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شوپیان سا نحہ کی گونج ایک بار پھر سنائی دی۔مذاکرات کار ، قلمکار، ہداےت کار ۔سارے شوپےان پہنچ گئے۔

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 30 October 2010 | Posted in


بشیر اسد

کشمیر میں ایک پرانی کہاوت ہے کہ خون ناحق چالیس سال بعد بھی چیخ اُٹھتا ہے۔ اسی کہاوت کے مصداق مئی 2009ئ کا شوپیان سانح گزشتہ ہفتے اس وقت چرچے میں آیا جب 26اکتوبر کے دن معروف قلمکار ارون دتی رائے ‘ فلم ساز سنجے کاک اور پھر ریاست جموں و کشمیر کے لئے نامزد مذاکرات کار دلیپ پڈگونکر اور رادھا کمار مقتولین آسیہ جان اور نیلوفر کے گھر پہنچ گئے اور غم زدہ خاندان کے افراد جن میں آسیہ اور نیلوفر کے والد بزرگوار اور نیلوفر کے شوہر شامل ہیںسے ملے ۔

اگرچہ مذاکرات کاروں کے دورہ شوپیان کے حوالہ سے پہلے سے ہی سرگوشیاں ہورہی تھیں تاہم ارون دتی رائے اور سنجے کاک کا مقتولین کے گھر پہنچنا بالکل اچانک ہوا۔ 30مئی 2009ئ کو نند بھابھی 17سالہ آسیہ اور 22سالہ نیلوفر بعد دوپہر گھرسے رنبہ آرا کے کنارے واقع سیب کے باغ میں مویشیوں کے لئے گھاس لانے کے لئے نکلیں لیکن 31مئی دوپہر کو ان کے گھر ان کی لاشیں پہنچائیں گئیں۔ جن پر لگے زخم یہ چیخ چیخ کر بھول رہے تھے کہ دونوں درندگی کی شکار ہوئی ہیں اور عصمت لٹانے کے بعد ان کو قتل کیا گیا تھا۔ تین مہینے تک مسلسل ایجی ٹیشن چلائی گئی اور شوپیان کی لٹی عصمتوں کے مجرموں کو کیفر کردار تک پہنچانے کے لئے پوری وادی میں زبردست احتجاجی مظاہرے ہوئے ۔ اس افسوسناک واقع کی تحقیقات کے لئے یک نفری کمیشن بٹھایا گیا جس کی سربراہی جموں وکشمیر ہائی کورٹ کے ریٹائرڈ جج مظفر جان کر رہے تھے ۔ کمیشن نے رپورٹ تیار کی اور اس رپورٹ کے مطابق شوپیان میں تعینات پولیس افسران نے شواہد مٹانے کے جرم کے مرتکب ہوئے تھے ۔ اس پی‘ ڈی ایس پی اور سب انسپکٹر کو معطل کیا گیا ۔ اس کے بعد جموں وکشمیر پولیس نے سپیشل انوسٹی گیشن ٹیم تشکیل دی اور بعد میں کیس کو مرکزی تفتیشی بیورو سی بی آئی کے حوالے کیا گیا ۔ سی بی آئی نے کیس کا رخ ڈرامائی انداز میں تبدیل کیا اور اس واقع کو محض غرق آب ہونے کا کیس بتا کر مقتولین آسیہ اور نیلوفر کے وارثوں اورشوپیان بار ایسوسی ایشن کے وکلاءاور کئی ایک ڈاکٹروں کے خلاف چارج شیٹ داخل کیا اور ان پر خرمن امن کو درہم برہم کرنے اور غرق آب ہونے کے واقعہ کو سیکورٹی ایجنسیوں کی کارستانی قرار دینے کے الزام عاید کئے ۔

اس طرح انصاف کا گلہ گھونٹ دیا گیا اور متاثرہ کنبہ کو انصاف فراہم کرنے کے بجائے ان پر شدید قسم کے الزامات عاید کئے حتیٰ کہ ایک موقعہ پر مقتولین کے کردار پر سوال اُٹھانے کی کوشش کی گئی ۔ بہر حال 26اکتوبر بروز منگل اس کیس نے اس وقت ایک نیا موڑ لیا جب معروف قلمکارارون دتی رائے ‘ فلم ساز سنجے کاک اور دو مذاکرات کار یکے بعد گیرے مقتولین کے گھر پہنچ گئے اور اس سانحہ کے حوالے سے متاثرہ کنبہ کی دلیل سنی ۔

ارون دتی ر ائے کے سامنے جب نیلوفر کے شوہر شکیل احمد آہنگر نے سارا ماجرا پیش کیا تو مصنفہ تقریبا ً 15منٹ تک سسکیوں میں ڈوب گئی اور آنکھوں سے اشک جاری ہوا ۔ لیکن جب ٹھیک ساڑھے بارہ بجے مذاکرات کاروں کی ٹیم شکیل کے گھر داخل ہوئی تو بہت ہی رقعت آمیز مناظر دیکھنے کو ملے ۔ شکیل جو غالباً بہت کم پڑا لکھا ہے نے سانحہ کا نقشہ کھینچا تو مذاکرات کاروں کے سر براہ اور معروف صحافی دلیپ پڈگونکر جذبات پر قابو پانہ سکا اور اُس کی آنکھوں سے آنسوں کا چشمہ پھوٹ پڑا۔ پروفیسر رادھا کمار جو سہ نفری مذاکرات کاروں کے ٹیم میں واحد خاتون ممبر ہے بظاہر بہت سلجھی ہوئی شخصیت کی مالک ہے تاہم شکیل کی زبانی سانحہ سے متعلق روداد سن کر وہ صرف اتنا کہہ سکی کہ درندگی کی انتہا ہے ۔

بہر حال شکیل اور اُس کے والد نسبتی نے مذاکرات کاروں کو واضح الفاظ میں بتایا کہ وہ انصاف ملنے کی اُمید کو ترک کر چکے ہیں اور اب صرف ایک بات کو لے کر جی رہے ہیں کہ کشمیر میں آسیہ اور نیلوفر جیسی اور بھی بہت سی خواتین ہیں جو درندگی کی شکار ہوئیں اور اس سے نجات پانے کا واحد راستہ کشمیر سے مکمل فوجی انخلاءہے ۔ شکیل نے وزیر اعلیٰ عمر عبداللہ کو حدف تنقید بناتے ہوئے کہا کہ عمر عبداللہ نے اس پورے سانحہ کے دوران سینکڑوں بار اپنے بیانات بدلے اور کبھی بھی کسی ایک بیان پر ٹک نہ سکا ۔ شکیل نے کہا کہ وہ انصاف کی دہائی کسی سے لگا ئے اور کہاں لگائیں جبکہ ان کے خانوادوں کو آج بھی ایک یا دوسرے طریقہ سے ہراساں کیا جا رہا ہے ۔

مذاکرات کاروں کے ٹیم نے اگرچہ بہت ہی محتاط الفاظ میں غم زدہ خاندان کو امید جگانے کی اپیل کی تاہم واپس نکلنے پر مذاکرات کاروں کے ذہن شوپیان سانحہ کے حوالہ سے بالکل صاف ہوئے اور اس واقعہ سے متعلق جو دور سے دلیلیں انہوں نے سنی تھی اُن کی سند پر شکوک وشبہات کا اظہار کھل کر کیا ۔ لیکن سب سے اہم بات یہ تھی کہ شوپیان سانحہ کے شکار خاندان نے بہت ہی خوبصورت انداز میں ریاست بالخصوص وادی میں ہو رہی انسانی حقوق کی سنگین خلاف ورزیوں کا خاکہ اس طرح کھینچا کہ ریاست جموں و کشمیر کے سیاسی مسئلے کے ساتھ جڑی عدم تحفظ کی کڑی واضح ہو کر سامنے آئی ۔ آسیہ اور نیلوفر کے والد نے مسئلہ کشمیر کو وادی کشمیر کے ہر گھر کے غم واندہ کی کہانی سے تعبیر کیا اور کہا کہ اُن کے نزدیک مسئلہ کشمیر آسیہ اور نیلوفر جیسی ہزاروں بیٹیوں کی لٹی عصمتوں کا مسئلہ ہے اور ان لٹی عصمتوں کو دل و دماغ میں بٹھاتے والدین کا قصہ ہے اور ان واقعات کے شواہد بچوں کی نیندوں میں خوفناک مناظر کا مسئلہ ہے ۔ اور کشمیر ی عوام کو ان خوفناک مناظر کے ذمہ دار فوجوں سے نجات چاہیے ۔ نیلوفر اور آسیہ کے والد نے ریاست کی حریت پسند قیادت کو شدید تنقید کا نشانہ بناتے ہوئے کہا کہ وہ صرف قربانیاں مانگنے والے ہیں اور ان کے ساتھ امید یں وابستہ رکھنے سے محرورمی ہاتھ آتی ہے ۔ اُن کے مطابق وادی کے عوام نہ صرف ہندوستانی فوجوں کے ظلم و جبر کے شکار ہیں جس سے نجات ملنا لازمی ہے بلکہ کشمیری عوام سیاسی قیادت کی ناعاقبت اندیشی کے شکار بھی ہیں ۔

داستان غم واندہ کا ادراک کرنے کے بعد جب راقم نے خاتون مذاکرات کار رادھا کمار سے سوال کیا کہ دورہ شوپیان کے بعد آیا اُن کے ذہن میں کوئی ایسی بات آتی ہے جس کو لے کر وہ مرکزی قیادت سے فوری ردعمل جاننے کی کوشش کرے گی تو رادھا نے بڑے ہی نپے تلے اور محتاط الفاظ میں فوجی انخلاءکی طرف اشارہ کیا ۔

اس ساری کہانی اور اس کے آخر میں پروفیسر رادھا کمار کے یک جملہ جواب کا احاطہ کرنے سے میرا مقصد نہ زخموں کو کریدنا ہے اور نہ ہی ظلم و جبر کے شکار سانحہ شوپیان کے وارثوں میں امید جگانا ۔ بلکہ مذاکرات کاروں کا بائیکاٹ کرنے کی اپیل کرنے والوں سے یہ پوچھنا ہے کہ کیا شکیل آہنگر ہندوستان کے تین یا چار اور لوگوں کو یہ باور کرانے میں کامیاب نہیں ہوا کہ انسانی حقوق کی سنگین خلاف ورزیوں کو روکنے کے لئے فوجی انخلاءضرور ی ہے ۔ اگر ہم مذاکرات کاروں کو صرف اور صرف ہندوستانی شہریوں کا درجہ دے کر ہی ملیں تو تب بھی یہ کہہ سکتے ہیں کہ ہم نے اور تین ہندوستانیوں تک اپنی بات پہنچائی اور ان کے دلوں اور ذہنوں کو جھنجھوڑنے کی کامیاب کوشش کی ۔ اپنی اس دلیل کے حق میں ایک اور بات کا خلاصہ کرنا مناسب سمجھتا ہوں ۔

دلیپ پڈگونکر نے سانحہ شوپیان سے متاثرہ خاندان کو ایک بات ضرور کہی کہ انہیں امید کا دامن چھوڑ نا نہیں چاہیے بلکہ ہم اس سانحہ کے حوالہ سے ہندوستان کی سیاسی قیادت کو زور دے کر کہیں گے کہ مجرموں کو سزا ملنی چاہیے اور اس سانحہ کے شکار خاندان کو انصاف ضرور ملنا چاہیے ۔

اس تناظر میں دیکھا جائے تو سانحہ کے شکار خاندان کا مذاکرات کاروں سے ملنا سود مند رہا اور کم از کم اس سانحہ کی گونج ایک بار پھر سنائی دی ۔ ایک اور بات یہ کہ علیحدگی پسند قیادت کی بائیکاٹ کال شاید وقت کا تقاضا ہو سکتا ہے یہ قابل بحث امر ہے تاہم مذاکرات کے عمل سے دور رہنا جمہوری حق ہے لیکن اس عمل سے دور رکھنا بشری حقوق کو صلب کرنے کے مترادف ہے اور یہ بات کہنے میں مجھے ذرا بھر بھی تردد نہیں کہ ہندوستان نے ہمارے سیاسی جموری اور انسانی حقوق پر شب خون مارا اور ہماری سیاسی قیادت انہی حقوق کی بحالی کا علم بلند کر کے برابر ان حقوق سے عوام کو دست بردار کرنے کے عمل میں مصروف ہے۔ استصواب رائے ‘ آزا دی رائے ‘ تقریر و تحریر کی آزادی خوف و ہراس سے آزادی‘ گھومنے پھرنے کی آزادی ۔ خیالات کے اظہار کی آزادی‘ میل جھول کی آزادی‘ فیصلے لینے کی آزادی‘ اگر ہم اپنی آزادیوں کی حصول کے لئے جنگ لڑ رہے ہیں تو پھر ہم کسی کو مذاکرات کاروں سے ملنے اور ان تک اپنی بات پہنچانے کی آزادی سے محروم نہیں رکھ سکتے ہیں ۔

AYODHYA DISPUTE: Initiate dialogue

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 29 October 2010 | Posted in ,

By Kuldip Nayar

Kuldip Nayar
If the RSS were to guarantee protection to all mosques that exist since August 15, 1947, as is the law, a settlement is possible.

I have not been able to make out why the ruling Congress has been inactive when it could have taken the initiative in bringing the two communities, Hindus and Muslims, together to discuss the Babri masjid-Ram Janambhoomi dispute after the Allahabad high court judgment. It has opened a window which still remains ajar after five weeks.

If the opportunity is not exploited, the parties concerned will meander to Supreme Court in appeal. Central minister for minorities Salman Khursheed has said that the judgment has made the ground smoother. But both the party and the government have remained distant.

The consideration before the Congress may be the same old fear of annoying one community or the other and losing votes. The problem is too big to be trivialised or politicised because the Lok Sabha election is more than three years away.

The reason why I am appealing to the Congress is the clout it enjoys for being in power at the Centre. The party has also better credentials on secularism than the BJP. If the Congress were to try to sort out the dispute, it would be taken seriously. And it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Babri masjid was demolished when the Congress was in power at Delhi.

I wish the BJP had been less aggressive. The judgment has given Muslims one third of the site. Without their cooperation, no mandir can come up there. Moreover, the nation wants a peaceful solution, not threats of ever-growing dispute. The RSS did well to stop L K Advani from going ahead with another yatra. He does not seem to be repentant over the killing of hundreds of people in the wake of yatra 18 years ago.

I have not met any Muslim who does not feel that the judgment was unfair to the community. Now his fear is that some other mosques may be targeted soon. Already some Hindutva votaries have threatened to demolish the mosques which have stood by the side of temples in Mathura and Varanasi for centuries.

When the Babri masjid was demolished in 1992 the Muslims knew that they would not get back the mosque site. Yet they went to the court to claim ownership. They probably thought that by doing so they would warn the Hindutva elements not to repeat what they did to the Babri masjid.

Today they are undoubtedly angry but feel helpless. I can see a lot of activity in the community to discuss what it can do. I have not liked the speeches by some Muslim leaders. One went to the extent of saying that the Muslims had lost because they were not powerful. He appealed to the younger generation to build up power. Such speeches only arouse passions and evoke equally strong words from the other side. They do not sort out the issue.

The Hindus must realise that the problem is deeper than the loss of the Babri masjid. Muslims, who have been living under suspicion and bias after partition, are losing faith in India’s claim to be a secular society. How to give them confidence is the rub of the problem.

Parliament enacted in 1993 a Places of Worship Bill to lay down that the temples, mosques, gurdwaras, churches and synagogues would stay as they exited on the Independence Day on August 15, 1947. The courts were barred from entertaining any dispute relating to places of worship. The Babri masjid could not be included because a case on its ownership was already pending before the Allahabad high court.

That law should be incorporated in the constitution so that the Muslims feel more confident. Also the two houses of parliament should pass a resolution to buttress the constitutional guarantee to the Muslims. They constitute the largest minority, 16 per cent, in the country and cannot be allowed to go into shell or become sullen. If they continue to stay alienated, India should forget the growth rate beyond 9 per cent.

New chapter of conciliation

Again, the RSS and its parivar have to decide whether they want to begin a new chapter of conciliation with Muslims. If it were to guarantee protection to all mosques since August 15, 1947, as is the law, a settlement is possible. Otherwise, the Muslim community will appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment. That means the problem may be hanging fire for years. And there is no certainty that the community which loses in the apex court will accept the verdict.

Once the Muslims feel secure about their places of worship, they should make a gesture on the Babri masjid. I know the argument that Muslims cannot gift a mosque’s site to anyone. But bigger than this belief are the sense of tolerance and the spirit of accommodation without which the Indian polity cannot stay united. Muslims should, however, have a mosque in the complex near the proposed Ram Temple.

Two judges—one of them was a Muslim—have said in their 2-1 verdict that beneath the mosque was a temple. They have based the judgment on the archeological survey report. They have also given sanction of law to the belief. Many may not like it. But this is the high court’s judgment. The Supreme Court can reject or can uphold it.

Muslims should consider giving them the entire site if a constitutional guarantee and parliament resolution are forthcoming that mosques will stay mosques as they existed on the day of independence. The quality of gesture is in giving, not in taking.

(Courtesy: Deccan Herald)

Show Obama the benign face of Indian Islam

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By B. Raman

Obama's agenda has been prepared by the bureaucratic establishments in the two countries without imagination, without a sense of history, without understanding the benign face of Indian Islam totally different from its face in Pakistan and the Arab world, says B Raman.

US President Bill Clinton came to India in 2000 a year after the impeachment proceedings against him in the US Congress in the Monica Lewinsky case had failed. The scandals in which he was involved in the US did not affect his popularity in India.

His popularity in the Indian political class was high as seen from the roaring success of his address to the joint session of the Indian Parliament. He was surrounded by the admiring Members of Parliament. Everybody wanted to shake his hand and be seen on television shaking his hand.

The Indian hero of the Clinton visit was not Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Indian prime minister. It was Chandrababu Naidu, the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, who had managed to convince many US businessmen that Naidu's was the political face of the future. The focus was Cyberabad as Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh came to be called.

Naidu was projected as the epitome of the new Indian leader -- IT savvy, more a CEO than a traditional politician. Clinton made it a point to visit Hyderabad at the suggestion of US businessmen to see the emerging new Indian leader, who had won the admiration of the American business community. Where is Naidu now? Where is Cyberabad? A businessman of Andhra Pradesh, who played a key role in bringing Clinton to Hyderabad and making Naidu the toast of the US journalists who came with Clinton, is now in jail fighting allegations of fraud.

The second focus of the Clinton visit was on the computerisation of Indian villages. He was fascinated by the so-called advance of IT into the Rajasthan villages. He was shown on the television admiring the way little-educated villagers of Rajasthan were operating computers and running the village affairs. What happened to them? What happened to those computers?

The focus of the George Bush visit in 2006 was on how the Indian Muslim has kept away from Al Qaeda and the international jihad. What happened to that picture of India which is as true and as valid today as it was when Bush came? Why that picture is not being projected today as Barack Obama gets ready to visit Mumbai and to recall Indo-US counter-terrorism co-operation.

If the Americans and Obama are wise they will try to learn from the Indian civil society as to how the Indian Muslim has kept away from Al Qaeda and its associates. Obama chose the Al Azhar University of Cairo last year for his famous address to the Muslims of the Arab world. His advisers should have suggested to him to choose Mumbai for an address to the moderate Muslims of India and their co-religionists in South-East Asia.

They should have told him that Indian Islam is different from Pakistani and Arab Islam. It is soft Islam, which has influenced the culture of the Muslim communities in India and in the countries to the East of India.

Westerners are still fascinated by the fact that the Mumbai Muslims refused to bury the nine Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists killed in Mumbai during the 26/11 strikes. The focus should have been on how the Indian Muslim continues to be different from the Muslims in the rest of the world. He is angry – even more than in the past, but refuses to fall into the trap of Al Qaeda and its allies.

Obama's agenda has been prepared by the bureaucratic establishments in the two countries without imagination, without a sense of history, without understanding the benign face of Indian Islam totally different from its face in Pakistan and the Arab world.

(Courtesy: Rediff News)

Home Ministry approves amnesty scheme for youth interested to shun violence

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Bashir Assad

Srinagar: Blessing in disguise it may be, for the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir to sell the issue of facilitating the return of those disgruntled youth who went to Pakistan administered Kashmir during the turmoil and want to shun violence and join mainstream.

The Home Ministry is understood to have cleared Jammu and Kashmir government’s new surrender policy for youths who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for arms training. The policy envisages safe passage and a rehabilitation package for them.

Home Minister P Chidambaram gave a nod to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to go ahead with the policy, albeit with a set of conditionalities, during their meeting in New Delhi on October 26, Home Ministry sources said.

The issue was hanging fire ever since the Chief Minister raised the issue at the Chief Ministers’ conference in New Delhi here in February 2010. The policy will facilitate return of youths who want to return home to lead a normal life.

It merits a mention here that the Working Group on Confidence Building across the segments of society constituted by the Prime Minister in 2006 has also recommended facilitation of those Kashmiri youth who had gone to the other side of LoC for arms training but want to return back to lead a peaceful life and shun violence. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh while inaugurating the first Round Table Conference in Srinagar had also hinted at the government’s resolve to raise the issue with the government of Pakistan.

Sources said that the government of India was seriously considering the proposal of Chief Minister but was put on backburner due to the recent cycle of violence in Kashmir that has consumed as many as 110 lives so far. Now as the situation was improving and the newly appointed Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir have started their job of finding a political solution to the problem, the Home Ministry has finally given nod to the policy.

Omar Abdullah, who was the first high profile mainstream leader from Jammu and Kashmir to visit Pakistan in March 2006, on his return had urged upon the government of India to facilitate the return of youths who have gone to the other side of LoC during the turmoil.

State Secretary CPI(M) M Y Tarigami had then brought a resolution in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in the same year urging upon the government of India to facilitate the return of youths who want to shun the violence. The resolution could not be adopted as the then PDP-Congress coalition opposed the resolution. Interestingly, the same PDP brought the same resolution in the assembly in 2009 and this time it was NC-Congress coalition that opposed the resolution. The issue of the exfiltrated youth has remained in the centrestage of Kashmir politics since 2006 when the mainstream leaders from Kashmir visited Pakistan first after many decades and on return advocated return of such youth.

[Bashir Assad is a senior Journalist based in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He has now joined IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief of J&K. He can be contacted at bashirassad@rediffmail.com]

Aligarh Muslim University announces historic establishment of centres in West Bengal and Kerala

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

IMO News Service

Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University proudly announced the historic establishment of its centres at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala as its maintained institutions with immediate effect.

The University announced the commencement of MBA and BALLB courses from the current academic session itself.

The last date for receipt of application form is November 23 and the admission test will be held on December 19, 2010 in Aligarh, Kozhikode and Kolkata. Applications can be submitted only online and the detailed information can be downloaded from the website www.amucontrollerexams.com.

SCHOLARSHIP: Islamic Fiqh Academy announces scholarship for Indian madrasa students at Islamic University Malaysia

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

IMO News Service

New Delhi: The reputed Islamic Fiqh Academy has announced scholarships for Indian madrasa students seeking admission at International Islamic University Malaysia. The Delhi-based Fiqh Academy will take responsibility for all expenses on lodging, food and tuition at the university.

However, to avail the scholarship, the students will have to first get enrolled at the Islamic University Malaysia. Forms and other admission details are available on the website of the university: http://iiu.edu.my/. Applicants have been asked to send a copy of admission form to the academy also.

Eligibility criteria: Alim or Fazil from any madrasa; able to speak, write and understand English language, the same ability in Arabic also, certificate from TOFEL or IELTS.

Contact No of Islamic Fiqh Academy:
011-26981779, 26983728

80,757 Hajis have reached from India, 24 have died

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

IMO News Service

Jeddah: 283 flights carrying 80,757 Hajis have reached Saudi Arabia from India till October 27. Of them 37,408 Hajis reached Makkah and 43,349 Hajis Madina. Indian Haj Mission has announced that 24 Indian Hajis have died so far – 21 had come through Haj Committee of India and 3 others through private tours operators.

The Indian Haj Mission has opened 24/7 telephone helpline in its central office in Makkah. The Indian Hajis are being helped 24 hours through this helpline.

The Helpline Nos are: 5496000, 5448000.

If you call through cell phone then add 02 before these Nos. If you are calling from India then add 009662 before the Nos.

Reinvestigate Jaipur serial blasts case: JIH

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

Jaipur: In the backdrop of RSS leaders’ link with 2007 Ajmer blast established, Rajasthan chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has demanded reinvestigation of the 2008 Jaipur serial bomb blasts case to nab the real culprits and to save the innocent Muslims who were falsely implicated in the case and jailed.

“It is high time for government and investigative agencies to think about reinvestigation of the Jaipur bomb blasts case, so that the innocents would be freed and the real culprits could be brought behind the bar” urged JIH state president Engineer Muhammad Saleem.

“It took three long years for investigating agencies to reach the real culprits in Ajmer blast while we insisted from the very first day that the agencies must carry out all investigations without any prejudice but our demand was not heeded because then BJP government in the state was providing full support to the real culprits” he said adding “During these three years professional students, religious leaders and teachers belonging to the Muslim community had been targeted and put behind the bar for no crimes while real culprits were roaming freely.”

But he lambasted ATS for not mentioning the RSS in the charge-sheet which was filed on Oct.22 against the accused in the Ajmer blast which took three lives and left several injured. The charge-sheet named Indresh Kumar and some other top RSS leaders but failed to mention RSS.

“It is nothing but an attempt to save a particular organization despite its top brass was involved in criminal activities” he said.

He demanded the government to act immediately against the culprits before they go far from the clutches of the law, and should not attempt to save any particular organization or group if it is found guilty.

(Courtesy: TwoCircles.net)

'Child marriages prevalent among Kerala's Muslims'

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

Thiruvananthapuram: Child marriages are prevalent among Muslims in Kerala, and the custom can be combated only by creating awareness, the state's women's commission chairperson said Thursday (October 28, 2010).

"We are doing a lot of awareness programme to change the mindset of the people and that's all what we can do. We do get help from the NCW (National Commission for Women) to this effect and we will continue our efforts," Kerala Women's Commission chairperson D. Sreedevi said.

She said that precise figures were not available, though the state administration has identified the regions where the practice was prevalent.

"This is happening in districts of Kasargode, Malappuram and Kannur. Even though we have not done any survey to this effect and do not have the actual numbers, it is for certain that this is happening," she said.

Girija Vyas, chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), said the commission has been going around the country to find out people's views on the issue, and will submit a report to the Supreme Court on the ideal age for marriage.

"We are of the view that the present age of 18 for women and 21 for men should stay, but then we will insist in our report that registration of marriages be made mandatory," said Vyas, who was attending a conference here.

"We chose Kerala to have a dialogue because in this state the rate of child marriages is the least. We will submit our report in three months," she added.

"According to Muslim law, the marriage of a minor is valid," said Vyas.

Community leaders, however, said instances of child marriages might have been common in the past, especially in north Kerala, but such marriages were merely a ritual since the bride and the groom do not live together till they attain maturity.

Saifudeen Haji, state secretary of the Muslim Jamath Coordination, explained: "Look, what happens now, is that if a minor's parents want to marry off their daughter, they conduct the 'nikaah'. This ceremony is attended by the boy's and girl's relatives, two witnesses and a person well versed in Muslim rituals."

"After this ceremony, the girl and the boy are technically husband and wife, but they don't live together. The marriage is solemnised only after the girl turns 18. Maybe this is being interpreted as a child marriage."

Muslims constitute 24 percent of Kerala's population of 3.2 crore, according to government figures.

(Courtesy: IANS, October 28, 2010)

At times, courts are helpless to safeguard minority rights: Moily

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

IMO News Service

New Delhi: Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has finally accepted the fact that there is inability on the part of Court or the Constitution to safeguard minority rights at times. His statement comes a week after former Chief Justice of India A. M. Ahmadi accepted that the Supreme Court could have prevented the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Moily said, “At times Courts or the Constitution may become helpless to go to the “rescue of the minority when there is a tyranny of the majority.”

Moily said this while addressing a gathering at a panel discussion on Indian Constitution and the US Bill of Rights, a report in the Indian Express said.

Elaborating further on his idea about safeguarding minority rights in India and a comparison with the US, Moily said that US President Eisenhower had sent federal police to take action and put an African-American student back on the bus, when that student was reportedly thrown out.

But if an Indian Prime Minister or the President does the same kind of thing in case of any discrimination, then “a stricture may come from the Supreme Court,” he further added.

Scholastic Problems in Adolescence

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Dr. Vivek Sharma

Being young is greatly overestimated ...
Any failure seems so total. Later on you realize you can have another go.
(Mary Quant 1934 - Interview in Observer 5th May 1996)

Adolescence originates from "Adolescere" the Latin word, meaning to grow to maturity, which is a dreaded age for others as they are difficult to be managed.

Adolescents of today are living in the modern era in 6 major zones

• School Education
• Violence
• Sexual
• Home Atmosphere
• Materialism
• Computer, T.V. & Media

All of which have an impact on adolescent development and behaviour. Since there is a high emphasis on educational achievement, in a highly literate and achievement-oriented society, anything that affects this causes serious concern to parents. Poor academic performance is a symptom, which has many underlying causes. The reasons for poor performance have been given below:

1. In adolescent

• Sensory deficits & visual problems
• Long term illnesses
• Mental retardation, learning disability and attention deficit disorder
• Emotional disorders like anxiety, depression, disobedience and school phobia
• Poor motivation
• Certain medications like anti allergic, anti epileptic, anti asthmatics and recreational drugs

2. Environmental Factors

• Home, school, peers, teachers
• Deprived/discordant home atmosphere (poorly disciplined, broken homes, fighting parents)
• Lack of encouragement, problem with siblings, educational back ground of parents, over expectation of parents
• Adolescent pre-occupation with their own body and other problems
• More interest in co-curricular activities, ignoring studies
• Medium of instruction different from the mother tongue, high student-teacher ratio, teacher-student relationship
• Overcrowded ill-equipped class rooms, faulty learning techniques, faulty teaching strategies, not acquired basic skill/knowledge for higher classes

How Companions and Care Givers can help?

• Selecting the time
• Keeping away all distractions inclusive of TV & Computer
• Ways of learning using Survey, Questioning, Reading, Recall and Reviewing
• Try to identify the style of learning suitable to the individual
• Start learning with the easiest: do not put off the most difficult till the end. In between there should be a short time for rest
• Parents should appreciate and reinforce the effort made by the individual and not the outcome alone
• Encourage the individual the exploit his fullest potential rather than making comparisons with other children in the family or outside
• Let not learning be forced, help the individual learn at his pace and style
• Do not keep on nagging, criticizing, humiliating or making negative statements in the presence of others
• Talking to the teacher and requesting for a different approach. Change of place or class and at times even the school
• Help the child develop more defensive strategies through outdoor games
• Teach the individual to be assertive by using assertive training
• Many a time the therapist may have to call the family members to ensure their help and co-operation so that the disturbed adolescent outlive the problem
• If there are problems between the parents, family counseling may be necessary
• At times even the help/support of a classmate or teacher would be necessary

There is no single or simple way of achieving success. Using some of the strategies in your particular situation should help to create a learning environment that will promote success and a positive attitude toward academic performance.

[Dr. Vivek Sharma is a Consultant Paediatrician based in Jaipur. He can be contacted at drvivek_sharma@rediffmail.com]

प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा इसलामिक बैंक से सीख ले रिजर्व बैंक

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

इस्लामिक बैंकिंग का जादो सर चढ़ के बोला

एजेंसी

प्रधानमंत्री मनमोहन सिंह ने कहा है कि रिजर्व बैंक को मलयेशिया में इसलामिक बैंकिंग व्यवस्था से सीख लेनी चाहिए। रिजर्व बैंक पर भारत में इस तरह की व्यवस्था शुरू करने का दबाव है। मालूम हो कि इसलामिक बैंकिंग ब्याज मुक्त बैंकिंग व्यवस्था है। यह पूछे जाने पर कि क्या भारत मलयेशिया में इसलामिक बैंकिंग से कुछ सीख लेना चाहेगा मनमोहन ने कहा, इसलामिक बैंकिंग के प्रयोग को लेकर समय-समय पर मांग उठती रही है। मैं निश्चित तौर पर रिजर्व बैंक से सिफारिश करूंगा कि मलयेशिया में इस संबंध में क्या हो रहा है, वह इस पर नजर डाले। मलयेशिया के दौरे पर कुआलालंपुर पहुंचे मनमोहन ने इससे पहले मलयेशियाई प्रधानमंत्री मोहम्मद नजीब तुन अब्दुल रज्जाक के साथ आर्थिक एवं रणनीतिक मामलों पर विस्तृत बातचीत की।

इसलामिक बैंकिंग एक तरह की ब्याज मुक्त बैंकिंग व्यवस्था है और देश में इसलामिक बैंकिंग की अनुमति से मध्य पूर्व के देशों से अरबों डालर का निवेश आ सकता है। इस समय दुनिया भर में करीब 400 से 500 इसलामिक बैंकों द्वारा 1,000 अरब डॉलर की परिसंपत्तियों का प्रबंधन किया जा रहा है और 2020 तक यह आंकड़ा 4,000 अरब डालर पहुंचने का अनुमान है। हाल ही में मध्य पूर्व के एसएनआर डेंटॉन ऐंड कंपनी के पार्टनर और इसलामिक फाइनेंस के प्रमुख एम सिद्दीकी ने भारत सरकार से पायलट योजना के आधार पर ब्याज मुक्त बैंकिंग व्यवस्था शुरू करने की अपील की थी। उन्होंने कहा कि इस मसले पर हम रिजर्व बैंक के अधिकारियों के संपर्क में हैं।

INTERVIEW: Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Kashmir conflict and possible solution

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 October 2010 | Posted in ,

Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Jamaat-e Islami of Jammu and Kashmir is a veteran Kashmiri politician. Presently, he heads the Tehrik-e Hurriyat-e Jammu Kashmir. He talks about the Kashmir conflict and its possible solution in this exclusive interview with Yoginder Sikand.

Q: In your writings, and in those of other similar Islamist ideologues, the Kashmir conflict is often described as a war between Islam and ‘disbelief’. Do you really think it is so? Is it not a political struggle or a nationalist struggle, actually?

A: The Kashmir dispute is a fall-out of the Partition of India. The Muslim-majority parts of British India became Pakistan, and the Hindu-majority regions became the Dominion of India. There were, at that time, some 575 princely states in India under indirect British rule. Lord Mountbatten gave them the choice of joining either India or Pakistan, and instructed that their choice must be guided by the religious composition of their populace as well as by the borders they might share with either India or Pakistan, as the case might be.

On this basis, almost all the princely states opted for either India or Pakistan. There were, however, three exceptions to this. Hyderabad, a Hindu-majority state with a Muslim ruler, opted for independence, but India argued against this on the grounds that the state had a Hindu majority, and so ordered the Police Action to incorporate the state into the Indian Dominion. Junagadh, another Hindu-majority state with a Muslim ruler, opted for Pakistan, but India over-ruled this decision, again on account of the state’s Hindu majority, and annexed it. If India had adopted the same principle in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority state with a Hindu ruler, there would have been no conflict over Kashmir. After all, more than 85% of the population of the state at that time were Muslims; the major rivers in the state flowed into Pakistan; the state shared a border of over 750 kilometres with Pakistan; the only motorable road connecting Kashmir with the outside world throughout the year passed from Srinagar to Rawalpindi; and the majority of the people of the state had cultural and historical ties with the people of Pakistan.

However, over-ruling these factors, which would have made Jammu and Kashmir a natural part of Pakistan, in October 1947 the Indian Army entered the state in the guise of flushing out the Pathan tribesmen, who had crossed into Kashmir in the wake of large-scale killings of Muslims in Rajouri and Poonch. Using this incursion an excuse, Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, engineered the intrusion of Indian forces. The British scholar Alistair Lamb says that the so-called Instrument of Accession that Haris Singh is said to have signed to join India temporarily was itself fraudulent. He claims that Hari Singh did not even sign it.

Thereafter, India itself took the issue of Kashmir to the United Nations. The UN passed some eighteen resolutions related to Kashmir, recognizing the status of the state as disputed and calling for a resolution of the conflict based on the will of the people of the state, which the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, himself also publicly promised. Now, all that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are saying is that India should live up to this promise that it made of holding a plebiscite in accordance with the UN resolutions. So, this is the basic issue.

Q: So, aren’t you here saying that the conflict is essentially political, and not specifically religious?

A: For a Muslim, no action is permissible which is against Islam. How can we say that the sacrifices that the Muslims of Kashmir make, the tortures that they suffer, and the martyrdom that they meet have nothing to do with Islam, and that they won’t be rewarded by God for this? In this sense, it is a religious issue also. Islam teaches that Muslims must follow the guidance of Islam in every action of theirs—not just in prayers but also in matters such as war and peace, trade, international relations and so on, because Islam is a complete way of life. If a true Muslim participates in any struggle, it is for the sake of Islam. So, how can you say that the Kashmir conflict has nothing to do with religion?

Q: This might be true in theory, but surely many Kashmiris who are involved in the movement for separation from India might be motivated by other factors, including for economic and political reasons, or also due to a commitment to Kashmiri nationalism, as distinct from Islam?

A: I agree that there may be various reasons why different people may participate in the movement. Yes, there can be many who do not adopt the guidance of Islam in this regard. They might champion secular democracy and irreligiousness. Their sacrifices might be motivated by nationalism or ethnicity, rather than Islam. They might have no problem with the system of governance in India, their opposition to Indian rule being simply because of the brutalities of Indian occupation. Of course, one cannot say that all Kashmiri Muslims think alike. But I am speaking from the point of view of a practicing Muslim, who accepts Islam as a complete way of life. For such self-conscious Kashmiri Muslims, it is undoubtedly a religious issue and their sacrifices are for the sake of the faith.

Q: Maulana Maududi, the founder of the Jamaat-e Islami, who is a major source of inspiration for you, opposed the creation of Pakistan. So, then, why is that that you have consistently been advocating Kashmir’s union with Pakistan?

A: You are wrong here. Maulana Maududi was not opposed to the creation of Pakistan and to the ‘two nation’ theory. What he was opposed to was the practice of the Muslim League leaders, who were leading the movement for Pakistan. He told them that while they talked of the ‘two-nation’ theory and Islam, they were not serious about establishing an Islamic state in Pakistan. They were not preparing the activists of the League for an Islamic state.

Maulana Maududi wanted Pakistan to be an Islamic state, and this was the grounds for his opposition to the Muslim League. But he, like the League, supported the ‘two-nation’ theory. In fact, the League did not have any theoretical justification for its ‘two nation’ theory until this was provided by Maulana Maududi through his copious writings.

Q: But do you really see Indian Hindus and Muslims as two separate ‘nations’? After all, they share so much in common.

A: They are totally separate nations. There is no doubt at all about this. Muslims believe in just one God, but Hindus believe in crores of gods.

Q: But the Prophet Muhammad, in his treaty with the Jews and other non-Muslims of Medina, described the denizens of Medina as members of one nation. The leader of the Jamiat ul-Ulema-i Hind and a leading Deobandi scholar, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, even wrote a book to argue against the League’s ‘two nation’ theory, stressing a composite Indian nationalism that embraced all the people of India. So, how can the Muslims and Hindus of one country be considered separate ‘nations’, even by Islamic standards?

A: Islam lays down that in an Islamic system (nizam) all non-Muslims, including even atheists, will get equality, justice, security of life and property and freedom of faith. Maulana Madani’s arguments were critiqued by Maulana Maududi.

Q: In your prison memoirs, Rudad-e Qafas, you write that ‘It is as difficult for a Muslim to live in a non-Muslim society as it is for a fish to live in a desert’. But how can this be so? After all, the pioneers of Islam in India and in Kashmir itself, mainly Sufi saints, lived and preached in a society in which Muslims were a very small minority.

A: I meant to say this in a particular sense. Islam, as I said, is a complete way of life. No other path is acceptable to God. So, in the absence of an Islamic polity, it is difficult for Muslims to lead their lives entirely in accordance with the rules of Islam, which apply to social affairs as much as they do to personal affairs. For instance, Muslims in Kashmir under Indian rule live in a system where alcohol, interest and immorality are rife, so how can we lead our lives completely in accordance with Islam? Of course, Muslim minorities are Muslims, too, but their duty must be to work to establish an Islamic dispensation in the lands where they live so that they can lead their lives fully in accordance with Islam and its laws. Missionary work to spread Islam is as much of a duty as is praying and giving alms to the poor.

Now, as for your question about those Sufis who lived and worked in societies where Muslims were in a minority—they may have been pious people, but we take as our only model the Prophet Muhammad.

Q: But, surely, no one is forced to drink alcohol, deal in interest or act immorally in Kashmir?

A: True, but these things automatically spread since they are allowed by the present un-Islamic system. So that is why you see the degeneration of our culture and values happening on such a large scale.

Q: You mentioned about preaching Islam being a principal duty of all Muslims. But, surely, for this you need a climate of peace, not of active hostility, as in Kashmir today?

A: Absolutely. I agree with you entirely. No one can deny this. We need to have good relations with people of other communities. Only then can we communicate the message of Islam to them. But if one side continues to oppress the other and heap injustices and says that this should be considered as ‘peace’, how can it be accepted? If, for instance, Narendra Modi says that what happened with the Muslims in Gujarat represents peace, how can anyone accept it? If India stations lakhs of troops in Kashmir and says this is for establishing peace, how can it be, because these troops themselves are disturbing the peace?

Q: You, following other Islamist ideologues, have consistently been advocating what you call an ‘Islamic state’, seeing this as an indispensable Islamic duty. To your mind, which is the best functioning ‘Islamic state’ in the world today?

A: The world-wide Muslim community ummah is today in such a sorry state that there is no Islamic state anywhere in the real sense. Saudi Arabia is described as an Islamic state, but it is run by a monarchy, and monarchy has no sanction in Islam. If Muslim countries, including those that claim to be ‘Islamic’, were truly Islamic states they would never have been enslaved to America, as is the case today. They all support America’s policies and adopt its dictates. They are completely, on all accounts, dependent on America. They cannot even defend themselves. They have to rely on America and Europe to do this. They keep their money in American banks. We say that they should use their wealth to empower themselves and get out of America’s clutches and convert themselves into genuine Islamic states.

Q: In the wake of the attacks of 11 September, 2001, how do you see the impact of American pressure on Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia, to change their position on Islamist movements?

A: The events of September 2001 have caused most Muslim states to change their policies and to toe America’s line even more closely. You can see this happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only Muslim country that refuses to cave under American pressure is Iran.

Q: And now America is seeking an excuse to attack Iran, is it not?

A: Yes. America is trying to stoke Shia-Sunni rivalries in order to undermine Iran. It is trying all other such weapons, dividing the Muslims on the basis of sect, nationality, race and ethnicity against each other so as to weaken them. And the leaders of most Muslim countries are now playing the role of agents of the USA, be it in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Palestine or as is the case with the Saudi monarchs. See what’s happening in Waziristan, the Frontier Province and Baluchistan, in Pakistan. A climate is being deliberately created in those parts of Pakistan to justify American attacks and bombings in the name of flushing out militants.

Q: If Pakistan is now so pro-American, acting against its own people, and if it is not an authentic ‘Islamic state’, then why have you been advocating Kashmir’s union with it?

A: As I said earlier, the Muslim League claimed that Pakistan was won in the name of Islam, but it did not give its cadre the necessary training to establish an Islamic state there. Because of this, the influence of the Army and the country’s Westernised leadership, Pakistan failed to become an Islamic state. But it was meant to become such a state, which is something that we want. So, if the people of Jammu and Kashmir were given the
right to decide between India and Pakistan, the majority, I think, would prefer the former.

I admit that there are weaknesses in Pakistan, but these can be addressed. India has a secular system, which we can under no condition accept. Because of the oppression that we have been suffering under Indian rule for the last sixty years, how can we opt for India? In just a few weeks, in late 1947, some five lakh Muslims were killed by Dogra forces and Hindu chauvinists in Jammu. In the last seventeen years, over one lakh Kashmiri Muslims, mainly innocent civilians, have been killed. So many localities have been burned down, women raped and men rendered missing. After such brutal experiences, only a blind person would opt in favour of India.

Q: Many Kashmiri Muslims would rather be independent than join India or Pakistan. Do you agree?

A: The UN resolutions provide for only two options: joining India or Pakistan, and if this rule is followed then the majority would, I think, opt for
Pakistan. However, if the three parties to the dispute—Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir—come to a consensus on an independent Jammu and Kashmir, then, as I have repeatedly said, we will accept that formula also.

Q: In some of your writings you have argued against Kashmir being an independent state, even claiming that this is an Indian ‘ploy’. Can you elaborate?

A: This is true. It is an Indian ploy, because India does not want to see Pakistan strengthened, which it would be if Jammu and Kashmir joins Pakistan. The slogan of Azadi is aimed at weakening Pakistan. Independence would result in a territory that would have been a natural part of Pakistan being taken away from it. But, then, compared to staying with India, independence is a lesser evil.

Q: Many Kashmiris, seeing the current political and economic troubles in Pakistan, might say that they would prefer to be independent.

A: If we get independence, we will accept it.

Q: What if most people of Jammu and Kashmir wish to live in a secular or democratic set-up, and not a Taliban-style ‘Islamic’ state?

A: We don’t want to bring Taliban-type Islam, but the real Islam of the Quran and the Practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet.

Q: But the Taliban argued that their state was in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah.

A: To claim something is different from acting on that claim. For instance, while Islam makes it a duty for every Muslim male and female to acquire education, as soon as the Taliban came to power they banned girls’ education. What they should have done, instead, was to set up separate schools for girls. So, like this, there are many issues on which we can differ. The Islamic state that we would like to establish in Jammu and Kashmir would be one based on the understanding that all of humanity are children of the same primal parents, Adam and Eve. They will all be treated equally and justly. There shall be no discrimination based on religion. After all, the Prophet once remarked that all creatures are of the family of God and that the best is he who treats members of God’s family—which obviously includes non-Muslims, too—in the best way.

Q: You advocate Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan, but today minority nationalities in Pakistan, such as the Baluchis and the Sindhis, suffering under Punjabi domination, are struggling for independence. Might not the same thing happen to the Kashmiris if the state were to join Pakistan?

A: We want to join Pakistan, not be absorbed into it. We would have internal autonomy.

Q: But, surely, despite Pakistan’s claims, the part of Jammu and Kashmir under its control—‘Azad Kashmir’—lacks real autonomy?

A: Yes, Azad Kashmir cannot be said to be really autonomous since there, too, everything happens according to the wishes and directions of the Federal Government. But we would make sure that our autonomy be written into the Constitution.

Q: Do you see any significant changes in Pakistan’s policies vis-à-vis Kashmir in recent years, perhaps under American pressure?

A: Yes, considerable changes can be noticed. Earlier, Pakistan used to insist on the right to self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Musharraf was the first to change this, arguing for a solution outside that of the UN resolutions, an out-of-the-box solution. This constituted the first deviation in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. Then, Musharraf began talking of seven zones in Jammu and Kashmir, soft borders and his four-point formula, which is nothing but a means to preserve the status quo.

Q: How do you respond to media allegations that the Kashmiri movement for self-determination is ‘anti-Hindu’?

A: How can our struggle be called ‘anti-Hindu’? It is a struggle for certain principles. In Hindu mythology, when the Kauravas and the Pandavas, cousins of each other, were arrayed against each other on the battlefield, Arjun turned to Krishanji Maharaj, and told him that he could not bear to fight his own brothers. Why, he asked him, was he asking him to fight them? He wanted to refuse to fight. But, then, Krishanji Maharaj said, ‘Arjun, this is a battle for certain principles. In this, do not consider the fact that those who are opposed to you are your relatives’.

We Kashmiris, too, are engaging in such a battle for certain principles with the Indian Government, for occupying us against our will and for not acting on its promise to let us decide our own political future. It is not a war against Hindus or the people of India. It is not a communal conflict. In fact, there are many Indians who support our stand on the right to self-determination.

Q: Then why is it that the Indian media, and large sections of the Western media, too, present the movement as ‘Islamic extremism’ or ‘terrorism’?

A: The Indian media is bound to support India’s military occupation. How can you expect it to support our cause? I’ve seen so many massacres by the Indian Army here, but often the media describes them as ‘encounters’ with ‘militants’. You know how the agents of the Indian Army engineered the massacre of so many innocent Sikhs in Chhatisinghpora and falsely
attributed this to ‘militants’, in order to convey the misleading message to the then American President, Bill Clinton, at that time on a visit to India, that our struggle is a ‘communal’ one, and not a freedom movement. I can cite so many more such cases to prove this point.

Q: But, if that is so, why is it that you and people like you have not condemned killings by militants in the same way as you condemn similar crimes by the Indian Army?

A: Wherever such incidents have happened, we have condemned them, irrespective of the religion of the victims. The Quran clearly states that enmity with a people should not make one stray from the path of justice, because justice is closer to piety.

Q: If Jammu and Kashmir becomes independent, how do you envisage its relations with India and Pakistan?

A: It should have brotherly relations with both countries.

Q: Some radical groups active in Kashmir argue that all Hindus are ‘enemies’ of Islam. What do you feel?

A: No, this is erroneous. There should be no enmity or discrimination with anyone simply because of his religion, caste, race, colour or country. We are permitted to fight only those individuals who fight us or place hurdles in the path of our faith. With others we should have good relations, and that applies to our relations with ordinary Hindus as well. So, when some people argue that as a community the Hindus are ‘enemies of Islam’, it is wrong. It is not an Islamic way of thinking.

Q: Certain militant groups active in Kashmir say that they will not stop their war with India until India itself is ‘absorbed’ into Pakistan and the Pakistani flag flies atop Delhi’s Red Fort. What is your opinion?

A: This is emotional talk and should not be paid attention to. We don’t agree with this argument. Our fight with India is only to the extent that India has taken away our right to self-determination. Once we win that right we will have no problem with India. In fact, if by exercising this right the majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir say that they want to be with India, we will also accept that.

Q: But don’t you feel certain radical groups active in Kashmir who preach hatred against Hindus and call for India’s ‘absorption’ into Pakistan are actually defaming the religion whose cause they claim to champion?

A: Islam has been given a bad name more by Muslims themselves and less by Hindus. Islam has been damaged less by open ‘disbelief’ (kufr) than by hidden hypocrisy (munafiqat), by people who claim to be Muslims but are really not so in practice.

Q: So, would you agree that these groups who condemn all Hindus as ‘enemies’ are actually misinterpreting Islam?

A: We cannot take responsibility for what others say. You can ask these people yourself.

Q: What message do you have for the people of India?

A: I will only say that India should honour its promise to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to let them decide their own political future. Honouring one’s promise is a major principle of the Hindu religion.
Raja Dasharath, honouring the promise he made to his wife Kaikeyi, gave his throne to his son Bharat and ordered Ram Chandraji to go into the forest in exile. Simply in order to keep his promise he sent his elder
son to fourteen years in the forest and gave the throne to Bharat instead. Bharat was a man of character, and so he placed Ram Chandraji’s sandals on the throne, believing that his elder brother deserved to rule. So, the Hindu religion teaches that one should live up to one’s promises, and if India were to act on the advice of the Hindu scriptures in this regard on the issue of Kashmir the conflict will easily be solved.

[Yoginder Sikand works with the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the National LawSchool, Bangalore. He can be contacted on ysikand@gmail.com]

OPINION: Individual: First & Last

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

By Dr. Wasim Ahmad

One of the challenges that we have is to save and restore the individualities. There are many who are ready to devour up the individuals and who are actually doing so for a long period of time – from after 1258 CE. We have to be careful about those situations where the individual is sacrificed on the altar of someone else’s agenda and ideology. The most effective technique being used is to catch these individuals when they are young. Then they remain young the entire life – even at the ripe age of sixties and seventies and beyond.

We as a people have to outlive our herd mentality, our communitarian outlook. This mentality and outlook is our bane. This is one of the culprits. This is not allowing the flowering of the potentialities of individuals to the maximum extent. This is why we are below the poverty line in ideas – despite so many people. This is why we are sheer numbers and digits. This is why we are a “minority”. Minority is only about numbers. We have to stop counting the numbers. We have to leave the statistics far behind.

If we start focusing more on the individual and according him more respect – irrespective of his affiliations – it will bring a positive change in due course. Our communalism and communitarianism has immensely hampered the individual growth and flowering. It has acted as a conditioning effect and a psychological barrier – generations after generations. This is why hundreds of thousands of AMU graduates and the alumni of madrasaahs are not able to think beyond their respective backgrounds. They are not able to shake themselves up and come out of the crippling conditioning effects. And the impression that one gets is that they have reached where they currently are after years of objective analysis and (re)search.

This is why we do not talk about any civilizational goals and do not think of aligning everything to those goals. This is why one gets an impression that we only need some superficial changes and fixing of a few things here and there. And not a sea change and a paradigm shift. Or a rebirth. This is why while we do lament on zawaal and inhetaat of Muslims but when it comes to analyzing our Institutions and Organizations we do not take the analysis to the logical conclusions. We do not do so because then the responsibility will be localized (or individualized) and each one of us may have to share something.

Let us talk about one person and leave the rest. Let us hold that one human being responsible for all our ills and evils. That one human being who has eluded all responsibility –under the luxurious cover of communitarianism. Let us put him under the scanner and under the microscopic lens. Let us respect his individuality and hold him accountable for his part – whatsoever it may be. However, we cannot do the above unless we do it to ourselves. Let us change our thought patterns, before anything else. Let us look at everything differently.

The individual has receded in our environments and has gone into hiding. Because over the generations he has found that nobody cares about him. Nobody talks about him. Everybody is worried about the collective entity but not for him. Seeing this apathy and unconcern and not being always so powerful as to withstand the backlash of an entire community he has given up. He has accepted his lot. The entire community has suffered from the adverse effects of the above.

The real wealth is the wealth of ideas. We haven’t gotten this wealth because of the withdrawal of individuals. Let us not look at the wealth of ideas that we currently have. Let us imagine the fund of ideas that we could have obtained by now if we had allowed the individual his due right and position. We need to reinstate him in his rightful position which is lying vacant for centuries due to an uncalled for dismissal of him.

Refocusing on the individual the Indian Muslims can do wonders. They can blaze a trail and can serve as a very good example for the rest of the world. Let us not forget that we had individuals first. This is why we feel the individuality of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (r.a.) till date. Let him be the last.

[Dr. Wasim Ahmad is Department Head of Islamic Studies, Preston University, Ajman, UAE. He can be contacted at malikwasimahmad@gmail.com or +971505363235]

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