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How The Idea Of ‘One religion, One language, And One Culture’ Is Damaging Indian Secularism

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By Ananya Barua:

“In spite of our great difficulty, however, India has done something. She has tried to make an adjustment of races, to acknowledge the real differences between them where these exist, and yet seek for some basis of unity.” — Rabindranath Tagore (Nationalism in India)

‘Unity in diversity’, ‘cultural, religious and linguistic plurality’ all sum up to the tentative patronage of the illustrious secularism. And, haven’t we all at some point of time, loved to vouch on that? Well, I have. Since the initial days of my submission to institutionalisation, I have grown up believing that my country is indeed unique and unparalleled due to its exceptional ‘inclusive attitude’ and heterogeneity. A part of my heart still wants to believe so. However, the contemporary times force me to differ.

Secularism in india

It is indeed this cult of nationalism that forces me to differ. But, I apologise for this detraction to an emotional and personal account while firmly believing that this agenda of secularism and nationalism is deeply inherent in both personal and public perspectives. To sweep off this ambiguity clouding the discussion, one needs to understand the very meaning of nationalism and why, despite its much acclaimed fame in India, both in the past and the present, the term still feels utterly foreign in both meaning and practice.

By definition, nationalism is indeed a belief, a faith or a political ideology that helps an individual to identify with his or her fellow individuals with respect to a single nation or country bound by its territorial restraints, a common language, culture and religion to unleash the divaricated feeling of patriotism. So, here comes my question: Can a country endowed with such diversified identity be captured within the ‘singular’ restrains of Nationalism? And, if so, then will there not be an involuntary emergence of a particular caste, religion, language or culture into dominance while the rest is surfaced behind the repression? And this phenomenon of cultural, religious or linguistic superiority of one over the rest has been, sadly, predominant in India despite its much eulogised declaration of Secularism. The status of adjustment of different races and religions on the same land, as mentioned by Tagore in the above quote, is but fading away. This is due to the overpowering influence of one over the other, and the urge to establish one’s unique and ‘separate identity’ midst the assemblage. And this practice is actually a product of the philosophy of Nationalism, one that is extensively a Western concept, where such diversity as that of India is a rare sight.

It is then this widespread communal or cultural prejudice that is inflicting a deepening ‘wound’ to Indian Secularism. The idea of having one nation, through one language, one culture and religion is not what India, in theory, stands for. In practice, however, it’s just the opposite, as in the cases of rampant communal riots stemming out of religious prejudice (mostly Hindu-Muslim scrimmage); the 2002 Gujarat riots and the 2013 Muzzaffarnagar riots being two of the prominent examples of the gruesome endeavour. This widening gulf between communities has been, and is still being used, as a political device in the power-struggle between the political parties. Creating political agendas based on religious feud, as that of the recent issue of building a ‘grand Ram temple’ in Ayodhya is being revisited, one which was included in the BJP manifesto. RSS joint general-secretary Dattatreya Hosabale, to this says: “Ram Temple is in agenda of the country, it’s in national interest. We had been supporting VHP and religious leaders on the issue of construction of Ram temple.” My question here arises as to how does an issue with predominance of Hindu sentiment become a ‘national’ issue in a country which is a religious potpourri embracing within its boundaries, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and other indigenous creed, on the same plane.

The attack on India’s pluralism and secularism does not end there, however. The recent hype regarding the implementation of Vedic mathematics in the school curriculum to enhance the hegemony of the Hindu ideology, roughly termed as Hindutva, is one doing rounds at the debates. Furthermore, the renaming of Teacher’s Day as Guru Utsav by the BJP, or rather Modi’s government, despite much criticism, has been wholly a product of the idea of the Hindutva ideology. These ensure the linguistic dominance of Hindi as a language in a country where almost 25% of the population speak Dravidian languages. Therefore, this culture of inculcating Hindi or the root language, Sanskrit, into the Indian perspective, while ignoring the other predominantly spoken languages, is but an outrageous attempt of linguistic discrimination.

To add to this plight of lingo-war, Tamil Nadu former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa lambasted the Centre’s circular to the universities in the southern state, of introducing Hindi, along with English, as the primary language at the graduate level. Terming it “unacceptable” and not “legal”, she took a step further sensitizing the ages old Tamil-Sanskrit tussle, with her demand to the Centre and the Supreme Court to make Tamil as the official language of the Madras high court. It seems like just the other side of the coin putting forth the same perspective, only with a seemingly unalike carving.

Howbeit, in a country with a perpetual breeding ground for racial, religious or cultural prejudice, communal riots or lingo-wars alone don’t stand out as the by-products of the ‘deliberate’ rotting of the country’s pluralism; the issue of bifurcation has also joined the league. By bifurcation, I mean the separation or partition of one state within the premises of India, to form another state, due to the cultural, linguistic or religious clash (along with other reasons, such as the exploitation of the minorities by the majorities) between two communities. And, several states have been subjected to this ‘tearing -apart’ phenomenon, like bifurcation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand from Bihar, while Vidarbha from eastern Maharashtra, and Gorkhaland and Bodoland from the North-east are following. Separation of existing states into newer states on grounds of differing linguistic majority in a country with 122 official and more than 780 unofficial languages and over 2000 dialects, is indeed a dangerous affair. It not only inflicts a wound to the unity of the country above all diversity, but also ensures a fractured form of polity in the country. Just imagine, India with its existing 29 states and 7 union territories, already has a plethora of regional political parties contributing to the consequent instability both at the Centre and the states. A dozen more, as per the demands coming up, especially those made by the letterhead organizations, can literally break the country into pieces while fragmenting the entire politics of the ‘nation’, India. If this goes on, it might just bring about the death of plurality leading to the balkanization of India.

The subtle infiltration by non-secularist movements, cropping up nationwide in the guise of ‘Nationalism’, to enhance the country’s ‘Indian-ness’ is what jeopardizes the Indian unbiased plurality. Since the victory of BJP in the Indian General Elections, where they emerged out to be the first, after 1984 elections, to form the largest majority, the party devising the Modi wave has indeed rose out strong. Their recent victory in the Haryana and Maharashtra Legislative elections confirms so. And, this victory along with all its glitters, brings forth the haunting possibility of emanating Hindu influence (not in terms of the religion only) all over the nation. The rising Hindu hegemony in the guise of establishment of ‘Indian-ness’ and the subsequent birth of other religious or linguistic hegemonies in protest of it (like the Tamil-hegemony), is what threatens India’s Secular Plurality. The future of an all-inclusive diverse India is indeed doubtful, provided the contemporary communal feuds incited by the political parties. Then, are we looking forward to an India (or literally Hindu-stan) with one religion, one language, one culture and only a ‘single’ identity?

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  1. sahil

    Nice article Ananya. But the truth is we are still not a secular country. In a secular country uniform civil code means that religion is personal space and it has no place for specific laws, which means if you get rid of the RSS and so called indian Nationalist threats you also get rid of Sharia and other Christian or minority specific laws. Like the French constitution that promotes freedom for all but not at the cost of promoting one from the others. If all the religious communities in this country are ready for a uniform civil code and admit to following that, then we are truly secular.

    But currently we are not secular nor a religious state but somewhere in between. Religion is supposed to be a personal thing but trust me raised in a family where religion was never a centre piece of discussion, I feel this rise of nationalism that most people in India argue about since the BJP has been elected in, is in fact a global phenomenon thats taking place everywhere. In Europe, where I now study people are moving back to a more conservative or right wing mentality and whether we like it or not Islam has a huge role to play in that. Its because they are demanding Sharia and while most European democracies have been able to separate church and state, the rising muslim population in Europe is a cause for concern.

    I know as Hindus we are born with a feeling and a mere expression of our faith will be seen as fundamentalist. While having lived in Mumbai and now in London I certainly do not advocate RSS style tie rakhis and beat club goers sort of juvinile behavior, I also feel that somehow the election has also been an outburst of frustration that Hindus have because they haven’t been respected in their own country. While in the west you are already misunderstood as pagan and what not, if a country where the whole Hindu religion and culture culminated, does little to acknowledge that the outlet of such a bottling up of feelings is going to result in rise of right wing ideology.

    So if we want to see the country “secular”, we need to get religion out of every walk of life and be a society built on equality and justice. And you pray to whatever God you like and follow whatever path you like but let that be your own personal decision. Don’t judge or correct others.

    1. Voice of reason

      couldnt agree more

    2. Ananya Barua

      @ Sahil, your arguments backed by your observations, have seriously rendered me some valuable insight. You’re absolutely right when you say that religion is but a personal entity, a philosophy which when inflicted with ‘laws’, shatters any possibility of secularism. Judging communities, or even individuals on the basis of their faith, or religion, is seriously atrocious, and yet this is what is rampant. The communal feuds are byproducts of the prejudice, and the judgment based on different religions.
      I believe, voicing out ambiguous, utopic renditions of one’s own religion while demeaning the other, is not what any reasonable person would do, or should be doing right now. As, the fallacy lies not with the religion or the faith, but in the individual’s misinterpreted representation. And, in this article I tried to establish that, while being unbiased, to represent its foremost aim to be anti-extremist.

    3. sahil

      Thanks Ananya. Well I am not a religious person so I don’t hold strong religious views and I feel the RSS is a dinosaur thats detrimental to the modernization of Indian society. But given the history of the RSS I doubt their really as scary as people make them out to be. But the problem is with I am better than you mentality and what the RSS claims is its defensive approach. I think the problem with religion is its a potent political force. Like i said before there is no greater fear than the fear of God.

  2. Babar

    Mr. Sahil, when Muslims are against Sharia in Islamic countries, with what stretch of imagination do you think that they will demand Sharia in Europe? I certainly do not demand Sharia, because I believe that religion is a matter of choice, that cannot be forced down anyone’s throat. Anyone who does not agree has not understood religion. Sharia does have its benefits though. The crime rate in an entire country like Saudi Arabia is less than what it is in cities like Delhi and New York. Secondly, you state that we should not judge, and yet you have a problem with what you label conservative ‘mentality’. What ‘mentality’ people adhere to is left to choice. I am sure that is none of our concern.

    1. Sahil

      Well you do also realize that Saudi Arabia is a totalitarian state. I cant build a temple in Saudi Arabia last time I checked so is that really a good model. As far as the crime rates are concerned I think it will go into a long winding argument. My point is a secular state is one thats free of religion at every level. And every person should have the right to practice whatever they like in the space of their personal life. But the state and nationalistic fervor should be governed not by religion but by the identification of your nationality and your culture. The duties of a state or government should be the welfare of its people and it shouldn’t be its business to see what you practice or not as long as you are not criminal and you are not anti national. But religious laws mean that one party is right and the other one is wrong just based on his/her belief system.

      Look in Europe the clashes happen because most European countries were formed on the basis of Christianity as the state religion and they have then moved to secular government. And the thing thats wrong with Sharia is if people don’t want to follow it no one has the right to impose it. The same goes for hindu or christian rituals.

      And at the end of the day I believe and I don’t care what others think that we all fear God and his retribution and thats why we hide behind religion. The day you know when you close your eyes and people realize that nothing happens after is the day when half the people who are motivated by religion will stop believing in it. I feel God made us and was kind enough to give us a life and as long as we live without being a nuisance to other human beings and animals who share this ecosystem with us, we will be fine. Use religion as a tool to make a personal connection with God and for nothing else, and half of the worlds problems will come to an end.

    2. Gaurav

      saudi arabia has 3 crore people, India has 130 crore. you are comparing apples and oranges. the liberties in india are many times more than arabia

    3. Babar

      The population of Saudi Arabia is three times that of Delhi, yet the crime rate in Delhi is significantly higher.

    4. Gaurav

      composition of delhi is different, and the population is close to 2 crore now. so you are comparing apples and oranges

  3. Babar

    Sahil, it is not Sharia or conservative mentality or religion or as you bluntly put it – Muslims – that are responsible for problems today. It is the lust for power and greed which dictates how people behave, regardless of religion. Why is a country like the U.S., where people mostly adhere themselves to a life free from religion, a country which prides itself on values – a racist apartheid state bent on imperialism and the destruction of human life? The U.S. has invaded one Muslim country after another for money, oil, and power, killing millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Panama, Somalia, among a host of other countries. In Iraq alone, over 2 million people have been slaughtered by the U.S., 500,000 of which were children. The U.S. gives 3.5 billion dollars in aid to Israel annually to murder and maim Palestinians. The U.S. droned Pakistan, killed thousands, and terrorized hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the North Warizistan area of Pakistan. The U.S. wreaked havoc and bloodshed in Iran, bombed Somalians, slaughtered Libyans, butchered Syrians, raped and tortured Muslim men and women in prisons of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and the list is endless.

    http://youtu.be/3DOgWuGYGeo

    1. Ananya Barua

      @ Babar, I agree with you when you say, “it is not Sharia or conservative mentality or religion or as you bluntly put it – Muslims – that are responsible for problems today. It is the lust for power and greed which dictates how people behave, regardless of religion”. Islam as a religion, is often subjected to misinterpretation and misuse, due to its abstract nature. That, however, doesn’t stain the integrity of the religion. Same with Hinduism as a religion, whose essence lies in its inclusion of varied philosophies, creating a thriving space for individual existence of all of them, being within the spheres of dualism, yet emanating a single identity.

  4. Gaurav

    The Idea Of ‘One religion, One language, And One Culture is the hallmark of islamic radicals

  5. Gaurav

    monotheistic tendencies have never accepted hindus as humans, judaism, christianity and islam went to great extent to justify the elimination those who are not like them. although judaism and christianity have learn the concept of peaceful mutual co existence and have over come their animosities and prejudices but islam continues to see blood everywhere. it needs reform. karen armstrong – battle for god and orianna fallachi – force of reason are good books to read.

  6. Gaurav

    ”Can there ever be minorities in a secular country? Well consider this: the definition of secularism according to the Webster’s online dictionary is, ‘a doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations’. At the same time it theocracy as ‘a political unit governed by a deity or by officials thought to be divinely guided’. By this standard, Pakistan, which was renamed as Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956, is a theocratic state. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where shariat laws are in vogue, can have minorities because there, those following Islam are considered to be first class citizens while those following other religions do not have the same rights as first class citizens. But in a secular country, where there is no concept of first class and second class citizens, minorityism is a fallacy or at best the reflection of a distorted secularism based on vote bank politics. Consider this: the website on India’s National Commission of Minorities calls itself as, ‘an organization to safeguard the constitutional / legal rights of minorities’. Such a commission would have been appropriate in Pakistan but essentially puts the question mark on the very essence of our secularism. More so the polity of this country has always use the term minority to portray Muslims, which according to National Commission of Minority date is ironically the second largest religious community in India (comprising of 13.4% of the population of India). The recommendations of the Sachar Committee talk only about Muslims. Would anyone tell Mr. Sachar that ideally it is not the second largest religious group but Jains (consisting of 0.4% of total population), Buddhists (0.8%), Sikhs (1.9%), Jews (counting merely 5100, in India) and Zoroastrians (numbering 69,601 or .006% of the population) who should essentially be the centre of conversation and the subject matter of at all welfare initiatives for minority in this country? Let us also clarify some doubts that Sadia has. Muslims are sitting on the edge of the Indian frame, well that is true but the reason for this is not the boycott by the majority rather Muslims continue to believe that any attempt to join the mainstream will lead to their identity being diluted which again confirms that Muslims perceive a secular society as a threat. In fact India’s largest single minority has already made conscious attempts to stay away from the mainstream by sending their children to madrassas instead of schools for example. The spiritual tenets of Hinduism continue to remain peaceful and inclusive, at the same time there is a growing realization that Islam does not believe in peaceful mutual co-existence. Islam by its very nature is anti-life, Muslims continue to run a vilification campaign against all non Muslims at all times, irrespective of the location or local issues. This is something that needs to be factored in and Hindus in India cannot remain oblivious to this truth.”

    1. Dark Knight

      Your plethora of attacks inciting communal hatred is odious., Make a choice that you haven’t made so far. The right choice.

    2. Gaurav

      when hindus like me highlight the fact that true secularism has never been practiced by congress it only shows your animosity against us hindus in general.

    3. Gaurav

      all i did is to define secularism, which muslims never agree with unless it benefits them. so i do not know where you get the statement – plethora of attacks.

    4. Gaurav

      i only defined sham version of secularism , there is nothing odious

  7. Ishan

    The post is very logical.

  8. akarsh

    Wonderfully written. Analysis was perfectly done. More over as a reader I found myself totally drawn towards the article since the beginning.

  9. Jay

    Terrible article, you speak of other political parties as if they happen to be holy paragons of virtue. “The attacks on indian pluralism!”, absolute moonshine. You,well obviously have obfuscated and deliberately chosen to remove any traces of communalism on the hands of the Congress. The hundreds of riots that broke out in UP to the seemingly periodical riots in Assam that has raged on since the Nellie Massacre in 1989.

    1. Ananya Barua

      @ Jay, the article at no point was triggered to criticise actions of any specific political party, though, I have mentioned a few statements, by individuals, belonging to different political parties. And the references to the riots, were merely examples. It would be delusional, to discern this article from a polarized political perspective. Thank you.

  10. Ananya Barua

    Thank you @Gaurav, for your precious comments. And, yes, I’ll surely give those books a read.
    Now, coming to the article, which seems to you, a product of my ‘animosity to Hindus in general’, I apologise for being incapable enough for not being able to convey my contrasting intentions, instead. So, it is my responsibility as the author of this article, to make another attempt at it.
    If you had read a bit more carefully, you could’ve spotted that I wasn’t pointing at the Hindu-religion, but the Hindutva ideology, the Hindu nationalism, raging up, with every passing day. Now, as you seem to be an opinionated person with sensible knowledge, I expect you to already know, that Hinduism as a religion is a very contemporary term. Indeed, it is an amalgamation of various other philosophical and spiritual traditions that thrived in the ancient India, namely Shaivism, Shaktivism, Vaishnavism, Brahmanism, etc. Going by those facts then, the term ‘Hindu’ connoted to a diverse race with so many traditions, was indeed a political move to assemble them under one umbrella ‘religion’ , and who else could’ve accomplished it , but the British, our colonial ‘rulers’ at one point of time. Moreover, the term ‘Hindu’, rather than being religious, it was a geographic, social and cultural term, meant to define the Hind area, rendered by the Arab trades, most probably. Hence, while speaking of Hindu-hegemony proliferating in India, I meant to trigger the Hindu-extremist ideology, which is more political than religious. The religion, Hinduism, here, thus becomes just a device being used to veil the extremism of the Hindutva. And again, the article was entirely against any ‘extremism’, be it Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian, as none preach any kind of ruthless oppression, or extremism.

    1. Gaurav

      care to define hindu idealogy ?

    2. Ravi

      Read Sarvarkar and Golwalkar.

    3. Ravi

      I assume you know that to a Sanghi, Hindufatwa and Hiduism is the same. If you are against Hindufatwa, then as far they are concerned you are against Hinduism.

    4. Gaurav

      there is nothing called hindufatwa… that is a figment of your imagination, hinduism is the most tolerant of all faith and has the least propensity to violence. infact hindusim has firm belief in sanctity of life.

      RSS is national voluntary corps, dedicated to stand by the nation in trying times, it is a natural barrier to anti national forces, just like cadet corps or other such youth organisations that love their nation and are sensitive to anti national activities, in every nation you will come across natives who would rise to the occasion no matter what the challenge.

      as islamic shows it true face all over the face of earth, all societies are realising the truth and updating their laws and norms to ensure that they do not perish like many cultures/civilisations that have been destroyed by islamic radicals.

      your animosity towards those hindus who are upto the challenge shows your hatred and nothing else, you are free to join ISIS if you so desire. but the remaining hindus will not go down like the bengali women or kashmiri hindus.

    5. Ravi

      hinduism is the most tolerant of all faith, yes it is, but you seem to be an abberation, probably because you have taken the Shakha islamophobic indoctrination to heart.

      RSS is Hindu Fascism which uses Social Work as a camouflage to conceal its nefarious communal/fascistic activities.

      Islamofascism is worse and a danger to our society, however the RSS and you are equating Islamofascism with Islam as a whole and with millions of normal citizens of India.

      Hindu Fascism is not the answer to the real problem of Islamofascism.

      I despise Religious extremism of every kind and the RSS is a regressive form of Hindu extremism.

    6. Gaurav

      RSS is not a fascist organisation, there is nothing called hindu fascism, for that matter I am not a member of RSS. the more assumptions you make about me or indians in general the more you show your hollow understanding of the issues at hand

    7. Ravi

      LoL. I understand Islamophobia and communalism when I see it. In you I see both in abundance.

      Hinduism is a great religion and the most tolerant one. Sadly, not much of its beauty is visible in your diatribes.

    8. Gaurav

      simply because i responded to your comments does not make me anti anyone. i suppose you expected that your incorrect interpretation and assumptions would go unchallenged , and when that did not happen you start calling people communal.

    9. Gaurav

      i did not quote any books

  11. Gaurav

    what is nationalism

    The strong belief that the interests of a particular nation-state are of primary importance. Also, the belief that a people who share a common language, history, and culture should constitute an independent nation, free of foreign domination.

    devotion and loyalty to one’s own country; patriotism

    but for the writer nationalism is a ‘cult’ and secularism is ‘illustrious’ – for any patriotic indian it is clear where your loyalty lies.

  12. Gaurav

    Modi government did not impose hindi on non hindi speakers, but the writer continues to see red. I do not understand what is wrong if teachers day is call guru utsav.

  13. Gaurav

    your understanding of hindu religion and attempts made by people like you to break hinduism down is not going to fool anyone. we hindus know that we have a common heritage and india did give birth to many religions and therefore we did not feel threatened by any other religion, ofcourse islam is a new story and it is becoming evident that it is islam that needs to learn how to tolerate differing view points

  14. Ishan Janbandhu

    The reason why people cannot or do not want to understand simple things is because there is a wide spread ignorance about the origin of Hinduism on the land of people who call themselves Hindu. When all these people who support RSS or Hindutva starts research on the origin of Hinduism and the politics of Bhramanism they will realize the truth of their own statements. More importantly people are driven out of sentiments, each one wants to prove their own religion to be better than others may it be any religion. These are the only 2 things which is restricting Indians to know their own truth.
    Moreover there are not many who can be labeled as the seekers of truth, thus finding the right way to live, first benefit themselves and along with them benefit the entire society. On the contrary there is a fight to establish supremacy. This is a major difference between ancient India and present day India, which then lead total devastation of the land we call motherland. The Mughals, the Afgans,Mongols,Dutch,French British all occupied this wealthy nation and slaved Indians. If people are capable enough to find the real truth and act accordingly there cannot be any battle of supremacy in Bharatdesh.

    1. Ananya Barua

      Exactly! And the consequences of the establishment of one religion/community/culture/language to supremacy can be devastating. The recent modification of history textbooks in Gujarat schools is an example and just the starting…
      http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/hindu-right-ideology-indian-textbooks-gujarat-20141147028501733.html

    2. Gaurav

      al jazeera is your source when it comes to hinduism, now we know that how youth is being gleaned away from reality

    3. Paaliaq

      What is your objection to AlJazeera.

  15. Gaurav

    the writer and the comments below are showing nationalism as communalism which is not correct.

    why do indian citizens need a saudi channel to propogate a saudi narrative. as a hindu it is clear to me that unless i submit to allah i will not be accepted as a human.

    anyone who highlights islamic radicals is called islamophobic, basically people want us to turn a blind eye to the genocides and lull us hindus in believing that nothing is happening and all is beautiful.

    when you justify the genocides and get upset because hindus are waking up to the realities, it is you who has explaining to do. you cannot brush issues under the carpet

    1. Paaliaq

      the writer and the comments below are showing nationalism as communalism which is not correct.

      It is obvious from your comments that you are focused on Hindu interests and you see Indian Muslims as your enemies. You call yourself as Nationalist. Based on your comments here it is difficult not to conclude that it is you who confuses communalism and nationalism.

      why do indian citizens need a saudi channel to propogate a saudi narrative. as a hindu it is clear to me that unless i submit to allah i will not be accepted as a human. Who says that if you do not submit to Allah, then you are not human. Had that be the case no Hindus would ever have worked in Saudi Arabia or for that matter in many other Middle-eastern countries. Millions of Indians, many of them non-Muslims continue to work in Saudi, which testifies to your blatant communal, islamophobic lie.

      anyone who highlights islamic radicals is called islamophobic, basically people want us to turn a blind eye to the genocides and lull us Hindus in believing that nothing is happening and all is beautiful. Any one who on the basis of deranged Muslims from Iraq, Pakistan, etc suspects Indian Muslims is Islamophobic. 1984 Anti-Sikh riots was a genocide perpetrated by Hindus. 1000s of Riots are engineered by the RSS against innocent women and children. Consider Maya Kodanani, Aseemanand, Sadhvi Pragya, etc.

      when you justify the genocides and get upset because hindus are waking up to the realities, it is you who has explaining to do. you cannot brush issues under the carpet what needs to happen is for public to wake-up to the Hindu-fascistic realities of the RSS. Can you brush that under the carpet? As far as radical Islam’s mayhem is concerned, the US is bombing them on daily basis. Not brushing them under the carpet.

    2. Gaurav

      focussing on hindu interest does not mean i am against anyone. if you assume that a hindu should not be thinking about his interest as that will make him anti muslim, that shows your anti hindu mindset

    3. Gaurav

      are hindus allowed to practice their religion in saudi arabia, no
      are muslims allowed to practice their religion in india – yes
      there are atrocities on hindus in arabia. ask the hindus and they will tell you

    4. Gaurav

      in india if someone commits a crime they are punished.
      1984 riots were congress versus sikhs, it was not a religious riot but a political vendetta by congress, your attempts to show this as hindu sikh riot is propoganda.

      sadhvi pragya is innocent and is victim of conspiracy where she is being denied legal rights simply because she is hindu. do your research. the reason congress lost is because it is blatantly anti hindu

    5. Gaurav

      in india if someone commits a crime they are punished.
      1984 riots were congress versus sikhs, it was not a religious riot but a political vendetta by congress, your attempts to show this as hindu sikh is propoganda.

      sadhvi pragya is innocent and is victim of conspiracy where she is being denied legal rights simply because she is hindu.

    6. Gaurav

      on what basis are you making statements like hindu fascistic – there is no basis for such hate mongering

    7. Gaurav

      can you name one riot engineer by rss

    8. Paaliaq

      So if Sadvi Pragya is innocent then why is it that Rajnath is allowing a court case to be started against her. Why is she not out on bail. There are 1000s of provocations based upon rumors, Hindus throwing Cow carcasses in front of their own temples in order to provoke a riot.

    9. Paaliaq

      Riot engineers, L K Advani. Riots followed his Rath Yatras. Amit Shah. Maya Kodanani.

    10. Paaliaq

      Hindu Fascism – Read this.

      Fascism – Essays on Europe and India
      Edited by Jairus Banaji

    11. Paaliaq

      Congress organised 1984 riots, but many RSS Volunteers took part in them and were arrested. But they were communal riots was the point I was making.

    12. Gaurav

      congress started sadhvi pragya case and it has been proved there is no terror link

    13. Gaurav

      l k advani did not start any riots. get your facts right

    14. Gaurav

      http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sadhvi-pragya-thakur-charged-in-rss-worker-murder-case/493100-3-236.html

      read it
      it is not a terror case but a crime committed by two people and the case is still going on

      congress had arrested them and tried to frame them, appropriate investigation has started and sadhvi is in hospital for treatment for now

    15. Paaliaq

      Pragya, who is ailing and undergoing treatment at a city hospital, is also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

      As far as I know the Malegaon blast case is a terrorist case.

    16. Paaliaq

      “Taking into consideration, the material available on record, it cannot be said that the appellant is not guilty of the offence for which she is charged. The material clearly indicates that the appellant is a conspirator and had actively helped the co-accused by providing a motorcycle for explosion of a bomb at Malegaon,” Justice P V Hardas said.

    17. Paaliaq

      NIA also said Pragya visited the house of Joshi on the night of the murder and collected a briefcase. This briefcase is believed to have contained explosive and bomb making material and it was later handed over to Ramji Kalsangra, wanted in connection with Malegaon , Samjhauta, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Dargah blasts.

      Sadhvi is a Hindu Terrorist.

    18. Gaurav

      the case against sadhvi was not started by rajnath. home minister does not need to interfere in any existing case

    19. Paaliaq

      Gaurav you are talking out of your sanghi arse.

      Here is evidence of Rajnath’s nod.

      BHOPAL: Six years after Rajnath Singh publicly claimed Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi murder case, was innocent and harassed, the ministry of home affairs headed by him has given the go-ahead to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to prosecute her.

  16. Paaliaq

    congress started sadhvi pragya case and it has been proved there is no terror link

    So if there is no link to terror, then why is it that Home Minister Rajnath Singh has not freed here.

    1. Gaurav

      read the latest update, she is not an accused in blast. that was a fabrication. she is a co accused in murder of a person who was killed by two men. she will be free soon

    2. Gaurav

      read the updates on praygya , she is not a terrorist. it was a fashion for congress and people like you to accuse people falsely as long as they are hindu

    3. Paaliaq

      I have provided updates here. Many are words of JUDGES and not of politicians. Why don’t you provide updates here.

      It is a fashion for the RSS to terrorise minorities and then say oh these terrorists have never been members of the RSS. Aseemanand is a case in point.

    4. Gaurav

      http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/nia-set-to-drop-case-against-sadhvi-pragya-others-arrested-by-mp-police/1212272/

      this article clearly mentioned that sadhvi is not guilty, despite that you continue to make assumptions and accusations

    5. Gaurav

      it is a fashion for people like you to abuse your right to free speech to abuse rss and run a campaign of lies, rss does not terrorise,.. wahabi, salafi, LET, ISIS, Hamas, TTP, Jundallah, Al Qaida , Taliban are the ones who terrorise

    6. Gaurav

      it is not the job of rajnath singh to interfere. the case is sub judice. i suppose you do not understand what subjudice means

    7. Paaliaq

      BHOPAL: Six years after Rajnath Singh publicly claimed Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi murder case, was innocent and harassed, the ministry of home affairs headed by him has given the go-ahead to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to prosecute her.

    8. Gaurav

      .All the congress and communists are doing everything to free madani who inspired killing many and this girl is suffering with out a proven crime. the italian marine who killed and are going scot free because they are italian. basically islam always kills in name of religion, go and read about hindu holocaust. we hindus are not fools.

    9. Gaurav

      read the below link
      http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hc-allows-sadhvi-pragya-to-convert-her-bail-petn-into-appeal-113121100972_1.html
      it tells you that HC allows Sadhvi Pragya to convert her bail petn into appeal

    10. Gaurav

      http://haindavakeralam.com/hkpage.aspx?PageID=17363&SKIN=B
      read the above with unbiased mind and stop spreading hatred

      hindus do not indulge in violence on religious basis. only islam does. every terrorist strike by islamic terrorist is to eliminate non muslims , the conflicts you mention are between politicians and when someone commits a crime in india they are punished

    11. Paaliaq

      Gaurav

      Hindu Right-Wing is just as violent as any other religious extremist group.

      Rowena Robinson in her book – Tremors of Violence – Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India – reproduces the text from leaflets of Vishwa Hindu Parishad openly circulated after Gujarat Violence in 2002 and signed by the state general secretary Chinubhai Patel “We will cut them and their blood will flow like rivers. ‘We will kill Muslims the way we destroyed Babri mosque’. This is followed by a poem ‘[t]he volcano which was inactive … has erupted. It has burnt the arse of miyas and made them dance nude. We have untied the penises that were tied till now. We have widened the tight vaginas of the bibis…’

  17. Gaurav

    very few people have the courage to use their original name
    it is important to approach courts / police and media for latest updates on any given issue
    initial motivated reports are being used by some individuals.
    it is good to note youthkiawaaz is giving a platform to all individuals.

    1. Paaliaq

      Most of what I have quoted are from JUDGES of Indian courts. Are you suggesting they are using others names.

      Sadhvi Pragya is a Hindu Terrorist.

    2. Gaurav

      no judge has made any statement . this case is sub judice
      you seem to have personal agenda against sadhvi
      many hindu religious leaders have been falsely implicated in many cases and nothing came of them.
      it is also clear that you have personal animosities/prejudices against hindus which is why without any conviction or verdict you are accusing people

    3. Paaliaq

      I highlight names of Judges.

      “Taking into consideration, the material available on record, it cannot be said that the appellant is not guilty of the offence for which she is charged. The material clearly indicates that the appellant is a conspirator and had actively helped the co-accused by providing a motorcycle for explosion of a bomb at Malegaon,” Justice P V Hardas said.

      “In our opinion, the appellant’s role in the crime is of a serious nature and the punishment as contemplated under Section 3(1)(i) of the MCOCA is of death or life imprisonment. Therefore the contention of her counsel that she has already undergone a substantive part of the sentence is not correct”, the bench said.

      Here is evidence of what JUDGES said.

    4. Gaurav

      you have modified the order passed by two judges, the correct order is below:

      While passing the order, the division bench of Justice PV Hardas and AS Gadkari said: “We are of the considered opinion that a strong prima facie case exists against the accused on the basis of the material available on record and is sufficient to deny the bail.”

      Sadhvi Pragya Thakur had appealed in the High Court against an order passed by the MCOCA court in 2012 denying her bail. The bail was sought on several grounds including failing health and the need for medical assistance. The court observed that she was getting medical treatment from government hospitals.

      it is clear from above that initially bail was denied and judges wanted the law to take its own course. there is no indictment in any case

    5. Gaurav

      do not twist the facts, read the complete article below

      http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-denies-bail-to-sadhvi-pragya-in-malegaon-blast-case/article5871947.ece

      http://zeenews.india.com/news/maharashtra/bombay-hc-allows-sadhvi-pragya-to-convert-her-bail-petition-into-appeal_896077.html

      the information that is added by PTI and news agencies cannot be the basis of judgement. the judges simply denied her bail and wanted to proceed with investigation.

    6. Paaliaq

      The main point was, you said no judge has made any statement . this case is sub judice

      Now you are saying you have modified the order passed by two judges, the correct order is below:

      Sadhvi Pragya is Hindu Terrorist, as is Maya Kodanani and Swami Aseemanand.

    7. Gaurav

      http://www.rediff.com/news/report/pragya-thakur-to-get-nias-clean-chit-in-joshi-murder-case/20131227.htm

      read the above, it also confirms that sadhvi pragya is not a terrorist
      you are lying and spreading falsehood
      your deception is not going to fool anyone

      charging any innocent person and running a vilification campaign is not correct. in india there are laws, if someone if found guilty they will be punished.

    8. Gaurav

      http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/nia-set-to-drop-case-against-sadhvi-pragya-others-arrested-by-mp-police/1212272/

      the above link clarifies that sadhvi is innocent. in your anger and anti hindu bias you jumped to a conclusion too quickly.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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