SACW | 31 May 2005

sacw aiindex at
Mon May 30 21:15:45 CDT 2005

South Asia Citizens Wire  | 31 May,  2005

[1]  Kashmir: Peace facing a precipice - Hurriet 
leaders should be allowed to visit Pakistan 
(Kashmir Times)
[2]  Slow train to Pakistan - Samjauta Express or 
"Dawn to Dusk Express" (Rahul Chandawarkar)
[3]  Press Release: Joint-Indo Pak Peace and Goodwill Mission Report
[4]  India's RSS:  The Real 'Terrorist' Cometh ? (Subhash Gatade)
[5]  India: Rajasthan tourism's new line: welcome 
to the state of Sati (Sandipan Sharma)
[6]  India: Hindu right and its 'Right to 
Trishul' [Harpoon] programmes on track in Orissa
[7]  India: Space Agency technocrat to preside at Hindutva event



Kashmir Times
May 30 2005 | Editorial


The much hyped and hoped for progress of the 
Indo-Pak peace process suddenly finds itself on 
the edge of a precipice. At least outwardly, 
every thing was hunky dory till Islamabad 
formally invited almost all the separatist groups 
to send their representatives by bus to 
Pak-administered Kashmir (PaK) on 2 June for a 
thorough discussion on the future of this divided 
and tormented state with the officials and 
popular leaders of Pak and Pakistan. New Delhi 
had already agreed not to raise any objection to 
their visit, and has not said `No' so far. But, 
all hell broke out as soon as Islamabad let it be 
known that, contrary to the letter of the 
agreement on the bus service across the LoC, the 
visiting leaders from India would be allowed to 
visit other parts of Pakistan to see the 
situation there for themselves and to interact 
with the leaders of as many parties and groups as 
possible. Instead of welcoming the freedom 
Islamabad had decided to extend to the visitors 
from Kashmir the Ministry of External Affairs 
(MEA) raised serious objection to the proposed 
breach in the letter of the agreement. The MEA in 
New Delhi made a serious issue of the Pak 
proposal, and announced that none of them going 
by bus to Muzaffarabad should be permitted to go 
beyond PaK. They ignored Islamabad's admission 
that, in the recent past, many Indian families, 
on a visit to the PaK, had been allowed to visit 
other provinces of Pakistan to meet their friends 
and relatives there. So, what is the harm if the 
separatists from Kashmir too enjoyed that 
privilege? In fact, any one going to Mirpur in 
PaK has to normally go to Rawalpindi on his way, 
because there is no direct link between northern 
PaK and its southernmost part. So a possible 
violation of the letter of the agreement is 
implicit in the agreement itself. So, why so much 
of fuss over similar breaches by these separatist 
leaders? Besides, these are no ordinary visitors. 
They have been invited and allowed to proceed 
with a certain purpose in view, and both the 
countries are equally expected to make it easy 
for them to see as much of and to meet as many as 
possible in Pakistan. How will it adversely 
affect India's interest if they went beyond PaK 
to the Punjab or NWFP? If any of them is out to 
harm India's interest he can do so while in the 
PaK itself, without going any where beyond her. 
In short, India's objection appears highly 
As expected, Islamabad's official re-action to 
the Indian objection is one of moral outrage. 
They have accused India of 'stubbornness', 
lacking in sincerity, and of being unwilling to 
associate the Kashmiris in the forthcoming peace 
process. The Pak foreign minister has used even 
the language of despair and threat to let India 
and the world know that Pakistan had 'softened' 
her attitude only to prevent another repitition 
of the past Indo-Pak wars, and would be forced by 
India's attitude to once again raise the 
fifty-five year old U.N. resolution in the 
committee of nations. These contained enough of 
hint of the unfortunate possibility of the peace 
process ultimately leading no where in the face 
of India's rigidity. The same rigidity over the 
Pak proposal of an immediate demilitarisation has 
already ensured the failure of the two-day 
foreign secretary level talk on the Siachen issue 
at Rawalpindi, last week. Unless New Delhi and 
Islamabad learn to bend and to yield on occasions 
future talks on Sir Creek, Baglihar, Kishanganga 
etc. are likely to fail. If the two countries are 
really interested in reaching the distant goal at 
the earliest then they shall have to ignore or to 
give up many things that they value in their 
search for the greater good. By raising petty 
objections they are only betraying their lack of 
commitment to peace and friendship. It is, 
however, encouraging to find the Prime Minister 
ignoring Kasuri's angry response and expressing 
his faith in seeking solutions through a dialogue.



Magazine | The Hindu - May 15, 2005


Rahul Chandawarkar

Immigration forms in English, two lengthy customs 
and immigration checks at Attari and Wagah and 
eight hours to travel 42 km! That is how taxing 
the Amritsar-Lahore train journey is.

EVEN as the successful first run of the bus 
journey between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad is 
being celebrated, we need to do an urgent rethink 
on the manner in which the Amritsar to Lahore 
train link is being conducted.

In November/December 2004, I travelled on the 
Samjauta Express and I can say with complete 
honesty that it is one of the toughest rail 
journeys in the world. Not only does it try one's 
patience, but it also saps one's mental and 
physical energies with the paperwork and the 
incomprehensible delays involved.

At the Attari railway station near Amritsar, 
where one boards the Pakistan bound train, one 
has to fill an immigration form in English! This 
is ironical, considering that the 600-odd 
passengers who travel on this train twice a week 
speak mainly Hindi or Urdu. Many are illiterate 
and have to beg fellow passengers to fill in 
their forms. I filled a dozen forms on my way to 
Pakistan and another dozen on my return to India!

The scheduled departure time of the bi-weekly 
train which runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 
Attari is at 1.30 p.m. That means the passengers, 
who arrive by the "Attari Special" from Delhi at 
6 a.m. have to wait seven hours before their 
journey begins.

The immigration forms in English are distributed 
around 9 a.m. And though there are several 
counters, there are long winding queues. The 
officials take their own time.

One portion of the three-part form is retained by 
the Attari officials, the second has to be given 
to the Pakistani officials at Wagah and the last 
(the disembarkation form) has to be presented on 
return to India. This immigration form is 
superfluous, considering that every passenger has 
a valid visa to visit Pakistan to begin with.

If that is not all, the customs check is yet to 
commence. We are soon standing in long queues. 
The over zealous officials want to check every 
single bag right down to the last handkerchief! 
Not surprisingly, the entire process takes over 
four hours.

It is soon 1.30 p.m., but there is no sign of the 
train. Platform two at Attari is a sea of 

A mother is pacifying two of her youngest 
children from her brood of six, while an elderly 
couple eats their roti and pickle meal in silence 
in a corner. The Pune drama troupe, with whom I 
am travelling, decides to rehearse its lines.

The Samjauta Express from Pakistan finally 
arrives at 5 p.m., a good five hours behind 
schedule. The 14-coach train arrives on platform 
one, which is adjacent to where we are camping. 
It is a smart green coloured train with Urdu 
lettering. The two countries run their 
locomotives and rakes in rotation for the 42-km 

BACK TO INDIA: The return journey after a tedious 

The Pakistani tourists in distinctive salwar 
kameez outfits are soon familiarising themselves 
with the Indian immigration system. The long 
lines have begun to form and the process we had 
just experienced, is about to repeat itself.

When the Pakistani train finally arrives on our 
platform, it is closer to six o'clock.

Largely unreserved

The train, except for a solitary bogie, is 
unreserved. Seats have to be secured on a 
first-come, first-serve basis. It is sad to see 
old couples with large bags, being pushed around 
by younger, stronger passengers in a rush for 

Expectedly, we have to climb over bags and even 
gunny bags to reach our seats. Despite being 
crammed on an upper berth, a group of little 
children seems cheerful. However, an old man 
named Mohammed is pensive. He is travelling to 
Multan to meet his deceased brother's family. 
Mohammed is upset, as he could not meet his 
brother when alive.

The train crawls out of Attari station at 6.30 
p.m. Proceeding at a snail's pace, it reaches the 
Wagah check post in Pakistan in about 30 minutes.

At Wagah, every passenger has to once again 
disembark with bag and baggage for the Pakistani 
round of immigration checks. You need nerves of 
steel to put up with this rigour. The plight of 
the older passengers can only be imagined. Only 
the thought of meeting their near and dear ones 
must be what keeps them going.

There are eight visa counters and it takes the 
Pakistani officers five hours to clear the 600 
passengers. It is midnight by the time the last 
passenger wearily pushes his trolley out of the 
immigration area.

After the last Lahore bound passenger has finally 
boarded the train, it takes another 70 minutes 
before the driver is given the green signal.

The only consolation is the potato samosas and 
hot, piping tea. . It gives us a chance to use 
our Pakistani currency for the first time.

The remaining journey from Wagah to Lahore is 
covered in 30 minutes. When we enter the 
majestic, century old Lahore railway station, it 
is already 2 a.m. on Friday!

This way, we have taken eight hours to cover a 
mere 42 km. Marathon runners are sure to find 
this amusing!

Syed Murtuza Hussain, an executive from 
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, however, doesn't think 
so. He says, "The customs and immigration checks 
were painful. It has taken me 29 hours to cover 
the New Delhi-Lahore distance. This is not 

My return journey from Lahore to Attari on 
December 13 is no different. Our drama troupe 
wakes up at the crack of dawn and reaches the 
Lahore railway station at 6.30 a.m., just to 
secure our seats. The train, however leaves only 
at 9 a.m..

We reach Wagah at 9.30 a.m. and after the now 
familiar, back breaking, leg cramping, five-hour 
customs and immigration check, we reach Attari 
only at 3 p.m.

By the time we lug our bags out of the Attari 
station, past another set of elaborate 
immigration checks, the sun has already set. The 
customs officer, who is eyeing my Pakistani 
Qawali CDs greedily, lets them pass after I make 
a noise.

In New Delhi, D.S. Mishra, Joint Secretary 
(Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, 
Government of India, says, "The immigration forms 
have always been in English. If people cannot 
read them, they can get help from fellow 
passengers." According to Mishra, his department 
has not received any written suggestion from 
passengers asking for a shift to Urdu and Hindi. 
Mishra says, "The two immigration checks are 
inevitable. These are international borders of 
two sovereign nations. The two sides have to 
follow their own prescribed procedures. We are 
trying to streamline the procedures at our end."

If you ask me, they should do away with the immigration paperwork completely.

Also, they must consider rechristening the 
Samjauta Express, as the "Dawn to Dusk Express".



Dear Sir / Madam,

Please find attached an urgent press release 
about our event which took place at
St. Antony's College, Oxford. 

Please open the attachment to view the version that includes photos.

best wishes

Vanita Sharma
Member of Joint Indo Pak Peace and Goodwill Mission


"Living Together is Possible, we have shown it"
Claim Indians and Pakistanis.

Oxford, 27th May 2005. "It is only through 
greater interactions between Indian and 
Pakistanis that it will be possible to break down 
stereotypes and fear, which can permeate down to 
the unconscious level.", claims a report launched 
by the Joint-Indo Pak Peace and Goodwill Mission 
(JIPPGM) at a meeting held here in Oxford this 

The JIPPGM a movement for people to people 
contact in the subcontinent was initiated and 
coordinated by Mr. John Prabhudoss, a US based 
scholar of Indian origin.

The report is the outcome of the first ever joint 
delegation of Indians and Pakistanis to the 
subcontinent. 25 people from diverse religious, 
national and professional backgrounds living in 
UK, US and Canada that travelled to Pakistan and 
India in December.

"The purpose of this joint mission was to 
encourage the two neighbouring nuclear powers to 
find peaceful solutions to their long standing 
problems and to help create friendship and 
goodwill between the people living on both sides 
of the border", says the report compiled by a 
member of the delegation, Miss Vanita Sharma, a 
graduate student at Oxford University studying 
the partition of British India in 1947.

"The delegates wanted to demonstrate that Indians 
and Pakistanis could work together for peace, in 
spite of differences in their professional 
training, religious affiliations, cultural 
background, national origin, political point of 
views and personal experiences", the report 

The report mentions that the delegates after 
visiting Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore 
crossed the Wagah border to enter India. At the 
border they offered joint-faith prayers for the 
victims of the partition in 1947 in which 
thousands of Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus were 
killed.  In India the delegation visited 
Amritsar, New Delhi, Jammu and Mumbai.

In Pakistan the delegation met Prime Minister 
Shaukat Aziz, representatives of all major 
political parties, the Mayor of Karachi 
Na'matullah Khan, peace activists and several 
other important personalities. In India it met 
with the leader of UPA coalition government and 
Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Home 
Minister Shivraj Patil, former Prime Ministers, 
journalists including the veteran journalist 
Kuldip Nayyar and leaders of various political 
parties and Chief Ministers.

The report describes in detail the meetings and 
opinions expressed by various people in their 
meetings with the delegation throughout the 
visit.  The report looks at the "people to people 
movement" and examines how it could be supported 
by initiatives relating to trade, education, 
history, arts and culture.

In the second half, the report discusses the 
current status of political negotiations between 
India and Pakistan in general and the Kashmir 
dispute in particular.  The report also asks what 
role the Indian and Pakistani diaspora can play 
in the peace process.

The report says that, "the purpose of the 
delegation was not to engage in political 
discussions, but to focus on increasing 
people-to-people initiatives and to argue that 
whilst India and Pakistan continue their 
political negotiations the people of the region 
should no longer have to suffer and their rights 
to meet, interact and live peacefully should 
receive priority."  The delegation lobbied for a 
number of issues, including:

*        Divided families should no longer be 
kept apart and should be able to meet with each 
*        Innocent fishermen who have been imprisoned should be released.
*        There should be an increase in travel 
facilities  -  more train, plane and bus routes 
should be opened up, in addition to re-starting 
the ferry between Mumbai and Karachi.
*        Trade should increase between the two countries.
*        There should be a focus on improving the 
economic conditions of the people  -  addressing 
the problems of poverty and unemployment, as well 
as the lack of infrastructure like running water, 
electricity, housing and education.
*        There should be facilities to aid the 
elderly and disabled who cross the border at 
*        The visa process should be increasingly 
liberalized and made less bureaucratic.
*        There should be justice for human rights violations.
*        The needs of the Kashmiri people should be focused on.
*        There should be peace and stability to increase development aid
*        Communal and hate propaganda should be 
removed from school textbook and films.
*        The needs of refugees should be addressed.

At the end, the report asks, what role is there 
for the Indian and Pakistani Diasporas in the 
peace process?

The report says, "as people of Indian and 
Pakistani origin now living in the West, we would 
like to be able to give something back to the 
region and we want to see more development 
happening so the people there can benefit and 
progress as much as we have in our countries.  We 
also became involved, because our experience of 
living together as Indians and Pakistanis has 
shown us that the potential exists to have good 
and peaceful relations.  However, our concerns 
are also more personal, as we have witnessed that 
poor relations between India and Pakistan can 
often impact on community relations in our home 

The leader of the delegation, Mr. Prabhudoss 
said, he has planned to take a 'Joint Task Force' 
made up of Indians and Pakistanis including 
Kashmiris from both sides of all groups and 
factions from the diaspora community to study the 
situation on the ground and suggest a possible 
solution to normalizing relations between the two 
nuclear neighbours.

The Joint Delegation emphasised the need for both 
governments to allow free movement of people 
across the borders and let the people lead the 
peace initiatives rather than politics. JIPPGM 
has planned several programmes to bring Indians 
and Pakistanis together. The Oxford meeting, was 
organised by its UK members Cllr. Faizullah Khan 
of Pakistani origin, Mr. Munaf Zeena of Indian 
origin and Ms. Vanita Sharma of Indian origin.

The report can be downloaded from the group's website


May 30, 2005

Subhash Gatade

NEW DELHI: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) 
is furious with an American think-tank for 
declaring it a terrorist organisation and lumping 
it with a host of jihadi organisations and 
secessionist outfits.
The Sangh leadership has written to the Terrorism 
Research Centre, protesting against the 
"terrorist" tag, but is yet to get a response.....
The 38 shortlisted to give the Sangh company 
include jihadi biggies like Lashkar-e-Toiba and 
Hizbul Mujahideen which have been declared 
Foreign Terrorist Organisations by the US.The 
RSS's hardcore ideological foe, the 
Jamaat-IIslami, too has found a place.
(US think-tank calls RSS terrorist, Sangh fumes, 
Mohua Chatterjee, Times News Network[ Friday, May 
27, 2005 08:18:15 AM ])

Last one week has seen a quantum leap in the 
'hits' to a website belonging to Terrorism 
Research Centre (TRC, a East 
Virginia based centre dealing with 'Terrorism and 
security related studies'. And the reason for the 
same is not difficult to understand. It was only 
last week that news appeared a section of the 
press  that TRC has declared Rashtriya Swaymsevak 
Sangh (RSS) a 'terrorist organisation' and lumped 
it together with a host of jihadi and 
secessionist outfits.The said list of 'known 
terrorist groups in India' on the website 
bracketed RSS alongwith other 'known names' in 
the field namely Al Badr, Al Mujaheedeen, 
Lashkar-e-Toiba to the likes of ULFA to the Hizb 
ul Mujahedin.
The most baffling part of the whole episode as 
far as ordinary workers of the Parivar are 
concerned is that  TRC is closely connected to 
the American government. The credibility of this 
centre vis-a-vis US government can be gauged from 
the fact that many of its directors and 
researchers have closely worked with US 
Coming close on the heels of the visa denial 
episode wherein Narendra Modi was not allowed to 
travel to USA by the US government, this much 
larger indictment of the very raison detre of the 
Parivar albeit by an institute close to the 
powers that be has left the Sangh bosses seething 
with anger.Ofcourse they have protested against 
the "terrorist" tag, but according to a report 
the "think-tank has not bothered to take the RSS 
'which calls itself a cultural organisation' off 
its website". It is worth noting in this 
connection that it took more than eight months 
for the RSS to formally react to this assessment 
of the TRC. The delay between its appearance on 
the TRC website and a formal protest from the RSS 
cannot be easily explained.Why did the RSS and 
its disciplined Swayamsevaks took it so long to 
respond to the centre's observations about its 
activities. Although the Times of India (Times 
News Network[ FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2005 08:18:15 AM 
]carried a report about the same in its print as 
well as electronic edition, even a cursory glance 
at the website of TRC tells us that the name of 
the RSS was added to the list way back in 
September 2004. Milli Gazette, a fortnightly 
published from India even reported about the same 
in its print edition in 16-30 Sept 2004 issue.
Is it matter of pure oversight or part of the 
crisis of confidence through which the Sangh 
Parivar is passing since its debacle at the 
hustings last year ?
Possibly it was the same time when the Sangh 
Parivar was passing through one of the most 
keenly fought internecine struggles in its 
history that it did not find time to respond to 
this indictment.One can very well remember the 
verbal duels between the 'conservatives' and the 
'moderates' in the Parivar then where their was 
even a proposal to float a party parallel to BJP 
to defend Hindu interests. Quite recently the 
media itself was privy to this 'ideological 
struggle' within the Parivar when the Sangh 
Supremo Sudarshan castigated Vajpayee as well as 
Advani in no uncertain terms. He even termed 
Vajpayee ( who wears his Swayamsevakatva on his 
sleeves) as one of the worst Prime Ministers of 
India and asked these oldies to make way for a 
younger lot.
There is a Sanskrit subhashitam which tells us 
that calamities never come alone. This definitely 
fits well with the plight of the Hindutva brigade 
these days.
Not only friends but its adversaries would admit 
that the loss of power at the centre is weighing 
heavily on the BJP and its fountain head the RSS. 
And this indictment on part of the TRC is a 
further indication of this.Gone are the days when 
the Advanis or the Vajpayees fancied themselves 
as the superpower's partner in the 
"civilisational conflict' and when the ideologues 
of the hindutva brigade waxed eloquent about the 
strategic and natural alliance between the 
Saffronites and the US. It is rightly said that 
"[N]ot long ago Advani, sitting smugly in the 
North Block, was giving the impression that 
Washington was in his pocket, thanks to his 
bonhomie with the zionists and fishy deals worth 
billions of dollars with the Israelis... ." ( The 
Milli Gazette, Published in the 16-30 Sep 2004, 
print edition) But all that seems to be passe.
o o
. . . The fanatics who spread violence in the 
name of religion are worse than terrorist and 
more dangerous than an alien enemy...
( Quoted in the Supreme Court judgement in the Best Bakery Case)
Ofcourse without going into the merits of the 
Terrorism Research Centre's nuanced observations 
vis-a-vis the RSS which demands a more detailed 
treatment of the matter, it would we good if we 
discern earlier records to see whether it is for 
the first time that the hindutva brigade or any 
of its allied organisations or their activities 
have earned opprobrium under the 'terrorist' 
It was only two years back that the US State 
department added internet sites of certain 
organisations to the 'foreign terrorist 
organisations' list when "4 Jewish Web sites 
deemed ‘terrorist' (By Jerry Seper,  THE 
WASHINGTON TIMES)". Ofcourse the unusual alliance 
between radical Jewish groups with Hindutva 
groups bringing together two extreme religious 
philosophies from different parts of the world is 
premised on the fact that they share a distant 
enemy namely the Muslims.The report stated :
Four Internet Web sites operated by two extremist 
Jewish groups have been included by the State 
Department on its list of "foreign terrorist 
organizations" — the first time the list has been 
extended to includeInternet sites.
The listing, which went unnoticed when announced 
Oct. 3 in the department's annual redesignation 
of the world's terrorist organizations, includes 
the four sites operated by the Kach and its 
offshoot, the Kahane Chai, both of which have 
been designated by the department as terrorist 
Interestingly one of these 
has had an important relationship with which 'Promotes and Supports 
Ideals of Bajrang Dal : VHP youth with Bharat) 
The site then still showed a 
prominent hyperlink to the 
site.Secular activists in the states had known 
for long that, the website of was 
hosted by on a common server and 
bear the same IP address. The particulars ( ( 
Ref.Notice recently published in the Federal 
Register. (Federal Register: October 10, 2003 
(Volume 68, Number 197) Page: 58738-58739))
Two and half years back secular activists in the 
USA had after a painstaking work brought out a 
report 'Funding Hate' which had exposed the 
linkages between the funds collected by IDRF ( an 
umbrella organisation floated by Hindutva 
brigade) which collected money in USA and the way 
the money thus collected goes into sponsoring 
sectarian violence in India. A news item 
published in 'Financial Times, London  had boldly 
stated 'Cut the flow of funds to instigators of 
sectarian violence' (( INDIA'S HARD MEN, ,  page 
16, 24 Feb. 2003 (no author's name given)). It 
need be noted that it was not alone in raising 
its voice against the modus operandi of the 
Hindutva formations in Western countries which 
supposedly had been aiding and abetting sectarian 
violence at home. The report unambiguously stated 
A year ago India was scarred by some of the worst 
sectarian violence since partition, when up to 
2000 Muslims were killed in pogroms in the 
western state of Gujarat, ostensibly sparked by 
an arson attack by Muslims on a train that killed 
59 Hindu activists. Human rights organisations in 
India, the U.S. and Europe implicated two 
organisations in the well-orchestrated attacks, 
the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP or World Hindu 
Council) and its youth off shoot, the Bajrang Dal 
(devotees of the monkey-god Hanuman).
Now a Finanacial Times investigation has 
established that these groups receive extensive 
funding from Indians abroad, collected mainly as 
tax-free charity donations to front organisations 
in the U.S. and U.K.. This fund-raising is 
increasingly coming under scrutiny. So it should 
-  as should the links between these groups and 
India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Behind the VHP and Bajrang Dal stands a 
quasi-paramilitary body, the Rashtriya 
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS or Association of National 
Volunteers), which is the mother organisation of 
the Hindu revivalist BJP. Described by Jawaharlal 
Nehru, India's first Prime minister, as "an 
Indian version of fascism", the RSS is at the 
centre of a protean network of front 
organizations. This structure facilitates 
arm's-length money-raising. It also makes it 
easier for the RSS to deny it is inciting 
agitation against Muslims and Christians.
Ofcourse IDRF (India Development and Relief 
Fund), the US based charity organisation also 
presented a report in defence of itself against 
charges made in a report published last year that 
it was closely affiliated to the RSS and raised 
funds for sectarian causes in India.(Not funding 
hate, says IDRF,Hindu June 15, 2003) but that did 
not carry much ice and it was largely ignored in 
the media.
o o
..The modern day "Neros" were looking elsewhere 
when Best Bakery and innocent children and women 
were burning, and were probably deliberating how 
the perpetrators of the crime can be saved or 
protected. Law and justice become flies in the 
hands of these "wanton boys". . .
( Quoted in the Supreme Court judgement in the Best Bakery Case)
It remains to be seen how the RSS is going to 
react for its labelling if the 'Terrorism 
Research Centre'  sticks to its decision. There 
could be many routes open before it but looking 
at the tremendous flexibility in cyberlaws or the 
'elasticity inherent in the concept of terrorism' 
it cannot be said with guarantee that it would be 
successful in its venture.
But can this 80 year old 'cultural organisation' 
give a definitive answer to this query that is it 
just a 'image problem' which has helped the 
barrage of propaganda against it or there is a 
lacunae in its worldview and the activities of 
its own or affiliated organisations which gives 
scope for its branding in different ways by 
different people. Would the 'cultural 
organisation' be ready for self introspection to 
check whether it is just 'neo imperialist' bias 
that the TRC people have woken up to its 
'terrorist' nature or there are n number of 
things in its own weltanshaaung as well as 
organisational methods and planning which leaves 
much to be desired and has helped others 
formulate their position.



Indian Express
May 31, 2005

''Sati is now seen as a source of strength'' says 
tourism minister Usha Punia, Sati sites listed in 

Sandipan Sharma

JAIPUR, MAY 30: As the Uttar Pradesh government 
tries to put behind its embarrassment over the 
Banda Sati incident, the Rajasthan Tourism 
Development has made Sati the state's USP.
In its latest guidebook, released on Monday, it 
has invited tourists to visit some of the best 
Sati temples in the country - never mind the flak 
the Vasundhara Raje government recently took over 
the naming of Jaipur Development Authority 
approved Rani Sati Nagar.

In the book, titled Popular Deities of Rajasthan, 
the department describes the state as 
''best-known for various Sati Matas'' and goes on 
to extol the virtues of women who are remembered 
and revered for sacrificing their lives on their 
husbands' funeral pyre.

Sample: ''There is not a spot in the state where 
women had not committed Sati.''

''Brave women who sacrificed their lives for the 
sake of sat (truth) are best known as Satis... 
the Sati was not restricted by compulsions of 
caste. Women from every caste committed Sati.''

The book, which was released by Tourism Minister 
Usha Punia amid much fanfare, goes on to describe 
the myths and legends associated with the Sati 
temples in Rajasthan.

Consider the following:

* Rundera, Salumbar: Before committing Sati, 
Krishna Devi of the Rathore clan sacrificed 24 
body parts to the gods. The place got its name 
because of the Sati committed by Krishan Devi 
with Rathore Kallaji rund (body) in Salumbar 
(near Udaipur) after a battle. This Sati is well 
known as the Goddess of rains and the Goddess of 
Nature. Several tribes of the region worship the 
Sati in the lunar month of ashad (the period 
before the rains). Visitors would find palm 
prints of the Sati outside every house in the 

* Rani Sati Temple, Jhunjhunu: The Sati from 
Meham village is famous as the deity of the 
region. Her name was Narayani Bai. She committed 
Sati after her husband Tanmandhan Das died in a 
battle, while fighting for the Nawab of Hissar in 

* Ghevar Mata of Rajasamand: This goddess carried 
the torch of sacrifice. It is said that when the 
embankments of the Rajsamand Lake were being 
constructed, they would collapse without any 
reason. The embankment could be constructed only 
after an astrologer asked the rulers to summon 
Ghevar Bai, who committed Sati after placing a 
stone in the foundation of the embankment.

* Bayan: Any unmarried woman who commits Sati to 
protect her honour is called Bayan. Once a girl 
from Merta (Jodhpur region) committed Sati with a 
child. This place has a memorial to her.

Tourism minister Punia, who released the book, 
defended the glorification of Sati in the 
guidebook. ''Sati is now seen as the source of 
strength,'' she said.

The devsthan (temples) department, however, said 
it had goofed up in its portrayal of the Sati. 
Its secretary, Ashok Shekhar, said the book was 
an attempt to inform visitors about the public 
deities of the state.

''We would withdraw the references to the Sati 
temples, as they could be easily interpreted as 
glorification of Sati,'' he said.



Deccan Herald
May 31, 2005

From S T Beuria
DH News Service Bhubaneswar:

The Patnaik administration's 'softened'  stand on 
the VHP-Bajrang Dal's  plan to organise more 
"Trishul Dikshas"  has been strongly criticised 
by the Opposition parties.

Encouraged by Naveen Patnaik administration's 
u-turn on the issue, the VHP-Bajrang Dal combine 
is now reportedly planning more 'Trishul Diksha' 
programmes in the state.

The two Sangh Parivar members launched their 
programme at the coastal town of Nimapara in Puri 
district last week with distribution of 
'Trishuls' to nearly 400 youths from the state 
for protection of the Hindu religion.

They are contemplating to begin their second 
round of the programme in the Assembly 
constituencies of prominent state Congress 
leaders. If Sangh Parivar sources are to be 
believed, a programme will be organised at 
Anandapur in tribal-dominated Keonjhar district 
in the last week of June when nearly a thousand 
youths from the area will be presented with 
Trishuls. Anandapur is the constituency of PCC 
president Jayadev Jena.

The Congress-led Opposition in the state has been 
strongly protesting the VHP-Bajrang Dal's 
decision. "The Hindus do not need Trishul Diksha 
programmes to protect their religion. This type 
of communal activity is only aimed at disturbing 
and destabilishing the society", said leader of 
the Opposition in the State Assembly and former 
chief minister J B Patnaik.

The Opposition leaders are also extremely 
critical of the state administration's "reversal 
attitude" towards the programme. "The recent 
statement of chief minister Mr Patnaik on the 
issue is not only condemnable but also dangerous 
for the state", said Bijoy Mohapatra, president 
of the Orissa Gana Parishad (OGP).

Last year, the VHP had planned a Trishul Diksha 
programme in the state in presence of Praveen 
Togadia. The programme, however, was cancelled in 
the last moment because of the hard stand taken 
by the Naveen Patnaik administration.

But this time, the administration seems to have 
gone soft on the issue. "We have no knowledge of 
any law and order problem because of the VHP's 
programme. If there will be any law and order 
problem we will definitely take action", the 
chief minister has said.



Kasturirangan likely to preside over RSS function
Hindu, India - May 28, 2005
28 (PTI): Noted space scientist K Kasturirangan, 
is expected to preside over the concluding 
ceremony of the third year camp of RSS volunteers 
at Nagpur on June 5, according to Sangh 
mouthpiece 'Organiser'.

A total of 952 trainees from 38 'Prants' 
(provinces) are participating in the month-long 
Officers' Training Camp, which began at Nagpur 
from May 9, the weekly said in its latest issue.

The RSS top brass including its Chief K S 
Sudarshan, and General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat, 
would be taking part in the function, the sources 


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