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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Curfew was lifted here Sunday, but sporadic protests and a shutdown called by the separatists marred normal life in the city. Over 25 people were injured in clashes across the Kashmir Valley.

    Authorities lifted curfew restrictions from Srinagar and all other areas of the Kashmir Valley Sunday, but markets and businesses remained shut, and public transport was not available. The separatists called a shutdown to protest the killing of four people in a shootout by troopers in Gool village of Ramban district Thursday.

    A police statement issued Sunday evening said: "The situation remained under control throughout Kashmir Valley today. Some stone-pelting incidents were reported from Papchan, Naidkhai, Gulshan Chowk in Bandipora, Khanpora in Baramulla, and a couple of places in downtown and uptown Srinagar."

    "The deployments exercised maximum restraint. Eight policemen, eight CRPF men and eight civilians were injured. All the injured are stable."

    A youth sustained a pellet injury in Baramulla town during the stone-pelting clashes Sunday. A senior police officer said: "He was taken to hospital and doctors have described his condition as out of danger."

    Tension gripped north Kashmir Saloora village in Ganderbal district in the morning, when rumours spread that a copy of the Holy Quran had been desecrated.

    As people started protesting the alleged desecration, police reached the village.

    Preliminary investigations revealed that some anti-social youths living in the village had just been up to mischief, to instigate trouble.

    "The miscreants who spread the rumours have been identified. They will soon be arrested and brought to justice," a senior police officer said.

    Wild rumours also did the rounds of Srinagar Sunday that some youths injured in clashes with security forces had died.

    To scotch the rumours, police issued another statement which said: "Certain people are trying hard to vitiate the atmosphere by spreading rumours."

    Rumours of a young boy being killed in Sumbal were floated by certain fake identity holders on social networking site Facebook. Reportedly, one person with a Facebook presence as Syed Naseem posted an update about the death of a youth in Safa Pora, which turned out untrue.

    The post was later removed.

    "All these Facebook miscreants are being identified and action would be taken against them. In this regard, a case FIR No. 57/2013 U/S 67 of IT Act and 505 RPC has been registered in Police Station Kothibagh," the police statement said. The Inspector General of Police Kashmir has appealed to people not to heed rumours. News channels too were requested to confirm news before broadcast, it added.

    Meanwhile, the board of school education has put off all the examinations scheduled for Monday.

    The three-day shutdown called by the separatists ended Sunday.

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    By Mohammad Sajjad

    Ghulam Sarwar (10 January 1926-17 October 2004), a Bihar politician, became known as a fiery orator in chaste Urdu in late 1940s. His pen showed its might through the newspapers, ‘Naujawan’, ‘Saathi’, and more well-known ‘Sangam’, which endures till date. He was an alumnus of the Patna Science College, then did BA Hons. in English literature from the Patna College, and MA in Urdu literature for which the Patna University awarded him Gold Medal. He published two academic collections on literary criticism and research, ‘Parakh’ and ‘Maqalat-e-Sarwar’, appreciated by the literary stalwarts like Prof. Aalay Ahmad Suroor; subsequently arwar published 15 more books/booklets.

    Ghulam Sarwar's cutout on the occasion of his memorial day in 2011. His birth day is celebrated as Urdu Day in Bihar.

    Born in Begusarai, whose father Abdul Majeed was a Deputy Collector, this ‘Baaghi Daanishwar’, i.e., rebellious intellectual, became an eye-sore to the Indian state in the 1960s. He was imprisoned six times in six different jails during 1964-71, for his editorials scathing the government of the day. Arguably, the 1960s have been a difficult period for anti-establishment leaders in India, who had to face state repression, on which little academic attention has been paid. M.J. Akbar’s family saga, ‘Blood Brothers’, hinted at this aspect.

    His Jail Diary, ‘Goshay Mein Qafas Ke’ [In Prison’s Corner] became such a best-selling account that its royalty fetched him enough money to perform Hajj; on coming back he was once again put behind bars in 1965, which produced another ‘Jail Diary’, ‘Jahan Ham Hain’. In 1970s, he jumped into the JP Movement; simultaneously he was one of the strongest pillars of the Urdu Movement in Bihar. He became Bihar’s education minister (1977-79), Speaker, Bihar Legislative Assembly (1990-95), and agriculture minister (1995-2004). In 1977 he was elected for Bihar Legislative Assembly from Siwan, whereas in 1990, 1995, and 2000 he was elected from Keoti (Darbhanga).

    As education minister during 1977-79, he is credited to have created statutory body of Bihar State Madrasa Education Board, provided government recognition to many madrasas with pay-parities for the madrasa teachers; also opened/provided government recognition to 16 Muslim minority Girls’ Schools and more than 350 Government Urdu schools across the province. As Speaker (1990-95), Bihar Legislative Assembly, he is said to have created a department of Urdu with 14 employees, besides enhancing Muslim proportion among the employees of the Assembly secretariat.

    Dr. Ejaz Ali, Ghulam Sarwar's son-in-law carries forward his mission with Ghulam Sarwar Himayati Front.

    He started his political activism during his student days in Patna by founding Bihar Muslim Students Federation, with its weekly mouthpiece, Naujawan’. After independence, in 1949, he brought out a special issue of this weekly, with a question, “Ham Kya Karein?”. This was a central existential question of the India’s Muslims after partition. The cover page of this issue carried a photograph of a harassed and troubled man with disheveled hairs standing on crossroad unable to make out where to go from there; and had printed a couplet:
    Sheerazah Hua Ummat-e-Marhoom ka Abtar
    Ab Tu Hi Bata Tera Musalman Kidhar Jaaye .

    In 1950, Sarwar married Asgharun Nesa Begum of Gopalganj. In September 1951, he purchased ‘Saathi’ from Sohail Azimabadi and published this journal till 1953 when in October he launched his own weekly ‘Sangam’; it became daily in January 1963.

    In 1949, Ghulam Sarwar formed ‘Halqa-e-Adab’, which organized All India Urdu Conference in May 1951, and also formed Bihar Reyasati Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu, Sardar Latifur Rahman was the President and Ghulam Sarwar was the Gen. Secy.(not to be confused with the provincial wing of the pre-existing national Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu; this provincial wing was presided by Lady Anees Imam, 1901-79, and Gen. Secy. Was Qazi Md Sayeed). The Urdu Conference was presided over by Prof. Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqi of AMU.

    Sardar Latifur Rahman was succeeded by S. M. Aiyub (1910-64), and subsequently Nesar Ahmad Khan, Ghulam Sarwar, Shah Mushtaq, and again Ghulam Sarwar became its President respectively, whereas, Betaab Siddiqi remained Gen. Secy., most of the time. This Anjuman launched a mass movement invoking (Article 374 of the Indian Constitution) to make Urdu second official language. By early 1981, this movement fructified to clinch success, giving way to employment for many as Translators, and Asstt. Translators, in the government offices.

    I am thankful to my student Haidar Ali to provide me a copy of the Jail Diaries of GhulamSarwar which I am currently going through. Let me see the vicissitudes which may have come in the ideology and praxis of Ghulam Sarwar since 1940s till 2004. Throughout his career Ghulam Sarwar remained unfailingly anti-Congress, simultaneously, he admired Nehru, Maulana Azad, and among his contemporaries/friend-circle he had special regards for S. M. Aiyub and Betaab Siddiqi.

    More in Mohammad Sajjad’s forthcoming book, Changing Contours of Muslim Politics in Bihar: Pre and Post-Independence Experiences. Author is Asstt. Prof. at Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in History, Aligarh Muslim University.

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    Rejecting the petition, the court ruled that there will be one single probe by the CID although different FIRs have been registered for the alleged offence.

    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh High Court has rejected Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen Assembly floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi plea of quashing multiple FIRs registered against him in different police stations for his alleged hate speeches.

    Akbaruddin Owaisi was caught in controversy for his alleged hate speech at Nirmal town and Nizamabad town given in December 2012. Those speeches which were widely circulated through social media created national hue and cry, that later resulted in Akbaruddin’s arrest.

    MIM leader who is out on bail moved High Court after numerous cases started getting registered against him in different courts and police stations across country. In his writ petition Mr. Owaisi argued that there can’t be multiple cases for a single crime, and issuing of notice from different police stations and courts where offence was not committed in their jurisdiction violates of his fundamental rights.

    Mr. Owaisi in his petition primarily mentioned a case registered against him by Osmania University police station in Hyderabad for speeches given in some other districts. In his plea, Akbaruddin Owaisi asked the court to direct police to not register any more cases against him and quash the existing cases register outside Nirmal and Nizamabad.

    Justice Ramesh Ranganathan of the AP High Court declined to concede to MIM leader’s plea, and rejected providing any blanket order to the police. Rejecting the petition, the court ruled that there will be one single probe although different FIRs have been registered for the alleged offence. In his judgment Justice Ramesh recollected the standard laid down in 155 similar other cases, he also gave reference of different court orders on actress Khushboo and late painter MF Hussain pleas against whom same kind of multiple FIRs were registered for one alleged crime.

    But keeping judicial norms aside court gave some relief to Akbaruddin Owaisi by directing the police to transfer all the FIRs to Crime Investigation Department which will carry out a single investigation of all the cases registered against him for the alleged hate speech. Now MIM leader doesn’t require appearing in every single police station where FIR is registered against him for his alleged hate speeches.

    High court order also states that there is a need for legislation to protect fundamental rights of citizens under Article 21, who are likely to face consequences of several FIRs register against them for the same alleged offence.

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    By staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Bharatiya Prani Mitra Sangh (BPMS), along with Hyderabad Police stopped the sale of nearly 140 camels brought in the city for slaughtering during Ramzan.

    Camels which are voluntarily brought by traders mainly from Rajasthan used to be sold annually during Ramzan season at Narisingi market near Golconda fort at the outskirts of Hyderabad.

    BPMS has filed a complaint that an illegal trade of camels is taking place in Cyberabad police limits, which are sold for slaughtering to unlicensed butchers in Ramzan, an act illegal under the provisos of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act 1960.

    City police got alerted and stopped all the operations of market. BPMS claimed that nine traders who brought those camels from central western India was informed about the law on prohibition of camel slaughter, and was allowed to return back to their home towns in police escort accompanied with some animal rights activists.

    In the tradition of the city, camels were used ritually to be decorated to be taken out in small procession in Muslim localities after completion of every Ashra (10 days) of Ramzan, and then to be slaughtered and sold near beef shops for local residents to buy the camel meat which is rarely available in the South India.

    After the police action local Muslims, especially butcher community, is facing heat, and are trying to hide already bought in camels. Taher Qureshi one such butcher from the city which use to do annual camel meat business during Ramzan informed TCN that Qureshi community butchers who have already purchased camels for slaughtering are hiding them fearing police seizures as widely happened during Eid-ul-Adha festival on cow or bull trade.

    Many butchers, according to him, are planning to do their trade deep inside Muslim localities especially in old city and not on main roads of new city as was the norm of last year. He said that butchers are inclined to indulge in camel meat trade even after police action, due to the local demand in the session and the amount of sale and profit it carries during Ramzan.

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    By TCN News

    Patna: Minority Affairs minister of Bihar Shahid Ali Khan has promised his party’s support for any Bill that will restore the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University. Mr. Khan assured his support to the cause to a delegation of Sir Syed Minority Foundation of India (SSMFI) met Mr. Khan in Patna on July 21st.

    The General secretary of SSMFI Md.Perwez Siddiqui informed the media that Mr.Shahid AIi Khan promised to support the minority status of AMU and promised that if UPA-2 comes up with the Bill in the parliament to restore the minority status of AMU then JDU will support the bill. The SSMFI president Shamsul Rahman pointed towards the 1981 (Amendment) Act of AMU and said that AMU is a body established by the Muslims and the same is clear from the records of history and the Supreme court of india must take note of it.

    Mr.Perwez told that St.Stephens College, Delhi was granted the minority status owing to its construction whereas AMU whose construction is a unique blend of Ancient Indo-Islamic architecture has not granted the minority status. It has to be taken in note that texts in Arabic and Urdu has been inscribed on the walls of AMU this clearly shows that it was established by the Muslims.

    The SSMFI members said that since Muslims have voted in favour of JDU in elections, time has come for JDU to support this noble cause of Muslims to prove that it is a secular party.

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai: Superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan hugged each other at an Iftaar party here, indicating the two actors who were not on talking terms post the incident at Katrina Kaif's birthday bash in 2008, have perhaps patched up.

    The actors, who were attending Congress leader Baba Siddique's annual Iftar party after a long time, faced each other, shook hands and hugged each other when Siddiqui asked them to meet each other.

    Both Shah Rukh and Salman seemed perfectly fine, the latter being the one who took the initiative to shake hands and hug Shah Rukh.

    The Iftar party took place at Banra Taj Lands End

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    Timeframe for implementation: July-Dec 2013

    Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood

    We, the Indian Muslims, are extremely unhappy with the philosophy and agenda of the Sangh Parivar and hence will surely not vote for the BJP in the upcoming elections. However, this does not lead to the presumption that we will vote, a third time, for the UPA.

    Justice Rajinder Sachar submitting report of the Committee set up to study social, economic and educational status of Muslims to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, , in New Delhi on November 17, 2006. Six and a half year later, major recommendations of the Report is yet to be implemented.

    In 2004 the UPA came to power with massive Muslim support. It appointed Sachar Committee and Mishra Commission which submitted their reports which were accepted by the UPA Government. Muslims were happy and they again supported the UPA in 2009. Problems of the Muslims have been documented in the two reports and their solutions have been identified after detailed discussion in and out of the government. But, during the last four years the UPA has been ignoring the implementation of major recommendations given in Sachar and Mishra Reports despite systematic and frequent reminders given by the community and its well-wishers through media, conferences, presentations, memoranda and meetings with ministers. Now the UPA has its last window of opportunity, July to December 2013, to pick up the threads, issue orders, give these in the hands of Muslims and their well-wishers and get these implemented at the ground level through intense follow up. For UPA's ready recapitulation following are the actions that it must take right now. Each of these works has been pending for several years. After every item, in brackets, the ministry which has to take the action is mentioned. Muslims will take into account the UPA's commissions & omissions at the hustings.

    1. Create time-bound fast-track courts to try terror allegations. (Ministry of Law)

    3. Provide compensation of Rs 50 lakh to each person who is judicially acquitted of terror allegations. Such amount elsewhere in the civilized world is much higher. (Home Ministry)
    4. (a)Make 'Scheduled Caste' definition religion-neutral. Amend 1950 Order through a simple parliamentary resolution. (Ministry of Law)

    4.(b) De-reserve constituencies with substantial Muslim population. Immediately appoint the next Delimitation Commission with clear time-bound mandate to remove these anomalies. (Sachar Committee: Ministry of Law)

    5. Evolve procedure to nominate Muslims in public positions of power. Mind you, post-Sachar, Muslim representation in government has come further down. (Sachar Committee Report: Cabinet Secretariat & Ministry of Minority Affairs)

    6. Earmark 67% for Muslims out of the Reservation to be made for all minorities, as Muslims constitute 73% of all minorities.
    (Mishra Commission: Ministry of Law)

    7. Create Special Component Plan in the Budget for Muslims for skill development programs and other economic opportunities. ('Promises to Keep' by Harsh Mandar & others: Planning Commission & Ministry of Finance)

    8. For the PM's 15 Point Program for Minorities, enhance the outlay to 19% of total plan allocation.
    ('Promises to Keep' by Harsh Mandar & others: Planning Commission & Ministry of Finance)

    9. Make the village (in rural area) and ward (in urban area) [and not the district or block] as units of planning for infrastructure schemes (including MSDP - Multi-sectoral Development Plan) and their implementation. ('Promises to Keep' by Harsh Mandar & others: Planning Commission & Ministry of Finance)

    10. For special recruitment of 1400 additional IPS officers, scrap the Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) as it pre-empts Muslim intake. (Ministries of Personnel & Home)

    11. Establish Indian Waqf Service on the pattern of several states where senior officers are directly recruited, by state law, to manage Hindu temples & endowments. (Sachar Committee Report: Ministries of Personnel & Minority Affairs)

    12. (a) In the Waqf Bill 2013, incorporate all the recommendations of Sachar Committee + Joint Parliamentary Committee on Waqfs. (Sachar Committee Report & JPC on Waqfs: Ministry of Minority Affairs)

    12.(b) Act on the then PM Indira Gandhi's letter no. 71-PMO/76 dated March 26,1976 addressed to the chief ministers - reproduced in Sachar Committee Report on page 223. Vacate Waqf properties occupied by UPA Governments in the centre and states and restore these to the state waqf boards.
    (Sachar Committee Report & JPC on Waqfs: PMO, Ministry of Minority Affairs, UPA chief ministers)

    13. Publicize Madarsa Scheme (SPQEM) in Urdu & other languages. Rs 50 lakh granted every year for such publicity has not been utilized. (HRD Ministry)

    14. Establish equivalence between Madarsa and other education. (Sachar Committee Report: Ministry of HRD, National Institute of Open Schooling and University Grants Commission]

    15. Give option for interest-free finance in the banking sector. Implement the recommendations of the Planning Commission's Raghuram Rajan Committee on financial sector reforms. (Planning Commission)

    16. Central Urdu Teachers Scheme: Follow up and get resolved its non-implementation in most of the states. (Ministry of HRD)

    17. Establish Equal Opportunity Commission. Modalities were finalized by the Expert Committee four years ago. (Sachar Committee Report: Ministry of Minority Affairs)

    18. Institute the Schemes for Incentives based on Diversity Index. Modalities were finalized by Expert Committee four years ago. (Sachar Committee Report: Ministry of Minority Affairs)

    19. Involve Muslim beneficiary groups in the planning & oversight of the schemes & projects aimed at their welfare. (Cabinet Secretariat & Ministry of Minority Affairs)

    20. Concentrate on benefiting the whole Muslim community, not only a few individuals.

    Detailed documentation on these issues, often obtained under Right to Information Act, is available with the Zakat Foundation of India.

    Lest the current UPA Government continues its 'mere lip-service' policy towards Muslims even during its last six months, we need not vote for it a third time and, instead, now begin putting our heads together for a non-UPA and non-BJP alternative.
    Dr. Zafar Mahmood is the president of Zakat Foundation of India.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh : Welcoming the decision of the Aligarh Muslim University to make Urdu compulsory in graduation courses, Prof. Razaullah Khan President of Forum for Muslim Studies & Analysis pointed out that knowledge of various language particularly Urdu will strengthen our composite culture and national unity.

    He was chairing a joint meeting in Media Centre Aligarh of various organisations to analyse the fallout of making Urdu compulsory in Aligarh Muslim University. Jasim Mohammad Secretary of Millat Bedari Muhim Committee (MBMC) pointed out the Urdu is an Indian language and the BJP is opposing it with biased approach as it believed only in saffron culture of composite culture.

    Prof. Zakia A. Siddiqi Secretary, Female Education Association said that three language formula was the base of our whole educational system and compulsory Urdu will bring all students into mainstream. Prof. Syed Iqbal Ali, Secretary of Hazrat Ameer Khusro Education Society said that, “in fact it should be ensured before recruitment in AMU that the employees know Urdu as is provision in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

    Several scholars and teachers were present in the meeting.

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    By TCN News,

    Patna: After the five successful years of Rahmani-30, Maulana Mohammad Wali Rahmani, patron of Rahmani Foundation, has launched the new innovative platform of Rahmani Wave to prepare talented Muslim stududetns for IIT-JEE.

    Rahmani Wave is the new institution to be run by same Rahmani Foundation that will accommodate additional students at the new centre and prepare them for the 2015 IIT-JEE.

    Maulana Wali Rahmani said that the Rahmani-30 centre was not able to accommodate increasing number of students as it lacked resources and hence the need for a new centre. 32 additional students have been selected based on the earlier entrance test conducted in April for the new residential centre.

    Bihar Director General of Police Abhyananad, founder of Super 30 and mentor of Rahmani30 and Rahmani Wave said, “As only certain number of students could be admitted in Rahmani 30, leaving behind several talented students, Wali Saheb has hence launched the Rahmani Wave.”

    Rahmani-30 is a free residential coaching centre run by Munger based Rahmani Foundation under the patronage of Maulana Syed Mohammad Wali Rahmani and academic mentorship of Bihar DGP Abhayanand, famous for Super 30. Rahmani 30 selects every year Muslim Students on the basis of written test and interview/viva and imparts education and training free of cost so that Muslim students may be able to complete in this high educative society.

    Like Rahmani-30, Rahmani Wave too will prepare students for two years for IIT-JEE and other such engineering entrance examinations in residential coaching free of cost.

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Life limped back to normal after four days Monday as public transport plied and businesses opened in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital.

    Colleges, government offices, banks and post offices were also working.

    Dozens of vehicles carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims to the north Kashmir Baltal base camp and tourists to Sonmarg hill station started moving since early morning Monday.

    The presence of security forces is being gradually reduced at markets and on the streets.

    Official restrictions and separatist protests, leading to shutdowns, had paralysed life after firing by the paramilitary Border Security Force claimed six lives in Gool town of Ramban district Thursday.

    Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has appealed to the people to resume normal activities. He has, however, called for peaceful protests after afternoon prayers.

    He has also requested imams of various mosques to offer "Fateha" after congregational prayers for those killed.

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    By Sreeparna Chakrabarty, IANS,

    New Delhi : Noted sociologist Dipankar Gupta says Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has done very little in terms of improving the human development index of his state and the BJP strongman gives away his bias when he uses terms like the "burqa of secularism".

    Gupta, who in his new book "Revolution from Above" introduces the concept of "citizen elite" or those who are in a position to influence political decisions that are aimed at improving the lot of citizens in general and not to serve "this or that" section of society, says Modi is not among this grouping.

    In email answers to IANS, Gupta says: "I think Modi disqualifies himself from being a citizen elite because he favours one community over another and does not think 'citizenship'."

    "Even the use of the term 'burqa of secularism' gives away his bias," he says, referring to Modi accusing the Congress of hiding behind the veil of secularism.

    "Modi has run Gujarat state well, but in a limited way. This is because he inherited properly functioning administrative machinery and a prosperous economy when he came to power in 2001.

    "In terms of bettering Gujarat's position on Human Development Indices, such as health and nutrition and universal education he has not shown much interest," he says.

    The well-known writer and social commentator also says that non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parties should challenge Modi on issues like health, education and other social indices rather than attack him on minority issues.

    "Just attacking Modi for being a Hindu nationalist does not help because most people see little wrong when a community other than their own is either attacked or sidelined. This is why secular parties must deliver tangible secular goods like health, education, jobs and proper living conditions," Gupta told IANS.

    In his new book, Gupta argues that nearly all the major developments in democracy over the past 150 years or so have come because of the initiatives of such members of the citizen elite and not because of pressures from below.

    "Citizen elites are not known by birth and status but by what they do. True, such people are well placed and much better positioned than the overwhelming majority; yet they use their favourable position not to their advantage but for citizens in general," he says.

    Gupta says in his opinion, "targeted interventions usually end up in corruption (like the recent mid day meal scandal or the misuse of MNREGA and PDS resources) because they do not pull citizens together in a universal policy that affects and benefits all".

    Thus "In short, Gujarat is hardly the model for citizen elites".

    Gupta says the Indian citizen elite in fact has yet to emerge. "We will know they are there when they do things worthy of being citizen elites and not just because they are relatively more privileged than the rest".

    The book, he says, is meant to inspire those who could be citizen elite to come and lead from the front and not be misled into believing that democracy only progresses when there is mass pressure.

    India's IT sector can be used by the citizen elite in terms of attaining universal health and education if used imaginatively, Gupta says adding that by itself, the IT sector is like any other sector, but with one major difference.

    "The leaders in this industry are people who came to the fore because they had talent and enterprise and not family money, as is the case with most other industrial houses".

    "...if a person has come to prominence on account of training and education and lawful enterprise, then such individuals would probably be more likely to become citizen elites. But eventually, as I said, a citizen elite is as citizen elite does," he says.

    (Sreeparna Chakrabarty can be contacted at

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh Monday supported his colleague Shakeel Ahmad who, in a tweet, accused the BJP and the RSS of communal politics.

    "Religious fundamentalism is at the root of terrorism," Digvijaya Singh told reporters while saying that even before BJP leader Narendra Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat, his party was practising divisive politics.

    "Before independence, the Muslim League was also practising religious fundamentalism," he said.

    A tweet from Ahmad alleging that the banned terror outfit "Indian Mujahideen was formed after the Gujarat riots" stirred a political storm Sunday with the BJP reacting sharply to it.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Abdul Rahim Rather was Monday elected the new chairman of the ministerial panel working on the mechanism for the goods and services tax (GST).

    Rather, a senior leader of National Conference, replaces Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Sushil Kumar Modi who resigned last month following his party's split with almost two-decade-old ally Janata Dal (United) in Bihar.

    The Empowered Group of State Finance Ministers elected Rather as its new chief at a meeting here.

    Rather was elected unopposed after Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who also holds the finance minister portfolio, proposed his name.

    Rather now faces a formidable task of building consensus for the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) that has missed several deadlines.

    GST is the most ambitious indirect tax reform. It seeks to replace all indirect taxes like excise, service tax and local levies, with a single and uniform tax across the country.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Accusing the Congress of trying to communalise the upcoming general elections, BJP leader Arun Jaitley Monday said the party was trying to "deflect" the agenda from issues of governance.

    "Faced with both the crisis of governance and a lack of leadership, the UPA's desperate strategy appears to be to deflect the agenda... Communalise the polity in the country and change the electoral agenda," Jaitley said in an article on the website of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    Jaitley's attack came after Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad blamed the 2002 Gujarat riots for the formation of Indian Mujahideen, a terror outfit suspected to be involved in several terror incidents since then.

    Without naming Ahmad, Jaitley said that a "Congress party spokesperson went to the extraordinary extent of rationalizing the formation and existence of the Indian Mujahideen".

    "Serious political observers are at a loss to understand why the official spokesperson of the Congress could have rationalized the formation of Indian Mujahideen in India, i.e. as an organization formed as a reaction against the riots in Gujarat in 2002," he said.

    Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the Congress fears the anti-incumbency factor after nearly 10 years of rule.

    "The conventional Congress strategy has been that whenever they fail at governance, then they go back to the last resort i.e. the alleged charisma of the Congress party's first family. Unfortunately that charisma appears to be inadequate. The outgoing leadership of the UPA is perceived to be ineffective; the incoming are perceived to be non-leaders," he said.

    He added that governance of the UPA should be the main agenda for the coming general election.

    "All those who want to throw the UPA out of office must understand that their focus must remain on the issues of governance which the UPA will try to duck," he said.

    In a post on micro-blogging site Twitter, Ahmad said: "Indian Mujahideen was formed after (the) Gujarat riots (of 2002), says NIA (National Investigation Agency) in its charge sheet. (But) Even now BJP and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) will not desist from their communal politics."

    He Monday tweeted he was "surprised by the hype in media on my tweet of 21st July regarding NIA's (National Investigation Agency) charge sheet".

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Congress Monday sought to distance itself from the remark of party leader Shakeel Ahmed, who tweeted that the 2002 Gujarat riots led to the formation of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM).

    "It is not the party line as of now," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters.

    However, she attacked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over the riots.

    "Whatever happened in Gujarat, the manner in which people of a particular community were killed, such an incident has not happened anywhere else," Chowdhary said.

    Senior Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, however, supported Shakeel Ahmed.

    "Religious fundamentalism is at the root of terrorism," Digvijaya Singh told reporters, while explaining that even before BJP leader Narendra Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat, his party had been practising divisive politics.

    "Before Independence, the Muslim League was also practising religious fundamentalism," he said.

    A tweet from Ahmad alleging that the banned terror outfit "Indian Mujahideen was formed after the Gujarat riots" stirred a political storm Sunday, with the BJP reacting sharply to it.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Nobel laureate Amartya Sen says he does not approve of the Narendra Modi model of governance in Gujarat and he does not want to see Modi as the prime minister of the country.

    In an interview with CNN-IBN, Sen says the physical infrastructure in Gujarat may be good but Modi has not done enough for the minorities.

    "As an Indian citizen, I could say we Indians don't want a situation where the minorities feel insecure and could legitimately think that there was an organised violence against them in 2002. That's a terrible record," Sen told the news channel.

    "As an Indian citizen I don't want an Indian prime minister who has that kind of record. I do not want Modi to be my prime minister," Sen said. The interview was telecast at 10.30 Monday night.

    Modi has been named the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2014 poll campaign chief and is widely regarded as the party's prime ministerial candidate.

    Sen criticized Gujarat's record on social indices like education and health.

    "It makes sense to have focus on physical aspects. He (Modi) certainly has certainly achieved quite a bit on that... the administration has been good but the social administration of delivering education, healthcare and gender equity has been bad. That's some of the worst records within the Indian states," he maintained.

    The Nobel laureate has praise for the state of Bihar and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's governance methods.

    "Nitish Kumar's focus on education and healthcare is definitely admired and efficient. What he is doing, he is trying to learn more from Japan, (South) Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. He is trying to have an educated, healthy labour force. The basis for it - high capital growth rate. That has worked again and again across the world. Yes, I do think his record at this moment is very good."

    On comparisons between Modi and Nitish Kumar, the economist says it would not be fair to compare as Nitish Kumar is dealing with the poorest state in India, while Modi is dealing with a relatively richer state.

    Sen says Modi could have done better. "Modi could have been more secular, made the minority community to feel more secure, the majority community could have not felt that they are being tolerant to minority community."

    "And also he could have taken note of the fact that Gujarat's record in education and healthcare is very bad. He needs to concentrate on that as much as he is concentrating on physical infrastructure. So it's the question of learning," according to a transcript of the interview by CNN-IBN.

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    By Faraz Ahmad

    It is now out in the open. There are no secrets, no pretenses anymore. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) no more puts a charade of being a patriotic cultural organization out to preserve India’s great cultural (read Hindu) heritage, the alma mater of the BJP which sits at a distance and offers an advice or help only when the BJP leaders ask for.

    For years, right from Guru Gowalkar days to Bhaurao Deoras to Rajju Bhaiya, they were all backseat drivers, with a proxy BJP president holding the steering of its political directions. K S Sudarshan tried to be a little proactive but in due course the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee tactfully silenced him.

    RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat. [Photo: Wikipedia]

    The current Sarsanghchalak, the youngest so far in the Sangh’s history, for he became the chief in March, 2009 before he was 59, is far too young to sit in Nagpur’s Resham Bagh headquarters and give sermons. The young Sarsanghchalak is a very hands-on chief and he demonstrated his prowess when he directly intervened today to quell the rebellion brewing among a group of Bihar BJP MLAs, impatient with the leadership of former Deputy chief minister of the state Sushil Kumar Modi.

    The CNN-IBN described Bhagwat’s act as unprecedented and reported that he held a meeting with rival BJP factions in Patna to defuse the crisis in the state party unit. A day earlier the BJP had to suspend its MLA Amarnath Gami for publicly attacking the milder Modi as well as the central leadership of his party within hours of TV channels running his video clip on Sunday. News reports indicated that Gami is not alone and are possibly a dozen or more ready to cross over to the JD-U side. While state BJP president Mangal Pandey gave no numbers he did state that the JD-U was trying to lure his party MLAs with the promise of ministerial berths.

    Significantly the banner of rebellion was raised while Bhagwat, along with the top Sangh leadership was holding an important organizational meetings in Patna. In fact earlier that day in Patna the chief made another bold statement that "Hindutva is the core of Hindustan, it is it's identity," he said adding that it is wrong to look at Hindutva as an ideology of a particular religion or community. Remember the old slogan during Advani’s Rath Yatra to demolish Babri Masjid, ”Jo Hindu hit ki baat karega, wohi desh pe raaj karega. So in effect Bhagwat signaled in no uncertain terms that the BJP is now returning to its Hindutva agenda and who better than Hindu Hriday Samrat Narendra Modi can lead such an ideologically clear party?

    Soon after Nitish Kumar sacked BJP ministers and pulled out of NDA, late last month, hurt by this act BJP had announced ‘Hoonkar’ rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan for July 29 to be addressed by Narendra Modi.

    The timing of this rebellion therefore is very significant. It raised its head when Bhagwat was very much in Patna and his blue eyed boy Narendrabhai is all set to land in Patna, expecting a historical reception at Gandhi Maidan. Naturally then Bhagwat poor soul had no choice but to put aside all pretenses of being a distant onlooker.

    But is Bhagwat really disinterested in the day to day affairs of the BJP. On the other hand the now not so young Sarsanghchalak has shown signs to the contrary from the day he was declared as the Sangh chief. His first foray was in the publicity department. Defying past traditions, the new RSS chief not only appeared on a couple of TV channels but went around the country holding press conferences. Already he must have broken the record of all the previous Sarsanghchalaks put together speaking to the media and holding press conferences. That first showed Mohanrao Madhukarrao Bhagwat enjoys seeing his mug all with his walrus moustache on the TV screen and newspaper, magazine covers.

    His second act was to tell Advani soon after the 2009 debacle to retire and simultaneously convey to the media his disdain for D-4 (four Delhi based leaders, namely Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar) all considered then the camp followers of L K Advani. After that he appointed an artless businessman from Nagpur to lead the BJP, naturally hoping to do backseat driving. But poor Nitin Gadkari’s prowess lay only in looking after the day to day needs of the Sangh Parivar through his Purti group. He proved no match for the Delhi Group. So as a final compromise Rajnath Singh was recalled. But poor Rajnath was never very effective even when he led the party for four years after 2005. He is proving no better this time. As for the others some in the BJP can’t stand Suresh Soni others are suspicious of Bhaiyaji Joshi and still others spite M G Vaidya. Therefore it is now high time for the commander to lead from the front and lead he will, whatever the “pseudo secularists” may say. But I am sure the numerous BJP spokespersons will behave like the three monkeys of Gandhiji.

    Faraz Ahmad is a Freelance journalist with past association with several national dailies.

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    By TCN News,

    Hyderabad: Renowned Egyptian Qari (reciter) Shaik Adil Al Baz of Al Azhar University will be visiting Hyderabad as a state guest of Government of Andhra Pradesh; he will be accompanied by another Islamic scholar and Qari from Al Azhar, Elmahday Nagati Taha Ismail.

    Director department of protocol has issued orders to treat both the dignitaries as state guests and both of them will be accommodated at Manjeera state guest house.

    International Islamic scholars cum Qurra Al Baz and Taha Ismail are expected to arrive in Hyderabad via Bangalore on 30 July; they are expected to mesmerize many public gatherings with their Qerat of Quran at different Jama Masjids in the city including historic Mecca Masjid on 2 August. Apart from Hyderabad Qurra will also visit neighboring Karnataka districts of Gulbarga, Raichur and Bijapur on 1, 3 and 7 August respectively.

    Both the Qurra from Egypt will be the chief orators at the grand annual Iftar party of Chief Minister to be hosted on 2 August, they are also schedule to call on leader of opposition Chandra Babu Naidu at his Iftar Party.

    Adil Al Baz and Taha Ismail will be celebrating their Eid in Hyderabad, where they will be leading the biggest Eid prayer congregation of city at Mir Alam Mandi. Next day they will be attending Eid Milap function to be organized by All India Religious Leader Association at Itehad bhavan and on 10 August same day they will leave for Cairo.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: Even as the government of India and Assam are trying their ‘best’ to solve the insurgency problem by inviting the militant groups for peace talk, here is a group of surrendered ULFA militants who repent their action of returning to the mainstream. Raj Kumar Duwara and his fellow former militants have been forced to knock the governor’s door seeking his intervention to fulfil the demands which were promised by the government.

    Coming under the banner of All Assam Surrendered ULFA Samitee (AASUS) which has more than 3300 members on Tuesday met Assam governor JB Patnaik asking him to put pressure on the government to address several serious problems of the state which could eventually solve the insurgency problem.

    “We want to ask the government why the promises made by them were not fulfilled. Such negligence of the government has made us repent why did we surrender? We feel we should have continued our arms struggle. It makes no difference today that we have surrendered. The government is just using us rather than trying to bring a permanent solution,” said an angry Duwara who gave up arms way back in 1992.

    They also claimed that they gave up the arms of their own in the hope of bringing peace in the state and solution to all the problems for which they had chosen the violent path. “We were neither arrested not were put pressure to lay down the arms. But the government has no respect for our feelings towards peace,” added the former political organizer of ULFA.

    The Sivasagar born militant who had joined ULFA in 1985 also said that state youths still joining the outfit as the government’s approach is not that encouraging towards bringing solution. Besides, they wished a speedy solution from the peace “There is no proper ways to rehabilitate the former militants so that they can also lead a decent life. Moreover, the efforts should be made from both the ways to bring a solution,” he added.

    They also mentioned of erosion and infiltration problems of the state to be solved in the memorandum which was handed over to the governor.

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain,,

    Banglore: The deadline for political parties to come under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act ended on July 15. However, major political parties chose to stay out of the act, defying CIC order to appoint information officers, appellate authorities and implement voluntary disclosure of information under Section 4 of the RTI Act.

    On 3 June, 2013, in a landmark judgement passed by a bench consisting of Satyananda Mishra and Information Commissioners M.L. Sharma and Smt. Annapurna Dixit, the Central Information Commission (CIC) held the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party India, the Nationalist Congress Party and Bahujan Samaj Party to have been substantially financed by the Central Government and as a result answerable under the Right to Information Act.

    "The Presidents, General Secretaries of these parties are hereby directed to designate CPIOs and Appellate Authorities at their headquarters in six weeks. The CPIOs so appointed will respond to the RTI applications extracted in this order in four weeks’ time,” the commission had directed.

    The order meant that the parties, who claim to work in the public interest, should be willing to allow Indian citizens to seek information, as they are entitled to do so from most government bodies.

    From the very outset, parties had shown their opposition to the order with the leading Congress even dismissing it as “unacceptable”. BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar had asked "What new element does it seek to add since the accounts are already open to inspection by the election commission.” Other major parties had similar aversion to it.

    Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a voluntary organisation who spearheaded the campaign to have CIC bring political parties under RTI, said that out of the 45 RTI applications it sent to different parties, only four have responded so far, which includes the Peoples Democratic Party, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, All India N.R.Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League.

    Of the four, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has provided detailed answers to questions such as information on Government allotted Offices and their areas, monthly rent being paid for their party offices, among others. While the Panthers Party has not denied any information, they have only provided it partially, says the ADR press statement.

    The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and All India N.R. Congress (Puducherry) have responded back saying they do not come under the provisions of the RTI Act.

    Meanwhile, a group of RTI activists from Pune have filed complaints against political parties to the Chief Central Information Commissioner (CCIC) for non-compliance of its order.

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