Why Bal Thackeray Is Angry?

Bal ThackerayBal Thackeray is an angry old man. He has been out of power for more than 7 years in Maharastra, his party is in disarray, his trusted lieutenants have left him, his own nephew revolted against his authority. And he just turned 80. Shekhar Gupta of Indian Express interviewed him on this occasion on his program Walk the Talk. Bal Thackeray expresses his admiration for Hitler (he was an artist), Saddam Hussein (he killed only his own people), benevolent dictatorship (go figure), emergency (it was for nation’s good), Indira Gandhi (she was the best Indian PM), Sanjay Gandhi (much better than Rajiv) and Nathuram Godse (didn’t Gandhi really deserve to die?), Narendra Modi (he did not resign after the Gujarat genocide) at various points in the interview. He is anti-Mahatma Gandhi but without any convincing reason and of course anti-Muslims whom he considers guilty as a community because they can’t be proven innocent.

Bal ThackerayDuring the interview Shekhar Gupta never pursued a line of questioning and conveniently moved on to the next issue even when Thackeray’s responses were bizarre. Overall, Thackeray comes across incoherent (he contradicts himself), megalomaniac (he loves when people fear him), open-to-flattery (he is happy that none other than Amitabh Bacchan portrayed him in Sarkar) and hurt (because Suresh Prabhu was pocketing all the money and not giving to the party). My big concern is that such a person still holds the strings of power in Maharastra especially Mumbai and even his rhetoric can be inflammatory.

Some gems:

• When Modi was the chief minister, he had to make sure that every citizen under his rule was safe. That’s Raj Dharm. He failed in that. Do you agree?

What mistake has Modi made? Can you tell me? When you are attacked, you have to retaliate, you can’t keep quiet. Who started the riots first there in Ahmedabad? Who attacked whom? First came the Godhra incident, that was also equally cruel, ugly. Then came Ahmedabad. People then retaliated.

• Are you saying that Muslims started the riots in Ahmedabad?

Yes, certainly.

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• But why do you say you are not a Gandhian? Do you have some disagreements with Gandhi?

Yes, I do.

• Tell us about them.

To understand me, you have to go back to 1948, or even before that. Have you ever thought of Godse’s action, why he decided to kill? He got annoyed, upset, very upset. Even after giving a chunk of our land to Muslims, you were giving Rs 55 crore to them. Godse thought that if this old man lives any longer then he will ruin the country.

• And you think Godse was right in thinking so?

You have to think. Wasn’t he?

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• You are a cartoonist. When you wake up in the morning, what makes you laugh? Or cry?

Nothing makes me laugh or cry. The standard of journalism has gone down so much. The column writers make the most mischief.

• But in terms of what’s happening in your city and country, what makes you happy?

There are no happy incidents, only blasts and murders. Bangladeshi Muslims pouring in. Pakistanis wreaking havoc. How can you feel happy?

• But there is 9 per cent growth. Infrastructure is being built. Indian companies are buying firms overseas.

See, I don’t see anything to be happy about. It’s a horrible situation. It’s (India is) sinking.

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• You wrote an editorial recently in Samna praising Saddam Hussein.

Yes I did, because I did not like it when Bush attacked Iraq. He had no reason to attack a foreign nation. Suppose tomorrow, Russia attacks America, will you tolerate that?

• How does that square with your suspicion of the Muslims?

Well, I don’t blame all Muslims, but it is difficult to make out which Muslim loves this country and calls India his own country and which doesn’t.

• But don’t you think the vast majority of Muslims here see themselves as citizens of India? There may be some black sheep, but they are there in all communities.

Find them then. I am requesting the good Muslims to remove the black sheep from among their people. Come ahead and do that. Whenever there is a riot or some such thing in the country, not a single Muslim comes forward to protest against it. In the border issue between Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Maharashtrian Muslims should speak for the state.

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• OK, Shiv Shahi. Saddam’s method of governance or Hitler’s was not Shiv Shahi. But you have expressed admiration for both at different times.

Hitler did very cruel and ugly things. But he was an artist, I love him (for that). He had the power to carry the whole nation, the mob with him. You have to think what magic he had. He was a miracle.

Is India’s English Media Communal?

GHULAM MUHAMMED

Four culprits with non-Muslim names were arrested near Andheri Railway Station, in suburban Mumbai, selling RDX explosives, apparently ‘stolen from Military base’ at Devlali. Since Gujarat communal riots, which is commonly believed to be whipped up by Hindutva extremists to reap political windfall, a similar attempt to destabilize the neighbouring state of Maharashtra is being observed in a continuous series of bombings and its blame instantly being put on Muslims to trigger another communal holocaust to rival Gujarat.

The famous commercial city of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the prize booty in the political war game. Though the fight between the two opposing political groups, both Brahminical formations, very inappropriately branded as carrying two distinct banners — secular and Hindutva, is over power grabbing; the competition is staged in communal terms, where Muslim voters are the main bone of contention. Consequently, Muslims are constantly demonized specially by English newspapers, who had been the opinion makers in India, since last 100 years, including the British colonial phase. The communal bias of India’s English media is most glaring when it splashes headlines over unsubstantiated blame on Muslims or supposedly Pakistani terrorists, while putting down the gravity of bombing expeditions by Hindutva elements. Deliberately or inadvertently, they thus become partners in the crime of instigating communal strife. A case in point is the way the news of the arrest of the 4 non-Muslims caught near Andheri, openly soliciting clients for their stolen RDX explosive, is reported by The Times of India. If these culprits would have been Muslims, Times of India would have blazoned the news on the front page with multi-column headlines. As it happened, The Times of India had chosen to flash the news of Mumbai High Court verdict on Triple Talaaq as top front page news, but the news of the arrest of the 4 culprits selling RDX was relegated to page 3 at the bottom of the page. It needs no media expert to make out that the city editors of The Times of India, are trying to suppress the alarming content of the news where the guilt is clearly not committed by Muslims or Pak agents and even laxity of army authorities in such grave matter impacting internal security and communal harmony is now open to serious investigations.

It is most reprehensible that a premier newspaper of India is so blatantly playing communal games with news management, probably at the cue of other pressure groups that have no value for human lives and are bent on involving the city of Mumbai in a cycle of terrorist events, to gain upper hand in India’s future of hope that could turn into despair if they persist in their nefarious activities.

In Support Of Vinod Mehta And Outlook

The latest issue of Outlook published an article by Taslima Nasrin on burqa and now a section is up in arms against the editor of weekly magazine and demanding registration of police case against Vinod Mehta.

Scores of memoranda and delegations have reached from Chief Minister and Home Minister up to President. And now State home department is reportedly contemplating to book the Magazine editor for defamation. I strongly support Vinod Mehta’s right as an editor to decide what could be published in his magazie–whether to stir a debate or whatever reason–or what not to publish. If you don’t agree with Taslima, write a million letters of protest, publish articles based on facts to prove that she is wrong and has done it for cheap popularity or whatever. Rather than discussions and debates, the protests on roads and the ridiculous demand for Mehta’s arrest is absolutely nonsensical.

Where are all these people when Mehta defends Indian Muslims on the pages of his magazine and is castigated, termed as pro-Muslim. Journalists who raised the issue of atrocities on Muslims (and all other sections) are not feted or lauded but when it comes to ‘freedom of expression’, an article, not even read by many Muslims whom I spoke to, has brought protestors in Mumbai on streets.
Adnan

The SICKular parties

My grandfather once remarked, “Mulayam Singh Yadav is the best person for the job of PM of this country because of Muslim appeasement and the wonderful job he has done in UP”.

That was during the time of Babri Masjid demolition. He again repeated his statement during the Gujarat riots in 2002. A person who was once a very close friend of George Fernandes, his statement cannot be frivolous. Mulayam Singh has always succeeded in appealing to the minorities by championing for their cause. Be it the Babri Masjid demolition, the riots that followed that or the Gujarat pogrom in which few social workers belonging to RSS/VHP/BJP/BD displayed their warmth and enthusiasm towards a certain section of the society, Mulayam was always up with arm against the government’s handling of the situation. He has even posed with the traditional Muslim dress to appeal to the senses. He promises grants for the Muslim community, UP being the largest Muslim populated state with Aligarh Muslim University in it. This and that…the list is endless. He is the major factor why Muslims are considered the lucky ones. People often tell me that Muslims always hold the country on ransom and thus get their job done wherease the majority is often a victim because of no special privileges. Well that’s because of the victimized mentality where you build an imaginary world around you based on demented logic.

Anyway coming to the main point about the SICKular parties. Lalu Prasad is another such politician who has always appealed to the Muslims. His efforts in averting religious clashes in praise worthy. But then development is also an issue and that’s primary reason why he lost the election. But have these so called secular parties really made the Muslims beneficiaries of special status? And if they really have then why not Muslims show any sign of improvement? The Sachar committee report is an eye opener! So what is the reality

In a detailed report the Mashriq of January 12 reports that the VHP’s three-day international Hindu conclave is to be held from February 11 to 13, and the government has earmarked Rs. eight crore to ‘appease communal Hindus’.
The Express report adds that the Appellant said the Chief Minister has violated the Constitution by granting eight crore rupees for the VHP conclave.
“The revelation of granting Rs. 8 crore to Vishwa Hindu Parishad by the Mulayam Singh administration has created a sensation in the political circles by uncovering one more layer from the close ties between Mulayam and the Sangh Parivar,� it said. [IndianMuslims.info]

My grandfather also added this to his prophecy, “Even though Mulayam Singh Yadav is no Muslim lover but at least his government will avoid riots. The Congress’s secular ethics are fake. The Babri Masjid was demolished in its regime and then riots were allowed to spread across the country. Its the same party whose workers butchered Sikhs after Indra Gandhi was assassinated. That party can never be trusted. Everything can be compromised for security”

This act of the Mulayam Government comes as no surprise to me or even to Muslims. C’mon he cannot win a state election on just Muslim votes! Incidents like these often develop this feeling in me that would India have been in a much better position as a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ ? At least there would have been no hypocrisy on the parts of these sickular political parties.

Urdu and Unity

Today I went to some Muslim muhalla to meet some people. A bit of background is necessary. I am a bengali and know only three languages: Bengali, Urdu/Hindi and English. The people in the region I went to are mostly poor and uneducated.

The visit was pleasant. I talked with some people about this world and the next. No, that was wrong. I mostly listned. Anyway, before going there, I was worried that here people may not understand me at all; I don’t know the local language, Kannada! It has happened in the past. Hired drivers do not understand me, the shopkeepers do not understand me; it’s too much pain.

There was no problem at all because all of them spoke and understood Urdu.
Many of them speak far better than I do.

So here is the situation: you go to a muslim-dominated area, you will hardly face any problem, most of them understand Urdu. Most of the Muslims who come here also know Urdu. When you go to a non-Muslim dominated (poor) area, you have immense difficulty in communicating.

I think this is a good thing that almost all Muslims speak Urdu. Non-Muslims should also learn it(hindi should be enough) so that we have no problem in communicating.

I will end with a quote of one of the persons I met: “Urdu ki paidaish hui Lakhnau mein, usne jawani bitayi Hyderabad mein, aur burhi hui Bangalore mein” (Rough Translation: Urdu was born in Lucknow, spent it’s youth in Hyderabad and she is spending her old age at Bangalore).

Are Muslims protesting too much?

Muslims took to streets of Delhi on Friday to protest the execution of Saddam Hussein. They were marching towards the US embassy but were stopped near Daryaganj bridge. Thousands of Muslims carrying banners and placards participated in the demonstration. The ‘duaa’ was also held.

But the question is aren’t Muslims overdoing it in India? So many protests and marches across the country. On one hand, a section of Muslims assert that it is necessary and  they should raise their voice. However, others feel energy spent on such protests should rather be put to use in creating awareness about education, hygiene in ghettoised Muslim localities, setting up health camps and showing such enthusiasm in other spheres.

The photograph of the protest is at my blog. I tried to upload here but couldn’t owing to technical problems.

Crazy Indian Muslims

P.S : I just want to highlight some existing evils in our society. These words may be too harsh for some. I recommend sensitive people from not reading the following post.
There are some characteristics unique to Indian muslims. Many muslims in India have neither religious nor scientific education, though most people can read arabic without understanding a word and many others can program for IT firms having the lest idea what they are doing. Simply put, they are uneducated literates.

Adults Only !

Some mosques in India, segregate kids in the jamaat. Kids below certain age are not allowed to stand in line with others. And the age limit enforced can be as high as 12 or 13 years of age. Adults supposedly can not concentrate in prayer when there are kids around. As if 12 year olds can not stand quietly and pray. If a kid next to you can disturb your concentration, then you need to retrieve to a cave to meditate. These “elders� often know less quran than these kids (as people grow they keep forgetting what they learnt) and most of the times they have much lesser concentration as they worry about their wives, their jobs and their money during prayer. The principle that “children are a gift from God� is strong enough for mullahs to discourage family planning but not enough to treat them as equals.

In such mosques sometimes they allow kids to pray along with elders if they are accompanied by some guardian. I guess soon, mosques would have areas alloted as UG, PG , A etc…

Ring ring !

At the entrance of every mosque, there is a notice which reads “Please switch off your cellphones.� But to forget doing so is human, especially when you are entering the mosque mechanically. So it is not uncommon to hear cells ring once in a while. But in India, things are always unique. Some crazy muslims in my country think it is forbidden to do “unnecessary� movements during salah like taking your noisy cell out of your pocket and switching it off. I suppose for them, a ringing cell is a disturbance but switching it off is a sign that you have been disturbed. They care least about others who are continuing to get disturbed. Once I cut my salah, walked across the mosque picked up the cell and switched it off. With mp3 ring tones I wont be surprised to hear the latest item number song when I am reading suratul fatihah. Craziness!

Dont touch it !

No… dont touch it. You are not clean. Muslims in India would not touch the quran unless they are clean. They would not read the quran in a lying down position. They would not keep the quran at a lower rack. It has to be kept at the highest point irrespective of whether it is reachable or not. They would not even stretch their legs towards it. They would follow so many rules when they wish to discard them. Worst still, many riots are instigated when pages of the quran are burnt. They would do everything possible, save reading and contemplating.

I am not saying this is specific only to India. But you would find more of these people in this continent. Would be coming with other stuffs soon.

Its principles or Its followers?

What makes a religion powerful and influential? Is it the principles and morals its teaches or the actions of its followers?

My parents being pious muslims they brought me up teaching that Islam is the best religion (or should I say the only valid religion) but at the same time, muslims are the worst of people. Growing in a non-muslim neighborhood, my parents did not encourage me to make friends with a few muslim kids in the neighborhood. And they used to encourage me to befriend brahmins. My mother never packed non-vegetarian food for lunch at school fearing that brahmin students may stay away from me. Later on, when my brahmin friends insisted on eating chicken, she invited them home for feasts.

Eventually I never learnt urdu which was supposed to be my mother tongue. I did not have even one muslim friend till college. In fact, I did my high school in a brahmin school where I was the only muslim student in my batch. I had seldom worn muslim dresses like jhubbah and of course, I did not know any muslim girls too. 😉

But once I went to IIT, I had to make muslim friends to safeguard my prayer and make arrangements for fasting during ramzan. My interaction with them was very objective. Every time they invited me to join jamaats, I turned them down. I was always skeptical about them. When muslim friends at IIT who used to wear “pakistani� attire and knock my door, I used to let them in and immediately close the door. Frankly, I was worried(ashamed may be the right word) what others in the hostel would think when they see such bearded men coming to my room.

It was not just me. I know my other good muslims of my hostel whose “walaikum assalamâ€? to me would mellow down when they know that non-muslims are around. I don’t know if it was a kind of fear or shame amongst us to reveal our identity. But people know we are muslims whether we wear a cap or not. But we did not feel like asserting our identity because we thought more people hate “muslimhoodâ€?(the stuffs attributed to muslims not islam) than muslims. Even i saw “muslimhoodâ€? with contempt.

But things had to change. I stayed for 3 months in bangalore for my internship. I stayed in a muslim neighborhood. Initially people told us “Are you sure you want to stay in that “pakistani� area?�. For some reasons my friends did not mind and I was enthusiastic about staying next door to a mosque. That is when I started interacting with the muslim community for the first time. The pious muslims in the mosque impressed me. After praying, I used to wait outside and greet them one by one. I felt like I am back to where I really belong. They are not as bad as I thought. In fact I had never seen selflessness in this competent world before. I could clearly differentiate the jobless muslims who stand on the streets and make cat calls when girls pass-by and those pious muslims who pray 5 times a day and lower their gaze.

So much of muslim slandering had made me believe that muslims are bad. Are only the principles unique in Islam? Islam has some of the best followers too. Most muslims are poor, weak, illiterates while some are violent, unjust and intolerant. But the small percentage of pious muslims stand out as the best human beings you can ever find. But unfortunately they are squeezed between hypocrite muslims and aggressive non-muslims. Their complete submission to the will of God which makes them face all odds, their courage to stand for their principles will always fascinate me. And I will always dream to be amongst them.

First Anniversary Of IndianMuslims.in

It was a short post that kick-started this blog. Since then we have written 134 posts and received 421 comments. Along the way we made a lot of friends and a few enemies. Amazing people joined us producing quality content. Readers enriched us with their comments. And 2006 provided us issue after issue to write about, such an eventful year it was. Here is a compilation of some of the better posts of the past year. We would try to write many more in this year and the years to come. Thank you everyone for your help and support. IndianMuslims.in was a learning experience and the journey was worth taking. To quote Majrooh:

maiN akelaa hii chalaa thaa jaanib-e-manzil magar
log saath aate gaye aur karvaaN bantraa gayaa

Here is wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!

    A Muslim Among Non-Muslims

    And What Is My Issue With Vande Mataram?

    Bitterness Unre-SOUL-ved

    Ghettoisation Of A City & The Nation

    Golwalkar: The Brain Of RSS

    Haj Subsidy, Anyone?

    Indian Media & Muslim Issues

    Letter To Mr Vir Sanghvi And Hindustan Times!

    Look Who’s Talking

    Mahant and Mufti Snub Politicians In Varanasi

    Mumbai Blasts, Terrorism, And The World We Live In

    My Fatwa Beats The Hell Out Of Your Fatwa

    Of Encroachments And Such, Nothing Much

    Prejudiced, Aren’t They?

    Saluting Shaukat: Saved 70 Children, His Own Family Drowned

    Shave Your Beard, Else Face Consequences !

    So, The Danish Cartoonist Was Burnt Alive?

    What Can We Do?

    Why Only Muslims?

    Worldly Education and Worldly Education-II

Hajj 1427 report – ‘Stoning the Devil’

Mina, KSA – Pilgrims completed the ritual stoning of the devil without any untoward incidents. They started the stoning after pre dawn prayers & thanked God for the safe Hajj this year. Many pilgrims praised King Abdullah & other saudi authorities for their efforts to prevent any accidents this year during Hajj.

The African Market
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Muslim women from African countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia,Cameroon etc set up a market for exquisite handicrafts in the tent city of Mina. Many pilgrims made use of this opportunity to purchase these beautiful items & were pleasantly surprised to find such talent among their brethren.