THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dadri lynching – Hindu fundamentalists use language alien to their own principles


Dadri lynching – Hindu fundamentalists use language alien to their own principles

The Hindu right is using the language of democracy to undermine democracy

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Family members of Akhlaq, who was killed in a communal clash in Jarcha area of Dadri, mourn the loss at his residence in Bisada village -Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav,01/10/2015For decades now, America's Christian right has run a  against such generally accepted scientific understandings as evolutionary theory and the Big Bang. What is interesting to note is the language in which such opposition is mounted. The irony is that the religionists find they need the vocabulary science provides to make their garbled conjecture somewhat plausible, at least semi-coherent. This is why you have such ex post facto theorising as intelligent design.

In much the same way, and this has become clear in the wake of the lynching and murder of Mohammad Akhlaq, Hindu fundamentalists in utilise a language alien to their own principles to spread their brand of malice and violence — they use the language of democracy. Those who support Hindu fundamentalism mangle the most cherished norms of democratic society — liberty,  before law, justice — to give even such a horrifying misdeed a democratic veneer.

Even an ideology like Hindu fundamentalism, premised on the inherent superiority of one  over others, fits within the democratic spectrum. When such supremacism manifests in a relatively benign manner — say in the championing of certain histories — its votaries have no qualms about publicly embracing the ideology. It is when the ideology spawns the kind of violence we saw in Dadri that its supporters resort to democratic doublespeak.

The aftermath on social media has been enlightening. There were many who openly celebrated the lynching. Let's call them the loonies. A more interesting reaction among rightwing Twitter accounts was to enlist the extent of cattle-slaughter in India, as if to say, look how much freedom we already give you Muslims, and look how much we have given up. This is a deeply democratic concern. The claim that Muslims control the entire trade is erroneous, of course. But the visceral reaction on social media indicated the anxiety that Hindu fundamentalism has with what are seen as minority freedoms. Note the sequence: A horrific crime is committed, any conscionable citizen cannot justify it, shift the goalposts so you are now discussing majoritarian largesse and minority freedom in India. The mistake many mainstream commentators made was to allow the fundamentalist right to shift the terms of the debate.

This crime had little to do with the cattle-slaughter trade.

The statement of Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma offers another example. He argued that "people should not play politics" and the incident "should not be given a communal twist", reasoning that the mob did not exterminate all the other Muslims they could possibly have got their hands on. Ignore that a group of Hindus was incited about a decidedly religious matter by an announcement at a temple. Because all Muslims in the vicinity were not murdered in their homes, this is not a communal conflagration in the manner of the largescale riot we've come to recognise. It is vital for Sharma to engage in this linguistic subterfuge, to be in fact the one "playing politics". He is telling us one story, yes, but he is also telling a story to aggrieved Hindu youth. To be communal, in the Indian understanding, is to move beyond acceptable norms. By soothing the mob about its motivation, he is expanding the range of democratic action.

Then there are the straight untruths propagated by the BJP's UP MLA Sangeet Som. Forget the threats, the police is looking into those. Look at how he rouses emotion. In a whiny diatribe, he argues that the culpable mob was the true victim — of a  electorally beholden to Muslims, of democracy.

This is an age-old Hindu fundamentalist tactic. He argued that Hindu in the village were now being harassed by Muslims and the police, the agents of this Muslim state government. That Muslims would be compensated by the government while affected Hindus would not. These claims are easily debunked, but that is not the point. What is notable is that Som is making a very democratic plea. Where is the equality we were promised? Why is this Muslim family being treated well by the government when you are not?

Far away from Bisara and Dadri, the statements of these politicians will sound immediately hollow to many ears. But they play a particularly useful role when it comes to winning elections.

The writer is a -based journalist

(This article first appeared in the print edition under the headline 'Words drained of meaning')

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