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June 23, 2017

Hindi Article: Is Taj Mahal not a part of Indian Culture?


क्या ताजमहल भारतीय संस्कृति का भाग नहीं है? -राम पुनियानी संस्कृति हमारे जीवन का एक अत्यंत चित्ताकर्षक हिस्सा होता है। संस्कृति को समझने के लिए हमें लोगों के जीवन जीने के तरीके और उनकी खानपान की आदतों, उनकी वेशभूषा, उनके संगीत, उनकी भाषा, उनके साहित्य, उनकी वास्तुकला और उनके धर्म को समझना होता है। हमारे जैसे बहुवादी और विविधवर्णी देश की संस्कृति, एक ‘मोज़ेक’ की तरह है और यह मोजे़क हमें हमारी संस्कृति की जटिलताओं को समझने में मदद कर सकता है। भारतीय संस्कृति के निर्माण में विभिन्न धर्मों के लोगों की भूमिका रही है। भारतीय संस्कृति क्या है? हम यह कह सकते हैं कि भारत के लोगों की संस्कृति की सकल बहुवादी अभिव्यक्ति ही भारत की संस्कृति है। वह समावेशी और समन्वयवादी है। भारतीय राष्ट्रवादी भी भारतीय संस्कृति के इसी स्वरूप को मान्यता देते थे और अब तक भारत के सत्ताधारी भी भारत की सम्मिश्रित संस्कृति को ही देश की संस्कृति मानते आए थे। पिछले कुछ दशकों में हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादियों के उदय के साथ, और विशेषकर पिछले तीन सालों में, संस्कृति की हमारी समझ को सांप्रदायिक रंग देने के प्रयास हो रहे हैं। संस्कृति के जो भी पक्ष गैर-ब्राह्मणवादी हैं, उन्हें दरकिनार किया जा रहा है। इसका एक उदाहरण है, उत्तरप्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री आदित्यनाथ योगी का हालिया (जून 16, 2017) वक्तव्य जिसमें उन्होंने देश में आने वाले गणमान्य विदेशी अतिथियों को ताजमहल की प्रतिकृति भेंट करने की परंपरा की निंदा की। उनके अनुसार, ताजमहल, भारतीय संस्कृति का हिस्सा नहीं है। उन्होंने नरेन्द्र मोदी द्वारा विदेशी अतिथियों को भगवदगीता की प्रति भेंट करने की परंपरा प्रारंभ करने का स्वागत किया। ताजमहल, यूनेस्को द्वारा घोषित विश्व धरोहर स्थल है। उसे दुनिया के सात अजूबों में से एक माना जाता है। ताजमहल एक अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पर्यटन आकर्षण तो है ही, वह वास्तुकला के क्षेत्र में भारत की उपलब्धियों का प्रतीक भी है। ताजमहल का निर्माण, मुगल बादशाह शाहजहां ने अपनी प्रिय पत्नी मुमताज़ महल की याद में करवाया था। इस इमारत के बारे में पिछले कुछ समय से एक नया विवाद शुरू कर दिया गया है। यह कहा जा रहा है कि ताजमहल, दरअसल, एक शिवमंदिर था जिसे मकबरे में बदल दिया गया। इस प्रचार में कोई दम नहीं है। ऐतिहासिक तथ्य और दस्तावेज इस दावे को झुठलाते हैं। शाहजहां के ‘बादशाहनामा’ से यह साफ है कि ताजमहल का निर्माण, शाहजहां ने ही करवाया था। तत्समय के एक यूरोपीय प्रवासी पीटर मुंडी ने लिखा है कि अपनी सबसे प्रिय पत्नी की मृत्यु के कारण बादशाह शाहजहां गहरे सदमे में हैं और उनकी याद में वे एक शानदार मकबरा बनवा रहे हैं। एक फ्रांसीसी जौहरी टेवरनियर जो उस समय भारत में थे, ने भी इसकी पुष्टि की है। शाहजहां के रोज़ाना के खर्चे की किताबों में भी यह विवरण है कि संगमरमर खरीदने और श्रमिकों के वेतन आदि पर क्या खर्च हुआ। इस प्रचार का एकमात्र आधार यह है कि जिस भूमि पर ताजमहल बनवाया गया, उसे शाहजहां ने राजा जयसिंह से खरीदा था। यहां यह महत्वपूर्ण है कि जिस राजा जयसिंह की भूमि पर शिवमंदिर होना बताया जाता है और यह कहा जाता है कि उसके स्थान पर ताजमहल बनवाया गया, वह एक वैष्णव था और उसके द्वारा शैव मंदिर बनाए जाने का प्रश्न ही नहीं उठता। यह हास्यास्पद है कि पहले तो ताजमहल को शिवमंदिर बताया जाता है और अब यह कहा जा रहा है कि वह भारतीय संस्कृति का हिस्सा नहीं है। एक प्रश्न यह भी है कि गीता को इतना महत्व क्यों दिया जा रहा है। कुछ दशकों पहले तक देश में यह परंपरा थी कि यात्रा पर आने वाले विदेशी गणमान्य अतिथियों को हमारे देश के प्रधानमंत्री आदि, गांधीजी की आत्मकथा ‘‘सत्य से मेरे प्रयोग’’ की प्रति भेंट किया करते थे। अब गीता को हमारे देश के विभिन्न धर्मग्रंथों का प्रतिनिधि और प्रतीक बताया जा रहा है। इन ग्रंथों में गुरूग्रंथसाहब, कबीरवाणी व नारायण गुरू और बसवन्ना द्वारा लिखे ग्रंथ शामिल हैं। गीता को महत्व देने का कारण समझने के लिए हमें अंबेडकर की ओर मुड़ना होगा। अंबेडकर का कहना था कि गीता, दरअसल, मनुस्मृति का संक्षिप्त रूपांतरण है और मनुस्मृति, ब्राह्मणवाद का मूल ग्रंथ है। अंबेडकर ने जीवनभर मनुस्मृति द्वारा प्रतिपादित मूल्यों के विरूद्ध काम किया। ब्राह्मणवादी संस्कृति के जिस अन्य प्रतीक को बहुत बढ़ावा दिया जा रहा है वह है पवित्र गाय। गीता और गाय, दोनों ब्राह्मणवाद के प्रतीक हैं और वर्तमान सत्ता, हिन्दुत्व और हिन्दू धर्म के नाम पर ब्राह्मणवाद को बढ़ावा दे रही है। स्वाधीनता संग्राम का नेतृत्व, सभी धर्मों, क्षेत्रों और भाषाओं के प्रतीकों को भारतीय मानता था। बौद्धों, जैनियों, ईसाईयों, मुसलमानों और सिक्खों ने हमारी संस्कृति के निर्माण में जो कुछ योगदान दिया है, वह सब भारत की विरासत का हिस्सा है और यह सांझा विरासत हमारी रोज़ाना की ज़िंदगी में भी प्रतिबिंबित होती है। भारत एक ऐसा देश है जहां सभी धर्म फले-फूले। देश के लोग सदियों से अलग-अलग धर्मों का पालन करते हुए भी मिलजुल कर रहते आए हैं। इनमें से कुछ धर्म भारत में जन्मे तो कुछ बाहर से आए और अलग-अलग तरीकों, जिनमें सूफी और भक्ति संतों और मिशनरियों की शिक्षाएं शामिल हैं, से देश में फैले। इस्लाम के प्रसार में सूफी संतों ने महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाई। ईसाई मिशनरियों द्वारा शिक्षा और स्वास्थ्य के क्षेत्र में परोपकार के कार्यों से ईसाई धर्म फैला। भारतीय संस्कृति के सभी पक्षों ने विभिन्न धर्मों के लोगों की परंपराओं और आस्थाओं की झलक मिलती है। खानपान की हमारी आदतों पर पश्चिम एशियाई प्रभाव स्पष्ट है। हमारी वेशभूषा और वास्तुकला पर भी विभिन्न धर्मों और दुनिया के विभिन्न हिस्सों की संस्कृतियों का प्रभाव देखा जा सकता है। भक्ति संतों के अनुयायियों में मुसलमान भी शामिल थे और आज भी बड़ी संख्या में हिन्दू, सूफी संतों की दरगाहों पर जाते हैं। महात्मा गांधी ने भारतीय इतिहास और उसकी संस्कृति की सर्वोत्तम व्याख्या की। वे विभिन्न धर्मों के बीच कोई टकराव नहीं देखते थे। अपनी पुस्तक ‘हिन्द स्वराज’ में वे लिखते हैं ‘‘मुस्लिम राजाओं के राज में हिन्दू फले-फूले और हिन्दू राजाओं के शासन में मुसलमान। दोनों पक्षों को यह अहसास था कि आपस में लड़ना आत्मघाती होगा और दोनों ही पक्ष बलप्रयोग या तलवार की नोक पर अपने धर्म को छोड़ने के लिए तैयार नहीं थे। इसलिए, दोनों पक्षों ने यह तय किया कि वे शांति से साथ-साथ रहेंगे। अंग्रेज़ों के आने के साथ विवाद शुरू हुए...क्या हमें यह याद नहीं रखना चाहिए कि कई हिन्दुओं और मुसलमानों के पूर्वज एक हैं और उनकी नसों में एक ही खून बह रहा है?’’ विभिन्न धर्मों के लोगों की भागीदारी से भारतीय संस्कृति का निर्माण हुआ है। वर्तमान सत्ताधारियों के लिए केवल ब्राह्मणवादी प्रतीक इस देश का प्रतिनिधित्व करते हैं। योगी आदित्यनाथ जो कह रहे हैं उसका यही अर्थ है। (अंग्रेजी से हिन्दी रूपांतरण अमरीश हरदेनिया)

June 22, 2017

India: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has landed in a soup after a tribal woman from Assam filed a case against him for sharing her bare photograph on his social media page 10 years ago, taken during a stir in Guwahati ten years ago

[Several years ago, an Adivasi woman demonstrating for Adivasi rights was stripped, chased, and beaten by an urban mob. Adityanath shared her photo, falsely claiming she was stripped by a Congress mob for raising pro-BJP slogans. Good to see that she's got the guts to go after him ... she has filed a complaint under the IT Act]

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Tribal Woman Files Case Against UP CM Adityanath After Her Nude Image Was Shared On His Fan Page

Indiatimes

June 21, 2017
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has landed in a soup after a tribal woman from Assam filed a case against him for sharing her bare photograph on his social media page 10 years ago, taken during a stir in Guwahati ten years ago.  Assam Lok Sabha MP Ram Prasad Sarma is also one of the accused.
Laxmi Orang filed the complaint in the court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
The post claims that the ‘Hindu woman’ was stripped by Congress workers for allegedly raising slogans in support of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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The photograph of the woman stripped naked, being chased across the street, was shared on Yogi’s fan-page on Facebook which has over 95,000 followers.
She filed the case against Adityanath for allegedly posting in his social media page on June 13 her bare picture, taken during an agitation by All Adivasi Students Association of Assam (AASAA) at Beltola in Guwahati on November 24, 2007 without blurring.
Later, Orang told the media that she was not present at the rally on behalf of any political party as claimed by Adityanath in his post but to press for the demand for scheduled tribe status for the Adivasi community.
Yogi Adityanath
BCCL
"Yogi Adityanath, without knowing any fact, commented in the social media that the rally was on behalf of the BJP and the Congress workers attacked it.
"When Prime Minister Narendra Modi is campaigning for Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao at the same time his party Chief Minister (Adityanath) is doing this type of work. Is this democracy?"
When contacted, Sarma said "it (the stripping) was a fact and a true incident during that time. I shared it so that people know that an unfortunate girl was a victim and no justice has been given to her till now.

 

India: Hindu fundamentalists use nationalism stick over cricket match defeat - VHP, Bajrang Dal members barge into Meerut dental college


June 21, 2017

India: A convention of Hindu fundamentalists held in Goa calls for abolition of democracy and for establishing a Hindu theocratic state

O Herald [Goa]

Hindu convention calls for abolition of democracy
 
15 Jun 2017 

Says Hindu nation is the only remedy to all problems
Team Herald

PONDA: A convention of Hindu fundamentalists on Wednesday called for abolition of the Indian democracy and establishment of a Hindu nation. 
 
The convention, the sixth of its nature, is being held at Vidyadhiraj meeting hall of Ramnath Temple, Ponda, on the topic “Need for unity of Hindu community and Saints for establishing the Hindu Nation.” 
Calling the present system as a “pseudo democracy imposed by the British”, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti national spokesperson Ramesh Shinde said that prior to the arrival of the Muslim invaders and the British, India was a capable Hindu nation. However, he implied, the Muslim invasion and the British rule crippled the country therefore, he said, “we are making the blue print of removing the pseudo democracy imposed on us by the British.”
Resenting that they are “being ridiculed as a fringe organisation” for their effort at uniting Hindus and Hindu organisations at the national level, he lamented, “Today, there is no ban on those who give the slogan ‘O’ India, you will break up.” Instead, he said, there is a demand to ban the All India Hindu Convention that is propagating the establishment of the Hindu Nation through democratic means.
Sanatan preacher Sadhwi Saraswati, speaking at the inaugural session of the convention, emphasised that Hindus abjure violence and that “There is no such thing as saffron terrorism. Saffron means dedicated life for the Nation and Dharma.”
Claiming that there are demands for banning Sanatan and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Sadhwi Saraswati warned that any such ban would be counterproductive because, she said, “If a ban was imposed on Sanatan or Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, several Sanatans will grow out of them.”
Yati Ma Chetananand Saraswati, another speaker, appealed to Hindus to display bravery to protect Hindu Dharma as, “Today, several assaults are taking place on the Hindu Dharma.”
Dr Charudatta Pingale, the national guide of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, claimed that the Indian Constitution is discriminatory towards the Hindus and that they are denied justice under the present democratic system. Therefore, he said, “Hindu Nation is the only remedy (to all the problems faced by the Hindus). Establishing the Hindu Nation is not merely a thought for us, it is a Holy observance.”
The Convention is being attended by more than 538 representatives of more than 132 Hindu organisations from 21 States, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

June 20, 2017

Pakistan- India: War as Game and and Game as War - 15 arrested for celebrating Pak's win over India in Cricket, charged with sedition

Business Standard

15 arrested for celebrating Pak's win, charged with sedition

Press Trust of India  |  Burhanpur (MP) 

The police has arrested 15 persons here allegedly for shouting pro-slogans after its cricket team won the Champions Trophy final by defeating and booked them for sedition.

had hammered by 180 runs to lift the Champions Trophy in on Sunday.

Tension gripped Mohad town here on Sunday night after some persons shouted slogans in favour of and celebrated its cricket team's win by bursting firecrackers at public places.

Security was stepped up immediately in the town to avoid any and order problem.

The police later registered a case on a complaint by one Subhash Laxman Koli and arrested 15 persons yesterday, Shahpur police station in-charge Sanjay Pathak said.

"There was a complaint that these accused celebrated Pakistan's victory by bursting crackers and raising pro- and anti-slogans," Pathak said.

The police booked the arrested persons, aged between 19 and 35, under the sections of 124-A (sedition) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), he said.

The accused were produced in a local court which rejected their bail applications and sent them to jail.

They were later taken to Khandwa district jail.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/15-arrested-for-celebrating-pak-s-win-charged-with-sedition-117062000752_1.html

Was Gandhi a Chatur Baniya?


What was Gandhi’s Caste and what did Congress represent? Ram Puniyani Volumes have been written on Gandhi and Indian National Congress. There are diverse views about both. The views on them depend on the ideology of the person giving these views. To add to the prevailing views, recently (June 2017), the BJP President Mr. Amit Shah called Gandhi as a Chatur (Shrewd) baniya (trader caste). With this characterization of Gandhi Amit Shah joins the illustrious company of Jinnah who also called Gandhi as baniya, the caste of his birth. As such Gandhi had overcome the caste of his birth through his thinking and actions. When asked by a magistrate in Court in 1922 as to what is his caste Gandhi said he is a farmer and a weaver. While theoretically he stuck to Varnashram Dharma, the ideological foundation of caste system, in practice he overcame it by violating all the caste taboos, by relating to people of all castes, by insisting on an untouchable family staying in his Sabarmati Ashram, by himself staying in Bhangi (untouchable) colony in Delhi and by himself taking up manual scavenging. The other point Amit Shah made was about the nature of Congress. As per him “Congress party... was constituted as a club by a British man. It was later converted into an organization engaged in freedom struggle...” He also presents Congress as a loose body bereft of any ideological commitment except that of anti colonialism. Both these formulations of his are superficial and distorted presentation of the complexity of the origin and struggles of this party which lead the national movement. With the British introducing modern transport, modern education and industrialization the society started transforming quickly and newer social classes, Industrialists, industrial workers and modern educated classes started coming up. These groups gradually could see that British policies are aimed at enriching England at the cost of this land; they also could see that adequate facilities which can enhance the potential of this land are not being promoted. This led the formation of many organizations, like Dadabhoy Naworji’s East India Association,(1866), Anand Mohan and Surendra Mohan Bose’s Indian Association (1876), Justice Ranade’s Pune Sarvajanik Sabha 1870, and Viraraghavachari’s Madras Mahajan Sabha (1884). It is these organizations which felt the need for an all India organization. At the same time Lord O.A. Hume, who was a British officer also thought of an all India organization for Indians. Many feel that he was keen to provide a ‘safety valve’ for letting off the anger of Indians. These emerging organizations representing interests of emerging India; cooperated with Hume in the formation of Congress with a clear calculation of avoiding the hostility of the British and at the same time to generate a platform which could intensify Indian National consciousness for political and economic enhancement. As per historian of modern India, Bipan Chandra, Indian nationalists in a way used Hume as a lightening conductor by using this as a platform for emerging India. The National movement was based on aspirations of the rising classes while the roots of communal organizations lay in the declining sections of landlords and Raja-Nawabs. So rather than just being the fantasy of the British officer as Mr. Shah will make us believe; Hume’s initiative was the best option for Indian nationalists to express their political ambitions. The national movement, in practice, was being founded on the grounds of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. In the process we see people of all religions, castes and regions overwhelmingly associating with this organization. Rather than an organization bereft of principles, as Amit Shah states the national movement and the Congress were firmly rooted in Indian nationalism, secularism and democracy. It is true that Hindu communalists (the predecessors of Mr. Shah) and Muslim Communalists (Jinnah and Company) were allowed in the party till 1934, after that Congress did take a decision to keep out the likes of Shahs and Jinnah’s. It is also true that some mild communal elements continued to be in the Congress but their prominent ideology was Indian nationalism. The national movement focuses on arousal of national feeling. This was in contrast to the sectarian feeling aroused by Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha-RSS. National movement was strongly critical of economic policies of British economic policies, which were keeping the country poor. The proactive part of this movement led by INC was to unite the nation, cutting across the boundaries of religion, region and caste. It is interesting that while INC united most of the Hindus and Muslims bringing them into the national movement, Muslim League associated only with Muslims and Hindu Mahasabha and RSS united section of Hindus. It is another matter that majority of Hindus and Muslims became part of the national movement, bypassing the communal organizations. National movement also addressed the major issues of social reforms. Gandhi’s campaign against untouchability shook the very foundations of caste based practices in a sense. While the struggles for these issues were within the framework of colonial system to begin with, later this assumed the form of anti colonial movement. National movement led by Gandhi-Congress so the orocess was called ‘India is a Nation in the making’. This was in contrast to the Muslim League’s assertion that ‘we are a Muslim Nation since the time of Mohammad bin Kasim and assertion of Hindu Mahasabha-RSS that ‘we are a Hindu nation since times immemorial’. As such what Amit Shah is saying is continuation of the Hindu nationalist’s hatred for Gandhi and Indian nationalist movement. They hold Gandhi as responsible for emboldening Muslims and weakening Hindu nation and partition of the country. It was their formulation and hatred for Mahatma, which led one of them, Nathuram Godse, to murder him. This hatred was expressed in RSS distributing sweets after Gandhi murder. (Letter of Sardar Patel, September 11, 1948).Today for electoral reasons they cannot speak the language of Godse so openly, still to oppose the Indian nationalism, they have been giving pinpricks like this one to undermine the Indian nationalism and the process of caste transformation which accompanied the freedom movement. --

India: Fears over ICHR 'objectivity' goal (Basant Kumar Mohanty)

The Telegraph - 20 June 2017

Fears over ICHR 'objectivity' goal


New Delhi, June 19: The Indian Council of Historical Research is poised to amend its constitution for the first time, triggering fears that the 45-year-old autonomous institution's stated aim of "objectivity" could make way for myth-based history writing.
Council chairperson Y. Sudershan Rao had earlier this month sought suggestions from historians, former council chairpersons and former member secretaries on any changes they felt needed to be made to the organisation's "Memorandum of Association (MoA), aims and objects, rules and regulations...."
The MoA is the constitution of the council, which was last reconstituted by the Narendra Modi government in 2015 at the end of its previous members' tenures.
At a council meeting last Thursday, one of its 25 members objected to the MoA's stipulation for "objective and scientific history writing" without explaining the reasons, former council member secretary Gopinath Ravindran told this newspaper.

According to the MoA, the council's objectives are to "give a national direction to an objective and scientific writing of history and to have rational presentation and interpretation of history".
"The meeting had not received any written suggestion from any historians, but one member differed with the provision for 'scientific and objective writing'," Ravindran said, adding that the meeting had taken no decision on the matter. Another participant corroborated Ravindran.
Irfan Habib, former council chairperson and noted historian, said the organisation had always pursued evidence-based research.
"Mythology will become history once they do away with the provision for objective and scientific writing," he said.
Rao has often criticised historians' tendency to reject the Puranas as mythology. Last August, he announced plans for documentaries on the local histories of villages and small towns that he said would refer to folklore and the Sthala Puranas, which describe the antiquity of various temples.
To an email from The Telegraph asking why and how the constitution was to be amended, Rao wrote back: "Pl wait for our Newsletter (Apr-June 17) for the report. We are trying to bring it out in the first week of July."
The other council members who were contacted declined comment.