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Posts Tagged ‘Ayodhya’

Understanding Ravana is essential!

February 4, 2011 27 comments
Soldiers of Ayodhya being attacked by bandits in a forest (Image link courtesy - mumbaimirror). Click for larger image.

Soldiers of Ayodhya being attacked by bandits in a forest (Image link courtesy - mumbaimirror). Click for larger image.

Most of the rakshasas have been humanised and the 10 heads of Ravan do not find mention. “People are bad from inside,” says Goel. “It doesn’t manifest physically. The 10 heads were a metaphor for the ten qualities of Ravan – valour, generosity, intelligence, knowledgeable, etc. We chose to elaborate those qualities instead of showing the heads,” says Goel.

In contrast, Ram is shabby looking, with a thick unkempt beard, long hair and no ornaments. “Being forest dwellers, Ram and Laxman could not shave every day,” explains Goel. Since this is Ravan’s story, the role of Ram’s kin has been minimised to make place for more fleshed out characters from Ravan’s family. (via The legend of the fallen one, Lifestyle – Sunday Read – Mumbai Mirror).

Ravana deserves study

This is a most interesting project. To fully and really understand Indian classics, texts and scriptures, the idea of Asuras needs to understood. I am not sure how much these writers have understood the Asura concept – and its link with slavery. They seem to be more interested in ‘balancing’ the picture, rather than ‘righting’ the picture.

Demonising Ravana

Ravana was not a demon (which is a bad English equivalent of Asura) but an asura. And some Indians have taken the easy way out, by demonising Ravana. I hope these ‘creators’ understand that demonising Ravana, or romanticising him too, is counter-productive.

Understanding Ravana is essential!

Deoband talks of Kashmir

October 26, 2010 7 comments
Maybe the the fighting is more important than the cause ... (Cartoon courtesy - The Banglaore Mirror; Posted On Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 07:03:08 PM)

Maybe the the fighting is more important than the cause ... (Cartoon courtesy - The Banglaore Mirror; Posted On Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 07:03:08 PM)

This is the first time JuH has taken up the Kashmir issue. The resolution stressed, “We don’t consider interests of the Kashmiri people to be separate from the interests of Indian Muslims.” It also called all like-minded people and organisations to campaign for peace and justice in Kashmir and “thwart enemy forces bent upon disintegration of Kashmir”.

When asked why were they silent so long, All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s Kamal Farooqui said, “Muslims were not comfortable talking about Kashmir for fear of getting branded and harassment by police and intelligence agencies.”

Asked about the prospect of resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said, “The country is in a reconciliatory mood, be it on J&K or Ayodhya. So, reconciliation within the Indian Constitution is the way out. An overwhelming section of Kashmiris want it, too. Which stupid person would want to go with Pakistan?” (Via : Jammu & Kashmir’s future with India: Deoband – The Times of India).

Deoband on Kashmir.

Deoband speaks out for Kashmiri Muslims – a part of the larger set of Indian Muslims. The Deobandis think that only a ‘stupid person would want to go with Pakistan’.

India needs to be clear headed. Religion is at home; you are an Indian everywhere. Problems with this? You know what to do ... (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Published on September 15, 2010; courtesy - http://bamulahija.wordpress.com)

India needs to be clear headed. Religion is at home; you are an Indian everywhere. Problems with this? You know what to do ... (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Published on September 15, 2010; courtesy - http://bamulahija.wordpress.com)

Deoband is also tasking the Indian State with the removal of AFSPA, human rights abuses and compensation for those killed in Kashmiri violence.

Is this Deobandi approach cutting ice with the secessionist-azaadi fighters? The TOI report does not think so?

Without my tongue getting cut-off

This discussion provokes some really basic questions from Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters.

Freedom from what? The economic burden of India on Kashmir? Can Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters prove how India ‘burdens’ Kashmir? Right now, Rest of India subsidizes Kashmir. Is it forced conversions from Islam by a ‘Hindu’ Indian State?

Are there attempts to change the demographic profile of Kashmir by ‘Hindu’ migration into Kashmir? Self-rule to do what? How is Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters rule going to be different from the past and the present?

What will you do

If Kashmir  indeed ‘suffered’ from rigged elections, has the Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters polity been a part of the solution? Or do they think that it is the responsibility of a ‘Hindu’ India to deliver ‘perfection’ to the Kashmiris? Is it that Kashmiris have a right to make ‘demands’ and it is the job of the ‘Hindu’ Indian State to ‘meet’ these demands?

Immi-grunts

This is a lot like many ‘desi‘ Indians who migrate, believing that they can expect ‘superior’ systems in the West? All that these ‘desi‘  ‘immi-grunts’ have to then do is take ‘advantage’ of opportunities in the West! Is it surprising that these ‘desi‘ Indian  ‘immi-grunts’ hit ‘glass-ceilings’, encounter ‘racism’?

Nation-building is a tough job – and someone’s gotta to do it! You can’t ‘escape from backward’ India to the ‘forward’ West. Not without becoming second-class citizens. The Indian ‘immi-grunt’ has seen some level of acceptance – after India itself achieved some modicum of success.

Probably the Kashmir problem has been aggravated by Pakistan to coincide with Obama's visit! (cartoon courtesy - ahram.org).

Probably the Kashmir problem has been aggravated by Pakistan to coincide with Obama's visit! (cartoon courtesy - ahram.org).

Worth their weight in salt

If Kashmiri terrorists believe they are capable administrators, let them win an election, and prove their administrative capacity. Let them demonstrate that it is Rest of India which is hobbling Kashmir?

Do the ‘freedom’ fighters’ of Kashmir believe that by shouting azaadi they will get ‘freedom’! Freedom to impose their Wahabbi-Sunni-Shariat ‘vision’ on Indians?

Some 75 years ago, Indians could prove to the British rulers and to the world, that the British Empire was a burden on Indians.

While Indians were engaged in this epic struggle, some Indian Muslims could also make out a case (to the British) for a separate Indian Muslim Homeland. They called it Pakistan. Maybe Pakistan needs these ‘superior’ Kashmiris. Why not prove your superiority?

The template of terrorism was first used to break up the Ottoman Empire. (Cartoon - TN Ninan; Courtesy - Mumbai Mirror;   Posted On Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 07:27:00 PM).

The template of terrorism was first used to break up the Ottoman Empire. (Cartoon - TN Ninan; Courtesy - Mumbai Mirror; Posted On Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 07:27:00 PM).

Options and futures

Maybe it is time that India offered some real simple choices to these Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi  leaders. No more demands. No more negotiations.

One – Simply integrate into India. Fight and win elections. Work with the Indian Election Commission to ensure a clean election. Make a difference in Kashmir.

Two – Many decades ago, Kashmiris thought that an ideal location for a base for their freedom ‘struggle’ was the UK. May be they can live in PoK, or Pakistan. Why ever not in Saudi Arabia? Or, they can live in ‘Yumm-rika’ – like Ajmal Kasab wants! I say, anyone who will have them. It may be time for these leaders to see the world.

Three – If not two of the above choices, these leaders must get the third option – Indian jails await you. It is the worst of the three options for everyone – including the Indian State.

Ayodhya verdict treats Muslims like 2nd-class citizens, say some

Instead of vague resentment, Indian Muslims must compare relative positions to get a clearer idea.

Instead of vague resentment, Indian Muslims must compare relative positions to get a clearer idea.

Post-Ayodhya verdict

Two things-after the Ayodhya-Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.

One – How little I knew about this entire issue in terms of detail. Hence, I never said much about this issue.

Two. The reaction of the non-fundamentalist Muslims is worth noting. This post is about the second point.

In the non-fundamentalist narrative, (like Najib Mubarki) there are no suggestions for Muslims leadership – ever, anywhere. The burden of action, implementation is always others. Muslim leadership is always the innocent bystanders in this narrative. Objective – induce guilt.

Muslims as 2ndclass citizens

For instance take the following new report

But others are a bit more forthcoming. Shabnam Hashmi, well-known social activist who heads Sahmat, says the verdict made her feel like a “second-class citizen”. “We will not stop the struggle against irrationality and hatred but we can no longer promise to hand over a secular, democratic nation to you,” says Hashmi, in her “message to the next generation”. (via ‘Verdict makes me feel like a 2nd-class citizen’ – The Times of India).

Are we making the same mistake again? Jinnah acted pricey with the support of half a per cent (0.5%) of India's Muslim population - and the might of the British Raj behind him! (Cartoon - Artist - Low; David (1891-1963) Published - Evening Standard, 04 Sep 1946). Click for larger image.

Are we making the same mistake again? Jinnah acted pricey with the support of half a per cent (0.5%) of India's Muslim population - and the might of the British Raj behind him! (Cartoon - Artist - Low; David (1891-1963) Published - Evening Standard, 04 Sep 1946). Click for larger image.

To all those who believe that Muslims are (treated as) 2ndclass citizens in India, there are three points which merit attention.

1. Hindus are like that only – This was Jinnah’s point of view. Some of Indian Muslims who agreed with Jinnah went to Pakistan. To whomsoever, the realization came late, can take that option now.

After thousands of years of culture and history, the Hindus are not going to change – quickly and easily. You know that Indian and foreign Islāmic rulers tried to change Hindus for 600 years (1200-1800). British rulers tried for some 150 years (1797-1947). It may be easier and quicker to just go to Pakistan, which was created so that Indian Muslims are NOT treated like 2ndclass citizens.

2. You can compare – Does the Middle East treat Indian Muslims better than India? Are Muslims likely to be treated better in EU – in countries like France (no hijab), UK (with massive imprisonment of Muslims) or Switzerland (no mosques with minarets). Maybe, you can consider USA, where a Muslim surname is enough justification for law-enforcement authorities to treat you ‘differently’. The British have an estimated one of out every 40 adult Muslim male is (who is not old) in their prison. The French feel let down because “immigrants were supposed to blend harmoniously into society and not exist in separate communities” – and the Muslims did not.

Post 9-11, hundreds of Sardarjis of Indian origin were attacked, after being mistaken for Arabs. Or Australia where a computer game was themed as How many Muslims Can You Kill became popular. You could think of Denmark, where the Government rewarded Muslims to move out of Denmark.

The so-called ‘persecuted’ people in India are in a majority (the dalits), or their populations are growing faster than the ‘oppressors’ (dalits and Muslims). So, this bit about suppression, persecution, racism in India, is a red-herring. Complete ignorance – if it is not trickery.

The Indian Muslim must pioneer a broader identity of Muslim+ identity! Click for larger image.

The Indian Muslim must pioneer a broader identity of Muslim+ identity! Click for larger image.

So, stop trying to hold India and Indians to some impossible ideal, which cannot be compared, measured, evaluated or defined.

Instead, do look at data – comparative data and take a call. You have choices of immigration to Pakistan, Middle East, Europe, USA, Australia.

The whole wide world.

3. Make it work – Nation-building is a tough job. It needs everyone to join in. Big, small, powerful, powerless, loud or voiceless. Everyone. You (and hence others, too) can see yourself as 2ndclass, a victim. 2ndclass is as 2ndclass does. No one in India sees APJ Kalam as a 2ndclass citizen. The Deoband Seminary explicit believes that Muslims enjoy the highest degree freedom in India. Bar none.

This post suffers from using easy, prominent examples. Maybe the problem cannot be addressed by these examples. For that Muslim leadership must take charge. Not necessarily political or religious leadership. And that mater has been addressed in other posts.

Indian Muslims must take a global leadership of the Islamic world (Cartoon By Yusuf, courtesy - TwoCircles.net.).

Indian Muslims must take a global leadership of the Islamic world (Cartoon By Yusuf, courtesy - TwoCircles.net.).

Comparing India

Equating India with the Desert Bloc (believers in monotheism) is without basis in fact, reality or history.

This is one thing, that we in India must understand, discover, find out, investigate – and then, after that, believe, that we are different.

Even Indian Muslims.

***

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