Intolerant theists forcefully cancel an atheist meet in India

The Hindutva brigade in India has used violence and intimidation to cancel a Nastik Sammelan (get together of Atheists) in Mathura, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Not surprisingly, they got support from their supposed to be enemies, the Islamic clerics. This happened to a meeting called by Swami Balendu at his ashram. Balendu was a Hindu spiritual guru, but has turned into an atheist few years ago.

Over 50 activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and local Hindutva groups reached the Bindu Seva Sansathan Ashram at about 10 in the morning and started shouting slogans and attacking the ashram property. Armed with sticks, the Hindutva activists broke the glass panels of the ashram,” Swami Balendu told The Hindu on phone from Mathura.

“Immediately after the attack, the Hindutva activists, accompanied by senior police officials, told us that the protest was a mere start and if we went ahead with the meeting then much bigger things could happen in the city,” he said.

“Even though it was a private event we had taken official permission. The Constitution permits us to be non-believers. But this seems like an all-out attack on the freedom of expression and the freedom to be a non-believer,” added Swami Balendu.

Saints from Vrindavan at collectorate in Mathura to lodge protest against Nastik Sammelan on Friday. (HT Photo)

Saints from Vrindavan at collectorate in Mathura to lodge protest against Nastik Sammelan on Friday. (HT Photo).

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Hindutva and the hypocrisy of beef politics

Police in the Indian state of Haryana is very busy nowadays. It is not because of a sudden spurt in robberies or rapes. Those crimes are always there but no one is much bothered about it. They are currently busy sniffing out presence of beef in Biriyani, a rice  and meat preparation.

 The National Crime Record Bureau’s latest data shows that Haryana has the second highest number of complaints being lodged at police stations after Uttar Pradesh in the country.
Police officials in the state’s Mewat district, however, have been given a different priority collecting biryani samples from street vendors to check for beef.
Mewat is Haryana’s only Muslim-dominated district and the diktat from the state government’s Gau Sewa Ayog (Cow protection commission) has come just ahead of Bakri Eid, the Muslim religious festival, on September 12.
Bharti Arora, DIG in charge of the special task force to check cow smuggling and slaughter, and Mewat SSP Kuldeep Singh along with Ayog chairman Bhani Ram Mangla met locals in Mewat on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Mangla said the directions to the police were issued in the wake of a number of specific complaints that the biryani vendors were serving beef. After Mewat, sampling will be done in other districts as well.

Haryana has one of the most stringent cow slaughter acts in the country with a maximum jail term of 10 years.

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Even a Cow affairs minister could not save those cows

Rajasthan, a state in north west India is unique in the world. It’s government has a department and minister for Cow affairs. Establishment of such a ministry was the poll promise of Hindutva party, the BJP. After being elected to power again, the party duly set up a department for Cow affairs and appointed Otaram Devasi as the minister.

Now you may think the story of cows in the state will be that of glory and splendour. Unfortunately it was the opposite.

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“If you do not like a book, throw it away” – Madras High Court

On January 13, 2015, a well known Tamil writer,  Professor Perumal Murugan announced his decision to stop writing in a Facebook post.

Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan

He was under tremendous pressure from Hindutva organisations and caste groups. He came under attack for his novel Madhurobhagan in 2014, though the novel was first published in 2010.

Madhorubhagan is a fictional account of a poor, childless couple, and how the wife, who wants to conceive, takes part in an ancient Hindu chariot festival where, on one night, consensual sex between any man and woman is allowed.

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Hindu outfit leader arrested for Indian rationalist’s murder

In India many ‘well meaning’ followers of Hinduism believe that Hindus will never involve in religion inspired terrorism. Even today a friend talking about Orlando massacre mentioned such a naive belief. He repeated the Hindutva propaganda saying “though all Muslims are not terrorists all terrorists are Muslims”.

“Aren’t you aware of the arrest of a Hindu outfit leader for the cold-blooded murder of the famous rationalist Dabholkar two days ago ? And did you forget the most infamous of all terrorist action in India, the Mahatma Gandhi assassination? “I had to ask.

The question got the expected excuses as reply. Usually such excuses ranges from “that is a fringe group” to “it has nothing to do with ‘real’ Hinduism” and “why should they hurt religious sentiments and provoke believers”.

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Mob leaders let off in Gujarat massacre case verdict

February 28, 2002, Ahmedabad, India

A mob of thousands of Hindus led by leaders of Hindutva organisations including the ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, attacked Gulberg housing society in which mainly Muslims lived. They brutally murdered around 70 persons, gang raped 10-12 women and burnt down scores of houses as handful of policemen watched. Among those killed was a former member of Indian Parliament,

After the massacre- Indian Express archive photo

After the massacre- Indian Express archive photo

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Battle to re-write California history text books

What should history text books in California call the area of Asia, which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka ? Should they call it India or South Asia ?  How should those text books portray caste system? Should they mention family of birth is the most important factor deciding caste or should it say professional excellence also play a big role in it ?

There is a raging battle going on in California on these questions.

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