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Friday, 27 February 2015

Mommie Dearest

The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.

Mother Teresa: No saint.
Mother Teresa, no saint. 
Photo by THOMAS CHENG/AFP/Getty Images
I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.
It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for "beatification," the first step to "sainthood," until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or "devil's advocate," to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.
As for the "miracle" that had to be attested, what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn't have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican's investigators? No. (As it happens, I myself was interviewed by them but only in the most perfunctory way. The procedure still does demand a show of consultation with doubters, and a show of consultation was what, in this case, it got.)
According to an uncontradicted report in the Italian paper L'Eco di Bergamo, the Vatican's secretary of state sent a letter to senior cardinals in June, asking on behalf of the pope whether they favored making MT a saint right away. The pope's clear intention has been to speed the process up in order to perform the ceremony in his own lifetime. The response was in the negative, according to Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Canadian priest who has acted as postulator or advocate for the "canonization." But the damage, to such integrity as the process possesses, has already been done.
During the deliberations over the Second Vatican Council, under the stewardship of Pope John XXIII, MT was to the fore in opposing all suggestions of reform. What was needed, she maintained, was more work and more faith, not doctrinal revision. Her position was ultra-reactionary and fundamentalist even in orthodox Catholic terms. Believers are indeed enjoined to abhor and eschew abortion, but they are not required to affirm that abortion is "the greatest destroyer of peace," as MT fantastically asserted to a dumbfounded audience when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.* Believers are likewise enjoined to abhor and eschew divorce, but they are not required to insist that a ban on divorce and remarriage be a part of the state constitution, as MT demanded in a referendum in Ireland (which her side narrowly lost) in 1996. Later in that same year, she told Ladies Home Journal that she was pleased by the divorce of her friend Princess Diana, because the marriage had so obviously been an unhappy one …
This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?
The rich world has a poor conscience, and many people liked to alleviate their own unease by sending money to a woman who seemed like an activist for "the poorest of the poor." People do not like to admit that they have been gulled or conned, so a vested interest in the myth was permitted to arise, and a lazy media never bothered to ask any follow-up questions. Many volunteers who went to Calcutta came back abruptly disillusioned by the stern ideology and poverty-loving practice of the "Missionaries of Charity," but they had no audience for their story. George Orwell's admonition in his essay on Gandhi—that saints should always be presumed guilty until proved innocent—was drowned in a Niagara of soft-hearted, soft-headed, and uninquiring propaganda.
One of the curses of India, as of other poor countries, is the quack medicine man, who fleeces the sufferer by promises of miraculous healing. Sunday was a great day for these parasites, who saw their crummy methods endorsed by his holiness and given a more or less free ride in the international press. Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. More than that, we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.
Correction, Oct. 21, 2003: This piece originally claimed that in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa called abortion and contraception the greatest threats to world peace. In that speech Mother Teresa did call abortion "the greatest destroyer of peace." But she did not much discuss contraception, except to praise "natural" family planning.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Mother Teresa, John Paul II, and the Fast-Track Saints

Global Research, October 24, 2007 22 October 2007

During his 26-year papacy, John Paul II elevated 483 individuals to sainthood, more saints than all previous popes combined, it is reported. One personage he beatified but did not live long enough to canonize was Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun of Albanian origin who had been wined and dined by the world’s rich and famous while hailed as a champion of the poor. The darling of the corporate media and western officialdom, and an object of celebrity adoration, Teresa was for many years the most revered woman on earth, showered with kudos and awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her “humanitarian work” and “spiritual inspiration.”
What usually went unreported were the vast sums she received from wealthy contributors, including a million dollars from convicted savings & loan swindler Charles Keating, on whose behalf she sent a personal plea for clemency to the presiding judge. She was asked by the prosecutor in that case to return Keating’s gift because it was money he had stolen. She never did. She also accepted substantial sums given by the brutal Duvalier dictatorship that regularly stole from the Haitian public treasury.
Mother Teresa’s “hospitals” for the indigent in India and elsewhere turned out to be hardly more than human warehouses in which seriously ill persons lay on mats, sometimes fifty to sixty in a room without benefit of adequate medical attention. Their ailments usually went undiagnosed. The food was nutritionally lacking and sanitary conditions were deplorable. There were few medical personnel on the premises, mostly untrained nuns and brothers.
When tending to her own ailments, however, Teresa checked into some of the costliest hospitals and recovery care units in the world for state-of-the-art treatment.
Teresa journeyed the globe to wage campaigns against divorce, abortion, and birth control. At her Nobel award ceremony, she announced that “the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion.” And she once suggested that AIDS might be a just retribution for improper sexual conduct.
Teresa emitted a continual flow of promotional misinformation about herself. She claimed that her mission in Calcutta fed over a thousand people daily. On other occasions she jumped the number to 4000, 7000, and 9000. Actually her soup kitchens fed not more than 150 people (six days a week), and this included her retinue of nuns, novices, and brothers. She claimed that her school in the Calcutta slum contained five thousand children when it actually enrolled less than one hundred.
Teresa claimed to have 102 family assistance centers in Calcutta, but longtime Calcutta resident, Aroup Chatterjee, who did an extensive on-the-scene investigation of her mission, could not find a single such center.
As one of her devotees explained, “Mother Teresa is among those who least worry about statistics. She has repeatedly expressed that what matters is not how much work is accomplished but how much love is put into the work.” Was Teresa really unconcerned about statistics? Quite the contrary, her numerical inaccuracies went consistently and self-servingly in only one direction, greatly exaggerating her accomplishments.
Over the many years that her mission was in Calcutta, there were about a dozen floods and numerous cholera epidemics in or near the city, with thousands perishing. Various relief agencies responded to each disaster, but Teresa and her crew were nowhere in sight, except briefly on one occasion.
When someone asked Teresa how people without money or power can make the world a better place, she replied, “They should smile more,” a response that charmed some listeners. During a press conference in Washington DC, when asked “Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?” she said “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”
But she herself lived lavishly well, enjoying luxurious accommodations in her travels abroad. It seems to have gone unnoticed that as a world celebrity she spent most of her time away from Calcutta, with protracted stays at opulent residences in Europe and the United States, jetting from Rome to London to New York in private planes.
Mother Teresa is a paramount example of the kind of acceptably conservative icon propagated by an elite-dominated culture, a “saint” who uttered not a critical word against social injustice, and maintained cozy relations with the rich, corrupt, and powerful.
She claimed to be above politics when in fact she was pronouncedly hostile toward any kind of progressive reform. Teresa was a friend of Ronald Reagan, and a close friend of rightwing British media tycoon Malcolm Muggerridge. She was an admiring guest of the Haitian dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier, and had the support and admiration of a number of Central and South American dictators.
Teresa was Pope John Paul II’s kind of saint. After her death in 1997, he waved the five-year waiting period usually observed before beginning the beatification process that leads to sainthood. In 2003, in record time Mother Teresa was beatified, the final step before canonization.
But in 2007 her canonization confronted a bump in the road, it having been disclosed that along with her various other contradictions Teresa was not a citadel of spiritual joy and unswerving faith. Her diaries, investigated by Catholic authorities in Calcutta, revealed that she had been racked with doubts: “I feel that God does not want me, that God is not God and that he does not really exist.” People think “my faith, my hope and my love are overflowing and that my intimacy with God and union with his will fill my heart. If only they knew,” she wrote, “Heaven means nothing.”
Through many tormented sleepless nights she shed thoughts like this: “I am told God loves me-and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.” Il Messeggero, Rome’s popular daily newspaper, commented: “The real Mother Teresa was one who for one year had visions and who for the next 50 had doubts—up until her death.”
Another example of fast-track sainthood, pushed by Pope John Paul II, occurred in 1992 when he swiftly beatified the reactionary Msgr. José María Escrivá de Balaguer, supporter of fascist regimes in Spain and elsewhere, and founder of Opus Dei, a powerful secretive ultra-conservative movement “feared by many as a sinister sect within the Catholic Church.” Escrivá’s beatification came only seventeen years after his death, a record run until Mother Teresa came along.
In accordance with his own political agenda, John Paul used a church institution, sainthood, to bestow special sanctity upon ultra-conservatives such as Escrivá and Teresa—and implicitly on all that they represented. Another of the ultra-conservatives whom John Paul made into a saint, bizarrely enough, was the last of the Hapsburg rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Emperor Karl, who reigned during World War I.
John Paul also beatified Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, the leading Croatian cleric who welcomed the Nazi and fascist Ustashi takeover of Croatia during World War II. Stepinac sat in the Ustashi parliament, appeared at numerous public events with top ranking Nazis and Ustashi, and openly supported the Croatian fascist regime.
In John Paul’s celestial pantheon, reactionaries had a better chance at canonization than reformers. Consider his treatment of Archbishop Oscar Romero who spoke against the injustices and oppressions suffered by the impoverished populace of El Salvador and for this was assassinated by a right-wing death squad. John Paul never denounced the killing or its perpetrators, calling it only “tragic.” In fact, just weeks before Romero was murdered, high-ranking officials of the Arena party, the legal arm of the death squads, sent a well-received delegation to the Vatican to complain of Romero’s public statements on behalf of the poor.
Romero was thought by many poor Salvadorans to be something of a saint, but John Paul attempted to ban any discussion of his beatification for fifty years. Popular pressure from El Salvador caused the Vatican to cut the delay to twenty-five years. In either case, Romero was consigned to the slow track.
John Paul’s successor, Benedict XVI, waved the five-year waiting period in order to put John Paul II himself instantly on a super-fast track to canonization, running neck and neck with Teresa. As of 2005 there already were reports of possible miracles attributed to the recently departed Polish pontiff.
One such account was offered by Cardinal Francesco Marchisano. When lunching with John Paul, the cardinal indicated that because of an ailment he could not use his voice. The pope “caressed my throat, like a brother, like the father that he was. After that I did seven months of therapy, and I was able to speak again.” Marchisano thinks that the pontiff might have had a hand in his cure: “It could be,” he said. Un miracolo! Viva il papa!
Michael Parenti’s recent publications include: Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (City Lights, 2007); Democracy for the Few, 8th ed. (Wadsworth, 2007); The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories, 2006). For further information
Source: globalresearch

Osho exposes Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize for her charitable work in India, which Osho criticizes. At the end of December 1980, Mother Teresa writes to Osho.

The politicians and the priests have always been in deep conspiracy, they have divided man. The politician rules the outside and the priest rules the inside: the politician the exterior and the priest the interior. They are joined in a deep conspiracy against humanity—they may not even be aware of what they are doing. I don't suspect their intentions; they may be absolutely unconscious.

Just the other day I received a letter from Mother Teresa. I have no intention of saying anything against her sincerity; whatsoever she wrote in the letter is sincere, but it is unconscious. She is not aware of what she is writing; it is mechanical, it is robot-like. She says, 'I have just received a cutting of your speech. I feel very sorry for you that you could speak as you did. Reference: the Nobel Prize. For the adjectives you add to my name I forgive you with great love.'

She is feeling very sorry for me…I enjoyed the letter! She has not even understood the adjectives that I have used about her. But she is not aware, otherwise she would have felt sorry for herself.

The adjectives that I have used—she has sent the cutting also with the letter—the first is 'deceiver', then 'charlatan' and 'hypocrite'….

Now I have criticized her and said that the Nobel Prize should not have been given to her, and she feels offended by it. She says in her letter, 'Reference: the Nobel Prize.'

This man Nobel was one of the greatest criminals possible in the world. the First World War was fought with his weapons; he was the greatest manufacturer of weapons….

Mother Teresa could not refuse the Nobel Prize. The same desire to be admired, the same desire to be respectable in the world—and the Nobel Prize brings you the greatest respect. She accepted the prize….

That's why I have called the people like Mother Teresa 'deceivers'. They are not deceivers knowingly, certainly, not intentionally, but that does not matter; the outcome, the end result is very clear. Their purpose is to function in this society like a lubricant so that the wheels of the society, the wheels of exploitation, oppression can go on moving smoothly. These people are lubricants! They are deceiving others and they are deceiving themselves.

And I call them 'charlatans' because a really religious person, a man like Jesus…Can you conceive of Jesus getting the Nobel Prize? Impossible! Can you conceive of Socrates getting the Nobel Prize or Al-Hillaj Mansoor getting the Nobel Prize? If Jesus cannot get the Nobel Prize and Socrates cannot get the Nobel Prize—and these are the true religious people, the awakened ones—then who is Mother Teresa?…

The really religious person is rebellious; the society condemns him. Jesus is condemned as a criminal and Mother Teresa is respected as a saint. There is something to be pondered over: if Mother Teresa is right then Jesus is a criminal, and if Jesus is right then Mother Teresa is just a charlatan and nothing else. Charlatans are always praised by the society because they are helpful—helpful to this society, to this status quo.

Whatsoever adjectives I have used I have used very knowingly. I never use a single word without consideration. And I have used the word 'hypocrites'. These people are hypocrites because their basic life style is split: on the surface one thing, inside something else.

She writes: 'The Protestant family was refused the child not because they are Protestant but because at that time we did not have a child that we could give them.'

Now, the Nobel Prize is given to her for helping thousands of orphans and there are thousands of orphans in the homes she runs. Suddenly she ran out of orphans? And in India can you ever run out of orphans? Indians go on creating as many orphans as you want, in fact more than you want!

And the Protestant family which has been refused was not refused immediately. If there was no orphan available, if all the orphans had been disposed of, then what is Mother Teresa doing with seven hundred nuns? What is their work? Seven hundred nuns…then whom are they mothering? Not a single orphan—strange!—and that too in Calcutta! You can find orphans anywhere on the road—you find children in the dustbins. They could have just looked outside the place and they would have found many children. You can just go outside the ashram and you can get orphans. They will come themselves, you need not find them!

Suddenly they ran out of orphans…And if the family had been refused immediately it would have been a totally different matter. But the family was not refused immediately; they were told, 'Yes, you can get an orphan. Fill in the form.' So the form was filled in. Till they came to the point where they had to state their religion, up to that moment, there were orphans, but when they filled in the form and wrote 'We belong to the Protestant Church,' immediately they ran out of orphans!
And this reason was not given to the Protestant family itself. Now, this is hypocrisy! This is deception! This is ugly! The reason given to the family itself was that because these children…because the children were there, so how could she say, 'We don't have any orphans'? They are always on exhibition!

She has invited me also: 'You can come any time and you are welcome to visit our place and see our orphans and our work.' They are constantly on exhibition!

In fact, those Protestants had already chosen the orphan, the child that they wanted to adopt, so she could not say to those people, 'It is because there are no more orphans. We are sorry.'

She said to them, "These orphans are being raised according to the Roman Catholic Church and it will be bad for their psychological growth because it will be such a disruption. Now, giving them to you will make them a little disturbed and it will not be good for them. That's why we cannot give the child to you, because you are Protestant."

Exactly that was the reason given to them. And they are not stupid people. The husband is a professor in a European university—he was shocked, the wife was shocked. They had come from so far away just to adopt a child, and they were refused because they are Protestants. Had they written 'Catholic' they would have been given the child immediately.
And one thing to be understood: these children are basically Hindu. If Mother Teresa is so concerned about their psychological welfare then they should be brought up according to the Hindu religion, but they are brought up according to the Catholic Church. And then to give them to Protestants, who are not different at all from Catholics…What is the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant? Just a few stupid things!…

Just a few days ago there was a bill in the Indian Parliament Freedom of Religion. The purpose of the bill was that nobody should be allowed to convert anybody to another religion: unless somebody chooses it out of his own free will no conversion should be allowed. And Mother Teresa was the first one to oppose it. In her whole life she has never opposed anything; this was the first time, and maybe the last. She opposed it. She wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, and there was a heated controversy between her and the Prime Minister: 'The bill should not be passed because it goes against our whole work. We are determined to save people, and people can be saved only if they become Roman Catholics.' They created so much uproar all over the country—and the politicians are always concerned about votes, they cannot lose the Christian votes—so the bill was dropped, simply dropped….

If Mother Teresa is really honest and believes that converting a person disturbs his psychic structure, then she should be against conversion unless a person chooses it by himself.

For example, you have come to me, I have not gone to you. I don't even go outside the door….

I have not gone to anybody, you have come to me. And I am not converting you to any religion either. I am not creating any ideology here, I am not giving you any catechism, any doctrine. I am simply helping you to be silent. Now, silence is neither Christian or Hindu nor Mohammedan; silence is silence. I am teaching you loving. Now, love is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan. I am teaching you to be aware. Now, awareness is simply awareness; it belongs to nobody. And I call this true religiousness.

To me Mother Teresa and people like her are hypocrites: saying one thing but doing something else behind a beautiful facade. It is the whole game of politics—the politics of numbers.
And she says, 'For the adjectives you add to my name I forgive you with great love.' First of all, love need not forgive because in the first place it is not angered. To forgive somebody first you have to be angry; that is a prerequisite.
I don't forgive Mother Teresa at all, because I am not angry at all. Why should I forgive her? She must have been angry. This is why I want you to start meditating on these things. It is said that Buddha never forgave anybody for the simple reason that he was never angry. How can you forgive without anger? It is impossible. She must have been angry. This is what I call unconsciousness: she is not aware of what she is writing,…she is not aware of what I am going to do with her letter!

She says, 'I forgive you with great love'—as if there is small love and great love, and things like that. Love is simply love; It cannot be great, it cannot be small. Do you think love is a quantitative thing?—one kilo of love, two kilos of love. How many kilos of love makes it great? Or are tons needed?

Love is not a quantity at all, it is a quality. And quality is immeasurable: it is neither small nor great. Whenever somebody says to you, 'I love you very greatly,' beware! Love is just love; it cannot be less than that, it cannot be more than that. There is no question of less and more.

And what crime have I committed that she is forgiving me for? Just old Catholic stupidity—they go on forgiving! I have not confessed any sin, so why should she forgive me?

I stick to all the adjectives, and I will add a few more: that she is stupid, mediocre, idiotic! And if anybody needs to be forgiven it is she, not I, because she is committing a great sin. She is saying in this letter, 'I am fighting through adoption the sin of abortion.' Abortion is not a sin; in this overpopulated world abortion is a virtue. And if abortion is a sin then the Polack Pope and Mother Teresa and company are responsible for it because they are against contraceptives, they are against birth control methods, they are against the pill. These are the people who are the cause of all the abortions; they are responsible. To me they are great criminals!

In this overpopulated world where people are hungry and starving to be against the pill is just unforgivable! The pill is one of the most significant contributions of modern science to humanity—it can make the earth a paradise….

I would like to destroy poverty, I don't want to serve poor people. Enough is enough! For ten thousand years fools have been serving poor people; it has not changed anything. But now we have enough technology to destroy poverty completely.
So if anybody has to be forgiven it is these people. It is the Pope, Mother Teresa, etcetera, who have to be forgiven. They are criminals, but their crime is such that you will need great intelligence to understand it.

And see the egoistic 'holier than thou' attitude. 'I forgive you,' she says. 'I feel sorry for you,' she says. And she asks, 'May God's blessings be with you and fill your heart with his love.' Just bullshit!

I don't believe in any God as a person, so there is no God as a person who can bless me or anybody else. God is only a realization, God is not somebody to be encountered. It is your own purified consciousness. And why should God bless me? I can bless all your gods! Why should I ask for anybody's blessing? I am blissful—there is no need! And I don't believe that there is any God. I have looked in every nook and corner and he does not exist! It is only in ignorant people's minds that God has existence. I am not an atheist, remember, but I am not a theist either.

God is not a person to me but a presence, and the presence is felt when you reach to the climax of your meditativeness. You suddenly feel a godliness overflowing the whole existence. There is no God, but there is godliness.

I love the statement of H. G. Wells about Gautam the Buddha. He has said that Gautam the Buddha is the most godless person yet the most godly too. You can say the same thing about me: I am the most godless person you can find, but I know godliness.

Godliness is like a fragrance, an experience of immense joy, of utter freedom. You cannot pray to godliness, you cannot make an image of godliness, you cannot say, 'May God's blessings be with you'—and that too with a condition: 'May God's blessings be with you during 1981.' Such misers! And what about 1982? Great courage! Great sharing! Such generosity!
'…and fill your heart with his love.' My heart is full with love! There is no space for anybody else's love in it. And why should my heart be filled with anybody else's love? A borrowed love is not love at all. The heart has its own fragrance.

But this type of nonsense is thought to be very religious. She is writing with this desire that I will see how religious she is, and all that I can see is simply that she is an ordinary, foolish person, just the same as you can find anywhere among the mediocre people.

I have been calling her Mother Teresa, but I think I should stop calling her Mother Teresa because I am not very gentlemanly but I have to respond adequately. She calls me Dear Mr Rajneesh, so from now onwards I will call her Dear Miss Teresa—just to be gentlemanly, mannerly!

The ego can come in from the back door. Don't try to throw it out. zzzzz13

I have received a newscutting from Calcutta. The reporter says that he went to Mother Teresa with a cutting from a newspaper about my statement that she is idiotic. She became so mad she tore the cutting and threw it away. And she was so angry that she was not even willing to make any comment. But she has made the comment, tearing the newspaper cutting.

And the reporter said, "I was puzzled. I asked that, 'the cutting belonged to me. I had just come to show it to you and to know your comment?'"

And these people think they are religious people. In fact, by tearing the cutting she simply proved what I have said was right: she is idiotic—this is idiotic. I receive so many "compliments"—in inverted commas—from all over the world that if I start tearing them it will be enough exercise for me—and I hate exercise! wildgs10

Source: oshoworld

Sunday, 22 February 2015

ISI plans to use US, UN to tar Modi

The aim is to convince the international community that Government of India is intolerant and neglectful of minorities, women and Dalits in particular.
MADHAV NALAPAT  New Delhi | 9th Aug 2014
Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, in a series of meetings held in late July and early August, decided to "fire on the shoulders of the US and the UN" to tarnish the reputation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources within London, New York and Geneva say that the plan is to ensure the further penetration by the ISI, and its auxiliary elements, of groups which will be used to paint India as a semi-fascist state. The aim is to convince the international community that Government of India is intolerant and neglectful of minorities, women and Dalits. The ISI is trying to ensure that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva begins discussion on a complaint, which the Pakistan agency expects will get filed this year. The complaint will be by the US-based Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) and will contain strictures against the Modi government. According to a Washington-based expert, "16 of the 47 key NGOs (forming the CAG) have received partial or complete funding from the ISI", directly or through channels in the Gulf Cooperation Council and friendly contacts in western countries. "Nine of the CAG's key NGOs have extensive linkages with the Pakistan-American community, which is riddled with ISI sympathisers." These NGOs are leading the charge against India.
Although some effort has gone in the past to spotlight cases of anti-Sikh violence, the focus has shifted since the Narendra Modi-led NDA II government took office on 26 May. The effort now is to manufacture testimony and contrive evidence to show that India is a country where three human rights violations are rife. These are (i) violence against women (ii) human trafficking and (iii) "genocide" of Christians and Muslims, all of this by Hindus.
According to a London-based source, through its global network "the ISI has funded the travel of 247 individuals from India to Washington, Geneva and other capitals from 2007 to 2011". The purpose of such travel was to ensure that "testimony created and vetted in advance by ISI-linked individuals was given by such Indian nationals in the US Congress, the European Parliament and the UN Human Rights Council. Such assertions, the ISI colonels expect, will intensify already ongoing efforts to "depict India as a fascist state killing minorities and the disadvantaged in a systematic manner".
The speed and depth of Modi's diplomacy towards the SAARC countries has alarmed the ISI, which for the past 16 years has watched Delhi's footprint become fainter and fainter in the region. "The warming of relations with Sri Lanka and Nepal has been particularly worrisome for the colonels in the ISI", warned a London-based analyst, adding that "even worse is the fact that the public in both countries is now becoming more India-friendly". According to his colleague, "the warmth with which Modi's diplomacy was greeted by the Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka (which till now has been wary of India) and the cordiality with which even the Maoists greeted the Indian PM while he was in Kathmandu has sounded a warning to the ISI", which till now has found a welcome mat in both countries, largely because of the distaste of large sections of the population towards India, the Buddhist majority in Sri Lanka and the Maoists in Nepal.
A key official in Geneva warns that "since 26 May 2014, individuals across India are being located by ISI cutouts". These are those willing to present "black" (i.e. manufactured) testimony on the three human rights issues mentioned earlier. Another source from the same location claimed that "a mass grave relating to the Khalistan insurgency, which contained more than 50 bodies had been discovered in 2011 in Haryana" but that "the US administration had ensured that this be suppressed, as it did not want to embarrass the Congress Party", which was in power in both the state as well as at the national level (when the incident was alleged to have taken place). Systematic efforts spread over years to discover mass graves of Muslims in Gujarat were abandoned in 2011 as futile, clearly because none existed.
These sources say that the objective of the ISI's operation is to "character assassinate Prime Minister Modi by making NGOs penetrated by the ISI and its auxiliaries ensure that issues of genocide, violence against women, discrimination against Dalits and human trafficking enter the formal agenda of the UNHRC by mid-2015 at the latest". Efforts directed at the US Congress and the European Parliament have also been intensified. A source said that the UK-based Channel 4 "will soon air a documentary about Singrauli in India", which will paint the Modi government as being intolerant. Two individuals were named in this context, Krishan Gopal and Hugo Ward. However, these assertions could not be independently verified.
"The sizeable pro-Pakistan lobby in the US State Department and the Cold War residue of anti-India policymakers are working together with elements in contact with the ISI to ensure that hearings take place on Capitol Hill by mid-2015 at the latest that would bring together dozens of individuals with a coordinated message, that India is a hell on earth for minorities, women and Dalits", according to a London source. The source adds that the ISI has a budget of $34 million to fund (through hidden affiliates) the stay and travel of the more than 300 individuals from India who have been selected to present perspectives before these organisations.
It may be remembered that much of the funding for such "black" operations comes from the narcotics trade and from printing counterfeit currency, especially Indian rupees. Sources in Washington warn that the ISI, along with the pro-Pakistan lobby and its allies of convenience amongst religious fundamentalists in the US, angered by various anti-conversion laws "has enough influence to ensure that staffers on Capitol Hill and agencies such as the US Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the European Parliament or the Geneva-based human rights organisations call only those who present a negative view on the Modi government", a key official predicted, adding that "at such hearings, the other point of view is never heard".
Another tack agreed upon by the ISI colonels at the meetings was to ensure that more cases get filed in US courts against key political figures in India (connected with the Union government) on the grounds of human rights abuses. Such a process has become possible because of the extra-territorial International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) passed by the US Congress a decade ago. This law gives US courts the power to accept a complaint from a national of any country against the leader of any other country, and is an extraordinary example of the way in which the US Congress believes itself to be the successor to the British Empire, "where the sun never set". Interestingly, India has been lumped together with Afghanistan and Russia as a Tier 2 country under the law, rather than a Tier 1 country that (US authorities hold) upholds religious freedom. In a Tier 2 country, violations of religious freedom are held to be present in two of the following three heads: "systematic, egregious and ongoing", and placing a country under such a watch-list may open the door for sanctions against it by the US.
While US President Barack Obama rolls out the red carpet for Prime Minister Modi, the colonels in the ISI are looking towards other branches of government in the US to go into overdrive in the coming months against the NDA government on the issue of rights and freedoms. They are also mining their contacts to ensure that similar allegations against India get taken up in the European Parliament and at Geneva. In this task, they have the advantage of years of penetration of NGOs dealing with such matters in the US and European capitals, groups that have scarcely received attention in India, although they fund the stay and travel of hundreds of Indian nationals each year on missions to caricature this country as a state which systematically discriminates against minorities, women and the underprivileged.
"The ISI plan is to ensure that a torrent of negative hearings take place in Washington, Brussels and Geneva by mid-2015, so that the diplomatic outreach of the Modi government can be blunted", the London-based source warned, adding that "thus far, Indian officialdom has concentrated on its peers rather than the broader civil society, where the ISI has been much more successful in gaining access and influence", ironically, especially in those dealing with human rights.
Source: sunday-guardian

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Nalanda University is ailing at childbirth

September 1 2014 was a day of pride for the people of India, and specifically the people of Bihar as the Nalanda University, once an ancient international centre for learning, finally started functioning eight centuries after it was looted and plundered by Bakhtiyar Khalji around 1193 CE.
The first session for the academic year 2014-15 started with courses in Historical Studies and Environment Studies. Although the university has officially started its session, the formal inauguration is scheduled to take place in the middle of September after a formal opening by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. So far, 15 students have been enrolled in the university and more are expected in the coming days.
But this moment pride should be followed by caution. If the original Nalanda was famed for being a storehouse of knowledge and erudition attracting scholars throughout the globe, the revived one has been mired in controversies since day one.
The Nalanda project was conceptualized as an international university involving many countries like Japan, Australia, and Vietnam.  The then UPA government financially backed a Nalanda mentor group which was set up in 2007 under the chairmanship of Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen. This group carried out meetings in Singapore, Tokyo, New York, Delhi and Gaya to conceptualize the establishment of the university. The Parliament enacted an Act to launch the project in 2010 which was approved by the President on 21 September and came into force on 25 November 2010.
Following its inception, this project faced controversy after controversy. Among numerous contentious incidents that marred this glorious project, the most notable ones are given below:
1.      The series of controversies began with the appointment of a ‘Vice Chancellor-designate’ of the new university even before the Parliamentary Act was notified for its establishment.
2.      The candidate selected for the position Gopa Sabharwal, was appointed through an order issued by a secretary in the MEA on the recommendation of the mentor group. Gopa Sabharwal was a reader in the department of sociology in the Lady Sri Ram College with limited knowledge about Nalanda. She did not meet the mandatory qualification set by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the vice-chancellors of the central and state universities—that is, to be distinguished academicians with a minimum ten years of experience as a professor in a university system. Topping this peculiarity was Gopa Sabharwal’s monthly salary of Rs 5 lakhs which was more than double the salary of the Delhi University vice-chancellor.
3.      Ignoring the government’s recruitment rules that require public notice, Dr Sabharwal picked up her friend Dr Anjana Sharma, an associate professor in Delhi University, as the Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) on deputation with a gross monthly salary of Rs 3.30 lakhs, which is more than the salary of a Vice-Chancellor of any national university.
4.      Around 2011, the Standing Committee of the Parliament under the Ministry of External Affairs, which was managing the Nalanda project stated in its report that the Nalanda project which was estimated in 2007 to cost Rs 1,005 crore “needs to be revised.”
5.      In its very first meeting, the mentor group nominated Upinder Singh, daughter of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and her colleague Ms Nayanjot Lahiri as advisers representing India in international platforms. Both nominees are not experts on any aspect of the Nalanda tradition or history.
6.      Even though on 25 August 2011, officials of the Ministry of External Affairs claimed that no vice-chancellor had been appointed to the Nalanda University, according to an RTI reply, vice chancellor Gopa Sabharwal and seven of her associates were drawing salaries since October 2010. Gopa as Vice-chancellor draws a salary of Rs 5, 06,513 per month.
7.      The first two faculties that were approved to be taught were environmental studies and historical studies, to be followed by others such as information technology and international relations. This is a direct contradiction of the original vision that was outlined to launch the Nalanda—as a premier centre of learning in Buddhism. The nations which agreed to cooperate with India to revive the Nalanda did so to connect with the country’s Buddhist heritage. More importantly, the ‘School of Information Technology’ has not been passed as the part of the Act whereas Buddhist Studies have been mentioned as the first one (Vide Clause 24).
8.      Since the project was approved by the Parliament, a huge part of the funding was contributed through taxing the common citizen as is the case with Central Universities. But strangely, the Planning Commission and Prime Minister’s Office decided to label Nalanda as an ‘International University’ to ward off financial regulations. However, the PMO did place the University in the ‘Central University’ domain to enable the release of funds stating:  “Both capital investment and operating budget of the Nalanda University will have to come mainly from the Government of India on the pattern of Central Universities.”
9.       During his tenure as the President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam proposed the idea of reviving Nalanda while addressing the Joint Session of the Bihar Vidhan Mandal on 28th March, 2006. He was then offered the position of the Visitor of the University. However, in a letterdated 4 July 2011 to the then External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, DrKalam wrote:
“Having involved in various academic and administrative proceedings of Nalanda University since August 2007, I believe that the candidates to be selected/appointed to the post of Chancellor and Vice Chancellor should be of extraordinary intellect with academic and management expertise. Both the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor have to personally involve themselves full-time in Bihar, so that a robust and strong international institution is built.”
This polite yet sharp letter displayed Dr. Kalam’s frustration with Amartya Sen and his protégé Dr. Gopa Sabharwal neither of whom could inspire the confidence of this scientist, himself a former academician.
10.  Regarding the project, the Parliamentary Standing Committee in their report for the financial year 2012-13 asked the Ministry of External Affairs to account for the ‘grossly inappropriate allocation of funds since Rs. 2009-10, which is not in consonance with the ground reality.’
11.  Strangely for a university located in Bihar, the mentor’s group wanted to have the project office and the department of international studies buildings in New Delhi.
12.  When pressed with tough questions by domestic and international press on the irregularities of the project, Dr. Sen blamed the local Bihari media of having a close-minded outlook.
For details kindly check the following links:

Source: indiafacts
Article Summary
Article Title
Nalanda University is ailing at childbirth
Listing out the notable controversies that have marred the Nalanda project.

In letter to Krishna, Kalam slams Amartya Sen

June 19, 2012 23:01 IST

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam's letter, which he sent to Foreign Minister S M Krishna in July last year, has now come into public domain, slamming Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen for forcing him out of his brainchild project of the Nalanda University in Bihar as its first visitor.
He chose not to create a public controversy even while writing to Krishna, that he was upset the way the project was being handled and hence he couldn't remain associated with it any longer.
He wrote how sad he was at everything going wrong in his dream of reviving a great seat of learning in the Buddhist philosophy and statecraft, as perhaps the first residential international educational institution from 5th to 12th century off Patna, is besmirched with controversies even before it starts any academic courses.
The paragraph reads, "Having been involved in various academic and administrative proceedings of the Nalanda University since August 2007, I believe that the candidates to be selected/appointed to the post of chancellor and vice chancellor should be of extraordinary intellect with academic and management expertise."
"Both the chancellor and vice chancellor have to personally involve themselves full-time in Bihar, so that a robust and strong international institution is built," it read.
The ministry of external affairs had taken over the project as an international university, involving 16 ASEAN countries such as China, Japan, Australia, Korea and Thailand, even while Kalam kept insisting that it should better be handled by the human resources development ministry, which has experience in the education field.
The government tried to suppress Kalam's damning letter as it was taken on record in the meeting of the governing board of the university, but was not made public until a Patna journalist wrote to him to get the truth out.
Kalam felt frustrated with the people at helm of affairs and his resignation was a rebuff to Sen and his protégé Dr Gopa Sabharwal, 'smuggled' in as the vice chancellor-designate without his knowledge.
Being chairman of the governing board, Sen's position is equivalent to chancellor (the university officially has no one as yet).
Having been at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, Sen viewed Nalanda University through that prism, while Dr Kalam felt sad at finding no efforts to re-enact the glory of ancient Nalanda University in which students from all over East Asia came for studies and had Pandits such as Arya Dev, Silabhadra, Dharmapala, Santarakshita and Chandragomin who spent their lives for the sake of the institution. 
The academics say the fault lies in the government for entrusting the task of reviving to Nalanda University to Sen as a testimony of India's obsequiousness, despite Kalam repeatedly warning them against it.
Kalam's letter is also an indictment of Sabharwal, who was just a sociology reader from Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi, who was made the rector/vice chancellor-designate despite academics' protest that she had nothing to do with the Buddhist studies for which the university is to be set up, and was running it from Delhi.
A correspondent in New Delhi

Source: rediff

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Petition to PM to Ban Foreign Funding of NGOs & Set Up a National Social Service Fund to Support NGOs

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
7 Race Course Road
New Delhi.
February 17, 2015
Dear Prime Minister
Subject: Impartial Commission of Inquiry on foreign funded NGO’s and creation of National Social Service Fund to support genuine social service organizations.

We the undersigned request you for an appointment to discuss the following issue in detail.
Foreign funded NGOs (FFNGOs) have been on the government’s watch list for a while now. Both NDA and UPA governments have had serious issues with several such FFNGOs. But the actions taken against a select few do not appear to be the product of a well thought out policy.

The following is a partial list of charges against some of the FFNGOs:  
  • Misappropriation of funds, lack of transparency and accountability: A CBI analysis of NGOs across the country showed that of the 22,39,971 NGOs functioning in 20 States, only 10% (about 2,23,428) submitted annual returns. Of 5,684 NGOs in the six Union Territories, only 50 filed their balance sheets. None of the NGOs in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura file returns. (The Hindu, January 6, 2015).
  • Political activism with foreign funds: FCRA rules and regulations specifically forbid the use of foreign funds for undertaking “political activities”. Yet a large proportion of FFNGOs have been indulging in a whole range of political activities, including campaigning for or against certain political parties during elections.
  • Motivated interventions in economic policies: Some leading NGOs have been in the forefront of mobilisingresistance against nationally important development projects (such as in the power sector) allegedly at the behest of foreign agencies causing enormous damage to India’s growth potential.
  • Endangering geopolitical security of India andproselytizing under the guise of “Development”:Many NGOs claiming to be involved in “human rights”, “social empowerment”, “rural development”, etc., are alleged to be fronts for India-based or foreign-supported extremist political organizations with socially disruptive agendas and have been found lending support to secessionist movements. Some Christian missionary groups, under the guise of “developmental” organizations, also carry out proselytization activities in India that often disrupt social harmony and end up damaging the delicate social fabric of India.
It is estimated that “of the 20 lakh registered NGOs and societies in the country, only 30,000 or so (about 1.5%) are actually doing developmental work” ( The widely-known Citizens for Justice and Peace is  only one among many NGOsthat face serious charges of buying personal luxuries out of funds meant for victims or disasters.

As per the report published by the Home Ministry for the year 2011-12, some 22,702 NGOs reportedly received Rs.11,546crores as foreign contributions.It is widely believed that the inflow turns out to be much larger if non-legal flows as well as funds that come through UN system (which are not under the purview of FCRA) are added to these numbers. Apart from the FCRA or UN route, there are perhaps other lesser known routes of raising foreign funds. There are cases of NGOs like that of the world-famous Narmada Bachao Andolan,which does not even have a bank account and yet could run high-powered national and international campaigns to obstruct and stop major development projects.

Our Petition
To deal with the situation, the Government of India needs a coherent, transparent policy towards FFNGOs, both secular and religious. We appeal to the Government to: 

Ø  Appoint an impartial Inquiry Commission Constitute a high-powered Commission of Inquiry into the functioning and sources of funding of all foreign funded NGOs in India  to discover: 
  1. Whether the provisions of FCRA, including the provision forbidding political activity, are being complied with;
  2. The nature of the donor agencies funding NGOs in India and the stated and hidden agendas of those agencies;
  3. Evidence of corruption, if any, in the utilisation of foreign funds; 
  4. Linkages of FFNGOs with secessionist and other antinational outfits, if any;
  5. Evidence of hawala transactions, if any;
  6. Use of foreign funds for political activities including lobbying and campaigning.  
However, this requires that “political activity” bedefinedrigorously. For instance, are advocacy campaigns for enactmentof new laws to come under “political activity”? Do campaigns against selected political parties in the name of “combating communalism” constitute political activity or not?

Ø  Restrictions on foreign-funded activism or on lobbying with foreign governments: While this Commission of Inquiry carries on with its investigations, we urge the Government to enact a law banning the use of foreign money for carrying out political or religious activity in the country. While political and religious freedoms-- including critiquing development projects perceived to be harmful--are guaranteed under the Indian Constitution, these rights must be exercised with locally raised resources. There also needs to be a ban on NGOs lobbying with foreign governments to seek punitive action against India under the guise of protecting human rights or religious freedom.

Ø  Create alternative sources of funding for social organisations within India: The Companies Act 2013 requires corporate entities to spend at least 2 per cent of their profits on societal good. For proper utilisation of these corporate social responsibility funds, these should be compulsorily deposited into a National Social Service Fund under the charge of an autonomous body on the lines of the Election Commission of India. This body should have a set up in every state capital. Voluntary agenciesengaged in providing social services, creating educational institutions, running advocacy campaigns, human rights work etc., may be funded through this National Fund in a transparent manner based on well-defined rules and procedures.

Ø  Demand transparency of accounts from NGOs: It should be mandatory for FFNGOs to post details of income and expenditure on their websites, apart from submitting duly audited accounts to tax authorities every year.

We look forward to an early response to our petition.


(Signed by Madhu Purnima Kishwar)
Professor CSDS & founder MANUSHI

On behalf of
Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Arsha Vidya GurukulamR VaidyanathanProfessor, IIM Bangalore;Rajiv Malhotra, Director, Infinity Foundation; PR Krishna Kumar, Founder, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore, J K Bajaj, Director, Centre for Policy Studies; K Gopinath, (Prof IISc Bangalore), DK Hari,Bharat Gyan; Nanditha Krishna, Hon Director, C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation; Vijayalakshmi,Secretary Heritage; Amit MalviyaConvener, Jijnasa; Sandeep Balakrishna, Director, India Facts Research Centre; Michel Danino, Convener, International Forum for India’s Heritage.

Address for Correspondence: C-1/3, Sangam Estate, 1 Under Hill Road, Civil Lines, Delhi – 110054
Phone No. 08826377770, Email:

Source: manushi