KANDHAMAL IS NOT A CASE OF COMMUNALITY: IT IS A CASE OF NATIONALITY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Kandhamal of Orissa is in hot headlines for enmity between the followers of two religions: Hindu and Christian. The politico executive and judicial administration wants us to believe that it is a case of communality. But in reality it is a case of religious nationality.

The peoples of India have suffered the separation of precious parts from the body of their motherland in 1947 as it was a prerequisite for independence on August 15 on the ground of religious nationality when the Muslims, multiplied on this soil through conversions claimed to be a separate nation as against the nation of the Hindus.

With formation of Pakistan, Hindustan lost a great portion of its national asset and has been in constant loss due to the terrorism practiced by Muslim converts at the border.

So rise of another religious nationhood through multiplication of Christians by conversions has become the crux of alarm for the Hindus as the Christians, by concept and in practice belong to a religious nationality, as they themselves want others to know by projecting their religious head, the Pope, as a Sovereign Head of State.

It is politically significant that the Pope, because of being the Pope, is being projected and treated as a Sovereign Head of State.

This understood, there is no difficulty in understanding why everywhere in India Hindu activists are trying to bring prodigal children back to their homes through counter-conversions.

Every Hindu may act as a counter-conversionist if thereby his motherland could be saved from another division on religious nationality.

Laxmananand was such a counter-conversionist who had concentrated in Kandhamal.

Unknown assailants, who, in local perception, are Christians, have killed him

So attack on Christians by Hindus in that district is a counter-attack.

A man, face wrapped, projected as a Maoist, has told a private TV channel that members of his organization have killed Laxmanananda to obstruct religious revivalism. This assertion is being read as a Christian mischief to hoodwink the general public. This is simply because, peoples know, the Maoists cannot find any difference between a conversionist and a counter-conversionist as both of them are religious revivalists. So killing of Lamananand alone on reason of religious revivalism cannot be accepted as an act of the Maoists.

In the circumstances, it is easily inferred that the Christians of Kandhamal received the counter-impact of their own mischief after the cold-blooded murder of Laxmananand.

The assassinated Hindu activist was unambiguously the strongest obstacle that the Christian missionaries were facing in converting Hindus to Christian religion in the region. And he was killed.

The Hindu agony is increasing beyond tolerance as the Governments, both in the State and at the Center, have failed to find out the assassin of the man who had sacrificed his worldly comforts to conduct counter-conversion to obstruct the rise of a rival religious nationality again on the soil that has already suffered the disadvantage of division of the motherland by converted Muslims at the time of independence.

The Christians have gone to the Supreme Court of India through a PIL seeking orders for inquiry into the assault on them by the CBI.

Suppose the CBI takes over the case, should that automatically end the unrest?

What is the crux of their allegation that they need the CBI to inquire into? As they say it is the assault on Christians. But in reality the issue is not the assault on the Christians; the issue is counter-assault on the Christians.

It would therefore be wrong to inquire into the counter-attack before the attack is inquired into. Therefore the ghastly murder of Laxmananand should first be inquired into before any inquiry is ordered into assault on Christians.

And the assault on Christians being a counter-assault, should, instead of expenditure of so much official energy on it, be left to be settled by the Christians themselves through credible pledges that they would do everything to wipe out the feeling that they are building up a Christian nationhood like the Muslims of pre-independence era.

As long as this feeling is not wiped out, the Hindus of Hindustan cannot be, even at gun point of Police, obstructed from taking any step, including violent steps, to preempt any possibility of a fresh division of their motherland on the ground of religion.

It is absolutely wrong to say that the majority (Hindu) community has assaulted the minority (Christian) community in Kandhamal. The concept of community is a wrong concept. The correct phenomenon is that a portion of the citizenry has assaulted another portion of the citizenry and the later portion has mounted a counter assault on the former. And in this specific instance, minority amongst the citizens (Christians) assaulted majority amongst the citizens (Hindus) by killing Laxmananand and by building up a minority religious nationhood, in retaliation to which the Hindus, being the majority of the citizenry, have, if at all, mounted their counter-assault.

This had to happen. Majority citizens cannot sit mum when motherland is infested with the viruses of minority nationality.

This scenario is really painful. It would never have happened had all the religions been banned after adoption of the Constitution of India.

Every religion was a societal code that was controlling man’s behaviors vis-à-vis the Society. With framing of the Constitution these codes called religions should have been stored for sociological study only. But shortsighted politicians have played the nastiest of mischief by allowing them to control human behavior in free India. So these religions have become rivals to our Constitution and their followers have linked these codes to their respective religious nationalities.

This being the fact, Christians constitute a rival nation vis-à-vis the Hindus. Hindus form the majority. India is a democracy. Democracy is run by majority. So India as a democracy belongs to the Hindus. But Hindus have never misappropriated India for themselves. Though they were the majority in the Constituent Assembly they framed a Constitution that resolved to build up the country as a secular democracy. They gave full freedom to practitioners of their rival religions to treat India as their home and to practice their religion without obstruction. But nowhere they had said that the practitioners of their rival religions should be allowed to expand their religious nation by dragging away members of Hindu religion to their own.

In view of this every conversion since framing of our Constitution is absolutely unauthorized and blatantly illegal.

The Cuttack Archbishop’s PIL has given the Supreme Court a great chance to dive deep into this matter. The active practice of religion should be seen as active denigration of the Constitution inasmuch as the Constitution being the supreme code of conduct, parallel or rival codes of conduct cannot be countenanced.

It should be made clear that by secularism the framers of the Constitution had only meant that there should be no bar in practice of the religions by their respective followers’ families. But they had never meant for keeping the State mum when certain religions would try to encroach upon others.

If the Supreme Court gives real serious attention to the issue, it should nullify all conversions with retrospective effect from the day of the adoption of our Constitution. And put a blatant ban on emergence of religion as nation.

Words like protection to minority may look magnanimous, but if minority religions take turn towards becoming minority nations, the majority of the country’s citizenry will never sit silent. They must fight that design come what may. Because, to the Hindus of Hindustan, any possibility of further division of their motherland on basis of minorities’ religion-nation can never be acceptable.

So, let us be very clear that Kandhamal is not a case of communality as is being projected; it is a case of religious nationality.

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DEMOCRACY DEFILED: HOUSE OUSTS CONGRESS MEMBER FOR A WEEK; REALITY ENTOMBED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Legislative Assembly has ousted Congress member Tarakant Bahinipati for seven days as on adoption of a treasury bench motion to suspend him the Speaker decided to enforce it on 11th December.

Bahinipati attracted the harsh decision by venturing to hit the Speaker with an earphone though that had missed the target. It was an affront to dignity of the House, members felt. Bahinipati also felt the same way; but explained his action as a reaction to anti-democratic conduct of the treasury side.

After successfully stonewalling the House the preceding day on the ground of absence of a white paper in respect to the official notice calling attention on killing of Laxmananand and consequent communal violence in Kandhamal that turned into exposing the government’s reluctance to provide the same for use as the base of debate, the Opposition on 11th December allowed the House to proceed so that its own version as well as the government’s could be kept on records and the reality could be known.

And, thus the House started to proceed on Kandhamal issue.

And, thus the House came to hear what the Deputy Leader of Opposition, Narasingha Mishra, known for clear comprehension and in-depth analysis of any issue in hand, was to say on Kandhamal.

Mishra began his speech by razing down the “rosy picture” painted by the initiator of the debate, government chief whip, B.K.Arukh on the present situation in Kandhamal. This district, he reminded the government, is one of the most backward districts of India, where Schedule Tribes constitute 52 per cent and Schedule Castes 17 per cent of its total population. But 90 per cent of its population perish Below-the-Poverty-Line (BPL) with an average per capita income of Rs.4, 743/- as against Rs.5,264/- in other districts of Orissa in the same segment, he showed from statistical reports. And roared, is it the evidence of development that the government boasts of? And then, as he proceeded, he cited certain documents on records in print media to show the darker side of the communal flare up at Kandhamal, the core issue of the particular debate.

Giving vent to his suspicion that Laxmananand’s murder might have been the BJP’s handiwork in executing its stratagem to cultivate communal support in approaching elections, he went ahead to support his apprehensions with circumstantial evidences, to the utmost discomfort of the BJP members of the treasury benches.

He cited newspaper reports to show how contemptuously Togadia of saffron combine had alleged that it was Chief Minister Navin Patnaik’s chilling nonchalance that had facilitated the murder of Laxmananand.

And, as bruised BJP members were at a loss to understand how to stop Mishra’s trigger, he went on to show how Laxmananand was a destroyer of societal solidarity in the affected district in the name of religion and how he was the arch villain behind the 1994 caste conflicts that in acrimony had surpassed every conceivable violence in that district.

Even as no action was taken against perpetrators of that crime against the community, it is the BJP’s alliance government that surreptitiously withdrew the security cover from Laxmananand before his murder in the night of August 23, 2008, although as many as 26 hours before the murder, he had informed the Police that there was threat to his life.

After the murder of Laxmanananda BJP has tried to use him posthumously for consolidation of its vote bank, but its coalition government has not net in the real murderer.

This, he said, points the needle of suspicion for the murder of Laxmananand to the BJP and its allies, which they might have done in thirst for votes.

He cited the instance of Kendrapara where a BJP leader had organized bombardment on the house of another leader of his own party with the motive to project the crime as an act of Muslims, so that communal passions ignited against the minority community could have helped the saffronists in having a new polarized vote bank in their favor. There is no reason not to see the same modus operandi in the murder of Laxmananand, Mishra thundered.

Referring to Togadia’s tirades as reported by the Press, Mishra wondered as to how and why the BJP Ministers sharing the dais with Togadia at that time were not taken to task for having not protested against the acerbic words hurled at their Chief Minister. Recitation of the reported words by Mishra was unbearable for the BJD members and even as they squealed, Mishra went ahead to cite Puri Sankaracharya who had alleged that it is the Chief Minister who alone should be held responsible for the murder. The CM, Mishra wondered, was unable to stop the crime as he was dependent on the Sangh Parivar to stay in power and the Sangh Parivar was to make a sacrifice of Laxmanananda at the altar of their ambition that could be fulfilled only through electoral politics. To put his apprehensions on a supportive base, he read out a letter of the Sangh Parivar that was pregnant with the conspiracy as published in a printed edition of Lokamat.

This was more than enough for the BJP members and their BJD allies to digest. They rushed into the well of the Hall demanding deletion of Mishra’s citations.

Under the waves of uproar that soon engulfed the House, Kalpataru Das of BJD was allowed to raise a point of order when Ms. Draupadi Murmu of BJP was in the Chair and as Das started saying, the microphone of Mishra was laid inoperative. The Opposition stood in protest and the pandemonium took a turn towards the worse. In that oral free for all environment inside the Hall, Bahinipati ventured the most condemnable offense against the Chair. He whisked out an earphone and hurled it at the august authority. Democracy was defiled as never before in the very heart of its throne.

Rightly he has been put under suspension. His is an offense that no lover of democracy can tolerate.

But it is also a fact that had the House not been goaded by the treasury bench members into the environment that precipitated the offense, what happened might not have happened at all.

If the peoples of the State are now unable to know the behind the screen reality that could have addressed appropriately to the issue put on agenda of the Assembly by the treasury side itself, whom to blame except the treasury side?

OFFICIAL NOTICE CALLING ATTENTION ON KANDHAMAL FAILED TO PROCEED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The ruling alliance’s calling attention notice on killing of Hindu religious revivalist Laxmananand Saraswati in Kandhamal and the consequent communal violence could not be taken up for discussion on December 10, as the Government failed to appreciate that it should provide the House with a White Paper for facilitating an informed debate.

The House was dragged into confusion by the Government side when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty asserted that a White Paper could not be released, as a Judicial Commission of Inquiry is investigation the matter. Then, the Opposition wondered, how can the Government continue its calling attention business without transgressing into the issues before the commission?

Pandemonium, begun with the Speaker calling the House to discuss the notice, continued to cause repeated adjournments till finally the House was posted to the next working day.