The Gujarat Genocide: A Case Study in Fundamentalist Cleansing Paperback – 16 Nov 2006
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About the Author
Garda Ghista is a freelance journalist and founding director of World Prout Assembly that aims to defeat fundamentalism with Neo-humanism and to defeat corporate capitalism by a movement for economic democracy so as to empower communities to recover their economic sovereignty in the form of a cooperative commonwealth.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It took me just about 12 hours to read the book..It was a well structured book and I found it a bit off ground,that is,it has many many conspiracies which were debunked..
But the objective of the book is served very well..Like all modern societies,India too has its share of extremists..Its a very one sided narrative but in the context it serves well..
I also suggest watching a documentary-which is available on you tube to supplement the book..
Final Solution 2002
But just as a perceptive observer might see a world in a grain of sand, an author with a view that is both global and historical can connect an atrocity of particular significance to a much broader cross-section of the dilemmas that presently afflict our tortured planet, explicating, in the process, the chains of events that have led us to the current worldwide crisis affecting diversity, cooperation and survival.
As a work of investigative journalism, this is almost certainly the most detailed and uncompromising account of the genocidal attacks carried out by governing Hindu extremists against the Muslim population of the Indian state of Gujarat in the year 2002. But that meticulously documented presentation is just the starting point for a broader examination of the mutually-supportive relationship between patriarchal religious institutions, racism, imperialist economic systems and totalitarian hierarchies.
Despite their apparent differences, the shared characteristic of these four tendencies is top-down hierarchical control, carried out through a process of division and fear. This commonality leads to an interplay in which each tendency tends to amplify and reinforce the others.
One such synergy is shown by the use of racial and religious hatred to support totalitarianism. It is well known that the German fascists targeted Jews for repression, but in the process they also created a more generally-directed apparatus of state terror and control that affected the entire German population. "The Gujarat Genocide" describes a similar process, in which the governing Hindu extremists of Gujarat have built a paramilitary mob of under-educated and under-employed youth whose ostensible purpose is to attack Muslims, but whose broader uses include the suppression of dissenting Hindus, as well.
The author shows that this parallel between Nazi and Hindutva methods is probably not a mere coincidence, since members of one of the central Hindutva organizations, the RSS, admired, and even directly studied under, German and Italian fascists in the period leading up to World War II. The RSS had fundamentalist counterparts in the Muslim community who were also Nazi admirers, and the two groups, while opposed, have built and reinforced each others' power in their respective communities by inciting and playing off fear and hatred of one another. Thus, one of the prime purposes of racial and religious hatred is to build hierarchies of control within the communities that are being mobilized to hate and attack "the other."
Another such synergy is that between religious hatred, patriarchy and totalitarianism. During the Gujarat genocide, totalitarian leaders mobilized the men of the Hindu community around patriarchal fears of losing control of the women who had been subordinated to them. The "threat" to this control (invented by the totalitarian mis-leaders) was Muslim men who were supposedly out to rape Hindu women. Such baseless fears were manipulated to incite massive attacks upon the Muslim community, including, ironically, murderous sexual assaults upon Muslim women. At the same time, the patriarchal Hindu men were mobilized to "defend" "their" Hindu women from attack, a process involving the sequestration of these women under male control, reducing the freedom granted to them by secular society to a meaningless relic of written laws.
But not only the Hindu women were controlled by this process. Patriarchal systems derive their power by maintaining the dominance of men over women, but even as they mobilize the men of a community around that goal, they build hierarchies of control that allow a patriarchal elite to control the other men of the community, as well.
Yet another such synergy is that between race/caste hierarchies and religious hatred. The book points out a striking example of this when it reveals that many Indian Muslims are former "untouchable" Hindus who converted to Islam in order to escape their position on the bottom rung of the repressive Hindu caste system. This flight from the caste hierarchy enraged the upper-caste Hindus of the Hindutva movement, whose privilege is ensured by that system, fueling their hatred and violence against these "escaped" untouchables, who seem in fact to be in a quite similar position to that of the freed slaves of the U.S. Jim Crow era, who were attacked by the KKK. Once again, the theme of violence in defense of yet another hierarchy of control emerges as central to understanding the evolution of this supposedly religious hatred that is really so much more than that.
Just as it explores the parallels and past direct associations between the Hindutva and Nazi movements, the book also explores the relationship of the Hindutva movement to the Bush Administration. The U.S. Administration embraces fundamentalist Christian supporters who are attempting to Christianize all politics and militarize all Christendom, a goal that parallels a central slogan of the Hindutva movement. The Bush Administration also finds it politically convenient to build hatred toward Muslims so that it can attack Islamic nations that happen to be situated in areas that the U.S. would like to control.
Perhaps this explains why the Bush Administration, which is so anxious to intervene elsewhere against "terrorism," has done nothing to stop the significant flow of contributions from the U.S. Indian community to the very Hindutva groups that are engaged in the terrorist attacks against Muslims described in this book. Or perhaps this apparent apathy is due to the active support that Hindutva leaders have supplied to multinational corporations as they attempt to privatize water and other communal resources throughout India. Ironically, there are now signs that Indian Christians may be next on the hit list of the Hindutva movement.
The author makes some noble and interesting suggestions regarding how to best remedy the problems laid out in the book, but in my opinion the multiple crises described are so difficult, and so intertwined, that any such attempts could only be preliminary at best. Perhaps part of the difficulty lies in formulating a concept of universality that connects all groups while at the same time preserving and honoring the distinct characteristics of the respective communities, rather than attempting to dissolve them into some kind of a homogeneous secularism. In the absence of finished answers, the book nonetheless succeeds by bringing into view and framing the awful void of the crisis, into which we will now have to fix our gaze until solutions begin to emerge from the depths of our collective thinking.
any research paper. The writing is awkward and the facts are presented in such an obtuse matter, it doesn't get to the heart
of this awful tragedy. It is merely a collection of thoughts from a supposed academic. The hobbyism becomes even more apparent when specific incidents are analyzed.
There are much better books out there if you're interested in reading about Hindutva, Nationalism, and sectarian violence in Gujarat.
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