Friday, December 12, 2014

Saffron outfits' religious conversion is very clumsy, crude, says Madhu Kishwar, feminist-turned-Modi 'bhakt'

By Our Representative
Prominent feminist-turned-Modi 'bhakt', who showed clear signs of getting disillusioned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi by declaring he is under some sort of “black magic”, Madhu Kishwar has now taken strong exception to the recent RSS-Sangh Parivar move to re-convert Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. Commenting on the so-called “ghar vapsi” move being planned by the Sangh on Christmas, December 25, Kishwar, has sharply attacked Hindu groups for being “very clumsy and crude in conversion drives”.
Kishwar, who posted her comment on her Facebook timeline, wants the Hindu groups to get some lessons on how to convert people by first working doing some social work. She insists, “They should apprentice themselves with Christian evangelicals to know the right approach. If conversions are bad, they should be banned for all religious groups. If they represent freedom of religion, then all faith groups should be free to carry out conversion drives.” She adds, “Double standards on this issue under the guise of "secularism" has proved extremely harmful.”
Meanwhile, in an interesting move, Kishwar has shown signs of distancing herself from her “black magic” remark on Modi. In a Facebook post, Kishwar has sought to brush aside the comment she made before scroll.in journalist Vrinda Gopinath about "black magic" remark – which has gone viral on the social media – as “media’s penchant for sensation mongering.” Giving a longish explanation, she does not deny what she said, but regretted, it was nothing but a “lighthearted dismissive comment about black magic”, used as “a banner headline” by the top news portal.
The scroll.in interview, titled “Somebody has done black magic on Modi: Madhu Kishwar: The academician discusses the disappointment with Narendra Modi's government and vents ire against Smriti Irani”, said, she did not want to meet Modi and protest against the appointment Irani as education minister expressed her anguish through social media. “The reason I did not go to him was what if he had said, Madhuji, chodo na? It would have been very difficult to say no, and I did not want to drop this matter.”
It is not known why Kishwar decided to retract from her scroll.in interview, which is one of the biggest hits with a whopping 1.52 lakh views in less than 24 hours. The black magic remark to scroll.in was phrased thus: “Nobody can make sense of all this (making Irani education minister), neither me nor anyone else. It is black magic that somebody has done. I cannot believe this is happening. Maybe Modi has not got a grip yet. Maybe Delhi has disoriented him. But it is too premature to pass a verdict. I am still waiting. I am maintaining my distance.”
In her statement retracting her “black magic” remark, Kishwar – who during her student days in early 1970s was with the CPI-M student wing, Students' Federation of India in the Delhi before turning into a firebrand Left-wing feminist – said, “On December 8, 2014, journalist Vrinda Gopinath came to interview me about the performance of the Modi government and the controversy around Smriti Irani’s appointment as HRD minister.”
Giving details of the way interview was conducted, she said, “I told her it was too early to come to a firm conclusion about Modi as Prime Minister, but as far as appointment of Smriti Irani is concerned, I have not changed my opinion one bit about it being a disastrous choice. And my opinion was shared by a large number of people within the BJP.” Then “Vrinda asked her if she had “any explanation as to why Modi made that choice.”
Kishwar said, “My response (to Vrinda) was, if I could find a reasonable explanation, I would not have been so shocked. She then began hazarding her guesses and asked me if such and rumour about Irani was the likely reason. I said, it doesn’t sound credible to me. She then put forward a couple of other explanations like, 'Is it his arrogance? He thinks he can get away with anything, even a useless puppet.' My answer was the same that they don’t sound satisfactory to me. She persisted and said, 'But there has to be some explanation!'”
Kishwar went on in the Facebook post, “My answer was that none of the likely reasons she had offered appear convincing to me and then I added in a light note, more in jest than venturing an explanation or hazarding a guess. 'Maybe occupying the PM’s office has disoriented him or may be someone has done black magic on him'.” It was my way of saying that like many others, I can’t make sense of his choice of such an unsuitable person to head the most crucial ministry.”
But next day Kishwar -- who wrote the book "Modinama" in praise of Modi's Gujarat days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls -- was shocked “when the interview appeared on a web portal, the lighthearted dismissive comment about “black magic” was used as a banner headline.” She had this advise to the readers: “I am sure smart readers will read the line black magic in the spirit it was intended and not be swayed by the sensationalist intent of the editors of the website.”

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