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Monday, April 03, 2006


Conitnuing Humiliation to Shankaracharya – By paid mercenary BASTARDS (The Indian Media)

ask yourself why you have not rioted in the streets over the humiliation of this saintly man. if we are all waiting for someone to tell us what to do, we are doomed. all of us who did nothing deserve condemnation. a lot of it has to do with our being brainwashed by all the media images of the pious, do-gooding padre, whereas the sanyasi is always shown as a dubious character. is this fair? in that vein, there is news in the malayalam media (kaumudi online in malayalam) that a police SP in the sister abhaya case has been penalized. one michael, SP, has been fined rs. 25,000 and given six months' imprisonment for saying that abhaya and her family were insane. sister abhaya was a catholic nun found floating in a well in a nunnery. fair enough. but it further says, to my complete astonishment, the following (my translation):"local police and the crime branch investigated sister abhaya's death and ruled it a suicide. however, subsequent CBI investigation showed that it was a murder. But the report submitted before the court said, unusually, that IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE TO ARREST THE CULPRITS". note the part in capitals. the suspects must have included the local padre, the bishop and the archbishop. but even the CBI says these people cannot be touched! conclusion: a hindu saint can be humiliated and destroyed without a shred of evidence. but even a puny little archibishop or someone other church functionary cannot be investigated or caught. and it is not as though christist priests havent been caught with their hand in the till. hundreds have been convicted for sexual crimes. one old pope godman was accused of being a nazi collaborator. yet, in india, it is clear that no christist will ever go to jail. this is apartheid, pure and simple. BBC withdraws Offending Article on Shankaracharya http://indiacause.com/columns/OL_060318.htmBy: Dr Farokh MeratMarch 18, 2006On 11th November 2004 His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, theShankaracharya of Kanchipuram was arrested by the Tamil Nadu police allegedly for havingconspired to murder Sankararaman, an employee at a temple unconnected to theKanchi Mutt.The very day after the Shankaracharya's arrest a vast character assassinationcampaign was launched throughout India, portraying the Pontiff not only as a murderer but also as an embezzler and a womanizer. Among the English journalsthe most virulent attacks against Sri Jayendra Saraswathi came from Outlookmagazine. The titles of some of the articles by Mr. S. Anand, Outlook's correspondent in Chennai, are eloquently self-explanatory: "How the Gods Fall,""Swamiand Fiends" (sic), "A Sting in the Tail," "The Baton Awaits," "Prison Diaries of a Pontiff." These articles are compilations almost exclusively ofslanderous back alley innuendos, invariably attributed to vague police contactsandother faceless sources.But Outlook did not stop there. The demonization of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi was to be internationalized on 28th January 2005 by no other than the editor ofthe magazine himself, Mr. Vinod Mehta. In a talk titled "A View from India,"the Outlook editor went on BBC Radio Four to inform English and European audiences about the "Jayendra affair." The talk was rebroadcast two days later,onSunday 30th January, immediately after a program of Christian church services.To Hindus who happened to be listening to BBC Radio Four on that Sunday morning, the contrast between the dignified church services and the viciousslanderheaped on one of their foremost religious leaders must have beenexcruciatingly painful.Two days later the talk was published as an article on the BBC website with the title of "Murder, Mystery and Politics in India." Straight away Mr. Mehtaset the tone. "The charges are a tabloid journalist"s dream - murder, sleaze,debauchery, greed and sex," he said. The story he went on to recount was meant to illustrate each of these "charges." But it was overwhelmingly fictitiousand certain crucial details stood in contradiction with the findings of theSupreme Court of India, made public some three weeks before Mr. Mehta delivered his talk on BBC Radio Four. His tabloid dream was of his own making.The Outlook editor did not merely indulge in fibs. His entire article was acolossal lie - by omission. On granting bail to the Shankaracharya on 10th January 2005, the Supreme Court had stated that the Tamil Nadu authorities andpolice had failed to submit the least prima facie evidence connecting thePontiffto the Sankararaman killing; they had also been unable to submit any grounds of motive for the Shankaracharya to commit such an act. But Mr. Mehta passedover the Supreme Court findings as if they had never existed. The reason isobvious: the pronouncements of the Apex Court would have demolished his viciouslyfictitious story.Immediately devotees of the Shankaracharya throughout the world began writingletters of complaint to the BBC. After some seven months of repeatedcomplaints the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit authorities admitted that Mr. Mehta'stext contained "serious error and inaccuracies." They tacitly acknowledged thatapart from the alleged conspiracy to murder, none of the "charges" mentioned byMr. Mehta were to be found in the charge sheet. On being questioned about the matter, Mr. Mehta had apparently told them that the charges of personalmisconduct were listed not in the charge sheet but in the FIR (First InformationReport), filed by the police shortly after the Pontiff's arrest - another lie. The BBC remained adamant about keeping the offensive article on theirwebsite, purged of the "errors and inaccuracies." Thanks to www.kanchiforum.org,thedevotees of the Shankaracharya organized themselves and engaged lawyers inLondon. Finally, the threat of legal action compelled the BBC to remove thearticle, apologize and reimburse the greater part of the legal costs incurred by the Acharya's devotees.Two questions come to mind. Why did the BBC believe Mehta's version of theevents and refuse for a full year to remove the article from their website? Andthe second and far more fundamental question is: why did the mainstream media defame and demonize the revered Shankaracharya instead of investigating thefacts and exposing the real culprits?The first question can be readily answered. The BBC believed Vinod Mehta'sgroundless accusations because large sectors of the media in India were mouthing the same unfounded charges against the Pontiff. The media are by and largeconformist copycats. Why, after all, should the BBC send a journalist of worldrank to Tamil Nadu to investigate the case - as we repeatedly urged them to do - when most of the national press in India was babbling the same lies? Webattled against the BBC - a minuscule David against a gigantic Goliath - for afull year. Nevertheless, I must say a word in defence of the BBC: they were not the real culprits. They got hoodwinked not just by Vinod Mehta but by theIndian media as a whole. Having accorded them the benefit of a doubt, one can'thelp wondering why the British, after having plundered, divided and departed, still feel a pathological need to humiliate the Hindus. Would the BBC have daredto allow similar calumnies against a Muslim religious leader of even thelowest ranks? No, they wouldn't, for obvious reasons. But the gentlemen and ladiesat the BBC have retained from their readings at school that devout Hindus area peaceful and peace-loving people. They knew that calumniations against therevered Shankaracharya of Kanchi would not bring them bombs and sundry forms of violence. Hence the platform given so nonchalantly to the pseudo-secularistVinod Mehta.As to the second question, several explanations have been given: cleverorchestration of lies and manipulation by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and police;collusion of the Centre for fear that Hindu-oriented parties may regain powerin the next elections; money generously and secretly disbursed by theEvangelists to eliminate a Hindu religious leader actively opposing conversions. But all this does not explain why the media engaged in such wholesale slanderand why the public did not object. The media and the public are partners. Itis said of a nation that it has the rulers it deserves. In the same vein it can be said that the public has the media it deserves. There is a constant giveand take between the two. To be successful and survive in a competitivecontext, each player in the media and the press has to cater to and please its ownaudience. At the same time the media and the press form and educate the public- for the better or for the worse. In the end, the two are one. So thequestion becomes: why was a considerable portion of the population of India, and ofthe Hindu population itself, receptive to lies and unfounded accusationsagainst one of the foremost religious leaders of the land, a Saint who had spentmore than fifty years of his life helping the downtrodden, building and running schools, hospitals, homes for the disabled and the aged, charity organizations,and doing everything he could to maintain communal peace and harmony, notablyin the grave Ayodhya issue? His profile was reversed by the media overnight, between 11/11 and 11/12 2004. Why, one wonders, did not the public demandserious journalistic investigation, evidence instead of innuendos?It is fashionable, after the American model, to laud in flowery terms the four pillars of democracy: the executive, the legislative, the judiciary and forthe last fifty-or-so years, the media/press. This is to forget the mostessential component of all: the civil society. Wherever the civil society is awake,healthy and coherent, the fourfold power system works smoothly. Otherwise itdoes not. It is for the civil society to constantly watch the four "powers" andtake them to task whenever there is injustice, abuse of power, corruption, falsehood.Let us take an example. On New Year's Day 2006 the Calcutta Telegraphpublished a cartoon of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi with a dagger sticking out fromunderhis attire dripping with blood. Just a few days before, the Prime Minister and President of India had expressed their great indignation at the offendingcartoons of the Prophet Mohammad published in Europe. But about the cartoonpublished in their own country ridiculing one of the foremost religious leaders ofthe Hindus, they expressed no opinion at all. Was it because of the unfoundedmurder allegations against the Shankaracharya? But surely the leaders of thecountry must have taken note of the verdict of the Supreme Court of India I have already referred to, as well as a second verdict, dated 26th October 2005,in which the Apex Court ordered the transfer of the murder trial out of TamilNadu and chastised the State Government machinery for attempting to deprive the Shankaracharya and co-accused of proper legal defense, launching persecutionagainst journalists, lawyers and members of the civil society "merely becausethey expressed some dissent against the arrest of the Seer, and creating "a fear psychosis in the minds of the people," thus discouraging witnesses fromtestifying objectively. About all this, too, the President, the Prime Ministerand the Super-Prime Minister remained deafeningly silent. But they alone are not to blame. It is for the civil society to inundate themwith letters asking: "Why such double standards?" And it is again for thecivil society to flood the Telegraph and other unfair media with letters of vigorous protest demanding immediate apologies.The sad truth is that peaceful and civilised protests are not given seriousconsideration by the Government, while there is immediate response to agitation and aggressive protests. This tendency on the part of the rulers, of whateverhue, leads to violence and erodes civilised values. Had the Shankaracharya'sfollowers taken to the streets, it would no doubt have risen both the Government and society at large from their slumber. But it is to theincalculablecredit of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi that he did not veer a millimeter from thepathof the holy lineage of Adi Shankara. He urged his followers to hold their peace and promised that Dharma would prevail, thus avoiding violence andbloodshed.When a Saint of the stature of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi is slandered, it isthe sacred tradition of Advaita Vedanta, the highest light of humanity, that is slandered. When the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is attacked, Sanatana Dharma, theroot religion of all that deserves to be called religion, is attacked.In South Africa they have a beautiful saying: People are people because of other people. Transposed to the context we are concerned with, the proverb isladen with hope. It means that if a few start taking the responsibility to actrightly, even in little ways, their action is bound to ripple and influence others, making the entire world a little more just, humane and peaceful - areturn to the primeval and pristine religion: Sanatana Dharma.Dr Farokh Merat

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