Hindu Vivek Kendra

7. Three analysis

· The attack against IDRF ("The Foreign Exchange of Hate: IDRF and the American Funding of Hindutva") compiled in the 91-page report is a rehash of much that the Forum of Indian Leftists (FOIL) has published over the past five years.
7.2 However, as mentioned above, a fiction is being created that the Report is a new revelation, meticulously compiled, supported by hard facts and razor-sharp analysis.

7.3 Some quotes from the article will clearly establish the agenda of the authors of the Report.

· This response to Sabrang report looks at Chapter 1 that outlines the purpose, methodology, and organization of the report. The emphasis is on understanding and critiquing the methods employed by the researchers and writers of this report. The objective is to determine if the methodology withstands a rigorous critical examination.

· In the first paragraph of the report, section 1.1. titled, "Purpose" the last sentence reads, "The Foreign Exchange of Hate' establishes that the IDRF is. ." Now anyone who has done any semi-academic writing knows that the 'purpose statement' is first and foremost about INVESTIGATION rather than ESTABLISHMENT of facts. (Emphasis in the original.)

· Chapter 1 is titled "Purpose, Methodology and Organization," but only one page is devoted to these three sections. Authors then go on to present a two full page "Summary of Findings" - something that is not mentioned in the title. Why this deceit?

· One reason perhaps why it has not been done so is because the focus of this report is to show the link between IDRF and violence against religious minorities in India. Does this suggest an innate bias or a pre-determined conclusion of the researchers even before doing the content analysis of the selected documents?

· Even before the reader is made aware of the origins of Hindutva as a political ideology, he or she is asked to believe that it is "Hindu supremacist ideology" and has been responsible for much of the "communal violence" in India. Is this a case of reaching at a conclusion even before any evidence is presented?

· Section 1.4 titled, "Summary of Findings" starts with the sentence: "The purpose of this report is to DOCUMENT the links between IDRF and certain violent and sectarian.." Is this an admission on the part of the writers that their purpose is to DOCUMENT rather than to FIND if any such links exist? Is the starting assumption of these writers that such links exist? (Emphasis in the original.)

· Another example of writers' rhetoric intent is obvious in section 1.4, where the writers depict the Hindutva movement as a "violent sectarian movement - similar to the Nazi idea of a pure Aryan Germany."

7.5 Quotes from the article would give a flavour of the methodology of labelling that we have mentioned.

· I was drawn to this report for this very reason. For as the personal accusations reached a crescendo over the last 6 weeks, despite my compulsive search of all accounts from Gujarat, I had not seen any substantiation to the charge that the State government carried out the attacks on Muslims. Of course, there is no dearth of accusations -- and the headlines in the Indian press, never known for the mastery of subtlety, skip words like "complicity" and just accuse Modi of murder. Yet here was a report from a foreign organization, no less, that confidently declares state participation and complicity in the massacres. Now I had read the 1999 report on Kashmir by the HRW, an amalgamation of Indian Army human rights abuses that failed to devote even a sentence to the plight of Kashmiri Hindus. I was eager now to understand what this inexplicably often-quoted organization had to say of Gujarat.

· Ostensibly written as an account of a tragic, maniacal orgy of murder, this 75-page report evolves into nothing more than a politically charged and hopelessly biased self-serving account.

· The first salvo without which this report would not exist -- the Godhra train burning -- merits exactly 1 paragraph on page 13. That's correct -- 3 sentences out of 75 pages describe the killing of innocent Hindus that sparked a national nightmare. The remainder of the Godhra chapter exhaustively quotes Celia Dugger of the New York Times and Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post and their long-exposed, sadistic, blame-the-Hindu victim journalistic gymnastics.

· In its haste to blame the government, the report again overlooks the facts of rapid police deployment and the massive police firing that disproportionately killed Hindu rioters: 90 companies of the State Reserve Police were called in on February 27, 2002 itself, and over 3,900 rounds of ammunition killed close to 100 rioters. The Gujarat Police overlook a population of 50 million (that would rank as the 22nd most populous country in the world) and have largely succeeded in keeping violence at a minimum within one city since the initial days of madness.

· If the rest of the 73 pages of anti-Sangh hatred are not enough, though utterly unrelated, almost 2 pages are devoted to anti-Christian violence. Keep in mind again that the Godhra train killing merited 1 paragraph!

· Why do I devote this article to a report written by an insignificant paper-pusher with no journalistic integrity securely sheltered in New York City? This report is a convenient summary of a rampant dogma among circles immersed in a modern day political witch-hunt. A witch-hunt aimed at discrediting an opposing ideology -- it is tantamount to an arrogant rejection of Indian democracy, Gujarati electoral intelligence and due process. For evidence of immediate repercussions, just wait until the next session in the United States Congress when the shrinking, yet shrill, India-baiters begin spewing their venom India's way. You can count on them being armed with the HRW report making its way through Washington.

7.6 Shukla was right on the button. Such reports are a staple in the campaign of spit-and-run.

7.7 A third analysis is an article "Politics by Other Means", which looks at a few of the recent reports by Human Rights Watch on India. This article was written by Arvin Bahl, an undergraduate student at Princeton University, and is Chapter 31 of the book "Gujarat after Godhra - Real violence, selective outrage", edited by Ramesh Rao and Koenraad Elst, and published by Har-Anand Publications. Bahl says:

· Upon closer examination, however, extensive and systematic bias exists in HRW's reports on human rights and communal violence in India. The most glaring defect of HRW's reports is the lack of concern for the rights and lives of Hindus. Incidents of communal violence in which both the Hindu majority and a particular minority community are involved in, and share the blame, are portrayed as one-sided attacks by Hindus against 'innocent minorities'. Human rights abuses against Hindus are ignored or downplayed compared to attacks against other religious groups.