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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Azamgarh Ulema, residents charter special train to Delhi to protest defaming town and linking Muslims with terror


Azamgarh, the place that gave birth to litterateurs like Shibli Nomani, Rahul Sankrityayan and Kaifi Azmi apart from innumerable other luminaries, has lately been associated with crime and terror.

Irresponsible reporting by channels like India TV that ran special programmes titled 'Aatank-garh' [House of Terror] have demonised the place.

Little did the sensationalists realise that Azamgarh is not a mere City or a town, it's a district that has scores of towns and hundreds of villages.

In fact, Azamgarh is the third most populous districts in Uttar Pradesh (UP). It's population was 40 lakh (4 million) as per the last census (2001). Though the Azamgarh town has barely a population of over 1 lakh.

Today the residents [not just Muslims of Azamgarh] of the district are angry. Irrespective of their religion, they share this anger. Any youth belonging to this district can't find an accommodation in Lucknow or any other City of UP, let alone other states. Either he has to lie or just forget getting a place to live on rent, unless it's a very close friend or relative.

Such is the situation that policemen interrogate and pick normal youths in trains and during bus journeys just in case the ticket shows that their destination is Azamgarh or because they belong to that place. It has sadly become Azamgarhi=Criminal.

Youths from Azamgarh are randomly caught across the country and kept under illegal detentions. Nobody disputes that a criminal or an accused should be caught.

But the branding of the town has hurt the citizens. Incidentally, it is believed that Azamgarh has a Muslim majority.

In fact, it doesn't have a higher percentage of Muslims. The district has around 13% Muslim populace, which is less than the average Muslim population in UP that stands at 19%.

However, in Sarai Meer, Azamgarh, Sanjarpur and other towns in the district, Muslims do form a large population, often in majority in these places.

The mafia that has active in Eastern UP has flourished due to the contracts of PWD and railway. Lack of development kept this region poorer. Mafias like Ramakant Yadav, Abu Salem and Harishankar Tiwari have been active in this region.

The rise of Mahant Aditya Nath and his Hindu Vahini Sena has also led to counter communalisation. After the Ijtima congregation that was held in Azamgarh, the saffron organisations targeted Azamgarh. No doubt, the gangsters, criminals and sharp-shooters of Azamgarh have brought notoriety to this place. After the Batla House encounter, the place almost became notorious.

Now hundreds of Muslim youths under the banner of Ulema Council is reaching New Delhi to raise their voice against the branding of Azamgarh as a den of terrorism and criminals. They also want inquiry into the Batla House encounter that took place last year.

Recently, Talha, the son of Maulana Amir Rashdi Madani, was arrested in Nagpur. Midway on the train journey he was detained and taken away. After several days, it was revealed that he was in police custody and when he was released, he was reporteldy warned not to make any statement or go to the media.

He works with a private company in Bangalore and the police had earlier claimed that he was the fourth 'terrorist' who escaped during the Jamia Nagar's encounter. Later the court let him go due to lack of any evidence.

Such incidents have been quite common. It is to protest this generalisation that the chartered train is taken to Delhi. A demonstration will be held at Jantar Mantar where the clerics and Azmagarh residents will speak out over the alleged mistreatment, common citizens are subjected to, lately.

Read and Watch Azamgarh Speaks, an extraordinary special series on Twocircles.Net that reveals the various aspects of Azamgarh and Muslims.

26 comments:

Aamir said...

it really hurts when innocents are treated badly by police. I am pleased by the patience, tolerance, and bravery which people of Azamgarh have shown. Being closer to Azamgarh, I really feel that if these people get support from all over India, they can fight injustice and can eliminate communal and criminal radicals from this region.

Anonymous said...

It is a very good and intelligent move by the people of Azamgarh. I hope they would succeed in what ever they are trying to achieve by this. But questioning Batla House won’t help. It is already proven that those guys were terrorist of IM and responsible of killing thousands of innocent people (Mostly Hindus).

In one of your previous blog you had accused Israel for holocaust in Gaza and said How could Israel do such a thing who itself a victim of the same. Now, here you are sympathizing with the terrorist and deifying the sacrifice of policemen who laid down their life in the line of duty. Have you ever thought about the families of those policemen? How would they feel about this?

You can say “truth has to prevail” but actually you are not accepting the truth and I am again saying, terrorism won’t go until and unless you (Muslim world) won’t stop supporting them. These protests picture them (terrorist) as a victim of terrorism and that is dangerous. Young Muslims start feeling as a victim and they see prejudice in everything.

aalochana said...

I doubt if active support is needed for terror, a state of confusion is enough. And that is what we have now. The tragedy seems to be that none of us seem to be able to at least begin a discussion on how to come out of this situation. We are too busy in the blame game to look at the problem objectively.

Pinku said...

Good luck to these guys...am hoping to see them covered by national media...and I do hope they dont cause any ruckus here by intention or accident because that will completetly destroy their noble purpose.

Lokesh said...

Well, I've not seen the India TV program or any other TV program since I'm based in the US and do not have access to such news channels. However, based on what I read, I understand that in a lot of terrorist activities, the youth from Azamgarh have been found to be involved and this itself has created an unfavorable impression in my mind. If the people of Azamagrh feel upset over this, then they should also look at why has their town been producing such terrorists and change that. I know that Azamgarh has produced the best literature in the past, but that's irrelevant. People are afraid of the present.
As far as people not being able to rent properties are concerned, that is a direct fallout of the town reputation. I'll compare that with the situation of Afro-Americans here in the US. Although not all Afro-americans are criminals, a majority of the crimes are committed by Afro american youth. This has led to fear amongst other communities against them. Even Indians living in the US do not go to the areas which have a high afro american population regularly. It is merely a self-defense strategy adopted and I guess, the origins of this are coming from Darwin.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamoleykum.. my name is ahmad.i am a medical student from azamgarh itself. i am really proud of my place as everybody is.
this step which has been taken by the ulema council is really a bold and intelligent step. extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures. this is one of them.
i would like to comment on some things in proper.starting from education to media.
1.India is a democratic country . media has its right as well . but as a matter of fact ...i am forced to say.. and everybody will agree that it most of the time goes beyond the laws of a democratic country. the reason could be many to increase its TRP as is called in the media field, politically, racially,religiously.. or may be for some other reason.
MEDIA in india has become really cheap .. this word is right to be exact.
IF u term a city as a nursury of terror.. i would ask... them where in hell are there brains . calling a whole town a district as terror nursury ....by national media is in self an evidence that it has stopped thinking . for instance suppose if the international media would have reacted that india is a terror nursury .. to any incident in india then what sholud have been said. theres no logic .

anyways ...

the thing is .. media should respect the identity of a community ,its people , its citizen . the citizens of its own country.

2. education.

muslim youth should not get disheartened with this .. either it should be taken in a positve way and now is the time to show the world that we people from azamgarh or we as a citizens of india will... work hard and show this world that we can achieve great success in the academic field as well.

3. infrastructure. theres no industry in azamgarh . now is the time to start one. i would say .. start from a scrap. what i mean is small scale industries shiuld be started .if u ask me i would say.. industries related to renewable energy will be one of them . setting up solar recharging units , manufacturing them etc etc.
don't go for a short term benifit .. look from a long term benifit . this renewable energy is the mainstay of this coming decade.

4. finally ... empowering its people with the truth ... i mean ..we must be exposed to news that is true.

i have many many things to write INSHAH ALLAH I WILL WRITE THEM a bit later.

I PRAY INSHAH ALLAH ... we will GET JUSTICE.
ALLAH HAFIZ

Anonymous said...

Ok so Muslims are protesting.
Look at this photo of the protest : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7857468.stm

Why the hell are they carrying the national flags upside down?!! And nobody is condemning this insult to our national flag. Its not just one flag, BUT ALL THE FLAGS are upside down. What sort of message do they want to send out by this?

Anonymous said...

"It is already proven that those guys were terrorist of IM and responsible of killing thousands of innocent people (Mostly Hindus)" by Anon 2.

I don't recall even proper trial of the said case, except that some boys being paraded by Delhi Police in Kifaya (probably in front of the court). My question is... when and by whom the allegations were PROVEN??? Which court of law? Or was it by our "reputed" media.. or some statement by Delhi Police or some worthies from X Y Z political parties?

Please provide the real proof if any. Or other wise support the demand for an enquiry. But probably it is too much to ask.

Anonymous said...

ANON::

This is NOT NATIONAL FLAG turned upside down. Due to colours it looks like such.

This is THE FLAG OF A LOCAL PARTY which is planning to contest election in UP. Some council. The colour is not orange but red, looks due to sunlight or photo shop brightness changed.

ZAFAR A AHMED

Anonymous said...

Those arrested after the batla hous encounter are innocent people framed by the Police but the hindus arrested for the malegaon blasts should be subjected to narco test.heck they shud be hanged...wow the author of this blog is as confused as a baby in a topless. bar

indscribe said...

Anon 1: Please see the colour in the photo. It is rightly pointed earlier that it is the flag of the organisation that is fighting election.

Anon 2:

Please tell me where did I say that they are innocents?

Anser Azim said...

I hope they all come back safely. I remember in 1979 at Dadri station AMU students were badly beaten badly that was followed by riots etc and their train was stopped by a mob. Students were balmed for misbehaving people on the station. I hope all the participants behave well and proper protection is given to them for their safe return.
The targedy at Godhra led to riots and killings. These are all soft spots and any thing can trigger to a large scale riots, killings etc.
Religious profiling is on the rise in my India and not a good sign for a peaceful and developed India.

rickshawdiaries said...

Thanks for posting this. It is very informative as I had no idea of the nuances of this situation.

Anonymous said...

Anser Azim,

Do you know the misdeeds of the students of the AMU on delhi bound trains? Those bunch of hooligans have often been caught harassing passengers on such trains..even in ALigarh town, these hooligans are known to vandalise property and resort to arson for filmiest of reasons . And eve teasing in and around the AMU campus is so rampant that girls prefer not to walk around that area even during daytime.

Dont try to show them as victims all the time. They are not so innocent afterall.

Anonymous said...

i am not here for commenting anything but can't any see how the person is holding indian flag in the train (upside down) ,that means he is a illerate man, dont even know anything what will he demand for us literates in delhi??

Anonymous said...

Anon:

Are you blind. It's not Indian flag. The colour is not saffron, it is maroon. Indian flag has chakra in between. This is a party's flag

diva said...

To all,
Please acknowledge the sacrifice of a police officer who has sacrificed his life for the welfare of this country...
These people in the rally shouted slogans against Mr.Sharma(police officer killed in the batla Encounter) who is dead...isn't this the height of indecency? Is this the way we are going to treat our heroes...I feel for the relatives of the police officer...How would they feel when a section of community denigrates him when he lost his life for his country?
Most of Indians believe in the sacrifice made by him.
To all people who support these (So called)INNOCENT youths killed,Have u ever seen them at least...what makes u feel so convincingly that they are Muslims,Right?...I can apply virtually the same logic to any mistakes committed by Hindus...
I agree that the police commit human right violations but it isnt a communal issue...It occurs in almost across all demographics in India cutting across all religions...
I agree that Its wrong to brand a town as center of Terrorism...If the rally is just about that and expressed its condemnation to terrorism,I would have supported that....
Instead its jus a politically motivated rally with a divisive agenda....

Anser Azim said...

Anon: My point was not to discuss morality at AMU campus. It was to remind all on the eve of Mahatmas death anniversary that how well prepared the goons of safron brigade are and how they attack trains full of students who went to delhi for protest (the train was reserved for students), their constitutional right. My point was to remind that attacks on trains have happened before by the same forces that have been linked to Samjhauta Express. The forces have also been cited for the Godhra train massacre. People who can kill the Mahatma can go to any extent to achieve their fascist goals.
To the best of my knowledge AMU campus is one of the safest campuses I have seen where I did not hesitate to send my own relatives. Things have changed in India and crimes have increased in Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Mumbai and even in the city of Modi. So AMU/Aligarh cannot be an exception. I know AMU is on safron brigades radar list and no wonder goons from the city are operating there too to create disturbance.
anser

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anser,

Do you wear a saffron colored chasma? For anything and everything, blame the saffron brigade!! Never look inwards but blame the saffron brigade.

Arfan Shah said...

Salam alikum

I like your blog and in Sha Allah i'll add it to my link list. Please add mine if you get time.

Anonymous said...

.yes this is a political ... flag ... i guess .. everytime we muslims do anything good. people all over the .. country .. try to pin point things that are totally baseless.. this is one of the case.. look preperly ... and think what it is ... indian flag is the same in ours eyes .. as is in every other india .. but i suppose there's a flag on ur eyes (u know what i mean)..
jai hind

Anonymous said...

@anser azim
"The forces have also been cited for the Godhra train massacre."
Who burnt the Godhra train? It was a Muslim mob that did it. Read the Nanavati commission report which makes it clear.
(and spare me the bull**** Bannerjee commission which has been declared unconstitutional by the courts)

About the Samjhauta express, the Maharashtra ATS has recently declared it has NO evidence to link it to Purohit. And moreover, Safdar Nagori has admitted in narco test that SIMI was involved in the blast.
Get your facts right and dont distort the truth.

urdudaaN said...

I have a request; ban Anonymous comments here, if possible. Senseless uttering by masked fascists is hardly of any use. This is why I would prefer Advani over Vajpayee.

truth said...

Did you read the news on NDTV website last week about the hindu officer Purohit saying in the test that Mossad was involved in the conspiracy bombings along with Nepal king Gajendra.Infowars.com and Prisonplanet.com has lot of information regarding Mossad CIA connection in past 8 yrs terrorist activities all around the world which have been blamed on Al qaeda n muslims.Unfortunately,these truth websites are being censored in a lot of countries.I don't know if you will be able to access it.

Iconoclast said...

Excerpts from an interview of Ulema Council Chairman Maulana Amir Rashadi -

Q. Why do you think Azamgarh is being targeted?

A. They have been watching the Muslim community. They have been watching where the community has prospered financially and academically. They are targeting such places.

Q. Who are the 'they' you are referring to?

A. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government. They have been acting under pressure from (the Israeli espionage agency) Mossad, which has been acting in coordination with the Sangh Parivar and targeting the Muslim community.

All the terror attacks in the country have been carried out by them. Karkare exposed them and brought out this naked truth. So they killed him.

We salute Karkake. In fact, we are going to approach his wife and request her to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Azamgarh. She is a like an elder sister to the people of Azamgarh.