Using the words "circle of hate" -- as this old Outlook article (published 02 Feb. 1998) does -- for a man, 20 of whose family members were brutally massacred before his very eyes (without him having ever been provided any justice) is an act of cruelty bordering on mental sickness!
If there was ever a human being in this world who best exemplified being made the undeserved victim of an inferno of diabolical hatred, it was Madan Lal Pahwa, much of whose family was wiped out in the ethnic cleansing carried out by savages who thought a 'Sacred Land' for Muslims ('Pakistan') could be created by killing and raping some of the innocent and ancient inhabitants of the same land.
Just a teenager when he'd had to suffer this horrible atrocity, Pahwa was the innocent and undeserving victim of hatred, not the bearer of "the circle of hate".
Absolutely nothing -- not even his conviction in the conspiracy to kill Mahatma Gandhi -- takes away from the fact that the criminal British colonialists, the genocidal campaigners for 'Pakistan', and Gandhi and others who submitted to the will of the colonialists and whose decisions upended the lives of millions of Indians, not only allowed a monstrous crime to take place against Pahwa (and lakhs of others like him) but failed even to try to set up a system to provide justice.
Pahwa spent 18-20 of the most youthful years of his life in jail after being convicted of involvement in the conspiracy to kill Mahatma Gandhi.
He died in the year 2000 without ever being provided even a semblance of justice for the brutal killing of his family members in Partition violence.
For that, people responsible for running the Republic of India should hang their heads in shame!
There is only one thing that the Outlook article shows emphatically -- that Madan Lal Pahwa was the epitome of human courage, fortitude, and the capacity to struggle against savage and unwarranted hatred and injustice, that he was, in fact, among the toughest of Indians who have ever lived.
The way he has been portrayed in a negative light here by Saira Menezes, the writer of the Outlook article, is shameful and disgusting.
Read more about Pahwa in this Wikipedia entry.
What is horrible about this Wikipedia entry is that it does not even make a cursory mention of the wipe-out of Pahwa's entire family.
Could anyone imagine a greater and crueler omission than this?
Also see this YouTube interview (from 16:31 minute to 18:43 minute) that Keshu Multani conducted with Raghuveer Singh Warraich who had lived with Madan Lal Pahwa in Jalandhar jail where the latter was serving a 20-year sentence.
Warraich says in this video that Pahwa would recount his involvement in Mahatma Gandhi assassination case to other inmates.
Pahwa would say, according to Warraich, that he was a juvenile when his name was included in the "parcha" (FIR) and that if he had not been a juvenile, he too would have been hanged like Nathu Ram Godse.
(Bear in mind that the interview with Warraich is not about Pahwa and the latter's name has only incidentally and casually been taken. In fact, Keshu Multani, the interviewer, does not seem to have any idea who Madan Lal Pahwa was. The interview is in the nature of an informal chat in which Warraich, 87, reminisces about his life in pretty casual language.)
Pahwa used to be a great player of volley ball, Warraich says in the video.
Also read this Mumbai Mirror report (of 25 Jan. 2008) to have an idea of the misery, the neglect, the loneliness, and the penury, which marked the life of Pahwa's widow Manjari (then 80 years of age) who, I guess, must have since died, even though I have not been able to find any report confirming her death.
This report too makes no mention of the massacre of 20 members of Pahwa's family in Partition violence.
I wonder if the judge who convicted Pahwa actually mentioned the massacre in his verdict.
I believe that given the life-shattering atrocity that a mere teenager had had to suffer, no fair-minded person would ever take the name of Madan Lal Pahwa without mentioning the crime that was committed against him - and without mentioning the fact that he was never provided justice.
Whitewashing the atrocity that was committed against Pahwa's family by linking it with his later deeds is an obvious act of injustice.
It's a shame that while he was made to suffer for his later actions, nothing was done to compensate for what was done to him much earlier.
Pahwa's life portrays India as a society brutalized by British colonialists and Islamic savages, robbed of any capacity to even come up with any concept of justice that is not externally imposed and that could have given its own people a modicum of human dignity.
Manjari's fate reinforces this impression -- that India not only continues to deny justice to its own people, but to be savage to them.
The following Web links have been used in this post.
Friday, August 31, 2018
Madan Lal Pahwa was undeserved victim of hatred, not bearer of 'circle of hate'; a monstrous crime was committed against him and justice was never provided
Friday, August 24, 2018
The mind-bogglingly diverse culture matrix -- that has been mislabled as 'Hinduism the religion' on the lines of 'Christianity the religion' or 'Islam the religion' -- has always been the ultimate haven for syncretism, pluralism, cultural autonomy, cultural imagination and creativity, peaceful co-existence -- in which totalitarianism, intolerance and coercive homogenization have had no place.
This amazingly diverse cultural matrix -- harbouring an ever expanding range of thinking, Dharmas, Panths, Sampradayas, Gyan Margs, Bhakti Margs, etc. -- has long been allowed to be undermined and brutalized by the colonial-imperial ideologies of Judeo-Christianity and Islam.
These colonial-imperial ideologies of Judeo-Christianity and Islam openly, brazenly and foolishly reject 'syncretism' which is actually the fundamental element -- the oxygen -- of all human cultures and communities found on Earth.
Rejecting 'syncretism' is as idiotic as saying that 'I reject the air' which words you can't utter without breathing the same air. That's why rejection of 'syncretism' is also a pretense; you can't actually do it, you can only pretend to be doing it.
In rejecting syncretism, Judeo-Christianity and Islam reveal themselves to be dangerous 'ethnocidal' weapons that threaten all kinds of peaceful co-existence in human communities and culture.
(While Judeo-Christianity openly uses the word 'syncretism' in rejecting it, Islam rejects 'syncretism' by branding it as 'Shirk', an Arabic word that has been employed as an ethnocidal weapon.)
It's these pernicious ideologies of Judeo-Christianity and Islam that should get this vile label of 'religion' -- and not the amazingly diverse cultural matrix that lives, breathes and celebrates syncretism.
The ethnocidal concept of 'religion' (a term that applies only to Judeo-Christianity and Islam) is the poison pill for all cultural autonomy and diversity found on Earth.
By seeking to supplant cultural autonomy with heteronomy, the concept of 'religion' actually chokes cultural freedom, diversity and creativity, thus threatening the conditions for continued human existence on Earth.
That is because 'religion' openly rejects and anathematizes 'syncretism' which is the guarantor not only of peaceful human co-existence, but also of cultural autonomy and creativity.
It's painful to see Indians -- who for centuries have enjoyed the blessings of this amazingly diverse cultural matrix -- not being able to distinguish the ethnocidal and fraudulent concept of 'religion' from 'culture' which represents the wholeness of human life, nothing excluded.
'Religion' is an impostor because it seeks madly to reify belief' -- as if belief is not something abstract like a thought with no physical existence, as if it's not something non-material, non-measurable, subtle, internal, personal, as if it's not something that's unformed or partly formed most of the times and is liable to change/develop, and is often unascertainable or inexpressible.
'Religion' pretends as if 'belief' is something as material, physical, concrete, measurable, expressible and unchanging as a gravestone that a person must be made to carry with themselves all their lives and thereafter.
'Religion' is an impostor because it seeks increasingly to trap wide swathes of human populations in this delusion that each and every human who is part of those populations has a SINGLE belief or creed -- an obvious impossibility and absurdity.
'Religion' is an impostor also because it pretends as if routine sexual reproduction represents a growth in the number of 'believers' -- for example the so called 'Christians' beget children who are labelled 'Christians' and the so called 'Muslims' beget children who are labelled 'Muslims'.
Bharatiyata never produced anything that remotely resembles the pernicious and fraudulent concept of 'religion'.
In our Bharatiya families, nobody bothers what you 'believe' in. So you can have any 'belief' you like.
Nobody in Bharatiya families is foolish enough to pretend as if 'belief' is some kind of a club membership that can be displayed on the members' shirts like identical, factory-produced badges.
Bharatiyata has nothing whatsoever to do with 'religion'.
There is no such thing as 'Hinduism the religion'. (There can't be because 'religion' is a colonial-imperial and ethnocidal concept which India never produced.)
Use some other word. Say 'Bharatiya Sanskriti' which includes everything we have: Dharma(s), Pantha(s), Sampradaya(s), Gyan marg(s), Bhakti marg(s), etc.
If you are a sensible Indian, you should reject the ethnocidal concept of 'religion'.
Let's stop the misnaming and mislabeling of our great cultural traditions and thought-streams as 'religion'.
Let's all reject and shun 'religion'.
You will find a reflection of the above ideas in the following article published recently in DailyO.
This article contains the excerpts of book on Lahore authored by a Pakistani Haroon Khalid, and talks particularly about the Valmiki community in Pakistani.
On Pakistan's Independence Day, presenting an excerpt from Haroon Khalid's new book Imagining Lahore: The City That Is, The City That Was (Penguin Viking) which showcases one of the most famous cities of the subcontinent, delving into Lahore's undivided past, its traumatic Partition — and its vibrant, yet tumultuous present.
A huge mural adorned one of the walls of the veranda — Valmiki, with his flowing white beard and his hair in a knot atop his head and a halo in the background, flanked by his two cherubic students, Lav and Kush. A hermitage stood in the background, where Sita, after her banishment from Ayodhya, is believed to have been given refuge by the sage Valmiki.
A river flowed behind it, ringed by mountains... a few local narratives suggest the site of Valmiki’s hermitage as the banks of River Parsuni, an ancient name for the Ravi.
These folk narratives suggest that Lav, Valmiki’s disciple and one of the sons of Lord Ram and Sita, founded the city of Lahore. The city came to be known as Lavapuri, the city of Lav, eventually becoming Lahore.
At Lahore Fort, close to the Alamgiri Gate that faces Badshahi Masjid, there is a little temple dedicated to Lav, the founder of Lahore. On the opposite wall there is a cross at the centre with a picture of Christ on one side and Mother Mary on the other. Of the two rooms that are situated within the veranda, one is reserved for Valmiki, with his statue covered in a saffron shawl. The other houses several deities of the Hindu pantheon — Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesh, Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati.
Facing the veranda is an open courtyard with a berry tree in one corner and a small room at another, used by the temple’s caretaker. Overlooking the courtyard are the tall buildings of Anarkali Bazaar. The entrance is a little gate with a saffron flag at the top, identifying it as a temple. Known as Neela Gumbad Mandir, after a blue-domed, Mughal-era mausoleum that is in its vicinity, the Valmiki temple is the only other functional temple in the city besides the Krishna Mandir at Ravi Road
It now serves as the community centre for the descendants of thousands of Valmiki Hindus who stayed back, braving the riots of Partition.
I first went to the temple in 2010, when I was working on a book to document religious festivals of the minorities around Punjab. In the courtyard of the temple, I was greeted by a handful of elderly men, part of the committee responsible for its daily functioning.
Every evening they arranged a small puja attended by mostly just them. The temple, however, would transform during a religious festival... Holi, Diwali, Navratri, Krishna Janmashtami and several other Hindu festivals were celebrated here, but the grandest of all was Valmiki Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the sage.
Many of the devotees were Muslims and Christians... I met Azad Chowdry and his children, Yashwa and Teresa. While Azad played the tabla, his twelve-year-old son, Yashwa, played the harmonium and sang. Occasionally he was accompanied by Teresa.
They were a Christian family but here they were, at a Valmiki Hindu temple, singing bhajans and preparing for Valmiki Jayanti. Sitting next to them and listening attentively was a professional flautist, Musharraf Ali, a Muslim. He was not a regular visitor to the temple but he would make it a point to attend on Valmiki Jayanti. Despite his religion he also identified as a Valmiki, similar to Azad and his family who were Christian Valmikis.
The religious identity of most of the devotees... reflects a certain degree of fluidity, impossible to imagine in a post-Partition environment. Most of them identified as Christian on official documents yet retained their Valmiki association. Many had ‘Muslim’ names that further complicated their religious identity. Only a handful of them could be identified as Hindu by name.
Deep within the community of Shahdara, on the western side of the Ravi, I interviewed an old widowed woman, Mary. At the time of Partition, she was a little girl living close to the canal. She was a Hindu Valmiki, named Vidya by her parents. She told me how, when they were playing on the banks of the canal, they saw a dead body floating in the water. She immediately ran to her mother to tell her... Her mother purchased a cross, put a thread through it and hung it around her neck. In that one gesture, she had ceased to be Vidya and became Mary, an identity that she clung to ever since.
These dual religious identities are in evidence at the Neela Gumbad Mandir where there is a mural of Valmiki on one wall and Jesus Christ and Mary on the other. While Valmiki Jayanti and Janmashtami are celebrated by hundreds of devotees, Christmas and Easter witness an equal number of devotees. The temple of Valmiki swiftly becomes the temple of Christ whenever required.
What brought together these different threads of religious identity at the temple was one common caste identity. Valmiki Hindus are part of the Dalit community ... At the temple, I interviewed Khem Chand, an old man in his eighties, who had changed his name to Shams Gill after Partition following his conversion to Christianity... The social exclusion continued after Partition, even though Khem Chand officially became Shams Gill and all the upper-class Hindus from Punjab migrated to India.
Once, when he... was having a cup of tea at a little dhaba outside Lahore, the Muslim vendor of the stall forced them to pay for the cups as well when he found out about their identities, for they had been rendered impure and would have to be thrown away. The Muslim converts did not fare much better. Low-caste Hindus who converted to Islam are known as ‘Musali’ or ‘Deendar’ in Punjab and are in many ways still treated as untouchable. Many households where they work keep a separate set of utensils for them.
In the years following Partition when, particularly in Punjab, notions of patriotism were at their peak, any association with a Hindu past was taboo... Pakistan’s antagonistic relationship with India... made the situation even worse. Various Hindus and Sikhs... had to hide their identity or disappear temporarily during the 1965 and 1971 wars. In 1992, as a reaction to the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, hundreds of temples were ransacked, including this one.
With the arrival of Pervez Musharraf... the state, an ally in the ‘war on terror’, was desperate to project a softer image of the country... Hindus... who had hidden their identities for decades began reclaiming their original names. Religious festivals... once again came to be celebrated.
The Valmiki temple at Neela Gumbad was also witness to this transition. Many Muslim and Christian Valmikis... were back... Sage Valmiki... held a particular significance for them... he was the deity of the Dalits, irrespective of their new religious identity. He himself was a Dalit who defied his caste when he became a sage. He became the most important sage, the adi-kavi or the first poet, who composed the Ramayana — its first ever written rendition.
This post contains the following web-link.
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