Which SC Bench Expunged the Remarks on Conversion from Staines Ruling?

As per a news report by Rakesh Bhatnagar in DNA-India[1], the expunging of the remarks on conversions in the Graham Staines ruling[2][3] was done by a different bench of the SC comprising M. Katju and J.C. Misra, and not the original bench of P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan.

The changes were made by a bench comprising justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra.

Interestingly, the same bench of Katju and Misra not too long ago made some inaccurate and unnecessary references to dronAcharya[4][5] and terms from Hindu epics[6] in another ruling.

Pictures of the article by Bhatnagar[7] in DNA print edition are embedded here. They can also be viewed directly on scribd[8].



A report in the Times of India however seems to indicate that the revisions to the ruling were done by the original bench of Sathasivam and Chauhan[9].

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, which had given the verdict in the Staines case on Friday, replaced the original remarks in two different paragraphs with new sentences.

Unfortunately, it is not very clear at this point which bench did the revision. This post will be updated as and when accurate information is obtained. Nonetheless, it was a consummate capitulation to a bigoted cabal of high-on-holy-spirit fanatics, evangelists and Indian Stalinists.


[1] ^ Rakesh Bhatnagar. Staines sentence: Sc expunges controversial observations. DNAIndia, page 10, January 11 2011. Published in Pune.

[2] ^ Editorial. A tragic capitulation. The Pioneer, March 18 2011. URL http://www.dailypioneer.com/313454/A-tragic-capitulation.html.

[3] ^ Sandhya Jain. A shocking revision. The Pioneer, March 15 2011. URL http://www.dailypioneer.com/314549/A-shocking-revision.html.

[4] ^ Sandeep. Social justice catches up with sc, January 10 2011. URL http://www.sandeepweb.com/2011/01/10/social-justice-catches-up-with-sc/.

[5] ^ Sandeep. A tale of two supreme court judgements, February 4 2011. URL http://www.sandeepweb.com/2011/02/04/my-article-in-pioneer-a-tale-of-two-supreme-court-judgements/.

[6] ^ Manas. An insight into a jnu scholar, January 12 2011. URL http://www.tattvaanveshanam.org/2011/01/12/an-insight-into-a-jnu-scholar/. (ref: final blockquote in article)

[7] ^ Rakesh Bhatnagar. Staines sentence: Sc expunges controversial observations. DNAIndia, page 10, January 11 2011. Published in Pune.

[8] ^ Manas. Staines conversion remarks expunged by sc katju misra bench, March 19 2011. URL http://www.scribd.com/doc/51127099/Staines-Conversion-Remarks-Expunged-by-SC-Katju-Misra-Bench.

[9] ^ PTI. Sc changes controversial paras in ruling on staines’ killings. The Times of India, January 25 2011. URL http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-01-25/india/28378592_1_staines-case-graham-staines-mahendra-hembram.

Jammu and Kashmir: Confluence of Religious Totalitarianism and Political Machinations

Shantanu Bhagwat, a popular nationalist blogger[1] and activist, has put together an excellent presentation[2] on Jammu and Kashmir.

Update 1

A document which includes extensive legal and historical information related to Kashmir is provided here courtesy Kashmir News Network, Dr. Raina and Shantanu Bhagwat[1]. This document is also available directly on scribd[3].

(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();


[1] ^a ^b http://satyameva-jayate.org/

[2] ^ http://www.slideshare.net/jaihind/jammu-kashmir-lse-mar-11

[3] ^ http://www.scribd.com/doc/52144354/Kashmir-Legal-and-Historical-Documents

Suhag Shukla from HAF on Evangelism In India

Suhag Shukla of the Hindu American Foundation [1] recently made some observations [2] about the highly organized crusade for souls based on a faulty premise of supremacist religiosity launched by American and European based evangelical groups in India.

Three examples were provided to lay bare the rubric of aggressive evangelism:

  1. The Joshua Project [3]
  2. The Houston-based Central India Christian Mission
  3. The huge outpouring of foreign money into India for the express purpose of evangelism.

She does however rightly points to the contrast with pre-medieval and in fact even earlier non-dharmika arrivals into the Indian subcontinent who sought to live with amity unlike those that came in later as invaders and colonizers and brought along a vitriolic religious totalitarianism. Emphasis in bold added.

The sage Hindu observation — Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti (The Truth is one, the wise call It by many names) — has fostered an environment in which an unprecedented diversity of traditions and religions have, for the large part, peacefully co-existed for millennia. Like America, India’s shores accepted and sheltered the religiously persecuted — from Jews arriving 2500 years ago, to early Christians bringing the message of Christ, not to Hindus, but to their brethren, the Cochin Jews. Later came the Parsis from Iran. Others came not to escape but on their own free will — Arab Muslims to trade, and others from far away lands seeking India’s spirituality. Each one of these newcomers sought to live and let live, mixing in, as the legend goes, like sugar in milk.

But since the 12th century, starting with the Islamic invasions and colonizing European missionaries to today, India faces a different kind of religious visitor — one that seeks not to sweeten the milk, but curdle it.

Readers are directed to the article [2] for more.

While it is always welcome to present such facts and elucidate the dangers of religious totalitarianism which is really what evangelism is an expression of, there has hardly been any comparable organized effort on the ground to counter the fanatical soul harvesting. Unless Hindu organizati­ons emulate the zealous evangelism­, the highly structured organizati­ons, the immaculate research and fund-raisi­ng of Christian missionari­es, 10 years from now someone else will write a similar article, while by then another 500,000 heathen/pa­gan/damned (Hindu) souls (and perhaps many times more) would have been harvested. Mere Internet activism and harping that Hinduism is "non-prose­lytizing" isn’t going to win this war. Which is what it really is. Make no mistake. Or else, many South Sudan’s will happen in the land which gave us buddha, rAma, kR^iSNa, nAnaka and mahAvIra. As it is Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan stand as examples of how parts of bhAratavarSha became severed when the population was converted to non-native denomination. Even now in India, Kashmir and Nagaland have festering secessionist movements. Needless to say both states have a majority population comprising adherents of non-native denomination. HAF along with other Hindu organizati­ons around the world can and must convince the AchAryas, santas, sAdhus of Hindu society to eschew the suicidal stupor and start on a campaign of religious conversion of non-dharmikas (both in India and abroad) to the path of dharma to oppose and defeat the rice bowl missionari­es. No doubt, there will be challenges­, risks and numerous sacrifices involved. But as the lesson from the sAgara manthana episode teaches: if amR^ita is desired, one must be willing to do sAgara manthana. And even so, only after facing halAhala does one acquire amR^ita.


[1] http://www.hafsite.org/

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suhag-a-shukla-esq/harvesting-souls-yields-c_b_817793.html

[3] http://joshuaproject.net/

A Governor, a Swami and a Welcome Address

Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley was recently in the news for saying that he does not consider Americans who do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior to be his brothers and sisters. The exact text of his comment is reproduced below [1]. Emphasis in bold added.

"There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said shortly after taking the oath of office, according to the Birmingham News. ”But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister."

”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters," he continued. "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

The religious bigotry espoused by Governor Bentley was rightly condemned by many groups and individuals (including Christians), and he apologized for his remarks [2]. Notwithstanding the apology, his supremacist religiosity however presents a delectable contrast to what a certain Hindu monk, swAmI vivekAnanda [3] [4] [5] said when he stood to address a myriad of denominations (many of those being Christian) during the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Sept 11, 1893, drawing a spontaneous standing ovation from a crowd of around seven thousand for over two minutes [6] [7] [8] [9].

Sisters and Brothers of America!

swAmI vivekAnanda’s wonderful address to his audience of diverse religious affiliations reflects the very inclusiveness and core universalist ethos of sanAtana dharma (or what is now known as Hinduism). Not surprisingly, the depth of his sincerity and the beauty of his address touched his audience who rose to their feet and according to reports, “went into inexplicable rapture with standing ovation and clapping that lasted for more than two minutes.” [10]

The edited audio of swAmI vivekAnanda’s welcome address [7] is embedded below.

Coming back to Governor Bentley, fundamentally, his ethos are no different from those of the Taliban (to name just one such entity) who also espouse the very same supremacist religiosity. It is this very same religious totalitarianism which has in the past fueled heinous crimes against humanity. The last couple millennia of human history is replete with outright barbaric wars and horrific massacres brought about by religious supremacy. Hence, at a time when all humans irrespective of religious (or non-religious) affiliation should eschew all sorts of bigotry and imbibe mutual respect for one and all, Governor Bentley’s remarks have rightly made many people feel offended and incredulous. As per the Wikipedia page of Governor Bentley, he seems to be well educated [11]. However as his bigoted comment reveals, many a time, education alone isn’t sufficient to imbibe in a person mutual respect for one and all. It takes more than just a formal education to imbibe in one the inclusiveness that swAmI vivekAnanda so succinctly yet mellifluously summed up in his welcome address. One can’t help express heartfelt pity towards Governor Bentley and hope that in time his eyes are opened to the futility of his exclusivist dogmatic ethos and the beauty of the inclusive universalism so wonderfully laid out by swAmI vivekAnanda and so rapturously acknowledged by his audience, in American soil back in 1893.


[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20028777-503544.html

[2] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20028983-503544.html

[3] http://www.ramakrishna.org/sv.htm

[4] http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/complete_works.htm

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Vivekananda

[6] http://hinduism.about.com/od/vivekananda/a/vivekananda_speeches.htm

[7] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxUzKoIt5aM

[8] Minor, Robert Neil (1986), "Swami Vivekananda’s use of the Bhagavad Gita", Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavad Gita, SUNY Press, p. 133

[9] P. R. Bhuyan, Swami Vivekananda, p. 17

[10] http://www.swamij.com/swami-vivekananda-1893.htm

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Bentley