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The House of Straw By: Varsha Bhosle
Rediff.com | Friday, November 15, 2002


We called it the Hindu disease. In 2000, the threat from the Left is as much a cultural one, and manifests itself in the tyranny of political correctness and the assault on Hindu culture and history. We should call it the anti-Hindu disease. These people believe that the very idea of Hinduism is irredeemably tainted by the combination of our ancient history, a concept of identity that is past its sell-by date and public institutions that are institutionally fundamentalist. In short, they hate who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. So the Left's answer is to use genuine public concern about communal relations as the cover under which to try to rewrite our past and abolish our present.

Naah... that paragraph is not really mine. Substitute "Hindu" with "British," "Hinduism" with "Britain," "ancient" with "imperial," "fundamentalist" with "racist," "communal" with "race" -- and you have Britain's Tory leader, William Hague, scything the Runnymede Trust report on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, in The Daily Telegraph of October 13. But read on and you'll see how alike are the White British and Hindu situations. It's vital that we keep track of Leftist shenanigans all over the world, for that's a darn good way to filter the events occurring in India.

The Trust's 23-member commission, launched by Home Secretary Jack Straw, questioned the future of Britishness as an identity and pointed out that there's no homogeneous British population even if one were to ignore the coloured folks. Among other diktats, the report recommends that 15% of new members of the House of Lords should be from Black and Asian communities; newspapers should publish the ethnic breakdown of their staff; schools should be inspected for adherence to racial equality and cultural diversity; television franchise holders should appoint a specified number of Black and Asian employees; the coronation oath, whereby the monarch swears to be the defender of the Protestant faith, should be changed; the government should declare the UK a multicultural society, review its asylum policy, rewrite the national history, and jettison the term "British." In short, the commission seeks to regulate schools, businesses, policing, the law, the health service, newspapers and governance so that "diversity" is enforced.

The government initially welcomed the report; Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien called it "timely" while declaring the commitment to multiculturalism. But within two days of its publication, Jack Straw distanced himself with: "Unlike the Runnymede Trust, I firmly believe that there is a future for Britain and a future for Britishness. I am proud to be British." And Tony Blair's official spokesman criticised the authors for allowing themselves, "willingly or unwillingly, to have the whole debate skewed."

I was stunned! How could politicians back off so quickly from political correctness...? Simple. The report's publication activated a lively debate in the Press, with newspapers ranging from The Times ("Who do these worthy idiots think they are?"), to The Daily Telegraph ("No more disgracefully unfair document has ever been produced by a judge in modern British history. At every turn, it decided to assume, without anything that a proper court would consider as evidence, that the police were guilty of 'institutional racism'"), to The Sun ("Children will be told lies about their history and encouraged to feel ashamed of their country. The brainwashing process has already begun"), providing a platform to public outrage. The New Labour government tucked its tail in and bolted.

The 1996 records of UK's Office for National Statistics show that all men and women between the ages of 16 and 65 are literate. Meaning, no adult would be unaware of a Press debate. Meaning, an alert democracy. Take September's "petrol war": A Welsh farmer organised convoys to blockade an oil refinery to protest against the problems that high petrol prices caused for farmers and road haulers. The picket snowballed and nearly ground Britain to a halt since even the oil companies could not order their contracted tanker drivers, most of whom are self-employed, to cross the blockades. Result: The cabinet admitted that the government had to recognise that people had a real sense of grievance and that ministers needed to listen hard in debates. Jack Straw said the government "would be daft not to take account of public sentiment." The Sunday Times poll indicated that Labour was deserted by its traditional supporters. Democracy is alive when the people bring a government down to its knees. (Aaarrrgghhh... not THAT knee!)

According to the 1998-99 population statistics, out of the 56.7 million people of Great Britain, 53 million are White. The total ethnic population is 3.7 million, including Blacks, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Other. And yet, the Left had the gall to attack the majority...

But the Tories are fighting back. Gerald Howarth declared, "(The report) is politically correct garbage. It is an extraordinary affront to the 94% of the population which is not from ethnic minorities. The native British must stand up for themselves." And William Hague writes: "But that is not to say that we do not have a predominant national culture. We do. Although we respect all faiths, it is Christian -- which is why our head of state is also the head of the national Church in England." Now look at the Bandar BJP...

In India, we don't have a race problem. So the communal one was developed. But the arguments of British pinkos are exactly those which India's Leftists use to belittle Hinduism and to demean the sovereignty of India. Not only that, but Britain even has a parallel set of "eminent historians" who laud each other and influence governance! From yesterday's Sunday Telegraph:

"Who are the historians whose views so deeply affect Government thinking on these crucial areas of Britishness and nationhood? Linda Colley, a professor of history, is the author of Britons, which portrayed Britain as an artificial political construct forced together largely due to Protestantism and perceived external threats, rather than out of any inherent or organic sense of nationhood. With Protestantism in decline and external threats removed, so the argument goes, there is little reason to keep Britain together politically or to reject the European embrace... Norman Davies, a professor emeritus of London University, is yet more radical. As Colley wrote in an admiring review of The Isles, Davies believes that: 'Northern Ireland must in future be absorbed into the Irish republic. Wales and Scotland must advance from devolution to full independent status. The four nations of these islands must commit themselves absolutely to the project of a United Europe'."

The squabble over the Hindu culture of India, too, has a twin: "Isn't the real racism to deny [minority] children access to a common, equalising culture, and thus leave them disadvantaged? ...the racist attacks from which many black people suffer are fuelled not by too much British identity but too little: a destabilising cultural rootlessness, resulting from the remorseless campaign of national denigration of which this document is such a choice specimen... The very existence of a majority culture is defined as 'oppressive uniformity.' But it's only by having a strong host culture that minorities can be offered both the hospitality of protection and the chance of uniting on common ground."

And here's where the Left has succeeded in India -- a country only 52.2% literate, with nearly all those "literates" living in urban areas and under the "Nehruvian socialism" spell: "It wants public culture to be revised in the interests of 'disregarded' minorities. This would mean, for instance, that Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses would be banned and freedom of speech would go down the tubes... It also suggests that having only Christian public holidays 'marginalises' other faiths. Since allowing public holidays for every faith is too silly even for this report to suggest, the implication is that the Christian ones should be abolished."

The James Stuart Mills classification of a Hindu period, the Muslim period, and the British period is wrong, since there was nothing like a Hindu period. Hindus were just a motley crowd, with nothing to do with each other, in civilisational, cultural or literary terms. Indian tribals are animists. Independence should be granted to whichever State that demands it. Nothing bonded pre-Independence India together, nothing does, nothing will, nothing should. The aspirations of the majority community is majoritarianism; those of the minorities is democracy. The police are rabidly Hindu and torture the minorities. The army trashes human rights; indeed, it even murdered the Sikhs of Chithisingpora. Patriotism equals xenophobic jingoism, and nationalism equals fascism...

They substitute propaganda for reason, brook no dissent and call that a liberal outlook. The victim culture has entered the national bloodstream, and it will make victims of us all. (Naah, not me. Melanie Phillips in The Sunday Telegraph.)

Point is, the machinations of the Left is a universal phenomenon. They fit their same "constructs" to any situation, no matter which country. The ultimate goal is not the "diversity" they keep ranting on about, but division between peoples. For without that, there are no vote banks. They feed on the insecurities of the weak-minded, lower their self-esteem, and then use them as the stepping stone towards the grand quest of a global Animal Farm...




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