Jobs @ MG
EDITORIAL: 16-30 November 2000
1. Riots in Mubarakpur
Intra-Muslim clashes in the silk town of Mubarakpur in the Easter U.P. district of Azamgarh may leave a far-reaching imprint on the future of the Indian Muslims than one can imagine now. Riots, arson and over a dozen killings have rattled the community all over the country. Shia-Sunni riots are not entirely new for this town which boasts of a number of madrasas including the Jamia Ashrafia. It had suffered the same menace last January when five members of the community were killed in a senseless carnage. With the riots came the regime of curfew which continued for around three weeks, literally destroying the business of Banarsi saris the town is known for.
We, for sure, cannot blame anyone save ourselves for this senseless violence. Neither VHP nor Bajrang Dal or anyone else for that matter should or could be blamed for this inhuman activity which is a result of the venoms peddled by short-sighted mullas and petty politicians on both sides of the divide. Keen to protect their petty interests and peddle myopic visions, they provide opportunity to all and sundry to laugh at us and retard our progress. In a fast changing world which throws up new challenges every hour, they are still bogged down with non-issues like the length of beards and trousers and questions of nikah and talaq. We still have people who are not ashamed to defend the validity of the talaq pronounced by a person under the influence of alcohol, polygamy and a plethora of other petty issues.
Shia-Sunni riots, exclusive to Lucknow till a few years back, have now spread to rural areas eastwards as far as Mubarakpur and even to other states. Fortunately due to consistent efforts by responsible Muslim leaders, both Shia and Sunni, we have seen a marked reduction in violence in Lucknow itself. It is unfortunate that the menace is now finding a new breeding ground.
Myopic Muslim leaders in the country have always failed to stand up to the real challenges of the time and age and have instead resorted to raking up non-issues. Muslim leaders’ lacklustre approach in matters of importance has provided enough opportunity to rumor-mongers to do their bit more efficiently. It is high time the Muslim leadership, both Shia and Sunni, came closer and acted unitedly to abort even the remotest possibility of the recurrence of such incidents in future which make us a laughing stock and negate the very notion of us belonging to one single community. People who promote disunity and stoke fires are traitors and munafiqs.
2. Posthumous award!
The constitution of an award in the memory of Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, the greatest Muslim scholar produced by the Subcontinent, was long over-due. The Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) should be complimented for this idea. The IOS, which is now synonymous with ‘seminars’ on just about anything, should also be commended for establishing a fund in the name of late Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi with an initial amount of Rs 2.5 million.
It is expected of the IOS that this award will not be a one-time show and it will be presented any every year to deserving people from within the community.
What has not gone down well is the idea of conferring the first award posthumously. A great personality like Ali Miyan certainly does not need ‘awards’ and that too posthumously! Even during his lifetime he adorned a number of much more prestigious awards and at times he was literally forced to accept them. He always shunned publicity and tried to keep away from cheap gimmicks. His soul would have been happier had this award been conferred upon someone else with some great achievements and we have plenty of them in our community even in these difficult times. It would have doubly served the purpose and given a boost to the sagging morale of the person awarded and ensured a fitting remembrance of the great personality in whose name the award is instituted.
It is unfortunate that we unwittingly take steps that are of no use for anyone. It has become a common ailment in our country that a person is awarded too late in the day or even after his demise! If we award people with achievements and new goals before them it will be a great help to the community and to the person concerned. But this is a difficult task, particularly for people afflicted with the disease of sycophancy.