Indian children born abroad -- some (more) clarifications

Partha Banerjee partha at CAPITAL.NET
Fri Dec 18 16:14:32 UTC 1998

I don't want to start bickering here, but some clarifications of my post
are in order.

Ashish Chandra (AC) made some comments on my post. I am trying to answer
them here.

-Partha Banerjee

(AC)>It is indeed unfortunate that people who claim to be in the center
>don't know what being in the center means. Is it a surprise that RSS
>continually gets attacked here by the author of the following email ?

The author of the following mail, i.e., me, was a longtime active member of
RSS, and its offshoot groups. So, when someone lime me attacks the
so-called Sangh Parivar, that shows some objectivity. I am not the one who
resorts to mudslinging. Of course, an abviously avid pro-RSS, pro-VHP
person like AC wouldn't admit. That's okay.

I would again ask AC and others to read my newly-published book on RSS
which is almost a personal diary on the Sangh Parivar written by an ex-RSS
member for 15+ years.
>Quote (PB):
>Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and and its
>offshoot Hindu Student Council (HSC) [or Shiv Sena]
(AC)>Some points of clarification would be in order. HSC is NOT Shiv Sena. If
>this were true, then everywhere in India, the Congress is Indian Union
>Muslim League and the Communists are casteist parties.


I put Shiv Sena under parenthesis to distinguish this group from HSC which
is a direct offshoot of RSS and VHP. A VHP/RSS member founded HSC in
America. But VHP and RSS have direct connections with Shiv Sena, and recent
vandalism in India on the issue of the controversial film Fire was done by
both Shiv Sena and VHP (actually, VHP doesn't admit, but Bajrang Dal, a
direct offshoot of VHP was involved in the vandalism, along with Shiv Sena)

And we all know about the VHP's role in the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.

In 1992 December, and in January 1993, BJP (a sister organization of VHP)
and Shiv Sena began a series of communal riots in Bombay that killed many
people mostly poor Muslims. An independent judiciary commission (Shri
Krishna Commission) found BJP and Shiv Sena guilty (the report was finally
released, reluctantly, by the central BJP government and the local
Maharashtra government). No action has been taken against them.

(AC)>I don't think I understand the following statement :
>Quote (PB):
>Their version of Hinduism is of course racist,
>isolationist, ultraconservative, and jingoist.
(AC)>VHP does not want to admit here in America that it is a DIRECT offshoot of
>RSS and that it has created so much communal problems in India.
>To talk of India being one nation and hence its people being one is
>considered racist, isolationist etc. etc. ? How ?

This is a common ploy used by the Sangh Parivar and we have discussed it
many times before on various forums. RSS/VHP's concept of India being one
nation is a
concept based on prevarication and distortion of Indian history and
Hinduism. We have MANY examples where RSS leaders such as Golwalkar talked
about Muslims, Christians, and communists to be "enemies" of the so-called
Indian nation a la RSS. Golwalkar (the most well-known RSS chief now
deceased) and the late Savarkar, who was the mentor of Gandhi-killer
Nathuram Godse, spoke of India and Hindutva in a fascistic way. Presently,
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's rhetorics are in those lines.

By the way, we know that Godse was an RSS member. That would be enough
reason for someone like me to quit RSS. There are other reasons too.

And BJP and RSS and VHP have strong ties, political and social, with Shiv Sena.

If you want quotes from Golwakar, Savarkar, and other right-wing leaders,
we can post some. We have posted them before, but still...

(AC)>VHP has been in the US for over 20 years now. It is an independent
>organization with its own constitution. What is there to admit ? It was
>formed at the behest of several leaders in India, one of who was Guruji M S
>Gowalkar, the second Sarsanghachalak of RSS. Acharya Sushil Muni and Swami
>Chinmayananda were also its original founders. So what exactly is it that
>you would want VHP to admit ?

Here is another trick. VHP in America never admits openly that it was
floated in India by RSS and the fact that since its inception, it has been
found guilty of communal troubles the Babri Masjid demolition episode being
just one of them. VHP in America or Europe has a very different and naive
look. People don't know what's in there behind the mask.

>Quote (PB):
>Most immigrant Indians do not know their link with RSS, BJP, or Shiv Sena.
(AC)>Shiv Sena has nothing to do with VHP even remotely. As for the people not
>knowing, I'd like to know where you got that information. If you have
>attended any of the VHP organized utsavs (festivals), there is open mention
>of the Sangha Parivar. If you know of any people who are unaware of this,
>please let me know and I think I can personally write to them and inform
>them even though I don't speak for the VHP.


I have been keeping close touch with VHP activities in USA and Europe.
American and European children of Indian origin DO NOT know the connection
of RSS, BJP, VHP, and HSC. And they are fed with a very distorted kind of
Hinduism. And then, why Hindu children only? Why not invite Muslim children
or Christian children or other children of South Asian origin at
VHP/RSS/HSC gatherings?

Or, are they considered "enemies" here too?


(AC)>Look, the original theme was that Indian children here don't wish to go to
>the temples etc. The issue is obviously one of identity: Am I more Indian
>or American ? The family at home pressurizes children to take an active
>interest in cultural and community affairs. This is not limited to the
>Indian community but is a phenomenon that is observed amongst all ethnic
>groups - namely, the desire to maintain the "home" touch. Because of the
>vastly different cultures of India and the West, the pressure from the
>parents is even more pronounced. The kid in the meanwhile faces additional
>questions of being looked down upon by his/her "American" friends because
>of the sometimes strange, and most definitely different, customs of his
>parents and community. After we combine these reasons, there comes a tug
>between the home (parents) and the outside. If the tug at home is strong
>enough, the child forges an identity that is more to the liking of his/her
>parents, something that might make him/her openly defensive in the outside
>world, or sometimes, even aggressively defensive. If the tug from home is
>not strong enough, he/she would naturally adopt a lifestyle that is more
>conducive to their surroundings. This has nothing at all to do with a
>despise amongst the children here for their religion, but rather a lack of
>understanding for it.

If the children feel alienated, it's because of the reason that capitalist
systems make people alienated -- adults and children alike. "American"
children are alienated too. Look at them. Many come from broken families.
Many are blacks, or other minorities. Colored minorities have additional
problems.  But in spite of that, many South Asian children are fitting very
well with their white American counterpart. It is the conservative mindset
of most Indian immigrants that make them feel not at par. These parents
wouldn't let them go out with white American kids, not to say anything
about poor or specially black kids. The same mindset that keeps out Muslims
or "lower castes" in India. It's a false consciousness and comes out of a
rigid class- and caste-based structure in India.  Girls are taught
different values than boys, in most immigrant families. There are many
other problems. All this makes the child alienated.

The panacea however is not Hindutva. If there is any panacea, it's a
progressive thought process. Just like the Christian Coalition with its
separatist and isolationist right-wing Christian agenda can't solve the
problems of white America, the Sangh Parivar can't do it for
Indian-American kids or Indian-European kids.

Let's face it. Dogmatic religion only makes the situation worse.

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