De-recognition Of Champaner World Heritage Site

Champaner Jamia MasjidIt is unfortunate how all fundamentalists, both Hindu and Muslim, share a general dislike for all that is good and beautiful in this world. First it was the turn of the Taliban to tear down the beautiful sculptures of Lord Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan and now it is the turn of the Saffron brigade in Gujarat to try and de-recognise the unique Champaner-Pavagadh UNESCO heritage site – a 27sq km archeological park which represents pluralistic culture and traditions in a communally divided Gujarat. Its derecognition would mean that it will no longer be protected from vandalism, wear and tear and encroachment, ultimately resulting in its destruction. Continue reading De-recognition Of Champaner World Heritage Site

Tehelka Expose: The Political Context

Guest Post by Bhupinder Singh

Despite the hoopla surrounding the Tehelka expose of Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, it is unlikely to have a negative fallout on Mr Modi’s immediate electoral prospects- indeed it is likely that it will on the contrary provide a surge in favour of Modi, unless there is a very strong and decisive action by the judiciary or the Election Commission. Even in that case, there is all likelihood that the expose will actually consolidate the tide in favour of the BJP in the state. The sad reality is that it is not just Mr Modi who shares the anti- Muslim vitriol of the Sangh Parivar in the state. There is a reason that it has come to be known as Hindutva’s Laboratory.In all likelihood, the BJP will return to power in the ensuring elections not despite of the expose, but partially because of it. Continue reading Tehelka Expose: The Political Context

How is Modi different from Thackeray?

Did Tehelka reveal something really extra-ordinary? And were the reactions different? Absolutely no. The right-wingers were quick to dub the expose a sham because according to them Tarun Tejpal is under the influence of ISI. This conspiracy theory was designed to tarnish the image of the most successful Chief Minister in India at present. Narendra Modi has made Gujarat into an investor’s heaven because of the ease with which a plant or commercial establishment can be setup in the state. Reduced red-tapism attracted the big players and this lead to a ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, which recently got awarded for the best e-Governed Government in Asia.

The other-wingers (Leftist, Secularists, Congressmen/women, Muslims etc etc) got another opportunity to castigate Modi. This once again brought them to the same conclusion, why the perpetrators of inhuman violence against Muslims always remain at large?

Continue reading How is Modi different from Thackeray?

Education, Employment, Muslims and India

India is home to second largest Muslim community in the world. This is a matter of pride for Indians of all faiths including Muslims. We are happy that our forefathers participated in the freedom struggle. We are happy that they chose to stay in India even when opportunities seemed to be better across the border. Hats off to those wise men and women who even when given a choice and sometime against heavy odds chose to stay put.

Unfortunately, India has not acknowledged contribution of Muslims in immediately post-Independent India, the difficulties they faced in their daily lives and systematic discrimination against them. Muslims continue to be patriotic in India and they continued to be discriminated against. For the first time we are realizing that this discrimination affects not only poor uneducated Muslims but also highly educated Muslims.

Continue reading Education, Employment, Muslims and India

Refuge of the Scoundrel

In the context of the Gujarat Tehelka expose India needs to wake up and take notice. I am not asking about taking notice of the act because that has been known to all for long through works like Rakesh Sharma’s Final Solution. India needs to take notice of the reactions of a section to the expose. It is utterly sad that some of the reactions show a destruction of the moral meta-narrative in a section of the Indian society.

But it is also heartening to find so many common voices pouring in from everywhere condemning the acts in the most vehement terms. These are the voices, talking from their heart, who bring sanity to India and to any discourse in India. They are the ones who make this country survive. But I look here in this post at the disturbing reaction by a section and to question them on where is their moral reference point from which we should talk with them.  Continue reading Refuge of the Scoundrel

Babu Bajrangi: Face Of Hindutva

Tehelka did it again, this time exposing lies told by the Hindutva brigade about genocide in Gujarat. Listen from Babu Bajrangi himself caught by Tehelka’s spycam.

NARENDRA MODI visited Godhra on the day of the burning of coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express. His outburst provided the first sign to Sangh workers that the time to corner the Muslims had come

THAT VERY NIGHT, top BJP and Sangh leaders met at Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Godhra, and gave the green signal for an all-out assault on Muslims across the state Continue reading Babu Bajrangi: Face Of Hindutva

Petition: Allow Al-Jazeera to Downlink in India

Target url

I have written about Al-Jazeera not being allowed to downlink in India before. Nothing has changed since then (who expected anything to happen? 🙂 )

(In the meantime, I’ve loved this interview of Alice Walker. Have a look, it’s only about 15 mins.)

Anyway, determined not to give up, I’ve prepared a petition at PetitionOnline (May God bless them for their noble effort).

To sign the petition, please go here. Please, also, help by spreading the word.

58 life sentences!

A dream day of Judicial activism in India! 4 cases, 58 life sentences!

Amarmani Tripathi, the petty criminal, turned mafia don, turned politician, turned king maker in UP has finally been convicted. He and his wife have been given a lifer in the Madhumita Shukla murder case by the Dehradun court. He dabbled across the whole political spectrum in UP by hopping in the governments of Kalyan Singh, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav. When he was charged some time back Mulayam Singh shamelessly said he will stand by him. Continue reading 58 life sentences!

Indian Muslims and Sects: Interview

Waris Mazhari, a leading Islamic scholar, is the editor of the New Delhi-based Tarjuman-i Dar ul-Ulum, the official organ of the Old Boys’ Association of the Deoband Madrasa. In this interview he talks about the problems that mark inter-sectarian relations among the Indian Muslim ulema.  

YS: The Quran and Hadith places much stress on the unity of Muslims. How, then, do you explain the fact of fierce sectarian disputes among the different groups or sects of Muslims today?   

WM: This has mainly to the fact that Islam, which, unlike say a religion like Hinduism, has a comprehensive framework of law or shariah that is all-comprehensive. Shariah contains certain norms or criteria to decide between right and wrong. Continue reading Indian Muslims and Sects: Interview

Anti-social school turns Muslim girl students away

Eidul-fitr proved to be a good time to bring sorrow to Muslim girl students. Around 100 Muslim girl students were turned away by a Parsi-run English medium school in Poona (Pune), Maharashtra for applying Mehndi (Hina/Hena) on their hands. Principal Arnita Batra said that the children have been asked not to come to school for the next three days. “We just want to create better citizens for tomorrow”, she added.

Around 100 girl students who had applied henna (mehendi) on their hands were barred entry to the Bai Najamai Noshirwan Dastur primary school on Tuesday, sparking angry reactions from their parents. The girls were turned away at the gates of the school, which is located at Tarapore road in Pune Camp. The primary school houses students from the first to the fourth standard. [TOI] Continue reading Anti-social school turns Muslim girl students away