Category Archives: General

Language policy for India

Languages of Indian origin having a script are to be considered in the list of official Indian languages. India to have a national language. One or more of the languages of non-Indian origin are considered as Link languages.

Regional language policy
The State to have one official language and one or more than one second official language. The original official documentation of the State to be in the official language of the State. The State can also generate / translate the official documentation in one or more second official languages of the State. Communication of the State with the central government would be through the official language of the state, or through one of the second official language of the state or through the link language.

Communication between two States is recommended to be through one of the official languages of any of the two States or one of the second languages of any of the two States. The communication between any two States can also happen through the Link language or through the National language.

The communication of State governments with foreign entities requires use of one or more of the Link languages. When ever the link language is used, the documentation should also be made available in the National language. A link language is not an official or a second official language of the State.

National language policy
Central government to generate content in atleast one of the official languages for internal purposes. At least one of the link language is used for external purposes. Whenever, a link language is used, the content is also provided in the national language.

Implementation details
Language departments at the State level and at the Central government level are to be established to handle all language requirements. The Language deparments would generate content in the official languages, national language, and link languages and translate the content from one language to the other in an efficient way. The language deparments would also promote official languages listed in the eigth schedule to the Constitution in a systematic way.

Strategies to promote Indian languages

  •  Official language to be made mandatory in Education system at primary level
  •  Langugage related job creation in a systematic way.
  •  Patent publications in at least one of the official languages before the grant stage.
  •  Effective teaching of at least one link language to the students during the course of education.
  • Audio, video and textual translations to be made available in national and official languages.
  • Linguistic groups and regions to be introduced within the state for effective management of languages.

Link languages include English and other EU languages, Persian, Japanese, Korean, Arab and Chinese. National language is Sanskrit.

Study of religions – Need a reboot

With a loose working definition for a religion (as a set of customs and traditions associated with a broad set of values encompassing one or more aspects of life), various religions may be identified in the last 10000 years of human history. While most of the religions were polytheist in nature for a very long duration till last 2000 years or so, there is a reverse in trend with the consolidation of exclusivist version of monotheism in the last two millenium.

Study of religions is biased towards major religions of the day. Major religions are also described as great religions interchageably without justification. Monotheism of Islam and Christianity (and of Jews) is treated, often, as an evolved concept from previous primitive religions. Antiquity of Judaism and Christianity, recentness of Islam are highlighted conveniently not just in media but also in academic circles. In this context, the following is a brief overview of history and features of world religions.

The religions of Hindus are oldest, existing even during remote Kritayuga. Jainism dates Rishabha to an ancient period. Zoroaster has a time period of 6000 years before plato. Buddhism was at its peak about 3000 years ago. Jewish traditions consider Abraham about 4800 years ago. Christianity is 2000 years old and Islam is as recent as about 1300 years.

Archeological evidences have been found from Paleolithic periods several hundred thousand years ago. Specific burial practices, symbolic artifacts from stone age sites of Africa have proving religious traditions emanating from a distant past. Relatively recent archeological findings such as artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic (50,000-13,000) include the lion man, the Venus figurines, cave paintings from Chauvet Cave and the elaborate ritual burial from Sungir.

The Neolithic religions determined from the excavations of Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük, had female figurines. The well-formed, carefully made figurines, carved and molded from marble, blue and brown limestone, schist, calcite, basalt, alabaster, and clay, represented a female deity of the Great Goddess type. Although a male deity existed as well. A stately goddess seated on a throne flanked by two female lions – was found in a grain bin is believed be a means of ensuring the harvest or protecting the food supply.

The Pyramid Texts from ancient Egypt are eligious texts in the world dating to between 2400-2300 BCE. Time period of Vedas are not known and Hindus consider them as ever existent from time immemorial.

All religions of the world from very ancient period to the present day, excluding Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are polytheist in nature. Although Monotheism is defined as belief in the existence of only one god. Polytheism includes all gods, considers universe as gods. Christian Church interprets monotheism in a more restricted manner as a “belief in one personal and transcendent God”.

Monotheism, as used herein, refers to exclusivist religions exemplified by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Dualism, Non-dualism, and qualified non-dualism of India are not exclusivist but are related to polytheism and pantheism. The vocabulary and the discussion about religions is influenced by exclusivist religions, especially the Christianity.

Thoretically, several conjectures have been proposed by Scholars of the 18th – 20th centuries. Edward Burnett Tylor and Herbert Spencer proposed the concept of animism, archaeologist John Lubbock used the term “fetishism”, religious scholar Max Müller advocated religious roots in hedonism and folklorist and Wilhelm Mannhardt suggested that religion began in “naturalism”. [Animism – Worshipping natural objects; fetishism – belief of magical powers of fetishes; hedonism – ethical principles around pursuit of pleasure as the highest good; folklorist – ardent follower of folklore; naturalism – mythological explanation of natural events.]

The terms zoolatry (worshipping animals), idolatry (worshipping idols), monolatry (one god without talking about others), cosmolatry (worship of cosmos), astrolatry(astronomical), autolatry(self), diabolatry(devils), hagiolatry(saints), heliolatry(sun), selenolatry (worship of the moon) created by Christian perspective of urreligion are not useful in positively characterizing non exclusivist religions. Each of the eastern, early semitic, pre-mohammad, Aftrican and american religions have many of the above descriptions. Hindu religions have all of these characteristics.

The study of religions led by Western academicians are crippled by the exclusivist ideas associated with Judaism, Christianity and Islam. If a set of religious beliefs are creating obstacles for an open minded academic study, it is time to shed those religious beliefs and initiate a sincere study of religions.

English language – Views from India

“The English language has caused a great loss to the country. We are losing our language, our culture as there are hardly any people who speak Sanskrit now. There are only 14,000 people left in this country speaking in [the ancient language of] Sanskrit. Knowledge acquired out of English is not harmful but the anglicization penetrated into youths in this country is dangerous.”BJP president Rajnath Singh on 19th July 2013.

“Paradox-BJP outsources vision document to anglicised policy wonks while ranting English caused great loss to India. This attempt to create a dispute over language or saying that one language is better or worse that another, doesn’t strengthen the country and is not expected from a responsible political party,” Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari.

“They are trying to reach out to the Hindi belt, where the Hindi elite has an ambiguous relation with English, with which it isn’t comfortable. They are trying to create a Hindi psyche to replenish their Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan constituency.”Badri Narayan, an Allahabad-based academic

“For most Indians, English is an additional language, and it does not insulate or separate people from their identities. Knowing English will only help Indians to advance and develop further.”CPM leader Sitaram Yechury

“All things Indian by tradition, be it caste, be it social structure, political structure, have stopped India from growing into a modern society. If English is eliminating tradition, it is also eliminating a culture that is caste-driven. I am not surprised that BJP is upset. The party cannot succeed in a caste-neutral India. It is opposing English because of its opposition to modernity itself.” Dalit ideologue Chandrabhan Prasad

“A nybody who thinks that the growth of English has been a bane for India is seriously out of touch with reality. In the era of globalization, it is one of the critical advantages India has vis-a-vis countries like China. Indeed, China has itself recognized this and is seeking to catch up in a hurry. In any case, to blame one language or culture for the sorry state of another language is to miss the point. There is no contradiction between the growth of English and the thriving of native cultures. English represents, for most Indians, the language of opportunity, while their mother tongues are often the language of expression. The BJP chief should see English as cause for celebration rather than mourning.” – Times View

English will be a weapon in the hands of the poor and the oppressed to question the ways of the exploiters; it will be an armour for women subjected to male domination in this nation and for men who want to come out of a decadent culture, English shows the way. We need to break the caste system and we need to see that the benefits of progress to percolate to the lowest rungs of the poocr and for this the affected people should have access to English. – MPK Kutty

“Every country has the right to protect its culture and customs” BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

“Sanskrit had helped the priestly class to deny knowledge to the lower castes and  keep them oppressed. For thousands of years the higher castes kept exploiting the weaker sections and English enabled those classes to open their eyes to the Truth. Without English millions of Indians would not have had an opportunity to prosper in countries like the US, UK, Australia and the Gulf region. The benefits of human civilisation have percolated to this nation through the study of English. It is this language which brought light to an otherwise backward and dark regions of the world. There is a verse in the Bible which says: “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) Why are people afraid of English?” From an article in Speaking Tree       

“This is an illusion that English is the only means of progress…this is not true. True education is to develop feeling and dedication for the country. “Earning money is not everything. Children should have sanskar (culture) and they should know relationship and love.” – Mohan Bhagwat, Chief of Rashtreeya Swayamsevak Sangh

“Rajnath Singh’s deliberate yet bizarre, regressive statement on English confirms that the BJP lives in the Jurassic Age”  Sanjay Jha, a political analyst (published by Foxnews, article title “Indian politician sparks outrange with anti English remarks”)

In my view people should learn Hindi, English, Sanskrit and their mother tongue. You cannot be parochial in these things. Knowing any language is not a bad thing. The problem is that the entire thought process of the BJP leadership is very narrow-minded” – Rajeev Shukla-Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs

“English has been an asset for India. It is perhaps the only worthwhile thing we gained from the colonial experience. And in a country that is as vast and diverse as ours, it is very good to have a language like English to link us together, to link all parts of the country together where no part feels disadvantaged,”  – Shashi Tharoor, HRD Minister 

 

 

Varna – Resource Page

Varna of Sanatana Dharma is misinterpreted as a concept and as practice.   This page clarifies confusions around Varna through an FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions about Varna

Who created Varna?

Varna was created by God – Sri Krishna, incarnation of Lord Vishnu, confirms this in Geetha.   Varnas are created based on Guna and Karma

How many Varnas are there?

There are four Varnas.  There is no fifth Varna.

What are the names of Varnas?

Brhmana, Kshatriya, Vyshya and Shudra.   Dvija refers to Brhamana, Kshatriya and Vyshya.  Dvija means “twice born”.  First birth refers to biological birth and the second birth to the initiation to Brahmacharya through Upanayana Samskaara.

What is Karma?  What is Guna?

Karma means action.  Karma is sum total of all actions of an individual.   Guna is Quality of the individual due to mental modifications of the individual due to all previous actions of the individual.   Quality, referred herein, is of Satva, Rajas and Tamas categories.  An action may result in positive result or negative result.  Positive result will create an impression on the intellect and purifies the mind.  Negative result will create another impression on the intellect contaminating the mind.  

How Karma and Guna are related rebirth?

Karma and Guna are not limited to present life of an individual.  At the time of birth, mental modifications created by past Karma manifests as the Guna – composition of Satva, Rajas, and Tamas – embeded in the child.   The place and the context of the birth is determined by the past Karma

What is Guna at a given point of time?

In principle, at a given point of time, Guna of an individual is based on the impressions created on the mind of the individual at that point of time due to previous actions performed by the individual.  

What is the Varna at the time of birth?

Varna at the time of birth is determined by the Varna of the parents.   More precisely, the Guna and the Karma decides the context of the child. 

Is Varna birth based?

If Guna and Karma changes with every action,  the Varna may also be based on the Guna and Karma at any given point of time. But since there are only four Varnas, the Varna may not vary too frequently.   Some people think that Varna to be decided on Guna and Karma independent of the Varna at birth.   Fixing the Varna of a person based on the Varna at the time of birth is not acceptable to these people.  Some others point out to the impossibility of determining Varna independently at any given point of time.  It may be possible to detect Guna of a person by means of various carefully designed tests. But, the past Karma is unknowable in nature.  So, the impossibility of determining Varna. Moreover,  duties of Varna Dharma can not be performed by an individual alone.   Cooperation from other family members is required in many situations.  If the members of a family are assigned different Varnas, performance of duties enjoined to Varnas can not be performed.  Since Varna need not change frequently, one Varna for one life is reasonable, according to traditionalists. 

What are lifestyle of different Varnas?

Duties of Brahmana is to study Vedas and teach Vedas to other two Dvija Varnas.   Performing sacrifies, priesthood, are also duties of Brahmana.   Ruling the subjects, study of Veda are duties of Kshatriya.   Study of Vedas, Trade, and agriculture are duties of Vyshya.  sustaining Varnadharma through serving other Varnas is the duty of a  Shudra.  

What is the Varna of a Family?

Varna of a Family is the Varna of individuals belonging to that family.  The assumption here is that the Varna of all of the family members are same.  If family members of a family, for some reason, belong to different Varnas, the family may not be in a position to unambiguously follow any one of the Varnas.   

What is the effect of Marriage on Varna?

Marriage among bride and bridegroom belonging to two different Varnas leads to Varnasankara (mixing of Varnas).  The Varnas of the parents under specified circumstances may be lost (or changed).  The offspring of couple belonging to different Varnas, are not necessarily identified with one of the Varna.  Some person may not have a Varna identity.  Although there is no fifth Varna, those who does not have a Varna identity are termed as Panchamas, by unofficial and/or untraditional sources.  

Jaati

Jaati is that which comes along with birth.   Jaati is Varna for those who have Varna.  Thus, Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra are also jaatis. Offspring of a couple belonging to two different Varnas will get a new Jaati.  Similarly, offspring of a couple belonging to two different Jaatis would create another Jaati.  Thus, with respect to time, the total number of Jaatis will continue to increase. 

What is the difference between Dharma, Aaachaara, and rituals?

Dharma is that which sustains – that which is always right.  The conduct that upholds Dharma is called Aachaara.  Rituals are those procedures that sustain Aaachara / Dharma.  Rituals have the potential of delineating the boundaries of Jaatis.  

What is mata – religion?

An opinion, not necessarily perfect, about the reality is mata (or religion).  Mata aims at following Dharma  in letter and spirit.  Religion strives to provide a context for  individuals, families,  and society at large to adhere to the path of Dharma.    But, the religion may not be sufficient to adhere to the path of Dharma.  

Is Untouchability a part of Hinduism? 

Untouchability is not an inherent practice of Hinduism.  At best, it may be described as a distortion introduced into the Hindu way of life.  Aachaara prohibits unrestrained eating patterns, guides choices in marriage, dress, and other aspects of life.  Cleanliness practices necessitates separation.  There is separation among men and women, among Varnas and among various Jaatis.  But, sense of exploitation,  inequality,  hurting attitudes, were not present within the Hindu society.  Shudras practiced separation as willingly as Brahmins as part of Aachaara.  Shudra supported a Brahmin to faithfully uphold Varna dharma and Aachhara necessary to uphold Varnadharma.  But, with the superimposition of English education on the Hindu society suddenly introduced new kind of interactions alien to the Hindus, creating ill will among various jaatis and Varnaas.   The ill will is untouchability – a distorted interpetation of aachaara. 

What is sustaining social disharmony today?

Deviation from Varna dharma leads to dilution of aachaara among Brahmins as well as among other Varnas and Jaatis.  Dilution of aachaara creates contradictions.   When there is an attempt to live with contradictions and assert Varna/Jaati identities,  social harmony would be affected.  In the context of deteriorating social harmony, suspicion among groups of people grows.   The suspicion leads to denial of individual freedom, which is very much essential for adhering to the aachaara.  The vicisous cycle continues and the trend of deteriorating social harmony gets strengthened.  In summary, misinterpretation of Aachaara  and   denial of individual freedom is sustaining social tensions among various castes today. 

Indian independent IP strategy

India has finally rejected patent for a cancer drug Gleevac by Novartis after a prolonged legal battle of seven years. The Indian patent office disagreed in 2006, saying that this was merely a reformulation of an existing compound (which had been approved in the US back in 2001), and rejected the application.

Indian patent law has a section 3(d) which sets a higher threshold for patentability of inventions in India. Although, Indian patent system is nacent and patent practice is evolving, section 3(d) incorporates newer ideas which are basic to the world wide patent reforms. Most of the advance patent systems, including EU, and US, are moving towards adopting higher inventive step thresholds for issuing patents for newer inventions.

Gleevec, used in treating chronic myeloid leukaemia and other cancers, costs about $2,600 (£1,700) a month. Its generic version was available in India for around $175 per month. Although, the cost considerations were one of the reasons for stronger opposition to grant a patent to Novartis, Indian Supreme court did not consider this factor.

Many experts, even those who are sympathetic to Novartis, agree that Gleevac was not a strong case. Indian patent office was not considered as capable of taking such an independent bold stance when Glivec has been awarded patents in nearly 40 other countries, including China, Russia and Taiwan.

Indian decision helps not only cancer patients in India but also patients from other parts of the world. Indian patent system is moulded on the recommendations of EPO and USPTO experts. Indian patent examiners use search reports generated by other patent offices and the examination of patent applications is influenced by the outcome of related patent applications in US and EU.

Indian universities and industries are lagging behind in patent filings compared to many similar organizations in other countries. English language has become official language of Indian patent office. Increased number of filings, processing and publishing patent literature in Indian languages have long term strategic implication for the technological capability of India. Such simple but tactical measures have the capability to protect crucial interests of key industries of India and could bring deserved economic prosperity to many Indians.

India has demonstrated its ability to pursue an independent patent strategy with the verdict of Gleevac. It should continue to pursue this path more vigorously in a professional way. There is no need to violate any international treaty including TRIPS of WTO.

Vishwaroopam: Terror gratuity?

The Tamil Nadu government has pre-emptively banned the film Vishwaroopam, biggest project of Kamal Hasan because of objections from some Islamic groups. Insiders provide insights into the new technique of vested interests in demanding gratuity through terror tactics exploitinng religious sentiments.

The makers of the film has arranged a special screening to the objecting Islamic group members and had explained the context and the content of the movie. Vishwaroopam is terrorism based thriller movie. It deals with the general perception about Muslims being fanatic, and would try to explore as to who is the root cause for global terrorism. It seems that he is set to condemn the way US and other countries behave. But, Islamic organisations including the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK) started protesting the release of the movie claiming hurt religious sentiments. TMMK leader Jawahirullah claimed, “There is a danger that the public may view any Muslim with a beard as a terrorist waiting for an opportunity to plant a bomb.” Even while the film makers and Kamal himself trying to negotiate with the protestors, a representative of one such group is on record, saying: “We intend to register our apprehensions that release of the film with even deleted scenes or changes will affect the social harmony and all-round peace in the state.”

It is interesting to note that Vishwaroopam has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) long back. One director Anubhav Sinha asks, not unreasonably, on his social media feeds: “Is the TN Govt saying that they do not recognize CBFC? Or they can’t handle law and order? Or they subscribe to the objection? When a Government needs to ride on a movie star you should know how intellectually and politically bankrupt they are.” Anurag Kashyap adds: “How can anyone decide what the film is about without seeing it? And how can the government pander to such groups?”

Kamal Hasan is appalled at how his film is construed to be against Muslim contrary to the actual content and message of the movie. Kamal in his real life was always a sympathizer of Muslims and is a part of an organization called Harmony India, which worked for Hindu Muslim unity. In his letter released through media to the public he says “I have been ruthlessly used as a vehicle by small groups who seek political profile. Icon bashing is a great way to be noticed when you are not one yourself. It is happening again and again. Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose. Now I will rely on law and logic to come to our support. This kind of cultural terrorism will have to stop. I thank those who rose to the occasion and to my support on the Internet.” He is also said  “My film is neither about terrorism nor Islam. It won’t even hurt any community for that matter. The story traverses through the adversities of war, and, therefore it may appear as though it’s about terrorism, but it’s not,”

The real story being behind the ban points to the money making mentality of vested interests expoiting religion. Not so long ago, Thuppakki directed by AR Murugadoss and starring Vijay, was targeted by the selfsame groups. The producers met the groups and quietly reached a settlement. Rs 25 lakh changed hands, the objections vanished faster than you could say ‘cultural terrorism bribe’, the film released, and the producers laughed their way to all the banks in the land.

Perhaps, to deal with these kind of controversies, gratuities are the only practical way forward. Ultimately in the Vishwaroopam imbroglio, the public are the losers. Advance bookings had opened and in most places tickets had sold out for the weekend in less than 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the man in the eye of the storm, Kamal, has moved the Madras High Court. Director Shekhar Kapur, who essays a pivotal role in the film reports on Twitter: “Just checked Hotel Bel Air in LA. Just met Kamal Hassan looking calm n strong despite d storm around Vishwaroopam.”

Storyline of the movie: Vishwanath alias Wiz, a Kathak exponent, and Nirupama, get married. Each have an agenda and seem to have achieved their wishes in three years of matrimony. Nirupama gets her Ph.D and Wiz runs his dance class in New Jersey unhindered by each other. All is fine till Dr. Nirupama aspires for more and wants to opt out of the arranged marriage. She cannot cite any specific reason to leave Wiz as there is nothing much to complain about him. Every male according to Nirupama must have a flaw. So she decides to find out something about him to feel better about her decision to part. She hires a detective to rake up something on him. Wires get cross-connected and all hell breaks loose.


	

Saudi Arabia uses technology to restrict women

Saudi Arabia, a model Islamic country, has introduced technology that alerts male “guardians” by text whenever women under their guardianship leave the country.

The kingdom already bans women from driving and excludes them from most workplaces. It also disapproves of women’s sport. Since last week it has been operating a new electronic system that tracks all cross-border movements.

The system functions even if a woman is travelling with her husband or male guardian, with a text sent immediately to the man. Saudi women must get formal approval from their guardians to travel abroad, and have to hand in an yellow slip, signed by a male, at the airport or border.

Wafa Sultan – Arab Woman exposing Islam

Wafa Sultan (born June 14, 1958, Baniyas, Syria) is a medical doctor who trained as a psychiatrist in Syria, and an American author and critic of Muslim society and Islam.

Wafa SultanLife and career
Sultan was born into a large traditional Alawite Muslim family in Baniyas, Syria. Although Sultan wanted to be a writer, and would have preferred to study Arabic literature, she studied at the Medical faculty at the University of Aleppo due to pressure from her family.

She was shocked in 1979 by atrocities committed by Islamic extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood against innocent Syrians. While she was a medical student, She witnessed the machine-gun assassination of her professor of the university who was renowned outside Syria. Islamic extremists shot hundreds of bullets into , Yusef al Yusef, an ophthalmologist from, shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ . From that point, She lost my trust in Allah and began to question Islamic teachings. It was the turning point of her life.

She worked for four years as a psychiatrist in a hospital. She, her teacher husband and children immigrated to the United States in 1989, where she moved to Los Angeles, California and became a naturalized citizen. Initially she had to work as a cashier in a gas station and behind the counter in a pizza parlour, but found her treatment in these jobs better than as a medical professional in Syria. From the time of her arrival she begun to contribute articles to Arabic publications in the United States and published three books in Arabic.

Sultan became notable after the September 11, 2001 attacks for her participation in Middle East political debates, with Arabic essays that were circulated widely, and for television appearances on Al Jazeera and CNN in 2005. On February 21, 2006, she took part in Al Jazeera’s weekly 45-minute discussion program The Opposite Direction. She spoke from Los Angeles, arguing with host Faisal al-Qassem and with Ibrahim Al-Khouli, a professor at Al-Azhar University in Cairo (Egypt), about Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory. A six minute composite video of her remarks was subtitled and widely circulated by MEMRI on blogs and through e-mail; The New York Times estimated that it has been seen at least one million times. In this video she criticised Muslims for treating non-Muslims differently, and for not recognizing the accomplishments of Jewish and other members of non-Muslim society while using their wealth and technology. The video was the most discussed video of all time with over 260,000 comments on the video-sharing website YouTube. The full transcript of the debate which was made public later, also raised many online discussions.

Following her participation in founding of the Former Muslims United on October 13, 2009, Sultan released her first book in English, A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam. In October 2010 Sultan was called as an expert witness to give testimony at the Geert Wilders trial. There she confirmed that she had met Wilders several times in 2009, had seen his film Fitna, and in general agreed with his views about Islam. On January 10, 2011, Sultan, opposing Ibrahim Ramey, appeared on the Russian television news show CrossTalk with host Peter Lavelle, where she stated: “I’m not against Muslims, I’m against Islam.”

Recognitions
In 2006 Wafa Sultan was named in Time Magazine in a list of 100 influential people in the world “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” Time stated that “Sultan’s influence flows from her willingness to express openly critical views on Islamic extremism that are widely shared but rarely aired by other Muslims.”

Political views
Sultan describes her thesis as witnessing “a battle between modernity and barbarism which Islam will lose”. It has brought her telephone threats, but also praise from reformers. Her comments, especially a pointed criticism that “no Jew has blown himself up in a German restaurant”, brought her an invitation to Jerusalem by the American Jewish Congress. Sultan believes that “The trouble with Islam is deeply rooted in its teachings. Islam is not only a religion. Islam [is] also a political ideology that preaches violence and applies its agenda by force.” According to her, Islamic teachings are responsible for distorting the terrorist and for killing his/her humanity. She describes herself as a Muslim who does not believe in Islam, yet remains associated with the faith through her birth. Wafa Sultan believes that King Abdullah can change Islam overnight, if sufficient pressure is put on him. She advocates nuclear attack on Islamic countries as a means of pressurizing them. She is concerned that nothing is being done about infiltration of Islam . She thinks getting involved in politics as the solution and supports Geert Wilders.

Initiatives
Wafa Sultan, joined author Ali Sina, the German activist Stefan Herre of Politically Incorrect; and the Israeli author Mordechai Kedar to form a new organization called Stop Islamization of Nations (SION) in the third week of January, 2012. Other members are the Hindu activist Babu Suseelan; Anders Gravers of Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), Swiss politician Oskar Freysinger, Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media (AIM) Report, and Ashraf Rameleh the President of Voice of the Copts. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are President and Vice President of SION.

Criticism
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Aleppo, Syrian expatriates Adnan Halabi and Ghada Moezzin have disputed the account of Wafa Sultan about the firing and assasination of her professor in the campus of University of Aleppo. According to them, it took place off campus, and that no one had ever been killed anywhere at the university.

American actress Susan Sarandon calls Pope Benedict a Nazi

Susan Sarandon, a famous American actress, has identified Pope Benedict XVI as a Nazi.  Recently, on on October 15, 2011, She was interviewed at the Hampton Film Festival venue by a fellow actor Bob Balaban. Sarandon was  discussing her lead role in the movie Dead Man Walking. The film was based on the book written by Sister Helen Prejean, which

Susan Sarandon

condemns putting convicts on death row. During the interview, Sarandon said –“ I sent the book to the last one; not this Nazi we have now”.  Balaban tried to lighten the mood, by gently chiding the actress for making such an outrageous remark. Nevertheless Sarandon stood her ground and repeated the statement.

It is known that the current Pope was once a part of the Hitler Youth Group in his teenage years. He is criticized for his non apologetic attitude towards  his past association. In recent years, Pope Benedict is also criticized for his role in failing to stop child abuse by the Catholic priests.  Expectedly, the Church and other Catholic institutions havestrongly reacted to statement by Susan Sarandon.  

Susan Sarandon is an American born actress, who rose to fame after she portrayed a lead role in the movie Dead Man Walking, which was filmed in 1995. She in fact won the best actress award for the film. She is a noted film performer, and has been nominated 4 times for the Best Actress award.  She has also made her mark in the socio-political scene, and has given her support to many social causes.

Sarandon was born in New York City to a Roman Catholic family. In 1969, Sarandon attended a casting call for the movie Joe, along with her then –husband Chris Sarandon. She was selected to play the role of a teenager, who takes to wayward ways. Between 1970 to 1972, Sarandon enacted a role in a soap opera. In 1974 she played a major role in the movie the Front page. Round about the same year she played a role opposite Robert Redford in the movie The Great Waldo Pepper. In 1979, she enacted the role of the mother of a child prostitute played by Brooke Shields in the movie Pretty Baby. Between 1980 and 1990 she starred in many films like The Hunger, The Witches of Eastwick, Bull Durham, and A Dry White Season. Sarandon has been nominated 5 times for the Academy Award for best actress, for her portrayal of roles in Atlantic City, Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, and The Client. She won the Award for the movie Dead man Walking. In 1994 she was awarded the “Women in Film Crystal Award”. She continues to successfully portray a variety of roles till today.

In 2006, Sarandon won acclamation for her active socio-political participation. She received the award “Action against Hunger”.  She was honored for her work as a good will ambassador for UNICEF.