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Is India Going the Way of 1930s Germany?
Foreign Policy in Focus ^ | March 27, 2002 | Arun R. Swamy

Posted on 04/09/2002 1:27:00 PM PDT by TBP

The recent rounds of violence between religious groups in India do more than reveal the fragility of India's secular state. They highlight the inability of Indian democracy to combat what is essentially a fascist onslaught.

At first glance what happened in India appears to be another--if extreme--case of religious passion gone awry. A train carrying Hindu activists to the disputed religious site of Ayodhya was firebombed by a mob, killing 58 of the activists. Several days of revenge attacks by Hindus against Muslims followed in the state of Gujarat, killing over 700.

However, India's Hindu Nationalists have always resembled 1930s European fascists more than they do contemporary "fundamentalists." Members of the core organization of Hindu nationalism, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded in the 1920s, are given paramilitary instruction, not religious, and wear khaki uniforms reminiscent of Mussolini's brownshirts. While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), founded in the 1960s, is mainly concerned with religion, it still does not prescribe how Hindus should worship or behave--an impossible task given the diversity of Hindu religious practice.

Instead, like all Hindu nationalists, it is bent on characterizing Muslims as alien and hostile while seeking to unify Hindus around a romantic nationalism, in which military prowess plays a central role. Hindu nationalists' emphasis on international prestige has won them the support of the westernized middle class, typically the target of Islamic fundamentalism. Their focus on demonizing Muslims rather than promoting Hinduism is illustrated even by the dispute over Ayodhya, where extremist Hindu groups destroyed a 16th century Muslim mosque in 1992, sparking nationwide sectarian riots in which more than 2,000 people died.

Hindu nationalists claim that a temple on the same site honoring the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Rama, was torn down to make way for the mosque. For Hindu extremist groups the claim that a temple was torn down to build a mosque--for which there is no concrete evidence--was at least as important as the claim that Rama was born at the site. The destruction of the mosque was commonly spoken of in terms of retaking territory that had been lost to invaders. Hindu nationalists have identified other mosques they wish to destroy, claiming that these too were built on temple sites. For none do they claim the sanctity associated with the birthplace of Rama. Indeed, the purpose of claiming a particular site as Rama's birthplace--for which there is no basis in theology or tradition--was to justify tearing down the existing mosque.

It is this fascist ideology, and the fact that a party espousing it is at the head of the national government, that makes the recent anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat so much more disturbing than earlier rounds of riots. As horrific as the recent violence was, more died in 1992. But the political establishment's response this time has been ambivalent and feeble. The paralysis in the political system is emboldening the Hindu extremist organizations responsible for the Gujarat "riots" to press their agenda more forcefully. There are times when India seems to resemble Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s.

The analogy to the rise of Hitler is not one that should be made lightly, but there are many parallels. The Gujarat attacks were not spontaneous expressions of mob rage but were highly organized and brutally efficient, probably identifying Muslim homes and businesses through the use of public records. The state government was almost certainly complicit in the wave of violence that affected the entire state and saw no effort by the police to control it. The central government was slow to dispatch the army, and has attempted to put the focus on the train attack, for which they blame Pakistani intelligence.

The state government initially sought to limit judicial inquiry to investigating the train attack, to use its emergency powers only against those accused of the train attack, and to offer higher levels of compensation to the (Hindu) victims of the train attack on the grounds that they were victims of terrorism. Even many liberal intellectuals and politicians, whose protests forced the state government to retract some of these measures, have tacitly accepted the idea that several days of targeted anti-Muslim violence can be equated with the attack on the train, and even resulted from it.

Worse, there has been no effort by those in power to hold those responsible for the Gujarat attacks accountable. The national government, run by the same party as the state government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has chosen not to use its constitutional authority to take over the state's administration despite having attempted last year to do so on law and order grounds in another, opposition-ruled state. Although the government has banned militant Islamic groups, it has ignored calls by parties both in the opposition and in its own coalition to do this to Hindu extremist organizations. The involvement of these organizations in the Gujarat violence is widely attested to, and they were banned after they tore down the Ayodhya mosque in 1992.

Worse still, even after the Gujarat riots the government negotiated with the VHP over its plans to begin construction of a temple on the disputed site. The compromise involved an official in the Prime Minister's Office accepting possession of two pillars intended for inclusion in the temple structure. Even though this seriously compromised the Indian state's claims to religious neutrality, the government has congratulated itself for defusing a potentially explosive situation.

To be sure, the government is in a tight spot. BJP members of parliament have expressed outrage at the government's refusal to let temple construction proceed until the Supreme Court rules on the subject. However, statements and actions by Hindu extremist organizations since suggest that they have been emboldened by the concessions the government has made. Over the weekend of March 15 members of several right-wing Hindu organizations stormed and sacked the legislative assembly of the state of Orissa for unknown reasons, while the RSS warned Indian Muslims that their safety depended on the goodwill of the Hindu majority. The next week the VHP indicated that it had plans to carry the ashes of the train attack victims in processions throughout the country--an act calculated to incite mob fury. It later disavowed its plans when many of the BJP's coalition allies threatened to pull out of the coalition if the plans were carried through.

The opposition parties and some of the BJP's coalition allies have succeeded in checking the VHP to some degree. They have called for Hindu extremist organizations to be banned, and condemned the compromise with the VHP over the performance of the temple ceremony, as well as the attack on the Orissa assembly and the RSS' statement on Muslims. In addition to blocking the alleged plans to carry the ashes of Hindus killed in the train attack in a procession many have threatened to withdraw their support if the Ayodhya temple is built. The BJP leadership has promised to abide by the Supreme Court's ruling on the temple site. However, the VHP can undertake many provocative acts short of actually constructing the temple and has announced plans for more religious ceremonies centering on the temple issue around the country. There is a limit to how many battles the allies can fight and win from within the government.

The BJP's allies have been reluctant to withdraw from the government and indeed, voted with the government in passing a Prevention of Terrorism Bill that will significantly weaken protections for civil liberties including allowing confessions extorted from prisoners by police to be admitted as evidence. The Act, the provisions of which are currently in operation as an executive order, was defeated in the upper house of parliament where the opposition parties are in a majority, but it then passed in an unusual joint session of parliament. During the acrimonious debate two former prime ministers charged that the existing ordinance was used selectively against Muslims in Guajarat, while the current Leader of the Opposition, Sonia Gandhi, argued that the law would be used by the national government to intimidate its opponents and divide the country.

Short-term political calculations keep the government in power. Most of the BJP's allies are regional parties. The opposition Congress Party, which has won a string of recent elections is their local rival. Similar divisions between the Congress and other opposition parties have also hindered efforts to form an alternate coalition. Indeed, some opposition parties are gravitating toward the government out of tactical considerations even as some of its allies pull away from it. Meanwhile the two communist parties, outwardly the most opposed to the BJP, have announced that they would refuse to support a Congress government because of differences with that party's economic policy.

This combination of organized thugs affiliated with the ruling party who terrorize a minority community and intimidate a silent majority, with a divided opposition in which the center is getting squeezed from both sides, is only the most obvious parallel to Germany in the early 1930s. Over the past few years, the BJP has tried to reshape the secondary school curriculum by stealth in ways that fit with Hindu nationalist ideology and has presided over the slow militarization of the polity. By casting the Pakistan-supported insurgency in Kashmir as a crisis of national security, military expenditures have been increased while social welfare expenses have been cut. The command structure of the armed forces, which were kept divided for decades to ensure civilian control, has been unified in recent years. With the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, the government will have most of the tools it requires to gradually reduce the space for dissent.

There are many factors that could prevent this from happening. The Supreme Court has blocked both the VHP's plans for Ayodhya and the release of new textbooks following the social studies curricula. The National Human Rights Commission, which in India has some judicial powers, has rejected the Gujarat government's initial report on the riots as "perfunctory" and demanded a more thorough accounting. With the opposition parties controlling the presidency, upper house of parliament, most state governments, and therefore the electoral college for electing the next president this summer, it would be difficult for the BJP to significantly alter the constitutional balance or to declare a state of national emergency. Moreover, the government has a stake in preserving India's credentials as a secular state, in order to maintain U.S. pressure on neighboring Pakistan to crack down on militant Islamic groups and in order to develop economic ties with Islamic countries like Iran. Continued provocations by Hindu extremist organizations could yet force a rift between the BJP and its allies or even within the BJP, which is divided over the temple issue.

However, the difficulty India's mainstream parties have had in maintaining a united opposition to the BJP's agenda, and the change in the international attitude toward civil liberties following September 11, make it difficult to feel confident that Hindu fascism will be defeated. For this to happen, both centrist parties in the ruling coalition, and India's friends abroad will need to recognize that what happened in Gujarat was not just another instance of religious communities in conflict. Rather, as Indian opposition leaders have charged, it was part of a broader tendency toward eliminating civil liberties and scapegoating cultural minorities in an aggressive effort to impose a unified sense of nationhood on one of the world's most culturally diverse societies.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: clashofcivilizatio; india; minorities; naziism; religion; repression; southasia; southasialist; subcontinent; tyranny
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Is India beginning to resemble Nazi Germany? This writer thinks it is, and I agree with him. As Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said on August 2, 1999, for the minorities,"India might as well be Nazi Germany."
1 posted on 04/09/2002 1:27:00 PM PDT by TBP
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To: TBP
I don't recall the Jews rioting and burning trains with German women and children in them before WW II.
2 posted on 04/09/2002 1:41:46 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Pearls Before Swine; tbp
I don't recall the Jews rioting and burning trains with German women and children in them before WW II.

Excellent point, I'm sure lost on the auhor.

The analysis at the host site, Foreign Policy in Focus, seems consistently leftist.

3 posted on 04/09/2002 1:53:55 PM PDT by tallhappy
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To: TBP
I agree with the author that the core Hindu nationalists bear watching and would cause considerable trouble if they succeed in their campaign to tear down mosques and replace them with Hindu temples. Some even want to tear down the Taj Mahal.

But these views are held by a small minority. Once it attained power the PJP has by and large acted responsibly and today is blocking the "rebuilding" of a Hindu temple at Ayodyha. Indeed, BJP's days in power seem numbered - they've recently lost a series of state and municipal elections.

The link between extreme Hindu nationalists and fascism goes back to before WWII, when many believed Japan or Germany might deliver independence to India. The violence between Hindus and Muslims was far worse during independence and partition.

My gut feeling is that the author is taking a kernel of truth and mixing it with some old news to tar BJP with the "nazi" label. Probably a Congress supporter.

4 posted on 04/09/2002 1:54:52 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: TBP
Hindu nationalists claim that a temple on the same site honoring the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Rama, was torn down to make way for the mosque.

This was standard operating procedure for Muslims for centuries. Destroying other religions holy sites and building mosques on them, at which point they become "Islamic Holy Sites". Just like the Temple Mount in Jeuruselem.

5 posted on 04/09/2002 1:55:14 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Pearls Before Swine
OHHHHHH but that's right you only think of muslims being the minority there.. you might want to remember the ten's of thousands of christians and sieks that have died their too.. sheesh.. could you at least try to be a little less biased and a tad more factual?
6 posted on 04/09/2002 2:05:00 PM PDT by Almondjoy
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To: Pearls Before Swine
The train that was attacked was filled with militant Hindu nationalists who were chanting slogans about building a Hindu temple on the site of the most revered mosque in India. They also bought food from a vendor and then refused to pay for it. When he made an issue of it, they took his daughter and held her captive on the train. The rioters were provoked.

But it's not just that incident. Some of you Indian apologists can't see beyond the small incidents that the Indian government wants you to see.

The Indian government has practiced oppression against Chrsitians, Sikhs, Muslims, Dalits, Bodos, and other minorities. According to the January 2 Washington Times, they are sponsoring terrorism in the Pakistani province of Sindh. According to India Today, tehy created teh Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Indian government admitted to holding 52,268 Sikh political prisoners, according to a report by the Movement Against State Repression (MASR.) Some of these have been in illegal detention since 1984! India has murdered over 200,000 Christians in Nagaland, over 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, over 75,000 Kashmiri Muslims since 1988, and tens of thousands of other minorities. According to teh Hitavada newspaper, it paid the late governor of Punjab, Surendra Nath, to foment terrorist activity in Punjab and Kashmir. About 50,000 Sikhs have been made to "disappear." Minorities of all kinds are killed in police custody.

Chrsitians are being singled out. Priests have been murdered, nuns have been raped, churches have been burned, missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were murdered by these Hindu militants and all India does is throw his widow out of the country. A Chrsitian religious festival was broken up by police gunfire.

Does this sound like a secular democracy to you, or does it sound like Nazi Germany? Rep. Dana Rohrabacher knows. On August 2, 1999, on the floor of the House, he said that for the minorities, "India might as well be Nazi Germany."

7 posted on 04/09/2002 2:17:17 PM PDT by TBP
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To: TBP
This writer thinks it is, and I agree with him. As Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Thats 3 against...?

8 posted on 04/09/2002 2:17:38 PM PDT by milestogo
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To: TBP
According to India Today, tehy created teh Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Would that be the LTTE that killed the Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi?

9 posted on 04/09/2002 2:22:42 PM PDT by milestogo
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To: colorado tanker
But these views are held by a small minority. Once it attained power the PJP has by and large acted responsibly

Unfortunately, not so. BJP has led the carnage against minorities, which has continuesd since it came to power.

BJP is under the umbrella of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), a pro-Fascist organization. It is RSS's political arm. RSS recently published a booklet on how to implicate Chrsitians (and other religious minorities) in false criminal cases. It endorsed the killing of priests, the rape of nuns, and the murder of missionary Graham Staines and his 8- and 10-year-old sons.

In New York in 2000, Prime Minister Vajpayee told an audience "I will always be a Swayamsewak."

10 posted on 04/09/2002 2:23:14 PM PDT by TBP
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To: milestogo
Yes, it is.
11 posted on 04/09/2002 2:25:09 PM PDT by TBP
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To: TBP
,"India might as well be Nazi Germany."

The comparison of Pakistan to Nazi Germany is more apt. Pakistan, like Nazi Germany, is fomenting terrorist unrest in the Punjab and in Jammu and Kashmir, just like the Nazis did in the Sudetenland and the Danzig corridor. By contrast, although India could easily have swallowed up the former East Pakistan after the 1971 war of liberation, she didn't, and that state became the independent Bangla Desh.

12 posted on 04/09/2002 2:26:18 PM PDT by Map Kernow
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To: Hugin
This was standard operating procedure for Muslims for centuries. Destroying other religions holy sites and building mosques on them, at which point they become "Islamic Holy Sites". Just like the Temple Mount in Jeuruselem.

Here's another: the "Hagia Sophia Church" in Constantinople, the finest architectural masterpiece of its historical era. At least the Turks didn't tear it down...

13 posted on 04/09/2002 2:32:11 PM PDT by Map Kernow
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To: Map Kernow
The Turks are not Arabs.
14 posted on 04/09/2002 2:33:34 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: TBP
I agree that BJP has some unsavory supporters and associates. I also agree that the government has not done enough to halt religious persecution and violence. Particulaly disturbing is the murder of Christians and suppression of the Christian church in many states.

I stand by my view, however, that BJP has moderated its more extreme views since going into government, to my surprise.

I do believe that BJP's time in power is coming to a close. It would be interesting to see what Congress would do in a new government - would they continue the trend to economic liberalization or would they revert to Nehru-style socialism?

15 posted on 04/09/2002 2:33:37 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: TBP
Nazi Germany's a bit strong, but the point is right: Let's not forget all the Xians being persecuted there, too. Hindooism is a religion of Peace.
16 posted on 04/09/2002 2:41:07 PM PDT by Lejes Rimul
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To: TBP
on the site of the most revered mosque in India

Most revered mosque in India . . . third most holy site in Islam . . . yawn. Are these rankings listed somewhere because everytime something happens it happens someplace more holy or more revered than the last?

I'm waiting for Dearborn, MI to be given an Islamic name and declared holy ground.

17 posted on 04/09/2002 2:50:45 PM PDT by AmishDude
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To: Map Kernow
TheWashington Times on January 2 wrote that Indi is sponsoring terrorism in the Pakistani province of Sindh. Tavleen Singh of India Today reported that the Indian government created the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and put up its leaders in the best hotel in Delhi. And it's alsobeen reported that the current Defense Minister, George Fernandes, raised money and arms for the LTTE.

The Kashmiri freedom movement claims to be self-generated, and the evidence I have seen says it is. So are the 16 other freedom movements within India's artificial borders.

18 posted on 04/09/2002 2:52:21 PM PDT by TBP
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To: All
While I'm a Christian, and know that the atrocities against Christians in India are in line with reports I've heard before, the muslims are a far more immediate enemy than the Indians are. We ally ourselves with others from time to time in order to accomplish a more important purpose. We need to ally with India to combat the Muslim onslaught. If along the way, the Indians prove to be Nazi-like, then we can disengage from them. A poster noted above that the current party in power, the BJP, is losing popularity, and might be out of power not too far down the road. India is a relatively new democracy, with an educated middle class just now forming. Let's give India a chance to mature and realize that the West is their best partner for the future. It certainly ISN'T the lunatic Muslim world, killing every thing in sight that does bow the knee to their false god. And with hegemonistic China next door, India should seek out allies where they can. The only enemies the US has on the entire planet are Communist ones, (China, Cuba, N Korea), and the Muslim world. Let's help India see the light of moving into the Western family. If the situation winds up being the Muslim world and China vs the rest of the planet, that will be the best outcome. I would not prefer Pakistan over India; once Pakistan returns to what they loosely term "democracy" there, (more like "mob rule"), we will find out that Turkey is the only Muslim nation that we could ever hope to trust.....
19 posted on 04/09/2002 2:54:51 PM PDT by Malcolm
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To: TBP
Brother, the richest indian is a muslim, mother teresa was in india calcutta. I dont think so in any western country can you see such secularism as in india. Please visit there or talk to some indian bum, who will explain to you. And by the way, Indians support Israel and our USA
24 posted on 04/09/2002 3:54:41 PM PDT by psywarrior
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To: Alan Jackson
I'm not sure why you are so vehemently anti-Indian, yet you do not also mention Muslim nation's similar practices in this regard, and what India had been up against since their nation gained independence from Britain. We need India in the fight against the MUSLIM THREAT. That does not mean we approve of, or condone what goes on within that country. It's a mutual alliance to battle the Muslim threat. Remember, as bad as the Indians may be, they did not topple the WTC; the MUSLIMS did. And since the Muslims are both India's and the West's MUTUAL ENEMY, what not team together to battle the IMMEDIATE threat? Let me tell you this: India is NO MATCH for Muslims, as far as persecuting Christians. Every nation where Muslims are in the Majority, Christians are persecuted. Not to absolve India's wrongs in this area, but I do not detect anything in your posts about the relative wrongs of the Muslims, some of which we are presently at WAR with. I'm not sure what productive use an anti-Indian post is. Those of us even faintly familiar with world politics aready know that India has these faults. But equal to the Nazis? IMHO, I do not agree, at least not to the same degree that you do.....
25 posted on 04/09/2002 4:16:56 PM PDT by Malcolm
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To: colorado tanker
in my opinion the nehru-style socialism and general incompetence of the Congress party that the Indians suffered under for so long is worse than the BJP. Sure, it's true that the BJP has some real fascists among them, but they are a minority that the BJP leaders feel compelled to grovel before. Vajpayee government in my opinion has been an improvement for India.

India is so big and so diverse with so many passions in so many directions that nobody could unite it and drive it in a concerted direction as Hitler did Germany.

26 posted on 04/09/2002 4:37:48 PM PDT by Red Jones
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To: TBP
I would disagree if they were only going after Muslims but they are goingafter Sikhs too.
28 posted on 04/09/2002 4:47:38 PM PDT by weikel
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To: Malcolm
Good points! A country with several thousand miles bordering Communist aggression, Islamic terrorism and proxy wars can hardly be expected to be a Switzerland.
29 posted on 04/09/2002 4:51:10 PM PDT by mikeIII
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To: Red Jones
I agree with you. I've been disappointed by the slow pace of BJP's tax and economic reforms, but at least they've gone in the right direction.

I also agree it is unlikely India would adopt fascism. India is large and diverse, with many languages and ethnicities. There is still widespread resentment over Mrs. Gandhi's brief dictatorship in the '70's.

30 posted on 04/09/2002 4:54:03 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: TBP
I don't know much about India's politics, but whenever I think about that country I can't help but think about how many baby girls are aborted thanks to the introduction of the ultrasound machine. Same as China.
31 posted on 04/09/2002 4:57:29 PM PDT by Lizavetta
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To: TBP
"For Hindu extremist groups the claim that a temple was torn down to build a mosque--for which there is no concrete evidence"

TBP, There is a history of Islam building Mosques over the sites of other religions hallowed buildings since at least the "Temple Mount", Constantinople, and quite a few churches in Europe before the "crusades". Islam allows NO other religion equal treatment under the "law". ALL are subordinate or non-existant. Peace and love, George.

32 posted on 04/09/2002 5:56:40 PM PDT by George Frm Br00klyn Park
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To: Map Kernow
India wanted (and achieved) a Bangladesh separate from Pakistan. It had no more desire to absorb the Bangladeshi population of over 100 million Muslims than Israel would have to absorb millions of arabs.
35 posted on 04/09/2002 8:18:13 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
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To: AmishDude
LOL! I'm wondering exactly how a place can be holy anyway. Is the dirt a little less dirty than elsewhere? People always want to worship the creation rather than the Creator.

Hey, I'm a Presbyterian. For me, the Holy Land is Scotland.

36 posted on 04/09/2002 9:38:54 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX
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To: AmishDude
I'm waiting for Dearborn, MI to be given an Islamic name and declared holy ground.

I could understand Pontiac Michigan being declared Holy:

;)

37 posted on 04/09/2002 9:52:46 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: bushrules
To develop its economy as fast as China

Um, what evidence is there China is developing its economy quickly? Chinese government statistics? Why would you trust those any more than Enron profit stateements?

38 posted on 04/09/2002 10:54:29 PM PDT by John H K
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To: TBP
I refer to your post #7 specifically the comment:

India has murdered over 200,000 Christians in Nagaland

The population of Nagaland as per the latest census (2001) is 1.988 million. Yes, just 1.988 million. The population of Nagaland since the last census in 1991 has registered a more than robust 64.41% growth (up from 1.209 million).

May I say the census results do not support your statement of 200,000 dead Naga Christians as it would imply the Nagas are gifted with a fecundity that would create an inferiority complex in rabbits.

40 posted on 04/10/2002 1:25:00 AM PDT by Qaz_W
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To: Qaz_W
The number comes form well-known human rights groups, and I didn't put a date on it since it is since independence, or the time the Indian government came to power. Still, in such a small country (relatively), that is a lot of people to be killed by the government, especially one that constatnly proclaims itself democratic.

And you don't even address the Sikhs, Muslims, and other minorities that have been murdered by the governmetn also.

41 posted on 04/10/2002 9:04:12 AM PDT by TBP
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To: TBP
Further to your post # 41 in responce to my post #40.

Which "well known" human rights group ?

Instead, perchance this reference is from the Council of Khalistan (COK), more specifically Dr. Gurmeet Singh Aulakh's congratulatory message to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland(Isaac-Muviah Faction) for the publication of their book "50 years of Resistance" in 1998 which provides a figure of 200,000 Naga's killed.

I consider the COK being far from knowlegebale on Naga issues given that Punjab and Nagaland are not geographically contiguous and for that matter are about as far apart as one can be in India (Punjab is on the western end of India and Nagaland on the eastern end).

Interestingly, the same COK in 1993 stated that 100,000 Nagas had been killed.

Thus according to the COK between 1993 and 1998, 100,000 additional Nagas were claimed to killed.

I once again reiterate that the census data I have provided in my post # 40 does not appear to support the figures quoted by you.

India is a democracy period. That however does not bestow the right to armed seperatists to indulge in terrorism without the fear of supression.If in the process some of these terrorists die, so be it. If you choose to call that murder, Indian democracy gives you that prerogative. In this we are no different from other democracies faced with these issues eg: USA (civil war ), UK (N.Ireland), Phillippines ( Mindanao ),Spain ( Basque region )and yes Sri Lanka too (Jaffna).

The below weblinks will direct you to the 200,000 and 100,000 numbers respectively :

Link 1

Link 2

42 posted on 04/11/2002 2:15:23 AM PDT by Qaz_W
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To: Qaz_W
You wrote: "India is a democracy period."

However, there are many who say otherwise.

Listen to Narinder Singh, a spokesman for the Golden Temple:

"The Indian government, all the time they boast that they're democratic, they're secular, but they have nothing to do with a democracy, they have nothing to do with a secularism. They try to crush Sikhs just to please the majority." Narinder Singh, a spokesman for the Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, interviewed on National Public Radio, July 11, 1997.

Or this:

"When it comes to Kashmir and Punjab and Jammu, the Indian Government might as well not be a democracy. For people in those areas, India might as well be Nazi Germany." -- U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Cal.), August 2, 1999.

Or this:

"The mere fact that [Sikhs] have the right to choose their oppressors does not mean they live in a democracy." Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) (How's htat for bipartisanship?)

General Narinder Singh (a different guy from theone quoted before), a retired Indina general, says "Punjab is a police state." Then there is Balram Jakhar, the former Speaker of the Indian Parliament: "If we have to kill a million Sikhs to keep India's territorial integrity, so be it." So far, they're only 25 percent of the way there.

Sounds really democratic to me.

43 posted on 04/11/2002 8:03:01 AM PDT by TBP
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: KEEDAM; keri; milestogo
You know, posters like you amuse me. Instead of ever dealing with the substance of teh issue, all you do is attack the messenger with name-calling that you would realize isn't even anywhere close to reality if you read any of the other threads on which I post. Hate to burst your little Hindu supremacist bubble like that, but the facts are the facts.
45 posted on 04/12/2002 7:53:21 AM PDT by TBP
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: TBP
However, there are many who say otherwise.

The question is how many? People who share your views are in a minority. Thats is a fact you will have to live with.

but the facts are the facts.

47 posted on 04/12/2002 8:05:00 AM PDT by milestogo
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To: KEEDAM; keri; milestogo
First, India is a democratic, free, constitutional republic which is massively diverse and multicultural.

And multicultural states don't survive, as Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union (India's old ally) and Austria-Hungary should have taught us by now.

India is not a constitutional republic. There are 17 freedom movements within India's borders, in part because Christians, Sikhs, Bodos, Assamese, Manipuris, and other minorities do not enjoy full Constitutional protection. (In words, yes. In actions, no.)

Look at Gujarat. The fact is that while the carnage was going on, the police stood aside and did nothing to stop it. The same thing happened in 1984 to the Sikhs in Delhi. Police officials kill minorities and all that ever happens to them is that they get transferred. Not one of your India sycophhants has been able to show one case where teh police were punished. The government of Punjab ordered a report on the murder of Akal Takht Jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke, and when it implicated the police, specifically SSP Swaran Singh Ghotna, they refused to release it.

In 1994, our own State Department (in a pro-India Administration) reported that the Indian government paid out over 41,000 cash bounties to police officers for killing Sikhs. One officer got a bounty for killing a three-year-old boy, whom he claimed was a terrorist. Last year, the government's troops were caught red-handed trying to set fire to some Sikh homes and a Gurdwara in Kashmir. The Hinu supremacist militants who burned missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons to death have not been punished. Neither have the people responsible for murdering priests, raping nuns, burning churches, and other acts of violence against Christians. Instead, the RSS, which is the parent organization of the ruling BJP, published a booklet on how to implicate Christians and other minorities in false criminal cases. In 1997, a Christian religious festival was broken up by police gunfire. In November 1994, the Indina newspaper Hitavada reported that the Indian government paid the late governor of Punjab, Surendra Nath, $1.5 billion to foment terrorist activity in Punjab and Kashmir. There are so many of these attacks and atrocities that one begins to lose track of them.

The head of teh RSS just recently said that all Indians must be Hindus. This reflects a statement by a cabinet member that everyone who lives in India must be Hinu or be subservient to Hinduism. And Prime Minister Vajpayee told an audience in New York in 2000, "I will always be a Swayamsewak."

Second, Pakistan is a hotbed of violent Islamic terrorists who hate America, Israel, and India, and Musharraf, the lone ranger, is trying to turn his entire country around, but that's not easy.

No, and Musharraf is doing an excellent job. There is much militant Islamism in Pakistan, true, and it's every bit as bad as the militant Hindutva supremacism that grips India. As you said, Musharraf is trying to turn it around. India did not help the situation by taking advantage of the situation to mass troops on the Kashmir border, forcing Musharraf to divert some of the troops he had been using to track down the Islamist terrorists.

Further, according to the January 2 Washington Times, India sponsors and supports cross-border terrorism in the Pakistani province of Sindh. Will you condemn this? I don't think so. Further, journalist Tavleen Singh, writing in India's leading newsmagazine, India Today, reported that India created the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which teh U.S. government has labelled a "terrorist organization." India has not been our friend. It was a Soviet ally. It votes against us at the UN more often than any country except Cuba. According to the May 18, 1999 issue of The Indian Express, Defense Minister George Fernandes met with the Ambassadors from Red China, Communist Cuba, Russia, (Milosevic's) "Yugolsavia" (i.e. Serbia), Libya, and Iraq to discuss setting up a security arrangement "to stop the U.S."

Third, Communist China actively encourages and financially supports any anti-American force or ideology it can lay its grubby hands on, because one of its main interests is the destruction of capitalism, i.e. America, India, Israel, and Europe.

True. And as the Indian Express article shows, India is doing nothing to stop them. In fact, it seems that whenever secular, democratic, constitutional India has to choose between supporting America or supporting Red China, it supports the Chinese position.

Try and digest those basic and elemental truisms, and then filter your monotonous gossip and lies to finally arrive at the truth.

I would make the same suggestion to you.

48 posted on 04/12/2002 8:35:53 AM PDT by TBP
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To: TBP
There is much militant Islamism in Pakistan, true, and it's every bit as bad as the militant Hindutva supremacism that grips India.

LOL. How nice of you, but totally dishonest, as usual. India has no terrorists' operating in Pakistan blowing up people, parliaments, and killing innocents. Now check again to see which way your head is screwed on, or even if it is.

Everything you post has been debunked before. Why did you flag me to this leftist "progressive" professor's little ramblings? SOURCE, TBP, is everything to most thinking people, but that's something you'll never be accused of. Thinking people would post utter bullshit from the FPIF with a "barf alert", or not post it at all. (I must admit it's somewhat intriguing though, to see you've dropped the crap from COK and picked up with the progressive socialists.)

49 posted on 04/12/2002 10:07:07 AM PDT by keri
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To: keri
India has no terrorists' operating in Pakistan blowing up people, parliaments, and killing innocents.

I will post this again, since you don't seem to have gotten it before.

On January 2, in the Washington Times (a far left newspaper, right, keri?) it was reported that India is sponsoring cross-border terrorism in Sindh. Sindh is a province of Pakistan. But I should believe that "India has no terrorists' operating in Pakistan" because you say so rather than believe the Washington Times. Obviously.

50 posted on 04/12/2002 12:16:06 PM PDT by TBP
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