Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Suggestion of an Indian ashram safety accreditation/grading body

Yesterday a Facebook friend put up an interesting public post, https://www.facebook.com/MJHimanshu/posts/1605313082841856, having a small list of five famous living spiritual teachers in India whom he considered as "cool to go to".

This post is based on the comments I made on the above mentioned Facebook post.

Interesting initiative. I applaud your courage in putting it up even though it is your individual list (and not an organizational list).

My view is that there should be an ashram safety accreditation organization/body focusing only on grading Indian ashrams on safety of people who visit there and who stay there. This grading should not get into spiritual aspects at all as that is very difficult to grade by anybody except those are very highly spiritually evolved and get intuitive knowledge about people who come in front of them (or perhaps anybody they want to know about even if they are not in front of them).

Indian ashram safety criteria should include aspects like (all criteria below are negative aspects which should contribute to poor safety grading):
1) Eve-teasing (cat-calling) of women
2) Sexual harassment of women, and of minor boys (and girls)
3) Acts of physical violence on ashram inmates and visitors
4) Ashram management (including management/administration team of ashram owned/run educational, medical and other institutions) indulging in white-collar crime like record tampering (a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code) to exploit and mentally harass and dominate ashram staff including free service staff.
5) Suicide committed by ashram inmates/staff (including ex-inmates/ex-staff who were inmates/staff a few months before they committed suicide, and wrote suicide notes blaming other ashram inmates/staff as the cause of their suicide). I exclude visitors here as that is something ashram management cannot really prevent.
6) Pressure put on inmates and visitors to donate money to ashram. Voluntary contributions are perfectly OK. I am talking about psychological and other pressure to force people to donate money.
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Very unfortunately, eve-teasing, especially of young women wearing non-traditional Indian or some Western dresses (Western dresses like knee-length skirts, and any tight-fitting outfits, for example) by young boys and men is not uncommon in many towns and cities in India.
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[In response to a comment that such eve-teasing is not uncommon in the USA and that it is called "cat-calling" there, I responded:]
I guess human society has lot more similarities in both good and bad, across all parts of the world, than it has dissimilarities. ... Learned a new USA English word - cat-calling!
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Shirdi Sai Baba: Allah jaise rakhega vaise rehna - As Allah (God) keeps you, stay that way!

[This post is based on a comment I made on Facebook a couple of days ago.]

Firstly I should say that I am quite sure that I have read somewhere that Shirdi Sai Baba uttered the above words (Hindi words, or perhaps he said it in Marathi which was translated to Hindi by somebody). But I spent a few minutes to get a reference to those words on the Internet and failed to get it. I hope to spend more time later on to give a proper reference for these words. If I do not get a proper reference I will suitably modify this post.

Of course, if any readers are able to help me in this regard, their efforts are very welcome :-) .

My rough English translation of above words, which I believe were uttered by Shirdi Sai Baba is: As Allah (God) keeps you, stay that way!

Some may say that's the typical Indian fatalistic way of looking at things. But I think there is a lot of wisdom there - it does not mean that you should not strive to make reasonable effort to face problems and solve them. But it does mean, as I understand it, that one should be prepared to accept the results of one's actions as God's will and be contented/come to terms with that. Such an attitude does take a load of one's mind, I think. One even learns to accept (material world) failure with far more equanimity by following such teachings, than by relentless striving to attain material world goals set by one's mind, whether they are realistic or not. And, one does not get a swollen ego on success as one attributes the success result at least partially to Allah's/God's Grace.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Apex (North Indian) Hindu spiritual body of ascetics puts out 14 fake Hindu spiritual leaders (Babas) boycott list

Asaram, Ram Rahim, Rampal: The 14 fake babas put on boycott list,
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/asaram-gurmeet-ram-rahim-on-fake-baba-list-meet-the-14-faces-hindu-sadhus-want-boycotted/story-JYEQQkSYOOBFFQzKfbD7UP.html, dated 11th Sept. 2017.

Ravi: Interesting! I think that such efforts by spiritual groups in the country to curb Asathya-Adharma (untruthful and unethical) activities done by a few spiritual leaders in India, seems to be a good move. A boycott list of fake sadhus/babas/spiritual leaders in India is a good start, IMHO.

The article states that the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad has published this list of 14 'fake babas'. This organization seems to be a top-level Hindu Sadhus (ascetics) body which is composed of various Hindu ascetic organizations. I have not heard much about this body in South India. I guess it may be more of a North India Hindu ascetic top-level body.

Here's another article on it: http://www.firstpost.com/india/akhil-bharatiya-akhara-parishad-releases-list-of-fake-babas-demands-legislation-against-these-cult-leaders-4029057.html.

The above article quotes the president of this body (Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad), Swami Narendra Giri, as saying while releasing this list, "We appeal to even the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis."

He also said, "We are going to send copies of this list to the Centre, the state governments as well as all the opposition parties with the demand that a strong legislation be brought to check the activities of these self-styled cult leaders".

Ravi: The shocking and well publicized bad deeds of a few Hindu spiritual leaders have brought disrepute not only to Hindu sadhus (saints) and sanyasis (ascetics), but also to the vast Hindu community in India. Something must be done to prevent few Hindu spiritual leaders from committing such heinous sins that tarnish the image of Hinduism as a whole and hurt the feelings of billion plus Hindus in India as well as other countries of the world.

I like this move of a list of Hindu spiritual leaders who are assessed to be fake or dangerous to society by apex body (or bodies) of Hindu spiritual ascetics like the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. However, the criteria used to arrive at these lists must be shared with the public. Surely conviction of heinous crimes like rape would be one such criteria.

But it must be noted that motivated, vicious, well funded and well organized false allegations especially related to sexual abuse is commonly used to malign Hindu spiritual leaders. So allegations alone which have not been upheld by an Indian court of law, especially allegations by Western media which seems to get good viewership ratings from their Western audience by airing programs and publishing articles showing Hinduism and Hindu spiritual leaders in a poor light, should be ignored as a criteria for inclusion in such a list.

Another important issue is fraudulent funding and corruption allegations. Money in Hindu spiritual ashram systems draws a lot of controversy and sometimes horrific levels of infighting among ashram inmates/persons! Power struggles for control of rich Hindu ashrams can be very scary as power crazy ashram people can go to any extent to grab power.

But allegations about fraudulent funding and corruption as well as power grab (hijack) should be given value only if it is backed by strong evidence. Note that fraudulent funding and corruption would be criminal offences under the Indian Penal Code. So such matters should ideally be JUDGED by an Indian court of law.

Power grab/Hijack especially during succession struggle after the founder of a spiritual ashram/movement (bodily) passes away is another important area. Very unfortunately, the yearning of some followers to connect in some manner to a living physical form even after the founder has given up the body, leads to very strange situations like mediums and communicators who claim that the (bodily) passed away founder is communicating to his devotees through a chosen medium/communicator. Sometimes this goes further with the medium/communicator (or his key supporters) claiming that the spirit of the (bodily) passed away founder enters into the body of the medium/communicator, and that the medium/communicator then loses his individual identity and becomes the (bodily) passed away founder!

If readers think that I am imagining things and that people will never fall for such weird claims then I would like to inform them that this is what a Madhusudan Rao Naidu of Muddenahalli, Karnataka is doing with his claim of being a communicator of spiritual master Sri Sathya Sai Baba who gave up his physical body in April 2011. His key supporter, Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy stated that, at times, Sathya Sai Baba's spirit enters into the body of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, at which time Madhusudan Rao Naidu BECOMES Sri Sathya Sai Baba!!! And, there are thousands of Sathya Sai devotees worldwide who believe in these claims!!!

So power grab/hijack of ashram institutions and ashram following (including wealthy donors) especially when the current head/founder of a Hindu ashram is seriously ailing or when he/she has bodily passed away, by mediums and communicators is another area that I think this Parishad should seriously look at while arriving at its (next) list of fake Babas or spiritual leaders who are a danger to society, and who bring a bad name to Hindu religion.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Thought provoking and well analyzed article on rape convict spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his following by Indian MP Shashi Tharoor

The article is by Shashi Tharoor, a former UN under-secretary-general and former Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs, who is currently an MP for the Indian National Congress and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.

I consider its title inappropriate and not in sync with the content of the article, as the author, in my reading of the article, DOES NOT PAINT ALL Indian spiritual leaders (godmen) with the same brush. The article focuses on this particular rape convict spiritual leader, his following and the North Indian social and economic environment, especially in Punjab and Haryana states where lot of Sikhs live, in which this happened. There is a reference to other Dera groups there but WITHOUT presuming that their leaders are also rapists which I think is a very important point.

Perhaps the editor(s) of the website where the article appeared chose to make the title racy and something that would appeal to its audience, WITHOUT THE CONSENT of the author, Shashi Tharoor. I am told that title being made racy by editor(s)/others without seeking author permission/consent is not uncommon in Indian publishing environment.

It is titled, "The Harsh Truth About India’s Godmen", dated 8th Sept. 2017: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/singh-rape-conviction-protest-riots-by-shashi-tharoor-2017-09.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fascinating interview of John le Carré; Parallels of betrayal in his books and Muddenahalli group

Note: This post has been copy-pasted on 5th Sept. 2017 from here:
http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/09/fascinating-interview-of-john-le-carre.html.

Last updated on 5th Sept. 2017

Spies Like Us: A Conversation With John le Carré and Ben Macintyre, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/books/review/john-le-carre-ben-macintyre-british-spy-thrillers.html

Ravi: In my twenties, I was a crazy fan of John le Carré's spy novels. George Smiley is an unforgettable character for me. So I thoroughly enjoyed the above interview of John le Carré and another writer.

John le Carré (JLC) about his childhood (his father was a notorious conman): "The truth, in my childhood, didn’t really exist. That is to say, we shared the lies. To run the household with no money required a lot of serious lying to the local garage man, the local butcher, the local everybody." And more about his childhood background.

I did not know about this background of his. No wonder he was able to create extremely duplicitous characters in his spy novels. JLC goes on to say about his boarding school days, "If my father said he was going to come and take me out, it was as likely as not that he wouldn’t show up. I would say to the other boys, I had a wonderful day out, when I had really been sitting in a field somewhere."

Hmm. What a freaky and sad childhood to have! How challenging it would have been for JLC to recognize these traits in him and then be able to speak so frankly about it now in his old age (he is 85 years old now). Fascinating!

Another sentence of JLC: "And then there was the genetic inheritance I got from my father. This was a man who, while still being pursued by the police, or bankrupt, or Christ knows what, who had done prison time, then boldly stands as a parliamentary candidate." Ha! Ha! Well, not surprisingly, democracy of India and Britain do have some things in common, like few/some con artists and criminals who are politicians aspiring to become/becoming Members of Parliament :-).
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Over email I wrote (slightly edited) to a correspondent (slightly edited):

John le Carré writes exquisite English. But the genre is spy stuff.

One of his early books (mentioned in the interview article) which is a masterpiece, and which was the one that got me hooked onto his books is, The Spy who came in from the cold. Here's its wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spy_Who_Came_in_from_the_Cold.

He is an expert on double-agents and betrayal. Given what we experienced with the Muddenahalli betrayal of our beloved Lord, I think you will appreciate the parallels of betrayal, double-cross and double-agents in Le Carré's books (typical books).
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[A later mail to same correspondent:]
His [JLC's] character-creations are awesome. For me the most enduring, endearing and sometimes sympathy-provoking character of John le Carré's spy books is George Smiley. He is the good guy, doing hard intellectual analysis and also some grunt work of spymasters but who gets tricked by the sly and more dazzling/flashy British double agents who are being controlled by their Russian minder/controller. I sometimes feel that people like you and me are like George Smileys who were first betrayed by MDH sympathizers/double-agents in Prasanthi Nilayam system and sold/chucked out in a way as losers by the MDH fellows who were on a roll for a few years (till end. 2014, I would say). Then we had to figure out the betrayal and the hijack and reverse it (like George Smiley figuring out who were the double-agents in the British spy agencies and then exposing them), which I think took the years of 2015 and 2016 to fully reverse.

Here is an interesting extract from the wiki page of the George Smiley character (he is such a famous character that he has a wiki page to himself!), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Smiley :

Le Carré introduced Smiley at about the same time as Len Deighton's unnamed anti-hero (Harry Palmer in the film versions). This was a time when critics and the public were welcoming more realistic versions of espionage fiction, in contrast to the glamorous world of Ian Fleming's James Bond.

Smiley is sometimes considered the anti-Bond in the sense that Bond is an unrealistic figure and is more a portrayal of a male fantasy than a realistic government agent. George Smiley, on the other hand, is quiet, mild-mannered and not at all athletic. He lives by his wits and, unlike Bond, is a master of quiet, disciplined intelligence work, rather than gunplay. In The Honourable Schoolboy it becomes clear that he is not as adept at bureaucratic manoeuvring as the duplicitous Sam Collins and Saul Enderby, who are able to use even a great success to force him into retirement. Also unlike Bond he is not a bed-hopper; in fact it is Smiley's wife Ann who is notorious for her affairs.

When Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was published, the reviewer of The Spectator described Smiley as a "brilliant spy and totally inadequate man." However, Smiley has his pride, and in the end, in Smiley's People, he refuses to take the beautiful Ann back, despite her pleadings.

Smiley is depicted as an exceptionally skilled spymaster, gifted with a prodigious memory and a talent for getting people to talk. His subtle interrogation methods, derived from psychology and experience, he imparts to his understudies, such as Jerry Westerby and Peter Guillam. These are depicted as far superior to the heavy-handed tactics of the Americans, who are called "the Cousins" in Circus jargon, and whose entry into a mission always ensures that things will get a lot rougher.

A student of espionage with a profound insight into human weakness and fallibility, highly sagacious and incredibly perceptive, he is very conscious of the immoral, grisly and unethical aspects of his profession. At the same time he works to inculcate loyalty and discipline into his pupils, and a sense of moral obligation to the espionage service, and to the country. Smiley has no patience with the political niceties of Whitehall and their distaste for classical espionage tactics, including bribery, blackmail, and turning enemy agents into British double agents. On the other hand, he is not one of the "hawks" who are given to the sharp, militaristic attitudes of "the Cousins" (clearly depicted during the climax of The Honourable Schoolboy).

Despite his series of retirements, Smiley's own unflinching loyalty to and support for his people inculcates loyalty in them. Thus, whether in or out of the Service he is able to maintain an extensive range of aides and support-staff, extending even to "retired" police officers, former and present Service members.

Le Carré describes him in A Murder of Quality as a somewhat short and fat man, who always wears expensive but badly fitting clothes (he "dresses like a bookie... short and stubby"). He has a habit of cleaning his glasses on the "fat end" of his necktie. Also in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, le Carré wrote that his wife describes him as "a reptile that can regulate his body temperature". Gary Oldman, in an interview with Charlie Rose promoting the film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, said that this description is "the key" to Smiley.

In March 2010, while giving a talk on his life and works at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, le Carré responded to a question concerning what became of Smiley by telling the audience that although he would like to think of Smiley as a Holmesian figure, never having really retired, he acknowledged that to his mind, the character would now be "very old and getting past—certainly in his nineties".

This accords with the later chronology. Le Carré envisaged Smiley now to be "keeping bees somewhere", still alive but very much retired.

In March 2017 it was announced that George Smiley would be making one last appearance in John le Carré's latest novel A Legacy of Spies.
----end wiki extracts ----
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To another correspondent, I wrote (slightly edited):

The interview states JLC saying, when the offer to meet Philby was made to him:
And I refused to do so. I felt a spurt of hatred. I felt, “If he wants me he can’t have me.” I didn’t want to give him comfort.
--- end extract ---

Ravi: I think I can understand JLC's above reaction. I don't know whether you have faced betrayal. I had not faced serious betrayal till Sathya Sai bodily passed away, and two of his long-term servitors (a long-time warden of Sai university - B.N. Narasimhamurthy - and a Bombay based Trustee of the Central trust referred to as the Grand Old Man of Sai orgn.) betrayed his teachings by starting a splinter group claiming to have dream-medium (B.N. Narasimhamurthy) and then a regular medium (Madhusudan Rao Naidu) as Sathya Sai successor in a way. These were people we respected (though I would not say revered) for their decades of service and leadership in the Sathya Sai movement, and who were praised, sometimes in public, by Sathya Sai so many times. These two senior persons were among the small group of senior leaders (say 5 to 10 or so such leaders) who most of us, including people like me, looked up to, after Sathya Sai (bodily) passing away (in April 2011) to lead us.

Instead they misled many of us!!! A few of us (including me) rebelled as we saw fishy things happening, with me breaking away from the Sai university whose vice-chancellor - Sashidhara Prasad - had come under the complete sway of the former warden and seemed to have been running the university as per his instructions (viewing it as Sathya Sai instructions). But their HIJACK of the Sai university and some other parts of the Sathya Sai setup continued till almost the end of 2014!!!  From end 2014 onwards the loyalists started openly fighting against the rebels, and starting pushing back against their HIJACK efforts. I think I can say that by end 2016, the HIJACK had been reversed. The rebels have their splinter group with their medium (Madhusudan Rao Naidu) who is their successor to Sathya Sai (or some view him as Sathya Sai spirit in that medium's body). The loyalists have a separate setup - the original one created and administered by Sathya Sai himself while he was in physical body. But there are many people in between with one foot in the loyalists' camp and another in the splinter group's camp.

I don't even look at some people who I used to respectfully wish earlier, as those people betrayed us behaving like secret double-agents during the crucial period of two to three years after Sathya Sai (bodily) passing away where they secretly built their setup, and shamelessly poached on the loyalist group people including wealthy donors. They came out in the open in May 2014 at which time people like me were utterly dismayed and felt heartbroken to see their betrayal and disloyalty to the teachings of Sathya Sai related to mediums.

It was indeed a very bitter experience to see such betrayal, and even today it is bitter though I have become hardened to it now. I recalled so many books that I had read of betrayal and double-agents including JLC's books. I found that I could relate to betrayal in Indian history like Siraj ud Dowlah being betrayed by Mir Jaffer who was lured/bribed by Robert Clive (British) in the vital Battle of Plassey. Like the Peshwa rulers who were betrayed by their own when they tried to fight the British at a time when large parts of India had come under a loose-knit Maratha federation rule. If I recall correctly, the Peshwa ruler who was betrayed in this manner, got into a kind of surrender-treaty with the British, and spent the rest of his life enjoying wine and women! After I personally and directly experienced this betrayal and HIJACK of Sai university by traitors to Sathya Sai teachings about mediums, and their collaborators (quislings) from around Jul 2011 to Nov 2014 (when Sashidhara Prasad, the traitor vice-chancellor stepped down), I could empathise with that Peshwa ruler! Honestly! Betrayal by people who you trust and depend on and look up to, can be devastating for one's faith in humanity.

So I can fully understand JLC's hatred of Philby. JLC had served in UK's secret service - he was not just a spy fiction writer. His service people would have been killed by Philby's betrayal. Of course, JLC should have hated Philby for that. That's my view.

I don't know whether you have read, say abridged accounts of, life of Rama and Krishna, two of the biggest avatars of Hinduism. They too faced betrayal or something similar. I guess it is part and parcel of life of any big ruler/big kingmaker (Krishna was more king maker than big ruler). Krishna faced a lot of such horrific stuff. And Krishna responded to it ruthlessly.
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[A later mail response of mine]
Noted your response and thanks for the sympathy about the phase being over.

But the bitterness remains. It does not drive a dagger into our hearts now like it did when we realized their betrayal and were coming to terms with it. But it is still painful.

And yes, JLC was talking about country betrayal and lives being lost due to that. So that is far, far worse.

But in our case it is ONGOING spiritual master teaching dilution and distortion betrayal by the splinter orgn. using the name of that spiritual master (as against the medium's - Madhusudan Rao Naidu's - name) even through we reversed the HIJACK in the main/original orgn including Sai university. That essentially corrupts the legacy of the spiritual master. That bothers some of us very, very deeply.

Apostle Paul's initial evangelical efforts seems to have drawn perhaps similar concerns from key apostle-companions of Jesus like Peter.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Christianity:

Pauline Christianity is the Christianity associated with the beliefs and doctrines espoused by Paul the Apostle through his writings. Most of Christianity relies heavily on these teachings and considers them to be amplifications and explanations of the teachings of Jesus. Others perceive in Paul's writings teachings that are different from the original teachings of Jesus documented in the canonical gospels, early Acts and the rest of the New Testament, such as the Epistle of James.

---- end wiki extracts ---

And then there is the famous Shia and Sunni differences in belief and practice in Islam. The Muddenahalli based Sathya Sai splinter group has created a Sai Sunni group (loyalists like us) and a Sai Shia group (rebels who have diluted Sai teachings to cater to their needs). That separation into two separate though related belief groups is the most bothersome, worrying and bitter thing about the Muddenahalli splinter group for people like me, as it can have ramifications, mostly unpleasant I guess, for generations of Sathya Sai devotees, now and in the future.
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[I thank John le Carré, nytimes.com and wikipedia, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above few sentences of John le Carré/extracts from wikipedia, from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hindu article on Ram Rahim Singh followers continuing to believe in him, and more about how CBI cracked the case

This article appeared in The Hindu a few days ago: Among the believers, http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/among-the-believers/article19605738.ece.

I have given below a modified version of a comment I made elsewhere:
The article seems balanced to me. It reports that the key victim who made the rape statement before the judge, had initially not said that to the CBI!!! She wanted to protect her family name or something like that PLUS fear. And I don't blame her. After all, her brother had been killed allegedly by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's goons. This has been the reality of feudal society India for millennia! That's the unpleasant reality.

That the CBI eventually got her to tell them about the rape and make her statement in court/before judge, is a great credit to the CBI. Lets give credit where it is due.

Some persons are putting the blame on police and politicians. In my view, targeting a few cops and politicians alone is not fair. It is our feudal society that is mainly to blame.

In my considered view, TV is changing feudal India in a big way. Rural people are ready to fight for their rights when they are trampled upon even if they are in a minority. That's so nice to see.

I was informed that it was similar in Western Europe a couple of centuries ago. Industrialization along with, I am quite sure, European imperialism and the wealth they got from its colonies including conversion of colonies into raw material feeders and captive markets for their products, helped Europe come out of such feudal societies. India has some ways to go. But the good news is that democracy seems to have taken firm root even in rural India today around 70 years after independence. That makes me feel quite optimistic about the future of India despite the many challenges our 1.3 billion strong country faces.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Some thoughts on how India should try to prevent any future Dera Sacha Sauda type sexual and physical abuse horrors from happening

Over the past few days, I have been very disturbed by the reports of the horrific levels of physical and sexual abuse related to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his Dera Sacha Sauda ashram that either have been proved in an Indian court of law, or seem to be very serious allegations for which hearings are going on in Indian courts. These include proven rape (custodial rape) of two young women, allegations of castration of many young men, allegations of murder of those who opposed Ram Rahim Singh and/or tried to expose his wrong doings, as well as violence on police, media and destruction of public property by Dera followers on alleged instructions from Dera Sacha Sauda second level leaders, after the guilty verdict against Ram Rahim Singh was pronounced on 25th Aug. 2017.

In the name of faith, Dera Sacha Sauda and its leaders and some followers, have behaved like evil monsters and have besmirched the reputation of Indian spiritual ashrams as a whole!

This article, Religious leaders need purification: Baba Ramdev, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/religious-leaders-need-purification-baba-ramdev/articleshow/60280727.cms, dated 29th Aug. 2017 has the following statements of noted Indian spiritual leader Baba Ramdev, after the rape conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: "It is true that we are facing a lot of embarrassment due to the kind of incidents that are surfacing every 2-3 years" .. "The manner in which the religious powers and political powers have been tainted.., it has become necessary to purify both. Especially for religious leaders, it is necessary to follow the code of conduct prepared by Indian sages and religious gurus".

He also said, "It is wrong to link the entire saint tradition with criminal activities due to actions of person wearing costume of a saint. There are lakhs of several honest, pure and pious people still practicing and spreading spirituality among masses".

Ravi: I think the horrors of Dera Sacha Sauda approach the scale of the 1978 Jonestown mass tragedy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown, where over 900 inmates of a spiritual group led by a USA spiritual leader, Jim Jones, died seemingly by consuming poison (cyanide), and where a few people including a serving USA Congressman were killed.

Now both Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Jim Jones had also done a lot of good to their communities! But they developed this horrific evil side in them over time.

One must bear in mind that the history of spiritual movements has quite a few charismatic and very capable leaders, full of energy and vitality, who lost their way and created havoc in the lives of their followers. Like Ram Rahim Singh, Jim Jones, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones, was not an ordinary person. He was truly charismatic and very energetic, and had lots of noble intentions for the poor in USA society (including African-Americans), but eventually it ended up very badly for him and his followers. From his wiki page, here's what he told his followers:

Jones also began preaching that he was the reincarnation of Gandhi, Father Divine, Jesus, Gautama Buddha and Vladimir Lenin. Former Temple member Hue Fortson, Jr. quoted Jones as saying, "What you need to believe in is what you can see ... If you see me as your friend, I'll be your friend. As you see me as your father, I'll be your father, for those of you that don't have a father ... If you see me as your savior, I'll be your savior. If you see me as your God, I'll be your God."
---end-wiki-page-extract---

Ravi: So one can see a pattern here among a few, BUT CERTAINLY NOT ALL, charismatic spiritual leaders who acquire a large following, that they eventually get into horrific levels of physical and sexual abuse of their followers and even kill their opponents.

How can India which is a land where religion and spirituality have been revered by the majority of its people over millennia, and where they continue to be revered today, try to prevent such horrific levels of physical and sexual abuse from happening in any of its spiritual or religious ashrams in future?

I think there should be a national ashram safety body with members from the government as well as various reputed spiritual ashrams/organizations in the country from various religions, which is tasked with initiating and/or overseeing police investigations of sexual and (serious) physical abuse in any spiritual or religious ashram in India. [By serious physical abuse I mean violence involving hospitalization of victims or significant out-patient medical care and, of course, murder. Minor levels of physical abuse like slapping and pushing around cannot really be considered by a national level body as otherwise it may get inundated with complaints!]

The reality of rural and semi-urban India, where most ashrams are located, is that the police and local elected politicians are in awe of the powerful ashrams in their villages and towns. These powerful ashram systems have hospitals, educational institutions and food stalls/canteens which typically are free or are at subsidized prices for the inmates and sometimes for any visitors as well. The police and local elected politicians too would typically avail of these services for themselves and/or their relatives and friends. The economy of many of such villages and towns is dominated by the ashram and the visitors to the ashram. Given this scenario, the local police would typically hesitate to investigate sexual and serious physical abuse cases against ashram leaders and senior ashram figures of their villages and towns. This is but natural given the realities of rural and semi-urban India.

But if the same complaints are also sent to a national body that oversees police investigation/action in such matters, which then asks the police about the matter, the police will be forced to investigate.

Further, social media is quite powerful in India today. Such a national ashram safety body should put up serious allegations for which police investigation is ongoing, on its website and social media channels. That will help inform the community about such serious allegations (that the police and/or national ashram safety body consider worthy of investigation) well before any court verdict is given. Note that the police investigation and any subsequent court cases in India in such matters can drag on for years, and sometimes, decades! In Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rape case, it took 15 years!

Another suggestion in this regard is that complainants should seriously consider simultaneously complaining to the police (and/or national ashram safety body) and put up the complaint on social media, perhaps anonymously if they fear retribution including defamation suits. In the Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh case, the anonymous letter complaining of these rapes was sent to then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee in 2002 (and perhaps some other persons), which seems to have triggered the court to order an investigation. The journalist who printed this or related anonymous letter was killed allegedly by goons of Ram Rahim Singh in Nov. 2002, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Ram_Chander_Chhatrapati.

Now in 2017, fifteen years after that 2002 anonymous letter, such a letter can be published anonymously on social media including Facebook, very easily. If enough appropriate people, including journalists, are informed of such a social media post, they will, in all probability, examine it seriously. Then if they are convinced that it seems to be a serious allegation (as against a frivolous or conspiratorial allegation), they may share that anonymous letter with their wider audience on social media and perhaps on regular media channels as well. That will create a momentum of its own which will force police and other investigative authorities to seriously investigate the matter and inform the public of the results of their investigation.

The funding for the national ashram safety body should not be limited to the government and become a burden on the government, and so on the tax payer. I think it is in the interest of all reputed spiritual and religious ashrams in India to ensure that a few abusive spiritual ashrams like Dera Sacha Sauda are prevented from indulging in such horrific abuse in future. That impacts the reputation of all Indian spiritual and religious ashrams. Therefore the reputed and large spiritual and religious ashrams should contribute funds to this national ashram safety body. Other reputed ashrams which may not be in a position to contribute funds, should contribute in other kind like volunteering for some work in this national body.

In the ideal case, which is what all Indian spiritual ashrams of all religions should work for, any spiritual aspirant, spiritual solace seeker, or even any other kind of visitor/resident, whether Indian or foreign, whether from rural or from urban areas of India (or abroad), whether male or female, whether rich or poor, should never have to fear from sexual abuse and serious physical abuse while living in or visiting any Indian ashram. Even if such an ideal may practically be impossible to achieve in a country with 1.3 billion people and many, many ashrams, aspiring for such an ideal would reduce sexual and serious physical abuse in Indian ashrams no matter what the religion the ashram is associated with (including multi-religion ashrams) to insignificant levels.

[I thank Baba Ramdev (and indiatimes.com) and wikipedia, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above quotes of Baba Ramdev from the article mentioned above, and extracts (from wikipedia), on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Please note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What the judge said while sentencing Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh; reaction from lady victim and her family; and more

1) a) Gurmeet Ram Rahim was revered like a god... acted like a beast: What the court said during sentencing, http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/gurmeet-ram-rahim-was-revered-like-a-god-acted-like-a-beast-what-the-cbi-judge-said-during-dera-chief-s-sentencing/story-aP9rVVdf1DuIWAGrd522UJ.html

b) Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to serve 20 years in jail, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dera-sacha-sauda-chief-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-sentenced-to-20-year-rigorous-imprisonment-in-rohtak/article19575596.ece

The above articles report that the court said that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh acted like a beast without sparing his pious disciples.  "In other words, he’s a man who neither has concern for humanity nor has any mercy in his nature". "Both the victims had put Ram Rahim on the pedestal of God and revered him like that. However, he committed breach of gravest nature by sexually assaulting such gullible and blind followers. Such criminal acts of convict, who is stated to be heading a religious organisation — Dera Sacha Sauda at Sirsa — are bound to shatter image of pious sacred spiritual, social, cultural and religious institutions existing in the country since time immemorial. This, in turn, reflects irreparable damages caused by the acts of convict to the heritage of ancient land".

The judge justified his sentence by saying that society has suffered and not just the individuals, and that the punishment should be such that it will act as a deterrent to others.

The article clarifies that from the Rs. 15 lakh fine for each rape case, Rs. 14 lakh will be paid as rehabilitation to each victim. [Earlier reports claimed that each of the two victims would get the whole Rs. 15 lakh.]

The judge said, "Having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, as well as rival contentions, this court is of the view that if acts of convict in sexually exploiting his own female disciples and intimidating them of dire consequences, is taken note of, then such kind of person does not deserve any sympathy of the court".

Ram Rahim Singh sought mercy on grounds of ill health, age, and his service to society work.

The prosecution argued against such mercy claiming that the victims worshipped Ram Rahim Singh as God and viewed him as a father. They said that the rape case was a "custodial rape" case and so was a more severe offence.

2) Wasn't scared of him then nor now, says woman who unmasked Ram Rahim, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wasnt-scared-then-not-scared-now-says-woman-who-unmasked-ram-rahim/article19576738.ece

This article covers a recent telephone conversation with one of the rape victims who testified against Ram Rahim Singh (conversation is also with family member(s) of the rape victim). The lady said she was not scared of Ram Rahim Singh when she testified and is not scared of him now. The lady is under police protection. The lady said, "I got justice today"! The article notes that the lady's brother, a former follower of Ram Rahim Singh, who left him after his sister's rape incidents, was later murdered allegedly by goons sent by Ram Rahim Singh [Separate murder case hearings against Ram Rahim Singh are ongoing]. So not only did the lady suffer the heinous crime of being raped (repeatedly, I read somewhere) but also lost her brother to murder!

The article states that the lady is married now and has two children. It states that she went to court only once to record her statement in 2009 at which time Ram Rahim Singh was also present in the court. For the other hearings her father, who died last year, attended the court. A relative is quoted in the article as saying, "The Dera chief's guards used to come to court with weapons. We were threatened, enticed and pressured to not pursue the case. The Dera management said they were ready to pay any amount quoted by us". The article reports that the lady came from an agricultural family and that the entire clan stood by her in fighting this case.

It reports that the lady was determined to get justice and was glued to the TV set since morning (on the day of the sentencing).

Ravi: I earnestly pray to God to bless the lady and her family and help heal the terrible wounds she and her family have suffered.

3) Not just damage, Dera should foot security bill too, says CM Amarinder Singh, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/not-just-damage-dera-should-foot-security-bill-too-says-cm/articleshow/60266998.cms

The article states that Punjab CM wants the Dera to foot the bill for the security forces and security work involved, including central reserve forces used, for which the centre would be sending their bill to the state.

4) a) On Ram Rahim, ex-CBI officers open can of worms, talk of political pressure, being accosted by Dera men, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ram-rahim-cbi-officers-can-of-worms-political-pressure-accosted-by-dera-men/1/1036042.html

b) Manmohan Singh Had Backed CBI in Dera Chief Case, Says Investigation Chief, http://www.news18.com/news/india/manmohan-singh-had-backed-cbi-in-dera-chief-case-says-investigation-chief-1504379.html

The above two articles state that some Members of Parliament (MPs) from the states where the Dera mainly operates - Punjab and Haryana - actively lobbied with the CBI to stop their investigation. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh summoned the CBI chief to discuss the case. When PM Manmohan Singh was shown the statement made by the rape victim(s) before the judge, Singh supported the CBI and ordered them to go according to law. [Ravi: Kudos to PM Manmohan Singh for refusing to interfere with CBI's work in this case.]

5) A judge who was unfazed by Dera clout, http://www.deccanherald.com/content/630230/a-judge-unfazed-dera-clout.html

The above short article is about the CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh who delivered the verdict (and sentence).

6) Villagers near Dera ‘ready’ to face violence, http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/290817/villagers-near-dera-ready-to-face-violence.html.

This article is about villagers around the Dera who are NOT Dera followers, being ready to counter any "frenzied followers" of the Dera who try to commit violence in their villages.

7) 5 policemen in Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh detail tried to free him, arrested, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/5-cops-in-dera-sacha-sauda-chief-detail-tried-to-free-him-arrested-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-4818408/

The above article is a very worrying one. Ram Rahim Singh had been provided a security detail from the government (as there had been death threats and even an attempt to kill him, if I recall correctly). The security detail was basically policemen/commandos mainly from the state of Haryana, but a few from Punjab as well, who were providing him that cover for past eight to twelve years. The worrying thing is that 5 of the 7 policeman in the security detail disobeyed the orders of the court and allegedly tried to free Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by getting into a scuffle with the Inspector General of Police! The article also talks about an attempt by some of these 5 policemen to run over the other policemen who had arrested Ram Rahim Singh!

All these 5 policemen seem to have become his devotees over the years! All 5 were arrested and charged with sedition.

Two other Punjab Police commandos who were part of Ram Rahim Singh's security detail, fled the CBI court but were arrested from Sirsa for violation of orders.

My God! This is very serious stuff. Rebellion and sedition by Punjab and Haryana police who were his security detail!

8) Former Dera Sacha Sauda follower says, ‘Castrated sadhus were given licence to kill’, http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/former-dera-sacha-sauda-follower-says-castrated-sadhus-got-licence-to-kill/story-mD9JIZVx2bcJcv7DxxNVnO.html

Ravi: I have made an exception in listing the above article as it has, as of now, allegations (not proven statements) against Ram Rahim Singh. There is a separate case against him on these castrations (allegedly by him and his henchmen). As the article is based on a person's direct alleged experiences of this castration, and the horrendous ways in which these castrated people were then attempted to be used (or were used), I thought of listing it. Readers should be aware that the article is based on allegations which have not yet been declared as the truth by an Indian court of law, as far as I know.

If the allegations are true, then this Dera sect top people who were involved in such matters are EVIL MONSTERS who were attempting to create (or created) a castrated slave group of people who would do whatever they were told to do (including killing people).

9) Gurmeet Ram Rahim: Despite jail sentence, women followers say faith in pitaji intact, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gurmeet-ram-rahim-despite-jail-sentence-women-followers-say-faith-in-pitaji-intact-4818604/

Ravi: This is the shocking thing! Perhaps the ladies mentioned in the article have been fed only Dera propaganda and have not been exposed to other news sources. Hopefully that will change as the Dera HQ is being emptied.

The article has acccounts of ladies who are deeply grateful to Ram Rahim Singh for the good that he did to them and their families. These ladies refuse to believe that he is guilty of the heinous crime of rape that the CBI court held him guilty for. They view it as a conspiracy by the govt./state against their spiritual leader/God Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh!

Ravi: I do hope that the extensive coverage Indian media has given to the horrors of the Dera Sacha Sauda which were exposed by this CBI court judgement and other accounts in the wake of that judgement, breaks through the Dera propaganda bubble that followers of the Dera like the above, seem to be trapped in.

10) Dera Sacha Sauda premises steadily emptying out under security vigil, http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/aug/29/dera-sacha-sauda-premises-steadily-emptying-out-under-security-vigil-1649809.html

The article reports that security forces ensured that many people were moved out of the Dera HQ. I think previous reports of a lakh (one hundred thousand) people being inside the Dera HQ were wildly exaggerated. Perhaps there were around 10,000 people inside (two centres: the new HQ and the old HQ). According to this article, the number of people inside the Dera HQ now is only around 200.

Fortunately, we have not heard of any horror camps within the Dera HQ. In fact, eighteen minor girls inside it, said they were happy there, and were healthy. They were forced to leave the Dera and the article states that they will be placed in (govt. run) juvenile homes.

[I thank hindustantimes.com, thehindu.com, indiatimes.com, intoday.in, news18.com, deccanherald.com, asianage.com, indianexpress.com and newindianexpress.com, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me referring to their above articles on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]

Monday, August 28, 2017

Spiritual group leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentenced to 20 years jail and fined Rs. 30 Lakh (3 million); More on Dera Sacha Sauda

Note that some of the articles below mention the jail sentence as 10 years. That seems to be a mistake. There are two jail sentences of 10 years each for the two rape cases Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of, which the court said will NOT run concurrently. So that makes it 20 years jail for the 50 year old Singh. Further, both rape victims are to be paid Rs. 15 Lakh (Rs. 1.5 million) each by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The lawyer for Singh has said that they will appeal the verdict in the High Court.

Singh is said to have been devastated by the sentence. He sought mercy from the judge (but that did not seem to make any difference). Eventually he is said to have shouted that he should be saved (from the authorities). So it seems there was a lot of drama when the sentence was given.

Heavy security, preventive arrests and shoot-at-sight orders (at those Dera followers who commit violence) in Rohtak where the sentence was pronounced seems to have ensured no reports of violence there. Elsewhere too in Haryana and Punjab, it seems to have been largely peaceful today (after the sentencing).

The Dera HQ seems to have been steadily evacuated of its followers. One of the reports below - the video in entry no. 9 if I recall correctly - mentions that (only) 10,000 followers remain in the Dera HQ in Sirsa. Reports yesterday gave a figure of 100,000 (ten times more) followers lodged in the Dera HQ.

Given below are some articles related to this matter.

1) Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh gets 20 years in jail, his sect home starts emptying, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dera-chief-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-gets-20-years-in-jail-his-sect-home-starts-emptying-4818023/

2) When 'god of politicians' pleaded for mercy before the judge!, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/when-god-pleaded-for-mercy-before-the-judge/articleshow/60260908.cms

3) ‘Koi mujhe bacha lo’: High drama inside courtroom as convicted rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim pleads for mercy, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-10-years-jail-rape-conviction-rohtak-jail-haryana-high-drama-cbi-court-4817421/

4) Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentenced to 20 yrs jail: Happy, court proved it today, says son of journalist who was killed by Dera followers, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-sentenced-to-10-yrs-jail-happy-court-proved-it-today-says-son-of-sirsa-slain-journalist-4817636/

This article has the reaction of the son of a journalist who had first printed the allegations of rape against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and who was killed seemingly for having done so with the killers allegedly being associated with the Dera. The son is reported to have said, "I welcome the quantum of sentence to Dera chief by the court. The court has unmasked the fraud seer. My father’s struggle against him has become fruitful today". Note that that murder case is a separate case whose hearings are going on. [Here's a video prior to this sentencing, of the son speaking to media giving details of what his journalist father exposed and how his father was killed, in Hindi, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OBHrb0YHGs, 2 min. 27 secs.]

5) Live: Ram Rahim Singh sentenced to 20 years in jail by CBI court, Sirsa peaceful, http://www.livemint.com/Politics/cXFKl0ZiqkOcKJbNrHQBZJ/Ram-Rahim-Singh-sentencing-LIVE-CBI-court-judge-to-reach-Ro.html

6) Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Dera premis: Liberal atmosphere, equality reason behind increasing number of followers, http://www.firstpost.com/india/gurmeet-ram-rahim-and-dera-premis-liberal-atmosphere-equality-reason-behind-increasing-number-of-followers-3980941.html.

The above article tries to give the reasons why Deras are having large number of followers.

7) Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Sentenced to 20 Years in Jail for Rape, Fined Rs 30 lakh, https://thewire.in/171503/gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-sentence/

The above article has an explosive extract claimed to be from the anonymous letter that started the case.

8) Why Do People Go to the Dera?, https://thewire.in/171190/punjab-dera-communty-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh/

Subtitle: "Apart from the mythic value and the personal charismatic appeal of the babas, deras in Punjab  also offer a sense of security to their followers."

The above article is by a Professor of sociology of an Indian university.

9) Video: Army Evacuating Dera Headquarter In Sirsa, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_unspYINMwM, 11 min. 41 secs, published by India Today. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

27th Aug. 2017 update on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh matter

1) India’s ‘guru of bling’ is convicted of raping two followers. After the verdict, deadly violence breaks out., https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/25/indias-guru-of-bling-convicted-of-rape/ has a set of 15 pics showing the vandalism and the violence.

2) Army denies plan to storm sect’s building, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/army-denies-plan-to-storm-sects-building/article19567136.ece. [Note that I came to know of this article from the printed copy newspaper today, 27th Aug. 2017] This article mentions that about a lakh (one hundred thousand) devotees of Guru/spiritual group head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, are within the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa.

Eight Indian army columns (each column having minimum of 80 troops) are deployed in Sirsa but the army has said that they do not have any plans to enter the Dera HQ.

The article further reports that despite pleas from the authorities for the devotees to disperse from the HQ, the devotees continue to stay there.

Barricades have been set up at entry points to the Dera HQ by police and other security forces.

Ravi: I think that the Dera devotees holed up in the HQ should demonstrate that they have abdicated violence against the security forces of the state. That is vital given the violence that Dera devotees indulged in on Friday (25th Aug.) after the court verdict against their Guru, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

If that abdication of violence is done then I think the govt. should try to address their fears and insecurity about continuance of their Dera/ashram with its vital support system for its followers of subsidized food, free medicine (and perhaps free or subsidized shelter). Such fear and insecurity are natural in such scenarios. If the govt. is able to provide them assurances backed by actions that their ashram system's basic support systems for their followers will continue, then I think they will calm down. Succession in the Dera, in this situation, seems to be somewhat settled as I read somewhere that the Guru had anointed his son as his successor some years ago. So the son can run the Dera now, along with his other siblings. Hopefully the siblings will not get into a power struggle among themselves.

3) ‘Why didn’t you do enough’: HC pulls up Haryana govt, Centre after Dera violence | 5 points, http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/why-didn-t-you-do-enough-hc-pulls-up-haryana-govt-centre-after-dera-violence-5-points/story-X5r6lHRndZUs9dJVhm4P7I.html

The article states that the Punjab & Haryana High Court have been hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Panchkula resident, over the past few days, related to law & order concerns with over 1.5 Lakh (150,000) people entering that Haryana district even though there were "prohibitory orders". The article reports that the High Court (HC) bench said, (the state government, a BJP govt.) "surrendered before the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda for political considerations". "This was a political surrender to allure vote bank... they were outsiders, you allowed them to enter and stay".

The HC stated that the suspended Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police was made a "scapegoat". The article reports that the HC wanted an investigation about why the security arrangments failed to prevent the mobs from indulging in violence.

The HC had earlier stated that it will recover money for the damages done by the Dera supporters from the Dera. It has asked for a list of its financial assets including bank accounts.

4) ‘Kill him, kill him,’ screamed ‘Premis’, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kill-him-kill-him-screamed-premis/article19567802.ece [Note that I came to know of this article from the printed copy newspaper today, 27th Aug. 2017]

Ravi: That's a terrifying account of how Dera supporters in Sirsa (their HQ area) attacked two journalists, and perhaps may have killed them had the journalists not escaped. This happened a short time after the verdict was announced against their Guru, on Friday, 25th Aug. Now I think these two journalists were rather foolish and reckless to not have followed the wise move of the other journalists to leave the Dera controlled area before the verdict was given. I mean, these are the realities of India today, in such tense situations.

But that does not change my considered view that these violent attacks from the Dera supporters on journalists MUST BE CONDEMNED UNEQUIVOCALLY. Ideally, the attackers should be identified and made to face the full force/penalty of the law.

5) It was not an easy investigation for CBI, http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/it-was-not-an-easy-investigation-for-cbi/article19568433.ece [Note that I came to know of this article from the printed copy newspaper today, 27th Aug. 2017]

The report states that the case started in May 2002 with the Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) taking cognisance of an anonymous letter claiming sexual exploitation of girls by the Dera head. The HC directed the Sirsa District and Sessions judge (like a trial court in USA, I guess) to investigate the matter. But nobody was willing to speak about the matter to the judge! The judge then recommended a central investigative agency investigation of the matter, which is what the HC directed, and so the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India's premier central investigative agency (like FBI in USA), got involved in the matter in December 2002.

The article states that 130 girls contacted by the CBI did not co-operate due to, the article reports in quotes, "an atmosphere of fear and physical, mental and spiritual control of Baba Gurmeet Singh".

But some girls who had left the ashram did speak to the CBI. In 2006, two of the girls provided accounts stating that they were raped (perhaps in August 1999) by the Dera chief, with one of them recording her statement under some legal procedure in 2007 (which lent more weight to it as evidence in Indian court of law).

6) CBI officer who cracked Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh case was asked to ‘close it’, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dera-sacha-sauda-chief-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-cbi-officer-who-cracked-case-was-asked-to-close-it-4813907/. The article gives the views of the now retired CBI senior officer to whom the case was handed over in 2007. The senior officer claims that he was put under pressure to close the case but that as he had got the case under High Court orders, he refused to do so. He is reported to have said, "That the case had been handed over by High Court helped" (to resist pressure from political leaders and seniors to close the case).

The officer says that the Dera tried to locate where he lived (to threaten him)!

Ravi: I am awed by, and commend the courage and tenacity of this CBI senior officer (Mulinja Narayanan) in discharging his duty and significantly contributing to delivering justice in this case.

7) Dera chief case: CBI judge to be flown to Rohtak jail for pronouncing sentence, http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/dera-chief-case-cbi-judge-to-be-flown-to-rohtak-jail-for-pronouncing-sentence/article9831856.ece.

The Dera chief has been lodged in Rohtak jail in Haryana state (Rohtak has few Dera supporters, it seems). I read somewhere that he was flown in a helicopter from Panchkula court on Friday after the verdict, to Rohtak jail. The article above states that the HC ordered that the CBI judge who pronounced the Dera chief guilty, must be flown along with his two staff, with proper security, by the govt. to Rohtak jail, for pronouncing the sentence part of the judgement (on Monday, 28th Aug. 2017).

Ravi: I salute the courage shown by the CBI judge who pronounced the Dera chief guilty. I also salute the courage shown by the High Court judges above to ensure that the govt. does its job of providing security to the CBI judge and provides an environment for justice to be delivered.

My posts on such matters have clearly brought home to me that the protection of law (to a significant extent, even if that is not entirely implemented) that I enjoy as a law abiding Indian citizen is due to the courage and dedication to duty shown by people like the CBI officers investigating this case and the CBI judge, and the High Court judges. I am deeply grateful to them for their service to the nation which helps/serves law abiding Indian citizens like me.

[I thank thehindu.com, hindustantimes.com, indianexpress.com and thehindubusinessline.com, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me referring to their above articles on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]

Clear condemnation of violence indulged in by Ram Rahim Singh's followers by President Kovind and PM Modi

PM Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ after Dera protests: Violence in the name of faith won’t be tolerated, http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/after-deadly-dera-protests-pm-modi-s-mann-ki-baat-violence-in-the-name-of-faith-won-t-be-tolerated-guilty-will-be-punished/story-lus5QQbc0Ipn2ShVU2gEiM.html [Ravi: 'Mann Ki Baat' is Hindi which translates roughly to "What's in (on) my mind", and is a regular radio address by PM Modi to the nation.]

The article quotes PM Modi as saying, "everyone will have to bow before the law". "Those who take the law in their hands or take to violence will not be spared, whoever they are". "India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha. Violence is not acceptable in the nation, in any form".

This was what PM Modi said on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/narendramodi/posts/10159309690370165, on the day of the violence, 25th Aug. 2017:

The instances of violence today are deeply distressing. I strongly condemn the violence & urge everyone to maintain peace.

The law & order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with the NSA & Home Secretary.

Urged officials to work round the clock to restore normalcy and provide all possible assistance that is required.
--- end PM Modi Facebook post contents ---

This was what President Ram Nath Kovind said on Twitter, https://twitter.com/rashtrapatibhvn/status/901075721522565121, on the same day, "Violence and damage to public property after court verdict is highly condemnable; appeal to all citizens to maintain peace #PresidentKovind".

It is very good to see such clear condemnation of Guru Ram Rahim Singh's followers who indulged in violence, from the top leadership of the country. While both the PM and President did not mention Ram Rahim Singh by name in their words given above, I think it is clear from the context that they are referring to his followers.

Ravi: Faith in a Guru does not give any Indian a right to indulge in violence if a court of law in India delivers a verdict against the Guru. Violence in the name of faith MUST NOT BE TOLERATED in India. 

Some articles and my thoughts about Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh being judged guilty of sexual assault, and violence that followed

Given below is a suitably modified version of mails I sent out on this matter over the past few days.

Very sad to see this; Violence against the govt. is not the answer for spiritual movements when confronted with such challenges

[Ravi: Initially the two reports below had lower casualty figures. It seems to have been updated later to have more current casualty figures.]

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh held guilty in rape case; 30 killed in violence in Panchkula, 1000 detained,
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gurmeet-ram-rahim-convicted-rape-case-verdict-dera-chief-cbi-court-panchkula-haryana-punjab-4812973/

As it happened: 30 dead, 250 injured as Dera chief conviction sets Haryana on fire,
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/live-updates-dera-sacha-sauda-chief-convicted-in-rape-case/article19558757.ece

Ravi: My view is that the Dera followers should pursue legal avenues to challenge the verdict, rather than indulge in this violence. 
----

An informative article on the rather freaky spiritual leader who was convicted today, Gurmeet Ram Rahim of Dera Sacha Sauda, from the Economic Times (India): http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/farm-dera-and-now-prison-the-story-of-rise-and-fall-of-the-baba-of-bling/articleshow/60222154.cms
----

An interesting article: Why Dera Sacha Sauda attracts such huge following, http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/why-dera-sacha-sauda-attracts-such-huge-following/456843.html.

The reasons the article lists for the large following of Dera Sacha Sauda (mainly in Punjab and Haryana, but also in other states like Delhi) running into millions or tens of millions:

* Caste equality [Ravi: I read somewhere that a large part of the following is Sikh Dalits, which I guess means former Hindu Dalits (depressed class in Hindu history) who converted to classless Sikhism but were not fully integrated due to their former Dalit status.]

* Humble management ranking - The head of a unit of the following is called Bhangi Dass - which means sweeper servant! These titles are meant to bring humility in office bearers of the following/orgn.

* Subsidised food and free medicine - This is said to be far superior to what the government provides for the poor in these states. [Ravi: I can very well imagine how big an attraction this will be for the marginalized in society.]

----

The wiki page Welfare activities section of the Dera, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dera_Sacha_Sauda#Welfare_activities, talks about the following:

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh formed a welfare and disaster relief organisation called Shah Satnam Ji Green-S Welfare Force, which now has more than 70,000 doctors, engineers, rescuers, paramedics, and tradesmen participating.
...
During the 2013 flash floods in Uttarakhand, a team of volunteers and doctors provided medical care to people, distributed food packets and conducted rescue missions. The area of Deoli-Brahmgram village was called a 'village of widows' as many men belonging to the area died in the floods. In an attempt to rehabilitate the women, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh announced that 1,500 followers of the sect were willing to tie the knot with the Uttarakhand widows.

Anti-prostitution initiatives began in November 2009, when Singh called on his followers to counter prostitution, and to help sex-workers escape a "life of perpetual slavery". In December 2009, Dera and its volunteers took a step towards reducing sex trafficking in the country and also preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS virus, by giving a consent for marriage with adult sex workers and to "help them escape their dreary existence". In January 2010, a mass marriage ceremony for former sex workers took place in Sirsa. Dera Sacha Sauda's 400-bed multi-specialty hospital was inaugurated by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Sirsa in March 2014 and has been named Shah Satnam ji Speciality Hospital.

Dera Sacha Sauda had launched a social welfare campaign and had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to grant legal status to transgender people. On 15 April 2014 the Apex Court gave a judgement in favour of the Eunuchs and ordered that the hijras and transgender people will now be given the legal status of the third gender. This will make them eligible for quota in various government jobs, education institutions and also ensure medical treatment.[unreliable source?]

DSS also initiated a series of sanitation drives and as of 2016, about 30 Mega Cleanliness Campaigns have been conducted in several states of India and also in other countries.

--- end extracts ---

Ravi: He also claims to have rescued many from narcotic drug addiction (in Punjab & Haryana, I guess) and so claims that the drug mafia is foisting false cases (including this sexual assault case) on him.

Well, the social work stuff is good BUT the Dera has to follow the law of the land. And sexual exploitation is a big NO-NO! I read that Gurmeet Ram Rahim denies the charges, but then he has been held guilty by a CBI court! So unless he appeals to a higher court and gets it overturned, he is a convict now of rape/sexual assault! That's a devastating blow to his image as a spiritual leader, even though he has been quite a freaky one.
-----
Ravi: About how Gurmeet Ram Rahim should NOT be taken to be the norm for Indian spiritual leaders:
One cannot take an outlier and apply that to an entire spectrum of spiritual leaders. Note that there are a few contemporary Indian spiritual leaders who have been accused of sexual exploitation in Indian courts of law, with some of them being convicted. The leaders who have been convicted claim that they were falsely framed but they have not been able to made a good enough case of that either in the Indian media or in court. So I will go with the view that those Indian spiritual leaders who have been convicted of rape, and who have failed to overturn that verdict, would in all probability, have committed that heinous and inhuman crime.

But there have also been cases of contemporary Indian spiritual leaders who were accused of sexual assault/rape in Indian courts but which cases did NOT result in conviction. I would view such Indian spiritual leaders as NOT GUILTY of those accusations and NOT accept sensationalist media trying to paint them as evil people even when Indian courts have ruled otherwise!
-----

The casualty count of the violence outbreak on conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is reported as 30 dead (seems to be mostly Dera followers) and 250 injured, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dera-sacha-sauda-guru-ram-rahim-rape-case-verdict-live-updates-panchkula-sirsa-haryana-punjab-4812524/.

An interesting set of articles on the Dera Sacha Sauda matter:

1) Dera Sacha Sauda: Here's what gave Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh so much political power,
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60233977.cms

A small extract from it:

In Punjab and Haryana—dominated by upper-caste, land-owning jat community—a large number of people from the lower-castes prefer such Deras to mainstream Sikh and Hindu religions. While many Deras prefer to remain non-partisan, a large number of them are seen as ready vote banks by politicians of different parties.
------

2) Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh stunned after court verdict: Prosecutor,
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60229623.cms

3) AK-47, pistols recovered; sedition cases against Dera followers, http://www.india.com/news/agencies/ak-47-pistols-recovered-sedition-cases-against-dera-followers-2428847/

A small extract from it:

Haryana Police have recovered an AK 47, five pistols and other weapons from two vehicles of Dera followers and registered two sedition cases against followers, including private security guards, of controversial godman and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the government said on Saturday.

4) 9 Dera Centres Sealed In Kurukshetra, 2,500 Lathis Found, Say Cops, http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/9-dera-centres-sealed-in-kurukshetra-2-500-lathis-found-1742318

A small extract from it:

The Kurukshetra Police today sealed nine congregation centres of Dera Sacha Sauda in the district, evicted the followers of sect leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and seized over 2,500 lathis and other sharp-edged weapons during a search operation.

Ravi: This seems to be the very disturbing reality about some spiritual groups in North India. They are armed and ready to commit violence against the state police forces if the state police acts against them. I think such violence from these spiritual group followers against the police has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. They essentially become a threat to the state. No wonder that the charges made against them include sedition!

5) The Parallel, Performative Governance of Groups Like Dera Sacha Sauda, https://thewire.in/171130/dera-sacha-sauda-violence-following/. [Ravi: This article is by Shiv Visvanathan, who is a professor at the Jindal Global Law School and director, Centre for the Study of Knowledge Systems, O.P Jindal Global University. I think it is worth reading though I do not agree with all of its views.]

A small extract from it:

As violence spreads across Punjab and Haryana, as casualties rise and petrol pumps are destroyed, a spectator has to ask broader questions beyond Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction for rape. Where are these movements? How do they grow so exponentially? Why is the state so illiterate or complicit about them? One has to place this event within a broader history.
--- end extract ---

Ravi: I take objection to the generalization made by Vishwanthan in the article above where he says, "It is clear today that the ashram is an alternative model of power and governance, capable of threat and violence, challenging the state which has no sense of the ruthless rise and proliferation of these groups." The Sathya Sai following in India with its ashrams and spritual centres as well as a few other followings including Sadhguru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Mata Amritandamayi followings do not have any such capability of threat and violence, as far as I know. I think it is irresponsible and reckless of Prof. Shiv Vishwanathan to make such generalizations which lead to him losing credibility in the eyes of people like me.

I think Indian spiritual ashrams should go out of their way to show that they are NOT a violent threat to the state (police, paramilitary, army etc.) Those ashrams that fail to demonstrate that they are not a violent threat to the state, could be investigated by govt. authorities and, if found to be a violent threat to the state, should be closed down. I think North India, particularly Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, seems to be having quite a few spiritual ashrams that are capable of violence against the state. Perhaps the rest of India does not have that problem in significant numbers, as of now at least.

[I thank wikipedia, indiatimes.com, ndtv.com and thewire.in, have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts (very small extracts from indiatimes.com, ndtv.com and thewire.in) from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]

Thursday, August 24, 2017

My posts against hatred, bigotry, intimidation and violence displayed by white supremacists and neo Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Last updated on 24th Aug. 2017

Recently I put up many posts on my Miscellaneous blog about the horrific hatred, bigotry, intimidation and violence displayed by white supremacists (white nationalists) and neo Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. I have given below a list of those posts (totally 14) with extracts of some of them, and full contents of some of them. Please note this post is very long.

1) USA President Trump must condemn white nationalist hatred role in Charlottesville, Virginia terrorist road rage attack that killed 1 and hurt 19, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-president-trump-needs-to.html, dated 13th Aug. 2017

Extracts from it:

Ravi: I am very disturbed by this. My view is that the counter-protesters should have been law abiding and allowed the white nationalists to exercise their freedom of speech as per USA (and Virginia) law. Of course, the counter-protesters had every right to hold a NON-VIOLENT counter-protest rally. Very unfortunately, some unprovoked but NON-LETHAL violence seems to have been indulged in by both the counter-protesters (against white nationalists) and the protesters (white nationalists), which was illegal and must be condemned no matter who indulged in it.

But that USA's president, the most powerful man on the planet, let alone the USA, did not clearly condemn the white nationalists SPECIFICALLY AND BY NAME, for the road rage terror attack killing 1 and injuring 19, is very disturbing. I mean, the road rage terror attack was far, far more vicious and serious than NON-LETHAL punches being thrown, or pepper spray being sprayed, which too must be condemned but is not as serious as murder/killing and attempt to murder/kill.

It must be noted that many of the counter-protesters were white people. It is very encouraging to see so many white people openly protest against white supremacists. So the violence in Charlottesville cannot be viewed as a race riot as it was not white people against non-white people. It was more of good people of various races including white & black confronting a hateful RACIST ideology of white supremacists (targeting non-whites and Jews).
...
I don't want to tarnish my social media pages by mentioning what he [a white supremacist] said. But this is Hitler Nazi stuff. I am outraged. And I am scared of what might happen if such things are allowed to fester in USA society. So I am of the considered view that this anti-semitic Nazi Hitler kind of madness in the USA in 2017 needs to be stopped by USA authorities including president Trump using every legal device available to them, including enacting of new legislation if needed. Jews have an EQUAL right to life and liberty like any other religion or no religion USA citizen or even non-USA citizen who legally resides in the USA.
...
Hate crime including murder/killing is part of life in most countries including India. But the top man in a decent 21st century democratic country must be unambiguously critical of hate crimes that take lives or cause serious injuries by naming the groups indulging in such hate crime. That's a red line for me. I have to say that I am very disappointed and disturbed that USA president Trump has not condemned the white nationalists by name, even after one person died in that horrific car driving terror attack against the counter-protests. Mr. Trump MUST condemn white nationalists by name for this tragedy in Charlottesville, thereby naming and shaming this neo-Nazi white supremacist evil in the USA unambiguously from the high perch and megaphone that he has as the president of the USA, the most militarily and economically powerful country in the world today.
...
"YOU ARE NOT AMERICANS" Governor destroys white supremacists for Charlottesville violence, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFx-nypS3Ac, 3 min. 44 secs. This video has reactions of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (Democrat) on this Charlottesville violence. Gov. McAuliffe unequivocally condemns the white supremacists and (neo) Nazis BY NAME, and sends out a strong message against them. I (Ravi) find it very heartening to hear these words of Virginia Gov. McAuliffe.

Ravi: I am so glad to see that many Republican leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan as well as senior senators have unequivocally condemned the white supremacists' hate in Charlottesville. I have given the relevant messages below. I have deliberately not included views of Democratic and Independent senators and the House minority leader. I must also say that I fully support the views expressed in these messages below.

USA Speaker Paul Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin), "The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.", https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan/status/896400866361704449.

USA Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona):
“Our Founders fought a revolution for the idea that all men are created equal. The heirs of that revolution fought a Civil War to save our nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to that revolutionary proposition.

“Nothing less is at stake on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, where a violent attack has taken at least one American life and injured many others in a confrontation between our better angels and our worst demons.

“White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special.

“As we mourn the tragedy that has occurred in Charlottesville, American patriots of all colors and creeds must come together to defy those who raise the flag of hatred and bigotry.”

Source Permalink: https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/8/statement-by-senator-john-mccain-on-white-supremacist-attack-in-charlottesville

Senator Cory Gardner (Republican-Colorado), "Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.", https://twitter.com/SenCoryGardner/status/896472477844385792.

Senator Marco Rubio (Republican-Florida), "Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists", https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/896483980857532416.

Senator Chuck Grassley (Republican-Iowa), 'What " WhiteNatjonalist" are doing in Charlottesville is homegrown terrorism that can't be tolerated anymore that what Any extremist does', https://twitter.com/ChuckGrassley/status/896479276790292480.

Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican-Utah), "Their tiki torches may be fueled by citronella but their ideas are fueled by hate, & have no place in civil society.", "We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH", https://twitter.com/senorrinhatch/status/896486793083842560.

Senator Rob Portman (Republican-Ohio), "The tragedy in Charlottesville this afternoon was domestic terrorism. We must all condemn hatred and white nationalism.", https://twitter.com/senrobportman/status/896500463155150849.
...
Ravi: I felt it appropriate to mention that I have fond memories of a road travel visit (from New Hampshire/Massachusetts border) that I made to Falls Church city in Virginia, and the fascinating Luray Caverns in Virginia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luray_Caverns, in the second half of the 1980s. I had picked up a T-shirt souvenir with a pic of Luray Caverns that I used for many years before it got worn out. I had only a very superficial knowledge then of USA history and the role of Thomas Jefferson of Virginia in it. But what I recall was a pleasant road trip to meet Indian friends (fellow software developers from my Bombay/Mumbai based company) in Falls Church and also the Luray Caverns visit, with no experience of hatred from anybody (white, black or brown).

I pray to Almighty God that USA is saved and protected from the spread of the dangerous virus of racial hatred (against non-whites by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but also against whites by some other, I guess smaller, groups) and religious hatred (e.g. anti-Jew) that some USA citizens seem to have, very unfortunately, fallen prey to.

Please note that in this post I have made AN EXCEPTION to my PUBLICLY NEUTRAL informal-student-observer role in the posts that I put up about USA politics. Of course, as I am an Indian citizen living in India, there is no question of me having voted in USA elections.
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2) USA Sen. Bernie Sanders: Heather Heyer (of Charlottesville, Virginia) sacrificed her life in the fight for social and racial justice (against White Supremacy and Neo Nazism), http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-sen-bernie-sanders-heather-heyer-of.html, 14th Aug. 2017

3) White supremacist militia with assault rifles patrol Charlottesville, Virginia, USA rally!, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/white-supremacist-militia-with-assault.html, 14th Aug. 2017

An extract from the above post:
For an Indian living in India like me, to see an ARMED (with assault weapons) AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL militia like this which seems to be closely tied to the Neo Nazis and White Nationalists, do self-imposed "policing" duty, is very freaky and very scary! I admire the courage of those protesting PEACEFULLY and NON-VIOLENTLY against the Neo Nazis and White Supremacists. The examples of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi of leading SUCCESSFUL NON-VIOLENT agitations against unjust domination by force by some people, may be just the right inspiration for these protesters (against White Supremacists) to follow.

This part of the post may be somewhat late as I think the event is over. My prayers and best wishes to these counter-protesters to be safe and to succeed in the PEACEFUL and NON-VIOLENT protests they do against the White Supremacists. However, they must avoid and condemn any act of violence (other than self-defense) against the white nationalists, as otherwise they will lose their moral authority in this matter.
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4) USA President Trump UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS racism and white supremacists BY NAME in context of Charlottesville tragedy!, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-president-trump-unequivocally.html, 14th Aug. 2017

Most/all of the above post content is given below:
President Trump: "Racism is evil..." (C-SPAN), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJZQ8TfXb4Y, published Aug. 14th 2017

Mr. Trump says around 1:00 in the video:

But based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone.

I just met with FBI director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a Civil Rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others. To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence - you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. And we are all made by the same Almighty God. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our constitution.

Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.

Two days ago a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed. Her death fills us with grief and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love. We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth and their country. Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplified the very best of America and our hearts go out to their families, their friends and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation. In times such as these, America has always shown its true character - responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice. As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.

We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you very much.
--- end President Trump statement ---

Ravi: It was very heartening for me to watch USA president deliver the above statement. Now there is no doubt that right from the top positions of the Trump administration, the UNEQUIVOCAL message is that "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans." That resolves my previous disturbance and concern about a lack of such named condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, as expressed in a previous post here: "USA President Trump must condemn white nationalist hatred role in Charlottesville, Virginia terrorist road rage attack that killed 1 and hurt 19", http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-president-trump-needs-to.html.

I am honestly very grateful to USA President Trump for having made the above UNEQUIVOCAL AND NAMED CONDEMNATION of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. I think that sends a powerful message from the most powerful man in the USA and in the world, to not only all of USA, but all of the world, that racism, neo Nazism and any ethnic superiority groups are evil and will not be tolerated, especially in today's early 21st century world.

I pray to Almighty God to help USA President Trump and his team to overcome and defeat all racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacist and other hate-and-violence based groups (including any groups that breed hatred and advocate violence against whites and Christians) and their ideologies, in the USA.
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5) Does USA President Trump's Tuesday, 15th Aug. press conf. remarks show that he is insincere in his condemnation of white supremacists & neo Nazis?, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/does-usa-president-trumps-tuesday-15th.html, 17th Aug. 2017

All of the content of the above post is given below:

One of the concerns raised with one of my previous posts, USA President Trump UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS racism and white supremacists BY NAME in context of Charlottesville tragedy!, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-president-trump-unequivocally.html, was whether Trump's condemnation of white supremacists/nationalists & neo Nazis was insincere and forced, given the delay of two days between the tragedy in Charlottesville and Trump's condemnation by name of white supremacists/nationalists and neo Nazis.

My response then was as follows:
Top rulers (like Presidents and Prime Ministers) are not perfect. As a social media writer, the vital thing for me was Trump, AS PRESIDENT OF USA, naming violent racism, neo Nazism and white supremacy as evil. He had not done that so far, as president, if I recall correctly, which was creating a terrifying situation where the neo Nazis and white supremacists were claiming that PRESIDENT Trump is protecting them. That situation changed dramatically for the better after Trump's by name condemnation of them. Not only is there a clear video of PRESIDENT Trump saying those words, but I think Trump has got the message that as President, he HAS TO say such words, as that is the expectation of the majority of people across the spectrum in the USA.

Now about whether his condemnation by name of white supremacists and Neo Nazis was sincere or a lie (refers to Monday remarks of Trump): Well, I think, given my role as a social media writer on spirituality & religion, I need to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. If he does any significant action that clearly supports or protects the white supremacists and Neo Nazis then I think I will consider writing about it, and consider questioning the sincerity of his condemnation.

The Attorney General and the FBI director seem to have ensured a proper investigation into the matter, with the AG terming it as "domestic terrorism". That sounds like tough action to me. And Trump has not been reported to have done anything to stop or hinder this investigation. So if the white supremacists & Neo Nazis think Trump is protecting them then they may be in for a rude shock with what this federal investigation might do.

From my Indian spiritual writer perspective, I don't think I am being too kind to PRESIDENT Trump as conveyed by his official words (as on Monday) and official actions on this matter. Even the prayer that I wrote on my post is tied in to the official words of PRESIDENT Trump. Now what views he espouses in private, and what contradictory actions he may take in private (on this matter), are things that I don't want to publicly write about on this sensitive and very important matter for me. Journalists and USA citizens may want to publicly opine on such private words and private actions of Trump, but as an Indian spiritual writer, I think I should limit my public writings to public statements of president Trump.
==================================================

On 15th Aug. (Tuesday), president Trump gave free-wheeling/unscripted answers and comments on this matter. Relevant extracts are given below from: Full Transcript and Video: Trump’s News Conference in New York, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/us/politics/trump-press-conference-transcript.html.

TRUMP: I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I’ll say it right now.

You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.

REPORTER: Do you think that what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-Nazis?

TRUMP: All of those people — Excuse me — I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.

So — excuse me — and you take a look at some of the groups and you see and you would know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases, you are not. But, many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?

But they were there to protest — excuse me — you take a look, the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.
...
REPORTER: Mr. President, are you putting what you are calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?

TRUMP: I am not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I’m saying is this: You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.

REPORTER: You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides?

TRUMP: Well I do think there’s blame. Yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it. And you don’t have doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say.

REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest —

TRUMP: Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis. And you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.

You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me — I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

[cross talk]

TRUMP: George Washington as a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down — excuse me — are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him. Good.

Are we going to take down the statue? Cause he was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? So you know what? It’s fine. You are changing history, you’re changing culture. You had people and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. O.K.? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.

Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad people in the other group too.

REPORTER: Who has the press treated unfairly? Sir, I’m sorry, I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? I just didn’t understand what you were saying.

TRUMP: No, no. There were people in that rally. I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee. I am sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest.

Because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So I only tell you this. There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country.
--- end relevant extracts of transcript of President Trump's press conference ---

Ravi: In this post at least, I do not want to get into the issues related to Robert E. Lee statue, confederacy and slave ownership by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. As an Indian social media writer, those issues do not bother me much but I do recognize that it would be of great concern to many people, especially Americans. For me the big concerns are the evils of white supremacy/nationalism and neo Nazism which I consider as very dangerous to our world today, and so I publicly oppose it by writing on social media against it.

So the key question that I have to focus on, from the above extracts, is: Do above responses and comments of Trump expose an insincerity in his condemnation of white supremacists/nationalists & neo Nazis?

1) Trump does repeat that he condemns the white supremacists/nationalists and neo Nazis in this press conference. But that repetition does not necessarily make it sincere.

2) Trump did not accept grouping all the people who protested (as against the counter-protesters) as white nationalists and neo Nazis. He said that all of these protesters were NOT white nationalists and neo Nazis, and that some of them were non white nationalists/non neo Nazi people who were "protesting very quietly the taking down (of) the statue of Robert E. Lee". In the limited browsing that I have done, I did not find reliable data related to this. The USA mainstream media articles and videos present a different picture from what Trump seems to imply, showing protesters having white nationalist and neo Nazi signs on their clothes or holding such signs/flags. I mean, I did not come across any media article talking about the protesters having non white nationalist and non neo Nazis who are quietly protesting removal of Robert E Lee statue. Some videos show the protesters chanting anti-Jew slogans as well as slogans like "Blood and soil" which are related to Nazis.

So I think Trump needs to provide supporting data from respectable sources which could be USA governmental/security agencies to back up his statement about presence of a (significant) number of non white nationalists and non neo Nazis who were quietly protesting Robert E Lee statue removal. Otherwise I will view his statement as being, in all probability, false.

3) Trump said, "Well I do think there’s blame (for hatred and violence). Yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it." Trump does not mention the quantum of blame; i.e. he does not specifically say equal blame on both sides, but the language gives the impression that that's what he means! Trump also mentioned about violent people among the counter-protesters who attacked the protesters. And Trump mentioned, perhaps correctly, that the protesters had acquired a legal right to protest whereas the counter-protesters did not have the requisite permission.

I think it is hard to find data that clearly proves who started the (large) majority of the fights - the protesters or the counter-protesters. The counter-protesters were NOT NON-VIOLENT. They did indulge in violence.

Of course, the biggest violence eventually came from the protesters side with the insane and horrific attack of a car plowing into counter-protester sort-of rally which killed 1 person and injured 19, and which act Trump very clearly and unequivocally condemned. So that made the protesters' side total violence as much bigger than the counter-protester side.

Regarding the blame for the hatred and violence and who is to blame more for it, I would like to break it into two parts. Blame for hatred and blame for violence. With the exception of the above car plowing attack, I think it is difficult to decide without proper police data on the various fights including who started it, who is to blame for the violence and how much blame. So I prefer to not comment on the blame for the violence part (excluding the car plowing attack), as of now.

But on the blame for the hatred part, I think that all the videos and pics I saw and the reports I read, show that the protesters were the main persons to be blamed. It is the protesters who chanted against Jews right inside University of Virginia (UVa)! It is the protesters who did not respond with love towards the counter-protesters from various faiths and ethnicity in a church in the UVa who were trying to spread love among people of various faiths and ethnicity.

The chants of the counter protesters seem to have been against this hatred of the white nationalists and neo Nazis. They were not chants against people of any race or religion.

I also would like to put the blame of intimidation by showing off assault weapons and military type uniforms & other military gear like body armour, on the protesters group. Most if not all of the military group/militia of the protesters seem to have been white nationalists and/or neo Nazis. They paraded these weapons and uniforms! It was not as if they were a reserve unit ready to be called in to break up fights that the police were unable to break up. In stark contrast, I did not see a single pic/video of the counter-protesters having even small guns (perhaps some of them did have arms but I did not see those pics) let alone assault weapons.

So I think that on the blame for hatred and blame for military weaponry intimidation, the blame seems to be mainly, if not wholly, on the protesters (and NOT the counter-protesters).
----

Overall I think USA President Trump has muddied the waters with the above unscripted remarks of his (on Tuesday). I think they weaken his words about condemnation of white supremacists/nationalists and neo Nazis. It surely reduces the strength of his scripted condemnation message of Monday. And that is disappointing and unfortunate. I do hope that USA president Trump avoids unscripted and free-wheeling conversations on such dangerous topics like armed militias with military weapons in the USA, white supremacists/nationalists and neo Nazis. Civil war kind of battles can break out quite easily with the kind of weaponry that is in the hands of USA citizens. The white nationalists/supremacists and neo Nazis would want such battles to break out. President Trump needs to ensure that he does not provide any fuel for such battles with his unscripted remarks on such super-sensitive matters. Once such fires get lit, it may be very difficult for President Trump with all the forces under his command to easily douse them.

But the above analysis does not lead me to a conclusion that President Trump is insincere about his condemnation of white nationalists/supremacists and neo Nazis. Perhaps he does not realize that some of his unscripted remarks are encouraging white nationalists/supremacists and neo Nazis. One hopes that he understands this damaging but unintentional encouragement his unscripted remarks are giving to them, and so stops making such unscripted remarks on these super-sensitive topics.

[I thank nytimes.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts of transcript of President Trump's press conference from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Note that this post deals with a matter of public safety and well being.]
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6) VICE News documentary on white nationalist group involved in Charlottesville; Strong reactions to Trump's both sides to blame remarks on Tuesday, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/vice-news-documentary-on-white.html, 18th Aug. 2017

I have given below the entire post's contents:
This documentary has given me a superb insight into at least one major white nationalist group leader's - Christopher Cantwell's - views and role in the Charlottesville (Virginia, USA) incidents (warning: the video has some graphic language and graphic images of violence): Charlottesville: Race and Terror – VICE News Tonight on HBO, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P54sP0Nlngg, 22 min. 4 secs, published 14th Aug. 2017, (no. of views on 17th Aug. 2017 - 3,678,662 i.e. over 3.6 million views!).

The strange thing though is now that leader seems to have had a meltdown with reports of the police seeking to arrest him, after the documentary went viral and was seen by many. This article covers that: 'I'm terrified': White nationalist Charlottesville rally co-organizer who said he's disgusted to see Jared Kushner with Ivanka is seen sobbing on YouTube over his possible arrest, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4797774/White-nationalist-sobs-YouTube-possible-arrest.html, 17th Aug. 2017.

And this 'The Young Turks' video puts up clips of his terror boasts from the VICE News documentary followed by his meltdown, and comments on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD4reaHE83Q, 10  min. 33 secs.

Facebook Has Banned White Supremacist Christopher Cantwell, http://time.com/4904122/facebook-christopher-cantwell-ban-charlottesville/.
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Given below are reactions from USA political leaders to Trump's Tuesday comments about blame on both sides for Charlottesville hatred and violence.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a Democrat, who would have access to reports from the police and other government agencies of Charlottesville (town) and Virginia (state), said (according to https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/us/politics/trump-charlottesville-white-nationalists.html), "Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight".."One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community. This was not ‘both sides.’"

House Speaker Paul Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin), "We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.", https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan/status/897579093184610305.

Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona), "There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so", https://twitter.com/SenJohnMcCain/status/897624579589451778.

Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican-Utah), '"We should never hesitate to call out hate. Whenever and wherever we see it." -OGH ...', https://twitter.com/senorrinhatch/status/897585892172247041.

Senator Marco Rubio (Republican-Florida) sent out a 6 part tweet:
The organizers of events which inspired & led to #charlottesvilleterroristattack are 100% to blame for a number of reasons. 1/6, https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/897575723443027968.

They are adherents of an evil ideology which argues certain people are inferior because of race, ethnicity or nation of origin. 2/6

When entire movement built on anger & hatred towards people different than you,it justifies & ultimately leads to violence against them 3/6

These groups today use SAME symbols & same arguments of #Nazi & #KKK, groups responsible for some of worst crimes against humanity ever 4/6

Mr. President,you can't allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame.They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain 5/6

The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win.We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected 6/6
--- end 6 part tweet of Sen. Rubio ---

Democratic senators and House minority leader had stronger words. I decided not to include those stronger words in this post.
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Trump's Tuesday comments (blame on both sides) led to a lot of CEOs (& at least one chairman) and labor leaders on his business panels quitting or getting pretty upset, which seems to have led to the panels being disbanded. A small extract from http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-trump-ceos-council-20170816-story.html, "By Wednesday, so many executives had resigned from Trump’s economic advisory and manufacturing councils, including the heads of General Electric Co., Intel Corp. and Campbell Soup Co., that the president announced on Twitter that he was disbanding the panels."

The statements of many of these CEOs (& chairman) and labour leaders are given here: http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-trump-ceo-defections-20170816-htmlstory.html.

Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck (and an African-American), resigned before Trump's scripted Monday statement. Part of Frazier's statement was, "Our country's strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs. America's leaders must honour our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal." Source: https://twitter.com/Merck/status/897065338566791169.

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, resigned on Monday. Part of his statement was, "I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does." Source: http://blogs.intel.com/policy/2017/08/14/intel-ceo-leaves-manufacturing-council/.

Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO (and Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff) resigned on Tuesday. Part of Trumka's statement was, "We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups." Source: https://twitter.com/RichardTrumka/status/897575417430896645.

Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup resigned on Wednesday, the day the panels were disbanded. The above latimes.com article reports her statement as, "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been — and still needs to be unambiguous on that point.

Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great."

Jeff Immelt, Chairman of General Electric, left on Wednesday. Part of his statement was, "The President's statements yesterday were deeply troubling. There would be no GE without people of all races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry, racism, and the white supremacist extremism that the country witnessed in Charlottesville last weekend." Source: https://twitter.com/BostonomiX/status/897880778918567936.

Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson: Part of his statement, as per above latimes.com article, after the panels were disbanded, was, "The President’s most recent statements equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred is unacceptable and has changed our decision to participate in the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council."

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase mentioned in a statement on Wednesday that members of the business advisory panel had agreed to disband, according to the above latimes.com article. The article quotes this part of Dimon's statement, "I strongly disagree with President Trump's reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days. Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong. The equal treatment of all people is one of our nation’s bedrock principles. There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and humanity.

As a company and for all business in general, it is critical that we help develop rational, intelligent policies to help expand opportunities for all of our citizens. I know that times are tough for many. The lack of economic growth and opportunity has led to deep and understandable frustration among so many Americans. But fanning divisiveness is not the answer. Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country. It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart."

Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, is reported by the above latimes.com article to have said in a statement (in part), "The events that occurred in Charlottesville, as I said on Monday, are nothing short of domestic terrorism. Such racism and bigotry must not just be condemned, but must be condemned unequivocally. The diversity of America works because leaders from all walks of life have always been willing to step forward and reject intolerance without equivocation."

----------------------------
Interestingly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg put out a post about the hatred on display at Charlottesville but did not refer to Trump's comments. An extract from his post, https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10103969849282011, dated (Indian Time) 17th August 2017:

There is no place for hate in our community. That's why we've always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism -- including what happened in Charlottesville. With the potential for more rallies, we're watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm. We won't always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we'll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe.

The last few days have been hard to process. I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it's something I've wondered much of my life. It's a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong -- as if this is somehow not obvious. My thoughts are with the victims of hate around the world, and everyone who has the courage to stand up to it every day.

There may always be some evil in the world, and maybe we can't do anything about that. But there's too much polarization in our culture, and we can do something about that. There's not enough balance, nuance, and depth in our public discourse, and I believe we can do something about that. We need to bring people closer together, and I know we can make progress at that.
--- end extract ---

Here's an interesting article: Why We Terminated Daily Stormer, https://blog.cloudflare.com/why-we-terminated-daily-stormer/, dated 16th Aug. 2017.

A few short extracts from the article: "Earlier today, Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We've stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We've taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare's services ever again. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology. Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare."

[I thank latimes.com and various USA political and business leaders, and cloudflare.com, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above small extract/statements from their website/social media accounts on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Please note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]
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7) USA Missouri state senator who posted and deleted comment hoping for president Trump assassination should publicly apologize to Trump, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-missouri-state-senator-who-posted.html, 18th Aug. 2017

The entire contents of above post are given below:
A short extract from "The Latest: Greitens tells senator to resign for Trump post", https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-latest-greitens-tells-senator-to-resign-for-trump-post/2017/08/17/92415046-83ab-11e7-9e7a-20fa8d7a0db6_story.html, dated 17th Aug. 2017:

"Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is calling for the resignation of a Missouri legislator who posted on Facebook that she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated.

Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal says she posted and later deleted the comment Thursday out of frustration over Trump’s reaction to the white supremacist rally and violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia."

The article also reports that Missouri state Democratic Party Chairman said 'that the comments were “indefensible” and that the (Democratic) party wouldn’t tolerate calls for the assassination of a president'.

Ravi: Any call including any 'hopes' for violence against USA president Trump, especially in the context of Charlottesville, Virginia (USA) incidents involving white supremacists and neo Nazis' abominable hatred and racism, but even otherwise, must be unequivocally condemned. The Missouri state senator deleted her comment/post on her personal Facebook page hoping for assassination of USA president Trump. But that's not enough, in my considered opinion. She should publicly apologize to, and seek forgiveness from, USA president Trump and his family & friends.

The article states that the Missouri state senator, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Chappelle-Nadal, said to Associated Press that she was wrong to write the comments/post, but that she was exercising her First Amendment right to free speech.

Ravi: Now I don't know the nuances of free speech laws in the USA, but I think it does allow for a lot of hate speech including calls for violence (e.g. call/threat to kill members of a particular religious community which one white supremacist/neo Nazi person in the Charlottesville rally made to a reporter and which video I saw). I thank God and the Indian constitution writers and Indian lawmakers, that independent India does not allow that kind of hate speech in its freedom of speech laws.

Now, even if USA freedom of speech laws allow such "hopes" of assassination to be publicly articulated, a representative of the people has to act more responsibly.

Here's a video interview of Chappelle-Nadal where she discusses the background to her putting up the post on her personal Facebook page (which she later deleted) and states that what she did was wrong and inappropriate, "FULL INTERVIEW: Chappelle-Nadal talks about her Facebook post mentioning assassinating Pres. Trump", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2XcOuBsaQg, 20 min. 35 secs, published on 17th Aug. 2017 by KSDK News. She talks about her experience of the Ferguson (unrest), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferguson_unrest, (in Aug. 2014) and about covert racism (in St. Louis, Missouri) against African-Americans - she seems to be an African-American herself. Note that Ferguson is a city in St. Louis county in Missouri. The Ferguson unrest wiki page mentions her name as a participant in the protests against the police then. "On August 11 [Ravi: 2014], police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd at the burnt shell of the QuikTrip convenience store, set on fire by looters the night before. According to reports, gunshots were fired in Ferguson and five people were arrested. Some protesters threw rocks at police officers. The police responded by firing tear gas and bean bag rounds at protesters which included state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal."

Around 4:05 in the video she is asked "(Are you) apologizing for it?". Chappelle-Nadal replies, "No. When the president apologizes for what he says, I will apologize."

She also says later that she is getting hate mail and death threats now, and that she is accustomed to it as it happened during Ferguson (unrest) too.

At around 19:10 she says,"I told you that it was a bad decision that I made and I made it out of frustration. It was inappropriate but I am not going to shy away from the frustration and the anger that I have. That is my statement. That is what I am going to continue to tell people because it's real. I have never seen this type of environment (like this). I have never seen it. And, as I said before, it should not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, it is inexcusable for a sitting president to support KKK members and Nazis. Supporting white supremacy is inexcusable in this day and age. We have too much to work towards."

Ravi: So Chappelle-Nadal accepts that she made a mistake in writing her post and that it was wrong. That's the good part of it. But now that it has become known to a large audience worldwide that she did write that post (even if she later deleted it), shouldn't she apologize to President Trump (and his family & friends)? I think she should. But she refuses to do so and ties in her apology to President Trump apologizing for supporting KKK, white supremacists and neo-Nazis!

I think the Tuesday unscripted comments of President Trump have created the wide impression, irrespective of whether it is true or false, that President Trump's condemnation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis is insincere and that he actually supports white supremacists and neo-Nazis! I must say here that as an Indian writer on spirituality & religion, on this very serious matter (to me) of condemning (and opposing) the evil of white supremacy and neo-Nazism, I limit myself to public words and actions of President Trump (not pre-President Trump including candidate Trump). From that perspective, I DO NOT SEE EVIDENCE to conclude that President Trump INTENTIONALLY supports white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Instead it seems to me that President Trump's Tuesday unscripted remarks show a DENIAL to accept, what seems to me to be the reality, that most protesters (I refer to those protesting against the protesters as counter-protesters) in Charlottesville were white supremacists and neo-Nazis. And I must also say that I did not come across USA mainstream media reports of ANY USA Senator (publicly) sharing that view of President Trump. Instead, we had quite a few Republican USA senators refer to the (majority of the) protesters in Charlottesville as white supremacists and neo Nazis.

I think I understand at least some of the pain and frustration that Chappelle-Nadal has with President Trump's remarks on Charlottesville (e.g. both sides to blame). And I do note that African-Americans have suffered violence and even death due to racism in the USA even in the recent past. I can imagine the shivers of terror and the red-hot righteous fury that African-Americans TODAY would be feeling when they see white-supremacists and neo-Nazis openly holding rallies and indulging in horrific hate speech against African-Americans (and other non whites). Chappelle-Nadal, as a speaker for the oppressed African-Americans, must be having a lot of pain and frustration with President Trump's remarks on Charlottesville.

But it is my considered view that Chappelle-Nadal is wrong in tying her possible apology to an apology from President Trump for his Charlottesville remarks. I think Chappelle-Nadal crossed the line, in a BIG WAY, with her "hopes" of assassination of President Trump post. Simply deleting the post and saying she was wrong is NOT ENOUGH. It is my considered view that she needs to publicly and UNCONDITIONALLY apologize to USA President Trump (and his family & friends) and seek their forgiveness, for her mistake.

[I thank washingtonpost.com and wikipedia, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above small extracts from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]
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8) Some articles/posts related to Charlottesville hatred and violence and my comments on them, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/some-articlesposts-related-to.html, 18th Aug. 2017

An extract from the above post:

Mitt Romney's Facebook post (on this matter): https://www.facebook.com/mittromney/posts/10154652303536121. For those who may not know, Mitt Romney is a leading USA Republican politician who was the 2012 Republican party nominee for president, which election he lost to Barrack Obama.

Its good to see so many Republican leaders speak forcefully on this issue. It would have been a lot worse if Republican leaders had stayed quiet on this.

On this FB post, I was reading some of the comments. It was shocking to see how many people were attacking Mitt Romney for this post.

I think Romney has got it right when he says that Charlottesville and Trump's remarks on it are a defining moment for Trump and for "America in the hearts of our children". Therefore, I am very happy to see Mitt Romney speak up on this matter.
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9) Tim Cook and Rupert Murdoch's mails about disagreement with USA President Trump on Charlottesville, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/tim-cook-and-rupert-murdochs-mails.html, 19th Aug. 2017

The entire contents of above post are given below:

Read Apple CEO Tim Cook's Email To Employees About Charlottesville, https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/read-apple-ceo-tim-cooks-email-to-employees-about, 17th Aug. 2017.

Here are the contents of Tim Cook's email as reported by above article:

Team,

Like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.

What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country. Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. Its scars last generations. History has taught us this time and time again, both in the United States and countries around the world.

We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality. I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.

Regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. As a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone. We empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.

In the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in Charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. Apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30.

In the coming days, iTunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the SPLC.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So, we will continue to speak up. These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. Apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.

Best,
Tim
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James Murdoch, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Murdoch, is the son of Rupert Murdoch, one of the biggest media barons in the world. James Murdoch is the CEO of 21st Century Fox. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_Century_Fox, "21st Century Fox is the legal successor to News Corporation dealing primarily in the film and television industries and is currently the world's fourth largest media conglomerate (after Comcast, The Walt Disney Company and Time Warner).".. "The company's assets include the Fox Entertainment Group—owners of the 20th Century Fox film studio and Fox television network, and among other assets, pan-Asian pay channel operator Star TV; and on December 9, 2016, 21CF announced a bid for full control of United Kingdom-based Sky Plc, whose independent directors supported the deal." Readers should note that Fox News is largely viewed as a supporter of USA president Donald Trump, as many of its news programme anchors are supportive of Mr. Trump and the Conservative policies and thinking of the Republican party.

Indian readers (and non-Indian readers interested about India) may want to note that Star India, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_India, which operates Indian TV channels like Star Plus, various Star Sports channels, Star Utsav etc. besides other international channels like National Geographic is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

This article: http://www.livemint.com/Companies/Rh9mjRTlYvX4K8HDryJSbP/Uday-Shankar-named-chairman-and-CEO-in-Star-India-restructur.html, dated 14th April 2016, mentions James Murdoch's statement when a new CEO of Star India was announced.

Here's a New York Times article: Text of James Murdoch’s Email Condemning Trump’s Response to Charlottesville, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/politics/james-murdoch-email-trump-charlottesville.html, dated 17th Aug. 2017.

An extract from James Murdoch's mail from the article above is given below:

But what we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.

These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation — a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals. The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob. I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.
--- end extract of James Murdoch mail ---

A related article: James Murdoch, Rebuking Trump, Pledges $1 Million to Anti-Defamation League, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/politics/james-murdoch-trump-donation-anti-defamation-league.html, 17th Aug. 2017. The article states, "The Anti-Defamation League has been outspoken against Mr. Trump since early in his campaign, including tracking an uptick in white supremacists supporting him as he declined repeatedly to forcefully denounce them or disavow their support."

[I thank Tim Cook, James Murdoch, buzzfeed.com, wikipedia and nytimes.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts (very short extract from nytimes.com) from their mails/websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Please note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]
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10) Transcript of Arnold Schwarzenegger message to USA neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates, and to those who 'hang around' them, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/transcript-of-arnold-schwarazenegger.html, 19th Aug. 2017

The entire content of the post is given below:

https://twitter.com/attn/status/898328098529083394, 3 min. 42 secs video, dated 17th Aug. 2017

Transcript of most of what Arnold Schwarzenegger says from around 0:55 in the above video is given below (slightly edited):

I have a message to the neo-Nazis, to the white nationalists and to the neo-Confederates.
Let me be just as blunt as possible.
Your heroes are losers.
You are supporting a lost cause.
Believe me, I know (knew) the original Nazis.
I was born in Austria in 1947 shortly after the second World War.
Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men - men who came home from the war filled with shrapnel and guilt, men who were misled into a losing ideology.
And I can tell you that these ghosts that you idolize, spent the rest of their lives living in shame.
And right now they're resting in hell.

I know that you weren't born with these hateful views.
No one is.
But the truth is, it's never too late to make the choices to learn, and to evolve and to understand that all human beings have equal value.

If you say, "Arnold, Hey, I was just at the march. Don't call me a Nazi. I have nothing to do with Nazis at all.":

Let me help you. Don't hang around people who carry Nazi flags, give Nazi salutes or shout Nazi slogans.
Go home.
Or better yet - tell them that they are wrong to celebrate an ideology that murdered millions of people. And then go home.

You are so lucky to live in a country that gives you every right to say horrible things.
But think about how you could actually use that power [Ravi: of freedom of speech in general, and not of saying 'horrible things' in particular] for something good.

And to those of you who have been silent, you must also evolve.
I've learned a long time ago that the only way we can really eliminate hatred, is to face it head on.
It is not always comfortable, of course.
...
Let's all commit, right now, to leaving the terrible ghosts of the past in the trash heap of history.
That's where they belong.
...
Let's terminate hate.
--- end Arnold Schwarzenegger part transcript ---

Ravi: For readers who may not know, Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for his role of "The Terminator", a cyborg assassin sent back in time, from 2029 to 1984, in a set of science-fiction movies and television series about the "Terminator", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Terminator.

Here are two (very violent) clips from what seems to be the first movie featuring the terrifying and awesome destructive power of cyborg assassin 'Terminator' played by Schwarzenegger:

1) The Terminator 1984 - Night Club Scene (HD), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkxCTJPYmvo, 8 min. 57 secs

2) The Terminator 1984 - Police Station Scene (HD), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA4guSJQh4w, 4 min. 49 secs.

[I thank Arnold Schwarzenegger and have presumed that he will not have any objections to me sharing the above part-transcript of his above twitter video on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Please note that this post deals with public safety and well being.]
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11) Peaceful Boston free speech rally did not seem to have neo Nazis and White Supremacists; Protesters against bigotry and hatred outnumbered them ten to one, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/peaceful-boston-free-speech-rally-did.html, 20th Aug. 2017

Some extracts from my above post:
It was very heartening for me to note that Boston police and Boston city administration headed by mayor Marty Walsh (Democrat), ensured that dozens of free speech rally goers (mostly pro Trump, I guess) who may perhaps have numbered a hundred or so, and who did not seem to have any open white supremacists or neo Nazis among them, were able to hold their rally peacefully without being attacked by protesters who numbered in the tens of thousands. It was also very heartening for me to note that tens of thousands of people, mainly the afore mentioned protesters but may have included some of the free speech rally goers too, openly demonstrated against bigotry and hatred, and against white supremacy and neo Nazism, at the same time in Boston. Please note that I have visited Boston city many times in the second half of the 1980s and so there is some personal interest for me in seeing how Boston city of today is handling such matters.

I think at least some of the protesters/protest organizers, given last week's horrors in Charlottesville, Virginia, thought that neo Nazis and white supremacists may be participating in the free speech rally, and so their protest looked more like one against neo Nazis, white supremacists and fascists. The Boston police seemed to be out in great numbers and had put up a big buffer zone between the free speech rally and the protesters, thereby preventing any significant violence between the protesters and the rally goers. The Boston police and Boston city administration must be congratulated on this.
...
Ravi: My view is that ideally, violence and intimidation from white supremacists and neo Nazis in the USA should be effectively countered by the police. Unfortunately, in Charlottesville on Friday 11th Aug. 2017, in front of a statue in University of Virginia campus, white supremacists and neo-Nazis seem to have threatened and intimidated the peaceful people there protesting against them (whom I refer to as counter-protesters). The police did not step in which seems to have made the situation worse. In such a scenario, according to accounts from these counter-protesters, the antifa stepped in to use violence to protect the counter-protesters from violence from the protesters who were mainly white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

So I find it difficult to condemn the defensive violence of the antifa to help protect the counter-protesters from the violence and intimidation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

However, in Boston in this free speech rally on 19th Aug. 2017, if it was the antifa that indulged in throwing stones/rocks and bottles at the police who were ensuring law & order, then those antifa activists who indulged in that violence must be condemned. Note that there seems to be no reports at all of the free speech rally activists indulging in violence or intimidation towards those protesting against them or towards the police.
...
Ravi: I have visited Boston city many times in the second half of the 1980s. Some of these trips were actually to Logan airport, as I would be picking up or dropping off my Mumbai software company (Datamatics) colleagues for their flights from/to Mumbai, with me being similary picked up/dropped off a few times by other colleagues. But I have done some sightseeing as well in Boston and also made a couple or so of visits to the immigration office there when we had to extend our I-94 or something which was the USA immigration authorities permit for visitors like me to stay in the USA (different from USA visa). Once I was lucky to be called by a colleague of mine to join him to use two complimentary tickets given to him to watch the Boston Celtics basketball team at the Boston Garden (old stadium/arena). It was quite an exhilarating experience to watch the match in the stadium from the rather central positions that the complimentary tickets provided us.

During these many visits to Boston city in the second half of the 1980s, I don't recall even one single time when I was targeted for racism and hate. Yes, it was noted that I was different due to my skin colour being rather different from white or black. But that's it. No hatred directed at me due to my skin colour. I take this opportunity to thank the people of Boston city of those days for the decent way they treated me, a brown skinned foreign visitor to their city.

I am so very happy to note that Boston city continues to flourish as a no tolerance for bigotry and hatred city today as well. I am so very happy to see that tens of thousands of Americans peacefully demonstrated against bigotry and hatred in Boston city, which was made possible by the arrangements and discipline imposed by Boston police, Boston city administration and other governmental agencies. May God bless all those Americans who were in Boston city to demonstrate PEACEFULLY against bigotry and hatred. And may God bless the Boston police, Boston city administration and associated government agencies who ensured that these demonstrators could do that.
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12) USA Missouri state senator Chappelle-Nadal publicly apologizes to President Trump and family, after being inspired by Christian scripture, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-missouri-state-senator-chappelle.html, 21st Aug. 2017

Given below are entire contents of above post:

MO Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal Issues TEARFUL Apology To President Trump(VIDEO)!, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvtLKW77pZw, 3 min. 7 secs, published on 21st Aug. 2017.

Chappelle-Nadal talks about a (church) service she attended which seems to have helped her make the decision to publicly apologize to USA President Trump for her earlier deleted comments where she had "hoped" that Trump would be assassinated. Earlier she had acknowledged that she had made a mistake but tied her possible apology to President Trump to an apology from him for his Charlottesville remarks. [For more see my post: USA Missouri state senator who posted and deleted comment hoping for president Trump assassination should publicly apologize to Trump, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/usa-missouri-state-senator-who-posted.html.]

But today she has apologized publicly. Here are her words from the above video:

This morning I attended a wonderful service here at (Wellspring). And the title of the sermon was 'I stand accused'. And I do. Rightfully. Because I made a mistake. And you know what I am reminded of - that we are all human. And I am also a child of God as well as every single person standing behind me.

The message that has been sent to me by our God is that I am here to serve as a teacher, as a translator, but most of all as a servant. I am a servant of God. And I am a servant of the people that I represent. And I failed them both recently. I failed them both.

But I am reminded of the kindness that has been afforded me and so many others that have made mistakes in their lives. One of the scriptures that (were) talked about this morning was John 7, verses 53 to Chapter 8, verse 1. (I am) reminded about that. We are all human beings. And none of us are perfect.

I want to make this apology to our president and his family. President Trump - I apologize to you and your family. I also apologize to all of the people in Missouri. And I also apologize to my colleagues in Missouri legislature for the mistake that I made.

I will continue to fight for issues that are really, really important. And talking about being a translator and teacher - something that comes out is an issue that I care about so much, which is radioactive waste. That is the calling that God gave me. That is the gift that God gave me. God chooses people for different things, to send different messages. And I made a mistake and I am owning up to it. And I am not ever going to make a mistake like that again and I have learned my lesson. My judge and my jury is my Lord, Jesus Christ.

--- end transcript of words of Missouri senator Chappelle-Nadal ---

Ravi: I am so heartened to see this video apology of Chappelle-Nadal to USA President Trump. I think her apology was unstinted and sincere, and seems to have been prompted by Christian scripture and her faith in Lord Jesus Christ. I personally would have been happier if she had also asked for forgiveness from President Trump and his family as it has been my personal experience with mistakes that I have made in the past that the explicit seeking of forgiveness acts as a great spiritual balm on both the person(s) who were wronged and the person(s) committing the wrong.

But that is a spiritual forgiveness and spiritual healing nuance. Chappelle-Nadal has apologized graciously and sincerely to President Trump and promised to never repeat such a mistake again. That meets the decent behaviour standard, in my considered opinion. I am so glad that Chappelle-Nadal, a representative of the state of Missouri, did that.

Now I think it is up to President Trump to consider her video apology where she apologized directly to him and family, and perhaps issue a statement from his side. Whether he should forgive or not is up to him and his family, but I do think that he should make a public statement accepting the senator's public apology, unless he has solid information leading to him viewing the apology as insincere.

I pray to Almighty God to shower His Grace on Missouri senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal for her humble act of public apology for the mistake she committed, and pray that Lord Jesus Christ continues to guide her, who views herself as His servant, in her life.

In her reference above to Christian scripture, I think state Sen. Chappelle-Nadal meant John chapter 7, verse 53 to chapter 8, verse 11 (and not verse 1 as she said), which are about the famous incident where a woman accused of adultery is brought before Jesus, and asked if she should be stoned (as per law of Moses). Jesus famously says, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." None of those who were accusing her were without sin and so they all left! Jesus then advises the woman to go and not sin any more.

Given below are those verses from King James Version of the Bible, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+7%3A53-8%3A11&version=KJV :

John 7:53-8:11 King James Version (KJV)

53 And every man went unto his own house.

[Chapter 8: Verse 1] Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

--- end extract from Bible ---

[I thank USA Missouri state senator Chappelle-Nadal and biblegateway.com, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above transcript from above video/extract from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. Please note that this post is about public safety and well being.]
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13) How Derek Black, former white nationalist and son of Stormfront website founder, moved away from white nationalism, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/how-derek-black-former-white.html, 22nd Aug. 2017

14) Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down song seems to capture USA southern hurt over USA civil war, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/08/joan-baez-night-they-drove-old-dixie.html, 24th Aug. 2017.