Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: America

Hitler Store

Last year some Jews objected to the title of a TV serial Hitler Didi. Some Indians who generally support freedom of speech and expression supported the Jews. I wrote in favour of the title. The producers held on to the title.

This time a store in Ahmedabad is under attack for its name, Hitler men’s garment store. The proprietors said they decided to change the name due to political pressure and it may take a few days to change the shop’s board.

Israeli Consul General Orna Sagiv was in Ahmedabad on 3/9/2012. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had received many e-mails demanding a change of name. Employees of AMC visited the shop and showed the copies of e-mails to proprietors. Proprietors used to get at least 10 calls daily from USA, UK, Dubai, Germany and Israel, many at odd hours.

Americans make fun of many things. Sometimes some Indians get hurt. Jay Leno once showed the picture of Golden Temple as Mitt Romney’s summer palace. Sikhs were offended. Indian government protested. American government spoke of freedom of speech and expression. When after Assam riots Indian government shut down some sites and pages because they were posting misleading and provocative content with morphed pictures that led to threats and attacks of people of North-East and demanded to know the ownership of miscreants from Facebook and Twitter, American government spoke of internet freedom. Here AMC instead of defending freedom of speech and expression succumbed to pressure.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson had at least six children from a slave, Sally Hemings. Abraham Lincoln ordered terrorist activities against Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Harry Truman ordered dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is no demand to change the names of Washington DC, Washington State, and many places and institutes named after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Harry Truman.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) immigrants to USA killed “Indians” and conquered their lands. Surviving Indians were confined to reservations. These Wasps are heroes for their descendants. Hitler was like Wasps. The difference was that Wasps kept their conquered territories, Hitler lost.

Many in USA and Europe defended Danish cartoons. When there were protests more newspapers published the cartoons. Hitler has admirers even in Russia. AMC should permit the name Hitler and tell protestors India has freedom of speech and expression.

Repeal second amendment

The original constitution of USA had seven articles and did not have the right to bear arms. Amendments to the constitution added more articles. The Congress on 25 September 1789 proposed to add 12 articles as amendments. Of these first 10 were ratified and came into effect on 15 December 1791.

Second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The above amendment has been used by vested interests who are merchants of death to sell arms and ammunition without restriction and without regard to loss of innocent lives. National Rifle Association opposes restrictions on the sale of arms.

Some debate the meaning and purpose of second amendment; whether the right is to an individual or to people as a whole and whether arms can be obtained to kill others. USA in 1789 was not a superpower. It did not have a large army, navy and air force. At that time it may have been necessary to allow people to keep arms to enlist them in the army to fight wars.

The shooting in a theatre in Aurora, near Denver in Colorado, is the latest example of a list of shootings in which murderers used weapons of mass destruction. Then there are examples of murderers who have used guns to kill specific individuals.

People who have lost their near and dear ones in shootings shall try for repeal of second amendment. Shops that sell guns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, bullets and such things shall shut down. Laws requiring background checks and waiting periods have failed to stop murderers from purchasing guns. People who have arms should be asked to register themselves and their arms and ammunitions.

India votes against Sri Lanka

On 22/3/2012 India voted against Sri Lanka in UNHRC, Geneva. Out of the 47 countries, 24 voted for the resolution, 15 against and 8 abstained. The resolution was moved by USA which has committed more war crimes than any other country in recent times. India was the only Asian country to vote against Sri Lanka. Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Philippines, Cuba and some other countries voted against the resolution. India gave up its position of not voting in favour of any country specific resolution.

India’s human rights record is not good. AFSPA is in force in Kashmir and Manipur. Pakistan or some other country can move a resolution against India. When Benazir Bhutto was PM of Pakistan and P. V. Narasimha Rao was PM of India, Pakistan had moved a resolution against India.

USA and its allies have committed war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. NATO countries have killed 40,000 civilians in Libya. Robert Bales murdered 16 people, including 9 children, in Afghanistan. What about a resolution against USA for its war crimes? What about a resolution against NATO countries for their war crimes in Libya? It is time for some countries to move resolutions against USA and its allies and NATO countries.

Sarath Fonseka was the general who led the war against LTTE. There is no talk of prosecuting him.

LTTE had fought against IPKF. More than a thousand Indian soldiers died fighting LTTE.

Tamil politics as practiced by DMK and AIADMK triumphed. The government would not have fallen if DMK had walked out of UPA. BSP could have joined.

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