Tag Archives: Gujarat

Wali Gujarati: Father of Urdu poetry

Wali Gujarati [1667-1707] is considered father of Urdu poetry. While we all know the respect Ghalib paid to Meer few of us know what Meer Taqi Meer said about Wali: Khugar nahin kuch yun hi hum Rekhta-goi kay Mashooq jo … Continue reading

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Chhipas

Chhipa is a biradari or a community of Muslims of Gujarat. I don’t have an estimate of how many people identify themselves as Chhipa but what impress me most is that a section of them are very concerned about community … Continue reading

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Marginalizing Muslims In Gujarat

History of Muslims in Gujarat is older than the idea of Gujarat itself, then how is it that Muslims now find themselves at the edge (both figuratively and literally) of the present day Gujarati society? In the aftermath of partition when most of north India was burning, Gujarat remained peaceful. The first major post-independence Hindu-Muslim violence took place in Ahmedabad in 1969. But if we go back in history, from 1714 to 1969 there were only two incidents of communal violence – 1941 and 1946. The violence of 1969, in which more than 1100 people were killed, was the beginning of separation of Hindus and Muslims but it was 1985 riots that sealed Muslims’ fate in the state for years to come. Muslims, according to Sangh Parivar, have no right to exist, are not part of Gujarat, have no history worth remembering or contribution in making of Gujarat. Continue reading

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Mosques Of Gujarat

If one has to choose one image to represent Muslims in Gujarat, it has to be the famous jali of Sidi Saeed Mosque in Ahmedabad. Look closely and you will see a banyan tree occupying the entire screen and enveloping a palm tree. In other words, Muslim presence in Gujarat is a story of an overwhelming acceptance of local culture and tradition while maintaining the Islamic core.Sanjan, a small town 150 km south of Surat is probably the site of the oldest existing masjid of Gujarat. Jami Masjid was built by the founder of short-lived Muslim dynasty [813-841 CE] of Sanjan. Fadl, the founder of the Mahan dynasty build a jama masjid where khutba was read in the name of Abbasid Caliph Mamun. There is some confusion about the oldest mosque of Gujarat. While majority of scholars point to structures in Bhadresvar as the oldest Islamic structure. Continue reading

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The Making Of Gujarat

Sultans of Gujarat ruled the region for over a period of 160 years but the marks that they left on the ground helped shape Gujarat for centuries to come. Gujarat was at its widest spread under the Sultans who governed a vast area which forms now part of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Gujarat as a state of Independent India was founded only on March 1, 1960 but its identity as a separate region with distinct language and culture was established under Gujarati sultans. Gujarati sultans were way ahead of their time by building an administration to not only govern but develop a region. They established new urban centers but also helped promote agriculture by giving lands to soldiers as part of their salary tying them to the land and increasing agriculture output. Thus the foundation of Gujarat was laid that survived later Maratha and British rule and emerged as a state in independent India on May 1st, 1960. Continue reading

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Muslim History Of Gujarat

Muslim history of Gujarat does not begin with the establishment of Ahmedabad. In fact, Muslims were already in Gujarat for 600 years before Allauddin Khilji’s army appeared in this region in 1297. Just like Muslims arrival in Malabar in Kerala, as soon as Islam began spreading in Arabian Peninsula, Muslims began to make their presence felt in the coastal region of Gujarat. The first Muslim foray into Gujarat appears to be in 15 hijri or the year 635 CE when governor of Bahrain sent an expedition to Thana and Bhaurch. The contact with Muslim continued for several centuries in the form of raid, trade, and migration. After Sindh, it is Gujarat where the first Muslim rule was established in Indian sub-continent. Sanjan, a small town on the coast saw the establishment of an independent principality. Historigrapher Abul Hasan Ali Masudi wrote that Muslim led honourable life under Hindu kings and they had built a number of mosques where regular prayers were offered. Continue reading

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Godhra Verdict: Whither Justice?

On 22rd February 2011, the session’s court gave its verdict on Godhra train burning of Sabarmati Express. It accepted the Gujarat state’s theory that the local Muslims had hatched a conspiracy to burn S-6 Coach of Sabaramati Express. This conspiracy theory was initially put forward by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who within half hour of the burning of the train came to this conclusion. He had gone on to say that the conspiracy has been hatched by international terrorism, in collusion with the local Muslims through Pakistan’s ISI. At that time the Godhra collector Jayanti Ravi had ruled out the conspiracy theory. This conspiracy theory was given wide currency and was used as a sort of justification for the post Godhra anti Muslim pogrom. The present judgment accepts the conspiracy theory but finds no evidence at all against the culprit-in-Chief, the chief conspirator as per the Gujarat Government, Haji Umarji and also no evidence against other major accused! The whole judgment seems to fall flat on this ground. Continue reading

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Narendra Modi’s Gujarat Is Not Developing, Maulana Vastanwi

According to India State Hunger Index 2008, Gujarat is shockingly ranked worse than Orissa. Gujarat is ranked 13th in the 17 big states which were calculated. Vastanwi’s Gujarat, is only above Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, which are globally equal to the hunger situation in Ethiopia. Vastanwi’s Gujarat and Maharashtra are among the few states which are the ‘beneficiaries’ of these so-called investments. When new concept about development is coming up, we are still categorizing those states as developed ones, which have maximum number of poison-gushing chimneys. We are not at all ashamed to say that almost all of those 16,000-odd farmers, who are officially committing suicide in our country every year (since 1997 when the compilation of data started), come from these very industrialized states––Maharashtra topping the list. In contrast Jammu and Kashmir has almost negligible farmers’ suicide rate.
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Gujarat: Making Of A Fascist State

Activists who have been arrested on the charge of being Naxalites are Avinash Kulkarni, Bharat Pawar, Makabhai Chowdhary, Jayaram Goswami and others. Shakeel is 13th amongst the activists who have been arrested on similar charges. The work of some of these activists has been to promote communal harmony, which has been a hindrance to spread of divisiveness being promoted by the likes of Swami Aseemanand of VHP, an RSS affiliate, who is currently absconding for his linkages with the perpetrators of Ajmer terror attack. The happenings in Gujarat show us the deeper designs of the political class of the country, who are executing industrialization without a human face, industrialization on the bodies of the marginalized sections. Hitler did precisely the same. Continue reading

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Muslims Of Gujarat: The Real Picture

Gujarat government has made many claims about vibrant Gujarat. Recently, it has also made claims that Muslims in Gujarat are in much better condition that many other states of India. For no other state, security was such an important issue as Muslims of Gujarat, they ranked it as their third most important issue (16%) while the all India level this issues was placed fifth out of the nine categories. Gujarat government has not released data to see if Muslims in the state has prospered in the “Vibrant Gujarat.” Even state government’s own ad had to resort to Sachar Committee data to make its claim. Notwithstanding that most of Sachar data is from 2001 and earlier, before Mr. Narendra Modi took office as the chief minister. Continue reading

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