Casteism, Misogyny and Rights of Hindu Religious Institutions- IV

Sample these opening lines of a news report in The Hindu on the ongoing hearings…

Sample these opening lines of a news report in The Hindu on the ongoing hearings before the Supreme Court on the issue of entry of women into the Ayyappa Shrine in Sabarimala:

“Taking a swipe at religious customs and temple entry restrictions violating women’s constitutional rights, the Supreme Court on Monday said no temple or governing body can bar a woman from entering the famous Sabarimala shrine in Kerala where lakhs of devotees throng annually to worship”

“Why can you not let a woman enter? On what basis are you prohibiting women entry… What is your logic? Women may or may not want to go (to worship at Sabarimala), but that is her personal choice,” Justice Dipak Misra, who headed a three-judge Special Bench, pulled up the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the shrine.

For a so-called “respectable and credible” news organization, the number of critical flaws in the opening lines alone is mind-boggling:

  1. First, the Supreme Court has not yet arrived at a decision on the issue and these questions are merely being asked by the Court during the course of the hearings, which is natural. Although the questions are relevant, they are in no way indicative, let alone conclusive, of what the final outcome may be. Considering the sensibilities involved, this is an important caveat which a responsible news organization ought to have carried with the report instead of giving the false impression that the Supreme Court has made up its mind on the issue.
  2. Second, the news report is oblivious to the critical distinction between “fundamental rights” and “constitutional rights”. The rights, whose violation is alleged of by the petitioners, are part of Part III of the Constitution which is titled “Fundamental Rights”. The distinction between a fundamental right and a constitutional right is that the former is deemed to inhere in individuals and the Constitution recognizes such inherence, whereas the latter is not deemed to be inherent, but is provided by the Constitution. This is the reason why fundamental rights are “fundamental” (but not absolute), whereas constitutional rights are not. By terming the rights of the petitioners as “constitutional rights”, the news report in fact dilutes the claim of the petitioners. So much for journalistic due diligence.
  3. Third, the rest of the report furthers the impression that the only rights which exist and matter are the rights of the petitioners, while conveniently ignoring the fundamental rights of the Travancore Devaswom Board (which runs the Shrine) under Article 26.

Such blatantly biased news reports, which deftly pit Hindu Temples against women, are to be expected from The Hindu. But what is indeed lamentable is that even otherwise erudite and well-meaning individuals on the Indic Right seem to have unthinkingly bought into this malicious and cockamamie narrative.

Head priest opening the sanctum of the Sabarimala temple.

The popular stance in the discussion on the issue appears to be that the Constitution reigns supreme and therefore no further discussion is warranted on the question of entry into temples. This is a gross over-simplification which could perhaps be partly attributed to lazy research and ignorance, but for the most part must be attributed to this dying need to take a politically correct stand and to pander to the gallery without even attempting to understand the fundamental legal questions involved. After all, the law is not meant only for lawyers and is certainly not beyond the ken of non-lawyers.

The lofty minds spouting free gyaan on the morality and ethics of the issue forget that before a Court of law, the first question that needs to be addressed is whether the position of the Travancore Devaswom Board has a basis in the law, in particular Hindu law and more specifically the Agamas that apply to the Ayyappa Temple. This question is of paramount importance because the Supreme Court has itself held in several decisions that the Constitution gives primacy to religious laws to the extent that they are not based on discrimination or other anti-Constitutional touchstones. In my last three pieces on the rights of Hindu religious institutions, I have demonstrated this position based on the interpretation of Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution and the latest decision of the Supreme Court on the issue of appointment of Temple Priests which was delivered on December 16, 2015.

“Public Intellectuals” who are eager to comment on the issue and burnish their “progressive” credentials would do well to also read the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Seshammal v. State of Tamil Nadu and N.Adithyan v. The Travancore Devaswom Board. In the former case, while examining the constitutional validity of abolition of hereditary appointment of Priests to Saivaite and Vaishnavaite Temples under the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Act, 1970, the Court upheld the abolition under the Amendment Act on the ground that hereditary appointment of Priests had no basis in the Agamas. In other words, the Supreme Court unequivocally upheld the sanctity and supremacy of Agamas within the Constitutional framework so long as they are not based on discrimination of any kind. Following are excerpts from the Court’s detailed discussion on the significance of Agamas:

The Agamas contain elaborate rules as to how the temple is to be constructed, where the principal deity is to be consecrated, and where the other Devatas are to be installed and where the several classes of worshipers are to stand and worship. Where the temple was constructed as per directions of the Agamas the idol had to be consecrated in accordance with an elaborate and complicated ritual accompanied by chanting of mantras and devotional songs appropriate to the deity. On the consecration of the image in the temple the Hindu worshipers believe that the Divine Spirit has descended into the image and from then on the image of deity is fit to be worshipped. Rules with regard to daily and periodical worship have been laid down for securing the continuance of the Divine Spirit. The rituals have a two-fold object. One is to attract the lay worshiper to participate in the worship carried on by the priest or Archaka. It is believed that when a congregation of worshipers participates in the worship a particular attitude of aspiration and devotion is developed and confers great spiritual benefit. The second object is to preserve the image from pollution, defilement or desecration. It is part of the religious belief of a Hindu worshiper that when the image is polluted or defiled the Divine Spirit in the image diminishes or even vanishes.

 That is a situation which every devotee or worshipper looks upon with horror. Pollution or defilement may take place in variety of ways. According to the Agarnas, an image becomes defiled if there is any departure or violation of any of the rules relating to worship. In fact, purificatory ceremonies have to be performed for restoring the sanctity of the shrine. Worshippers lay great, store by the rituals and whatever other people, not of the faith, may think about these rituals and ceremonies, they are a part of the Hindu Religious faith and cannot be dismissed as either irrational or superstitious. An illustration of the importance attached to minor details of ritual is found in the case of His Holiness Peria Kovil Kelvi Appan Thiruvenkata Ramanuja Pedda Jiyyangarlu Varlu v. Prathivathi Bhayankaram Venkatachrlu and others(1) which went up to the Privy Council. The contest was between two denominations of Vaishnava worshippers of South India, the Vadagalais and Tengalais. The temple was a Vaishnava temple and the controversy between them involved the question as to how the invocation was to begin at the time of worship and which should be the concluding benedictory verses. This gives the measure of the importance attached by the worshippers to certain modes of worship. The idea most prominent in the mind of the worshipper is that a departure from the traditional rules would result in the pollution or defilement of the image which must be avoided at all costs. That is also the rationale for preserving the sanctity of the Garbhangriha or the sanctum sanctorum. In all these temples in which the images are consecrated, the Agamas insist that only the qualified Archaka or Pujari step inside the sanctum sanctorum and that too after observing the daily disciplines which are imposed upon him by the Agamas. As an Archaka he has to touch the image in the course of the worship and it is his sole right and duty to touch it. The touch of any- body else would defile it. Thus under the ceremonial law pertaining to temples even the question as to who is to enter the Garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum and who is not entitled to enter it and who can worship and from which Place in the temple are all matters of religion as shown in the above decision of this Court.

 The Agamas have also rules with regard to the Archakas. In Saivite temples only a devotee of Siva, and there too, one belonging to a particular denomination or group or sub-group is entitled to be the Archaka. If he is a Saivite, he cannot possibly be an Archaka in a Vaishnavite Agama temple to whatever caste he may belong and however learned he may be. Similarly, a Vaishnavite Archaka has no place as an Archaka in a Saivite temple. Indeed there is no bar to a Saivite worshipping in a Vaishnavite temple as a lay worshipper or vice versa. What the Agamas prohibit is his appointment as an Archaka in a temple, of a different denomination’ ………….. None others, however, high placed in society as pontiffs or Acharyas, or even other Brahmins could touch the idol, do puja or even enter the Garbha Griha. Not even a person belonging to another Agama is competent to do puja in Vaikhanasa temples. That is the general rule with regard to all these sectarian denominational temples. It is, therefore, manifest that the Archaka of such a temple besides being proficient in the rituals appropriate to the worship of the particular deity, must also belong, according to the Agamas, to a particular denomination. An Archaka of a different denomination is supposed to defile the image by his touch and since it is of the essence of the religious faith of all worshippers that there should be no pollution or defilement of the image under any circumstances, the Archaka undoubtedly occupies in important place in the matter of temple worship. Any State action which permits the defilement or pollution of the image by the touch of an Archaka not authorised by the Agamas would violently interfere with the religious faith and practices of the Hindu worshipper in a vital respect, and would, therefore, be prima facie invalid under Article 25(1) of the Constitution.”

The same position was reiterated in the second case, where the issue before the Court was whether only a Malayali Brahmin may be appointed as a Priest of the Kongorpilly Neerikode Siva Temple in Kerala. Answering the question in the negative, the Court held that since the Petitioner had not led a shred of evidence based on custom/usage/Agamas to support his position, his contention was untenable in law.

Sabarimala Ayyappa Shrine

Therefore, in the context of the Sabarimala Ayyappa Shrine, the question that will need to be examined by the Supremes is whether the bar on entry of women of a certain age group in the Temple is rooted in the history and customs of the Temple and whether such history/custom flows from misogyny. If the Agamas that apply to the Temple reveal that misogyny plays no role in the decision to bar entry of women of a certain age group, and that the bar flows from the edict of the presiding deity of the Temple given the deity’s celibate nature, the bar will have to be upheld because that would be consistent with the Constitutional mandate. Further, given the position of the law on defilement/desecration of the image in a Temple, it is a legitimate and legal question to ask whether the Kannada actor Jaimala ought to have been allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala Temple and touch the image.

While the Supreme Court must be trusted to do justice to the questions before it, the least that can be expected of enlightened members of the Indic Right is that they do not perpetuate the narrative of the Left by attributing misogyny, patriarchy and casteism to Hindu Temples where it is not warranted. Instead, their erudition and standing as “Public Intellectuals” could perhaps be put to better use in the service of the Hindu cause by helping to combat pernicious stereotypes propagated by the Left and its cronies in the media.

If reform is what people wish to usher in, it must be understood that although change is the only constant, reform cannot have the consequence of obliterating the foundations of the faith or altering its core beyond recognition. The Supreme Court itself has held that the essentials of a faith cannot be altered by the Legislature or Courts. Importantly, in Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin v. State of Bombay, the Court held that the reformative levers and mechanisms provided to the State in and by the Constitution were “not intended to enable the legislature to “reform” a religion out of existence or identity”. I agree with this position not because these are the words of the Supreme Court, but because this is the right and the balanced position to take in one’s opinion. Simply put, militant progressivism at the expense of the central tenets of a faith or the identity of a religious institution is as bad and abhorrent as religious fanaticism, and therefore deserves the same treatment.


J. Sai Deepak is a Delhi-based litigator who practises primarily before the Delhi High Court. Sai writes on economic laws and policy on his blog “The Demanding Mistress” He is @jsaideepak on Twitter.
  • shn

    Excellently written….congrats!

  • Dr. MS

    Why are you the writer starting with those same lines? No wonder people don’t read this webmagazine (if one can call it that)

    Your headings, your writings (poorly edited) and your analyses cannot get the facts and the rationale through succinctly, and with the right terse bite. Any rigorous critical evaluation will indicate much of what is shared is right, relevant and important. But the way issues are presented, written and end up as verbal diarrhea in this webmagazine makes your authors loose the power of their arguments.

    In some ways this represents the tragedy of the colonized, wounded and intellectually buried Hindu…who cannot argue on his or her defense even when they are being battered with five thousand witnesses, five hundred well vetted documents of violence against them, and fifty pieces of solid evidence to support their complaints or grievances.

    Find out how many people never bothered to read this article due to its heading, due to its “too long” commentary and poorly edited writing?

    A lot

  • Karigar Medha

    Thanks for a clear cut well argued narrative reminding us that it is the Agamic practice that needs to be held up, and not whatever the latest social fashion is. Hindus should stop bashing themselves & their institutions with shallow westernized thinking.

  • Anfauglir

    The agitation emanates from (crypto)christian scheming and meddling. This is obvious from how it follows the outline of their “Project Thessalonica”. The same happens with lots of temples, including the similar agitation over what traditional songs can be sung from where in ChidambaranAtha temple–something also specified by temple ritual–and which is exactly what christianity always tries to break.

    This christian modus operandi to break the correct observance of temple rituals is also well documented in their attacks against Graeco-Roman religion in ancient Rome. Christianity aimed to weaken the Roman temples/deities.
    Christianity is still following the same pattern. It’s one of the easy ways to identify the christian hands behind “secular”-looking blows against heathenism.

    The Project Thessalonika christian scheme to genocide Hinduism, documented by a Croatian, was posted at ChristianAggression Org around a decade back (maybe longer, but that was about when I noticed it first), and a copy has also been available at Crusadewatch.

    There is nothing secular and nothing random in this. It is entirely monotheist scheming.

    • Kraken

      Henceforth, kindly do not quote “Project Thessalonica”. Here’s why,

      It’s quite likely that the aforementioned project is kept under wraps, but as can be gauged from the above provided links, “sickulars” might use a loosely substantiated claim as a tool to attack your credibility.

      • Anfauglir

        Advising people not to quote from the warning against Project Thessalonica’s implementation in India all because Hindu-baiting crypto-monotheists will doubt, deny and cast aspersions on the source is like advising people not to quote ASI and other evidence of the Hindu temple to Sri Rama at Ayodhya under the Babri rubble, all because crypto-monotheists doubt, deny and cast aspersions on the sources.

        They’re never going to admit to their crimes and conspiring no matter how much evidence one gives for monotheist terrorism against Hindus. Especially when they are still in the process of stealthily implementing their goal of converting all the nation: constant denial of their crimes is all they have, besides feigning victimhood of “intolerance” at the hands of their victims (another common monotheist tactic ever since Rome was eaten away from the inside by christianity).

        The article about Project Thessalonika in India was not written for convincing monotheists–of whom christians are fully aware of it, since they’re working to implement it. The article was clearly meant for a Hindu audience: to warn them to notice the pattern of the non-transparent christian designs against Hinduism. Of course monotheist Hindu-baiters like “Samrat Bharat” don’t want Hindus to wake up and be warned (for the same reason they don’t like their crypto cover to be blown): they’d rather Hindus continue to sleep while they destroy heathenism in India.

        There were several sites that picked up on Alex Pomero’s article and reposted it at the time.

        The problem is not that there’s no “Alex Pomero” (there are several Alexander Pomero-s on the visible web, for instance). The problem is that it’s hard to track down most published news articles from even the mid-2000s and late 1990s. Lots of things expire. Not everything was or is archived by Archive Org. Many articles still don’t get archived because of the protocol or robots.txt or because the news site specifically doesn’t want them to be indexed.

        Many other things have gone out of public visibility and/or have become entirely inaccessible (good thing I saved them when I did):
        – the “Holocaust” series of articles by Michael Hakeem from FFRF (Freedom from Religion Foundation) were not traceable at Internet Archive for a long time. Even now the main index page to the series is all that’s available again from FFRF
        – American Atheists’ Frank Zindler’s articles on the bible and jesus are very hard to obtain even from Internet Archive
        – Newstoday Net has started reusing URLs of old (pro-Hindu) articles for new pseudo-secular ones (possibly indicating that newstoday has been infiltrated), so unless you get the right date for the stored version of the news report at Archive Org, you won’t be able to get at the original article.
        – A defunct Australian site from the 1990s that exposed christianity using primary sources had never been archived at Internet Archive (the Australian store owner still has a web presence though, so one can always contact him to get it back, in theory).

        News articles are some of the most temporary pieces on the internet. Just because the Hindu-baiting cryptomonotheist “Samrat Bharat” doesn’t “believe” in it doesn’t mean that the article is not valid. The article is something for Hindus to warn other Hindus about, not something Hindus need to answer cryptomonotheist terrorists about.

        I remember when Hindu-baiting (crypto)monotheist trolls on Sulekha pretended that Will Durant supposedly hadn’t said what he had factually said about the islamic devastation of Hindu civilisation. When reading through the comments there, I noticed the troll kept asking for references and saying that it must have been concocted. This was convenient to do _because_ the book was out of print.
        One day I was able to purchase a used original print of the Durant book in question and could verify that Hindus had been authentically quoting from it. Monotheists are compulsive liars as a rule with no known exception. Hindus tell the truth. Of course, they may unthinkingly repeat what they haven’t verified first-hand for themselves, but not everything is as easy to verify as I could do with Durant’s work. And even if Alex Pomero’s article in some Croatian newspaper is located hereafter, the next troll will ask where’s the proof he didn’t make it up, etc. The real “proof” lies in what can be verified of Pomero’s article: everything he stated is the ground reality experienced by many Hindus. The takeover of temples by “secular” cryptomonotheist conspiring, the banning of self-piercing for Thaipusam (but no ban on self-piercing on any other days or for any other reasons), the ban on Jallikatu, the yearly christian attempt to discourage the huge pilgrimage to Sabarimalai, the cryptomonotheist attempt to subvert temple rituals at Sabarimalai and Chidambaranatham, the exposed christian gang of temple thieves operating and selling crores worth of Hindu moorties to the west and using the money for evangelising the Hindus they robbed of the Gods etc.

        “Samrat Bharat” and other monotheist terrorists can try to attack the credibility behind Hindus warning each other: but at the end of the day, many Hindus experience these very things first hand and connect the dots and realise for themselves how true it all is on the ground. It is Hindus that need to be warned. No one is seeking to convince the trolling monotheists. (The latter are the ones that specialise in lying, cryptoism, deniability, falsification, history whitewashing, genocide negation, Ayodhya temple negation and more. Even when ASI proves there was a Hindu temple at Ayodhya under the “Babri” junk, monotheist trolls can be seen denying this outright with no actual argument. They will always deny, right: they need to lie, it is their life blood. Facts are lost on monotheists. Save it for sane people.)

        Finally, the “Samrat Bharat” troll’s lame arguments about Alex Pomero not being on twitter or facebook is a joke, right? I’m not on twitter/facebook (or myspace or linkedin) or anything and none of my colleagues at work are either. And that’s beside the fact that many countries, not just eastern Asian ones, have their own social networking sites. So someone not having a presence on twitter/facebook indicates nothing–except bad argumentation by the troll.

        • Kraken

          ASI and source for “Project Thessalonica” cannot be compared. While the former is well-corroborated, the same cannot be said about the latter. Kindly realize that I never contested the incorrigibility of crypto-monotheists and the viability of the likes of the aforementioned scheming. However, you seem to overlook the fact that there are Hindus (unlike us) who have little idea of the stark reality and it’s THEY who, in the absence of robust evidence, can be easily swayed by the counter assertions of the cryptos. In other words, the likelihood of your being (wrongly) dismissed as a fanatic becomes pronounced (despite your cogent arguments). In light of the above, why give even an iota of chance to the monotheists and their sympathizers to win the narrative (given that the asymmetry of discourse is yet to be fully corrected)? Their denial of concrete evidences exposes them anyway…

          • Anfauglir

            “ASI and source for “Project Thessalonica” cannot be compared.”

            Only from our point of view. From theirs, they deny everything equally.

            “In other words, the likelihood of your being (wrongly) dismissed as a fanatic becomes pronounced”

            It’s long past time that Hindus should have woken up to what’s going on. If any haven’t yet, then it’s likely that either nothing will wake them or they will wake too late for it to matter anyway.

            Therefore, people who know better can just state things matter-of-factly ignoring naysayers, and thus get to the actual point they wish to make, such as (in this case) drawing attention to the fact that the attack on Sabarimalai and the Shani temple in Maharashtra fits the known pattern of christian meddling in heathen matters.

            If people know the modus operandi of christians all over history and across nations (from Rome to India), then they would not even need to read the article on Project Thessalonika for them to become aware of the problem.
            Christianity thrives on people’s ignorance of documented facts, and has made it a point to suppress such information: entire websites exposing christianity have been pulled down and _19th_ century books on biblical scholarship gone out of print. The _present_ lack of evidence for Pomero’s article is nothing (though when it came out, no one questioned its authenticity).

            ASI-Ayodhya was just one example. I also provided the example of the statements by Will Durant in his out of print book, wherein he damningly summarised islam’s record in destroying civilisation in India, the veracity concerning which the cryptomonotheists cast aspersions on while they could (and when they no longer could, they just returned to outright denial of the facts). The same will happen if evidence is found again for Alex Pomero having written the Project Thessalonika article and for the Croatian news paper that published it: cryptomonotheists will simply say that he must be lying as he’s a Hindu sympathiser that moreover swears by Sita-Rama. So the monotheists will merely deny the validity of the article contents based on other reasons: they know that denial will be no effort from their end and that the article reaching its target audience (Hindu heathens) is only of importance to heathens. Heathens gain nothing by avoiding bringing up the Project Thessalonika article, moreso because it tries to make the otherwise hard-to-detect pattern of cryptochristian scheming and efforts to undermine Hinduism more visible to the intended victims.

            You can see the same attack on Malhotra–to discredit him–by christianity (and thereafter in tandem by islam), as an easier way to drown out his correct and important points than for monotheists to refute these point by point (which they can’t). That the monotheists are choosing to make the situation surrounding the article on Project Thessalonika into a controversy in order to not be called to task for what it warns against, is also just the easiest way in which they can undermine it without having to address what it has exposed of the christian schemes in India. As I said, Hindu heathens will gain nothing and will only lose if they tiptoed around the Project Thessalonika article, pretending it didn’t exist simply because the evidence for its authenticity no longer exists.

            Since the evidence for a lot of news articles regularly expires, nationalists will in time be rolling over for everything in order to meet the cryptomonotheists’ demands for repeated re-validation of sources, who have no interest in such articles reaching Hindu heathens in timely fashion.

            “why give even an iota of chance to the monotheists and their sympathizers to win the narrative”

            You assume the “narrative” can be won in a situation where monotheists and a critical mass of subvertibles are involved.

            My own view is that only heathens matter: only they need awareness. They can rather easily be told of the available facts– such as at
   –and be convinced of the real source and nature of the threat.

            The rest of the following once again moves beyond the actual topic:

            Note that that newstoday net link is only available from Internet Archive now as its original URL at the newstoday site has been overwritten with more recent ‘news’. This is comparable to how the important articles at Daily Pioneer from several years back are no longer available. For instance,
            is not available at dailypioneer anymore and Pioneer’s own archives link does not work (as at present) to reach that news. Archive Org does not have it archived either, which also happens often enough depending on the crawled site’s settings such as the link protocol used.

            The only independent evidence of this Daily Pioneer news report having factually existed is at the animal news aggregate site at
            Otherwise, nationalist sites that documented the news article (such as the comments section at will simply be dismissed as “Hindu invention” too. As may well happen some years from now. (I think I saved the original Pioneer article on the Langoor.)

            The same has happened with a lot of international and national news articles, which appears to have happened to the one by Alex Pomero, but as has also happened to the news report at TribuneIndia on who owns (English language) media in India. Even “Hindus” a decade and a half onward have started to call this last into question simply because they were not active for nationalism when the article came out and thus did not see the original news item and have only seen it re-posted.

            The way you envision that things ought to be done, each generation of Hindus will be forced to reinvent the wheel: to first notice the problem then collate and provide evidence. (Where digital/news sources of evidence today often expire in time.)
            This is largely what has been repeatedly happening with Ayodhya: every decade and every generation writes an article in favour of the evidence, citing ASI etc, summarising the issues, of how the monotheist-leftist side lies and the Hindu side is stating mere facts. The information is realised too late by subsequent Hindu generations because they don’t build on what is known to be a given in the previous one.

            Either way, we’ve never seen a proper Hindu temple being rebuilt on the Ayodhya site (and are very unlikely to, given that newer generations are increasingly apathetic to heathenism). Essentially monotheism has already won, as each passing generation of “Hindus” is more post-heathen and less genuinely interested in a Sri Rama temple at Ayodhya (or even Sri Rama as Bhagavaan). At most, new generations of “Hindu nationalists” see the matter as some Hindu (as in: Indian) inheritance of history devoid of heathenism, which is not at all what the point was and which view is not heathen.

            It is _theoretically_ possible for Hindus to “win the narrative” regarding Ayodhya a generation or even 100 years hence (this presupposes islam/christianity don’t manage a complete replacement within that period). But Hindu heathenism will still not have won at that time: there’s zero purpose to a temple at Ayodhya in a post-heathen India where some still merely call themselves “Hindu” (which really means nothing if they’re post-heathen). The monotheisms know they have time on their side.

          • Anfauglir


            Tomorrow the following type of article (this specific one is from a Russian newspaper) may also go missing from the web, so that if Hindus are found to still mention it or quote from it thereafter, the (crypto)monotheists will conveniently start pretending the article’s existence is unlikely and its arguments suspect therefore, so that some Hindus may then come to argue that Hindus should cease to mention it altogether:


            “Missionaries are Colonialists

            Pages: 1 2

            Among a total of 195 nations in the world today, fifty-seven of those nations have a legally established, official State Religion. There are fourteen nations that claim Christianity as their State Religion, twenty-six nations that claim Islam as their State Religion, six nations that claim Buddhism as their State Religion, and the Jewish State of Israel. The Jewish State of Israel discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens and within its borders Israel officially prohibits the proselytizing of any religion other than Judaism. Many people believe that Israel has a ‘right to exist’ in this manner as a Jewish State.

            Many Islamic countries strive to protect the cultural identity of their citizens by enforcing a ban on preaching any religion but Islam. Considering the aggressive, insidious, and highly political nature of Christian missionary programs, the banning of non-Moslem religious preaching by Moslem governments makes sense.

            Currently there is no officially Hindu State anywhere in the world, but perhaps India should become a Hindu State in order to protect its indigenous religion and culture from the predatory missionaries and State-sponsored cultural Imperialism that are coming from both Christian and Moslem countries. If the Jews have the right to establish and maintain Israel as a Jewish State, then the Hindus certainly have a right to establish and maintain India as a Hindu State.

            When Western leaders talk about a ‘Clash of Civilizations’, what they really mean is Judeo-Christianity and corporate Capitalism versus all non-Christians and non-Capitalists. Christian missionaries are essentially colonialists working for Christian cultural Imperialism.

            When the Hindus of India rise up in riot and drive out the Christian missionaries and the Christian ‘cash converts’, they are doing what the Iraqi, Afghani, and Palestinian Freedom Fighters are doing. They are protecting themselves and their indigenous culture from wealthy and unscrupulous invaders who have no respect for them or for their culture. I wish the Hindu nationalists well in their efforts to defend and maintain the independence and survival of their indigenous culture and religion against the onslaught of predatory and disrespectful foreigners whose goal is to replace indigenous traditional cultures with a global Christian empire.

            If Christian missionaries want to come to India and try to make converts to Christianity, let them come with empty pockets and compete on a level playing field. And if most of the locals don’t want the missionaries interfering with their traditional way of life, they have the right to make the missionaries and their converts leave.

            Gregory F. Fegel”

            Naturally, I’m not saying I agree with everything in the above quoted text. I’m merely noting that the above is not concocted by a Hindu nationalist either but is likewise real (and the author makes several points that are valid, by the way).

            Note that only page 2 has been reproduced above. Page 1 covers topics like how western missionaries tend to not only be agents of colonialism still, but US missionaries are often agents of the CIA as well or closely connected to it. (This last, too, has been well-established and documented by many–including even by the CIA itself–including in several American books.)

            The above article is just an example of several 1. English-language pieces 2. written by western writers in newspapers of non-English-speaking European/East-European/Russian/ex-Soviet nations, 3. that are to a degree sympathetic to Hindus and their plight faced with the (christian) missionary menace. My point being that Alex Pomero’s piece was one of a range I’ve seen from that period, and there’s nothing much that’s unique about it in that respect. Further, Alex Pomero sounded like he had a personal interest in Hinduism: in such cases western authors are more frequently seen writing in favour of their own current interest (such as Hinduism), which entirely explains why they’d then be interested in what threatens this interest. This is not suspect, but an oft-seen feature.

            In contrast, Fegel’s pro-Hindu statements do not appear to be for any personal reasons, such as an interest in Hinduism itself or his being married to a Hindu/other Indic wife or anything—-which makes Fegel a much rarer bird. Fegel’s statements rather show he’s making a political point (against American/western meddling such as via missionaries, for which he marshals India’s case as a handy example). To make his larger point, he argues for even-handedness in India’s case: that Hindus have a right to reject missionaries and eject convert traitors in their midst, that Hindus deserve to have at least one Hindu country and that India should be one.
            India is merely a useful instance in his argumentation, a clear case of what he’s talking about, it’s not his real interest. This actually makes Fegel’s arguments more valuable still than western persons with a bent for Hinduism or who have some other Indic relation, because Fegel’s arguments are more impartial, being from the standpoint of someone who is trying to be objective (saying “since this is how the world works, then the same rules/benefits should apply to Hindus”, even though Hindus are merely an example instance for him) and not just exposing the threat of missionaries and their converts (christianity) as ongoing colonial agents.

          • Kraken


            The above link that you provided does not seem to work. Excellent arguments nonetheless!!

          • Anfauglir

            Corrected malformed link:


            The link became malformed because of a concatenation issue (“–and” got glued to it at the end by disqus’ autodetection of URLs. I’ve now also broken up the text around the URL in the original comment to prevent this from happening).

            The link loads really slow as at present, and timed out twice for me this time, but I just managed to access the page there again.

            Try the above link when Internet Archive picks up speed again, or failing that, go to archive Org and paste the newstoday net URL portion into its search and choose a date some years back (the archived date you want should be 2010 or a little later, not near the present, since any present versions of the page may be of later news that overwrote the earlier contents at the link).

            Naturally, I also saved a spidered copy of the archived page when the matter first came to my notice.

            And if you want to read the contents of the article while it is still downloading from archive:


            “Idol-lifters in police dragnet
            Archives – Chennai
            NT Bureau | Mon, 01 Feb, 2010,02:20 PM

            Offences Wing has arrested a seven-member gang including a pastor on the charge of trying to smuggle panchaloha idols worth several crores of rupees.

            Briefing mediapersons in Chennai today, the Offences Wing Additional Director General of Police G Thilagavathi said based on a tip-off, a special police team went to a lodge at Periamet where the gang was staying and caught pastor Immanuel of Pallur in Vellore, Madasamy of Chelliyanallur in Tirunelveli and Pitchaimani

            The team also seized a panchaloha idol of Krishna. On interrogation, the accused revealed that one Jaganathan and Velu of Vellore had been involved in lifting the temple idols from Tiruvannamalai, Kanchipuram and Vellore districts. He said the duo usually gives the stolen idols to the pastor.

            The stolen idols were of Krishna, Rathai, Rukumani, Vinayakar from a temple in Eeralachery. The duo which handed over an idol of Krishna to the pastor buried other idols on the banks of a river.

            The gang then decided to give it to one Marisamy of Kottankuppam in Puducherry who is involved in smuggling the panchaloha idols to foreign countries.

            Later the team arrested Marisamy and recovered five idols of Mahavir which were stolen from a temple in Tiruvannamalai. Based on the information, the team also recovered other panchaloha idols which were hidden.

            As many as 11 panchaloha idols worth about Rs 11 crore were recovered, she added. The team also arrested Pitchumani and Gangachalam in this regard.”

          • Kraken

            I am able to access the link now, thank you. Now, let me digress a bit. Why do you think Sita Ram Goel had a soft corner for Gandhi?

          • Anfauglir

            “Why do you think Sita Ram Goel had a soft corner for Gandhi?”

            I’m obviously not responsible for other people’s views, nor are Sita Ram Goel’s writings on either Gandhi or Nehru something I was much interested in, let alone to sufficiently remember in detail. But I will note from what I recollect that SRG certainly _preferred_ Gandhi to Nehru. It seemed to me a choice between two evils, as SRG was doing a direct comparison between the two to indicate his preference. SRG’s arguments on Nehru are that Nehru had little to nothing Indic (let alone Hindu heathen) about him, hence the latter’s zero sympathy and sense of personal connection to Hinduism. Gandhi may have been totally wrong about many things, but at least he was not _additionally_ a traitor in absolutely every respect: he still personally identified with Hinduism to whatever extent, even if the degree of his interest did not result in his advocating or doing the right things (say, acting in accord with dharma). He acted at will and misperceived this as “Hindu”.

            Also, SRG did not have full information. Having hindsight and the fuller context that comes with time is obviously better, if one can have the luxury of recourse to it. Armed with the latter, one can better evaluate the damage certain persons did based on the challenges we face in the present that are a direct product of their influences.

            Further, I’m the wrong person to ask about Indian nationalism. There aren’t many prominent Indian nationalists I admire, the exceptions being a couple or so, who were heathen and who I admire for their even being able to champion heathenism despite the near-pervasive colonial mindset and attitudes weighing down on all in those times (and which to some lesser extent coloured even those few too).

            Personally, I think a lot of the de-heathenisation of Hindu nationalism and the encouragement of post-heathen attitudes is a product of the failures of Indian nationalism in the colonial era (such as the failure for it to fully, uncompromisingly, retain its heathenism). Gradually, Indian so-called Hindu nationalism has turned into an increasingly hollow shell. Its Self–and self-powering force–was heathenism, the Sanatana Dharma, as was still recognised at the start of the downturn. Without that it isn’t anything, but has been running on empty as it were; nor will what Indian nationalism has devolved into without it stand the test of time, or even withstand the competitors which _are_ still entirely ideologically-powered. (Ideology is behind all memetic victories.)

            In my view, this modern Indian nationalism, which is the subverted form of the ancient and innate nationalism (heathen-powered) that got subverted by contact with christianity/colonial education under colonialism, while initially ostensibly still seeking to uphold heathenism, eventually became a force for de-heathenisation–at least in part because it was hijacked by post-heathens–and has long been the cause of internal compromises inevitably followed/accompanied by external ones.

            Having said that, colonial-era Indian nationalism was largely better and at times more Hindu than what passes for the same today: they were closer in time to a more concentric heathen population. Today the number of heathens has dropped drastically, and the trend promises to continue unabated because heathens are never born from post-heathens.

            Among today’s crop of Hindu nationalists, there are fewer heathens working for heathenism than in the colonial-era (because of the overall downward/devolution trend within nationalism described). And among the class of nationalists that would readily lecture others, most tend to be for something nebulous dubbed “Hindu”, and this lack of clarity–or rather, self-identification–is apparent from their poor argumentation in favour of heathenism (where they even attempt such, that is, when most prefer to stop at secular “nationalist” concerns). Until Hindu heathens retake the reigns of nationalism, the devolving downward spiral of nationalism into nothing of consequence will continue and become a point of vulnerability: vanilla nationalism is not an ideology and simply cannot challenge ideological enemies, even as it dilutes heathenism.

          • Kraken

            Hi! What do you think of the Rajeev Malhotra and Shatavadhani Ganesh affair?

          • Anfauglir

            I saw parts of the Shatavadhani Ganesh piece (in the resurrected sandeepweb site, wasn’t it?)
            And I read the article that constituted the first part of the response RM made.

            I agree with the latter: there is indeed a vacuum for tackling the new and dangerous Pollock class of attack on Hindu heathenism, and RM has found it necessary that this hole be closed up too — that this is not the same as the other holes Hindus have already encountered in the past. So, seeing as he couldn’t identify anyone else handling this new class of serious problem, he has stepped up to it and has further tried to raise awareness of it. Not sure if SG is unable to recognise that it is a indeed a new and more serious class of problem than Hindus have faced from the orientalists’ pen before; or whether there are other dynamics going on between SG and RM than is transparent.

            I have not been a peculiar fan of RM, only agreeing with him on some points. But in this case, I found myself agreeing with the swarajyamag article I read of his in response to SG.

            Indian scholars I find have an ego the size of a mountain (though their adulating followers are even more intolerant of any criticism of their idols).

            RM for the first time — in the writings of his that I have encountered so far — did not show any signs of thinking of himself. I thought well of his response. Though the criticism SG made of him was in some ways personal (or so I felt), RM showed that, beyond and regardless of petty inter-Indic bickering between visible personages, the real war was being played out and that it would engulf and drown us no matter whether Indics turned on each other or did nothing at all. And that the only chance native Indics stood at all was to face it, by realising its reality, by recognising it, by studying it, by preparing to deal with it and finally, by dealing with it. I thought his arguments were convincing and right. That is, the Pollock class of attack is alarming, it is not the same as those that have come before (and is more insidious and has more capacity for unmaking our nation), and needs to be dealt with.

            An off-topic question for you: what is your opinion on the AIT?

          • Kraken

            I would first like to share the following rejoinder to Rajeev Malhotra by Kalavai Venkat,


            Frankly speaking, I am confused as to whose side to take. On the one hand, there are allegations of SG doing a hit job on behalf of the Murthys – agreeing with your assertion, I too feel that SG’s critique borders on impertinence and that more importantly, SG seems to have missed the wood for the trees (that is, if his were indeed a genuine review of TBFS). However, on the other hand, we have RM’s colossal ego and his extraordinary ability to make an enemy out of anyone who dares to disagree with him. In this respect, I feel your observation regarding Indian scholars and their acolytes could not be more accurate.

            Having said that, it would be instructive to know your specific disagreements with Rajeev Malhotra.

            On AIT, I had read the following quora answer,

            On a different note, can you provide me with factual counterarguments to Ergo’s sweeping allegations (I could not find much evidence to the contrary),

          • Anfauglir

            You don’t need to take sides, you can just agree or disagree on specific points.

            RM isn’t the only one badly served by his ego: SG and collaborator showed theirs in a follow-up on an indiafacts article on food, which was essentially their reactive response to everyday Hindu detractors to their first article.

            > Having said that, it would be instructive to know your specific disagreements with Rajeev Malhotra.

            – He was awkwardly new agey before (Deepak Chopra, one foot in Buddhism/Vipassana etc.) His modern reuse (or interpretations?) of Hindu sacred traditional terms like chakras in secular contexts and using this vis-a-vis the enemies, so that the latter will next think it’s a free for all to similarly de-link heathen words and their true meanings and assign novel ones to this.

            – He’s a bit slow to reach some conclusions and to take a stand on somethings that many other Hindus had long ago reached. Adherence to tradition, respect traditional acharyas’ knowledge — RM was not always advocating these as he does now.

            – A special case: Apparently, his earlier view was that AIT was an obsession for Hindus. Once he too perceived it correctly — not as some harmless lie on the periphery as he seems to have regarded it before, but one that is quite centrally poised to undermine Hindus (and other heathens after us, but RM may not have realised that much yet) — it was of course no longer an obsession, but something he felt strongly that other Hindus should start taking note of. That is, he didn’t respect that others could have perceived the real nature of the lie before him, whereas they all did.
            But I suppose I’m grateful that he came round in time.

            – On inculturation, he takes an intermediate rather than a full stand, which actually makes matters just as bad for Hindus’ heathenism. Rather than saying that non-Hindus merely need to recognise the Hinduness of Hindu stuffs they use and that they should use these in a Hindu context (in place of a re-located/digested christian or secularised or western context), he should firmly say that only Hindu heathens have the right to carry out Hindu heathen stuffs (in the traditional way, of course).

            But for all my criticism, my present assessment of RM is that at least he often seems to come round to the correct view, and moreover he uses his abilities as best he can to raise awareness in others of the problems he’s identified. I must recognise that. Regardless of how he interacts on a personal level (I too have heard that he alienates people, but I don’t know him), he seems to have made himself into an overall net force for influential good, which I’m not sure can be said for all prominent people out there. Also, the last of his articles I read (his rejoinder) was not egotistical but were describing the nature of a problem faced by all heathen Hindus, and this made the pettiness of the criticisms levelled against him (which seemed to be at a personal level) more apparent.

          • Anfauglir
          • Kraken

            Thanks for responding to this crypto. It seems he’s paid by his masters to muddy the waters, given that he can no longer whitewash the evil deeds of his cult.

            Btw, I tried responding to Ergo multiple times, but Swarajya flagged my comment as spam every time I tried doing so.

          • Anfauglir

            At swarajyamag, comments that have certain links in then can get marked as spam. Try posting without the link, or find an alternative link for the source, or use the version of the link if archived.

            At Indiafacts comments with formatting markup can get marked as spam (not always), try posting without markup.

          • Kraken

            I know posting links can cause comments to be marked as spam. But, the fact that I did not do so, makes things all the more strange.

          • Anfauglir

            Correcting the following line, had missed out a crucial word:
            “RM isn’t the ONLY one badly served by his ego.”

          • Kraken

            “Further, I’m the wrong person to ask about Indian nationalism”

            This statement of yours piqued my curiosity, so I cannot resist asking the following questions:

            1) Who is the nationalist leader you admire the most? And why?

            2) Given that Savarkar was not a heathen (in the true sense of the word) but of unremitting (Hindu) nationalist character nonetheless, it would be interesting to know your take on him. And what do you think of Godse and Gandhi?

            3) Lastly, what’s your opinion of Kalavai Venkat? He seems to be a fierce proponent of AIT (I don’t know if you are following the spat between the him and Shrikant Talegeri. Nevertheless, here are the links to the articles written by them:

          • Anfauglir


            1) Nationalist leader I admire the most: Shivaji.
            Why: for the same reason I admire emperor Julian: arch-heathen.

            2) Godse: I don’t know enough about him.

            Gandhi: when I was younger, I thought he was well-meaning. Changed my mind after I was made to realise (such as by Radha Rajan’s works etc) that he was dangerously misguided and a threat to India’s heathens. He would do anything to placate a certain monotheism, even sacrifice Hindu women. He emasculated the nation and made this monstrosity an ideal.

            Sarvarkar: I read some of his statements, was disappointed. I further came across his statements pertaining to heathenism such as on the cow, and realised he meant it. I long ago decided my heroes would have to be perfect. Any flaws, and I look elsewhere for role models.

            The problem with Indian atheist/agnostic nationalists is that, while their vision for India and “Hindus” — “Hindus” as they define it, starting with themselves and forcibly encompassing heathens in the term — while their vision/agenda for the country and “Hindus” coincides, they will seem to be on your side. When heathens have heathen interests that go against their vision, they start working against heathenism. They all have their own agenda. At most, it only ever partly overlaps with that of heathens.

            Another serious problem is that “Hindu” atheists and agnostics regularly do love jihad on heathens: by using the term “Hindu” for themselves, they trick heathen families into arranging marriages for their heathen kids with these non-heathens. Thus the heathen family’s heathen line is brought to an end, as the progeny from such jihadi marriages turn into non-heathens, seculars, progressives, anti-Hindus, general traitors, and monotheists over generations. “Hindu” atheists/agnostics should clearly state what they are: i.e. atheist/agnostic and stop love jihading on heathens. The two have nothing in common except certain baseline nationalist aspirations (but not others).

            3) Those two articles were brought to my notice recently, and I have indeed looked at them.

            I will tell you my view of Kalavai Venkat and his opinions on the subject of AIT, if

            – you tell me whether you are for AIT or OIT (and why),
            – and if and only if you have the same position as me on the topic.

          • Anfauglir


            I had not realised you were a person I already knew and had merely changed your ID.

            You had already answered my question on whether you were for AIT or OIT a month ago, though I was none the wiser from your answer. I’d like to know what your position is now, since you’ve read both those blog entries that you linked to. I’d also like to know if you did any independent fact checking for the points Kalavai Venkat has made — hint: you should have done — and what conclusion you came to.

          • Kraken

            Regarding the points made by Kalavai Venkat, I have the following contentions:

            1) His outright dismissal of linguistics.
            2) His not taking into account the sampling size.
            3) His relying on a paper that’s apparently not the latest development in this area.
            4) His “leap of logic” when he asserts that diffusion out of the steppes (“steppes” finds no mention in the paper cited by him though) correlates to AIT.
            5) His usage of the term, “Invasion” – implying Aryan homeland to be outside of Bharat.

            In fact genetic evidence does not support AIT. Prof. David Reich of
            Harvard and the people in his laboratory have discovered that the
            people of the Indian Subcontinent are a mixture of ANI and ASI and that
            this mixture happened 4200 to 1900 years ago. We can accept this without
            having to accept that ANI are Aryans who invaded from Europe. ANI
            stands for Ancient North Indian and nowhere have Reich and his
            colleagues definitively claimed that ANI comes from the Aryans of the

            You might wanna read the following article wherein the author, citing a more recent paper to present his case, posits that it was the ancient Punjabis who migrated to Europe:


            Now, having said the above, I would like to know your overall assessment of Kalavai Venkat. I have of late started to believe that KV comes off as unwise and bigoted (as demonstrated by this affair and his nitpicking at RM’s works) .

          • Anfauglir

            I would like to know your overall assessment of Kalavai Venkat.
            I have of late started to believe that KV comes off as unwise and

            Your description is an understatement of my own assessment of KV.

            I’m sorry for the delay in responding and for the brevity of the response. I’m just very busy at present. I may try to respond in length some date in the future, but when that is, I can’t foresee. Thanks for the Yugaparivartan link, it references a paper I didn’t know about and which is useful for my purpose.

          • Kraken

            “I’m sorry for the delay in responding and for the brevity of the response. I’m just very busy at present.”

            I understand and apologize for pestering you with so many questions. Although I don’t do so without compunction, I believe you are one of the few persons who’s tremendously knowledgeable and perspicacious in matters concerning Hindus, and hence I feel driven to know your take on such issues so as to gain a better perspective.

            “Thanks for the Yugaparivartan link, it references a paper I didn’t know about and which is useful for my purpose.”

            You bet! I am glad to know that you found the link useful. As and when I come across more such articles, I will share with you.

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Just one thing I would like to say Anfauglir is right there are too many entry barriers and Gatekeepers they do this all the time even people who have authentic references trying to change something on lets say a Wikipedia they don’t accept it coz the scholar u might be referring to has completely diametric view to what the Judeo-Christian Western Universalist Capitalist online forum.It is applicable to all other social media and other websites and forums on the internet or non internet sources and this is done to supress the Hindu view.The more we discuss more people become aware and many more pages are created even though there are tools to detect and supress such things but we Hindus must always try and store it.Taking screen shots or Microsoft expression encoders for capture screen videos with date and time can also help along Video download managers or even on ever note and the old harddrive could come in handy.These Christians have mastered the art for centuries hence we must make as many records as we can.This has happened to me on YouTube and other forums like FB so stopping someone from spreading the word is what this ppl thrive on.

            SRG believed that Christianity with its Marketing and Psychology is a serious threat for Dharma and that we can see.I have many such instances where I saw something today and the next day it was changed one such incident was the Peter Mukherjee incident.I had argued on many forums that if KHAP and Hinduism is always scrutinised for any stray incident of Honour killing then if Peter Mukherjee is a Christian why shouldn’t Christianity/Westernisation be analysed for the killing of his daughter I had posted the wikipedia page link of this guy and next day his Christian identity from Wikipedia went missing,such a thing had previously happened with me when I discussed with some Mleccha Paki about Khusro Khan and so this time around i had taken a screen video of Peter’s wikipedia page and so my doubt became a surity that GATEKEEPERS exist.

      • Savarkar’s Disciple
  • Arun

    The framework of reference with which the Supreme Court is approaching the issue is wrong. On the one hand We are trying to keep religion private and within its due limits and not interfere in secular matters or public matters. By the same yardstick, religious matters should not be interfered with applying secular standards, which do not quite belong to the domain being judged. Not only are religious traditions being judged with standards which don’t belong to that domain, but what those traditions imply are also being wrongly represented. The majority Hindu community has allowed space for the Constitution to take root and grow. By the same yardstick the Constitution and its institutions including the Supreme Court should also show a sense of due domain and restraint.

  • I see this as part of India’s colonial legacy and the remaking of India by corporate entities. The wealth of most temples has been taken, many temples are not being properly maintained and with consumerism sweeping the land, tradition celebrations cannot happen as the people cannot leave their work, or events will block the traffic.
    The colonial method of divide and conquer is alive and well supported by the media who do an excellent job of stirring trouble in hearts and minds. The Dharma is slowly being watered down and not only the people of India, but the people of the world must awaken to life instead of following the short term and short sighted goals fragmenting the world.
    It seems ridiculous that law makers are intervening in the personal affairs of the people and temple life. Lawmakers should be working to ensure that knowing and celebrating life are more important than economics, they should be supporting the conditions to allow Dharma to flourish and Dharma can become India’s primary export as it was before the invasions.

  • Bhuvan

    These feminists will end up hurting women rights ultimately by messing up with believes rooted in age old customs. This is a simple question of pure and impure, and religious texts describe menstruating women as impure. The same texts define women as pious but demand certain restrictions. What’s wrong with that? Tomorrow a person will come and say i haven’t bathed in a month so what ? it doesn’t make me any less than a human and I am liable to touch the deity in temple. For these ultra-liberals he might have a point but for a devotee he is just nuisance that needs to be handled.

    • guest

      Feminists are anti-women. You can see that wherever feminism spreads, there is a problem in social cohesion….

  • Jishnu

    Well judiciary admitting a petition like this is itself a violation of religious liberties of Hindus. Although constitution itself gives state the authority to infringe on Hindus’ rights indiscriminately, in all kinds of pretexts. When it comes to Hindus judiciary also generously gives itself the freedom to become experts on spirituality, religion, morality and liberally judge matters that it has no locus standi to do.

  • Dipanjan


    they are only against MENSTRUATING WOMEN entering the sannidhanam (sanctum).

    in hinduism menstruating women are NOT allowed to enter any temple–the same way a menstruating woman is NOT allowed in swimming pools as a law.