home | resources | actions | press | contact
Readers Speak! Want to express your opinions on the efforts to bring the IDRF to account? The Campaign welcomes short, well thought out pieces for publication on our new Readers Speak! section. If you have articles you'd like posted on this section, drop us an email:

A Foreign Exchange of Hate:
IDRF and the American Funding of Hindutva
A Report by Sabrang Communications Pvt. Ltd. (India) / SACW (France)

Mirror Sites


Stop Corporate Sponsorship of IDRF
Faculty Petition

Project Saffron Dollar

Stop Funding Hate Campaign Responds to IDRF's Rebuttal

Frequently Asked Questions

Contribute a written essay/article/opinion piece: In the body of your email, send us the text of your contribution. After a brief review process, your contribution will be considered for publication. We value contributions that are well thought out, and which address substantive issues raised by the campaign.

The difference between an elephant and a man.

IDRF and truth with a post script

By Jabali Satyakama, March 3, 2003

Yudhishtira, the paragon of virtue did not lie. An elephant named Ashwatthama was indeed killed. But the most formidable archer in Duryodhayan’s side Dronacharya laid down his bow and quiver in grief over his beloved son Ashwatthama’s death for he heard it announced by Yudhshtira, the most truthful of the truthful. The pandavas won the battle of Kurukshetra. A model for compromising with truth was put in place 5000 years ago in the battle of Kurukshetra. A formula for getting away with murder.

The one differene between Yudhisthtira and our Hindutva leaders is that where Yudhishtira did it once and paid for it with a stint in hell, 21st century Hindutvavadis practice it on a daily basis and worse still, insist that their conscience is clean. After Gandhiji, after Ayodhya, after Graham Staines, after Gujarat, the 21 century Hindutvavadis still claim to have a clean conscience. Every now and then when that small voice deep inside him calls him a liar, our beloved prime minister writes a poem and sheds a tear. But pragmatic Hindutva calls him to order like the VHP is doing right now, “fall in line or you are finished.”

For long, we have heard these pious protestations of the Hindutvavadis. The latest one stinks… but not any more than the previous ones did. IDRF IS NOT CONNECTED TO THE RSS. (legally, that is.). If that sounds to you like Yudhishtira’s declaration that Ashwatthama was killed, you must be a communist, Marxist, mullah loving conspirator against mera mahan Bharat. But it matters little now what the Hindutvavadis call us. The postscript naro va kunjara va is 5000 years old and those of us who can be religious without subscribing to the VHP lunacy, those of us who can care enough for people in India and elsewhere without having to declare it through trashy poetry on the internet, those of us who can be proud of where we come from, and hopeful of where we are going, without resorting to cheap props like nuclear bombs, we know the 5000- year- old post script naro va kunjara va. The difference is the same as that between a man and an elephant. The IDRF is not part of the RSS. (legally speaking that is). But it does serve a particular ideological and operational functionin the sangh parivar. That is the summary of 200 pages of sophistry being peddled by a bunch of people whose grandiose self image makes them declare on the first page of their report that they are like a celestial constellation that has mysteriously come together. Ramesh Rao, Narayanan Komerath, Beloo Mehra, Chitra Raman and Sugrutha Ramaswami. Are like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. You don’t need astrology to see that there is something sinister in the disarmingly innocent and stunningly ‘spectacular’ alignment “along the invisible necklace of the ecliptic”. Ashok Chowgule, the suave spokesman for Hindutva gave us a hint of the post script even as IDRF kept insisting carefully that it has no connections with the RSS. Legally that is. The difference between a man and an elephant does not amount to untruth. It can be sustained by 200 pages of facts.

Hindutvavadis practice this on a daily basis. The Supreme Court, it seems declared Hindutva to be a way of life and not a religion. The judiciary, a modern institution of bourgeoius democracy, a gift among many others of dubious value from the west, a legacy that the Hindutva has never shown any respect for; it is the judiciary from where Hindutva leaders procure a birth certificate now to prove their legitimacy. It is the same Supreme Court, an institution that Hindutva is daily threatening to destabilize by setting up their whipped up faith to battle the court’s imposed reason. Indeed what did the Supreme Court say ? It said, it is alright to appeal for votes in Hindutva’s name for it is not a religion but only a way of life. So, now there is no religion in India by a decree of the supreme court. There is only a way of life, the one prescribed by the smiling RSS. Do you remember where you saw a smile like that the last time ? Yes, it was in the crocodile pond. There is a Hindutva, a way of life in India and an Islam and a Christianity which are religions. And somehow, by some celestial planetary logic that the authors will not explain to us, somehow, Hindutva is RSS. It is not religion. But a way of life. It is an ideology. It is everything. And nothing too. Aaahhha.

Those of us who are confused by this should turn to Adi Shankara the closet budhist, (lest some hindutva vadi may claim that I am abusing adi shankara, closet budhist is only a bad translation of pracchanna baudha) whose fine philosophical tradition has been the mainstay of lazy people for long. “Watch out against the maya, my friend. that illusion that is cast upon you by the communists, mullah lovers and Marxists. The truth shines ever so wonderously in the heart of the Hindutvavadis. The IDRF has nothing to with the RSS (legally that is). The BJP has nothing to do with babri desruction. (legally that is). The VHP has nothing to do with the killing of 1000 Mulsims(legally that is). And Hindutva is a way of life. (Legally that is.)

To call these things cheap sleight of hand, is to miss the point completely. Hindutvavadis are liars in as much as Yudhishtir was a liar. They lied when they first claimed that ram idols emerged during a bhajan at the ayodhya temple. They lied when Gandhiji was killed. They lied when the Babri masjid was pulled down. They lied when they said Godhra was an ISI plot and went on to endorse the violence in Gujarat.

Standing there on the platform, they gave the moral and political endorsement to the thousands who were mobilized to pull down the mosque and would do nothing short of pulling down the mosque. Yet legally did the Hindutvavadi leaders ask the kar sevaks to pull down the mosque ? Legally no, they did not.

Was Nathuram Godse legally a member of the RSS? Legally no. He was not. The RSS never had any membership list to start with.

Did the RSS receive any funds from the IDRF, legally no. The RSS has no audited financial statements to start with.

Did, the VHP ask the rioters to kill Muslims in Gujarat ? Legally no. It only distributed pamphlets that said, Gandhiji told Hindus to fight in self defense.

Ultimately, did Ashok Chowgule, Vinod prakash, Narayanan Komerath, Ramesh Rao Yvette Rosser and Belu Mehra and lesser planets, asteroirds and others who pulled their weight behind the 200 page report support the emergence of an ugly world ? Legally no. They have not. Unlike Yudhishtira , none of these people will go to hell. Some of them will write bad poems and post them on the internet and thus transfer the payments to us. Some of them will mouth postmodern theory, some will peddle the latest management jargon. And all of them sincerely believe that they have a lot in common with the jewish people in nazi Germany.

They will sound reasonable. Just as reasonable as Ariel Sharon sounds reasonable, Pravin Togadia sounds reasonable, Narendra Modi, or (Narakendra Modi as my grandmother likes to call him) sounds reasonable. Just as Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler did and Osama bin Laden does and Mullah Omar did and Omar Sheikh must be sounding, and George Bush does and the way Ravana must have sounded to his people. Fascism always sounds reasonable. Fascists have always been elected democratically. They do not depend on coercion and unreasonableness of large populations. They just depend on the lack of moral fibre in society. They depend on successful demonization of some people. Once we are all agreed on who those demons are, it is only a question of eliminating them, gassing them, jailing them. And that the RSS has succeeded in generating this common sense of who the enemy is very clear: You can hear it in the smooth suave words of the Shakha pramukh’s baudhik in Delhi attended by all the BJP parliamentarians yesterday February 28, the day of the Union budget presentation.

‘‘There is an all-round support for our cause. The Hindu samaj is ideologically with us today. The opposition to us comprises either politically motivated people or those who have a narrow-minded, anti-India mind-set. The present atmosphere in our favour is a result of 75 years of hard-work put in by our swyamsevaks. More and more young men are drawn to our ranks now. Our swyamsevaks have excelled in politics and got in to power as well. It is, therefore, imperative for each one of us to be a model to society. A swyamsevak is supposed to be an embodiment of honesty, discipline and a self-less service to the motherland. We have to see that the faith of society in the swyamsevak is preserved and perpetuated through our conduct and actions.’’

This Hindutva is 75 years old and no more. But it pretends to be the legal heir to a 5000 year old tradition. Will it get away with this elephantine untruth ? That is up to us. At the very least those of us who don’t believe it will stand up to it. It is worth it. After all, the best they can do is to rationalize their hero’s surrender to the British, as strategy. We have no such desperation.