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Published in the 1-15 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


MG, Congrats!
Congratulations for going strong by the day. But keep a sharp eye on the financial side. It is obvious that your Muslim India project is loss making. Also it won't be viable to convert MG into a weekly or daily newspaper. But you can spread its reach by publishing a Hindi edition of MG since most of the north Indian Muslims are concentrated in UP/Delhi/Bihar/Rajasthan/MP/ Chhatisgarh/Jharkhand etc., who constitute the majority of Indian Muslims and are unable to read and understand English newspaper except few. Hindi MG can immensely help them to broaden their horizon which has of late been narrowed by fanaticism. Also articles by P.M. Damodaran, Ram Puniyani, I.K. Shukla, Yoginder Sikand, Mukul Dube and a host of other non-Muslim western writers are good.

Your denouncing of Pakistani portal was right (MG, 16 - 31 March). Denouncing of the Vande Mataram fatwa (1-15 April) was also just.
Muslims should show that they are secular, rational citizens, not fanatics. Anyway Pakistan or Arab countries are not going to grant us citizenship if we alienate India or Indians. India/Bharat Zindabad. 
Firozul Haque
Bondh-762014 (Orissa)

I have been receiving your esteemed fortnightly. After reading it for some time I have come to the conclusion that there is no need for any other newspaper other than MG. "Musharraf is fighting America's war" is very good.
Saheb-e Alam Ansari
Muhammadpur Gaunti (E), Fatehpur 212660

Make Tewari Commission report public
It is good news for the people of Assam particularly for those who lost their near and dear ones during the six-year-long infamous Assam agitation that the Assam government is considering to revive the criminal cases withdrawn during Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) rule in the state. The AGP government had withdrawn as many as 18 cases registered in 1983 under section 302 and other sections of the Indian Penal code in the various police stations of the state and allowed the criminals to go scott free. As such, thousands of men, women, children and infants were brutally killed during the Assam movement. In February 1983 over 1800 people were murdered in cold blood at Nellie alone.
The then state government set up Tewary Commission to enquire into the bloody disturbances. The commission submitted its report over one and half decade back. It is ironical that the enquiry report is yet to be made public and the culprits brought to justice. 

It is hoped that the present state government will not only revive the 18 cases withdrawn earlier and make the names of the accused public but also go a step further in making the Tewary Commission report public and bringing the criminals to justice.
Md. Hasibor Rahman
East Garo Hills-794111 (Meghalaya)

Plain English please
May I appeal to Br I. K. Shukla and others like Br K. K. Ghori regularly writing in MG to come down to the level of average English knowing readers and write in plain English without losing the grasp and beauty of the matter. I am not unaware of the fact that every writer has his own style of writing but please remember that making more and more readers to read your articles is far more important than the beauty of eloquence. Let MG remain a newspaper of the average rather than the highly intellectual.
Mohamed Ameen, Brunei

Hamare Masail
I regularly watch 'Hamare masail' programme and have also been reading the onging debate on your remark about the condition of Urdu schools. I'd just like to add that I not only agree totally with what you had said but can say from first hand knowledge, having been involved with teaching and institutions for 22 years, that the committment and discipline on the teaching side in Urdu schools leaves a lot to be desired. I have also seen that students and teachers from the regional language schools (Kannada here) are tougher, more concerned about pursuing studies and therefore go farther in their education. In fact the discipline and fervour in RSS training 'schools' has to be seen to be believed. If this is cultural war, then improvement must come from within. We need an infusion of drive and self-pride in our institutions that must come from the teaching faculty. 
Nishat A. Hussaini, Gulbarga

Any clues?
I am from Egypt. I read in one of our national magazines that an Egyptian "Qur'an" reciter called Abdel Baaset Abdel Samad had come to india about 30 to 40 years ago, and that more than 3 millions of Indian Muslims had assembled to listen to him reciting "Qur'an" in a large religious celebration, and that celebration had been held in a stadium to accommodate that huge number of people. Had that celebration been recorded ? And if recorded, how can I obtain it? Is it present on Internet?
Ahmed Abdel Alim

Curb anti-Shivaji goons
Chattrapati Shivaji is a national hero with secular image. He was a great friend of Muslims, the most trusted commander of his army was a Muslim. All reputed historians including Brahmin historians praised Shivaji's closeness to Muslims. It were anti-nationals who made capital out of Shivaji and instigated countless anti-Muslim riots. The communal colour given to Shivaji myth by Hindutva parties did not gain currency since on 5 January Maratha boys attacked Pune's Brahmin stronghold Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI). Everybody were shocked by this ghastly crime by the rowdies. Now, even the Shiv Sena, which built itself on the anti-Muslim myth of Shivaji, has to face "Sambhaji Brigade" belonging to powerful Maratha lobby.

Why did the Marathas react so furiously to the extent of vandalising Pune's BORI? The root cause of this ghastly crime is the book Shivaji: Hindu king in Islamic India" by James Laine, an American author who said he was helped in his "research" by the Vedic scholars of BORI. Now there is radical change in the thinking of Maratha people, Mr. Ghanshyam Nunhan in the editorial of Raithecha Raja (Jan. 15, 2004) warned his people. "The Brahmin cause is solved with the building of the temple but not the Marathas." He also warned the Marathas not to go against Dalits and Muslims. Revolutionary writers like Purushuttam Khakodakar, president of the Shambhaji Brigade. A. H. Salunke and many other writers have launched a new religion called Shiva Dharma and even went to the extent of declaring that Marathas were not Hindus.
Syed Fukhrruddin Ahmad Nishter
Muzaffarpur (Bihar)

Has RSS borrowed Italian fascism?
In 1931, V.S. Munje visited Italy and brought Mussolini's fascism for RSS. Mussolini was leader of capitalists, industrialists and urban rich, and was dead against communists, socialists, poor rural and urban workers and their unions. He had abolished parliamentary democracy and had established fascist dictatorship. It seems RSS too has borrowed fascism from Italy but rejects Italy-born Sonia Gandhi who was declared Indian by not only the Supreme Court but also by the people's courts of Amethi and Bellary during the past general election. Basic books of RSS and its 80 years of history bear testimony to the fact that RSS is fascist, casteist, communal and paramilitary body. In the recent past, it has been violent against Muslims, Christians, Communists, Dalits and OBCs. Its violent opposition to, and agitation against Mandal bears witness to it. RSS believes in caste system and religious, social, economic and political exploitation of smaller sections by people of high castes. It is fascist, autocratic and undemocratic in character. Its chief is not elected but nominated by its predecessor. RSS wants to scrap the Indian Constitution and rewrite a new Constitution based on its fascist Hindutva ideology.

RSS and its parivar did not take part in India's freedom struggle. It is on record that RSS chief Golwalkar had refused to take part in the Quit India Movement of 1942. On the contrary, Atal Behari Vajpayee had helped the British government in sending freedom fighters to jail. If RSS was not behind Mahatma Gandhi's murder why it was banned just after the murder? Entire nation including Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister had condemned the Hindu Maha Sabha and RSS for the assassination of father of the nation.
G. Hasnain Kaif
Azad Ward, Bhandara (MS)

In the Hindu of 23 April 2004, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee is reported to have said, in Bihar, "What happened in Gujarat should not have happened. Let us resolve not to allow another Gujarat to happen anywhere else."
The first sentence seems unexceptionable, except when we recall that many members of the Sangh Parivar have boasted, in public and repeatedly, that the butchering of Muslims in Gujarat was a good and desirable thing. 
And who were the "we" of the second sentence? Was Shri Vajpayee seeking to spread the guilt of Gujarat to the whole country, to hold all of India responsible? Or was he, in his familiar oblique way, sending a message to his parivar, which so many have held culpable and which even today prevents the Muslims in Gujarat from leading normal lives?
Mukul Dube, Delhi

The apology offered by PM Vajapayee about the Gujarat carnage at the public rally at Kishanganj is totally shallow. Mr. Vajpayee is well known for his flip-flop and multi-speak. His apology comes in the wake of results of the exit poll of the first phase of the elections, which indicate that BJP is not going to have a smooth ride as it was projecting. If Mr. Vajpayee is sincere about his apology will he dismiss the Narendra Modi who is shielding the culprits of Gujarat violence? Will he severe his connections with RSS, which is pursuing the agenda of Hindu Rashtra where minorities, will have a second-class existence? If he is sincere will he bring a halt to the hatred being spread against the minorities? If he is sincere will he get the school text books prepared by Mr. Joshi's ministry scrapped as they propound the notion of Hindutva and are communal through and through.

It seems Mr. Vajpayee has come to believe that he can fool the people all the time by wearing the masks suitable for the occasion. No body in his sane mind can forget that it is Mr. Vajpayee who blamed Muslims themselves for Gujarat tragedy. No one can forget that first he is a committed swaymsevak of RSS and then anything else. Seeing that the chance of grabbing power is slipping from his grip, in the wake of the exit poll results, he is trying his best to give all sorts of pre electoral promises. But pre-electoral promises are a mirage constructed to come to power and then the real agenda takes over. Minorities, especially Muslims who have suffered the Gujarat genocide, and Christians who have witnessed Pastor Staines being burnt alive by BJP associate Bajrang Dal member Dara Singh, do realize that their existence in the country is threatened by the divisive politics being pursued by BJP and its associates, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal etc. After all the only difference between Togadia, Modi and Vajpayee is the ability to maneuver the language as they all share the agenda of Hindu Rashtra in common.
Ram Puniyani, Mumbai 

The Congress and the Left has levelled a serious allegation of calling the Prime Minister Mr Vajpayee a British informer (Mukhbir) during the freedom struggle. This is not the first time they have levelled this charge. If this came as a surprise, the PM's response was even more surprising for he only denied these charges verbally in some of his election speeches. To call the Prime Minister a British informer is a grave charge, then why did not Mr Vajpayee respond in a stronger manner? Why has he not taken the Congress and the Left to the court for defamation? Just a verbal denial seems insufficient considering the seriousness of the charges. Let the people know what evidence the Congress and the Left has to prove their point.
Abdul Monim, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 

To all pseudo-secularists
There is a despicable fellow by name Maqbool Fida Hussain, whom the secularists and the eminent people of our country adore.

He, in the name of artistic freedom, expression painted lot of our gods and godesses in nude postures, hurting sentiments of the majority of the so called majority Hindu community.

People who protested were dubbed as bigots and communalists, by a few who abrogated themselves to positions from where they simply brand Hindu sentiments as communal, and Muslim sentiments as secular.

They took a petition march to the then President of India, accusing the Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, VHP as communalists hurting freedom of expression of artists.
They did not utter a word when

a) Muslim clerics forced a ban on Salman Rushdie's books. (Indian government banned his books much before the Gulf Islamic counties did)
b) Muslim clerics banned Taslima Nasreen's books with the connivance of the CPIM govt in WB.

What happened to the Eminent luminaries representation of loss of expression for artists. Does Salman Rushdie's,Taslima Nasreen's freedom second to MF Hussain.

If people hurt Muslim sentiments it is acknowledged and corrected. When people hurt Hindu sentiments, Hindus have to just swallow the same, fearing the communal brand and wrath they may incur.

When all this chaos was prevalent in the MF Husain’s exhibitions, that fellow did not bother to apologise, nor withdraw his controversial painitngs.

Last week we saw MF Hussain in the news again. He has withdrawn his commercial production of the movie called Meenaxi, since Muslim clerics have objected to some references from Quran in the movie.

The pace and swiftness in MF Hussain’s actions, was obviously absent when he trampled upon Hindu sentiments and Gods.

R V Anand,

Outsourcing war
Now the U.S. wants our soldiers for Iraq. Wasn't there a huge hue and cry about outsourcing to India and a flurry of bills being passed in Congress to prevent that? How, pray, is one kind of outsourcing bad and the other OK?
Bharatram Gaba, Bombay / Mumbai  

History of Ayodhya
Dr. Saroj Bala's article "Year of the Mahabharata" in The Pioneer, 28 February, 2004 placed it as 1478 BC. This identifies Shri Krishna with the period of 16th-15th Century B. C. Since Shri Ram Chandraji antidated Shri Krishna at least by a thousand years, his period can be identified as 26th to 25th Century B. C. According to the ASI Excavation in 1976-1978 Ayodhya shows no sign of human habitation before the 7th Century B. C. Thus, her conclusion about the year of the Mahabharata puts its beyond any doubt that the present day Ayodhya is not the birth site of Shri Ram Chandraji. I pointed out the above to the Pioneer on 5 March, 2004. It was not published. Since it is an important academic and historical issue, I request you to publish it.
Syed Shahabuddin

Devilish Zionists
I am shocked and numbed to know about Dr. Abd al-Azeez al-Rantisi’s cold-blooded assassination at the hands of the devilish Zionists, once again with the full consent and prior knowledge of the terrorist anti-Muslim Bush-led US administration. The Ummah is yet to recover from the terrible shock over the cold-blooded murder of Shaykh Ahmad Yasin by the terrorist Zionists.The wound in our hearts caused by this assassination has not healed, and another wound has been inflicted on that festering wound. Dr. al-Rantisi is a shaheed and in fact every Palestinian who has been murdered till date since the creation of ‘Israel’ is a shaheed whose eternal abode is Jannatul Firdaws. ‘Israel’ is in fact hastening towards its own demise. No words are adequate to describe the horrible ordeal our Palestinian brothers and sisters are undergoing. Allah the Exalted has never allowed the enemies of the Muslim Ummah to perpetually dominate and oppress us, and He will not let it happen now. Insha Allah, the victory will be ours. " Do not, then, either lose heart or grieve: for you shall surely gain the upper hand if you are true men if faith" (3:139).
Muhammad Nawazish Alam, Dibrugarh

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