World View: Furor in India over Muslim/Christian Conversions to Hinduism

Hindu Ceremony, Nepal
AFP/Prakash Mathema

This morning’s key headlines from

  • US suspected in massive North Korea internet outage
  • UN Security Council discusses North Korean human rights crimes
  • Furor in India over Muslim/Christian conversions to Hindu

US suspected in massive North Korea internet outage

Kim Il Sung 101st anniversary in Pyongyang, North Korea
Kim Il Sung 101st anniversary in Pyongyang, North Korea

North Korea for several hours on Monday suffered massive internet outages affecting the whole country, or at least the few people that the North Korean government permit to access the internet. According to Dyn Research, which monitors North Korea:

“For the past 24 hours North Korea’s connectivity to the outside world has been progressively getting degraded to the point now that they are totally offline.

There’s either a benign explanation – their routers are perhaps having a software glitch; that’s possible. It also seems possible that somebody can be directing some sort of an attack against them and they’re having trouble staying online.”

Last week, President Barack Obama named North Korea as the perpetrator on the massive attack on Sony Pictures, and promised a “proportional response” at the place and time of our choosing. Many people suspect that this is a US counterattack, although there’s no evidence of that, and it’s being flatly denied by the administration.

Whether the US is actually responsible or not, if the North Koreans assume that the US is really responsible, then they may plan their own retaliation, making the situation extremely dangerous. Reuters

UN Security Council discusses North Korean human rights crimes

North Korea issued its usual litany of threats of war and world disaster on Monday, after 11 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council voted to put the issue of North Korean human rights on the Security Council’s agenda. The discussion will be based on a report issued by the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year in February. The report documents North Korean crimes against humanity, including torture, abductions, forced prostitution, starvation, and imprisonment for believing in Christianity.

North Korea said that the US was using the human rights issue to overthrow the government. It also calls the dozens of defectors who fled the North and aided the commission of inquiry “human scum.”

Among the Security Council nations voting in favor of the resolution were Australia, Great Britain, Jordan, Lithuania, the United States, France and South Korea. Both Russia and China voted against it, calling the resolution “counterproductive.” The Security Council will be asked to vote to send North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC), but that resolution can be vetoed by any of the five permanent members, and Russia and China will almost certainly do so. There’s honor among thieves. AP and Bloomberg and UN Human Rights Council

Furor in India over Muslim/Christian conversions to Hindu

Outrage is growing in India among minority groups, including Muslims and Christians, because of allegedly forced massed conversions to the Hindu religion. Indeed, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organization claims to have brought 500 people from 100 Christian families “back into the Hindu fold” in large ceremonies. At a ceremony on Saturday, all participants were given a pendant with an image of Lord Ram, along with a Rudraksh [Hindu prayer beads] necklace.

According to one VHP official:

“A yagna [Ritual of Sacred Fire] was performed and participants were given pendants with an image of Lord Ram. They discarded the pendants of another faith. We did not lure any participant.”

According to another VHP official:

“Several Hindus had left the religion on account of the inhumane treatment they got. They were taken to Christianity under the influence of foreign money and other temptations. Within Christianity, they have realized they were facing neglect. Hence, many are willing to return to Hinduism. Sometimes, it would become a trend.”

Hindu nationalism (Hindutva) has become an extremely contentious issue in India since the election of self-described Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi as prime minister in May. ( “24-Aug-14 World View — Narendra Modi and rise of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) in India”)

Hindutva activists supporting Modi refer to India as “Hindustan”:

“Hindutva is the identity of our nation.

Hindustan is a country of Hindus.

The entire world recognizes Indians as Hindus, therefore India is a Hindu state. The cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture.”

However, Modi and his political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have disavowed the forced conversions. Times of India and Indian Express and Times of India

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, North Korea, Security Council, China, russia, International Criminal Court, ICC, India, Hindutva, Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, Hindustan, Narendra Modi, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, VHP
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