Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor

Rejoinders/Opinion/Letters to the editor - I

MG

I am a new reader of Milli Gazette. I am delighted to know that a newspaper is in public domain that gives right information about Muslims in India and abroad. It helps the community to acquire knowledge on every aspects. This is only newspaper which fearlessly and boldly speaks about Muslim problems. This is not only for Muslims but also for other castes suffering a lot in India. I would like to thank Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan and staff for their noble service and contribution towards the Muslim society and Islamic media. I pray to Allah for the development of Milli Gazette and Muslim society

Imran Bandhani

bandhani_i@yahoo.in

Fantastic article by Ram Puniyani

This refers to a fantastic article by Ram Puniyani in MG (16-28) Feb 2011; “Gujarat Carnage, Modi and SIT” clean chit is very interesting and full of facts showing the other face of Modi as modern Hitler. SIT had danced to the tunes of Modi, who gave him clean chit by destroying all the relevant records.  I congratulate the editor-in-chief Janab Zafarul Islam Khan for publishing the authentic articles by Ram Puniyani, for the eye opener even to a common man

Mohammad Azam, Karimnagar, Telangana

deomohdazam70@gmail.com

Godhra verdict: Muslims faith in Judiciary eroded

The quality of judgement delivered by the special fast track court in the Godhra train burning case has shaken the faith of all Muslims in the Indian judiciary.  While the court has found ‘conspiracy theory’ as tenable, the “main conspirators” Moulana Umarji and Bilal Hussain Kalota who were charged by the police to have exhorted Muslims to commit the crime were let off – which glaringly point at the miscarriage of justice. Assuming that 31 accused in the case found guilty by the court were the ‘real’ perpetrators of the crime, who will recompense the agony endured by 63 innocent people who were in jail for nine long years? Why the Gujarat police was not taken to task by the court for falsely implicating them?  Of what use are the U.C.Banerjee committee report and the finding by forensic experts that the fire in the S-6 coach could have been caused by an inflammable fluid in the compartment?

Syed Sultan Mohiddin, Kadapa (A.P)

sultan_awaz@yahoo.co.in

Clean chit to Modi?

Ironically after SIT submitted its report a large number of media reported about a clean chit given to Modi. However, the Tehelka scoop (5th February 2011) clearly shows that the newspaper headline was nothing but a concoction. As per the scoop the entire blame of carnage squarely was put on Modi while all the charges against him stand vindicated in the SIT investigation report. The report practically confirms all the findings of the people’s tribunal and other citizens committees who painstakingly investigated the Gujarat violence and called it a pogrom. In this battle for justice, the communal element seems to have all the major manipulating power at present which is clearly showcased in Gujarat. This whole episode should make us have the introspection as to how to ensure that ‘truth shall prevail’ in present circumstances. Moreover, which are these forces, politics-media nexus which seems to manipulate the mass thinking at will by publishing that ‘SIT has given clean chit to Modi’? If we cannot rise up to this stark fact of our society, such popular perceptions will be laying the ground for the mass murderers to keep ruling with the great appreciation form the communal forces and captains of industry and they can also manipulate the opinion of masses in their favour.

Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur – 440013

writeziya@gmail.com

Gujarat

I whole heartedly agree with Prof. J. S. Bandukwala’s (the Milli Gazette, February, 1-16, 2011) assessment of Narendra Modi the chief minister of Gujarat. He rightly lambasts that countless Muslims and Dalits have been uprooted and dumped away so that Ahmadabad can look like Paris. He also points out disciminiation against Muslims. It is unfortunate that during the regime of the present Vice-Chancellor of Muslim University mixed dramas and mixed functions which are not in accordance with Islam are being encouraged but it is distressing that one does not find agaisnt these anti-Islamic activities in your esteem journal.

Dr. M.H. Kidwai, ex-M.P. (Rajya Sabha)

New Delhi

Shameless Muslims

Of late, we see pictures of Muslims feeling themselves honoured by standing with Narendra Modi.  One does not understand what makes them so much shameless?!

S. Akhtar, Khanpur Deh – 392150

A goof up at Census?

Last week the Census man visited me and after noting my name and other details he asked for my religion; I said Islam; he looked for appropriate code no. for the same from the options given at the bottom of the chart and he found that there was no religion called Islam. The nearest option he peevishly told me he had was Muslim. Is just ignorance that there is no religion called Muslim but there is one called Islam whose followers are called Muslims? I insisted that he writes Islam against my name; but the data entry fellow, at the back office, will put it under unspecified category or ‘other’ category and the figure thus collated will be all wrong. I had another one coming to my house some 8+ weeks back and the lady noted my details in pencil and was insisting that I sign in pen; is this officially sanctioned process?

Abdul Qayyum, Pune

aqjaga@yahoo.com

Hope from Wajahat Habibullah

Wajahat Habibullah is new chairman of National Minority Commission. He is certainly a distinguished person among IAS. Muslims have great expectations from him. Even though NCM do not have any Constitutional powers it can still do a lot for the welfare of the Muslims such as: A. Seeking reports of MSD funds. B. Motivate minorities to approach NCM. C. Publish annual reports and let the minorities know for what NCM is made etc.

S. Haque, Patna

Great agitation against Allahabad Judgement

On 27 January 2011 a great agitation nears the campus of the Court, Chennai and Madurai in connection with the injustice rendered by the Allahabad High Court, regarding the Babri Masjid dispute. More that 4 lakh and 5 lakh people assembled in Chennai and Madurai respectively. Most of the Tamil and English dailies propagated the great agitation, called by the Tamilnadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ). Women, children and even the aged people of all Muslim Jamaaths participated in this agitation. Muslim male and female volunteers controlled the mass gathering. Our police personnel were in deep rest simply. The main intension of the agitation was to compel the Supreme Court to reverse the injustice of Allahabad high court.

MA Haji Muhammad, Karaikal

Religions teach love and brotherhood

Humanism, love and brotherhood is the essence of all religions. Islam stands for human brotherhood, peace, compassion, tolerance and social justice. The Qur’an says “Al Khalqu Ayalullah” means the entire mankind is God’s family. The Qur’an also declares “La Ikraha Fiddin” means there is no compulsion in respect of religion.Hence Islam is a social, moral and spiritual order-based on love, peace, piety, justice, tolerance and human brotherhood. No religion teaches hatred, violence and vandalism. A truly religious person will never indulge in falsehood, hatred, cruelty, violence etc. It is the misguided people who are responsible for spreading hatred and shedding blood in the name of religion and caste. In our country, followers of all the religions are peace loving and tolerant. A small section is castiest, communalist, intolerant and violent. Religion is being misused by them for grabbing political power. Beware of them my countrymen.

G. Hasnain Kaif, Bhandara – 441904

Was Jinnah secular or communal?

With reference to Digvijay Singh’s statement on partition of India (January 28), HM Seervai, the former Advocate-General of Maharashtra and believed to be India’s topmost authority on constitutional law, written in his famous book “Partition of India--Legend and Reality” that it was a strange irony that Jinnah who was a staunch nationalist and Congress leader from 1906 to 1920, when he was applauded as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity by Sarojini Naidu and various Hindu leaders with his monumental Lucknow Pact of 1921 turns, by force of circumstances, into a communalist by the fag end of 1940, particularly due to hostile attitude of the 1937 provisional elections. Even then he stood for a united India. He wanted parity and not partition. It is unfortunate that in discussing the problem of partition, even after such a long gap we have not been able to clear many cobwebs. It is, indeed, found that much before Jinnah advocated partition of India, Lala Lajpat Rai had, in a series of 13 articles in The Tribune (Nov 26-Dec 17, 1924) pleaded for the division of Punjab and Bengal on communal lines.

Ruby Naushad, Bangalore - 560 047

ruby.naushad@gmail.com

Corporate image tarnished by scams

Of late, India’s corporate image has been badly tarnished by the ever increasing incidents of scams, political disorders, culture and linguistic divide, and discouraging attitudes of state governments towards investments. Every such story discolours the bright picture that the nation presents before the world inviting more investments. And perhaps, it is quiet justified to fear that our highly skilled abundance of workforce will go in vane over these discouraging incidents as the investors prefer other nations where their money is secure and long-term, smooth business is guaranteed. The 2G scam and the Nira Radia tapes have further dented the ‘brand India’ image. The entire business world was branded with a broad brush of corruption as the scam involved the names of many of the top Indian corporate heads. The 2G scandal, considered to be the mother of all scams, causes the most severe damage to Indian corporate image as it includes every single constituency - the business world, government, politicians and media. We need to take immediate steps to restore the confidence of the investors in India’s corporate image before we lose them all. While the corporate have to learn from the scams to prevent any such incidents in the future, the government should reach a peaceful consensus or should find some constitutional or statutory mechanisms to bring an end to the political disputes.

Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur - 440013

writeziya@gmail.com

Muslim gave India Jai Hind

“Jai Hind” with saluting National flag is an official recognised saluting norm of India but people don’t have interest in knowing who first gave Jai Hind slogan and media is lest interested in highlighting Muslims contribution. So it is our duty to highlight our contribution. Janab Abid Hussain Safrani presented Jai Hind slogan to Subhash Chandra Bose for Azad Hind Fauz along many others slogan. But S.C. Bose selected Jai Hind. Later, Jai Hind slogan was adopted by government of India. Abid Hussain Safrani later selected for foreign services by Nehru.

S. Haque, Patna

Rejoinder
Pasmandah Muslims

With reference to my friend Kaleem Khwaja’s article ‘Why are we indifferent to Pasmanda Muslims?’ (Milli Gazette, 16-31 January, 2011). I have come to the conclusion that my friend does not have accurate information and this article is based on some presumptions.

Several terms are being used to describe the non-Ashraf Muslims, Dalit, Dalit Muslims or OBC Muslims and now Pasmanda Muslims. Let me clarify that particularly all non-Ashraf Muslims in all states are included in the OBC lists. The term Dalit Muslims refers only to those who should justifiably be recognized as SC but they have not been so far despite our long-standing demand and the recommendation of the Mishra Report. In fact I raised the question in the Parliament when neo- Buddhists were included in the SC list but Muslims and Christians were left out. At that time V.P. Singh was the Prime minister with R.V. Paswan the Minister of Social Welfare & Empowerment, Paswan stated that the Govt. was working to fulfill the demand and shall amend the order to include Muslims and Christians SCs in the list. However V. P. Singh’s govt. fell soon thereafter.

 I may add that some states like Bihar have included Muslims in SC group in the list of OBC.  We have been demanding that all Muslims get reservation as OBCs.

In 1994 we organized the first Conference on Muslim Reservation when the resolution said that if and when Muslims are granted reservation, the benefit would first go to those sub-communities which are included in OBC lists and only if the Muslim quota is not fully used up, the unutilized part will be available for the other Muslim like the Ashraf on merit. In the National Conference on Reservation held in 2009 it has been fully clarified that the creamy layer should be defined realistically and excluded from reservation. This will reduce the competition for Muslim quota from the Ashraf. Also there was a commitment that if major Muslims OBC sub-communities like ‘bunkars’ with population of more than the 1 percent of the state population desire they should be eligible for a sub quota within the Muslim quota. It is therefore not correct to say the Muslim leadership has been indifferent to the Muslim Dalits and the Muslim OBCs. Indeed all Muslim organizations, apart from the AIMMM, the JIH, and the JUH have been fighting for their cause.

Personally I have been continuously in touch with Dr. Ejaz Ali, ex- MP, who is an OBC and not a SC. He had established the first backward Muslim organization under the title ‘All India Backward Muslim Morcha’. One of his colleagues, Ali Anwar, who has now added the prefix of Ansari, separated from him to form the All India Muslim Pasmanda Mahaz. I have repeatedly asked them both to define the term ‘Dalit Muslims’ and ‘Pasmanda Muslims’ and name the sub-communities which constitute them and give their estimated population in the country or in various states but they have no such figure. The fact is that various political parties are keen to divide the Muslims in their own interest and encourage their non-Ashraf posture. Indeed the Nitish Kumar’s Government 2006-2011 had sent both of them one by one to the Rajya Sabha.

 

Recently when the West Bengal Government announced that they would give 10% reservation to Backward Muslims, the Mushawarat pointed out that at least 90% of the Muslims of West Bengal were Backward non-Ashraf and did not belong to the so called upper castes and that practically all Muslims of West Bengal form a Backward Class, at the same level on SC/ST. Muslim population being 30%, they were entitled to a quota of 25%. We suggested that by executive order they should declare the entire Muslim community, with the exception of those above the creamy layer, as a Backward Class and approach the SC for relaxing the 50% ceiling on reservation to accountable them. To sum up, it is a wrong presumption that the Muslim leadership is indifferent to the Muslim OBC’s.

It is also erroneous to think that the Hindu institutions have reservation for Hindu OBCs. The reservation is for the OBCs, SCs & STs in general and Muslim institutions like AMU and JMI were under pressure to provide reservation for them. But since there is no sub-quota for Muslims, such reservation will benefit the non Muslim OBCs and thus erode the Muslim character of these universities. Reservation in government employment for OBCs has no sub quota for Muslim OBCs. But a few Muslims who have obtained caste certificate have got in.

There is also a political falsehood which has been propagated for many years that there can be no reservation on the basis of religion. The truth is that if the Muslim community as a whole or any Muslim sub community is found to be backward it is entitled to reservation under Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution. That is why the Muslim community has been agitating vigorously specially after the Sachar Report which found Muslims as a whole almost as backward as the SC/STs and more backward than non-Muslim OBCs. They should enjoy reservation as a Backward Class and not as Muslims. In fact I had raised these questions before the Venkatachaliah Commission on Revising the Constitution and the Chairman told me that in principle Muslims are eligible for reservation if they are backward. This is also the view of Supreme Court that a religious group may also qualify for reservation like any Hindu group or ethnic group so long as they pass the test of backwardness. In brief, Muslims are demanding reservation today not because they are Muslims but because they are backward. But they are also demanding that they have a Muslim sub quota within the general OBC quota, because they can not compete with the non-Muslim OBCs.

Incidentally, I may add for information that the Sachar Report itself has stated after comprehensive analysis that there is no substantial difference in terms of backwardness between the Ashraf and the non-Ashraf.

No doubt the Ashraf have some historical and social advantage but it is inaccurate to think that all Muslim Ashraf belong to the upper or middle classes, just as it is wrong to think that all Hindu high castes belong to the upper classes. In every sub community, Hindu or Muslim, there is a core of backwardness. This is why I have been pleading for universal reservation for all identifiable social groups, on the basis of their population and their comparative backwardness in relation to the SC/ST and the fixation of their sub quotas and the removal of the ceiling of 50% in total reservation. However, the average level of backwardness in the Hindu high castes and the Muslim Ashraf will not be equal nor are their populations very high and therefore their sub quotas will be very small but, howsoever small this will benefit those families which are really backward.

The Muslim community’s demand for reservation is constitutionally legitimate and fully justifiable but it can achieve it only if it struggles unitedly and defeats those who are communally hostile to them and wish to divide and weaken them.

I request my friends like Kaleem Khwaja to support a united struggle by Muslims for reservation, with due safeguards and priority for the backward sub communities within the Muslim Community.

Presently Muslims are struggling for the implementation of the Mishra Report which recommends 15% quota for all minorities, with10% quota for the Muslims to which the unutilized part of the remaining 5% quota for the minorities be added. But the UPA government is afraid of the opposition by the BJP, while nearly all secular parties, the Left, the TMC, the RJD, the SP, the JD(S), and the LJP support the Muslim demand. Friends in USA should pass the GIO to implement the Mishra recommendation.

Syed Shahabuddin

Convener, Joint Committee of Muslim Organisations for Empowerment (JCMOE), c/o AIMMM, New Delhi - syedshahabuddinexmp@gmail.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 30

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