A few months ago, some well meaning community members and friends introduced me to a website called Media Crooks, dedicated to exposing the vicious and intentional lies spewed by many in the Indian Media. Ravinar, the website’s author, has done a painstakingly excellent job in spotlighting blatantly false reports purported by the likes of Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Nidhi Razdan and many others for popular Media Outlets such as CNN-IBN, NDTV, Times of India, The Hindu, etc. This has quickly become one of my “go to” websites along with Sandeep’s Rediscovery of India for important research on anti-India and anti-Hindu forces.
So I was on Rediff last week to get a daily dose of some of my Indian news happenings when I spotted a short news article advertising a website called Pheku.in that supposedly exposes “lies” by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In Hindi, the word “Pheku” means someone who makes lofty statements, or lies, or a combination of the two. The website maintains that Narendra Modi is lying about all the development in Gujarat and is therefore unfit to be the next Prime Minister of India. Well, in a free country and free world, everyone has the right to comment about politicians and about issues that deal with corruption, development, etc.
However, the disturbing thing about this website is that it is the work of no ordinary person or “Aam Aadmi” of India but a creation of some of the most anti-India and anti-Hindu personalities out there! The information below sheds light on the players behind this website, their agenda/ideological leanings, their current and prior stances and activities, etc.
So, why do Shabnam Hashmi and the whole gang of so-called “social activists”, with all their crores of funding, not have the courage to host a site in India? Why does the site need to be in the USA? It is yet another clear example how such NGOs receive funding and support from outside of India in order to meddle into Indian politics and affairs to “Break India” as Rajiv Malhotra’s book “Breaking India” discusses.
Pheku.in’s Agenda – Bring Down Narendra Modi by Hook or by Crook:
The gang has been at this endeavor since 2002 – bring down Narendra Modi by hook or by crook. In their hatefilled agenda, they have resorted to the lowest levels of lies, deceits and half-truths in spite of the fact that several Court Decisions, Special Investigation Team findings, etc. have concluded that Narendra Modi did not have a hand in the 2002 Gujarat Riots.
The link here (thanks to http://teesta-setalvad-evidence.blogspot.in/) shows a handwritten note regarding Teesta Setalvad by the Muslim members of Gulbarg Co-operative Housing Society Limited to the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, requesting prohibition of NGOs and outsiders entering their society. Though Teesta Setalvad is not officially affiliated with Pheku.in (yet), it is important to note that Shabnam Hashmi, Harsh Mander and Teesta Setalvad continue to work together to take down Narendra Modi.
But, this crew will not sit until the truth bends their way and somehow, the “evidence” that they peddle becomes the truth. And, this gang never advocates as loudly for the hundreds of Hindus that also died in Godhra and the subsequent riots as it does for the Muslims. Nor have they ever advocated for the rights for the hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits that were victims of mass ethnic cleansing and riots.
As Narendra Modi’s popularity continues to increase in India, the gang has now concocted another scheme through Pheku.in.
Pheku.in’s Supporters and Sponsors:
In the “About Us” section of the website, one can find a list of Pheku.in’s backers. For the sake of convenience, I have produced the list of the cast (as of August 25th, 2013) below:
|Amit Sengupta, journalist, Delhi|
|Arma Ansari, Film Maker, UP|
|Anjum Rajabali, script writer, Mumbai|
|Anuradha Chenoy, professor, JNU, Delhi|
|Apoorvanand, Prof, DU, Delhi|
|Ashok Vajpaye, poet, Delhi|
|Avni Sethi, Designer, dancer, Ahmadabad|
|Azam Khan, entrepreneur, Hyderabad|
|Biju Mathew, Hyderabad|
|Dev Desai, social activist, Ahmadabad|
|Ganesh Devi, Bhasha, Baroda|
|Gauri Lankesh, Lankesh Patrike, Bangalore|
|Harsh Mandar, writer, activist, Delhi|
|Harvardhan Hegde, Surgeon, Delhi|
|Indu Kumar Jani, writer, Ahmadabad|
|Irfan Engineer, social activist, Mumbai|
|Kalpana Kannabiran, Hyderabad|
|Kamal Chenoy, Prof JNU, Delhi|
|Kedar Misra, journalist, writer, Bhubaneswar|
|KM Shrimali, historian, Delhi|
|KN Panikkar, historian, Trivandram|
|Lawrence Surendra, Bangalore|
|Mahesh Bhatt, filmmaker, Mumbai|
|Mallika Sarabhai, artist, Ahmadabad|
|Manan Trivedi, social activist, Ahmadabad|
|Manisha Trivedi, Social Activist, Ahmadabad|
|Mansi Sharma, Activist, Ahmadabad|
|Naseeruddin Shah, actor, Mumbai|
|Noorjahan Diwan, Social activist, Ahmadabad|
|Parvateesha, Lankesh Patrike, Bangalore|
|Prakash Shah, journalist, Ahmadabad|
|Purnima Joshi, journalist, Delhi|
|Rahul Roy, filmmaker, Delhi|
|Ram Puniyani, writer, Mumbai|
|Ram Rahman, designer, photographer, Delhi|
|Seema Mustafa, journalist, Delhi|
|Shabnam Hashmi, activist, Delhi|
|Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist, Delhi|
|Tanzil Rahman, Delhi|
|Vani Subramanian, activist, Delhi|
|Vivan Sundaram, artist, Delhi|
|Yadavan Chandran, artist, Darpana Academy|
|Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Hyderabad|
|Zakia Soman, BMMA, Gujarat|
|Zulekha Jabin, Chattisgarh|
While some of the names are relatively unknown, many of the usual Hindu baiters and Leftists/Communists along with some high profile personalities have openly endorsed and sponsored this new endeavor.
manufacturing lies to accomplish the Mission:
To prove its point, Media Crooks exposed the intentional lies expounded by Pheku.in, Shabnam Hashmi and the crew. This is a clear example of how the group works – lie in anyway possible; manufacture or blow up “evidence” to support the lies.
Pheku.in featured two pictures to supposedly “expose” the development work done by Narendra Modi in Gujarat. For convenience, I have reproduced these pictures thanks to Media Crooks:
The above pictures show that the images being used to portray Gujarat are actually from New Delhi and Chennai!
When questioned about these pictures, Hashmi issued an interesting apology, blaming it on her “technical team” because they were not able to find high resolution pictures of developmental problems in Gujarat.
Pheku.in’s attempt to paint Narendra Modi as a “Muslim hater” is laden with selective information and deliberate rhetoric. On August 20th, a Pheku.in article lashes out at Modi by giving one statistic of how the Gujarat Government returned Rs 3 Crore of funds provided by the Central Government for scholarships to minority students. By parading this one statistic and the rest just rhetoric, Pheku.in’s writers conclude that Modi is communal!
Here is a great analysis by Madhu Kishwar, the founder of Manushi, a popular women’s rights magazine, that provides interviews and statistics about Narendra Modi’s engagement with the Muslim community after the Godhra riots. In it, Kishwar, who was initially infected with the anti-Modi “virus”, discusses how she changed her mind about Narendra Modi. She has interviewed many prominent Muslims, including Zafar Sareshwala (who once filed a case against Narendra Modi in the International Court of Justic), Najma Heptullah (the grand-niece of Freedom Fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) and others to come to her conclusion about Narendra Modi.
Zafar Sareshwala, in his interview with Kishwar, remarked the following upon meeting Modi in London: “Maulana Isa Mansuri was very tough on Modi, but Modi treated him with great respect because the Maulana is a great scholar. Modi kept listening.” Similarly, when Sareshwala asked Narendra Modi whether he considered 60 Lakh Muslims as part of 5 Crore Gujaratis, he replied: “Of course you are mine. Among the 5 crore Gujratis you are included. When I bring Narmada water into Sabarmati River, do I stop it flowing through Muslim settlement of Juhapura? Who are the biggest beneficiaries of Sabarmati waters near Nehru Bridge?” In yet another instance, when Kishwar asked whether Sareshwala recorded any video of his conversations with Narendra Modi, he said: “We didn’t record anything because we did not think that the meeting would last two and a half hours, we thought we would only get five minutes. Normally a chief minister or prime minister does not talk to a common man at such length, they only ask them to submit a petition and leave. We spoke with him for two and a half hours, every small detail was discussed.”
Najma Heputallah had this to say about Narendra Modi: “At the height of riots, I got a phone call from the Aga Khan’s office that a colony of Khoja Muslims in the midst of Hindu areas, feared attacks. She phoned Advani who was then the Home Minister in Vajpayee’s NDA government. Advani in turn talked to Modi. Within minutes, Narendra Modi called me and said: ‘Najma ben, please don’t worry. I will personally oversee this and ensure their safety.'”
And Mahesh Bhatt, who is a supporter of Pheku.in, had the following to say about Narendra Modi after the latter offered to meet Bhatt and as many Muslims as Bhatt can bring: “There was a kind of sincerity when the Chief Minister said this, don’t ask me why I say so. The heart listens to a voice and knows that it is a sincere voice, even though it comes from a person who you have taken on in public. I said, thank you for saying that.”
Kishwar shares the following stats she gathered from various media outlets as well as the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court of India:
- 5000 people were saved from Noorani mosque by Ahmedabad Police
- 240 persons were saved at Sardarpura in Mehsana district and shifted to safe places
- 450 lives were saved in Pore and Nardipur villages and shifted to safer places
- 200 persons were saved in Sanjoli village
- 1500 persons were rescued from Fatehpura village in Vadodra district
- 3000 people were saved and shifted from Kawant village
One could go and on with such testimonials. But, it is sufficient enough to expose the sinister and vicious agenda of Hashmi, Pheku.in and the entire gang.
On a somewhat unrelated note, it is interesting that Biju Mathew (you can read about him here), a known Hindu baiter and one of the founders of FOIL, CSFH and other Leftist/Communist groups, signs his name from Hyderabad. Mathew is an associate professor at Ryder University in New Jersey and not in Hyderabad. He may be born there, but he has been living in the USA for a very long time. Is he attempting to somehow mislead people that the individuals associated with this website are all from India and therefore have some “genuine” concern for their country’s political happenings?
Receiving Christian Missionary Funding:
Shabnam Hashmi, Harsh Mander, KN Pannikar and Ram Puniyani – All four are Trustees of ANHAD (Act Now for harmony and Democracy), an NGO that purports all sorts of lies and half truths about the 2002 Gujarat Riots as well as as other “social activism” issues. Interestingly, ANHAD receives funds from Christian Aid, Oxfam India and many other Christian Organizations who are notorious for conversion activities in India under the guise of “social development” and who have spewed substantial venom against Hinduism and Hindus. According to an April 2013 article by Japan Pathak of Desh Gujarat, ANHAD received foreign donation of Rs 1,65,25,433. Christian Aid donated around Rs 84 lakh in 2010 alone!
Similarly, Harsh Mander’s Centre for Equity Studies (CES) receives substantial sum of cash from organizations such as DAN Church Aid (established by the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church), the Partnership Foundation of Netherlands, Association for India’s Development (AID) (I have written about AID’s dubious activities and positions here), etc. The Partnership Foundation is a development organization started by Dutch businessmen to provide education and shelter to little girls who have been stranded on streets so that they can get a chance for a better life ahead. In yet another example of foreign Christian Funding into India, since 2007, the Partnership Foundation has provided funds to Loreta Day Schools in Kolkata. According to Loreta’s website, “This School is a Catholic Institution under the management of the Sisters of the Institute of The Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters), which was founded by Mary Ward in the 17th century…”.
Supporting and Pleading for Terrorists:
Members of this group have a history of sympathizing and pleading for terrorists and jihadists. There is never such a “sincere” plea for Hindus in any of their writings, even though they parade themselves as “community activists” or “social activists”. Not one of them has ever waged a serious campaign for the Kashmiri Pandits, the Godhra Train victims and other Hindus that have been subject to extreme cruelty, rape, conversion or other horrors.
In September 2001, Ram Puniyani wrote an article on FOIL’s website on the reasons behind the terrorist attack on the United States. He essentially sympathizes with the terrorists and concludes that America had it coming. He praises Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and agrees with his views that “American establishment itself has given encouragement and even sponsored terrorist groups in different countries at different times.” Interestingly, Puniyani can only find one praiseworthy voice of restraint among all the people and leaders of the world – the Communist dictator Castro.
In the same article above, Puniyani considers the terrorists, Taliban and Al Qaeda as “disadvantaged groups” and opines that “[surely] the present dastardly act of terrorists is a sad reminder that even disadvantaged groups, who are nowhere equal to the might of the most powerful nation can occasionally puncture the high handedness of bullies.” Thus, according to Puniyani, the attacks of 9-11 are really out of desperation and retaliation against the ‘bully’ United States and have nothing to do with fundamentalist views of Islam.
Similarly, Harsh Mander, Raja Swamy, Shalini Gera (of FOSA, FOIL and CSFH, and a close associate of Biju Mathew, Raja Swamy and Angana Chatterji) and a whole host of them sent a petition (hosted on SACW’s website; SACW is an affiliate of FOIL) in 2007 asking President Abdul Kalam of grant immediate clemency to Afzal Guru, one the people convicted of the 2001 Attack on the Indian Parliament.
Even more disturbing – Harsh Mander and Anuradha Chenoy from the list above along with a 201 others signed a petition (full list available here) floated by Ajmal Kasab’s lawyer Yug Mohit Chaudhary to President of India Pranab Mukherjee(Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani Terrorist that killed scores of people in the 2008 Mumbai Attack). The petition argued “….keeping Kasab in jail for the rest of his life and treating him like a human being allows for the possibility of him regaining his humanity, repenting his crime and atoning for the harm he has caused…”. Similarly, it stated: “In the land of Buddha, Mahavira and Gandhiji, let it not be said that there is no place left in our hearts for mercy or that the national conscience can only be satisfied by the killing of Kasab”. It is appalling and saddening that these people and groups argue with such fervor and lofty philosophical points for a terrorist that was parading around the town killing people ruthlessly and enjoying doing so! The fact that all of India (save these 203 people and a handful of other sympathizers) was shocked and angered by such blatant attacks and was rightfully seeking to teach a lesson doesn’t matter to these individuals.
Sandhya Jain, in an article here, exposes yet another side of Harsh Mander. Mander is a member of the Working Group of Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre of UK, according to the Foundation’s website. This Foundation, (which was determined as one of three “Kashmir Centers” that are linked to the Pakistani ISI during Ghulam Nabi Fai’s arrest – full FBI Affidavit with shocking details is available here), works to pressure British Government’s policies towards India on Kashmir and publishes information that is heavily biased against India while remaining silent on the Pakistani side of Kashmir. The “attrocity literature” highlighted on the Foundation’s website is entirely against India. Furthermore, there is no mention about the attrocities against the hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits.
It is also imporant to note that Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was sentenced for two years in prison by the United States for being a Pakistani ISI spy, was also a prominent officer of the Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre according to World Kashmir Awareness Forum’s website. You can also see Fai sharing a photo with Pakistani PM at a Kashmir Conference on this website. Similarly, according to an August 2011 article in the newspaper The Hindu, the Foundation ‘helped to fund a trip to Kashmir by Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer; Andrew Griffiths, a Conservative MP; and Simon Danczuk, a Labour MP’.
We see Shalini Gera of FOSA, FOIL and CSFH again showing up on this list to passionately plea for Ajmal Kasab, along with Harsh Kapoor (of SACW, an affiliate of FOIL and Teesta Setalvad) and Colin Gonsalves (of the Magazine, Combat Law, and sympatizer of Naxalite violence).
Pheku.in has dedicated a page to terrorist Ishrat Jahan, who was gunned down in a police encounter. The page looks like an amateur’s writing and just lists a bunch of rhetoric without citing any reports, evidence, etc. It then concludes with the following words: “Ishrat is my hero. I have an image of her – her gentle face determined – at the moment of her death.” The Ishrat Jahan case has been an example of true political motives of the Congress government, which has released the CBI against the country’s Intelligence Bureau, thereby jeopardizing the sanctity of the country’s national security setup. It is as if a US political party in power releases the FBI against the CIA for mainly political moves.
To make its point on Ishrat Jahan case, Pheku.in (along with many media outlets) conveniently ignores the following piece of news, where the IB Chief, Asif Ibrahim, in a true patriotic manner, speaks out against Congress’ agenda. “Vehemently opposing the CBI move to chargesheet Kumar Ibrahim has communicated to the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that CIB has enough evidence to prove that Jahan was a part of a Lashkar-e-Toiba ISI module [emphasis mine] out to kill Narendra Modi and LK Advani and that even David Coleman Headley, an accused in the Mumbai bomb blast case, had pointed this out to the FBI in US during his interrogation.” The IB Chief’s statement above should itself have the weight to quiet any doubts and let the country’s intelligence framework do its work! However, until the likes of Hashmi, Mander, Mathew, Puniyani and all the supporters of Pheku.in have it their way, they will continue to peddle theories, half-truths and many other manufactured “evidences”.
In conclusion, Pheku.in is yet another dubious attempt by the anti-India and anti-Hindu nexus and their supporters to malign Hindus and India domestically and internationally. They don’t care about the human rights and sentiments of Hindus but polarize the country by their vitrolic attacks on the majority community in India. Their biggest agenda is take down a popular Chief Minister (and a surging Prime Ministerial Candidate) that has been democratically elected again and again since 2002.