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|November 9, 1998||
How Readers responded to Vir Sanghvi's last column
Date sent: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 12:35:30 PST
A very good article. I really miss his 'Question of Answers' programme on the Star Plus.
The BJP is not able to tame its belligerent parivar members. Vajpayee doesn't have the hold over the organisation that Advani has. As he (you know who) has rightly said Vajpayee is the mukhota. I don't believe in either Congress-style-secularism or BJP-style-secularism. The 'most' secular of all, the CPI-M, is now planning to tie-up with the IUML (the remnants of Jinnah's party). No party in India is secular. Every party is communal.
Date sent: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 11:57:10 +0530
Your article truly portrays the double standards of the BJP. Sometimes I think a corrupt Congress government was always better than the communal BJP government, which has an equal chance of being corrupt also.
Date sent: Wed, 04 Nov 1998 10:22:28 +0100
Strange! When a Hindu (not Hindus) commits a crime it is communal! And when any others (be it Muslim, Christian or any other) does, they are protecting their minority rights and was 'forced to retaliate!' Please don't make these differences. Everybody is Indian and should be held responsible for his/her acts - not his/her community. This column looks politically motivated.
A regular reader of Rediff
Date sent: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 23:26:12 PST
This whole Muslim Vs Hindu thing is not new, didn't start last year with the BJP. It's been there and was unleashed on us by the Gandhi-Nehru family, who played these divide-and-rule games for years (note most of them were British-educated).
So wake up Mr Vir "Sunbeam" Sanghvi. You're not shedding any new light or saying anything new. The left in India has said it for years. They would have sold us to the Russians and the Chinese, given a chance, for 30 pieces of silver or even less.
The problem with the Hindu-Muslim, Indo-Pak conflict is that the millions of refugees who got kicked into this country have hijacked it, and are now fighting their proxy war which we, the gullible, are funding through tax money. Why don't they rent out an island in the Pacific and finish their war so that rest of India and the world can go live happily?
Date sent: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 07:45:26 -0800
Mr Vir Sanghvi has very clearly, without any emotional mumbo-jumbo, brought forth stark realities. I always wondered why most (almost all) journalists never ask questions that are uppermost on the minds of the hoi polloi. For example, when Ms Varsha Bhosle met Mr Advani, we got a lot of stuff on his ascetic personality, but not a word on what he thought of Sadhvi Ritambara. Kudos to Mr Sanghvi for being an exception.
Date sent: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 20:04:11 +0530
Congrats. You are one more addition to the secular list. Why do all you guys go at the BJP? V P Singh donated 5 million to the Jama Masjid (Delhi) and asked the shahi imam to put out a fatwa that all Muslims should vote for the Janata Dal. Where were you then?
The BJP has used Hindu sentiments to come to power, I agree. Why don't you accept that the BJP is in power because the Hindus are with it? Vir, don't talk rubbish. Each & every person in India knows that, every party (including the BJPthe , Congress and the CPI-M) uses religious sentiments to come to power. I think you were awake when the Congress openly apologised for the destruction of the Babri Masjid for Muslim votes. When others does such things, you accept that. So when the BJP does the same, why do you cry? Why it's like that?
You people simply talk, just talk, nothing better you do, because you think you can get revolution just by pen. It's totally wrong man, you have to implement your feelings, ideologies! Every Indian journalist fails here, because they think just writing is their responsibility! I am an ordinary guy who feels very angry about this corrupt system. I couldn't even get my driving license without bribing. This is the fact! But I talk, just talk! Nothing better I can do, I am ashamed of my position & I feel even you are not on a better ground.
Anyhow, your program on Star Plus is good. Keep it up.
Date sent: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 10:57:36
Dear Mr Sanghvi,
There is no doubt that the BJP has taken advantage of communal factors in the past and would continue to do so in the future. Organisations like the RSS give birth and shelter to such factors, giving them voice under its banner, and then passes them on to the BJP if popularity seems to be catching on and the political profit for the party justify the risk taken in terms of endangering its so called "secular" image.
Examples like Mr Prem abound. What happened when Madhukar Sarpotdar was found guilty in the Bombay riots? Nothing. And I don't understand the logic behind the sympathies that Vajpayee gets even from people like you. It was he who chose to represent the party. His foreign policies are a farce. He has a loud mouth. All that the BJP has managed to do is increase work for the next sensible government that comes to power.
After all this, you argue that he is a nice man! Well, so is my barber down the road!
My barber also talks a lot. He is also ignorant of what's going around him. And he too thinks that 'things are not as bad as they seem to be'. Do you think we should elect him if he stands as an independent in the next assembly elections? He is a nice man too, isn't he?
I think this is what people actually asked for when they voted the BJP in. A lot of them were shocked out of their skins about Prem's remarks. I guess this is what democracy and freedom of choice is all about. Things could have changed for the better with the right kind of education -- but there you have Murli Manohar Joshi...
Date sent: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 10:41:21 +0530
Sanghvi is objective in his approach and has presented the true colours of the Sangh Parivar and BJP. If the BJP was a party with some core, then it would not have shown such an attitude as Sanghvi said it did. It is obvious to any political analyst, or for that matter even to the common man, that the BJP just wants to get votes. They want it at any cost, be it communal (more profitable) or something else. Although some of the parties from the J & K had an alliance with the BJP during elections, they got themselves away from the BJP after the elections due to pressure from Muslims. They didn't get good friendship from the BJP.
Date sent: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 15:45:01 -0500 (EST)
The number of Christians in our country is small. Projecting this issue as a major problem automatically discards more important ones. I think Christian missionaries all over India is a major source of conversions. You can look at the steady increase in the number of Christian population over the last 50 years. The fact that these people convert poor, uneducated and needy people makes this problem very complicated. If pure it is pur faith that makes people concert, then a lot of educated and rich people too would have embraced Christianity. Also, in that case, these people would not have gone to adivasi lands. Thus, although it is acceptbale that Seva is their aim to some extent, we cannot neglect their second most important motive.
The media is highly biased about the VHP going against these missionaries. I do not find anybody talking against conversions for the last 10 years. Instead, it is politically acceptable to talk against the VHP!
I think strict laws must be made against conversions. We should stop forceful and illegal conversions. Illegal as in those involving money. The majority of those who find conversion of no importance are the ones who lack the values of the land. These very same people refuse the connection of religion and culture. This is also true for religion and politics. There is a strong connection between religion and politics. It is the politics of religion that some political parties want to take advantage of. If religion is not part of it, then the CPI and Congress would not have even looked into it. As much as the BJP, they too have to be blamed for exploiting religion.
Date sent: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 12:03:07 -0700
This is an excellent article. I appreciate the author's guts! Thanks.
Date sent: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 16:08:21 PST
Looks like we have yet another pinko here. So playing to minority vote banks is secular but playing to the Hindu vote banks is communal? That is queer logic indeed. When Saudis place an ad in Indian newspapers asking for "Muslims only" that is secular, but appealing to Hindus is communal indeed! Let's see, in Sonia's motherland Italy, do they abandon Roman history as communal? Or do they not pray to their lord? Those are fine, Italian and secular. So is Vir Sanghvi communal? Nay he is secular, I mean communal pinko, what else?
Date sent: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 12:45:01
This is the first time I am reading your article. I am really impressed with your balanced view. In the beginning everybody thought that all the hoola-boola of the Hindutva was to get votes. That once the BJP formed a government, it would realise that a country as multi-ethnic and multi-cultured as India cannot be ruled based on religion. But as days pass, no such sign seems to appear. It is becoming more and more clear that Vajpayee is nothing but a mukhota and Advani's vision is going to dominate the BJP for longer than we all wished for.
Zaigham A Kazmi
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