Saturday, August 14, 2010

Zakat: Economic Upliftment And Dignity To The Poor


The word Zakat means purification. It is also used to express a portion of property bestowed in alms, as a purification of the remainder to the owner. Under Islamic way of life, the wealth of man is a trial .It is distressing to see rich muslims clinging on to their wealth when their brethren are in need.


We should be happy that we have completed 63 years of our Independence. During these crucial years we flourished economically, developed socially and of course advanced educationally. Estimates are being made that during the few coming days India will be among leading economies of the world. One dream of our forefathers, nevertheless, could not come true. Poverty still rules in our country. We do have billionaires but on the other hand it is also a fact that scores of our farmers commit suicide on daily basis owing to burden of debt, depression emanating from failure of crops and panicked by their inability to feed their families owing to the rising prices of essential commodities.

Every government, despite its claim of being pro-aam aadmi, turns out to be favouring corporate world in its schemes. Poor remain poor, rather they became poorer. They protest daily against the anti-aam aadmi policies of the government but why should anyone pay any heed to them.


Every government, despite its claim of being pro-aam aadmi, turns out to be favouring corporate world in its schemes. Poor remain poor, rather they became poorer. They protest daily against the anti-aam aadmi policies of the government but why should anyone pay any heed to them.

The government talks about reducing poverty, but practically it does very little. Equal distribution of the wealth among all citizens is impossible but at least the basic necessities of life have to be provided.

The muslim of today is more knowledgeable of Islam than the muslim of say 50 years ago. There are more hajis every year, more people attending prayers in mosques, more grand mosques and yet when it comes to Zakat a muslim is yet to learn to give.

Muslims have achieved a lot after independence. They have grown in all spheres of life. The hopelessness and fear after partition has given way to honour, pride and dignity at present to many from the community. This has been largely due to the effort by their individual selves. The muslim does not expect any help from the government and this feeling of being entirely on his own brings out the best in him. This is one reason that the muslims have been able to compete with the best and have excelled in many spheres of society. But yet a muslim would say it is due to the grace of God.

The muslim of today is more knowledgeable of Islam than the muslim of say 50 years ago. There are more hajis every year, more people attending prayers in mosques, more grand mosques and yet when it comes to Zakat a muslim is yet to learn to give. Zakat given by him will actually help him in the long run. A muslim, unless he plans to change his religion or the religion of his children in the future, should realize that by giving zakat he is only strengthening his community, to which he belongs and has to interact with and eventually he and his family will benefit from the strong community he has helped build. The poor of the previous years have due to help of zakat become businessmen, government officers in high posts and doctors etc., who in turn are helping members of the their community.

Just before the Independence, when because of the Second World War, prices of commodities had touched the sky, black marketing was the trend, the value of rupee was declining and wealth had confined to some big corporates and businessmen, then finance minister of the Interim Government Liyaqat Ali Khan, had presented a budget which is known as “Budget of Poor”. The budget had directly attacked the pockets of the corporate world and big businessmen who had accumulated wealth by avoiding taxes.

Commonly it is seen that the counties where Zakat is practiced have a less margin of poverty compared to other countries. Even that little poverty can be reduced but sorrowfully all Muslims do not observe this institution as it should be done.


The budget was presented on February 28, 1947. Liyaqat Ali Khan, in the budget proposed the formation of a commission to investigate the wealth accumulated by avoiding tax. He also proposed that above the profit of one lakh at least 25% special income tax be taken. There were some other taxes which directly harmed the interest of rich people and some other schemes benefiting common man.

These proposals were strongly opposed by industrialists and corporate world. In the cabinet, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel created havoc and said that the budget instead of being pro-poor Indians was meant to harm the Hindu industrialists who were the financial supporters of Congress. The budget was given a communal aspect.

Consequently, those who had agreed upon the Interim Government that promised a United India were compelled to accept the two-nation theory.

Actually this budget was based on the theory that wealth is not to remain in some hands. Rather it should keep on changing hands. This is actually the concept of Zakat institution in Islam. It may be the right solution to the prevailing poverty all over the world. Commonly it is seen that the counties where Zakat is practiced have a less margin of poverty compared to other countries. Even that little poverty can be reduced but sorrowfully all Muslims do not observe this institution as it should be done.

In Islam, Zakat occupies a place next in importance only to Iman (belief) and Salaat (prayer). It is also called the third pillar of the religion. Under this obligation, a Muslim possessing nisab or more has to separate once in a year one-fortieth of his/her wealth for the poor, the needy and for other objectives prescribed by Qur’an and explained by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).


The association of this word to the religion Islam should not be taken in bad terms. This system of Zakat or other schemes formulated on this pattern will provide a solid solution to poverty.

Zakat—spending money for the cause of poor as an obligation—and Sadaqah— giving money voluntarily in charity—have been applauded by non-Muslims, too, as good characteristics of Islam. Muslims are emphasized to give more importance to considering their Last World instead of the world they have been staying in. Islamic scriptures have that this world should be taken as a means to prepare for the Eternal World. No one in the world is to stay forever, hence, adherents of Islam are taught to live a life of a stranger or a passerby in the world. Instead, of accumulating wealth, except for their needs, Muslims are time and again instructed to shape the Life After Death by giving the rest wealth to their other fellow human beings who cannot earn enough money to meet their expenses. Rich Muslims possessing a certain amount of wealth or more are duty bound to spend from their wealth as an obligation from Almighty the Sustainer to all. This obligation literally refers to Zakat.

Through the obligation of Zakat, Muslims have been trained to help poor and needy of the society. There is a wide gap between poor and rich. Zakat helps bridge this gap. It creates and then strengthens a good relation between the two sections of the society. Rich are bound to help needy ones, and the poor lot helps rich ones fulfil their obligation by accepting alms from them.

In Islam, Zakat occupies a place next in importance only to Iman (belief) and Salaat (prayer). It is also called the third pillar of the religion. Under this obligation, a Muslim possessing nisab or more has to separate once in a year one-fortieth of his/her wealth for the poor, the needy and for other objectives prescribed by Qur’an and explained by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

“Alms (Zakat/Sadaqah) are for the poor, and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds), for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Iman), for those in debt, in the way of Allah, and for the wayfarer.” Qur’an (9: 60). Since in madaris many poor and needy students are imparted free education, permission has been granted to pay Zakat to madaris too. While paying Zakat Muslims are instructed to be cautious as there are many inherited beggars who ask for Zakat while they do not deserve it because they are owners of nisab.

Muslims usually prefer the month of Ramazan for paying their Zakat because they believe that in the month rewards for righteous deeds become manifold in this holy month. Ramazan is held by Muslims in great reverence. In the month, Muslims believe more opportunities for carrying out right deeds are made available as a special bounty from God.

Zakat or financial policies on the pattern of Zakat may be a practical solution to poverty and starvation. No wonder if rich people of the world instead of spending on their luxuries give the surplus wealth after fulfilling necessary requirements of life, to starving fellow humans that elimination of poverty not only from Africa but throughout the world will become much lesser.


With the arrival of Ramazan, therefore, Muslims abstain from sinful acts and they try to do as much righteous deeds as possible. Muslims have the belief that the reward for any righteous deed becomes 70+ times more in Ramazan compared to the other normal days.

Through the obligation of Zakat, Muslims have been trained to help poor and needy of the society. There is a wide gap between poor and rich. Zakat helps bridge this gap. It creates and then strengthens a good relation between the two sections of the society. Rich are bound to help needy ones, and the poor lot helps rich ones fulfil their obligation by accepting alms from them.

It is so that the countries where Zakat system is practiced have less poverty ratio compared to other countries where it does not exist. Zakat or financial policies on the pattern of Zakat may be a practical solution to poverty and starvation. No wonder if rich people of the world instead of spending on their luxuries give the surplus wealth after fulfilling necessary requirements of life, to starving fellow humans that elimination of poverty not only from Africa but throughout the world will become much lesser.

In Islamic term nisab refers to 7.5 tola (nearly 81.64 gm) of gold, or 52.5 tola (nearly 612.35 gm) of silver, or value of either of them in cash or jewellery or commercial merchandise. Zakat becomes incumbent only when the person possesses at least the nisab for a complete year continuously.


Zakat also provides the moral and psychological satisfaction that the persons who pay get through their fine gesture. They feel that they are contributing to the building of the society they live in, and making its members happy and contented. By so doing they feel that they are freed from anxiety and confusion.

Islam enjoins on believers a duty of individualistic and collective nature. This is due to the fact that Islam considers individual as an integral part of the total society. Therefore, the individual Muslim happens to have rights and duties towards the society as it has towards him. Moreover duties of the individualistic nature also carry social dimensions. Zakat is a kind of social security/insurance from an individual to the indigents of the society.

Besides Zakat, other charities, called Sadaqah, practiced by Muslims help build a balanced society economically. The places of Muslims’ gathering are often a market place for poor beggars. Especially on Fridays, a long queue of beggars and needy persons, present almost at all mosques, expect something in monetary help from every Muslim offering Jum’a. On the occasion of Eid celebration rich Muslims are asked to help materially their poor brethren to enable them that they, too, enjoy on the day. Muslims’ Sadaqah money has enabled Muslim community to arrange many academic institutions.

According to the economic survey of India 2007-08, the Gross Domestic Savings for the year 2006-07 is: 34.8 % of GDP. Even if we take Muslims to be constituting 15% of the population then around 5.22% of GDP is contributed by Muslims annually as savings. In the year 2006-07, 5.22% of the GDP at current prices comes out to be Rs. 216.4 thousand crore (where GDP at current prices is Rs. 4146 thousand crore in the year 2006 -07). And now, if we calculate 2.5% of the annual savings of Muslims as Zakat, the resulting amount would be Rs. 5.41 thousand crore. If the annual Zakat collection estimate comes out to be an impressive figure of Rs. 5.41 thousand crore, but many people just neglect payment of Zakat. They simply do not pay it. There are some others who pay Zakat but do not bother to calculate the correct procedure is to assess the wealth and possessions and pay the 2 1/2% on it. If the Muslims honestly pay Zakat on whom Zakat is wajib (obligatory). It is the fact that Zakat will be enough to solve the problems of poor.

There has always been poor and rich in the society as the law of nature. A model society is the one where poor also lead a life of peace and easily manage their needs. This will not be possible until the concentration of wealth only to the rich is ended and wealth reaches into the hands of poor too. Zakat is one of the effective means in developing such a society. It keeps the wealth changing hands.

Farhat Ali

farhatjamali@gmail.com

Sangh Parivar And Hindutva Terror Organizations Are Inter-Connected


During the past few months, in connection with the bomb blasts across the country there emerged the names of some people who in past were associated with Sangh Parivar. RSS was quick to disown them declaring that at the time of the incident they were not its members. The writer points out that these extremists had intentionally distanced themselves from RSS under a plan to ensure that the image of RSS is not affected if their terrorism is exposed.


The Hindutva forces, with Vishwa Hindu Parishad on the forefront, created a Hindutva mania all over India in the name of Ramjanam Bhoomi movement. The result of the promise made by them to have the historical Babri Masjid replaced by Ram Mandir was that around Rs 8,000 crore were easily collected for the purpose. It is the beginning point of Hindutva terrorism throughout India.

In the coming days, many extremist outfits came into existence. Their founders were the ex-activists of Sangh Parivar. After the funds were collected for the proposed Ram Mandir Nirman, they parted their way from the Parivar and started their own extremist organizations. Bomb blasts became a routine and Hindutva terrorism surfaced.

A deep study points out that the separation of some hard core Hindutvadis from Sangh Parivar, their formation of sovereign outfits and then the subsequent blasts; all are the part of a well-thought planning: even though the evil face of Hindutva terrorism is unveiled, Sangh Parivar, VHP and Bajrang Dal cannot be blamed for that. Hence, there is no question that their assets, bank accounts, properties and foreign funds will be seized.

A deep study points out that the separation of some hard core Hindutvadis from Sangh Parivar, their formation of sovereign outfits and then the subsequent blasts; all are the part of a well-thought planning: even though the evil face of Hindutva terrorism is unveiled, Sangh Parivar, VHP and Bajrang Dal cannot be blamed for that. Hence, there is no question that their assets, bank accounts, properties and foreign funds will be seized.

It seems that their resignations from their respective parent bodies was a part of a plan. Following their resignation, they began extremist and terrorist activities. This may be taken as proof that Hindutva terrorism is increasing gradually under a plan and internal cooperation.


Notably, the masterminds behind the Hindutva network exposed during last few years had association, in whatever manner, with Sangh Parivar. It seems that their resignations from their respective parent bodies was a part of a plan. Following their resignation, they began extremist and terrorist activities. This may be taken as proof that Hindutva terrorism is increasing gradually under a plan and internal cooperation. The point that a considerable amount from the fund collected in the guise of Ayodhya movement might have been used for financing Hindutva terrorism, should not be ignored. Tragically, the demand for a CBI inquiry into the Rs 8,000 crore fund has been put in cold store. It must be considered again.

The operational method of MOSSAD and Israeli terrorist organizations is deceiving. They have made ‘deception’ their agenda. As a strong tactics of theirs they carry out such deceptive activities. In the same way, the Sangh Parivar, RSS and those related to Bajrang Dal, with Pramod Mutalik, Sunil Joshi and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur taking the lead, are doing their work. Their separation from Sangh Parivar is nothing but a staged drama to deceive people.



Some of the hard core Hindutva elements, who separated themselves from Sangh Parivar, apparently owing to differences but might be under a plan, may be named as:

Pramod Mutalik: Now chief of Sri Ram Sene, Pramod Mutalik was an active member of Bajrang Dal’s Karnataka unit. He separated himself from Bajrang Dal (was it under a plan?) and established a very extremist organization namely Sri Ram Sene. When in Bajrang Dal, none knew Mutalik. But his extremist activities after the formation of Ram Sene made him a known figure (though for bad reasons). He announced recruiting Hindu suicide bomber squads, arranged camps for the recruitment and then trained them for suicide mission in camps.

His personal assistant Nagraj Jambagi was arrested in blasts that took place in court premises during the Karnataka Assembly polls in 2007 and under a bridge in Bagalkot city of Karnataka. It has also been exposed that Jambagi collected Rs 4o lakh through plundering and theft and then supplied it to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. Jambagi was murdered mysteriously in a high security jail.

The name of Pramod Mutalik also surfaced in Malegaon blasts. But the investigations have come to a standstill. Is Mutalik a “Sanghi Puppet” thrown in the terrorism field under a plan? Does he receive secret assistance from the Parivar? Is he being financed by Bajrang Dal, Sangh Parivar or VHP? To get the answer to these questions is the onus of intelligence and police. But it can be easily felt that this responsibility is not given consideration.

Sunil Joshi: A resident of Mahu district in Madhya Pradesh Joshi was an RSS Pracharak. Even while being associated with the outfit his terror activities were recorded. The Madhya Pradesh government accused him of being involved in planting bombs near a mosque during Mahu riots, and outside Bhopal railway station with an aim to target the Jama’ats returning from a Tablighi Ijtema held in Taj-ul-Masaajid. Then Digvijay Singh was the CM of the state. In the following days these cases were closed. Later, Joshi with cooperation of the Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur prepared a dangerous network of Hindutva terrorism. He is said to be the mastermind behind the blasts in Ajmer Dargah, Makkah Masjid Hyderabad and Samjhauta Express. He was killed in the end of 2007.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur: In her student life Sadhvi was an active member of RSS students’ organization Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Therefore, she was very close to many saints and religious leaders associated with Ram Mandir Nirman and Ramjanam Bhoomi movement. Soon she parted way from the RSS and founded a front organization called ‘Jai Vande Mataram Jan Kalyan Samiti’ to recruit extremists.

Among those who joined the outfit were Ramji Kalsangra, Sunil Joshi and Sandeep Dange. They are the alleged masterminds of Makkah Masjid, Ajmer Dargah and Malegaon 2008 blasts. Thakur also did networking with lieutenant colonel Purohit in 2006 and revived Abhinav Bharat, an old Hindutva extremist organization founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Many portfolio holders of this organization are behind bars in connection with the Malegaon blasts.

Experts are of the opinion that many extremist elements earlier associated with Sangh Parivar became separate from the Parivar and then founded terror network. The prominent among them are Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Sunil Joshi, Pramod Mutalik. Was it done under a well-thought plan to save the funds, bank accounts and properties of Sangh Parivar if Hindutva terror network is unveiled?

The operational method of MOSSAD and Israeli terrorist organizations is deceiving. They have made ‘deception’ their agenda. As a strong tactics of theirs they carry out such deceptive activities. In the same way, the Sangh Parivar, RSS and those related to Bajrang Dal, with Pramod Mutalik, Sunil Joshi and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur taking the lead, are doing their work. Their separation from Sangh Parivar is nothing but a staged drama to deceive people. It is meant only for protecting Sangh Parivar from the consequences their activities may lead to. So that the accounts, properties and all funds of the Parivar are safe. If the case is not so then:

Why RSS, BJP and Sangh Parivar are protesting over the arrest of Sadhvi? She founded her own separate organization not having any association with RSS. Yet, the sympathy shown by the above mentioned outfits, indicate that she is, in whatever manner, associated with Sangh Parivar.

Why Advani complained to Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2008 that Hemant Karkare was torturing Sadhvi in the name of investigation? Why did Advani pressurize for the release of Sadhvi?

If Sadhvi does not have any relations with the sangh parivar, then why did the Shiv Sena announce a Maharashtra Bandh in her support?

Keeping in mind the above mentioned facts, it is a must to investigate the relations between Sangh Parivar and the Hindutva organizations involved in terrorism. Will anyone listen?

By: Sa’eed Hameed
saeedhameed@yahoo.com

Gujarat Govt Creating Pakistans In India


Unity in diversity is an important aspect of Indian democracy. It was coined by Indian leaders to create an Indian society where all communities lived peacefully together. We dreamt after achieving independence to build our own prosperous nation. But the divisions that are created by hatemongers, in the guise of politicians, are growing deeper among some Indians and our hindering our way to peaceful coexistence.


The Hindu-Muslim unity that set India free from the clutches of British colonialism breathed its last when Pakistan was created. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel and other leaders of that time are to be blamed for the Partition. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Gandhiji and nationalist ulama had to only see their dream of a united India crashing. Indians, irrespective of their religions, who had fought shoulder to shoulder against the British, did not feel even a slight hesitation in massacring other fellow Indians. This was not the end.

More problems seem to have been destined for them. Sixty-three years have passed since the partition of India. Yet the wounds of partition have not healed. There has always been an effort to create a mutual understanding between communities so that they could live peacefully but it has lost to the mob mentality of communalists.

In today’s India, citizens are divided in different ways. Dalits even today cannot enter into a Mandir. They have to face humiliation and tyranny only because they were not born in an upper caste! Though the constitution of India provides equal status for all Indians the reality within the communities itself is quite different.


In today’s India, citizens are divided in different ways. Dalits even today cannot enter into a Mandir. They have to face humiliation and tyranny only because they were not born in an upper caste! Though the constitution of India provides equal status for all Indians the reality within the communities itself is quite different.

Then comes the plight of the minorities. They complain of discrimination on the basis of their religion. Muslims, Christians and the Sikhs are the largest religious minorities in India. The Hindus feel that because of their religion they have a stronger reason to be called the sons of the soil and the followers of other religions are not entitled to be the citizens of India. This attitude has always been hidden behind a veil of secularism. The minorities have learnt to live with this discrimination and in spite of it continue to survive and prosper in this country.

Muslims are almost one fifth of India’s population but employment in government or private institutions is never in proportion to their population and this situation is worsening by the passage of time. It is not that the young boys and girls do not aspire to join these services. It has been a result of a campaign to keep them out. Hence, the non-existence of Muslims from key portfolios raises questions whether any unpublicized agenda is on work against them.

Muslims who preferred India over Pakistan were the real patriots. They preferred democracy of India to the Islamic governments of Pakistan.


Muslims who preferred India over Pakistan were the real patriots. They preferred democracy of India to the Islamic governments of Pakistan. The promise made by the constitution of India of equal rights for all has never been achieved. The blame rests on the successive governments who in their zeal for economic development did not pay enough attention to social justice. “Is India divided on religious grounds?”The answer is Yes. It is being exploited fully by politicians of all parties.

Almost in the whole of India, which is proud of its characteristic of being multi¬¬--cultural, multi-lingual and of course multi-religious, there is an invisible line dividing Indians. The divide is due to religion, caste, sub caste, economic status, language, etc. But one state government is on the forefront in promoting this divide and benefitting from it.

This is the state which is called ‘vibrant’ Gujarat. Ahmedabad is today a divided city. When state terrorism killed thousands of Muslims in 2002, humanity was the biggest loser. There was condemnation from all over the world. But the killing of Muslims was a political advantage to the ruling government of Gujarat. Since then it has not lost this advantage it has got over other political parties and continues to strengthen its position by troubling Muslims anyway it possibly can.

Almost in the whole of India, which is proud of its characteristic of being multi¬¬--cultural, multi-lingual and of course multi-religious, there is an invisible line dividing Indians. The divide is due to religion, caste, sub caste, economic status, language, etc. But one state government is on the forefront in promoting this divide and benefitting from it.

More than eight years have passed since the Gujarat riots. The victims are yet to return to a normal life. In Ahmedabad, on one side reside fear and anxiety, helplessness and anger. Walk across Jamalpur, Mirzapur, Dani Limda, Kalopur, Lal Darwaza and other parts of the walled City. Go to Juhapura – one of the largest Muslim ghettos in India. Scratch a little, and people want to talk. An entire community feels under attack, with many resigned to their newfound fate of being second-class citizens. Equal Rights are a dream, and the sense of representation non-existent. What remains strong is the cry for justice, and the knowledge they will not get it – not in Gujarat. Why? “Because”, explains one elder in Shah Alam, “We pray to Allah. That is our transgression.” Hindus and Muslims are divided on religious basis.

What remains strong is the cry for justice, and the knowledge they will not get it – not in Gujarat. Why? “Because”, explains one elder in Shah Alam, “We pray to Allah. That is our transgression.” Hindus and Muslims are divided on religious basis.

There are borders everywhere. A patch of road, a wall, a turn across a street corner, a divider in the middle of a road – this is all it takes to polarise and segregate communities throughout Gujarat. Each town and city now has countless borders, forcibly making people conscious of their religious identity. Me Hindu, you Muslim. Or one could look at it differently: the borders on the ground merely reflect and reinforce the polarisation that has already taken place in the minds of ordinary Gujaratis. Yet nothing prepares you for the certitude on the streets of the other Ahmedabad – in Navrangpura, Vastrapur, MG Road, Judge’s Bungalow Road, Satellite, Vejalpur.

Many Gujarati Hindus think they have the answers to some of the most troubling questions of our times. The majority would say that the problems muslims face are self induced. Others argue

that Muslims themselves are the problem. They look back fondly at the ‘Toofan’, of the 2002 riots, and their thoughts are the same. The Muslims deserved it. They are all bloody Pakistanis and criminals. If we had more time, we would have wiped them out. See, they are crushed and scared. We taught them a lesson. And now, the world should learn from Gujarat about how to deal with the miyas. The one sentiment that is almost wholly absent is remorse.

They look back fondly at the ‘Toofan’, of the 2002 riots, and their thoughts are the same. The Muslims deserved it. They are all bloody Pakistanis and criminals. If we had more time, we would have wiped them out. See, they are crushed and scared. We taught them a lesson. And now, the world should learn from Gujarat about how to deal with the miyas. The one sentiment that is almost wholly absent is remorse.


“They are all bloody Pakistanis and criminals” is not a notion specific to only Gujaratis. Almost all Muslims throughout Indian are thought to be so. Muslims demanded for a separate land and hence they are Pakistanis. It may be argued whether circumstances were created so that Muslims had to demand for a separate land for them. The man behind this demand Muhammad Ali Jinnah had withdrew his demand for Pakistan to agree upon the Interim Government proposed by British Cabinet Mission 1946. This government in which United India was to be administered under three groups— one comprising Hindu-dominated states, one comprising Muslim-dominated states and the third one comprising the states of Assam and Bengal. All the groups would be self-governing except in three central departments— was immensely opposed by Congress leaders while in this way India would have remained Akhand.

During the interim government established for some days—in which also key posts were in the hands of Congressmen: Pundit Nehru held home ministry and common wealth, Sardar Patel held home information, and broadcasting—writes ICS Qudratullah Shihab, the big Congress leaders experienced that with the leaders of Muslim league who had maintained their identity and refused to work under Congress pressure, it was impossible for them to govern on India as per their will. Hence, there was no hesitation to pacify the Muslim community by giving them a piece of land. Notably, the Congress which has always opposed the Partition had eventually agreed to partition plan. However, the whole blame of the partition has been put on Muslims.
They have been treacherous to India and hence cannot be appointed on key government posts. Even before the independence this notion was found.

Notably, the Congress which has always opposed the Partition had eventually agreed to partition plan. However, the whole blame of the partition has been put on Muslims.

If we were to believe the Qudratullah Shihab we will be shocked. In his book “Shihab Nama” before the partition took place, a 6-7 pages catalogue was issued to all Congress Chief Ministers with the instruction to keep it in their personal custody.

The salient features of the catalogue, according to Shihab were, “The partition is almost certain. Therefore, in the states with Congress ministries, Muslims should be sacked from key posts only to be replaced by trustworthy Hindu officers. This should be done specially in the departments of home, finance and information. DIG, SP and in-charge of police stations usually should be Hindus. In the police department and district administration Muslims should be removed from field work and be appointed on harmless official duties. In the police personnel, Muslim police should be disarmed gradually and appointed on ordinary posts in police line and police stations. The state Mounted Military Police should be broken immediately if they comprised of border areas Muslims; the officers and personnel thereof be paid remuneration in proportion to the ending time of their employment. Hindu guards should be appointed to protect the record offices of government treasury, armouries and finance department. Muslims with arms licence be kept under watch. Such emergency schemes be made that the arms of these license can be submitted to the nearest police station. A list of Muslims owners of bus, cars, taxis and trucks be prepared and they kept under intense watch. The license of Muslim fireworks be suspended and their combustible stock be taken in police protection. etc. etc. Every chief minister was given stern instruction to have this plan executed in such a manner that any sense of discrimination against any community be known.”

The planning of such nature seems to have been working in whole of the India. Again to take an example of Gujarat. The story of Gujarat as a whole, then, is a tale of pride and prejudice on the one side, victimhood and alienation on the other. In control of this divisive agenda is the fascist government of Narendra Modi, who happily builds on this evolving social reality, and reinforces it.

The high degree of alienation among Muslims, the stereotypes and discrimination they face, the fact that a substantial section of society is committed to the Hindutva agenda, the absence of justice and accountability, and the continued secession of the state from its basic constitutional obligations – these are all elements that go into making Gujarat, in the very words of the Hindu Right, its laboratory.

In Gujarat, people have to be limited to a certain place. They cannot reside anywhere as per their will. They will sell or purchase any immovable property, but if the collector thinks that the deal has been done illegally, the deal will be scrapped.


In Gujarat, people have to be limited to a certain place. They cannot reside anywhere as per their will. They will sell or purchase any immovable property, but if the collector thinks that the deal has been done illegally, the deal will be scrapped.

Muslims affected during riots or facing atrocities by dominating Hindus cannot leave their houses to shift to a safer locality. Recently the President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Singh Patil approved the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from premises in Disturbed Areas Act (Amendment) bill which was passed by the Gujarat assembly in July 2009 and approved later by then governor of the sate Mr. S.C.Jamir.

Though the Gujaratis do not have formally two separate states but practically they have. They are the citizens of one state but their residence, in practical terms, is restricted to only a certain part of that state. Activists see this move as an instrument to further harass Muslims who want to move to safer localities.


The stated objective of this Act is to prohibit the illegal transfer of immovable property in the “disturbed areas” of the state; Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The recent amendment is supposed to pave way to effectively implement the law; earlier despite the existence of the law properties were transferred in contravention to the provisions of the law. The law has been in existence only in Ahmedabad since 1991 when there was Congress government in power in the state but now its area of effect has been increased.

Due to this law, both Hindus and Muslims have to confine themselves to certain areas where they are residing. If often happens that once an area is communally disturbed, the community in minority there wants to leave their houses to reside in a safer locality. But this law and especially the recent amendment makes it a near to impossible task for both Hindus and Muslims residing under constant fear of being misbehaved by the community members dominating their regions.

Though the Gujaratis do not have formally two separate states but practically they have. They are the citizens of one state but their residence, in practical terms, is restricted to only a certain part of that state. Activists see this move as an instrument to further harass Muslims who want to move to safer localities.

Visualize that during riots, in the Hindu-dominated areas Muslims are targeted and only a few families are spared. Due to the Act, no Muslim can easily buy the property of a Hindu. In the future that area where sometime the inhabitants were both Hindus and Muslims will be like a Hindu state. The same situation may occur in Muslim-dominated areas and they will become Muslim states. We Indians will live in a state called Gujarat but at the same time we will have our own Pakistan or Israel.

By: Abdul Hafiz Lakhani
lakhani63@yahoo.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Afghan Hindus And Sikhs Grapple With Uncertain Future


Since the Taliban’s fall, Afghanistan’s new constitution promises religious minorities greater freedoms than before, but it is harder to ensure in practical terms. Sikhs and Hindus say that in Taliban regime their voice was heard and their religion respected!


They thrived long ago and for a long time dominated the country’s economy, but Sikh and Hindu Afghans now find themselves struggling for survival.

“We have no shelter, no land and no authority,” says Awtar Singh, a senator and the only non-Muslim voice in Afghanistan’s parliament.

“No one in the government listens to us, but we have to be patient, because we have no other options,” says Singh, 47.

In 1992, after the fall of the Moscow backed-government but before civil war erupted, there were around 200,000 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan compared with around just a few thousand today.

When warring factions fought over Kabul, razing entire neighbourhoods in deadly rocket barrages, the two communities became targets.

After complaining of extortion, intimidation, kidnappings and theft, those with the means fled to India where they live as aliens and require visas, like other foreigners.

Ironically the rise to power of the Taleban marked an improvement in the lives of those who remained — and some even started to return.

“The Taliban did not suppress us — they respected our religion and if we had any problem they would resolve it immediately, let alone delay it until the next day,” says Singh.

Some Afghan Hindus were baffled by Western outrage at one Taliban decree — ordering them to wear a yellow tag to identify their religion — saying in practical terms it spared their clean-shaven faces from the wrath of the Taliban religious police, who asked Muslim Afghan men to grow beards.

The Sikhs escaped scrutiny because they also grow their beards long.
Since the Taliban’s fall, Afghanistan’s new constitution promises religious minorities greater freedoms than before, but it is harder to ensure in practical terms.

Hindus and Sikhs had scores of properties stolen during the civil war and its aftermath and thousands of claims lie gathering dust in the confused bureaucracy that makes up the government.

“I have my family still in India because I have lost my house and other properties,” says Awtam Singh, who was an important trader in the old days but is now reduced to selling herbal medicines in a tiny Kabul shop.

“We feel ignored by this government,” he laments.
While tens of thousands of Muslim Afghans have the same problems, they at least have politicians or leaders fighting on their behalf.

Some of the returning Hindus and Sikhs have brought their families and live mostly in secure areas such as Kabul and eastern city of Jalalabad, where they have temples and segregated schools.

“I cannot see things getting better for us,” said Awtam.
“The Indians say you belong to Afghanistan, and here we are seen as Indians. No government cares for us, he said.
Reuters

Readers; Scan

Extracting Truth From Roots
Dear Sir, I am a PG student from Andhra Pradesh. I read the copy of Media Scan of June. I was totally shocked with the truth that were revealed by this magazine. It is a gifted item for our media workers who are extracting the truth from the roots. Each and every topic includes nice materials. I advice to include the topic of “CONSUMERISM” that is totally distracting the young IT people. F.M. Faheemullah, Andhra Pradesh

Media Should Understand What Fatwa Is
Sir, I am thankful to you as you have helped me remove my misconception about fatwas. I, as many people are, was of the belief that mullahs issue their diktat i.e. fatwas from their own to ensure that their supremacy remains over women. I doubted whether fatwas were made only to compel women to live the life of a subjugated creature. But thanks to your article “Fatwa: The Second Most Abused Word Of Islam” (July Issue) that opened before me the reality of fatwas; that fatwas are based on Islamic teachings and not on the wish of maulvis. I was astonished to know that in the same way as a woman is not allowed to work where she cannot observe Islamic teachings, men are also prohibited from adopting a profession, like drug and alcohol business, where they have to violate Islamic teachings. Media had better understand what fatwa is before calling it a diktat of mullahs which they want to impose on other Muslims. Reeham Shaikh, Tamil Nadu

Who Are Ulama To Advise Individual Muslim?
Respected Sir, The interview of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband deputy rector Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi is very informative. Though the Maulana opines that Deoband is an academic institution and issuing fatwa is not its sole objective at all, reality is that what we get from the institution is a chunk of fatwas issued continually to keep Muslim community far from the mainstream. I am unable to understand why ulama think it their obligation to meddle in every affair which in no way are concerned to them. If a Muslim woman wants to do work in any office who are they to dictate to her to not speak frankly to male colleagues or put on veil. It is none of their business. They should better keep themselves limited to the premises of madaris and let every Muslim practice their choice. Asghar Ali, Bidar, Karnataka

Constitute A Board To Certify Who Can Issue Fatwas

Sir, While you have given a long list of so many sciences the acquaintance with which is must for anyone who issues fatwas, I do not think that those issuing fatwas have command over these sciences. The so-called muftis are never aware about the ‘current situation’ which is a mandatory condition for issuing fatwa as outlined by you in the article “Fatwa: The Second Most Abused Word of Islam” (Media Scan, July). They might know some sciences but how will they know Mathematics, Logic and Philosophy. If knowing those sciences is a condition must then there should be constituted a board which will certify that a certain person fulfils this criterion and only he/she is entitled to issue fatwas. Muhammad Qasim, Mumbai

Media Scan Is Different
Dear Editor, I saw some of your articles on Media Scan Bangalore blog and liked it. I would like to have a print copy of your magazine. Being attached to journalism, I realized after going through the articles on your blog, that you are trying to do a different work from other contemporary magazines. Rais Khan, Mumbai

Stop Misuse Of AFSPA
Dear Sir,
This is with reference to “Serial Killings Of Students...” (July 2010). As a matter of a bitter reality many innocent Kashmiris have been victims of Indian Forces. Worse is the trend in the valley to kill students. There is no doubt that Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is being misused in Kashmir. Such amendments must be made to this act that will make a guilty soldier liable to punishment. In present situation, since the forces cannot be investigated for their acts, they are fearlessly misusing their powers on the cost of the lives of innocent citizens in the name of combating insurgency. Irshad Ahmad, via email

NHRC Not On Right Track In Batla House Probe
Sir, Apropos to the news in July issue of Media Scan “What is the use of NHRC?” National Human Rights Commission relied upon the controversial version of the Delhi police in Batla House encounter case smells a conspiracy. From the day first not only media but also parents of the killed students had risen questions about the encounter being genuine. It is nothing but laziness on part of NHRC to even cross check the police version. How is it a human rights commission when it did not even once feel the need to meet and listen to the families of the students? Shafeeq Sultan, Azamgarh, UP

Pre-assumption About Culprits Hinders Fair Probe
Dear Editor, I got the July issue of Media Scan on 15th of the month and read some articles from here and there. “ATS Ruins the life of Samad and many more: Does anyone take notice?” is a good article. The arrest of the youth of a certain community in connection with the blasts is the result of assumption by our investigating agencies that only Muslims are wrongdoers. Of course, there have come some changes in this wrong notion after late ATS chief Hemant Karkare unveiled face of Hindutva terrorism probing Malegaon 2008 blasts case. Yet after the arrest of Abdus Samad our home minister Mr. P Chidambaram was quick to draw conclusion that Pune German Bakery case was solved and media showed that Samad was the mastermind behind the blasts. This shows the existence of a specific concept about Muslim youth. Saqib Ahmad, Shimoga, Karnataka

Majority Hindus Treated Badly In India!


Sir, With reference to the article “Brahmins Have Become The Dalits” (July, 2010), Francois Gautier has rightly outlined that some of the Brahmins in today’s India are leading a life worse than Dalits. They are compelled to do some of the works that were only the share of Dalits if we go only some years back. Gautier is also right when he says that in India the Hindu majority is treated badly by the government. Members of the community are wrongly trapped in Malegaon, Ajmer and Makkah Masjid blasts while two Muslims convicts of helping 26/11 perpetrators have been freed. Isn’t it true that the spiritual leader of Hindus Swami Nithyananda, without any base, was portrayed by the media as a sex swami and looter of wealth? Government must think that Hindus are in majority in India. Ashok Jayaram, Chennai

U. S. Should Take Notice Of Israel’s Atrocities
Respected Sir, The editorial of July issue “U.N.O. Powerless Against Israel Without U.S. Support” is an eye opener. The champion of human rights United States is mum when it comes to Israel’s violation of human rights. Had it been any other country killing scores of aid workers in broad day light it would have faced the consequence of Afghanistan and Iraq but it seems as if America has no courage to punish Israel. If seen in reality Israel to a great extent is dependent on America’s help for its existence. Israel, with full support from America has been defying any guidelines provided by the United Nations to ensure that no country commits tyranny over the other. America is equally responsible for human rights violations as is Israel. Muhammad Shakir, Ranchi, Jharkhand

Muslims Chop Hand Of Professor Over Blasphemy, Receive Condemnation


In what may be called taking law and order into ones hand, some Muslim youth of Kerala punished a professor accused of hurting religious sentiments, by cutting of his hand. The community leaders condemned this saying that Islam does not allow such acts while there is already an authority on work.


Some Muslim youth, in the name of protecting their religion, chopped off the hand of a professor who committed blasphemy of the Prophet Muhammad.

According to the media reports, professor T J Joseph was returning along with his family from church prayers when they were attacked by a group of unknown assailants. The attackers forced Joseph get out of the car, and then they attacked him with knives and swords, cut off his hand and right arm throwing them away after about 200 meters.

They advised that instead of taking revenge Islam teaches to forgive the culprits. “Those who attacked Joseph forgot that the Prophet of Islam, upon whom be peace, in his own life had pardoned a Jewish woman who used to throw garbage on him and when she did not do so one day, the Prophet enquired about her and upon being told that she is ill, went to wish her early recovery and good health. The Prophet forgave the people of Mecca after its conquest although they had pained him, expelled him from his hometown and had waged war against him for years.


Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians condemned this "barbaric act" and recalled that "Sharia is not the law of India. He also said that Kerala is witnessing a growth of Islamic extremism. “Christian schools are often targeted on the headscarf issue or another issue and unfortunately many schools succumb under pressure. The design of these militants is to provoke peaceful Christian communities and provoke a civil war. The rapid growth of the Muslim population and their influence in elections is increasing safety concerns for Christians throughout the country”.

This act of taking law and order into the hands received strong condemnation by even the leaders of the Muslim community. In the presence of competent authorities to deal with an issue, the leaders said, Islam explicitly forbids taking law and order into one's hands.

All India Milli Council, Jamaat e Islami Hind, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Jamiat Ulama e Hind, Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN) and many other Muslim organizations condemned this act.

They advised that instead of taking revenge Islam teaches to forgive the culprits. “Those who attacked Joseph forgot that the Prophet of Islam, upon whom be peace, in his own life had pardoned a Jewish woman who used to throw garbage on him and when she did not do so one day, the Prophet enquired about her and upon being told that she is ill, went to wish her early recovery and good health. The Prophet forgave the people of Mecca after its conquest although they had pained him, expelled him from his hometown and had waged war against him for years. We find that the attack on the Kerala lecturer is against the basic tenets of Islam and the Sunnah of the Prophet which emphasis on forgiveness,” said a press release jointly released by the organizations.

The story started when Prof. TJ Joseph at Newman's College, Kerala, referred to one Muhammad as “madman” while preparing an exam paper for his college last March. In the paper a question which asked the students to mark punctuations related a story in which a desperate fisherman Muhammad repeatedly called God. His brother scolded him, "Why are you calling God, God, God...?”

The Muslim organizations asserted that the Muhammad shown having conversation with God in the question paper was the Prophet of Islam and that Professor has intentionally referred to him as a man having lost his sense. In the subsequent apology the professor maintained that it was an “unintentional error”.

However, following a series of protest by Muslim organizations the church-run Newman College in Thodupuzha town of the hilly district of Pathamthitta had sacked the professor for one year. The Malayalam language professor was also arrested in April for provoking religious sentiments. Now he is free on bail.

By Staff Writer

Unrest In Kashmir Valley Continues

Since June 11, at least 17 civilians have been killed by security forces firing in Kashmir valley. Despite curfew and strict restrictions, protests against the unabated rights violations have become order of the day. Our Special Correspondent in the state analyses the prevailing situation in valley.

Unrest brewing in Kashmir valley following the civilian killings’ during past few weeks refuses to calm down and there does not seem to be any indication of normalcy limping back to the strife-torn valley at least in near future. With the killing of a newly-wed Fayaz Ahmad (26) of Baramulla in security forces’ firing on July 18, the total number of civilian killings mounted to 17 since June 11.

Fayaz was killed when security forces opened fire on mourners near DC office Baramulla. Thousands of people were agitating in the town over the alleged forced drowning of 13- year-old Faizan Ahmed Buhroo, a class 7th student by security forces. Faizan’s body was retrieved from river Jehlum.

Security guards posted near the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office Baramulla reportedly opened fire on the protestors killing Fayaz on the spot as many others were injured in the shootout. Authorities removed Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Deputy SP (Headquarters) as part of its damage control exercise along with yet another reshuffle in state police but evidently like before this did not yield any substantial results.

Ill-fated parents of newly-wed Fayaz suffered tragedy for the second time in a couple of years. Fayaz’s brother was drowned in river while taking a bath some two years before. Tension further mounted in Baramulla following fresh killings as authorities’ re-imposed curfew to quell protests.

Despite curfew in most parts of Srinagar, Baramulla, Sopore and Kupwara towns and large scale arrest of youth across the valley, authorities have miserably failed to curb protests and clashes. For past more than five weeks, protests and clashes against recent killings have become order of the day in valley. Interestingly a good chunk of teen-aged boys between 12-20 years. For the first time in past 15 years, Army was called in Srinagar to help police and CRPF deployed in strength bring the worsening situation under control. Defying stringent restrictions and imposition of curfew in many areas including parts of Srinagar Baramulla, Kupwara and Sopore, people held protest demonstrations against the civilian killings demanding stern action against the erring cops.

A meeting convened by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on June 29 directed the CRPF to exercise “maximum restraint and sensitivity” while assisting the state police in enforcing curfew regulations in the valley. Amnesty International has urged India to ensure implementation of its directives and ensure protection of the right to life under international law. The authorities have blamed the militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other Kashmiri separatist groups for instigating the protestors to throw stones and engage in violence.

In an ongoing crackdown to quell the spiraling protests, police has so far arrested more than 900 persons including teenagers in different parts of the valley, most of these from sensitive areas of Baramulla, Sopore and Srinagar during past few weeks and booked at least 16 of them under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Recent unrest in Kashmir valley started following killing of 17-year-old Tufail Ahmed Mattoo of Srinagar in security forces’ action. To prevent them from leading protest demonstrations over the killings, authorities have booked many separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani under the PSA.

Other leaders booked under PSA include Hurriyat (M) leader Zafar Akbar Bhat, Tehreek Hurriyat general secretary, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, senior Hurriyat (G) leaders, General Moosa, Ayaz Akbar, Bilal Siddiqui, president of high court bar association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Bar general secretary, G N Shaheen. They have been shifted to various jails in Jammu. Hurriyat (M) leader, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, has been lodged in sub-jail Baramulla. Also other activists of Hurriyat (M) including Muzaffar Ahmad Yatoo have been booked under PSA and shifted to various jails in Jammu. Peoples League leader, Mohammad Maqbool Sofi, was also been arrested during the Sopore chalo on June 27.

Chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other leaders including Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam and Agha Syed Al Mousvi Al Safvi have been frequently placed under house arrest from time to time. A senior advocate accused the state government of misusing the PSA. “More than 900 persons, most of them youth and also minors have been arrested during past over three weeks in the Valley. At least 16 persons have been booked under PSA. Ironically, some have been booked under serious offences including attempt to murder. Government is simply misusing the PSA and victimizing the youth especially the students,” he said.

Evading arrest, hundreds of youth have been fleeing their homes since the recent protests broke out following the killings of at least 17 civilians in the valley. The youth especially students, have been putting up with one relative or another to avoid arrest.

Police has intensified crackdown and hundreds of youth have been arrested on charges of taking part in protests and stone pelting.

Residents of the downtown areas in Srinagar are the worst victims of this nightmare where night raids have become a routine matter. Scores of marriage ceremonies in different parts of the valley have been deferred indefinitely due to the turbulence and restrictions imposed in the valley.

Media in Kashmir valley too became the victim of the turbulence and media persons the victims of security forces’ excesses. Newspapers in Kashmir resumed publication after remaining shut for four days in protest against alleged curbs on the media for reporting the happenings. Media organizations decided to resume publication after an assurance from the state government that the curfew passes issued to journalists would be duly entertained by the security agencies.

Publication of newspapers was suspended on July 8 following cancellation of curfew passes issued to media persons by the state government.

Media persons intimidated by curbs on free thought and unavailability of curfew passes held protest demonstrations against the government and suspended all newspapers for at least four days. Photojournalists and cameramen of national televisions channels were attacked by the security forces in parts of Srinagar while rendering their duties. Chief minister Omar Abdullah held a series of meetings with Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and home minister P Chidambaram at Delhi on July 17 to discuss the prevailing situation in Kashmir and measures for restoration of peace.

By Amin Masoodi
masoodiamin@gmail.com

RTE OK, But What About Right To Get Religious Education?

Every community has the constitutional right to either have their children admitted to religious institutions for teaching them religion or send them to other institutions for learning modern education. Does RTE which makes it necessary for children to attain certain type of education in a certain “school”, snatch this right?

Former minister and working president of Janata Dal Secular PGR Sindhiya has demanded from the Karnataka state government to explain how it is implementing the 86th amendment of the Indian Constitution. The amendment known as “Children's Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act” makes free and compulsory elementary education—from 1st class to standard 8th—a fundamental right of every child from the age of 6 to 14. It was implemented by the centre from April 1st, 2010.

The expenses in the process of providing education will be jointly borne by the centre and the respective state government, according to the law. The responsibility to determine the manner to implement this law, however, rests on the state government.

The determination of the center to provide education to every child is laudable. It is unfortunate that the importance of education was not thought of earlier. It is sad truth that for years India has been dreaming to become one of the largest economies of the world while it could not do something concrete to eliminate illiteracy. Since basic education was considered non-productive, not much attention was given to it compared to higher education.

Mr. Sindhiya said that the state government should explain its stand towards bringing this law into practice. According to the reports, the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is also gearing up to monitor the implementation of the act with a special allocation from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. In Karnataka state there are nearly 50,000 lower primary and higher primary schools.
The determination of the center to provide education to every child is laudable. It is unfortunate that the importance of education was not thought of earlier. It is sad truth that for years India has been dreaming to become one of the largest economies of the world while it could not do something concrete to eliminate illiteracy. Since basic education was considered non-productive, not much attention was given to it compared to higher education.

Many of the recommendations of the educational commissions formed in the post-independence time have been put in cold store. There needs to take solid practical step to achieve the target of a literate India. Until now we have failed to understand the need of education. Instead of resorting to legal aspects, in this regard, creating awareness could prove to be a better alternative.

Now “elementary education” has been made a constitutional right and to have every child educated in school is a duty upon the parents. Voices have been raised over the definition of “education” and the specification of places imparting that education. Unfortunately, only education promising jobs are thought to be education. Education that teaches morality and religion, in the eyes of the government, does not find any place in the limited definition of education.

Now “elementary education” has been made a constitutional right and to have every child educated in school is a duty upon the parents. Voices have been raised over the definition of “education” and the specification of places imparting that education. Unfortunately, only education promising jobs are thought to be education. Education that teaches morality and religion, in the eyes of the government, does not find any place in the limited definition of education.

In the definition of “school”, there is no direct indication that religious institutions that impart free education to large number of children are included. There must have been clear explanation about such institutions, as their contribution towards educations is worth considering and felt by the government. The academic institutions that do not fulfil the criterion of the government for being a “school” will not be allowed to function after a certain period of time. It should be noted that these very institutions have been playing a key role in spreading education throughout the country.

President of Jam’iat-E-Ulama-E-Hind Maulana Arshad Madani expressed apprehension that the act in its present form will “swallow up missionary schools, pathshalas and madaris that exist in large number”. He said that this will mark end of many academic institutions which are busy spreading education.


The way of achieving the target of educating every child, therefore, has been objected. The critics say that some provisions of the RTE Act, needs to be amended.
President of Jam’iat-E-Ulama-E-Hind Maulana Arshad Madani expressed apprehension that the act in its present form will “swallow up missionary schools, pathshalas and madaris that exist in large number”. He said that this will mark end of many academic institutions which are busy spreading education. These institutions are imparting, usually, quality education in their respective fields, and are better administered compared to the government run schools.

According to the Act, for carrying out the provisions of the Right To Education Act, it will be duty of the appropriate Government and the local authority to establish within a certain area or limits of neighbourhood, a school, where it is not so established, within a period of three years from the commencement of this Act. The Central Government and State Governments shall have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of this Act. And the Central government will develop a framework of national curriculum with the help of the academic authority.

It is said that behind the guise of special concentration on the development and betterment of the backward classes the government comes up with hurdles in the way of language and religion. The present shape of the act is considered an indirect attack on religious education. According to the Indian Constitution, every person has right to seek education about their religion and minorities can run their own institutions.

Said Arshad Madani, “Muslims have the option to either have their children admitted to religious institutions for teaching them religion or send them to other institutions for learning modern education.”

If the madaris are not considered a “school” in the eyes of the government and education imparted over is not what the government wants to teach to the citizens, they will have to be closed in whatever circumstances. The same circumstances will have be faced by the institutions run by Churches or muths.

A. Hameed Yousuf
ahameed12@gmail.com



Some Highlights Of The RTE Act


Every child of the age six to fourteen years has a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbouring school till completion of elementary education-from standard one to eight.
Parents or guardians are duty bound to admit or cause to be admitted their children or ward to an elementary education in the neighbourhood school.
School means a recognized school imparting elementary education and includes-
(a) A school established owned or controlled by the appropriate Government or a local authority
(b) An aided school receiving aid or grants to meet whole or part of its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority
(c) A school belonging to specified category and
(d) An unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grants to meet its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority
Specified category means a school known as Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School or any other school having a distinct character
(Religious minorities fear that their institutions do not fulfil the criterion of being a “school” according the explanation of the “school” given in the Act.)




The Act Also Has

For establishing or running any academic institution, one has to obtain a certificate of recognition fulfilling certain standards. Without doing so if anyone runs school, they will be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and in case of continuing contraventions, to a fine of ten thousand rupees for each day during which such contravention continues.
Any school established before April 1, 2010 which does not fulfil certain norms and standards have to take steps to fulfil the norms and standards at its own expenses within a period of three years. Failing to do so recognition will not be granted.
Any person who continues to run a school without recognition is liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees and in case of continuing contravention, to a fine of ten thousand rupees for each day during which such contravention continues.

Editorial

Dear Readers!

This month there are two reasons to celebrate. Independent India is 63 years old. MEDIA SCAN completes its first year.

Media Scan started its pursuit of truth in august, 2oo9. Month by month, the magazine has been seeing improvement in all aspects. During this period of one year we had complete realization that you are always there to support us through your generous contributions. I extend many thanks to your passionate reading. In fact, the thanks, you deserve, is beyond words.

Media Scan is a mission. We started this magazine with an aim to initiate a campaign against corruption and anti-national elements. Through this magazine, we try to end the social evils and expose the enemies of India who are at work to polarize the country on religious and linguistic grounds, and hence to ensure that India remains united. To put an end to every kind of terrorism, and dig out the reasons behind it has always been on our top of our agenda. Media Scan also serves as a means to reach the voice of aam aadmi to the government. Media scan as the name suggests reveals the malicious campaign of biased reporting by a section of the media.

Your constant love for the magazine has enabled us to achieve success during the last one year. But, the fact remains that there is still a long way to go.

When we had started Media Scan to spread truth there were a few takers for this vision. We had little support. Days rolled by and today we have many readers who have joined this noble mission. The readership has crossed the targets we had set. It encourages us that you readers are showing immense interest in Media Scan. Your support and interest in the magazine has been the chief motivating factor to overcome hurdles and hardships to bring out every issue. We hope this help and support will continue in the future.

At this time, we would also like to thank our staff who work with enthusiasm and sincerity to ensure that the magazine is published in time. The staff interacts with our readers to find out your views and based on your feedback we have brought a lot of changes and improvement to the magazine. Again I have to thank the readers whose support gives encouragement to the staff of Media Scan. Our readers in fact give direction to the magazine.

Due to your cooperation at every step we have been able to complete one year of Media Scan. We promise that in future, too, Media Scan will continue carrying out its mission. We would try to publish articles that help build a strong and peaceful India. Thanks to you all we are still on the track of pursuing truth.*

Gujarat Govt Creating Pakistans In India

Unity in diversity is an important aspect of Indian democracy. It was coined by Indian leaders to create an Indian society where all communities lived peacefully together. We dreamt after achieving independence to build our own prosperous nation. But the divisions that are created by hatemongers, in the guise of politicians, are growing deeper among some Indians and are hindering our way to peaceful coexistence.

The Hindu-Muslim unity that set India free from the clutches of British colonialism breathed its last when Pakistan was created. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel and other leaders of that time are to be blamed for the Partition. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Gandhiji and nationalist ulama had to only see their dream of a united India crashing. Indians, irrespective of their religions, who had fought shoulder to shoulder against the British, did not feel even a slight hesitation in massacring other fellow Indians. This was not the end.

More problems seem to have been destined for them. Sixty-three years have passed since the partition of India. Yet the wounds of partition have not healed. There has always been an effort to create a mutual understanding between communities so that they could live peacefully but it has lost to the mob mentality of communalists.

In today’s India, citizens are divided in different ways. Dalits even today cannot enter into a Mandir. They have to face humiliation and tyranny only because they were not born in an upper caste! Though the constitution of India provides equal status for all Indians the reality within the communities itself is quite different.

In today’s India, citizens are divided in different ways. Dalits even today cannot enter into a Mandir. They have to face humiliation and tyranny only because they were not born in an upper caste! Though the constitution of India provides equal status for all Indians the reality within the communities itself is quite different.

Then comes the plight of the minorities. They complain of discrimination on the basis of their religion. Muslims, Christians and the Sikhs are the largest religious minorities in India. The Hindus feel that because of their religion they have a stronger reason to be called the sons of the soil and the followers of other religions are not entitled to be the citizens of India. This attitude has always been hidden behind a veil of secularism. The minorities have learnt to live with this discrimination and in spite of it continue to survive and prosper in this country.

Muslims are almost one fifth of India’s population but employment in government or private institutions is never in proportion to their population and this situation is worsening by the passage of time. It is not that the young boys and girls do not aspire to join these services. It has been a result of a campaign to keep them out. Hence, the non-existence of Muslims from key portfolios raises questions whether any unpublicized agenda is on work against them.

Muslims who preferred India over Pakistan were the real patriots. They preferred democracy of India to the Islamic governments of Pakistan.

Muslims who preferred India over Pakistan were the real patriots. They preferred democracy of India to the Islamic governments of Pakistan. The promise made by the constitution of India of equal rights for all has never been achieved. The blame rests on the successive governments who in their zeal for economic development did not pay enough attention to social justice. “Is India divided on religious grounds?”The answer is Yes. It is being exploited fully by politicians of all parties.

Almost in the whole of India, which is proud of its characteristic of being multi¬¬--cultural, multi-lingual and of course multi-religious, there is an invisible line dividing Indians. The divide is due to religion, caste, sub caste, economic status, language, etc. But one state government is on the forefront in promoting this divide and benefitting from it.

This is the state which is called ‘vibrant’ Gujarat. Ahmedabad is today a divided city. When state terrorism killed thousands of Muslims in 2002, humanity was the biggest loser. There was condemnation from all over the world. But the killing of Muslims was a political advantage to the ruling government of Gujarat. Since then it has not lost this advantage it has got over other political parties and continues to strengthen its position by troubling Muslims anyway it possibly can.

Almost in the whole of India, which is proud of its characteristic of being multi¬¬--cultural, multi-lingual and of course multi-religious, there is an invisible line dividing Indians. The divide is due to religion, caste, sub caste, economic status, language, etc. But one state government is on the forefront in promoting this divide and benefitting from it.

More than eight years have passed since the Gujarat riots. The victims are yet to return to a normal life. In Ahmedabad, on one side reside fear and anxiety, helplessness and anger. Walk across Jamalpur, Mirzapur, Dani Limda, Kalopur, Lal Darwaza and other parts of the walled City. Go to Juhapura – one of the largest Muslim ghettos in India. Scratch a little, and people want to talk. An entire community feels under attack, with many resigned to their newfound fate of being second-class citizens. Equal Rights are a dream, and the sense of representation non-existent. What remains strong is the cry for justice, and the knowledge they will not get it – not in Gujarat. Why? “Because”, explains one elder in Shah Alam, “We pray to Allah. That is our transgression.” Hindus and Muslims are divided on religious basis.

What remains strong is the cry for justice, and the knowledge they will not get it – not in Gujarat. Why? “Because”, explains one elder in Shah Alam, “We pray to Allah. That is our transgression.” Hindus and Muslims are divided on religious basis.


There are borders everywhere. A patch of road, a wall, a turn across a street corner, a divider in the middle of a road – this is all it takes to polarise and segregate communities throughout Gujarat. Each town and city now has countless borders, forcibly making people conscious of their religious identity. Me Hindu, you Muslim. Or one could look at it differently: the borders on the ground merely reflect and reinforce the polarisation that has already taken place in the minds of ordinary Gujaratis. Yet nothing prepares you for the certitude on the streets of the other Ahmedabad – in Navrangpura, Vastrapur, MG Road, Judge’s Bungalow Road, Satellite, Vejalpur.

Many Gujarati Hindus think they have the answers to some of the most troubling questions of our times. The majority would say that the problems muslims face are self induced. Others argue that Muslims themselves are the problem. They look back fondly at the ‘Toofan’, of the 2002 riots, and their thoughts are the same. The Muslims deserved it. They are all bloody Pakistanis and criminals. If we had more time, we would have wiped them out. See, they are crushed and scared. We taught them a lesson. And now, the world should learn from Gujarat about how to deal with the miyas. The one sentiment that is almost wholly absent is remorse.

They look back fondly at the ‘Toofan’, of the 2002 riots, and their thoughts are the same. The Muslims deserved it. They are all bloody Pakistanis and criminals. If we had more time, we would have wiped them out. See, they are crushed and scared. We taught them a lesson. And now, the world should learn from Gujarat about how to deal with the miyas. The one sentiment that is almost wholly absent is remorse.



“They are all bloody Pakistanis and criminals” is not a notion specific to only Gujaratis. Almost all Muslims throughout Indian are thought to be so. Muslims demanded for a separate land and hence they are Pakistanis. It may be argued whether circumstances were created so that Muslims had to demand for a separate land for them. The man behind this demand Muhammad Ali Jinnah had withdrew his demand for Pakistan to agree upon the Interim Government proposed by British Cabinet Mission 1946. This government in which United India was to be administered under three groups— one comprising Hindu-dominated states, one comprising Muslim-dominated states and the third one comprising the states of Assam and Bengal. All the groups would be self-governing except in three central departments— was immensely opposed by Congress leaders while in this way India would have remained Akhand.

During the interim government established for some days—in which also key posts were in the hands of Congressmen: Pundit Nehru held home ministry and common wealth, Sardar Patel held home information, and broadcasting—writes ICS Qudratullah Shihab, the big Congress leaders experienced that with the leaders of Muslim league who had maintained their identity and refused to work under Congress pressure, it was impossible for them to govern on India as per their will. Hence, there was no hesitation to pacify the Muslim community by giving them a piece of land. Notably, the Congress which has always opposed the Partition had eventually agreed to partition plan. However, the whole blame of the partition has been put on Muslims.

They have been treacherous to India and hence cannot be appointed on key government posts. Even before the independence this notion was found.

If we were to believe the Qudratullah Shihab we will be shocked. In his book “Shihab Nama” before the partition took place, a 6-7 pages catalogue was issued to all Congress Chief Ministers with the instruction to keep it in their personal custody.

The salient features of the catalogue, according to Shihab were, “The partition is almost certain. Therefore, in the states with Congress ministries, Muslims should be sacked from key posts only to be replaced by trustworthy Hindu officers. This should be done specially in the departments of home, finance and information. DIG, SP and in-charge of police stations usually should be Hindus. In the police department and district administration Muslims should be removed from field work and be appointed on harmless official duties. In the police personnel, Muslim police should be disarmed gradually and appointed on ordinary posts in police line and police stations. The state Mounted Military Police should be broken immediately if they comprised of border areas Muslims; the officers and personnel thereof be paid remuneration in proportion to the ending time of their employment. Hindu guards should be appointed to protect the record offices of government treasury, armouries and finance department. Muslims with arms licence be kept under watch. Such emergency schemes be made that the arms of these license can be submitted to the nearest police station. A list of Muslims owners of bus, cars, taxis and trucks be prepared and they kept under intense watch. The license of Muslim fireworks be suspended and their combustible stock be taken in police protection. etc. etc. Every chief minister was given stern instruction to have this plan executed in such a manner that any sense of discrimination against any community be known.”

In Gujarat, people have to be limited to a certain place. They cannot reside anywhere as per their will. They will sell or purchase any immovable property, but if the collector thinks that the deal has been done illegally, the deal will be scrapped.

The planning of such nature seems to have been working in whole of the India. Again to take an example of Gujarat. The story of Gujarat as a whole, then, is a tale of pride and prejudice on the one side, victimhood and alienation on the other. In control of this divisive agenda is the fascist government of Narendra Modi, who happily builds on this evolving social reality, and reinforces it.

The high degree of alienation among Muslims, the stereotypes and discrimination they face, the fact that a substantial section of society is committed to the Hindutva agenda, the absence of justice and accountability, and the continued secession of the state from its basic constitutional obligations – these are all elements that go into making Gujarat, in the very words of the Hindu Right, its laboratory.

In Gujarat, people have to be limited to a certain place. They cannot reside anywhere as per their will. They will sell or purchase any immovable property, but if the collector thinks that the deal has been done illegally, the deal will be scrapped.

Muslims affected during riots or facing atrocities by dominating Hindus cannot leave their houses to shift to a safer locality. Recently the President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Singh Patil approved the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from premises in Disturbed Areas Act (Amendment) bill which was passed by the Gujarat assembly in July 2009 and approved later by then governor of the sate Mr. S.C.Jamir.

The stated objective of this Act is to prohibit the illegal transfer of immovable property in the “disturbed areas” of the state; Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The recent amendment is supposed to pave way to effectively implement the law; earlier despite the existence of the law properties were transferred in contravention to the provisions of the law. The law has been in existence only in Ahmedabad since 1991 when there was Congress government in power in the state but now its area of effect has been increased.

Due to this law, both Hindus and Muslims have to confine themselves to certain areas where they are residing. If often happens that once an area is communally disturbed, the community in minority there wants to leave their houses to reside in a safer locality. But this law and especially the recent amendment makes it a near to impossible task for both Hindus and Muslims residing under constant fear of being misbehaved by the community members dominating their regions.

Though the Gujaratis do not have formally two separate states but practically they have. They are the citizens of one state but their residence, in practical terms, is restricted to only a certain part of that state. Activists see this move as an instrument to further harass Muslims who want to move to safer localities.

Visualize that during riots, in the Hindu-dominated areas Muslims are targeted and only a few families are spared. Due to the Act, no Muslim can easily buy the property of a Hindu. In the future that area where sometime the inhabitants were both Hindus and Muslims will be like a Hindu state. The same situation may occur in Muslim-dominated areas and they will become Muslim states. We Indians will live in a state called Gujarat but at the same time we will have our own Pakistan or Israel.

By: Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

lakhani63@yahoo.com