Monday, December 16, 2013

Fatwas ban outsiders' entry into Rameswaram villages -- Kumar Chellappan. TN CM Jayalalithaa should constitute a Spl. Investigation Team to enforce rule of law.


Kumar Chellappan | CHENNAI

Ramanathapuram district, 527 km south of Chennai, which houses Rameswaram Temple and many holy shrines, is getting out of bound for outsiders. Local Jamaath Councils have issued ‘fatwas’ declaring Muslim-majority villages out of bound for people even from the district itself.
Entrances to Athiyuthu, Puthuvalassai, Panaikulam, Azhagankulam and Sitharkottai sport such boards, all put up by the local Jamaath Councils. “There are boards deep inside these villages which declare outsiders are not allowed,” said B Arumugam, who acted as a guide to this correspondent. Interestingly, all these villages have a strong Muslim population.
“Advertising (banners, posters and pamphlets) and honking (from vehicles) without permission is prohibited inside the Panchayath. By Order - Muslim Jamaath Thajul Islam Sangh, Pottakavayal”, is the board which welcomes the visitor to the village entrance on the Attrankarai Road, hardly 10 kilometre from Ramanathapuram town. “For the last 20 years, only Muslim candidates had been elected from this constituency. Only Muslims could be elected from this Assembly constituency,” said N Suriyaprakash, a civil engineer-turned-politician.
Ramanathapuram is represented in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by MH Jawahirullah of the Muslaim Munnetra Kazhagam (MMK), an Islamic outfit. The MMK was an ally of the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly election and switched over to the DMK camp during the July 2012 Rajya Sabha election. “Both the Dravida parties are responsible for this sad state of affairs,” said Kuppuramu, a lawyer. He said the DMK, the Congress and the AIADMK, in order to appease the minorities look the other way when Islamic fundamentalists unleash a reign of terror.
Kuppuramu took this reporter to Pamban, a village near Rameswaram island, the birth place of Pamban Swami, a great Saivite saint. The Panchayath road has a board put by the Islamic extremists banning outsiders from the road: “Not a public thoroughfare. Ladies move about in this place,” says the board.
Pamban Swamy (1848-1929), who preached love, compassion, kindness and equality, would be turning in his grave if he comes to know what his successors have done in his place of birth. The Hindu community is a scared lot because of the ever growing Islamic extremism in the district. “During the DMK regime in 2008, some Muslim youths hoisted the national flag with chappals at Vethalai village. The case was hushed up by Hassan Ali, the then MLA of the Congress,” said Kuppuramu. He said there was another instance of tricolour with chappals being hoisted in Puthumadom village which too was hushed up Hassan Ali.
Efforts to contact the district collector and superintendent of police were futile. Though e-mails were sent to both the officials, there were no replies. “The collector is busy in meeting senior officials. We are yet to check the mail,” Dharman, his personal secretary told The Pioneer on being asked about the email.
R Nataraj, former director general of police, Tamil Nadu, said it was not proper to put up such boards. “I don’t think even the government has the power to put up such boards. But we have to find out why they have put up boards like this,” said Nataraj. BR Haran, a political commentator, and Gowthaman, director of  Vedic Science Research Centre, Chennai, who accompanied this reporter to the spots, were told by villagers of Azhagankulam that they have no other way but to fall in line. “We can never survive here without their cooperation. We are all businessmen and why should we bother about such boards?” asked Nithyanandam, a building contractor at Azhagankulam.
The villagers are still in a state of shock as some Muslim youth slaughtered a cow in front of the Muneeswarankoil Temple. “The Jamaath Council president and secretary told us that they were helpless as the youth would not listen to them,” said Senthilvel, a foreign exchange dealer in the village. Suba Nagarajan, a BJP leader in Ramanathapuram, said the Muslims in the district are on a warpath with the Hindus since 1981. “Religious conversion and smuggling are rampant in the district. Panna Ismail and Bilal Mohammed, who murdered Hindu leader Vellaiyappan in July 2013 at Vellore had come to Keezhakarai after the murder. The police should probe the details of their visit to Keezhakarai,” he said.
According to Kuppuramu, nearly 50 per cent of the business establishments in Ramanathapuram are owned by members of the Musilm community. “A Hindu can launch his business only if he gets approval from the Muslim community. This is an unwritten rule in the district,” said Kuppuramu. He said his efforts to meet the superintendent of police ended in futile as the officer was busy most of the time.
The local population is of the view that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is the only person who could solve this fundamentalism tangle. “She made the police track down the killers of Hindu leaders by constituting the Special Investigation Division. The same SID may be able to resolve this issue,” said Shiva Thavasimani, Hindu Munnani leader.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Stop work in Heera Arabic School (Islamic Univ), says Andhra HC

Hyderabad : The AP High Court on Wednesday directed authorities not to allow any construction on the premises of the Islamic Arabic School, Tondawada village, near Tirupati.

Justice Nooty Ramamohana Rao was dealing with petitions by the Madrasa-e-NiswanIsha-Atul Islam Urdu and Arabic Development Society represented by its president Shaik Nowheera, the Tirumala Tirupati Samrakshna Samiti (TTSS), and S. Muni Gangi Reddy, former sarpanch of Chandragiri.

The management of the school had moved two petitions, one contending that the Tondawada gram panchayat was threatening to demolish the building.

Society asked how 4 extra floors came up


In their first petition, the management of the Islamic Arabic School, Tondawada village, near Tirupati, explained why they had constructed extra floors and were ready to pay the required amount to regularise the floors.

The second writ petition moved by the school management challenged the orders of the district collector directing the local panchayat, with the help of the police, to demolish the portions of the structure which had come up in violation of the sanctioned plan. The judge, however, asked the society to explain how six floors were built when permission was given for ground and first floor.

Expressing concern about the stability of the structure as it was built on land adjacent to a water body, the judge directed that no workers should enter the premises and it was not to be used. The Tirupati Urban Development Authority has to approach the civil engineering department of SV University to asses the stability of the structure.

The judge directed the Tirupati Urban Development Authority and the Tondawada gram panchayat to submit records to ascertain whether notices were given and whether the petitioner society had violated the undertaking and whether the sanctioned plan was violated even for the ground and first floors.

The judge directed the collector to depute the local RDO and the district police superintendent was asked to depute the local DSP and the Tuda to depute a senior official to inspect the site to ascertain whether there were any occupants and if any, to ascertain when they would move out. Justice Rao also expressed concern about the safety of girls who are supposed to be put up in the building and asked how the petitioner society had gone ahead and built the structure.

The counsel for the petitioner society said that there were several buildings of TTD which did not have sanctioned plans and that they were being victimised.

The counsel for Tuda said that the proposal for regularisation had not been submitted to it. It had come through the government and the Tuda had rejected it.

Gangi Reddy moved the plea seeking demolition of the structure contending that the officers had conducted an inquiry and found Kalva Poromoboke was encroached by the management.

Source : Deccan Chronicle

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Report on Islamic University by the Fact Finding Committee

International Islamic University for Women etc., near Tirupati

I. The News:

  • A news item appeared in the newspapers regarding the construction of a big complex of 7 storeys near Thondavada village about 11 KMs. from Tirupati in the 2nd week of September 2013. The purpose of the building was not mentioned. At the same time a news item was being circulated in the internet on the above complex. It carried the photos of the construction and also provided the background. One Ms. Shaik Nowhera, a self proclaimed business women has undertaken the said construction. This development gave rise to apprehension in the minds of the general public as they had no clue about the purpose of that building. About 8 months back a display board was put up in front of the building with the name International Islamic University for Women and College and School for Muslim Women. This has invariably given rise to serious concerns to several well meaning people and Hindu devotees in India and abroad.

  • Ms. Shaik Nowhera is founder and C.E.O. of Heera group of companies. Her website states she was born in Kalluru village (A.P.) in 1973 and that at the age of 19 years she started teaching Quran and Hadith and practicing ‘Dawah’. She started an Islamic School at Tirupati town in the name of ‘Madrasa Niswan’ (under a society registered with the Registration of Societies Act, AP, India, No. 386) with around 150 students. It further states that free education was being given in that school for poor Muslim girls also and that in order to meet the expenditure, she started Heera group of companies. ‘Mission Statement’ of Heera Islamic Group states “it is guided by Imam, following Shariah Law engaged in Halal avoiding Haram. It is on a mission for spreading the knowledge of Allah to the four corners of the world”. 
II. The Context:
1. Tirumala Tirupati Divya Kshetram is revered by millions of Hindus all over the world. The temple town attracts about 20 million people every year on a conservative estimate. The threat perception to the temple and town is high according to security agencies. Heterogeneous population numbering millions is highly vulnerable from the point of view of security management. In addition to the above, Tirumala Tirupati witnessed the following threats:

  • a Naxalite attack on the former Chief Minister Sri. Chandrababu Naidu on 02.10.2003 near “Alipiri”;
  • some Christians were pursuing conversion of pilgrims to Christianity in Tirumala itself;
  • a Government Order declaring Tirumala as confined to area covering only two hills and not all the seven hills. It was strongly rumoured that the balance area and the hills were to be given for tourism development and also to build a very big Church. Fortunately, the Government Order was withdrawn after a huge public uproar by Tirumala Tirupati Samrakshana Samithi led by Sri. T.S. Rao (former DGP of AP) and several eminent persons;
  • a news item during the 3rd week of September 2013 stating that the 7 storeyed complex was being constructed without approval for establishing an International Islamic University for Women at Thondavada at a distance of 11 KMs from Tirupati on the road to Chandragiri;
  • an incident at Puttur, 38 KMs from Tirupati, of police arresting some persons with terrorist links and reports in the newspapers on 05.10.2013 that a plan was revealed by them to put explosives in umbrellas being taken to Tirumala to cause explosions and disturbances during Brahmostavams.

2. Under the above circumstances the Tirumala Tirupati Samrakshana Samithi constituted the present Fact Finding Committee with the following:

Justice S. Parvatha Rao, 
former High Court Judge, Andhra Pradesh

Sri. T.S. Rao, I.P.S. (Retd.)
former Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh

Dr. C. Umamaheswara Rao, I.A.S. (Retd.)

3. The Committee had a preliminary meeting at Hyderabad on 14.10.2013 and started gathering information. The Committee visited Tirupati on the 11th & 12th of November, 2013 in order to know the facts on the ground,

4. On 11.11.2013, the Committee visited the area where the building was constructed and saw the site and the building by the side of the road from Tirupati to Chandragiri and the connecting road to Thondavada village and also the newly renovated Gurrappa temple (Shiva temple) by the side of the road to Thondavada, a short distance away from the building in question. The Committee went around the construction site. The Committee found that behind the boundary wall of the building in question on the back side cement pillars were raised and construction was going on in the land. The villagers there have stated that a Mosque is being constructed un-authorizedly in the open land behind the boundary wall of the site in question. The Committee found a lane behind the building in question from the road to Thondavada along the side of Swarnamukhi River. The entire backside of the building was visible from the lane as we walked along it. Each floor of the building had about 19 windows. After the building there is considerable open land with a number of coconut trees within the compound of the building which is enclosed on three sides by a wall of about 12 feet height. The area within the compound wall will be about 4½ to 5 acres. The building site falls within a triangle covered by three temples, namely, Gurrappa temple referred to above, the remains of the ancient Thimmappa temple on the adjoining site by the side of the Chandragiri road, and Agastheeswara temple located by the side of the road to Thondavada.

5. The Committee interacted with the villagers of Thondavada in their village on the same day (11.11.2013). The newly elected Sarpanch and the previous Sarpanch were present in the meeting. After that, in Chandragiri village, the Committee had a meeting in which villagers from Chandragiri and from about 8 villages in Chandragiri Mandal participated. During the meetings with the villagers, it was brought to the notice of the Committee that they had no idea whatsoever about the real purpose for which the building was constructed until a board was put up in front of it about 8 months back indicating that it was for an International Islamic University for Muslim Women. The recently elected (in August) Sarpanch of Thondavada village informed the Committee at the meeting that no permission was given to Ms. Shaik Nowhera or the Society by the Gram Panchayat for constructing the building, in so far he was aware. Sri Satyanarayana Reddy, who was the previous Sarpanch from 2006 to 2011, did not deny this. From 2011 to August, 2013 no elections were conducted for the Panchayat.

6. The villagers of Thondavada who attended the meeting also stated that after the old Gurrappa temple by the side of the road to Thondavada was renovated, a name board for the temple was sought to be put up at the entrance of the road on 11.10.2013, Ms. Shaik Nowhera and her associates vehemently objected to that and brought about 300 women in Burkha in buses who were made to squat on the road for a long time and that only after conciliation by some elders, the board was allowed to be put up. After that, Muslim girls and women were brought every day and kept in the premises and later they were made to stay in the building unauthorizedly even though no occupation certificate and completion certificate for the building in question were obtained.

7. The villagers of Thondavada, Chandragiri and neighbouring villages also stated that some of the muslim workers of the Society have been hiring rooms in private houses in the neighboring villages at exorbitant rents and that, in view of the background of the Puttur incident, they are apprehensive of this development. They have also pointed out that part of the site of the building in question might be located in the Thimmappa temple land and that the building itself encroached the land of Nallas of Swarnamukhi River which is government land. They have also informed the Committee that the Gram Panchayat officials and revenue officials were not being allowed to enter into the premises and that secrecy surrounded the whole activity and that only recently some officials could enter the site and they have reported that the entire building in question was centrally air-conditioned and the flooring was with marble stones and that the fittings in the rooms and in the lavatories were of high quality and very expensive.

8. It was brought to the notice of the Committee that on 19.10.2010 Ms. Shaik Nowhera applied to the Sarpanch of Thondavada for permission to Madrasa–E–Niswan Society Trust for constructing a building in Sy. No. 4/2A/1B in an extent of Ac. 1-49 Cents for poor minority students for which TUDA (Tirupati Urban Development Authority) had given approval. The permission sought from TUDA was only for constructing a building with ground floor and first floor. But when the construction of more floors was going on, notices dated 05.02.2012 and 28.08.2012 were issued by Thondavada Gram Panchayat to stop further construction contrary to the approved plan and that otherwise action would be taken. But the construction was continued up to ground + 6th floor.

9. In the evening on 11.11.2013, the Committee held a meeting in Tirupati in which several prominent persons attended and interacted with the Committee. The members of the Committee narrated to them the information gathered by the Committee from the villagers and about the gross violations in that construction, apprehension of the people, inactivity of the authorities in stopping the construction beyond the first floor contrary to the approved plan promptly by taking appropriate action. They are also informed that the building was centrally air-conditioned and was fitted with very expensive installations and was with expensive marble flooring which clearly indicates that it was not intended for poor minority girls.

10. The Committee met the following officials :
  • The Collector and the Jt. Collector of Chittoor District at Chittoor
  • JEO of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam at Tirumala,
  • Superintendent of Police (Urban) at Tirupati and
  • Vice President of TUDA at Tirupati.

11. They confirmed that TUDA gave only technical clearance for the building sought to be constructed by the Society formed by Ms. Shaik Nowhera and as it was only for ground floor plus first floor, the concerned Panchayat Executive Secretary had to give permission for the construction. For buildings beyond ground plus first floor permission has to be obtained from TUDA. The actual construction made by the Society is in flagrant violation of the sanctioned plan. It was also stated that both Chandragiri and Thondavada villages come under TUDA.

III. Findings of the Committee:

1. On 03.02.2010 and 24.02.2010 applications were made by Ms. Shaik Nowhera to TUDA for constructing a building with ground floor and first floor in Sy. No. 4-2A/1B along with the plan for the proposed building. Technical approval to the building was given by the Vice President of TUDA on 08.03.2010 and the same was addressed to the concerned Panchayat Executive Secretary along with the approved plan. Copies of the same were sent to Ms. Shaik Nowhera and building inspector of TUDA.

2. On 19.10.2010, an application in Telugu along with building application form in English signed by her as owner of the land and by licensed building engineer for TUDA, was made by Ms. Shaik Nowhera to Thondavada Gram Panchayat for approval to construct the building. However, from the information gathered by the Committee, no specific approval by Gram Panchayat was given.

3. From the information available to the Committee, after the application was made to the TUDA in February, 2010 only Ms. Shaik Nowhera applied to the Tahsildar, Chandragiri Mandal for conversion of agriculture land in Sy. No. 4-2A/1B of an extent of Ac. 1.49 Cents (5891.34 Sq. Mts.) to non-agriculture land, and the same was granted by Tahsildar in September, 2010.

4. The land within the boundary walls constructed on three sides of the site in which the building in question was constructed is much more than Ac. 1.49 Cents in Sy. No. 4-2A/1B of Thondavada village which alone was converted into non-agriculture land for which application was made for constructing the building in question. The excess land is obviously encroached land. Only if proper survey is made the actual excess land and the survey nos. of the excess land can be ascertained. The villagers of Thondavada, Chandragiri and neighboring villages apprehend that certain extent of Thimmappa temple land is also encroached and is within the boundary walls of the site.

5. Pursuant to letter No. 6/A/2012 dated 06.08.2012 of TUDA, Thondavada Panchayat Executive Secretary issued notice dated 28.08.2012 referring to its earlier letter dated 05.02.2012 stating that the building in question was being constructed by Ms. Shaik Nowhera’s Society contrary and in violation of the plan approved by TUDA and that the construction should be stopped immediately and that otherwise action would be taken.

6. It is well known fact that Tirumala-Tirupati are Divyakshetrams and the most important place for Hindus and crores of Hindus and devotees of Lord Balaji from other regions from all over the world visit the holy places of Tirumala-Tirupati which are surrounded by temples like Srinivasa Mangapuram, Alamelu Mangapuram, Agastheeswara Swamy temple, Kanipakkam, Srikalahasti etc. which are important to the Hindus. Sri. S.V. Badri, a social activist and free lance journalist, and grandson of Kalyanaram Iyengar (Laddu Iyengar pioneer of the internationally renowned Tirupati Laddu) had explained the religious significance of the place. As per the Sthala Purana, Bhagawan Srinivas married Devi Padmavathi at Narayanavanam here. After marriage, Bhagawan with his concerts shifted to Srinivasa Mangapuram (near Thondavada) where a temple for Bhagawan Srinivas and Devi Padmavathi exists. Both Bhagawan and his concerts used to go to a Shiva temple located on the banks of sacred Swarnamukhi River to serve Sage Agasthya. This temple was said to be consecretated by Sage Agasthya and here the deity attained the name Agastheeswara. Bhagawan Srinivas served Sage Agasthya at this temple for six months before shifting to Tirumala. In fact, Sage Agasthya had consecrated five temples along the river Swarnamukhi. It is really strange and disturbing that an Islamic institution is being established in such a great Hindu pilgrimage centre.

7. It is known and acknowledged fact that Tirumala and Tirupati and its neighboring places occupy an important role in the religious life of Hindus. The Government of AP had issued Ordinance No. 3/2007 known as Andhra Pradesh Propagation of Other Religions in the Places of Worship or Prayer (Prohibition) Ordinance dated 22.05.2007. Subsequently it was replaced by an Act. The Government of AP issued G.O. Ms. No. 746 dt. 02.06.2007 through Revenue (Endowments-III) Department enumerating the temples which included Tirumala temple. Subsequently, Revenue (Endowments-III) Department issued another G.O. Ms. No. 747 dated 02.06.2007 under which the pathways lying in the Tirupati hills limits. The intention of the Ordinance/Act and GOs is to ensure that Tirumala and Tirupati are places of religious importance. They are safeguarded to maintain the sanctity, public order, tranquility, peace, security and harmony of the holy places of worship in Tirupati and Tirumala. It is well known that many pilgrims come by walk and other modes of transport from the foothills on all sides of the seven hills to visit various temples in and around Tirumala and Tirupati. G.O. Ms. No. 746 specifically mentioned Srikalahasti also. The intention of the said Ordinance / Act and GOs is to ensure that Tirumala and Tirupati would be free of propagation of any other religious activities and to ensure peaceful, safe and tranquil atmosphere for Hindus and for devotees of Lord Balaji as also of the other neighboring temples of Tirumala and Tirupati like Srinivasa Mangapuram, Alamelu Mangapuram, Agastheeswara Swamy temple, Kanipakkam, Sri Kalahasti etc.

8. As per the rules, if the construction exceeds two floors, approval has to be given by TUDA in their notified area. Thondavada village and the construction site fall within the notified area and though a seven floor complex in about five acres of land is being built, no approval has been taken from TUDA by Ms. Shaik Nowhera or the Society. After they applied to TUDA and Thondavada Panchayat for constructing ground floor plus first floor of the building, they began the construction of the building. Contrary to the sanctioned plan, they laid a foundation for ground plus six floors building and proceeded with the construction of the same continuously in spite of notices issued by the Thondavada Panchayat. The Committee therefore finds that there was fraudulent suppression of a very serious nature as the actual undisclosed intention was to construct a building with ground plus six floors even when the applications were made along with the plan for a building of ground floor and first floor.

9. Until the board was put some eight months back showing International Islamic University for Women, the local population did not know the real purpose of the building. The Committee was also told that Ms. Shaik Nowhera also purchased lands in the areas around the building in question. If several Mosques, Minars etc. come up in these places they will cause disturbance to the law & order and will also disturb the harmony of the local population.

10. Apart from the above, the following are the matters of concern:
  • A compound wall of 12 feet height has been constructed contrary to condition 5 of the conditions mentioned in the Order dated 08.03.2010 of TUDA which limits the height of the compound wall to 2.5 M.
  • Surveillance cameras on public movement along the road to Thondavada by the side of the compound wall of the building in question.
  • Construction of a further structure behind the building in question in the open land outside the compound wall which the local population believes is for a mosque.
  • Unauthorized occupation of Government and other land within the boundary walls and constructing the building in land in other survey nos. for which no approval and conversion was obtained.
  • The lands surrounding the building complex are part of Swarnamukhi River and its various Nallas. The building in question will affectively obstruct flow of water into the river and revival of Swarnamukhi River under Swarnamukhi River Rejuvenation Project will not be possible in the future. The Rejuvenation Project provides for construction of sub-surface dams with a mission of rejuvenating the river. Some NGOs of Chittoor district formed a consortium under the leadership of Rastriya Seva Samathi to take up the project which received support from CAPART, Ministry of Rural Development of Government of India, and TTD. 
IV. Recommendations:

1. Security agencies should evaluate a possible threat from the newly constructed building which is shrouded in secrecy and initiate action to safeguard Tirumala Tirupati Divya Kshetram and the pilgrims.

2. Investigation should be thoroughly carried out as regards the source of funding under the various statutes and laws of the land.

3. Income tax department should investigate into the income and expenditure of Heera group of companies etc. and in particular this Society and ascertain whether accounts are maintained and audited and whether returns are being filed by them regularly and got assessed.

4. Illegal structure beyond the plan for which technical clearance was given by TUDA vide its Order dated 08.03.2010 should be demolished and encroachments on the govt. lands should be removed after evacuating all persons illegally occupying the premises and the building in question. The remaining structure should be used by the Society only for running educational institutions as per the existing objects of the Society and after obtaining the necessary permissions and building clearances.

5. Alternatively, TTD may be requested to take over the building and use it for its purposes without any compensation for the building because it is an illegal structure and if at all, considering the payment of the cost price of the land purchased by the applicant after ascertaining that the source of money is legal 

Alternatively, Padmavathi Mahila University may be requested to take over the building after the government resumes the same for running an educational institution in the area in accordance with their mandate.

6. The illegal structures like pillars behind the rear compound wall of the building in question on the river side have to be removed / demolished. 
V. Conclusion:

A country which faces several security threats both internally and externally cannot be over cautious in these matters. Alarm bells are ringing all around. The attack on Aksharadham, the Parliament and in particular the recent incident in Puttur on 05.10.2013 and sleeper cells of terrorists everywhere and several other incidents in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere remind us of the problems abounding. The Committee sincerely hopes that the Government and other concerned authorities would act promptly and decisively in this matter.

Justice S. Parvatha Rao
Former High Court Judge
T.S. Rao
I.P.S. Retd. 
Andhra Pradesh Former DGP, AP.
Dr. C. Uma Maheswara Rao
I.A.S. Retd.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What the Islamic Invaders Did to India

  by Rizwan Salim

 On the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition (December 6, 1992), it is important for Hindus (and Muslims) to understand the importance of the event in the context of Hindustan's history, past and recent, present and the future.
Savages at a very low level of civilisation and no culture worth the name, from Arabia and west Asia, began entering India from the early century onwards. Islamic invaders demolished countless Hindu temples, shattered uncountable sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces and forts of Hindu kings, killed vast numbers of Hindu men and carried off Hindu women.  This story, the educated-and a lot of even the illiterate Indians-know very well. History books tell it in remarkable detail. But many Indians do not seem to recognise that the alien Muslim marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth's most mentally advanced civilisation, the most richly imaginative culture, and the most vigorously creative society.

It is clear that India at the time when Muslim invaders turned towards it (8 to 11th century) was the earth's richest region for its wealth in precious and semi-precious stones, gold and silver, religion and culture, and its fine arts and letters. Tenth century Hindustan was also too far advanced than its contemporaries in the East and the West for its achievements in the realms of speculative philosophy and scientific theorising, mathematics and knowledge of nature's workings. Hindus of the early medieval period were unquestionably superior in more things than the Chinese, the Persians (including the Sassanians), the Romans and the Byzantines of the immediate proceeding centuries. The followers of Siva and Vishnu on this subcontinent had created for themselves a society more mentally evolved-joyous and prosperous too-than had been realised by the Jews, Christians, and Muslim monotheists of the time. Medieval India, until the Islamic invaders destroyed it, was history's most richly imaginative culture and one of the five most advanced civilisations of all times.

Look at the Hindu art that Muslim iconoclasts severely damaged or destroyed. Ancient Hindu sculpture is vigorous and sensual in the highest degree-more fascinating than human figural art created anywhere else on earth. (Only statues created by classical Greek artists are in the same class as Hindu temple sculpture). Ancient Hindu temple architecture is the most awe-inspiring, ornate and spell-binding architectural style found anywhere in the world. (The Gothic art of cathedrals in France is the only other      religious architecture that is comparable with the intricate architecture of Hindu temples). No artist of any historical civilisation have ever revealed the same genius as ancient Hindustan's artists and artisans. 

Their minds filled with venom against the idol-worshippers of Hindustan, the Muslims destroyed a large number of ancient Hindu temples. This is a historical fact, mentioned by Muslim chroniclers and others of the time. A number of temples were merely damaged and remained standing. But a large number-not hundreds but many thousands-of the ancient temples were broken into shreds of cracked stone. In the ancient cities of Varanasi and Mathura, Ujjain and Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi and Dwarka, not one temple survives whole and intact from the ancient times.

The wrecking of Hindu temples went on from the early years of the 8th century to well past 1700 AD a period of almost 1000 years. Every Muslim ruler in Delhi (or Governor of Provinces) spent most of his time warring against Hindu kings in the north and the south, the east and the west, and almost every Muslim Sultan and his army commanders indulged in large scale destructions of Hindu temples and idols. They also slaughtered a lot of Hindus. It is easy to conclude that virtually every Hindu temple built in the ancient times is a perfect work of art. The evidence of the ferocity with which the Muslim invaders must have struck at the sculptures of gods and goddesses, demons and apsaras, kings and queens, dancers and musicians is frightful. At so many ancient temples of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, for example, shattered portions of stone images still lie scattered in the temple courtyards. Considering the fury used on the idols and sculptures, the stone-breaking axe must have been applied to thousands upon thousands of images of hypnotic beauty.

Giving proof of the resentment that men belonging to an inferior civilisation feel upon encountering a superior civilisation of individuals with a more refined culture, Islamic invaders from Arabia and western Asia broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan. So morally degenerate were the Muslim Sultans that, rather than attract Hindu "infidels" to Islam through force of personal example and exhortation, they  just built a number of mosques at the sites of torn down temples-and foolishly pretended they had triumphed over the minds and culture of the Hindus. I have seen stones and columns of Hindu temples incorportated into the architecture of several mosques, including the Jama Masjid and Ahmed Shah Masjid in Ahmedabad; the mosque in the Uparkot fort of Junagadh (Gujarat) and in Vidisha (near Bhopal); the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra right next to the famous dargah in Ajmer-and the currently controversial Bhojshala "mosque" in Dhar (near Indore). Hindu culture was at its imaginative best and vigorously creative when the severely-allergic-to-images Muslims entered Hindustan. Islamic invaders did not just destroy countless temples and constructions but also suppressed cultural and religious practices; damaged the pristine vigour of Hindu religion, prevented the intensification of Hindu culture, debilitating it permanently, stopped the development of Hindu arts ended the creative impulse in all realms of thought and action, damaged the people's cultural pride, disrupted the transmission of values and wisdom, cultural practices and tradition from one generation to the next; destroyed the proper historical evolution of Hindu kingdoms and society, affected severely the acquisition of knowledge, research and reflection and violated the moral basis of Hindu society. The Hindus suffered immense psychic damage. The Muslims also plundered the wealth of the Hindu kingdoms, impoverished the Hindu populace, and destroyed the prosperity of Hindustan.

Gaze in wonder at the Kailas Mandir in the Ellora caves and remember that it is carved out of a solid stone hill, an effort that (inscriptions say) took nearly 200 years. This is art as devotion. The temple built by the Rashtrakuta kings (who also built the colossal sculpture in the Elenhanta caves off Mumbai harbour) gives proof of the ancient Hindus' religious fervor.

But the Kailas temple also indicated a will power, a creative imagination, and an intellect eager to take on the greatest of artistic challenges.

The descendants of those who built the magnificent temples of Bhojpur and Thanjavur, Konark and Kailas, invented mathematics and brain surgery, created mindbody disciplines (yoga) of astonishing power, and built mighty empires would almost certainly have attained technological superiority over Europe.

It is not just for "political reasons" that Hindus want to build grand temples at the sites of the (wrecked) Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, and the Mathura idgah. The efforts of religion-intoxicated and politically active Hindus to rebuild the Ram Mandir, the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, and the Krishna Mandir are just three episodes m a one-thousand year long Hindu struggle to reclaim their culture and religion from alien invaders.

The demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992 was just one episode in the millennial struggle of the Hindus to repossess their religion-centered culture and nation. Meanwhile, hundreds of ancient Hindu temples forsaken all over Hindustan await the reawakening of Hindu cultural pride to be repaired or rebuilt and restored to their original, ancient glory.

This article was published in Hindustan Times on December 28, 1997


Rizwan Salim is a reviewer of New York Tribune, Capitol Hill reporter, assistant editor of American Sentinel.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Congress Launches Jihad to Loot Hindu Temples

One of the distinctive features of the protracted Muslim rule in medieval India was the manner in which it impoverished Hindus spiritually, morally, culturally, and economically. This impoverishment wasn’t an accident. It was by design, and it was pretty much faithful to the tenets of Islamic statecraft and polity, which mandated zimmi(or dhimmi)status to non-Muslims living under Islamic rule. The zimmi status among other things meant that Hindus had absolutely no rights: they couldn’t practise their faith openly, couldn’t build or renovate temples, had to pay all sorts of extortionate taxes, had no legal redress even if they were wronged, and their women were fair game for a sufficiently powerful Muslim man.

Something similar is happening today in an ostensibly Hindu majority India, which professes a curious brand of secularism, which is practiced at the expense of Hindus.

Hindu-Baiting Legislations

Almost every major legislation in independent India has resulted in a successive weakening of the Hindu society. Reservations while noble when envisaged first were eventually used to foment fissures between castes which in turn weakened Hindu society. The Hindu Marriage Act similarly served to break up Hindu families. The so-called land reforms similarly ended up impoverishing Hindus apart from promoting a culture of sloth. The Hindu Temples Act greatly diminished one of the signal glories of Hinduism—the temple culture.

Despite all this, it is a measure of the resilience of what I call the Hindu spirit that Hindus are still functioning as a nearly cohesive society bound by millennia of cultural unity. Sadly, this cohesion and this cultural unity continues to face the most brutal and relentless attack not by any Muslim or colonial invader but at the hands of Hindus themselves. More specifically, the Congress party which has ruled India for the longest duration since 1947.

The latest attack emanates once again, from the Congress party in the form of a move to take over the gold held by major temples in India—from Tirupati to Shirdi to Siddhivinayak to Padmanabhaswamy. The mind set and the politics at work behind this sinister cabal comes straight from the horse’s mouth, from a gentleman named Jamal Mecklai, an advisor to the RBI:

“The finance minister and RBI governor should jointly — and immediately — approach the trustees of TirumalaTirupatiDevasthanams (TTD),” said Jamal Mecklai, chief executive of Mecklai Financial. “Three of these (trustees) are state government appointees, and given the current political dispensation this is a distinct advantage.(Emphasis added)

This is as direct an admission as it can get. Translated in plain speak, it means this: the Congress party has a record of shafting Hindus, their religious institutions and beliefs and therefore I urge it to shaft them one more round because it doesn’t really make a difference.

Jamal Mecklai’s statement only underscores the urgency of the need to liberate Hindu temples from the stranglehold of state control. It is one thing that most state-controlled Hindu temples are in appalling shape. Indeed,both individuals and organizations have been tirelessly campaigning for temple liberation for decades. Now their worst fears have horribly come true—that the state can and will loot or otherwise tread roughshod on Hindu temples. One wonders why Jamal—who is a Muslim—doesn’t recommend the state to approach mosques and churches for the purpose. After all, the Church is one of the biggest landowners in India, and Waqf boards own enormous expanses of land.

Yet others have argued that all idle gold is useless and that “true wealth is made every day by men getting up out of bed and going to work. By school children doing their lessons, improving their minds.” And based on this reasoning, recommended the PadmanabhaSwamy temple trustees to “use their vaults as a reserve to back a new, well-managed currency.” This sounds like a perfectly sensible argument except that it misses two crucial points: one, it lacks both the historical and cultural sense of what temple gold/wealth actually implies, and two, ignores the venality of the Congress party and the governments it has led so far.

There’s certainly no dearth of such arguments and all of them only take a limited if not a one-sided view of the issue.

Hindu Temple Management

Historically, temples used to be built by kings or communities or guilds or individuals. Temples that were built by kings were managed directly by the king. In case of pre-existing temples, the king would allow the management to run as before and in some cases, would make land grants and donations. Almost every temple of known and unknown antiquity has elaborate inscriptions that describe how the management of the temple was structured.

Temples that were built by private people were managed by a group of people—akin to a board of trustees in today’s parlance—known as sthanikas. These sthanikas were typically locals (hence the name sthanikas, meaning people from a sthana or locality) and were drawn from all the four varnas. Decisions on major and minor matters were taken collectively.

Temple management was further subdivided into two vargasor classes:
  • The Archakavarga—the body of priests who performed pujas and other rituals.
  • The Paricharikavarga—the staff who were in charge of cleaning the temple, supplying essential commodities, maintaining the temple, and such other tasks.
Both these classes were accountable to the sthanikasand stood the risk of punishment for any wrongdoing. While the Archakavarga received a salary and some emoluments in kind, the paricharikavargawas provided with arable land, clothes, food grain, a part of the collection of temple funds, and an annual sum of cash (like a bonus).

In fact, a temple was not just a place of worship but was a force that sustained an intricate economic system. Every temple had—apart from its daily puja—specific pujas unique to it. Every such puja mandated the use of prescribed amounts dravya or material—for example, specific quantities of camphor, incense, flowers, milk, sugar, jaggery, spices, prasadam (offering), artwork like rangoli, and so on.The same applied to more elaborate rituals like havans and yagnas. This system directly helped sustain the livelihood of hundreds of people engaged in various occupations, businesses, and skills.

We can also discern this temple economy in two other ways:
  • graamashritaaalaya: This literally means “a temple which is sustained by the village/town.”In this case, the entire village or town contributed to the protection, maintenance and preservation of the temple.

  • aalyaashritagrama: This means “a village/town which is sustained by the temple.” Classic examples of this include most temple towns in South India, where the entire village/town is sustained by the temple.
Wealth Management of Hindu Temples

The wealth of Hindu temples was divided into sthirastiand devasva. Sthirasti means all the lands and physical structures like temple buildings, wedding halls, tanks and so on that belong to the temple.

Devasva literally means that which “belongs to God.” And it is this which concerns us in this context. Devasva includes things like jewellery, gold, diamonds, and other precious metals which are offered to the God of a particular temple.This forms part of what I term the dharma of daana (charity or offering) about which a wealth of treatises exists.All those millions of Hindus who make such offerings to temples even today unconsciously follow this dharma. And once this offering is made, nobody has the right to touch it much less alter or sell it for whatever reason—nobody, not even the temple to which the offering has been made can touch it. At best these temples are merely custodians of the offering.

Perhaps the best illustration of this principle can be had in the very temple whose gold the venal Congress Government is now eyeing—Tirupati. The Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala continues to abide by a timeless tradition, which says that once any offering goes into its hundi, it belongs to the Lord and cannot be reclaimed by the donor himself. There is in Tirumala, another deity named “KoluvuSrinivasa,”regarded as the presiding officer of the entire temple and all affairs associated with it.

At the close of every night, the temple priests and staff give an account of the offerings they have collected that day and close the accounts for the day in his presence. More importantly, this ritual has remained intact till date, even after the lapse of several centuries.Indeed, the same or similar ritual applies in varying degrees for example, to Kashi where Kala Bhairava (Shiva) is known as the Kotwal of the city. Indeed, the word “kotwal” is a corruption of the Sanskrit Kshetrapala, meaning the policeman of the city. I leave it to your imagination to discern what such kinds of rituals symbolize.

The Real Theft of the Congress Government

The role of Hindu temples as mere custodians of the gold and jewelry made as offerings has deeper roots. As custodians, they do not have the right to alter or sell this because it does not belong to them. In another sense, temples also act as the trustees of the devotion of the people who make these offerings to God.The offering is merely an outward symbol. The devotion is real. And it is of this that temples are the trustees.

And so, the planned temple heist emanating from the rotten core of the depraved Congress Government is actually the theft of the devotion and trust of nearly a billion Hindus. Temples like Tirumala remain the custodians of offerings dating back to hundreds of years. Almost every major and minor king has made offerings to such shrines—an act indicating that his wealth and kingdom are subordinate at the altar of pure devotion.Thus, there is something deeply troubling and infinitely evil about a mind-set that wants to grab the money of such people, of the devout that are long dead. This then is the real theft planned by the Congress Government.

Arresting the fall of the Rupee is merely a pretext that fools none. The actual reason for the fall of the Rupee is the nine-year-long, merciless mauling of the economy. Gargantuan scam upon scam, zero governance, flight of capital, failure to tackle inflation, zero job creation, inaction even after repeated downgrading of India’s economy by rating agencies…these are the real reasons why the Rupee has fallen.

The Congress Government’s lust for Hindu temple gold also has other sinister implications. It aims to kill two birds with one stone: grabbing temple wealth will automatically stop Hindus from donating to temples, which in turn will eventually lead to the destruction of the temple culture. And by implication, this destruction will also lead to the death of one of the defining hallmarks of Hindu culture and society.

Besides, the Congress party has always been both the originator and the loudest drumbeater of secularism. And so the question remains: who or what gives the moral right to a secular Government to interfere in the affairs of a religious institution? And if it is somehow endowed with this moral right, why doesn’t it extend its interference to other religions?

Two Warnings

In the end, two things should serve as a warning to the Congress Government that has embarked on this dangerous adventure.

The first is history. Sri Harsha who ruled Kashmir in the 11th Century CE was infamous for looting temple wealth. The 7th Taranga of Kalhana’sRajatarangini describes how the people of Kashmir reached the end of their tolerance with Harsha and beat him to death. And Harsha ruled for 22 years.
The second concerns a warning in verse concerning charity.


He who usurps or snatches the charity (grant, gift, donation, land) whether that charity was made by himself or by others, will suffer for 60000 years as a worm in the gutter.

This verse was compulsorily inscribed on every daanashasana (inscription found on land/temple grants), and can still be found on the walls or stone inscriptions of old Hindu temples and similar structures of antiquity.

I shall leave you with a poignant conversation in SL Bhyrappa’s classic, Tanthu. One of the characters speaking to the protagonist about Indira Gandhi’s wretched Land Ceiling Act, says: “for as long as I can remember, none of the kings or chieftains or even the British who ruled us took away the land which was given as a grant to us by others. Our own people have forcibly snatched the land given to us by others.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Series of Rapes Behind Muzaffarnagar Riots?: INDIA WIRES analysis

 An Analysis by INDIAWIRES
Is a series of rape incidents and support of politicians to the accused a reason behind communal riots happening in Muzaffarnagar? If you go through recent incidents happened in the town, such a question definitely arises. Before concluding that an eve-teasing or a youtube video caused the violence, we need to go back to these incidents happened in last one year.

Here is a list of such incidents reported.
  • Dec 21 2012: Muzaffarnagar panchayat offers rape victim Rs 1.5 lakh to keep quiet (Source)
  • Dec 24  2012: Minor girl gang-raped by three youths in Muzaffarnagar (Source)
  • Dec 29, 2012: Girl, school teacher sexually assaulted (Source)
  • Dec 30, 2012: Two women injured in acid attack in Muzaffarnagar (Source)
  • Feb 18, 2013: Woman gang-raped by four men, filmed in Muzaffarnagar (Source)
  • Apr 3, 2013 Acid attack on three teachers, student in Muzaffarnagar in UP (Source)
  • June 03, 2013: Minor girl raped Muzaffarnagar (Source)
  • July 8, 2013: Man shot dead for demanding arrest of gangrape accused  (Source)
  • July 29 2013: Woman forcibly married and gang-raped as ‘honour’ punishment after her brother eloped with village girl  (Source)
  • Aug 24, 2013: Class IX student raped by youth in Muzaffarnagar (Source) 
  • Aug 23 2012: Schoolgirl gangraped by 5 youths in Muzaffarnagar (Source) 
  • Aug 30, 2013: Muslim cleric arrested for abducting 11-year-old girl (Source) 
  • August 27, 2013: In Kawal village, an eve-teasing incident led to clash, burning bikes and the murders of three youths
  • Aug 28, 2013: A mob returning from the cremation ground indulges in arson.
  • Aug 29, 2013: Stoning between both sides. Women devotees molested near a place of worship.
  • Aug 30, 2013: Huge mob assembles at a mosque in Shaheed Chowk after Friday prayers.
  • Aug 31, 2013: Nearly 40,000 people assemble at Nangla Mandoud  Panchayat. Mob attacks a family going in a car on Khatima road, sets fire to their car.
  • Sept 1, 2013: Police files FIRs against leaders who had spoken at meetings in Shahid Chowk and Nangla Mandoud. Affected family in Malikpura threatens self-immolation.
  • Sept 2, 2013: Walls of places of atemple broken in Sanjhak and Titavi. BJP calls Muzaffarnagar bandh.
  • Sept 3, 2013: Case filed for circulating fake video of Kawal incident. Violence in Shamli town.
  • Sept 4, 2013: Sporadic violence in Muzaffarnagar.
  • Sept 5, 2013: Mahabandh call given across Muzaffarnagar district. The Khap panchayat then announced to organize a ‘Bahu Beti Samaan Bachaoi Mahapanchyat‘ on September 7, at Nagla Mandaur
  • Sept 7, 2013:  The panchayat was organized by the Jat community at Nagla Mandaur, 20 km from Muzaffarnagar city, where over 1.2 lakh people participated. People going to panchayat attacked.
  • Firing  in Muzaffarnagar town as stoning, arson go unabated. Army called in and town put under indefinite curfew.  21 killed, more than a score injured in violence.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anatomy of Muzaffarnagar communal riots

 By Shashi Shekhar

The Muzaffarnagar Riots have in a macabre way shattered every known “social science theory” on the “anatomy of communal riots”. In the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat Riots and subsequent elections we have had this farcical spectacle of social scientists from Ashis Nandy to Ashutosh Varshney peddling their own prejudices and biases as sound theses to explain away the unfortunate violence of 2002. If Ashis Nandy had described Gujarat as “structurally polarized” while spewing venom at the middle mlass, Ashutosh Varshney went on to advance deep theory on how to understand the riots by reducing it to an urban only phenomenon rooted in politics of Hindu identity consciousness.

The problem with the Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh is that every one of these ‘social science theory’ will have to now be thrown out of the window as a hapless administration struggles to control riots across villages even as it stares at a refugee situation with families fleeing conflict ridden villages in bullock carts.
It would be facile to reduce the conflict in Muzaffarnagar to one between two religious communities or to locate it within a Mahapanchayat of a single caste. A cursory look at the news emanating from the Muzaffarnagar region through much of August paints a very disturbing picture of violent incidents on the rise.
On August 14 multiple media outlets reported an incident of gangrape of a 30-year-old woman at gunpoint allegedly by policemen in a village of Shamli district. A couple of days later on August 16 came news of the eve teasing incident in another village resulting in the death of a Dalit youth bringing out the casteist faultlines. The socially conservative atmosphere in this part of Uttar Pradesh is best appreciated from this news story dated August 16 on how a girls wrestling team was prohibited from competitive participation by a local panchayat. On August 17 came news of yet another clash that saw a person killed in a different village, this time though the clash was between two groups from the same Muslim community. On August 21 came news of a large scale clash from Soram village with 14 arrests and 150 booked. On August 24 we read the horrific news of yet another gangrape in Shamli district, this time a Class IX student. The same day,  August 24 also saw a clash in Miranpur over objectionable content posted on Facebook with a clear communal angle to it. On August 30 we see the spiral of violence between youth of two communities in Kawal Nagar village.

It is important to note that well before the current wave of insidious theorising started on the root cause of the spiral of violence, on August 31 one already saw arrests of several people including a former of Minister of Uttar Pradesh belonging to the Ajit Singh-led RLD. Random communal incidents such as this one on a train about an attack on students and this one on the shooting of a Dalit shows the general state of lawlessness in the region.

It is also important to note that contrary to much of the shallow and insidious theorising by the media elite on the causes of the spiral of violence, on September 1 we witnessed a BSP MP and 2 BSP MLAs, all 3 Muslims, being booked for making provocative speeches over the violence in Kawal Village, following the arrest of the RLD leader.

It is not until September 5 that one sees the first references to the alleged fake video finding its way into the spiral of violence by when much political water had already flown on account of multiple political parties. Meanwhile on September 4 a different incident this time over garbage disposal flared up into a clash with both religious and casteist dimensions to it, leaving one person dead.

While Muzaffarnagar made national news on September 7 after the unfortunate deaths of a reporter of the Hindi news channel IBN7 and a photo-journalist the reality is the region was already on the precipice of a spiral of violence well before that caste Mahapanchayat and the attacks on it.

Before getting into shallow root cause theories on what underlies Muzaffarnagar’s spiral of violence it would be in order to pay attention to these two news reports from 2012. In November of 2012, Iftikhar Gilani writing in the DNA had chronicled how Uttar Pradesh was in the grip of communal violence ever since the new Samajwadi Party Government led by Akhilesh Yadav had been voted in. A couple of months earlier writing in the Times of India Subodh Ghildiyal reported on how repeated incidents of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh went unchallenged politically.

Perhaps underlying this spiralling violence is an unstated power struggle within the extended political ecosystem of the Samajwadi Party that remains unreconciled to the coronation of the relatively young and inexperienced Akhilesh Yadav. Perhaps even deeper reasons are to be found in the demographic transformation of Uttar Pradesh with a relatively younger and restive population. Either way, the Muzaffarnagar riots expose how shallow much of the commentary and analysis of riots has been.

With villages and communities torn apart over relatively trivial incidents that have been blown out of proportion by political players who can hardly be labelled the ‘usual suspects’ by an Ashis Nandy or an Ashutosh Varshney, it perhaps is time for a whole new theory on the anatomy of a communal riot.