A commentary on how Prof Angana Chatterji acted as a front and a quasi-spokesperson for Kashmiri separatists on behalf of Ghulam Nabi Fai
There seems to be a self-destructive strand among sections of Hindus that makes them actively court and woo forces that are inimical, hostile to or want to dismember whatever is left of the Sanatana component in the Indian state. The more delusional slice of this section of Hindus labour under notions of self-grandeur that they’re implementing some kind of grand strategy even as the opponent smiles a benevolent smile of contempt, like the wolf smiles at the strategic bravado of the sheep.
The latest—as late as yesterday—instance of this sort of behavior was exhibited by someone named Arati Tikoo, a supposed Kashmiri Hindu who went to a kangaroo court in the US pompously titled US House Foreign Affairs Committee on South Asia Human Rights and gave a “testimony” on Kashmir which has been pithily busted here. In its fundamental nature, giving such “testimonies” on foreign soil, especially on the soil of a country that is largely premised on Adharma and therefore inimical to Sanatana Civilisation, about domestic problems is no different from similar “testimonies” provided by a long laundry list of Left Liberals against India. In a line, this is what it means: “O Great Lords of America, the Most Powerful Country on Earth, we Indians don’t know how to solve our own problems. Therefore we seek your approval.” Of course, the nakedly Communist and Islamo-Christists like John Dayal, Kamal Mitra Chenoy et al will put the same thing differently at say the USCIRF: “O Great Lords of America, the Most Powerful Country on Earth, please use your State Power to intervene and save India.”
None of this is new. It is as old as the first Hindu betrayers of Hindu rulers in Sindh, Multan and other places. But to put Tikoo’s Kashmir “testimony” in perspective, I’ve pulled out something I wrote in 2011 in my defunct blog, The Rediscovery of India. It was a profile of one of the more rabid and dangerous anti-India, breaking India forces named Prof Angana Chatterji.
I first heard about Angana Chatterji in connection with the Narendra Modi U.S Visa denial episode in 2005. Think of it. That episode seems like ancient history now. But at that time, her name was one among the numerous folks who had ruthlessly worked behind the scenes to ensure that the US didn’t give Modi the visa.
In October 2013, I read this news report in Rediff, which said that Angana and Richard Shapiro, her long-time live-in partner (husband?) were suspended from work based allegedly on the complaints of some students. The same Rediff report also says that a huge section of the student community at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, where she was working as Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, was up in arms against the CIIS administration demanding that they reinstate the two professor-duo. In an age where universities have transformed into perverse battlefields where coaching is imparted primarily in Left wing politicking, I regarded this episode cynically until I caught these two bits in that news item:
There are also rumours doing the rounds that Shapiro and Chatterji could have been suspended for their work on Kashmir. However, there is no confirmation on the same. […] According to student leaders, there’s a gag order issued on the professors on speaking about the suspension. However, Martin denied any gag order.
Then I decided to investigate deeper. Here’s what I found.
Angana Chatterji is variously known as an anthropologist, feminist historian, social activist, anti-communalist, fighter against “Hindu nationalism,” and more prominently, a strong voice against the so-called atrocities perpetrated by the Indian armed forces in Indian-administered Kashmir. When we recall the term, “Indian-administered Kashmir,” the monumental significance of abrogating Article 370 becomes even clearer.
In reality, Angana Chatterji is just two things: a highly-dedicated Communist who’s been milking America for over three decades by entrenching herself in its academic system. She is a willing pawn of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The former credential firmly places her in the category of an in-house enemy of the USA because she uses the country’s resources to work indirectly for Pakistan, a nation whose army and the selfsame ISI are covertly working to destroy America in the garb of being its friend and ally. It’s now public knowledge that powerful elements of the ISI were instrumental in lending covert and overt support to Osama Bin Laden, the architect of 9/11. The latter credential is simply a corollary of the former—indeed the world over, Communists are the closest friends of Islamic terrorism because both these ideologies hate freedom of any sort. But in addition to damaging US interests, the full time obsession of Pakistan and its ISI is wrecking the political stability of India. The temptation to resurrect Aurangzeb is too strong to resist.
Angana Chatterji’s copious writings are proof enough of how she has systematically gone about her tasks. Her activism, statements, and articles rest on fabricating facts and concocting figures in service of her ideology. The same, more or less applies to her partner and colleague, Richard Shapiro.
To fully appreciate the extent of her unswerving commitment to Communism—including a no-qualms based approach to attaining her “goals”—it’s essential to quickly look at the kinds of organizations, people, and causes she supports.
Apart from her fulltime job as Professor (in fact, a prominent online petition back then had questioned not just her role in FOIL but her integrity as a scholar), Angana Chatterji is one of the leading lights of the radical Leftist outfit appropriately christened Forum of Indian Leftists (FOIL), which lends support to violent and banned terror organizations that regularly carry out guerilla wars against the Indian state. FOIL has been highly controversial since its inception. For a detailed account, see this chapter in NGOs Activists and Foreign Funds, a well-researched volume that has found a place in the Indian Parliament’s library.
Far more dangerous than FOIL is Friends of South Asia (FOSA)—an offshoot/offspring/sibling of FOIL—with which Angana has been associated from the beginning. Very briefly, FOSA is a
Sometime in April-May 2005, FOSA, which had received sponsorship from the Pakistan American Alliance (PAA), took out a public demonstration jointly in San Francisco. One of the “highlights” of that demonstration included a prominent placard that proclaimed “ALLAH WILL DESTROY THE TERRORIST STATE OF INDIA.”
When outrage ensued at this appalling, open call for the destruction of India, FOSA resorted to blatant cover-up by removing all references to PAA from its website. The complete account of FOSA’s chicanery in this connection is available in these documents:
Indeed, all prominent events that FOSA has held under its banner has a distinct tinge of anti-America, anti-India and pro-Pakistan written all over it. And Angana Chatterji is at the forefront of almost all these events. An illustrative example was the “SELF DETERMINATION IN SOUTH ASIA: South Asia’s Struggle against US-led Imperialism” panel discussion
This leaves no room for doubt that FOSA and its members advocate separatism with respect to both the US and India: separatism aimed at establishing Communist rule in both these nations through violent means if necessary. The history of massacres perpetrated by the Naxals/Maoists in India makes for painful reading. However, the perverse worldview of Angana Chatterji discerns such naked terrorism as “people’s struggles.”
Angana Chatterji’s association with sympathizers, advocates, and supporters of violence and terror is as wide as it is far-reaching. Indeed, you’re not a committed Leftist if your heart doesn’t bleed for terrorists. Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America (FeTNA) is just another outfit in her long list of terrorist-friendly associations. FeTNA is a front of the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), an outfit that finds a place in the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
But Angana’s association with FeTNA is for a different but related reason: her hatred for Hinduism and Hindus. Which by itself tells a story as to the levels and realms in which people of her ilk operate. In this case, her association with FeTNA is primarily in connection with the California Textbook Controversy. She had written a letter under FOSA’s banner to the California State Education Board expressing solidarity with FeTNA, which opposed the proposed revisions in the textbooks on grounds rooted in Tamil chauvinism—the same chauvinism that led to the decades-long LTTE-perpetrated bloody civil strife in Sri Lanka. What’s interesting is that one fine morning, FeTNA’s ex-director Nachimuthu Socrates found himself in the arms of the FBI. Here are some excerpts from the US Department of Justice regarding Nachimuthu:
But there’s more.
The US government investigation also revealed that Nachimuthu & co were planning to procure surface-to-air missiles to use in their “liberation war” against the Sri Lankan state. Angana Chatterji clearly has some charming associates. However, her role as a dangerous subversionist and an in-house enemy of any free and democratic country she inhabits becomes clearer when we examine her record on Kashmir. The (recently buried) Kashmir issue constitutes a major chunk of the total corpus of her speeches, writings, and activism.
That’s the subject of the next and concluding part.
To be continued