[Assam] One must Take Responsibility

Rajen Barua barua25 at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 24 08:47:05 PST 2006


>>Why do you think Hindus in India were and are burning >women and why do you think the Assamese were not.

>They don't happen these days. In the rare occassions they do, it makes the headlines. Even in the US, there are instances of (for example) polygamy. It makes >headlines here too.

Ram:

First, the bride burning issue is not mine.  But are you sure you are reading from the same net? See the following posting. Aparaentlt it is a big issue in India.

>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. - Monoj

Now in light of this, would rephrase your response?
Or if you think that this bride burning is a myth, let us call it so.
RB 
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ram Sarangapani 
  To: Barua25 
  Cc: Himendra Thakur ; umesh.sh05 at post.harvard.edu ; assam at assamnet.org 
  Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 10:01 AM
  Subject: Re: [Assam] One must Take Responsibility


  Hello Barua,

  How are you? Just thought I ould bring up some points here.

  >Why do you think Hindus in India were and are burning >women and why do you think the Assamese were not.

  They don't happen these days. In the rare occassions they do, it makes the headlines. Even in the US, there are instances of (for example) polygamy. It makes headlines here too.

  >Don't you think the Indians should learn from the Assamese?
  Aren't Assamese Indians too? I think C'da's ideas are rubbing off on you -:). 

  >Assamese are the only community in India where we have the >Jwrwn Protha where the groom party give lewellery to the >bride.

  Not true. Most communities in India (including Marwaris, who have a huge dowry system) do give jewellery to the bride. In fact, this is pretty much a custom (just like the dowry). The dowry wasn't an Assamese tradition (don't know now). 

  >There are i billion Indians to solve India's problems. Assamese should focus on >the present problems of Assam. 

  Yes there are over 1 billion Indians. Are Assamese included in this? Is this the "CM Effect" again? -:)
  (CM for C'da)

  >Now the question is that in spite of all these. Assamese society (mainly Hindu >Assamese society) has thse strong positive points which are not found >anywhere in India. 

  Yes, they sure do. If I may venture, the reason for this may be several things:

  Geographically, Assam is sheltered from the abhorent practices of dowry, child marriage etc in other parts of India.

  Assamese Hindu and Muslim societies in the past have usually lived in harmony and they probably got the best from each other's customs.

  But some practices like widows cannot remarry also exist in Assam (till today). The Caste system also alive and well in Assam.

  The shame that you refer to is a shame for all Indians (including those that live overseas).

  And as you say, other states could learn some of these things from Assam, just like Assam could learn other things from them. We don't live in a vaccum and so everyone could learn good things from others. 

  --Ram






   
  On 2/24/06, Barua25 <barua25 at hotmail.com> wrote: 
    >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. 

    Why do you think Hindus in India were and are burning women and why do you think the Assamese were not.
    Is it not a shame for Indians?
    Don't you think the Indians should learn from the Assamese?
    In your Seminar do you tell them why Assamese never nurned women eithr in Sati or widow burning.?
    Do you also tell them 
    Assamese also never had Child marriage.
    Assamese had and have the practice of widow marriage.
    Assamese marriage never had the Joutuk Pratha.
    Assamese are the only community in India where we have the Jwrwn Protha where the groom party give lewellery to the bride.
    etc.
    There are i billion Indians to solve India's problems.
    Assamese should focus on the present problems of Assam.
    RB

      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Himendra Thakur 
      To: umesh.sh05 at post.harvard.edu 
      Cc: assam at assamnet.org 
      Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2006 11:31 PM
      Subject: Re: [Assam] One must Take Responsibility

       
      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

          APPENDIX:

          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.

          © 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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