Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Useful links to understand fascist groups in India

Here are some very informative website links to find information on fascist hate groups in India.
RSS's Fascist origin:
http://www.sabrang.com/cc/comold/mar00/document.htm

and

http://www.stopfundinghate.org/resources/rssprimer.htm

More on Pravin Togadia's hate speech and HAF

Here below is a statement from CAG:

The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG - http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/) today condemned statements by senior leaders of Hindu nationalist organizations, collectively known as the Sangh Parivar, openly inciting people to violence against religious minorities. These leaders also claimed that all Indians who are opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be driven out of India into neighboring Pakistan after the ongoing parliamentary elections.
Hindu nationalism, also known as Hindutva, is a supremacist ideology that aims to establish a theocratic Hindu state in India. It is different from the religion of Hinduism which espouses pluralist traditions. The founding fathers of Hindutva visitedMossoulini's Italy to study Fascism and borrowed the concept of religious nationalism from Fascism and Nazism.
In a clear manifestation of the outlines of fascism driving the Hindutva supremacist movement, four senior Hindutva leaders - two from the BJP, another from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and the fourth from the Shiv Sena, unambiguously stated their position with regard to the fate of Modi's critics and that of India's 200 million religious minorities.
The season of vitriol was opened by Modi's campaign manager and BJP strongman Amit Shah, currently out on bail for staging fake encounter killings of Muslims and banned by the Supreme Court from entering Gujarat. Shah delivered a speech in a village near Muzaffarnagar, which was the site of a bloody anti-minority pogrom last year. Shah described the elections as an opportunity to seek "revenge" against the minorities. The fact that the Election Commission initially banned Shah and then lifted the ban, opened the doors for more hate speeches to follow.
Shiv Sena MLC Ramdas Kadam while sharing the stage with Prime Ministerial contender Narendra Modi himself, yesterday threatened revenge against Muslims and assured the audience that Modi would "destroy Pakistan in six months of assuming power." It is worth noting that Narendra Modi himself had given a speech in which he stated that "Pakistan will be wiped off the world map".
In a recent public election rally in Jharkhand, Giriraj Singh, a senior leader of the BJP had stated, "Those opposing Narendra Modi are looking towards Pakistan. In the coming days, such people will have no place in India. They will only find a place in Pakistan."
A few days later Mr. Pravin Togadia, a man infamously associated with decades of violent incitement and hate speeches, was caught on camera calling for the eviction of all Muslims from areas where Hindus live. In the same speech he gloated about having used violence to drive Muslim families out of their homes.
Addressing a gathering in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Togadia said, "We should have it in us to take the law in our own hands in an area where we are a majority and scare them." Togadia further suggested that another option is to occupy a Muslim's property by force and confound the owner in a legal case that could take years to resolve."
 
It continued:
"Hindu Nationalism in the United States

Over the last one year, CAG has warned about organizations in the United States attempting to make Modi and Hindutva palatable to the American public. Outfits such as the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), have remained steadfast in defending Hindutva, by serving as apologists for Hindutva violence across India, and obscuring Mr. Modi's role in the 2002 genocide in Gujarat. The organized pogrom of 2002, in which more than two thousand Muslim men, women and children were brutally massacred under Mr. Modi's watch, was masterminded by the very organizations that are now promising more of the same, should the BJP come to power. The threat to India's democracy and secularism posed by Hindutva supremacists was brought to the fore during the recent Congressional hearings on the plight of religious minorities in India. Organizations with global credibility such as Human Rights Watch, The Advocates for Human Rights and the US Commission for International Religious Freedom testified to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission about the Hindutva organizations' history of repression against religious minorities in India.

Despite overwhelming evidence available to charge Modi with crimes against humanity, a lower court in Gujarat has protected Modi from prosecution by completely ignoring the evidence amassed by lawyers representing victims and survivors, human rights activists, eyewitness accounts, and even whistle-blower testimonies. During this time CAG warned that the real danger posed by Modi is the fact that his entry into the mainstream would endorse and empower the violent extremism of the RSS which he aptly and loyally represents. The HAF has done its part as part of the Hindutva mosaic, by maligning Mr. Modi's critics, and smearing human rights activists as "anti-India."

The uncritical support given by HAF to Mr. Modi and the Sangh is essentially an affirmation of HAF's Hindutva links that CAG had established through its reports, titled "Affiliations of Faith (Parts I and II)." CAG calls upon the HAF to publicly condemn the hate speeches made by Mr. Giriraj, Mr. Togadia and Mr. Kadam, and to take a stand against the Sangh Parivar actively fanning the flames of acrimony and hate against minorities in India.

US-India Relations

"There could not be a clearer sign of the danger posed by the Modi-led Hindutva movement to a US-India relationship founded on a shared common democratic culture and pluralistic ethos," said Dr. Raja Swamy, also a CAG spokesperson. "Now that Hindutva leaders have gone public with their agenda, in all its terroristic malevolence, HAF's silence should convince everyone that it represents neither Hinduism nor mainstream Indian Americans of any faith including Hinduism," added Dr Swamy.

US Congresspersons are urged to act decisively to ensure that this chauvinistic movement whose leaders clearly espouse a desire to conduct violent politics of hate and domination, abrogating the principles of constitutional democracy and citizenship, be treated as such, and not as falsely portrayed by the likes of the HAF. By co-sponsoring House Resolution 417, the US Congress can take a principled stand against attempts to subvert India's longstanding secular Constitution."
 
More on Togadia's statement can be viewed by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The news furore over VHP's Togadia's hate speech against Muslims

The India Today reported that an anti-Muslim speech by VHP leader Pravin Togadia, which triggered a furore on Monday, with the AAP demanding his arrest for the "hate speech" and the BJP and RSS defending the VHP president and denying that he made any anti-Muslim statement.

As per media reports, Togadia gave a provocative speech in which he gave the Muslim family 48 hours to vacate their houses, failing which he asked his group of followers to take forcible possession of the house and fight a legal battle later which will go on for years.
Togadia also threatened them with violence and asked his followers to “go with stones, tyres and tomatoes” and that there is nothing to fear. Finally he confessed to similar crimes committed by him in past and the affected Muslims had lost both property and money.

In its website, AAP noted, "Coming as it does on the heels of the BJP candidate from Navada Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, Giriraj Singh’s statement that those who oppose Modi will be sent to Pakistan, it shows that the BJP and its associated organisations like the VHP are trying to inflame communal feelings and communalise the situation in the country for votes."

Togadia, has termed the news report "fabricated" and slapped a legal notice against the media.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) strongly condemned the speech by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Saturday when he targeted Muslims for buying properties in certain areas.

The AAP described the speech as "extremely shocking and a shameful act" and added that it "goes against the constitution which provides equality and freedom for every citizen".
The AAP demanded that the Election Commission "should direct immediate registration of an FIR against Togadia and should take strict action against him, so that he is not allowed to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere during elections".

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, however, defended Togadia, saying: "I talked to Togadiaji. He said he did not make such a statement."

You can read the news report by clicking here and here and here.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why not Claim the Entire Bangladesh – Mr. Subramanian Swamy?



It seems Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all but ready to form the next government in India. Or, so it sounds. The Hindutvadi divisive forces have been steadily growing like a cancer inside India for generations, and they call themselves Hindu nationalists. What’s Hindu nationalism but fascism, fanaticism, communalism, racism and bigotry? After all, it espouses that India is for only Hindus. It dreams of establishing Ram rajya in what was once British India. It despises non-Hindus. It denies the culture of inclusiveness and acceptance of the plurality of peoples and cultures that has been the hallmark of India's national character since time immemorial, and distorts India's history of its diverse and religious influences. And examples are plenty for anyone trying to find such relics of civilization with distinct touches not just in places like Fateh Sikri and Taj Mahal but everywhere in this ancient land of people of so many races who mingled and came to call it their home - not just the Turks, the Mughals and the Afghans, but also the Arabs and the Persians, the Portuguese and the English, and their descendants. Unlike western colonizers, Muslim rulers have called Hindustan their home; they lived and died here.  

And yet all such essential elements of Indian history are lost amongst the Sangh Parivar’s die-hard Hindu communalists. They have not come to terms with a divided India in 1947, and like to see all that were part of mother India to be brought back under the Indian umbrella.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said Bangladesh should compensate India with land for the influx of its citizens here. "If Bangladesh does not agree to take back its people, then the country should compensate by giving land to India," Swamy said in Guhawati, Assam on April 18, 2014.

"I am extremely distressed by the extent of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh. According to my estimate, one-third of Bangladesh's population lives in India," Swamy added.

The Hindutvadi leader, therefore, wants to grab one-third of Bangladesh under the pretext that one-third of Bangladeshis have migrated into India since partition of India. It is a ludicrous, and yet a dangerous claim, which breeds hatred and animosity. As I have shown in a series of articles on demography of Bangladesh and India, while cross-border migration has continued for ages (there are, e.g., now half a million illegal Indians working inside Bangladesh remitting nearly four billion US dollars to India), there is no truth to such BJP claims that Bangladeshis in large number have been migrating to India and inflating the Muslim proportion there.

Although in terms of per capita GDP, Bangladesh ranks lower than that of India, in several other metrics, e.g., in HDI (Human development Index) Health, her record is better than that of India (see, e.g., the Table below). She has less debt per capita than India. She has also lower deficit (% GDP) than India. Life expectancy is also higher in Bangladesh than India.

HDI-Health
Year
Bangladesh
India
1980
0.556
0.557
1990
0.623
0.605
2000
0.706
0.656
2005
0.74
0.683
2006
0.746
0.689
2007
0.752
0.694
2008
0.757
0.7
2009
0.762
0.706
2010
0.767
0.711
2011
0.772
0.717
2012
0.777
0.722


According to 2013 Human Development Report – “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”, “Bangladesh, with much slower economic growth and half India’s per capita income, does nearly as well—and better on some indicators.” The report says, “It has sustained growth by increasing the rate of public investment and achieving great success in textiles.” (http://countryeconomy.com/hdi/bangladesh)

In the economic sector, it is worth noting that Bangladesh has nearly half the unemployment rate of India. The working class inside Bangladesh makes more income than their counterparts in India, esp. in any of the surrounding states of Bangladesh. Many impoverished Indians thus have been illegally crossing over to work inside Bangladesh remitting huge sums of money to their family members still living inside India.

As to the demographic issue, it would have been proper for Hindu communalist leaders like BJP’s Swamy to look into adjusted population growth rates inside India than to making ludicrous claims about infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims. Professor S. Irudaya Rajan’s demographic study (see the table below from his article: District Level Fertility Estimates for Hindus and Muslims, Economic and Political Weekly, January 29, 2005, p. 440) in India has shown the % annual growth rate of various religious communities has varied quite a bit since the early census data were taken by the British Raj. Except for the 1951 census, when Muslims registered a net loss because of the partition of British India in1947, the growth rate amongst minority Muslims in independent India has been always greater than that of majority Hindus. As can also be seen except for the decade of 1971-81, other religious communities had higher % annual growth rate than both Muslims and Hindus.  So, why such a litmus test for Muslims in India, and not for other religious communities? What chauvinist message does BJP want to send?

Decade
Total
Hindus
Muslims
Christians
Sikhs
Jains
Buddhists
Others
1901-11
0.6
0.5
0.3
2.6
2.6
-0.8
1.5
1.2
1911-21
0
-0.1
0.1
1.9
0.6
-0.6
0.7
-0.6
1921-31
1
1
1.4
2.9
2.8
0.7
1.3
-0.5
1931-41
1.1
0.6
1.7
0.4
2.8
1.3
-3.5
7.5
1941-51
1.5
2.4
-1.8
3.7
4.4
1.5
4.1
-11.7
1951-61
2
1.9
2.8
2.5
2.3
2.3
29.0
-11.1
1961-71
2.2
1.9
2.7
2.8
2.8
2.5
1.5
1.5
1971-81
2.2
2.2
2.7
2.1
2.3
2.1
2.1
0
1981-91
2.1
2
2.8
1.2
2.3
0.4
3.0
4.9
1991-2001
1.9
1.82
2.57
2
1.6
2.3
2.1
6.6

In independent India (i.e., after 1947), the % annual growth rate in a decade amongst Hindus varied from 1.82 to 2.16 with a mean of 1.96, and standard deviation of 0.137. For Muslims the corresponding values varied from 2.57 to 2.82 with a mean of 2.72, and a standard deviation of 0.11. The gap between the two communities is on the average 0.76% annually, and is statistically significant at an alpha level of 0.05. Note that this gap (in favor of higher Muslim growth rate) is significantly lower than the gap of 0.9% in 1951-61, a decade before Bangladesh came into existence. Note also that the gap in % growth rates has shrunk ever since (even in the 1991-2001 decade).

According to Prof. Rajan, “Interestingly, in the just concluded decade [1991-2001], the decline noted in the growth rates of both communities is almost the same at 0.2 per cent per annum though they are at different levels. The real decline of the growth rate among Hindus started during 1981-1991 with just a 0.2 percentage point fall (2.2 in 1971-81 and 2.0 in 1981-91), which was maintained during 1991-2001. As Muslims started late in the fertility transition, they lag behind Hindus but clear signs of decline are evident. Then why is there so much fuss in the media about the high growth rate among Muslims?” (Op. cit., Decade data within [] are mine.)

Prof. Rajan in his study showed the relevance of regional data saying that % annual growth rate varied from region to region (see the Table below).

Growth Rate
Region
1951-61
1961-71
1971-81
1981-91
1991-2001
Hindus
South
1.52
1.94
1.97
1.77
1.22
Hindus
North-east
3.22
3.2
2.12
1.78
1.3
Hindus
East
2.09
2.02
1.98
1.95
1.71
Hindus
West
1.89
2.62
2.25
2.23
2
Hindus
North-west
1.87
1.01
2.43
2.23
2.32
Hindus
India
1.87
1.93
2.16
2.04
1.82
Muslims
South
1.66
2.93
2.51
2.37
1.66
Muslims
North-east
3.39
2.21
3.29
2.53
2.63
Muslims
East
2.95
2.68
2.61
2.9
2.67
Muslims
West
2.12
3.58
2.99
2.64
2.86
Muslims
North-west
3.71
2.24
2.67
3.24
2.86
Muslims
India
2.82
2.69
2.7
2.84
2.57

Analysis of the regional demographic data, however, is complicated by the fact that people are free to move from one part to another for a plethora of reasons. As such, a decline can mean internal migration (let alone going overseas) in which some families have moved away to another part. Similarly, the increase may be a result of internal migration, and not necessarily cross-border international migration of that religious group.

The north-eastern part of India surrounds Bangladesh. If we focus in that region, we find that Hindu % annual growth rate (GR) hovered between 1.3 in the decade of 1991-2001 and 3.22 in 1951-61, while the Muslim % hovered between 2.21 in 1961-71 and 3.39 in 1951-61. The question is this difference between the two communities statistically significant to suggest a cross-border migration of Muslims from Bangladesh?

The average inter-censual % annual growth rate has been 2.81 for Muslims and 2.324 for Hindus in the north-east part of India between 1951 and 2001, with a standard deviation of 0.51%, and 0.86%, respectively. A paired-t test shows that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the mean of Muslim GR is greater than Hindu GR at the 0.05 level of significance.

Since 1951-2001 (for which we have Indian census data on religion) is too broad a period including two decades before the emergence of Bangladesh. How about shifting the focus on the Muslim growth rate in NE India from 1971 to 2001 to check if outside Muslims from, say, Bangladesh could have made the difference? For this we shall compare the growth rate amongst Muslims in the NE India to an average annual growth rate of 2.8% in the pre-Bangladesh era. Surely, if Muslims had moved into Northeast India from Bangladesh, there should be statistical evidence to prove such a hypothesis. Of these latter decades, we notice that only in 1971-81 the Muslim GR (3.29%) was higher than average inter-census growth rate of 2.8%, but it was still below 1951-61 growth rate of 3.39%. A 1-sample t-test shows that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the mean of the 1971-2001 census data on Muslim demography in the NE India is greater than 2.8% at the 0.05 (alpha) level of significance.

So, all these claims of Hindu communalists that Muslims from Bangladesh are causing higher growth rate seems groundless. Rather than making unsubstantiated claims that Bangladeshi Muslims are infiltrating into India in search of jobs why not they explain the reason behind lower Hindu growth rate? Why has it shrunk overall from a high of 2.4% in 1941-51 to 1.82% in 1991-2001? Similarly, for the North-east region of India, let them explain why the Hindu population has gone down from 3.22% in 1951-61 to 1.3% in 1991-2001?

Let me offer some hints. Socio-economic conditions matter in relation to fertility rate. Muslims, who are socio-economically disadvantaged in India (see numerous commission reports on this, including that of Sachar) with more unemployed and less educated (esp. amongst women) people, facing discrimination in every sector, are prone to have higher fertility rate amongst the less literate women compared to socio-economically advanced Hindu women who are more literate and gainfully employed. The % annual growth rate amongst Hindus is lower for a plethora of reasons of which the high abortion rate amongst Hindu women desiring (or forced to preferring) a male child over a female child (leading to 1.12:1 male to female ratio) is an important factor. It is no wonder that there are millions of unwed Hindu men who can't find marriage age Hindu women. The Hindu caste system has also been failing, in spite of all the cosmetic social reforms that India has embarked starting with the name change of the once-despised untouchables to the Dalits, letting many to convert to other religions, esp. to Christianity with very strong and effective missionary activities.

Rather than addressing such internal issues, the fanatic Hindus like BJP’s Swamy and Modi, and Hindu Samhati’s Tapan Ghosh like to transfer the monumental failures within the Hindu society to external, imaginary factors that have simply no basis. And what can be better than demonizing Muslims? So, a slight rise in Muslim population had to be because of Muslim migration from Bangladesh! Such an absurd theory, and only a myth, can only fool and agitate the brain-dead morons and votaries and pujaris of Hindutava, and no one else. It won't solve the ‘dying’ Hindu problem in India. And surely, demonizing others won't allow the problem to go away either.

 You can find the link to Swami's ludicrous claims over Bangladesh by clicking here and here.  With such claims, he may as well claim the entire Bangladesh! That would be more appropriate for a die-hard Hindu fascist like him.