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In their gloomy isolation after Memon hanging, Muslims turn to Owaisi

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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.

(IANS)

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Ayodhya Verdict Attracts Mixed Reactions From Twitteratis

Ayodhya verdict attracts mixed opinions, memes and jokes from Netizens

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Judgement by Supreme Court on Ayodhya attracts reactions from netizens. Wikimedia Commons

After a historic judgement by Supreme Court on Ayodhya, netizens took to social media sites and hailed the apex court’s decision.

In a historic judgement, the Supreme Court on Saturday directed the Centre to form within three months a trust which will build a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

The Sunni Waqf Board, which was a party to the 7-decade-old title suit, should be given an alternate five-acre land at some other suitable place for construction of a mosque, a 5-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said in a unanimous judgement.

Netizens on Twitter sharing their reactions with these hashtags #AYODHYAVERDICT, #RamMandir, #BabriMasjid, #MandirwahiBanega, and #RanjanGogoi.

Ayodhya verdict attracted thousands of mixed reactions, memes, jokes and joy on Twitter.

Ayodhya verdict
Netizens on Twitter use hashtags like
#AYODHYAVERDICT, #RamMandir, #BabriMasjid, #MandirwahiBanega, and #RanjanGogoi. Pixabay

Here are some reactions from Twitter on Ayodhya verdict:

“#AYODHYAVERDICT, Supreme Court could have ended the verdict with “Happy Birthday LK Advani,” a person wrote from his Twitter account.

“Feels good to be alive while history is being created. This is a tale I can tell my grandkids. We witnessed justice being done. We witnessed the #RamMandir,” another tweet read.

Another Twitter user wrote: “All Hindus should be Thankful to Advocate K Parsaran, 92 years old who is Leading Counsel appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, who argued for Ram Mandir in SC. Dhanyavad Mahodaya #AYODHYAVERDICT.”

Also Read- Spying Charges On 2 Ex-Twitter Employees for Saudi Arabia

A person with username @Ajaygangwal2 posted an image of cartoon ‘Bob the builder’ with a caption: “Amit shah discussing plan to built temple with bob the builder #mandirwahibanega.” (IANS)

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.

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Ram Janmabhoobi : Why building a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya is the only way to end ongoing dispute since centuries?

"Ram lalla hum aayenge, mandir wahin banayenge", why can't all communities come together and demand religious heritage of our motherland to be restored in Ayodhya?

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Ram Mandir Ayodhya
Ram Mandir Ayodhya (Graphical Representation)
  • The land on which the Babri mosque was built in 1528 is the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ (birthplace of Bhagwan Rama). The existing Ram Mandir Ayodhya was destroyed by Mughal King Babur’s general Mir Baqi and subsequently a mosque called Babri Masjid was built at the site.

    It has been 25 years since the disputed Babri Masjid structure was demolished by Kar sevaks but no government so far could start Ram Mandir construction. In the 1980s, the Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP) began a campaign for the construction of Ram Mandir Ayodhya dedicated to Bhagwan Rama at the site, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its political voice. Many rallies and marches were held as a part of this movement, including the famous Ram Rath Yatra led by Shri. Lal Krishna Advani.

Demolition of disputed Babri Masjid

On 6 December 1992, the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena and its affiliates organised a rally involving 150,000 kar sevaks at the site of the disputed Babri Masjid. The ceremonies included speeches by BJP leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti. At 11am, the first group of kar sevaks broke through the barricades. It was 1.55pm, when the first dome of the Babri Masjid met the ground, along with about 25 kar sevaks. At 3.30pm, the second dome came down. The central dome is demolished at 4.49pm. In about six hours, all that remained of the Babri Masjid, was demolished. After news of the Babri Masjid demolition broke in world, riots erupted all across the country. Even the neighbouring countries were affected as Hindus were slaughtered in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mumbai experienced one of the worst incidents of communal violence in the history of modern India. In March 1993, a series of bomb blasts happened in Mumbai killing hundreds, this was the way of Islamists to retaliate against Babri Masjid demolition.

Ram Mandir Ayodhya
A day after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, a makeshift Ram temple was hastily put in place. Here, a paramilitary soldier is seen offering his prayers at this temple on December 7, 1992. Credit: T. Narayan

Archaeological Survey of India & Historical Surveys

In 1767, Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler recorded Hindus worshiping and celebrating Ramnavmi at the site of the disputed Babri Masjid. In 1788, Tieffenthaler’s French works were published in Paris, the first to suggest that the Babri Masjid was built on the birthplace of Rama.

The Archaeological Survey of India has reported to the high court that its excavations found distinctive features of a 10th century temple beneath the Babri Mosque site. The report revealed that there was archaeological evidence of a massive Ram Mandir just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural activities from the 10th century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure (Babri Masjid). Among the excavation yields ASI report mentioned were stone and decorated bricks, mutilated sculpture of divine couple, carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapotapali, doorjamb with semi-circular shrine pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranjala (watershute) in the north and 50 pillar bases in association with a huge Ram Mandir structure. The ASI report said there is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50×30 metres in north-south and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure. The ASI report said the human activity at the site dates back to 13th century BC on the basis of the scientific dating method providing the only archaeological evidence of such an early date of the occupation of the site. The report concluded that it was over the top of this construction during the early 16th century that the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it. So, there was no confusion that the Babri Masjid was built over after demolishing Ram Mandir Ayodhya.

Ram Mandir Ayodhya
Veteren VHP leader Late Ashok Singhal injured during Ram Janmbhoomi movement

The Million Dollar question : Why Ram Mandir Ayodhya?

India’s independence did not bring about the long sought for return of Rama Rajya and the light of dharma that the independence movement aspired to. The continuation of the darkness of adharma shifted from colonial rule to a new self-imposed and self-perpetuated colonial type exploitation by an arrogant socialist elite who had little understanding or appreciation of their own culture. – Dr David Frawley

Ram Mandir Ayodhya is not anti-muslim sentiment for Hindus, its rather an emotional connect with divine. What Muslims should understand is that, Ram Mandir Ayodhya to Hindus is what Mecca to them, or what Vatican is to Christians. It has been decades of dispute and political parties has been using the dispute to fuel their politics. but its high time both Hindus and Muslims should come together for Ram Mandir Ayodhya. Its not a matter of win or lose, it is a matter of national pride. Ram, is the soul of India and Ram-Rajya is what we should aspire for. Hindu community is not the one who keep historical grudge, Muslim rulers demolished over 44000 Temples (as per Known History, actual Figures be More), but Hindus are demanding only few of their holiest sites, in no condition Hindus should compromise of highest order in this country. Meanwhile, Indian Muslims are facing the situation today which Kauravs faced in Mahabharta when Pandavs requested them for just four Villages and asked them to Keep rest of the Kingdom. But Kauravs denied, which led to the bloodiest Dharam-Yudh in history of mankind. Babar built the Mosque by demolishing Ram Mandir, the ASI report ended the debate by confirming the existence of Ram Mandir.  It is really ridiculous that we have to beg to restore Ram Mandir at one of Hinduism’s greatest sites. A grander mosque can be made nearby as proposed, or even right next door. Isn’t that a reasonable appeal Muslim community should accept and give a message of communal harmony? I have no doubt that majority of the Muslims of this country will accept it, only those who have their sinister political agenda will oppose Ram Mandir to create communal tensions. Ram Mandir can be a symbol of harmony between the two important religious communities of India. Restoring one temple as it is holy site of Lord Ram’s birthplace and shifting mosque to a nearby location (and making it grander) will not demean the glory of Islam in any manner.

  • Even The Shia Central Waqf Board has offered a new solution to the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi conflict in Ayodhya. According to the proposal of the board, a Ram temple can be built in Ayodhya while a mosque can be constructed in Lucknow.

As Dr. David Frawley says,”Time to return Ayodhya back to the Hindus and allow Ram Mandir to come up. All Hindus feel importance of Ram Janmabhoomi. The region does not figure among any important sacred sites of Islam. Time for India to honor its own heritage, heroes and avatars.”

That day will really be exemplary for world when all communities in India will come together for a grand Ram Mandir Ayodhya, and I am sure that day will soon come. We must overcome our past for a glorious future. Lastly I will like to remember words of famous Muslim poet Allama Iqbal, “है राम के वजूद पे हिन्दोस्ताँ को नाज़, अहले-नज़र समझते हैं उसको इमामे-हिन्द ।”

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

One response to “Ram Janmabhoobi : Why building a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya is the only way to end ongoing dispute since centuries?”

  1. This is the best article on Ram Janmbhoomi I ever read. Hoe beautifully the writer explained the essence of need of Ram Temple. amazing!

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