Dachau Concentration Camp, near Munich, Germany – Now a tourist spot

DachauOne of my blogger friend Julia wrote in her ‘Don’t Despair’ column:
The inscription at the base of a statue at Dachau reads:

“To honor the dead, to warn the living.”

Dachau Concentration Camp, near Munich, Germany, August 2005
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…” — Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl spent three years of his life in various concentration camps, including Dachau. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like in a Nazi death camp, but it does seem that witnessing what Frankl describes would have been stunning. We all long to believe that we could be heroic if called upon to be so; that we would be one of the few who would have been giving what little comfort we could to our fellow prisoners.

When someone gives you a few minutes of precious time by attending to your story, sending you a note or small gift or any other of a number of personal kindnesses, they are enacting the same spirit Frankl witnessed in the camps. When someone lets you into traffic instead of honking at you, waves you ahead in a line at the grocery, or gives you a smile or a friendly word just when you need it most, they are exercising the freedom to choose a caring attitude….End of the quote.

Let me reproduce few excerpts of the article I’d written and published in 2013.
London is a serene city and it was becoming too mundane and sanctimonious to brighten up my bruised soul. I had had an international heart break. Some of my friends gave heart-breaks in life and some helped to heal. A friend in Germany invited me promising good times and I quickly packed my necessary baggage. Took the earliest flight for Munich and sallied forth into the world of Mercedes, BMWs and Porches. A day in the Munich and walk-through tour of the city did make some subtle difference but the next day’s program was a secret that my friend advised to appreciate the way it comes.

Next morning he announced that we were going to ‘Dachau.’ The very name of this town conjures up some deadliest memories of human history. As early as 1935 there were jingles warning: “Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not to Dachau come.” Dachau concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau) was the first Nazi concentration camp opened in Germany. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, a state of Kings and aristocrats and it is located in southern Germany.

Dachau served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi concentration camps that followed. Almost every community in Germany had members taken away to these camps. It was opened in March 1933. Heinrich Himmler, the Chief of Police of Munich had officially described this camp as “the first concentration camp for political prisoners.

We took Metro train No. S-2 from Munich Hoptbahnof in the direction Petershasun. Travel time was only 20 Minutes. From Dachau Rly Stn we boarded bus No. 726 to reach camp site, the first destination of our day.

“I’ve brought you a place where once every hope, every dream, every aspiration and every sense that nature has vested in a human beings was paired down to absolute minimum. You can’t fall down further. There existed no abyss after this.” My friend told me as we approached the main Gate.

Dachau is city that runs in circle and as a pantry man of a restaurant informed – even today the spirits of the victims roam in circles here. More than 2 lakhs prisoners from more than 30 countries were housed in Dachau of whom two-thirds were political prisoners and nearly one-third were Jews. 25,613 prisoners are believed to have died in the camp and almost another 10,000 in its sub camps primarily from disease, malnutrition and suicide. In early 1945, there was a typhus epidemic in the camp followed by an evacuation, in which large numbers of the weaker prisoners died.

On 29 April 1945, KZ Dachau was surrendered to the American Army by SS-Sturmscharführer Heinrich Wicker. A vivid description of the surrender appears in Brig. Gen. Henning Linden’s official “Report on Surrender of Dachau Concentration Camp”:

“As we moved down along the west side of the concentration camp and approached the southwest corner, three people approached down the road under a flag of truce. We met these people about 75 yards north of the southwest entrance to the camp. These three people were a Swiss Red Cross representative and two SS troopers who said they were the camp commander and assistant camp commander and that they had come into the camp on the night of the 28th to take over from the regular camp personnel for the purpose of turning the camp over to the advancing Americans.

The Swiss Red Cross representative acted as interpreter and stated that there were about 100 SS guards in the camp who had their arms stacked except for the people in the tower. He said he had given instructions that there would be no shots fired and it would take about 50 men to relieve the guards, as there were 42,000 half-crazed prisoners of war in the camp, many of them typhus infected.”

I was feeling nausea and wanted to leave the sight immediately.

“Do you realize that there are and there had been and there would always be people who are more unfortunate than you ? I have booked a taxi for Lake Steinberg !” I was listening to my friend. In a few minutes a smart lady appeared with her cab and we got into it leaving behind the goriest sight of human depravity.

Within minutes we were in a different world. Along the roads there were shady tree-lined avenues, tranquil orchards, cobbled streets and we passed through the villages whose farmsteads and houses have retained much of their original charm. White stork could be seen as reminder of virgin nature. We saw the glittering waterways and wooded hills. fortified stone churches and beautiful hard working people.

Finally we reached Lake Steinberg. Glaciers and melt water from the last ice age formed a landscape here that has a touch of Switzerland about it. Lush green pine covered hills surround the idyllic lake. You can observe very closely how geology was shaped by the last ice age. A whole host of breathtaking sights did wonders to my spirit. It was evening on the road and we had a nice discussion with our beautiful taxi driver who was not that smart in English :

“My mother taxi; my father taxi; me taxi…”“What about your kids ?” I asked her. “No, they go school !”

Naim Naqvi

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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India should form its own ‘Fidayeen’ Squad

SquadFor me, the slogan ‘India First’ is not to win elections. It runs in my blood. India is my ‘Motherland’ and anyone and everyone who dares to do an iota of harm to my motherland is my ENEMY. If my country needs me, in any form of my existence, I would be delighted to offer myself.

Every Indian is shocked, dismayed and angry as the yesterday’s attack by heavily armed militants at an Indian army base in north Kashmir in which 17 Indian soldiers martyred and tens of soldiers got seriously injured. Four militants, the commando-style gunmen aka Fidayeen were killed by Indian forces.

This attack pushed every hope of peace between India and Pakistan down the drain; it jeopardized the chance of amity between the two nations and put the Kashmir Valley in the crucible again. Justifiably, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narndra Modi has expressed his vow to punish the perpetrators of the despicable and cowardly attack.

However, these types of attacks afflict consternation and unease but they do longer make any political impact upon the prevailing scenario. These are no longer capable to change the course of event – merely like fly on the wheel. The new world has learned to live with MEANINGLESS VIOLENCE and these are nothing more but the acts of frustration of those who fail to find a genuine will or strength to struggle in this competitive and complex world.

I do, like many others, often wonder why this madness of ‘killing of innocent’ doesn’t stop. How come the ‘Religion’ that is a message of peace and brotherhood has been so successfully manipulated by ‘mercenaries’ to push the young boys to do these abominable and abhorrent acts? The promise of a ‘Great Entertaining Life’ after death become so attractive for a militant and he / she goes all out and plunges into the darkness of absolute negativity.

I often wonder if he / she does for pleasure or happiness and both are not the same. As a normal human being one can never be happy after killing anyone. Happiness is a state of mind. Pleasure is an instant feeling, a thrill for doing something with a purpose that may be unwarranted and unjustified – a simple instant madness.

According to scribe Azhar Qadri of ‘Tribune News Service’ Srinagar, the small units of highly trained and heavily armed militants that storm into security installations like the one which stormed an Army base in north Kashmir’s Uri sector this morning are the most lethal discovery of Kashmir’s decades-old insurgency.

The introduction of fidayeen in Kashmir insurgency came in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil war and instantly changed the arithmetic of the conflict. Fewer militants who made up a fidayeen unit mounted heavy casualties on security forces.

The first fidayeen attack was launched on a BSF camp in July 1999 and a Deputy Inspector General and four soldiers of the paramilitary force were killed. In August 1999, three fidayeen attacks were launched in which a Colonel, Major, two Junior Commissioned Officers and six soldiers were killed.

In 1999, at least 11 fidayeen attacks shook the counter-insurgency grid as militant units stormed into fortified symbols like the Army’s Srinagar-based Headquarters and the main base of the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operations Group in which 12 personnel, including an officer, were killed.

According to Defense analyst Commodore (retired) C. Uday Bhaskar, the serial terror strikes in Kashmir points to the fact that there is now ‘a higher level of training and determination’ being imparted to fedayeen groups.

“The attacks that took place in Jammu and Kashmir are cause for concern. I would look at these at two different levels. One is that the attack on the Army camp in Uri, that is a very significant breach, meaning that to have an Indian Army unit attacked in this manner by a fedayeen group definitely points to a certain inadequacy at the tactical level,” he said.

“The linkage across the borders is also something that should call for a very deep introspection by India because we are aware that the current constituencies or groups in Pakistan that support such actions, particularly the rally held in Lahore by Hafiz Saeed, which is something clearly sponsored by the Pakistani establishment and the deep state as we call it.”

Being an Indian, constantly threatened by these “fidayeen” (suicide) attacks, I would look for a permanent solution – ‘Aar Paar.’

I’m proud that we are gifted with an outfit known as RSS (Rashtriya Sawak Sangh) that has the well trained teams of Sewaks who would be more than willing to beard the lion in its own den.

The occasions of yearly ‘Shastra Puja’ and regular Shakhas ensure about their team’s grit and determination. They are a cavalry of brilliant, brave and brimming with confidence Sewaks who would be delighted to take any risk for the nation.

These devoted young men would be happier to teach these Pakistan Army’s trained idiots, the called Fidayeen a lesson of life. In past, whenever there was a fidayeen attack, the Pakistan government had shrewdly passed the buck saying these mercenaries were ‘non-state’ actors.

The government of Pakistan must be taught a lesson once-for-ever to get rid of these non-state-actors.

I’m delighted that the former army chief Shankar Roy Choudhury, one of India’s best-known army generals and highly decorated war hero who fought the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the 1971 Bangladesh Independence War, told news channel NDTV on Sunday that India should form its own “fidayeen” (suicide) squad.

Let Pakistan know – It is hitting below the belt and we can always reciprocate in a far better way. Time of diplomacy is over!

Naim Naqvi

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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After ‘Surat Discomfiture’ – What next is BJP’s plan?

modiFlash back to pre-2104 era and most of the countrymen could easily recall the women’s wing of the main opposition that time the Bharatiya Janata Party and its nationwide protests against the Congress-led UPA government, with its top leader, the  then leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj in the vanguard.

The BJP held nationwide protests against inflation, corruption, foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, the increase in diesel prices and the BLACK MONEY. Swaraj had called on party members to work for the fall of the government. “After this, our government will come back in power and you will get rid of corruption, inflation and price hike in diesel and petrol prices.”

Swaraj had accused Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi of being insensitive to women trying to run households amid high prices. “This government is raising prices frequently. Prices of petrol and diesel have doubled in UPA’s eight years in power. Needless to say what is happening at all these fronts today – Achche Din !

And now in power, say absolute power, the BJP government is getting a taste of its own medicine, with no control over its foul-mouthed ministers and leaders. The discord is now causing an implosion within the party with a difference. The statements of now-in-opposition parties are not much different from what the BJP used to say when it used to block the House business, citing scams. The drumbeat is the same but the context this time is different.

As the famous Urdu couplet goes:

“Baghban ne di aag jab ashiyaney ko mere, jin pa tha takiya wahi patte hawa dene lage.”

When the gardner himself set on fire my abode, the leaves that were meant to provide the cushion for comfort Deserted me!

And it has exactly happened today in Gujarat – a state that is taken for granted the most secure, oldest, reliable and fortified castle of BJP that was supported by the Patel community. They had stood loyal to BJP since the last Congress fell decades ago. Today, in the BJP chief Amit Shah’s meeting with leaders of the Patidar community in Surat, it all turned into chaos as supporters of Hardik Patel went on a rampage there, chanting his name and vandalizing the furniture.

Amit Shah was in Surat to attend a huge rally by the BJP to honor the new Patel ministers in the government led by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. The rally was seen as not only a show of strength by the BJP in the state heading for elections but also a gesture to reconnect with the Patidar community that had been on a collision course with the BJP over their demand for quota in jobs and education.

It was supposed to be felicitation program organized by some Patidar Business Leaders of Surat to show their loyalty to BJP. As soon as Shri Amit Shah came on the stage while Union minister Purshottam Rupala was speaking, the crowds began to chant “Hardik, Hardik” and soon they were breaking chairs. The police was called in and they physically removed the trouble-makers from the venue. Amit Shah could speak for only 6 minutes, by which time, only 20 per cent of the audience remained.

As expected, the BJP leaders accused the Congress of creating trouble. “The program went on smoothly, only a handful of unruly elements instigated by the Congress tried to disrupt it,” said senior state BJP leader KC Patel.

These is now no more smooth sailing for RSS / BJP in its favorite fortress. Hardik Patel, whose name the crowd was chanting, was the face of the agitation that shook the state for over 40 days last year. At the time, the 23-year-old had challenged the BJP government, saying “If you hurt this community, the government will collapse”.

Even in his Facebook post, he had challenged Amit Shah, saying, “I request Amit Shah to stay away from the Patel community’s agitation to get reservation. We will not stop it just because you want it. The agitation will not stop till I am alive. And if you still want to crush the stir by force, then you will have to kill me.”

The moral of the story is: When you oppose, remember it may soon be your turn to propose.

Naim Naqvi

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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On Teacher’s Day

teacher

Coming across old acquaintances is a wonderful feeling, more so, if these old acquaintances turn out to be one of your past teachers, it is a bonus. On Teacher’s Day I remember few teachers at primary school levels like Master Dulha Saheb and Durrenajaf Saheb, at college level,  Naqiuddin Saheb, Surendra Kumar Saharma Saheb, Master Anwar Saheb, Hasan Abbas Saheb, Hasan Wafa Saheb, Raghunath Singh Saheb, Ravindranath Kapoor Saheb and at AMU Aligarh, Dr Fazal Mohammed Saheb, Dr Abulhasan Siddiqui Saheb, Dr Irfan Saheb and Sir Brian Mige and Sir Edwin Mendoza at Oxford Street’s HTT College, London who have left their indelible marks on my life.

I’m sorry to miss more names that should have been included in this list. Today I spent a lot of time remembering and praying for the teachers who taught me. All of them would have taught so many thousands like me and maybe many of us students might have become very successful in various fields. We could be well placed, well respected, famous, rich or whatever and a large part of the credit would definitely go to these silent workers in our life. We can never ever forget their role in our lives.

My teachers loved, cared and tried to understand the embodiment of weakness that was I. They  forgave me for my foibles and in the end when many of them are no more I can’t fully explain how I feel their ever presence in my life. The teachers are only supposed to teach but they invariably ended up doing much more than were expected of them. All of us have so many fond memories of our teachers who did in some way or the other contribute to us becoming what we are today. They molded us into individuals to face the world and situations.

I came across a quote somewhere which went something like, “Every situation we face is a learning experience and every person we come across is our teacher.

In every walk of our life we have come across people who have taught us something. Some by giving up a pep and support when it was needed and some who let me down in the worst crucial moments of my life.

Let us always remember with gratitude that, “I do not completely make myself, God makes me, using many others.” I end with the beautiful lyrics of the Bette Midler song ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ which is apt for everyone who has ever taught us:

…Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you…

…fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,

I thank God for you my teacher , the wind beneath my wings.

Naim Naqvi

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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Some Nasty Birthday Thoughts

bdayAs a growing up kid I wanted to be an old man so that nobody should stop me going to where I wanted to go. My mother won’t let me go very often out of the home. There was strict control for the moments to be consumed outside while I wanted to play tiny polychromatic glass balls with the street urchins on the road;

I wanted to play hit-woodblock game on the street with the neighbor’s oafs.

I wanted to climb the roofs to fly the kite; I wanted to go into the remotely located field to play rubber-ball-hit with all kind of boys and I wanted to just stroll by the railways line and enjoy the magnificent silence and the loneliness that the scenery offered.

I wanted to go free on my volition. My mother won’t let me go. As a growing up kid I wanted to be an old man so that nobody should stop me going to where I wanted. Later on, one of the poem I read about the ‘liberated soul.’ I thought it was about me.

And now I’ve grown up an old man. My mother is no more and so my father. Now nobody stops me where I go. Nobody seems to be interested where I go. Because I’ve grown up now.

I can still bring back the memory of small preparation that my mother did on my 13th Birthday. She cooked the rice in milk and sugar and put some nuts, covered the junket with wafer thin real silver- foil (chandi waraq). I don’t remember any birthday celebration after that. There might have been very many reasons to let go that day. Surely, poverty was one of them.

Then time passed like the Hindi song – ‘Rat jaise guzar jaye sote huey…’

I became rich in time, got plenty of worldly pleasures and possessions. And when I stood on my 64th Birthday before the mirror, I didn’t recognize myself. I recalled my parents and felt a vacuum in life that was not physical but spiritual. It is pity that we often don’t savor those great  moments when we travel through them; we don’t understand the feelings of those who loved us once and parted from us.

As we travel along the tedious bumpy roads of lie, we celebrate birthdays as routine and ritual without taking stock of what has passed by. Everyone knows what birthdays are supposed to look like? When we were young, we looked for a romantic dinner with a bunch of good friends and relations on that day. And as the years rolled by, we wanted a secure and happy evening of that day with a lot of extended families. We enter the silver zone and day of birthday winds up as usual.

And when you are alone in your bed and your spouse escaped into the zone of  comfortable sleep, a  big nasty bells rings in mind; a call that everything to do with birthdays ends up being exactly the opposite of what we think they should be: Our unsuccessful aspirations, expectations and sense of guilt. We failed in our expectations and that leads to feelings of disappointment, depression, and sadness.

Where we’re actually at in life may not be exactly where we expected to be at during this age. All too often, birthdays become a nightmare, a reminder of all the things we haven’t accomplished, of all the ways we are behind our peers, or all the things we are lacking.

I’ve been deluding myself into thinking that for the past decade that I’m still 21. I feel young in my mind. So when those birthdays roll around reminding me that I am a 64-something now, I feel the loss of all that time with little to show for it. Where did all those decade go?

As a growing up kid once I wanted to be an old man so that nobody should stop me going to where I wanted to go. My mother won’t let me go. Now I’m entering the twilight zone of my life. As I am grown up I want someone to tell me – Don’t go there!

Naim Naqvi

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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“Partition of India-Pakistan”……Sorrows revisited

indiaThere are times when aesthetics and humanism take the upper hand over all the material gains, power and pelf in life. Few moments of awakening, recollection, remorse and helplessness inform about the futility of worldly pleasures; we feel sorry for a wrong which was done by us and others; we comprehend that hellish situations could have been easily corrected provided the bloated egos were softened for the sake of next generations, for the sake of history; when we feel there is still some scope for reparation, redress and redeeming. And I felt that last night when I attended an event conducted by Sufi Singer Sonam Kalra at ‘India Habitat Centre,’ Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

It was an excellent presentation narrating the stories of ‘India-Pakistan Partition’ supported by Sonam’s mesmerizing rendition, mellifluous music and videos. The graceful lady, a Sikh by birth sings gospel numbers, Sufi epics of Waris Shah, Bhullay Shah and Kabir. Ghazals of Faiz become a real treat and she says: ‘I work with a keyboard player and guitarist who are Christian, my accompanists on the sarangi and tabla are Muslim, my flautist and percussionist are Hindu; this is a testament that when in matters of faith and music, religion is not relevant.’

According to Sonam Kalra, when India was partitioned, my great grandfather’s family took a lot of people to protect them because they had a large estate. But one day he called his two youngest daughters and said, ‘I’ve a favour to ask you. If the mob comes, if the mob overpowers us, I will shoot you. But promise me that you won’t cry when I do, for it will break my heart.’ Kalra’s family has its root in Punjab that is now a part of Pakistan.

On August 19, 2016, she revisited the event that changed the life of 14 million people that time. And she was inspired for this show when during a cricket match, she saw a man at Indian-Pakistani border carrying a child on his shoulders. The child held a banner on which it was scribbled – “Laali ankhiyan di dasdi hai, roya assi vi.” It could be transliterated into – “The redness of your eyes shows both have cried.” Inspired with these two lines of Ustad Daman, the Sufi-Singer-Icon worked for months to create a scintillating thoughtful evening that includes music, installation art, real life narrative of people who were displaced by partition.

The reading of narration effectively is itself a great art and it was performed in superb way by actor Salima Raza. The greater stories she narrated were very much conforming the style of Raza Mohiuddin. She declaimed Urdu poems, short comments and accounts of sufferers.

Karla innocent wish is worth reading both sides of border:

“I hope that in revisiting these stories through music, we will be able to empathise, ponder and realize the way forward. Hopefully a way of peaceful co-existence based on shared grief, a shared loss, a shared history and a shared love.”

Inside, it was so touching and fascinating to hear the suppressed sobs and often cries that were echoed in the darkness of IHC auditorium from the crowd that was a cocktail of all Indians. At the end, the people were out from the hall with pain and sorrow suffused on their faces. They were spilling on the ‘India Habitat’ lawns wiping their tears.

Naim Naqvi

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 of Karbala and our ‘Attitudes’

Don’t waste your time chasing things that will never be beneficial to your future.

………..April Mae Monterrosa

But the moot point is – How do we conceive our future – the materialistic future or the spiritual one?

If you are sitting with a religious zealot without a rational attitude, he would advocate a future in Black and White. All sermons and advice would he shower about the nothingness and emptiness of this world and promises of heaven where you might be allowed many of the luxuries (of course chaste and pristine) that you have been looking in this world and didn’t enjoy. May be he would enlighten with the verses of the Holy Book and Holy Traditions like the following:

Surah At – Takathur, 102:1-8
(In the name of Allah – the most Beneficent, the most Merciful)

  1. You are obsessed by greed for more and more.
  2. Until you go down to your graves.
  3. Nay, in time you will come to understand!
  4. And once again: Nay, in time you will come to understand!
  5. Nay, if you could but understand (it) with an understanding (born) of certainty,
  6. you would indeed, most surely, behold the blazing fire (of hell)!
  7. In the end you will indeed, most surely, behold it with the eye of certainty:
  8. and on that Day you will most surely be called to account for (what you did with) the boon of life!

And for an unripe mind, it leads to a thought of giving up all the attractions, magical spells and allurement of this world. And the next streak leads to ASCETISM – the renouncing of this world.

Does the religion of Islam demand that situation?

Indubitably, we as Muslims have a clear purpose in our lives and that is to earn the pleasure of our Creator. The positive feelings such as inner peace, joy, gratitude and hope all devolve around that very concept.

“And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).”

The Holy Quran Chapter 51:56

This Surah is one of the most powerful and prophetic passages of the Qur’an. It illuminates man’s unbounded greed and tendencies which have come to dominate our societies. We jump with indiscrete to increase in benefits, be they tangible or intangible, real or illusory. It denotes man’s obsessive striving for more and more comforts, more material goods, greater power over his fellow-men or over nature, and unceasing technological progress.

However, it is imperative here to understand the concept of worship. As we understand, the worship of God is not only ritualistic akin to some choreographed acts of gymnastic. Worship of Almighty includes seeking knowledge, fulfilling the family, social, political and state responsibilities, helping others and performing the regular prayer rituals. And to conform to all those duties, tasks and avocations one has to wade through the rough and tough of hard practical life with all its pathos and privations.

The Holy Quran Chapter 67:2

“And We have not created the heaven and earth and what is between them in vain. That is the opinion of those who disbelieve. And woe to such disbelievers, because of the Fire. Shall we treat those who believe and do good deeds as those who spread corruption on the earth? Or shall we treat the pious as sinners?”

Allah wants us to perform good deeds and be honest. Corruption and Islam can never go parallel. We have to strive to do hundred percent justice to all the activities which are entrusted to us. And to perform good deeds we have to be both materialistic and spiritual. Islam proscribes and prohibits ‘asceticism.’ While the religion wants us to live within our means and be content with the modicum of comforts, it exhorts to improve our economic and social conditions by all fair means.

The conventional wisdom suggests that a materialist wants to change the present for a better future. He deals with the unpleasantness of life with intelligent and self-willed efforts and works hard to attain a standard happy life and prosperous life by creating conditions within himself and his environment. He goes by his past experiences and relies upon his strengths and abilities to safeguard his / her interests. While doing all that he prays the Supreme Authority for a positive response.

The problem with the so called-religious-spiritual zealot is that he thinks more about the rituals and prayers and feels that spending most of the time in these activities would entitle him for Allah happiness. He inadvertently ignores his family, social, economic and educational tasks and indulges in the practices that relate to outward show of sainthood and religious paraphernalia. Those errands and engagements hardly make any difference in his attitudes and dealings. On the contrary, this kind of excessive devotion leads to PRIDE in one’s own piousness and importance which is not what the Islam expects.

From an ordinary Muslim, Islam expects the golden mean where there is fine balance in his spiritual activities and his professional responsibilities. The true worship is if we are honest in all the dealings of life; if we lead a simple life without conceit and arrogance; if we take care of our social responsibilities as a good citizen; if we’re to ready to allow our resources to be availed by our needy neighbours; if we give real respect to our elders and lead a life without hate and work hard for a better tomorrow for us and for those who connect us.

As the famous Urdu poet Jigar Moradabadi has said:

“Mehav-E-Tasbeeh To Sab Hain, Magar Idraak Kahan,
Zindagi Khud Hi Ibadat Hai,…….. Magar Hosh Nahi.”


Most of us busy with the prayer string beads without knowing the Real Truth. Are We but conscious and aware that all the activities of our (honest and diligently lived) LIFE itself are PRAYER….Nay, but we are not sentient!

A few weeks later the Mourning Period of Moharrum is approaching when we would recall and remember the Martyrdom of Karbala. I believe the best tribute of Imam Hussain (AS) and his mission would be to fulfill all the responsibilities of life, especially for the youth, to spend time in their studies along with the traditional rituals and prayers in just proportion. The Holy Imam would also never approve our display of wealth, pomp and power in his name. He would love to see his followers taking lead in the world in all positive fields. He would love to see the youth engaged in activities that would enhance their character. Wasting time is never part of worship or mourning of martyrs of Karbala!

Naim Naqvi

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 test of courage and integrity at the crossroads

Opportunity knocks the door but once.’ This adage holds very true in the recent development when the Supreme Court has, on Tuesday, asked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to express regret for his comments holding the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) responsible for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination or be ready to face a defamation trial.

And Congress Party has made a bold response:

“On a suggestion of Shri Rahul Gandhi expressing regret or apology, the question does not arise. Such a suggestion has been made in the past and not accepted by Rahul Gandhi.”

It is golden opportunity for Congress Party to defend its plank in the Court of Law and before the nation. No one knows what would come out final verdict from the court. However, if the Congress Party fails this time to put its solid understanding of historical events, the coming generations would curse it for weakness, cowardice and fear.

There had been three more occasions where it had failed, not only failed to law and order in wider context but ideologically also. The Shah Banu Case was a glaring mistake of myopia, fear of Muslims Clergy and minority votes. It was Rajiv Gandhi’s great error to side with clerics. The second stumble was the connivance of Narsimha Rao’s leadership when Babri Masjid was razed to ground despite the false assurance of protection of the historical mosque by the then BJP Chief Minister of UP.

The century old party is still paying for that mistake.  And the third was its half hearted political, social and moral response after the Gujarat Carnage of 2002. It failed the nation and failed the minorities as a guardian. It should have gone the whole hog to expose BJP. Instead of doing that it behaved meek and invited the flop RSS leaders into its fold. The nation is paying dearly for its monumental blunders and it would keep taking its toll till someone rises from the ashes and make a great correction.

The father of the nation was killed under the open sky before thousands of Indians gathered to pray with him. Everyone knows who killed him and also the back ground of the nasty killer. Beyond the charade of words, history can be manipulated but facts would remain like sermons in stone. Again there is big challenge for Congress to prove that RSS was behind the killing of the father of nation. It would be the onus upon lawyers and strategists of Congress party to put up a wise and bold argument and defend it to the hilt. The ideological faith of Congress Party and history is at stake now.

Justice is often meted out in strange ways. The courts draw their conclusions based upon solid evidence and presentations that are made before it. In this case it is not winning that is important but to bring out the complete historical facts before the courts and the nation. Let the nation re-learn and be re-informed about the most sordid act of its history. More skeletons should fall out from the cup boards.

I fully endorse the stand taken by Congress party that Rahul Gandhi would not tender an apology over his remarks against the RSS. He will instead substantiate them with historical facts and evidence before the court to support his claim.

At the AICC briefing, party spokesman Gaurav Gogoi said that “Rahul Gandhi has said that he will not seek an apology over what he has said and will fight the case as he wants to present his facts along with historical proof and evidence to prove his point and help bring out the truth before everyone that we all know.”

He added, “At this point, Congress party stands with Rahul Gandhi and we are confident that we will be able to present a strong case, present all the facts and historical evidence that we are supposed to make.”

The Supreme Court on Tuesday had observed that Rahul Gandhi, who blamed RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, should not have resorted to “collective denunciation” of an organisation and will have to face trial in the defamation case against him if he does not express regret. “We have held it may be historically correct but the fact or the statement has to meet the test of public good. You can’t make collective denunciation,” the court said.

 

Naim Naqvi

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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Ultimately the Justice prevailed in Arunachal Pradesh

And lo! The Second defeat of RSS / BJP in the Mighty Hills! The BJP got played out and found a double political omelette upon its face. The Supreme Court has again proved that it is the REAL Institution that can protect DMOCRACY, a Guardian of Indian Constitution against fanatic communal manipulators who had played a day-light political heist in Arunachal and earlier in Uttrakhand. The august House of Justice has delivered a major blow to the RSS / BJP government at the Centre and restored Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh after quashing the President’s Rule.

A five-judge Constitution Bench, in an unanimous and unprecedented verdict, quashed all the decisions of the Governor that had led to imposition of the President’s Rule in the state, calling his actions as “illegal” and violative of the Constitutional provisions. The bench held that status quo ante as prevailing on December 15, 2015 — when Nabam Tuki headed the Congress government in the state — shall be restored.

“All steps and decisions taken by Arunachal Pradesh legislative assembly pursuant to the Governor’s decisions are unsustainable and the same are therefore set aside,” held the bench.

Following the decisions by Governor J P Rajkhowa, the Assembly session was preponed, a new speaker was elected and later based on his report, the President’s Rule was imposed. Even as the top court was hearing the matter, the proclamation was lifted and rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the new government.

This is the first order by the Supreme Court reinstating a government in a state even after it had been replaced by a new government.

The Ex and now Restored Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr Nabam Tuki said reacting to the decision: “the court has saved the country and constitution. We have got justice.”

The decision of the court once again ensures the country that Cowards, manipulators, and backstabbers who encourage to destabilise the democracy, still have someone to fear about. The BJP leadership claims that it was the internal matter of Congress. However, BJP had openly encouraged and supported the Congress rebellion. The opportunistic MLA’s of Congress took the risks that they could have done without – they don’t have to.

The BJP acted as posture in shadows. It was an Old BJP trick, a strategy that let others get dirty. We step into the light when it’s safe. Players and manipulators always drive toward self-interest, secretly. Even when making others look bad.

The BJP’s Ruse: Let at the moment, the weaker Congress, make a further divide in its ranks and their elected ones do the dirty work?

The Supreme Court got the smell of the stench of manipulation and created a high standard of safety for times to come.

Let the RSS beware ! The Democracy is still alert and throbbing !

Naim Naqvi

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 frequent unpleasant, unfortunate and avoidable controversy of Moon Sighting

It is in the domain of  the religious scholars to decide what procedure and process is to be adopted to make sure that moon indicating the arrival of Eid-ul-Fitr is sighted or not.

I’m an ordinary Muslim and I find myself at my wit’s end when once in few years we encounter the same controversy, same confusion and same inconsistency of the decision maker. We find our Ulemas measuring swords against each other about a simple physical appearance. We fast and pray the whole month and I’m sure none of us wants to shorten the period of 30 days fast to 29 dys. We have had enough of food festivals in the holy month.

Our refrigerators were filled with Seher and Iftar essentials. We have had ensured the finest of Eid dresses that were ready on time, and we had occasionally thought of our poor relatives also arranging Iftars in mosques, social and political gatherings so that people must realize and accept our status in society. Allah has showered His bounties upon us and we are thankful to Allah Almighty for that. We think of poor sometimes in this month.

But one suspense that fails the imaginations of Ibne Safi, James Hadley Chase and Agatha Christi hangs like Domocle’s sword – Tomorrow there would be Eid or not?

For many of us the celebration of Eid al-Fitr should be tied to the sighting of the moon in each country and should not be linked with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr in Saudi Arabia. It is Moon Sightingone issue where there is emphasis upon the disunity as the time difference is vital. But there should be unity in every country until and unless is too large like a continent. Between the cities and town situated in the neighboring provinces there should be no differences.

What does the Muslim unity mean? It means that all Muslims should treat each other with brotherly sympathy and affection and should not spread disorder and dissention among them. Nor should they invent new ideas foreign to the teachings of Quran and the Sunnah which may lead to division and conflict among Muslims.

We have evolved the idea of Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee (the official body for moon sighting and the authority which declares the official start of Islamic months) or some Moulana from Lucknow with their bloated egos but we always juggle with their ability or inability to see the moon. We blame the poor weather, the absence of evidence and some strange undecipherable politics of Moulanas and Ruet-i-Hilal Committee. It is pathetic that in modern times when the other races are conquering the journey of Moon we’re fighting about the sight of moon.

We, the Muslims, in all of our communities and sects are blessed with Scientific Scholars who can help us to reach upon a reasonable conclusion about the sighting of moon. Isn’t possible for our Ulemas to sit together with the scientific gentry and understand this moon business?? There are plenty of modern scientific tools that can help us resolve this issue.

If we shed our ego and meet with open mind and honest approach then it is not an issue at all. Science has no prejudice. It is based on proven facts. A section of Islamic scholars believe that seeing the moon with the naked eye should be the criterion for declaring the start of a new month. A smaller section advocates that we can rely solely on the calculations, and there is no need to visually see the moon. The official and unofficial moon sighting committees ask people to testify if they have seen the moon.

Today, astronomy can accurately establish the time of birth of the new moon with the accuracy of seconds, and its likelihood of being visible. So, what is the harm in using this astronomical basis to reject a claimed sighting which could not possibly be correct? Can’t we sit together – our Shia and Sunni Ulema with the Muslim’s Scientific Community before the final declaration of moon sight in evey specific region at least, and save ourselves from becoming the but of jokes before other advance people?

Naim Naqvi

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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