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Author: Edna Fernandes
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143103601
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 has India. Hindus have fought Muslims, Christians have sought to convert animists, Sikhs have armed themselves against Muslims, and Muslims have declared jihad on the kind of Hindu that took delight in the demolition of the Babri mosque. 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 rage and rhetoric speak for them. The Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid calls upon his co-religionists to form militant squads to combat persecution by Hindus. In Nagaland-as in Kashmir-what was once a political insurgency is now a holy war, and armed Baptists demand a separate homeland for Christ.
Twenty years after the storming of the Golden Temple and the anti-Sikh riots, an Akali leader in Amritsar cannot forgive, and speaks of continuing the fight for Sikh honour-Sometimes through the pen. Sometimes down the barrel of a gun. And in shakhas across India, Hindu hardliners ready themselves for the final solution: ethnic cleansing.
There are as many stories of prejudice and violence in these pages as there are of insecurity and despair. But they are told by an investigative writer who has readied herself to hear out all with understanding, tolerance and even humour. Examining India’s contemporary history of rabble-rousing and worse, Fernandes has written an important book about the compulsions and consequences of bigotry.
An excellent detailing of the complex web of India’s cultural and religious bigotry’—Business World
No other nation has witnessed as much proselytizaton or heard as many war cries in the name of God as has India. Here, there is evidence that every religion can be hijacked by the forces of fundamentalism. Edna Fernandes travels to the country’s recent and past theatres of fundamentalism—from Kashmir and Gujarat to Punjab and Goa—to meet the generals and foot soldiers of communal wars, and lets their rage and rhetoric speak for them. The result is an important and utterly absorbing book about the consequences of prejudice, insecurity and hate.
‘A powerful book . . . as fair and objective an assessment of the perils that lie ahead for India as any that I have ever read’ —Khushwant Singh
‘A gripping, and necessary, book on the political issues facing India today’ —Mahesh Bhatt
‘This is a remarkable, brave, moving, disturbing, funny and at times beautiful book. It tackles head-on the great Indian paradox: that India is a centre of religion and spirituality, and hence of tolerance . . . yet it has also been home to some of the most terrible atrocities committed in the name of religion’ —Simon Long, Asia Editor, The Economist
‘A reporter with a gift for details, Fernandes weaves together voices of key actors as well as innocents caught in the cleft of history to explain the seductions of fundamentalism . . . There are genuine flashes of wit and a talent for mockery that make the book a racy read’—Manish Chand, HindustanTimes.com
‘Holy Warriors shows up, in all its ugliness, the cancer of religious bigotry and intolerance that afflicts all communities . . . It is a vivid and shocking mosaic that she puts together, from Nagaland to Goa and from Amritsar to Ayodhya . . . An excellent detailing of the complex web of India’s cultural and religious bigotry’ —Jawed Naqvi, Business World
Preface to the New Edition
PART ! SOLDIERS OF ISLAM
The Mussalmans of Old Delhi
Audience with the Imam
Kashmir - Paradise Lost
Messengers of God
PART 2 THE CRUSADERS
Inquisition and Exposition
Fish fry and Fundamentalism
Last Tango in Goa
The God Squads
Headhunters and Missionaries
'Nagaland for Christ '
Blood, Tears and Oil
PART 3 LAND OF THE PURE
Land of the Pure
The Militant Messiah
The Face of Judgment
PART 4 THE SAFFRON WARRIORS
Gujrat - The Ghost of Partition
Men in Khaki
Lost Temple of Ram
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