Monday, April 17, 2017

Ambedkar on Islam: The story that must not be told

 Unlike those who appropriate him, the one thing Ambedkar was not, was an apologist.
From the Aryans to Aurangzeb, from St Xavier to Shivaji, our historians have chosen what to hide, what to invent, and what to disclose. The singular reason for this is the craving for patronage – of an ideology, a government, an ecosystem, or a clique. And once our historians are done with their contortions, we the readers sit back and enjoy the inevitable fallout – the outing of Hypocrisy.
The Left outs the hypocrisy of the Right and the Right outs the hypocrisy of the Left and great column-yards are churned out as a result of such skirmishes. But we forget – outing of hypocrisy is a virtue so long as it doesn’t turn one into a hypocrite. Well, it does; every single time. Villains are made into heroes and heroes into villains. We like it this way. Gandhi, Nehru, Savarkar, Patel – they are to be worshipped; they are to be made into Gods, into Atlases who carry the weight of our ideologies and our biases on the nape of their necks.
History as myth; myth as History. It conforms to what we really are – unsure of our present, fearful of our future. The Right wing doesn’t want to hear anything about Savarkar or Golwalkar that might put them in bad light; the Left-wing doesn’t want to hear anything about Nehru or Namboodiripad that might put them in bad light; and the Velcro Historians don’t want to write anything about anyone that might put them in solitary confinement, away from all light.
Fear and trembling, that is what this is, and the whole nation chugs along on this dead yet simmering coal. A journey to nowhere; slow, halting, tiring; until you realise what the grand plan always is – to appropriate. And of all the great men and women we have had the honour to call our own, no one has been more appropriated than Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
Ambedkar. A hero for all, the Left and the Right – out of genuine admiration, out of genuine fear. This is to be expected, for here was a man like no other in modern world history, one who shone like a star with his intellect and understanding. The most un-Indian Indian. Wisdom so frightening and yet so rooted, that it appealed to all. Where he was allowed to, he never put a foot wrong. His writings have that rare quality of timelessness, and his quotes, if quoted anonymously, can be mistaken as comments on contemporary India. Ambedkar has aged well. In this, he stands alone, afar, above. But there is a side to Ambedkar that is not known, spoken, or written, out of fear by those who have appropriated him.
Ambedkar's criticism of Hinduism, as a religion, as a way of life – call it what you will, everyone is aware of. From his umpteen speeches and numerous scholarly works, we know Ambedkar as someone who fought and exposed the terrible ills of Hinduism, and we applaud him for it. That Ambedkar left Hinduism and converted to Buddhism is in itself a stinging appraisal of the former. Knowing him, nothing more needs to be said as a critique of Hinduism. Such is the trust one can put in the man.
What we don’t know, however, is what he thought of the other great religion of the world – Islam. Because this facet of Ambedkar has been hidden from our general discourse and textbooks, it may come as a surprise to most that Ambedkar thought frequently of Islam and spoke frequently on it. The cold and cruel India of the young Ambedkar, that shaped his views on Hinduism and Hindus – and of which this author has written previously – soon became the cold and cruel India of the old Ambedkar, allowing him, through a study of Islam and Muslims, to make sense of a nation hurtling towards a painful and bloody partition.
A distillate of Ambedkar's thoughts on Islam and Muslims can be found in Pakistan Or The Partition Of India, a collection of his writings and speeches, first published in 1940, with subsequent editions in 1945 and 1946. It is an astonishing book in its scope and acuity, and reading it one realises why no one talks of it, possessing as it does the potential to turn Ambedkar into an Islamophobic bigot for his worshippers on the Left.
Here, then, is Ambedkar on Islam:
"Hinduism is said to divide people and in contrast Islam is said to bind people together. This is only a half-truth. For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria [Where it is well with me, there is my country] is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin."
This scathing indictment by Ambedkar of Islam never finds a mention in our history books. (Indeed, even in, a primary resource site for Ambedkar, the chapter that contains this explosive passage is hyperlinked and, unlike other preceding chapters, not easily visible as a continuation under the sub-heading Part IV. The idea is to skip it, not click it.
But then this is India – a Hero must not be perceived as a Villain even though the misperception is entirely of our making. Well, we know better; he didn’t mean to say those things about Islam; perhaps he was misguided; let us look at the context; damn, no, that's not of any help here; tell you what, let us gag him; for the greater good; for communal harmony; for the sake of IPC Section 295A and our peaceful future.
Selective reading of Ambedkar, by which it is meant reading only his damning (and entirely justified) criticism of Hinduism, has led to a prevalent view that only Hinduism is laden with cultural and religious ills. One can see this even today, when the Left and its ideologues point selectively to the social and religious evils pertaining to Hinduism. As a result, someone who isn’t well-versed with India may get the impression that it is only Hinduism and Hindus who are to blame for every ill and intolerance that plagues us. The reality, of course, is that social and religious intolerance runs in our veins, it always has and it always will, for none other than the holy scriptures of all religions have mainstreamed it. It is Ambedkar himself who, presciently and fiercely, points to this hypocrisy.
"The social evils which characterize the Hindu Society, have been well known. The publication of 'Mother India' by Miss Mayo gave these evils the widest publicity. But while 'Mother India' served the purpose of exposing the evils and calling their authors at the bar of the world to answer for their sins, it created the unfortunate impression throughout the world that while the Hindus were grovelling in the mud of these social evils and were conservative, the Muslims in India were free from them, and as compared to the Hindus, were a progressive people. That, such an impression should prevail, is surprising to those who know the Muslim Society in India at close quarters."
Ambedkar then proceeds to talk in scathing terms of child-marriage, intolerance, fanatical adherence to faith, the position of women, polygamy, and other such practices prevalent among believers of Islam. On the subject of caste, Ambedkar goes into great detail, and no punches are pulled.
"Take the caste system. Islam speaks of brotherhood. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. There can thus be no manner of doubt that the Muslim Society in India is afflicted by the same social evils as afflict the Hindu Society. Indeed, the Muslims have all the social evils of the Hindus and something more. That something more is the compulsory system of purdah for Muslim women."
Those who rightly commend Ambedkar for leaving the fold of Hinduism, never ask why he converted to Buddhism and not Islam. It is because he viewed Islam as no better than Hinduism. And keeping the political and cultural aspects in mind, he had this to say:
"Conversion to Islam or Christianity will denationalise the Depressed Classes. If they go to Islam the number of Muslims will be doubled and the danger of Muslim domination also becomes real."
On Muslim politics, Ambedkar is caustic, even scornful.
"There is thus a stagnation not only in the social life but also in the political life of the Muslim community of India. The Muslims have no interest in politics as such. Their predominant interest is religion. This can be easily seen by the terms and conditions that a Muslim constituency makes for its support to a candidate fighting for a seat. The Muslim constituency does not care to examine the programme of the candidate. All that the constituency wants from the candidate is that he should agree to replace the old lamps of the masjid by supplying new ones at his cost, to provide a new carpet for the masjid because the old one is torn, or to repair the masjid because it has become dilapidated. In some places a Muslim constituency is quite satisfied if the candidate agrees to give a sumptuous feast and in other if he agrees to buy votes for so much a piece. With the Muslims, election is a mere matter of money and is very seldom a matter of social programme of general improvement. Muslim politics takes no note of purely secular categories of life, namely, the differences between rich and poor, capital and labour, landlord and tenant, priest and layman, reason and superstition. Muslim politics is essentially clerical and recognizes only one difference, namely, that existing between Hindus and Muslims. None of the secular categories of life have any place in the politics of the Muslim community and if they do find a place—and they must because they are irrepressible—they are subordinated to one and the only governing principle of the Muslim political universe, namely, religion."
The psychoanalysis of the Indian Muslim by Ambedkar is unquestionably deeply hurtful to those on the Left who have appropriated him. How they wish he had never written such things. They try their best to dismiss his writings on Islam and Muslims by taking refuge in the time-tested excuse of "context". That's right. Whenever text troubles you, rake up its context.
Except that in the case of Ambedkar, this excuse falls flat. Ambedkar's views on Islam – in a book with fourteen chapters that deal almost entirely with Muslims, the Muslim psyche, and the Muslim Condition – are stand-alone statements robustly supported with quotes and teachings of scholars, Muslim leaders, and academics. To him these are maxims. He isn’t writing fiction. The context is superfluous; in fact, it is non-existent. Read the following statements:
The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only.
There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity.
The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs.
Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin.
If you are hunting for a context to the above statements, you have just outed yourself as a hopeless apologist. Well, you are not alone. Some of India’s most celebrated hagiographers, commentators, writers, and columnists, that include Ramachandra Guha and Arundhati Roy – both of whom have written copiously on Ambedkar, through stand-alone chapters or books (The Doctor and the Saint; India after Gandhi; Democrats and Dissenters; Makers of Modern India) – are conspicuously silent on Ambedkar’s views on Islam and the Muslim psyche. Clearly, this is a story the apologists do not want to tell.
The one thing Ambedkar was not, was an apologist. He spares no one, not even Mahatma Gandhi, who he blasts for giving into the selective bias, of the type one finds ubiquitous today.
"He [Gandhi] has never called the Muslims to account even when they have been guilty of gross crimes against Hindus."
Ambedkar then goes on to list a few Hindu leaders who were killed by Muslims, one among them being Rajpal, the publisher of Rangeela Rasool, the ‘Satanic Verses’ equivalent of pre-Independence India. We all know what happened to Rushdie. As for Rajpal, he met a fate worse than the celebrated Indian author. Rajpal was brutally stabbed in broad daylight. Again, not many know the assassination of Rajpal by Ilm-ud-din was celebrated by all prominent Muslims leaders of the day.
Ilm-ud-din was defended in the court by none other than Jinnah, and the man who rendered a eulogy at his funeral (that was attended by tens of thousands of mourners) was none other than the famous poet Allama Iqbal, who cried as the assassin's coffin was lowered: "We sat idle while this carpenter's son took the lead." Iqbal is revered in India; Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, recently conferred on him the title of Tarana-E-Hind. “Nation will never forget Iqbal,” she said.
Ambedkar writes: "Mr. Gandhi has been very punctilious in the matter of condemning any and every act of violence and has forced the Congress, much against its will to condemn it. But Mr Gandhi has never protested against such murders [of Hindus]. Not only have the Musalmans not condemned these outrages, but even Mr Gandhi has never called upon the leading Muslims to condemn them. He has kept silent over them. Such an attitude can be explained only on the ground that Mr Gandhi was anxious to preserve Hindu-Moslem unity and did not mind the murders of a few Hindus, if it could be achieved by sacrificing their lives...This attitude to excuse the Muslims any wrong, lest it should injure the cause of unity, is well illustrated by what Mr Gandhi had to say in the matter of the Mopla riots. The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Malabar against the Hindus were indescribable. All over Southern India, a wave of horrified feeling had spread among the Hindus of every shade of opinion, which was intensified when certain Khilafat leaders were so misguided as to pass resolutions of "congratulations to the Moplas on the brave fight they were conducting for the sake of religion". Any person could have said that this was too heavy a price for Hindu-Moslem unity. But Mr Gandhi was so much obsessed by the necessity of establishing Hindu-Moslem unity that he was prepared to make light of the doings of the Moplas and the Khilafats who were congratulating them. He spoke of the Moplas as the "brave God-fearing Moplas who were fighting for what they consider as religion and in a manner which they consider as religious ".
As usual, Mr Gandhi failed to produce any satisfactory response to Ambedkar's serious charge. Mahatmas never do. The conduct of Gandhi during the Mopla riots, and his views on them once the carnage had subsided, remain a blot on the Mahatma. Again, they never form part of our history books.
On the allegiance of a Muslim to his motherland [India], Ambedkar writes:
"Among the tenets one that calls for notice is the tenet of Islam which says that in a country which is not under Muslim rule, wherever there is a conflict between Muslim law and the law of the land, the former must prevail over the latter, and a Muslim will be justified in obeying the Muslim law and defying the law of the land."
Quoting the following: "The only allegiance a Musalman, whether civilian or soldier, whether living under a Muslim or under a non-Muslim administration, is commanded by the Koran to acknowledge is his allegiance to God, to his Prophet and to those in authority from among the Musalmans…" Ambedkar adds: "This must make anyone wishing for a stable government very apprehensive. But this is nothing to the Muslim tenets which prescribe when a country is a motherland to the Muslim and when it is not…According to Muslim Canon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-lslam (abode of Islam), and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-lslam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. That being the Canon Law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans. It can be the land of the Musalmans—but it cannot be the land of the 'Hindus and the Musalmans living as equals.' Further, it can be the land of the Musalmans only when it is governed by the Muslims. The moment the land becomes subject to the authority of a non-Muslim power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-lslam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb.
"It must not be supposed that this view is only of academic interest. For it is capable of becoming an active force capable of influencing the conduct of the Muslims…It might also be mentioned that Hijrat [emigration] is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in a Dar-ul-Harb. There is another injunction of Muslim Canon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes "incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rule of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-lslam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-lslam." And just as there are instances of the Muslims in India resorting to Hijrat, there are instances showing that they have not hesitated to proclaim Jihad.” 
On a Muslim respecting authority of an elected government, Ambedkar writes:
"Willingness to render obedience to the authority of the government is as essential for the stability of government as the unity of political parties on the fundamentals of the state. It is impossible for any sane person to question the importance of obedience in the maintenance of the state. To believe in civil disobedience is to believe in anarchy…How far will Muslims obey the authority of a government manned and controlled by the Hindus? The answer to this question need not call for much inquiry."
This view isn't much different from the views of Jinnah and the Muslim League. Indeed, in the then prevailing climate, engineered or otherwise, these views could be seen as legitimate from the point of view of an anxious minority. However, the reason that Ambedkar gives for this predilection is not at all political but, rather startlingly, religious. He writes:
"To the Muslims a Hindu is a Kaffir. A Kaffir is not worthy of respect. He is low-born and without status. That is why a country which is ruled by a Kaffir is Dar-ul-Harb to a Musalman. Given this, no further evidence seems to be necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu government. The basic feelings of deference and sympathy, which predispose persons to obey the authority of government, do not simply exist. But if proof is wanted, there is no dearth of it. It is so abundant that the problem is what to tender and what to omit…In the midst of the Khilafat agitation, when the Hindus were doing so much to help the Musalmans, the Muslims did not forget that as compared with them the Hindus were a low and an inferior race.” 
Ambedkar isn’t done yet. On the lack of reforms in the Muslim community, he writes:
"What can that special reason be? It seems to me that the reason for the absence of the spirit of change in the Indian Musalman is to be sought in the peculiar position he occupies in India. He is placed in a social environment which is predominantly Hindu. That Hindu environment is always silently but surely encroaching upon him. He feels that it is de-musalmanazing him. As a protection against this gradual weaning away he is led to insist on preserving everything that is Islamic without caring to examine whether it is helpful or harmful to his society. Secondly, the Muslims in India are placed in a political environment which is also predominantly Hindu. He feels that he will be suppressed and that political suppression will make the Muslims a depressed class. It is this consciousness that he has to save himself from being submerged by the Hindus socially and-politically, which to my mind is the primary cause why the Indian Muslims as compared with their fellows outside are backward in the matter of social reform.
"Their energies are directed to maintaining a constant struggle against the Hindus for seats and posts in which there is no time, no thought and no room for questions relating to social reform. And if there is any, it is all overweighed and suppressed by the desire, generated by pressure of communal tension, to close the ranks and offer a united front to the menace of the Hindus and Hinduism by maintaining their socio-religious unity at any cost. The same is the explanation of the political stagnation in the Muslim community of India.
"Muslim politicians do not recognize secular categories of life as the basis of their politics because to them it means the weakening of the community in its fight against the Hindus. The poor Muslims will not join the poor Hindus to get justice from the rich. Muslim tenants will not join Hindu tenants to prevent the tyranny of the landlord. Muslim labourers will not join Hindu labourers in the fight of labour against capital. Why? The answer is simple. The poor Muslim sees that if he joins in the fight of the poor against the rich, he may be fighting against a rich Muslim. The Muslim tenant feels that if he joins in the campaign against the landlord, he may have to fight against a Muslim landlord. A Muslim labourer feels that if he joins in the onslaught of labour against capital, he will be injuring a Muslim mill-owner. He is conscious that any injury to a rich Muslim, to a Muslim landlord or to a Muslim mill-owner, is a disservice to the Muslim community, for it is thereby weakened in its struggle against the Hindu community."
Then, Ambedkar writes something that would surely confirm him as a certified Islamophobe and a bigot in the jaundiced eyes of those who have appropriated him.
"How Muslim politics has become perverted is shown by the attitude of the Muslim leaders to the political reforms in the Indian States. The Muslims and their leaders carried on a great agitation for the introduction of representative government in the Hindu State of Kashmir. The same Muslims and their leaders are deadly opposed to the introduction of representative governments in other Muslim States. The reason for this strange attitude is quite simple. In all matters, the determining question with the Muslims is how it will affect the Muslims vis-a-vis the Hindus. If representative government can help the Muslims, they will demand it, and fight for it. In the State of Kashmir the ruler is a Hindu, but the majority of the subjects are Muslims. The Muslims fought for representative government in Kashmir, because representative government in Kashmir meant the transfer of power from a Hindu king to the Muslim masses. In other Muslim States, the ruler is a Muslim but the majority of his subjects are Hindus. In such States representative government means the transfer of power from a Muslim ruler to the Hindu masses, and that is why the Muslims support the introduction of representative government in one case and oppose it in the other. The dominating consideration with the Muslims is not democracy. The dominating consideration is how democracy with majority rule will affect the Muslims in their struggle against the Hindus. Will it strengthen them or will it weaken them? If democracy weakens them, they will not have democracy. They will prefer the rotten state to continue in the Muslim States rather than weaken the Muslim ruler in his hold upon his Hindu subjects. The political and social stagnation in the Muslim community can be explained by one and only one reason. The Muslims think that the Hindus and Muslims must perpetually struggle; the Hindus to establish their dominance over the Muslims and the Muslims to establish their historical position as the ruling community—that in this struggle the strong will win, and to ensure strength they must suppress or put in cold storage everything which causes dissension in their ranks. If the Muslims in other countries have undertaken the task of reforming their society and the Muslims of India have refused to do so, it is because the former are free from communal and political clashes with rival communities, while the latter are not."
History for us is either to be hidden or invented. We tell and retell what we like of it, and of what we don’t, we scrunch it up and slip it under the mattress, and then perch ourselves cross-legged over it to retell a little more. We are born storytellers. A lap and a head is all we need. As for truth? Well, it is not there; it vanished from view; and so it never happened.
But it did happen. Ambedkar did say these things on Islam and Indian Muslims. In doing so, he gave a choice to us, for he knew us only too well. We could either discuss his views on Islam openly like we do his views on Hinduism, or we could scrunch them up like a plastic bag and slip it under our mattress. He did not live long enough to witness the option that we chose but being the seer that he was he had an inkling. As a preface to his book, he wrote:
"I am not sorry for this reception given to my book. That it is disowned by the Hindus and unowned by the Muslims is to me the best evidence that it has the vices of neither, and that from the point of view of independence of thought and fearless presentation of facts the book is not a party production. Some people are sore because what I have said has hurt them. I have not, I confess, allowed myself to be influenced by fears of wounding either individuals or classes, or shocking opinions however respectable they may be. I have often felt regret in pursuing this course, but remorse never.
“It might be said that in tendering advice to both sides, I have used terms more passionate than they need have been. If I have done so it is because I felt that the manner of the physician who tries to surprise the vital principle in each paralyzed organ in order to goad it to action was best suited to stir up the average Indian who is complacent if not somnolent, who is unsuspecting if not ill-informed, to realize what is happening. I hope my effort will have the desired effect."
What words. What beautiful, forceful, tender words. Here was Ambedkar, trying to goad us as a physician would paralysed organs. But he misjudged us. We remain fearful, indifferent, paralysed.
Nations that fear their past fear their future, and fearful nations worship, never follow its great men and women. Ambedkar is no exception.

Source : Laundry

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sean Cooper on Confidence

1. Compare themselves to others

2. Judge themselves

3. Dwell on the past

4. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for themselves

5. Passively Wait Life To Improve

6. Shy Away From Change

7. Avoid (Calculated) Risks

8. View Failure As The End Of The World

9. Live By Other People's Standards

10. Give Away Power

11. Try To Please Everyone

12. Avoid Rejection

13. Demand Perfection Of Themselves

Friday, March 3, 2017

Journey of Pain

Woh kaun tha jo mujhe gham shanas lagta tha?
Kahan se aaya tha woh? Sehra ki pyas lagta tha

Thaka thaka sa musafir tha gham ki rahon ka
Bahar mein bhi woh aksar udas lagta tha

Where did he come from? He was familiar with pain
Where did he come from? He looked thirty like desert

He was a worn out wayfarer of life full of pain
Even in spring we was mostly full of agony

I can clearly identify myself in these two couplets.

The pain is the pain that every Muslim should feel.
The real pain is the pain of ousting from Jannah.
Pain of Adam is the pain of believers. Muslims.

It might look like worldly pain but in reality it is spiritual pain only.
It looks like worldly pain because you are writhing in pain because of having lost your beautiful house - Jannah.
In reality it is spiritual pain because Jannah is behind the curtain and we believe in it because of our faith.

Sufis call it pain of Allah SWT. The pain of separation from Allah SWT.
This pain is necessary because otherwise we would not have known about, for example, Hazrat Ibrahim AS, Hazrat Musa AS and Rasoolallah SAW.

Rumi RA tells us about the same pain in

Bishnav az nay chun shikayat mikunad
v-az juda'iha hikayat mikunad

Listen to the flute, how she complains
She is explaining the reason of separation

The flute has a painful voice. Why? Because she is rending her heart out because of her separation from the reed.
That is the pain of separation. Maulana Rumi is using this pain as a metaphor for our separation from Allah SWT via our exit from Jannah.

There is another Hindi couplet (Doha) of similar import:

Patta toota ped se
Legayi pawan uday
Abke bichhde kab milein
Door pade hain jaay

The leaf broke away from the tree
The wind blew it away
When will we meet again?
There is vast separation now

This distance and break is simply heart breaking.

If we go to the first two couplets of this note then we realize the significance of the sentiments in them.
We are ina state of pain where we do not even know that we are in pain.
And if we know that we are in pain we do not know the source of this pain.
In such a situation it is such a consolation if we find a fellow traveller.
Who knows and feels the pain.
Who is worn out by the same pain.
You wonder who is he.
You wonder where he has come from.
You do not know him but he is more dear to you than your immediate people because he is familiar with your pain.
He feels the same pain.
The same pain has worn him out.
He is in agony even in spring.
He is suddenly so beloved to you.

And in such asituation if you have the following feeling also then the circle seems like completeing:

Hum aa gaye kahan par
Ye kis ka dayar hai
Pehlu se dil pukara
Ye hee koo-e-yaar hai

Where have we reached?
Whose house it is?
From the side heart assured
This is friend's home.

In this world Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem, the Straight Path, is the home of our friend.
We have to take care of ourselves, our family and the whole Ummah of Rasoolallah SAW.
If Rasoolallah SAW was not free from worldly worries then why should we seek freedom from responsibilities of similar kind?
That is my pain. That is my journey.
All my brothers and sisters are invited to be my fellow travellers.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

William Dalrymple on Bomb Blasts in Pakistan

Last week, only three days after a suicide bomb went off in Lahore, an Islamic State supporter struck a crowd of Sufi dancers celebrating in the great Pakistani shrine of Sehwan Sharif. The attack, which killed almost 90, showed the ability of radical Islamists to silence moderate and tolerant voices in the Islamic world.
The attack also alarmingly demonstrated the ever-wider reach of Isis and the ease with which it can now strike within Pakistan. Isis now appears to equal the Taliban as a serious threat to this nuclear-armed country.
The suicide bombing of the Sehwan shrine is an ominous development for the world, in a region that badly needs stability. It is an Islamic shrine where outsiders, religious minorities and women are all welcomed. Here, 70 years after partition and the violent expulsion of most of the Hindus of Pakistan into India (and vice versa with Muslims into Pakistan), one of the hereditary tomb guardians is still a Hindu, and it is he who performs the opening ritual at the annual festival. Hindu holy men, pilgrims and officials still tend the shrine.
But the wild and ecstatic night-long celebrations marking the Sufi saint’s anniversary were almost a compendium of everything Islamic puritans most disapprove of: loud Sufi music and love poetry sung in every courtyard; men dancing with women; hashish being smoked. Hindus and Christians were all welcome to join in the celebrations.
A radical anti-Sufi movement is growing throughout the Islamic world. Until the 20th century, ultra-orthodox strains of Islam tended to be regarded as heretical by most Muslims. But since the 1970s, Saudi oil wealth has been used to spread such intolerant beliefs across the globe. As a result, many contemporary Muslims have been taught a story of Islamic religious tradition from which the tolerance of Sufism is excluded.
What happens at the Sehwan Sharif shrine matters, as it is an indication as to which of the two ways global Islam will go. Can it continue to follow the path of moderate pluralistic Islam, or – under the pressure of Saudi funding – will it opt for the more puritanical, reformed Islam of the Wahhabis and Salafis, with their innate suspicion (or even overt hostility) towards Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism?
Islam in south Asia is changing. Like 16th-century Europe on the eve of the Reformation, reformers and puritans are on the rise, distrustful of music, images, festivals and the devotional superstitions of saints’ shrines. In Christian Europe, they looked to the text alone for authority, and recruited the bulk of their supporters from the newly literate urban middle class, who looked down on what they saw as the corrupt superstitions of the illiterate peasantry.
Hardline Wahhabi and Salafi fundamentalism has advanced so quickly in Pakistan partly because the Saudis have financed the building of so many madrasas that have filled the vacuum left by the collapse of state education.
Madrasa in Peshawar, Pakistan
‘The Saudis have financed the building of many madrasas that have filled the vacuum left by the collapse of state education.’ Photograph: Mohammad Sajjad/AP
On my last visit to Sehwan a few years ago, the largest madrasa there was located in an old haveli not far from the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalander. Saleemullah, who ran the madrasa, was a well-educated young man, but there was no masking the puritanical severity of some of his views. For him, the theology of the dispute between the Sufis and the orthodox was quite simple: “We don’t like tomb worship,” he said. “The Qur’an is quite clear about this ... We must not pray to dead men and ask things from them, even the saints.”
He saw his role as bringing “the idol and grave-worshippers from kufr [infidelity] back to the true path of the sharia”. He said: “Mark my words, a more extreme form of the Taliban is coming to Pakistan.”
Saleemullah claimed most people wanted a return to the caliphate and said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were on his side. And when the caliphate comes, he said: “It will be our duty to destroy all the mazars [mausoleums] and the dargahs [shrines] – starting with the one here in Sehwan.”
Saleemullah’s organisation alone ran 5,000 madrasas across Pakistan, and was opening a further 1,500 in Sindh. According to one recent study there are now 27 times as many madrasas in Pakistan as there were in 1947 – over 8,000 in total.
The religious tenor has been correspondingly radicalised: many Sufi sites and people have come under attack, including the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore in 2010 and the revered Sufi singer Amjad Sabri, who was assassinated last summer.
With its deep roots in south Asian soil, its gentle message and through the music that carries it, Sufism has become an antidote to Isis-style radicalism, and fundamentalisms of all sorts. One old fakir I talked to in the Sehwan shrine said of the Wahhabi mullahs: “Without love, they distort the true meaning of the teaching of the prophet.”
If only the Pakistani government could finance schools that taught respect for the country’s own indigenous and syncretic religious traditions, rather than buying fleets of American F-16 fighters and leaving education to the Saudis. Instead, Pakistan is increasingly coming to resemble a tragic clone of pre-9/11 Taliban Afghanistan – a place where violent radicals are welcomed with open arms, where groups like Isis are rapidly gaining influence, and where moderate Muslims and religious minorities are subject to persecution and murder.

Source : The Guardian

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Open letter of Nadim Asrar to Shehla Rashid

Nadim Asrar, former AMU Students' Union president has written an open letter to Shehla Rashid, a former JNU Students' Union vice president.

Here I shall quote the original letter in blue and give my response to his perfidy.

 Let me express my deep sense of shock and disgust over an FIR filed against you in Aligarh.

Nadim Asrar

(1) Here is the background. Shehla Rashid wrote a Facebook post about right wing abuses against beloved Prophet of Islam, may peace and blessings of Allah SWT be upon him.

(2) A lower level official, a girl, of AMU Students' Union filed an FIR against Shehla Rashid.

(3) Then the social media took over. 

Hello comrade,
I insist on addressing you like that - not only because you and many amazing young minds before you in JNU have been my comrades for more than two decades now - but also because the word comes from the root "camaraderie", the idea that defines student politics in general, and the strong bonds that JNU and AMU students have built for a progressive polity in particular.
Despite what has happened, those bonds must endure.
(1) It is true that there is mostly good communication between AMUSU and JNUSU.
(2) In spite of that it should not be and can not be forgotten that the character of JNUSU is mostly leftist and that of AMUSU is Muslim.
(3) Nadim Asrar himself was of leftist disposition.

Let me, therefore, at the outset, express my deep sense of shock and disgust over a first information report (FIR) filed against you in Aligarh by the AMU Students Union, which claims you insulted Prophet Mohammad in a Facebook post - a 1000-word statement that those students, in the age of 140-word tweets and emoticonned Whatsapp conversations, were too ignorant to understand. The other possibility is they are deliberately misreading the post and claiming being hurt to "fix" you for speaking your mind.
(1) The accusation is two fold here. AMU students are seriously hampered by emoticonned texts of Whatsapp and 140 character messages to understand a 1000 word Facebook message. The impression is that AMU students are technically incompetent.

(2) Or AMUSU is deliberately misreading Shehla Rashid to fix her for speaking her mind. The impression is two fold again: AMUSU and hence AMU students and hence Muslims do not like women to have their own opinion and secondly they have ill motivation to fix a girl who dared to speak her mind.
 The men in Aligarh are not used to women speaking their minds, let alone having one. With you, it becomes worse. It's not only your gender that they despise, it's your left-liberal political persuasion too. Aligarh in general has never been comfortable with liberal and progressive forces, despite being one of the major centres of progressive writers and academics in the country.
(1) The FIR against Shehla Rashid was filed by a girl student. To hurl an accusation against all AMU men is clearly a false premise. The least Mr Asrar is erring on is the inherent assumption that the FIR filing girl is incompetent to make her own opinion. In this case it is Mr Asrar who simply can not take a Muslim woman taking a stand that does not go well with his favourite ideology.

(2) Another accusation in first sentence of the above quoted paragraph is that Aligarh men are not used to women having minds of their own. Clearly by Aligarh men he meant Muslims for Professor Irfan Habib, in spite of being an Aligarh man, will certainly be a paragon of all virtue for Mr Asrar. To be good, right, virtuous and proper you have to be a Marxist. Being a Muslim is a total and complete disqualification if you want to be

That the police complaint against you came only two days after you and other comrades from JNU, Delhi University, and Allahabad University were invited by the same AMU Students Union for a symposium on the role of student leaders in "building contemporary society" is one of the many unfortunate ironies that AMU has long been used to revel in.

In the horribly misinterpreted January 9 post on Facebook, you had attempted a more nuanced understanding of hate speech by asserting a rational mind’s democratic right to ask questions and raise doubts, even if they involve religious figures like Ram or Mohammad. There is difference between inquiry and incitement, you argued in that post, with considerable sensibility and success.

Zia Nomani in was right. “The post quoted some controversial phrases like "Ram was an asshole" and "Mohammad was a paedophile" to distinguish between hate speech and "hateful" speech. It’s a paradox that the ex-JNUSU vice-president Shehla was accused of hate speech in her Facebook post, which was meant to condemn it in the first place,” he wrote.

However, allow me to put this controversy in some context. Far from being an isolated hounding
Hello comrade,
I insist on addressing you like that - not only because you and many amazing young minds before you in JNU have been my comrades for more than two decades now - but also because the word comes from the root "camaraderie", the idea that defines student politics in general, and the strong bonds that JNU and AMU students have built for a progressive polity in particular.

Despite what has happened, those bonds must endure.
of a Muslim woman studying in another university, it actually fits into a long trope of myopia, misogyny and mindset that defines not only AMU, but even the average Muslim man.

Student politics in Aligarh, unlike your university or most others, is ad-hoc and devoid of affiliations from the mainstream political parties. That emptying of politics from politics per se ends up creating student leaders, whose only claim to electoral positions is the most banal slogan you can ever hear in a university: "tempo high hai".

Please don't ask me what it means. I don't know either and have remained intrigued for long. But it is this singular slogan that has set the agenda and decided student elections in Aligarh for nearly a century now. It is "tempo high hai" that has created leaders from Aligarh, whatever little it has produced.

It is this political and intellectual bankruptcy that has marked student politics in AMU. In the absence of political education and atmosphere that an institution of higher education is supposed to provide, more so in a campus like Aligarh, student leaders are left to fend for themselves. Teachers either don't mentor or are too scared to do it. The administration run by former Army generals or senior bureaucrats does all it can to ensure the campus remains depoliticised.

I don't know if you have noticed, but AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia are the only two central universities in India often run by non-academics. While that trend is set to hopefully stop soon, it's appalling why nobody within the community or outside questioned and resisted it for decades.

Such administrators despise progressive politics, victimise teachers or students who dare to do it, and end up undermining the legitimate and democratic right of students to call elections or form political alliances.

What happens in such a depoliticised campus is that student leaders end up pandering to populist notions of religion, tradition or victimhood. Easy and regressive slogans take over more pressing issues like the recent University Grants Commission gazette notification you also questioned AMU about. Politics of emotion takes over politics of consequence. The FIR against you over alleged disrespect to the Prophet explains that.

"I doubt if AMUSU has any sentiments left, let alone religious!" you said in another angry Facebook post after the police case was filed. I have to agree with you on that. Moreover, religious sentiments have no place in an academic insitution.

If AMU or its student leaders claim a religious right over their campus and dictate who gets to enter it, they are failing the very idea of Aligarh and its long history of liberal and alternate politics.

As you so aptly put it in the same Facebook post: "Pehle insaan baniye, phir musalman banne ka dawa kariye." For me, as long as you are a student, insaaniyat (humanism) is all that matters.

(The author is a former president of AMU Students Union.)

Source : Daily-Something

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dr Mohsin Raza to Saleem Pirzada on Muslims in Indian Elections

Mohsin Raza 

Assalamoalaikum PeerZada Saheb,

Disagreement accompanied by arguments is OK but sarcasm that Zamanat nahee bacha saktey are not decent words.Actually knowledge of history is essential which our friends dont like to learn.
Indian general election,1951-1st Lok Sabha Jansangh prent party of BJP won only 3 seats
Indian general election, 1962 3rd Lok Sabha 14 Increase 10
Indian general election, 1962 3rd Lok Sabha 14 Increase 10 6.44 [5][6]
Indian general election, 1967 4th Lok Sabha 35 Increase 21
Indian general election, 1971 5th Lok Sabha 22 Decrease 13 .It took them over half a century to come to power and lost again until PM Modi's charisma won and took power with 33% votes only....They are destined to lose again and many may not even protect Zamanat.

It is a matter of ideology and contribution towards constructive activities,refraining from insulting others.

I am not an active participant with Mr Saleem Peerzada,but,I highly appreciate his knowledge,high vocabulary & its delivery with consistency of efforts for over a decade.He may not win,he may loose zamanat in elections but he leaves an impact on the minds of people,both educated and otherwise.

Mohammad Adeeb justified his presence in Rajya Sabha,took up several big issues,which none else did in last 3 decades,yet he lost in election.It doesnt mean that he should be teased and insulted for loosing. He remains in high esteem in hearts of people due to his services for community.

My dears ,electoral compaigns,victory or losses are temporary;They are events occurring as part of a sequence and incidents which should be considered a period in isolation.

PERMANENT;We dont look for permanent solutions of empowerment. We rise for events and then land in deep slumber.
I have written earlier on this issue............

If some one likes to discuss,please feel free to call me cell 0091 8126039175
Dr Mohsin Raza
Senior Consultant General Surgeon

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On Productivity, or Lack of it

MuftiSays 887 Posts
Sunni Forum 8000 Posts
An Alig's Armchair 1188 Posts
Thus Spake Hazrat Shaikh 2240 Posts
Kamalat-e-Kalimia : Adjust in Inflating SF Posts

This will be about 12000 posts.

In this the 2240 posts on Thus Spake are really one paragraph posts because these are reporting on the the sayings of my Shaikh. Rest of the posts could be a long article of a few pages or simply a link or a comment or a paragraph. It is difficult to average out these to calculate the amount of the material I have produced myself.

Add to this thousands of posts on the FB in last few years.

If I am allowed to shun humility for a moment then it will amount to prodigious output. It will be like 14000 paragraphs of dense material. Assuming that seven such paragraphs would be enough to fill a page it means that I might have written about 2000 densely packed pages on non-leisure material. Of course this is certainly an under estimation but that is alright.

Of course it amounts to nothing in concrete terms for all of this is either on the net or disappeared even from there (all the SF posts).
I suppose I should write down those 2000 pages in print form. If I had already done that then it would have taken a load off my mind - I would have cheated myself into believing that I have done a part of my duty as a Earthian. Alas that is not true.

So be friendly and push me to do that - write books. Apart from papers, those dry Physics kind papers.