31 March 2009

RSS - Social Service

Status of the social service activities of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the country:

1,51,979 social service projects in 73,397 places.*
*Place = city/town/village

Field/SectorNo of Projects

Source: Annual Report, March 2009

29 March 2009

Robert Kaplan on Modi, Gujarat and India

Robert Kaplan's profile of Narendra Modi in The Atlantic has all the usual lies and myths about the man, the 2002 Gujarat riots and Hindu nationalism. But it also has some interesting facts and insights.

On Modi:

His machine-like efficiency, financial probity, and dynamic leadership of the government bureaucracy have made Gujarat a mecca for development, garnering more internal investment than any other state in India. Migrants, both Hindu and Muslim, from throughout India have been streaming into Gujarat to find work at its expanding factories.

He is so honest that gifts for him are regularly deposited in the state treasury – a far cry from the corruption and nepotism that are so routine in Indian government.

By all accounts, after the riots, he manically dedicated himself to development, sleeping less than four hours every night, up at 5 am to check his e-mail and read the local papers, visiting about 3000 of the 7000 villages in the state, and empowering the lowest reaches of its bureaucracy through his slogan, "Less government, more governance."

On Gujarat:

Gujarat had experienced 10.2 percent annual GDP growth since 2002. It had eight new universities. In recent years, almost half the new jobs created in India were in Gujarat. The state ranked first in poverty alleviation, first in electricity generation.

He rolled off his accomplishments: "modern roads, private railroads with double-decker containers, 50,000 km of fiber-optic networks, 2200 km of gas pipelines, 1400 km of drinking-water pipelines to 7000 villages, 24-hour uninterrupted power in rural areas, the first Indian state with private ports, a totally integrated coastal-development plan, two LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminals and two new ones coming on line."

On India:

The British, by contrast, brought tangible development, ports and railways, that created the basis for a modern state. More important, they brought the framework for parliamentary democracy that Indians, who already possessed indigenous traditions of heterodoxy and pluralism, were able to fit to their own needs. Indeed, the very Hindu pantheon, with its many gods rather than one, works toward the realisation that competing truths are what enable freedom. Thus, the British, despite all their flaws, advanced an ideal of Indian greatness. And that greatness, as enlightened Indians will tell you, is impossible to achieve without a moral component.

(And that moral component is, of course, Dharma)

28 March 2009

Pratijna - The RSS Oath

This is the oath (pratijna) given in the RSS to active workers:

In the name of Almighty God and our ancestors, I hereby vow that I have become a unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in order to protect our sacred Hindu Dharma, Hindu culture and Hindu society and to achieve the all-round development of the Hindu nation. I will do the Sangh's work sincerely with a selfless mind and with all my body, heart and wealth. I will observe this vow all my life.

Bharat Mata ki jai.

27 March 2009

Happy New Year 5111!

Today is Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada – the first day of the year in the Hindu calendar. So today is the Hindu new year day.

This is the 5111th year of the Kali Yuga, and the 1931st year of the Shalivahana/Shaka era. The name of the year (Samvatsara) is Virodhi.

If you are in Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh, happy Ugadi!
If you are in Maharashtra, happy Gudi Padwa!
To everybody else, happy new year! :-)

26 March 2009

RSS Resolutions at ABPS - 2009

The Akhila Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for 2009 that concluded recently at Nagpur adopted the following resolutions:

1. War on terror: Crush terror networks
2. Policy of religious discrimination dangerous for national integrity
3. 500th anniversary of Krishnadevaraya's coronation

Here are some excerpts:

War on terror: Crush terror networks

The ABPS condones the death of a large number of people, including senior army and police officials, in the dastardly terrorist attack on Mumbai on 26 November 2008. It extols the gallant actions of the members of our counter-terrorism agencies that led to the capture of one and elimination of the other terrorists.

The ABPS calls upon the Government to:
- Enhance the counter-terrorism capabilities of our security agencies and equip them fully with the necessary retaliatory competence so that no future terror attacks are possible.
- Enact stringent laws on the lines of POTA and MCOCA. Give assent to the anti-terror laws enacted by some states, like Gujarat and Rajasthan.
- Destroy the local support network in the form of sleeper cells and terror modules.
- Strengthen the intelligence gathering network and create a unified command for combating terror.
- Train various agencies, including media and civilian population, in counter-terrorism measures.
- Not allow political considerations to overshadow the battle against terror.

Policy of religious discrimination dangerous for national integrity

The ABPS considers it highly unfortunate that... policy makers, instead of trying to build a cohesive society on just and equitable principles, are dividing the society for narrow political benefits overlooking the grave implications for our national security and integrity.

The ABPS reiterates that preferential treatment to a section of our society on the basis of religion is against our Constitution. It is time that fair-minded Muslims and Christians come forward to oppose these policies openly.

The ABPS demands that all reservations, concessions and privileges based exclusively on religion be abolished. It urges all Indians to make the society aware of the impending dangers of such policies and exert pressure on policy makers to abandon them.

500th anniversary of Krishnadevaraya's coronation

The ABPS considers the coronation of Krishnadevaraya, the renowned emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire, in 1510 CE as a defining moment in the history of India. Krishnadevaraya ascended the throne on Magha Shukla Chaturdashi in the year 1431 of Shalivahana Shaka (24 January 1510).

The ABPS believes that celebrating the 500th anniversary of the coronation of emperor Krishnadevaraya will revive the memories of a golden phase in the history of our country and infuse pride and confidence in the minds of the people - the younger generation in particular. Hence it appeals to all Indians to organise a variety of programmes to throw light upon the glory of the Vijayanagara Empire.

The ABPS appeals to the state and central governments:
- To take immediate steps to remove all encroachments on the historical site of Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.
- To protect and preserve the site, with all its sacred places and monuments.
- To develop the site, which has been declared as a World Heritage Site, so that it brings back the inspiring memories of the Empire and gives a true picture of the golden period of our history to Indian and foreign visitors.
- To bring out a commemorative stamp to mark the occasion.

24 March 2009

RSS Annual Report - 2008

The annual report of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the year 2008 was presented at the recently concluded Akhila Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha in Nagpur.

Status* of RSS activity in the country as per the report:
  • 43,905 daily shakhas in 30,015 places**
  • Weekly shakhas (milan) in 4964 places
  • Monthly shakhas (mandali) in 4507 places
*As of 31 January 2009
**Place = city/town/village

Other highlights of the report:

  • Senior RSS workers
  • Eminent Indians

Special programs
  • Sankalp Sammelan at Sullya taluk in Karnataka
  • District Sammelan at Indur - Sarkaryavah's visit
  • Sarsanghachalak's visit to North Bengal
  • Sarsanghachalak's visit to North Karnataka
  • Sarsanghachalak's visit to Madhya Pradesh
  • Swarna Bharat Sankalp at Indore
  • College students' activities in Kerala
  • College students camp in Jaipur province
  • Boys camp in North Bengal
  • Sanghatan Shaktikaran camps in Jabalpur province
  • District level camps in Gujarat
  • First public program by RSS in Shillong
  • Tour by province-level leaders in Western Andhra
  • Prarthana practice fortnight in Bilaspur
  • Surya Namaskar mahayagna in Gorakhpur province
  • Gramotsav in Mandu Khand of Jharkhand province
  • Boys' program in Pune - Sarsanghachalak's visit
  • Homage to 1857 martyrs in Jabalpur
  • Brass instrument training camp at Gwalior
  • Ghosh (band) camp in Konkan province

Relief activities
  • 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack
  • Bihar floods in August

State of the nation
  • Amarnath land row and agitation
  • Murder of Swami Laxmanand Saraswati
  • Malegaon blast case - "Hindu terrorism"
  • 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack

Call to the nation

23 March 2009

"Lead India" Winners Join BJP

The Times of India group had held a talent search-cum-reality show last year called "Lead India". The purpose was to find "new leaders" for India. R K Misra from Bangalore won the contest, while Devang Nanavati from Ahmedabad was the runner-up. R K Misra (43) is an entrepreneur and an alumnus of IIT Kanpur. Devang Nanavati (38) is a lawyer at the Gujarat High Court.

Now comes the kicker. Both Misra and Nanavati have joined the BJP. Why? Nanavati says he was "immensely influenced by BJP's political ideology for the last seven years but felt now it was the time to join the party formally and be more useful for it". Misra says "NDA's focus on development and good governance during 1998-2004 is what inspired me the most to join the party".

When "Lead India" concluded, Times of India must have been very pleased with the results. Misra and Nanavati are both young, urban, educated and successful professionals. This is India's generation X. This is the brave new India. This is both TOI's self-image and its target audience. It couldn't have asked for better spokesmen for its liberalism and secularism. And what do these nice boys do? They run and join the BJP. Yes – the communal, Hindu fundamentalist and fascist BJP. Very bad, very bad. What will happen to this country?

22 March 2009

Shri Mohan Bhagwat

Shri K S Sudarshan (77) has stepped down as Sarsanghachalak (chief of the RSS). He has handed over the reins to Shri Mohan Bhagwat (58), who was till now serving as Sarkaryavah (general secretary).

Mohanji is the 6th chief in the 83-year-old history of the RSS. Previous Sarsanghachalaks were:

1. Dr K B Hedgewar (1925–1940)
2. Guruji M S Golwalkar (1940–1973)
3. Balasaheb M D Deoras (1973–1994)
4. Prof Rajendra Singh (1994–2000)
5. Shri K S Sudarshan (2000–2009)

Mohanji is a veterinary doctor from Chandrapur in Maharashtra. He became a pracharak in 1975, at the age of 25. He will be succeeded as Sarkaryavah by Shri Suresh Joshi (61), aka Bhaiyaji Joshi.

This was announced at the Akhila Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), which is underway at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur.

21 March 2009

Narendra Modi

Swapan Dasgupta on Narendra Modi (in November 2007):

The real tragedy of Modi is that his audacious bid to reshape the rules of governance and politics has been overshadowed on the national stage by an obsessive preoccupation with Hindu-Muslim issues.

Modi has presided over a period of double-digit economic growth in Gujarat. It has won him the lavish appreciation of industry and made Gujarat the most favoured destination of private investment. Yet, what has been insufficiently highlighted is that the success of Gujarat owes a great deal to Modi's success in demolishing many of the ideological obstacles to market-oriented economics. Some of his more notable successes include: statutory curbs on government fiscal profligacy; curbing wasteful expenditure through a 9 per cent cut in non-plan expenditure over five years; carrying out radical reforms in the power sector that has led to profits for the 'unbundled' power companies and ensured generous power supply to rural Gujarat; and, most important, amending the draconian Industrial Disputes Act to make labour laws in the special economic zones receptive to market conditions.

Modi has been one of India's foremost modernisers. He has transformed Gujarat into an entrepreneur-friendly state and given India a foretaste of the potential benefits that can accrue from a government committed to economic freedom. His critics are right: Modi is India's only genuine right-winger.

Ironically, Modi's difficulties have arisen from this unwavering commitment to efficiency as a principle of governance: "Minimum government and maximum governance". The political culture of India, cutting across parties, is rooted in patronage and self-gratification. In defying these pressures – an important example is resisting political interference in Gujarat's hugely successful public sector units – the chief minister has been portrayed as arrogant and insensitive to political compulsions.

Modi is an inept pragmatist. He could easily have bought peace for himself by making expedient compromises, as politicians are expected to do. In being fanatically uncompromising and, at the same time, maintaining the highest standards of personal integrity, he has shown the possibilities of an alternative approach to politics.

18 March 2009

Charlie Chaplin Statue Illegal

Over the past few days, the media has been crying itself hoarse over "Hindu extremists" blocking the erection of a Charlie Chaplin statue near Udupi.

Turns out the statue is illegal.

The New Indian Express, in a report titled 'Proposed Chaplin statue flouts CRZ norms', says:
The organisers of the film, House Full, had neither applied for the licence from local gram panchayat nor moved papers to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the department of Coastal Regulatory Zone... any permanent construction within 500 metres from the seashore amounts to violation of the CRZ norms.

Then what's the fuss all about? Storm in a teacup. Much ado over nothing. The whole thing is a non-issue. Go home and sleep, everybody.

15 March 2009

Aurobindo's Letter to His Wife

In 1905 Aurobindo Ghosh wrote a letter to his wife Mrinalini Devi. Here are some excerpts:

I think you have understood by now that the man with whose fate yours has been linked is a man of a very unusual character. Mine is not the same field of action, the same purpose in life, the same mental attitude as that of the people of today in this country. I am in every respect different from them and out of the ordinary. Perhaps you know what ordinary men say of an extraordinary view, an extraordinary endeavour, an extraordinary ambition. To them it is madness; only, if the madman is successful in his work then he is called no longer a madman, but a great genius. But how many are successful in their life's endeavour?

Among a thousand men, there are five or six who are out of the ordinary and out of the five or six one perhaps successful. Not to speak of success, I have not yet even entirely entered my field of work. There is nothing then for you but to consider me mad.

I have three madnesses. The first one is this. I firmly believe that the accomplishments, genius, higher education and learning and wealth that God has given me are His.

My second madness has only recently seized me. It is this: by whatever means I must have the direct vision of God.

My third madness is that while others look upon their country as an inert piece of matter – a few meadows and fields, forests and hills and rivers – I look upon my country as the Mother.

Half my life has been wasted – even the beast finds fulfilment in stuffing his own belly and his family's and catering to their happiness. I have three hundred million brothers and sisters in this country. Many of them are dying of starvation and the majority just manage to live, racked by sorrow and suffering. They too must be helped.

The power of the Kshatriya is not the only one; there is also the power of the Brahmin, the power that is founded on knowledge. This feeling is not new in me, it is not of today. I was born with it, it is in my very marrow. God sent me to earth to accomplish this great mission. The seed began to sprout when I was fourteen; by the time I was eighteen the roots of the resolution had grown firm and unshakable. I do not say that the work will be accomplished during my lifetime, but it certainly will be done.

(Link courtesy Nithin)

14 March 2009

Right-Wing Indian Blogs

Here are some right-wing Indian blogs I have come across:

1. Offstumped by Yossarin
2. Seriously Sandeep by Sandeep
3. Satyameva Jayate by Shantanu Bhagwat
4. Varnam by Jayakrishnan Nair

Right-wing = Hindu/nationalist/conservative

12 March 2009

Conversions: A Priest Confesses

From the 'New Indian Express' (12 March, 2009) – Page 1, Hubli Edition:

Fr Confesses to Lured Conversions in Churches

Express News Service
Bangalore, March 11

In a revelation that could have widespread ramifications, Father Joseph Menengis, priest of St James Church in Mariyannapalya, Bangalore, confessed before the Justice B K Somashekhara Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday that idol worship was being performed in churches to attract Hindus and convert them to Christianity.

The Commission is inquiring into the recent attacks on churches across the state. Menengis said, "Hindus believe in idol worship. So to attract them to Christianity, idol worship is performed in churches."

During cross-examination by Satishchandra, advocate appearing for Hindu organisations, the priest said that "despite idol worship being prohibited in the Bible, we have idol worship in churches."

"The duty of every Christian is to convert non-Christians to Christianity by any means", he told the Commission.

St James Church was attacked by miscreants on 21 September, 2008.

During cross-examination, the priest confessed that "no girl students, including Hindus, are permitted the use of kumkum, bangles or flowers. In our institution, we have moral science textbooks. But it does not contain texts regarding the Bible and Jesus", the priest added. The Commission has requested the priest to submit the textbook to it.

The priest has denied the allegation that St James Church had encroached upon four acres of land on Mariyannapalya and he denied the allegation that the festival conducted in June was only to attract Hindus. "I am not blaming the CM, BJP and Bajrang Dal for the attack on our church", he said.

M Mallesh, inspector of Hoskote police station, and M Giriprasad, constable of dog squad, also deposed before the Commission. During cross-examination, Giriprasad said, "After the attack on St Mary's Church in Bangarpet, Kolar district, I accompanied the dog squad. But the squad failed to give clues about the miscreants who attacked the church. It is false that while inspecting the spot, the dog stopped at the house of a Congress leader from Kolar", Giriprasad said. The Commission has adjourned the hearing to March 12.

1. As far as I know, no other English newspaper has carried this story. 'The Hindu' has this: "Dog did not lead to Congress office".
2. Even the 'New Indian Express' has not carried this story on its website. That is why I have reproduced the entire article here.

08 March 2009


"Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life.

You are not destined to become an Air Force pilot.

What you are destined to become is not revealed now but it is predetermined.

Forget this failure, as it was essential to lead you to your destined path.

Search, instead, for the true purpose of your existence.

Become one with yourself, my son! Surrender yourself to the wish of God."

Swami Sivananda to Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen (in 1958 at Rishikesh)

06 March 2009

ಮಾತೆ ಪೂಜಕ ನಾನು ಎನ್ನಯ

My all-time favourite song...

ಮಾತೆ ಪೂಜಕ ನಾನು ಎನ್ನಯ ಶಿರವನಿಡುವೆನು ಅಡಿಯಲಿ
ನಿನ್ನ ಕೀರ್ತಿಯು ಜಗದಿ ಮೆರೆಯಲಿ ಒಂದೇ ಆಸೆಯು ಮನದಲಿ ||||

ಎಡರು ತೊಡರುಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ತುಳಿಯುತ ಮುಂದೆ ನುಗ್ಗುವೆ ಭರದಲಿ
ನಿನ್ನ ನಾಮ ನಿನಾದವಾಗಲಿ ಶ್ರಮಿಪೆ ನಾ ಪ್ರತಿ ಕ್ಷಣದಲಿ
ನಿನ್ನ ಗೌರವಕೆದುರು ಬರುವ ಬಲವ ಮುರಿವೆನು ಛಲದಲಿ
ಜಗದ ಜನನಿ ಭಾರತ ಇದ ಕೇಳಿ ನಲಿಯುವೆ ಮನದಲಿ

ನಗುವ ನಲಿಯುವ ನಿನ್ನ ವದನವ ನೋಡಿ ನಲಿವುದು ಎನ್ನೆದೆ
ನಿನ್ನ ದುಃಖಿತ ವದನ ವೀಕ್ಷಿಸೆ ಸಿಡಿವುದೆನ್ನಯ ಹೃದಯವು
ನಿನ್ನ ಮುಖದಲಿ ಗೆಲುವು ತರಲು ನೀರು ಗೈಯುವೆ ರಕ್ತವ
ಎನ್ನ ಕಣಕಣ ತೇದು ಬಸಿಯುವೆ ಪೂರ್ಣ ಜೀವನಶಕ್ತಿಯ

ನಿನ್ನ ತೇಜವ ಜಗವು ನೋಡಲಿ ಉರಿವೆ ದೀಪದ ತೆರದಲಿ
ಎನ್ನ ಶಕ್ತಿಯ ಘೃತವ ಸತತವು ಎರೆಯುತಿರುವೆನು ಭರದಲಿ
ಮಾತೃಮಂದಿರ ಬೆಳಗುತಿರಲಿ ನಾನೇ ನಂದಾ ದೀವಿಗೆ
ಬತ್ತಿ ತೆರದೀ ದೇಹ ಉರಿಯಲಿ ಸಾರ್ಥಕತೆ ಬಾಳಿಗೆ

ರುದ್ರನಾಗಿ ವಿರೋಧಿ ವಿಷವನು ಭರದಿ ನಾನದ ನುಂಗುವೆ
ಜಗವ ಮೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿ ಅದರ ಹೃದಯವ ನಿನ್ನೆಡೆಗೆ ನಾ ಸೆಳೆಯುವೆ
ಸೃಜಿಪೆ ಜಗದಲಿ ನಿನ್ನ ಪೂಜಿಪ ಕೋಟಿ ಕೋಟಿ ಭಕ್ತರ
ಕೀರ್ತಿ ಶಿಖರದಿ ಮಾತೆ ಮಂಡಿಸು ಅರ್ಪಿಸುವೆ ನಾ ಸರ್ವವಾ