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Written By: 	Late Shri S.K. Bhattacharyya

Published in the U.S. by A. Ghosh (Publisher), Houston: Pp 310 

Reviewed By: 	Howard Spickler of New South Wales, Australia

[First published in the Rationalist News of New South Wales in 1988.]


	Lest anyone should hold the opinion that religious faith is a
broad, socially binding influence and a contributing factor to the
well-being and stability of a nation, that quaint notion is devoid of
truth and certainly lacks demonstration in the unhappy situation that
divided India finds itself today-- all of which is clearly chronicled in
this informative book. 

	It is fairly common knowledge of the conversant segment of society
that India has always been home to a large and varied collection of
philosophic cults, religious faiths and practices.But it must be said that
these have, for the most part, been harmonious and tolerant of each other,
which epitomises the accommodating and easy-going temperament of the Hindu
people. Such sectariantolerance was a feature of Ancient Rome before the
advent of Christian bigotry. 

	However, religious fanaticism and cruelty displayed its ugly face
with the subjugation of India by invading Islamic conquerors. The Mogul
Emperors charted a course of desecration and deliberate destruction of
much of Hindu culture and heritage, and divided the people by a ruthless
campaign of forced coversions to the Islamic faith. 

	By 1763, Mogul power had declined and the British continued the
dominance and exploitation for nearly two centuries. After World War II,
Great Britain realised that its grip on the country was slipping and that
the lucrative years of domination were over. The rightful clamoring for
independence could not be denied. To its lasting shame it agreed with the
Muslim League that demanded a separate homeland for that portion of the
population who are the descendants of those earlier, brutalised converts. 

	In 1947, the countries of West and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
were carved off India and the promised protection of full rights and safe
domicile for the trapped Hindu minorities has not been fully honored. The
discrimination and suffering that is now being endured by these indigenous
Hindus is the direct legacy of Indian and Pakistani ineptitude and apathy.
Persectuion and unrest became the inevitable consequence of Muslim
religious fervor and hatred. 

	The sytematic molestation, rape and killing of millions of Hindus
in Bangladesh is an affront to human dignity and a sickening saga of
unrestricted depravity. It demands world attention and correction and
highlights the savageness of religious thuggery running riot, bent upon

	India is illustrative of what can happen to a once rich, proud and
culturally wealthy country that now suffers from over population and
religious division. Countries like Australia could well benefit from
observing the Indian experience and adopt some foresight and care in the
planning and mixing of their religious and cultural pie. 

	Many fine and informative contributions in this book by a number
of knowledgable authors, presents the reader with a complete, overall
picture of the facts, figures and the persons that have been involved in
the Indian dilemma before and since partition. Very necessary reading for
all those who value human dignity, rights and social freedom. 

	As an addendum to the above review, it is pertinent to mention
that the Gulf War highlighted the international thirst for the dirty
dollars of the armament trade. The Australian Government, fully aware of
the simmering, delicate situation that prevails between Pakistan and
India, has indecently sold fifty mirage fighter planes to the hostile
government of Islmabad, no doubt paid for by Arab petrodollars that pour
in to any aggressive Islamic cause. 

Brought to you by:

		Hindu Vivek Kendra (USA)
		P.O. Box 7542
		Austin, TX  78713-7542

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