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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


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The fortnightly Milli Gazette has, perhaps for the first time in half a century, become a forthright forum for the voiceless millions of Indian Muslims in particular and other minorities in general. Your December 16-31, 2004 issue features a particularly poignant chapter in free India’s history: Rizvi Syed Haider Abbas’s special report: "36 Hours of Sikhs’ Massacre." 

Doubtless, he has carefully researched the blood curdling details of the carnage which had been unleashed at the implicit directive of the slain Prime Minister’s son – as inferred and confirmed by citizen’s group reports and independent analysts like Madhu Kishwar and Virginia Van Dyke.

The tragic irony is that, twenty years later, not only have the perpetrators (like Jagdish Tytler) gone scot free but appear to have been rewarded. No lessons were learnt and no relief extended to the victims — mostly women and children. Eminent Sikhs, like Lt. Gen (Retd) J.S. Aurora, Justice R.S. Narula and the historian Patwant Singh had, collectively approached, PV Narasimha Rao, the newly sworn in Home Minister, early in the morning of November 01, 1984, to summon the army for quelling the mobs. He simply ignored the request. Indeed ostensibly under the directions of the bereaved son, some 5000 Sikh police constables were confined to the barracks lest they should carry out the elementary duties of coming to the rescue of the targeted (and unaware) community.

Mr Rizvi rightly draws the grim parallel between 1984 and the 2002. Gujarat riots — which were a ghastly repetition of the massacre of innocent citizens.

If no objection, we would like to reprint Mr Rizvi’s analytical article in our monthly: The Sikh Review, for a wider audience. Sikhs are, by God’s Grace, on a rebound. We wish the Muslim brothers and sisters – and indeed all Indians – Godspeed in 2005.
Saran Singh IAS (rtd.)
Editor, The Sikh Review, Kolkata 

My heartiest congratulations on bringing out such a good journal. I got a chance to go through the entire paper thoroughly as my train from Kanpur was full two hours late. I instantly decided to be your subscriber and even spoke to your correspondent whom I know for several years.
Kulsum Talha, Lucknow

Mutassir hoon
Aap ki shakhsiat se mai behad mutassir hoon. Aap ne milli gazette nikal kar aor millat ki zabardast numaindagi karke woh kam kiya hai jo bade bade darul uloom aor madarse khol kar nahi kiya ja sakta. Allah aapko quwwat ata kare, aamin.
M. ARIF QASMI, Secy. Gen., Dawatul Quran>

MG facing threats 
Hope your are all right. It is quite shocking and surprising that MG has received yet another threat. It is the work of unscrupulous miscreants. Beyond any shackle of doubt, MG has been quite courageous, honest and clear in bringing out the true picture of what happened in Gujarat. This might have surely caused troubles to the concerned elements who do not want to get exposed.

It is a shame for such insane elements as they managed the Gujarat massacre and now they do not want to face the realities. Anyway the transgressors will perish.

Now I come on another topic, in Kashmir, despite Mufti led government having completed more than two years, the ground situation has not changed. Innocent people are still being killed, injured and harassed.

The dialogue process too does not seem to affect the ground realities in Kashmir though there is silence on LoC.

People by and large are not satisfied with reluctant approach shown by the Indian govt. at various instances in response to the Musharraf’s flexible gestures. India should have reciprocated the same way as Pakistan is doing otherwise the long rending issue of Kashmir is not going to be settled. This was again quite evident in the concluding session of talks between the two govts. over the Baghliar Project, where Pakistan having been dissatisfied wants the intervention of a third party.

Similar situation happened when the two govts. could not agree upon the modalities to be finalized for the operation of the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. Justice demands that both the countries should be flexible enough to solve the Kashmir dispute for ever.
Nasir Hussain Peerzadah, Srinagar 

I am surprised you thought it fit to publish the hate mail from one Dharamveer Mishra in your current issue of MG. Publishing something so low does not behove well for an esteemed magazine like MG. I believe hate only generates hate and this should be avoided at all costs. Islam is all about peace. Remember he who angers you, conquers you. For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of your mind.
S.A.R Adil 

Capital punishment
This is in response to the letter 'Capital Punishment' by Mohammad Abdus Samed. He thinks that there should be capital punishment for crimes like rape and murder. And dares to suggest that GOVMT should oppose mixing of opposite sexes, liquor consumption. To let him know all such bans are in place in countries like Pakistan and many other oppressive Muslim countries. Have these societies become any better in their record of crime and civil behaviou? if you see, they are doing much worse in every aspect than all other secular and democratic countries. All Muslims, be in India or other Islamis nations, have failed to understand this basic truth. Nothing is ever achieved by banning and issuing fatwas etc. It has spread much more fastly in the so-called Islamic nations. Condition of women is no doubt worse in Islamic community.

When a group of people comes together and thinks that they know better than the community and have the right to decide what is right and wrong, what all you get is oppression, failure and more crime. Nothing is better than democracy. Mr. Mohammad does not understand the sweetness of the democracy he has the opportunity to live in. Dear Mohammad, unless the importance of respect to women, non-alcoholism, non-violence dawns in ones mind, no kind of banning would ever help. A cool headed look around your own society would convince you of this.

Also, your newspaper has failed to effectively bring up the issue of Muslim education in general and especially that of Muslim girls in India. You do not seriously seek Allah. Otherwise he would have given you the wisdom to pursue this matter as your first aim because this has the ability to help Muslim community like nothing else. But I think your minds are so much filled with hate that they have stopped working constructively for the betterment of the society.

To be honest, if you read through your issue, you do not have even 5 % material that would guide the Muslim community towards progress and that is a shame.
Uroj Lamba

Kudos, Engineer saheb!
Our heartiest congratulations too you. May you live another hundred years to continue to continue enlightening us on a path to "RightLivelihood," Taaqqul (reasoning), Tadabbur (contemplation), Tafakkur (Thinking) and Hikmah (Wisdom), with the immense sense of justice, benevolence, compassion and wisdom that underlie your thinking and writings. Zillions of hearty kudos to you Engineer Sahab!
Satinath Choudhary

Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza has done India proud by winning hearts of millions of her admirers including even the crowned six-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the Australian challenge round when the young Indian star made a courageous fight against highly experienced Tennis-supremo even though Sania lost to Serena! Union government should make her youngest awardee of Padmashree by honouring her with the national honour on forthcoming Republic Day 2005.
Madhu Agarwal, Delhi 110006

Where Muslims have gone wrong?
I would like to draw attentions of youths of our community to some useful suggestions given by scholar Rafiz Zakaria in his book, Indian Muslims: Where Have They Gone Wrong? 

The author prescribes that the Indian Muslims should learn to be self-reliant and develop themselves as a distinct, forward-looking community, which has little in common with the Arabs or Iranians. The Muslim youth must receive all forms of modern, professional and technical education, work hard, compete and excel in various specialized fields. Notwithstanding differences between Hindus and Muslims, the ties between them cannot be ignored. Zakaria stresses that cooperation between the two communities alone can bring prosperity to the country.
Dr Md. Farooque Azam
Editor, Ilm-o-Danish fortnightly, Bhagalpur

Lead peaceful life
We tend to pay a lot of attention to physical make up and neglect spirituality. The end result is lack of mental peace. Lack of mental peace may lead to coronary failure. 

Swami Vivekananda had said that it was thought which is the propelling force in human beings. In order to live a peaceful life, we will have to cleanse our heart and mind and cultivate good habits. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said," Beware; there is piece of flesh in the body. If it becomes good (reformed), the whole body becomes good, but if it gets spoilt, the whole body gets spoilt, and that is heart."
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi

Promote human values
I sent the following SMS to my friends on "Happy New Year’s eve this time: "Happy New Year. But let us not forget the underprivileged and those who have suffered the terrifying tsunami. May God lead us to righteousness."

Tsunami and the destruction caused by it surely reminds one of the holy verses in the Qur’an and one is struck numb with shock and fright. It is very difficult to assess whether those who got washed away in the giant waves were more unfortunate or the ones who have survived it. But whatever, it is God who knows better. It is a time when one must reflect on the past and instead of increasing man made divisions, we must work towards bringing human beings closer. 

It shocked me immensely to note that some Muslims consider New Year a Christian celebration — first of all I think this is a absurd notion. But even if it is a Christian celebration, what’s wrong in joining it? New Year is a festival of the whole world and in times like the present, one must grab every opportunity that has even a remote chance of enhancing harmony and peace and make deliberate attempts to promote these virtues.

There is nothing unIslamic about lighting candles, sending flowers or eating cakes. Such festivities should actually bring people of all walks of life together; specially care should be taken to include the downtrodden in such merrymaking and also this opportunity should be taken to do something for their long lasting benefits. In fact people with better understanding should come forward and set examples in decency and sophistication on such occasions so that misguided people mainly the youth who associate New Year and other celebrations with vulgarity and nudity, get to know of the better values in life and they emulate them to become better human beings.

As far as Islam is concerned, it conveys a message of love, equality and justice and does not discriminate among God’s creations. Let us not isolate ourselves in closed airtight compartments of dos and dont’s. Life is one of God’s greatest gifts and it is filled with plenty of blessings. Let us thank God for it every day and more so on the eve of the New Year and pray to Him to forgive our sins and show us the right path and lead us to salvation. Amen. 
Zohra Javed, Allahabad 

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