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Published in the 16-30 Sep 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Letters

We need MG in Urdu

I am very glad to say that your information through net for our society is very meaningful and helpful. I really appriciate your hard effort. I am regular reader of MG since it was started.
I would like to suggest that if you start this magazine in Urdu language side by side then it will cater to the need of Urdu lovers and who dont know English. Yours co-operation in this regard will be rewarded.
Farkalit Usman, Kuala Lumpur,
farkalit_u@rediffmail.com

Editor: Many thanks for your concern. MG Urdu edition idea is good but it will add at least US$2000 per month burden on our already tight budget. Will you be ready to contribute this for at least two years?

Demand for safety and security 
I have written a letter to the Maharashtra Home Minister Shri R.R. Patil condemning the twin bomb attacks at the mosques in Jalana and Purna in Parbhani at the time of Friday prayers on 27 August 2004. I have written that despite communal tension in the area safety and security measure were inadequate. There have been incidents of violence in Marathwada earlier. Last week, there was a bomb attack on a mosque in Nagpur. Anti-minority elements with an eye on assembly elections are trying to promote anti-Muslim communal tension. No action has been taken against those threatening to storm the Afzal Khan tomb at Pratapgadh. I have demanded proper security, action against anti-minority elements and compensation for the victims.
G.M. Banatwalla, President IUML, Mumbai

Where is he now?
Saw on your website the heartrending picture of four-year-old Shahbaz sitting in a corner of a madrasa in Kalyan after the riots there in 2002 (Picture by Arko Datta/Reuters and article by Lakdawala). Not much I can do, but the picture is haunting: where is the boy, and where were his parents during the riots and now. Has he received help from the community and other social organisations? Is he in school? Just a few questions, hope you will answer. 
C. Mascarenhas, cmascarenhas@indiatimes.com


Rural education alarming
Really the situation of education in rural areas is very alarming. About 70% school going children belong to rural areas. Some govt. schools are distributing scholarship, wheat etc but imparting no education. As mindset of the community is for free education they prefer such schools. There are some madarsas but standard is very poor. Only Arabic is taught in theae madarsas. I want you to visit this place and have first hand information and also equate yourself with the contribution of our schools. 

People who are educated and well placed are ignoring the ground realities. They want to establish colleges and centers for higher education but the community is hardly benefited. In such Institutions you will find about 30% students and teachers of the community, then what for crores of rupees of Muslim Unmah is invested. 
Irfanullah, Faiz Aam School, Faizabad
faizeducation@rediffmail.com

Manmohan and Vajpayee
Shri Vajpayee accuses his successor of having adopted a "confrontationist" position and says that the role of the BJP-led opposition has been consistently "constructive". Presumably he refers to the many hours of relaxation which have been made possible by the opposition's walk-outs, to the wholesome entertainment which it has provided through its merry-making in the well of the House, and to the unpleasant but necessary duty it has performed of showing the uppity Speaker his place.

Dr. Manmohan Singh did not accept the "representation" which someleading lights of the opposition wished to give him. His stated reason was the opposition's refusal to permit discussion of the Budget in Parliament, which he seems to have described as the correct procedure.

The new Prime Minister lacks experience, Shri Vajpayee graciously concedes, no doubt because he cannot stoop to using such words as "obdurate" and "contrary". But the opposition must face facts if it is to keep to its constructive path and help the nation to move ahead. Visiting the Prime Minister at his home with a generous supply of pinnis and lassi should soften him; but if even that does not work, then Shri Vajpayee must go with dishes of prawns and show what real prime ministers are made of.
Mukul Dube, Delhi
mukul_dube@rediffmail.com

Presidential awards for Arabic and Persian
In your note on Award to Prof. Salim Kidwai you have voiced my thoughts. I would suggest that the entire list, say, for the last 10 years be reviewed to unmask the undeserving awardees. This will also reveal the contours of Arabic-Islamic mafia, now reaping Sarkari harvest in the name of the Muslim community.
Syed Shahabuddin 
muslim@del3.vsnl.net.in


I am impressed by your article “President taken for a ride,” in MG (1-15 September). It is a matter of principles. Only the deserving should get this award.
Inamullah Khan Sherwani
Marquis Street, Kolkata - 16


Super Nationalists
Those who seem to have a monopoly over patriotism do not desist from doing devilish things. Eleven years ago they had said that Gandhiji was the Rashtrapita of Pakistan and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Rashtrapita of Bharat. They forget that 40 percent of Netaji's Azad Hind Fauj comprised of Muslims. The recruiting officer of Netaji’s army was a Muslim from Surat called Gulam Husein Mushtaq Randeri. On 9 July 1944 a Muslim, Memon Abdul Habib Yusuf Marfani, donated all his jewellery, ornaments and property deeds to the Azad Hind Fauj at Rangoon.
S. Akhtar, Kanpur Deh- 392150

What is SAW?
Please clarify for me a peculiar annotation I have seen often in articles about Islam. When the Prophet is mentioned, the word is followed by (SAW). Just what is the meaning of this annotation?
Carl Fisher cfisher@apt-llc.com 

Editor: SAW is the abbreviation of the Arabic words "Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam" which is loosely translated as "Peace be upon him" or pbuh. It is the recommended form of tribute by Muslims whenever the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned.

Capital Punishment 
I think that there is a necessity for capital punishment. If there is a law for capital punishment, people will fear committing crimes like rape and murder. But first of all the government should discourage free mixing of opposite sexes, nudity and liquor consumption. The governments spend a huge amount every year to eradicate alcoholism, but conversely the same governments issue licences to wine-shops for the sale of liquor. Is it not double standard? How can we curb the alcohol-related crimes if governments grant permission to sell liquor? Unless the source of crimes are attacked, the attempts to check crimes will prove futile.
Mohd. Abdus Samed, P.B. College, Gauripur.

If Karnataka can do it why not Bihar?
As per media report Supreme Court expressed its surprise on Monday Sept. 6, 2004 over the withdrawal of case, by Bihar govt. against Union minister and RJD leader Mohammad Taslimuddin.

Today a question is agitating the mind of every layman citizen of India that if the Karnataka govt. can withdraw a case against Uma Bharti then why the Bihar govt. cannot withdraw a case against Taslimuddin.

People expect that you will ensure a proper debate in your media on this extremely important issue, which will decide the legitimacy, impartiality and commitment to rule of law of Indian State.
Hem Raj Jain, Dwarka, New Delhi
jainhemraj59@rediffmail.com

Relations with Gulf 
Recent visit of Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah al-alem Al-Sabah was of great importance. His assurance to help in getting released three Indian truck drivers held hostage in Iraq since July 21, 2004 is quite satisfying. Above all the land-mark agreement between India and Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Umman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates is indeed a good omen for mutual relationship with neighbouring countries.

India has been striving hard for quite sometime to establish cordial and friendly relations with Arab countries. Visit of Sheih al-Sabah will strengthen these bonds. 
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow. (U.P.)
obaidnadwi@rediffmail.com

Abu Ghraib
In every war, secrets are kept regarding almost just about everything. The number of soldiers killed and wounded — the destruction of military equipment, the position of forces and what they are doing. Abu Gharib was exposed and showed what the United States of America's armed forces were doing in Iraq. To run any kind of detention whether it is Abu Gharib or any other requires lots of manpower. There are the adminstrators, the guards, the soldiers who bring the people to the detention camp, the prisoners who do not answer the questions of the interrogators are handed over to people who have an expertise in torture. Such an operation requires a minimum one thousand military officers of different ranks. 

So far we know about only one such detention camp i.e Abu Gharib — there could very well be a hundred similar detention camps in large country like Iraq, this would mean that up to 100,000 military personnel of different ranks are involved in these atrocities — but due to the fact of their extraordinary ability to prevent any such information reaching the public — such detention camps will remain top secret and the people who run them would have been sworn to secrecy. There could very well be similar detention camps in Afghanistan — if these are found out, official policy would be to deny everything. So thousands of soldiers could be busy torturing people in Afghanistan. 

Such acts symbolise — religious, racial and linguistic prejudice and bigotry which exists —there is no cure for such disease 
Jeddy Khan boneygoat@yahoo.co.uk

India protests only on behalf of Sikhs
This is the measure of the secular commitment of Sonia Congress that when its top senior foreign affairs adviser, J. N. Dixit, visits France, it takes up the cause of 20 million Sikhs of India’s concern for the 5000 French Sikh citizens, who have been deeply affected by the recent French legislations banning wearing of Hijab, Sikh headgear, Jewish skullcaps or large crosses, while attending state educational and other institutions. Dixit was reportedly able to get assurances from the French authorities that some via media will be found by the administration to address the religious sensitivities of the Sikhs. It is deplorable that the same Dixit did not think of sensitivities of the 150 million Indian Muslims, whose votes have been keeping the Congress in saddle for the first 40 years and had played a key role in its comeback to Central rule, and they would have liked their government representative to register its reservation on the French political and racist measure of banning Muslim girls to wear head-scarves or Hijab. Indian Muslims should probably thank their stars, that the secular Indian governments have not taken any measure to ban the scarves in India.

Unless Indian Muslims get out of their demoralised state of despondency and force the government to acknowledge the existence and relevance of their presence in their country, such routine slights by hard-headed bureaucrats, raised in the traditions of Congress’s official malign neglect of their Muslim citizens will continue to work against the spirit of secularism, communal harmony and rebuilding of the composite national identity.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai 
ghulam_muhammed2@yahoo.co.in

Christians in Gujarat
After the BJP govt. came to power the minority Christian in Gujarat were targeted in one way or the other either physically or mentally. Such incidents had never taken place before or after India’s independence. It is after calculation and pre-planning that the communal forces having an ideology of wiping out the Christian religion from grassroot level and running a definite media for creating hatred for Christians in the hearts of Hindus as well as in the non-Christians, the communal forces have been setting up a media network since so many years. Gujarat state has been falling victim to the same propaganda. Circulated in the entire country and especially prepared by the RSS laboratory the literature in the form of hand bills/pamphlets is circulated nationwide and the same is enclosed for your information, record inorder take prior steps from your side before any happenings taking place against all minority Christians and others in your vicinity as reaction of reading such poisonous anti-minorities pamphlets. These pamphlets are sent to you to expose the community biased anti-Christian forces. These is enough literature some of which might not have come to your notice and you are requested to study this anti-Christian literature. Do the needful by taking steps as you deem fit. Further if you require any more details regarding this anti-Christian literature you are requested to contact us on the E-mail ID. on 25 August, 2004. I send you first part of hate literature series and today I am sending you second part of hate literatures series. We will sent you step by step with particular blocks.
Samson C. Christian
samson_chri@sify.com

Uma Bharti episode
Electronic media is misleading the entire nation that being a decision taken in 2002 by Congress Govt. to withdraw cases against Uma Bharti, the present Congress Govt. is constraint to withdraw these cases.

What is not being highlighted is that the present Karnataka Govt., unlike its predecessor, is not purely a Congress Govt. but H.D. Devegowda’s party is an important constituent of it and present Karnataka Govt. can not take any such extremely important decision without approval of H. D. Devegowda.

Hence in this episode H.D. Devegowda, the ex-PM, has lost his credibility amongst the secular constituency of the entire country.
Hem Raj Jain, Dwarka, New Delhi
jainhemraj59@rediffmail.com

Protect the tribals 
Communal forces are trying to divide the Indian society by introducing Hindutva ideology. Tribals have been intentionally kept ignorant in order to exploit them and use them as votebanks. Tribal heads are bribed to introduce false religious ideology among their communities. We must defend our tribal brothers. The objective can be achieved only through developmental work in the tribal areas. Tribals should not remain deprived of the facilities that modern age has brought to the mankind. 
H.G. Parkar Furus, Ratnagiri Dist, Maharashtra

India-US strategic alliance
Bush presidency has been notorious in riding roughshod over friends and foes alike. According to Bush/Cheney and their neo-con handlers, absolute rights to the sovereignty of the whole world reside with the armed forces of the United States of America. All countries of the world are their beck and call. 

It is not very far in time, that India's over-enthusiastic nationalists, BJP's Vajpayee and Advani, worried stiff that the upper castes might eventually lose control of the country to the OBC, ST/SC and minority coalitions, had planned to bring in the super-power and had embraced the US in an strategic relationship. As they had practically planned to hand over India on a platter, with their sinister agenda to perpetuate their own precarious hegemony over Indian state, now would have to reply to their people, if the strategic relationship means, India is required to hand over its sovereignty to US forces, when its ‘friendly’ Navy ship come calling, and they are not to abide by Indian laws. 

Two Navy ships now waiting along western coast, are refusing to give the full list of their crew, with their names, for the Indian authorities to issue them visas to let the Navy ships to dock in Indian ports. The Navy has refused to give the names of the crew. And they want to enter India ports with abiding by Indian laws. This is the state of affair when India and US is supposed to be in some esoteric version of ‘strategic alliance’. Imagine, if the relations deepen, how the armed forces will treat Indian government and its officials. 
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai –
ghulam_muhammed2@yahoo.co.in

Increase of job opportunities through potholes
As I travelled around Mumbai, I noticed that the roads were very bad and that there were lot of potholes. Why could the roads not be brought to shape before the monsoon? Well this was the question upper most in my mind as I drove to the office of the Head of " Roads Maintenance" department. Here I was told that there was one reason according to them (because there were some other reasons for which they were not responsible but the Potholes department was). The gentleman seated there told me that for a couple of months the number of road accidents had gone up, the survey also showed that it was the small cars which were the main culprits. According to him the drivers of the cars thought that they could drive at any speed without taking into consideration the common people, who were also using the roads. He said that now that the roads were bad nobody can drive fast so ultimately it results in "slow driving, safe driving". I could now realise the actual meaning of the slogan, which was put up on all the walls of the department. This year the scheme was OK but what about the future, I mean how would the roads be kept in this shape? He said that they have got a list of some of the "best" contractors whose work requires supervision and monitoring every year. My query about more reasons for the potholes led me to the POTHOLES DEPARTMENT, there I got the real and far reaching reasons. The Potholes In-charge proudly informed me how his project had created more jobs. I was taken aback by his statement, he could make out that I was in a state of shock, so he started to open his project leaf by leaf. First, yearly contracts means more people required for improving the roads, thousands of labourers are employed, to supervise the project lot of supervisors are hired, the entire project is looked after by a team of engineers, then you see the truck owners also are kept busy, they in turn employ people to load-unload the materials. The production of the companies supplying materials also increases, more production means more jobs and so on. Then due to damages to vehicles (persons who still don’t slow down are fined in this way) creates more jobs. Lots of garages have been opened, each garage employing at least 5 to 10 persons (mechanics, helpers etc)

I said "what about the people who get injured driving on such roads, the jerks to the neck and back, injuries to the head and so on". He admitted sheepishly that his department had totally missed this angle of creating more job opportunities. Thanking me for suggesting a new job avenue for unemployed youths he said, "Now we will be able to provide jobs for scores of unemployed doctors and other youths connected with medical field", but then he said that his department should not be held responsible for the mad rush for medical colleges and the capitation fees problem.

Now when I travel on such roads it does not make me angry, on the contrary it brightens my face, the fact that so many people are earning their bread through these potholes.
Note of caution: this write-up is written in a lighter vein and should be strictly taken in that form only.
Abdul Monim, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400 703
samvashi@vsnl.net


Islam is a complete ideology
Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf had asked ulama to issue a fatwa against suicide bombings. Seeking such religious directive shows ignorance of the basics of Islam. The holy Quran and traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) are already there to be followed. The path shown by the Prophet is the only solution to our problems. Islam is a rich and complete ideology. It is unfortunate that Islamic laws are not implemented even in some Islamic countries. Moreover, their leaders are not real followers of the Prophet. President Musharraf after assuming office, went to Turkey and paid tribute to Kamal Ataturk and described him as his spiritual mentor. It is a shame for a president of an Islamic country to praise publicly a bigot. 
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Nadwa College, Lucknow. 

UCC against national interest
Enactment of uniform civil code (UCC) means scrapping of the Muslim Personal Laws which amounts to depriving Muslims of their distinct religious and cultural identity and this is against the fundamental rights and the spirit of the Constitution. The UCC is also detrimental to communal harmony, national unity and integrity of the country. Muslims believe that their Personal Laws are based on Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet. They do believe that laws of marriage, divorce, khula’ and inheritance are rational and reasonable. The Islamic law has reformed many civil laws of the world. Its impact can be seen even in the Hindu Civil Code of 1956. Islamic laws have stood the test of time. Eminent non-Muslim jurists and scholars have praised Islamic laws. The opponents level false charges against Muslims and Islam. History bears testimony to the fact that during Muslim rule in India, Muslim Personal Laws were never imposed on Hindus and other communities, because it is against Islam. Hindus were governed by their own laws.
G . Hasnain Kaif, Bhandra, Maharashtra


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