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Indian Muslim

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    By Arun Kumar, IANS,

    Washington : An Indian court's rejection of a petition seeking the prosecution of Narendra Modi for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots has brought no change in US visa policy for BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

    The Gujarat chief minister, who was denied a diplomatic visa to the US in 2005 over the riots, was welcome to apply for a visa and wait for a review which will be grounded in American law, a State Department official said Thursday repeating the US formulation.

    "There has been no change to our visa policy," the official said. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader was "welcome to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant," he said but wouldn't "speculate about what the outcome might be."

    The official's comments came in response to an Ahmedabad court's rejection of a petition challenging the Special Investigation Team's closure report giving a clean chit to Modi and 58 others.

    Meanwhile, The New York Times reported the court verdict and the Indian government ordering a probe into allegations that a top Modi aide oversaw wide-ranging surveillance of a woman on his behalf as "Victory, and Setback, for Indian Opposition Leader".

    "The fiery head of India's leading opposition party, who remains under pressure for his handling of an ethnic riot 11 years ago, won a victory on Thursday in one of the many disputes dogging him as he seeks to become India's next prime minister, but faced a setback in another," it said in a report.

    "Neither case is likely to derail Mr. Modi's growing popularity in India, since his tough-guy image is a big part of his appeal. Yet taken together, the cases demonstrate why he is a deeply divisive figure," it said.

    In the Wall Street Journal's view the court verdict would weaken Modi's critics before the 2014 parliamentary poll.

    "Thursday's decision, which comes a few months before national elections likely to be held in May, will weaken critics including the ruling Congress party, which has sought to cast Mr. Modi as an anti-Muslim leader unfit to
    govern a large and diverse country,"

    (Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)


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    Indian Americans renew commitment to secure justice for victims of Gujarat pogroms.

    By TCN News,

    Washington DC: Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy organization dedicated to preserving India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, has called into question a “dubious verdict” of the lower court in the Narendra Modi Gujarat pogroms case.

    A Magistrate's court in Gujarat handed down the verdict in the case filed by Mrs. Zakia Jafri and Citizens for Justice and Peace earlier today. The court dismissed as inadequate the evidence available to charge-sheet Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on various criminal charges.

    In a media advisory sent earlier this week, IAMC highlighted the chronology of how the Special Investigation Team was named by the then Amicus Curiae Harish Salve to comprise of officers with a record of conducting questionable investigations that were favorable to the Modi administration. Many of these officers belonged to the Gujarat cadre and as such reported to the Modi administration as subordinates.

    IAMC has alleged that Harish Salve was involved in brokering a multi-billion rupee deal with the Modi administration while he was naming the SIT members. Salve was subsequently replaced but the investigation was already compromised.

    "The judgement by the lower court is not surprising given the fact that getting justice from any court in Gujarat is difficult under an administration that is itself the prime accused," said Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. "Zakia Jafri's resolve to take the case to a higher court must be applauded. Declarations of Modi being exonerated are a deliberate attempt to mislead the public about the case's status," added Mr. Khan.

    Multiple SIT officers were either accused in the 2002 violence or were indicted in other criminal cases for compromising the investigations:

    1. Geeta Johri - A Gujarat cadre officer in the SIT, has been accused by the Supreme Court of India of sabotaging the investigation of the 'fake encounter' killing of Sohrabuddin. She destroyed key evidence that would have led to the conviction of Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah's conviction.

    2. Ashish Bhatia - A Gujarat cadre officer who has been accused of inducting officers into SIT who were involved in the extra-judicial 'fake encounter' killing of Ishrat Jahan, an innocent teenage girl shot in cold blood by Gujarat police and later declared to be a dreaded terrorist out to kill Modi. He is also accusedof filing incomplete charge-sheets in the 2002 violence cases and pressuring the special public prosecutor in the Gulbarg case of tilt the prosecution against the eye-witnesses.

    3. YC Modi - member of SIT that led the controversial investigation in the murder of Minister Haren Pandya under the Modi administration. The family of Haren Pandya has disowned the investigation. The investigation has been criticized by Pandya's family for scapegoating Muslim youth while ignoring the role of Chief Minister Modi in Pandya's murder. Pandya had testified at the concerned citizen's tribunal accusing CM Narendra Modi of urging his administration to "allow Hindus to vent their anger".

    "Given the corrupt pro-Modi team comprising the SIT, the lower court verdict vindicates the initial claim of the Petitioner Zakia Jafri that free and fair trial is not possible in the State of Gujarat" said Ahsan Khan. "The Supreme Court must take cognizance of this fact and move this case outside of the state of Gujarat" he added. Given the compromised nature of administration and judiciary, the Supreme Court has already moved several cases related to the 2002 Gujarat pogroms outside the state of Gujarat.

    The petitioner has the option to appeal the judgment in a higher court in Gujarat or petition the Supreme Court to move the case outside of Gujarat.

    Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with several chapters across the nation.

    REFERENCES:

    Whose Amicus is Harish Salve?

    Who is Geeta Johri?

    Sitting on the truth: The several failures of the Special Investigation Team appointed to reinvestigate nine major cases of violence that occurred in Gujarat 2002


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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Delhi based INSAAN International Foundation (IIF) and BeyondHeadlines (BH) have written letters to Ram Govind Chaudhary, Basic Education Minister, UP, District Magistrates at Muzaffarnagar and Shamli to get an estimate of the number of students and what facilities including books and monetary support are urgently required.

    Communal violence always affect the innocent. Muzaffarnagar is no different. The school going children have been badly affected. Students who are due to appear for their board examinations in 2014 are unprepared and scared.

    A team comprising of volunteers and members of INSAAN and BH is heading to visit the camps to survey and understand the ground situation and prepare a report. In the meantime they have requested to charity organizations and common citizens to extend support to the students in form of books and materials, free coaching and financial support.

    At a time when politics has taken precedence over well-being of the victims, INSAAN is launching an RTI Campaign to get updates from state and union governments regarding the actions taken since the riots started in August-September 2013. Readers and concerned citizens are requested to send their queries.

    INSAAN Chairman Mr. Afroz Alam Sahil and its National Secretary Mr. Kamala Kanta Dash have appealed to everyone in India to come forward and support these children. Mr. Sahil said that the hopeless people in the camps can’t be seen just as Muslims or Hindus, they are simply the victims and essentially poor.

    He said that students in the camps in last four months have not been to their schools and have neither studied anything. Strongly criticizing the politics that has happened since the riots that destroyed lives, property and livelihood, Sahil hopes that the civil society will rise up to the occasion in the absence and failure of both the state and central governments.

    Mr. Sahil can be contacted on his mobile: 9891322178 and please send your queries and support to INSAAN and BH through this email beyondheadlinesnews@gmail.com


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    By P. Mohammad,

    With the suggestion of British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume, the Indian National Congress was created on 28 December 1885 to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with the British Raj. After the First War of Indian Independence and the transfer of India from the East India Company to the British Empire, it was the goal of the Raj to support and justify its governance of India with the aid of English-educated Indians, who would be familiar and friendly to British culture and political thinking.

    But, many Muslim community leaders viewed the Congress otherwise, seeing it as supportive of Western cultural invasion and only representative of upward mobile upper class English Educated Hindus. The same Indian National Congress became a champion of secularism of this subcontinent and safeguarded the life and liberty of Muslim Indians by producing a staunch secular leader like Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru as a first Indian Prime Minister, on whom Hindu right took swipe for being “English by Education, Muslim by Culture and Hindu by an accident”.

    In-spite of all suspicions and misgivings about Indian National Congress by Muslim community leaders, this organization was quite successful and captured the imagination of ordinary Indians and lead the Indian freedom struggle successfully and provided constitutionally rightful place to Muslim Indians.

    In the 1970s, the Indian independence activist and political leader Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) was in opposition to Indira Gandhi as the Congress had by far failed to address the issues of poverty, lack of health care, social oppression and the prejudiced negligence of the people's concerns and gave a call for peaceful total revolution against the corrupt regime. But, even at that time many Muslim community leaders viewed this JP Movement otherwise seeing this as supportive of the cause of rightist Hindutva forces like Rashtria Swansewak Sangh (RSS).

    This movement successfully created the wave among the people of India and after election first non-Congress Janata Party was formed. Janata Party did not last long but created a many young leaders from the backward community and who later become the champions of the OBC movement by implementing Mandal Commission through the VP Singh Government. The emergence of OBC leadership within the Hindi heartland can be traced back from the JP Movement.

    Now as we see the upsurge of the Aam Aadmi party, Muslim community leadership once again is lagging behind in connecting themselves with the masses through popular movement and failed to create an electoral arithmetic where a vote can be easily transferred to Muslim leaders based on the development issues and this movements can create a mass leaders those are acceptable in the majority community.

    The emergence of AAP through a very strong anti-corruption movement lead by Gandhian Anna Hazare was never taken seriously by Muslim leadership although people from right to left, ranging from far left like AISA-CPI(ML) to right RSS was attracted by this movement and supported this movement in Ramlila Maidan.

    Most of the established Muslim institutions and their leaderships were very critical and suspicious about the emergence of this mass anti-corruption movement, barring few faces. In the democratic politics the empowerment comes only through associations with the people on the different issues and the exclusionary politics has no place in electoral democracies and even ideas and visions can be shaped after effective involvement in any democratic movements.

    In the case of Indian National Congress the dominance of Lal-Bal-Pal trio was challenged by Mahatma Gandhi with his assertion through his mass movements with the help of leaders like Nehru, Sardar Patel and Maulana Azad. The leadership of Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress from very orthodox revivalist organization to very vibrant democratic and secular organization and gave a historic Constitution to India that gave rightful place to Dalit icon Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

    Muslim Indian leadership have to start associating themselves with popular peoples’ movements in India instead of only looking for politics of pacts and alliances as time has changed and these elitist politics of pacts and alliances will not deliver anything.

    No political formation without good governance model can be successful in promoting the idea of secular India as Indian middle class will not align with such forces without delivering the quality health, education and corruption free India. Historically, the transfer of vote from majority community to Muslim leadership will only be possible through these effective peoples’ alliances based on the issues that touch upon the lives of the people.

    This is the time to vote and support AAP in big number in parliamentary election not because, only they have a formidable challenge to stop Modi at centre but AAP has a vision, energy and commitment with the peoples’ issues and can challenge the communal agenda of fascist forces.

    (P. Mohammad is an AMU alumni working in Delhi and can be reached at pmohammad1976@yahoo.com )


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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee said that Human beings are product of evolutionary and historical process. So far, the desire to be master of nature has guided most human activities. This desire needs to be replaced now by philosophy of cooperation with nature and urge to evolve new paradigms of ecologically sustainable development.

    President of India was addressing the inaugural function of five-day long XXXVII India Social Science Congress at Kennedy Auditorium, Aligarh Muslim University on “Building on Ecologically Sustainable Society”.



    AMU Vice Chancellor presenting a memento to Mr. B. L. Joshi, Governor, UP

    Mr. Mukherjee maintained that despite having water on ¾ of its surface, Earth has only one percent drinking water, a large quantity of which is polluted. On top of it, rivers are drying and there is over-exploitation of ground water. Where there is water, there is life and where there is no water, there is no, life. So, “we need to conserve as well as replenish our water resources.”

    President of India pointed out that India is one of the mega-biodiverse countries of the world. With four global biodiversity hotspots, India ranks amongst the top ten species rich nations. He cautioned that climate change is a threat but also a unique opportunity to work together. As a developing country on the frontlines of climate vulnerability, India has a vital stake in the evolution of a successful, rule based, equitable and multilateral response to climate change.



    President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressing the inaugural ceremony of 37th Indian Social Science Congress at AMU.

    He hoped that the 37th Indian Social Science Congress will be a grand success and deliberations in the congress would be very fruitful. He said that these deliberations could play a vital role in guiding India onto the path of becoming an ecologically sustainable society.

    Mr. Pranab Mukherjee also congratulated the Aligarh Muslim University for developing a “Social Science Cyber Library”.



    Mrs. Sabiha Simi Shah, wife of AMU VC welcoming the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.

    In his welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah said that the foundation of this great seat of learning was laid by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who was one of the great social reformers and a leading nation builder of modern India.

    Paying rich tributes to the founder of this institutions, Gen. Shah said that Sir Syed was a prolific writer and indefatigable speaker. He wrote profusely on such a diverse subjects as religion, philosophy, logic, history, education, medicine, socio-cultural problems, ecology and conservation.



    Respect to the Nation paid by singing National Anthem.

    Gen. Shah said that a record number of 487 research papers have been received for presentation from all over the country, of which almost half are from AMU. He hoped that the deliberations of the plenary and parallel sessions will help identify some of the most pertinent ecological problems facing the world.

    AMU Vice Chancellor hoped that AMU would become the first “Green University” in the country. For this, an investment of Rs. 5.5 Crore is required for which he has requested the President of India to sanction the amount.



    UP Governor Mr. B. L. Joshi and President of India Mr. Pranab Mukherjee releasing the souvenir.

    Gen. Shah handed over a memorandum submitted by the students to the President of India and said that the academic community and students of this University felt strongly that it was time to restore Minority Character to the AMU.

    Prof. P. S. Ramakrishnan, President of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences highlighted the focal theme of the Congress. He said that continuous destruction of ecology through deforestation, mining, chemicalisation of agriculture and industries, nuclearization etc has endangered our very existence.



    AMU VC presenting a portrait to the President made by Mrs. Asma Kazmi.

    AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali proposed a vote of thanks. He said that as a Finance Minister, Mr. Mukherjee played a pivotal role for providing handsome grants for AMU centres at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala.

    Prof. Shabahat Husain, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and the Organizing Secretary of the five-day Congress conducted the programme. He was the master of ceremony.

    The President of India inaugurated the Social Science Cyber Library. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. B. L. Joshi released the souvenir and presented the first copy to the President of India.

    AMU Vice Chancellor presented a portrait of Mr. Pranab Mukherjee made by Mrs. Asma Kazmi of the Department of Fine Arts. He also presented mementos to the President and Governor of UP. The members of Music Club of the University presented national Anthem and the University Tarana.


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    By Rosamma Thomas, IANS,

    Shamli (Uttar Pradesh) : At the Malakpur relief camp in Shamli district of western Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest of the dozen-odd for the victims of the riots that erupted in September, children run about barefoot in the cold and damp, with little protection from the bitter winter chill.

    It's over three months after rioting in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, just about 100 km from the national capital, displaced at least 50,000 people. The displaced, mostly Muslims, live under just plastic sheets held up with bamboo sticks.

    And no matter how warm a tent might be for a while, the battle against the winter dew and damp is constant.

    There are at least 200 families at the Malakpur camp, all drawing water from just one hand-pump.

    The memories of the riots that broke out Aug 27 are raw: Akbari, about 60 years old, recalled how her house in Phugane village was set on fire. She had saved up for her daughter's wedding, she said, but all that is gone now. And no, she will not return to check. This camp, she said, is home.

    There are different accounts of what sparked off the violence. Was it a road accident that took on communal colour? Or was it a case of "eve-teasing" of a Jat girl by a Muslim youth, as some claim?

    Whatever the cause, the hostility had been long simmering. Rioting continued until early September. Curfew was lifted only Sep 17, by which time many had fled their villages in fear.

    And since then, for many life has changed.

    One large tent in the Malakpur camp serves as a masjid and also doubles up as a school. There are just three teachers, and at least 200 children - at rough count - packed in close together, with just a slender Urdu text held in some hands.

    The earth is damp and the cramped space has a peculiar smell. The children sway as they recite.

    For every few tents, a little square space, about two square feet, closed off with pieces of cloth sewn together, serves as a bathroom.

    There is some trace of construction too. A small set of toilets is coming up with a proper septic tank. However, any construction here is fraught with risk of being demolished as the land belongs to the state forest department.

    This is the camp from where about 30 children were reported dead just as the winter set in.

    Looking around the camp, one sees signs of how some residents have got by with a little help from NGOs: Some of the tents have "Tayyab Masjid" written on them. Some plastic sheets are stamped with "Humanity Trust". There is also one large tent with "Oxfam" on it.

    The state administration says it is attempting to get the people to return to their villages. Officials have claimed that the process of distributing compensation is now over and the displaced must return.

    Many of the people do not want to return to what were once their hearths and homes. They say they fear for their lives.

    At a press conference in Lucknow earlier this month, state Chief Secretary Javed Usmani said only 4,700 people live in relief camps.

    Ruling Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said there were no camps of riot displaced people in Muzaffarnagar district. Quite naturally, this kicked up a storm.

    On Thursday, the National Commission for Minorities admitted a petition seeking action against Mulayam Singh.

    Homs or camps, where do the riot-hit go to? Vasila of Lank village in Shamli district, now in the Malakpur camp, said: "There is nothing to return to."

    But she is not bitter. "As long as there is life, there is hope," she told IANS, philosophically.

    And what of the compensation the Uttar Pradesh government says it has handed out? "I got nothing," she said.

    A team of doctors arrived as this reporter visited, and set up a table.

    Meenakshi Dhiman, medical officer with the state government, said the doctors have been visiting daily.

    The medical team's visit that day was meant solely for a routine check-up of children, she said.

    Residents of the camp said the visits have begun just days ago.

    Asked what ailed the residents, Dhiman said the team only had to treat common colds and fever. And what of the children who died? "I have only heard of those deaths myself. In our visits here, we have not treated any cases with severe conditions," she said.

    (Rosamma Thomas can be contacted at rosamma.t@ians.in)


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A day after an Ahmedabad court dismissed a plea in a case relating to the 2002 Gujarat communal riots, the state's Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday said he was "shaken to core" by the sectarian clashes.

    Modi, in a blog published Friday, called the post-Godhra riots a "crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat".

    Published a day after an Ahmedabad court upheld closure of a Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team's report on the riots, Modi said he wanted to share his "inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large".

    He said he took over as the 14th chief minister of the state Oct 7, 2001, and was given the responsibility to "soothe and rebuild" after the Jan 26, 2001, devastating Bhuj earthquake.

    "... however, the mindless violence of 2002 dealt us another unexpected blow."

    "On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other, the pain of the victims of the riots," Modi said in his blog.

    "I was shaken to the core. 'Grief', 'sadness', 'misery', 'pain', 'anguish', 'agony' - mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity."

    Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, called Thursday's court verdict a triumph of truth.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The stage is set for a new and exciting chapter in India's political history to unfold here as Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, who stunned everyone with his party's electoral success, will take oath as Delhi's seventh chief minister along with six ministers at the Ramlila Maidan Saturday.

    The sprawling Ramlila Maidan, lying between Old and New Delhi, that is been the venue of many a historic political rally in the past six decades, will provide the unlikely setting for Saturday afternoon's swearing-in ceremony that will see the activist-turned-political debutant storm into political power on the back of a campaign that became the cynosure of not just the country but the world.

    Ramlila Maidan was the venue where anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare fasted for 12 days in 2011 to press for an anti-graft Jan Lokpal bill, with Kejriwal by his side. Kejriwal fell out with Hazare since he formed the Aam Aadmi Party in November last year to take the power route to fight graft, but has invited the Gandhian for the oath-taking ceremony amid doubts over his attendance.

    The AAP has also invited former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde and former police officer Kiran Bedi, who were with Kejriwal in 2011, for the ceremony.

    Kejriwal, 45, will be sworn in by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung at a function expected to draw tens of thousands of supporters and citizens of Delhi who have a lot of expectations from him.

    The proposed ministers are former journalists Manish Sisodia, 41, and Rakhi Birla, 26, former lawyers Saurabh Bharadwaj, 34, and Somnath Bharti, 39, architect Satyendra Jain, 49, and businessman Girish Soni, 49.

    A woman, Birla will be one of the youngest ministers in India.

    Kejriwal has pledged to pass a Jan Lokpal bill within 15 days of taking office to battle corruption. Slashing power tariff by half and providing 700 litres of water per day to needy households are among the key promises made by the AAP.

    Kejriwal, who won the Magsaysay award in 2006 for "emergent leadership", said he, his ministers and lawmakers would take the Metro train ride to reach Ramlila Maidan.

    "I will travel by Metro for the oath taking ceremony," Kejriwal told the media in a posturing that sets him apart. His wife Sunita, an Indian Revenue Service officer like him before he became a campaigner and then a politician, and his two children - a daughter and a son - will accompany him.

    Kejriwal, who said everyone was welcome at the swearing-in ceremony, appealed to people to use public transport.

    It will be a minority government -- the AAP won only 28 seats in the 70-member assembly -- and will depend on the backing of the eight legislators of the Congress, which was voted out after 15 years of uninterrupted rule.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party, which despite being the largest single party refused to form a government, will be the main opposition with 31 members.

    The Congress said it is supporting AAP so it can fulfil its poll promises, and has clarified it will continue to prop up the AAP.

    Born in Haryana and now residing at Kaushambi adjoining Delhi, Kejriwal, an IIT Kharagpur graduate in mechanical engineering, has refused security and also an official bungalow allotted to the chief minister.

    Delhi Police have laid out an elaborate security cover for the event.

    The Delhi administration has provided around 25,000 chairs at the Ramlila Maidan which can accommodate around 50,000 people if they stand. But AAP has said it will not have a "VIP enclosure" and even Kejriwal's parents will be seated with the audience below the canopied concrete podium.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Ahmedabad: A day after a court rejected the protest petition of Zakia Jafri and upheld the closure of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report probing the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that the “Truth alone triumphs – Satyameva Jayate.”

    Yesterday as the local court pronounced its judgement Modi had tweeted “सत्यमेव जयते! Truth alone triumphs.” In a subsequent tweet he had quoted the Father of the nation and said, “Truth by nature is self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear"- Mahatma Gandhi.”



    File photo of Zakia Jafir with Teesta Setalvad and others.

    Modi had promised to share his “thoughts on the judgement,” and since then media was frantically waiting for his explanation.

    This is perhaps for the first time, when Modi has delved in details on the riots. He has generally avoided the question in his conversation with the Indian media. Few months back, he created furore when he compared the riot victims with puppies in an interview with Reuters.

    Modi today wrote a blog today to share “inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.”

    In what clearly appears as a PR exercise to ‘reach out’ to Muslims and more importantly to present his new found love for ‘liberal’ image, Modi writes, “I was shaken to the core. ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ – mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.”

    Detailing his ‘efforts’ during the riots, he writes, “I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.”

    Taking rather hallow position, Modi writes that those sitting in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish as they suffer in solitude. “I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity,” he adds.

    ‘Reminding,’ his readers that he had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself; “fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk,” adding that he reiterated it time and again during the course of the days.

    Modi of course now denies that he ever talked about ‘action-reaction’ theory. "During the interview (to a TV channel), when questioned about the Gulberg society massacre in which former MP Ehsaan Jafri was killed along with 69 others, the CM referred to reports that Jafri had first fired at the violent mob, which provoked the mob and thereafter it stormed the housing society and set it on fire," the SIT report noted.

    The SIT report further says the exact quote was, "Kriya pratikriya ke chain chal rahi hai. Hum chahte hai ke na kriya ho, aur na pratikriya (A chain of action and reaction is going on. We neither want action nor reaction)."

    Presenting himself, rather as a victim, Modi writes, “However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!”

    Invoking ‘Gujarati pride,’ the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP further writes, “What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country,” adding, “This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for.”

    Modi also believes that his government acted promptly. He writes, “The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country.”

    Hailing yesterday’s judgement, he adds, “Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.”

    Noting that he feels vindicated and thanking his supporters for standing up with him, Modi turns moralistic and appeal to his opponents to forget bitterness. “I am deeply convinced that the future of any society, state or country lies in harmony. This is the only foundation on which progress and prosperity can be built,” he writes.

    Meanwhile, Zakia Ahsan Jafri Teesta Setalvad have expressed this disappointment over the verdict and are now planning to appeal to the higher court. In a joint statement, they said, “We are disappointed but not disheartened. We believe, strongly, that there was enough material on the records of this Court, enough evidence to prosecute Modi for high level criminal conspiracy to ensure committal of mass murder, rape, arson, destruction of evidence etc. Amicus Curaie Raju Ramachandra had also stated that there was sufficient to prosecute Modi for hate speech (sections 153a, 153b) and section 166 of the IPC. The 3-4 tier system of justice is designed to correct wrongs. We will soldier on.”


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    By IANS,

    Kolkata : Denying its involvement in a bomb blast in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district which claimed five lives, the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) Friday warned police against defaming the outfit.

    Police suspect involvement of the KLO behind Thursday's explosion caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Bajrapara area of Jalpaiguri as Dec 26 is also observed by the KLO as "martyr's day".

    In a press statement signed by secretary general Kailash Koch, the KLO accused police of creating misunderstanding among the people by blaming the outfit for the explosion.

    "We hereby clarify that the West Bengal Police have been trying to create misunderstanding among the Kamtapuri people by blaming us. They want to show us in bad light to hide their own inhuman activities. They have been trying to defame our organisation," Koch said.

    "We want the police not to play hide and seek with the innocent people in the name of the organisation," he added.

    Two days ahead of the explosion, three KLO militants were rounded up from the district for their alleged involvement in extortion from tea garden owners and other businessmen from north Bengal by issuing threats.

    "We suspect KLO militants are behind the blast. Recently some of their activists have been arrested. The blast could be a retaliatory action on their part," said Inspector General of Police, North Bengal, Sashikant Pujari after the blast.

    Meanwhile, forensic experts Friday visited the explosion site, while security has been heightened in and around north Bengal ahead of Dec 28 - the day the KLO was founded in 1996.

    A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team too inspected the site and collected samples.

    No arrest has been made so far.

    State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, who during the day met the injured in the hospital, assured media persons that the investigation was heading in the right direction.

    The KLO has been demanding a Kamtapur state comprising six districts - Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Malda - of West Bengal and four contiguous districts of Assam - Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara.


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    By IANS,

    Kolkata : Accusing the West Bengal government of forcing abandonment of the telecast of a serial based on controversial author Taslima Nasreen's writings, a section of intellectuals and rights activists Friday said they would file a PIL seeking immediate broadcast of the programme.

    "Dusahobas" was scheduled to be screened Monday to Saturday on Aakash Aath from Dec 19, but the channel pulled out in the last minute after some minority religious groups objected to its screening.

    Quoting a letter written by channel producer Ishita Surana to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, right activist Sujato Bhadra said the channel was forced to axe the screening following threats of police action as well as vandalism by religious groups.

    "How can a serial which has obtained a censor certificate be forced to be withdrawn? Surana in her letter has written that she was forced to do so because a senior police officer threatened action if the serial was telecast and anything untoward happened," said Bhadra.

    Eminent litterateurs including Mahasweta Devi, Shankha Ghosh and Joy Goswami issued statements dubbing the axing of the telecast as a direct assault on a writer's freedom of speech and expression and demanded the serial be immediately allowed to be telecast.

    Bhadra said Concerned Citizens for Freedom of Expression - a forum of activists and intellectuals - was in discussion with legal experts about filing a PIL against the abandonment of the telecast.

    "The state government is aware that it has no legal basis to stop the telecast. So it has chosen other avenues and forced the channel to take this step. After being banned, the Supreme Court had allowed the telecast of Govind Nihalani-directed Tamas. So we are planning to file a PIL," said Bhadra.

    Accusing the Mamata Banerjee government of conceding ground to communal sentiments for the sake of vote banks, women's rights activist Saswati Ghosh said banning of the serial was a further blot to the city which had earlier driven out the exiled Bangladeshi author.

    Exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 for "hurting religious sentiments" with her novel "Lajja", Nasreen took refuge in the city in 2004. But after violent protests in the city November 2007, the erstwhile Left Front government whisked her away to New Delhi where she has been residing since then.


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    By Brij Khandelwal, IANS,

    Agra : Friday marked the 216th birth anniversary of Mirza Asad Ullah Khan "Ghalib". In Agra, the city of the Urdu poet and cultural icon's birth, there is no proper memorial to him. There is not even a lane in the city named after him.

    At the place of his birth, the Kala Mahal area in the heart of Agra, there is little to mark the occasion.

    The demand for a Mirza Ghalib chair at the Agra University and an auditorium with a research library named after the poet has been hanging fire for decades.

    The Taj city is identified with three pillars of Urdu "adab" or culture Mir Taqi Mir, Ghalib and Nazeer Akbarabadi. Unfortunately, nothing has been done to perpetuate their memory.

    "Stones alone do not make for heritage. Literature, traditions, culture are all part of the heritage that we must preserve," said Sandeep Arora, former president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association, hinting at the fervour with which Mughal-era buildings are preserved, while other aspects of the city's culture face neglect.

    "Foreign tourists, especially those from Pakistan and West Asian countries, ask after Ghalib's house. We have been requesting the tourism and other departments to build a fitting memorial to the great poet, but nothing has been done," said Rakesh Chauhan, hotelier and president of the Hotels' Association.

    Ghalib is to Urdu literature what Shakespeare is to English. Born in 1797 in Agra, once the capital of Mughal rulers, he moved as a teenager to Delhi, where his poetic talent blossomed in the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Mughal emperor at the time.

    He died in Delhi in 1869, leaving behind a rich legacy of poetry that continues to inspire.

    "The haveli where Ghalib was born should be acquired by the state government and converted into a fitting memorial to Mirza Ghalib," a resolution passed at a meeting of experts said.

    The haveli in Kala Mahal area houses an educational institution. Agra's literary fraternity has petitioned the government to acquire it and open a research academy there.

    "The central and state governments should jointly build a fitting memorial and a library in Agra where Urdu poetry lovers can spend time and enlighten themselves," Syed Ifteqar Jafrey, director of the Mirza Ghalib Research Academy said.

    Agra, also called Akbarabad, is known as a city of romance, love, bhakti and culture. Although it is associated with monuments, it also has a rich tradition of literature in both Urdu and Braj Bhasha.

    "Urdu poetry has stagnated in modern times as new poets are not getting recognition. But even so, who has not heard: "Dil-e-nadan tujhe hua kya hai; Hazaron Khwaishen aisee; Yeh na thi hamari kismat; Har ek baat pe kahte ho," says Chandra Kant Tripathi, registrar of the Central Hindi Institute.

    Syed Jaffrey, director of the Mirza Ghalib Academy in Agra, wants better facilities and support from government agencies to promote research in Urdu literature.

    All that Agra has to remember its famous poet by is one park in the cantonment area, named after Ghalib a year ago. "This is indicative of society transforming into a wasteland," says Sudhir Gupta, an admirer of Ghalib.

    Meanwhile, in Delhi, at Gali Qasim Jaan in Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, where Ghalib lived, Friends for Education, an NGO is organising a reading of Ghalib's poetry in the haveli where he lived. The haveli was restored after a public interest litigation was filed in the Delhi High Court in 1997.

    (Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at brij.k@ians.in)


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    By Saeed Naqvi, IANS,

    Meeting a friend in his avatar as a member of the Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party) required cultural adjustment. Where should we meet? Certainly not on the exclusive floors of five star hotels where seasoned politicians seek privacy as do captains of industry. The India International Centre, Habitat, even the India Islamic Centre have the right ambience but they require membership and so cannot qualify as an Aam Aadmi rendezvous. What we, my friend and I, were looking for was the old fashioned Coffee House where teachers, students, journalists, artists, politicians once mingled inexpensively. Shall we look forward to a chain of Aam Aadmi Coffee Houses across the country?

    The party, which exploded on the scene with the suddenness of revelation simply does not have the time to stitch together a national organization before the general elections in May 2014. But there is a spontaneous local growth of AAP in the states in the aftermath of the Delhi results.

    Should AAP concentrate on 80 Lok Sabha seats or spread itself across 240 in a house of 543? Opinion in the party is divided on this. It already claims some organizational presence across 300 districts. The surge in Delhi had reverberations even in states where its presence was less than rudimentary - Tamil Nadu, for instance, where its helpline crashed because of overloading.

    Depending on the demands that Delhi makes on the leadership, the party would like to start working early for state elections in Maharashtra and Haryana due in October. It is particularly well placed in Haryana because some of its better known leaders like Yogendra Yadav live in that state. This is the reason why his name does not figure in AAP Delhi cabinet.

    Prashant Bhushan has also kept himself out of government. He can now organize the party’s informal think tank and cast his eye on a wider turf for the general election and beyond.

    Delhi, where AAP has arisen, can be a mean city, with deeply entrenched interests. The rapturous applause with which south Delhi and the club set had received the results is giving way to caution, a cunning reserve, eyeing both sides of the street.

    This lot have been rattled by AAP. These are also powerful vested interests which will fight tooth and nail for their survival. Every trick in the book, social media, stings and manageable news channels will be used to demoralize AAP.

    In sharp contrast, are the tribe made famous by Sangeeta Richard in New York - the domestic workers. They sit huddled in groups in the park near my house along with the autorickshaw drivers who have parked their vehicle outside the Metro station. There is a resolve here to consolidate behind AAP.

    A section of the media is already showing its colours. It did not even wait for the swearing in ceremony. It bared its fangs well in advance. At his press conference, Chief Minister designate Arvind Kejriwal promised that AAP will fulfil its promises, “but you must realize that I have no magic wand”. No sooner had Kejriwal uttered “magic wand” than the anchor of a channel interjected. “Look how prompt he is with his excuses.” So the honeymoon period with the media may be short lived.

    Corporate interests which control the media have gauged that AAP is not just a flash in the pan. It has national potential and could therefore disrupt larger game plans.

    A year ago, the media had hyped up a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi campaign. Modi rose to the bait but Rahul did not. Somehow, the Confederation of Indian Industry roped him in for an hour’s solo performance in April which did not set the Yamuna on fire. Word went out that he would concentrate on building up the party.

    The Dec 8 election results must have disturbed India Inc on several counts. The Congress was sinking; BJP did stand its ground in all four states but there was no discernable Modi magic. Upsetting all calculations, AAP came to power in Delhi within a year of being born.

    The scenario is encouraging for regional formations. In this framework, even AAP is a regional force. And yet, unlike the Dravida parties or caste parties in UP and Bihar, AAP is neutral in terms of caste, community and linguistic regionalism. Since it was born in the nation’s capital, it looks much more cosmopolitan and all embracing.

    Against this backdrop, what is the future for the Modi versus Rahul format? And, danger of dangers, should snoopgate catch up with Modi, what future for him?

    (27.12.2013. A senior commentator on diplomatic and political affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on saeednaqvi@hotmail.com. The views expressed are personal.)


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    By IANS,

    Aligarh : President Pranab Mukherjee Friday said India needed to change its agricultural and industrial practices to reduce toxicity in food, water and environment.

    Speaking at the inaugural function of a five-day-long 37th Indian Social Science Congress-2013 at Aligarh Muslim University here, Mukherjee stressed on seriously considering the conservation of bio-diversity and natural resources.

    "Our relations with nature should be guided by the principles of reciprocity, limitation, cooperation and sustainability. The fertility of our soil needs to be restored without further delay. We need to change agricultural and industrial practices in order to reduce the toxicity in food, water and environment," he said.

    "It is important that our country growsin harmony with nature. Conservation of bio-diversity and natural resources merits a serious consideration," he added.

    Emphasizing on the need to conserve water, Mukherjee said despite water on its surface, Earth has only one percent drinking water, a large quantity of which is polluted. Moreover, rivers are drying and ground water is being over-exploited.

    "So, we need to conserve and replenish our water resources," he said.

    The president further said that climate change was a threat but also a unique opportunity to work together.

    "As a developing country on the frontlines of climate vulnerability, India has a vital stake in the evolution of a successful, rule-based, equitable and multilateral response to climate change," he said.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday ordered a stop to the ongoing construction work in connection with the renovation of the purported Sher Shah Suri mosque located within its premises.

    "Status quo be maintained till the high court's Building Maintenance and Construction Committee holds its next meeting to discuss the issue," said Justice Pradeep Nandrajog.

    The court was hearing plea of a group of lawyers seeking the court's intervention on the disputed site, used by Muslim lawyers and litigants for offering prayers.

    The lawyers told court that the police failed to control the mob protesting against the ongoing construction. From last few days, some members of the other community were protesting against the work.

    The court appointed a nodal officer and asked him to monitor the issue and to submit a compliance report. Police has been asked to maintain law and order within the court complex.


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    By TwoCIrcles.net Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: National Commission for Women (NCW) has written to the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh to take action against Golconda Inspector Syed Nayeemuddin Jawed for his Muslim Moral Policing.

    Mr. Jawed created a controversy when in a self-promotional video he was caught chasing down ‘Muslim couples’ and punishing them at Seven Tombs Park.



    Golconda station head Inspector claimed that those youngsters were indulging in indecent acts at Public Park. In the video which has got widely circulated over social media Inspector Jawed and plainclothes police men with Lathis in hand were seen manhandling adult males and forcing girls clad in Burqas to do sit ups on running camera and on even occasions allowed other passers-by to film in their mobile phones.

    Mr. Jawed in barely 30 min self-promotion video programmed by a newly launched local YouTube channel was also heard making remarks against Muslim girls using mobile phones and wearing jeans inside their burqas. According to his assessment in the video, generally those kinds of girls are ‘prostitutes’ using burqas to hide their identity.

    According to Police Inspector Jawed young couples bunking colleges roaming around the parks should be punished as it has giving rise to runaway marriages, some cases which he personally monitored and seem parents were left broken.

    He justified his action in the video stating, “This is India not London, Paris where you can do immoral acts. It is a religious country; there are religious laws here which don’t allow this kind of obscenity.”

    After the incident was reported widely in local and national press many rights and women organizations condemned punishing of girls in public view and recording it in camera, they termed Inspector Jawed’s action as improper style of police functioning.

    National Commission for Women member Shamina Shafiq,, acting on the complaint of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, wrote a letter to DGP stating that Commission has taken a serious view of the incident and condemns the act of moral policing.

    Commission ordered DGP B. Prasad Rao to “look into the matter personally and take appropriate strict action in this matter.”

    Although an internal departmental inquiry is still going on by local ACP, NCM asked DGP to submit action taken report within 72 hours of from the date of receipt of letter.

    Meanwhile many Islamists organizations are coming forward in support of Inspector Nayeemuddin Jawed whom they believe has saved the sanctity of Muslim youngsters by punishing them for their unislamic deeds.

    Tehreek-e-Tahufuz-e-Shaire Islam led by radical cleric Maulana Naseeruddin took out large processions in Golconda police limits to collect support for Nayeemuddin Jawed among its Muslim residents.

    Mulana claimed that if any action is taken against Inspector Nayeemuddin it will be seen as encouraging immorality in the society. TTSI has extended its “whole hearted support” to Inspector Nayeemuddin for his ‘counselling’ method to youngsters.

    Movement for Peace and Justice, a ‘human rights’ front of Jamat-e-Islami Hind in Andhra Pradesh has also praised Inspector Jawed’s action and condemned women and rights organizations whom they claimed are supporting immoral deeds in society by targeting Golconda Inspector.

    MPJ president Hamed Mohammed Khan, in its press statement, said that moral policing action should be acceptable to all. Through his action of punishing girls in public view, recording it in camera and publishing it online, MPJ said Inspector has played a role of “kind father, a conscious brother and a responsible citizen,” and any praise will not be enough to applaud his actions.

    Many Islamists organizations have threatened mass protests in Golconda area if any action is going to be taken against Inspector Jawed by Police department.

    Related:

    Police & Media colludes in ‘Muslim Moral policing’, inquiry ordered

    CLMC write to NCW on moral policing by police inspector in Hyderabad


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    By Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadvi,

    The world invented drone. New technologies are changing the way of life. After successful experience of iPhone and Tab, the world is busy in making them more High-Tech and useful for new generation. When most countries of the world are pursuing to get Drone Technology and when the world is planning the use of Drone for delivery of materials and goods, India and its politics have been busy in religious and colour based policies.

    How is it possible that people of a particular community hounded, murdered and forced to leave their homes, villages while local and central administration was unable to take on rioters with iron hand?

    People are forced to live in camps, children are dying there due to cold and lack of basic needs, on the other side, parties and their leaders have been playing politics. Some see them as supporters of other parties, some see them as sympathizers of anti-national elements, but nobody is ready to give the answer how they became victims overnight? How 50,000 people became homeless overnight despite an elected and powerful government in the State?

    Instead of working to rehabilitate the victims and homeless people, politics are being played and the efforts are being made to snatch their basic rights, ancestral homes and villages where they grew up.

    How long will Indian society remain in the grip of this kind of politics that is existed since decades? India became a nuclear country, it organized various international events on its soil in past, it is seen as an example in democracy, however, the condition of people of each community on the ground is before us. People cannot help each other because of skin and religion. Media cannot discuss the issue in their platforms because it is against the willingness of the elements whose political and religious interests will be affected.

    India is not a weak nation. It is a nuclear country, its military power is very strong in the region. Its democratic value is an example for Muslim and non-Muslim world, its people irrespective of religion, colour and skin have been building countries and making them a developed economic power. The voice of India is being heard and respected around the globe. It is a destination of thousands of people of various countries who visit it for education, medical treatment and business. So, now, what is stopping it to end this kind of biased politics?

    When new generation of each community is pursuing to make its future better, such kind of politics and skin based behaviour of administration not only shatters their dream, make them crazy and instil in them hatred and anger, but also shatters the dream of hundreds and thousands of Indians, who live abroad to help their families in India, want to see India like gulf nations in peace, economic development and the facilities are available there for everyone irrespective of skin and religion.

    Isn't a matter of shame, Indians live in peaceful society and enjoy better life in foreign countries but they face difficult time in their home country?

    India must awake to abandon such exercises. It must act on the ground. How will India be a superpower country while its own people are divided in various sects and lines? India is known with its people irrespective of colour and religion. Biased politics and communal behaviour are big obstacles in the way of development of India. Being a nuclear country, we cannot emerge as a superpower unless divisions and hatred remain in minds.

    Each section of society is the strength of this great country, it is upon India to select which way is better, a weak nation or a strongest nation with its powerful people irrespective of colour, religion and class.

    (Auhtor is currently in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and can be contacted atahannan111@yahoo.in )


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    By Saiyed Danish, TwoCircles.net,

    New Delhi: Aam Aam Party is forming its first government in Delhi today. Despite all the efforts of mainstream parties of showing them as underdogs, the party secured 28 seats creating history and making its way to the hearts of the rejuvenated urban middle class and poor vote bank checkmating the two prime national parties of India in the recent assembly polls.

    AAP had given tickets to six Muslim candidates, including Shazia Ilmi from RK Puram. However, none of the candidates could win. Ilmi lost by a narrow margin of 326 votes. Further, none of the AAP candidates from any of the Muslim dominated constituencies won, although in the Okhla Assembly constituency, AAP’s Irfanullah Khan emerged as the first runner up. That clearly showed little reluctance on part of Muslims to come out in open support of a new party. Muslims it should be pointed out remained with the Congress as four out eight Congress MLAs who won are from Muslims, and the fifth one won from Chandani Chowk, that too has sizeable Muslim votes.



    (AAP banner in Urdu)

    As Arvind Kejriwal is taking oath as Delhi’s 5th Chief Minister on today, TCN spoke to the Muslim intelligentsia, political and religious groups, activists and individuals to gaze the mood in Delhi on what this Santa Claus of the fresh hopes may or may not have in store for India’s largest minority in the haversack of its lofty promises, not to mention water for all in 24 hours and Lokpal in 15 days.

    When it comes to individuals and political parties with Muslim character and Islamic organizations, there appears to be a clash of opinions and positions on the party which took Delhi by storm almost three weeks ago.

    Among prominent Muslim activists, the name of Firoz Bakht Ahmad always comes up. He joined AAP weeks before the Assembly elections, but was not very active during campaign, due to poor health. He states that Congress party has been cajoling Muslims due to which the community has been distancing themselves from it slowly but surely.



    Poster of AAP candidate from RK Puram, Shazia Ilmi who lost by narrow margin.

    “As AAP is a party that has been still evolving, all its policies are being positively drafted for all the sections of society including Muslims as well. AAP’s stand on reservations, Communal Violence Bill, Muzaffarnagar riots has been quite sensible,” he says.

    Notwithstanding with Bakht’s views, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has refused to get enchanted by Kejriwal’s austerity statements before swearing-in and out-rightly rejects any chance of working with the party.

    “Aam Aadmi Party is purely insensitive towards Muslim issues and aspirations and reeks of right-wing tendency somewhere in its fabric. We can never think of supporting a party which has no sympathy with the Muslim issues. Reservation is a burning issue but did the party speak of it ever even in Delhi?” asks Advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad, National General Secretary of SDPI.

    While comparing Kejriwal’s cult image in the party with the American hegemony in the world, Sharfuddin said, “What is Kejriwal’s opinion becomes people’s opinion. How can we side with a leader with this kind of totalitarian nature?”



    SDPI put up a considerable fight in Karnataka assembly elections which it contested on 13 seats, whereas only one candidate contested in Delhi polls on the party ticket, and lost miserably in an election that clearly had ‘AAP wave.’

    Likewise, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) Delhi Chief Khurram Anis Omer, who also contested assembly polls from Okhla seat, has little faith in AAP’s commitment to serve as a strong government.

    “AAP will run a lame government as there are contradictory views itself in the party. As far as Muslim issues are concerned, I don’t think he has done or said anything regarding that. The party has no stand on reservations, communal violence bill whatsoever and has never visited Muzaffarnagar even once in these three months,” he said.

    However, on supporting AAP in the future he said that it is for the party to decide and circumstances can only tell.



    File Photo of AAP leader Yongendra Yadav and Prashant Bushan during a campaign in Babarpur.

    There are, however, several other organizations and individuals which hope that so far AAP focused on and in the Lok Sabha elections, it will address Muslim grievances as well.

    Advocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, who originally hails from Muzaffarnagar and practices in the Supreme Court, too believes that AAP could emerge as an alternative to not only the two main national parties, but also as an option against what he terms as ‘opportunistic regional parties.’ Advocate Khan has recently joined AAP, and he says that he is willing to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections if the party so desires from anywhere in UP.

    Zafarul Islam Khan, Vice President of Welfare Party of India and president All India Muslim Majlise Mushawart, is positive about the fact that finally a party has come which has challenged the political monopoly of the Congress as well as the BJP.



    “I met Kejriwal personally as he had visited our party office and I am certain that they will perform better next time so far as Muslim support is concerned. We should not come to a hasty conclusion on this matter as they have taken up the issue of corruption this time. We both spoke over Muslim issues and I asked that something much be done on Muslim question as that is equally important,” he told TCN. WPI did not contest the Delhi elections.

    On behalf of All India Muslim Majalis e Mushawarat (AIMMM) President, Khan added, “As far as AIMMM is concerned, the umbrella body of all Muslim organizations feel that he should lend ears to Muslims and expand their visits to Muslim areas so to know their issues and to focus better.”

    Another major Muslim organization Jamaat e Islami Hind have extended its support to AAP and its All India President said that the victory of Aam Aadmi Party has filled the political vacuum and the parties which gorge upon Muslim vote banks need to alert themselves now and people are veering towards other alternatives. JIH support to AAP post their excellent performance is significant since before the Assembly elections, they had issued statement favouring Congress and warned the voters to refrain from dividing Muslim votes that would eventually help BJP.

    However, Jamiat e Ulema e Hind, another leading organization representing Muslims, has refrained from commenting on Aam Aadmi Party for the time being. “We are yet to sit and talk about the prospects of AAP on what will be our official stand on the party. It is doing some good job but declaring something now is not a farsighted approach,” said Abdul Hameed Noumani, media in charge of JUH.

    Related:

    Should Muslim support Aam Aadmi Party?

    AAP trying to move beyond pseudo-nationalism and completely bankrupt form of secularism: Yogendra Yadav


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    By Garima Tyagi, IANS,

    New Delhi : The tragic death of Khurshid Anwar, a social activist who committed suicide following rape charges against him, has raised questions about the role of media which highlighted the victim's allegations on TV without bothering to cross-check facts or even get his version of the incident.

    Anwar's death has caused deep anguish among journalists, activists, friends and his family members who feel it was "media trial which forced him to end his life".

    Anwar, 55, executive director of NGO Institute for Social Democracy, allegedly committed suicide on Dec 18 by jumping from his third floor residence in Vasant Kunj after two news channels aired video clips in which a woman accused him of rape. The 23-year-old woman, who hails from Manipur and was working with the NGO, accused him of sexually assaulting her on the night of Sep 12 after a party.

    Senior Journalist Saeed Naqvi feels that Anwar, a JNU scholar, was forced to take the extreme step due to the "mental trauma and public humiliation" caused by the "media trial" which targeted him without his version and process of law.

    "A targeted vilification campaign on Facebook and certain TV programmes broadcast on the day immediately led to his death. Whatever the matter is, without giving him (Anwar) an opportunity to explain his version you go on with an extremely harsh programme, putting all the blame on him. That is terrible," Naqvi told IANS, adding Anwar was a "victim of media trial".

    He explained that if you see something against you on national news channel you feel so "helpless" and "humiliated". Naqvi added that this is not the first time media has jumped to conclusions "so quickly".

    "There is a tendency in journalism - it convicts a person on the day allegation is levelled against him, even before the court convicts him. That is sad. How can media reach a conclusion so quickly and start showing one as an accused? At least, it should wait for lodging of an FIR, completion of investigation," Naqvi said.

    Asked whether the media is sensationalising sexual assault cases nowadays, Naqvi said: "Yes, look at the Tarun Tejpal issue. We don't know what happened in the lift, but the media proved him an accused even before the court has done so. For over three weeks the media was carrying Tejpal's news 24x7."

    Ali Javed, Anwar's elder brother and a Delhi University professor, told IANS that it was because of "media trial" his brother killed himself. "I believe it was because of media trial my brother died. He was hounded by so-called media which did not act responsibly and he died. They started showing the news without confirming with us... without giving us a chance to give our version," he added.

    "I have lost my brother, now my concern is this situation should not be repeated with anyone. We have filed cases against the woman, Madhu Kishwar and the news channels and we will prove that my brother was innocent and he was framed. My brother will come out clean and we will fight for it," Javed told IANS.

    IANS also spoke to one of Anwar's friends with whom he shared his gloom and frustration over the allegation of rape. Tariq Nasir, his friends of many years, said: "It was completely a media trial which left Anwar so embarrassed that he ended his own life". Remembering the days before Anwar's death, Nasir said: "One day I was sitting with Anwar with a few other friends, he told us that he was very troubled with the allegations against him. He said it was a conspiracy against him."

    "He had a clean career in his whole life. Some people tried to defame him so he also filed a defamation case. His name came on the social networking site, news channels and he was very depressed, he could not take the pressure and took the extreme step to end his life, which is very unfortunate," Nasir added.

    The general secretary of Editors Guild, Vijay Naik told IANS that media should "refrain" from jumping to conclusions in any case and should wait for more details on sensitive issues.

    "The matter became public as channels started airing the video, I feel channels should have refrained from showing the video and waited for more details to come," Naik said.

    He said it must have led to mental trauma for Anwar, adding: "This issue became extremely sensitive after the Nirbhaya case, we can also see in the Tarun Tejpal case where the media followed it non-stop. But media should wait for all the details and refrain from showing sensitive issues," he added.

    Asked if there any code of conduct to deal with media and if media follows the codes, Naik told IANS: "Every newspaper, news channels have their code of conduct. The National Broadcasting Association, Press Council of India also has a code of conduct, but implementation of the code of conduct is the main problem."

    A senior police officer also told IANS that a three-member team of police went to Manipur to record the statement and medical examination of the young woman.

    A week after Anwar's death, his brother Ali Javed had lodged a complaint with the Vasant Kunj North police station, denying the charges levelled against him. The police also said the complaint alleges abetment to suicide, defamation and intimidation against 13 people, including the victim, social activist Madhu Kishwar and television channels.

    Activist Madhu Kishwar, who made the video of the girl alleging rape and made it public, however, denied the allegations. Kishwar told IANS: "I recorded the victim's claims when she came to my office but I never circulated the CD. I never advertised anything against Anwar and did not say a word about the incident to anyone."

    The victim (woman) is learnt to have narrated that on Sep 12, she along with some of her colleagues went to a party hosted by Anwar at his residence. She alleged that as she felt giddy after consuming sedative laced alcohol, Anwar asked her to stay back. She went on to add that Anwar raped her after everyone else left the house.

    (Garima Tyagi can be contacted at garima.t@ians.in)


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    By M Reyaz, TwoCircles.net,

    New Delhi: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has trashed the report of former Rajya Sabha MP and JUH General Secretary travelling in the bullet proof car of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi during his recent visit to Ahemdabad.

    A section of media reported on Friday that the JUH general secretary was given the same bullet proof car to ferry that is usually reserved for Modi on his trip to Ahmedabad on Thursday, giving rise to speculations that Madani is inching closer to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.



    Maulana Mahmood Madani allegedly drove in bullet proof car of Modi in Ahmedabad.

    Speaking to TCN, Maulana Abdul Hameed Noumani, Secretary for press and publicity of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, trashed the report of Maulana Madani travelling in Modi’s car and clarified that the cleric turned politician has got Z plus security few months back and hence Center informs the respective state governments when a person like him travels. He added that it is the onus of the respective state governments to provide bullet proof car and adequate security to any person who has Z plus security.

    It should be pointed out here that Asadullah Akhtar (aka Haddi), an alleged accomplice of Yasin Bhatkal, allegedly revealed that SIMI former president Dr. Shahid Badr Falahi, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) leader Kalbe Sadiq, Arshad Madani of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, and Rajya Sabhi Member Mohammed Madani are also on the hit list of Indian Mujahideen. Maulana Madani was then offered Z plus security, which he accepted, which in itself is interesting for Muslim organizations generally deny the existence of IM. (Read detail: Has Mahmood Madani accepted the existence of Indian Mujahideen?)

    The timing of his visit was crucial for on the same day Gujarat chief minister got clean chit from a court in Ahmedabad in the Gulbarg society massacre during the 2002 Gujarat riot. In October, Madani had begun debate after he said in a convention in Rajasthan that the so called secular parties should not seek votes of the community by showing “fear of someone or on negative plank.”

    The Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind is one of the oldest and most influential Muslim organisations in India. Abdul Hameed Noumani expressed his “shock and dismay,” at the manner with which facts are twisted to present JUH general secretary in negative light. “Instead of worrying and working towards more grave concerns of the community, Muslims in this country is thriving on rumors and propaganda,” JUH Secretary for press and publicity told TCN.

    He clarified that only last night after Narendra Modi wrote his blog, in a TV discussion Maulana Madani directly told BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar that Modi cannot escape responsibly of the 2002 Gujarat riots, adding that secular parties too need to deliver on promises made to the community and not merely “blackmail” them showing fear of someone.

    Outspoken Maualna Madani has created flutter several times with his remarks on Modi. In a TV interview in February he had said: “In Gujarat, Jamiat workers on the ground have told me that in several Assembly segments, Muslims voted for Modi. There is a perceptible change of heart and circumstances are different now. I agree the times are changing. Muslims in Gujarat are economically better off than in several states which have so-called secular governments in power.”

    JUH later had to clarify that “No one has endorsed Modi…past mistakes are unforgiveable and Maulana Madani was pointing to electoral results and we should not read too much into it.”

    Maulana Noumani had then told TCN, “Maulana Mahmood Madani was pointing to the fact that the Congress Party cannot take Muslims for granted and reap fruits over fear of Narednra Modi always. It’s a fact that Muslims in many Congress ruled states or for that matter Left ruled West Bengal are worse off.”

    Related:

    "Mahmood Madani never endorsed Modi"


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