To Be A Muslim In India This Eid

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ghulam muhammed
Posts: 11653
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:34 pm

To Be A Muslim In India This Eid


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:54 pm

To Be A Muslim In India This Eid


Tuesday, September 13,2016

NEW DELHI: Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged out of his tenement in Dadri by a mob of Gau Rakshaks and beaten to death for allegedly eating beef. His son barely survived and was in hospital for weeks. His wife and children were screaming with terror, unable to get help and unable to prevent the frenzied mob.

This Eid, Akhlaq's family, charged with consuming beef, have a long legal battle ahead of them. Terrified out of their wits this family has been running from pillar to post, not just for justice for Akhlaq, but for their own security. They have been threatened, abused despite the trauma, and now the impoverished family has been dragged to the courts on an alleged forensic laboratory report that claims that the meat, that the mob insisted was taken from their home, was indeed beef. This is after the first forensic reports of similar meat samples verified that it was not beef.

In Hyderabad, a senior BJP lawmaker T.Raja Singh threatened violence if oxen were sacrificed on Eid. He warned the Telangana government to ensure the ban was imposed strictly.

This, even as the poor briyani vendors in Mewat, Haryana, remained on the run fearing action as rumours spread that samples seized from their stalls had tested positive for “beef”. In this sleepy Haryana town, the police turned into cow vigilantes, swooped down on the impoverished vendors, and spread terror as the youth ran fearing indiscriminate arrests. In the midst of this a mob attacked a Muslim home in a Mewat village and raped the girls, including a 14 year old, and killed a couple by tying them and beating them to death.

In Muzaffarnagar, a large number of Muslims displaced in the 2013 communal violence that tore through the villages in what was a first for the area, remain in camps. These internally displaced persons have been unable to return to their vilages, as the attackers were neighbours, as were those who raped their women. Terrified, and still facing abuse, these families live in terrible conditions in these camps infested with snakes, and with no sanitation, electricity or even potable drinking water. For three years they have been living in inhuman conditions, with tears pouring down at the mention of the homes where they had lived for generations, but can no longer return to.

In Kairana, again a bustling town, local BJP leaders spread the rumour of Hindu migration as a result of which the minorities are now terrified, and scared of reprisal by mobs. The state government stepped in on this issue for a change, and hence it was prevented from reaching new levels of violence although locally the terror remains.

Overarching is Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state. The state is stepping up the offensive with the Army returning to villages and districts it had left over a decade and more ago. At the time of writing this, a senior retired government official from Kashmir called, very agitated, that the forces were going into homes in the rural areas and firing pellet guns inside at the families. People are being arrested, taken away in action reminiscent of the 1990’s when enforced disappearances had hit almost every Kashmiri home. This is now the apprehension amongst the elders of Kashmir, even as the young are bent on giving up their lives for what they perceive to be their rights.

Drones and helicopters fly over Kashmir on Eid day even as one writes. Strict curfew keeps people at home, with internet and communication services suspended.

New Delhi, in line with the approach of centralising its slogan of nationalism around the ‘anti-national’ Kashmiri (and now also the Muslims in other parts of India), has decided to force an offensive for as long as it takes. The visit of the All Party Parliamentary delegation has been dismissed by the government as an aberration, with the hard line continuing in Kashmir. More so as the state has been placed since Independence in the national security paradigm, and not in the space of democratic rights and justice. Kashmir, thus, allows the government to build its ‘nationalism’ constituency by juxtaposing the Kashmiris as a national security threat.

Muslims in India thus, today, are being effectively projected as the crux of the definition of anti-nationals and terrorists embodied in the persona of the Kashmiri:-

anti-Hindu for being beef eaters with the current campaign actually intended to make the Indian Muslim synonymous with beef, when exactly the opposite is true;

anti-India and pro-Pakistan (this applies to Kashmiris and all other Muslims as well);

And all on the verge of joining the Islamic State.

There is no counter narrative, given the political opposition’s collapse in the face of the right wing onslaught. The Muslims have no organisation, no leadership except of the Muslim Personal Law Board kind, diminishing political support, with rights and justice playing a poor second to vote bank politics. The isolation is nearing completion. ... a-This-Eid

ghulam muhammed
Posts: 11653
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:34 pm

Re: To Be A Muslim In India This Eid


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:10 pm

A heart warming response by Lalita Ramdas who has been an educator and activist with a broad and varied experience spanning a professional life of over three decades. She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005. For Lalita, peace is not just the absence of war but a comprehensive vision of a just and equitable society. She has pursued her commitment to this ideal through all manner of adverse circumstances–including family crises and serious illnesses like tuberculosis and cancer–and has made use of all available space to push for peace.

Her Response to the article above, written by Seema Mustafa :-

I Will NOT Remain Silent...


Thursday, September 15,2016

MUMBAI: I read Seema Mustafa’s evocative and heart wrenching piece with sadness and a deep deep sense of foreboding. And what follows is a stream of conscience set of thought and emotions which kept coming almost endlessly.

( ... a-This-Eid)

I have not had the heart to pick up the phone and wish any of our friends and family Eid Mubarak this Eid. And the few with whom I spoke have shared their own emotions about the joylessness of the festival this year. Found myself struggling with so many many emotions – outrage and anger, sadness and a terrible sense of loss, a set of unspoken fears and wondering for how long we will have to live with this almost daily assault on a faith, a people who follow that faith, pushing them into corners and ghettos where we should be celebrating the diversity that they add to the heritage of this ancient land.

Have been asking myself what am I saying mubarak about? For being allowed to live with fear and insecurity in this land which is every bit “theirs” as it is yours and mine?

Is this really the occasion for the RSS President to repeat, ad nauseum, the meaningless mantra, now sounding increasingly like a threat, :"Never forget you are all Hindus"!!
My sense of outrage at this utter insensitivity is still palpable.

Frankly I don't know and I really don't care who we were at the dawn of history (or herstory). We were human beings – figuring out how to engage with our environment, our surroundings and our neighbours .

I prefer to believe like museum of African Heritage in San Francisco reminds us, that we all originally came from Africa! And the story of how human beings wandered onto all the present day five continents and adapted over millennia to climate and other ecological and environmental influences, is itself an exciting story.

I refuse to be labelled, to be forced into box called Hindu, or Muslim, or Brahmin or Dalit, or dark and fair, or any other categorisation for that matter.

And worse still, then be told what to say, what to wear, what to eat, what not to eat, how and to whom to pray, just because some one sitting in Nagpur or Saudi, or Rome for that matter has so decreed?

I had always felt proud of my heritage as an Indian, and also of the religion into which I was born – Hinduism, despite its deep contradictions and warts. This was because I believed that it gave me the freedom of choice as to how, when, if and why I chose to worship; the right to dissent; and the intellectual space to debate, disagree and decide what was best.

This was the idea of India so beautifully enshrined in my Constitution.

It is this idea of India that is being torn apart and disfigured into an unrecognisable monster, an idea from which I totally distance myself.

I am ashamed that my Dalit brothers and sisters are still abused, used and heaped with indignity upon indignity. All this continues despite the Magsaysay for Bezwada Wilson!

It continues because you and I and people like us chose to be silent when Wilson repeatedly asks WHO IS EXPECTED TO CLEAN THE LAKHS OF TOILETS THEY WILL BUILD UNDER THE SWACCH BHARAT ABHIYAAN.

I was ashamed in 1984 when the gentry of Lutyens Delhi slammed the door in our faces as we begged for medicines and clothes to help the survivors of the anti Sikh pogrom. “They deserved it” – they told us.

Yes my friends and concerned citizens 1984 has already become a distant dream and even people like myself and the many volunteers who defied the curfew and went out to bring the terrified women and children to some safety and security,no longer remember the details. And while some of us spoke up and testified before the Ranganatha Mishra Commission of Enquiry, most remained silent

Too many of us chose to remain silent ……

I watched with deep trepidation the wavering members of the 'people like us' group, who sat on the fence and began spreading stories about Muslims in our so called secular service community after the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. Some of us spoke – challenged false facts and reached out to the minorities amidst us -

But too many of us chose to remain silent ………..

And I heard the horror stories of the massacres of Gujarat in 2002...from victims in the camps as much as from so many who have worked day and night to uncover the truth and defend hundreds who saw their families and neighbours lose their lives with our police as silent spectators. My husband, Ramu Ramdas, a former Navy Chief was among the multi faith team led by the intrepid peace worker and Gandhian, Nirmala Deshpande, who visited Godhra, Ahmedabad, and recall how they were hounded by mobs to hand over the Muslim members of the delegation – or else leave the place where they were staying. The memories and the fall out of that nightmarish time will not go away

And yet, too many of us chose to remain silent ……

MF Husain, the gentle genius, was a personal friend, who Anjolie Menon, the painter and I, as college girls, would drop by to share a cup of tea and watch him at work. How could we allow an icon of our times to die in exile? Just because a bunch of hooligans posing as defenders of my faith, manufactured canard after canard, destroyed his work, and terrorised the country and the government into shameful submission?

The stories and the examples come flooding back – and do not allow me to sleep this night , nor to remain silent .

If earlier regimes were thinly disguised communalists, the gloves are off today and there is no question in my mind that everything we are seeing happen around us today is part of a well planned anti-national agenda to establish a Hindu Rashtra in India. This has always been an important part of the agenda of the RSS, the Sangh Pariar, and therefore by extension of the party in power today.

The state and its so called protectors and rulers are deliberately creating divisions and fissures between our communities and faiths and regions, it's the British policy of divide and rule. Only it is now being applied to our people by our own elected rulers.

We have a choice, to cower in silence or have the guts to speak up and speak out.

What do we have to lose?

I say with pride that my legacy of free thinking, drawn from thousands of years of my civilizational heritage in this region, has today given me a personal heritage unparalleled for its diversity and texture and weave .

I believe my maternal ancestors were bangle sellers from Arcot. If I believed in caste, then that would make me either a BC or an OBC!

My paternal family were from a trader class (Naidus) who fought against the British in the then Madras Presidency and moved to Hyderabad in the service of the Nizam.

My only brother married a Muslim girl from Mumbai – and it was my ma-in- law, a Brahmin woman from Palghat, who reassured my mother that it was fine.

And this same Brahmin mother in law, always in her traditional nine yard silk sari, who cooked beef for the beloved family dog in her one and only pressure cooker in her Sait Colony kitchen in Chennai.!! I cannot recall any contradictions or problems about the cooking of beef. She never ate any form of meat – but never did she stop anyone else from eating what they wished.

Between her and my mother they unhesitatingly welcomed their first grand son in law – who turned out to be an American of Pakistani origin – from Karachi – and a Muslim

And our entire clan welcomed my other son in law, an African American deeply religious Baptist from Virginia,

And talking of diversity --- earlier we had a Bihari son in law from Patna ….we still have a nephew in law Sri Lankan Tamil from Jaffna – now in Canada thanks to the mess in his own country ….another nephew in law is a brilliant physicist, anEnglishman from Oxford – now settled and teaching in Chennai…

North, south, east, west..

Black brown and white and somewhere in between

Hindu, Muslim, Christian, atheist....

This is my interpretation of the true meaning of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakkam, The world is one family.

But for this message to be brought home to our unscrupulous political class – as also the children of today who will be our future citizens …..we need to amend all school curriculum to build a strong component of secular studies, of tolerance, of openness of citizenship, of neighbourhood management and above all of inclusivity.

We need to speak up, to write, to educate, to challenge and debate the idea of India, to remind our future generations of the Constitution of India, continually and with the largest possible outreach in our homes, our schools, our work places and our social networks -

And remember the time for silence has gone by …..

[written on Eid ul Adha 2016 or what we know as Bakrid] ... ain-Silent

ghulam muhammed
Posts: 11653
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:34 pm

Re: To Be A Muslim In India This Eid


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:47 pm

The Curfewed Eid!

(Putting the entire valley of Kashmir under curfew on the most important Muslim religious festival of Eid-ul-Adah is the first event of its kind in the entire recorded history of Kashmir!)

Eid-ul-Adah is the most pious and revered festival in the Muslim world. It is in remembrance to the symbolic sacrifice which God asked Prophet Ibrahim to offer. Well, Kashmiris too have offered a similar symbolic sacrifice for their cause on this occasion. Kashmir has seen many periods of extreme suppression during its history of last four centuries. At one time the grand mosque of Kashmir, Jama Masjid was locked, Pather Masjid was converted into a stable and many mosques were locked. However, never ever were the people prevented from celebrating the religious festival of Eid-ul-Adah! Not only were people during the present time prevented from offering prayers in the main Eid Gah where these prayers are usually held but no open congregations were allowed anywhere!

No Eid prayers were allowed in the famous mosque of Hazratbal for the first time in its recorded history. Similarly, no Eid prayers were allowed in the Sayed Sahib’s mosque in Sonawar which is claimed to be a VIP mosque as most of the top government functionaries usually offer prayers here. The mosque at Maqdoom Sahib too was surrounded by security forces and no one was allowed inside. For more than eight Fridays no prayers have been offered in the Jama Masjid, the grand mosque of Srinagar. In spite of these extreme curbs, people at many places took out marches for “Azadi” after Eid prayers in the local mosques which were dispersed by use of force causing death of four persons and injuries to scores of people. One is not able to get exact news as there is a total communications blockade. All mobile phone networks have been shut. Mobile internet is already off for more than two months and even the landline based broadband internet has been shut down. This has resulted in total communication blockade within Kashmir and with the outside world.

Incidentally, these harshest measures on religious gatherings in Kashmir especially on the occasion of the Eid have occurred when Kashmir is being ruled by Sayeds who claim to be direct descendants of the companions of the prophet! 700 of these are supposed to have accompanied Mir Sayed Ali Hamadani popularly known as Shah-i-Hamadan when he came to Kashmir to preach Islam. One is here reminded of a saying of the patron saint of Kashmir, “Malleh te Gosain yeli raj karan; trutte wassan; yvethe phaton; draag wathon”!This translates into, “When Mullahs and Sadhus become the rulers; cloud bursts will occur; rivers will be flooded and famines will occur!” It seems so true now with the present ruling set up!

This curfewed Eid appears to be the direct follow up of the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh’s directive to security forces to restore normalcy within a week’s time. His statement on the subject sounded as if he was ordering the forces to crush all Kashmiris within a week! Thanks to the local government and the security agencies, the Union Home Minister appeared to be totally unaware of the ground situation. Yes, all the earlier uprisings in Kashmir used to be mostly confined to the down town area of five to six police stations. Imposition of strict curfew would restore virtual normalcy in a short time. However, no one seems to have told the Home Minister that Kashmir has 5,000 villages and all the villagers are out on the roads! One is reminded of the Chinese Revolution when Mao Tse Tung gave the slogan of surrounding the cities by the villages! The earlier upheavals in Kashmir which emanated from the downtown area of Srinagar could not reach any goal. However, this one which has started from the villages may really achieve the ultimate goal!

According to NDTV and some other press reports, the four districts of South Kashmir have been handed over to Army for area domination. It is alleged that there is free movement of militants in the area due to continuous civilian unrest and the counter insurgency operations have come to a standstill. However, from Army’s own admission, the number of militants is not even 100! The induction of a full-fledged division in addition to already present thousands of troops of Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force to control a hundred odd militants amounts to killing a fly with a sledge-hammer. It is only going to fuel more and more uprisings all over the Valley and beyond. In fact, the forces are not only forcibly dispersing peaceful gatherings but are also vandalizing the residences of the people and beating the inmates to frighten them. Allegedly as reported in the press, all over Kashmir forces have gone into the villages, beaten the inmates, looted their valuables and damaged their household goods just to cow them down.This has happened after the top authorities have declared that the forces have been directed to exercise maximum restraint! What would the unrestrained soldiers do? Burn down entire Kashmir! The people ordering and directing this brutal suppression seem to be ignorant about the history of Kashmiris.

Mehmud of Ghazni who attacked India 17 times and destroyed the famous temple at Somnath was not able to enter Kashmir. His forces could not subdue the Kashmiri garrison at Loran and had to retreat. Alberuni accompanying him wrote about Kashmir in his memoirs sitting at Loran. Even the Alexander’s Army could not penetrate and subdue Kashmiris. While retreating some of the soldiers stayed back in the mountains surrounding Kashmir. Their progeny are called Kailash on Pakistani side and Drokhpas on this side. Mughal Armies of Akbar were defeated three times by Kashmiris. In one of the attacks, the Mughal Army was so much harassed by the Kashmiri Guerillas that they begged them to show them the way out of Kashmir! It was only through treachery and collaborators that Mughals were able to annex Kashmir to their Empire. Incidentally, Yaqub Shah, the son of the last ruler of Kashmir Yusuf Shah fought a guerilla war against Mughal armies for six months and was finally captured in Kishtwar. One may again remind these people bent upon crushing Kashmiris about Kalhana’s saying, “The country of Kashmir may be conquered by the force of spiritual merit, but not by the force of soldiers!” Kashmiris are the most invincible people but at the same time very tolerant and resilient!

A number of top Indian political leaders and writers have recently opined that Indians have lost Kashmir even if it is still physically in their possession! The physical possession of the world’s highest militarized area does not necessarily mean emotional and psychological possession! So if Rajnath Singh wants restoration of normalcy, he has to stop sending armies of soldiers and extend a genuine and sincere hand of friendship to all the Kashmiris after stopping all the brutal and harsh assaults and removing all undemocratic and totalitarian curbs on freedom of expression even if the people are asking for “Azadi”! An unconditional dialogue in a free and peaceful atmosphere is the only way out of the impasse. The alternative is unthinkable destruction, both for Kashmir and the entire sub-continent!

Mohammad Ashraf, I.A.S. (Retired) Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir) Email: ... fewed-eid/