A cultural Taliban in secular India

· Date:January 4, 2010

By V Sundaram 

I proudly assert my inalienable, indivisible, immutable, and inexorable constitutional right to be a practicing Hindu. Yet, seeing the conduct of E Ahmed, Union Minister of State for Railways, at a recent public function organised by the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Chennai, I am constrained to raise these questions. Are we living in Islamic Pakistan? Are we living in Islamic Bangladesh? Or are we living in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan? Let me move from this macrocosm to the microcosm. Are we living in the Muslim-majority Malappuram District in Kerala, rightly described by some journalists as a mini-Pakistan in India?

Union Minister of State for Railways E Ahmed

I am raising these issues because the Union Minister of State for Railways, Ahmed who recently participated at a public seminar on ‘Status of Infrastructure’, organized by the Indo- Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Chennai refused to light the Kuthuvilakku as a traditional and well-established part of the inaugural ceremony. The Union Minister caught the other dignitaries and the organisers of the function off guard when he declined to accept the candle offered to him to light the kuthuvilakku on the podium. It is reliably understood that one of the organisers told the press that the Minister refused to light the lamp because it is an un-Islamic action. It is understood that the Minister told some of the helpless and totally clueless organizers; ‘The Muslim community does not light lamps. It is against Shariah, the code which governs Islam’. 

I understand that some time back, P K  Kunha-likutty, a Muslim League leader who was Kerala’s Industries Minister, courted controversy when he refused to light the lamp while inaugurating a state function at Thiruvanan-thapuram. The famous playback singer K J  Yesudas who was also one of the guests at the same function, walked out protesting against it. 

The Cheraman Mosque, Kodungallur in Kerala has an ancient oil lamp which always burns and whichis believed to be more than a thousand years old. Every day people of all religions bring oil for the lamp as offering. This is one of the few mosques in Kerala which allow entry for people of other religions. In recent years, the mosque has observed vidyarambham, a Hindu initiation ritual marking the beginning of a child’s learning. I am mentioning this so that Union Minister E Ahmed can use his authority for getting a fatwa issued against the managers of this ancient Mosque for violating the tenets of Islam!!

The anti-Hindu ways of Ahmed were very well known in Kerala even before he became the Union Minister of State for Railways. After becoming the Union Minister of State for Railways, he is functioning like a Mughal chieftain. Many organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad have already publicly condemned this Hindu-hating Minister for having issued instructions to Railways officers not to do Ganesha Puja, breaking of coconut, etc before starting of new trains, inauguration of tracks, bridges, etc. He has banned lighting of traditional oil lamps during inaugurations. Likewise, garlanding of trains, anointing them with sandal paste, sindoor, etc. have also been banned. Railway stations have been discouraged against doing puja to electronic panels etc. during ‘Vijayadasami’ and ‘Durga puja’.

Finally, he has ordered the closure of temples in Railway compounds and is planning their demolition. This anti-Hindu move of Ahmed has caused deep religious resentment and intense anger among the 25 lakh strong railway staff and Hindus at large. I am presenting below the shining symbols of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma which have been deliberately denigrated by Ahmed!!
Garlanding of Railway Trains disapproved!


Symbols disapproved by Ahmed!!!


While crores are being spent on ‘Haj’ even basic amenities are not being provided to the eight crore plus Sabarimala pilgrims, by the Indian Railways. These Hindu pilgrim are treated as stateless persons by the Ministry of Railways! VHP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan has described this anti-Hindu attitude of this despicable anti-Hindu Union Minister as a threat and challenge to Hinduism. He has rightly charged E Ahmed of communalising a national asset like Railways. He called for immediate restoration of the withdrawn ancient Indian customs and traditions, failing which RSS and VHP will launch nationwide massive agitations. I spoke to a very important VHP leader from Kerala to know more about the blatently anti-Hindu ways of E Ahmed. He said: ‘What more can be expected from Ahmed whose close relative is a jehadi suspect in the Bengaluru blasts and who is hiding in Gulf, thanks to Ahmed and the UPA Government!’ 

Seeing the conduct and opposition of this Union Minister to the lighting of Kuthuvilakku at a public function in Chennai, I am reminded of this savage manner in which the Talibans of Afghanistan destroyed the two 6th century statues of standing Buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of Central Afghanistan. 

I am presenting below the photograph of President  of India FAKHRUDDIN ALI AHMED lighting a Kuthuvilakku while inaugurating Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in 1974.

President FAKHRUDDIN ALI AHMED lighting a Kuthuvilakku in 1974


I am presenting below another picture relating to the lighting of a Kuthuvilakku by Minister for Health & Medical Education, Mian Altaf Ahmad lighting the lamp on 6th Annual Dental Conference on Sunday. Agriculture Minister, Ch Mohammad Ramzan is also seen in the picture. 

 The Minister for Health & Medical Education, Mian Altaf Ahmad lighting the lamp at 6th Annual Dental Conference. Agriculture Minister, Mohammad Ramzan is
also seen in the picture


Finally, I would like to conclude this story by giving a photograph of President Obama lighting a Kuthuvilakku in the United States of America in the august presence of a Hindu Swami in Ochre robes. 

President Obama lighting a Kuthuvilakku


Ahmed once spoke about the Bombay blasts of November 2008, he took special care to avoid any reference to the fact that a Jewish Rabbi and his wife were also killed by his beloved Islamic terrorists from Pakistan!!

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)

e-mail the writer at vsundaram@newstodaynet.com

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  1. Gopal Reply

    January 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Islam doesn’t accept anything realted to human culture. It accepts everything related to demoniac culture. Human culture means love, forgiveness, service, compassion to other living entities etc. But, in Islam you find envy, hatred, lust, violence and what not. Islam supports cheating, killing and even raping of kafirs. They cut the throats of innocent animals to half and enjoy the painful death. Laws of karma are so stringent. Nobody is a hindu, muslim or christian in this world. Everybody belongs to sanatana dharma. You cannot escape from your karma. So, the poor creatures which are being killed by these rascals were the meat eating crooks in their previous lives. Muslims are sinning out of ignorance. But, if a hindu, who has got the oppurtunity to understand vedas, leads sinful life, then he will suffer more. 5

  2. Amit bhadhuri,Ex-Officer of CISF Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 7:29 am

    The fault lies with majority Hindus in India who gladly allows a foreigner Christian Au Pair to rule India with the help of a turbanated slave PM and appoint bloody filthy scumbag like E Ahemed to become union minister.
    When the Hindus will really wake up and get united 5

  3. Global Peace Mission Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Ahmadiyya Plight in Pakistan
    From his name, one presumes that this dude E. Ahmed is an Ahmadiyya Muslim. If so, he should thank his lucky stars (and Allah!) that he is in India, and not Pakistan, where the fundamentalist/terrorist Mullahs and their friendly “government” colluded to declare Ahmadiyyas as “non-Muslims” and denied them voting rights since 1985. See the links:

    — Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan were denied voting rights. 2008-02-20. http://www.thepersecution.org/news/08/at0220.html

    — Pakistan’s persecuted Muslims, By GEOFFREY P. JOHNSTON, December 18, 2009. http://www.thepersecution.org/news/09/tws1218.html

    — Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims, http://www.thepersecution.org/

    Indian Non-Ahmadiyya Muslims also play nasty towards Ahmadiyya Muslims:

    — Ahmadiyya convention faces heat. TNN 25 December 2009. http://www.thepersecution.org/world/india/09/12/ti25.html

    Shia Muslims as well are severely persecuted in Pakistan (in addition to the usual persecution, discrimination and killing they do of Hindus, Sikhs, Christian and other smaller non-Islamic faiths, and the razing of hundreds of temples since the parition of India.)

    Indian Muslims not only enjoy religious and other freedoms, but also nice privileges at Hindus’ expense (such as Hajj subsidy program, which roughly cost the Indian tax payer Rs 1000 crore this year, about 60% of what India spent on funding its shining star academic institutions, namely the IITs, this year). They ought to very grateful to Hindus for the latter’s generosity, and respect the Dharmic roots of the Indian culture and civilization and their own. Whether understand and acknowledge, or not, India is the Land of Dharma.
    (Contd..) 5

  4. Global Peace Mission Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Dhuuma Shakata Maalaa Karma/Aandolana
    Pro-Hindu groups (such as the RSS) should write to this Ahmed fella (first check if he is from the Ahmadiyya sect) about the above, and organize a nationwide movement to put garlands on as many trains as possible (spread the word that all Hindus traveling by train should try to bring a maala with them) through out 2010, call it the Dhuuma Shakata Maalaa Karma/Aandolana (check out the Sanskrit dictionary to translate this: http://spokensanskrit.de , and also other Sanskrit resources at http://sanskritdocuments.org/ ) of 2010! 5

  5. Hary Nambiar Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Cooperate with him in performing his duties

    One does not need to do anything illegal to accomplish this. Educated Hindus form the Indian government. They could refuse to invite him for functions, refuse to share stages and events with him. People could simply refuse to become part of his audience. Violence is against our culture. So accomplish this tacitly, and silently using non violent tactics. If Indian people could make the British colonial power to get fed up and leave, it is easy to dishearten this ignorant tyrant. People, who have earned national reputation, could deliberately share podium with him, discreetly and meaningfully speak about his anti Indian behavior showing their contempt for him. They could challenge him in everything he talks or does. That is what the Kerala Chief Minister did in respect of the man called “Madhani.” This can be done by ignoring him, refusing to shake hands with him and by various other means of psychological harassment. His “gustapos” will be collecting information and communicating with him. Functions can be organized unannounced, without their knowledge and without the knowledge of authorities answerable to him. He could be made to act like a fool in public.

    Powerful enemies of the ruling families in several countries are deal with discreetly. Actually, a prince in a powerful country suspected of terrorist links died out of thirst while traveling on a national highway. Another one met with an automobile accident. An important businessman visiting a foreign country got killed in his hotel room by thirty strangers in the middle of the night. You guess which countries all these events happen. Don’t resort to any of those violent and illegal activities. Violence is against Hindu 5

  6. Hary Nambiar Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Cooperate with his legal duties, but ignore him as an individual
    This individual was elected by a constituency hostile to India as a nation. They frown at everything that is Indian and are harmful to national security more than Pakistanis or any other national group is. He does not represent Kerala or India. Hindus are not minority in his constituency, but he won because his community voted as a block for him. Hindu votes are always divided. Some Hindus who feel disenfranchised do not vote at all. He is a Minister because of the Congress government’s dubious vote bank politics to stay in power. While the Congress party may be able to hood wink the uneducated electorate, the educated public servants in India can quarantine enemies of the nation as nuclear professionals handle radio active waste, health professionals handle contagious disease and sanitation professionals handle solid waste. It has to be professionally planned and implemented. He has worked for his community and his religion all his life and he is well past his retirement age. He has earned a comfortable fortune for retirement and it should not delay. His arrogance arises out of his belief that people in India are traditionally well mannered, law abiding and never treat anyone with contempt. Don’t use violent tactics or physically hurt him. Don’t break the law by the slightest degree, but forget Hindu manners. Following violent ways resorted to in Muslim majority countries is not an answer. In some countries, tires go flat, cars run out of gas, water pipes go empty and people suffer out of thirst. 5

  7. Global Peace Mission Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Response to Hary Nambiar
    Dear Hary Nambiar, what Ahmed is doing is pushing Islamism. India’s experience as well as that around the world over the last 1400 years is that, you must never yield an extra inch to Islamism, or else the next day Islamism claims 10 inches, and 100 inches the second day, and so on, and the next thing you know, it will claim AND GET a third of your country, KILL millions of non-Muslims (millions during the Islamic conquests and rule of India, millions during the partition, millions in 1971 Bangladesh liberation war), wage 5 wars (1948, 1965, 1971, Kargil, Kashmir Jihad war) and countless terrorist attacks, and it still does not rest, as its ultimate goal is to Islamize the entire humanity, i.e. Ummah or Islamic Caliphate. It’s such extreme fundamentalism that Islamism is the political face of.

    What you need to do is push back, and push back smart, every time the ugly head of Islamism surfaces with a new head. Hindus should demand Ahmed’s resignation and push back hard like that, and make good arguments while they do so, cover your ground well with the media (this is the worst hurdle for Hindus in India now), to the extent possible. Ringing maalas every time they travel would be a small and subtle enough symbolic message, but if a nationwide movement around this simple ideas can be built, Ahmed and the INC may get the message.

    If Ahmed wants Shiarah law, he should move to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, but then again, if he is an Ahmadiyya Muslim, he will be declared non-Muslim and definitely persecuted, and potentially worse. He should be made aware of that ugly truth about his fellow Muslims. It’s OK if he doesn’t want to light the kuthuvilakku himself, but the a*hole should have the decency of having someone else do it in that case.
    (contd..) 5

  8. Global Peace Mission Reply

    January 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Response to Hary Nambiar
    India is the birth place of Dharma and Hinduism, and lighting deepams is part of its thousands of years old traditions. If you can’t respect such simple traditions, or make alternate arrangements, then you should leave the country for greener pastures like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

    “Violence is against Hindu.”

    Violence is un-Hindu, but protest is different from violence. If Hindus confuse the two, or otherwise show weakness, then that’s exactly the kind of wiggle room Islamists latch on to and proceed to pound Islamism home harder. 5

  9. Abhilash Nambiar Reply

    January 6, 2010 at 5:37 am

    No garment of fire for you.
    E Ahmed will burn without fire. 5

  10. Nithish Kumar Reply

    January 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Seems conspiratorial
    In other parts of the world, Muslims force Western restaurants to serve halal meat. Non-muslims do not mind eating halal meat. So it is usually allowed. But this act forces food processing and meat packing plants to employ Muslims. In secular nations they are forced to hire people on the basis of religion. That is religious discrimination begins. Muslims do not co-operate with their non-muslim peers at the work place and that puts pressure on management to hire more Muslims. Then they demand special time and place for Namaz. And slowly they Islamize the work place.

    I see this Railway Minister’s discrimination as a step in that direction. First ban all Hindu articles from the railway property in the name of secularism (sickularism). This despite the fact that people are majority Hindus and non-Hindus face no discrimination of any kind. But those of minority religions will be allowed because of ‘political pressures’.

    Once this step is complete, the railway becomes ‘secular’. The next step will be to allow Islamic more darghas or shrines. Some reason can be found out. It is politically incorrect to do otherwise. It is a symbol of a tolerant nation, etc.,
    This creates a scenario where Muslims will feel more welcome to work in the railway. Then introduce reservation schemes to discriminate in favor of Muslims in the railway. Slowly it will Islamize the railways making it very uncomfortable for Hindus to take the train. But by then it will be too late.

    Seems like a tall tail? The watch this video:

    I agree with Abhilash. Burn this man without fire. 5

  11. satheesh Reply

    January 11, 2010 at 1:34 am

    This is totally unsecular,even if he is a muslim now he is a minister and he is common to every one.Before taking oath he should have thought.Any thing against Hindu sentiments are said as secular now a days. 5

  12. TN Ramachandran Nair Reply

    January 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    E Ahmedabad
    For IUML leaders the lighting of a lamp is ‘Haram”. To them secularism means hindu bashing. While a large number of Muslims in Kerala rever the Hindu spirit, people like Ahmed, Kunhalikutty etc. are living in a fools’ paradise. I know for sure large number of muslims believing in Astrology and consulting astrologers and making offering to hindu temples. Because they are ordinary people, who feel quite secure in India. The recent Kerala High court judgement on giving reservation to the poorest among the cate hindus has created a controversy and the IUML is organising protests agaianst this judgement. The leaders of IUML shlould understand reality and mould their thinking to live in a pluralistic society. 5

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