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I resent what Hindutva is doing to Hinduism: Nayantara Sahgal

"As a Hindu, I resent what Hindutva is doing to Hinduism. They are distorting and destroying it"

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Image: Wikimedia commons

Hindutva is a brand of fundamentalism and the Hindu right wing is distorting what Hinduism stands for, says renowned author Nayantara Sahgal who was among one of the first writers to return her Sahitya Akademi award to protest against intolerance in the country.

She also claimed the situation in the country is worse than the Emergency era, but said figures like Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar offer hope.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the first edition of the Dehradun Literature Festival here, Sahgal, niece of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, lamented that the Hindu right seemed to be becoming like terror outfit IS and said it was “time for a debate on the tendency of Hindutva to become like IS, to cut off people’s heads”.

We need a debate on why Hindutva is becoming like the IS. The Hindu right wing is talking in the same criminal language as IS. As a Hindu, I resent what Hindutva is doing to Hinduism. They are distorting and destroying it,” she said.

Terming as “bogus” the debate on nationalism, she accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of trying to instill fear on people’s mind with “silly” issues like chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

“The debate on nationalism is irrelevant now. Nationalism was needed at a time when the country was fighting to become a nation under British Raj. Then the Hindu right and Muslim right supported British to lay the path to Partition,” she said.

Accusing Hindu rightwing groups of fostering trouble in the NIT Kashmir campus, Sahgal said that the effort began at the time of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS).

There has been an attempt by Hindu right wing to create trouble between Jammu and Kashmir to bring in the Hindu element from the time of Syama Prasad Mookerjee and it’s still going on,” she said, charging the BJP with wanting to destroy secularism in Kashmir.

“Kashmir was the only secular place in India where there was no riots even during the Partition. It used to be the centre of a great religious culture,” she said.

The author also took exception to the BJP’s effort to appropriate historic figures like B.R. Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, saying that the party discovered the great leaders after so many years. “It’s better late than never,”she added.

Sahgal, known for her outspoken views, also held that the present situation in the country is much worse than Emergency.

“It’s an undeclared emergency now. Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi goes abroad and says great things. But here, they are crushing dissent and force us into obedience,” she said.

However, Sahgal felt that young people like Kanhaiya Kumar are a beacon of hope for the country. “The Dalit issue has come to the fore now because of the students movement which started in the Hyderabad university. Kanhaiya Kumar aptly said that the issue of caste, communalism, poverty and other issues is to be fought,” she said.

Lauding Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s call for a grand alliance to fight the BJP, she said that all like-minded parties should come together to save the idea of India.

“I think the time has come for a great coalition like Nitish Kumar said. There has to be a combination of all parties who don’t support the ‘Hindu rashtra’ business. It’s slowly happening,” she said adding that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has undergone a change and gives hope for his party.

“Rahul seems to have changed and spoke well in parliament recently. I think Rahul has stepped forward and it is a good move,” she said.(IANS)

  • P. B. Josh

    We resent what you and your elk has done to Secularism.

  • AVISHEK TALUKDAR

    “Kashmir was the only secular place in India” where in 1941, Kashmir pandits constituted 15% of Valley’s population, which today is not even 0.5%. Secular local Muslims along with militants carried out massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits also known as Ethical cleansing. Overnight 350,000 KP became refugees in their own land.

    Scores of people are dying in the streets of India everyday in the hands of Islamic terrorist, but the biggest threat to the country is from Hindusim & Hindutva. Rather for Nayantara Sahgal it`s worse than ISIS.

    If hypocrites like Kanhaiya Kumar are beacons of hope for the country, then maybe god even cannot save this country.

  • Guest

    Looks like idiocy is a necessary part of the Nehru lineage, it’s not just RG, it’s her too. Kanhaiya, RG, Nitish Kumar a beacon of hope.Huh!

SHARE
  • P. B. Josh

    We resent what you and your elk has done to Secularism.

  • AVISHEK TALUKDAR

    “Kashmir was the only secular place in India” where in 1941, Kashmir pandits constituted 15% of Valley’s population, which today is not even 0.5%. Secular local Muslims along with militants carried out massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits also known as Ethical cleansing. Overnight 350,000 KP became refugees in their own land.

    Scores of people are dying in the streets of India everyday in the hands of Islamic terrorist, but the biggest threat to the country is from Hindusim & Hindutva. Rather for Nayantara Sahgal it`s worse than ISIS.

    If hypocrites like Kanhaiya Kumar are beacons of hope for the country, then maybe god even cannot save this country.

  • Guest

    Looks like idiocy is a necessary part of the Nehru lineage, it’s not just RG, it’s her too. Kanhaiya, RG, Nitish Kumar a beacon of hope.Huh!

Next Story

Three Projects Help India to Stop its Share of Water to Pakistan after Pulwama

The waters of the western rivers - the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab - averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan.

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Picture Courtesy:-www.economylead.com

The government has envisaged three projects to give intent to its decision to stop its share of water from three eastern rivers of the Indus system – the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej – from going to Pakistan.

The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack though the Union cabinet had approved implementation of one of the key projects – Shahpurkandi dam – in December last year.

The waters of the western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab – averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan except for “specified domestic, non-consumptive and agricultural use permitted to India”, according to a treaty.

India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river (RoR) projects on the western rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation, is unrestricted.

pakistan, india, water ban
However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. VOA

To utilise the waters of the Eastern rivers, India has constructed the Bhakra Dam on Satluj, Pong and Pandoh Dam on Beas and Thein (Ranjitsagar) on Ravi. These storage works, together with other works like Beas-Sutlej Link, Madhopur-Beas Link and Indira Gandhi Nahar Project have helped India utilise nearly the entire share (95 per cent) of the eastern river waters.

However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. The other two projects are Ujh multipurpose project and the second Ravi Beas link below Ujh.

Here’s the reality check of the three projects:

Shahpurkandi Project: It aims to utilise the waters coming from powerhouse of Thein dam in order to irrigate 37,000 hectares of land in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab by generating 206 MW of power.

The project was scheduled to be completed by September 2016. However, following a dispute between the two states, work was suspended in August 2014 but they reached an agreement last September and the construction work has now resumed with the Centre monitoring its progress. The central government had in December last year announced assistance of Rs 485 crore for the project and it would be completed by June 2022.

 

India, pakistan, pulwama, water ban
The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. VOA

The project will create irrigation potential of 5,000 hectare in Punjab and 32,173 hectare in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

The total balance cost of pending work in ShahpurKandi Dam project is estimated Rs 1,973.53 crore (irrigation component: Rs 564.63 crore, power component Rs1408.90 crore).

The Shahpurkandi Project was initially approved by the Planning Commission in November, 2001. Revised costs were approved, but there was delay in its execution both because of lack of funds with Punjab and inter-state issues with Jammu and Kashmir.

An agreement was finally reached between the two states under the aegis of Water Resources Ministry in September last year.

Ujh multipurpose project: Construction of the Ujh multipurpose project will create a storage of about 781 million cubic metres of water on Ujh, a tributary of Ravi, for irrigation and power generation and provide a total irrigation benefits of 31,380 hectares in Kathua, Hiranagar and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,850 crore and the Central assistance of Rs 4,892.47 crore on works portion of irrigation component as well as the special grant is under consideration. The project is yet to be implemented and it will take about six years for completion.

Second Ravi Beas link below Ujh: The project has been planned to tap excess water flowing down to Pakistan through Ravi by constructing a barrage across it for diverting water through a tunnel link to the Beas basin.

The project is expected to utilise about 0.58 MAF of surplus waters below Ujh dam by diverting the same to the Beas basin.

 

india, pakistan, water share, pulwama
Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Wikimedia

The water distribution treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank in 1960 to use the water available in the Indus system of rivers originating in India.

 

ALSO READ: IOC Cancels Places for 2020 Tokyo Games from India after it Refused Visas to Pakistan

The Indus system comprises Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. The basin is mainly shared by India and Pakistan with a small share for China and Afghanistan.

Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of the three eastern rivers, averaging around 33 million acre feet (MAF), were allocated to India for exclusive use.  (IANS)