Tuesday, January 16, 2007

# Some thoughts from India

# Russia Arms India Against Muslims

In a bid to remove a major irritant in Indo-Russian military ties, Moscow has offered to set up service centres for its frontline weapon systems in use with India\'s armed forces and supply specialised steel for an indigenous aircraft carrier.

The offer of setting up service centres on Indian soil came after three days of deliberations between Russian armament companies and top officials of the Defence Ministry, DRDO and Ordnance Factories Board.

Besides servicing equipment like warships and helicopters, the service centres to be set up by Rosoboronservice (India) will maintain inventories of crucial spares.

"We are determined to ensure that the supply of crucial spares and servicing does not come in the way of growing Russian-Indian defence partnership," the firm\'s Managing Director V G Jayaprakasam told reporters here.

# Tragedy of The Assamese Muslims

Recently, I have had to visit a village in Satgaon area within GMC in connection with my professional duty. To me the village appeared like an African village of hunger and starvation. On casual enquiry, I found that villagers are of Kamrupi origin and they are Muslim by faith. It was apparent to me that their income is too low to buy two square meals for their family. There is no doubt that many people are suffering from diseases like tubercolisis. They buy kerosene at Rs 32 per litre. I would like to ask a very crude question : are they neglected because they are Muslim by faith? I think by Zakaat we cannot remove poverty, we must have scientific blueprint of progress for BPL people.

Muslim refugees threaten armed struggle

The victims of the communal riot of 1992, as many as 25,000 Muslim refugees spread in eight refugee camps in Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar districts, have expressed strong resentment over the State Government's nonchalant attitude towards solving their problems.
As they have been languishing in different camps for the last 13 years or so, during this long period they have been to Dispur last gate 29 times observing hunger strikes and adopting ‘Dispur chalo' programme four times in pursuance of their long-pending demands for rehabilitation, provision of food, health and education facilities.

As revealed by the president of the refugee committee Abdul Wahab Mollah, every time on the eve of assembly elections, they are assured of solution of the rehabilitation issue, but as soon as the elections pass off, everything is forgotten and the refugees are left to endure more sufferings. It was the same story prior to the last elections too. After several rounds of discussions with the delegates of the refugees, Dr Bhumidhar Barman, Minister in-charge of Rehabilitation, had promised to settle, all issues including allocation of land of Salabila-Bhandara and settlement of refugees of Bongaigaon district in IAY houses. But nothing positive happened on those promises so far.

Mallah said, ‘after long 13 years of democratic movement in support of our legitimate demands for food and rehabilitation now we have realised that the government would always have the same attitude towards democratic ways of protests and demands. It rather pays heed to the issues of those organisatiosn who take up arms and ammunition. Therefore, if our case is not considered keenly within the first ten days of the Ramzan month, we would take up arms, and this will be the only way out for us."

This is worth mentioning here that Dr Bhumidhar Barman had assured of ration to the inmates of the camps for the whole Ramzan month when he had entered into a discussion with the delegates of the Refugee Committee and had accordingly directed the commissioner CK Das to initiate the process. When even after seven days no supply of ration was available, Dr Barman again convened a meeting with the delegates on September 18, but on that occasion he made himself unavoidable for the meeting as he had to leave for Nagaon. The refugee committee then interpreted this as to be hoodwinking them so that their proposed September 19 programme of fast unto-death could be thwarted. Mallah also recalled that back in March 29, in 2004, Dr Barman himself had sworn that by any means he would rehabilitate them at different places on government land.

Albeit 100 IAY houses were constructed at Salabila-Bhandara but when a group protested it through the Gauhati High Court, the entire process came to a halt. But Dr Barman has allegedly maintained silence thereafter. On the contrary, now the minister is reported to have directed the ADC Azad Ali of Dhubri district that each of the legitimate refugee family be awarded Rs 20,000 cash with their signature on revenue stamp thus to settle the whole of the rehabilitation issue for once and all. This, the ‘Muslim Saranarthee Committee of Bongaigaon-Kokrajhar District, feels is an attempt to crush them out. They would no way accept this offer.

Meanwhile, the Garaimari camp by the river Aie and along NH-31 is facing the twin threat from the expansion work of National Highway and the erosion by the river Aie.

The committee hence, for the last time has appealed to the government for early rehabilitation of the refugees at least on human rights grounds or else they would be forced to intensify their movement by resorting to other means.

Wakf in Shillong

The functioning of the Meghalaya Board of Wakfs is under the whims of its chairman, and this has caused consternation among the Muslim residents of Shillong. Lack of transparency and autocratic style of functioning of its chairman is detrimental to the Meghalaya Board of Wakfs. According to Muslim law, Wakf is dedication of property for pious and charitable purposes. Unfortunately, the objective of creating the Wakf in question has been undone by the un-Islamic nature of the Wakf properties in Shillong. The benefits of Wakf properties have not percolated to the beneficiaries. Till date, no charitable work has been done for the Muslim residents of Shillong. It is indeed disheartening that the Meghalaya Board of Wakfs has become an instrument of personal aggrandizement of a select few.

Will the Government of Meghalaya that constituted the Meghalaya Board of Wakfs, review the functioning of the board so as to ensure that the beneficiaries of Wakf properties are not deprived of the benefits?

Hired beggars flood Guwahati The mint and the begging bowl do contrast in many a way, but there is a section of people out in Guwahati that has ably blended them (mint and begging bowl), and has been doing a roaring business. The Sentinel carried out a study in Greater Guwahati spanning almost 14 hours from 4.30 a.m. on September 17 and unearthed the stunning truth that almost 90 per cent of beggars of this capital city are working for organizations on hired basis! Each of them (the beggars) is paid Rs 25 a day for his / her 14-hour ‘service' no matter how much he / she can earn.

Our study covered areas from Sixth Mile to Adabari, from Anuradha Cinema to Rajdhani Masjid, Hatigaon via the Guwahati Railway Station. It was around 4.30 a.m. when we reached Rajdhani Masjid, and were on the wait for the prey. We had prior information that beggars in Guwahati are being used by several organizations which have been doing a roaring business with ‘begging bowls'. Proving the information right, we saw a Maruti van dropping four beggars in front of Rajdhani Masjid at 4.40 a.m. The vehicle speeded towards Ganesh Mandir and disappeared. The beggars - two men, a woman and a child - began their daily work spreading a torn rag in front of them and placing aluminium utensils with a few coins on them. The beggars were Saheb, Ustad, Salema and Jahanara. "We live in one room in Jhuripar. The 8X8 sq feet room is used as the kitchen as well as the bed room," Ustad told us. "We earn around Rs 300 a day, and on festivals it is around Rs 500. But, we don't get the whole amount. We have to give our masters the money we get. They give us Rs 25 a day and the night's meal," said Ustad, who hesitated to reveal the identity of their masters thinking us to be policemen. They have no idea of reporters.

"We are from Hojai. We don't know much about them. But they are rich and some of them even talk of ministers," Salema said.

We did not waste time and proceeded towards Sukreswar Temple, Panbazar and reached there at 5.15 p.m. There were a few beggars ready to begin their daily business. We thought that we missed the height of the story, but three vehicles dropped as many as 14 people of different ages there. Some of them were disabled.

We approached them only to know that each of them is provided night's meal and Rs 25 a day. They said they are from Bharalumukh, Hatigaon and Bhutnath areas on the city. All of them are minorities.

Most of them were taken to the city by their relatives living in Guwahati. "We can't live on the footpaths at night. Authorities send us away, and we are afraid of dogs. The girls have the risk of molestation. This is our permanent place, and we have been begging here for almost three years. Everybody knows us," 57-year-old Hafeez said.

From there, we rushed to Adabari Tinali to have a cup of tea and see the development. By the time we reached Adabari, it was 6.25 a.m. It was clear sunshine. We saw the beggars on the footpaths. They were a few in number. The reason is Viswakarma Puja. There will be less crowd at Adabari on that day. We were told the same story. "Sometimes we don't earn much. But with our contract with them, we are certain to get a regular income of Rs 25 a day and the night's meal," this was the answer when asked as to why they do not opt for begging on their own.

The tale turned pathetic at the Guwahati Railway Station. A number of beggars were in the area when we arrived there at 7.15 a.m. We approached through a narrow path among the beggars. From kids to old, it was an area with human heads only. A 15-year-old girl was trying to control a 14-month-old kid on her lap. The kid was crying, but when we approached her the baby started to cry louder. To our utter surprise, we saw that the girl was pinching the kid to make it cry. But why? Her answer gave us the worst shock.
"This is not my baby. This is given to me by my boss to win sympathy from babus," Sabitri, the girl, said.

We went to different areas in the city and met many beggars, some of whom even asked us if we were a new party and ready to pay them more. Fatema, Hafeez, Ustad are a few examples of people with physical disabilities who are used in a professional way by a section with emotion as the tool. It is high time that the authorities institute an inquiry to unearth the racket.

Muslim deprivation

150 million Muslims constituting 13.4 per cent of the country's population suffer from deficit and deprivation in all the dimensions of development, such as educational attainment, access to health care and infrastructure facilities, employment opportunities in public and private sectors, representation in the legislatures etc as starkly revealed in the report of the Rajinder Sachar Committee presented to Parliament recently. The Committee, after examining various datas and visits to the States, remarked, "in fact, by and large, Muslims rank somehwat above SCs/STs but below Hindu OBC's, other minorities and Hindu General (mostly upper caste) in almost all indicators considered." This is a telling comment on the horrible condition of the Muslim community for which the Governments at the Centre and the States should share the blame for their failure to give the minority Muslim community its due share in the overall development of the country in the last sixty years since independence. The Rajinder Sachar Committee deserves the appreciation of the nation for bringing to light the hard realities of the Muslim community which should prick the conscience of the nation except of course, of the Saffron Brigade.

The Sachar Committee found a clear and significant inverse correlation between the proportion of Muslim population and availability of infrastructural facilities. There is evidence of low-level of infrastructure of all kinds, in villages with high Muslim population, such as schools, health centres, pucca road, drinking water or electricity. The Sachar Committee found that the larger the Muslim village, the less is the supply of electricity or tap-water. Muslim representation in government jobs is equally unsatisfactory. The Committee found that in twelve States, where Muslim population share is 15.4 per cent, their share of Government jobs is a mere 5.7 per cent. These States include-West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Asom. In West Bengal, Muslim share of the Government jobs is the lowest ie-4.2 per cent. In the all India services, representation of Muslim is very very negligible. In the IAS, it is only 2.2 per cent, in the IPS it is about 3 per cent. Even in politics, Muslims are under represented. The representation of Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha is only 6 per cent. The under representation in the Legislative Assembly, measured in relation to the total Muslim population in the State concerned, varies from as high as 71 per cent in Karnataka to the lowest of 46 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. These statistics may not convey the whole truth, but they often point to the truth. The BJP has termed the Sachar Committee Report as full of bias and prejudice. The is not an objective and fair assessment of the well-researched and documented report which needs serious examination and debate.

The Sachar Committee has recommended several valuable suggestions to remove these distortions. It recommended the creation of an Equal Opportunity Commission, modelled in the UK Race Relation Act, 1976 to look into the grievances of the religious minorities. It has suggested the creation of a national bank to collect and store data and an autonomous authority to assess, monitor and suggest timely policy action. In the sphere of education, the Committee suggests setting up of quality government schools, especially for girls and providing primary education in Urdu in areas where the language is widely known. The importance of Muslims as an intrinsic part of the diverse Indian social mosaic should be recognised by the political parties instead of treating them only as a vote bank to win elections. The UPA Government, which appointed the Sachar Committee to evaluate the social, economic and educational status of the Muslims, should now initiate affirmative action in the line of the recommendations of the Committee, to build an inclusive, plural and secular society where minorities donot get marginalised or suffer from a sense of alienation.

# Gujarat Muslims are living as 2nd-class citizens

Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat, especially in the rural areas, are living as second class citizens, according to Harsh Mandar, a former IAS officer and prominent activist for communal harmony in Gujarat.

The situation in Gujarat is deteriorating, more than three years after the deadly 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots, in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died, Mandar, told a conference organized by Association of Indian Muslims, (AIM).

Mandar, who quit the IAS protesting the state's failure to curb the violence in Gujarat, worked for nine months in Gujarat to observe the Muslims' situation.

"The poison of communal hatred has percolated in the environment of villages of Gujarat so deeply that it has seeped down into the Muslim community's soul which now lives in total isolation," he said,according to the IndianMuslims.Info.

Mandar also said that thousands of the refugees who escaped their homes during the Gujarat riots are afraid to return. Moreover, he said that some of the displaced are not being allowed to enter their villages, and that the rest are being threatened or blackmailed to drop their cases in the court.

Other conditions for their return include: keeping quite about the atrocities perpetrated on them, to live separately, no freedom of Azan (call for prayers from mosque) loudly, to live with social-economic boycott etc.

Mandar also said that those who have returned live in fear and isolation, accusing the state of failing to improve the situation. He warned that India is passing through a very difficult time wherein saffron forces are determined to marginalize minorities and keep them as second-class citizens.

"We are fighting second freedom struggle not on roads but in the minds of the majority community of Gujarat to change their perception and attitude towards minorities," he said.

He also said that he wants to design a plan to "bring about some interaction between Hindus and Muslims", stressing the need for inter-community dialogue and reconciliation.

Meanwhile, social activist Prof. Ram Puniyani of Bombay, told the conference that some evil forces are trying to widen the gap between Hindus and Muslims, citing last month's deadly blasts in Bombay as an example.

"Muslims and Islam are being tagged with terrorism in order to deny them their rights and justice. If only Muslims were terrorists then Indonesia with highest Muslims population in the world would have been the headquarter of terrorist activities," he explained

# Mumbai Police's shameless treatment of Muslims

Mumbai Police's shameless treatment of Muslims is exposed by Mumbai's English daily newspaper Mid-day

Dr Tanveer Ansari, (member of SIMI, Students Islamic Movement of India) one of the main accused in the Mumbai train blast case - a man whose 'confessions' police claim have helped them get key conspirators - has written a letter to the MCOCA court listing the methods used by the police to make him 'talk'.

Ansari alleges that ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi told him bluntly that the police knew he had no role in the blasts and then told him to lie to strengthen their case.

He also alleges that another officer tried to bribe him: saying he would be paid and taken care of if he memorised a statement that indicted him and stuck to it in court. Part of this happened in the presence of police commissioner A N Roy, says Ansari.

Ansari's letter was submitted to the MCOCA court on November 3. It is now part of court record, which means that the police will have to respond to it at the time of trial.

'We know you are innocent, but...'

Dr Tanvir Ansari, one of the main accused in the July 11 train blasts, has submitted an eight-page letter to the MCOCA court alleging that police officials investigating the case asked him to lie.

"Doctor, hamaare liye jhoot bol do" were the words used by ATS officers, according to Ansari. This is the first letter that one of the 13 people accused in the case has submitted to court.

Ansari was a practising Unani doctor and worked at Sabu Siddique general hospital in Bhendi Bazaar at the time of his arrest.

Excerpts from Ansari's letter, which was written in English:

When they realised that their harassment didn't affect me anymore, DCP (ATS) Naval Bajaj offered that if I co-operate, I would be paid and taken care of in the future. He added that if I refuse, they would torture and implicate my family in the blasts case.


I was taken to the ATS head office and produced before Commissioner A N Roy and Joint Commissioner (ATS) K P Raghuvanshi. They told me, "Doctor, we know you are innocent and have no connection with these blasts... But until we find the main accused, we'll have to keep you in custody."

Liar liar

On October 1, I was taken to Raghuvanshi's office, where he agreed that I didn't have anything to do with the blasts, but asked for my co-operation. He said he would pay for the damage done. He then told me, "Doctor, hamaare liye jhoot bol do (Lie for us)," and proposed that I become an approver. I was forced to sign papers in the DCP Zone-1 (preventive) office, which I later came to know was my confession. When I was produced before the magistrate on October 9, I denied it.
The arrest

On July 20, crime branch unit 2 officers took me from my hospital for enquiry. They realised that the Kurla police had arrested me in September 2001 for connections with SIMI. Fit caseI also told them that in May 2004, I had visited Iran. Then in Marathi, the officers told each other that he is the right candidate to be booked in the blasts case.Puzzling papers In the first remand sheet, police forced me to sign papers written in Hindi and Marathi, which they never allowed me to read. ATS gave me a few papers, asked me to memorise it, and told me that if I co-operated, I would be released soon. Torture timeWhen I refused, they made me stand through the night, without allowing me any food. When I was exhausted, I memorised some of it and gave an audio-video recording of it.

Police storyNaval Bajaj: I will give my rebuttal to the investigating officer and the court if need be. Why should I comment on what some accused has alleged?

A N Roy: I don't wish to comment on this letter or his claims
The 11/7 story

While the police were looking for passport agent linked to Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI- The revolutionary Movement working for the uplift of Muslim Community and to re-establish Khilafah. SIMI supports all Jihadi Movements all over the world. And consider it is the part of Islamic renaissance and Al Jama and Khilafah) Rahil Shaikh, around Nagpada, Tanveer Ansari's name came up. Ansari learnt about the explosives from Pakistan's Azam Cheema, who he was constantly in touch with after returning to Mumbai.

On Ehtesham Siddique's (Maharashtra Zonal Secretary of SIMI) demand, Ansari made an explosive using nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide, sulphuric acid and ammonium nitrate. Through Faisal Shaikh, Ansari went to Lashkar-e-Taiba training camps in Pakistan from India via Iran.

When we see how these puppets for the devils can carry out their wish as they want , I feel there is a real need for a national uprising by the muslims to demonish the kuffars and their ideologies. But before that the muslims have to make themselves stronger. So there has to be a proper planning as to how we can suppress the oppressing by the devils.

There is a great need for a change among the muslims in india as most of them are deeply engrossed into the materialistic pleasure of this world and they are forgetting as to why they are in this world. We need to urge our children, the young muslims as well as the young ,the old , the rich , the poor that until and unless we try to change ourselves Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala is not going to change our condition.

We need to become more concerned as to our meeting with Almighty Allah on the Day of Judgement and that our face shine with the glory and triumph for living according to the orders of Allah.
- For kavkaz Centre by Assami

1 comment:

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