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Indian Muslim News - ISSUES

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 12 December 2009 | Posted in ,

Telangana and Muslims

By Ayub Khan

As the Telangana cauldron boils over moves are already afoot to paint the dispute in communal colors and make the region's Muslims the proverbial sacrificial lamb. The mainstream media has been a party in this mis-characterization of the entire Muslim community as opposed to the the separate state. The two most widely repeated allegations are : 1)The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is stridently opposed to the concept of a separate Telangana; 2) Telangana Muslims have not played any role whatsoever in the movement for separate state. However, an analysis of the historical and contemporary trends reveals that both these assertions are incorrect.

Since the amalgamation of the erstwhile Hyderabad state in the Indian union in 1948 and the its subsequent breaking apart in three linguistic states the Muslims of the region has suffered the most. They were resigned to the their fate and accepted the new regional configuration. They sought to protect and advance their interests in the existing framework. In this endeavor sections of the leadership sought support in all political and social organizations which appeared to be non-communal.

MIM stance

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen once it was revived after a nine year hiatus in 1957 declared itself neutral when the first signs of the Telangana issue began to be observed during the 1960s. The party did send some signals that Muslims could be worse off in a separate state due to the communal character of some of the leaders of the separatist movement.

However, it announced that the party would give political support to anyone who would support its 14 point charter which included: the appointment of a committee to enquire into Muslim backwardness; an assurance that no changes will be made in the Muslim personal laws; recognition of Urdu as the second regional language; representation of Muslims in services proportionate to their population; allotment of houses to constructed by the State Housing Board on the basis of Muslim population, etc.

With no overtures coming from the Telangana movement leaders the MIM made a demand, praised by political scientists as a brilliant one, that in the case of separation Hyderabad and Secunderabad should be constituted as a Union Territory.

The Majlis' cold stance over Telangana is also related to the personal antipathy between its and the movement's leaders going back to the 1950s. Dr. Chenna Reddy, the erstwhile Congress chief minister and at one point Telangana movement leader, had been instrumental in weeding out Muslims from the state services and had uneasy relations with the Muslim community. Their relations were further worsened when the movement agitation turned into communal conflagrations in which the Muslims faced the brunt.

Since the revival of the movement under the banner of Telangana Rashtriya Samiti in 2001 the MIM has once again repeated its earlier stance that it would remain neutral in the issue and would offer support provided that Muslim interests are protected. Their overtures did not get a positive reply from the TRS and the late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi said that Hyderabad be turned into a Union Territory and Warangal, the capital of Kakatiya Dynasty, be made into a capital of Telangana.

In the current scenario MIM's stance is that the party would remain neutral in the dispute and would be willing to offer any support only if there is a clear cut offer for Muslim development and the protection of the sectional interests of the community.

Muslim support for Telangana

Distinct from the MIM stance there has been a parallel historical trend in the Telangana region Muslims who support bifurcation. The All India Majlis-e-Tameer-e-Millat under the leadership of the late Khaleelullah Hussaini and Ghouse Khamooshi believed that Muslims would indeed be better off in a separate Telangana state. Speaking in 1970 its then Secretary Taheer Ali Khan told a German scholar, 'I can't speak to a minister from Andhra, he does not speak our language.'

Politicians like the Congress' M.M. Hashim, a close confidante of Chenna Reddy, former MP and home minister, also urged the Muslims to support Telangana. 'We must not make the mistake of remaining aloof...We must fight for Telangana,' he had said in 1970.

Consequently, a section of Telangana Muslims always remained wedded to the concept of a separate Telangana.

While the issue remained forgotten during the 1980s and 1990s it was Muslim leaders like the late Amanullah Khan, who quit MIM and formed the Majlis Bachao Tehreek, who kept it alive by speaking out for separate statehood in public forums. The Majlis Bachao Tehreek now supports separate Telangana.

At the revival of the movement since 2001 many Muslims joined the party. This is evidenced by massive support shown towards its leaders like Nayeeni Narasimha Reddy who was elected from the Musheerabad assembly constituency. TRS chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao numerous promises to the Muslim community also had a brief spell on the community. He promised to make Urdu a second language and gave adequate representation while allotting tickets. He did appoint one Muslim Al Attas to the legislative council but otherwise did not keep his promise of giving adequate tickets to the community. Doubts about the party's sincerity were further raised over the inclusion of communal minded elements in the party. One particular prick in the eye was Ale Narendra, the MP from Medak, who had many a part to play in the stoking of communal violence during the Ganesha festival riots. He later quit the party and was elected on the Congress ticket. Another eyesore was a party general secretary who was the Hyderabad pranth chief of RSS and has never actually quit the Sangh. Apart from hi profile leaders several other RSS and VHP activists are members of the TRS.

Despite the obvious unease a section of the Muslims have remained with the TRS. When a hunger striking KCR was hospitalized a delegation of Muslim leaders comprising Iqbal Ahmed Engineer (columnist and intellectual), Mushtaq Malik (Tehreek Muslim Shabban), leaders from the Jamaat-e-Islami affiliated MPJ, etc. visited him and offered their solidarity to the separate state cause. They later organized a protest in the city center of Charminar. Several such demonstrations, organized by Muslims, were held in all ten districts of Telangana.

What now?

When the separate state of Telangana is carved out, whenever that is, the Muslims would be at a demographic advantage. Their proportion will increase to 12.43 % from 9.16 % in a United Andhra.

District

Hindu

Muslim

%

Christian

Total

Mahbubnagar

3193932

296975

8

18800

3513934

Rangareddy

3063118

408281

11.43

89893

3576064

Hyderabad

2121963

1576583

41.16

92915

3829753

Medak

2334169

296486

11.1

34651

2670097

Nizamabad

1983275

338824

14.44

16204

2345685

Adilabad

2207843

236844

9.51

14751

2488003

Karimnagar

3251834

213811

6.12

20576

3491822

Warangal

3028537

177217

5.45

33354

3246004

Khammam

2406066

137639

5.29

30777

2578927

Nalgonda

3040212

170553

5.25

32452

3247982

Total

26630949

3853213

12.43

384373

30988271

Census of India, 2001

While Telangana Muslims gain demographically the same would not be true for Andhra Muslims. Their numbers would reduce to 7%. Since there is no emergent political leadership among Andhra Muslims how they will fare in a new Andhra remains to be seen. Their security in the coming months and years of heightened tension remains an issue of concern. There is a high chance that might be targeted as they are an easy scapegoat.

In terms of political representation the number of Muslims in legislatures is also expected to grow. The relevance of MIM would also grow given the importance of small parties in small states as experienced by Jharkhand in this fast paced era of coalition politics. It currently has seven MLAs and one MP. Other parties like Majlis Bachao Tehreek might also be able to make some progress in winning assembly seats.

The gains in terms of representation might be offset by the chance that a separate state gives to BJP. In the present assembly there is only one BJP MLA. In a separate Telangana their numbers might also increase especially if KCR forms a coalition with the NDA---an idea which he is not averse too.

Leaving apart the respresentation gains there are number of questions which need to be answered. What will be the status of Urdu in Telangana? Would it be given a second language status? What would happen to the reservations currently offered to the state's Muslims?

Even more importantly what would happen to the communal peace. The relative peace of the last two decades has largely been due to the availability of jobs and the good economic scenario. In the separate state there is a chance that there will be a capital flight both by the Andhras and the MNCs. Historical experience has shown that the potential for violence is most potent in times of economic downturn.

[Ayub Khan is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at a Canadian University]

Indian Muslim News - BABRI MASJID

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 06 December 2009 | Posted in ,

Babri Masjid demolition: 17 Years after & Justice still eludes US-based advocacy group Indian Muslim Council-USA demands immediate civil and criminal action against all accused in the Liberhan Report By Danish Ahmad Khan Indian Muslim Council-USA (http://www.imc-usa.org), an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, has demanded that the Indian government should bring to justice the accused who are involved in the demolition of the 16th century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh, as identified in the Report of the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry that was released recently. Indian Muslim Council-USA has further demanded that the Indian government honor the promise given by the former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to re-build the mosque on its original site. In a press release, Dr. Hyder Khan, National Vice President of IMC-USA said, "I am hopeful that current leadership in India will take moral and bold decisions to check the criminalization of politics through regional tribunals as proposed by the Liberhan Commission and not allow the Hindutva extremist groups propagate intolerant agenda and sectarianism." "The Liberhan report is another testimony to the sad state of communal affairs in India and a clear verdict on deep seated resistance towards speaking the truth" said Rasheed Ahmed National President of IMC-USA. Ahmed further stated that "It took 17 years to document the two obvious facts, first that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a premeditated criminal act by Hindutva leaders and second that BJP is simply a means for RSS to impose fascist regime in India," Dr. Hyder Khan said and added, "Liberhan Commission named 68 individuals as the leading planners and participants directly or indirectly involved in the destruction of the Babri Mosque. Most of the perpetrators listed in the Commission report are associated with Hindutva-fascist groups such as the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal, all of whom are closely allied with the political Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP, in alliance with several other parties, was in power from 1998 to 2004. These religious extremist groups garner significant support from Non-Resident Indians living in the United States." It may be recalled that on December 6, 1992 defying the orders of the Supreme Court of India and their own promise to the nation, the Hindutva fascist forces demolished the historic Babri Mosque in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This 16th century Muslim place of worship was destroyed by a frenzied mob of karsevaks in spite of assurances from the Hindutva leaders who spearheaded the Babri Masjid demolition campaign such as Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Sadhavi Rithambhara and several others and the state administration officials that only symbolic prayers will be performed and that the structure of the Babri Mosque will be safe. The Liberhan Commission appointed by the Indian government to investigate the destruction of the Babri Mosque submitted the report earlier this year that took more than 16 years of proceedings and recording statements of politicians, bureaucrats and police officials. Led by Indian Supreme Court Judge M S Liberhan, the commission identified key individuals and organizations who played a direct role in planning what the commission termed as a "joint common enterprise" that lead to the destruction of the Babri Mosque. Now even after 17 years ever since the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Indian government is yet to take any credible action against the accused for their criminal action in inciting and perpetrating the ultimate demolition of the Babri Masjid. Not only this, the Liberhan Commission report has chosen not to implicate the then Prime Minister of the Congress Party PV Narasimha Rao as one of the foremost accomplice in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Congress Party leader Makhan Lal Fotedar recently said in an interview to a prominent TV channel that when the news of the Babri Masjid demolition broke, the then President of India Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma wept like a child as being in a largely ceremonial post he could do little to apply pressure on the officials and help stop the criminal demolition of the Babri Masjid. Clearly, the President was pained at seeing the secular ethos of our great nation lie in tatters with the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Makhan Lal Fotedar also said that the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had called the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh and asked him not to take any action against the then Chief Minister Kalyan Singh of the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who was at the helm of affairs when the Babri Masjid was being demolished. The Liberhan Commission has named Kalyan Singh as one of the main accused in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It is therefore not surprising that the Prime Minister of the so-called secular India’s principal ruling party Congress Party acted as a stooge of the Hindu fanatic organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Rao is therefore also being considered as one of the main accused in the demolition of the Babri Masjid even though the Liberhan Commission Report has chosen not to indict him at all. Though Makhan Lal Fotedar in his interview said that for the crimes of the Hindu fanatics or even the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, the entire Congress Party cannot be held responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. But then, isn’t it surprising indeed that not a single minister in the Narasimha Rao-led ministry resigned or even offered to resign as a token mark of protest. Worse still, was the deafening silence of the Muslim ministers in the Narasimha Rao-led ministry or even Muslim members of parliament (MP), who also chose to ignore the demolition of the Babri Masjid as if nothing significant has happened. By saying this, does Makhan Lal Fotedar mean to say that if something of horrendous nature ever happens now then the present Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh should be solely held responsible for it and not the entire Congress Party? The Muslims of India are still feeling aggrieved at the criminal destruction of the Babri Masjid and only hope that the Indian Government, which is now being ruled by the Congress arty-led UPA coalition, should immediately initiate criminal and civil action against all accused in the Liberhan Report and that all politicians, individuals, and organizations involved in the crime are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Complete Liberhan Commission Report Following is the chronology of the important dates related to the Babri Masjid demolition: Dec 22, 1949: Idols of Ram Lalla were allegedly installed inside the 16th century Babri mosque in the night by a group of Hindus following which a court ruled that the site be locked against entry to quarrelling Hindus and Muslims. In 1984 the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a massive movement for opening the locks of the mosque whose ownership was disputed by fanatical Hindus who said it was the site of an ancient Ram temple that was razed by Mughal emperor Babur. Feb 1, 1986: Faizabad session judge allowed Hindus to worship at the site and the locks were re-opened. Nov 9, 1989: The then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, allowed ’shilanyas’, or ground-breaking ceremony, at an undisputed site. Sep 25, 1990: The then BJP president L.K. Advani launched a Rath Yatra – an ancient Hindu warrior-style campaign on a chariot that was actually a converted Toyota van – from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh; November 1990: Advani was arrested on the way in Samastipur in Bihar, following which the V.P. Singh-led coalition government, propped by the Left and the BJP, fell after the BJP withdrew support; Dec 6, 1992: Tens of thousands of karsevaks, who had massed at Ayodhya from all over the country in what was a well-planned operation, demolished the disputed structure. The incident triggered widespread communal riots in the country and led to the loss of hundreds of lives. Dec 16, 1992: M.S. Liberhan Commission was set up by the government to probe the circumstances that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. March 12, 2003: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began excavation in Ayodhya on the directions of the Allahabad High Court to ascertain whether a temple existed at the place where the Babri Masjid was built. June 30, 2009: The Liberhan Commission submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after 17 years of its formation and 48 extensions. Nov 2009: The Liberhan report is tabled hurriedly in Parliament after it’s leaked to a daily Accused as named by Liberhan Commission The Liberhan Commission of Inquiry that probed the 1992 razing of the Babri mosque found 68 people culpable for leading the country to the brink of communal discord. This includes Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who later became the prime minister. The names (in the order given by the Commission): 1. Acharya Dharamendra Dev, Dharam Sansad 2. Acharya Giriraj Kishore, VHP: He serves as the senior vice-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, International wing of the Hindu Nationalist Sangh Parivar. 3. A.K. Saran, IG. Security, Uttar Pradesh: then Lucknow Zone IG, retired in 2002 as DG (Home Guards) and is now settled in Patna. “My statement before the Commission was recorded in 2001. I had convinced the Commission about my stand during the cross-examination about the role of the IG Zone in the law the order situation in Ayodhya. I do not know what charges the Commission has framed against me that too after an investigation of 17 years,” Saran said. 4. Akhilesh Mehrotra, Add. Superintendent of Police, Faizabad: the then Additional SP of Faizabad, retired as DIG last year. 5. Ashok Singhal, VHP: is the International President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. 6. Ashok Sinha, Secretary, Tourism, Uttar Pradesh 7. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP: served as the eleventh Prime Minister of India. After a brief stint as Prime Minister in 1996. There are at least 22 references to Mr Vajpayee in the over 1029-page Liberhan Commission report but the most critical ones are in its ‘Conclusions’ in Chapter 14 where it goes on to say that former party ideologue K Govindacharya’s description of Mr Vajpayee as BJP’s mukhauta (mask) could in fact be applied to what the commission calls the pseudo-moderates. 8. Badri Prasad Toshniwal, VHP: died in 1994 and was ex president of Sewa Mandir Foundation, Ajmer( Rajsthan) 9. Baikunth Lal Sharma, VHP: former BJP MP from East Delhi. 10. Balasaheb Thackeray, Shiv Sena: is the founder and Chief of the Shiv Sena, a Hindu extremist, Marathi ethnocentric and populist party based in Indian state of Maharashtra. 11. B.P. Singhal, VHP: is brother of VHP leader Ashok Singhal was also BJP Rajya Sabha MP. 12. Braham Dutt Divedi, BJP, Revenue Minister, Uttar Pradesh: Brahm Dutt Dwivedi was a cabinet minister in Government of Uttar Pradesh and a senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party. He was murdered in 1998. 13. Champat Rai, Local Construction Manager 14. Dau Dayal Khanna, BJP 15. D.B. Roy, Senior Superintendent of Police, Faizabad 16. Devraha Baba, Sant Samaj 17. Gurjan Singh, VHP/RSS 18. G.M. Lodha, BJP 19. S. Govindacharya, RSS 20. H.V. Sheshadri, RSS 21. Jai Bhhagwan Goyal, Shiv Sena 22. Jai Bhan Singh Pawaria, Bajrang Dal 23. K.S. Sudarshan, RSS 24. Kalraj Mishra, BJP 25. Kalyan Singh, BJP (Chief Minister) 26. Khushabhau Thakre, RSS 27. Lalji Tandon, BJP, Energy Minister, Uttar Pradesh 28. Lallu Singh Chauhan, BJP 29. L.K. Advani, BJP 30. Mahant Avaidyanath, Hindu Mahasaba 31. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas 32. Mahant Paramhans Ram Chander Dass, VHP 33. Moreshwar Dinanant Save, Shiv Sena 34. Morpanth Pingale, Shiv Sena 35. Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP 36. Om Pratap Singh 37. Onkar Bhava, VHP 38. Pramod Mahajan, BJP 39. Parveen Togadia, VHP 40. Prabhat Kumar, Principal Secretary, Home, Uttar Pradesh: 1963 batch IAS officer of the UP cadre was principal secretary (Home) on December 6, 1992, rose to become cabinet secretary in 1998 during the NDA rule. Later, he was appointed as Governor of Jharkhand and had to resign on February 1, 2002, following a controversy when businessman Ashok Chaturvedi alleged that Prabhat Kumar had accepted his hospitality. 41. Purshottam Narain Singh, VHP 42. Rajendra Gupta, Minister, Uttar Pradesh 43. Rajender Singh alias Rajju Bhayya RSS 44. Ram Shankar Agnihotri, VHP 45. Ram Vilas Vedanti, Sant Samaj 46. R.K. Gupta, BJP, Finance Minister, Uttar Pradesh 47. R.N. Shrivastava, District Magistrate, Faizabad: former district magistrate of Faizabad, is the neighbour of the firebrand Hindutva leader Vinay Katiyar, Rajya Sabha MP, in Gomti Nagar area of Lucknow. He has since retired. He says the Liberhan Commission is “irrelevant” in his case, because he was suspended after the demolition and his prosecution was also ordered; the case is pending in a Lucknow court. 48. Sadhvi Ritambara, Sant Samaj 49. Shankar Singh Vaghela, BJP 50. Satish Pradhan, Shiv Sena 51. Shri Chander Dikshit, BJP 52. Sita Ram Agarwal 53. S.P. Gaur, Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh: 1974 batch IAS officer of the UP cadre, is presently chairman of the Inland Waterways Authority of India under the Ministry of Shipping and Transport. He was summoned by the Commission in 1996. “I have learnt through media reports that my name has appeared in the report of the Commission, but nothing has been officially communicated to me. I will comment only after studying the report,” said Gaur. 54. Sunder Singh Bhandari, BJP 55. Surya Pratap Sahi, Minister, Uttar Pradesh 56. Swami Chinmayanand, VHP 57. Swami Sachidanand Sakshi alias Sakshiji Maharaj, BJP 58. S.V.M. Tripathi, Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh: the then DGP, has since retired. “I cannot comment on my indictment till I go through the specific reasons given by the Liberhan Commission in the report. I am also not aware about the details of the ATR tabled before the House. The Babri demolition at Ayodhya took place on December 6 and I went on deputation to Delhi on December 22 as CRPF director-general and retired from the same post in 1996,” Tripathi said. The former DGP said he appeared before the Commission on May 1, 2002 where his statement was recorded and he was cross-examined. “I also submitted my affidavit.” 59. Swami Satmit Ramji, Sant Samaj 60. Swami Satyanandji, Sant Samaj 61. Swami Vam Devji, Sant Samaj 62. Uma Bharti, VHP 63. U.P. Bajpayee, Deputy Inspector General, Faizabad: the then Faizabad Range DIG, retired as IG in 1995 and is settled in Allahabad. Bajpai said, “I explained my role and stand when my statement was recorded in 2000. What else I can say except that let the government decide over the action to be taken against me.” 64. Vijaya Raje Scindia, BJP 65. V.K. Saxena, Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh 66. Vinay Katiyar, RSS 67. Vishnu Hari Dalmia, VHP 68. Youdh Nath Pandey, Shiv Sena

Indian Muslim News - ISSUES

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

Cleric under fire for planning daughter’s wedding on Dec 6

By Virendra Nath Bhatt

With various Muslim bodies in favour of observing December 6, the day the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, as a day of mourning, a prominent Muslim cleric’s decision to solemnise his daughter’s wedding on the day has stirred a hornet’s nest. Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, prominent Shia cleric and Imma-e-Juma of Lucknow, who leads the Friday prayer in historic Asifi mosque, has come under fire from a section of the clergy for his decision.

Defending the decision, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, vice president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said, “One can not retain the memory of a tragedy for the whole life. Indeed, the demolition of the mosque was a tragedy but why should the essential works of life and society be suspended on that day every year?”

He also pointed out that December 6, the18th day of the month of Bakr-Id, as per the Islamic calendar is a auspicious day for the Shia’s, celebrated across the world as ‘Eid-e-gadeer’. On this day Prophet Mohammed had performed the last pilgrimage (Haj) of his life and had declared Hazrat Ali as his successor.

Maulana Jawwad is not alone in holding the ceremony on the said date. Bilal, son of a Sunni Muslim cleric and member of AIMPLB Maulana Sajjad Nomani is holding his Dawat-e-walima (reception) on December 6. “I reject this black day and mourning day with the contempt it deserves. A particular date has no significance in Islam. There are other much more important issues before the Muslim community and the whole country and it would be better if we focus our attention on them”, said Maulana Sajjad Nomani.

(Courtesy: Indian Express)

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