Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor

MG, Saudi Arabia, Godhra, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Advani

MG

MG provides very good information. I would like to suggest please have one page for education of Muslims with special reference to women, its history, present policies and achievements.

Dr Rehana Tariq, Allahabad – 211003

II

Expecting authentic, critical and impartial articles on national and international issues.

Sukanta Mondal, Medinipur, West Bengal

III

Some religious poems should be published in the Milli Gazette. One page should be devoted to these poems. Poems like ‘humanity’, ‘love’, ‘truth’, ‘honesty’, compassion’, ‘sympathy’, ‘namaz’, ‘significance of prayer to God’, ‘morality’, character etc. should be published one by one every fortnightly.  Thus such poems will certainly add beauty to the Milli Gazette, and the readers will learn a good lesson from these poems; and their lives will change; and their lives will be successful, happy and peaceful. Undoubtedly, life without ‘religious practice is meaningless and unsuccessful’.

Shakeel Ahmad Frank, Gorakhpur (U.P.)

Sykes-Picot is falling down

I was delighted to read your article on Sykes-Picot regimes in the current issue of ‘Milli Gazette’. it was very timely and appropriate. Congratulations

Reader in London,UK (via email)

II

I’ve read your column on the Sykes-Picot treachery and the bitter harvest of that now spawning a melt-down in the Arab world. We are witnessing a revolution in the making; a people’s revolution in the strict sense of the word. Let’s all hope it reaches its logical culmination. That said, I will be keeping my fingers crossed for trap doors and surprises that myriad actors and villains, both from within the Arab world as well as those from outside of it, would be only too keen and desperate to try fling open. I can’t help recalling a debate that ran through the entire length of my three and a half years in Algeria to end of 1991--with my Saudi colleague ....That was the period when Algeria was witnessing the dawn of a new era, with the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) of that charming friend of mine, Abbasi Madani, in the forefront of it. Faqih used to argue with me that his country and others in the same league would never witness that kind of revolution in his life-time or mine. He was right about himself: it never came in his life-time ( he passed away several years ago). But he was so wrong about me: I’m seeing that revolution breaking on the Arab horizon in my life-time.

Reader in Ottowa, Canada (via email)

Is Saudi Arabia ripe for a change?

Is Saudi Arabia ripe for change. Should we believe that Saudis are immune to the uprisings and protests? Like their neighbours, Saudis want jobs by reducing cheap foreign labour, houses, education. Today, nearly 40 percent of Saudis ages 20 to 24 are unemployed. Unemployment benefits, and subsidies for housing, education, and culture have not stopped the discontent The youth are familiar with the global discourse of democracy, freedom, entitlement, empowerment, transparency, accountability, and human rights that has exploded in the face of authoritarian regimes in the Arab world for about two months now. Genuine political reform is the basic demand. All signs suggest that Saudis are in a rush to seize this unprecedented opportunity to press for serious political change. Peaceful activists, bloggers, lawyers, and academics are rounded up and jailed. Saudis have been watching in silence while the outside world including the godfather of democracy the USA remaining oblivious to abuses of human rights and turning a blind eye in the interests of oil, arms, and investment. Does bribery work indefinitely? Carrots are often the currency of loyalty in oil-rich countries, But the KSA is one of the least transparent and most authoritarian regimes in the Persian Gulf. What cannot be hidden anymore is the political, economic, and social problems that oil has so far failed to address. Saudis are not safe even in their internet world. The regime has been determined to trace each and every word and whisper that challenges its version of reality. Young bloggers, writers, and essayists have been jailed. Many Salafists are calling for democracy, elections, and respect for human rights. They want a real Shura (democracy) The king’s brother, Prince Talal, disenchanted and politically marginalized criticized some of the powerful royal players, calling for constitutional monarchy. People want political representation and economic opportunities. An elected parliament is demanded by all. It seems that the kingdom is at a crossroads. It must either formulate a serious political reform agenda that will please an agitated young population or face serious upheavals over the coming months demanding an elected parliament and opening up the political sphere to civil society organizations. Hiding behind Islamic rhetoric such as “Our constitution is the Quran” is no longer a viable escape route. People want a new political system that matches their aspirations, education, and abilities, while meeting their basic religious, human, civil, and political rights. Scaring the population by raising the spectre of al Qaeda is not going to deceive the people.

Kodimirpal, Chennai (via e mail

Are US and UK “International Community”?

Surprising nobody objects to BBC/CNN/Aljazeera using ‘international community’ to project Obama and Cameron.  Both represent Outlaw nations. BBC’s Simpson is surprised over so few casualities in AlBrega fighting where heavy arms & fighter planes are  used. Still BBC calls it ‘war’. Not satisfied with rampant disruption in common people’s lives, thru Iraq and Afghanistan, US war mongers are stoking fires in Middle East. US public should institute public inquiry, if US agencies are involved in fomenting unrest in Middle East,  threatening high gas prices in US. Both Obama and Cameron fooling their own people with the empty bravado, calling for Qaddafi to ‘step down’.  Qaddafi is not a US lackey.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

The Middle East/Arab World

“Yesterday i hear you at JIH. I want to ask you: what effect will Egyptian revolution have on Palestinians since Hosni Mubarak era Egypt had kept the Rafah border sealed under Israeli pressure causing great suffering to them. Is there any chance now that it wil be opened since Mubarak is gone”

Moin Ahsan on Facebook

Editor: The situation on the Rafah Crossing has eased now, it is open for the Palestinians at present and I think in future it may be opened for general traffic of both people and goods. The new government in Egypt is not that strict against Gaza and the forthcoming civilian government after the elections is hoped to be more in sympathy with the popular feeling on this count.

 

Soul of the Desert

The review Milli Gazette carried on Omar O Thasneem’s Soul of the Desert has resorted to such inappropriate standards that it disappoints me who think the book is a must read. I had read the book at one sitting and recommended it to my friends who craved for a simple and wide-ranging biographical introduction into the life of the Prophet. There are some factual errors like the one pointed out by the reviewer [he might as well have explained all errors that he says the book contains rather than attempting to qualitatively attack the work on some loose standards]. This error, also noted by another reviewer in a Malayalam daily, does not do damage to the significance of the work as a simple and comprehensive biography of the Prophet for young and common readers. Since the book does not claim to be an authentic biography of the prophet, the error does not render it unimportant. Considering the light, coffee-table manner of the book [an afternoon read, the blurb says], and the introduction is, I think, absolutely necessary. The standard of Dr Johnson’s comment, by which the literariness and poetic qualities of the book has been questioned by the reviewer, is unwarranted. I don’t think the Neo-classical standard of literary criticism applied by Johnson, who keeps common reader and his writer outside and focuses only on the works that have more ‘Latin and Greek’, is in contradiction with the letter and spirit of the Quran which asks all people to read and learn.

Afthab Ahmed, Doha, Qatar

afthabs@gmail.com

Godhra verdict

The godhra decision is very disturbing. The All India Democratic Women’s Association had given a report on the riots in March 2002 itself. I would like to share some of our findings On that fateful journey, the kar sewaks were extremely aggressive because they were ordered to leave Ayodhya by the Supreme Court; They attacked Muslims all along the way – 2 men at a railway crossing just outside Faizabad, one of whom died; Muslim families on the train and on rly station platforms; There was the incident at Godhra station itself involving molestation of a Muslim girl and a tea vendor. This did enrage people living next to the station but an all India demomcratic women’s association delegation of which I was a member visited Godhra on March 9 and the carriages were standing on the track at Godhra station. We saw: kerosene stoves, spilt oil, sacks of grain. Also we saw signs of a fire that had raged inside the compartment - burnt seats, mangled steel bars etc AND NO marks of burning outside the carriage. It seems that angry people probably came towards the compartment and the people inside closed all the windows with tragic results. Whatever the court may say, AIDWA stands by its report.

Subhashini Ali, Vice President, AIDWA

subhashiniali@gmail.com

II

Special Judge P.R. Patel, a Gujarati, pronounced death penalty for 11 Muslims and life imprisonment for 20 Muslims for burning S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express train near Godhra in 2002 incident that left 59 karsevaks (Demolishers of Babri Masjid hence law breakers) dead and triggered anti-Muslim riots which claimed over 2000 lives, mostly Muslims in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. Prashant Bhushan, who was amicus curiae in Gulbarga Housing Society case, has called the verdict a “travesty of Justice”. Eminent Laywer Mukul Sinha termed the conviction of 31 people as based on “concocted evidence” and “falsehood”. Reputed Human Rights Activist. Teesta Setalvad debunked any “conspiracy” to attack the train. Former railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had appointed an enquiry commission headed by Justice Banerji, retired Judge of Supreme Court. Its report was that the said coach was not burnt by outside people but was burnt from inside. Modi’s Gujarat is a laboratory of fascist Hindu Rashtra of RSS. The opposition, the media, NHRC’s fact finding Commission’s Report, Amnesty International etc. had held Modi responsible for playing with the lives and properties of Muslims throughout Gujarat, in 2002. It was organised massacre of Muslims hence downright state-terrorism which had tarnished fair name of India in the world. Modi had justified the massacres of Muslims in Gujarat as reaction and retaliation of Godhra killings. According to this theory “serial bomb-blast of Mumbai” was reaction and retaliation of Babri Masjid demolition by Advani and Co. and hence justified. When Advani and Co. will be prosecuted and punished? The Supreme Court had ordered the transfer and re-trail of Best Bakery case to Maharashtra. The Supreme Court had remarked that Justice delivery system was abused, misused and mutilated in Gujarat. This very harsh indictment of the Supreme Court is a slap on the face of Modi and his supporters and protectors. It means that Gujarat’s entire administration and Judiciary had been saffronised and communalised.

G. Hasnain Kaif, Bhandara (M.S.)

III

59 people killed in Godhra S-6 coach fire incident, 94 persons languished in jail, after 9 yrs. 63 acquitted, 11 got capital punishment 20 life imprisonments. But Gujarat anti-Muslim riot 2500 innocent killed how many sent to jail for how many yrs and how many killers got capital punishment and how much life imprisonment? Very likely still political parties, government police, judiciary could not give answer that in 92-93 anti-Muslim riots more than 2000 innocent killed but how many sentenced life imprisonment and hanging punishment where as hundred got life imprisonment in Mumbai bomb blast in which nearly 250 died. S.C. shifted Gujarat riot cases from Gujarat to Mumbai why? It will be debated with Godhra SP. Court decision. Supreme Court raised questions in 2G “It is surprising the MDs were not summoned. Just because some body is in the Forbes’ list of billionaires should not make any difference” “Why has the CBI not taken any action in this regard” (S.C./10/02/11)

S. Haque, Patna

IV

Following the Gujarat carnage a perception has been created and enforced to believe that the state is developing to all its leaps and bonds which was pioneered by Modi. Thus terms like Vibrant Gujarat has been coined unlike what happened in the NDA regime in the case of ‘India Shining Campaign’. Ironically, the conclaves like Guarvi Gujarat, and the annual meetings of NRIs; corporate houses, investment is being solicited and more than the forthcoming investment, projections are being made of the flow of dollars, creating the image that it is during Modi regime that Gujarat has begun to progress. The fact is that there are some investments; there is some industrialization; but it is far from what is being projected. In previous Vibrant Summits, claims of big capital investments have been made. For example in 2005 claim for Rs.106161 crores had been made. Out of that investment of Rs.74019 crores (63%) was made as stated by Chief Minister but in reality as per the information availed under R.T.I. only Rs.24998 crores (23.52%) projects were under implementation. As far as the educational and social status of the state is concerned there reports from an NGO called Pratham (devoted to the issues of education) suggest that Gujarat is worse than Bihar when it comes to educational standards. And a major study by Abdul Saleh Sharif (Relative Development of Gujarat and Socio-Religious Differentials, 2011) is very revealing about the pitiable condition of Muslims in the state which are being marginalized and are pitted with poverty, hunger, education and vulnerability on security issues. These are mere tip of the ice berg of so called developing state as projected by the media houses, while the fact is it is nothing but an attempt to wash the blots of Gujarat Pogrom which was masterminded by people like Modi and his supported saffron brigade primarily the RSS.

Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur

writeziya@gmail.com

Why we have two measurements

It is unreasonable to think that even after having strong empirical evidence to punish those who demolished Babri Masjid why the guilty are Scot free; not only scot free but our representative in the  Parliament.  Many such notices have already been sent to them in the past which yielded insufficient results.  It is strange that on one hand an innocent is implicated in false and concocted charges and are kept behind bars till they are proved innocent; while the guilty, with high nexus, are kept scot-free till they are proved guilty. Why we have two measurements.

Shafaque Alam, New Delhi-25

shafaquealam@gmail.com

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Muslims should read the writings of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan with much broader vision and open mind. His views on some important issues have been quite remarkable and significant, which are briefly mentioned as: 1. He has facilitated Muslims to understand Islam more realistically in the light of latest developments in knowledge. He has been exceptionally able to understand both the pros and cons of the emerging knowledge. In many of his writings he has upheld the supremacy of religion over false scientific claims. His approach of viewing Islam compatible with valid scientific findings is note worthy. He does not seem to notice any concord between science and Islam. In fact he advocates that it is Islam which paved way for mankind to seek science and go for new innovations. 2. He maintains that Muslims should come out from all sorts of persecution complexes, and should resort to vigorous hard work to make their place in every field of activity. He urges Muslims to shun negative approach and look positive. 3. Maulana considers the world as land of peace where Muslims have the obligation of spreading the word of Allah in a peaceful manner. Though scholarly discussions are always encouraged, one is at liberty to differ with Maulana but by and large we should not altogether ignore the message of Maulana.

Nasir Hussain Peerzadah, Srinagar

nhpzd07@gmail.com

Welcome Gujarat order on transfer of judges

It refers to welcome initiative of Gujarat High Court about compulsory transfer of all judicial officers in the state after their stay of three years at one place. Same should not only be a trend-setter for all states in the country, but also should be applicable for High Court judges as well. Rather rule should be to appoint all High Court judges compulsorily from outside their home-states also to avoid chances of influence of local relations and former bar colleagues on locally appointed judges. System will also take care of unholy era of ‘Uncle judges’ where some High Court judges are reported to have bias for each-other’s wards appearing before them as advocates.

Subhash Chandra Agarwal, Delhi-6

subhashmadhu@sify.com

Gold Medal to Adeeba Queyam

Magadh University Bihar has selected students who topped in every subject to award gold medal. Among 29 gold medallists three are Muslims. One in Urdu, Persian and English. Adeeba Queyam, Zakra Kishwar and Naqueeb Aara topped in English, Persian and Urdu respectively.

S. Haque, Patna

Maulana Vastanvi

Syed Mansoor Agha exhorts Muslims to surrender their democratic rights by invoking wrong examples from Prophet’s life. The examples are shamefully inept. Maulana Vastanvi and his admirers are doing great disservice to the Indian Muslims who are opposing Modi for being a dictator in a democracy who has managed slaughter, rape and persecution of Muslim of his state. Maulana Vastanvi and his men should go through an article published in Hindustan Times on 7.3.2011 (Lucknow Edition) scribed by Harsh Mander

Khurshid Anwar

anwarkhurshid7@gmail.com

Why Advani did not reform under his regime?

Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani has now recalled the old Supreme Court verdict to demand say of opposition leader in selection of Election Commissioners, though rightly. But big question is what he did for such an essential reform when he was in power as deputy prime minister of the country. He is also equally guilty and responsible for ignoring the important reform perhaps for misusing power for seating his own men as Election Commissioners. However, need for say of opposition leader in selection of Election Commissioners is absolutely necessary. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should atonement of his guilt of unjustified selection of PJ Thomas as chief vigilance commissioner by providing that Election Commissioners, Vigilance Commissioners and Information. Commissioners may all be selected by consensus between prime minister and opposition leader.

Madhu Agarwal, Delhi 110006

subhashmadhu@sify.com

Issues and the context

I want to bring to your notice that there are more important issues to be addressed to the public other than mentioning blankets distribution, honour ceremonies, schools meetings, meeting with chief ministers and governors etc. I think these are not milli issues. In my perspective you are providing a platform to those who are more dangerous than RSS. These are those people who are nurturing many Salman Rushdie among Muslims. Jo Aseemand se mafee kay liye kah rahay hain woh pahle Jamia Millia kay ladko ko sharabi aur zanee bana nay kay liye mafee mangain. Hazrat Ayehsa ki shadee par sawaal uthanay kay liye mafee mangain. Quran ko jhoot kahnay kay liye mafee mangain. Itna to Shanwaz Hussian say bhee nuqsan nqheen hua hai. I just want to bring these issues to your notice and had no intention of anything against Milli Gazette.

Faisal Khan, New Delhi

cpchindia@yahoo.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 30

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