[Assam] One must Take Responsibility

Manoj Das dasmk2k at gmail.com
Thu Feb 23 21:46:02 PST 2006

Dear Himendrada

I attended the foundation day of National Commission for Women on 3rd
Feb'06 at Vigyan Bhawan.The Chairperson mentioned a figure of 7000+
for bride burning. Its rampant in North India. Another problem is
Female Foeticide. In states like Punjab the Sex Ratio is below 900.
I'll collect the exact figures and send you shortly.

Regarding "sati pratha", recently I read a book by Harriet Tytler- An
English Woman in India. Its an autobiography of Mrs Tytler durign
Cepoy Mutiny/First Indepence struggle of whatever. She mentions very
clearly about the sati custom.


PS: CM Assam gave Rs. 10 lakhs for Srimanta Sankaradeva Bhawan yesterday.

On 2/24/06, Himendra Thakur <hthakur at comcast.net> wrote:
> Dear Umesh,
> Sati was mentioned by scholars who accompanied Alexander the Great in 300+
> BC. When Lord Bentinck banned Sati in 1829, it was widespread all over India
> except Assam.
> Excepting the Assamese Hindu Community, Hindus have been burning women in
> Sati, Jauhar & Bride-Burning ... but there are fundamental differences
> between these practices, which should be investigated and studied so that
> the tragedy can be eradicated.
> Will you be free on December 27-29, 2006 to attend the Eighth International
> Conference Against Bride-Burning ? I cordially invite you to participate
> (and help) at the International conferences that we are holding against
> bride-burning, where the other two practices also are discussed.
> It will be a matter of confusion if all the three practises are lumped
> together and confined to only one area ... Rajasthan. It will be very
> misleading if these practises are ignored as "a figment of imagination - but
> both Sati and Jauhar are very much part of the folk lore."
> Some people try to ignore bride-burning also as a "a figment of imagination"
> and a "folk-lore" ...  These are very irresponsible talk. There are recent
> statistics from the Crime Bureau of the Home Ministry.
> I welcome you for saying "However, as recently as 1980s Sati was performed
> in Divarala in Rajasthan - despite all media attention."
> Through your that word "However", we see a ray of hope.
> With the best wishes,
> Himendra
> ----- Original Message -----
>   From: umesh sharma
>   To: Himendra Thakur ; Barua25 ; assam at assamnet.org
>   Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:39 PM
>   Subject: Re: [Assam] One must Take Responsibility
>   Maybe Sati (or setting fire to the widow) was also a figment of
> imagination - but both Sati and Jauhar are very much part of the folk lore
> where they were most popular -- in Rajasthan. However, as recently as 1980s
> Sati was performed in Divarala in Rajasthan - despite all media attention.
>   Umesh
>   Himendra Thakur <hthakur at comcast.net> wrote:
>     Dear Barua,
>     Appended below is an interesting case --- maybe first time someone had
> to take responsibility for what he said and wrote. Please consider if this
> maybe discussed in the net.
>     The jailed British historian David Irving's opinion that "most Jews died
> of diseases during World War II" sounds very similar to what one
> correspondent said in Assamnet implicitly absolving the Islamic invaders of
> any responsibility of Hindu women's death in Jauhar Vrata, because,
> according to this correspondent, Hindus killed their own wives and daughters
> as a "scorched earth policy". This correspondent did neither furnish any
> evidence nor did he state whether the scenerio was his assumption. Under
> what circumstances a man kills his own daughter and wife instead of
> protecting them?
>     To my question "Dear Chandan, Since you "do support the 'sovereignty '
> aspirations or demands", when   Assam becomes independent as a result of
> your support, will you take responsibility if millions of people lose their
> lives in Assam as a chain result of the  independence and sovereignty ? Will
> you take responsibility ?", Chandan Mahanta could not say that he would take
> the responsibility. Instead he asked me "You will need to explain how you
> see that happening, before I can give you an answer. " IN OTHER WORDS,
> Chandan has been pleading for "independence and sovereignty " of Assam
> without even thinking of all the pros and cons. Now he wants me to think for
> him.
>     By the way, can someone find the source of the theory of Jauhar Vrata as
> a Scorched Earth Policy ? It seems like a jewel from Ramilla Thapar, but I
> have been unable to find it.
>     With the best wishes,
>     Himendra
> http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2006/02/21/historian_gets
>     prison_for_denying_the_holocaust/
>     Historian gets prison for denying the Holocaust
>     Concedes to Vienna court he was wrong
>     By Matthew Schofield, Knight Ridder | February 21, 2006
>     VIENNA -- British historian David Irving was sentenced yesterday to
> three years in prison on charges that he denied the Holocaust -- hours after
> he conceded that he had been wrong to doubt the systematic murder of
> millions of Jews.
>     ''The way the law is written, I didn't have any other choice but to
> plead guilty," Irving said. He had faced as many as 10 years in prison on
> the charges.
>     Irving, 67, was convicted for statements he made during a lecture in
> Austria in 1989, when he said the gas chambers of Auschwitz were a fairy
> tale. He also is known for having said that the number of Jews killed by
> Nazis was exaggerated greatly, that most Jews died of diseases during World
> War II, and that until 1943 Adolf Hitler had never heard of the Holocaust.
>     At least nine European countries, as well as Israel, have national laws
> that make it a crime to deny or diminish the reality of the Holocaust.
>     Before and during court on yesterday, Irving acknowledged that he had
> been wrong. He said that ''history is a constantly growing tree" and that
> documents he had studied since 1989 -- especially the files of Adolf
> Eichmann, who is often called the architect of the Holocaust -- had made it
> clear to him that ''millions of Jews were murdered."
>     Irving was the author of more than 20 books before becoming known as one
> of the world's foremost anti-Semitic researchers. He once sued American
> historian Deborah Lipstadt for libel after she wrote that he was a Holocaust
> denier. He lost that case; the judge called him an anti-Semite and a racist
> who twisted history, and the legal fees of 2 million pounds, or about $3.5
> million, broke him. Still, Lipstadt told the BBC yesterday that although
> Irving is a poor historian, censorship doesn't work.
>     ''He should be released to return to London and the sound of one hand
> clapping," she said.
>     Irving's attorney sought leniency for his client, who will turn 68 on
> March 24.
>     ''This lecture took place 17 years ago," Elmar Kresbach said. ''He is an
> English citizen. He doesn't live in Austria and he is 68 years old. He is
> not really dangerous, especially not to Austria."
>     But prosecutor Michael Klackl said Irving's research tried to convince
> others that the worst crime in world history never happened.
>     While Irving is considered the most prominent Holocaust denier, Canadian
> historian Ernst Zuendel, 66, is into the third week of his trial in
> Mannheim, Germany. He is accused of denying the Holocaust and inciting
> racial hatred.
>     During Zuendel's trial, neo-Nazis have applauded him loudly, called the
> judge ''Roland Freisler" after the Nazi judge who sentenced Hitler's
> opponents to death, and have sung the banned first verse of the German
> national anthem.
>     Zuendel faces as long as five years in prison for allegedly promoting
> neo-Nazi materials and revisionist Holocaust theories in his books.
>     Deidre Berger, managing director of the American Jewish Committee office
> in Berlin, which tracks anti-Semitism, said it is important not to
> underestimate the seriousness of the cases.
>     ''They should not merely be dismissed as idiots," she said. ''They're
> dangerous men."
>     Irving, in particular, ''has led a life that is all about denying the
> Holocaust," she said. ''These are important trials, especially at a time
> when anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world is on the rise again."
>     Rob Boudewijn, a specialist on European issues for the Dutch research
> center Clingendael Institute, said that while it may be difficult for
> Americans to understand, many Europeans believe that free-speech protections
> should not apply to Holocaust denial.
>     ''Denying the Holocaust is denying our history," he said.
>     (c) Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
>     _______________________________________________
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>   Umesh Sharma
>   5121 Lackawanna ST
>   College Park, MD 20740
>   1-202-215-4328 [Cell Phone]
>   Ed.M. - International Education Policy
>   Harvard Graduate School of Education,
>   Harvard University,
>   Class of 2005
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Manoj Kumar Das
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