London, UK- Nick Cohen certainly has Hindus firmly within his sites judging by his latest tirade to appear in The Guardian, entitled The Secret Scandal of Britain’s Caste System. In yet another piece of colonial era propaganda dated from 26 June 2011, Cohen laments as to why the Equality and Human Rights Commission is doing nothing according to him against caste prejudice. Despite the title only a small proportion of his latest diatribe devotes itself to discussing caste which he blames entirely and equivocally on “Hindu creation myths”.
He further laments that when he calls the press office of the EHRC nobody returns his calls which is a bit rich considering that Cohen has constantly refused to debate any of his clear anti-Hindu prejudices with HHR, preferring to take refuge in the narrow-minded comfort zone which evidently gives him so much zest and drive these days. He takes issue with the conjecture, and let us remember that it is only a conjecture based on rather questionable assumptions, that Trevor Phillips is concerned about alienating Hindu Council UK .
He then takes issue with the fact that the aforementioned Hindu organisation said that the problem of caste discrimination was “being manipulated by Christians eager to convert Hindus from their faith.” Well as a matter of fact it is. How about Mr. Cohen takes a good look at these concrete examples:
- CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) is a British based (in)human rights organisation which has had a long history of anti-Hindu hatred. Part of this has been to campaign for the greater rights of Dalits which has in fact been a cover for something more sinister. CSW is partnered with the All India Christian Council and indeed invited the latter’s fuehrer Dr. Joseph D’Souza to address their hatefest in November 2006. For the platform of a church just minutes walk from London Victoria rail station D’Souza said that Hinduism was a disgusting, evil and diabolical faith, “the worst religion in the world”, and that Christians must convert low-caste Hindus before the Muslims got them first. I even took part in a prayer with two rather quaint, yet misguided and pathetic, old ladies to reiterate the fact.
- At the Castewatch hatefest in Coventry in 2009 Moses Parmar from the All India Christian Council said that Britain was in danger of falling under “Hindu supremacy” and that Christians must unite with socialists and communists against the Brahmans. Perhaps Mr. Parmar would like to familiarise himself with Poland’s Solidarity movement, try and see how far his fraternisation with communist dictators gets him in North Korea, or look at the ethics of forging an axis with an ideology which in a comparatively short space of time was responsible for the death of 100 million people as well as the deportation, enslavement and general oppression of millions more.
- In 2009 as the Hindu representative to speak on caste discrimination at CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice) it was interesting to see Hindus described by one speaker as devious, slimy and untrustworthy. Taking issue with this nearly invited a lynching. Yet no such fate befell Bishop John Broadhurst who described Hinduism as worse than Nazism, or a rather smug and unpleasant man who blamed all of India ’s poverty problems on Hinduism. CARJ have never answered any enquiries about this inflaming hatred against the Hindu minority.
- At the Pentecost festival this year in Methodist Central Hall in Westminster there was the screening of India’s Forgotten Women by Rev. Michael Lawson, an Anglican minister who has annihilation of Hinduism as his primary objective in making films such as these. The film was originally screened in Leicester Square at an exorbitant price and with Dharshini David from Sky News pointedly ignoring any awkward questions which did not accord with the prevailing anti-Hindu atmosphere. This time however the screening was free, not that helped attendance very much. It was interesting to hear Lawson candidly admit that every day he prayed for India to turn to Christ and, like Cohen, blame Hindu creation myths for caste. When I pointed out that the New Testament had its own rather embarrassing issue of blaming the Jews as Christ-killers, the mood turned decidedly ugly.
What does Nick Cohen have to say about such examples of anti-Hindu hatred which he not only rides but inflames. If we want to look at caste in creation myths how about he take a good look at the Book of Samuel in the Old Testament where an Israelite is killed by god for touching the Ark of the Covenant. We learn that “the Lord did smite him” because only the priestly castes of Levites and Cohenites had that privilege.
What does Mr. Cohen have to say about the political affiliations of his own paternal grandfather, a Russian Jew who became a communist and thereby conveniently ignored the anti-Semitic Marxist myths such as the Marx’s very own and notorious invective called The Jewish Question? Was Mr. Cohen not aware of this before his apparent volte-face from classic Leftist “useful idiot” anti-American position which he held as late as 2004?
In the Standpoint article of February 2011 Cohen once again uses the late MF Hussain as a martyr to freedom of speech against Hindu extremists who apparently targeted him because he was Muslim.
He then goes on to show gross ignorance of Hindu civilisation in a manner that would make him less enlightened that Rudyard Kipling, Enoch Powell and Viceroy Lord Curzon. Without any evidence he insists that Hindu princes were guilty of sacking Hindu temples and that Hindu gods and goddesses are portrayed as naked in the sculpture of Khajuraho.
In his latest sensationalised outburst Nick Cohen would do well to remember that beyond just aggressive, intolerant and even violent Christian proselytisation as a sugar coating for raising the issue of caste discrimination, the hatecore Christian extremist groups exhibit an older and more sinister mindset. Lawson interviews and praises Dr. Kancha Iliaih, author Why I am not a Hindu. Anyone familiar with Der Sturmer and other crude anti-Semitic propaganda from the Third Reich cannot miss the similarity in imagery with the cover of the aforementioned book. And to cap it all the online magazine Dalit Voice, run by VT Rajshekar, who has been praised by D’Souza in Dalit Freedom, completes the conspiracy circle by denying the Holocaust, praising Hitler, and equating Brahmans with Jews. D’Souza is only just short of regurgitating Mein Kampf himself when he equates Brahmans with the Pharisees who persecuted and killed Jesus.
The scandal here is not of the EHRC and Trevor Phillips refusal to tackle caste, but Nick Cohen’s refusal to tackle his own anti-Hindu prejudices which hark back to the rather less enlightened age of Gunga Din and Jungle Book when the civilising white man came to liberate the idol worshipping inferior “darkie” Hindu masses. But then again what can be expected from someone who claims to have rediscovered his Jewish roots yet pours nothing but scorn on the only civilisation and culture where Jews flourished free from anti-Semitism, and ignores the blatant anti-Jewish hatred of the very organisations and individuals which claim to be fighting caste discrimination.
Once again HHR asks Mr. Cohen to demonstrate his willingness to debate matters openly as he would with any other community. Until then as fellow human beings and citizens we can only pity the ignorance and myopia with which he has deliberately inflicted himself.
By Ranbir Singh
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