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.
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)
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.