Thursday, August 16, 2012

Remove the mote from thine own eye.

From ABC:

Top State Department officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been working behind the scenes to assuage Indian anger following the attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin over the weekend by an Army veteran and alleged former white supremacist.

Indian government officials and Sikh leaders across India were outraged by the attack that left 6 dead, including 4 Indian nationals, at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee and called on the U.S. to do more to protect Sikhs living in the United Sates. Clinton called Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna from her stop in South Africa Monday after Krishna criticized the U.S. for failed policies and a growing trend of violent incidents against religious minorities.

A trend. Based on a single data point? I'm not sure "trend" means what Indians think it means.

Here is what a trend looks like:

In India, where a national election, next year [2009], will pit a Hindu nationalist-led party against a more secular incumbent government, led by the Congress Party, there have been a spate of assaults on Christians. Disturbing photographs and amateur videos show ransacked Christian churches in Orissa state in eastern India, where terrified Christian families have fled to shelters to avoid the cruel choice between conversion to Hinduism or death. Bibles and prayer books have been found burned among the ruins of Christian homes.

For more than two decades, minority religious groups in India have felt mounting tensions and suffered attacks, often politically motivated. Several thousand Sikhs were slaughtered in Delhi and across northern India in 1984, after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by Sikh bodyguards. She had sent the army into Sikhdom's holiest sanctuary, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in search of a rebel politician, leaving the shrine a severely damaged and desecrated place.

The violent deaths of Sikhs went on, into the 1990s, through a spasm of "illegal cremations," in which security forces tortured and killed thousands more in Punjab state and burned their bodies to hide evidence, denying families knowledge of their relatives' fate. India's Human Rights Commission and its Central Bureau of Investigation have documented these atrocities, which have largely gone unpunished. (A US-based organization, Ensaaf, has compiled information about this tragic history on its website,

In Gujarat in 2002, as many as 2,000 Muslims were assaulted, viciously tortured and killed as their neighborhoods were marked for destruction by Hindu mobs, according to neutral diplomatic reports and on-site investigations by Indian human rights activists. There is wide agreement that local Hindu nationalist politicians condoned, if not actually directed, the pogrom, which occurred after Hindu pilgrims died in a train fire of still disputed origins. A former chief justice of India's Supreme Court, J.S. Verma, says that in Gujarat (Mahatma Gandhi's birthplace), as in other states, the police are often implicated in acts of violence at the behest of political leaders, who are almost never tried or convicted.

Christians account for only 2 or 3 percent of India's population of more than 1.1 billion. Many of them are extremely poor tribal people or former outcastes known as Dalits, who abandoned Hinduism to escape their "untouchable" status. They have been under attack for years, most often in areas where Hindu nationalists are strong. Many have died. In Orissa, the most recent assaults on Christians began after the murder of a local Hindu holy man, Swami Lakshmananda. Although Maoist rebels in the region claimed responsibility for his death, Hindus ignored that as they went on a rampage. Some Christians have been arrested.

1 comment:

denizenofgoo said...

"She had sent the army into Sikhdom's holiest sanctuary"

If only things were that easy.

and the riots were not instigated by the hindu nationalist party, but by the congress leaders(Indira Gandhi was from INC).

Can't seem to find much references to radio bombs, and this should be mentioned too.

"conversion to Hinduism"

All the while the hindu minority in Pakistan has been reduced to irrelevancy.