner

Here's Varun Gandhi's response, as reproted by PTI:

EC action pressurised by political considerations: Varun

PTI New Delhi
A defiant Varun Gandhi today hit back at the Election Commission for asking BJP not to nominate him for the Lok Sabha polls, and accused the panel of taking "hasty" and "harsh" action "pressurised by political considerations".The BJP candidate from Pilibhit said the EC action was in "utter disregard of the principles of natural justice" as it had passed the censure "without any attempt to ascertain the truth".Making it clear that he would not withdraw from the polls, 29-year-old Varun said, "I believe my real court of appeal lies with the people."Varun, who is contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time, also said, "The EC's eagerness to exercise its 'recommendatory jurisdiction' begins and ends with my case alone. This itself, coupled with the haste with which the EC has acted, leaves one to believe that the action has been pressurised by political considerations."With his party standing by him, Varun said by making "adverse remarks and recommendations to the BJP and all other parties, the EC has acted beyond its jurisdiction and has surpassed its powers including under Article 324 of the Constitution". "It is astonishing that such harsh censure should be used without any attempt to ascertain the truth," said Varun, who has come under attack for his alleged anti-Muslim speeches recorded on tapes, which he claimed have been doctored.A day after EC recommended to BJP that he should not be fielded because of his hate campaign, Varun said the EC had given him no chance to clarify.Varun said he had asked for the material forming the basis of the EC notice to enable him to respond appropriately to the same. "But sadly in utter disregard of the principles of natural justice, the EC has in haste and unusually censorious language passed an opinion," he wrote to the EC.The BJP candidate also said the EC had taken the action without providing him personal hearing, the report against him or any materials on which that report is based.He claimed that the EC did not show him or even sought out for itself the original recording, if at all it exists.The EC gave the recommendation without "examining the authenticity or source of the tape that was sent to it which on a cursory glance shows that there has been splicing, repetition and interpolation during the so-called editing process as evident from the media logo seen in the footage. The short jumpy sequences also establish that the tape has been edited," Varun said.

And, at last, the BJP shows some guts:

New Delhi, Mar 23 (PTI) The BJP today rejected the Election Commission's advise to it not not to nominate Varun Gandhi as candidate in the Lok Sabha elections and declared that he would be the party candidate in Pilibhit. "He (Varun) is our candidate. We have turned down the advise (by the EC) because it is does not not have the right to give such an advise," party spokesman Balbir Punj told reporters after meeting Varun. He said he was speaking as the authorised spokesman of the party and this was the view of the party leaders after consultations among them. In an unprecedented action, the Election Commission last night asked the BJP not not to nominate Varun as its candidate in the Lok Sabha elections after holding him guilty of making communal speeches. "Varun Gandhi does not not deserve to be a candidate at the present general elections...." the three-member Commission said in its advise to BJP

Punj said in a democracy it was the right of political paties to decide on who their candidates will be and it was not not for the Commission to say that. The BJP would not not accept the Election Commission's advise, he said adding it was the collective decision of the party leaders.

Punj also questioned the Election Commission's authority to advise against nominating Varun. "The entire episode smacks of prejudice and bias," he said. "If the Election Commission is so concerned, then it should be forthright in giving the same suggestion in the case of Sanjay Dutt, M K Subba, Shibu Soren, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler," he said. The BJP spokesperson also sought to question the competency of the Commission in deciding the veracity of the compact disc containing anti-Muslim speeches allegedly made by Varun. "Where is the original CD? The Election Commission has no right to give such advise. It should refer the matter to an independent investigation agency," Punj said.

The response to my Sunday column, Coffee Break, in The Pioneer ("Varun was harsh, but so is truth) has been tremendous ( Here's a sample of the messages that have poured in:

Look no further than ModiBy Rb on 3/23/2009 12:15:36 PMThe more the "secular" media fulminated and fumed over Modi's comments, the more popular he became. Varun should take heart and stand his ground despite the sight of the BJP scurrying for cover. Another compelling reason why it is time for fresh blood at the BJP's (and the nation's) helm. Nice commentary by Kanchan Gupta!
Varun Gandhi Hate speechBy shashikant Rathi on 3/23/2009 11:05:16 AMMedia particularly English behave as if they are on the pay scroll of some political party, they are working like election strategist of that particular party. They became prosecution advocate and judge too. But they are far from realities, they tried same thing in the case of Narendra Modi by making Shoharabudin NATIONAL HERO but people saw it through and they bit the dust. Narendra Modi's win was more a loss of English MEDIA.
BJP has to support VarunBy Vijayendra Rao on 3/23/2009 10:34:44 AMBJP should support to Varun and has to send for campaigning to whole of India to bring new hope to Hindu communities. BJP has to lodge a case against news channel for showing fake video repeatedly.
Dharna in front fo your Congressmen Houses?By A. Sathe on 3/23/2009 9:26:37 AMFew have suggested that Hindus should parade with non-violence measures such as real Gandhigir and shout ' We are Hindus, Congress, go ahead put us in jail" in front of the houses of congressmen, UPA operatives, P-secs, and foreign owned media houses. BJP ruled states should boycott gaddars foreign owned media and their vendors. Congress and these media will make us another pathetic Nepal.
Varun Gandhi's SpechBy K.S.Balasubramanian on 3/23/2009 3:41:38 AMHe is well within his right to atriculate his views. Is it a crime being a Hindu to air their opinion where the majoriyt is ruled by the minority. It is time that all the Hindus unite themselves under one Umberlla and safeguard the nation and as well the majority community.
Varun Gandhi in defence of bitter truthBy Krishan on 3/23/2009 1:27:23 AMCongress is a dirty political party and these dirty tricks must be anticipated and fully exposed. Thank you for doing so. But Varun Gandhi and BJP should go a step further. Instead of just defending Varun Gandhi against contrived charges in a manufactured CD, please publish REPEATEDLY the dirty tricks and lies Congress Party subjects the Indian electorates to. This should become a major topic in the national discourse.
Gupta and VaarunBy ved on 3/22/2009 9:43:28 PMvery gutsy Kanchan Gupta is. He said what BJP hesitates to say. Well done.
Secular Media Is Biggest FarceBy Naveen Sharma on 3/22/2009 8:55:19 PMPseudo secular news channels are hell bent on converting India in Xian Country.....AR Antulay is Secular but BJP communal, 1984 riots were are reaction, Godhra is Communal, Questioning Ram is Secular......Hindus are tolerant but not Weak.....We will defeat them too.....Jai Sri Ram
The TruthBy V Gopal Krishnan on 3/22/2009 8:46:35 PMMr kanchan Gipta, thoughtful article. Thank you. Hindus can never expect anything from these so called secular politicians. When Mr. George Jacob Holyoak coined the word SECULARISM in 1864 , he would never have dreamed that one day in some part of the world the Politicians would understand it so wrong. All these polticians should be given a lesson on secularism what it actually means. At present in the Indian scenario anything anti Hindu is secular.
"Jai Ho Varun Gandhi " Say We 85% Hindus of NepalBy maheswar on 3/22/2009 7:44:03 PMKancchan Gupta has rightly placed the actual context of the remarks that Varun Gandhi made. This context needs to be underscored again and again and the concerned media duly punished by the Election Commission for propogandizing and profiting from the unfortunate event. Nevertheless, we in Nepal pray for a BJP victory and,thereafter, the restoration of the secular Hindu Kingdom of Nepal through a national rereferundum.
Fight the philosophy behind itBy rajgopal on 3/22/2009 6:56:27 PMsir,Don't misunderstand that the jihadic activities are done by some radical misguided muslims and terrorists like Afzal & Osama are aberrations of islam.Actually they are the real face of islam & living as per Quaran . All islamic terrorism emnate from Quaran & Muhamed. Actually the peace loving Muslims are an aberration. It is not a religion of peace. It is actually a cult of violence and backward pulling ideology. Dont believe what I am saying.All of you must go through Quaran.
Varun's speechBy Syamal on 3/22/2009 6:17:37 PMIt is a very thoughtful and timely article. I heard from several domestic workers from different non-Hindu dominated rural areas in W. Bengal that Durga Puja and similar other celebrations are highly restricted in their villages because of fear of reprisal. Some of the incidents in Pilibhit, as mentioned by Mr. Gupta, add credibility to the descriptions I heard from these workers.
varun GandhiBy krishnamurthy on 3/22/2009 5:46:07 PMGeat, Kanchan Ji. I am glad that there are yet people like you to tell the truth. God Bless
varun was harsh,but so is truthBy vijaya on 3/22/2009 5:39:15 PMThank you Mr Kanchan. All Indians whether in the Diaspora or in India should be grateful for the timely expose of liberal India's bias against Hindus. Your article is honest responsible journalism. You have set the record straight after first ascertaining that the tape has 17 cuts. Further, you have provided background details of the criminal activities going on in the Pilibhit constituency near the Nepal border. These are clearly anti Indian. And the minority Hindus are being harassed.
BJPBy JAY on 3/22/2009 5:29:52 PMvarun is 100 per cent right , god bless him and gives him courage to speak truth
BJPs response understandableBy Shankar on 3/22/2009 4:21:03 PMBJPs response is not because of offending Muslim votes. It is because it does not want to give any room for Navin Chawala to disqualify the party from contesting in polls.That would become a cake walk for congress. What BJP would do is to give the oratorial skills of Varun a polished make over and use him in UP to support the BJP. His future speech would be restrained, thoughtful but convey the right effect. This would work wonders. BJP is not disowning him.
THE TRUTHBy AJAY VYAS on 3/22/2009 4:10:01 PMHats off Mr Kanchan Gupta for telling the truth, that is majority of India believes. Our media,news channel are so biased & scared in telling the truth. Look at wesern masters when it comes to telling the truth they are blunt.Our media is so sickening ,all hindus must boycott them.Varun Gandhi must be congratulated for telling the truth.
BJP's response is comicalBy P Dutta on 3/22/2009 2:32:09 PMVarun Gandhi has said what most Hindus want to hear from their leaders. But the leaders are scared of losing Muslim votes. This is why BJP is trying to 'disown' and 'distance' itself from Varun. It is laughable to see the Naqvi and Shahnawaz denouncing Varun. Do they seriously believe Muslim voters will love them and BJP for that? The BJP is now like a half-caste. It is neither this nor that. It is a pathetic party of wimps.
Secularist VenomBy R. Viswam on 3/22/2009 2:32:09 PMYes, Varun was too brash, but he spoke the truth The islamist secular monster, as represented by the media, has really grown vicious.They want to dehinduize this country. How to counter should be the thought uppermost in all Hindus' minds. If Hindus take no action, in 50 years they would not be able to live with honour in this country.
ganshar@dataone.inBy B S GANESH, on 3/22/2009 1:31:39 PMIt is heartening to know that at least one member of the Gandhi family Varun Gandhi, has this feeling. All along the other members were dividing the country into minority and majority only to get votes from the so-called minority. They were pampering them with various facilities at the cost of the exchequer and majority of citizens who are not only Hindus but from various other communities like Sikh, Budihists, Jains and so on. It is foolish to divide the country again into minority and majority.
Varun speech - double standards appliedBy Shankar on 3/22/2009 12:15:52 PMWhen media targets BJP for Varun's speech they are actually polarizing the voters to vote against BJP. The same media refused to cover the vitriolic speech of Congress Minority cell president who called upon people saying thse who vote for BJP would be infidels and kafirs. Why is election commission not taking action? Why is BJP not going at it. It is sad that only in India the ruling party is dealt with kids glove whereas BJP is targetted day in and day out.
secular bigotryBy on 3/22/2009 11:57:32 AMsir, in india secularism is a weasel word and the word "communal" is tagged on any one who protests aginst the killing of hindus and their ruthless suppression. our history is one wave of genocides by conquerors, but for secular history has only gujarat. millons were uprooted in 1947 from pakistan. this time hidus are persecuting hindus for power and pelf. it cant be stoped. it will end and the turn of hindu haters will come when the mullas rules.
Varun's SpeechBy Vox Indica on 3/22/2009 11:53:39 AMOn the role of the media, one wonders, quite often, whether words like objectivity and subjectivity are adequate to describe their views vis-à-vis Hindus and Hindu organisations - ‘bigoted’ would be more apt. To quote two recent examples, in separate, nationally televised programmes, media persons Praveen Swami of the Hindu and Harinder Baweja of the Tehelka proclaimed that if they were Muslims they would take to guns making even Kamal Farooqui, the secretary of the MPLB squirm.
When people cannot face truthBy Ashish on 3/22/2009 11:13:45 AMThis reaction of media and liberals is typical of delusional syndrome. Everything that he said was true, rough, uncouth but very much true. It lacked diplomatic sophistication but it was delivered for an audience on which nuances are usually lost. When the media and liberals are covertly endorsing candidature of convicted criminal who is very complicit with terrorists and anti-national they go all out against Varun Gandhi, who is worried about Talibanization of India and want to prevent it.
Varun's SpeechBy Vox Indica on 3/22/2009 10:14:55 AMThe quintessence of Indian secularism in its zeitgeist is not in separating the state from religion as the word originally connoted but in opposing Hinduism, its philosophy and social mores. The mantra of Indian media who would rather wear ‘secularism’ on its sleeve is to oppose any opposition of Hindu organisations - which for them come under the collective moniker of ‘the Sangh Parivar’.Therefore if Hindu organisations protest against anything, then the secular brigade must rush to oppose.
BJP does a BrutusBy Ganesh on 3/22/2009 10:13:30 AMVarun has only spoken the bitter truth. Whether the CD is doctored or not is secondary. Even the doctored CD does not look as bad as made out by the media.The general public reaction has been near overwhelmingly in support of whatever he said, going by the blogger and unbiased opinion polls(NDTV,CNN sms polls excused). ECs may have the rule books but in the eyes of the public Varun has only grown in stature. The same cannot be said of his party the BJP which was too instinctive in its reaction.
For the secularists everything connecte with hinduism is communalBy KSV SUBRAMANIAN on 3/22/2009 9:20:48 AMCongress and Communists who have patented the Indian kind of secularism has the authority to stamp anybody either secular and communal. According to them Hindus, Jai Shri Ram, Bhagavad Gita etc., are communal and should be kept at an arms length. Think of a Chief Minister calling any revered God/Saint etc., of any other religion other than hindu as "drunkard". And the person making such a derogatory remark is not an ordinary person. He is a Chief Minister of a state where there are crores of Hindus.
Hindus have no where to run except IndiaBy Arjun on 3/22/2009 9:15:32 AMSir, I like your description of the mainstream english madia as "dissolute". These guys don't half know how their roles are furthering global jihad. India is merely one front (in the many) in their global war. The dissolute press is playing Jaichand to perfection. However, Hindus have no option other than to fight back since they can't flee anywhere else. Then these dissolute presswallas will find their names up there on the board alongside Jaichand's.
VarunBy Vineet on 3/22/2009 8:20:36 AMThanks for this article which does add perspective to a thus one-sided debate. If these issues are indeed locally relevant, and I suspect they are, Varun Gandhi will be swept to MPship. In any case, when all the hoopla was raised on this 'hate speech' I was wondering why these agents were silent when one M Karunanidhi labelled Shri Ram a 'drunkard'. Unless you type up the ante, Mr Gupta, I am afraid we may permanently lose the war of influencing the impressionable minds of 70% of our population.
VARUN BEING YOUNG IS HARSHBy B S GANESH on 3/22/2009 7:47:08 AMVarun Gandhi being young had observed the misery of Hindus who are not properly treated in their own country. But what he said was misinterpreted by the media and opposition politicians to punish him. This is a family dispute also. It is heartening to know that at least one patriot was born in the Indira Gandhi family as VARUN GANDHI. All along the other members were dividing the country into minority and majority only to get votes from the so called minoritys.
Nation of A Billion BrainwashedBy Manish Maheshwari on 3/22/2009 6:34:40 AMThe drama never ceases in this blessed Nation of a Billion Brainwashed people, who keep scoring self-goals with a regularity that'll make a Beckham or a Ronaldo turn deep green with envy. Jai Sonia Mata ! Jai Rahul Baba !
varunBy raghu on 3/22/2009 6:14:00 AMThe Control of media in India by thugs paid by foreign powers who want eventual destruction of India ,is complete. It is a tragedy that the super rich like the Ambanis,the Mittals & the Murthys & Premjis of India have not launched a public supported TV channel with bulk coming from them to counter the anti-national TV channels controlled by foriegn powers who can not tolerate the rise of India.They will one day realise that doing nothing will eventually destroy them along with thier nation.
It is double standard of the Foreign Controlled Indian MediaBy Sunil Sharma on 3/22/2009 5:51:39 AMWe Hindus are doomed in our own Country. We have no saviour unless we can raise our voice against the injustice. I am afraid that Hindus will be finished from India in the next 50 years. God save us by sheltering our brave leaders like Varun Gandhi.
Intimidation tacticsBy Bharat Kr. on 3/22/2009 5:23:16 AMThe anti-Hindu media, under the mask of secular is trying hard to intimidate hindus not to say they are hindus and refer or quote any of their dharma sastras anywhere. In one of the news website,you can't use the words Hindu or dharma in the feedback. They have blocked words like Hindu, Dharma etc. You need to write Hinnndu, or dhaaarma. This reflect their cowardice and frustation. More they bash hindus, more they abuse hindu sastras, more these sick media will isolate themslves from the hindu society.
Varun GandhiBy Madhukar on 3/22/2009 5:03:35 AMThank you Kanchan Gupta for putting things in right perspective otherwise this christian run media will find faults with anything that is associated with Hindus.
UPA thugs are never exposed in media or CDs.By K. Singh on 3/22/2009 3:48:02 AMit was reported that the mysterious altered CDs. are being manufactured under the guidance of muslims techocrates and UPA partners in Delhi. Note that such CDs are regularly pumped into the State of Gujarat (or other BJP ruled States) to dethrone Mr. Modi during elections, whether it is from Tehelka, phone CD from Mukul Sinha, or Lalu.s investigation of Godhra riot. One will never see such CDs for corrupt Congress and UPA.
psuedosecular electronic and print mediaBy ash on 3/22/2009 2:12:53 AMapart from very few national news papers it is fair to say that the majority of print and eletrnic media are anti hindu pro muslim and indirectly supporting islamic terrorism in INDIA by keeping a blind eye to the jehadi terrorism in INDIA and would spread rumour and can not digest any political party's stand for the majority hindu's right.
Sounds so much like Britain!By Jay on 3/22/2009 1:52:40 AMOh, how India's media and intelligentisa refuse to let the nation rise above the mediocre. The same applies in Britain. Geert Wilders is banned from entering the country, young protesters with Israeili flags in bags get arrested for "breach of the peace" while the real hate mongers who terrorise our steets, who hurl jihadi venom at our armed forces, who vilify all that is democratic and just, who seek special treatment in all matters, are allowed to do so freely.
Varun vs. RahulBy anil on 3/22/2009 1:45:49 AMIt is more to do with Rahul's future. Varun in all likelyhood is seen as a possible contender to Rahul with a Gandhi surname by the old Gandhi camp. They must have come to the conclusion that if he is not stopped now - they won't be able to stop him in future, even though from opposite camp.
responseBy vikas on 3/22/2009 12:28:30 AMvery good article.congress party has made securalism eqal to minortism.hindus has stated feeling frustrated.congress always look for votes .see the plight of kashmiri pandits who are refugee in their own country. shame on psuedo secular electronic media.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In 'secular' India, it's fashionable to be anti-Hindu

While the Indian Express, the Times of India and the 24x7 news channels, most notably NDTV24x7 and CNN-IBN, have been going hammer and tongs at Varun Gandhi for daring to speak the truth and being blunt about it, news from Jammu & Kashmir about the PDP's latest assertion of Islamism has been slyly suppressed by them. The reason is not far to seek: They do not wish the nation to know of the machinations of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti, who use their People's Democratic Front to promote separatism and anti-Hindu and anti-India sentiments in the Kashmir Valley.

Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is the man who, as Chief Minister (with Congress support) wanted the Amarnath Yatra to be severely curtailed if not entirely scrapped. Mehbooba Mufti led the violent protest against temporary allotment of land for setting up shelters for Hindu pilgrims to rest for a while on their way to the Amarnath shrine. The Congress-led UPA Government, represented by a wimp of a Governor in Jammu & Kashmir,NN Vohra, whose life's ambition is to ride an Ambassador car, live on the taxpayers' money and suck up to the Congress (or, for that matter, whoever else is in power), capitulated before the PDP-led protesters who merrily burned the Indian Tricolour, and withdrew the allotment of land. It is the same Mufti Mohammed Sayeed who demanded that Pakistani currency notes should be made legal tender in Jammu & Kashmir.

On March 17, UNI filed the following news report from Srinagar:

Varun Gandhi's statement against muslims provocative: PDP

The main opposition party in the Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today said the alleged anti-Muslim remarks of BJP leader Varun Gandhi was extremely provocative.

In a statement here today a PDP spokesman said the remarks against Muslims of the country by Mr Varun Gandhi a BJP candidate from Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, were provocative.

Describing him as the younger face of former Jammu and Kashmir governor General (Retd) S K Sinha, the spokesman alleged that streak of rabid communalism runs right across the Sangh Parivar to which they both belong. As if to emphasize their solidarity, the spokesman pointed out that both had chosen the same day for baring their fangs.

Yesterday, General Sinha had alleged that former Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was acting as militant spokesman during his tenure.

The story was prominently carried by the 'secular' media. But the following report was not disseminated:

PDP wants Anantnag renamed Islamabad

Rising Kashmir News
Srinagar, March 15: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s demand of changing the name of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district from the official name of Anantnag to the popular name of Islamabad has led to resentment among pro-Hindutva activists in Jammu.
The activists of Bhartiya Janta Party, Shiv Sena Hindustan, Bajrang Dal, Jammu Kashmir Vichar Manch, Jammu Joint Students Federation for the past three days at various places in Jammu are burning effigies of PDP Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, President Mahbooba Mufti and MLA Shangus, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain who moved the resolution of renaming Anantnag as Islamabad on the last day of the 10-day long assembly session.
Quoting Taarikhi Hassan, Hussain said Islamabad had been founded in the time of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s under the governorship of Islam Khan and the name of the town was later changed to Anantnag in Ranbir Singh’s regime.
He also asserted that Hari Parbat and Shankaracharya were originally called Koh-e-Maran and Takht-e-Suliaman.
Enraged over PDP’s demands, Vice President of Jammu Kashmir Vichar Manch (JKVM) R L Bhat said it was a conspiracy to distort Kashmir history.
“We stand by our words,” Bhat told Rising Kashmir but added that none of his activists had burned the effigies of PDP leaders.
Bhat said renaming of Srinagar Airport on the name of Sheikh-ul-Alam was also a part of this “conspiracy”.
Nazir Ahmed, an employee in Assembly Secretariat said that the pro-Hindutva groups were aiming to trigger communal tension across the Valley to gain advantage in the ensuing parliamentary elections.
“They want to exploit the religious sentiments of the Hindu population of India,” he said.

This, then, is what 'secularism' is all about in India!

This photo, shot in Srinagar, was suppressed by India's media. It did not suit its 'secular' agenda!

Just because Varun Gandhi has spoken out for Hindus, everybody's pounced upon him. Neither the 'secular' media, which is increasingly laying down the rules of public discourse and imposing restrictions on what can and cannot be said (a friend calls it 'secular' Talibanisation of India), nor the Election Commission has bothered to take note of 'secular' politicians appealing to the lowest common denominator for Muslim votes. Politicians addressing election rallies in Muslim areas wear skull caps, wrap the kafiyeh and do everything possible to 'identify' themselves with the audience. That's permissible. But you can't do the reverse by identifying with Hindus!

I had written this article on Ram Vilas Paswan's fetish for an Osama bin Laden look-aline. He would visit Muslim-dominated areas accompanied by this man. Then, one fine day, the chap crossed over to Lalu Prasad Yadav's camp and would accompany the messiah of the poor who has pauperised Bihar to seek Muslim votes!

Paswan’s Laden in Lalu’s Bihar

Author: Kanchan Gupta
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: February 2, 2005

He prefers the name 'Laden', as in Osama bin Laden, because "nobody will remember my real name". The other reason why Maulana Meraj Khalid Noor has opted for this nom de guerre is because he looks like Osama bin Laden. Obviously, this preacher of Islam from Narpat Ganj in Bihar is infatuated by either the physical features or the ideology of the world's most recognised face of terror, if not both. And, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, who is locked in a bitter, no-holds-barred fight over Bihar with Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, his colleague in the United Progressive Alliance Government, finds it politically expedient to take 'Laden' along with him every time he ventures forth into a Muslim dominated area. After all, as he recently told a newspaper reporter, "Osama does have some following among the Muslim youth".

Not to be outdone by his rival, Mr Yadav has come up with a cockamamie report that absolves the Muslim mob which set fire to a railway coach full of Hindus at Godhra of all guilt, promised communal reservation in jobs and educational institutions (a promise also made by Mr Paswan and his Lok Jana Shakti Party) and pledged to make Urdu a compulsory subject for all school students. For good measure, he has also secured the public endorsement of a motley group of ulemas, led by Tauqeer Raza Khan of All India Millat Council. And, just in case all this has not driven home the point that Muslims, who constitute anything between 16 and 18 per cent of Bihar's electorate - perhaps higher if you factor in unabated waves of illegal immigration from Bangladesh between the conclusion of the Census of India survey and this month's Assembly election -- are best looked after by Mr Yadav, his Rashtriya Janata Dal has been putting up posters with visuals of the 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Mr Paswan and Mr Yadav, of course, are "secular" politicians who are key allies in the Congress-led "secular" dispensation that rules India. So, their pandering to the lowest common denominator of base, communal politics, is nothing less than a shining example of how "secularism" must be upheld in India; it is a weapon forged by India's "secular consensus" to defeat the "communal" Bharatiya Janata Party. The Central Election Commission, which sees itself as an all-empowered authority, has had no hesitation in choosing sides in this cynical exploitation of rank communal sentiments: it is with both Mr Paswan and Mr Yadav. Had that not been the case, the Election Commission would have acted by now and carried out its laughable threat against those appealing for votes in the name of religion to its logical conclusion. By not taking punitive action against either Mr Paswan or Mr Yadav, the Election Commission has made known its passive endorsement.

Long years ago, when the BJP was yet to taste power, such despicable pandering to minority communalism was known as "minorityism", a word made fashionable by Mr L.K. Advani in his fight against pseudo-secularism. The pathetic manner in which Rajiv Gandhi caved in to India's mullah brigade and used the Congress' parliamentary majority to undo the Supreme Court's judgement ordering maintenance for Shah Bano, a destitute Muslim woman thrown out by her husband, marked the high point of minorityism. Other examples were the Congress seeking Muslim votes through fatwas issued by Syed Abdullah Bukhari, the imam of Jama Masjid, and the offer to pay imams from public funds, an offer which P.V. Narasimha Rao believed would serve as absolution for his perceived role in facilitating the destruction of the disputed Babri Masjid structure by enraged Hindus. Since minorityism necessarily implied repudiation of India's Hindu majority sentiments and rejection of Hindu aspirations, the Ayodhya movement was declared both illegitimate and beyond the pale of secular politics.

The intervening years since the annulment of the Supreme Court's judgement aimed at providing justice to an indigent Muslim woman saw the gradual eclipse of the politics of minorityism as practised by the Congress. The BJP, in the mistaken belief of garnering incremental support, did desperately try to "secularise" its identity during last year's Lok Sabha election campaign by borrowing more than one example set by the Congress. Witness the BJP's absurd promise of creating jobs for two crore Urdu teachers, a number later scaled down to two lakh by a red-faced PMO, its pledge of setting up more madarsas and the hilarious 'Himayat Yatra' which featured garishly painted buses plastered with the portraits of Gen Pervez Musharraf and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was a comical sight to see BJP leaders with bright red tikas, saffron angavastrams and skull caps; some other standard bearers of Hindutva had themselves photographed sporting a chequered kafiyah. And, amazingly so, the BJP even secured an endorsement from Syed Ahmed Bukhari, who has replaced Syed Abdullah Bukhari as the imam of Jama Masjid.

All that, however, did not wash with the Muslim voters who voted with double their usual enthusiasm to defeat the BJP's candidates, as well as those of the other parties who contested as members of the National Democratic Alliance. It has been suggested, and forcibly so, that the BJP lost in 2004 because of the riots in Gujarat in 2002. That may be partly true, but if riots were so overwhelmingly instrumental in deciding popular vote, then the Congress would have never won an election in Assam after the Nellie massacre of 1983 when 3,300 Muslim men, women and children were slaughtered in a single day or come to power in Punjab after the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 which witnessed more than 4,000 innocent people being butchered. Nor, for that matter, would Mr Yadav have won repeatedly since 1990 on the strength of Muslim and Yadav votes after the October 1989 riots in Bhagalpur during which more than a thousand Muslims were killed by Yadav mobs.

There is something perverse about popular Muslim response to the political perversity called minorityism: so long as the pandering is done by leaders of the Congress or other parties who wear their "secular" credentials on their sleeves, Muslim voters are willing to be swayed. This could be entirely because given the track record of these parties that claim to protect Muslim interests even while doing enormous damage to the community - in Bihar, Muslims are at the bottom of the pile, living in wretched impoverishment - of taking recourse to regressive and retrograde measures that appease those who are drawn by Osama bin Laden and flock to see Mr Paswan's 'Laden', who in turn influence voter preference. In short, the communal card played by "secular" parties carries greater conviction than the BJP turning a trick or two.

In a sense, the pandering to crass communal sentiments during this month's Assembly elections mark the return of minorityism to Indian politics: in the form of conducting a campaign that is shorn of all pretences of following the laid down code of conduct and unrestrained by an Election Commission which is patently partisan and, therefore, lacks the legitimacy to conduct a free and fair election. This could be construed as good news for the BJP that may yet rediscover the merits of steering an ideological course and revive its political battle against minorityism which, in the 1980s and 1990s, fetched it the support of Hindus across India's social classes tired of passively watching the cynical exploitation of Muslim sentiments for political gains. Unless, of course, the BJP chooses to discard the Indian angavastram for the Arabic kafiyah and skull cap.

The 'secular' media would not take note of it, of course:

CD shows Cong leader seeking votes in name of Islam
March 20, 2009

BJP tells EC to take action

I regret not being a mufti. Had I been one, I would have issued just one
fatwa that going with the BJP amounts to committing kufr." That was
senior Congress leader Imran Kidwai speaking at an election rally in
Chandigarh on March 15, the BJP told the Election Commission on

Kufr, it explained, is blasphemy and disbelieving in the Quran or in any
tenets of Islam and a person practising kufr is a kafir.

A party that is still reeling under attacks following Varun Gandhi's
alleged "inflammatory remarks" against a community, stung the Congress
on Thursday with a CD expose that shows the head of the Congress'
minority cell invoking Islam to seek votes for the ruling party's
candidate in Chandigarh. The CD was shown to journalists at the BJP

When Kidwai spewed venom and sought votes on religious lines at a rally
in the neighbourhood of Jama Masjid in the city, AICC in-charge for
Punjab Mohsina Kidwai and party candidate and Union Minister Pawan
Banswal were also present.

The BJP suspects that Kidwai's words might have the Congress'
endorsement since the party has neither condemned nor distanced itself
from the remarks of the senior party leader.

The BJP, which denied that the CD expose was a tit-for-tat reaction to
the Varun Gandhi episode, has petitioned the EC to file a case against
Kidwai. The BJP also wants the commission to act against the Congress
for not distancing itself from the controversial remarks or taking
action against the violation of the model code of conduct.

"The statement by such a senior Congress functionary seeking votes in
the name of religion and making statements that endanger communal
harmony between different communities is a clear and blatant violation
of the election laws and code of conduct," BJP spokesman Balbir Punj
told reporters here.

He maintained that while exhorting the Muslim community, Kidwai said had
the Muslim community not been with the Congress, India would not have
been able to attain independence.

"The personal law of Muslims is Shariat and the Congress has assured
them that it would not be changed since Shariat is like imaan for
Muslims," Kidwai appears saying on the CD even as he suggested that
those seeking reforms were guilty of attacking the imaan of Muslims.


My Sunday column:

The Pioneer
March 22, 2009 Coffee Break

Varun was harsh, but so is truth Kanchan Gupta

The media-driven furore over what is being described as Mr Varun Gandhi’s ‘hate speech’ deserves to be countered with matching crudity: If he is ‘communal’, then his critics are biased against Hindus. Nothing else explains why newspapers and 24x7 news channels should twist the entire issue out of context and plaster it all over their front pages and feature it on prime time news bulletins, while ignoring the basic rule of responsible journalism — facts are sacred, opinion is free.

Since the facts have been swamped by jaundiced opinion, it would be in order to place them on record. Mr Varun Gandhi, son of Ms Maneka Gandhi and the late Sanjay Gandhi, is an articulate young man who will be contesting the coming Lok Sabha election from Pilibhit constituency in Uttar Pradesh as a BJP candidate. As a prelude to his election campaign — he is yet to file his nomination papers — he visited the constituency, till now represented by Ms Maneka Gandhi, for what is known as ‘jan sampark’, or mass contact, meetings to familiarise himself with the voters and vice-versa. This is a legitimate exercise. Over March 6 and 8, he addressed a series of meetings.

On March 16th, a CD mysteriously surfaced in the offices of news channels, which was promptly aired without any effort being made to verify the authenticity of its contents. The CD contained audio-visual snippets of what Mr Gandhi is alleged to have said during a community meeting (as opposed to an ‘election rally’) at Barkheda on March 7. The aired version of the recording showed Mr Gandhi as saying:

“This is not the (Congress’s election symbol) ‘hand’, this is the hand of the ‘lotus’ (the BJP’s symbol). It will cut the throat of (derogatory reference to Muslims) after the elections… Varun Gandhi will cut… Cut that hand, cut it… cut it… Go to your villages and give the call that all Hindus must unite to save this area from becoming Pakistan… Is it not true… that if (a woman) is asked her name and she says Bimla Devi, she is told we’ll see, we’ll think (about giving Government aid), give us Rs 5,000 first… But if her name is Saira Bano or whatever begum Hukum Begum… I don't even know… These people have such scary-sounding names… Karimullah, Mazharullah… If you ever encountered them at night, you’d be scared… I have a sister… there was a pamphlet with pictures of all the candidates… so this child told me, ‘I didn't know that Osama bin Laden is contesting from your area’. I told her, ‘America couldn’t get Osama, but Varun Gandhi is going to get a lot of people after the elections’.”

There were subsequent reports in media that at an earlier public meeting, on March 6 at Dalchand, Mr Gandhi was equally ‘communal’. He was accused of telling his audience, “Agar kisi galat tatv ke aadmi ne kisi Hindu pe haath uthaaya ya Hindu’on ke upar yeh samajh key ki yeh kamzor hain, unke peechey koi nahi hai... Hindu’on ke upar haath uthaaya, main Gita ki kasam khaake kehta hoon ki main us haath ko kaat daaloong (If some wrong elements lift a hand against Hindus, or think Hindus are weak, there is nobody behind them, then I swear on the Bhagavad Gita that I will cut off that hand).” He ended his speeches with “Jai Sri Ram” and to thunderous applause.

But did Mr Gandhi really say all this? Yes, by his own admission, he did say most of it. But not quite the way it has been presented by the media, and definitely not the way the alleged recording purports it to be. A simple analysis of the recording contained in the CD, which was strangely circulated after more than a week, shows that it has 17 ‘cuts’; that the sound level dips to low resolution, and there is heavy echo at the crucial point where he allegedly makes a derogatory reference to Muslims. Each of the quotes have been clearly taken out of context.

As for his call that “all Hindus must unite to save this area from becoming Pakistan”, that a Hindu woman would find it difficult to get Government aid, his reference to Osama bin Laden look-alikes, his pledge to stand by Hindus against ‘galat tatv ke aadmi’, and his swearing by the Bhagavad Gita, there is really little to cavil against. ‘Secular’ State Governments have been prompt in taking their cue from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ‘Muslims first’ policy. Newspapers in the forefront of the bash Varun campaign have reported how Muslim victims of last year’s flood were lavished with aid while others were left to fend for themselves. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan would address election meetings accompanied by an Osama bin Laden look-alike till the man, Maulana Meraj Khalid Noor, dumped him for Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav for reasons that do not merit elaboration. Mr Gandhi was addressing a community gathering, not an election rally; he felt the people of Barkheda and Dalchand needed to be reassured that he would protect their interests; and, he spoke the truth rather bluntly, perhaps too harshly.

Before we go into the reason why he said what he is now being pilloried for, here are two questions for you to ponder over: Are we now living in such dreadful times that we cannot mention the Bhagavad Gita in public discourse lest we be condemned as ‘communal’ by newspapers and news channels which couldn’t stop pointing out, ever so admiringly and approvingly — some would say ecstatically — that Mr Barack Hussein Obama took his oath of office by placing his left hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible? And, is it now an unpardonable offence to say ‘Jai Sri Ram’?

Anybody who has any knowledge of Pilibhit knows that Hindus in that district — in fact, all over what is referred to as Rohilkhand — are increasingly feeling under siege. The district stretches along India’s border with Nepal. Mirza Dilshad Beg, the Nepali politician who fronted for Dawood Ibrahim and was on the payroll of Pakistan’s ISI, regularly used the Pilibhit route to funnel fake currency into India and supply arms and explosives to terrorists. Beg may be dead, murdered by his ilk in 1998, but the supply chain remains undisrupted. Thousands of cows are smuggled across the border to be slaughtered; cow slaughter in Pilibhit and adjacent districts is now a common phenomenon with the administration loath to take any action.

In recent months, there have been instances of Hindu women being molested and raped. This point has been disputed by the Indian Express which says there are no police records to prove it. Yet, on umpteen occasions the newspaper has, as have others, pointed out how the police in rural India refuse to register cases of rape, how families are terrorised into not pressing charges, and how the fear of social stigma forces victims of rape and their families to keep silent.

The ‘secular’ media hasn’t heard of Sonu Kashyap who was murdered on October 21 last year. “Five unidentified Muslims” were accused of murdering him. The administration did nothing. On October 23, anger turned into street protests, led by a former BJP legislator and Minister, Mr Ram Saran Verma. He was promptly arrested and since then has been detained under the National Security Act. Beesalpur police station in-charge Pervez Miyan brazenly defends the continued detention of Mr Verma.

The Indian Express, however, is not alone. The Times of India’s online edition had two ads promoting itimes, its social networking group: ‘Snub Varun Gandhi’ and ‘Join Sanjay Dutt fan club’. It would appear that in this wondrous land of ours, where rules are being increasingly set by a dissolute media, it is now politically correct to be a fan of a man who has been held guilty of aiding the terrorists who bombed Mumbai in 1993. NDTV began by referring to Mr Gandhi’s “speech”, and then switched over to “hate speech”. Who’s to tell our ‘secular’ media it is horribly wrong? Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Modernism and modernity are not understood easily

The Pioneer | February 1, 2009 | Coffee Break

Amnesia grips lib-left media

Kanchan Gupta

The outrage over a bunch of hooligans describing themselves as foot soldiers of ‘Sri Ram Sena’ attacking young men and women at a Mangalore pub called Amnesia on January 24 is entirely justified. It is hogwash to suggest, as the Sri Ram Sena and its chief, Pramod Muthalik, have done, that the hoodlums were merely protesting against “dancing and drinking (by women) which is against Indian tradition and culture”. Nor is there any reason to be persuaded by Muthalik’s explanation that perhaps his lads with knuckle dusters got a bit carried away but they didn’t really mean to grope and molest the terrified women. Muthalik and his army of hoodlums justly deserve the opprobrium that is being poured on them (and their sympathisers); hopefully the courts will deny them bail and mete out exemplary punishment so that others are not tempted to stage a repeat performance of their shocking misdeed anywhere in the country.

Having said that, let’s also call a halt to the media propaganda which would have us believe that this is the first time the ‘moral police’ have run amok or that the attack on Amnesia is a manifestation of ‘Hindutva’ under the benign gaze of the BJP Government in Karnataka. That’s bunkum. Many of those waxing eloquent on the need to rein in ‘Hindu groups’ on the rampage and how the distasteful incident at Mangalore will ‘damage’ India’s image abroad are either wilfully seeking to mislead public opinion or are blissfully ignorant of similar incidents in the past — and we are not talking about the Congress-NCP Government in Maharashtra imposing a ban on nautch girls and women serving liquor at sleazy downmarket bars in Mumbai.

The short and stocky, cigar-chomping Jatin Chakraborty, better known as ‘Hartalda’ for his bandh-organising skills, who was a senior Minister in the CPI(M)-led Left Front Government of West Bengal, had kicked up a storm in 1983 by refusing to give permission for a charity show at Kolkata’s Mahajati Sadan where pop singer Usha Uthup was scheduled to perform. The RSP leader, whose lasting contribution to Kolkata as PWD Minister was to get the onion dome of Shahid Minar painted a hideous red and thus reduce Ochterlony Monument to a gross phallic symbol of Communist power, had then famously declared he would not allow “apasanskriti” at any Government-controlled auditorium.

For him, Usha Uthup’s “disco music” was nothing but “perverted culture” and those who attended her concerts were “uncultured”. Usha Uthup sued him for defamation and newspapers (there were no 24x7 news channels in those days) were scathing in their criticism of Jatin Chakraborty playing ‘culture cop’, but he remained unfazed. Neither the CPI(M) nor Mr Jyoti Basu, who was then Chief Minister, bothered to so much as lift a finger in admonition. Hartalda did fall foul of Jyotibabu, but that was only after he refused to give a huge contract to Bengal Lamp to supply electricity bulbs to PWD. The Chief Minister’s son, Chandan Basu, was an alleged beneficiary of that proposed deal which violated all norms of Government procurement.

But this was not the first time that Usha Uthup was accused of ‘debasing’ culture. If memory serves me right, she was also denied permission to stage a show in honour of Mother Teresa at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata. On that occasion, too, the reason given by authorities was that her music had little to do with ‘Indian tradition and culture’. The Left Front Government was fully at ease (and presumably remains so) with such separation of what is from what isn’t Indian tradition and culture. That a Marxist Minister, the indomitable Subhas Chakraborty, organised a concert in the 1990s where Bappi Lahiri sang “I am a disco dancer” to the lewd gyrating of hips by party cadre was more a reflection of the lumpenisation of the CPI(M) than the Left commissars relaxing their grip on what is and isn’t permissible in the public domain.

Of course, leftists playing ‘culture cops’ is no justification for ‘Hindu’ hoodlums running riot on Valentine’s Day or heckling young couples sneaking a moment of privacy in public parks. Just as Marxism is not threatened by Usha Uthup’s foot-stomping music or Bappi Lahiri’s crude lyrics, Hinduism is well insulated from those who find merit in emulating Western trash culture. This is not a value judgement, but a statement of fact. More importantly, the state has no role, whatsoever, in deciding what is and isn’t morally permissible so long as those involved are adults and their actions do not offend others.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa may be labouring under the mistaken belief that it is for his Government to uphold Indian tradition and culture by putting a check on ‘pub culture’, but his daughter, Umadevi, who is a successful entrepreneur and does not go pubbing, disagrees with him, as would any citizen aware of his or her rights in a free, open and plural society. “It’s for women to decide if they would like to visit pubs or any other public place and Government, politicians or outfits like Sri Ram Sena cannot restrict their movements,” she told a newspaper, “If she’s an adult woman, it’s for her to take a call on whether to go to a pub or not.” If Mr Yeddyurappa wishes to be more circumspect with his comments in future, he should turn to Umadevi for advice.

The issue, really, is one of hypocrisy: As a people, we are a nation of hypocrites for whom to preach and to practice are two separate, mutually exclusive ideas; our politicians can be no different. There is nothing Hindu about Mumbai’s ‘culture cops’ or Mangalore’s ‘moral police’, nor is the molestation of women a manifestation of Hindutva, as is being claimed by the lib-left intelligentsia. The Taliban do what they do because they are guided by their perverse interpretation of Islam. Muthalik’s gang has no such interpretation of Hinduism; what they have is a distorted notion of social hierarchy that has nothing to do with either culture or faith. Indeed, culture is too profound an idea, as is faith, to be comprehended by those who ransack pubs and those who froth at the mouth in feigned anger. To score political points over the incident at Mangalore would be to reduce ourselves to the level of Muthalik’s goons.

Poverty porn to sell India to the West

The Pioneer | January 25, 2009 | Coffee Break

Slumdog is about defaming Hindus
Kanchan Gupta

In keeping with American politics of the times, Slumdog Millionaire has been nominated for as many as 10 Oscars and our deracinated media, which constantly looks for inspirational ‘good news’ stories that invariably revolve around Western appreciation of ‘truthful’ portrayal of the Indian ‘reality’, has gone into a tizzy. Saturday’s edition of a newspaper published from New Delhi had a blurb on the front page that read, “The Slumdog story: How ‘Danny uncle’ and his ‘moral compass’ created the biggest ‘Indian’ blockbuster — and why you should watch it.” Predictably, the chattering classes, who had been blissfully ignorant of Vikas Swarup’s Q and A (as they had been of Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger till its perverse denigration of India and all things Indian wowed the judges of last year’s Man Booker prize) are now making a beeline for the nearest bookshop for a copy of the novel, whose title has been suitably changed to Slumdog Millionaire so that the book and the film are eponymous and both publisher and producer can encash the extraordinary hype that has been generated. Late last year, there was similar hoopla over AR Rahman getting the Golden Globe award for the music he has scored for Slumdog Millionaire. An approving pat on the back by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it would seem, is the most important marker in an artiste’s career. Those Indian musicians who haven’t got the Golden Globe are not worthy of honour at home just as Sahitya Akademi award winners are not worthy of finding space on our bookshelves, leave alone feature on news pages or news bulletins.

The larger point is not really about going gaga over an American award or a British prize, but how they are seen as India being admitted into the charmed circle whose membership is strictly controlled and is by invitation only. That invitation invariably follows a certain pattern; it’s not merely the keepers of the gate chanting, “Eeny meeny miny mo, catch a tiger by his toe, if he hollers let him go…” Apart from the fact that the ‘tigers’ in this case are not hollering but salivating at the prospect of seeing themselves clutching a handful of trophies on Oscar night, the nomination process is far more rigorous than we would think, with filters to keep out those films and books that do not serve the judges’ purpose or pander to their fanciful notions — in this case, of India. Aravind Adiga crafted his novel in a manner that it could not but impress the Man Booker judges who see India as a seething mass of unwashed hordes which worship pagan gods, are trapped in caste-based prejudices, indulge in abominable practices like untouchability, and are not worthy of being considered as an emerging power, never mind economic growth and knowledge excellence. Similarly, Danny Boyle has made a film that portrays every possible bias against India and structured it within the matrix of Western lib-left perceptions of the Indian ‘reality’ which have little or nothing in common with the real India in which we live.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Boyle’s film is about a slum where extreme social exclusion, political suppression and economic deprivation define the lives of its inhabitants. He has made every effort to shock and awe the film’s audience by taking recourse to graphic and gory portrayal of bloodthirsty Hindu mobs on the rampage — the idiom that defines India as it is imagined by the lib-left Western mind — laying to waste Muslim lives (a Hindu is shown slitting a Muslim woman’s throat in an almost frame-by-frame remake of the videotape that was released by the killers of Daniel Pearl) and property. There’s more that makes you want to throw up the last meal you had: Hindu policemen torturing Muslims by giving them ‘electric shock therapy’, street children being physically disfigured and then forced to beg, and such other scenes of a medieval society where rule of law does not exist and every Hindu is a rapacious monster eager to make a feast of helpless Muslims.

Nor is it surprising that Boyle should have cunningly changed the name of the film’s — as also the book’s — protagonist from Vikas Swarup’s Ram Mohammad Thomas (a sort of tribute to the Amar Akbar Antony brand of ‘secularism’ which was fashionable in the 1970s) to Jamal Malik. The name implies a Kashmiri connection, and we can’t put it beyond Boyle suggesting a link between Jamal’s travails — it is his mother whose throat is shown as being slit by a Hindu — and the imagined victimhood of Kashmir’s Muslims who, the lib-left intelligentsia in the West insists, are ‘persecuted by Hindu India’. Asked about the protagonist’s name being changed, Swarup is believed to have said that it was done to “make it sound more politically correct”. There is a second hidden message: The Hindu quizmaster on the ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ show has doubts about Jamal, who gets all the questions right, not because he is a ‘slumdog’ but because he is a Muslim; so he sets India’s Hindu police on the hapless boy. Swarup did not quite put it that way in his book, but the film does so, and understandably the critics in Hollywood who sport Obama buttons are impressed.

The last time depravity was portrayed as the Indian ‘reality’ was when Roland Joffé did a cinematic version of Dominique Lapierre’s City of Joy. In that film, the Missionaries of Charity were shown as the saviours of an India trapped in filth, squalor, poverty and Hindu superstition. Some two decades later, Boyle has rediscovered Joffé’s India and made appropriate changes to fit his film into the Hindu-bad-Muslim-good mould so that it has a resonance in today’s America where it is now fashionable to look at the world through the eyes of Barack Hussein Obama.

In her review of the film, “Shocked by Slumdog’s poverty porn”, Alice Miles writes in The Times: “Like the bestselling novel by the Americanised Afghan Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Slumdog Millionaire is not a million miles away from a form of pornographic voyeurism. Slumdog Millionaire is poverty porn.” Commenting on the BBFC's decision to “place this work in the comedy genre”, she says, “Comedy? So maybe that’s it: I just didn't get the joke.” It’s doubtful whether most Indians, Hindus and Muslims, would get it either if they were to watch Slumdog Millionaire.


Bullet are you kidding me?
By sr on 3/2/2009 10:17:09 AM

reading this i thought 'what a pile of rubbish' and then i go look at the comments and everyone is agreeing with this trash. u people need to grow the hell up and accept this movie for what it is - fiction. there is no scene where a muslim gets their throat cut by a hindu. Speaking as a hindu, i was not offended my this movie in the least.

Bullet Joseph: Please mind your words
By shanth on 2/28/2009 10:25:33 PM

Please keep your counsel on Hindu religion to yourself. Please do not instigate religious tyranny of Christianity on India. You guys have for the last 2 thousand years never tolerated any other form of worship. If you are a convert from Hinduism you better not abuse your ancestors. I think you should first learn what Hinduism is and then pass comments on Hinduism. sanatan dharma is about absolute and relative truth. If you have any questions reply to this.

Bullet anti Hindu propaganda
By Rajdeep on 2/26/2009 3:37:50 AM

@joseph - Christianity is a not even a religion, its a desert ideology masquerading as a religion. Over the years, millions have been tortured, killed, burnt at the stake and maimed for not converting. As for burning people alive, its what your co-religionists do to Hindu tribals in North East India. This movie is just another propaganda tool by this sick cult to denigrate Hinduism.

Bullet slumdog religion deserved the publicity
By joseph on 2/23/2009 7:45:39 PM

At least the world can see what this cartoon religion is all about. Enough of Muslim bashing, the suckers have burnt Christians alive in Orrissa. Hope another salman rushdie comes along and writes the next book exposing Hinduism for all its filthy sewage it teaches people.

Bullet scumbag billionaires!
By TAP on 2/23/2009 2:02:50 PM

Mr Kanchan Gupta has a point . These moviemakers are no angels, they are in it for the moolah! If they portray anyone else as the antagonists other than the hindus the movie project would be destined to be doomed. So they have naturally played the safe game by not committing harakiri, obviously they have to safeguard their investments and look after the welfare of Mumbai's slum-dwellers (sic!). India is a lucrative film market no doubt and everyone wants a piece of the cake!

Bullet What about Obama?
By Brian on 2/5/2009 6:00:55 PM

Uh, correct me if I m wrong, but wasn't this movie (and the "Q and A" book for that matter) made BEFORE Obama even became president? How then could Boyle change parts "so that it has a resonance in today's America where it is now fashionable to look at the world through the eyes of Barrack Hussein Obama"? Lets not forget that just a few months ago some of Obama's critics/ opponents where trying to link him to terrorism BECAUSE of his Muslim name!

Bullet Grow up!
By Rose on 2/1/2009 12:48:27 AM

Oh god....are you all, and especially the journalist so cynical in life or is this a special case!? Is it so difficult to accept the truth? Are the slums not there? Or the caste differences not there? Did the riots not happen, or will they not happen again? Which part of the extreme social exclusion, political suppression and economic deprivation is not true? Since you are a journalist you are obviously well traveled into the remotest parts of the country and a lot more aware of the truth .

Bullet Get real about the real India! Most of what SM depicts is more typical than the cloistered world of the top 5%
By KS on 1/30/2009 5:21:21 PM

So obviously the real India is one where 1.2 billion people live prosperous lives in air conditioned houses, drive the latest cars, have college degrees, work in world beating companies, have no prejudices (whether caste or religious or race or whatever). . . Hindu Muslim riots, beggars, poverty, slums, child labour, mob violence, gangsters, police using the third degree, corruption, open sewers- clearly these are all figments of the imagination, myths perpetuated by envious westerners .

Bullet Kanchan's "slumanalysis"
By PK on 1/30/2009 2:13:38 PM

Hats off to Kanchan to make this analysis. I would go further in the subliminal messages smartly radiated by diabolical directors of late. Watching the SDC movie, I was horrified scene after scene. To make the message crystal clear, they have not spared the women either. While Jamal and Salim are evidently Muslims, Latika, a Hindu name is deliberately inserted to have vicarious thrill of Muslim underdog brothers raping and screwing Hindu girl.

Bullet Do not forget films makers of Bollywood.
By Govind on 1/30/2009 11:23:23 AM

Here is the reality. Most of the Bollywood operatives are dancers of the Dowd's club. Indian Film sensor Board are made of muslim converts. Most of the muslim and p-sec. writers portrayed hindu sants, upper casts, swamis as evil men in their scripts. Rest indian foreign producers wants awards by bashing hindus. None of them have dare to produce films of perverted priests, christian maoists, murderer mullahs or plight of kashmiri Pandits or genocides of Hindus by the muslims thugs in recent blast.

Bullet Conspiracy
By Jitendra Desai on 1/30/2009 10:51:46 AM

Former colonialists are unable to digest the rise of India.Hence we have celebrations for Nirad babu, Naipaul, Arvind, Arundhati or whoever comes forward to denigrate the longest survivers of History- Hindus.Hindus are around since 10,000 years and would be around when these slums, and other dogs are long forgotten.

Bullet When will we stop looking through the lens of religion?
By Aakarsh on 1/29/2009 11:48:53 PM

probably if Danny Boyle knew that so many people would analyze the movie in such an indepth manner and pick out the so-called 'issues' like potraying Hindus wrong and showing plight of Muslims, he would have scrapped the idea of this film.

If only he showed the script to this author and some people out here, he would changed all the names. A Jamal Malik could have easily become a Jagannath Rao. infact, every Hindu character and mulsim character (names afterall) are very much swappable.

Bullet why don't we ever accept the reality?
By Sanchita Chatterjee on 1/28/2009 2:24:54 PM

Haven't seen the movie but from what I heard: granted that it is a poverty porn but the rest of the arguments are useless. Especially denial of the fact that there are strong caste bias and conflicts, a large number of people living in slums and thus have all sorts of economic and social difficulties, which we English speaking Middle and upper class can't even imagine. These awards (oscars, man booker) matter because they consider a large variety of works from all over the world.

By CA Ravindra Sharma on 1/27/2009 2:54:40 PM

Dear Kanchan, There are not much taker of your version about the movie because we Hindus are cowards simply critcising the act of few brave Hindhus who dare to bring the truth to notice. It is a naked truth that Western countries has always portrayed India as a open toilet and garbage, they are never interested in the other side of the shining India. Even our polititians are till date following the Britishers policy of "Divide & Rule" and we the so called Intelectual fellow countrymen are dancing to their tune.

Bullet Do not agree?
By J. Kumaresan on 1/27/2009 1:41:22 PM

If you do not agree with film can you tell that there is a single village/city where caste/religion bias is not there. The Hindu ideology is fake, not acceptable, Sanathan word itself is wrong in contrast to everything is subject to change. Many want sanathan (no change in caste humiliation). This country has freedeom to whom? Elites to exploit others.

Bullet Spot on, Sir!
By Jiggs on 1/27/2009 12:58:55 PM

Director Boyle's background must be checked and I am sure some Christian Missionary link will come up. Guys ...this is begining of the Pope's words " 21st century is the turn of Asia".we will have more such slum movies, denigerating Sanatan Dharma in all possible ways. I have not and will not see this white trash movie.....

Bullet Well said
By Gautam Desai on 1/27/2009 7:45:29 AM

Kanchan Gupta said it well. It was shameful to see Anil Kapoor jumping up and down at award shows.

Bullet Lagan was denied entry into oscar as it represented bad british here is is otherway
By hk on 1/27/2009 7:00:45 AM

Why we are obsessed with White color? with oscar. As people pointed out, Rehman was giving bad music till today and now he is giving good? Also Lagan was showning poor Hindus/Muslims united against whites so that did not go to oscar. Here is one over which we can fight, it shows again their devide and rule politics.

Bullet Wild Wild East India Movie projecting "Hindu Savage" myth
By Mayank Patel on 1/27/2009 6:20:29 AM

Kanchan did a fine job highlighting the prejudice and bias in a typical "Wild Wild East India" movie and media reports which are portraying and popularising "Hindu Savage" myth. This delibrate distortion must be countered before it is too late.

Bullet Aspersions on Hindus
By Dr. Ajay on 1/27/2009 3:20:22 AM

The underworld is quite 'secular' in maiming, killing or whatever in the interest of their 'business'. So, the single-minded casting of a Muslim family as victims, lamely balanced by Latika, was jarring for its political undertones. I wondered if it was a business decision to help the movie sales in the Muslim community by feeding on their 'underdog' feelings. The Hindu community could be expected to take it on the chin. The film was interesting for its twisted plot but quite hyperbole.

Bullet Slumdog Millionaire!
By Shantan on 1/27/2009 3:09:03 AM

Kanchan Da, I disagree with your comments on Slumdog Millionaire! Let us just take the movie for what it is! It is fiction and let it remain that. We don't need to look at everything with a Hindu or Muslim mirror. I watched the movie in the US and liked most of it. Following are the points which you were against: 1. Hindus attacked muslims and slit throats. Didn't that happen in Mumbai in 1993? Yes, it doesn't show the other side because that was not the point of the movie.

Bullet Denial Mode
By Sharad Bhasin on 1/26/2009 2:30:52 PM

Although I have a lot of respect for Kanchan as a learned columnist and read his columns with great interest but I totally fail to agree with his take on Slumdog Millionaire, the movie.
It is quite obvious that we Indians do have an uncanny ability to be in Denial Mode for anything that is ugly and painful which this movie portrays with a lot of truth and justice.
Just as we celebrate our zillionaires, page 3 celebritiies and cricket stars , we need to acknowledge the dark side

Bullet Very well Said
By CMK on 1/25/2009 11:41:39 PM

When I watched the movie, I was very disturbed by the way Hindus were shown in the film.

This psedudo secular media would be the first to glorify it.

Bullet Slimdog -a poor slum porn
By ved on 1/25/2009 10:42:16 PM

Slumdog is as usual an Indian Poverty porn aimed at titillating western jaundiced view of Hindu India.As usual psuedos in India are hailing it as masterpiece.I have a cd of Rahman's music and i find nothig special in it.Rahman has done nuch better.A very poor thingee this movie.Dont waste your dime over it-my advice.

Bullet Slum Dog
By Dr Ashok Kureel on 1/25/2009 10:06:24 PM

Telling the dalits donot wash your dirty clothes in public but for dalits donot have place to live in hindu India.Slumdog millionare is a wonderful movie which is showing the world about dalits and muslims.I got the call from my friend from London that his Pakistani friend is taking UK nati onal to show them film about hindus and hindu India.time has come world media should come to India and show the world about the real condtion of dalits .

Bullet Lets not go overboard with it
By Manish Gupta on 1/25/2009 10:00:54 PM

Author views on this film is strictly from a Hindu point of view. Which very well may be valid. However, personally after watching the film I was not that offended at the same time I was very disturbed by some portrayal on three instances. First, I was not able to digest how police could gruesomly torture a contestant of such a popular and ongoing quiz show who is scheduled to re-appear the next day (all logic seems to go for toss here).

Bullet Slumdog is about defaming Hindus
By Krishen Kak on 1/25/2009 8:33:25 PM

Superb analysis. Typical of this columnist's incisive telling-it-as-is style.

Bullet India, world’s favourite playground
By P Paul on 1/25/2009 7:32:52 PM

The argument presented by Kanchan Gupta seems very plausible but to me Slumdog Millionaire is nothing more than the poverty tourism that has lately become very lucrative enterprise worldwide. I would rather let the government and the politicians answer the question why such stories become so easy to find in the country.

Bullet Hindu culture and its civilization alone will save India
By Bharat on 1/25/2009 7:24:25 PM

The people must rein in all educational and cultural institutions within Hindu ethos to save India. Be it Bollywood or educational curriculum, it must not be allowed to deviate from Hindu Sanskriti. Reject all that uses these institutions for Muslim and Christian indoctrination that will damage the children in the long run. The well informed and enlightened citizens must empower people to reject politicians, bureaucrats etc. who out of greed let these things happen and destroy India.

Bullet Hindu SLUMDOG
By Sangam on 1/25/2009 7:13:01 PM

Great article, I was about to watch this movie. Now, I HATE this pseudo-intellectualism of bad-mouth-anything-hindu so that you are par of elite!

Bullet hindu and islamist
By ris on 1/25/2009 6:31:11 PM

What Hindus need to do is join hand with islamist and deal with pesudo secularist and the white west( I see them a bigger enemy).....and then reach some kind of a settelment to issues between us.

Bullet India, world's favourite playground
By P Paul on 1/25/2009 6:00:52 PM

The argument presented by Kanchan Gupta seems very plausible but to me it is nothing more than the poverty tourism that has lately become very lucrative enterprise worldwide. As for the producer of the Slumdog Millionaire it is poverty tourism via celluloid for instant big profits. You only need a story that takes you through the familiar slums and I would rather let the government and the politicians answer the question.

Bullet What is the fuss all about?
By Amar on 1/25/2009 1:52:46 PM

What this movie and some silly names etc...? I am wondering people are watching movies now a days.

If they show how Western Uncles, Moms and Aunties come and molest poor Indian children in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Orissa would been an eye-opener. In Kerala every foreigner takes couple of children and a pimp who gives protection for the foreigners. Hope some Indian film this and get good award from Oscar!!!

Bullet Westwind
By Ganesh on 1/25/2009 1:18:06 PM

The urge for Oscar and GLobe awards among indian elite is more than an olympic medal. In the first place,acting and music are not universal arts. The way we react to a situation (which is otherwise known as acting)is conditioned by our culture and moorings.The emotions, the gestures of an Indian to a given situation will be different
from that of a chinese or an american.So where is the common denominator in the art of acting.

Bullet Thank you Kanchan'da for putting it straight.
By Tathagata Mukherjee on 1/25/2009 12:58:01 PM

Add our "Obama" Rahul Baba also in this who is part of the whole axis of evil to show India down by his Miliband tour. We have been fed "hate anything Hindu" decades by Nehruwallas, Jholawals. The internationalists- Marxists, Islamists and Xtian Missionaries are united in this project.

Bullet Kanchan Gupta's write up
By J.S.Acharya on 1/25/2009 11:58:40 AM

Though I have not read the novel vy Vikas Swarup but the write up by Guptaji has opend up my eyes.Are Hindus really so bad ? Will the novelist agree with it?If he does not then he should strongly protest that his novel has been misinterpreted.

Bullet slumdog Hindus
By R. Viswanathan on 1/25/2009 10:06:31 AM

Don't blame Boyle, it is Nehruvian Hindus. Question is how get rid of their dominanation of Indian media. For a starter, dump Congress. But many many Hindus are themselves totally enamored of white skin and so to Congress. Wasn't JL Nehru the role model even for AB Vajpayee. So, what then. I don't see a way out for Hindus.

Bullet Vote with your wallets
By What's in a name on 1/25/2009 9:19:45 AM

Why are Hindus even watching this stuff? Boycott bollywho movies. The entire thing has been infiltrated by anti-Hindu elements that seek to spit at our tradition and us every opportunity.

At least Hindus may stop funding their artistically-inept, hate-filled disasters that are devoid of truth. Don't encourage further hate movies by the parasitic ideologies that seek to take over the country: vote with your wallets.

Bullet Slumdog is about defaming Hindus
By S Kiran on 1/25/2009 8:03:51 AM

Some years ago, Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon was awarded Oscar for best international film. The only qualification for the film was that it was Taiwanese and anti-China sentiments were high in the US. Now it is turn of India to suffer.

Anybody who has listened to Indian/Bollywood music can tell that the music of Slumdog is rubbish and can not count among top 20 in Bollywood hits. So much for the taste of Golden Globe......

Bullet slumdog
By ram on 1/25/2009 7:11:40 AM

This is the way to brainwash thier white masses called here as white trash about how pathetic ALL hindus are just as nazis brainwashed thier masses about jews.The next step is to prepare thier masses mentally to tolerate holocaust of hindus & why wmds have to be used to get rid of ALL hindus .This is the way THEY rule the world,the scum called racists of europe & america.Our corrupt dogs called rulers are sleeping like the Rajas before.

Bullet Exactly!!!
By Anurag on 1/25/2009 6:00:43 AM

Congratulations to Mr Gupta for haing guts to speak the truth. It seems that truth is the most convenient victim onthe mantle of the JNU kind of peudo-secularism. The whole thing about "this is real India" implies that everything else which is not so ugly is somehow untrue. Hindu cowardice is responsible for all this.

Bullet India, world's favourite playground
By P Paul on 1/25/2009 5:51:03 AM

The argument presented by Kanchan Gupta seems very plausible but to me it is nothing more than the poverty tourism that has lately become very lucrative enterprise worldwide. In India, there are tour operators who arrange guided tours of Dharvi, the largest slum in the Asian continent. There is, however, an ongoing debate whether or not poverty tourism helps those caught in the perpetual whirlpool of poverty. It is for NGOs or the government to produce documentaries on such issues to create awareness.

Bullet could not be more right
By ramzo on 1/25/2009 4:36:26 AM

Mr. Gupta hits it right. Danny Boyle had no business transforming the script to suit the west with some hindu muslim clashes, tension and victimized status for muslims.

Bullet Problem, Hindus never boycott the garbage.
By J. Singh on 1/25/2009 3:21:57 AM

These are the same British, who gave weapons to Pathans for invading Kashmir to kill more than a million Hindus in 1947, but not a single movie has been made by them re Kashmiri Pandits, Hindus, Hindus women and Children burnt alive in Sabarmati Expresss by muslims. Bollywood must be enjoying this, as they made so many movie about Modi, while islamists and jehadis burnt the world and India. In Lyrics, banned word Bhagvan and Khuda is in. Boycott this movie, at least in India.

Bullet Poverty tourism of India
By Seema on 1/25/2009 3:18:24 AM

Looks like Bharat is still top on the map of the west for poverty tourism. First this ridiculous politically incorrect video full of anti-Hindu prejudice and then congress's college dropout heir apparent took a foreign dignitary on poverty tourism of Bharat for some photo opportunities. Very nice article Mr. Gupta.

Bullet India Bashing As Usual
By Manjunath on 1/25/2009 2:47:07 AM

I do not think this movie deserves any special award, in any category. The movie makers know very well that when you show hindu's in a bad light and protray the filthy and dark side of India, they have a sure shot of reaping awards. I am not at all proud of this movies nominations to Oscar.

Bullet Slumdog is about defaming Hindus
By Avinash K. Rangra on 1/25/2009 12:31:47 AM

I have scheduled this movie at my theatre in Alpine (Texas) for exhibition in February, and will reserve my judgement till then. As regards other points raised by Gupta Saheb, I wholeheartedly agree with him. We of Indian origin go ga-ga over any comment made by a westerner regardless of its merits. It is like we seek validation (salvation!) of ourselves from an outsider. It is much better if the outsider is a westerner.



Bullet Fully agree
By P Shankar on 1/24/2009 10:09:19 PM

Spot on Kanchan Da ! Fully agree.Even Mr Bachan agrees with you but he cant say it in so many words as he has a lot riding on secularism
Saw it in a theatre here in US and riot scenes were amazingly one sided.
Anyone with even an inkling of Indian social situation would not agree with this version of the riots.And thats just one aspect of this movie.

Bullet correct
By meenakshi on 1/24/2009 9:55:58 PM

they cud have shown how mathadi workers were killed by muslims.