India to launch cow urine as soft drink

February 19, 2009

India to launch cow urine as soft drink

Jeremy Page, Delhi

Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing? India’s Hindu nationalist movement apparently has the answer: a new soft drink made from cow urine.

The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India’s biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called “gau jal”, or “cow water” – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year”.

“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”
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The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims eight million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness.

Hindus revere cows and slaughtering them is illegal in most of India. Cow dung is traditionally used as a fuel and disinfectant in villages, while cow urine and dung are often consumed in rituals to “purify” those on the bottom rungs of the Hindu caste system.

In 2001, the RSS and its offshoots – which include the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party – began promoting cow urine as a cure for ailments ranging from liver disease to obesity and even cancer.

The movement has often been accused of using more violent methods, such as killing 67 Christians in the eastern state of Orissa last year, and assaulting women in a pub in Mangalore last month. It also has a history of targeting foreign business in India, as in 1994, when it organised a nationwide boycott of multinational consumer goods, including Pepsi and Coca Cola.

The cola brands are popular in India, now one of their biggest markets, but have struggled in recent years to shake off allegations, which they deny, that they contain dangerous levels of pesticide.

Mr Prakash said his drink, by contrast, was made mainly of cow urine, mixed with a few medicinal and ayurvedic herbs. He said it would be “cheap”, but declined to give further details about its price or ingredients until it was officially launched.

He insisted, however, that it would be able to compete with the American cola brands, even with their enormous advertising budgets. “We’re going to give them good competition as our drink is good for mankind,” he said. “We may also think of exporting it.”


Mumbai Attacks an Inside Job – Rebuttal of India Dossier by Zaid Hamid

January 27, 2009

Amazing interview! Zaid Hamid delivers a strong rebuttal of the India Dossier blaming Pakistan for the Mumbai Attacks.

Mumbai Attacks…The Fraud Exposed

December 14, 2008

Hindus, Western extremist and Mossad behind Mumbai terrorist attacks: Say Defence analysts
A security expert has sensationally revealed, interviewing to a news show, that, November 26’s attacks on Mumbai have accomplished by Hindus, Western extremists and Mossad, Pakistan is not involved in these attacks. This show had been downloaded on a website and widely circulated in India.

Exposing on a program ‘Mujhe ikhtlaf hai’ ( I beg to differ) on “News One Channel” which was launched in November, Zaid Hamid declared that terrorists’ faces were similar to Hindus, they were speaking in a language that’s not in use in Pakistan.

Hamid told that the attack was accomplished under the “great plans”, it was totally wrong. How America masterly fought off 9/11 incident and then easily derived the support of media. Indians repeated the same episode but they were cheated.

Hamid told attackers had fastened saffron Hindu ribbons around the head that a Muslim will never fasten. Hamid further said that in five minutes of attack, three ATS officers, who were probing the terror network of Indian security agency and Hindu right wing, were assassinated by terrorist. After the assassination of these three officers, it’s clear that these investigations will not proceed any longer.  The investigations were carried out for the Bombings of Samjhota Express in which involvement of Indian army official was about to be proven.

Anchor of the show Qudsiya Ansari commented that correct probing of Samjhauta Express will be affected after the death of ATS officers. Member of Pakistan Muslim League; Marvi Memon was also in the program. He strongly expressed his grief and anger on sending ISI chief to India and asked ” I could have not supported the decision of Pakistan to send ISI chief in India” he further said that how can we send ISI Chief to the country to which we are waging a war and Indians speak against Pakistan in one tongue. He also spoke about separatist movements in India and assured “India is reaping what it has sown”.

“India is going back in the era of  religious tyranny , government is also assisting many separatist movements and separatists are involve in  terror attacks on Mumbai, however it is blaming on  Muslims

A Pakistani journalist Farakh Khan Pitafi addressed in this show that I have been supporting the peace and love between India and Pakistan for long time, but, the way India baselessly blamed Pakistan without any authentic proof, shows madness of India

He has written ” Indian news channels has given a long coverage to Mumbai attacks but during this episode media  didn’t present this ATS officer as he revealed Hindu terrorism and Modi demanded to dismiss him.

Some analysts also think that this is done by the internal conflicts that are being faced by India.  There are many separatist movements inside India who are looking for separate states including Sikhs, Kashmiris and Naxalites to mention a few.

Separatist Movements in India
In the first years of India’s independence many predicted that India, because of its diversities, will not survive as a single state, but will break up into separate states. Since India’s independence in 1947 there were many attempts by different communities in India to establish independent countries on Indian soil using terror and other means, but so far India remains united country.

In Kashmir, in north India, there were organizations and underground organizations which demanded first to attach Kashmir to Pakistan and later on started demanding an independent Kashmir state. In Punjab, to the south of Kashmir, the Sikhs demanded an independent Sikh country to be called Khalistan.

In north- east India, there were many demands for separate states by different groups. North -east India was, during British period, province of Assam. In this region which borders China, there are many communities which are referred to under Indian law as tribes. These tribal people have Chinese appearance and speak in languages from the Sino-Tibetian family. Since India’s independence, many tribal communities in this region, in the beginning with Chinese support, tried to establish independent states apart from India. In the 1960s rebellions from Mizoram region even declared independence. The Indian army suppressed these rebellions in this region and the rebellion leaders signed peace treaties with the Indian government. The Indian government created autonomous states for the different tribes in this region within the Indian Union. These states were created by detaching parts from Assam. This action including other actions some Indian governments took in Assam, caused discontent among the Assamese and they also demanded to separate from India. In the 1980s there was even a terror organization which included rebellions from the seven north east Indian states and they worked together against the Indian government.

In south India, before India’s independence there was a demand for an independent Dravidstan for the whole of south India. After India independence, this demand was mild down for autonomous Dravidian states within the Indian union. But the Tamilians who emigrated from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka demand an independent state in north Sri Lanka and it is presumed they receive lot of support from Indian Tamilians.

Of The 200 Killed In Mumbai, A High Number Were Muslims

December 14, 2008

ANAND PATWARDHAN argues that real security has to be accompanied by real justice

Tehelka Report

Terror: The Aftermath
In Mumbai, after the numbing sorrow came the blame game and the solutions. Loud voices amplified by saturation TV: Why don’t we amend our Constitution to create new anti-terror laws? Why don’t we arm our police with AK 47s? Why don’t we do what Israel did after Munich or the USA did after 9/11 and hot pursue the enemy? Solutions that would lead us further into the abyss. For terror is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It thrives on reaction, polarisation, militarisation and the thirst for revenge.

The External Terror
Those who invoke America need only to analyse if its actions after 9/11 increased or decreased global terror. It invaded oil-rich Iraq fully knowing that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, killing over 200,000 Iraqis citizens but allowing a cornered Bin Laden to escape from Afghanistan. It recruited global support for Islamic militancy, which began to be seen as a just resistance against American mass murder. Which begs the question of who created Bin Laden in the first place, armed the madarsas of Pakistan and rejuvenated the concept of Islamic jehad? Israel played its own role in stoking the fires of jehad. The very creation of Israel in 1948 robbed Palestinians of their land, an act that Mahatma Gandhi to his credit deplored at the time as an unjust way to redress the wrongs done to Jews during the Holocaust. What followed has been a slow and continuing attack on the Palestinian nation. At first Palestinian resistance was led by secular forces represented by Yasser Arafat but as these were successfully undermined, Islamic forces took over the mantle. The first, largely non-violent Intifada was crushed, a second more violent one replaced it and when all else failed, human bombs appeared.

Thirty years ago when I first went abroad there were two countries my Indian passport forbade me to visit. One was racist South Africa. The other was Israel. We were non-aligned and stood for disarmament and world peace. Today Israel and America are our biggest military allies. Is it surprising that we are on the jehadi hit list? Israel, America and other prosperous countries can to an extent protect themselves against the determined jehadi, but can India put an impenetrable shield over itself? Remember that when attackers are on a suicide mission, the strongest shields have crumbled. New York was laid low not with nuclear weapons but with a pair of box cutters. India is for many reasons a quintessentially soft target. Our huge population, vast landmass and coastline are impossible to protect. The rich may build new barricades. The Taj and the Oberoi can be made safer. So can our airports and planes. Can our railway stations and trains, bus stops, busses, markets and lanes do the same?

The Terror Within
The threat of terror in India does not come exclusively from the outside. Apart from being hugely populated by the poor India is also a country divided, not just between rich and poor, but by religion, caste and language. This internal divide is as potent a breeding ground for terror as jehadi camps abroad. Nor is jehad the copyright of one religion alone. It can be argued that international causes apart, India has jehadis that are fully home grown. Perhaps the earliest famous one was Nathuram Godse who acting at the behest of his mentor Vinayak Savarkar (still referred to as “Veer” or “brave” although he refused to own up to his role in the conspiracy), murdered Mahatma Gandhi for the crime of championing Muslims.

Jump forward to 6th December, 1992, the day Hindu fanatics demolished the Babri Mosque setting into motion a chain of events that still wreaks havoc today. From the Bombay riots of 1992 to the bomb blasts of 1993, the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 and hundreds of smaller deadly events, the last 16 years have been the bloodiest since Partition. Action has been followed by reaction in an endless cycle of escalating retribution. At the core on the Hindu side of terror are organizations that openly admire Adolph Hitler, nursing the hate of historic wrongs inflicted by Muslims. Ironically these votaries of Hitler remain friends and admirers of Israel.

On the Muslim side of terror are scores of disaffected youth, many of whom have seen their families tortured and killed in more recent pogroms. Christians too have fallen victim to recent Hindutva terror but as yet not formed the mechanisms for revenge. Dalits despite centuries of caste oppression, have not yet retaliated in violence although a small fraction is being drawn into an armed struggle waged by Naxalites.

It is clear that no amount of spending on defense, no amount of patrolling the high seas, no amount of increasing the military and police and equipping them with the latest weaponry can end the cycle of violence or place India under a bubble of safety. Just as nuclear India did not lead to more safety, but only to a nuclear Pakistan, no amount of homeland security can save us. And inviting Israel’s Mossad and America’s CIA/FBI to the security table is like giving the anti-virus contract to those who spread the virus in the first place. It can only make us more of a target for the next determined jehadi attack.

Policing, Justice and the Media
As for draconian anti-terror laws, they too only breed terror as for the most part they are implemented by a state machinery that has imbibed majoritarian values. So in Modi’s Gujarat after the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in 2002, despite scores of confessions to rape and murder captured on hidden camera, virtually no Hindu extremists were punished while thousands of Muslims rotted in jail under draconian laws. The same happened in Bombay despite the Shiv Sena being found guilty by the Justice Shrikrishna Commission. Under pressure a few cases were finally brought to trial but all escaped with the lightest of knuckle raps. In stark contrast many Muslims accused in the 1993 bomb blasts were given death sentences.

The bulk of our media, policing and judicial systems swallows the canard that Muslims are by nature violent. Removing democratic safeguards guaranteed by the Constitution can only make this worse. Every act of wrongful imprisonment and torture that then follows is likely to turn innocents into material for future terrorists to draw upon. Already the double standards are visible. While the Students Islamic Movement of India is banned, Hindutva outfits like the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, and the Shiv Sena remain legal entities. The leader of the MNS, Raj Thackeray recently openly spread such hatred that several north Indians were killed by lynch mobs. Amongst these were the Dube brothers, doctors from Kalyan who treated the poor for a grand fee of Rs.10 per patient. Raj Thackeray like his uncle Bal before him, remains free after issuing public threats that Bombay would burn if anyone had the guts to arrest him. Modi remains free despite the pogroms of Gujarat. Congress party murderers of Sikhs in 1984 remain free. Justice in India is clearly not there for all. Increasing the powers of the police cannot solve this problem. Only honest and unbiased implementation of laws that exist, can.

It is a tragedy of the highest proportions that one such honest policeman, Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who had begun to unravel the thread of Hindutva terror was himself gunned down, perhaps by Muslim terror. It is reported that Col. Purohit and fellow Hindutva conspirators now in judicial custody, celebrated the news of Karkare’s death. Until Karkare took charge, the Malegaon bomb blasts in which Muslims were killed and the Samjhauta Express blasts in which Pakistani visitors to India were killed were being blamed on Muslims. Karkare exposed a hitherto unknown Hindutva outfit as masterminding a series of killer blasts across the country. For his pains Karkare came under vicious attack not just from militant Hindutva but from the mainstream BJP. He was under tremendous pressure to prove his patriotism. Was it this that led this senior officer to don helmet and ill-fitting bullet proof vest and rush into battle with a pistol? Or was it just his natural instinct, the same courage that had led him against all odds, to expose Hindutva terror?

Whatever it was, it only underlines the fact that jehadis of all kinds are actually allies of each other. So Bin Laden served George Bush and vice-versa. So Islamic and Hindutva jehadis have served each other for years. Do they care who dies? Of the 200 people killed in the last few days by Islamic jehadis, a high number were Muslims. Many were waiting to board trains to celebrate Eid in their hometowns in UP and Bihar, when their co-religionists gunned them down. Shockingly the media has not commented on this, nor focused on the tragedy at the railway station, choosing to concentrate on tragedies that befell the well-to-do. And it is the media that is leading the charge to turn us into a war-mongering police state where we may lead lives with an illusion of safety, but with the certainty of joylessness.

I am not arguing that we do not need efficient security at public places and at vulnerable sites. But real security will only come when it is accompanied by real justice, when the principles of democracy are implemented in every part of the country, when the legitimate grievances of people are not crushed, when the arms race is replaced by a race for decency and humanity, when our children grow up in an atmosphere where religious faith is put to the test of reason. Until such time we will remain at the mercy of “patriots” and zealots.

Dalits in India – Tale of Brutality

December 13, 2008

Condition of Dalits in India and their oppression by hi caste Hindus extremists on State level. Real face of democratic and secular India exposed.

Western Darling India: A True Reality Check!

December 13, 2008

Western Darling India: A True Reality Check!

Saqib M.Khan

London, U.K.

UQAAB commentator


Many Westerners ask Pakistanis, why Pakistan became a separate nation. Pakistani Muslims and Christians follow the modern Abrahamic Faiths. The practice of Hinduism, a conglomerate of animistic cults in India, which were bundled together by the British colonials and named “Hinduism; is an anathema in the modern world of basic hygience. The Western world is still pretty naive about the anti-female practices in India (several million female fetuses were aborted in India, due to the modern invention of sonogram. The male child is coveted. Eventhe most vehement pro-abortion activists with balk at such female genocide) This article succintly describes some of these abhorent practices.

India is the most iniquitous society on the earth and and suffers from intolterable religious, dogmatic prejudices and hatred imaginable. India is riddled with various North/ South/East/West divisions and separatist movements but they are not called”Hindu Terrorists”. What happened im Mumbai on 26 November 2008 was stomach churning atrocity that needs to be condoned as every act of horrendous terrorism in Pakistan must be condoned by the world. But, the Mumbai tragedy could have been avoided and contained if the Indian intelligence Serviced did not wear blinkers and ear-plugs and pretended their innocence. Also the brutality that killed over 2,500 Muslims in Gujarat will always be a heinous blow to Indian’s glossy claim to be a democracy, a secular state and a tolerant society with an inherently abhorrent caste system that would shame any human being with little intelligence. The trouble with the Hindu Saffron clad fundamentalists and fanatics that even a cow on a Indian road is killed in aan accident, they immediately blame the Muslims and their warmongering politicians want to start a war with Pakistan. Yet, these evil Indian politicians of hate prosper in their murderous political intentions. Bal Thackeray is one of those political thugs who believe that “if you are not a Hindu in India, you are not an Indian”. The Bharatiya Janata Party which controlled Gujarat as well as the national government at the time, and other known sahibs of politics, were implicated in turning a blind eye to mass murder of innocent Muslim men, women and children. The police force under the BJP was heavily implicated in the violence, which to a large extent was pre-planned. Everyone seems to be singing Bollywood songs these days but it is imperative to mention that Mumbai has become one of the biggest sin capitals of the world where the sun sets at midday and nights are for lewd debauchery and sex (The picture below was the least pornographic we could find)

Shiva Lingam, Shiva’s Phallus  worship in India.  (Reference:

in every available corner. Indian caste system is embedded in the Hindu religion and the most essential part of its theology. The untouchable Hindus are shunned by majority and not allowed to eat with non-untouchables, sit on the same table, sit together on a sofa next and attend the same church or religious ceremonies with a higher caste Hindu? The fact of the matter is that that the Hindu caste system is not a division of labour as claimed to distinguish the untouchables but it is in fact the stigma and label of birth as preached by the Hindu religion. An untouchable was born an untouchable since the inception of Hindu ethos over thousands of years ago and remains so even today. Heshe is not treated as an equal in the Hindu society because for thousands of years, they have been carrying the certificate (classification of birth) “untouchable”. India cannot claim to be a secular state and a democracy when over 50% of its masses are treated as untouchables and shunned by the few higher-caste Hindus as outcasts and the lowest of Indian society. The caste system still prevails in India, though on January 26, 1950, the constitution of India abolished it, which left many innocent Shudras ruthlessly abused and massacred by upper-caste people like Brahmins. Shudra according to Vedas is classified as the lowest of the four castes. The ideal society prescribed by the Vedas is known by the name Chaturvarna and must satisfy three conditions and must be composed of four classes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras.. The interrelations of these classes must be regulated by the principle of graded inequality. In other words, all these classes are not to be on equal level but to be one above the other, in point of status, rights and privileges. The Brahmins were placed at the top; the Kshatriyas were placed below the Brahmins but above the Vaishyas; the Vaishyas were placed below the Kshatriyas but above the Shudras and the Shudras were placed the lowest of all. Brahmin was born from Hindu god Vishnu’s head; Kshatriya from his chest; Vaishyas from his thigh and Shudras from his foot and introduced the caste system, which is considered to be the most iniquitous. The Shudra were born to do menial jobs for all the three superior classes. A Shudra enjoyed no rights or privileges. He was not permitted to perform any religious, sacrifices , read or learn the Vedas or recite the mantras. A Shudra could marry only another Shudra. He was not allowed to enter temples and could only serve the upper three castes as a slave, barber, blacksmith or cobbler. A Shudra was forbidden to walk side by with a Brahim or hear him recite religious sermons and if found of the guilt of the crime; the Shudra was punished by pouring molten iron in his ears. Indian culture is still riddled with the most socially iniquitous, prejudiced, discriminating society that defiles human conscious, logic and wisdom. The majority of these horribly under- privileged poor live in grinding poverty and earn as little as 80 US cents a day doing every menial job available when they migrate to towns and cities looking for work, and have to live in the worst slumps seen in the world. This poverty trap will never be broken in India as long as its poor are treated as untouchables and sub-humans. Economists blame this demographic division because 49% of Indian untouchable children are malnourished, as evident from their skinny limbs, pale faces, empty stares and the plight of the miserable environment in which they live and grow. As the Indian rich grow fatter and fatter at the expense of the poor, it is alarming many pundits that this inequality and disparity could easily backfire and jeopardize the Indian claim to be the largest democracy. IBne-Butata, the famous Arab historian came to the conclusion after his long stay in India in the 11th century that Hindu mythology and theology at the one hand transcends to heaven but at the same time falls into cowdung with its frivolous and obnoxious rituals of

worshipping cows, rats, snakes, monkeys, elephants, tigers and over two million man-made gods, bathing in cow’s urine Shower.jpgand massaging with it’s cowdung for spititual purification.

A cow is considered most sacred for Hindus. In the form of Gomata or mother cow, gives multiple benefit to the society. Even its urine is consumed in small quantities, to purify one’s body. Some of the researchers even found that it is a preventive medicine for many ill health’s. And particularly it even cures kidney ailments. According to a report appeared in the Indian Express of Mumbai edition (read the following news clipping published on the January 14, 2000), states that Gomutra (gomutram) or the Cow’s Urine highly beneficial in the treatment of Asthma, headache and tooth problems too.

The Brahmins used to consume Panchacavya (panchakavyam) (i.e. a mixture of five items, namely Cow dung, Cow’s Urine, Cow’s milk, Curd and Ghee made of Cow’s milk) during thread wearing ceremony and also whenever they perform any orthodox rituals. This is done to purify one’s body from any sins and make him fit for the rituals. Even today it is widely accepted and performed. (Reference:

Tearing down the Babri Masjid

December 12, 2008

Tearing down the Babri Masjid

In December 1992, Mark Tully, who was reporting for the BBC, witnessed at first hand the destruction by Hindu hardliners of the mosque in Ayodhya. Here is his account of that day.

On 6 December 1992, I was standing on the roof of a building with a clear view of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

This was the day the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other organisations supporting it were to begin work on building the temple, but they had given a commitment to the government and the courts that it would only be a symbolic start, a religious ceremony and no damage would be done to the mosque.

I saw young men clambering along the branches of trees… and rushing towards the mosque

A vast crowd, perhaps 150,000 strong, had gathered and was listening to speeches given by BJP and right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders.

Among those present were LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, now senior figures in the BJP-led government.

Trouble first broke out in the space below us when young men wearing bright yellow headbands managed to break through the barriers.

Journalists beaten

The police stood by and watched, while some men wearing saffron headbands and appointed by the organisers to control the crowd did try to stop them.

They soon gave up, however, and joined the intruders in beating up television journalists, smashing their cameras and trampling on their tape recorders.

Many Hindu activists wore saffron as they approached the site

Encouraged by this, thousands charged towards the outer cordon of police protecting the mosque.

Very quickly, this cordon collapsed and I saw young men clambering along the branches of trees, dropping over the final barricade, and rushing towards the mosque.

Crowd carried away

The last police retreated from the mosque, their riot shields lifted to avoid being hit by stones the crowd was throwing at them, and two young men scrambled on top of the mosque’s central dome and started hacking away at the mortar.

Security forces were unable to stop the destruction

They were soon joined by others.

As telephone lines had been cut, I drove to Faizabad to file my story for the BBC and then tried to return to the site.

Before I could reach there, I and the Hindi-language journalists with me were threatened and then locked in a room by kar sevaks (Hindu volunteers).

We were kept there for several hours before we were rescued by a local official assisted by the head priest of one of Ayodhya’s best known temples.

But by then the Babri Masjid had been totally demolished.

Starvation persists in Orissa

December 12, 2008

Starvation persists in Orissa
Several cases of starvation deaths have been reported in Orissa, especially in areas with high tribal populations. Added to this, government inaction in response to the crisis deepens people’s woes. Arpan Tulsyan reports.

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19 July 2008 – Last November, Santara Naik, a resident of Dhirapatna village of Dhenkanal district in Orissa, died of starvation. Today, his wife Sajani lives in their half-broken, neat but empty dwelling, with their two daughters and a grandson. There’s no need to ask her questions about the reasons behind Naik’s death. Her appearance conveys more than words could ever do – she herself is nothing more than a bundle of bones.

Sajani traces his death to Orissa government’s 1998 ban on using bamboo from forests. The ban came because of the increased commercial importance of non-timber forest produce, kendu leaf, sal seed, and bamboo, all of which were nationalised in Orissa, thereby entailing only the state to collect and market these products. (Sal was nationalised in 1983 and kendu leaf in 1973.)

Naik had made his living till then by collecting bamboo from forests, weaving baskets and selling them at the village market. However, after the ban, he couldn’t collect bamboo and didn’t have the financial resources to buy it from the market. He had no other skills and could not find an alternative source of livelihood. As he had no experience in agricultural work, and as he belonged to a Scheduled Caste, villagers did not call him for agricultural labour. In the last years of his life, Naik, an artisan, was reduced to soliciting food from villagers.

Santara Naik

Now, almost nine months after his death, his 50-year-old wife and his daughters, aged 28 and 15, haven’t found any employment either. Villagers do not enlist their services for the same reasons they avoided Naik. Compounding the problem is their low body weight and high malnutrition levels, which make it impossible for them to do any labour-intensive work.

By no account is Naik’s story a unique one in Orissa, where hunger and starvation persist scandalously. Because of a number of problems, ranging from livelihood crisis and indebtedness to distress migration, prolonged malnutrition and non-implementation of government schemes, starvation amongst the state’s population is not at all uncommon. Even the consumption of inedible items such as mango kernels, poisonous roots and tubers and similar so-called ‘distress food’ items – often passed off as ‘traditional tribal food’ – indicate the existence of high levels of hunger and starvation in the state.

There are no concrete figures for the number of starvation cases in Orissa, as the government itself has so far not acknowledged that there is a problem. It was only because of sustained pressure from the media, the judiciary, the National Human Rights Commission and citizen’s groups that the Orissa government released what is considered as an underestimated figure of instances of starvation deaths in the state. Koshala Development Forum, an organisation that undertakes research on under-development in Orissa’s tribal-dominated Koshala region, cites in its working paper no.1, 2004, a written statement by revenue minister Biswabhusan Harichandan about starvation deaths presented in the State Assembly, published in Utkal Sambad, an Oriya daily. From 2000 to 2003, 441 starvation deaths were reported in the state, the minister said. Of these, 268 deaths were from the southern region, which has a high tribal population.

Defining starvation

The Orissa government thus far seems to have relied on a narrow definition of starvation to refute reports of starvation deaths. And it’s true that not many people die exclusively because of starvation. Starvation weakens the body and the person eventually succumbs to a disease, due to his or her severely compromised immunity. Take the case of Nakula Naik, a 45-year-old from Mangalpur village in Dhenkanal district, who died of starvation in February this year. A Dom by caste, he too was a bamboo weaver like Santara Naik, and faced problems in procuring bamboo. In addition, he developed asthma and therefore could not do manual labour. Gradually, the family had to live on mendicancy and face acute starvation. Although the sarpanch helped him get admission in a hospital, he was released before his full recovery as he did not have the money to continue treatment. The family lived by consuming ‘distress-food’ items such as wild leaves and tubers. After his death, his wife and his one-year-old child continue to be threatened by starvation. A half-broken dwelling and a few vessels are their only worldly possessions.

Though in normal circumstances, a disease like asthma may not be fatal, a person who is starving is unable to combat it. However, disease, and not starvation, is given as the official reason for death. Moreover, public officials tend to believe that starvation means absolutely no intake of food. Therefore, if the post-mortem reveals a few grains in the stomach of the deceased, starvation reports are rubbished.

A number of problems, ranging from livelihood crisis and indebtedness to distress migration, prolonged malnutrition and non-implementation of government schemes, have resulted in people starving.
NREGA battling corruption
Why their kids are dying

To develop a concrete definition of starvation, activists from Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, the Indian branch of the global People’s Health Movement, formed a ‘Hunger Watch Group’ and came up with a measurable guideline. Their Guidelines for Investigating Suspected Starvation Deaths 2003, says, “In adults, a BMI [Body Mass Index] of 16 and less should be used as a cut-off point to demarcate starvation from under-nutrition. Based on a requirement of 0.7 kcal per kg per hour, a 50 kg person needs about 850 kcal per day to maintain oneself at Basal Metabolic Rate, without any physical activity. Thus any food intake that is sustainedly lower than 850 kcal per day would be incompatible with life in due course and is an indication of starvation.”

Chaman Lal, Special Rappoteur of the National Human Rights Commission, is quoted as saying in activist Harsh Mander’s book Towards a Food Rights Code, “A person does not have to die to prove that he is starving. This insistence on death as a proof to starvation must be given up. Continuance of a distress situation is enough proof that a person is starving.” The Hunger Watch Group also affirmed that starvation is a public heath issue, as mortality occurs even in case of diseases that are not ordinarily life-threatening. As Hunger Watch’s guidelines state, individual malnutrition deaths are often extreme examples of severe malnutrition prevalent in a community. Therefore, it calls for a community diagnosis.

A public heath issue

Apart from livelihood issues and resultant poverty, one major reason why starving people succumb to disease in Orissa is the lack of access to modern-day healthcare. Starvation deaths, which are reported from the Similipal national park in Orissa almost every year, confirm this. A report by ActionAid Orissa, dated June 2006, notes that there had been 18 reports of children’s deaths in the first five months of that year. In 2005, 23 people had died, 13 of who were children. The report also noted that inaccessible and unaffordable healthcare facilities were a major cause of child starvation deaths. In Simplipal, the nearest hospital is located 23 km from the gram panchayat headquarters, and even further for remote villages. The ambulance provided by the district health unit charges Rs 5 per km to transport patients to the government-run Jasipur Hospital, which is the closest. Most people are not able to afford the fare, and therefore, the sick have to walk or be taken on a cycle.

The report quotes Purnami, a resident of Gudugudia village in Simlipal district, as saying, “I took my son Mantu to hospital once by ambulance but cannot pay the amount a second time although my son is still suffering.” Purnami lost her husband due to malaria soon after marriage, and is now struggling to save her five-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, who are severely sick and malnourished. Kumati Dehury, also from Gudugadia, has a six-year-old child who’s suffering from malnutrition and often gets fever. She cries as she describes how difficult it’s for them to get any attention from doctors who treat them with little dignity at the hospital. The report notes that as agriculture is underdeveloped in the village, most residents make a living by picking minor forest produce and selling timber and firewood.

Though basic healthcare is subsidised or free on paper, corruption is said to prevail at government hospitals. In addition, indirect expenses such as transport and food costs, and loss of wages, result in healthcare becoming unaffordable to the poor. The significant amounts that they are forced to spend on healthcare often lead them into a heavy debt trap. “Simlipal’s villages, which are inhabited by tribal communities, are thus forced to resort to quacks. Locked inside their leafy green jail, they are dying of disease and apathy,” says the ActionAid investigation report.

Failure of government schemes

On February 16, 2008, Pratap Barala, a reporter with local newspaper Pragatibadi, wrote about the plight of a blind, 70-year-old man in Dhenkanal. Development Initiative, a human rights organisation in Orissa, investigated this case. Bimbadhar Pradhan, the old man, lives with a widowed daughter-in-law, a teenage granddaughter and a polio-affected grandson. No one in his family is able to earn except his granddaughter. Despite her daily toil, her earnings are not enough to support the family of four. Their Antyodaya card lies unused as they have no money to buy grains even at the highly subsidised rates.

Dhoba Dehury

In the same village lives Dhoba Dehury, a Sabara tribal, who saw his sons and wife die of disease caused by malnutrition. Despite frantic attempts, he could not gather enough money to save his family. He earned a little through casual, daily wage labour, barely enough even to survive, but is today old and destitute, and completely dependent on his brother-in-law, who himself is living on the edge. Weakened and malnourished, Dehury has lost his strength to walk. Without even a homestead land, he sleeps in the brother-in-law’s cattleshed and has only straw to cover himself, even in winters. The only help Dehury has received from the government is a Below Poverty Line ration card. However, he cannot draw any ration as he has no cash to pay for it. Despite the scheme’s universalisation, he is not yet covered under the old-age pension plan.

Development Initiative’s fact-finding team had two important conclusions to make: Dehury is starving and if timely help is not provided by the district administration, he is going to be a victim of starvation. The team’s report, dated March 2008, was submitted to the National Commission of Scheduled Castes.

People living in villages of Simlipal national park travel 13 km to Gudugudia gram panchayat headquarters to get their rice, kerosene oil and sugar, under the Public Distribution System schemes, either every month or once in two months. Though many have Antodaya cards, they receive only 25 kilos of rice as against the entitlement of 35 kilos. This happens almost all the time, according to the ActionAid report.

The report says that the villagers own small plots of land, which provide a major share of the food that they consume. However, due to mono-cropping, the produce lasts only for 4-5 months. For the rest of the year, they depend on minor forest products, which are difficult to access. Their other source of livelihood should ideally have been employment under government programmes, but these are only occasionally available. According to the ActionAid report, in 2006, not a single day of employment had been generated under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) till June of that year.

When death doesn’t mean an end to trouble

Santara Naik of Dhenkanal died in November 2007 of starvation despite having a BPL card and a job card under NREGS. He couldn’t purchase grains because he didn’t have an income, and he was never given employment. Naik even reported to the sarpanch and the ward member that he was starving. They gave him Rs 50 to travel to meet the district collector, who in turn sent him to the Block Development Officer (BDO). The BDO was indifferent and offered no immediate help. The sarpanch gave him 10 kilos of rice twice, but after that got over, his family had to live on wild food items. When Naik became too ill to move, government officials didn’t take note of the situation, despite repeated complaints from his wife. The family was occasionally given some rice obtained as part of the mid-day meal programme at the village school, but this wasn’t regular.

To date, Naik’s family has not been given an Antodaya card. On their BPL card, they get only 10 kilos of rice against a quota of 25 kilos and they purchase it with the Rs 200 they are given under the old age pension scheme. However, the grains last only for 10 days a month and they have to depend on mendicancy for the rest of the month. The money given as family benefit is over now and again, the family sleeps hungry for many a days. The daughter, Jhunu Naik, says,” How long can we continue to beg and eat, we too will die of starvation someday.” Even after Naik’s death, neither his wife nor his daughters are being given work under NREGS.

The villagers of Dhirapatna have sought an investigation into Santara Naik’s death. They have written applications to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and to Dhenkanal district collector Jamil Ahmed Khan. Lawyers from Development Initiative also appealed to the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, and presented to them their investigation reports, including the one concerning Dehury.

When the commission sought an explanation from the district authorities, the collector’s report accused the NGO of “fake reporting and total misrepresentation of facts”. It alleged that Naik’s death was due to “old age and prolonged illness”. The collector’s report put Santara Naik’s age at 70 though his voter identity card says he is 61. His family reports no disease prior to death.

Similarly, Nakula Naik’s family was provided an Antodaya card after his death, but is getting only 10 kilos of rice on it. His wife continues to live in their broken house, where an old saree serves as the ceiling. The collector gave the family Rs 300 as funeral expenses while the sarpanch gave Rs 100. The ration dealer gave them 10 kilos of rice, two litres of kerosene and 2.5 kilos of pulses. Officials claim that they had given the family Rs 5,000 for medical treatment but the family denies this.

As far as Dehury is concerned, the collector’s office claims that he is not starving as he has an Antodaya card and a house sanctioned in his name under the Indira Awas Yojana. However, Dehury’s card is used by his brother-in-law as Dehury himself doesn’t have money to buy even at the subsidised rate of Rs.105 for 35 kilos of rice. Even the house purportedly given to him isn’t actually his as he cannot pay the Rs.8000 that has to be given to the sarpanch to get the house registered in his name. Pradhan, and several others in Orissa, suffer the same fate.

Arpan Tulsyan
July 2008

Arpan Tulsyan is a social researcher with Centre for Equity Studies. The author thanks Biren Nayak of ActionAid Orissa, as well as Development Initiative for sharing reports of their investigations.

Christian Killing in India Religious Fundamentalism

December 12, 2008

Reported on 18th Sept,2008

1000s of terrified Indian Christians are hiding in the forests of Orissa while the religious fundamentalists are burning their homes and killing them without any reason.

What actually is happening in India is that mobs are targeting churches, orphanages and homes of Christians, Twenty people have now been reported dead and two of them were deliberately burnt to death and this is in the aftermath of the murder of Hindu leader Lakshmananada Saraswati. The Christians in India are terrified they left their homes and are taking shelter in forests.

A Christian religious leader said that even in the forests they are not safe. This is not the first time that we are seeing religious hatred in India, in the past we can see examples of Muslims being targeted and the violence cannot be explained in words. Very little or no media coverage and we are generous enough to give them a name of religious fundamentalism not terrorism.

A person spoke to the media that a group of 1000 people fired guns in the air and told them to leave their homes if they wanted to live and they were chanting anti Christian slogans. The condition over there is worse those who have taken shelter in forests are with no food and any facilities and those who have been hiding in their homes are facing the same problems. The people who have taken shelter in the forests are terrified to go back to their homes. They said that the group targeted every single Christian in the community and they have the names of all the Christian houses, churches and institutes. The Church also said that 3,000 houses have been destroyed, more than 60 churches have been burned down and at least half a dozen convents.

It is believed that 150,000 Christians have taken shelter in Hindu neighbour whereas 5000 are believed to be in the forests and 10,000 in government camps. A shoot on sight order has been passed by the government to end this violence.
I will like to highlight one thing, it is that for a couple of hundred of crack heads why are we blaming the religion for it. Even I am against the idea of categorizing the religion into fundamentalist, modernist and rationalists. By categorizing the religion we are actually hijacking the original meaning of religion these people who are involved in the religious hatred should be given a name of terrorists like we gave it to Taliban’s in Afghanistan.

Indian Prime Minister described it as a “National Shame”. Again no matter how much we condemn this it will still be going on in India where it is a common practice. I think they should take lesson from the neighbour country Pakistan where Christians are in minority and they have been seats in National Assembly and in 60 years they haven’t seen any kind of incidents. Despite of the fact Indian Government always blame Pakistan of the rising Taliban’s in tribal areas of Pakistan. Again the question arises why the religious hatred incidents only occur in India.

I think the people who are behind this organized target killings should be arrested and they must face the law. The government of India should prevent such incidents from occurring in future.

Sikh Holocaust in India

December 12, 2008

Sikh Holocaust

Burning of Innocent Sikhs

Burning of Innocent Jews

Burning of Sikh Properties

By Hindu Mobs

Hindu Mob Attacking an Innocent Sikh

A Sikh Widow

A Sikh Family Massacred

By Hindu Mob

1984 Riots and Beyond

Sequence of Events
A recapitulation of the 1984 Delhi carnage in which about 4,000 Sikh s were massacred in three days in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

October 31, 1984 :
9.20 am: Indira Gandhi was shot by two of her security guards at her residence No. 1, Safdarjung Road, and rushed to All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

11 am: Announcement on All India Radio specifying that the guards who shot Indira Gandhi were Sikh s. A big crowd was collecting near AIIMS.

2 pm: Though her death was yet to be confirmed officially, it became common knowledge because of BBC bulletins and special afternoon editions of newspapers.

4 pm: Rajiv Gandhi returned from West Bengal and reached AIIMS. Stray incidents of attacks on Sikh s in and around that area.

5.30 pm: The cavalcade of President Zail Singh, who returned from a foreign visit, was stoned as it approached AIIMS.

Late evening and night: Mobs fanned out in different directions from AIIMS. The violence against Sikh s spread, starting in the neighbouring constituency of Congress councillor Arjun Dass. The violence included the burning of vehicles and other properties of Sikh s. That happened even in VIP areas like the crossroads near Prithviraj Road where cars and scooters belonging to Sikh s were burnt.

Shortly after Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister, senior advocate and Opposition leader Ram Jethmalani met home minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and urged him to act fast and save Sikh s from further attacks. Delhi’s lt governor P.G. Gavai and police commissioner S.C. Tandon visited some of the violence-affected areas. Despite all these developments, no measures were taken to control the violence or prevent further attacks on Sikh s throughout the night between October 31 and November 1.

November 1, 1984 :
Several Congress leaders held meetings on the night of October 31 and morning of November 1, mobilising their followers to attack Sikh s on a mass scale. The first killing of a Sikh reported from east Delhi in the early hours of November 1. About 9 am, armed mobs took over the streets of Delhi and launched a massacre. Everywhere the first targets were Gurudwaras – to prevent Sikh s from collecting there and putting up a combined defence.

Mobs were armed with iron rods of a uniform size. Activist editor Madhu Kishwar saw some of the rods being distributed among the miscreants. Mobs also had an abundant supply of petrol and kerosene. Victims traced the source of kerosene to dealers belonging to the Congress party. For instance, a Congress worker called Brahmanand Gupta, a kerosene dealer, figures prominently in affidavits filed from Sultanpuri.

Every police station had a strength of about 100 men and 50-60 weapons. Yet, no action was taken against miscreants in most places. The few places where the local police station took prompt measures against mobs, hardly any killings took place there. Farsh Bazar and Karol Bagh are two such examples. But in other localities, the priority of the police, as it emerges from the statement of the then police commissioner S.C. Tandon before the Nanavati Commission , was to take action against Sikh s who dared to offer resistence. All the Sikh s who fired in self-defence were disarmed by the police and even arrested on trumped up charges.

Mobs generally included teams attending to specific tasks. When shops were to be looted, the first team that gets into action would kill and remove all obstacles. The second team specialises in breaking locks. The third team would engage in looting. And the fourth team would set the place on fire.

Most of the mobs were led by Congress members, including those from affluent families. For instance, a Youth Congress leader called Satsangi led a mob in the posh Maharani Bagh. The worst affected areas were however far flung, low income colonies like Trilokpuri, Mongolpuri, Sultanpuri and Palam Colony.

The Congress leaders identified by the victims as organisers of the carnage include three MPs H.K.L. Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar and Dharam Dass Shastri and 10 councillors Arjan Dass, Ashok Kumar, Deep Chand, Sukhan Lal Sood, Ram Narayan Verma, D.R. Chhabbra, Bharat Singh, Vasudev, Dharam Singh and Mela Ram.

November 2, 1984 :
Curfew was in force throughout Delhi – but only on paper. The Army was also deployed throughout Delhi but nowhere was it effective because the police did not co-operate with the soldiers who were not empowered to open fire without the consent of senior police officers or executive magistrates. Meanwhile, mobs continued to rampage with the same ferocity.

November 3, 1984 :
It was only towards the evening of November 3 that the police and the Army acted in unison and the violence subsided immediately after that. Whatever violence took place the next two or three days was on a much smaller scale and rather sporadic.

Aftermath of the carnage:
Most of the arrested miscreants were released at the earliest. But the Sikh s arrested for firing in self-defence generally remained in detention for some weeks. Worse, there was also a pattern throughout Delhi of the police not registering proper cases on the complaints of victims. Instead, the police registered vaguely worded omnibus FIRs which did not deal with any specific incident or person. As if the damage done by such FIRs was not bad enough, the police made little effort to investigate the cases and trace the miscreants. The only acknowledgement of any wrongdoing on their part was the appointment of a committee headed by senior police officer Ved Marwah to probe the role of the police.

Two remarkable initiatives that came on the same month as the carnage, in a bid to make up for the failure of the Government, were from human rights organisations and a leading Opposition party. People’s Union of Civil Liberties and People’s Union for Democratic Rights came out with a devastating expose in a booklet titled, Who are the guilty? The Bharatiya Janata Party contradicted the Government’s claim then that only 600 people were killed in the Delhi carnage. On the basis of a survey done by its cadres, the BJP came out with a death toll of 2,700, which is remarkably close to the official tally of 2,733 arrived at three years later.

On December 27, 1984 , the Lok Sabha elections were held and the Congress party had a landslide victory bagging over 400 seats for the first and so far the only time in the Indian electoral history. The election held under the shadow of Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the subsequent massacre was marked by an anti- Sikh sentiment whipped up by the Congress party campaign.

In the early months of 1985, two more NGO reports followed: one by Citizens for Democracy headed by Justice V.M. Tarkunde and another by a Citizens’ Commission headed by former chief justice of India S.M. Sikri . Both indicted the Government and the ruling party and called for a judicial inquiry.

A journalist, Rahul Kuldeep Bedi, filed a writ petition in the Delhi high court seeking an inquiry into the role of the police. PUDR filed a writ petition in the same court seeking a direction to the Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. Both the petitions were dismissed.

On April 26, 1985 , i.e. almost six months after the carnage, the Rajiv Gandhi Government appointed the Ranganath Misra Commission to inquire into “the allegations in regard to the incidents of organised violence” in Delhi.

In June 1985 , a group of eminent persons and representative of human rights organisations came together under the banner of the Citizens Justice Committee (CJC) to help the Misra Commission unravel the truth.

The Misra Commission held all its proceedings in camera and took the help of the CJC to get affidavits from victims.

On March 31, 1986 , the CJC notified its withdrawal as the Misra Commission kept it out of most of the inquiry holding “in camera proceedings within in camera.”

In August 1986 , the Misra Commission submitted its report to the Government, which in turn tabled it in Parliament in February 1987. The report vindicated the CJC’s apprehension that the Misra Commission would whitewash the role of the Government and the ruling Congress party.

On February 23, 1987 , the Government appointed three committees on the recommendation of the Misra Commission. (1) Jain-Banerjee committee to pursue cases that have either not been registered or not properly investigated. (2) Kapur-Mittal committee to identify delinquent police officials. (3) Ahooja committee to arrive at the official death toll of the carnage.

In August 1987 , the Ahooja committee determined that the number of persons killed in Delhi in the 1984 carnage were 2,733.

In November 1987 , the Delhi high court stayed the functioning of the Jain-Banerjee committee because of its very first recommendation, which was to register a murder case against former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar. The petition was filed by one of the co-accused, Brahmanand Gupta.

In October 1989 , the Delhi high court quashed the notification appointing the Jain-Banerjee committee. The court found that the powers of monitoring of investigation and the institution of new case conferred on the committee were illegal.

March 1, 1990 : The two members of the Kapur-Mittal committee gave separate reports. Justice Dalip Kapur gave no finding on the ground that the committee had not been empowered to summon police officials to hear their version. Kusum Lata Mittal identified 72 police officials, including six IPS officers, recommending various penalties against them.

March 27, 1990 : The Delhi Administration prompted by the newly elected V.P. Singh Government appointed the Poti-Rosha committee without the legal defects pointed out by the high court in the case of the Jain-Banerjee committee.

August-September 1990: The Poti-Rosha committee sent two batches of recommendations covering altogether 30 affidavits, including the case against Sajjan Kumar. When a CBI team went to his house to arrest him, Sajjan Kumar and his supporters locked up the officials and detained them till his lawyer, R.K. Anand (now a Congress MP), obtained “anticipatory bail” from the high court. Subsequently, the two committee members, Subramaniam Poti and Padam Rosha, declined to carry on in office when their first term expired on September 22.

October-November 1990 : The Delhi Administration constituted a fresh committee comprising J.D. Jain and D.K. Aggarwal, to take over the work of the Poti-Rosha committee.

June 30, 1993 : After making recommendations from time to time from among the remaining 1,000-odd affidavits, including 21 affidavits against Congress leaders H.K.L Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar, the Jain-Aggarwal committee submitted a detailed report giving a comprehensive account of how the police scuttled carnage cases at the stages of registration, investigation and prosecution. The Jain-Aggarwal committee also recommendation action several police officials for their lapses.

1994 : The Delhi Government under Madan Lal Khurana appointed an Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Justice R.S. Narula. The Advisory Committee reviewed the status of the recommendations made the Poti-Rosha committee, Jain-Aggarwal committee and Kapur-Mittal committee. The Advisory Committee also made a particular reference to the failure of the police, which came under the Congress-ruled Central government, to book the cases recommended against Congress leaders H.K.L. Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar.

1995 : On the basis of the Advisory Committee’s report, Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana repeatedly asked the Centre to let the police take action on the 21 affidavits against Congress leaders H.K.L. Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar. It was only when Khurana threatened to complain to the National Human Rights Commission, the Centre sent those affidavits to the Delhi Government.

2000 : The Atal Behari Vajpayee Government appointed a fresh judicial inquiry into the 1984 carnage under the chairmanship of Justice G.T. Nanavati. The justification offered for it was the failure to punish the guilty. Despite the lapse of over 15 years, the Nanavati Commission received hundreds of fresh affidavits from victims as well as victims, including prominent persons such as I.K. Gujral, Khushwant Singh, Kuldip Nayar and Jagjit Singh Aurora.

2001-02: The Nanavati Commission records much damaging evidence brought on record for the first time since 1984 . Arguments pending at the time of release of this report.

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