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Hindu Human Rights - Bharatvarsh - 12-03-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->British MPs demand Malaysian govt scrap plans to demolish Hindu temples

Press Trust Of India
London, December 02, 2007
First Published: 23:34 IST(2/12/2007)
Last Updated: 23:58 IST(2/12/2007)

Cutting across party lines, British MPs have urged the government to take up the plight of Hindus in Malaysia with the Malaysian government and prevail upon Kuala Lumpur not to demolish temples.

In an Early Day Motion moved by Stephen Pound, Chairman of the Labour Friends of India and supported by 19 other MPs, including NRI Labour party leader Keith Vaz, they urged the British government to take up the matter with the Malaysian government in the strongest possible manner.

"This house notes with grave concern the stated intention of the government of Malaysia to demolish 79 Hindu temples," the one-paragraph Motion said.

The MPs called upon the government to make the "strongest possible representations to the Malaysian Government both to cease the programme of demolition and to allow the legitimate voice of protest to be heard without physical interference".

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/St...dus+in+Malaysia<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Even the former colonials seem to care more than our puppet gov't.


Hindu Human Rights - Bharatvarsh - 12-03-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Malaysian Indians look at LTTE
Venkatesan Vembu
Thursday, November 29, 2007  05:38 IST

HONG KONG: Angry ethnic Indians who marched in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to protest race-based discrimination in  Malaysia carried portraits of Mahatma Gandhi  as a symbol of their non-violent struggle.

“But if their genuine grievances continue to be ignored, (Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers leader) Velupillai Prabakaran could soon replace Gandhi as their inspiration,” warns P. Ramasamy, former professor of history at University Kebangsaan Malaysia.

In an interview to DNA from Singapore, Ramasamy, who was appointed by the LTTE to its Constitutional Affairs Committee in 2003, connected the dots that link the Tamil diaspora in Malaysia (which accounts for most of the  Indian population there) to the Tamil Eelam movement in Sri Lanka.

The chilling picture that emerges is one that holds serious foreign policy implications for India, quite similar to what it faced in Sri Lanka in the early 1980s.

“There is a very real risk of radical groups taking over the movement if the Malay government persists with its racially discriminatory policies,” says Ramasamy, whose services at the University were terminated  for criticiing government’s policies.

“Today, the ethnic Indian movement may be a loose formulation, and their ideas may not seem well-formulated. But if there’s a police crackdown, there will be retaliation.” The government’s stated intention of invoking the Internal Security Act against demonstrators could trigger such a confrontation.

Malaysian journalist Baradan Kuppusamy, who has been an up-close observer of events concerning the Indian community, too senses an increasing inclination to resort to militancy as a last resort.

“They have been knocking their heads on the wall for so long, that some form of radicalisation has already happened.” Militant views are not yet being publicly articulated, “but they are frequently voiced in private gatherings,” he notes.

It is in this context that the Tamil diaspora’s solidarity with the LTTE assumes significance. Ramasamy notes that Tamils in Malaysia are active contributors to the Tamil Eelam cause.

“Indians in Malaysia are very sympathetic to Prabakaran, and Tamil newspapers valorise Prabakaran,” adds Kuppusamy.

So is there a real risk of an LTTE-like movement getting underway in Malaysia? Says Kuppusamy: “From my study of the ethnic Indian movements, I feel that the current leadership – headed by firebrand lawyer Uthayakumar – is among the most radical, willing to take big risks, and court arrest.”

But from there to an open call to arms is a long way off, and Kuppusamy believes this leadership is incapable of making that leap. “But there could be a splinter group in the years ahead, which could be far more radical, so, yes, the possibility does exist,” he says.

For the Indian foreign policy establishment, which is still grappling with the Sri Lanka-sized problem, the prospect of Malaysia going down the same road can only be a nightmarish proposition.

http://newshopper.sulekha.com/news/2007/11...ook-at-ltte.htm<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I hope they do and the Malay thugs get it.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Malay Tamils may be driven to LTTE

By R. Bhagwan Singh
Saturday December 1, 01:22 AM

Chennai, Nov. 30: The Tamils of Malaysia, complaining of prolonged oppression by the government, may turn to the LTTE for support and take up arms unless international pressure, particularly from India, compels the Badawi regime to change its attitude, some moderates among them have said, pointing out that several Malaysian Tamils support the LTTE and contribute to the Tigers' war machine in Sri Lanka.

In the massive rally of the Malaysian Indians in Kuala Lumpur on November 25, several protesters were seen carrying portraits of Mahatma Gandhi to show their faith in non-violence. One of the leaders of that rally called by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), P. Waytha Moorthy, had declared that Gandhi was his role model and even went on satyagraha when arrested. The police used force to disperse the protesters, which drew all-round condemnation, including from Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi, who wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking India's intervention.

In an appeal to the Queen of England and the heads of the Commonwealth, Hindraf on November 25 said it had written "thousands of letters" to the Malaysian authorities pleading for equal opportunities for people of Indian origin, 95 per cent of them Tamils, but there was no response. "Our worst fears are we do not want these Tamils to be forced into terrorism like what is happening in Sri Lanka," said the Hindraff letter.

Former professor of University Kebangsaan Malaysia, P. Ramasamy, has also warned that the Malaysian Indians may turn to the LTTE if their grievances were not addressed. If their oppression and marginalisation continued, Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran could soon replace Gandhi as their inspiration, said the university teacher, sacked for criticising the government.

"Over 100,000 people gathered for that Sunday rally to give our petition to the British high commission despite the government blocking all entries to Kuala Lumpur and the police unleashing unprecedented repression to defeat our march. Hundreds of these protesters carried Gandhi portraits, which they bought from the shops even without being told to. It was a spontaneous gesture to demonstrate we are peaceful," recalled Mr Waytha Moorthy, speaking to this newspaper at his hotel in Chennai. He fled Malaysia a couple of days ago as the police allegedly prepared to arrest him under the draconian Internal Security Act, which meant jail without trial and bail.

Asked to comment on Mr Ramasamy's forecast that the Malaysian Tamils could turn to Prabhakaran for inspiration, Mr Moorthy said: "I cannot say what will happen. Eventually, such a development may take place. But we are for peaceful resolution of our problem now."

Expressing happiness at the strong expression of solidarity from parliamentarians and other political leaders in India, "particularly your chief minister Karunanidhi", the Hindraff leader said, "We wish that the Indian Prime Minister writes to his Malaysian counterpart seeking justice for us. India must take our issue to international forums, including the United Nations."

Tracing the misery of his people, Mr Moorthy said their ancestors were brought as cheap labour to work on Malaysian plantations by the British rulers and exploited for over 150 years. When Malaysia got its freedom about 50 years ago, Queen Elizabeth II appointed a commission headed by Lord William Reid, a distinguished lord of appeal, and comprising Constitution experts from fellow Commonwealth countries to draft a Constitution for the country. Article 153 of the Reid Constitution provided special privileges in education, jobs, businesses, and even government contracts, for the Malay Muslims, who were poor and backward at that time. The first two Prime Ministers had even promised that those privileges would be in vogue for a mere 15 years, but to this day "this form of cruel discrimination, this apartheid of sorts, continues," said Mr Moorthy, who is a barrister. After scrutinising the Reid records in the Public Records Office in London this June (the papers are still classified secret in Malaysia), the Hindraff chief found out that even at that time people of Indian origin had "pleaded with the British not to leave them unprotected in the hands of the Malay Muslims".

Mr Moorthy recalled that the Malaysian Indians at that time believed the promise made by the rulers that they would get their citizenship, and after that there would be no scope for discrimination as another constitutional provision guaranteed equality for all. "This was never implemented and Art. 153 swallowed us all," he said. Accusing the British government of bringing the Indians as cheap labour - "My grandfather was brought when he was barely seven years old" - and then dumping them at the mercy of the "apartheid" Malay rulers, he filed a lawsuit in London on August 30, 2007 seeking $4 trillion as compensation at the rate of $1 million for each of them. He also petitioned the Queen to appoint her counsel to defend his case in the courts. When he returned to Malaysia he became a hero for the Malaysian Indians while the government frowned.

He recalled that he had, along with four other lawyers, including his brother Uthayakumar, formed the Hindraff in 2005 "to protect the rights of the Hindus and minorities" as the government had "launched a campaign to Islamise the country entirely by demolishing Hindu temples". He alleged that over 10,000 temples were broken down, mostly on the grounds that they were built without approval on state land. "These temples were built inside jungles cleared for plantations by the Indians some 150 years ago and there were no offices sanctioning permits at that time," he argued.

Mr Moorthy said he hoped to meet "as many Indian leaders as possible" to plead the cause of the Malaysian Indians before leaving for the UK, Geneva and New York "to campaign for our basic human rights". Indians form eight per cent of Malaysia's population of 27 million. Over 75 per cent of the Malaysian Indians are Hindus.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/071130/251/6nx7b.html<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-03-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Dec 2 2007, 06:37 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Dec 2 2007, 06:37 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Even the former colonials seem to care more than our puppet gov't.
[right][snapback]75783[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Our masters in Delhi are bit too busy passing bills to eject government servants who don't toe their line and can't be bothered with plight of our community.

When compared to colonial masters, the line from movie 'Patriot' comes to mind where Gibson says something like <i>we have replaced one tyrant 5000 miles away with 5000 tyrants one mile away</i>.


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-04-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Why do they hate us?
Ashok Malik

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnist1.asp...xt&writer=ashok

It may have hit international headlines only now but the ethnic tensions in Malaysia have been simmering for some years. At the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Malaysia has been on the watch-list for about a half-decade. A combustible mix of Kuala Lumpur's internal and external policies has been waiting to explode.

It is important to understand how Indians got to be in Malaysia in the first place. While historical links, Chola-era trade, and a steady cargo of culture and commodities, Hindu influence and the Sanskrit language have all been around, the modern migration of, largely, Tamil peasants came about in the 19th century. The British took them to East Asia as indentured labour.

To be fair, the Tamils were not the only ones shipped to the Straits of Malacca by the colonial government. In his book Forging the Raj (Oxford, 2005), the Berkeley historian Thomas R Metcalf writes an engrossing essay titled "Sikh Recruitment for Colonial Military and Police Forces" and discusses the causes and effects of Sikh soldiers and policemen doing duty in the late 19th century Malay peninsula.

It was a culture shock. "The Indians were there in large measure simply to overawe and intimidate the local population, in part by their sheer physical size," Metcalf writes. He quotes a contemporary observer as remarking that the sultan of Pahang "strongly objects to the importation of Sikhs into Pahang saying that they are rough and ignorant of Malay customs".

Eventually the Sikh military recruits came home, but the Tamil plantation workers were left without the exit option. Today, they make up eight per cent of Malaysia's population. Ethnic Chinese are another 25 per cent and the majority Malays 60 per cent.

In 1957, Malaysia became independent and embarked on an aggressive Malays-first social policy. This sought to secure the levers of economic and political power for the majority community. Problems with the ethnic minorities persisted. In 1963 Singapore joined the Malaysia federation but walked out two years later in what was seen as an assertion of ethnic Chinese identity.

In 1969, there were bloody riots between Malays and Chinese in Malaysia. The suspicion has not gone but the presence of a powerful economic giant called Singapore next door -- in the city-state, 75 per cent of all permanent residents are Chinese and 14 per cent Malays -- has meant a balance is maintained.
 
Singapore is not afraid to speak up for Malaysia's Chinese minorities; the ethnic Indians, however, have had no matching support from an external homeland.

Race to religion

Till the early 1990s, Malaysia seemed an economic miracle, one of the "Asian Tigers", cited as a model for slowcoach, socialist India. It was patronised in the 1980s by the Japanese and GDP growth rates kept social angularities firmly in check. For instance, the bumiputera (the term for Malays, derived from the Sanskrit bhoomiputra or son of the soil) system required Indian businessmen to compulsorily give away 30 per cent of their equity to a Malay partner.



By the mid-1990s, the Asian currency crisis had taken its toll. The Japanese economy too had gone into long-term slumber. Malaysia suddenly found itself without its old anchors. It sought to blame the outsider for its new-found problems -- the West, which did not understand "Asian values"; international currency market operators, who had allegedly destabilised Malaysia's ringgit; and at home, the Indian minorities.



It was convenient that the Malaysian Indians were largely Hindu. As it happened, by the late 1990s Mahatir Mohammed, Malaysia's leader for over 20 years ending 2003 -- and, ironically, a man with Indian/ Malayalee as well as Malay blood in his veins -- had discovered the political utility of Islam. "Malaysia has encountered a steady Wahabbisation and Arabisation for some years now," says a senior diplomat in Singapore.

While there have also been issues with the ethnic Chinese -- largely over economic control -- the hostility to the Indians "has acquired a religious edge", with openly provocative actions being resorted to since at least 2005 (see box).

Faith-based diplomacy

In the early 1980s, two Asian countries used Japanese collaborations to set up flagship "national" car manufacturing companies. India partnered Suzuki to set up Maruti; Malaysia used Mitsubishi's expertise to build Proton. Maruti still prospers, but Proton has floundered with the rest of the Malaysian economy and is now making losses.

In November 2007, the Economist reported that Proton had drawn up a revival blueprint. It would produce an "Islamic car" -- with add-ons like a compass pointing in the direction of Mecca and storage space for a prayer mat -- for sale in Iran and Turkey, and possibly Indonesia and Pakistan.

The idea of an "Islamic car" may sound bizarre but it is not out of place in Kuala Lumpur's current political climate. Since he became Prime Minister in 2003, the Government of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has resorted to similarly egregious Islamic symbolism in its external relations.

"Malaysia is seeking relevance on the global map," explains a senior Indian Foreign Service official, "and it has decided it must lead both the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement. In fact, it has been instrumental in making the OIC the key driving force within NAM."

In short, Badawi's Malaysia is positioning itself against the United States and gravitating towards China. This has also meant that Malays will not target ethnic Chinese; they don't want to embarrass big brother in Beijing.

Odd man out

There are three reasons why, analysts point out, Malaysia has come to look upon India and Indians as an inconvenience. For a start, India is the principle senior member opposing Badawi's and the OIC's attempt to turn NAM into a rabble-rousing collective that is not just anti-American but actively pro-Islamist.

Second, India and China are fighting a proxy war in ASEAN through, respectively, Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore wants India's integration with East Asia, citing Hindu/Buddhist cultural affinities and economic and strategic commonalities. Malaysia is being used by China to block India.

Third, while Pakistan is not geographically close to ASEAN or East Asia, it has come to exercise great influence on Malaysia's India view. Shaukat Aziz, former prime minister of Pakistan, has played a pivotal role. "When Aziz was with Citibank in Malaysia," recalls a PMO official in Delhi, "he became a very close personal friend of Badawi. This served them when they came to lead their countries."

In November, for instance, just days before India and ASEAN were to negotiate their Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Malaysia announced it had signed a separate FTA with Pakistan. "This would have little economic impact on India," said a Government official, "but it gave out a negative message. Malaysia was clearly not interested in the India-ASEAN FTA."

By oppressing its Indian minorities at home, preferring Pakistan to India, and positing a Beijing-Islamabad-Kuala Lumpur axis against a possible Singapore-New Delhi-Tokyo (not to speak of Washington) alliance in the new Great Game unfolding in East Asia, Malaysia is, therefore, sending out very strong signals.

India cannot fail to read them right.
 
The countdown

In 2005, M Moorthy, a soldier in the Malaysian Army, is killed. Mullahs seize his body and bury it under Islamic rites. Moorthy's widow is rebuffed, told Sharia courts override civil judiciary.


On October 30, 2007, a week before Diwali, the century-old Maha Mariamman temple in Padang Jawa is demolished. This is part of a series of similar demolitions, Hindus say.

On November 25, 2007, 5,000 activists of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), a body of Malaysian Indians, are brutally attacked by riot policemen near the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. They were marching towards the British High Commission to stage a symbolic protest against London's inability to guarantee constitutional liberties to ethnic Indians when it gave Malaysia independence.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-07-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Malaysian mala fides </span>
by Ashok Malik (Pioneer, Dec. 7, 2007)

Malaysia's Indians don't send home dollars, don't become CEOs of IT start-ups; they haven't even produced a VS Naipaul. Consequently, in contrast to the dissertations on the NRI community in the United States, the formerly east African Indians in Britain and the Indian diaspora's experience in the Caribbean, there is a paucity of even basic information on the ethnic Indians living off the Straits of Malacca.

The recent spurt in anti-Indian -- or anti-Hindu, as few would argue that in Malaysia the terms aren't coterminous -- has, in a sense, forced Indians to confront a rare species of Person of India Origin: One that does not adhere to the stereotype of educated, upwardly mobile and socially hip.

Malaysian Indians are predominantly uneducated; few are white collar professionals, fewer still own property. Drug addiction is a problem among the young. At the bottom of the heap, they do low-end jobs and run errands for ethnic Chinese crime syndicates.

Even the belief that all two million Indians in Malaysia are one un-segregated whole is a simplistic inaccuracy. True, some 90 per cent of the two million are Tamils, but this includes at least three strands. The majority makes up the underclass. A sprinkling of educated Tamils man Government hospitals as doctors or are in the middle rungs of the civil service.

There is a third slice. When the British imported indentured labour from Tamil Nadu, to maintain "their own system of checks and balances", they also brought in overseers from among Sri Lankan Tamils. The latter see themselves as superior to the plantation workers -- yet they all get categorised as 'Indians'.

That aside, a sprinkling of Christians, largely of Malayalee descent, also make up the Indian community. A small band of Sikhs, descended from policemen the colonial Government brought to the Malay Peninsula in the late 19th century, maintains a strict community structure anchored by the local gurdwara.

It is interesting that there is an almost total absence of Muslims in Malaysia's Indian community. From the 1980s onwards, Malaysia has rapidly turned to Wahaabi-style Islam as a marker of identity. It has sought to make Malay synonymous with Muslim, marrying ethnicity to religion in Government-sponsored social engineering.

As such, many ethnic Indian Muslims have chosen to identify themselves as Malays, either by citing inter-marriage or simply by emphasising their faith. There is even a word for these Indians turned Malays -- Mamaks.

It is piquant that Mr Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, and discovered -- perhaps invented -- its Arabist Islamic soul, is descended from Keralite migrants. Mr Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister and opponent of both Mr Mohamad and current Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, is of Tamil descent, said to be proud of his "Iyer grandfather".

At least one Malay Minister has extended family in Uttar Pradesh and secretly visits his father's grave -- the father was a Mamak who wanted to be "buried at home" -- near Moradabad.

From Chola-era cultural and trade relations down to James Brooke, the Banaras-born 19th century English adventurer who became the 'White Rajah' of Sarawak, India has never been far away from Malay popular consciousness. To this day, for Malaysia's princelings, yellow is the colour of royalty, a rajabhishek-style sprinkling of water marks every coronation.
Given this history, what happened? Malaysia is today a society in denial. Just as individual Mamaks want to forget their Indian origin, the Malay leadership, collectively, would rather see themselves as part of the global Muslim community, as ethnically linked to the Chinese in the East Asian region -- anything but derived from Hinduism and India.

The domestic and external dimensions of the situation are not unrelated. When apartheid-period South Africa treated Indians as second class citizens, it was not necessarily sending a diplomatic message to the Government of India; it was merely being obnoxious. Malaysia is different. "Whenever the Malaysians want to hit out at their ethnic Indians, they snub India," says a veteran diplomat, "this time it is vice versa."

That is why the logic that New Delhi has no role in Kuala Lumpur's "internal issues", while seemingly persuasive, is flawed. India is integral to the drama. Anecdotal and empirical evidence is disturbing and difficult to ignore.

In recent years, officials point out, there has been a significant increase in Saudi-funded mosque construction in Malaysia. "It is the easiest way of collecting money from the Saudi Ambassador," goes one cynical comment. Many of these mosques have brought in Pakistani clerics. This has had its impact on Malay perceptions of both India and ethnic Indians.

That aside, the Chinese and Malaysian Governments are the closest allies in Greater East Asia. They have argued, so far successfully, that India is racially different and has no place in the inner circle in East Asia. Kuala Lumpur has been an obstacle in the path of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. Indian foreign policy has to confront the Malaysia question at some point.
What are India's options? Malaysia merits a sophisticated response beyond either rhetoric or gunboats. First, there has to be the recognition that New Delhi has a certain responsibility when it comes to safeguarding rights of overseas Indians, particularly Hindus.

There are moral as well as practical reasons for this. Pushed to the edge, where are Malaysia's Hindus going to come? To Chennai, where some of the richer ones already own houses.

Second, the traditional ethnic Indian party is the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC). The MIC is part of the ruling alliance and its leader, Mr Sami Velu, is Minister for Works. He uses his "Indian-ness" to promote business in the mother country, win Malaysian companies infrastructure contracts. Yet, the degree of community dissension against Mr Velu and the MIC now cannot be ignored. One insider describes him "as an old-style Bihar politician who thrives on keeping his supporters poor and badly educated". Another diplomat is blunt: "Mr Velu is the Indians' Uncle Tom."

Finally, India needs to revive a proposal, first made about five years ago, when Ms Veena Sikri was High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, that it will support schools for Malaysia's Indian minority, flying in teachers from Tamil Nadu who will teach children both Tamil and English and help the ethnic Indians overcome the built-in biases of the Malaysian Government school system.

This is a system, incidentally, where the roll number on an answer sheet tells the examiner which race the candidate belongs to.

http://tinyurl.com/37nfjz
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, December 07, 2007
Last Updated: 01:14 IST(7/12/2007)

Govt shuns Malaysia Hindu rights leader

Having expressed its concern about the alleged discrimination of ethnic Indians in Malaysia officially, the government on Thursday chose not to meet P. Waytha Moorthy, head of the Hindu Rapid Action Force, even as senior BJP leaders met him.

<span style='color:red'>Waytha Moorthy, in Delhi to garner support from the government, failed to meet the Prime Minister, external affairs minister and senior foreign ministry officials but did get an audience with the BJP’s LK Advani and Jaswant Singh.</span>

{Moron Singh is sleeping well as Hindus in Malaysia are persecuted, while he had trpuble sleeping if a terrorist-suspect Dr. Haneef is arrested in Australia.  So much audacity that they even refused to meet Dr. W Murthy!!!}

He told them that around 10,000 Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia in the last 50 years, adding: “Hindus are being stripped of their dignity and self-respect” by this vindictive action. He also said there is a steady attempt to “Islamise" Malaysia’s multi-religious population and Shariat rulings are being made binding on non-Muslims”.

The BJP parliamentary party later issued a statement condemning the Malaysian government’s policy on ethnic Indians.

http://tinyurl.com/23ozv7
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY Parliamentary Wing Press Statement

New Delhi – 6 December 2007

BJP condemns persecution of Hindus and PIOs in Malaysia ; demand government action in the matter

The Bharatiya Janata Party strongly condemns the Malaysian government’s policy of subjecting the country’s Hindu community in particular, and People of Indian Origin (PIOs) in general, to discrimination, injustice and persecution.

The BJP urges the UPA government to take up this matter with the Malaysian government at the highest level and with the seriousness it deserves. The Government of India should demand an immediate reversal of this anti-Hindu and anti-PIO policy, which runs counter to the obligation of all nations in the world to protect well-established and universally recognized human rights of all human beings, especially those belonging to minority communities.

Shri P. Waytha Moorthy, Chairman of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) in Malaysia , today called on Shri L.K. Advani, Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha), Shri Jaswant Singh, Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha) and other senior leaders of the BJP, and apprised them of the plight of the “forgotten”, “marginalized” and “persecuted” Hindu community in his country. Some of the specific details given by him were as follows.

About 10,000 Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia since its independence fifty years ago. Most of these existed from the British colonial days and were as old as 150 years. “Hindus are stripped of their dignity and self-respect by this act” by the vindictive manner in which their temples have been razed to the ground.
There has been a steady attempt to “Islamise” Malaysia ’s multi-faith population (in which Muslims constitute 55%). The Shariah Court ’s rulings are being made binding on non-Muslims, especially in matters of inter-faith marriages and the religious identity of children.

Nearly 70% of the PIO population in Malaysia , which has been living in that country for over 200 years, remain manual labourers, living on daily wages. This underclass remains oppressed and suppressed, with the government making no special budgetary provision for their economic and educational advancement.

The number of Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam schools has dwindled drastically, even though the population has increased manifold. The government’s neglect of the educational needs of the Indian community is deliberate, since the authorities want to cut off the PIOs’ cultural and spiritual heritage.

Shri Waytha Moorthy, who is a leading lawyer, also shared information about the Mayasian government’s repressive crackdown of the peaceful, legitimate and democratic protests by the Hindus. He underscored the fact that the Hindus in Malaysia have always been loyal, law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Three lawyers involved in taking up the cases of HINDRAF and its supporters have been charged with sedition for speaking the truth. Thirty-one participants in the recent massive protest rally organized by HINDRAF have been falsely charged with murder under a law that denies them bail. “All this is being done to instill fear among the Hindus, so that they will not come out again to protest,” Shri Moorthy said.

The BJP believes that India has a moral obligation to take up the case of injustice and persecution of Malaysian Hindus and PIOs with the authorities in Kuala Lumpur . The UPA government cannot shirk from this responsibility either out of its commitment to anti-Hindu pseudo-secularism or under the pretext that this is an internal matter of Malaysia.

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew meets Shri L.K. Advani;
Shares concern over the condition of PIOs in Malaysia

Singapore ’s elder statesman and former Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, who now holds the position Minister Mentor, today called on Shri L.K. Advani at his residence. The two leaders had discussions on wide-ranging issues, in which the persecution of PIOs in Malaysia also figured. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew not only fully shared Shri Advaniji’s appraisal of, and concerns over, the situation, but also said, “Discrimination on religious grounds in Malaysia affects not merely the Hindus. All the non-Muslim communities in Malaysia – Buddhists, Taoists and Christians – are getting worried.”

Enclosure: Copy of HINDRAF’s memorandum to Shri L.K. Advani Read at: http://bjp.org/Press/dec_2007/dec_0607_p.pdf

Advani to take up with PM plight of Malaysian Hindus
Friday December 7 2007 00:00 IST (New Indian Express)

Anita Saluja

NEW DELHI: Leader of Opposition L K Advani along with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh would take up the issue of the plight of the Malaysian Hindus with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Advani gave this assurance when Malaysian Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) Chairman P Waytha Moorthy on Thursday called on Advani. Waytha Moorthy met Advani and Jaswant Singh and other senior leaders of the BJP and apprised them of the plight of the nearly forgotten, marginalised and persecuted Hindu community in his country. About 10,000 Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia since its independence 50 years ago. Most of these existed from British colonial days and nearly 150-yearsold. Hindus are stripped of their dignity and self-respect by this act by the vindictive manner in which their temples have been razed to the ground.
The BJP strongly condemned the Malaysian Government’s policy of subjecting the country’s Hindu community in particular and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) in general, to discrimination, injustice and persecution. The BJP urged the UPA Government to take up this matter with the Malaysian Government at the highest-level with the seriousness it deserves. The Government should demand an immediate reversal of this anti-Hindu and anti-PIO policy, which runs counter to the obligation of all nations in the world to protect well-established and universally recognised human rights of all human beings, especially those belonging to minority communities.
It was pointed out that there has been a steady attempt to Islamise Malaysia's multi-faith population (in which Muslims constitute 55 per cent). The Shariah Court ’s rulings are being made binding on non-Muslims, especially in matters of inter-faith marriages and the religious identity of children. Nearly 70 per cent of the PIO population in Malaysia, which has been living in that country for over 200 years, remain manual labourers, living on daily wages. This underclass remains oppressed and suppressed, with the government making no special budgetary provision for their economic and educational advancement.
The number of Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam schools has dwindled drastically, even though the population has increased manifold. The Government’s neglect of the educational needs of the Indian community is deliberate, since the authorities want to cut off the PIOs’ cultural and spiritual heritage.

Waytha Moorthy, who is a leading lawyer, also shared information about the Malayasian Government’s repressive crackdown of the peaceful, legitimate and democratic protests by the Hindus. He underscored the fact that the Hindus in Malaysia have always been loyal, law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Three lawyers involved in taking up the cases of HINDRAF and its supporters have been charged with sedition for speaking the truth.
Thirty-one participants in the recent massive protest rally organized by HINDRAF have been falsely charged with murder under a law that denies them bail. "All this is being done to instill fear among the Hindus, so that they will not come out again to protest," Moorthy said.

Singapore ’s elder statesman and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who now holds the position of Minister Mentor, on Thursday also called on Advani at his 30, Prithviraj Road residence here. The two leaders held discussions on wide-ranging issues, in which the persecution of PIOs in Malaysia also figured. Lee Kuan Yew not only fully shared Advaniji’s appraisal of, and concerns over, the situation, but also said, "Discrimination on religious grounds in Malaysia affects not merely the Hindus. All the non-Muslim communities in Malaysia - Buddhists, Taoists and Christians - are getting worried."
http://tinyurl.com/yq8paf<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

And a blog : http://malayindians.blogspot.com/ for tracking this issue.


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-09-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Hindraf appeals to India for help</span>
9 Dec 2007, 1658 hrs IST,PTI


KUALA LUMPUR: Having "exhausted" all legal avenues and other channels against alleged marginalisation, Hindraf, spearheading the protests by ethnic Indians in Malaysia, has appealed to New Delhi to stop the "ethnic cleansing" in the Muslim-dominated nation.

Hindraf had exhausted all legal avenues and all channels. "So we are going international. Now I want to go to mother country (Indian) to ask for help, what else can we do, where else do we go," P Uttayakumar, a founder member of the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf), said.

The lawyer-turned activist said ethnic Indians here were by and large "fear riddled, timid and scared", but the largest ever demonstration by the community last month showed that they wanted to be free from years of oppression and be heard.

"To me it is 50 years of marginalisation, suppression and oppression. It has been years of permanent colonisation of Indians in Malaysia. The floodgates just broke with the demonstration," Uttayakumar said.

Sitting behind a desk piled up with files and with the statuette of a blindfolded woman carrying scales of justice, Uttayakumar said the government was persecuting Hindraf for leading the protest. "That is why they are persecuting and prosecuting Hindraf supporters," the lawyer said as his phones continuously rang.

He defended his statement about "ethnic cleansing of Indians in Malaysia" which had sparked angry reaction from the ruling party saying the situation was worse than the one in Bosnia where members of a community were selectively killed.

"In ethnic cleansing 'a la Malaysia' it is worse because you are living and suffering," Uttayakumar said.

Uttayakumar alleged that Hindu temples were relocated near sewerage tanks and Indians were not given opportunities or had no upward mobility.

A police crackdown on at least 10,000 people during the November 25 protest against the alleged marginalisation of ethnic Indians had sparked uproar with India summoning the Malaysian envoy.

Malaysian government has vehemently rejected allegations of discrimination against the community with Minister of Works Samy Velu, himself an ethnic-Indian, saying that the unemployed members were either "lazy or choosy. He also alleged that were lured by money to join the anti-government protest.

Uttayakumar, however, denied that the large turnout at the rally could have been prompted by people's hopes of getting a million US dollars each.

"The November 25 rally caught the government by shock. I believe they would take stock but to what extent we have to wait and see," the Hindraf founder said, adding "we are asking for a change in mindset. We want to meet the prime minister."

"We will close down Hindraf if anyone can show that we promised them millions of dollars," he said.

He said that his brother Wyathamoorthy had in his speeches across the country to ethnic Indians talked about the four trillion dollar demand but not promised any money.

Uttayakumar said the 31 Indians arrested on charges of attempted murder after the protest near Batu caves "did not make any sense."

"These people were all inside the temple praying and 500 policemen were outside. How could 31 people attempt to murder one policeman," he asked.

The protesters wanted to march to the British High Commission to hand over a memorandum. The memorandum blamed the British for bringing Indians to Malaya 200 years ago as indentured labourers and exploiting them.

"The memorandum asked the British Government to give the ethnic Indians in Malaysia British citizenship or give four trillion US dollars in compensation," Uttayakumar said. This amounts to almost one million dollars per Indian in this country.

He felt India could help ethnic Indians secure seats in Medical and IT institutions there and offer scholarships to Malaysian Indians for IT training.

He felt that if India offered a dual citizenship with a repatriation clause "many lower rung Malaysian Indians may want to go back and live with dignity there."

He added that he was proud to be a Malaysian Indian.

Uthayakumar, urged India to impose a trade embargo against Malaysia, saying pressure from "our mother country" is the best hope for local Indians who complain of being marginalized in this Muslim-majority country.

India is now an economic powerhouse, and Malaysia would be sensitive to New Delhi's "pressure, query and scrutiny," he said.

Uthayakumar said there are three ways India can pressure Malaysia: impose a trade embargo on Malaysia, cite Malaysia for crimes against ethnic Indians, and give Indian citizenship to Malaysian Indians.

The statistics are disputed by many private groups. Indians in India "may not be much better off but at least you live with some dignity," Uthayakumar said.

"I love Malaysia, but Malaysia does not want me. I want to be Malaysian but ... by way of their acts and their deeds, Malaysia does not want me."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hindraf...how/2608713.cms
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-09-2007

and:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Should India care for ethnic Indians in other countries?</span>
Sudheendra Kulkarni

My first surprise discovery about Malaysia many years ago was that its national language Bahasa, a derivative of bhasha, is full of Sanskrit words. The second was a recent visit to a Hindu temple at the Batu caves, just 13 km out of Kuala Lumpur, which is indeed one of the wonders of the world. Dedicated to Lord Murugan (son of Shiva), it is located in a cavern atop a 400 million-year-old limestone mountain.

The exhaustion due to the 272-step climb was offset by the sight of marvellous carvings from Hindu mythology, depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the lives of revered Tamil poets. “You should come here at the time of the annual Thaipusam (puja of Murugan’s mother) festival,” my Tamil guide told me. “A million devotees gather here, many of them, like those in north India, coming on foot as kavadias, from far corners of Malaysia.”

Malaysia, as its fabulously successful tourism promotion campaign advertises, is in many ways ‘truly Asia’. Its 2.7 crore population has Malays (60 per cent), ethnic Chinese (24 per cent), ethnic Indians (10 per cent) and indigenous tribes (6 per cent). Like neighbouring Indonesia, Malaysia too has until now displayed remarkable tolerance of religious pluralism, which is rare for a Muslim-majority country. Sadly, a different and unflattering reality of Malaysia has come to light in recent years: how its government has been subjecting the People of Indian Origin (PIOs) in general, and Hindus in particular, to discrimination, injustice and persecution. Islam is Malaysia’s official religion. All Malays are, by the constitution, Muslim. The law bars their conversion out of Islam, but permits proselytisation of non-Muslims. There was the famous case in 2005 of M. Moorthy, an Everest climber who became a national hero. After death, he was buried according to Islamic rites. Reason: the Sharia court upheld the Muslim claim that Moorthy had converted to Islam just before his death, a contention that his widow stoutly refuted. The high court rejected her appeal, saying that since she was not Muslim, she could not testify in a matter pertaining to Islam.

On November 26, for the first time in Malaysia’s history, some 30,000 ethnic Indians held a protest rally in Kuala Lumpur, with posters of Mahatma Gandhi and banners that read, “We want equal right”. It faced a severe police crackdown. Last week, I met P. Waythamoorthy, chairman of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), which had organised the rally. Currently in India to mobilise support for the ‘forgotten’ and ‘persecuted’ Malaysian Hindu community, what he said was indeed worrisome.

“Thousands of Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia in the last 50 years. Most of these were clan temples built more than 150 year ago by people from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, who had been brought here by the British to work in rubber plantations. Hindus are stripped of their dignity and self-respect by this vindictive act. There has been a systematic campaign to Islamise the Malaysian state, which has alarmed not only the Hindus, but also Buddhists, Christians and Taoists,” he said.

Moorthy said: “A majority of ethnic Indians are pushed to the lowest rung of the economic-educational-employment ladder. We have the lowest per capita income, highest number of beggars and squatters, highest suicide rate, and lowest intake in government jobs and universities. Indians are treated as third-class citizens.”

Moorthy, however, was quick to add: “Hindus in Malaysia have always been loyal, law-abiding and peaceful citizens.” Three of his colleagues have been charged with sedition — “for speaking the truth” — and 31 others face murder charges, under a law that denies them bail.

The developments in Malaysia — the condition of Hindus in Bangladesh is far worse — pose an important question before India’s political and intellectual class: should India care for ethnic Indians in other countries? Or should our government simply sit quiet on the plea that this is an internal matter of a foreign country, in which it cannot interfere? Since the issue concerns primarily the Hindus, our ‘secularists’ will most likely advise the UPA government to ‘lay off’, which is exactly what Malaysian authorities have told our government leaders. The advice must not be heeded. India has a moral duty to act whenever ethnic Indians anywhere in the world suffer racial or religious persecution.

But will Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi speak out in this matter? And will leading representatives of the Muslim community in India condemn the ill treatment of Hindus in Malaysia? I believe that in matters like this one, Malaysia and the rest of the world must hear the enlightened voice of Indian Islam.

http://www.indianexpress.com/sunday/story/248231.html
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-09-2007

<b>National conference of Hindu religious organizations in USA</b>
December 8, 2007

By freelance reporter

New Jeersey (USA): The Hindu Collective Initiative (HCI) of North America is organizing a national conference involving all Hindu religious organizations on December 14, 15, 16 at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. According to the latest census data, there are more than 2.5 million Hindus living in America and they have built more than 700 Hindu temples and organizations. The purpose of this conference is to bring together all Hindu organizations in USA to identify issues of common interest and work towards solving or resolving them. The Theme of the conference is: The Future of Hindu Dharma in North America.

This conference was inspired by Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Paramhansa Nityananda, Paramacharya Palaniswami of hinduism Today magazine, Swami Aksharananda of Guyana, Dr. Pranav Pandya of All World Gayatri Pariwar and several other Hindu leaders have committed their full support to the objec tives of this conference which is: to bring together on one platform leaders of all Hindu sampradayas and organizations, as well as top Hindu professors, intellectuals and community leaders, including Western Hindus and Caribbean Hindus, to network and discuss common issues to assure a bright future for Hindu Dharma in North America.

Invited Speakers who are expected to attend include: Sushri Janeshwari Devi (Barsana Dham), Sri Jeffrey Armstrong, Sri Bawa Jain, Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Frank Morales, Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Prof. Rukmani, Prof. Bal Ram Singh, Prof. Siva Bajpai, Prof. Antonio de Nicolas, Prof. Subhash Kak, Prof Jeffrey Long, Prof. TRN Rao, Prof. Ramesh N. Rao, Sri Deosaran Bisnath (President of the Hindu Council of the Caribbean), Sri Chandresh Sharma (Legislator in Trinidad-Tobago) and others.

Conference organizer Ved Chaudhary writes, "On Friday, we'll open the conference taking cognizance of global Hindu human rights issues with a report from the Hindu American Foundation, and with two important exhibits of Hindu Human Rights abuses in Kashmir and Bangladesh. Following this we'll have a session on the Government of India's control of mandirs; how can the government control so completely the practice of India's most dominant religion -Hinduism - and still boast of being secular? Global Hindu Heritage Foundation will present a comprehensive situation paper.

"Within the US, the proposed changes to the R-1 Religious Worker Visa statutes have been identified as a major issue that will result in a significantly adverse impact on the operations of all Hindu temples and organizations all across USA because they depend very heavily on skilled religious workers brought from India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka who have specific skills in Hindu temple construction, or to serve as Hindu priests. Therefore, the HCI as the collective body of all Hindu organizations has invited Mr. Prakash Khatri, Ombudsman, Office of the Citizenship & Immigration services (CIS) to listen to our issues and he has confirmed that he will attend. Stephen Edson, Director of Visa Services in the Department of State, has also been invited to hear our concerns, speak about the proposed changes to the R-1 Religious Worker Visa statutes, and shed light on the proposed course of action in this matter.

"Another major issue we have identified is that many textbooks used in American middle schools and high schools portray India and hinduism in a negative manner as from the British colonial times. HCI is supporting the Educators' Society for the Heritage of India, in trying to collect and provide more current, correct and authentic information about India than is currently available in US school textbooks and libraries. India being the largest democracy in the world, rapidly developing as an economically and technologically advanced nation in Asia, and as Indo-US strategic interests and relationships continue to advance, it is imperative that US school and college students and teachers gain a better understanding of this important part of the world. Many eminent professors are expected to attend the conference to go over the educational materials and work on proactive measures to improve this situation.

Hindu Student Council is organizing a youth session. High school, college and post-graduate students and new generation/ young men and women are encouraged to attend this conference as it relates to the issues of their generation.

<i>For more information, contact: Ved P. Chaudhary, Ph.D., General Secretary, Hindu Collective Initiative (HCI) - North America. He is a former trustee of Rutgers University, and is currently serving as Assistant Commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection. </i>

Email: ved@hcina.org



Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-15-2007

http://www.petitiononline.com/31081957/petition.html


An URGENT Appeal for International Intervention
Petition to Malaysia Government.

http://malayindians.blogspot.com/2007/12/o...aysia-govt.html


Hindu Human Rights - Bodhi - 12-27-2007

<span style='color:red'>Malaysia's highest court rejects Hindu woman's appeal</span>

JAISHREE BALASUBRAMANIAN KUALA LUMPUR, DEC 27 (PTI)

Malaysia's highest court today rejected on technical grounds an appeal by an ethnic Indian Hindu woman to stop her Muslim convert husband from seeking a divorce in the Islamic 'Shariah' court, while upholding the man's right to change the religion of their youngest son.

29-year-old R Subashini's petition was rejected by the Federal Court as she had filed it within three months of the conversion of her husband, Saravanan Thangathoray alias Muhammad Shafi Abdullah, 32.

Her lawyers said she will again file the petition in the High Court to meet the legal requirement that it should be filed three months after the conversion.

Subashini is not opposed to divorcing her husband but she wants the procedure to take place in a civil court.

The Federal Court today said that her Muslim convert husband had a right to approach the Shariah courts. It also upheld his right to convert the couple's youngest of the two sons to Islam. Saravanan claims that the elder child had already converted to Islam with him.

The judgement further said that both civil courts and Shariah courts have equal status in Malaysia. A clear picture of today's ruling would emerge after a full reading of the verdict, lawyers said.

Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, the presiding judge of the three-member panel, noted that "civil courts continue to have jurisdiction, notwithstanding his (the husband's) conversion to Islam ... A non-Muslim marriage continues to exist until the High Court dissolves it."

Subashini, a former Secretary, had appealed the Court of Appeal's 2-1 majority decision on a March 13 ruling that her husband could go to the Shariah Court and commence proceedings to dissolve their marriage.

The appellate court held that the Civil Court cannot stop a Muslim convert from going to the Shariah Court to dissolve his marriage with his non-Muslim spouse or from initiating proceedings relating to custody of their children.

Subashini had brought her appeal to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court in an attempt to reverse the Family Court's decision to set aside her ex-parte injunction to temporarily prevent Saravanan from commencing proceedings in the Shariah Court over their marriage or conversion of their younger son.

Subashini married Saravanan, also an ethnic Indian, in a Hindu wedding in 2002. The couple's sons, Dharvin and Sharvind, are now aged 4 and 2 respectively.

Saravanan converted to Islam in 2006 and informed his wife, who attempted suicide and was hospitalised. When she returned home, Saravanan had left with Dharvin, the elder child whom he claims has also converted to Islam

Saravanan filed for divorce and custody rights over the children in a Shariah Court in May 2006, and the right to convert Sharvind, the couple's younger child. This right was upheld by the court today.

http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=530378



Hindu Human Rights - Bharatvarsh - 12-29-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hindu woman's divorce hopes dashed
28 Dec 2007, 0624 hrs IST,PTI

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s highest court on Thursday rejected an appeal by an ethnic Indian Hindu woman to stop her Muslim convert husband from seeking a divorce in the Islamic Shariah court, while upholding the man’s right to change the religion of their youngest son.

The federal court rejected 29-year-old R Subashini’s petition on technical grounds, saying she had filed her plea within three months of the conversion of her husband, Saravanan Thangathoray alias Muhammad Shafi Abdullah, 32.

Her lawyers said she would again file the petition in the high court to meet the legal requirement that it should be filed three months after the conversion. Subashini is not opposed to divorcing her husband but she wants the procedure to take place in a civil court.

The federal court on Thursday said her Muslim convert husband had a right to approach the Shariah courts. It also upheld his right to convert the couple’s youngest of the two sons to Islam. Saravanan claims that the elder child had already converted to Islam with him.

The judgment further said that both civil courts and Shariah courts have equal status in Malaysia. A clear picture of Thursday’s ruling would emerge after a full reading of the verdict, lawyers said.

Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, the presiding judge of the three-member panel, noted that "civil courts continue to have jurisdiction, notwithstanding his (the husband’s) conversion to Islam ... A non-Muslim marriage continues to exist until the high court dissolves it."

Subashini, a former secretary, had appealed the court of appeal’s 2-1 majority decision on a March 13 ruling that her husband could go to the Shariah Court and commence proceedings to dissolve their marriage. The appellate court held that the civil court cannot stop a Muslim convert from going to the Shariah court to dissolve his marriage with his non-Muslim spouse or from initiating proceedings relating to custody of their children.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indians...how/2656998.cms<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Shambhu - 12-30-2007

December 26, 2007
<b>Secular hypocrisy</b>

By M.V. Kamath

Consider this: A barbarian from Central Asia invades India and sets up his rule in the northern part of the country, including Ayodhya, a city holy for Hindus because of its close association with Shri Ram. There existed in the city a temple—among others—built on the site where Shri Ram was born, which attracted worshipful thousands. History has recorded that that temple was demolished by one of Babar’s generals, who then proceeded to set up a masjid at the very spot, no doubt to send a message to the locals that Islamic rule had come to stay and let everyone beware.

By 1875 that masjid had practically become redundant. The Hindus had never forgotten what it stood for and when the British established their sovereignity over India, Hindus started demanding the return of the temple site as rightfully belonging to them. The British did not want to disturb communal order and refused to let Hindus regain their heritage. In the 1990s the Hindus once again sought possession of what they considered was their legitimate property but the so-called secular government was reluctant to concede the demand on the theory that it is wise to let the past bury its dead. The controversy escalated to the point that some enraged people demolished the disputed structure. Secularists raised a hue and cry and in their eyes the BJP which stood for the resurrection of the Ram temple became an instant target of abuse.

Now consider this: Malaysia was once rule by British imperialists who, in the years following 1800 brought Indian, mainly Hindu ‘indentured’ labour in their thousands to work in the rubber estates in the country. Understandably, these workers multiplied. The British left Malaysia in the mid-20th century, leaving the descendants of such “indentured” labour as Malaysia’s entitled citizens. Malaysia thus became the permanent home to 17.6 lakh Hindus, forming 8 per cent of the country’s population. The Indians—mostly Hindus—did not go to Malaysia as conquerors. They went there literally as bonded slaves. But over time they became free, decided to stay on and make Malaysia their natural home having substantially contributed through their labour the prosperity of the land. They did not destroy any masjid. They did nothing illegal. Indeed, linguistically they were not even one, considering that among the Indians were Tamilians, Malayalis and Punjabis. But they were in a tiny minority and allegedly, the majority Muslim population gave them no chance to prosper.

Presently ethnic Indians own less than 2 per cent of Malaysia’s national wealth. In 2003, they made for 14 per cent of juvenile delinquents, 41 per cent of beggars and a mere 5 per cent of university applicants. The majority Muslims reportedly discriminated against them for no fault of their own. The Constitution of Malaysia, according to reports, explicitly discriminates against the Hindu minority. Racism, it is charged, has been the prevalent sentiment and Indians have long been fuming at it. What has come as a shock in recent times is the large-scale demolition of temples, many of them pulled down even when Hindu devotees were in the very act of prayer!

Unlike the so-called Babri Masjid in Ayodhya which had been out of service for long, the Malaysian Hindu temples were alive in worship when they were being pulled down, the latest being the Mariamma Temple in central Selangor district which is hardly four decades old but was torn down in November when people were offering prayers. According to P. Uthayakumar, a Hindu leader, in the last year and a half, on an average, one temple has been brought down every three weeks. According to another source, as many as 79 temples have so far been demolished and there has been not a squeak from any quarter in the world. Indian secularists have been remarkably silent on this score. So have Indian Muslims. Live temples apparently can be demolished but not a dead masjid. The latter act would be dastardly communalism.

What is interesting is that hardly anyone in India or, for that matter, anyone anywhere in the world was aware of the insensitivity shown by Malay Muslims and one has to blame the international news agencies—should we name them?—for suppression of news. The media blackout has been total. When Karunanidhi raised his voice against this apparent racial hatred shown by those in Malaysian authority, he was unceremoniously asked to shut up. The Government of India itself was told in no uncertain terms that the Indians in Malaysia were Malaysian citizens and were subject to Malaysian laws, which should be of no concern to India.

The large-scale demolition of temples has not been denied by Malaysian authorities. Indeed, Mohammad Nazri Abdul Aziz, an official in the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office has been quoted as saying that it was “stupid” of Malaysian officials “not to think about looking into sensitive matters” such as temple demolition. There was no expression of remorse or apology, merely a statement that what had happened “could have been done in a better way”. It took a mass rally of over 8,000 Hindus to mark their protest of the media to wake up. But we have not heard from our secularists in India or from Indian Muslim mullahs.

One must remember in this connection what a furore was raised when a minor masjid in Baroda had to be displaced to make way for the widening of a road. The Gujarat Chief Minister was damned and the Gujarat administration was condemned in no small measure. No ‘official’ figures are available of the number of temples or shrines demolished in Malaysia, and the reasons thereof.

The Government of India sounds as if it is scared. The Congress Party was busy electioneering in Gujarat and is still unconcerned about event in Malaysia. Does anybody care? Does the Human Rights Commission? Does the United Nations? According to knowledgeable sources, Malaysian Hindus live in a society that judges, rewards and punishes on purely race-based motives and under a political system “that thrives on division and uses the threat of discord as a means of ensuring silent acquiescence”. According to one source, masjids are torn down in Muslim countries almost regularly for reasons of land development, and are not considered holy, an approach applied to Hindu shrines with equal disregard. If masjids are not holy, then what was the reason for condemning the Babri masjid demolition that was offensive to Hindu sentiments, in the first place? Perhaps our secularists will provide an answer. They always have excuses.

http://pseudosecularism.blogspot.com/2007/...-hypocrisy.html


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-30-2007

<b>A wake-up call to Hindus</b>
Oppression in Malaysia
By Prakash Singh, IPS (Retd)

In Malaysia, persons of Indian origin—Hindus, to be precise—have been
economically marginalised. They are mostly at the bottom of the
ladder. Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution provides special
privileges for Malayans only. Politically, they hardly count. They
wanted to organise a rally to ventilate their grievances, but were
denied permission by the police.

More than two years back, in an article entitled `Is Hinduism in
Retreat?', I had defined a Hindu as "basically non-aggressive, not
deeply concerned about his places of worship being defiled or even
demolished, is not particularly offended by others making fun of his
gods and goddesses, does not object to other religions' preachers
converting his flock, and is not greatly exercised over the abduction
and molestation of his women and daughters".

As the years roll by, I am increasingly convinced about the
correctness of the definition. If at all any change has to be made,
probably the words "non-aggressive" should be replaced by "coward". It
is indeed mortifying that the average Hindu has today lost all pride
in his religion and is apologetic about his identity. His religiosity
is limited to paying obeisance in the temple and observing meaningless
rituals. The objective is essentially to seek forgiveness for the sins
committed and blessings for the unfulfilled materialistic desires.

In Malaysia, persons of Indian origin - Hindus, to be precise - have
been economically marginalised. They are mostly at the bottom of the
ladder. Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution provides special
privileges for Malayans only. Politically, they hardly count. They
wanted to organise a rally to ventilate their grievances, but were
denied permission by the police. On November 25, 2007, when nearly
20,000 people gathered near the Petronas Twin Towers, carrying
portraits of Mahatma Gandhi to highlight the non-violent nature of
their protest, the police cracked down on them using tear gas and
water cannons. Leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) were
arrested. Five of them have been detained under the Internal Security
Act, which allows detention without trial.

In religious matters, the Indians are subjected to discrimination of
the worst kind, thanks to Malaysia gradually leaning towards
Wahabi-style of Islam. Temples are demolished now and then. What is
worse, in many cases, the devotees were not even allowed to retrieve
the images of the deities which were also smashed. It is estimated
that more than 150 temples have been razed to the ground so far. The
destruction of a non-descript shrine in Ayodhya led to tremors all
over the country and even outside but the destruction of more than 150
temples in Malaysia has created hardly a ripple in the country.

The government, after showing some concern in the initial stages,
washed its hands off after the Malaysian government took the stand
that it was their internal matter. Suppressing an ethnic minority's
religious freedom cannot be justified under any circumstances. Human
rights have universal application. The Malaysian government's charge
that the persons of Indian origin have their links with LTTE is
preposterous on the face of it. P Uthayakumar, founder member of the
Hindraf, has stoutly denied the same. "We have got zero links with
terrorism. We have got zero links with LTTE. We do not support
violence. We are a non-violent group", he said.

There is no point in expecting much from the government which is
always obsessed by political considerations. National interests or
national pride do not mean much to them. But what has been the
response from other significant groups? The BJP's reaction has been
muted. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has kept quiet. Organisations like
Bajrang Dal, which are prompt to take up frivolous matters, have not
cared to raise their little finger. The Shankaracharyas appear to be
in a trance. Religious leaders, who take pride in flaunting their
international linkages, have not spoken a word.

The middle class of India, which is basking in the sunshine of
economic growth will continue visiting Malaysia for a holiday bash.
And the media will have no compunctions in publishing advertisements
promoting tourism to Malaysia. The Human Rights groups in the country,
which could have raised the issue at international fora, have
preferred to turn the blind eye to the developments in the neighbourhood.

Ironically, there have been voices of protests in UK and in USA. In
UK, nineteen Members of Parliament, cutting across party lines, have
urged upon the British government to take up the matter with the
Malaysian government in the strongest possible manner. "This House
notes with great concern the stated intention of the Government of
Malaysia to demolish 79 Hindu temples", the motion moved by them said.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged
President Bush to take up the matter with Kuala Lumpur and "insist
that immediate measures be taken to protect sacred sites and prevent
further destruction" .

What do you expect under these circumstances? Indians, particularly
their majority community, can just be kicked around in any part of the
world. The great actors of this `Mera Bharat Mahan' are busy enjoying
the good things of life. They have no time to think about pride or
self-respect.



Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 02-10-2008

http://malayindians.blogspot.com/2008/02/h...ias-rising.html
Hindu discontent fuels Malaysia's rising tensions


<b>Indian Discontent Fuels Malaysia's Rising Tensions</b>

February 10, 2008 (New York Times)
By THOMAS FULLER

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Indian Casket, a shop on the outskirts of this modern and cosmopolitan city, sells coffins in all sizes: standard coffins clutter the entrance, child-size boxes are stacked high on the shelves and extra-large models, those for the tallest of the deceased, are stored in the back.

But there is no variety in the ethnic background of the clientele.

"All the customers are Indian," said Aru Maniam, a shop salesman.

In death as in life, Malaysians are divided by ethnicity. The country's main ethnic groups — Malays, Chinese and Indians — have their own political parties, schools, newspapers and, in the case of Malays, a separate Islamic legal system.

For years this segregation was promoted as the best formula for social harmony in a country that advertises itself as "Truly Asia" because of its diversity, but where the memory of ethnic riots in 1969 is invoked as proof of the fragility of cross-cultural relations. Nearly 200 people died in that spasm of violence.

Now, ethnic tensions are again rising, driven in large part by dissatisfaction among the country's Indians, who have mainly lost out in the long battle of all three ethnic groups over power, privilege and religion.

In November, Indians — who make up less than 10 percent of Malaysia's population of about 25 million — led a protest march through this city in the first large ethnically motivated street demonstration since 1969. They announced a mainly symbolic $4 trillion class-action lawsuit against the British government, the country's former colonial ruler, for bringing them as indentured laborers to the region, "exploiting them for 150 years," then allowing them to be marginalized in postcolonial Malaysia.

The police dispersed the 20,000 demonstrators with water cannons and tear gas and are still holding five representatives of the Hindu Rights Action Force, the umbrella group that led the protest.

Although the lawsuit focuses on historic grievances, Indians' complaints are anchored in present-day struggles, mainly with the majority Malays. Malays retain a stranglehold on government jobs, and therefore government policies tend to favor them.

Some Indians in Malaysia are very rich, but a majority have not been able to move up from the lowest rungs of society. The children and grandchildren of rubber tappers, they remain poor, poorly educated and overrepresented in menial jobs.

"This is a country that is in search of soul, in search of a common mission," said Charles Santiago, coordinator of the Group of Concerned Citizens, an organization that seeks solutions to ethnic strife in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is Malay and Muslim, sought recently to woo back the country's Indians by declaring the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which was celebrated Jan. 23, a federal holiday. And a court decision in a highly emotional dispute over whether an Indian man should be buried according to Hindu or Muslim rites — he is said to have converted to Islam — has been postponed indefinitely.

But analysts say race relations could become more tense as the country prepares for elections, which are widely expected to be called for March. Chinese and Indian voters have lost faith in the ability of the governing multiracial coalition to equalize opportunities, polls show, and they are shifting their support to the opposition.

"It will be a racialized campaign, there's no question," said Bridget Welsh, a specialist in Malaysian politics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

An opinion poll made public late last month by the Merdeka Center, an independent polling institute in Malaysia, showed that 38 percent of Indians and 42 percent of Chinese said they strongly or somewhat approved of Mr. Abdullah's job performance, by far the lowest ratings he has received from those groups during his five years as prime minister. Together Chinese and Indians constitute about 35 percent of the population.

Those figures are contributing to an overall plunge in his approval ratings. The poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 randomly selected voters and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, showed his approval rating at 61 percent, down from 91 percent when he came to power.

One reason for the dissatisfaction: almost two-thirds of respondents said they were not happy with the way the government was handling issues of ethnicity and inequality.

"Indian support for the government is the worst it's ever been in the country's history," Ms. Welsh said. "It's profound. Indians have traditionally supported the government the highest."

With Chinese voters also angry at the government — mainly over its handling of the economy — Ms. Welsh says the government risks losing political control of the state of Penang, where ethnic Chinese form a plurality, as well as a handful of parliamentary seats scattered across the country. The coalition of Malay, Chinese and Indian parties known as the National Front, which has governed the country since independence from Britain in 1957, is at little risk of losing its majority.

Chinese Malaysians, who form the core of the merchant class, are angry about quotas that keep many of them out of local universities and about the government's preference for hiring Malay companies, among other issues.

Malaysia's ethnic tensions were born during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when Chinese and Indian workers came to what was then called Malaya and helped drive the colonial economy of tin and rubber. But this influx created resentment among Malays, who lost control of the economy to British plantation owners and Chinese businesses. The Malay sultans later struck a deal with the British: Malays would retain political supremacy in Malaysia after independence in exchange for citizenship for the Chinese and Indians.

Underpinning the anger of the latest generation of Chinese and Indians is an affirmative action program in place for 37 years that favors Malays and other indigenous ethnic groups, collectively known as bumiputra, literally "sons of the soil." The program was devised to increase the share of bumiputra ownership of the economy, which in the 1970s was in the single digits.

Today, bumiputra make up 60 percent of the population but have 87 percent of government jobs. They receive discounts of 5 to 10 percent on new homes and are allotted 30 percent of stock shares in initial public offerings. Newspapers are filled with notices of government construction contracts exclusively reserved for companies controlled by bumiputra.

"It's completely unacceptable that you cannot get awarded a contract just because of the color of your skin," said Lim Guan Eng, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian who is secretary general of the Democratic Action Party, the leading opposition party in Parliament. "That grates tremendously. We are treated as though we are third- or fourth-class citizens."

Beyond economic discrimination, Malaysians are increasingly divided by religion, with rising assertiveness by Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist groups. Islamic authorities have ruled that Malays, who are defined as Muslims in the country's Constitution, may not leave the faith without undergoing lengthy counseling. <b>Christians complain that the Malay-dominated government frequently denies permits to build churches. Hindus and Buddhists decry demolitions of temples. And Malaysian courts have heard more than a dozen cases of disputed religious conversions.</b>

<b>Indians were infuriated by the highly publicized case of a soldier, Maniam Moorthy, who died in 2005 and whose body was claimed by the Islamic authorities for Muslim burial. </b>

The authorities contended that Mr. Moorthy, who was born a Hindu, converted to Islam months before his death, an assertion that his family denies. His wife, Kaliammal Sinnasamy, sued in a civil court to obtain his body, <b>but the court ruled that it had no jurisdiction because the matter had already been decided in an Islamic court. </b>

Although the courts have postponed a ruling on Ms. Kaliammal's appeal, the case has become a cause célèbre.

<b>"You can push us, you can cheat us, you can discriminate against us</b>," said Mr. Santiago, who is of Indian heritage, "<b>but you can't tell us that we're not Hindus after we are dead."</b>


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 02-16-2008


Ethnic Indian protesters shout slogans during a rally in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday.

Jaishree Balasubramanian, Press Trust Of India
Kuala Lumpur, February 16, 2008


Defying a ban, at least 200 ethnic Indian supporters of a Hindu rights
group on Saturday held a rally near Malaysia's Parliament demanding
more rights for the minority community, prompting police to fire tear
gas and chemical-laced water to disperse the demonstrators.

Police said it detained at least 20 supporters of the non-governmental
Hindu Rights Force (Hindraf) which organised the "illegal" rally, days
after announcing plans that its members would march to the Parliament
house along with a group of children led by the organisation' s chief
Wayathamoorthy' s five-year-old daughter Vvaishnnavi.

Hindraf member and lawyer N Surendran, however, claimed that at least
60 people, including two leaders of the organisation, have been
detained in a police crackdown since late Friday night.

Police had denied a permit to Hindraf to hold the rally outside
Parliament and had set up barricades along main roads leading to the
building.

Notwithstanding the ban, some 200 people managed to gather at a nearby
building shouting "Long Live Hindraf" and "We want our rights." Police
sprayed chemical-laced water and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Vvaishnnavi wanted to present roses to Premier Abdullah Badawi and had
last month written a letter to him urging him to be present at the
Parliament house to receive the Valentine flowers from her and other
children.

The letter also contained an appeal to release Vvaishnnavi' s "five
uncles", members of Hindraf who were detained under the Internal
Security Act after they organised a massive rally of over 20,000
Indians against the alleged marginalisation of
the community on November 25 last year. Hindraf hit headlines across
the world after organising that rally.

Today's rally came ahead of general elections on March 8, a year ahead
of schedule. The government has denied allegations of marginalisation
of Indians. However, the November 25 rally took it by total surprise
and since then the government leaders have been busy wooing ethnic
Indians and promising to seriously look into their woes.

Ethnic Indians were brought here by the British nearly 200 years ago
as indentured labourers and many of them stayed back in this country
even after India attained independence.

Indians form 7.8 per cent of the country's total population of 27
million and are mostly Hindus with origin from Tamil Nadu. The Muslim
Malays form 60 per cent of the population while the Chinese, who
account for 25 per cent, are Buddhists or Christians. Malaysia allows
the practice of all regions.



Hindu Human Rights - Bodhi - 04-11-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Our deceitful progressives

Saradindu Mukherji

Does anybody remember Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, who was assassinated on September 14, 1989, in Srinagar? Not many! That marked the beginning of the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from their homeland. Did his family get justice? Similarly, justice has eluded the relatives of Taranath Sen, murdered in Bangladesh on December 15, 2007, for protesting the take-over of a Hindu cremation ground by local Muslims.

At another level, the much talked and written about judgement in the Bilkis Bano case is an occasion to reaffirm our trust in the capacity of the Indian system to mete out condign punishment to the guilty and restore peoples' faith and trust in our investigative agencies. But is our system conditioned by the exigencies of the political culture?

All of us are encouraged to cry ourselves hoarse over the fate of Palestinians, but anyone who expresses legitimate sympathy for Hindu refugees from Bangladesh and the internally displaced Pandits from our Kashmir Valley will be promptly blacklisted. It is this selective concern in India that goes against all canons of law and justice. Before analysing the basic causes of this malaise, it is essential to look for the inter-relationship between the politics of violence and the concept of rule of law.

While the pioneers of modern India like Raja Rammohun Roy stressed rational thinking and modern education, and strove for a level playing field for all Indians under the then colonial dispensation, his contemporaries like the Wahaabis and the Faraizis (considered to be 'progressive' in the leftist 'intellectual' discourse) were harking back to the primordial through violent means. Much of the organised and faith-based violence that has caused colossal mayhem and destruction of cultures, both in the past and in the contemporary world, are embedded in this ideology of unremitting hatred and intolerance of the 'other'. Hence 'communalisation of state and society' and the subversion of the 'rule of law' are endemic in these religio-political cultures.

Even before Raja Rammohun Roy, the Cornwallis Code (1793) was the first conscious attempt in modern times to de-communalise the state and a bold step to establish the rule of law in India. That explains as to how Raja Rammohun Roy could boldly protest the racist abuse hurled at him by an English official and escape forced conversion or imprisonment which would have been his fate had he done the same in Murshid Quli Khan's time.

Jihad-friendly liberal-progressive campaigners who blame 'majoritarian' politics in India for the growing communal divide, and thereby suppress the truth about those who have an unbroken record of creating that original divide and ever-widening the gulf which first appeared with the Arab invasion of Sindh, are, in fact, doing a great disservice to society. Smaller minorities like the Jews and the Zoroastrians have never complained of persecution in India. Most such campaigners, it would appear, are yet to hear about the legacy of thousand years of Islamic rule in India, about the origins of Pakistan, and other activities that stretch from New York to Bali, London to Hyderabad, and Madrid to New Delhi.

Here are some startling facts. Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal informed the Rajya Sabha in May 2007 about the community wise break-up of casualties in communal violence. During January-April 2007, there were 255 incidents of communal violence in which 18 Hindus and 13 Muslims were killed. Among those injured, there were 370 Hindus, 246 Muslims and 51 Christians. During January-April 2006, there were 265 such incidents in which 61 people were killed, among them 28 Hindus and 31 Muslims. There were 425 Hindus, 279 Muslims and 34 Christians among those injured. During all of 2006, there were 779 incidents of communal violence in which 64 Hindus and 67 Muslims were killed.

Simple arithmetic and the most rudimentary logical reasoning do not establish the thesis of the minority community's perpetual victimhood, the deadly grip of the monstrous majority and the 'organised violence' and the 'pogroms' they continue to inflict. On the contrary, it proves otherwise. That the Muslims, despite being a minority in most parts of India, and the Hindus being a brute majority, the casualty figures are almost even. Since this does not suit our 'secularists', these figures do not exist for them.

Propagandists relentlessly talk of "macabre preparation" by Hindus to commit violence against Muslims, but they ignore the fact that their campaign is not based on credible empirical data. In the process, they continue to inflict severe damage on the very nature of the Indian state, the system of governance and the ethos of the majority community. They also brush under the carpet the sustained preparation that has gone into the elimination of polytheists from Muslim majority parts of the world and the desecration of thousands of temples in our country over a millennia and what is happening to Hindu temples in Malaysia. Would they care to provide us with the state of Hindu temples in the Kashmir Valley and the number of devotees who visit them regularly for puja?

Moreover, how do they explain the systematic religio-ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir valley? Or, how the members of the 'majority' community of India, who happened to be in a minority in a Muslim majority State of India, were turned into refugees in their own land? Just think of an entire community of four lakh men, women and children being driven out of its ancestral homeland. Can the Pandits ever return to their homeland? Will they ever be restored their homesteads and the orchards that they were forced sell at throwaway prices in the most frightening circumstances? Has anyone ever looked into the community's declining numbers? Bilkis Bano has got justice, and rightly so. But will the Hindus of Kashmir Valley ever get justice?

As India's political class continues to be blatantly partial in its pursuit of Muslim votes, and the spurious and propagandist state-funded social science research centres and a biased media remain mired in negationism for reasons that need not be stated, justice will continue to elude millions of people. They will continue to suffer more and more, not only in India but also in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Since nothing meaningful has ever been done by anybody, should we conclude that certain categories of suffering are beyond the reach of the Indian system? Can these dedicated campaigners, who systematically denigrate Hindus and take undue advantage of their infinite patience and tolerance but scrupulously rationalise, justify and cover up every act of jihadi terror, claim that victims of Islamism in India have got justice a la Bilkis Bano?
 
-- The writer teaches history at Delhi University

http://www.dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?m...t&counter_img=3<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 04-16-2008

http://www.thedailystar.net/pf_story.php?nid=31799

Published On: 2008-04-12 Star Books Review

<i>A story of perpetual discrimination

Dhiraj Kumar Nath retells an old tale of injustice</i>

<b>Book Title: Deprivation of Hindu Minority in Bangladesh
Living with Vested Property</b>
Abul Barkat, S Zaman, S Khan, A Poddar, S Hoque, and Taher Uddin
Pathak Shamabesh



The title of the book is most meaningful as it relates the stories and events that actually took place to deprive the minority community of its rights and titles of property ownership. <b>A research based book, it is outstanding in nature as it provides an account, with facts and figures, of how the protective security of the minority has been ignored for years together and how the minority community has been unable to enjoy the property handed down to it from one generation to another.</b>

It is perhaps for the first time that such a book has been published, based as it is on <b>authentic findings and in-depth studies of the historical discrimination that has compelled a large number of citizens to leave the country and so leave their ancestral home and belongings behind</b>. Professor Abul Barkat and his co-authors have accurately projected the economic history, lapses in the land laws, willful negligence of the bureaucracy and greed of the politicians for property.

<b>About 1.2 million households and 6 million people belonging to the Hindu community have been directly and severely affected by the Enemy/Vested Property Act. The community has lost 2.6 million acres of its own land in addition to other moveable and immovable property. The approximate money value of such loss (US $ 55 billion) would be equivalent to 75 per cent of the GDP of Bangladesh (at 2007 prices).</b> The EPA/Vested Property Act has compelled Hindus to break family ties. Stress and strain, mental agony and a fuelling of religious fundamentalism have been the offshoot. The deprivation led to the growth of a communal mindset in what had been a historical secular climate and context.

The methodology adopted to collect information is appreciable. With primary and secondary data verified on the basis of documents relating to EPA/VPA and land survey, data from BSS and reports and journals, the work makes compelling reading. Besides, a number of eminent individuals have been interviewed to arrive at an understanding of the extent of the effect of the law on the deprived community. Sample districts taken under the study were sixteen but they covered the whole of Bangladesh in 1997-2006. <b>Assuming the 1961 population share of the Hindu population was 18.4 per cent, the absolute size of this population in 2001 would have been 22.8 million rather than the 11.4 million reported in the census. In other words, the actual current (2001) figure is half the expected size. Thus the missing Hindu population was estimated to be 50 per cent with the mass outward migration from the mid-1960s onward as an effect of the EP/VP Act </b>(elaborated in Chapter 3 of the book).Chapter 6 deals with case studies and Table 21 shows six broad categories of cases relating to loss of Hindu property

One cannot but agree with Justice Mohammad Gholam Rabbani when he observes in the foreword that the authors have done a historical job. The book, in fact, upholds the spirit of liberation and Articles 27 and 28 (1) of the Constitution. It re-emphasises the idea that "All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law."

<i>Dhiraj Kumar Nath is former advisor, caretaker government .</i>


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 05-22-2008

<b>Bangladeshis pose a threat to Vaishnavas</b>

Press Trust of India
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 (Guwahati)
Illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam were encroaching land of nearly 900 Vaishnava monasteries across the state threatening the existence and safety of the people there, a former director general of museums claimed.

The 16th century monasteries set up with land provided by the Ahom and Koch kings now had most of their huge estates <b>encroached upon by the migrants resorting to forcible taking away of idols and valuable antiquities, dacoity, molestation and other criminal activities, said former director general of museums Rabin Choudhury.</b>

<b>He added that even some religious heads had been killed by them who has been engaged in the protection work of the monasteries since 1984.</b>

Quoting a report, he said that <b>about 32 monasteries land were under encroachment threatening the past glory of these Vaishnava institutions of culture, literature, music and religion</b>.

In another judgement of the Board of Revenue, Choudhury said that land belonging to a particular religious institution and people belonging to another religion cannot encroach upon people belonging to other religions.

Despite this, he asserted that the government ignoring all these directions was yet to take any measures or issue instructions for the monasteries protection.

<b>Himalaya Convener Shiladitya Dev also asserted that recently some churches had been built on monasteries land in the world's largest river island and Vaishnavite centre Majuli in Jorhat district</b>.




Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 06-12-2008

Dr Arvind Sharma's blog:
Denying the Holocaust: What Has It Got to Do With Hinduism?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Jewish Holocaust – three thousand years and then three years. A Hindu holocaust – a thousand years of foreign rule and then two years of partition. Or is the comparison overblown or has it been blown away to maintain communal peace in India?

My reverie was suddenly interrupted as he concluded. “So as I was saying, Dr. Sharma. I cannot vouch for the veracity of the Holocaust in Germany or Poland. But I know it happened in a village in Ukraine”.

He perhaps even had evidence to prove it but I thought the deposition was proof enough. Have the victims of Partition been deposed? Such as are amongst us? <span style='color:red'>In the case of the Jews the no-sayers will deny it had occurred, in the case of the Hindu they won’t let you ask the question if it occurred, much less find out?</span>—at least so I am told on every visit to India.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Bharatvarsh - 06-27-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Malaysian Indian challenges dead brother's conversion
26 Jun 2008, 2030 hrs IST,IANS

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Indian has challenged his half-brother’s conversion to Islam who committed suicide earlier this week. S Selvam has claimed his brother’s body from hospital authorities for a funeral according to Hindu rites.

Selvam is seeking a declaration that his 34-year-old brother B Elangesvaran was a Hindu when alive, The Star newspaper said. Selvam claimed that after the post mortem, a hospital staff informed the family that the body could not be released to them as the deceased had converted to Islam at the Penang state's Religious Affairs Department.

On Wednesday, Selvam filed a summon at a high court registry in George Town naming the state Islamic Religious Affairs Department, the Perak Islamic Religious Department and the Parit Buntar Hospital director as defendants.

Selvam has sought an injunction to restrain the defendants, their workers or agents, from claiming Elangesvaran's body and “from interfering with the release of the deceased's body to him to perform the last funeral rites according to the Hindu custom”.

Selvam said he had contacted the authorities for confirmation and proof of his brother's conversion but the department had failed to provide him with any official documents with the deceased's signature or thumbprints as a proof of his conversion.

“I was only served with a police report alleging that my brother had embraced Islam at the Penang Islamic Religious Department in Lebuh Pantai and a letter, with some scribbling allegedly done by Elangesvaran, that he had converted,” said Selvam.

Selvam who sold fried noodles for a living is now unemployed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indians...how/3169266.cms<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->