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Social service not enough

Swords and Guns
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam has stated in his first press conference after filing his nomination for the election to the post of the President of India that the country was invaded for thousands of years for the reason that we were fighting with swords against the guns.
He is wrong. In fact we were always defeated because of constant infightings and discriminations between upper and lower caste Hindus. The menace has not ended even after Dr. Kalam put us on the nuclear map. On the contrary it has now flared up.
The Sangh Parivar, which is rooted in the so-called Upper Caste is ruling the roost, has now removed the mask from its face in Gujarat. Thousands of innocent Muslims were killed, their homes, shops and workshops worth millions destroyed. Children were thrown into fire and ladies were brutally insulted. Ministers and MLAs took active part in arson and atrocities.
Will the atmosphere change? Unfortunately, the hope is very dim. Dr Abdul Kalam had visited Gujarat during the riots but he did not utter a single word of condemnation. The world throughout has condemned the carnage. Attorney General Sorabjee was deputed to the United Nations Organisation to express regrets and white wash the State crime. Dr Kalam says it is painful and that’s all. Has he been picked up because of his thoughts which are in consonance with Sangh Parivar’s ideology? 
VHP leader Ashok Singhal has again warned the Muslims at Dehradun that they will have to live like the refugees in Ahmedabad camps. Why this hatred against Islam? Is it their compulsion to keep unity among the several castes and sub-castes of Hindus? Islam, a major religion of the world, must be studied before reaching a conclusion. Dr. Kalam also needs to study Islam thoroughly. 
However, the prime question today is that whether the riot-affected people of Gujarat are going to be rehabilitated or not?
M. I. Ansari, Bhiwandi

The coward ‘heroes’
All humanists should constantly go on condemning in strongest terms the gruesome Gujarati Parivar who show ‘V for Victory’ signs after the massacre of minorities was carried out with police assistance. Cannot they be called the biggest cowards of all time? Has the world ever seen such ‘brave people who offer bangles to those who refuse to kill women and children’? Even sincere Shiv Sena men would not appreciate the Gujarati ‘warriors’ as Shivaji had respect for the women folk of his opponents!!
S Akhtar
Khanpur Deh-392150

Help Gujarat victims
You all know the suffering of our people in Ahmedabad. It is our duty to help them. Ramadan is due from November 2002 and I am sure many of you are already planning the one month Umrah trip to Makkah. Those who may be going there for the first time - alone or with family - it is OK. But those who have already made many Umrah trips in Ramadan and again are planning it this year must seriously think whether they should postpone the trip and instead send the money that would otherwise be spent on the Umrah trip for the relief of our brothers and sisters in Ahmedabad. This probably will earn much bigger sawaab (reward) from Almighty Allah.
Many of those families who are in relief camps today were people like us leading happy and contented lives. But today they are at the receiving end. It is our duty to help them if we expect to be helped if, Almighty Allah forbid, such a fate should befall us. 
M.Z. Chida, Chennai

Useful Information
The latest "Information of worldwide Funding Agencies" contains addresses and details of around 1000 funding agencies worldwide. They offer free financial assistance to charitable/volunteer/non-profit & social welfare organizations, individuals, educational institutions, hospitals, religious trusts etc on various developmental schemes. They also offer financial aid to students for higher studies and study tours in India & abroad, medical treatment for deserving patients, small enterprises, self-help programmes for the unemployed youth and women… etc. The financial & material assistance to various individuals and institutions are available to thousands of fields and few of them are listed below:- Education, establishment of professional colleges, hostels for women, support for school building, teachers training, medical law studies, construction of educational centres, schools, orphanages, vocational training for the youth and women, adult education, working capital for public nursery, science and technology, libraries for schools etc, etc. For more information send Rs. 6 postal stamp to Director, International Information Resource Center (IIRC), Post Box No.667, GPO, Srinagar SKC 190001, Jammu and Kashmir. 

Maligning legal profession
It is reported by quite a few entrants in the field of legal fraternity in Patiala House that some seniors get them commit irregularities, illegal acts or lapses deliberately in court matters sometime on the sly taking advantage of their lack of knowledge and inexperience. This is also to create a trap psychosis in victims to exploit them by subtle black mail . Besides juniors come handy in handling risky matters like impersonation of accused by some other persons presenting and/or identifying fake sureties /accused unauthorised conduct of cases . 
Munshis, touts and petty professional criminals who happen to be clients are liberally and selectively used to humiliate, humble, harass and demoralise more so out of professional jealousy and in the hope of eliminating chances of future competitiveness. Such evils are permeating into the system into every aspect and seems to scandalise the profession directly. It is therefore beseeched to all the conscientious members of the fraternity to do all that is necessary at their level to stem the rot in whatsoever form so as to make the profession respectable and uphold its dignity and glory. 
Union of Conscientious Lawyers

FIR and police role
FIR, the first information report, prepared by the police, is a bedrock in criminal justice system in the country --- a slavish legacy of the 150 year old British raj over India. FIR is prepared by the police. However the events in Gujarat have made it clear to the whole world, how police prejudices, whether politically inspired or motivated by internal bureaucratic constraints, have made a mockery of our system of justice, in bringing to book, criminals who have committed day-light murders, arson, rape, looting. Even the most widely media-covered events, like the Ahsan Jaffery burning case, the Naroda Patiya event where 83 labourers, mostly Muslims, were torched to death, have been unashamedly blotched by police to frame the FIR against the victims themselves, as guilty of provocation. To bring about a fundamental change, the system of police drawing up the First Information Report, should be changed to either keep the police role at a later stage or bring in an independent judicial officer to record all public grievances. Let the heavy-handed Gujarat Police action in subverting justices at the very outset, become the trigger to reform the criminal justice system and withdraw all opportunity given to the police to become the judge, jury and prosecutor, even before the guilty has a day in court.
Ghulam Muhammad, Mumbai

Lifting of Overflight Ban
Dil khush kar dia hai, General Pervez Musharraf. He has spoken for the entire nation when he referred to the Indian moves of lifting the ban on PIA overflights and withdrawal of their five 
naval ships from waters closer to Pakistan are not of much consequence and much more is needed for the meaningful reduction of the tension at the borders. He was also quite right in alluding that such steps are taken by India to ease her own problems than appease Pakistan. The nation is fully alive to the pressures that the world powers are exerting on his government
particularly USA. Nothing short of talks on Kashmir and withdrawal of troops from the borders should be acceptable.
Riaz Jafri, Rawalpindi

Great joke 
I find it uncontrollably funny that courtesy Mr Pramod Mahajan, the Government (which loses money in whatever it does) is trying to teach the Tatas (Sales Rs 40,000 crores PLUS at last count) how to do business! Funnier still, politicians are giving lessons to the Tatas in morality and ethics? What's next - Laloo giving us lectures on Gandhian austerity!!
Bharatram Gaba, Mumbai

On Idris Dehlvi
Please accept my belated condolences for the passing away of such an important personality as Janab Idris Dehlvi. I pray that his soul may rest in peace. I had the privilege of meeting him personally when he came to Ajmer sharif for the zyarat at the dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz,a few years ago. I am writing this to bring to the notice of his wife and his son a small message from my side through your esteemed journal. I have created a website exclusively on the Sufi saint of India and the Sufi Muslim culture in general and would like you all to see this site and give me your reaction regarding it. 
Ajmal Maharaj 
Dargah sharif, Ajmer-305001.

APJ Kalam’s nomination
I would like to heartily congratulate Dr. Abdul Kalam for the nomination for President of India. I heartily hope that Dr. Kalam is elected.
Vinu Patel

A planned conspiracy
What happened in Gujarat was not merely violence or a foreign-sponsored terrorist attack. It was a pre-planned conspiracy to decimate Muslims. The whole responsibility of this pogrom lies on Narender Modi who continues to occupy his post despite so much hue and cry for his removal. It was shocking that officers who showed honesty in dealing with murderous mobs have been transferred. Gujarat, indeed, was used as a laboratory of Hindutva, the consequences of which are before us to see.
Vajpayee is being accused of speaking "Sangh language". Whatever he poured in his Goa speech was on expected line. Today Modi is toeing the same line adopted by Vajpayee in 70s. Modi is not solely responsible for Gujarat pogrom but Vajpayee and Advani are equally responsible for it.
In Gujarat one is faced with signboard proclaiming "Welcome to Hindu Rashtra." What is more unfortunate for this country is that the man involved in Babri Masjid demolition case is occupying the Ministry of home affairs.
For all this, none else other than our own political leaders should be held accountable, who after winning the election seek to fill their own coffers and further their own selfish agendas, leaving the community to rue its own fate. The community should awake and act before it is too late.
Obaid Ahmad, New Delhi

Restore JMI minority character
A memorandum has been given to the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) requesting him to help restore the minority character of Jamia Millia Islamia. An appeal has been made that the admission policy should be revised. The present 25% internal reservation exclusively for Jamia Sr. Sec School Students in Undergraduate professional and non-professional courses should be replaced by 50% Muslim minority students who try to seek admission from all over the country.
Reserving seats exclusively for a single school does not help the minority community in general. Moreover the standard of highly professional courses such as engineering and proposed medical course should not be compromised by giving reservation to single school students .
Matloob Raza

Spilt milk of human kindness
I cannot bring myself to understand how one human being can even begin to rationalize the killing of another human being. Is it that we are losing our "humanness," or is it that all that oft-touted "milk of human kindness" was a hopeless canard to begin with? Educated(?), well-to-do persons discuss the Gujarat killings over tankards of beer like they're talking about the season's latest fashions! The phrase I hear most is "they deserved it". There are no answers to my questions - What had those children (who went by the name STAINES) done to "deserve" it? What had that child (who was torn from his mother's womb) done to "deserve" it? Remember what you went through the first time your child's hand got burnt? Is it so easy to talk about just because that child who was burnt alive wasn't yours? Is it so easy because that woman who was raped many times over before being cut open wasn't your wife, your mother, your sister? Is it because that old man who was garlanded with burning tyres wasn't your father, your brother? The most common reactions are raised voices. Voices that will not listen to reason, that are probably scared to listen to reason. Reason that says that child was NOT a Muslim, that woman was NOT a Muslim, that man was NOT A MUSLIM. They were our own people, INDIANS, HUMANS. Typing in Bold is the only alternative we have to shouting from the rooftops 'cos who's listening?
Bharatram Gaba, Mumbai

Gujarat pogrom
Apropos ‘How to overcome this situation?’ by Sayed A Bari [MG 16-30 June 2002].
It was this communal, biased and ill-motivated force that associated itself with criminal activity and was involved in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. It continued its devilish programmes and planning every now and then in Gandhi’s birthplace Gujarat. Instead of feeling shy, the communal forces got encouragement from the state government and its police in indulging in the massacre, killing and rape of innocent Muslims who did not have anything to do with creating hatred amongst the people of the state. Both the state and central government shed crocodile tears, and protected and supported the criminals openly. All the laws, POTA and other anti-terrorist measures have been left untouched. The economic development of the nation cannot ignore the contribution of minorities but now they have been pushed back through riots and strategies planned for Muslims that they do not remain financially sound.
S Shafiq Ahmad, Advocate
Meerut-250002 (UP)

Did Keshubhai pick on Modi?
Political speculation that former chief minister Keshubhai Patel is all set to come out openly against chief minister Narender Modi, who ousted him in October, has become rife with Mr Patel reportedly saying in a remote Saurashtra village that if he is capable of giving chief ministership to Modi, he is also capable of taking it back.
Speaking at a felicitation programme in Mandavaal village of Uisavadar, his erstwhile constituency, Mr Patel remarked at a public meeting that he had willingly left the post of the chief minister and if necessary he will not hesitate to snatch it away from Modi.
Of late, especially when criticism against Narender Modi has been mounting, there has been speculation of Keshubhai Patel getting active and giving an impetus to Modi detractors, who have launched a tirade against Modi, are said to have tacit blessings of Keshubhai who is believed to be more popular than Modi in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, both BJP strongholds. 
Abdul Hafiz Lakhani
Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The satans selling falsehood
Those who have nothing except falsehood to sell
Must prepare themselves to go to hell
The killing of babes is ‘bravery’ in whose eyes
Makes even shameless satans feel shy
The land where many good men took birth 
Has been turned into the darkest spot on earth
By those who have nothing but lies to sell and who
Should ready themselves to proceed to hell
S Akhtar 
Khanpur Deh-392150

Social service not enough

I began reading Mr AR Abid’s article on "Choice before Muslim Leadership" with great interest and much hope but I was disappointed when he failed to clarify whether he favours the formation of a political party by the Muslim community for negotiating with the other parties across the table for a mutually acceptable deal or withdraw from politics or continue to promote their interests through operating from within parties which are perceived to be secular. In any case, division in the community is inevitable in both lines of action. But it is much more when Muslims, as a community, became the hunting ground for various secular parties. One thing that the community must avoid is to make itself the handmaid of any political party.
The chances of unity are better if somehow they have a credible political platform which is under their own control. To make the platform more ideologically acceptable, they have to provide space for the oppressed sections of the non-Muslims who are also hungry for equality and justice.
Social service can be no substitute to politics but it can supplement the political process. Withdrawal from politics will only help anti-Muslim and anti-secular forces.
However, in choosing partners the Muslim-controlled party must look at the social constituencies of others whether they represent the dominant or the dominated groups. Alliance with the latter alone can help us in the long run.
Syed Shahabuddin


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