World without terrorism: : Hindustan is like a sleeping tiger! – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

24 11 2007
World without terrorism

The FACT India event was organised earlier in Feb 2007
This is just recollection courtesy: hindujagruthi

‘Hindustan is like a sleeping tiger. The mice are eating at it but it is still sleeping’ was the mention made by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in a program “World Without Terrorism” recently organized at St. Andrew’s College, Bandra (W) Mumbai, by FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) and ‘THE ART OF LIVING’.

The convenor of the conference was a French Journalist Francois Gautier, who heads FACT. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Shri. Gopinath Munde, Shri. Karthikeyan were present. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar began with a prayer –

‘Sahana vavatu, Sahanau Bhunaktu, Sahaviryai Karavavahai, Tejasvinavadhitamastu Ma Vidvisavahai Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih’.

[May He protect us both. May he nourish us both. May we both work together with great energy. May our study be enlightening and fruitful. May we never hate each other. Om Peace Peace Peace.]

A Kabir bhajan (Ajapa Jap Japo Bhai Sadho) was sung dedicated to the victims of the Mumbai train blasts on 11.07.06, after a film tribute was paid to the victims. Their families were also invited to the conference.

Sri Sri Ranishankar said ” words cannot console the pain of those that lost their near and dear ones. Sharing their pain might give them relief. Appreciate this enormous task undertaken by Francois Gautier to print what is really happening in the world“.

2000 US soldiers are dead and the whole world takes notice, but what about the 7 lac Iraqis. Nobody is talking about them. Nearly 4 lakh Kashmiri Pandits live in tents and they have been so for the last 20 years and nobody knows what really happened. Whatever we do know, is only what the political parties want the public to know. Exhibitions create awareness.

Fighting in the name of religion is exactly opposite of what Dharma teaches. There is no compassion, no bhav. We are not civilized if we do so without compassion and bhav. There is terrorism, naxalism, fractionalism, it is a fact that Factionalism kills at least 5-6 people everyday in Andhra Pradesh. Govt. policies should change with the situation. We have to be alert. Hindustan is like a sleeping tiger. The mice are eating at it but it is still sleeping.

There is no education, If we do not shoulder our responsibility. In UP villages Osama is treated as a hero. Knowledge is important for enlightenment. We have to come together to protest against terrorism. This is an appeal to you that you should all put pressure on the Govt.

When I was in the US, I met the intellectual think tank of the US, who asked me what advice I had for President Bush & PM Blair. I replied, you catch the terrorists, don’t kill them, and give them to me. I will mend them and send them back to you. We need to teach every child lessons human values.

Sleeping humanity needs to be roused. Violence is terrorism, work against it even if you have to sacrifice your life. At least you would have sacrificed your life for society.

Francois Gautier, French Journalist:

Terrorism has entered our lives, it is blind and it reaches everybody regardless of race, religion, caste. Yet we are disconnected with terrorism. It is blind, cruel, pitiless and we are ignorant about it. FACT does conferences and exhibitions to bring awareness among common people. Terrorism often affects minorities. Nobody hears about their plight. 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pandits (KP) live as refugees in their own country. Minorities don’t count because they are not vote banks. We live in a politically connected world. In Bangladesh minorities are persecuted. It is important to connect with the victims, feel their pain, and have compassion.

Terrorism is not glamorous. It doesn’t attract attention; there is no social or political support. FACT has had unconditional support of Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji). We should feel from the heart. Problem of terrorism is ours too, Its not just ‘theirs’. Only then awareness will grow. Once there is awareness, then take action – write in newspapers, contact TV channels, don’t be passive.

Shri. Gopinath Munde, BJP:

Threat of terrorism exists the world over. In the last 22 years it has spread everywhere in India & people know this. Terrorism and criminal behavior are different. Terrorism is a process, which is systematic in its training and thought. It is fanatic. Die and let die is their motto. Terrorism is being promoted by Pakistan. Pak has waged an undeclared war against us. They have had a hand in all the blasts.

It is as if we are sitting on a fuse with the refugees from Bangladesh infiltrating into India. They should be deported. There are 45,000 of them in Mumbai who are not Indian citizens.

There is also a need for an international treaty where terrorists will not be given asylum by other countries. To end terrorism we will have to sacrifice ourselves, blood will flow. It is the responsibility of every citizen of India to come together to finish this problem.

TADA & POTA should be reinstated. Afzal’s attack was an attack on India’s culture, India’s freedom & its people. Human Rights Organisations should fight for just issues and not ask for clmency / pardon for such terrorists.

There should be fast track courts. Delayed justice is justice denied. Armed Forces & the police should step up. Shoot at sight orders need to be given. Police need to be given modern, powerful weapons. Central and state intelligence should be competent.

Shri. Karthikeyan, Ex-Director of CBI and Human Rights Commission:

The victims are not the targets. By killing them terrorists convey a message. But the message is also not clear. In creation there is harmony. Man disturbs the harmony created by God. ‘Spirituality’ will liberalise politics, socialise business and secularise religion.

: Terrorism can be attributed to the following factors: –

: * Commercialization of police
: * Decrease in role models
: * Decadence of spiritual values
: * Increase in corruption among ruling elite
: * Decay of political parties
: * Indifference of the ruling parties
: * Mis-governance

Merely strengthening the police or army is not enough. No cause can justify terrorism. Terrorism makes Hamlets of decision makers.

‘Stop pitying yourself, wake up – Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji

‘Stop pitying yourself. Wake up. Awaken the courage and the challenging soul, spirit inside you. Your spirit of challenge will give peace to the departed souls. Get out of victim consciousness.’ – This was said by Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji when he was asked to respond to a letter written by a child of a victim of the Mumbai blasts.

After the above segment there was a Bangladesh panel representing the minorities in Bangladesh who are suffering at the hands of Jamat-e-Islam and other religio-political groups. The Christians were represented by Ms Rosalyn da Costa who chaired the panel, who is an activist working with Human Rights of Minorities in Bangladesh. Hindu Bengalis were represented by Ms. Aroma Dutta, the Ahmadi Muslim sect represented by activist, journalist -filmmaker Mr. Shariar Kabir, the Chittagong Hill Tract Buddhists represented by Dr. Pragyalankar Bhikku and a young Buddhist Surojit who has sought political asylum in France since 2003.

The segment started with a film by Shariar Kabir called ‘SOS’ which showed violence committed against the minorities especially the Ahmadis, Bengali Hindus. Houses are ransacked, pillaged, burnt, the women raped and the men beaten. This is a regular state of affairs in Bangladesh. Ms. Rosalyn da Costa spoke about how tense they all are because of the forthcoming elections in January 2007. Her name has not appeared on the voters list.

After a struggle of 5 years Ms. Aroma Dutta has managed to get a law passed and a book published which safeguards land belonging to the minorities.

There was a slide show by Dr. P. Bhikku, showing massacre of Buddhists (men, women, children, monks) from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) [CHT was an independent Buddhist Kingdom before the British invaded.] During 1947 they wanted to be a part of India but were unable to represent themselves and formulate a policy, hence had to remain with Bangladesh. They have been undergoing atrocities since the 80’s.

Rape as a silent genocide is tool of choice in Bangladesh. Surojit a young Buddhist has sought asylum in France since 2003 as have many youngsters, out of no choice. They have been separated from their motherland and families. Surojit started off in English and then said that he preferred to speak in Hindi, as he felt English was not equipped to bring out the pain & suffering of the Buddhists. He said Hindi would help him communicate his pain better.

Shariar Kabir:

Pakistan is exporting ‘Jehad’ in India, Bangladesh and Central Asian Countries. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should stop exporting ‘Jehad’ in Bangladesh. The west is not taking a serious stand about Terrorism in our countries. When Mr. Kabir was asked how USA could intervene in the Bangladesh crisis. Mr. Kabir replied, that political intervention in Pakistan, economic intervention in Myanmar and military intervention in Iraq has been counterproductive. US calls the Jamaat-e-Islam as a terrorist group in Pakistan but the same group in Bangladesh is hailed as Liberal Democratic party. Why the double standards?

One can visit his site and read his paper. The Ahmadis, Sufis are targeted by Jamaat-e-Islam because they do not follow the same tenets. Also Sufism has drawn a lot from Hinduism & Buddhism. These 2 groups are considered Kafirs.

Post – lunch session had the Kashmir Panel and the Terror Panel where a film, on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits was shown.

This panel consisted of Shri. Ashok Pandit and Shri. Moti Kaul and a lady who represented Kashmiri Pandits; Shri. K.P.S. Gill, Shri. B. Raman, Shri. Brahma Chalani & Shri. Balbir Punj who represented the Terror Experts and Shri. Mihir Meghani who represented the Hindu American Foundation.

Shri. Ashok Pandit, Film Producer:

What pains me as a citizen of a so called secular democratic country is that our country is not secular. It is a country aspiring to be secular. It is not a democracy. What pains me is that I’m a refugee in my own country. Silence is a bigger terrorist in India. We have maximum security in the state on 15th Aug. The PM speaks from within bullet-proof security. Fear to India is not Pakistan or Osama Bin Laden. India should fear the so-called educated people who are protected by the Govt.

Shri. K.P.S. Gill, Ex-Director General of Police for Maharashtra States:

India gained freedom in 1947; the constitution was formed in 1951, which does not mention terrorism. Nobody expected the country to be in the state it is today. We were supposed to be a Democracy and rise in Democracy. It did not happen. As terrorism grew we tried to fight it. We found a way in Punjab, which is a rare recorded instance in history where it is said terrorism was defeated.

Certain countries in the West back terrorism. We now choose to honour those who brought it in. Justice Lahoti in Punjab state found a way. Why can’t we do it again? State included certain elements of the Govt. who tried to undo, destroy what had been achieved. It is surprising that some of the silent supporters of those who mischievously tried to destroy the instrument, which fought terrorism, are enjoying benefits of the State today. They didn’t succeed because of a large number of people.

How are we going to fight terrorism in the days to come? Our country needs a state of peace where all people can live without fear, irrespective of caste or creed. Our Democracy has become a mere attempt centered around efforts to win elections Democracy should be a system of politics which speaks the truth, sticks to the truth and finds out what is the truth. For sake of elections, political parties speak blatant lies, tolerate murder of citizens. To fight terror is the work of the Govt. Our duty is to see to it that the Govt. performs its duties. Terrorism can be stopped in a week but are we willing to protect our society. We cannot exist in weakness. If every court & police station does what it is meant to do, terrorism will finish. You cannot negotiate write terrorists. You have to bring them to justice. Bring about law & order, terrorism will vanish, secularism will emerge automatically.

Shri. Moti Kaul:

State & Centre Govt. are not keen on the KPs returning to the valley. KPs will remain rootless & eventually become extinct.

Shri. B. Raman, Research Scholar:

Terrorism is in India since 1989. Jehadi ideology has to be understood. First loyalty to Islam & then to the country. Religious solidarity is more important than cultural solidarity. Muslims do not recognise National Frontiers. They talk about religious obligations to protect their religion.

Terrorism victim activity is important. After the Twin Tower disaster in the USA the public put pressure on the Bush Govt. to take action. People have to activate themselves, put pressure on the Govt., and take Govt. intelligence agencies to court. In India Govt. takes everything for granted. We lack political will. The police are demoralized when it comes to investigations. Our country has a very good investigation system, but every time the police apprehend a terrorist or related individual, pressure is put on them in the name of community & religious bias. When the police went to the PM Dr. M. Singh with a list people they had zeroed in on, connected to the blasts the PM said, ‘do not make this a community investigation’. If there is a problem in Nagaland one would have to start investigating there and not in Goa or some place else. The police are thwarted at every step.

Shri. Brahma Chalani, Nuclear technology expert:

[He made it a point to say that it took a foreigner to try to awaken us against this menace]. There was no mention in the New Delhi newspapers about the anniversary of the Delhi blasts but all the newspapers brought out front page articles remembering the 1st anniversary of the London train bombings. We are callous. Why are we indifferent, insensitive to what the country is going through? India has the highest incidence of terrorist violence in the world. It is a testing ground for trying new terrorist acts. A new method or terrorist act is first tested in India. India’s response is survival by a thousand bandages. Pakistan’s response is death by a thousand cuts.

Between inaction & war lie a 100 different options. Pursue options that are prudent & feasible. We need new laws. Law enforcement with a larger counter terror strategy will be better equipped to counter terrorism. Terrorism is not a law & order problem. No western democracy allows any act of terrorism to go unpunished. Those who seek to bleed India need to be kept on tenterhooks. Do not reward those who undermine the country. Retaliation is a whole range of actions. We need political will, need to change our thinking, mindset and response to terrorist acts.

Shri. Mihir Meghani, President of a Hindu organization in US:

Hindus don’t have a voice. The rights of Hindus in other countries are not adequately represented. 15 % of world’s population is Hindu & who is going to represent them? Every religion is represented in the UN except Hindu.

Shri. Balbir Punj, Member of Rajyasabha:


n 1987 when I was a journalist with Indian Express, C.B. Pandit, a correspondent in Kashmir sent a list of 35 temples in Kashmir, which were burnt and/or damaged. B.K. Verghese of Indian Express wrote back saying, ‘Withhold the story. It will raise communal temperature in the country.’ Babri Masjid was the first un-Islamic act by Hindus in India. Demolition of any religious place is bad. Mr. Punj asked Verghese why he didn’t publish about the 35 temples that were destroyed in Kashmir & why now was there a hue & cry about the Babri Masjid; to which Mr. Verghese said that it was an old matter & it is ethically not right to corner him about it now.

There is lack of commitment to truth & objectivity. Terrorists or rather Muslims are not the only terrorists. There are Hindu, Christian, Maoists who are also terrorists, but none is inspired to kill others by the faith in which they are born. It is only the Jehadis who kill in the name of faith. Other terrorist groups LTTE, Maoists have certain demands, which if fulfilled, will become peaceful. The Jehadis demand on the other hand is – you believe in my God, Prophet that is the only right way to live. If you don’t or you don’t convert, I will kill you even if I get killed in the process.

Either one dies a spiritual death i.e. change your faith or a physical death. In India there is one Ishwar, His names are different. Jehadi elements claim there is only one God & those who don’t accept this God are not fit to live. 65000 people have died in J & K because of terrorism & there have been less than 70 convictions. It is not for us to punish terrorists. It is up to God to do so. All we can do is ensure a quick meeting between terrorists and God.

Ms. Coomi (Educationist):

Can we combat terrorism through education? Yes, by changing the mindset at a very early age J. Krishnamurthy spoke about developing rational mind and the religious mind i.e. spirituality. Anything done through spirituality succeeds because it enables you to see ‘self’ & others also as ‘selves’. Begin to see ourselves as spirit first, human beings next, then Hindu and so on. Genuinely respect differences. Peace & Conflict resolution courses should be a part of school & college curriculum.



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