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Monday, March 15, 2010

REJOINDER: Ashok Chowgule's comments on 'Virtual jihadis'

[ Ashok Chowgule has taken the trouble of writing a considered response to my article in Sunday Times of India. I feel that this should be shared with a wider audience. Would love comments--Swapan Dasgupta]

By Ashok Chowgule

Swapan Dasgupta says that he has been disturbed, for quite some time, about "the marginalization of the Right from the liberal space."  I
think most of what can be termed as Hindutvavadis would agree with this concern fully.  They would also contend that this maginalisation is not something that has happened recently or without design.  They would then contend that the internet has allowed them to go around this censorship and are able to express their views to a larger audience in their own disparate ways.

Swapanji's article does not specifically state that he is talking about
Hindutvavadis alone.  He has peppered his articles with a few words on virtual jihadis belonging to the non-Hindu groups.  However, I do not think I would be wrong if I say that a reader, educated and intelligent but not so well-informed on the issues of media, etc., would think that he is talking about the Hindutvavadis primarily.  In giving specific examples (MF Husain, Prof Wedny Doniger) he has dealt with only those that the Hindutvavadis are concerned about.  It may well be that the space constraint would not have permitted him to deal with other issues.

But a lay reader may not understand this limitation.  And so I will deal
with this issue in the rest of my comments.  Even if I wrong about this
presumption, my comments would be valid as far as the Hindutvavadis are concerned.

A disclaimer.  I have not been appointed by other Hindutvavadis to be
their spokesman - I do not think such a post exists.  There may well be
many Hindutvavadis who disagree with what I say.  However, I do think
that there are many Hindutvavadis who would be agreeing with what I have to say.  Those who don't, can tell me which point they do not agree with me and why.

As I had said in the beginning, I am in sync with Swapanji about his
concern of the marginalization of the Hindu Right from the liberal
space.  According to me, this marginalization is a programme of those
presently occupying the position of establishment in the liberal space.
This space includes the academics and the journalists, particularly in
the English arena.  And it is not restricted to India alone.  My
experience of interaction with the academics and the journalists outside India convinces me that they are just as guilty of the exclusion programme as their Indian counterparts.

In stating the above, I am fully conscious of the exceptions to my
contention above.  And these exceptions are in India and also outside
India.  The rule, however, is exclusion, or at least an attempt to
exclude.  Articles would be primarily by those opposed, or
unsympathetic, to the Hindu tradition and culture.  Interpretations are imputed which a Hindu would find it difficult to understand or go
against what he/she has been brought up on.

Those who disagree would be immediately branded as a Hindutvavadi, as if that is a depraved term.  In the process, no explanation is offered why the logic of the arguments are wrong or inappropriate.  The strategy is a form of intellectual terrorism, whereby the proponent is intimidated into backing off from his views, irrespective of how strongly he/she feel that there is a logic in his/her argument.

I have also said that the internet has provided an excellent opportunity to the Hindutvavadis to bypass the censorship.  It has also enabled the Hindutvavadis to reach out to those who think in ways similar to what they think, and in the process of exchanging notes have honed their arguments in an idiom and intellect that does stand to the scrutiny of the modern standards of expression.  Internet has provided the community of Hindutvavadis to access information about the history and culture of Hinduism and India - information that the mainstream has hidden from them, and often set out in a perverted or factually incorrect way.

Thus, when the issue of MF Husain is taken up, the pictoral depiction of the objectionable paintings is presented by the Hindutvavadis, and a question asked if this does not go beyond the social norms of freedom of expression.  Also, the pictorial depictions of parallel subjects of other religious traditions are juxtaposed side-by-side to buttress the charge of hypocrisy.

Swapanji gives an impression that the Hindutvavadis have aggressively
stormed their way into the internet in a way that makes the authentic
Hindus feel most uncomfortable with, or has made the "normal guy, with no rigid views and no insider information, runs away from political
engagement".  He also thinks that in the process he feels that the
internet has been made "less appealing".  I have taken the liberty of
paraphrasing Swapanji here, because he has used the various terms in a context strictly other than the internet.  But I get a feeling that I am not too wrong in setting out what he feels on the subject.

The internet, by its very nature, an anarchic sector in the means of
communication.  People can post what they want and in the way they
want - particularly where the forums are not moderated.  Sometimes the comments are completely unrelated to the subject of the thread, and some use it to project their pet themes, which if dealt with would solve all the problems in the world.  For example, someone can well say that take care of the growth of the population in the world and Islamic terrorism would be a thing of the past.  Where the forum are moderated, one sees many posts which have been deleted by the moderator on account of fouling with the policy of preventing abuse - but the posts that are irrelevant are rarely deleted.  The task of the moderator is a most thankless one, in such cases.

But, for those occupying the authentic intellectual space, it is
necessary for them to deal with the message and not just the idiom and the language.  And in doing so, they should use the idiom and the
language that they say is the norm in civilized discussions.  They
should set out their arguments on the basis of facts and not on the
basis of labels, even if they think that their opponent on the internet
has used such tactics.

In this context, I would like to present to Swapanji statements about Dr Praveenbhain Togadia, the General Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, made by two different journalists.  One of them wrote: "Togadia who grew up in an Ahmedabad chawl may never get to play tennis at the Delhi Gymkhana but being in the VHP has guaranteed him a place in a television studio."  And the other wrote: "Should we allow (Dr Pravinbhai Togadia) to rush from studio to studio, fixed mongoose smile on face, semi-intelligible rhetoric already pre-rehearsed, and encourage him to make abusive statements?"

These are representative of the idiom used by many secularists who say that they are opposed to the ideology of Hindutva.  In the first case, the journalist seems to contend that to be an authentic secularist one has to be able to play tennis at the Delhi Gymkhana, and perhaps growing in an Ahmedabad chawl would make the transition very difficult.  In the second case, the use of an adjective like 'mongoose' is permitted if one is referring to a Hindutvavadi but not in other cases.

The use of such idioms has preceded the internet 'invasion' of
Hindutvavadis by a large period of time.  I feel that they have set out
the standards that are acceptable to the secularists, and so many of the Hindutvavadis see nothing wrong in conforming to the standards.  If this is correct, then surely it is wrong for the secularists to today
complain about the degeneration of the language and idiom.

The last sentence of Swapanji's article is: "Maybe the libertarianism of
the present will soon have to be replaced by an enlightened code of
conduct, and technology will enable the users of poison keyboards to be outed and shamed." 

What exactly is the definition of englightened code? Do the two quotes above conform to the definition?  And, most important,
who is to set out the code?  I wonder if those occupying the space
called 'libertainism' are finding themselves being questioned by the
people at large, and they realise that they do not have any logical
answers to provide.  And in the process, instead of dealing with the
issues raised by the internet Hindutvavadis, a new form of censorship is sought to be applied


P4ND3Y said...

bingo... i liked these comments more than the original post...
Keep up the good work... both of u.

Nandini said...

I completely agree with the sentiments / argument of this article in reply to Swapan Dasgupta's previous one. I am not afraid to be called as a Hindutava vaadi. I dont have to prove my secular credentials to the media or the intelligentsia. I was wondering why Mr Swapan Dasgupta has provided such one sided view of what is happening in the net. I am glad I am able to express my opinion without any fear. Thanks Mr Chowgule for such a wonderful ananlysis of the previous article and also the current trend in media - visual and print.

Anonymous said...

I also completely agree with Ashokji's article. A similar post was also posted in Sunday Pioneer.

doubtinggaurav said...

To completely change the subject

One day these two fine southern ladies were sitting on the front porch having some iced tea.

One of the women sticks out her hand for the other woman to see, and in her long southern drawl says "Look at this ring my husband gave me. Isn't it nice?"

To which the other woman replies, "Oh that's nice, that's real nice."

The first woman then says , "And just last month he took me on one of them Caribbean cruises."

The second woman again replies, "Oh that's nice, that's real nice."

"Well sweetheart doesn't your husband ever buy you nice things or send you nice places?"

"Oh", the second woman responds, "When we first got married he did send me to etiquette school."

"Why'd he do that?" the first woman asks.

To which the second fine southern woman replies, "Well you see, before, when someone told me about the jewelry their husband gave them, or the trips he sent her on, I would have just said I don't give a fuck, but now I say that's nice, that's real nice."

So I guess what Swapan Dasgutpa and Ashok Malik have written is real nice.

Hindu Fundamentalist said...

i am unable to post the full article here as there is a limit of 4096 characters for comments. so here is the link and brief excerpt.

Agent Provocateur: Don’t block the ‘Internet Hindus’
Usual Suspects: Virtual jihadis threaten www

Both Kanchan Gupta and Swapan Dasgupta came out with their views on the newly coined term 'Internet Hindus'. While Kanchan Gupta is more accommodative, Swapan seems to have gone overboard liking it to 'virtual jihad'. But the bottom line is, irrespective of the ideological orientation, the media persons are getting worried.

We have often discussed how the leftists control the media. On a few occasions, we discussed about the absence of right-wing intellectualism in all but the internet space. So why is the media getting worried about this miniscule presence of rightists and nationalists? In fact, I would go on to say that a lot of the internet activity is driven by national interest rather than an ardent support for BJP. It is only incidental that BJP happens to the party which is more aligned to our national interest and the rest of the parties are various shades of anti-national parties. A gross generationalisation but I can live with it.

What the media is terming as 'Internet Hindus' is actually 'Internet Nationalists'. The survey results which Kanchan Gupta refers to also points out to this. But because the leftists want to indulge in ritual hindu bashing, they picked this convenient term. Whatever terminology they chose, it wont matter because they just cannot moderate the internet space and they cant withstand the rising tide of public resentment towards media. Coming back to the question, why is the media upset by national activists on the internet?

Our journalists, who are shaping public opinion, have a certain set of motivations and limitations:
1. Ideological blindness: First and foremost, guys like N.Ram just dont bring any great value to the discussion table. If we cut the prose, there is hardly any political insight they bring. I am not saying they lack the ability; it is just that they are ideologically blinded to give any fair and balanced evaluation of events.

2. Insecurity: Journalists need to worry about job security. They need to stick to a certain slant in reporting if they are to survive in the industry dominated by leftists.

3. Lure of sinecure: Most media outlets work as an extension of the ruling government for fear of reprisal. But some journalists sell their wares in expectation of a sinecure job. For example, Harish Khare did this by endlessly praising the dynasty and he was duly rewarded by the congress government.

4. Lack of talent: Journalism was not a good career choice for long. Things might have changed significantly now but it failed to attract talent. So barring a few exceptions, there is pervasive mediocrity in the industry.

5. Poor understanding of technology: Most media people are trying to understand and catch up with technology but they are not still not quite comfortable with it. While this in itself may not be a problem, they are definitely holding some suspicion towards the internet because it is disrupting their existing business model. They are also trying to carry their vast understanding of the traditional industry to relate to the new medium. Unfortunately, this is not how you approach a disruptive technology.

Let me pause for a moment and address Swapan Dasgupta's suggestion to moderate the internet to cut off the poison keyboards. I have great regard for Swapan and I have repeatedly stated this on this blog. But, I have to point out that this suggestion by Swapan betrays suspicion or old style tactics to a disruptive technology. Sorry, Swapan, you got it all wrong here.

Ankit said...

Mr. Chowgule has put his points across very eloquently. I would like to add some things here.

As the article says "this maginalisation [i.e. Marginalization of the Right] is not something that has happened recently or without design." I particularly emphasize the design aspect here. The design is manifested not only in excluding the viewpoint that is alternative to the left-liberal narrative but also in aggressive professional persecution of the alternate voices. Those who are not in the journalistic or public thinking domain and voice opinions against the established thought, become victim of aggressive negative branding. There is no desire, inclination or attempt to answer in substantive terms. The strategy is quite simple: those who do not buy the left-liberal line are bigots, fundamentalist etc. etc. The race among the left-liberals to design new epithets would be hilarious, if it was not so tragic for the rightist space. Among a few of the public intellectuals who have taken on the leftist dominated system, Arun Shourie is prominent. He has written extensively about this modus operandi of the leftist establishment that has heaped all kinds of abuse on him for challenging their monopoly over public discourse.

This brings me to the topic that Swapanda wrote about: the apparent flooding of the internet by "virtual jehadis" and its negative effects. I have followed, on twitter and on some of the websites, the discourse that goes on. Nowhere have I seen a mainstream journalist or public intellectual address the substantive point raised by the readers. Almost all queries are dismissed with some version of "you effing extremists!". In some cases there is abuse thrown at the lowly "normal people" by the elite journalists. Some samples are "gutter snipe", "retard", "moron" etc.

I do know that many comments aimed at the journalists on twitter are insolent. But the fact is that the set of people who are challenging the establishment figures do not form a cohesive group. Each one is a different individual, and acts at his or her own whim; the only common thing being their shared frustration with the way public discourse is India is a one way street. So what do the powers that be do? They resort to the tried and tested tactics of branding the whole group using the lowest common denominator, to make the questioners the point of conversation and to ultimately invalidate their argument without ever addressing the argument on substance. Note that the method that the establishment is using to defeat their internet based adversary is not to defeat their argument, but to make them a pariah-to invalidate anything that they may be saying based on the fact that it is being said by the "extremists".

I strongly suspect that Swapanda will make the point that the best way is to not give them the chance to brand you extremist, a version of "if only we had carefully crafted our words, they would have seen reason". My contention is that they would not; ideologues suffer from a condition called certainty.

This brings me to the larger point. Swapanda's article has given an air of legitimacy to left-liberal mission of invalidating Rightist discourse that goes on on the internet. It will probably make it slightly easier for the leftist to call us "loonies" et. al., and happily point out that "even a known right winge columnist is calling your a loony".

As per the leftist plan, the debate shall ultimately be about our legitimacy - not about the media hypocrisy, not about their double standards, not about their blatant bias, not about their arbitrary definition of secularism. They would have done it anyway, with or without the isolated insolent tweets.

Anonymous said...

I read Swapan's article in Times of India and was shocked on what he has written. It seems he has carried himself too far.

Sad day for the so called Hindu right.

Pradeep said...

Swapan Da,
Are you so troubled by the Fearless, Net Savvy Young Hindus, who have aptly questioned your arguments agianst Sangh and BJP and favour of a leader in BJP, who was well described as a "Mass Leader among a half a dozen Journalist" that now you want to regulate Internet so that these people's views do not reach you.

Have you forgotten your own Fundamental right Democracy " Right to Offend"?

Pradeep said...

Swapan Da
Why No Place for Manohar Parrikar in Gadkari's new Team?

Surely, you will agree with me that this is not at the behest of Sangh's Persitence. Will you call this a step in right direction?

Anonymous said...

Swapan daa,
You are not able to understand why there is so much of anger against mainstream media over internet. Here are some questions which will help you understand the anger.
a> Why riot pictures and news in Berali was thoroughly suppressed by mainstream media? Contrast this depiction with one in Gujrat! Is it because it does not fit secular myth of Indian media?
b> Why M. F. Hussain freedom of speech is more important than that of Danish cartoonist or Taslima Nasreen?
c> The day Indian media was crying about M. F. Hussain, there was a riot in Karanataka because one news paper said Burka is not Islamic. I could not see Indian media attacking Jehadis and their sympathizers on this issue. I am yet to see a single Indian newspaper attacking cause of that riot.
Anyway, we live in a country where if communist economic policy lead to bad growth it is termed as hindu rate of growth. What else is expected

Internet Hindu said...

Ashok Chowgule does a great service here: he makes a clear distinction between the Internet Hindu and the Internet Hindutvavadi/Bajrangi. This is a very important one. For this, he must be thanked.

I don't buy his line, though. The trashtalk on Rediff and Bajrangi trashblogs like the unintentionally hilarious 'shadow warrior' is usually delivered in reponse to standard journalistic writing in boring English. This trashtalk and macho posturing is a big part of Hindutva's terminal image problem. And it has lost the BJP a lot of votes from people active on the web.

Just out of curiosity, this Ashok Chowgule, would he be the same guy who wanted to construct a 'Shakti Peeth' at Pokhran? The one who drops priceless pearls of wisdom in this interview?

That would explain a lot of things. If he thinks trashtalk is debate, he is drinking a bit too much cow cola.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with most of what Mr Chowgule says, I also have to say that our side (esp his pals in VHP, BD such as Togadia, Singhal, Kishore etc) have not been a shining example of how to advance Hinduvadi point of view. Their - often - crude rant and threats only made the task of our left-lib media controllers to make the whole thing not legitimate. One of the reasons LKA was so successful in 90's was because he used sober language to argue his views.
BTW, where have Togadia & Co gone in past six years? They used to issue threats to BJP/NDA a march, dharna, etc (Godhra and following killings were the fallout of those periodical marches during NDA Raj) but not any such march in past six years. Why? No one did a better job of driving away millions of urban Hindus than these so-called champions of Hindus!
If not many take you seriously, may be, some of the problems may be b/c of your own side. I give another example. The vandalism / thokasahi done by VHP / BD goons at Hussain painting melas and crude (and empty) threats of physical harm gave that charltan and our baiters in media a perfect ruse to play game of victims and now we are the defendants, not him. Imagine if they had done their protests in a TOTALLY peaceful way and strongly condemned vandalism by goons, these worthies will have no legs to hang on their fake concerns of liberty & freedom. But, WE gave thme that opening. There are so many such examples that make it easy for the other side to paint the whole parivaar as a bunch of loonies. The fault thus also lies with us too.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why only BJP should lose vote when hindutvavadis are shrill and not gain votes when islamists are more shriller. Why none of the muslims vote against congress or other communal parties when their leaders busy declaring fatwas on Taslima. I don't find any fault with aggressive comments on the net when the other side is engaged killing people on the road on a slightest provocation. BJP has lot votes not because of Togadia or VHP, just because they have tried to become just like congress and are behaving like cowards.

We need a new party with aggressive hindutva who can stand against burkha rioters and not submitting themselves to them like Karnataka govt.

Internet Hindu said...

Anonymous @ 10.55 am:

If you want a new party with 'aggressive Hindutva', I suggest you mobilize opinion with VHP/BD and likeminded people in the RSS (there are loads) to form such a party. This, I believe, will be a good thing, because it will rid the BJP of all its electoral liabilities in one shot. Good riddance. Go ahead.

And if you believe that muslims 'kill people on the road at the slightest provocation', you have an excellent chance of becoming the president of that party. Think about it, you'll be famous! Just like the esteemed Pravinbhai. TV studios and a round of cow cola await.

Internet Hindu said...

Anonymous @ 10.55 am:

If you want a new party with 'aggressive Hindutva', I suggest you mobilize the VHP/BD and likeminded people in the RSS (there are loads) to form such a party. This, I believe, will be a good thing, because it will rid the BJP of all its electoral liabilities in one shot. Good riddance. Go ahead.

And if you believe that muslims 'kill people on the road at the slightest provocation', you have an excellent chance of becoming the president of that party. Think about it, you'll be famous! Just like the esteemed Pravinbhai. TV studios and a round of cow cola await. Take care and be safe on those roads.

sanjay said...

It would be interesting to know the percentage of population who view ELM also regularly view the internet. The conventional media is starting to get rattled by the nonconforming viewpoints of the growing population of internet viewers, it may be concluded that their role in opinion formation is being diluted.

Anonymous said...

There was a time I almost believed in this indooism-is-in-danger from Christians , Muslims yadayada dirge by breastbeating hindus.

I am sick of the kind of fanaticism & denial hindus resort to.

Many victims have been quite vocal about the unsavoury & criminal conduct of popular hindu gurus like art of living Ravishankar , Nithyananda etc for quite sometime.

YET , mulish hindus including BJP , RSS , why even certain revered writers (like say V Sundaram) deny and /or condone it , disbelieve calling everything a (sic) Christian conspiracy.

Ethics or values are universal for all. We are but human beings , period. Religion is a set of beliefs about God. Hindus overwhelmingly have such a die hard fetish for symbols alone relinquishing the spirit behind them.

I don't feel threatened or persecuted while interacting with non hindus. Things have come to such a state I can't praise a Mohd Rafi , a Javed Akthar , sing a soulful Christian hymn in tamil or enter a Church with abandon.

Today , I am most scared of fanatic hindus. It is my mistake as I mistook every hindu would be as enlightened as a Ramana Bhagavan , a Kaanchi Paramaacharya , a Sringeri Chandrasekhra Bharathi .

Anonymous said...

Ashok and Swapan are talking past each other. Firstly, the issue is not of censorship but of taste. Ashok's point that some folks on both sides have bad taste is not wrong. Secondly, both sides rank perceived injustices and slights differently which is again an instance of talking past each other. Secularists get worked up by perceived injustices to minorities; Hindutvavadis get worked up when they perceive the Hindu community getting a raw deal. Even if one side acknowledges the sentiment of the other, it is usually with a sense of 'true but not a big deal'. Since there is no final determination to be made, no goal to be reached but simply to pull down the other side, the arguments can go on and on without end. Waste of time if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

I am a moderate Indian, and I think

1) We should have a uniform civil code.

2) Vajpayee was the best PM India has ever had.

3) Article 370 should be abolished.

The tragedy is I cannot bring myself to vote for BJP as long as it takes no action against its members who keep on making hate speeches. India will be a better place if BJP can dump the ugly hindu image. The extreme right-wing views that dominate WWW make people like me even more skeptical.

Anonymous said...

I agree; the likes of VHP / BD under current leadership are a burden on a formation that wishes to rule India. It should not pander to vote bank of any kind but they do not have to be obsessed with the "Other" all the time. Mr Togadia used to threaten that he will get a majority and declare India a Hiindu Rashtra. What happened to that threat? Sudershan, Singhal, Togadia, Kishore & Co have done the most to drive millions of Hindus into the arms of CONgress or stay at home. I wonder if this gang is not moles of Sonia (or under some kind of blackmail, or both). Nothing can explain their strange conduct during the NDA Raj vis-a-vis UPA-I.

Why has Hindu Nationalism fallen on such bad repute? A century ago, the Hindu icons were: Dayanand, Bankim, Vivekanand, Tilak, Aurobindo, Lajpat Rai, Malavia, Savarkar, Parmanand, Shradhanand, Jayakar, and then later Hedgewar, Golwalkar, SP Mukherjee, Deoras brothers, Upadhyaya, Muley, etc.

Look at the current list - Singhal, Kishore, Togadia, S Jain etc - any wonder, Hindus want to run away from this lot. Until Hindu Nationalist movement throws out these credue ranters, it will make no difference even we have the most friendly media.

shaan said...

I would disagree with the call for 'aggressive' Hindutva and even violence through words but I would rather say don't give a damn to the pseudosecularists. Be proud to call yourself a Hindu. Be proud to say that you support the BJP or any party being branded as 'communal'.

The pseudosecular media thinks that it is the torch bearer of secularism and freedom in this country. They should understand that it is not the Indian constitution that has ensured all religious groups to practice freely. Even Pakistan started as a secular country as India but soon declared itself as an Islamic country. But the real secular mindset of majority Hindus and the secular ethos of the Hindu religion has prevented our country from going in a similar path. In secular India a writer like Taslima Nasreen is subjected to so much hardship by the secular government. But the Hindu India of the past had given refuge to hundreds of thousands of persecuted people from around the world like Jews, Syrian Catholics, Parsis, etc and had given them the right to freely practice their religion. I don't mean that we should declare ourselves a Hindu nation but I only want to highlight that Indian secularism thrives not because of the constitution but because of the mindset of Hindus. So, stop branding Hindus as the villains and stop justifying Jihadis.

Anonymous said...

Internet hindu will realise only if he was a bistander during burkha riots. I dn't understand the whole thing. What do you want? Quietly tolerating all the injustice?

Anonymous said "I don't feel threatened or persecuted while interacting with non hindus". Did you live in KSA or malappuram or interacted with pentacoastals? If yes, you are definitely not a hindu.

Anonymous said...

anon @4:48 PM asks:

" Did you live in KSA or malappuram or interacted with pentacoastals ?

No. I did not.

Any kind of fanaticism is toxic. Consider the ground realities. The so called hindu gurus mollycoddled by hindutvavadis are criminals like SSRavishankar , Nithyananda , Ichhadari Bhimananda etc. What sort of guidance can they give?

Leave aside Salvation/Nirvana.

Is there good governance , good infrastructure , trustworthy leaders ? Not only bjp , all political parties have worshippers of such faux gurus.

What is alarming , the so called learned & pious are not outraged enough.

Anonymous said...

I really think that it was a consipiracy against Varun by media to make Rahul look better by deliberately targeting Varun. I did not see anything wrong with Varun's speach. He said that he will cut those arms which will raise against Hindus. What is wrong with that? He did not speak anything against any religion? Just replace hindus with muslims in his speach. It would have been a great secular speach. In fact if your record all the sermons given by mullas in masjids, Varun's speach can be termed as very mild.

Unfortunately, BJP cowards including Varun did not have the guts to own their own statements. These days media is also busy targeting hindu sadhus as well. Congress won last elections even after questioning the very existence of Ram in case of Ram setu. Taslima gets booted out. Hussain is considered a victim. Da Vinci code gets banned. Shahrukh gets away loving pakis whereas a single paki cannot remain alive issuing similar statements loving india in pak. Hindus are shameless and they deserve dying in bomb blasts sponsored by muslims.

Internet Hindu said...

Shaan: The Indian constitution has remained faithful to its principles because of the loyalty and commitment of its first generation of leaders to those principles. The most influential of those leaders was Jawaharlal Nehru, the Internet Bajrangis' favourite hate figure. I do have problems with Nehru, but a lack of integrity and loyalty to the constitution aren't among them.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that it was the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, not the INC, that led the struggle for India's independence. Then the first generation of free India's leaders would have come from their ranks. Do you think India would have remained either secular or a democracy if they were in the same position of dominance that Nehru and co was? Not unless you are living in Tarun Vijay's Vladimir Putin-is-God-cloud cuckoo-land. India would have become a Hindu Rashtra way before Zia-ul-Haq did his Islamic number on Pakistan.

As for the historic Hindu ethos being hospitable and assimilative to other faiths, I agree with you completely. But the Bajrangi/VHP/RSS ethos is NOT the Hindu ethos. In fact, it is the polar opposite of it. Sanghi ideology is a straight copy paste from European Christian ideas of identity-based authoritarian nationalism. Nothing historically Hindu about it. I would remind you that Shivaji had Muslim adminstrators and generals, and Akbar vice versa. Shivaji hadn't heard of sadhu panchayats as tool for governance.

I don't need to explain why these ideas are a recipe for disaster in diverse societies. History has already answered that- in Europe itself (Yugoslavia), Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In fact, Sri Lanka was a South Asian rock star for literacy, female empowerment, health and all round 'goodness' until Sinhala chauvinism, the ensuing establishment of Buddhism in 'the foremost place of the life of the nation', Tamil disaffection and civil war led to total chaos.

I think we got lucky with the INC focussing on a pluralist nationalism and India. The RSS' identity based nationalism and 'Hindusthan' would have been a train wreck. The North East (they are a different race, in case you forgot) and Kashmir would have been different countries by now.

@ Anonymous 4.45 am: I have been a bystander in 2 riots, once when Muslims rioted (as a kid) and another time, when Hindus rioted (as an adult). My wife, a doctor and a Hindu (since that is evidently VERY important for you), was threatened with gang-rape by a Bajrangi mob for giving medical assistance to Muslim women during the second one. Don't worry, we still follow our own ideals of Dharma. It would take more than some Bajrangi scum to change our values. Happy?

@ Anonymous in love with Varun Gandhi: Hindu sadhus don't need the Bajrangis' protection. Baba Ramdev has floated his own political party this week. The game is up.

Anonymous said...

In 2004 NDA was voted out although it gave a good governance. ABV tried inclusive governance and in return mulims and christians did not vote for BJP. Do not ever dream of these groups voting for BJP even if BJP or RSS says they do not believe in Hindutva any more. MMS says muslims have first right to national resources. Mislims had pak and now they have india too. In spite of all the problems - price rise, terrorism etc, the whole community will still vote for UPA since they don't care about india. And the hindus seem to only sympathise with these fanatic muslims and vote against BJP.

Anonymous said...

Internet Hindu @ 12:24 AM ,

Thank God ,

I feel so relieved at reading your comments. I was once idiotised enough to consider 'shadow warrior' as truly enlightened hindu considering his degrees , exposure etc.

That many like him continue to heap unalloyed tributes on dubious crooks as SSRavishankar , Nithynanda etc with the pukesome theory (sic) " marketing a soft brand of hinduism to counter conversions " muzzling freedom of thought , speech by deleting my non sycophantic observations only betray how toxically imperious ill informed hindus can be.

NEVER have Seers like Sringeri's Chandrasekara Bharathi , Kaanchi Paramaacharya advocated that Christians & Muslims all should follow only hindus' ways of worshipping.

Ramana Bhagavan had not only muslim & christian devotees but also agnostics , birds & animals.

This Ramdev baba fills me with trepidation. He is another fanatic who is not incapable of dictating all should hyperventilate kapalabhati etc in addition to doing hatha yoga. Ramdev's own Guru had long disowned him .

Let there be freedom of choice.

There are many countries around sans Ramdev babas & Ravishankars BUT ensuring satisfatory governanace , infrastructure & better quality of life.

shaan said...

@ Internet Hindu,
I have already pointed out the example of Pakistan throwing its constitution to the trash and declaring itself as Islamic nation and I have mentioned that the constitution was not altered by India mainly because of the secular mindset of majority Indians who are Hindus anyway. I did NOT give credit to the BJP for this. If Hindus want to be intolerant, nothing prevents them from electing a party that is more hardline than the BJP, alter the constitution and declare the country as a 'Hindu' country. Blood may flow but it would be legal.

I do know the BJP has its own problems but we need party that challenges the anti-Hindu policies of the Congress and other parties. The media attempts to create a new category of untouchables by constantly portraying them as regressive. The media does not care to understand that though not in power, it is still the country's main opposition party. It is not some fringe rightist party like the BNP in the UK. Yet the media tries to show as if their opinion does not matter. This is not good for democracy.

Anonymous said...

i ggogled this shadow warrior and found a blog at rajeev2004. Is that the one that is being referred to? I dont understand whats the issue with that blog is, i liked it and am glad discvered it. Its a bit harsh on christian church, but pedophilia is church problem, you cant blame blogs for it.

Srinivas said...

How are Ravi Shankar, Nityananda "ciminals". Can the "anonymous" making these charges give a more detailed clarification on these "criminal" activities. Or are these just hit and run tactics just to defame Hindu gurus in a popular blog. Shame on you.

Truth Hurts --It really does. said...

By writing this uneeded article, by showing this Nehru-type morality to please your ELM friends, Swapan, u've done no service to Indian right. In fact have done a great disservice to it.

True we have more uninformed, less sophisticated, intellectually deficient folks in comparison to the Left. But still your article on IH doesn't justify the criticism, pigeonholing of brethren of your own community.

What you have achieved by writing this article ? What was the need of it ? The so called shrillness of IHs was not affecting your life then why this article ?

I suspect you r getting frustrated by the defeats of BJP and its bleak future prospects. And since u can't junk the BJP becos of "credibility issues" you r building grounds for your 'outcast' from the Right-wing community.

And let me tell u the khush-khabri also u have achieved what u wanted to achieve through this article: outcastment from the right-wing community. Majority of the right-wingers don't take u seriously now. For most of us u r like never existed.

But now the time for a jolt. If our dear fake 'intellectual' Swapan thinks he has come out as a AB Vajpayee sort of guy among columnists tribe by doing criticism of IHs then he is patently wrong. In fact he has come out as a pathetic, frustrated looser -- who begs to liberals, whose thinking is dictated by possible Leftist's reaction-- by writing this article.

It's not the first time u r getting rotten anda and tamatar on your face. Seems u haven't learn ur lessons from ur criticism of your blog on right-wing icon Shourie. That time also u drew flake from right-wingers for unnecessarily taking on Shourie.

BTW u have an iota of shame and morality left then write a critique on ELM,MSM..criticizing them by taking THEIR NAMES (that includes ur frnds. I'm not taking any particular name but u knw what I'm taking abt), stereotype them. Perhaps that would be a balancing/mollifying act. Else the message would go u see nothing wrong in Hindu hating, Congress mouthpiece, Modi hating media.

And lastly I must thank you! for destroying, demoralizing, discrediting, stereotyping IHs and hardworking sane armchair activists becos their loss would also be your loss indirectly! I mean less hits on ur site would translate into less ads on you site. And for 'eternal' critique of yours like me that would be smthing to cheer abt!

Have always maintained this abt u "u r a conservative not out of choice but out of compulsions" And these days ur articles reflect that.

Anonymous said...

I really believe that internet hindu is a hindu in disguise.

Anonymous said...

Srinivas asking for proof ??

Many guileless who looked upon SSRavishankars , Nithynandas as genuine gurus giving up their careers ,normal lives & donating money for their alleged 'seva' etc have been quite vocal about recording what ACTUALLY happens within the premises.

This phenomenon is nothing new. Years ago , one Mukthananda and a Keshavananda all these with manufactured halo went abroad & sexually abused many after winning the trust of people. Ofcourse , glibly called it ' tantra ' as is being done today by that pernicious Rajiv Malhotra who has been praised a blahblah by RSS , subramaniam swamy & allied mulish hindutvavadis.

I am disgusted with your boring chant 'indooismisindanger '. You bet .

With such dubious godmen hijacking Dharmam , transgressing ethics trotting out pathetic excuses like ' all allowed in hinduism , different paths to approach God yadayada'.

Only incorrigible idiots would mislead ,visualising different paths/routes to the All Pervading Nirvikaara , Achyutha , Ever Present Maker/ God/ Parameshvara .

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (March 21, 2010 9:01 AM)

>> I really believe that internet hindu is a hindu in disguise.

I suspect it might be that much dreaded Shadow Warrior himself, giving publicity to his blog on Swapan's. Christian fundamentalists must be unhappy. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:24 PM ,

That shadow warrior is hell bent on ONLY Christian bashing by focussing exclusively on sexual abuses by pastors etc.

Let Vatican handle it. The Grand Jury indictmemt in Philadelphia DID penalise defrocking & excommunicating many .

Hinduism is certainly not synonymous with Jesus Christ bashing. But that is exactly how it is getting distorted by shadow warriors & hindutvavadis.

Anonymous said...

"Hinduism is certainly not synonymous with Jesus Christ bashing."

How is reporting on church's pedophilia is synonymous with Jesus Christ bashing? Did christ advocate pedophilia so that christian priests be allowed to molest children? ... these internet evangelists make no sense.

Anonymous said...

anon above asks:-

" How is reporting on church's pedophilia is synonymous with ....advocate pedophilia so that christian priests be allowed to molest children "?

Idiocy has no cure. Nevertheless no harm in trying.

The same shadow warrior justifies Ravishankars , Nithyanandas & several other hindu charlatans labelling their crimes " marketing of soft brand of hinduism ".

Being a hindu myself my focus is always on hindus , particularly hindu faux godmen who always remain unpunished.

Anonymous said...

Srinivas asked for verifiable info on the criminal acs of Sri Ravi S and Nityananda, not Muktananda. Do you have concrete proof of that, not general & vague allegations? Or, if you were a vicitm, then come and say so openly and take them to court. I am sure, you will become an instant hero to our secu-liber media as also others such as NYT, Economist, FT. If not, then just shut up and do not bore us with your stuck-record ranting.

Anonymous said...

anon @8:23 PM ,

Plenty of proof is there for those who care to know. It is not my job to provide you with links.

Even with plenty of proof ,Rajiv Malhotras fly over from America to defend the indefensible.

Yes , one of my relatives is a victim. And I know what happens inside. Which is exactly what the others who have left aol write.

You sound like one of his footsoldiers in damage control mode.

Srinivas said...

The anonymous making wild allegations against Sri Ravishankar, and Nityananda really has no shame. What is your problem with them, that they raise money and at least funnel part of it back to futher the Hindu religion ?

Or is it the jealousy factor at work. Would you rather have Ravishankar, Nityananda and Ramdev in some cave in Uttarkhand or the lower Himalayas as thousands of Hindu Sadhus already are ??

Your criticism of Rajiv Malhotra is truly pathetic. He has done more for the Hindu religion and academics than a probably your entire ancestory line right from the ape. Visit the website of the Infinity foundation, which he founded with his own personal money, and look at the scholarship there.

What exactly is your problem with Nityananda. That he did something with some woman ? That is between Nityananda and the woman. Is doing some foreplay, whether it is part of Tantra or not, a crime ?? Don't you do it with your whoever ?

If the Karnataka government had any shame, or any sense of upholding the law, it should screw SUN TV by atleast imposing a hefty fine for intruding into the privacy of a citizen.

Are you the one who went on a lengthy rant against Hindu men a while ago ?? If so, you probably need psychiatric help, and I withdraw all my comments.

Internet Hindu said...

Anonymous @ 12.24 am: I don't know much about Nithyananda and even less about Baba Ramdev. I do have second hand knowledge from family members about Jayendra Saraswathi, though. The facts are not pleasant and will come out in court. The guy is getting what he deserves. Let's leave it there.

Shaan: You are right about the first part and I have said so once already. And the BJP is not a fringe rightist party like the BNP. But the VHP and BD fit the BNP description perfectly. And the BJP is unlikely to become electable until it dissociates itself from them officially. I think people like Swapanda have recognized this already. And I think ABV and LKA recognized this a long time ago.

Anonymous @ 12.09 am: You are one smart dude, aren't you? I am actually a Hindu in disguise. I'll tell you one secret now. I am Osama Bin Laden and I am hiding out in Chattisgarh. Now don't tell anybody.

All the guys deeply in love with shadow warrior: That was just one blog that I remembered at that time, there are a lot more jokers out there. Search and you shall find. Enjoy.

R Shah said...

@Truth Hurts --It really does. ...You obviously do not know SD at all or understand his thoughts. SD is a conservative out of conviction and if you read his writing carefully you will find his references are from British conservatives such as Roger Scruton etc. You must realize that to fashion the India you want, power is quite critical. Hence to achieve that power, if one needs to nuance one’s views to suit changing circumstances then I’m all for it, as long as deeper convictions are intact. This is entirely true about SD. He has not become a leftist in economic or cultural terms. And remember it was always professionally more rewarding to be left-liberal in India, but SD has been always swimming against this left-liberalism tide, so please think before you make these sweeping statements. I would urge you to read his earlier columns in Telegraph , pioneer and TOI which will make his stance clearer.


Anonymous said...

The person who says Let Vatican handle the issue -- is he a human being? I am a liberal Christian, non-Cathloic, and I have not seen even the most extremist Christians rationalize the Cathloic church's crimes like this person has. There are no catholic children and orthodox children, just as there are no liberal children and conservative children. Pope and gang have debased my faith -- made it look like a club of horny old pedophiles. and just let Vatican handle it?

AmanKiFreakinAsha said...

Looks like InternetHindu had his butt kicked real bad over at Shadow Warrior. Reminds one of the days when there used to be an extremist communist blogger despised by readers on a web site and SW had a column popular with readers. I think one of the reasons that rightwingers like Swapan find it a bit difficult in the MSM is professional jealousy.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:44 AM tells a blatant lie " rationalize the Cathloic church's crimes like this person has".

I have never ever " rationalized " as you claim. Betrays your powers of comprehension. Do read properly before pounding away irresponsible comments.

For God's sake let us do away with unnecessary verbiage that clouds one's clarity. A rape is a rape , a sodomy is sodomy.A lie is a lie. Why give communal & religious attributes to a crime ?

Anonymous said...

Internet Hindu - ABV and LK have already put the BJP in the worst situation possible. You guys just don't get it don't you. LK was most successful during Ram Janma Bhoomi movement. Your moderate leaders including LK, AJ and SS cannot win elections in their own capacity. Modi is the most popular BJP leader. Varun was able to win hands down in muslim dominated consistuency and even Jaya Prada won because of hindu consolidation. BJP lost only because BJP leaders thought that now they can become just like you guys - start appeasing fanatic mulsims. I agree we will be a good riddance for the BJP. However, we will be the winners.

Anonymous said...

Precisely. Crimes against children are crimes against humanity. The person who says such crimes are the internal matter of the Vatican is the one giving a communal twist to this issue. As a Christian, I don't care if it is a shadow warrior or a flesh-and-blood warrior who highlights pedophilia in the catholic church. What matters is that it is highlighted, the child-molesters are given exemplary punishment and the tarnished name of my faith is redeemed.

shaan said...

@Internet Hindu,
Do you say it had no association with the VHP, etc when it came to power?

Anonymous said...

Anon @11:02 PM ,

Your ' shadow warrior ' self anointed hindu nationalist despite overwhelming evidence against nithyananda , his drugging & raping had the temerity to write " so what ...he did not kill her..".

It is the same warped double standards , tunnel vision he has consistently been showing while defending Ravishankars , jaggis etc.

Sudhir said...

Here's a specific example of the intolerance practised by some media folks on twitter:

To repeated questions that I have been posing on twitter to the CEO of NDTV networks, Mr. Vikram Chandra, this is what he replies to me yesterday.

@ssudhirkumar what gives you the idea that I owe you any explanation for anything?? You don't like the site, don't log on! Bye!

I ask him back,
@vikramchandra you mean to say you are not answerable to your viewers? Why the unrest? I have been asking you legit questions only right?

As expected he chose not to answer; however he had a discussion with fellow netizen, Y.V.S.Ajay for a similar question. Following is the converstaion:

yvsajay @vikramchandra of course u r accountable for something u do. not the answer people expect from you sir

vikramchanda @yvsajay it's not an answer to everyone! Just to him.

yvsajay @vikramchandra ...just to him? him == any citizen of india who questions? and why did you take it as an offense

vikramchandra @yvsajay long story

The long story is simple :) I have been asking him just 2 questions from a long time:

Good Morning @BDUTT @vikramchandra Any update on the followup of "Modi Godman Sex Scandal" headline on NDTV site on the evening of March 4?

Hi @vikramchandra could you please let me know why it took NDTV 8-10 days to report the tensions in Bareilly ?

and asked him this yesterday (March 17th, 2010), which provoked that response :)

@vikramchandra can you please explain how "Rahul, Priyanka attend wedding in Thrissur" constitutes big picture on your website?

Anonymous said...


I am not a foot solidier of any one -I am an Arya Samajist - but if you have proof, bring it to a court and -given the anti-Hindu trait of most of our ELM, your relative will have lot of moral/media/legal support. Making wild allegations without proof is just empty ranting.

who care to know. It is not my job to provide you with links.

Even with plenty of proof ,Rajiv Malhotras fly over from America to defend the indefensible.

Yes , one of my relatives is a victim. And I know what happens inside. Which is exactly what the others who have left aol write.

You sound like one of his footsoldiers in damage control mode.

Anonymous said...

" I am an Arya Samajist - but if you have proof, bring it to a court ...."

Anon @ 7:19 PM ,

This is what I call excessive overnaivete. Nevertheless I am so touched:((

Ravishankar's clout is such that police refused to register even FIRs of some.

It is just another cult.

" Empty ranting " ? That was what many thought when a few good men started writing about nithyananda's cult. At least the West is vocal in highlighting paedophile & other abuses . And America HAS taken action.

Whereas hindus present a facade as if everything is above board. Ofcourse crying wolf " conspiracy by dravidachristian " blahblah.

False prophets are the decoys for the non earnest & surface grazers.

Anonymous said...

"Your ' shadow warrior ' self anointed hindu nationalist despite overwhelming evidence against nithyananda"

No problem, continue to vent your frustration on this blog against warriors, if that gives you a good night's sleep. However, don't say that the pedophile church must get away with its crimes. The pope and gang have to pay. In the following article, Hitchens refers to people exactly like you: who want to pretend that the church's fetish for little children is its internal matter and that it's not a grotesque crime for which the pope and his staff need to be brought to book in secular courts:

Internet Hindu said...

Aman ki freakin' Asha:

"Butt kicked real bad"

"extremist communist blogger"

"despised by readers"

"professional jealousy"

Nice 'debating' points. You forgot "anti-national", though.

Keep commenting.

Shaan: "Do you say it had no association with the VHP, etc when it came to power?"

No. Are you? Or are you trying to say something more specific? If you could be, we can have an interesting discussion here.

Anonymous said...

" However, don't say that the pedophile church must get away with its crimes".

Comment posted above.There you are guilty of putting words into my mouth.

Anonymous said...

Internet Hindu

RSS, BJP, VHP & Bajrangdal belong to the same parivar. It is not possible to have BJP without members from these organizations. If you want a secular party, BJP is not the place.

AmanKiFreakinAsha said...

"You forgot "anti-national", though"

Excellent point. Before you could say "Ajmal Kasab!" he would fling one of those India-Pakistan equal-equal 'arguments' at you.

While on the subject, we must say he was delusional too. Flame-baits, non sequiturs, spurious moral equivalences, justification of communist killings, faking IDs, false claims -- these constituted, in his view, 'debate'.

But we're discussing your bete noire Shadow Warrior and the atrocities he perpetrated on you. Sorry for the interruption. Proceed.

Internet Hindu said...

Anonymous @ 6.35 am:

That is a myth. The VHP, BD and RSS have no political existence without the BJP. They are zero. They were of use to the BJP to gain power in the 90s, but now they are a liability. There are many of us who support the BJP from inside and outside, who have no Sangh links. In fact, the majority of supporters have no VHP/BD links. If you read Swapanda's blog and the comments carefully, you can see this. Some of us have campaigned for the party, some are even office bearers, some used to vote for it, some still vote for it. A casual reading of the best independent Indian conservative blogs will show that almost all of those bloggers have explicitly condemned the VHP/BD in recent months. Btw, talking of voting, it is an open secret in Delhi that many prominent BJP leaders' children did not vote for the BJP this time. The reason for this is not hard to understand; after a decade of economic growth and the good life, the middle classes want stability and freedom: social, economic, cultural and otherwise. The RSS is seen as authoritarian and regressive, the VHP/BD as violent and antisocial vigilante groups. They are seen as a threat to these freedoms. They are finished, but the BJP is not. If the BJP cuts its ties with the Sangh, they will regain electability. If not, the BJP is finished.

If the VHP/BD/RSS have the guts, let them force the BJP to fight the next elections on an explicit 'Hindutva' platform. Create a 'Hindutva' issue and fight the elections on that platform. We'll see what happens. Do it if you have the guts.

AKFA: You forgot 'Jaichand'.

Anonymous said...

Internet Hindu, you forgot that BJP was formed breaking away from Janata Party because of double membership issue. You cannot expect BJP to severe ties with RSS. If you want such a party, you need to find some other party.

AmanKiFreakinAsha said...

>>AKFA: You forgot 'Jaichand'.

Nah. Jaichand, however despicable, changed the course of history. The commie dipweed in question is consumed by hate and pettiness like Jaichand alright, but would feel flattered by the comparison. Commies -- especially of the pedophile church variety -- are not capable of ordinary human decencies. The latest Moscow bombings remind me of the time when one specimen claimed, in the context of Beslan massacre of school children: "what's the big deal about killing children? A life is a life, and this is Chechens' conflict. They will fight it whichever they want" etc.

So, no, I'dn't massage the ego of such people by equating them to Jaichand.

Internet Hindu said...

Anonymous: I can manage to live with the RSS, they are at least able to enforce some discipline amongst their cadres. But the VHP/BD are a bunch of goons. The latest over here on the streets of Hyderabad is that they are in bloody YS Jaganmohan Reddy's pocket. In the last few weeks, when he has told them to hop, they have jumped. The results are all over the news. No difference between them and the guys who were paid to start the Telangana BS.

And you decide which party you want to support, I decide which one I want to support.

AKFA: Don't get stressed. Chill, have a cow cola. Maybe reading some of this stuff will help you unwind. Guaranteed Bajrangi vote gainer in the cities. Enjoy.

AmanKiFreakinAsha said...

Hello IH,

My only interest in this discussion was to help you deal with the trauma of the molestation you suffered at the hands of Shadow Warrior. Mucho apologies if the unwanted subject of the squared off commie rekindled such painful memories that you forget even the Shadow Warrior pain! But I hear the ddude is doing not all that bad, hanging in there like an ill-fitting thong bikini, faking ID's away to blazes like a commie possessed. That should bring some cheer.


Internet Hindu said...

AKFA: Good to know that you're standards are still high.



'ill-fitting thong bikini'

'commie possessed'

Excellent 'debating points'. Keep commenting. And follow me to the other threads, that's a good boy.