The Report “Rebel attack leaves eight dead in Indian Kashmir” in India Aboard (January 1, 2918) uses the phrase “Indian Kashmir” in the headline and then goes on to say “Indian-administered Kashmir”. It says, “Kashmir was divided between rivals India and Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule over the subcontinent in 1947.” All these are factually incorrect and should not have a place in a newspaper owned by NRIs and one that claims to represent Indians Abroad. have you heard of American Kansas or USA -administered Texas? Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and one of its 29 states. Kashmir was never divided between India and Pakistan as this report claims. That Pakistan is illegally occupying parts of Kashmir is entirely different matter. Indian Parliament has categorically resolved that the whole of Kashmir including the Pakistan Occupied territory is part of India. India Aboard shouldn’t blindly reproduce reports from foreign Press agencies which are inaccurate and patently mischievous. India Abroad should make its position clear on the status of Jammu & Kashmir as an integral part of India and print a correction. India Abroad owes its readers and all Indians an apology.
Gaurang G. Vaishnav
Edison, NJ, USA
Dear Dr. Arun Shourie:
Namaste. A few days back you came down hard on Modi government. You made an uncharitable remark that “The Modi government believes that managing economy means “managing the headlines” and that people have started recalling the days of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.” I didn’t like it but you are an expert on the subject and I am not, so I swallowed it. You further said, “The way to characterize policies of the government is – Congress plus a cow. Policies are the same.” http://m.timesofindia.com/india/This-government-is-Congress-plus-a-cow-Arun-Shourie-says/articleshow/49544316.cms?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=TOI
That was a cheap pot shot and insulting to Hindu sensitivities. Yet, I let it ride thinking that even the best of the people lose balance sometimes in anger and say things that they later regret.
People have surmised that you are frustrated because you were not given a ministerial position in the new government, not even a place in the Niti Ayog. I didn’t agree with that assessment. I didn’t think you were that petty and hunkering after name and fame.
Having known your contribution to BJP and your scholarly and philosophical mind, having read your books, I have held you in high regards for decades, so I did not want to label you as another Modi hater just because of that one interview.
Then came another of your interviews with NDTV. It opened my eyes and changed my perception. I want to pick only a few points from that interview and tell you that Mr. Shourie, you are wrong.
(1) “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deliberately maintaining silence on incidents like Dadri lynching while his ministerial and party colleagues kept the issue alive merely to win Bihar elections.”. Maybe he is and that is a prudent way; if you had the good of the country at the heart and didn’t want Congress or its proxy to rear its head again, you would have kept quiet too. And why should he comment? Just because it was a Muslim death? Why did you not mention that he should make a statement also on the murder of Prashant Poojary, a Hindu by Muslims? So you are also falling in media trap of labeling Modiji as a PM of Hindus only.
(2) You cited a Pakistani analyst to say that “while the neighboring country was trying to get out of the pit, India was slowly going down its way.” So now, to you suddenly an analyst from Pakistan carries more weight? And is Pakistan really trying to come out of the pit? It doesn’t look like looking at what they are doing in Kashmir.
(3) You have said “the writers, authors and artists were conscience-keepers of the country and their motives cannot be questioned.” Ha, ha, ha! So where was their conscience in 1984 Sikh genocide, in 1989 when Pundits in Kashmir were massacred, in 2002 when 58 Hindus were burnt alive at Godhra in a railway coach when Professor Joseph’s hands were cut by the Jehadis in Kerala? So these guys’ motives cannot be questioned but Modi’s can be?
(4) ” Praising scientists like P M Bhargava and Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, who have expressed concern over these incidents, you questioned how these people can be called rabid, a term used by Arun Jaitley.” One only needs to do a Google search on Bhargava to see where his ideological loyalties lie. Bhargava has been supporting AAP from the very beginning and has leftist, pro-Naxal leanings. He is not a neutral, ‘oh, so ever gentle soul.’ Mr. Murthy is a Ford Foundation Trustee. Do we need to know more?
(5) ” These people have contributed immensely to the country and those who attacked them have not read a book in the last 20 years. Those who cannot write two paragraphs are sitting in judgement over writers.” This is so absurd an argument that it takes the cake. If we were sitting in judgement of their literary work, the argument would make sense; here we are judging their action of Award Vapasi and political motive behind it, which doesn’t require literary skills but common sense.
Your strident support of politically motivated writers and artists’ return of awards makes it crystal clear that in the last innings of your life, you have thrown away your wicket. You are so enamored with your righteousness that you have lost all sense of proportion. Up until now, I thought that Advaniji was the only icon whom I had held in high esteem and who had failed BJP and the nation at the crucial juncture. Now I know that he is in good (!) company.
I am one of 1.25 billion Bharatiyas. Though I happen to reside away from Bharat, my heart beats for Bharat. I blog, twit and use Facebook. I am not a scholar; I have not written incisive books; I have not been a minister; I have not been a darling of think tanks and conclaves; I am not a speaker; hey, I am not even a member of BJP. Yet, I dare say that Shourie Ji you have lost it. All your lifelong contributions have come to a naught because you have decided to become a tool in the hands of Adharma, i.e., in the hands of anti-Modi, anti-Hindu, and to an extent, anti-Bharat media. It is no different than Bhishma or Dronacharya deciding to side with the Kauravas.
Finally, I can write “more than two paragraphs” and I have read 50 or so book in last twenty years.
May you find peace within.
Gaurang G. Vaishnav
Edison, New Jersey, USA
(facebook: <vicharak1>, twitter: @vicharak1)
Lok Sabha speaker, Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs for five sessions for unruly behavior on August 3, 2015. Congress President, Sonia Gandhi called it a “Black Day.”
No Sonia Ji, Black Day was:
- When Congress party decided to support Khilafat movement in 1920
- When Congress party remained silent when thousands of Hindus were massacred, converted, their women raped and thrown in wells with children by Moplah Muslims of Malabar in 1921, thanks to Gandhiji *
- When Gandhiji tried half heartedly with viceroy Irwin for commutation of Bhagat singh’s sentence who was sentenced to death 1931
- When Congress decided to consider only first two stanzas of Vande Mataram as the national Song to appease Muslims who opposed stanzas comparing Bharatmata with Goddess Durga 1937
- When Gandhiji tried to have Subhas Chandra Bose defeated in election for Congress President (and failed) 1938
- When Gandhiji forced out Subhas Chandra Bose from Indian national Congress 1939
- When Gandhiji offered Mohmmad Ali Jinha Prime Ministership of Free Bharat with a fee hand to choose his cabinet (i.e., Muslims) 1946
- When Congress decided not to make Vande Mataram the national anthem 1947
- When Nehru tried to prevent Sardar Patel from leading the project to rebuild Somanath Mandir, as he considered it a communal act 1947
- When Congress allowed partition in 1948
- When Gandhiji foisted Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minster, even though out of 14 votes in AICC, Sardar Patel had 12 votes and Nehru one. 1948
- When Nehru stopped Sardar Patel from completing operation to free occupied Kashmir from Pakistan’s attack and took the case to UNO 1948
- When your party agreed to include article 370 to give special status to Jammu & Kashmir
- When Nehru didn’t want the President, Rajendra Prasad to inaugurate restored Somanath Mandir 1951
- When Nehru made a statement in Pakistan that “not a blade of grass grows there” in a debate about Bharatiya territory occupied by China 1962
- When Nehru lost the war to China 1962
- When Nehru asked President Radhakrishnan not to attend funeral of ex President Rajendra Prasad because he was miffed with independence of Rajendrababu and his clear stand on Hindu issues 1963
- When Congress government signed Tashkent agreement and gave away the conquered region in Pakistan occupied national boundary of India and the 1949 ceasefire line in Kashmir. January 1966
- When Indira Gandhi nationalized all banks 1967
- When Indira Gandhi signed Simla agreement accepting LOC as de facto International border July 1972
- When Indira Gandhi declared Emergency and imprisoned more than 100,000 people including political leaders of all opposition parties (June 26, 1975)
- When Sanjay Gandhi forcibly sterilized several thousand villagers and slum dwellers 1976
- When Sanjay Gandhi bulldozed slums around Turkman Gate in Delhi leaving those people out in open without any means of survival 1976
- When Indira Gandhi inserted the words “Socialist Republic” and “Secular” in preamble of the constitution of Bharat 1975-1976
- When Congress packed all education and research institutes with leftist and communist people and distorted history
- When Congress decided to name every entity, be it an airport or a park, a dam or a building, a government scheme or a road, to name after one of Nehru Gandhi family members
- When Congress government awarded Bharat Ratna to biggest fraud, converting thousands of Hindus to Christianity, “Mother” Teresa 1980
- When you became a director of Maruti Cars and an Insurance company while not being a citizen of Bharat in contravention of law
- When your name appeared in voters list of New Delhi even when you were not a citizen of Bharat (1980-1982)
- When Rajiv Gandhi was appointed Prime Minister in haste, superseding experienced home minister, Pranab Mukherjee 1984
- When Congress goons mercilessly murdered thousands of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi was assassinated 1984
- When Rajiv Gandhi said about massacre of Sikhs When a mighty tree falls, the whole ground shakes 1984
- When Rajiv Gandhi’ government nulled Supreme Court’s judgement in Shah Bano’s alimony case by amending the constitution to appease Mullahs 1986
- When Mulayam Singh’s government fired on Karsevaks in Ayodhya and killed several dozens of them 1989
- When your favorite sons, the Muslims of Kashmir killed thousands of Hindus, dishonored Hindu women, and forced close to 400,000 Hindus out of Kashmir
- When you made a request to not hang your husband’s killers
- When Muslims, pampered by your party since 1920, burned to death 59 innocent passengers of Sabarmati Express at Godhra station in Gujarat 2002
- When you called a sitting Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, “Maut Ka Sodagar” 2007
- When your government awarded Padma Shri to Teesta Setalvad, who should have been in jail longtime ago
- When your party went to bat for a known terrorist, Shahbuddin
- When your party defended terrorist, Isharat Jahan
- When your party coined the word “Hindu Terrorism”
- When Rahul Gandhi said that Hindu terrorism was more worrisome than the Jehadi one
- When you thrust a puppet Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on the nation and ruled from behind for 10 years
- When you formed National advisory Council (NAC) to supersede powers of the parliament and packed it with known Hindu baiters and communists
- When you supported Evangelist in their bid to Christianize Bharat
- When MPs of Congress joined other MPs to write a letter to President of USA, not to grant a visa to Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi
- When Your government turned a blind eye to all the mega scams- Commonwealth games, Coalgate, Telecom Scam, etc.
- When your party man, Mani Shankar Iyer called a sitting Chief Minister and Prime ministerial candidate of a major political party, Narendra Modi, a Chaiwala 2013
- When you didn’t have decency to congratulate Narendra Modi and BJP for their clear victory in 2014 election
- When you and your family ran out of the country to avoid attending International Yoga Day
- When your MPs, under your leadership held up working of Lok Sabha for nine consecutive sessions and refused to debate the points you had raised July 2015
- When office bearers of Congress party glorified an executed terrorist, Yakub Memon July 2015
So, Edvige Antonia Albina Màino, aka Sonia Gandhi, the root cause of all Black Days of Bharat is your Congress party, going back to as far as 1920! If anything, suspension of 25 of your chamchas, is a Golden day in history of Bharat.
“That the conference views with indignation and sorrow the attempts made at various quarters by interested parties to ignore or minimise the crimes committed by the rebels such as: brutally dishonouring women, flaying people alive, wholesale slaughter of men, women and children, burning alive entire families, forcibly converting people in thousands and slaying those who refused to get converted, throwing half dead people into wells and leaving the victims to struggle for escape till finally released from their suffering by death, burning a great many and looting practically all Hindu and Christian houses in the disturbed areas in which even Moplah women and children took part and robbed women of even the garments on their bodies, in short reducing the whole non-Muslim population to abject destitution, cruelly insulting the religious sentiments of the Hindus by desecrating and destroying numerous temples in the disturbed areas, killing cows within the temple precincts putting their entrails on the holy image and hanging skulls on the walls and the roofs.”
By N.V. Subramanian (29 September 2014)28 September 2014: In some ways, Narendra Modi’s prime ministry appears more counter-intuitive than those of his predecessors. You would imagine that he would seek to make friends and allies in the ruling establishment to stabilize and strengthen his position. By that logic, he would placate his party colleagues in and outside the government and the extended Sangh Parivar which assisted him to gain power. He would wire the permanent civil service in his favour and give it a share of power as happened in the previous United Progressive Alliance regime. He would curry favour with the press, appear beholden to the fat cats of the financial world, and gush at big business.
Counter-intuitively, Narendra Modi has done none of these things.
The media loathes his guts. Every passing day of his prime ministry makes it more irrelevant. Industrialists are not crowding Delhi as in the past; the prime minister is said to have pulled up some of his more errant ministers who thought to cozy up to them on the sly. After last week’s bloodless massacre, which saw scores of mid-career officials transferred, the Central bureaucracy is alternatively terrified of and enraged with the prime minister. At a private dinner of Indian Administrative Service and Indian Foreign Service officers, there were powerful voices urging sabotage of the Narendra Modi government. One dialogue resonated above all else, and that was, “We have to break the prime minister before he breaks us. He has to be made to realize he cannot do without us.”
Nor is the sentiment in Bharatiya Janata Party circles in favour of Narendra Modi. Lok Sabha members from North India feel specially let down. Their group-talk follows this general pattern: “We thought we would make money and have fun in Delhi. No way. Modi has put a stop to all that. We literally drink milk and go to bed. We don’t know when this man will summon us for a late-night meeting. If we smell of alcohol, it is the end of us.”
This may be typical cow-belt exaggeration. But the fear of Narendra Modi is real. In their fears, he appears omnipotent and omniscient. In any other administration, you would expect MPs to be vying to become ministers; not in this dispensation. Junior MPs plead not to be recommended for ministerships. They consider it a prison sentence, with Modi being the fearsome head warden. Equally, senior members of Sangh Parivar front organizations are unhappy with the prime minister because he won’t slacken the purse strings for them. At one meeting apparently, he exasperatedly explained to them that he was answerable for every naya paisa of government expenditure; they left disgusted.
Over and above all this, the opposition won’t give him any quarter. If he succeeds in this term and wins another, the dynastic parties are finished for the next twenty years; there will be a generational wipe-out. The Nehru-Gandhis, the Mulayam and Laloo Yadavs and the Karunanidhis won’t stand for that at any cost. Hence the exultation at the victories notched in the Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat by-polls, which may be premature.
At the same time, Narendra Modi’s foreign policy successes are stirring envy at home and new competition abroad. The Chinese leadership cannot countenance a strong Indian prime minister who would once for all erase the ignominy of the 1962 debacle. Pakistan has already moved into reflexive obstructionist mode, with the Pakistan military stoking jihadi terrorism again in Jammu and Kashmir. And if India rises with Modi, the great powers shan’t be ecstatic; it will mean more multi-polarity.
Some of the opposition to rising India and Modi is inevitable and unstoppable. If the country’s rise is peaceful, as it is bound to be in India’s case, that would bring its own acceptability. But why would Narendra Modi wish to stir up so much domestic opposition to him after such a handsome victory? Perhaps the answer resides in two things. One is that by nature he is transformative; the status quo does not satisfy him. Second, India is in a political, economic, financial and military-strategic mess; this is all too apparent. Unless Modi cracks the whip, the system will not reform and deliver. But isn’t he making enemies in the system? Won’t the system strike back?
This writer is convinced that Modi has evaluated the risks and feels no threat to his position so long he can deliver. To deliver, he needs the system, which means the ministers, the bureaucrats, the party apparatus, and so on. He knows the system inside out; he is confident of dominating it. But he needs a bigger alliance with the people to win their recurrent legitimacy and to gain the cushion of time to deliver; hence his direct address to masses via new vehicles of communications like Teacher’s Day and the improvisation of older forms such as the Independence Day speech: defying expectations, he spoke in it of toilets for girls and admonished mothers who wouldn’t rein in their wayward sons.
Isn’t all this a big gamble; thrusting ahead on people power with a dysfunctional system and a mutinous crew? It is. But Narendra Modi believes he can pull it off. He works harder than anyone in government; he is streamlining the system; he is weeding out the corrupt and plugging the loopholes against bleeding the exchequer. He is imposing new moral norms on his ministers and setting right the warped steel frame of the civil service. The conviction of J.Jayalalithaa indicates the depths to which the country has fallen. Years from now, Modi’s ministers would be glad that he kept them on a tight leash.
Imperceptibly, the country is changing. Honesty and integrity count for more than ever in public life. The spread of communications, education, knowledge and awareness has diminished the hold of political power on people. Narendra Modi is alive to this vital change and his actions are complimentary. They are probably not as counter-intuitive as they seem.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America
(World Hindu Council of America)
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Though this article still paints Muslims in victimhood mode, overall, it breaks the pattern and puts blame squarely on Muslims.
The Muslim Rage and Hypocrisy
Can you believe it? A Chinese–made shoe is holding hostage a population of over 1.4 million in Srinagar. It began in Central Kashmir’s Magam area. On 28 November, someone saw a white sports shoe with the name of the last Caliph (Hazrat Ali) printed on it. A close examination of the shoe, however, threw up a hint of mischief: on the right-side of the toe, the name ‘Ali’ was hand-written with a black marker and didn’t look like a company mark. Soon, men, children and women gathered on the streets. Protests ensued. The shoe was held high in the procession while the demonstrators called for an end to “hurting” Muslim “sensibilities.”
Even before the crowd from this protest had returned home, a new mob gathered around 30 kilometers away at Srinagar’s Zadibal-Nowhatta neighbourhood where Shia and Sunni communities live together but their union is often marred by frictions from time to time. For years, youngsters of this area have been stone-pelting the armed forces for atrocities and the clampdown on Azadi-demanding protests, but today they were stone pelting each other’s houses, breaking windowpanes and disfiguring fence walls. Some people say pro-India PDP’s Shia leader had spoken against the first three Caliphs of Islam during his Moharram speech (a few days before the shoe-incident) that angered the majority Sunni population. Others say the Shia youth wanted to enforce a strike in the Sunni area of Nowhatta which was resisted by the shopkeepers triggering stone pelting between the other communities. The result: the police and the paramilitary CRPF are enforcing a curfew for several days now; seizing some youth in nocturnal raids, and even the parents of those running away to escape the Khakis. Ghulam Qadir Sheikh, the father of a youth who was detained in one such raid, says he was dealt with like a hardcore criminal in the police station. Adding to the absurd chaos, Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner Asghar Samoon, as quoted in the local media, explained that he had recommended in the past too that parents of minors (allegedly involved in stone pelting) must be punished. Meanwhile representatives of around 30 religious bodies (both Sunni and Shi’ites) are now trying to calm the angry communities.
A friend jokingly says if this is what a single Chinese shoe can do, imagine the magnitude of global unrest if the whole of China were unleashed on the world.
Ruptures between Shi’ites and Sunnis aren’t new. They had developed immediately after the Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632 AD. There was no agreement on his immediate successor. Sunnis recognise the first four Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar Farooq, Usman Ghani and lastly, Ali Murtaza) as his rightful successors; the Shi’ites believes the prophet nominated his son-in-law, Ali. Since then, sentiments over the matter continued to boil right through to the modern times, sometime pushing countries to the verge of civil war. But in the case of Kashmir, Shi’ites and Sunnis rarely have such turbulent history. There is a greater realisation among many regarding who will actually benefit from such a sectarian fight which I’ve already mentioned in my previous blog post.
Such protests, however, also throw up questions (so far avoided and unanswered too). Was this shoe-protest a justifiable rage? How will a violent protest in Srinagar force the shoe-manufacturer (in case it’s established that a mischief was played at the manufacturing level) in China to stop such production. Or how will it force some individual or a group not to play this malafide act again? They must be already giggling somewhere after having successfully triggered clashes in Srinagar over a shoe.
This incident also reminds me of the June 2010 anti-West and anti-India protest in Kashmir. Young men in hundreds in the same neighbourhood carried a blue underwear on a wooden stick, after spotting on it, a sketch of a building which looked like the Al-Aqsa Mosque of Palestine. Without any thorough examination, the underwear enraged them. Soon they blamed the West for “hurting Muslim sensibilities” and clashed with the police and the CRPF. The under wear protest soon faded after it was established that it never carried images of any Islamic worship place. The blue underwear flouted as a placard had in fact sketches of buildings that resembled London’s Big Ben and Saint Paul’s Cathedral and several other places.
This year, during the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ protests, I was in Kashmir. The entire valley was angry. I was on my way to Poonch (researching for a story about a strange disabling disease that has become a scourge in the border district) when my car was stopped by some protesting youth in Shopian district. It took me, my cameraman friend, Abhijit Dutta and the driver, Tanveer Ahmad almost half-an-hour to convince them that the media should be allowed to cover such protests and there were similar other protests in other areas too which our team was supposed to cover. Abhijit took some pictures of sloganeering youth before Tanveer accelerated the car. In such situations, lying to the police, the CRPF or protesters is often best to save one’s skin.
On the just-reopened Mughal Road, we were soon negotiating curves in the mighty Pir Panjal Mountains that separate Kashmir valley from Poonch and Rajouri districts. I asked Tanveer how one should react to the anti-Islam film, the condemnation call by pro-India mainstream parties and strike call by pro-Azadi groups.
“If I won’t earn Rs 100 or 200 today, how will it hurt the United States, the film maker or Obama. Or, how will it decrease my love towards Prophet Muhammad and Islam both,” he replied. “Not people, the response should come from the 52 Islamic states. Let the core states like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Turkey and others expel US’ Ambassadors as a mark of protest or let the Gulf countries stop exporting oil. The West will come down to its knees. But it needs gurda (guts) which they don’t have.”
Tanveer was right. First Muslims must abandon protesting on vague things like the shoe or underwear. On films like Nakoula Basseley’s anti-Islam film or other issues, there is a greater need to channelise this rage in a manner that registers the full magnitude of hurt felt by Muslims by such actions. Also the present forms of random, uncoordinated and thoughtless protests, like the one we saw in Kashmir, further negates the Muslim cause, divides the community and in fact weakens the merit of a genuine protest.
For some time, like diplomats, Dutta, Tanveer and I pondered in the moving car over what could be the genuine response of Islamic block if Muslim sensibilities are hurt instead of burning down public property and stone pelting moving cars. What we thought could be these:
1. Diplomatic– Expel and call back Ambassador from the country which the Islamic countries feel has hurt the sentiments of Muslims
2. Economic – Stop oil imports for a month until that country takes strong action
3. Military – Organise a military alliance like NATO and issue a joint press statement by the commander in chiefs of this alliance condemning the event
4. Criminal – Put the specific person responsible on an international Islamic watch list so that if and when he travels through or into any Islamic country he can be nabbed/deported
and finally the most important,
5. Intellectual Response – A creative, intellectual response as well that contextualises the above response in terms of a meta-narrative (without coming off as conspiracy theorists).
Tanveer, who at the end repeated his previous one-liner, however, undermined all the joint efforts. “It needs gurda (guts) which they (the Islamic nations) don’t have.”
Apart from gurda (guts), sometimes there has been an element of hypocrisy and ignorance among Muslims as well. Imagine a scenario where an American F-16 blasts a Muslim holy site in Pakistan or an Israeli bulldozer razes an age-old shrine in occupied Palestine. What would be the Muslim response? I am sure it will be similar to the previous responses. Protesters across the Muslim world will occupy streets, some will try to march towards US or Israeli embassies and police will fire at them to quell the protests. There will be killings and loss of property. Strikes and clampdowns. And that’s it. But has anyone ever thought about why Muslims are often enraged when the “West” is seen as mocking them, but equally indifferent when Muslim Countries blast shrines, raze historic sites and bring down holy places that are connected with Muslims’ identity.
By no means should this piece be seen as advocating stupid violence like the one we saw in Kashmir, but have Muslims ever launched a genuine indignation against the razing of house where prophet Muhammad was born on which a library stands now. Where was the Muslim rage when the house of Khadija (Muhammad’s first wife) where Muhammad received some of the first revelations of the Quran) was replaced with a public toilet block and Dar-al-Arqam, the first Islamic school, where Muhammad taught was levelled for construction? Did it not deserve a response when Jannat-ul-Baqi, a large cemetery where tombs of several of the prophet’s wives, daughters, sons and as many as six grandsons and Shiite saints were once located were bulldozed and levelled? In both Mecca and Medina (the birth place of Islam), Saudi Arabia has, according to many reports, already bulldozed over 90% of the Islamic monuments (during the past 20 years) dating back to around 1400 years. In their place, five star hotels, parking lots and shopping malls are coming up. Saudi authorities often use the excuse that the expansion is necessary to accommodate the increasing number of Muslim pilgrims. But why can’t the hotels and malls be constructed outside the historic interior of Mecca thus preserving both Islamic identity and the monuments? At a place where Paris Hilton can open a luxury bag shop, (in Mecca Mall) why can’t the old shrines and monuments co-exist?
Now apprehensions are also growing over the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi that will see the demolition of three of the world’s oldest mosques that hold the tombs of Prophet Mohammad, and his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar. At a cost of US $6 billion, the construction will raze holy sites as old as the seventh century.
So instead of stupid protests over a vague China-made shoe or someone’s underwear, the rage should be directed at something real. Many Muslims usually label people of other faith as ‘infidel blasphemers’ when a verse of the Quran appears on a skating board or a page from the Quran is brunt, but when the sacred and holy sites are razed in the Islamic states, the word ‘blasphemy’ disappears and the silence becomes remarkable.
Author: Mohammad Umar BabaBaba Umar’s career started with The Indian Express in Srinagar where he reported on the South Asia earthquake of 2005. In the following years, he wrote features for Kashmir’s first online news magazine Kashmir Newz and in 2008 he joined Rising Kashmir as a senior reporter where he covered 2008-09-10 civil unrest. Baba specializes in producing stories mostly on Kashmir conflict and water disputes in India. Baba joined Tehelka in 2010 and the next year saw him winning ICRC (Geneva)-Press Institute of India (PII) award for his news report on victims of armed conflict in Kashmir.
Sandeep Pandy has always been a suspect leftist. His outright denunciation of the nation-state and his discomfort at Jammu-Kashmir being part of Bharat put him squarely in the company of other traitors like Prashant Bhushan. We must be beware of Asha for Education, Sandeep Pandey’s creation that will eventually create thousands of zombies like Sandeep.
Noted social activist and Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey on Sunday lambasted Anna Hazare for calling Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India.
“Anna has been in military. If you serve in government and especially the armed forces obviously it will be difficult to overcome the feeling of nationalism”, Pandey said when asked about Anna’s statement.
“People like us who believe in Gandhian philosophy feel nationalism, caste, region or religion has divided people. Entire problem is about the concept of nation state. We have to get rid of this concept and have a world where there are no national boundaries”.
Medha Patkar, however, echoed view of Anna calling J&K as integral part of India.
Please publish the following in your esteemed daily:
JASWANT FIT FOR NIMHANS
A pick-pocket if he is caught, is thrashed in such a way that sometimes, he dies of injuries.And he is hand-cuffed and jailed. The amount involved may be small. But still crime is a crime.
Raja and Kanimozhi and co. had looted India – depriving the poor and the downtrodden of many essential things in life. Instead of coming down heavily on corruption and corrupt practices, Jaswant wants the judiciary to be soft on Kanimozhi and Raja. I think, there is some quid pro quo. In fact, neither Jaswant nor the BJP is taking anything seriously.
They, along with cogress buried the Bofors. They along with congress ignored the massacre and ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir. In fact,Subramanian Swamy and a couple of newspapers – like TNIE, Pioneer,Deccan chronicle. etc, keep the issue alive for logical conclusion.
Advani,Sushma,Gadkari and the supreme court Lawyer, Jaitley – all are behaving like clowns. They have never fought a single issue to the logical end.
Inspite of huge scams, congress is running the government as if nothing has happened.
Why? Because, the BJP as opposition is useless. Now people begin to wonder whether BJP may be having skeletons in their cupboards – hence, the quid pro quo. If this situation continues, BJP may be decimated in the next elections.
Jaswant is a shame on BJP and BJP is a shame on India.
42-4 canal road
A very balanced article on double standards of “secular” activists! – Moderator
MADHU PURNIMA KISHWAR, TNN Apr 22, 2011, 12.00am IST
The disdain with which leading lights of the anti-corruption movement – Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patkar, Kavita Srivastava et al – are publicly threatening to dislodge Anna Hazare from the leadership role because he praised Narendra Modi’s rural development work in Gujarat indicates that the poor man was only being used as a convenient symbol that can be discarded as arbitrarily as he was chosen to lead the ‘movement’.
Human rights activists can retain their credibility only as long as they remain steadfastly non-partisan. To the person killed, it matters little whether the murderous mob was shouting ‘Lal Salaam’, ‘Har Har Mahadev’ or ‘National Unity’ as did the mobs that massacred over 10,000 Sikhs in north India following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. However, the secular brigade shows a consistent soft corner for those who kill under the Maoist or communist banner as well as those who verbally profess secularism.
Narendra Modi’s acts of commission and omission during the 2002 riots deserve the strongest of condemnations. Those crimes need to be impartially investigated and the guilty punished. Just as we are proud that our democratic system ensured a fair trial even for a publicly identified ISI-associated terrorist like Kasab, so also we should let the courts take the Gujarat trials to their logical conclusions.
Those who ask for Modi’s head would do well to remember that hordes of Congressmen in Gujarat gleefully joined the BJP and RSS goons who went around massacring innocent people.
The overall track record of the Congress in this matter is no better, if not much worse, than that of the BJP. In addition to the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in north India, it masterminded numerous other riots through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. None of the killers of politically engineered riots in Meerut, Malliana, Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and scores of others were ever punished. The Congress also injected terrorism into Punjab by its covert support of Bhindranwale’s Khalistani brigades in order to wrest control of the SGPC that presides over well-endowed gurdwaras. It did incalculable harm to the Sri Lankan Tamils by creating a Frankenstein’s monster like the LTTE. The secessionist movement in Kashmir owes its origins and draws sustenance from the Congress party’s penchant for rigging elections to install puppet chief ministers.
Madhu Kishwar is a well known activist who has worked on behalf of street people, minority rights and authored number of books. See her profile at: