Hold your Applauses. “Nobel” is not necessarily noble!
Notes from a colleague, SD:
SANKRANT SANU | OCT 12, 2014
Kailash Satyarthi seems deeply involved in Western evengelical institutional structures.
The announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize for Kailash Satyarthi was somewhat of a shock. Firstly he was practically unknown within India with journalists and others all shaking their heads and asking “Satyarthi who?” Secondly, the announcement from the Norwegian Nobel Committee was both politically charged and condescending:
The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.
The announcement draws on the old theme of Western “parity” between India and Pakistan, and then calls out the purportedly “Hindu” and “Muslim” affiliations of the awardees. Now, going back at least 10 years we did not find the religion of the awardees mentioned in the Nobel Peace Prize announcement. Barack Obama is not called out as a Christian, nor are the affiliations of Marti Ahtisaari, Al Gore, Mohammad Yunus, or any of the other awardees called out. Why the necessity to call out Satyarthi as a Hindu?
Not that Satyarthi is, by any stretch, a Hindu leader. In fact, Ellen Barry, writing in the New York Times, explicitly points out that he is a Marxist. Here is my exchange with her:
Would the Nobel Prize Committee call out a Marxist in the West as a “Christian” just as it calls Satyarthi as a “Hindu.” It appears on the lines of “thou protesteth too much”, unusually calling out a religious affiliation of someone who is clearly not properly identified with that label. What exactly are they trying to hide?
Speaking of religious affiliation, it looks like there is another nexus at play. Of the congratulations Satyarthi got, one came from World Vision who identified him as a “partner.”
World Vision is powerful evangelical organisation that makes no secret of its Christian affiliation and agenda. Satyarthi partnering with World Vision brings the classic Breaking India nexus into play—using Indian Leftists to pave the way for evangelism mission in India. World Vision declined to provide additional details of their relationship. “Project Rescue:” that aims to bring trafficked children “to Jesus” is another potential link. Other Christian evangelical websites such as “Rivers of Hope”, referenced Satyarthi’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan rescues, though their exact relationship remained unclear.
Jaya Jaitley, in an NDTV interview after the Nobel was announced, also gave a less-than-glowing review of Satyarthi. Apparently she was quite familiar with his work from the 1980s before he got the Nobel, but she “found the selection of awards rather strange.”
She also mentioned that “we hadn’t heard much about his work lately. He has gotten a lot of international awards and there are some cynical comments on how these awards are selected.” There were many people working on the issue of child labour and Satyarthi’s work was not particularly notable. She called out Swami Agnivesh, who Satyarthi“trained with” as the one who brought this issue to the fore and was the prime mover. It is unlikely a saffron-clad “Hindu” would be given the Nobel, however.
If we take a look at the list of awards that Satyarthi has received, Jaitley’s contention is certainly borne out.
– Defenders of Democracy Award (2009-USA)
– Alfonso Comin International Award (2008-Spain)
– Medal of the Italian Senate (2007-Italy)
– Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavey by US State Department (2007-USA)
– Freedom Award (2006-USA)
– In October 2002, Satyarthi was awarded the Wallenberg Medal from the University of Michigan in recognition of his courageous humanitarian work against the exploitation of child labor.
– Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (1999-Germany)
– La Hospitalet Award (1999-Spain)
– De Gouden Wimpel Award (1998-Netherlands)
– Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995-USA)
– The Trumpeter Award (1995-USA)
– The Aachener International Peace Award (1994-Germany)
Germany, USA, Spain and Italy are certainly prominent among the countries from which these awards originate. Also the US State Deparment has both awarded Satyarthi and funded his Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) during the Bush era.
Finally, Megha Bahree writes in Forbes that her experience with Satyarthi’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan was “Anything But Nobel-Worthy.” She mentions being taken by a BBA representative on a “tour” to show her child labour for a story she was doing. But none of the places she took her had child labor, till he finally asked her to wait and presented a situation with looked fake to her journalistic eyes. As she pointed out “the problem is that the more children you show “rescued”, the more funds you get from foreign donors.” On that account BBA appeared to be doing rather well. According to Madhu Kishwar, as far back as 12 years ago, he was funded $2 million dollars by US and German foundations.
Kailash Satyarthi has no doubt done some good work. At the same time he also appears to be deeply embedded in Western institutional structures and sources of funding for a long time. But he also has his local supporters. He has received an endorsement from Dr. Vaidik, who also claims to know him for long. Dr. Vaidik says that Satyarthi is not self-promotional and keep a simple lifestyle. On the other hand it is difficult to reconcile the slew of largely foreign awards, criticism of peers and charges of inflating numbers with the endorsement of lack of self-promotion.
The verdict is still out on Satyarthi and the Nobel on whether he is a hero manufactured by Western institutions for their own interests or a simple, unassuming human rights worker. Given the pattern of funds, the less than stellar endorsement from peers, his Marxist leanings coming with a “Hindu” tag and relationships with evangelical organizations such as World Vision, we should take our newly minted hero with a grain of salt.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of Niti Central and Niti Central is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
Sankrant Sanu is an entrepreneur, writer and researcher based in Seattle and Gurgaon. His essays were published in the book “Invading the Sacred” that contested Western academic writing on Hinduism and is a popular writer and blogs at sankrant.org. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and the University of Texas and holds six technology patents.
By Japan K Pathak
Ahmedabad, DeshGujarat, 17 April 2013
With official documents in hand, in this series I am trying to narrate the details of crorepati non-government organizations functioning in Gujarat – author
The last article was about details of foreign funding to Shabnam Hashmi’s NGO ANHAD. In that article we mentioned that one of the founders of ANHAD was Mr. Harsh Mander, a former IAS officer and Action Aid India man.
According to Wikipedia page, Harsh Mander was a signatory to the campaign to save Afzal Guru, a terrorist convicted and later hanged for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. Mander also supports the demand for removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 from Kashmir and North-eastern states. Harsh is convener of the drafting committee for the Communal Violence (Prevention) bill. Harsh Mander applied for mercy to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab courting a huge controversy.
Wikipedia page further tells that Harsh became member of National Advisory Council of the UPA government in 2010 and special commissioner to the Supreme Court.He was removed from the NAC in 2012. He worked formerly in the Indian Administrative Service in the predominantly tribal states Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh for almost two decades.
Harsh Mander heads NGO called “Aman Biradari”. He is founder member of Shabnam Hashmi led organization ANHAD.
But this article is about Mr. Mander’s another organization – ‘Centre for Equity Studies’(CES). This is a foreign funded (with partial funding from Christian organizations and church) NGO, headquartered in Delhi. We have obtained two-year data of foreign funding to Mander’s Centre for Equity Studies(CES).
In year 2011-12, CES received Rs 7,55,17,631.25 foreign funding. As per CES’s submission before government’s concerned department, justice for victim in states including Gujarat was one of the cause for which foreign fund was received and utilized. Research and homes for street children were other works for which money was received and spent in Gujarat area.
As Gujarat is involved somewhere, we are covering Harsh’s Delhi headquartered CES in our series.
In 2011, Mr. Mander’s NGO received highest amount of aid from Netherlands based ‘Partnership Foundation’ for “welfare of children”. From online resources we learn that Partnership Foundation was set up by Ferd van Koolwijk, a Dutch businessman, who initiated the Rainbow Home Program in February 2002 for school children at Sister Cyril’s Loreto Day School in Kolkata. Sister Cyril is from Ireland based Christian religious organization – Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto). Harsh Mander is the main partner of Partnership Foundation in New Delhi. Rainbow Home program is for homeless girls upto age of 18. Partnership Foundation has donated crores and crores of rupees to Mr. Mander’s NGO apparently to run Rainbow homes.
Then CES has received nearly Rs 90 lakh are as donation from Denmark based Christian organization DAN Church AID.
Rs 10 lakh received from America based Association for India’s Development(AID). This organization called AID also supports Medha Patkar in her Narmada movement and anti-Delhi Mumbai corridor movement. AID supported the movement to free Binayak Sen who was allegedly connected to Naxals and therefore jailed, but released later. Arvind Kejriwal is AID Saathi. What is AID Saathi? Well, AID recognizes certain activists in India with “Saathi” awards and support them in a manner that allows them freedom to operate without the constraints of a specific time-bound project. The program creates a mutually enriching relationship between AID and the Saathi and entails not only support in the form of a stipend, but also non-monetary involvement and strategic support from AID volunteers.
Germany’s BODO Huetten Foundation which works with children in education sector is another donor. Action Aid India is ofcourse at Mr. Mander’s help. International Development Research Centre – another donor to CES is headquartered in Canada. Members of IDRC’s Board of Governors are appointed by the Government of Canada.
One interesting source of donation is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) – the bank that was in news for alleged dubious money transfers.
America based Indian Muslim Relief & Charities is another donor of Mander’s NGO. The same Muslim organization helped Shabnam Hashmi’s ANHAD also.
Now let’s move on to year 2010-11 records. Mr. Mander’s NGO CES received foreign funding of Rs 47817508.11 in this year.
Partnership Foundation is of course the top donor. IDRC also there. Then there’s an organization called Sangat which is based in Bradford, UK. American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin is another donor of CES this year with less than Rs 10 lakh donation.
Then there’s again a Church. One NGO ‘ICCI and Kerkin Actie’ has donated around Rs 70 lakh in a year to Mr. Mander’s NGO for research, seminars and other activities. Kerkin Actie (in Dutch) means Church in Action.
Concluding – in two years Mr. Harsh Mander’s one NGO CES received Rs 123335139.36 fund from abroad. We don’t have any detail about locally sourced funds of CES.
Previous article in this series:Shabnam Hashmi’s ANHAD is majorly Church funded
By Japan K Pathak
Ahmedabad, DeshGujarat, 16 April 2013
With official documents in hand, in this series I am trying to narrate the details of crorepati non-government organizations functioning in Gujarat – author
When I read status updates on left-winger NGO operator Shabnam Hashmi’s foreign tours, when I look at her anti-Modi ad anti-Right campaigns on Facebook, when I learn that she travels in planes, and manage to have a house in Amdavad, when I learn she camped in Gujarat before the assembly elections for weeks and weeks, the questions arise in my mind: how one manage to spend so much without doing job or business like normal people!
But after getting hold of the official documents on foreign funded organizations in India, I have been able to find some answers.
Shabnam Hashmi runs ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) with registered address as 23, Canning Lane (Pandir Ravi Shankar Shukl Lane) in New Delhi.
Her association is described as Cultural, education and social. Yes, the word ‘political’ is not part of the description.
Hashmi’s NGO received Rs. 1,66,10,753.60 foreign fund in year 2011-12 for “strengthening communal harmony and democracy.”
Now let’s do dissection of the foreign fund, Shabnam Hashmi received during that year.
The highest foreign fund was donated by Britain based organization Christian Aid. ANHAD has received around Rs one crore fund in a year from this organization.
Among the other organizations that made donations to Ms. Hashmi’s ANHAD are IMRC (Indian Muslim Relief and Charities) headquartered in Palo Alto California and Church Auxiliary for Social Action(CASA).
Now let’s move on to the figures of year 2010-11.
ANHAD received foreign donation of Rs 1,65,25,433. Christian Aid was again the main donor Google India,with donation in this year worth Rs 84 lakh around.
In both 2011 and 2010 OXFAM was also one of the major donors of ANHAD.
Interestingly Action-Aid India is also one of the major donors of ANHAD. We accessed the funding details of Action-Aid Associations and found that in same year Action Aid was donated Rs 46053800.00 by a single donor – Google India Private Limited for “welfare of other backward class.”
ANHAD was established in March 2003, as a response to 2002 Gujarat riots by Shabnam Hashmi, Marxian historian Prof. K N Panikkar and social activist Harsh Mander. As per its Wiki page, ANHAD plays a major role in Gujarat to fight against human right violations,as well as in the Kashmir Valley.ANHAD is registered as a trust and has six trustees. They are Shabnam Hashmi, K N Panikkar, Harsh Mander, Shubha Mudgal, Kamla Bhasin, Saeed Akhtar Mirza.
Sonia Gandhi: Sphinx who would be Pharaoh & When did Rahul Gandhi acquire identity of Raul Vinci? – Sandhya Jain
Given the thinly veiled nature of Sonia’s conflict with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his refusal to step down and make way for her chosen heir after the victory of May 2009, it is safe to assume that the Signora now expects party loyalists to cluster around her charmless prince-ling and ensure him a say in government as well. Political compulsions have forced discretion regarding the chairmanship of the UPA parliamentary party, and her personal vanguard, the National Advisory Committee (whose members will doubtless be feeling orphaned already).
The composition of the committee that is now to preside over the Congress and its interaction with government reveals everything about Sonia Gandhi’s intent, mindset and style of functioning. It is an open affront to the Prime Minister and his senior cabinet colleagues (particularly to all purpose trouble shooter Pranab Mukherjee), to all senior Congress leaders with vote catching abilities, and to the party and nation. As such, it is virtually designed to undo the objective for which it has been formed, viz., install the Amethi MP as de facto leader of the party, and at an early date in the future, as head of the Government as well.
Even by the standards of the factional politics she played when she decided to keep the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao on tenterhooks throughout his tenure – which culminated in the party denying him a ticket to contest the next Parliamentary election, and then consigning him to oblivion – Sonia Gandhi’s designated committee is scandalously narrow. Worse, it is partisan against the Hindu community, a fact that would have been noted in the country as a whole.
Besides the non-Hindu Rahul Gandhi, who is obviously positioned as primus inter pares of the group, it comprises Defence Minister A.K. Anthony (supposedly for his clean image, but really because he is a Christian co-religionist and is therefore trusted more than other party veterans); her political secretary Ahmed Patel (a Muslim with no base in his home state of Gujarat, or indeed in any part of the country); and party organizing secretary Janardhan Dwivedi (a Patel acolyte and party spokesman with no base outside 24 Akbar Road).
Neither Rahul Gandhi, nor any among this group, is known for political sagacity, vision, and the ability to inspire the masses by winning votes, and thereby elections. Rahul Gandhi’s leadership qualities (sic) have already been tested in the waters of Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and leave one speechless. His espousal of the farmers’ cause in Bhatta-Parsaul villages of UP was swiftly undone by revelations of State favours in land acquisition in Haryana for a Trust run by Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka!
Yet Sonia Gandhi chose to shove aside all party veterans and trust such non-charismatic ‘nurses’ to propel Rahul Gandhi on a winning trajectory into the Prime Minister’s Office. Actually, the family miscalculated by refusing Dr Singh’s offer of a cabinet berth for Rahul in the recent cabinet reshuffle (though they would have been aware of Sonia’s ill-health by then), and now he is on a sticky wicket. Neither Dr Singh who sits in the Prime Minister’s chair, nor the seasoned Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who controls the Government’s purse strings, is going to forgive the calculated insult to their persons and their chairs.
Meanwhile, a number of questions arise about the secretive manner in which Sonia Gandhi went abroad for surgery on 2 August 2011. The excuse of excessive visitors disturbing patients in an Indian hospital is sheer arrogance; visitors do not get beyond the reception if one does not want them.
In January 2009 the Prime Minister underwent a well-publicized heart surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced he was going to undergo jaw surgery for cancer some years ago. With India having some of the best oncologists in both private and public hospitals, the true reasons for Ms Gandhi opting to go abroad, and the nature of her illness, should be made known as soon as possible. Reports that she was operated upon at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center need to be confirmed or denied without further ado.
To begin with, there was simply too much secrecy. At first, on 31 July a small news item in a newspaper said Sonia was suffering from viral flu and would be back in Parliament on Thursday (4 August). That same day, Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters she had gone abroad the previous day and been operated upon successfully. When the timeline did not add up, this was amended and the operation placed in the future; then finally it was stated that the surgery was successful and that Sonia had left on 2 Aug.
More disturbing are the reports in the latest issue of India Today that the Gandhis habitually refuse to inform the Lok Sabha Secretariat about their foreign trips, though this is the established convention, even for personal visits. Thus, in June this year, Sonia Gandhi went to London and Italy. The same month, Rahul Gandhi celebrated his 41st birthday in London, and both reportedly went to Switzerland – where they reputedly did not visit the holiday district but the commercial centre of Zug, thereby setting tongues wagging amidst a nationwide furore over black money in Swiss banks.
When Dwivedi announced the formation of the uninspiring committee, observers were quick to notice the absence of Home Minister P Chidambaram and Rahul mentor-cum-general secretary Digvijay Singh. As Sonia does not seem to have had detailed discussions with the Prime Minister and senior cabinet colleagues about the status of her health and the issues pending before the government, political observers speculate that the UPA will have to postpone appointment of Governors in states with vacancies, and a decision on the Telangana issue. It remains to be seen, therefore, how long her ill-health can be allowed to paralyze the government.
Ra(h)ul (da) Vinci
Now that the Gandhi family has concertedly declared Rahul Gandhi as their official candidate for the leadership of the party and government, both of which they tend to regard as watan jagir, it would be appropriate for the nation to know everything it has a right to know about the Amethi MP cum wannabe PM.
To begin with – and the Prime Minister would do well to make the matter public without further delay – how and when did Rahul Gandhi acquire the identity of Raul Vinci?
As friendly journalists and newspapers were asked to acknowledge and dismiss the news that Rahul Gandhi has travelled abroad on a passport issued in the name of Raul Vinci, some questions deserve an answer: –
– Which Government issued the Raul Vinci passport? India or Italy?
– If it was Italy, does it also follow that Rahul Gandhi enjoys Italian citizenship by virtue of an old Roman law that bestows citizenship on the offspring of all children born to its native citizens? Note that Sonia Gandhi was an Italian citizen at the time her two children were born, and that the family has persistently refused to answer pertinent questions regarding their citizenship.
– The Government of India must now settle this issue in public – including the legality of the trio holding Indian passports, and contesting Indian elections.
– What are the names of the alleged parents of Raul Vinci in the fake passport and what is the place of residence given on that document? It should be made public on a Government website.
– Where is that passport now and how often and where has Rahul Gandhi travelled on it? All details should be made public on a Government website.
The specious plea that Rahul Gandhi assumed a false identity for security reasons will not wash: Benazir Bhutto’s son Bilawal studies abroad under his own name, as do the scions of other eminent families.
Then, Rahul Gandhi supposedly holds an M. Phil degree in Development Studies from Cambridge University, UK, though there is no information about when and where he completed graduate and post-graduate studies. To this day not a single person has surfaced anywhere in the world to say that Raul Vinci (his disguise) was his/her classmate at x y or z college.
Family acolyte and then Cambridge Master Amartya Sen defended the degree but refused to furnish details. Now, following revelations about the purchased Ph.D. degree of Saif Gaddafi, it seems that London routinely “takes care of” the academic credentials of political scions in the third world.
Raul Vinci is also supposed to have worked as financial consultant in London. No colleague has stepped forward to say where.
Yet this man wants to impose himself upon the nation as Prime Minister. He needs to be downsized.
And Sonia Gandhi, appropriately dubbed ‘the Sphinx’ for her dogged silence on all issues of public concern, would have realized that she was not born to be Pharaoh of India. This country is governed by the invisible ethos of Vikramaditya – the throne will move away when the utterly unworthy approach it.
The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1909
17/06/2011 13:14:26 Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
The once glorious Indian National Congress, and the once glorious Rajputs, are both at the lowest ebb of their respective traditions as seen in two members of the Congress Party. The choice of Sonia Gandhi as President of the Party was a hapless one. The present writer has written about her unsuitability for Indian conditions. Unlike the intrepid freedom fighter for Indian independence, the Irish stalwart Annie Besant, who had immersed herself in Hindu India’s traditions, Sonia continued to nurture her monotheistic superstitions, thanks to the fact that her general education was non existent. It is not certain whether she has even a high school degree, or that she even took the diploma from the foreign language school in Cambridge town where the good nuns from Italy had sent her hoping that she would become an au pair girl or a domestic. Nor did she make an effort to study Indian history and Bharat’s culture and civilization. She locked herself into a solitude, surrounded by dubious characters. This was not her choice one hopes and her subsequent incursions into the murky side of a corrupt Congress led her down the unavoidable slippery slope. And as some commentators have observed, her mask has finally fallen, with the vicious attack on a Hindu Yoga guru and his peaceful followers on the night of June 4. That event is indeed the turning point. Hindu India will never forgive her , nor should they ever forget. Since she has kept her Italian passport(as alleged) then one can only pray that she does not return from her recent trip to Switzerland.India does not need anymore mafia donnas !
Digvijay Singh offers a marked contrast. One could depict him as a clown, except the seriousness of his slippery slope is also an insult to the Rajput tradition of loyalty to their country and heroic history. One does not even dare to mention the sacred name of a Rana Pratap, in this context of a Rajput gone bad. Unlike Sonia he had a heroic tradition to look up to and live by. What actually happened is a different story altogether.
Congress’s attack dog is hiding behind the strength of his master/mistress’s temporary popularity. As her fortunes ebb, the rats will leave the sinking ship.No doubt he will be the first. Till then he has some time and he is making the most of it. One has to only look at the sorry spectacle of a Rajput demeaning a Hindu Yoga guru, while simultaneously speaking of Bin Laden as Bin Ladenji. It is also reported by one perceptive journalist that it was Chidambaram and the ex-Rajput who stood behind Sonia’s decision to attack Baba Ramdev.
The names this pitiful individual reserved for the Hindu Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev were ‘thug’ and ‘fraud’.
Under Sonia Gandhi’s 12 year reign of terror for the Hindus of India, this is possibly only one more example of anything goes. As long as it is someone from the majority community everything is fair game. But he is also playing a double game. During the satyagraha of the Yoga Guru in the first week of June, Digvijay Singh tried to fool the Hindu masses by using the phrase ‘ Hamare Sanatana Dharma’ (Our Sanatana Dharma). Who is he fooling? He is listed in the Wikipedia biography as Christian.* He is a convert, presumably.
Now, there are thousands of Indian Christians who have stayed loyal to Bharat. They merely changed their religion, but their ancestral memories (unlike Sonia’s) are of Bharat. And by and large they have remained respectful and even appreciative of their Hindu ancestry, except when misled by missionary propaganda. Digvijay is also in addition an anomaly as a Rajput ( he is listed as a Rajput in the biographical entry).
Hindu India must continue to challenge this fraud. He is seeking the Muslim vote in Uttar Pradesh. Hence his visits to the area soon after 26/11. Here he is also in sync with his protégé, Rahul Gandhi, who we are told was partying all night at a friend’s wedding on the night of 26/11. The mother son duo and their faithful lackey have no interest in Bharat.
No self respecting Rajput would have called a Hindu Guru, a thug ! Only a depraved fallen Rajput obeying the whims of his mistress would do that.
(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)
* (Moderator’s note: According to Wikipedia, as of June 20, 2011, Digvijay Singh’s religion is listed as Hinduism)
The Congress – Government face-off that is now publicly evident in the
manner in which Baba Ramdev was received by 4 ministers at the instance of
the Prime Minister and invited for negotiations at Claridges Hotel – only to
be followed by the volte face of Police atrocity against 50000 innocent
citizens at Ramlila Maidan in the dead of night of June 4.
Some points occurred to me and I am sharing my thoughts aloud. This follows
articles by me (Sandhya), Smt Nancy Kaul and Smt Radha Rajan on this subject
at www.vijayvaani.com <http://www.vijayvaani.com/> and subsequent exchanges
with friends. Setting aside all emotions, I personally feel that the episode
– Whatever overt power she may still exercise over Congress and
Government, Sonia Gandhi is on a weak wicket, which is getting weaker,
though this may not be readily apparent as yet
– In fact, Sonia Gandhi may derive more power from the pusillanimity
of the BJP and some RSS ‘thekedars’ who primed Baba Ramdev to lead a
movement that was destined to be aborted [by them, for her] and thus help
Sonia to maintain her stranglehold over the Government via the NAC and the
Anna Hazare-Lokpal agenda – except that that is moving towards utter failure
– Sonia Gandhi’s Western support base has fractured and she knows
it, which is why she is desperate to ram Rahul Gandhi into the PM post, but
this desperation is making her and Rahul make costly mistakes [like Muslims
are surely going to perk up to the fact that Christian surrogates are being
primed for the post, and they will let their resentment show in some way.]
– The political establishment in London and Washington can see that
she is politically in the ‘diminishing returns’ mode and that Rahul is a
non-starter. So they are unlikely to invest energy in her. Just as they
dumped the unpopular Mubarak so that they could stay put behind the scenes
in Egypt, so they will not give momentum to her fight with Manmohan Singh
and the sections of Government and Bureaucracy that are uncomfortable with
Sonia and her behaviour.
– That leaves Sonia Gandhi with only the Church (Vatican and all the
rest) and their approach is muscular and aggressive, as if India is Latin
America, and this mistake will prove costly for her.
– Sonia is left with very poor allies who determine her agenda in
public [because she does not speak so as not to commit herself to a position
from which she may need to resile later; ditto for Rahul Gandhi]. These are
Digvijay Singh [who never recovered from the shock of his defeat in MP],
Anil Shastri who attacks her enemies via the Congress mouthpiece, and Kapil
Sibal who is actually a lawyer and not a politician. There is not a single
Congress stalwart batting on behalf of Sonia Gandhi today, and hence she is
not going very far. Pranab Mukherjee, who is the Government troubleshooter,
quietly slunk away when he realised the agenda has shifted from Government
to Congress/Sonia, and that should tell us a lot. Even P Chidambaram is
keeping a low profile.
These are my random thoughts on the events of the past week, and I just
wanted to put them across.
Source: Express buzz
12 Nov 2010 12:23:00 AM
Like Sonia Gandhi, I am a Westerner and a brought-up Christian. Like Sonia Gandhi, I have lived in India many years and I have adopted this country as my own.
But the comparison ends there. I did land in India with a certain amount of prejudices, clichés and false ideas, and I did think in the enthusiasm of my youth to become a missionary to bring back Indian ‘pagans’ to the ‘true god’. But the moment I stepped in India I felt that there was nothing much that I could give to India, rather it was India which was bestowing me. In fact in all my years here India has given me so much — professionally, spiritually, sentimentally. Most Westerners, who come here, still think they are here to ‘give’ something to a country, which, unconsciously of course, they think is lesser than theirs. It was true of the British, it was true of Mother Teresa, it is true of Sonia Gandhi.
It is a fact that Sonia brought discipline, order and cohesion into the Indian National Congress. But the amount of power that she, a person of foreign origin, an elected MP like hundreds of others, possesses should frighten her. All the television channels report without a blink that Maharashtra CM rushes to Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi to plead for his life. But should not Chavan have gone to the prime minister first?
The CBI blatantly and shamelessly quashed all injunctions against Ottavio Quattrocchi and even allowed him to get away with billions of rupees which he had stolen from India. Yet, without batting an eyelid, and with the Indian media turning a blind eye, it goes ruthlessly after the chief minister of the most efficiently run state, the most corruption free. Today the Congress, with Sonia’s overt or silent consent, pays crores of rupees to buy MPs to topple non-Congress governments. Her governors shamelessly hijack democracy by twisting the law.
Are Indians aware that their country has entered a state of semi-autocracy where every important decision comes from a single individual residing in her fortress of 10 Janpath surrounded by dozens of security men, an empress of India? Do they know that the huge amounts of the scams, whether the 2G, the CWG, or the Adarsh housing society scam, do not go into politicians’ pockets (only a fraction), but to the coffers of the Congress for the next general elections, and more than anything to please Sonia Gandhi? Nobody seems to notice what is happening under the reign of Sonia Gandhi.
That an Arundhati Roy is allowed to preach secession in India, whereas on the other hand the Congress government has been going after the army, the last body in India to uphold the time-honoured values of the Kshatriyas — courage, honour, devotion to the Motherland. They alone today practise true secularism, never differentiating between a Muslim or Hindu soldier and who for a pittance daily give their lives to their country. First it was the attempt of a caste census, a divide-and-rule ploy if there is one; then there are the first signs that the government is thinking about thinning down the presence of the Indian army in the Kashmir valley, which will suit Pakistan perfectly. And now there is the Adarsh housing society scam in which the army officers, at the worst, were innocently dragged into it. We know now that it was the politicians of the Congress who benefited the most out of it.
It would be impossible in France, for example, to have a non-Christian tell a Hindu (who is a non-elected president or PM) to be the absolute ruler of the country behind the scenes, superseding even the PM. There are many capable people in the Congress. Why can’t a billion Indians find one of their own, who will understand the complexity and subtlety of India, to govern themselves? Not only that, but her very presence at the top has unleashed forces, visible and invisible that are detrimental to the country. There is nothing wrong in espousing the best of the values of the West — democracy, technological perfection, higher standards of living — but many of the institutions are crumbling in the West: two out of three marriages end in divorce, kids shoot each other, parents are not cared for in their old age, depression is rampant and Westerners are actually looking for answers elsewhere, in India notably.
One does not understand this craze to Westernise India at all costs, while discarding its ancient values. Sonia Gandhi should do well to remember that there still are 850 million Hindus in India, a billion worldwide and that whatever good inputs were brought by different invasions, it is the ancient values of spirituality behind Hinduism which have made India so special and which gives it today unique qualities making an Indian Christian different from an American Christian, or an Indian Muslim different from a Saudi Muslim. It is an insult to these tolerant Hindus to show United States President Barack Obama as his first input of the Indian capital the tomb of Humayun, a man who slaughtered Hindus in thousands, taking Hindu women and children as captives. He even subjected his elder brother Kamran to brutal torture, gauging his eyes out and pouring lemon into them.
The tragedy of India is that it was colonised for too long. And unlike China, it always looks to the West for a solution to its problems. Sonia Gandhi, whatever her qualities, is just an incarnation of that hangover, an empress of India in new clothes.
Source: Express buzz
22 Dec 2010 11:33:00 PM
The Indian media has begun even doubting Manmohan Singh’s integrity — mental, at least — as he must have been knowing for nearly two years that the Indian exchequer was defrauded of `1.76 lakh crores. But so far, Sonia Gandhi has been spared.
Yet, if you are an observer of Indian politics, as I have been, since I landed back in India in the early ’Sixties, you have to come to the conclusion that most of the funds of scams end up in the coffers of political parties, particularly of the Congress.
Today the DMK is taking the brunt of the blame, but actually political parties have been forced to follow suit after the grand old party of India’s independence, began using percentages allotted by foreign companies on mega deals, military and otherwise, to secretly fund its election campaigns and give freebies to poor villagers. Of course, Bofors was the first one of the big scams to be uncovered.
I remember in the mid-Eighties a Swiss radio colleague of mine from Radio Suisse Romande, telling me that Amitabh Bachchan’s brother, Ajitabh, (when the Bachchan family was still close to the Gandhis), was one of the first safe keepers of the kickbacks of the Swedish canon makers. Exposes of Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nhyeter further confirmed it, though Ajitabh went to court against them.
There is no doubt, further says my Swiss friend, that part of the Bofors money is still in Switzerland. Indeed, we are all waiting for the Swiss banks to reveal (under US pressure) the names of all the dictators, thieves, dishonest rulers of so many countries in the world, who have stashed their ill-gotten money in UBS bank or Credit Suisse.
Meanwhile, all roads seem to lead to Sonia Gandhi: she is the first Lady of India, although she is a simple MP like hundreds of others, the ultimate arbiter, and nothing of importance is decided without her caveat. The immense power she wields within the Congress cannot be only due to her charisma, of her having the Gandhi name or having brought cohesion in the Congress.
It is also, and perhaps mainly, because she holds the purse strings of tremendous amounts of money. These party funds are overt: all the foundations, Rajiv, Indira, Nehru, etc, which store thousands of crores; and covert, starting with the Bofors scam. Where are the secret bank accounts where the scam money is stored? Under whose names are they operated? How is the money brought back to India? Who will answer all these questions?
We know that Quattrochi, the man who could have spilt the beans, was shamelessly let off the hook, not only by the CBI which today is conducting — two years late — the investigation on the 2G scam, but also by the then law minister who is today the governor who pretends to be after corruption in Karnataka! Not only was Quattrochi spared, but was allowed to take the money he had looted from India and which was frozen in British banks, so that he would not talk.
Will Raja talk, if he is arrested, as it is rumoured? Surely he knows a lot of secrets, as some of the 2G, Adarsh CWG money, and other unknown scams, must also have gone into the Congress coffers. That is the question that the Congress leadership should debate instead of going after ‘Hindu terror’, a misnomer if there is one.
If you look at statistics for the last 1,000 years, it is Hindus who have been at the receiving end of terror — millions of them have died, including in Kashmir in the late ’Eighties, when Benazir Bhutto launched her ‘Azad Kashmir’ movement (I was there).
Yet Sonia Gandhi remains a mystery for many of us, even for me who has known her for a long time.
I found her quite likable when she was just Rajiv Gandhi’s (the pilot) spouse, a loving wife, who had adopted the Indian way of life; a good daughter -in-law: Indira Gandhi died on her lap on the way to the hospital, after being shot by her Sikh bodyguards; and more than everything, a good mother, who doted on her children and tried all her life to protect them.
I then knew that she had kept her Italian passport, even after taking the Indian nationality (India does not allow you to hold two passports), but I have met quite a few foreigners in Delhi who also retained their origin passports after having obtained the Indian one.
I myself toyed for some time with the idea of taking the Indian nationality, as I speak Hindi quite fluently, but it is too difficult to travel with an Indian passport. I do not mind also her remaining a Christian: after all, I am still one myself. Indeed, one of my Italian journalist friends told me that he prayed with her, along with Rajiv Gandhi, at a mass in Calicut with the bishop officiating — that is her private business.
But after her husband was blown to pieces by the LTTE, I observed a drastic change in her: she did not seem to trust anybody anymore, became aloof and suspicious. I also watched with dismay how the Congress leaders, some of them men and women of substance, whom I knew personally, applied pressure on her to enter politics for years.
Furthermore, I thought that in her fortress of Janpath, surrounded twenty-four hours by security, she gradually lost touch with the reality of India. Despite the fact that I met her a few times after Rajiv’s death, I thus took discreetly my distances with her. It is then that I came up with my famous phrase on Sonia, for which she never forgave me: “the moribund and leaderless Congress party has latched on to Sonia Gandhi who is Italian by birth and Roman Catholic by baptism”.
“The one God wears many masks. In no other religion does the Supreme Being wear so many masks and invite worship in so many different forms as the eternal religion of Hinduism. Mythologist Joseph Campbell.
“The Mandirs have to play a significant role in the growth of the Hindu community in terms of its capacity to uphold Hindu Dharma…” Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) and Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi (HDPS) have been started in 2006 with a mission to preserve, practice, propagate and protect Hindu Temples and Sanatana Dharma; and also to take necessary legal and appropriate action to remove all the Hindu Temples from the government control. As many of you are aware that all the Hindu temples earning Rupees 50,000 or more are taken over by the state governments in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In the North all major Temples such as Shiridi Saibaba Temple, Siddhi Vinayaka Temple, Jagannath Temple, Amarnath Temple, Kashi Vishwnath Temple, Vaishno Devi Temple and other money making temples are taken over the respective state governments. They are depleting the resources, selling the temple lands, allowing the temple lands encroached, allotting temple lands for government projects, appropriating huge sums of money for Christians and Muslims, neglecting the maintenance of the Temples, allowing the temples to be dilapidated, closing down thousands and thousand of temples, appointing non-Hindus to the positions in the sacred temples, abusing the devotees who visit these temples, totally ignoring the religious leaders’ input in the management of the Temples, failing to provide adequate facilities for visiting Hind pilgrims to the Temples, diverting funds for private trusts, allowing secular anti-Hindu politicians to inaugurate the facilities at these temples, imposing extra charges on Hindu pilgrims to visit the temples and diverting temple funds to the state treasury at will.
By controlling and siphoning of the Temple resources, the state governments have managed to legalize the rampant corruption. Even within this legalized corruption, different layers of illegal corruption exist in these temples.
Please remember that no Christian Churches or Moslem mosques are under government control. In fact state governments and central government donate huge sums of money for mosques and churches, spend as much as 700 crores of rupees as a subsidy for Moslems to undertake Hajj pilgrimage in 2010, built air conditioned Hajj houses in every state, built separate airport terminals for Hajj pilgrims, and the list goes on. In contrast, not only Hindu pilgrims pay extra charges to visit the temples, they “sleep like beasts” on the side walks to visit their sacred places.
Sri Kamal Kumar Swami conducted two padayatras in Andhra Pradesh covering all the districts in the state to make Hindus aware of their right to manage their temples, and informing them about the government control of the temples, neglect of the temples, rampant corruption in the Temples, and the need for repeal of the Endowment Act. During these padayatras, Sri Swami also talked about the Hindus responsibility to their religion and urging them to go to their village temples on a regular basis along with their family members, regularly conduct bhajans in the temples, celebrate all the festivals, and participate in the maintenance of the temple.
During these travels to thousands of villages, a number of people expressed their interest in having a Templein their own neighborhood so that they can continue to practice their religion, uphold the dharmic way of life, and take the responsibility of managing their temples. They requested our organizations to help build small temples for the convenience of the people. It is during that time the concept of “ONE VILLAGE, ONE TEMPLE, ONE LAKH RUPEES (Rs. 100,000)” was conceived. Since that one Sthapathi was requested to develop the blue prints and sketch of the actual Temple image. Villagers will provide the seva (labor) to build these Temples. In many Dali communities and tribal areas, missionaries are taking advantage of their situation, exploiting them and enticing them. Many of them resist these enticing hooks and want to remain within their traditional faith. But they want to have their own place of worship so that they can feel identified, feel proud, and practice their age-old faith.
Model Village Temple: Architecture and Floor plans
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) and Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi (HDPS) jointly sought the help of Sri Suresh Singh, who is a Diploma holder from TTD Shilpa Kalasala, Tirupati, to draw model Temple plan for villages. His CAD drawings are available on request.
The first project is sponsored by GHHF and HDPS. Anantarayudu Enni, a remote village in Nellore District, was selected to start the initial Project of constructing a Temple. In this remote village about one hundred families belonging to Scheduled Tribe are very religious and worship their Village Deity called Chentamma. Bhumi Pooja (Ground Breaking Ceremony) was conducted and the construction of the Temple has already been started. TTD was requested to donate the Goddess Chentamma to the village.
REQUEST: Sponsor One Hindu Temple for ONE Lakh (Rs. 100,000)
All concerned Hindus are requested to sponsor one Temple in your village or any other village so that we can provide the place of worship for people who are eager, waiting and hoping to practice their faith.
We should give the opportunity for these people to take their children, have darshan of the presiding Deity / Murthi, pray at their time, identify with their gods and goddesses, and make them feel proud of being a Hindu.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Call V. V. Prakasa Rao at 601-918-7111 about this Project to have a Temple in your village.
We need your assistance to continue our mission of abolishing Endowment Act and free Temples from the government control. If we have to make an impact on our movement to bring changes to preserve our culture, we need you financial support. Your generous donations to continue our efforts to free Hindu Temples from government control, and also build Village Temples to awaken the Hindus about the plight of Hindu Temples and the impending danger of illegal conversion techniques are essential. We are requesting all the individuals and organizations to support financially to continue our movement to free Hindu Temples from the government control and stop these conversions also provide needed place of worship for the Villagers.
NOTE: GHHF is exempt from federal income tax in USA under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue code. Our tax ID # 41-2258630. Please send your tax-deductible donations to:
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation
14726 Harmony Lane, Frisco, Texas 75035
You can go to savetemples.org and pay by PAYPAL
For more information, please visit our website: http://savetemples.org
V. V. Prakasa Rao, PhD, (601-918-7111 cell), (601-856-4783 home); Prasad Yalamanchi (630-832-2665;630-359-5041), D. Satya (732-939-2060): Vinay (248-842-6964): Dr. K. R. Venkatramaiah (Canada) (416-925-8167). Nemana Satya (732-762-7104), Sekhar Reddy (954-895-1947), Tulasichand Tummala (408-786-8357), Raju Polavaram (919-959-6141); Pavan Neti (630-338-9364); Srinivas Murthy (212-538-8716)