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Mahatma Gandhi’s letters accusing son of rape up for auction in UK #Vaw

,TNN | May 14, 2014, 05.37 PM IST

Mahatma Gandhi's letters accusing son of rape up for auction in UK
Gandhi’s letters are to go under the hammer in England.
LONDON: An auction house that has earlier auctioned Mahatma Gandhi’s blood and his will, has now put up on sale three explosive letters that for the first time ever reveal Gandhi’s deep concerns over the behaviour of his eldest son Harilal.Mullock’s Auctioneers are hoping to fetch over a 100,000 pounds for a set of three letters written by the Father of the Nation in June 1935.”You should know that your problem has become much more difficult for me even, even more than our national freedom. Manu is telling me a number of dangerous things about you. She says that you had raped her even before she was eight years and she was so badly hurt that medical treatment also had to be taken,” Gandhi says in one of the letters in reference to Harilal’s daughter Manu who had come to stay with her grandfather at Sabarmati Ashram.

Mullock’s said in a statement “The letters are written in Gujarati and are in good condition. These have come via descent from a branch of Gandhi’s family to the present vendor. As far as we are aware they have never before been seen in public and as such they provide remarkable new information on the troubled relationship Gandhi had with his son”.

Another rare autographed letter reads “Please let me have the pure truth, please tell me if you are still interested in alcohol and debauchery. I wish that you would rather die than resort to alcohol in any manner”.

The series of letters is part of Mullock’s Historical Documents Sale on May 22.The auctioneers have earlier sold 50 rare personal objects belonging to Gandhi that included a drop of his blood for a whopping Rs 2.5 crore or 287,000 pounds.

The biggest grosser in that sale was the will Gandhi left his son. It sold for 55,000 pounds or Rs 46 lakhs. It was followed by his personal shawl made from linen thread he spun himself that sold for 40,000 pounds or Rs 34 lakhs. A power of attorney from Gandhi sold for 25,000 pounds or Rs 21 lakhs.

Gandhi’s Power of Attorney was hand signed by him dated November 1920, written on four pages with various stamps of the Bank of Baroda and the Bank of India as well as the seal of the sub-registrar of Ahmedabad will also be sold.

His blood sold for 7000 pounds (Rs 6 lakhs), prayer beads 9500 pounds (Rs 8 lakhs), sandals 19000 pounds (Rs 16 lakhs), drinking vessel 8000 pounds (7 lakhs) and eating bowl 12000 pounds (Rs 10 lakhs)

The May 22 sale also includes another set of 27 autographed letters to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister, some written by Gandhi from prison.

“Women have done more work than us. Even so much remains to be done. The modern world has as yet seen the like of India’s woman power. I am convinced they will go much further ahead and I will be very surprised if you do not play a very big part in this,” reads a letter dated November 11, 1930.

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#Sundayreading – Google’s Doodles: Oodles of Men #Gender #Feminism


By Jane Spencer

SPARK Movement

What do Mahatma Gandhi, Big Bird, Michael Jackson and existential Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard have in common?

All four are in the elite club of public figures who’ve been honored with a GoogleGOOG -0.29% doodle, the quirky tributes that surround the Google search bar.

They’re also all men. And in the midst of criticism of sexism in Silicon Valley, Google’s idiosyncratic list of doodle honorees is coming under fire for overlooking women’s contributions to world history.

On Thursday morning, SPARK Movement, a girls’ advocacy group, released a report that tallies the gender ratio in four years worth of data on Google doodles. Of the 445 doodles published on Google homepages worldwide between 2010 and 2013 that celebrated individuals, 82.5% featured men, and just 17.5% featured women, according to the analysis. (The data only include human historic figures, so fictional characters that have been honored with doodles, such as Wilma Flintstone and Pac-Man, weren’t factored into the tally.) The report also counted women of color in doodles, and found they represented just 4% of doodles over the past four years.

“Google is the information center of the world, and it’s presenting a skewed and imbalanced vision of who creates knowledge,” says Dana Edell, executive director of SPARK Movement, an organization that fights negative representations of girls in the media. “It’s telling girls and boys that the people who have made a contributions to our world are white men.”

Google recognizes the problem, and says the company already is working to improve the doodle gender balance. “Women have historically been underrepresented in almost all fields: science, school curricula, business, politics — and, sadly, doodles,” Ryan Germick, Google’s Doodle Team Lead, said via email.

Germick said the company is hoping to have women and men equally represented in doodles in the coming year, and said it has made significant strides in the first two months of 2014. “So far this year we’ve done doodles for as many women as men, a big shift from figures below 20% in past years,” he said.

On Thursday morning, Spark will unleash a digital campaign to make sure Google follows through, including a petition on, and a social media campaign organized around the hashtag #doodleus, calling on Google to address the gender balance. The campaign will also include a Tumblr page featuring a “list of awesome people” that Google should consider honoring with doodles, such as Nina Simone, Indira Gandhi and Christine Jorgensen, a transgender actress.

The campaign comes as Silicon Valley tech companies have been increasingly criticized for their poor records on hiring and promoting women. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg brought renewed attention to the issue with her book “Lean In,” and other recent reports have added to the outcry.

Twitter’s IPO filing, for example, revealed that all of the company’s board members, as well as its top executives, were all male at the time of IPO, with the exception of one lawyer. A recent study by the tech law firm Fenwick & West found that 11.5% of top executives in top publicly traded Silicon Valley firms are women, lagging behind the rest of corporate America.

Google’s search page is one of the most trafficked websites in the world, and its search bar fields over 100 billion queries a month from 181 countries

“It’s the global town center,” says SPARK’s Edell. “And when we look at whose stories are told in public spaces—from statues in public parks to the Google homepage– it tells us who is important in the world.”

By paying public tribute to historic figures, Google doodles have drawn comparison to postage stamps. But the Postal Service has a stronger record on promoting diversity than Google, typically achieving a 50/50 male to female ratio in the 20 stamps it releases each year. It wasn’t until 2010 that Google celebrated a woman of color on its homepage, with an image of artist Frida Kahlo. The Postal Service honored Pocahontas with a stamp in 1907, followed by Harriett Tubman in 1978.

Ella Fitzgerald



In recent weeks, there have been subtle signs that Google is getting bolder about promoting messages of diversity in doodles. In addition to the rising number of women that have surfaced in doodles, including African American author Zora Neale Hurston and zoologist Dian Fossey, Google published what may be its most political doodle ever on the first day of the Sochi Olympics. The doodle featured Olympic athletes emblazoned in a gay pride rainbow flag.

Google is not the first organization to be in the crosshairs of SPARK, an organization comprised of high school and college activists from five countries. The group’s past successes include taking Lego to task for failing to include female “Lego friends” in positions of power in its toy sets. (The group’s 2012 study showed 87% of Lego Friends appear to be men.) On the heels of SPARK’s campaign, Lego released a female aviator “friend.”

The girls behind the Spark study say they’re fans of Google doodles—and Google in general. (In fact, they used Google docs to compile and share their research showing gender bias in doodles.) “Google is part of pop culture, it’s our homepage, it’s a part of our daily lives,” says Mehar Gujral, a 17-year-old high school senior from New Jersey who was involved in the Spark campaign. “We just think that it could be better at representing everyone who visits the site, instead of just a select few.”

Her suggestions for upcoming doodles: Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher, and Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman in space.

– Jane Spencer is one of the founders of The Daily Beast and a former WSJ reporter.

This post first appeared on WSJ”s Digits blog.

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#India – Death penalty uncivilised, says Habibullah


New Delhi , BS

 Last Updated at 16:55 IST

Stating that the death penalty was “uncivilised”, National Commission for Minorities Chairperson, Wajahat Habibullah, has said that the law should not succumb to public opinion as such a situation would be fraught with danger.

Referring to the apex court verdict upholding the capital punishment to Afzal Guru, Habibullah also asserted that the death penalty had “no place in modern society”.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Capital Punishment in Asia’, held by the OP Jindal Global University here, Habibullah said, “It (death penalty) is a direct contradiction of the Indian spiritual and philosophical tradition”. He also referred to the ‘ahimsa’ tradition as espoused by Mahatma Gandhi.

Talking about the apex court’s judgement in the Guru case, in which it had held that the collective conscience of society would only be satisfied if capital punishment were to be awarded to the offender, Habibullah averred that, “law should not succumb to public opinion, which is fraught with danger”.

Guru had been convicted for his role in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.

A book, ‘Confronting Capital Punishment in Asia: Human Rights, Politics and Public Opinion’, was also released on the occasion.

Meanwhile, JGU also organised another conference – of the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) – in association with the National Law University.

Prof C Raj Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, JGU, said that the aim of the seventh worldwide conference was to bridge the gap between theory and practice in law.

More than 300 delegates from over 50 countries, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, UK, Turkey, Uganda, Mexico, Peru, Ireland, Morocco, Nigeria, Germany, France, Italy, Jordan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Australia and the US took part in the conference.

Padmashree awardee Professor NR Madhava Menon, who, too, attended the meet, emphasised the need for a radical re-conceptualisation of legal education and pedagogy to include the rural, tribal and marginalised segments of the Indian population.

Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, NV Ramana, at a workshop as part of the conference, called for sustained efforts to strengthen legal education

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#India – Former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi opposes #deathpenalty

Zeenews : Monday, November 11, 2013, 23:58
New Delhi: Opposing death sentence, former Governor Gopalkrishan Gandhi on Monday demanded that government appoint a high-level commission comprising former Chief Justices and eminent personalities outside law to examine its utility as a deterrent and validity as a punishment.

“Rather than look at the death sentence the presence of which has avenged the Parliament House attack and 26/11, I think we should look at it as something the absence of which would have given Bhagat Singh to a grateful India till well beyond 1947.

“An irrational but not responsible thought tells me that had Shaheed Bhagat Singh not been snatched from us by the noose, this Maulana Azad memorial lecture could well have been given today in Lahore with you Dr Karan Singh in the chair,” he said.

Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was giving the lecture on “Last Words As Those at Death’s Door Speak” organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

He said only good would result if the President of India were to appoint a truly high-level Commission comprising former justices and eminent personages from outside the law to examine with reference to the world trends the utility of death sentence as a deterrent and its validity as a punishment as distinct from revenge.

“Last words of those who were hanged could be the first words for such a Commission to study,” he said.

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#India – Gandhi or Godse #Sundayreading #mustread


Even as the ‘Brotherhood in Saffron’ pretends to appropriate the Mahatma’s legacy, assassin Nathuram Godse’s admirers in Maharashtra – the birthplace of the hate-Gandhi ideology, and Gujarat – the birthplace of the Mahatma – continue their campaign to vilify him and glorify the villain


(The article reproduced below was first published as a pamphlet in Gujarati, in response to two controversial plays, ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoye’ and ‘Gandhi virudh Gandhi’. The pamphlet has since been translated into seven Indian languages. The English version has o been put out on the website, mkgandhi– 

The killer of Gandhiji and his apologists sought to justify the assassination on the fol lowing arguments:
Ø  Gandhiji supported the idea of a separate state for Muslims. In a sense he was responsible for the creation of Pakistan.

Ø  In spite of the Pakistani aggression in Kashmir, Gandhiji fasted to compel the government of India to release an amount of Rs. 55 crore due to Pakistan.

Ø The belligerence of Muslims was a result of Gandhiji’s policy of appeasement.
Scrutinised in the light of recorded history these prove to be clever distortions to misguide the gullible. Gandhiji in those days was very active in the rough and tumble of politics. The proposal for partition of the country and violent reaction against it generated tensions which ultimately resulted in sectarian killings on a scale unprecedented in human history.

For the ethnic Muslims, Gandhiji was a Hindu leader who opposed creation of Pakistan on sectarian grounds. Ethnic Hindus looked upon him as an impediment to their plan to avenge the atrocities on Hindus. Godse was a child of this extremist thinking.

The assassination of Gandhiji was a culmination of decades of systematic brainwashing. Gandhiji had become a thorn in the flesh of the hardcore Hindus and in course of time this resentment turned into a phobia. Beginning with the year 1934 and over a period of 14 years, on as many as six occasions, attempts were made to kill Gandhiji. The last one by Godse on January 30, 1948 was successful. The remaining five were made in 1934, in the months of July and September 1944, September 1946 and 20th January 1948. Godse was involved in two previous attempts.

When the unsuccessful attempts of 1934, 1944 and 1946 were made, the proposal regarding partition and the matter regarding release of Rs. 55 crore to Pakistan were not in existence at all. The conspiracy to do away with Gandhiji was conceived much earlier than the successful accomplishment thereof. The grounds advanced for this heinous crime are clever rationalisation to hoodwink the gullible. The staging of the play entitled, ‘Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoye’ is clear proof of the fact that the mindset that led to Gandhiji’s assassination has not disappeared from our national life.

A civil society is wedded to the democratic method of resolving differences through frank and open debate and evolving a working consensus. Gandhiji was always open to persuasion. Gandhiji had invited Godse for discussions but the latter did not avail of this opportunity given to him. This is indicative of the lack of faith in the democratic way of resolving differences on the part of Godse and his ilk. Such fascist mindset seek to do away with dissent by liquidating the opponents.

The Hindu backlash was as much responsible for the creation of Pakistan as the sentiments of ethnic Muslims. The hard core Hindus looked down upon the Muslims as misguided malechcha (unclean) and came to believe that coexistence with them was not possible. Mutual distrust and recriminations led the extremists among both the groups to regard Hindus and Muslims as different nationalities and this strengthened the Muslim League’s demand for partition as the only possible solution to the communal problem. Vested interests on both the sides stirred up the separatist sentiment and sought to justify their hate–campaign by clever and selective distortion of history. It is indeed a matter for serious concern for the nation that this mentality has not disappeared even today.

Poet Mohammed Iqbal who wrote the famous song ‘Sare jahan se achcha Hindostan hamara’ was the first to formulate the concept of a separate state for Muslims as early as 1930. Needless to state, this sentiment was, in a sense, strengthened by Hindu extremists. In 1937, at the open session of the Hindu Mahasabha held at Ahmedabad, Veer Savarkar, in his presidential address asserted: “India cannot be assumed today to be unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main – the Hindus and the Muslims.” (Vide Writings of Swatantarya Veer Savarkar, Vol. 6 page 296, Maharashtra Prantiya Hindu Mahasabha, Pune).
In 1945, he had stated: “I have no quarrel with Mr. Jinnah’s two–nation theory. We, the Hindus are a nation by ourselves, and it is a historical fact that the Hindus and the Muslims are two nations”. (Vide Indian Educational Register, 1943, vol. 2, page 10). It was this sentiment of separate and irreconcilable identities of the followers of these religions that led to the formation of Pakistan.

In complete contrast to this mentality, throughout his life Gandhiji remained an uncompromising advocate of the oneness of God, respect for all religions, equality of all men and non–violence in thought, speech and action. His daily prayers comprised verses, devotional songs and readings from different scriptures. All people, irrespective of their allegiance to different religions, attended those meetings. Till his dying day, Gandhiji held the view that the nationality of fellow citizens was not in any way affected by the fact of their subscribing to religious belief other than yours. During his life, on more than one occasion he strove for unity and equality among Hindus themselves, as well as amity among Hindus and Muslims, even risking his life. The idea of partition was an anathema to him. He was given to saying that he would sooner die than subscribe to such a pernicious doctrine. His life was an open book and no substantiation is necessary on this score.

Under Gandhiji’s leadership communal amity occupied the pride of place in the constructive programmes of the Congress. Muslim leaders and intellectuals of national stature, like Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Maulana Azad, Dr. Ansari Hakim Ajmal Khan, Badruddin Tayabji, even Jinnah himself, were in the Congress fold. It is natural that the Congress opposed the proposal for the division of the country. But as a result of the incitement on the part of the lumpen elements among the Hindus and Muslims a tidal wave of carnage and lawlessness engulfed the nation.

Faced with the breakdown of law and order in Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, North–West Frontier Province and Bengal, Congress lost nerve. Jinnah adopted an inflexible attitude. Lord Mountbatten being motivated by the time–limit given to him by the British Cabinet used all his powers of persuasion and charm to steer all the leaders to a solution quick and yet acceptable to all; but the adamantine attitude of Jinnah made everything except partition unacceptable.

Faced with such a scenario Congress found it difficult to keep up its morale. Gandhiji conveyed to Lord Mountbatten on April 5, 1947 that he would agree even if the Britishers made Jinnah the Prime Minister and left the country as it was. Instead, Lord Mountbatten succeeded in getting the Congress to agree to partition.
Gandhiji was in the dark about it; he was shell–shocked when he learned about it. The only remedy available to him was fasting unto death to dissuade his followers from acquiescence to a ruinous course of action. After sustained soul searching he came to the conclusion that in the prevalent situation such a step on his part would further deteriorate the situation, demoralise the Congress and the whole country.

The factors that weighed with him were the importunate demands of a rapidly changing national scenario and the non–existence of an alternate set of leaders of proven nationalist credentials.
The most perplexing and yet pertinent question is that Jinnah was the most vocal protagonist of Pakistan and with the intentional or otherwise efforts of Mountbatten he succeeded in carving it out. Then, instead of making the two his targets, why did Godse select one for murder who vehemently opposed the idea of partition till the resolution by the Congress accepting the partition of the country was passed on June 3, 1947 and Pakistan became a fate accompli? Is it that, as Savarkar put it, he had no quarrel with Jinnah and his two–nation theory but he and his apologists had real quarrel with Gandhi and Gandhi alone?

It is necessary to point out an aspect of Gandhiji’s personality that made him the source of unabated distrust and dislike in the eyes of hardcore Hindus.
Though he was a devout Hindu, Gandhiji had most amicable and warm relations with many who did not belong to the Hindu fold. As a result of this exposure he had developed an eclectic religious sense based on oneness of God and equality of all religions.Caste divisions and untouchability prevalent among the Hindus distressed him immensely. He advocated and actively encouraged inter–caste marriages. Lastly, he blessed only those marriages wherein one of the partners belonged to the untouchable castes.

Vested interests amongst high caste Hindus viewed this reformist and other religious programmes with bitter resentment. In course of time it developed into a phobia and thus he became an anathema to them.
The matter regarding release of Rs. 55 crore to Pakistan towards the second instalment of arrears to be paid to it, under the terms of division of assets and liabilities, requires to be understood in the context of the events that took place in the aftermath of partition. Of the Rs. 75 crore to be paid, the first instalment of Rs. 20 crore was already released. The invasion of Kashmir by self–styled liberators with the covert support of the Pakistani army took place before the second instalment was paid.

While the government of India decided to withhold it, Lord Mountbatten was of the opinion that it amounted to a violation of the mutually agreed conditions and he brought it to the notice of Gandhiji. To Gandhiji’s ethical sense the policy of tit for tat was repugnant and he readily agreed with the Viceroy’s point of view. However, linking his stand in this matter with the fast he undertook, as we will see in the following lines, is an intentional mix-up and distortion of facts of contemporary history.

The fast was undertaken with a view to restoring communal amity in Delhi. Gandhiji arrived from Calcutta in September 1947 to go to Punjab to restore peace there. On being briefed by Sardar Patel about the explosive situation in Delhi itself he changed his plans and decided to continue his stay in Delhi to restore peace with the firm determination to “Do or Die.”

The influx of Hindus from Pakistan who were uprooted and who had suffered killings of relatives, abduction and rape of women and looting of their belongings had created an explosive situation. Local Hindus who were outraged by the treatment meted out to their Hindu brethren and the anger of local Muslims against reports of similar outrages on their co–religionists in India made Delhi a veritable witches’ cauldron.

This resulted in killings, molestation, torching of houses and properties. This caused deep anguish to Gandhiji. What added poignancy to this was the realisation that it happened in India itself just after an unique incident in the history of mankind: doing away of the shackles of a colonial regime by non–violent means.

It was with this background in his mind that he undertook a fast unto death to restore communal amity and sanity in Delhi. And, as if to allow the critics of Mahatma Gandhi a chance to mix–up and manoeuvre, the decision of the government of India to release Rs. 55 crore to Pakistan came during this period of his fast.

The following facts dissolve the much–touted thesis that Gandhiji had fasted to bring moral pressure on government of India to relent:

Ø  Dr. Sushila Nair, as soon as she heard Gandhiji proclaim his decision, rushed to her brother Pyarelal and informed him in a huff that Gandhiji had decided to fast till the madness in Delhi ceased. Even in those moments of inadvertence, the mention of 55 crore of rupees was not made which clearly proves that it was not intended by Gandhiji.

Ø  Gandhiji’s own announcement about his resolve in the evening prayer meeting on 12th January did not contain any reference to it. Had it been a condition, he would have certainly mentioned it as that.

Ø  Similarly, there was no reference to it in his discourse on 13th January.

Ø  Gandhiji’s reply on 15th January to a specific question regarding the purpose of his fast did not mention it.

Ø  The press release of the government of India did not have any mention thereof.

Ø  The list of assurances given by the committee headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad to persuade Gandhiji to give up his fast did not include it.

We hope these facts would put the Rs. 55 crore concoction at rest.
With regard to the last allegation regarding appeasement of Muslims, it should be conceded that a certain amount of antagonism between Hindus and Muslims existed in the nation. The colonial power cleverly exploited it during its reign and inevitably the division of the country came into being. Long before Gandhiji appeared on the national stage sagacious leaders like BG Tilak had started attempts to secure the participation of Muslims in the nationalist struggle.

Under what came to be known as the Lucknow Pact, Lokmanya Tilak, Annie Besant and Mohammed Ali Jinnah evolved a formula under which the Muslims would get representation greater than what would be justified on the basis of the percentage of Muslim population. The frank and bold statement of Tilak defending the Pact is an eloquent refutation of the charge that Gandhiji began the policy of appeasement of Muslims.

The author of the play, Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoye, Pradeep Dalvi, described the order of the Maharashtra government banning the staging of the play as an attack on freedom of expression. This is a travesty of truth and a perversion of the fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution.

The constitution also provides for ban on the abuse of this freedom; vide its section 19(2). The implications of what Dalvi and his ilk profess requires to be carefully analysed. Under the guise of defending the freedom of expression, what they are seeking to do is to advocate the right to murder those who do not agree with them. They seek to spread hatred and violence. They want to propagate the pernicious doctrine that under certain circumstances the murder of the opponent becomes an act of religious sacrifice.

It is revolting to find that the heinous murder of one who was a living embodiment of non–violence, peace and love and who was as defenceless as a naked, new born child should be made a scaffolding for a neo–fascist doctrine.
Godse is no more but the mindset that gave birth to such distorted philosophy is unfortunately still with us. One can dismiss what he did as an act of a lunatic bigot. Assassination by itself is not as wicked as the attempts to rationalise, justify, masquerade it as a religious act. Permitting such plays to be staged amounts to permitting mis–education of our children. Only sane response to such insidious propaganda is unequivocal rejection thereof.

(The author is associated with the Gujarat Lok Samiti, Ahmedabad)

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Open letter to the ‘Hindu Nationalist’, Narendra Modi Ji, Chief Minister of Gujarat

I hope you are fine. While talking to two Reuters journalists, Ross Colvin and Sruthi Gottipati, on
July 12, 2013, you identified yourself as a ‘Hindu Nationalist’ and credited the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for instilling in you, spirit “(to be a) patriot. Whatever work you do,
you think are you doing this for the good of the nation? That’s the basic training. The other basic
training is discipline. Your life should be disciplined.”1
The news agency declared that it was a ‘rare interview’ of yours taken at your official Gandhinagar
residence. It shocked me immensely as you were not talking as an ordinary Indian citizen but as the
chief minister of Gujarat, a constitutional position under the democratic-secular constitution of
India. I am taking the liberty of writing this letter to you in the hope that you, who claim to be
believer in transparency, will respond to the issues I raise.
As a seasoned RSS pracharak or whole-timer you know about your roots better than me. Still I
would like to draw your attention to the fact that the term ‘Hindu Nationalist’ originated in a
specific historical context during India’s Freedom Struggle against the British colonial masters.
This Freedom Struggle was mainly led by the Congress, which stood for an all-inclusive
democratic-secular free India. The ‘Muslim Nationalists’, under the banner of the Muslim League,
and the ‘Hindu Nationalists’, under the banners of the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS, opposed it,
claiming that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations. These Hindu and Muslim
‘Nationalists’ joined hands with the colonial masters in order to thwart the Freedom Struggle so that
they could have theocratic states of their choice, ‘Hindusthan’ or Hindu Rashtra and Pakistan or
Islamic state respectively.

The politics of the Muslim League and its role in dividing India are well known but I need to
refresh your memory about the nefarious role that ‘Hindu Nationalists’ played in India before and
after Independence. I am relying exclusively on documents of the RSS and the Hindu
Mahasabha in order to put across reality.

‘Hindu Nationalists’ believe in the two-nation theory like the Muslim League 

Narendra ji! I would like to draw your attention to the fact that both the originator of Hindutva,
V.D. Savarkar and RSS, had unequivocal faith in the two-nation theory: that Hindus and Muslims
are two different nations. While the Muslim League under the leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah
resolved to have a separate homeland for Muslims of India in the form of Pakistan in 1940,
1Savarkar propagated as early as 1937 that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations. While
delivering the presidential address to the 19th Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad, ‘Veer’
Savarkar declared,
As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile
politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a
harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These were
well meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities. That is why they are
impatient of communal tangles and attribute them to communal organizations. But the solid
fact is that the so-called communal questions are but a legacy handed down to us by
centuries of cultural, religious and national antagonism between the Hindus and
Moslems…Let us bravely face unpleasant facts as they are. India cannot be assumed today to
be a unitarian [sic] and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the
main: the Hindus and the Moslems [sic], in India.2
Sir! The RSS, following in the foot-steps of ‘Veer’ Savarkar, always rejected the idea that Hindus,
Muslims, Sikhs and Christians together constituted a nation. Its English organ, Organizer, on the
very eve of Independence (August 14, 1947), editorially (titled ‘Whither’) underlined its belief in
the two-nation theory once again in the following words:
Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of
the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready
recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the
national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation…the nation itself must be
built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations.
Your claim, ‘My secularism is, India first’ is problematic as you do not regard yourself as an Indian
nationalist but as a ‘Hindu nationalist.’ If you are a Hindu nationalist then there will be, naturally,
‘Muslim nationalists’, ‘Sikh nationalists’, ‘Christian nationalists’, and so on. Thus you set the ball
rolling for a divided India. This is surely a corollary of your organizational faith in the two-nation

Modi Sir, as a senior and prominent whole-timer of the RSS you must know that on the eve of
Independence the above mentioned RSS organ used the following language against the Tri-colour,
the new National Flag of India:
The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour
but it never [sic] be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and
a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is
injurious to a country.3

Hindu nationalists ran coalition governments with the Muslim League in 1942-43
1942 was a critical year in the history of India’s Freedom Struggle. In a nation-wide call the British
rulers were asked to ‘Quit India’. The rulers responded by turning the country into a hell: armed
squads killed common Indians completely disregarding the rule of law, millions were arrested and
thousands suffered unparalleled repression. The Congress governments which were ruling different
Provinces of British India were dismissed. The only political organizations allowed to work were
the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League. These two organizations united to serve the rulers
and formed coalition governments. It was corroborated by the mentor of RSS. ‘Veer’ Savarkar in
his presidential address to the 24th session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Kanpur in 1942 declared,
In practical politics also the Mahasabha knows that we must advance through reasonable
compromises. Witness the fact that only recently in Sind, the Sind-Hindu-Sabha on
invitation had taken the responsibility of joining hands with the League itself in running
coalition Government. The case of Bengal is well known. Wild Leaguers whom even the
Congress with all its submissiveness could not placate grew quite reasonably compromising
and socialable as soon as they came in contact with the HM and the Coalition Government,
under the premiership of Mr. Fazlul Huq and the able lead of our esteemed Mahasabha
leader Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerji, functioned successfully for a year or so to the benefit of
both the communities.4
When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was trying to liberate India, the Hindu nationalists were
helping to strengthen the British rule and its armed forces
Sir, you must be familiar with the name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who tried to liberate India
militarily with the help of Germany and Japan. However, during this period ‘Hindu Nationalists’,
instead of helping him, were hand in glove with the British masters in defeating Netaji’s liberation
struggle (in which former succeeded). Hindu Mahasabha under ‘Veer’ Savarkar’s leadership
organized recruitment camps for British armed forces. The Hindutva camp’s surrender to the
colonial masters was total, as we see in the following utterances of ‘Veer’ Savarkar:
So far as India’s defence is concerned, Hindudom must ally unhesitatingly, in a spirit of
responsive co-operation with the war effort of the Indian government in so far as it is
consistent with the Hindu interests, by joining the Army, Navy and the Aerial forces in as
large a number as possible and by securing an entry into all ordnance, ammunition and war
craft factories…Again it must be noted that Japan’s entry into the war has exposed us
directly and immediately to the attack by Britain’s enemies. Consequently, whether we like
it or not, we shall have to defend our own hearth and home against the ravages of the war
and this can only be done by intensifying the government’s war effort to defend India.
Hindu Mahasabhaites must, therefore, rouse Hindus especially in the provinces of Bengal
and Assam as effectively as possible to enter the military forces of all arms without losing a
single minute.5
What RSS instills in cadres?
Sir, in your interview you claimed that RSS instills in cadres the spirit of patriotism, working for the
good of the nation and discipline. Since RSS stands for Hindu Rashtra or nation, one can
understand the fate of democratic-secular India in the hands of RSS cadres. You should have shared
what the most prominent ideologue of the RSS, Golwalkar, expected from RSS members. While
addressing a gathering of top ranking RSS on March 16, 1954, at Sindi, Wardha, he said:
If we say that we are part of the organization and accept its discipline then selectiveness has
no place in life. Do what is told. If told to play kabaddi, play kabaddi; told to hold meeting
then meeting….For instance some of our friends were told to go and work for politics that
does not mean that they have great interest or inspiration for it. They don’t die for politics
like fish without water. If they are told to withdraw from politics then also there is no
objection. Their discretion is just not required.6
This second statement of ‘Guru’ Golwalkar is also significant.
We know this also that some of our Swayamsevaks work in politics. There they have to
organize according to the needs of work public meetings, processions etc., have to raise
. slogans. All these things have no place in our work. However, like the character in a play
whatever role has been assigned should be portrayed with best of capability. But sometimes
Swayamsevaks go beyond the role assigned to a performer (nat) as they develop overzealousness in their hearts, to the extent that they become useless for this work. This is not  good.7
Modi Sir, we find here ‘Guru’ Golwalkar referring to the Swayamsevaks loaned to the political
satellite as ‘nat’, performers, who are meant to dance to the tune of the RSS. It should be noted here
that Golwalkar’s above design of controlling the political arm was elaborated in March 1960,
almost nine years after the establishment of the Jana Sangh (the forerunner of the BJP) in 1951.
What I would like to know from you is whether you are serving the democratic-secular polity of
India or are a mere ‘nat’, a tool in the hands of the RSS for turning India into a theocratic state. Fact
is that RSS makes its cadres spineless.
Betrayal by RSS in India’s Freedom Struggle
Sir, your claim that the RSS taught you patriotism is suspect, given the history of that organization
as seen in its documents. I shall present some relevant documents for your kind perusal.
The Non-cooperation Movement and the Quit India Movement were two great milestones in the
history of the Indian Freedom Movement, and here is the great thesis of the great Golwalkar on
these two great happenings:
Definitely there are bound to be bad results of struggle. The boys became unruly after the
1920-21 movement. It is not an attempt to throw mud at the leaders. But these are inevitable
products after the struggle. The matter is that we could not properly control these results.
After 1942, people often started thinking that there was no need to think of the law.8
Thus ‘Guru’ Golwalkar wanted the Indians to respect the draconian and repressive laws of the
inhuman British rulers! After the 1942 Movement he further admitted,
In 1942 also there was a strong sentiment in the hearts of many. At that time too the routine
work of Sangh continued. Sangh vowed not to do anything directly. However, upheaval
(uthal-puthal) in the minds of Sangh volunteers continued. Sangh is an organization of

inactive persons, their talks are useless, not only outsiders but also many of our volunteers
did talk like this. They were greatly disgusted too.9
Sir, we have been told that the RSS did nothing directly. However, there is not a single publication
or document of the RSS which throws light on what the RSS did indirectly for the Quit India
Movement. During this period, in fact, its mentor, ‘Veer’ Savarkar, ran coalition governments with
the Muslim League. I must conclude that because the RSS did nothing, directly or indirectly, for the
Quit India Movement, and indeed acted against it, that titanic movement was, for you and your
forebears, the opposite of patriotic.
RSS denigrates martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle
Modi Sir, I would like to know your views on the statements of ‘Guruji’ decrying and denigrating
martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan. Here is a passage from the
chapter, ‘Martyr, Great But Not Ideal’ from Bunch Of Thoughts, a veritable Geeta for RSS cadres
such as yourself.
There is no doubt that such men who embrace martyrdom are great heroes and their
philosophy too is pre-eminently manly. They are far above the average men who meekly
submit to fate and remain in fear and inaction. All the same, such persons are not held up as
ideals in our society. We have not looked upon their martyrdom as the highest point of
greatness to which men should aspire. For, after all, they failed in achieving their ideal, and
failure implies some fatal flaw in them.10
Sir, can there be a statement more insulting to the martyrs than this? The founder of the RSS, Dr.
Hedgewar, went one step further:
Patriotism is not only going to prison. It is not correct to be carried away by such superficial
Don’t you feel, Sir, that if martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Ashfaqullah,
Chandrashekhar Azad had come in contact with the then RSS leadership, they could have been
saved from giving their lives for ‘superficial patriotism’? This also must be the reason why RSS
leaders or cadres did not face repression during British rule and the RSS did not produce any martyr
during the Freedom Movement. Finally, Sir, are we to regard as noble patriotism the cringing letters
that ‘Veer’ Savarkar wrote to the Angrez Sarkar?

RSS’ hatred for democracy
Modi ji, as Chief Minister of Gujarat and a prominent leader of the BJP, you are supposed to
function within the Democratic-Secular polity of India. What is your take on the following decree
ordained by ‘Guru’ Golwalkar while addressing a group of 1,350 top level cadres of the RSS in
RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in
each and every corner of this great land.12
I would like to bring it to your notice that this decree of ‘one flag, one leader and one ideology’ was
also the battle cry of Fascist and Nazi parties of Europe in the first half of 20th century. What they
did to democracy is well-known to this world.
Against federalism
The RSS is also dead against the federal structure given in the Constitution, again a basic feature of
the Indian polity. This is clear from the following communication of M.S. Golwalkar to the first
session of the National Integration Council in 1961:
Today’s federal form of government not only gives birth but also nourishes the feelings of
separatism, in a way refuses to recognize the fact of one nation and destroys it. It must be
completely uprooted, constitution purified and unitary form of government be established.13
‘Hindu Nationalists’ stand for Casteism and anti-women Polity
Sir, if you peep into the archives of the RSS and its brother organizations who want the rule of
Hindutva in India, it will be immediately clear that all of them hated the Constitution of India,
which was drafted under the guidance of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. When the Constituent Assembly of
India had finalized the Constitution of India the RSS was not happy. Its organ, Organizer, in an
editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:
But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in
ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of
Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the
world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits
that means nothing

In fact, RSS had been following the ideology laid down by ‘Veer’ Savarkar. It may not be a secret
to you, Sir, that ‘Veer’ Savarkar remained a great proponent of Casteism and worshipper of
Manusmriti throughout his life. According to this apostle of Hindu Nationalism:
Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worshipable [sic] after Vedas for our Hindu
Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought
and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our
nation. Even today the rules which are followed by crores of Hindus in their lives and
practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law.14

Sir, as a great flag-bearer of Hindutva politics you must know what kind of society ‘Hindu
Nationalists’ like you want to usher in. Since you are very busy, I am reproducing from the Code of
Manu his prescriptions for Dalits/Untouchables and women. These dehumanizing and degenerate
laws, which are presented here, are self-explanatory.

Laws of Manu concerning Dalits/Untouchables.
(1) For the sake of the prosperity of the worlds (the divine one) caused the Brahmana,
the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arm, his thighs and
his feet.
(2) One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudras, to serve meekly even these
(other) three castes.
(3) Once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective, shall
have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.
(4) If he mentions the names and castes (gati) of the (twice-born) with contumely, an
iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth.
(5) If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be
poured into his mouth and into his ears.
(6) With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest
(castes), even that limb shall be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu.
(7) He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger kicks
with his foot, shall have his foot cut off.

(8) A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of a high
caste, shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock to be
(9) Let him never slay a Brahmana, though he have committed all (possible) crimes; let
him banish such an (offender), leaving all his property (to him) and (his body) unhurt.

Laws of Manu concerning Women
1. Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families),
and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control.
2. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her
sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.
3. Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling (they
may appear); for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families.
4. Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to
guard their wives.
5. No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the
employment of the (following) expedients:
6. Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth,
in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfillment of) religious duties, in the preparation of
his food, and in looking after the household utensils.
7. Women, confined in the house under trustworthy and obedient servants, are not
(well) guarded; but those who of their own accord keep guard over themselves, are well
8. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), ‘(It is
enough that) he is a man,’ they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly.
9. Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural
heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be
guarded in this (world).
10. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat
and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.11. For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts, thus the law is  settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic  texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.

I would like to remind you that a copy of Manusmriti was burnt as a protest in the presence of Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar during historic Mahad agitation in December, 1927.

For RSS Casteism is synonymous with Hindu Nation
Sir, as a loyal, disciplined and committed cadre of the RSS, you must be familiar with the fact that
Casteism is the essence of Hindu Nationalism. ‘Guru’ Golwalkar went to the extent of declaring that
Casteism was synonymous with the Hindu Nation. According to him, the Hindu people are none
else but,
The Virat Purusha, the Almighty manifesting himself […] [according to purusha sukta] sun
and moon are his eyes, the stars and the skies are created from his nabhi [navel] and
Brahmin is the head, Kshatriya the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudra the feet. This
means that the people who have this fourfold arrangement, i.e., the Hindu People, is [sic]
our God. This supreme vision of Godhead is the very core of our concept of ‘nation’ and has
permeated our thinking and given rise to various unique concepts of our cultural heritage.15
Sir, please tell me whether you stand with the RSS and ‘Guruji’ or with the Democratic-Secular
Polity that has given you your power. This concerns common Hindus and specially women.
I am sorry that my letter is getting long. You will forgive me as I have no other choice as your
Reuter interview and other utterances and actions cover a very large canvas. You will appreciate
that I am not raising the issue of the 2002 Gujarat Carnage as many other individuals and
organizations have been doing. I strongly feel that I must raise those issues which generally are
skipped: what is your agenda for the Hindus of this country and for the existing Democratic-Secular
I will end by raising two more issues, Sir.
Hindu Nationalists’ celebrate assassination of Gandhi
Nathuram Godse and others who conspired to kill M.K. Gandhi, claimed to be ‘Hindu Nationalists’.
They described killing as something ordained by God. RSS celebrated his killing by distributing
sweets. Are they not revered by the Hindutva camp? Aren’t you one of them? When you were in

Goa in June 2013 for the BJP executive committee meeting, you sent a message to the ‘All India
Hindu Convention for Establishment of Hindu Nation’ organised by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti
(HJS). Your message read: “Even though every Hindu conducts himself with love, compassion and
intimacy with god, giving precedence to non-violence, truth and “satvikta”, repelling demoniacal
tendencies is in our destiny. It is our tradition to remain alert and raise a voice against
persecution…Only by protecting our culture, can the flag of “dharma” and unity be kept intact.
Organisations inspired by nationalism, patriotism and devotion for the Nation are true
manifestations of people’s power.” 16
You must have sent this intimate fraternal message to the HJS knowing them well. Shockingly,
from the same dais in this convention from where your felicitation message was read, one of the
prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, declared that Gandhi was ‘terrible, wicked and most sinful’.
Rejoicing the killing of M.K. Gandhi, he went on to declare, “As Bhagwan Shri Krishna said in the
Gita, Paritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Cha Dushkritam/ Dharamasansthapnaya Sambhavami
Yuge-Yuge (For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the
establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age) On…30th January 1948 evening, Shriram
came in the form of Nathuram Godse and ended the life of Gandhi.” 17
Let me add that K.V. Sitaramaiah has also authored a book titled ‘Gandhi was Dharma Drohi and
Desa Drohi’ in which the back cover matter, quoting from the epic Mahabharat, demands ‘Dharma
Drohis must be killed’, ‘Not killing the deserved to be killed is great sin’ and ‘where the members
of Parliament seeing clearly allow to kill Dharma & truth as untruth, those members will be called

Sir, please say if this is not an open call to annihilate those members of Parliament who do not
subscribe to author’s definition of Dharma.
Neo-Nazi mass murderer of Norway, Breivik, glorified ‘Hindu Nationalists’ 18

Last of all; kindly tell me how you respond to Norwegian mass killer Neo-Nazi, Anders Behring
Breivik, who hailed India’s ‘Hindu Nationalist’ movement as a key ally in a global struggle to bring
down democratic regimes across the world. Just before he went to massacre a large number of

people in Norway he released a ‘manifesto’ of 1,518 pages, of which 102 pages dealt with the
Hindutva movement of India. It declared support to ‘Sanatana Dharma movements and Indian
nationalists in general.’ This manifesto also laid down a plan of co-operation between Neo-Nazi
movements of Europe and ‘Hindu Nationalist’ organizations of India. It said that it was essential
that these two ‘learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible’ as ‘Our goals are more or
less identical.’ This manifesto specially mentioned the names of Hindutva organizations like RSS,
BJP, ABVP & VHP in this regard. Importantly, the manifesto pledged military support ‘to the
nationalists in the Indian civil war and in the deportation of all Muslims from India’ as part of a
larger campaign to ‘overthrow of all western European multiculturalist governments.’ I am
requesting your response on a matter which, in fact, should have been raised by the Reuter
I shall be eagerly looking forward to your response. I am sure that with the vast resources available
to you, nationally and internationally, it will not cause much inconvenience to your Highness.
Thanking you.
Shamsul Islam
Delhi, 17-07-2013
[email protected]



2 V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra
Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 296.

3 Organizer, August 14, 1947.
4 V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra
Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, pp. 479-80

5 V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra
Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 460. V. D. Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu
Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, pp. 479-80.
6 -SGSD, vol. iii, p. 32.

7-SGSD, vol. iv, pp. 4-5.
8- SGSD, volume IV, p. 41.

9- SGSD, Volume IV, p. 40.
10 MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 283.
11 CP Bhishikar, Sanghavariksh Ke Beej: Dr. Keshavrao Hedgewar, Suruchi, 1994, p. 21.

12 Golwalkar, M. S., Shri guruji Samagar Darshan (Collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Vol. I (Nagpur: Bhartiya
Vichar Sadhna, nd), p. 11.
13 MS Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna,
Nagpur, nd., volume iii, p. 128. Hereafter referred as SGSD.

14 Savarkar, V. D., ‘Women in Manusmriti’ in Savarkar Samagar, Vol. 4 [Collection of Savarkar’s Writings in Hindi]
(New Delhi: Prabhat), 416.

15 Golwalkar, M. S., We or Our Nationhood Defined, (Nagpur:Bharat Publications, 1939), p.36.


18 &



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: Monday, February 25, 2013, Zee News
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Kulkarni, who has written a biography on Gandhi, likened the Twitter form of communication to Gandhi’s life and message.

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” Aao Kasab Ko Phansi Dain ” -a poem by Anshu Malviya

उसे चौराहे पर फाँसी दें !
बल्कि उसे उस चौराहे पर फाँसी दें
जिस पर फ्लड लाईट लगाकर
विधर्मी औरतों से बलात्कार किया गया
गाजे-बाजे के साथ
कैमरे और करतबों के साथ
लोकतंत्र की जय बोलते हुए

उसे उस पेड़ की डाल पर फाँसी दें
जिस पर कुछ देर पहले खुदकुशी कर रहा था किसान
उसे पोखरन में फाँसी दें
और मरने से पहले उसके मुंह पर
एक मुट्ठी रेडियोएक्टिव धूल मल दें

उसे जादूगोड़ा में फाँसी दें
उसे अबूझमाड़ में फाँसी दें
उसे बाटला हाउस में फाँसी दें
उसे फाँसी दें………कश्मीर में
गुमशुदा नौजवानों की कब्रों पर

उसे एफ.सी.आई. के गोदाम में फाँसी दें
उसे कोयले की खदान में फाँसी दें.
आओ कसाब को फाँसी दें !!

उसे खैरलांजी में फाँसी दें
उसे मानेसर में फाँसी दें
उसे बाबरी मस्जिद के खंडहरों पर फाँसी दें
जिससे मजबूत हो हमारी धर्मनिरपेक्षता
कानून का राज कायम हो

उसे सरहद पर फाँसी दें
ताकि तर्पण मिल सके बंटवारे के भटकते प्रेत को

उसे खदेड़ते जाएँ माँ की कोख तक……और पूछें
जमीनों को चबाते, नस्लों को लीलते
अजीयत देने की कोठरी जैसे इन मुल्कों में
क्यों भटकता था बेटा तेरा
किस घाव का लहू चाटने ….
जाने किस ज़माने से बहतें हैं
बेकारी, बीमारी और बदनसीबी के घाव…..

सरहद की औलादों को ऐसे ही मरना होगा
चलो उसे रॉ और आई.एस.आई. के दफ्तरों पर फाँसी दें
आओ कसाब को फाँसी दें !!

यहाँ न्याय एक सामूहिक हिस्टीरिया है
आओ कसाब की फाँसी को राष्ट्रीय उत्सव बना दें

निकालें प्रभातफेरियां
शस्त्र-पूजा करें
गर मिल जाए कोई पेप्सी-कोक जैसा प्रायोजक
तो राष्ट्रगान की प्रतियोगिताएं आयोजित करें
कंगलों को बाँटें भारतमाता की मूर्तियां
तैयारी करो कम्बख्तो ! फाँसी की तैयारी करो !

इस एक फाँसी से
कितने मसले होने हैं हल
निवेशकों में भरोसा जगना है
सेंसेक्स को उछलना है
ग्रोथ रेट को पहुँच जाना है दो अंको में

कितने काम बाकी हैं अभी
पंचवर्षीय योजना बनानी है
पढनी है विश्व बैंक की रपटें
करना है अमरीका के साथ संयुक्त युद्धाभ्यास
हथियारों का बजट बढ़ाना है…
आओ कसाब को फाँसी दें !

उसे गांधी की समाधि पर फाँसी दें
इस एक काम से मिट जायेंगे हमारे कितने गुनाह

हे राम ! हे राम ! हे राम !…”

–अंशु मालवीय 

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The Hindu: It’s time to behave! #advertising

reporter nameAnindita Sarkar, afaqs!, Mumbai,
November 02, 2012 Section: News Category: Advertising

While The Hindu continues to target the youth, in its latest television commercial it turns the spotlight on Indian politicians and focuses on the poor example of governance that is being set by them for the new generation.

Beat up your children and they will think it’s the norm. Fight before the young and they will learn to do it better. Break chairs in the midst of solving national issues and the youth will trust that it’s precisely how the country is run. And so, behave.

The Hindu TVC

This is the insight The Hindu’s latest ad is based on. After an entire campaign run which involved The Hindu and The Times of India taking shots at each other, the Chennai-based national daily has launched a fresh ad campaign that urges the nation’s leaders to conduct themselves well.

While the broadsheet continues to target the youth with the campaign, taking off from where it left in its previous communication, this time around it tries to ‘behave’ more inclusive.

In its latest television commercial, the daily turns the spotlight on Indian politicians and focuses on the poor example of governance that is being set by them for the new generation.

Even as it stirs up a conversation that is really affecting the youth, the campaign decides to talk through those who are the source of that very conversation.

Conceptualised by Ogilvy India, the film is set in a classroom. The TVC opens with the professor asking his students to debate the rural development bill; and yes, he seeks ‘proper parliamentary behaviour’. The house is set open wherein two groups of students are pitted against each other. Very soon, the situation turns chaotic. Furniture breaks, books fly, faces are punched. Eventually, as an instrumental version of poet Narsinh Mehta‘s ‘Vaishnava jana to’ (a bhajan endorsed by Mahatma Gandhi during his daily prayer) takes over the screaming disorder, the ad ends with the note, ‘Behave Yourself, India. The Youth Are Watching’.

The insight

While The Hindu wanted to continue its dialogue with the youth, it was also keen to build a mechanism that would allow the daily to extend a thought that could raise many more pertinent issues.

Piyush Pandey
Suresh Srinivasan

And that is when the idea made its way. Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy says that the idea occurred while he was disturbed by something he saw on television. What followed is The Hindu TVC that he wrote.

“The insight is very simple and comes from our everyday lives. It asks us to behave wisely because it will impact the way our children will conduct themselves. The ad tries to talk sensibly to the largest target group of this country (the youth) through an idea, which is much larger and therefore, the positioning becomes much wider now,” says Pandey.

Joono Simon, ECD (South) Ogilvy worked in close collaboration with Pandey to conceptualise and create the campaign.

‘Behave Yourself, India. The Youth Are Watching’ can easily change tone and talk about social injustice, intolerance, attitude toward senior citizens, or even address the current economic divide without taking much away from the classroom scene. But to begin with, The Hindu chose to speak about the politicians.

“A vibrant democracy requires participation of the youth predominantly and in today’s era, the lack of political icons is the bane of the country; the youth of today do not see strong icons to emulate in comparison to the heroes of yesteryears. The Hindu exposes this stark contrast of leadership, and is set to the pulse of the youth and their resentment with today’s governance,” says Suresh Srinivasan, vice-president, advertisement, The Hindu Group of Publications.

“Our previous campaign was not just a reaction to TOI; it was to propagate a story that was begging to be told. Showcasing the horror in junk news consumption and re-establishing that knowledge is the ‘new cool’. This campaign, like the previous one, is also set to the pulse of the youth and strengthens our positioning as a vibrant and aggressive brand,” he adds.

The film that is already being shared and talked about extensively on social networks is being supported by digital and cinema promotions. The print campaign too shall be launched shortly.

The insight-execution translation

Jitender Dabas
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

For Jitender Dabas, executive vice-president and head of planning, McCann Worldwide, the ad is a ‘populist’ commercial. According to him, newspapers playing the voice of conscience of the society or holding the mirror to the society is one of the most obvious brand strategies in the newspaper/media category and bashing the politicians is the best way to take a populist moral high ground in our society today.

“So, I see this ad getting very popular in urban India very soon and generating a lot of conversations. It will perhaps also enhance the stature of brand ‘The Hindu’. But will it ever succeed in getting the young, whose cause the newspaper seems to espouse or who are watching this ad on social media, to pick up a copy of ‘The Hindu’? I am not so sure. What surely works for the ad is great monochrome execution and the choice of music,” he says.

According to Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, executive creative director, Leo Burnett, a newspaper stands for what is happening in the country at that moment. “And if the dynamics of the country is changing, it is only right to strategically portray what the current scenario is. We always say that we should be a living example for our children but our country’s so called political oldies with their tantrums are exactly the opposite. The insight has been very clearly communicated. Like the way the professor is shown — a middle aged man who does not have any point of view like many in our country and will still look in doubt as if nothing has happened.”


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