Monday, May 28, 2012

Demographic coup of Islam: Agony of Hindu Civilization

R K Ohri

India faces a major demographic upheaval. The sharply rising Muslim numbers, both in absolute and percentage terms, and a corresponding decline in the population of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists has the potential to escalate fault-line conflicts and create a Lebanon-like situation. Data from the last six censuses held since 1951 suggests that in percentage terms there has been a relentless increase in the population of only one community, the Muslims; all other communities are in a declining mode. Since 1981, Muslim population growth has been in a fast forward mode, growing at almost 45% higher rate than Hindus and Christians. In terms of percentage, Sikh population has recorded the steepest decline since independence.

Census 2001 put the decadal growth rate of Muslims at around 36%, while Hindu growth rate declined from 23% to 20%. On the eve of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, an unseemly political controversy was manufactured by the government on the ground that since no census had taken place in J&K in 1991, the conclusions drawn in terms of Census 2001 data were faulty. This led to a very clumsy fudging of Census 2001, by omitting from the census 3.67 crore people living in Jammu & Kashmir and Assam, States having high Muslim population.

In 1981, no census could be held in Assam due to disturbed conditions, but that did not result in any political ruckus, nor was fudging of census data done at that time because no elections were due then. The most extraordinary aspect of this fudging of the population profile was the deletion with retrospective effect of population data of these two sensitive states from every Census held since 1961 - something never done before in any democratic country.

In a lucid article, professional demographers, late P.N. Mari Bhat and A.J. Francis Zavier, wrote that “the fertility of Muslims, which was about 10 per cent higher than that of Hindus before independence, is now 25 to 30 per cent higher than the Hindu rate”. This means the Muslim population is now growing at a rate nearly 45% higher than that of Hindus.

The authors added that the assertion in a section of English media that Census 2001 had revealed a higher reduction in the growth rate of Muslims than Hindus was incorrect. The decline in Hindu growth rate was higher at 12.2% as against 10.3% decline in Muslim growth. Fast growth of Muslim population, especially in non-Muslim countries, is a global phenomenon, they averred.  

There is no truth in the assertion that higher Muslim fertility was due to poverty or illiteracy. Since 36% Muslims live in urban areas, as against only 26% Hindus, and as Muslims have a higher life expectancy at birth than Hindus, logically their fertility should have been lower than Hindus. But Muslim fertility continues to be higher despite their greater urbanization and lower incidence of infant and child mortality. Within 7-8 years, the gap between the longevity of Hindus and Muslims has widened to 3 years, i.e., 68 years for Muslims as against only 65 years for Hindus [National Family Health Survey of 2005-2006].     

Acceptance of family planning by Muslims is lower at least by 25 percent than Hindus and other Indic communities. Late Mari Bhat and Francis Zavier highlighted the fact that in non-Muslim countries there is a general trend towards higher growth rate of Muslim populations. 

According to the National Family Health Survey-2 of 1998-99, in Kerala where the literacy level of the two communities was almost equal (and due to large remittances from Gulf countries Muslims are economically better off than Hindus), the growth rate of Muslims remained much higher than Hindus by almost 45 percent. Analysis of Census 2001shows that on an average every Muslim woman is giving birth to at least one more child than her Hindu counterpart. 

Indians must understand the mindboggling import of Statement 7 of Census 2001 Religion Data Report (page xlii) which gives the religion-wise breakup of children in the 0-6 year age group. It shows that the percentage of 0-6 year old Muslim cohorts (a term commonly used in demographic parlance) is 21% higher than Hindu cohorts. This gives Muslims an advantage of 7.6% over Hindus as and when these cohorts enter reproductive age, say roughly between 2012 and 2016.

This gives a vital clue to the demographic crisis likely to engulf India anytime after 2011 or latest by 2021. These 0-6 yrs old cohorts (enumerated in 2001) will become reproductively active between 2012 and 2016 and continue to reproduce for the next 30-40 years. With a 21% higher cohort population and at least 25 percent less acceptance of family planning, the growth in Muslim population during the next few decades is likely to become even more fast-paced.

The Census 2001 Religion Data Report further reveals that among all religious groups, the Muslim population of 0-6 year cohorts was highest at 18.7%. The lowest percentage was seen among Jains (10.6%) and Sikhs (12.8%). In coming years, the percentage increase in the population of these two religious groups, important components of Indic civilization, will be slower than the growth recorded in Census 2001, and their share in the population will decline further, possibly at a faster pace.

In terms of percentage increase, the biggest quantum jump in Muslim population in coming decades will occur in Haryana where the ratio of Muslim cohorts is almost 60% higher than Hindu cohorts! Next in descending order registering fast Muslim growth will be Assam, West Bengal, Uttaranchal, Delhi, Nagaland and Bihar. 

A further analysis of 0-6 year cohorts’ data reveals that out of 35 States and Union Territories listed in Statement 7, the percentage of Muslim cohorts was higher than Hindu cohorts in as many as 31 States and UTs. The percentage of 0-6 year Hindu cohorts was marginally higher than Muslims only in Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh and the UTs of Daman & Diu and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In coming decades, Muslim population will grow at a higher rate than that of Hindus in 31 States and Union Territories.  

Statement 7 of Census 2001 Religion Data Report is self explanatory and vividly depicts the looming shadow of future demographic changes across India.

Trapped in a suicidal cult of political correctness, most Indian intellectuals refuse to understand the reasons which prompted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to advise all British couples to opt for the 5 children norm. Incidentally, his wife Cherry Blair gave birth to their fourth child while her husband was Prime Minister. Indeed, in recent years many European countries have announced liberal cash bonuses to couples who opt for more children. Peter Costello, Australia's Chancellor of the Exchequer, urged every couple to have at least 3 children, preferably more – “one child for father, one for the mother and one for the country”. 

Apprehensive of population growth in Indonesia, Peter Costello announced an incentive of 2000 Australian dollars for every child born after June 2004. Many keen observers of global population trends like Niall Ferguson, Bernard Lewis, Robert Costello, Bruce Bawer and Mark Steyn are alerting their countrymen to the threat posed by demographic changes to their civilisational values.

India has many bleeding heart liberals who will ask why this global panic? The answer is that in 1900, Muslims constituted only 12% of the world population; they grew to 18% in 1992-93 (when Huntington published his first thesis on clash of civilizations). Today Muslims constitute 24% of global population. Samuel Huntington pointed out that by 2025, they will constitute 30% of world population. [Source: Spangler, The Decline of the West].

According to some demographic estimates, Muslims might constitute 37% to 40% of world population by 2100 AD. In recent years the number of jihads worldwide has also multiplied; Thailand is the latest entrant to the growing list of jihadi conflict zones.

In India, the Hindu birth rate is fast approaching the European average. According to Census 2001, the decadal Total Fertility Rate of Hindus of Kolkata district (West Bengal) was barely 1.0%, much lower than the birth rates of Germany, Italy and Spain. In Kerala too the Hindu TFR at 1.64 is below the replacement level of 2.1in 2001.

Kerala has witnessed a massive increase in Muslim population from approx. 23,75,000 in 1951 to 78,64,000 in 2001. During the same period the population of Hindus grew from 83,48,000 to 1,79,2000, while that of Christians increased from 28,26,000 to 60,57,000. During the last five decades the Hindu percentage in Kerala’s population declined from 61.61 to 56.28, while that of Muslims rose from 17.53 to 24.70 percent. The percentage share of Christians declined from 20.86 in 1951 to 19.02 in 2001. 

The Indian middle class and opinion makers must grasp the long term consequences of the demographic crisis. In a different context, while analyzing socio-economic aspects of   Census 2001, demographer Ashish Bose estimated that in 49 districts Muslims already constitute more than 30% of the population. A back-of-the envelope calculation made in the light of Muslim growth rate in the last two decades shows that Muslims will attain majority status in all these 49 districts between 2091 and 2111, perhaps even earlier. 

According to a study published by the Centre for Policy Studies, around 2061, the total Muslim population of the sub-continent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, counted together) will exceed the total Hindu/ Sikh population. This could lead to a fierce struggle for supremacy in the sub-continent.

This is already visible in the chorus for more unmerited concessions for Muslims. The Sachar Committee admitted, perhaps unwittingly, that by 2101 Muslim population in India will be around 32 to 34 crores. It was 13.8 crores in 2001 and barely 3.77 crores in 1951.

In recent times, there have been strident demands by Muslim leaders for greater share in jobs and elected bodies. In 2006, Mohammad Azam Khan of the Samajwadi Party called for carving a Muslim Pradesh out of Western UP, instead of a Harit Pradesh advocated by the Rashtriya Lok Dal. 

A similar demand to create four or five Muslim-dominated enclaves was voiced by Dr. Omar Khalidi in an interview published in The Times of India, New Delhi, June 2004. He later wrote in The Radiance, mouthpiece of Jamaat-e Islami. He was assiduously following the roadmap for another partition of India. Advocating the creation of Muslim-dominated enclaves in the Mewat region of Haryana, certain parts of UP, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Dr. Khalidi demanded reservations for Muslims on the pattern of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The late Dr. Khalidi was in the forefront of the lobby seeking proportionate representation for Muslims in various services, especially in the defence services and para-military forces. He and G.M. Banatwala of the Muslim League are believed to have indirectly used the Sachar Committee as a medium to mount political pressure for seeking jobs for Muslims in proportion to their growing population in government departments, especially the defence and para-military forces, besides greater representation in Parliament and State legislatures. 

Muslims are fully aware of their future empowerment through sharp growth in their numbers. Many have started pushing the claim to disproportionate political power in India. Sometime ago when Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi visited Aligarh Muslim University, a student asked him how soon he visualized a Muslim becoming Prime Minister of India. Obviously, the battle lines are being drawn for another politico-religious conflict in India.

In conclusion, it would be in order to recall late P.N. Mari Bhat and Francis Zavier’s analysis that the fertility of Muslims was about 10% higher than that of Hindus before independence and is now 25 to 30% higher than the Hindu rate. Hindus have lost considerable ground since 1947. Yet no Hindu political or spiritual leader has tried to rouse the millions of ill informed Hindus about the looming threat of demographic decimation of their ancient faith and civilisational values.

The writing on the wall is clear. The Christians of Europe and Hindus of India have pushed themselves to the edge of suicide by failure to understand the dynamics of demography in this age of adult suffrage. Russian demographers describe the rampant recourse to abortion by their countrymen in quest of the small family norm as ‘do it yourself genocide’. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Hindu Self-Defence: Some Steps To Survive

Dr Koenraad Elst

Some Hindus ask me, as a sympathizing outsider, if I have any advice for them when they want to revive their fortunes. In principle, I have no advice; it would be arrogant to pretend to know something that the people concerned are not so sure about. But then again, Hindus are no different from others, they are subject to the same laws, so an approximative knowledge of their condition is enough to predict where they are moving and to say what they have to do to make the best of it. So, here goes.


The first thing Hindus have to do, is to know themselves. The great problem of Hindus today is that they have become sleep-walkers, forgetful of their civilization. It gets worse with every passing year, as the ever-larger Hindu middle-class is becoming Americanized both in consumer patterns and in values. Their knowledge of Western films and music is becoming bigger as their knowledge of Hindu tradition is lessening. And the worst is that increasing numbers take pride in their ignorance. In the past, it didn’t matter if you skipped religion classes. You would just breathe Hinduism.

You would know the tales from the Mahabharata and the Puranas through songs and theatre plays performed in your village square. Girls would learn Hindu traditions from their mothers and pass them on to their own children. But that can no longer be taken for granted.

In a way, the world has become more conducive to Christian-style religion. NRI-PIOs congregate in their temples the way Christians gather in their churches. They organize Sunday school for their children the way they learnt from their Protestant neighbours. India itself is becoming similar, if only because the same family pattern with two wage-earners is being transplanted. You can study religion on your own, he way the first Christians practised their religion (even in secret), against or at least without support from your surroundings.At any rate, unlike in the past, if you don’t make a deliberate choice to do something about your religion, chances are that you won’t. To Hindus, this is a new situation. In days  gone by, religion was just there, you fell in line with your surroundings, you did as everyone did. Now, to an increasing extent, you have to make a choice for it.

The law of inertia is no longer working for Hinduism; it starts to work against it. The missionaries know this; the Hindus, I am not so sure. But they can save their Hinduism by practising it. The very first result is that they themselves will realize again what Hinduism is all about.  Not otherworldly Hinduism but the kind that Krishna preached, on the Kurukshetra, with the real enemies and opportunities and the real world.

For Hindus abroad, depending on circumstances, knowledge of Indian languages is probably lost. In a few places, native languages are perhaps viable, like Hindi in Suriname or Tamil in Singapore. If Hindu families can speak their Indian language inside the home and transmit it to the children, so much the better. But in mixed families and in oceans of powerful languages like the Anglosphere, children or grandchildren are bound to take to the language of their surroundings, so it is a waste to still your guilt feelings as an immigrant by forcing your children to learn a smattering of Bengali or Kannada. It is better to teach your children Hindu values, and if this has to take the form of a language, let it be Sankrit, the key to the main Hindu scriptures. For the rest, let  them acquire a thorough grounding in Hindu stories and ritual, in English or whatever vernacular they take to, rather than investing your and their precious time in a language that is bound to die.

In India itself, English should be shown its place as first foreign language. Mind you, mine is a position against self-interest, for I will never have more fluency in an Indian language than in English; by contrast, all Indians and Westerners pleading for English happen to be self-serving. At any rate, an anti-English stand is not voguish, now that Indian politicians are not just sending their own children to English-medium schools while promoting vernacular-medium education for the common man, but openly replace vernacular with English schooling. This is a political choice: either Panjabis and Malayalis will speak English with each other, like Danes with Koreans or Congolese with Pakistanis; or they will speak an Indian language. If you want Indian unity, you’d better aim for an Indian language that will set India apart from the Anglosphere.

That Indian language can only be Sanskrit. At this distance, we can say that it was a fateful day when the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, cast the deciding vote in the Constituent Assembly in favour of Hindi as link language, to the detriment of the other candidate, Sanskrit. Hindi was not accepted by the chauvinist speakers of the other vernaculars. One of the good reasons was that it was but a recent language, a common denominator between old literary languages like Braj Bhasha, Awadhi, Rajasthani and others. Hindi as it is, was deemed vulgar by speakers of highly civilized non-Hindi languages like Bengali or Telugu. It didn’t have the kind of prestige that could overrule such objections.

By contrast, Sanskrit if chosen as the link language would have sent a cry of admiration through countries like China and Japan, Russia and Germany, France and America. The state of Israel, that chose to make Biblical Hebrew its first language, would have understood very well that India made its main Scriptural medium into its second language. The Flemish, who waged a struggle against French-language masses all while accepting Latin masses as a matter of course, would have understood it if the Indians had preferred their common sacred language over a vernacular. Even the Muslim world would have understood it.

Most importantly, it would have been accepted by the Indian people. Speakers of the constituent members of the Hindi commonwealth would have had no objection, and speakers of non-Hindi languages (even Tamil chauvinists) would have had fewer objections than against Hindi. As for the English-speaking elite, it would militate no harder against one Indian language than against another.

The vote in the Constituent Assembly, fifty-fifty between Sanskrit and shuddh Hindi,  shows how far India has slipped, and what an outrageous and what an outrageous failure the so-called Hindu Nationalist movement has been. If the vote were held today, it would rather be fifty-fifty between English and Bollywood Hindi, i.e. Urdu. The secularists were then a small coterie around Nehru, now the same stream of opinion controls all the cultural and other institutions. Back then, a vote for English would be unthinkable, now the same taboo counts almost for a vote against English. The Muslims were only 10% and smarting under their guilt for the Partition, not in a position to make demands; now they are 15% and growing fast, and in active opposition to every language policy that smells of either Hinduism or nationalism. Sanskrit has been borrowed heavily by the South-Indian languages and would be welcomed by their speakers (so would shuddh Hindi, for that matter, and for the same reason), whereas “Hindustani” or Urdu brings Hindi a lot closer to the official language of Pakistan but at a greater distance from the Southern languages of India itself.

So, you have a choice. Supporting Bollywood Hindi will make Indian unity weaker and the Muslim factor stronger. But more importantly, supporting English will make Indian unity and democracy weaker, and the hold of the secularist elite stronger. By contrast, supporting Sanskrit will make Indian unity stronger, along with popular access to the Hindu tradition. Whether India as a unified state survives, depends on many things, but English will certainly not be a factor of unity. A Kannadiga may speak English with a native of Karachi or Chittagong, as he would with a native of Hong Kong or Cairo or anywhere, without sharing a national state with them; and the same counts for a native of Mumbai or Delhi.

Admittedly, Sanskrit is a difficult language, but then it is equally difficult for everyone. And if one positive development can be mentioned since 1947, it is the decreased importance of caste pride, which led many upper-caste people to have a sneaking sympathy for the Nehruvian anti-Sanskrit policy, which at least kept Sanskrit out of the hands of the lower castes. One of the formative episodes in Dr. Ambedkar’s life was when he was denied the right to study Sanskrit in school because of his low caste. It helped make him a partisan of Sanskrit as national link language, a choice not followed by his so-called followers in the Dalit movement. They favour English, a choice unthinkable to the freedom struggle generation.

So, the anti-Sanskrit forces are a lot stronger than in the late forties, when they very narrowly won the day. Still Sanskrit is the only chance the lovers of India have. Hindi failed, and English will only weaken Indian unity, apart  from being an utterly undignified choice of link language. Brace yourselves for a difficult struggle – or for national disintegration.

Build your own Hindu organization
It is counterproductive to hope for tangible results from the Sangh Parivar. In most respects, they achieved nothing for the Hindus. A few merits go to their credit, viz. relief work and, in some areas,  security for Hindus threatened by aggressive “minorities” (i.e. the local branches of international religions with a lot of support from abroad). Important as these merits undoubtedly are, they do not justify the Sangh Parivar’s national claims for the “awakening of the Hindus”.On the contrary, the Sangh Parivar has done its bit for keeping the Hindus asleep.

They have misdirected their flock and neglected a number of concerns of those Hindus who were awake.

One good thing the Sangh did, was to organize. I call upon you to do the same. Unfortunately, the Sangh saw this as a goal in itself. It forgot to make self-organization subservient to a Hindu vision, because it had none.

However, that criticism of the Sangh has been expressed enough times and on enough forums. Repeating it is only one form of what Rajiv Malhotra calls: “mouse-clicking Hindu activism”, a useless activity that may be ego-flattering but otherwise makes no difference. It may be necessary to keep Hindus from a mistaken line of involvement, but it has mostly outlived its use now. The thing to do is simply to set up your own Hindu centre of activity and ignore the ideological line of the Sangh.

The focus may be very different depending on local needs. Physical security is an important concern in areas where the so-called minorities are strong and growing, like West Bengal and Kerala. That is why the Hindu Samhati in West Bengal is so important: it promises to be more effective than the RSS, and has so far also lived up to its promise. It channels the natural Hindu capacity for self-defence. In opulent areas where Hindu self-forgetfulness due to the invasionof American consumerism is a greater menace, by contrast, the focus may be more on Hindu identity and the revival of Hindu knowledge.

The national and international dimension can be taken care of far more easily that in the past, thanks to the internet. The pure communication dimension of this transregional cooperation will take care of itself. But is there a need of some more formal way of grouping along national and international lines? In particular, shouldn’t there be a party like the BJP?

If there were an effective lobby group, like the Jewish lobby in the US, there would be no need of a Hindu political party. There is no Jewish political party, but both the Democrats and the Republicans do their best to curry the favour of the Jewish lobby. For the impartisan form, the VHP (World Hindu Council) has in the past approached all political parties with its “Hindu agenda”, but in practice it only counted on the BJP. And even this party did not do the Hindu lobby’s bidding, e.g. whereas the VHP’s Hindu agenda of 1996 contained an anti-abortion item, in keeping with the Brahmanic-Shastric interdiction of abortion, the BJP programme (in keeping with most other parties’ and governments’) was all for birth-control by any means necessary, including legal abortion. So Hindus don’t consist of the right human material to form an effective lobby-group pressurizing political party.

A party like the BJP is better than nothing, according to many Hindus. While it fails to do anything for Hindu causes, at least when it is in power nothing will be done against the Hindus, unlike the other parties; or so they say. The opening of Indian media ownership under the NDA regime can be given as a counterexample, a BJP-engineered disaster for Hindu society; but we don’t want to be difficult. Well, let the BJP exist, it will do so anyway, but let that not stop you from doing anything on your own.

Once you’ve built up something, it will automatically become the lobby that some were dreaming of. The BJP, and perhaps other parties, will seek your approval when making its programme, your support during the campaign. It always does so when it sees people who know what they want; it did so with the secularists, and it will do so again with Hindus. This will put you in a position to make demands. The BJP will make some of your programme its own if it has the impression that you are consistent and credible. All  this and more will accrue to those who really do something and get started.

Let the facts speak for themselves

According to Rajiv Malhotra, Hindus are :   “under-informed and over-opinionated”. I already had that impression, but being a foreigner, I had no business saying it. However, if an Indian says it, it deserves to be quoted. They haven’t done their “Purva-Paksha”, their study of the opponent’s viewpoint, and – now I quote Sita Ram Goel — yet: they think they know everything about everything”.

I have, for instance, made many an argument with Hindus who claimed to know more of my home religion, Christianity, than I myself did. Perhaps it is an atavistic behaviour pattern dating back to the time when India was on top of the world, and when Indians had a superiority rather than their present inferiority complex.

On the internet, I have come across many Hindus who were ill-mannered and unwilling to abide by the general rules of good conduct. That will not influence my opinions too seriously, because my mind has by now been made up, but it will affect those of many others.  What they prove is that a good cause can be spoilt by bad servants. They give a good message a bad name by their lack of self-control.

They feel good about themselves because they had their say. They think it is impressive if they shove it into the other side’s face. But what they never do, is listen to feedback. Am I achieving what I set out to achieve? Well, the problem with most of these folks is that they don’t really want to achieve anything. The thought of getting somewhere just doesn’t cross their minds. They merely want an emotional kick, a feeling of having said it in a way that the other side, or more likely the sympathizing reader (they are not aware of another side), is unlikely to forget. They want to live out what is inside of them, and the result be damned.

The fact that they are participating in discussions on Hinduism and its plight at least proves they feel that something is not right. Let that be a start. For the rest, you have your own teachers to go to. You don’t need me to tell you that self-control (in Sanskrit: yoga) is better for you and for everyone than self-indulgence. You have Hindu civilization for that.

Hindu tradition teaches you all about Purva-Paksha, the “earlier wing” against which your own viewpoint is the counter-wing. It teaches you that you first have to acquaint yourself with what the others are saying before you can answer them. Short, it doesn’t want you to be lazy. It doesn’t want you to take the laughable posture of pretending you know it all without studying. By extension, it teaches you to take into account what the others say in answering you. It wants you to learn from their feedback. Thus, there has never been a Hindu who has convinced an outsider by means of a false (P.N. Oak-ian) etymology, it has solely earned them ridicule; only Hindus fall for this kind of “argument”, and that should tell you something.

How does this work out in practice? Instead of letting your emotions take centre-stage, you should let the facts speak for themselves. That works best. Isn’t it funny, Hindus who have the facts as their best friends yet want to hide these behind their own anger? In making your point, you should first of all let reality do the talking. Nothing convinces as much as reality does.

And yet, reality is not enough. Some Hindus know how to let reality speak and how to make their own emotions shut up, yet their performance is insufficient. For instance, so many times already I have received copies of Nathuram Godse’s speech about Mahatma Gandhi. Hindus think they are meritorious by spreading the word and propagating Godse’s speech, because it stays close to the facts,and because it is itself a historical fact. But except for a secularist of sorts (Ashis Nandy), I am the only author of an analysis of Godse’s speech. Many Hindus admire Godse, but they don’t bother to stop and think about his speech. They merely repeat it, mantra-like, without adding anything to it.

So, once in a while it is necessary to think things over. Was Nathuram Gods right? Was he more right in his words than in his act? What was the result of his act? Discussion forums are an excellent place to make a start. The “wisdom of crowds” is represented there, and I have already learnt a lot from it, even from the most ordinary people who have their moments of brilliance too, and their area of expertise. Hindus could learn a lot too, and train themselves in making up their own minds and influencing other people’s.

Don’t create false problems

According to textbooks, Hindus and especially low-castes (who were only induced into Hinduism by the evil Aryan invaders) are fed up with “empty ritual”. That is, according to the secularists, why they want to leave Hinduism. If you see Christians eat the flesh of Christ, just remember that they would never want to be Hindus and condemned to doing “empty rituals”.

In reality, there may be some things in Hinduism that trouble them, but “empty ritual” is not it. Take it from an eyewitness to the slow death of a religious culture, Christianity in Europe, who has seen numerous contemporaries sigh: “Yes, Christianity is a pack of fairy-tales, but where will I find such a good ritual setting for my funeral as a mass in church, conducted by a real priest?” Religion may be nonsense, but ritual is very important.

So, when I see Hindus on internet lists complain about “empty ritual”, I know they are just rattling off what they learned in their Jesuit school. Of course, the Jesuits know the value of ritual and also practice it, but to Hindu pupils they teach about its emptiness.

Ritual will take care of itself, it gets reborn easily, but some matters are more serious when they are made into problems. One perfectly false issue that has been keeping Hindus busy for a century and a half (if not for a thousand years) is polytheism vs. monotheism.  Pharaoh Akhenaten, Moses and Mohammed thought  they stumbled upon some important realization when they declared monotheism true and polytheism false. Against tem, some Hindus defend their ancestral polytheism, which nowadays is a brave thing to do.

Others, whom the Buddha called lickspittles, try to curry favour with their enemies by espousing monotheism. To have an edge over other Hindus, they declare that the others have not understood how a single God is hiding behind the seeming multiplicity of Vedic gods.

But the truth of the matter is that the Vedic seers didn’t cared two hoots for this quarrel between monotheists and polytheists. The divine manifests itself as one or as many, and both could be lived with. You should not import into Hinduism a problem that only your enemies created, and in the name of which they have destroyed your idols and temples.

A related “problem” is that of idolatry. For thousands of years, Hindus have depicted the divine through paintings and sculptures. To be sure, they also worshipped in the open air, with the wind as the natural idol of Vayu, the thunder as the natural idol of Indra, and so on. But surely the culture of artificial idols has so long and so intimately been interwoven with living Hinduism that we can call idolatry Hindu par excellence. So, it is safe to ignore those Hindus who, wanting to cozy up to their self-described enemies, suddenly “discover” that the Hindus have always been oppressed by false and evil idolatry.

The so-called problems of polytheism and idolatry are false problems floated by those Hindus who want to feel superior to other Hindus, viz. by bathing in the reflected glory of Christianity and Islam. Hindus had better concentrate on real issues, like how to maintain their Hinduism in a sea of hostile forces, or how to save girl babies.


One very good thing by which Hinduism stood out, both in its Vedic and its Puranic phase, was its unbridled creativity. Today, this is what is sorely lacking. Sita Ram Goel diagnosed the Hindu activists among his fellow students ca. 1940 as the most mediocre of the lot. Those who had nothing to offer individually gravitated towards causes which tilted them above themselves but to which they themselves had indeed little to offer.  They gave their time and energy, nobody can deny them this dedication, but a winning movement cannot be built exclusively of such grey people.

The creative people are on the other side. Most Bollywood actors and directors are either on the anti-Hindu or, at best, on the mindlessly Hindu side. They have named their industry after its American counterpart and some say their product is lousy, but at least they know how to attract money and they certainly have a good time. Hindus ought to feel jealous, if at all they have the ambition to do as well as Bollywood.

Creativity was to be found in the late M.F. Husain, hated by the Hindus and disliked by a great many Muslims too. He was driven by hate, old and uninspired hate, but undeniably he created things in painting. Hindus could do nothing but demand a ban, the most humourless and uncreative solution. No Hindu came forward to be the anti-Husain, let alone some original way to silence him.

It was different once. Every art form was steered to new heights by Hindu artists. Every province of India had its own variation of the performing arts. In the visual arts, no tradition was a match for the richness in characters that the fable collections, epics and Puranas had to offer. Whereas Chinese and Japanese classical music are museum pieces next to omnipresent Western classical music (at performing which the East-Asians excel), Indian classical music remains as the only rival. More individualistic yet more complex, it differs from European classical music the way adult music differs from children’s songs. Hindus are fairly good at maintaining what was great among the inventions of their ancestors, but not so good at giving a creative answer to today’s challenges.

So, gird up your loins to start anew. Create Hindu art. Let it not be an imitation of Western “modern art”, the West is fed up with it and you have no need of Indians pretending to like it. Forget about trying to be original, just be Hindu and your originality will take care of itself. Except for calendar artists, no artist wants to be known as a Hindu, so by doing Hindu art you automatically stand out.


The greatest thing about Hinduism for all its adherents is its festivals. As long as people celebrate these, the religion will exist.  Just apply the Americans proverb: “If it’s fun, it gets done.” The same counts for the more serious Hindu business, like meditation. It is not airy-fairy, as Westerners imagine, but very down-to-earth, the most realistic thing in the world. But it is also the happiest thing, the source of joy.
And judging by this criterion, Hinduism is alive and kicking. So, I am not all that pessimistic about the future. You simply have to do what it takes.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Apostasy troubling global Islamic order increasingly

Dear Janaab Ali Sina,

My real name is Qadir Sheikh, I am an Indian and I was a Muslim till 7/7. I tried to find out what prompted these 3rd generation Muslims in Britain to kill themselves and others, in that quest I went to my local Maulvi in the mosque and in a bizarre twist of arguments and counter arguments led to angered arguments and freely flying abuses and insults from the Maulvi. My kuffr was that the Maulvi did not like the questions he also did not have the answers and called it a highly unislamic behaviour to ask forbidden questions which challenge the validity of the Quran. One of my questions was that whom should a person owe more allegiance to, his maadr-e-watan (motherland) or the Ummah (Nation of Islam)? Which led us to argue how much a true Muslim each of us was and since how many generations? In the end I was called a "kaafir" (some who commits a kuffr [balsphemy]) and physically thrown out of the same mosque, where I had offered my namaaz (obligatory prayer) for the last 37 years, by the Maulvi's assistants.

That led me to investigate the land records of my family and led me to the identity of my Hindu ancestors (just five generations back) and I have since decided to come back to the Hindu culture if not the religion. I feel that my Hindu ancestors were subjected to torture and humiliation and also had to pay jaziya taxes which they could not afford due to drought in the region which finally led them to accept Islam. Though I continue to keep my Muslim name (due to records in many places like my school certificates, driving licence, bank a/c etc.) I have stopped practising Islam and I have become a murtad (apostate), kaafir or both, as Islam classifies me. I have added 786 to my email name because I believe there is something magical and special about it as I believe that Allah (God) has as many names as there are languages in this world. Allah means Bhagwaan/Ishwar in Hindi and God in English. But the local mullahs anywhere in the world are still required to call for azaan in Arabic language only. "Allah-u-Akbar" means "God is great" or "Ishwar mahaan hai". This is nothing but cultural dominance and imperialism of the Arabs via the vehicle of religion.

But many Hindus think in India that "Allah-u-Akbar" is a war cry and a call to kill the non-Muslims. Oh my God!.... what a blasphemy has been committed and is being committed in Allah's name by the Muslims themselves. I realise that I have more Hindu blood in my veins than Mughal blood and it's time that I woke up the rest of my community in India to this fact and not get into clashes with their Hindu brethren with whom they share genes, food, culture, motherland, economy, language and everything else except this foreign religion brought in forcefully by the Arab looters and invaders and forced upon them under the blade of sword. Killing of Hindus in the past is nothing to be proud of by the Muslims but should be a matter of sorrow for all Muslims in India because all our ancestors were Hindus and were forced to convert to Islam under threat. Converting to Islam does not mean that we Muslims in India become Arab. So I am trying to awaken Muslims of all ethnicities in India to this fact that how they are being misled by these mullahs everyday. Islam was suited to the kind of social situation, which was prevalent in Arabia of Mohammed's times.

I was recently very upset about the formulation of Muslim marriage laws by AIMPLB (All India Muslim Personal Law Board) there were hardly any women in the board meeting. I do not understand what kind of marriage laws can be discussed and formulated without the participation of women in equal numbers. What kind of marriage laws can be discussed by a group consisting only (or mostly) of men? What is the guarantee of honour of my educated and good sisters when they get married tomorrow under these Muslim marriage laws formulated by someone in Arabia and interpreted by someone in India? How can I prevent my future brother-in-laws from dumping my good sisters and marrying other women? I realised that in the whole we Muslims are doing nothing but marrying each others sisters only to use, abuse and dump them in the end like Mohd. Azaharuuddin (former Indian cricket captain) has done by divorcing his first wife who is much more beautiful and cultured then the (witch) Sangeeta Bijlani that he has married. Whereas Janaab Sunil Dutt (a Hindu) remained faithful to his wife Nargis (a devout Muslima) throughout his life and did a lot of khidmat (service, care) to her while she was ill with cancer. She lived and died like a true Muslima. She was never forced to convert to Islam by Sunil Dutt.

Whereas Islam appeals to corrupt men like Dharmendra (a famous actor in India) who converted to it and use Islam to have two wives. I am still worried about my sisters who are about to get married in a couple of years time according to Muslim marriage laws that will be prevalent in India as the mullahs here are hell bent upon making these laws more and more anti woman rather than man-woman harmoniums relationship oriented. The mullahs are also demanding Qazi courts (sharia courts) to be given recognition which in the end will totally bar Muslim women from seeking justice through Indian laws in case of extreme abuse and injustice under Muslim laws. My fiancĂ©e’s first question was whether I would dump her or marry another girl if I started liking another girl after marriage to her. It is of course easier to be tempted to give in to your baser nature when your religious laws also encourage disloyalty to your wife.

Recently a Muslim woman called Imrana was raped by her father-in-law and when she went to the mullahs for justice they first rebuked her for making this matter public and then accused her of low morals and then ordered her to marry her father-in-law. What an embarrassing and shameful day it was for me in my office when my Hindu colleagues were discussing this incident and enquiring from me rather innocently if it was the norm in Muslim society?

Also disturbing is the arrival of rich old Arabs in the Hyderabad city of India who marry young Indian Muslim girls in connivance with the local mullahs for a period of 15-30 days, after satisfying their lust using the Indians Muslim girls and enjoying the Indian hospitality, these Arabs divorce the girls after robbing them of their virginity and respect and return to their lands as respectable grand fathers and fathers. Their shameful acts remain unknown to their own daughters and grand daughters of equal age back home. What is disturbing is that these Arabs are even rented out rooms made conveniently in the homes of these maulvies who perform these sham marriages. In some cases these marriages last only 24 hours. In reality Islam promotes prostitution and the mullahs are nothing but pimps. Very soon India might become the centre of legalized, sharia-approved prostitution, a Mecca of fornication sought by Muslim men mostly from the Arab world.

In the end I got my answers at your website and saw many Muslim names there. I like the many articles written by the ex-Muslims rather than by the Christians who can sometimes criticize something without knowing about it from inside. I want more and more ex-Muslims to write on your site, which I believe will lend more credibility to the fact that Islam is stifling the Muslims and hampering their progress in the 21st century. First of all a faith should allow the freedom of questioning and debate, which Islam does not allow. That's why I was humiliated and thrown out of the mosque despite having been a devout Muslim and doing my namaaz prayers in the same mosque for the last 37 years.

My real hero is Janaab A.P.J. Abdul Kalaam who is a great Indian scientist and has been rightly honoured by the majority Hindu India by making him the president of India, rather than put to shame in front of the entire nation by the President of Pakistan himself and later put into house arrest like Janaab A.Q. Khan of Pakistan.

My other heroes are Janaab Ali Sina (you), Janaab Shah Rukh Khan, Janaab Salman Khan, Janaab Zayed Khan, Janaab Javed Akhtar, Mohtarma Shabana Azmi, Janaab Sohail Ilyaasi, Janaab Salmaan Khursheed and many other moderate Indian Muslim personalities. Though I am not a Muslim anymore.

I need your teams' help in reaching out to all the Muslims of Indian origin through this site.

Allah (God) Haafiz.

Qadir Sheikh alias Kaafir786