Monday, November 25, 2013

Tarun Tejpal : A Muslim Perspective

How should we Muslims react to the Tarun Tejpal affair just unfolding in the news?

Of course one should not judge anything in haste but one has to make a judgment sooner than later.

Here is one possible Muslim perspective. But first the facts as these have come out.

According to an article in the Times of India on November 22, 2013 a female journalist working for the Tehelka, a magazine specializing in sting operations, sent an email to its managing editor Shoma Chaudhury accusing the founding editor Tarun Tejpal of sexual assault.

Chaudhury  feels a sense of outrage and betrayal but will not go to the police for Tejpal has a different version. Police files a FIR under Sections relating to rape, rape of a woman taking advantage official position and outraging the modesty. DGP of police Kishan Kumar asserts that law will pursue its own course and the Chief Minister of Goa, the place where incident took place, Manohar Parrikar assures a crackdown on high profile crime [sic].

Tarun Tejpal resigns from his post for six months and assures full co-operation to the investigating agencies, apologizes to the victim. Managing editor Chaudhury appoints a committee of three members, Tejpal's colleagues, to investigate the matter and denies charges of covering.

Tejpal asks for examination of the CCTV footage. DIG of police, OP Sharma, receives the footage. Police also asks for victims emails as well as all relevant documents.

Episode had occurred in a five star hotel in Bambolin, five kilometers from Goa capital Panaji. 

On November 23 the Goa police team is in Delhi to investigate the matter with victim, accused and others. Shoma Chaudhury says that the information in the media is wrong. Says that it does not amount to cover up to say that Tejpal has a different version of events. Promises full co-operation to Goa police and Delhi police assures the same.

The case carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Threat of arrest looms large on Tejpal who apologizes for lapse of judgment.

FIR files by Goa police at the directive of National Women's Commission.

Tejpal says that it was a consensual event that lasted less than a minute.

Shoma Chaudhury says that she angrily confronted Tejpal after receiving girl's email on Monday, perhaps November 18, about the event that took place a fortnight ago during a ThinkFest organized by Tehelka.

Girl had marked three other journalists in her email - whatever that means.

ABVP, the student wing of BJP, activists demonstrate outside Tejpal's house in Jangpura and Tehelka office in Greater Kailash - II in New Delhi.

Rounds of meetings in government and police department. Sources in the police said that there is a prima facie case against Tejpal.

Girls allegation that Tejpal assaulted her twice.
It turns out that there were no CCTV camera in the elevator.
A corridor camera shows the girl leaving in a hurry.

Tejpal's lawyer, Rajan Karanjwala, says that in incident happened only once.

A relative of Tejpal meets victim's mother requesting protection for him. Victim felt under pressure.

Another team to arrive in New Delhi from Goa to meet the victim.

Police asks Chaudhury to hand over the laptop and iPad used in communication for the case.

Tejpal and family members refuse to meet the media camped outside their residence.

The Godfather-II actor Robert Di Nero too was in the conference.

Victim wanted to go out of the lift and take the stairs but Tejpaj prevented her from doing that. girl on the verge of hysteria but the editor carried on.

... I then realized that Mr Tejpal was simply pressing buttons... to make the elevator stay in circuit, preventing it from stopping anywhere, and for the doors to open. At this point, he began to kiss me...
Further and more explicit details ahead.

National Commission for Women (NCW) asks Mumbai police to provide security to the victim.

Goa team interviews three Tehelka employees but returns without questioning Tejpal. Chaudhury grilled for nine hours.

Delhi High Court to hear Tejpal's bail plea.

Police might file additional charges against Tejpal.

Journalist Nidhi Razdan asks Choudhury that it looks as if you are more upset that the news was leaked then the event itself. Grilled on Vishakha guidelines:

Vishakha judgment was an off shoot of a rape case verdict in Rajasthan. It stipulated official responsibility of employer in case of work place sexual assault.

Kiran Bedi said that Shoma Chaudhury should have been the first one to go to the police and that she has been wasting time on new networks explaining the situation. Like Nirbhaya case the police investigation will fix the case and this man will be fixed.

Tavleen Singh said that Tehelka takes higher moral grounds then any other network in these matters but in their own case they are talking about another version of the events.

Indira Jaisingh: The email from the girl should not have been in the public domain but unfortunately that is the case. On the basis of that there is a case for ( commitment of ) rape.

Nandita Das: I was extremely disappointed with Tehelka for we contributed to the creation of Tehelka (with different hopes.)

Suzzette Jordan, a rape survivor from Kolkata: I was at the event talking about my ordeal and now I feel that I might have been made fun of in a similar manner as the present victim is being laughed at.

The Vishakha judgment was an offshoot of a rape case involving a social worker in Rajasthan. It laid down the requirements for employers dealing with complaints of sexual assault and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims of harassment.

Read more at:
The Vishakha judgment was an offshoot of a rape case involving a social worker in Rajasthan. It laid down the requirements for employers dealing with complaints of sexual assault and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims of harassment.

Read more at:
The Vishakha judgment was an offshoot of a rape case involving a social worker in Rajasthan. It laid down the requirements for employers dealing with complaints of sexual assault and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims of harassment.

Read more at:
Four Tehelka journalists resign.

Shobha De divulges that Tejpal was victim's father's friend as well as father of her friend. ... after all hell had broken loose, and social media platforms had created a war zone out of the controversy, nothing of any worth was forthcoming from Tehelka’s side.

BJP's Arun Jetli accuses Congress of protecting Tejpal.

... the nation is deprived of the sage advice of P Chidambram, the caustic comments of Kapil Sibal and the exaggerated tweets of Manish Tewari ...

Tejpal's lawyers Geeta Luthra and Pramod Dubey moved the Delhi High Court for Tejpal's bail, before Justice GS Sistani, which is likely to be heard Tuesday.

Tarun Tejpal stops Raman Kiranpal's story on Goa mining mafia a few years ago. Since then Tejpal's ThinkFest has been held in the hotel owned by the same mafia.   ... you are in Goa, eat and drink as much as you want and sleep with whomever you want ...


Tarun Tejpal came to lime light with the sting operation on BJP president Bangaru Laxman who had to resign from his post for having got caught on tape shoving a hundred thousand rupees in his desk.

And then his team went onto do some more operations of the same kind including tricking the perpetrators of Gujrat violence against Muslims.

They had done an operation on Muftis having ideological affiliation to Deoband's Darul Uloom thinking that they have proved to the world that Muftis can give Fatwah for money - implying saleability of a Shariah opinion.


Islam tauts itself as a complete way of life and hence should have an opinion on the sordid saga unfolding before our eyes.

The media at the moment is overwhelmed by the feminist take on the matter. Tehelka itself is a representative and a de facto subscriber of the feminist ideology. It is clear that this is a sore point for the many people opining on the episode.

There is that opinion that if Tejpal goes down, and it looks all set to go that way, then Tehelka too will go down.

Now the dominant media outlets of India as well as the dominant intellectual stream in modern day India happens to be the people like Tarun Tejpal. It is unlikely that they will come out with a comprehensive solution to the problem. Even the assertion that it is a failure of an individual to implement the said ideology and not a failure of the ideology itself has to be implanted into their discourse from without - they are not likely to come up with that excuse.

So we come to the original question - what is Islam's take on the affair.
There perhaps will be two answers. One from the educated class of Muslims. They will look for the sources on which they depend - the modern media. Clearly they are unlikely to come up with an original solution given the fact that the dominant media ideology is facing a crisis of conscience - whether they know it or not.

The other Muslim answer will come from our religious establishment. They will say something along the lines that will be impossible to communicate to the people of India - reinforcing the image of Indian Muslim as an uneducated and inapt orthodox miserable being - if not an outright fundamentalist.

But this does not fulfill the implicit promise in the title of this post. So here we go.

The most visible response to the event falls short of Islamic expectations n several accounts.

To begin with Islam has very strict ruling of a woman being alone in a lift with a man that is not her close and allowed relative called a Mahram.

Then there is another concern - Islam does not forbid women working for a living but it is apparent from its structure that it does not assign this as a primary duty to women. This might be a contentious issue in the modern times when media is adrift with the ideology demanding absolute equality of man and woman.

Islam has a subtle position on that. It says that man and woman are equal.
Now that is not subtle at all. It is clear and stark. The subtlety comes in the appendix to above statement and this asserts the following that man has slight preference over woman.

This is a tie breaker in Islam. Yours truly has spent hours, days and weeks talking about it, without convincing, to the people of the type that dominate Indian media today. But to convince them is not perhaps a duty of Muslims - to explain is.

There are any number of women in India trying to implement the type of ideology current Indian media espouses. They are quite convinced about the correctness of their ideology for aren't they living it? This leaves out two crucial loop holes - the number of women out of the same loop who can not be brought to the same level and its cost.

 How many vacancies of the type of Madhu Kishwar, Tavleen Singh, Kiran Bedi, Barkha Dutt, Nandita Das, Shoma Chaudhury and Shobha De type are there? Answer - only that many. No more. On the ground we have got more than sixty crore candidates in India for the same posts. But the moral high ground holding intellectuals of current Indian media have no awareness of this numerical nuance.

Secondly what is the cost of adopting that way of life? May we add the Tejpal episode to the bill? Even if somehow this type of eventualities can be made impossible to occur we are left with a life style that is plain undesirable because of what it reduces a man or woman to. Out of many other disadvantages the endemic childlessness of such people is sufficient for us at the moment.

There are many other things can bee said in this regard but as an appetizer above words should be sufficient. Yours truly will not remind the sensitive modern Indian about what Islam thinks about rape and rapists.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Modi Campaign 2013-2014 : Part 1

Yours truly has not been talking about Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's Prime Ministerial campaign. That is a mistake. To get the headline out of the way yours truly does not want him as the Prime Minister of India. And the reasons for that should be obvious. That is all to begin with.

Friday, November 22, 2013

They Review the Decline and Fall

There are many reviews of Edward Gibbon's magnum opus the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on the net, though not as many as one will have for many modern but less influential books. This latter fact is explained by the eventuality that reading and then reviewing the Decline and fall is not everybody's cup of tea.

And perhaps it is because of that that if any one does take up the task of reviewing this magnificent book then the person ends up saying not merely meaningful but even profound things.

And that is a tribute to the genius of Gibbon.

Here is one review that yours truly just went through.
Reading a review of the Decline and Fall is in itself a rewarding and pleasant experience. If one can overlook the irony and the often stark nature of the events. Here are some comments on the review under consideration.

The review is inclined towards the sixth and final volume of the book. This tells us that the haggard reviewer, and it is not meant as a comment, has just managed the tedious journey of going through that complex text that covers thirteen centuries, moves at a breakneck speed, the narrative is full of irony and intricate play of words on the emotional and moral content. No mean task in itself. Of course one also has a sort of gratification of not being saddled with a pompous deceit who will spew verbosity for the effect without going through the pain, and hence devoid of the corresponding pleasure, of reading the text.

Out of several observations of the reviewer the paragraph on number of killings and corresponding depravity of the worst kind stands out as one is slowly eased into the horror and one suddenly develops a respect for the historian himself for deftly opening up the putrid nature of reality around us - even if a some millennia ago.

Here is my choice of the profundity in the review:

Despite the vast amounts of immorality that it records, the Decline and Fall is a profoundly moral work, deeply concerned with right and wrong, and the reader with an ear for irony can perceive Gibbon’s scathing condemnation of barbarity on most of the pages where such crimes and follies are recorded.
And others will find other instances.  The review is worth reading for getting yourself familiarized with the character of the book.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bernard Lewis Has Always Been Confused

Here is an article of Bernard Lewis's confusion about Islam and Muslims.

Clearly Bernard Lewis, in his 97th year an always, has been a sort of embarrassment for the west. Even then Muslim help will be required in clearing the waters muddied by him. We shall occasionally take a look at his past and present views on Islam and Muslims. Lord Most high willing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Taking Edward Gibbon for Task

Edward Gibbon got some fifty seven years on this planet and used them to do what would certainly classify his as one of the most effective lives from the worldly point of view. He wrote the history of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. After publication of that book it was put to very vigorous scrutiny and after all the hue and cry it turned out that after all he had got it right and the critics got it wrong. But the western critics do think that they got the author on at least one point - his harsh treatment of Christianity. Critics agree that Gibbon is tough on religion and he is more tough on Christianity. One curious fact that stuck yours truly is the observation by George Saintsbury that Gibbon chose to talk about a period that was already agreed upon as the dark age of Europe. This is a disingenuous. Europe's admission of guilt does not absolve them of the responsibility. To be fair to the critic he is not making a not-guilty proposition. But he certainly is hinting that we should simply not talk about it - the attitude that Europe usually adopts. While taunting a society for the actions of their generations many centuries ago is not decent by any stretch of imagination but exemption on the grounds of acceptance of crime is sorcery. The critic is guilty of that.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Most Jealous One

Who is most the jealous one in this universe?

Not your wife.

Not your little daughter.

The following story was told by Pir Zulfiqar Ahmed Naqshbandi Sahab (DB).

He said that in the margins of his translation of the Noble Qur'an Hazrat Aqdas Maulana Ashraf Ali Sahab Thanwi (RA), called the Tafseer Bayan-ul-Qur'an, has also extracted the rules of Mysticism, Tasawwuf.

One such nugget is derived from a statement of Allah (SWT) in Surah Namal.
Allah (SWT) says that when an invading kind enters into the domain of another one then he subjects the existing nobility to serious degradation.

Hazrat Thanwi (RA) says that this can be applied to Allah (SWT) making ways into the heart of seeker. At this moment He (SWT) will subject the exiting idols in seeker's heart to utter humiliation.

Perhaps that is true for eternal competitors too.

Hence when Islam enters your heart then Ribah, interest goes out - however beloved it was to you.

So does music.

So does the so called freedom.

So does all acts that violate modesty.

So does all grandeur that represents anything else other then the Will of Allah (SWT).

Thus, for example, do not complain why yo can not go on dating before marriage.

And so on.

Allah (SWT) is the most jealous one.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Roman Republic, Roman Empire

West, lead by the US, has been forcing democracy on willing or unwilling countries around the world. The concept is made kosher by fiet and that is not the end. It has to be traced to sources that will bring back the credit to the west.

Here is one mention of the disapproved transition from republic to empre:
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a republican form of government. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 508 BC, and lasted 482 years until its subversion, through a series of civil wars, into the Principate form of government and the imperial period.
Here is another take on the same:

Today, January 16, is one of the more resonant dates on the calendar: on January 16, 26 BCE Octavius Caesar was given the title ‘Augustus’ by a cowed and obedient Senate; it is as good a date as any to mark the end of the Roman Republic and the permanent establishment on its ruins of the Empire. 


Thus Opined Edward Gibbon

Here is a collection of Edward Gibbon quotes:

(1) Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.

(2) History ... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.

(3)  I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.

(4) The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.

(5) Style is the image of character.

(6) My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.

(7) It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mould, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.

(8) Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of all serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative.

(9) Crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.

(10) The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.

(11) The courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature.

(12) Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stephan Covey's Seven Habits

Stephan Covey's Seven Habits is a hugely popular concept.

Here are these in less than a nutshell:

(1) Be proactive
(2) Begin with the end in mind
(3) Put first things first
(4) Think win-win
(5) Seek first to understand and then to be understood
(6) Synergize
(7) Sharpen the saw

Q: Why didn't Islam talk about it?
A: The focus in above techniques is about worldly achievements.
Worldly achievements belongs to a person's earnings, rizq in Islam.
Rizq is from Allah (SWT).
It should be earned by lawful means and that was the necessary information for man. Or woman.
And Islam is all about lawful and unlawful classification.
And Allah (SWT) will find a way to  deliver our Rizq to us.
He (SWT) has taken the responsibility on Him.
No wonder He (SWT) rarely talks about how we should earn.
On the other hand He (SWT) keeps telling us to spend.
Now that is up to us. That is the thing on which we have more control.
And hence Islam talks more about spending and less about earning.

Additionally if we work hard Allah (SWT) will not waste our efforts.
So if we do wish for lots of worldly blessings, like money and all that, then working hard is not forbidden but encouraged and recommended as well as enjoined upon us. And this includes sharpening our earning skills. Thus Covey's strategy can be incorporated by believers with profit. With full knowledge that Allah (SWT) will not waste our hard work. We shall not receive from him less than our hard work. Or more than our destiny.

Zarabozo on Interest

Interest and Its Role in Economy and Life  

  Jamaal Zarabozo 

An article explains why the Muslims abide by the prohibition of usury while the Jewish and Christian secularists are calling to to affirm it.
A glimpse at some texts from the Quran and the Sunnah which severely warn against the taking of interest.
Interest and Usury in the Bible (Judaism and Christianity) and according to early thinkers.
An article explains how something so despised such as interest could be justified and even institutionalized as a standard.
The various ways in which thinkers in the past have tried to conjure explanations for the existence of interest.
The various ways in which interest has harmed society.
The devastating ills of interest on an international level.
An Islamic solution to the interest model, and how economy can still thrive without interest.

Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Hate Men?

The most powerful country on the planet, the US, will be taken seriously in any matter.

Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur'an that man and woman are equal but man has slight preference.

That is a tie breaker.

A tie breaker is needed when one has to run any organization.
House, we mean the home, is the most important organization.
You do need a tie breaker there.

The US, and the west in general, will vehemently disagree.

And that is the rub.

They believe in absolute equality of man and woman.

Symbiotic complementarity of man and woman has been replaced by destructive absolute mechanical equality.

And there are consequences.

Women in US are killing the men in their life, in he so called self-defense, and claiming that they, the women, were abused by there men.

Domestic violence works like a charm, according to this documentary,  in the defense of a woman killer.