Ramesh Kallidai, Hindu fanatic


by Sunny
13th June, 2007 at 12:08 pm    

This is brilliant. Ramesh Kallidai, the one-man-band that is the Hindu Forum of Britain, was fux0red in the Evening Standard on Monday. All credit to organisations like AwaazSAW and many others for spreading the word about this.
Ramesh Kallidai

Hindu and Sikh fanatics are a problem in the UK too. The only reason most of you don’t hear about it is because news editors across the press deem only Muslim fanaticism as sexy. This is a fact. So kudos to Andrew Gilligan for pushing this and running it although ES is somewhat taking credit for information that many others have put out. Gilligan too has stolen my thunder as I am in the process of writing a similar piece exposing Kallidai.

There is a lot more to this trouble-maker than what is contained on the AwaazSAW website and I’m pretty sure other papers will do more digging around now. The Commission on Integration and Cohesion report, to which Kallidai has contributed, will be out on Thursday. This story will run and run. Coincidentally my article for Foreign Policy Centre last week, and this week’s edition of Guardian’s Islamophonic (out today), mention the Hindu Forum and their activities.

***************
THE FULL ARTICLE IS BELOW

ONE OF the key members of a Government taskforce charged with tackling “extremist ideologies” and religious segregation has close associations with violent extremists and recently praised a man who endorsed Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.

Ruth Kelly’s Commission on Integration and Cohesion will this week deliver its landmark report into how Britain can foster “inter-community harmony.” But a Standard investigation reveals that one of the commission’s own members, Ramesh Kallidai, has clear links to violent Hindu fundamentalists accused of “direct responsibility” for the slaughter of thousands of Muslims.

In Britain, Mr Kallidai has accused British Muslims of “aggressively” converting “hundreds” of British Hindu girls to Islam through intimidation and beatings. However, police forces contacted by the Standard say they have no knowledge of a single such case.

The Standard has learned that around half-a-dozen other members of the Commission on Integration and Cohesion held a late-night meeting in a bar to discuss their concerns about Mr Kallidai. At least one member, and possibly more, approached Mark Carroll, a senior official in Ms Kelly’s department, to raise concerns about Mr Kallidai’s presence on the commission. No action was taken.

“The concerns were about his links with Hindu fundamentalism and exactly how much he stands by some of the things he has said,” said one figure close to the Commission.

Mr Kallidai is secretary-general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, which claims to be the leading representative body for the country’s 600,000 Hindus. However, his appointment to the commission has horrified some British Hindus.

Lord Desai, the Labour peer, said: “White politicians look at religion very uncritically they say we must respect all cultures, all faiths. But these guys have no respect for other faiths.” Chetan Bhatt, professor of politics at Goldsmith’s College, London said: “Mr Kallidai has chosen to associate with organisations that represent in India what the BNP represents here.”

The main such organisation is a Hindu fundamentalist group known as the Vishwa Hindu Prasad (VHP.) The Hindu Forum
of Britain and the VHP’s British branch have sent out several joint press releases and have organised a number of joint events including two meetings with the Commission on Integration and Cohesion in February and March and a launch of the so-called “Hindu Charter” at the House of Commons.

Testifying to MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2004, Mr Kallidai defended the VHP, saying: “We would deny it is an association of Hindu extremists … It is a peaceful organisation.” In fact, according to Human Rights Watch, the VHP was
“directly responsible” for anti-Muslim riots in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, in which 2,000 Muslims died. During the disturbances, VHP leaflets described Indian Muslims as “saboteurs” and “anti-nationals” who must be cleansed from Indian soil.

In 2004, the VHP called for the destruction of a Muslim mosque and in 2005 its international secretary, Praveen Togadia, said Indian Muslims should take blood tests to prove they were not of “Arabian” descent. In 1992, the VHP led calls for the destruction of the Muslim mosque at Ayodyha, which left over 3,000 dead.

On 12 April this year, in Wembley, Mr Kallidai spoke at the British conference of another Hindu fundamentalist organisation, the RSS, a paramilitary group which wants to expel Muslims and Christians from India and turn the country into a Hindu state.
According to a report of the event in the RSS’s official newspaper, Mr Kallidai praised the organisation’s “exemplary” ideology and its ex-leader, M.S.Golwalkar. Mr Golwalkar has written and spoken approvingly of Hitler’s treatment of the Jews and said it was a model India could learn from.

Contacted by the Standard yesterday, Mr Kallidai refused to deny praising Golwalkar and the RSS. In the UK, the Hindu Forum of Britain has led a number of “cultural campaigns” to protest at what it calls “insults” to Hinduism. Mr Kallidai’s most recent campaign is to save a sacred bull, Shambo, kept at a Welsh Hindu temple but due to be slaughtered after testing positive for TB.

Last year, the HFB campaigned against an exhibition of pictures in London by India’s greatest living artist, M.F.Husain, a Muslim. The exhibition was cancelled on security grounds after three men entered the gallery and vandalised the pictures. There is no suggestion the HFB or Mr Kallidai were involved.

In 2005, Mr Kallidai got the Royal Mail to withdraw one of its Christmas stamps from open sale, claiming it was insulting to Hindus. In fact the stamp, depicting the baby Jesus and Mary with a Hindu mark on her face, is a reproduction of a famous Indian painting owned by Hindu nationalist hero Nana Phadnavis. The picture has been a much-loved attraction in the Mumbai municipal museum for years.

“This is the absolute textbook religious extremist agenda,” said one expert who has advised the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. “You whip up the ‘base’ with flimsy allegations that play to people’s emotions. The forced conversion slur, in
particular, is an exact copy of an allegation that has been made by Hindu extremists in India.” Despite the Hindu Forum of Britain’s links to extremism, the group has been supported by some British officials.

According to its website, Tony Blair has spoken of the HFB’s “success at promoting the positive achievements of the Hindu community,” and David Cameron, the Tory leader, has called it a “highly professional and authoritative voice.” The HFB’s 2006 annual ball was attended by Europe Minister Geoff Hoon and Home Office minister Tony McNulty.

Sir Ian Blair, the Met Police commissioner, attended the HFB conference in February where the allegations of “Muslim forced conversion” were made. At the gathering, Sir Ian promised to crack down on the supposed crime and said: “There is a feeling in
the Hindu community that we have not given them as much attention as other groups.”

In July 2006 another organisation linked to Mr Kallidai and the HFB, Hindu Aid, was given almost £140,000 of public money by the Department for International Development to “educate British Hindus about development issues.” Hindu Aid’s website describes it as a “British charity” dedicated to the relief of suffering. In fact, Hindu Aid is not a registered charity, but a limited company which has claimed exemption from the requirement to file detailed accounts.

The limited data on file at Companies House suggests that in 2005/6, the last year before the DFID grant, it had an income of only £2,500, suggesting that its ability to relieve suffering was limited.

Hindu Aid’s website suggests some of its money is channelled via SEWA, a charity allegedly linked to the RSS and investigated by the Charity Commission after allegations that some of its funding had been diverted to back anti-Muslim violence.

SEWA was cleared by the Charity Commission, but the commission admitted it had not investigated its alleged RSS links or its complicity in the killings after SEWA said the allegations were untrue. Mr Kallidai is vice-chair and company secretary of Hindu Aid, and every other member of the management board, except one, is also a post-holder in the Hindu Forum of Britain. The two organisations share an office.

Mr Kallidai, the HFB and Hindu Aid refused yesterday to respond to questions about their links with extremism.

They were also unable to provide examples of their allegations about the “forced conversion” of Hindu girls.

One expert said: “You might wonder how a man like Kallidai could become an official ‘integration commissioner’ or how his organisation could achieve the legitimacy within government that it has. What ministers are doing is making the same mistake
as they made with the Muslim Council of Britain they are taking those who shout loudest as representatives of their faith.”
******************


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  1. The rise and rise of Ramesh Kallidai « Sangh Samachar

    [...] Cohesion. And Andrew Gilligan of the Evening Standard has now come out with a report on Kallidai (The rise and rise of the Hindu fundamentalist father). The ES report has some interesting nuggets, here’s a summary and [...]


  2. Pickled Politics » Labour MP sucks up to Hindu fanatics

    [...] reporter Andrew Gilligan did an expose of the Hindu so-called ‘community leader’ Ramesh Kallidai and exposed his relationships with various far-right Hindu organisations here and in [...]




  1. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    The only reason most of you don’t hear about it is because news editors across the press deem only Muslim fanaticism as sexy.

    Shaky ground there Sunny, it’s more likely because no one has blown themselves up and called themselves a Hindu or Sikh in this country…

  2. Sunny — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

    Yeah, I know, it’s the same point. Fanaticism exists, its just because no Hindu / Sikh has blown themselves up here that it’s not sexy enough.

  3. Jean-Luc Gascard — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:53 pm  

    Er, how do you say, what varna is Khalidai?

  4. Amrit — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    Good grief. There are so many morons like this guy who need to be outed. Well done to all those digging around on him!

    I really wish sometimes that people such as him were forcibly neutered, to prevent the spreading of their rabid insanity to their children.

  5. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    Yeah, I know, it’s the same point. Fanaticism exists, its just because no Hindu / Sikh has blown themselves up here that it’s not sexy enough.

    I see your point although not too sure about calling it sexy tbh.

  6. Anand — on 13th June, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    this absolute rubbish. kallidai is a gentleman and there is a systimatic effort going on to malign all the hindu organisations in UK. this is the handiwork of church.

  7. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:04 pm  

    Blowing yourself up is sexy?

    Anyway, the reason why people are not as focussed on them is because they are not as dangerous or widespread as Muslim fundamentalists. That’s a pretty obvious fact. Although it’s good that they are being scrutinised.

  8. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:05 pm  

    Anand gives the standard reply.

    The Sikh Fed better watch out, someone get the Evening Standard onto them too.

  9. Anand — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:05 pm  

    Jean-Luc Gascard,

    you sound like a christian. you must be white?. so why are you worried about “black” kallidai?.

  10. Anand — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

    jagdeep,

    as long as there are “standard” false accusations against every hindu organisation, there will be a “standard” reply.

    and why are you worried about a hindu organisation anyway?. there are lot of hindus who support kallidai. does this make you jealeous?

  11. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:12 pm  

    Yeah I’m soooo jealous Anand!

  12. Sunny — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

    I see someone from the HFB camp as ‘Anand’ is now trying to play the race card! I must be funded by ‘the Church’ too!

    The full article is above, Kallidai could not say anything to the accusations.

  13. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:14 pm  

    you sound like a christian. you must be white?. so why are you worried about “black” kallidai?

    Hey, great way to defend your man, be a racist! Nice one.

    By the way, if anyone has a subscription to the Evenning Standard and can cut and paste the article that will be great.

    I seriously hope they turn their attention to that squinting gang of shifty bedroom freedom fighters the Sikh Federation next.

  14. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

    Thanks for updating Sunny, just reading it now.

  15. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:22 pm  

    this is the handiwork of church.

    And your evidence for this is…?

  16. Eklavya — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

    Thanks for putting the article up. It’s about time we expose such people. I only hope it happens in India more often.

  17. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:26 pm  

    A definitive and damning article.

    The government and home office need to take as much care dealing with organisations claiming to represent Hindus and Sikhs as they do Muslims. A cursory consultation with some journalists, activists and academics will identify areas of concern if government and quangos want to get all of these smiley uncles opinions.

    There is no excuse now for any journalists or newspapers to take the HFB at their word when they issue press releases or try to rep themselves as something they are not.

  18. Chairwoman — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:33 pm  

    this is the handiwork of church.

    Why?

  19. fiz — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

    Kallidai is a very shrewd individual. i’m glad he has been exposed.

  20. Jagdeep — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

    ‘this is the handiwork of church.‘ Why?

    Paranoia. The Christian church is engaged in a millenarian conspiracy to destroy Hinduism, abetted by western hypocrisy, left-wingers, and white journalists with an agenda to defame Hinduism and weaken it so that the Christian, secular, leftists, Muslims and other minority predators can destroy the Hindu religion.

  21. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:47 pm  

    Why?

    A good question, I’m tired of people posting up unsubstantiated crap like that. If they want to be taken seriously they should back up their claims dammit.

  22. Unity — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:53 pm  

    Ah yes, I recall the SEWA investigation well.

    One thing the article omits, in respect to that, is that the reason the CC inquiry stalled was that its investigators were unable to pursue their inquiries in India after being refused entry visas by the Indian government.

  23. Jean-Luc Gascard — on 13th June, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    The only Christian, Jesus, died for his love of mankind.
    When we, bon European, went round the world, we did the mistake of not converting the idolatrous Hindews and the Jews, et cetera.

    Nota bene: Please don’t mock me with my French accent.

  24. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 3:35 pm  

    For some reason I keep reading your name like the guy from Star Trek…

  25. fiz — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    star trekking, across the universe,
    on the starship enterprise
    something something planet earth

  26. Muzumdar — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

    Excuse me for intruding, but I think something needs to be pointed out to you all.

    Where were Sikhs/Sikh organisations mentioned in the article? It’s just that I didn’t see the word Sikh at all…

    Which begs the question, why did you bring them into the conversation Sunny?

    Just lumping Sikhs and Hindus together because they’re brown and from the same part of the world?

    Got any evidence for your claims that Sikh ‘fanatics’ are of a similar ilk to that Hindu dude?

    By all means, criticise as much as you like, but only when it is warranted. An article about a Hitler-loving-Hindu-chauvinist does not warrant references to Sikhs/Sikh organisations….in the same way that an article about Islam does not warrant constant references to 9/11, 7/7, terrorism etc.

    Thanks.

  27. leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:53 pm  

    star trekking, across the universe,
    on the starship enterprise
    something something planet earth

    :D

    Haha I remember that tune!

  28. Don — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    Muzumdar,

    Have you read the PP mission statement?

  29. Don — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:58 pm  
  30. Muzumdar — on 13th June, 2007 at 5:02 pm  

    Don

    Yes, why? It contains gems such as this:

    But it [PP] cannot simply remain a pulpit from where we shout or laugh at others.

    Sunny (and Jagdeep) are both shouting at Sikhs because some Hindu guy has been exposed as a fascist. Does that make sense to you?

    And there are others who choose to reject that hatred. Whose side do you want to be on?

    The way Sunny bangs on about Sikh extremists this, Sikh fanatics that, Sikh Federation ad nauseum (when Sikhs have nothing to do with the issue, like this article), it not only illustrates a mild obsession, but I also detect some hatred.

  31. Chairwoman — on 13th June, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

    Leon @ 24 – Me too.

  32. Don — on 13th June, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

    Muzumdar,

    I had in mind,

    ‘At the same time we need to highlight the enemies of this revolution: the self-serving community leaders, the bigots and the religious fanatics. We need to expose them, attack them, ridicule them and gather evidence against them.’

    I don’t detect any hatred, I wouldn’t hang out here if I did. I do detect intense hostility towards communalism/sectarianism and those who falsely claim to represent whole communities when they are in fact bent on furthering their own illiberal agendas. At the cost of furthering mutual suspicion, hostility and ultimately violence.

    I don’t agree with all of Sunny’s positions (and he can be a bit shouty) but the central ethos which has evolved on this site from his initial statement seems to me to be healthy and constructive.

    I have only a basic knowledge of Sikhism, little more than the core beliefs and traditions. Based on that scant knowledge I’m prepared to give it rather more respect than I would either christianity or islam.

    I think the point of this post was not hinduism, but rather ‘self-serving community leaders, the bigots and the religious fanatics’. The article which is initially presented is more a springboard for a debate on a broader topic, in this case dodgy ‘community leaders’. By all means argue that the groups you feel are being traduced do not fall under that heading, but I don’t think you can just declare them ‘out of bounds’ just because the original article did not mention them.

  33. Muzumdar — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:05 pm  

    Don

    the enemies of this revolution

    What evidence do you have that anyone even knows about this ‘revolution’, let alone gives two hoots about it?

    The phrase, ‘straw-men’ comes to mind.

    I think the point of this post was not hinduism, but rather ’self-serving community leaders, the bigots and the religious fanatics’

    So he just chucked Sikhs in there and nobody else? Look Donald, I don’t doubt that Sunny’s intentions are honourable and that he is a kind soul at heart, however, in this case I simply can’t see the point of even mentioning Sikhs/Sikh organisations in isolation. Surely, if your ‘crusade’ is against ’self-serving community leaders, the bigots and the religious fanatics’ then all denominations should be given discredit. I don’t appreciate him singling out Sikhs here.

    You lot are normally the first to complain when Muslims are singled out but you let it go when it involves others, like Sikhs.

    I don’t consider any group/organisation/religion ‘out of bounds’.

  34. soru — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:25 pm  


    Star Picklin’ across the blogiverse,
    On the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kis.
    Star Picklin’ across the universe,
    Boldly going forward ’cause we can’t find reverse.

    There’s Hindus on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow;
    there’s Hindus on the starboard bow, starboard bow Jean!

    Slag them off, Jean

    Ye cannae change the laws of britain, laws of britain, laws of britain;
    ye cannae change the laws of britain, laws of britain, Jean.

    Ah! Depose Saddam, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill;
    Depose Saddam, shoot to kill; Sunny, exit strat!

    It’s worse than that, he’s Muslim, Muslim, Muslim;
    it’s worse than that, he’s Muslim, Muslim, oh.

    Well, it’s politics, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it; it’s politics, for a new generation, new generation, Captain.

  35. Sunny — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:31 pm  

    Awww, Muzumdar our resident Khalistani is feeling victimised too. Boohoo. If you think its a waste of time then why don’t you go away? You keep getting deleted but you keep coming back like a bad smell.

    Just lumping Sikhs and Hindus together because they’re brown and from the same part of the world?

    No. You’ll understand the broader context soon enough. Wait and watch. And learn.

  36. Muzumdar — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:37 pm  

    Sunny

    There you go mentioning Khalistan at every opportunity again (yawn).

    I understand the so called ‘broader context’ of what you may be trying to say, but by singling out Sikhs you narrow that context considerably.

    If you wanted a ‘broad’ discussion, then you should have mentioned a broader range of groups/religions etc, not just singled out Sikhs.

    Thanks.

  37. Don — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:47 pm  

    Muzumdar,

    ‘…all denominations should be given discredit.’

    Believe me, nobody could agree more. But I think you may be missing a distinction. It is certainly true that conflating ‘muslim’ with ‘violent and/or coercive extremists within islam’ will get short shrift here. But I think you will find that this applies across the board. Given the (understandable) attention paid to moslems (I may as well point out that as a non-theist I find islam as a belief system high on my list of unpleasant belief systems, but that does not imply hostility to those who hold it) it is not, surely, unreasonable to point out that similar aggressive minorities exist within the other major religions.

    The comment you find objectionable, as far as I can make out was ‘Hindu and Sikh fanatics are a problem in the UK too.’ To see this as a hate driven attack on Sikhs per se is a rather extreme reading of the text.

  38. Don — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:48 pm  

    soru,

    Real talent there, mate.

  39. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 6:50 pm  

    @ soru

    HAhahahahahahhahahh! Utter and complete genius! :D

  40. Neil — on 13th June, 2007 at 8:00 pm  

    I certainly do not agree with all of Kallidai’s views but at the end of the day, Hindu’s are not going to commit acts of widespread violence against innocent people. They are amongst the most well educated and well integrated of Britains minorities. He is not advocating violence against anyone in the same way that the preachers at the Finsbury Park mosque were.

    I think its double-standards when I rcall in the past you advocated that the BNP should not be censored from expressing their views…many of which quite openly encourage violence against monority groups in this country, yet are against Kallidai, who is not encouraging anything like that.

    So how exactly are his views a ‘ threat’ to anyone in the UK ?

  41. sid — on 13th June, 2007 at 8:26 pm  

    For every Ramesh Kallidai there’s a Neal.

  42. FrenchJew — on 13th June, 2007 at 8:28 pm  

    Excellent site with a wide range of considered opinion!

    I have missed the variety of opinion I experienced from south Asian mates at university and occasional trip to the subcontinent, a world of cultures and political issues I find fascinating.

    At the same time, it is from Turkish and Indian Muslims that I have most often encountered some flexibility in considering that my own people might just possibly be human beings with their own right to self-determination.

    Thus, I particularly appreciate this site’s independence from “received wisdom” which (for reasons of either unjustified third-world solidarity or unjustified Muslim solidarity) too often demonises my people’s national project.

    I will come back and read often.

  43. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 9:06 pm  

    FJ, welcome, look forward to contributions. Take a read of our mission statement, it’s useful reading.:)

  44. Jean-Luc Gascard — on 13th June, 2007 at 9:09 pm  

    All my best friends are non-Gentiles,
    so, for a French non-Gentile,
    I make an exception.

    bon nuit

  45. Sunny — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:12 pm  

    Hindu’s are not going to commit acts of widespread violence against innocent people.

    No one said they are. But that doesn’t mean we excuse their bigotry and allow religious nuts to run amok. After all, Hizb ut-Tahrir is averse to violence too.

  46. Eremos — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:56 pm  

    Great find Sunny. For what it’s worth I know what you mean when you say that Islamic terrorism is “sexy”. It’s perhaps an ill thought out turn of phrase. It’s probably better to say that Islamic terrorism is more relevant and contemporary to what is actually happening.

    I sincerely hope that the Hindu community can stop the spread of radicalisation before it spreads into the community. God knows it’s near impossible to weed out once rooted.

  47. Dr Shaaz Mahboob — on 13th June, 2007 at 11:22 pm  

    PRESS RELEASE – 12th June 2007

    BRITISH MUSLIMS FOR SECULAR DEMOCRACY (BMSD) CONCERN OVER THE LINKS BETWEEN THE COMMISSION ON INTEGRATION AND COHESION (CIC) AND HINDU FUNDAMENTALIST ORGANISATIONS.

    British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD) is deeply concerned after it emerged in the media that the Commission on Integration and Cohesion (CIC) set up by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has members who have strong links with Hindu fundamentalist and extremist organisations.

    BMSD is strongly against all forms of religious extremism and is worried to find that one of the CIC’s commissioners, Ramesh Kallidai is linked to Hindu extremist organisations such as Vishva Hindu Prasad (VHP) and is the Secretary General of its British partner organisation British Hindu Forum (BHF). He is reported to have been a speaker at many of their events as well as organisations such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) whose leadership draws inspiration from the treatment of Jews at the hands of Hitler, aspires to purge India of all Muslims in a similar fashion and has offensive and discriminatory views towards Muslims in other parts of the world.

    The association of Mr Kallidai to Hindu fundamentalist and extremist organisations and the support offered by British government ministers and officials to them is extremely worrying for not just for BMSD but also to other peace loving moderate organisations and members of the public.

    Dr Shaaz Mahboob of BMSD said, “working with groups coming from fundamentalist root is counterproductive. Instead of creating cohesion in the society they can only polarize the society even further. The Government should seriously reconsider its policy ”.

    [End]

  48. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 11:48 pm  

    I wonder how many more press releases are to come over this (also the lack of comment by rightwing blogs is odd, I thought they’d love the chance to take a shot at the government?)..?

  49. Refresh — on 14th June, 2007 at 2:12 am  

    Finally visited http://www.awaazsaw.org

    Definitely an organisation that has my unequivocal support.

  50. douglas clark — on 14th June, 2007 at 2:43 am  

    I think I’m with Leon on all of this shit. Seems to me that every religion has it’s extremists, People that believe death is an answer, or even an arguement. Seems to me we should ignore them. More folk ignore them, the better, I think. Then it would get down to one teenager who hasn’t grown up yet.

    That we could handle.

  51. Neil — on 14th June, 2007 at 8:31 am  

    This is all a non-issue as far as I can see. If Kallidai has ‘extremist’ views, then the only tangible effect it will have is people in the Hindu diaspora donating funds the VHP and RSS and the like in India. His views or those in his ilk do not pose any threat to any people in the UK at all.

    He is representing a view about India that advocates ‘Hindutva’ which in its broadest sense that so called indigenous Indian religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism) be given a special status in the land of their origin…it doesn’t advocate ethnic cleansing of Muslims or Christians in any sense.

    His admiration of Golwalkar stems from an admiration of those in Hindu history who have realised that for Hindu Dharma to survive its simply not enough to have the moral or spiritual advantage but to be pro-active in defining and protecting your faith when necessary. Others in history did exactly the same thing form Shivaji to Vivekananda, are they all ‘extremists’ as well ? If you actually know about Golwalkar he said clearly in his book ‘We or our Nationhood Defined’, that he supported the Zionist cause and had great respect for the Jewish people, he certainly wasn’t anit-semitic!

    As for his other views on forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam in the UK like i said I dont agree with everything he says and that view certainly seems well off the mark.

  52. douglas clark — on 14th June, 2007 at 8:45 am  

    Neil,

    “If Kallidai has ‘extremist’ views, then the only tangible effect it will have is people in the Hindu diaspora donating funds the VHP and RSS and the like in India. His views or those in his ilk do not pose any threat to any people in the UK at all.”

    No.

    One of the great disgraces of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland was the freedom that the Republicans had to go cap in hand to their diaspora in the USA. We should not stand aside when folk are doing to others what we thought, rightly, was wrong when it was done to us.

  53. FrenchJew — on 14th June, 2007 at 10:42 am  

    Neil, your post compelled me to investigate further and to discover the pro-Israeli stance (and other controversial policies) of the RSS. Interesting.

  54. soru — on 14th June, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    RSS: “There is in Hinduism room enough for Jesus, as there is for Mohammed, Zoroster and Moses”

    Note the difference between that statement and ‘there is room enough in India for Muslims, Zorastrians and jews’.

  55. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th June, 2007 at 2:32 pm  

    Kalidai is typical of some Black or Asian people in power. He, and his HFB do not have time for people like us I am afraid. He has been elevated, but ask yourself this, what does he really care about? Does he really care about integration? If so, why object to the stamp issue.

    Actually the HFB made a fundamental mistake here in this case. The stamp was about integration, it had nothing to do with demeaning Hinduism. Interestingly it is groups like this and leaders like this that causes the divide between people of Asian origin. The fact is he and the HFB also wanted an Indian identity.

    All of a sudden one fears that they fear being seen as Muslim. I feel their politics stinks of, “scratch my back, and I will scratch yours.” W

    hat qualifications has Kallidai got in cohesion and integration? My view is there is Hindu fundamentalism and actually Hinduism in its purest sense is anything but. But these people will have a drink at the Gujuarat Samachar and Asian Voice functions, and follow the Jones’s.

    Not once have I seen the group stand up and say racism is wrong against Black people. Yet, the govt makes the same mistake. I am sure baubles will follow Kallidai. If you want to get into this group you need to be groomed in. Not my style. That is corrupt.

  56. sid — on 14th June, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

    Always like reading your comments Twining. :-)

  57. soru — on 14th June, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    ‘Implicit in that statement is the willingness to embrace a form of pluralism.’

    I read it as universalism, not pluralism: ‘you can join my club’, not ‘you can have your own club if you want’.

    Universalism isn’t necessarily bad in itself, but rival ideologies with universal aspirations can certainly cause a bunch of badness.

  58. Neil — on 14th June, 2007 at 3:33 pm  

    “Interestingly it is groups like this and leaders like this that causes the divide between people of Asian origin.”

    I disagree, these groups simply play on feelings that are already there. Also being clear and not having your faith mistaken for someone else’s is not ‘being divisive’ but simply being accurate.

    On another point can anyone actually here define what ‘Hindu fundamentalism’ is, before throwing the phrase around ? It is not a faith based upon anyone one book or strict set of doctrines. Therefore Kallidai cannot be referred to as a ‘fundamentalist’, or the RSS as a fundamentalist organisation (nationalist maybe).

  59. Refresh — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:00 pm  

    OK – who’s pulled the plug? Where are all those entertaining posts gone?

    Having a #73 post theory is one thing, but intervening to make it happen is not quite what I had in mind.

  60. Leon — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:01 pm  

    I don’t know what you mean…*wanders off looking all innocent*

  61. Refresh — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    And I was genuinely enjoying that little tete-a-tete.

  62. Sunny — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    Therefore Kallidai cannot be referred to as a ‘fundamentalist’, or the RSS as a fundamentalist organisation (nationalist maybe).

    This is absurd. We had the VHP actively involved in a mini-genocide in Gujarat in 2002 and having made plenty of inflammatory statements since then, and you’re saying these people are not a fundamentalist organisation? What is YOUR definition then?

    At what point does an organisation become a problem? And why don’t you do a bit of comparison here with other non-violent but fanatic orgs like Hizb ut-Tahrir?

    Apologies to the rest for wasting their time debating with Muzumdar but he has been banned and you should not be debating with him. I don’t want this important topic hijacked with debating with the pros/cons of Khalistan.

  63. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

    Neil, perhaps you are right; it is not groups like this that cause a divide, the divide exists, but such groups exploit the divide, and as such they are a part of the problem. How can there be universalism?

  64. Leon — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:05 pm  

    Apols Sunny, didn’t quite realise he’d been properly banned…

  65. justforfun — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:05 pm  

    “insert anything you want to agree with”

    Justforfun

  66. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:10 pm  

    What’s new? We have a man in power like Kallidai who praises a man that praises Nazi extremism? Hmm. He cannot therefore be anti racist. This is a joke. Someone tell me this is a dream, and that he has nothing to do with cohesion. Twining wake up! So, we have someone in power that is possibly racist?

  67. neva4get84 — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Sunny-You might have gathered I’m not a regular on this, so am a bit confused that the issue of Sikh Fundermentalism was brought up and then my comments on it were taken out. I don’t really know about past discussions; but I think the points I raised were fair and genuinely sought the views of others in order to understand the other side of the argument.

  68. Neil — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

    Being a fundamentalist means you subscribe to a defined set of values and dont alter your postition from them. This is simple if you follow a semitic religion (and beleive and follow the literally the words from Bible/Quran etc). This simply cannot be applied to Hinduism, because of its huge diversity. I mean where would you start (belief in the Veda’s, in Karma-Reincarnation etc etc ?) Its messing around with words, but to be pedantic there simply is no such thing as a Hindu ‘Fundamentalist’. The organisations you refer to are Nationalist, in the sense that they want Hinduism recognised as the state religion of India and that India has a Hindu character that should be respected by those of religions not indigineous to the country (ie Christians and Muslims)

    These organisations use the religion as means for political-social ends and play on identities. However this doesn’t always mean they are wrong in everything. The need for a united and active Hindu identity was needed in the face of aggressive imposition of other faiths on the people of India. I belive it is still needed now, especially amongst the diaspora.

    As far as I can tell the HuT would like us all to convert to Islam, the HFB has no such grand masterplans and indeed plenty of their aims on their website seem admirable (interfaith-dialogue etc etc). Whether the actually do that stuff is another matter altogether.

  69. ZinZin — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

    It is often reported that a community is demanding or opposing some political action as though people act like bees with a hive mind. What is really happening is that some self-appointed community leader or spokesman, and their views, are taken as being representative of the entire group.

    Read the rest.
    http://www.insidetime.org/Jun07_Articles/diversity.htm

  70. Sunny — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:48 pm  

    that the issue of Sikh Fundermentalism was brought up and then my comments on it were taken out.

    nevaforget – this point relates to my other article, published today, on Sikh groups. You can make your points there.

    Neil – My issue here is more about how organisations or people treat other groups. Your point about it being nationalism more than ‘fundamentalism’ is well made and I accept it. But in my context: looking at people dying or being abused or oppressed, the issue still stands. The VHP may not want to convert others by force to Hinduism, but they’re still a threat to religious minorities in India.

  71. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th June, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

    Sunny, Neil, have I missed the point? It appears in some areas the HFB are terribly wrong.

  72. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th June, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    I am Hindu and I find what I read in the Standard about the HFB shameful, and I believe I am a good anti racist person.

  73. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th June, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

    What then is the HFB? It purports to represent 600,000 British Hindus. Kallidai does not represent me! Kismet Hardy told me so!

  74. Leon — on 14th June, 2007 at 5:26 pm  

    HFB have ‘condemned’ the ES article:

    The Hindu Forum of Britain condemns the Evening Standard’s article which accuses Ramesh Kallidai, the organisation’s secretary general, for having ‘close associations with violent extremists’.

    This is absolutely not the case and is simply untrue. In fact, Mr Kallidai has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of thousands of Hindus in the UK and built good relations with various faith communities.

    This article, which is full of fundamental factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated accusations, aims to do nothing more than destroy the reputation of a man who has given so much selfless service in the interfaith arena, all of which has been performed without any thought of reward or personal benefit

    Full release

  75. Jay — on 14th June, 2007 at 6:47 pm  

    This is disgusting. Yet another attempt by the media to try and destroy a peaceful and pluralistic faith. Well, attempts to destroy it and its adherents have been made for years…you cannot destory that which has no beginning and is eternal. Ramesh Kallidai is a good human being and has never affiliated himself with extremism. How dare ES print a picture of his family as well? This is disgraceful.

    Awaaz is another disgrace. Full of anti-Hindu views, and scared to expose the threats posed by Islamists for fear of personal safety.

  76. Jagdeep — on 14th June, 2007 at 6:56 pm  

    Awaaz is another disgrace. Full of anti-Hindu views, and scared to expose the threats posed by Islamists for fear of personal safety.

    Actually, there is a section on their website devoted to explaining Islamic fundamentalists and the various organisations in Britain who propagate it.

  77. Jagdeep — on 14th June, 2007 at 7:02 pm  

    And as I understand it, people like AWAAZ who take their stance of scrutiny do receive threats to their personal safety.

    Anyway, Jay is evidence that extremists are more alike each other than anyone else. Replace the word Hindu with Muslim in his sentences and you would have a textbook diatribe by an Islamist whenever one of the various Islamist corpuscles are put under scrutiny.

    Note in particular the utterly tendentious conflation of the entire religion and adherents of that religion, with the ideology, personnel and politics of that said group —- criticise us and you criticise everyone, are a bigot, and are placed in the context of a cosmic and eternal war that is being waged by various forces to actually destroy the entire religion — paranoia, victimhood, a narrative of continual and infinite murderous intent to obliterate and destroy.

  78. Neil — on 14th June, 2007 at 8:30 pm  

    Twinning Black and Blue, the Evening Standard article certainly doesnt paint a rosy picture but dont swallow it all no questions asked. Its not all black and white !

  79. Gidon Kahn — on 14th June, 2007 at 9:04 pm  

    Letters published in the Evening Standard

    Andrew Gilligan alleges that Ramesh Kallidai is associated with “extremists”. I have known and worked with Mr Kallidai for many years and can say without reservation that his is an important voice of moderation. He has made a significant and lasting contribution to inter-faith dialogue in the UK.
    HENRY GRUNWALD, QC, PRESIDENT
    BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS

    If there is such a considerable movement of Hindu “fundamentalism” in UK as Andrew Gilligan’s report suggests (11 June), we would expect to see some violence in the streets; yet Hindus are reputed to be the most peaceful and law-abiding community in the country.

    When Gilligan writes that “some British Hindus are concerened” by Ramesh Kallidai’s appointment to the chair of the Hindu Forum of Britain, he cites two well-known Left wingers, Lord Desai and Prof Chetan Bhatt, who ini 35 years in this country, I have never seen at Hindu community events. Ramesh Kallidai is a devoted community worker and enjoys the overwhelming support of British Hindus
    Dhiraj Shah, SPL Corporation Ltd

  80. Simon Cohen — on 14th June, 2007 at 9:31 pm  

    Fundamentalist father? Yes, please

    Andrew Gilligan’s article on Mr Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain raises some serious questions. Why is Mr Kallidai’s family, including his young son, featured in the photo when there are so many pictures of him alone that are readily available? Why is the vandalisation of M.H. Husain’s pictures mentioned when ‘there is no suggestion the HFB or Mr Kallidai were involved?’ The whole article reflects at best a worrying ignorance about the inter faith world Mr Gilligan addresses, and paints one of its champions as a culprit. The great Hindu Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ I implore Mr Gilligan to take heed of those wise words if he wishes to see a world of peace, tolerance and respect like the rest of us. I consider this ‘fundamentalist father’ a role model for people of all backgrounds; and it seems the Prime Minister and ministers of all parties who have met him would agree.

    Simon Cohen, Managing Director, global tolerance

    Simon Cohen
    managing director
    global tolerance

  81. Sunny — on 14th June, 2007 at 11:00 pm  

    That letter by Harry Grunwald is very naive at best. He may not have any problems with Kallidai personally, but that does not take away from the fact that many RSS/VHP people in India admire Hitler and his style of working. He may not know much about the VHP’s complicity in the Gujarat riots of 2002, which has been well documented, nor of the VHP attacks on Christians in India – also well documented.

    The guy is fool. But then it doesn’t surprise me these “community leaders” want to protect each other.

    we would expect to see some violence in the streets;

    We see violence in India which, it has been shown, was funded in the past by British groups. This England centric view is extremely naive.

    he cites two well-known Left wingers, Lord Desai and Prof Chetan Bhatt, who ini 35 years in this country, I have never seen at Hindu community events

    That is not an argument. Lord Desai actually does lots of philanthropy work.

    And who is this Simon Cohen character?

  82. raz — on 14th June, 2007 at 11:23 pm  

    It’s very sad to see a Jewish man of all people trying to defend a man who has proven links to the genocidal RSS/VHP (who as Sunny says are well known for sympathising with Nazis) who have slaughtered thousands of innocent people in India.

    “This England centric view is extremely naive”

    Indeed. I’m sure if British Islamists were collaborating with those who wish to massacre innocent Jews in Israel (didn’t a couple of British Muslims carry out a suicide attack in Israel?) then Mr Grunwald would be quite rightly outraged. So he should be equally offended about the links between Mr Kallidai and the RSS/VHP who, as Gujrat proved, have no problem emulating the same barbarism which once slaughtered so many of Mr Grunwalds co-religionists in Germany. It seems that in a misguided attempt to seek common ground against extremist Islam, some members of the Jewish community are getting into bed with some very unsavoury characters.

  83. leon — on 14th June, 2007 at 11:28 pm  
  84. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2007 at 1:39 am  

    Simon,

    Please explain yourself a little further. There seems to be some debate as to whether Mr Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain is quite the character you claim.

    You say:

    I consider this ‘fundamentalist father’ a role model for people of all backgrounds; and it seems the Prime Minister and ministers of all parties who have met him would agree.

    however, the Standard seems to take a less benign view.

    Do you know him personally? Can you vouchsafe for him? I think we’d all need quite a lot of reassurance that he is not the person that the Standard profiles. Indeed it would be interesting to know exactly how the Hindu Forum was established. Was it through a democratic consensus, a religious consensus or what?

    Perhaps you can do it. Perhaps you can point out where the general thrust of the article is mistaken.

    Thanks.

    Oh, by the way, I too would like to live in a world where Mr Gilligan and the rest of us “see a world of peace, tolerance and respect…”

    I hope you don’t think I’ve been too selective there.

  85. Twining or Black in Blue — on 15th June, 2007 at 10:11 am  

    Neil, OK, I have no idea whether Kallidai is extremist, but if he supports the views of extremists and makes reference to Hitler in some positive way, then what is that? Most of these leaders do not work tirelessly for themselves. Some exist in the police service, they work for baubles and knighthood’s and gongs.

    The BNP is bad, and if the HFB purports extremist views why are we consulting with them on cohesion? This is my first point. Secondly, try getting into the HFB. It’s like a closed select group, I am sorry to say.

    Thirdly, they have to answer about these allegations. If they are not as described in the Evening Standard then all well and good, but I have met leading Hindu’s myself and there is an anti Islamic feeling amongst some very leading Hindus. The name is Twining, not TWINNING.

  86. Twining or Black in Blue — on 15th June, 2007 at 10:15 am  

    As for Blair I voted for him but then we know when it comes to the crunch in BLACK and WHITE and the Middle East, he just wanted to lay the ground for Condoleza Rice! No, no, these backroom chats don’t exist do they?

  87. Twining or Black in Blue — on 15th June, 2007 at 10:18 am  

    Other than that I trusted Blair, but in real terms in terms of anti racism, all the parties are much the same.If it suits them they will do it. If not, forget it. It’s an uphill struggle, anti racism is.

    And don’t necessarily expect that those that are the chosen few on the cohesion panel have worth. why aren’t people like Sunny allowed in? His views are documented. Are the views of th MCB or the HFB documented as well?

  88. Jay — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:27 pm  

    “Anyway, Jay is evidence that extremists are more alike each other than anyone else. Replace the word Hindu with Muslim in his sentences and you would have a textbook diatribe by an Islamist whenever one of the various Islamist corpuscles are put under scrutiny.”

    No, rather you are proof that anyone who dares to defend Hinduism and its adherents is accused of being an extremist. My problem is that there is no proof whatsoever of Ramesh being involved with extremists. Why on Earth was a photo of his family published? I would expect ES to display greater common sense.

  89. Ashok Haria — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

    The facts as presented by the present UPA government in India (The Central Union Government)are as follows:

    Gujarat Riots:

    Total no of killed – 863 (and not 2000 as ES claims)
    Muslims killed – 468 (and not as 2000 claimed by Gilligan)
    Hindus killed – 395 ( an d not zero as claimed by awaaz)

    What started the riots: the initial incinerating of 58 Hindu passengers in Godhra Train by islamists – 2 commissions have concluded this.

    Fact – Afghanistan – Desai & Bhatt remained silent when Hindus & Sikhs were made to wear saffron shirt markers by Taliban – identified as Hindus for the people to force them out of their ancestral home for over 4000 years, Sikhs were not spared either and forced to leave – not in 1500 ad but in 2001.

    Fact – there were 17% Hindus in pre partion part of Pakistan – today there are less than 1%

    Fact – there were 25 million Hindus in Bangladesh when India helped it become a nation from the zealot Yayha Khan – today are there are less than 10 million – what happened tpo them – see UN Refugee High commisssion report

    Fact – At the time of Independence there were only 12% Muslims in India, today there are 15.5%.

    Facts, my dear friends speak louder than all your rhetoric against the Hindu organistaions you are all so quick to condemn.

    Gujarat tragedy was very sad not just Muslims but for all of India, but does Gilligan Desai & Bhatt have to propagate falsehood in the hope that if they did that a million times, it might just become the truth, what Goebel’s philosophy was all about.

    Hindu is by birth a secularist, it was not Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to be nor Nehru. It is his DNS from 10,000 years that has made him a secularist, that is why India is mosaic carpet we see, not because the dictum of one person or a group of persons. India is secular because it the Hindu that allows it to be so, because the majority of people is the spirit of India and that stems from his very Universal Principles of Brotherhood, Plurality, and fraternity. If these principles are threatened then Universal Peace is threatened. We see this in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc, where there is no tolerance for a different view point. Hindus are now at a point where they have to protect their Philosophy, otherwise they will soon become extinct.

    But Desai Bhatt, et el are oblivion to this, or are they really. Are they a plant for some real fundamentalist agenda to enhilate Hindus like kallidai, is that why his family portrait was printed to threaten others to be quite or else!!!!

  90. sid — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:08 pm  

    Fact – there were 25 million Hindus in Bangladesh when India helped it become a nation from the zealot Yayha Khan – today are there are less than 10 million – what happened tpo them – see UN Refugee High commisssion report

    Many thousands were butchered in the genocide of 1971 by the Pakistan army. A crime against humanity, but most East Bengali Hindus returned to West Bengal even before 1971 when Bangladesh was still East Pakistan.

    Are you suggesting that 15 million Hindus have been killed in Bangladesh AFTER the genocide of 1971?

    Who makes this up? I’ve heard this one before, perhaps its an intentional lie to bolster your figures. It does your credibility no good and fouls the rest of your post.

    “UN Refugee High commisssion report”? What’s that? Have you a link?

  91. justforfun — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:24 pm  

    Yes Sid this has cropped up and before anybody starts looking for skeletons and genocide – they emmigrated. Perhaps the following reasons but maybe for others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vested_Property_Act_(Bangladesh)

    Justforfun

  92. sid — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    JFF, thanks for the link. I knew about the Vested Property Act and didn’t think it was so vicious. Legislated land grabs.

    But Ashok Haria’s wording insinuates some kind of genocide and his figure of 15 million have “disappeared” after 1971 is bogus according to the wiki article. Perhaps he should take a look at the figures as well.

  93. sunray — on 15th June, 2007 at 9:53 pm  

    Today the British public will buy into anything negative on anyone. The papers are doing a good job and many morons are following their lead, helping their cause. We have one good example here.

    Hindu fanatic!

    “The only reason most of you don’t hear about it is because news editors across the press deem only Muslim fanaticism as sexy.”
    This is so poor an attempt at defaming Hindus it is laughable. Its even more funny reading the accusation thrown at Ramesh, since he has always worked with the Police. This makes the police in cahoots with the Hindus!!

    “his appointment to the commission has horrified some British Hindus.”
    Jealousy is so dangerous. These opposing Hindus who are they? Do they exist or are they figment of the writers imagination?

    Lord Desai
    Chetan Bhatt,
    Sunny Hundal

    all good friends I assume.

    Mo matter who spoke up for the Hindus they would all be treated in the same way by the media. Its sells their papers or fills their blogs, good time pass heh sunny.

  94. sunray — on 15th June, 2007 at 9:55 pm  

    “No one said they are. But that doesn’t mean we excuse their bigotry and allow religious nuts to run amok.”

    Youre a nut sunny and your bigotry is running wild on your forums.
    Youre just howling any titbit of negative info on Hindu orgs or person and you know its all false. Clutching at straws.
    You’re so desperate and your post is full of it.
    Come on you even posted the whole article out of desperation.
    You have nothing on Hindus or Ramesh Khallidai, nor have you ever had on any of the many attempts at negating Hindus.
    Hes a good man and hes done a lot of good for the Hindus.

    The comments by the many are just follow my leader comments without any shadow of proof to back it up. Its so funny reading these comments here.

    LOL at calling Ramesh an extremist

  95. sunray — on 15th June, 2007 at 9:56 pm  

    “This is absurd. We had the VHP actively involved in a mini-genocide in Gujarat in 2002”—sunny
    This is the only comment I ever read about Hindus. Its so pathetic and childish. Its sounding like a broken record player. I expect you’ll still be calling some Hindu groups extremist 500 years from now and then add the great quote “and look what they did in Gujarat back in 2002” lol

    Yet sunny you turn a blind eye to the thousands of Hindus who have been killed in Bangladesh and Pakistan India borders highlighted above.
    Now this is what I call victimisation of Hindus by you sunny.
    Oh and please don’t tell my Im crying my heart out.
    That’s another one liner from you Ive read a thousand times.

  96. Sunny — on 16th June, 2007 at 12:17 am  

    Yet sunny you turn a blind eye to the thousands of Hindus who have been killed in Bangladesh and Pakistan India borders highlighted above.

    As always Sunray, you’re great at throwing mud at people without addressing any points. Why not address the accusations made in the article?

    Is your point above, by highlighting what Pakistan and Bangladesh are doing, that its ok for what the VHP did? There’s this guy who lived in Gujarat who said: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind…” Can you think who that was?

  97. Twining or Black in Blue — on 16th June, 2007 at 10:52 am  

    (1) Is Kalladai or the HFB linked to any fundamentalist group or view that is Anti Islamic or Anti Jew? If he is then he doesn’t represent all Hindus.

    (3) How did Kallidai get into power?

    (4) Does the HFB or any member support fundamentalism against Islam in India? If so, what are their views about Islam in this country?

    (5) As for the police in cahoots? The police can be in cahoots to cover the backsides of Senior Officer’s who through ignorance or otherwise have made mistakes or whatever. Let’s face it, and I am on the inside, the police do not understand anti racism. They treat Hindu, and Muslim and Sikh officers that challenge with contempt. See Macpherson. See Cantle.

  98. sunray — on 16th June, 2007 at 12:31 pm  

    ^^
    5 As for the police in cahoots…….etc?
    You are insulting the intelligence of the British Police.

  99. sunray — on 16th June, 2007 at 12:43 pm  

    “Why not address the accusations made in the article?”—Sunny

    haha my entire post addressed the issue but you seemed to be getting blind in your old age.
    For a man like Ramesh who always works closely with the police first, how can there be accusations? There is nothing anyone can prove. They have sure tried but failed miserably.
    Attending a VHP meeting would make all the Hindus terrorist and that’s rubbish. They are a brilliant organisations who have done a lot for the protection and benefit of Hindus.
    Throughout Indias history great men and organisations have come out to protect the oppressed. Sikhism is one example who came out in protection of the Hindus. If you call protection terrorism or eye for an eye then you must be the real terrorist!
    Off course Im not denying recent events and there may be some issues and concerns about certain members of the Hindus organisations in India, but that does not make every Hindus leader or group or person who visits these groups a terrorist.

    The News article is truly a petty attempt at defaming the Hindus. Ramesh is just a scapegoat.

    Ramesh is a wonderful pleasant guy. May be you should try and talk to him by meeting him [WITHOUT those blinkers] and you might see the truth.
    Don’t sit in your cosy little corner throwing accusations just to make sensational heading for your website.
    That’s all this article is about.
    The Newspaper article is making a desperate attempt to cite Hindus in the hope of making publicity. It seems to have fizzled into nothingness.

  100. Andrew Gilligan — on 16th June, 2007 at 7:51 pm  

    As the author of the Ramesh Kallidai article, I’ve been reading these comments with great interest. Kallidai’s staunch defence of the VHP as a “peaceful organisation” was taken from the unimpeachable source of Hansard – a transcript of his evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2004, available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmhaff/165/4121405.htm

    This alone, I would suggest, demolishes the reassurances offered by the HFB and some of its allies in the Jewish community.

    On the question of Mr Kallidai’s praise of M.S.Golwalkar, as reported in the RSS’s own newsletter, I put this question repeatedly before publication to Mr Kallidai directly and to his media representatives. He refused to deny it before publication, and if you read his response to our piece he still refuses to deny it, despite all the Hindu Forum’s huffing and puffing on its website.

    He also refused to answer, and continues to refuse to answer, my question as to whether he is or ever has been a member of the VHP, the RSS, the HSS, or any other Hindutva organisation. I believe Mr Kallidai’s silence speaks for itself.

  101. Mr Upadhya — on 17th June, 2007 at 12:16 am  

    Dear Andrew Gilligan,

    I know that pen and media are mightier than the sword. But I believe that you have chosen the wrong way to humiliate a person and his family by printing his family photograph. I have met Mr Kallidai a couple of times in meeting and at the recently organised HINDU AID Forum when MP Hillary Benn spoke very highly of his work.
    From what I heard and read in the UK press Mr Kallidai has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of thousands of Hindus in the UK and built good relations with various faith communities. This article, aims to do nothing more than destroy the reputation of a man who has given so much selfless service in the interfaith arena, all of which has been performed without any thought of reward or personal benefit.
    I remembered an uproar in India some months ago when Advani went to Pakistan on a visit and praised Late Jinah. Okay if Mr Kallidai has said something some years ago so what – look at his track record now and you should be praising his work in what he is doing to improve integration and cohesion in UK.

  102. Sunny — on 17th June, 2007 at 12:49 am  

    Okay if Mr Kallidai has said something some years ago so what – look at his track record now and you should be praising his work in what he is doing to improve integration and cohesion in UK.

    You mean like spreading lies in the media about Muslim men forcibly converting Hindu/Sikh girls? Yeah I’m still waiting for Kallidai’s proof of that. Even the police have distanced themselves from this chump and he pathetically retorted in Eastern Eye a few weeks ago that the media had twisted his words out of proportion. Bollocks. He is a danger to social cohesion.

  103. Andrew Gilligan — on 17th June, 2007 at 1:32 am  

    Just as a coda to Simon Cohen’s paean of praise to Mr Kallidai: he somehow forgets to mention that Mr Kallidai’s official spokesman, Sanjay Mistry, is on his staff!

  104. Ram — on 17th June, 2007 at 1:55 am  

    “This article, aims to do nothing more than destroy the reputation of a man who has given so much selfless service in the interfaith arena, all of which has been performed without any thought of reward or personal benefit”

    What nonsense! Everyone in the Hindu community (at least those who have heard of him) know very well that Kallidai and other Hindu leaders are only in it for themselves. They love to have their photos in newspapers and be seen on TV and dream of getting Lordships one day. Showing his families photo in ES is going far but then I say its karma. Kallidai wanted fame and now he’s got it for sure.There’s many other Hindu groups out there doing some good work which Kallidai and others take the credit for without hardly doing anything themselves. And his buddies the VHP and the RSS should get banned as they’re giving Hindus and Hinduism a bad name.

  105. douglas clark — on 17th June, 2007 at 3:37 am  

    Whatever happened to Simon @ 80? Simon says, Simon buggers off. I hate that.

    Andrew Gilligan,
    Good point at 103, although it is the least specific ‘paean of praise’ I’ve read in a while. It actually said damn all that you could evaluate….

    It is like me saying what a damn good chap Andrew Gilligan is. It might be true, but without some substance to back it up, it would just be wishful thinking on my part.

  106. Muhamad (p.b.u.m) — on 17th June, 2007 at 10:44 am  

    Ashok Haria makes me think of a character drawn up by Nissim Ezekiel (an Indian poet).

  107. Sunny — on 17th June, 2007 at 9:17 pm  

    Sheesh. They say a website attracts the kind of readers that gravitate towards its policies. And despite being avowedly liberal, we attract a bunch of bigoted chumps who don’t go away even after being banned.

  108. Muzumdar — on 17th June, 2007 at 9:46 pm  

    They say a website attracts the kind of readers that gravitate towards its policies.

    ‘They’ are wrong. Most contributors to CIF are right-wing head cases.

  109. sunray — on 17th June, 2007 at 11:01 pm  

    I didnt know I was banned from here? Please confirm on what grounds and why was my post deleted?

    If I am being banned for expressing a view oppsite to yours then please say so. I wont bother posting anything here anymore.

    If you want to control one sided conversation here then its your forum and you have the right.

  110. Sunny — on 18th June, 2007 at 12:03 am  

    I wont bother posting anything here anymore.

    I keep hoping neither of you do. I’m not interested in having conversations with victim-mentality people who think the world is out to get them. You’re bigots, both of you. I make fun of Muslim headcases and don’t want them infesting my blog. The same goes for Hindu and Sikh headcases who only bleat about being victims and blaming others and slinging mud at me. I can’t remember the last time either of you (Muzumdar, Sunray) actually made a useful point to a discussion. I can do without such ‘alternative’ points of view.

    Most contributors to CIF are right-wing head cases.

    They tolerate them. I don’t tolerate bigots or headcases.

  111. Twining or Black in Blue — on 18th June, 2007 at 8:10 pm  

    Dear Sunray, I have lived with the extreme forms of institutional racism that exist to this day. Not once have some of us lied. Some Black and Asian Officer’s and staff do not tell the full truth; they are rather economical with it. They say only what they think their leaders wish to hear. Is this Cahoots enough for you? Because none of this helps Stephen Lawrence or any Asian or White kid killed because of the colour of their skin. Yopu under estimate the power of racism and you undermine our intelligence. We are not here to live up to the Jones’s or Patel’s, though it is a good goodness gracious me sketch I believe.

  112. Twining or Black in Blue — on 18th June, 2007 at 8:12 pm  

    Sorry, but my maths has always been poor! How did I go from (1) to (3) to (4) and (5)? This is point (2)Oh yes and I have heard of academic racism. It’s an intelligent form of bigotry.

  113. sunray — on 20th June, 2007 at 8:48 pm  
  114. neo — on 23rd June, 2007 at 9:48 pm  

    haha, so this is where sunray is hiding!

    “Ramesh is a wonderful pleasant guy.”

    you don’t have to be a complete bastard to hold some dodgy views you know. many would say idi amin was a charming pleasant dude. which he probably was. that doesn’t mean he’s an angel.

  115. bharat — on 25th June, 2007 at 11:07 pm  

    I have been rather amused at commentators here working themselves into a frenzy on Hindu fundamentalists. Trying to equate the RSS to Hitlers Brownshirts overlooks the fact that Hindus have hardly been able to work themselves into that sort of frenzy. The fact remains that the VHP is a religious charity under the supervision of the Charity Commission. The VHP shows the same sort of religious zeal as evangelical Christians has a great deal to do with the example set by Christian missionary activity. That they have imbued lessons in extremism from Islam should not be surprising. As for the RSS’a historical admiration for Hitler, it should be remembered that the British were in occupation of India. The fact remains that there is no RSS presence outside of India. The RSS is represented by the HSS, but like the RSS, HSS is a proponent of strong ties with Israel. Diplomatic ties with Israel were only establised under the government of BJP, the RSS’s political wing and that is more real than Golwalkar utterances under British occupation. The fact such charges continue to fly has more to do with Hindusism’s prediliction for idol worship. As for the riots that occurred in Gujarat, they were more endemic during British rule and even tolerated. The fact that the same riots have happened in France and Great Britain in recent years might have more to do with the provacation of Islam.

  116. Refresh — on 26th June, 2007 at 7:39 am  

    Bharat

    Of all the posts I’ve read in all the time I have been on Pickled Politics, yours looks so innocent but probably the most incendiary.

    Your post seems like pure hatred dressed up as logic and reason.

  117. Jai — on 26th June, 2007 at 9:33 am  

    The fact that the same riots have happened in France and Great Britain in recent years might have more to do with the provacation of Islam.

    There haven’t been any large-scale anti-Muslim riots in Britain.

  118. bharat — on 26th June, 2007 at 10:08 am  

    That sounds like a complement. Actually, logic leaves no room for hatred, but truth can be stranger than fiction.

    As for my comment bing incendiary, I am rather a little curious who is inclined to set the fire ablaze. It is hardly likely to be the Ramesh Kalladai’s of the world whose only mission is not to be ignored. His associations has been confused with for his bark, and any bite has been pure fiction. We live in any age when Lords and Ladies are all to happy associate with the local drug peddler. When did the quite innocent association and company that Ramesh Kalladai kept become an offence when there have been stranger bedfellows to worry about.

  119. Refresh — on 26th June, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

    No compliment. If your post is misunderstood then please elaborate.

  120. sonia — on 26th June, 2007 at 12:22 pm  

    i went to a faith communities and open space forum thing where this kallidai bloke was supposed to be at. having heard of him through sunny’s posts i was most curious. unfortunately he didn’t show up, so the Hindu faith was represented by a lovely scottish bloke who is the president of the international society for hare-krishnas. but there were other people there from the Hindu Forum, so it can’t quite be a one-man band.

  121. sonia — on 26th June, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    but in any case, if he is a ‘fundamentalist’ surely you have to get the fundamentalists around the table if you want to get some inter-fundamentalist (oops inter-community) harmony.

    seeing as you know they’re out there -what are you going to do? not ‘negotiate’ with them? not speak to them? why not have them around the table and say you’re here because of x y z e.g. u can go back and talk to them nutters in their language whatever. i don’t know.

  122. sonia — on 26th June, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    in the same way if you want to do something about racism, you might want to talk about it openly instead of demonising it and sending it underground.

  123. sonia — on 26th June, 2007 at 12:31 pm  

    and before the hyenas come out, i don’t mean one should say racism is a ‘good thing’ simply that one can talk about the problem or phenomenon of ‘racism’ without going on too negatively about the people. you know – along the lines of in cognitive behavioural therapy – trying to think of things as something you’ve done, and realising it is negative, without thinking ‘oh im a bad person’ and that’s it, which is never constructive. its about getting away from the idea that people are inherently bad or evil or disposed to one type of behaviour, and moving towards an understanding that as humans we all have the capacity for x y and z, and instead of ‘demonising’ it – seeing it rationally, and looking for understanding of the complex factors involved. in order to sort out the problematic behaviour.

    of course this is no doubt all too subtle for the ‘so and so is A racist’ crowd.

  124. Aftab — on 1st July, 2007 at 12:11 am  

    Ramesh is a really good bloke and makes good ties with other faiths, this article and Andrews article is incorrect.

  125. Mohammed al Qureshi — on 3rd July, 2007 at 11:41 am  

    Look at this comment by Ramesh in the Guardian:

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ramesh_kallidai/2007/07/on_the_horns_of_a_dilemma.html

    Dunno what to make of it – but he doesnt sound exactly like a fundamentalist – seems balanced.

  126. Daljit — on 10th July, 2007 at 7:31 pm  

    Andrew Gilligan is unwise to have a picture of Mr Kalirai and his wife and child onhis article. Though I loathe all Hindu fundamentalists I wouldn’t want Gilligan to be responsible for another person losing his life!

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