Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


You are doing a commendable job of presenting true news to Muslims in India. We will do our best to be of any help to you.
Sayed Iftiyaz
Chandrawaddo, Fatorda - 403602 Goa
Peace TV (Urdu) aired a programme, “Samaj Par Media Ke Asaraat” (Effects of Media on Society). The Peace TV presenter Nisar Nadiadwalla was answering questions. One was about the role of our media and Nadiadwalla replied that it is our duty to spread good messages and newspapers and magazines like Milli Gazette, Islamic Voice and Radiance. He also asked the people to gift their copies to other friends in order to spread the message far and wide. He mentioned MG three times.     
S. Haque, Patna
Jamia Hamdard
With reference to the coverpage story of February 1-15 issue of The Milli Gazette, I have to submit that the MG comment on my possible personal discord with Dr GN Qazi is too speculative and based on assumption. Personally, I hold him in great esteem and have no clash of interest with him. However, every responsible citizen and friend of society has a constitutional right, and also a moral duty, to raise and discuss matters of principle and legality concerning our system and society. When we go by the merit of the case and follow the rule of law, individual relations become meaningless and redundant. Given this, I consider the MG comments superfluous and uncalled for.           
Prof. Muhammad Iqbal,  Jamia Hamdard
MG Editor:  We felt it was our duty to cross-check the matter raised by you and the very short comment we published  touched on the feedback we received from reliable sources on Hamdard campus.
Apropos of the cover page story in The Milli Gazette (Feb 1-15) concerning Jamia Hamdard VC. The present VC has no right to continue in his office against the UGC directives. However, the Chancellor of Hamdard University behaved negativity since I know him as a VC of the AMU. He appointed a temporary staff (PhD Chemistry), working in an ICAR project as a permanent teacher of Botany without any interview during the last tenure of his Vice-Chancellorship in 1985. This kind of illegal appointment never happened in any academic Institution anywhere. The author of the present in MG is the same person who raised his voice against the illegal appointment in the department of Botany, AMU in 1985. 
      Mohammad Saquib
Such a brazen disregard of rules and open contempt of law by a person holding such a high position is amazing. In view of Delhi High Court’s verdict on a similar case, continuance of Dr GN Qazi as Vice Chancellor even after attaining 65 years is patently illegal. Those who are supporting a law-breaker obviously have some vested interest. Much of the responsibility of this unprecedented situation goes to the Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard who has the legal authority to take action in this regard. He has been known as a man of principles and as a tough administrator, and his silence on the issue is not understandable. His performance was questioned when he was VC of AMU some thirty years ago and his current performance with reference to Jamia Hamdard is also disappointing. Why does the JH community not rush to a court of law for taking the guilty to account?
Nand Kishore Adv., Aligarh, U.P.
Dr GN Qazi has captured the Jamia Hamdard VC’s Office illegally because he is confident of receiving support (a) from the authorities of Hamdard National Foundation, who, with the help of Dr Qazi, now want to set up private platforms in Jamia Hamdard for their personal gains, and (b) from the authorities of UGC, whom he has obliged with undue personal favours, like appointing the wife of Dr Shakeel Ahmad (Joint Secretary, UGC) as Associate Professor in the Department of Federal Studies at Jamia Hamdard, and admitting illegally the wife of Dr Ved Prakash (Chairman, UGC) to PhD program in Federal Studies at Jamia Hamdard, despite her failing to  meet the eligibility requirements (details in the fortnightly University Today, 1 January, 2012).               
Dr Akhtar Adil, New Delhi
Vice Chancellors derive their power only from and on behalf of the Executive Council, but past experience tells us that these otherwise democratic institutions have now gradually turned into rubber-stamps. Threadbare discussion in such bodies is now a rarity. Vice Chancellors, unlike the Prime Minister, are accountable to none, turning them into autocrats. Similar is the case with the Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University, Dr Harshe against whom there were several allegations but, taking advantage of general lethargy of the government and corruption-friendly system, he continued to unabashedly cling to his chair even after having completed the mandated tenure. What is most alarming is that the Prime Minister, despite himself being a former academic, has chosen to remain silent on the cases of corruption in the highest seats of learning. Is it not high time that we need to setup a tribunal or similar such multi-member body to monitor and regulate the functioning of the Vice Chancellors of the universities in the country? Perhaps such a high power tribunal can also function as a grievance redressing body and look into issues pertaining to the recruitment and promotion of the teachers so that the judicial system is not burdened with teacher-student-institution litigations. As of now, exploiting the system to their advantage, the Harshes and the Qazis after putting on ear-plugs have withdrawn themselves into their fantasy cocoons surrounded by sycophant staff members. 
Dr. M. Badruzzaman Siddiqui, Biswan, Sitapur-261201
The UPA Govt in general and HRD Ministry in particular have been too slow in acting with respect to VCs facing charges of corruption. In fact, the standard response has been to cold-shelve the complaints against powerful functionaries. Lately, Jamia Hamdard, and earlier institutions such as Vishwabharti Shantiniketan, AMU and NEHU have been in the news on account of serious allegations of corruption levelled against top functionaries. Perhaps owing to obvious fear of retaliation, teachers and other employees rarely gather courage to come out in the open and file written complaints with higher-ups or government. In this context, the principled stand of Prof Iqbal deserves praise. On the face of it, the continuation of Dr G N Qazi, the controversial VC of Jamia Hamdard, appears to be illegal as any incumbent cannot alter the rules of the game to suit his ends and continue to occupy the chair even after expiry of his term. His administration is even otherwise currently battling spate of serious allegations including misuse of power, harassment of employees as also whistle blowers. During Dr Qazi's tenure, functionaries of Jamia Hamdard have been facing several inquiries by corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission too. Further still, what is intriguing and worrying is that MHRD and UGC seem to have turned a blind eye to the sorry state of affairs in Jamia Hamdard. As reported in media, it is alleged that Jamia Hamdard has extended undue favours to the better half of a senior officer at UGC to keep it in good humour. Further, I am of the opinion that the issues raised by Prof Iqbal deserve serious consideration by all the stakeholders as also govt of the day. Any attempt at trivializing them by alluding to some personal friction is uncalled for.
Prof M. Ishrat Husain Khan, ex-chair, Dept of Botany, AMU
Praveen Swami’s article (Feb 2, The Hindu), like other articles in the press recently on Salman Rushdie, seems thoroughly unjust as far as the other side of the debate is concerned. Suppose a person is arrested for a crime. He has a right to defend himself and we can initiate a discussion on whether the concerned person is culprit or not, is there sufficient ground for his detention or not etc. But it is foolish to link this discussion to the ‘freedom of movement’ whose importance everyone acknowledges with the recognition that there are certain limitations to this freedom and arresting someone for a crime is one such exception. Salman Rushdie’s book Satanic Verses is banned for good. One can come up in defence of that literary-bullshit, arguing that the book is not filthy enough to be banned, but to link up this discussion with the freedom of speech and expression is nonsense. No one disputes the importance of freedom of speech and expression, but everyone recognises that there are legitimate limits over its exercise. After all I cannot and should not be allowed to ‘abuse’ Indian President, Prime Minister, Constitution or anyone for that matter. Serious intellectual debate is welcome but abuses are not. Satanic Verses by any far stretch is not an artistic or critical work but only an abusive enterprise. Sooner the writers and activists jumping in defence of Salman Rushdie, realise this, the better.
Khan Yasir, Delhi University
Respect for religious sentiments not synonymous with appeasement
When Darul Uloom Deoband the largest Muslim religious seminary in Asia protested over the proposed visit of Salman Rushdie the author of ‘Satanic Verses’ in which he has used highly offensive and objectionable language against the Holy Prophet of Islam and Islam and on which accounts this book had been proscribed by the government of India, to attend the literary festival at Jaipur, Muslims all over the country including Muslim organisations supported the verdict of Darul Uloom Deoband and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan also supported Muslim stand, the media and a number of columnists condemned the acceptance of Muslim demand as an appeasement of Muslims and violation of the right of freedom of expression completely ignoring the fact that no right is absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions and that no one has the right to hurt the religious sentiments of any community. By no logic respect for religious sentiments can neither be anti-secular or synonymous with appeasement of any particular community.
Dr. M. Hashim Kidwai (ex-MP),Delhi - 110091
We are asking for reservation. We are asking for crutches. Are we crippled? Yes, we are crippled, not physically but mentally. We need support all the time. We are lame and lethargic. We are not strong and powerful. We do not want to be strong and powerful. We do not want to work hard and help each other to come out of agony of decades. We have learned to cry. We have lost confidence in our selves. We see injustice everywhere. Those who keep on crying are like beggars. They get whatever is thrown to them. They do not get respect. Respect is to be earned with the help of knowledge and hard work. We must arouse Muslims to do hard work and to get knowledge, religious as well as modern. We must help each other to come out as winners and be true Muslims. Let us do not fight over trivial matters and be co-operative to each other because, we want to be strong as a community. We do want to spread the message of Islam. We believe in love and kindness. Those who believe in love and kindness can only become strong and powerful in long run.
Nazneen O. Saherwala, Surat, Gujarat
Thank you Dr. Sumit S. Paul,
Peace be with you and thank you for having taken the efforts to collect the positive views and opinions of non-Muslim scholars such as Tagore, Sir Jadunath, Dr. Ramvilas, Gulabdas, Dharmveer, Ghosh, Kshitimohan, V. V. Giri and Sir Gibb (MG Feb 1-15) It was indeed very kind of you to have taken the efforts and may you be rewarded for your good intentions. Please permit me to add the following to your quotes. “A Christian sees much in Islam which reminds him of his own religion, but he sees it in the extremely distorted form. He finds ideas and statements of belief clearly related to those of his own religion, but which nevertheless, turns off into strangely different paths. Islam is so familiar to us that we pass it by with careless indifference with which we ignore that which we know and know only too well. And yet it is not familiar enough to us to enable us really to understand its uniqueness, and the spirit by which it has won its own place in the sphere of religion, a place which it still rightly occupies by virtue of its very existence. We find it much easier to understand religions that are completely new and strange to us: as for example, the religions of India and China. A greater degree of insight and of spiritual freedom is required of him who would understand the Arabian Prophet and his book” Tor Andrae in his book Mohammed: The Man and His Faith It looks like relatives understand each other least of all.
P. A. Mohamed Ameen (via email)
ATS chief Maharashtra misled the country
ATS picked three Muslim students Nasim Khan, Qamar Alam Shaikh and Abdul Wahab from their engineering college at Mohali, Punjab. When Muslims met Rakesh Maria to get the information why those Muslim students were picked up. He replied that there students had acquired 14 SIM cards on forged documents and meanwhile interrogated about terror but picked up not for terror links. (news agencies, 7 Jan. 2012) And local court released them innocent because ATS report did not proved any terror links. Advocate Khalid Azmi and Ansar Ahmad Tamboli were perusing this case (UNI News) this news shows that Nasim Khan, Qamar Alam Shaikh and Abdul Wahab were picked up to implicate them in terror charges and Rakesh Maria ATS chief Maharashtra misled the country.
S. Haque, Patna
Pune insanity
A few days back Santosh Mane, an insane ST driver rode his bus mercilessly over dozens of innocents killing instantly eight and injuring twenty five, some of whom are said to be serious. The reason cited for this mayhem was that his superiors’ indifferent rather humiliating attitude drove him crazy and he went berserk killing innocents. What could surprise one most that despite Santosh Mane’s inhuman and barbarian attitude, probably first of its kind in the entire world, failed to make a fitting hue and cry barring few traditional debates on TV channels and essays in the broadsheets. Neither the general public went amok burning vehicles or killing any one else. And lo! After only a week the dust seems to have settled down and life in Pune became absolutely normal. My rather indecent question is: could the attitude of the general public and even the impartial Police, have been same had the driver of the ST bus been a Muslim, Sikh or Christian? If yes, then what right did the majoritarians have to kill three thousand Sikhs in Delhi, three thousand innocent Muslims in Gujarat and hundreds of Christians in Khandhmal? This is where one seriously doubt the genuineness of our so called secularism or democracy that rarely offers protection to its minorities when it is needed most.                
Mushtaque Madni, Pune
Muslims under Mayawati regime
Article in MG on Mayawati’s performance during the last four and half year is an eye opener particularly for the Muslim community because her government did nothing for the betterment of the Muslims. The only Muslim face of BSP Nasimuddin Siddiqui is totally indifferent towards the community’s problems. Miss Mayawati’s secular credential is also doubtful and now its right time for the community to think unitedly and cast the vote judiciously.
Syed Najeeb Ahmad, Azamgarh (UP)
Upholding the cause of Palestine
As the cause of justice for Palestinians is growing in India, we should feel impelled to fulfil our responsibilities and realise that we will be held accountable, if we do not contribute to portray the situation fairly and accurately. So, I request all of you if you watch a programme on television or listen to a radio broadcast that you feel is prejudiced or unbalanced in its portrayal of Palestinian issue, either provocatively or through omitting the key facts or context, please try your best to contact the programme-makers and lodge a complaint against it. Balant inaccuracy is a road block to solution of Palestinian issue. For example, Jerusalem is often referred to as the capital of Israel by many journalists, and this should be picked up on and corrected. Emails and phones calls should emphasise that Jerusalem is split to two by the Green Line and East Jerusalem is Palestinian land that has been occupied since 1967. Journalists should be reminded that Jerusalem is not recognised as Israel’s capital by the international community.     Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi, New Delhi-45
 Terror charges: is there any solution to this problem?
So many innocent Muslims are arrested every year and every month by the police and the intelligence officials on the basis of ‘nothing’ and these people are imprisoned for so many years and are tortured. Lastly, no evidence is found against them and all charges and allegations that were put on them prove to be totally fake, false and baseless but by the time they are released from jails, their entire-past, present and even future is destroyed. We all know that after they come out of the prison, the entire scene has changed for them. So I ask you please tell me and all of us who see all these scenes everyday, helplessly: what to do? Where to go? Whom to ask for help? Who is ours? Who will help? What sort of system is this that punishes someone without any crime? For that crime which he has not done? We see all these and our hearts cry and the the story continues like this because this goes on happening everyday at some or the other place…..Plese tell me…please….what can I do?
A reader
Morality of BJP ministers in Karnataka
It is indeed a matter of big shame that BJP neither demanded dismissal of its three highly immoral ministers in Karnatak from membership of the assembly nor suspended them from primary membership of the party for misusing immunity by seeing and forwarding porn films on mobile-phone during serious debate in the state- assembly. Seeking resignations just from ministerial posts is not enough. Interesting aspect is that BJP leadership is giving a set of excuses requiring public to accept any of these excuses! Giving too much excuses in itself proves the guilt which even has recorded witness of TV cameras. Since BJP Speaker of Karnataka assembly did not register any complaint for the offence with police, it is necessary that often misused immunity available to members of legislative Houses (both in Parliament and state-assemblies) may be immediately abolished to bring any unlawful activity of erring members of legislative Houses under normal law of land. Just an in-House enquiry in the matter is not at all enough because House Committees and Chairpersons are usually soft on unlawful acts of members. It may be recalled that an RJD Lok Sabha member Rajesh Manjhi, once found guilty of taking another woman on travel-pass of his wife, was debarred from attending just 30 sittings of the Lok Sabha for his guilt that too when he even tried to mislead Lok Sabha panel set to enquire his misconduct.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi - 110006
Our paper media too should be under a tight leash
Our paper media takes the British press as its model, a legacy of the colonial rule. However, our newspapers can no longer take the plea that they should enjoy the same freedom as in Britain because their counterparts there are misusing it grossly. Demand is rising for leashing them, just as the people want here. The press often treats people callously, both there and here. There are also allegations of corrupt relationship between the press and the police. “Newspapers will almost certainly be forced to abandon the long tradition of self-regulation,” says The Economist. The measures proposed are: “market control, legal reform and tougher regulation.” “The most strenuous effort should be directed at toughening up the system for regulating journalists’ behavior,” adds The Economist.
A reader

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-29 February 2012 on page no. 23

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