Message of the Media

Irrespective of the result of the mischief that started from Pilibhit, the Indian media has successfully conveyed its message to all and sundry that anybody can turn into a hero overnight just by vilifying a section of people – a sect, a caste or a linguistic unit - in as foul a language as possible. And that the media is ever ready to serve him/her in this regard. If anyone has any doubts about it he can simply refresh his memory of the channels reports in the third week of the current month or the files of the English and Hindi print media. They were all packed portraying a youngster slandering the Muslims in a Pilibhit crowd. Many young leaders must be envious of his luck. Sachin Pilot, Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora may rightfully moan that in spite of their reaching the Parliament in their early age, they could not get the media blitz compared to the son of Maneka. Even the ‘Hero of Gujarat’ must be thinking that it took him years to reach those heights in the good books of media this youngster got overnight.
An Old Recipe
The Indian media has in fact already revealed this perfect recipe to all and it has also been successfully tried by many unrestrained people. Forty five years ago, there used to be a newspaper cartoonist in Mumbai. He started vilifying the South Indians and became a hero of the media. He retains his position even today at the age of 82, slandering others. Make no mistakes; it is not the universal rule of media. This privilege is restricted to only those who use this technique against particular sections of people or those speaking particular languages. Otherwise the same media can turn you into a villain. The media would also like to make sure that those who want to avail this privilege should ensure that they are above law with no fear of any police action. Or even if the police or the election commission do shyly take some action these are hollow and help him climb higher ladders of popularity. There should even be some political party ready to own and support him. If not so, he should be pretty sure of getting the position of media villain and prepared to face police retributions in the detention cells.
Why is the Law so Helpless?
The language VHP’s Ashok Singhal, Parveen Tagodia and Griraj Kishore, Shiv Sena’s Bal Thakrey, Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Ritambhra of Ayodhya Andolan and their ilk have been using against the minorities will make a foreign observer believe that there is no law in India that bars this. But when he comes to know that there do exist laws against such utterances but those using such language do not fear, he will conclude that their fearlessness of the law and police inaction are the direct consequence of media hype. It is the media that first widely publicises their abusive language to the extent that the general public gets used to it and if the law does take its course, people come out to oppose any such action against the ‘heroes’. The same media again advertises the popularity of such heroes. Politicians, intellectuals and people who are concerned about this state of affairs need to pay attention to the role of media in the society. How aptly had a western thinker pointed out long ago that if there was no media, half of the crimes would automatically vanish from the face of the earth.
28/03/09 khabar-o-nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain


A Noteworthy Point

Commenting on Varun Gandhi’s diatribe against Muslims, a contributor to the Letters to the Editor column of the Hindu of 20 March Mr N Divakar has mentioned an important truth. He says “Varun has laid bare the communal politics of the BJP and the sangh parivar. What the BJP apologists and leaders were doing covertly through their so-called cultural organisations, Varun has done openly, albeit at a wrong time. The politics of communal hate and venom, with full state support, is quite evident in Gujarat and Karnataka where the saffron party is in power.”
When an individual makes comments like those of Varun, we need to look how was his/her mind was shaped, who shaped it and inspired him/her. Varun Gandhi is an immature youngster, speaking the language his elders and mentors have been using, be he the ‘hero of Gujarat’ or the Mahant of UP. Same was the language widely spoken during the Ayodhya movement. Recorded tapes are still available.
This Has Been Going on for Over Eighty Years
To say that ‘BJP leaders have been doing this covertly’ is limited only to the BJP which is the political face of the so called Hindutva parivar, comprising of the VHP, Bajrang Dal etc. The mother of all these outfits is the RSS, which has systematically pursued the policy of spreading hatred against minorities for over eighty years. It is this organization which assigns different roles to its offshoot like the BJP, VHP or Bajrang Dal. They are also instructed when and how to change tactics according to the situation. Even the BJP keeps different masks for different situations, like that of AB Vajpayi and LK Advani. RSS also reveals its ideology and history in its literature as well as in curricula.
Then Who is the Real Loser?
RSS aims at moulding the cultural scene of the country according to its own ideology after taking political control of the country. It claims to make India a prosperous and strong nation militarily as well as socially. It has adopted the path of Hindutva to achieve its objective. One needs to see if the mindset it is trying to build can really make a the country prosperous, strong and also cordial for all its inhabitants. The Sangh’s advice to the ‘Hindu nation’ is that it needs not to be fair and honest with minorities and can spread as many fallacies against them as possible. In other words the organization wants to turn the majority of the population into deceitful and unfair people. Now can a nation be strong and prosperous with such a character? While no parent will ever like their children to embellish such personality traits, this patriotic organization wants the whole nation adorn these qualities. Citizens like N Divakar should seriously think that who will ultimately be the real loser if such a philosophy is widely spread.
25/03/09 khabar-o-nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain


Yet Another Example of Despicable Politics

The nasty nature of Indian politics and media has once again come to surface. Some youngster called Varun Gandhi used dirty language against Muslims at two places while on an election campaign in Pilibhit constituency of Uttar Pradesh. He took his liberty to use all the derogatory adjectives in his vocabulary for Muslims even pledging to kill them all after the election (if elected to the Parliament). At first he was ignored by the media but soon turned into the hottest newsmaker and continued to occupy that position for almost a week in both the electronic and print media. The Election Commission advised the local administration to take appropriate action against him for violating the election code of conduct. Even though he was generally criticized by most of the media outlets, the huge publicity he got was enough to make him a leader. The easiest way to gain popularity these days, particularly for those who have little to offer, is to malign some section of the population.
The Familiar Technique of a Party
The boy mentioned above is said to be the son of Sanjay and Maneka Gandhi. He is to represent Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for Lok Sabha seat from Pilibhit. The opposition parties have condemned the statements made by the candidate. The BJP too is in a fix but waiting to see if it can politically gain from the hullabaloo. It has been a known practice of the party to get some wrong done either intentionally by its own cadre or condone it if they commit it by themselves. They then wait and watch. If the act appears to be politically profitable, the party owns it otherwise distances itself. The demolition of Babri Mosque and the Gujarat carnage are examples of its familiar modus operandi. The youngster named Varun too learnt the language he used from his elders in the party. Only recently Mr L K Advani, the prime ministerial face of the BJP, claimed that the Congress government was shy of hanging Afzal Guru simply because he bore a Muslim name. Had he have a Hindu name, he would have been hanged long ago. What would you expect from the younger ones if the elders of the party are using such foul language?
Media is to Blame
The politics of hate, even though efficient, is a double-edged sword. Kansi Ram and Mayawati used the same stick to build their positions to the extent that Brahmins have practically agreed to play the role of younger brother in their Dalit-Brahmin alliance. The upper-caste political dominance in Bihar was also shattered through this very weapon. It is so easy in Indian politics to use foul language or spread hate against any one go gain political mileage. Ninety five per cent responsibility of the phenomenon lies on the shoulder of the media. It can take any unknown figure to unprecedented heights. Raj Thakrey of Mumbai remained unknown as long he talked about the development of Maharashtra. No sooner he started to spew out venom against Biharis and UPians he was on top of popularity, fortunately for a short time. It is media that needs to be controlled if the legal action against such elements is to be effective.
22/03/09 khabar-o-nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain


After the Cordial Relations

When Mrs Indra Gandhi returned to power in India in 1980 the nature of relationship with Pakistan changed altogether. The cordiality that was developed during the prime ministership of Mr Morarji Desai and Mr A V Bajpai holding the portfolio of foreign minister turned into strained ties between the two neighbours. Mrs Gandhi used to lament in those days that friendship with Pakistan was being cultivated at the cost of national interest. So, as soon as she assumed the reigns of power she reversed the policy. The tenor of address against Pakistan became hard and Pakistani hand started to appear in every problem facing India. Indian Express used to sternly criticize Mrs Gandhi for her anti Pakistan approach while the Times of India staunchly supported her. When Mrs Gandhi once made a comparatively soft statement about Pakistan on certain issue, Mr Giri Lal Jain, the then editor in chief of Times lashed out reminding her that a tough stand against Pakistan was a part of our foreign (or national) policy. It was a bit strange state of affairs for the observers of new generation and they wondered if it was appropriate to decide the diplomatic course irrespective of the attitude of a certain country.
Feelings of Dr Ambedkar
During the course of this discussion Dr Ambekar’s remarks were recalled, who while resigning from the central cabinet in 1951 gave ‘unnecessary tussle’ with Pakistan as one of the reasons of his leaving the cabinet. He expressed deep dissatisfaction with "our quarrel with Pakistan" that he termed "a part of our foreign policy". Observes have been citing Dr Ambedkar’s instance whenever there was a discussion about the Indo-Pak relations. More recently, Mr Harish Parvathaneni, a serving IFS officer, referred to this in his article published in Indian Express on 14 March, under the caption “What if Ambedkar Had Shaped India's Foreign Policy? “ He mentioned that Ambedkar criticised Nehru's foreign policy for trying to "solve the problems of other countries and not to solve the problems of our own country". He (Dr Ambedkar) also favoured a more realistic and peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue. The policy shaped by Mrs Gandhi continued to dominate our foreign policy during the 80s and the following regimes could not alter this.
The Questions Arise
The situation sixty years ago, as referred by Dr Ambedkar, and the one prevailing now raise several questions. Was Pakistan “created” for the sake of our need of an enemy. Did Pakistan come into existence because of the demand of the Muslim League or was it a necessity of the Indian National Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha? What was the situation before Muslim League raised the issue of Pakistan? Which of the political rivals broke their promises, when and where? What was the thinking of Sardar Patel and some other leaders of Indian National Congress vis-a-vis Indian Muslims? The question raised in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai attack that ‘who gained from the incident’ should be extended to “who gained from the creation of Pakistan and who suffered?” What was the condition of Muslims in the sub-continent before the partition and what did it become after it? If the current foreign minister, Mr Parnab Mukherji, finds it expedient to warn Pakistan everyday before the breakfast, after the lunch and before the dinner, then what was the “quarrel with Pakistan” sixty years ago which disheartened Dr Ambekar? Don’t we need to deeply reflect on his remarks once again in the contemporary circumstances?
19/03/09 khabar o nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain, Riyadh


A New Party and its Purpose

"Rashtriya Araya Rajya Sabha" is the name of a new party launched by the Arya Samaji leaders. The party is going to contest the upcoming Parliamentary elections and will put up candidates on all the ten seats of Haryana. The party was established three months ago at Rohatk in Haryana. As for the purpose of the party, the founders say that they want to clean the politics from all sorts of moral and social ills. The party will select its candidates who bear unblemished character and are free from evils like drinking or smoking and do not have criminal records. According to a report published in the Hindustan Times the party is conducting training camps for its candidates. The renowned Arya Samaji leader, Swami Agnivesh also belongs to this party. He says the economic system of the country favors capitalists and his party will try to change the system through Vedic Socialism. It will help the poor and downtrodden sections of the society and improve their lot. The Swami asked that only those persons should represent Araya Samaj in politics who believe in Vedic Socialism.
Ambitions of the Party are Praiseworthy
It is difficult to guess how many candidates Arya Samaj will be able to send to the Parliament. Its expectations are based on the fact that its roots are quite deep in Haryana. The organization is carrying out scores of activities in the fields of education, health, public service and social welfare. Irrespective of the actual success in the elections, the very ambitions of the party must be appreciated. Jamaate Islami Hind will definitely welcome the move as the Jamaat too is striving to build the society on the foundation of high moral values and considers the electoral politics as a means to achieving that objective. Right from its foundation about sixty years ago, the Jamaat has been trying to eradicate crimes, moral and social evils, ethnic , linguistic and regional bias from the civil sectors of the country. Jamaat believes that the legislative, executive as well judicial institutions at all levels should consist of clean and honest people. Now if the Araya Samaj too has similar objectives, there must be some sort of cooperation between the two organizations.
What Should be the Foundations of Reform
The overwhelming majority of country’s population is eager to see a clean political atmosphere in spite of the fact that the contemporary political system is in the hands of corrupt and tainted persons. These element exploit the populace because they are not organized. The political scene of the country can drastically change if the silent majority is organized and mobilized. It will need joining of hands by all those who hold similar views and are anxious to clean the politics. Joint efforts will facilitate the task. For instance the leaders of Araya Samaj and Jamaat can agree on a common agenda. This will lead to further exploration of factors that can persuade people to move towards nobility, better morals, honesty, rule of law and mutual support. The Jamaat has the fundamentals of Oneness of God, Prophethood and the Hereafter which it can share with the countrymen. Let the Araya Samaj present its program and then common points can easily be found. One thing that is certain that a sound society cannot be conceived of without calling the humans towards their Creator.
16/03/09 khabar o nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain, Riyadh


Actions and the Corollaries

The assumption that Pakistani government is a partner in building an international consensus against that nation state is not unfounded. Keeping in mind the natural consequences of actions it can be said with certainty that Pakistan in collaboration with the US, India, Israel. Britain and Afghanistan is actively cobbling a world consensus against herself. The latest evidence is the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on 27th of last month. The Pakistani officials have admitted that the attack was carried out by Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) and it has also been confirmed by the Indian agencies. It has been further claimed by both the sides that the perpetrators of the Lahore attack and the 27/11 Mumbai attack belong to the same group in view of the similarity of their modus operendi . And who are the LeT? As per the Indian agencies it is a Pakistani trained terrorist group. The government of India continuously insisted that the 26/11 was orchestrated by the LoT with the active support of ISI and the Pak government was fully involved.
Benefit and Loss
Let us analyse who gained and who lost with the Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan team? Pakistan became the most despicable nation among the cricket world. The Sri Lankan team went back, several other teams cancelled their Pakistan tours and holding of the World Cup matches became doubtful. As against it, India gained tremendously. Our country has been trying for long to not only defeat Pakistan in the cricket field but also on the world scene so as to end its career once and for all. Wont it be logical to say that Pakistan at last provided India with that long awaited opportunity to realize its dream by organizing the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore through its pet LeT? If one believes the Indian intelligence agencies, the only job left for Pakistan is to send her terrorist groups to India and attack soft targets there. As per a first page news report in the Asian Age of 28 February “the Pakistani
authorities have given an ultimatum to Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Hizb-ul Mujahideen terror camps in Meerpur and Muzaffarabad, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, to restart anti-India activities and push trained operatives into India, intelligence sources told this newspaper. They have been given one month to carry out terror acts or face closure.”
Has Pakistan Lost her Sanity?
The Indian intelligence sources had provided the above information to the newspaper on 27 February. It was followed by the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore on 3rd of March. The same sources informed the newspaper on 7 March that “ISI has asked LeT and Hizb to send 1,500 of its agents to Jammu and Kashmir” to engage in terrorist activities by the end of March 2009. Although Indian agencies claim that Pakistan is carrying out these acts in order to harm India but, in effect, India is bagging significant political, diplomatic and military gains locally as well as internationally. As against it, Pakistan is continuously losing on all these fronts. The whole world is cursing it and she asked for it. Any nation with sanity will never indulge in acts against its rival that would bring disaster to the self. Believing the Indian intelligence sources that it was Pakistan who conducted the 26/11 and the Lahore operations, it is obvious that Pakistan has completely lost her mental balance. Now if there still exists the Organisation of Islamic Conference, it should seriously think arranging immediate therapeutic help to one of its founding members.

13/03/09 khabar o nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain, Riyadh


Signals of Change in the American Foreign Policy

The speech by the US foreign secretary, Hillary Clinton at the Brussels conference of NATO in the first week of the current month, offered significant hints of change in the American foreign policy. She said the US wanted to give a new angle to the US-Russian relationship and benefit from Russia’s long experience. Clinton said the two countries shared a number of common interests. She said they promised to work constructively in areas of mutual interest such as arms control, nuclear non-proliferation, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea. "There is no time to waste on a number of these significant challenges, so we will begin working immediately to translate our words into deeds”, she affirmed.
Russia, it would be recalled, is a world power of the cold war era. Even though its strength has significantly reduced and its role considerably restricted, the mutual wrangling between the US and Russia is very much in place. The points of difference between the US and Russia are numerous and multi-layered. The two nations represented two opposite and conflicting systems. While America signified the symbol of capitalism, Russia was the icon of socialist ideology, each trying her best to win the world for her philosophy. Both had their circle of influence and both were working to beat the other. In this fight of overpowering the other, Soviet Union was defeated and as a consequence her international status was also badly hurt. Not only did the Union disintegrate, its circle of influence was cut to size and it lost most of its political constituents. This also badly injured its military muscle. The dissolution of the Warsaw Pact led to its components breaking away from the Union, later to be picked up by the US. Americans started the game of integrating those countries into the European Union and later bringing them in the fold of the NATO taking it to the doorstep of Russia by negotiating with Ukraine to join the bloc.
Two events of major significance took place in the meantime. The first was the world economic slump and the other change of leadership in the United States. The challenges the US is facing are both internal and external. While the financial crisis forced the US to put its house in order, the changes on the world scenario led her to rethink its foreign policy. The US now wants to seek Russia’s help in promoting her interest by highlighting the role of Russians. Going even further, the US is also thinking to bring even Iran on board to meet the challenges America is facing. The first and foremost challenge is the ever widening economic slow-down with no signs of let up in spite of all the remedies being administered to control the disease. Among the external challenges are Middle East and Afghanistan, both aggressively shaking the world as a whole. The Iraqi imbroglio is yet to be sorted out and the US now wants Russian and Iranian help in tackling the Iraqi, Palestinian and Afghani mires –all of its own making. All this is indicative of a major change. It may lead to an altogether different world scenario. The pawns of the game are going to be replaced by new ones. Russia and Iran will obviously not offer their helping hand voluntarily. Russian economic condition is in a bad shape and it is struggling hard to recover. In addition Russia will certainly seek safeguards from the US and the European threats. Nor will Iran agree to proceed without definite guarantees for her own interests.
An altogether different world appears to be in the offing.
Editor:Parvaz Rahmani, sehroza DAWAT, 10March translated by: M H Zulqarnain , Riyadh


The Upcoming General Elections

The Election Commission has announced the schedule for the next General Elections in the country. Beginning from 16 April the exercise will continue till May 13th taking 28 days for the polling and another two to three days in counting, provided there are no complaints of irregularities, in which case the period can prolong further. During the whole span there will be a situation of suspense and uncertainty in the whole country. As state assembly elections in three states are to follow soon after this phase will be extended even longer. This time the elections will be held in five stages though not in all the states or territories. In some areas the polling will be completed just in one day and in others it may take two polling days. A special event worth noting this time is that the present Chief Election Commissioner, Mr Goplaswami, is going to retire in the midst of the election exercise on 20th of April and will be replaced by another CEC. Since the President has declined the recommendation of the present CEC to suspend his deputy Mr Navin Chawla, the later is going to take over on 20th of April.
This year’s elections are taking place in some unusual circumstances. The internal situation is quite grave in several respects, there is a political chaos and the problems arisen out of fear and terror also need to be tackled. The conditions in the neighborhood as well as on the international horizon are to affect us naturally. The world in the grip of recession is having its shadows on us as well. The economic slump that started from the US has taking the whole world in its grip and it continues to worsen day by day assuming frightening proportions. The remedies being applied by the US and the West are all falling flat and there seems to be no light at the end of this dark tunnel. India was bound to be affected by this adverse state of affairs and it is going to leave its imprint on the elections as well. There doesn’t appear to be much enthusiasm among the political parties this time as they have little to attract the masses and no catchy slogans are in the air. On the contrary the parties are worried how are they going to meet their election expenses, as the big fishes in the business and industry who used to finance them are themselves in doldrums. There is no immediate recovery in sight. Whatever they may claim to ease the feelings of masses, they know in their hearts that there is little room for optimism in the near future.
Let us watch and see how the political parties chart their ways in days to come.
Editor:Parvaz Rahmani, sehroza DAWAT, 07 March translated by: M H Zulqarnain , Riyadh


sehroza dawat intro


Withdrawal of American Troops from Iraq

American President Barack Hussein Obama has announced the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq which ironically indicates that the troops will stay in Iraq for another 3 years. The withdrawal will be completed in 2 stages. A large section of the troops will leave Iraq by 13th August 2010 and the rest of them are expected to move out by the end of 2011. In essence, America will be in control of Iraq till 2011.
During his election campaign, the American President had stated that if he were elected, the American troops would be called back from Iraq within 16 months. But his statement now is not a fulfillment of that promise as troops will not be leaving Iraq even after 18 months of his assuming the office of the President.
The reason given for their presence in Iraq till the end of 2011 is that they will be providing help to the Iraqi police as well as to the peacekeeping forces.
He said that he wished to hand over Iraq to the Iraqi people and restore their legitimate rights which had been usurped.
According to him, to a great extent, unrest has been replaced by peace in Iraq and therefore there’s no reason for the American forces to continue staying there, but in sharp contrast he still wants them to remain there till 2011.
In reality, this announcement is the result of an agreement between President Bush and the Iraqi government, which was signed during the last few days of President Bush’s days in office and which is now being implemented. Apart from the Iraqis there were many American circles which had objected to it.
At present, there are about 150,000 American troops in Iraq and President Obama says that by 2010 the American war plan or mission will be complete, but after that too he wants to keep 50,000 soldiers there.
During the 8-9 year of this second attack on Iraq about 4500 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis have been killed as per the official count. Thousands of American soldiers have been injured and several thousands more have developed psychological problems.
President Obama was thought to be an opponent of the Iraq war as during his election campaign this was the image that was projected to the American people. According to him not only has this war brought great financial losses to the country but has also destroyed/hurt America’s dignity, as presently America is considered to be the destroyer of democratic values, an oppressive system that has not been able to justify any of the reasons given for the attack in Iraq.
After persistent efforts for 8 long years, they have not succeeded in proving the existence and use of Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) in Iraq and the claim that Iraq posed a great danger to the world. The elimination of Saddam Hussein too did not help America in restoring democracy in Iraq, its economy was shattered and the loss of innocent lives was a serious issue.
In the aftermath of this disaster, it was expected that the American troops would be recalled as fast as possible. It is the Iraqi people who will decide the form of government or system that they want. Who has the right to impose its own ideas on them and to murder the leaders and the system that they prefer??

Editor:Parvaz Rahmani, sehroza DAWAT, 04march09 translated by: Salma Nazir, Riyadh