RSS and Politics: Conspiracy is the Mantra

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 25 October 2013 | Posted in , , , ,

By Shamsul Islam

RSS specializes in double-speak and triple speak. In fact, the situation is so critical that it may be an understatement regarding RSS behavior. No other organization which claims to be committed to moral regeneration of India can compete with RSS in manufacturing lies. The current public manifestations of RSS for active participation in Indian politics, specially, forcing BJP to adopt Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate for 2014 elections is continuation of the same conspiratorial mind-set. In the aftermath of brutal killing of Father of the Nation, Gandhiji by committed and trained cadres of Hindutva camp, RSS was forced by Jawaharlal Nehru & Sardar Patel to write a constitution declaring that RSS would be "devoted purely to cultural work" and would not indulge in "political" activities. But the fact is not that cat is out of the bag now recently. Despite its assurances that it would not participate in politics to the Nation (on the basis of which ban imposed on it for being responsible for killing of Gandhiji was lifted), it is not first time that it has violated this cardinal pledge.

The most prominent ideologue of the RSS, MS Golwalkar, openly declared that it had political ambitions and wanted to control politics directly. It was in total violation of the pledge to the Government of India that RSS would not indulge in political activities. While addressing a gathering of top ranking RSS on March 16, 1954, at Sindi, Wardha, he said:

"If we say that we are part of the organization and accept its discipline then selectiveness has no place in life. Do what is told. If told to play kabaddi, play kabaddi; told to hold meeting then meeting….For instance some of our friends were told to go and work for politics that does not mean that they have great interest or inspiration for it. They don't die for politics like fish without water. If they are told to withdraw from politics then also there is no objection. Their discretion is just not required." [Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan, (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Volume III, Bharatiya Vichar Sadhana, Nagpur, nd, p. 32]

He continued to relish RSS ambition to control politics of a democratic-Secular India clandestinely and did not mind sharing this ambition publically. While addressing top level cadres of the RSS at Indore on March 5, 1960, this Hindutva ideologue, went on to declare:

"We know this also that some of our Swayamsevaks work in politics. There they have to organize according to the needs of work public meetings, processions etc., have to raise slogans. All these things have no place in our work. However, like the character in a play whatever role has been assigned should be portrayed with best of capability. But sometimes Swayamsevaks go beyond the role assigned to a performer (nat) as they develop over-zealousness in their hearts, to the extent that they become useless for this work. This is not good." [Ibid, Volume IV, pp. 4-5.]

We find here Golwalkar referring to the Swayamsevaks loaned to political offshoot as 'nat' or performers who are meant to dance to the tunes of the RSS. This fact should not be missed here that Golwalkar's above design of controlling the political arm was elaborated in March 1960 almost nine years after the establishment of Jansangh (the forerunner of the BJP) in 1951.

The RSS cadres who control the BJP keep on harping that BJP is an independent political organization and does not work under the dictates of the RSS. It is pertinent that one compares this claim with the facts available in the official publications of the RSS to know the whole nexus. The central publication house of the RSS, Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi, published a book in 1997, titled Param Vaibhav Ke Path Par (ON THE ROAD TO GREAT GLORY) penned by Sadanand Damodar Sapre, a senior RSS functionary. This book contains details of more than 40 organizations created by the RSS for different tasks. The preface of the book itself declares that,

"Without the knowledge of the different kinds of activities of the Sawyamsevaks (the volunteers of the RSS) the introduction of the RSS is incomplete. Keeping this in mind it has been attempted in this book to produce the brief information about the diverse activities of the Sawyamsevaks. This book covers the organizational status till 1996.We believe that this book will prove to be of use for those who want to understand the RSS along with the Swyamsevaks."

The BJP as a political organization figures prominently in it at number 3 out of 37 major outfits. The chapter on Jana Sangh/BJP describes in details how and why RSS created them.

This publication of the RSS also shows how the organization is run in a clandestine manner. It runs like a well-organized mafia through its subsidiaries and pocket organizations. There has always been a conscious attempt to create confusion about its different fronts which provide RSS with the opportunity to dissociate with any of these as per its convenience. For instance it used Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) for attacking Christians in late 1990s and when public opinion, media, judiciary and Parliament seemed to turn against it, RSS denied any relation with HJM. Moreover, when nefarious designs of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Dharam Sansad were exposed before the Nation, RSS announced that these were independent organizations. Interestingly, it was often seen mediating between the BJP lead government (1998-2004) and these outfits.

It will be interesting to know that many of these organizations have been organized on a true fascist and clandestine manner. For instance while giving the details of Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM), the book says,

"From the point of view of Hindu awakening this kind of forums (HJM) at present are active in 17 states with different names like 'Hindu Manch' in Delhi, 'Hindu Munani' in Tamilnadu, 'Hinduekjut' in Maharashtra. These are forums, not associations or organizations, that's why it is not required to have membership, registration and elections."

It is clear that such RSS organizations, "not required to have membership, registration and elections" are purposely created to avoid scrutiny by law and government. Such an organizational mode provides an opportunity to RSS to disown any individual or organization any time.

RSS resorts to underhand methods also to accomplish to execute its nefarious designs. Self-confession appears in clear words through a disclosure in Param Vaibhav Ke Path Par about a case in Delhi immediately after Partition: "Swayamsevaks had posed to have adopted Mussalman religion in order to gain the confidence of Delhi Muslim League for knowing their conspiracies." [Sadanand D. Sapre, Param Vaibhav Ke Path Per (Hindi), Suruchi, Delhi, 1997, p. 86.]

What these Swayamsevaks, impersonating as Muslims, on the eve of Independence were doing was made clear by none other than Dr. Rajendra Prasad who later became first President of the Indian Republic. In a letter to the first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel, he wrote on March 14, 1948,

"I am told that RSS people have a plan of creating trouble. They have got a number of men dressed as Muslims and looking like Muslims who are to create trouble with the Hindus by attacking them and thus inciting the Hindus. Similarly there will be some Hindus among them who will attack Muslims and thus incite Muslims. The result of this kind of trouble amongst the Hindus and Muslims will be to create a conflagration." [Rajendra Prasad to Sardar Patel (March 14, 1948) cited in Neerja Singh (ed.), Nehru Patel: Agreement Within Difference: Select Documents & Correspondences 1933-1950, NBT, Delhi, p. 43]

If our democratic-secular India is to be saved from anti-national conspiracies of RSS and its overt and covert outfits, it is high time that immediate measures are taken to investigate the activities of RSS. The Indian State must put in public domain the constitution of RSS and force the latter to adhere to it. RSS as a non-state organization is the biggest colonizer of estates and largest recipient of funds from abroad and India. Vast resources in its kitty and nefarious designs in its ideology make a deadly cocktail capable of undoing a democratic-secular India to the joy and amusement to the forces inimical to India. The Nation needs to move fast so that India does not turn into a Hindu Pakistan.

[Shamsul Islam is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Satyawati College, University of Delhi. He can be contacted at notoinjustice@gmail.com]

Hakeem Muhammad Saeed -- International Expert Of Eastern Medicine

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

By Rohail Khan

Asia’s most renowned Doctor, Scholar, Scientist, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, and Philanthropist, Hakeem Muhammad Saeed (B.Pham, M.Pharm. Ph.D) was a larger than life person. His multi-dimensional charismatic personality and fifty years’ services are fondly remembered even after fifteen years of his tragic assassination on 17th October 1998.

He was born on 9th January 1920 in Delhi, British India, in an educated and religious Urdu-speaking family. His forefathers and family were associated with the herbal medicine business, and had established the Hamdard Waqf Laboratories during the First World War.

Young Saeed attended a local school in Old Delhi and acquired mastery over Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English and Quranic studies. At age 18, he passed the university entrance test with distinction and went on to attend the University of Delhi in 1938. There, young Saeed obtained a B.Pharm and a B.Sc in medicinal chemistry in 1942.

Upon his graduation, young Saeed joined Hamdard Waqf Laboratories and participated in herbal research and formulating new medicines. In 1945, he obtained M.Pharm with distinction from the University of Delhi.

Following the independence of Pakistan on 14th August 1947, Hakeem Saeed settled in Karachi, established Hamdard Laboratories, and served as its managing director until his death in 1998.

In early 1952, Hakeem Saeed went to Turkey where he attended medical school at Anqara University and obtained a Ph.D in Applied Pharmacy in 1953. He returned to Pakistan and devoted his entire life to medicine research and social work.

Under his leadership, Hamdard Laboratories expanded branches all over Pakistan and stands out as Asia’s largest factory of traditional and herbal medicines. Hamdard Laboratories gradually diversified into medical research, higher education, publishing, and social work.

In 1985, Hakeem Muhammad Said founded “Hamdard University”, where he served as its first Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Medicine until his demise in 1998.

The most auspicious activity of his life is the establishment of “Madinatul Hikmah” - City of Wisdom.

Madintaul Hikmah, spread over thousand of acres outside Karachi, comprises of Hamdard University with affiliate institutions notably: Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Hamdard College of Eastern Medicine, Hafiz Ilyas Institute of Herbal Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Education and Social Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Information Technology, Hamdard School of Law, Hamdard School of Engineering, Science and Technology, Hamdard Public School and Hamdard Village School. Bait-al-Hikmah Library, part of Madinat-al-Hikmah, is one of the biggest and best-stocked libraries of South Asia.

A true patriot and loyalist of Quaid-e-Azam, Hakeem Saeed was always optimistic and enthusiastic about Pakistan and her future potential. He was a popular figure among both children and the youth. He started monthly “Naunehal Digest” and through his writings educated the growing children – future architects of Pakistan.

Hakeem Saeed authored over 200 books on natural and herbal medicine, philosophy, modern sciences, health and fitness, religion, literature, and social work.

In his later years, from 1993 to 1996, Hakeem Saeed served as “Governor of Sindh” and carried out extensive overhaul and reformation of the health and education departments.

In his lifetime, Hakeem Saeed treated various heads of states, dignitaries, and thousands of patients from all over the world. He arranged recognition of alternative medicine at various international bodies, particularly its accreditation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

[Rohail Khan, a Canadian-Pakistani with strong parental roots in India as well, is a Senior Banker and CFO based at Jeddah. He is also Chairman, Urdu Academy International (UAI), Washington, D.C. He can be contacted at rohailkhan00@gmail.com]

EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 concludes, emerges as important bridge to develop business between Europe, Asia and Russia

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

IMO News Service

The International Trade Fair EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 was held on October 3-6, 2013 in Kazan, Russia. EURO-ASIA EXPO plays the important role in the developing of business and mutual investment prospects between Europe, Asia and Russia.

More than 100 exhibitors from Russia, CIS countries - Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, foreign countries - Malaysia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and UAE presented their products and services at EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013.

Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has organized an exhibition within EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013. More than 30 Malaysian companies have presented construction, logistics, education services and franchises in Republic of Tatarstan for the first time.

On October 3 the Opening Ceremony of EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 was held. The Ceremony was opened with the recitation of Holy Quran. Linar Yakupov, Chief Executive of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency, Dr. Wong Lai Sum, CEO of MATRADE and Abdullah Al Saleh, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of UAE participated in the Opening Ceremony.

EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 was also visited by Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Republic of Tatarstan. He viewed the exhibition and the exposition of MATRADE and thanked Malaysian partners for participation in EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 and high level of exhibition organization.

On the first day of exhibition Halal Industry Forum was also held. Trends and prospects of Halal industry development in Russia discussed during the Forum. Representatives of GIMDEX (Turkey), NP, International Centre of Standardization and Certification of the Council of Mufties of Russia, Association of Halal industry of Kazakhstan, Russian Islamic University, Halal Standard Committee of Republic of Dagestan took part in discussion of actual problems of Halal Industry.

On October 4 Muslim Fashion Show organized by Russian Muslim Women`s Union was held.

Collection of 15 designers from Tatarstan, Russia and Kazakhstan were presented during the show.

Madina Zalyautdinova, Julia Islamova, Gulnara Kasimova and other designers have presented their collections of original clothes meeting the requirements of Sharia and propagandizing national traditions.

On October 5 the new world record was set. The longest Halal kebab was prepared within EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013. 500 kg of coal and 200 kg of Halal beef which was specially marinated on an original recipe were used to prepare kebab with the length of 180.9 m. More than 180 volunteers from Russian Islamic University, Global Shapers Community and Institute of economics, management and law and 20 coordinators were involved in preparation of the longest Halal kebab. Huge brazier was specially made for this event. The record was testified by members of the independent commission. All data were directed for registration to The Russian Book of Records and to Guinness Worlds Records in London.

At the end of the third day of exhibition the Organizing Committee of EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 awarded special prizes for exhibitors. The Organizing Committee presented Halal Standardization Committee, Kazan meat factory JSC (the Official sponsor) and Premjera LLC (the Technical sponsor) with letters of thanks. Three special awards were presented to MATRADE for Best Exposition, Kazan meat factory JSC for Best Marketing Decision and Pestrechinka LLC for Best Product Portfolio. The 10 figurines For Active Participation were awarded to PRAN Export LTD (Bangladesh), Boonradom Meelarp (Thailand), Cashmere Crafts (India), Tatarsun (Azerbaijan), Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Smolensk, Irada, EcoRusImport, Tatarmaster, Baltasinskii meat products LLC, Galiullin Ilgiz Gabdulbarovich (entrepreneur).

Participation in EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 gave exhibitors an opportunity to establish new business contacts, present products and services and increase sales.

The Organizing Committee of International Trade Fair EURO-ASIA EXPO 2013 hopes that number of exhibitors and partners will increase year by year and invites to participate in an exhibition in a new year.

A response to Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan's invincibility questionable, pragmatic approach for permanent invincibility needed

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

By Teresa Studzinski and Dr. David Leffler

An article published in Business Standard ("Pakistan's aerial defence impregnable: Nawaz Sharif," 11 Oct 2013) reports that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asserted that "...our enemy must know that Pakistan's aerial defense is impregnable." Regrettably, Sharif is not alone in thinking this way. Other prominent Pakistani leaders have also held identical opinions regarding Pakistan's alleged invincibility.

Invincibility of a nation is a laudable goal. Throughout time, scientists have applied new technologies to achieve it, and as history shows, with no success. Adversaries inevitably devise methods to counter any defense system, and no doubt they could do the same in Pakistan, as well as in any territory. As demonstrated by numerous terrorist attacks not only in Pakistan, but worldwide, conventional approaches cannot provide an effective defense against sudden acts of violence, or remove suicide terrorists willing to die for their cause.

This weakness above refers to all current approaches, with no exception. However, for the leaders who seek it, there is a solution to achieve the goal of true unquestioned invincibility. The method comes from the field of social sciences and modern statistics -- not from conventional approaches utilizing weaponry, and not from the field of politics.

The Global Alliance for Preventive Wings in the Military (GAPWM) requests that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his military leaders seriously consider, investigate, and deploy a scientifically-verified and field-tested approach for permanent invincibility. It has been validated by 23 studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Based on 25 years of research, it has been endorsed by independent scientists and scholars.

Where deployed by foreign military circles, it is known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). This preventive defense system works on the level of the unified field, where all the forces of nature are united. This human resource-based defense technology supersedes all others based on weaker electronic, chemical, and nuclear forces. As objective tool of modern statistics and research data show, the outcome is what we define as invincibility.

IDT involves creating Preventive Wings of the Military. Their warrior's daily routine includes two hours twice a day practice of a human resource-based technology, also known and researched as the Transcendental Meditation and its advanced TM-Sidhi program. As a military societal coherence-creating unit, they quietly practice these programs for about two hours, twice a day, seven days a week, preferably in a secure location. Their presence and operation does not need to be disclosed to achieve the effect of violence removal and conflict resolution.

Such coherence-creating groups have achieved positive benefits to society, shown statistically, in even just 48 hours. Modern statistical methods used in this research preclude chance or coincidence. The 23 studies carried out in developed and developing nations in all continents, including the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, constitute the largest and the most successful experiment in social sciences of the 20th century.

Teresa Studzinski
The IDT approach was used during wartime (leading to a reduction in fighting, number of deaths, and casualties, and progress toward resolving the conflict), and in peace (resulting in a drop in crime rate, drop in violent death index, decrease of misery index, drop in unemployment, and rise in a quality of life index). Societies using it perform extremely well in a very short time. This approach decreased the intensity of war in Lebanon in 1984 in a dramatic way in 48 hours, to name only one of the successful experiments.

In 1992, President Joaquim Chissano, Lt. Gen. Tobias Dai, and the Chiefs of Staff of the Mozambique military carefully analyzed the IDT research. They made a unanimous decision to adopt it for their country by training about 3,000 soldiers and 16,000 police. As predicted, violence dropped dramatically by 1993. Societies using these groups also become more self-sufficient. For instance, in Mozambique the economic growth reached 19%. Once the poorest world country in 1992, by 2000 it had moved up to be the world's fastest-growing economy.

Dr. David Leffler
If we are seriously considering national invincibility, we have to make sure that two factors are in place: Firstly, violence has to be effectively removed domestically and in the neighboring regions; secondly, prevention of its recurrence has to be scientifically controlled without infringing on any nation's freedom. All the approaches and strategies used currently fail to provide even one of these prerequisites of invincibility.

We live in the modern scientific world. Statistical methods and approaches have been used broadly on a daily basis in many fields. If there is a statistically validated solution available for violence removal and prevention, it should be utilized -- especially if previously used approaches have not been backed by rigorous research regarding their effectiveness to resolve conflict and bring stability. Therefore, they lack even a remote statistical guarantee of success.

If Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif really believes that Pakistan is "a peace-loving country" that "always strived for peace," then his "country would continue to play a responsible role in the comity of nations" if he and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces order the Pakistani military to use the unified field approach -- IDT method. If Sharif quickly acts, Pakistan could make history and gain international prestige by creating lasting peace.

[Teresa Studzinski, is the President of The Global Alliance for Preventive Wings in the Military, USA. Dr. David Leffler is Executive Director, Center for Advanced Military Science, Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, USA. He is the author of "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising -- Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace." He is on Twitter. Dr. David Leffler can be reached at drleffler@hotmail.com]

Greek engineer designs special SIM card for Muslims

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

A Greek engineer has invented a unique telephone SIM card designed especially to meet the needs of Muslim consumers.

Yannis Hatzopulos, an engineer from Greece, has designed a unique telephone SIM card for Muslims.

The SIM card includes applications such as a compass used to point to the direction of Mecca, a list of prayer times, a call to prayer and an Islamic calendar to name a few. The SIM card can be used on both smart phones and normal mobile devices.

The features included in the SIM applications toolkit can be activated and deactivated on demand.

Despite similar SIM cards being invented before, the fact that this one can work on normal phones as well as smart phones is set to make it a big competitor in the African and Asian markets.

Hatzopulos’ SIM card will be exhibited in the AfricaCOM fair in Cape Town, South Africa, on 12-14 November 2013.

Bluefish technologies will be promoting the SIM card in the Asian markets.

(Courtesy: World Bulletin)

National Convention on “People's Expectations on Budgetary Priorities from New Union Govt” to conclude today

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: A two-day National Convention is currently underway. It is being organised on “People’s Expectations on Budgetary Priorities from the New Union Government” from October 24-25 in the auditorium of the India Islamic Culture Centre in New Delhi.

The National Convention is being organised by the People’s Budget Initiative, (PBI), under the aegis of the New-Delhi based Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, (CBGA). The Charter of Demands prepared in this National Convention will form the basis of advocacy with the policymakers and members of legislature in the ensuing months.

As the country is gearing up for the next General Elections, efforts are being made by People’s Budget Initiative to assess people’s expectations on budgetary priorities from the new Union Government. In this regard, five Regional Conventions were held – in Ranchi (for Eastern Region), Bhopal (for Northern and Central Region), Hyderabad (for Southern Region), Ahmadabad (for Western Region), and Guwahati (for North Eastern Region) during 30th of September to 7th of October 2013. People’s Budget Initiative will also seek inputs from some of the national level civil society alliances/networks/ campaigns with regard to their expectations from the next government at the Centre. In order to consolidate the expectations emerging from the civil society organisations in different regions and the national level civil society alliances, People’s Budget Initiative is organising the National Convention

Also, some of the members of People’s Budget Initiative have carried out a study focusing on fund flow and fund utilization in a number of development schemes (viz. SSA, NRHM, NRDWP, NBA, MGNREGS and RKVY) in selected districts across a few States; the findings of this study would be released in the National Convention on the first day.

Meanwhile, apart from opening and closing plenary sessions the National Convention shall have six other session spread over two days.

It may be pointed out here that People’s Budget Initiative is a civil society coalition, which campaigns for the inclusion of people's movements, grassroots organisations and national and international NGOs in the policy processes that determine the priorities underlying government budgets in India. The members of this coalition are from people's movements, grass-root organisations, national and international development organisations, academia and the media.

While CBGA is a policy research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. Started in 2002 as a programme of National Centre for Advocacy Studies, (NCAS), CBGA was registered as an independent non-profit organisation in 2005. CBGA serves as the Secretariat of People's Budget Initiative.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

Aligarh Alumni Association celebrates Sir Syed Day, organizes traditional Mushaira in Washington D.C.

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

A report by Syed Naseem (PhD 1970), Kaleem Kawaja (Founder & Director of Association of Indian Muslims), & Sayed Naved (Engineering 1987)
The celebration of Sir Syed Day and the traditional Mushaira organized by the Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington D. C. on October 18th, 2013 was a thumping success, not only for the alumni of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) whose founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was, but also for a large number of Urdu speaking South-Asian-American Muslims. Even though only a small number of Southasian Muslims have studied at AMU, yet AMU carries a special and emotional heritage in the hearts and minds of a large number of Urdu speaking Muslims of South Asia. About 350 people from various age groups and walks of life enthusiastically participated in this event.

There were people from the older generation including alumni who graduated around 1940 to those who graduated in late 1990s, spanning half a century. With over 40 alumni from AMU attending this event, it leant much credibility to the event being a genuine celebration of the erstwhile Aligarh Movement that has uplifted the educational and socioeconomic levels of the South Asian Muslim community over the last hundred years.

In North America the preservation of literary Urdu and Urdu poetry is becoming increasingly difficult as the younger South Asian-American generation under age 45 is getting away from this rich heritage of their community. But about half of the large audience in this Mushaira appeared to be under age 45. In that sense this Sir Syed Day Mushaira did much to rekindle and reinforce the rich literary Urdu heritage of the South Asian Muslim community in Washington-Baltimore region and appeared to reverse the tide in a positive cultural direction.

This event provided ample opportunity and an enjoyable experience of meeting innumerable young and talented Aligarians and friends of AMU of the Washington-Baltimore area. The presence of two super-senior Aligarians, 1938 and 1945 AMU graduates respectively, greatly fascinated the juniors and helped capture the essence and sprit of the renowned Aligarh culture, tradition, and attitude of senior and junior partners of Aligarh style.

The event was held at the Silver Spring Civic Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, and the attendees packed the banquet hall to full capacity. Dr. Tahseen Mirza (MSc Zoology 1983), was the master of ceremony of the evening. The event started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Daniyal Khan, son of Dr. Rehan Khan (MSc Biochemistry 1981). Dr. Saeed Khan (MSc Chemistry 1980), read aloud the message from the current AMU Vice-Chancellor Lt. General Zameer Uddin Shah to the audience.

The Chief Guest Dr. Ruqqaiya Hussain (MBBS 1972), mother of Ambassador Rashad Hussain, President Obama's representative to Islamic world, who also attended the event, very eloquently described from her memory the life and mission of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and the environment of the AMU campus. She emphasized that AMU has done much to impart to us the skills, confidence, discipline, expertise, and binding force, that define the core identity of Aligarians .

Well known Urdu poet Ms. Mona Shahab, whose father and father-in-law both studied at AMU, recited a beautiful Nazm on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan that she had prepared specially for the event. Following the Nazm recitation, the alumni and their family members came on to the stage and collectively sang the inspiring AMU Tarana, “Yeh mera chaman haiy…..”. Over 40 AMU alumni present at the event came together to join the chorus. Included among the Aligs were Khalid Ali, MA 1938, and Owais Qarni, BSc 1945.

Mrs. Sheeba Naved, whose father studied from Minto Circle through PhD at AMU, recited Ghazals of renowned Urdu poets like Bahadur Shah Zafr, Mirza Ghalib, and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

The first part of the event concluded with Mr. Sayed Naved (Electrical Engineering 1987), Chairman of the Board of the Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC, delivering the vote of thanks and assisting the daughters of several Aligarians in presenting bouquets of flowers to Senior Aligs and elders of the Washington-Baltimore community. Pictures of the event can be seen at http://goo.gl/ue3cqQ

Following a sumptuous dinner, the attendees gathered in the hall to enjoy a three hour long delightful International Mushaira. Dr. Rehan Khan (MSc Biochemistry 1981), welcomed the audience and invited Mr. Mateen Yousuf to conduct the Mushaira. Poets from India, Pakistan, Canada, New York, Texas, New Jersey and Maryland entertained the audience with their soulful and invigorating Urdu poems. The poets included Gulzaar Dehlvi (India), Rukshanda Naveed (Pakistan), Zakia Ghazal (Canada), Naseem Syed (Canada), Fayyaz uddin Saib (MD), Mona Shahab (MD), Nausha Asrar (TX), Wakil Ansari (NY), Shaukat Fahmi (NY), Hafeez-ul- Haq (MD), Mahfouz Haidri (NY), Rashid Jamal (DC), and Khurram Yusuf Zai (VA).

With their sparkling poems four renowned lady poets, Rukhshanda Naveed, Naseem Syed, Zakia Ghazal, and Mona Shahab, who are very well known international poets and the rage of many mushairas in many countries, added a glorious distinction not only to the mushaira but also to the event as a whole. Their recitations in melodious tarannum created an enchanting atmosphere. Of course who can better the very senior and very renowned poet from India, Gulzaar Dehlvi. Gulzaar sahib thundered, cajoled and claimed the rich heritage of the Urdu language, Urdu culture and everything Urdu as superior to anything else in the whole world. And the audience echoing every verse he recited cheered him lustily. High quality poets from far away cities were willing to continue enlightening, and the audience wanted to stay till dawn, but alas it was well past midnight and the hall shutdown time approached and the mushaira and the event had to be concluded.

One is tempted to suggest that a program of such a high quality and diversity in such a friendly atmosphere is bound to withstand the test of time, and bring the Southasian community together, because it encompassed a wide variety of the interests of the Southasian Urdu speaking community and the AMU alumni. The audience cheered every few minutes and asked the organizers to continue on this path of promoting the social, cultural, literary and historic heritage of the community in the twin cities of Washington-Baltimore.

Jeddah Expatriates celebrate Eid-Ul-Azha with traditional fervor

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Rohail Khan

According to the latest figures from Saudi authorities, approximately 1.985 million pilgrims performed Hajj this year, 97% coming from abroad. Thanks to rigorous development works in process, the pilgrims experienced substantial improvements this year. Specially constructed two-storey “mutaaf”, around the Holy Ka’ba, provided extra comfort to the handicapped and privileged. The Safa-Marwa passage presented new renovated looks. Two expanded air-conditioned floors, recently completed, now easily allow 200,000 pilgrims per hour to perform “sayee” swiftly.

State-of-the-art Mina-Arafat train and the “walking tracks” have provided discipline, safety, and peace of mind to thousands of pilgrims commuting to and fro Mina. Indeed, the exemplary development works, being carried out under the direction of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, are being commended world wide.

Like very year, Expatriates living in Jeddah celebrated a festive Eid Al-Azha. Saudi Arabia’s western region inhabitants include one and half million expatriates mostly hailing from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Yemen working and living in Metro Jeddah and neighbourly cities of Rabigh, Yanbu, Taif, Makkah and Medinah.

Each and every aspect of Eid celebrations in Jeddah is traditionally similar to back home.

No need for being home-sick. We have every thing in Jeddah “to cure your nostalgia”.
 This time, half of the expatriates have travelled abroad while the remainder have chosen to spend the week-long Hajj and Eid holidays in Jeddah. Adhering to the Government advice, few expatriates went for Hajj in order to accommodate the incoming pilgrims from abroad.

Except for the Eid day, most malls and commercial centres were jam packed. The long hot summer having recently ended, Jeddawis can now enjoy the tranquilising sea breeze in the evenings.

Since last week, families shopped during the day and spent the evenings by the Corniche – Jeddah’s 40 kilometre sea side. Jeddah proudly boasts the world’s highest fountain at the Corniche (opposite Hotel Inter-continental). Yes, we have the honour. Jeddah fountain is higher then the Geneva lake fountain. The nearby Jeddah Marina is an upcoming venue for open-air exhibitions and fire cracker shows by the sea.
For most expatriates, this year’s favourite places for home shopping were malls like: Al-Andalus, Al-Salam, Haifa, Roshana, Tahlia, and Mall of Arabia. All the Carrefours and Pandas saw more shoppers this year, adamant to do the groceries till late night. Newcomers to Jeddah spent their time at the famous Ikea departmental store - looking around for furniture and fixtures for their new homes.

For Pakistani and Indian expatriates, the famous “desi outlets” in Al-Aziziyah showed extraordinary exuberance during the Eid Al-Adha season. Al-Aziziyah is a modern residential-cum-commercial district in Central Jeddah catering for everything that a Pakistani or Indian can demand.

South Hall in London, Queens in New York, Devon in Chicago, Artesia in Los Angeles, Dundas in Toronto - are “Desi Areas” for South Asians. In Jeddah, we have “AZIZIYAH” where you can find everything you may ever need for the Eid season. Whether you hail from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad or belong to Dehli, Bombay, or Hyderabad - Jeddah’s Aziziyah district is a good substitute .

This week in Aziziyah, fancy showrooms were found filled with traditional apparels and accessories freshly imported for both genders. Beauty salons worked day and night and minted extra bucks. Mini-markets, grocery shops, confectionary houses, and Mughlai restaurants saw more people this year.

In Jeddah, we have more than fifty Eidgahs (stadiums, grounds, mosques). Expatriates from Pakistan and India normally attend Eid congregations in Aziziyah, Rehab, Safa, Ashrafiyah, Baghdadiyah, Salama, and Rowdah neighbourhoods.

Like every year, the Eid prayer and the khutba was conducted promptly after sunrise.

Afterwards, most families visited each other’s homes. People exchanged Eid greetings and treated their guests with delicious sheer khorma, kachoris, kababs, gulab jamun, and mangoes.

The obligatory duty of sacrificing a goat or lamb was performed round the day. After the zoher prayers, most folks arranged “desi brunch”. Favourite dishes were Sheesh Tau, Nihari, and Biryani. The next best thing for most was Siesta (qelula) in the afternoon.

In Jeddah, just like back home, the Eid season and festivities continue for three days.

Two days before Eid Al-Azha, the elders were duly alerted by children to purchase sacrificial goats to meet the Eid obligation.

After the early morning Eid prayers at Jeddah’s Ahli Stadium, our visit to the livestock market outside Jeddah proved rewarding . As expected, the vendors were demanding sky-high prices. Depending on local or imported animal, the price ranged from SR 400 to SR 1,200 for a goat or a lamb. After careful due diligence, my colleagues and myself bought two good-looking goats each. Instead of bringing them to our homes – we wisely agreed to sacrifice them on the spot.

Like every year, the main social attractions during Eid holidays were families getting together for one dish parties. From spicy Mughlai dishes to juicy BBQs, the housewives were seen competing fiercely for the coveted award of “Chef of the Eid”.

This time, the insatiable youth observed the “holiday charm” by-the-book and were seen stuck to the televisions and play stations. Cricket enthusiasts were lucky this Eid.

Everyone was busy watching the test match between Pakistan and South Africa being telecasted live from Abu Dhabi.

We have green parks and corridors all around Jeddah. Children’s main demand was to be taken to parks and toy towns in the evenings. Here, the ever-famous Shallal, Atallah, and Chucke Cheese are the best spots where you can spend hours enjoying roller coasters and video games.

This weekend, various cultural organizations shall be holding Eid Milan parties at Jeddah’s leading hotels. It’s up on the grapevine, a “Urdu Mushaira” (poetry event) is being organized to commemorate Eid-Al-Adha by the Halqa-e-Danish, a distinguished Jeddah-based literary society.

[Rohail Khan, a Canadian-Pakistani with strong parental roots in India as well, is a Senior Banker and CFO based at Jeddah. He is also Chairman, Urdu Academy International (UAI), Washington, D.C. He can be contacted at rohailkhan00@gmail.com]

Pakistani Jagjit Singh 'Imran Seher' thrills Karachi with mesmerizing ghazals

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 24 October 2013 | Posted in , , ,

By Rohail Khan

Jeddah-based Imran Seher won the hearts of 1,200 Ghazal aficionados at the Karachi Arts Council on the eve of 11th October 2013.

Launched and co-sponsored by Rohail Khan, Talent Promotion Inc, the event was organized to commemorate the 2nd death anniversary of Ghazal Maestro Jagjit Singh.

The lush green open-air theatre of Karachi Arts Council was pleasantly decorated for the occasion.

From 9 pm until 2 am, the presence of 1,200 multi-cultural people from all walks of life along with Karachi’s tranquilizing sea breeze made the musical evening ‘soulful and unforgettable’.

Shoaib Siddiqui, Commissioner Karachi, while inaugurating the event, stressed the need to protect traditional values and cultural ethos. He encouraged international talent promoters to identify and promote new talent from Pakistan.

The event’s host, well-known celebrity Ms Roshni Kaukab, offered glowing tribute to Ghazal legend Jagjit Singh and aptly described his life and achievements. Jagjit Singh’s life-long admiration and friendship with Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali speaks volume of his own greatness.

Imran Seher is a passionate ghazal singer. Urdu poetry and music runs in his blood. He received formal training from Ustad Zameer Ahmed Khan of the Rajhistan Classical Gharana. God-gifted Imran Seher has mastered Jagjit Singh and is regarded “Pakistani Jagjit Singh”.

For five hours, Imran Seher won every one’s heart and majestically performed forty ghazals and geets of Jagit Singh. The audience was mesmerized with his rich voice and musical prowess.

Special guests - visiting from abroad - warmly appreciated the event as a medium to promote Urdu culture and music.

Sameer Akber, Music composer from Mumbai, admitted: “International and local media have shown extraordinary interest in the Ghazal event. This is a good sign for new talent from all cultures and backgrounds”.

Pooja Mukherji, Social worker from Dhaka, commented: “The mega event has set new trends to offer well-deserved tributes to folk heroes and cultural icons”.

Sardar Waqar Abbasi, Industrialist from Toronto, stated: “Jagjit Singh will be remembered forever by music lovers from all over the world. The death anniversary of this Indian legend is being arranged in Pakistan. Let me confess, this is a great gesture of goodwill”.

Prof. Kaleem Chughtai, Urdu scholar from New Dehli, expressed: “Jagjit Singh’s passion for Mirza Ghalib’s poetry made his voice eternally popular. Imran Seher has rendered these ghazals very well”.

Sheikha Noura Al-Maimani, Businesswoman from Dubai, was impressed: “Imran Seher is definitely Pakistani Jagjit Singh. He has a rich voice and is well-trained. Nice find.”

Special gratitude is due to Commissioner Karachi, President Arts Council, Express TV and 24.7 Brand Partners, Merchant Productions, Organizing Committee, and 1,200 guests from Pakistan and abroad - whose valuable participation was necessary to achieve this milestone.

[Rohail Khan, a Canadian-Pakistani with strong parental roots in India as well, is a Senior Banker and CFO based at Jeddah. He is also Chairman, Urdu Academy International (UAI), Washington, D.C. He can be contacted at rohailkhan00@gmail.com]

Is Russia turning Muslim?

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By MarkAdomanis

Earlier this week Daniel Pipes had a piece in the Washington Times about Russia’s rapid transformation into a Muslim-dominated society. The piece makes a number of arguments, but its central thesis is the following:

Alcoholism-plagued ethnic Russians are said to have European birthrates and African death rates. Their women have on average 1.4 children, and their men have a life expectancy of 60 years. In Moscow, ethnic Christian women have 1.1 child.

In contrast, Muslim women bear 2.3 children on average and have fewer abortions than their Russian counterparts. In Moscow, Tatar women have six children and Chechen and Ingush women have 10.

I won’t get too spun up about the fact that Christianity is not an ethnicity, but the numbers Pipes cited seemed really off to me. I was particularly struck by the suggestion that any sizable group of people living in Moscow averages 10 children a women. That level of fertility would be superhuman in even the most rural location, but in Moscow it strains credulity past the breaking point. Moscow, after all, is one of the most expensive and crowded cities in the world: I simply can’t imagine the sorts of resources you would need in order to raise 10 children there.

Curious as to where Pipes got his numbers, I set out to try and see what the variation between ethnic Russian and Muslim birth rates actually is. Now as far as I am aware Rosstat, the Russian statistical agency, doesn’t publish any ethnically-based fertility or mortality statistics. I’ve spent an awful lot of time over the past few years looking through Rosstat databases, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen data on the birth or death rates of a particular ethnic group. It would be great to know what the alcohol poisoning rate was for all ethnic Russians or what the birth rate was for all ethnic Tatars, but, unfortunately, those don’t seem to be available.

Rosstat does, however, publish region-by-region fertility statistics. Additionally, as part of the 2010 census, Rosstat also collected regional data on ethnicity. Looking at the census data, you can therefore get a pretty clear idea about which regions are dominated by ethnic Russians and other ethnic Slavs. You can then look at the fertility rate in those same regions to try to see what the “Russian” birth rate actually is.

So I examined those regions that had populations that were more than 90% Slavic, a subset which had a total population of slightly more than 49 million people. I then calculated the weighed average fertility rate for this group. The result? Well, maybe not as dramatic as you might have expected

So, in 2011, the most heavily Slavic parts of the country, areas with virtually no “national minorities,” had a fertility rate that was only about 3% lower than the all-Russian average. That’s a real difference, but not a shocking one.

Do traditionally Muslim areas of Russia have higher fertility than traditionally Russian ones? Yes, they do. But the weighted average TFR of traditionally Muslim areas (seven different regions inhabited by about 13.8 million people) is 1.94. It seems impossible to square Pipes’ contention that Chechen and Tatar women are averaging 6 and 10 children with the fact that even traditionally Muslim areas of Russia have below-replacement fertility. The population of Russia’s Muslim areas will still shrink, it will just do so more gradually than in traditionally Russian areas.

Now the above does not conclusively prove that there is not an enormous discrepancy between Russian and Muslim birth rates. It’s theoretically possible that even in the overwhelmingly Slavic regions I looked at that an extremely disproportionate share of the births are occurring among a small number of non-Slavs. For all I know there could be 10 Chechen “hero-mothers” in Bryansk who have each had 30 children. But, based on the relevant data, it seems far more likely that the differences between different ethnic groups are a lot more muted than Pipes implied.

Will Russia’s Muslim population grow in the coming years? Yes, it will. Will that growth have political, economic, and social consequences? Yes it will. But it simply doesn’t seem to be true that Russians are being massively out-bred by more fecund minorities. The non-Russian share of the population will increase but it will do so in a glow and gradual manner, not the vaguely apocalyptic one traced by Pipes. In this sense Russia is not a bizarre outlier but an awful lot like most European countries where the share of the titular nationality is set to decline gradually over the course of the 21st century.

*I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but for the purposes of evaluating Russia’s potential transformation into a Muslim-dominated shariah state, I think it’s reasonable to lump Ukrainians and Belorussians along with ethnic Russians. When Russian nationalists riot in Moscow, I’m confident that they’re not protesting about their country’s overabundance of Ukrainian mechanics or Belorussian construction workers

[Mark Adomanis specializes in Russian economics and demographics]

(Courtesy: Forbes)

Muslim group to use former Catholic church as a mosque

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Madeleine Teahan

A Catholic church sold to the Muslim community in Stoke-on-Trent will be used as a mosque, The Catholic Herald has learned.

Following reports that St Peter’s Catholic church in Cobridge had been sold to the local Muslim community,a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales told the Catholic Herald: “The understanding of the diocese is that they intend to repair and refurbish the building for use as a mosque as it has a more convenient and level access than their existing premises”.

St Peter’s Catholic church in Cobridge was put up for sale following a decline in the number of parishioners.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese told the Catholic Herald on Wednesday: “The parish of Cobridge has a long history, but in recent times the number of Catholics living in the area has shrunk to such an extent that those attending Mass at St. Peter’s were simply no longer able to maintain a priest and the church buildings.

“The church was put up for sale on the open market. A modest number of offers were received and a local Muslim community made the best offer, acceptable to the diocesan trustees after consultation in other local parishes.

“The parish of St Peter’s still exists in Canon Law. The sale proceeds, once received, will have to be retained in its name pending a decision by the trustees as to the future needs of the parishioners in Cobridge.”

(Courtesy: The Catholic Herald)

Why Pious People Suffer: Muslim and Jewish Views

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

For many people, especially in today's world, it is very hard to reconcile the personal suffering of good and pious people, with Divine justice and love. Believers of all religions face this challenge. There are many answers offered; from Karma to reincarnation.

Muslims and Jews have traditionally given the same answers with some variation. This is to be expected since both Jews and Muslims share the same belief in God's oneness, goodness and justice; and both Jews and Muslims reject the doctrines of 'bad luck', or inherited sin from previous lives, or original sin.

The Qur'an tells us that just because you become, or already are, a believer doesn't mean that you are exempt from personal suffering. "Do men think that they will be left alone on saying 'We believe' and that they will not be tested? (29:2), this is not correct: "Ye shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions; and in your personal selves." (3:186) You will be tested by fear of, and hunger for, the loss of material goods, loved ones lives, and the failure of your efforts to bear fruit. Yet if you patiently persevere all will be well "Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, or lives, or the fruits (of your toil); but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere." (2:155) The glad tidings might come from a reversal in your bad fortune in this world, as happened to Job: or in your life in the world to come. Traditional Jewish sages and rabbis would have agreed with all of the already quoted verses in the Qur'an as well as the following Ahadith: "Anyone for whom Allah intends good, He makes him suffer from some affliction." (Bukhari) and "When Allah intends good for His slave, He punishes him in this world, but when He intends an evil for His slave, He does not quickly take him to task, but calls him to account on the Day of Resurrection." (Tirmidhi)

Most important God never puts any burden on a soul that is beyond its ability to bear. "No burden do We place on any soul but that which it can bear." (6:152) and "Those who believe and do good.“ We do not impose upon any of them a burden beyond their capacity. (7:42) The rabbis were in full accord with these statements. They extended them even further to conclude that believers who were afflicted with severe calamities should take comfort that those who have a strong faith are given harder trials.

So too when Prophet Muhammad was asked about who suffers the greatest afflictions he replied: The prophets, then those who come next to them, then those who come next to them. A man is afflicted in keeping his religion. If his religion is firm, his trial is severe; but if there is weakness in his religion, it is made light for him, and it continues like that until he walks on the earth without sin. (Tirmidhi)

If this seems very unjust and unfair remember that "The magnitude of the reward goes along with the magnitude of the affliction." (Tirmidhi) Thus, "The believing man or woman may continue to have affliction in their person, property and children so that they may finally meet God, free from sin." (Tirmidhi)

It is probably easier to understand this philosophy of life, if it is first expressed in terms of the suffering that comes from human love. To love another person is to expose your heart to heartache. If it is worthwhile to love another human, how much more so is it desirable to love God who desires our love.

The Torah declares, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) and "What does the Lord your God require of you, but to revere the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul". (Deuteronomy 10:12)

This can be illustrated by the following parable (Martin Buber was a famous 20th century Jewish philosopher):

One day a young man stood in a town square proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and all admired his heart, for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it.

Yes, they agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. It was an ideal heart. As beautiful as a Greek stature of an ideal youth. The young man said that his perfect, beautiful heart, was due to his philosophy of following a path of self realization, calmness and detachment.

Then a Rabbi named after Martin Buber appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the Rabbi's heart. It was beating strongly, but it was full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges.

In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared. How could Martin Buber say his heart was more beautiful than the heart of the ideal youth?

The young man looked at the older man's heart and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."

"Yes," said Rabbi Buber, "yours is a perfect, heartache free heart, but I would never trade my heart rot yours. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to people, and often they give me a piece of their heart, which fits into an empty place in my heart. But because the pieces aren't exactly equal I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared."

Rabbi Buber then said, "Sometimes I give pieces of my heart away, and the other person doesn't return a piece of his or her heart to me. These are the empty gouges...giving love is taking a chance. And then there are places where my heart is broken, reminding me of the love I have had, and lost. I say the Kaddish prayer then to praise God for the pains of living a life of loving and caring; for it is better to love and lose than to be detached and never to love at all."

The young man stood silently, with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the older man, reached into his own perfect, young and beautiful heart and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The Rabbi took the young man's offering, placed it in his heart, and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart.

It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore, but more beautiful than ever, since love from Rabbi Buberâ's heart now flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.

[Rabbi Allen S. Maller is a Reform Rabbi. His works can be seen on his website www.rabbimaller.com. He can be contacted at malleraj@aol.com]

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