Travesty of Justice – Sudanese Caricature of the Islamic Law

Sadly a majority of people practice double standards. They tend to judge others more harshly, but find excuses for their own failings. Collectively, other races, countries and religions are judged harshly, while we turn a blind eye to whatever we construe as our own. Continue reading Travesty of Justice – Sudanese Caricature of the Islamic Law

Winter Breakfast in Old Delhi

Paya-Nihari under the shadow of Jama Masjid

Shahjahanabad was a city of emperors and courtesans, kaftans and the Kohinoor, beef and ghee. This morning I am searching for its past splendor. The ancient alleys of Matia Mahal bazaar, under the watchful eyes of Jama Masjid, are redolent of morning meals. Kesar-flavored milk. Sewai. Jalebis. Soon a rich, meaty aroma tempts me. Paya-nihari. Continue reading Winter Breakfast in Old Delhi

No To Appeasement Politics

Taslima Nasreen - ShameTaslima Nasreen has nothing to do with Nandigram, but for some illogical reason she was moved out of Kolkata as an answer to months of protest against the Nandigram violence in West Bengal. This is the latest in a long list of examples of politics of appeasement practised in India since its independence. Continue reading No To Appeasement Politics

Tasleema Nasreen Vs MF Hussein’s Case

The current episode of Taslima Nasreen once again has brought out the hypocritical attitude of many Indians. I am amused about the hullabaloos made by the BJP, the Sangh Privar and some others for this Bangladeshi writer. Continue reading Tasleema Nasreen Vs MF Hussein’s Case

Islamic Volleyball at Hazrat Nizamuddin

Besides its Sufi shrine, Thursday qawwalis, and Karim restaurant, Hazrat Nizamuddin has another attraction – Islamic Volleyball. Each evening young Muslim men collect in an open courtyard called Urs Mahal to play this American game. Continue reading Islamic Volleyball at Hazrat Nizamuddin

Allah Ishwar Tere Naam

There was a funny petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Kerala unit of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha protesting that the oath taken in the name of Allah was in violation of the constitution which says that oath can be taken only in the name of God or solemnly affirmed. The petition claimed that by taking the oath in the name of Allah the elected Muslim members were violating the constitutional article. Continue reading Allah Ishwar Tere Naam

Beyond Nandigram: Win-Win or Lose-Lose?

IndustrializationWhat has happened in Nandigram is horrific to say the least. The high handed behavior of the ‘Comrades’ sets a bad precedent. The troubles started in March 2007 when a proposal was signed for a fairy tale Chemical hub SEZ to be set up in Nandigram. The government backtracked after that saying the SEZ will be setup elsewhere. 

The people of Nandigram felt that such assurances lacked credibility and responded by throwing out the CPI-M cadres (in hundreds) and turned Nandigram into an island which was cut off from the outside world. After waiting it out for a few months, CPI-M cadres responded by bulldozing through the already impoverished Muslim population who inhabit the areas around Nandigram.

 And then all hell broke lose. Congress is only too happy to see the ‘kabab-mein-haddi’ comrades being shown their proper place. BJP claims to have exposed Budhadeb’s ‘Holier-than-Modi’ attitude. And Mamta is finally getting a chance to hog the limelight once again.

But in the clamor following the violence, the crucial issue at hand is being drowned out by the shouting match between the various political parties. 

And that is the issue of land acquisition by the State for Industrialisation.

The Orissa governement has acquired land and handed over 1135 acres of land to the Korean steel company Posco. A few months ago, Haryana acquired land for the Reliance SEZ. How should India or for that matter any developing country make sure that the farmers receive a better deal and the money does not get siphoned off into the pockets of politicians who grant the projects?

Instead of becoming an agent for the Industrialists, the government can ensure a transparent auction of the land required from the farmers and make sure the profits are passed on to them.

But why would the political class give up the opportunity to make big money on these deals?

Given the need of the country to undertake land development and the possibility of such disputes setting back these projects by many years, it is clear that transparent auctions in land deals is the direction in which India needs to go.

Kolkata violence: Irresponsible Jamiat playing with fire

Kolkata was in flames on Wednesday. Mercifully the violence didn’t spill out of control. As TV channels started flashing the ‘alert’ about Army called in Kolkata and later the images of All India Muslim Forum activists, I really got worried. Continue reading Kolkata violence: Irresponsible Jamiat playing with fire

How Muslim political movement is killed in India

By Kashif-ul-Huda,

Contrary to popular belief, Muslim leadership does exist in India. They make their presence known by street protests, writing articles in newspapers and lobbying ministers and government officials for local or national issues concerning the Muslims of India.

Nandigram, where a number of Muslims that were killed raped, and their houses destroyed, has become the latest rallying cry of Muslim leadership of India. Everyone in India, from Mumbai to Jammu to Indian Muslims of the US has shown outrage on how Muslims can be killed with the collusion of party in power and local administration. The most shocking part for a community that has seen all this before was that it happened in a state ruled by secular parties.
Continue reading How Muslim political movement is killed in India

Nandigram: “Paid Back In Their Own Coin”

When Modi was asked after the 2002 Gujarat massacre he infamously replied invoking Newton’s third law of motion. Now is the turn of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. When asked to reply to the killings and rape that happened in Nandigram he replied that they have ‘paid back in their own coin’. In Gujarat it was the right wing, which was coming up with everything but not doing just this: condemn the brutal act. Now is the turn of the CPI-M politicians.

From Prakash Karat to Buddhadeb all are giving reasons as to why the killings happened, what led to that killing, what were the events before that. But they are evading the point. The fact is that there have been innumerable people killed, some like Udit Raj putting it as high as 600! Continue reading Nandigram: “Paid Back In Their Own Coin”