In Defense of Sonal Shah

When I heard that Indian American Sonal Shah was named to be part of the Obama transition, I thought to … Continued

When I heard that Indian American Sonal Shah was named to be part of the Obama transition, I thought to myself, ‘What a perfect pick. President-elect Obama couldn’t have chosen a better exemplar of India, or America.’

Now, according to India Abroad, a handful of groups are trying to link Sonal with the nefarious forces of Hindu nationalism.

Let me be very clear about something: I consider the Hindu right (an alphabet soup of totalitarian groups which includes the VHP, the BJP, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal) a serious danger – to the safety of Muslims and Christians, to the ideals of Hinduism and India, and to the possibility of pluralism. I devoted significant parts of my book Acts of Faith to exposing their recruitment of young people for the cause of Hindu extremism.

But to link Sonal to their activities is frankly offensive.

A few years ago, I was flipping through a stack of old India Abroad newspapers at my wife’s parents’ home, when I ran across a story about Sonal Shah. A young Indian American woman, she had been named India Abroad’s “Person of the Year” for founding Indicorps.

The more I read, the more I found myself impressed.

First of all, Sonal has denounced Hindu nationalism in no uncertain terms, stating: “my personal politics have nothing in common with the views espoused by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or any such organization”.

Second, the evidence linking Sonal to Hindu extremism is laughably thin. It amounts to Sonal passing a Hindu nationalist on the street and not performing a citizen’s arrest.

Some of Sonal’s accusers are pointing fingers in the name of defending Indian Muslims. They correctly say that the Hindu right was responsible for a pogrom against Muslims in the state of Gujarat, which resulted in the heinous murders of one to two thousand people in 2002.

Well, I’m a Muslim from India. I have Muslim family in Mumbai and Gujarat who have personally felt the destruction of Hindu nationalist violence. And I don’t feel defended by these accusations.

In fact, they strike me as particularly disturbing precisely because I’m a Muslim.

Here’s why: the mode of the attacks is guilt by association, which goes something like this. Person X was in a room when Person Y said something offensive, and Person X didn’t immediately issue a statement denouncing Person Y, therefore Person X should be held responsible for Person Y’s crimes (all of them).

I recognize that tactic – that’s how good American Muslims get smeared all the time.

Well, I hope the hatchet job doesn’t work on Sonal. Her talents have benefited many many people.

I first read about Sonal a few years ago in India Abroad. She had been named India Abroad’s “Person of the Year” for founding Indicorps.

The more I read, the more I found myself impressed.

Sonal not only had big dreams, she had the commitment to make them reality. Indicorps sent diverse groups of young Indian Americans back to their homeland for an extensive period of service with Indian-based nonprofits. Indicorps members have included Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Jains. They have worked on projects ranging from making musicals with slum children to deepening wells in villages to launching a rural design school for artisans.

I started recommending Indicorps to idealistic young Indian Americans. Most of them already knew about it. They felt like it was “their” Peace Corps – an opportunity to connect their Indian heritage and American citizenship through the common value of service.

I started thinking of Sonal Shah in the same way that I think of people like Wendy Kopp (who founded Teach for America), Michael Brown and Alan Khazei (who founded City Year) and Vanessa Kirsch (who founded Public Allies and New Profit) – as part of a new generation of service leaders.

Then something startling happened: I met Sonal (through the Clinton Global Initiative), and found her to be even more impressive in person than she was on paper. I watched people in meetings continually defer to Sonal and ask her opinion, and I watched Sonal deftly turn the tables and find a way to do more listening than talking. I discovered that Sonal’s expertise was both wide and deep, and that she commanded respect from a broad range of ethnicities and across the political spectrum. Most of all, I appreciated Sonal’s combination of humility, spirituality, intelligence and idealism.

That’s the best of India, I thought; and the best of America.

About

  • IyerK

    I appreciate you clearing the doubts about Sonal Shah’s nomination. Although i condemn violence against innocents in any form, i strongly disagree with you associating Gujarat violence only to the Hindu groups. It had become a habit for all westerners to overly react only when minorities get killed and not understanding/missing the actual root cause of the issues. You are no exception to it.

  • intcamd

    I am not sure who this Eboo Patel is, or what he or his group IYC do. Reading this article however, it is obvious that he is one more of these Indian versions of Uncle Tom, a Westernized Indian, who cares nothing for the well being of a billion plus Indians, a person who has probably not lived in India, but tries to make a buck by denouncing “right wing Hindus” because it gets him a little attention and few bucks from the West. Of course, he is an Indian Muslim, so he has all the more incentive to do a bit of Hindu bashing on the side.I have no opinion on Sonal, don’t even know her. But from the little I have seen of Eboo, it is clear he has an axe to grind.And what a shocker, he brings up how he is personally impacted by Hindu nationalists; perhaps he can meet and exchange notes with many more millions of Kashmiri Pundits, who have been killed and made refugees in their own country, or with millions of Hindus who suffered equally badly at Moslem hands in the multiple riots. In fact, until 1990s, in most of the periodic riots in India that used to erupt around religious holidays, it was invariably Hindus who suffered more. Don’t expect Eboo Patel to bring that up, however – too inconvenient, eh?

  • pneogy

    “Eboo Patel: Hindu Right Wrong About Sonal”Surely, it isn’t the Hindu right that is trying to link Sonal to the ‘nefarious activities of Hindu nationalism’! The title of your article as displayed had me scratching my head.

  • Bocaj

    I think this whole article is disingenuous. This may be part a cover-up operation by Ms Shah. She was 33 years of age when she was a serving member of the VHP, and being a member of the governing board for three years she would have been fully aware of the goals and objectives of the organisation.The VHP is like a Hindu version of the Taliban. It is virulently ant-Muslim and anti-Christian, and is responsible for some of the worst pogroms against India’s minorities, the most recent being the anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa this year, in which at least 60 people (possibly hundreds) were killed and more than 50,000 were made homeless ( The aim of the VHP as declared by it’s founder, S. S. Apte:The world has been divided to Christian, Islam and Communist. All of them view Hindu society as very fine rich food on which to feast and fatten themselves. It is necessary in this age of conflict to think of and organize the Hindu world to save it from the evils of all the three.She was a co-ordinator for relief work following the the Gujarat earthquake (2001). Hindutva groups, like the VHP, were heavily involved in the earthquake relief work, appropriating overseas funds for their own communal agenda. As a co-ordinator I doubt she was unaware of how the funds were being used ( The Hindu fascists are discreetly funding hate schools in India using ‘charity’ money. If she gets into the cabinet, it will be a major fillip to the Hindu fascists in the US and India. It’s about time the world woke up to the horrors of Hindu terror. I know because I’m Indian from a minority community.

  • anilhs71

    Why didn’t you start your article with the “I am a Muslim” paragraph? Had you started, I would have surely known what was coming, and would have saved some time by not reading. You, and your ilk, and your negative propaganda! You have written a book? I am amazed that someone would even publish. You say that you have done some research in India, right? Then, I am sure you would know that Muslims are not natives of India. I am sure you would know all about the “Hindu Qush” mountain range, or why it was named? I am sure you would know about how the Muslim crusaders from the present Turkey region invaded India, starting from 7th century, destroyed Indian culture, literally, by destroying temples, butchering people, etc. If you don’t, better get a good history book and read that first, before showing off your ignorance. Do you know the origin of the word Jammu? It has its Sanskrit root in “Jamboo Dweepa”, which is how the subcontinent region was recognized in Vedic culture, and which is how every Hindu “pooja” begins even today (ask any Hindu priest to say the “sankalpa”). Kashmir was the center of Vedic culture, and home to scholarly Brahmin pundits. Did you even know that Kashmir was ruled by a Hindu king at the time of independence? I grew up in India watching Indian Muslims supporting and celebrating the Pakistani victories in cricket matches. Yet, you take any field, entertainment, sports, politics, etc; Indian Muslims were always encouraged by Hindus and given equal rights. For that matter, the constitution of India permits polygamy with Muslims, and forbids the same for Hindu. In my knowledge no other non Muslim country provides that privilege to Muslims. Ever watch Zee Tv? Even Pakistani singers are invited and treated with respect on those shows. In spite of all these, you take one or two “reactive” incidents, and dare to blame all Hindus? You should be ashamed to claim your Indian roots.

  • gaijinsamurai

    Okay, not being an Indian of any type, I’ve got no idea of the backstory here, but everybody sounds really angry. That being said, I think Mr. Patel (who, I understand, is a Muslim) basically said there’s no connection between this particular person and right wing Hindu political groups (who, I understand, dislike muslims). Furthermore, he is impressed by her. To a totally naive observer such as myself, this seems to be a very tolerant and open-handed viewpoint to espouse. However, the question, to me at least, is why should I care whether Indians like her? She’s an American, right? Serving in an American administration? On American soil? Making decisions about issues related to an entirely internal transition of power between one American leader and another? Could someone explain to me, preferably using small words, why her connections, real or imaginary, to groups that are currently not trying to kill Americans, and who in fact seem to have at least some humanitarian principles, are a reason to object to her position on the Obama transition team?

  • CCNL

    Correct the flaws and errors of the major religions and this would not be an issue.Some examples of the flaws and errors:Judaism- there was no Abraham or Moses.Christianity- there was no bodily resurrection.Islam- Gabriel, the foundation of the religion, is a mythical creature.Hinduism- the caste system and worship/reverence of cows.Buddhism-the belief in reincarnation.

  • gaijinsamurai

    And who defines what is a flaw or error, CCNL? You? You’re as fallible as the rest of us, and furthermore, you’re off topic. Go “troll” your flamebait somewhere else.I’m still hoping someone can explain to me why Ms. Shah’s dealings with one or more Indian political parties should be of relevance to her role in American politics.

  • malavikapatil

    Bocaj Author Profile Page:”The VHP is like a Hindu version of the Taliban. It is virulently ant-Muslim and anti-Christian, and is responsible for some of the worst pogroms against India’s minorities, the most recent being the anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa this year, in which at least 60 people (possibly hundreds) were killed and more than 50,000 were made homeless ( Shame on Bocoj on spreading misinformation and hinduphobia. Why did the riots happen in Orissa’s Khamandal district? The fact is Christian fundamentalists killed 85 year old venerable monk and 4 of his associated in cold blood. This was the fourth attack on his life by Christian fanatics. This monk was the equivalent of Billy Graham for the people of Orissa. Those christian terrorists who killed him were the aggressors and not ‘persecuted minority’. It is entirely different that the backlash was severe and unexpected because ‘meek pagans(Hindus) were expected to die quietly’. So the divinely ordained crusaders can go on ethnic cleansing like in Nagaland and Mizoram. Where the Christians completely ethnically cleansed Hindus.Unfortunately for the divinely ordained, Hindus are understanding the neo colonial agenda of semitic faiths.

  • intcamd

    gp1123 : Are you totally stupid?First of all, I have no idea who this Eboo Patel is, or what he does. I said that in my original comments below. I don’t know even know how successful he is. He very well might be, but if his entire success is based on this IYC group finding, I would n’t be jealous of it, trust me.Furthermore, you have no clue who the posters and the degree of their success, do you? I will just ignore your ad homine attack on the Indian American community. That remark alone shows you to be a bigoted fool.In the reply to GaijinSamurai, I clearly explained why the Indian posters are attacking Eboo’s trashy piece. Try to read and understand, if you care. Otherwise, stay out of fights that don’t concern you. And oh, please pick up your ethnic slurs with you while you are leaving.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Sonal Shah renounces VHP affiliationThe Hindu, 12 December 2008Washington: Sonal Shah, the Indian-origin member of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, whose links with VHP sparked criticism, has renounced her affiliation with the Hindu outfit accused of fomenting violence against Muslims and Christians in India.Ms. Shah, former member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has said if she could have anticipated the outfit’s role in the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat, she would have never associated with its U.S. branch, a year before the incident. “Had I been able to foresee the role of the VHP in India in these heinous events, or anticipate that the VHP of America could possibly stand by silently in the face of its Indian counterpart’s complicity in the events of Gujarat in 2002 — thereby undermining the American group’s cultural and humanitarian efforts with which I was involved — I would not have associated with the VHP of America,” Ms. Shah said.In a statement, obtained and posted by NextGov and the National Journal, the Google executive said the 2002 Gujarat carnage was one of the “most profound tragedies” in the long history of the state when “extremist political leaders, including some associated with the VHP, incited riots that resulted in the deaths of thousands.”In an E-mail sent to her supporters, Ms. Shah asked for help in combating the allegations and expressed apprehension that Mr. Obama transition team could ask her to resign.“I need your help,” wrote Ms. Shah. “This is gaining legs as the National Journal also picked it up and likely Fox. I need to mobilise people against the leftists and the right wing. There is a likely chance that they will ask me to resign as team does not need my publicity.” Ms. Shah has formerly been with the Goldman Sachs and served as a Treasury Department official in the Clinton administration. — PTI

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    malavikapatil:Shame on Bocoj on spreading misinformation and hinduphobia.Why did the riots happen in Orissa’s Khamandal district? The fact is Christian fundamentalists killed 85 year old venerable monk and 4 of his associated in cold blood. This was the fourth attack on his life by Christian fanatics. This monk was the equivalent of Billy Graham for the people of Orissa.Those christian terrorists who killed him were the aggressors and not ‘persecuted minority’. It is entirely different that the backlash was severe and unexpected because ‘meek pagans(Hindus) were expected to die quietly’. So the divinely ordained crusaders can go on ethnic cleansing like in Nagaland and Mizoram. Where the Christians completely ethnically cleansed Hindus.Unfortunately for the divinely ordained, Hindus are understanding the neo colonial agenda of semitic faiths.December 11, 2008 7:11 PM****It helps to get some facts right.What exactly are violence propagating Hindu nationalists who claim India is only for Hindus and an ethnic Indian who practices any other religion besides Hinduism ought to leave India, doing in the United States of America, a country with a Christian majority? The “venerable” Hindu Brahmin, who had been inciting hatred and violence against Christians, had been involved in force reconverting Christians to Hinduism, was killed by Maoists. They owned up to it. But Hindus attacked Christians who were helpless. It is well known that there is a small group of Hindu fanatics who are inciting violence against non-Hindus in India. It is part of a political agenda. They have been labeled Hindu terrorists by other Hindus. If some Hindus living in the US are encouraging such behavior in India, shame on them. They need to pack up and leave the US.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    MalavikaPatil: The terrorist ideology of intolerance and hatred and using violence as a means to achieve goals is the same, no matter whether such a tactic is used by Hindus or Muslims. If Muslims who use violence can be called terrorists, Hindus who use violence must be called terrorists too. Fair is fair.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    What India needs is for it to resurrect its 2500 year old Buddhist heritage. Emperor Ashoka, a Hindu convert to Buddhism, built the greatest Indian empire. Non-violence and lack of caste system is a part of Buddhism’s greatness. Violence propagating Hindu nationalists are no good for India’s secular democracy. They need to be tackled with as much toughness as any other violence propagating extremist group. If some are hiding in the US pretending to be secularists while propagating a violent nationalist “India for Hindus only” ideology in India, they need to be exposed.

  • desirocks

    The Sang parivar (which includes VHP and RSS) is exploiting the certain feeling in Hindu majority. They are systematically drilling belifs likeAs a result, I see escalation of religous fights never seen before. I never heard of hindu-christian roits when I grew up in India. This hate propaganda is courtesy Sang parivar. Their proganda machinary is well oiled and functioning.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    DESIROCKS:

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    DESIROCKS: Hinduism with its oppressive caste system does not need any help from outside to oppress their own. India has been a desperate third world country for many centuries. Hinduism has always remained the majority religion in India and it still is. So something must be dreadfully wrong with Hindu ideals. A secular democracy is striving very hard to bring progress to the poor oppressed for millennia under the caste system. It should not come as a surprise that some upper caste Hindus would like to revert back to the days when only upper castes had the say in the land.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    If Indicorps is a non-religious and non-political service organiztion, then Sonal Shah cannot be held guilty for atrocities committed by any group in India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Since the Hindu right, VHP, RSS et al, would whole heartedly support Sonal Shah (even if she has denounced her VHP of America affiliation now, and whose parents are RSS supporters), be mighty proud of an Mumbaite-American, the caption should have read, “American Christian Right wrong about Sonal.”

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Selection of Sonal Shah is a political decision: she is locally from Chicago, and from Mumbai originally, the financial capital of India. The BJP is in power in the state of Maharashtra to which Mumbai belongs. The US will deal with India as a country and Sonal Shah will reflect American foreign policy towards India, not her personal or parental political affiliation in India.

  • CCNL

    gaijinsamurai,Au Contraire!!!The flaws and errors of the major religions are exactly why this thread exists. Muslims vs. Hindus vs. Christians and all because each religion thinks they are the one and true religion whereas none are!!

  • peaceforall

    This is the crappiest piece I have ever read on Washingtonpost: completely biased and devoid of facts. INTCAMD,I completely agree with you.

  • wisaacson

    I agree with this article. I’ve known Sonal Shah well through the fellowship she had at the Aspen Institute and through her work at Google.org. She has always been dedicated to humanitarian causes and finding good (and selfless) endeavors that make the world better.

  • Farnaz2

    Disingenuous, Eboo. That’s the problem. Disingenuous about Judaism and Jews. Disingenuous about Hinduism and Hindus. Disingenuous about Islam and Muslims. Disingenuous about Christianity and Chrstians. Disingenuous about almost everyone and everything you’ve written on during the last few months.Perhaps your dishonesty is not a problem in other areas of your enterprise. However, this is a nationally read public blog, and some of your supporters may find their way here, read you as we do. Then what? Assuming you are doing good work, why jeopardize it.It wasn’t always thus with you. One wonders what happened.Making an honest, albeit modest,case for Shah would not have been impossible. No Shah apologeitc could have had an ethereal glow, but neither would it necessarily weaken an already waning credibility.Think about it.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    American Indians who secretly or openly support the Hindu extremist, divisive policy in India, while living in total freedom and luxury in the US, need to be careful for what they are wishing for in the name of love of their country. A little bit of brushing up on history would go a long way. During the period of Muslim rule of large areas of India, Hindu and Muslim rulers fought each other (OK they need to be treated as different countries fighting each other)and the British came in to “settle disputes” and soon India became a British colony. So now fomenting violence between Hindus and Indians practicing other religions could weaken the Indian nation, which is taking baby steps in secular democracy and working towards getting out of its status as one of the poorest countries in the world with starving millions. As to the “India only for Hindus” nonsense, a little brush up of India’s history for the past two and a half thousand years would help immensely as well. Okay, Muslims invaded India a thousand years ago, and ruled for 300 years, with local Muslims and non-Muslims, and as Muslims who had integrated completely with the locals. But it was followed by British rule for 200 years. Which Indian Muslim alive today is responsible for anything Muslim invaders and rulers might have done? India does not need some kind of Nazi ideology being cooked up to suit a political party. American Indians need to be beware of the poison they help spread and strengthen in the name of love of the country of origin. Indian Americans should not foment hatred and division in their country of origin, India, and weaken it, making it vulnerable to attacks and takeover from outside even in a colonial sense. If, as Indians living overseas, Indian Americans can’t contribute to unity and strength among Indians in India, contribute to relief of poverty among its desperately poor millions of all religions, then they could do all Indians a favor by staying out of its politics! During the British Raj some Indians got a reputation for working against their own people. After independence many of the elite Indians behaved like colonizers to their own people. Fomenting hatred and division in India by non-resident Indians is an act of utter hypocrisy and a great disservice to their country of origin.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    In the 21st century as all nations strive to work together for international peace and justice while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of each country, any nation, any political party, any religious denomination that foments hatred and division shall be treated as pariahs by the world community. Human consciousness is shifting dramatically towards a universal awareness. Some people may need to do a lot of catching up.

  • dsw244

    This is indeed a thin defense. It is a fact that Sonal Shah coordinated relief efforts of VHP-A after the Gujarati earthquake. While this sounds wonderfully noble, unfortunately it is also a fact that the VHP and the rest of the Sangh Parivar used that relief effort to further bifurcate society along caste and communal lines by providing relief almost exclusively to upper caste Hindus. See Achyut Yagnik and Suchitra Sheth, The Shaping of Modern Gujarat, p. 277.

  • anganarshah

    Thank you, Eboo, for stating exactly how I feel about Sonal, and about the ridiculous non-scandal that is [not] brewing. I have known her for a long time, her sister was in law school with me, and I met Sonal after I moved to Washington. I have never met people more committed to public service than Sonal, her sister and brother. They apply a determination to their work–establishing a cross-border NGO and managing the volunteers on a yearly basis is no small task–that has allowed them to persevere. The determination is also tempered with a humility, and compassion that is rare in public life these days. They are role models, inspiring to young people of our generation. Many have dreams of great public works they’d like to start–Sonal and her siblings have realized those dreams. Sonal’s career has been dedicated to public service. She has served in Washington in the government, at a think tank, in Bosnia post-conflict as a banking advisor, in New York on Wall Street, San Francisco at Google–all her work has been towards bettering the world. If you look at her positions, every one was geared toward progress, toward corporate/social responsibility.How many of us can say this?Yet, when you meet Sonal, you do not meet a high-flying, know-it-all, arrogant lawyer/economist/party-hack-appointee-in-waiting. You meet a very down-to-earth, warm, and wonderful person. Truly, no one who knows her could consider that she supports violence or intolerance. She is articulate, intelligent, brilliant–and, yet, a pleasure to know and to be around. Washington can certainly use more of that!I hope that the Obama team is not robbed of Sonal’s talent, energy, and the pleasure of working with her, by divisive elements.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Here is a catch: If Sonal Shah, who has lived in the US from the age of four, was educated here, and could still share Hindu extremist ideals to the extent of being a member of the party in the US, does renouncing her affiliations now that she is selected to be part of PE Obama’s team really mean anything? To Americans and to the American government it means nothing. But is Hindu extremism the kind of Indian ideal that reflects the Indian society living in the US?The selection is a political one. Sonal Shah is sure to do what President Obama expects her to do. Politically Incorrect and Curious

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Hindu extremism is not the best of India. God forbid that it should be.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 wrote:American Indians who secretly or openly support the Hindu extremist, divisive policy in India, while living in total freedom and luxury in the US, need to be careful for what they are wishing for in the name of love of their country. . . . .The extent and nature of Hindu extremism needs more thoroughly researched, relying solely on politically motivated media reports for hidden agendas will not solve the problem but will exacerbate it. Brannon Parker, for one seems to be doing some interesting research – see There is no scientific evidence analyzing how American Indians think on Hindu extremism. A broad labeling like this is clearly not going to solve the problem or your wishes!

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 wroteOpen letter to Sonal Shah from some Indian AmericansA majority of the activities of “A Coalition of Concerned Indian-Americans” seem to be focused on bad mouthing the Hindu nationalists. If they are genuinely concerned with human rights abuses in India why do they not also highlight significant human rights abuses by other groups in India. E.g. in the Indian state of West Bengal which is ruled by Communists, with whom this Coalition seem to sympathise with there is (i) land grabbing from poor farmers for industrialists, (ii) high handed driving out of a secular humanist and well known author Taslima Nasreen from West Bengal because she eloquently talks about Muslim atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh based on her own experience. Driving out of Nasreen is spearheaded by a cocktail of Islamists and Communists in India and this Coalition seems to be silent on such issues.

  • truth_prevails

    DSW4 wrote . . . . . . . See Achyut Yagnik and Suchitra Sheth, The Shaping of Modern Gujarat, p. 277.Did some quick web search on Achyut Yagnik . . .These Communists and their sympathizers have produced a preponderance of writers who seem to specialize in bashing up Hindu Nationalists. I have no problem with left wingers (Communist, Islamist sympathizers) specializing in pointing out flaws of right wingers (Hindu Nationalists) but when it comes to offering concrete solutions there seems to be very little. What have the Communists done in their own states of Bengal and Kerala in India? In spite of high literacy they have driven out almost all industries because workers rights and work stoppages are more important to them than corporate productivity and profitability. So when left wingers like Yagnik research a financially prosperous and right wing ruled state like Gujarat, there may be a sizeable objectivity gap which needs to be also researched.

  • truth_prevails

    Eboo Patel writes:“Let me be very clear about something: I consider the Hindu right (an alphabet soup of totalitarian groups which includes the VHP, the BJP, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal) a serious danger – to the safety of Muslims and Christians, to the ideals of Hinduism and India, and to the possibility of pluralism.”Well Eboo what do you have to say on the following(i) BJP selected nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Kalam, a muslim as the President of India, and he was one of the finest Presidents.(ii) There are muslim nationalist members of RSS, known as Rashtrawadi Muslim Manch e.g. see So Eboo, what you are saying raises more doubts than clarity.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 “The Hindu Brahmin was killed by Maoists. They owned up to the killing. Why do you insist Christians killed him?”=================================See

  • Indian51

    What else can you expect from the Hindu Taliban Foundation? Maoists don’t have any religion, and they confessed killing the Swami because of his communal hatred. Maoists also threatened to kill other Hindu fascists if they get a chance.

  • truth_prevails

    For politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1You seem to have an axe to grind against Hindu Nationalists based on the number of times you refer to the word “Hindu Fascists”. How much of this labeling is a myth and how much is reality is an open question, but let me show you example of Fascism across the board:Screaming fascism is a hoopla and not the solution to any problem, just like this nefarious campaign against Sonal Shah by some vested interest groups. I am gratified to note that you support her nomination and so does Eboo Patel, but taking this occasion to throw mud and hatred against Hindu Nationalists is regrettable. Suggesting a proper dialog may be a more productive approach.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:So an American Hindu Foundation has since discovered Maoists in India are Christian converts? How interesting. Funny how nobody else in India knows that. Maoists are known not to practice any religion and they are derived from the oppressed lower caste Hindus. Unless Chairman Mao was a Christian, it is difficult to see how Christians and Maoists share common ideals. But of course one would expect militant Hindu fascists to attack those who are defenseless and do not use violence or retaliate. Since Muslims tend to react with a little more vigor, Dalit converts to Christianity and those who work to better their social situation are chosen. The cowardly nature of the act does not make the Hindu militant blush. They employ lower caste Hindu henchmen to do their dirty job.

  • truth_prevails

    For politicallyincorrectworldcitizen11. Your version of Indian history may not match with that of Brannon Parker or others from America or India, they are entitled to theirs as much you are entitled to yours. More open minded research is the best course forward. 2. You wrote3. You said “West Bengal has the third largest economy in India” – care to give the source of your information? Is this why industries are refusing to come to Bengal after the Tata Nano car industry exodus, foreign airlines are terminating flights to Kolkata? Furthermore West Bengal Communist government openly flouts Indian law by allowing unabated entry of Bangladeshi infiltrators for vote bank politics. If the state was doing so well they would not have to rely on illegal infiltrators to cling on to power.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:For politicallyincorrectworldcitizen11. Your version of Indian history may not match with that of Brannon Parker or others from America or India, they are entitled to theirs as much you are entitled to yours. More open minded research is the best course forward.December 14, 2008 2:32 PM***At least Brannon Parker has been honest in his admission of the fact that his version of Indian history has nothing to do with Indian history as non-Hindu Nationalist Indians in India and non VHP Indians in America understand it. It has been invented to suit the purposes of Hindu fascists. To write about an imaginary Maratha empire that extended from tip of South India in Kanyakumari to Afghanistan in the North is an insult to anyone’s intelligence. If political clout is all that is needed to reinvent history to suit one’s agenda, then all sane people must be advised to read all Indian history, past, present and future, as fiction from now on.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:2. You wroteDecember 14, 2008 2:32 PM***Did the Wall Street Journal also publish an article which outlined the violence the years to Dalit converts to Christianity in Orrissa and other parts of North India, and just coincidentally happen to be predominantly in States ruled by Hindu fascists? Several Indian and other international media have been covering it for years. The Hindu Brahmin who was killed by Maoists happened to be propagating hatred and intolerance against poor Dalit Christians, getting henchmen to perpetrate violence against them.Now you try to portray poor Christian converts as Maoists, to gain American sympathy with lies?

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    truth_prevails:For politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1You seem to have an axe to grind against Hindu Nationalists based on the number of times you refer to the word “Hindu Fascists”. How much of this labeling is a myth and how much is reality is an open question, but let me show you example of Fascism across the board:(i) Indian National Congress Fascism – killing of 3000 innocent Sikhs in Delhi after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984Screaming fascism is a hoopla and not the solution to any problem, just like this nefarious campaign against Sonal Shah by some vested interest groups. I am gratified to note that you support her nomination and so does Eboo Patel, but taking this occasion to throw mud and hatred against Hindu Nationalists is regrettable. Suggesting a proper dialog may be a more productive approach.December 14, 2008 1:07 PM***Hindu fascists actively support the official fascist policies of the mainstream political party that represent their ideals. The party is in power in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. It actively opposes minority welfare schemes, directly robbing them of rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Wanting to take power at the center and declare India a Hindu state making their policies national is an open secret. The Indian National Congress, established by the fathers of the nation, now in power at the center, has no such fascist agenda. It is pluralist in its mission as it always has been. Communists, as a party, have influence only in tow states – West Bengal and Kerala, where they are voted in and out of power like any other democratic party. They are no more “lefty” than left of center parties in other parts of the world. To compare repressive Communism in other parts of the world, with small democratically elected left of center parties in India is machiavellian to the extreme. The work of Chief Minister, EMS Namboothiripad, the first democratically elected communist head of an Indian state, would shed led on communism in India.Hindu fascists are trying to gain ground in other parts of India by exploiting and manipulating Hinduism to suit their political ends. They are using their henchmen who are a group of Hindu, so called religious groups. Apart from those already mentioned they also go under names like Hindutva. Using violence to intimidate others has been an integral part of such groups.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Sorry, that was SHED light, not led light. EMS Namboothiripad, the first democratically elected communist CM of an Indian state is an example of communism as it is practiced in India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:Screaming fascism is a hoopla and not the solution to any problem, just like this nefarious campaign against Sonal Shah by some vested interest groups. I am gratified to note that you support her nomination and so does Eboo Patel, but taking this occasion to throw mud and hatred against Hindu Nationalists is regrettable. Suggesting a proper dialog may be a more productive approach.December 14, 2008 1:07 PM***The first basis for dialogue is NOT to abuse religion, Hinduism, for political ends. Nobody is getting fooled with the machiavellian political manipulation of Hinduism and invention of Indian history to suit a political agenda. India is a secular democracy. Right wing parties that favor high caste Hindus should come clean and admit their true intent, and examine the violation of the Indian Constitution which has been integrated into their party policies.The second basis for dialogue is not to invent Indian history, the history of India as a Hindu nation, (which is a complete myth because there have been other religions in India for at least 2500 years, including three major religions, one among them an extremely widespread in East Asia and now popular in the West religion – Buddhism, which were born on Indian soil as answer to the limitations of Hinduism, and Hinduism itself is known to be a confederation of religions with Hindus worshiping any god and following any philosophy they like) to support Hindu fascism.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:India was established as a secular democracy by wise fathers of the nation, who wanted to give India’s poor who had been trapped by millennia of oppression by higher caste Hindus (among them the glorious Maratha Empire!) a chance to break out of their poverty. Hindu fascists are terribly unhappy about that, and the political party run in their name and for their benefit are flouting the Indian Constitution in those states in which they hold power, in anyway they can. Said Truth_Prevails: “Well well well – wasn’t this trend started by the Indian Communists/Leftists where you have to toe their line in the Indian states of Bengal and Kerala to get top university appointments. Not only that the Communists have spread their wings to New Delhi as well where you have to be a Communist sympathizer to get a top appointment in Jawaharlal Nehru University!”The Congress Party has more power in the states of West Bengal and Kerala than the Communist Party does, although the Communist Party does get *elected democratically sometimes.*Jawaharlal Nehru, the father of the late PM Indira Gandhi, is part of the Congress party, not the Communist party. The Congress Party was set up as a pluralist party right from the beginning. There is a dreadful flaw in logic to conclude that the institution named after the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, the father of late PMs Indira Gandhi, grandfather of late PM Rajiv Gandhi, whose wife is now head of the Congress Party,(the Nehru family being a philanthropic ancestrally rich Brahmin originally from Kashmir, and known as the Gandhi family because the only child of daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira, married a man from the Gujrathi Gandhi caste), one of the fathers of the Congress Party, would give its top position only to the sympathizers of the Communist Party.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    testing

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:Screaming fascism is a hoopla and not the solution to any problem, just like this nefarious campaign against Sonal Shah by some vested interest groups. I am gratified to note that you support her nomination and so does Eboo Patel, but taking this occasion to throw mud and hatred against Hindu Nationalists is regrettable. Suggesting a proper dialog may be a more productive approach.December 14, 2008 1:07 PM***There is a benign explanation to the objections raised by some groups. If Sonal Shah, was a member of VHP America in the capacity of one of the committee members, then it is a sign that she shares its ideals, even if she is not responsible for any Hindu fascist motivated violence in her native state of Gujrat. Maybe they think it is no accident that a disproportionate amount of foreign investment has been going to the state of Gujrat since Sonal Shah has been associated with presidential advisory positions and international organizations. Since the state government of Gujrat and Maharastra are ruled by the Hindu nationalist party, which has a policy of withholding help to minorities and the poor, in the name of giving more to the rich to improve the state economy, they feel it would merely lead to more discrimination of minority groups and more unbalanced power for fascist groups in both states to which Sonal Shah is associated by virtue of her origin and life in India. Her Indian origina might not have been an issue at all if she had not been actively involved in VHP America, which propagates Hindu fascist ideals. Indian Americans who have raised objections to her appointment have nothing to lose personally if Sonal Shah did engage in nepotistic support for her states. So their objection is based on ideals for a secular Indian democracy, and they would like foreign policy decisions of the US (which Sonal Shah would directly influence in her position as adviser to the President) to benefit other Indians, and to ensure that it does not serve to strengthen the Hindu fascists elements in India. Maybe they feel, with 2.5 million Indians to choose from, many of whom are equally accomplished as Sonal Shah, but have not been members of the American counterpart of a Hindu fascist organization, both Indian and American ideals are better served.None of these groups or individuals who raised objections are part of political organizations in India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:Nazis in Germany have been studied intensely worldwide for over sixty years. So the world is quite familiar with the deadly venom of fascism and how such ideals are slowly nurtured by groups in question. The fact that Hindu fascists restrict their deadly activity within the borders of India, while having many enablers living outside it, is duely noted.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:The extent and nature of Hindu extremism needs more thoroughly researched, relying solely on politically motivated media reports for hidden agendas will not solve the problem but will exacerbate it. Brannon Parker, for one seems to be doing some interesting research – see There is no scientific evidence analyzing how American Indians think on Hindu extremism. A broad labeling like this is clearly not going to solve the problem or your wishes!December 13, 2008 9:44 PM****Militant Hindu fascists have a political agenda for India. Those who criticize them on a blog such as this, don’t. Brannon Parker has written fiction, not Indian history. It seems to suit the purposes of Hindu fascists. Only someone who is completely stupid would give it any consideration at all.Hopefully most Indian Americans are NOT Hindu fascists who propagate intolerance, violence, division and hatred in India while playing model citizens in the secular democracy of the US. Hindu fascists who do, are hypocrites of the highest order.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    That said, personally I have known only Hindu gems. The Gujrati Hindus I have known have been generous to the extreme. I wish Sonal Shah great success as part of the President Obama team. Militant Hindu fascists are a new breed I have not had the bad luck to know personally. I look upon them as political machiavellians and spiritual cretins, unworthy of the great spiritual tradition of Hinduism and India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The Indian National Congress Party, the party of freedom fighters, is a multi-faith, secular, center-left party. The communist party in India is a leftist, democratically elected party. To refer to it as if it were Soviet or Chinese style totalaritarian party is a lie. Its stated goal is to uplift the oppressed poor masses and bring equality. The Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP), on the other hand is an extreme right, theocratic-Nationalist party (hence unconstitutional in a secular democracy), which has exploited and manipulated Hinduism for its own ends. It is actively against what it calls, the “licence-permit-quota-Raj.” In other words it is against the measures worked into the constitution to help the poor and disadvantaged. It believes in success of the rich to help the economy. The other unconstitutional aspect of the party is that it is against non-Hindu minorities, and actively propagates violence and intimidation by proxy through its henchmen members of the “family” (called Sangh Parivar; Sangh = community, Parivar = family). The family members are

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Hindutva = Hinduness, or Hindu nationalism as an ideal is given political power through various members of the “family,” called Sangh Parivar. BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party = Indian People’s Party) is the political arm of Hindutva. It represents the Kshatriya (warrior) caste of Hinduism. It has its own autonomous paramilitary wing (with no official acknowledgment) which uses violence and intimidation to achieve its goals. Bhajrang Dal, RSS (Rashtriya Svayam Sevak = ?nationalist self serving autonomous paramilitary), Siv Sena = Shiva’s Army (Shiva is a Hindu god) and the break away arm of Shiv Sena in the state of Maharasthra called Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). All violent activity is carried out by these wings on the instruction/approval of the ruling arm of the Hindutva. They have invented a Hindu philosophy that says all Indians must be Hindus, and later expanded the theory to suit their political needs to include religions that were born on Indian soil – Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. Their prime interest is Sikhs because they are a force to contend with and has large numbers, especially in the state of Punjab. The intellectual, advisory board of Hindutva is the Brahmin arm VHP = Vishwa Hindu Parishad = World Hindu Council. It provides the intellectual backing and support for the fascist ideals, which calls itself Hindutva = Hinduness. In Hinduism, the Brahmin does not do the everyday task of ruling or fighting battles. They merely provide the intellectual and ideological fodder. Some intellectuals living in the West, eager to keep alive their heritage and identity in a different culture, feed the ideals and distort/invent the history of India to suit their purposes. Non resident Indian or VHP members of Indian origin share the ideals of VHP in India, benefit from the preferential treatment of high caste Hindus via the political arm BJP, in their associations in India, even if they may not be involved in any activity by the henchmen groups of Hindutva – RSS, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, MNS et al.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:You seem to have an axe to grind against Hindu Nationalists based on the number of times you refer to the word “Hindu Fascists”. How much of this labeling is a myth and how much is reality is an open question, but let me show you example of Fascism across the board:(i) Indian National Congress Fascism – killing of 3000 innocent Sikhs in Delhi after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984Screaming fascism is a hoopla and not the solution to any problem, just like this nefarious campaign against Sonal Shah by some vested interest groups. I am gratified to note that you support her nomination and so does Eboo Patel, but taking this occasion to throw mud and hatred against Hindu Nationalists is regrettable. Suggesting a proper dialog may be a more productive approach.December 14, 2008 1:07 PM***Response in next post…

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America Inc. (VHP of America)Taken from their website: According to VHP of America, Hindus are all those who believe,the spiritual and religious principles and practices HAVING ROORS IN BHARAT (INDIA). Thus Hindu includes JAINS, BUDDHISTS, SIKHS and people of many DIFFERENT SECTS WITHIN the Hindu ethos.VHP of America mission:# Prachar – Voice of the Hindus- Promote Unity amongst Hindus through a network of Parishad chapters and like-minded organizations.# Seva- Provide Community Service to people in distress without consideration of race, religion or nationality.# Sanskar- Cultivate the spirit of self respect in our way of life, and respect for the people of all colors, creeds, races and religions.# Sampark- ESTABLISH WORLD-WIDE CONTACTS WITH HINDUS THROUGH PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS FOCUSING ON HINDU INTERESTS EVERYWHERE.- Raise Funds for Parishad Mission.My comment: although Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism has been mentioned for political correctness, this is an out and out Hindu organization. Hinduism is a separate religion. No Buddhist, Jain or Sikh would call themselves Hindu or identify with Hindutva. Swami Vivekananda, a Bengali Brahmin by birth, was a sannyasi, someone who had left behind the society in search of God, and did not identify with his religion or caste as is the norm for Hindu sannyasis. He taught equality of ALL religions, including Christianity, Islam prevalent in India, NOT an exclusive Hindu nationalistic ideology as propagated by VHP. Although he cannot be identified with any religion as a sannyasi, he is being appropriated by a narrow minded nationalistic Hindu ideal only because he is world famous.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    It is perfectly legitimate to have a Hindu religious organization that cultivates all that is noble in Hinduism. It becomes wrong when it is politically employed to oppress religious minorities in India. It is also not exactly honest to use Swami Vivekanda, a sannyasi who renounced his Hindu caste and his place in Hindu society, in the tradition of Hindu sannyasa, as an ideal to promote accumulation of wealth and worldliness as a Hindu ideal. Hinduism believe this world is an illusion, so it runs contrary to a materialistic culture. The Vaishya caste is concerned entirely with money making and business.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The blogger, Truth_Prevails or Satyam Eva Jayate (may truth alone prevail) the Indian motto, seems to have disappeared. Hence this thread has come to an end. Thanks for r

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Thanks for reading my multi-faith take on Indian heritage.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    From VHP of America website:VHP of America was founded in 1970 in New York to preserve, promote and practice those great universal and eternal values which were discovered and practiced by the Sages of Bharat (= India). Though INSPIRED BY THE SAME IDEALS OF VHP IN INDIA, VHP of America is DISTINCT, LEGALLY SEPARATE AND OPERATIONALLY INDEPENDENT Non-Profit organization in its own right within the USA. In 1974 the Parishad office was incorporated in New York State.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1Oh, now I see the source of your hate email campaign. Once again these allegations seem to stem from Indian Marxists and their left wing sympathizers, which are plenty in the English langauge media within and outside India. Many people may not agree with their ideology which is fine, that is why we have choice in a free political system such as the US and India. BJP denying people constitutional rights is a bogus claim spawned by your hatred. Like all political parties, BJP has some strengths and some weaknesses.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 I am not trying to portray anything, just pointing out both sides of the story for a healthy dialog. Once again, one sided assessment of facts will not solve the conflict but will exacerbate it. See India Abroad report “Noting that most of the cadre members and supporters in Orissa belonged to Christian community, Panda said, ‘It is a fact that Christians are in majority in our organisation.”

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1For coverage of fake voter ID cards to Bangladeshi infiltrators, see the news reportFor vote rigging in West Bengal as covered by major Indian newspapers, see

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 Once gain this is a false propaganda by Marxists and their left wing sympathisers in the English language media. Most BJP leaders today are not high caste Brahmins

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1Similarly it has been alleged by the BJP that Congress is supporting the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) , see A Wall Street report also states that

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 So which party acts according to the constitution and which one violates it?A more deeper understanding is needed and blanket statements are counterproductive.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1 BJP: It is for a Uniform Common Civil Code, which create only one personal and civil law code for Hindus, Muslims and Christians, who currently enjoy the privilege of having law codes tailored to their religious culture over personal and family matters. In the minds of BJP supporters, this system creates a sense of division in the country between religious communities.Congress: In 1985, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of Muslim divorcee Shah Bano, declaring that her husband should give her alimony. Muslim fundamentalists in India treated it as an encroachment in Muslim Personal Law and protested against it. Congress Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi agreed to their demands. In 1986, the Congress party, which had an absolute majority in Parliament at the time, passed an act that nullified the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Shah Bano case. (Source: So, which party is secular and constitutional, and which one is not. Things are not that black and white as your tirade against BJP seems to indicate – right? The problems are complex and cannot be sorted out that easily – hopefully with time, things will become better in India through more dialog and compromise.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Not many Americans are familiar with Indian history. India was a British colony for 200 years, not an American one, so it is understandable. Now we have Hindu fascists inventing Indian history to suit their political ends, which is to roll back Indian society to the millenia, before the arrival of Muslims and the British, when Hindu upper castes alone ruled and had all the say in society, creating a feudalism and internal imperialism which left vast sections of its own society trapped forever at the bottom of the social barrel. This new invented Hindu Indian history is called Hindutva, or “Hinduness,” and seeks to portray India as a strictly Hindu country, for “thousands of years.” They seek to reintroduce the draconian Manu Smrithi laws, reinvented in a way to suit the modern day ruler and businessman, who were known as Kshatriya and Vaishya caste in Hinduism. An attempt at credibility is sought by the input by some Hindu ?Brahmins who have taken on the role of spin masters.”Saytam eva jayathe” = Sankrit for ‘may truth alone prevail’ is the Indian motto, but it has been borrowed by the Hindu fascist political party, BJP – Bharatiya (Indian) Janatha (People) Party, as its own. “Satyam Jayathe” = Let truth prevail, is the party motto. The only problem their fascist version of Indian “truth” is not what India is about and wants to be about. India is a secular democracy, and while it is perfectly legal for Hindu fascists to chant anything they want in their temples and homes, it is not right to impose a fascist version of Hinduism through a political rule on any Indian. Contd…

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Anyone who understands a bit of politics in India knows that BJP has been a Hindu fascist party from its inception. It started to relax its rigidity only after it realized it could not sell fascist Hinduism even to most Hindus themselves, not even to most of their lower castes who stood to lose from a politics that was extremely right wing favoring the rich, and discriminating the poor. Discriminating against minorities is part of the party code. According to the Hindu fascist agenda only Hindus are Indians to begin with. The relaxation of the rule came to include people who follow religions which originated in India – Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, came later. Never mind that none of these three religions consider themselves Hindus. These religions were born as a solution to some of the serious flaws of Hinduism. But such an inclusion helps some politically ambitious non-Hindu, “Hindus.” Now, the supposedly constitutionally correct BJP still excludes Muslims and Christians in their definition of Indians, never mind Muslims have been around for a thousand years and except for a few Arabic invaders, who long integrated into Indian society, through marriage alliances with daughters of Hindu kings, etc and converted many locals to Islam. Christianity has been around for nineteen and a half centuries, and is not a product of British colonial rule. Parsis and Jews are not mentioned at all because their numbers are too small, and they are generally an affluent society, who are not in anyway affected by the Hindu society.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    To be continued in the coming days…

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    AWAAZ – SOUTH ASIA WATCH FOR JUSTICE, PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS:Statement Against Ongoing anti-Christian Violence in Orissa, Karnataka and Other States in IndiaAwaaz South Asia Watch strongly condemns the ongoing anti-Christian violence in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and elsewhere in India. The violence has resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the destruction of places of worship; it constitutes a severe attack on the Indian Constitution and the secular and democratic spirit of India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Contd…AWAAZ – South Asia Watch for Justice, Peace and Human RightsThe murderous attacks on Christians and the destruction of churches have spread to many parts of India. Most recently the violence was sparked by the brutal murder of a militant Hindu religious leader affiliated to the RSS/VHP Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his followers on 23 August 2008. While the police suspected the murders to have been carried out by Maoists, the crime was used as a pretext to unleash violence and terror against innocent Christians throughout Orissa, particularly in Kandhamal and its neighbouring districts. 14 out of 30 districts in Orissa have been affected by the violence. The attacks were planned and led by Hindu militants.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Contd…That this violence is taking place in BJP-led states or in states where the BJP is in coalition points to state complicity with HINDUTVA forces and to the role of * BJP-AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS OF THE SANGH PARIVAR – RSS, VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD (Aside: VHP UK AND VHP AMERICA are overseas organizations which share the same ideals and serve as important fund collecting bodies to propagate and achieve the goals of VHP India/Bharat) AND BAJRANG DAL. In both Orissa and Karnataka, police have looked on as attacks have been carried out. In spite of warnings and exhortations by Hindu leaders to attack Christians, adequate security measures were not taken in the aftermath of Saraswati’s death in Orissa.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Cond…AWAAZ – SOUTH ASIA WATCH FOR JUSTICE, PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS:We demand:To consider the National Commission for Minorities Report of 2008 that points out that religion made no difference to the discrimination faced by Dalits. The Commission has recommended reservations for Dalit Christians and Muslims and has also called for the banning of Bajrang Dal, a Sangh Parivar outfit that has been at the forefront of the anti-Christian violence;andTo provide legal recognition to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims as Scheduled Castes, allowing assaults on these communities to be prosecuted under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    truth_prevails:politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1December 16, 2008 11:05 AM***As a Hindu sannyasi, Swami Vivekananda would have renounced his caste anyway, even if he was a Brahmin. Nobody refers to the great Hindu sages by their caste, because as a rule they have to renounce their caste in order to become a sannyasi. Thanks for the correction.I understand that Dutt belongs to the Kshatriya caste, just like Buddha, who was a Hindu prince before he left home in search of enlightenment. Vivekananda preached that all religions were equal. So I wonder why he is being used as a spiritual symbol for Vishwa Hindu Parishad which is a Hindu fascist organization, which seeks to prove that Hinduism is superior to all religions.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    To imply that the Sangh Parivar (Sangh = community, Parivar = Family) organizations:Political wing, BJP = Bharatiya (Bharat = India) Janata ( = People) Party,Viswa (World) Hindu Parishad (Council) – the ideological and intellectual arm (providing clever spin for militant an ),

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    To imply that the Sangh Parivar (Sangh = community, Parivar = Family) organizations reflects the ideal of Swami Vivekandananda for India is a terrible insult to Vivekananda and the order of Hindu monks (involved in selfLESS NONpolitical work, preaching a universal ideology) he founded which goes by the name, Ramakrishna Mutt, in the name of his Guru, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Vivekananda taught that all paths lead to the same God and therefore all religions are equal. Members of Sangh Parivar:Political wing, BJP = Bharatiya (Bharat = India) Janata ( = People) Party,Viswa (World) Hindu Parishad (Council) – the ideological and intellectual arm, providing cultural and educational bases, along with funds collected in the name of helping all but providing help only to their own, including propagating their own ideals to their own,(unofficially providing undercover spin and direction for its political and paramilitant wing),militant wings which appear on the surface to be operating independently but are acting on the instructions of the intellectual masters, VHP -Bhajrang Dal, RSS, Shiv Sena and break away faction MNS.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    truth_prevails:politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1Blatant lies . . . please quote your sources!!December 17, 2008 10:27 AM ****************Anyone who is REALLY interest in peace, justice and human rights can read the material provided by BJP as a political party, cover all the Indian (non-Communist) media reports covering the years as the party was formed (it is a new party) and as it developed. Read about the activity of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which is the ideological and intellectual arm, with branches in the UK and US. What are saffron robed Hindus doing with politics? Saffron is color chosen by Hindu sannyasis. It denotes renounciation of the world. It is not about indulging in this worldly power and money politics and whipping up communal violence against other religious groups.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Indian media that covers Indian news from an Indian perspective:The Hindu

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    truth_prevails:politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1December 16, 2008 10:56 AM*********************************So, anyone who criticizes BJP and their henchmen are Marxist? You use the term Marxist because it plays well to a US audience who associate the word Marxist with USSR. Sorry, to disappoint you. I do not belong to any political party. You should know better as an Indian. Real idealists keep out of politics so that they can offer an unbiased opinion without trying to be politically correct. Hence my username, Politically INcorrect. Btw, I wrote that myself, and I’m NOT a Marxist source. Anyway, it should also be clear to you as a BJP supporter/member, that BJP has mainstream opposition from the Congress Party, which is left of center, not the Marxists. West Bengal and Kerala are the only two states where democratically elected communist party has any real say. The Maoists, which follow the Lenin-Marxist-Maoist ideology, whose members killed the Hindu Brahmin who propagated a violent form of Hinduism, do not belong to the political mainstream at all. They do not stand for elections at all, and they do not believe in democracy. They have nothing to do with any religion or democratic political process. The communist parties in West Bengal and Kerala on the other hand are democratic left wing parties (the name is somewhat misleading if one associates it with communism in USSR and China) and have idealistic Hindus, including many Brahmins, in their ranks.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    In the US, the equivalent of the Indian Congress Party is the left of center Democrats. BJP is an extreme right wing party, an equivalent of which does not exist in the US because it would be considered unconstitutional. Anyone who cares to take the time to read the posts of two US based BJP supporters on this forum, Deb Chatterjee and Jai Kosla, would understand why. Their alleged constant refrain has been that Indian Muslims and Indian Christians are foreigners who should either convert to Hinduism or leave India. They also disclosed the intent to declare India a Hindu nation on the slightest pretext (give independence to Kashmir and declare India a Hindu country immediately!). As per the officially stated goals of BJP they are staunchly against what they call the “licence-permit-quota Raj” and would roll back the secular constitution which has provided a means to uplift the vast majority of desperately poor and downtrodden masses by reserving places in educational institutions and government jobs for them.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:BJP: It is for a Uniform Common Civil Code, which create only one personal and civil law code for Hindus, Muslims and Christians, who currently enjoy the privilege of having law codes tailored to their religious culture over personal and family matters. In the minds of BJP supporters, this system creates a sense of division in the country between religious communities.December 16, 2008 12:21 PM*****************************

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Don’t bother to quote the Wikipedia as an authoritative source. Everybody knows anyone can write an article in the Wikipedia and anyone can edit it. Therefore articles without a grain of truth in it may be found. Since I have read several, on topics about which I’m quite familiar from really authoritative sources, I do not rely on Wikipedia anymore. I am merely encouraged to look up the original sources, if they are provided.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Post #100 was addressed to Truth_Prevails.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    truth_prevails:West Bengal used to be one of the most prosperous state and now it is in a downward trend because of hostility to business under Communist (and neglect under occasional Congress) rule. High population base and high starting GDP gives misleading indicators. Per capita income and trend are better indicators.Table 1 of the report indicates that West Bengal fell from #8 to #10 in income rank, and Kerala (another Communist ruled state) fell from #4 to #7 from 1970′s to 1990′s.December 16, 2008 11:42 AM ***********************

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    If this document is supposed to make a case for a BJP state government:How reliable is the data provided in this report? The literacy rate of Kerala has been put at 71%, when it is a well known fact that the literacy of Kerala which has always been the highest in India, has for at least for three decades comparable to Western countries at 91%! Kerala also has the highest life expectancy and the lowest infant mortality rate, reflecting a very well run health care system. A talk of the “Kerala model” has been around for several years: a third world country, with comparative poverty when compared to the rest of India, but an egalitarian one, with literacy rates, life expectancy and infant mortality rates comparable to Western countries.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The strong support for the fascist Hindu party BJP by some Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (POI), under cover of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, is based on personal materialistic gain. A political agenda that supports the rich against the poor and discriminates against the non-Hindu Indian.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    I wish to leave the discussion at this stage with the advice to seek information about India from several reliable Indian sources and non-Indian sources on India (remembering India was a British colony for 200 years and there is rich academic write ups about various aspects of India; the British know India much better than Americans do). Several mainstream Indian media should also be read for a comprehensive take on the Indian situation from an Indian perspective.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Whether or not BJP and their local supporters will get support as part of US foreign policy will depend on whether BJP is good for American business and American economy.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    As for the saffron gang, it is all only about money and political power. A distorted version of Hinduism is merely a tool.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1Blatant lies . . . please quote your sources!!

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    There are many ways of being a proud Indian and proud of its multi-religious heritage. Being a fascist Hindu is about being anti-Hindu because Hinduism is about acceptance of worship of one God by different names.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    A militant fascist Hindu is not only anti-Indian but also anti-Hindu.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1More recently after the state victory in Karnataka, BJP elected Mumtaz Ali Khan as Minority Welfare Minister.So please separate “perceived realities” from “ground realities”.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    From the Indian mediaBy Amulya Ganguli (a political analyst): The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) cosy world of emotion-driven politics has been turned upside down by the Mumbai tragedy.NOT ONLY IS IT STILL BEING SEEN AS A PRO-HINDU PARTY, THE ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS IN ORISSA, WHERE IT IS IN POWER, SHOWED THAT IT HAS LITTLE CONTROL OVER THE RABID ELEMENTS IN THE PARTY AND IN ITS FRATERNAL ALLIES LIKE THE VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD (VHP) AND BAJRANG DAL. True, the BJP won in the two states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. But these victories were based on the non-controversial and pro-development images of their chief ministers, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh. That the two leaders eschewed the Hindutva-oriented approach of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s mentor in the saffron brotherhood, showed they have understood that such appeals to atavistic sentiments are no longer effective.

  • Bocaj

    Who the hell is this Eboo Patel? Does he realise, despite his backing of Sonal Shah, the vast majority of India’s Muslims (approx 99.999%) would object to a former member of the VHP being in the US cabinet? The VHP has been involved in almost all the worst anti-Muslim and anti-Christian violence in India since Independence.Would a former member of the KKK be allowed to serve in the US cabinet today? I doubt it. Likewise, a former member of a Hindu supremacist deserves the same kind of treatment.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:On a parting note, truth in India can prevail, as the founding fathers of the nation envisaged it, only when Hindu fascism is dismantled completely as Nazism once was. There is no compromise with fascism, no matter what name is assumes, no matter what color uniform it wears. Using orange, the color used by Hindu sannyasis, who forsook the world in order to devote their whole life to realize God in their lives, is deceptive and misleading.There are many good ways of doing non-corrupt and efficient politics in India. Militant Hindu fascism, based on a distorted and sinister take of Hinduism, which excludes its own minorities, is not one of them. Maybe the ignorant Indian masses do not understand militant fascism, but it is not a new phenomena for the rest of the world.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1I read your postings about AWAAZ – SOUTH ASIA.While the violence in Orissa is deplorable, AWAAZ’s coverage like others you mentioned earlier is one-sided. In any conflict both sides should be covered properly. The only point where there is agreement is that there should be unbiased investigation of Laxmananada Saraswati’s murder. In fact the clear bias in AWAAZ’s coverage is reflected by the fact that it mentions Laxmanananda Saraswati as a militant Hindu religious leader. All accounts I have read on the situation does not point to any such tendency by this religious leader. If Christians can perform humanitarian work, so can Hindu organizations. If Hindu organizations are labeled militant while Christians are not, then it is clearly biased and adding more fuel to the fire rather than extinguishing it.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1By extension the same applies to India as well because of its top ten GDP. Does this mean India is a rich and developed nation? NO! The GDP may be high because of huge population but per capita income is low, which is a much more important statistic.

  • truth_prevails

    politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1Like many of your posts indicate, you seem to jump quickly to conclusions and they are mostly one sided. Just because I am defending BJP due to the gross mischaracterization by you and others on this blog, does not make me a BJP supporter/member. I am an issue based person and have no political affiliation. I was excited with Indian National COngress in the early nineties when Narasimha Rao was the prime minister (PM). He is the best PM India has had and he opened up the Indian economy. It hurts to see that Congress has now been hijacked by the Gandhi/Nehru dynasty and figures like Rao are not even remembered nowadays.Most English language news coverage of India is extremely biased pretty much along the lines of what you are writing. I look for unbiased coverage based on facts and not based on vested interest. In my postings I have pointed out a number of instances that contradict many of your positions.I am glad to note that you consider Wikipedia biased, which may be true. But so are many of the sources that you mention. Most so called scholars also have to satisfy their pay masters and/or organizational politics. Journalism, philosophy and politics are not as objective like scientific or mathematical evidence, which can be independently verified.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:The criticism of Sonal Shah’s appointment, which by the way is the topic of this essay, is based on what was reported about her political affiliations – VHP of America being a branch of VHP in India (referred to as Bharat in the American website), her parents’ affiliation to RSS, both in India and in the US where RSS goes by a different name, and Ekal Vidyalaya which teaches Hindu fascist ideas – by Vijay Prashad, who is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. His new book is The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, New York: The New Press, 2007.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    truth_prevails:politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1I read your postings about AWAAZ – SOUTH ASIA.While the violence in Orissa is deplorable, AWAAZ’s coverage like others you mentioned earlier is one-sided. In any conflict both sides should be covered properly. The only point where there is agreement is that there should be unbiased investigation of Laxmananada Saraswati’s murder. In fact the clear bias in AWAAZ’s coverage is reflected by the fact that it mentions Laxmanananda Saraswati as a militant Hindu religious leader. All accounts I have read on the situation does not point to any such tendency by this religious leader. If Christians can perform humanitarian work, so can Hindu organizations. If Hindu organizations are labeled militant while Christians are not, then it is clearly biased and adding more fuel to the fire rather than extinguishing it.December 24, 2008 10:47 PM ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Truth_Prevails:The opinions you have expressed in this thread is pretty standard fare of a sophisticated Hindu fascist. It may fool the uninformed, but not those who are keeping track of facts on the ground from non-Hindutva sources. ***Anyone who has taken the time to inform themselves about the activities of Hindutva and their Sangh Parivar (BJP, VHP, RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal) knows that there is sinister political movement afoot that is gaining more mainstream acceptance because of the propaganda work done and the influence of the political arm it has created to achieve its ends. You give affiliations away by describing the Hindu fascist movement as harmless when there has been plenty of proven communal violence that can be traced directly to them.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:Whether it is the official position of IMF or not is a relatively unimportant issue – the fact is that a western author did research presumably on IMF payroll, so there is little reason to doubt the figures.++++++++++++++++++++++You are free to believe the statistics in the article you cited, even if it is blatantly false because it serves your agenda. If it had been officially accepted by IMF, I would find enough original sources from India to lodge an official complaint with IMF.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:Like many of your posts indicate, you seem to jump quickly to conclusions and they are mostly one sided. Just because I am defending BJP due to the gross mischaracterization by you and others on this blog, does not make me a BJP supporter/member. I am an issue based person and have no political affiliation. I was excited with Indian National COngress in the early nineties when Narasimha Rao was the prime minister (PM). He is the best PM India has had and he opened up the Indian economy. It hurts to see that Congress has now been hijacked by the Gandhi/Nehru dynasty and figures like Rao are not even remembered nowadays.December 24, 2008 11:50 PM+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Sathyam Jayate = Truth Prevails, borrowed from Sathyam Eva Jayathe on the Indian national emblem, IS a *BJP trade mark.* Sure you are “merely defending” BJP and defending it with all the biased zeal of a BJP member, because you are an issues person, and in this case your “issue” is to defend BJP. Your love for the National Congress reminds me of a video of a talk given by a young man to a group of young Muslim students. The young man claimed he was fed up with RSS and was seriously studying Islam to convert to the religion. He talked about how he was encouraged to study Islam and mentored by a Christian professor, who had plenty of books on Islam. He went on to say how the Christian professor kept his interest in Islam somewhat a secret because he was afraid of being rejected by his Christian community. The truth of the matter is that the Christian professor is a well known mouth piece of the RSS, and was responsible for writing fictional Indian history in the service of Hindutva. Yet this young RSS member was pretending to be a convert to Islam among gullible Muslim students!

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:Most English language news coverage of India is extremely biased pretty much along the lines of what you are writing. I look for unbiased coverage based on facts and not based on vested interest. In my postings I have pointed out a number of instances that contradict many of your positions.I am glad to note that you consider Wikipedia biased, which may be true. But so are many of the sources that you mention. Most so called scholars also have to satisfy their pay masters and/or organizational politics. Journalism, philosophy and politics are not as objective like scientific or mathematical evidence, which can be independently verified.December 24, 2008 11:50 PM ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++If Indian media has not turned into the propaganda machine of Hindu fascists, then it is proof secular democracy in India is not yet dead. But if Hindu fascism continues to gain power with the help of its political wing, BJP and its powerful non-resident backers from the US, working through various Hindu fascist organization under all sorts of cover, India shall once again become an oppressive nation meant only for a few feudal lords, who now go under the name of businessmen and industrialists. India shall then become the militant Vaishya Raj, with strings being pulled from the background by the higher castes and their fascist ideology.The so called contradictions you have posted is standard fare that can be read on all Hindu fascist communication. At the rate Hinduism is being explained by Hindu fascists, it shall become completely useless as a religion. At the rate Indian history is being rewritten by Hindu fascists, Indian history will have to be read like Greek mythology – fanciful and completely devoid of any reliable fact.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:I’m sure the militant Vaishya Raj is paying some scholars loads of money to write fiction and then investing loads of money to market it as Indian history. Now with Muslims rewriting their history and Hindu fascists rewriting Indian history, all we will soon have is a library of fairy tales relating to India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Truth_Prevails:The Hindu fascists living in the US are not just hypocrites of the highest order because they propagate a hate philosophy by remote control in India, while living in total freedom and luxury in a Christian culture in the US, they are also seeking to destroy India from within by sowing hatred and division among Indians: Hindus against Muslims, Hindus against Christians.It is no different from the Islamic fascism found in some Muslim countries, where non-Muslim minorities are persecuted.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Articles on Hindu fascism should be written with the following subtitles:How Hindu fascism compares with Nazi ideology and how it differs from Nazi ideology.How Hindu fascism compares with militant Islam and Muslim fascism in some countries which have Muslim majority. How Hindu fascists living in Christian cultures of the West, supporting Hindu fascism in India are hypocrites and seek to destroy India from within.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Ideology of RSS which is the mother of other organizations – BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc.***

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    Anyone who is really interested in Hindu fascism should read the history of RSS. All the other organizations are offshoots of RSS, created to serve different purposes. They form a family called Sangh Parivar. VHP, BJP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena etc are some of the members of the family. They also have a women’s wing. They have policy to start any group under different names to serve their purpose. It will be noted with clarity that RSS always remained independent of mainstream political movement. They always operated their parallel military wing, which was banned at least three times because of illegal violence. Hatred for Muslims and reconverting non-Hindus back to Hinduism by force and using force to prevent conversion is part of their OFFICIAL policy. With BJP becoming a mainstream party, Hindu fascism has taken a dangerous turn. It is akin to Nazis coming into power in some states of Germany. Violence against minority groups is always reported from states where BJP is in power. They are trying to spread the violence to all states with intense indoctrination of their RSS recruits and VHP minions.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    BJP is an unconstitutional political party because it runs on a fascis Hindu platform and propagates overt discrimination against non-Hindu minorities following religions not born on India soil, in a secular democracy.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    It took a lot of hard work to establish a Nazi regime in Germany and it took even more work to root out the Nazi mentality among Germans. Hindu fascism is no less dangerous and it is going to take a lot of hard work to root it out. Hindu fascists, with all their wealth, power and political cunning, should no more be looked upon with respect and awe than Nazi Germans were.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The difference between Nazi Germans and Hindu fascists is that Germans did not have groups operating from outside Germany to fund and support their ideals within Germany. Germans didn’t submit to any white masters, as Hindu fascists living in Western countries tend to do. Hindu fascists reserve their hatred and violence only towards non-Hindu Indians and they are obedient to their white Christian masters in the West, although they hate Indian Christians and persecute them in India.

  • politicallyincorrectworldcitizen1

    The Hindu fascists are against everything the secular, pluralistic democracy India stands for and the fathers of the Indian nation fought for. Even in the days leading up to independence, RSS, the mother of Sangh Parivar, acted on its own, operating a militant wing as an integral part of their service wing. It is to be remembered that Nazi ideals were taking shape in Germany at about the same time as RSS was established in India. Nazis came into power in 1933, RSS in India was established in 1925. Understandably RSS and its children, BJP, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc, are against the Nehru/Gandhi family who belong to the group of the founding fathers. Although BJP and the other organizations of Sangh Parivar are outspokenly against everything the National Congress Party stands for, they mention only the Communist Party on an international blog such as this, in order to create a false impression of speaking on behalf of all non-Communist Hindus in India. The mainstream Hindu population is against the fascist ideals of Hindutva. They recognize it as a political party with a self serving agenda. The mainstream and major Congress Party is its main rival, not the communists (a democratically elected party which has a significant role only in two states of India, where they alternate with the Congress Party in forming the state government).

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.