26/11 And Urdu Press

Urdu Press, India

Mubasshir Mushtaq

Contrary to the popular myth that the Urdu press is a monolithic entity, it represents a diverse range of issues, opinions, points and counter-points. The tragedy of 26/11 proved to be a litmus test. On a careful analysis, it becomes abundantly clear that Urdu press accommodated views that could not find space even in the mainstream media. Continue reading 26/11 And Urdu Press

Legality Of Md Mukkaram’s Shooting

Kishore Budha

Okay we know Mohammed Mukkaram was reckless (as is expected of most normal youngsters his age) and he paid with his life for his mis-adventure. The media has faithfully reported this, but has failed to inform us about the legality of his killing. Were the sentries at the army officer’s house within their rights to use lethal force? At best, this CNN-IBN report is not a very professionally produced one. It is not the expected role of the journalist to frame the issue within a bias of deviant and errant behaviour and then normalise the killing. In the times of terror and the media’s sudden romanticism of the army, the CNN-IBN report presents predictable sound bites that condemns Mukkaram and literally states “he deserved it”. There is not a single voice of dissent — bar that of the family. I am not taking away the seriousness of the situation. Surely the guards at the officer’s house must have been edgy themselves. Wouldn’t that have been the result of the media’s incessant coverage of terrorism? Watch video.

A more balanced reporting of the event by Nirmala Ravindran of India Today (link). India Today points out that both guards and policemen searched for the boy. It would appear then, that the cops could have intervened and told the army guards that he was only wanted for a traffic offence. (“Did ‘war on terror’ claim B’lore biker?” India Today, 30 Dec 2008, Nirmala Ravindran, Link)

The Hindu reports that :

While the sentries asked him to surrender, Pasha jumped from the roof and started running towards the compound wall. The police said that the sentries opened six rounds of fire, two in the air, from a Military Service Rifle 5.45 mm, and one of the bullets pierced Pasha’s abdomen. (“Intruder into Sub-Area chief’s official quarters shot dead”, The Hindu, Dec 29, 2008, Link

The Indian Express decided to go with the headline “Every Saturday, he flirted with danger”. This frames the entire situation as if Mukkaram asked for it and seeks to bias the minds of readers (“Every Saturday he flirted with danger”Indian Express, 30 Dec 2008, Johnson T A, Link). It is like arguing that everybody who is killed on Indian roads asks for it because the country has a high rate of traffic deaths. Even if we concede that Mukkaram was in the wrong place in the wrong time, the following questions should be asked:

a) whether the soldiers were in their legal right to shoot.
b) does the army have a security protocol for intruders and did the soldiers follow them.

Kishore Budha is a media researcher at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds. He analyzes and comments on the Indian media at Subaltern Media.

A Wish For The Year 2009

69753096_b506d963ec_mOn December 31, the year 2008 will fade into history. Though January 1, 2009 will not be materially different, but the year 2009 can be, and I hope will be a harbinger of better tomorrows. Many will take stock of their hopes and desires for the future, but some will find refuge in this season of festivities and let desires negate hope and trump reality. The poor and dispossessed of the world will go on toiling towards dashed hopes and early deaths. The challenge is to bring changes to these lives and usher in a new millennium of peace and cooperation that is still waiting for the last eight years of the chronological millennium. Continue reading A Wish For The Year 2009

Creating The Poor’s Best Company Globally

We are starting a new series ‘Guftugu’ where we will try to bring audio conversations with people, mostly Indian Muslims, who have made significant impact on the lives of other people.

In this series the first person we have chosen is Irfan Alam who is the founder of SammaN Foundation. He is a 27 year old IIM Ahmedabad graduate who has persisted with his business idea of turning the old rickshaw into a marketing and value-added services vehicle to great success.  Continue reading Creating The Poor’s Best Company Globally

Recession in India: Challenges & Opportunities Galore

The global economic recession has taken its toll on the Indian economy that has led to multi-crore loss in business and export orders, tens of thousands of job losses, especially in key sectors like the IT, automobiles, industry and export-oriented firms. It has also shaken up the investment regime, which is being restructured, with the telecom sector likely to be declared off-limits for foreign investors. Continue reading Recession in India: Challenges & Opportunities Galore

Home Care Management of Running Nose

The woolens whether sweaters, scarfs or blankets are out, to get our self safe from the dripping temperature. Theses  can only protect us from the external prevention of cold  but not stop the damage caused internally. How  many of us believe we have a very good immunity?, not all of are confident. Continue reading Home Care Management of Running Nose

War hysteria and outrages

There is nothing new in the saber rattling in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. Indian jets straying into Pakistani space on December 13,2008 is the latest jejune trick of real politicks. To say so is not to diminish the enormity of the attacks in Mumbai but rather to highlight it.

The so-called ‘stateless actors’ who attacked the metropolis were dubious in character. If they were jihadists they were also drinking alcohol. If they were Muslims they were also killing innocent people and prominently passengers, women and children and smirking at their crimes. If they were Pakistanis they were also endangering their country into a retaliation that would be catastrophic to them, to say the least. If they were after an imaginary Islam that is based on sharias alone, India was not the place for it let alone an ideal place. However, their evil deeds have unleashed a pent up hysteria for war.

Some people in India have mistakenly believed that war could solve the problem of terror. Israel has fought more terrific wars with its Arab neighbours. But each war has spawned more terror. The doppelganger of Hezbollah is nothing but the product of war, the Israelis rue the day it was born. Who fathered LTTE after Singhalese terror of the yore?

Our neighbour is desperately trying to survive its own misdeeds of mixing religion and politics and playing second fiddle to the West. We are surely falling into the same pitfall. The shoe thrower journalist at President George Bush’s press meeting was also a warning us, as enormous amount of writing against the unjust war had not been heeded for so long. In no way is Pakistan going to benefit from the Mumbai attacks or any war.

But those who cry from the top of the roof of their house for war must reckon with the lumpen network of gangsters and cohorts of politicians. There is a thriving thralldom where rickshaw pullers and shopkeepers have to pay through their nose to the local muscleman or gangster regular hafta or extortion which ultimately reaches the pockets of the political bosses or the cops. They must also see how Madina Pathan of Gujarat is retracting. In the aftermath of the Gujarat genocide she had identified the accused who had raped her and burnt alive her family. But now she is recanting. She is saying that no one raped her and burnt her family. Considering the incidents of shocking violence and cruelty in Mumbai we are outraged. How is it that we fail to be outraged when we see victims of another outrage retract their accounts of those who perpetrated the worst acts of terror on them in full view of the public who till that morning were their neighbours and fellow citizens? Why is this gross violation of morality and decency not an outrage to us? Maqsood Mian Patan had seen senior police officer KK Mysorewala taking a black suitcase from Naroda corporator Vallabh Patel and Ashok Saheb and leaving the Muslims to be slaughtered in their hundreds in Naroda Patia and not arresting even when there was order of the commissioner to shoot Babu Bajrangi on sight. Maqsood is now turning hostile and is saying that these things did not happen. These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. Incidentally the same Mysorewala is in charge of Modasa that along with Malegaon suffered terrorist attack of September 29, 2008. Will he again prefer money to duty?

Why is one outrage prompting us to war on a neighbour country and another outrage not even making us give a rap on the knuckles of the rapists and murderers?

The Sadhvi accused in Malegaon blast and the Kasab accused in Mumbai attacks are perverted individual persons and their collective occupational nouns neither can whittle down nor enhance their crimes; nor can their gender nouns. They are satanic forces personified. To save the Sadhvi and group Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and BJP would go to any extent, even to the extent of civil strife. Similarly to deny legal succor to the Kasab the same groups would go to vandalism and violation of the constitution of the land. These hawkish outfits of Mars would be the pioneering forces that threaten to wage war within and without even before the formal declaration of war.

There are two conflicting and contradictory current theses on possibility of war between India and Pakistan. Pakistan had once tried to lead India into a military confrontation over the terrorist attack on the Parliament in 2001 when India responded by Operation Parakaram. But now India has grown wiser and this old alibi for not tackling terror by the neighbour will not work. Hence India must take on Pakistan. This view is coloured by the weltanschauung or world view of Islam as terrorism as it views the Mumbai attack as “jihadi offensive against civilized nations and values.” (K Subramanyam). Diametrically opposite to this is the view that in a situation of war Pakistan will have to take its soldiers from the western borders, which are hotbeds of terrorism of the al Qaeda and the Taliban type and deploy them on the Indian borders. That would not solve the problem of terrorism(Ahmed Rashid). Those who subscribe to the first theory believe war as solution. 

War begins in the minds of men. As Eugene O’Neill said of tragedy that we wear masques and our tragedy or misfortune begins when we evaluate ourselves through the eyes of others. Today we see through the western perspective, hence the corrective need to claim Mumbai attack as our tragedy (Arundhati Roy). Moreover terrorism is a technique (Zbigniew Brezesnki, a former national security advisor to the US president) and needs to be fought by a technique. But this time around as of now India is keeping sanity and not rushing where angels fear to tread.

Mumbai Terrorist Attack: How Long With This Charade Go On?

Gateway of IndiaEnough is enough.  Our people and institutions have suffered too long from terrorism.  The time has come for us to take effective steps.  India is not short in brain power to stop this terrorism juggernaut.  Continue reading Mumbai Terrorist Attack: How Long With This Charade Go On?

Antulay or No Antulay – Politics or no Politics



Keeping, apart statements given by the minority’s minister.


 While I strongly condemn this act, of Terror in Mumbai. I at the same time would remember the true hero of our forces Late Mr. Hemant Karkare and the many decorated upright officers of our police force and NSG. Continue reading Antulay or No Antulay – Politics or no Politics