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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thank God Haj subsidy is gone


So the Haj Subsidy has gone. I consider it as a good news for Indian Muslims. The High Court has rejected application moved for vacating the stay order. The final hearing will be on September 18.

I am happy because whatever justification people may cite for the subsidy, it has haunted Indian Muslims for long. This will deprive the communalits of another issue. What remains is Article 370 about which we have no role. The BJP government could have done away with it but it failed when it was in power.

In fact, at least Indian citizens can any day go to Kashmir but what about states like Nagaland where you need permit to go. How many are aware of that? Allahabad High Court is known for taking tough decisions on issues concerning Muslims but I really feel relieved. I am not interested in hearing that 30 lakh Indians work in Gulf and it is a goodwill gesture or anyother explanation.

The subsidy had to go. Hopefully the centre won't play any trick later as some politicians may mistakenly think that Muslims want it. Surely majority of Muslims don't want it. Those who can afford will surely go and the private airlines will provide better and less expensive services.
(Above pix of a Sadhu hugging a Haji)

18 comments:

Razarumi said...

Great blog - I have been visiting it for quite some time now. I like the candour, share your interest in Urdu and empathise with several points on identity and communalism that you make..

Please keep writing!

Anonymous said...

HI !

I believe that the issue is not Hindu v/s Muslims, rather Muslims perspective that the song "may" be treating some one more holy than the prophet. I believe that this it is up to the peple to think as a personal thing and not as a group. Also Fatwas are taken out only for those things that threaten the existance of the religion and this is not doing that. Arnt we Indians First. IF our muslim brothers want to bring in religion before the country then they should be ready to be treated in a similar way ! ! Allah has said that we have to be loyal to our land that feeed us first.

Why are we not creating Fatwas against terrorists ? They slay innocent people, fathers, mothers, bread earners.. They are the people who we should be targetting. I want a muslim cleric to raise a fatwa saying that if any muslim by any means kills innocent people he shall go to hell. The religion is a religion of peace. Do not make it a religion that causes pain... Dont tell muslims that if u explode a bomb and kill yourself and innocent people, you shall go directly to heaven and have 72 virgins waiting for you !!! Islam is a holi religion and not a religion for SEX !!! Kill a single soul and go to hell.. islampusing@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

DOWN BUT NOT OUT CAN BE SAID RIGHTLY
The grip of the Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen on the community remains strong, despite minor dents.
WITH A Member representing Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha, five members in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, 40 corporators in Hyderabad and 95-plus members elected to various municipal bodies in Andhra Pradesh, the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen is one of the foremost representatives of the city's Muslims and the most powerful Muslim party in India and one can see the partys strenghth if it goes to Hyderabads Old city everywhere u look u can see MIM written on walls ,lightpoles and buildings leaving aside flags and posters of its Leadership. The Majlis has brought lot of development to the Old part of the city even after it is said it hasnt done anything by its opponents who are mostly Ex Majlis workers.
The Majlis was formed in 1927 "for educational and social uplift of Muslims". But it articulated the position that "the ruler and throne (Nizam) are symbols of the political and cultural rights of the Muslim community... (and) this status must continue forever".
The Majlis pitted itself against the Andhra Mahasabha and the communists who questioned the feudal order that sustained the Nizam's rule. It also bitterly opposed the Arya Samaj, which gave social and cultural expression to the aspirations of the urban Hindu population in the Hyderabad State of those days.
By the mid-1940s, the Majlis had come to represent a remarkably aggressive and violent face of Muslim communal politics as it organised the razakars (volunteers) to defend the "independence" of this "Muslim" State from merger with the Indian Union.
According to historians, over 1,50,000 such `volunteers' were organised by the Majlis for the Nizam State's defence but they are remembered for unleashing unparalleled violence against Hindu populations, the communists and all those who opposed the Nizam's "go it alone" policy. It is estimated that during the height of the razakar `agitation', over 30,000 people had taken shelter in the Secunderabad cantonment alone to protect themselves from these `volunteers'.
But the razakars could do little against the Indian Army and did not even put up a fight. Kasim Rizvi, the Majlis leader, was imprisoned and the organisation banned in 1948. Rizvi was released in 1957 on the undertaking that he would leave for Pakistan in 48 hours. Before he left though, Rizvi met some of the erstwhile activists of the Majlis and passed on the presidentship to Abdul Wahed Owaisi, a famous lawyer and an Islamic scholar who also was jailed for nearly 10 months after he took over the Majlis leadership as the then govt wanted to abolish the Majlis party but Owaisi refused to do so and was seen as a person who had financially supported the party when it was a bankrupt and weak one after the Police Action in Hyderabad State.
Owaisi is credited with having "re-written" the Majlis constitution according to the provisions of the Indian Constitution and "the realities of Muslim minority in independent India", according to a former journalist, Chander Srivastava. For the first decade-and-a-half after this "reinvention", the Majlis remained, at best, a marginal player in Hyderabad politics and even though every election saw a rise in its vote share, it could not win more than one Assembly seat.
The 1970s saw an upswing in Majlis' political fortunes. In 1969, it won back its party headquarters, Dar-us-Salaam — a sprawling 4.5-acre compound in the heart of the New City. It also won compensation which was used to set up an ITI on the premises and a women's degree college in Nizamabad town. In 1976, Salahuddin Owaisi took over the presidentship of the Majlis after his father's demise.
This started an important phase in the history of the Majlis as it continued expanding its educational institutions,Hospitals,Banks, including the first Muslim minority Engineering College and Medical College. Courses in MBA, MCA ,Nursing, Pharmacy and other professional degrees followed and now a daily newspaper known as Etemaad Daily. The 1970s were also a watershed in Majlis' history as after a long period of 31 years, Hyderabad witnessed large-scale communal rioting in 1979. The Majlis came to the forefront in "defending" Muslim life and property Majlis workers could be seen at these moments defending the properties of Muslims in the wake of riots and these workers were very hard even for the police to control them even now it is a known fact that there are nearly about 2500 units of strong members who only act if there is a seirous threat to the Owaisi family and these members are under the direct orders of the Owaisi family which leads the Majlis party leaving aside thousands of workers and informers throughout the State and even outside the country far away till America and the Gulf countries.
Salahuddin Owaisi, also known as "Salar-e-Millat" (commander of the community), has repeatedly alleged in his speeches that the Indian state has "abandoned" the Muslims to their fate. Therefore, "Muslims should stand on their own feet, rather than look to the State for help'', he argues.
This policy has been an unambiguous success in leveraging the Majlis today to its position of being practically the "sole spokesman" of the Muslims in Hyderabad and its environs.
Voting figures show this clearly. From 58,000 votes in the 1962 Lok Sabha elections for the Hyderabad seat, Majlis votes rose to 1,12,000 in 1980. The clear articulation of this "stand on one's feet" policy in education and `protection' during riots doubled its vote-share by 1984. Salahuddin Owaisi won the seat for the first time, polling 2.22 lakh votes. This vote-share doubled in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections to over four lakhs.
The Majlis has since continued its hold on the Hyderabad seat winning about five-and-a-half lakh votes each time.
Despite remarkable economic prosperity and negligible communal violence in the past decade, the hold of the Majlis on the Muslims of Hyderabad remains, despite minor dents. And despite widespread allegations of Majlis leaders having "made money", most ordinary Muslims continue to support them because, as one bank executive put it "they represent our issues clearly and unambiguously''. An old Historian Bakhtiyar khan says the Owaisi family was a rich family even before entering Politics and he says he had seen the late Majlis leader Abdul Wahed Owaisi in an American Buick car at a time when rarely cars were seen on Hyderabad Roads and the family had strong relations with the ersthwhile Nizams of Hyderabad and the Paighs even now the family is considered to be one of the richest familes in Hyderabad.
A university teacher says that the Majlis helped Muslims live with dignity and security at a time when they were under attack and even took the fear out of them after the Police action and adds that he has seen Majlis leaders in the front at times confronting with the Police and the Govt.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the articulate UK educated barrister son of Salahuddin Owaisi and Former leader of the Majlis' Legislature party and now an MP himself who has travelled across the globe meeting world leaders and organizatons and even in war zones compares the Majlis to the Black Power movement of America.
The Majlis that emerged after 1957 is a completely different entity from its pre-independence edition, he says adding that comparisons with that bloody past are "misleading and mischievous". "That Majlis was fighting for state power, while we have no such ambitions or illusions".
He stoutly defends the need for "an independent political voice" for the minorities, which is willing to defend them and project their issues "firmly".
"How can an independent articulation of minority interests and aspirations be termed communal," he asks and contests any definition of democracy which questions the loyalty of minorities if they assert their independent political identity. "We are a threat not only to the BJP and Hindu communalism, but also to Muslim extremism," Asaduddin claims. "By providing a legitimate political vent for Muslims to voice their aspirations and fears, we are preventing the rise of political extremism and religious obscurantism when the community is under unprecedented attack from Hindu communalists and the state''. He can be seen in his speeches speaking against terrorism in the Country and says if the time arises Majlis will stand side by side in defending the Nation

Suraj said...

Can you provide more details on the issue to getting to Nagaland without prior permission?

It would be interesting..

میرا پاکستان said...

I just was trying to find urdu blog on Yahoo and found your one. You are doing good job by raising important concerns.
Good luck and God bless you

indscribe said...

Thanks Raza Rumi Sahab and also Mera Pakistan sahab...bayaaz is really good, I have visited the blog often.

Suraj, there are various places like say Patalkot in MP and Abujhmad in Chattisgarh were also you need a government permit to enter as they are tribal areas.

However, Nagaland, a tribal-dominated state is unique because the entire state is almost foreign land for us. It's all due to the pact at the time of Nagaland's accession to India.

Diganta said...

I guess, article 370 is not alone about 'permissions' - it's also about autonomy. The autonomy includes own flag, emblem, constitution and Sadr-i-Riyasat (Head of State). The right of the state to have a separate head of state was lost in the 1960s. This article specifies that except for Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications, the Indian Parliament needed the State Government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
BTW, I have no problem in a state having more autonomy than others if people really want it. India is a diverse land with different culture in different states. Hence, this concept of autonomy and healthy competition among Indian States will in fact strengthen Indian unity.

Zulfiquar said...

It is good that the SCAM of Haj subsidy has come to an end.


Here we have a Govt who has monopolised air travel, Which charges exorbinet amount on a assured lakh travellers, on which the govt give subsidy! Huh

Let the Govt only allow Haj committe to hire/Charter Aircraft for the pilgrims, the cost will work out less than what pilgrims will pay with so-called subsidy.

Anonymous said...

Lakhs of Indians mostly muslims work in the Gulf. This has to be one of the costliest sectors in the world. I remember Indian airlines used to fly to Singapore a 4 hour flight from Bangalore for 12 thousand rupees and a ticket to Dubai from Mumbai at that time was almost 27 thousand rupees. I remember at that time German Tourists could come to goa on chartered flights which cost them only $400 approximately 23 thousand dollars those days.

So much for the subsidy. If a independent audit is done they will perhaps discover that the govt airlines were making loss on all international sectors except the Gulf.
This is very unfortunate considering that most of the people working in Gulf are quite poor even after their immigrant salaries.

pervez

Manas Shaikh said...

I share your feelings. "Thank God haj subsidy is gone." Finally!

Subhan said...

Haj Subsidy was given to those travelling through Haj Commitee. Every year Haj Committe sends around 60 to 70 thousand indians to Haj. Haj Comitte (by law) is forced to purchase these 60 to 70 thousand air tickets from Air India only.

The Haj subsidy was on these air ticket prices and hence was nothing but a discount on bulk air ticket purchases. But for political reasons it was given a name as a Subsidy and hence was meant to look like a favour on Indian Muslims.

I am very okay with removal of these so-called Subsidy, but will now then Haj Comitte will be free to purchase all the air tickets from any Air line of there choice?

They can sure get much better discount (or shall we call subsidy?) from many other international airlines.

If not, then wheres the reason to rejoice. We end up loosing these discount purchase.

Imran Mulla said...

Its really good that Govt is now not extending Haj subsidy. It was like taking bhik from these non believers and proceeding on the most sacred pilgrimage for a muslim. Anyways .. it is one talking point for nationalist hindus and other right wing parties as election plank against the muslims and secular parties. The Haj subsidy is doing more damage to us than the good it is exprected fall on us.

K said...

"What remains is Article 370 about which we have no role"

Why is it that the 'Indian Muslims' see Kashmir differently. Why is it that Kashmir does not seem to be the burden of Indian Muslims. As you wrote, 'about which you have no say,' why is it that you think so?

Why does a sea differentiate our identities, a similar thing won't be seen if we were to compare Muslims of Delhi and Kerela?

As Digitana said, Article 370, is a lot more than an issue of permission to visit. It encompasses a lot more than the issue of permission, which is in place in NE due to the conflict and is imposed by the government and is not possibly the terms under which Nagaland acceded to India, Kashmir's terms were tougher than any but none were honoured, the scraps of those terms remain in the article 370.

This also tells us about how less even the Indian Muslims know about Kashmir? Is it because they consider it none of their baggage?

It would be interesting to know what Indian Muslims think about Kashmiri Muslims and Why?

Ofcourse what is obvious is an almost total disinterest in Kashmir and its affairs, rather being oblivious to Kashmir.

Anonymous said...

Please my muslim bro ..some r saying we dont want bhik from non muslims then wat abt other aid n grants which r given to muslims only n also reservation...for which for parties r trying.

Anirban Basu said...

Shaheen Nath(TCS),(Udaipur)-How my Relationship with the Bohra Muslim Girl from Udaipur finally broke apart


Let me make it very clear that I am not a lout neither a
vagabond who is prone to tomfoolery.I come from a family of
academicians and judges of impeccable repute and integrity.My father
was a senior professor in IIT Kgp and now he is with the Atomic Energy
Commision as an Emeritus Professor.My sister is a Journalist and my
grandpa was a Senior jude in the Supreme Court.I myself work in a
reputed ITcompany in Bangalore.My mom is an MA in English Literature
and presently a House wife who has always played a pivotal role in
shaping our minds and education since we were in School,from the works
of Keats and Wordsworth,to the essays of Huxley and Disraeli,she was
instrumental in moulding us as educated humans of irrefutable
intellects



I was always a liberal in my heart.I considered every
Indian irrespective of religion,gender,sex,ethnicity as my own
countrymen .But my egalitarian outlook towards my countrymen who
adhered to a different religion was only reciprocated with
hatred,brutality,mistrust and disdain.Let me sum up the details of my
past two years.

She never belonged to a family of skull,cap
wearing ,ghettoish Muslims.But with time I was able to strip her
family members of the crass act of liberalism that was just a façade
on their face.

Her Mom was very cordial to me in the start.But I was always
oblivious to her Mephistiphilian mind as she talked to me in a
motherly tone which was always so convincing but very soon I realized
she was trying to play politics with her dirty,crooked mind .It
traumatized me that she was such an evil,human underneath her skin
while she conveniently put up a façade of benevolence which was so
cunning an act of dirty hypocrisy.She always told Shaheen that she has
no antipathy in our relationship .But much later I realized that she
hated me from the start,hated me like an obnoxious creature,while she
played and skillfully orchestrated a cunning game of political
intimidation against my family,me myself and against my sister .

Exactly one year from now,last october I was asked my her mom
to meet her Bro in Hyderabad.Her Bro was working with the Infosys at
that time,being back from Switzerland and Dubai after six years of
onsite posting.Her bro met me in person and talked to me in a tone
that was concealed with a lot many words which were intensely
diplomatic and politically correct ,but which made clear her
intentions as crystal clear.Even while he spoke I could sense that
deep hatred and condescending politeness which could never be
appropriately concealed under his scornful look and opprobrium towards
me,my physical presence was perhaps repulsive to him.I was repulsive
because I was a Hindu ,I was repulsive because I was not a Bohra
Muslim,I was repulsive because I was an Idol worshipper.I came to know
of these things much later on.





Her bro called up her dad and narrated the entire incident three
months after I had met him in Hyderabad.The first reaction of her dad
towards our relatinship was”Tu Murti Puja karegi,tu ek Hindu se shaadi
karegi,tu ek Kafir se shaadi karegi”.That was the first time I
realized I was just another Kafir in their family,inspite of all my
education ,inspite of all my eruditeness,inspite of all my liberalism.

Exactly a week after it happened I asked shaheen to write a letter
to her Dad detailing our sojourn for the last three years.She complied
with my request and did pen down a letter to her dad.It was then the
real turbulence started in her life,it ripped apart all her
convictions and beliefs that she had in our relationship.

Her dad asked her to come down to Udaipur on an occasion of
her Grandmom’s demise and the consequent funeral rites.She met her
entire family members in Udaipur ,her dad,her bro,her
mom .Everyday ,every night her dad brutally assaulted her physically
asking her to call of our relationship,since it would be a disgrace
for Him amongst his Bohra Muslim Clan Members in Udaipur,when they
come to know of our relationship.Her Bro called me a Lout and
Disguised Hindutva Agent who wants to convert a Bohra Muslim Girl
under the false pretext of love .Her Mom called Her a Sin in
conception since her actions will bring disgrace to the entire Bohra
Muslim Clan of Udaipur.

She came back to Mumbai after two weeks of staying in
Udaipur,and narrated the entire incident to one of her close friends
in Mumbai who in due course of time narrated the entire incident to
me.I was shattered ,my senses were brutalized,my sensibilities were
mutilated by her brutally,insensitive family members who wanted to
keep their Bohra Muslim Daughter inside their clan of Bohra Muslims
alone.For her family members,even all other muslims were
untouchables,for example the Khojas,Memons(Shia Muslims) as well as
Sunnis.This intense sectarianism and clan rivalry,hatred,blood feuds
between clan versus clan,brutalized my instincts and
education,traumatized me of all my sanity.I was treated like a second
class citizen in my own country,I was brutally traumatized by those
people of my country whom I considered my own in my own country,in my
own Motherland.

She soon called off the relationship after
deliberating over it according to her

Own sense of ethics and reason,I tried to convince her for months at a
stretch but it was all futile in the end.I tried to convince her a lot
with my reasons and intellect.But she called up her bro and complained
to him that I was harassing her mentally by sending her obscene
sms’s.It was a brutal lie,a lie which never had any basis because I
had never even used a single abusive word against her,against her
family,against her clan,against her religion.It was like a Chameleon
she complained to her Brother .It was a terrible lie and it is only me
who knows it since noone ever will believe me,atleast her family
members.

I started getting Anonymous calls from Hyderabad
soon after.It was all so weird and strange.I was abused like Hell by
strange,gruff voices on the phone who threatened to kill me in
bangalore if I do not mind my ways.I tried to reason with them but my
reason and rationality was drowned under the volley of abuses ,calling
me a Kafir,calling me a Hindu Bustard,Calling me an Idol worshipper.I
can still forward you the mails I got from those anonymous ID’s in my
mailbox.My mind was traumatized for days and months,I was abused with
a slandering whirlpool of abuses against me,myself,my religion,my
country,my parents,my culture.And this all happened from Bohra Muslim
Men and women who always pretend to be intensely secular,liberal and
extensively quote from Marx and Che Guevara to give credence to their
claims.

These Bohra Muslims have a website on the internet

http://dawoodi-bohras.com/

,the irony is that while they pretend to be liberals and quite secular
in their outlook,what I have experienced from a very close proximity
is exactly the reverse,they are as primitive,tribalist,predatory and
clannish as their more more orthodox counterparts among the Shia’s and
Sunni’s.

It has been six months now.She was married off to her cousin
in USA who works in Infosys.I was traumatized ,my senses and
sensibilities were brutalized and mutilated by the entire brutal
fiasco I started taking psychiatric pills soon after.At one point of
time I even contemplated commiting suicide.But my counselor helped me
with his intense sessions of psychotherapy.It was lost for ever,my
angel was lost for ever,her voice was muffled by the
strange,male,patriarchal,feudal cannibalism of her father and
brother,she was made to accept a man of whom she knew too little while
I had to close my eyes and weep.My memories will always remain with
me,I’ll cherish them and silently weep over what I have lost for ever,
perhaps I was mistaken,they never belonged to me,they were just
fleeting moments of a spectacle with a divine providence,to enlighten
me ,my fractured,myopic intellect.I do not know.I am confused,its all
like a hazy past,hatred,pessimism,mistrust all merged into one.

Anonymous said...

it is good haj subsidy is removed.it was never a subsidy.Air india was geting assured buisiness of minimum 70,thousand ticket.but they charge very high rates and provide very bad service.if haj comitee will be alowed to buy ticket from any airline then they will get much better rates and service.
btw when govt will stop funding for kumbh mela and amarnath yatra as it is a secular state so ir should not fund religious activities.

Anonymous said...

There is a clear fatwa against terrorism:

www.minhaj.org

nidurali said...

Good post