Who are you kidding?

Ms. Sonal Shah, Obama transition team member, renounces her VHP affiliation in a statement given to NextGov and National journal.

In 2002, Gujarat suffered one of the most profound tragedies in its long history, when extremist political leaders, including some associated with the VHP, incited riots that resulted in the deaths of thousands. Had I been able to foresee the role of the VHP in India in these heinous events, or anticipate that the VHP of America could possibly stand by silently in the face of its Indian counterpart’s complicity in the events of Gujarat in 2002 — thereby undermining the American group’s cultural and humanitarian efforts with which I was involved — I would not have associated with the VHP of America.

Sadly, CounterPunch and Senator Santorum have suggested that I somehow endorse that violence and the ongoing violence in Orissa. I do not — I deplore it. But more than that, I have worked against it, and will continue to do so. I have already denounced the groups at issue and am hopeful that we can begin to have an honest conversation about the ways immigrant and diaspora communities can engage constructively in social and humanitarian work abroad.

Remember Graham Stains !! He was burnt alive along with his two boys of ages 9 and 7, in sleep. That was January 1999.  That was the crime of VHP and Co. she could not have missed.  It should have opened her eyes, if she was misled by the VHP of America. Because that was just one of the series of anti-christian (anti-tribal) violence that were happening long before that and still continuing  in Orissa, which drew national/International  condemnation.  And she raised fund for that.

Your renouncement Ms. Shah?  Its too little, too late.


7 thoughts on “Who are you kidding?

    • Hello Harini,

      thats very true. She did deny association with hindu extremists, but I didn’t find her renouncing VHP philosophy, which ostensibly is cultural and humanitarian, in her statement. The VHP/RSS etc. vehemently describe themselves apolitical, cultural bodies. None of their high ranking-members/spokespersons would ever admit violence, (thats why tehelka news was sensational). She does not even recognise fully that the riot, which actually was pogrom, has anything to do with VHP philosophy/ideology. Kind of saying ‘just some rogue elements of VHP, who were political extremists’.

      Read the full statement and it appears.

      1. She never really was a full-fledged member of VHP-India or VHP-America. Her alibi for the brief association with VHP-A is the natural disaster.
      (It should not be a controversy anymore. It is objectively verifiable information. According to the interview linked in NextGov she was a member)
      2. VHP-A has no organic link with VHP-India, hence the term eponymous.
      (is it really so? Or it is an effort to save their source of funding? There are a plethora of saffron organisations they can channel their fund to, who will do exact what VHP/Bajrang Dal was doing in case these becomes tainted/blacklisted)
      3. VHP-A is only cultural and humanitarian.
      (what else could it be? All it needed to do was collect fund, spread the greatness of Hindutva. They won’t certainly come back here and kill people.)
      4. Her mea culpa is exclusively that, she couldnt foresee in 2001 that one of the many organisations she helped raise fund for humanitarian relief (i.e VHP-America) stood silently when some extremist politicians associated with VHP-India incited a riot in 2002. (It sounds like, she was the victim of betrayal of a helpless VHP-A which was turn in turn betrayed by its eponymous organization VHP-India of which some extremist politicians incited 2002 violence.)

      “My only crime is my innocence”

      5. She has her own humanitarian initiative “indicorps”.
      (She indeed founded it in 2001 (wiki link). If so, it would be interesting what was “indicorps” reponse to the Gujrat Carnage 2002.Any press statement? Any relief camp? Any program for the riot(sic) victims?)

      Initially I wondered if she was so uninformed about the criminal past of VHP. Her defense for VHP of America is a lot more questions.

  1. her crime is two fold :
    a) massive error of judgment –
    b) getting caught

    let me ask a different question – would anyone hire a person who gave up their membership of KKK. not because they disagreed with policies, but that they disapproved of violence ?

    The VHP is an organization that upholds the Manusmruti, which is possibly the single most discriminatory document in the history of discrimination.
    Would ignorance be a good enough excuse ? just because she is desi ?? 🙂

    • Desi is just as despicable. Sonal Shah should never ‘ve been hired. None of her likes should be. Not by Obama, not by Google.

      I am not sure if you have any experience of these clowns, but I have come across plenty (and by that I mean almost everyone-hindu), who carry VHP philosophy without violence. Non-violence, because it gives them the credibility to argue with us, or because they are unable to see VHP ideology can’t exist without violence. And they are everywhere, educational institutions, corporate sectors. What would you say when Arun shourie passes off as eminent intellectual? so do many others; in the media, in public. Arun shourie, Arun jetly, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Balbir Punj have regular columns in national dailies. What to make of these dailies? Are they providing space for constructive discussion or a fertile ground for VHP ideology? Just not to be left behind. The INC espouses soft hinduvta (whats that, killing softly?). We are living in India. Here Manusmriti, Gita and hindu scriptures like ‘Nazi literature’ are revered. We have those skinheads like litters in India. Sonal Shah’s crime, rightly u said, is that she got caught (in a VHP-unsympathetic wave).

  2. I am not sure if you have any experience of these clowns, but I have come across plenty (and by that I mean almost everyone-hindu), who carry VHP philosophy without violence.
    – yes 😦
    the kind who will tell me with a straight face that caste system was an effective form of division of labour, which some people corrupted for their own reasons…
    and, that women need to be protected.
    or they look one step away from a heart attack, when i tell them that upper castes have had 5000+ years of 100% reservation, what are they bitching for now 🙂


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