For or Against Modi? – An Indian’s Response

Chhotebhai

Chhotebhai

KANPUR (chhotebhai) — Recently I received an email from a close family friend, now in his eighties, whom I have held in great esteem. The said email is reproduced below, ad verbatim. It necessitates a point-by-point rebuttal, which follows the original text that is in italics.

Why India needs Modi to remain a secular state?
Over 80% percent of India’s population or 900 million people in the country are Hindus+Sikhs+Jains+Buddhists. Yet, shamefully, the country is being ruled by the Minorities, who may now constitute around 20% of the population count. India is the only country in the world where its minorities –– principally the Muslims and the Christians –– have ganged up together to enact laws that decide how the Hindu majority should behave in their own country!

It is truly a matter of great regret and shame that Hindus are taking this injustice and tyranny lying down! Since Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi led UPA, the sinister efforts are underway to selectively appoint the Christians and Muslims in sensitive and powerful positions within the administration. Here are a few glaring examples of it:
Chairperson of the country’s ruling political alliance UPA is Sonia Gandhi, a practising Catholic Christian. Her son Rahul Gandhi, another Catholic Christian, is being groomed to be the next Prime Minister of India. Country’s Defense Minister – A.K. Antony, the Foreign Secretary  – Ranjan Mathai, Head of the Air Wing of military  – Anil Kumar Browne, P.J. Kurien – Dy. Chairman Rajya Sabha,   – P.C. Chacko, newly appointed Congress Spokesperson,  – P.J. Thomas, 14th Chief Vigilance Commissioner (appointment subsequently quashed) are all Christians.

The country’s Foreign Minister Mr Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for External Affairs Mr E. Ahmed, Chief Justice of India Mr Altmas Kabir, Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Mr Hamid Ansari, Chief Election Commissioner Mr S.Y. Qureshi, Attorney General of India Mr Goolam Essaji Vahanvati, Minister for Minorities Affairs – K. Rahman Khan, and Rashid Alvi – the Congress Spokesperson are all Muslims. To add an insult to the injury Syed Asif Ibrahim, a Muslim IPS officer has been appointed as Chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB). Many Hindu leaders believe that his appointment could endanger India’s internal security.

In this connection, readers should note that in order to pave the way for Asif Ibrahim to be the Chief of IB, at least four of his senior Hindu officers (R.N. Gupta, V. Rajagopal, S. Jayaraman and Yashovardhan Azad) were transferred to insignificant posts. Closest political advisers of Sonia Gandhi are Margaret Alva, a Christian, Ahmad Patel, a Muslim and Oscar Fernandez, a senior Indian National Congress leader, a Christian. The country’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare Gulam Nabi Azad is a Muslim.

For all practical purposes, the overall Hindu people and India as the country are presently under a state of siege. Unknown to the common public, that siege has been laid with the help of radical Islamists, ISI jihadists, and Left Wing-Marxists.
The chief aim of this insidious conspiracy is to demoralize and denigrate the Hindus and their organizations…………….and encourage the centrifugal forces to balkanize India into several mini-Pakistans and mini-Communist nations.

Almost all Hindus have already been driven out of Kashmir. Over 70 million (7 Crore) Bangladeshi Muslims have infiltrated into Assam, West Bengal and other neighbouring states. The states like Assam, Bengal, and Kerala are witnessing a big demographic change. No matter how strongly we deny it, the unfortunate fact still remains intact that the “demographic conquest of any land is the most permanent form of a conquest.” Discrimination against Hindus in India is rampant. Top Hindu temples like Tirupati and Sabrimala are taken away from Hindu hands – through the legislation – and given to ‘secular’ civil servants for managing them. From the religious offerings of Hindu devotees meant strictly for the Hindu issues, the bureaucrats unfairly dole away Rs.690 crores a year as the Haj subsidy alone.

Remember there are 54 Muslim countries in the world but NONE of them give Haj Subsidy BUT for India alone. There is a complete economic mess and utter chaos in India created by various mega-scams: Coal-gate scam worth Rs. 10,86,000 crores, 2G scam worth Rs. 1,76,000 crores, and Commonwealth Games scam worth Rs. 70,000 crores.

Massive payoffs from these scams have made it possible for a half-literate Italian-Indian woman like Sonia Gandhi to become the fourth richest politician in the world.
(Not to mention uncountable amount of money that will be spent in Food Security bill, which is going to crush already burdened middle classes with more inflation)

Amidst all this gigantic plunder and loot, there is little hope for our country.
The only way out is if the honest and courageous leaders like Narendra Modi, after whose life and blood, these leeches and parasites are after, can become the Prime Minister of India who manoeuvre the country away from the sure doom and disaster waiting ahead.

AN INDIAN’S RESPONSE
Please note that the text reproduced above has no date, place of origin, or name of the writer. This is typical of cowardly propagandists, anarchists, alarmists, and faceless anti-nationalists. It is highly probable that this text is being flashed all over the country, and to the rich NRIs who relish such jingoistic rhetoric. We need to protect our motherland from such a lethal virus. Hence this rebuttal.

Narendra Modi, PM candidate 2014

Narendra Modi, PM candidate 2014

Prima facie the text has originated from a right wing extremist Hindutva source, that, a la Don Quixote, tilts at windmills. In this case the usual suspects are – radical Islamists, ISI jihadis, left wing Marxists and, for good measure, the “practicing Catholic Christian” Sonia Gandhi and her beta Rahul. The Congress is painted as a scam tainted party, and Modi is projected as the “honest and courageous” saviour.

The Congress and the BJP are welcome to slug it out for the 2014 elections. As an Indian that is not an issue for me. However, if Modi’s supporters seek to elect him by denigrating the Muslims and Christians, then I have a serious problem with Modi-ism.

A careful reading of the text shows that it indulges in alarmist generalities, distortion of facts, selective data and blatant bigotry. There is an old adage that “A half truth is more dangerous than a lie”. This is because a lie is recognised for what it is. But a half-truth is attractive, like sweet poison, which is fatal if ingested. The offending text falls in the category of half-truths, and is therefore lethal, if not logically and factually rebutted. Let us address some of the issues as mentioned in the text.

COUNTRY RULED BY MINORITIES: This is a baseless allegation. One swallow does not a summer make. So a handful of Christians or Muslims holding high office cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be construed to be a “ruling class”. I will not swallow that. It is a reality that the Christian representation in Parliament, at about 4%, is higher than the percentage of the population at 2.3%. However, the Muslim representation is much less than its 12.5% of the population. It is also worth noting that Christian MPs are from different national and regional parties, and their constituents are not necessarily Christian.

STATUS OF MINORITIES: Far from being a ruling class, the Minorities are more of a deprived class. Here are some statistics from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) for 2009-10. In education Muslims have the highest drop out rate of 45%. Among urban male graduates employment per 1000 for Hindus was 234, whereas for Muslims it was an abysmal 69, actually down from 75 in 2004/5. The living standard (per capita per month actual expenditure) of Muslims is again the lowest at Rs 980/-, while the Sikhs are the highest at Rs 1659/-. If Christians have relatively good education, employment and living standards, it is through their own efforts and institutions, and no thanks to the Govt.

CHRISTIANS AS RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS: Having been National President of the All India Catholic Union, I am fairly well acquainted with the status and statistical data of the Christian community in India. I quote from the Census of India 2001 (as the data of 2011 is not yet in the public domain). The two States with the oldest Christian presence are Kerala (2000 years) and Goa (450 years). In Kerala in 1961 there were 3,587,365 Christians in a population of 16,903,715, which is 21%. In 2001 this had dropped to 6,057,427/ 31,841,374 or 19%.  More alarmingly in Goa the percentage dropped from 227,202/ 626,667 (36%) to 359,568/ 1,347,668 (27%), a drop of 9 percentage points. The sex ratio figures for the country show that among Christians it was highest at 1009, as against the national average of 933. In Kerala and Goa this was even higher at 1031 and 1107. So, far from being “rulers”, Christians are responsible citizens of the country, whose myriad institutions are “service”, not ruling ones.

PRACTICING CHRISTIANS: This is a term seldom used by those who are not Christians themselves, so I am rather bemused by this turn of phrase. It usually refers to those Christians who go to church every Sunday, especially among Catholics. The text refers to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul as “practicing Catholic Christians”. Has anybody seen Sonia or Rahul going to any church to pray or worship? I haven’t. A few years ago, at Mother Teresa’s funeral, which was telecast live, Sonia Gandhi did not step forward to receive the Holy Communion, an indication that she is not a “practicing Catholic”. As for her internal beliefs, or that of her son, it is their personal matter, and their privacy should be respected.

CHRISTIANS IN HIGH OFFICE: The text referred to A.K. Antony (Defence Minister), Ranjan Mathai (Foreign Secretary), Air Chief Marshall Browne (Air Chief), P.C. Chacko (Congress spokesperson), P.J. Kurien (Dy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha), P.J. Thomas (proposed Chief Vigilance Commissioner), as also Margaret Alva and Oscar Fernandes. This therefore surmounted to Christians ruling India! Now for the facts. A.K. Antony, though of Christian origin, is known to be an agnostic, certainly not a “practicing Christian”. Mathai has already demitted office. Browne (nick-named Charlie Brown in his native Allahabad) is a distinguished pilot, whose son is also an ace pilot. The appointment of P.J. Thomas as the CVC was opposed in the Supreme Court by James Michael Lyngdoh, former Chief Election Commissioner, and a fellow Christian! P.J. Kurien and P.C. Chacko are popular leaders in Kerala, as is Oscar Fernandes in Karnataka. Margaret Alva is from a family of freedom fighters – Joachim and Violet Alva. So there is nothing sinister about their holding high office.

On the other hand, this scenario is not exclusive to Congress regimes. When the BJP was in power, George Fernandes was the Defence Minister, ironically another non-practicing agnostic; and Admiral Sushil Kumar Isaac was the Naval chief. Lyngdoh was the Chief Election Commissioner from 2001-04, when the BJP was in power. General Sunith Francis Rodrigues was Army Chief from 1990-93, when a non-Congress Govt, supported by the BJP was in power. Purno Sangma, also a Christian, was the Speaker of the 11th Lok Sabha from 1996-98, again when a non-Congress Govt was in power. Again he was one of the main opponents of Sonia Gandhi on the issue of foreign origin. Even Air Chief Marshal I.H. Latif (a Muslim) was appointed when a non-Congress Govt was in power. So Christians holding high office is in no way peculiar to Congress rule. On the other hand, Modi’s supporters are doing a singular disservice to the nation by tying to give a communal tinge to defence appointments. Shame.

HEROIC CHRISTIANS: It is said that war heroes are the greatest. I recall that in the 1965 Indo-Pak war Col Tarapore (a Parsi), Abdul Hamid (a Muslim from Meerut), and Albert Ekka (a Christian from Ranchi) were all awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously. The Keelor brothers both got Vir Chakras for downing the Pakistani Sabre jets with their tiny Gnats, and Brig (later Lt General) R.S. Noronha got the Mahavir Chakra for the second time (a rare distinction). I have a book “Patriotism in Action” written by Valmiki Faleiro, which enumerates the long list of officers and heroes from the tiny State of Goa, who distinguished themselves in the defence services. 95% of them were Catholics.

Perhaps the greatest act of “wilful heroism” was that of Wg Cdr Clarence Joseph D’lima on 4th November 1977. He was piloting a TU 124K aircraft of the VIP squadron, taking Prime Minister Morarji Desai to Assam. Since there was no way of a safe landing he decided to ditch in a soft paddy field. He opted for a “nose first” landing that invited certain death, but saved the Prime Minister in the tail of the aircraft. Another crewmember that was martyred was Sqn Ldr Mathew Cyriac. Ironically, another Christian onboard, John Lobo, the then head of the Intelligence Bureau, used his 6-foot frame to pull the Prime minister out of the wreckage before it went up in flames.

Another unique act of heroism was that of paratrooper Maj Ivan Joseph Crasto. It was he, who in October 1992, risked his life to rescue 10 passengers suspended 1300 ft in the air in a cable car in Himanchal Pradesh; when he jumped from a helicopter to save them. The latest in this galaxy of heroic Christian officers was Wg Cdr Darryl Castellino, the pilot of the ill-fated helicopter that had saved hundreds of lives in the Uttarakhand disaster. He laid down his life saving “Hindu pilgrims”, while Feku Narendra Modi claimed to have saved 15,000 Gujaratis in Innovas!

Let us not forget the real heroes (Christians or anyone else) and also identify the pretenders to the throne, the masqueraders, or rather marauders like Modi, for what they actually are – just pretenders.

BANGLADESHIS: The text claims that 70 million (7 crore) Bangladeshis have illegally entered India. This is a gross exaggeration because the total population is just about 170 million! What of the lakhs of Tibetans (Buddhists) to whom India has given refuge and all amenities? What of the millions of Nepalis (Hindus) who have made India their home, and are now demanding a separate State of Gorkhaland? Should we not have a common approach to all migrants/ refugees, regardless of religion?

HINDU TEMPLES: Another allegation of “discrimination” against Hindus is regarding the Trusts formed to manage “top Hindu temples like Tirupati and Sabarimala”. Who made these trusts, and who are their members, if not Hindus themselves? So why raise such canards? Incidentally, the temples of the South have so much gold and jewellery (all non-productive assets) that even the Reserve bank of India is worried, and asking for details of gold hoarded in the Guruvayoor and Sabarimala temples. The Supreme Court is already monitoring the treasures of the Shree Padmanabha Swamy temple. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if rationalist and nationalist Hindus spent more money on serving deprived sections of society, tribals and dalits; instead of on offerings of gold?

CONCLUSION: I have tried to counter the allegations with facts. Since many of the allegations stemmed from an anti-Christian bias, I had to frame my rebuttal accordingly. It would be nice if some Muslim scholar were to also air his views on the allegations made. The real issue here is not of the Congress or the BJP; or Hindus, Muslims and Christians. The real issue is of India, and the fear of its “balkanisation”. How true. Balkanisation of territorial India may not be that easy. But balkanisation or polarisation of society into “we” and “they” is a distinct possibility. A feku like Modi would be the largest beneficiary of such a polarisation. As a concerned Indian I will not let that happen. JAI HIND!
SEPTEMBER 2013

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