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Communal violence in West Bengal over ‘objectionable’ Facebook post, Centre rushes paramilitary troops


Communal violence broke out in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Tuesday over a Facebook post prompting Centre to rush 300 paramilitary personnel to the spot to pacify the situation.

West Bengal Communal Violence, Bengal Communal Violence, Bengal Communal Riot, West Bengal Communal Riot, Baduria Communal Violence, Baduria Communal Riot, India News, Indian Express, Indian Express NewsA scene of communal tension at Baduria (Source: facebook)

An ‘objectionable’ Facebook post about a religious site has triggered communal clashes in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, prompting the Centre to rush 300 paramilitary personnel on Tuesday to bring the situation under control.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in Kolkata that the clashes between members of two communities have broken out in Baduria in Basirhat sub-division of the district over the “objectionable” post. Official sources in Delhi said the clashes were triggered last evening over the Facebook post about a holy site.

They said three companies (about 300 personnel) of paramilitary forces were being rushed to the state to assist the local police in containing the situation. The BJP today alleged that over 2000 Muslims attacked Hindu families in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal and its offices at several places were set on fire.

Accusing the state police of failing to control the situation, party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is also in charge of the state, urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to intervene in the matter. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said communal violence broke out over an “objectionable” post on Facebook. The Centre too has sent 300 paramilitary personnel to the state. Vijayvargiya blamed Muslims for the violence in his letter to Singh.

“More than 2000 Muslims attacked Hindu families. Bombs went off at many places and information of Hindu sisters and daughters being raped have also been received. Local workers (of BJP) have said many facilities including five BJP offices were set on fire,” he wrote. As the troubled spot is adjacent to Bangladesh, there is a possibility that “outsiders” were involved in this violence, he said. “The local police appears unable to control the situation,” he said.

Banerjee said in Kolkata that clashes between members of two communities broke out in Baduria in the Basirhat sub- division of the district over the post. Earlier, too, the BJP had accused groups of Muslims affiliated to the ruling TMC of targeting Hindus in the state where it is working overtime to emerge as a potent political force.

It has projected itself as the protector of Hindu interests and accused Banerjee of pandering to Muslims. The West Bengal chief minister has stoutly refuted BJP’s allegations and accused it of “playing religious politics” to polarise votes for political benefits.


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Assam: School principal held for using morphed Modi images as WhatsApp display pic

The school principal has reportedly blamed his “fidgety” 11-year-old son, a student at a madrassa in central Assam’s Hojai district, for tampering with the display picture.

Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Narendra Modi
The matter came to light when several people in Abdul Hamid Barbhuiya’s contacts list noticed his “inappropriate” display pictures.(HT Photo)

A school principal was arrested in southern Assam’s Hailakandi district on Tuesday night for using “offensive” images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his Whatsapp display picture.

Police took 58-year-old Abdul Hamid Barbhuiya into custody after Bidhan Chanda, a block-level Bharatiya Janata Party leader, lodged a complaint. The accused has reportedly blamed his “fidgety” 11-year-old son, a student at a madrassa in central Assam’s Hojai district, for tampering with the display picture.

Police said Barbhuiya’s WhatsApp account had two profile pictures. While one was the photograph of a chained dog with Modi’s face morphed onto it (captioned ‘dutiful dog’), the other showed a man with the Prime Minister’s face milking a canine.

Though Barbhuiya is the principal in-charge of the government-run Janakicharan higher secondary school in Hailakandi district, he resides at Katigorah in Cachar district. “We are not sure if he is telling the truth (about his son fiddling with the display picture), but the Jio number is registered in his name. A case under Section 66-A (b) of the IT Act, read with Section 120(B) of the IPC, has been registered against him,” Hailakandi superintendent of police Pranab Jyoti Goswami told HT.

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Why are Indian women wearing cow masks?


A photography project which shows women wearing a cow mask and asks the politically explosive question – whether women are less important than cattle in India – has gone viral in the country and earned its 23-year-old photographer the ire of Hindu nationalist trolls.

“I am perturbed by the fact that in my country, cows are considered more important than a woman, that it takes much longer for a woman who is raped or assaulted to get justice than for a cow which many Hindus consider a sacred animal,” Delhi-based photographer Sujatro Ghosh told the BBC.

India is often in the news for crimes against women and, according to government statistics, a rape is reported every 15 minutes.

“These cases go on for years in the courts before the guilty are punished, whereas when a cow is slaughtered, Hindu extremist groups immediately go and kill or beat up whoever they suspect of slaughter.”

The project, he says, is “his way of protesting” against the growing influence of the vigilante cow protection groups that have become emboldened since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came to power in the summer of 2014.

“I’ve been concerned over the Dadri lynching [when a Muslim man was killed by a Hindu mob over rumours that he consumed and stored beef] and other similar religious attacks on Muslims by cow vigilantes,” Ghosh said.

A woman with a cow mask in front of Delhi's India Gate
A woman with a cow mask in a college classroom

In recent months, the humble cow has become India’s most polarising animal.

The BJP insists that the animal is holy and should be protected. Cow slaughter is banned in several states, stringent punishment has been introduced for offenders and parliament is considering a bill to bring in the death penalty for the crime.

But beef is a staple for Muslims, Christians and millions of low-caste Dalits (formerly untouchables) who have been at the receiving end of the violence perpetrated by the cow vigilante groups.

Nearly a dozen people have been killed in the past two years in the name of the cow. Targets are often picked based on unsubstantiated rumours and Muslims have been attacked for even transporting cows for milk.

Ghosh, who is from the eastern city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), says he became aware of “this dangerous mix of religion and politics” only after he moved to Delhi a few years ago and that “this project is a silent form of protest that I think can make an impact”.

So earlier this month, during a visit to New York, he bought the cow mask from a party shop and, on his return, began shooting for the series, taking pictures of women in front of tourist hotspots and government buildings, on the streets and in the privacy of their homes, on a boat and in a train, because “women are vulnerable everywhere”.

“I photographed women from every part of society. I started the project from Delhi since the capital city is the hub of everything – politics, religion, even most debates start here.

“I took the first photo in front of the iconic India Gate, one of the most visited tourist places in India. Then I photographed a model in front of the presidential palace, another on a boat in the Hooghly river in Kolkata with the Howrah bridge as the backdrop.”

A woman with a cow mask in a train
A woman with a cow mask in front of the presidential palace

His models have so far been friends and acquaintances because, he says, “it’s such a sensitive topic, it would have been difficult to approach strangers”.

Two weeks ago when he launched the project on Instagram, the response was “all positive. It went viral within the first week, my well wishers and even people I didn’t know appreciated it.”

But after the Indian press covered it and put out their stories on Facebook and Twitter, the backlash began.

“Some wrote comments threatening me. On Twitter people started trolling me, some said I, along with my models, should be taken to Delhi’s Jama Masjid [mosque] and slaughtered, and that our meat should be fed to a woman journalist and a woman writer the nationalists despise. They said they wanted to see my mother weep over my body.”

A woman with a cow mask on a boat
A woman with a cow mask

Some people also contacted the Delhi police, “accusing me of trying to instigate riots and asking them to arrest me”.

Ghosh is not surprised by the vitriol and admits that his work is an “indirect comment” on the BJP.

“I’m making a political statement because it’s a political topic, but if we go deeper into the things, then we see that Hindu supremacy was always there, it has just come out in the open with this government in the past two years.”

The threats, however, have failed to scare him. “I’m not afraid because I’m working for the greater good,” he says.

A positive fallout of the project going viral has been that he’s got loads of messages from women from across the globe saying they too want to be a part of this campaign.

So the cow, he says, will keep travelling.

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India – Eid with black arm bands as protest against Muslim lynchings

Yusra Husain| TNN


  • The campaign that started on Saturday gathered pace on Sunday with hashtags #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds.
  • A number of activists and common citizens gave the call to wear black bands on the right arm when Muslims go for the Eid namaz.

#StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds." src=",width-400,resizemode-4/59311581.jpg" alt="A call to support Muslims and raise voice against repeated mob killings, the campaign was started on social media on Saturday that gathered pace on Sunday with the hashtag #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds." data-imgid="59311581" /> #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds.">A call to support Muslims and raise voice against repeated mob killings, the campaign was started on social me… Read More

With a rush of WhatsApp messages being shared and tweets declaring the announcement, a statement from individuals including Navaid Hamid, president, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Zafar Mahmood, chairman, Zakat Foundation and Watan ki Fikr amongst others.

The statement read as follows, “We the Muslims of India call for wearing black bands on Eid Day in protest against failure of the Government of India to protect Muslims against uncalled for attacks.”

A first version of the statement shared by Zafar Mahmood had also included the name of Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi, Rector, Nadavatul Uloom, Lucknow featuring in the list of names but was later omitted from the final version.

“When I first circulated the message, I added a few names and sent it only those people for consent and addition of names. There was however no reply from Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi so I deleted his name in the final version. In the meantime however those with the first draft had forwarded the message in social media which created duplicity,” said Zafar Mahmood.

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India – An Alien’s Letter To The New President Elect- Ram Nath Kovind

Image result for Ram Nath Kovind cartoon

pic courtesy-

Luis Vazquez/Gulf News

Greetings President Ram Nath Kovind.

 Greetings from an Alien, who is also as much a citizen of India as you are.

 I call you President Kovind, for though you are now the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, supported by an increasing number of allies and non-allies, you will soon be President-Elect with a token challenge from a fragmented Opposition united only in its absence of power, rather than in coherence alliance of ideology, or even a vision for India. And by the time you get this letter in your unofficial Dak, you would have taken oath in a ceremony partly out of mythology and the rest out of a colonial tradition of imported democracy.

 Perhaps I will also write an open letter to Ms. Meira Kumar, put up by the “united” opposition to give a token challenge and hereby fulfil a democratic ritual. Her father,  Babu Jagjivan Ram, the tallest Dalit leader after Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, never did make Prime Minister, or President. He was non-Congress at a very critical juncture that helped unseat Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi after the Emergency. It was, then, possible to oppose a Dalit, especially of the dominant sub caste, if he tried to fly too high. If Babuji was too early, Meira, his daughter, is too late. One of those things, one could say . Ms. Meira Kumar deserves our respect, more than our sympathy.

 You will, of course, understand more than anyone else in India, these issues of caste, sub caste, and caste engineering. If it were not perhaps for the international focus on the plight and persecution of Dalits in India following all those gang rapes, last year, the suicide of scholar Sarath Vemula in Hyderabad, and the beef lynching and the attacks by self-styled upper caste men on the former untouchables in Uttar radish and other parts of the country, the ruling party and your Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh may never had thought of you.

 But some credit also need to be given to them to have been able to collect all the sub castes which had felt themselves left out with the seventy-year focus on just the Jatavs and Mahars, the castes of Babu Jagjivan Ram, Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram, and of four time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati. The Ram Vilas Paswans, Udit Raj and others on the fringes were therefore an easy and expected catch, as had once been the smaller OBC groups, including the Ghanchis, to which the honorable Prime Minister is said to belong. Only he knows for sure, of course.

 Not that there is no glitch. Your own caste, the Koris, often called Kolis in some variant spelling or pronunciation, were once being denied the scheduled caste certificate by one till the group’s youth and politicians rebelled, forcing state governments to declare that the precious certificate would not be denied. But it is quite true that the sword of Damocles does hang on the small groups which have the protection of the Constitution as scheduled castes. Eternal vigil is the price for keeping that certificate in the file. I will come to this again, later, asking why you think this protection and facility should be denied to some other groups. Among them are Christians and Muslims who suffer all that you have suffered historically, but can never dream to fly free and high as you have.

 There is no Dalit Prime Minister in sight in the next four elections, but you have done the second-best thing, become President of the Democratic Secular Socialist Republic of India. You are just the second Dalit to sit in a chair where you can decide if a man is to live, or to die at the hands of a government executioner. And once or perhaps more times, you will decide who will be the prime ruler, the chief executive of this vast cooperative society of a billion and a quarter people.

 There is so much to write to you, share with you, inform you, admire in you, and caution you about, that one may forget to ask you a few questions. Many fellow Indians share with you your personal story of being born in a thatched hut, and living a life of snakes and ladders in the painful but unhaltable climb to the top of your chosen vocation.  You have vanquished all the snakes. No one can deny you that satisfaction, even if it does not really make you forget that you had to hear all those chants about how some men are at birth superior to others.

 So, the questions first, before one gets into the explanatory text. This is not a Demi-Official, or D.O. Letter. Just some questions which, as our honorable Prime Minister does so often, I had first asked on social media, Facebook.

  Presumably you renounce the Manu Smriti, at least in its relevant chapters that spell doom and pain for what it calls the untouchables, and in as loud and clear a voice as you will in taking oath of office by swearing allegiance to the Constitution, and promising to preserve and protect it, a duty no other elected office has. They just swear by it. You are the custodian and its protector. In referring to the Law-giver Manu, I of course by no means even hint on the freedom of faith of the President of India. I uphold your right, as you will uphold mine in time. Dr.  Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic, was an active believer of every single tenet of his religion.  Giani Zail Singh did Kar Seva. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the man you will succeed, is annually photographed worshipping in his home temple clad in his sacred thread and classic Bengali dhoti.  If ever there were a Christian President, I’d possibly run into her or him at Mass or a fasting prayer. 

 But I’d like to know your changed views on:

  1. Lynching of Dalits by self-styled Upper Castes and / or by cow vigilantes, otherwise called Gau Rakshaks. 
  2. Dalits’ Freedom of Faith.  Do they have the choice of any other than the one defined for them by the government?
  3. Continuing untouchability, even among some in the judiciary and your legal profession. As a senior lawyer, you may have heard of the shameful incident once when a new judge had his chambers cleansed by bucketful of Ganga water because his predecessor was a Dalit, whom Mahatma Gandhi had called Harijan, and whom the law books once defined as an Untouchable.
  4. Do you believe in death penalty as much as Mr. Mukherjee does. Superficially, do you believe beef eaters should be hanged, as demanded by some people who hold political office, and not just by maverick Sadhvis and Babas.
  5. Do you think Muslims and Christians, whom you more than once called, orally and in writing, worshippers of alien religions, be allowed to continue to enjoy full citizenship including freedom to practice, preach and propagate their faith. 
  6. Do you believe in annihilation of caste which Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar so passionately demanded?  How do you think it can be made into reality?

And, 7, which I ask more in passing than with any seriousness, how would you guide us in this nation in Developing a Scientific Temper.

 As I salute you on assuming your new office as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces – you know you are the Chief, and not those anchor and retired generals in TV newsrooms — let me briefly explain why I had the temerity to ask you these questions.

 I had, much as every other person interested in Indian politics, read the 26 March 2010 IANS news report headlined in the most dramatic manner as  “ Islam, Christianity alien, so cannot get quota: BJP”.

 The text was equally dramatic.

  “Islam and Christianity are alien” to India and, therefore, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) feels people from the minority groups, even if their socio-economic condition is low, should not be given the privilege of quota in jobs, legislative bodies and education, a party official said today.

 “At a press conference in New Delhi, BJP’s newly-appointed spokesperson Ramnath Kovind called for scrapping of the Ranganath Misra commission report that recommends 15 per cent quota in government jobs for socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities in India. The National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities, headed by Justice Ranganath Misra, former Chief Justice of India, has in its report also recommended inclusion of Muslim and Christian converts as Scheduled Castes and given a quota to that category.

 “No, that is not possible,” said Kovind. “Including Muslims and Christians in the Scheduled Castes category will be unconstitutional.”

 “Asked how Sikh Dalits were enjoying the quota privilege in the same category, Kovind said: “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.” He said that “it is very well known” that convert Dalit Christians and Muslims get better education in convent schools.

 “The educational level of Scheduled Caste children remains much lower than that of converted Dalits. The children of converts will grab major share of reservation in government jobs. They would become eligible to contest elections on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. This would encourage conversion and fatally destroy the fabric of Indian society,” he said.

 “The Misra commission report should be scrapped because (its recommendations) will jeopardise the interests of Scheduled Castes,” he said.”

 The matter has been taken up before the Supreme Court of India where it has been hanging for more than a decade. It is now transferred to a constitutional bench, which is still to be set up. The government is yet to tell its mind to the court, though senior ministers of the NDA have made clear, as you had then, that no one who is not of the “indict Faith’ will get the benefits.

 Ranganath Misra’s report is crucial evidence before the court, and the religious minorities have set much hope on it. The report, which was tabled in Parliament on December 18, 2009, has defined religious and linguistic minorities as backward classes and recommended 15 percent reservation for all minorities in jobs, education and welfare schemes.

 As the IANS report told the world, of India’s then 1.2 billion population, Muslims form the largest minority at close to 14 per cent, followed by Christians at 2.3 per cent, Sikhs at 1.9 per cent, Buddhists at 0.8 per cent, Jains at 0.4 per cent and others including Parsis at 0.6 per cent. “Within the recommended 15 per cent earmarked seats in institutions shall be 10 per cent for the Muslims and the remaining 5 per cent for the other minorities,” the report had said.

 If ever anyone had any doubts on your toeing the party line, and the Sangh line, you set it at rest in your written statement: “The  report of the Commission is not unanimous. The Commission, inter alia, made recommendations to give 15 percent reservation to minorities under Backward Class quota in education, government employment and social welfare schemes. Out of this 15 percent reservation, 10 percent reservation has been recommended to Muslim Community and remaining 5 percent to other minority communities. The Commission has further recommended to include convert Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the list of Scheduled Castes.”

 You knew the so-called objection was not by a member of the commission, but by the IAS woman secretary whose bigotry had been a byword for a long time in the commission. Perhaps that is why she had been put in that office. The UPA often functioned mysteriously in such matters.

 You said with unambiguous precision and clarity. “At present convert Christians and Muslims are getting reservation in government jobs under Backward Class categories. The question is when they are already getting reservation in backward class category why do they want reservation in Scheduled Castes category. The answer is clear. Their special interest is not in getting reservation in government jobs, they want Scheduled Caste category reservation for contesting elections from village Panchayats to the Lok Sabha. As they know, they cannot be eligible to contest elections on reserved seats under backward class reservation. If the government accepts Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations, the convert Christians and Muslims would become eligible to contest on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. Thus, the people of Scheduled Castes would have to share their reservation in government jobs and political fields with convert Christians and Muslims.” 

If your contempt at that time for Christian and Muslim Dalits was not enunciated sharply enough, the next few paragraphs would deliver the coup de grace, the master stroke, so to say.

 You told the Media, “You are aware that educational level of Scheduled Castes children remains much lower than that of convert Dalit Christians and Muslims. So, the children of converts would grab major share of reservation in government jobs. The convert Dalit Christians and Muslims would become eligible to contest election on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. So, the Scheduled Castes would suffer from all angles in all fields. Moreover, it would further encourage conversion and fatally destroy the fabric of Indian Society.” Your note was circulated to media offices by your office secretary, Sham Raju, which, I believe, is his name.

 Why do you fear conversions, Sir? The Buddha converted many, and Ambedkar followed his Mentor’s choice, taking with him 400,000 Dalits in history’s single largest peaceful mass conversion. I don’t mention the Manipur conversion to Hinduism, because it was the King’s decision, not the people’s (decision).

 There are two things a human being can change — one’s religion and nationality. As many times as she or he may wish to do so. Many Non-resident Indians have done so. These NRIs now finance and lead the troops of Hindutva.

 I hope you will, in your new office, restore sanity and cool this Garm Hawa, the evil wind which is now searing and scorching our motherland.

 I wish you luck

 Jai Hind

 I remain, your’s sincerely

 The follower of a religion you once thought was alien

(Published on 26th June 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 26)

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Kashmir – With Facebook banned, youth reach out via Kashbook


Not locked out: Youth near Dal Lake use smartphones and new social media options to connect.

Tech-savvy teens develop alternative social networking platforms for the Valley

A bright and windy day, when tourists were out and about in Srinagar, turned dark in minutes. Shops and schools shut, children rushed home, police swarmed the streets and internet links snapped, as news of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat’s death broke. But amidst the chaos, two teens were busy making plans to attract more traffic to their ‘business projects’.

“We need to plan, during calm and chaos…call me later,” said one of the teenagers, Zeyan Shafiq. Three days later, the 15-year-old met this correspondent in one of Srinagar’s swankier cafes. Zeyan’s ‘projects’ are rooted in the successful model of giants like Facebook, and WeChat of China. Along with Uzair, a second year engineering student, he has created Facebook’s alternative for Kashmir – Kashbook.

The site, Zeyan claimed, has over 10,000 users since it launched in mid-May, in the wake of the April 26 social media ban. Facebook is among 22 top social media sites blocked in the valley.

“People miss Facebook. I was toying with the alternative since 2013, and the ban spurred Kashbook’s launch,” said Zeyan. Registering on Kashbook is “as simple as Facebook” and the site looks attractive with a blue-white theme. While the user base seemed smaller than what Zeyan claimed, Kashbook does connect many people. Several posted comments; a few videos, some with disturbing scenes were added. Zeyan considers blocking “incendiary material against any country” his key responsibility.

“Anything anti-national will be removed,” said Abid, Zeyan’s cousin, and a lawyer. But not events like stone pelting. That is “news”, Zeyan argued. He has not got a call from the police for running Kashbook.

Things went differently for Usman Tareen, founder of, a social networking site. Police said he had been questioned, but Usman denied it. The 16-year-old said since Class VII, he had been learning to develop the “perfect app and interactive platforms.” He plans to launch a YouTube-like site. Both entrepreneurs have messaging apps.

“I learnt from friends and on the Internet,” he claimed. Usman, with an untrimmed moustache, is preparing for a polytechnic entrance test, and wants to study web and application development outside Kashmir.

“Most of our sites are modelled on WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter, and about half a dozen cannot be accessed frequently,” he said. “Often, the site is under maintenance and on other occasions, the internet is down or blocked.”

Since the death of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander, in July 2016, there has been a sharp rise in protests. South Kashmir virtually spun out of control and even now many villages sport plaques with his name. A senior Cyber Cell official of the Kashmir police told The Hindu that there are “214 militants — alive, recognised and registered [on social media]” as of May, of which “120 are locals.” The social media blockade came due to “largescale circulation of anti-India publicity material.”

VPN usage on the rise

The blockade has made it tough to download from WhatsApp. But such applications are still accessed by those who are technology savvy. A telecom operations manager said, “Many started using Virtual Private Network, bypassing the ban.”

It is impossible to identify a user on a VPN as the Internet Protocol address is masked. Yet, the ban is quite effective. Interestingly, while the use of social media sites and apps has dropped, data usage has not.

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#SundayReading- India’s new museums are more about memories than objects


The Partition Museum’s gallery of hope features a tree where people write messages on paper leaves.The Partition Museum’s gallery of hope features a tree where people write messages on paper leaves.
All these years, the Partition of India and Pakistan, the biggest mass migration in the last century, has been confined to refugee accounts and nightmares, literature and cinema, and lived on in the fears and longings of later generations. There was no physical memorial anywhere to Partition — perhaps because it was seen as too flammable, too painful.

Now, 70 years on, a small museum in Amritsar’s Town Hall marks the traumatic event which led to 12 million people crossing the border, and killing somewhere between one and two million.

“It’s a people’s museum,” says co-founder and CEO Mallika Ahluwalia. “It’s not about assigning blame, but to acknowledge the experience of those who lived through it.” It is their voices and memories that echo in the four rooms of the museum currently open for viewers. In one of the rooms, an installation of a well is a quiet reminder of the violence, rape and honour killings of women. At another point in the room, a still-brilliant Phulkari coat and a battered leather briefcase tell a painful love story.

The Partition Museum is still very much in beta — it will open all its rooms to the public on August 17. While the material first came from the personal networks of its founders and trustees, Kishwar Desai, Dipali Khanna, Bindu Manchanda and Ahluwalia herself, all from Partition-affected families, she says they were overwhelmed with the stories that poured in. The museum’s visitor’s book has others offering more personal accounts. “We want to do an oral history archive, one where anyone can come and search, perhaps hear their great-grandparents’ voice,” says Ahluwalia.

The Partition Museum is one of several memory museums that have sprung up around the country. They flip the logic of traditional museums, where you go to look at objects and exhibits — here, the objects are made meaningful only because of the events and experiences they emerge from.

The Remember Bhopal museum is about the survivors of the 1984 gas tragedy telling their own story, in sharp counterpoint to official versions. “The museum is not meant to evoke pity or anger alone, but also their ongoing protest, their fight and resolve,” says museologist and journalist Rama Lakshmi, who curated the museum. The objects are not showpieces — they include the inhaler of a woman with respiratory illness who marched all the way to Delhi, the bangle broken when an activist was jailed. Rusted locks and corroded utensils speak of the damage of the gas tragedy, the betrayal of its survivors.

The Conflictorium museum in Mirzapur, Ahmedabad makes a more oblique point about the conflicts and differences that make us. There is no explicit mention of the 2002 riots, but the museum calls for an examination of political, social and personal conflict. A room with the silhouettes of leaders like Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru, Jinnah, Sardar Patel and Indula Yagnik, with red lines running between them, is also a reminder that these figures and their thoughts were often in argument and opposition. “These criss-crossings exist, and they’re fine. That’s the beauty of the Union of India, that there is no coherent idea but many thoughts that collide and come together,” says Avni Sethi, founder of the museum.

None of these museums are encyclopaedias pinned to the wall, or storehouses of objects — they are meant to make you feel, to engage the senses and the imagination. “There are 22 museums in Ahmedabad, and hardly anyone visits, so why another one? Maybe we’re not a museum-going culture, maybe we’re more oral and tactile. So we did away with traditional museum etiquette. There are no yellow lines or glass boxes, you can touch and feel and add and subtract to the displays,” says Sethi. The museum is not about the exhibits alone — it’s a dynamic space, with movie screenings, poetry readings and stand-up gigs.

“In India, we’ve only known the British model of collections exhibited like trophies, a sculpture gallery, a numismatics gallery and so on. We need more storytelling in museums,” says museum designer Amardeep Behl. For that to happen, historians, designers and storytellers must first think together, then get the specialized curators in, he says. “One needs to create immersive experiences to trigger emotions. It’s about the design, rather than the technology or the text,” says Shekhar Badve, who has designed the ‘Swaraj’ museum in Pune dedicated to early freedom fighters, among others.

The day the Bhopal museum opened, one of the women cried for hours, in front of her own infant son’s frock in a display case, says Lakshmi. She had donated it to the museum herself, not so long ago, but something about seeing it aestheticized, lit up, with his picture and her voice telling the story, just devastated her. Many of the survivors are taken back to their own experience that awful midnight, in the pitch black of the first room in the museum.

Remember Bhopal Museum

The last room in the Conflictorium has a “map of feelings” with hooks where you can place bangles, to describe your own complicated responses to each exhibit. “We don’t want the visit to be input-input-input, you want people to pause and process,” says Sethi. Those with direct memories of events are often overwhelmed in these museums, but it can unsettle other visitors too. In the Partition Museum, the gallery of hope features a tree where people write messages on paper leaves, and many of those are jingoistic “East or West India is the best”, “Salute to our soldiers” and so on, while a few are more reflective, moved by what they just saw.

Of course, these museums are still new and few, and have to walk a careful line. “Museums can be a space of genuine reflection on conflict only if they are truly autonomous. The British Museumcan host a discussion on the Middle East only because the government keeps a distance. In India, it’s harder for museums, public or private, to take on contentious political subjects,” says Ruchira Ghose, former director of Crafts Museum.

There’s a twee quality that often creeps in when complex confrontations of trauma are ruled out, says art critic and curator Ranjit Hoskote. “In a society that is afraid of confronting its own spectres, there are limits to what a memory museum can do,” he points out.

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Open letter – Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani just defied all logic in his recent urge to cut the word ‘intercourse’ from SRK and Anushka starrer Imtiaz Ali’s next, Jab Harry Met Sejal.

In one of the trailers of Jab Harry Met Sejal, Anushka Sharma talks about ‘intercourse’, as she tells him that just in case they end up having a sexual intercourse, there won’t be any legal complications in an indemnity bond she hands over to him.

Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

In an interview to The Quint, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani said, “We have granted a U/A to the trailer on the condition of deletion of the dialogue about the intercourse…But they have not come back to us with the deletion. So in principle, the trailer has not been passed yet.”

While sex is a more commonly and casually used term in general, intercourse is a more technical and scientifically used term among educated classes. Here’s a basic definition of ‘intercourse’ that he could have simply entered into Google search!

Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

In the past, Mr. Nahalani has objected to the middle finger shown in the poster of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. He told Hindustan Times, “We’ve taken note of the poster. Showing the middle finger is impolite in any society. And it should be discouraged. I don’t think disapproving of this obscene gesture would be considered primitive or regressive in any society, except maybe in ours. We love to show our middle finger at anyone who champions sobriety and grace in our conduct.” He also added, “We at the CBFC would rather do our jobs honestly than compete for the honour of being cool and trendy.”

Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

Earlier, our Queen aka Kangana Ranaut spoke about how the Censor Board of Film Certification blurred a bra in her iconic movie Queen. TCBFC’s nonsensical cuts also axed Baar Baar Dekho. Apparently, a scene where Katrina’s bra was showing and the mention of Savita Bhabhi didn’t go down well with the board and they decided to chop it off!

Kangana once said that a woman’s bra is not a danger to society, and clearly, intercourse also doesn’t pose any danger to the society. That’s how people are born Mr. Nahalani. Or, are they born out of photosynthesis?

Watch the trailer of Jab Harry Met Sejal which talks about intercourse here.

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Complaint to the Press Council of India against Republic TV expose #Activismforaprice

Image result for sp udayakumar


Renowned anti-nuclear and peace activist Dr. S P Udayakumar has filed a complaint with the Press Council of India against harassment meted out to him and his family by Republic TV and its reporters.

Here is the complaint that Dr. Udayakumar sent to the Press Council earlier today:


Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad
The Chairman
Press Council of India
Soochna Bhavan
8-C.G.O. Complex
Lodhi Road
New Delhi 110 003
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Dear Sir:

Greetings! I write to bring your kind attention to the ongoing deceit and harassment of me and my family by Mr. Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.

On April 8, 2017, one “Shweta Sharma” (I later found out that her real name was Shweta Kothari) came to my home at Nagercoil and introduced herself as a “research scholar” from the Cardiff University in the UK. She asked for my help with her dissertation research. She had been accompanied by her “local friend” Sanjeev. I gave her several books and answered her questions.

On April 9, 2017 she requested me to stop by her hotel room as she had a few more questions. There she told me that “one of her British professors” was very keen on supporting our struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. I told her that we did not accept money from foreigners and our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds. So I said she could not donate money from abroad but her parents could do it here in India if she sent the money to them. I also mentioned clearly that I would give proper receipt and the money will be accounted for. I also informed her that we were not interested in getting foreign funds.

Mr. Arnab Goswami and his team telecasted this as a so-called “sting operation” on me at 2 pm on June 20, 2017 in their Republic TV and alleged that our struggle against the Koodankulm nuclear power project was funded by the Church with foreign donations. I took part in the very same panel discussion on Republic TV and clarified what had transpired. But Mr. Goswami was so abhorrent, abrasive and even abusive.

As I was taking part in their discussion from Kumbakonam town where I was attending an agitation, Republic TV reporter Sanjeev was standing in front of my home at Nagercoil from 2 pm till 11 pm that night harassing my parents aged 85 and 82 respectively, my wife and school-going son. He was insisting on their responding to their so-called sting operation. Even after they told him that I was out of town, he and three of his colleagues were hounding my family with their high-handed behavior.

Sanjeev showed up at my home again in the morning of June 21, 2017 and started harassing my family all over again. When my aged father objected to his ruthless behavior, he fraudulently reported on his TV that I personally had scolded him. I came to know about the whole incident when I came home in the evening.

In a desperate attempt to raise the TRP rate, the discredited Republic TV has been telecasting slanderous reports about me and spreading canards through social media. This kind of indecent and abusive behavior of an anchor and reporters is unacceptable in a democracy. The Republic TV and their reporters are crossing all limits and causing so much mental agony to me and my entire family.

In the light of the above situation, may I request you to do the needful to stop this anti-people TV from hurting me and more people in future, please. Looking forward to your immediate and favorable intervention, I send you my best personal regards and all peaceful wishes.


S. P. Udayakumar

S. P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Pachai Tamizhagam Katchi (Green Tamil Nadu Party)

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 Fair, Tall, Intelligent ‘Customised baby’= Lebensborn RSS in Footprints of Fascist ’Superman’ Project

A significant announcement in an English national daily recently to the effect that the ”RSS wing has a prescription for fair, tall ‘custo-mised’ babies”1 is a startling disclosure, com-parable to a secret project undertaken by the Nazi regime in Germany under the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler. This has no parallel with the potential to provoke craze in millions of Indian hearts at home and abroad. According to the Hindutva outfit’s subsidiary Arogya Bharati, its health wing, a woman could deliver an “uttam santati”—a perfect, “customised child” or ‘uttam santati’ under the Garbh Vigyan Sanskar project. If the claims of Arogya Bharati are to be taken at all seriously then Albert Eisenstein, Shakes-peare, Rabindranath Tagore, Abraham Lincoln, Kalidas, Aristotle and their likes would emerge from their huts of unknown hamlets. The project, shrouded in mystery, holds the promise for miracles. And miracles are always scientifically unverifiable, open to abuses with deception and depravity and deplorable consequences in their train.

Arogya Bharati lays total emphasis for success on ‘procedure’. “If the proper procedure is followed, babies of dark-skinned parents with lesser height can have fair complexion and grow untold taller.”2 This is the Garbh Vigyan Sanskar project of the RSS, which, sadly, is not known to stand scientific investigation or experiment. The RSS has jumped into a very sensitive area of human life. The result, we may apprehend, is likely to be awe-striking and unfortunate. Arogya Bharati plans to set up an Anusandhan Kendra, a facilitation centre, in every State by 2020. An expectant mother will be under obligation, for the desired result, to chant “shlokas and mantras”.3 With a decade of experiment, Guajarat has proudly marched ahead over other States and claims to have 450 such ‘customised babies’. In an era of technology and innovation, pre-fabrication of human child, having regard for specification, complexion, height and IQ to suit the parents’ needs and fancies is no more hypothetical. For a nation of one-and-a-quarter billion population, the project holds boundless potential. We must, however, not be under any delusion that the so-called chants of “shlokas and mantras” will occupy the centre-stage in the project. Therefore the so-called “shlokas and mantras” might turn out to be sources of stinking nuisance, immorality and license for the deception of credulous masses. How it will do so only time will unfold.

Nazi Germany’s experiment with the Lebens-born project was a disgraceful historical experi-ment. What is Lebensborn? Hitler’s Germany, like the RSS’ designer child, had formulated the Lebensborn project. On December 12, 1935 Hitler’s most trusted Heinrich Himmler (October 7, 1900-May 23, 1945), founded the Lebensborn project, which implied the wellspring of life or fountain of life. Himmler was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), chief of the German Police, a military commander and a leading member of the Nazi Party. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, SS is the abbreviation of Schutzstaffel (German: “Protective Echelon”), the black-uni-formed elite corps and self-described “political soldiers” of the Nazi Party founded by Adolf Hitler in April 1925 as a small group personal bodyguards. The infamous SS grew with the success of the Nazi movement and, gathering immense police, and military powers, became virtually a “state within a state”. SS was plainly a gigantic evil personified.

Himmler, Mastermind of Lebensborn

To understand the anatomy of Lebensborn, it is clarified that Himmler was the father of the “most secret and terrifying” project. On Hitler’s behalf, Himmler built extermination camps. As facilitator and overseer of the concentration camps, Himmler presided over the killing of some six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani (gypsy) people, and other victims, aggregating eleven to fourteen million civilians—mostly Polish and Soviet. The secret project, though, simply involved extraordinary genetic engineering that tinkered for accomp-lishing a demographic miracle. By a law enacted in 1935, the Nazi regime outlawed inter-marriages between Jews and other races. For decades, Germany’s birthrate declined unabated. Himmler’s goal was to reverse the decline and increase the Germanic/Nordic population of Germany to 120 million. “Himmler encouraged SS and Wermacht officers to have children with Aryan women. He believed Lebensborn children would grow up to lead a Nazi-Aryan nation.”4

The Lebensborn programme (1935-45) was implemented under a registered society, titled ‘Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein’. It offered to young girls, who were deemed “racially pure”, the opportunity to give birth to a child in secret. The child was then given to the SS organisation which took charge of the child’s education and adoption. Both mother and father needed to pass a “racial purity” test. Blond hair and blue eyes were preferred, and family lineage had to be traced back at least three generations. Of all the women who applied, only 40 per cent passed the racial purity test and were granted admission to the Lebensborn programme. The majority of mothers were unmarried, 57.6 per cent until 1939, and about 70 per cent by 1940.5

The first Lebensborn home was inaugurated in 1936 in a tiny village near Munich. Furnishings for the homes, interestingly, were supplied from the best of the loot from the homes of Jews who, to the Nazi regime, were inferior or extremely hateful. There were 10 Lebensborn homes established in Germany, nine in Norway, two in Austria, and one each in Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, France, and Denmark. Himmler himself took a special interest in the homes, choosing not only the mothers, but also attending to the decor and even paying special attention to children born on his birthday, October 7. The couples were mostly, if not entirely, unknown to each other and never ever knew the whereabouts of their child born in secrecy! Himmler himself had fathered two Lebensborn children. Nobody with the right frame of mind is proud of the regime, which had brought unmitigable catastrophe for human civilisation.

Did India overlook the Initiative for Lebensborn?

In 1994 T.N. Seshan, the then Chief Election Commissioner, in an address to the American Alumni Association in Bombay, spoke of a dream project for a “superman”. Cross-fertilisation of Indians and Americans, the Chief Election Commissioner emphasised, would give “birth to the best breeds in world”.6 Sadly, not many took notice of his revolutionary concept.

The Garbh Vigyan Sanskar project, with its emphasis on designable babies with fair complexion and high IQ, is likely to have many notable protagonists and patrons. Recently India got a peep into the racism and complexion-fixation of an apparatchik from a sensational television programme. A well-educated Member of Parlia-ment told the Al Jazeera that

“If we [Indians] were racist, why would we have the entire south (India)? Which is, you know, completely Tamil, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra. Why do we live with them [if we are racist]? We have blacks, black people around us. You are denying your own nation, you are denying your ancestry, and you are denying your culture.”7

Unmixed racism, though the racists do not acknowledge its liability. This was Tarun Vijay whose credentials are impeccable, if not awe-inspiring. Tarun has been the editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s weekly, Pancha-janya, for the last 20 long years. He is the President of the India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group.8

Philosopher’s Perception of Eugenics

The Garbh Vigyan Sanskar project for “uttam santati”—a perfect “customised child”—places India on the threshold of an eugenic revolution. We may here recall with benefit Dr S. Radha-krishnan who cited an illustration of a soldier who fought a revolutionary war, involving Great Britain and thirteen of its North American colonies comprising the USA, to victory and ultimate independence. A young soldier, Martin Kallakal, who inherited the noble blood of excellent ancestry, had married a girl who was ‘physically attractive’ but ‘feeble-minded’. The result was the birth of a ‘feeble-minded boy’. The son of Martin married a woman who was apparently of “the same low stock as himself”. So an army of 134 feeble-minded descendants—33 immoral, 36 illegitimate, three epileptics, three criminals and eight brothel keepers—traced their ancestry to Martin Kallak. Later a repentant Martin married a Quaker woman of splendid talents and noble ancestry. The union boasted of 496 descendants who included Governors, soldiers, founders of great university, doctors, lawyers, judges, landholders, useful citizens and admirable parents prominent in every phase of social life.9

The celebrated Indian philosopher has under-lined that the anuloma and pratiloma marriage practice in Hindu society helped regulate “the tendency to indiscriminate crossing” of men and women.10 Nevertheless, we have the example of the Bengal King, Ballal Sen, who instituted kulinism. John Wilson, the first Vice-Chancellor of Bombay University, stated in his Indian Caste (1877) that an illegitimate son of Ballal and his Brahman concubine was vested with kulinism, called Pandit Ratni, the jewel of scholars. Other Bengali kulins descended from five Brahmans imported by King Adisur from Kannauj in 10th century AD.11 Ballal, a Baidya by caste, was Sudra. Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee belonged to the Pandit Ratni clan. Educated in England, he was a leading lawyer of the Calcutta High Court. As a political leader, Bonnerjee was the founder-President of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Multiple illustrations on either side can be cited. Hindu scriptures regard issues of mixed birth as sinful.

Till 1939, the secret Lebensborn project did not yield results to cheer Himmler who, we have noted already, was into fathering bastards. He issued a direct order to all SS and police officers to father as many children as possible to compensate for the war casualties triggering off a controversy. Many Germans felt the acceptance of unwed mothers encouraged immorality. Eventually Himmler retraced his step but he never condemned illegitimacy outright.

Lebensborn soon started embracing non-German mothers. In 1942, Hitler formulated a policy that encouraged German soldiers to fraternise with native women, with a promise that any children they produced would be provided for. Racially fit women, most often the girlfriends or one-night stands of SS officers, were invited to Lebensborn homes to have their child in privacy and safety.


Gaumata: India’s first Ambassador at large;

How Gujarati Gaumata became Global Favourite

The Times of India sometime back alarmed the Indian conscience by a story aimed at causing discrimi-nation among gaumata, under the caption ‘Ignore firang breeds; only Indian cows can be Mata’. A hoarding at a vintage location outside the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) office by Bansari Gaushala in Bakrol appealed to devotees to feed only Indian cows as a ritual. “The Indian Gau Matas’ milk, urine, dung are holy. Recent scientific research has shown how cow urine has gold. Besides this, cow milk has A2 proteins which is safe for health,” the message on the banner read.12

Let us now talk about the history of the gau-mata’s odyssey into the global orbit from Gujarat. The most committed devotees might have forgot about it. She is now a celebrity everywhere. Some five decades ago Prof Dr Hilton Marshall Briggs of the South Dakota State University, USA, wrote that the first Indian cattle were imported in 1849 by Dr James Bolton Davis of Fairfield County, South Carolina. Davis was the agricultural advisor to the Sultan of Turkey and became acquainted with the Bos indicus cattle then. Although the descendants of these cattle were spread widely throughout South America, their complete identity was lost during the Civil War. Two Indian bulls were given to Richard Barrow, a cotton and sugar planter of St Francisville, LA, in 1854, by the British Crown in recognition of Mr Barrow’s services of teaching cotton and sugarcane culture to a British representative bound for India to take these arts there. The offspring of these cattle became known as “Barrow Grade” cattle. The success of these two animals led to the import of two more Indian bulls in 1885 by J.M. Frost and Albert Montgomery of Houston, Texas. By mating these two bulls to the offspring of the Barrow bulls, the first attempt to concentrate the blood of Bos indicus cattle in the United States was undertaken. In 1905 and 1906, the Pierce Ranch of Pierce, Texas, assisted by Thomas M. O’Connor of Victoria, Texas, imported thirty bulls and three females of several Indian types.

Remarkable Role of  American Brahman Breeders Association 

In 1923-24, 90 bulls of the Gujarat, Gir and Nellore types were imported from Brazil. In 1925, another batch of cattle comprising 120 bulls and 18 females from Brazil reached the USA. This information was furnished to Prof Briggs by the American Brahman Breeders’ Association (acronymed ABBA) for his remarkable work, Modern Breeds of Livestock. The ABBA was founded in 1924. The first secretary of the Association, J.W. Sartwelle of Houston, proposed the word “Brahman” and so it was adopted as the name of the new beef breed.13 An era of revolution in beef industry began thereby.

Well-defined breeds of cattle in India, according to the ABBA, number thirty. Three principal strains or varieties, brought to the United States and used in the development of the Brahman breed, are the Gujarat, the Nellore, and Gir. The Krishna Valley strain too was introduced in the USA. American Brahman cattle, the first beef breed developed in the US, rank #1 in hybrid vigour, heat tolerance and efficiency compared to all other beef breeds. With improved growth and performance, Brahman cattle increase the profitability and play an important role in crossbreeding programmes worldwide. The Brahman cattle are the common thread connecting other American breeds developed in the last (nineteenth) century. The American Brahman influence in the beef industry is felt worldwide, and their genetics are sought by cattlemen in every continent. Their development is a success story without parallel. Today’s cattlemen breed Brahmans for all the right reasons.14

Benefits of Super Cow

Why do the descendants of cows imported in America receive such full-throated applause globally? Prof Briggs stated that “The Brahman Cow on average in the United States can produce about 21,000 lbs (9525 kg) of milk in one year, that’s about 2500 gallons (9463 liter) a year, and for the time of its life on earth, a Brahman Cow can produce about 200,000 glasses of milk. A 1000 pound cow in a year can make about 10 tons of manure..”15

These superb economic contributions can rarely be overemphasised. Above all, there is another aspect that is capable of connecting her to the security establishments of any nation. The ABBA claims that “Brahman Cows can smell something up to 6 miles (9.65 kilometre) away, they have superior sense of smell”.16 Undoubtedly, this is an extraordinary quality of the cow. Besides the utilities aforementioned, the animal, if trained properly, I guess, can be harnessed, with huge benefit, in the service of intelligence and security at a time when the world is under serious threats of extremism from various corners.

In the Ministry and Department of Science and Technology of the Union Government, according to a recent news, a national steering committee has been set up to guide research to assess the many claimed virtues of Panchgavya, a traditional concoction of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee, water and three other ingredients.17

A huge possibility will open up before the country if researches vindicate the claims some sections in India make. But do we still feign to ignore the gaumata making and breaking records offshore as firang with no recognition at her ancestral holy home?


1. The Indian Express, May 7, 2017.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Nazi Party: The Lebensborn Programme (1935-45)

5. Ibid. Nazi Party: The Lebensborn Programme (1935-45)

6. The Times of India, New Delhi, August 8, 1994.

7. Daily O, April 7, 2017.

8. Ibid.

9. S. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu View of Life, Fourth Impression, May 1965, p. l73 quoted by A.K. Biswas in ‘Shesan’s superman doctrine’, Mainstream, vol. XXXIII no. 34, July 15, 1995.

10. Ibid.

11. Historians consider Adisur as fictitious. But the long shadow of this fictitious king lingers over Bengalis even now.

12. The Times of India, July 7, 2016.

13. Brahman

14. Brahman

15. Ibid. 

16. Ibid. 

17. The Telegraph, Calcutta, “…dung validated by science”, May 18, 2017.

The author, a retired IAS officer and former Vice-Chancellor, B.R. Ambedkar University, Muzaffarpur (Bihar), can be reached at biswasatulk[at]


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