Reform in Muslim Community: Need for a Comprehensive Approach

A debate regarding condition of Muslims in India and process of reform within Muslim community has been kindled by Harsh Mander’s article Sonia Sadly’ (IE March 7) and its response by Ramchandra Guha (Liberals O, IE)) While there are multiple factors influencing the process, broadly there are some within the community and some outside phenomenon which have positive-negative impact on the process of change. A complex combination of the two is what leads to social change over a period of time. While Mander is focusing on external negative influences on the Muslim community, in response Ramchandra Guha is focusing on practices within the Muslim community.

What has been happening to the Muslim community as a whole during last few decades is very important to understand as to why reformers like Hamid Dalwai and Arif Mohammad Khan could not cut ice. What is retarding the reform in the community is the increasing sense of insecurity. There are two major phenomena which have heightened this sense of security. At national level the rising communal violence has lead to loss of lives, home and means of livelihood. There is also a great amount of overall economic marginalization of the community for various reasons. These two have impacted on the community to stick to retrograde norms with the conservative Maulanas calling the shots.

Globally, the politics of control over oil resources leading to the rise of terrorism in the name of Islam, has led to rise of global Islamophobia and demonization of Muslims. The very Muslim identity is being presented as a threat to the society. We saw the impact of both of these in rise in the hold of obscurantist leadership and practices within the country. Way back I did observe that my research scholars, in the aftermath of 1992-93 Mumbai violence, started visiting the mosque more often. My faculty colleague switched from a religion neutral surname to one which flaunted his Muslim identity. While, living in IIT Bombay campus also observed that young Muslim girls, wearing salwar kameez or pants tee shirts took recourse to burqa in the aftermath of Gujarat carnage of 2002.

In the wake of Makkah Masjid, Malegaon, Samjhauta and Ajmer blasts the immediate action from the police force was to arrest many Muslim young men, who were put behind the bars for years before the process of law rescued them. This again came as a great dampener to the process of reform, even education to which a section of Muslim community was avidly longing was put on the backburner in the aftermath of Batla House encounter and demonization of places like Azamgadh or Bhatkal.

How can the reform process succeed in the besieged community? By now, as Mander points out the political marginalization of the community are complete. The aftermath of communal violence came in the form of ghettoization of Muslim community in places like Mumbra close to Mumbai (92-93 violence) and Juhapura (2002), how much reform can be brought in the intimidated, ghettoized communities. Surely there has been a great effort by many enlightened Muslims to promote education within the community. I did happen to meet successful Muslims professionals in a trip to US. Most of them came forward with a single-minded devotion to encourage education among Indian Muslims by supporting educational institutions and by giving scholarship to young Muslim girls and boys, to boost what the reformers like J S Bandookwala in Gujarat and many a Muslim organization scattered all over the country are doing.

In the present political scenario, the fulcrum of politics is shifting to the right and the politicos have to flaunt their Hinduism for the electoral purpose. At the same time, the assertion like ‘all those living here are Hindus’ (Mohan Bhagwat) do come as an intimidation to sections of the community. In this backdrop the likes of Asghar Ali Engineer, who presented a humane version of Islam and gave the foundation for social reform remained marginalized from the mainstream Muslim community. The Muslim community is in the bind. Political marginalization is not an isolated process; it is founded on the process of Hate constructed against the community. For this, the popularization of communal history and the sense of persecution of Hindus at the hands of earlier Muslim rulers and current Hafiz Saeed’s is part of the popular perception.

One stands with Guha in appreciating the efforts of every Hamid Dalwai or Arif Mohammad Khan, but one also needs to understand the objective situation in which the Muslim community is being pushed into the corner. The ills of ‘two nation theory’, the thorny issue of Kashmir is even now acting as a tormentor of the Muslim community. From last over a decade Muslim friends, whom one never perceived for their religious identity, have started raising the question, ‘what it means to be a Muslim in India today? The whole liberal tradition of Muslims from Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Zakir Hussain to Ustad Bismillah Khan, Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azami and Javed Akhtar are very much a part of Indian Muslim community. The point is why their acceptability is limited within the community.

Even currently the group of ‘Muslims for Secular Democracy’ and ‘Moderate Muslim’ groups is raising their voices against the Mullah version of Islam. The question which should come to the fore is as to why these voices of sanity are not able to make to necessary dent in the broader sections of society gripped by conservatism? Currently, interestingly it is the time where due to impact of Hindu nationalist ideology even faith based knowledge and most retrograde values are being encouraged by the dominant political tendency. In these times to work for progressive reforms among Muslims becomes much more difficult. One hopes a combination of Hamid Dalwais’ passion for reform, Asghar Ali Engineer’s humane interpretation of Islam carries the day from within the community. Outside, the necessary condition is blunting the sharpness of Hindu nationalism, which is creating Hate, Ghettoization and marginalization of the community.

Ayodhya Dispute: Need for Upholding Law


The dispute around Babri Mosque seems to be unending. Just weeks ago we saw Sri Sri Ravishankar, the well known founder of ‘Art of Living’ stepping in to settle it ‘out of Court’. Now RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat (24th November 2017) has made a statement that only Temple will come up in Ayodhya. His assertion is just the repeat of RSS stand on the topic, which is despite the Allahabad Court judgment. As far as Sri Sri Ravishanker is concerned he is regarded as a spiritual person but at times he jumps into political issues. Earlier one heard of his intervention; was at the time of Anna Hazares anti corruption upsurge.

This time around Sri Sri is back on the political chessboard. He has already met the UP Chief Minister and plans to meet many local religious leaders from Hindu side. As such the Ayodhya matter is pending in the Supreme Court following the appeal by disputants. The Allahabad Judgment had divided the land, where Babri mosque was standing into three parts. One part to Sunni Waqf Board, one to Ram lalla Nyas and one to Nirmohi Akhada. The judgment primarily resorted to the fact that it is the ‘faith of Hindus’ that Lord Ram was born at the spot, so those two thirds were given to those representing the Hindu side, while Sunni Waqf Board has been given one third of the land. Now both Hindus and Muslims are claiming that whole land belongs to them alone.

As country got Independence, the land was under the possession of Sunni Waqf Board. On the night of 22 December 1949, some miscreants, belonging to pro Hindu groups, entered the mosque illegally and installed the Ram Lalla Idols in the mosque. Pundit Nehru, the then Prime Minister of the country wrote to the Chief of UP Government, Govind Vallabh Pant to get the idols removed immediately. The local Magistrate K.K.Nayyar, who later contested elections for MP on BJP predecessor Bharatiya Janasangh ticket, did not get the idols removed. The gates of mosque were locked. Under the pressure of rising Ram Temple movement the locks were removed and Shilanyas was performed when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. This was in the aftermath of Shah Bano Judgment reversal by the act of Parliament. In the aftermath of this; RSS Combine intensified its campaign of ‘appeasement of Muslims’ and got support from the sections of Society.

It is around this time that BJP’s Lal Krishna Advani, made Ram Temple as the central part of his political campaign. In the aftermath of implementation of Mandal Commission report by VP Singh, BJP intensified its campaign for Ram Temple and Advani’s Rath yatra left a trail of communal violence and led to deeper polarization of society. This polarization and later attempts by RSS combine led to demolition of Babri mosque on December 6, 1992. The installation of the Ram Lalla idols was a crime and the guilty went unpunished. The demolition of the mosque was a crime and its culprits went on to become politically more powerful, Advani as Deputy Prime Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati occupying high political offices. Liberhan Commission report highlighted some of the factors leading to demolition. Advani and Company is facing the charges of criminal conspiracy in the Courts.

In the past the criminal acts related to Babri Mosque have paid rich political dividends to those who were part of illegal acts. The basic dictum is that reconciliation is always good; it is welcome all the time. Despite the nature of the past; out of court settlement is the best option to be sure. But who can do that sort of reconciliation? Can one begin the process of reconciliation without respecting the legal verdict? While many Hindu leaders are welcoming Sri Sri, the Sunni Waqf Board has asked for the solution he has in mind before they can meet him. Also they want to wait for the meeting of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, before they venture to meet Sri Sri. As such while the Hindu side has been harping that Muslims should give up their claim on this land and they will be given land at another place to build a mosque. This becomes clear with the statement of RSS Chief.

Shia Waqf Board, though it is not a party to the legal dispute, has shown willingness to yield to the demands of Hindu side. Can a large section of Muslims go along with the present efforts of the like of Ravishanker and the statement of Bhagwat? The answer to this question is difficult as Sri Sri does not seem to be a neutral person. He comes from the category of Modern Hindu Gurus. On most of the matters of social reform he is closer to conservative values. He has never condemned the crime of demolition of Babri mosque; neither did he grieve the massive violence unleashed in the aftermath of Babri demolition. He seems to be partisan to the ideology of Hindu nationalism, while posing to be neutral about it. RSS is adamant on Hindu temple alone at the site as it is the part of their political agenda.

In these circumstances what should the Muslims do? The wedge between Shias and Sunnis is being promoted deliberately. While it was a Shia mosque, the Sunni Board has been the litigant. During last three decades, the Muslim community is being relegated on the margins of society due to communalization. In these circumstances, sticking to Legal recourse seems to be the best option for most of them. The likes of Sri Sri in the name of reconciliation will try to promote the solution amicable to those who have been at the forefront of installing Ram Lalla and demolition of the Mosque,both big crimes in a democratic society! Irrespective of the awaited Supreme Court judgment RSS is already asserting for Ram Mandir alone. Hope the highest Court gives a verdict which respects minority rights also.

Ram Puniyani


Anatomy of Basirhat (West Bengal) Violence

In an insane act of violence two people lost their lives in Basirhat (West Bengal, 04 07 2017). From last quite some time the social media is abuzz that WB is turning Islamist, Hindus are under great threat, their condition is becoming like that of Pundits in Kashmir. The section of TV media projected the view that WB is not safe for Hindus but is a heaven for Muslims. Angry posts are also declaring that Mamata is appeasing Muslims, Islamist Radicals are growing in Bengal with support from the Mamata Government etc.

This act of violence was provoked by a facebook post. (July 04, 2017) Once it was known in the area as to who has done the posting, they surrounded the house where the 17 year old boy <>lived.

The posting was derogatory to Muslims. As the atmosphere was building up the state machinery kept silent,till the aggressive mob of Muslims surrounded the house. Police intervention was too late. While the boy was saved despite the angry mob which was demanding that boy handed over to them BJP leaders got hyperactive and visited the area as a delegation. They tried to enter the hospital to see the dead body of Kartik Chandra Ghosh (age 65), Muslim attackers had killed him. This attempt of the BJP leaders was to derive political mileage from the situation as BJP claimed that Ghosh was President of one of the units of BJP while Ghosh’s son denied it.

The Governor of West Bengal K.N. Tripathi reprimanded Mamata Bannerjee for the violence. Seeing his attitude Mamata got upset and called him as the one belonging to BJP block level leader. Same Governor has been called as a dedicated soldier of Modi Vahini by one BJP leader Rahul Sinha. The communal violence has taken a political color, BJP accusing chief minister Mamata Banerjee of appeasement of Muslims while the ruling Trinamool Congress is alleging that BJP is out for inciting communal passions <> to benefit electorally. Surprisingly with this violence, where two people have lost their life, BJP is demanding the President’s rule in the state, while the law and order has already been restored within a week’s time.

The picture in Bengal is very complex. A section of Muslim leadership is repeatedly doing violence in response to hurt sentiments. Earlier also violence was unleashed by Muslims in Kaliachak when one Kamlesh Tiwari had posted something offensive against Prophet Mohammad. The feeling of impunity enjoyed by this section of Muslim leadership is giving a big handle in the hands of Hindutva forces, for which this yet again is opportunity to polarize the society along religious lines. Here in Bengal they don’t have to create the issue of ‘Holy Cow’ or ‘Ram Temple’, it is being provided by this misguided section of Muslim leadership.

The picture is being created that Bengal is in the grip of Islamization as earlier Kaliachak violence and now this violence are being cited to show that Hindus are unsafe here. There was no loss of life in Kaliachak incident but yes there was loss of property, though. The core theme of BJP-RSS propaganda is built around Hindu victimization <>
The role of government has been far from satisfactory in this violence as it had time enough to control the situation but it did not. The law and order machinery must ensure prevention of the buildup of such incidents. By and large one can say that effective system can prevent most of the riots irrespective of who is the offender. Here the Government should have acted in time.

Surely Mamata’s alleged appeasement of Muslims does not apply in economic matters. The fact is that the economic conditions of Muslims of Bengal are among the worst in the country. The budgetary allocation for minorities in Bengal is much less than in many other states.

At the same time the communal polarization by the BJP is coming up with the menacing speed. In a state where Ram Navami (Lord Ram’s birth day celebration) was practically unheard of, this year around the Ram Navami procession was taken out with frightening swords in hands. Lord Ganesh festival is also being promoted in the state where Ma Durga had been the main deity so far.

Finally, who benefits from the violence The studies of different scholars on communal violence in India like those by Paul Brass point out that there is an institutional riot mechanism, the core part of which is the impunity enjoyed by the offenders, the abysmal role of justice delivery system as a whole. Another significant study from Yale University <>
tells us that in the places where communal violence takes place, in the long run at electoral level, it is BJP which stands to benefit. Those who appease the Muslim fundamentalists should note this and see to it that that to discharge the constitutionally assigned duties are the essence of governance irrespective of the community involved in the violence.

Let’s summarize the anatomy of violence in Bashirhat. Stage one the offensive post on face book, two fundamentalist radical sections of Muslims unleash violence number three the approach of the state government fails in preventing the violence. Number four BJP carries on from there and worsens the atmosphere by playing out videos which showed that Muslims were attacking Hindus in Basirhat. It turned out that videos were not from Bashirhat at all. They were taken from Gujarat violence of 2002. Also clips of a Bhojpuri films showing the molestation of Hindu women were recklessly circulated <>,the impression being given that this is happening in Basirhat. The same was claimed by BJP’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who said that he had news of Hindu women being raped> in the affected area. And lastly drums are beaten about victimization of Hindus in Bengal. One just hopes it will not lead to polarization of communities leading in a state where so far communal violence had been reasonably under check.

Ram Puniyani

Indian media poses hard-hitting questions to Erdogan who tries to corner India by raking up the Kashmir issue

Questions are being asked about visiting Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan by the Indian media over his human rights record within Turkey, who in turn has tried to pressurize India by raking up the Kashmir issue. The splinter groups affiliated to the Gulen movement of Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen who has been branded as a terrorist organization by Erdogan and who are fairly active in India, even managing several schools across the country, too have begun criticizing the Erdogan visit.

Erdogan’s Government responds to various criticisms by saying it is because of its courageous stand on issues like Palestinian rights, Syrian refugee crisis, etc. that the world is up in arms against it. It is to be noted that ahead of meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Erdogan had controversially suggested a “multi-lateral dialogue” to resolve the Kashmir issue to ensure peace in the region. “We should not allow more casualties to occur (in Kashmir). By having a multi-lateral dialogue, (in which) we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all,” President Erdogan had told a local Turkish channel ahead of his visit to New Delhi.

“All around the world, there is no better option than keeping the channel of dialogue open. If we contribute towards global peace, we can get a very positive result,” he said.

Responding to this, Ruchi Ghanshyam, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry  had said that India’s position on Jammu and Kashmir is very well known  that it is an integral part of the country. “We have always emphasised that India-Turkey relations stand on their own footing and, we believe, the Turkish side reciprocates our sentiment,” Ruchi Ghanashyam had said.

War of words between Gulen supporters based in Delhi and the Erdogan government too has escalated on the side-lines of the visit. While President Erdogan is known to carry his personalised, domestic, anti-Gulen agenda during his foreign trip. It is likely that he would push for his anti-Gulen agenda on his visit to New Delhi, including the Gulen-inspired schools and coaching institutions that are running in various parts of the country, whereas Indian Government need to be cautious in responding to Erdogan’s anti-Gulen request from legal and political point of view but also must take into consideration the relevance of the Gulen movement for integration of Indian Muslims in the country.

Erdogan’s raising of the Kashmir issue and his praise of Nawaz Sharif prior to his visit to India is being seen in the light of the hidden agenda that Erdogan carries and is likely to push forth during his India visit.

Turkish President’s visit to the Jamia Millia campus too has come in the storm. Some students and alumni have opposed Jamia’s decision to present Erdogan with an honorary doctorate degree claiming his involvement in “blatant human rights violation” and acting like “a dictator in Turkey”. Jamia, on the other hand, maintain that Erdogan is visiting Jamia because it is the only institution in the country which provides academic courses in Turkish language and literature and is citing the age-old Indo-Turkish relationship and the likely boost to educational relationship between the two countries that Erdogan’s Jamia visit is likely to give.

Roadmap being readied by Ministry of Minority Affairs for setting up 5 world class universities and 100 odd schools for minorities: Shakir Ansari

Ministry of Minority Affairs under Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Union Minister of State with Independent Charge, is moving ahead with the announced plan for setting up of 5 world class universities and 100 odd schools for the minorities. In this regard, high level meetings have been held and planning is being taken to implementation stage. This information was given by Mohammad Shakir Ansari, Treasurer of Maulana Azad Education Foundation, who has been recently entrusted to take care of the task.

Ansari informed that the schools, to be named after Maulana Azad, will be opened in various cities across India on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas. Besides this, the 5 planned universities will work on the lines of modern institutes, providing all modern courses. This will go a long way in providing quality education and technical expertise to youth belonging to the Minority communities, informed Ansari.

Informing about the latest developments, Shakir Ansari said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is taking keen interest both in the development of Schools and Universities and looks eager to roll out the projects at the earliest possible.

Ansari also lauded the efforts of the Ministry’s attempt to provide skill development training in the Madrasas. “On the initiative of Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Ministry is trying to rope in Madrasas under the Prime Minister’s Skill Development Program and in this regard a meeting was held recently with heads of various Madrasas,” said Ansari. Once this laudable scheme, which is the brainchild of PM Narendra Modi, is implemented in the Madarsas it will go a long way in bringing the youth from minority community in contention for mainstream jobs.

Such people-friendly schemes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are getting good response from the public at large and this could be seen in the recent wins of the party in Maharashtra, UP, Uttarakhand and other states, Ansari added.

RNI (Real News Intl.) News

UP Elections 2017 and BJP’s divisive agenda

The forthcoming UP Assembly Elections (2017) are regarded as very crucial for all the political parties and more so for the future of secularism and democracy in the country. BJP’s rise on the national scene began at a higher pitch with Ram Temple agitation and the consequent rise in communal violence. Since then it has been adding more divisive issues and with greater vehemence to reap electoral benefits.

Even before the elections in UP were declared many a BJP leaders had been raising issues like Ram Temple, Love Jihad and exodus of Hindus from Kairana. In Gujarat Modi during the Gujarat carnage used the infamous “action-reaction” theory and the statement that refugee camps have become the “child production centers” and so should be closed down. In due course to give a neutral cover to the underlying communal agenda he did shift to the “development agenda”, which was more of an eye wash. Along with the media blitz and a clever publicity he tried to sell his image of “development man” and took the policies to woo the Corporate World. But the slip always kept showing. Even during the creation of euphoria of “Acche Din” during 2014 General elections, he kept on raising the issues of Pink revolution (relating to beef) and Bangladeshi immigrants in the context of saving Rhinos in Assam.

His associates did keep talking of issues related to Hindutva agenda like Ram Temple, Triple Talaq, Article 370 at the same time. The propaganda of development and communal message carried the day for BJP during 2014 elections as it managed to get simple majority on its own in Lok Sabha. Now Election Commission has censured BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj for his remarks where he blames Muslims for the rise in population.

Currently in UP elections; the attempt is on to sell “national pride”, in the form of surgical strike on Pakistan and demonetization as a measure to root out black money. It seems both these have floundered in public image
as by now it is well known that surgical strike was followed by the killings of Indian soldiers in large numbers. The pangs of demonetization for the average people are too severe to make them forget their post demonetization suffering to be able to support the move. Sensing this; this party has stepped up on the divisive propaganda. The BJP manifesto delineates this in a very clever manner. It invokes Hindu pride it talks of ushering in “Sampooran Hindu samaj” (Total Hindu society) The Ram Temple issue finds its place. The critics say that Ram Temple issue is a permanent treasure for BJP to consolidate its vote bank as and when needed. Since Babri demolition, this issue has been finding mention in all BJP utterances, knowing full well that the matter is lying in the Supreme Court.

Now new dimensions have been added to the armamentarium by various leaders of BJP. Clearly Modi will underplay communal issues or present them in a subtle way while his colleagues down the line are more involved in these
utterances in a direct and forthright manner. The issue of Hindu exodus from Kairana was raised by BJP M.P. Hukum Singh a while ago. Now another BJP MP Yogi Adityanath has made it more frightening by saying that whole of Western UP is being converted into Kashmir, and Hindus are being terrorized and are being made to flee the area. As a matter of fact the issue is that post Muzaffarnagar violence thousands of Muslims were forced to leave their
villages. Hukum Singh’s assertion of Hindu exodus from Kairana was proved to be more of make-believe as from his list of families which had supposed to leave the village, many of them were right there and some had left for
social and economic reasons. Now BJP manifesto is talking about White paper on the issue.

The Muzzafarnagar riots were instigated around the issue of love jihad, now the BJP manifesto is talking of creating “Anti Romeo squads”, which is a hidden message against inter-religious marriages, the love jihad issue being projected in a newer language. Beef has been the major polarizing point for BJP, now after Dadri incident they have reaped a rich crop of polarization around this issue and manifesto is promising to close down mechanized abattoirs The BJP’s double standards about gender justice are frighteningly obvious. While it is very concerned about the issue of Triple Talaq for Muslim women, it is quiet about the atrocities faced by dalit, tribal and Hindu women. Clearly raising the issue of triple talaq has nothing to do with justice for BJP; it is a stick to beat minorities with, notwithstanding the fact that Muslim women do require the abolition of practices like this which are retarding their social progress.

Sangeet Som, BJP MLA, had recently circulated the video of his post Dadri speech. An FIR was registered against him for violating the law and the code of conduct for violating the poll code. Similarly another BJP MLA Suresh Rana has been booked on charges of inciting hatred after he said that curfew will be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad if he is elected again in assembly polls next month. Yogi Adiyanath has stated that voters should remember riots and rapes before casting their votes.

These are few from the numerous incidents from the speeches of this outfit, whose core electoral strategy has been to polarize along religious lines. Through its machinations it has been adding issue after issue to the earlier existing issues like Ram Temple and article 370. Today it has a large set of such issues which are spelt out by different leaders. Another aspect of this propaganda is that there is also a division of labor among these leaders. While some try to play development card, some present communal agenda in a concealed language others are blunt and direct in
inciting the communal Hate. The Supreme Court has opined that Electoral process should be a secular activity, we need to remind ourselves of that and Election Commission needs to exercise the restrain in a more effective

Ram Puniyani

Prominent Muslim leaders met Rajnath Singh; Home Minister sought their assistance on issue of Muslim youth getting attracted to terror organizations and assured Muslim leaders their concerns will be taken care of

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

A delegation of prominent Muslim leaders of the country met the Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier today and apprised them of the various problems that the Muslim community is facing. Rajnath Singh not only gave an empathetic ear to the problems but also assured the community leaders that all their concerns will be taken care of. He assured the community elders that they have no reasons to feel threatened or unsafe. Attraction of Muslim youth towards Middle-East based terror organizations, even though in small number, too was discussed in detail.

Prominent Muslim leader Kamal Faruqui

Prominent Muslim leader Kamal Faruqui

Informing RNI about the details of the meeting, prominent Muslim leader from Delhi Kamal Faruqui called this meeting a very positive development and said all the important issues pertaining to the community were discussed. Issues discussed most prominently were the waqf issue, the issue of minority character of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia besides the threat faced to country by so-called Islamic terrorism and how to tackle the menace.

Prominent cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad was high praise for the positive discussions that were carried out. Informing RNI about the proceedings, he said the chief issue discussed was how to contain the threat of ISIS. The delegation told the Home Minister that such people are anti-Islam and have no relation with the religion of Islam, which propagates peace and fraternity. General consensus was that the Ulemas should use various platforms including the pulpit to speak against these terrorists and expose them. Maulana Kalbe Jawad also stressed that the sources of their funding should be checked and stopped.

The delegation also brought to the notice of Home Minister the several cases of Muslim youth who were caught with terrorism charges but later found innocent by courts after a long trial lasting several years. A valid question raised was if they were innocent, who were the real perpetrators of the heinous acts. The real culprits are being let off while the innocent are being caught in the name of terrorism.

Leader of the Shias in India Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi

Leader of the Shias in India Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi

As regards to issues related to waqf, Rajnath Singh assured the delegation that various problems are being studied and certain concrete steps will be taken in the near future. The Home Minister was also briefed about the problems pertaining to the minority character of the Muslim institutions and the likely fallout if this was carried forward.

In his remarks, Rajnath Singh said India’s traditions and family values will overcome the nefarious designs of terrorist groups and that while the traction that ISIS has got in India is extremely limited, and almost insignificant in comparison to other countries, there is a need to keep up vigil on all fronts, and not let down the guard in any manner.

Rajnath Singh also mentioned about the need for the formation of a community comprising prominent Muslim Ulemas and leaders, so that regular discussions are carried out. This will ensure that problems of the community will reach the Home Minister and two way communication carried out unabated.

The delegation included prominent Sunni and Shias Ulemas including Maulana Wahid Hussain Chishti of Ajmer Sharif, Maulana Arshad Madani of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi of Jamiat Ahle Hadees, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, Mustafa Faruqui and others besides Kamal Faruqui and Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi. The meeting which lasted nearly two hours was also attended by NSA Ajit Doval and senior Home Ministry officials.

RNI News

“Love Jihad” a ploy to launch “Love Dharamyudh”

It will be better if the forces of Hindutva realise sooner than later that the card of communalism cannot work in India on a long term basis. The latest bye-election results should be a sufficient warning to BJP that the communal card that brought the BJP to power has already started losing its lustre.

LovejLong back, when I had just finished my MBBS, one of my closest friends, a Brahmin, who used to be my school fellow also in Saharanpur, fell in love with a Muslim nurse. They are now married for more than two decades. My friend is perhaps the most popular Neurosurgeon of Varanasi. Another friend of mine, also a doctor, was on the brink of marrying a Christian girl when his family intervened and prevented it. A Muslim lawyer of the Muhalla I lived in Saharanpur, known for its deeply religious denizens, married a Hindu lawyer. There are many other examples that have come across me where Hindu boys entered into love with Muslim girls. Of course we have many among the celebrities: Mahesh Bhatt’s mother Shirin, Yuvraj’s mother Shabnam, Shahid Kapoor’s mother Neelima, to name a few. But no Muslim organisation ever propounded the theory of “Love Dharamyudh”. But true to its ideology of spreading hatred for Muslims more than love for Hindus, the BJP and its sister Hindutva organisations are busy throwing “Love Jihad” as its latest weapon of hatred. They are presenting it as a planned conspiracy by Muslims against Hindus. The truth on the contrary remains that Islamic organisations and clerics have never supported the idea of Muslims marrying non-Muslims, even if the girl not the boy happens to be a Hindu.

If the examples of Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls outnumber the Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys to any appreciable degree, this is simply because lesser number of Muslim girls are going to higher institutions and jobs. Muslim boys studying in colleges or doing jobs find much greater number of Hindu girls around than Muslims. Mixing and close contacts soon develop into relationships.
Most of these boys have relatively lesser religious leanings than the ordinary Muslim boys who prefer to marry Muslim girls. Inter-caste marriages, after all, whatever their composition, are not easy to manage, with most fearing the long term effects. In India, marriages are not just a relationship between the couple but involve families, and the religion almost always plays an important role in families.

It is also surprising that Hindutva organisations are opposing “love Jihad” despite the fact that Muslims marrying Hindu girls tend to be closer to Hindus than the ordinary Muslims. Many of them find it hard to face the Muslim hostility towards their marriages and
join Hindu dominant organisations and parties. Both of the two most known Muslim faces in the BJP are having Hindu wives, and the couples are proud of each other. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain have proved be more loyal to BJP than many other leaders. If despite the massive hate-Muslim campaign by the BJP and the other Hindutva organisations, they can maintain unadulterated loyalty to their party, it should in fact encourage Hindu organisations to accept the marriages of Muslim boys with Hindu girls. This can prove to be a boon for them in the future. And if “Love Jihad” is such a big threat, Naqvis and Shanawazes should be thrown out without delay.

Rather than fearing Muslim boys, BJP would better run a campaign on war footing against female infanticide being increasingly rampant in the Hindu society. If at all, the demography in India will have any shift, even if marginal, it will neither be due to Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls nor due to Muslims having a slightly higher growth rate. With lesser girls being born, it can become difficult for Hindus to cope with a situation where marriage-seeking boys will substantially outnumber marriage-seeking Hindu girls.

It will be better if the forces of Hindutva realise sooner than later that the card of communalism cannot work in India on a long term
basis. The latest bye-election results should be a sufficient warning to BJP that the communal card that brought the BJP to power has already started losing its lustre. India is a strange society. At certain times, the whole Indian society tends to become communal; but soon they revert back to secularism, which in our country means respect to all religions. Rather than adopting communalism, the forces of Hindutva would better try to attract Muslims on the ground of their common positions on social vices like alcohol, smoking, gambling, family disintegration, nudity and sexual perversions and exploitations.

The way the Hindutva lobby is busy in reshaping the social structure, I fear “Love Jihad” may be a ploy to embark upon “Love Dharamyudh”.

By Dr Javed Jamil

(RNI does not take responsibility of views expressed by writers/reporters for various news released or uploaded on any of our websites)

Religion and Constitution under threat, Muslim Personal Law Board to bring clerics from various factions for a grand rally in Amroha!

MuslimPersonalLawBoardWhile debate continues on whether the threat to a particular religion and its adherents is real or perceived, All India Muslim Personal Law Board has taken a step ahead through a grand rally at Amroha in UP titled “Deen o Dastoor Bachao” rally, translated in English as “Save the religion and constitution” rally. Needless to say, leading clerics from across India as well as secularists and sympathisers from other communities will be expressing their ire at the radical elements who, they perceive, are bent on changing the character of constitution, through a silent patronage of those who have come to power.

Venue will be Eidgah maidan in Amroha, a little distance away from the Capital, in the heart of Western Uttar Pradesh. And the date will be 10th of December, 2015. A huge gathering will be addressed by the prominent Muslim leaders like Hazrat Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi, Maulana Mohd. Wali Rahmani, Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan Sahab and other prominent Muslim leaders. The gathering would also be addressed by prominent members of other communities like Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Lingayat and Dalit leaders.

Says Kamal Faruqi, the Convenor of the grand event at Amroha: “It is going to be a grand rally. We are expecting a few lakh people from Amroha and neighbourhood to attend. Leading Muslim clerics are uniting to give strength to their voice against a threat that is visible to all. Not just the Muslim clerics, prominent personalities from various other marginalized communities and other prominent individuals who too perceive the ramifications and grave consequences of where the nation is being led by some self-seeking rightist individuals who are even bent on changing the character of the constitution, will address the gathering.

Threat is real, particularly because those in power choose to look the other way, says the Muslim leaders

Threat is real, particularly because those in power choose to look the other way, says the Muslim leaders

Aziz Haider of RNI News, which is contributing to the cause by handling logistics related to media and communication for the rally, is of opinion that it is time now for all those who wish for a stronger and united India in future to negate these divisionary forces and this rally is just the beginning of efforts to create awareness among the largely simple and peace loving citizens of India.

The grand rally at Eidgah Maidan on 10th December will be preceded by executive committee meeting of All India Muslim Personal Law Board at Mesco Public School Dhanaura Road on 9th morning. A press conference is scheduled to be held at 4 p.m. after the executive committee meeting.

Courtesy RNI (Real News Intl.) News Agency

Side-stepping the core issue, when it comes to the RSS

IMG-20151016-WA0033A news story by the title “Muslim family in UP alleges boy taken from school to attend RSS camp” hit the pages of certain newspapers recently. News story go on to say: “a controversy has erupted after the father of a Muslim boy claimed his son was picked up from school and taken to a RSS camp held in local BJP MP Jagdambika Pal’s school at Siddharth Nagar district between October 10 and 17.” He claimed his son had to attend sessions where “anti-Islamic poems and literature” were read out. The 15-year old boy’s father has lodged a complaint in this regard with the district magistrate as well as the State Minority Commission (SMC) for teaching “anti-Muslim ethics” in the RSS camp.

The RSS District Sah Prachar Pramukh Vipul Singh, however, denied the allegations, by saying: “It seems that local Muslim leaders had sent the boy to the camp with a changed name with some wrong intentions. As he failed to execute the same, they are now trying to malign the RSS’s image.”

The Principal of the local government junior high school in Uska Bazar town of Siddharth Nagar has said he was not aware how the student ended up at the RSS camp. The father of the boy Gulzar Ahmed has decided to withdraw Gulzar and his two other children from the school where as the Circle Officer (City) Mohammad Akmal Khan, who conducted an inquiry, said Gulzar has admitted he did not know it was an RSS camp, but wanted to go there as three of his friends were attending it. “His friends told him Muslims were not allowed in the camp and so he changed his name,” Khan said.

Question that everybody is side-stepping is that camps are being organized even in various schools of UP, where “anti-Muslim ethics” are being taught and “anti-Islamic poems and literature” are being read out, in front of children who have not even attained adulthood. It is a matter of time that this venom that is being injected, and whose manifest replications we have repeatedly seen in towns and villages of western UP, will show its dirty face in east UP as well.

The State Government need to take the Principal of the Government junior high school to task who said he was not aware how the Muslim student ended up at the RSS camp. What he should instead explain is why so many students went to a RSS camp that was meant for boys of one community alone. Is the Principal not aiding the spread of venom against a particular community by allowing the students of one community alone to attend the camp?

Moreover, if the State Government really wish to act, it should cancel the registration of school that organized the camp of students where a certain community’s participation was restricted. Instead of taking action against the real culprits, allegations are being levelled against the boy by RSS spokesman, claiming that “Muslim leaders had sent the boy to the camp with a changed name with some wrong intentions.”

This is a clear proof for the Central Home Ministry to act and ban all congregations by RSS, even those which are being held in the garb of ‘cultural promotion’. If this is not done, and instead of side-lining the core issue, matters are allowed to exist as it is, the entire Hindi belt, if not the country, might see serious repercussions in the future.

Ironically, while all this is happening, and several cases of killings and attacks on members of minority community has come to light, BJP President Amit Shah recently dismissed protests against growing intolerance in the country as a “perception” limited to “Lutyen’s Zone”, the area in the heart of the seat of power in the Capital. “The perception is only limited to Lutyen’s Zone. Had such incidents taken place because of the BJP, RSS or VHP, then why are no protests in Gujarat, MP, Rajasthan and Goa?” he said on the Aap ki Adalat show on India TV. On writers returning their Sahitya Academy awards, Shah said they were doing it because of incidents that took place in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, ruled by SP and Congress, respectively. “Vote bank politics is dominating law and order. That’s the reason why there is growing tension in both communities,” he said and blamed the UP government for taking ‘unilateral action’ in Dadri lynching case which was causing friction between communities.

Again side-lining the core issue, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju feels PM Narendra Modi is adequately addressing the problem. He is of view that “The PM will speak when necessary… He is speaking at the right time on right issues, and since this issue is under Home Ministry, Home is speaking.”

Speaking at the Idea Exchange program of Indian Express, Kiren Rijiju passed the blame on the state governments to take action in such issues, including the cow slaughter issue. He said: “India is a very diverse society. What is a very important social issue in Haryana, will not be an important issue for the state of Nagaland. India also has a federal structure that says that all state governments have their priorities and they need to take care of their people and look at their own governance. So, for the national parties, there is a larger context to issues which they incorporate in their national agenda. At the same time, state governments have been given freedom to examine matters in their own way. After all, we need to respect the sentiments of all sections of society. That is why we cannot generalize these things.”

It is time for Home Ministry to act, and to act tough. It remains to be seen how far the Home Ministry and the PM will go to take action against an organizations about which some allege it is they who dictate the terms to the party in power.

Aziz Haider/RNI News Bureau