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Letters
Dialogue

MG
I have found the Gazette interesting and informative and would like to be its regular subscriber
Mahmood Ali
ex-joint secretary, Govt of India
194 Zakir Bagh, New Delhi-25


AMU affairs
I have read Prof. Ziauddin Ahmad's letter very carefully. I agree with
several points he has made but Mr. Hamid Ansari has no magic wand in his hand to change the situation overnight.
The University should actively pursue the FIR's it had lodged in connection with the Mobin case. But it was also for the University community to form a legal defence committee for the defence of the accused.
But first we need to remove the illusion that the Act of 1981 has restored the minority character of the University. None of the provisions of the Act, quoted by Prof. Ahmad, give it the status of a minority educational institution as envisaged in Article 30(1) of the Constitution. Because of this inherent dichotomy between the legal reality and the public perception, the University has adopted many short-term and ad hoc ways and means to protect the community's interest which, in the long run tend to bring down its standard and its overall contribution to the educational and economic advancement of the community. If the new V.C. is taking some steps to upgrade the quality of the human material and the standard of teaching, with the long-term goals in mind, not surprisingly he disturbs the placid status quo and even steps on some toes.
However, the VC should take the community into confidence and hold regular meetings of the Court. He should have also held the election of the University Union. He should hold it now immediately after the close of admission for the academic year 2001-2002, if possible, on the basis of a revised Constitution. He should also take steps to secure appropriate representation in the Court of all Old Boys of the University scattered not only all over the country but all over the world. Representation has so far been a monopoly of a small coterie based in Aligarh and Delhi.
I have always felt that Section 19(3) of the AMU Act is the biggest handicap to the harmonious functioning of the University. At the very least, this emergency power must be subjected to the requirement of written justification for the record and its subsequent ex post facto approval by the University body concerned and limited only to the cases of those bodies whose meetings cannot be convened easily or immediately. My impression is that the present VC has largely abstained from imposing an 'emergency regime on the University and at least the E.C. and the AC have been meeting frequently and taking decisions in matters of their jurisdiction. For statutory reasons he has been unable to hold Selection Committees.
Mr. Ansari has no personal axe to grind. He had to be persuaded - indeed coaxed and coerced - into entering the arena. Let us give him a chance and help him at least lay some new foundations.
Syed Shahabuddin, IFS (rtd), ex-MP
N-44 Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110 025

Jai Aurangzeb!
The Moghul Emperor Akbar has spoiled Islam by introducing 'Din-e-Ilahi' at the behest of his Hindu 'Nav-Ratnas'. He was a tool in the hands of the Hindu kings. By marrying Jodha Bai, a rajput daughter, he made the Rajputs the maternal grand parents and maternal uncles of our Muslim brothers.
On the other hand, it was Aurangzeb who annihilated the vice, corrupt, base, wicked and the cruel. To me the three names viz. Baba Saheb Dr. Bheemrao Ambedkar, Periar EVR and the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb can prove detrimental to bloody Hindutva.
It happened to me that I used to go for a morning walk early in the morning subject to my availability in Delhi. A bunch of RSS workers who as a matter of salutation said 'Jai Sri Ram' when I passed them. In reply, I just said: ‘sorry.’ It went on for months. One day, they stopped me and asked me why I said ‘sorry’ to their 'Jai Siya Ram'. I explained to them my point of view in a proper way. Even then, they didn't discontinue with their Jai Siya Ram whenever I passed them in the nearby Jahapanah City Forest (GK-II).
After giving a deep thought to this problem as to how to silence them, I replied them with ‘Jai Ambedkar, Jai Periar, Jai Aurangzeb’ and also managed some small posters inscribed thereon ‘Jai Ambedkar, Jai Periar, Jai Aurangzeb’. Isse unki bolti band ho gayee. Now, they have been maintaining dead silence while passing me. Jai Ambedkar, Jai Periar and Jai Aurangzeb is miraculous medicine to treat the chronic Hindutva disease.
Tej Singh
bsso@bol.net.in


Be Indian, Buy foreign...?
Till recently we were being brain stormed with the slogan "Be Indian Buy Indian". Today with the liberal Import Policy the shelves in our stores are filled with imported goods and it is very difficult to find out if the store is selling any Indian-made item. The store owner is very proud that he is selling ‘imported’ goods. This is our sense of national pride. When this is the situation what is our slogan now: "Be Indian Buy Foreign"? Those who coined the phrase "Be Indian, Buy Indian" must answer this question.
Are we going to become the dustbin of Western Multi Nationals?
M.Z.Chida, Chennai
fawsan@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in


Social sciences
We the undersigned strongly object to the comments of Dr. Hari Om Gautam, chairman of the UGC, about the social sciences, particularly political science and sociology, and his attempt to reduce these established disciplines to the plane of Vedic Astrology, while defending the retrograde proposal for the introduction of astrology courses in universities (Asian Age, 19 April). This view is disturbing when expressed by someone as important as the Chairman of the UGC. Furthermore, this perspective appears to be widely shared by policy makers in the educational establishment today.
In his effort to claim a scientific status for astrology, Dr. Gautam has defined science in a misleading manner, arguing that it involves, 'probing research, investigation and prediction'. By defining science entirely in these terms, he has lost sight of the fundamental tenets of science.
If astrology, which claims to predict everything from earthquakes to disease is to be accepted as a science, then there would be no scope left for any other science, seismology and medicine, for example. Astrology whose purported domain is all encompassing- from planets to human affairs - must then be either accepted as the sole science or rejected in toto. It augurs ill for higher education in the country if a person who is unable to distinguish between science and superstition or science and ritual, and who casts aspersions on social sciences while institutionalizing the propagation of unreason, is at the helm of the affairs of the UGC.
Prof Prabhat Pattnaik , JNU et al.

Israel's Arrogance
It is foolish to hope that Palestinians can defeat the shameless usurper Israel under the leadership of Yasir Arafat who, in order to become a leader with luxury, agreed to remain content with only a part of the usurped land of his countrymen. Is this way of a self-respecting fellow with Faith? Can satans ever be dealt with only through talks? Then what does jihad mean?
Sultan A. Patel, Kanpur Deh 392 150

Deendar Anjuman
Muslims must not allow this cult to misuse the Qur'an and Hadith. The Deendar are not allowed to pray in mosques, are not permitted burial in our graveyards, and Muslims do not accept matrimonial ties with the Deendars.
Abdul Matin, Hizim-788722

No desperate acts
Neither the Muslims should react or retaliate in desperation. The act of violence must not be widened. The sangh Parivarists want to provoke the Muslims into an angry reaction and then beat them down. Besides, the greater design is to poison the social environment, raise the communal temperature, generate suspicion, hatred and distrust in the mind of the common Hindus and to identify the Muslims as terrorists, in the service of Pakistan.
Still I feel that a majority of Indian believe in secularism and mutual-respect. Still Saffron forces are in minority, trying to spread their network with the open support of the BJP government at the Centre, through implanting a sense of fear and hate in the minds of Hindu masses, who are yet secular. Thus to polarize Hindus and then to harvest through the ballet boxes. Finally, to build India of their dream.
But our survival lies in strengthening the system of mutual-trust, democracy and secularism. Technically, India is bait-ul-’ahd or bait-ul-da’wah. Let us plan our strategy with 'hikmah', tactfulness and far-sightedness. If Indian Muslims wants to be alive, in this mother land, as a Muslim adopting Islamic identity , they have to learn to fight their own battle. The Muslim masses have to migrate from poetry to prose, from romanticism to realism, from emotions to facts.
Secondly, the main reason of Muslims weightlessness is their congenital disunity. They still don't trust their leadership, though there are many sincere leaders around, demand angelic and saintly qualities from their leadership and are prepared to tear them apart for the slightest error of judgement/tactical difference. The Muslim community, ironically, is far too ‘democratic’ to build a united leadership, except on a religious issue. Let us first identify sincere Muslim leaders and blindly support them. They are strong enough to tackle any hostile situation. Their strength lies in the support of Muslim masses. They are weak because of our weak support.
Ruby Naushad, Bangalore
rubynaushad@eth.net

Justice delayed: justice denied
This oft-quoted beautiful quote has a quite God relevance as far as Indian jurisprudence is concerned. Here at home, the interference of the politician has marred the entire functioning of justice and criminals go scot free, even if they are caught red handed and leave behind innumerable evidences. For that I would say 'Commissions may come and commissions may go, but the criminals and culprits would enjoy their freedom.'
Too many scams have taken place in the past and mushrooming almost everyday because the doers do have this notion that they will go unspotted; even if they are caught they will get the benefit of laxity of the law, since they believe in their own power, which is above the law. The entire scams and the commissions which were set to probe are still groping and manoeuvering to see the culprits booked but because of the involvement of the top brand politicians they are helpless and still the culprits are enjoying their freedom and even they are representing the people without any shame and few are inclined to represent despite their bleak records.
How and when such corrupt politicians would be eliminated from the country? And the real ‘Mahatma’ would come to steer the nation as what our crusaders and freedom fighters had dreamt of for their motherland unanimously. They had one vision and one goal in their ‘Karam and thought’. Had they been alive today, certainly they would have cried literally to see the state of affairs of the Indian politics and politicians, which have become quite infectious and ferocious. In the name of politics they are shedding blood, instigating the innocents and amassing wealth in their personal accounts. If found guilty they would vehemently try to hush up the case with one or the other issues; so that the sheep’s attention is diverted. Here I would blame the Indian Public also. Though they are aware of the fact that the person whom they follow are leading them to inferno, but they are so submissive and coward they don’t have the guts to reject them and gladly plunging in the smut. Alas, we should have some courage to fight such monsters and eliminate the culprits from the society of us. May god give us the informidable force in us to fight these traitors of the country who are leading the country to hell.
S.I.M. Jafari
Librarian, Amtuls School, Nainital

 

Dialogue

US and Kashmir
How much difference can the USA make as a facilitator in Kashmir?

shashi velath (tehelka.com)
svelath@yahoo.com

Editor: It will be in the best interests of all the three parties to the Kashmir conflict, India, Pakistan and the people of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, to keep the US at bay. The US will not come to solve the problem but to create an American base and foothold in a very strategic and sensitive area to the detriment of all the three parties to the conflict.
No problems have been solved wherever the US has intervened in recent times: be it Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo or Palestine-Israel. An artificial no-peace, no-war situation is created everywhere in order to serve the US interests including huge sales of arms to countries in the region.
The best course for J&K would be for the three parties to sit together without pre-conditions and arrive at an amicable and acceptable settlement and to keep foreign powers out.

‘Empirical Evidence’
We need more articles based on empirical evidence rather than wild allegations based on imagination.
Dr Omar Khalidi, MIT, Massachusetts
okhalidi@MIT.EDU

Editor: Our people here do not need 'empirical evidence' when they know something from their daily life. There is no problem for exceptional people like the Qureshis and Abdul Kalams, the problem is for the ordinary man.
Khalidi: I strongly disagree with you that people--I assume you mean Muslims--do not need empirical evidence. Don’t forget that there is as much caste versus caste discrimination as there is against Muslims. But Muslims must first qualify before complaining. In any event it is good to see MG as a forum for debate. But I frankly do not like so much attention you have paid to Gawwayas and movie actors bearing Musilm names. They are at best clowns catering to the gullible and the naive.
Editor: Sorry! I never said or meant that we do not need 'empirical evidence'. What I tried to say is that a person suffering from pain does not need clinical reports to confirm that he is suffering from pain. Persons living thousands of miles away from the scene and dropping once in a while as tourists may need empirical evidence to believe in certain truths which are home truths to us: we live them each and every day of our life here.
You have no idea of how hard most of these 'successful' Muslims have to struggle in order to prove themselves 'secular', they stop observing Muslim rituals in public, marry Hindu girls, marry off their sons and daughters to Hindu girls and boys, observe Hindu festivals... Even people in lower strata feel it necessary to hide their identity in Hindu areas where they assume Hindu names. You are blamed to prefer living in filthy Muslim ghettos but try renting a house in a Hindu area and you will discover what you cannot believe: the biggest majority of Hindu landlords will never accept you as a tenant!
The caste issue has only complicated the problem of discrimination. A selector will prefer a candidate from his caste although the other candidate may also belong to his own religion.
The gawayyas and actors too belong to our community; they too face discrimination because of this very fact although until recently the film industry was a very secular work place. To highlight their achievements is to send a positive message to our youths that they too can excel and achieve and break the barriers of discrimination which in any case is not total.
Khalidi: I see your point about discrimination. The neutral third parties do require proof of discrimination, that is where empirical studies come particularly handy. What is a home truth to the victims is not exactly so to outside observers. If Muslims want to be taken seriously, they will be required to provide the same kind of evidence as Muslims expect of others. That is where investigative journalism comes in, instead of "beliefs" and "home truths."

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