Modi implementing political guru Subramanium Swamy's idea: 'BJP must unite all Hindus and divide Muslims'

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 26 August 2013 | Posted in , , , ,

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani 

Ahmedabad: Gujarat chief minister and Prime Ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi wants to reach out to Muslims to secure at least 25 percent Muslim votes. He says he did the same in Gujarat.

In a conversation with this Correspondent renowned civil rights and anti-communalism activist Prof. J. S. Bandukwala says that Narendra Modi seems to have accepted Subramanium Swamy as his political guru and as Chairrman of BJP National Election Campaign Committee has started implementing the idea proposed by Swamy that BJP must unite all Hindus and divide Muslims.

"Our community is largely illiterate and poor. A few educated and business oriented Muslims will reach out to Modi and the BJP, to secure adavantages of power and wealth. This has happened in Gujarat too. Every society has its Mir Jafars. But to say that Muslims in Gujarat have voted 25 percent for him is totally bogus. No Assembly constituency in Gujarat has more than 50 percent Muslim voters, except Jamalpur Khadia. But multiple Muslim candidates lead to the victory of BJP candidate. That does not mean that Muslims are voting for the BJP. Modi needs to assure his core constituency of big corporates and middle class that his becoming a PM will not produce any negative reaction from Muslims. Hence these PR exercises, in which Modi is a past master," said Prof. Bandukwala.

Senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil refuted Modi's claims and said that not only Muslims, even secular Hindus do not vote for BJP in the leadership of Modi in Gujarat.

"In 1990, Congress had got 33 seats with 30 percent vote share, but it got double the seats and vote share of 40 percent in 2012 after Modi came to power. Mahatma Gandhi bought pride to Gujarat by showing path of Truth, Chief Minister of that state who has earned name of Feku because of his constant lies should not bring disgrace to Gujarat. In the state of the Chief Minister who is giving all kind of advice on security, none is safe neither servants of Ram nor the followers of Rahim," said Gohil.

Shaktisinh Gohil has challenged Gujarat Chief Minister for a open debate on his claim that 20 to 25 percent Muslims in Gujarat had voted for him. In his open letter to the Chief Minister, he has given facts and figures of several booths to drive home the point that CM’s claim was a blatant lie. Not only Muslims, even secular Hindus do not vote for BJP in the leadership of Modi in Gujarat, he said.

In 1990, when there was no trace of Modi in active politics of Gujarat, Congress had got 33 out of 182 Assembly seats with 30 percent vote share. In 1995 Congress got 32 percent votes. After the entry of Modi in Gujarat politics, Congress got 38 percent votes with 51 seats in 2002. In the last elections in 2012, Congress got 61 seats and its vote share was 40.50 per cent. In addition to this NCP got two seats. Thus, it is clear that as compared to 1990, Congress got almost double seats in 2012. The main reason for this, he said, is voting of secular voters against the Chief Minister and the ego of the Chief Minister.

Giving details of Muslim dominated constituencies, Gohil said, it is obvious that Modi has not got votes of seculars. Quoting from the record of the Election Commission, he said, in Vejalpur Assembly segment in booth Vejalpur 134, BJP got only 14 out of 882 votes cast while in Vejalpur 135 it got 18 out of total 1132 votes polled. In Vejalpur 138 it got only 9 out of 914. In Makarba 14, it got 14 of the 1075 votes.

Giving example of another such constituency, Jamalpur-Khadia, he said that in Raikhad-2 , BJP got only 9 out of 460, in Raikhad-3 it got 18 of 846 votes, in Jamalpur -1 it got 39/843, in Jamalpur-2 24/1097and in Behrampura-38 BJP got 15/1279.

Giving example of Surat city, he said that in booth 22 of Surat east BJP got only 6 of the 645 votes polled, in booth 63 it got only 3 of the 606 votes. BJP got 21/709 in the booth 65 of this constituency. In booth 138 the ruling party got just 14/590 votes.

In view of this, Gohil said, it is obvious that the constituencies which have lesser Hindu votes, Modi has got negligible share of Hindu votes. Wherever there are secular votes, BJP has got a very poor response, he said. Despite this Modi is spreading blatant lies of Muslims support. He challenged Modi to come for open debate with his figures of 20-25 percent Muslim support. I will expose the lies of Modi, he said.

In his open letter to Modi, he said that Gujarat where Gandhi was born and who showed the path of truth to the world that Gujarat’s chief minister tells lies. People find out his lies and consequently words like feku for Modi become a trend on Twitter. This brings shame and disgrace to Gujarat. Gohil request Modi not to indulge in lies and not to bring disgrace to Gujarat.

In a open letter to the Chief Minister Gohil said that before giving advice on security the CM should first see state of affairs in his own state. In 1982 hundreds of karsevakas from Gujarat had gone to Ayodhaya but not a single person was affected. Governments in the past have been always worried about the security of all irrespective of their religion. But after garnering votes in the name of Ram the CM has failed to provide security even to Ram bhakts. After burning alive followers of Ram the CM burned followers of Rahim just to strengthen his vote bank. Modi has not provided security to either hindus or Muslims.Not only that he has killed innocent people branding them as terrorist through fake encounters just for his vote bank.

Gohil said that if claims of the state’s development in Modi regime were true then percentage of Congress seats and votes as in earlier BJP rule should have declined but the fact is that like fake encounter, fake figures the claims of development of the state are also fake. Consequently Congress has fared better and not only its seat but percentage of votes has also increased.

The CM who is spending crores of rupees from the state exchequer for marketing his so called development model does not speak about development during poll time. Instead he creates rift between Hindus and Muslims fuelling an atmosphere of fear and then garners votes by spreading blatant lies.

During every election that has come after Modi has become CM he talks only about Afzal Guru, Miya Mushraf and celebrations in Pakistan if Congress wins, hindus not safe if Congress won and in the last election he won votes by claiming that the Central government would give away Sir Creek to Pakistan.  This shows that the CM cannot get votes in the name of development and  his model of development is also fake.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

Modi Phenomenon: An attack on Indian Democracy

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

By Ram Puniyani

Currently (August 2013) Narendra Modi is trying to dominate the media, print social and TV through his carefully constructed propaganda machinery and his potential of being nominated as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate by RSS-BJP. Modi has openly used the words like puppies dying under the car wheel, while referring to the victims of Gujarat carnage of 2002. He has also asserted that he is a ‘Hindu nationalist’. While most of the older allies of NDA, are deserting NDA, RSS-BJP hope that he will be able to win the 2014 elections due to his image of a non corrupt, efficient administrator who has taken Gujarat to the heights of development. In social media and other platforms the polarized section of Hindus and the section of middle class are very appreciative of Modi and are creating a delusion of his becoming the next prime minister.

All this is mostly a pipe dream. One knows that Modi is totally disliked by the victims of communal violence, most sections of religious minorities  Those who have gone deeper to the issue of Gujarat development model point out that it is more of a propaganda than reality. We still need to understand as to why ‘Modi phenomenon’ has arisen on the Indian scenario and the dangers of ignoring the politics represented by Modi as such. Even though he may not be able to be the PM after 2014 we need to realize that politics represented by Modi and his ilk is the politics of ‘Communal Fascism’, which at surface looks to be just against minorities, but as a matter of fact, aims to abolish democracy after usurping power through democratic means. Its agenda is to do away with the human rights of the dalits, Adivasis, workers and women in Indian context.

RSS-BJP: Rise in 1980s

Modi is a trained Pracharak (propagator) of RSS, deeply soaked in the ideology of Hindu nationalism, working for the agenda of Hindu nation. In the decade of 1980 multiple factors at global and local level led to the rise of conservative middle classes, the petty industrialists, the rich farmers, the affluent professionals, who are always for the politics of status quo. During this time the global changes, the creeping globalization was on and the attacks on working class movement were stepped up. RSS-VHP during this phase started promoting the religiosity all round. Using the Shah Bano judgment as the pretext, RSS launched the tirade against secular values by putting forward the word ‘Pseudo secularism’ and phrases like appeasement of minorities.

In this backdrop Advani started his Rath Yatra for Ram Temple. In the country where the dire need of basic amenities for life and the need for protection of the human rights of weaker sections of society are paramount, the RSS combine deliberately brought forward the issues related to identity of a section of Hindus. At the same time their propaganda targeted the religious minorities, a mix of distorted version of history, and presenting the victims as culprits. The rath yatra of Advani created the atmosphere of ‘Hate towards minorities’ and this led to series of acts of violence.

The major outcome of this campaign for Ram Temple was that the issues related to human rights and the bread, butter, shelter and employment issues got relegated to the background and social-political scene started revolving around the identity issues. As a part of the communal politics unleashed by RSS combine, the anti Christian violence in Adivasis areas also got stepped up. In these areas the corporate giants want to have a free hand and have been able to encroach the lands of Adivasis.

RSS Combine: Epitome of Communalism

RSS began in India during the freedom movement as an organization opposed to the freedom movement, opposed to the concept of Indian Nationalism and harping on the glory of ancient Hindu kings, era of pastoral Aryans and ancient Hindu scriptures. RSS began as a response to the struggle of dalits for their land rights and the rising opposition to the values of Brahminism prevalent in the society. The non Brahman movement was inspired by Jotiba Phule and Dr. Ambedkar. As the average people started coming up in the society, started participating in the freedom movement, the elite-upper castes sections felt threatened and they came together to form Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This organization began by holding shakhas, and developed a training module according to which this (India) is a Hindu nation from times immemorial. The freedom movement’s values of incorporating people of all the religions in the movement were not acceptable to them. They trained the young boys into swayamsevaks, who took oath to work for Hindu nation. They also kept totally aloof from freedom movement. RSS was founded by the Chittapvan Brahmins and is an exclusively male organization.

RSS went on to form various subordinate organizations like Rashtra Sevika Samiti (for women). In this name the word swayam is missing as RSS being a male dominated patriarchal organization, it believes in the inherent subjugation of women as secondary beings. Later RSS went on to form Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad, (Student wing), and then in collaboration with Hindu Mahasabha it formed Bhartiya Jansangh, the previous avatar of the present BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (for bringing together different Hindu sects under the control of RSS) Vanvasi  Kalyan Ahsram (to work amongst Adivasis to Hidutvise them), Bajrang Dal as its foot soldiers (for unleashing street violence against religious minorities) and many other organizations like Durga Vahini etc.

On similar lines it began many an institutions to propagate its views (weeklies like Panchjanya and Organizer), started Sarswati Shishu Mandirs and Ekal Schools for Adivasi children. Its ideological spread was achieved through spread of brahminical norms through various channels. Infiltration of its RSS swayamsevaks into the state apparatus, police, military, bureaucracy is also very deep.

The ideological indoctrination

Through its shakhas it started spreading the hate for minorities, opposition to the values of secularism and Indian Constitution. This relentless opposition went on through many other channels also. It also made inroads to the IT professionals by the web meetings called IT milans (Gathering). The social media also was and has been used by RSS combine in a very effective way. To add to all these many a Godmen of the likes of Pandurang Shastri Athwaley, Asaram Bapu, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishnkar etc. started propagating the social concepts of RSS, the values of Hindu Nation through their subtle and direct activities. The result has been that the social scene has come to be dominated by the conservative thinking. Meanwhile RSS also popularized the word, Hidnutva. This word Hindutva stands for the politics based on Brahimincal values of caste and gender hierarchy. Mistakenly the politics of Hindutva is supposed to be ‘a way of life’ by many.

Throughout the decades of 1960 and 1970 there were sporadic episodes of violence. This led to polarization of the religious communities and provided the ground for rise of electoral strength of communal party. In the decade of 1980s, with the Ram Temple campaign picking up, the intensity of violence also started going up. Major episodes of violence took place in various cities of North India. All this was dwarfed by the communal violence Post Babri demolition. The violence in cities like Mumbai, Bhopal and Surat was too horrific for words. The violence unleashed in Gujarat on the pretext of Godhra train burning shamed the nation as a whole, beyond all previous acts of violence.

Modi: Gujarat Violence and After

The post Godhra violence was a sample of the way state can actively promote violence. So far in the communal violence in India, the police, the state had been by and large an onlooker, mostly police siding with rioters. In Gujarat the equation was worsened much further with state, led by Modi actively promoting violence. Though it is claimed that Special Investigation team has given the clean chit to Modi, the fact is that based on the same report, the Supreme Court appointed Amicus Curie Raju Ramchandran feels the report has enough evidence to prosecute Modi for his role in 2002 violence. After the violence the state of Gujarat totally washed its hands off the responsibility to rehabilitate the violence victims. The process of marginalization of religious minorities went quite far. A large section has been living in ghettoes in Ahmadabad itself, while their civic and political rights have been trampled and they are living like second class citizens. There is an intense propaganda that Gujarat is most developing state, the fact is that Gujarat was already amongst the more developed states, the claims of huge investments through Vibrant Gujarat summits have little substance in them, promises have been more than the actualizations. The real indices of social development are lagging behind. The rate of employment generation is very low, Gujarat is low on the per capita spending, the Hemoglobin level of pregnant women is on the lower side and sex ratio has also fallen during last one and a half decade.

Hindutva: Electoral Strategy

RSS combine has been entering into the electoral arena by and by. While in 1984 elections when it was giving the slogan of Gandhian socialism, it had only two MPs in Lok Sabha. In 1996, it went on to more than 150 MPs and it emerged as the largest single party. That time no other electoral party was willing to ally with it. The BJP government fell. After going through couple of ‘third-front’ experiments, BJP managed to cobble up the coalition, National Democratic Alliance. For this it had to give up the core issues of Ram Temple, abolition of Article 370 in Kashmir and Uniform Civil Code. This strategy worked and BJP led NDA ruled for nearly six years. During this time it communalized the text books and recruited RSS volunteers in to various government schemes and supported many NGOs with RSS agenda and RSS got a big boost in the political arena and its dominance was painfully perceptible in different walks of life.

The Hindutva combine knows that it was so far not able to come to power on its own. Now it is hoping that it will go with aggressive Hindutva agenda and by coming to power on its own it will bring in Hindu Rashtra.

Agenda of Hindu Rashtra- Hindutva Politics

Modi is the aggressive form of Hindutva agenda. He has openly started saying that they believe in Hindu nationalism. This is a subtle and open hint at the communal fascism which RSS combine, of which Modi is the major leader, wants to bring in. The major support base for RSS combine, more so with Modi at the helm is the corporate sector on one hand and the middle level corporate employees, the Information Technology-MBA groups on the other. Modi has demonstrated in Gujarat that he can open all the state coffers for the industrialists, land, loans and necessary paraphernalia. This has impressed the corporate sector and they are pitching for him in a large way. The corporate media has uncritically propagated his claims about development. The social welfare schemes have been kept in abeyance, due to which the poorer sections are suffering. As for as minorities are concerned all the central schemes related to Sachar Committee are not being implemented, the scholarship funds for the Muslim students is being returned back year after year. Modi in this sense is ruthless as for as schemes related to religious minorities are concerned.

He is the choice of corporate, middle classes, the traders and the RSS support base. Each of these has their own understanding of Modi and he fits in to the bill of these all. Corporates think he will give them a free hand to plunder, the middle classes know Modi is the best guarantee against social change for betterment of the deprived sections and religious minorities. The RSS, discarded Advani on two grounds, one that he made that statement about Jinnah being secular and other that he is on the wrong side of the age. RSS, the real controller of BJP and other affiliated organizations see in Modi a ruthless swayamsevak out to bring in Hindu Rashtra.

Way Ahead

While Modi and RSS agenda is being projected and Modi’s rise is being anticipated it is clear to most that Modi’s coming into the top of power ladder will instill an autocrat who will soon follow the path of Hitler. Our country is rich of diversity with varying interest groups, who know Modi-RSS are going to impose Hindu Rashtra a synonym for communal fascist state. This diversity of the country and the realization of this sort amongst large sections of Indian voters should wake up to this danger to our democracy and ensure their defeat in the electoral area. While RSS combine and corporates will try their best to prop him up, the large section of Indian electorate should not be taken in by such propaganda, as Modi’s reality is too well known to most by now. Though Modi is trying to project as if he is changing his profile and becoming liberal, one knows that a leopard cannot change its spots. And that is the reason as to why Modi’s tricks on the electoral arena should be made to fail in the coming elections.

The responsibility of ensuring that mishap of Modi’s victory does not take place will also rest on the progressive sections of society, the sections who are getting affected by the agenda of communal politics and the religious minorities who have experienced the Modi’s deeds of commission and omission. The realization of this sort will be in the center stage of the progressive sections of society and it is crystal clear that they have to come up to fulfill this historic responsibility to understand the Modi phenomenon and to make the large sections of population aware about this truth. This truth they are trying to mask by the propaganda unleashed by Modi and his minions. Some facts are known and others will have to be made known to the struggling masses, which is the need of the hour for democratic movement in the country. While we have to intensify the struggle for human rights of all, we may have some differences, we also have to come together on this common goal of saving democracy which is being attacked by the communal fascist forces as represented by Modi and those who are prostrating in front of him.

Some people, ideologues try to argue that more violence has taken place in non BJP ruled party, that other parties are not truly secular. What we have to remember is that BJP as a party cannot and should not be compared with any other party, as BJP is not just and electoral party, it is basically the electoral wing of RSS, whose agenda is opposed to the agenda of secular democratic India, the dream of Indian nationalism, the dream of those who contributed to the ‘Making of the Nation-India’, the diverse streams represented by Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Ambedkar!

[Ram Puniyani is based in Mumbai and is a strong advocate of human rights. He can be contacted at ram.puniyani@gmail.com]

Election 2014 and the role of Muslim votes

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

Muslims want no special treatment from anyone; all they need is justice and fair share of the pie with dignity in accordance with their numbers

By Aijaz Zaka Syed

What is the reality of the Muslim appeasement by the Congress and assorted political parties? As India girds up for the battle 2014 and two principal parties dip into their bag of tricks, the issue is back in the spotlight. So is the minority community, bewildered at being forced from margins to the centre stage.

While the Congress portrays itself as an inclusive political force representing the resplendent diversity of the nation — a claim hard to ignore despite its myriad flaws and a long history of opportunism — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to resurrect the familiar ghosts of saffron pantheon. Muslim baiting is back in fashion as the opposition accuses the governing party of resorting to ‘vote bank politics’.

Recently, Narendra Modi, the much-touted prime ministerial hopeful of the BJP accused, the Congress of hiding behind “the burqa of secularism to cover its failures”, targeting both the grand old party and the community it is supposed to be mollycoddling. Congress’s Shashi Tharoor was quick to respond: “Burqa of secularism is preferable to khaki shorts of the Italian fascists.”

For once the party isn’t running away from this ‘secularism versus communalism’ debate and familiar taunts of Muslim appeasement. The Congress rejects the notion that it is either falling into the trap set up by the BJP or is deliberately playing along the agenda set by Modi in a bid to deflect attention from issues such as corruption, inflation and the economy.

The ruling party has finally mustered the courage to confront the BJP on its brand of divisive politics. All these years the Congress has tried to be all things to all people. And often it played both sides preying on the misgivings of the majority and insecurity of the minority. Having ruled India for better part of 66 years, Congress has sort of perfected the art.

In the wake of the Partition, Muslims instinctively rallied around the party and mostly stayed with it because of first premier Pandit Nehru, known for his liberal image, and stalwarts such as Maulana Azad, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and Zakir Hussain. In dutifully voting for the Congress, Muslims hadn’t necessarily bucked the national trend. If they supported the party, so did the rest of India. After all, it was the party that had led the freedom struggle.

However, Muslims had been little more than a vote bank for the grand old party even as the community’s condition steadily worsened. Under Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, things went from bad to worse. Even as they faced the combined onslaught of Hindutva forces and increasingly communal administration and police in recurring religious riots across India — from Bhagalpur to Bhiwandi and Maliana to Moradabad — the Congress exploited the community’s insecurity and fear psychosis to keep it forever under its thumb.

Paying lip service to its grievances and demands and using dumb politics of tokenism — an Iftar party here and some ‘Muslim’ dummies in ceremonial positions there — the Congress has presided over the meticulous marginalisation and dispossession of the community all these years. Within six decades of Independence, the minority has been driven to the margins of Indian society.

When the Congress returned to power nine years ago with Muslim votes having played a significant part in its victory, there were great expectations. Under Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, it was perceived as a different party. Clearly though, the more things change for the Congress and Muslims, the more they remain the same.

The elaborate studies and recommendations of government appointed panels — Justice Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission — remain on paper. On the other hand, hundreds of innocent Muslims have been languishing in jails across the country as terrorists or being summarily dealt with as Ishrat Jahan, Qateel Siddiqui, Khalid Mujahid and others have been.

No wonder many Muslims see little difference between the BJP and Congress; one is perceived as an open enemy while the other is seen as playing games forever calculating in terms of political constituencies and electoral profit and loss.

Rajiv Gandhi turned over Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid to Hindutva groups apparently to assuage Hindus’ anger over the Muslim Women’s Bill, brought in the wake of the infamous Shah Bano case. How an issue that concerns Muslims’ family laws affects Hindus is something only Congress pundits can explain.

India has paid and continues to pay a heavy price for those electoral gimmicks. Ironically, it was the Ayodhya agitation that helped the opposition BJP to transform itself from a 2-member outfit into the party of power and one of the two major parties today.

The Congress is too preoccupied with its too-clever-by-half calculations about the minority vote and majority sentiment to notice that it ends up squandering both. But in this cynical game of electoral poker and political one-upmanship, the real losers are the Muslims.

Muslims loathe the Congress for its treachery yet cannot help vote for it to keep out the Hindutva brigade whose raison d’être is their total subjugation.

So this perpetual tirade about the “Muslim appeasement” in Indian media isn’t just unfair and absurd, it’s downright silly. If Muslims had been ‘appeased’ and successive governments had doted on them all these years, would they be in the pathetic state they are in today?

Yet this brazen lie and narrative has been going around for so long and is so pervasive that everyone has unquestioningly embraced it. It’s not just the likes of Arnab Goswami who are forever beside themselves with righteous rage over proposals like fast-track courts to deal with Muslim ‘terror suspects’, more reasonable voices are peddling the same nonsense.

It’s fine if innocents are locked away for years without trial and without due process, as Delhi’s Mohammad Aamir and numerous others have been, but heavens would fall if hope of justice, however faint, is held out to Muslims.

God knows Muslims want no special treatment from anyone. They are not looking for favours and lollipops from governments or politicians. What they need is justice and their just and fair share of the pie with dignity in accordance with their numbers. Is that asking too much?

[Aijaz Zaka Syed is a Gulf-based commentator. Follow him on twitter.com/aijazzakasyed]

(Courtesy: Gulf News)

The changing face of Tamil Nadu’s Muslim politics

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

By A.R. Venkatachalapathy

Over the last year, agitations by radical Tamil Muslim groups have effectively influenced the Tamil Nadu government’s policies. In September 2012, the Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) and Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ) protested against the film, The Innocence of Muslims, and laid siege to the U.S. Consulate in Chennai. In early 2013, in the face of similar protests, Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam was first taken off the screens and exhibited only after cuts were made. Last week, a scheduled lecture by the Islamic scholar, Prof. Amina Wadud, at the University of Madras was cancelled in the face of threats to disrupt the meeting. The award-winning Tamil writer, commentator and observer of Muslim politics and culture Kalanthai Peer Mohamed tells historian A.R. Venkatachalapathy that it is worrying that Tamil Nadu’s Muslim community does not have representatives who can articulate the moderate viewpoint. Excerpts:

It is evident that political formations such as the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Indian National League (INL), which formed alliances with mainstream parties such as the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), and politically represented Muslims in Tamil Nadu, have lost their influence. In their stead, we see the rise of the TMMK and TNTJ. Can you place this in perspective?

The partition of India had its inevitable impact on Tamil Muslims. As the Muslim League vanished in North India, it was left to Muslims in South India to reorganise politically under the IUML banner in 1948. The venerable Quaid-E-Millath Muhammed Ismail gave cohesion and leadership to the IUML. Despite hailing from Tamil Nadu, he could comfortably win a parliamentary seat in Malappuram constituency in Kerala.

Tamil Muslims played an important role in the anti-Hindi agitation (1937–39) led by Periyar E.V. Ramasamy. How did the relationship between the Dravidian movement and IUML evolve in the post-1947 period?

After C.N. Annadurai and the DMK split from Periyar, Tamil Muslims maintained a cordial relationship with both the Dravidar Kazhagam (led by Periyar) and DMK. Periyar and Anna often appeared on Muslim platforms, usually on the occasion of Meelad-un-Nabi, and extolled the egalitarian ideas enshrined in Islam. The avowed atheism of the Dravidian movement did cause some friction but Tamil Muslims were largely comfortable with a Tamil identity that encompassed Muslims and other religious minorities.

What were the political benefits reaped by the IUML as a result of this alliance?

The IUML was an integral part of electoral alliances with the DMK, and regularly won seats in the Legislative Assembly. It was part of the winning combination in 1967 that routed the Congress. Quaid-E-Millath Ismail’s death in 1972 proved to be a major setback. In the same year, the DMK split. In the post-Quaid-E-Millath period, the IUML was largely content with representing the interests of Muslim businessmen. The IUML was hardly involved in political mobilisation or organising mass agitations. In the pursuit of vote bank politics, the IUML was wooed by both the DMK and AIADMK, finally leading to the split in the IUML. While Abdus Samad retained the leadership of IUML, the Indian National League (INL) was led by Abdul Latheef, considered close to M. Karunanidhi. There was a regional divide as well. Muslims, especially in north Tamil Nadu, who had gained from the DMK’s populist policies, for instance, in the public housing sector, backed the DMK. MGR won popular support from Muslims in the south.

A comment on the economic background of Muslims in Tamil Nadu may be appropriate here.

The better-off Muslims are involved in the leather industry, and run small textile shops, fancy stores and restaurants. Except for the leather industry, these establishments demand little capital and long hours of work. Large numbers are artisans and workers in the unorganised sector. The Muslim middle class is insubstantial. The businesses of the rich Muslims relied largely on Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia.

During the Gulf oil boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, Tamil Muslims, mostly youth, migrated from South-East Asia to the Middle East. The South-East Asian countries were multi-religious societies, in contrast to the Gulf monarchies. The dominant, purist Wahhabi tradition in the Middle East attracted these youth who began to disdain Tamil syncretic Muslim practices. Islamic reform organisations were formed. Dargah worship, the adulation of saints and their tombs, seen as un-Islamic, came in for sustained condemnation. Social practices such as dowry were derided. The Gulf boom, the decline of the moderate IUML/INL and the rise of Wahhabi Islam proved to be a potent cocktail.

This period coincided with the rise of Hindutva politics in India — the Ram janmabhoomi controversy was singularly influential in Tamil Muslim politics. The Shah Bano verdict was seen as interference in the Shariat.

Muslim puritan groups capitalised on the weakness of the IUML/INL. What started as an anti-Dargah campaign soon entered the town, street and home, and vertically split the community. Jamaat, namaz, Id celebrations — everything became two. Youth who returned from the Gulf brought new practices. The gaiety, amity and togetherness that characterised earlier social religious occasions were now lost. The groups championing Thowheed (the Oneness of Allah) argued against the Shafi, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools of jurisprudence and in effect became a fifth school.

What forces emerged from this chaos?

In 1995, the TMMK was formed. The Babri Masjid destruction was the prime trigger for its launch by M.H. Jawahirullah, P. Jainul Abideen, S.M. Bakkar and others. The violence following the Babri Masjid demolition — the anti-Muslim riots and bomb blasts — and the action and inaction of the police, intelligence agencies and courts pushed Muslim youth into the hands of radical groups such as the TMMK.

What other incidents, both national and global, affect this politics?

Paradoxically, the attacks on a non-puritanical, even secular, regime like Saddam Hussein had an alienating effect on Tamil Muslim youth. But a particularly localised event had the greatest fallout. In November 1997, a traffic constable named Selvaraj was murdered by Muslim youth in Coimbatore. The insensitive handling by the police influenced by Hindutva propaganda, eventually culminated in the gruesome Coimbatore serial blasts on February 14, 1998 leaving 58 people dead and over 200 injured. This tragic event coloured subsequent politics. It became an indelible blemish on Tamil Muslim identity. A largely secular state came under the influence of communal politics.

What was the fallout of this for radical groups such as the TMMK?

It cut both ways. If youth flocked to radical groups, the community also began to wonder if the rise of such outfits was not at the root of such violence. Some even began to long for the good old days of moderate IUML politics. Muslims also became wary of the fact that no political party was exempt from playing ball with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for electoral considerations. The alliance forged between the DMK and BJP in 1999 was perhaps akin to crossing the Rubicon.

Within the TMMK itself, a radical wing emerged led by the charismatic P. Jainul Abideen who formed the TNTJ. The TMMK remained committed to its founding Wahhabi ideals, but expanded its scope to address other social issues concerning the community including reservation. The Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), the Humanist People’s Party, formed in early 2009, is an outcome of this goal. An important aspect of its coming of age was its alliance with the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections and the capturing of two seats. The TNTJ, largely a one-man show, eschews electoral politics, and confines itself to its communal ideals. It blindly backs acts of omission and commission committed by the Arab world under the garb of Islam. When the whole world found revolting the beheading of the Sri Lankan Tamil Muslim girl, Rizwana, Jainul Abideen vociferously justified it. It’s worrying that the community in Tamil Nadu does not have representatives who can articulate their voice in a reasonable manner within a broad humanistic and universalistic framework.

How do you respond to the silencing of Dr. Amina Wadud?

It is a pity that we have been deprived of an opportunity to listen to the views of a renowned scholar. People who disagree with Dr. Wadud should articulate their views and refute them. Historically, Islam has been enriched by debate and varied interpretations.

(Courtesy: The Hindu)

Is India for Hindus only?

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

By Sanjay Kumar

The Hindu right-wing government in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh finally withdrew the order that aimed to introduce lessons from the religious text, Bhagavad Gita, into school curriculums.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — the ruling party of Madhya Pradesh — came under heavy criticism from Muslim organisations and secular political parties, for its attempt to alter the secular character of the Constitution. Members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) blamed the government for the communalisation of the school textbooks, attempting to indoctrinate young minds and sowing the seeds of prejudice among communities. The Congress Party also attacked the BJP for tampering with the secular spirit of the country.

Previously, the BJP-led government in Delhi that ruled from 1998 to 2004, made serious attempts to change school textbooks and rewrite history. The whole idea was to teach younger Indians a history which did not reflect the diversity of India and portrayed it as a purely Hindu nation.

Let us not forget that in the Gujarat riots of 2002 — where thousands of innocent Muslims were killed by Hindu fanatics — the indoctrinated tribal people played a prominent role. Moreover, the BJP’s presence in Gujarat, for 15 years or more, has communalised the state to such an extent that any debate about the country’s plurality receives derision from middle and upper classes of society. The western Indian state has become a laboratory of radical Hindus.

Infiltration into education is part of the larger game plan of undermining the religious diversity of India and the fountainhead of this project is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — the ideological godfather of the BJP.

Narendra Modi, a radical Hindu leader and the chief minister of Gujarat — who was the architect of the Muslim massacre in 2002 — is the product of this school of thought. He is the presumptive prime ministerial candidate of the BJP and poses a very serious danger to the pluralistic tradition of the nation. His rise in Indian politics forces Indians to make a choice: do they want to see India as a modern, plural country or as a nation intolerant of other cultures and faiths?

Even during the freedom struggle, the RSS and its cohorts were busy propagating its communal agenda and after independence, in 1947, the organisation continued with its divisive agenda, which led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi at the hands of a Hindu zealot. Much before Islamic terror became a buzzword, the RSS laid the foundation of Hindu terror in modern India. The violence in Gujarat, in 2002, against a minority population was the extension of that terror.

The overwhelming secular and liberal forces in the country need deep introspection. Can they allow their nation to be a playground for rabid communal forces that are out to radicalise society?

Sixty-six years ago, Indians made a pledge to establish a modern, pluralistic and secular democracy; the time has come to redeem that pledge again and reassert the people’s faith in the basic principles governing the nation.

The radicalisation of the main opposition party, the BJP, is a matter of concern. It is making a serious bid to capture power, in Delhi, next year. If that happens, then what the Madhya Pradesh government is attempting to do today, the BJP will try to replicate tomorrow in other parts of the country.

Should Indians allow forces inimical to the idea of India to succeed?

[The writer is a New Delhi-based broadcast journalist, contributor to the magazine, The Diplomat and he tweets @destinydefier]

(Courtesy: The Express Tribune)

AMU introduces Bridge course for Madrasa pass outs

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

Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University has decided to introduce a Bridge Course for young Madrasa graduates, including males and females, for a full fledged participation and a proactive academic life on the University campus.

The one-year Bridge Course for Madrasa graduates will make them at par with any 10+2 graduate, or even better, enabling them to join most of the courses at undergraduate level.

The objective behind introducing this Bridge Course is to provide Madrasa graduates with a non-conventional training in mainstream knowledge to enable them prepare for institutionalized supplemental education and wider employment avenues.

The Bridge Course will focus more on innovative and interactive techniques where students and teachers sit together and discuss the study material. The syllabus of the Bridge Course includes English, Information Technology, Personality development and a course on contemporary Islam.

Madrasa pass outs, who wish to join the course, may send their application on plain paper after scanning their resumes to the amubridgecourse@gmail.com. The last date for submitting application is August 30, 2013. Further information regarding the course is available on http://www.amu.ac.in/newtenders/9403.pdf.

Why Muslims don’t win Nobel Prizes

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

While the West invested in innovation, Muslims did not

By Fakir S. Ayazuddin

“All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though”.

When I read this headline from an article by Richard Dawkins, I realised that he was at his Islam bashing best. I was at first offended, thinking that perhaps this was yet another attempt at denigrating Islam. However when considered that it is a fact that cannot be denied, then perhaps one should look deeper into the cause of such a lapse in the educational achievements between the Islamic culture versus the West.

The last bit was rather patronising, but unfortunately factual.

Over the last millennia the Muslims were way ahead of the west in their culture, and education. And stayed ahead till the renaissance, when art and science took root, in Europe. Till that time the West were hunter gatherers too busy in just surviving. After the Renaissance, the Europeans picked up the pace, and their interest and investment in education grew.

Then the invention of the steam engine by James Watt and then Stephenson in 1830 was used by the coal industry, and by steamers. This source of power was used in industry, textiles was the first to go from spinning wool by hand to spinning machines, designed and operated by engineers in the midlands. There was a close link between the inventors and the engineers —- education. The quantum leap was after steam power was applied to Industry, and—as they say, the rest is history. The discovery of oil, made the engine mobile, and the automobile was on its way. Aeroplanes were not far behind, in fact aircraft and automobiles were invented at the same time. After the induction of oil as the supply of power, and the mobility of oil as a power source.

In these years the west kept increasing their investment in education, adding to their inventions. Indeed Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and went on to make his fortune, and then created his Nobel Prize to benefit inventors, and thinkers. This is an example of the benefits of money being passed on to deserving recipients. There is no comparable example in the Muslim world.

In the same period, the Ottoman Empire built many beautiful mosques, but no schools of higher learning. The Muslims were kept at their primitive level of education, and even the great libraries of Baghdad were routinely destroyed. The value of education that the Holy Prophet had prescribed was ignored and wantonly destroyed. The west continued on its march of progress while the Muslims carried on in their pursuit of pleasure, spending their amassed wealth in frivolous and wanton excesses.

In the 19th century, with the advent of the automobile and aeroplanes, the pace of growth was exponential, with Nobel prizes a yearly addition acknowledging invention and innovation.

The two World Wars changed the players, catapulting the Americans and Russians to the front with the Cold War fuelling a cutthroat competition. While the huge amounts of oil money that came the Arab way was mostly frittered away into the pursuit of physical comforts and carnal pleasures, not much was put into education. In fact a lot of money was invested in the colleges of the US like Harvard and MIT which have huge endowments from the Arab oil wealth.

Now, of course just the invention and spread of the internet has created probably the biggest leap in man’s knowledge – more than all the years preceding it. It is education alone that can expand the human horizon, into the huge unknown, creating knowledge for the coming generations. The internet has also freed mankind from all religious constraints.

(Courtesy: Pakistan Today)

Was Malala Yousafzai used for a larger US plan?

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

By Zafar Bangash

The attack on Malala Yousafzai on October 9, 2012 has evoked worldwide condemnation. From US President Barack Obama to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, all condemned the attack. The question is: why is Malala given so much prominence when other attacks on girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan go virtually unnoticed?

The attempt on the life of Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl from Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat Valley on October 9 has aroused worldwide outrage. Two other girls were also injured in the attack as Malala was returning home in a school bus. There were rallies in her support not only in Pakistan but some very high-powered global players also weighed in on her case. In what must be a first, US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown all condemned the attack on Malala as did most politicians in Pakistan. Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie suggested Malala should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize while Madonna put Malala’s name on her bare back!  

Let us get the basic facts straight before we proceed. She was attacked and badly injured when a gunman boarded the school bus she was riding home from school. The gunman demanded to know who Malala was. When another girl student pointed to her, the gunman opened fire, hitting Malala in the head and neck. The gunman also shot and wounded two other girls before escaping. The badly wounded girl was rushed to Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

After initial treatment at a hospital in Peshawar, Malala was airlifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Rawalpindi where Pakistan’s top neurosurgeons treated her. Once her condition stabilized, she was flown to Britain where she is now receiving rehabilitative care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Doctors have given a good prognosis of her recovery and say she will be able to resume normal life after some reconstructive surgery to her skull.

It is impossible not to sympathize with Malala, a young girl with large beautiful hazel eyes peering from her innocent face, and her naturally distraught parents. It is shocking that a young girl would be targeted for simply wanting to go to school to acquire education, which is her birthright as it is of millions of other young girls in Pakistan as indeed elsewhere in the world. What kind of beasts would want to harm a young girl doing no more than acquiring education?

But who exactly is Malala Yousufzai to attract so much international attention? What about the two other girls that were injured in the same attack? Even their names are not widely known, much less information about their parents. Apart from the fact that they are out of danger, there is little that we know about their plight. Are they not worthy of attention and sympathy? Within days of the assault on Malala, American troops killed three Afghan children on October 14 in an aerial attack in the Nawa district of Helmand Province in Afghanistan. It may not be adjoining Swat Valley but is not very far either from where Malala was attacked and injured.

As is customary, the US military initially described the bombing as a “precision strike,” that was reportedly aimed at several Taliban fighters who were allegedly planting an IED in the road. The attack, however, killed three children. Does anybody know the names of those three innocent Afghan children, all members of the same family collecting dung for fuel in the grinding poverty of Afghanistan despite 11 years of America’s showering the country with cruise missiles and trillions of dollars in “aid”? For the record, the three children were Borjan, 12; Sardar Wali, 10; and Khan Bibi, 8 but do not expect Obama, Clinton or any other Western official to rush to the microphone to name these children or condemn the cowardly attack that snuffed the life out of three innocent children. That would not serve America’s “national interest” nor would keeping statistics of the hundreds of children murdered by American drones in Pakistan’s tribal region since 2004. On October 20, American forces killed four more children in Afghanistan. There is no mention of their names; it is safe to assume we will never learn their names. Another batch of Afghan children have been slaughtered for the sake of protecting and projecting “US interests.”

On October 12, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani whether her government would now go after the Taliban in North Waziristan? To her credit, Ms. Rabbani pointed out that when the Pakistan army launched its operations in Swat in the summer of 2009, most of the militants fled to Afghanistan’s Kunar province. They were sheltered there while the US and its allies keep demanding of us to go after the Taliban and their supporters in Pakistan. One Pakistani general asked in the wake of the Malala attack: are the Taliban from Pakistan really such a threat to US security? The overwhelming majority of Taliban are inside Afghanistan. Why are the US and its allies incapable of dealing with the problem at its source instead of demanding that Pakistan “do more”?

So we come back to the question: Who is Malala Yousufzai and why has she been turned into an international icon? She even has entries on Wikipedia. How many Pakistani students, much less a girl from a remote town in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, have such entries? Is it possible that unknown to her, Malala was being used in a larger US plan by first building her profile, then deliberately releasing information to make her the target of an attack in order to force the Pakistani military to launch an operation in North Waziristan that the US has been demanding for months? Not surprisingly, soon after the attack on Malala, calls were heard both within and outside Pakistan to strike at the Taliban in North Waziristan. As Hafiz Hussain Ahmed of the Jamiat-ul Ulama-e Islam asked: what has North Waziristan got to do with Mingora, where Malala was attacked unless this is part of a broader plan?

One cannot help but draw comparisons between Malala and a pregnant woman in the Bollywood movie Kahaani (Story). The pregnant Indian woman, Mrs. Vidya Bagchi, (played by Vidya Balan) sets out from London to search for her husband who has gone “missing” in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). The movie plot is quite involved but she ends up being used by a ruthless and arrogant intelligence agent named Mr. Khan (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui). He wants to trap a reneged intelligence officer-turned-killer who murdered 200 passengers on a commuter train using poisonous gas. A young police officer named Rana working for Mr. Khan is taken aback when he realizes what his boss is up to. Mrs. Bagchi is to be used as bait to lure the killer and to ferret out the mole inside the intelligence outfit who is helping the killer.

Rana asks Mr. Khan what is the difference between them and the killer if they are both prepared to kill innocent people (in this case, Mrs. Bagchi). Mr. Khan scolds his underling warning him against getting emotionally involved with Mrs. Bagchi and then tells him in a matter of fact manner, “He [the killer] is wrong and we are right because we kill to serve the ‘national interest’.” Is Malala in real life the equivalent of Mrs. Bagchi of the Bollywood movie? Let us explore this further.

Malala was born on July 12, 1997. Her father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, owns a number of for-profit schools. While almost everything else in Pakistan is going down the drain, for-profit schools and the closely related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are generously financed from abroad are thriving businesses.

It was a BBC reporter Abdul Hai Kakkar who discovered Malala in early 2009. His assignment was to find a courageous schoolgirl willing to share her experiences of the threats by Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) against girls getting education. The TTP led by Mullah Fazlullah was shutting down schools in Swat Valley as it flexed its muscles. Kakkar approached Ziauddin Yusufzai for help and he willingly offered his own daughter’s experiences.

The plan gelled into Malala, then 11 years old, writing her diary that the BBC World Service would put on its website under the title, “The Diary of a Pakistani School Girl.” In order to protect her identity, Malala was given the pseudonym “Gul Makai” (corn flower). The diary detailed Malala’s life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. One cannot help but wonder whether her father’s motive was in promoting girls’ education or he feared his income dwindling if the girls’ schools he was running were shut down.

Malala’s cover, however, was blown that summer when Adam B. Ellick of the New York Times featured her in two videos describing her family’s life as well as showed her at school. This was the time the Pakistani military was about to launch an attack on Swat Valley. What was the reason for the Times to go public with this information and who is Adam Ellick? Scott Creighton, a war veteran who writes for the blog the American Everyman, had this to say about Ellick on October 17. “Meet Adam Ellick, the Council on Foreign Relations member and apparent CIA mockingbird stationed at the New York Times. He’s the guy who helped create the Malala Psyop in the first place, the plan to bring for-profit school systems to all of Pakistan.”

The Times’ videos led to Malala gaining instant international fame. For the Pakistani media — print and electronic — this was a great opportunity to project their loyalty to America. That is where the dollar pipeline comes from. In the WikiLeaks cables released in 2010, the US embassy messages to the US State Department say Pakistani journalists are easily bought and can be made to do anything for a mere invitation to the US embassy. Despite such insulting revelations about their low character, the US-doting Pakistani journalists are not deterred.

Malala’s Times videos brought the Pakistani media flocking to her door. She began giving interviews in the print and electronic media. We need to keep in mind that she was barely 11 or 12 years old at the time. At the same time, she was appointed chairperson of the District Child Assembly Swat. Further accolades followed when the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, nominated her in October 2011 for the International Children’s Peace Prize. But there was something else that was even more striking. Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan who died on December 13, 2010, had also discovered Malala, or her enterprising father. Their picture together has gone viral on the internet. Why would Holbrooke, a no nonsense diplomat, be interested in Ziauddin Yousafzai unless there was a larger plan at work? Two months after Bishop Tutu’s nomination of Malala, the Pakistani government came up with its own award: the “National Youth Prize Award,” a first for Pakistan, that was given to Malala.

Her interviews on television were powerful and direct, even being blunt and provocative. It seemed as if the young Malala was deliberately being pushed to say things to provoke the Taliban. Here is what she said in one TV interview, “In a situation where a lifelong school break was being imposed upon us by the terrorists, rising up against that became very important, essential.” Considering that even Pakistani politicians surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards and other security detachments speak more guardedly, Malala’s statements, however, true, were bound to evoke a strong reaction. This is not to suggest that the Taliban are right or that they should be allowed to intimidate people but the reality is that unless there is adequate security against such threats, it would be prudent not to provoke them unnecessarily.

Even when reminded of the risks she was courting, Malala said her father, who worked for women’s education, supported her fully. Her mother was equally supportive, she said but the irony is that Malala’s mother is kept inside the house while the young girl is projected internationally. As Adam Ellick tells us, Ziauddin Yousafzai “was a bit traditional, and as a result, I was unable to interact with her [Malala’s] mother. I used to chide Ziauddin about these restrictions, especially in front of Malala. Her father would laugh dismissively and joke that Malala should not be listening. Malala beamed as I pressed her father to treat his wife as an equal.” (emphasis added).

Is Ellick truly a journalist working for the Times or a CIA spook? This is not mere conjecture; Pakistan is crawling with CIA operatives. Raymond Davis, the notorious CIA operative who supposedly worked for the US Consulate as a “security consultant,” shot dead two Pakistanis in broad daylight in Lahore on January 27, 2011. Vast amounts of weapons and other paraphernalia were recovered from Davis’ vehicle including vital information from his cell phone. He had been in regular contact with about 60 people that were on the US list of terrorists. After a few months, he was whisked out of Pakistan under a deal struck by the cowardly rulers of Pakistan. Davis is not the only case although he is the most notorious because he was caught in broad daylight. Blackwater (now renamed Xe Services) mercenaries are also crawling all over Pakistan. Regrettably, there are many retired Pakistani military officers, bureaucrats, journalists and civilians on the CIA/Xe Service payroll. These Pakistani mercenaries willingly violate Pakistani laws for a few dollars to serve their foreign masters.

For decades, the Pakistani establishment has been obsessed with the Indian intelligence agency RAW. In the last decade, Pakistan has become a battleground for the CIA, British MI6, Germany’s BND and the Israeli Mossad, to name only a few, whose agents roam every nook and cranny of the country, mostly disguised as journalists, aid workers or businessmen. So it is not surprising to learn that poor Malala was used as a pawn by these monsters that will stop at nothing to advance their nefarious agenda. It does not require a genius to figure out what the US-British-Zionist and their allies’ agenda in Pakistan is: to entangle Pakistan in a never-ending conflict with its own people from the tribal area to provide the pretext for grabbing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. For proof of this, one only has to read the October 21 piece published in the British daily, the Guardian, by Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst. He warned, on the eve of the third and final presidential debate that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons posed the “greatest security threat” to the US and urged both Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney to pay close attention to this.

There is one other dimension worthy of attention and that is what the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has done. He has launched a United Nations petition using the slogan “I am Malala” demanding that all children in the world should be in school by 2015. He plans to present the petition to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari later this month. Brown’s activities on behalf of Malala and indeed other children would sound more noble were it not for the fact he heads the “global campaign for charter, for-profit school systems.” There is tons of money to be made in this enterprise.

Brown’s campaign is supposed to work in tandem with the UN’s scheme run under the alluring title, “Education First.” This is a global public/private partnership scheme whereby not-for-profit institutions would be privatized. The “not-for-profit” institutions are run under the label, “Global Business Coalition for Education,” and set up by such Western — mainly American — corporations as Accenture, Hess, Chevron, Pearson International and others. Their targeted countries are Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria. One is constrained to ask, what interest do these multinationals have in promoting education in the third world, especially Muslim countries?

Let us be clear: the West and its corporations are not in the business of doling out cash to third world countries or care much about the children there unless there is a hidden agenda behind the façade of their good work. One is clearly to re-route the billions of dollars to their own pockets. The other equally sinister plan is to promote Western culture, thoughts and values by using the label of education. The third and equally sinister plan is to force targeted societies — in this case Pakistan — to launch military operations against its own people in North Waziristan to achieve America’s geo-political objectives.

Whether Malala knows it or not, if her father has any sense he would realize that his family is being used as dupes for America’s criminal enterprise. Malala is a tiny piece in this jigsaw puzzle.

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