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Free eBook Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism download

by Edna Fernandes

Free eBook Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism download ISBN: 1846270960
Author: Edna Fernandes
Publisher: Granta UK; New edition (July 1, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 368
Category: Historical
Subcategory: World
Size MP3: 1977 mb
Size FLAC: 1660 mb
Rating: 4.3
Format: mbr lrf mobi rtf


The emphasis of this book is on fundamentalist religion which finds its outlet in violence inspiring a warrior class to take their faith 'back to basics' without compromise, by fair means or foul. The first section of the book focuses on Muslim fundamentalism. She sets the context of the historic muslim invaders subjecting the Hindu minority to their rule and imposing forced conversion upon them.

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Naseem Khan on Edna Fernandes's Holy Warriors, a sharp-witted dissection of the issue India can't resolve

Naseem Khan on Edna Fernandes's Holy Warriors, a sharp-witted dissection of the issue India can't resolve. What a cast of characters make their way through this sharp-witted and straight-talking book: the fatuous and the venal, the self-important and the deluded, the exploitative and the corrupt. This is hardly surprising, as Edna Fernandes has undertaken to track down figures who epitomise the most depressing facet of Indian life - its holy warriors - as well as some of their victims. Sixty years ago, India was divided on religious grounds and became independent.

In Holy Warriors, Edna Fernandes travels to the country's recent and past theatres of religious extremism - from Kashmir to Gujarat, Punjab to Goa - to meet the generals and foot soldiers of communal wars who assert their faith in rhetoric and rage. Theirs are stories of bigotry and bloodshed, insecurity and despair, but Fernandes listens with understanding, tolerance and a deft sense of humour, and paints a uniquely vivid and clear-sighted picture of a country divided by dogma.

Here in India, writes journalist Edna Fernandes, there is evidence that every religion can be hijacked by the forces of fundamentalism. Fernandes travels to the country’s recent and past theatres of fundamentalism—from Kashmir to Gujarat, Punjab to Goa—to meet the generals and foot soldiers of communal wars, and lets their. No other nation has witnessed as much proselytization or heard as many war cries in the name of God.

Holy Warriors: A Journey Into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism by Edna Fernandes (Portobello Books). If you ever needed proof that no religion is immune from taking a fundamentalist turn, look at India. Home to all the major religions of the world, India is also home to fundamentalists of every stripe. The country well-known for its spiritualism is also a country tormented by bitter religious hatreds. In Holy Warriors Edna Fernandes, a British-Indian reporter for the Financial Times, sets about exploring all these fundamentalisms.

No other nation has witnessed as much proselytization or heard as many war cries in the name of God as has India.

This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes’s powerful book. EDNA FERNANDES is a British journalist of Indian origin who was born in Nairobi and grew up in London

Holy Warriors - A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism. This is vividly brought out in Edna Fernandes’s powerful book. Holy Warriors is as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read. EDNA FERNANDES is a British journalist of Indian origin who was born in Nairobi and grew up in London. She has worked for some of the world’s premier news organizations including AP-Dow Jones and Reuters in London and the Financial Times in New Delhi.

Edna Fernandes' was born in Nairobi to parents of Goan origin and grew up in London, where she lives

Edna Fernandes' was born in Nairobi to parents of Goan origin and grew up in London, where she lives. She was special correspondent for Britain's 'Mail on Sunday' newspaper, foreign correspondent for the 'Financial Times' and political correspondent for Reuters. Her first book, 'Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism', was a finalist for UK's 2008 Index on Censorship Award and was nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award.

Home to all the major religions, India is also, inevitably, host to virtually every type of religious fanatic. No other nation has witnessed as much proselytization or heard as many war cries in the name of God as India.For centuries, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims have waged bloody wars, sought violent conversion, and declared jihad against their enemies, as their religions have been hijacked by the forces of fundamentalism. Here British-Indian journalist Edna Fernandes travels to the country’s recent and past theatres of religious extremism—from Kashmir to Gujarat, Punjab to Goa—to meet the generals and foot soldiers of communal wars who assert their faith in rhetoric and rage. Theirs are stories of bigotry and bloodshed, insecurity and despair, but Fernandes listens with understanding, tolerance, and a deft sense of humor, and paints a uniquely vivid and clear-sighted picture of a country divided by dogma.
User reviews
Risinal
Religious fundamentalists are funny to listen to. If not for the tremendous atrocities and nefarious schemes tied to their simple words, that the fundamentalists do not seem to completely comprehend, they could be considered proper comedians. In the area of religious fundamentalism, similar to other areas such as arts, architecture, music, movies, religion, India has so much to offer. For there seem to be all kinds of religious fanaticisms thriving posing a threat to the secular nature of the Indian republic.

The author takes the approach of interviewing some key figures who seem to be fanning these flames and those who have been burnt and scarred by them. Her interviews are funny. The entertaining detail she provides is the stuff of romantic and dramatic novels rather than that of a contemporary history book and makes for a quick reading.

However, when it comes to the task of providing the meaning in the bigger context that the "warriors" themselves are clearly missing, the author takes a rather shallow approach. The historical context she provides is fragmented and linked to only a few well-known events in the recent past rather than the description of a psyche which has been influenced and built over hundreds and thousands of years. The nuances of identities, affectations, and affiliations built over the centuries is given only superficial treatment.

The tying in of these communal forces to the bigger context of religious pluralism, leave alone secularism, humanism, and Indian egalitarian law, is completely lacking. There is no overall theme or premise, those are left for the reader to surmise. All the reader gets is a set of interviews which are, in the name of equal treatment and even handedness, categorized into the four religious strifes related to Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam.

In the end I was left with a feeling about the book the author herself tries to draw from her interview with a beauty queen who won the Miss World in 1999. The beauty queen seems to be drawn into campaigning for the Hindu Nationalist Party (BJP) in 2004 without properly understanding what she stands for and what the consequences of her actions entail. I wished the author had provided a structure to her investigations on the lessons to be learned and the rightful actions to be taken to curtail such evil forces. But I understand that it is a daunting task when one spreads the canvas as wide on a problem as that of religious fundamentalism in India. However, it was within her reach.

As a reader it is for you to infer what those lessons are, the author does provide some interesting and provocative material. The book, if not for anything, is entertaining.
Kazigrel
This is a remarkable, brave, moving, disturbing, funny and at times beautiful book. It tackles head-on the great Indian paradox, which most observers tend to ignore or obfuscate: that India is a centre of religion and spirituality, and hence of tolerance, celebrating the many paths available to those seeking the Godhead; yet it has also been home to some of the most terrible atrocities committed anywhere in the name of religion. Ms Fernandes's insight is to see that this is not really a paradox at all: "Home to all the major religions, India is also, inevitably, host to virtually every type of religious fanatic."

Her book takes us on a tour of India's religious flashpoints: to the Islamic seminary in Deoband in the state of Uttar Pradesh; to Gujarat, where a terrible pogrom in 2002 saw Hindus slaughter hundreds of Muslims with the connivance of the state government; to Ayodhya, where the destruction of a mosque built on what Hindu fundamentalists claim is the birthplace of the god Ram still reverberates in national politics; to Amritsar, where the storming of the Sikhs' holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, by government forces in 1984 was followed by the assassination of a prime minister, a decade of violent insurrection and a brutal repression; to Goa, home of her ancestors, where she finds the brutality of the Christian inquisition still echoing in contemporary disputes; to Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, now in its seventeenth year of bloody insurgency; and to Nagaland, in the north-east, where Baptist Christians have been waging one of the world's longest-running independence struggles.

What makes the book a riveting read, besides the inherent interest of the theme, is Ms Fernandes's skill as an observer, as a listener, and as a writer. She has an astonishing gift for bringing her interlocutors to life, and a flair for descriptive humour. (At Goan get-togethers in the London of her childhood "rhino-rumped Goan matrons swathed in purple satin would dance with diminutive husbands to the cha-cha-cha and tango."). The Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jami Masjid, spiritual leader of India's 150m Muslims, is a "grizzled old lion...behind gold-framed Ray Ban-style glasses". Prahmans Ramchandra Das, self-appointed keeper of the Hindu flame at Ayodhya, and aged 93 when she met him, just before he died, "looked like a sinister marmoset" (I can confirm the truth of this observation.)

Ms Fernandes seems to have won the trust of all her interviewees. They have opened to her and revealed themselves and their subject in new lights. Even the "supercop" K.P.S. Gill, who to some Sikhs will forever be the "butcher of Punjab", seems to have been unable to resist her charms.

She has not betrayed the trust. She has neither mocked her subjects unfairly, nor given them undue latitude. Among the book's delights are her occasional wry asides. After a hilarious description of khaki-knickered members of the RSS, a Hindu-fundamentalist mass organisation, at a "shakha", an early morning gathering for physical jerks with attitude, she quotes the blood-curdling prayer they sing calling for the "breaking" of Pakistan. "Not quite the Boy Scouts, then," she notes.

India is gaining plenty of international attention at the moment: as an emerging economic powerhouse, especially because of its "outsourcing" industries; as a nuclear power about to be legitimised by America; as an extraordinary triumph of democratic values in the face of internal disorder, external threat and unimaginable diversity. This book is an indispensible reminder that one of the most important forms of that diversity--religious--is also a source of some of the biggest threats it faces: bigotry, fear and hatred. "Holy Warriors" is also a joy to read.
Felolune
I wished I could say this more politely, but it cannot be avoided. Edna is, first and foremost, a Christian. Therefore, she treated the Christian terrorists in the northeast extremely gently, almost apologetically. Those who do not know, the Christian terrorists in northeastern states are killing Hindus, not just the settlers form the plains, but also their own folk who refuse to convert. The purpose is to establish Christendom. I think her real purpose for writing the book was to criticize the "Hindu" crook Thackerey. She did not hold back on using harsh language for him. It is a farcical, and extremely biased book.