Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


I congratulate the Editor of MG for the fantastic report published in 16-30th April 2012 which is an eye-opener for all Muslims. “Muslims lag far behind in Media race” is a thought-provoking report. Most of the madrasas lack modern education as they teach only Islam and Quran. The students who are qualified there can be useful for only preaching and teaching Islam. They are deprived of modern scientific knowledge which is the need of the hour. Dr. Zakir Naik is not only an Islamic scholar who can speak with authentic references to all religions. His teaching of concepts of God in Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddism, Jainism and many more religions is the right path to know one’s own religion, and to honour other religions for the the sake of Universal Brotherhood.’ Western Media is playing a game and blaming  Muslims around the world.
Mohd. Azam, Telangana
Modi and SIT
As chief minister, Modi was bound by oath to protect all people in his state. To instruct his staff to permit violence against specific persons was thus without doubt an action that went against the Constitution of India. The SIT appears not to be able to tell its arse from its elbow: or it has been eating out of a rich pig’s trough.
Mukul Dube, Mayur Vihar 1, Delhi 110091
The statement issued by Abdul Gani Bhat regarding the irrelevance of UN resolutions on Kashmir is quite strange and absurd. UN resolutions on Kashmir provide a guiding principle for long lasting solution to Kashmir issue. These resolutions bind both India and Pakistan to address the aspirations of Kashmiris. Prof. Bhat seems to lack political acumen and looks tired. He should re-read the genesis of Kashmir issue. He should be cautious enough to respect the sacrifices and sentiments of the bruised and oppressed people of Kashmir.
Nasir Hussain Peerzadah, Malla Bagh, Srinagar
Jains and Gujarat riots
It is ironic that Jains are so paranoid about the sale of even eggs, considering it as killing life. Yet the Jains were the leaders of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, The rapes, killings and loot were organised by Jain leaders, among them Amit Shah, the Modi confidante, now barred by the Supreme Court from entering Gujarat. To the best of my knowledge, no Jain Acharya has denounced these killings of Muslims -  Dr. J. S. Bandukwala
Farooq Abdul Gaffar Bawani, Rajkot
Elimination of Haj subsidy is a welcome step
The Supreme Court direction to the Central government, for the gradual elimination of Haj subsidy within a period of ten years should be welcomed by all Muslims with earnestness.  Among the five pillars of Islam, Haj and Zakat are obligatory only for the rich Muslims.  Therefore, there is no justification in the government’s giving of sops to the Haj pilgrims in the form of subsidy.  However, the government should seriously contemplate upon implementing the suggestions made by Rajinder Sachar committee and Ranganath Mishra commission–to bring a large majority of the Muslim community languishing with socio-economic backwardness into the national mainstream.  The Muslims in the country have great expectations from the Supreme Court too.  They expect the apex court to take cognizance of survey indices reflecting the Muslims’ backwardness -- and give directions to the ruling class, for effecting suitable constitutional amendments in the Parliament by providing reservation to the community in the educational and employment spheres, as has been done to SC/ST and OBC communities.  
Syed Sultan Mohiddin, Kadapa (A.P)
It is ridiculous that Supreme Court has considered the subsidy extended to the Hajj pilgrims as against the spirit of Indian Secularism. But what made it to persist the practice till the coming decade. If it is bad it should have been stopped forthwith. The order is defective and passed on the behest of the government. Those Muslims who can afford will proceed for Hajj even if it cost them ten lakhs. The government need not give a single paisa as the subsidy even the Muslims have not applied to help them. But the government is giving subsidy in the air fare of Air India which is an absurd government undertaking giving low grade service to the Hajj pilgrims and minting money. The hajj committees should allowed engaging the air companies which can offer cheep and best service calling a tender. Now the fanatics Hindus are victimizing Muslims for getting undue advantage from the government. Though members of other religions are also getting aid from the government. But only Hajj subsidy is being blamed.
Dr Maqdoomi. Hyderabad
Urdu media
I have counted the news and reports about mushaira from January to March in an Urdu daily it reached to 139. On the other hand Hindi daily invites one school in a week and teaches the students the art of journalism. They ensure their kids to know journalism. This week the kids touched the subject like “Role of Media”,“Ideal student”, “Without Aim – a failure”, “Importance of English”, “Choosing Career”, “Facebooks not face books” What they are teaching and what we are trying our kids to learn? English and Hindi newspapers are full of academic, admission exam preparation, best colleges, selections, cut off marks etc. but our Urdu dailies serve us news about urs, political gossip, filmy reports and Sham-e-Gazal reports etc. Our priority is negative but we fail to oppose such useless activities.
S. Haque, Patna
A landmark judgement
It is a well known fact that the government apparatus is highly lethargic and ineffective in case of human rights violations. The Supreme Court deserves congratulation for its historic landmark Judgement through which it has stricken down the notion of blanket immunity considered legal right of armed personnel under AFSPA even if grave crimes like murder and rape are committed. The Court has rightly questioned the extent to which the army can claim blanket immunity under the AFSPA and has declared that heinous crimes like murder and rape committed by army personnel should be considered crimes and there is no question of getting sanction from government to prosecute the offenders of such crimes.
Dr. M. Hashim Kidwai, ex-MP, New Delhi – 91
15 points, 72 recommendations why not 1 point
During Indira Gandhi regime Congress had announced 15-point programme for the development of the minority. During Manmohan Singh’s regime the new 15 point programme was enacted with some cosmetic changes. In a reply minority affair minister of state said 72 recommendations of Sachar Committee has been approved. Why Congress is sweating so much in old 15 point. Just give reservation in proportion to their population. This one point would ensure justice to prevail Congress had promised in elections.
S. Haque, Patna
Hazare’s team out to subvert democracy
In the name of fighting all-pervasive corruption, Civil Society group led by Anna Hazare is trying for the passage of a strong and effective Jan Lokpal Bill ceding excessive powers to the Lokpal or ombudsman who will have jurisdiction over the P.M., ministers, MPs, judges and bureaucrats. He will thus become a super power and this is clear legation of Democracy. Moreover, the very name and nomenclature of the party i.e. civil society which is led by Anna Hazare is wrong as it assumes that politicians and political leaders are uncivil. Anna Hazare’s team which is like a shadow government in fact represents forces that aim at not only subverting parliamentary democratic system but destabilize the country. It is therefore, the duty of all Indians who are wedded to Indian Secular Democracy to come forward and give a crushing defeat to these forces which are deadly opposed to Indian Democracy.
Dr. M. Hashim Kidwai, Ex-MP, New Delhi – 91
Sachin in Rajya Sabha
There has been vast and varied reaction to Sachin Tendulkar’s nomination to Rajya Sabha. All is not complimentary. There is a joke doing the rounds on SMS. Nominating Sachin is Dr Manmohan Singh’s idea because he is fed up of being called the dumbest member of the parliament. People having digs at Sachin Tendulkar should not forget that he may prove to be a hit as an MP beyond anybody’s expectations. After all, with a catching script and proper direction he has succeeded in selling products ranging from biscuits to insurance policies. “Nuclear power, go get it!”
Mookhi  Amir Ali, Santacruz West, Mumbai 400054
Rejuvenate Congress Party
It has been reported in the media that four ministers of Congress party have appealed the Congress president Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to permit them to take up the organizational work to strengthen the party like Mr. Salman Khursheed, Mr Velar Ravi, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mr. Jai Ram Ramesh. This is a good suggestion moved by the four ministers. The present plight of Congress is woeful. It has come to fore in the UP elections. If the present situation is continued the chances of winning in the parliamentary elections in 2014 are bleak. The party needs overhauling. Being a central party it can keep the nation unite no other party have this capacity. The main reason of the defeat of party in UP is the alienation of Muslims. The anti Muslim and anti Islam elements in the party have become stronger. The fake encounters like Batla house and arrest of Muslim youths has become rampant. The minister who was responsible for Batla House encounter was given the honour of governorship. Spiralling prices and the Naxalite menace has increased to the alarming heights. The prime minister and the Congress president should take action and overhaul the party in all the states. All the senior ministers such as Pranab Mukherjee, Mr. P Chidambaram, and Mr. Digvijay Singh should resign from ministries and take up the party work and improve public relations. Pranab should take charge as party president in West Bengal as he had left that. They should work day in and day out till the next parliamentary elections are held on the do or die basis. Simply sitting in Delhi and giving sharp statements will not be of any use.
Dr Maqdoomi, Hyderabad
Chamatkari healers
Apart from the Rights of the People under the Indian Constitution, there are clear cut Obligations and Duties for the Citizen of India. Article 51A (h) of the Indian Constitution states in an unambiguous terms:” Citizens have a duty to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform (in the Society)”. I am amazed that in spite of these Constitutional Obligations and Provisions, Governments (Central as well as Sates) fail to check the irrational, illogical, irresponsible and even inhuman activities of Chamatkari Healers (belonging to any faith) causing huge losses for the Aam Aadmi in terms of both money and lives. Lack of Scientific Temper in the Society and exploitation of masses by self styled Healers is as harmful as Corruption prevailing in the country. Will the so-called Civil Society Activists express their anger over this evil too?
Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, Lucknow
Supreme Court on security-cover
It refers to Supreme Court taking cognizance of security-covers provided to large number of people mostly from legislature. Red-light cars and a fleet of security-persons by those in politics are now-a-days mainly required for status-symbol rather than actual necessity. An appreciable part of available security forces is misused for such status symbol where many misuse security-personnel for even household jobs. Case of killing of Lalit Maken should not be forgotten when the security-persons on duty were somewhere else at time of killing. Spokesperson of Union Ministry of External Affairs on the issue of children of Presidents accompanying them equated Indian practice with that of USA. In security-matters also, US practice should be followed where security is not available even for former VIPs like retired President. Prime Minister of a country in response to demand of Parliamentarians there replied that those sensitive to their lives need not contest elections at all! Same principle should be followed in India.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi-06
Disturbing trend of suicide in students
In the students community you can find a very disturbing trend of suicide is seen entering in the past few years. If you refer to the studies, it says that after every ten minutes you see some student trying suicide. The recent suicide incidents in Bangalore and Gurgaon poses a harsh question, are students not being brought up in a suitable environment? If you dig deep, the root causes to this heinous trend include failed relationship, family pressure or college or studies stress pilling up their confusion level especially when their hormones are already in a bad state. Psychiatrists are of the opinion that disturbed teenagers have always the issue in dealing with various relationship stresses.  Despite the alarming data, it’s ironical to see our police and legal system hardly care about these figures. The growing pressure from the parents to score high marks and do remarkable in their extracurricular activities is the real menace behind the suicide attempts among the teenagers. It’s high time that parents should think above their high level aspirations from their children and properly connect with their wards with utmost care and help in alleviating this devastating trend seen among the students.
Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur - 440013
Silver lining on a dark cloud?
The agreement signed by the four mediators on behalf of Chhattisgarh government and the Maoists which would set free Alex Paul Menon will be welcome all over the country. The more joyous tiding is the hint given by Raman Singh’s government that there exists a broader agreement behind this. Such encouraging news from the red corridor has not come in a long time. The optimists among activists and NGOs who have been seeking a dialogue with the Maoists will see a glimmer of hope in this step taken by a BJP government. Hitherto the BJP has been breathing fire on this front. Too often they have demanded military solution to the Maoist “menace”.
Dr Mookhi Amir Ali, Santacruz west, Mumbai 400054
Mayawati’s extravagance
When you see our nation pitted with corruption and economic insecurity, where we still fight for things like poverty, you have leaders like Mayawati the self proclaimed Messiah of Dalits seems to be investing around 800 million mall avenue bungalow in the last five years. However, if you believe the reports, the above figure seems to be a tip of iceberg since the minister was known to put sea of money on things like her birthday bash, statues, bungalow renovation and what not. According to the report published in TOI, a senior estate department official was seen figuring out an exorbitant amount of more than 1000 million. Perhaps, the Daulat ki Beti tag very well justifies the persona of Mayawati who originally claims to be leader of poor and needy. Though Mayawati had made a couple of Dalit parks in the state to gain the sympathy of her community, however, her exorbitant spending by the former minutes is really scandalous.  Any Indian would never appreciate this misuse of money and power from a leader who was elected as the state leader for four consecutive times. Perhaps this could be the reason why she was thrown out of the power.
Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Jafar Nagar, Nagpur - 440013
Alternate Banking Window in conventional banks: ICIF :
Indian Centre of Islamic Finance delegation’s visit to an Indian government official to lobby for introducing Islamic Banking windows in conventional Banks as a pilot project, is a sincere effort to help provide Islamic Banking facilities to primarily Muslim citizens of India to abide by their strict Islamic injunctions against interest. However, as the balance of power is in the hands of a committed bureaucracy as well as the ruling class, ICIF should realise that even if Islamic Banking is adopted by Indian Banking system, the entire control of the facilities offered may or may not be in strict compliance with Sharia requirements. ICIF should consider how Muslim Personal Laws are being flaunted with impunity by the government, legislation, bureaucracy as well as judiciary and we have a big ongoing struggle to get Government to grant us full constitutional freedom to practice our religion in all its manifestations and corollaries. Time and again simple minded and sincere people have relied on State to be fair with Muslims. However, there seems to be a ideological reluctance by all section of Indian governance, to ‘appease’ Muslims, even though their demands are just, constitutional, legal, viable and deserving. Muslims have no effective political leverage with the political class. So much so, that we have not even planned to lobby the political parties first, to include Muslim demand for Islamic Banking in their manifesto. I doubt even either Muslim League or Welfare Party of India, has included in their manifesto, the Muslim demand for Islamic Banking facilities. So all such visits to government ministers and bureaucrats become fruitless and increase Muslim frustrations when their most cherished demand are merely given polite hearing but never any effort to move in the direction of even remotely coming forward with any positive sign that Islamic Banking is under consideration. This state of affair should force us to review our strategies for the achievement of our goal. A window of opportunity could open, when globalized India now desperate for Foreign Funds might look to Gulf countries with bulging Sovereign Funds, to invest its major infrastructure projects. I would suggest that we should lobby with investing Gulf countries, to channelize their investment through Islamic Banking system and as an extension of cooperation, lobby with Indian authorities to allow private Islamic Banks from Gulf countries to open their full branches as pilot project to offer Islamic Banking facilities to all sections of Indian population. Since we would be helping our country to raise billions in investment funds for national or private projects, we will certainly cultivate some leverage to our demands on our government to come to a trilateral arrangement, so that it may not appear to be politically vulnerable to opposition charge of ‘appeasement’ of Indian Muslims. Our efforts will be based on a fair exchange of give and take and we will not be begging for favors of without any direct and visible quid pro quo. I would request Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF). ICIF must proceed with the project in a professional manner instead of throwing the ball in the court of a reluctant government that is interested to play the ball with its Muslim citizens.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2012 on page no. 23

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