Thursday, June 08, 2023

Ilyas Azmi: A Muslim politician who raised voice courageously over issues pertaining Indian Muslims

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

It's time to talk about late Ilyas Azmi. He was politically active till the end of his life. 

There are many things to remember about him. He was among those who kept talking about Dr Abdul Jaleel Faridi, unlike other leaders of his generation.

But the most important was his role after the Batla House incident in 2008, when TV channels had targeted youth of Azamgarh & East UP, Ilyas Azmi raised voice.

Cops made youth drape keffiyeh before media to stereotype the community youth. Azmi protested wore the same keffiyeh and entered parliament.

Raising copies of Mail Today that had its cover page about the police bias. He and Akbar Ahmad Dumpy strongly raised the issue when most community scholars and leaders were mum. 

There were different phases in his career but this one act of resistance was important and unforgettable. He roared and raised slogans in the house, and it had impact.

In those days, TV channels even used the term 'aatank garh' for Azamgarh. Newsrooms were not much different from today, even if people have forgotten the era. Many of the anchors who are today considered torch bearers of secularism had shown their Islamophobic side and the readiness to fall for any thing claimed by cops.

Azmi broke the psychological barrier then. This is another aspect that they were later taken to task by Mayawati who was angry that he and Dumpy raised slogans on the issue in front of speaker. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Indian Muslims are a forward community, ahead on social indicators: Exposing media's false propaganda regarding 'backwardness'


The Indian Muslims are a forward looking community. 

There is no doubt about it that despite challenges, Indian Muslims have moved ahead and progressed. 

Less in government jobs and lacking in resources, yet, Indian Muslims have established themselves in all spheres and all the fields. 

Quite often, we hear the term 'backward' linked to Muslims without any statistics or documentary proof.

In fact, on social indicators and as far as social evils and other regressive practices in society are concerned, these are less prevalent in Muslim community. Of course, community has less representation in government service [jobs] and politics.

But, Indian Muslims, especially, Muslim women have also been stepping forward in education. Definitely, there was lack of resources and financially issues but Muslims still managed to stand up and today they are doing their best to move ahead. 

From Child marriages to Female Foeticide, there are so many indicators on which Indian Muslims fare better. Female Feticide is a major issue in India. Similarly, when it comes to sex ratio, Indian Muslims fare better. 

READ: Indian Muslims a forward community: Journos' conditioning that never lets them go beyond 'backwardness' narrative

Friday, December 09, 2022

Stop right-wing bullies, stand with victims: Congress, secular parties must ask their wings and workers to get to streets against injustice

By Shams Ur Rehman Alavi 

1. I respect Mr Jairam Ramesh sb but he blamed parties like AAP and AIMIM for Congress' defeat though Majlis fought very few seats & didn't harm Congress.

2. No party has right to all votes, many parties are needed. Sometime voter wants VOICE, ALLY, not win. NSUI, YC, didn't stand with us when bulldozers came. They dont stand in front of BD, VHP 

3. It's not correct to blame others. In state after state, when not accused but victim's houses targeted after making false claims, people hoped Congress workers would come, make human chain, stand in front, at least, show support and resistance. But no stand, not even PCC statement

READ: Stop calling parties 'vote cutters', more parties better for democracy

4. You must ask all the wings ranging from NSYI to YC, Women's wing to Sewa Dal, and numerous others that why they don't show confidence, hold demo, give memo, claim streets, show that they have concern. If there are demos, they are just for cameras. Plz ask them to get active.

5. It is not mere victory that is sufficient. There are factors ranging from society's psychology, impact on masses, narrative, the perception, use and misuse of media, hold on streets and giving impression that you too have certain power. If secular parties don't work on these aspects, it's of no use.

NOTE: Earlier posts were not about one particular Muslim party, rather, it was about Tamil Nadu model and parties ranging from TMMK to IUML, INL to SDPI and Welfare Party. Kindly stop being obsessed with AIMIM and believing that everything in the world is about those who are either with AIMIM or against it. 

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Stop calling parties 'Vote cutters': More political parties are better for democracy and also for India, Indian Muslims

By Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

It's time to stop calling parties 'vote cutters'. In Central India, Gondwana party, GMS & JAYS don't have MLAs but have workers.

After custodial death or atrocity, come to street, hold demo, give memo, put pressure, ensure action. Better than having dumb MLAs. Parties needed, even if they don't win elections, they must be around as voice of different and diverse sections of people.  

There are two separate things. First is winning, getting equal share in power. That's just a dream, no major party ready to speak for you or give representation. Hence, at least, have the power to fight for rights, basic dignity and own voice. 

The old narrative that just defeat a party or stand behind another is not smart enough, you need many parties, not the ones that remain mum and teach nothing to Muslim cadre, not even letting them issue statements.

Read the points to understand:

1. "We're powerful enough to let our people commit atrocities, get them freed & felicitate them, managing every tool in the system". If someone even thinks in this way, what'd you feel? Bad. But it has not just been thought about.

2. That was the message, which was sent through actions, statements, dog whistles, media, social media. Don't many people want this power! So they do vote in accordance . 'Even our (sic) criminals' must be supported?

3. Call it heinous or horrific but they are honest about it. They 'promised' this, reminded about past and teaching lesson.

4. They said we will continue to dominate and crush rest at will. People aren't concerned about morality, but want feel of power as a community. Gives a high.

5. People of Gujarat have again voted for BJP, overwhelmingly. Nothing wrong, they want status quo & not enthused by Opposition parties' promises.

6. If majority feels that Muslims are so many & a party, might of state, needed to give them support, comfort, security, its okay. Their choice.

7. The important point to learn is that calling any party 'B team' or Team C is not at all advisable. In democracy, party fights and represents a section, its voice, has cadre on street.

8. In central India, JAYS and Gondwana parties don't have MLAs but have workers who at least hold demo, give memo and ensure compensation to victim by pursuing case of custodial death or atrocity on person of their community.

9. It raises your voice, news also gets published, officers are made to take cognizance and act. So power balance remains. It's not about just winning and losing but fighting and having cadre.

10. 'Vote cutter' or 'vote katwa' terms must not be used. More the number of parties, better for democracy. 

Photo courtesy: Abdul Rabbani, Pexels

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hail or Wail: What Ravish Kumar's resignation, exit from NDTV means for journalism, reaction of society and devotees?

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

1. Good, unbiased TV anchors must get due respect. But don't make demigods or form cult. Everything is not so simple either. Forget 2008 reporting or movements, not raising Qns on certain things, not showing other side's view in past, channel's role in getting victims, framed, is of course not one person's responsibility.

2. Organisation have been used in a way to give impression of 'functioning system' and allowing certain things up to a point. One programme is fine but the content pushed throughout the day on its websites and channel is often different. If just recent past of one individual gives hope, its great. 

3. But if a man did 80% things good, did not take stand on FIVE most crucial incidents of two decades that had huge bearing and led to demonizing of entire groups, were instead hushed up, how would you rate him? Okay forget past, recent past is great? Fine, let's hail, do 'jay jaykaar'. Look forward, what they do in future. Don't be a devotee. All the best but no need to worship or wail. 

4. Media doesn't work in a transparent manner. You watch one programme and feel the group is doing great. You forget, how, the same group has been doing strange things through its website or Youtube channel that you never even bother to check or properly monitor or what other things it does because one programme covers up a lot.

5. Individual's role different. If he stood up to those in power & allowed the victim's parents to speak, show the real postmortem report when teenagers were shot dead after propaganda that forced everyone to believe their involvement in an act and allowed other side's view, we will praise. Be just, get praise. In future too. But bhakti? No.

6. I will respect you because you are better than many others. But if a boy was killed in Lucknow and instantly your programme and reporter under your program, terms him 'aa&anki' without even a probe begun, trial or verdict, even before FIR filed, how can you be gold standard or 24 carat?

7. Its a masterly created system. It creates opposition too with an aim. It makes a professor appear criminal and no anchor raises question on police theory. That's crucial point. Can you return the years he spent, the time in jail? That reporter later gets award for journalism. Numerous others too got framed and their family never given opportunity to speak up and tell about their woes or what they faced.

8. I can't share media industry secrets but the guests you call for discussion, the diversity, the names and surnames, the minority community puppet propped up day after day, wearing two piece with a design to give clean chit to fascists, appears on your channel and his image created. Let's see what happens next. 

9. Change is the only thing that is permanent. We welcome change as it gives more opportunity to all. If one side gets powerful, other side too emerges in a different way. We've to see if you've commitment to resist and speak against real majoritarian beliefs at key junctures when you see emotion among 'most'. 

Not hinting at Pune case, Mumbai, Azamgarh, Batla House or Prof Gilani, many real crucial ones.

10. If you can't allow people who were framed, remained in cells, whose lives destroyed and their kids couldn't even attend last rites but in those circumstances you can't take stand that because of this system, it's fine. Nothing remains at peak, always. New resistance emerges. 

I hope new & alternative, better media emerges. This traditional media has died a natural death.  Let all independent scribes do real journalism & speak truth to power. If they do that without any exception, no caveat, they will get total support and would be hailed. All the best. But, no bhakti.