Category Archives: National Affairs

AMU torn between ghost of Jinnah and growing fascism in the country

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Aligarh Muslim University woke up to a harsh reality of things shaping up in the country on May 2nd, 2018. At Around 11.30 in the morning, a group of 15-20 right wing activists tried to enter the AMU campus through Bab-E-Syed (The main gate of AMU). They were shouting provocative slogans demanding the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, hung in Union hall, to be taken down. The security officer of AMU posted at the gate caught hold of these fringe elements before they could enter the campus and handed them to the police, which released them in no time without registering any complaint against them.

At around 12 Noon, Ex Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari arrived at the university to deliver a speech (as part of a workshop), and was also supposed to be conferred with lifetime membership of AMU Students’ Union. He was staying in Guest House No 3 of the university, which is mere 50 steps away from Bab-E-Syed. Around 2 PM, while he was taking a stroll along with members of Student’s union in the garden of the guesthouse around 25-30 armed activists of right wing group again tried to enter the campus. This time their target was Dr. Ansari, these activists were escorted by the police officials, as per the students’ account. Before they could enter the campus, the students present near the gate and the members of the student’s union approached the gate to stop these elements from entering the campus.  Presence of Dr. Ansari made the situation precarious and students were concerned for his welfare.

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An Open Letter to Indian Muslims

DEAR Muslims,

I am writing this with full responsibility and knowledge of the situation on the ground. I live thousands of miles away from Indian shores but visit thrice in a year and closely follow events and remain in touch with friends and acquaintances.

Please do not get me wrong, this shouldn’t be interpreted as a patronising lecture. I understand the sentiments you express on social media and share the anger and frustration over events taking place in several states. However, please understand that nothing is permanent and what goes up is bound to come down. The prevailing climate will change very soon. I can see that happening. Things that happened six months ago are no longer happening. There are signs of change in every sphere of Indian society. Issues of bread and butter are a great leveler and hurt indiscriminately, regardless of your caste and religion. It has started to hurt people — businesses are suffering, jobs are vanishing, sources of livelihood are shrinking. In a short span of time, these issues will consume all the sections of the society. Religion or ideology can’t fill tummies, create jobs or propel growth. People will understand this very soon, they have begun to understand — protests by farmers in Maharashtra and anger of Patels in Gujarat are good examples. Read the rest of this entry

Time for the broader Hindu community to speak up

DEAR Hindus,

The brutal murder of a poor Muslim labourer recently is not intended to terrorise Muslims, a community that is becoming immune to such threats after a series of targeted killings. In the last three odd years, they have seen many such killings by mobs and individuals in the name of Hinduism.

The real motive behind these killings is to terrorise you, Dear Hindus. Yes, don’t be surprised, Muslims are just a pawn — to add muscle and momentum to a specific political narrative.

For those who propagate the ideology of hate, their real enemy is the moderate, well-meaning Hindu who believes in the idea of India, an India that is home to 1.25 billion plus people of diverse faith, race, languages and appearance. Read the rest of this entry

भारतीय मुसलमान: डर के साये में?

पूर्व उपराष्ट्रपति श्री हामिद अंसारी के एक हालिया बयान से जिस प्रकार मीडिया ट्रायल हुआ और उसको राजनितिक मोड़ दिया गया वो गिरते वैचारिक मानसिकता और मुद्दों को संवेदनशील बनाकर राजनीति करने के नए तरीके का परिणाम है। हामिद अंसारी के कथन को समझने के लिए सिर्फ बीजेपी के इस तीन साल का ही विश्लेषण नहीं होना चाहिए वरना ये राजनितिक विश्लेषण होकर रह जाएगा। इसको समझने के लिए हमें कम से कम एक सदी और उसके बाद के मुसलमानो के हालत को नज़र में रखना होगा।

स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में हिंदुस्तानी मुसलमानो की भागीदारी और बलिदान को किसी के सनद की आवश्यकता नहीं। मुसलमानो ने अपनी आबादी और हिस्सेदारी से अधिक बढ़-चढ़ कर इस लड़ाई को लड़ा और जीता। लेकिन पाकिस्तान के बंटवारे ने जिस प्रकार भारतीय मुसलमानो को मानसिक, सामाजिक, आर्थिक और राजनितिक रूप से तोड़ा उससे हम दशकों निकल नहीं पाये। शिक्षित, आर्थिक रूप से संपन्न, सरकारी नौकरियों के बड़े ओहदेदार भारत छोड़कर एक नए देश में अपना सुख तलाशने जा चुके थे। बचा था दबा, कुचला , पिछड़ा और अशिक्षित मुसलमान जिसको अपने पुरखों की विरासत को छोड़ना किसी हाल में गवारा नहीं था।

पकिस्तान बनने की आत्मग्लानि, जातीय राजनीति के बढ़ते ज़ोर में बिना नेतृत्व के खौफ के माहौल से मुसलमानो को उबरने में एक लंबा समय लगा। जब उबरने लगे तो पाकिस्तान की भाँती ‘धर्मांधता’ की राजनीति भारत में भी शुरू हो चुकी थी। हमें इस बात को महसूस करना होगा की पाकिस्तान में बचे अल्पसंख्यक भी इसी पीड़ा से गुज़रे होंगे। फ़र्क़ इतना ज़रूर है की भारतीय मुसलमानो के अधिकार की बड़ी बड़ी लड़ाई यहाँ के बहुसंख्यक समाज ने लड़ा और आज भी वो लड़ते हैं।

मुझे हामिद अंसारी साहेब की बातों को समर्थन करने में कोई हिचक नहीं। आज भारतीय मुसलमान डर में है। वो पाकिस्तान बंटवारे के बाद भी डर में थे और आज भी डर के माहौल में जी रहे।

इन सब चीजों में जो एक चीज़ छूटी वो है मुसलमानो की समाज निर्माण में हिस्सेदारी की कमी। उसके कई कारण हैं जिसपर एक लंबी चर्चा की आवश्यकता है। 70 साल का अंतराल किसी समाज को सम्भलने और अपने हालात को सुधारने के लिए कम नहीं होता। आप सिर्फ दूसरों पर इलज़ाम लगाकर अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी से नहीं बच सकते। मुसलमानो में शिक्षा के प्रति रुझान बढ़ा है। ज़रुरत है अपनी सामाजिक ज़िम्मेदारियों के प्रति सोचने, इसपर निरंतर चर्चा कर एक दिशा देने की। मैं आओ सबको आमंत्रित करता हूँ इसपर एक बहस शुरू हो और मुख्यधारा से जुड़कर काम आगे बढे।

 

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Leave Cricket of all the sports alone!

INDIA-PAK cricket showdown was there before also. And those matches were not played during peaceful times either. The matches were prone to hyper nationalism ventilation as well. Just like the present, but with a difference. The sports page handlers of media houses then were sane enough to separate the chaff from the wheat. The winners were given prominent coverage, the perennial hostilities not withstanding. The editorial policies were relatively fair when it came to sports.

Now, we are in a more hyper sensitive era with media playing the three-in-one tone with finesse. Aggrieved, aggressor and the clueless. This two ‘A’ and one ‘c’ mode is incongruous with the five ‘W’ notion that’s the bedrock of journalism. The perfect example is india’s leading English paper’s coverage of Pakistani team. The insiders say the desk hands were told not to give significance to Pak players. Yeah, you heard right! Even if they had the best day on field. Read the rest of this entry

Muslim freedom fighters from Meerut in 1857

List of Meerut soldiers in 1857

Names of the 85 soldiers who refused to accept cartridges and were subsequently court-martialed in 1857. (Pic Courtesy: Siddhartha Ghai)

Babri case: a golden chance for muslims

Babri Masjid prior to its destructionThe Supreme Court’s advice to settle Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi case outside the court is a golden opportunity for Muslims to demand their rights.

The SC’s advice is a clear indication that the highest court of the land is unlikely to decide on this case. That is why, it has suggested consultations between Hindus and Muslims and offered to arbitrate a settlement.

Two, the timing of the SC advice is also a clear indication that Modi Govt is not keen to build a Ram Temple by amending the Constitution despite the legislative muscle it has acquired after winning Uttar Pradesh.

Modi Government’s first choice would be to somehow bring Muslim community — by coercion or persuasion — to the table and negotiate a settlement.

Why the government would wants to consult Muslims?  Read the rest of this entry

Time to change food habits in UP

The picture (taken today in Lucknow) says it all.

Idris Biryani Restaurant and the butcher shops wear a deserted look.

Time for Muslims to deal with the Modi phenomenon

Indian PM Narendra ModiWhichever way you look at it, there’s only one story — one man has overshadowed every thing and everyone in Uttar Pradesh.

Laptops, pension for women, metro, expressway, free uniforms and much more, nothing mattered to the voter of UP. Akhilesh, Mayawati or Rahul, no one mattered to the voters.

They wanted only one thing. They want to strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister.

They want him in spite of Notebandi, they want him in spite of LPG and petrol price hikes, they want him in spite of expensive banking and rail travel. They want him even in the absence of tangible benefits his three-year government could have delivered but failed. But that doesn’t matter anymore. They want him more and more. His failures simply don’t matter. Read the rest of this entry

A politician who remains on ground, literally

In a state where there’s no dearth of candidates with a criminal case against them, Alambadi comes across as an exceptional politician. Three times winner from Nizamabad, 73 year old Alambadi travels through his constituency on foot from 9 to 5. His agenda for UP 2017 elections, is toilets for women and improved water availability in his area. This is the beauty of democracy. All you need is a will. Good luck sir!