Tag Archives: ayodhya

A propos #YakubMemon hanging and some of the Media and Indian intellectuals opposing it,


A propos #YakubMemon hanging and some of the Media and Indian intellectuals opposing it, here is what I had written in 1993 and which was published by Blitz in Mumbai. I have not changed a word. FG

When after centuries of having been at the receiving end, a handful of Hindus dared to destroy a mosque, however mistaken this gesture was, they were treated ruthlessly. The whole Indian media and political world went into a frenzy: ‘Nazis, monsters, Hitlers’… The end of secularism, the doom of democracy, the seed of India’s splitting’… Yet, the Hindu ‘fundamentalists’ did not kill a single soul. In fact, during its long history, Hinduism has been one of the most peaceful creeds in the world, never trying to impose itself upon others, accepting the reality of different beliefs, never trying to convert and submitting itself meekly to numerous invasions.

But how come the Indian and western media kept so quiet after the Bombay blasts which were coldly and meticulously planned, killing more than 350 innocent souls, in one of the most horrifying terrorist bombings of the 20th century? Not a word about the religion to which belong the perpetrators of this ghastly murders. Mum, silent are our wonderful intellectuals, who not so long ago raved and ranted about the threat of Hindu extremism. Our ‘secular’ politicians have also lost their tongue suddenly, mouthing only clichés about ‘the wonderful communal spirit of Bombay’. But it’s not only a conspiracy of silence, it’s an attempt to deceive a whole nation. Because the facts are clear: the hand seems to be without doubt that of the Bombay underworld, whose majority is Muslim (who will ever explain to me why most of the smugglers in India are Muslims? Is It because their religion teaches them that there is nothing wrong in cheating a government which is non-Muslim, even though it is their own?) But the amount of explosives and the meticulous character of the operation show also the hand of the Pakistanis. After all, they’re also Muslims and since they lost Bangladesh through (they think) the conniving of India, they are in a hurry to take their revenge: Kashmir and Punjab are part of their plan to get back at India.

Yet, there is something incomplete, something which can’t help nagging you, as if you’ve missed something. For the Memon brothers should have fled straightway to Pakistan. But they did not. First they went to Dubai, then to Jeddah. And even though India did not request a formal extradition, word was quickly known, thanks to the loud mouth of Bombay police chief Samra, where the prime suspects of the Bombay bombings were hiding. And there was no way the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE could not have been aware of this, because their police are good, if not totalitarian: they must have known when the Memons entered the country and exactly where they were staying. It would have been a simple matter to stop them from leaving both the countries till an extradition was asked for. Yet they chose to let the Memons go and now the brothers have gone into hiding in Pakistan and India will probably never see them again and solve the mystery of the Bombay blasts. Why did Dubai and Jeddah let them go?

One has to understand the Arab psyche: By destroying the Ayodhya mosque, it is the whole Muslim world that secretly has felt insulted and humiliated. Furthermore, none of the Gulf countries have forgotten India’s support to Iraq during the Gulf War. Is it possible then that it was decided to teach India a lesson? That Pakistan and ‘some’ other Muslim countries funded and planned, or at least knew in advance of the bombing attempts, of which Bombay was supposed to be only the first of a series? Is this a warning of the Muslim world to Hindu India? But who are the fundamentalists? Who are the murderers?
Who are the Nazis?

And what does the Congress do when its people are murdered, when the nation is threatened and all hands point an accusatory finger towards Muslim fundamentalists in India, killing their own brothers, with the obvious help of other Muslims from abroad? It keeps trying to throttle down the RSS, the VHP and the BJP, which have not bombed anybody and do not bother acting immediately upon the pointers India’s intelligence agencies quickly gave them. Why did not the Indian government ask the United States to put pressure on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan to hold the Memon brothers? The USA would have probably complied: it just suffered a similar ghastly bombing and is thus sympathetic to India’s woes.

India looks today like a humbled fool. It was kicked nicely in the ‘arse’ and all the world heard was a few worn-out statements about communal harmony and the usual ‘foreign hand’. It is one thing to shoot unarmed kar-sevaks in Ayodhya, it is one thing to call its own religion, which is one of the greatest, most gentle, most tolerant creeds, the last living spiritualised religion in the world, ‘fundamental and rabid’; it is another thing to have the guts to call a spade a spade and stand up to an occult menace to one’s own country: a covert attempt by universal Muslim fundamentalism to implode India and finish it once for all.

Are Hindus cowards then? Are they forever going to take things lying down? Have centuries of Muslim conquests, rape, looting, forced conversion, razing of thousands of temples, imprinted so much on India’s psyche, that they can only endlessly ‘good tolerant Hindus’ or Hindu leftists intellectual who mask their fear of Islam by being anti-Hindu – and thus traitors to their own race?

But India has to stand up now. Its very existence is threatened: There are forces which are actively working to disintegrate her. The fact that these forces happen to be Muslim, does not mean that they cannot be fought. Whoever taught India to always appease Muslims, whatever wrong they did, however much they demanded, even if it means the breaking up of India? Who instilled this terrible unconscious fear in Indians that Muslims should never be antagonised? Is it because there are 120 millions of them here ? But the Hindus are 800 million, theirs is an ancient culture which has been capable of sustaining numerous invasions, colonisations, blows, pitfalls. Theirs is one of the oldest and most wonderful civilisations of the world.

COME ON INDIA: Don’t listen to your intellectuals and your so-called secular politicians. If you do, they will lead you to doom, hasten the process of breaking up this wonderful country which once stretched from Cape Comorin to the Afghan frontiers. Or else they will make it into a faithful westernised copy.

COME ON INDIA: Stand up and fight. There is no question of throwing out 120 million Muslims out of your country. They are part of your culture and your soul: They are only another element of the wonderful mosaic of Indian culture: They only have to be told clearly that their first loyalty is to India and then to Islam. And not vice versa. What is needed now is a firm hand, which has a clear vision of India’s inner potential and past greatness and not coteries of politicians who are more interested in preserving their perks, than protecting their own country against a dangerous, concerted attack.

COME ON INDIA: Stand up now, show the world your inner strength and resolve, use your dharma, draw force from the millions of tapasyas performed by your yogis, the courageous hearts of your women and the simple prayers of your people. Come on India, stand up and fight for the truth.



William Dalrymple has always been a great fan of Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir, India’s sixth Mughal emperor (1658-1707). In his two previous books, The Last Mughal and White Mughals, Dalrymple reenacted the British’s fondness for the Mughal period, by directly and indirectly praising the longest reigning emperor after Akbar.

In his forthcoming opus magnum, which will be solely dedicated to Aurangzeb, Dalrymple says he will go further: “Aurangzeb was absolutely fascinating, very self aware, very Shakespearean. By the end of his life, Aurangzeb does becomes a monster of myths, but his final letters are full of regret and awareness about how much he destroyed of what he had inherited”. And he concludes: “What is little spoken is that he was an extremely generous donor of various ashrams and maths. Just the sheer data that can be gathered about his donations to Hindu monasteries is extraordinary”….

Was the emperor such a pious man? Well, just look to what he did to his own family: Aurangzeb, who was neither the eldest, nor the favorite son of his father Shah Jahan, killed his two brothers to ascend the throne, dispatched his father to jail and subsequently murdered him by sending him poisoned massage oil. He later had his own son imprisoned (in his will, he admonished: “never trust your sons”). He was also very cruel to the majority of his subjects, the Hindus, ordering all temples destroyed, such as the Kashi Vishwanath, the rebuilt Somnath temple, the Vishnu temple (replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares), or the Treta-ke-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. He also made sure that deities of Hindu Gods and Goddesses were buried under the steps of the mosques (like the Jama Masjid in Delhi) so that future generations of Muslims would trample upon them.

Sikhism, the youngest religion in the world, owes its initial phenomenal growth to the persecutions of one man: Aurangzeb Alamgir. The Mughal emperor not only had the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur beheaded, because he objected to his forced conversions, but he also viciously persecuted the followers of Guru Gobind Singh, whom he had never forgiven for having supported his brother Dara.

The sad thing is that today the Sikh world seems to be growing closer to Aurangzeb and drifting away from its Hindu brothers and sisters, forgetting that their order was originally created to defend them. Indeed, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar, has not uttered a word against Dalrymple’s forthcoming book.

More serious even, the Central Government always eager to please ‘minorities’ has set up a dangerous precedent by removing from its ‘blacklist’ the names of 142 wanted Sikh terrorists and their associates, some of them now in Pakistan.

Among those: Lakhbir Singh Rode, nephew of dreaded slain terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and chief of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), Ranjit Singh, alias Neeta, a native of Jammu and Kashmir who heads Khalistan Zindabad Force, Wadhawa Singh, chief of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Paramjit Singh Panjwar, chief of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF). Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) It is said that President Paramjit Singh Sarna lobbied hard with Sonia Gandhi for this decision.

Aurangzeb’s deadly legacy of murderous fanaticism is still alive in parts of the world; such as Kashmir or Pakistan. The Sikh community should protest Dalrymple books and remember how much they suffered at the hands of Aurangzeb.

The #Godhra Riots Postscript: The Masterminds Nicole Elfi October 2014

Note: This is a postscript to The Godhra Riots:
Sifting Fact from Fiction, July 2013, by the same author.
In May this year, the people of India chose their Prime Minister. Over twelve
years, several inquiry commissions — the Tewatia Committee (2010), the
Nanavati Commission (2008), the Special Investigation Team (2011) under the
Supreme Court — cleared Narendra Modi of all charges of having
masterminded or, at least, encouraged the Godhra riots.1 Still, his detractors —
politicians and ideology-driven activists in India, the US and Europe — have
continued to label him “merchant of death”, “butcher”, “Nazi”, “fascist”,
“murderer”, etc.
Let us examine the facts and see whether they can point to the riot’s real
The Role of Congress Members
On 27 February 2002, when a coach of Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya
went up in flames at Godhra railway station, a Congress member of the Godhra
municipality, Haji Balal, led a mob and stopped the fire-fighting vehicle on its
way to the station. The fire crew reported that “he had been visiting the fire
station at night for the past few days on the pretext of watching films on
television.” Haji Balal got the fire-fighting vehicles sabotaged beforehand: one
of the main vehicles had its clutch plates taken out a few days earlier; also
removed was the nut connecting the pipe with the water tank on the other
Haji Balal who, according to locals, proudly proclaimed himself the “Bin
Laden of Godhra”, is among eleven people convicted for criminal conspiracy
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 2
and murder and sentenced to death by a special fast track court in the highsecurity
Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad on 22 February 2011.3
Other Congress members were also “booked for the carnage”.4 The
attack on the pilgrims was carried out “according to what was planned earlier
under the directions of [the late] Maulvi Umarji”,5 a religious leader of the
Ghanchi Muslims of Godhra.6 “All the acts like procuring petrol, circulating
false rumour, stopping the train and entering in coach S/6 were in pursuance of
the object of the conspiracy,” concluded the Nanavati Report. “The conspiracy
hatched by these persons further appears to be a part of a larger conspiracy to
create terror and destabilise the Administration.”7
“Destabilise the Administration”: Narendra Modi had assumed office as
Gujarat Chief Minister on 7 October 2001, four months earlier. Incidentally,
Maulvi Umarji got a ticket to campaign for the Congress in December 2002 state
election in Gujarat.
In order to quickly gather a crowd of angry Muslims to the Godhra
station and attack the train, so that no one would guess who was pouring petrol
in the S6 and S7 coaches, rumours that a Ghanchi Muslim girl had been
abducted by the Kar Sevaks were spread by the Jamiat-Ulema-E-Hind (JUH), a
long-standing ally of the Congress.8
From the start of the crisis, Narendra Modi appealed to the people to
remain calm and exert self-control. On five occasions between 27 and 28
February, “CM addressed Media, Assembly and General public and
everywhere the genesis and intention was one and the same, to punish the
culprits responsible for the Godhra incident in an exemplary manner, so that it
did not recur ever again.”9 He announced an ex-gratia payment of 200,000
rupees to the next of kin of those killed in the Godhra incident and ordered a
high-level inquiry into the incident.10
On 1st March, less than two days after the tragedy and while riots were
raging, Modi requested the chief secretaries of neighbouring states of Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan to send ten companies of armed police
from each state to assist the government in “handling law and order situation”.
As the sociologist and author Madhu Kishwar points out,11 all three states then
had Congress governments, and all three turned down the request.
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 3
The Campaign
Let us recall that the BJP-led NDA alliance had been in power at the Centre
since 1998, confirmed by fresh elections in 1999. A 15-million-rupee campaign
by journalist-activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, funded by
the Congress Party and Communists to “politically isolate the BJP”,12 failed to
convince the Indian people, who voted the BJP to power. And the crusaders
had to swallow the obvious — that the streets of India remained peaceful
during the NDA regime.13
They however found a fertile ground in the US, especially with the
evangelical lobbies.14 On 1st April 2002 Teesta Setalvad created “Citizens for
Justice and Peace” (CJP), an NGO “outsourced by the Congress to the job of
attacking Modi”, as Madhu Kishwar put it.15 The activists approached the
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a U.S.
government-funded body, with known roots in the evangelical movement,
whose “original intention was to protect Christians around the world … to
review facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom
internationally — and to make policy recommendations to the President,
Secretary of State, and the Congress”.16 Testifying before the USCIRF, Teesta
Setalvad alleged that the BJP had conducted:
successful pogroms and attacks against the countries religious
minorities, … recent state-sponsored Genocide of the Muslim
Community in Gujarat … Brutal destruction of life, through rape,
quartering of bodies, urinating on them and incarcerating [sic] them so
that there is no trace or evidence of their remains … desecrating over 270
religious and cultural shrines belonging to the community … through
systematic planning and targeted action by armed militias ideologically
driven by the vision of a supreme and exclusive Hindu rashtra (state). …
Over 2,000 lost their lives, 500 are missing and 250-300 girls and women
were gang-raped before being quartered, burned and killed.17
This “testimony” from India is what fed countless self-styled human
rights organizations and intellectuals in India and in the West. They drank in
Setalvad’s words and regurgitated them as articles and “reports” with a
plethora of gory details.
As regards the number of riot victims, invariably quoted in thousands,
the then Police Commissioner P.C. Pande, in a statement to the Special
Investigating Team, declared,
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 4
… it was incorrect to say that 1000 people lost their lives in Ahmedabad
City during the riots of 2002, whereas the actual number of deaths
between February 28th 2002 and April 30th 2002 was 442, of whom 113
were Hindus and 329 Muslims. … All offences committed were duly and
properly registered including by sending police officers to relief camps
and therefore, no important crime remained unregistered.18
According to the Congress-led UPA government’s statement in
Parliament on 11 May 2005, the final figures of those killed in the Godhra riots
are 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus.19 In any case, the endlessly repeated figure of
“2000 Muslim victims” has no basis in actual fact.
The SIT and Sanjeev Bhatt
Facts cannot so easily be wished away. And they were nailed by the Nanavati
Report and the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT),
headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief R.K. Raghavan in
response to a petition filed by Jakia Nasim, Ehsan Jafri’s20 widow, and Teesta
Setalvad, which alleged criminal conspiracy by Narendra Modi’s government.21
Jakia Nasim’s testimony before the Nanavati Commission and Supreme Court
in 2002 and 2003 was that “the mob would have lynched all of them but for the
timely action by the police”. Four years later, her praise turned into complaint
— except that the poor lady was not even aware of what she complained or
petitioned about: “She has no personal knowledge of the allegations mentioned
in the affidavits filed by R.B. Sreekumar during the years 2002, 2004 and 2005
on his own”, said the SIT.22
Let us explain: The SIT, appointed on 23 March 2008, investigated two
retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, one of them being R.B. Sreekumar
just mentioned, to whom we will shortly return. The second one, Sanjeev Bhatt,
then Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in the Gujarat government, claimed
after years of silence that he was present at a law and order meeting convened
by the Chief Minister on 27 February night at his residence. At this meeting,
which lasted 15-20 minutes, Sanjeev Bhatt claims that the Chief Minister said
that “for too long the Gujarat police had been following the approach of
balancing the action against Hindus and Muslims … that the situation
warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson, … it was imperative that Hindus
be allowed to vent out their anger….”23
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 5
As it turned out, none of the officials present even remembered the
presence of Sanjeev Bhatt. Interrogated independently later, they denied any
such talk by the Chief Minister, who, they asserted, said instead that the
Godhra flare-up was very unfortunate and should be handled with a firm hand.
The discussions centred around maintenance of law and order in view of the
call for a bandh on the next day and the availability of forces. Ahmedabad
Police Commissioner P.C. Pandey categorically stated that no instructions to
allow any freedom to law-breakers were given by the Chief Minister. According
to Prakash S. Shah, then Additional Secretary (Law & Order), the Chief Minister
instructed all the officers that “communal peace and harmony be maintained at
all costs and all possible steps be taken to control the possible communal flareup.”
As for Sanjeev Bhatt’s testimony, the SIT called fax messages produced
by him “not genuine”, “forged document, fabricated subsequently by someone
with a vested interest.”25 “This conduct of Shri Sanjiv [sic] Bhatt in arranging,
prompting and controlling the witness [a witness produced by him] to
corroborate his statement is highly suspicious and undesirable.”26 And from the
location of his mobile phone, his claim of being present at the said meeting at
the Chief Minister’s residence proved to be false. “Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is a tainted
witness and therefore, cannot be relied upon keeping in view his background in
the police department as he was involved in criminal cases of serious nature
and departmental inquiries are also in progress against him.”27 Cases against
him included inflicting torture in custody leading to death, abduction, extortion
and unprovoked firing, killings and planting narcotics with a view to blackmail.
SIT head R.K. Raghavan concluded that Bhatt had lied and brought in tutored
witnesses to falsely implicate Modi.28 The Gujarat Vigilance Commission
recommended his suspension twice (on 15-07-2002 and 19-10-2006) for
professional misconduct, but each time he managed to evade prosecution.29
A last brush stroke on Sanjeev Bhatt’s erratic comportment is given by
senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani in a Sunday Guardian article. The man “handed
over charge and his official computer, leaving all his emails in an unprotected
mode for all to read”… The state government forwarded the material to the SIT
for investigations, and thanks to this irresponsible gesture, authorities
harvested details of his “hobnobbing with the Opposition Congress party in a
thoroughly illegal and almost seditious manner to concoct evidence against the
Chief Minister and the state of Gujarat”. To this end Bhatt was in constant touch
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 6
with top Congress party leaders, from whom he received not only guidance,
but “packages” and “materials”, as per his own statement.30
An Activist’s Career
The activist Teesta Setalvad built a successful career on the Godhra issue and on
demonizing Narendra Modi, for which she has been covered with national and
international awards. Let us mention just a few:
• In August 2002, the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana [Communal
Harmony] Award instituted by the Congress (I), jointly with Harsh
Mander (former IAS officer and NAC board member)31, “for their
outstanding contribution towards communal harmony and national
• In 2003, the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award (jointly with
Ibn Abdur Rehman, a Pakistani “peace and human-rights advocate and
veteran communist from Pakistan”).32
• The New York-based Parliamentarians for Global Action’s 2004
Defenders’ of Democracy Award, for her efforts “to ensure justice for the
victims of the genocide in Gujarat.
• In 2006, the Nani Palkhivala Award. In her acceptance speech, Setalvad
was all praise for an IPS officer to whom she dedicates her award,
someone “who stood mighty in the face of a murderous and vindictive
Gujarat administration.”33
• In 2007, the Padma Shri Award from the Government of India, which
since May 2004 had been run by a Congress-led coalition.
The ISRO Spy Scandal
The IPS officer praised by Setalvad (and referred to earlier by the SIT) is R.B.
Sreekumar. He is remembered for the 1994 Indian Space Research Organization
(ISRO) spy scandal which implicated eminent ISRO scientists. Dust may have
smothered the case with time but not the memory of those who were falsely
accused. The story in brief:
Development of the Indian [rocket’s] upper stage had been underway
with Russian help for four years when the arrangements were
denounced by American President George Bush as a violation of the
Missile Technology Control Regime. … In May 1992, the Bush
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 7
administration announced that it was applying American sanctions on
both the ISRO and Glavcosmos [the Russian agency collaborating with
S. Nambi Narayan, a senior scientist at the Vikram Sarabhai Space
Centre, an ISRO centre at Trivandrum (Kerala), was arrested on 30 November
1994 without any search being conducted at his office or home. Harassed and
tortured, he refused to confess to the charge of selling defence secrets to two
alleged Maldivian spies; he also refused to implicate the director of the Liquid
Propulsion Systems Centre. Nambi Narayan collapsed under the torture and
was hospitalized. He was released after fifty days in custody. A colleague of his,
D. Sasikumaran, was similarly arrested and interrogated. The two Maldivian
women and two businessmen were also arrested and implicated.
Upon his release on 19 January 1995, Nambi Narayan was transferred
out of Trivandrum; ISRO reinstated him and promoted him as director of
Advanced Technology and Planning, but he was now a broken man.
The case was investigated by the CBI. A year later, in April 1996, its
report indicted the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as the main organization
responsible for creating an imaginary spy ring and falsely implicating the two
eminent space scientists (besides two Maldivian women who were framed as
“spies”). The CBI came down heavily on nine IB officials for “acting in an
unprofessional manner and being privy to the arrest of six innocent persons,
thereby causing them immense mental and physical agony”. The information
collected by the IB and the Kerala police was “not only false but was forcefully
extracted from the six accused”.35 The CBI filed its closure report on April 30,
1996, recommending that the accused be discharged, and necessary action taken
against the IB officials and the Kerala Police.36
Several IB officers were, according to the CBI report, responsible for this
unprecedented frame-up, especially:
• IB Director D.C. Pathak got the espionage case registered under the
Indian Official Secrets Act 1923, “so that the case would get a transnational
dimension, even though the Act makes it clear that the Kerala
Police have no legal right to do so”, as highlighted by the Kerala High
Court and Supreme Court of India. Pathak advised the Kerala Director
General of Police (DGP) to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT);
he also “informed” the then ISRO Chairman, K. Kasturirangan, that
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 8
“incriminating documents had been seized from the scientists”.37 Pathak
was indicted by the CBI in 1996 and sacked.
• Rattan Seghal had joined the IB as additional director five months before
S. Nambi Narayan’s arrest. In November 1996, Seghal was “caught redhanded”
by the then IB chief Arun Bhagath while having a secret
rendezvous with two undercover CIA agents to hand over sensitive
information about India’s Atomic Energy Commission. He was dismissed
from service, but allowed to escape and settle in America.38
• R.B. Sreekumar was an IPS officer seconded to the Central Industrial
Security Force, and posted as commandant in charge of security of the
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre where Nambi Narayan was working. “The
USA, with its excellent information gathering machinery, got wind of
what was going on inside VSSC, and put the CIA on the job of sabotaging
the cryogenic project,” writes Sam Rajappa.39 At the time of Nambi
Narayan’s arrest, Sreekumar was posted as Rattan Seghal’s deputy.
Despite being indicted by the CBI, Sreekumar was in 1998 awarded a
“Medal for Distinguished Service” by the Government of India. We will
return to him soon as he was probably the main player in the plot.
In Kerala’s Congress-led government (UDF), infighting raged between
two camps over the ISRO Spy case. Chief Minister K. Karunakaran being no
party to the spy story, he was forced to step down in March 1995 as he refused
to drop charges against the IB officials implicated in the case. With A.K. Antony
replacing him, the said officials were not prosecuted.
A change of regime followed in favour of the Communists; the new
government issued a notification to reopen investigations into the ISRO spy
case, and it was to be investigated by the same IB officials!40 On 29 April 1998,
the Supreme Court reprimanded the Kerala Government for ordering yet
another investigation by the State police after an inquiry by the CBI had found
that the allegations of espionage were false and the accused had been ordered
to be released. It quashed the notification for being “patently invalid … and
issued with malafide intention.”41
In 1998 the first work illuminating the story in detail came out — and
almost instantly vanished from the shelves. In an article about his book Spies in
Space: The ISRO Frame-up, J. Rajasekharan Nair author pertinently asks:
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 9
What about the charge that the cryogenic missile technology was
transferred from ISRO to enemy countries? To begin with, India does
not have cryogenic technology even today [in 2013]. How could then, in
1994, ‘spies’ transfer this non-existent technology? … 42
Prof. Nambi Narayanan echoes those words in a recent interview to
… at that time, we had not developed cryogenic technology, how can
you sell a non-existent technology?43
In September 1999, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
ordered the Kerala government to pay an interim compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs
(one million) out of 1 crore (10 millions) to Nambi Narayan “for having
damaged Narayanan’s distinguished career in space research along with the
physical and mental torture to which he and his family were subjected.” A
division bench of the Kerala high court upheld the order. But Kerala’s
Congress-led government managed to block the payment, till Nambi
Narayanan finally won a case for a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs which he
received in September 2012 — 18 years after his arrest.
R.B. Sreekumar was sent back to his parent institution in Gujarat in
August 2000. Disciplinary proceedings against him were started in 1999, but
only on 29 January 2004 was he served a chargesheet by the Ministry of Home
Affairs. The charges included:
• Illegally taking into custody the accused persons from the custody of
Kerala Police without completing the legal formalities and conducting an
independent investigation totally disassociating the Kerala Police.
• Torturing/ill-treating the accused persons during the investigation.
Consequently, no written statement was recorded.
• The interrogation statements prepared by Sreekumar’s team were left
unsigned and undated, indicating devious intent.
• Failing to conduct verification of the statements of the accused persons …
which reflects lack of proper supervision, integrity to duty …44
Without examining those implicated in the case, the investigations
against Sreekumar, which involved charges of endangering national security,
saw his file rush to closure in just 43 days, from 13 December 2004 to 24 January
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 10
2005: Sreekumar was cleared of all charges.45 In 2008, the UPA government
granted him in addition the Gangadharan Memorial Award for Best Police
Man, for his “courageous and competent performance of duties” during the
2002 Gujarat riots. He was invited with Teesta Setalvad for a lecture tour to the
US, organized by the Indian Muslim Council-USA, to deliver discourses against
Narendra Modi and the state of Gujarat, disregarding all evidence and
The same Congress-led Kerala government blocked all the CBI
recommendations against IB and police officials, till it ordered closure of the
file, fifteen years having conveniently passed since the case was initiated.47
However, on 20 October 2014, on an appeal from an indomitable Nambi
Narayanan, Justice Ramakrishna Pillai of Kerala High Court quashed the order
exonerating three police officials involved in the case.48
Let us see whether they will finally be prosecuted and face justice — and
not only these three but all those responsible for trying to wreck India’s space
programme at the behest of a foreign power.
Cooked-Up Affidavits
The UPA government cleared Sreekumar of the CBI charges against him but not
without a quid pro quo: he became an ideal “prime witness” in the 2002 Godhra
riots. When questioned by the Nanavati Commission before 2005, Sreekumar
had never made any allegation against the Gujarat Chief Minister. He even
submitted a letter “raising questions over Sanjeev Bhatt’s integrity for speaking
up against Narendra Modi”. But from 9 April 2005 onward, with his third
affidavit to the Nanavati Commission, he joined Bhatt’s and Setalvad’s
demonization of the Gujarat administration.49
However, the Supreme Court’s Special Investigation Team (SIT)
inquiring into the Godhra events found the allegations in Sreekumar’s
affidavits to be “vague”, “too general in nature, [with] nothing specific against
any individual police officer.”50 Sreekumar’s testimony was based on an
“unauthorised register” which appeared only in 2005, with entries noted down
from memory, including Narendra Modi’s alleged oral instructions to
encourage riots between Hindus and Muslims. The SIT observed that disclosure
was made about the said register only “after he was denied promotion.”51 “The
register … cannot be considered to be a reliable document, as the same appears
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 11
motivated and no credence can be placed upon the same. Moreover there is no
corroboration to the oral version of R.B. Sreekumar by any of the independent
witnesses. The allegation is, therefore, not established.”52
Besides, the SIT found twenty-two “witnesses” whose signed affidavits
were drafted, typed and printed on the same computer: their signatories were
not even aware of what they had signed of the alleged incidents.53
Euros and US dollars flowed to Teesta Setalvad’s NGO. Among the
donors were the Netherland-based Humanistic Institute for Co-Operation with
the Developing Countries (HIVOS), the ever-ready Ford Foundation, etc…54 A
statement of financial transactions of Teesta Setalvad and her NGOs, obtained
through a Right to Information petition, revealed how she went from “rags to
riches after 2000 Gujarat riots. A person who was not in a position to deposit
even Rs. 500 in her account continuously for two years (from 1st Jan., 2001 to 31st
Dec, 2002), could manage to get deposit of Rs. 1.49 crores in her account and Rs.
92.21 Lakhs into her husband Javed Anand’s account after Gujarat 2002 riots.”55
Following the Clues
Answers to the following questions contain the clues to the real masterminds of
the Godhra events:
• Who gave orders to the Congress-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra and Rajasthan to deny Gujarat the help it was urgently
asking for to control the riots?
• “Tainted witness” Sanjeev Bhatt having “lied and brought in tutored
witnesses to falsely implicate Modi,”56 the Gujarat Vigilance Commission
recommended his suspension twice (on 15-07-2002 and 19-10-2006) for
professional misconduct: with whose help did he manage to evade
prosecution each time?57
• Who gave instructions to the IB and Kerala police officers to frame ISRO
scientists, putting a brake on India’s space programmes?
• From 1994 to 2014, who shielded the IB officials and the Kerala police from
being prosecuted as per the CBI’s recommendations?
• In particular, who shielded Sreekumar in the ISRO spy case, extracting in
the process his cooperation in the demonization of Narendra Modi?
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 12
• Who in the previous UPA government decided not to prosecute Teesta
Setalvad for perjury, arranging false witnesses and fabricated affidavits,
and for misappropriating funds intended for riot victims?
Years ago, while campaigning in Gujarat, Sonia Gandhi had accused
Narendra Modi of being a “merchant of death”. Let the reader decide who best
deserves this designation.

Nicole Elfi has been living in India since 1975. She worked on the
publication of works related to Mother and Sri Aurobindo and researched
aspects of Indian culture. She wrote two books in French: Satprem, par un Fil
de Lumière (Éditions Robert Laffont, 1998) and Aux Sources de l’Inde,
l’initiation à la connaissance (Éditions Les Belles Lettres, 2008).
More recently, Nicole Elfi has authored the document The Godhra Riots:
Sifting Fact from Fiction and co-authored (with Michel Danino) a research
paper, A Timeline of Ayodhya.
Email: nicoleelfi[at]gmail[dot]com

© Nicole Elfi, 2014
Notes & References
1 From Commission of Inquiry Report of Justice G.T. Nanavati & Justice A.H. Mehta (henceforth
“Nanavati Report”), p. 175: 229. The report is available on the website of the Gujarat
government: http://home.gujarat.gov.in/homedepartment/downloads/godharaincident.pdf
(accessed May 2014).
2 From Justice Tewatia Committee Report, short for Gujarat Riots: The True Story; Facts Speak for
Themselves – Godhra and After, A Field Study by Justice D. S. Tewatia, Dr. J.C. Batra, Dr. Krishan
Singh Arya, Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, Prof. B.K. Kuthiala. Council for International Affairs and
Human Rights, Governing Body for the Term 2001-03. See “Staff of the Fire Brigade”. Online at:
http://www.gujaratriots.com/index.php/2010/04/justice-tewatia-committee-report/ (retrieved June
2014). Also Nanavati Report, p. 86, 88, 89: 128, 130-131.
3 Dasgupta, M. 2011. “11 get death in Godhra train burning case”, online at:
article1500325.ece (retrieved July 2014).
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 13
4 Among them, President of the District Congress Committee, Farooq Malla and Congress
activist of Godhra Municipality, Abdul Rehman Dhatia. Tewatia Report, “Fifty-Eight Pilgrims
Roasted Alive”.
5 Nanavati Report, p. 159-160: 214; p. 175.
6 Gujarat’s minister of state for home Amit Shah’s interview by Sheela Bhatt, 27.02.2003, online
at: http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/feb/27inter.htm (retrieved June 2014).
7 Nanavati Report, p. 175: 229.
8 Nanavati Report, pp 40-41: 51-52, p. 49: 68; pp. 158-159: 213.
9 Special Investigation Team (SIT) Report, p. 241. The Supreme Court handed over all records
pertaining to 2002 riots to SIT on 20.01.2010; SIT submitted its final report on Modi’s role in 2002
Gujarat riots, on 25.04.2011.
10 SIT p. 21.
11 Kishwar, M.P. 2013. “Modinama 7, When Congress State Governments Snubbed Modi’s
Request for Additional Police Force”, online at: http://www.manushi.in/articles.php?articleId=1704
(retrieved May 2014).
12 Wikipedia, Communalism Combat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communalism_Combat . “In a 1999
interview, Javed Anand said that before the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, his monthly magazine
Communalism Combat (published by Sabrang Communications since August 1993) requested
and received funds from the Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the
Communist Party of India and ten individuals to run advertisements attacking the Sangh
Parivar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
13 See Elst, K. & Rao, R.N. 2002. Gujarat after Godhra: Real Violence, Selective Outrage, Har-Anand,
14 See Balakrishna, S. 2014. “Narendra Modi’s visa denial still an unhealed wound” online at:
%28India+Facts%29#sthash.uTktS3o8.IyfIObzy.dpbs (retrieved May 2014).
15 Kishwar, M.P. 2013. “Modinama” 13, “RB Shreekumar: Hero No. 2 of Secular Brigade” – Part
I, online at: http://www.manushi.in/articles.php?articleId=1730 (retrieved May 2014).
16 The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF):
(retrieved May 2014).
17 Teesta Setalvad’s testimony to the USCIRF, online at:
6102002_setalvaTestimony.html (retrieved June 2014)
18 SIT pp. 92-93.
19 See “Gujarat Riots: the true story”, online at:
(retrieved July 2014).
Narendra Modi’s interview for Seedhi Baat/Aaj Tak, in India Today, 04.11.2002, online at:
http://www.indiatoday.com/itoday/20021104/conf.shtml#co (retrieved July 2014).
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 14
20 About Ehsan Jafri see Elfi, N. 2013. “The Godhra Riots: Sifting Facts from Fiction”, online at:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/174541552/The-Godhra-Riots-Sifting-Fact-from-Fiction-Nicole-Elfi .
21 SIT pp. 16, 18-19.
22 SIT p. 16.
23 SIT pp. 22-25.
24 SIT pp. 25-27, 34, 522.
25 SIT pp. 523-530.
26 SIT p. 41.
27 SIT p. 241.
28 SIT pp. 540-41. Also Dasgupta, M. 2012. “SIT rejects amicus curiae’s observations against
Modi”, online at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3401728.ece (retrieved June 2014).
29 SIT pp. 48-51. Kishwar, M.P. 2013. “Modinama 6, Heroes of the Secular Brigade: A Glimpse
into the Doings and Misdoings of Sanjiv Bhatt”, online at:
http://manushi.in/articles.php?articleId=1703&ptype=campaigns (retrieved July 2014).
30 Jethmalani, R. 2011. “UPA, media have a brazen mission to demonize Modi”, online at:
(retrieved July 2014). Also Kishwar 2013: 6, op. cit.
31 The National Advisory Council (2004-2014) was a body set up by the first UPA government to
advise the Prime Minister of India. Sonia Gandhi served as its Chairperson from its inception to
its end.
32 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, online at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_International_Human_Rights_Award .
33 Teesta Setalvad “Nani A Palkhivala Award 2006 Acceptance Speech”, online at:
http://www.countercurrents.org/comm-setalvad100207.htm (retrieved June 2014).
34 Harvey, B. 2001. Russia in Space: The Failed Frontier, p. 259, Springer & Praxis Publications, UK,
in Kishwar 2013: 13 – I, op. cit. & Kishwar 2013: 13 – II, “How India’s Space Program was
Sabotaged”, online at: http://www.manushi.in/articles.php?articleId=1731; also Simha, R.K.
2013. “How India’s cryogenic programme was wrecked”, online at:
65.html (retrieved July 2014).
35 Joshi, R., et al. 1998. “IB Imagined Spy-Ring: CBI” online at:
http://www.outlookindia.com/article/IB-Imagined-SpyRing-CBI/205531 (retrieved July 2014). Also
Kishwar 2013: 13 – II, op. cit.
36 Joshi, R., et al. 1998, op. cit.
37 Rajasekharan Nair, ibid.
38 “Plot behind arrest of ISRO scientists, says Nambi Narayanan”, The New Indian Express,
27.8.2013, online at: http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Plot-behind-arrest-of-ISROscientists-
says-Nambi-Narayanan/2013/08/27/article1754032.ece (retrieved August 2014);
Rajasekharan Nair 2013, op. cit.; Rajappa, S., “A scandal that ISRO would like to forget”, 24
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 15
October 2014, online at http://www.theweekendleader.com/Columns/153/looking-back.html
(retrieved October 2014).
39 Rajappa, S., op. cit.
40 “Rogue cop RB Srikumar framed ISRO’s best”, Niticentral, 7.11.2013. Online at:
41 Rajasekharan Nair, ibid.
42 Rajasekharan Nair, J. 2013. “Why My Book Didn’t Sell?”, online at:
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/books/why-my-book-didn-t-sell (retrieved October 2014).
43 Warrier, S. 2014. “Wronged ISRO scientist: India will be safe in Modi’s hands”, online at:
20140226.htm (retrieved August 2014); Ananthakrishnan, G. 2012. “Memories of a ‘spy’
who won – Framed scientist vindicated on milestone-eve”, The Telegraph, online at
44 In Kishwar 2013: 13-I, op. cit. Also CBI recommendations in Joshi, R., et al. 1998, op. cit.
45 Kishwar, ibid.
46 Indian Muslim Council – USA Organizes US Lecture Tour of Teesta Setalvad & R.B.
Sreekumar July 7, 2008, online at: http://iamc.com/press-release/imcusa_
47 Venugopal 2012, “ISRO case: police officers freed of charges”, online at:
article3960101.ece (retrieved August 2014).
48 “Kerala High Court quashes government order in ISRO spy case” online at:
in-isro-spy-case/article6521226.ece .
49 Kishwar 2013: 13-I, op.cit.
50 SIT pp. 18 ff and 176-177.
51 SIT pp. 85, 170-173.
52 SIT pp. 65-71.
53 SIT p. 16-19, 64, 227-233.
54 “Teesta Setalvad received US $ 250,000 from the Ford Foundation”; “Evidence against Teesta
Setalvad”, Dharma next, 6.8.2012, online at: http://dharmanext.blogspot.in/2012/08/teestasetalvad-
received-us-250000-from.html (retrieved July 2014).
55 News Bharati, 7.1.2013, “Rags to riches after 2000 Gujarat riots: Teesta swallowed riot victims’
money?” Online at: http://en.newsbharati.com/Encyc/2013/7/1/Rags-to-riches-after-2000-
Gujarat-riots-Teesta-swallowed-riot-victims-money-.aspx# (accessed August 2014).
56 SIT p. 540-41. Also Dasgupta, M. 2012. “SIT rejects amicus curiae’s observations against
Modi”: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3401728.ece (retrieved June 2014)
57 SIT pp. 48-50.


Continuing publication of excerpts my forthcoming book: “An History of India as it Happened (not as it was written)”:

It is not only Indian historians, who are negationists, but also western historians and India-specialists. We know that the first historians of Indian – the Britishers – twisted India’s history to suit their theory that they had come to civilize a race which was not only inferior to them, but also was supposed to have been heavily influenced in its philosophies or arts by European invaders – read the Aryans or Alexander the Great. But what is less known is that today many western historians not only still cling to these old outdated theories, but also actually more or less willfully mislead the general European public, who is generally totally ignorant and takes these “knowledgeable” comments about India as the absolute truth. One example is France, which has a long tradition of Indianists, who devote their time and life to the study of India. The main school of historic research in France is called the CNRS (National Center of Social Research), which has a very important South Asia section, of which India, of course, is the main component. Unfortunately, many of these India-specialists are not only Left-leaning, that is they are very close to the ideas of the JNU historians, with whom they are anyway in constant contact, but are also specialists of the Moghol period of India history, which is to say that they are sympathetic to Islam’s point of view on India, while they often consider Hindus as fanatics…

Take for instance one of the recent Indian History books published in France “Histoire de l’Inde moderne” (1994 Fayard / Paris), the authors (there are seven of, all famous Indianists), having subscribed to the usual Aryan invasion theory, accuse Shiva “to incarnate obscure forces” (Introduction III) and of course use the word “fanatics” to describe the Hindus who brought down the Ayodhya mosque. Basically, the book does an apology of he moghol period in India; while keeping quiet about all their crimes. In the chapter dealing for instance with Vijaynagar, the last great empire of free India, which symbolized a Hindu Renaissance after nine centuries of savage Muslim conquests, one cannot but perceive the enmity of the authors for Hinduism. The two young princes, founder of Vijaynagar who were converted by force to Islam when in captivity, are accused of “duplicity”, because they reverted back to Hinduism as soon as they were free; then the French historians highlight the “ambition of Brahmins, who used these two young princes to reconquer the power that at been lost at the hands of the conquering Muslims” (page 54); the book then mentions “the unquenchable exigencies of the (Hindu) central power in Vijaynagar”, forgetting to say that that for the first time in centuries, Hindus could practice freely their faith, that they were not killed, their women raped, their children taken as slaves and converted to Islam. And all this to finally sum up in seven words the terrible end of Vijaynagar, which has left a wound in the Hindu psyche even up to today: “looting and massacres lasted for three days”…

But the authors of “Histoire de l’Inde moderne” do not only run down Hindus, they also glorify Muslims, particularly the Moghols. Babur for instance, this monster who killed hundreds of thousands of Hindus and razed thousands of temples becomes at their hands a gentle hero: “ Babur did not like India and preferred to isolate himself in the exquisite gardens he had devised, with their geometrical design, their crossed canals, which evoked to him the rivers of paradise”. Oh, God what a sensitive poet! And to make it sound even more glorious, the author adds: “there he translated a manual of Koranic law and a Sufi treaty of morals”. Oh, what a saint and lover of humanity… Aurangzeb, the cruelest of the Moghul emperors, has also the full sympathies of the authors: “Aurangzeb seems to have concentrated on himself the hatred of militant Hindus, who attribute to him systematic destruction of temples and massive conversion drives. But this Manichean impression has to be seriously countered (page 126)”… Unfortunately for the authors, as we have seen earlier, Aurangzeb was not only proud of what he was doing to the Hindus, but he had his scribes note each deed down for posterity… In 2006 the same authors published “L’Inde contemporaine”, with the same prejudices and bias against Hindus and their political parties.

These French Indianists have also a tradition of speaking against the BJP, which they have always labeled as “fundamentalist” and dangerous for the “secular” fabric of India, although the BJP has been in power for quite a few years and nothing dramatic has happened to the secular fabric of India. The problem is that these Indianists not only write lengthy and pompous articles in France’s main newspapers, such as Left-leaning Le Monde, explaining to the ignorant reader why is India on the point of exploding because of fanatic Hindus, or how the Harijans in India are still the most downtrodden people on earth (this is why when President Narayanan visited France in April 2000, all the French newspapers chose to only highlight that he was an untouchable and that religious minorities in India were persecuted, nearly provoking a diplomatic incident between France and India), but unfortunately they also advise the French government, who like his citizens, is often shamefully ignorant and uninterested by India. This is why, although there has been a lot of sympathy for the French in India because of their tolerant response to the Indian nuclear tests of 1998 (whereas the whole western world reacted hysterically by imposing absurd sanctions), France has not yet bothered to capitalize on this sympathy and has not managed to realize that India is the ideal economic alternative to a very volatile China.

It would be nice to say that Indian journalists are not blind to this influence of French Indianists and the adverse impact it has on Indo-French relations, but when Christophe Jaffrelot, for instance who wrote many a nasty books on Hindu fundamentalism and is most responsible for the bad image the BJP in France, comes to India to release the English translation of his book, he is feted by the Press corps and all kind of laudatory reviews are printed in the Indian Press. So much for secularism in India.

And, ultimately, it is a miracle that Hinduism survived the onslaught of Muslim savagery; it shows how deep was her faith, how profound her karma, how deeply ingrained her soul in the hearts of her faithfuls. We do not want to point a finger at Muslim atrocities, yet they should not be denied and their mistakes should not be repeated today. But the real question is: Can Islam ever accept Hinduism? We shall turn towards the Sage, the yogi, who fought for India’s independence, accepting the Gita’s message of karma of violence when necessary, yet who had a broad vision that softened his words: “You can live with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is “I will not tolerate you? How are you going to have unity with these people?…The Hindu is ready to tolerate; he is open to new ideas and his culture and has got a wonderful capacity for assimilation, but always provided India’s central truth is recognised.. (Sri Aurobindo India’s Rebirth 161,173)
Or behold this, written on September 1909: “Every action for instance which may be objectionable to a number of Mahomedans, is now liable to be forbidden because it is likely to lead to a breach of peace. And one is dimly beginning to wonder whether worship in Hindu temples may be forbidden on that valid ground (India’s Rebirth p. 55). How prophetic! Sri Aurobindo could not have foreseen that so many Muslim countries would ban Rushdie’s book and that Hindu processions would often be forbidden in cities, for fear of offending the Muslims. Sri Aurobindo felt that sooner or later Hindus would have to assert again the greatness of Hinduism.

And here we must say a word about monotheism, for it is the key to the understanding of Islam. Christians and Muslims (and Jews) have always harped on the fact that their religions sprang-up as a reaction against the pagan polytheist creeds, which adored many Gods. « There is only one real God they said (ours), all the rest are just worthless idols ». This « monotheism versus polytheism business » has fuelled since then the deep, fanatic, violent and murderous zeal of Islam against polytheist religions, particularly against Hinduism, which is the most comprehensive, most widely practiced of all them. It even cemented an alliance of sorts between the two great monotheist religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, witness the Britishers’ attitude in India, who favoured Indian Muslims and Sikhs against the Hindus; or the King of Morocco who, even though he is one of the most moderate Muslim leaders in the world, recently said in an interview: « we have no fight with Christianity, our battle is against the Infidel who adores many gods ».
But as we have seen earlier, Hinduism is without any doubt the most monotheist religion in the World, for it recognises divine unity in multiplicity. It does not say: « there is only one God, which is Mohammed. If you do not believe in Him I will kill you ». It says instead: « Yes Mohammed is a manifestation of God, but so is Christ, or Buddha, or Krishna, or Confucius ». This philosophy, this way of seeing, which the Christians and Muslims call « impious », is actually the foundation for a true monotheist understanding of the world. It is because of this « If you do not recognize Allah (or Christ), I will kill you », that tens of millions of Hindus were slaughtered by Arabs and other millions of South Americans annihilated by the Christians. And ultimately the question is: Are the Muslims of today ready to accept Hinduism ? Unfortunately no. For Muslims all over the world, Hinduism is still the Infidel religion « par excellence ». This what their religion tell them, at every moment, at every verse, at the beginning of each prayer : « Only Allah is great ». And their mollahs still enjoin them to go on fight « jihad » to deliver the world of the infidels. And if the armies of Babar are not there any longer; and if it is not done any more to kill a 100.000 Hindus in a day, there is still the possibility of planting a few bombs in Coimbatore, Mumbai or Varanasi, of fuelling separatisms in the hated land and eventually to drop a nuclear device, which will settle the problem once and for all. As to the Indian Muslim, he might relate to his Hindu brother, for whatever he says, he remains an Indian, nay a Indu; but his religion will make sure that he does not forget that his duty is to hate the Infidel. This is the crux of the problem today and the riddle if Islam has to solved, if it wants to survive in the long run.

We will never be able to assess the immense physical harm done to India by the Muslim invasions. Even more difficult is to estimate the moral and the spiritual damage done to Hindu India. But once again, the question is not of vengeance, or of reawakening old ghosts, but of not repeating the same mistakes. Unfortunately, the harm done by the Muslims conquest is not over. The seeds planted by the Moghols, by Babar, Mahmud, or Aurangzeb, have matured: the 125 million Indian Muslims of today have forgotten that they were once peaceful, loving Hindus, forcibly converted to a religion they hated. And they sometimes take-up as theirs a cry of fanaticism which is totally alien to their culture. Indeed, as Sri Aurobindo once said: “More than 90% of the Indian Muslims are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindu themselves”…(Rebirth of India, p.237) The embryo of secession planted by the Mahomedans, has also matured into a poisonous tree which has been called Pakistan and comes back to haunt India through three wars and the shadow of a nuclear conflict embracing South Asia. And in India, Kashmir and Kargil are reminders that the Moghol cry for the house of Islam in India is not yet over.

One of the main reasons I have decided to build in Pune a Museum of Indian History, dedicated to the great Shivaji Maharaj (who is depicted in Indian History books as a petty chieftain and a plunderer), is that it will not be enough to rewrite Indian History in books, it will also have to be done in STONE. Please see our website fact-india.com and contribute financially, if you can, to the making of that Museum (we have US, UK and Indian tax exemption). We are also looking for IT persons to donate time to do presentations, animations & GAMES based on the lives of India’s Hindu heroes: Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratapa, Ranu of Jhansi, Ahilyabhai, the Vijaynagar empire, etc. You can contact me at fgautier@rediffmail.com


When I started reporting in India, I had the same ideas as most western journalists : secularism, as practiced by Jawarlahal Nehru, was the best policy for India, given its caste and religion differences; Islam was a peaceful religion; and there were also Hindu fanatics.

But I had been given three boons by the Lord: I spent the first seven years of my life in India far from Delhi (in Pondicherry); I read Sri Aurobindo extensively and discovered that he had a towering mind, educated in the West, but Himalayan in its breadth; & I started freelancing in the South, which is much softer, much more attuned to its culture and spirituality than northern India.

Thus, when I interviewed K.R. Malkani, then one of the spokespersons of the BJP in 1988, I went there thinking I would get a Hindu ‘nationalist’ spiel. I was surprised to find a very cultured man, who spoke softly and courteously. And funniest of all, most of the things he said made sense and reminded me of what Sri Aurobindo had written nearly a hundred years before. Thus I became, probably the only ever western correspondent sympathetic to the BJP (Mark Tully, who has an intuition of Hinduism, always remained too British and too Christian to cross that threshold).

I met LK Advani in Jaipur in 1989 and took an instant liking to him: his forthrightness, Spartan simplicity and forceful thoughts. I remember in these days, there were only 3 pillars of the BJP: Advani, MM Joshi and Vajpayee. I was never very impressed by Mr Vajpayee, though no doubt he was a consensus man and an able statesman: but both the times I interviewed him one to one, I found that he had no knowledge about the world and nothing much of interest to say. But I had a lot of admiration for Mr Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. Both demonstrated that they had guts: MM Joshi by raising the Indian flag in Srinagar in 1992, which at that time was made fun by the entire Indian media; and LK Advani by breaking a jinx : Muslims destroyed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of temples in india, but he was the one who had the guts to destroy that one mosque, abandoned as it was. It was a symbolic message of the Hindu renaissance.

The pity is that these three kept each other neutralized: MM Joshi and LK Advani have hated each other for the last 20 years and Vajpayee made sure that Advani always remained N°2 in the BJP.

I however always though that L.K. Advani’s reputation as a fanatic hardliner and a hawk was misplaced: I have spent many moments in his home and I have never heard him raise his voice. In fact, I doubt he ever hit someone in his life: he is very much a family man, dedicated to his wife Kamla and daughter Pratibha, both of them remarkably intelligent. In fact, it often struck me that these two women were the two biggest influences in his life.

Wen the BJP again lost the last elections in 2009, I met Mr Advani shortly thereafter alone in his office & he firmly told me: “it’s time for me to retire from politics”. I believed him then: Advani is a quiet man, whatever the press says, he likes to read, think, watch films and spend quality time with his family.

Yet today, he is clearly positioning himself as the BJP PM candidate for 2014 and that is wrong. For one, he will be 87 at the beginning of his mandate and 92 at the end of it, when most of the leaders in other parts of the world are in their fifties or even forties. Secondly, he is wrecking the chances of the BJP, because, whether it is fair or not, he does not have a good image with the electorate. Thirdly, as usual, in the true tradition of Hindu disunity, he is stabbing in the back Narendra Modi, the only man who has a chance to beat Rahul Gandhi and bring the BJP back to power. Fourthly, however much I liked LK Advani, when he was Home minister and deputy PM, he did not do better than the Congress: neither did he help the poor Tibetans as he had promised, nor did he show any iron hand in Kashmir, nor did he stand up to the Chinese. In fact he did nothing except trying to project a goody image of himself and the BJP.

For all these reasons, I , who has been the one and only western correspondent friend of the BJP in all these years say:

Francois Gautier

PS It does not help that LK Advani refused point blank to help the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, Pune. If there ever was a Museum dedicated to the Hindus, it was this one


“Muslims are bullies and Hindus cowards”, the Mahatma Gandhi once said. He may be right – at least about Hindus: there has been in the past 1400 years, since the first invasions started, very few Shivaji’s and Maharana Pratap’s to fight the bloody rule of the Moghuls, or hardly any Rani of Jhansi’s to stand against the humiliating colonial yoke of the British. If a nation’s soul is measured by the courage of its children, then India is definitely doomed: without the Sikhs, whose bravery is unparalleled in the more recent history of India, Hindus would have even lost additional land to the Muslim invaders and there would have been infinitely more massacres of Hindus by Muslims during the first weeks of Partition.

Are Hindus more courageous since they have an independent nation? Not at all! Because of Nehru’s absurd and naïve “hindi-chini-bhai-bhai” policy, the Indian army was shamefully routed in 1962 by the Chinese, a humiliation which rankles even today. Beijing is still able to hoodwink Indian politicians, by pretending it has good intentions, while quietly keeping on giving nuclear know-how to Pakistan, as well as the missiles to carry their atomic warheads to Indian cities, arm separatists groups in the north-east and continuing to claim Arunachal Pradesh or Sikkim.

Today, we see that Indian politicians, instead of standing-up to Islamic militancy and Chinese bully, prefer to look the other way and speak of ‘Hindu terrorism’, an absurdity if there is one. Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their hunger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book “Lalja”). In Kashmir, the land of yogis, where Hindu sadhus and sages have meditated for 5000 years, Hindus have been chased out of their ancestral home by death, terror and intimidation: there were 25% of Hindus at the beginning of the century in the Kashmir valley… and hardly a handful today. And look how the US is treating India, refusing to hand over Headley, responsible for the planning of the horrible Mumbai attacks and continuing to prop-up Pakistan, knowing very well that when American troops will leave Afghanistan, Islamabad will make sure that a friendly Taliban regime is reinstalled, with dire consequences for India’s security

There is no point in playing cricket against Pakistan, as long as Islamabad is sending militants to kill and maim into Indian territory. Yet, Hindus continue to think that in the name of sportsmanship, or democracy, it’s the right thing to do. We keep hearing about Hindu ‘terrorism’. But since fourteen centuries, Muslims have always struck first against Hindus, And those who live in Indian cities which have important Muslim minorities, will tell you that every time there are Hindu-Muslims, it is the Muslims who start them, either by attacking the police, or by provoking the Hindus.

The truth is that there are two standards in India: one for the Hindus; and one for the Muslims. Did the “fanatic” Hindus who brought down Ayodhya (and brought shame onto secular India, according to the Indian media) kill or even injure anyone in the process? No. But Muslims do not have such qualms. When Gandhi said they were bullies, he was being very nice or very polite. For forget about the millions of Hindus killed during the ten centuries of Muslim invasions, probably the worst Holocaust in world history; forget about the hundreds of thousands of Hindu temples razed to the ground, whose destruction – whatever our “secular” Hindus of today say – was carefully recorded by the Muslims themselves, because they were proud of it (see Aurangzeb’s own chronicles); forget about the millions of Hindus forcibly converted to Islam, and who sadly are now rallying under a banner, a language, a scripture which have nothing to do with their own ethos and culture (*). Yesterday and also today, when the Muslim world feels it has been slighted, in even a small measure by Hindus, these Infidels, who submitted meekly to Muslim rule for ten centuries, it retaliates a hundred fold – this is the only way one intimidates cowards. After Ayodhya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (at least in a passive way by giving shelter for a while to Tiger Memon) with the help of Indian Muslims, planted bombs in the heart of Bombay and killed a thousand innocent human beings, most of them, once more, Hindus.

This is no to say that all Muslims are fanatics; on the contrary, many of India’s Muslims are extremely gentle and their sense of hospitality unsurpassed. The same thing can be said about Pakistan: Pakistani politicians, for instance, are much more accessible than in India and Pakistan has its own identity, which cannot be wished away. No, the problem is not with Muslims, whether they are Indians or Pakistanis, the problem is with Islam, which teaches Indian Muslims from an early age, to look beyond their national identity to a country – the Mecca, in Saudi Arabia – which is not their country, to read a Scripture which is not written in their own language, to espouse a way of thinking, which is inimical to their own roots and indigenous culture. Indian Muslims, have to think of themselves first as Indians and secondly only as Muslims. Muslim soldiers fighting against Pakistan in Kargil, have shown the way.

One would be tempted to say in conclusion : “Arise ô Hindus, stop being cowards, remember that a nation requires Kshatriyas, warriors, to defend Knowledge, to protect one’s women and children, to guard one’s borders from the Enemy”….
And do Indians need a Narendra Modi to remind them of that simple truth ?



However angry I am at the accusation of having written Hindutva, Sex & Adventures, whereas I never hid under a pseudonym to say what I think, I cannot but feel that Mark Tully – or whoever has written this book – has raised some very pertinent issues. In fact I am aghast at most of these reviewers – all of them Hindu journalists – who bash the Hindutva part of it. Dilip Bobb, for instance, rubbished the book in a few words, without even taking care to debate the validity of the points which are raised. Is it because Hindutva is abhorrent to Mr Bobb’s Christian identity?
In fact, I even agree with some portions of the book. The description of the Indian journalist/heroin of the book below, for example, seems to me to apply to most of the Indian journalists of the feminine kind.
… Andrew had heard about yoga before coming to India and felt no inclination towards it, as it was so different from his Anglican practice. But, as he would say later, you cannot live in India long, without taking some interest in yoga. There was a mammoth yoga conference in Rishikesh, where many yogis, gurus and teachers were to take part and Andrew decided to cover it, not only because it was there that the Beatles had gone to study yoga in Maharishi Yogi’s ashram, but also because it is a holy place for most Hindus….

… The next morning he went to the yoga conference where security was tight at as many famous saints were there, such as the shankaracharya of Kanchi, Ma Amrita Anandamai, B.K Iyengar, who more than anybody had helped to spread yoga in the West and swami Bhakta, an upcoming young guru, clean shaven, with flowing orange robes, who taught yoga and a revitalized form of pranayama and with whom Andrew had fixed an interview the next day.

Andrew, standing under an awning near the entrance, noticed her immediately. She was impatiently flashing a press card at one of the security guards and animatedly arguing with him. She was not only pretty, but her anger also exuded a kind of intensity that was appealing to him. He liked girls with personalities and had discovered, of late, that pretty girls are often shallow and self-conscious and that desire dies quickly when beauty is just an empty shell. She was wearing a white shirt and black pants, her black hair was tied behind her head, nothing flashy, but it suited well her personality. She must have felt the weight of his stare and she turned her head and their eyes briefly met. God, she also has pretty eyes, thought Andrew.

Andrew would not give up so easily, he followed her and as she was sitting down in the empty last but one row, he slipped into the chair next to her. She gave him a cool look, she had always been mistrustful of strangers:
-Thanks for having helped me, she nevertheless said and then turned her head away.
But he would not give-up
– Hi, my name is Andrew  Luyt and I am a British radio journalist, he said, extending his hand.
She hesitated and then shook it, noticing with a slight surprise that he kept it in his, longer than was decent to do.
– My name is Imla What are your doing here, she asked ?
–    I am learning all about yoga
–    – Oh, she answered, there is a lot of bull here. It’s all about marketing and brainwashing people.
Andrew was surprised: she looked so Indian, in spite of her western attire.
–    Well, he replied, I am an Anglican and some of my clergy think that yoga is very un-Christian, but how can you dislike something that was born in your country and that has taken the world by storm ? Every gymnastic discipline, every aerobic has some yogic ancestry !
But she was not convinced:
–    What we need in India now are good roads, honest politicians and lots of high tech, not godmen which are two dime a dozen in every nook of this country !
Andrew heard for the first time the word ‘godman’, used derogatively by the Indian media to call Hindu gurus and which he would encounter again and again. He asked:
– Then, why are you here ?
–     Oh, she replied, my newspaper has sent me to write a piece on Swami Bhakta for the Sunday magazine, because he is becoming very big in India, though I do not care much for him. But I have not even managed to catch his secretary so far.
Now I have her he thought:
– Well I have an appointment with him tomorrow morning. Would you like to join me ? I will give you a little bit of time at the end.
For the first time, she seemed interested in him:
– Yes, of course, she said, quick as only a journalist can be. Can you give me a few tips ?
– Sure, he smiled, if you let me buy you dinner at the pizzeria.

The pizzeria was then the only decent western restaurant in Rishikesh, run by a fat Italian, who talked a lot and baked fairly decent pizzas in his makeshift tandooori oven. She met him at seven o’clock. She had put on a salwar kameez and looked even more beautiful, slim, demure and pretty. They sat facing each other in the tiny restaurant overlooking the Ganges. She was distant and eyed him suspiciously, yet he could feel that she was curious about him.
He started asking her questions. She was born in Delhi but worked in Mumbai for the largest midday paper. Her father was an officer in the army, her mother a teacher and she was still living with them.
She was so Indian, yet in many ways, she was more westernized than him. She did not care about yoga and spirituality. Her political views were pretty straightforward:
–    I think the Congress represents the best chance for our country where there are so many minorities, so many religions and ethnicities, she said defiantly to Andrew (who then, could not agree more with her). Seeing Andrew silent, she continued:
–    You westerners have a romantic idea of India. But it’s all about half of our population not having access to proper sanitation, drinking water, or even one meal a day. This is why, Nehruvian socialism is also the right choice for us, as we need to uplift the destitute, the untouchables, which a brahmanic society has kept down for centuries.
But what astounded Andrew even more, was her culture. She had never read Kalidasa, whom Andrew had jus discovered in a bookshop in Khan market. His poetry, genius and sensuality shined even in the bad translation from the Sanskrit and Andrew intuitively felt that he was as good as Homer, as Shakespeare even. When he told her, she laughed :
–    Kalidasa, who ?
But she knew Tennyson’s poem ‘All things will die’, of which she recited the last stanza in a singsong voice, which sounded so out of place in this tiny restaurant serving Italian food in one of the holiest cities of India :
– And the blue wave beat the shore;
“For even and morn
Ye will never see
Thro’ eternity.
All things were born.
Ye will come never more,
For all things must die.”

He felt touched somehow: there was spirituality in this poetry, which was so close to his own atavism and culture.
She also knew the latest bestsellers in the US: Mario Puzzo, Ken Follett, Danielle Steele, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Dick Francis, half of whom Andrew had never read.

– But what about you, she asked, you are a typical journalist, prying information and not giving away anything ?
He told her freely about himself, his being born in India, his difficult schooling, his radio days and coming back here, which felt like home, in spite of the wide difference in cultures. He told her about his first features and his recent trip to Kashmir. He planned to cover the entire subcontinent and was excited by it. Yes, she may be right about the Congress and Nehru, but he came from a journalist culture where one had to report everything to give the radio listener a chance to make his or her own opinion.

She asked him a few questions in Hindi, to which he answered pretty fluently with his British accent, having worked hard at his Hindi in Delhi. She looked at him with interest now. He was not that handsome, but he had a puppy dog air that sometimes endeared him to women. She also found that as he talked, she completely forgot his gruff face and got caught by the melodious power of his voice, which had a near sexual energy in it. He was a charmer too and knew how to weave stories about his encounters with funny maharajas or his solitary ride on the Dal lake, which enthralled her. At some point, however, she got a little bit aggressive :
–    Don’t think Kashmir is all about sentimental boat rides. We Hindus have a lot to answer there… We have exploited Kashmiris for centuries and the army today is killing innocent men in fake encounters and Indian soldiers regularly rape kashmiri women …
Andrew, who had always hated pushy female journalists, did not answer. He had noticed that in India the most aggressive journalists, those who were often the most bitingly nasty in their reporting, were women. Was it because they had to compete in a man’s world, he thought, or was it – as he had also found out through personal experience – because Indian women have a strong masculine streak in them ? India, he would say later, appears to be ruled by men. But if you look carefully in all marriages, from the CEO to the farmer, it is often the woman who takes all important decisions.

Suddenly he disliked her. He found her too precocious, too made-up in her conversation, too westernized for his own taste, and with so little roots in that Indian-ness which he was looking for all over India. He thought her ideas were clichéd and he resented her I-told-you-so answers to his questions. At some point he nearly asked for the bill to signify that the meeting was over. Then he looked at her again: she was so lovely. And he repeated it aloud, in the midst of a conversation that was going nowhere and as she was getting more and more remote and cold.
–    –  You are so beautiful…

Normally she would have either slapped the guy or just taken her bag and walked out. But it was so unexpected, it was said with such conviction and simplicity, that she did not know what to say. She always had a tart and ready-made reply for such frontal and indecent statements, but this time she was speechless. And when the compliment really started sinking in, she realized that it pleased her. It was not just a man trying to make her happy, it was something she had been yearning for so long: a recognition that not only she was beautiful, but also that beneath her beauty there was a stuff that was worth discovering – and no man had ever tried before to touch that inner stuff of her. It seemed to her for a moment that Andrew was referring to both her beauties: the known and the invisible

She hesitated for a second and then said, as spontaneously and effortlessly as Andrew had thrown his compliment:
–    – Thank you.
Let’s swim in the Ganges early tomorrow morning, he said, I have been told by a colleague that there is a small beach upstream, near the Laxman jhulla, where we can even sunbathe. After that we will go to interview swami Bhakta as it is on the same bank. Again she hesitated for a moment and then agreed. They parted in front of the restaurant with a formal handshake….