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By Saeed Naqvi
In the night of the tyrants, Who calls my name from afar? I must climb the scaffolding of the gallows to see beyond the prison parapets. Have they waylaid the caravan of the new dawn?
“Majrooh Sultanpuri”I had turned up in Mumbai to cover the aftermath of the 1993 bomb blasts. On my way to meet Rusi Karanjia editor of Blitz and journalist Olga Tellis, at the US Club in Cuff Parade, I tried to engage with my Muslim taxi driver. “How were Muslims reacting to the blasts.”
He was abrupt to the point of being rude. He said he was a hard working man who did not have time to concern himself “with riots and blasts”. He asked me if I was a Muslim. “Recite the Kalma”, he demanded. Then, reluctantly, he pulled the taxi by the side of the road.
“Dekho, sab barabar ho gaya.”(Look, it is even now). “Ab train mein enter karo aur kaho ‘Assalamalaikum’, sub raaste dete hain.” (Now, enter the train and greet them like a Muslim and they make way for you.)
This precisely, was the sentiment that had to be crushed, Karanjia said, after I told him the story. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Karanjia had shed all left wing pretensions. He now spoke the language of the extreme right.
The way he juxtaposed the Mumbai riots of January-February against the blasts of March took my breath away. According to him, the state had sided with the rioters during the riots. That is why there was no reprieve for the victims. The blasts were an assault on the Indian State. This would not be tolerated. His brazen endorsement of majoritarianism planted the first doubts in my mind that towards the end, Rusi Karanjia did not always know what he was saying.
Since the blasts had taken place under the watch of then new chief minister, Sharad Pawar, Maratha pride had been challenged too.
The Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992, leading to agitations across the country which was attacked by mobs, with the police standing by or giving the mobs a hand, by a helpful round of firing. On January 5, 1993 riots erupted in Mumbai in similar fashion. An orgy of arson, loot, murder of Muslims by Shiv Sainiks, abetted by the police crossed the borders of the macabre. This was not dissimilar to the Gujarat riots of 1969 where I found myself in my capacity as Press Officer to the Frontier Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, then on a year long visit to India. The Congress chief minister was Hitendra Desai. Over 500 people, mostly Muslims were murdered. The great singer Rasoolan Bai’s house was gutted.
It is a fallacy that the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 were worse than the one sided massacre in the January-February Mumbai mayhem supervised by Bal Thackeray and overseen by the Congress Chief Minister, Sudhakar Naik. He, alas, was not in the good books of Pawar who, at that crucial stage, was defence minister in Delhi, smarting under the fact that P.V. Narasimha Rao had bypassed Pranab Mukherjee and him to the top job.
As Mumbai burnt, Sharad Pawar and Sudhakar Naik locked themselves into a hopeless stalemate. Pawar, as defence minister, would not send sufficient troops. He was content that the scale of the pogrom would expose Sudhakar Naik’s incompetence. Also, the troops would come directly into conflict with the Maratha lumpins on a rampage. Carrying the banner of Maratha pride, he did not wish that to happen.
Naik was sacked. Pawar took over as chief minister. Just then the blasts happened. Atal Behari Vajpayee, who is generally believed to have been critical of the Gujarat pogrom, did, nevertheless, describe it as a “reaction” to the Godhara train burning. Surely, the Mumbai pogrom and the blasts can be likewise equated.
The hanging of Yaqub Memon has divided India. There is the largely Hindu establishment seeking revenge in the guise of justice. In competition is the softer, compassionate Hinduism taking the battle for justice almost to the moment of Yaqub Memon’s hanging.
This is the India that has held the country together. Former judges, lawyers, bureaucrats, social workers, teachers, journalists, students, other professionals who spoke on TV channels and congregated at the Jantar Mantar, and held meeting across the nation – this is the India that Muslims in their current phase of alienation would naturally gravitate towards, the clergy willing, ofcourse. But this precisely is the large swathe of India without an identifiable platform or a party. The BJP, and the Congress too, increasingly, are an anathema to these groups and the minorities.
In this situation, almost by default, the man on the white charger happens to be Asaduddin Owaisi. He pulls no punches, and is more articulate than most political leaders and TV panelists. For his opponents he is flawed because he holds his ground firmly with expert references to the Constitution. How this Sole Spokesman phenomena plays itself out has to be watched.
While there was no mercy for Memon despite the gaping holes in the case, the open and shut case of Rajiv Gandhi’s murderer, was considered worthy of a pardon. Likewise, Devinder Singh Bhullar, convicted for the Delhi blasts, has escaped being hanged.
There is a straightforward political angle. Karunanidhi and Parkash Singh Badal can pull strings with the centre for individuals from their respective states because of their participation in national coalitions.
While regional leaders can protect their murderers, the 180 million Muslim, the second largest Muslim population in the world, ironically have no comparable pull. How Owaisi harvests this incrementally ghettoised anger has to be monitored. He can cast a spell on Muslim youth but he cannot have this translated into votes by playing solo in a crowded field. He will have to select coalition partners. These will not be the Congress nor the BJP.
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.