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#211 [Permalink] Posted on 16th January 2018 10:09
VHP leader Pravin Togadiya, who was found unconscious at a Ahmedabad hospital after going 'missing' , breaks down during press conference, says 'conspiracies hatched for my encounter'

m.youtube.com/watch?v=7qDAfCmOIEk
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#212 [Permalink] Posted on 17th January 2018 06:58
GANDHINAGAR: A day after he reappeared from his brief disappearance, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s international working president Pravin Togadia on Tuesday expressed the possibility that he may be killed.

Togadia was found unconscious in a hospital in Shahibagh locality in Ahmedabad late on Monday after being reported missing in the day earlier.

“I am being targeted for a decade old case, there is an attempt to suppress my voice. Rajasthan Police team came to arrest me. Someone told me the plan was to kill,” Togadia said at a press conference in Ahmedabad.

Togadia said Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria assured him on the day that there was no police action underway against him.

“They told me ‘they have not sent any police’ and that ‘if something like this would be happening we would have known it’… When I realised the CM and Home Minister are denying the police action, I switched off all my mobile phone so that my location could not be traced…. later I got to know that they (police) have come with an arrest warrant,” he said.

On Monday, Togadia was brought by people to a private Chandra Mani hospital in an unconscious state, which the doctors claimed was caused by low level of sugar.
Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Crime Branch said it constituted a special team to look for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader who went missing amid allegations that the Rajasthan Police took him away.
www.siasat.com/news/people-come-kill-claims-pravin-togadi...
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#213 [Permalink] Posted on 17th January 2018 19:40
Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS)

The fine line of distinction between the Sanghi Thugs and the Sanghi Judges has vanished. . .and these Sanghi Judges pose a bigger threat to the Constitution than the Sanghi Thugs themselves.

Our democracy is in greater peril than what is made out to be!!
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#214 [Permalink] Posted on 18th January 2018 10:42
VHP leader Pravin Togadia accused Modi of conspiring with the Ahmedabad Crime Branch to harass him and VHP supporters.
“J K Bhatt (Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner, Crime Branch) has begun hatching a conspiracy against me and harassing our nationalist workers at the behest of political bosses in Delhia. In the last 15 days, how many times has Bhatt spoken with the PM? Their call details must be made public,” Togadia, Acting President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, told reporters in Ahmedabad after his discharge from a private hospital in the evening.
Togadia, who was once known to be close to Modi, was referring to Bhatt’s press conference on Tuesday where he presented police investigation details to show that the VHP leader’s story - that he had fallen unconsciousand was admitted to a private hospital -- was all made-up.
www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pravin-togadia-alleges-...
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#215 [Permalink] Posted on 18th January 2018 10:43
Patidar leader Hardik Patel has come out in support of Pravin Togadia, agreeing with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader's contention that there are factions within the BJP that are targeting him.
"I don't agree with Togadia on a number of issues, but on this topic, we are as one. Everybody knows the conspiracy being run under Amit bhai and Narendra bhai. It's a known secret that the RSS is against Pravin Togadia," Patel said on Tuesday.
www.firstpost.com/india/pravin-togadia-victim-of-amit-sha...
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#216 [Permalink] Posted on 18th January 2018 10:58
The Shiv Sena on Thursday latched on to VHP leader Pravin Togadia’s claim of a plot to kill him to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

The BJP’s bickering ally, which has been regularly criticising the Modi government on a host of issues, asked the two leaders to clarify Togadia’s stunning claim.

“When pro-Hindutva people in India have to fear for their lives, Modi and Amit Shah should come out and clarify. After the new (BJP-led) government came to power, voices of many, including L K Advani, have been stifled,” the Sena alleged in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party said it remained to be seen what “title” is given to the 62-year-old international working president of the VHP after he alleged there was a conspiracy to silence him.

“Togadia has levelled a string of allegations against the prime minister. When four senior SC judges came out and revealed the interference (of the Centre) in the judiciary, they were termed anti-nationals and agents of the Congress. It remains to be seen what title is given to Pravin Togadia now,” the Marathi daily read.

The Sena claimed attempts have been made in the past to “stifle” the voice of the party, an old ally of the BJP, using power and threats. The Sena organ said it was surprising that a leader like Togadia, who is known for giving fiery speeches, was in tears and fearing for his life.

“Hindutva mascots Veer Savarkar and Balasaheb Thackeray (the Sena founder) never shed tears or exhibited their helplessness. It is sad that Togadia, seen as a Hindutva mascot, is in a condition where he has to shed tears,” the editorial read.

The Sena sought to know if “murderers”..........
indianexpress.com/article/india/shiv-sena-asks-pm-modi-am...
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#217 [Permalink] Posted on 18th January 2018 12:09
Is the Central government quietly planning another round of demonetisation? A large number of people believe the Rs 2,000 note will be scrapped. Now the talk has reached Parliament too.
The Opposition in Rajya Sabha today asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to clarify whether the government has decided to scrap the newly launched Rs 2,000 note. However, Jaitley did not respond even as many Opposition members insisted for clarification from him.

Recent weeks have seen a shortage of Rs 2,000 notes which many attribute to hoarding. Cash, especially black money, is easier to hoard in Rs 2,000 notes as notes of lower denominations need more space.
Also, most people find the note cumbersome as it is not easy to change.

The supply of Rs 2,000 notes from the RBI has declined.There might be a deliberate plan to limit the supply of these notes. The RBI rushed to print Rs 2,000 notes immediately after demonetisation was announced in November last year and that supply may have reached a level that the central bank is not comfortable with now. This may be a conscious strategy to curb the new supply of high-value notes and print more low-value notes.

There are reports that the Reserve Bank of India has stopped printing the Rs 2,000 currency notes altogether and will not be bringing new notes in the current financial year.

What has further fuelled rumours of another round of demonetisation is the government launching Rs 200 note. With more Rs 200 and Rs 500 notes in circulation, the common people will not be impacted much by a ban on the Rs 2,000 note. The ban will be an effective step against black cash as demonetisation of Rs 2,000 currency note will hit hoarders more than the masses.

Rs 2,000 note had an important purpose when it was launched after demonetisation in November 2016. It was meant to ease the shortage of money supply. Now there is no such need.

If the government plans to increase supply of lower denomination notes such as Rs 500 and Rs 200 and restrict supply of Rs 2,000 note, it is quite possible that these steps would lead to demonetisation of Rs 2,000 note
economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/demoneti...
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#218 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd January 2018 05:00
PM Narendra Modi at Davos


India's Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum at Davos tomorrow.

The Forbes has gone gag over it. Here.

For the beleaguered minorities of India in general and Muslims in particular this is another new low. So far the world at large was taking a rather objective view of the PM but now it looks like some manufactured euphoria. Let us have a look at some of the points made in above article.
Quote:

Who Is Narendra Modi? India's Controversial Prime Minister May Offer A Role Model For Donald Trump [/quote]

Believe it or not above is the title of the article. This luckily would fall on the critical side of the PM.

Quote:
Riding high on unprecedented polling numbers and rapid economic growth, India's controversial Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give the keynote address at the opening session of the 48th annual World Economic Forum (WEF) this Tuesday. The WEF is the annual meeting of the world's great, good, or just plain rich held every January in Davos, Switzerland.[/quote]

This is where we are on the neutral grounds still. But the dark clouds are looming large already on the horizon. The former Marxists type people were never happy with unashamedly capitalist forum called WEC - the World Economic Forum, but they were the sort of lone dissenting voice. The world celebrated the economic growth and wealth. WEC is celebration of not only degenerate capitalism but of materialism in general.

Such a forum giving a thumbs up for the PM tells a myriad stories. For one the western materialist, capitalism world has forgotten about the plight of Indian Muslims and other minorities including the Christians and endorsed him en masse. It is shameful that they have decided to give a cold shoulder to the Muslim plight in India but that they are doing the same to the Christians here betrays another wretched reality - if the Christians are the former so called low castes of India then they be fluffy teddy bear without eyesed. Shameful indeed.
Quote:

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is the star attraction. His American counterpart Donald Trump may or may not make it to Davos, due to the U.S. government shutdown. If he does go, the Swiss locals may not make him feel very welcome, even if the WEF grandees can't very well turn him down. Modi, by contrast, is very much the man of the moment.[/quote]

We get a glimpse into legalization of the image of the PM in this paragraph. It is happening now and here.

Quote:
International relations weren't always so smooth for Modi, who in 2005 as Chief Minister of India's Gujarat state had his U.S. visa revoked and was denied permission to enter the country. The reason? He was allegedly implicated in fomenting (or at least failing to contain and condemn) inter-ethnic riots in 2002 that resulted in more than 1000 deaths. Think of it as "India's Charlottesville," only much, much worse.[/quote]
This is factual. When factual content is mixed with praise then one can see legitimization of a controversial figure in front of one's eyes.

One might try to do a fine distinction between Forbes' writer and the WEC and say that it is the attitude of WEC that is changing and not of the Forbes' writer. Unfortunately the end result is the same.
Quote:

In 2014, Modi was elected India's Prime Minister with just over half the seats in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India's parliament), but less than one-third of the popular vote. India's first Twitter Prime Minister is widely reviled among the country's bickering intellectual elite. Modi, who rose from humble origins as a grocer's son, has been ridiculed as an uneducated chaiwala (tea seller), a label he has since embraced with pride.[/quote]
The critics are trashed in this paragraph as bickering intellectual elite.
And the tea seller image has been turned for his full advantage.
The critics get the face pie for it.
[quote]
Political pundits dismissed him as a knee-jerk populist who came to power by making simplistic promises of national revival. Modi stands accused of dog-whistle politics, endangering the nearly 40% of India's population that belongs to religious, ethnic or regional minorities. He is regularly condemned as dangerous, a strongman, and a dictator by Indian and Western elites.

Here we see the subterfuge of the author in full view and from here onwards it will be full decline.
The paragraph is not an assessment of the PM but a prelude to the demolition of the assessment.
[quote]And he is a huge success, both economically and politically. The economy is booming, and Narendra Modi is the most popular Indian leader since Mahatma Gandhi, both inside and outside the country. Now a little more than midway through his five-year term, his job approval rating stands at 88%. If he really has oppressed 40% of the population, they must not be aware of it.

This too is an assessment.
Yet opposite to the other one.
If the order of the two paragraphs was changed then overall assessment would turn into negative.
At present it is hugely positive for the PM.

Not such a subtle trick but so effective.
[quote]
Modi has also burnished his image in the West. British Prime Minister Theresa May has high hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal between India and the UK, where Modi is wildly popular among people of Indian heritage. Modi is also a frequent guest in the rest of the European Union, which is seeking to revive talks for an EU-India free trade agreement, the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). Modi has also received the rock star treatment in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally shepherded his three-day tour of the country.

In case anyone had any doubts about slipping objectivity of the writer then this paragraph demolishes any hope for salvaging it.

One also notices how the dwindling fortunes of Israel in the US finding an anchor in India get an approval by implication in this paragraph.

[quote]In the U.S., the State Department's reservations about granting Modi a visa have long since been quashed. In June, 2016 Modi traveled to Washington to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, where he received nine standing ovations in less than one hour. He returned in June, 2017 to visit the White House, where he hugged Donald Trump in the Rose Garden three times.

Let us admit the truth - the world at large is clueless about the import of this bonhomie. US quashing her reservations about the PM can be read either as pragmatism taking over principled stand or plain cynicism but the three hugs and nine standing ovations in the first hour both will look pathetic to any discerning eye. In her half a century of unchallenged domination of world politics US committed untold crimes against the world in general and Muslim world in particular. India in the meanwhile was slipping into very scaring Muslim hatred coming of age. When the two meet in a dance of mutual celebration the Muslim world can only watch in consternation. The world at large makes itself look silly if watches this dance in a state of incomprehension and confusion.

[quote]Modi has accomplished this amazing about-face in Indian and international opinion through good economic governance and pure hard work. His tough (and sometimes unpopular) economic reforms have put India on track to be the world's fastest-growing major economy in 2018. And from the beginning he has portrayed himself as a leader who is always on the job working to "make India great again."


Forbes' objectivity? See once again for yourself how negatives can be pushed aside as mere trifles.
But one may ask what about 2018 growth? 2018 is just beginning. That the Forbes is going gaga over 2018 growth is symptomatic of the paper work, growth on paper syndrome. To ignore the plight of the minorities in India, including the so called low caste converts to Christianity, is just not a worthy cause to let go of the huge economic benefits that will accrue from a 1.3 billion people.
Amen.
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#219 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd January 2018 07:07
The Milli Gazette Online
Published Online: Jan 14, 2018

New York: The Indian government’s mandatory biometric identification project, Aadhaar, could lead to millions of people being denied access to essential services and benefits in violation of their human rights, Amnesty International India and Human Rights Watch said today. The large-scale collection of personal and biometric data, and linking it to a range of services, also raises serious concerns about violations of the right to privacy.

The government should order an independent investigation of the concerns raised about Aadhaar, and cease targeting journalists and researchers who expose vulnerabilities in security, privacy, and protection of data, the organizations said.

“Making an Aadhaar card a prerequisite to access essential services and benefits can obstruct access to several constitutional rights, including the rights of people to food, healthcare, education and social security,” said Aakar Patel, executive director at Amnesty International India. “The government has a legal and moral obligation to ensure that nobody is denied their rights simply because they don’t have an Aadhaar card.”

The Aadhaar project is run by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory body of the Indian government set up in 2009. It collects personal and biometric data such as......

www.milligazette.com/news/16082-india-s-identification-pr...
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#220 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2018 06:42
What Muslims Gave India


Professor Asghar Wajahat is an essayist, poet, dramatist and he has retired as Professor of Hindi from the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. He is a Marxist writer and critic and a former mentor of mine. A Saffron zealot was constantly bugging him on the Facebook. His query was about the universities destroyed by the Muslims in India. Professor Asghar, being a left intellectual, is not very well equipped to respond to this question. I shall try to serve a rejoinder to the bigot on this issue.

The bigot would like us to believe that the university concept and is gift of ancestors of the Saffron brigade to the world. This is rather far from the truth. The last time we heard about the history on this issue the ground facts were that the modern university system owes its existence to Jamia al Azhar via Oxford and Cambridge. And no one should forget the universities in Morocco even before that. Thus not only the English world but the world as a whole is indebted to Islam and Muslims for this magnificent concept.

The prime example for a Muslim hater is of sacking of the Nalanda University of yore by Bakhtiar Khilji in twelfth century. Brother M Naushad Ansari gives a perspective on the fables propagated about the grandeur of the university and negative picture of Indian history during the Muslim rule.

Nalanda was a Buddhist university and Buddhism as a religion is not only reviled by the Brahminical system but it was completely expelled from India, a religion that have artifacts scattered from Damascus and Bukhara, via India, to the far south-east, China and Japan found asylum, guess where, in today's Muslim lands of Malaysia and Indonesia. Yet Islam and Muslims are the villain.

What is more sordid about the presumptuous and loaded question that these were the Muslims who propagated the knowledge of the ancient Hindu India to the world via their translations of the Sanskrit texts into Arabic and incorporating the learning into further propagation of the findings to the rest of the world - the world that owes its scientific revolution to the knowledge, the scientific method devised by the Muslims. If the international numerals just look like the Arabic and Indian numerals then it is because of the role played by the Muslims. The bigots would never go to the question regarding the ways in which Muslims contributed to the spread of Indian learning.

Also the bigots would never talk about the fact that knowledge in ancient India was restricted and prerogative of the Brahmin only. This was a privilege that was so jealously guarded that anyone else trying to wet his beak in it was supposed to be administered severe punishment, the worst and most macabre reserved for the Shudra, the low born, whose fate was to have molten lead being poured in his years and chopping of the tongue that pronounced the sacred words. It is unlikely this system would dispensate the same knowledge to the non-Indians, the Malechchhas.

It is also unlikely that the bigots will be impressed by the theological universities like Deoband, Nadwa in Lucknow and numerous ones in Azamgarh and all over India but they do have other soring points that they should acknowledge as excellent universities like AMU and Jamia but instead chose to dump as universities established by an act of parliament of India. Usmania university has been snatched away from Muslims and in general the Saffron mindset has no friendly disposition towards any Muslim institution including the modern secular universities.

Our record even for development of modern education in India is excellent.

Why did we do all this? What is our price? What is the bill we shall charge?

Ye jo tum mujh se muhabbat ka mol poochhte ho
Tumhein ye kis ne kaha ki ped chhanv bechte hai?

You ask me about the price of my love
Who told you a tree sells its shade?

(Abbas Tabish, Pakistan)
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#221 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2018 09:43
Voters Day Pledge


Today everyone in our department was called in an assembly. The occasion was to take a pledge on voters day. The Narendra Modi government has been trying to inject his brand of nationalism into our veins in various ways. This pledge was an effort in that direction. Apart from the pledge there was this instruction to have related essay, slogan and logo writing competition prior to the pledge today. Prizes were given to winning candidates. These are the winning quotations that made my day today. Many of the non-Muslim boys came up with so pertinent, pungent and sharp entries that my spirits simply changed for the better. Just for example one boy informed the powers that be that the people of the country, the voters, are perfectly aware of the intentions of the powers that be. This single sentiment removed the clouds that were gathering on not only on mine but our collective conscience for some time.

Three cheers my boys and girls.
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#222 [Permalink] Posted on 27th January 2018 04:48
Evolution and Regression


Why we need a movement to save the nation we had, or at least the nation many of us hoped we had.



Written by Abhijit V. Banerjee | Updated: January 25, 2018 9:33 am

Nobody has seen an ape turn into a human being, but sometimes you see a human turning into an ape. Perhaps the only uniquely human attribute is the ability to imagine things that they have not seen, and especially things no one has ever seen. Chimpanzees can spot patterns and learn to use words, but no chimp ever came up with the idea of a Ganesh or a unicorn.

The denial of this most profoundly human attribute lies at the heart of the right-wing populist politics that is on the rise all over the world. “Scheduled Castes are scavengers, people who handle dead animals and human excreta. How could I marry my daughter to one of them, when I would not even drink water from their hands?” the argument goes. “Muslims slaughter animals and bomb innocent people. Violence is part of who they are”, we are told, “Everyone knows that black men are all drug dealers and criminals. The prisons are full of them. Why would we treat them as our equals?”

Of course, Scheduled Castes did not opt to be scavengers, just as black men did not opt for a history of enslavement and discrimination. And Muslim terrorism today continues a tradition of killing (often innocent) individuals as a form of political protest, that many Bengali and Maharashtrian Hindus (including that high priest of Hindutva, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar) used against the British, the Jewish militias used against the British in what was then Palestine and the Irish Catholics used against their English masters until only a few years ago. But that history is mostly lost; post 2001, the Muslims are the only terrorists.

The same literalism also inspires the flat earth movement, popular among Trump supporters in the United States: “The earth looks flat to me, and what is more, that is what it says in the Bible.” And, of course, poor Darwin is now under attack both in the Bible belt and the Hindi heartland, for not according with the respective scriptures.

It may be tempting to see these views as a subaltern challenge to the elite practices in the sciences and the social sciences, confronting abstraction with intuition based on direct observation, but that would be both wrong and ultimately patronising. The woman in the street does not demand her science be self-evident. She is as capable of abstraction as our leaders, perhaps more because she is less weighed down by cynicism. She uses her microwave every day and is too savvy to ask how that machine generates heat without fire; she knows that science often goes behind our backs to make things happen. She would know not to ask to see evolution with her own eyes.

And it is not true that direct observation inclines most of us to hate Muslims or look down on Scheduled Castes. Our everyday experience is that our Muslim neighbours are no different from any others. The problem is, more, that most of us don’t have Muslim neighbours any more — they have been frightened into making themselves invisible — and therefore we encounter them only on the pages of newspapers or in meat shops, which reinforces the stereotypes.

As for the low caste would-be son-in-law, what makes him a “danger” is often precisely his charm and his worldly success, which even the parents find difficult to resist. This is why the khap panchayats need to step in with their threats.

The general point is that there is nothing organic or authentic about these narratives of small-mindedness and prejudice; they are constructed carefully, an innuendo here, a half-truth there. Padmaavat today, Ayodhya tomorrow, keep the fires burning by making people feel that there is an ongoing battle that they can lose. When there is nothing else going, why not give evolution a try? See if there are any takers for that particular fight. This is how we all get turned into apes.

What is particularly frightening is that there is so little that is being done about it. Speaking for myself, all I do is to wring my hands and talk about the need for better education. In fact, important work is being done there — Ashoka University and Ahmedabad University are pioneering a liberal arts education for India and there are other green shoots (at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in Chennai, for example). But the scale is entirely too small and time is running out on us.

We need a movement to save the nation we had, or at least the nation many of us hoped we had. A movement that celebrates our traditions of openness and curiosity, argumentation and abstraction, hospitality and grace. A movement of religious people and atheists, of passion and reason and all the uniquely Indian alloys of the two. A new national movement.
The writer is Ford Foundation professor of economics at MIT.

Source : IE
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#223 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd February 2018 05:04
Aurangzeb's Will


Aurangzeb’s last will was recorded by Maulvi Hamid-ud Din in chapter 8 of his hand-written Persian book on the life of Aurangzeb.

There is no doubt that I have been the emperor of India and I have ruled over this country. But I am sorry to say that I have not been able to do a good deed in my lifetime. My inner soul is cursing me as a sinner. But I know it is of no avail. It is my wish that my last rites be performed by my dear son Azam. No one else should touch my body.
My servant, Aya Beg, has my purse in which I have carefully kept my earnings of Rupees four and two Annas. In my spare time, I have been writing the Quran and stitching caps. It was by selling the caps that I made an honest earning. My coffin should be purchased with this amount. No other money should be spent for covering the body of a sinner. This is my dying wish. By selling the copies of Quran I collected Rupees 305, which is also with Aya Beg. It is my will that poor Mohammedans should be fed with sweet rice procured with this money.
All my articles – clothes, ink stand, pens and books should be given to my son Azam. The labour charges for digging my grave will be paid by Prince Azam.
My grave should be dug in a dense forest. When I am buried, my face should remain uncovered. Do not bury my face in the earth. I want to present myself to Allah with a naked face. I am told, whoever goes to the supreme court on high with a naked face will have his sins forgiven.
My coffin should be made of thick 'Khaddar'. Do not place a costly shawl on the corpse. The route of my funeral should not be showered with flowers. No one should be permitted to place any flowers on my body. No music should be played or sung, I hate music.
No tomb should be built for me. Only a 'chabootra' or a platform may be erected.
I have not been able to pay the salaries of my soldiers and my personal servants for several months. I bequeath that after my death at least my personal servants be paid in full, even as the treasury is empty. Niamat Ali has served me very faithfully : he has cleaned my body and has never let my bed remain dirty.
No mausoleum should be raised in my memory. No stone with my name should be placed at my grave. There should be no trees planted near the grave. A sinner like me does not deserve the protection of a shady tree !
My son, Azam, has the authority to rule from the throne of Delhi. Kam Baksh should be entrusted with governance of Bijapur and Golconda states.
Allah should not make anyone an emperor. The most unfortunate person is he who becomes one. My sins should not be mentioned in any social gathering. The story of my life should not be told to anyone.

Source : FB, Zafar Jung's Wall on February , 2018
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#224 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2018 06:56
So many Kasganjs:

Prolonged intimidation of Muslims will shred the social and political fabric of India


February 3, 2018, 2:00 am IST

Manoj Joshi

in TOI Edit Page

Listing the books on Xi Jinping’s desk during his annual New Year telecast has become an internet meme. This year, among other books, netizens noticed The Gray Rhino, a bestseller by Michele Wucker, whose theme is the need to recognise and act against dangers – fiscal, social or political – that are in plain sight in front of us, but often ignored.

A major danger confronting this country these days is the fraught communal situation. The violence in Kasganj should alert us to the consequences of using political polarisation for winning elections. In this case, a rally by a group of young men triggered the violence which, the senior BJP leader and governor of Uttar Pradesh Ram Naik has termed as “shameful” and a “blot” on the state. In a Facebook note (since removed) Raghavendra Vikram Singh, the district magistrate of Bareilly, observed a “strange trend” where people entered areas dominated by Muslims and raised slogans against Pakistan. The intention, he implied, was clearly to provoke.

Provocation has taken many forms. On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on their alleged failure to comply with an earlier court order to check instances of vigilante violence over cow protection. It does not take a genius to figure out that these actions are linked to the politics of our times, call them majoritarian or communal or whatever. People are, of course, free to choose their politics, but they and their leaders urgently need to consider the dangers that are now increasingly manifest.

The partition of the country in 1947 was a Black Swan event. Many of its actors, including some say Jinnah himself, did not believe that it would actually happen. Populist politicians think they are in control of the narrative and one day we discover that they have taken us over the brink. Today, despite the obvious train wreck we confront, there is a strange silence at the apex of the government. Though senior leaders like Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu obliquely, and Ram Naik directly, have raised the alarm.

In 1947, millions were displaced and hundreds of thousands killed. India has not yet recovered from that trauma. A communal breakdown today would result in an entirely different kind of a disaster. Across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and into Bengal and Assam, Muslims constitute 10-30% of the population with some districts in western UP, east Bihar and Bengal going even higher. These 80 million or so are simply too many to be “sent to Pakistan”. Prolonged violence, intimidation and vigilantism against them would eventually lead to counter-violence. Given their numbers they would not prevail, but the ensuing conflict would surely shred the social and political fabric of the nation.

What is unfortunate here is that India has had one of the most peaceable Muslim populations anywhere. In the past decades, as the high tide of Islamist radicalism lashed the world, Indian Muslims stood out for their moderation born, no doubt, from the environment in which they lived. There were none found in the multi-national Guantanamo prison; the figure of those with IS are less than 10. Taking into account those involved in the Bombay blasts of 1993 and Indian Mujahideen strikes, the number of those killed or convicted for acts of terrorism in the past three decades does not probably exceed 200, an astonishing figure considering our Muslim population is around 176 million. Terrorism here has largely been a state-sponsored event run by Pakistan.

India cannot say it has not been warned. As recently as December 2017, former President Barack Obama called on India to cherish and nurture its well-integrated Muslim population. The Gray Rhino is standing in the middle of the road to our future. It’s up to us to avoid him, or bear the consequences of the crash.

Source : TOI Blogs
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#225 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2018 17:02
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