Skip to main content

New York Times blames Modi for failing to rein in Hindu "militants" seeking to reconvert Christians, Muslims

By Our Representative
In one of the sharpest comments in the recent past on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the powerful American daily, "The New York Times," has chose the Christmas (December 25) to editorially declare its opposition to the way in which he has been dealing with the whole issue of conversion. The daily’s editorial has said, “Hope is in danger of crumbling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would rein in the divisive agenda of his militant Hindu-nationalist supporters and allow India to concentrate on the important work of economic reform.”
Saying that “the blame lies squarely with Modi”, the daily has, surprisingly, echoed the Opposition parties which, it points out, have insisted that “Modi must break his silence and issue a stern warning to emboldened Hindu militants before their actions turn further progress on economic reform into a sideshow, with the politics and divisiveness occupying center stage.”
The daily recalls, “During the last days of its winter session ending on Tuesday, Parliament was unable to deal with important legislative business because of repeated adjournments and an uproar over attempts by Hindu groups to convert Christians and Muslims.” Suggesting that the issue has come to a head following a ‘homecoming’ campaign by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, whom the daily terms as “groups dedicated to transforming India’s secular democracy into a Hindu state”, the daily strongly takes exception to the efforts being made to “reconvert” Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.
“In recent weeks, Hindu militants have engineered conversions of Muslims and Christians in Agra and in the states of Gujarat and Kerala”, the daily says, adding, “Police are investigating accusations that people have been induced to participate in mass conversion meetings by a combination of intimidation and bribery, including the promise of food ration cards.”
But what appears to worry more is, “attacks on Christians and their places of worship have intensified in recent weeks.” The daily cites two examples for this: “One of New Delhi’s biggest churches burned down on December 1 — arson is being blamed — and Christmas carolers were attacked on their way home in the city of Hyderabad on December 12.”
The daily suggests how the hierarchical Hindu caste system was the main reason behind past conversions, which were different from what the “Hindu militant groups” are doing right now. It says, “More than 80 percent of Indians are Hindus, but Muslims, Christians and Sikhs form important religious minorities with centuries of history in India. Religious pluralism and freedom are protected by India’s Constitution. The issue of religious conversion is contentious in India. Many Dalits, known formerly as untouchables, and other low-caste Hindus and Tribals admit they convert to Islam or Christianity primarily to escape crushing caste prejudice and oppression.”
To prove its point, the daily points towards how the “main architect of the Constitution, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, born a Dalit, famously converted to Buddhism to escape caste-oppression under Hinduism.”
The commentary, significantly, comes close on the heels of the RSS declaring that it would make India cent per cent Hindu. The declaration has not been taken kindly by international media. Well-known site, http://www.bloombergview.com/, has noted that this comes from an "all male Hindu nationalist outfit", calling it a "crude campaign", adding, Modi’s "non-gesture" reflects his "divided allegiance between the oaths and responsibilities of his present post and the convictions and prejudices of his often murky past."

Comments

TRENDING

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama as top RSS leader warns China of 'strong' action

Nava Thakuria*
Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, for his “immense contributions” in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades. A declaration, adopted at the 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on June 15 and 16 in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh, said that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

Ex-CEA is 'right': India's new GDP growth data didn't pass the smell test. They still don't

Counterview Desk
In a hard-hitting defence of former chief economic adviser (CEA), Government of India (GoI), Arvind Subramanian, who created a major flutter by arguing in a recent paper that India's growth rate has been inflated by 2.5%, prominent academic Dr V Anantha Nageswaran wonders why is GoI not making available the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) data and methodology to independent statisticians for verification.

Gujarat govt 'considers' temples, charitable institutions as shops and establishment

By Pankti Jog*
The Gujarat state assembly recently passed a new law which would "govern" the working condition of shops and establishments. One of the most talked about provisions of the Act is, it allow shops and establishments across Gujarat to function 24 hours.

There is no 'separate' Kashmir story, as there is for Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Palestine

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros.

FIR against Lawyers’ Collective a ‘witch-hunt’ of outspoken human rights defenders

Counterview Desk
In a statement, Ravi Kiran Jain* and Dr V Suresh** of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have said the CBI’s FIR against the Lawyers’ Collective and senior advocate Anand Grover is an undisguised attempt to silence not just the top human rights organization but is also meant to “serve as a lesson to all others who dare to challenge the Central Government.”
Calling the FIR “motivated, vengeful and vituperative act”, PUCL said the Lawyers’ Collective, which has for 38 years of its existence has taken up cases related with domestic violence, human rights, labour and womens’ rights, adding, among the important ones are the “Naz case on rights of the LGBTQ community, the Novartis case, the Sabarimala case, the triple talaaq case and the Sohrabuddin case, in which current Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah was involved.”
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the FIR, PUCL said, “The case lodged against the organization smacks of vendetta for its exceptional …