The latest target of opprobrium – MEA Smt Sushma Swaraj

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.” ― Joseph Conard (well known Polish British novelist)

It had been my firm conviction as a son, as a brother, as a husband, as a father and as a friend that women are more patient, tolerant, sophisticated and decent in most respects than men folks.

I assume that the trolls who are using all sort of filthy language against Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on social media now are men. They are a crowd of irrational bigots and the shame they’re bringing to their upbringing.   Sheer hate, just because the Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj has helped an inter-faith couple to get passport, she is being made the target of abuse and all sort of fanatical absurdities. Earlier this week, Vikas Mishra, an officer in the regional passport office in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow was transferred after he allegedly humiliated the inter-faith couple, asking the woman to change her last name and the man to convert to Hinduism. Tanvi Seth and Anas Siddique had also alleged that Mishra misbehaved with them when they went to the passport office for the mandatory personal interview to get the travel document. Seth alleged Mishra not only declined to clear her application but also refused to renew her husband’s passport.

After the action taken by the Minister of External Affairs, all hell of social media is let lose upon her and her family while there seems to be no help coming from her party BJP or the leadership.

Someone asks her husband Swaraj Kaushal on twitter to “beat her up” for “Muslim appeasement”. Another troll re-tweeted the message posted by one Mukesh Gupta (@MG_IITDelhi) which asked him to beat his wife “when she comes home” and “teach her not to do Muslim appeasement” as “Muslims never vote for the BJP”.

I’ve often felt that Smt Sushma Swaraj is NOT in a party she deserves to be or she she should be. Of course, she have had often shown her feet of clay in politics. However, she is unlucky also as she had narrowly missed in the last race of Prime Ministership. In Sep 2012, the Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray  had said that leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushama Swaraj is the only leader in the ally BJP who would make a “deserving” Prime Minister. In part three of his marathon interview, published by Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ he wrote: “At present there is only one person who is intelligent, brilliant – Sushma Swaraj. “I have said this many times… She would be a great choice for PM’s post. She is a deserving, intelligent woman. She would deliver a great performance.”.

Mr Thackeray’s comments had come in the wake of pre-poll arguments about the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had been widely pitched as a potential prime ministerial candidate. Before that his party had consistently refrained from projecting him as one. This was largely due to the strong discomfort among its allies, most notably Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal(United) which has made it amply clear that Mr Modi would not be acceptable as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate. Mr Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, did not name his Gujarat counterpart, but said a contender for PM must have “clean and secular” credentials. What had followed after that is now part of history and very soon the story would go into the folklore. We have to wait for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The silent observers in India and around the globe are helplessly watching journalists like Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghose, Ravish Kumar, Rajdeep Sardesai, Rana Ayyub, Rahul Kanwal and others facing online abuse every day. Even politicians from political parties across the spectrum, on some occasion or the other, have been victims or part of internet trolling.

In 2015, former Union Minister Arun Shourie was attacked for criticising the Modi government. In an interview to NDTV he had said, “If you gave me an opportunity to read the kind of abuse that has been hurled at me and my handicapped son, your viewers will be horrified…. They wrote, ‘Jiska mental son hai, woh aur bhi mental banega.’ These damned fools are followed by the PM on the social media.”

Senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, who was trolled for an article recently, shared how the world over people were fighting an “organised army of trolls, paid for by those with vested interest, either political or corporate”.

“And, especially the extreme-right-wing people are using the techniques and the tactics in a Goebbels-like manner to spread misinformation, which is propaganda, for a purpose, which is extremely pernicious. Fake news is being spread through WhatsApp and other media to foment hatred and tension, like in the Muzaffarnagar riot case,” he said. “Facebook has more users than the population of China and it’s only growing. So, it cannot be ignored or wished away,” Thakurta said.

In this episode of Sushma’s trolling, Her husband Governor has sorrowfully replied the trolls:

“Your words have given us unbearable pain. Just to share with you, my mother died of cancer in 1993. Sushma was an MP and a former Education Minister. She lived in the hospital for a year. She refused to engage a medical attendant and attended on my dying mother personally. Such was her devotion to the family. As per my father’s wish, she lit my father’s pyre. We adore her. Please do not use such words for her. We are first generation in law and politics. We pray for nothing more than her life. Pls convey my profound regards to your wife.

The soft and sophisticated response of Sushma Swaraj is really appreciable:

“I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them,” she tweeted.

Will it make any difference?

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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The Dark Clouds

“A Sunset with Peace” is an article that was written eight years ago. I’ve received thousands of likes for that article and it is included in my book “Despair and Hope.”

However, an article published today, 27th June 2018, in “Hindustan Times” by an Anonymous writer has sent a shiver down my spine. It is a story of a septuagenarian who was shifted to an assisted living facility by his NRI son after a by-pass surgery.

Here are some excerpts of the article:

Living away had taken its toll on my outlook and life turned negative.

More than even children, I miss my wife. She moved to my daughter’s house in another city when she developed arthritis. She was not able to walk on her own and I was not able to assist her. I did not want to be an additional burden on my daughter so I continued to live on my own. It is difficult for her to come visit me here as she can not travel alone.

It was my bad luck that my son found a job in America. He came down to India, stayed with me while I had a by-pass surgery and moved me to a short stay, assisted living facility for the elderly in Delhi. He returned. I did not question the decision as I believe that my son wanted the best for me. I would never want to come in the way of his successful career. He had promised me to visit in March. It is already June.

As parents grow old, their needs actually become fewer. They don’t want to become a burden on anyone. They understand if their children live separately.

The only thing they want from their children is a little time.

I do hope and pray that when I die I am not alone. My children may be busy so I can accept if they are not with me but I want to be with my wife in my last days.

I saw some other people pass away without having their family around and that scares me.

Note : I hope and pray that it won’t happen with other parents facing the similar dilemma. But it reminds me the story of film “Baghban.”

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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No Iftar Party in President House this Ramazan

During the Parliament’s winter session of Nov 2015, Indians watched an interesting debate about Secularism and its status in the reality framework. Indians also recalled an earlier attempt by the previous NDA regime (1998-2004) to force a review of the Constitution.

India is socialist, secular, democratic republic and word secular was added into the preamble by the 42th Amendment (1976). As per this there would be equality of all religions in India, along with religious tolerance and respect. As per the written Constitution of India, India is a secular country and we as citizens of India must abide by it. Even the old age philosophy of oneness of religion has been mentioned in Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads. The Upanishads preach ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ which means respect for all belief systems.

Let us remember that Indian constitution has not made the laws to define the relationship between religion and state. However, soon after independence, many political leaders started preaching communal ideology, which led to India becoming a combination of communalism and secularism. Since the early 1980’s communalism became so strong that it began to overshadow the secularism. New words like “sickular” and “pseudo-secularism” were coined. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, The Babri Masjid demolition controversy in 1992, militancy in Kashmir have brought up the sharp contours of communalism versus secularism. Communal forces began to oppress the minorities and the fault lines of democratic India began to emerge in broad day light. Communal and religious clashes became the biggest question on the definition of “secularism” in present day India.

Today, the vested interest of people behind communalism are trying to defeat the ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ philosophy. Religion is personal and must not interference with politics. However, in situations of damage to religious sentiments the government is expected to deal with the perpetrators strictly and the guilty must be punished.

On the occasion to mark the 125th birth anniversary year of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had questioned the manner in which secularism is being used in contemporary discourse. The background of this disputation was the idea of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government. It wanted a two-day debate on how far the values of the Constitution are being understood today.

The Ex-Congress president Sonia Gandhi had argued that the principles enshrined in the Constitution were ‘under deliberate attack’ and secularism is a core value in the constitutional system. Mr. Rajnath Singh had expressed the view that ‘secularism’ is the most misused word in Indian politics and that the time has come to end such misuse came close to questioning the continuing relevance of the very concept of secularism.

It was interesting and reassuring that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s had emphatically ruled out any such review and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the core principles of the Constitution. In fact he had deflated the trial balloon flown by communalist fringe elements of BJP / NDA who are always engaged in fomenting the communal utterances. The prime minister had shut the debate asserting that the only religion for his government was ‘India first’ and the only holy book, the Constitution.

It is a good news that President Ram Nath Kovind will not host an Iftar party at the Rashtrapati Bhavan this year, said an official on Wednesday. “After the Ram Nath Kovind took office, he decided there would be no religious celebrations or observances in a public building such as Rashtrapati Bhavan on taxpayer’s expense. This is in keeping with the principles of a secular state and applies to all religious occasions, irrespective of religion,” Ashok Malik, Press Secretary to the president was quoted as saying by PTI.

Let all the religious fanatics who want to turn the Secular India into a Theoritical Hindu Rashtra take a lesson or two from the example the President is setting.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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“Despair and Hope” – a book by Naim Naqvi

Despair and Hope

My valuable readers,

This book “Despair and Hope” is written for those who are looking neither for a broad social, political and historical canvass nor a specialization of any topic. It is meant to help you pass your time in a positive way without racking the brain. It is likely to impart the feelings of a Parisian flaneur in a book bazaar doing a literary tour. You may find a variety of subjects that are not new but refreshing. You may agree or disagree with the views and observations but would open a window for argument and discussion.

You might find it interesting to read how a non-intellectual, ordinary mind also puts up an idea that makes some sense. You may discover a latent streak of rebellion against the established thoughts without a touch of being iconoclast. No techniques of complex solutions are concocted here but an interesting easy way out of problems is presented for most of the loaded discussions.

In my literary journey, I had come across a lot of friends who talked about the subjects presented in this book. I have added some ideas to their dialogue. There is nothing extraordinary in this book but I’m sure that it would satisfy a little of your curiosity.

In the very first chapter ‘Religion and Reason’ of this book I’ve tried to open a dialogue and the tone what follows next.

“It was not my personal choice to be born in a family I landed. In the busy life of today, very few of us have time to go through and study all that the contemporary religions could offer. A normal human being is defined by his her birth certificate which is the description of birth and antecedents. If one has to explore the deeper truths of creation and existence today, one life or several lives won’t suffice to find the ultimate reality. The concept of FAITH has to enter in life. So, I’m satisfied with the set of beliefs I’d inherited from my parents, relatives, neighbors and the society where I lived. My religion is a Gift of God. Good luck also to all deeply religious zealots and sincere souls. I have no argument with those who believe otherwise. Everyone has to bear his own cross. I’m what I’m and I’m content with what I’m.”

The article is concluded with the following lines:

“To me, the spirit of religion is to serve the mankind. Unfortunately, the new insular movements in the Islamic world are closing the windows of fresh air of thoughts. The kind of freedom that science demands is not to be found among the fanatic fringes of Islamic world.”

In another chapter – ‘The Shia Sunni Unity’ I’ve expressed the following personal thought:

“I have worked hard through my life to understand this cleavage and discover the real reason but have miserably failed to decide the side which is RIGHT in absolute terms. My feeling of being torn between the doctrines of Shia Islam and Sunni Islam has often driven me to despair and nervous breakdown. And every new quest for truth led me to a sadder explosion or transported me into an even worse cul-de-sac. Ironically, several individuals both from the major Islamic sects sincerely seek to please God by disparaging the other sect with all their might.”

Similarly, the article ‘Black is Beautiful’ begins with the following lines:

“The centre of cultural gravity was shifted when Nelson Mandela challenged and defeated the Apartheid regime of South Africa. The prejudice against dark skin gave way once Barrak Hussain Obama, a darky himself, became the President of the most powerful nation on earth. Back home, a lot of water has also flown below the bridge of the river Gomti since Gandhi’s return from South Africa.

However, the bias against swart, swarthy and dusky skin persists extensively in our Indian society.”

For a change of taste, in the chapter – ‘Rooh Afza’ you would read these lines:

“But none of these drink command that love, respect and loyalty that the ‘Rooh Afza enjoys from its consumers. On a hot day nothing quenches the thirst like Rooh Afza. From the time of ‘One India’, before the advent of Pakistan and Bangla Desh, the pleasant rose-pink tint and its delicate flavor has been savored by most of the denizens irrespective of faith and geography. Rooh Afza still unites the three divided nations. In almost every third home of the county you can find the half empty bottles that had never changed its looks.”

Paying my tributes to Baba Amte I’ve written:

“However, a rainy night changed his entire approach to life.

No, he didn’t meet a beautiful girl that ‘Barsat Ki Raat’ as happens to romantic and impractical poets in dreams. Sagacious and practical people encounter harsh realities. On his way home, he saw a leper named Tulshiram who was lying naked by the road.  The sight of his fingerless and maggot-ridden body sent shock through Amte’s spine. He was horrified. His initial impulse prompted him to leave the place fearing infection. However, a second thought and call of conscience compelled Baba Amte to help the destitute. He decided to feed the man with his own hands and gave him shelter for the rest of his life.”

In the chapter – “Islam and Suicide” there is heartrending discussion about this horrible act and attitude of Islam.

“Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. It is an act of helplessness, defeat and nihilism (the rejection of all religious and moral principles). Several causes like disturbed family life, free fall from a high social, political and economic pedestal, loneliness, breach of trust etc. are attributed to it. But the fulcrum of this move is always depression.

The Holy Quran Prohibiting Killing of Oneself or Others:

O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.”.

………………………………….Surat An-Nisa 4:29

“And spend in the Cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves in destruction.”

………Surat Al-Baqrah 2:195

The book ends with a very humble confession and revelation about my own life:

“I never looked back since then. Jamal touched the dazzling heights of his professional career, and I had somehow managed to survive as I stand before you. Today, this one of the dearest friend of my life is suffering from Retina Eye Problems. He is going to be operated on 4th of April. I’m willing to give him one of my eye but being a severe heart patient with several stunts in my body, coupled with the SUGAR visitation and Backaches, the Doctors feel that no choice would be worse than any of my body organs.”

Naim Naqvi

The book is available as an e-book   :    https://www.my-books.in

Also on amazon.com

In India     : https://www.amazon.in/dp/9386474832

In USA       : https://www.amazon.com/dp/9386474832

In UK          : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/9386474832

In France    : https://www.amazon.fr/dp/9386474832

In Italy        : http://www.amazon.it/dp/9386474832

In Japan     : http://www.amazon.co/jp/dp/9386474832

In Brazil      : http://www.amazon.de/dp/9386474832

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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An honourable settlement of Ayodhya dispute

“Yad-e-Mazi azaab hai Ya Rabb, cheen le Mujh se Hafza mera.”

The recollections of past are scourge. Oh my God, take away my memory from me.”

I could vividly recall the ‘Chariot’ of Shri L K Advani, Shri Narendra Modi sitting almost at the vanguard before the razing of the Babri Mosque at Ayodya. Babri Masjid was ultimately demolished and the demolition sparked some of the deadliest riots in India’s independent history and deepened religious divisions that still exist today.

I want to forget that disastrous incident like a bad dream.

Those were the heady days for Advani Ji. Even Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee didn’t enjoy that clout. Come 2012 and in the month of September, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would use the hi-tech “chariot” that his mentor L K Advani rode during his Jan Chetna Yatra last year.

On a visit to Ayodhya, the BJP’s state chief in Uttar Pradesh that time, Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya had described the BJP’s electoral strategy: emphasize development, expose corruption.

Asked about demands to build the Hindu temple, he said the courts should decide.

In 2002, Shri Rajnath Singh was the first chief minister who had offered prayers at the Ayodhya Site. No Mukhya Mantri of UP has, in the past 15 years, visited the disputed site to offer prayers. After a long passage of time, Yogi Adityanath, the well known Sadhu / Politician known for his aggressive pro-Hindutva stand for many years offered prayers at the Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. His visit to Ayodhya was described by the tamed media and saffron brigade as as a ‘return to Treta Yuga.’

Kick-starting the BJP’s civic poll campaign for the three-phase civic election in the state due on November 22, 26 and 29, the chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that SP and BSP did not like his visits to the temple town. Ayodhya goes to polls in the first phase.

The ‘Art Of Living’ founder on Wednesday pays a “courtesy call” to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The CM welcomes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s role in talks and says, “Since the government isn’t party to the case, I had already told the stakeholders that if they can come to a final decision on the matter through dialogue, then the government is committed to fully back it. But if they can’t come to such a decision… if they can’t talk it out… then it is in the court… and we will obey whatever is the court’s decision.”

Following the meeting, Shankar said, “I want unity… I want amity. This is just a beginning. We will talk to all,” reported PTI.

Former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti on Thursday questions Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s offer to mediate in the Ayodhya dispute, adding that the Art of Living Founder has intervened in the issue to “avoid” being probed for his amassed wealth. His comments come on the same day Ravi Shankar is scheduled to visit Ayodhya to meet all stakeholders involved in the dispute.

“Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to mediate? He should continue running his NGO and hoarding foreign funds. I believe he has amassed a lot of wealth and to avoid a probe he has jumped into Ram Temple issue,” Vedanti was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Vedanti, who has been associated with the Ram Temple movement, has in the past too rejected Ravi Shankar’s offer to mediate in the dispute.

The people of town of Ayodhya have witnessed frequent visits of Yogi Adityanath. He has been sharpening his Hindutva agenda as he has recently attacked the SECULAR concept of Indian democracy. It is strange that a law maker who has taken the oath of Indian Constitution openly repudiating rather disparaging a focal concept of Constitution.

Our Prime Minister Modi has chosen to maintain silence but has given second-rung BJP leaders carte blanche to act as loose cannons and that is a part of well thought out RSS strategy. Modi has not visited Ayodhya even once in his prime-ministerial tenure of more than three years. Even when Modi visited Ayodhya’s twin city, Faizabad, in 2014 to address a rally organised in support of the BJP Lok Sabha candidate Lallu Singh, he refused to open his mouth on the Ayodhya issue.

It is neither Modi nor Adityanath who prefer their own tracks. It is the RSS design. Politics, Otto Von Bismarck said, politics is the art of the possible. But trust our politicians; they just don’t make things possible, they create them.

Yesterday, the senior saffronites had pulled down the Babri Masjid and now the new turks want to build a temple there with harmony and goodwill, persuading the Muslims to show magnanimity on the Ram temple construction issue. The argument is triggered that in a Hindu-majority country, it is expected of the Muslim minority to show big heart to Hindu majority and respect the faith of the Hindus. The idea has no place to include respect for the faith of the Muslims. The fundamentals of a peaceful and honourable settlement demand that all parties to a dispute are treated as equals. With the cunning tactics to force the other side into abject surrender is unacceptable.

However, as so many are joining the BJP bandwagon and the never-ending stream of Turncoat politicians and chameleon politicians knock the door, the saffronites are sure of winning Gujarat in 2017 and centre in 2019. Only the time will tell what the future holds for the secular India.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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The Martyrdom and Message of Karbala

The very word ‘martyr’ has been hackneyed or overused these days in case of any accident or death if we are sympathetic to the victim and somehow we could emotionally relate to the circumstances of his / her death. So, the pertinent question is:

WHOEVER IS TAKEN unawares or shot dead or suddenly killed be that even for any matter of goodness on the part of the murdered one could be called a martyr?

According to the tenets of Islam, anyone killed for any cause other than in service of God’s, cannot be called a martyr. We are at liberty to claim that assassin had been cruel and the ‘good man a just man, a brave man or a reasonable or ultimately a great man’ had been unjustly killed, but he cannot be a martyr in the theological diction of Islam. We may impart or assign great value, importance and dignity to that situation but a martyr in the true and the proper sense of the term is the one who stands for Truth and Righteousness as guided by God even at the cost of his life, property including his near and dear ones.

When you say it’s someone’s ‘Wafat’, it means they have passed away/died but when you say it’s someone’s ‘Shahadat’, the only difference is that they have passed away in the path of Allah/been martyred.

However, The Shahada in Arabic literally means “the testimony” and is an Islamic faith declaring belief in the oneness of God (Tawhid) and the acceptance of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) as God’s last prophet.

A Shahid is the person who sees the truth physically and thus stands by it firmly, so much so that not only does he testify it verbally, but he is prepared to struggle and fight and give up his life for the truth that is the real Cause of Allah, and thus becomes a martyr. In this way, and by his struggle and sacrifice for the sake of the truth, he become a model, a paradigm, and an example for others, worthy of being copied, and worthy of being followed.

In one of his article a learned scholar Janab Asad Zaidi encapsulates the message of Imam Hussain (AS) and martyrdom of Karbala in the following sequence:

1) Be righteous, even if you are alone. Standing up for what is right is important, even if you have to face death with certainty. It is important for the greater good. This is the only way to defeat injustice.

2) Be just. Don’t be selective when speaking up against tyranny. It does not matter if the oppressed person is not related to you. Similarly, it doesn’t matter if the oppressor is related to you. You have to stand up for what is right.

3) Be patient. The overall goal is more important than your personal feelings. Hazrat Abbas, the brave son of Imam Ali (AS) and the younger brother of Imam Hussain (AS), was a famous warrior of his time. He drove fear into the very souls of his enemies. Yet, he kept quiet in the face of many provocations as commanded by his elder brother.

4) Be brave even when you have lost everything. Sayeeda Zainab (AS), the brave daughter of Imam Ali and the sister of Imam Hussain, was taken as prisoner after seeing her family being massacred – her loving brothers, her nephews, and her own two sons. All were killed in one day, yet, she didn’t lose focus of the goal of her brother. Tied up in ropes, she fearlessly spoke against the tyrant ruler right in his durbar/courtyard.

Never fear to speak the truth!

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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The recent DU Student Union Election Results – see how the wind blows


I’ve consistently maintained in several portals that BJP is a party that is deficient of talent and experience. The gamble of RSS to catapult a controversial face with a tarred reputation to the centre stage paid dividends pro tem like a wind fall in the last Lok Sabha polls. RSS managed to garner the Hindu hardliner’s support and attracted the desperate youth with the mirage of bright future coated with Hindutva appeal. “Acchche din’ was a deceptive but mesmerizing slogan that put on hopes to many of the gullible hopefuls. However, as the BJP completes a marathon 40 months race and the other side of new Lok Sabha is beckoning alarmingly, the formidable outfit sees to have lost the road as well as the roadmap.
There is not point to recall the BJP lied about ‘Black Money’, 15 lakhs in every Indian Passbook, secure borders, ten heads for one head, Clean and Aviral Ganga, Corruption Free Bharat and Smart Cities.
In the new sargam of national life we are hit by the highest petrol prices as the current Petrol price in New Delhi is 70.39 INR, with effect from Thursday, September 14, 2017.

Let the readers recall the year 2012, in January, these BJP stalwarts riding bicycles, cycle rickshaws and even bullock carts with a large number of Bharatiya Janata Party workers held a demonstration on Parliament Street to protest against the rise in the prices of all essential commodities and the recent hike in petrol prices. Led by Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta, the protesters, who included eight MLAs, raised slogans against the “anti-people’’ policies of the Congress-led Government at the Centre. After being addressed by the party leaders, the protesters moved towards Parliament. They broke through some of the police barricades and later courted arrest when the police used water cannons to disperse them and prevented their further advance towards Parliament.

Earlier, addressing the protesters, Mr. Gupta had charged that the Central Government was playing a “double game’’ to demoralize the people. “On the one hand the Group of Ministers is formed on paper to curb price spiral and on the other the Government is trying to deprive the common man of his bread by increasing the price of petrol by Rs.5.50 within a month. Nowhere in the world is the tax on oil so high as it is in India,’’ he said, adding that “here the Government recovers more tax than the price of oil’’.

What face these leaders have to show to suffering masses?

The merciless killing of Gauri Lankesh has turned the tables against the well orchestrated take-over game plan for 2019 and the public is rising from deep enforced slumber.

The thundering ABVP defeat at JNU’s Union elections and the convincing victory of Congress student wing National Students Union of India (NSUI) has shaken the ruling dispensation to its roots. NSUI won the posts of President and Vice-President. BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has won the post of Secretary. And jt-secy post. However, NSUI has rejected the revised results. NSUI handle on Twitter indicated that the party is looking to go to High Court to challenge the result. According to NSUI they have won 3, not 2 seats.

Before the latest DU student union election the Prime Minister addressed students across the nation from Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Speaking at the event, Prime Minister stressed on his Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Addressing the event, PM Modi said that Indians do not have the right to chant Vande Mataram if they go on to spit pan and throw garbage on roads. He further added that those who clean the roads and surroundings have the first right in the country. Speaking about Swami Vivekanada’s address in at Parliament on Religion in Chicago on 11 September, 1983, PM Modi said people in India remember 9/11 of 1893. “Today is 9/11…this day became widely spoken about after 2001 but there was another 9/11 of 1893 which we remember. Just with a few words, a youngster from India won over the world and showed the world the power of oneness,” the Prime Minister said.

It was a pep talk to enlighten the students of DU to recognize the vision and mission of BJP ideology. However, The ABVP had claimed that on the basis of its ‘pro-student issues’ and consistent ‘developmental work’ on JNU campus, it would defeat the Left, as students have got over the ‘Communist narratives’. With the NDA government at the Centre, they expected to repeat the feat of 2000, when ABVP candidate Sandeep Mahapatra had bagged the president’s post for the first and the last time in JNUSU history.

However, Rahul Gandhi’s speech to students at University of California, Berkeley on Monday touched all major aspects of contemporary Indian politics, right from defending questions on dynasty politics to raising questions over the Modi government’s demonetisation drive. Not only that, the Congress vice-president said that he was “absolutely ready” to take up an executive responsibility if the party asked him to do so. It seems that the intelligent boys at the universities are finding closer equation with the young scion of Congress Party.

According to NSUI’s national media in-charge Neeraj Mishra, “Today’s victory of the NSUI at DUSU is a mandate against Modi’s policies and the RSS-ABVP agenda of saffronisation of university campuses. The results of Rajasthan University, Panjab University and now Delhi University shows how the students have rejected them. Amid strong positioning of the ABVP, the victory of the NSUI also reflects the trust reposed by the youth on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.”

Prior to JNU and DU students’ polls, in the elections in Rajasthan University, and in Punjab University as well the ABVP came a cropper, losing all three major seats.

We shall not discuss about Ahmad Patel’s victory at RS or the results of ‘Bawana by polls’ where Aam Aadmi Party’s Ram Chander managed to win by a margin of 24,000 votes over his closest rival Ved Prakash of the BJP. But one can listen to the alarming bells announcing the bad times for communal, parochial and blatant non-inclusive mind-sets.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Long live Prof Kancha Ilaiah!


There are several people who have left their imprints on my life in the holistic format. I’ve learned from them about politics, philosophy, socialism, values of life and respect of other religions as well as the concepts of gnosis and atheism. They may not have brought any drastic changes in the fundamentals of my character but they had helped me to understand and analyze any situation with a clear mind and in a objective way.

And one of them is Prof Kancha Ilaiah. He is an Indian activist and writer who is two months younger to me in age. His books include ‘Why I am not a Hindu’, ‘God As Political Philosopher: Budha’s challenge to Brahminism,’ ‘A Hollow Shell,’ ‘The State and Repressive Culture,’ ‘Manatatwam’ (in Telugu), and ‘Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism’. He is a member of the Dalit Freedom Network and a major figure in the movement against the Hindu Caste System

Kancha Ilaiah was born in the village of Papaiahpet, Warangal district in erstwhile Hyderabad State and his family belonged to the sheep-grazing Kuruma Golla caste, an OBC. He had received his M.A. degree in Political Science from Osmania University and an M.Phil., awarded for his study of Land Reform in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He has been a recipient of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Award and was a Nehru Fellow between 1994-97. Ilaiah earned a Ph.D on the basis of his work exploring the political dimension of Buddhism culminating in God as Political Philosopher – Buddha Challenge to Brahminism..

He has credited his mother, Kancha Kattamma, as pivotal in shaping his political thought. According to Ilaiah, she was at the forefront of the Kurumas’ struggle against the forest guards discriminatory behaviour. Kancha Kattamma was killed during a violent confrontation while protesting against police brutality. Kancha Ilaiah is identified as a Dalit although he is not a Dalit but rather a member of an Other Backward Class.

Currently, Kancha Ilaiah is serving as director of the Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Moulana Azad National University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.

As the poisoned atmosphere created by RSS Hindutva Ideology have been tearing the social democratic fabric of the country and taking its toll in the murders and silencing the liberal intellectual, this great social reformer, bold writer and intrepid scholar has also received the numerous threats. However, after receiving several threatening phone calls for days, writer, activist and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah sought police protection on Monday saying that he was facing threat to his life even as Arya Vysya organisations staged protests in parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh seeking a ban on his book, “Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu (Vysyas are social smugglers)”.

Speaking to reporters, Kancha said, “No matter how much I am threatened or intimidated, my brain will not be scared by bullets and violence. I will continue to write on Ambedkarite and Dalit issues as long as I live.”

He went on to say, “At every temple, Vysyas have a special dharma satram. If they consider everyone equal, they should allocate at least two rooms for Dalits at every guesthouse they constructed at the temples. They should do that if they have respect for human equality, whether it is at Kothagudem or Yadadri.”

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Rohingya Muslims also deserve to be included in ‘Vasudhavia Kutumbakam’


Vasudhavia Kutumbakam is a philosophy that inculcates the understanding that whole world is one family. If the Pramatma is one how then the Atma can be different?

In wake of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in which the Rohingya Muslims have been targetted, the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said that Lord Buddha “would have definitely helped” the Rohingyas” and he felt “very sad” about the violence.

Those people..you see..sort of harassing some Muslims. Then they should remember, Buddha, in such circumstances, would have definitely helped those poor Muslims,” Dalai Lama told reporters.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confuted the India’s stand that advocates that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it “can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion.”

According to UN human rights chief, “by virtue of customary law, its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the obligations of due process and the universal principle of non-refoulement, India cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return people to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations,” the UN human rights chief said.

According to Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “[e]veryone has the right to a nationality,” and “[n]o one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.” While issues of nationality are primarily within each state’s jurisdiction, a state’s laws must be in accord with general principles of international law.

Nationality, according to the International Court of Justice, is “a legal bond having as its basis a social fact of attachment, a genuine connection of existence, interests and sentiments.”

States are required by international standards described below to avoid acts that would render stateless anyone who has a genuine and effective link to that state:

The right to nationality without arbitrary deprivation is now recognized as a basic human right under international law, which, through legal instruments and the practice of many states, imposes the general duty on states not to create statelessness.

The primary international legal instruments addressing the issue of statelessness are the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

These conventions provide for the acquisition or retention of nationality by those who would otherwise be stateless and who have an effective link with the state through factors of birth, descent, or residency.

Citizenship, or nationality, is a fundamental human right that facilitates the ability to exercise other human rights. The Rohingya’s lack of citizenship lies at the heart of this crisis.

Human Rights Watch believes that all Rohingya born in Burma and their children have a right to Burmese citizenship. By denying them citizenship, Burma is violating international law. It is also forcing its neighbours to bear the burden of its actions. The international community should continue to put pressure on Burma to provide full citizenship and accompanying rights to its Rohingya population. Until Burma does so, the Rohingya who flee human rights abuses and ill-treatment in Burma should be provided with asylum and international refugee protection. In particular, Rohingya should not be detained or deprived freedom of movement in countries of asylum. They should receive temporary identification papers and their children should be registered at birth.

What happened in Burma now Myanmar:

The 1954 convention defines a “stateless person” as someone “who is not considered a national by any State under the operation of its law.”Under Article 1 of the 1961 convention, a state “shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless.” Article 8 prohibits the deprivation of nationality if it results in statelessness, and Article 9 prohibits the discriminatory deprivation of nationality. Burma violates both of these articles.

Nearly all Rohingyas or their parents were born in Burma, have resided there, and have family there, all factors that establish a genuine and effective link to Burma. Burma, however, continues to treat the Rohingya as foreign residents and refuses to accept them back from Malaysia. It does this on the basis of the Rohingya’s ethnic origin. Discriminatory denial of citizenship renders the Rohingya potentially stateless, as no other country recognizes them as its nationals. This violates Articles 8 and 9 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Burma, thus, bears clear responsibility for the Rohingya’s plight.

Burma has created an intractable situation for Rohingyas. Denied citizenship on the basis of their ethnicity, nearly all Rohingya in Burma have severely restricted rights to education, employment, and movement in Burma. Many are also subject to quasi-institutionalized forced labor practices.

Under its statute, UNHCR is charged with “providing international protection” and with “seeking permanent solutions for the problem of refugees.” A refugee, as defined by the 1951 Refugee Convention, is:

“….any person who . . . owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

The Rohingya are subjected to arbitrary confiscation of their property and other economic restrictions precisely because of their membership of a specific ethnic and religious group.

The Rohingya’s inability to acquire citizenship status is thus integral to the discrimination and human rights abuses they suffer in Burma. Where an entire group is arbitrarily denied or deprived of citizenship on the basis of nationality or ethnicity, there is a strong argument to be made that this constitutes discrimination rising to the level of persecution. In addition, because important legally enforceable rights are associated with citizenship, arbitrary denial or deprivation of citizenship deprives individuals of legal remedies for a variety of restrictions.

To conclude the argument, every religion has a sunny side and a shady side where the violence lurks in the background. Those who claim that all followers of Buddha are peaceful people forget the violent history of Japan pre -1945, second war, the macabre dance of death of Pol-Pot regime in the fag end of the last century and now read the following:

In Thailand several prominent virulent Buddhist monastic had called for violence. In the 1970s, nationalist Buddhist monks like Phra Kittiwuttho argued that killing Communists did not violate any of the Buddhist precepts.

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Dehli jo ek Shahar tha Aalam men Intakhab

“Come September” was an old successful blockbuster romantic comedy of Hollywood. The story line suggests a caretaker of an Italian villa who is very surprised to see its owner, a rich Yankee businessman, arrive two months early. This is a major problem because when the American isn’t visiting, the caretaker uses the villa as a hotel and pockets the profits. While he is there, the Yankee gets interested in a voluptuous guest. Meanwhile newlyweds continue their honeymoon.

Some kind of similar joke was played by history at the expanse of our past in India.

Very few of our modern Muslim youth who sing and dance with the music of ‘Come September’ know the other side of story of Sep 1857 that had changed their destiny, brutally and drastically for the foreseeable future. We are still paying the price of mistakes made in the past.

It was the eventful mournful day of Sep 14, 1857 when the sun of Islamic Mughal Emipre finally set behind the minarets of Jama Masjid, Bhojla Pahadi, Delhi.

The First War of India’s Independence began on 10 May 1857 in the form of a Mutiny of Sepys of the Company’s army in the garrison town of Meerut, 40 miles northeast of Delhi. It then erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions chiefly in the Central India. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to British power. However, after a four-month long bloody siege of Delhi, the British forces were victorious and on September 14, 1857 and Delhi fell into their hands. Residents of the Shahr Panah or city of refuge, Shahjahanabad, could not quite believe that what had happened though there had been growing evidence in front of their eyes. The rebellion was contained only with the rebels’ defeat in Gwalior on 20 June 1858. On 1 November 1858, the British granted amnesty to all rebels not involved in murder, though they did not declare the hostilities formally to have ended until 8 July 1859. The rebellion is known by many names, including the Sepoy Mutiny, the Indian Mutiny, the Great Rebellion, the Revolt of 1857 and the Indian Insurrection. Every Indian knows about the first spark – the bullets coated with objectionable animal fat.

On September 17, the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar left the Qilla-e-moalla (Red Fort) to avoid further bloodshed. There was panic in the city. On September 20 he surrendered and ‘captured’ by Major Hodson. He brought him back as as prisoner to Shahjahanabad. By then, the walled city of Shahjahanabad was vacated by old residents with the exception of those who had sided with the British forces. They were only allowed to stay on. Mirza Ghalib was allowed to stay on because the street in which he lived was inhabited by employees of the Raja of Patiala. This Raja was a loyal stooge of British rulers and he had sided with the British in quelling the ‘rebellion’.

Not everyone was so fortunate. Maulvi Mohammad Baqar who had run the newspaper, ‘Dehli Urdu Akhbar’, exhorting Hindus and Muslims to fight together against the invader traders, the common enemy, was shot on December 16.

Zahir Dehlvi writes in Dastan-e-Ghadar: “I have heard that 1400 men from this mohalla were arrested and taken to the river from the Rajghat Darwaza. There, guns bombarded them and the corpses were thrown in the river. The women ran out of their houses with their children, and jumped into wells. The wells of Kucha Chela’n were full of dead bodies.”

It would be significant to recall that both Hindus and Muslims upper and lower castes had fought together in the First War of Independence. However, as this war was fought under the leadership of Mughal Emperor Bhahdur Shah Zafar – a Muslim, the wrath of the British Empire fell heavily on the Muslims.

After a predetermined and predecided trial – a travesty of justice, Shah Zafar was exiled to Rangoon for sedition against his own empire. Most of the royal princes and princesses were killed. The rest royals met the unknown fate or death during escape or spent their lives in jungles and bastis without identity.

The Red Fort was turned into a British army camp. Most of its palatial magnificent buildings were destroyed. Ugly barrack were built. The remaining marvels of Mughal architect were stripped of their precious stone decorations and pearls.

The Jama Masjid was turned into a soldier’s camp and its side galleries were used as stables. The Akbarabadi and Kashmiri Katra mosques were demolished. Fatehpuri Masjid was sold to Lal Chunamal. He had converted this mosque it into a godown. Zeenat-ul Masajid was turned into a bakery. In ‘According to the history of rebellion, the Hindus were given a proclamation of freedom and allowed to re-enter Shahjahanabad in January 1858. Ironically the Muslims were not permitted to enter till a decade or more later. Their traditional crafts, avocations and arts were destroyed. Most of the intellectuals were compelled by circumstances to desert Delhi.

The Delhi Jama Masjid was returned to the Muslims in 1862 with many conditions and most humiliating one was the right of British officers to continue wearing shoes inside. Fatehpuri Masjid was re-bought from Lala Chuna Mal. A new class of rich traders, led by Lala Chuna Mal emerged who bought the properties of the ousted nobles and prospered. The character of Shajahanabad changed. The Delhi that has a definite Muslim Character became an alien township for them and the old order gave way to the new. After 14 years, in 1876, Queen Victoria of England became the Empress of India.

There were reasons for Muslims to lag behind. Now, who fought for the freedom and who got the reward? Let the future dispassionate historians decide!

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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