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Published in the 16-31 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Received the latest issue and was a bit alarmed by your letter. Perhaps the answer to your heading is that "we are not serious." May Allah help us and our institutions and may He give you the courage, perseverance and success in your mission.
Ghazali Khan, London

I read about the Gazette and was very sorry to hear it. I also thought about how it can be saved. I was trying to see what kind of financial contribution (or subscription or advertisement) is required to run this. It will be helpful if it can be somehow stated in layman's language that total amount is required "so much, say x". We already have amount "y" available. We need "x-y" amount. That can be reached by selling so much publication in addition to what we are already selling. My point is that even if we want to do something we do not know what we can do. I hope this Gazette continues.
Neyaz Shaheen
Editor: MG and Muslim India monthly are inter-connected publications and if one goes the other too will have to go since both are sharing same staff and offices. The premises is my private property and is being used free by MG/MI in addition to other facilities as well as the editor [myself] is free and the editor's son, an electronics engineer, also works full-time free for these publications out of conviction [my personal and family expenses are met by freelancing for Arabic press and interviews to various radio and TV channels like BBC and Aljazeera]. Yet the monthly cost of the two publications is about Rs 105000 (one lakh five thousand), out of which we get about Rs 30000 (thirty thousand) in subscriptions and ad revenues. The gulf is too big for us and debt is piling up fast. In this situation we have started for the first time since early this year to consider the possibility of the two publications' closure. We did not at any time make appeals for donations. We still prefer subscriptions and advertisements. If we can make 5000 new MG subscribers and 1000 MI subscribers and secure two page ads in every issue of MG and MI, we will take off. If there is no perceptible improvement within the next few months, we will have no other option but to close them down by the end of this year, if not earlier. 

Are there not 1000 people in the Muslim community in this country who can send you Rs. 5000 each. It is 50 lakhs. I feel that once Muslims come up in life they become fond of wealth, luxury and good time. They are afraid to part with money for a good cause but they will not mind going to a restaurant and blowing up Rs. 5000 eating junk food. See the way Irfan, Kaif and Zaheer are going? They are now modelling with scantily dressed girls. How long will they take to slip down? Compare this to how Tendulker is going about. Allah alone can help us.
M.Z.Chida, Chennai

I have read your open letter in the MG of 1-15th May and am writing this in response not only from myself but from thousands of other readers who think similarly. Fear not that this voice will ever be silenced. Never. How can a newspaper that is by us, for us and about us, be allowed to suffer for lack of funds. I am thankful that I subscribed well before this letter appeared, I was beginning to feel that reading on the Net was not such a good thing after all as I did not have a paper in my hand after I finished reading. In our Education Society we have sent out a call for subscriptions for MG. Perhaps this is a God-sent opportunity for the community to bond together and come forward in support of a voice that is so representive of the moderate, thinking, self-respecting and aware Indian Muslim that there is none like it at present in this country. I have a small suggestion to make: MG has a relatively lesser presence in the South, and the affairs of the Peninsula need to find a place on it's pages. Perhaps a regional page in the manner of the leading newspapers would be useful for creating a wider readership. For the rest ,our best wishes are with you.
Nishat Arif H.

Editor: As regards covering the news of our brothers in the south, we have tried a lot to find correspondents in TN, Karnataka and Kerala. We did succeed in finding some borthers who did cooperate for some time but became lax later. We welcome the idea of having a special page for the south provided we have enough news to fill that page. In the meantime we will continue to publish whatever news we get from the south. MG belongs to the south as much as it belongs to the north, east and west of our homeland. I am aware that much constructive work is going on in the south and this seldom gets highlighted.

I read your letter. I really appreciate your efforts and your newspaper. Your work is very appreciable, and you make every effort to make this paper the mouthpiece of Muslims. And please do not give up ever.
Dr. Aqeel Ahmad, Chitli Qabar, Delhi10006.

The Milli Gazette is a Millat treasure in these turbulent times, please do what it takes to sustain this paper. There is a dearth of news concerning Indian Muslims and Milli Gazette is an authoritative source even though only one shamefully of us 200-million Muslims..........thats one of the reasons why I started this site. If you permit I would like to put your letter on my website so it reaches more people.
Zulfiquar Ali Khan 

I feel ashamed to confess that I was totally ignorant that such a good forthnightly is published. 
Tariq K. Kidwai, Lucknow

You show Muslims only one side of the news. I don't find Milli Council news which I find in general newspapers. Common dear, show the full and real news of the community, be honest with news at least for your own good. You can have selected opinion. 
Shaan Ali

BJP-led govt. failed on all fronts
The six yearís of governance of BJP-led NDA govt. was disastrous. Itís claim to make India free from hunger, fear and corruption has proved totally false. In fact these have increased alarmingly. Itís biggest achievement was state-sponsored genocide in Gujarat. Dr. Graham stains and his two minor sons were burnt alive by a militant RSS outfit Bajrang Dal. Churches were burnt and nuns were raped in several states. There is a sense of insecurity and fear in the minorities, Dalits and weaker sections of the society.
Abject poverty, galloping unemployment, rising prices and suicides by farmers are the result of wrong economic policies of the government. About one third of Indiaís population is living below poverty-line. The BJP has been serving only the interests of big business houses and capitalists.
G. Hasnain Kaif, Bhandara

Muslims and friendship with Pakistan
In India the ratio of Muslim population is under 20 percent. They have the master key of the door which opens towards Delhi. The BJP because of its association with RSS has not been able to induct Muslims into its party except a few individuals who claim to be the leaders but without followers. Who can explain to Atalji that friendship or no friendship with Pakistan is not an issue for Muslims, it is a a problem of the whole country. Muslims have their own problems. Here Muslims have one point demand from BJP that it should not create new problems for Muslims. The BJP should know that Muslims cannot be used by any one. They can differentiate between good and bad and will decide accordingly.
Syed Fakhruddin Ahmad , Muzaffarpur 

Foil the BJP game
To garner Muslim votes the BJP has inducted dishonest Muslim leaders in their fold. This will not benefit Sangh Parivar or BJP at all, because these leaders have no following among Muslims.
Some Muslim clerics too have prostrated before the Sangh Parivar for their self-interest. Such Mir Jafars should be defeated in the elections. Muslims should ignore any fatwa issued by any Muslim cleric at the time of elections. 
The CBI report on Bilqis Yaqoob Rasool and US report on Human Rights in India contradict the claims of BJP that they are friends of minorities.
Muzafar Ahmad 
New Delhi

Seed of Strife in Cyprus
The current situation in Cyprus is the consequence of traditional Greek hegemony. Since 1974 the international community has failed to recognize that there are two nations in Cyprus, and that they ought to be recognized as equally sovereign. EU ought to do what UN has failed to do since 1974 - recognize the facts. But of course, if in international politics just measures were implemented with consequence there would be only little political livelihood left.
Kaj Krinsmoe, Denmark

Mirza Ashfaq Baig?
I read one of your artcles which said that Mirza Ashfaq Baig died. Is he the Mirza Ashfaq Baig who lived in Kucha Pandit Delhi-6? Can you confirm this news to me as I am a very good friend of their family but recently we are not in touch due to distance.
Ratul Chalcraft

President APJ Abdul Kalam deserves praise and appreciation for his straightforward talk to electorates of the 14th Lok Sabha Election. He has rightly said "you are sowing the seeds for the creation of a prosperous India, a happy India, a safe India, a secure India and above all an India with nobility." He has asked to vote positively to elect members who would guide the destiny of the nation for the next five years. In this context, I would like to add that the President should have more cautioned the nation for religious harmony and casteless society. It is unfortunate that after partition the two major communities viz Hindus and Muslims had forgotten their animosity and Chinaís war in 1962 and subsequent skirmishes with Pakistan particularly of 1971 had brought the two communities very close. Advaniís Rath Yatra in 1990ís and subsequent demolition of the mosque at Ayodhya in 1992 have again caused bitterness. If the country is to come up really shining the communal amity is a must. Further Mandal effects must also be contained.
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow

Joined the Congress?
After a long wandering you joined the Congress party! May I know what is its reason now? 
Narakkattil Abid Rahman
Editor: No one at Milli Gazette has joined the Congress or any other party.

Career guidance
It canít be denied that Muslim are educationally, economically and socially backward. Most of the evils are due to illiteracy. To promote education I will request you to give more space in Milligazette. In this respect career guidance will be very useful. An educational awareness campaign is also essential. If my suggestions appeal pl. consider it.
Irfanullah, Faizabad

Editor: Insha Allah, we will soon start a column on careers.

Sunni mosque?

i am relocating to Mumbai the area is Bandra West. Can you inform me where Sunni mosques are in Bandra West near Pali Hill or Bandstand?

Editor: We are located in Delhi. Our simple advice will be to take a stroll in your area and you will not miss a mosque. There is no such thing as "sunni" mosque - all are "Allah's mosques" (innama al-masaajidu lillaah as the Qur'an said - 72:18).

You complain too much
I am an Indian American, and I was doing research on communal tensions in India. Like most secular Indo-American teens I put the blame on the Hindu right's rise in politics. But after reading your newspaper, the Muslim community must accept much of the blame for that. You all complain the world doesn't understand the roots of Islamic frustration in the world, and then you go ahead and generalize the entire ideology of Hindutva. How can you ever expect anyone to understand where you're coming from if you are never willing to consider the other side. Let's be honest, if Muslims were always so kind and considerate to their Hindu neighbors, then there wouldn't be the kind of tension as there is now. Find me one important pilgrimage site in the Gangetic plains where the original temple wasn't destroyed. Even if there was no Ram temple in Ayodhya, every historian in the world with some dignity concedes Banaras Kashi temple was destroyed by Aurangzeb. Is it ok if Hindus destroy
that mosque since there is historical evidence.
I'm not saying Hindus have no blame for communal problems (the BJP has screwed up in a lot of ways), but your publication makes all Hindus seem violent and like terrorists. You invoke the laws of Manu all the time to justify how evil our religion is, but then you complain that people don't interpret horrible Quranic texts in the proper time period, and that some hadiths are perversions of Islam. I would argue that the Laws of Manu are no more important today than the hadiths of Islam which have equally barbaric ideas within them. We Hindus are incredibly racist too according to your magazine, but don't even try to tell it would be fine to see if an African American Muslim wanted to marry a Pakistani girl here...she'd probably be dis-owned in a second. Try some objective journalism for a change....or keeping fanning the communal fires and then wonder why the Hindu right is gaining. They say Bush's dumb middle east policies create recruits for Al-Qaeeda, and publications like yours help the RSS strengthen their support. Thank you so much for doing your part in contributing to the terrible communal tensions in India.
Suraj S..... M..... 
Editor: It is unjust for you to say that we paint all Hindus with the same brush. We are conscious of the fact that the vast majority of Hindus are good and nice people who care about others. We always refer to the lunatic fringe as Hindutva and Hindutvites and we know that the strength of these people in the country is in single digit and even their naive supporters for a myriad of reasons are below 30 percent of the voters. We have no stake in fanning communal fires but we do have a duty and right to bring out the good and bad times of the Muslim community in their homeland.

V.P. Singh asks BJP to apologise
Hitler's propaganda minister Goebbels had had once said "The greater the lie, the greater the chance that it will be believed." The Sangh Parivar has been preaching and practising it. During his one month Bharat Uday Yatra, Deputy Prime minister L.K. Advani has been carrying out a misinformation campaign that talks were being held with Muslims for resolving the Ayodhya issue. He was misleading people without disclosing as to with whom talks were going on. Leaders of Muslim Personal Law Board and of other Muslim organisations had said that no talks were going on at any level with Muslims for resolving the Ayodhya issue.
G. Hasnain Kaif, Bhandara

In an interview, Shahi Imam Sayed Ahmed Bukhari has exhorted Muslims to vote for the BJP. How can any one vote BJP as long as their ideology is based upon RSS fundamentals based upon hatred towards Muslims and other minorities as evidenced in the books written by Golwalkar and others? Also the murderers of Muslims in Gujarat have not been booked and the ruler of Gujarat whose complicity in the genocide has been clearly known to BJP is still in power. As regards his allegation that there were 3500 riots during Congress rule, let him know that these riots were engineered by RSS only. I think, imams should not meddle in politics. They should be confined to the precincts of the Masjid only.
Dr Aboobakar Thwahir, Mumbai

Chunavi qawwali
Those who watched the 'Aaj Tak chunavi qawwali' of the 28th evening must have experienced similar feelings of pain and outrage as I did. The contents of the Qawwali were in extreme bad taste and reduced the trauma of those people who suffered in the Best Bakery incident to a hideous joke. The two 'qawwali' parties were singing on behalf of the Congress and the BJP, each one accusing the other of wooing Muslims for votes on false pretexts. With painted, laughing faces the women sang that if they (BJP) had not abetted in it, the 'Muslims' would not have been burnt in the Best Bakery. It went on in this manner, covering the pulling down of the Babri Masjid as well. It is surprising that a national level, reputed channel has no decency or regard for subjects which by no stretch of the imagination can be considered 'light' enough to be the subject of a comic song, for that is what it is, the genre called 'mazahiya qawwali'.I hope that our countrymen realise that we have been deeply hurt and saddened by both incidents; the pulling down of the Babri Masjid and the terror of the Gujrat Muslims,it is a festering wound, not a subject for a qawwali. 
Ms. Nishat Arif Hussaini, Gulbarga

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