Skip to main content

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.”

Comments

TRENDING

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

Withdraw sedition charges against three young women activists: 1100 feminists

Counterview Desk
About 1,100 feminists from all over India – organisations and individuals across religion, class, caste, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and genders – have issued a solidarity statement condemning what they have called “the targeted crackdown on Muslims and women activists in Delhi”, who were at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Tablighis or Namaste Trump? Rupani must 'clarify' on origin of Covid-19 in Gujarat

By Mujahid Nafees* In his video communication on April 24, 2020, chief minister Vijay Rupani informed us that in the month of March the Gujarat government had quarantined 6,000 people returning from abroad in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. He further asserted that the spread of Covid-19 was caused by the tablighis returning from Nizamuddin in Delhi. His statements were widely publicized and given front page coverage by some local dailies.

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”