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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ajit Singh: From Satrap to small player in UP politics, frittered away Charan Singh's legacy

Once upon a time, Ajit Singh, was considered a major figure in North Indian politics.

In fact, in late 80s, it was common for people to remark that if not Prime Minister of future, he would certainly be UP's chief minister.

After all, he had the legacy of none other than his father Chaudhary Charan Singh, the influential Jat leader who had become prime minister.

Ajit Singh was the unquestionable leader of Jats, a community that wield(ed) influence. He also had support of Muslims.

However, Muslim support was something he always took for granted.

In Janata Dal, he had tiffs with other leaders as he always considered himself a 'national and big leader'.

Though Muslims were solidly behind him, he rarely raised voice or stood with them.With the emergence of SP and BSP, Muslim voters got more options. Jat support alone couldn't ensure him victory anymore.

Upper Caste leadership was no longer enough for politicians to become CM. While other backward caste leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Kalyan Singh and Mayavati became chief ministers, many times in UP, Ajit Singh, lost the race.

He stood nowhere compared to these leaders. He raised the demand for 'Harit Pradesh' because of his 'influence' in the region, but the fact was that he was no longer having influence in even Western UP or his pocket-borough.

No one anticipated then, that Ajit Singh, whose father had stitched a rainbow coalition of castes, would end up losing the turf, so easily. While politicians are known for party-hopping, Ajit Singh took it to another level.

Ajit Singh was prepared to bargain with anyone and to such an extent that he lost his image and credibility. Though he managed to become union minister often, his influence was waning very fast.

RLD [Rashtriya Lok Dal] was no longer a force to reckon in UP. Those who have closely worked with him and were his most ardent supporters, feel the most for him. His fall is an interesting aspect for students of politics, particularly, in North India.

While politicians build on legacies and are creating dynasties, Ajit Singh frittered away Chaudhary Charan Singh's legacy. He tries his best to stay relevant but the reality is that he has become totally irrelevant in UP's politics.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

24.88 crore families in India: Just 3.12 crore or 31.2 million Muslim families, yet such worries about increasing population of Muslims!

The latest Census report has revealed that there are 24.88 crore or 248 million families in India.

Among these 24.88 crore families, just 3.12 crore families are Muslim. There are 20.24 crore Hindu families.

There are 63 lakh Christian families 41 lakh Sikh households and 19 lakh Jain families. Clearly, Hindu population in India, is huge.

While on an average, a Muslim family had 5.6 members, a Hindu family has 4.9 members. However, this has also seen a fast decline.

The fastest decline has come among Muslims. In fact, Hindustan Times reported that 'Muslim families shrinking fastest' in India. The size of Muslim family is now getting smaller.

Still, right-wing leaders, especially, BJP and VHP rabble-rousers have been talking about 'rising Muslim population' and are fearful of a 'Muslim takeover' and that 'Hindus will become a minority'.

Now, if someone is so scared, despite clear data showing number of Hindu families six times the number of Muslim families in India, what can anyone do?

Hindus are nearly 79.8% of India's population. Muslims account for just over 14% of India's population.

Census was conducted in the year 2011, the report was released in 2014-15. Since then, Census department has been regularly releasing other details and information too.

Friday, May 20, 2016

120 Muslim lawmakers elected in five state Assemblies in India: Can't elected Muslims exhibit leadership qualities, become leaders in true sense?

Over 120 Muslims have been elected as MLAs in the recent Assembly elections.

The five states that went to polls included Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

It was an election to elect 822 members of legislative assemblies [MLAs] in these states.

India has around 14-15% Muslim population. However, three of these states that went to poll had a much higher percent.

Assam has around 37% Muslims, West Bengal has 29% and Kerala has 27%. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have nearly 6% each.

Even in this backdrop, the figure of Muslims elected is not too less, though it should have been higher. Two of these states have 'Muslim parties' too.

Kerala has Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Assam has Badruddin Ajmal's AUDF. Also, SDPI, AIMIM, INL and IUML had contested in Tamil Nadu and other places.

There are 56 Muslims elected to WB Assembly [294 member house] on this occasion. In West Bengal, Muslims supported Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. Also, they voted for Congress and Communists [Left] at a few places.

In Assam, 29 Muslims have been elected [out of a total 126 members in the house]. Muslim MLAs from Congress and AUDF have won. Also, one Muslim candidate of the BJP has also been elected in the State, this time.

30 Muslim MLAs have been elected in Kerala. In Kerala, Muslim vote was divided between Left and UDF. Though UDF lost, there are Congress and Indian Union Muslim League MLAs apart from LDF.

IUML sent 18 MLAs to Assembly including 16 Muslims and two non-Muslims. The strength of Kerala Assembly is 140.

Muslim candidates have won in Tamil Nadu and also Puducherry. In Tamil Nadu, winners include from DMK, AIADMK and IUML. Strength of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Assemblies is 232 and 30 respectively.

The number of elected Muslim MLAs isn't too low

Frankly, the figure is not bad, specially, when it was felt that Muslim representation may have gone down even more. The fact is that if an MLA works hard, takes interest in area's problems, raises the voice about constituency, he/she can do a lot.

The legislator has ample powers to make a lot of difference. Through his leadership, funds, voice in house and on the streets, the legislator can get popular and bring positive change in lives. Can't some of the MLAs do it?

Did 70 Muslims MLAs in UP Assembly make any difference?

Once again 'numbers' alone don't make a big difference. In UP, Samajwadi Party's 65-odd MLAs have made little difference in the lives of ordinary Muslims.

Most of them have remained silent, didn't take up issues of education and health, or even the points in the SP's manifesto. Clearly, Muslims need good leadership.

MLAs ought to be leaders, on the ground, they must act as social leaders. And not just MLAs of Muslims but command respect from people of all sections because of their work, to become true leader.

Else, this talk of numbers is just useless.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tarun Gogoi whose regime oversaw worst communal riot in Assam in a decade, loses: Recalling Bodoland 2012 massacre in Assam

For Muslim electorate it was a tough situation in Assam.

BJP's campaign was being termed as openly communal but how can anyone forget that Tarun Gogoi regime had presided over the worst riots [anti-Muslim massacre] since 2002.

Outsiders remember less of Assam but in Bodo areas, lakhs [1.5-3 lakh]of Muslims suffered and had to become refugees in their own country. The official death toll was around 50-60. The loss of property was huge.

It was also a fact that Badruddin Ajmal's AIUDF is strong in his pocket borough, the particular region of Assam, but is not in a position to form government on his own.

Clearly, Muslims were not enthusiastic about anyone. Choice-less, perhaps. 

The issue with Muslims is that when they wish to become 'aspirational', there is a massacre or major riot, and they come back to the situation that their basic demand becomes--no riot please, else everything is fine.

In Gogoi rule, government acted in a strange manner when BTAD areas were burning. Army was called much later, when situation went out of control. Armed with AK47, legislator was caught on video, but tough action was not taken.

Again, BJP seems to be a communal party, openly, but it was under Congress that the worst Nellie massacre in Assam, had also taken place when thousands were killed.

For BJP, it will be not an easy task to rule such a sensitive state. It is a border state and here the food-culture is not in sync with BJP's 'Hindutva' agenda. Hopefully, they'll ensure that there is law-and-order. As far as Congress, it can't learn anything, no lessons from any setback.

The less said, the better.

READ: Recall of 2012 Assam massacre: Massacre in  Bodoland in Assam

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Marianne becomes Poornananda, Manithea is now Sadashivananda: Foreigners in Simhastha Kumbh, devotees embrace Hinduism

Foreigners come to Ujjain Kumbh--Simhsatha, in large numbers.

Many come as tourists and are drawn to the practices and the saints.

Some others are already devoted to Gurus and come along with them.

In fact, many foreigners convert to Hinduism and adopt Hindu names too.

They stay in the Ashrams, enjoy the atmosphere and go back with experiences about the Indian culture.

Take for example, Manithia, who hails from Netherlands. She starts her day at 5 am, after prayers, she listens to discourses.

Marianne is from Australia. She comes whenever the Kumbh is held in India. She had gone to Allahabad and Nasik too.

She enjoys the atmosphere. As she doesn't know Hindi, she talks to her Guru in English.

Once back, she will deliver lectures on spirituality and Hinduism in Australia.

First, see photos of some foreigners who have come from different parts of the world.

From Russia, from Europe, from Australia, from East Asia, et al.

On the left are photos of some other foreigners in Simhastha.

Sheena has come from Ukraine, claims that she learnt black magic too from her guru. She doesn't tell her age. Also, knows 'Shiv Tandav'. Feels serving people and humanity is foremost.

Maa VishvaGodavari has come from France. She has been preaching Hinduism and tells people about Hindu culture.

She knows Yoga and has instructed many people in Romania.  Amrita loves the bhajan, 'Tu pyar ka sagar hai'.

An Odissi danseuse, her real name is Ellena Morozova but she gets into trance when she hears, 'Om Namo Narayana'. On the left above is a foreign devotee with Pilot Baba.

See photos below:

1. Foreigners taking a dip in holy river, Kshipra, in Ujjain
2. Foreigners who are part of the 'peshwai' ceremony in Ujjain Simhastha

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Muslim girls excel in High school exam in Madhya Pradesh: Daughters of auto driver, scrap dealer make it to merit list

Muslim girls excelled in tenth board examination in Madhya Pradesh.

Nasira Mansoori, a student of Govindpura Girls' school, secured 580 marks out of 600.

She secured a place in the merit list [top ten] of the exam--results declared yesterday.

Her father sells scrap on his bicycle. Nasira said that often her mother had to borrow money from neighbours for buying her books.

The teenaged girl with a twinkle in her eyes says that she wants to study hard to become an officer, so that she can help the common and poor people in the society.

Similar is the story of Saima, whose name also figured in the merit list. Her father drives an auto-rickshaw. She says that her parents worked very hard to save money for her studies.

Talking to journalists she said that her family's financial condition was not good, and her parents made a lot of sacrifice, trying to ensure that she got good education.

Saima wants to become a medical practitioner, so that she could treat patients from the poor families [like ours, she says], who can't afford to go to good doctors.

One hopes that these girls are able to study ahead, and financial constraints [which often cause as a major hurdle] would not come in way, and they would be able to live their dreams.

Also, read:

READ: Silent educational revolution among Indian Muslims
READ: Muslim students toppers in medical entrance tests

Photo Courtesy: Nav Dunia newspaper. Link: www.naidunia.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mosques opened for Hindu pilgrims during Ujjain Kumbh--Communal Harmony project 4

When storm, rains lashed Ujjain once again and pilgrims had no place to stay, local Muslim community opened the doors of their houses.

Apart from houses, mosques were also opened for Hindu pilgrims including women and children.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims, mostly from rural areas, had come to Ujjain, for participating in the Simhsatha Kumbha.

But repeated rain and thunderstorm made it tough for them. When the storm first hit the city, tents fell down and seven pilgrims died. Then also, local Muslims were engaged in relief works all over the City.

When the storm again hit, mosques opened their doors to pilgrims.

People in other cities who had no contact with their kin who were in Ujjain, later wrote on Facebook about the experiences of their family members.

They mentioned how Muslims in the city hosted, took care and provided food and all other arrangements to them.

Hindi newspapers also praised the gesture. On front page of the papers, the stories and photographs were carried. 

Unfortunately, national media--TV channels and Delhi based papers didn't cover the aspect at all.

On 'ghats' too, Muslim youths voluntarily served and saved pilgrims from drowning. There were health facilities and water kiosks by Muslims too for pilgrims.

In Patrika newspaper, which is one of the largest selling Hindi papers in MP, Lalit Saxena, wrote about 'Mahakal ke bhakton ko mili Rahim ki chhat'.

In Nai Dunia, Abhishek Chendke, wrote the story, 'Rafeeq ke ghar ruke Ram' [Ram stayed at Rafiq's residence].

It is sad that Delhi-based newspapers and media didn't report it, though such positive stories should be highlighted.

READReport in NewsBits.in about the example of communal harmony

[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.

Unfortunately, on social media, stories that divide the society, get shared more. It is worrying, we ensure that false propaganda must not spoil the reality and people should know about the syncretic culture and harmony that exists on the ground. This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click HERE

#communalharmony #communalharmonyproject #india

Thursday, May 12, 2016

No action against Sakshi Maharaj, Babulal Gaur: Morality, corruption are non-issues for BJP!

No political party talks as much about morality as the BJP.

But when it comes to practicing it, BJP leaders are farthest.

In fact, its leadership appears most thick-skinned while dealing with complaints against its leaders.

Recently, controversial MP Sakshi Maharaj, got a girl's jeans unbuttoned in front of him. Lot of people were sitting around but the BJP MP wasn't bothered. TV channels shouted a bit, not as much as they do, but still, they raised the issue.

There was no response from the BJP. No action till date. But this isn't surprising. Anchors may yell and shout but BJP can't be forced to take action. They do things their way, and they rarely take action against their own party men, even if their action is criminal or offensive.

Just a few days back, former CM and current Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Babulal Gaur, was seen touching women inappropriately. The video clearly showed how Gaur was touching the women while boarding the bus.

One of the women, who is associated with BJP, later quit the party. But no action was taken. It was clearly an act of molestation, but it is BJP government and FIR can't be registered. So complaint was made but FIR was not registered by police officials.

The party also took no disciplinary action. The BJP knows that there is a limit to which TV-walas or paper-wals can shout and it isn't bothered much. It knows how much to allow and when to contain, and how.

The case of Sakshi Maharaj is also same. Under the IPC, it is a crime and he should have been booked. But he wasn't. There is a SP government in UP. BJP central leadership didn't take any action at all.

In a job scam, Haryana chief minister [Chuatala] gets into jail but a scam of the extent of Vyapam, that sees deaths, takes place, and the Chief Minister remains at the helm. Other parties can learn from BJP, shouldn't they?

LINK 1: Girl forced to unbutton her jeans by Sakshi Maharaj
LINK 2: Babulal Gaur touching women inappropriately