Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10 Defences for Anil Azeez Against Aksharananda's Accusations

Dear Editor,

Aksharananda (Stabroek News 8/24/07) returns to the Anil Azeez “song” debate, even guiltier than before of fathomless hypocrisy. Firstly, he again hacks a swathe of accusation against Christianity, his arguments illustrating a disturbing level of historical naiveté and misinformation. Paragraph 6 denies the contemporary and factual problem that Human Rights Watch ( has with Hinduism as culture/religion.

Swami asks the question: “At a minimum, why shouldn't these faiths be challenged or at least be brought within the purview of rational discourse?” Apparently, such “challenges” should exclude the horrors of Hinduism/Hindu Nationalism and the pathological propensity of that faith to assign its subjects and objects into racial/social classes, and degrade dissenters (see “The Rig Veda does refer to caste”; and the book “Apartheid in India” by V.T. Rajshekar).

Thirdly, we can appreciate the depth of Aksharananda’s duplicity by contemplating the IRO meeting of June 2005 on “How to propagate faith without offence”. There, many non-Christians advocated censorship. Among the objective criteria decided on were: (a) Respect for the truth, (b) Respect for freedom of speech; (c) Respect for egalitarian democracy; (d) Non-preferential treatment, and no victimization, for persons of differing religious persuasions relative to issues of procedure, protocol and law, and; (e) Respect for the rule of law and constitutional provisions regarding freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of expression. How significant is this, and especially relative to “truth”? The principle cited was: I may disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it! Mangalwadi chooses to express his deliverance from Hinduism this way: “Empires that have lost credibility and the moral right to exist can continue to exist like buildings with poor foundations or trees with rotten roots. They collapse only when a tremor or a flood hits them. Likewise, untrue ideologies tend to continue until truth liberates their victims.” Dr. Joseph D'Souza ("Historical Indian Elections 2004 and the hand of God!"; concurs.

Fourthly, therefore, Anil Azeez’s own choice of words pales in comparison to those of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the Architect of the Indian Constitution. Ambedkar, a Hindu, would consider Azeez’s words a confirmation of his own in the online book “What Congress and Gandhi have done to Untouchables”: “Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors. The sanctity and infallibility of the Vedas, Smritis and Shastras, the iron law of caste, the heartless law of karma and the senseless law of status by birth are to the Untouchables veritable instruments of torture which Hinduism has forged against untouchables. These very instruments which have mutilated; blasted and blighted the lives of the Untouchables are to be found intact and untarnished in the bosom of Gandhism." Azeez is no guiltier than Ambedkar, whose words indict a culture which is still propagated by Aksharananda’s RSS, a group of intellectual terrorists who guard their mission (see “The Foreign Exchange of Hate”; with “evangelical zeal”. The Christian rationale for Azeez’s fervent declaration is found at Colossians 3:8-11. Nothing ever changes in Hinduism, so to the extent that his reference to “krishna” represents spiritual, historical and de-facto truth, then to condemn him is hypocritical.

Fifthly, if as Aksharananda suggests “Verbal and physical violence are inseparable” then in Hinduism we have the world’s deadliest religion, because its words define a structure aimed at oppressing 300 million Dalits. Where there is a respect for the truth, we are all safe! You cannot “ban” what is “true” to protect your own untruth!

The principle that drives egalitarian parliamentary democracy is: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. This is the only context in which Anil Azeez’s passionate declaration about the freedom that exists in Jesus can and must be understood. Everything Aksharananda does tells us that his mission is to suppress this freedom, not encourage it!

So, seventhly, in paragraph 1 of Aksharananda’s letter of 8/24/07 he refers to a Muslim tract that made an equally compelling statement about the incapacity of Hinduism to reflect the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Guyanese. This was a statement of fact, entirely within the rights of an Islamic worldview. Any other interpretation advanced the cause of fascism and totalitarianism. The claim thereafter became open to debate and discussion, not censorship. Thereafter, the Indian national motto “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth Alone Triumphs) would prevail.

Aksharananda, by paragraph 2, accuses Azeez of initiating a “cross-cultural” war! This is the naïve and fatalistic eschatology and rationale we would expect of second- or third-formers at high school. Debate and disagreement through scholarship are precluded, and discouraged, by this irresponsible declaration. Aksharananda’s appeal in the sixth paragraph that “At a minimum, why shouldn't these faiths be challenged or at least be brought within the purview of rational discourse?” is now seen to be the farce that is always was. It was the same feeling of disgust that converged when Aksharananda, wearing his RSS-hat and defending Hindutva ritual purity, proudly declared: “Indian men forged unions with Black women, not marriages”. This didn’t generate a “cross-cultural” war! Should it have?

Ninthly, by paragraph 5, Akaharananda advocates after Stark: “Religious intolerance is inherent in all monotheisms". This is obviously meant to defend the pantheistic ambivalence of Hindu theology, and its compulsive shape-shifting in the absence of absolutes of the “Thou shalt not” type. Ed Vishwanathan is clear that nothing ever changes in Hinduism. On the face of it, then, Swami has something. Then reality kicks in. Above, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had referred to this interminable ambiguity as a “chamber of horrors”, and Hindu India leads the world in anti-Christian incidents this year alone. Consider the case of Pastor Walter Masih as he was beaten by Hindu youths in front of his seven-year old daughter in May of 2007 (“Indian Christians targeted in violent attacks”; A video of that tragic event is also available at that site. On the other hand, the Judeo-Christian “monotheistic” ethic supports democracy, participation, free speech, scholarship and rational discourse as natural rights accruing to each citizen.

Paragraph 9 climaxes Aksharananda’s attempt to insult the intelligence of Guyanese: “Surmounting my inhibitions and ambivalences, I still maintain that (that) singer has every right to his faith and its propagation” This is an incredible admission, consistent with Hindu Nationalist ambivalence, because it finally concedes that Azeez has rights. The right to free speech. The right to make reasonable statements that illustrate his deliverance. The right not to deny Jesus. The right not to be bullied into submission by Aksharananda. The right to make Swami Aksharananda aware that this same freedom is available in Jesus to break the chains that bind his mind. Exercising those rights must not be confused with “vilification”, firstly because truth informs them, and secondly because egalitarian democracy protects their dutiful and diligent exercise.

Yours faithfully
Roger Williams

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