Posts Tagged ‘SIMI’

‘War On Terror’ – By Shoma Chaudhury – Tehelka Magazine, India

November 15, 2008

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main40.asp?filename=Ne221108coverstory.asp


From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 46, Dated Nov 22, 2008
CURRENT AFFAIRS  
cover story

‘War On Terror’

As religion becomes a fiery faultline, in an inspired move, a vast swathe of clerics seek to find the voice that reconciles rather than divides. SHOMA CHAUDHURY boards the peace train to test the mood. Photos by SHAILENDRA PANDEY

Cover Story
Mystic Men Clerics aboard the Sheikh-ul-Hind Express on the way to Hyderabad

MARSHAL EVERY stereo type of Muslims loudly proclaimed from public rallies, stereotypes drifting unquestioned in the wind, stereotypes snaking below joking asides even in liberal conversations. Muslims can’t be trusted. Muslims are pan-religionists. Muslims cheer for Pakistan. Muslims are bigots. Muslims have three wives. Muslims have too many children. Muslims are dirty. And the latest, all Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.

In post-Partition India, Muslims have increasingly receded from public view and dialogue as a community of thinking, flesh-and-blood, individual citizens. For the average non-Muslim, they are little more than a homogenous, vaguely threatening spectre. Swathes of skull cap and lungi smudged across ghetto towns of middle India. A community about which we have made up our minds and have no curiosity. The “These people…” of our parents’ conversations. The imaginative (and information) vacuum into which the communal Hindu Right has poured its poison.

These are the stereotypes that tremble beneath the humorous anxiety of one’s family. “What? You are going alone on a train with 2,000 Muslim clerics to Hyderabad? One woman amidst 2,000 Muslim men?”

On November 6, 2008, rising in a magnificent and hopeful gesture against the image that has come to imprison their community, 2,000 Muslim clerics set off on a train decorated with zebra-stripe flags and marigold strings from Deoband to Hyderabad. The Sheikh-Ul-Hind Express — a “peace train” carrying a promising message of national integration. Four thousand other clerics were to join them there from different corners of India – Gujarat, Assam, Manipur, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Bihar, Kerala and Maharashtra — to attend the 29th general body meeting of the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind at the Nizam College ground.

Cover Story
The brotherhood of man Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind clerics at Hyderabad

The train — a metaphorical masterstroke — is only a prop in a journey that began in Deoband in February this year, when the Darul Uloom, an old and influential madrassa, ironically often touted in the wind as the intellectual fountainhead for militant Islamic groups across Asia, issued a fatwa against terrorism. This fatwa — something of a historic first — was endorsed publicly a few months later in May at a huge anti-terror rally of almost three lakh Muslims at the Ramlila Ground in Delhi. Then too, clerics from every state, representatives of Shia and Sunni sects, and Muslim organisations like the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind, Nadwatul Ulema Lucknow, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, and the Muslim Personal Law Board were present. Each organisation the face of a vast hinterland of influence.

The significances are hard to miss. Sixteen years earlier, LK Advani’s rath yatra had ripped the country with pungent speeches and a call to hate. His chariot gave the ugliest face to existing faultlines. It released a narrative of exclusion that has brought the country to the brink. Now, rising from its bruised aftermath, here were people readying to sow it back. At a time when one has grown weary of hearing political and religious leaders talk a reckless language of reprisal and atavistic hate, here were these clerics — by all accounts the most conservative face of Islam in India — reaching for the higher ground, the redemptive note.

Perhaps, a potent new counter-narrative is starting to roll.

It is three in the afternoon. The Sheikhul- Hind Express has just chugged into Nizam-ud-din station. Hundreds of clerics in white kurtas and caps are waiting to get in. There is an air of palpable excitement, almost elation. The frisson of a collective welded together by a higher purpose. It might dissipate later as the group disperses to the individual struggle and dilemmas of life, but for now, it is unmistakable. For all the hustle to get in, the atmosphere in the train is marked by an ordered — almost astonishing — civility. Two thousand men, but a marked absence of male aggression. None of the bogeys suffer the slightest indiscipline.

The Sheikh-ul-Hind Express offers other revelations. In a sense, travelling on it is a journey into the belly of one’s own unsuspected prejudices. It is a reminder of how little one knows, how little one ventures into other cultures, and how easily such a blank slate can be usurped and written on.

As the train pulls out of the station, Maulana Kalimullah Khan, the founder of Hira Public School in Faizabad, a genteel man in amehendi beard, is detailed by the organisers to facilitate conversation between the indifferent Hindi of the journalist and the eloquent Urdu of the clerics. He proves to be an untiring bridge, with a smiling gift for irony.

CONVERSATIONS SWIRL through the train. Sixty years of India’s chequered history compacted into a bogey. There is animated talk of terror blasts, the arrests of Muslim youth, “appeasement”, reservations, equal opportunity, the Sachar Committee Report, discrimination, Muslim mistakes, the Hindu Right, Babri Masjid demolition, SIMI, the comparative merits of Hindu and Islamic societies, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Pakistan, Kashmir and the Koran’s position on women.

Cover Story
Peace tonic Muslim clerics decorate the Sheikh-ul-Hind Express at Nizam-ud-din station

(When conversation on that subject gets particularly heated, I say exasperatedly to my interlocutor, “what can one say if the Koran is the voice of Khuda who is male, and all the codes are written from a male point of view. All I can say for Hindus is that at least we have devis as goddesses, so the road is a little more open.” The maulanas listening in burst into laughter.)

Many of the conversations are more sombre. Maulana Kalimullah Khan describes the hostility he faced getting CBSE recognition for his school. Maulana Mahmood Madani, Rajya Sabha member, secretary of the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind, and a key figure behind the anti-terror initiative, talks of his humiliating attempt to start an CBSE affiliated boarding school for Muslim children in Dehradun. Given sanction at first to buy land by then Chief Minister ND Tiwari, he was later stopped from making the school by the government. The reason? They suspected he was going to start a madrassa and this would compromise the security of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) there! “And they say we are being appeased by political parties,” he laughs ruefully. “This is what happened with me, a Rajya Sabha member. You can imagine what happens with ordinary Muslims. There were 150 other institutions in the 12 kilometres that separated my land from the IMA, but only we were suspect. I told the education minister I did not need his permission to start madrassas. I could start them in Aruna–chal Pradesh on the China border sitting right here! They make such a bogey out of madrassas, but they won’t let us start any other schools either. There has been a systematic programme to keep Muslims out of the mainstream. What people don’t understand is that if such a large percentage of the population is ghettoised and kept backward, it is not just harmful for Muslims, it is harmful for the entire country,” says he.

“The communal forces accuse us of being terrorists and anti-national,” says Mohammad Rafeeque Khan, secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a fatherly man, with a vein of kindly laughter running below his voice, “but Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse of the RSS. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Sikh bodyguards. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE. From the Supreme Court to district court — was there ever an injunction from the Bar Council that these perpetrators will not be defended? In fact, a lawyer as reputed as Ram Jethmalani fought the case for Indira Gandhi’s assassins. Yet now the Bar Council of Gorakhpur, Benaras, Faizabad and Lucknow have ordained that Muslims caught for the Sabarmati Express carnage or Sankat Mochan temple blast will not be defended. They are just suspects, their crime has not yet been proved. That’s one scenario. The other is that the VHP, BJP and RSS have said they will open their coffers to save Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. Why this discrimination? There are only two fair routes — either don’t give legal or financial assistance to anyone accused in this category of terror crime; or else give everybody due legal assistance and deem them worthy of reasonable doubt. For Rahul Raj’s death, Ram Vilas Paswan, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav — three men who never unite — came together to ask the Prime Minister for an investigation. But when there are other false encounters — and human rights groups and media outfits are themselves pointing in that direction — it becomes traitorous if Muslims ask for an investigation? How can these attitudes lead to progress? It can only lead to the country’s destruction. No matter how much we want the country to progress, until we unite hearts and realise that Hindus and Muslims feel the same pain, it will only slip into more anarchy.”

Other repudiations are made. Reeling out his ideological rants, in an interview to TEHELKA two weeks ago, Prakash Sharma, national convenor of the Bajrang Dal, had claimed that the Hindu Right fought Muslims because areas in which they were concentrated would lead to demands for new partitions. Maulana Rafeeque tackles this propaganda patiently: Uttarkhand. Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand. Greater Nagaland. Gorkhaland, Telengana. The LTTE’s demands. Assam’s ULFA demand. The Shiv Sena’s Marathi manoos campaign. Which of these separatist movements are led by Muslims? he asks quietly. For the space of one pulse beat that follows, the propaganda this embattled community has suffered comes home in its crushing enormity.

But through all of this, through all the vexed conversations, two things shine through. Gauged by some lenses, the genteel men on Sheikh-ul-Hind Express might seem suffocatingly conservative and unyielding on some issues: the inalienable correctness of Muslim Personal Law and a refusal to allow Muslim women to function out of purdah. But these are matters of culture to either be accepted or fought from within the community. There may also inevitably be an underlying sense of Islam’s superiority in terms of its sense of order, justice and decreed morality. But this is only a window into how a culture sees itself and what it holds dear. What shines through it all is an unveering loyalty to land and nation and a language of unequivocal respect, amiability and tolerance. Unlike the virulent rhetoric of the Hindu Right — the demonising of others, the insidious theory of “action and reaction” they use to justify their violence — the men on this peace train say no provocation, absolutely none, evokes a call for violent reprisal.

“Please do not mix these issues of justice or Muslim reservations or discrimination with our message against terror and plea for communal harmony,” Maulana Madani urges repeatedly on the plane back to Delhi from Hyderabad. “These are separate stories.”

“Even if our demands and needs are not met, we do not believe in spreading anarchy,” says Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind president Maulana Qari Usman. “We fight for our rights and will continue to do so as legitimate citizens of this country, but only by the rule, only within the framework of the Indian Constitution.”

This is a voice of the Indian Muslim that the average non-Muslim Indian has started to forget completely. A voice that the national media does not seek out and politicians don’t woo. A voice that has been completely smothered in the war of “action and reaction”, competitive word and deed, between belligerent Muslim radical and parasitic Hindu Right. In fact, it is a voice of moderation and sanity that Indian public life has begun to forfeit altogether.

THE PHILOSOPHY of the Jamiat- Ulema-I-Hind has much to do with the fashioning of this voice. The driving force behind the fatwa against terror, the rallies and now the peace train, the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind is one of the leading Muslim organisations in India, mainly comprising of clerics and scholars from the Deoband alumni. With ten million primary members, who in turn run schools and madrassas in every corner of India, the Jamiat wields considerable influence. It is a part of the dangerous amnesias that have beset India that very few non-Muslim Indians would know that the Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind, set up in 1919, sent out a powerful call to all Indian Muslims to join the freedom struggle against the British. When talk of Partition arose, it resisted the idea of Pakistan ferociously. It passed a resolution declaring that the demand for a homeland on the basis of religion was against the tenets of Islam: the Koran emphatically disallowed it. It put all its strength instead on backing the foundation of India as a secular democracy, committed to tolerance and coexistence between Muslims and those of other faiths.

Much of this ethos is on display at the Jamiat’s general assembly on November 9, 2008. Around one lakh Muslims sit in orderly rows at the Nizam College grounds in Hyderabad. Cleric after cleric takes the mike and exhorts the audience to unity and a righteous life. Swami Swaroop– anand, the Shankaracharya of Dwarka peeth, has sent a message. Among other things, he says, there can be no war between Hindus and Muslims because Hindu scriptures prophesied the coming of the Prophet 5,000 years ago and so He is perhaps more dear to Hindus than even Muslims. The crowd erupts in a joyous Allah ho Akbar! Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speaks of peace between communities. Every now and then plangent solo-voiced taranas soar up to the sky:“Hum Musalman Bharat ke wafadar hain…” (We Muslims are loyal to India). The mood is both reconciliatory and assertive. Towards the end, in an electric moment, the entire congregation rises up, lifts a finger of witness, and takes an oath of allegiance to fight against terrorism.

Inevitably, there are critics who will dismiss this as the new-found piousness of a community on the backfoot. Even if one supposed for a moment that this is true, one ought to remember that under siege, there are two responses possible: one can either reach for the higher ground or for reactive anger and anarchy. Clearly, a redemptive resolution has been made towards the former — stronger for having been born out of internal debate and dissent. For those who are seeking meek submission and an acceptance of second – class citizenship, the Sheikh-Ul-Hind Express might have some unpleasant surprises. This is not a capitulation of legitimate demands; it is an azaan for peace and civil dialogue. In a moment of crisis, we can turn ourselves either into something shining or sullied. This appears a hopeful call to the first.

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From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 46, Dated Nov 22, 2008
CURRENT AFFAIRS  
interview

‘Ask us, hear our explanations, present our views’

SHOMA CHAUDHURY speaks to four influential clerics about their fatwa against terrorism and the problems that vex the Muslim community

As the peace train from Deoband to Hyderabad pulls out of the station, an ordered serenity descends on the bogey. A cleric hums a tarana; others kneel at the appointed hour for namaaz. In between, there are avid conversations about religion, terror, communalism and the idea of India. Speaking to TEHELKA at different moments Maulana Qari Usman, Maulana Mahmood Madani, Maulana Rafeeque Qasmi and Maulana Shaukat Ali offer a mosaic of insights into the community

Our Views
Maulana Mahmood Madani Rajya Sabha member, general secretary, Jamiat-Ulema-I-Hind

What triggered the fatwa against terrorism earlier, and the peace train now? 
Maulana Mahmood Madani:
 There has been such intense stereotyping of Muslims by the West, and the communal forces and media in India, that it has affected not just non-Muslims but Muslims themselves. Jihad, jihad, jihad — the propaganda has slipped into people’s blood so much they have started thinking the Koran, the Prophet, and Islam are a source of terrorism, whose philosophy teaches nothing but to kill. Even ordinary Muslims have become confused — is this indeed jihad?

Our target audience, therefore, is both Muslims and India’s silent majority, who are still not 100 percent convinced that this community is what it is being made out to be. One way of fighting the propaganda was to keep highlighting the injustice and prejudice of the police and media. Many human rights groups, both Muslim and non- Muslim, are doing this. But the fact remains that terrorist incidents are also increasing and innocent lives are being lost. Don’t these victims and their families have rights too? This is why we have chosen the middle path. This peace train and the Hyderabad Resolution is just the beginning. We have to take this message to every city, district, village and mohalla.

Our biggest problem is that we have to fight on two fronts at the same time. On the one hand, we have to confront those non-Muslims who are not ready to listen or debate even reasonable issues related to Muslims. On the other, there are some Muslims who have either got misled, or are so fed up with the propaganda that they don’t want to speak out. They feel that to even oppose terrorism is to accept we are terrorists.

What impact do you think you will have on Muslim youth who are radicalised or just scared, angry and frustrated? Do your words as ulema have any meaning for them?
Maulana Rafeeque Qasmi: See, you are a follower of Hindu dharma. When this life is over, you don’t know where your soul will go. Whether you are a good man, thief, murderer or rapist, you have 84 lakh lives in which you can refashion yourself before you reach parlokh or swarglokh. In Islam, the idea is different. We tell our youth, if you harm an innocent you will have to answer to your Khuda when you die. So there is a big difference in the psychology. For a Muslim to do wilful wrong, he will have to think a million times because he is bound by his fear of Khuda in the afterlife. Hindu philosophy, of course, teaches one to be righteous, but a Hindu youth is not bound in the same way in sheer psychological terms. When Prophet Mohammad was driven out of Mecca and returned after eight years, he did not urge retaliation. I am not saying this has an invulnerable hold today, but it is a big religious deterrent. Narendra Modi sahib and Vajpayee sahib tout their action-reaction theory and excuse everything on the basis of that, but we tell our community, no matter what the provocation, the reaction has to be within the bounds of the Koran, Hadees and Indian Constitution. Your response to wrongs has to be to cleave to what is right. Yes, the Koran sanctions one to fight injustice, but killing innocents? Never. Under no circumstance. Religion is a strange thing, people can do anything to defend it but, by that logic, they will stop because their religion does not allow something. That is what makes our voice significant.

Our Views
Maulana Qari Usman President, Jamiat-Ulema- I-Hind

Maulana Qari Usman: Even if we don’t have immediate direct impact, we have made it clear to the community that anyone who commits an act of terrorism has stepped out of the boundary of the religion and community, and is no longer part of it. Having said that, I also want to say there have been many arrests but very little proof yet against Muslim youth accused of terror blasts. In fact, though the media reports every arrest, it often fails to report on all those who are acquitted, so this image of widespread guilt remains strongly in people’s minds.

Maulana Madani: There are definitely very grave wounds and a deep sense of victimisation. There is anger, desperation and utter hopelessness. We have to dispel all three, not just for the good of Muslims but the whole country. We need a holistic approach and the government, civil society and media have to jointly rectify this. How else can you confront this? You cannot turn such a big country into a police state. You need education, equal opportunity, employment and faith in non-discriminatory justice. We tell Muslims, particularly Muslim youth, you are stakeholders of this country, you are not here on sufferance. So yes, claim your rights with confidence, but remember that with rights come duties. The story of discrimination against Muslims in these 60 years is a long and bitter one. But we don’t want to open a complaint cell here, because our focus is on terrorism and communal harmony. We don’t want to mix those messages. They are separate stories. We are not saying give us justice or there will be terrorism; we are saying terrorism has no justification.

Is there talk of launching a new political party for Muslims?
Maulana Madani: Many among the ulema do feel the need for a new political party, but we opposed this now because we want to send an undiluted message of communal harmony and peace. Not just Muslims, every ordinary Indian is so fed up of politicians and political parties, we did not want people to feel this was yet another political drama in an election season. Secondly, while there may be need for a new political party, even if there were need for a specifically Muslim party, we will never agree to it. In fact, we will oppose it with all our strength. I believe, in this country, to do any work based only on Muslim identity is both against the interests of the nation and the interests of the community. It is a firm belief that whatever we do, we will do with like-minded non-Muslims, not alone. Muslims should not alienate themselves. We are stakeholders in this country, and there are enough non- Muslims who feel the same way about the country, so why shouldn’t we all come together to create a new political system? I am totally ready to back that in the future. Even in Hyderabad, when Barrister Owaiz talked of Muslim unity, I said, if you are talking about reading namaaz, then talk of Muslims only, but if you want to fight for any political or social issues, then let us make a common minimum programme with likeminded Indians.

Our Views
Maulana Shaukat Ali Treasurer, Jamiat-Ulema -I-Hind

Let me throw a laundry list of issues the Hindu Right uses to rouse emotions against Muslims: Bangladesh immigrants, Afzal Guru, allegiance to Pakistan, population, Partition, the Amarnath land transfer, reservations, SIMI’s belligerent rhetoric. To a lesser or greater degree, a lot of ordinary non-Muslims buy into the prejudices they create. 
Maulana Madani: (Laughs) Let’s see. As far as Bangladeshi immigrants go, no foreigners should be allowed to live illegally in this country.

Having said that, it should not be that you catch anyone wearing a lungi and beard and throw him out. There are fair processes. Set up a commission, summon people to show their documents, then deport them. As far as Afzal Guru goes, we believe anyone proved guilty should be punished according to the law of the land, but again, there are due processes and if this allows him a mercy petition, why should it be denied to him? Pakistan. (Laughs again) The Jamiat-ulema-i-Hind opposed Partition and the creation of Pakistan, not just on political grounds but on the ground of religion itself. It passed a resolution that demanding a homeland on the basis of religion was not allowed by Islam and went against the tenets of Islam and the Koran itself. As far as the Amarnath issue goes, the Jamiat had passed a resolution that Kashmir is an integral part of India, and we feel that while Muslim emotions should not be hurt in India, neither should Hindus’. We may not believe in idol worship, but we respect the faith of those who do. Transferring that land from the forest department to the Board did not hurt Muslim interests in any way. There was nothing to oppose. It was unnecessarily made into a political issue by all sides. As for population, it is madness to link this with religion. This is purely a social and economic issue. Conduct your own surveys, you will find that in a particular economic, social or educational bracket, Hindus and Muslims have the same number of children.

Our Views
Maulana Rafeeque Qasmi Secretary, Islamic Society, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Maulana Qasmi: You brought up SIMI. We have no argument with many issues they were raising but we urged them to approach this in a way that will not alienate others. We believe you have to win over people, not make divisions deeper. When they did not listen and their approach grew increasingly strident, we severed relations with them completely. Many of our concerns are similar, but they have had to face many hardships for their belligerence, and their issues have got lost in the mess.

Maulana Shaukat Ali:We are glad you are asking these questions that point to the poison that is spread across the country. Ask us, hear our explanations and present our views so that ordinary Indians understand we are not responsible for this growing divide.

It’s not our fault people don’t see each other as human beings but as Hindus and Muslims. Ask those who are engendering this — why are they bent on destroying Hindustan’s fabric? We still believe our blood is the same, so where has this poison come from? When people understand that, these questions about us will dry up.

In your understanding, why is the Hindu Right growing in strength? And what makes you keep faith with India?
Maulana Qasmi: It is not becoming stronger. In the past, when they were the Jan Sangh, they never adopted such extreme measures. No one could raise a finger against them. It is only when they formed the BJP and began to want power that they upped the ante. The person really responsible for setting our nation on this divisive, dangerous path is our Advaniji, his rath yatra and its particular mission to incite hatred and anger. That psychology has amplified and amplified till we are at this pass today, where army and dharma gurus have become part of a terror act and no one knows how to put a stop to it all. All this to secure Prime Ministership?

I don’t know how many souls have passed through India with this dream and ambition. But this country’s janta has not yet become so insane that anyone who pleases can become Prime Minister. In this country, when Ram was asked to leave, did he turn around and fight? No, he went peacefully into the jungle. That is why he is called Puroshattam Ram. Now, in his very name, in the name of this noble soul, this upright character, they are teaching people how to hate? No, this cannot last. Everything has a horizon, a natural limit, after which it recedes. Here, when politicians, media, even religious leaders have become corrupt, you can say things have reached their limit. Look at America. After two centuries of white hegemony, here comes Barack Obama. A historic moment, a time of change. Proof that everything has its limit — we just have to work towards it. India is 60 years old, our secular and democratic traditions run deep; they have taken root. They cannot be destroyed so easily.

 
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 46, Dated Nov 22, 2008
 
 

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India: A Fistful of Follies By Amaresh Misra

October 31, 2008

India: A Fistful of Follies

 

A Perspective on Maharashtra incidents, bomb blasts and  the current political crisis           

 

                                        By Amaresh Misra

 

 

        After writing so much and achieving at least something, on the recent spate of violence/bomb blasts/attacks on minorities, the Maharashtra and Assam events leaves writers and commentators like Ghulam Muhammad and me numb. The arrest of Pragya Singh, and the whole needle of suspicion towards ex and serving army officers in the 29thSeptember Malegaon blasts has confirmed what we have been saying all along: that terror indeed has a face; that the Indian Mujahideen and SIMI were creations of the Indian security forces and the real wires of terrorism are linked inextricably to the hate/fascist ideology of the RSS-BJP. RSS-BJP in essence is a home grown, terrorist-fascist force par excellence―and it is not the first time that they have bared their fangs.

I still remember a meeting with the anti-RSS, pro-Muslim Shanakaracharya Swami Swarupanand, the Shankaracharya of Dwarika and Badrinath. In this, the Shankaracharya had stated clearly and I quote, `Amaresh these Sanghis are the most criminal of all forces. They run a secret wing of assassins. They have been indulging in murder and arson since their birth. They are adharmis like Ravana and they dare to pose as Hindus! They have even tried to assassinate me!’

        This is the Shankaracharya speaking―it is also clear that there was a secret nexus between the RSS and the British during the 1947 partition riots. In an article published earlier, Akhilesh Mittal, the columnist of Asian Age and Covert, has exposed the entire conspiracy by highlighting a true case which I am quoting from the original article:

 

Hard evidence of the nexus between the British government of India and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) is available in A Life of Our Times, the memoirs of Rajeshwar Dayal, ICS published by Orient Longman in 1998.

The RSS was supplied detailed maps of towns and villages to enable them to attack Muslims.

Dayal says: “At a cocktail party, in early 1946, the Chief Secretary told me, almost casually that I would be the next Home Secretary of the U.P. I happened to be the first Indian officer named to the post which had hitherto apparently been reserved for British officers.”(Page 77).

As Home Secretary Rajeshwar Dayal became privy to the most confidential information “I must record an episode of a very grave nature. When communal tension was still at fever pitch, the Deputy Inspector General of Police Western Range a very seasoned and capable officer, B.B.L. Jaitley arrived at my house in secrecy.

He was accompanied by two of his officers who brought with them two large steel trunks securely locked. When the trunks were opened, they revealed incontrovertible evidence of a dastardly conspiracy to create a communal holocaust throughout the western districts of the province.

The trunks were crammed with blueprints of great accuracy and professionalism of every town and village of that vast area prominently marking out the Muslim localities and habitations. There were also detailed instructions regarding access to the various 
locations, and other matters which amply revealed their sinister purport.”

Dayal took the incriminating evidence to the Chief Minister Gobind Ballabh Pant “There, in a closed room, Jaitley gave a full report of his discovery backed by all the evidence contained in the steel trunks.

Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) had brought the massive conspiracy to light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and supervision of the Supremo of the organisation himself.

Both Jaitley and myself pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused Shri Golwalkar, who was still in the area. Pant decided to put the matter before his cabinet. There were RSS sympathisers in the Congress and the presiding officer of the Legislative council, Atma Govind Kher was a sympathiser and his sons were known to be members of the RSS.

The action taken was not arrest but a letter to Golwalkar stating the evidence and asking for an explanation. As could be expected Golwalkar slipped away and managed to elude the couriers. “This infructuous chase continued from place to place and weeks passed.”

The next paragraph, on page 94 of the book speaks for itself “Came 30th January 1948 when the Mahatma, the supreme apostle of peace fell to a bullet…”

These maps could have originated only in the British Surveyor General’s office. The British administration was known for the passionate zeal with which they guarded maps. That these were made available to the RSS is evidence of the link. 

     

Further, in a book written by Alex Von Tunzelmann, called `The Indian Summer: secret history of the end of an empire’, the author has exposed how the 1947 August-September-October Delhi `riots’were no riots―they were in fact an armed uprising conducted by RSS in alliance with retired army officers and personals against the secular basis of the new Indian nation state. Nehru was aware of the RSS plot, as was Patel―and Nehru gave Patel a stern warning to choose sides at this very moment. Patel caved in―then the Indian army was brought in to crush the anti-Muslim RSS rising, which left hundreds of thousands of Muslims of old Delhi dead.

These two instances show that RSS’ criminal character has a long history. In contemporary times, since 1990, with Advani’s first Rath Yatra these forces have persisted with just one agenda: anti-Muslim, anti-secular, anti-constitutional tirade. In the process, they have given birth to the Mumbai riots, then the backlash the Mumbai Bomb Blasts, then a whole spate of terrorist activities when the NDA was in power, and then the 2005-06-07 Mumbai, Malegaon, Nanded, Nagpur, UP terror attacks and then the latest spate of violence beginning with the 26th July Ahmedabad Blasts. Since that date in less than six months India has seen 64 serial blasts in six states leaving 215 dead and 900 injured.

        To further elaborate an earlier point: What has become now of Indian Mujahiden and SIMI? Why is the media not screaming about them after the latest Assam Blasts? Which new `terror’ organization and which devilish scheme the Indian security forces will come up with now?

        In India there is a clear alliance between a large section of Indian State (bureaucrats and security officials), the communal/fascist forces, the opportunist elements in the Congress and the BJP, the two main parties, and a large section of the Indian corporate pro-US, business class and leading media houses. The latter in fact have emerged as a major rallying point for fascist forces. Imagine after the death of several North Indians in lynch-style Ku Klux Klan marka attacks in Mumbai, Rajdeep Sardesai, the editor of CNN-IBN writes a letter to `his dear friend’ Raj Thackeray in Hindustan Times (31-10-2008) hailing him for representing Marathi sentiments but then advising him not to resort to violence against North Indians! Sardesai goes on to mention that after all he to is a migrant in Delhi!

        Now Delhi liberals, who hate UP and Bihar wallasas much as any elite in Mumbai, will welcome Rajdeep Sardesai’s article as a voice of sanity or something. But Rajdeep does not even question Raj Thackeray’s attempts to project himself as a protector of Marathi Manoos. Rajdeep nowhere raises the issue of backward caste and Dalit Marathis and how they have been cruelly suppressed in the name of Marathi unity and how the latest attack on North Indians is also a ploy to deflect the growing power aspirations of Dalits and the Marathi OBCs and MBCs―power aspirations which would threaten ultimately the unchallenged rule of the Marathi-Maratha forward castes.

        In Maharashtra, the Congress, NCP and the Shiv Sena, as well Raj Thackeray all represent the Marathi forward caste―so does Rajdeep Sardesai and a whole lot of other Marathi intellectuals. The voice of the Vijay Tendulkar type Marathi liberal has been suppressed―now Rajdeep type individuals with a new, Anglicized, neo-forward caste tinge are in the field. However much they might not like the `violence of it all’ they share certain basic, elitist, anti-North Indian assumptions of the Maratha and Indian metro city forward castes. This neo-liberal/city elite is also mortally afraid and will continue to act buddy-buddy with Raj Thackeray, a clone of the even the most second rate Nazi trooper.

        The larger question is why are North Indians being targeted systematically? And what is the role of corporate houses?

        Since 2006, more than Rs. 80, 000 crore investment, mainly in the auto industry, is coming Maharashtra’s way. Concentrated in the Mumbai-Thane-Nasik triangle, this investment seeks to edge out especially the small auto part, indigenous manufacturers dotting the triangle.  The only way to do so is to encourage the large scale migration of the labor of the region―who happen to be North Indians!

        This scheme fits in well with the Congress game of making one Sena (MNS) compete against the other (Shiv Sena) with an eye to the next elections. Rajdeep of course has not mentioned the Congress-NCP game or the linkages with the corporate lobby―it is clear that in this win-win situation the corporate lobby and the Maharashtra Government as well as the communal fascist forces are hand in glove. If the North Indians die in Ku Klux Clan Style attacks; so be it.

        Perhaps these actors realize, or perhaps they do not, that a wider game is being played in India; the British East India Company came and colonized India through India’s eastern shore; the new game of global/US/finance capital is to effect an East India Company kind operation from the western shore. In this, first communists are browbeaten―like they were during the rise of Bal Thackeray―and then fascist, anti-Muslim forces are encouraged―and now North Indians are targeted. The aim is to create a situation where the Central or the Federal Indian power loses its grip over at least Gujarat (where Modi, the great friend of corporate-fascist India is ruling) and Maharashtra. The failure of the Central Government to act against Raj Thackeray is a deliberate move by the arch criminal Shiv Raj Patil, India’s Home Minister who also hails from Maharashtra, to suspend his own powers and that of the Indian State!

        But―again―why North Indians and people of UP and Bihar? The reason is simple―UP and Bihar are   the centers of anti-colonial resistance in 1857 and beyond. During the Mughal, Gupta and the Mauryan period too these two areas constituted the heartland, the base of India’s rise as a world empire. These areas are very fertile and peasant dominated with abundant resources, scope for development and Industrialization and a proud people who never gave up their freedom. What is more, UP and Bihar are home to the most stable, truly traditional and humanist-modern sections of Sanatan Dharma and Islam, the two great religions of India.

        These religions and Hindi-Urdu Belt peasantry resisted not just the British forces in 1857; they also struck a mortal blow to the world’s first corporate state―the East India Company. In fact, from 1857 till the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, private corporate state ceased to exist.

The 1990s and after are periods when under the IMF-World Bank, global capital went on the offensive against the state power as a whole in different countries. The idea was to dismantle/discredit state power as such and pave the way for the gradual privatization of entire, social-public and state sectors.

        In this, the concept of nation and nationhood was a major problem; nations of the developed world were still fine; but, according to the new emerging corporate logic, third world country states presented an anomaly partly because their overall orientation, despite several distortions, was socialist and nationalist―and partly because the global private sector found dealing with third world bureaucracy and respecting sovereignty a problem. This has been laid out bare in several books and plans, chiefly the PNAC (Plan For a New American Century), made by Neo Cons who acquired power under George Bush.

        The 9/11 attack forced global forces to pause and take a second look at the dismantling of state process. But in the name of war of terror, even war, warfare and military equipment was privatized. Right now in Iraq a large, parallel mercenary force run by a Christian Right Wing Company called Blackwater almost equals the US army strength. Through Blackwater and other such companies, Bush outsourced not just prisons and tortures but military operations. Blackwater is a profit making company like the British East India Company. When it operates on foreign soil, it is exempt from American laws, from Geneva conventions―as the latter concerns States only!

        Now if we come to India and the Ken Haywood angle in the Indian Mujahideen story, ignored by the Indian media, we see that Ken Haywood was an employee of a private multinational company called Campbell White, which was linked to the right wing Potter House Church in Arizona, which in turn was close to the most virulent, fundamentalist sections of America’s bible belt.

       Now it is not too incredible I hope to at least think that terror in India has been outsourced to private companies who for the moment are operating covertly for the time being.

       While the arrest of Pragya Singh and the exposure of her network is a welcome step, the total neglect of the Ken Haywood angle makes the Indian State susceptible to manipulations of private, International outfits, who are partly controlled by the CIA and the Mossad but are also capable of wringing themselves out of the control of any state agency. So it is possible that even RAW and the ISI do not have control over what is happening in India, and by extension in Pakistan. Only a thorough investigation, by a JPC can reveal the truth as to who started this process of privatizing terror. Organizations like Abhinav Bharati and the Bhonsale Military Academy found to be linked with Pragya Singh and the Malegaon Blasts are like Blackwater only―they are private outfits, which adhere loosely to the RSS and the Hindutva ideology, but are also capable of becoming a loose cannon.

        The Assam blasts may also be a work of private forces beyond the control of ULFA or HUJI.

        In this entire conspiracy, the Congress, the BJP, media houses and communal forces are primarily to blame―for they have supported privatization of media, security and terror―everyone knows how Lal Krishna Advani allowed a number of private organizations, bearing loose adherence to the Sangh ideology, to hold armed training camps during his tenure as the Home Minister.

        So there are two types of forces working against India and the idea of India―a section of the fascist forces inside and outside the state forces are targeting minorities―in the name of combating terror, they have institutionalized Muslim persecution in particular.Their long-term goal is to stem the tide of social change in India, roll back the OBC-MBC-Dalit assertion and create a chaotic situation in which the Parliamentary form of Government may get suspended and a Presidential form is instituted, suited more to the bipolar Congress VS BJP polity. In this conspiracy to roll back parliamentary democracy and suspend/change the Indian constitution written by Baba BhimRao Ambedkar, both the Congress and the BJP are hand-in-glove.  The corporate sector is backing this line of thought.      

        Then there are private forces, supported by foreign money, which are working sometimes in tandem with   state forces and sometimes independently, to create fissures, and divide Indian society at all possible communal, regional and other levels. The role of Indian corporate houses and security elements in furthering these forces is paramount.

        In certain situations, these two forces―State-communal and private-communal-mercenary―come together as in the Malegaon blast, the Mumbai incidents and the Assam blasts. It can be seen that the Assam blasts occurred just when the heat on Raj Thackeray got intense and investigations in the Praggya Singh case were revealing the face of real actors like the private Abhinav Bharati militia.

        In Mumbai, the Maharashtra Government is behind Raj Thackeray and the corporate lobby is behind the Maharashtra Government. The UP Bihar labor is labor-intensive and the new foreign investment coming into Maharashtra is technology-intensive. This is the economic reason behind the fake encounter of Rahul Raj of Bihar, the killing of Dharmadeo Rai and several other people from UP and Bihar.

        The Indian State therefore is being held hostage by two forces―a section of its own personal and secondly by private, national and International players working either with an ideology to create instability in India and Pakistan, or just like mercenaries working to create anarchy and perpetuate the forces of darkness as per their calling.

        Despite the American economic crisis and the world financial meltdown, foreign capital needs enclaves in India where things like sovereignty do not interfere with its activities. The Mumbai-Thane-Nasik triangle is one such enclave―so Raj Thackarey has powerful International backing and International forces have reached a point where after weakening the central Indian State during the liberalization era they are now dealing directly with states, encouraging them not to follow central dictates. Hence the scenario that Vilasrao Deshmukh is not listening to Man Mohan Singh or the Central cabinet and Maharashtra seems to have seceded from India. Hence the scenario in Gujarat and Orissa as well where too State Governments are not listening to the Center.

        The Center of course is weakening itself―in India we are seeing a war of Center against Center, state against center, state against state. The ultimate aim of anti-national foreign and domestic players is to encourage the security forces and government elements of various states to seek Independent actions and ultimately secession.

        The media is not even reporting cases like that of Allahabad and UP where an Islamic preacher named Zakir Naik was transported suddenly from Mumbai to create controversies about Imam Hussein and his status in Islam and polarize and divide Muslims also; this modern exercise was in stark contrast to earlier crude infightings between different Muslim sects, which did not carry the Zakir Naik type modern-political implications.

        Hindus have already been divided between Hindutva and Sanmatan Dharma―despite knowing that Sanatan Dharma is the Hindu religion, media and other forces have always depicted Hindutva as representing Hindus.

        Similar ploys are on to divide Indian Sikhs and Christians; the folly of Yogendra Yadav type figures is apparent in that while writing about how injustices produce terrorism and the like, they do not even hint at the wider conspiracy against the nation. Then they create non-issues like the unease felt by Hindus over minority communalism where no such unease exists―and moreover has Yogendra Yadav spoken to Sanatan Dharma leaders to find about their unease? It is obvious that Shri Yadav is bothered mainly about Hindutva forces and thinks they represent Hindus!

        In America, the military-Industrial complex is fighting back to hold on to `privatization of war and misery’ agenda against the espousal of more State intervention by Obama. The Obama Vs right wing conflict will determine in a way whether private corporate forces, and the military-Industrial complex will rule the roost. In India the communal-fascist-media-private corporate- nexus fears losing their grip over India―Shivraj Patil, the Home Minister is their leader―notice how the media has let him off!

These forces have somehow convinced the Congress and the BJP to go in for a Presidential style of Government as in that it will be easier to control the OBCs, MBCs, Dalits, women and minority aspirations. Failing that, a military-fascist coup cannot be ruled out.

        In this grave crisis, defeating the Congress and BJP is the main task of all secular-democratic, constitutional forces. Before that getting rid off the enemy number one of the Indian nation and people―Shivraj Patil―and then the enemy, number two―Raj Thackeray―is essential.    

        Intellectuals in west and North India do not realize that they are playing with fire. Shivraj Patil, Raj Thackeray, and Rajdeep Sardesai do not know the power of UP and Bihar people. If the police was not backing Raj Thackeray, UP and Bihar people would have retaliated in so many words to telling effect.

        Remember that UP and Bihar fought as a social structure to combat fascism and economic liberalization―see how the BJP has been marginalized in both the states. The pro-US, foreign-Indian corporate lobby will never forgive UP and Bihar for standing for Indian sovereignty, honor, deen and honor. UP and Bihar will resist forever corporate homogeneity and the rule of Ambanis and Tatas and Thackerays.

        The UP-Bihar angle links the Raj Thackeray episode, with bomb blasts and fake encounters like those of Batala House in Delhi and Rahul Raj in Mumbai. All are different sides of the same coin. In fact by killing Sajid and Atif in Delhi and Rahul Raj in Mumbai, the Delhi and Mumbai Police have de-communalized encounter killings―the sight of two similar fake encounters―one in which innocent Muslims were killed and another in which a Hindu fell to police bullets are before the nation to see and review.

The parallels are glaring and too close for comfort.

In India, Muslim persecution is now synonymous with persecution of North Indians. These two are synonymous with the persecution of Indian honor, sovereignty and dignity. In Raj Thackeray, the Maharashtra Government has created a Bhrindanwale. But this time, not the Indian army but the people of India, particularly of the North will exercise their supreme sovereign right to kill the state-sponsored paper tiger.

        Understand this: people of UP and Bihar fought and resisted against the British almost single-handedly for 200 years. Raj Thackeray and Shivraj Patil are nothing before them; note this: people of Bihar have asked Lalu to give them just two trains to Mumbai. They have nothing against ordinary Marathis. But they will show Raj Thackeray who is what; also the father of Dharmdeo Rai, the UP boy lynched in Mumbai, has returned the 2 lakhs offered to him by the State Government. He has declared a Rs. 20,00,000 supari on Raj’s head. And let me make this clear―in the coming war Marathi Dalits and MBCs will ultimately supportUttar Bharatis. 

        The answer to the question as to why 1857’s 150thcelebrations did not take place, and why such a historic opportunity of celebrating national sovereignty was let go off by the Indian State is this: 1857 created problems once it was `appropriated’ from the perspective of criminal-intellectuals like Swapan Das Gupta and Chandan Mitra by a Left nationalist like me―after all I wrote a 2000 page two volume magnum opus on the subject which no one could ignore. Giving importance to a subject like 1857 meant giving importance to me, which meant giving importance to Muslims, North Indians and Marathi Dalits OBCs and MBCs―the three forces behind 1857 and persecuted the most under the current dispensation.

Of course liberals like Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Mehta and Yogendra Yadav too did not utter a word of support for, me, or 1857.   

The silver lining is that the Congress and the BJP have not been able to polarize the situation. The BJP has fallen down the electoral ladder; the Congress hopes to scramble up but it is doubtful whether it will be able to form the next government without the Left or the third front.

In this scenario, the task is to form a new patriotic, democratic front, a people’s movement for civil rights and national sovereignty. Whether you call it the All India Patriotic Front (AIPF) or the Indian Patriotic Civil Liberties Union (IPCLU), this exercise will be friendly towards efforts aimed at building a new democratic political platform such as the Jan Sangharsh Morcha (JSM), the beginnings of which are already seen in UP where the JSM is organizing a huge rally on 10th November 2008. The next phase is to organize a march against Shivraj Patil in Delhi―and then a giant civil rights march early next year in Delhi to highlight two issues: enactment of civil rights laws like `atrocities against minorities (prevention)’ act and `torture and compensation’ act.                    

    

    

Rejoinder to Yogendra Yadav’s TOI article: “Injustice can produce a Gandhi, a Mandela or a terrorist” (Tuesday, October 28, 2008).

October 28, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

 

 

Rejoinder to Yogendra Yadav’s TOI article: “Injustice can produce a Gandhi, a Mandela or a terrorist” (Tuesday, October 28, 2008).

 

 

 

If Yogendra Yadav is referring to the currently popular definition of the word ‘terrorist’, he is wasting his time on matters that are only part of the bigger whole. He must first clearly visualize what he would like to treat as terrorism and what he will not accept as terrorism. Peace cannot be achieved by one-sided colored view of the total picture. An analyst should be prepared to view both sides of the coin.

 

The timing of his article in TIMES OF INDIA, today, on Oct 28, 2008, a few days after ATS has made some arrests of Hindu Radicals from Sangh Parivar, is very significant as much as, before the public exposure of the involvement of Sangh Parivar’s minions in bombings and communal rioting, the whole blame of such ‘terrorism’ was squarely placed on a convenient agencies created invention called SIMI.

 

Even now in his present article, he seems to have written an apologia for the Hindu involvement in terror attacks, when he has finally brought up the subject of what triggers ‘terrorism’. I have not come across any of his writing earlier than this, trying to figure out what motivated SIMI to commit bombings, if at all it is involved and if they were subjected to some injustice.

 

If his main objective is to project how ‘injustice’ impacts the victims, he has not bothered to even hint what injustices had been inflicted on SIMI or Bajrangis and by whom.

 

If it is the state that is guilty of injustice, then why is Yadav so hesitant, circumspect and scared to take on the state as the real culprit who organises such orgy of violence for its own political exigencies?

 

Yadav wants to invite the victims to choose, either to become a Gandhi, a Mandela or a terrorist.

 

However, it is not so easy to make a choice.

 

Even Gandhi and Mandela did not become ‘heroes’, without British co-opting them into carrying on their own political agenda. British were mortally afraid of another ‘mutiny’ in India. They transported Gandhi, a genuine pacifist — back to India to pacify Indian people —- just as they used to transport indentured labour to distant lands. It is the British that got Jinnah to organise a big welcome in Bombay for Gandhi, to project Gandhi as a big national leader. At every step of the way, Gandhi was courted at the highest level, to help British colonialists to maintain peace in the land. It is the British that left India for their own violation or compulsions, and not necessarily on Gandhi’s peace efforts.

 

British got Mandela out of prison after 27 years, when it became impossible to continue apartheid due to pressure from US Human Right groups, who wanted all US investments to pull out of South Africa as per US law requirements.

 

Terrorism in India has wider nuances than what Mr. Yadav has tried to present by way of enticing people to junk ‘terrorism’. His is a very noble exercise. 

However, if he really wants to contribute to clear up terrorism, he should do a deeper study of who is the mastermind behind the curtain manipulating of the pawns on the chessboard.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

————————————————————————————-

TIMES OF INDIA – October 28, 2008


THE PEACE SERIES


Injustice can produce a Gandhi, a Mandela or a terrorist

By Yogendra Yadav, 

Co-director of Lokniti and senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, reminds us that a terrorist is someone who at one point believed in the system


Terrorism is politics by other means. More often that not, a terrorist is a failed or disappointed reformist, someone who at one point believed in the system. Almost every act of mad terrorist violence is shaped by deep passion, not very different from the emotion that shapes any form of creativity. The wounds that a terrorist inflicts on scores of innocent victims are rationalized in the name of justice.


There are no doubt many a mercenaries among the ranks of terrorists, but those who we call terrorists often see themselves as nothing less than heroes, as persons who refuse to take it lying down or follow the conventional and ineffective ways of responding to a perceived injustice. Theirs is often the determination that produces a Gandhi, the quest for justice that creates a Mandela. When this kind of a person takes to terrorism, we lose a vital energy that could have shaped the idea of India.


If we agree that terror is failed politics, then the solution lies in firmly closing the back door of politics of terror and making sure that the front door of democratic negotiation, protest and contestation is kept open.

 

We have to think, in other words, about what the terrorists wish to say, about how they could have said it without taking this route. The trouble with so much talk about terrorism and ways of eliminating it is that it discusses only one half of the solution. Security experts talk only about how to close the back door of terror. But you cannot close all the doors for someone. You have to think equally hard about how to keep the front door of democratic politics firmly open for those who see no hope in the system.


This is not as simple as it looks. Following this simple formula requires complex negotiation with the orthodoxies that we have surrounded ourselves with. It requires not just confronting the bundle of lies perpetrated by communal politics, we also need to face some of the orthodoxies, silences and half-truths of the secular discourse.


How, for instance, do you firmly close the door of terror? This is not just a question for security agencies and terror experts, but also a question for human rights activists and secular politics. Left to themselves, the security experts will come up with solutions that are worse than the problem itself. Laws like POTA or AFSPA may occasionally succeed in nabbing a terrorist who escapes the net of ordinary laws, but the real-life implementation of such laws is bound to create many more terrorists than it nabs. Encounters like Jamia Nagar strike at the public trust in the police force. Reports like the Nanawati Report on Gujarat strike at the public confidence in judges as custodians of truth. The recent violence in Orissa strikes at the idea of rule of law. But those of us who rightly oppose these have a positive duty too. We must come up with an alternative, democratic way of dealing with the terrorists – Jehadis, Bajrang Dalis or whatever variety – that is at once effective and can respect the rights of every citizen.


The more important question in the long run is how do you keep open the doors for democratic negotiations? This brings us face to face with the delicate question of the involvement of some Indian Muslims in the recent acts of terror. Unfortunately one section of opinion in our country does not wish to acknowledge this fact while the other section does not want to look at the reasons why they may have taken to terror. It is only when we acknowledge that a tiny section of the Indian Muslim youth may be involved in it that we can begin to address some of the underlying reasons.


The way to keep doors for democratic politics open for this section of the Muslim youth is to create a space for open discussion about the condition of the Indian Muslims. The Sachar Committee report has done a great service to the country by making it possible to talk about some of these questions. Now we need to take the next step by debating the ways of addressing the disadvantage and discrimination that the Muslims face in every walk of life. We need to discuss modalities of affirmative action for the Muslims. We need to find ways of improving the political representation of the Muslims. Above all, the public arena needs to open itself to hear the voice of the Indian Muslims, their aspiration for dignity, identity and justice.


Secular politics has to evolve a language to speak about these issues to the public at large. In order to do so, it has to begin to address some difficult questions: How do we address some of the legitimate fears of the Hindus about large-scale institutionalized conversions? What are the rights of the Hindu minorities in J&K or in the North East? How do we react to the patently anti-democratic edicts of the Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee? Politics of secularism must not be seen to be weak on minority communalism.


If terror is politics in a distorted mirror, it follows that peace has to be politically crafted. This requires nothing short of renewing the idea of India for a new generation. This requires steadfast commitment to truth and the courage to question our own orthodoxies. We could do worse on a day to remember the maryadapurushottam.

 

[Ends]

Two Letters and a Story in Hell – By Amaresh Misra

October 16, 2008

 Two Letters and a Story in Hell  

 

                                                                                   By Amaresh Misra

 

          I want to tell everyone a didactic story.

         

          We all knew that torture in Indian jails is a reality; but it has taken two letters to prove why people like Javed Anand, who argued against having any sympathy for innocent Muslims arrested for belonging allegedly to a dreaded organization like SIMI—an organization against which a proper Court tribunal dismissed the Government of India’s plea for a ban—are either sadists, safedposh criminals or simply lackeys of the anti-Muslim, communal forces in India.

          What do these letters say about Yogendra Yadav and his stand? Only he can answer for despite issuing statements against the official version in the Batala House encounter—whatever the reason—he has chosen not to take a powerful enough stand against the ongoing Muslim Persecution in India. What also to say about people like Siddharth Vardarajan who make a big issue about being leftists and sensitive about secularism—appear on International platforms needlessly—but who do not take stand against torture?

          On 23rd November 2007 bomb blasts ripped the Civil Court premises of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh (UP). UP as we all know, is a bastion of secularism as opposed to say, Gujarat. In fact there was no major riot in UP after the Babri Masjid demolition even though the act took place in a district of the State. There was no riot in Lucknow, Allahabad and Varanasi, major UP cities, even in 1947. People still swear by UP’s Ganga-Yamuni Tehzeeb. UP produced the maximum, joint Hindu-Muslim resistance against the British in 1857; it sacrificed millions of its Hindu and Muslim sons to safeguard India’s freedom, faith (Deen), identity, soul and culture. UP was the place which made the BJP lose in the 2004 elections as the party came down to 10 seats in the state, which sends the maximum 80 members to the Indian Parliament.   

          If Gujarat is the new face of a fascist, corporate, anti-democratic, pseudo-modern, murderous and anti-national `India’, UP is the face of a democratic, progressive, indigenously modern, traditional and patriotic India.

          Criminal/Intellectuals like Swapan Dasgupta hate UP and 1857 because it militates against their smelly, underdeveloped, toady `India Today’ type facile, vapid, yet aggressively anti-Muslim, anti-people `modernity’.  

          It is on the point of torture inflicted especially on Muslim youth that despite mutual disagreements, people like Javed Anand, Siddharth Vardarajan and Swapan Dasgupta ultimately share in a conspiracy of silence.

          Yes—back to the November 2007 bomb blasts in UP. As usual Muslim youths were picked up—Aftab Ansari, who was picked up from Kolkata in East India was declared the `master mind’. As is the usual case in today’s India, the `mastermind’ turned out to be an innocent man trapped in the communal machinations of Indian security forces. He was let off by the Court.  

          But there were two other boys who were also picked up by the Police—their names are Muhammad Hakim Tariq Qasmi and Muhammad Khalid Mujahid. Both these boys are still lodged in the Barabanki jail. But the Courts have dismissed the charge of sedition against them—as is bound to happen, they too will be let off as innocents caught wrongly by the Police as the latter do not seem to have any evidence against SIMI or their alleged adherents.

          But what happened to those boys while they are in Police custody, especially that of the Special Task Force (STF)? Both boys have written letters in Urdu to the Judge and the Jail Superintendent. I found these at a Hindi site calledMohalla, run by conscientious Indians, mostly young Hindus.

They are here before you in English, translated, quite badly I suppose by me:    

 

Letter Number 1  

 

To,

The Jail Superintendent and the Chief Judicial Magistrate, from the district jail,

 

I, Muhammad Khalid, am a resident of mohalla Madeeyahoon, district Jaunpur, UP. On 16-12-07, the STF people picked me up in front of a large crowd from a shop in Madeeyahoon; I was taken to an unknown place. There they tortured me; they beat me up in different ways. The hairs of my beard were uprooted from various places. Both my legs were literally torn apart—STF people stood on my face and forced me to lick their penis. Petrol was poured on my anus; it became commonplace to tie one end of a string to my penis, and the other to a stone and leaving me in a standing position. Burning cigarettes buds were stubbed on my penis several times. Despite me being a Muslim I was made to drink alcohol, eat pork and drink urine again and again. Ice was put all over me; I was made forcefully to drink water through my nose because of which I used to almost lose my consciousness. I was burnt several times because of electric shocks and battery charges. All this happened so that I accept that I am guilty.

 

 

Letter Number 2

 

To,

The Jail Superintendent and the Chief Judicial Magistrate, from the district jail,

 

I urge that I, Muhammad Tariq, son of Riaz Ahmed Sakeen, hail fromSammupur Rani Ki Sarai, Azamgarh. I was picked up on 10th December (2007) in front of my medicine shop in Azamgarh by the STF and for 10 days I was tortured mercilessly and a video was made, which showed planted false stories regarding my person. On 22nd December, the STF people took me to Barabanki and showed my arrest with RDX and other explosives. This, when I was in their custody for 10 days—I  had never possessed RDX or any other explosives. From 24th December to 2nd January, the STF put me in their office on remand. The second remand phase started from January 9th when I was under the charge of the Faizabad CO. They tortured me day and night to force me to say things they wanted to me to say; on the night of 17th January 2008, Rajesh Pandey, the CO City of Faizabad, and OP Pandey, the STFdaroga, forced me to hold a red color battery (on which the word Shakti was prominent and there was something which was constantly sticking to my hands). Then I was a forced to hold bottles of Dabur Kevda. Then I was blindfolded and taken to another room.  I do not know what other things they forced me to hold as I was blindfolded. This much I understood that there were bags and boxes. I am afraid that they tried taking my fingerprints through various means. I beg of you these people want to frame me; I am a peace loving, patriotic citizen of India. I have never committed any crime—neither am I of this nature.

 

 

What do you now say—masters of culture and intellectuals of India—people like Sagarika Ghose and Rajdeep Sardesai? What is your specific response to this—are you ready to put these letters on your channel? What about that secular liberal named Vinod Mehta? Is he ready to print these in that magazine called `Outlook’?

 

I know some people might think that Amaresh Misra should tread cautiously and that he will make enemies—I do not care. The people I have named—with the exception of Yogendra Yadav—if they come face to face with me—to yeh log to gayo. All of them are shit scared of the UP temper and the fact that they by not exposing the truth, by deliberately suppressing the truth as in Vinod Mehta’s case, have obstructed justice as defined by India’s constitution, and they are guilty as hell.  

Well, I have a more hair-raising story to tell regarding another torture and it exposes several other lovers of secularism…  

                      

 

 

An Open letter to the National Integration Committee By Amaresh Misra

October 11, 2008

An Open letter to the National Integration Committee

 

Subject: The continuing Muslim and minority persecution in India                                               

 

 

                                                       By Amaresh Misra

 

 

 

          I, along with my fellow citizens of India, am addressing this letter to the meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) on 13th October. This Government of India body has the premier task of fighting communal forces and facilitating Indian national Integration  

 

Dear senior members of the NIC,        

 

You all know me as a historian and the author of `War of Civilizations: India 1857 AD’, the two volume authoritative work on 1857, India’s first war of Independence. I have been instrumental in making the world aware that India fought a great anti-colonial battle in the 19th century and that 10 million Indians were killed by rampaging British troops during the 1857 wars.

          1857 offers a shining example of national integration. There is no place from Gilgit to Tamil Nadu and Manipur to Maharashtra which was not affected by the great war of the Indian people. Hindus and Muslims fought as brothers. Kattar Hindu Sepoys or peasant soldiers went to Delhi to install, Bahadur Shah Zafar as India’s Emperor. When Rani Lakshmi Bai died she had only 250 Pathan-Muslim soldiers with her—all of whom perished in the fatal battle with the British. In Ayodhya, right near the spot where the Babari Masjid was demolished, Maulavis and Pundits were hanged together side by side. There was no distinction—Hindus and Muslims were one.

          Who can deny this history? I am a firm believer in policies and programs of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. But some elements in our society, represented by the RSS are hell bent upon in negating the Nehruvian legacy, secular-Sanatani Hindu ethos and the Muslim contribution to Indian history. Sadly, present-day secular forces seemed to have surrendered before them—how else you all, esteemed members of the NIC, can define the Batla House encounter? During this encounter, the Home Minister of a secular government was sitting in the control room of the Delhi Police supervising the suspect encounter of two Muslim boys in the Jamia Nagar area. Is this democracy? Even if we accept the police version that the boys were masterminds or something of the blasts that rocked Delhi on 12th September who has the right to kill them in full public view? Isn’t this unconstitutional?

   During my travels to the US I unearthed a widespread plot to destabilize India. This plot is being hatched by American and Indian Right Wing elements—but is being resisted by American Democrats. Shivraj Patil and Narendra Modi are part of this plot; what do you make of Tata shifting his Nano car to Gujarat? It means that even the corporate lobby has thrown in its lot with fascists.

What is the long-term design of the American-Israeli plot? It is to butcher Indian Muslims, sound a death knell to Indian nationalism, and erode India’s sovereignty. Let this letter serve as a warning to people like Shivraj Patil and Narendra Modi, who are not even a speck of dust as compared to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. A thousand Shivraj Patil, Narendra Modi and toady figures like Ratan Tata, will die a thousand deaths before their American masters can destroy India—a country built by the sacrifice of millions of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

 The bomb blasts that have rocked India since July 2008 have all been planned by the Home Ministry to effect Muslim persecution and communal polarization and destroy Indian nationalism. The reason: for Shivraj Patil, Narendra Modi and Ratan Tata, and the Indian corporate lobby, the current world economic crisis presents a dilemma. These forces want to rule the world through neo-liberal economic policies, which are failing even in America. In India, the current, neo-liberal economic policies have caused untold damage: while the corporate lobby stands strengthened, the peasantry and the Adivasis, the OBCs and the Dalits are all seeing a decline in their income. Unemployment and inflation is rampant. In the name of privatization, India’s Independent Industrial base has been eroded.

It is clear that that impoverished masses of India, the vast majority of minorities, Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs are restless. India wants a more pro-people, anti-corporate house economic policy. People want more empowerment, progress and prosperity. They are dissatisfied not only with the Modi-Tata economic policies, which have  made even the rich amongst OBCs, Dalits and minorities poor, but also with the entire ideology of fake Brahminism, which has been used since the British era to suppress minorities and Dalits.

RSS type Hindutva forces, created primarily by the British, are afraid of Sanatan Dharma, the true religion of Hindus. The reason is that Sanatan Dharma and Islam have worked in an historical alliance to create the great Indian composite culture which made India a superpower during the Mughal era.

Shivraj Patil and Narendra Modi hate the Indian composite culture. They also hate Hindus and Sanatan Dharma—like the British, Shivraj Patil and Narendra Modi know that as long as Sanatan Dharma and Islam exist in India, no harm can come to India’s sovereignty.

The American establishment—not the American people—are uncomfortable with Indian sovereignty; because Indian sovereignty implies anti-Imperialism and national dignity. America wants to turn India into a client-state, with limited sovereignty. What is best way to do this? From the American right wing perspective, a fascist Indian government which can curb nationalist and democratic elements is the best government.

It is clear that this fascist government can never come to power through votes. So the American game-plan is to organize bomb blasts, destabilize India, divert the attention of people from their real issues and then have a communal-fascist government assume power through largely undemocratic means in the name of `national security’. This fascist government will dismantle Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar’s constitution, thus disenfranchising the Dalits and minorities and all patriotic, peace loving and democratic people of India.    

What national security can Modi or Shivraj Patil provide India—they are already sold out to American interests. Who is India’s Home Secretary—he is the same anti-national figure who was the District Magistrate of Faizabad when the Babari Masjid was demolished.

Just pause and think for a moment—the Home Ministry since the time of LK Advani had enrolled unemployed Hindus and Muslims—these boys were exploited and used to plant bomb blasts. Then some organization like SIMI or the Indian Mujahideen (IM) was created and Muslims persecuted!

This has been the game-plan and Modi and Shivraj Patil think Indians are not aware of this? 

                 The recent Bomb Blast phenomenon stinks, from top to bottom. In March 2008 the Madhya Pradesh Police arrests Safdar Nagori, an alleged SIMI activist—then the Police of various states make a data bank of SIMI based on his confession. In India give any one, even Shivraj Patil, the home Minister to the police and in 24 hours the police will have even his confession as a the most dreaded terrorist of the country!

          What kind of a mockery is the Indian Mujahideen (IM)? We, the common people of India, know that the IM is a creation of the Home Ministry—Muslim boys being picked up from Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, UP and several other areas are all innocent victims of a foreign plot to destabilize India. The current Home Secretary is the same person who was the DM of Faizabad during the demolition of the Babari Masjid. How could the UPA government allow this to happen? How could a secular government allow a communal bureaucrat to become the Home Secretary in the first place?

          There is something clearly something very wrong here—Muslim boys are being picked up, while Ken Haywood, the American citizen form whose computer in Navi Mumbai the email sent by IM was traced is let off! There is not even a police investigation! And no one makes it an issue!

          Suddenly beginning from July 2008 we see pattern in which bomb blasts rock India with regularity, the media starts demonizing Muslims with impunity, and then the RSS-BJP-VHP-Bajrang Dal, the entire saffron brigade goes on a rampage in Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra killing Christians and Muslims? In Orissa women are raped—a similar thing happens in Dhulia where a pregnant women were raped—all this shows that Gujarat 2002 is repeating itself. Only this time, the communal elements have the protection of the Indian state.

          In Assam, the VHP is spreading false stories that Muslims are attacking Hindus. It is being openly said by the VHP in Assam that   

          The worst fears of secular forces have come out to be true—communal elements have taken over parts of the Indian State—this much is clear. The RSS is openly challenging the Indian State—everyone knows that the BJP is politically isolated and does not stand a chance in the 2009 elections. The entire Sangh Parivar has put in all its might now to unleash a reign of terror and sabotage the very fundamentals of Indian democracy and constitution.

          I ask the Dalit leaders attending the NIC meet—in front of your very eyes, the constitution of Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar is being trampled upon—what are you doing about it? Everyone knows that the RSS has always hated the Indian constitution and the very idea of India as a secular state—why then is there no talk of banning the RSS?   The RSS has openly challenged the Indian State. RSS chief Sudarshan has openly exhorted his cadres to attack minorities—I am attaching this statement: “Dear Hindus, In the rule of Congress Hindus, Hindu Saints and Hindu leaders are attacked. Hindus sentiments are hurt on the issues like Amarnath Pilgrim, Ram Setu etc. For these we should start praying and chanting for 10 minutes not only for the defeat of Congress in the coming election but also to destroy anti-Hindu and anti-nation Congress, Communist, anti-Hindus and pseudo Hindus”.

          What kind of poison is this—what is the Government of India doing about this? This is the same language Hitler used against Jews and Communists in the 1930s—is it part of the anti-national plan of Modi, Patil and the RSS to turn India into another Germany of the 1930s?

 

          Members of the NIC, please act before it is too late. Ban the Bajrang Dal, VHP and the RSS. Constitute a judicial enquiry into the Batla House encounter. Request the UPA Government to put a stop to acts of Muslim persecution and arrests. Publish a white paper on terrorism, which shows the real face of the culprits. Enact a new law which prevents atrocities against minorities and Adivasis.

Please do not be scared of a Hindu backlash or some such nonsense—I assure you, these people have killed Sharma, their own man during the Batla House encounter. Hindus have no sympathy for them. Talk to ordinary Hindus—they are nationalists and they want a revival of composite culture. They know that Indian Muslims have a long history of nationalism—if Muslims had really wanted to take revenge, they would have attacked Modi or Advani. They would not have attacked ordinary, innocent Hindus and Muslims in cowardly bomb blasts.

          It is known the world over that blasts which kill ordinary people are the handiwork of International, anti-national, evil and fascist forces. These forces can never become popular. So they execute blasts in order to create terror and ensure that people do not protest, or come out to vote against them.

 

Any Indian supporting RSS is anti-national—and he or she will be given an appropriate response.    

      

 

‘No tangible proof of Muslims’ involvement in terrorism’

September 29, 2008
‘No tangible proof of Muslims’ involvement in terrorism’

Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, head, Majlis-e-Mushawarat 
September 29, 2008
 
Upset at what they consider the deliberate implication of the Muslim community in terror attacks, varoius Muslim organisations last week formed an umbrella body — Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims — to raise their voice against the development. 

After a meeting at the Jamaat e Islami Hind in New Delhi [Images], held in the wake of the Jamia Nagar encounter in which two youth were shot dead and a police inspector was killed, they formed a five-member panel to counter the campaign against the community.
 
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, head of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, who is a member of this five-member committee, tells Special Correspondent Vicky Nanjappa that anger among the Muslim, especially among the youth, is building up over the continuing demonisation of the community.
 
All the organisations with you seem to completely disagree with the Delhi police on the Jamia Nagar encounter.
 
There are many question marks about this “encounter”. Three fact-finding reports to date have raised questions about the incident and the police narrative. All pointers indicate that it was a fake encounter. The police team did not go there to kill but to investigate and arrest. They bungled the operation; their officer was killed by his own men. As a result, in a fit of rage they killed two so-called “terrorists” and injured a third. To justify the killing, they invented this whole story making them “masterminds” and extending the conspiracy to their home district Azamgarh where dozens of youths have been picked up both from Azamgarh and Delhi on mere suspicion.
 
Outlandish stories are being churned out by the police and lapped up by a stenographic media like the claim that the slain youths had received crores of rupees in their accounts while bank managers in Azamgarh said on camera that these youths had paltry sums in their accounts; or the fantastic claim that these same youths had planted bombs in Varanasi, Jaipur [Images], Hyderabad, Ahmedabad [Images] etc. This logically means that since all the masterminds have been now killed or arrested, India from now on will not witness a single terrorist attack.
 
Why do you think that those youth in particular were targeted?
 
According to the Mumbai police, they had passed on some information about these youths to the Gujarat police and asked them to observe them. The Gujarat police, highly discredited as it is for its communal bias and criminal role in the riots, jumped the gun and informed the Delhi police that these people were planning to carry out explosions. These youths must be one of many under observation in the country. It was their bad luck that a police officer was killed while trying to arrest them and they paid the price for this.
 
Subsequently, the entire Muslim community is made to pay the price of this khaki crime which is not new to Delhi. We have already experienced fake encounters at Ansal Plaza and Connaught Place in the past.
 
If the encounter was fake then what do you have to say about the death of M C Sharma?
 
It is pretty clear that Sharma was killed by his own men at very close range from behind. It was the mistake of the police to rush 2500 policemen into the narrow lanes of Batla House. They were deployed on various floors and rooftops of the same building as well as on the adjoining buildings. Such a mishap was bound to happen in such a situation.
 
Invariably, after every terror attack, Muslim youth are being accused of involvement. What does the community have to say about this?
 
It is true the finger is pointed at Muslims after each act of terror, but without proof in every single case. The same security and intelligence agencies which did not know anything about an impending attack a minute before it took place, suddenly and within minutes know every detail of the persons, organisations, funders etc behind the incident. They want to cover up their abject failure, and as the Muslims are the weakest section at this moment, the blame is safely pinned on them.
 
There are umpteen terrorist organisations in various parts of our country working for a variety of secessionist and political aims. It is possible that there may be a few Muslims too who are taking to terrorism, but till today we do not have tangible proof of this. There is no proof that the Students Islamic Movement of India, despite its extremist views, ever had any armed wing or imparted any armed training to its members. All we have is tall claims by various people and agencies which were trashed by their own hand-picked judge of the tribunal formed by the Union home ministry. Moreover, close to 50 SIMI [Images] activists have been acquitted to date by courts across the country.
 
It is natural that anger is building up among our youth for two reasons: justice is not done in cases of blatant pogroms, riots and demolition of Babri mosque, while Muslim youths are routinely killed in encounters or arrested on baseless charges which are not proved in a court of law.
 
Do you suspect the role of right-wing Hindu outfits in some of the blasts that have occurred in the country?
 
We do not only suspect. Rather, we firmly believe that many acts of terrorism blamed on Muslims are in fact the handiwork of Hindutva terrorist outfits like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Shri Ram Sena, Hindu Munnani, Hindu Jagran Manch, Yuva [Images] Hindu Vahini, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Durga Vahini etc. Members of these outfits have been caught red-handed in many places like Nanded, Tenkasi, Thane and more recently at Kanpur but these terrorist acts/explosions are hushed up. So much so that the government has conceded that the Hindu outfits are not under its scanner.
 
How do you think the community should handle such a situation?
 
There is a high sense of both anger and insecurity in the community in all parts of India. Our message is always that we should not take the law in our hands and that we must use all the legal and constitutional channels to get justice, but I am afraid that this continued victimisation and denial of justice will push many of our youths to the path they are unjustly blamed of today. Perhaps this is the gameplan of the Hindutva organisations in the first place.
 
What about the ban on SIMI for terrorist activities?
 
The Muslim community believes that though these people were extremists, they were not terrorists and did not actually commit terrorist crimes, though it an unproven possibility that a few former members of SIMI may have indulged in acts of terrorism, but for this the whole organisation or the whole Muslim community cannot be blamed just as for crimes of the BJP and Congress, all members of the party cannot be blamed.
 
What you think about the government’s handling of the SIMI issue?
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party government which clamped the first ban on SIMI in September 2001 did so because it found SIMI to be the weakest point in the chain of a weak community. At the time SIMI was a marginalised group which had little sympathy or following in the community. Now it has sympathy in the community because it is perceived as a victim of State terrorism.
 
The United Progressive Alliance government had a good opportunity to get rid of this problem by accepting the Geeta Mittal tribunal’s verdict which threw out the home ministry case as it was based not on facts and evidence but on mere claims. But the government chose to appeal to the Supreme Court which acted fast to continue the ban. The same Supreme Court is sitting on three appeals by SIMI since 2002 against judgments by three earlier tribunals and did not find a few minutes to look into them.
 
With SIMI in the dock, which youth outfit do the Muslim youth look up to?
 
The Students Islamic Organisation is very strong. The Muslim youth can always join this organisation.
 
Will SIO too go the same road as SIMI?
 
What happened with SIMI will never happen with SIO. SIMI never had the supervision and guidance of elders. However, with SIO that is not the case and elders in the community are constantly monitoring and guiding it.
 
SIMI prior to being banned used to act on its own and somewhere things went haywire. SIMI never had the sympathy of the community prior to being banned, but now we do sympathise since we feel the outfit is being (falsely) implicated.
 
The nation’s focus has now shifted to the Indian Mujahideen [Images]. What are your views on this outfit?
 
No one knows what this Indian Mujahideen is. All we have is three emails sent to some media organisations. Curiously the first email was sent from the computer of an American evangelist based in Mumbai who was later allowed to flee the country. Under some bargain he was allowed to come back later perhaps to clear his name and that of the security agencies too that allowed him to flee. Before he fled he had claimed that the police were asking him a bribe in order to close his case. It is anybody’s guess why this American was never arrested and why no charges were levelled against him. Is there is an international dimension to what is happening in India?
 
You say several innocent youth are being targeted by the police in the name of terror. What role are you going to play in securing the release of these persons?
 
We are highlighting cases where we have reason to believe that injustice is being done. We issue statements, we write to the highest officials, we hold dharnas and conferences and we approach the courts. All these are within the laws and liberties granted to Indian citizens.
 
Lastly, your views on Saturday’s Mehrauli blast.
 
I condemn it and my heartfelt condolences to those victims and their families. But I would like to ask the following question. According the Delhi police following the Jamia Nagar incident, all the dreaded masterminds had either been killed or arrested. If this was the case no blast should have taken place. But the fact remains that such attacks continue to take place in the very capital. What happened to the claims by the Delhi police?
 
 http://in.rediff.com/news/2008/sep/29inter1.htm
 

Memorandum Submitted to Shri Manmohan Singh, Honb’le Prime Minister of India By COORDINATION COMMITTEE OF INDIAN MUSLIMS

September 27, 2008

 

COORDINATION COMMITTEE OF INDIAN MUSLIMS
Dawat Nagar, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110 025
 
Memorandum
 
Submitted to Shri Manmohan Singh
Honb’le Prime Minister of India
 
A rally of prominent citizens of Delhi was organized today under the auspices of the Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims today, Friday, September 26, 2008 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.  The rally was attended by leaders of major Muslim organizations, leftist and secular leaders, students, youths, social activists, intellectuals and concerned citizens. They condemned all disruptive and terrorist acts committed by anyone as well as the incidents of State brutality. The rally demanded the following:
 
1)            The Government of India should take note of the pertinent questions raised by several citizens’ inquiry teams about the questionable nature of the 19 September 2008 “encounter” at Batla House, Jamia Nagar. A high level judicial time-bound enquiry should be conducted into the whole incident to find out the truth and its findings must be made public.

2)            Without proper inquiry and tangible evidence, no person or organization should be blamed for terrorist acts.

3)            All innocent persons picked up by the police in Delhi, Azamgarh, Mumbai and other places should be immediately released. No one should be arrested without substantial grounds which should be made public.

4)            The heavy police deployment in Okhla since 19 September 2008 should be withdrawn forthwith in order to remove uncertainty, sense of insecurity prevailing in the area.

5)            Harassment of common people in Delhi should be stopped. Landlords should not be harassed and coerced into evicting their tenants.

6)            Police should desist from torture and third degree methods and should respect the guidelines of the Supreme Court in this regard.

7)            Even minors are being picked up by the Police. They should be immediately released.

8)            Some of the arrested students have clear evidence available of their innocence. They should be immediately released.

9)            In conducting raids and detaining people for questioning, the police should take the residents associations and leading personalities of the area into confidence. 

10)        The media must be made to behave in a responsible, unbiased and impartial manner. The rally condemns the blatant anti-Muslim bias exhibited by a section of the media which rushes to conclusions, blows up and in effect blames the whole Muslim community and entire regions of committing/abetting terrorism.

11)        The Government should respect the verdict of the Justice Geeta Mittal Tribunal  and lift the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It should note that dozens of former SIMI activists have been acquitted by courts across the country.
 
 
Mujtaba Farooq, Convenor, Coordination Committee & Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat
Ml. Abdul Hameed Nomani, Acting General Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind
Ml. Abdul Wahab Khilji, Asstt General Secretary, All India Milli Council
Ml. Mahmoodul Hasan, President, Jamiat Ahl-e Hadees, Delhi Pradesh
Dr Taslim Rahmani, President, Muslim Political Council
Ml. Zeeshan Hidayati, Chairman, Majlis-e Fikr-o Amal
Irfanullah Khan, Chairman Jamia Nagar Coordination Committee
Ml. Jalal Haidar Naqvi, Secretary, Majlis-e Ulama-e Islam

26 September 2008
 
 
 
 

Media Circus by Yousuf Saeed

September 20, 2008

From: Yousuf Saeed <saeed.yousuf@gmail.com>  

 

Reply-To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com

 

To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com

 

Date: Sep 19, 2008 9:38 PM

 

Subject: Re: [arkitectindia] Thoughts on Terror

 

Friends

 

I have titled this message the “media circus”, although I am actually referring to this morning’s so-called encounter killing of two young people referred to as “terrorists” in L-18 Batla House, Jamia Nagar, by the Delhi police. I call it media circus because that’s what I think it really is, like many more such incidents.

 

The incident happened in my neigbourhood, about 150 meters from my house. So I have the opportunity to see how things are turning up. I had gone out of the area for some work while the incident was taking place around 11 am, but found it impossible to reach back home 2 hours later, because the road for about 1 and a half kilometer (on both sides) was completely blocked, not by the police vehicles, but by the parked OB vans of the countless TV channels, some of which I never heard of before. Each of these vehicles had its generators on, and thick video cables jetting out of them for several meters to the other end where the cameraperson and the excited anchor were shouting how two terrorists have been killed in the fierce encounter. Most local people are surprised at the speed with which the TV crews arrived here and in such large number. Apparently, the Delhi Police had already told a section of the press they are going for a raid in Batla House, based on the suspect Abu Bashir’s tip-off ( I heard this from a anchor on Times NOW channel, although Police chief Dadwal is now denying there is any link with Abu Bashir), but they didn’t obviously say it was going to be an encounter. It’s strange that the local residents got to know about the incident only after the two people had been killed – many in fact learnt it from the Aaj-tak channel. They claim they heard only the police firing and no gunshots from inside the flat, which the police claim have injured two of their constables.

 

Most of you watching news TV in your homes may have already heard the cacophony of the TV anchors, each trying to be shriller than the other to prove that the local members of the Indian Mujahideen have been killed. They now seem to have memorized their lines on this issue well, since they have to repeat the same thing again and again. The graphics, animated logos, crawling tickers, and dramatic music/soundtrack to go with such coverage are always ready in the cans to be used at short notice. A cameraman running towards Batla House is nibbling at a burger while he holds on to a camera in his other hand.

 

I saw two members of a TV crew outside the Holy Family Hospital (where the injured policemen have been taken) fiercely fight about which camera angle would look best for a sound byte. Everything looks as if planned and part of the usual business. The cops are happily allowing the media to climb any wall to get the best shot while they beat the local rickshaw-pullers to leave the roads clean. The message has got across loud and clear: we told you – Batla House is a haven of terrorists.

 

But many things sound fishy. I’ve been hearing a lot of angry conversations in the neighborhood: people are asking that if the police had only planned a simple raid (which they did 2 days ago in Zakir Nagar and Abul Fazl Enclave too), why did they have to bring battalions of police and encounter specialists with AK-56 and other deadly looking guns (that I myself saw) in advance. And why is the media called in even before the residents are told. Of course the fact the this happens in the month of Ramzan, on a Friday, and near a large mosque where people were going to gather in large numbers later for prayers, sounds just too predictable and clichéd for anyone’s imagination. Some locals claim that the police had been visiting this place (and that particular house) since last few days, and the so-called terrorists and their weapons were probably “planted” last night for this encounter. This claim would obviously find no takers in the presently created euphoria (did you see any channel showing a sound byte to this affect?) I didn’t find a single local resident who is not fed up with this oft-repeated image of Jamia Nagar as harboring terrorists. But none of the channels I saw aired the public angst against their portrayal.

 

To be honest, one shouldn’t deny that the Batla House area has some criminal and anti-social elements, just as Darya Ganj or Shahadra or Govindpuri would have. But most local residents believe that for Jamia to become a haven of such criminal elements, the local police and land-mafia are equally responsible. Jamia area is one of the rare localities of Delhi where the rule of law doesn’t apply in most spheres. The land mafia openly indulges in illegal construction; no rules of traffic apply here, the condition of civic amenities is abysmal. Illegal shops, factories (many with child labour) and businesses operate here actively with police connivance. The local politicians (MLA, councilors) are actually part of the problem rather than the solution.

 

There is a full-scale illegal ISBT (bus stand) running in Batla House’s backyard to bring hundreds of migrants everyday from small towns of UP (you can see the police openly accepting bribe from its operators any day).

 

There is no question of sealing whatever the heck business you may run here and most places stink with heaps of garbage everywhere. There are no RWAs or citizen’s initiatives to discuss the problems. It is truly a manufactured ghetto of Delhi – why don’t all these problems happen in Lajpat Nagar or Kalkaji? I am positive that the authorities are aware that criminals (or what they call terrorists) exist here.

 

But they deliberately allow them to thrive here – never to be touched in the normal/peaceful times – keep them for the right time. It is as if Batla House is a laboratory or breeding ground where things are allowed to grow by providing all the required ingredients and safety.

 

The fruits are plucked only when they are ripe (or required). So today, they simply came to gather the fruit they had sown, and made a big exhibition of it by calling the media. The local people, frightened that the next encounter may happen in their house, simply squirm and hide in their personal ghettos.

 

In all this, a big responsibility lies with the media, and I am yet to come across bold and honest reporters who are ready to go beyond the obvious and investigate the truth – not simply repeat what is told to them by the authorities or their channel bosses.

 

Yousuf Saeed

September 19, 2008

 

————————————

The fall of the house of cards By Ghulam Muhammed

September 18, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

 

 

The fall of the house of cards

 

 

Delhi bomb blasts have completely destroyed the elaborate fiction line that police, investigating agencies, media and politicians all together, deliberately or inadvertently (take your pick) had been dutifully following after each bombing incident all over India. This time around the people were somehow got tired of the old line of blaming SIMI, which seems to have acquired nine lives, now that even two of its masterminds, as declared by ATS, are behind bars and still there is no let up in the bombings.

 

A big change in people’s thinking was brought about by Ajay Sahni’s meticulous investigative articles in Tehelka that exposed the fake demonisation of a ‘chosen’ enemy, as a convenient ploy to cover up the real culprits that were beyond of pale of law, due to apparent political consideration.

 

The disarray started in the UPA camp itself, when three prominent coalition party leaders, publicly expressed the doubt in SIMI could have been involved in all these series of bombing.

 

By the time of Delhi bombings, the storm blew up in the face of the Home Minister, Shiv Raj Patil, who is widely believed to have soft corner for an opposition party, that is most suspected of being involved.

 

The media took the hint of the adverse winds, and started concentrating on the real job of investigative reporting.

 

Following is just one example of how the hints are out, that ‘Indian Mujahideen’ could be an invention of some non-Muslim organisation, out to defame and demonise Muslims and prepare grounds to foment communal riots.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

 

 

 

www.dnaindia.com

 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

 

Page: 1

 

Terror mail writers may not be madrassa products

 

Handwriting analysis shows they are urban-bred and may not know Urdu

 

Aditya Kaul. New Delhi

 

The emails sent before the serial blasts of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Uttar Pradesh have been signed by three individuals, but one of them was only trying to copy the signature of the group leader just before Jaipur blasts, according to one of Indias leading graphologists.

 

The graphologist, who has helped the police in several investigations, believes that all the signatories are urban bred, English-speaking individuals, who may have had almost no madrassa education, if they are Muslims. It is quite possible that the three persons who have signed the documents do not know Urdu language. And thats because the strokes in the signature of a person who knows how to write and read Urdu are distinctively different. There is no reason to conclude that all of them are Muslims, he said.

 

These people are well educated men and have been born and brought up in metros. They have sound family backgrounds and have been brought up in families with a modern outlook, the handwriting expert said.

 

DNA had over the past two days consulted with some of Indias leading psychologists and handwriting experts to try and figure out the men, and women, if any, who could be playing a key role in the terror groups that are wreaking havoc across Indian cities. Yesterday, DNA carried detailed psychological profiles of the writers of the five terror mails, in which the psychologists surmised that the writers were in the age group of 20-50 and suffered from anti-social personality disorder. They were highly educated.

 

DNA has now been given a detailed analysis of the signatures on the documents. Four of the five emails have been signed — two of them have been signed as Guru Al Hindi and Al Arbi, the third has been signed only by Al Arbi. The fourth carries a signature faked by someone else for Guru Al Hindi.

 

The handwriting expert says there are primarily two people who have signed four of the five emails. These two people — Guru Al Hindi and Al Arbi — are personalities in contrast. One is a confident energetic extrovert individual, while the other is an extremely shy introvert.

 

The two have received assistance from a third person, or more, in drafting the emails. The third person whose signature is on the email sent just before the Jaipur blasts seems to have tried to copy Guru Al Hindis signature and he is only an understudy, if he is part of it.

 

The original Guru Al Hindi looks like the real executive director of the group. He is calm in the head and thats his plus point, says the graphologist.

 

The expert, who studied the email independent of the group of psychologists whom DNA consulted earlier, has agreed with several of their conclusions, including the fact that the emails were prepared by a small group of at least three people. There have been five emails which have credible links to the terrorists — four of them sent just as the explosions were to happen in the Uttar Pradesh courts, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The fifth was sent to rubbish the Gujarat polices claims that Simi was behind the Ahmedabad blasts.

 

 

Different strokes in terror mails

 

Handwriting experts say that al Arbi who signed one of the emails may not be a proper follower of Islam

 

Page: 10

 

Aditya Kaul. New Delhi

 

Guru al Hindi and al Arbi, the two persons who signed the terror emails sent just before some of the recent serial blasts across the country, are very contrasting personalities, according to a leading graphologist.

 

DNA had got the handwriting expert to analyse the signatures on the PDF formatted emails sent after the blasts. Four of the five emails have been signed — two of them as Guru al Hindi and al Arbi, the third only as al Arbi. The fourth carries a signature faked by someone else for Guru al Hindi.

 

The expert says Guru al Hindi is a person full of bubbling energy and enthusiastic to achieve something ASAP [as soon as possible]. He is riding high on confidence. And this confidence isnt over-confidence.

 

He knows exactly what he is doing. He is sharp. Kind of an upcoming genius and it would be very tough to trap him. With his kind of sharpness and energy, our agencies stand nowhere as of now.

 

On the other hand, al Arbi is a complete introvert, who is shy of the world and cant speak out much in the open. He is “definitely” a young male, says the graphologist, who has in the past assisted agencies in investigating sensitive cases. al Arbi’s is the only signature in the email sent out rubbishing the Gujarat police claims on the Ahmedabad bombers. Along with Guru al Hindi he has signed the mails just before the Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts. The email sent before the Uttar Pradesh serial blasts does not contain any signatures.

 

Al Arbi puts a lot of effort to hide his real self to anyone around him, but at the same time he is fairly literate and likes to read a lot. This youngster is short-tempered but covers up his anger in front of others. A completely emotionally unstable person and, if he continues to be so, the chances are he might just vanish or come out in the open if ignored, says the analyst. Therefore, the best way to catch him is to show that no one is trailing him, the graphologist, who has an enviable record in assisting crime investigation, suggests.

 

Chances are that al Arbi, a loner by nature, is the only child in his family or the youngest with some elders putting a lot of peer pressure on him. He comes under mental stress easily and yet loves that stage all the time as well.

 

In an interesting twist to the investigations, the graphologist suggests that this young member of the terror group is working and writes a lot and takes down notes regularly. The person could also be into painting, graphic designing or website designing.

 

From the emails it is clear that the writers have extensive knowledge of the Indian media scene, and they invariably carry detailed analysis of some newspapers and events in their mails. The sentence construction, the selection of email IDs of news organisations and other factors too point towards the possible media background of some of those involved in writing these mails and bombings. The graphologist does not deny this possibility in his analysis.

The graphologist suggests that al Arbi is dangerously getting into the habit of breaking rules. Probably he is not even a proper follower of Islam, or not even a Muslim in the first place itself.

 

On the emails, the graphologist said, there is a definite involvement of at least three different people in these documents signed. And there still could be more because the emotions and the tactics to scare and threaten drastically change, which dont match with the characters of the persons signing them.

 

aditya_k@dnaindia.net

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA – By Shabnam Hashmi & Ram Puniyani

September 16, 2008

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA

 

September 15, 2008

New Delhi

 

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,

 

The blasts in Delhi (September 12, 2008) are another in the series of tragic blasts in which scores of people have been killed. We strongly condemn the blasts and demand a proper, unbiased investigation into the same. We demand that the guilty be punished. At the same time it seems that our investigating agencies are ignoring some thing very crucial in the matters of investigating the acts of terror.

 

The acts of terror have been occurring and Home Ministry is watching helplessly. While the current investigation is totally focused around SIMI, many an alleged culprits have been put behind the bars, despite which now some unknown entity Indian Mujahideen seems to have been projected as being responsible for the current ones. At the same time another stark truth is being deliberately sidelined and undermined. And that relates to the blasts done by Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Samiti. We fail to understand as to why the investigation authorities are turning a blind eye to some of the well established facts.

 

1. In a serious case of blasts in Nanded in April 2006 two Bajarang Dal workers died when making bombs. Similar incidents of bomb blasts were witnessed in many places around that time, Parabhani, Jalna and Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Most of these were in front of the mosques. The Nanded investigation ‘leads’ were not followed. On the contrary the investigation in that direction was not pursued at all. The attitude of police in this investigation has been totally lax. Social activists made the complaint about this to Human Rights commission. The commission summoned the Superintendent of police, Nanded, in its hearing held on 17thJune. The SP failed to turn up for hearing! There seems to be a deliberate cover up of this important finding of Maharashtra Anti terrorist Squad. ATS did investigate the links of the dead with Bajrang Dal, an RSS affiliate. At the same time the injured were visited in the hospital by the top brass of local BJP and associates. Local BJP MP told the police not to harass those related to the culprits in the wake of the Bajrang Dal involvement in the bomb making. In Nanded, ATS also found fake moustache and pajama kurta, the idea being that the culprits will dress like a Muslim while doing these black deeds.

 

2. A bomb blast took place at the RSS office at Tenkasi, in the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu on January 24. After a thorough investigation, the Tamilnadu Police had arrested 7 persons belonging to Sangh Parivar outfits. They had confessed that they indulged in this terror act to instigate the local Hindu population against the Muslims.

 

On further investigation, the Tamilnadu Police arrested Siva Alias Sivanandam, who is the General Secretary of Hindu Munnani at Kadayanallur, a neighbouring town of Tenkasi. Formed in 1980, Hindu Munnani is a frontal organisation of Sangh Parivar operating in Tamilnadu.

 

Siva, who has earlier worked in quarries in the neighboring state of Kerala had supplied the ammonium nitrate and other raw materials for preparing the bombs.

 

3. The bombs which exploded in Gadkari Rangayatan on 4th June 2008 injured seven people. Again Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad succeeded in nabbing the culprits. The culprits were part of Hindu Janjagaran Samiti (HJS), an outfit of Sanatana Ashram in Panvel. These culprits were also involved in other blasts, in Vashi, Panvel and Ratnagiri. We have not heard anything about the further tracing of this very important lead.

 

4. On 24th August, in Kanpur two Bajrang Dal workers died while making bombs. Rajiv alias Piyush Mishra and Bhupinder Singh were killed while making crude bombs on Sunday afternoon.

 

On 25th August, Monday, police recovered some crude hand grenades, lead oxide, red lead, potassium nitrate, bomb pins, timers and batteries from the spot, inside a hostel in Kalyanpur area of Kanpur, about 80 km from Lucknow. No further investigation, why?

 

Every time there is a bomb blast immediately the agencies and the media declare that it is done by some Muslim organization without any proof. Hundreds of innocent young boys are picked up, what follows are illegal detentions, torture, arrests, harassment of families, forcing the families and victims to sign blank papers. For years these helpless victims are tortured in jails, denied legal aid, even lawyers who try and fight their cases are attacked openly in courts. Their images tarnished for life time. If they are lucky they get let off after years as neither the agencies or the police have any proof against them. The cacophony of stricter laws rises so that a police can extract a confession by third degree torture and present that as evidence.  Through this systematic vilification campaign the process of demonization of minorities continued unabated.

 

If we look at the timing of the terror attacks it is very clear that one and only one political outfit is gaining from it and that is Sangh. With their eyes on the central government their agenda of polarizing the voter is going ahead successfully.

 

On the other hand there are constant attacks on minorities on one pretext or another. Orissa thousands of Christians have been attacked, rendered homeless, their homes ransacked and looted and burnt down, churches attacked and even orphanages are not left alone.

 

Karnataka a similar picture is emerging. We have personally briefed very senior people in the government and the Congress party about the Karnataka situation and that it might explode but nothing was done and we have seen what has happened yesterday.

 

While we write to you now, the police are firing at Muslims in Yakutpura in Vadodara. Yesterday during the Ganpati procession a local dargah was broken down and shops of Muslims looted and ransacked. Already one boy has died and many are injured.

Last few days the only Muslim village Nandepeda in the Dangs, Gujarat has been attacked, ransacked. Villagers have been beaten up brutally including women and children. All men have fled to the jungles. The police not only took away all the goods but before going they poured kerosene into the eatable good so that they could not eat anything too. A proposed VHP rally today was stopped after spending 4 hours on the phone and pressuring various police departments. 

 

UPA had formed the National Integration Council under tremendous pressure. The first agenda papers which were prepared, if you remember, were highly communal and objectionable. A number of us had raised it during the meeting and the Home Minister had replied’ treat them as scrap’ in your presence. Probably the Home Minister realized that people like us were too uncomfortable to have in the NIC, who would raise these questions. The NIC was never convened again. It was supposed to meet every six months.

 

The country unfortunately has been given on a platter to the Sangh and the government looks helplessly in providing security to ordinary citizens whether they are victims of terror attacks or victims of the constant attacks by the Sangh Parivar’s various outfits.

 

We hope you will intervene and question why are such clear cases of involvement of RSS affiliates in terror attacks being ignored. It seems the investigating authorities deliberately want to cover up the role of RSS affiliates in these acts of terror. Can the real truth behind the dastardly acts come out without properly investigating these incidents, where the culprits’ involvement is very clear? We urge upon you to instruct the investigating authorities to pursue the investigation in an unbiased, honest and professional manner. The life of innocent citizens is at stake and such irresponsible cover will definitely prevent the real truth from coming out. For the sake of fairness, honesty and the values of our constitution, we need to pursue these cases in their logical direction.

 

Can we look forward to you, Mr. Prime Minister to make your Government to rise above partisan attitude and unravel the truth behind the blasts which are rocking the country in a painful way?

 

Sincerely

 

 

Shabnam Hashmi, Member, National Integration Council

Ram Puniyani, Social Activist, and writer