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Thursday, April 23, 2015

MIM performance in Aurangabad civic polls is yet another warning signal to Congress for neglecting Muslims, failure to redress their real issues

As results of the civic polls in Aurangabad began pouring in on Thursday, it became clear that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is increasingly cornering Muslim votes in Maharashtra.

Final result (Total 113 seats)

BJP-SS win 51 
[Shiv Sena 28, BJP 23]
MIM 26
Congress 10
NCP 3, BSP 5, RPI 2, Others 16

The trends indicated that MIM was winning at 22-25 places, much ahead of Congress which was poised for victory in 10 wards in the municipal elections.

Though Shiv Sena-BJP combine [mahayuti] is way ahead and emerged victorious, MIM would be a strong block in the opposition. Trends indicate it could have around 25 members in the Aurangabad municipal corporation.

Congress has been routed in the election. The victory of MIM in so many wards at the cost of Congress will lead to fresh charge that MIM's entry divides the so-called secular votes, but the truth is that the party is becoming an option for Muslims outside Telangana too.

From Nanded to Mumbai, everywhere in Maharashtra, large number of Muslims have been voting for MIM. Why Muslims in Maharashtra are voting for MIM, even though they know that a division in non-BJP votes, would help the BJP.

he reason is quite simple. During the last 15 years of Congress-NCP rule, Muslims felt that the so-called secular parties didn't seem serious for the uplift of Muslims.

Congress' dilly-dallying on Muslim issues

From failing to implement Sri Krishna commission report on Mumbai riots to police excesses, refusing to help Muslim youths falsely accused in criminal cases, the Congress-NCP regime was no different for Muslims than the previous BJP regime.

Take the case of Muslim reservation in Maharashtra. If Congress wanted they could have brought the ordinance long ago. But it was just before the end of their term that they brought it.

And after a court order on Maratha-Muslim reservation, when the bill was brought afresh, the BJP government had come to the power and they went ahead with just reservation for Marathas (not Muslims).

In fact, while the Mumbai high court had stayed reservation, it had allowed 5% reservation to Muslims in educational institutes.

It was tenable and the BJP, as expected, didn't bring the bill in the house and only went ahead with Maratha reservation, but what about Congress?

Congress clearly took the decision with polls in sight, as it had realised there was strong anger against it. But the ploy didn't work.

Congress lost the voter. With MIM emerging as an alternative, Muslims who were most loyal to the Congress and kept supporting it for decades are now voting for MIM, despite the fact that it will consolidate BJP-Shiv Sena vote.

Views, apprehensions on MIM's emergence as an alternative and competitive communalism

While many Muslims talk about MIM as an alternative, there is also a section which feels that the Hyderabad-based party would get a few seats here and there, but its presence will damage Muslims in the long run, as there will be more competitive communal rhetoric.

But increasingly, many Muslims cite the example of Uttar Pradesh. Of late, one has routinely heard the following sentence:

"Even though there are 70 Muslim MLAs in the Assembly (mostly SP), none raised the issue of Muzaffarnagar riots, so what's the use of 70 silent legislators. Let's have just 5 or 10, but those who are not dumb, who will speak for the community and who won't have to look at their party leader before opening their mouths".

Congress will be the loser if MIM contests in other states

So there is a section among Muslims that wants MIM to contest elections in other states like UP and is inclined towards the party's style of politics. How far the MIM will go and how much it will help or harm the Muslim community, electorally, we can just speculate.

But, Congress will clearly be the loser. Similarly, other non-BJP parties that get Muslim votes will also feel the pinch. This will surely be advantageous to BJP. However, after decades of feeling cheated and denied basic development and focus on their issues, a lot of Muslims seem to be in a mood to try the alternatives.

They seem prepared to look beyond the fear that BJP will be benefited if Muslim vote gets divided. After all, BJP has been in power at the centre, and in many states for decades. Will Muslims vote for MIM only in selected states and cities that have large Muslim population, or this trend will pick up across India, has to be seen.


Check the links to read about the reasons Muslims in Maharashtra have been bitter about their experience with Congress. Maharashtra has just over 10% Muslims but 30% prisoners in jails are Muslims.

The false promises, the failure to act on Sri Krishna panel report, the police excesses in Mumbra and Dhule, the arrests, failure to take action against guilty policemen who implicated Muslims, killing of Mohsin Sheikh in Pune--the list is long and endless. Do read:

*Illegal detentions, excesses, police harassment in Maharashtra
*Arrogant, apathetic Congress bites the dust in Maharashtra
*Why Muslims not willing to vote for Congress anymore?
*No condemnation on Mohsin Sheikh's killing, no word of consolation by Mah CM

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wrestling in India: 'Kushti' craze draws thousands to watch wrestlers' fight

The scene was terrific. Wrestling enthusiasts had come from far and wide to watch the bouts.

Wrestling or 'Kushti', as it is commonly known as, is a sport loved by everyone in rural India.

No wonder, the atmosphere was electric in this dusty town in Bhind district in Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh.

The spectators were sitting on the ramparts of the old, crumbling fort.

They were on the temple premises, on the ground, on the roofs of the houses, on the tree branches and everywhere around. Nearly 200 bouts were held during the wrestling competition, for winners in three categories.

Two finals turned out to be draws. In the third event, Jamil Pahalwan defeated his rival and was declared winner. The event was held at the 'Chhainkur Wale Hanuman Mandir Temple' in Gohad (Bhind), MP. But this was no exception.

'Kushti' remains one of the favourite sports of Indians. More than cities, it is in towns and rural areas where people gather in large numbers of watch the fights. The 'pehelwans' get respect and rewards. Unfortunately, 'kushti' has been neglected in India.

[Photo courtesy: DainikBhaskar]

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Mamata Banerjee reins in VHP, stops Pravin Togadia's from entering West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee has done something which the self-styled secular Congress could never do--taking a tough stand against Praveen Togadia.

The TMC government in West Bengal had said that it would not allow the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief to enter West Bengal.

The government remained firm and Togadia was barred from entering the state. Also, West Bengal government detained nearly 300 VHP activists who were marching towards the venue of their meet in Kolkata.

Now the VHP leader is crying foul and is criticising the WB government. Left with no option, Togadia had to cancel his visit. Trinamool government should definitely be congratulated for taking the step.

While Togadia talks of right to free speech and says that his voice was muzzled. But the VHP leader is known for his inflammatory speeches, particularly, venomous and vitriolic words against Muslims and Christians.


He has delivered countless hate speeches that have injected poison in the minds of citizens, city after city, for decades. But Congress could never rein in Togadia and other such leaders of the Sangh Parivar.

In fact, when the party [Congress] was in power in most of the states, it never acted tough on hate speeches. Its leaders seemed indifferent. FIRs were seldom registered and arrests were totally out of question.

While MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi's was arrested after being booked for a hate speech, a similar hate speech by Togadia in Maharashtra didn't lead to his arrest [LINK]. Congress government registered FIR only after TV channels aired parts of the speech repeatedly.

SEE THIS ABP News Video: Why Togadia not arrested for his hate speech?

However, there was no arrest. In fact, in most cases, even if FIR was registered, Congress governments later withdrew them. This emboldened the lumpen elements. Congress leaders talk of secular ethos but such double standards have hurt the party.

However, they don't seem to learn any lesson. In UP, Samajwadi Party, which also claims to be secular, hasn't taken similar tough decisions.

SP continues to bar MIM leaders from addressing rallies but when it comes to VHP,  Hindu Vahini or Bajrang Dal, it allows them a free un.

For the moment, it is a laudable step on part of West  Bengal government. Just because a group or organisation has a large following, state governments can't succumb to their demands. Hope, Mamata Banerji.

1. LINK to Pravin Togadia hate speech. SEE
2. Link to Pravin Togadia entry banned READ
3. Why was Pravin Togadia not arrested till now CHECK

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Now an entire Urdu library accessible on your cell phone: Read Urdu books on BazmeUrdu website or your mobile screen, free


It's a news that will gladden the hearts of Urdu lovers across the world. A treasure of Urdu books, ranging on diverse subjects, is now available to you--on website and on your cell phone screen.

Further, it's all free. Sounds too good to be true! But that's reality. Two persons--Ejaz Obaid and Dr Saif Qazi, have made it possible after painstaking efforts. First, the BazmeUrdu library's website was created.
Subsequently, it was taken to the next level--for the reader who uses his cell phone for surfing the internet.

With more and more people accessing the internet through their cell phones, the challenge was to make the library available to readers who wanted to access books through their mobile phones.

The duo have accomplished this task too.
The library keeps getting bigger by the day, as more books are being included in it, on a regular basis.

Another positive aspect of this Online Urdu Library is that, the books are in Unicode, and hence, the text can be searched and copied, unlike image-based Urdu that was in use in most websites.

The Android app is now available on Google play store. So, anyone can simply add the application, and then browse though this library. There are sections viz. poetry, novels, history, philosophy, children's books, satire, biographies et al.

Institutions fail, Individuals show the way

While people commonly rue the lack of patronage to Urdu, this determined duo has shown how individuals can do, what institutions should have done. 

There is no dearth of institutions working for the cause of Urdu in India.

Apart from National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu Hind, there are more than a dozen Urdu academies and many other such cultural bodies.

Yet, despite substantial government funding, they failed to accomplish the task.

But here, two persons, have managed to not only set up the online Urdu library but also brought it on cell phone screens. Clearly, it is such frenzied Urdu lovers, who will drive the language in future too.

In an article in daily Inquilab, journalist Alamullah Islahi, writes about the uniqueness of this project. Islahi mentions that, 'due to the unicode format, it is easy to read the books even on slow connections, unlike past when it took time for image-based pages to load".

Dr Saif Qazi is a medical practitioner, who lives in Maharashtra. In the past he had launched a Urdu social networking website too. Despite his professional responsibilities, he has been involved in this work--spending from his pocket and also giving hours daily, just because of his love for the language.

Litterateur and Urdu enthusiast Ejaz Obaid's name is familiar to all those who have been aware of Urdu's march on the world wide web.

The Hyderabad-based man shuns publicity but has played a major role in the development of Urdu keyboard, as well as other aspects relating to Urdu on the internet. 

As long as we have such Urdu enthusiasts, there is no reason to be pessimist about the language. Earlier, Syed Mukarram Niaz, came up with his website UrduKidzCartoon.

It was also an important need, and no institution had paid attention towards the lack of Urdu content on internet. [Don't look at government, do it yourself]. More heartwarming is the fact that people in India, are not just preserving the language and literature, but are also working with a missionary zeal to ensure that the zabaan is in sync with modern times.

*CLICK to visit the BazmeUrdu online library's WEBSITE
*CLICK to download the Android App from Google Play store to surf the library on your SMART PHONE

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hashimpura massacre, major communal riots took place during Congress rule in UP

One of the oldest pending cases at the Tis Hazari court in Delhi, the killings of innocent Muslims by UP police, has seen a verdict. 

The judge, Sanjay Jindal, has acquitted all the policemen who had herded Muslims from Hashimpura, forced them into trucks, only to take away to deserted spot where they were all shot in cold-blood. 

The bodies were later thrown in canal. A few persons survived to tell the tale.  For 28 years, the families of the victims were waiting for justice. But justice hasn't come. 
Vir  Bahadur Singh

The judge stated that he acquitted them because of lack of evidence. We will come on this issue later, but first going back to Hashimpura. The killings took place in the decade of eighties--1987, to be precise. 

It was the era when Ram Janmabhoomi [Babri masjid dispute] movement was at its peak. But even before the Ram Mandir movement, the notorious PAC was involved in mass killings, city after city. 

This was happening in other states too. Just a few years ago, over 3,000 persons were killed in Neilly. Congress was the ruling party in the country.

 In UP also, Congress was in power. But communal riots in which police readily opened fire, kept occurring. Some party leaders used to say in those days that communal riots and killings can never be stopped in India. 

                                             WHAT HAPPENED IN HASHIMPURA

Congress leaders were disinterested in checking communal riots. But they were very efficient in cover-ups and in protecting the policemen or other police personnel. The 'secular' state was nowhere to protect its minorities. 

After Hashimpura killings, the policemen involved in this massacre, remained in service. There was no action against them. The state police machinery and successive governments fully protected them. 

Muslims were fed up with this attitude of Congress. It claimed to be saving the minorities, but the most horrible riots took place under Congress rule. 

It was this attitude that slowly drove Congress out of UP-Bihar. As the options came, Muslims switched en bloc to 'Third fronts'.

Either it was Hashimpura-Maliana or Muradabad-Firozabad, Neilly-Bhagalpur or Mumbai riots 1992-92, they were all under the Congress rule. 

Congress had opened the locks of the disputed site too. How can it get vote. It claimed to be secular, but beat the BJP at the same game. It could get away with big massacres, with minimum accountability.

Court's judgement, citing lack of evidence. 

While Indian courts are held in high esteem, the fact is that courts are increasingly getting sensitive to cases that are hyped, that affect the affluent or the middle-class, that are taken up as 'causes' by the media. 

When cases drag for decades, how much evidence can last? In this case, the trial was shifted from UP to Delhi, but no fast-track court was set up. When a case continues for a quarter century, how many victims or witness will survive? 

In other cases, there are quick judgments despite lack of evidence. Courts punish to satisfy the 'collective conscience' too. Hashimpura judgment is a clear lesson that Indian state has failed its poor, ordinary citizen.


1. Read what VN Rai, who was SP Ghaziabad in 1987, saw when Hashimpura massacre took place
2. Read the Wikipedia page on Hashimpura massacre

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Congress' indifference to Saffron siege in Mangalore, coastal Karnataka may cost it dearly

Mangalore seems to be under Saffron vigilante's rule even though it is the Congress government that is in power in Karnataka. 

The latest incident is that of a couple which was 'caught' on a beach as the teenaged girl and boy 'seemed' to be belonging to different religions.

They were taken to police station, the youth was assaulted brutally and arrested. His mother died of heart attack after the incident.

Also, Bajrang Dal stopped a study tour, because non-Hindu students were also part of the co-ed tour. A nun was also abducted in a recent incident.

Incidents of inter-religious couples targeted by moral police, attacks on places of worship and attacks on minorities' are a regular feature in the city. And this has become a pattern in the entire region.

Earlier, a college student's photo with girls, led to goons thrashing him. There is distrust and widening distance between communities.

With Saffron groups growing culture policing, there is reaction from other sides too. As a result, the Muslim groups are also focusing on moral policing, it is reported. 

Mangalore was once known for its tolerant and syncretic culture. But today it is known for communal conflicts. For almost a decade, the city has been a witness to increasing religious tension. 

After every incident, there is outrage but no tough action--the perpetrators are booked under ordinary sections and promptly released on bail. Karnataka is among the few big states where Congress is still a major player. 

But as the party refuses to take a stand, others are claiming the space. Those aware of the ground situation say PFI is stepping in, as minorities feel Congress can't protect them. Still, the grand old party, doesn't seem to have learnt any lesson.

Congress' lack of conviction on secularism and upholding secular values cost it Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The situation reached a point where minorities (Muslims) in these states got so sick of it that they won't want to vote for the party, even at the 'risk' of BJP's victory. 

If the party keeps dithering, it will become a marginal player here too, in future. 


*Couple visiting beach handed over to police, boy's mother dies of shock. READ
*WhatsApp picture raises heckles of moral police in Mangalore. READ
*Church in Mangalore vandalized even after PM's appeal for religious tolerance. READ


Communal bug bites Mangalore: Clashes, rioting reaches the 'auspicious town'