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'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism

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'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism

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Bhaswar Kumar

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) national general secretary Ram Madhav was introduced to the proverbial “freight train” when he went ‘head to head’ with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union; and despite his best efforts, he got run over. The audience, for their part, were introduced by way of the question posed by the show’s title to the much-thrashed-out idea that perhaps “Modi’s India” was flirting with fascism.

Most of Madhav’s arguments — harmony between the minority and majority communities being the primary guarantor of safety for the former, instead of the rule of law enforced by the government and accusing participants of the ‘awards wapasi’ campaign of “defaming India” — were puerile, albeit expected. Hasan, in his characteristic style, cooked Madhav’s goose with facts, figures and an unrelenting insistence on getting a straight answer. However, there is little by way of facts on the ground to justify the title of the interview.

The aforementioned question can be answered with a plain ‘no’. “Modi’s India” is not flirting with fascism, not even making eyes at it. Is there an uptick in incidents of communal violence? There is a sizeable portion of the population that feels so, and another that doesn’t. Can the Modi government be accused of employing communally charged rhetoric? It most certainly can. But it has not set India down the path to fascism.

The recent winter session of Parliament can adequately back that answer up. Despite its dominance in the Lok Sabha, the government found its path blocked due to its weak presence in the Rajya Sabha. And, despite the rhetoric that emanated from both the ruling party and the Opposition, the two sides continued to talk on the most important agenda of the session — the passage of the goods & services tax (GST) Bill.

Even after the National Herald issue exploded in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu were busy holding meetings with Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and Deputy Leader Anand Sharma, to sort out issues regarding the crucial Bill. The talks proved inconclusive but the engagement continued, even as the session was nearly a washout — if Jaitley’s recent remarks are anything to go by. “I am in continuous touch with them and I intend to continue that. It is part of my job to continue to persuade them,” said Jaitley while talking about the Bill on Monday.

Of course, the engagement with the Opposition, especially the Congress, had started even as the session began. On November 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh to find a middle-ground on the GST Bill.

These attempts at reaching a settlement through talks were not novel achievements, and neither side deserves much praise over the matter. In fact, this was simply democracy in operation.

Aspiring fascists, most will agree, are not known for their patience and are most definitely not known for sitting idly by even as their agenda is thwarted by the limitations imposed upon them by an existing democratic set-up. The idea of tolerating the existence of an Opposition, much less talking to one, would have made a Hitler or a Mussolini catatonic with rage.

Coming to the rhetoric, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s wish to ban Muslims from entering the US or shutting down mosques did not suddenly raise the spectre of fascism taking over the country. He was severely criticised but he has not been disavowed as a presidential candidate by his party. This is not to say that Trump’s remarks somehow make the utterances of Adityanath, Akbaruddin Owaisi or Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar justifiable, especially when inflammable remarks can lead to or inspire real violence in India.

This is not to say that we should look at bigots around the world and declare that all is well in India by comparison. It most definitely does not mean that the prime minister can shy away from taking action against members of his party who spew vitriol. Hasan rightly grilled Madhav over the various inflammatory statements made by members of the ruling dispensation. However, it is a stretch to base the contention that we may be flirting with fascism on such remarks.

Hasan kept up the pressure on Madhav through most of the interview; that is, till the topic of India-Pakistan relations and Kashmir came up. As a democracy and a nation that believes in universal human rights, we cannot take umbrage to fielding difficult questions regarding Kashmir. However, badgering Madhav to provide a solution to the issue on the spot was unfair. It would have been equally unfair to pose such a question to Nawaz Sharif or Narendra Modi. The very reason both countries have decided to go forward with dialogue, despite the existing tensions, is that the issue is very complex and unlikely to be solved in a hurry. We in India hold a particular position on the issue, and rightly so. The Pakistanis hold another. A solution is unlikely to emerge over an interview with Mehdi Hasan.

Where Hasan succeeded was in putting Madhav in an uncomfortable position over the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s ideology. Madhav’s reiteration of the idea of “Akhand Bharat” led even BJP to distance itself from the remark. However, Hasan seems to have ignored that even as he was conducting the interview on December 7, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was preparing for her visit to Pakistan. Hasan also ignored the fact that the national security advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan had met in Bangkok a day before the interview. The joint statement after the Bangkok meeting was: “Pursuant to the meeting of the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris, the NSAs, accompanied by the foreign secretaries, met in Bangkok on Sunday.” The statement also revealed that everything from Kashmir to cross-border firing was discussed. Of course, by the time the interview was aired, Modi had stunned supporters and critics alike, executing a foreign policy coup by paying a surprise visit to Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on the latter’s birthday.

To his credit, Madhav did not let the smile on his face slip throughout the interview. Besides, Madhav has clarified his statement on “Akhand Bharat” and categorically stated that his “ideological position” should not be misconstrued as a “political programme” of the government.

There are many things that the current government, much like all governments in the past, can be rightly called out on. But let us not reduce it to the argument that if a democracy is not perfect, it is sliding towards fascism.

Link: 'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism | Business Standard On The Beat

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'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism

Business Standard


Bhaswar Kumar

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) national general secretary Ram Madhav was introduced to the proverbial “freight train” when he went ‘head to head’ with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union; and despite his best efforts, he got run over. The audience, for their part, were introduced by way of the question posed by the show’s title to the much-thrashed-out idea that perhaps “Modi’s India” was flirting with fascism.

Most of Madhav’s arguments — harmony between the minority and majority communities being the primary guarantor of safety for the former, instead of the rule of law enforced by the government and accusing participants of the ‘awards wapasi’ campaign of “defaming India” — were puerile, albeit expected. Hasan, in his characteristic style, cooked Madhav’s goose with facts, figures and an unrelenting insistence on getting a straight answer. However, there is little by way of facts on the ground to justify the title of the interview.

The aforementioned question can be answered with a plain ‘no’. “Modi’s India” is not flirting with fascism, not even making eyes at it. Is there an uptick in incidents of communal violence? There is a sizeable portion of the population that feels so, and another that doesn’t. Can the Modi government be accused of employing communally charged rhetoric? It most certainly can. But it has not set India down the path to fascism.

The recent winter session of Parliament can adequately back that answer up. Despite its dominance in the Lok Sabha, the government found its path blocked due to its weak presence in the Rajya Sabha. And, despite the rhetoric that emanated from both the ruling party and the Opposition, the two sides continued to talk on the most important agenda of the session — the passage of the goods & services tax (GST) Bill.

Even after the National Herald issue exploded in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu were busy holding meetings with Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and Deputy Leader Anand Sharma, to sort out issues regarding the crucial Bill. The talks proved inconclusive but the engagement continued, even as the session was nearly a washout — if Jaitley’s recent remarks are anything to go by. “I am in continuous touch with them and I intend to continue that. It is part of my job to continue to persuade them,” said Jaitley while talking about the Bill on Monday.

Of course, the engagement with the Opposition, especially the Congress, had started even as the session began. On November 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh to find a middle-ground on the GST Bill.

These attempts at reaching a settlement through talks were not novel achievements, and neither side deserves much praise over the matter. In fact, this was simply democracy in operation.

Aspiring fascists, most will agree, are not known for their patience and are most definitely not known for sitting idly by even as their agenda is thwarted by the limitations imposed upon them by an existing democratic set-up. The idea of tolerating the existence of an Opposition, much less talking to one, would have made a Hitler or a Mussolini catatonic with rage.

Coming to the rhetoric, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s wish to ban Muslims from entering the US or shutting down mosques did not suddenly raise the spectre of fascism taking over the country. He was severely criticised but he has not been disavowed as a presidential candidate by his party. This is not to say that Trump’s remarks somehow make the utterances of Adityanath, Akbaruddin Owaisi or Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar justifiable, especially when inflammable remarks can lead to or inspire real violence in India.

This is not to say that we should look at bigots around the world and declare that all is well in India by comparison. It most definitely does not mean that the prime minister can shy away from taking action against members of his party who spew vitriol. Hasan rightly grilled Madhav over the various inflammatory statements made by members of the ruling dispensation. However, it is a stretch to base the contention that we may be flirting with fascism on such remarks.

Hasan kept up the pressure on Madhav through most of the interview; that is, till the topic of India-Pakistan relations and Kashmir came up. As a democracy and a nation that believes in universal human rights, we cannot take umbrage to fielding difficult questions regarding Kashmir. However, badgering Madhav to provide a solution to the issue on the spot was unfair. It would have been equally unfair to pose such a question to Nawaz Sharif or Narendra Modi. The very reason both countries have decided to go forward with dialogue, despite the existing tensions, is that the issue is very complex and unlikely to be solved in a hurry. We in India hold a particular position on the issue, and rightly so. The Pakistanis hold another. A solution is unlikely to emerge over an interview with Mehdi Hasan.

Where Hasan succeeded was in putting Madhav in an uncomfortable position over the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s ideology. Madhav’s reiteration of the idea of “Akhand Bharat” led even BJP to distance itself from the remark. However, Hasan seems to have ignored that even as he was conducting the interview on December 7, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was preparing for her visit to Pakistan. Hasan also ignored the fact that the national security advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan had met in Bangkok a day before the interview. The joint statement after the Bangkok meeting was: “Pursuant to the meeting of the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris, the NSAs, accompanied by the foreign secretaries, met in Bangkok on Sunday.” The statement also revealed that everything from Kashmir to cross-border firing was discussed. Of course, by the time the interview was aired, Modi had stunned supporters and critics alike, executing a foreign policy coup by paying a surprise visit to Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on the latter’s birthday.

To his credit, Madhav did not let the smile on his face slip throughout the interview. Besides, Madhav has clarified his statement on “Akhand Bharat” and categorically stated that his “ideological position” should not be misconstrued as a “political programme” of the government.

There are many things that the current government, much like all governments in the past, can be rightly called out on. But let us not reduce it to the argument that if a democracy is not perfect, it is sliding towards fascism.

Link: 'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism | Business Standard On The Beat

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forget about news, my brother @Dillinger is back :yahoo:
i will read it later :D
'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism

Business Standard


Bhaswar Kumar

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) national general secretary Ram Madhav was introduced to the proverbial “freight train” when he went ‘head to head’ with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union; and despite his best efforts, he got run over. The audience, for their part, were introduced by way of the question posed by the show’s title to the much-thrashed-out idea that perhaps “Modi’s India” was flirting with fascism.

Most of Madhav’s arguments — harmony between the minority and majority communities being the primary guarantor of safety for the former, instead of the rule of law enforced by the government and accusing participants of the ‘awards wapasi’ campaign of “defaming India” — were puerile, albeit expected. Hasan, in his characteristic style, cooked Madhav’s goose with facts, figures and an unrelenting insistence on getting a straight answer. However, there is little by way of facts on the ground to justify the title of the interview.

The aforementioned question can be answered with a plain ‘no’. “Modi’s India” is not flirting with fascism, not even making eyes at it. Is there an uptick in incidents of communal violence? There is a sizeable portion of the population that feels so, and another that doesn’t. Can the Modi government be accused of employing communally charged rhetoric? It most certainly can. But it has not set India down the path to fascism.

The recent winter session of Parliament can adequately back that answer up. Despite its dominance in the Lok Sabha, the government found its path blocked due to its weak presence in the Rajya Sabha. And, despite the rhetoric that emanated from both the ruling party and the Opposition, the two sides continued to talk on the most important agenda of the session — the passage of the goods & services tax (GST) Bill.

Even after the National Herald issue exploded in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu were busy holding meetings with Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, and Deputy Leader Anand Sharma, to sort out issues regarding the crucial Bill. The talks proved inconclusive but the engagement continued, even as the session was nearly a washout — if Jaitley’s recent remarks are anything to go by. “I am in continuous touch with them and I intend to continue that. It is part of my job to continue to persuade them,” said Jaitley while talking about the Bill on Monday.

Of course, the engagement with the Opposition, especially the Congress, had started even as the session began. On November 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh to find a middle-ground on the GST Bill.

These attempts at reaching a settlement through talks were not novel achievements, and neither side deserves much praise over the matter. In fact, this was simply democracy in operation.

Aspiring fascists, most will agree, are not known for their patience and are most definitely not known for sitting idly by even as their agenda is thwarted by the limitations imposed upon them by an existing democratic set-up. The idea of tolerating the existence of an Opposition, much less talking to one, would have made a Hitler or a Mussolini catatonic with rage.

Coming to the rhetoric, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s wish to ban Muslims from entering the US or shutting down mosques did not suddenly raise the spectre of fascism taking over the country. He was severely criticised but he has not been disavowed as a presidential candidate by his party. This is not to say that Trump’s remarks somehow make the utterances of Adityanath, Akbaruddin Owaisi or Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar justifiable, especially when inflammable remarks can lead to or inspire real violence in India.

This is not to say that we should look at bigots around the world and declare that all is well in India by comparison. It most definitely does not mean that the prime minister can shy away from taking action against members of his party who spew vitriol. Hasan rightly grilled Madhav over the various inflammatory statements made by members of the ruling dispensation. However, it is a stretch to base the contention that we may be flirting with fascism on such remarks.

Hasan kept up the pressure on Madhav through most of the interview; that is, till the topic of India-Pakistan relations and Kashmir came up. As a democracy and a nation that believes in universal human rights, we cannot take umbrage to fielding difficult questions regarding Kashmir. However, badgering Madhav to provide a solution to the issue on the spot was unfair. It would have been equally unfair to pose such a question to Nawaz Sharif or Narendra Modi. The very reason both countries have decided to go forward with dialogue, despite the existing tensions, is that the issue is very complex and unlikely to be solved in a hurry. We in India hold a particular position on the issue, and rightly so. The Pakistanis hold another. A solution is unlikely to emerge over an interview with Mehdi Hasan.

Where Hasan succeeded was in putting Madhav in an uncomfortable position over the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s ideology. Madhav’s reiteration of the idea of “Akhand Bharat” led even BJP to distance itself from the remark. However, Hasan seems to have ignored that even as he was conducting the interview on December 7, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was preparing for her visit to Pakistan. Hasan also ignored the fact that the national security advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan had met in Bangkok a day before the interview. The joint statement after the Bangkok meeting was: “Pursuant to the meeting of the prime ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris, the NSAs, accompanied by the foreign secretaries, met in Bangkok on Sunday.” The statement also revealed that everything from Kashmir to cross-border firing was discussed. Of course, by the time the interview was aired, Modi had stunned supporters and critics alike, executing a foreign policy coup by paying a surprise visit to Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on the latter’s birthday.

To his credit, Madhav did not let the smile on his face slip throughout the interview. Besides, Madhav has clarified his statement on “Akhand Bharat” and categorically stated that his “ideological position” should not be misconstrued as a “political programme” of the government.

There are many things that the current government, much like all governments in the past, can be rightly called out on. But let us not reduce it to the argument that if a democracy is not perfect, it is sliding towards fascism.

Link: 'Modi's India' isn't 'flirting' with fascism | Business Standard On The Beat

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clarification should be come from other religious ppl in India
 

Mirza Jatt

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I saw the entire interview.. trust me, Ram Madhav seemed a hard nut to crack for the entire length of the program... the answers from Ram Madhav were prompt and accurate. In fact Mehdi was under pressure when Ram Madhav started refuting his facts through the correct figures (the ones presented by Mehdi were incorrect)... in fact when the interview ended, Mehdi admitted on camera that Madhav's intevriew was a tough case. I wish Ram madhav was a little more fluent in english, at least the modern english that uses a lot of jargons. Good interview it was.
 

Kickstarter101

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Its practicing it.
Look practically whole of Europe is going back to fascism. Today there was a attack on mosque goers in France. Hungary and Poland is openly fascist, so are the other small states. A neo-nazi song is top of the list in Germany this week. And lets not even talk about that idiot Trump.

I say the whole world is going down this path.
 

ranjeet

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After 2014 defeat Congress understood how the word "Secular" is mocked in India, so they coined a new term called "Intolerance" to take Hindus on a guilt trip. Nothing fascist about Modi or BJP its usual bickering from the Liberal brigade. Unfortunately Congress doesn't care what happens to India they just want power.
 

DESERT FIGHTER

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I saw the entire interview.. trust me, Ram Madhav seemed a hard nut to crack for the entire length of the program... the answers from Ram Madhav were prompt and accurate. In fact Mehdi was under pressure when Ram Madhav started refuting his facts through the correct figures (the ones presented by Mehdi were incorrect)... in fact when the interview ended, Mehdi admitted on camera that Madhav's intevriew was a tough case. I wish Ram madhav was a little more fluent in english, at least the modern english that uses a lot of jargons. Good interview it was.

:lol: Hahahahhahah ... Apart from the Indians in the crowd he was actually "boo'd" at one point... He couldn't toro vide any source or data while the other side provided Indian govt statistics ... And in the end he was owned by a Pakistani from Azad Kashmir...

22 g jhoot kyun bolda tu! Sharam kar ..! :D
 

Horus

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We are cool with a fascist India as long as Pakistan is not facing a military threat from it, for the price for Indian people of such unfortunate misadventure will be heavier than the one often seen in the Vedic wars of fiction.

Look practically whole of Europe is going back to fascism. Today there was a attack on mosque goers in France. Hungary and Poland is openly fascist, so are the other small states. A neo-nazi song is top of the list in Germany this week. And lets not even talk about that idiot Trump.

I say the whole world is going down this path.
Adnan Sami is a yesterday's man trying to make a living and to get some exotic specimens from the opposite sex. No one can blame him for such a folly.

I guess so. o_O

But is that the reason people like Adnan Sami are pleading for Indian citizenship.

Singer Adnan Sami becomes Indian citizen, says no intolerance - The Economic Times
 

Mirza Jatt

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:lol: Hahahahhahah ... Apart from the Indians in the crowd he was actually "boo'd" at one point... He couldn't toro vide any source or data while the other side provided Indian govt statistics ... And in the end he was owned by a Pakistani from Azad Kashmir...

22 g jhoot kyun bolda tu! Sharam kar ..! :D
you know why was he booe'd? lemme tell you :D.. cuz he asked mehdi to control "his ISIS" first and then talk about RSS being extremists (which I agree to)..and booed by whom ? the majority Muslims present in the audience? lol.. BTW am sure he meant ISIS and not 'his ISIS' but thats how people in subcontinent speak.. but am not surprised that, that booing moment was your only consolation in that entire program, :lol:
 

Sky lord

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I saw the whole interview too. I think the problem was that Ram Mahadev has not had a lot of practice with non-Indian audiences. He was not able to explain in a way that foreigners understand. Many of the things he assumed the audience knew e.g. What exactly is meant by the term "Hindu culture" ? is well known to Indians as we have the debate here all the time but totally unknown abroad. that is where he made his mistake, he needed to explain things better plus he is not fluent in English and was facing a hostile audience and hostile experts.

That lady Nitisha Kaul is a novelist and an admirer of Pankaj Misra who wants. Kashmir to be given independence ...she has written about it several times...Al jazeera would have had to look pretty hard to find an Indian with that point of view. She is an anti- national from the Indian point of view, yet she gets away with bluster when she is called out.

Ram Mahadev was also facing a very hostile host, this guy Mehdi Hasan recently got into trouble for calling all non-Muslims as "unintelligent cattle".!! True - google it if you like.
Any other Chanel than all jazeera he would have lost his job, certainly if something like that had been said about Muslims by a media guy anywhere in the world, he would not have worked again.
 

Kickstarter101

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We are cool with a fascist India as long as Pakistan is not facing a military threat from it, for the price for Indian people of such unfortunate misadventure will be heavier than the one often seen in the Vedic wars of fiction.
Look there wont be a Indo Pak war. Peace is on the table. And please avoid overcompensating your posts with funny threats and bringing in the vedas. These type of posts leads to trolling
 

Mirza Jatt

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I saw the whole interview too. I think the problem was that Ram Mahadev has not had a lot of practice with non-Indian audiences. He was not able to explain in a way that foreigners understand. Many of the things he assumed the audience knew e.g. What exactly is meant by the term "Hindu culture" ? is well known to Indians as we have the debate here all the time but totally unknown abroad. that is where he made his mistake, he needed to explain things better plus he is not fluent in English and was facing a hostile audience and hostile experts.

That lady Nitisha Kaul is a novelist and an admirer of Pankaj Misra who wants. Kashmir to be given independence ...she has written about it several times...Al jazeera would have had to look pretty hard to find an Indian with that point of view. She is an anti- national from the Indian point of view, yet she gets away with bluster when she is called out.

Ram Mahadev was also facing a very hostile host, this guy Mehdi Hasan recently got into trouble for calling all non-Muslims as "unintelligent cattle".!! True - google it if you like.
Any other Chanel than all jazeera he would have lost his job, certainly if something like that had been said about Muslims by a media guy anywhere in the world, he would not have worked again.

I agree with you. Thats why I said, it would have been beer if he was fluent in english, but still, I think the man did a good job.
 

Sky lord

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I agree with you. Thats why I said, it would have been beer if he was fluent in english, but still, I think the man did a good job.
People didn't understand what he is trying to say though. Like the " factoid" so glibly brought out by the host that 2000 people died in Gujarat. ram Mahadev corrected the figures, but he didn't give the guy grief that he provided deceitful figures in the first place. That should have been a take off point to actually explain to the international media how the spin on Gujarat was being created for political reasons in India...he could not do that. That would have made it easier to explain the connection in India between "rising intolerance" and the elections.

Nobody other than Indians understand the difference between the terms "Hindu culture " and " Hindu religion" he should have explained it. Muslims and Chrisitans in india practice caste when it comes to marriage, india is the only country in the world where churches are "grouped together" in a compound....so in South India you go to the church of the Virgin Mary and then move on to the the "main church"..... Does not happen anywhere else in the world....


Ad that lady was an anti national, they never did their homework and was out in a position of having to apologize to that lying toad!! Unbelievable!

The BJP s media management sucks ! They have no clue how to deal with sophisticated media Chanels.
 

Lord ZeN

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Ram Mahadev was also facing a very hostile host, this guy Mehdi Hasan recently got into trouble for calling all non-Muslims as "unintelligent cattle".!! True - google it if you like.
Any other Chanel than all jazeera he would have lost his job, certainly if something like that had been said about Muslims by a media guy anywhere in the world, he would not have worked again.
Mehdi Hasan is known for his hate towards Non-Muslims and was always an avid supporter of extremist outfits. I mean can you even imagine a journalist saying these things openly yet being labelled as "Secular and unbiased"
.
upload_2016-1-1_23-36-24.jpeg
 

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