History burdens Kashmir – Aggression by India, Invasion by Pakistan

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

By Bashir Assad

Separatist leadership in Jammu and Kashmir asked people to observe October 27 as black day and called for a march to United Nations Military Observers Group (UNMOG) in Srinagar demanding withdrawal of security forces from Jammu and Kashmir. The authorities, however, clamped curfew in the entire valley and stringent security majors were put in place to foil the proposed march to UNMOG).

On this day in 1947, the Indian security forces landed in Srinagar to push back the tribesmen from North West Frontier Province of West Pakistan who invaded Kashmir on October 22, 1947. The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir on August 12, 1947 had decided to negotiate a standstill agreement with India and Pakistan in order to buy some time to decide about the future of Jammu and Kashmir. It is here that both India and Pakistan interpret the historical developments in their own respective perspectives and claim for the bright pages of the history leaving the dark ones for Kashmiris. Standstill Agreement signed by both India and Pakistan was violated but both blame each other for the violation. India alleges that Pakistan violated the agreement by invading Kashmir, and Pakistan blames India for violation by sending its troops to Kashmir on October 27, 1947. Pakistan justifies invasion by invoking the clauses of agreement that authorize it to operate with the subjects of communications, defence and foreign affairs that had shifted to the government of Pakistan from August 15, 1947, while as India says that only posts and telegraphs and supply of essentials were the subjects operation for Pakistan in the agreement. India blames Pakistan for invading Kashmir and occupying its one part illegally in violation to the standstill agreement it had entered with the Maharaja of Kashmir.

The battle over pages of history, in fact, is being fought in Kashmir that has been changed into a battleground since 1943, and the Kashmiris have, of course, become fodder for the battle. Interestingly the battle has dimensionally changed to strategic warfare with international communities also using Kashmir for furthering their agenda in the subcontinent. There are no two opinions about the fact that Pakistan’s juggler vein mantra and India’s integral pooh-pooh is less for the people of Jammu and Kashmir than the strategic importance of the land in question. That is why both the countries are vigorously pursuing their agenda at the cost of poor conflict ridden Kashmiris.

Now, when the separatist leadership in Kashmir have asked the people to observe October 27 as black day, one needs to ponder over the pages of history to have an honest opinion about the historical facts.

At the time of the transfer of power, Maharaja signed a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan and proposed one with India as well, but announced that Kashmir intended to remain independent. However, his rule was opposed by Sheikh Abdullah, the popular leader of Kashmir's largest political party, the National Conference, who demanded his abdication.

Pakistan, attempting to force the issue of Kashmir's accession, cut off supplies and transport links. The chaos in Punjab resulting from partition had also severed transport links with India, meaning that Kashmir's only links with the two dominions was by air. Rumours about atrocities against the Muslim population of Poonch by the Maharajah's forces caused the outbreak of civil unrest. Shortly thereafter, tribesmen from the NWFP of Pakistan crossed the border and entered Kashmir. The invaders made rapid progress towards Srinagar. The Maharaja of Kashmir wrote to India, asking for military assistance, offering an Instrument of Accession and setting up an interim government headed by Sheikh Abdullah. The accession was accepted, but Pandit Jawaherlal Nehru declared that it would have to be confirmed by a plebiscite.

The Indian security forces on October 27, 1947 landed in Srinagar to secure, Jammu, Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. But the intense fighting flagged with the onset of winter, which made much of the state impassable. Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, in a move that baffled political and military strategists in India, declared a ceasefire and sought UN arbitration, arguing that India would otherwise have to invade Pakistan itself, in view of its failure to stop the tribal incursions.

Though the move of Pandit Nehru surprised many in India, it was astounding for the people in Jammu and Kashmir as some time was required by the Maharaja and his people to weigh the issue of accession. In principle, Sheikh Abdullah and his party rejected any possibility of accession to Pakistan since it attacked Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah also flew to New Delhi in October 1947 and appealed to Indian Cabinet to dispatch armed forces to help Maharaja’s forces for expelling the invaders. Maharaja had been requesting India for supplying petrol and ammunition on payment basis. Tribesmen from NWFP marched into Kashmir (J&K) openly on August 21, 1947. Maharaja of J&K requested India for petrol and ammunition in October 1947. Maharaja appealed to India for military help on October 24. A Defence Committee headed by Mountbatten considered the request of Maharaj Hari Singh for supply of arms and ammunition on October 25 but the Indian Cabinet was of opinion that it could not send troops to Srinagar unless J&K acceded to India. VP Menon, Secretary in States Ministry, was sent to Srinagar to explain to Maharaja the position. He met Maharaja. Menon found conditions grave in Srinagar and advised Maharaja to leave for Jammu so that raiders are not able to lay hands on him directly or with local help. Maharaja Hari Singh left Srinagar by car and reached Jammu in the morning of October 26. Menon succeeded in making Hari Singh a little soft towards Sheikh Abdullah. VP Menon returned to Delhi from Srinagar on October 25. Defence Committee again met on October 26 and decided to accept the instrument of accession if executed by the Maharaja. Menon again came to Jammu with the Draft of Instrument of Accession on October 26 itself. Maharaja had travelled during last night from Srinagar and was in sleep. VP Menon got the instrument of accession signed by Maharaja on October 26 and carried to New Delhi under a covering letter the same day.

Mountbatten formally signed the acceptance on October 27 and returned a copy of instrument under cover of a letter to Maharaja. And the first contingent of Indian troops landed at Srinagar airport in the morning of October 27, 1947. Sheikh Abdullah was invited by Maharaja to form an interim government and work with his Prime Minister. Most of the area of Jammu Province of Maharaja’s J&K fell to Pakistan after October 26, 1947. In Kashmir, except Muzaffarabad, all area had been cleared of the Pakistani raiders by November 10, 1947.

It was on January 1, 1948 that India approached UN Security Council with complaint against Pakistan. It was exactly after one year on January 1, 1949 that India declared ceasefire with the intruders from across the borders of J&K with Pakistan. Maharaja announced on March 5, 1948 a popular government to be there in State.

The plebiscite was never held, and on January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force in Kashmir, but with special provisions made for it in the Constitution's Article 370. India did not, however, secure administrative control over all of Kashmir. The northern and western portions of Kashmir came under Pakistan's control in 1947, and are today referred to as 'Pakistan-Administered Kashmir' by the Indian government.

The presentation of Kashmir Case by Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan administered Kashmir in the European Parliamentary Hearing held on October 13, 2010 contradicts the version offered above at certain points. According to Attique India committed aggression on October 27, 1947, when she landed her troops in Kashmir. The Standstill Agreement offered to Pakistan on August 12, 1947 by Maharaja Hari Singh the last ruler of Kashmir and duly accepted and signed by the Government of Pakistan. Under the agreement the subjects of communications, defence and foreign affairs had shifted to the government of Pakistan from August 15, 1947. India landed her troops in Kashmir on October 27, 1947. Thus airdropping of Indian troops by Indian government constitutes a grossest violation of that agreement between the Maharaja and Pakistan government. By international law India stands aggressor in Jammu and Kashmir as it violated the suzerainty of government of Pakistan by landing her military personnel for the purpose of occupation of the State. Attique was, however, silent on invasion of tribesmen, though he referred to it as duty of Pakistan under the agreement to supply essentials to the state.

Anyways, 63 years have passed and India and Pakistan are yet to decide who the aggressor was and in quest to claim the pages of the history, three generation of Kashmiris have been consumed while as the two nation states could not make headway. Past looms large, present spoils and future undecided for Kashmiris. The ultimate losers are Kashmiris and the two countries have achieved a lot for their respective people. The notion that India and Pakistan are investing in Kashmir is cynical. In fact, Kashmir had been invested by both for their geo-political advantages.

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

दहशतगर्दी के असल चेहरे हो रहे हैं बेनेकाब, देश भक्ति के नाम पर हो रहा था आतंकबाद का नंगा नाच

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

सलमान अहमद

मुल्क में जब भी कोई आतंकबादी हमला हुआ उसका इलज़ाम मुसलमानों के सर थोप दिया , लेकिन जब हकीकत सामने आई तो उन आतंकबादी हमलों के पेछे ऐसे लोगों का हाथ नज़र आया जो अपने इलावा किस दोसरे को देश भक्त समझते ही नहीं हैं ।

अगर आरंभ में ही यह कदम उठा लिये जाते तो देश को जिन आतंकवादी हमलों का सामना करना पड़ा, शायद उनसे बच जाते। बहरहाल आज के इस संक्षिप्त लेख में मैं अपने पाठकों तथा भारत सरकार के सामने थोड़े शब्दों में वे घटनायें सामने रखना चाहता हूं , जिन से बार-बार हमारे देश को जूझना पड़ा। अभी चर्चा केवल उनकी जिनकी जांच का निष्कर्ष सामने आ गया है या आता जा रहा है। हो सकता है शेष घटनाओं की भी नये सिरे से छान बीन हो तो ऐसा ही कुछ सामने आये। यह कुछ मिसाले इसलिए कि हमारी सरकारी और खुफिया एजेंसियां अंदाजा कर सकें कि उन बम धमाकों के बाद किन लोगों को संदेह के आधार पर गिरफ्तार किया गया था और जब सच सामने आया तो किनके चेहरे सामने आये।

मालेगांव धमाके õ1
(8 सितम्बर 2006)
37 हताहत
आरम्भ में जो व्यक्ति गिरफ़्तार हुए, वे सल्मान फ़ारसी, फ़ारुक़ अब्दुल्ला मख़दूमी, रईस अहमद, नूरुलहुदा, शम्सुलहुदा, शब्बीर बीड़ी वाले।
बाद की जांचः 2008 के मालेगांव बम धमाकों में हिन्दू आतंकवादियों के सामने आने के बाद अन्य मामलों में भी शक की सूई भी हिन्दू आतंकवादियों पर ही गई।

समझौता एक्सप्रेस बम धमाका
18 फ़रवरी 2007
68 हताहत, अधिकतर पाकिस्तानी नागरिक
आरम्भिक जांच में लश्कर तथा जैश -ए -मुहम्मद पर आरोप लगाया गया और इस सिलसिले में पाकिस्तानी नागरिक अज़मत अली को गिरफ़्तार किया गया।
बाद की जांच में सामने आया कि इन घटनाओं के पीछे हिन्दू आतंकवादी हो सकते हैं। इन धमाकों में जो पद्धति प्रयोग की गई है वह मक्का मस्जिद के धमाकों से मिलती हुई है। इस मामले में पुलिस को आर.एस.एस के प्रचारक संदीप डांगे तथा रामजी के नाम सामने आये।

मक्का मस्जिद धमाका
18 मई 2007
14 व्यक्तियों की मृत्यु
आरम्भ में स्थानीय पुलिस ने 80 मुस्लिम युवकों को गिरफ़्तार किया और उनसे पूछताछ की गई, जिनमें से 25 व्यक्तियों को गिरफ़्तार कर लिया गया, कोई सबूत न मिलने पर इनमें से इब्राहीम जुनैद, शुऐब जागीरदार, इमरान खान तथा मौहम्मद अब्दुल हकीम इत्यादि को सम्मानपूर्वक बरी कर दिया गया।
बाद की जांच के बाद जो परिणाम सामने आया वह इस प्रकार है। 2010 में सीबीआई ने घोषणा की कि वह इस मामले में 2 अभियुक्तों के बारे में सही सूचना देने वालों को 10 लाख रु0 का इनाम देगी। फिर इस मामले में संदीप डांगे, राम चन्द्र कालसिंगा तथा लोकेश शर्मा को गिरफ़्तार किया गया।

अजमेर शरीफ़ धमाका
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3 हताहत
जैसा कि अधिकांश बम धमाकों के बाद होता रहा है। आरम्भ में हूजी, लश्कर पर धमाकों का आरोप लगाया गया तथा जिन लोगों को गिरफ़्तार किया गया वह भी मुसलमान ही थे, उनमें अब्दुल हफ़ीज़, शमीम, खशीउर्रहमान, इमरान अली शामिल थे।
806 पृष्ठों पर आधारित आरोप पत्र में जो राजस्थान एटीएस ने एडीश्नल चीफ़ जूडिशियल मजिस्ट्रेट की अदालत में दाखिल की है इसमें 5 अभियुक्तों के नाम डाले गए हैं। अभिनव भारत के देवेन्द्र गुप्ता, लोकेश शर्मा और चन्द्रशेखर हैं। यह पुलिस की हिरासत में हैं, जबकि संदीप डांगे तथा रामजी कालासांगा फ़रार बताये जाते हैं।

थाणे बम धमाका
4 जून 2008
हिन्दू जन जागृति समिति तथा सनातन संस्था इस धमाके के पीछे बताई जाती हैं और रमेश हनुमंत गडकरी और मंगेश दिनकर निकम गिरफ़्तार किये गए थे। इन धमाकों का उद्देश्य फ़िल्म ‘जोधा अकबर’ के प्रदर्शन के विरुद्ध विरोध जताना था।

कानपुर तथा नांदेड़ बम धमाके
अगस्त 2008
कानपुर में बजरंग दल के 2 सदस्यों राजीव मिश्रा, भूपेन्द्र सिंह बम बनाते समय धमाका होने से मारे गए थे। अप्रैल 2006 में एन राजकोंडवार और एच पानसे नांदेड़ में बम बनाते समय मारे गए थे, वे दोनों भी बजरंग दल के थे।

29 सितम्बर 2008
7 हताहत
आरम्भ में कहा गया था कि इस धमाके में इंडियन मुजाहिदीन शामिल है परन्तु बाद में अभिनव भारत तथा राष्ट्रीय जागरण मंच के लिप्त होने की बात सामने आई। उसमें प्रज्ञा सिंह ठाकुर, कर्नल पुरोहित और स्वामी अम्बिकानंद देवतीर्थ (दयानंद पाण्डे) गिरफ़्तार हुए। यही वह बम धमाके थे जिनकी जांच शहीद हेमंत करकरे कर रहे थे और जिससे आतंकवादियों का वह चेहरा सामने आया जिसके बारे में पहले सोचा ही नहीं जाता था। लेकिन जैसे जैसे जांच आगे बढ़ती गई परतें खुलती र्गइं। अगर 26/11 के आतंकवादी हमले में हेमन्त करकरे शहीद न होते तो शायद आज आतंकवाद का यह सम्पूर्ण नेटवर्क हमारे सामने होता। फिर भी उनके जाने के बाद भी यह सिलसिला रूका नहीं है। अजमेर बम धमाके की जांच के परिणाम हमारे सामने है।

गोवा धमाका
16 अक्तूबर 2009
इस धमाके में जो 2 व्यक्ति मारे गए, वे सनातन संस्था के कार्यकर्ता थे, मरने वाले मालगोंडा पाटिल तथा योगेश नायक उस समय मारे गए थे जब वह विस्फ़ोटक पदार्थ लेकर स्कूटर से जा रहे थे और उसमें अचानक धमाका हो गया।
जिस समय नांदेड़, कानपुर तथा गोवा में बम बनाते या ले जाते हुए यह लोग हताहत हुए, अगर उसी समय हमारी खुफिया एजेंसियों तथा एटीएस ने मुसतैदी से काम लिया होता तो सम्पूर्ण नेटवर्क का पर्दाफाश हो सकता था या कम से कम किस मानसिकता के लोगों का कारनामा था और किस स्तर के लोग इन षड्यंत्रों में लिप्त हैं, यह सामने आ सकता था। बात केवल कुछ लोगों के पकड़े जाने या एक डायरी में कुछ नाम लिखे होने की नहीं है, बल्कि असल बात यह है कि आतंकवाद का यह सिलसिला थम क्यों नहीं रहा था? शायद इसलिए कि हमने इस दिशा मंे कभी सोचा ही नहीं था, जिस दिशा में आज न केवल सोचा जा रहा है, बल्कि कार्यन्वयन करने का प्रयास भी किया जा रहा है। निसंदेह 26 नवम्बर 2008 को हुआ आतंकवादी हमला अत्यंत विडम्बनापूर्ण तथा शर्मनाक था, लेकिन उसके बाद से अगर छोटे छोटे मामलों की चर्चा न कि जाये तो कहा जा सकता है कि लगभग पिछले दो वर्षों में देश किसी बड़े आतंकवादी हमले का शिकार नहीं हुआ। क्या इसका एक कारण यह भी है कि अब आतंकवाद में लिप्त वह चेहरे सामने आने लगे हैं।

Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth converts to Islam after a 'holy experience' in Iran

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 October 2010 | Posted in ,

Tony Blair’s sister-in-law has converted to Islam after having a ‘holy experience’ in Iran.

Broadcaster and journalist Lauren Booth, 43 - Cherie Blair’s half-sister - said she now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves her home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque ‘when I can’.

She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom.

‘It was a Tuesday evening and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy,’ she told The Mail on Sunday.

When she returned to Britain, she decided to convert immediately.

‘Now I don’t eat pork and I read the Koran every day. I’m on page 60. I also haven’t had a drink in 45 days, the longest period in 25 years,' she said.

'The strange thing is that since I decided to convert I haven’t wanted to touch alcohol, and I was someone who craved a glass of wine or two at the end of a day.’

Refusing to discount the possibility that she might wear a burka, she said: ‘Who knows where my spiritual journey will take me?’

Before her awakening in Iran, she had been ‘sympathetic’ to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine. ‘I was always impressed with the strength and comfort it gave,’ she said of the religion.

Miss Booth, who works for Press TV, the English-language Iranian news channel, has been a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq.

In August 2008 she travelled to Gaza by ship from Cyprus, along with 46 other activists, to highlight Israel’s blockade of the territory.

She was subsequently refused entry into both Israel and Egypt.

In 2006 she was a contestant on the ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!, donating her fee to the Palestinian relief charity Interpal.

She said she hoped her conversion would help Mr Blair change his presumptions about Islam.

During her visit to Iran last month, Booth wrote a public letter to Mr Blair asking him to mark Al-Quds (Jerusalem) day - a protest at Israel's occupation of Palestine.

The missive was a bitter attack on the former Prime Minister, who is now a Middle East envoy working for peace in the troubled region.

'The men, women and children around me withstood a day of no water and no food (it’s called Ramadan, Tony, it’s a fast),' Booth wrote.

'Coping with hunger and thirst in the hundred degrees heat, as if it were nothing. They can withstand deprivation in the Muslim world.

'Here in Iran they feel proud to suffer in order to express solidarity with the people of Palestine. It's kind of like the way you express solidarity with America only without illegal chemical weapons and a million civilian deaths.'

She adds: 'Your world view is that Muslims, are mad, bad, dangerous to know. A contagion to be contained.

'In the final chapter [of his autobiography] you say we need a "religious counter attack" against Islam. And by "Islam" you mean the Al Quds rallies, the Palestinian intifada (based on an anti Apartheid struggle Tony, NOT religious bigotry), against every Arab who fails to put their arms in the air as the F16 missiles rain on their homes and refugee camps and sing a rousing chorus of ‘Imagine all the people...’

Booth moved to France with her family - husband Craig Darby and two daughters Alexandra and Holly in 2004.

Her husband was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in April 2009 when he was drunk and not wearing a helmet.

He suffered a severe brain injury, a fractured neck, damage to his spine and several broken ribs and was in a deep coma for two weeks.

The 42-year-old had to learn how to walk and talk again. He lost much of his memory, has sight problem and cannot work.

The couple decided to move back to Britain to help his recovery and reduce the amount of time Booth has to work away from home.
Booth with husband Craig and daughters Alex and Holly

Booth took part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Met Out of Here! in 2006 alongside Myleene Klass and Jason Donovan, finishing ninth.

Of her relationship with the Blairs, she said at the time: 'I'm happy to criticise them politically if they deserve it but that on a personal level we get on fine.'

Mr Blair was famously told not to 'do God' by his spin doctor Alistair Campbell while he was Prime Minister.

But on leaving office, he converted to Catholicism after starting to go to Mass - saying later that it was his wife who spurred his decision.

He said last year that it was like 'coming home' and is now 'where my heart is, where I know I belong'.

(Courtesy: Daily Mail)

Oklahoma lawmakers aim to ban international and Sharia law from state courts

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Gale Courey Toensing

Oklahoma City: Despite few, if any, attempts to impose Sharia law in the State of Oklahoma, voters there will be asked to vote on a ballot measure that would prohibit state courts from using the Islamic law – or international law – when making rulings.

State Question 755, variously known as the Sharia Law Amendment, the Oklahoma International Law Amendment or the “Save Our State” amendment, is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, meaning that the state legislature rather than citizens of the state, voted to put the measure before the voters.

Voters will also be asked to approve a measure requiring specific voter identification documents.

A leader of the Osage Nation said he has not heard any official tribal opinions about the ballot measures, but most people he has spoken to informally oppose both measures.

The Sharia/International Law Amendment would require that courts rely on federal or state laws when handing down decisions and would prohibit courts from using international law or Sharia law. Voters will be asked to vote yes or no on the following ballot text:

“This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.

“International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.

“The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.

“Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.”

It is not clear what the sponsors of the bill had in mind when seeking to prohibit state courts from using international law since the federal government is a signatory of numerous international agreements and treaties, which effectively become federal law. Would it mean, for example, that the state could not cite the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights or – once the federal government endorses it – the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in issuing a ruling? It is also not clear if a state law that aims to pre-empt federal law is even constitutional.

Chris White, executive director of governmental affairs of the Osage Nation, said the question of constitutionality concerns tribal citizens.

“It wouldn’t seem like it would be legal. I’m not an attorney, but that’s the reason why the people I’ve talked to about it are concerned. They’re concerned about the treaties.”

White said he hasn’t spoken to anyone officially “but the ballot measure got a bit of play on Facebook and among people who are my friends and they are all against it. The state legislator who authored that amendment is pretty far to the right, the extreme right wing, and so most everyone sees that this amendment could be detrimental to Native tribes.”

Republican Rep. Rex Duncan, who sponsored the amendment, said Sharia law is deeply ingrained in the United Kingdom, and that’s why Oklahoma needs protection.

“It is a cancer upon the survivability of the UK. SQ 755 will constitute a pre-emptive strike against Sharia law coming to Oklahoma. While Oklahoma is still able to defend itself against this sort of hideous invasion, we should do so.”

Duncan’s amendment is clearly an insult to the state’s 15,000 Muslims, said Saad Mohammed, the executive director of Islamic information and vice president of the Islamic Center of Oklahoma City.

“Sharia law is a collection of laws from the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed that show us how to behave and how to worship and to guide us toward righteousness, and there’s absolutely zero chance of Sharia law coming to Oklahoma.

“I had a debate with Rep. Duncan in Tulsa and I told him it’s fear and scare tactics and it’s really about his own prejudice and bigotry. Nothing has happened to even remotely make him think that (Sharia law will be used in Oklahoma). We have no desire to bring it here because Sharia law itself tells us to follow the law of the land so we must follow American laws.”

Democratic Rep. Cory Williams opposes the measure.

“If I was a Muslim Oklahoman, I would be offended by my religion being singled out. Some people buy into the whole butterfly theory that if a judge in Europe flaps his wings and adopted Sharia law then it will come to Oklahoma. I, on the other hand, do not.”

Oklahoma voters will also be asked to approve State Question 746, the Oklahoma Voter Identification Measure. This ballot measure is a legislatively-referred state statute, sponsored by Republican Sen. John Ford. The measure says voters would have to produce photo identification in order to vote. The proof of identity would be a document that includes the voter’s name, a picture of the voter, and is issued by the United States, the State of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation.

White said he also opposes this measure.

“I’m not for those kinds of identification requirements. It’s just another way to limit participation of minorities and others. We want as much participation as possible at the polls and that’s just a way to keep it down. Oh, I can see where they may try to get around some of those things by saying you can use your tribal ID, but I just think a person should be able to use their driver’s license. That would make it pretty simple.”

Kashmir Minority Forum raises issues concerning Sikhs, other minorities before Interlocutors

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

By Bashir Assad

Srinagar: Dilip Padgonkar, who heads the three member interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir could not control his emotions on listening to the father of Nilofer and Asiya who were gangraped and then killed by unidentified persons in May 2009. The people in Kashmir accused the state police and the security forces deployed in the area for this gruesome act. Three month long agitation was launched in May 2009 against the act and the government first constituted an inquiry commission headed by retired High Court Judge Muzafer Jan. The case was then handed over to CBI that came up with its findings saying that it was a drowning case and there was no evidence, whatsoever of rape and murder of the duo.

It was an emotional scene when on listening to the victim family, Padgonkar broke into tears and could not reconcile for a while.

Padgonkar and Radha Kumar who visited South Kashmir’s Shopian town were received by elder sister of Nilofer and Asiya in Bongam Shopian crying for justice to the victim family.

Father of the deceased duo, on interacting with the interlocutors produced all relevant documents including special news reports on Shopaian tragedy. Shakil Ahmad Ahanger husband of deceased Nilofer narrated the whole story and on listening to his narratives Padgonker could not control his eyes that burst in tears.

Shakil said that they have given up the hope of justice and have lost faith in all the state institutions and apparatus. Referring apparently to the CBI final report on Shopian tragedy, Shakil said that the state was shielding the culprits and hushed up the case to cover-up the real culprits. Instead we are being harassed by the police, only two days back my younger brother was beaten up ruthlessly by the state police,” Shakil said.

He said that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the most irresponsible person who changed his statements hundred times.

“The irony is that the then SP Javed Mattu who was directly responsible either for destroying the evidences or for the rape and murder of the duo was reinstated last month when Kashmir was burning. This depicts the true picture of the government headed by Omar Abdullah,” Shakil wondered adding that Jan Commission report was distorted by inserting a page which Retired Justice Jan publicly disowned.

Radha Kumar, however, assured the family that the three member team will use its good offices to give justice to the family. We are hear to listen to you and feel your pain and agony, and will certainly report this matter to the appropriate quarters in New Delhi.

Latter in the day the team met Kashmir Minority Forum and had deliberations on issues concerning the minority communities in the valley. The Minority Forum raised the issue of threats received by Kashmiri Sikhs in August this year adding that the government has not yet investigated the matter. “we are an important segment of the Kashmiri Society living here for centuries in harmony with the majority community but some thing has went wrong that needs to be investigated” said Satinder Singh, General Secretary of Kashmir Akali Dal.

Pertinent to mention here, the Sikhs in Kashmir received threat letters during the last week of August this year asking them either to participate actively in ongoing agitation or leave the valley. The separatists had condemned the act describing it as a conspiracy to create wedge between the two communities in the valley.

Meanwhile, the two interlocutors Padgonker and Radha Kumar had an extensive meeting with teachers of Kashmir University in Srinagar. The teachers presented their view-point on the Kashmir problem in historical perspective.

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

Bihar polls: How will the Muslims vote?

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

By Mohammad Sajjad

Dr Mohammad Sajjad, assistant professor at the Aligarh Muslim University, conducts a status check of politics in contemporary Bihar, which will have its third round of polls on Thursday.

Even as the people of Bihar vote in the assembly election, the question is how the Muslims will vote.

The community constitutes about 16.5 percent of the total electorate. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, aware of this figure, has been vocal in his opposition to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi campaigning in the state.

For all its backward mien, Bihar has a very high political consciousness and a reason for the paradox is politics is the sole arbiter of fate in this state. And Muslims are no exception.

During the 15 years (1990 to 2005) rule of Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi, the Muslims in Bihar were unflinchingly loyal to Lalu.

But in July 1994, Syed Shahabuddin, the diplomat turned politician, exploded this myth.

Shahabuddin catalogued a long list of grievances, supported by statistics and facts, in his English monthly Muslim India [ Images ], and lambasted Lalu for treating Muslims like 'political hostages' who 'must accept humiliation and terror'.

He said there 'never has been a discussion in the assembly on the conditions of the religious minorities of Bihar' and 'no separate budgetary allocation' for the 'much trumpeted Department of Minorities Welfare'.

Shahabuddin added that the State Minorities Commission had never been given any functions and followed it up with figures -- just 2 percent Muslims were recruited as constables. He added that the commission of inquiry into the Bhagalpur riots of 1989 had been shut down.

As for the backward classes, Shahabuddin said the Bhatiyas had not been included in the list of backward castes and in fact, Lalu had reduced the budget for the Minorities Finance and Development Corporation from Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million) to Rs 5 lakh (Rs 500,000).

Finally, the budget for minorities was scrapped altogether. According to Shahabuddin, no loans had been granted to Muslim youth, the posts of Urdu teachers, translators, typists sanctioned over a decade ago, were also not filled in.

'For Lalu Yadav, who swears by the Mandal Commission – social justice means the substitution of Bhumihar-Rajput Raj by Yadav Raj. Moreover, college teachers from the minority community were deprived of pension and gratuity available to their counterparts and the government did not even pay the basic salary component,' he wrote.

Enter Jagannath Mishra

Dr Jagannath Mishra became popular among Muslims, ever since he legislated the Bihar Official Language Act 1980, granting Urdu as the second official language of Bihar. The Act opened up avenues for employment in government offices and schools.

Dr Mishra was brought back as Congress chief minister after the Bhagalpur riots of 1989, to assuage the aggrieved Muslim electorate.

The Mishra-led cabinet took favourable decisions, while going to the assembly polls in 1990, but Lalu undid all of them, immediately after coming to power in the same year.

The rioters of Riga and Sitamarhi in October 1992 were never tried, and in July 1996, Muslim Pasmanda Dalits were raped and killed at Baithani Tola (Bhojpur). The aggressors were never tried.

Yet, all these grievances remained largely unarticulated by most leaders -- the Muslim electorate was more concerned with keeping the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power and Lalu appeared to be the only political force, who could keep the BJP at bay.

Lalu also popularised the electoral alliance of Muslims and Yadavs as an invincible equation.

The Muslims who mattered

Meanwhile, some events unfolded which had far reaching implications. In 1992, the All India Milli Council was formed by the Deoband Ulema in which the Bihari Muslim clergy played an important role.

Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, one of the important leaders contested elections, but lost.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, he won from Kishanganj, as a Congress candidate. In 1993, Dr Ejaz Ali formed the All India Backward Muslim Morcha and later merged with the Deoband clergy group to rename it as the All India United Muslim Morcha, and included Arzal Muslims in the scheduled caste list.

In 1998, Ali Anwar Ansari launched his All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, critiquing the Ashraf (upper caste Muslims) hegemony and Lalu's politics of bestowing favours on the Ashrafs.

Besides a few provincial legislators and ministers, some big assignments (like chairman of the University Service Commission, Minorities Commission, education councils etc), were given to the Ashrafs, who constitute 35 percent of Bihar's Muslims.

Nitish Kumar, the man who waited and watched

All the while, Nitish Kumar kept a close watch on developments. He enlisted the support of the emerging leaders of non-Ashraf Muslims, a section of which voted for him in 2005.

Nitish then sent the two leaders to the Rajya Sabha. In 2009, on the eve of the Lok Sabha election, these leaders mobilised people on the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (the Rangnath Mishra Commission), which recommended reservations for all Muslims.

This posed a threat to the benefits augured by the Pasmanda-Dalits (Ajlaf and Arzal) castes of Muslims. These leaders called both Lalu and Nitish to oppose it – Lalu 'treaded cautiously and was circumspect', while Nitish was 'forthright in committing to stand by them'. This stand yielded Nitish electoral dividends.

In fact, being in alliance with the BJP meant the Muslim votes were a bonus to Nitish.

The most popular step Nitish took was reserving seats for lower backward castes in the rural and urban local body elections (Panchayati Raj Institutions) of 2006, which spent huge amounts on the social sector and infrastructure development.

As many as 27 castes of Muslims (Ajlaf and Arzal) fall in the category of lower backward (which is known as Annexure-I, since 1978, when Karpoori Thakur was the socialist, non-Congress chief minister of Bihar. And the reservation benefit was only confined to provincial government jobs).

This arrangement protects them from upper backward castes like Yadavs, Kurmis, Koeris, Banias etc.

The Congress steps in

Does this mean Muslim votes will remain divided along the coalitions led by Nitish and Lalu?

No. The Congress is also trying to woo Muslims. It hopes that Nitish's alliance with the BJP will negatively impact Muslims as many are disenchanted with Lalu.

The Congress, therefore, will be the obvious choice of a considerable proportion of the Muslim electorate.

The Congress has therefore made Mahboob Ali Qaiser president of the Bihar unit of the Congress. It also hopes that its MP from Kishanganj, a Deoband Maulana, Asrarul Haque Qasmi, will help attract enough Muslim votes for the Congress.

While Qaiser has been consistently with the Congress for two generations, he belongs to a landed feudal family of Simri Bakhteyarpur (Saharsa in eastern Bihar).

Till the early 1980s, since India's Independence, Congress leaders with feudal backgrounds in Bihar and elsewhere, founded schools and colleges, recruited their caste fellows in these educational institutions and had them taken over by the provincial government.

Through such exercises, a brilliant practice of patronage was perfected, with these employees acting as vote mobilisers and booth managers (an euphemism for poll rigging).

But Muslim Congressmen like the Raja of Parsauni (Sitamarhi-Muzaffarpur in north Bihar) and Qaiser's family of Saharsa did not do so. Now, the growing Muslim middle-class backed by a remittance economy from the Gulf, have a greater urge for modern education, and lament such leaders for failing to establish educational institutions.

Meanwhile, the upper caste Hindu Congress leaders of Bihar established a large number of educational institutions throughout Bihar. They are now asking why these leaders did not take initiatives to uplift education of the community, when Article 30 of the Constitution gave rights to minorities to establish educational institutions of their choice.

The Article also says the State would not discriminate in sanctioning grants to such institutions.

AMU versus ABVP

In the face of such voices, Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi said the Aligarh Muslim University would open its off-campus university in Kishanganj and the Congress-led government at the Centre would make budgetary allocation for it.

Nitish Kumar has also been saying that his government has provided the required land.

The BJP's Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad is opposing it tooth and nail and has taken to the streets insisting that Nitish give the land to the AMU. It could therefore have benefited Nitish in terms of Muslim votes.

But there are some disconcerting questions. On the one hand, the AMU Act 1981, section 12 (2), does not permit it to go beyond 25 km of its present campus in Aligarh, UP, and therefore AMU alumni has opposed the decision.

Moreover, the AMU, unlike other universities, neither offers reservations for Muslims nor for OBCs. So, the moot question is, how will this venture help Muslims?

They are also raising questions against former RJD MP M A A Fatmi, who as the Union minister of state for human resource development during 2004-2009, did not bother to recruit Urdu teachers or introduce Urdu literature in various Kendriya Vidayalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas in Urdu-speaking areas.

The long spell of the Congress rule and then the Lalu-Rabri Raj in Bihar is alleged to have overtly or covertly allowed and perpetuated the loot of Waqf properties like those of the Soghra Waqf Estate in Nalanda and the Tasawwur Ali Waqf Estate in Muzaffarpur.

Nitish tries 'social engineering'

Nitish has entered into another innovative 'social engineering'. Muslims are not only divided along caste lines, they are divided along sub-sectarian lines also.

The Barelvi-Deobandi divide among the Sunni Muslims, sharply polarised, is being wooed by Nitish by showing favourable overtures to the Idara-e-Sharia.

The Sharia is an an institution of Barelvi Muslims in Patna to guide them on personal laws.

One of the strongest indictments against Nitish is that his government has neglected the sanctioned posts of teachers in schools, colleges and universities.

Lalu supporters have been saying that the RJD rule recruited lecturers in 1996 and 2003. They also say that in 1996, out of 1,400 vacancies, more than 300 lecturers recruited, were Muslims because Chairman Professor Wahab Ashrafi did not let anti-Muslim prejudice prevail.

But Ashrafi's recently published Urdu autobiography, Qissa Be Samt Ziondagi Ka (Story of a Disoriented Life), says something else.

Ashrafi had to serve a prison term on charges of indulging in irregularities related to those recruitments. He complained against Lalu saying he conspired against him and became vindictive as Ashrafi had resisted anti-Muslim discrimination.

The Congress is trying to attribute it to then chancellor A R Kidwai.

Development takes a back seat

While the eastern part of the state has the largest concentration of Muslims, it suffers from recurrent floods, mostly by ferocious rivers like the Baghmati and the Kosi.

The Congress, in its five-year plans, neglected agriculture and did not pay serious attention to flood problems, reducing the state to an 'internal colony', supplying cheap labour to the developed and developing parts of India.

The principle of balanced regional development became the obvious casualty. With rising consciousness due to education and migration, the people of Bihar resent this, holding the Congress responsible.

Lalu's politics always disregarded the issue of development and those concerning the middle class.

Nitish is also indicted for having neglected the dilapidated embankment of the river Kosi, which resulted in terrible floods two years ago. The Nitish government was also found wanting in relief measures. Yet, people have hope that Nitish will pay attention to such issues.

And that is probably the reason behind Nitish's 'anger' against Modi. In fact, it is this 'social engineering', and 'inclusive development' that seems to be the strongest planks for Nitish to clamber on to in the assembly election campaign.

(Courtesy: Rediff News)

Popular Front of Indian asks Muslim leaders to stop futile negotiations on Babri Masjid issue

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

IMO News Service

Popular Front of India chairman E. M. Abdul Rahiman has urged all Muslim leaders to support the decision of the UP Central Sunni Wakf Board and All India Muslim Personal Law Board to appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Babri Masjid title suit and not to indulge in any negotiations with Sangh Parivar or their associates at this point of time.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board, the most representative umbrella body of Indian Muslims, in its working committee meeting held at Lucknow on 16 October 2010 has set aside all speculations and reached a consensus regarding the future course of action.

The Personal Law Board officially announced the following decision after the working committee meeting: “The meeting felt that this judgment suffers from number of infirmities. The Hon’ble Court has given precedence to rule of faith over rule of law. The Board considers it to be the right, obligation and compulsion of the Indian Muslims to challenge the judgment in the Apex Court and remove distortions introduced by the judgment in the established norms of the jurisprudence. In these circumstances the Board decides that this verdict be challenged in the Supreme Court.” The meeting has also unanimously decided to raise a ‘Babri Masjid Legal Aid Fund’ and to constitute a ‘Legal Defense Committee’.

The Board Assistant General Secretary Adv. Abdur Rahim Quraishi who addressed the press conference after the meeting reiterated the Muslim stand on Babri Masjid as follows: “There are many mosques in the country standing along with a temple side by side. We have no objection on it. But in Ayodhya case we cannot accept it as it was not proved the mosque was built after demolishing a temple.” The meeting has, in fact, rejected the veiled and also isolated comments from very few speakers such as to initiate negotiations and to donate the land for the temple. Also it is learned that the meeting has not authorized anybody to indulge in negotiations with Hindu or Hindutva side.

Under these circumstances, it is quite surprising and fully unwarranted that some leaders who are also members of Muslim Personal Law Board, started negotiations, that too with hard core RSS leaders. The so called discussion these leaders reported to have held with RSS leader Indresh Kumar (who is charge sheeted in Ajmer blast case), Swami Chidanand and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will prove to be a worthless exercise in solving the core issue. This will only help confuse and mislead the public about Muslim claim on Babri Masjid land. It is to be remembered that a day after the above negotiation meeting and referring to it, RSS spokesperson Ram Mdhav has made clear what they require from Muslim side as follows: "A negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute is possible only when they accept the spirit of the verdict - that Hindus believe the site to the birth place of Lord Ram - and if they do not go to the apex court to challenge the Allahabad court's judgment".

Popular Front chairman has requested the President and General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board to take appropriate steps for creating awareness about the Board decisions on Babri Masjid in all states. It is a nice idea to settle a dispute through negotiations than depending on prolonged litigation. But in the case of Babri Masjid land, the practical wisdom is to wait till the final verdict of Hon’ble Supreme Court. Any negotiations in the aftermath of an unjust verdict, that too with those who have demolished the Masjid, will only weaken the Muslim position. He has also urged Personal Law Board President and General Secretary to intervene and stop Board members from indulging in futile negotiations with Hindu or Hindutva groups without the authorization of both Sunni Central Wakf Board and Muslim Personal Law Board.


Popular Front of India
Deccan House, Bangalore
No. 5, 1st Main, 4th Cross
SK Garden, Benson Town Post
Bangalore - 560 046
Tel: +91 80 32957534, Fax: +91 80 23430432
Email: contact@popularfrontindia.org
Website: www.popularfrontindia.org

AMU workshop on issues related to translation of social sciences, natural sciences from English into Urdu

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

IMO News Service

Aligarh: The Centre for Distance Education, Aligarh Muslim University, organized a workshop on issues related to the translation of social sciences and natural sciences from English into Urdu. The inauguration session was held in the Conference Hall of Administrative Block. The six-day workshop is being organized in collaboration with National Translation Mission (NTM), which is a part of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore.

Dr. Md. Rizwan Khan, Director, Centre for Distance Education and Coordinator of the workshop welcomed the guests and eminent scholars from different fields. He highlighted the significance of the training in translation studies/process/technique at Center for Distance Education (CDE) as it has an elaborate system of translating study materials for the students into Urdu and Hindi. Dr. Khan informed that nearly 50 books have been translated by the CDE and various subjects are yet to be translated. The workshop on translation will help the translators at AMU in specializing and updating their skills. He stressed on the need to organize more such programmes in order to facilitate the nation by providing Urdu experts from more than 100 departments at AMU for translation and other related activities.

Professor S. Z. Chaghtai, an eminent scholar of Physics who has earned a name in the field of languages as well, inaugurated the workshop. Prof. Chagtai emphasized the significance of the topic of the workshop in today's scenario. He highlighted the fact that involvement of technical terms in the process of translation of scientific texts becomes a big challenge. He suggested that a translator has to deal with these issues linguistically as well as socially and at times the translators need to coin their own terms/words in target language.

The Coordinator of the workshop from National Translation Mission, CIIL, Mysore addressed the audience and informed elaborately about the activities of CIIL and NTM. The CIIL is an advisory body of the Government of India that helps in formulating policies and planning for the development of Indian languages. National Translation Mission has been working at documenting and researching the issues in translation of Indian languages.

Prof. Akhtar Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Teacher's Education, New Delhi was present as the Chief Guest of the inaugural session. Prof. Siddiqui took up the issue of quality in translation of English text into Urdu language. Citing various examples he reiterated the need to provide training as well as regular exposure to those who translate the knowledge text from various social sciences and natural sciences. Professor Siddiqui mentioned that a translator must have full knowledge of source language as well as target language besides the knowledge of the discipline which he is working in. He also mentioned that Urdu translators are found wanting in this competence therefore such workshops will motivate the translators to acquire the much needed skills and technique.

Prof. Kunju, Visiting Professor at AMU also addressed on this occasion. Prof. Kunju spoke on the significance of Indian languages as the medium of instruction in Indian schools and colleges. He recalled Sir Syed Ahamd Khan?s visionary approach towards using Urdu as a language of instruction for sciences and social sciences.

Finally, the Chief Guest inaugurated the official website of Center for Distance Education. The session concluded with a vote of thanks from Dr. S. K. Ehteshamuddin Ahmad. The session was conducted by Dr. Asiya Chowdhary.

Dr. M. Rizwan Khan said that 50 participants from various departments of science and social science will be participating in the workshop.

Did Muslims of Gujarat vote for the BJP?

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

Ahmedabad: Hardly anyone believed when Chief Minister Narendra Modi claimed that 50 per cent of the Muslims voted for his party in the October 21 zilla panchayat and municipal elections whose results were announced on October 24.

It was dismissed as an another gimmick employed by Modi to remove the black spots of 2002 genocide from his long political career that brought him to the political centre-stage of Indian politics but that also stunted his further growth and acted as a barrier for him to play a national role in his party as BJP's allies in other states have not accepted Modi for fear of losing Muslim support as it happened recently in Bihar and previously in Uttar Pradesh. Not only has that, even his party colleagues felt that Modi has become a liability. For instance, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj two days ago said that Modi might be successful in Gujarat but it could not be the same for him outside the state.

But the election results made available now go to support Modi's views. He may be detested and abhorred by liberals and Muslims outside for he is chiefly held responsible for 2002 riots that claimed the life of 1180 persons (Gujarat govt figure), mostly Muslims, but the poll results eight years down the line since riots took place indicate that Gujarati Muslims have forgotten the riots. And it is amply proved from the number of Muslim BJP candidates having won on the party symbol across the state.


Out of 247 Muslim candidates fielded by BJP, 118 were victorious. And 31 of them in municipalities while the rest in zilla panchayat and taluka (tehsil or sub-divisional) panchayats.

The development has given birth to a debate because it was for the first time that BJP fielded Muslim candidates in the state and achieved a grand success by causing a major breach in the Congress fortress as Muslims were so far considered as a natural ally to the Congress in the state with two party system. Muslims did not vote for BJP because of the latter's ideological position on various issues including Babri Masjid and its pro-Hindutva stance on everything.

But the Muslims supporting BJP in the recent zilla panchayat and municipal elections have come as a surprise and thrown all theories about them to the wind. It has shown that Congress can no longer take their support for granted and they won't mind supporting even a Hindu-right party indicating Gujarati Muslims were politically becoming diversified and refusing to perpetually remain the political property of any one party.

And the elections results have made it evidently clear. In several Muslim dominated areas, Congress has fared very miserably. For example, Congress could secure only won seats in Dahod where it fielded 17 candidates but BJP won nine seats though it fielded only 12 candidates. Likewise, Congress could not win even a single seat in Muslim pockets of Viramgam in Gandhinagar district tough three Muslim BJP candidates won the polls.

BJP also bagged two seats from Godhra's Muslim pocket. Moiz Badeliwala and Sayeed Khan Pathan – two Muslim BJP workers – contesting as independents won from hundred per cent Muslim ward of Western Godhra. BJP, according to Godhra city BJP president Jawahar Trivedi, had not fielded Muslims in Godhra on party symbol owing to ``political reasons''. At several other places like Dabhoi, Anand, Khambhat and Kheda considered to be the strongholds of the Congress, Muslim BJP candidates from Muslim dominated areas secured victory. But what does this indicate? Is it due to a change of heart among Muslims for BJP and Modi, is a matter to be studied, analysed and debated by political and social scientists? Or is it due to the `programming' of EVMs as alleged by the Congress? It is a matter to be investigated by EVM engineers and experts.

But what is important is that BJP fielded Muslims for the first times on its symbol in Gujarat and about half of them won too.

But what was the compulsion of Modi to field Muslims as he never missed any opportunity to make derogatory remarks against Muslims like all garage workers and owners in Gujarat, meaning doing lowly works, are Muslims. He also used the phrase of `hum paach, hamare pachees'(we are five, we will produce 25) meaning that Muslims were only interested in increasing their population as they had no other work to do.


Noted human rights activist J S Bandukwala, who is also the president of the Gujarat unit of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties(PUCL) points out that Modi is using the elections by fielding Muslims on BJP symbols as a tactics to divert the focus so that Muslims forget his complicity in 2002 riots and he gets acceptability among BJP allies in NDA so that he can fulfill his dream of playing a role in BJP at national level. However, Bandukwala, who himself suffered a lot in 2002 riots, painfully says that there were a group of Muslims like former IPS and IAS officers and industrialists and also `maulanas' who were working at the behest of Modi to forget 2002 in exchange for material benefits.

According to Bandukwala, pro-BJP results in Muslim dominated pockets are also due to reorganisation of wards and seats by BJP government to divide the Muslim areas in such a way so that Muslims politically become ineffective. He gives the examples of Mughalwada in Vadodara which had been split into three pieces and each part clubbed separately with three other wards with Hindu majority so as to make Muslims politically meaningless. He said that the Congress was also collaborating with the BJP in this endeavour.

If Bandukwala is to be believed, then there is another reason as well. According to him, it is the Congress stalwart Ahmed Patel not allowing any other Muslim leader to grow. The young Muslims with ambition and feeling frustrated with the Congress due to Patel's tactics are therefore drifting to BJP that has provided a space to them to realise their political aims.

But Mehboob Ali, Gujarat BJP (Minority Cell) president opines that Muslims are joining BJP and support it because of the Congress party's indifferent attitude towards the community. While the Congress did practically nothing except raising slogans of extending benefits to the community, it resulted in secular Hindus as well turning against Muslims being projected as pampered class. According to Ali, it only led to more suffering for the community and members of it have now seem to have realised the Congress tactics and slowly moving towards BJP because there is no third political option available in Gujarat.

(Courtesy: TwoCircles.net)

क्या ग़रीबों और मज़्लोमों के अधिकारों की बात करने का मतलब देश दरोही होना है? सरकार से अरुंधति रॉय का सवाल

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

अरुंधति का बयान

"मैं यह श्रीनगर से लिख रही हूं। आज के अखबार कह रहे हैं कि कश्मीर में दिए गए बयानों के लिए मुझे देशद्रोह के आरोप में गिरफ्तार किया जा सकता है। मैंने सिर्फ वही कहा है जो कश्मीर के लाखों लोग रोजाना कहते हैं। मैंने सिर्फ वहीं कहा है जो मैं और मुझ जैसे सैंकड़ों लेखक सालों से लिखते और कहते रहे हैं। वो लोग जिन्हें मेरे भाषणों को पढ़ने की फिक्र है जान जाएंगे कि मेरे शब्द सिर्फ न्याय की मांग है।''

मैंने कश्मीर के उन लोगों की बात कि है जो दुनिया में सेना के सबसे खौफनाक शासन में जी रहे हैं। मैंने कश्मीर के उन पंडितों की बात की है जो अपने जन्मस्थान से खदेड़ दिए जाने के बाद बेबसी का जीवन जी रहे हैं। मैंने कश्मीर में शहीद हुए उन दलित सिपाहियों की बात की हैं जिनकी कब्रें कूड़े पर बनाई गई हैं। मैंने कुड्डालोर में इन शहीदों के गांव की यात्रा की है और इनकी कब्रों की दुर्दशा देखी है। मैंने भारत के उन गरीब लोगों की बात की है जो कश्मीमिरी मुस्लमान होने की कीमत चुका रहे हैं और जो अब आतंक के साये में जीना सीख रहे हैं।

कल मैंने सोपियां की यात्रा की। दक्षिण कश्मीर में सेब उगाने वाला यह कस्बा पिछले साल आशिया और नीलोफर के रेप और कत्ल के बाद 47 दिन तक बंद रहा था। इन युवतियों के शव घर के करीब एक नाले में मिले थे। आज तक उनके कातिलों को अंजाम तक नहीं पहुंचाया जा सका है। मैंने निलोफर के पति और आशिया के भाई शकील से मुलाकात की। हमारे चारों तरफ खड़े लोगों की आंखों में गुस्सा और दुख साफ देखा जा सकता था। ये लोग न्याय मिलने की उम्मीद खो चुके हैं। मैं उन युवा पत्थरबाजों से भी मिली जिनकी आंखों के सामने गोलियां बरसती हैं। मैंने एक युवक के साथ यात्रा की जिसने मुझे बताया कि अनंतनाग जिले के उसके तीन किशोर दोस्तों को हिरासत में लिया गया और उनकी अंगुलियों के नाखून खींच लिए गए। पत्थर फेंकने की सजा देने के लिए।

अखबारों में कुछ लोगों ने मेरे खिलाफ लिखते हुए मुझ पर नफरत भरे भाषण देकर भारत को तोड़ने का आरोप लगाया है। लेकिन मैंने जो कहा है वो प्यार और सम्मान से लिखा है। ये मैंने इसलिए कहा है क्योंकि मैं नहीं चाहती की लोगों की हत्या हो, लड़कियों का बलात्कार हो, युवकों को हिरासत में लेकर उनके नाखून खींच लिए जाए। यह मैंने इसलिए कहा क्योंकि मैं ऐसा समाज चाहती हूं जो खुद को एक कह सके। शर्म है ऐसे राष्ट्र पर जिसे अपने लेखकों की आवाज बंद करनी पडे़। धिक्कार है ऐसे देश पर जहां न्याय की मांग करने वालों को जेल में ठूसने की धमकी दी जाती है जबकि धर्म के नाम पर हत्याएं करने वाले, घोटाले करने वाले, लुटेरे, बलात्कारी और गरीबों की खाल खींचकर अमीर बनने वाले खुलेआम घूमते हैं।''

अरुंधति रॉय
26 अक्टूबर

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