Anti-India Propaganda in Toronto Mosque


     By: Udit Shah

On 6th April 2019 there were hate speeches delivered against India at Noor Cultural Center in Toronto. They were delivered under an appealing catch phrase titled ” Persecution of Dalits and Muslims in India”. Several people spoke there but notable among them was Professor Jangam. Here is my response to their hate mongering against India.

A liberal columnist and a thinker from Saudi Arabia, Khalaf Al-Harbi whose views and objective columns on numerous issues are a big hit and widely discussed across the world, praises India describing it as the most tolerant nation in the whole world in the latest file Saudi Gazette as reported by Mariam on 15 June 2017.

She continues: In his file titled ‘India — A country that rides elephants’, Khalaf Al Harbi writes:

“In India, there are more than 100 religions and more than 100 languages. Yet, the people live in peace and harmony. All the Indians have joined hands to build a strong nation that can produce everything from a sewing needle to a rocket. He says that he feels bit jealous as he comes from a part of the world which has one religion and one language and yet there is killing everywhere. No matter how other countries speaks, India remains the oldest and the most important country to teach tolerance, peace and coexistence regardless of the religious, social, political or ethnical differences.”
(Ref: https://medium.com/@mahejabeen395/famous-columnist-on-why-india-is-the-most-tolerant-nation-in-the-world-fdf72e26cf46)

This one article is perhaps more than adequate as my response to the Hinduphobic battery of the speakers assembled at Noor Cultural Center – better, a mosque – in Toronto to bash Hindus and India.

However, I would give them more than they can handle.

Some initial speakers and some of the videos that were shown there spoke in one voice about suppression of freedom of speech, oppression of minorities as well as lynching of Muslims at the hands of Hindus in India under Modi regime. All the voices were attacking the new regime of Modi as if prior to that, India never saw any communal clashes and violence, which made it obvious that they had an agenda of delivering “Hate Speeches”.

Part One (Refers to the initial speakers and video clips): Let us look at this couple of reports that nail their lies hard.

(Ref: https://www.pgurus.com/is-the-west-looking-at-modi-through-indias-left-liberal-lens/)

Communal mob violence and lynching in India did not start in 2014 when Modi came to power. A 2017 article on this on huffingtonpost.com “Can Data Tell Us Whether Lynchings Have Gone Up Under Modi, And Should It Matter?“ specifically looked at much work done on this by many in journalism and academia. These types of incidents have been perpetrated by both Hindu and Muslim communities. Most importantly, they did not start under Modi. Just using google one can find at least a dozen such incidents that occurred in 2013 alone reported by various news organizations. While each and every one of these incidents is of grave concern to all those who believe in human rights, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that the Modi government has done something that led to such incidents or an increase in their number. There are many individuals who have made incendiary statements from all different parties. However, selectively citing incidents based on the killing of cows, sacred to Hindus, and statements made by only members of the ruling party and presenting that as evidence of their “Hindutva Agenda” while turning a blind eye to all the other incidents which are equally condemnable is simply being disingenuous.

In fact, it is this selective criticism by media powerhouses that lead to polarization in societies and reduces their credibility.

Let us now come to the claim that Modi is suppressing freedom of speech in India. The incident most cited to support this claim is where a group of students were arrested for raising anti-India slogans in 2016 at a university. Again, what is not mentioned is what were the slogans being raised? Some of the slogans being raised were “Bharath Tere Tukde Tukde Honge, inshallah” (India you will be broken into pieces, god willing), “Bharath ki Barbadi Tak Jung Rahegi“(War will be waged till India is destroyed). After being initially arrested by police, these students were released. They are now famous and one of them is even running for elections. If the freedom of speech is being muscled, how come the people who raised these slogans are running for elections and their supporters are on television shows arguing their case almost every night. Who has stopped them from speaking and holding rallies?

There have been groups of individuals from academia, art, and show business who have campaigned against Modi even before he became the Prime Minister. This same group of people has returned awards, signed letters and petitions alleging that freedom of expression is under threat. While these are highlighted in media, what is not mentioned is that an equal, if not larger, number of people from the same fraternities have supported Modi. Most recently a group of nearly 600 artists signed a petition urging people to vote out the Modi government. In response, a group of more than 900 artists, including noted Muslims & Christians, signed another petition urging people to vote for Modi because of his secular developmental agenda and the changes he has brought in the last 5 years. Some of these changes include providing basic facilities like water and electricity. Something millions in India lacked even after 70 years of independence while the so-called secular politicians and their families have amassed massive amounts of wealth and live in large bungalows with swimming pools and own private planes.

(Ref: http://indiafacts.org/indias-cow-vigilantism-the-other-side-of-the-story/)

a. Tufail Ahmad, a prominent Muslim political commentator in his now famous article “India’s Thought Cops are Angry with Modi” writes: “Cows are not slaughtered across the Islamic world, but the reason cows are slaughtered mostly in the Indian subcontinent is because Indian Islamists introduced the practice of cow slaughter here as a challenge to Hindu religious practice of worshipping cows.”

b. Notwithstanding the constitutional provision (Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 48 of the Constitution of India which states that “The State shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”), violence related to cow, legal and illegal cow slaughter, cow stealing and trafficking is not a post-2014 phenomena in India as it is made out to be. Local level cow-protection movements are fairly common in India. The 1966 movement against cow slaughter, however, was significant in terms of mass mobilization.

c. There is a need to see such protests and disturbances in a more nuanced manner. India’s culture as well as agriculture and economy have been cow-centric for several thousand years. Industrialization of agriculture and the breaking down temple culture/economy due to both State control of Hindu temples as well as changes in the socio-cultural attitude as a result of left-dominated secular education system post-independence are responsible for the current poor condition of the cows. The dwindling numbers of temple-managed gaushalas (cow shelters) that were fairly common in the past, add to the complexity of the situation.

d. Growing trade in cow meat has resulted in organized international smuggling of cattle and the failure of the state machinery to protect cattle from the gangs of petty thieves to international smugglers has added to the narrative of ‘lynchistan’.

Part Two (Refers to Prof. Jangam’s talk):

■ Prof. Jangam spoke at a length covering violence against Muslims and Dalits and some other similar topics. I respond to his main topics in an itemized manner.

He eloquently talks about Dalit-Muslim collaboration happening for the first time in the North America.

My response:

This prompts me to remind him about prominent Dalit leader of Pre-Independence era Jogendranath Mandal.

Being a very renowned historian scholar and professor and engaged in the study of Dalits, I am certain Prof. Jangham knows who Jogendranath Madal was.

At the time of India’s partition, Jogendranath Mandal supported Pakistan, made alliance with Muslim League and shunned “Hindus”, inspired Dalits not to save Hindus from being killed by the Muslims and migrated to Pakistan and became Minister of Law and Labour and within less than 3 years, after witnessing massacre of Hindu Dalits on mass scale by Pakistani Muslims, he ran away from Pakistan and came back to India. He learnt this lesson about futility of “Dalit-Muslim” unity by paying a huge price.
And, here Prof. Jangam is going gung-ho on the unity between Dalits and Muslims. The professor of history refuses to learn from history. So sad!

■ Professor Jangam castigates Hindus for the caste system. I respond to him with more facts that show we were not unique with this problem, which is, of course, not a justification for the existence of the problem, but I dare say that we are working on the problem and there is a great awareness and activism to resolve this problem.

My response:

(Ref: http://indiafacts.org/why-is-the-world-so-obsessed-with-indias-caste-system/)

a. Many will be surprised to know that under the European caste system, the lowest castes lived in terrible conditions until the 20th century. In Defiled Trade and Social Outcasts – Honour and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany, author Kathy Stewart describes social groups that were “dishonourable by virtue of their trade” in the 17th century and lists executioners, skinners, grave-diggers, shepherds, barber-surgeons, millers, linen-weavers, actors, latrine cleaners, night-watchmen and bailiffs.

b. Edward Alsworth Ross (Principles of Sociology, 1920) gives a detailed description of rigid and strict caste system of Europe and notes that it was a product of forces within the European society. He says:
“The tendency of the later [Roman] empire was to stereotype society by compelling men to follow the occupation of their fathers, and preventing a free circulation among different callings and grades of life. The man who brought the grain of Africa to the public stores of Ostia, the labourers who made it into loaves for distribution, the butchers who brought pigs from Samnium, Lucania or Bruttium, the purveyors of wine and oil, the men who fed the furnaces of the public baths, were bound to their calling from one generation to another… Every avenue of escape was closed… Men were not allowed to marry out of their guild… Not even a dispensation obtained by some means from the imperial chancery, not even the power of the Church could avail to break the bond of servitude.”

■ Prof. Jangam talks about water-tight compartments in India’s caste system.
He also compares slavery being akin to caste system. He alleges that in Modi’s regime, poor Dalits are targeted.
He refers to Manu Dharma Shastra as root cause of caste system in India.

So, here’s my response to him as under:

a. Our scriptures have never laid down any rules for nor support birth-based caste system. Shrimad Bahgwad Gita clearly mentions that the varnas are based on merits. The degeneration did enter in our society at some point in time, which has happened in all the civilizations, and then thrust on us by Lord Risley in the early 1900s who artificially created 2378 castes on the basis of nasal index, a thoroughly unscientific and irrational basis with the single aim of dividing society, just like Belgians did in Rwanda by artificially creating Hutus and Tootsies and creating enmity between them.

b. Indian constitution does not allow discrimination based on castes. It will take time to bring the entire society on an even keel, but it’s happening. The previous Govt. of 60 years never allowed the poor and downtrodden to get the benefits of the progress and never cared for educating them as they knew that education will bring awareness and that will destroy their vote-banks.

c. Modi has taken serious steps to end the perceived caste-based discrimination by taking steps to make reservation for people on the basis for their economical condition.

■ About Brahmin supremacy, it is better he understands that today, the true Dalits of India are Brahmins, who are most under-privileged and actually deprived, much more than Dalits.

My response:

Please read this report by Francois Gauthier : (https://www.rediff.com/news/2006/may/23franc.html)

a. There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!

b. There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.

c. Did you know that you also stumble upon a number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations? One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job. “Dalits often have five to six kids, but they are confident of placing them easily and well,” he says. As a result, the Dalit population is increasing in villages. He adds: “Dalits are provided with housing, even their pigs have spaces; whereas there is no provision for gaushalas (cowsheds) for the cows of the Brahmins.”

d. You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment opportunities and poor education in their villages.

e. Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs 500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.

f. Did you also know that most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins?

g. This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics. Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs.

h. 400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.

i. And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all purohits live below the poverty line.

j. Eighty per cent of those surveyed stated that their poverty and traditional style of dress and hair (tuft) had made them the butt of ridicule. Financial constraints coupled with the existing system of reservations for the ‘backward classes’ prevented them from providing secular education to their children

k. In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.

l. The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.

m. There is no reason to believe that the condition of Brahmins in other parts of the country is different. In this connection, it would be revealing to quote the per capita income of various communities as stated by the Karnataka finance minister in the state assembly: Christians Rs 1,562, Vokkaligas Rs 914, Muslims Rs 794, Scheduled castes Rs 680, Scheduled Tribes Rs 577 and Brahmins Rs 537.

n. Appalling poverty compels many Brahmins to migrate to towns leading to spatial dispersal and consequent decline in their local influence and institutions. Brahmins initially turned to government jobs and modern occupations such as law and medicine. But preferential policies for the non-Brahmins have forced Brahmins to retreat in these spheres as well.

o. According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).

p. Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being ridiculed and disrespected.

q. At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs 2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’ reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.

r. The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other government than Sonia Gandhi’s has gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes.

s. The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today, seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.

■ When a member of an audience said that Ramayana was in fact written by a Dalit, Prof. Jangam retorted by saying that Ramayana was written for the elite and not for Dalit, thus not addressing the question appropriately and then adding that there are many other Ramayanas written for Dalits.

My response:

Ramayana 1.1.100 says janaśca śūdro’pi mahattvamīyāt “and may a shudra also obtain greatness”. (Nityananda Mishra).

And, truly speaking, existence of several Ramayanas cannot be called as actual Ramayanas but are only commentaries.

■  When they blast Modi for being responsible for all the ills in India, they know they are lying.

My Response:
(https://postcard.news/pm-narendra-modi-overtakes-donald-trump-indias-prime-minister-declared-as-the-worlds-most-popular-leader-on-facebook/)

a. Modi has been through many walks through the fire for so many years. In fact, one cannot find any politician like him the in the world today. One cannot put any corruption charge against him. His mother, other family members live in poor to lower middle class conditions having no access to the powers Modi enjoys. Through so many schemes and sincere implementation, he has changed lives for better for millions in India. India’s infrastructure has grown almost 100% more over the previous regimes with much better qualitative output. Through demonetisation and GST, tax compliance has almost doubled and number of taxpayers have almost doubled up too.

His policies have benefited all sections of the society with much more thrust on the economically weaker sections. The list is too long, but this should suffice, I guess.

b. PM Narendra Modi overtakes Donald Trump! India’s Prime Minister declared as the world’s most popular leader on Facebook

Not just on Facebook, PM Narendra Modi is very popular on several other social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram. PM Modi has 19.9 million followers on Instagram and has 46.8 million followers on Twitter.

The awards received by him in the past holds a mirror to his achievements. Zayed Medal, Seoul Peace Prize, Philip Kotler Award, UN Green Award, Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, King Abdullaziz Sash Award, Amir Abdulla Khan Award and The Order of St. Andrew are some of the awards received by PM Modi from other nations and global organizations.

Finally, I would like to add that if the organizers do not want to preach hate against anyone as claimed by them at the conclusion, they better invite those who are true representatives of the tradition as well, who do not agree with their views and not just the sold out people.

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