Rejoinders/Opinion/Letters of the Editor — last fortnight
I am a regular reader of the Milli Gazette. I like it due to its editorial, free, frank, bold and unbiased reports and articles. It is useful to the readers from worldly and religious point of view. I want humorous articles to be included in this English fortnightly newspaper. Humour is also a part of literature. Humorous articles will certainly add beauty to the MG, and the readers will certainly appreciate my suggestion.
Shakeel Ahmad Frank, Gorakhpur
Another question needs to be answered?
30th September when curfew like situation prevailed in the city at 4pm the verdict came out is not more likely that still judiciary is involved in politics because the decision taken by three Judges were more likely to make happy all three petitioners Sunni Waqf Board, Ram Lalla and Nirmohi Akhara. After sometime we the youth forget it and move on and also it may be to bring compomise. Many more questions come in mind by the judgment of Supreme Court. Why this solution? Some may say the whole so-called drama is political because by this they proved that despite such big verdict the central and state government able to control the situation because judgment is preplanned but scenario is still need to be changed. When we talk about change, you and I alone can’t replace a politician or involment of politics in judiciary, or order a road to be built. However, we can change one thing: our mindset. And collectively, this alone has the power to make the biggest difference. We have to learn, if whatever is holding us 18 years back that should be definitely break the cycle so we don’t pass on these traits to the next generation. Country’s future generation should learn to think without prejudice, have opinions and speak up in masses not in basis of religion but on the basis which are true. They should learn what is wrong is wrong, no matter how big or small. And they shouldn’t hate people on the basis of their religion or background. Let us also resolve to start working on our own minds, right now. A change in mindset changes the way politics involment in every sphere of our life. By doing so China is compared with India in every field not India with China, we would contribute to India progress. As said by Ratan Tata “We want to create India as a land of equal opportunities for all. We should create a land of equality.” And also make judiciary an independent body. Is that possible?
Narendra Modi, not Kasab, should be investigated first. Our country’s law enforcing agencies have become a big farce, today. Every party and government runs these agencies to fulfill their own political agenda and the public are befooled by their tantrums. The confessions of Swami Aseemanand are the best example of this. Had Swami Aseemanand not confessed his crimes before the court, the Indian public was made to believe by the intelligence agencies and the Hindu press that the Malegaon, Hyderabad, Ajmer and Samjhauta Express mayhem were committed by Muslim organisations. Whether it is due to Rahul Gandhi’s realization that Hindu Militancy is a major threat to Indian democracy or the fair work done by ATS, at last the truth has come out. This also brings to the fore the partisan role played by the English and Hindi press in India which get so many benefits from the government that they cannot think beyond the government press releases. It also leads one to realise that since most of the top media in India are owned by such business houses that have pro Hindutva mental frame, the anti Muslim rhetoric suits their line of thinking. The most intriguing and unfortunate incident in the recent history of India was the Gujarat riots of 2001, masterminded by none other than the Chief Minister of the state and the trail of events thereafter. It is a big black spot in Indian democracy that the main mastermind of the Gujarat riots is still the head of the Gujarat government and gaining popularity there. The Central Government has to own majority of the blame in this regard. Had it taken immediate action against Narendra Modi then, he could not have been able to consolidate his position and would have been behind the bars by now. Incidents of Akshardham, Mumbai blasts and 26/11 all are the fall out of Gujarat riots. If you try to burry the truth and justice, it is bound to burst out in the form of volcano one day. The government gave sufficient time to Narendra Modi to cover-up his misdeeds and was able to befool the public with slogans of prosperity in the state. The present UPA government, who had put all its prestige in signing the Nuclear Agreement with the US, was so keen to bargain BJP support for it that it agreed to drop all investigations against Modi. Today, if the Indian public try to link and track down the incidents from Babri Masjid to 26/11, they will easily understand that it is not Kasab but Narendra Modi who is behind the killing of thousands of innocent Hindus and Muslims in India. No doubt, RSS and its political outfit BJP have done great harm to the nation’s social harmony.
Sunil Kumar Tiwari
Vastanvi & Deoband
In the last week the Indian Muslim media gave sensational publicity to the unfortunate statement on Gujarat from Maulana Vastanvi. Most discussion forums of Muslims were full of nothing but a discussion on this non- issue. It surely was a non-issue that the Muslim media and Muslim politicians tried to build into a major issue. In the process the century old renowned Dar ul Uloom was subjected to turmoil, its students instigated to strike and create mayhem. For a whole week the Muslim organs and community leaders had nothing else to talk about. Was this the most important happening for the community? We say that others provoke and instigate turmoil in our community. But we too are never shy of feeding the frenzy and making a non-issue into an issue to divide us and create conflagration. Was it not possible for a few senior and respected members of the community to talk to Maulana Vastanvi and close the issue? Time and again minor news items about the major institutions of the Muslims (AMU, Jamia, Dar ul Uloom, Nadva etal) are blown out of proportion causing division and turmoil in the community. What purpose is served? How much harm is caused? We do not think or care. We are simply flowing with the frenzy. Is it not better to channel so much energy into something of value for the community? Or do we have no interest in constructive matters but only in rabblerousing matters? Time to reflect.
I could not trust my eyes when I read in Gujarat Today (A’bad, Jan. 23) that MG Editor also agrees with Vastanvi about Muslim welfare in Gujarat because I know that quite a number of Muslims in Maharashtra have also became considerably richer during the last decade. But, for that, all praise is for only one God and never and in no way for the creature called Modi who’s very thought creates nausea.
S. Akhtar, Khkanpur Deh, Gujarat – 392150
Who were responsible for India’s Partition
Congress general secretary and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijay Singh has said that Savarkar was the first to moot the 2-nation theory that was later adopted by M. A. Jinnah which later led to the creation of Pakistan. In an editorial published in Marathi daily “Samna”, Shiv Sena supreme Bal Thackeray has criticised and condemned Digvijay Singh in this regard. In fact 2-nation theory was not the brainchild of Jinnah. R. N. Agarwal has recorded in his well known book, The National Movement. V. D. Savarkar was freely preaching the gospel of Hindu Rashtra. Savarkar said that India was inhabited not by homogeneous nation but by 2 nations – Hindus and Muslims. BJP’s senior leader and former central Minister Jaswant Singh has also expressed such views in his views in his book “Jinnah: India’s Partition, Independence” In 1923, V. D. Savarkar wrote his book “Hindutva” and propagated the ideology of Hindutva and 2-nation theory with vehemence. M. A. Jinnah borrowed this idea from Savarkar in late Nineteen Thirties. Savarkar was not alone in this line of thinking. In 1924, top Congress leader Lala Lajpat Rai had openly advocated the idea of India’s partition which was opposed by Muslims including Jinnah who was still a Congress background Pakistan resolution was passed by Muslim League in 1939. Till 1947, ardent protagonists of 2-nation theory were SArdar Patel, Pandit Nehru and Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Later on Mahatma Gandhi also surrendered before them. Only Maulana Azad and Abdul Ghaffar Khan had opposed partition vehemently. Congress working committee had passed a resolution for partition. Maulana Azad’s book “India Wins Freedom” bears testimony to these facts. In this light of above facts Savarkar, Nehru, Patel, Gandhiji and Jinnah all were responsible for partition.
G. Hasnain Kaif
Bhandara (MS) – 441904
Mahad madrasa with a difference in Hyderabad
Mahad, an Islamic Madrasa at Hyderabad, A.P., is not only teaching Islamic theology, but it is teaching about Hinduism, Christianity Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism. One can also gain knowledge about modern religions like Qadianis. That’s Al Mahdul Aali Al Islami. It is a Madrasa with a difference. It marks a departure from the typical seminaries in that sacred texts of other religions, also find place along with the Quran on its bookshelves. The idea is to highlight the common attributes in Islam and other religions. And this is posible only when we study the books of other religions, says Moulana Khalid Saifiullah Rehmani, rector of Mahad Madrasa. This seminary has a bigger goal. Apart from promoting research and analytic spirit among the new generation of ulama, it aims to bridge the gap between different faiths. All the major relations share the same ethical values and believe in the ill-effects of alcohol, usury, adultery and gay culture. ‘’By coming together, we can fight these evils’’, remarks Moulana Rehmani. The madrasa is situated on the hilly terrain near Shaheennagar, Barkas, and Hyderabad. Its library has complete set of Vedas, Manusmruti, the law of Manu besides Old and New Testaments, Talmud, the compendium of Judaic law and Gurugranth Sahib, the sacred book of Sikhs, as a symbol of national integration.
Mohammad Azam, Telangana
No political party is sincere for Muslim education
Before elections political parties bring Muslim agenda on central stage and after elections they dump Muslims issue. Political parties form commissions and committees for betterment of Muslims. They project some showpiece Muslim faces to lure votes but these are mere an eyewash as the political parties are really not serious. We experienced how Congress diluted minority character of AMU and Jamia. RJD in Bihar announced establishing 5 new universities after Mazharul Haque. Arabic and Persian University. Those 5 universities in RJD rule ran full fledged but Mazharul Haque University ran in MLA flats. Till date it is running in a flat on Baily Road. AMU campus at Kishanganj could not get land in 6 yrs. Mulayam Singh didn’t recognise the university formed by Azam Khan at Rampur named as Muhammad Ali Jauhar University. Nitish Kumar, CM of Bihar, could acquire 100 acres of land for educational hub. These are the few examples which reveal no political party is serious for Muslims education. So Ummah has to strive for education.
S. Haque, Patna
Modi government’s dislike for anything Muslim
In the wake of Sachar Committee findings that the Muslims in India are more backward than even the Dalits, UPA government at the centre introduced a special scheme of scholarships for students belonging to the minority communities–Muslims and non-Muslims–for the upliftment of their educational backwardness. Though the scheme is no-partisan as it includes the students of non-Muslim minorities such as Christians, Buddhists, Parsi and Sikh communities too, the Modi government in Gujarat has termed it discriminatory and refused to implement it.
Munawwar Husain Malek, Vidyanagar
Is Shariah law undemocratic?
Many non-Muslim scholars view that a national constitution that provides for Islam as a fundamental source of legislation and one that stipulates that no law can be legislated that contradicts the ruling of Islam is impossibility. Why should it be so? Muslims agree that Shariah need not be the single source of lawmaking. But it is a significant part and includes several secular laws also. Americans and the West should understand that there are divergent understandings of democracy and the rule of law. Democracy does not mean that every nation should adopt the American or European definition. Democracy is form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system, limitations based on the Sovereignty of Allah swt. Let us assume that in Tunisia, Egypt or Algeria for that matter, a new Government holds a referendum asking people the same question as above, that is, do you agree or disagree that our national constitution should provide for Islam as a fundamental source of legislation and that no law can be legislated that contradicts the ruling of Islam? Assuming that not just 50.1% but 90.1% vote affirmatively on the referendum in say Egypt, Tunisia or Algeria favouring Shariah-based laws. If that is the case why not the West give them an opportunity to work out their own constitution based on the Islamic culture and religion until the people grow themselves to give new-interpretations to laws on hard crimes, blasphemy and apostasy. Because right now there is no common understanding of Shariah among the entire 1.5 billion Muslims because Islamic law is based on the interpretation of the Koran. After all there are no common secular laws on international crimes either. Can Shariah be really part of a Muslim state’s constitutional law? And Islamization of the law can fit in with democracy
P.A. Mohamed Ameen(via email)
Rickshaw puller selected for national award
Muhammad Mazloom, rickshaw puller of Sukhiat panchayat, Block Jhanjar Pur district Madhubani of Bihar, is selected for best citizen for the national award for using RTI. He applied RTI to know about Indira awas in 2006, he got his Indira awas in 20 days. In 2004 floods his house was flashed out. Then he demanded an Indira awas but authorities demanded Rs 5000 as bribe. Then he applied RTI to know about Indira awas. Within 20 days he got sanction for his awas. A documentary is made on his struggle. Now Muhammad Mazlum is selected for the Best Citizen. The award will be given by film star Abhishek Bachhan.
S. Haque, Patna
The Kashmir drama
Mr. Firdausi Syed in Indian Express dated 31st January has successfully represented the Kashmir problem. So far no journalist has given the true database of the malady. It has become dry land of farmers. The farmer tries his level best to improve the land to make it fertile. He borrows from several banks but is unable to clear all the loans and dejected, he even cannot sell out his land neither gets the crop to clear off the loans finally resorts to suicide.The Kashmir issue is nothing short of it India will finally meet the same fall out. I request Mr. Firdausi to give the correct data of the casualties occurred during the last forty years. What is the number of Indian soldiers died? How many ladies became widows? How many children became orphans? How many Indian officers were killed by the militants, the number of Kashmiri’s sacrificed their lives for their object of Azadi. The number of Pakistani terrorists who were killed. The number of Pakistani army men tried to intrude and perished. What is the rate of their intrusion? The amount being incurred by the government to maintain7lakh army on the Kashmir boarder. How it affects the Indian economy. How long the Indian government withstand and contain the cross boarder terrorism?. India’s frequent request to government of Pakistan to curb the terrorism has brought no result. Is India capable to wage war on Pakistan to give it a befitting lesson? Will China remain a mute spectator or it will help Pakistan to retaliate India? The status quo is useful to India or Pakistan .What will be the fall out of this present state of affair?
Dr AH Maqdoomi, Gulbarga
India needs Rafi Ahmed Qidwai
Surely and certainly we are passing through the worst phase of food crisis for more than a decade for which no solution is at sight. Our Agricultural Minister has expressed his helplessness and incapability umpteen times which shows how deeply we are in crisis. It seems that it is beyond the control of our Food Minister to control the prices of Agricultural produce and make things easy for a common man. An ordinary commodity like onion has suddenly emerged as the most pricking issue today, who knows what the dawn brings next day. The same way it is quite difficult to predict as to what would disappear in near future, sugar? salt?, oil. And the ultimate sufferer is the common man. Rising prices of petrol, diesel is bound to affect transportation which may lead to increase in prices of essential commodities. Does it mean that our ministries have turned into silent spectators and feel handicapped to tackle the present situation? Now, recall, how Late Rafi Ahmed Qidwai the Food Minister in Nehru Cabinet had taken the special task or effort to sort out the crisis at that time can we peep into the past and dig out remedies to care the ailing Nation? Surely, the Nation needs Qidwai Saheb so desperately for his meritorious, honest and sincere dealing of the food department.
Farhana Siddiquie, Nagpur – 13
Rajkumar and Pandey encounter vs Batla House encounter
SC landmark comments on the Rajkumar Cherkuri and Hamchandra Pandey encounter on July 1 2010 in Adilabad (AP) “Republic cannot kill its children” is widely appreciated by justice loving people. Police claimed it armed encounter. SC has issued notices to central and state government to explain the killings “we hope there will be answer. The government has to answer so many questions” said a visibly upset bench after going through the petition on 14 January 2011. But in Batla House fake encounter, in which two young innocent Muslims were killed by piercing the bullets in their heads which is impossible in any sort of encounter even Hollywood cannot produce films on encounter. Batla House fake encounter itself raised innumerable questions but judiciary blocked the way of justice by not allowing even a judicial enquiry. So justice loving people of India want to reopen the Batla House fake encounter case as SC justice Katju corrected his decision in the case of Muhammad Salim convent school student beard case. By reopening Batla House fake encounter case reputation of judiciary would be established.
S. Haque, Patna
US and Middle East crisis
President Obama’s rhetoric on promotion of democracy in the Middle East is a dishonest political deception that has been used for more than 60 years by every American President. Democracy initiated by the U.S. brings a lose situation for poorer nations and win situation for American and corrupt Western capitalists. A nation may become a full fledged democracy as that of 1953 Iran where a legitimately elected democratic Govt came to power under the Prime Minister Mussadiq but since he was trying to change the oil policies as Chavez is doing in Venezuela, Iran’s democracy was branded as communist by the CIA. The CIA and Britain plotted and overthrew Iranian democracy and put back the most repressive, corrupt and an obnoxious pro-Zionist and pro-American Shah in power. Obama was honest in accepting this fact in Cairo and apologising to Iran for the dirty job done by the CIA in 1953 in Iran. After 26 years of horrible and dictatorial rule by Shah, a people’s revolution overthrew Shah but this made the US nervous again. The US is covertly nervous about Tunisian/Egyptian/Algerian democracy and is far more nervous that the disease may quickly spread creating a domino effect.
Kodimirpal (via email)
France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain have stated categorically that they want transition of power in Egypt rapidly and beginning immediately. President Obama also hinted that Hosni Mubarak should not wait for the election to affect the transfer of power. India should always have been the first to catalyse induction of a democratic regime where it does not exist. Why is India’s statement so insipid? The statement of Ministry of External Affairs only wants a peaceful resolution of the crisis. That may even mean protesters going home and staying there. Not only that India has been slow in seeing the writing on the wall which others have seen and are backing the right horse.
Dr Mookhi Amir Ali, Mumbai 400054
The hypocrisy of the Western countries on democracy is exposed–in their lukewarm response to the unprecedented uprising in Egypt–demanding an end to the 30-year long despotic rule of Hosni Mubarak. Whereas the West wanted the monarchies and autocratic rulers in the Middle East to continue–the governments elected through a democratic process in Iran and Gaza are being targeted–as they do not serve to the strategic interests of the West.
Syed Sultan Mohiddin, Kadapa
It was the most moving spectacle for the world to watch the “non-violent” peaceful revolution coming out of Egypt. This is a major paradigm change for Muslims. Unlike other gatherings that were typically shown as violent, this one is just incredible and it seems that Egypt’s future seems to be secure and good. Mubarak will have to bow out against peaceful people. While America, the so called advocate of democracy, should boldly side with these people, Obama must muster up the guts to speak out; we can alienate the Egyptians and lose a whole lot of nations in the future or be with them and shape the democratic movement across the world.
Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur - 13
The newborn revolutions in the Arab world might bring more economic setbacks, but are likely to harvest the seed of reforms, eventually bearing fruit of modified democracy. Revolutions are a time of transition from moral relativism to moral universalism. Only during revolutions do people realize that future is easier to invent than predict it. Whether or not present Arab rise leads to significant effects on the world political alliances the ground work base on ‘trust’ rather ‘techniques’ in leadership has begun. Radical left in India aspiring vision 2030 to capture power at the centre must likewise know that it is the only potential ‘harmlessness’ which is likely to make their position plausible. No doubt, any situation of emergency cannot raise people’s trust in techniques of rule than ‘character’ of rulers.
S Abdul Baseer, New Delhi-110025
As the Shah of Iran was brutally killed, Hosni Mubarak is attacking his own people with American bullets and tear gas cannons. “Made in USA” marked on the burnt cannons in the streets of Cairo make people understand the conspiracy of democracy and controlling violence. It is not surprising why there is so much anti-American sentiment across the world and more so in the Muslim world. This is another case study of U.S. foreign policy of rushing arms and financing a dictator for decades and ending up on the wrong side of history. At least now the U.S. government and the people should stop hoping for Mubarak to hang-on. Many may wonder which military strongman the CIA is going to recommend to replace Mubarak. Hosni Mubarak has chosen a man he can trust while the people are trying to chase him away. But Mr. Suleiman, a former general, Mubarak’s candidate is not the one that the people of Egypt will approve. His appointment if it were to occur would not represent the democratic change called for on the street, but most likely a continuation of the kind of military-backed, oppressive, corrupt, authoritarian and pro-Israeli, pro-American leadership that Mr. Mubarak has led for nearly 30 years. Basically this is a way of paving the way for a military-led regime under the guise of reforms and democracy, a good move to please the U.S. neo-cons.
Kodimirpal (via email)
There is neither Husn nor anything Mubarak in the haughty, arrogant nature of Egypt’s modern Pharaoh. May the true followers of Divine Guidance come to power in the land of Musa (A.S.) and they also awaken those Arab rulers who are bowing before Big Satan America instead of obeying only one God. Cannot they hear the warning roar of River Nile?
S. Akhtar, Khanpur Deh – 392150
There is every possibility of escalating Egyptian type of protest in our country. The government’s inaction in curbing corruption, in controlling prices of essential commodities and oil, failing in bringing back the black money into the country hiding the politician who amassed black money and crediting in the foreign banks, enjoyment of the elites and suffering of poor persons and downtrodden. Atrocities on Dalits and minorities innumerable scams worth of trillions of dollars. economic aid to Americans, tolerating its misbehaviour with the Indian students, murder of Andhra engineers, supplying of sophisticated arms to Pakistan, sparing the corrupt ministers etc are a number of genuine reasons. The Indian desperation is more than the desperation of the Egyptians. Due to the docile nature of Indians the government is carefree but they should anticipate such turmoil in our country also.
Abdul Hameed Maqdoomi, Gulbarga
Multiculturalism or illusions?
It is surprising to know how some British Hindus in this country (UK) hate Muslims and Islam. Recently a letter has appeared in the local news paper (Asian Voice) written by one A.L. Sharma. I am truly embittered with constant tendency of criticising Islam. In spite of the fact it has been clarified several times by Muslims that in Islam there is no such thing as “Islamic Terrorism”. Therefore to repeat purposely the offending term in the media is but a vicious provocation by a non-Muslim. According to Sharma, Europe holds Islam and Muslims responsible for the failure of multiculturalism in Western countries because they (Muslims) appear to have opted out of integration process. He has also mentioned the Muslim migration has become an explosive issue with the Europeans, and here in the U.K. the “Islamic terrorisms” have brought shivers both to the government and the citizens. In my opinion prejudice creates misunderstanding and wrong notions. To brand Islam as a “Terrorist Religion” is defamatory. It should be realised, all this will unnecessarily create and incite hatred which will only give rise to the degree of hostility. Sharma was being elusive of the well known facts the world over, that Muslims and other communities who are in minority in India are experiencing religious and social persecution. From all the happenings in India one cannot conceal injustices being meted, if not to all of then to some of them. It is reported that most of Indian Muslims seem to persistently face communal discrimination India.
A.M.A. Pira, London (via email)
Two IPS’s book and media’s response
To highlight and make popular the book Who own CBI “the naked truth” written by retd. IPS B.R. Lall, Hindi daily published a full page article on CBI, it structure cases. Data of closing cases and their failure with responses of leading advocates an article about the book was published. On the other hand the book Who killed Karkare? by retd. I.G. Maharashtra S.M. Mushrif which exposes the myth of terrorism is ignored by Indian media even saffron brain of Indian media launched a blistering attack against the book. Saffron brigade dragged the book,” Who Killed Karkare” and its writer S.M. Mushrif into court but court directed the government to pay attention on the issues raised in the book. Even then media and saffron brigade didn’t like the book Who killed Karkare?
S. Haque, Patna
Is the BBC blind or does it want its listeners to become partially blind? Has BBC no knowledge at all about the book, Who Killed Karkare?’
Anonymous (via email)
The finance minister has said that he wants to bring amnesty scheme to bring out Black Money. Last two three times this scheme had been brought and people are now used to it.They earn black money and wait for such scheme. As far as I remember it was beauty of this scheme that names were not disclosed as they were given assurance that their names will not be disclosed. If in India their name cannot be disclosed how we can ask other countries to intimate the names of persons who are having accounts in other countries. Amnesty scheme is coming with the condition that their names will be disclosed
Madan Gopal Garga mggargagmail.com
India marched against corruption
Capital city of India Delhi like many other cities witnessed an unprecedented people’s march against corruption when people in thousands marched from Ramlila Grounds to Jantar Mantar on 30th January 2011, the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi raising voice to replace sarkari toothless Lokpal Bill by a Janta Lokpal Bill prepared by veteran jurists and legal luminaries in consultation with prominent members of civil society. Most important aspect of the march was that people from all walks of life, rich or poor, joined the march voluntarily without being hired as is done by the political parties. Notable feature was that prominent personalities serving or retired from official postings including even some central information commissioners also joined the march like commoners without any aim to be media-highlighted or photographed on the dais. It was indeed a tough task to convince fasting veterans in their eighties and nineties to break fast for giving youngsters some chance at least to put pressure on the government to establish a real anti-corruption mechanism including adopting the Janata Lokpal Bill. Unfortunately India does not have a single political party which can be termed ‘honest’. India does need a Hongkong type revolution of 1970s when people united to induce anti-corruption mechanism which ultimately made their country amongst top ranking honest countries. In the present era, it is only seldom that dignitaries like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam known for their effective sincerity and honesty could reach to top position, an aspect which was not liked by any of the political party to give him a repeat for the post of President.
Madhu Agarwal, Delhi
No cut off dates
Once again the political parties are squabbling over which should be the cut off date to recognize Mumbai’s shanties as human residential quarters. The houses set up by the poor as early as in 1995 are not recognized as human homes and are not provided with basic needs of life like water and sanitation. If the shanties were allowed to spring up yesterday, they have a right to exist today. If the administration does not want to legalise a zopdi tomorrow, it is its own responsibility to prevent it from coming up today. The proliferation of slums to such a large extent is the proof of the connivance and the corruption of the authorities or a testimonial of the gross and criminal dereliction of their duty. It is the scandalous failure of the successive governments of Maharashtra and the Brihad-Mumbai Mahanagar Palika to forestall the encroachment on public places. It was the obligation of the administration to freeze the number of existing hutments at some point of time; to make determined effort to prevent the new ones from springing up again and then go about rehabilitating the existing ones. It is a tragic reality that after six decades of nation building the rural India has no means of livelihood to offer to her villagers. They are obliged to walk into the filth of the cities’ slums to earn their bread. They finance this journey by selling their valuables or by borrowing at exorbitant interest rates. On their way to this El Dorado they are exploited further by so many government, quasi government and non-government “agencies”. As long as our villagers have to wobble to cities for livelihood, they have to be tolerated. Let there be no cut-off dates.
Dr.Mookhi Amir Ali, Mumbai, 400054
Ather Shamsi gets RTI Award
Ather Shamsi is selected for RTI award with Rakesh Kr. Rajan Ghate and Vinita Kamte. He had used RTI for bidi workers in Faizabad (UP).
S. Haque, Patna
Bangladesh has grabbed 675 acres of Bharat’s land
Bangladesh is slowly eating up India’s territory. This information has been given recently to the State and Central governments by the collectors of Assam’s Muslim majority districts Dhubri and Karimganj. In their reports they are said to have stated that Bangladesh government has already taken control of 675 acres of Indian land, which includes Baraivari, Pallathal tea gardens, Pramodnagar tea gardens, Nilam Bajar, Vamla Patti. These areas are shown in Bangladesh. Yet the Assam and Central governments are not taking any steps. Bangladeshi intruders have grabbed 7000 bigha land of Mutts. Bhadra Krishna Goswami, the Advisor of Assam Satra (Vaishnav Mutt says that the Gauhati High Court has asked the government to remove the Bangladeshi intruders from the land of 39 Mutts. Yet the state government is not taking any action because of vote bank politics. Increase population and get reward (A hint at Iran) Iran’s President M. Ahmadinazad has announced a scheme for increasing population. He aims to double the present number which is nearly seven and half crores. Iranian citizens will be encouraged to produce more children. 950 dollars will be deposited in the State Bank in the account of the new born until that child reaches the age of 18, an amount equivalent to 950 will be credited to his/her account. After becoming 18-year-old, he or she will be able to utilise the accumulated money for education, employment, marriage etc. While announcing this scheme, the President said: “Those who are talking about encouraging Family Planning are under the influence of unbelievers (kafirs) calling themselves reformists, modernists etc.!! [Translated from Gjuarati monthly, Vichaar Bharati, Karnawati (Ahmedabad)]
S. Akhtar, Khkanpur Deh – 392150
Crime against women on the rise
The increasing cases of rape and molestation are really a matter of grave concern. The government’s endeavour seems to have fallen short. The existing procedure of just putting the rapist behind the bars fails to deter the others. Merely fulfilling sexual desires might not be the only reason behind such cases. It could also be assumed that men, who have serious psychological/personality disorders, discharge through sexual violence.
Shafaque Alam, New Delhi
We are living in a society that has become increasingly lower in calories, both in food as in thought. Not only have we passed from the stew and a good plate of beans to the salad slightly seasoned but we have also created rules that subordinate the personal decision to a government dictatorship. We have gone from thinking and reading to watch captivated the small screen. Models are copied more than follow ideas. Beyond entertainment, the media spectacle, more and more light to reach a wider audience, has become a transmitter of a culture “light” that once was known as instincts, destroying the classical virtues, breaking the authority in the family and school. Offering in the TV series disastrous models, disguised as new ways of life, are presented as attractive, helping to undermine the values rooted in society. In these fields involves not only market mechanisms for its loyal customers with new tastes and flavours, playing with emotions, because, influenced by politicians, is also involved ‘media engineering’ to convey ideologies that lead to society the channels they want, pursue a new model of man: to make man and woman a being detached from real links, left at the mercy of itself. As a result, while the agitators of the street or microphone are awake, the show is watched by a passive citizenry and sleepy, waiting for someone to say WAKE UP!
Agustín Pérez, Spain
Alarming suicide rates
Ever increasing incidences of suicide cases are alarming. According to recent report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) every four minutes, one commits suicide in India. “223 males commit suicide per day in the country while the number for women is 125 out of which 69 are house wives” the report said. Causes of suicides are varying such as poverty, tension, depression, frustration, love affairs, illicit relations, prolonged sickness, mental illness, traumatic events, drug abuse, family disputes, dowry, and failure in exam, avarice of materialism, lack of mental happiness, lack of trust and confidence in God and so on. It should be kept in mind that lack of trust and confidence in God often drives one to commit suicide. Prophet Muhammad says: “If you put your trust in God as He has the right to be trusted, He would provide you sustenance like the birds who fly in the morning in a state of hunger and come back satiated to their nests in the evening, but even the birds have to fly to the fields and gardens in search of their food what does not come to them in their nests.” People who lack confidence and trust in God and do not work cannot meet their expenses and remain depressed and frustrate and resort to illegal means to obtain money. They do not even hesitate to commit forgery, theft, dacoity, robbery, murder and so many crimes. If they had earned their livelihood through honest and lawful means, they would not have committed such major sins. Apart from making the living conditions attractive by providing all possible facilities to people the state and union governments must ponder over the causes of frustration and do their best to remove them. In a country like India which has the fragrance of spirituality all around the fear of God be instilled in the hearts so one should not even think of getting over the life bestowed to them by the Almighty God.
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow-226007
BJP, part of the problem?
The Kashmir interlocutors have accepted the fact that there are potential spoilers in the J&K peace process and they need to be identified, neutralized or accommodated and somehow be changed from part of the problem to part of the solution. It is strange that they do not see the BJP as such a spoiler. It is universally accepted that no government was as close to the resolution of our disputes with Pakistan including the Kashmir ‘problem” as the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Still the present leadership of the BJP keeps harping on the abrogation of article 370 arguing that this article is the only bugbear in the path of complete integration of J&K with India. If the interlocutors do not address this potential snag in the process at the outset, by sitting down with the BJP and make them agree that the article 370 cannot and should not be eroded, the party will continue to be a road block. Vajpayeeji, in his chaste Hindi, would call it “raaste me roda”.
Dr Mookhi Amir Ali, Mumbai 400054
The ongoing uprising in the Arab world for democracy, though a welcome development hence rightly appreciated by USA in the interest of participation and empowerment of the people, but USA has not understood its full implications especially given the fact that USA does not have any policy to stop and destroy the forces of fundamentalism and fanaticism in Muslim world, which is bound to gain ascendancy in democracy. The example of Pakistan and India should be sufficient to prove that in democracy ultimately fundamentalist forces prevail in developing world: - (1) - In Pakistan last month every political party which matters including substantial part of judicial community vied with each other to practically justify the killing by a fanatic, of the Governor of Punjab Salman Tasseer who was trying to appeal to reason in order to help a Christian, Asia the convict of blasphemy. (2)- In India -(i)- Hindu fanatics succeeded in butchering for weeks thousands of innocent Muslims with impunity in 2002 in the State of Gujarat.(ii)- To what extent Muslims are afraid in India can be gauged from the simple fact that Supreme Court of India (SCI) in who’s Observer’s presence Babri Mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992, can not proceed in any matter related to Babri Mosque (including in on-going appeals to High Court order) without first restoring the status-quo-ante of Babri Mosque by getting Babri Mosque re-constructed. Because otherwise SCI will commit contempt of court for lowering the authority of court and for interfering with and obstructing the administration of justice and which is a criminal contempt under section 2 (C ) (i) and (iii) read with section 16 of the Contempt of Court Act 1971. But no Indian Muslim has the courage to move the SCI with a petition for restoring status-quo-ante of Babri Mosque though this dispute has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Indians (mostly Muslims).
Hem Raj Jain, Rajasthan