Sunday, January 07, 2018

How institutions have failed in India: Denial of justice led to death of idealism, hope soon after 1992

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

When one is young, there is idealism and you feel that things can change.

You hope that society will move forward, we will learn from our failures in the past and that there will be progress, believing that the new leaders will devote themselves to welfare of people and development of the country.

But as years go, you realise that nothing of that sort is going to happen. Everyone who comes with the promise of revolution, is playing the same old game. People will continue to be exploited in the name of religion and rhetoric is just a tool to cheat the masses, who themselves seem eager to be cheated.


In childhood, I too hoped that one day religious discrimination, casteist oppression and capitalist divides would become end, or at least the dividing lines would become so thin that they would become invisible.

But, what fools we are when are young. My moment of reckoning was in 1992. It was not the demolition of Babri Masjid but slightly later. When the mosque was demolished, Prime Minister came on national TV, said that the mosque would be rebuilt.

There was still a feeling of shock in the entire country. One could never believe that a Prime Minister could lie or make a false promise in front of entire nation. And Kalyan Singh, the chief minister of UP, who had given an undertaking that mosque would not be harmed, had presided over the demolition.

Then, the Supreme Court, in a its judgment, awarded Kalyan Singh, just ONE DAY imprisonment, a symbolic sazaa! Then, comes the realisation how politicians, bureaucrats and the judiciary--there is no institution that would come to the aid, even in the gravest situations facing the nation.


Some may work against the nation but will be awarded certificate of nationalism. Some may work for nation but would be dubbed 'anti-national'. It keep happening in our democracy all the while.

Rajiv Gandhi looked sophisticated and seemed to have a vision for the country. But his party's goons were involved in killing of Sikhs. The role of Chief Minister Sudhakar Rao Naik in Mumbai riots when Shiv Sainiks were allowed free run, is just one of the examples.

Naik faced no case or punishment. Congress devised a perfect system--instituting Commissions that was a way to give a quiet burial to issues without any action. Regarding the role of BJP, the lesser said, the better it is.

It isn't that one would totally lose all hopes. We all have to fight and resist and use constitutional methods. But once you know the reality, it's always good. How the 'system' works--always in favour of the powerful and against the weak. The early we realise it, the better it is.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Why Shahjahan is not remembered by State on his birth anniversary?

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Emperor Shah Jahan was born on January 5, 1592.

That's centuries ago but shouldn't the State remember him on his birth anniversary!

He was not only the emperor of India but also built Taj Mahal--India's most famous structure, a monument dedicated to love, for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Taj is a global attraction--the single biggest brand for India and our tourism, and apart from this, it has also been the biggest investment, a huge source of revenue.

Hundreds of years will pass and millions would keep coming to India to see Taj. Billions would be earned in process.

Still, while the state remembers people born in the past or recent past, Shahjahan is forgotten.

There is an Urs though at the Taj in Agra. But apart from that, there is no other such event. Even in case of historical personalities--those who have certain political constituency, there are events, public programmes by people who have regard for the person.

Of course, Shahjahan doesn't come under this category. This small post is just a tribute to the King who immortalized love and gifted the country, its biggest gem--The Taj. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Taking oath in state language becomes a crime: Oath in Urdu leads to FIR in Aligarh

Perhaps, nowhere a person could be booked for taking oath in a language, let alone the state's official language.

But in Uttar Pradesh, taking oath in Urdu can be risky.

Years ago legislators were not allowed to participate in Assembly proceedings because they insisted on taking oath in Urdu. A couple of decades later, the situation hasn't changed.

An elected councillor (corporator) of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) faced opposition from the BJP when he tried to take oath in Urdu in Aligarh.

Further, Musharraf Husain, the BSP leader, was charged with 'malicious intent to outrage religious sentiments' under section 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code.

The BJP corporators had opposed his decision to take oath, assaulted him and created ruckus. Further, they managed to get a case registered against him, that too of hurting religious sentiments!

Is it democracy? Is it a fair system? Isn't there clear bias visible across the administration--from political parties to the police department? How could the FIR be entertained?

Urdu is one of the official languages recognised by Indian union. Further, it is the language of Uttar Pradesh--UP. There are more than 50 million Urdu speakers in the state, which is the natural homeland of the language. Also along with Hindi, it is the second official language here.

[The problem with Urdu in UP is unique. The institutional bias, communalism and systematic attack on the language is strongest in this state.

READ: Discrimination towards Urdu in UP, language must gets its constitutional rights]

Clearly, the bias is sickening. It reflects the deep seated prejudices. In fact, disciplinary action should have been taken against the policemen who took this action. It is seditious and infringes on fundamental rights when you book someone for using the state language.

"They want to communalise even Urdu which is symbolic of our syncretic culture. Urdu is not related to any religion. So my taking oath in Urdu does not provoke or hurt anyone's religious feelings,” he told The Hindu.

“Till this morning, at least when I woke up, India was still a democracy and as per the law Urdu and Hindi are official languages in Uttar Pradesh. As far as I know the rules an oath can be taken in any of the 22 languages in the Constitution - Urdu is one of them,” he added. Mr. Husain said he would approach the court against the police FIR.

UPDATE: Several days later, under pressure, when there were voices about biased action, police registered the counter FIR against 'unidentified persons' for assault with BSP leader. Of course, no one named in the FIR in this case.

Also, read these links. LINK & LINK

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Right-wing fanatics on rampage, attack police, hoist Saffron flag on court

ABOVE THE LAW--that's what this picture clearly tells.

Saffron fanatics ran riot in Udaipur court, attacked police, injured 31 officials and personnel, pelted stones, barged into court and one of them unfurled his flag on the court.

They are supporting a monster--Shambhu Bhawani alias Shambhu Regar, who hacked an innocent man to death, and burnt him, got video shot and it was shared on social media.

Entire nation saw how the radicalised terrorist committed the murder of a Muslim man, just because of his religion. Throughout the year--2017, Muslims all over India have been killed by cow vigilantes and fanactis linked to the right-wing Hindutva ideology.

The picture of Shambhu Bhawani killing Afrazul was equated with that of a man killed by an ISIS terrorist in Syria. But there is a difference. India is not war-torn and it is still a democracy.

That's India in 2017.  No bullets or even rubber pellets were fired when the fanatics supporting Shambhu Bhawani went on rampage. There is open support being expressed in public for the person involved in the monstrous act.

Further, donations have been collected and money is being sent for help for Shambhu. Is this the India, our founding fathers dreamt of? Why there is no strong condemnation of this brazen killing and the manner in which support is being extended to the murderer?

*No strong statement from Chief Minister, Rajasthan as yet
*Forget BJP, even Opposition CONGRESS remains mum
*On the Udaipur rampage, attack on police and ruckus in court, NO WORD from Top Congress Leaders

LINK: PHOTO, STORY on this website

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Terrorism in India: Radicalized Hindutva extremist kills and burns Muslim man, gets it recorded, shares it

If this is not terrorism, what else is?

Shambhulal Raigar alias Shambhu Bhawani, a right-wing fanatic, hacked a Muslim man to death, poured kerosene on him and burnt him--an incident that has shocked the nation.

He got the entire scene video-recorded (his own minor nephew was given the task) and seemed to have no compunction for the crime.

The victim--Afrazul, 50, was a poor labourer from West Bengal. He was befriended by Shambhu, who took the former to a desolate spot and then attacked him before burning him alive. The incident occurred in Rajsamand in Rajasthan. The state has witnessed several such crimes--ranging from Pahlu Khan's murder by cow vigilantes to the killing of Muslim folk singer Ahmad Khan.

"Khan is survived by his wife, mother and three daughters. His family is struggling to deal with medical expenditure of his 80-year-old mother who has been bedridden with paralysis for one year", says this report in The Hindu.

The initial reports of the horrific crime started coming from December 6. What was Afrazaul's fault? Nothing, except that he was a Muslim. The hate crime and the level of indoctrination of Raigar, which prompted him to kill the man with such brutality, shows the worrying level of hate in the country.

Who had radicalized Shambhu Raigar?

The initial probe suggested that Shambhu Raigar used to watch lot of videos on his mobile. The videos that peddled hate--talked about 'Love Jihad', a right-wing propaganda accusing Muslims of marrying Hindu girls.

With mainstream TV channels showing inflammatory videos and propaganda day after day, the distrust between communities has grown.

The tweet on the right (above) tells the state of Indian media.

The largest circulated English daily in the world, Times of India, suggests as if Afrazul was involved in any love affair--though it was not the case. Shambhu had become a fanatic, watching this sort of propaganda and videos on phone.

Propaganda is passed off as news on TV channels like Times Now, ZEE news, Sudarshan Channel, India TV and Republic.

The owners of these channels, media houses--Vineet Jain to Subhash Chandra, they can't escape the blame. History will never forgive them for passing off propaganda as news and dividing Indian society on communal lines.

A lie spoken a hundred times, becomes a truth. In India, the kind of hatred that is being fanned by the TV channels--both Hindi and English, apart from irresponsible print media, and the proliferation of social media where inflammatory messages are spread through Whatsapp and Facebook, has created this situation.