World’s #9 Most Powerful Person Now Accused of Corruption — Will She Fall?

S. Kalyanaraman
World’s #9 Most Powerful Person Now Accused of Corruption — Will She Fall?
Posted: 04/25/11 07:17 AM ET (
Cleo Paskal
Associate Fellow, Royal Institute of International Affair
New Delhi. Some of India’s biggest fish are getting caught up in the country’s fast-growing wave of anti-corruption activity. In what could be India’s equivalent of a judicial jasmine revolution, previously invulnerable politicians, business icons, and pillars of the community are all nervously keeping their lawyers on speed-dial.

The anti-corruption push is an unprecedented coming together of myriad facets of Indian society. Religious leaders are concerned about the effects on morality and spiritual growth. NGOs speak of the effects on the poor. The middle class is angry about its future being stifled by a smothering blanket of day-to-day corruption. The intelligence services see corruption a clear threat to national security. And the business community, thanks to globalization, has seen how efficiently things can operate without having to constantly pay bribes or be tangled in red tape, and they want the same thing at home.

Even the Supreme Court is fed up, with Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy saying about the vast sums of Indian money being illegally hidden away in Liechtenstein Bank:

We are talking about the huge money. It is a plunder of the nation. It is a pure and simple theft of the national money. We are talking about mind-boggling crime.
The scandals are bursting on to the front pages fast and thick. Suresh Kalmadi, a Congress Party politician and the former head of the corruption-plagued Commonwealth Games, was arrested April 25. According to a report by the Indian Comptroller and Auditor General, the 2G spectrum scam alone, in which 2G licenses were sold off in a manner that was, to say the least, less than transparent, cost close to $40 billion in lost revenue.

All across India, people are saying enough is enough. And suddenly the unthinkable is starting to happen. People considered above reproach, or at least untouchable, are coming under the judicial cross-hairs. 2G alone has seen charges laid against one former government minister and several captains of industry.

And the latest high profile target is one of the biggest fish of all, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, currently #9 on Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful People.

Sonia Gandhi has one of the most remarkable life stories in international politics. Born Edvige Antonia Albina Maino into a family of modest means in rural Italy, she didn’t even get a chance to complete high school before heading to the UK for work. There she met Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She eventually married him and the young family moved in to Indira Gandhi’s New Delhi’s home, putting her literally in the heart of Indian politics.

After Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, Sonia’s husband Rajiv became Prime Minister. Following Rajiv’s 1991 assassination by Tamil terrorists, there were rumors that Sonia was going to put herself forward as Prime Minister.

As she herself later said, she “could not walk past the portraits of my husband, my mother-in-law and her father and not feel that I had some responsibility to try and save the party they had given their lives to.”

Her image is of a dutiful, submissive Indian wife, now widow. When her husband was alive, she would walk behind him. In public she wears saris. Although a devout Catholic, she is often photographed at Hindu Temples. And like a good Indian mother, though she has decorously pulled herself out of the race for Prime Minister, she is happy to encourage her son, Rahul, to take the job.Given her focus on the party, it was fitting that instead of becoming Prime Minister, she ended up as President of the powerful Congress Party. Politically, it proved to be a smart move as it gave her power without direct responsibility — while she is #9 on Forbes list of power people, the actual Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, is only #18. According to Forbes, “Gandhi remains the real power behind the nuclear-tipped throne […] she has cemented her status as true heiress to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty.”
However there have been growing, persistent murmurs about questionable business deals and inexplicable exponential jumps in the personal wealth of her and her family.
The allegations came out in the open in 1995 when M. D. Nalapat, then Resident Editor (Delhi) of the world’s largest English language newspaper, the Times of India, began a groundbreaking series of articles about Sonia.

The articles made the controversial (at the time) claim that the public docility was just a ploy, and that Sonia actually had serious political ambitions (later confirmed by her role in Congress). Also, crucially, the series said that her desire for power wasn’t simply altruistic and that the wealth not only of her, but of her Italian relatives, rose stratospherically after Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1984.

Nalapat’s articles could not be ignored as he was one of India’s most respected journalists and had, throughout his career, taken on corrupt politicians, social inequity and institutionalized discrimination.

This however was a ‘topic too far’. While the facts in the article were never refuted, Nalapat was forced out of journalism in 1998 and moved into academics.

Next came public questions from another highly reputed source, Sten Lindstrom, Sweden’s special prosecutor investigating the pay-offs associated with the sale of weapons by Bofors to the government of India. His investigation showed that a close friend of Sonia’s, Ottavio Quattrocchi, has received kickbacks in the millions.

In 1998 Lindstrom gave an interview in which he said: the Gandhis, particularly now Sonia, should explain how Quattrocchi-owned companies got such fat sums as payoffs from the Bofors deal. After all, what is the connection of Sonia and the Gandhi family to Quattrocchi? Who introduced Quattrocchi and his AE Services to Bofors? At least one thing is certainly known now. A part of the payoffs definitely went to Quattrocchi. […] the papers all pointed to the Gandhi family.
Not only have the questions not been answered by Sonia, but in spite of substantial evidence against him, Quattrocchi has managed to evade prosecution in India, and has even had his kickback funds unfrozen from overseas accounts.

Part of the genius of Sonia Gandhi is her ability to present herself as a helpless victim, convincing even her political rivals not to fear her as she is fatally flawed. In 1998, India was being led by BJP Prime Minister Vajpayee. When Nalapat spoke with him about Sonia, he was bluntly told to lay off, as, “so long as a white Christian lady is head of the Congress Party, I [Vajpayee] and my party will always be in power”. Vajpayee and his party lost power to Sonia’s Congress in 2004.

But the most serious threat to Sonia — and, as she is at the apex of the Congress Party, and so to Congress itself — is now lying on the desk of #18, the Prime Minister of India.

On April 15, former Law and Justice Minister and Harvard Professor Dr. Subramanian Swamyasked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for leave to lay corruption charges against Sonia Gandhi. In a meticulously researched 200+ page submission Dr Swamy alleges Sonia Gandhi has been involved in corruption in India since 1972 and personally benefited from the Bofors scam (1986), has held billions in non-Indian bank accounts since at least 1991, illegally profited from the Iraqi oil-for-food deals (2002), and even accessed KGB payoffs during the Cold War.

The Prime Minister has three months to decide whether or not to grant sanction to prosecute. If he doesn’t, Dr. Swamy can take the case directly to the Supreme Court, which under Chief Justice Kapadia is showing a definite proclivity towards facilitating corruption cases.

While, so far, the corruption cases in India have caught up some pretty big fish, if charges are laid against Sonia Gandhi, it won’t just be part of a wave, it will be a sea change.
Sonia Gandhi is not just an individual, she is the steely core of a pillar of Indian politics. If she crumbles, it will shake the foundations of the venerable Congress Party, and possibly leave a gaping hole in the political scene. Meanwhile, a range of polarizing and regional parties are ready to rush in and stake their claim. Given the growing importance of India in our heavily globalized world, this is not just an Indian story, this is one all should be following very closely indeed.
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Periya Doctor – பெரிய டாக்டர்

Dear Devotees,
Enjoy this great story by V. MeenakshiSundaram, Secretary, Hindu Dharma Manram, Chennai
“Periya” means “Great” in tamil.

My memory is that it was the year 1957. Kanchi Maha SwamigaL and Sri Jayendra Saraswathi SwamigaL were camping in a house in Rameswaram Road, T. Nagar (Chennai). I was living with my parents in the northern end of the same street. My age then was twenty-two. I was studying in a Secondary Grade Teachers Training School. Sometimes Maha PeriyavargaL used to pass through my house, either during the morning or the evening hours. I had often seen Sri SwamigaL cross my house on the street. My mother at those times would be waiting at the entrance with a camphor plate, after having drawn a kolam in front of our house. It became her custom to show the lighted camphor before Sri Maha PeriyavargaL when he came in front of our house, and prostrate to him. The progressive thoughts in my mind, a sense of defiance, the nerve of youth, the lack of maturity to distinguish between good and bad–all these came together when I chided my mother, “This man is some sanyAsi. Why do you prostrate to him? What do you gain by that act? You are thus prostrating to him in an uncivilized way continually, is he going to save you? Don’t do such wrong things hereafter.” Hearing my indecent words my mother said, “Podaa, po!” (“Mind your business!”) And went inside.

Years rolled by. I started working as a teacher in the P.S. High School, Mylapore, Chennai in the year 1959. A few years later, my mother started suffering from a severe setback in her health, her B.P. shooting up. The V.H.S. hospital at Taramani, Chennai had just then been established. I admitted my other there for treatment. At that time I was taking tuition at their home for the two sons of Mani Ayer, proprietor of Kalyani Hotel (the hotel is no longer there now) near Mylapore Kapali temple. His family was very devoted and loyal to Sri Maha SwamigaL. They would often go to Kanchipuram and have darshan. They would consider doing service to his holy feet as their most enduring happiness. Mani Ayer was residing in a house in Mandavalli near Mylapore. In the small puja room opposite the hall of their house, an adorned holy picture of Sri Maha PeriyavaaL was kept. A lamp would always be burning by the side of the picture. I would be sitting on the swing in the hall and taking class for the two boys. Since the puja room was always kept open, when Sri PeriyavaaL’s picture came under my glance, a prickling sensation would arise in me. I would get down, go and close the puja room doors and then continue my teaching. It has happened several times this way.

As I mentioned earlier, I was worrying over my mother’s health condition and was teaching the lessons somewhat for the name of it. Tears would fill my eyes. The worry and fear that my mother would pass away leaving me alone would surge through my mind. One day when the teaching was going on, Tiru. Mani Ayer who was just back home asked me, “What Sir! You are worried; your eyes have turned red! What is the matter?” Wiping my eyes I said, “Nothing of that sort Mani Ayer! My mother’s health is not alright. Hypertension. I have admitted her in the V.H..S. That is the cause of my worry.”

Mani Ayer: You showed him to a good doctor?

Myself: I told you already that I have admitted her in the V.H.S.

Mani Ayer: What did they say?

Myself: They said that she will be alright, no cause to worry. But I am not satisfied with their words.

Mani Ayer: Sir! Let your worries go. I shall take you to a big doctor. Your mother will become alright if she just looks at him.

Myself: Is that so? Who is that doctor, my mother would be cured if she is shown to him? Where does that big doctor reside? When can I see him? Shall I bring my mother right now?
There was anxiety in my reply; also haste and enthusiasm; much anticipation; because my mother should get well completely soon.

Mani Ayer: Your mother need not come. It is enough if only you come.

Myself: Mani Ayer! The disease is not for me, but my mother! If I come, how can my mother become alright? Should not that big doctor test my mother?

Mani Aiyer: Not necessary. If that big doctor just looks at you, your mother will become alright.

Myself: (with some distrust) If I am seen my mother would become alright? Such a kind of doctor? Alright. If that is the case I shall come right now. Come on, let us go and see him.

Mani Aiyer: You cannot see him just like that. He is not here. He is in Kanchipuram.

Myself: In Kanchipuram? Why should such a big doctor reside in that place? Who is he? M.B.B.S. or M.D.?

Mani Aiyer: He is beyond those degrees. He is the doctor of the doctors. (Pointing to Periyavar’s picture in the puja room) He is the doctor I referred to.

Myself: (laughing loudly without being aware of it) What Mani Aiyer! This man, doctor? He is the doctor of doctors? What do you babble? How can a sanyAsi become a doctor? If it is a question of some puja or rituals I can believe it. But then you talk of this man as a big doctor! Hmm… would it be possible for this sanyAsi to cure my mother? This is just your imagination…. (The words came out of the edge of my sorrow).

Mani Aiyer: What, MeenakshiSundaram! You who are born in the Brahmin community talk this way?

Myself: What then Sir! After saying that you would take me to a big doctor, you now say that you would take me to a sanyAsi! How can it be possible, this kind of an action?

Mani Aiyer: MeenakshiSundarm, your mother should become alright for you. Only that, right? I am responsible for it. We go to Kanchipuram tomorrow itself, alright?

Myself: (with klesha) Mani Aiyer, if we go to him, will my mother really get well?

Mani Aiyer: Certainly. Enough if you have darshan of him and just speak about your mother. Your mother will certainly get well. You can also remain in peace.

Myself: In that case I shall come to Kanchipuram. But when we are there you should not compel me to remove my shirt, take bath, wear vibhUti-kunkumam, or do namaskAram. I shall come; see him; tell him about my mother; that’s all. (The torsion of the young blood was not gone yet).

Mani Aiyer: What ayyaa, would you not take bath daily? Would you not remove your shirt occasionally? Not wear vibhUti-kunkumam even rarely? Do those things just once tomorrow! What, will that drown your lineage?

Without knowing why, I did not object but agreed to those words of him. On the next day, the three of us–Mani Aiyer, myself and Tiru. Venkataraman who worked with me–started and reached Kanchipuram in the morning hours. Taking bath in the Sarva Tirta KuLam and wearing vibhUti and dhoti, I reached the gates of Kanchi SriMaTham for the first time in my life. And yes! There was a feeling of something like an electric vibration in my body.We enter the MaTham. Kanchi MahaSwamigaL in the front hall! Yes, the big doctor! He was sitting, leaning on a rice bag. Fruit plates and garlands of flowers are seen before him. Also a queue for his darshan. We too tucked ourselves in that queue.

A bamboo plate in my hand. In the plate are fruits, spinach and some vegetables. My glance falls on the ascetic king seated there. Without any efforts, tears start to flow from my eyes. Yes, I weep without my knowing it. I don’t understand the reason. Why should I weep? His keen look that has divine light falls on me. Raising his head, that god gestures me to come to him. He might have known my sorrow with his prevision.

Again that talking god beckons me with a raised hand. I walked slowly and peacefully to him, placed the bamboo plate in my hand before him and prostrated to him unknowingly.

HH: “You are ashtasahasram (a sub sect)?”
myself: “Yes.”

HH: “What relationship do Seshadri, Kunju in Karukudi have with you?” (Karukudi is a hamlet near Tiruvaiyaru).
myself: “They are relatives of my aunt.”

HH: “Your grandfather was the Palace Receiver in Thanjavur! Was he before or after Sundaram Aiyer?”
I nodded head that I did not know it. Silence prevailed for some time.

HH: Raising his head, “You have admitted your mother in the hospital? How is she now?”
What! That god asks me the same question that I came to him with, seeking remedy. For this too, I just stand sobbing, with no reply from me.

HH: “Don’t worry! Your mother will get well and return home.”
Yes, that big doctor had given a new lease of life to my mother! That mahaan looked sharply at me for some time. Then, giving me prasAdam, he blessed, “Give this to your mother. She will get back home well.”

To this date, I heartily bow and adore that “great doctor” who vanquished the demon of ignorance in my mind and put me on the right path.
As foretold by that “great doctor”, my mother got well and arrived home safely. The big doctor has saved my mother’s life. He is taking care of us till this day.

Guru Smaranam!
A devotee
Jaya Jaya Sankara! Hara Hara Sankara!

Christiani​ty to be extinct in 9 countries (viz. Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherland​s,Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerlan​d)

S. Kalyanaraman
(CNN) Christianity will be driven to extinction in 9 countries (viz. Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands,Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland) Video:
March 23rd, 2011
10:56 AM ET

Organized religion ‘will be driven toward extinction’ in 9 countries, experts predict

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.

It won’t die out completely, but “religion will be driven toward extinction” in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.

It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.
They can’t make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn’t ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.

But nine other countries provide enough data for detailed mathematical modeling, he said.

“If you look at the data, ‘unaffiliated’ is the fastest-growing group” in those countries, he said.

“We start with two big assumptions based on sociology,” he explained.

The first is that it’s more attractive to be part of the majority than the minority, so as religious affiliation declines, it becomes more popular not to be a churchgoer than to be one, he said – what Abrams calls the majority effect.
“People are more likely to switch to groups with more members,” he said.

Social networks can have a powerful influence, he said.

“Just a few connections to people who are (religiously) unaffiliated is enough to drive the effect,” he said.
The other assumption underlying the prediction is that there are social, economic and political advantages to being unaffiliated with a religion in the countries where it’s in decline – what Abrams calls the utility effect.
“The utility of being unaffiliated seems to be higher than affiliated in Western democracies,” he said.

Abrams and his co-authors are not passing any judgment on religion, he’s quick to say – they’re just modeling a prediction based on trends.

“We’re not trying to make any commentary about religion or whether people should be religious or not,” he said.
“I became interested in this because I saw survey data results for the U.S. and was surprised by how large the unaffiliated group was,” he said, referring to a number of studies done by universities and think tanks on trends in religion.

Studies suggest that “unaffiliated” is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, with about 15% of the population falling into a category experts call the “nones.”

They’re not necessarily atheists or non-believers, experts say, just people who do not associate themselves with a particular religion or house of worship at the time of the survey.

Abrams had done an earlier study looking into the extinction of languages spoken by small numbers of people.
When he saw the religion data, his co-author “Richard Wiener suggested we try to apply a similar technique to religious affiliation,” Abrams said.

The paper, by Abrams, Wiener and Haley A. Yaple, is called “A mathematical model of social group competition with application to the growth of religious non-affiliation.” They presented it this week at the Dallas meeting of the American Physical Society.

Only the Czech Republic already has a majority of people who are unaffiliated with religion, but the Netherlands, for example, will go from about 40% unaffiliated today to more than 70% by 2050, they expect.
Even deeply Catholic Ireland will see religion die out, the model predicts.

“They’ve gone from 0.04% unaffiliated in 1961 to 4.2% in 2006, our most recent data point,” Abrams says.
He admits that the increase in Muslim immigration to Europe may throw off the model, but he thinks the trend is robust enough to withstand some challenges.

“Netherlands data goes back to 1860,” he pointed out. “Every single data that we were able to find shows that people are moving from the affiliated to unaffiliated. I can’t imagine that will change, but that’s personal opinion, not what the data shows.”

But Barry Kosmin, a demographer of religion at Trinity College in Connecticut, is doubtful.
“Religion relies on human beings. They aren’t rational or predictable according to the laws of physics. Religious fervor waxes and wanes in unpredictable ways,” he said.

“The Jewish tradition that says prophecy is for fools and children is probably wise,” he added.
And Abrams, Wiener and Yaple are not the first to predict the end of religion.

Peter Berger, a former president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, once said that, “People will become so bored with what religious groups have to offer that they will look elsewhere.”

He said Protestantism “has reached the strange state of self-liquidation,” that Catholicism was in severe crisis, and anticipated that “religions are likely to survive in small enclaves and pockets” in the United States.
He made those predictions in February 1968.

Pope laments loss of Christian heartlands; admits that the West is tired of Christianity

Pope warns of falling belief in West
Pope Benedict lamented the widespread abandonment of religion in Western countries at a Holy Thursday ceremony, saying the heartlands of Christianity were turning away from their faith.The German-born pontiff said during the service at St. Peter’s Basilica it sometimes seemed as if the West had become bored by its own history and culture.
“Have not we — the people of God — become to a large extent a people of unbelief and distance from God?” he said during the service in which he blessed oils to be used in Catholic rites.
“Is it perhaps the case that the West, the heartlands of Christianity, are tired of their faith?”Celebrating the sixth Easter season of his pontificate, the pope said the beatification of his Polish predecessor, John Paul II, on May 1 would be a chance to remember a man of great faith.
“For all the shame we feel over our failings, we must not forget that today too there are radiant examples of faith, people who give hope to the world,” Pope Benedict said.
The 84-year-old pope has often warned against creeping secularism which he has said is as bad as religious fanaticism.
One of the main themes of his papacy has been what the Church calls the “re-evangelisation” of Europe, an attempt to urge people to return to their religious roots despite living in highly secularised societies.The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics has had a difficult struggle to rebuild the image of the Church after a scandal over the sexual abuse of children by priests reported in several countries.
Many in the Church establishment hope the beatification, bestowing on John Paul the title “blessed”, will rejuvenate the institution and encourage people to return to the faith.
It is set to be the biggest event in Rome since the death of the charismatic and highly popular pope in 2005, when millions came to view his body or attend his funeral.
Vatican officials expect at least 300,000 people — including tens of thousands from his native Poland — to come to the Italian capital for the three days of events celebrating his last step before sainthood.
Pope Benedict presides over two services on Holy Thursday to mark Christ’s founding of the priesthood at the Last Supper on the night before he died.
He will later wash and dry the feet of 12 men at a service in St John’s in Lateran commemorating Christ’s gesture of humility to his apostles.
(Reporting by Catherine Hornby, editing by Paul Taylor)

Nearing 100, still Sama Vedam makes him young

TRIPUNITHURA: Nellikkaattu Maamannu Narayanan Namboothiri, the most senior Sama Veda scholar in Kerala, turns 98 on Tuesday.Incidentally, a day before his birthday an Athirathram began at his native village of Panjal. Against the backdrop of the Athirathram, Narayanan Namboothiri recalls the Athirathrams which were performed at his ancestral house in Panjal.”The most senior members of three successive generations in my family attended Saagnichithrya Athiraathra Somayaga and thus they attained the special title of Akkithiripad which is conferred only on those who perform the Saagnichithrya Athiraathra Somayaga, says Narayanan Namboothiri.An Athirathram was held at Panjal in 1975 under the leadership of Prof Frits Stall, professor of Sanskrit and Philosophy, University of California Berkeley.In Kerala there are only a few Namboothiri families which follow the melodious Sama Veda, which is considered as the source of Indian music, Namboothiri said.”After Upanayanam we start learning chanting of the melodious hymns from Sama Veda. After Sama Veda, we will shift to Chandra Syamam, Jaimineeyopanishath and Easavasyopanishad. Even at the age of 12 we can chant the melodious hymns from Sama Veda,” he said.During Namboothiri’s Veda studies in the early half of last century, E M Sankaran Namboodiripad was his senior at the Vedic school. In those days the learning system itself was entirely different.”Sagnichithya Athirathra Somayagam is rare and I still remember two Athirathrams attended by my elder brother Mamannu Nellikkaatuu Neelakantan Akkithiripad. In my ancestral home, Mamannu Nelliikkaattu Mana at Panjal, we still keep the Chithi where the Athirathram was held in 1975,” he said.These structures for performing the homams are termed as Agnichayanas and keeping these intact is considered as auspicious.Sagnichithya Athirathram is the combination of two major Vedic performances, Maha Agnichayanam and Athirathra Somayagam.The dedication shown by Frits Stall to know the Vedic knowledge is quite unbelievable, Namboothiri says. Stall had spent nearly a year at my ancestral house along with the elder brother to feel the indescribable ecstasy obtained from Sama Sangeetham, he recalled.Frits Stall is also attending the Athirathram which began at Panjal on Monday. Stall, who was in the forefront as an organiser in the Sagnichithya Athirathram in 1975, had written a book Agni based on his Vedic experience.Now the Vedic Village of Panjal, is again witnessing another Athirathram. In the Athirathrams held in 1975 at Panjal and in 1990 at Kundur, the scientists conducted studies about the changes taking place in nature as a result of the Athirathram. Scientists such as Rose Mary Steele had conducted research oriental studies with the help of Kirlian camera to sketch the aura formed around the Yajamanan and the Yajamana Pathni. Because of old age, forgetfulness is catching up on Narayanan Namboothiri. Still if any Vedic scholar asked him any doubt regarding the chanting of excerpts from Saamam, he spontaneously starts the chanting and clears all their doubts. Recently two Sama Veda scholars Thottam Krishnan Namboothiri and Thottam Sivakaran Namboothiri visited his house at Tripunithura and asked him to chant a few selected verses from the Saama Vedam.In no time, Narayanan Namoboothiri attained the dynamism of a young Veda student and started chanting the wanted verses from the Saama Vedam with the right intonation and that too in the pristine traditional style.Namboothiri regularly chants the verses from Sama Vedam even now and always whispers the name of his beloved family deity, Lord Ayyappa. Often Namboothiri calls his daughter Sathya Thampuran before chanting the verses from the Sama Vedam aloud.



Earthquake and Japan

This March 24, 2011photo shows Japanese schoolchildren escorted by their parents make their way through the rubble for a school where there will be an open air class in the devastated city of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan. Photo (AP/Kyodo News)
This March 24, 2011photo shows Japanese schoolchildren escorted by their parents make their way through the rubble for a school where there will be an open air class in the devastated city of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan. Photo (AP/Kyodo News)

It is not Japan’s demise that the earthquake has produced, but rather the possibility of its rebirth. It may be that only amid the ruins can people gain the courage to stride down a new path.

I was on the streets of Tokyo when the earthquake struck. The ground shook violently, while buildings swayed around me for a long time. It was beyond anything I had experienced before, and I sensed that something terrible had happened. My first thought was of the Kobe earthquake that killed more than 6,000 people in 1995. Although I did not experience the Kobe earthquake first hand, it hit the region of my hometown where many close relatives lived, and so I headed immediately to the scene of the disaster. I walked the streets where building after building had collapsed into rubble.

Clearly, the scale of the current disaster far surpasses that of the Kobe earthquake. For it also includes the damage caused by the tsunami to coastal regions across hundreds of kilometres as well as the danger of nuclear catastrophe. Yet these are not the only differences. The Kobe earthquake was completely unexpected. Aside from a small number of experts, no one had imagined the possibility of an earthquake there.

The recent earthquake, on the other hand, had been anticipated. Earthquakes and tsunamis have struck the Northeastern region of Japan throughout its history, and frequent warnings had been sounded in recent years. Meanwhile, nuclear power had always given rise to strong opposition, criticism, and warnings. Yet the scale of the earthquake went far beyond any prior anticipation. It was not that anticipating the scale of such a disaster was impossible, just that people had purposely avoided doing so.

There is another difference. Although the Kobe earthquake occurred after the end of the bubble economy of the1980s, when economic recession had already taken hold, people at the time had yet to fully recognise the demise of Japan’s high-growth economy. For this reason, the Kobe earthquake initially appeared as a symbol of Japan’s economic downfall. Yet this was quickly forgotten as the nation tried to recapture an age when people spoke of ‘Japan as No. 1.’ It was after the Kobe earthquake that Japan wholeheartedly adopted neoliberal economic policies with the pretext of reviving the economy.

In contrast, the awareness of economic decline was widespread in Japan prior to the recent earthquake. The shrinking birth rate and the ageing of the population left no room for a rosy outlook. Although empty nationalist rhetoric calling for Japan’s revival as an economic superpower continues to hold sway in the major media, a different perspective has taken root in people’s hearts, one that acknowledges the reality and continuing prospect of low growth and that calls for the formation of a new economy and civil society. In this respect, the recent earthquake does not come as a surprise shock to the economy. Rather, it will only strengthen already existing tendencies, confirming, in a sense, the very issues that were overlooked following the Kobe earthquake.

In the wake of the Kobe disaster I was impressed, first of all, by the relative composure of the elderly people who had lost their homes. Their attitude was that having started out from the burnt-out ruins of World War II, they had only to start over again. Second, large numbers of young volunteers, raised in an age of affluence, gathered from all over Japan to help out, forming communities of mutual aid. Such a phenomenon was not unique to Japan. I have heard of a similar occurrence following the recent Sichuan earthquake in China. Such communities emerge where traditional communities are gone.

Examining the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent catastrophes in her book A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit concludes that “extraordinary communities arise in disaster.” It is commonly thought that when order dissipates, a Hobbesian natural state arises in which people behave as wolves toward one another. The reality, however, is that people who regarded one another with fear when living in the social order created by the state form communities of mutual aid amid the chaos following disaster, a spontaneous type of order that differs from that which exists under the state.

It was this type of community that was born in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake. Yet Japan’s particular historical experience also came into play. For the ruins of the earthquake strongly evoked the psychological conditions following World War II, when people came together to reflect upon the war and the history of modern Japan that led to it. The ‘paradise’ formed in the wake of the disaster, however, was short-lived, and the memory of the war disappeared along with it.

When order was restored following the Kobe earthquake, the dominant tendency was to try to use the disaster as a business opportunity to effect economic revival. Prime Minister Koizumi encouraged neoliberalist policies all the more, and he trampled on the post-war pacifist Constitution by pushing through the dispatch of Self-Defence forces to Iraq. Yet the end result was continuing economic stagnation and a widening gap between rich and poor. As a result, the Liberal Democratic Party, which had held sway for so long, yielded power to the Democratic Party of Japan. Yet the new administration was unable to embark on a new course.

This was the situation in which the recent earthquake occurred. Once more, the disaster evoked the burnt-out ruins after the war. In addition, the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant cannot help but call forth memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Post-war Japanese have had a strong, even excessive, aversion to nuclear weapons and to nuclear power in general. Needless to say, there was strong opposition to the building of nuclear power plants in Japan.

Nonetheless, following the oil shocks of the 1970s, the state affirmed and encouraged the development of nuclear power plants. Early campaigns proclaimed the necessity of nuclear power for economic growth, while in recent years it was claimed that nuclear power could help reduce carbon emissions and therefore benefit the environment. That such claims were a form of criminal deception on the part of industry and government has been made all too clear by recent events.

In the ruins of post-war Japan, people reflected upon the path the country had taken in modern times. Standing against the Western powers, modern Japan strived to achieve the status of a great military power. The shattering of this dream in the nation’s defeat led to another goal, to become a great economic power. The ultimate collapse of this ambition has been brought into sharp relief by the recent earthquake. Even without the earthquake, it was fated for destruction.

In truth, it is not the Japanese economy alone that is failing. In the early 1970s, global capitalism entered a period of serious recession, and since then it has been unable to overcome the decline in the general rate of profit. Capital has sought a way out of this decline through global financial investment and by extending industrial investment into what had formerly been ‘third world’ regions. The collapse of the former strategy has been exposed by the so-called Lehman shock. Meanwhile, the accelerated development of countries such as China, India, and Brazil, continues. Yet such accelerated growth cannot last long. It is inevitable that wages will rise and a limit on consumption be reached.

For this reason, global capitalism will no doubt become unsustainable in 20 or 30 years. The end of capitalism, however, is not the end of human life. Even without capitalist economic development or competition, people are able to live. Or rather, it is only then that people will, for the first time, truly be able to live. Of course, the capitalist economy will not simply come to an end. Resisting such an outcome, the great powers will no doubt continue to fight over natural resources and markets.

Yet I believe that the Japanese should never again choose such a path. Without the recent earthquake, Japan would no doubt have continued its hollow struggle for great power status, but such a dream is now unthinkable and should be abandoned. It is not Japan’s demise that the earthquake has produced, but rather the possibility of its rebirth. It may be that only amid the ruins can people gain the courage to stride down a new path.

(Professor Kojin Karatani is a distinguished Japanese philosopher and literary critic. This essay, written on March 16, 2011 and translated into English by Seiji M. Lippit, is published by The Hindu with the permission of the author. Professor Karatani’s biography is at biography.html.)

Tamil Nadu Politics: Cancerous Church Eats into Dravidian Parties

Tamil Nadu Politics: Cancerous Church Eats into Dravidian Parties – I

Radha Rajan
30 Mar 2011
Church Agenda as Dravidian Ideology

Twice in the last two years the Church [1] pushed the DMK government into a corner, making it look helpless, ineffective, and worse, supposedly drifting away from its ideological moorings. The DMK was accused by Tamil chauvinist splinter parties for not leveraging its status as partner in the UPA government to stop Mahinda Rajapakse from decimating the LTTE to its last man. The Church won its first major political victory in Tamil Nadu politics when the LTTE was presented not merely as the face and voice of the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka, but was made congruent with the idea of Tamil People.


[Note: From when it first invented itself two thousand years ago, in the kind of politics that the Church has perfected in every continent that it invaded and conquered, Tamil People is not the same as Tamil-speaking people].


The idea of Tamil People/Tamil Nation was a natural progression from the seed of anti-Brahminism, and it was the DMK which propagated it in the 1960s decade as a political idea, and it was the DMK which had consistently and aggressively voiced Tamil Nadu’s concerns about the political inequities suffered by Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking minorities; and yet, by operating through its adherents and Tamil chauvinists from within the smaller fast-mushrooming Dravidian splinter parties like the MDMK, PMK and Viduthalai Chiruthai (VC), the Church put the DMK on the back-foot and on the defensive. The beginning of the transformation of the DMK from a sovereign Dravidian party into a Church-reactive, defensive party had begun; only the DMK was in denial about the role of the Church in the unfolding events.

On the second occasion, the DMK, because it was the ruling party in the state, had to perforce stand by the Tamil Nadu police in the police-lawyer stand-off in 2009; the government had to stand by its police officers because Justice Ibrahim Khalifullah in the Madras High Court and the former CJI KG Balakrishnan in the Supreme Court adopted unconscionable partisan positions on the issue; and while letting off the striking, lawless lawyers with a mild rebuke, humiliated the police by holding them guilty of contempt of court.


The Tamil Nadu Bar especially the Madras High Court is unabashedly political; lawyers of Tamil Nadu’s courts reflecting TN’s polity, are vertically split broadly into the DMK and AIADMK factions, while an emerging section can be engaged as rent-a-crowd by any party which wants violence let loose in court campuses. A significantly large section of TN’s lawyers had been on strike from 2008, boycotting the courts ostensibly on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, but actually in support of the LTTE.


A violent confrontation between striking lawyers and the police compelled the state government to make a choice between the state’s law-enforcing forces and the lawyers who constituted a sizeable Dravidian electoral constituency. Had the state government not done so, the result would have been a demoralized police force which would have refused to act, leading eventually to spiralling violence and total anarchy in the courts and on the streets. The kind of lawyer rowdy-ism bordering on terrorism that the country witnessed in TN was also linked to the idea of Tamil People.


Both cases had imprints of the Church’s grubby hands all over them.


The taming of Jayalalithaa into a submissive Church agent was completed in record time. The Church’s calibrated measures to lead the Brahmin-led AIADMK back to non-Brahmin Dravidian political objectives began when Jayalalithaa arrested the mathathipathis of the Kanchi matham in November 2004. The Church’s measured steps gathered momentum when Jayalalithaa –

–        Admitted Vai. Gopalaswamy ‘Vaiko’, the Christian head of the MDMK, whom she had incarcerated previously under NSA for his pro-LTTE and seditious speeches, into the AIADMK orbit

–        Invited five Christian priests, including a Bishop, to her Poe’s Garden residence on Christmas day in 2008 for solemn Christian prayers

–        Made promises galore to TN Christians in her election manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections

–        In a complete turnaround from the earlier stated position of her party, declared on the campaign trail in 2009 that she now believed that the secessionist state of Tamil Eelam was the only solution to the civil war in Sri Lanka

–        Promised the Christian community during her recent visit to Kanyakumari that when with the blessings of Jesus Christ and the good wishes of Christians she would win the Assembly Elections in April 2011, she would use state treasury funds to send Christians to Jerusalem on pilgrimage; that she thought no one could deny Christians their right to build churches anywhere they wished; she had already committed her party in 2009 to creating the Christian state of Tamil Eelam


The lateral expansion of Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian politics today in terms of tenets and scope as break-away heresies from the parent Justice Party bears a startling resemblance to the lateral expansion of Islam and Christianity as break-away heresies from their parent Judaism. Like the Abrahamic break-away heresies, TN’s Dravidian parties too were nothing more than organized bodies of extremist/maximalist cult worshippers; and the hate-filled political rant of the central cult figures like EV Ramaswamy Naicker, CN Annadurai, Mu. Karunanidhi and now Thol. Tirumavalavan is passed off as Dravidian ideology.


World history proves that when new religions and ideologies were invented by individuals who offered themselves for cult worship within the Abrahamic families, these cults and cult figures never desired to be part of the continuum, but set themselves up as independent entities around a new power center which chose one aspect, one principle or one tenet from the parent ideology/religion as the principal idea around which to strengthen the heretic group. If we must understand the dynamics of anti-Brahmin/anti-Hindu Dravidian politics in Tamil Nadu, we must understand the common features of all break away Abrahamic heresies:


–        All of them retain the basic genes from the parent; in this case, conquering the world for their jealous god who will not co-exist with other gods

–        One principle or idea, usually an idea born of hate or confrontation is developed to give them an independent identity

–        All of them denounce the parent as an imperfect being and offer themselves unabashedly as improved versions of the parent, their predecessor or both

–        All of them, without exception seek power – social, political and money power

–        All of them want territory with their respective central cult figures as new gods

–        Because they all retain the basic genes from the parent and because moving away from one heresy into another poses no ideological/existential dilemma to the new convert, such movement across the Abrahamic spectrum is discouraged with great violence – Catholic to Protestant to Anglican to Orthodox to Pentecostal and other new missions or from Judaism to Christianity, Islam to Christianity or vice versa

–        Because all Abrahamic ideologies, parent and heretic offspring alike, are about political power and control of territory, Abrahamic ideologies are always about numbers

–        In the absence of numbers in the early stages of existence, violence and terror are the usual methods for getting the converts and for terrorizing and subjugating the target people and nation

–        The Periarite groups and parties, the DMK, AIADMK, MDMK, PMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthai all retain anti-Brahmin as their core ideology; this has expanded to include anti-Hindu, anti-Hindu temples, anti-Sanskrit, anti-North India, anti-Hindi and anti-anything as opportunism demands; all of them have demonstrated at one time or the other their ever-preparedness for violence


The anti-Hindu Dravidian politics which developed around the hate-filled cult of ‘Periyar’ EV Ramaswami Naicker’s Self Respect Movement in the erstwhile Madras Presidency is therefore only an Abrahamic heretic clone.

Taking their cue from the creation of the Muslim League in 1906, the Justice Party also known as South Indian Liberal Federation was created in 1916 by powerful non-Brahmin zamindars and non-Brahmin forward castes as a political instrument with a limited objective – to demand more non-Brahmin representation in colonial government and administration. Even though the Justice party was formed to serve non-Brahmin political interests, the founders and early members of the party TM Nair, Sir P Thegaraya Chetty, the Rajas of Bobbili, Ramnad and Panagal were practicing Hindus and did not subscribe to Tamil secessionist theology associated with later Dravidian political cults.


While the Justice Party rejected extremist formulations which would destabilize society in a manner hoped for by the Church, its creation was nevertheless a step in the intended direction. It was the beginning of caste-identity politics which successfully fragmented not only Hindu consciousness, but Hindu society too, by pitting jaati against jaati besides accepting without question the Church’s missionary propaganda of ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ castes, ‘forward’ and ‘backward’ castes.


The political marginalization of the Brahmins had begun and the Church had every reason to be pleased; the Brahmins were the weakest link in the Hindu chain and pressure had been successfully exerted on the weakest link. The long-term grand plan was to make Hinduism congruent with Brahmins, dis-empower the Brahmins and hopefully this would weaken Hinduism, and eventually dis-empower Hindus politically by de-Hinduising the polity. The Church hoped that the fall of South India to Church machinations would knock down the Hindus like skittles in the rest of India, segment by segment, from the political arena and from all seats of power.

This may still happen if India’s polity, especially Hindus like Lalu and Mulayam, notional Hindus like Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar and deracinated Hindus in the INC and BJP do not see even now the ultimate purpose of religious conversion and the real purpose behind the thousands of crores of foreign money that is pumped every year into the country by western governments and foreign churches.


The Christian state of Tamil Eelam was critical to Christianizing South Asia and must be seen together with the Church orchestrated upheaval in Nepal and the on-going mischief in Myanmar.


Having created and then deepened previously unknown faultlines in Hindu society, the Church simply had to wait for natural dynamics to take their course from the point of origin called the Justice Party. It did not have long to wait and three centuries of missionary propaganda about the inherent evil and inequities of varna and jaati vyavastha together with the cancerous spread of the Church in South India yielded bountiful results in the form of EV Ramaswami Naicker.


Naicker joined the Indian National Congress in 1919 but quit in 1925 to form the Self Respect Movement. Periyar’s Self Respect Movement was everything that the Church had hoped for. It positioned itself against the Brahmins – the one community the Church feared most, retained the non-Brahmin identity of the parent, but went much beyond it in scope.


The Self Respect Movement was not merely non-Brahmin in its identity but also virulently anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu. If the Justice Party was a political vehicle like the Muslim League, then the Self Respect Movement was like the Khilafat Committee and had well-defined socio-religious objectives; more to the point, like the Khilafat Committee it was not constrained by compulsions of electoral politics to observe social and political niceties.


Periyar’s violent anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu campaign which entailed defiling and destroying Hindu temples and murtis and abusing Brahmins and Hindu gods in offensive language in public speeches, sent shock-waves across the Justice Party, besides causing intense revulsion among a section of its leaders. To cut a long story short, in less than a decade, the fortunes of the Justice Party and Self Respect Movement became a zero sum game.


When the Justice Party lost the Provincial elections in 1937, several of its leaders abandoned the party and joined the Self Respect Movement. In 1938, Periyar merged his Self Respect Movement with the Justice Party (just as Jinnah persuaded the Khilafat Committee to merge with the Muslim League around the same time), took control of Justice Party, and renamed it Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944.


By 1944 there was little doubt that Periyar EV Ramaswami Naicker was the inevitable manifestation of the cancerous Church in TN politics.


The Justice Party was a creature of European Christian missionary intent which fanned the flames of anti-Brahminism as a political ideology in the Madras Presidency in the late 19th and early 20th century. The anti-Brahmin political ideology was a natural consequence of the insidious anti-Brahmin and anti-jaati anti-varna campaigns carried out by European Christian missionaries for three centuries in South India; the bizarre Aryan Invasion Theory was a natural progression of the core idea. The Church’s long-term intent was to sow seeds of discord among the different jaatis, break the jaati and varna vyavastha to cut the socio-cultural and religious roots of Hindus, and then step into the void.


Anti-Brahmin political ideology, as it was conceived and executed, became anti-Hindu because of the cancerous idea underlying the Aryan Invasion Theory with ‘Periyar’ EV Ramaswami Naicker’s Dravidar Kazhagam as the most vocal and powerful proponent of the theory. The resulting anti-Hindu trend in TN polity was fertile soil for Politics of Abrahamic Minority-ism which in turn was exactly the direction the Church intended Dravidian politics to travel. The Church did not have to be seen to be planting the tree; it simply had to sow the seed of poison weed and wait for the weed to sprout.


It is doubtful if it ever occurred to Naicker, or if his acolytes even today see him that way, but Periyar EV Ramaswami Naicker and all Dravidian parties which followed the Dravidar Kazhagam with anti-Brahminism as the only driving force, were creatures of the Church. The resulting anti-Hinduism, Tamil Nation for Tamil People, all derived only from this point of origin.


What Dravidian Tamil chauvinist parties from 1916 until 2011 claim to be Dravidian ideology rooted in Self Respect is nothing more than Christian missionary agenda for Tamil Nadu.


‘Periyar’ travelled extensively abroad for two years between 1929-1931 through countries as diverse as Russia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, England, France and Germany. Had Naicker been a man of acute political sense or at least an honest man, such extensive travel ought to have shown him the genocidal path that Islam and the Church were travelling even then to expand across continents, and he should have judged his own society and the religious-civilisational roots of his culture by American and European Abrahamic standards.


Instead Naicker chose to retain the Church’s fabrication of the Aryan-Dravidian race theory as the core of his Self-respect Movement and later his Dravidar Kazhagam in what may only be termed swallow-and-vomit intellectualism.

Goa, Kerala and TN were the favourite breeding grounds for European missionaries and facing the kind of challenge they did in India, which they had not faced when they exterminated entire cultures, religions and peoples first in Europe and then in North and South America followed by Africa, the missionaries set about the task of understanding societal dynamics in Hindu India.


It did not take them long to understand that it was the organic jaati and varna vyavastha and the formidable moral authority wielded by Sanyasis and Brahmins which did not allow Christian missionaries to penetrate Hindu societies. Moral authority vested in Brahmins and Sanyasis should not be confused with temporal power which was vested in different collectives with different responsibilities.


When Brahmins, both the marginally few who were affluent and the vast majority of whom were economically backward, took to English-education, pursued government employment and became doctors, engineers and judges, their hold over their villages and local communities slackened in two generations, resulting in irreversible consequences not only for their community but also for the villages and temples they left behind. Effectively they left the field open for Christian missionaries and anti-Hindu Dravidian ideology to take root.


Brahmana and Sanyasa dharma embodied exemplary values – austerity, self-denial, ahimsa, Learning and imparting Learning; the accruing moral authority maintained inter-jaati equilibrium and stability in society. Women and elders in every jaati and varna, Brahmins and Sanyasis were acknowledged as know-ers of dharma. The Portuguese, having understood the critical and central role of the Brahmins, simply picked up the Sword of Christ and decimated the Brahmins of Goa to the last man, woman and child. Only one choice was given to the Brahmins – convert or die.


Without going into excruciating details about the diabolic tactics which Constanzo Beschi, GU Pope, Di Nobili and other charlatans of their ilk adopted in South India with the sole objective of usurping the moral authority vested in Brahmins and Sanyasis, suffice it to say that while some learnt Sanskrit and Tamil, others pretended to be Brahmins and Sanyasis by sporting the tuft, sacred thread, saffron robes and living a life of bogus austerity.


Realizing that Inquisitions of the Portuguese variety in Goa would almost certainly inflame the non-Brahmin Hindu martial castes against them, Italian and British Christian missionaries knew that they could penetrate Hindu society only by becoming a cancerous cell that lodges itself quietly and unnoticed within the bloodstream of the body it intends to kill.


This cancerous missionary cell, which was manufactured in the sixteenth century in TN, when it pretended to be Brahmins and Sanyasis and when it adopted local customs and language, was dignified by the Second Vatican Council with the nomenclature ‘enculturation’.


Enculturation is a cancerous cell and is a political weapon in Christian hands in the war to conquer territory.

Sonia Gandhi is far and away the best example of ‘enculturation’ of the Constanzo Beschi and Di Nobili kind. When she ‘encultered’ her Christian, Roman Catholic Italian identity in the sari, when she sported the bindi and waved her hand in conscious imitation of her mother-in-law, and when she was planted inside the family and home of India’s Prime Minister, it had already been decided that she would be the cancerous cell within the Indian National Congress and by extension, in the body politic of the Hindu nation. ‘Indian National’ Congress lost its meaning once again as did the INC-led freedom movement supposedly to free the nation from White Christian colonial rule.


Once penetration into society was achieved, the cancer called the local resident missionary began to spread the disease in the body. It has always been the way of the Church to defame and defile the highest institutions in target communities, create a vacuum, and then step into the resulting unrest and instability to offer its Jesus-cult religion as solution. Taking note of the moral authority wielded by Brahmins in society, the Church trained its guns on Brahmins and Hindu scriptural texts. It crafted the diabolic Aryan Invasion theory which said –


–        Brahmins were an alien race called Aryans who invaded the country, defeated the native populace or Dravidians and drove them away from North India to the South

–        The Vedas are the roots of Hinduism and the Vedas are composed in Sanskrit

–        Brahmins spoke Sanskrit while the defeated Dravidian race spoke Tamil (Kannada and Telugu, languages in the Dravidasthan as conceived of by the Church and Naicker have been placed on the back burner for the present in favour of Tamil. Tamil holds preeminence now in Church calculations because Dravidian ‘Tamil’ can be expanded into Tamil People and Tamil Nation)


Persons of the eminence of Asko Parpola and Iravatham Mahadevan, not immune to pecuniary and other benefits accruing from Dravidian state patronage, have now begun to mouth the preposterous theory that the language of the Saraswati-Indus script is Dravidian. This poisonous Aryan-Dravidian propaganda inter alia also meant –


–        Hinduism is only Brahminism (the Romila Thapar brand of history writing uses this language)

–        Because the Vedas are the roots of Hinduism and the Vedas are composed in Sanskrit and it is the religion of the alien race which invaded and occupied this land, Tamil-speaking Dravidians are not Hindus

–        Dravidians are not Tamil-speaking Hindus in South India but are Tamil People (Tamil Inam) with a culture that has nothing to do with Hinduism

–        Saivism, the religion of the Tamil People of Dravidasthan, is Tamil Saivism and therefore is not Hinduism


The cancerous objective was to eat away the umbilical cord binding Tamil Hindus to Hindus in the rest of India and replace it with a sense of anti-Hindu Dravidian Tamil and anti-Hindu, non-Hindu Church ‘Tamil’ ness.


This was the lemon sold to Kashmiri Hindus too in the name of Kashmiriyat. The Kashmiriyat lemon sold to Kashmiri Hindus by Kashmiri Muslims (almost certainly this fiction was fabricated in the colonial Christian mind and its potential allowed to sprout in the Kashmiri Muslim mind) said, we Kashmiris are unique and so Kashmiri Hindus have more in common with Kashmiri Muslims than with Hindus in the rest of India.


This is vintage Christian war strategy – de-link the target community from its parent, give it a sense of separateness resulting in alienation, render it defenseless, alone and vulnerable, and then step in for the kill. The political propaganda that Sikhism is not Hinduism, Jainism is not Hinduism, is a piece of the same diabolic Church fabric. Sikhs and Jains who mouth this Church fiction must look at the tragic fate of Kashmiri Hindus which does not warrant repetition here.





1] The writer has used the word Church generically to mean not only churches of all denominations, including Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, Adventist, Pentecostal and New Life, New Mission but also Christian NGOs, Christian funding agencies, White Christian governments and countries which legitimize and use evangelization and militant Christian missionary objectives as instruments of foreign policy in countries of Asia, especially India, China, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia; the generic Church also includes the United Nations with a charter that enforces Christian ‘liberal’ political principles as the universal socio-political ideal which will be enforced coercively by any one of the arms of the generic Church, including military intervention.



(To be continued…)

The author is Editor,


Tamil Nadu Politics: Cancerous Church Eats into Dravidian Parties – II

Radha Rajan
31 Mar 2011
Non-Brahmin = Anti-Brahmin = Separatism

While the political trajectory of Dravidian anti-Hindu politics is now better understood, what has so far escaped the notice of political observers and commentators is the picture that emerges when we connect the dots. First, the growing numbers of break-away heresies within the Dravidian fold –

Justice Party 1916 (non-Brahmin zamindars and forward castes) – Self Respect Movement 1925Dravidar Kazhagam 1944 (EV Ramaswami Naicker) – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1949 (CN Annadurai, Karunanidhi) – All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 1972 (MG Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa). For the moment, all latter-day heresies which followed the AIADMK in quick succession, including Tamil Muslim and Tamil Christian heresies are left out of the reckoning.


The new heresy around the cult of MG Ramachandran dealt a near-mortal blow to the hitherto unchallenged heresy, the DMK. From 1972 when the AIADMK (ADMK as it was then called) was formed until today, the DMK and AIADMK have successfully played the Bad cop/Good cop routine with the Hindus of TN. The rise of the DMK was marked by physical abuse of Brahmins in public spaces –

–        Cutting off their sacred thread

–        Dragging Brahmin men by their tufts and in several instances even cutting off their tuft (apocryphal stories about Chanakya and the evil Dhananand tell us how King Dhananand gave Chanakya the choice between death and cutting off his Brahminic tuft)

–        Obscene and vulgar depiction of Brahmin men and even women, their customs, traditions and their way of life in Tamil films

–        Public calls to make Brahmin women the common property of non-Brahmin men

–        Increasing shrill calls for seceding from the Indian Union and the beginning of usage of political phrases Tamil People and Tamil Nation which found prompt echo and support in American/Western think tanks and their foreign policy jargon


MGR’s AIADMK departed marginally from what was widely recognized as Dravidian politics in that MGR did not encourage public humiliation and physical abuse of Brahmins; but significantly he did not depart even minimally from the anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu Dravidian tenets and policies. Nevertheless, the good cop role assumed by MGR triggered a frenzy of covert political activity by the Church in neighbouring Sri Lanka.


Neither the LTTE, nor demands by other splinter Tamil separatist groups for the secessionist Christian state of Tamil Eelam were accidents of history.


The Church, notwithstanding its much splintered body, is one as regards the ultimate political objective; and the Church Hierarchy comprising its Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors, monks, nuns and Christian laity constitute the army of Christ; each segment of the army working within different sections of the target society and nation without losing sight of the goal – Church-control of communities leading to Church-control of the polity followed by Church-control of the state, as in government.

Conquest of nations by the sword or by the cancer called religious conversion ever remains the sole objective of the Church. When the Church’s dream of Dravidasthan comprising the whole of South India fragmented into Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the Church changed tracks and began to work on the notion of Tamil Nation comprising the whole of Tamil Nadu in India and the North and East of Sri Lanka.


The notion of Tamil People had already been sowed by the Church both in India and in Sri Lanka and had taken root. The Church’s most promising offspring, the violence-prone DMK, had been well groomed as the vehicle for Tamil People/Tamil Nation in India; it was time to deliver a similar creature in Sri Lanka and the emergence of MG Ramachandran in Tamil Nadu provided the perfect backdrop to unveil the Sri Lankan chapter of the Tamil Nation.


Born in a small town near Kandy in Sri Lanka to immigrant parents from Kerala, MGR’s Sri Lanka connection gave the Tamil Nation idea a personal, emotional edge which ultimately and totally unexpectedly, destroyed the movement, its terrorist vehicle and its sponsors in India; the idea of Tamil Nation itself suffered a serious setback.


At the time of independence in 1948, a peculiar situation prevailed in Sri Lanka where the politically assertive section both among the Sinhala and Tamil people were Christians, a situation which continues till the present day. This was the result of the almost total control of education and state patronage extended to Christian missionary schools and colleges by all colonial powers – Portuguese, Dutch and then the British.


Church-run schools, which received colonial state patronage and government funds, provided education in English as compared to the education in the vernacular languages in Sinhala and Tamil provided by temples and Buddhist monasteries. English education was mandatory for admission to institutions of higher learning which in turn led to employment in government institutions.


The Church in Sri Lanka, in an extension of its rice-bowl conversion in Africa, made admission to their schools and colleges conditional upon religious conversion to Christianity in what may be termed blackboard conversion. The Church in South India targeted the Tamil Nadar community similarly; thus within the same family those who opted to send their children to missionary schools converted to Christianity and were given alien foreign sounding Christian names.


Not surprisingly, in the early years of the twentieth century only those Sri Lankans – Sinhala and Tamil – who were English-educated were employed by the British administration in government jobs and the same section emerged as frontrunners in the country’s polity too. Bandaranaike, Jayawardene, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Chelvanayakam and even Ranasinghe Premadasa, son of Richard Ranasinghe, were all Christians. The Church had never had it so good; except that the notion of Tamil People which the Church had sown in society rebounded on the Church in an unexpected turn of events.


While the Church fabricated the Tamil People/Tamil Nation fiction in India vis-à-vis the Brahmins, its work to plant the cancerous cell in Sri Lanka was made easier because the Tamil language and its culture/people had to be presented as being separate only vis-à-vis the Sinhala language and its culture/people. The fact that both the Sinhala speaking people and the Tamil speaking people were civilisationally, culturally and religiously bound to Hinduism and bound by the umbilical cord to the Hindu bhumi in equal measure was pushed to the margins of their collective consciousness; and identity of language was privileged over civilisational identity.


The Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka, like the non-Brahmins of Tamil Nadu, was a willing customer for Church peddled separatism.

The Church’s invidious propaganda about the separateness of Tamil People from the nationhood of Sri Lanka and about Tamil People being a distinct nationality with a right to their own territory not only worked like cancer in the Tamil psyche, but also reactively in the Sinhala psyche. A brief look at Sri Lanka’s demography is in order to understand how and why the Church’s invidious propaganda succeeded in that country.


Sri Lanka’s demography as per language –

Sinhala                        – 74%

Tamil                          – 12.6%

Tamil of Indian origin           – 5.19% [2]


Religious demography –

Buddhism       – 70%

Hinduism        – 15%

Islam              – 7.5%

Christianity     – 7.5%


Sinhala speaking people are both Buddhists and Christians; Tamil speaking people are Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Except for a negligible percentage of Moors who are Muslims, the majority of Sri Lanka’s Muslims are Tamil-speaking just as all Sri Lanka’s Buddhists are Sinhala-speaking.


After independence in 1948, in a move to assert the Sinhala identity of the nation and stem the trend of what the Buddhist clergy thought was disproportionate numbers of Tamil-speaking people (mostly Tamil Christians and negligible numbers of forward caste Tamil Hindus who did not need the Church’s missionary charity for higher education) in government employment, administration and high-end professions including politics, which the Buddhist clergy correctly attributed to Church-run English medium schools and colleges, the Buddhist clergy prevailed upon the Sri Lankan government to nationalize all educational institutions, impart education in the vernacular languages, and accord primacy once again to Pirivenas or educational institutions run by Buddhist monasteries.


Although the move to nationalize Sri Lanka’s education was formalized only in 1961, the trend towards non-missionary Sinhala and Tamil vernacular schools had already begun in the 1930s; but the government move to nationalize education in 1961 dealt a near-mortal blow to Christian evangelization and religious conversion when the most potent instrument for religious conversion, Church-funded and administered missionary schools and colleges were de-fanged, and unseated from their positions of preeminence. The front-end of the assembly line which was delivering Sinhala and Tamil Christian political leaders at the other end had been permanently disabled, dealing a terrible blow to the Church agenda to control the government.


The Church’s Tamil People/Tamil Nation boomerang turned around and began to fly back at the Church. The Church trained its guns on the Buddhist clergy again, this time by sharpening the division between the Sinhala majority and Tamil minority by taking recourse to extremism in the form of the LTTE. Needless to say, the top leadership of the LTTE was Christian with notional Hindus in the LTTE cadre playing useful idiots to fulfill the Church agenda.


The time had come to give shape to the Sri Lankan vehicle for Tamil separatism to match the rise and growth of the DMK in Tamil Nadu. The measures that the Church took to realize the Christian state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka and in Tamil Nadu were always well calibrated and in tune with events in both countries. The LTTE burst upon the political scene in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in 1975; it follows that preparation for the launch must have started at least a few years earlier.


The success of the Church propaganda that the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu were a separate nationality can be gauged from the fact that while the Buddhist clergy, reacting strongly to Tamil separatism which had reared its head even before independence in 1948, wanted to push the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka to the margins of national life, it remained sanguine to the fact that every President that the country elected was Christian; Sinhala Christian. The Buddhist clergy was prepared to accommodate an Abrahamic religion into its conception of Sinhala nationalism, while refusing to reach out to the civilisationally related Tamil Hindus who constituted 15% of the population.


Pitting brother against brother is classic Abrahamic/Christian war tactics going back to the Old Testament.


Christians who constitute 7.5% of the population were tactically distributed among the 74% Sinhala, 12.6 % Tamil and 5.19% Indian Tamil populace, thus giving the Church a powerful leverage among all sections of the language divide.


The Sinhala-Buddhist Tamil-Hindu animosity had very little to do with religion while it had everything to do with language. The Sinhala-Buddhists and Tamil-Hindus alike failed to see the cancerous cell called the Sinhala Christian and Tamil Christian quietly embedded in their respective blood streams and who were the sole beneficiary from the internecine war between the Sinhala and Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka.


The rise of MGR and the formation of the AIADMK coincided not only with the rise and emergence of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, but also with the rise and emergence of the Sri Lankan communist party, the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP). Considering the role of the Church behind the Maoists of Orissa and Nepal, it is tempting to wonder if the Church may not have had a hand in the creation of this new front with cadres drawn equally from among the economically backward Tamil and Sinhala speaking people in its early years. What cannot also be denied is that the Church has always adroitly turned every event, every phenomenon to its advantage.


The emergence of MGR, the return of Indira Gandhi in 1980 as Prime Minister, the rise of the LTTE and the rise of the JVP, proved to be a direct and four-pronged attack against the Sri Lankan government and an indirect attack against the primacy and power of the island’s Buddhist clergy. The Church was the only beneficiary of the three decades long civil war which tore Sri Lanka apart and which was ended with the determined extermination of the LTTE in 2010. Not only is the Church continuing to harvest Tamil souls in Sri Lanka, but is also harvesting souls in Tamil Nadu’s refugee camps. The protracted civil war in Sri Lanka provided the Church with a bountiful harvest.


Indians outside Tamil Nadu remember the dismissal of the DMK government by Prime Minister Chandrashekhar in 1991. What is almost totally unknown is that the reviled LTTE was armed and trained by the Tamil Nadu and Indian governments in camps set up in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka where India’s armed forces gave the LTTE full military training including in guerilla warfare.


The well-armed and trained LTTE cadre was then sent into Sri Lanka as deadly terrorists in a move which many foreign affairs experts believe was intended by Indira Gandhi and MGR acting in tandem to force the Sri Lankan government to the negotiating table and draft an equitable national constitution which would protect and guarantee equal rights for the Tamil speaking minority community.


While MGR who became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1977 was playing competing Dravidian politics with the defeated DMK around the core issue of Tamil People/Tamil Nation, for Indira Gandhi, who felt the urgent need to assert her strong-man image which suffered a setback in the electoral defeat in 1977, it was more a move to re-assert her one-woman regional super power status which the creation of Bangladesh had given her in 1971.


Indira Gandhi and MG Ramachandran may have acted for two entirely different reasons when they set up camps in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India to train, arm and finance the LTTE, but they created a Bhasmaasura who turned upon the very people who made the LTTE invincible against the Sri Lankan government in the first place. Indira Gandhi was playing with secessionist fire at home and abroad – she created Bhindranwale and the problem of Khalistan and she created the problem of the LTTE and Tamil Eelam – fires which would soon engulf India, herself and her family.


It was not in the capacity of any state government in TN to militarily arm and train the LTTE without the tacit support and active involvement of the central government. Whoever was advising Indira Gandhi on foreign affairs did not have the nation’s interests in mind, that much is obvious when one retrospectively analyses the events of the critical 1970 and 1980s decade. It is not clear why Indira Gandhi and MGR privileged the LTTE over other Tamil political groups, parties and formations, but it was this privileging and the money, arms and training provided to the LTTE which gave LTTE the brute power and the motive to decimate the leadership and cadre of all other Tamil groups so it could emerge as the sole representative of the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka.


While the frightening growth of the LTTE gave the Tamil secessionist movement in Sri Lanka a phenomenal impetus, it also caused an equally strong reaction from India and the Sri Lankan government. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi brought to an immediate and full stop all help rendered so far to the LTTE; it also pushed the Sri Lankan government to equip its own army to deal with the LTTE.


Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the subsequent weakening of the Congress party ushered in the era of coalition politics and the huge returns accruing from participation in government in Delhi, and the compulsions of coalition politics, not only tamed the two major Dravidian parties into a semblance of nationalism, but effectively turned Tamil Nadu away not only from the path of secessionism it had been treading for long under the Dravidian parties, but also turned it away from the LTTE.


The Church had to regroup and formulate a new war strategy.


The rise of Brahmin Jayalalithaa within the ranks of the AIADMK and her eventual coronation as Gen. Secretary which shook the very foundations of Dravidian politics, the rise of the BJP in national politics, the fading lure of the idea of secessionist Tamil Eelam and weakening prospects of realizing it even within Tamil Nadu, and the new trend in Indian politics which catapulted both the DMK and the AIADMK to Delhi imposing upon them the primacy of national interests over interests of regional political parties, forced the Church to forge new strategies and lay a new road towards its objective of carving the Christian state of Tamil Eelam.


The following trends emerged in Tamil Nadu more or less simultaneously from around the mid 1990s decade and continues till the present –


–        The Church began to invest in television news channels, schools of journalism and mass communication; the Church also pushed for creating the department of human rights in Tamil Nadu colleges and universities

–        Foreign governments, notably the UK and US through DFID and USAID began to fund NGOs in India, primarily Christian NGOs

–        Foreign Christian funding agencies like World Vision, Action Aid and agencies from Germany, France and the Netherlands began to fund churches and Christian NGOs

–        Tamil Nadu is the largest recipient of foreign funds

–        The Church began to fund television soap operas and also financed Tamil films

–        Christians are entering the Tamil Nadu film industry and the small screen in almost every area – as directors, producers, actors and music directors

–        Tamil films and television Tamil serials routinely make reference to Tamil People and Tamil Nation

–        The Church is buying hundreds of acres of land across Tamil Nadu; this is visible even in overcrowded Chennai

–        Christians are cornering a major chunk of the reservation quota in admission to institutions of higher learning and also in government jobs; there are growing numbers of Christian students in engineering, medical and law colleges and universities

–        Churches and prayer houses are being built in almost every street in Chennai and close to every Hindu temple, big and small

–        Churches are coming up even in the holiest of holy Hindu temple towns and they are being allowed by Dravidian parties to come up close to temples

–        Foreign Christian missionaries from America, Malaysia and South Korea have a free run of the streets in Chennai

–        Instigating fisher-folk communities is the Church’s latest ploy [3]


Every penny and paisa that the Church spends, it spends as investment towards realizing its core objective – control of communities leading to control of polity leading ultimately to control of government culminating in bloody or bloodless conquest of territory. The path to this objective is religious conversion; what was achieved solely through enculturation in the 16th and 17th centuries, through the Church’s missionary educational and medical institutions in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is now being achieved through NGOs, through an aggressive political discourse in religious freedom and human rights which always work only to the Church’s advantage to facilitate penetration, conversion and conquest.


Investing in political parties is the Church’s latest venture in Tamil Nadu. The Church’s investment, besides the time-tested and highly successful strategy of planting Christians in important ruling families through the love angle or as close confidants to politicians, is three-pronged –


–        Donate liberally and in proportion to expected returns to the two largest Dravidian parties

–        Besides generous donations, also get Christians to become members of every big and small political party – DMK, AIADMK, MDMK, PMK, DMDK so that these parties, with an eye on the Christian votebank are compelled to nominate Christians as office bearers at state and district levels

–        Start new Tamil extremist parties and create more and more Tamil chauvinist outfits to make shrill noises for Tamil People/Tamil Nation, for the LTTE, against the Sri Lankan government, against the central government, even against judges of the High Court and Supreme Court, for human rights, against law-enforcing agencies like police and army; in effect create enough noise and generate enough heat to provoke uncooperative and weak governments to either use force or hopefully to surrender to extremist demands


The ploy has succeeded just as every Church ploy has succeeded because the Church always preys upon vulnerability, ambition, hubris and greed. The state government-central government partnership had yielded phenomenal results for the Christian state of Tamil Eelam but that had ended with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. Temptations of sharing power in New Delhi had weakened even the verbal call and support for Eelam. The Church’s next move was to weaken the two largest Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu by making them dependant upon smaller parties for survival.


The Church was the only force which saw the advantages of weakening national, nationalist and large regional parties. Tamil Nadu politics had been centered around only two poles for close to half a century. A strong DMK and AIADMK were assets to both the Congress and the BJP not only in state elections but also in national elections. The Church saw how regional parties with no support outside of their states could still influence national policies and it applied the rule with great foresight in Tamil Nadu.


As government support for the LTTE ended and the vehicle was destroyed in Sri Lanka, the Church had to keep the idea of Tamil People/Tamil Nation alive in Tamil Nadu. Even as the Church donated liberally to both the DMK and AIADMK, making both look like subservient agents of the Church, the Church punished both by eating into their varied constituencies through the innumerable splinter parties which mushroomed to coincide with waning government support and interest in Tamil Eelam.


The two largest Dravidian parties were themselves made vulnerable to intra-state coalition politics which diminished their value and leverage in New Delhi. Neither the Congress nor the BJP were strong enough to accommodate the baggage which now came along with the DMK and the AIADMK in the form of their state coalition partners.


The Congress and the BJP would now be subject to pressures not only from Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa but also from Vaiko, Thol Thirumavalavan and Ramdoss; not to speak of the good reverend Father Jegath Gaspar Raj, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and the Indian Christian Front. Muslims and Christians not only form political parties which are overtly Christian and Muslim, but also spread themselves tactically in all important political parties for leverage.


The DMK and AIADMK must both realize that only when Tamil Nadu’s non-Brahmin communities, when coastal villages and communities remain Hindu, their own electoral constituencies will remain with them. If they allow Christian donation to their parties to pressure their policies, if they allow foreign money to continue to come on the scale it is now coming into Tamil Nadu, inevitably, inexorably, they will be weakened because the first rule in any business is that all investments must yield profit.


The Church is not going to invest money into their parties and the state only to have Karunanidhi and family, Jayalalithaa and baggage to enjoy the fruits of power. The Church wants the whole of Tamil Nadu and a large part of Sri Lanka. If the DMK, AIADMK and the BJP do not see this even now, it may well spell their doom. The Congress in Tamil Nadu is recruiting Christians into the party at all levels – educated, poorly educated, as leaders and as cadre.


If because the DMK and AIADMK have already been weakened and if because the BJP in Tamil Nadu is still clueless about what is happening in the state, the Congress resurrects itself, it will resurrect as a Christian party whose Christian content will not be immediately seen or felt. It will either wear an encultured face like it wears now in Delhi and wore in Andhra Pradesh under Y Samuel Rajasekhar Reddy or it may even opt for a temporary idiot Hindu face.


Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus can be protected and Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu protected from the predatory Church only if India’s polity, Tamil Nadu’s polity and the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka wake up to the Church’s agenda for India, Sri Lanka and Asia.





2] Indian Tamil people are indentured labour from the erstwhile Madras presidency forcibly transported to Sri Lanka to work in British owned tea-estates.


3] South of Cuddalore every fishing hamlet along Tamil Nadu’s vast coastline is almost 100% Christian. The Church wants fisher-folk to be given the status of Scheduled Tribes where even Christian converts are eligible for reservation quota; and that is why the Church is not asking for Scheduled Caste status. The Church is playing a covert role in getting Tamil Nadu’s fishermen to regularly intrude into Sri Lankan waters, not only to pressure the state government and New Delhi to confront the Sri Lankan government, but also to provoke the Sri Lankan government into using force to deal with trespassing fishermen. The idea is to vitiate Tamil Nadu/India-Sri Lanka relations.




The author is Editor,

Jayalalitha is a traitor to Hinduism

This Thaataka who arrested, imprisoned and harassed the Sankaracharya is bribing the Christians with Hindu money.

Jaya promises Christians trips to Bethlehem

First Published : 02 Apr 2011 05:09:56 PM IST
Last Updated :

NAGERCOIL: The AIADMK if voted to power after the April 13 assembly polls in the state would take steps to ensure devout Christians travel to holy Bethlehem, just like Muslims go to Mecca for the Haj pilgrimage, party leader Jayalalithaa said here today.”If the AIADMK alliance comes to power in Tamil Nadu after the polls, the government will help devout Christians travel to Israel, just like Muslims go for the Haj pilgrimage,” she said, addressing an election meeting in Kanyakumari.Coming down on the DMK government, she said its five-year rule had only seen it rocked by the 2G spectrum scam, increase in power cuts, affecting agriculture and textile industries, unemployment and issue of poor quality rice to peopleIf her party alliance was voted to power, people would be assured of rule of law and provision of basic amenities, she said.She later arrived here and promised voters that Nagercoil Muncipality would be changed to Corporation and that an underground drainage system would be built.