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Letters

Superb
MG website is good, but its print edition is superb.
Farha farha117@pfadesignfirm.com

Brother Ismail Afrika (formerly I. Joubert) the distinguished writer, poet, director of Propagation, Al-Jihad, South Africa (P.O. Box 4872, Cape Town) who is now feeling weak in his 80ís has asked me to convey to you his sincere appreciation of Milli Gazette.
S Akhtar, Khanpur Deh, Gujarat

Let my first congratulate you for bringing out a real Meyaari journal for minorities in general and Muslims in particular.
Nisar Ahmad Perwez
Simalia, Kanki, W.B.


I was immensely impressed by your site. May Allah bless you with real success in your /our sincere goals.
Dilnawaz A.Siddiqui
siddiqui@MAIL.CLARION.EDU


Recently I read a copy of the Milli Gazette. I felt happiness on seeing an excellent Muslim magazine from our land. I read the magazine from its first page to the last page. Writings of Noam Chomsky and others were excellent. Earlier I had read some old issues of your Muslim and Arab Perspectives. That lead me to need Milli Gazette. Do you have reporters in Kerala? Please try to circulate many copies in the state.
C S Siddeeque
Chittethkudiyil House
P.O. Pallarimangalam-686671, Kerala


Muslims and media
I find MG as a well-presented newspaper. I can also understand the pain and the efforts that have been put in for presenting it as the "best". If u look around, we do not have a single good daily newspaper owned by Muslims. The media is in the hands of the "Marwaris" wherein we Muslims have nothing . The Times of India owned by the Jains, the Indian express by the Goenkas, the Hindustan Times by the Birlas, the Anand Bazar Patrika group by the Karnanis and Sarkars.
What we do have is Inquilab and Mid Day from Bombay, owned by Khaled Ansari, Mid Day is doing fairly well, thanks to Ayaz Memons efforts. I have seen how Khaled had struggled hard to push the newspaper up. He worked as an Advertising Executive in Dubai for a firm "Kanz" and also worked as editor of Gulf News, in order to generate funds for the newspapers. But still they have to go a long way.
Concerned reader, Pune

Milli Gazette has surpassed all so-called national dailies by publishing full text of Mrs Gauri Advaniís statement about the dubious activities of Home Minister LK Advani. For me the revelations are not surprising. I have followed Advaniís rise in Indian politics with objective analysis. For me, he is the only politician who was captured power through dubious means. In fact, he is fooling his own voters without shame.
Advaniís Rathyatra and later on his involvement in the demolition of Babri Mosque convinced me that the man has no regard for the rule of law or humanism. It is our own fault that such a man is now occupying the chair of Home Minister.
Indian media has failed to discharge obligations towards nation and masses. It failed during the Emergency era, it failed during riots and it is bitterly failing now by not highlighting BJPís anti-people policies.
We are fast becoming a failed nation. There is a jungle-raj everywhere. Despite Articles 14 and 15 (Equality before law and Prohibition of discrimination respectively), I have noted with deep concern the Ďhelpingí attitude of the district administration when the procession of ĎSantsí was crossing Aligarh en route to New Delhi to demand land for Rama Temple at Ayodhya. Itís really disgusting. God save this nation. When we have a Home Minister like LK Advani.Really shameful!
N Jamal Ansari
4/1083, Sir Syed Nagar
Aligarh-202002


Your are doing well and trying to raise the level of the Muslim ummah. I read all leading articles, they are balanced and shed proper light on current issues. The issues before the ummah, whether Palestine, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Babri Masjid or any other issues, are the result of lack of leadership. This situation cannot be changed unless the ummah is ready for change. And this is possible by changing the ummahís thought. Formation of Islamic ideas and propagating them among ummah is the duty of each Muslim, and your are doing this job. Allah will reward you. 
Amjad Ali
Principal, Asma College
of Competitions
1/9 Meo Manzil, Near Municipal Colony, Berasia Road, Bhopal, MP


The news in Milli Gazette represent the anxieties and concerns of Muslims in India as well as of the Muslim Ummah. I endorse its focus and slant entirely.
Usman Khalid
UKHALID786@aol.com 

I have received your remarkable news magazine MG for the first time here in Pakistan. That is why I am very thankful for you for sending it to me by post. With this honor I will try to send u news from Pakistan with hope to get a place in your magazine. May Allah protect you.
Muhammad Anis-ur-Rehman, Lahore
aniskhan55@hotmail.com

The Devilís Will
ĎAxis of evilí, cries the devil
Yes, its the voice of devil
Whose ambition is to kill
Who always gets a thrill
While enjoying his fill
Making manís blood spill
Trying to keep all still
Through his lie-spreading mill
But, be aware, o devil!
Over you also is a will
Almighty Godís Will
None can overcome that Will.
S Akhtar
Khanpur Deh-392150


Citizens statement on VHP 
Vishwa Hindu Parishad's decision to start the temple construction from middle of March is fraught with dangers. In 1992 plans for mobilization to do Kar Seva led to the major tragedy of Babri Demolition and frightful riots all over the country. The NDA govt's weak resolve, manifested in the form of Mr. Vajpayee offering his hospitality to Sants etc of VHP will encourage this outfit to take the law in its hands and widen further the rift between communities and will vitiate the atmosphere of communal amity, which is a prerequisite for tackling the social issues. VHP's decision is definitely in tune with the needs of the politics of Sangh Parivar. VHP seems to be having a large number of Sants who seem to be the major players in its decision-making. Meaning of the word Sant is one, who is accommodative, tolerant and one who is striving for social amity. 
The present onslaught by the saffron robed Sants is most violative of this meaning and brings disrepute to the very meaning of this noble word. Rather then being Sants these VHP Sadhus are more of self-seeker volunteers in the service of RSS and its agenda of Hindu Rashtra. We urge upon the law keeping machinery to ensure that VHP is not allowed to create the tension in society once again. All moral and legal norms should be activated to make VHP desist from its plans, which are violative of law, constitution and the social amity. 
1.Dr. Ambrose Pinto, Principal, St. John's College Banglore 
2.Dolphy D'Souza, All India Catholic Union,Mumbai
3.Jatin Desai, PIPFD, Mumbai
4.M. N. Ansari, Banglore
5.Pervin Jehangir, NBA, Mumbai
6.Prakash Shah, Nirishak, Gujarat
7. Ram Puniyani, EKTA, Mumbai
8.Yogesh Kamdar, PUCL, Mumbai 
bmrrpia@cc.iitb.ac.in

Madrasahs
Those who brand 'Madrasas as dens of terrorism', should refocus their aim. It is neither Madrasas nor Islam, it's Afghans that are the 'axis of terror'. At Kabul airport, the newly appointed minister of transport and tourism, in the interim Afghanistan government was dragged out of his plane, scheduled to fly with his family to New Delhi and beaten to death. His fault: Haj pilgrims were waiting endlessly, while all promised timings for their departure to Saudi Arabia, were again and again turned out to be false promises. Though media has made out that he was beaten up by Hajis; but Haj pilgrimage rules are very strict about any kind of violence. Besides video scene on TV showed a large mob of relatives who had come to see the Hajis off, that could have gone berserk. The trigger was that the plane available for flight was denied to the Haj pilgrim, as the Minister of Transport himself had commandeered it to transport his family to New Delhi. There was no public regret. Even a feeling of rejoicing. One cynic said: he wanted to go to Delhi; we sent him to paradise. Another said, it was a shame, if we had to return back home for non-availability of aircraft, once we have embarked on the sacred journey. This so-called 'shame', however, is no part of Islam. It is their local culture. India has been sending off hundreds of thousands of Haj pilgrim to Mecca for years and delays and postponements are borne by the Hajis with grim patience, as all such patience by Hajis are supposedly compensated by divine rewards. Can we imagine such an incident taking place in India? This goes to prove that the fault lies not with Haj, or Islam, but with the temperament of the Afghans and has nothing to do with the religion of Islam and the teachings in Madrasas. Western propaganda had been relentless in attacking Madrasa education and Sangh Parivar has dutifully taken up the refrain. However, their propaganda against Madrasas is most unconvincing and bound to fail. The most profound regret is that even Islam could not subdue such savage behaviour of the Pathans. 
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
ghulam_muhammed@hotmail.com


Hajj subsidy
It has been observed that every year during the Haj season, there is a call from some quarters for withdrawal of subsidy given to the Haj pilgrims via-a-vis air ticket fares on the ground that huge losses are being incurred to the government exchequer on this account. The demand of some organizations seems to be absurd, as the facts are contrary to the popular propaganda. It is during the Haj season only that the Airline industries run in profit as not a single seat is left empty in the planes during this season. So for as concession to the passengers is concerned, even private tour operators offer one seat free to the agents against some seats. Under the circumstances, the question of losses does not arise. I personally feel that even if the government withdraws the Ďso calledí subsidy, other Airline companies would grab the opportunity with both the hands and could come out with more attractive offers for approximately one lakh Muslims who undertake the journey to Jeddah every year and they would, any way get the hefty discount in the ticket fares, almost equivalent to the govt. subsidy, if they opt to travel by any one private Airline, because of the competitive nature of the business. Nevertheless, in Islam, which is a flexible religion, performing of Haj is not an obligation for those believers who could not afford the expenses involved in the process. 
Mohd. Aslam, Mumbai
achougle2001@yahoo.co.uk

Shabana and Imam
This is with reference to Mr. Kaleem Kawaja's article: "Between Shabana and Shahi Imam". What Mr. Kaleem has missed is the reason behind the decline of Muslims. The decline of Muslims started only after they adhered to world affairs extravagantly and diminished importance and role of Islam in their lives, when they resorted to a way of life other than that propagated by prophet Mohammad (SAW). It is very much inline with the Rasool Allah's saying that his Ummat will descend when it'll start giving more attention to the world affairs and will develop new way of life. Therefore I have no hesitation to say that I would like to be the SIXTH CENTURY PRIMITIVE MUSLIM, Muslim of the era when Islam was at its zenith, when the boundary of its empire was expanding, when its treasuries were overflowing but its highly esteemed Head was receiving a paltry sum of few Derhams and when it was difficult to find a single person deserving alms; rather than today's so-called moderate Muslim, who is living in the state of physical as well as mental slavery and blatantly defying the way of Qur'an and Sunnah. Whereas it has been loudly spelt out 
*"It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path."(Qur'an 33:36) 
* In the light of above Qur'anic verse it becomes very clear that there is nothing like moderate-Islam or extremist-Islam, but only one Islam; that of complete submission to Allah and His Rasool (SAW). 
* Strict adherence to Islam has never been a hurdle in the way of progress and development, and to equate it with backwardness is due to sheer ignorance. I would like to quote Allama Iqbal here: 
TAQDEER-E-UMAM KYA HAI KOI KAH NAHIN SAKTA 
MOMIN KO FARAASAT HO TO KAAFI HAI ISHAARA 
DEEN HAATH SE DEKAR AGAR AAZAAD HO MILLAT 
HAI AISI TIJAARAT MEIN MUSALMAAN KA KHASAARA 
Of course we should perceive the ISHAARA and should strive hard to improve the fortune of Ummat. But if we achieve this something at the cost of Islam itself, then for sure it is a business of perdition." 
Tauheed Ahmad, Jhansi
tauhheed@rediffmail.com
 

Growing Indo-Israeli ties 
This is with reference to the article "Shimon Peres arrives in India to sell arms and dreams" by Mr Zafarul-Islam Khan. I personally do not see a problem with India improving its ties with Israel. The world has taught us that each country has to look out for its national interests, and if Israel can supply the weapons that India needs, then let us buy it from them. If Israel can help us fight terrorism, then so be it. 
Despite growing ties with Israel and despite having a BJP led govt at the Centre, India has not changed its stand on the Palestine issue. Unfortunately India's standing in the world has gone down from the Nehru led Non Aligned Movement days and we are in no position to influence the world on the Palestine issue. So, while we should stick to our stand on Palestine, we should not ignore the economic, technological and military opportunities that Israel can provide.
Rajesh Rao, Bangalore
rajeshr1232001@yahoo.com


VHP and Vajpayee
It refers to the announcement of the VHP to start consrtruction work at Ayodhya within six days. I would like to ask, Mr Atal Bihari Bajpai , which one is more important, sentiments of the saffornised organisation or content of the constitution. He should tell in clear cut terms , whether the nation should follow the Supreme Court or the Supreme Commands of the VHP-RSS-Bajrang Dal leaders . 
M.Shahid Kamal, Aligarh
shahid.kamal@lycos.com


I do not agree
I am a Hindu Indian and do agree with you that the Indian Muslim community does not really have a voice in the national media. As a result, people (the Hindus and maybe even the Muslims themselves) have a very unreal view of the community as a whole. But in India, Muslims apart from their religion also identify themselves with their linguistic/regional background. Tamil speaking Muslims might get along better with other Tamils than with a Muslim from Uttar Pradesh or even from M.P. 
So the question I have is - is the need for a pan-Indian Muslim voice genuine or is it just a reaction to the rise of Hindutva forces in India? Just as it is difficult for the Hindu voices to speak in one voice (are the secular Hindus not Hindus too ?), it would certainly be difficult for the Muslims to speak with one voice.
And so, is it not better for educated and intelligent Muslims to make use of India's existing secular apparatus, and their own regional identity to better their position in the their own and the public view.
The assumption I am making here is the 'Milli Gazette' is 'secular'. I allow for the possibility that you can be secular while being the voice of a particular religion.
Ashok Rajamani, Providence, USA
Ashok_Rajamani@brown.edu


Bangladesh Hindus
I am a regular reader of Milli Gazette. While it is commendable that you report even single atrocities on Muslims in India, I think you should also report the plight of minorities in the two neighbouring Islamic countries namely Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan is almost free of non-Muslims but there is a sizeable number of Hindus living in B'Desh and they have been facing severe persecution since the last election. If you truly believe in secularism, then I would request you to report these incidents as well.
Sudipta sraks@cs.ucf.edu
Editor: Alas, we are not able to report every single atrocity on Muslims in India... Yet we have published about atrocities on non-Muslims in Pakistan on a number of occasions. As regards Bangladesh we may have missed something but my perception is that these reports which suddenly started appearing in certain newspapers here after the change of government in that country are grossly exaggerated if not outright fabricated. If we get a trustworthy account we will certainly publish it. This is despite the fact that the Milli Gazette is a dedicated newspaper to publish Indian Muslim news which is neglected by the mainstream media. MG is not a general chronicler of whatever happens anywhere in the world and in any case our space does not permit us such coverage.

Doordarshan ghotala 
It is very disturbing to know that day by day doordarshan is being used to promote the terrorist figures into the public minds..
The news in English and Hindi is giving full coverage to Hindu terrorist organizations like VHP, Bajrangdal and their mother organization (RSS)in its news and other programmes. for example yesterday (23rd Jan 2002) both Hindi and English news had given major coverage to the announcement made by VHP/Hindu terrorist leaders (Giriraj Kishor / Ashok Singhal)) that the govt. should hand over the land to the VHP for the construction of (disputed) Ram janambhoomi....How can "secular" and un biased national television promote such groups which are terrorizing the entire nation by their terror tactics? Any secular Indian will not accept this media saffronisation.
Anjali Datta
dsanjali@yahoo.com 

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