Friday, June 26, 2009

Half-Converted Kerala

Kerala, the most ‘progressive’ state in the Indian union, is more than half converted and religious conversion was unbecoming an issue in Kerala these days. But the recent demise of Kamala Suraiyya (Madhavikutty or Kamala Das) has highlighted the issue once again. The story goes that she was lured into Islam by the tricks and nuptial promises of a much married, learned and cunning lawmaker belonging to an overtly communal party. Madhavikutty’s literary works represent some of the finest aspects of uninhibited and immaculate Hindu culture that had once prevailed in most parts of Kerala. She could easily differentiate between the quintessence of pristine love of ‘gopikas’ for Krishna vis-à-vis the cheap commonplace lust, by deft handling of both in her stories and poetry. The fact that even such a tall literary figure could fall an easy victim shows the reach of proselytization forces in a region of India with the highest literacy rate. What is happening in Kerala today is bound to be repeated in all other parts of India as our skewed version of secular education is spreading everywhere. Like in Kerala today, Hindus are bound to reduce themselves to a minority community in their own nation one day.

The unfortunate saga of conversion in Kerala begins from around 1500 AD when the first European colonizers landed at one of those beautiful beaches of Kerala. Though we had traders, fugitives and tourists landing at Kerala’s long seashore from time immemorial, damages by them remained limited to their excreta in the coastal belts. The highly structured Kerala society then was impenetrable to foreigners who were much below in terms of social and economic evolution. Cooked-up stories about adventures of one Saint Thomas who could convert the forward castes are nothing but mythology invented as afterthoughts. Kerala’s decadence started much later when the naturally symbiotic caste system became rigid and triggered internal revolts. Foreign religions were waiting at the sea and seacoasts for such an internal upheaval for easy penetration into the much coveted God’s Own Country. In 500 years they could convert more than 50% of the population is no mean achievement for the proponents of the two major religions in the world today.

Silent Terrorism

What happened in the last five centuries and what is happening in Kerala today is nothing but silent terrorism in the form of organized and externally fuelled religious conversion. It was Christianity which started first with the intention of conditioning the ground ready for European colonization. In every colony of ‘ours’, we need quite a few of our ‘own’ people. In distant lands the only way to get ‘our own’ people is by way of aggressive and accelerated cultural conversion. Religion is an integral part of culture and religious conversion is the best tool available for easy conditioning of the target population. Increasing rigidity of the caste system provided a golden opportunity for the European missionaries to penetrate into the Indian society. Enemies of India had budgeted big sums for the project and India’s toiling masses could be easily made disgruntled and aggrieved. As most of them were lacking any formal education, tricking them into a new religious system was easy with the help of material inducements in terms of milk powder and rice.

The next predator in Kerala started their work in terms of organized conversion much later. Though we had sizeable number of Muslim population in the coastal areas, especially in the north Malabar region, their intrusion into the interiors of Kerala as an organized religion is only about one century old. The Mapillah Rebellion in 1921 was perhaps the first organized assault aimed at religious conversion under the guise of so many other objectives. Though North India was under Muslim rule for several centuries, its influence in the southern regions of the country was minimal. Also their enmity with the European colonial powers was not helpful in increasing their numerical strength by targeting Hindus. But the situation has changed drastically in the 20th century when millions of Oil money started flowing into Kerala. Increasing their number by all means and capturing power by organized might is high on the agenda of the Muslim mind of Kerala.

Suicidal Indifference

Any nation or people in decay will ultimately have only themselves to blame. The current status of Hindus in Kerala is at a highly critical juncture in this regard. Three or four prominent Hindu sections are totally indifferent about the overall status of the Hindu religion and society in Kerala today. The leaders of these sections are forgetting one of the most important rules of science and history – any culture can survive only if there is the minimum quantity. Most of these sub-sections of the Hindu society namely Nairs, Ezhavas, Brahmins and OBCS are fighting more among themselves than for their combined rights. They have left their weakest brothers (Adivasis) at the complete mercy of the two predators vying for numbers and real estate. Almost the entire five lakh Adivasis of Kerala will either die off or get converted, and their entire property will ultimately lie with one of the predating groups.

Much has been said and written about the suicidal indifference of Hindus in Kerala and the catastrophe impending their community a few generations from now. None of the Hindu community leaders of any significance have shown the courage to speak up for consolidation and caution. It will be only at their extreme peril that the entire spectrum of Hindu society in Kerala can feign ignorance to the following basic FACTS:-

Hinduism is no more the dominant religion in Kerala. As half of those born as Hindus are genuine communists, Hinduism is only at par with Islam and Christianity in Kerala. And uninhibited religious conversion is still rampant in many parts of Kerala.
• Kerala has the highest (family) suicidal rate in the world and at least 75% of them are Hindus.
• Hindu temples are the only one in government custody. All income from temples (which are only from Hindus) flow into the common government coffers.
• Kerala politics is overwhelmingly dominated by leaders belonging to the two dominant communities and parties which are overtly communal (Muslim League and Kerala Congress).
• There is almost complete monopoly of the two dominant communities in the print and electronic media in Kerala.
• Almost all Hindu families in the current generation have only two children. But one can invariably find three children in all Christian families and four children in most Muslim families. This trend is almost confirmed if they are more educated and richer. This clearly shows a determined and deliberate effort to increase the numbers.
• Christian clergy and Muslim religious leaders are freely indulging in politics in Kerala which is a part of the so-called secular republic of India. Many times they openly challenge the authority of democratically elected governments and the rule of law, with no impunity.
• Ownership of land (especially high valued), number of professionals (doctors, IAS officers etc) and untaxed (and unaccounted) income from abroad are disproportionately high in favour of the two dominant communities in Kerala.

The few critical aspects listed above point to a determined and calculated move by the foreign religious ideologies to establish their superiority over Kerala within one or two decades. Both are now equally organized, resourceful and determined to achieve their ultimate aim. The apparent discordant notes among subsidiary factions within these religious forces are designed and serve as deceptive distracters for those who are opposing the move. In Kerala (also India) today, anything Hindu or Hindutva is condemnably communal, Muslim or Islamic is secularly acceptable and Christian or Christianity is laudably broad-minded. Any one who talks anything about Hinduism or Hindus are ostracized in public life and politically unacceptable. Barring unforeseen developments, Kerala’s Hindu goose will be cooked and eaten with full satisfaction as precisely planned. And once that is digested, the harvest of entire South India is only one decade away and Indian nation a few more. Only organized reforms and determined positive action can save Hinduism from the combined onslaught of its three known enemies.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Indian 'Democrazy'

India is considered the world’s largest democracy, but does the result of 15th Lok Sabha elections in India corroborate this claim? Yes and No. There is no doubt that an election process with its widely acclaimed universal adult franchise system has been concluded peacefully and some definite results have been announced. But the whole process has been unduly drawn out and the net results do not really reflect the mood of the nation and its people. If the previous two general elections reflected the popular mood for a change of guard in a healthy fashion, what has come out as latest election results portent a potential degenerative tendency in Indian democracy. Our remarkable tryst in 1947 with democratic destiny reached rock bottom in 1975, then started climbing back to glory and now again it looks to be heading for degeneration into a distorted democracy. As in secularism, we are distorting democracy too for formalizing the rule by a dozen families in various parts of India by merely manipulating victory in elections.

Democracy can definitely be considered as the most civilized, progressive and just form of governance in the 21st century. But it must be true democracy involving political parties with definite and different agenda. Otherwise it can become worse than monarchy or theocracy or fascist communism. Ideally, all those who are eligible must be listed, a majority of eligible voters must vote and ultimately those who claim victory must have support of more than 50% of the whole national population. In that sense only those parties or pre-poll alliances that have won more than 500 million votes can claim victory in India. As the voting percentage was only about 50%, this may be too ideal in present day Indian politics. But the simple fact that we have now ended up with an ‘elected’ government headed by an ‘unelected’ leader shows the sham that is enveloping our democracy. Electoral reforms must be at the very top of the agenda of any government in India today.

Doubtful Umpiring & Unelected Leader

The darkest shadow over India’s 15th General Elections has been cast by doubts about impartiality of the Election Commission itself. Election is all about faith & fair play and how can there be confidence on results if there are strong doubts about integrity & interests of those who are conducting the elections. It is not one or a dozen of MPs’ who had pointed fingers at a particular member of the Election Commission. When about half the number of sitting MPs’ had appealed for his dismissal and when the Chief Election Commissioner himself had recommended his removal, the least that could be done was to keep him away from this particular all important elections. We should also remember that the same person was specifically singled out by the famous Shah Commission as not fit enough to hold any public office in India. The extensive use of Electronic Voting Machines - EVMs (not even done in advanced countries like USA) makes the shadows even darker. Post poll audit of randomly picked 10,000 EVMs from all over India, by an independent agency like the Supreme Court, can restore our confidence at least to respectable levels now.

But the ‘most unkindest cut’ to Indian democracy has come in the form of an ‘unelected’ leader for the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha. Writers of our constitution never even dreamt of such a possibility. Otherwise they would have definitely closed such a loop hole which is now wide open and being ‘mis’used for the last several years. The underlying moral strength of leadership in parliamentary democracy is convincing victory in elections and not nomination by party leaderships. What has happened now is complete hijacking of people’s mandate for nomination of someone who never faced the electorate. It is ‘mukhota’ politics of the worst kind. The eminently qualified Dr. Manmohan Singh could have got himself elected from any constituency anywhere in India to avoid such a controversy. That was the minimum he could have done for the sake of nurturing true democracy in India.

Dying Parties & Developing Families

Weakening of genuine political parties offering definite alternatives in all walks of life is another sad feature noticed during the latest general elections. In a true democracy we should be witnessing strengthening of political parties with clear cut policies in economical, social, political and even international affairs. In India this is practiced mainly by the right wing and left wing parties, and hardly by the middle of the road non-aligned political parties. Most of the centrist parties in India indulge in vote-bank politics and have their own captive voters in the form of some castes or belonging to some religion or region. Hardcore supporters of such namesake political parties have blind faith in their evergreen leaders and never bother to read their manifestos. And then there are some monolith parties which resemble more of a mediocre crowd of onlookers than a group of people with specific aims and agenda.

The weakening of genuine political parties is adding to the strength of family oriented political groupings. In fact this is a growing problem in the whole of south Asia and has made a mockery of democracy in these parts. In India it is now Nehru family at the Centre, Dixit family in Delhi, Karunanidhi family in Chennai, Patnaik family in Orissa, Hudda family in Haryana, Badal family in Punjab, Deora family in Mumbai, Abdulla family in Kashmir, Sangma family in North East, Reddy family in Andhra, Maani family in Kerala etc. etc. Every other MP is the son, daughter, nephew or niece of someone big in the same party. It is really a matter of grave concern and shame that the political party, that claims to be the oldest in India, is degenerating into a blatantly family party. Open and unabashed sycophancy is the main trait of that party. Those Europeans who have literarily (re)captured the top party slots must be wondering at the intensity of sycophancy, extend of selfishness and depths of disgrace that some members of the oldest civilisation in the world are capable of descending to. Robert Clive, Thomas Macaulay and Max Muller must be laughing in their graves.

It is most certain that India will retain its essential democratic character thanks to the importance of general democratic principles in the faith of its majority citizens. The moment such a majority is lost, for which efforts in the form of organized religious conversions are in full force, India will also slip into anarchy, monarchy, military dictatorships or hopeless communism like its neighbours. But what is of immediate worry is its degeneration into a ‘shamful’ federal setup of distorted democracy. At this rate, we may need only a few mini-elections within certain families to determine the Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers of India. At least we can save the millions of rupees spend on making a mockery of general elections in this way. It is time for the real majority of India to act in a decisive manner. Their indifference can prove fatal for their children and the Indian nation.