Mehr F Husain
Imran Khan goes
to Sindh, Bilawal Bhutto goes to Punjab. This cross provincial politicking of
leaders, visiting the locals and persuading them with their oratory, is what
the people expect of their leaders. Both display a kind of unifying attitude,
focusing on secular issues that can actually resolve the identity crisis that
the country has been grappling with for decades now. Politics is about
publicity and the skill of persuasion……
President of the Board for Protection of
Madrasas in Gujarat Mufti Ahmed Devalvi, said that Garba, a kind of collective
dance involving men and women, was a religious function of the Hindus and there
was no need for Muslims to go there as performing dance or watching it was not
permitted in Islam……
I am slightly
curious to know the sources that finance your gigantic Tableeghi project.
Before you criticise the corrupt rulers, it would indeed be reasonable that you
be financially-transparent yourself. Most importantly, us ‘sinners’ might take
you more seriously when we know that your Tableeghi mission has not accepted
any dirty money from any ‘sinner’. I am sure that doing a little
heart-searching will make you think a couple of Tauba Istaghfars yourself
before you insult poor, working class victims of a natural disaster next
But it was
Nehru’s egalitarian figure that towered over the Indian political scene so that
people and princely kingdoms of all faiths and sensibilities felt they could
bond together to create the India/Bharat we now see and believe in, and which
the BJP proudly touts. Were it not for
that towering statesmanship and personality – how would Patel have done his
job? It is like saying that Amit Shah could have won his victory in UP during the
2014 Parliamentary Elections without the face of Modi? BJP fans themselves
would balk at the thought and call it sacrilegious……
achieve “Sabka Vikas” without giving equal rights to women of all castes and
religions and transforming cultural codes. In some castes women’s oppression is
in still in the primitive mode. In North India the condition of Jat and Yadav
women is telling of their status in the family and society. North India is
still an unreformed den and the Sangh Parivarwalas want to push North Indian
women into worse conditions. They have no agenda for social reform. The more
they want the Indian women to be oppressed “Hindu Naris” without rights, the
more they will become “Muslim Begums” with rights…..
The schools that Boko Haram destroys in Nigeria were
first smashed in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda loved and spread this
globally: now al-Shabaab in Somalia is the best exemplar of this “revolution”.
Those of us who embraced “revolution” as utopia — I used to watch old Indian
movies propagating “Kranti” for social change — are cowering before
religion-driven “Inquilab”. It is not difficult to see how Pakistan has
identified with its killer under a kind of Stockholm syndrome. We have become
violent. The best lab demonstration is in Karachi, where the Taliban slaughters
people from its “no-go” areas at the rate of 10 per day…..
The lesson of
democracy can be learned from the way politicians responded to the outcome of
the referendum. Although believing wholeheartedly that the Scots would choose
independence, Salmond was humble enough to say that democracy was to be
admired, which means the people’s voices have to be accepted……
appeal, which was led by a Muslim PETA India staffer wearing a lettuce-leaf Hijab,
was in support of nonviolent ways to give alms to the poor, such as gifts of
grains, fruits, clothing, and money, instead of paying to slaughter goats
during the Bakra Eid religious commemoration of Abraham’s offering of his son
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
books have been altered to create a new system of discourse which shows that
Hindus were always united, Muslims created the caste system and divided the
Hindus so that they can “rule” and it is their ideology which the British
acquired. Only the “Ancient” history of India is truly the “Indian” History,
while the “Medieval” history of India is, what the RSS says, “Muslim” history
of India and the pre-Independence age is the “Christian” history of India.....
A recent Gallup
Poll has revealed some interesting facts. A majority of respondents support
Javed Hashmi’s decision to quit the PTI and agreed that some “third force” was
behind Imran Khan’s “Dharna”….
Jihad’ propaganda is a double-edged weapon: By stating that Muslim youth are
being trained to lure Hindu girls, on one hand they demonize Muslims and on the
other they tighten their control of the lives of girls and women. In this
propaganda, Hindu women are projected as gullible, easy to be lured and
incapable of deciding for themselves. In a way the communal agenda’s twin goals
are achieved here. Communal politics wants to marginalize the religious
minorities at the surface level and at the deeper societal level it aims to
restrict the rights and freedom of women. ....
honeymoon is coming to an end at home. In a series of by-elections, his party
has done surprisingly poorly. It would be a strange irony if the problem with
Narendra Modi turns out to be not that he is too bold but rather that he is not
continuing din of the Dharnas in clinical Islamabad, an important announcement
in the badlands of Waziristan has largely escaped strategic scrutiny. This is a
statement by the so-called leader of the Punjabi Taliban, Azmatullah Muaviya,
renouncing armed struggle against the Pakistani state and determining to focus
instead on the fight against the government in Kabul in alliance with the
Haqqani Network under the leadership of Mulla Omar……
something ill about a society that is perfectly comfortable with violence and
control but frowns on consensual relationships. And there's something
particularly grotesque about a party that will cold-bloodedly use relationships
as a political weapon. Just to be clear, "love jihad" -- a concept
that claims that Muslim men court Hindu women to convert them to Islam purely
to take over India -- doesn't exist. It
simply isn't a thing. It's a conspiracy theory. ….
Even the conversions as a result of love marriages are mostly voluntary if not by heart, the reason being that most of Muslim boys do not like to flout its religious position, which disallows marriages with polytheists. Fallen in love, girls prefer to marry even if it means abandoning their religion. This is among many compromises that the couples make in order to marry one another. What is however is not being debated at all in the mainstream media is that if any forced conversion is taking place in India, it is the conversion of Muslims to Hinduism…..
Some Muslims may be getting angry and worried at such a harmful eventuality in the nation and they may be thinking that maybe they should separate themselves from Hindus or build their own Muslim groups to provide political and social protection to them. However the fact remains that despite such troublemaking attempts by a few nefarious extremist elements, most Hindus remain secular and treat Muslim Indians as their fellow citizens. Countless Hindus and Muslims rub shoulders in schools, colleges, offices, factories, farms, places of work and places of entertainment like Melas, sporting events etc. And they have the same dreams and worries and plans to improve themselves……
Naila’s saviours came in the form of some friends who made her realise that religion neither condoned nor allowed a man to be physically cruel to his wife, even when it came to spousal physical rights…….
There are many similar songs in Hindi cinema — Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj from Baiju Bawra has a similar pedigree. Actors routinely play roles of characters from another religion. The secular character of the Hindi film industry is well known and is taken for granted. India’s traditional culture too is imbued with the same spirit; we don’t make a big deal of it. That very spirit that makes India what it is, a diverse land with a multitude of religions, ethnicities, languages and dialects. It has its fault lines and conflicts, but the character has survived centuries — whoever came here got absorbed into the larger whole. The phrase unity in diversity, often used by Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s enlightened and visionary first Prime Minister, was no cliché — it summed up the ethos of the nation. Despite provocations and crises, that ethos has survived……
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Sometimes blessings come in disguise. The recent flood crisis in Kashmir is an example of this old saying. The whole state of Jammu and Kashmir was almost under water. A massive rescue and relief operation by the Indian armed forces is on in the state. It was this same Indian army which was subjected to stone-throwing that is now dropping food packets, saving the lives of people and extending all possible help.....
It seems that scare-mongering about religion suits the purpose of our ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ extremists. I agree that religious differences are a problem; I would venture to add, it’s a global problem that the human species is grappling with. But I seriously don’t think India is going to sink into a morass of religious violence. While some of our myriad communities may not be in perfect harmony with each other, we’ve learnt to co-exist, by and large, without resorting to mass violence…..
Can someone then spare a kind thought for the liberals stuck in the middle? Cannons to the left of them, cannons to the right of them, sitting in the valley of death and being charged with just about every crime... Or if you want a more insensitive description, then a wishy-washy — “everyone has rights, even the people whose views I hate” — brigade. What sort of a position is that to take, ask those who go to gyms set up by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to pump their Hindu biceps and plan their next move against some religious minority or the other…
Mehr F. Husain
Every year the floods come angrily sweeping through the region, immersing anything and everything in sight. And each year hundreds if not thousands sit by and watch as their entire lives - sometimes loved ones too - are swept away. And each time the same promises of aid and rehabilitation are made. Every professional out there offers plans on what should have been done, what could be done and what would have been possible, followed by the tiresome 'if only'….
Yellow cabs and tractors, Sasti Rotis, laptops and Youth Loan Schemes are visibly sexy. But dams and reservoirs are dull and opaque; they don’t provide political optics like expansive motorways, gleaming bullet trains and bright red buses on stilts. Every politician is a wannabe Shahjahan but not one can recall the names of the Commissioners of the Indian Civil Service who founded and sustained the great canal colonies network that nourishes the province…….
Over a period of 1,600 years, Islamic culture has spread through the length and breadth of India, touched all sections of society, and penetrated into various spheres of our life. How can a Prime Minister treat a cultural system — the lifeblood of a nation — as anti-national? This question begs an answer, and the debate should be focused on this alone, and not on who is a majority and who a minority......
The cult derives not from secular charisma, but divine revelation. Cult organisations may be opposed to one another on the basis of mutual apostatisation, but they are led by men inspired by religion, if not a direct connection with god. The men who die for national armies are filled with the rhetoric of nationalism. But national armies function within the ambit of the laws of war agreed among nations. Men who fight for private armies are psychologically chained to the charisma of the cult leader…..