INNOCENT SWAMI AMRITANANDA DEV TIRTHA IN GUANTANAMO BAY OF MAHARASHTRA

ILLEGAL ARREST AND INCARCERATION WITHOUT ANY END IN SIGHT

– A CASE FIT FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Part II

Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha, Shankarachrya of
Sri Sharada Sarvagya Peeth
Like Sadhvi Pragya, Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha, Shankarachrya of the Pok-Based Sri Sharada Sarvagya Peeth, was also arrested by the ATS and he is now in Arthur Road Central Jail, Mumbai, in Maharashtra.  On 25 December 2008, he heroically managed to smuggle out a very graphic letter describing in telling detail the brutal atrocities that have been let loose against him inside prison. In this letter he has even giving the names of some of the police officers responsible for the physical assaults on him. In a larger sense, his inhuman humiliation in police custody is a mirror image of the state-sponsored degradation and torture of innocent Hindus in pseudo-secular Sonia Congress India.  Sandhya Jain, the bold Hindutva columnist from New Delhi, has translated the Hindi letter into English. Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha’s LETTER COMPLETELY EXPOSES THE ANTI-HINDU NATURE OF MAHARASHTRA ATS.
Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha Shankaracharya
I AM GIVING BELOW EXCERPTS FROM THIS LETTER SENT BY SWAMI AMRITANANDA DEV TIRTHA, SHANKARACHRYA OF THE POK-BASED SRI SHARADA SARVAGYA PEETH.
“India, the fourth-most populous nation in the world, the sole Hindu nation, yet also a divided India, weighed down by secularism, feels guilty about being a Hindu nation. Since the last 1200 years, ignorant of its united strength, this society which lacks the courage to speak the truth and has much experience in evading the lessons of history, suffering much humiliation and aggression, is now searching and struggling for its identity”.
“In this connection, I, the symbol of Hindu Samaj’s identity and faith, anointed Jagadguru Shankaracharya, Anantsri Bibhushit Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha (born Sudhakar Dhar), Shankaracharya, Sri Sharada Sarvagya Peeth, Jammu Kashmir (PoK), in the present circumstances, unhappy at Hindu Samaj’s worthless, indifferent, disbelieving and faithless leadership, am writing this letter. Because, via the Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), Hindu society is being misled and their cruel and dehumanising atrocities towards me – from propagating a fraudulent identity of Dayanand Pandey, which was never my name, and calling me a self-declared Sant, Mahant, or Pujari –– have forced me to accept the commission of certain crimes:-
1] “My saffron robes were removed, I was denuded and kept wetted in an air-conditioned room for three days and given electric shocks.”
2] “The Sri Yantra and religious books (including Japuji Sahib) used for my personal puja were trampled upon and thrown in a gutter.”
3] “Three men would stand upon my legs and hit me with belts on the soles of my feet, till I fell unconscious.”
4] “Meat was pushed into my mouth and I was told that it was cow-flesh (beef).”
5] “I was forced to read certain scripts, and then my voice dubbed, and audio-video tapes produced.”
6] “I was threatened that pornographic CDs would be made about me [i.e., by computer simulation] to defame me in Hindu society.”
“These are just some examples. I lived 17 days in their custody, and you can yourself imagine what they would have done to me”.
“If ATS had any proof against me, why did they need to cook up fake evidence against me? ATS said, ‘HERE WE WILL KILL YOU, OUTSIDE MUSLIMS WILL KILL YOU; YOU HAVE TO DIE IN ANY CASE, SO ACCEPT YOUR CRIMES’. They made me mug up the answers of questions and then did a narco-analysis’. ‘In these circumstances, I hope that Hindu society will accept and read this letter as proof of the truth of its Dharmacharyas”.
“It would be appropriate to mention here that the root and ancient seat of the Shankaracharya parampara, Sri Sharada Sarvagya Peeth, lies in gram Shardi, taluka Attumukam, district Neelam, divided India’s northern-most state of Jammu Kashmir, in the 48% territory seized by Pakistan. Not only was this seat lost because of this Pakistani seizure, but over the last 60 years, that region’s lakhs of Hindus have lost their human rights, are denied basic civic amenities and are running from pillar to post without social or governmental assistance”.
“Three resolutions to take back Pak-Occupied Kashmir are gathering dust. This attitude of secular governments is known to the Islamic nations and Islamic leadership, as a result of which a policy of oppression is being followed, and in India, Islamic conversions are taking place with the support of Pakistan and other Islamic nations. The result is that 18-20 years ago, lakhs of Hindus were compelled to abandon Kashmir; they found refuge in other Hindu states of the nation. But today, in seven coastal states, Hindus are a minority of less than 10%. So if the same type of flight of Hindus takes place in other states, where will they take refuge?”
“Eminent thinkers of this fear-ridden society, the Kashi Vidwit Parishad, Dandi Sannyasi Seva Samiti, the faith-loving and reputed persons of Kashi, joined hands and organised a Sarvajanik Samaroh, and re-established Sri Sharada Sarvagya Peeth’s lost Shankaracharya parampara. The challenge was to stop the oppression and flight of Hindus of PoK; share the sufferings of resident Hindus of PoK and help them get justice and their rights; encourage Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley; and remind the government of the three Parliamentary resolutions to reclaim PoK”.
“Thus, on 16 May 2003, I was anointed Shankaracharya and charged with these responsibilities. Since then to the present day, combating all kinds of dangers and threats, I have been fulfilling my responsibility. A special report on this may be read in the 17 February 2008 edition of the RSS mouthpiece, Organiser”.
“The Jammu region of a Bharat divided on the basis of religion, from the time of independence itself, has become the kasauti (touchstone) of secularism. There, the anointment of a Shankaracharya can expose official secularism. Driven by this fear, the Central and State governments have sought to use the Abhinav Bharat programmes and in my official capacity as Kashmir Shankaracharya, used the ATS to cook up evidences and incriminate me”.
“Therefore, via Hindu society, I appeal to the Respected President and Respected Judiciary to permit me to commit suicide, because after this kind of humiliation, I am dying a slow death every second. And, because of the events that befell me, which I take as a sign of the heavy dangers facing the society, I hope that the suicidal Hindu society and its leadership will be alert and awake”.
It will be clear from the above letter of Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha that the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) only on paper in Maharashtra is functioning only as an Anti Truth Squad (ATS) in practice. Thus, the ATS and other Government enforcement agencies in Maharashtra are functioning as lethal political handles of the anti-National and anti-Hindu Sonia Congress Party, which is totally committed to the philosophy and pogramme of total destruction of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma.
The criminal working philosophy of ATS in Maharashtra seems to be based on the following ‘principles’.
a. Every Hindu is a criminal if not a terrorist, unless proved to the contrary. Brutal and brutalising methods of investigation, specially perfected by the ATS in Maharashtra, are being used against targeted Hindu political and religious leaders with the full official approval of the Firangi Memsahib and her terrorist political advisor Ahmed Patel.
b. All Muslim and Christian cultural organisations (including known terrorist groups) are working for only communal harmony, unless proved to the contrary. Every Hindu cultural organisation is only working for the total disruption of communal harmony, unless proved to the contrary.
c. Brutal power of the State can be effectively deployed to ‘manufacture’, ‘fabricate’, all kinds of carefully imagined and contrived loose bits of non-evidence to intimidate the peace loving Hindu population in absolute majority in India.  All Sonia Congress governments in India would effectively network together to achieve their larger political aim of total obliteration of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma from the sacred soil of India.
I am shocked to find from the March 2011 Issue of the Hindu Voice magazine published from Mumbai that Swami Amrutananda Dev Tirth, Shankaracharya, Sharda Sarvagya Peet, Kashmir is still languishing in Taloja Central Prison, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. My esteemed friend Shri P. Deovamuthu, the Editor of the Hindu Voice has written an article on page 19 of the March 2011 Issue of the Hindu Voice giving full details of the letter he had received from Shankaracharya Swami Amrutananda Dev Tirth.
A letter from an ‘accused’
languishing in jail
P. Deivamuthu
(Hindu Voice, March 2011, page 19)
I was pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from Swami Amrutananda Dev Tirth, Shankaracharya, Sharda Sarvagya Peet, Kashmir (better known as Swami Dayanand Pandey), an accused in the Malegaon Blast case, languishing in jail for the last 28 months.
A scanned copy of the letter is given along side. The letter, which is in Hindi, translated roughly, reads:
“I, Swami Amrutananda Dev Tirth, Shankaracharya, Sharda Sarvagya Peet, Kashmir am languishing in jail for the last 28 months, as an accused in the Malegaon Blast case, along with 10 other accused. I am at present in the Taloja Central Prison, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.
During my stay in the prison, I happened to read your ‘Hindu Voice’ given to me by a wellwisher. All the articles in the Magazine are in the interests of the Nation and the original citizens Hindus and the Hindu society. My Sadhuvaadh to you. I pray God that your efforts give a proper direction to the society.
I would like to receive a copy of your current issue and also Hindu Voice issue of March 2009. I can pay in the form of postal order or money order. Also please send me your following publications. …..
Please send the above three books along with Hindu Voice March 2009 issue by VPP. Also let me know how to get your magazine regularly. I will honour the VPP. I am giving my address below.
UT-9, HSC – 2/15, Taloja Central Prison, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai 410210”
The letter was dated 22nd Feb. 2011 and I received it on 24th Feb. sent by Speed Post.
A few friends from Chennai cautioned me about the authenticity of the letter. One friend even advised me to check up whether the envelop bears the stamp and signature of the Jail Authorities. Yes, the Envelop did bear the stamp and signature. Swamiji had also enclosed a self-addressed envelop, with Rs.15/- stamp affixed, to be replied by me by speed post.
Next day, i.e. 25th Feb., I sent my man with many of my books along with a covering letter (reproduced along side). My man reached Taloja Central Jail by 10.30 a.m. and handed over my letter and the books to the Jail authorities. But the Jail authorities accepted only those publications which Swamiji had asked for and returned all other publications to my man. They even refused to accept my covering letter and returned it.
Our man tried to meet the Swamiji personally, but was not successful.
I have now sent the covering letter (appearing along side) to Swamiji, in the self-addressed envelop Swamiji sent me – by Speed Post. I hope it reaches him.
============
MY REPLY TO HIM
24th February 2011
Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth
U.T. – 9, HSC – 2/15, Taloja Central Prison,
Kharghar, Navi Mumbai 410210
Dear Swami Ji, Namaste!
I have today received your letter dated 22nd Feb. 2011, sent by Speed Post. I thank you for your Asheervachan.
Hindu Voice, published in English and Hindi since April 2002, is an intellectual warrior, protecting Mother Bharat from forces inimical to Sanatan Hindu Dharm and our hoary culture. I am happy that you were able to read a copy.
As requested by you, I am sending herewith my following publications. You need not pay for them. For you, they are free.
1. 650 Truths you Must Know … in Hindi
2. Directory of World Hindu Organisations
3. Say Proudly I am a Hindu (Hindi), 4. The Need for a Hindu Nation (Hindi), 5. Hindus Beware (Hindi)
6. Hindu Voice (Hindi), March 2009 issue + a few earlier issues.
7. A few copies of National Spirit, a weekly launched by me recently.
The Book “Hand Book on Right to Information” is out of stock. Hence I am sending herewith the print out of the material, which may serve your purpose.
I AM SURE TRUTH WILL PREVAIL AND YOU WILL COME OUT OF THE PRESENT SITUATION UNBLEMISHED, AND WILL REDEDICATE YOURSELF IN THE SERVICES OF BHARAT MATA AND SANATAN HINDU DHARM.
With Pranaams,
Sincerely
P. Deivamuthu
Editor, Hindu Voice & National Spirit
I spoke to Shri P, Deivamuthu today, Wednesday, 30th March 2011. He told me that he has received another letter dated 25th March 2011 from Swami Amrutananda Dev Tirth, Shankaracharya, Sharda Sarvagya Peet, Kashmir. He told me that he is publishing the following story relating to this letter of 25th March 2011 in the April 2011 Issue of the Hindu Voice.
Letter from an Undertrial
P. Deivamuthu
(In Hindu Voice, April 2011)
Readers are aware that in my last issue (March 2011), I had reproduced a letter dated 22nd Feb. 2011, received from Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth (better known as Dayanand Pandey), an accused in the Malegaon Bomb Blast case languishing in Taloja Central Prison, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, and my reply to him dated 25th Feb. I have received another letter from him, dated 25th Feb, along with his photograph. A scanned copy of the letter and the photograph, along with its translation in English, are published here, for the information of the reader. Obviously, my reply dated 25th and his letter dated 25th (sent by Speed Post) have crossed in post. I have again replied to him vide my letter dated 8th March 2011, (sent by Regd. post) which too is reproduced below.
===========
(Translated from Hindi) (Letter dated 25th February 2011 sent to Shri P. Deivamuthu by Shankaracharya Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth)
“The Editor, Hindu Voice
Long Live, Paramshubhashish,
I am happy and thankful to you for taking immediate action as requested by me in my letter dated 22nd Feb. 2011. I assure you that I will cooperate with you in making your holy mission a success, for which I pray God.
Today (25th Feb. 2011) I received your three books and Hindu Voice March 2009 issue. But I regret I could not meet your Representative. I again request you to send me copies of Hindu Voice from November 2008 to April 2009 and May-June 2010 and from November 2010 to March 2011 (total 13 issues). And tell your Representative to meet me and collect the amount for the books already sent and the ones now requested, along with the annual subscription for Hindu Voice, so that I can continuously receive your Monthly. Otherwise, if you so desire, I can send a MO. Please do inform me.
In order to give some introduction about me, I am sending herewith photo copies of some of the materials available with me. It would be adviseable if you search the net in the name of “Shankaracharya Swami Amritanand Dev Tirth”. I am not able to send some materials as I am not able to make photo copies of them, here. But the RSS Mouthpiece ORGANISER, 17th Feb. 2008 issue, page 23, has published my interview, which you can read. The ATS, in order to avoid public reaction, has lied to the public and mentioned my name as “Dayanand Pandey”, whereas in the charsheet my name is clearly mentioned as Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth, Shankaracharya, Sharda Sarvagya Peet”. But I do not know why the media is holding on to this imaginary name given by the ATS. In this respect, I have filed an affidavit in the court.
In this way, in a planned way, the ATS in collution with the secular media, has tarnished my image. I am thinking of writing a detailed letter to you about the Malegaon Bomb Blast-2008, so that the facts are placed before the society.
According to Sanatan Dharm, only the Atma is sanatan. But today, what can you expect from people who have pawned their soul and voice for the enjoyment of their mortal body and stomach? Awakening such a Society which is in a suicidal path and to uplift it, is indeed the holiest service to the God. On this subject, many magazines have serialised many of my articles. I will try to send them to you also. In this respect, I would requst you to kindly contact my colleague Shri Ayodhya Prasad Tripathi, 77 Khera Road, New Delhi-82 (Mobile: 09868324025/09868342613) and get all his publications. I am sure, he will be of help to you in your work. What to say about my helping you at this moment; I am helpless. But when the time comes, you yourself will experience it.
The Govt. has conspired to involve me in this false case, so that my Bhakts and followers run away from me. I was invited to Bhopal for the inauguration of Abhinav Bharat, and the Madhya Pradesh government declared me as the State Guest as the Shankaracharya. But the ATS treated this meeting as a ‘Conspiracy Meeting’ and arrested some of the participants as accused and some as witnesses. I will try to send you a detailed report shortly.
Expecting you to do what I have asked for, and hoping to write to you again, and with Hari Smaran & Blessings.”
(Swami Amritanand Dev Tirth, Shankaracharya)
UT-9, HSC 2/15.
Dated: 25th February 2011.
Shri P. Deivamuthu’s reply letter dated 8th March 2011 to Shankaracharya Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth
8th March 2011
Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth
U.T. – 9, HSC – 2/15, Taloja Central Prison
Kharghar, Navi Mumbai 410210
“Dear Swami Ji, Namaste!
I hope you have received my letter dated 24th Feb. 2011, sent by speed post.
I had sent my Representative with the said letter and a lot of my other publications. But the jail authorities took only what you asked for in your letter and returned all other publications, including my letter. My representative wanted to meet you personally, but the jail authorities did not allow it.
I have now received your letter dated 25th February 2011. As requested by you, I am sending herewith some old copies of Hindu Voice (both English/Hindi). I am also sending a copy of my Weekly NATIONAL SPIRIT. On page 3 of National Spirit, you will find your letter dated 22nd Feb. with my comments. I have published this in Hindu Voice too March 2011 issue which has already reached subscribers.
Please do write to me – whatever you want to say. I will bring it to the notice of the world through Hindu Voice (English and Hindi) and National Spirit.
Thanking you, with Pranaams!”
Sincerely
In the Services of Bharat Mata
P. Deivamuthu, Editor, Hindu Voice & National Spirit

I am presenting below the facsimile of the letter in Hindi dated 25th March 2011 sent by Shankaracharya Swami Amrutanand Dev Tirth to Shri P. Daivamuthu.
Will the Maharashtra ATS, (Anti Truth Squad), Congress Bureau of Investigation/Intimidation (CBI) and the National (Hindu) Intimidation Agency (NIA) dare to foist a false case on the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Bukhari or the Cardinal of Bombay Oswald Gracias? These anti-Hindu and anti-National agencies are taking their operational instructions from the Firangi Memsahib Sonia Gandhi and her private family business called the Congress Party.
The BUSINESS MOTO of the Congress Party, the private family business of the Firangi Memsahib Sonia Gandhi seems to be thIs:
“Terrorist Muslim appeasement at any cost to the Nation
Terrorist Christian appeasement at any cost to the Nation
Minority Vote bank Politics at any cost to the Nation
But positively at no cost to the Sonia Gandhi clan”
That is why the Congress party is more keen on protecting the interests of Muslims in Libya and the interests of Muslims in India like Afzal Guru.
Men in the bonded labour of Sonia Gandhi like Digvijay Singh and P. Chidambaram acting together are co-ordinating all these anti-Hindu activities under the guise of tackling the imagined phantom called Saffron Terrorism. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh, P. Chidambaram are all promoters of Islamic terrorism in the Southern and Western parts of India and promoters of Christian terrorism in Orissa and the North-Eastern parts of India. Perhaps all of them are fated to get their due justice without any trial in the same manner as Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi got from Madame Destiny. I derive my inspiration for saying this from the following lines of immortal poetry:
“Glories of our Blood and State
Are shadows and not substantial things
Early or late we stoop to fate
Sceptre and crown must tumble down
And in the dust be equal made
Only the actions of the just

Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.”

http://ennapadampanchajanya.blogspot.com/

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INNOCENT SADHVI PRAGYA IN GUANTANAMO BAY OF MAHARASHTRA

ILLEGAL ARREST AND INCARCERATION WITHOUT ANY END IN SIGHT

– A CASE FIT FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Part I
V. SUNDARAM I.A.S
Sadhvi Pragya
Victim of Sonia Congress Police Torture
The Sonia-Congress led UPA government in Maharashtra is mischievously and viciously using the ATS as a political instrument to foist cases on Hindu political and Hindu religious leaders.  The CBI, which I have several times described as Congress Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Congress Bureau of Instigation (CBI), Congress Bureau of Insinuation (CBI) and Congress Bureau of Intimidation (CBI) is being used on a daily basis by the Sonia-Congress to foist criminal cases on their political opponents.
In the same manner, the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Maharashtra is also functioning as a political instrument of the Sonia-Congress Government in Maharashtra State. The Supreme Court of India had also observed that the CBI was being used as a political instrument by the Government in power (Sonia Congress Party) to put down their political opponents. The Supreme Court made this observation in the case relating to disproportionate assets launched by CBI against Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In one of my earlier articles which I wrote in 2008, I had observed as follows: “It is a matter of time before the ATS declares the Sangh Pariwar as the biggest progenitor of terror in India.  They are capable of politically manufacturing new ‘revelations’ to suggest (to them at any rate and at any cost!) that, if SIMI is banned, so must be Bajrang Dal, VHP, ABVP, RSS and eventually BJP.  Finally, the lethal fact that the government will have neither the gumption nor credible and clinching evidence to do so is quite another matter.  But there is no doubt whatsoever that the ATS in Maharashtra, taking political instructions from Sonia Congress in power there, is working round the clock to prove the total parity  between Islamic terror and ‘Hindu’ terror.  But the ‘politically’ determined efforts of ATS to arrive at this ‘equation’ will have disastrous consequences leading to the complete derangement of communal harmony in India. The irresponsible officers and men in the ATS in Maharashtra who equate imaginary Hindu terror with more than one thousand years of Jihadi terror in India, would do well to understand that this odious comparison can only provoke the already emotionally shattered and battered Hindus of India even more, thus communalising the polity beyond redemption and unleash retribution on a scale which would dwarf what happened in Gujarat after the Godhra riots in 2002. If only Hinduism had been an intolerant faith like the monotheistic Islam then India would not been a vibrant democracy and we would have witnessed many virulently violent responses to Jihadic terror.”
In 2007, the Malegaon blasts took place in which 37 people were killed outside the mosque.  At that time the pseudo-secular media — both print and electronic — loudly wondered why Jihadi terrorists would specifically target their own co-religionists and suggestively hinted at the possibility of Hindu groups coming under the investigators’ scanner.  With electronic speed, the case was cracked and it was authoritatively billed as a SIMI handiwork.  But the pseudo-secular fundamentalists in the media did not give up.  They waited for two crude bombs to explode in Gujarat’s Modasa and once again in Malegaon on September 29, 2008.  At that time, the weak Sonia Congress government was under fire for handling Raj Thackerray’s plundering goons in Mumbai with kid gloves, the ATS in Maharashtra decided this was the most opportune time to ‘selectively leak’ some sensitive information regarding the September 29, 2008 incidents.  The alleged suspects’ links to the extended Saffron Pariwar were far-fetched and tenuous.  Yet the leaked news came in very handy for the English and electronic media to resume their onslaught on ‘Hindu terror’.
The ATS in Maharastra responded immediately.  That is how the case was launched against Sadhvi Pragya Chandrapal Singh Thakur and others.  She had graphically described how the ATS officers and men tortured her when she was under their illegal and unauthorised custody in November 2008 in the Affidavit, which she filed in a Nasik Court (C.R.No.1-130/08, Re-numbered as C.R.No.1-18/08 at ATS).  I am giving below certain extracts from her Affidavit which are really heart rending and which clearly bring out the fact that the inhuman officers and men in the ATS behaved in the savage way in which the great German writer Mehring described the barbarous men of the Nazi Special Police in Hitler’s Germany: ‘I was tortured by highly cultivated barbarians, by technically trained primitives, by uniformed cannibals’The criminal barbarians in the ATS in Maharashtra are not very different from the NAZI Special Police in Hitler’s Germany. The Sonia Congress Government directed criminals in the ATS in Maharashtra will also have their days of Nuremberg trials.
Here are the relevant excerpts from Sadhvi Pragya’s Affidavit.
‘I say that on 7.10.2008, when I was at Jabalpur Ashram, I received a call from a police officer from the ATS, Maharashtra, called Sawant, who wanted to know about my LML Freedom vehicle. However, I told him I had sold it long back and not concerned with it. However, he insisted me to come down to Surat as he wanted to question me at length about it. I was reluctant to go to Surat by leaving the Ashram and insisted for him to come down to Jabalpur, but he refused and told me to come down to Surat as early as possible’.
‘I further say that accordingly I travelled to Surat by train via Ujjain and arrived at Surat on 10.10.2008 early in the morning and my disciple Bhimbhai Pasricha had to receive me at Railway Station and I went to his place at Atop Nagar…..I further say that at 5.15 PM myself, Pasricha and the ATS officer left Surat and reached Bombay on the very night of 10.10.2008. In Bombay I was taken straight away to the ATS office at Kalachowkie’.
‘I further say that on 12.10.2008 the ATS changed the mode of interrogation and became extremely aggressive with me. At first they asked my said disciple Bhimbhai Pasricha to beat me with sticks, belts etc, on my palms, forehands, soles, etc. When Pasricha refused to do so, he was severely beaten by the ATS. Ultimately with the greatest reluctance, he complied with the ATS orders but obviously being my disciple, he exerted the very minimum of force on me. He was then pushed aside by a member of the ATS squad known as Khanwilkar, who then himself commenced beating me severely with a belt on my hands, forearms, palms, feet, soles, causing me bruises, swelling and contusions in these areas’.
‘I say that from the 13th onwards, I was beaten during the day, night and midnight. On two occasions I was even woken up in the early hours of the morning at 4 am and questioned about my knowledge of the blasts. On these occasions, I was beaten by a senior officer having a moustache, whom I can identify. In addition I was subject to vulgar abuse and obscene language by members of the ATS team interrogating me. My Guru was abused and my chastity was questioned. I was physically and verbally traumatised to the extent that I wanted to commit suicide’.

‘I say that as a result of the custodial violence/torture, mental stress, anxiety that were developed in the process, I was subjected to, I developed acute abdominal and kidney pains. I lost my appetite, became nauseous and giddy and prone to having bouts of unconsciousness’.

Sadhvi Pragya in 2008                      Sadhvi Pragya today

Before arrest by ATS Now after three years of
In October 2008                                Illegal, arbitrary detention
and torture by ATS

 


SADHVI PRAGYA CHANDRAPAL SINGH THAKUR HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY IN PRISON SINCE OCTOBER 2008 AND NO CHARGESHEET HAS BEEN FILED AGAINST HER SO FAR. ISLAMIC TERRORISTS LIKE KASAB WOULD BE TREATED WITH GREAT INDULGENCE AND THEIR EVERY WHIM AND FANCY PAMPERED BY THE ATS IN THE SONIA CONGRESS MAL-ADMINISTERED MAHARASHTRA.

It will be very clear from the above Affidavit of Sadhvi Pragya Chandrapal Singh Thakur  that the officers and men in the ATS are treating the Hindu under-trials in Maharashtra in the same way in which the Islamic prisoners have been treated by the US army prison authorities in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The American Civil Liberties Union has stated: “The United States government continues to turn a blind eye to mounting evidence of widespread abuse of detainees held in its custody at Guantanamo Bay. If we are to truly repair America’s standing in the world, the Bush Administration must hold accountable high-ranking officials who allow the continuing abuse and torture of detainees. These aggressive interrogation techniques, when coupled with the stress of indefinite, arbitrary detention, have caused the prisoners tremendous psychological and physical injury. The extreme interrogation technique were designed and implemented first at Guantanamo and then exported to Iraq. The very fact that innocent men may be arbitrarily imprisoned, mistreated and tortured at Guantanamo is an especially egregious miscarriage of justice”.

Sadhvi Pragya’s Guantanamo-Style brutal torture brings out the ATS in Maharashtra in very bad light.  The public have the right to draw the reasonable inference that many of the officers and men in the ATS are committed to the working philosophy of converting innocent Hindus into dangerous criminals and terrorists. That is why perhaps Justice Mulla of the Allahabad High Court, in a famous judgement in 1962, observed with candour: ‘There is no more organised lawless criminal force in the country than the Indian police force’. If only Justice Mulla had been alive today, what he would have said about the ATS and its methods of investigation is just beyond my imagination.


POST SCRIPT:

ATS /CBI / NIA foisting of more and more imaginary cases on Sadhvi Pragya

As I have already stated, Sadhvi Pragya has been in continuous illegal detention undergoing untold police torture and brutality ever since October 2008. Our wretched National Human Rights Commission — may I say, National Human Non-Rights Commission — under the Chairmanship of known and blatant InJustice K.G Balakrishnan who is a crypto Christian — would not take any interest in the denial of ordinary human rights to Sadhvi Pragya by the ATS in Maharashtra.

I can see from the latest newspaper reports of March 29, 2011 that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have recently grilled Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in connection with five bomb blasts in different parts of the country and the murder of RSS worker Sunil Joshi at Devas, Madhya Pradesh. Joshi was also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. It is alleged by the ATS that Sunil Joshi was killed because he had become a liability to the Hindu-right wing group involved in the Malegaon blast.

The NIA questioned Sadhvi Pragya for her suspected involvement in the 2008 Modasa bomb blast, the Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif bomb blasts in 2007 and Joshi’s murder. The NIA questioned Sadhvi Pragya about the motorcycle that was used to trigger the blast at Modasa, Gujarat, on September 29, 2008. The same day the group triggered a blast in Malegaon killing six people and injuring 101. In both cases, motorcycles were used to plant the explosives. The motorcycle used at Malegaon has been traced to Thakur.
The CBI questioned Sadhvi Pragya in connection with the serial bomb blasts at Malegaon in 2006 and the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. Sources said CBI particularly questioned her about Swami Aseemanand’s revelations and claims about the Abhinav Bharat’s involvement in the 2006 blasts at Malegaon.

Americans interfere on “Dalit” related stuff.

S. Kalyanaraman

https://sites.google.com/site/indiawikicable/home?pli=1 Update of March 26, 2011

Americans interfere on “Dalit” related stuff.

Viewing cable 05NEWDELHI4761, SOCIOECONOMIC FUTURE OF INDIAN DALITS REMAINS BLEAK
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Reference IDCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05NEWDELHI47612005-06-22 13:012011-03-25 01:01CONFIDENTIALEmbassy New Delhi
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

221344Z Jun 05C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 NEW DELHI 004761

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2015
TAGS: PHUM PGOV ECON ELAB IN

SUBJECT: SOCIOECONOMIC FUTURE OF INDIAN DALITS REMAINS BLEAK

Classified By: DCM Bob Blake for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)

¶1.  (C) Summary: Embassy interlocutors report that after one year of UPA rule, limited government efforts to improve dalit (formerly called “”untouchables””) socioeconomic status have shown little success, ensuring that they continue to face severe economic and social discrimination.  Government reservation laws do not extend to the private sector, the largest and fastest growing segment of the economy.  Most experts believe the key to ending discrimination is a comprehensive education campaign starting at the primary level to teach acceptance of dalits, a topic completely absent from India’s public school system.  Despite the political success of dalits such as current Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan, dalits’ failure to organize at the national level has limited their ability to demand equal rights.  Until the Indian majority increases pressure to change the status quo, many dalits will remain trapped below the poverty line in manual labor jobs with few mechanisms for upward mobility.  End Summary.

Discrimination Remains Despite Legal Protection
——————————————— —

¶2.  (U) Dalits, who make up approximately 16% of India’s population, roughly 166 million people, occupy the lowest position in the social structure and face constant and severe discrimination.  Formerly called “”untouchables”” because “”caste Hindus”” believe they can be “”polluted”” by having any contact with them, most dalits remain trapped at the bottom rung of the caste ladder.  In fact, most “”caste Hindus”” consider them to be so low as to be outside the caste system altogether.

¶3.  (C) Despite the passage of the Anti-Untouchability Act of 1955 and the Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989, crimes against dalits are still a major social problem, and discrimination is widespread.  According to Jawarahal Nehru University Professor and Director of the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies SK Thorat, all of the trappings of untouchability remain in rural India and rampant job discrimination occurs in India’s cities and towns.  Thorat recently told Poloff that the approximately 18,000 caste-related discrimination cases filed annually with the Indian government are only a small fraction of the actual number.  Vastly more cases go unreported, because dalits in rural areas still live under feudal systems and cannot risk angering their high-caste landlords.  Thorat also commented that only the most serious and well-publicized acts of caste discrimination receive the attention of the Indian authorities.

¶4.  (C) Ram Nath Kovind, himself a dalit and a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, expressed a more positive view to Poloff recently, stating that “”open”” discrimination against dalits has decreased dramatically over the last decade, while the number of persons who genuinely care about helping dalits has increased.  He maintained that while discrimination persists in the housing sector, employment decisions are usually free from bias.  Executive Director of the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Center Ravi Nair agreed that employment discrimination against dalits has decreased over the last decade, while access to housing often remains based on caste.

The Reservation System
———————-

¶5.  (U) The GOI uses a system of “”reservations,”” similar to affirmative action programs in the US, in an attempt to ameliorate the social and economic disparities resulting from the caste system.  Under the system, dalits  receive government-mandated, numerical quotas in government employment and education programs.  The law requires the state to allocate approximately 16 percent of government jobs, seats in schools, the Parliament and State Assemblies, and public housing be to “”scheduled”” castes and tribes. These schedules contain a list of underprivileged groups determined by the government to need social assistance. There are no reservations for dalits in the military or the private sector.

¶6.  (C) Nair argued that the reservation system has only been partially successful in empowering dalits, because they often discriminate against each other.  For example, in North India, a subgroup of dalits known as the Jatevs have become very successful in the leather industry.  Nair indicated that this group of dalits would never help other dalit groups in the area, such as the Bhangi, which they consider lower.  He observed that due to the many strata within each caste, the reservation system has created a “”creamy layer”” of successful people within the dalit community.  In general, these groups have focused on solidifying their own positions rather than helping to empower other dalits, Nair stated.

¶7.  (C) Professor Thorat judged the reservation system as “”only a partial success”” and maintained that its effectiveness will decline in the future, because discrimination is rampant in the private sector, which is creating the most new jobs.  Himself a dalit, Professor Thorat claimed that high-caste Hindus would almost always hire another caste Hindu over a dalit, even if the dalit were fully qualified for the job.  He theorized that the religious basis of the caste system, which teaches that dalits hold their social position due to mistakes made in a prior life, allows caste Hindus to discriminate without guilt.  BJP MP Kovind  disagreed with Thorat, asserting to Poloff that current legislation has to a large degree been successful in protecting dalit rights, but that India still has work to do to end discrimination, citing increasing dalit access to primary education as a place to start.

¶8.  (C) Centuries of discrimination have confined most dalits to the lowest paying jobs.  Thorat claimed that 70% of all dalits live in rural areas, and over 90% work in the agricultural sector as unskilled or day laborers.  Most of the remainder are employed in manual, unskilled labor jobs in urban areas.  Given these facts, he argued that only 5% of the working dalit population has actually benefited from the Indian reservation law.  He acknowledged that while GOI poverty alleviation programs help dalits, the government does not strictly monitor them and many are never implemented. Thorat asserted that the vast majority of dalits are denied upward socioeconomic mobility due to lack of access to education, land, and capital.   Kovind commented that the true basis of discrimination is economic in nature rather than caste-based, as the “”haves discriminate against the have nots”” and use the caste system to perpetuate differences between economic groups.  Comparing the caste system to the trade guilds in feudal Europe (in that certain groups performed specific jobs), he added that under the caste system persons acquire their trade at birth, while the guilds allowed job mobility.  Caste factors are now used to protect jobs and livelihoods more than anything else, Kovind argued.

Poor Prospects for Improvement
——————————

¶9.  (C) Thorat and Justice Party President and Chairman of the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Organizations Dr. Udit Raj commented to us recently that despite India’s growing economy, the outlook for dalits remains bleak.  According to Thorat, globalization and economic liberalization have actually hurt dalit prospects for progress and social mobility.  Raj argued that liberalization will shift more of the economy from the public to the private sector, where hiring managers are almost exclusively from high castes and constantly discriminate against dalits, denying them the opportunities guaranteed by reservations.  Unlike the United States, India has no equal opportunity law applicable to the private sector, which means that the rapidly expanding private sector is under no compulsion to hire dalits, while the public sector will have fewer jobs to offer.  Kovind predicted that caste-based discrimination will exist for at least the next 50-100 years in India.  He suggested that since the Hindu religion condones caste, it will take longer for the GOI to end caste discrimination in India than it will take to eradicate racial discrimination in the US.

¶10.  (C) Sangh Priya Guatam, a dalit BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state and one of its poorest, agreed that dalits will be left behind in a globalizing world and that job reservations in the private sector would be an important tool to ensure equality.  Guatam stated that the BJP favors private sector reservations and would like the UPA government to take up the issue in Parliament and not rely on the private sector to develop a solution.  Thorat confirmed that a Ministerial Commission is researching the issue of reservations in the private sector.  Raj did not expect positive results, commenting that the private sector fears losing competitiveness, especially in the information technology realm, should the GOI extend reservations to private industry.  Thorat and Raj both denied that private sector reservations would hurt productivity, as many qualified dalit applicants could fill reserved slots.  Kovind stated that the BJP favors reservations in the private sector and will pressure the UPA government to institute them.

GOI-CII Agreement on Reservations
———————————

¶11.  (C) Thorat asserted that a June 2 agreement between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will likely prevent the extension of reservations to the private sector.  Under the agreement, the GOI will not press for government-legislated private sector reservations for dalits.  In exchange, the CII pledged to promote vocational skill advancement programs for dalits in the private sector.  Thorat agreed that vocational programs are necessary, but will not help dalits as much as reservations.  Raj concurred, stating that with a rapidly growing population and an excess of workers, high-caste hiring managers will always choose non-dalits, regardless of qualifications, unless the law forces them to do otherwise.

¶12.  (C) Dalits view the GOI-CII agreement as yet another mechanism to maintain the status quo, according to Raj.  He argued that with the BJP and Congress dominated by upper-castes with little interest in increasing opportunities for the lower castes, both parties have abandoned platforms aimed at empowering the poor and elevating the socioeconomic status of dalits, while Congress has exploited its secular identity to justify inaction.  The high castes want to preserve the status quo because they benefit from it.  A large segment of the population living in desperation guarantees a pool of workers willing to work for minuscule salaries and perform the most menial jobs.  Raj anticipates that the CII,s promise to offer vocational training to dalits will never be adequately implemented and is unlikely to increase dalit employment opportunities.

Solutions?
———-

¶13.  (C) Education programs for Indian youth to increase egalitarian attitudes are the only way to truly break caste discrimination, according to Thorat and Raj, although they asserted that the initiative needed to centrally mandate such education in all public schools is absent.  Raj proffered that the upper-castes have enjoyed thousands of years of free access to education, at the expense of dalits.  These same castes remain in control of India’s educational institutions and, consequently, few administrators wish to mandate or incorporate education programs advocating dalit equality. Thorat and Raj contend that the human rights awareness classes currently offered in some schools are wholly inadequate, as they do not cover caste discrimination or critically investigate the unjust norms regarding interpersonal relationships between dalits and the caste Hindus still practiced today.  Raj pointed out that until such education programs are implemented, schools will serve as breeding grounds for prejudice, and upper caste children will continue to learn that it is permissible to discriminate against dalits.  He argued that the present system teaches caste Hindus that it is acceptable to cheat dalits and discriminate against them.

¶14.  (C) Reservations in public education institutions have not translated into enhanced socioeconomic status for dalits, according to Thorat.  Schools and teachers are unable to keep up with the growing numbers of children, and dalits are usually the first children denied an education when resources are scarce.  Therefore, many dalits have no access to the primary education necessary to qualify for education-based reservations in the university system.  Since public schools frequently offer substandard education, and the vernacular education they provide is held in low regard, few members of the Indian elite and middle class attend them.  This leaves private, English-medium education as the principal tool for upward mobility.  As a result, argues Raj, GOI-enforced dalit reservation in public schools has not led to increased social mobility, and most dalits with access to education remain in manual, unskilled jobs that others refuse to take.

¶15.  (C) Raj also questioned whether the GOI was committed to taking effective action to end discrimination against dalits, claiming that most members of the Indian Commission on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes which investigates violations of anti-caste discrimination law are from the upper castes and not genuinely interested in the plight of dalits.  As a result, the Commission overlooks most day-to-day discrimination to concentrate on a few highly publicized acts of violence or discrimination, he stated.

Dalit Rights Movements
———————-
¶16.  (U) Dalits’ perception of their plight varies from region to region, according to Thorat.  He noted that the civil rights agitation for dalits began in South India with the “”self-respect movement”” in the early 20th century. Consequently, dalits in the South have seen more improvements than their counterparts in the North, where the movement for equality was much slower and began only after Partition in 1947.  As a result, Northern dalits generally harbor greater ill will towards the upper castes than those in the South, because of the higher and more recent levels of discrimination against them.

¶17.  (U) This finds expression in the bitter caste-based politics of the North India “”Hindi Belt”” which has spawned such parties as the dalit-based Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Uttar Pradesh and its fiery leader Mayawati, who routinely rails against the excesses of “”caste Hindus,”” while pledging to openly discriminate in favor of dalits.  In South India, the dalit agenda has been largely absorbed by more broad-based regional parties such as the AIDMK and DMK in Tamil Nadu, or the Communists in Kerala.

¶18.  (U) With dalits estimated to constitute from 16% to 27% of the Indian population, the lack of progress for dalits has both political and social implications.  Their lack of access to jobs in the growing private sector, and limited access to land and capital, has led increasing numbers of dalits to convert to other religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, which have not institutionalized caste, in hope of obtaining redress.  However, for many, interpersonal and economic discrimination has continued despite conversion, as most caste Hindus in their local communities continue to regard them as dalits despite their change of religion.

¶19.  (U) Thorat argued that political organizations have also proven ineffective.  After 1947, most dalits pledged allegiance to Congress, but many became discouraged by what they viewed as the party’s failure to live up to its promises in the ensuing decades.  With the departure of many dalits from Congress, their votes have become fragmented between numerous and disparate political organizations, preventing them from forming a cohesive lobby capable of pressuring the GOI to address their concerns.  Congress is trying to convince dalits to return to the fold, but with little success, and they remain divided.  Thorat and Raj argue that massive religious conversions or political organization have failed to provide necessary social change.  With these avenues proving largely ineffective, dalits remain discouraged and fatalistic.  Kovind, who heads the BJP’s dalit cell, disagreed, asserting that his party is determined to help dalits and shed the image that it is only an “”upper caste party.””  He argued that only a nationalist party like the BJP will succeed in fighting discrimination against dalits, as India cannot become a world power until dalits and low-caste persons are brought up to the level of the rest of society.

¶20.  (C) Prominent human rights expert Nair stated that dalits need to take their case to the courts if they want to achieve emancipation.  He argued that laws protecting dalits exist, but that they have not used them effectively, and that dalit groups do not use the large donations they receive from the government, the donor community and private sources effectively.  He said that they should mirror the civil rights movement in the US and set up legal aid defense groups.  These groups of lawyers would ensure that dalit cases are heard and judgments rendered against those who discriminate.  Nair warned that nothing will change until people who discriminate go to jail or face stiff financial penalties.  He did not expect dalits to implement his plan, because their leaders are more interested in rhetoric than doing the hard work required to mount a meaningful challenge in the courts.

Success Stories
—————

¶21.  (U) Despite widespread discrimination, a number of dalits have become successful.  The highest profile case is that of K.R. Narayanan, who served as President of India from 1997-2002.  Ram Vilas Paswan, currently holding two Ministerial level positions (Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Minister for Steel), is a very successful politician from Bihar.  BSP president and a three-time Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh Mayawati is also a well-known dalit.  However, these persons have all benefited from the reservation system and local interlocutors stated it unlikely that they would have reached these positions without affirmative action programs.  The Dalit NGO Dalitawaz lists dalits from a wide range of professions, including doctors, lawyers, engineers and civil servants, indicating that, despite the odds, it is possible for members of this disenfranchised group to do well.

Comment
——-

¶22.  (C) While the UPA has focused on bettering the lot of the dalit community, it is dominated by upper caste Hindus, very few of whom are genuinely concerned about the plight of dalits.  This ensures that dalits will continue to be an oppressed, discriminated group in India.  Although the GOI has passed legislation and established government bodies to administer these laws, it has failed to attack the root of the problem.  There are success stories, but acts of violence and prejudice against dalits, combined with government negligence, persist and there is little upward mobility among the dalit population.  Without a broader, more comprehensive approach to teach tolerance and equality early in primary schools, it is unlikely that the social acceptance of caste-based discrimination will fade any time soon.  The increasing dominance of the private sector in the economy could also result in greater economic polarization if there is no mechanism in place to combat job discrimination.

MULFORD

http://213.251.145.96/cable/2005/06/05NEWDELHI4761.html

Imperative of national water grid for India: S. Kalyanaram​an

DMK returns to waters to reap election benefit
DNA / Kumar Chellappan / Monday, March 21, 2011 0:10 ISTThe DMK manifesto for the April 13 election in Tamil Nadu has once again brought the issue of interlinking of rivers to the fore.
Releasing the manifesto on Saturday, DMK president and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi demanded nationalisation and interlinking of major peninsular rivers spread across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Maharashtra.
The last time the issue had come up was in 2004. A common minimum programme drafted by a committee headed by Jairam Ramesh immediately after the 2004 Lok Sabha election had listed interlinking of peninsular rivers as a major agenda.
But after becoming Union minister for environment and forests in UPA-II, Ramesh ruled out such an interlinking, saying, “It will lead to environmental disaster.”
Interestingly, neither DMK nor its allies in the UPA pressured the Centre after 2004 to initiate steps to link rivers.
“Instead of taking it up now, he [Karunanidhi] should have talked to chief ministers of other states and convinced them of the project,” an alliance partner said.
AB Vajpayee’s NDA government had formed a task force in 2002 under Suresh Prabhu of Shiv Sena to draw up an action plan to link Brahmaputra, Ganga, Yamuna, Mahanadi, Godavari, Cauvery and Krishna to rid the nation of recurring floods and droughts.
Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, a think tank of scientists and engineers headed by APJ Abdul Kalam, had advised the government to take up interlinking of rivers on a war footing. Kalam, who later became president of the nation, claimed that the Mumbai floods of 2005 would not have happened if rivers in the country had been linked through a network of canals.
“Our idea is to get floodwaters transferred to rivers facing severe shortage. This will ensure year-round availability of water in all rivers, which, in turn, will help increase the country’s agriculture production. A national river grid will also help generate at least 30,000 MW of clean and green energy,” S Kalyanaraman, chairman of Saraswathi Research Centre, a Chennai-based institute set up to study rivers, said.
URL of the article: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_dmk-returns-to-waters-to-reap-election-benefit_1522334-all

WAVES Conference on Varna, Jati and Kula – July 29-31, 2011 – Call for Papers

S. Kalyanaraman

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: Kalyan Viswanathan <varnajati2011@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM
Subject: WAVES Conference on Varna, Jati and Kula – July 29-31, 2011 – Call for Papers
To:

On behalf of the Conference Agenda Committee, of the World Association of Vedic Studies, (WAVES), it gives me great pleasure in announcing the WAVES conference on the theme “Varna, Jati and Kula – A Conference on India’s Caste system” to be held in July 2011.

Please find attached a “Call for Papers” document that provides the details and parameters for presenting papers and participating in the conference. The main objective of this conference is to allow Academicians, Scholars, Activists, Community Leaders,  Field workers and, hopefully, various Gurus and Acharyas from a variety of sampradayas and paramparas (or their representatives) to participate together in a dialog on the subject of Varna, Jati and Kula – the constituents of what is termed as India’s Caste system.

We anticipate that the conference will lay the foundations for the synthesis of a definitive reference document, that will comprehensively address the subject of Caste, their origin in the Hindu conceptions of Varna, Jati and Kula, their historical development, the real and perceived issues around Caste and Caste based discrimination, as well as the geopolitical issues associated with their representation both within and outside the sphere of Hindu Society. We hope that such a reference document will further lead to the creation of a policy paper will not only provide practical guidance for Hindu Society but will also gain the consensus of a broad variety of Hindu leaders and scholars, thus growing into a historic document.

We cordially invite you to participate in this endeavor, by presenting a paper at the conference.

Kalyan Viswanathan,
WAVES Conference Agenda Committee,
President, Sanatana Dharma Foundation
Dallas, Texas

(www.wavesinternational.net)

“Na hi Jnanena Sadrsam – There is nothing equivalent to knowledge”

The Bhagavad Gita – IV.38

Varna, Jati and Kula

A Conference on India’s Caste System

Call for Papers

Conference Schedule: July 29th through 31st, 2011

Location: Radisson Hotel Piscataway-Somerset, New Jersey

21 Kingsbridge Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Background

There is perhaps no other aspect of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, that elicits as much debate and controversy as the subject of India’s social order based on its ancient conceptions of Varna, Jati and Kula. Contemporary discussions of the subject tend to be extremely divisive to say the least, and can generate far more heat than light, especially when Hindus attempt to frame a representative narrative of the phenomenon.  The fact that much of this narrative has been generated by non-Indic scholarship in the past few centuries further vitiates our own understanding of this social order. The influence of Colonial scholarship on India is so pervasive that many well-meaning Hindus themselves tend to have a very distorted and incomplete view of this social order. Moreover there are many vested interests who have exploited the fissures that arise naturally within this social organization for multifarious personal ends, ranging from conversion of Hindus to other faiths, creation of political vote banks and other forms of personal advancement.  In recent years, Caste identities appear to be acquiring a renewed strength and vitality based on Caste based political mobilization and reservations. In the year 2011, the Census of India’s population will once again ask people their Caste affiliation – a question they had not asked for 80 years since 1931, thereby placing Caste at the center stage once more. At the same time, Governments of many countries stand ready to indict India and its society for what in their view is its continued practice of Caste based discrimination and perceived human rights violations.

In this background, it is very important that Hindus have a well-articulated position on this topic, developed on the basis of a broad consensus amongst the various constituents of Hindu Society, that can be used both as a foundation for internal dialogue and understanding as well as  for communication with the external world. While recognizing that building a consensus within Hindu society is as necessary as it is difficult, WAVES (World Association of Vedic Studies) would like to make a small beginning in this regard.

Recent History

At the 8th biennial WAVES conference held on August 4 through 7, 2010 at Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the participants of the WAVES Conference recommended the need for a position paper, on the topic of Varna, Jati and Kula and constituted a committee to address this subject. On August 11, 2010 a group of ministers headed by the Finance Minister of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee recommended the inclusion of Caste in the decennial census in India. In September 2010, the Government of India cleared this Caste based census and decreed that it will be conducted during the months of June through September 2011.

A number of learned Acharyas and Gurus have called for observations and comments from a wide circle of credible voices from across the Hindu community, to build a consensus on the subject of Varna, Jati and Kula. The Board of Directors of WAVES decided in January 2011 to convene a Conference to facilitate this much needed discussion on Varna, Jati and Kula.

Objectives

The objectives of this conference is to allow Academicians, Scholars, Activists, Community Leaders,  Field workers and, hopefully, various Gurus and Acharyas from a variety of sampradayas and paramparas (or their representatives) to participate together in a dialog on the subject of Varna, Jati and Kula – the constituents of what is termed as India’s Caste system. We acknowledge the inherent difficulty of any one individual, one group of people or one organization being able to produce a definitive view on the Caste system, which as an institution has survived perhaps more than five millennia in India, and encompasses a vast population of nearly a billion people across the length and breadth of India. Through papers and panel discussions, we anticipate that diverse views on the topic will be granted space for expression, which will represent an opportunity for learning and sharing for all who participate in this dialog. We expect that minimally, a compilation of the papers presented at the conference will be published and will represent resource material for the future. We anticipate that the conference will also lay the foundations for the synthesis of a more definitive policy paper that addresses the perceived and real issues of Caste and Caste based discrimination and its representation both within and outside the sphere of Hindu Society. We hope that such a policy paper will not only provide practical recommendations but will also gain the consensus of a broad variety of Hindu leaders and scholars, thus growing into a historic document for Hindu society itself.

Scope

Submissions of papers are invited from Academicians, Scholars, Acharyas and Gurus (or their representatives), Activists, Community Leaders and Field workers, Leaders of NGO’s working with under-privileged segments of society. A preliminary list of categories, (by no means exhaustive) in which papers are being sought is given below.

Historical perspectives on Varna, Jati and Kula :

·         Origin and practice of the Varna, Jati and Kula system through India’s history
·         The major phases of development of the Varna, Jati and Kula system
·         Socio-economic and cultural values of the Varna, Jati and Kula system
·         Islamic Rule and its impact on the Varna, Jati and Kula system
·         British rule and its impact on the Varna, Jati and Kula
·         Bhakti and other Hindu reform movements and their impact on Varna, Jati and Kula
·         Buddhism and Jainism and their intersection with Varna, Jati and Kula
·         Post Independent India and Varna, Jati and Kula
·         Voices of Hindu spiritual and social leaders on the subject of Varna, Jati and Kula
·         Voices of foreigners on India’s social order through the ages
·         Colonial and European studies in Caste and their impact

Scriptural – Shastra based perspectives on Varna, Jati and Kula :
·         Scriptural support from Shruti literature i.e. Veda and Upanishad on Varna and Jati
·         Smriti literature and their problems related to Varna and Jati
·         Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita on Varna and Jati
·         Other Shastras – Arthashastra, Nitishastra etc. on Varna and Jati
·         Distinctions and relations between Varna, Jati and Kula
·         Do Scriptures sanction Caste based discrimination and birth based hierarchies?
·         The role of Dharmashastras in today’s Hindu society

Perspectives on Human Rights and Civil Rights :
·         History of human rights and civil rights
·         Is Caste a Human rights issue?
·         The problem of viewing Varna, Jati and Kula through a Western lens
·         Duties and Responsibilities versus Rights and Privileges
·         Human dignity and Human rights
·         Individual social mobility versus group social mobility
·         Current problems of Caste based discrimination and oppression
·         Lower Caste perspectives on Caste

Politicization of Caste after India’s independence :
·         Empowerment of lower Castes
·         Lower Caste movements in India
·         Caste based politics and political formations
·         Regional stories on Caste based politics
·         Political parties and their exploitation of Caste
·         Caste based reservations and their impact
·         Reverse discrimination and its impact

Geo-Political issues related to Caste :
·         HAF Caste report – Need, Approach, Impact, Value and Agenda
·         Representation of Caste to Western Society – Challenges and Opportunities
·         Is the US the best place to discuss Caste? Pros and Cons.
·         Earning a seat and joining the dialog on Caste – Pre-conditions and prospects
·         Exploitation of Caste issues through internationalization
·         US / Western interference into India’s internal affairs
·         Missionary propaganda, Conversion agenda and case studies in exploitation of Caste
·         Dalit movements within and outside Hinduism and their prospects

Legal frameworks in India around Caste and Caste based discrimination :
·         Constitutional provisions to mitigate Caste based discrimination
·         Indian Constitution’s view of Varna, Jati, Kula and Caste
·         Studies and Commission reports instituted by the Government of India
·         State level provisions for affirmative action and Caste based reservations
·         Case studies in legal proceedings pertaining to Caste
·         Enforcement of the Law – Problems and Opportunities

Caste as social capital :
·         Caste as a phenomenon that provides upward mobility
·         Climbing out of the economic hole – Case studies on Caste
·         Examples where Caste has played a positive role in recent times
·         Caste Identity – Pros and Cons
·         Caste as a Social Security – The role of family and Kula
·         Endogamy – Marriage within the Caste – Pros and Cons
·         Caste phenomena along the Urban – Rural divide in India

Field experiences in working with Caste based discrimination :
·         Hindu attempts to intervene and mitigate Caste based fissures
·         Hindu Diaspora and Caste
·         Case studies in successful interventions – by various Hindu Groups
·         Acharyas and Gurus and their role in promoting field level activities
·         Challenges and opportunities in working in the field on Caste
·         Promotion of Inter-Caste marriages – challenges and opportunities
·         Marginalized sections of society and their prospects
·         Re-conversion into Hinduism and the Caste problem

Caste and other religions :
·         Buddhism and Caste
·         Jainism and Caste
·         Sikshism and Caste
·         Islam and Caste
·         Christianity and Caste

Formulation of a Policy Paper on Caste :
·         Problems and Issues with the HAF report
·         Outlines of a Process
·         Participants – Writers and Reviewers
·         Involvement of Acharyas and Gurus
·         Engaging the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha
·         Engaging Hindu organizations such as VHP, RSS and others
·         Engaging Political points of view – BJP and others
·         Peer Reviews by Academicians and Scholars

Deliverables

The following are expected from all Conference participants:

a.    A 1 Page abstract or synopsis of your paper (with a title)
b.    A brief bio-sketch with a front-facing digital picture
c.    A full paper (of maximum length 12 pages or 6000 words)
d.    A PowerPoint presentation (if presenting in person at the conference)

Timelines

Ser#Line ItemDate
1Last Date for Submission of 1 Page Abstract April 30th, 2011
2Last Date for Submission of Full Paper – to be considered for inclusion in the Publication May 31st, 2011
3Last Date for Submission of Full Paper – if not being considered for inclusion in the publication June 30th, 2011
3Last Date for Confirmation of Participation (physically in the conference) July 15th, 2011
4Dates of the Conference in New Jersey July 29th, 30th and 31st, 2011

It is our intent to publish the papers in the form of a booklet prior to the commencement of the conference itself.  In order to ensure that your paper is published, please adhere strictly to this timeline. Papers submitted after May 31st will most likely not be in consideration for inclusion in the conference publication.

All Conference Participants are requested to submit their papers by May 31st, to ensure consideration for being printed in the Conference publication.

E-Mail all your submissions to the following address
varnajati2011@gmail.com

Conference Agenda Committee

a.    Dr. Bal Ram Singh, PhD, Director, Center for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts
·         bsingh@umassd.edu
b.    Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, PhD, Director, Saraswati River Research Center, Chennai
·         kalyan97@gmail.com
c.    Ms. Aditi Banerjee, B.A., J.D, Attorney at Law and Author, New York
·         banerjeea@gmail.com
d.    Shri Kalyan Viswanathan, President, Sanatana Dharma Foundation, Dallas
·         varnajati2011@gmail.com
e.    Shri Rajiv Malhotra, President, Infinity Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey
·         rajivmalhotra2007@gmail.com

Conference Sponsoring Organizations

Considering the historic nature of this conference, and its potential impact, WAVES invites Hindu organizations to participate in this conference by sponsoring it in some form. At the current time, the following organizations are behind this initiative.

a.    World Association of Vedic Studies
b.    Sanatana Dharma Foundation
c.    All World Gayatri Parivar

(Please visit http://www.wavesinternational.net)

Conference Location

Radisson Hotel Piscataway-Somerset, New Jersey
21 Kingsbridge Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Sankararaman case: 2 realtors examined

PUDUCHERRY: Real estate businessmen J Murugesan and R P Dharmalingam were examined in the Sankararaman murder case here on Monday, when hearing resumed before judge T Ramasamy of the Principal District and Sessions Court. The prosecution witnesses from Chennai were examined by Special Public Prosecutor N Devadoss. Three more prosecution witnesses would be examined on Tuesday. The Kanchi mutt seers Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi are accused of plotting a conspiracy to murder Sankararaman, who was allegedly  murdered on the premises of the Varadharaja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram on September 3, 2004.

http://expressbuzz.com/states/tamilnadu/sankaraman-case-2-realtors-examined/258557.html

Kanchi seer launches political outfits

First Published : 24 Mar 2011 02:33:05 AM IST
Last Updated : 24 Mar 2011 10:20:49 AM IST

 

CHENNAI: Kanchi Sankara Mutt pontiff Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal on Thursday launched two new political outfits – Hindustan National Party and Thamizhaga Desiya Aanmika Makkal Katchi – in the presence of BJP leaders L Ganesan and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi.The seer said the new political outfits were the outcome of longtime thought process and advocate Krishnaswamy and P Ravichandran, (founder of the TDAMK) had been seeking his permission for floating them for many years. Both parties would strive to safeguard the cultural tradition of India as well as propagate the importance of patriotism.BJP national executive committee member L Ganesan said despite being a functionary of the BJP, he chose attend the launching of a new party because of shared ideals. He said he treated the new party as the BJP’s sister organisation.Maneka Gandhi said whatever be the initiative of the Kanchi seer, it would bring good to the people of the country. Hindu Munnani organiser Rama Gopalan urged the pontiff to make an appeal to the people to vote for the BJP in the coming Assembly elections in five states. However, the Kanchi seer did not oblige.Dr Iliyas, leader of the All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques, offered felicitations.

http://expressbuzz.com/states/tamilnadu/kanchi-seer-launches-political-outfits/259109.html