Hate speech gives you power

Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has a new chief minister who is a Hindu priest and the head of the Gorakhnath Math (Gorakhnath Mutt), a temple of the Nath monastic group in the Nath tradition. Prime minister Modi chose him because the saffron clad Yogi Adityanath was the most popular among BJP leaders. He became popular as he was able to raise hatred against Muslims the most, following the path shown by Modi himself.

Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath

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Incredibly intolerant India

Most Indians are proud of their country. They believe it is a free, tolerant,liberal country, think the Constitution guarantees free speech and the law and order machinery keeps the citizens safe. Even many abroad feel the same.

But the truth is far removed from this imaginary liberal India.

Most often Indians elect parties with intolerant majoritarian and undemocratic ideologies to run the governments. There is a competition among political parties to use religion, caste, nationalistic icons and cultural myths to mobilise voters and to cultivate hate. Questioning any of these with reason become blasphemous. Such free speech invites attack not only from goons but also from law and order machinery.

See what happened to college professor when he questioned why Shivaji, a (Hindu) cultural icon in some parts of India and a former king , is having two birthday celebrations, one in February and other in March. He was physically attacked by his students and fellow professors and later arrested by the Police. He was denied bail because the court believed his life is at risk outside the jail. I am sure the Police will not be inclined to arrest those who assaulted the professor.

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Victory for religious identity politics over caste politics

Results of elections conducted in India’s largest and most populous state is out.

The Hindutva party of Prime minister Modi won a massive number of seats in the Uttar Pradesh State assembly. BJP and its allies got 80% of the seats ( 324 out of 403)  with a vote share of around 40 % in the first-past-the-post voting system in a state with 200 million people (fifth most populous in the world if it was a separate country).

In a three cornered contest, the main rivals of BJP was an alliance  between Samajvadi Party with Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party. SP- Congress alliance got around 28 % of votes ( 54 seats) while BSP got around 22% of votes (19 seats).



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A new Indian calendar and an old German one

New year is around the corner and market is flooded with calendars. Indian government   has come out as usual with its official calendar.

The designers of the new ₹2,000 bill — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most memorable gift to the Indian economy this year — may not have delivered the most aesthetically pleasing work. But those working on the layout of the official government calendar for 2017 got the brief loud and clear.


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Hindutva science and the cow

Hindutva forces currently running the central government in India is obsessed with cows. They worship not only cows but also its milk, urine and dung. But this love and worship is only for indigenously bred ones, not the “non Hindu” cows.

So it was not surprising to hear that several proposals for studies  to “validate” “beneficial” effects of indigenous cow urine, milk and dung was discussed in a workshop organised by Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Scientists and medical experts floated 40 proposals, including setting up a “gau vigyan (cow science) university” and researching the “anti-cancer” properties of cow urine, at a workshop organised by the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi on Sunday.

The programme was aimed at instituting a national project to validate the health benefits of Panchgavya – a concoction prepared with cow urine, dung, milk, curd and ghee.

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Intolerant Hinduism

Many believe that Hinduism is a very tolerant religion. Many think that as it is not even a religion but just a way of life of population of an area, people are not prevented from getting out of it.

The facts unfortunately disprove such notion. Faizal (formerly called Aneesh Kumar), a 32 year old driver hailing from Malappuram in Kerala, had to pay with his life for the “crime” of getting out of Hinduism and embracing Islam. He was brutally killed by Hindutva (RSS) activists led by his brother in law.

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“I am a big fan of Hindu” claims Trump

When you hear some one saying ” I am a big fan of Hindu” , most Indians especially in the south may think the person was talking about the 138 year old Indian English language newspaper with Left liberal leanings, “The Hindu”.

Mr Trump in his final attempt to consolidate as much votes as possible was praising  Hinduism, a religion with thousands of gods, followed by a sizeable number of Asian Indian voters in USA.

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Why Hindu nationalists are big fans of Trump

Asian Indians in USA mostly vote for Democrats. But Donald Trump, the Republican Presidential candidate has found a place in the hearts of a section of them , the right wing Hindu nationalists.

First there was the ritual Hindu fire, a yagna, which burned in his honor. Then there were the posters, standard Donald J. Trump head shots except for a touch of artistic interpretation: a tilak, the red dot symbolic of the spiritual third eye in Hindu culture, smudged on his forehead.

This celebration of Mr. Trump in New Delhi in May, and others like it in India this year, are the work of a small, devoted and increasingly visible faction of Hindu nationalists in India and the United States who see Mr. Trump as the embodiment of the cocksure, politically incorrect, strongman brand of politics they admire.

Credit- Rajat Gupta/European Pressphoto Agency

Credit- Rajat Gupta/European Pressphoto Agency

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