Sunday, 10 February 2013

Hindu groups and police threaten Muslims protesting Afzal Guru's hanging at Jantar Mantar

 Delhi police lathicharge protestors at Jantar Mantar, demonstrating against the hanging of Afzal Guru and detained at least 21 Kashmiri students. Female students were also assaulted.
The Kashmiri students were protesting against the 'hanging' of Afzal Guru when a scuffle with RSS-BJP activists turned violent, witnesses say.
All the detained kashmiri students including girls were taken to Mandir Marg police station. Girls were threatened to be raped by the RSS activists.

A peaceful protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru developed into a skirmish when the protestors were attacked by a right-wing mob at Jantar Mantar today. Organised by Peoples’s Union for Democratic Right’s the protest consisted of 30-40 people – university students, professors, activists, Kashmiri students and concerned citizens. They had only just gathered at Jantar Mantar with their placards and posters when a group of right-wing activists attacked them. Those present at the scene claim that the attackers tore up posters, abused, molested and beat up women and men.
An eye witness claimed that the mob consisted primarily of Bajrang Dal members as they were carrying the organisations scarves. The Bajrang Dal was present at Jantar Mantar demanding the expansion of National Highway 5 that passes through Ghaziabad. That being Rajnath Singh’s constituency, he too was present at the venue before the mob attacked the protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
Arshad Ali*, a Kashmiri student said, “They were gesturing towards my friend and saying ‘aaja, aaja, aaja‘. When I tried to intervene they beat me up. Khusnuma*, my friend, was thrown to the ground, her Hijab was pulled off and she was dragged by the hair. She too was fisted and kicked. The same treatment was meted out to at least two other girls in hijabs.” Commenting on the media he said “Some from the media chanted Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Witnesses say that Kashmiri boys and girls were particularly targeted. One of them heard the mob say, “Woh bhi lag raha hai” (Even he looks like one). Another witness claims he heard the police whisper to the Bajrang Dal mob “Don’t worry, we will put them out in two minutes.”
As the skirmish escalated protestors who had gathered against the hanging of Afzal Guru were taken to the Mandir Marg police station. They were detained there for almost two hours. The police claimed that they were detained as the protestors and Bajrang Dal activists were mutually responsible for the scene at Jantar Mantar. No activist from the Bajrang Dal was detained.
Kumar Sundaram, Research Consultant with Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace was singled out and taken to the Parliament Street Police Station. On the way a policeman asked him his name. When he found out it was Kumar, he said “ Isko toh galti se pakad liya.” ( We picked him up by mistake.) Kumar feels he was singled out because the police might have mistaken him to be a Muslim because of his beard. He believes that it was an organsied and planned assault on the peaceful protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru and not a spontaneous response.
Gautam Navlakha, activist, PUDR, whose face was blackened filed a complaint at Parliament Street police station against the Bajrang Dal. He says “ It was difficult to tell the police from the Bajrang Dal. The role of the state in promoting right-wing communalism is only too obvious. It is becoming a regular and well established practice.”
Afzal was sentenced to death on being convicted of conspiracy to attack the Indian Parliament, waging war against the nation and murder in December 2002. Several questions have been raised about the very nature of the trial that Afzal Guru had to undergo. Amnesty International in its statement on the execution says “He was tried by a special court designated under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), a law which fell considerably short of international fair trial standards and has since been repealed, in 2004, after serious allegations of its widespread abuse.”

Omar Abdullah slams execution of Afzal Guru

An angry Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday slammed the execution of Afzal Guru and said this would reinforce a sense of alienation and injustice among generations of youth in the Valley.
Mr. Omar also said it was a “tragedy” that Guru was not allowed to meet his family before he was hanged and not allowed a “final farewell”. The 43-year-old Parliament attack convict was hanged and buried in Tihar jail premises in Delhi in a secret operation on Saturday.
Clearly unhappy with the hanging of Guru, the Chief Minister said there were many questions that needed to be answered.
Mr. Omar observed that the long-term implications of the hanging of Guru’s hanging were “far more worrying” as they were related to the new generation of youth in Kashmir “who may not have identified with Maqbool Bhatt but will identify with Afzal Guru.” Bhat was hanged in 1984 for murder of Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre in the U.K.
“Please understand that there is more than one generation of Kashmiris that has come to see themselves as victims, that has come to see themselves as category of people who will not receive justice,” Mr. Omar said in TV interviews.
“Whether you like it or not, the execution of Afzal Guru has reinforced that point that there is no justice for them and that to my mind is far more disturbing and worrying than the short-term implications for security front.
How we would be able to correct or address that sense of injustice and alienation is a question I do not have answers,” he added.
Asked about the official position of the ruling National Conference on the hanging, Mr. Omar said, “Obviously we would have it rather had not happened.”
Expressing himself against death penalty Mr. Omar said, “I have no bloodlust.” Mr. Omar said as long as the capital punishment exists on the statute there should be no “pick and choose.”

According to The Indian Muslim Post, the manner in which the execution was planned and carried out by the government was wrong.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Return Afzal Guru's body to his family

"While the hanging should not have been carried out, the return of Afzal's body was the least the government could do to show its concern for humanitarian values," the PDP president said in a statement here.

Mehbooba said the PDP believed that whatever the requirements of legal process, there was a need for the government to take into consideration the overall political impact of this execution, which is the reason why the option of mercy has been provided under the constitution.

She said the PDP had, keeping this in view, made an appeal to the President of India in 2011 to grant clemency to Guru and commute his death sentence into life imprisonment.

"We feel that at a time when there is a need to step up measures to reduce the trust deficit between the state and rest of the country, the execution of Afzal Guru could produce results to the contrary. Our party is generally in favour of scrapping death penalty from the statute book and we reiterate that position once again," Mufti said.

Referring to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's claim that he had no role in carrying out the execution, Mehbooba said the state government cannot be absolved of its responsibility in taking this crucial decision that can have long term political implications on the state.

"The NC is part of the UPA and it must share the responsibility for this decision. Power sharing can't be in isolation of sharing the fallout of decisions," she said.

Appealing for restraint in expression of feelings, Mehbooba said the people of the state have already suffered too long and too much "at the hands of this trigger happy government with loss of life in 2010 only the latest which awaits closure."

Condemning the use of force on protesters at various places, especially in Baramulla district, Mehbooba said the government has once again exposed its "trigger happy" nature. She said many have been wounded in police action and reportedly about a dozen of them have sustained bullet injuries.

"Contrary to elsewhere in the country, in Kashmir, bullet seems to be the preferred weapon of the forces which unfortunately contributes to cynicism, alienation and anger apart from killing, maiming and disabling countless people trying to use their democratic right to protest," she added.

The Indian Muslim Post also thinks that Afzal Guru's body should be returned back to his family so that they could carry out last rites according to Muslim culture.


Hurriyat unhappy over Afzal Guru's hanging four day mourning announced

Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday announced four-day mourning on the death of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged on Saturday morning following his conviction in the Parliament attack case.

"We call on people to observe four-day mourning on the hanging of Guru. A complete shutdown will be observed over the mourning period," Shahidul Islam, spokesman of the amalgam, said.

Hurriyat also demands immediate return of the mortal remains of Guru so that he can be given a burial according to his family's wishes and as per Islamic rituals, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led hardline Hurriyat Conference Ayaz Akbad was taken into preventive custody by police in the wee hours on Saturday.

"Akbar was arrested by police at 5.00 am and taken to an unknown location," his son said.

All the senior separatist leaders including Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik are presently out of the Valley and could not be reached for a comment.

Jamaat-e-Islami condemned Afzal's hanging saying "the hanging of Guru in Tihar Jail mysteriously is an expression of extreme despotism and tyranny by the Government of India".

"This action has deeply hurt the sentiments of more than one crore Kashmiri people. In order to achieve its nefarious political designs, the party holding the reigns of power in Delhi has always been committing such tactical tyrannical actions since 1947 whenever this party seemed to lose its power," a spokesman of the Jamaat, Zahid Ali said.

He alleged that the the hanging of Guru also carries a sinister design to create an atmosphere of fear among the Kashmiri people so as to deter them from demanding their "usurped right of self determination".

Protests against Afzal Guru’s hanging at Jantar Mantar

Delhi police lathicharge protestors at Jantar Mantar, demonstrating against the hanging of Afzal Guru and detained at least 21 Kashmiri students. Female students were also assaulted.
The Kashmiri students were protesting against the 'hanging' of Afzal Guru when a scuffle with RSS-BJP activists turned violent, witnesses say.
All the detained kashmiri students including girls were taken to Mandir Marg police station. Girls were threatened to be raped by the RSS activists.
Social activist Gautam Navlakha was also bugged during the protest.
Senior journalist Iftikhar Geelani has also been put under house arrest since early morning today.
Media persons also faced the wrath of the RSS goons who also threatened dire consequences and barred them from doing their professional duties, witness say.


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Indian Muslims cant criticise India while Hindus can

In India, the Muslim lives on sufferance.
It is the Hindu who has the freedom to attack India and its culture, its vulgarity.
The Muslim who objects to something, no matter how obvious and visible, must qualify his argument. Usually the qualification demanded is that he show himself as patriotic. In India, this is a term born out of negative sentiment. To be a patriotic Indian, one is not required to be tax-paying, law-abiding, well-meaning or philanthropic. Patriotism is demonstrated through hating a particular country. The reason the Indian Muslim lives on sufferance is also rooted in this.

You see, the Muslim is guilty of original sin, voting for Pakistan in the 1945-46 elections. He divided Mother India and his generations must carry this burden of Adam.
Shah Rukh Khan said this: “I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighboring nation rather than my own country. This, even though I am an Indian whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return to what they refer to my original homeland.”

He should have prefaced his remarks (which I find ordinary, inoffensive and accurate) as follows: “I don’t like Pakistan. My fans are mostly Hindus, whom I love more than Pakistanis.”
Having said this, he would not have offended us no matter what he unburdened after.

Like children who need a pacifier, the Muslim offering opinion on prejudice must hold out this lollipop to Indians whose natural view of him is colored by his religion. At all points he must remember this and mumble an apologia pro vita sua.
In not doing this, and I’m surprised he didn’t because he should know a thing or two about Indian public opinion, Shah Rukh opened himself to an attack which goes in this fashion: “Aren’t you grateful, are you not satisfied, with what we gave you–you Muslim!–such fame, such success? You didn’t whine about this then, did you? Now the Pakistanis are lecturing us because of your remarks. You should be ashamed.”

The self-congratulatory assumptions we make about ourselves — secular nation! World’s largest democracy! — are not particularly reflected outside of the constitution. We should think about that.

On Nidhi Razdan’s show on NDTV on Tuesday night, I was on a panel discussing Modi as prime ministerial candidate. In the BJP corner was a woman called Meenakshi Lekhi. Midway through the discussion, she asked a soft-spoken man, Najib Jung vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, if he thought Indian Muslims wanted Pakistan.
Why did she bring this up? I don’t know, and there was no occasion to. But it was dropped in casually because it’s the natural thing to say to a Muslim here – hey, are you guys Pakistan-lovers? Tell us the truth, now.
As a writer I can imagine the pressure on Muslim writers who are aware of India and the space they operate in. MJ Akbar wrote an unthinking paean to the BJP’s idiocy after Pokhran, and I suspect that wasn’t because he’s a fan of nuclear weapons. It’s all quite frightening, or should be. It doesn’t surprise me at all.
In India it has always mattered who says something. What is said depends not on the intellectual content but which side it has blown from.

How it is said is also always more important than what is said because the Indian is easily offended. Ashis Nandy shouldn’t have assumed that he could be subtle and clever only because it was the Anglicised middle-class he was speaking to at Jaipur.
They are cut of the same cloth as other Indians. Quick to emotion, barely literate about anything whether their own culture or the west’s, and powered on and on by an asinine media.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Muslim scholars challenge Salman Rushdie to debate on Islam

Salman Rushdie the man who should not have been allowed to enter India is here these days. Recently he was stopped from entering Kolkata due to protests. Now a group of scholars who are also members of the powerful All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has invited controversial author Salman Rushdie to debate on Islam and the Prophet' s life.
The scholars who favour a dialogue with Rushdie were participating in a seminar on Azmat-e-Rasool (the Prophet's greatness) on Sunday in Mumbai.
Rushdie reportedly wants to visit Mumbai to promote Deepa Mehta-directed movie Midnight's Children, based on his novel of the same name.
Many at the seminar, organized by Wahdat-e-Islami Hind, an NGO not known for its charitable views on Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen, were surprised when senior lawyer and member of AIMPLB Yusuf Muchala proposed: "Instead of opposing his visit to Mumbai, let us invite Rushdie to this city and answer our questions. If he has the guts he should explain to us why he wrote such a blasphemous book."
Muchalla, who heads the personal law board's legal cell, also appealed to the Muslims not to resort to violent protests against Rushdie.
Echoing Muchala, Dr Shakil Samdani, a professor of law at Aligarh Muslim University and a speaker at the
Wahdat-e-Islami Hind seminar, told TOI: "Rushdie should listen to the sane voices of the Muslims. Instead of issuing death threats against him and opposing his visit to India, Muslims must try to engage him in an informed debate."
 Wahdat-e-Islami members were among the Muslims who had forced the Rajasthan government to ask Rushdie not to participate in the Jaipur Literary Fest last year and rightly so.

 Its highly unlikely that Rushdie would accept the challenge and participate in the debate because he is just a coward and dont have the guts to confront Muslim scholars in a fear that the would get exposed.