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Husaini Tigers frustrate enemy plots

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There is a growing US influence on ulama today. We slog for 24 hours a day and still do not maintain a lifestyle which ulama sport without any apparent source of income... We will oppose the US and Israeli mission activities in Lucknow. We want good communal and sectarian relations. We want peace at all cost. We want India to become a powerful nation

Lucknow: Those who witnessed the 1998 protests led by Kalbe Jawad are all afresh with memories of the Azadari agitation which finally revived the Shiite processions on the occasion of Muharram and Ramadan, after they remained ‘banned’ for over twenty years owing to the Shia-Sunni skirmishes in the city. Thereafter, it was decided that Shias would be allowed to carry out nine processions and the Sunnis only one on an yearly basis.

“That was more than a decade back. Our Husaini Tigers, derived from the inspiration of Hasan Nasrallah of Hezbollah in Lebanon, were in the first row, displaying their bands on their heads and wrists, spearheading the procession. With the Azadari processions on their way, we had to a bit shelved our organisation, and would get into campaigns like blood donation and providing assistance to the destitute. But, we did keep our morale high as camps of judo-karate were also to be maintained. This helped us a lot as for almost the whole of the last decade we were totally locked in a perpetual battle to articulate our Waqf agitation. Physical fitness of cadres is always our priority. Our other brotherly organisation is Pasradaran-e-Husain. Both are led by Imam-e-Juma of Asifi Masjid Maulana Kalbe Jawad,” said Shameel Shamsie who happens to be the first cousin of Jawad.

Shameel Shamsie is today in the thick of things. Apart from being a very successful businessman of orchids and sweet shops chain, he is also devoted to his fight against religious politics. He is today the head of Husaini Tigers which overwhelmingly consists of young students engaged in their careers of higher studies. “Husaini Tigers have a 100% literacy rate. Most of the tigers are management and medicine graduates. Some are entrepreneurs and everyone is strict to the call of the organisation,” he informs. What is your agenda? “The bulwark of our tigers is to fight against the fake and fraud brand of religious leaders today. They are now in plenty sponsored by BJP, RSS and US. There is a growing US influence on ulama today. We slog for 24 hours a day and still do not maintain a lifestyle which ulama sport without any apparent source of income,” he adds.

So, what would you do? “Ever since the establishment of the All India Shia Personal Law Board, the whole community environment has been taken to ransom. On every Ramadan or Muharram there are situations deliberately created to make Lucknow burn in a Shia-Sunni riot,” he elaborates. There has of course been a rise in the incidence of small-scale skirmishes every now and then. Who would forget the way two Sunni boys were martyred on 10th Muharram in 2005 and the way Kalbe Jawad averted a big Shia-Sunni riot in the city,” he said.

“Lately, Husaini Tigers went into gear when we came to know that one so-called religious leader had ransacked a Sunni property inside Noor Mahal, a Shiite Masjid located in a prime part of Lucknow. This was done despite the fact that the Sunni individual owning the property had won the case. Goondaism, particulary if committed by a namesake religious leader, brings bad name to the whole community. An FIR was lodged naming that leader but owing to his proximity with a powerful BJP parliamentarian, his name was deleted. We all swung into action. Within 24 hours we got the place vacated and made the concerned individual get a house under the Manyawar Kanshi Ram Gharibi Unmoolan Awaisiye Yojna,” said Shamsie.

Husaini Tigers were also instrumental into unearthing that scholarship amount of Rs 42 lakh for students at Shia Post Graduate Degree College of Lucknow which was sent back without distribution. This led to an agitation. Husaini Tigers went to UP Governor with a memorandum and it is now made public that the amount would soon return to Shia College for disbursement among students.

Closely on the anvil came the US embassy-sponsored iftar at a three-star hotel in Lucknow. Husaini Tigers took to the streets. US and Israel flags were burnt outside the hotel. They shouted anti-US and anti-Israel slogans and lambasted those Muslims eager to break their fast with those breaking the Muslim nations. “We threw Coke and Pespi bottles and condemned the US for its policies of waging war against Islam in the garb of fighting terror,” said Shameel.

With no respite, Husaini Tigers went to organise one of the biggest protests in Lucknow. More than 25,000 people joined the protest led by Kalbe Jawad. It started from the historic Sibtainabad Imambara to Shahnajaf Imambara in Hazratganj. The occasion was 8th Shawwal (18 September). The demo decried the demolition of the mausoleum of Hadrat Fatima by the Saudi government in 1934 when Hadrat Usman’s grave was also leveled.

“We could sense the conspiracy. BJP and RSS wanted Lucknow to be burnt in a Shia-Sunni riot particularly on the eve of Babri Masjid verdict. Some non-descript Shia group was funded by anti-Islam forces with an agenda to foment a riot. They were targeting two aspects. They were firstly to engage into open tabarra (curses on the first three caliphs of Islam) so as to instigate Sunnis and trigger a riot. If that did not succeed, then they were to oppose Kalbe Jawad calling him a hypocrite. Why was Kalbe Jawad silent on 8th Shawwal incident and supported the Babri Masjid cause? As demolition had happened in both the cases, we smelled the rat and scuttled their ulterior designs. We organised a massive protest which also gave a message that Muslims were all ready for the coming verdict too,” said Shamsie.

“Our mission is all too well pronounced. We have Nasrullah as chief patron. We will oppose the US and Israeli mission activities in Lucknow. We want good communal and sectarian relations. We want peace at all cost. We want India to become a powerful nation,” said Shamsie.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2010 on page no. 1

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