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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

PV Narasimha Rao: Man who presided over Babri Masjid demolition and Congress' downfall, severed Muslims' relationship with party

PV Narasimha Rao, the former prime minister of India, was the man who presided over demolition of Babri Masjid.

The blame goes to Rao for not taking any action when it was known to him that lakhs of Kar Sewaks had reached Ayodhya.

Already, he had been informed about the conspiracy to demolish the ancient mosque.

When the mosque was attacked, Narasimha Rao remained incommunicado and didn't take steps to protect the mosque.

World's biggest democracy had turned into a mobocracy. In Ayodhya--the place where there can't be any Yuddha [war], lumpens who claimed to be Ram bhakts were destroying ideals of Lord Rama.

Kalyan Singh's BJP government in Lucknow was backing the Kar Sewaks. It had blessings from Narasimha Rao, India's Prime Minister, from Delhi. For hours on December 6 1992, Ayodhya saw the brazen assault on the religious structure as well as India's secular fabric and its ethos.

1. Rao chose to remain silent. UP government had given assurance to court that there would be no harm to Babri Masjid. However, Congress government at the Centre kept its eyes close while the world watched--through BBC and other foreign channels, how the mosque was demolished in broad daylight.

2. Later, when mosque was razed and a temporary Ram Temple was built over the debris of the mosque, Rao decided to speak. On Doordarshan, he addressed the nation with a grave face, saying that mosque would be rebuilt.

3. Rao's promise to build mosque again, was another lie. Soon riots broke out across the country.

In Congress-ruled Maharashtra, the rioting was worst. However, there was no effort to control it, neither Sudhakar Rao Naik's Congress government was dismissed.

4. In two rounds of communal riots in which police didn't act against Shiv Sena cadre 1,500-2,000 persons were killed.

But, while Shiv Sena cadre was on streets, killing Muslims, it Congress government in Delhi, remained oblivious to the plight of the Muslims. The police officers who were involved in violence were never prosecuted.

Maharashtra state [Congress government] put obstacles at every step to ensure that victims of Mumbai massacre never got justice. Sri Krishna Commission report was thrown in dustbin and its recommendations were not implemented.

5. No wonder, Rao is seen as the architect of demolition and anti-Muslim violence. The man ensured that whatever little regard Indian Muslims had for Congress, was now a thing of past. If there was any option anywhere, Muslims would vote for that party.


Muslims lost whatever trust some old-timers had in the party.

Dalits were already abandoning it with the rise of BSP. December 6, 1992 is the day Indian Muslims felt helpless across the country.

It was similar to what Sikhs had felt in Delhi in 1984 when Rajiv Gandhi was at the helm.

This is history, it can't be erased. Congress again came back to power, formed governments.

But the fact remains that it has lost its connect with Muslims. And, it is unlikely for Muslims to return to Congress sooner in future.

Indian Muslims are searching for alternatives, the search is on. 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Bekal Utsahi too bids adieu: Famous Urdu poet was named 'Utsahi' by first PM Jawaharlal Nehru

Famous Urdu poet Bekal Utsahi is no more.

He was undergoing treatment in a Delhi hospital where he passed away on December 3.

Bekal Utsahi was 87. He belonged to Balrampur (UP).

An ambassador of communal harmony, ganga-jamni culture, Bekal Utsahi used the Purbi language and expressions from Awadhi, Hindi and Braj in his poetry.

Apart from Ghazals and Nazms, he also wrote dohas and 'geet'. Mohammad Shafi, who later became 'Bekal' belonged to a Zamindar family.

He had interest in poetry from an early age and wrote rebellious poetry during the British rule.

One of his couplets:

Azm mohkam ho to hoti hain balaae.n paspaa
Kitne tuufaa.n palaT deta hai saahil tanha

He went to jail. For almost seven decades, he wrote poetry. He attended Mushairas across the world. Bekal was widely respected and was listened with respect in Kavi Sammelans too.

Apart from literature, he was also active in other fields. He was a member of Rajya Sabha [Upper house of Parliament]. Government of India honoured him with 'Padma Sri'.

How Bekal Warsi became Bekal Utsahi

Seeing his passion while reciting his poetry, first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had termed him 'Utsahi' [Utsah=Enthusiasm]. In the mushaira, Bekal was reciting the verse 'Kisan Bharat Ka'.

Nehru was impressed with his poetry. Hence, 'Utsahi' became a part of his name since then. And, Bekal Warsi became Bekal Utsahi.

Sample his couplets:

Bech de apni aan, apni zabaan, apna zameer
Phir tere haath mein sone ke niwaale honge


Kal raat unko dekha thaa Urdu libas me
Koi ye kah raha tha ki agla chunaao hai


Ulajh rahe hain bohat log meri shohrat se
Kisi ko yuu.n to koi mujhse ikhtelaaf na tha


Ek din aisa bhi aayega honT honT paimaane honge
Mandir masjid kuchh nahiiN honge ghar-ghar mein maikhane honge


Dharm mera Islam, bharat janam sthan
Wazu karoo.n Ajmer mein, Kashi mein snaan

Bekal wrote Hamd, Naat and in other genres too. He rendered poetry in his inimitable style. In the last mushaira at Lal Quila, he had said, "it could be my last presence here".

In his own words:

Sunahri sarzamii.n meri, rupahla aasamaa.n mera
Magar ab tak nahiiN samjha, Thikaana hai kahaaN meraa

[Photo courtesy: Inquilab.com. Edition December 4 2016, Mumbai]

Friday, November 25, 2016

Muslims gift land for temple construction project in Rajasthan: Communal Harmony Project-34

In another example of communal harmony, Muslims in a Rajasthan village gave away over 1.5 bigha land for a temple.

This has appened in Kolida, a village, near Sikar town. The chunk of land was gifted to Hindu community for temple construction project.

The deputy sapranch, Mohammad Ishaq, came to know that the Hindu community that was planning extension of temple and didn't have land availabale in the vicinity.

Ishaq told other members of the Muslim community in the village about it. Everyone agreed and it was unanimously decided that the part of the chunk of land that belongs to the graveyard would be gifted to the Hindu community for the project.

The temple was adjoining the graveyard land in the same village. Initially, it was a small temple. Later, the villagers began construction and the extension required more land. The Hindu community has thanked Muslims for the gesture.

There have been incidents in the past when people have given away land to other community.

Earlier too Hindus have donated land for construction of mosque or for grave yard, and Muslims have also donated land for temple construction.

However, the difference is that in Kolida [Rajasthan], it was not a person's individual decision.

It was community decision and it was land of the local Musslims. They felt that their Hindu brethren needed land and it was the right thing to do.

Overwhelmed, the members of the Hindu community in the town, have thanked and felicitated Muslims for their decision. See photo below.


1. Muslims voluntarily hand over land to Hindus for temple [Hindi report in Scroll/Satyagraha]
2. Muslims donate land in Rajasthan in Sikar for temple construction [Hindi report in Jansatta]
3. Report in Twocircles.Net [Hindi]
4. Photo courtesy [Pradesh18network]

[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now.

This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project

#Communalharmony #Communalharmonyproject #India

Monday, November 21, 2016

Over hundred thousand mourners gather in this central Indian town 40 days after Ashura

Every year lakhs gather at Husain Tekri, the famous shrine in Jaora in central India, forty days after Ashura.

This year too, devotees from all over India, including Shias, Sunnis and also members of other communities reached Jaora town in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh.

It is one of the biggest gatherings on Chahallum anywhere in the sub-continent. Hundreds of thousands take part in the rituals every year [40 days after the tenth of Islamic month of Muharram].

Lakhs attend the Chahallum rituals in this town every year. People come from as far as Kashmir and from Deccan, from Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, and even from other countries. The photos are taken by Mustafa Vilayati.

This 19th century shrine was built during the reign of former Nawabs of Jaora, a princely state in British India. Over the years, it has emerged as a major town for Shias in India, because of the scale of the Muharram and Chehallum rituals.

While Arbaeen in Middle East draws attention, this huge gathering in a small town in India generally fails to make it to the headlines. For more information about the rituals, read a post on this blog published last year.

READ: Lakhs take part in Chehallum rituals in Jaora

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vidisha riot controlled, curfew relaxed, peace returns: Lessons for Madhya Pradesh government from the violence

The rioting in Vidisha has been controlled.

Curfew has been relaxed and the situation is getting back to normalcy.

After arson, violence and hooliganism, peace has returned to the town.

But these pictures will haunt the administration and citizens for long.

A row escalated because the police didn't take prompt action, say citizens. Later, a person was killed due to the conflict.

The person belonged to Bajrang Dal. Those accused of murder were arrested.

The arrests were necessary and were made promptly. However, soon the Bajrang Dal cadre took to streets in the city, which sends none other than Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to Parliament.

From evening violence begins. People run with patients from hospital. There is arson. Vehicles, shops are set on fire. Houses were attacked. People were injured but fortunately no fatality.

Yet police remains mute spectator. The next day, violence escalates.

The rioters are on the streets.

But police turn askance, not even acting against them or even asking them to go away.

How can rioters get so emboldened?

Had the images not been splashed in local media and a strong police force not rushed to Vidisha, the situation may not have been controlled.

Vidisha was represented by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the past. MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan won election from here, repeatedly. It became his home constituency.

Hence, Vidisha has a special place in MP politics. Yet, the shoddy manner in which police acted, leaves many questions. Mercifully, the riot didn't spread and the violence stopped.

But has the police
and  the administration learnt anything from the riot?

The photographs published in local newspapers, questioning the role of police when the mob was on the streets, must lead to serious introspection. See caption in photo on the left.

It was published in local newspaper, which said that police turned away its face when rioters were on the streets. The picture was taken at Ramlila Road.

"If only police had been a little more stern, situation won't have worsened", caption reads.

The other photograph on the right shows rioters walking with the police.

After the suspensions of top officials in Betul and Jhabua, is the police reluctant to act against right-wing activists?

The State government's entire security establishment--Police Headquarters and Home department, need to send a strong message. If policemen are under pressure and scared of taking action, it is a potentially dangerous situation.

It's time to deal with it.