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Letters

The Milli Gazette
I
I have really fallen in love with MG.. Like many Indian Muslims, I have great expectations from the MG. May Allah make it a strong voice of our community and may it become the most influential daily. Amen. 
Ghazali Khan, London
mghazalikhan@blueyonder.co.uk
II
I am reading MG for last 3-4 months and believe me MG is the best representative (in English) of Muslims in India.
Shozib Anis
rajacosmo@rediffmail.com
III
I would like to congratulate the team of Milli Gazette for their excellent efforts in bringing before us the reality and hidden truth of the world, ,particularly the islamic world. I read the 16-31 Oct. issue and I really admired "India our land and its virtues" under 'Islamic Perspective'. I can go on further to give you all commendations for covering so many important topics in just one magazine. I specially liked "Come September" by Arundhati Roy, also the open letter to Mr Modi .
The Interview of Dr Pravin Togadia enabled many readers to understand his point of view on islam and the Muslim community. I also love reading the History section.
I would like to place my small request, being a student, Milli Gazette has helped me lot in broadening my general awareness but I would like to have a separate section for students where they can send their queries regarding the information for their career.
Rabia Sandal
rabia39@lycos.com
IV
The social condition of the entire Gujarat state has changed after the riots and it had an impact on me and my family also. The articles published in your magazine are certainly worth praising, and in situation like this when Indian Muslims are going through rough period it definately will help them in learning how to maintain their dignity, honesty and loyalty for this country as we have been till now and the history supports this. It is my humble request to keep on publishing articles which tells only the truth and nothing less.
Irshad Ansari
tex_aux@yahoo.com

Indian Muslims, shame on you
Is this all an Indian Muslim can do? Create havoc one after another. You have plundered our great country and destroyed it and now you have such sick means of publishing cooked up news. What a shame. Try to come up and rise up! Enough of this ...you are only demeaning your own plight. No other country has taken care of invaders, plunderers and breeders like you like how India has. Learn to salute Mother India. Keep your religion at the door step. Its Nationalism first. You talk about Modi? Who started the fire? Why not have cartoons on that? Hajj subsidy, mosques all over like mushrooms, plundered Temples, many wives many kids, you live in filth. Shame on you. 
Sathya Pillutla
sathya@math.la.asu.edu

Muslim charities going Al-Falah way?
I have great faith in MG and respond promptly to appeals for donation for any noble cause. During 2001-2002. I have responded to almost every appeal for help. For quite sometime I feel whether we are heading towards the Al-Falah scam in view of reports about mismanagement of auqaf funds.
The simplest reason to suspect mismanagement is the negligence in acknowledging the receipt of cheques/DDs. I had collected Rs 3,000 for Afghan refugees from my friends and desired the committee to acknowledge the receipt (either individually or a consolidated one). There was no response whatsoever.
I sent another amount to the Zakat Foundation of India which did not oblige with a receipt. I tried to find out if the Foundation would help the ailing son of a local Imam (Hafiz) who had been advised heart surgery. There was complete silence. For whom is the Zakat Foundation meant if not for poor Imams and Huffaz? The poor fellow had to visit Satya Sai Foundation which gave him a three-year waiting period.
In view of Gujarat carnage an appeal for Al-Ameen Trust was published. I decided to send some contribution every month. For first three months the receipts were promptly acknowledged but later on there was no acknowledgment. In this particular case there might be a plausible justification ó President Kalamís visit and Narendra Modi governmentís order to stop relief measure.
A pamphlet in the name of Sada-e-Anjuman Surat was received in mosques in Ujjain about the plight of a person whose wife was in ICU and daughter was done to death. It mentioned an account number in a local branch of Bank of Baroda. I sent the amount c/o The Bank Manager who returned the money order.
I am not accusing anyone of a fraud. However, trusts/ organisations should create an image of transparency. India Today collected donations for Kargil warriors and every single donation was duly acknowledged. Receipts are needed for the purpose of audits. Hence donations and expenses must be properly maintained by the audit books. Such measures create reliability.
My experience with publishers has also been disheartening. Muhammad Ibrahim Ansari in his "strong insensitivity of Muslims" (MG-1-15 November) lamented about the poor response from Muslims. I sent a cheque to a booksellers in response to an ad published in MG about the life of the Prophet by Sir Syed Ahmad. It has been six month with no signs of book reaching. My request remains unanswered. A quarterly published from New Delhi enjoying the patronage of a leading industrialist of Bombay and a member of the Minorities Commission has stopped sending me the journal after receiving subscription for 3 years. I have not received a single issue nor a formal receipt. How long should an individual continued to be fleeced by such noble servants of qaum?
I urge the MG to ensure in future not to publish appeals of people/organisations who are negligent and who do not promise to maintain such decency. At least MG enjoys our trust and faith. It should not endanger it by promoting fictitious organisations.
Dr AG Khan, Ujjain

Hinduism needs to be reformed
This is with reference to Rohan Sardesaiís letter "Reform Hinduism" (MG 16-30 November). He has objected to my reaction on Giriraj Kishoreís advice of reforming Quran.
It seems this gentleman has not seen Mumbai. There is a Sati Mata Temple just near Malad station on east side. The name of that road is also after this Sati Mata and a public school is also named after this Sati Mata. The practice of Sati still continues and we receive news about it quite often. Afterall, what recently happened in Rajasthan and previously in Deorala? Is it not a sacred ritual even now?
There are many temples full of Devdasis especially in South India. Isnít this an evil, practicing Devdasi ritual, which is viewed as an open form of prostitution?
Quoting verses from the Quran out of context is only a mischief, which can be done with every scripture, if one wishes so. It seems none of the so-called scholars have ever read the Quran, otherwise they would have known that each and every objection which they are raising now were also raised at the time of revelation of the Quran, and each and every objection has already been replied in the holy Quran.
The word "Hindu" is not found in any of the sacred books of Hinduism. This word had been coined by Muslim Arab traders. Hindus should be thankful to Muslims. In Gujarat recently more than 500 mosques have been destroyed by Hindutva champions and they installed in them idols of "Hulladiya" Hanuman (a "riotous" monkey God). Worshipping these Hulladiya Hanumans should be considered an evil or not?
This gentleman should read the history of crusades against Buddhists by Hindutvadis. They had brutally massacred and expelled Buddhists from India. Caste and creed rituals are scared in Hinduism. The concept of high caste, low caste is itself a discriminating thus an open violation of human rights.
Have you ever read sacred epics and books of Hinduism like the Ramayana or Manusmriti? How one God can cheat the other God? Do not these books cite episodes which are full of violence? Why Rama had killed Shambanka? Why Bali had been deprived of his rights? Even adultery is also considered sacred in Hinduism? What about Gopis and Kanayyas? Gentleman! Shun your idea of reforming Islam and the Quran. Hinduism in fact needs to be reformed urgently and in the truest sense. 
Ilyas Patel, Khanpur Deh (Gujarat)

Suicidal act
The news about a retired Army officer forming a suicide squad in response to the call given by the Shiv Sena supremo is most disturbing. The so-called jihadi Muslims working like a suicide squad are not trained as such for jihad. The act of jihad is undertaken on the spur of the moment by ones own conscience and not because any one tells them to do so. Dying for ones country is not jihad; it is at best a sacrifice. In case where attempt is being made to erase the identity of Islam then fighting against that cause is jihad and dying in that cause is martyrdom. Such jihads are to be undertaken by the call of an authorised Muslim Leader (Mufti). This is possible only in a Muslim country. How far the Muslim leader, if any, in a non-Muslim country is authorised to give such a call is debatable. It is also debatable if an individual act of suicide is an act of Jihad.
Which other community would not like to have this type of squad? If the competition is dragged too far, Dalits, Christians or for that matter any other community facing repression would also think of forming such squads. This scenario is too dangerous to imagine. The country may enter into a civil war like situation for which a heavy price will have to be paid. History will never forgive if such situations are allowed to be developed by a nation.
AH Khan, Pune (Maharashtra)

On Jihad
One way to do Jihad is to fight against all the falsehoods created by Western Society on Islam. Violence is not the only way to do jihad, there are other ways like writing, boycotting products etc. But I am against the violence which creates really a bad picture of Islam and non-Muslims who don't know much about it, and hate our religion by reading articles/news stories on the terrorism and violence created by so-called mujahideens. Just as violence begets violence, a man will kill man because of hatred incited through dubious means. Nothing can be achieved through it. Only through love and understanding the fire of hatred can be extinguished.
Shanz Chowdhury
shanawazchowdury@hotmail.com

Falling in "Prem" with Azim Premji
I read with unconcealed delight Mr Azim Premji's answer to a question that was posed to him in the "GREAT" US of A. He was asked whether it was difficult to be a Muslim in India. His answer would have made Gandhiji proud ó "I am an Indian first. If it was so difficult being a Muslim in India, I wouldn't have been where I am today." Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed by the Togadias, Modis and Thackerays of the country that we forget that we too exist ó people like me, people like Premji. People who take pride in being INDIAN first and INDIAN last, and the hell with what religion one adheres to. I don't know if you're back in India, Mr Premji and I don't know if you're reading this, but Thank You for reaffirming my faith in us. I'm quite simply falling in "Prem" with you.
Bharatram Gaba, Mumbai
bratgaba@indiatimes.com

Musharraf, the tutor
Why can't our politicians understand a very simple thing? General Musharraf cannot take the risk of letting them to be on their own and undoing all that he has done for introducing sustainable democracy at the grassroots level. They are to be taught the rudimentaries of good governance and judicious and honest use of power, subjects which are unfortunately alien to them. Someone has got to monitor their day-to-day functioning with a stick and who could do that better than Musharraf himself ? 
Riaz Jafri, Rawalpindi
jafri@rifiela.com

Was Godhra stage-managed?
Torching of a train bogey at Godhra, killing 58 persons, was heinous and barbaric. All had condemned it including Muslims. This carnage and its aftermath anti-Muslim violence, throughout Gujarat, was equally condemnable. This dance of death and destruction took place because of highly anti-Muslim provocative and inflammatory speeches of top VHP leaders.
Assistant Director of Forensic Sciences Laboratory, MS Dahia, told Justice Nanavati Commission probing Godhra killings that by re-enacting the scene of February 27, they found that it was not possible to pour the liquid from outside as the compartment was seven feet above the ground level and windows and doors were closed. It was possibly poured from inside the compartment, he argued. However, Sangh Parivar and Modi blamed hundreds of Godhra Muslims for burning the bogey from outside.
Godhra bogey-burning is still a mystery like Ansal Plaza shooting in New Delhi. It seems that the state and central governments have been hiding the real facts. Nanavati Commission appointed by Modi is moving at snail pace. Justice demands that sitting judges of Supreme Court and the CBI should conduct inquiry and investigation about the Godhra tragedy and widespread violence in Gujarat.
G Hasnain Kaif
Azad Ward, Bhandara


Sliding into a fascist state...
It is really a shame the way we are sliding into a fascist state and as a Hindu, I feel extremely ashamed and helpless. But we can't give up the fight, not yet.
Debasish Roy
deba21@yahoo.com
Editor: I personally beleive that the current hype and demonisation of Muslims and the totally unwarranted, unfounded, biased claims about madrasahs and mosques are designed to put the Indian Muslim community on the defensive so that they do not demand any rights which are their birthright under the Indian Constitution. 
Advani-led home ministry's frequent warnings about impending terror strikes and unfounded claims about ISI and Al Qaeda infiltration in Indian Muslim pockets around the country aim at creating a phobia and an atmosphere of communal distrust where every "Muslim" becomes suspect. 
We have done specific stories on the so-called ISI and terrorist presence in madrasahs on the Nepal border and Manipur which have established that these authorities have been lying. Home ministry has been consistently leaking reports that madrasahs on the Nepalese border are infested with ISI and are dens of terrorists. When GM Banatwala, MP, pressed the home secretary in a parliamentary committee meeting to offer proof and pinpoint which madrasahs are infested, the gentleman replied that when we talk of Nepal border, we mean the other side of the border (i.e., on the Nepal side)!!

Open letter to Advaniji
The hell with the Saffron brigade. I think you spoke absolute sense when you said that India can never be a "Hindu" nation. I may not constitute a vote bank, but I'm with you on this one.
Bharatram Gaba, Mumbai
bratgaba@indiatimes.com

Parivar fires
The more Sangh Parivar in Gujarat works up fire and brimstone against the Election Commission, the more it finds the might of Indian Constitution, looming large over its future not only in the state of Gujarat, but even in the overall Indian polity itself. Modi and Tagodia can play havoc with their 
public harangues against Muslims and Christians, but to win election with such open communal posturing, they are bound to be confronted by the law of the land ---- eventually. Even if they win an election in Gujarat, this election victory could be challenged for its stark communal electioneering. 
It is this ominous danger that forced Vajpayee to appear to the nation, as the very embodiment of constitutional propriety, when he sided with ECís ban against VHPís Godhra Yatra and Modiís uncontrollable obsession to press the highly polarised communal frenzy into electoral victory in Gujarat. Cold calculations forced Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to appear as saviour of the Sangh Parivarís suicidal squad.
However, there is still a case for EC to take full account of all the antecedents of BJP and its proxies to review if BJP confirms fully to all the requirements of a political party in the strictest terms of Indiaís secular democratic conditionalities as laid out in Election laws. India is at a very crucial crossroads and only courageous adherence to the letter and spirit of its constitution will ensure its continuance as a time-tested secular democratic Republic.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
ghulam_muhammed@hotmail.com

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