Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Navrataras and Eid

Cannot resist sharing this quote from Vivek, "M_sl_m & H_nd_ are not complete without 'u' & 'i' Happy Eid-ul-Fitr & Navratas".

Celebration is in the air. Nothing has been able to kill the spirit of festivity. Ramzaan, Durga Pooja, Navrataras, Eid....happiness shall remain, no matter what.

Lets stay and pray united. And as i said the last time, its Navrataras time, so no chicks, no chicken!!

The muslim Identity

From Ashutosh of IBN7, one of the best pieces on Muslim identity - an opinions which takes names, and talks in as many words.

The bigger question is does the community care why one of the most gifted minds of the 20th century Salman Rushdie can't breathe in fresh air and Tasleema Nasreen can't live in peace even under one of the most secular regimes this country has seen? Why do Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav have to rationalise the lifting of ban on SIMI? Why does it happen that when Maulana Madni of Deoband organises an anti-terrorism rally at Ramleela Maidan and openly condemns terrorism, Urdu press is out to tear him apart?

It is this so-called radical Islam or political Islam which is creating problems for their own community and society at large. But irony is there is no VOCAL forceful anti-radical Islam or anti political-Islam voice, neither in India nor outside. Majority of sane and liberal voice is keeping quiet, or if not so, then not making enough noise to be heard by its own community.
Do read the entire post - Jamia encounter and Muslim identity


Very truly said, Muslims should understand that some of the fanatic individuals in their community are the ones who are marring the beauty of Islam. Just as we, the educated Hindus of the country, do not shy in criticizing the Bajrang Dal extremists and feeling ashamed of the Gujrat riots, the educated Muslims should also come out together and detach the fanatic section which is taking to terrorism. Lets be more radical in our approach and vehemently and sternly stand against any act of violence against the human life - terrorism, rioting, mob violence etc. The call of the hour is that Muslims need to react strongly against Muslim youth who are killing in the name of Allah and the Hindus, should voice against incidents of violence against the Christains. I just wish the country (the hindus, muslims, christains unanimously) appreciates and adapts a strong common approach. We cannot live with this fear forever.

I would like to add a very apt comment by Abhishek here -

The literati and the urban muslims condemn the fanaticism vehemently. No denying that. THAT is the reason we co-exist.

The problem is when the powerful and authoritative, like that Jama Masjid cleric who disagreed with Jamia Nagar encounter, raise voice and influence people.

The fatwa, which is a LOL subject for us now, is an important religious decree and used so stupidly by the clerics. Salman Khan ne Ganpati kyun manaya, Sania ne skirt kyun pehni, Tasleema ne book kyun likhi... That needs to be stopped. Just like those Hindus burning churches need to be stopped.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The game of terror

The images of the Delhi blasts very nerve –wrecking. The picture of a lady, all bruised and in blood, near Gopaldaas tower at CP has been haunting me since past so many days. My last beautiful memories of CP have been suddenly washed off. All I can think of is the blast that ripped the heart of Delhi, killing innocent people.

Thw word 'people' sounds so distant. Unless there is a name to it, a tragedy is never our tragedy. We call up our friends and family, realize all we know are well, and then life moves on. So unless it hits us in the heart, our withered hearts don’t bleed.

I remember my last discussion with Harsha, when she ripped me on my anti-Pakistan views. She was right. Terror has no face, no religion, and it speaks just one language – the language of death. Yes, I agree more than anything else that it is not about countries, boundaries, not about the distant things called people, but about precious human lives.

My tears last night were not only for those who lost their lives in the Merriot Hotel blast, but for my silly helplessness. The blast set the hotel on fire killed many having their iftaar party (the evening meal for breaking the daily fast during the month of Ramadan.) The sight of a little baby in his dad’s arm on the 3rd floor of the inferno not just scared me, but also moved the selfish little being in me.

The 9/11 attacks, London bombings, Sarojini Nagar blasts, the latest terror attacks across Delhi and now this one at Islamabad…the images of death and sympathy are far more than my memory can hold, far more for us to forgive and forget.

But are we all trying to build immunity against such a devastation. Are we, with every passing attack, becoming more agitated, but more tolerant and prepared. Devangana was right when she said that if we bring it on our national agenda, media focuses on the issue for a consistent period, we probably can win the battle that the terror groups have declared long ago. But the big question – who has the time and the mettle?

The soulful cremation of M C Sharma saw a large number of people, wet eyed, praying for the departed soul. People who were proud of his sacrifice for a cause. But can we adopt the same cause too? Can we as individuals try and bring the much needed attention to the issue of terrorism. Can we not talk about it, make people aware of the larger problem and drive efforts to convince the government that we need a solution – A solution to this dirty game of terror which is ruthlessly overpowering our existence.

I am thinking. People wake up.