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As the year 2016 began,the decision to allow Islamic Banking was cleared up by the Reserve Bank of India. Reason: To honor the concept of financial inclusion.
In essence , the Committee on “Medium-Term Path for Financial Inclusion”, headed by Deepak Mohanty, has recommended “interest free windows” in existing conventional banks. It was done to pave ways for Islamic Banking in which the interest rates are banned. Now, India will get its first taste of sharia-compliant banking when the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank launches operations in Gujarat. Let us go back a few years. In year 2007, the RBI working group had recommended that India must not permit Islamic banks to operate in the country. Now the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has reversed the institution’s earlier stand on Islamic Banking. Needless to say, the central government headed by BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi is equally keen on implementing the Islamic banking.
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Dynamics of Islamic Banking?
As per Sharia Laws, the interest on principle is ‘Haram’. Hence, Islamic banking doesn’t have concept of interest-rates. It may adversely affect the entire financial ecosystem of the nation. More than financial impact, Islamic banking might be an adverse step towards secular ethos of the Hindu majority India.
Before we analyze the socio-economic impacts of Islamic Banking, let us know about the various aspect of Islamic banking. Basically, Islamic banking has concepts of: Riba (interest), Haram (Non-Islamic), Halal (Islamic), Gharar (uncertainty), Maysir (gambling) and Zakat (Charity). Riba is the most important aspect of interest-free banking, and means prohibition of interest. Haram/Halal is a strict code for interest-free financial activities and its implications on Muslims and non-Muslims. Ghrarar/Maysir bans gambling in all forms. And Zakat is an instrument for Islamic charity.
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These aspects of Islamic banking strictly make it exclusive for Muslims. As per Sharia jurists, riba transactions with non-Muslims in Dar-ul-Harb (a Non-Islamic State) are not permissible. An Islamic bank also impose Gharar and Maysir on non-Muslims (Kafirs). As per Hadith 8.24, it is not permissible to give zakat (charity) to a Kafir (Non-Muslim).
Even though few non-muslim economists have praised Islamic Banking, it has serious repercussion on the conventional financial system. There is intentional financial fraud being practiced by Muslim gangs. They intentionally provoke Muslims to harm the existing haram banking system. No wonder why, there is a huge number of small and medium loan-defaulters among Indian Muslims. They take loans from Public Sector bank and never repay. If Islamic Banking would be allowed everywhere, this process might get more in practice. Such defaulters will borrow from public sector bank (non-Islamic banks) and deposit in Islamic banks. This will increase the funds in Zakat. And Zakat is used for Islamic terrorists’ organization and Wahabi radical organizations. As per some reports, even ISIS is being funded indirectly by Zakat contributions from India.
In this context, it is also important to note that Sharia laws are only safe guard for Muslims. They allow Muslims to exploit Kafirs (non-Muslims) in all form, even those which are Haram for Muslims. For example, Because Allah hates non-Muslims (Qur’an 40:35), Koran commends Muslims to mock the non-Muslims (Qur’an 40:35), betray (86:15), terrorize (Qur’an 8:12) and behead Kafirs (Qur’an 47:4), snatch their wives for sex-slaves and captives (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). Such hatred of Quran against Kafir is being preached to Muslims every day. If the demand for Sharia laws is fulfilled, they would be encouraged to do the gruesome crimes against non-Muslims as their holiest book prescribes so.
There is a risk of Terrorism funding via Islamic Bank
The logic of financial inclusion and few benefits by Islamic banking are just farce against the potential damages to be done by it. More than destroying non-Islamic banks and funding the Islamic terrorist, Islamic banking poses serious threat on the ethics of policy formation and the common good of the society. Now, when polygamy and marrying off the minor girls are allowed by courts of law in India, the upcoming Islamic banking would led it to a place from where Sharia rule India would become a reality. The same Sharia rules have made wife-beating legal in many Muslim countries. If wife-beating, sex-slavery are allowed in India tomorrow, it won’t be a surprise because such things are very much legal under Sharia Laws. Islamic banking sets precedence toward such horrific Sharia law. In above context of Islamic approach towards, non-Muslims it is imperative to safe-guard the welfare of the citizens. Just for 15% Muslims, government must not ignore the safety of 85% non-muslim population of India. Self-proclaimed secular and liberals are silent on this heavily communal move, because it would hurt the vote-bank of their masters. And right-wingers won’t prefer to speak against it as their government is implementing it. However, as vigilant citizens, we must oppose such regressive moves and save India from becoming another Syria or Pakistan.
Amit is a freelancer based in India. Twitter: @amisri
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.
It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.
The stretch outside Cubbon Park is cool and well-shaded from the canopy of trees over it. Image source: wikimedia commons
At present, Cubbon Park is known for the cultural hub that it is. It houses Jawahar Bal Bhavan, which is a large theatre that hosts film festivals through the year. Festivals, poetry open mics, and other such shows are conducted on the lawns every Sunday. A small stream runs through the park, where boat rides are held occasionally when the water level is high enough. There is a children's park on one corner, and a government-maintained aquarium, two-storeys tall, with exotic fish.
The Park has been renamed many times in the past. It was originally named Meade's Park, after Sir John Meade, the acting commissioner of Mysore in 1870. It was later changed to Cubbon Park after Sir Mark Cubbon, who was the longest-serving commissioner of the Mysore state. In 1927, the park was renamed after the Mysore Maharaja Sri Krishna Wodeyar, to celebrate his silver jubilee, since the park was developed during the reign of his ancestors. Even though it is officially named Sri Chamrajendra Park, it is still known as Cubbon Park all over the city. In fact, Bangalore was alluded the sobriquet of 'Garden City' because of the rich botanical diversity of this park.
Art Installation at Cubbon Park Image source: wikimedia commons
In many parts of the country, governments have renamed structures, places, and cities to remove traces of colonialism. But, in a city like Bangalore, there is too much evidence of the British rule. Many of the most prominent attractions of the city are known by their British identities despite the change in name. Even the city's name continues to be Bangalore, despite having been changed to Bengaluru. Last year, the British era and its achievements were celebrated in Cubbon Park when Sir Mark Cubbon's statue was moved from the grounds of the Karnataka High Court and placed in the Park.
Keywords: Cubbon Park, Mark Cubbon, British Colonialism, Cultural hub, Garden City