Ram Puniyani – India

Linked with Centre for study of Society and Secularism CSSS, with SABRANG.com – Protecting and Promoting Human Rights in India, and with Invoking India’s Fuhrer.

Ram Puniyani is a Professor in Biomedical engg. at the Indian Institute of Technology, Powai. Apart from his teaching and research activities, he pursues a parallel track concerned with issues related to social problems,particularly the one’s related to preservation of democratic and secular ethos in our life. Also has serious interest in the understanding the Human Rights of weaker sections of society. He is a member of EKTA, Committee for Communal Amity, Mumbai and has been associated with different secular initiatives for many years. He has also been engaged in understanding global and local changes, which have resulted in communal violence. He is particularly concerned with the adverse effects of globalisation and the rise of fundamentalism, particularly in India. Ram has contributed articles to various magazines and journals on these themes. He has authored three books around these subjects: Fascism of Sangh Parivar, The Other Cheek and Communal Politics: an illustrated primer. At present Ram is continuing with his endeavour to understand these phenomena with a focus on human relationships geared around substantive liberty, equality and fraternity … (full text). Same on Plural India.

His Book Review of: The RSS and the BJP, A Division of Labor, by A.G.Noorani – … The strongest point of the book is of course the thorough research, which has gone in to the writing of the book, which has very impressive list of resources and rare references. Noorani has done a yeoman service in marshalling the facts in this book, in turn making it a crucial source book for all those who wish to understand this organization and its wily methods of operation … (full text).

His website Plural India.

A List of Some Secular Education Material in India, by Ram Puniyani, EKTA, Committee for Communal Amity, 2002.

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Ram Puniyani – India

Mukto-Mona congratulates Prof. Ram Puniyani on Winning the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, November 01, 2007.

He writes:

  • … Why is the world witnessing such a massive erosion of human values, the trampling of international norms, conventions? US after its humiliation in Vietnam had decided not to send its armies to outside countries for some time and during that time, to counter the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, it propped up Al Qaeda type terrorists. From last three decades its aggressive designs are rampaging not only the countries of the world but also the spirit of humanism as a whole. The undermining of United Nations by US arrogance has been a major reason contributing to miseries of the World today. US actions to couch its politics in the language of religion, to prop up the theory of Clash of Civilizations, to demonize Islam and Muslims can be regarded as one of the worst sins against humanity in contemporary times … (full text, 03 January, 2009).
  • … Many a scholars of Islam and social scientists have produced remarkable literature explaining the nature of Islam, showing the difference between religion as moral values, religion as an institution, religion as part culture, and abuse of religious identity for political goals by social layers or global super powers today. But of course these remain in the world of academia and libraries where not many people read them; some review of these books is carried out in an odd journal here and there, while the popular perceptions against Islam and Muslims are deepening by the day … (full text, March 03, 2008).
  • The humiliating defeat of BJP in the parliamentary elections followed by Maharashtra Assembly  elections has created a crisis in the party. One of the measures taken to offset this demoralization and despondency has been to appoint, once again, Mr. L.K. Advani as the president of the party. Since so far the party has been operating on the plank of Hindutva and it seems this slogan has lost its sheen along with the issues which have been identified with it Ram Temple, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code. This Hindutva has got politically and socially manifested in a rabid anti-minoritism as seen in the burning of Pastor Graham Staines and the state-sponsored carnage in Gujarat … (full text, 15 November 2004).
  • Orissa is witnessing unprecedented violence against the tiny Christian minority. On August 23, Swami Laxmananand along with his four followers was killed, probably by a group of Maoists. Immediately, anti-Christian violence began on a large scale. The way it began it seemed as if preparations for it were well afoot. It was systematic and widespread … (full text, Sept. 14, 2008).
  • One always wondered as to why the patriarch of Sangh combines, the plethora of organizations pursuing the goal of Hindu Nation, RSS, is an exclusively male organization. While one hears quite a bit about Uma Bharati’s, Sushma Swaraj’s currently and one heard about Vijaya Raje Scindia and Sadhvi Ritambhara in the recent past, one knew that even they could not enter the hallowed precincts of the controller of Hindutva politics, the RSS itself. We were enlightened about this recently by none other than the RSS Supreme dictator (Sar sanghchalak), Mr. K. Sudarshan himself … (full text, 25 April 2005).

More of his articles:

Find him and his publications on Plural India: Issues in Secular Politics, Issues in Democracy and Fundamentalism, Newsletters of All India Secular Forum; on mukto-mona.com; his books at gojaba; on sage pub.co.uk; his articles on nilacharal.com; find him on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

When the brazen throat of communal violence in Gujarat is roaring everywhere, here comes a day to honour those who choose a very different path from others to compose and sooth the riot victims across the country. Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for the year 2006 was conferred on Wednesday to Dr J S Bandukwalla and Ram Puniyani for furthering the cause of communal harmony by setting personal example for others … // … Both Puniyani and Bandukwalla left their academic career to follow a path that was guided by what their heart said. Babri Masjid demolition resulting the riots influenced Puniyani and then the Gujarat riots in 2002 left Bandukwalla aghast, who lost everything in the violence. After taking retirement from IIT Mumbai, Puniyani is running EKTA, a communal harmony group and the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism. He is also instrumental in introducing peace studies in the curriculum at Tata institute of Social sciences. Bandukwalla, a professor of Physics at M S University in Vadodara and a follower of Gandhism, is the President of the Gujarat unit of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, the Gujarat Muslim Education Society and the Zidni Ilma Charitable Trust. The award is bestowed in the honour of Indira Gandhi who fought against terrorism; to carry on her values and vision further, the award is given annually to either distinguished persons or institutions for propagating national integration among religious group, ethnic group, culture, language and tradition. It was started in the year 1985 to commemorate Congress Centenary Year … (full text, 01 Nov 2007).

links:

Indian Muslim blog, a window to the Indian Muslim Life;

Centre for study of society and secularism CSSS;

Sabrang.com, protecting and promoting Human Rights in India; /

South Asia Citizens Web SACW;

anhadin.net, act now for harmony and democracy.

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