Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The radical religious fundamentalist

Chindu makes Davender Ghai look like a religious fundamentalist who is pursuing a divisive agenda. When a Hindu asks for his rights, it raises alarm bells in Chindu's ivory tower. This article has a sensational title that is hardly justified by the content. And the article begins by demonizing Davender Ghai.
The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : Mainstream Hindus frown upon open-air pyre campaign
When Davender Ghai, a rights activist with a penchant for headline-grabbing controversies, moved the High Court in London last week demanding an end to the ban on open-air cremations in Britain as it interfered with his religious beliefs he claimed that his campaign had the backing of “90 per cent” of the country’s Hindu community and a significant section of Sikhs.

How exactly Mr. Ghai arrived at that inflated assessment is not clear. The visions of a “silent” majority quietly cheering him? Assurances from self-styled community “leaders?” An assumption that all Hindus not only think alike but think like him?

BBC provides a more balanced view on the issue.

Timesonline, inspite of the majority Protestant bias, acknowledges Davender's position and the support he has got within the community:

Davender Kumar Ghai, the devout Hindu at the centre of the case, fits no one’s idea of a radical minority-rights activist.
He has lived in Britain since 1958, is the founding president of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society and the holder of a Unesco Peace Gold Medal and an Amnesty International lifetime achievement award.
The National Council for Hindu Priests, in common with most British Hindu organisations, supports the man’s claim, viewing it as “the single most significant campaign to promote Hindu religious freedom in British history”.

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