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My Name is Pandey

January 8, 2011

Swami Aseemanand

With so much talk of Hindutva terrorism (see Kafila archive), I as a Hindu want to clarify that:

  • Not all Hindus are terrorists.
  • Not all terrorists are Hindus.
  • Not all Hindus are Hindutvawaadis.
  • All Hindutvawaadis are Hindus.
  • Not all Hindutvawaadis are terrorists
  • All Hindus who are terrorists are Hindutvawaadis.
  • Terror has no religion.
  • The Hindutva terrorists represent a fringe minority amongst us Hindus.
  • The silent majority of Hindus should speak up and condemn such violence in their name.
  • Hindu scriptures do not advocate terrorism and the killing of innocents.
  • My name is Vij and I’m not a terrorist. Please don’t look at me with suspicion the next time I pass by a mosque!
  • That all Hindutva terrorists currently are accused and deserve fair trial, should be convicted only on evidence, should not be subjected to narco-analytic confessions against their will, and no one should ever be given death penalty, for anything.
8 Comments leave one →
  1. Advocate of Cultural Plurality permalink
    January 9, 2011 8:16 AM

    I agree with most of the statements made. However, I do NOT agree with the assertion that “Hindu scriptures do not advocate terrorism and the killing of innocents.”

    The killing of Sambuca by Rama amounts to killing an innocent. The fact that this is not openly and widely condemned by most Hindus amounts to endorsing it, which is the same as silent advocacy. It is such silent advocacy that lends strengths to quasi-terrorism of the kind practised by the Khap hoodlums in Haryana and similar other setups elsewhere in India, irrespective of what faith they profess.

    • Kumarpushp permalink
      January 13, 2011 6:41 PM

      Why you are forgetting manusmrit,Geeta,mahabharat, ramayna ,all hindus holy books are propagating violence.How long hindus will hide their ugly face under the their mother India,S dhoti.

    • Advocate of Cultural Plurality permalink
      January 14, 2011 7:01 AM

      @ I am not forgetting all the “holy” books that you mention (incidentally, you forget that Hindus do not have a definitive holy book. The idea of the Bhagwadgeeta as one was imposed during the British period, modelled on the the Christian notion of the Bible or the Muslim notion of the Quran).

      The reason that I did not mention them is that in modern times, more than any of the others, it is the Ramayana that has been projected as the scripture of Hindutva (which is sought to be equated with Indianness), and worst of all, a kind of brutally homogenising cultural nationalism that militates against the plurality that I value as the essence of India. The Ramayana is all Black and White, good vs. evil, rather like a Bollywood masala Hindi phillum. The Mahabharata at least has the saving grace of accommodating several shades of grey.

      As to the Manusmrti, the Geeta, the Vedas, the Upanishads etc., I don’t know how many Hindus have actually read them or are familiar with their contents.

      In any case, all this discussion is quite irrelevant to the “India shining” that most of us today gush and gloat about. Modern India would be better off adopting Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra as its “scriptures”. As an Indian, I would much rather be amoral than hypocritical.

  2. January 9, 2011 10:41 AM

    Dear sir,

    We agree with your concept that all hindus are not terrorists and we 2 have some good hindu firends although when we were branded as Islamic terrorists (no such phenomenon exists) none came to support us (Innocents are still in jail for many years)

    Ur concept that dealth penalty shall not be applied which i cant agree with. These culprits shall be punished with totures and dealth sentences. I refer to the dealth penalty issued to Afsal guru (though there r so many). A fair trial was refused and hence, the supreme court itself said “Despite there exists no adequate proof against the accused, this court sentences and reconfirms the dealth penalty to Afsal only to satisfy the conscience of all Indians. (I left the balance part for you to complete)

  3. January 9, 2011 1:41 PM

    I, both as a muslim and civil rights’ activist agrre with Shivam or anyone who believes in the above.

    I endorse the following.

    “That all Hindutva terrorists currently are accused and deserve fair trial, should be convicted only on evidence, should not be subjected to narco-analytic confessions peagainst their will, and no one should ever be given death penalty, for anything.”

    And at the same time, I reiterate my demand to abolish the death penalty and ask the govt not to hang anyone one including Afzal Guru.



    • January 9, 2011 6:32 PM

      What happens to a fair trial for Afsal guru though he is liberated from death sentence?

  4. Ron permalink
    January 9, 2011 2:47 PM

    Mr.Shivam , thank you for this.

    Also i would like to add:
    “Fundamentalist/Extremist/Fascists” have HIJACKED religious discourse among the general public in all religions!
    Liberal hindus need to come forward and start a new discourse on hinduism.

  5. Clynt Keelan permalink
    January 15, 2011 10:21 AM


    I have very much enjoyed having a look around this website, and am really, really impressed by the wonderful documentary on the blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

    It occurred to me while reading about Mr Pandey the non-terrorist Hindu and the reactions he has provoked here, that the main reason why violent radicals hijack religious discourse is that they are loaded with the essential currency of the mass-market media: DRAMA. They make religion more dramatic, and this sells papers, garners clicks onto websites and attracts TV viewers.
    And so moderate, sensible persons like Mr Pandey don’t really get a look in.

    It’s unfair, but I can see why it happens.

    Speaking personally, I think another consequence of the wackos (I refuse to dignify these knuckle-heads with polysyllabic terms) getting the headlines is that they tend (gradually but inexorably) to make religion in general look very, very BAD. And the result of religion coming to seem very bad is that people like myself (who consider themselves people of conscience and humanity) decide that the correct thing to do is to be ATHEIST.
    Especially when you have a look at what science has to offer.

    While Mr Pandey is no doubt earnest in his beliefs, and is clearly a gentle and kind person, nevertheless when I contemplate the inherent metaphysical tribalism of religion, it can seem as though sectarian violence has leaped straight out of the pages of the religious text itself.

    Being an atheist actually makes me feel like something of a pariah, and I get quite angry because of this (and spend a great deal of time on websites insulting religious people), but I still feel that it is very important for me to live life against religion in order to show myself and others that it can be done without sacrificing conscience or humanity.

    Anyway, I’d like to thank Mr Pandey for his thoughtful comments, and the proprietors of this whole amazing website in general for being really intellectually refreshing and morally brave. I will come back here very often. In fact, I’m not going away now. I’m going to read some more of the stuff here!


    C Keelan

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