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

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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.

LINKS:

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
3. SEE PHOTO GALLERY in INDIAN EXPRESS. WHAT HAD HAPPENED in HASHIMPURA. Photo credit Indian Express.

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. 

RECENT INCIDENTS:

*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

OLD POST ON THIS BLOG

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



Monday, March 02, 2015

Urdu must gets its constitutional right in Uttar Pradesh: Amend discriminatory rule that stops opening of Urdu medium schools in UP

By Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Urdu is the mother tongue of at least 40 million or 4 crore people in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India's most populated State. 

It is spoken and understood by many more in UP which is considered as the birthplace of Urdu.

But the sad truth is that UP is the only state in India where a discriminatory law doesn't allow opening of Urdu medium schools.

This rule is in conflict with international norms that a kid has the right to education in his mother toungue, as well as against national policy.

Tragic fact is that Urdu is the second official language of UP. Yet, this discrimination continues. Join hands, if you love Urdu, and voice your support.

Post 1947, certain politicians in Uttar Pradesh unit of Congress, acted against Urdu. All of a sudden, Urdu medium was abolished. The legendary poet late Pandit Anand Narain Mulla, strongly protested the decision to scrap Urdu. 

Today, many states have thousands of Urdu schools. In Maharashtra alone, there are 5,000 Urdu medium schools but in UP, there is no Urdu school. Karnataka, AP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and even Tamil Nadu have Urdu medium schools, but not UP. 

Please sign the online petition urging Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to take action in this regard

1. Critics say that Urdu medium would not help the students. Wrong. They don't know the reality, having schools is better than not going to the schools at all. Not every one belongs to the affluent or middle class.

2. There are lakhs of families that can't even afford the basic fee of even small private schoolsFor them Rs 100-200 for a kid is too much, as it affects their monthly budget (this money can get them part of ration for a month). Especially, if family is poor and has two- three or more children, the kids go uneducated or merely end up studying a few years in maktabs and madarsas. Government Urdu schools or private Urdu schools in poor neighbourhoods are needed. For those studying in maktabs and madarsas, it helps a lot as they enter mainstream education through schools.

3. In states like Maharashtra, Urdu medium students have consistently done good and have topped the entire Maharashtra board, several times in the last two decades. Also, it's a question of your basic right. 

4. Samajwadi Party had promised that it would open Urdu medium schools in UP, if it came to power. But this promise has not been fulfilled. We don't expect the government to do this much as they haven't delivered on many counts, but they can at least, amend the law, so that private schools can be opened with Urdu medium.

5. Urdu is one of the major Indian languages and is recognised as an official language in the eighth schedule of Indian constitution, along with Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, Kannada, Punjabi, Sindhi, Marathi et al. This injustice with the language shouldn't be allowed. 

6. It is also a question about your RIGHTS too. In a democracy, the manner in which Urdu was targeted in UP after partition, is deplorable. Successive governments paid no attention to the issue despite voices raised by sections of activists, intellectuals and organisations. The discriminatory law must go.

7. It is a sure shot way to hurt a community or group if you snatch their language from them. In post-1947 UP, certain leaders did exactly that and the result is that UP one of the most forward states, is now known for educational backwardness, especially, among minorities. 

Sadly, despite nearly 67 MLAs in UP Assembly, the issue has not been taken up in the Assembly even now. Politicians, litterateurs, activists and even poets with considerable influence haven't raised the issued at all. 

8. JUST ONE ORGANISATION URDU DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION (UDO), which is based in Allahabad, has been fighting for the rights of Urdu in Uttar Pradesh. However, they also don't get much support from the society. 

UDO needs to hire the best lawyers, which needs funds, to fight cases up to the Supreme Court. It has taken up issues about banks not accepting Urdu cheques, government organisations not using Urdu in its communication, and consistently takes up the cause, One hopes that UDO will continue its fight on this issue too. But UDO is the lone group of such Urdu-walas in the entire country. 

9. Some people who have less idea about ground situation, especially, those who talk about imparting English education, easily say that English schools or Hindi schools (or private) should be opened. No body stops them, please open. But can you? 

Governments don't open English medium schools. Hence, we are talking about schools, at least the basic schools. In areas, in Urdu-speaking (Muslim) areas where there are no schools, at least, let the schools come up. 

Poverty levels are such that huge number of Muslims drop out as their parents can't even afford studying in the school that has the lowest fee. Muslim families, especially, poor are having a very tough time due to the inflation. 

A section of upwardly mobile class (even amongst Muslims) has little idea about the tough lives of majority of Muslims. The situation is such that millions of Muslim households are yet to get past the 'struggle for two square meals' stage. 

They can't even afford Rs 50-100 fee for the school, because if there are 2-3 children, they can have 'aata' for a month for the family, with this money. It is very easy to say that open schools or colleges. People are doing their best but the economic condition of poor Muslims is such that it is not possible. 

Such is the situation that even in this era of focus on education, the number of Muslim kids' who droput after 5th and 8th is increasing. Land prices are skyrocketing, even constructing a room or two, takes lakhs.  

You can't open one school, forget talking about overnight change. [People are trying their best but it is very, very difficult] This only government can do. And its their duty, hence we are demanding it. Also, they promised it and its our job to keep watch on what they deliver and what they did not.

Rather than criticising without understanding, please do something else if you can't support us in this demand. Please open one school and we will emulate you Sir.

10. Urge the Chief Minister, UP, to fulfill the promise of opening Urdu schools in UP, which hasn't happened even after his government came to power. Also, legal ways should be explored to deal with this issue that has troubled Urdu speakers for almost 65 years.


1. उत्तर प्रदेश हिंदुस्तान का अकेला सूबा है जहां लाखों-करोड़ों बच्चे अपनी मातृ भाषा में तालीम नहीं हासिल कर सकते. चार करोड़ उर्दू आबादी वाले इस राज्य में ये भेदभावपूर्ण क़ानून आज़ादी के चंद साल बाद ही कांग्रेस सरकार ने बना दिया था.
हिंदी और अंग्रेजी के अलावा किसी माध्यम में राज्य सरकार तालीम को रेकोग्नाइज़ नहीं करती. दशकों की जद्दोजहद के बावुजूद और समाजवादी पार्टी के वादे के बावजूद ये क़ानून नहीं बदला गया.

2. बोहत से लोग इस मसले से वाक़िफ़ ही नहीं, कई तीसरी ज़बान के तौर पर उर्दू पढने को ही उर्दू माध्यम समझ कर कन्फ्यूज़ हो जाते हैं, कुछ लोग इस मसले पर बात करते ही ये कहने लगते हैं कि उर्दू माध्यम स्कूलों की ज़रुरत ही क्या है. तो पहले इस मसले को समझिये. पहली बात ये खुला डिस्क्रिमिनेशन है. कांग्रेस के बड़े नेता, सम्पूर्णानन्द, पुरुषोत्तम दास टंडन और सेठ गोविन्द दास की उर्दू दुश्मनी मशहूर थी.

3. यकायक उर्दू माध्यम ख़त्म कर और स्कूल बंद कर, उन्होंने ये सिग्नल दे दिया था कि अब आप का यहां कोई काम नहीं. आपकी ज़बान, कल्चर सब बाहरी है. एक पूरी नस्ल जो उस वक़्त पढ़ रही थी, इससे मुतास्सिर हुई. उनके तालीमी सिलसिले को डिस्टर्ब कर दिया गया, कॉलेजेस के निसाब से उर्दू, पर्शियन ऑप्शन बोहत जगह निकाल दिए गए (ये बिहार या दूसरी जगहों पर नहीं हुआ).

4. एक ज़बान जो बेहद समृद्ध थी, उसे, उसके अदब को ख़त्म करने की कोशिश की गयी. ये लिंगविस्टिक जेनोसाइड थी जो एक डेमोक्रेटिक सरकार ने की. ये कांग्रेस की सरकार थी.

5. ये उर्दू दुश्मनी १९८८ तक खुले तौर पर चली. वीरबहादुर सिंह ने तो सीएम बनते ही पहले आर्डर ये दिया था कि उर्दू नेमप्लेट सीएम हाउस से हटाई जाये. कांग्रेस के वज़ीर वासुदेव सिंह ने तो यह कह दिया था कि उर्दू वालों को गधे पर बैठा कर घूमना चाहिए. साथ ही स्कूल न होने से, स्कूल होना बेहतर है.

6. मुस्लिम बस्तियों में इतनी गरीबी है कि प्रायवेट स्कूलों की २००-३०० तक की फीस अफोर्ड नहीं कर पाते, इतने में तो महीने भर का चावल या गेहूं आजायेगा, आखिर. राज्य का फ़र्ज़ है कि वोह सरकारी स्कूल खोले और ये यूनिवर्सल एजुकेशन राइट है. आज महाराष्ट्र में चार हज़ार उर्दू स्कूल हैं, कर्नाटक में भी तक़रीबन इतने ही और आंध्र में भी एक हज़ार से ज़्यादा. इसका फायदा होता है, माद्री ज़बान में पढ़ने से चीज़ें समझ में आती हैं. एक बेहद अहम बात. मकतब और मदरसे के बच्चों को भी मेनस्ट्रीम में आने के लिए उर्दू माध्यम स्कूलों से बड़ा फ़ायदा होता है.

7. यही वजह है वहां का मुसलमान आज तालीमी तौर पर आगे है. घर में अंग्रेजी का माहौल न हो तो अंग्रेजी स्कूल में जा कर तालिब इल्म सिर्फ रटता है, समझ नहीं पाता. संस्कृत-निष्ठ हिंदी भी उसके लिए कम मुश्किल नहीं. इस सब पर बहस हो सकती है, लेकिन एजुकेशन डिपार्टमेंट के इस डिस्क्रिमिनटरी कानून की वजह से प्रायवेट उर्दू स्कूल भी नहीं खोले जा सके. कोइ उर्दू स्कूल में पढ़े या नहीं, मगर ये रास्ता ही बंद कर दिया गया. बहरहाल ये लंबी कहानी है.

8. आज़ादी के बाद भी यूपी में क़द्दावर मुस्लिम नेता मौजूद थे मगर उर्दू के इस क़त्ल पर उनकी आवाज़ों का कोई असर न हुआ. नेहरू को सब मालुम था मगर उन्होंने इंटरफियर नहीं किया. जब बिहार में उर्दू दूसरी सरकारी ज़बान बनी, बेहद मजबूरी में एनडी तिवारी के दौर में आला कमान के कहने पर कागजों पर यूपी में उसको दूसरी ज़बान बना दिया गया. मुलायम सिंह के शुरूआती दौर में कुछ फैसले ठीक हुए.

9. मगर फिर मामला बिगड़ गया. दरअसल १९९० आते आते, कई जनरेशन्स गुज़र चुकी थीं जिन्हें न उर्दू आती थी और न उनको इस ज़बान से जज़्बाती लगाव था. अफ़सोस बड़े बड़े शायर अदीब जो मुख्यमंत्रियों के साथ डाइस पर मुशायरे और प्रोग्रामों में बैठते रहे, इस मसले पर खामोश रहे.

10. दुनिया की तारीख में शायद ही कोई ऐसा वाक़या हो कि एक ज़िंदा ज़बान को, करोड़ों लोग ,उसे अपने ही होमलैंड में इस तरह क़त्ल किया गया हो. मैं काफी अरसे से इस मसले पर लिख रहा हूँ. सिर्फ इलाहाबाद की एक तंज़ीम है जो इस मसले पर संजीदा नज़र आती है और क़ानूनी कार्रवाई कर रही है. पूरा मसला जान्ने और समझने के लिए इस लिंक पर जाएँ.

CONGRESS LEADERS IN UP AND THEIR POLICIES
Unlike the official policy of the Congress and the Government of India, the leaders of Congress in UP, were so adamant that they were not ready to give any rights to Urdu speakers in their own state. 

Purushottam Das Tandon, the Congress stalwart, was a strong Urdu opponent, who advocated education in mother tongue for everyone except Urdu speakers. Chief Minister Sampoornanand was so hostile that he openly said that Urdu walas need not be given any rights.

UP chief ministers Sampoornanand, Banarsi Das, GB Pant and Virbahadur Singh were vehemently anti-Urdu. The first order, Singh, gave after becoming CM in 1985, was to remove his name plate in Urdu. 

There was no hope for Urdu walas, as all legal fights were also stalled because of state's might, which was hell-bent to deny Urdu speakers any right. The attitude of UP Congress leaders towards Urdu was exactly similar to that of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. 

The stature of Purushottam Das Tandon and GB Pant, was such that high command of the party, couldn't take action against them. More than 10 lakh signatures were collected and sent to President of India, but nothing happened.

Congress leaders in UP were so harsh and hated Urdu, that in this blind hatred, that dug Congress' grave in UP. Over the years, Muslims, got so fed up that they stopped voting for Congress. Sensing the Muslim disenchantment, Congress leadership in late eighties forced UP Congress govt to act.

Urdu was made second language, on paper. The notification was done, but its language was so ambiguous that, legally it gave nothing to Urdu. You could still not open Urdu schools in Uttar Pradesh. MLAs were not allowed to take oath in Urdu in UP Assembly! 

SEE LINK to Congress leaders' objectionable statements on Urdu in Omar Khalidi's compilation HERE


ANINDIANMUSLIM.COM takes up this fight to ensure that justice is done with Urdu in UP. For years, people at different levels have been raising their voice but nothing concrete came out. We are taking it forward through social media. Call it a drive, a movement or a struggle, but the fight has now begun.

A page on social networking website, Facebook, has been created to take up the issue:

Please sign the petition: Change rule that bars Urdu as medium of instruction in UP

You can tweet with the hashtag #JusticewithUrduinUP


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BACKGROUND: IF YOU DON"T KNOW WHY IT HAPPENED IN UP
Or for those who feel Urdu could be taught as third language, but have no idea that this is not possible in UP.

READ THIS POST WRITTEN 7-8 YEARS AGO. CLICK