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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


On The Milli Gazette
I came across the MG recently, and found its contents outstandingly glorious and magnificent, with articles and news items terse and succinct leading the readers to think in proper direction and perspective. Your efforts are commendable, and I wish to subscribe for it. 
Rafiq Luqman, Mumbai

As soon as I receive The Milli Gazette I cast a glance at all the headings and read whichever attracts most due to lack of time. Each and every line of The Milli Gazette is readable The article "Need for reformation in electoral system" is factual and based on social justice but in present circumstances who cares your PR. But there is nothing to lose heart, Insha Allah social justice will be victorious one day.
Mohammad Umar Sharif
Morena-476001 (Madhya Pradesh)

Can the PM fight corruption like this?
What can the PM do about Dubey's murder, he doesn't seem to have the time on account of all the laddoos he and his cronies are feeding each other!! After all, they "won" in 3 states, what's an honest engineer here and there?
Bharatram Gaba, Mumbai

Babari: AR Sherwani is right
This is in response to a letter by Mohammad Iqbal Sheikh from Solapur (MG, Oct 16-30). I beg to differ with him. Not all Muslims follow the so-called religious and political leaders in the community blindly. It is against the spirit of Islam not to exercise reason. God has given us intelligence and we will be actually ungrateful to Him if we do not use His gifts properly.

I wonder if Mr Iqbal has heard this: "Fear prophets and those prepared to die for truth, for as a rule they make others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them"! Our leaders are human and hence can be wrong on certain issues. Only if people like Mr Iqbal use their energies for the welfare of the community instead of being ready to sacrifice their lives for some political or religious leader a lot of happiness can be brought about. 

And far as I remember A R Sherwani`s address was there at the end of the article. But it is good that Mr Iqbal wrote an open letter. I take this opportunity to support Mr Sherwani in his views on the sacrifices of innocent lives for Babri Masjid. In my opinion the whole issue has become so bloody that neither a masjid nor a mandir should be built at that site. It should better be converted into some public utility place like a hospital, school, college etc and sensible people from all sects and religions should pressurise the government to pass a law in Parliament that any fight over religious place would mean that, that religious place will be taken over by the government and it shall cease to be a place of worship because no religion teaches barbarism.

I think Mr Iqbal has never given thought to what it is for a whole family who loses its earning member.
Zohra Javed, Allahabad

“We got him”
“We got him”, declared US commanding officer in Baghdad press conference, with the current President of the Governing Council, in attendance on his right. With that the saga of the vanquished legitimate President of Iraq, came to a new turn as US chose to keep their old ally, alive to debrief him under various forms of tortures and to use him, in their quest to humiliate the whole Arab and Muslim world and govern them by sheer force of arms and brute will to dominate the world, under Israeli directions. 

Whatever the spin scenario that the US administration may put out, they should realize that though much that the Press room resounded by wolf-whistles and anti-Saddam harangues, the net result of Saddam’s capture and his humiliation will leave a big hole in the Muslim heart; for whatever faults he had, however cruel he was, however much was his own perfidy by attacking other Muslim states, however faked his Islamic religiosity was, he was the only leader of some standing and some steely resolve who could stand firm in his tenacity to confront Israel in the Middle East. In that he symbolised the will of the Arab and Muslim world.

Now the space is vacant for others to take up his banner and wipe out the shame of Israeli and American occupation of Muslim lands and the struggle will continue. Middle East will not find its destiny and its honour, until there is an equitable and just peace between Palestinians and Israeli Jews, and Muslims are free to find their own identity in the new modern world, without any force and tutelage from the West.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

"We got him" said Paul Brehmer at the packed press conference, which was greeted with applauds. Great achievement, getting Saddam and that too alive, one would have thought. Even as the world awaits the outcome on the Saddam trial one is tempted to go back at the main event i.e. "Capturing Saddam Alive". The big question is how did Saddam dodge the most sophisticated and highly professional army of the world for eight long months? After the fall of Baghdad there was jubilation all over Iraq (as claimed by the coalition forces and their media) then why did not the people of Iraq catch the tyrant who was on the run and hand him over to their "liberators", how could he hide for so long? There are several other things which will raise eye brows like why was not a single bullet fired by Saddam Hussain, if not on the troops at least on himself, how could he allow himself to be caught alive? Was he caught much earlier and kept at an undisclosed location by the Americans, to be used at an appropriate time (read Election time)? What could have been the reason to "dig" out a poor man who had politically died eight months ago and rightly taken his place in the coffin like hole? There are many more similar questions, which need logical answers. 

Now for Saddam Hussain’s trial, what would be the charges? Would it be the use of chemical and biological weapons used on the Iranian soldiers during the Iran-Iraq war, or would it be the massacre of the Kurds using mustard gas. In both these cases if trial takes place against Saddam Hussain so should the US government be tried, for without its approval these acts would not be possible. If tyrant Saddam is tried for committing atrocities against Iraqis, well then president Bush should also be tried for attacking a sovereign nation without any provocation, forcibly occupying their territory and killing of innocent people who are fighting to liberate their country. Prime Minister Blair should also be tried along with Bush on similar charges.
Abdul Monim, Mumbai

Saddam had given whole world enough tension and was responsible for untold suffering to his own people in particular and Arabs in general. His foolishness is unbounded as he first attacked his neighbour Kuwait with an intention to annex it which culminated in a bloody war. He was defiant in accepting UN resolution to quit Kuwait. Many well-meaning world leaders requested him to vacate and end occupation of Kuwait. But he never heeded which was not his practice. His style was defiance. Now that he is captured from an underground hideout, justice will be done. US soldiers could have shot him dead, but they did not do so. He shot dead many of his relatives and compatriots for flimsy reasons and were buried without notice. He maimed and disfigured common people by cutting off their ears, nose and tongues or removing eyes or cutting the hands or feet. In a protracted war inspired by USA he killed more than a million Iranians for no obvious reason. He was uncompromising and a menace to world peace. First he befriended US and his friendship with US has been later proved to be costly, in the same way Osama, who helped US get rid of Russians from Afghanistan. Some people have complained about the way he was treated. They could be checking for cyanide or any bullet in his hair and body. Perhaps they wanted to show how helpless the dictator and tyrant has become. It is a lesson for all tyrants and dictators. Hitler had very bad end and it was the case for many past dictators. It would not be different for the current ones, Bush included. God is the most just.
Dr Aboobakar Thwahir, Mumbai

Moral degeneration looms large
Our society has almost sunk into abysmal moral degeneration and deterioration. That has deadened us and taken us back to animal instinct. This is one reason that we fail to distinguish between good and evil. Rabindranath Tagore rightly said," A man sans humanity is worse than a beast."

In this context, strange as it may seem, but it is a fact that a great responsibility rests on parents that they should make efforts in upbringing their children in a sober and decent way from the very outset. In their tender age they should be imparted moral teachings and good manners. 

It is imperative for the parents to cultivate good qualities and sublime norms so that the children may also mould in their hues right from their childhood.
The parents need to exhibit moral excellence, super ethics, honesty, justice, truthfulness and equality in their acts only then an excellent and disciplined society may come up amongst us.
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow

Vulgar Culture
Every word except one phrase of Br M A Samad (The Milli Gazette, 16-30 November 2003) is correct. How does he say that display of nudity is contrary to Indian culture?! Is he totally unaware of permanently inscribed shamelessness on a number of temple walls? Pictures showing Lord Krishna viewing nudity of the bathing beauties of several ‘gopies’ [whose clothes are stolen by the Hindu god] can be seen even today in Hindu houses! 
Sultan A. Patel
Khanpur Deh-392150

What about justice to Gujarat victims?
With reference to the article dated Nov. 22, 2002, what has happened about bringing these people who were the perpetrators to justice? It has been over a year and Gujarat is still being run by the same people. Is anything being done about this? Are any actions being taken against these people?
Pete Frill 
Editor: Yes, action is being taken against the perpetrators of genocide despite the Gujarat state government's best efforts to shield them. A fresh trial of Best Bakery case has been ordered due to the intervention of the Supreme Court which has also appointed a representative in the state to monitor the cases in various courts. The Supreme Court has also threatened that if the state government does not mend its ways these cases may be transferred to courts outside the state. It is not an ideal situation but some justice is hoped at last and this will go a long way to deter the perpetrators and their political bosses in future as they will realise that they will not enjoy immunity as has been the case in most similar cases of violence against minorities and weaker sections.
PF: It is good to know that action is being taken against the perpetrators. Please, let me know if i can help in any way. I live and work in the Uk but try to keep up to date with events all over the world. What happened in Gujarat is a crime against humanity. This should not be allowed to happen again and the people who were behind this should be brought to justice.
Editor: There are many avenues for you to take part in the universal campaign for justice here. In UK you have organisations like AWAZ, Amnesty etc. In the US, you have many including Human Rights Watch which monitor the situation. Their activities and statements have greatly influenced the attitude of our current rulers here who would rather shield the criminals. You can also continue to write letters to your foreign minister and members of Parliament as well as to newspapers in your area to keep this issue alive. This pressurises the government here to at least show that it is not supporting the criminals.

Dear Muslim brethren, reply
Dear Muslim Brothers living in my country of Hindusthan. I am a Hindu brahmin who has learned about your religion only through BBC and terrorist activities taking place by "Islamic terrorists", all over the world.

You may mock Hindus because we dont eat beef and so are less emotionally stronger than you. But I want to ask it written in your Holy Doctrines to kill innocent men, women and children?

Before you answer me, let me inform you that I have copy of the Holy Quran and I can see only one Sura which asks you to resort to terrorism. Then why do you follow only one Suraa of your Holy Book to kill people (and even animals via Halal)?

I really want to understand, so if you have the patience, then you will explain to me. May peace be upon you all.

No Iftar party for President Kalam
Holding of Iftar parties by the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Ministers have come in for criticism for justifiable reasons. Since similar parties are not held for the followers of other religions, many people termed the practice as amounting to ‘appeasement’ of the Muslims. Others, by extending the logic, asserted that the motive behind holding Iftar parties was to create vote bank. The same reasoning applied to political parties. In either case, the outcome is brewing up of resentment for quite sometime though often not openly expressed.
However, when it comes to the President of India, the situation becomes entirely different. He is the head of the State, and is not supposed to be a political person even if he belonged to a political formation before being installed as the President of the Republic. The citizens of the country do not play any role in his election. He cannot, therefore, be accused of pandering to the partisan proclivities of the people. 
Holding of an Iftar party by the President is wholly in keeping not only with the established convention, but also with the distinguished role assigned to the high office of the President. Furthermore, the need to promote friendly relations with the other nations cannot be overemphasised. With as many as 59 Islamic nations across the globe, with their representatives/ambassadors living in Delhi, the holding of an Iftar part by the President was always regarded as fine gesture by the head of the Indian (secular) State aimed at creating good will and promoting friendly relations internationally. After considering the matter in its entirety, I am left with a definite feeling that the office of the President was not properly and adequately advised before a decision to dispense with the Iftar party was arrived at. It is singularly unfortunate that the aforesaid decision has been taken during the incumbency of a President with a typically Muslim name. 
SAT Rizvi, IAS (Retd.)
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow

Monopoly of Hindu Religion?
Will the ‘brave’ Modi-type ‘Hindutvavadis who massacred minority men, women and children with police help explain what do they think about those Gujarati Hindus who have surnames like Haji Hazrat and even Al-Maula? Were their forefathers so coward that they adopted their surnames to please Muslims? Was Shivaji also a weak Hindu who had several Muslim commanders in his army and who used to give respect to Muslim lady prisoners?! 
S Akhtar
Khanpur Deh-392150

Media and Muslims 
Maulvis, Sufis, Ulama and religious preachers do not preach and propagate basic principles and teachings of Islam. Rather, they talk about problems and confuse the people with unending series of faiths and beliefs with the result that people remain ignorant of fundamental principles and teachings of Islam, which leads to division into different sects and groups. It must be emphasised that principles and practices are the touchstones of Islam which are given priority. Faiths and beliefs are given lesser priority. In this way Muslim society is becoming ignorant of Islam and its fundamentals. Muslim religious, political and social leaders should follow these principles first and try to extricate Muslim masses from the cobweb of conservatism. Since Muslims have no media of their own, they are left behind and misguided.
Inam Ahmad
Agra (Uttar Pradesh)

Babar’s will
Babar’s will to his son, Arjumand Humayun was: "O my son, Indian kingdom has a multiplicity of religions. Thank God that He made you the inheritor of this kingdom. It is incumbent on you to cleanse your heart of all kinds of religious prejudices and while administering justice, keep in mind the customs and traditions of all religions without which you cannot rule over the hearts of Indian people. Do not destroy the temples and mausoleums of the community and people who abide by the rules and laws of the government. Administer justice in such a way that the subjects are happy and satisfied with the verdict of their king. Favour and kindness can achieve better results than cruelty and oppression. Keep yourself away from Shia-Sunni differences and fights because this will weaken Islam. Just as four elements are jointly working in the human body in the same way keep all the different religions in harmonious relationship with each other and bring unity among them so that the body politic should be free from different diseases and ills. Be always guided by the life and story of Taimoor, who was a champion of unity so that you may have full experience of administration and governance (Khilafat newspaper, Mumbai, 19 August, 1926). The above will was copied from the manuscript of Dr Bal Krishn, Principal of Ram Raj College, Kolhapure and published in Mumbai on 19 August, 1926.
Abida Sani 
Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh)

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