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अल्पसंख्यक अधिकार और राज्य हिंसा

April 13, 2014

 अगर मैं नहीं जलता

अगर आप नहीं जलते 

हम लोग नहीं जलते

फिर अंधेरे में उजास कौन करेगा
- नाजिम हिकमत

1.
कुछ समय पहले एक अलग ढंग की किताब से मेरा साबिका पड़ा जिसका शीर्षक था ‘रायटर्स पुलिस’ जिसे ब्रुनो फुल्गिनी ने लिखा था। जनाब बुल्गिनी जिन्हें फ्रांसिसी संसद ने पुराने रेकार्ड की निगरानी के लिए रखा था, उसे अपने बोरियत भरे काम में अचानक किसी दिन खजाना हाथ लग गया जब दो सौ साल पुरानी पैरिस पुलिस की फाइलें वह खंगालने लगे। इन फाइलों में अपराधियों, राजनीतिक कार्यकर्ताओं के अलावा लेखकों एवं कलाकारों की दैनंदिन गतिविधियों का बारीकी से विवरण दिया गया था। जाहिर था कि 18 वीं सदी के उत्तरार्द्ध में महान लेखकों पर राजा की बारीकी निगरानी थी।

जाहिर है कि अन्दर से चरमरा रही हुकूमत की आन्तरिक सुरक्षा की हिफाजत में लगे लोगों को यह साफ पता था कि ये सभी अग्रणी कलमकार भले ही कहानियां लिख रहे हों, मगर कुलीनों एवं अभिजातों के जीवन के पाखण्ड पर उनका फोकस और आम लोगों के जीवनयापन के मसलों को लेकर उनके सरोकार मुल्क के अन्दर जारी उथलपुथल को तेज कर रहे हैं। उन्हें पता था कि उनकी यह रचनाएं एक तरह से बदलाव के लिए उत्प्रेरक का काम कर रही हैं। इतिहास इस बात का गवाह है कि कानून एवं सुरक्षा के रखवालों द्वारा विचारों के मुक्त प्रवाह पर बन्दिशें लगाने के लिए की जा रही वे तमाम कोशिशें बेकार साबित हुई और किस तरह सामने आयी फ्रांसिसी क्रान्ति दुनिया के विचारशील, इन्साफपसन्द लोगों के लिए उम्मीद की किरण बन कर सामने आयी।

या आप ‘अंकल टॉम्स केबिन’ या ‘लाईफ अमंग द लोली’ नामक गुलामी की प्रथा के खिलाफ अमेरिकी लेखिका हैरिएट बीचर स्टोव द्वारा लिखे गए उपन्यास को देखें। इसवी 1852 में प्रकाशित इस उपन्यास के बारे में कहा जाता है कि उसने अमेरिका के ‘‘गृहयुद्ध की जमीन तैयार की’। इस किताब की लोकप्रियता का अन्दाज इस बात से भी लगाया जा सकता है कि 19 वीं सदी का वह सबसे अधिक बिकनेवाला उपन्यास था। कहा जाता है कि अमेरिका के तत्कालीन राष्ट्रपति अब्राहम लिंकन, जिन्होंने गुलामी की प्रथा की समाप्ति के लिए चले गृहयुद्ध की अगुआई की, जब 1862 में पहली दफा हैरिएट बीचर स्टोव से मिले तो उन्होंने चकित होकर पूछा ‘‘ तो आप ही वह महिला जिन्होंने लिखे किताब ने इस महान युद्ध की नींव रखी।’ Read more…

Billboards and Booze – Celebrating Indian democracy: Sajan Venniyoor

April 12, 2014

Guest Post by SAJAN VENNIYOOR

What is the purpose of a political ad?

The page-killer print ad, the giant hoarding, the radio jingle and the TV spot do not serve to inform or educate the public, but only to impress them. These are peacock tails, gambling on the handicap principle that reliable signals must be costly to the signaler, and cannot be afforded by those with less worth. They are public displays of political virility, the media equivalent of a baboon’s red butt which signals the animal’s potency not just to the female but to the entire tribe.

BABOON

Appealing to a target audience

Last month, DNA newspaper reported that the Congress is ‘buying endless radio air time in Mumbai promoting the Rajiv Awaas Yojana, the UPA’s flagship housing scheme.’ Read more…

Some Myths About Muslims

April 12, 2014

Received via Shankar Gopalakrishnan

As the 2014 elections begin, the time has come again to state the obvious. In the context of massive propaganda campaigns, the subtle use of stereotypes, and the fact that both the Western and the Indian media share certain basic biases, many people end up believing in a range of myths about the adherents of the world’s second largest religion. This is a quick attempt at exposing those myths.

Myth: ‘Muslim’ countries are never secular. Muslims do not tolerate minorities in ‘their’ countries but demand minority rights in other countries.

The world’s largest Muslim majority country is Indonesia (total population approximately 25 crores, larger than Pakistan). Indonesia is a secular democracy. Indeed, its population is almost a mirror image of India’s – 88% Muslim, 9% Christian, 3% Hindu, 2% Buddhist, etc. (as compared to India, which has a population that is 80% Hindu, 13.4% Muslim, 2.3% Christian, etc.) Indonesia’s national slogan is “Unity in Diversity.” Yes, Indonesia has occasional riots and bomb blasts, but so does India.

In reality the majority of Muslim majority countries in the world are secular. Several large examples include Turkey, Mali, Syria, Niger, and Kazakhstan. Despite having Islam as ‘state religion’, Bangladesh’s government is also secular in law. The same is true of many other countries. Only six countries in the world claim to use Islam as the basis of their law making – and their total population is roughly the same as the population of Indonesia, Turkey and Kazakhstan combined. In other words, the vast majority of Muslim majority countries are secular, and the vast majority of Muslims live under secular governments.

Myth: Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims.

Read more…

Muslims Will Consider Supporting AAP, if it Offers Concrete Programme for Them: Jamaat-e-Islami

April 10, 2014

An Interview with the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Amir (National President) MAULANA JALALUDDIN OMARI conducted by MISHAB  IRIKKUR, MOHAMMAD RAGHIB and ABHAY KUMAR

Amid the talk of communal forces emerging stronger, India is going to polls. The fear of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is perhaps more felt by the Muslim minority than anyone else. The “secular” Congress—charged with corruption and misrule—does not seem much energetic and confident at this moment. At this crucial juncture what strategy should the largest religious minority community of the country adopt in the upcoming General and assembly elections? What are the options available for them? To learn about this and more, Mishab Irikkur, Mohammad Raghib and Abhay Kumar interacted with Maulana Jalaluddin Omari, the Amir (national president) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) last week at its New Delhi headquarter. The seventy-nine year old Amir–who is an Islamic scholar and author of dozens of books–spoke on a host of issues such as elections, politics, the social and economic problems of Muslims, reservation, framing of innocent Muslim youth on terror charges etc. The JIH—which came into existence soon after the Jamaat-e-Islami had split into two separate organisations at Partition–is one of the most influential Islamic organizations among Muslims that mainly does “intellectual” work and carries out welfare activities as well. The excerpts are as follows.

Amir_JIH_Omari

Amir_JIH_Omari

What are the major concerns of Muslims ahead of the upcoming elections?

Omari: Our Constitution does not discriminate any citizen on the basis of caste, colour, religion, region, sex etc. It has also given minorities some special rights related to their personal laws and culture. Muslims, therefore, should vote to power those forces, which are committed to upholding democracy, secularism and the principles of Indian Constitution. At the same time we should defeat the parties which are opposed to diversity. The very language of cultural assimilation is a threat to the spirit of our Constitution and interests of people. Read more…

Bombers for a Cause ?

April 10, 2014

Bombs always make news – even when they do not explode.

Terrorists of various stripes as well as criminals know it very well. And they time their actions accordingly.

Bombs – even if they do not explode – or even when they cause symbolic damage have an added traction for the politicos of the right. They pay rich dividends.

It is one of the easiest things to stigmatise, terrorise a community, a people. In an ambience where all such anti-human acts are projected as handiwork of the ‘other’ it takes very less time to polarise the ‘us’. It is common knowledge that the vitiation of atmosphere is so immediate and complete that all talk of harmony and composite heritage can just evaporate in a fraction of a second and the saner elements within can suddenly find themselves on the margins.

Kagal, a town in Kolhapur district, was witness to such an incident, where the police discovered a bomb making factory in the Lakshmi Hill near MIDC area. The culprits involved in this action could be nabbed before they could ‘operationalise their bomb’.

The gravity of the situation could be understood by the fact that police could bust this criminal module on the eve of Narendra Modi’s proposed rally in that area. It has arrested four youths who were involved in the operation. While Ajinkya Manohar Bhopade(22) and Aniket Bhivaji Mali(22) belong to Chokak village in Hatkananagale, Nilesh Babanrao Patil (20) is from Male Mudshingi, in Hatkanangale and Anil Popat Kharase (26) hail from Kabnur-Ichalkaranji in Hatkanangale. Patil and Kharase supplied material for bomb making and Bhopade – who has a diploma in electronics and Mali – who works as wireman have been arrested for making bombs. Read more…

If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em: Ayesha Kidwai

April 8, 2014

AYESHA KIDWAI on FeministsIndia

Ayesha Kidwai on the need for Left-Secular people to take sexual harassment seriously when it comes home to “us”.

The burning question is why Mustafa and Joseph have done this? Are they misogynistic ‘supporters’ of Tejpal or fearless worshippers of fact and intrepid journalism? While the latter question may be good for an author’s self-image, and the former one can be dismissed as presupposing too tidy a critique, the real issue is a general failure amongst the professionals to come up with an adequate response to what the changed mood in the middle class demands. Mustafa and Joseph’s failures are just repeats of ones that we have witnessed over and over again, and each profession has plunged into a crisis when a colleague has been accused: How does a ‘senior’ professional approach the fact that some young woman has gone and complained about something that wasn’t even a grievance just a few years ago? After all, it is ”her’ word against ‘his’ and we know him; and while he may have his faults, he has done so many good things, and he is above all, secular. In any case, why are these outsiders, this “bunch of feminists” getting so involved in these matters (which are always so stippled with grey when seen from our side)?

For an outsider feminist like me, the answer is obvious: no one but this bunch knows what to do when a complaint is made from within one’s own kind. When the complaints have been made from within academia or within the judiciary, it is this bunch that has fought for them to be addressed, protested and thwarted the misuse of hierarchical power and its machinery of slander and intimidation, and reminded their professions that the ideal of equality must first be expressed in the creation of conditions conducive to its access. In doing so, they have imbued the phrase “let the law  take its own course” with substantive meaning.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Know Your NaMo

April 7, 2014

Not very many people – living outside Gujarat – know that Narendra Modi, the Parivar’s ‘PM in waiting’ also happens to be a ‘passionate writer, poet and a lover of culture..’ and how ‘[d]espite his busy, .. schedule, ..devotes time to ..writing, interacting with people on social media etc.’ (www.narendramodi.in) We are also told that he has been writing ‘since he was young.’

Let me admit at the outset that this poor penpusher was rather unaware of Modi’s writing prowess apart from one of his initial attempts to pen a book called ‘Karmyog’ which had miserably backfired. It was basically a collection of his speeches to IAS aspirants and had to be withdrawn rather unceremoniously as it ‘glorified untouchability’. (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/true-lies/entry/modi-s-spiritual-potion-to-woo-karmayogis).

Coming back to Mr Modi’s writing skills recently I came across a series called ‘Modi and His Mentors’ (www.firstpost.com) where the would be PM of this country has talked about many of those people who impacted his life in very many ways. Read more…

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