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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Patna : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Sunday released sketches and details of the five people wanted in connection with serial bomb blasts in Patna and Bodh Gaya in Bihar, and sought the help of the general public in nabbing them.

    A cash award was also announced for any information leading to the arrest of the men, wanted for involvement in planning and executing acts of terrorism, including the July 7, 2013 Bodh Gaya blasts and the Oct 27, 2013 Patna blasts.

    The NIA, which is probing the recent serial blasts, in a press release on its official website, said that five suspects including Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, Haider Ali alias Abdullah, Numan Ansari, Taufeeq Ansari and Mojibullah, who are absconding, were wanted by it.

    The NIA has announced a cash reward of Rs.10 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of Tahseen Akhtar and Haider Ali, and Rs.5 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the three others.

    All five suspects are considered operatives of the banned Indian Mujahideen, an outfit suspected of involvement in the Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blasts.

    Akhtar alias Monu, considered the mastermind of both serial blasts, is a resident of a village in Samastipur district of Bihar. Others named by the NIA are residents of Jharkhand.

    Tahseen Akhtar, said to be running Indian Mujahideen operations after the arrest of Yaseen Bhatkal, is also wanted by the NIA for involvement in other blasts.

    Ten bombs exploded at Bodh Gaya's Mahabodhi temple in which two Buddhist monks were injured. Three live bombs were recovered and defused.

    The Mahabodhi temple - a Unesco World Heritage site - is where the Buddha, born in neighbouring Nepal, attained enlightenment around 2,550 years ago.

    At least seven people, including a suspected bomber, were killed and nearly 100 injured in the blasts ahead of the Oct 27 rally by the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime minister candidate Narendra Modi.

    The NIA has arrested four people including Mohammed Imtiyaz Ansari in connection with serial blasts in Patna.

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    By Faraz Ahmad for

    BJP feels it has done an effective cover up job by producing from nowhere someone calling himself Pranlal Soni, supposedly a resident of Kutch claiming that “Madhuri” is his daughter and he had asked family friend Narendra Modi to keep a watchful eye on his daughter in the big bad Ahmedabad. Great, what a caring and responsible “uncle” the aspiring prime minister of India has proved to be!

    Who wouldn’t want such a man to head the nation? He will then take care of all little girls keeping a watchful eye on every young woman, lest she goes astray and strikes a friendship with an undesirable boyfriend and causes heartburns to her parents and the state. And how do we know this “uncle” did not have an eye for the young woman?

    No we don’t. On the contrary the minute to minute reporting on the movements of the girl by the elite Anti Terrorist Squad of Gujarat Police suggests that the chief minister was obsessed with this girl. Pradeep Sharma’s affidavit in fact directly alleged this, even hinting at the identity of the woman. This is the celibate pracharak, so dedicated to the cause that he abandoned his legally wedded wife, who is eking out a living as a low paid teacher in a municipal school far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and towns. He surely is a role model for the Sanghis! Asaram Bapu is behind the bars and rightly so, because a girl has alleged rape. Babulal Nagar is in jail on charges of rape, and he should be for misusing his official position and sexually exploiting a woman. But Modi can set the entire Gujarat Police force upon an unsuspecting woman, clearly showing the gross misuse of official machinery. But he is above rebuke. Is that the reason he and his party the BJP want Special Protection Group (SPG) for him? So while the SPG takes care of his security, the state police goes chasing and snooping around on young women he fancies?

    But imagine the state under a person like Narendra Modi! The entire security paraphernalia of the country led by the right honourable Home Minister of the state will be keeping a minute to minute watch on some woman, the “Saheb” may fancy. They used to say about erstwhile Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev: “Big Brother is Watching.” Under Modi there will be posters all around for young women, “Uncle Modi is Watching.” That was just one woman and Modi is so far only the chief minister of a small state called Gujarat. Imagine when he becomes the Prime Minister of the vast Indian nation. Nobody will be safe. Yes his Gestapo will first come for the Muslims, then the secularists, then his political opponents outside the BJP and eventually the Advanis, the Shatrughan Sinhas and the Yashwant Sinhas within the BJP as also the Praveen Togadias and M G Vaidyas in VHP/RSS. I wonder whether he will even allow the on his way out Indian Express Editor in Chief Shekhar Gupta the impunity to speak up just for form sake and yet Guptaji says Why fear Modi? He boasted in Pakistan: “Don’t bother we can very well take care of Modi.” I compliment Guptaji for defending the honour of the country abroad especially in Pakistan. But he has repeated the same today, eleven years and two elections after Godhra? No sir, Modi has grown from strength to strength. I don’t feel so confident about a future in which Modi comes to rule the country. My best wishes with Guptaji for his bravado!


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

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    By Afzal Usmani for

    The month of November has special significance in the life of Allama Shibli Nomani as he died in this month 99 years ago on November 18, 1914. His scholarship is unmatched by his contemporaries and in some case even with his predecessors and those who followed him. Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy is planning to commemorate a centenary of the death of this legend and also celebrate the 100 years of the establishment of India’s first think tank. Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy was founded on November 21, 1914, just three days after the sad demise of Allama Shibli Nomani.

    Allama Shibli Nomani

    Allama Shibli’s association with Sir Syed and Aligarh Movement has a special place in the history. People tried to create a fictional rift between these two great men of the modern history and even succeeded up to a certain extent too. But this is not the time to open this chapter of history. Allama Shibli was a strong believer and follower of Aligarh Movement and immediately in the same year of his joining of Mohammadan Anglo Oriental (M.A.O.) College, he established a modern school in Azamgarh. It was Allama Shibli who conceptualized the idea of a Modern Madrasah under Nadwatul Ulema and later established it and served as its Founding Secretary. He also conceptualized the idea of Darul Musannefin but died before he can establish it. But his students realized the dream of their teacher and mentor and established Darul Musannefin within three days of his death. Darul Musannefin later became Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy and still functional and just like the founder, has unmatched academic credentials in its respective field of research and publication. The same Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy is still publishing oldest surviving Urdu journal Maarif since August 1916 and so far did not missed a single issue of its publications.

    The latest issue of Maarif (November 2013 - ) caries an article/news about a proposal of Allama Shibli Nomani to establish an Islamic University in Mecca (Makkah). The proposal was originally published on April 15, 1913 in the newspaper Zamindar. This newspaper was started and owned by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan who was a student of Allama Shibli Nomani at Mohammadan Anglo Oriental (M.A.O.) College, Aligarh. Thanks to Prof. Ishtiyaq Ahmad Zilli, a retired Professor of History from Aligarh Muslim University and present Director (Nazim) of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy for bringing up this missing piece of history which was missed by many who studied and still studying Allama Shibli. The proposal was made in 1913 and at that time Mecca was under Khilafat-e-Osmani (Ottoman Empire) and Hussein bin Ali was Sharif and Emir of Mecca. Probably due to Bulkan war and later World War I and later Allama Shibli’s death in 1914, the proposal did not move towards realization.

    Even after 100 years of his death Allama Shibli Nomani did not get his due recognition as a reformer. Muslims consider him great theologian, Islamic scholar, Urdu scholar but do not give him his place in the category of social and educational reformer of the community. I hope this missing part of history recovered by Prof. Zilli will force many to reconsider their stand of Allama Shibli Nomani.

    Here is said article/news about the proposal of Allama Shibli Nomani to establish an Islamic University in Mecca (Makkah) published in Maarif of November 2013.

    The original proposal which was published in Zamindar on its issue on April 15, 1913:

    Click to enlarge

    Translation of the proposal:

    Proposal for an Islamic University: Shamsul Ulema Allama Shibli Nomani

    (Zamindar – April 15, 1913)

    Everyone has witnessed that the recent events will make Muslims perish. If Muslims do not make collective efforts, the chances of their survival are minimal. This is becoming a common and undisputed perception but emergence of common solution is still a distant reality.

    In my opinion, establishment of a University at Mecca which can impart high quality religious and modern education is of prime importance. It is an established fact the education is a key element of power of a nation. The nation can only survive if they have complete high quality religious, modern education and well verse with modern technology.

    There are many reasons to establish this University in Mecca;

    1. Mecca is the center of Islamic/Muslim world and Muslims from every part of the world can be attracted to go there by their choice. The same cannot be done for Egypt or Constantinople.
    2. Good amount can be raised for a University in Mecca than for any other place.
    3. If every year even 10/-Rs per Haji is received, a huge sum of money can be collected for the University.
    4. A wonderful library is available in Mecca.
    5. Weather of Taif, the adjacent city to Mecca is very pleasant and students and teachers can spend summer in Taif.
    6. One of the main beneficiaries of this University will be Arabs who are illiterate for thousands of years. Centers of this University can be open in different major tribal areas of Arabian Peninsula. Through scholarships Arabs and Bedouins can be attracted for education.

    The biggest obstacle for this project will be government of Turkey (Ottoman Empire) as they may not permit to open this kind of University as Turks never wanted education as culture to propagate in Arabs and so you will not find government institutions even in major cities of Arabian Peninsula. But now Turks have realized their mistakes. Indian Muslims have secured a special position in the courts of Ottoman Empire due to their dedicated loyalty towards them and if they make a unanimous proposal to the Turkey, it cannot be refused. It is also necessary not to give a political flavor this proposal as this is a pure educational proposal. Even though it will be tough these days as everything becomes political even after taking great care.

    If you like this proposal, I request Islamic newspapers to spread the idea in the community and specially to the concerned community members like Agha Khan Sahab, Raja Ali Mohammad Khan Sahab (Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad, Raja Mahmudabad), Nawab Sahab of Dacca (Nawab Khawaja Salimullah), Qazalbash Khan, Nawab Viqarul Mulk, Sahabzadah Aftab Ahmad Khan, Mr. Mohammad Ali, Editor Sahab of Al-Hilal (Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) who will be more effective and fruitful.

    I can make a tour of entire India and then migrate to Mecca and render all my services to this blessed University.

    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Editor of Al-Hilal published his comments in the issue of Al-Hilal on April 30, 1913. Here is the copy of Al-Hilal where his comments were published. He appreciated the idea of Allama Shibli Nomani and endorsed the proposal. But he suggested that instead of establishing a new University, it will be easy and convenient to promote Madarsah Saulatiyah to a University. Madarsah Saulatiyah was established by an eminent Indian Islamic scholar Maulana Rahmatullah Keranvi in 1874 in Makkah.

    Historic building of Madarsah Saulatiyah which was close to Haram Shareef in Makkah but shifted to the outskirts when expansion of Haram was done recently.


    Afzal Usmani is the editor

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  • 11/17/13--21:17: Sectarian strife in Syria
  • By Saif Ahmad Khan,

    According to the United Nations, the civil war in Syria has claimed the lives of no less than 90,000 innocent people. The United Nations has also expressed concerns regarding the actual figure being higher and possible chances of the damage spreading to other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. The appalling magnitude of the sectarian strife in Bashar al-Assad’s Syria has opened the eyes of the supposed ‘Islamic World’ or Arab World as I prefer to call it, to one of its biggest concerns: the deep divide between Shiites’ and Sunnis.

    The fact that many of the major Sunni-Islam aligned countries namely Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar are backing the rebels in Syria along with strong support for Assad’s regime by the political class in Shiite Iran shows how deeply polarizing is the effect of this crisis. The aligning of countries on sectarian lines might not appear surprising to many but the fact that America-bashing countries in this part of the world are now calling upon Washington to intervene in Damascus proves the complicity of Arab leaders in political opportunism.

    What is happening in Syria is an ideological culmination of propagation of hatred by radical Sunni-Shiite clerics against one another. It’s common to see some label Shiites as “bigger enemies of Islam than Jews and Christians” and so is the age old rhetoric of the Sunnis being “the enemy within who denies the Prophet’s progeny and will”. In such a volatile environment, the Arab world would soon be (and I doubt is) abuzz with hilarious fatwa’s based on conspiracy theories involving the Jewish angle into the debate.

    The solution to this problem lies in the realization that Islam-perverting Islamists are supportive of a kind of petrodollar-sponsored puritanical Islam. The Islamist belief is that it is not only belief in the faith of his choice which would earn people mercy but faith in his ‘form’ of the faith. While the basic tenets of different sects might be the same but the overall theological perspective involving statecraft and political power is diabolically different. In such a situation, the Islamist argument of the Sharia being the solution to all sorts of problems becomes redundant as even the Sharia can’t have one uniform interpretation.

    For the Arab world to safeguard its peaceful future, it needs to first of all embrace the concept of nationhood. Islamists have bred in the Muslims a strange kind of thinking whereby they recognize the concept of nation-states as anti-Islam. They reason that since nations and territorial boundaries are man-made, they are natural barriers in the way of the Islamic Ummah, they foster divisions and are hence against the will of God. It is precisely this idea which has to be sent packing into the annals of history. Being a nation, when you don’t recognize the concept of nationhood, you can’t be expected to solve problems of a nation-state. We need to realize that nations face similar problems be it in regards to poverty, hunger or development. It is only when you validate your existence as a nation state that you can strive to address these concerns. Denial of democracy and enactment of a semi-theocratic, semi-democratic and semi-sectarian regime leads one to nowhere except an ambiguous web of identity struggle and theological problems.

    Countries have to be based on the plank of democracy and universal human rights. When religion becomes the dominant ideology in terms of public administration, as it has, then it is bound to throw up more problems rather than giving solutions. Why? This is because dissent in matters of faith in the 21st century is greater than ever before. I know that some might argue that the Islamic golden age was when things were apparently done as per divine revelation but that time has come to pass. The levels of dissent are so severe and space for free thinking so less that it is totally unjustified to compare the two ages. There are evidences of the latter society being far more liberal than the contemporary one where there is no space for heretics and dhimmis. Challenges are many but solutions are still to be searched for.

    (The writer is presently a student of journalism at the University of Delhi and has contributed articles to several news portals.)

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    Sangh Front in the US, NIAPPI / Shalabh Kumar reported to the Ethics Committee for fraud.

    By TCN News,

    Washington DC: The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), has successfully exposed Narendra Modi's purported event on "Capitol Hill" as a fraud and an exercise in illegal and criminal misuse of US Government symbols.

    After five days of phone calls, letters, document verification and hundreds of emails between CAG activists and Congressional staffers, several members of the House Republican Conference whose names had been used to endorse the Modi event have washed their hands off the event. First reports in the media also suggest that the congresspersons were unaware that their names or the Congressional seal were being used to promote the Modi event and that the fraud had been enacted by an organization called National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI) and one Mr. Shalabh Kumar, a person with a checkered history of ethics violations.

    CAG has learned that the office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has issued a "Cease and Desist" order to Mr. Shalabh 'Shalli' Kumar and NIAPPI, who are organizers of the event outside Capitol Hill, where Modi is expected to appear via satellite video on November 19, 2013.

    The promotional material for the event has illegally used the seal of the House of Representatives as well as names and pictures of the top Republican Leadership without their consent. It purports to have the support and endorsement of the House Republican Conference, a top Republican body chaired by Rep. Cathy Rodgers.

    The "Cease and Desist" Notice seeks immediate cessation of all activities to promote the Modi broadcast in the name of Congresswoman Rodgers and the House Republican Conference. Even as the office of Rep. Rodgers issued the "Cease and Desist", other Republicans namely Congressman Sessions moved swiftly to put a distance between themselves and the Modi broadcast. In a statement issued by Congressman Sessions received by CAG via email, Congressman Sessions stated clearly:

    "It has come to my attention that the National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI) recently used my name and image on an invitation to an event that it is hosting in Washington, DC, on November 19. At no point in time did I agree to attend this event, nor did I approve of the use of my name or image on this invitation. Further, I did not see the invitation until it had been distributed publicly. Had I known that my name and image were on this invitation before it was distributed, I would have requested that they both be removed. Additionally, I have contacted NIAPPI to request that they remove my name and image from this invitation and that they explicitly ask my approval before using my name or image in any of their materials going forward." - U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX-32)

    NIAPPI, the key agent behind this misrepresentation and fraudulent promotional tactics, is a Hindu nationalist front organization posing as a public policy institute. It is a resting ground for RSS stalwarts like Bhailal Patel. In the case of this event, Kumar and company tried to run piggyback on an event titled the "Indian American Meetup" that has nothing to do with NIAPPI, and that is indeed taking place inside the Capitol Hill building on November 19. The program schedule for this event clearly shows that neither Mr. Modi nor any functionary of the RSS are scheduled to speak at this event. This GOP "meet and greet" event with Indian Americans was projected as a Modi promotional by Shalli Kumar and the NIAPPI.

    CAG activists spoke with the offices of Rep. Greg Walden and Rep. Bob Goodlatte seeking clarification, since their pictures appeared on the flyer. Staffers from both Congressmen's offices stated categorically that they were unaware of the event, or that the Congressmen's names and pictures were being used without authorization to promote it.

    CAG has called on the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into the fraudulent use of the House Seal, and the fake projection of GOP support for the event. It has also called upon Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to expel Mr. Shalli Kumar from the HRC's Indian American Advisory Board. "A person who openly resorts to fraud to promote a human rights abuser like Narendra Modi should not be representing the Indian American community at the House Republican Conference" said Biju Mathew. CAG further called upon Congresswoman Rodgers to publicly disassociate herself from NIAPPI and Modi.

    The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organizations and individuals in the United States and Canada that have come together in response to the Gujarat genocide to demand accountability and justice. The coalition had effectively campaigned against Narendra Modi in 2005 to get a US entry ban on him for egregious religious freedom violations.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Kolkata/Samserganj: To protest the killing of la ocal social activist who took leading part in a movement against establishing a liquor factory in the Muslim dominated area Samserganj, three blocks of the Murshidabad district called a strike demanding immediate arrest of culprits.

    On 10 November reportedly local police found the dead body of activist Haji Akhtar Hossain on the highway.

    Three blocks of Samserganj, Suti and Farraka maintained strike on Friday, November 16 called by Human rights organization Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Manch and SDPI of Murshidabad.

    Local social activist of Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Manch Haji Akhtar Hossain mobilized local residents against a new liquor factory by a local Youth Congress president Sunil Chowdhury, whose father Jagannath Chowdhury is the Jangipur sub division president of Trinamul Congress.

    Allegedly Sunil Chowdhury has been working to set up a country liquor distillery without required sanction from 2012, the location of which is very close to Lohapur High Madrasa, Chachanda BJ school, three primary School and four Mosque.

    Akhtar was leading a sustained movement against the said liquor factory. Local residents are now alleging that, the associates of Sunil Chowdhury constantly threatened and pressurized him.

    Although the police believe that it was an accident, local residents have insisted on some foul play and allege that it was a planned murder to eliminate the protest against liquor factory, thus accusing Sunil Chowdhury and his associates of murder.

    On November 11 people had gathered and protested against the murder and blocked NH 34. Some people also allegedly pelted stones on police vehicles.

    Police Super of Murshidabad Humayun Kabir said on prima facie it appears to be an accident. He also alleged that the property belonging to police and police personnel were attacked during stone pelting and hence they have arrested over 40 local residents involved in attack.

    Bother of Akhtar Hossain Harun Al Rashid said, “Akhtar Hossain was returning home by a Motorbike after closing his medicine shop at Basudebpur on 10th November around 10 pm. After getting information of Akhtar Hossain death we quickly reached on under construction 34 National Highway, which is closed for vehicles and found the dead body of Akhtar Hossain. We recognized several injuries of heavy iron rod on his head, chest and backrest and his tongue was out. So, we think it is not a road accident, but a murder.”

    The state president of SDPI Taidul Islam told TCN that before getting the postmortem report how police can be so sure that it was an accident. He alleged that while the police have arrested the protestors, the accused still free.

    The state Jamat-E-Islami Hind President Muhammad Nuruddin has also demanded judicial enquiry and immediate arrest of the killer of Haji Akhtar Hossain.

    Furfura Sharif Minority Development Organization has meanwhile filed a petition to the National Human Rights Commission Chairman at New Delhi for a special enquiry.

    The Assistant Secretary of Furfura Sharif Minority Development Organization Abdul Matin said, “We are submitted to the NHRC with few demands.”

    The demands are: 1. To remove S.P Murshidabad immediately whose integrity is doubtful. 2. Free and fair and impartial time bound enquiry commission to set up. 3. Immediate arrest of the main accused Mr. Sunil Chowdhury. 4. To release arrested innocent protestors against murder unconditionally 5. To do the needful so that illegal distillery cannot be set up by any person.

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    By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

    Bhopal: ‘Ise toh CM ne goud liya hai (The CM has adopted it),’ that’s the general refrain one hears if you ask any general Bhopali on the electoral fight for Bhopal North constituency represented by lone Muslim MLA of Madhya Pradesh Assembly Arif Aqeel of the Congress party.

    Sangh Parivar has now made this seat a prestige issue and is going overboard defying every norm of their traditional politics to root out the last thorn in their crown.

    Arif Aqeel is a heavy weight politician who swept Bhopal North, consisting much of the old city four times in 1990, 1998, 2003 and 2008.

    He started his career in politics as a student leader from Saifia College while studying law. In 1980s Mr Aqeel became popular in Bhopal with his ‘activism,’ his popularity was so that in 1990 Arif Aqeel first got elected as MLA contesting as independent candidate.

    In 1993 riots broke out in Bhopal after Babri Masjid demolition, Arif Aqeel was arrested for his alleged role in the riots. BJP Government of the state was dismissed and fresh election was called. Arif Aqeel, this time contested on Janta Dal ticket and secured nearly 65,000 votes in a polarized fight but lost with over 2,500 votes against BJP’s Guttu Bhaiya (Ramesh Sharma).

    In the next five years Arif Aqeel started rebuilding his image which has got dented as ‘communal neta’. In 1998 he again contested from Bhopal North, this time on the Congress ticket, and won back the constituency defeating Guttu Bhaiya with good margin of votes. Since then it was no looking back for Mr. Aqeel, who won the seat in 2003 and again in 2008, now claiming to retain it for fifth time.

    Bhopal North since late 1970s has always witnessed a Muslim vs Hindu fight; from Hamid Qureshi to Rasool Ahmed SIddiqui to Arif Aqeel it has always been the same, at least till 2013 where Shivraj Singh Chouhan seems to have some other plans.

    The Sangh appears so desperate to root out Arif Aqeel that it has ordered Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to “personally monitor the seat.” Mr. Chouhan started visiting Bhopal north frequently in the last one year. This year, he purchased Ganesh idol from Lakherapura near Jumerati market and Dhanteras celebration articles from old city market.

    CM, the shrewd politician he is, transformed the political match of Bhopal north played on Hindu vs Muslim card to now BJP vs Congress by fielding a socialist turn BJP Muslim mascot, a veteran BJP leader and former Union minister Arif Baig to take on the might of Arif Aqeel.

    When asked if he is confident in winning back his seat, with no one other than the CM taking personal interest, Arif Aqeel replies with a straight face in one word, ‘Inshallah’ (God willing), as someone may say while promising to meet tomorrow. It was around 1:0 am in the night that Arif Aqeel arrives in his Gypsy at his campaign office located near Bombay talkies. A heavy built man with white oiled hair, wearing his trade mark ‘Hawai Chapal,’ 63 year old seems Aqeel appeared tired from the whole day of Jan Sampark at different Mohallas.

    But fatigue is the last thing to stop him from mocking at BJP, an inquiry on the popularity of Shivraj Singh Chauhan made him passionate. “We have two-three more people who have greater image then this Chief Minister, Daanku Malkan and Danku Madhav Singh, they used to loot and became popular. Our CM also did the same thing.”

    Aqeel continued his diatribe against MP CM, “The CM has a currency counting machine in his house! Why have they opened a bank there? A poet has said for this kind of people, ‘Un ke Baaton par na jao, Un ke Kadmon ko dekho kahan chalte hai’”

    Apart from traditional minority affairs, Arif Aqeel headed other important posts as prison minister and food and civil supplies minister in the earlier Congress government, but it was the heading of Gas Relief Ministry and its red-tapism which has created disillusionment among his Muslim constituents. Bhopal North consist of much larger portion of the Bhopal gas tragedy victims, and now they allege that Arif Aqeel has never used his position to provide them relief.

    Some of the gas victims in North Bopal TCN spoke to said that their representative didn’t ever raise voice for a special court nor did made any special step for rehabilitation and medical care. In fact discahnted gas victims are leading a campaign “No justice no vote,” and have announced to use “NOTA” during elections.

    When asked about those allegations, furious Arif Aqeel targeted 10 years of BJP rule, “During my tenure as gas relief minister, I put up pressure and got huge funds from Central Government for Bhopal gas tragedy victims, but here BJP Government looted all those funds. Instead of helping victims distributed crores to rich NGOs”.

    He then went on a spry, “Widows are not getting pensions, there is no safe drinking water supply, no free health care even subsidy provided over the medicines are removed.”

    Bhopal gas victim rehabilitation is a Central Government affair when asked him why he didn’t approach his own party at Delhi. “Only when I approached my party at Center, funds came in for victims’ rehabilitation but BJP Government looted it,” he alleges.

    But why didn’t he raise his voice when loot was on? “I did, an inquiry has been ordered by Central Government on the corruption of distribution of funds,” he says.

    In the current assembly as a lone Muslim representative Arif Aqeel said he executed his duty actively, “In BJP Government tenure nearly 50-60 riots took place in the state and in every case I put up a question in the assembly. Anywhere in the state, if the minorities have been persecuted I have raised my voice against it in the assembly.”

    Arif Baig with his supporters

    Blasting the commentary over Shivraj Singh as inclusive CM, Arif Aqeel said, “I raised the issue of Sachar Committee implementation on the floor of the house, CM replied ‘Maa ke Dood mein darar paida ho jaygi’ (Fault lines would be created between mother’s milk), can a break up between brothers happen just to give another brother his right.”

    ‘This is nothing’, he again charged, “People say he (CM) takes every one along, I give one example, Supreme Court has given order to pay imam and muezzins remunerations, he is not ready to implement it. He brought down into litigation the proposed land given under Digvijay Singh rule for Haj house.”

    When interrupted that the CM has already allotted another plot of land for haj house, he said, “That’s outside of city, which has faced protests from Sangh as it is locateed near a temple, it’s again going to be conflict. He just wants to make his name.”

    Sangh Parivar and BJP on the other hand is leaving no stone unturned to get Muslim votes and traditional Hindu votes into the basket of their 78 year old candidate Arif Baig. But in communally polarized MP will Hindus vote for Arif Baig even on BJP ticket?

    Arif Baig appears confident of his win though and told TCN that “Every community will vote for me, irrespective of their religion and caste,” adding, “I am not fighting this election on the plank of Islam khatre mein hai (Islam is in danger), like my opponent, but on the issues of development and mutual communal harmony.”

    Lakshman Upadhyaya, a RSS activist campaigning for Arif Baig, echoes Baig, when he said confidently, “Whole Sangh is behind Baig Saab”, adding, “RSS has given strict orders to its cadres to campaign rigorously and religiously for Arif Baig. We have started a door to door campaign to ensure his victory.”

    According to Lakshman Upadhyaya, Sangh is doing first of its kind experiment in Madhya Pradesh, rising above religious politics, and if it succeeds than it will open up new political avenues in the state.

    Gaurav Sharma, Arif Baig’s election campaign management chief said for the first time Bhopal North election will be fought on the issue of track record of local MLA and state Government work, not on any communal issue.

    But supporters of Arif Aqeel assert that their legislator is not a polarizing figure as projected by Sangh. His party workers claim that in last election Arif Aqeel got 15 to 18,000 Hindu votes and is a popular figure among all the communities. Arif Aqeel is also seen many times campaigning in Hindu neighborhoods, sporting Tilak on his forehead, something his supporters present as manifestation of his secular credentials.

    “Sangh has made my way easier by pitching Arif Baig against me”, Arif Aqeel asserts commenting on fighting against lone Muslim candidate of BJP. “Have you seen the track record of Arif Baig, he has changed party’s frequently for desire of posts, and he is not a constant man. Two people have to carry him to help him stand and that kind of aged person BJP has fielded again me.”

    He openly challenged Chouhan to contest against him. “I told Chief Minister Straight that since you have adopted my constituency come and fight with me directly and contest from here,” he said.

    “Sangh and Chief Minister has made this constituency Naak ka Masla (a question of their honour) for them. See on 8th we will get to know if CM has any ‘Naak’ left with him,” a beaming Arif Aqeel, said to the loud laughter of his supporters.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: Even as Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi tries to play minority card to win votes, Minority Morcha of Bahartiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that Char Development Board and Minority Development Board which are meant for the uplift of the minorities of the state, have utterly failed to do its job.

    Talking to reporters in Guwahati, Minority Morcha president Syed Mominul Aowal said that the funds which the central government sanctioned have been misused by the Congress government.

    “All agencies meant for the welfare and development of minorities in the state are in bad shape. Char Development Board and Minority Development Board are also severely affected by mismanagement. The Congress government has completely ignored the welfare of the minority community. They are busy in calculating their own profit than using the fund for the uplift of the poor minority people,” Aowal said.
    Minority Morcha had also brought serious allegation on the Wakf Board properties and its misuse in the state earlier this month.

    He also said that BJP is a better choice than the ruling party as far as the development of the downtrodden minorities. “Congress always talks of the development of minorities but their action says something else. They just need minority people for the votes’ sake. But BJP is the party which think of development for all the poor and neglected people of the society,” he added.

    Besides, they are also planning to start a series of agitation across the state to reveal the failure of Congress government. On December 5, the Morcha will organize a citizens' meet in every district where they will highlight the Congress' failures, especially for the development of minority community. After that on December 12, a demonstration in front of the offices of DCs in various districts will be carried out across the state.


    BJP’s minority morcha accuses Assam’s Wakf board of serious mismanagement

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : The moderate Hurriyat group's executive committee headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq met here Monday to discuss whether or not the separatist conglomerate should engage in Track II diplomacy with New Delhi and Islamabad.

    Senior separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, former chairman Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Gani Lone, Aga Hassan Badgami, Zafar Akbar Bhat, Javaid Mir and others, held discussions Monday at the uptown Rajbagh headquarters of the Hurriyat.

    Although the leaders said there was nothing new about the Hurriyat executive meeting, sources said the executive committee discussed its leaders' recent meeting with Pakistan prime minister's security advisor Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi and other related issues.

    Hurriyat spokesman Abdul Gani Bhat Sunday told a local news agency, "We want solution of K-issue (Kashmir) at any cost. We are at a stage where defined terms like UN resolutions, bilateral or trilateral talks, are immaterial."

    "Why should we trouble ourselves with these defined terms? The important thing is mechanism and we would follow that mechanism which would lead us to the resolution of Kashmir issue," he added.

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq Monday said the best way to resolve the Kashmir issue was a trilateral dialogue between India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir, setting to rest speculation of an imminent dialogue between separatists and the union government.

    "The Hurriyat conference believes there are only two ways to resolve the Kashmir problem - one is to implement the UN Security Council's resolutions on Kashmir and the other is a trilateral dialogue between India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir," the Mirwaiz told media persons after a meeting of the group's executive here.

    He said that so far as talks between the Kashmiri leaders and India was concerned, the group has already laid down conditions for such a dialogue to become result-oriented.

    "We have already stated that for a dialogue with the Indian government, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and other draconian laws must be revoked.

    "Bunkers and watch towers must be removed, jailed separatist leaders must be released and restrictions like house arrest etc. imposed on us must be lifted," the chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group said.

    He, however, reiterated that the Hurriyat conference would associate with any mechanism devised by India and Pakistan that could lead to the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

    The statement by the Mirwaiz has finally set to rest media speculation that a renewed dialogue engagement between the moderate separatist leaders and the central government was imminent.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The government is organising the National Integration Week Nov 19-25 to foster communal harmony in the country.

    The week-long programme will include National Integration Day (Nov 19), Welfare of Minorities Day (Nov 20) and Cultural Unity Day (Nov 23), an official release said here Monday.

    It said the government also provides financial assistance for relief and rehabilitation of children rendered orphan or destitute in communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence through the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation with the home ministry.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday directed the Karnataka government to shift Kerala's People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader and terrorism-accused Abdul Nazir Maudany to a private Bangalore hospital for treatment of his multiple ailments.

    Maudany was arrested Aug 17, 2010, in connection with the conspiracy behind the Bangalore bomb blast. He is currently in jail and has asked that he be allowed treatment at the private Manipal Hospital in the Karnataka capital.

    However, the apex court bench of Justice H.L. Gokhale and Justice J. Chelameswar said that admission and treatment of Maudany in Manipal Hospital would be subject to hospital authorities agreeing to it.

    "We direct Karnataka government to shift him to Manipal Hospital in Bangalore, subject to the hospital agreeing to take him as a patient for treatment. He will be kept in a separate room, under protection."

    The court said that in case Manipal Hospital does not agree to admit Maudany, he could be treated at the government's Victoria Hospital.

    The court said that treatment of Maudany at Manipal Hospital would be at the expense of the government.

    As Karnataka government counsel Anitha Shenoy objected to Maudany's plea for treatment in Manipal Hospital, Justice Gokhale said: "Let him be treated in a hospital of his choice and confidence. Let there be no criticism of the government."

    Observing that the improvement in the health of Maudany was of "prime importance", the court said: "We are of the view that the petitioner be treated at the hospital of his choice."

    Having allowed Maudany to be treated at Manipal Hospital, the court said that his close relatives will be allowed to visit him in hospital.

    The court said that after Maudany has recovered, he would be taken to Agrawal Eye Hospital in Bangalore for an eye operation.

    Adjourning the matter sine die, the court said other relief sought by Maudany, including bail, will be taken up after he recovers fully, and it is brought to the notice of the court by him.

    Earlier, appearing for Maudany, counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that Maudany had already been in jail for nine-and-a-half years in the Coimbatore blasts case on false charges.

    He said that even in this case, he is in jail for the last two years on the charge of conspiracy.

    The only evidence against him is a statement by a person who says he had seen a bearded man with a cap going into the meeting.

    Bhushan told the court that one of Maudany's legs was amputated and he suffered from multiple ailments and fluctuating diabetes. He had poor vision, and was suffering from an eye ailment. He said that doctors have advised him complete bed rest, so his diabetes could be controlled and his eye operated upon as soon as possible.

    In the course of the hearing, the counsel for the Kerala government said that in case Maudany was released on bail, the state government would provide him security and also keep him under surveillance.

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    By Indscribe

    RSS volunteers [ Photo by azadsinghparihar]

    Once again the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh [RSS] has urged Hindus that more children should be produced, in order to check the demographic imbalance. Did anyone call it fatwa or a diktat? How many TV channels found RSS joint secretary Dattatreya Hosbale's comments as controversial? Has there been strong criticism on editorial pages in mainstream newspapers? This is not the first time that RSS leaders have said that Hindus need to produce more kids. For them, Hindus are the 'victim'.

    The bogey of 'Muslim population rise' or 'Ham Panch-Hamare Pachchis' are used by RSS to portray Muslims in bad light. Not only that the statement aims at driving wedge among religious communities, the fact is that it is truly regressive in nature.

    Shouldn't RSS turn itself into a forward looking organisation?

    The reason is that if RSS been a forward looking organisation, it would stop looking at things from the Hindu vs. Muslim. In that case it should have urged middle-class Indians [mostly Hindus] to stop female foeticide [and infanticide] to control the fascination for 'baby boy'.

    It is this gender imbalance that is really threatening Hinduism [and India]. There are vast regions where there are less than 800 girls for 1,000 boys. Even the upper class and middle-class want the 'baby boy'. If the first child is a girl, many go for second, in the hope to have a boy.

    This 'sickness' needs to be fought. Strangely, RSS leaders never tell their followers how Hinduism has been growing much faster over the last century in the world. While Islam has grown fast after 1900, overall population of Hindus in the world, has also gone up significantly, even as Christianity and other religions have now lost the pace.

    As far as rise in Muslim population in India is concerned, it is not a very unusual phenomenon. The minority [Muslim] rate of growth is quite close to Dalits. Clearly, economic reasons and social backwardness are the cause behind the high birthrate.

    Muslim growth rate in Kerala, Tamil Nadu much less than in UP, Bihar

    In states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Muslims have a growth rate of much less than 20% per decade, which is less than the growth rate of Hindu population in India in many other states of North India. UP and Bihar have overall bigger families. No wonder, fertility rates are higher among Muslims in these states.

    Secondly, there is no open opposition to family planning among Muslims, and they have adopted it widely. As Muslims go up on socio-economic indicators, they also tend to have smaller families, just like rest of the Indians.

    As per 2001 census, the overall population grew by 21.5% in India in the previous decade. Muslim decadal population grew by a mere 13.7% in Tamil Nadu and 15.8% in Kerala [from 1991 to 2001]. These states have a higher Muslim literacy rate and here Muslims are financially better-off. In contrast, Hindu population increased by 28.7% in Punjab, 24.7% in Karnataka and 23.4% in Bihar.

    How do you explain that? Now there will be critics who would say that if Muslims grew by 13.7% in Tamil Nadu in the decade, the decennial Hindu growth was just 11%.

    The problem is that when the Hindu growth rate is seen, they don't take into account the growth rate of backwards and Dalits, whose population growth is comparable to Muslims.

    For example, you can't expect to compare Iyers or Iyengars' decadal rise in population with Dalits or even Vanniyars. If you have to at all compare then do it with the socially upward Muslims. Else, consider Muslims also as a social group and then look at them with their growth rate.

    The right comparison would be Muslim population rise vis-a-vis increase in population of social groups that have similar earning, living conditions and socio-economic backwardness. Statistics clearly reveal that Muslim population rate is falling in India and would stabilise in a few decades.

    The difference of population growth rates is narrowing down fast. Far from becoming majority or even 25%, it will take centuries before they even reach the figure of 20% in India.

    Perpetuating old myths: Fact is that Muslims are least polygamous in India

    For decades, right-wing groups have made similar claims. Take for example, the charge of polygamy. Census clearly reveals that the practice of polygamy was highest among Adivasis, Jains, Buddhists and Hindus. Muslims came last as far as prevalence of the practice was concerned.

    See this link. This is despite the fact that polygamy is legal for Muslims and unlawful for Hindus. But this is not highlighted or even mentioned. Tell a lie a thousand times and people tend to believe it. Senior RSS and BJP leaders often make attacks on Muslims about being more polygamous.

    In December 2005, the then RSS chief [sarsanghchalak] KS Sudharshan had also urged the majority community in a similar manner. He said that 3-4 children per couple would keep the 'changing religious demography' in control. Just imagine had any other religious community [like a Muslim cleric from Nadwatul Ulema or Deoband] made such a statement, what would have happened?

    There would have been wide condemnation, politicians and activists gunning for him and effigies burnt. TV channels would have continued debates for days. But in the case of RSS, it was simply ignored even though the 'cultural organisation' has huge impact and has a cadre strength of tens of lakhs.

    If the RSS leaders take up real issues that affect the nation, they would be taken more seriously. It may also strike chord with the young generation. However, they remain stuck in regressive rhetoric.

    Indscribe blogs at

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    By Arun Kumar, IANS,

    Washington : The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was intended to change dramatically the future of South Asia, perhaps even by provoking a war between rising nuclear powers India and Pakistan, according to a top counter-terrorism expert.

    Bruce Riedel, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, who has advised four US presidents on South Asian issues, says he had pointed this out to then President-elect Barack Obama and his transition team at the time in several briefings. Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taeba group (LeT) had carefully chosen the targets and meticulously researched them over several years, he wrote in The Daily Beast, an American news reporting and opinion website

    "They received considerable assistance in doing so from two sources-the Pakistani intelligence service, called the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate or ISI, and Al Qaeda."

    "Each had its own agenda for the operation. But the targets were the same - Indians, Americans, and Jews - the targets of the global jihad started by Al Qaeda in the late 1990s," Riedel wrote.

    Describing the November 2008 attack as "the most important terror attack since 9/11" he pointed out that the "10 terrorists' tactics have been copied by others since - for example, just weeks ago in Nairobi."

    But "perhaps the most shocking element of the Mumbai attack was the role played by David Coleman Headley, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, in the intelligence collection that preceded the attack," Riedel wrote.

    Born Daood Sayed Gilani in Washington, DC, in 1960, Headley changed his name at the behest of LeT to hide his Pakistani identity when travelling abroad. In his guilty confession, Headley, Riedel noted, acknowledged "the raid also was planned with active ISI involvement at every stage. At each of his meetings in Pakistan, he said he met with ISI officers as well as the LeT terror leaders."

    "Sometimes the ISI gave him particular assignments separate from what the LeT asked; for example, tasking him with taking photos of an Indian nuclear facility near Mumbai," Riedel said.

    Yet "the Pakistani mastermind of the Mumbai plot, LeT leader Hafiz Saeed, remains free in Pakistan, where he continues to be a darling of the ISI and regularly calls for more attacks on India and America," Riedel wrote noting "Five years after Mumbai, justice has yet to be served."

    (Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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    By Pervez Bari,,

    Bhopal: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Monday, while castigating Congress for indulging in vote bank politics in last more than 60 years, said that the party following divide and rule has pitted brother against brother, communities, sects against each other to cling to power.

    However, in the 21st century, Modi said, the era of vote bank politics has ended and now it is politics of development which the BJP governments have adopted and can be seen in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh or Chhattisgarh by one and all. He stated that BJP’s policy is “Sabke Saath Sabka Vikas”. He explained that if any part of a human body remains weak then the person cannot be called healthy and developed. Such is the case with the nation that by leaving any group behind India cannot become a developed and prosperous country, Modi pleaded.

    Modi was in Madhya Pradesh on a day-long whirlwind election tour of the state wherein he addressed four public meetings in the state at Chhatarpur, Sagar, Guna and lastly state capital Bhopal tonight. The state is scheduled to go to polls on November 25. The public meeting was poorly attended with a crowd of just a few thousand at Dussehra ground which has capacity of nearly 40,000 or so. The assemblage was also was not very enthusiastic as compared to BJP’s “Karyakarta Mahakumbh” held in Bhopal on September 25 last when several lakh party activists were in attendance.

    While praising Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to the hilt for the development in the state, Modi launched a tirade against the Congress-led UPA Government at the centre for giving a go by to development. He said: “Congress Ka Ahankar Satve Aasmaan par Hai Aur Desh Ko Apne Jageer Samajhti Hai. Usko Desh Ke Logon Ki Taraquee Ke Bare Mein Sochne Ka Waqt Hi Nahin Hai Kyonke Who Kursi Bachane Ya Cheeene Mein Lagi rahti hai (The arrogance of Congress is on the seventh cloud, they consider this country their property. They do not have time to even think for the development of the people of this country as they are either busy protecting their throne or grabbing others.)”

    At Chhatarpur Modi reportedly said that the Congress lacked courage to speak about development. He challenged Sonia and Rahul to debate with him on development. "I challenge 'Madamji' and 'Shahzada' to talk on development...If you want to fight the BJP, you should talk about development," Modi said.

    Asserting that the Congress will be defeated in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi made a pitch for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state. "I congratulate Shivraj and his team. He covered the state, went to villages and told people what he did," the Gujarat chief minister said.

    "Just imagine if BJP is in power in both Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre, they you will have 'ladoos' in both of your hands," Modi said to the crowd.

    Taking on Congress for its attacks on the BJP, Modi said: If you say we are thieves, we accept we are thieves. We have stolen the sleep of the entire Congress party."

    While taking on the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Modi said he should not blame BJP but people close to him for lowering the levels of politics. "PM says BJP lowered the levels of political discourse..Dear PM, those sitting close to you have lowered the dignity of your office by calling your decision as 'nonsense'," Modi said while raking up Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's 'nonsense remarks' who had rubbished an ordinance protecting convicted lawmakers.

    It is the vice-president of your party who called your decision nonsense in front of media, not us. "If you can't target those who inflict wounds on you then at least don't blame us," Modi said to Singh.

    Modi also attacked Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister CM Digvijaya Singh, calling him the "chief of a lie manufacturing factory".

    "One loud-mouthed leader of the Congress ruled the state. These days, he is busy in a new business-a lie manufacturing factory. He is the chairman of the factory. He keeps saying anything, anywhere and when he gets exposed, he is not even ashamed of his words." He accused Digvijaya Singh of destroying the state in his 10-year tenure as CM.

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    By Special Correspondent,

    Aizwal: Even as the date of sealing the fate of 142 candidates for 40 seats in Mizoram is approaching, several revealing facts seem to make the assembly polls interesting. Come November 25, when the election takes, Mizoram will witness more number of female voters than males unlike most of the Indian states.

    However, women candidates are as low as six whereas there was not a single MLA in the last session. According to the voters’ lists published on August 16, of the 6,86,305 total voters, there are 3,49,506 female voters and 3,36,799 male voters.

    In the 2008 final electoral roll also, of the total 6.08,561 voters, female voters comprised 3,08,659 against 2,99,902 male voters.

    The only three women politicians who have been able to win are Lalthanmawi of the People’s Conference, elected from the then Aizawl East seat in 1979 and K Thansiami of the PC (earlier nominated to the assembly in 1978) who was elected from the Aizawl West seat in 1984 since Mizoram began to have a separate legislature of its own in 1972.

    While, Lalhlimpuii Hmar is the first and only woman to become a minister and the last woman to make it to the Mizoram assembly till date. She was elected in 1987 as the Mizo National Front (MNF) nominee from Aizawl North-I constituency.

    Then if we talk about the wealth, Mizoram politicians seem to be one of the richest in the country with R Lalawia of Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) declaring assets worth Rs 68.69 crore, including movable assets worth Rs 61.65 lakh.

    Similarly, K Sangthuama of Mizo National Front (MNF) has assets of worth Rs 25.57 crore and Rinzawna of ZNP with assets worth Rs 12.19 crore. The average asset per candidate contesting in Mizoram is Rs 2.31 crore. Records say that in Chhattisgarh, crorepatis in the electoral arena are just 20.65 per cent. Of 983 candidates, those who have assets worth more than Rs one crore are 203.

    The poorest is BJP's Biakmawia contesting from Aizawl North-III. He has a little more than Rs 10,000 with him. Chief minister Lal Thanhawla shows he has Rs 89,86,247 in different banks while his wife Lal Riliani has accounts and movable property worth Rs 85,59,733.
    As far as crimes are concerned, the political fraternity in the state is not involved much in illegal activities with just three candidates having criminal background.

    Earlier, all the political parties and others had requested the EC that the date of polling should be pre-pond from December 4 to November 25 and the date of counting from December 8 to December 4. The reason is December 8 is Sunday, a day the sacred day for the Christians, while December 4 marks the start of the Presbyterian Church’s five-day annual Synod conference.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Dr. K.R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit & Minorities Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia is going to organize a two-day National Conference on “Caste, Religion and Reservation”, “with Special Focus on Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians”

    Prof. S.M. Sajid, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia will preside over the Inaugural Ceremony of the Conference on November 19, 2013 at 9.30 AM.

    The programme is scheduled to be held on November 19 & 20, 2013 in Tagore Hall, Dayar-e-Mir Taqi Mir, Administrative Block, Jamia Millia Islamia.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Thirty translated stories from contemporary Indian and Pakistani Urdu writers that are based on human dilemmas have been compiled in a new book "New Urdu Writings from India and Pakistan".

    The anthology, edited by author and writer Rakhshanda Jalil, was launched in the national capital Monday by writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar. Published by Tranquebar, the collection comprises 15 short stories each from Indian and Pakistani authors.

    Jalil, the author of "Invisible City: The Hidden Monuments of Delhi", at the outset clarified that while short-listing stories for this book, she was looking for "commonalities" that bind together people from both sides of the border.

    "There was no peg, no theme for this book. All I was focussing on was to bring fresh, new writings from both the countries to show how this beautiful language has developed in the short story format. There was no search for religion or communal matters," Jalil told IANS.

    "It was purely based on commonality and these stories have one thing in common, and that is human dilemma," she added.

    The Delhi-based author has translated many Urdu language stories and, given her expertise, she feels that the new writings develop their narrations using metaphors, and prefer open-endings for the readers to infer.

    "There used to be a time when an author would raise a question pertaining to the society in his stories and would provide a solution to it as well. But in this book you will see most of the writers have used metaphors to communicate and have give open-ended conclusions," she pointed out.

    The stories "The Slaughterhouse Sheep" by Khurshid Akram, "City" by Tarannum Riyaz, and "Did The Pink Pigeons Win" by Fahmida Riaz have used metaphors to represent the injustice and oppression in today's socio-political milieu.

    With the help of almost 30-35 translators, most of them first timers, Jalil has been able to put this book together to promote Urdu writings.

    Akhtar feels her contribution should be appreciated, especially because Urdu is "the most misunderstood language".

    "Urdu is in a strange situation. There are two notions that have always surrounded this language: romanticism and political biasness. For many it is a source of pleasure, and language of leisure and luxury," he said.

    "But the fact is that there is great literature in this language and we should see many more translations from Urdu penetrating into the mainstream," he added.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Muzaffarnagar/New Delhi: Civil rights activists are outraged over Uttar Pradesh government’s coercive actions where it forcing the victims of riots in Muzaffarnagar-Shamli to sign affidavits in lieu of Rs 5 lakh compensation.

    Indian Express reported on Tuesday that so far over 900 families have given up their rights to return back to their villages and homes after taking the compensation and signing the affidavits.

    Speaking to TCN, Supreme Court Advocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, who hails from Muzaffarnagar and is also petitioner in Apex Court in a riot case, said that the basis of affidavit is illegal and unconstitutional. He accused the SP government of forcing the victims to disown their ancestral homes and property.

    As practically there have been no arrests of the persons accused of riots, rapes, arson, etc victims anyways were too scared to return back to their villages, as mostly the accused are from same villages, often including the village head or Pradhan.

    But the government move is unprecedented. Even in Assam’s BTAD area which saw one of the worse riot and arson in recent times last year – labeled by many as “ethnic cleansing” - those victims who had patta land were allowed to return back immediately.

    Advocate Khan, who was a member of the ANHAD fact finding team also, pointed out that quantum of compensation also unreasonable for there are an estimate 30 % of houses would be worth over Rs 20 lakhs, while there also estimate 20 % houses which would cost only Rs 50,000.

    Another controversial provision of the affidavit is that the compensation needs to be approved by the village Pradhan or equivalent competent authorities. In several villages, Pradhans themselves are accused of leading riots, for example Pradhan of Lisarh has 30 FIRs against him while that of Fugana has a rape case registered against him, besides other cases of riots and arson.

    Advocate Khan has alleged that the village heads are thus being partial and approving the compensations of those victims, who have not named them as accused.

    Spokesperson of Rihai Manch Rajeev Yadav said that on one hand government is forcibly vacating the relief camps, and on the other hand they are now closing all options for the victims to even return back to their own villages and homes.

    Muzaffarnagar riot - Burnt house at Lisad village of Shamli dist

    He pointed out that victims have been coerced into singing the affidavits that in a way will close all options for them to return back.

    Interestingly the affidavit has been ratified by an order of the UP government on October 28 and revised on October 29, that clearly says that the compensation money can only be used "any other land, arranging residence elsewhere."

    Meanwhile, the victims in the Jola camp, and several others in other camps, have refused to take the compensation and on Monday held a dharna in Buhana demanding arrests of those accused of rioting, arsons and rapes.

    Another grave problem rising out of this forced migration is that electorates would not be able to cast their votes in their respective areas. In fact according to reports, several people are planning to apply for fresh voter I card in their new addresses.

    What is happening in Muzaffarnagar and surrounding districts has led to further segregation and will clearly have a bearing on voting pattern.

    Civil rights groups have alleged that the riot was orchestrated for voting gains in collusion of Samajwadi Party and BJP, as polirsation will directly help both of them while Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, for whom traditionally both Jats and Muslims votes, is a clear loser.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : The BJP and ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh Tuesday traded charges with each other on the BJP's decision to felicitate its two legislators accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots.

    Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs Suresh Rana and Sangeet Som will be felicitated at the Nov 21 rally in Agra to be addressed by prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

    Both Rana and Som were accused by the Akhilesh Yadav government of inciting violence in Muzaffarnagar, leading to riots that killed 63 people and displaced thousands. The National Security Act (NSA) was slapped on them but they were let off by the state advisory council which found not enough grounds for thiS.

    BJP's state president Laxmikant Bajpayi said he found nothing wrong in the move, as the NSA slapped on the two legislators had been revoked by the state advisory board.

    "We have always maintained that they were innocent and had no hand in the riots. The NSA has been revoked and soon other cases will fall flat in legal scrutiny," he said.

    Senior party leader and legislator Kalraj Mishra too endorsed Bajpayi and said the Samajwadi Party was rattled at their decision.

    The Samajwadi Party was losing the legal battles and were set for an electoral rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he said.

    "The BJP legislators are innocent and the felicitation is an expression of solidarity for what they went through in jail after being framed by the government," he added.

    The Samajwadi Party, meanwhile, criticised the BJP and said its "true colours were now being exposed".

    The Samajwadi Party's state spokesman and Prison Minister Rajendra Chowdhary said the BJP was trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the state by felicitating the accused MLAs.

    He said any attempt to communally divide the state will be met with sternly.

    "If the BJP or its leaders make any attempt to disrupt communal harmony in the state, the law of the land will act and thwart any such attempt," he added.

    The two MLAs are currently on bail in other charges levelled against them.

    Rana, meanwhile, said he felt proud that he will be felicitated by a leader of international fame like Modi.

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