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


Tahir Mahmood's autobiography

The Milli Gazette Online

Apropos of Mr Ayub Khan’s review of Dr Tahir Mahmood’s book Amid Gods and Lords. Quite apart from the merit of the book, I find the use of the word Gods with a capital G as absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable to a Muslim. Normally the word God is used to refer to God Almighty, Allah, Ishwar, who is one, and unique, the Supreme Lord of the Universe, the Beginning and the End. So it is totally absurd to pluralize ‘God’.

However, ‘god’ with a small ‘g’ in English means the multiplicity of mythical and historical figures who or whose disciples claim divinity for them. Thus ‘gods’ is understandable. Perhaps Dr Mahmood has been taken away by the magic of alliteration and the sound of eloquence. I request him to change ‘Gods’ into ‘gods’.

The reviewer mentions my name twice in his review. I must say in due honesty that I recall neither occasion, though I am aware of Dr Mahmood’s reservation on the Muslim stand on both questions. I may add that the Ram Janambhoomi Movement was not born after the Chandrachud Judgement but dates back to 1949 and particularly from October 1983 when the VHP launched it on the banks of the Saryu in Ayodhya.

Syed Shahabuddin

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