India: Communalists, Constitution and Minority Muslims

Ram Puniyani
October 15, 2020

A Year ago, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had stated (October 10, 2019) that Indian Muslims are happiest in the World due to Hindus. Now he goes on to say that most content Muslims are only in India. Not content with that he went on to state that “if there is any example world over wherein a foreign religion that ruled over the people of a country still exists there”, it is here in India. And further “"Our Constitution did not say that only Hindus can stay here; hereafter only Hindus will be heard here; if you want to stay here, then you have to accept the superiority of Hindus. We created a space for them. This is the nature of our nation, and that inherent nature is called Hindu". Wearing the hat of a historian he stated that many a Muslims fought for Rana Pratap against Akbar, exemplifying that people of all faiths stood together whenever there was an attack on India’s culture.  He labeled Ram Temple is a symbol of national values and character.

Most of these formulations are a ploy to deflect the criticism which RSS, as the patriarch of Hindu Communalism is facing currently, at home and also internationally. The plight of Muslims has been deteriorating at rapid pace during last few decades. Adding on to the violence against them in the wake of Rath yatras for Ram Temple, the mob lynching’s in the name of cow-beef, the social intimidations in the name of love jihad, ghar Wapasi have peaked during last few years. The cumulative intimidation of Muslim community did find its expression in the most democratic Shaheen bagh movement. The violence that took place in the aftermath saw the heavy loss of Muslim lives and great damage to their properties and holy places. The image of communalism as tormentor of weaker sections of society is going up, so probably Mr. Bhagwat is quoting Indian Constitution, which most leaders from his Parivar decry, criticize and call it as being unsuitable for India as it is based on foreign values. On the contrary Shaheen bagh movement showed the peak respect for the same when ‘Preamble of Indian Constitution’ formed its core slogan and ideology.

Undoubtedly, Indian Constitution wants a plural democratic India while RSS parivar wants a Hindu nation. For Indian Constitution religions are not foreign or native, they are universal and we have a full freedom to practice, preach and propagate our religion, we also have a freedom not to adhere to any religion.

The RSS Sarsanghchalak probably does not know that nationalism and religion were separate in the scheme of freedom movement of India where people from different religions and atheists participated with equal zest in fighting against the British rule. He may be unaware that in South East Asian countries the major religion is Buddhism, which originated in this land but is the major religion in those countries.

The communal view of History has been the mainstay of his organization, rather his Parivar’s politics. When he says that even Muslims participated in battle against Akbar, to save the Indian culture, he is taking the distortion of History to further level. In what way did Rana Pratap represent Indian culture? He was a King of Mewar. In what way the battle between Akbar and Rana Pratap was for Indian culture. Akbar, for that matter most of the Muslim kings, who ruled here, became the part of this land. Akbar in particular was for multi-faith society, that’s why he conceptualized Sulh-E-Kul (Harmony among religions). And as Muslim Hakim Khan Sur was part of Rana Pratap’s army (saving Indian culture!), so was Raja Mansingh leading the forces of Akbar! Quiet a garbled up exercise to project Rana Pratap as symbolizing Indian culture, forgetting Raja Mansing was leading forces from opposite side.

So far RSS history has been presenting Rana Pratap and Shivaji as heroes of Hindu nationalism, now probably they have learnt that both these warriors had Muslims in their army and similarly their rival Muslim Kings had Hindus also on their side. These battles have nothing to do as being for and against Indian culture. As such Indian culture flourished during this period leading Jawaharlal Nehru to call this as ‘Ganga Jamani Tehjeeb’ (Syncretism, pluralism at peak). The peak of this was Bhakti and Sufi traditions, which focused on humane aspects of life.

As far as Ram Temple being the symbol of national values and culture, we should recall Bhimrao Ambedkar’s ‘Riddles of Rama and Krishna’, where Ambedkar and later Periyar criticize the Lord for killing a Shudra Shambuk, when he was doing penance, killed Bali from behind and banished his pregnant wife Sita on mere suspicion. Symbol of Indian nationalism is freedom movement and Indian Constitution.

Indian Constitution gives equal citizenship rights to people of all religions, ethnicities, regions and languages. The problem is that communalism regards this as a Hindu nation and so Muslims and Christians are regarded as foreigners.  Accordingly earlier Sarsanghchalak M.S. Golwalkar in his book, ‘Bunch of thoughts’; calls them internal threat to the nation.

To call that Indian Muslims are happiest in the World due to Hindus or they are most content in the World, must a joke. In the light of the rising violence against them, the rising ghettoisation of the community and their declining political representation tells another tale. To cap it; now a section of media, which is part of the communal project, is coining words like Corona Jihad, Corona bomb and the last in the series is from Sudarshan Channel, which sees four odd percent successful Muslim candidates as Jamia Jihadis and others with them as a part of planned jihad to take over civil services!

Such statements like Indian Muslims are most content or happiest is like rubbing salt on the wounds of a besieged community, which is trying its best to live the values of Indian Constitution as witnessed during Shaheen bagh movement.

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Agencies
October 18,2020

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Cairo, Oct 18: Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites, Al Haram Mosque (Grand Mosque) in Makkah, for the first time in seven months, state television reported early on Sunday.

Earlier this month Saudi Arabia allowed citizens and residents to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at holiest sites, Makkah and Madinah, after a seven-month pause due to coronavirus concerns.

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Agencies
October 23,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 23: The Delhi High Court on Friday said Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami can use the tagline NATION WANTS TO KNOW' as part of his speech or presentation.

The high court noted in its order that Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd, which has filed a suit against Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, which owns Republic TV, has submitted that the journalist is free to use the same as part of his speech/presentation of any news channel.

However, if Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd choose to use NATION WANTS TO KNOW' as a trade mark regarding any of their goods/ services, they will have to maintain accounts for such usage and the accounts shall be filed in court regularly, it said.

Regarding the tagline NATION WANTS TO KNOW, no interim order is passed at this stage in favour of the plaintiff (Bennett Coleman). As submitted by the learned counsel for the plaintiff, defendant No. 2 (Goswami) is free to use the same as part of his speech/presentation of any news channel, etc, Justice Jayant Nath said.

Meanwhile, the court allowed an interim application of Bennett Coleman group and passed an interim injunction in its favour and against the defendants retraining them from using the trademark NEWSHOUR' or any other mark which is deceptively similar to the trade mark NEWSHOUR' of the Bennett Coleman.

The plaintiff has filed the suit seeking to restrain Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd from using the trademark or title or tagline NEWSHOUR' and NATION WANTS TO KNOW' as it infringes its registered mark.

The plaintiff said Times Now' is a news channel operated by the plaintiff having several segments of programmes, one of which was launched in 2006 titled THE NEWSHOUR' pertained to discussions, panel discussions and debates on current topics.

It said Goswami, who was earlier associated with Times Now and resigned in 2016, launched his channel Republic TV' and website www.republicworld.com and they also filed trade mark applications for registration of the mark NATION WANTS TO KNOW', ARNAB GOSWAMI NEWSHOUR' and GOSWAMI NEWSHOUR SUNDAY' claiming proprietary rights.

The journalist told the high court that viewers of the two news channels are well informed, literate and can never associate or confuse between the shows or programmes aired on the respective news channels.

He claimed that the Bennett Coleman's animosity with the Republic TV is well known and publicised and hence, there is no question of any passing off in such circumstances and alleged that the proceedings have been initiated in the form of vendetta litigation and merely in a purported attempt to harass and arm-twist the defendants.

The high court said it was of the opinion that it is only after evidence has been led that it can be ascertained as to whether the plaintiff was using the aforesaid mark as a trade mark or it was merely being used as a form of speech in the course of conducting the news channel or in the course of carrying on interviews/presentations by defendant No. 2 (Goswami). These are aspects on which, prima facie, no view can be made at this stage based on the documents placed on record, namely, screen shots of various sites of Twitter, Facebook, etc.

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News Network
October 18,2020
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corona virus

Washington, Oct 18: The global coronavirus caseload now stands at 39.5 million cases, according to the latest updates provided by Johns Hopkins University.

According to the University tracker, there are 39,502,909 COVID-19 cases globally and 1,106,705 patients globally have succumbed to the virus.

Globally, 27,148,927 patients infected from the virus have recovered, the tracker states.

The US continues to be the worst-affected country due to the virus with 8,086,780 cases and 218,980 fatalities, which are the most deaths in the world.

As many as 3,197,539 patients across the US have recovered from the disease.

India and Brazil are the second and third most-affected countries from the virus with 7,432,680 cases and 5,200,300 cases respectively. Russia is fourth on the list with 1,376,020 cases across the country.

As per the University tracker, India has the most COVID-19 recoveries in the world with 6,524,595 patients recovering from the disease across the country.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11.

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