Saturday, May 20, 2017

Six lynched in Jharkhand: Photo that should haunt us, Indians, inhabitants of the land of 'non-violence'


Will this photograph haunt us, Indians, for long?

A man--Mohammad Naeem, begging for his life, yet, the mob killed him in cold blood.

The man was not alone. Apart from him, Md Sajjad alias Sajju, Siraj and Md Alim. were also killed.

The incident occurred at Shobhapur near Rajnagar, which is 45 km from Jamshedpur. All the victims were cattle-traders.

Apparently, there was a rumour that children were being abducted from the area though police said that there no such complaint, and no incident of child theft was reported.

"Villagers got information that some people are taking kid in car. They came out armed and surrounded Shobhapur. It was alleged that one Muslim man, Murtaza Ansari, was protecting them. Mob accused him of saving them and Murtaza asked the mob to check the vehicle. But the mob didn't buge", reports Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar.

The mob went on rampage, rummaging houses and setting afire property. Victims were baten to death. Naeem succumbed to injuries on way to hospital. The houses of Shamsul Haq and Azizul Haq were burnt. Police officers's vehicles including Tata Sumo and Indigo were also burnt.

ANOTHER INCIDENT OF MOB LYNCHING IN JHARKHAND

Apart from the incident, three more persons were lynched in Jharkhand. Gangesh Gupta, Vikas Verma and Gautam Verma were killed in cold blood. This incident occurred in Nagadih.

The elderly grandmother of one of the victims, Ramsakhi, was also brutally beaten. Her condition is reported to be critical. BJP is in power in Jharkhand, and there is no statement from the top party leaders, condemning the killings.

UPDATE: Reports suggest that the figure of deaths is SEVEN (7). LINK

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Another day, Another attack: Muslim man lynched, Hindu farmers brutally beaten by cow vigilantes

Lynchings, mob attacks, vigilantism--that seems to have become the order of the day in India.

A Muslim man was beaten to death in his house in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, just because he was supportive of an inter-religious marriage.

The Hindu Yuva Vahini members barged into his house, abducted middle-aged Ghulam Muhammad, took him away and thrashed him until he died.

The Hindu Yuva Vahini is an extremist Hindu group, which was formed by Yogi Adityanath, who is now UP's chief minister.

Locals said that members of the Vahini were behind the attack and murder. There are barely a couple of Muslim families in this village in Bulandshahar. Now, after the incident, they plan to move out.

From Pahlu Khan to Akhlaq, from Mazloom Ansari to Najeeb Ahmad, the stories of Muslim men disappearing--either killed, lynched or taken away, never to return, it is becoming a regular affair now.

As private armies or right-wing Hindu militias keep growing in size, the incidents are increasing. Along with Muslims, a few Hindus here and there too bear the brunt of these attacks. In North India, the situation is worst.

The other incident took place close to national capital Delhi. It happened in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Two Hindu farmers were brutally beaten.

Their fault--they were carrying cows along with them. Bhoop Singh and Jabar Singh were intercepted by self-styled 'Gau Rakshaks'--a term that means protectors of cows.

"We kept telling them that we are Hindus, farmers but they kept accusing us of being cow smugglers and started thrashing us", said the victims, who later lodged an FIR.

"They abused us verbally and kicked us on the stomach and even the face. We collapsed on the ground but they continued beating us". While this was happening, no one intervened. [TOI report]

Hindu Sena leader crushes Muslim youth to death in Bhopal

In yet another incident of extremist groups' violence, Hindu Sena district chief killed a Muslim youth, Salman, by crushing him to death under a SUV. This incident occurred in MP Nagar in Bhopal.

Salman was beaten brutally and later his head was struck against a tanker. The Hindu Sena leader Shivaji Patil later crushed Salman to death on the spot, with his car, and escaped. He was later arrested.


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Cow Terror: Two more Muslims killed in India, mob lynches them in Assam

Two more Muslims have died--victims of Cow Terror.

Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin were lynched by a mob in Assam.

Clearly, terror in the name of cow continues in India.

This is the worst form of Terrorism in the world, where people kill in the name of cow. They feel that they can kill anyone and have moral right to decide whether someone is guilty or not.

Akhlaq was killed because it was imagined that the meat in his fridge was not of goat but cow. Similarly, the mob decided that Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin were cow thieves.

So they got the 'authority' to kill them in cold blood. Both of them were beaten to death. The incident occurred in Nagaon district. The Kachamari Pathar village is just 130 km from State capital.

Soon after the incident, in which two people were murdered, the cops had started claiming that 'it was not a case of cow vigilantism'. How? Why such hurry to give a clean-chit, instead of focusing on crime of such magnitude.

Even before probe, it was termed that they were 'cow thieves'. So where is the need for police or law-enforcing agencies?The self-styled 'Gau Rakshaks' are on a spree of attacks, violence and killings across India.

The prime target are Muslims, and in some cases Dalits too. Occasionally, non-Muslims have also been beaten or tortured. Like in Una in Gujarat, where Dalits who skin dead animal, were tortured by right-wing extremists.

1. In Bihar, a man honked at a cow and he was attacked, resulting in damage to his eyesight. LINK
2. In Delhi, a woman tried to shoo away a cow and she later nearly escaped the violent mob. LINK
Ganesh Mandal or Sharmila's case are exceptions.
3. Jabar Singh and Bhoop Singh brutally beaten by cow vigilantes in Noida. LINK
4. Tribal accused of cow slaughter, dies in police custody.
5. Appu Malviya was brutally beaten by vigilantes in Ujjain. He was thrashed, kicked, beaten with belts publicly. LINK & LINK

Elderly Kodar Gamar was arrested under the newly enacted cow protection law for allegedly slaughtering bovines, reported HT. Gamar, in his 60s, was arrested and was in the custody of Sabarkantha police. He died. A judicial probe has been ordered.

Muslims are the main target. In national capital, Delhi, just over a week ago, Muslim cattle transporters--Rizwan, Ashu and Kamil, were brutally beaten. This happened in Kalkaji. LINK and LINK.

They hailed from Pataudi, Haryana. They were stopped, pulled out of vehicle, beaten up. The police had to save them. The attackers claimed to be 'animal rights activists' and representing People for Animals (PFA).

Over the last three years, there have been numerous cases of attacks and killings. The most recent case was that of Pahlu Khan, who was killed in Rajasthan. However, the State government, did not take the crime seriously and even one of its ministers tried to play it down, ending up blaming victim.

READ: From minor boy Imatiaz's murder in Jharkhand to Pehlu Khan's killing in Rajasthan

Muslim men lynched in Assam, reports Aj Jazeera. READ
So far, just a case has been registered and two persons detained, says this PTI report. LINK 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Make use of summer holidays, teach children Urdu or another language

This post is for parents and elders, reminding them that summer holidays are the best time in the year to teach kids, a language.

Especially, the mother tongue. You can teach an extra language and I am writing for Urdu, because in many Indian states, children don't have the option to learn Urdu in schools.

The third language in schools is generally not Urdu. Hence, they are unable to learn it properly. It is time to sit with kids and teach them Urdu.

In Muslim households, Urdu words are known, grammar is known and it is spoken. What is needed is just to read the script and write. So for that, just a small effort is needed.

Barely 20-30 min a day, it doesn't take more. As most kids are familiar with the script too because they learn the Holy Quran [Arabic], it is even more easy. But it needs a bit of discipline and patience. 

You have to do it each and every day. Within a couple of months, the kid would definitely pick up enough. I had written a similar post on this blog five years ago. Check the link below

READ: Teach kids an additional language or their mother tongue in vacations

Subscribe to children's magazines. Kids like them, make them read. You can start with a Urdu primer also. There are many Urdu magazines in India. NCPUL's Bacchon Ki Dunia, Hilal, Noor, Umang and Payam-e-Talim have good circulation.

LIST OF CHILDREN'S MAGAZINES IN URDU IN INDIA

1. Bachchon ki Dunia, Delhi
2. Umang, Delhi
3. Noor, Rampur
4. Hilal
5. Naya Khilauna, Kolkata
6. Ghubbara
7. Butul [focuses on girls, more]
8. Payam-e-Talim
9. Gul Bootay
10. Sada-e-Atfal
11. Achha Saathi
12. Fankar
13. Guldasta-e-Talim

Thursday, April 27, 2017

How communal propaganda for years laid foundation for India's march towards Fascism: Reasons for right-wing's success, hysteria that has gripped citizens

Companies are firing employees, no job creation, businessmen are worried, forget the poor.

You are getting hurt by the bleeding economy or lack of development, but you aren't perturbed.

No promise is fulfilled--either on developmental front or ten heads for each Indian soldier's head, yet, vote will go to them only. No surprise.

This is the stage of fascism, it leads to hysteria. If leader(s) says that there is too much population and solution is to commit suicide, they will say, 'Yes', he is right, some may even accept it.

The niddle-class that has money, house, shops, so can survive, face inflation longer. How can they accept that they were wrong, after all, they have believed in him with so much intensity that it will shatter them.

Media will not let this hysteria level go down. After all, the propagandists made efforts for half-a-century to get their men enter, influence and own media, while others had no inkling. As far as Congress is concerned, it is responsible chiefly for this crisis.

For decades, so much lies were spread in this country that a divide between Hindus and Muslims was created. So many half-truths were spoken, propaganda of others was allowed that for most Hindus, Kashmiri or Muslim became an enemy.

They kept talking of article 370 but would never tell that anyone could go to Kashmir but there are states like Nagaland where any Indian requires a permit to even step into the state. And it is not just Kashmir.

READ: How misinformation, falsehoods and propaganda about Kashmir have hurt India

It is on each and every issue. Common Civil Code, Haj Subsidy, Talaq, just think and there are innumerable issues. Congress was the major party and was expected to tackle but it was never interested, in fact, complicit.

...long long story...sins of decades....

And, where is the space in obsessed brain to even think--every cell in your brain is occupied. From Aurangzeb to worries over Zaheer Khan's marriage, the sound of Azaan to Cow, everyday there is so much to think of.

They can form illegal armies that will kill people for no crime, in the name of cow vigilantism or anything else. Yet, they will remain paranoid, scared, worried about growing population of the Muslims.

For right-wing Indians, there is nothing left, except worrying about Islam and Muslims. So all this is not going to end soon, it will take time. Let's wait and hope that some day this fever will come down. 

Terror strikes India: 300 armed Maoist terrorists attack, kill 25 security personnel in Chhattisgarh

In the biggest terrorist attack in India this year, armed Maoist militants killed 25 security personnel in Chhattisgarh on April 24, 2017.

The heavily armed ultra-leftists ambushed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Sukma district in the southern part of this central Indian state.

The security personnel were like sitting ducks for the Maoists. Police said that the CRPF party had stopped for lunch, when they were ambushed.

This is the second major attack in Sukma district of Bastar region within 1-1/2 months. Around 90 CRPF men had left Burkapal camp near Dornapal, for patrolling and security of the road laying work when they were attacked.

While 25 jawans were killed in the firing, many others were injured. Some Naxalites were probably killed and injured in the cross-firing. The injured jawans said that they were outnumbered by the Maoists.

Sher Muhammad, the CRPF personnel, injured in the attack, said that he shot over half-a-dozen Maoist militants. The security establishment in the entire country was alerted after the dardevil attack.

LIST OF SOME OF THE MAJOR TERROR ATTACKS BY NAXALITES IN CHHATTISGARH

*12 security personnel killed by Maoists in Bhejji on March 11, 2017
*30 jawans killed in Jhiram attack on May 25, 2013
*76 security personnel killed in Tadmetla massacre on April 16, 2010
*36 securitymen killed in Dantewada on May 17, 2010
*27 jawans killed in Narayanpur on June 29, 2010
*55 personnel killed in Bijapur attack on March 15, 2007

Monday, April 24, 2017

Legendary Urdu writer MA Rahat passes away in Pakistan: There won't be another MA Rahat in Urdu now

Legendary Urdu writer MA Rahat is no more. He breathed his last in a hospital in Pakistan.
He was a gifted author.

I have read classics in English, Urdu and many other languages, do enjoy Intizar Husain as well as Naiyer Masood's writings, but at the same time I must say it that MA Rahat was in a league of his own.

In India, we marvelled at his brain--how could someone write like him. My late phuphi used to say, 'MA Rahat aur Mohiuddin Nawab ke dimaghon ko sarkar ko mahfooz kar lena chahiye, unke inteqal ke baad, taki un par research ho sake...'

When he wrote Kala Jadoo, almost all the major digests published it in India. Kotha is another masterpiece. Once you start reading, it is simply unputdownable like most of his works.

The list is endless. Living in Pakistan, he recreated the North Indian society of yore--early 19th century, its culture, to perfection. Just because he wrote in popular digests, he was not given his due.

When Kala Jadu was published, it created a sensation across the sub-continent. It was published in monthly Urdu digests and readers waited for the next installment. However, the writer probably got no royalty.

The stories were simply copied and published in India. In the post Ibn-e-Safi era, it was his writings that made people rush to bookstalls every month to buy Urdu digests.

With him ends an era. I don't think, there would ever be an author like him. Someone who would write so brilliantly, weave a world beyond anything you have ever heard or seen, and yet be so prolific.

MA Rahat was a product of his time--a writer born in a language, a culture that had reached its epitome and though it was destroyed by partition, he grew up in the era when Urdu literature was at its peak. That era has gone.

I don't think there will be an MA Rahat, in future. First Mohiuddin Nawab and now him, two giants have passed away. Feel Pakistan and Urdu world should have given the due to these authors in their lifetime. Rest in Peace, MA Rahat sahab. 

Friday, April 07, 2017

Media Manipulation: India is a non-vegetarian country but false perception about vegetarian majority created

India is a country where over 70% people are non-vegetarians.

This newspaper in its lead story mentions, 'contrary to popular perception, majority of Indians are non-vegetarians'.

How innocent! It goes on to 'inform' us that 71% Indians are non-vegetarians.

So how this perception was created? This paper should have answered it.

The micro-minuscule communities, mostly of a cetrain caste group, who run the Hindi newspapers are traditionally vegetarians.

They do it with missionary zeal. Abattoirs are termed 'Qatl-khane', not 'Bucharkhana' or 'Salughterhouse'.

They do everything to target meat eating habits and link non-vegetarianism with 'tamsik pravrittti',  'violence, evil influences' et al.

This is [Rajasthan] Patrika, a mass circulated daily, which is published from half-a-dozen states and has huge circulation in Rajasthan and MP.

Similarly, Dainik Bhaskar is largest circulated daily in Rajasthan, MP and other North Indian states. These papers aggressively campaign against non-vegetarians. If there is a religious function, they publish half to full page reports, with headlines against 'non-vegetarianism'.

They run campaigns against slaughterhouses and force authorities to close them. The owners may not belong to caste that is even 1% of Indian population. But due to control over mass media, they are able to project 'set of values' and decide what is moral, what is immoral.

When right-wing groups demand shifting of meat shops, these papers side with them, openly take stand. The owners have NGOs and groups linked to them, who then hold candle-light vigils and support the movement.

The paper then publishes them prominently to create false perception that how bad non-vegetarianism is. They try their best to force the people involved in non-vegetarianism, out of their jobs. The paper tells that North Indian states have higher population of vegetarians are pro-BJP.

READ: 72% Indians are non-vegetarians, vegetarians are a minority, says RGI report

It is all a reflection of the same 'hegemony system'. You own papers that sell in millions and are read by common folk across villages. You run campaigns asking people to shun non vegetarian food, even try to stop giving eggs to tribal kids in 'angan-wadis', which not only affect their nutrition but also goes against tribals' age-old food habits.

But then, that's how it goes. The power of media. Unfortunately, people on the ground, fail to realise how easily this manipulation is done. Need of the hour is to take on these manipulators head-on and make them shed the facade of being 'unbiased' media houses. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Cow vigilantes' terror in India: Pehlu Khan lynched in Rajasthan, Muslims constantly on the target

Once again, cow vigilantes have killed a Muslim man.

Pehlu Khan, a middle-aged man, had gone to buy bovines for milk.

Self-styled cow protection group members attacked Khan and his companions. The man was murdered in cold-blood.

Vipin Yadav, Kalu Ram Yadav and Ravendra Yadav--the three culprits have been arrested.

This horrific incident has occurred in Alwar district in Rajasthan.

The private militias, known as 'Gau Rakshaks' [euphemism for illegal extremist groups who kill innocents in the name of cow] are again responsible for the murder.

Khan who belonged to Nuh, Mewat had gone to buy bovines. On way back, the mini-truck was stopped by 'Gau-Rakshaks'. He showed the receipt that he had bought the cow legally.

But the 'Gau Rakshaks' attacked him, kept thrashing him until he fell unconscious. He was admitted to hospital where he died because of the injuries. The police didn't reach the spot until the incident occurred.

READ, WATCH VIDEO: How Cow Vigilantes' Terrorism Led to Pahlu Khan's death 

The incident has occurred in BJP ruled Rajasthan. Here, earlier too Gau Rakshak groups have attacked Muslims. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has failed to rein in the extremists.

Akhlaq, father of an armyman, was killed in his house at Bisadha near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh just on mere suspicion that there was beef stored in the fridge of the house.

Last year Minhaj Ansari was killed in Jharkhand.

Besides, a man, Mazloom Ansari, and a teenaged boy, Imtiaz, were hanged by Gau Atankis earlier.

Mazloom and Imtiaz' bodies were found hanging by the tree.

Clothes had been stuff into their mouths. Even this incident couldn't shake 'national conscience'.

They were cattle traders. The incident had occurred near Balumath, close to Ranchi. READ

The incidents have occurred across India--from Jammu and Kashmir to Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh to Haryana, Jharkhand to Madhya Pradesh and UP.

Clearly, law-and-order has collapsed in the country. India is becoming one of the most dangerous place for minorities, especially, Muslims. We must record what is happening around us. For, we don't know what future holds for us.

HERE ARE LINK TO SOME INCIDENTS

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Concerns over false messages spreading hatred through WhatsApp in India: Worries over impact on society, law-and-order and communal harmony

Daily dose of false propaganda, communal messages, videos and hate can wreak havoc.

'The message is the medium' is an important article on this subject, which tells us how similar propaganda led to the genocide in Rwanda where 8 lakh people were killed in just 12 weeks.

Sushant Singh's powerful piece should wake us up about the situation that is arising because of such propaganda, false messages, unverified videos that are forwarded--incident of another country, termed as an incident here and blaming certain groups, even imaginary and absolutely false stories to spread communalism.

"From early 1990, anti-Tutsi articles and graphic cartoons had begun appearing in the Kangura newspaper. In June 1993, the RTLMC began broadcasting in Rwanda. The radio station was rowdy and used language of the street — like any other popular radio station, there were disc jockeys, pop music and phone-ins. It was designed to appeal to the unemployed, the delinquents and the gangs of thugs in the militia...", says the article.

READ: The Message Is The Medium

"The transcripts of RTLMC’s broadcasts are available in Duke University’s International Monitor Institute. A lot of attention has since been focused on the radio station’s efforts to direct the extermination — broadcasts told people to “go to work” and everyone knew that meant get your machete and kill Tutsis.

But what has escaped greater scrutiny is the manner — by demonising the Tutsis and encouraging hate and violence — in which the radio station prepared the ground among the people of Rwanda for genocide. The transcripts reveal RTLMC’s efforts to claim authority over the telling of Rwandan history whereby the hardline Hutu extremists exercised a monopoly over the truth".

"If radio was a powerful medium then, where you only needed a transistor and a few batteries, we have the smart phone and WhatsApp today. In the past few years, several instances have come to light where communal clashes are being planned or instigated through false videos circulating on WhatsApp."

"The police acknowledged that WhatsApp groups were used to incite the Muzaffarnagar riots in UP in the run-up to the 2014 elections. The gau rakshaks, the Jat agitators, and protestors in Kashmir also take advantage of WhatsApp groups to organise themselves."

"The government has responded by banning internet in such instances, making India the global leader in imposing internet blackouts. That is a tactical solution which prevents immediate violence. But the graver challenge of creating a fertile environment of hate, round-the-clock, by distorted story-telling continues unabated. It is not just the poor and semi-educated who are taken in by the alternative narrative of political propaganda on WhatsApp. The educated elite are equally guilty".

The complete article is available at the Indian Express website

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How easily 5,000 people gather to kill in a country known for non-violence: Communal riot in Gujarat's Patan leaves two dead


Two persons were killed in the communal riot in Patan town in Gujarat.

The incident is alarming as the mob comprised of 5,000 persons.

Newspapers report that after a minor tiff between two youths belonging to different communities, the mob gathered and attacked a village where Muslims mostly live.

That 5,000 people could gather and attack to kill, shows the level of hate and communal divide in India. 

Ironically, in India, it is common to claim and pat ourselves on back for our being a 'non-violent society'.

People are simply turning more and more bigoted, ready to attack the 'other'. And, neither the political leadership, nor any social movement, has been able to de-radicalise people in this country.

The situation is extremely worrying. Here, there is no war or food scarcity like in some African countries, where thousands can turn attackers, all of a sudden. Yet, this keeps happening in India, again and again.

Truth is that it is one of the most violent societies in the world. The use of words like 'Ahimsa' or non-violence is limited to books, speeches and essays. The ground reality is that since 1960s, communal riots have killed hundreds of thousands in this country.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Don't get surprised, even Yogi Adityanath had Muslim supporters who rooted for him in UP

Yogi Adityanath will be chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

On social media, several people reacted as if something earth-shaking had happened and as if it was unexpected.

Why? Didn't you see it coming? Ahmed bhai had already sensed it and was supporting Yogi Adityanath even when the election campaign hadn't begun at all.

On the banner for 'Eid Milan', the slogan was 'UP Dol raha hai, Yogi Yogi bol raha hai'....'

Call him opportunistic or whatever, but there were guys who knew Yogi's time was coming.
And you call Muslims monolithic!

There were some who even said that they wanted Yogi at any cost.

"No BJP, Yogi first. We prefer Yogi", that was the slogan too in Gorakhpur and surrounding region.

So when the 'Hindu-wadi' leader had so much support even among Muslims, just imagine the support among Hindus!!!

We have seen the rule of GB Pant, Sampoornanand, the most hated UP CM Vir Bahadur Singh and Kalyan Singh.

Now, we will see Yogi Adityanath leading India's most populous state, too. 

Urdu newspapers flourish in Bihar: Several prominent Urdu papers published from Patna

Bihar has been a citadel of Urdu for ages.

The state has more Urdu readers than many of the North Indian states.

In fact, Patna has nearly a dozen major Urdu papers published from the city.

The photograph [Courtesy Mahtab Alam sahab] on the left shows many papers.

While many Urdu speakers in Uttar Pradesh had a superiority complex in terms of Urdu and felt that they were guardians of the zabaan, truth is that Bihar has  been more fertile for Urdu post-independence.

Though I am a UP wala, but I have to admit the fact.

These are the Urdu newspapers published from Patna, the capital of Bihar. You can find the major papers like Qaumi Tanzeem, Taseer, Inquilab, Pindar, Jasarat-e-Bihar, Farooqui Tanzeem, Ameen, Pyari Urdu, Hamara Samaj, Sangam and Awami News.

There are some other papers too published from Bihar. Akhbar-e-Mashriq has an edition too.

Bihar had thousands of Urdu schools till a few decades back and still there are Urdu schools across the state though UP has none.

In the last two decades,  Urdu journalism has seen a revival. Though Urdu papers were strong in Hyderabad, Telangana [earlier Andhra Pradesh], Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kashmir, the situation once again improved in North India.

In Delhi and UP, there are many big newspapers now. West Bengal and Jharkhand too has several Urdu papers.

However, the situation in Madhya Pradesh is not as good, as there are few papers with declining circulation.

Among big states, Rajasthan and Gujarat don't have Urdu newspapers though almost all the states from JK, Punjab in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South, have Urdu publications.

IMPORTANT LINK:

LIST OF MAJOR URDU NEWSPAPERS AVAILABLE ONLINE IN INDIA: CLICK TO READ

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Irresponsible journalism: Hindi newspaper Nai Dunia publishes false story about fatwas against teenaged singer

This is an example of what plagues journalism today.

Hindi newspaper Nai Dunia [Nav Dunia in Bhopal], published a false story about '40 fatwas against a Muslim girl' for singing bhajans.

The truth is that there was not even a single fatwa against Nahid Hasan, the teenaged singer.

It seems that the pamphlet in Assamese was not even read correctly.

Earlier, even TV channels had carried the story that the Muslim girl was stopped from singing by Ulema.

Even CM tweeted about it and the imaginary fatwas created outrage. In fact, the pamphlet did not even mention her name. The pramphlet said that events shouldn't be held close to mosques, grave yards et al.

Scroll.in reported 'The fatwa against Assamese singer that never was...'. Subsequently, many journalists apologised for the haste and the irresponsible reporting. If there was a pamphlet that objected to holding an event, it should be reported that way only.

Nai Dunia was once considered a respected newspaper in Central India. It is published in both MP and Chhattisgarh. Originally it was named Nai Dunia but after a title dispute, some of its editions are sold by the name 'Nav Dunia. Jagran group has taken it over sometime ago.

OUR TAKE

The fact remains that any story about 'Fatwa', even if totally imaginary, sends certain media houses into a frenzy.

This is a reflection of the bigotry and inherent biases against Islam and Muslims in the media. However, we stand by Nahid Hasan's right to sing and if there any attempt to stop her freedom to sing, we are against it, and extend our support.

In fact, papers issue fatwas these days. We hope such papers will be careful in future and won't issue 'Fatwas' on their own. Press council must take serious action and stop the channels & papers from imagining, inventing and issuing fatwas

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Open letter to Akhilesh Yadav after UP polls result: Now act as a strong Opposition, kindly ensure communal harmony is not disturbed in UP

Dear Mr Akhilesh Yadav,

                                     As Samajwadi Party's five year term in Uttar Pradesh comes to an end, I feel compelled to write you this letter, especially, in wake of the Assembly poll results.

Every citizen has hopes from the government and leaders. I too have such expectations and hence I felt that I should communicate my thoughts to you.

Five years ago, in 2012, your party had got overwhelming support from different sections of the society. Like other communities, Muslims had also voted for your party in a big way.

After SP won, the party didn't pay much attention to most of the promises made in the manifesto. The party had promised better representation to Muslims in police apart from reservation in jobs and opening Urdu schools, educational institutions in areas with Muslim population and action in case of youths framed in false cases.

One doesn't expect every promise to be fulfilled but there is always the hope that at least some attention will be paid to what was mentioned in the manifesto. Sadly, this didn't happen.

What came as a big disappointment was the handling of Muzaffarnagar riots. If, at all, top government functionaries had reached the spot immediately, got local administration to act tough and given call for Army promptly, the violence may have been controlled in the beginning.

It was the worst communal conflagration in this decade in the entire country and made thousands of people refugees on their own land. No other state, with the exception of Assam (where Congress was in power then during Kokrajhar killings) had witnessed such scale of killings and displacement in recent years.

I feel that even after the riot, due steps that could have helped people gain confidence, were not taken. People remained in camps through the harsh winter. Financial compensation can never be substitute for human lives, their sufferings.

Besides, there wasn't seriousness in ensuring justice for women who faced sexual violence during the Muzaffarnagar riot. I do not doubt your intentions for development. But the failure to control law-and-order and inability to rein in rabble-rousers was evident.

How could things turn communal every now and then? How could Dadri happen? The government had a full majority and yet the administration wasn't able to deal with communal elements sternly. If there is will, there can't be a riot. Strong governments don't allow riots and don't let incidents to take communal turn easily.

Many of my friends who are supporters of Samajwadi Party or are close to it, put blame on the 'rivals' for propaganda and for creating communal disturbances. They kept saying that things were given communal turn to pit communities against each other.

But that's what one expects a strong government to do--to deal with such elements in a strong way. I do remember an instance when a riot had begun and immediately the DM-SP were changed (new officers sent by helicopter). That was well over a decade ago.

Now kindly play a strong, constructive opposition

Now that your party is in the Opposition, I hope the experience during the last five years, will help you a lot.

We hope that the party that prides itself on principles of social justice, will take up issues of the ordinary people, the poor and backward communities in the state, work on the ground and ensure that there is no communal violence.

Your party has several MPs and scores of MLAs. SP has a strong organisation up to village level in every corner of Uttar Pradesh. I hope your party workers and leaders will join hands with common men, help raise their voice and redress their grievances.

An active opposition can do wonders in a democracy. I wish a party like SP could form communal harmony morchas that would take this message to people and ensure that harmony prevails.

Besides, I hope SP will be keeping eye on implementation of schemes and raising issues that affect people--health, education, employment opportunities and corruption. However, I wish your government had at least amended the Congress-era discriminatory law that bars Urdu as medium of instruction in UP schools.

If only you had taken this step, you would have taken a step which we would never have forgotten. Elections come and go. Lok Sabha elections aren't too far, barely two years from now. However, the issues remain and we do expect our leaders to come up with solutions.

As an Indian citizen with roots in Uttar Pradesh (hailing from Lucknow), I thought I would share my concerns. Hope you would take them positively. After all, your party plays the role of the main opposition in UP Assembly, now.

Best Wishes.

Regards

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi
Journalist


AN EARLIER POST ON THIS BLOG

1. Urdu must get its constitutional right in UP: Amend discriminatory rule that stops Urdu as medium of instruction in UP

Monday, March 13, 2017

Biggest terror attack leaves 12 security personnel dead but Indian media is not stirred: TV channels have no time for martyrs, no outrage either

This is the biggest terror strike this year. Twelve Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a blast in Chhattisgarh.

The Maoists triggered a landmine blast, which caused deaths of the security personnel. The incident occurred in Sukma district. The Maoists also looted the weapons and managed to escape.

Yet, the news of this ambush didn't stir Indian media. It was Uttar Pradesh election that was important, and hence the news didn't have much interest for media personnel.

Besides, the suspects were Maoists and the incident was in rural part of Chhattisgarh. Hence, no TRP and no interest. Neither there was any discussion about the 'dalam' involved, its leaders or their names.

Those killed included one inspector, two sub-inspectors, one head-constable and eight constables. There were no mention of the names of these martyrs in national media. No sympathy or candle light vigil or even tributes.

No reporters visited the families of these martyrs or raised questions about whether VIPs even attended funerals or not, how much compensation was announced and how martyrs' families would not lead their lives.

Political parties didn't say much. There were customary condolence messages but no protests or demonstrations. Even Opposition parties were silent--no demand for CM's resignation or even statements about poor law-and-order situation.

In the newspapers next day, it was carried but not as lead or as a major national news. Indian Express carried it in a single column. Hindustan Times probably didn't carry the report at all. At least, I couldn't find it even in brief.

A day later, most papers didn't even carry a follow-up. This is unlike the recent incident in Lucknow where a terror suspect was gunned down and it dominated prime time news. Saifullah was not accused of any killing.

Yet, the encounter made headlines and was telecast live. In sharp contrast, the biggest militant attack on security personnel, got little coverage. Online too, the few papers that carried the story, had plain coverage, based on agency reports.

Most of the headlines avoided even words like Terror or Militancy. Rather, the headlines were like, 'cops ambushed' or 'Naxal attack'. But that's a story which continues forever. That's what our media is all about. [Photo: Raipur edition of Dainik Bhaskar on March 12]

English media stories: LINK 1, Link 2, Link 3

BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh: How much media contributed to the wave?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has swept the Assembly election. The scale of victory has been unprecedented.

BJP and its allies won 325 seats out of 403. That's more than 3/4th majority.

BJP alone got 312 seats. SP got just 47 seats, BSP 19 and Congress 7.

Clearly, the credit goes to BJP poll managers. You have to give it to them.

The party managed to win the State. Even exit polls didn't predict such a tsunami. Even though journalists were saying that there is no wave, in the end BJP decimated the entire opposition.

Even if there was an under-current, nothing was visible. How? It seems media helped create the wave. Till a few days before polling, SP was dominating the headlines because of the family feud.

But, as election dates came closer, there was a sudden media attention towards BJP. Local Hindi media, which is known for its pro-BJP stand, began saying that the BJP was very much in the fray.

Soon, channels were now reporting that BJP was all set to gain ground. Dainik Jagran published an opinion poll even though it violated guidelines, to suggest that BJP was ahead in the election.

This was planned strategy. Steadily this created an impression that BJP was not a spoiler but a major player. Now, round the clock, TV channels began focusing on BJP. BJP supporters were interviewed and this was aired.

With news channels beaming it day and night, there was an impression that BJP was the party that was heading forward. Voters were probably not happy with SP-Congress coalition, BSP had failed to gauge the public mood.

Hence, BJP was surging ahead. Media helped the party gain momentum. Perhaps, this resulted in the situation that finally a wave was created. The voter is not a fool but he/she doesn't waste vote of losing party.

There is impact when they hear that a party is winning. And, the fence-sitters too decide that they would vote. It's a trend. And this probably happened in Uttar Pradesh. Media has an impact on public mind.

Still, you have to give due credit to BJP. They had an eye on non-Yadav OBC vote. They managed to wean out sections of Dalits too. And when it comes to media strategy, they are far ahead of other parties.

Not just mainstream media, social media plays an even more important role. With WhatsApp and Facebook reaching tens of millions in India, and the party's IT cell light years ahead of other outfits in spreading their message, one can imagine the impact of social media on the voters in UP.

Friday, March 10, 2017

NewsBits.in: News website that covers real issues, reports from Central India

Media's role is to inform the people and expose the faults in the system.

Free press that practices responsible journalism is essential for any democracy.

It helps keep checks and balances, puts politicians and bureaucrats in check, while keeping an eye on implementation of schemes and coming up with insights that help us understand the complexities and realities of our society.

In the last few years, journalism has undergone a revolutionary change. On one hand newspapers are said to be dying because of lack of readers--the situation is critical in Western countries.

On the other hand, New Media has emerged and has posed a challenge to the traditional media. Thirdly, social media has also come up as a formidable source of information and misinformation.

In this situation when media groups resort to click-baits to get hits and increase their traffic, we need hard journalism, going to the ground, reporting about issues that may not garner traffic but will reveal the situation of rural India, the healthcare system and the corruption in bureaucracy.

NewsBits is relatively new. It is about to complete a year. But it has carved a niche for itself as an independent news media from Central India--Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Vidarbha. As media industry continues to evolve and is coming to terms with the growth of social media, it is necessary that fair and ethical journalism has its place in the society.

LINK to the Website. www.NewsBits.in

Truth of Casteism: People claim they are anti-caste but marry within their caste, this is casteism too

Caste plays a vital role in a person's life in India.

In a way, it like religion or gender, though some might disagree.

You may convert to another religion but can you change your caste?

It is not just Hindus, but Muslims and Christians too practice casteism in India.

This cartoon sums up the attitude towards caste in the country.

Everyone you meet keeps saying that 'caste is bad' and the 'caste system hurt India'.

In fact, many even go to the extent of saying that in 21st century, caste is meaningless.

But that's far from truth. Caste is a harsh reality in India.

This cartoon sums it up well. People do claim that they are against caste system and claim that they have never practiced it. But when it comes to marriage, they search for the partner belonging to the same caste.

The fact is that if you search for your partner from the same caste, you are also practicing casteism. You are promoting it, continuing it now and you can't say that you are anti-caste. You may justify but the reality is what it is.

Even in colleges, these days, many youngsters 'fall in love' after identifying person of their own caste. Yes, that's true. Some give the reason that they have to marry the person later and they don't want to irk their parents in old age.

There are several other similar things that are said to justify marriage and love within the caste. Like, 'same culture', 'it will be easy as our traditions are same' and 'lack of opposition from relatives'. But in in the end, it is about  your belief in the caste and practicing casteism. 

Yasin Pathan's drive to save ancient temples in India: Communal Harmony Project-35

For over four decades, a Muslim man has been trying to save the ancient temples in India.

These temples, many of them are centuries old, lacked upkeep and as a result they were falling apart.

Pathan's initiative has resulted in 34 major temples taken over by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and hence they became protected monuments, reports journalist Koushik Dutta in Hindustan Times.

He had begun the campaign in 1970s when he saw the condition of ancient Siva and Vishnu temples in Pathra town in West Bengal. The 'Save the Temples' campaign began, since then.

There was no effort on part of government to conserve the old temples. “These temples form a part of our heritage, and I am just doing my small bit to protect them for the next generation,” says Pathan.

At a time when instances of religious intolerance are reported from different parts of the country, a 66-year-old Muslim is championing the cause of communal harmony by leading a movement to preserve temples.

Retired school peon Yasin Pathan started the ‘Save the Temples’ initiative in the 1970s with an aim to protect the 18 th century Shiva and Vishnu temples in West Bengal’s Pathra village.

"The 66-year-old man kept writing to officials concerned in an attempt to draw their attention towards the temple’s depleting condition.

The ASI eventually carried out `4-crore worth of preservation work on few of the temples in 2013", the report further says. The complete report is available at this LINK.

Photo Courtesy: Samir Mondal

[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now.

This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project]

#Communalharmony #Communalharmonyproject #India

Thursday, March 09, 2017

India's most wanted terrorists: Wanted for over 100 deaths but why no one utters their names?

They are India's most wanted terrorists. They have been involved in nearly half-a-dozen terror strikes.

Over 100 persons including women and children, died in those terror attacks.

Yet, no one talks about them. Media won't show their photographs or term them as 'dreaded terrorists'.

Several agencies including state police units, ATS teams, NIA and CBI have been on their hunt. They have been on Interpol's list watch-list too.

Due to failure of investigating agencies to arrest them, the cases in which they are main accused, have got weakened. Yet, these most wanted terrorists are never talked about in Indian media.

They are Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangra and Amit Chauhan. They have been involved in four major terrorism cases apart from suspected involvement in some other acts.

READ: Engineering graduate, contractor who became India's most wanted bombers

For years, they have been absconding. It is speculated that they were in hiding in Nepal. There have also been occasional claims that they were dead or fears that they were 'eliminated'.

But, unlike other criminals whose faces are shown on TV channels on a regular basis, these most wanted aren't shown to the public. Is it because the image of terrorist created in public mind, will change?

They are involved in Ajmer Dargah Blast, Mecca Masjid Hyderabad blast case, Malegaon Blast Cases (Twice), Samjhauta Express terror attack and Modasa blast (the last case has been closed).

For more information, you can find it on NIA's website or from Interpol. Anyone who has information about there whereabouts can inform the agencies and help NIA, law-enforcers in India.

Indian Media credibility hits a new low: Sympathies towards right-wing terrorists exposed after Ajmer blast conviction

The biases of Indian media were revealed on their front pages on March 9.

Two days ago, a suspected terrorist had been shot after an 'encounter' in Lucknow. The papers had the follow-up.

Also, in the Ajmer Dargah terrorist attack, a court had delivered judgment on March 8, convicting three persons (one of them dead) while acquitting others.

What was the difference in the cases? While the Lucknow incident was splashed and most TV channels termed him 'aatanki', those convicted in the Ajmer case were not termed 'aatanki'.

This is despite the fact that the latter were held guilty by a court. They were guilty of bomb blasts at a shrine that was revered by Hindus and Muslims equally, and several people had died in the blasts.

However, these persons--Devendra Gupta, an RSS pracharak, Sunil Joshi (dead) who was also an RSS pracharak and Bhavesh Gupta, were not termed either extremist or militant. Not much was told about the accused and their role.

READ: RSS' long-term functionaries convicted in Ajmer terror strike

However, on TV channels round the clock, the Lucknow suspect was termed 'aatanki' though there was no case or even trial, and he was shot dead in the encounter. Every terror suspect has to be dealt with sternly.

If he was involved in terror and wasn't shot, everyone would still demand punishment through legal process. But is that fair that those held guilty by law of involvement in terror, are not termed 'terrorists'.

What stops you? What kind of sympathy is that? The papers the next day had called him a terrorist and the story was carried on front page and on inside pages too. But the important judgement in Ajmer blast case got little attention.

If, at all, the papers carried report, it was about Aseemanand's acquittal, not about those who were convicted. They were not termed terrorists despite their conviction in a terror case. Clearly, it showed how media didn't take the case seriously at all.

Many Delhi-based national papers carried the news in a single column. For most Hindi papers, it was about Aseemanand's acquittal though he had earlier given his confession under section 164 before a magistrate and it couldn't be retracted.

However, all these facts mattered little to media. TV channels' role was worse. While Saifullah's death was turned into a tamasha and the encounter was shown live, the questions raised were not given due attention.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

RSS' long-term functionaries convicted for Terrorism: Court holds three right-wing terrorists guilty of Ajmer Dargah blast

In a major decision, a special court has pronounced judgment in the Ajmer Dargah blast.

While Swami Asimanand and six others have been acquitted, three have been held guilty for the terror attack on the famous shrine.

They include--Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi. This is not the first case in which right-wing extremists have been sentenced for bomb blasts or terrorism.

But it is important in the sense that those accused were not mere RSS members but its functionaries--holding posts of pracharaks. Devendra Gupta was RSS pracharak. Also, Sunil Joshi who died many year ago, was a Sanch pracharak.

In the past, when Sangh members were arrested or convicted, it was mentioned that RSS didn't keep record of its members and anyone was free to come or go. Sangh maintained that it was not responsible for activities of those persons.

But Gupta and Joshi held posts in the RSS. Bhavesh Patel also had right-wing links. They may have been removed from the posts later, but they had been given duties for years to work in different states as pracharaks.

Hence, this case is important as far as Hindutva terror or right-wing terrorism in the country are concerned. Ajmer Dargah is among the most revered shrines in Asia, and is frequented by both Hindus and Muslims.

Apart from Ajmer Dargah blast, the right-wing terror attacks were made at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, on Samjhauta Express train, in Modasa town and twice in Malegaon in Maharashtra. There were some other minor attacks too.

Monday, March 06, 2017

RSS forced to sack its leader for owning up killing 2,000 Muslims in post-Godhra massacre in Gujarat!

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Kundan Chandrawat publicly boasted about killing 2,000 Muslims during the Gujarat massacre.

While offering Rs 1 crore [10 million] to anyone who beheaded Kerala Chief Minister's head, Chandrawat reminded the audience that 2,000 Muslims were killed in post-Godhra attacks.

"Bhool gaye kya Godhra ko...56 maare the 2000 qabristan mein chale gaye....ghusa diye unko andar...", he said in the speech, which was recorded and is available online too.

[Translation: Did you forget Godhra. 56 were killed, we sent 2,000 to grave yard, got them buried deep]

This is the first-even open acknowledgment in public by an RSS leader.

In the past, there have been oblique references and Babu Bajrangi's statement that was recorded in a sting operations. Many others termed it as reaction.

What is this mindset? If RSS claims to be a patriotic organisation, how can it have in its ranks people who express pride in killing thousands of their own countrymen? No one questioned RSS top leadership about it. No prime time coverage of this part of the speech.

But this was a public speech. And, Chandrawat is an RSS leader who was holding the post of Mahangar Prachar Pramukh in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Though he later expressed apology for the inflammatory speech, action was taken.

Not just RSS sacked him from the post, the local police also registered a case. It is rare because in a BJP ruled state, even low-level office-bearers of ABVP or Bajrang Dal don't get cases registered against them prominently.

So what was the reason? The fact that he publicly claimed and boasted about killings. Talking as an RSS leader, not just talking about beheading a democratically elected chief minister but also threatening to kill 3,00,000.

VIDEO: Kundan Chandrawat's speech about killing of 2000 Muslims
In the same speech, he said that 300 people were killed by Communist [SFI] cadre in Kerala and this would be avenged by killing 3 lakh [3,00,000]. Unlike an ordinary shakha worker, who can be disowned by saying that he was not a member, Chandrawat couldn't be disowned.

He was holding a post. Perhaps, this was the reason that action was taken against Chandrawat. The Sangh leader works in the Malaria department in Ujjain. His statement is not something that can be ignored.

While the part of his speech where he said, "Vijayan ka sar kaat ke la de koi mujhe...' [Someone cut Vijayan's head and get it for me", made headlines, the other aspect--acknowledging the role in post-Godhra killings hasn't got the same coverage.

Has there been any denial by any senior functionary? Was any RSS official including Sarsanghchalak asked by mediamen about reaction on this claim? There is lot of silence around. But Chandrawat has said, and it is on record, now.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Female Foeticide in India: MP village had no baby girl for decades, they were killed at birth

For decades, no girl child was allowed to be born. They were mostly killed at birth.

Finally, after 40 years, a girl born here is getting married.

While it's a welcome news, it also shows how rampant has been the killing of girl child in India.

This report tells us that villagers did not allow a girl child to survive.

A conspiracy of silence ensured no one complained to authorities, as every family was guilty, reports Shruti Tomar.

The situation started changing slightly after 2005. However, villagers are touchy about the subject. The girl Arti Gurjar is getting married this year.

People are excited as many never saw a girl's marriage and the rituals here. Such was the situation in Gumara that villagers didn’t allow any pregnant lady to come in contact with a woman who had given birth to a girl child.

READMP village infamous for foeticide to marry off daughter after 40 years

The women in this village were scared of chuna (lime), milk and tobacco while delivering a baby, because if a girl child was born, these items were used to kill her.

"I gave birth to a girl child 20 years ago, the family members didn’t dare to kill the girl child, but they forced me not to provide any food and care to her. My daughter died of starvation", says a woman.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Open letter requesting Union ministers to conduct NEET in Urdu, save future of thousands of students

Tens of thousand of students may not be able to appear in NEET.

Those who are facing this strange situation are students of Urdu medium.

While NEET is conducted in ten languages and even though very few students appear through these languages, they are included.

Recently, two languages were added but Urdu has not been included.

The CBSE conducts the examination for admission in Medical colleges. Around 50,000 Urdu medium students from different states are supposed to appear in NEET.

Surprisingly, CBSE hasn't shown any concern towards these students. Shouldn't our ministers show concern for these students? While the case is in the court and hence it may take some more time, shouldn't the government realize the students' difficulties.

The discrimination is costing students their future. We request the CBSE to stop being rigid and allow Urdu medium students to appear. Hope, ministers will understand the gravity of the situation.

READ: THE DEMAND TO HOLD NEET IN URDU

Apart from Maharashtra, students from Karnataka, Telangana and some other states have also studied in school [junior college] in Urdu medium and for them it is a big shock that Urdu medium has been excluded.

The CBSE is condcuting the examination in Hindi, English apart from Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, Kannada, Assamese and Bangla. The option of Urdu is not being kept despite substantial number of students.

READ: INJUSTICE WITH URDU MEDIUM STUDENTS

The petition in the court has sought that ministry of health and family welfare & CBSE be asked to allow Urdu too and students who want question paper in Urdu, must get it.

We urge Honorable Ministers Mr JP Nadda and Mr Prakash Javdekar to redress it, and include Urdu in NEET. Hope Honourable ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MJ Akbar will intervene and speak to ministers concerned and resolve the issue.

---SHAMS UR REHMAN ALAVI

Friday, February 24, 2017

AIMIM Arrival Increases Muslim representation in Mumbai Municipal Corporation: The 'Votes Will Split' Theory Demolished

It was repeatedly being said that AIMIM's entry would hurt Muslim representation as the community's votes would further be divided.

But, on the contrary, the representation of Muslims has gone up in a big way in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the results of which have been announced.

There were 23 Muslim corporators in BMC in the last corporation. After AIMIM's entry, the figure has gone up to 28.

That's a sharp increase in Muslim presence in the corporation in India's biggest city.

Some news reports said that 31 Muslims won LINK. However, the figure seems to be 28, now. Muslim population in Mumbai is nearly 19%.

The representation was earlier 10%. Now, it has gone up to 12.3%. Surprisingly, even Shiv Sena's two Muslim candidates won the election.

Congress and NCP have fared badly. Yet, it is their Muslim candidates who had far better winning rate.

MIM could win just three seats though it performed much better in Amravati and Solapur civic bodies.

Clearly, the myth about split in votes that had kept Muslims worried for years, has been broken--at least in Mumbai.

In fact, the results again show that Congress and other parties were not giving adequate tickets to Muslims, and were unable to even shift their non-Muslim votes for Muslim candidates. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Election Commission urged to ban Tarek Fatah's programme on Zee News: 'Inflammatory statements aimed at polarizing voters ahead of UP polls'

TV channel Zee News is facing flak from Muslim groups for regularly inviting Tarek Fatah, a Pakistani-Canadian who is critical of Islam and Muslims.

Rashtriya Ulama Council (RUC), a UP-based political outfit has now made a formal complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Terming him as an instrument of agencies who want to sow seeds of communal discord in the society and spreading hate among religious communities, the RUC has urged ECI to ban 'Fatah Ka Fatwa' programme.

"Just when five states are going to polls, the programme where Fatah insults Islamic figures, consistently targets Islam, tries to provoke people and uses inflammatory language, is being aired".

"The programme Fateh Ka Fatwa should be stopped in national interest", says RUC.

"It seems a conspiracy that Fatah would be allowed to air his inflammatory comments on a regular basis. These comments hurt crores of people, also poison the minds of rest of the society and lead to communal disharmony", the representation reads.

"Freedom of expression doesn't mean freedom to hurt sentiments and such statements that intend to divide the society on communal lines. It is a clear attempt to polarize voters on the eve of the crucial state assembly elections", the RUC has said.

What makes Tarek Fatah a favourite for right-wing in India? Though a Pakistani, Fateh has been living in Canada. He has earlier said that he wished to see India divided. Yet, right-wing seems to be in love with him.

The reason is apparently his diatribe against Islam and Muslims. Of late, a campaign has also begun on social media--to unsubscribe Zee News and write to Asian Paints that sponsors the 'Fatah Ka Fatwa' programme.

For example, see this petition addressed to KBS Anand, the managing director and CEO of Asian Paints, urging him to stop sponsoring the programme. There are several other campaigns on social media, against Zee News and Tarek Fatah, these days. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Casteist campaign: Dainik Bhaskar faces flak for targeting Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati in its hoardings in poll-bound UP

Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar is facing criticism for its promotional campaign.

Just when UP elections are round the corner, it has come up with these hoardings.

Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Misa Bharti has also objected to it, in her tweet.

She wrote, 'Surrogate advertising for BJP in worst possible manner by a media house, the casteist way!'.

The hoardings target two leaders, two caste groups and two parties.

Hence, there is outrage. There is no mention of BJP that is also an important party in UP.

Hence, there has been a visible anger. Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and BSP's Mayawati are being attacked here.

It is like Dainik Bhaskar would bring the change, and you will no longer hear or read about these politicians! Is Bhaskar contesting election or it wants to drop covering SP-BSP. The same group, Dainik Bhaskar, had got CM Akhilesh Yadav to inaugurate the Bhaskar website?

READ: ROLE OF DAINIK BHASKAR IN TURNING 'AAROPI' INTO 'AATANKI'

The hidden biases are very clear, when BJP is not even named.

The hoardings don't at all talk about BJP's communal campaigns for years--from the era of Temple movement till recent communal speeches of its leaders, or from its numerous efforts to stoke communal passions, right from Kashi to Kairana in recent years.

Dainik Bhaskar is not known for fair journalism. For years, it has played the role of 'judge, jury and executioner'. Though it claims to have highest circulation among newspapers [Jagran also makes similar claim], it has very low credibility.

READ: TURNING CITIZEN INTO 'TERRORIST' WITHOUT TRIAL IN COURT

For those who can't read Hindi script, one of the hoarding says, 'Na Daliton ki Rani, Na Yadav ki kahani'. The other billboard has the line, 'Na Maya ka jaal, Na Akhilesh ka klesh'. There have been protests against these advertisements, complaint to DM, Election Commission and complaint to police too.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Firing in Quebec city mosque in Canada leaves 5 Muslims dead: Growing Islamophobia

In an extremely sad news, gunmen have reportedly fired at a mosque in North America.

The incident occurred in Quebec in Canada.

Five persons have been feared dead in the attack.

Two persons have been arrested for the shooting, reports said.

The killings have taken place just after Donald Trump ordered ban on Muslims from several countries.

It suggests that racists have got emboldened after the US elections.

Later reports suggested that six persons were killed in the attack. News reports said that two suspects were held for the shootings.

UPDATE

The killer was identified as Alexandre Bissonnette, a youth with far-right views. Now he has been charged with six murders.

But will it be called Terrorism. Isn't it White Terrorism or Racist Terrorism or White supremacist Terror?

Till now, when a man even commits massacre in the West and is White, he is termed as either 'lone wolf', 'gunman', 'shooter' et al.

Media never calls him terrorist. When identity is known--that the killer is White, even media reports say, 'his motive is not killer yet' though his racist or anti-Muslim views are known by then.

READ: QUEBEC MOSQUE KILLER IDENTIFIED AS ALEXANDRE  BISSONETTE 


Alexandre studied Political science and anthropology.

He is a fan of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who is known for her anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim stand in France.

On his Facebook page, he declared his admiration for her.

Ironically, such a tragic incident --the firing at mosque, took place in adjoining Canada that has opened its gates to immigrants.


READ: MOSQUE SHOOTER A FAN OF FRENCH RIGHT WING LEADER



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Seven IED blasts yet it was not termed Terrorism, national media pays no attention

Serial blasts rocked Assam on Republic Day.

The banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) is suspected to be behind the serial IED blasts.

Besides, there were blasts in Manipur too.

But did you hear about them?

Did you read the news in papers? There is little chance because TV channels didn't find it newsy enough.

National newspapers also ignored it. There were no front page reports. ULFA is a banned terror outfit. But when it is behind any explosion, its members are not called terrorists or even extremists.

The blasts are not termed as 'terror acts' either. The blasts took plcae in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Charaideo in Assam almost simultaneously, reports News 18.

CALL FOR BOYCOTT OF R-DAY!

"Militant groups had called for a boycott of Republic Day celebrations in the northeastern region", the report further said. Some other papers reported the news but it didn't become a 'breaking news' at all.

Doesn't it indicate failure of BJP-led government in Assam? Were there any questions raised on law-and-order situation in North Eastern state! Any panel discussions on why situation fails to improve in Assam.

Interestingly, 'terrorism' becomes 'insurgency' in media, though ULFA is responsible for maximum number of deaths due to terror in India. Take for example this PTI report carried in The Hindu. LINK

NARROW ESCAPE FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN

Times of India reported that, "A group of school children going for the Republic Day celebration at Dibrugarh had a miraculous escape when a bomb planted under a culvert exploded in front of them".

"In Manipur, the first explosion took place adjacent to the compound wall of a government college close to an Assam Rifles camp at Singjamei area in Imphal West. Another bomb went off near a CRPF camp at Mantripukhri a few minutes later", it further wrote.

SO MANY BANNED OUTFITS IN NORTH EAST CONTINUE TO OPERATE!

"At least seven militant outfits under the conglomerate of United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW) including Ulfa (I), NSCN (K) and Corcom of Manipur had called for a boycott the Republic Day celebration in the region", reported Times of India.

"Manipur Governor Najma Heptula unfurled the tri colour amid tight security arrangements at the historic Kangla fort. In Assam, the banned anti-talk Ulfa-I exploded seven low intensity bombs at four places to mark their protest on Republic Day", the paper further wrote.