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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2003 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Letters

On The Milli Gazette
In my opinion Milli Gazette is a very important magazine and it should reach each and every Muslim and intellectuals of society. I enjoy reading each and every page very consciously. It's wonderful. 
M.J.Mohamed Iqbal, B.E, MBA, Dubai 
jmiqbal@emirates.net.ae 


II
In read your fortnightly newspaper. It was very good. It had almost discussed all the topics. I am very much pleased by your newspaper. May Allah, the Almighty bestow His blessings on the whole editorial team, and also all others who work for the newspaper’s improvement. May Allah, the Almighty increase The Milli Gazette’s circulation and grant success and prosperity in your life and Hereafter.
Muhammad Khalid Ahmed
Khilagadda, Jagtial (A.P.)


III
I am a regular visitor of your site. The archive needs to be updated for it covers only upto Nov. 2002 issue of MG.
Naushad Ansari, Bangalore
rubynaushad@eth.net

Editor: We are trying to overcome this problem which relates to paucity of our material resources as we are unable to afford a web developer at present but our efforts are continuing and we know that the Milli Gazette is suffering because of a stale website.

IV

This is a great launch. It was one of the seriesof steps to prepare Indian Muslims for the leadership role in South Asia whose time has become overdue. The history, contributions and tribulations of Indian Muslims put them in unique position to help not only themselves but the Muslims in rest of the subcontinent as well as rest of the Indians to collaborate tirelessly towards a vision of secular, democratic, tolerant South Asia. Nothing short of that goal; no matter how many decades of incremental small steps it takes to reach there—if ever, will address the needs and aspirations of the 2nd largest Muslim population in any country of the world. Wish you the editors, the financiers and the readers, the very best towards realizing this mission. 
GautamDiP 
developinpeace@hotmail.com


V
I was just surfing the net when I stumbled upon the site of the The Milli Gazette, Indian Muslims' Leading English Newspaper; I was happy to see that such a site exists. I must say that I have been rather disenchanted with India because of the increasing intolerance the country is showing towards its minorities. I am equally pained to read the "mission" statement of this newspaper that it is trying to be a voice "…of the 1200-million strong Ummah of Islam".
I wish Indian Muslims have a separate voice of their own, for they are unique. Their concerns and problems, too, are different than, say, a Saudi, as is their heritage and culture. The Muslims in India have more in common with the Hindus in this country than the Muslims in Iraq. It is true that Muslims may feel comfort in the larger Ummah because of the ground realities in India; it is also true that they will find themselves alienated from the mainstream as long as they do not identify with India first and the Ummah later. This is not just a problem confined to India: for Muslims worldwide, the Ummah is foremost, and patriotic identity next.
I hope you understand that I am not trying to paint the whole community with a broad brush, but individuals who can discern the difference should lead by example. 
Atul Barry, Louisville, KY, USA
abarrymd@bellsouth.net

Editor: "Ummah" means "community" and this word may be used for any religious, cultural or national group like Hindus, Jews, Christians, Americans. We are Indians like any other Indian and proud of our heritage. We do not look forward to Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim country for inspiration but we do share with them a certain belonging to a religion, Islam, which is as universal as any other religion we know. We do not want a separate voice but we have no choice since the "national" media here treats Muslims with both gross misrepresentation and sheer under-representation. This is why we need a separate voice so that our good and bad news, stands, opinions, problems and trials are brought to notice of the common Indian in a language he understands since most of Indian Muslim publications are in Urdu which for all practical purposes has been killed after independence and non-Muslims seldom read them. There are similar Muslim publications in other Indian languages like Hindi, Telegu, Tamil, Malyali etc.

Great progress since Chor Minar and Khooni Darwaza
A man got down at New Delhi railway station and wanted to go to see the place where the criminals roam freely (no not the Tihar Jail). He did not know how to reach the place as he was new to the city. He took the help of a knowledgable local person, who guided him in the following way----- Take a loot-paat vahan and go straight on the "Kidnapping road", after reaching "Stabbing Chowk" take a left, there you will find "Robbery lane" which will take you to the "Rape park", from there go straight cross the "Bribe bridge" keep going straight, you will find the "Corrupt Officers colony", keep going straight till you reach "Kaam Chor plaza", from here take a left turn and you will be right in front of your destination.
Abdul Monim, Mumbai
samvashi@vsnl.net


Unite for India
I am an Indian doctor presently working in the United Kingdom. I happened to surf the internet and find your paper.
I think that Muslims have contributed a great deal towards the composite culture of India and India will not be India without Her Muslims. Although in a population of one billion with illiteracy and poverty one is bound to see discontent amongst the people ,but by and large Hindus and Muslims are very very friendly and understand each other very well.
Hindus and Muslims live together in every village and every mohalla in India and share their good times and bad times with each other. Islam and Hinduism though very different faiths, the goodness in both usually is seen through when people deal with each other in day to day affairs in India.
By history, time geography and most of all culture we are inseparably bound to each and should learn to make the most of it.
Countries are moving forward by taking large strides whereas we are progressing at a pace far below our potential, and the unnecessary animosity amongst our people does not help.
I am sure you agree that Hindus and Muslims have and can live together and SHARE the bounties of Mother India and progress as a nation to give our children a better and more secure future.
Ayodhya and Kashmir are easily solvable problems and with our tehzeeb of pehlay aap I dont think these problems should have existed in the first place.
Muslims and other minorities are the icing on the cake of India and it is the duty of every Hindu to make them as secure as possible and we Hindus need to bend a few of our rules for our Muslim brothers who are a part of our sacred dharohar. I am sure Muslims will respond in equal measure towards their Hindu brothers and sisters wih love and respect and together we will see an India which will prosper with the grace of the Almighty . Boond boond se banta saagar! Jai Hind.
Dr H Shenoy 
HShny6@aol.com


A very fishy flight to Baghdad!
How many tons of turkey can Air Force One carry? How can we be sure that it was not the missing WMDs, sneaked into Iraq?
Kaj Krinsmoe, Aarhus N, Denmark
kkrinsmoe@stofanet.dk


Star TV, are you listening?
Would anyone in STAR TV bother to tell why you are not wishing your Muslim viewers Eid wishes in your STAR PLUS/STAR NEWS while during Holi, Diwali and smaller Hindu festivals live coverage of events took place and you took special care to wish your community every five minutes. Is this not a hard evidence of a biased attitude on your part. I think you people are under direct influence of saffron brigade. May I hope for a reply !!! 
Masood Zaidi, Doha-Qatar 
raamiz7@hotmail.com


Eid Mubarak?!
How our generation is poisoning our childrens' minds became blindingly clear when, this morning I wished my 7-year old ID MUBARAK. With those painfully innocent eyes that only children are capable of, he replied : "Papa but that's a Muslim festival, why are you wishing me?". Togadia Saahab, Modiji - ID MUBARAK to you too.
Bharatram Gaba, Mumbai
bratgaba@indiatimes.com


Manifesto or "Money-First-Ho"
Food, water and shelter to all, jobs for the youths, roads and electricity will reach every village of the country, education for every child etc etc. These are the common promises which one finds in the manifesto of almost all the political parties, but then they shelve the promises once they come to power, no it is not that they don't implement their promises of eradicating poverty and giving of jobs, but then the jobs go to the near and dear ones. As for eradicating poverty, well nobody is poorer than these elected representatives (don't they go to the poorest of poor to beg for votes?), by the time they are pushed out they have done their bit to eradicate poverty by the simple method i.e. SCAM (Simply Corruption And Money), its then time for the other parties to do their bit in this direction. One then gets the feeling if it is Manifesto or "Money-First-Ho".
Abdul Monim, Vashi
samvashi@vsnl.net 


Silence in Islam
Could you please give me or rather send me something on Silence (quiet Time- the time to listen to our inner voice) in Islam. 
Shabeen Hussain, Panchgani
shabeenh@yahoo.co.uk

Editor: There are two aspects of silence in Islam. The first relates to the general behavior required of a Muslim and the second is a Sufi concept. 
1. A Muslim in general is required to be economical with his words since he will be judged in the Hereafter for all that he does or says. A Muslim should not say what he does not know, he should not commit ghaibat, that is backbiting and slander, he should not speak about what does not concern him. There are many sayings of Prophet of Islam Muhammad in this respect, e. g.: -"Whoever believes in Allah and the Hereafter should say only good things or keep silent".
- "A sign of being a good Muslim is to shun what does not concern you."
- "The faith of a Muslim is not straight (OK) until his heart is straight and his heart will not be straight until his tongue is straight."
2. The second concept is 'meditation" or muraaqabah in Sufi parlance. A sufi is required to spend long hours chanting prayers or repeating Allah's names or just thinking about Allah and His greatness in total silence, especially in the darkness of night. This is to detach himself from this world and establish a direct link with God. Ordinary Muslims do not undertake muraaqabah but for sufis it is a must in order to attain a high degree of closeness to God.

Bohras are Muslim
I am a Dawoodi Bohra. Today I read your article which says that when Muslims were targeted in Gujarat, Dawoodis claimed that they are not Muslims. I don't know when you publish this but I totally disagree with your article. First of all what you wrote is based on a few persons who even don't know what they are. When you got such a report first of all you should have contacted our Mullana in order to verify the matter. All Dawoodi Bohars are Muslim. I think you people are misguiding others who don't know about Dawoodi Bohra community. For your information, big Indian Muslim organizations like Muslim Personal Law Board, Haj Committee, Aligarh Muslim University etc better know Dawoodi Bohras and our Mollana Sayedna Muhammad Burhanuddin (T U S). 
Saifee Challawala 
saifee_challa@hotmail.com

Editor: The report you mention was published in July 2002. We received a number of reactions from the Bohra community and others about this report at the time and these were promptly published in the newspaper. The very logic behind the report was our belief that Bohras are our brothers-in-faith and therefore there was sheer disbelief when reports came that some Bohras during Gujarat pogrom tried to deny this fact for short-term worldly benefits. The report is not critical of Bohras per se but of this behaviour by some of them during a time of trial for all Muslims, Bohras and non-Bohras alike. 

Being indifferent is a crime
"Cheen o Arab hamara...Hindostan hamara...Rehne ko ghar nahi hai...sara jahan hamara..." Sahir Ludhyanvi wrote the above lyrics for a Hindi film years ago...how apt and relevant it is even today when we are faced with the question of survival in a world where something as basic as food and water is now becoming a luxury that may well be available only to the privileged. Some businessman buying off a whole river...a state govt. fighting with the other over sharing of a river water...govt.store houses full of grains and people dying of hunger just because the release of those grains involves a whole lot of red tapism...poor pavement dwellers being run over by the reckless rich...this list of the woes of common masses can run into many pages.
Being rich is not a crime...but being indifferent and thoughtless towards the weaker sections and the needy in the society is a crime...but unfortunately such crimes are often not even discussed because the so called intellectuals and the thinking class usually is confined to the very rich who have never experienced hunger or thirst...they have never slept roofless...and even if these matters are discussed the essence of it is lost in useless debates in iftar and cocktail parties and the whole exercise seems politically and commercially motivated without any practical solutions being reached at. It only serves the vested interests of those in power or wanting to come to power. It is indeed a heartless mockery of the plight of the poor when to discuss their poverty and anguish the rich come together at wasteful dinner parties or national and global seminars. 
The nameless faceless, common man is like the joker (read voter) in a game of rummy...coming in handy to the winner who actually holds the cards and manipulates them well to his advantage. And nobody can deny the fact that sincere and thoughtful media can do a lot to make the rich and the famous responsible and worthy citizens too...even in a world where talking of morals and duties has become a crime. People like me are still optimistic simply because we believe in God...and "We also believe in miracles. They do happen even today with prayer, love and willpower". 
Zohra Javed, Allahabad 
usman_jawed@rediffmail.com




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