This is a recent debate on Zakir Naik on NDTV, a supposedly balanced news channel. While it’s ok to question his ideology but to let Tarek Fatah join the discussion will only mislead the common public. Tarek puts India in the same league as Pakistan with his emotional outbursts.
Indian media needs to be careful when it invites people like him. He may comes across as a liberal but is a confrontationist.
Noorul Uloom Education Society (NUES) has been working tirelessly yet surely to brighten up lives in rural UP. They tend to achieve this through a healthy mix of education and culture. The underprivileged rural population in neighbourhoods of Western UP, which constitutes mostly Muslims, has greatly benefitted from the society’s efforts.
Extreme poverty has been the single biggest factor contributing to low education in villages of India. In many cases, illiteracy often leads to such social evils as gambling, drinking, dowry and superstitions. This means they can be easily exploited too. The state of women’s education is even worse. An educated girl makes it harder to find a suitable match, one that comes at an affordable dowry too. This exactly was the premise for NUES when they established Saiema Mansoor Public School at Parsana in district Hathras. The institution, accredited by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) till standard 12th, caters to poor and illiterate rural families. Continue reading “In Focus – Noorul Uloom Education Society”
Given the track record, and growing influence of regressive conservatives in Pakistan, this news item was unusual. The Pakistan Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights has recommended that the Council of Islamic Ideology [CII], be dissolved. The CII was established in 1962 by the semi-benevolent dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan, when he forced through his new Constitution, to recommend ways by which all laws could be in conformity with religious doctrine.
Demanding dissolution of a Constitutional body is hardly routine, but the tipping point seems to have been CII’s suggestion that husbands should be allowed “light” violence against “errant” wives, with the decision on quantum of crime and punishment being left, naturally, to the husband.
It is true that CII’s recommendations are not mandatory, but they affect public discourse. This preposterous instance of misogyny and, indeed, misogamy, made headlines across the world, eliciting ridicule mostly. But ridicule is an inadequate response. Continue reading “A tipping point in Pakistan”