Against the Visit Tuesday, Feb 28 2006 

The Committee against the visit of U.S. President George Bush on Monday
declared that he “was certainly not welcome in India.” “We emphatically
oppose the forthcoming visit… President Bush is the topmost official of U.S. imperialism, leading enemy of the sovereignty of nations and the peoples of the world today. He is the leader of the imperialist quest at neo-colonial world domination. He is certainly not welcome in India… “

Link

Advertisements

Riot And Reward Saturday, Feb 25 2006 

Yesterday was Friday and there was considerable anxiety and apprehension among the public and the police alike in Hyderabad. The police were nervous but on high alert fearing a repetition of last Friday’s incidents after Friday prayers.

In my last post I said the cartoon controversy received only a mute reaction from Indian Muslims. But last Friday (17 Feb 2006) the Muslim community in Old City (the stronghold of Muslims) of Hyderabad indulged in violent protests.

The riot broke out as a protest meeting and procession that was planned for the afternoon (after the usual Friday prayers) went out of control and spread to the neighboring areas. There were attempts at widening the conflict by attacking Hindu temples. The police did a commendable job by bringing the situation under control by evening.

The riot claimed no lives but caused considerable damage to public and private properties and sent shock waves throughout the city. Somprominent politicians and others have been taken into custody.

Old City of Hyderabad is one of the worst violence prone spots in India. Since any communally sensitive issue can plunge the region into violence, the police always keep vigil and remain ready to prevent a flare up.

The same day a minister in the North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh announced a reward of 51 crore rupees (11491427 USD) for beheading the Danish cartoonist. (Apparently he believes that the caricatures were by one cartoonist). He was speaking in an after prayer meeting in the city of Merut. The minister instructed his listeners to be true to their faith by going after the cartoonist’s head.

His outburst provoked widespread condemnation even from Muslims. The government should have thrown him out of the ministry and arrested him for attempting to instigate violence and preaching death. Instead the U.P. Government made light of it by saying, “The minister’s reaction was the voice of someone whose religious sentiments have been hurt”.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cartoon Riot In Hyderabad Sunday, Feb 19 2006 

 
The virus of cartoon riot spread in Hyderabad on Friday afternoon, but the situation was brought under control by the police.
 
The trouble started as the congregation at Hyderabad’s prominent mosque in Old City resorted to slogan shouting and stone pelting when they were coming out of the mosque after Friday prayers. Old City is the stronghold of  Muslims in Hyderabad and one of the worst communally sensitive and violence prone spots in the country.
 
The protest gradually grew into a riot and spread into surrounding areas.
 
The occasion of Friday prayers keep the police on their toes because sloganeering and inflammatory rhetoric dominate the after prayer meetings in mosques. The potential of the crowd filled with explosive emotion to plunge the region into violence as they disperse is very high. So the police always keep vigil and remain ready to prevent a flare up.
 
The police did a commendable job on Friday. The situation was brought under control by using minimum force- lathicharge and teargas shells were effective. There was no loss of life. The rioters damaged public transport buses and set a police motorcycle on fire. Some shops were looted or damaged. There was attempt at widening the conflict by targeting temples.
 
A municipal councilor and a few others were taken into police custody.
 

Communal Politics Saturday, Feb 18 2006 

Next to Indonesia India has the largest number of Muslims. The reaction of the Indian Muslims to the cartoon controversy has been more or less muted. An uncharacteristic thing.

India, a secular democratic nation, was the first country to ban Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, a move that surprised even the Indian Muslims. They hadn’t expected the government to cave in so quickly and easily. It’ll surprise you to know that Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa came later.

There is a strong, powerful Muslim lobby in the Congress party and they always succeed in devising ways to appease the Muslim community to curry favour with them so that their crucial votes help the congress to hang on to power.

India’s vote-bank politics have always seen to that the Muslims, the next majority population after the Hindus, are always kept in good humour, often alienating the Hindus and pushing them into the fundamentalist organizations and political parties.

India has taken a stand against Iran in the current nuclear standoff, triggering a nationwide debate on the issue. But the politicians have already started making noise saying that India can’t ignore the sensibilities of its Muslim population in the issue. (Iran is a Muslim Nation; Indian Muslims want Iran have a Muslim bomb! India should support it, etc.). A strange argument. Dangerous, too.

Technorati Tags : , , ,

Powered By Qumana

Blood Thirsty U.S.A. Thursday, Feb 16 2006 

This image, manipulated by the source with a black rectangle, is from video made available Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 by the Special Broadcasting System in Australia which shows a man pointing to a neck wound on another man lying on the ground. The Australian television network said the images of prisoners were made at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in late 2003, and were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request. SBS refused to give details on the source of the photographs, and the authenticity of the images could not be verified independently. (AP Photo/SBS/Dateline)This image, manipulated by the source with a black rectangle, is from video made available Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 by the Special Broadcasting System in Australia is said by the broadcaster to shows a prisoner being abused.  The Australian television network said the images of prisoners were made at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in late 2003, and were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request. SBS refused to give details on the source of the photographs, and the authenticity of the images could not be verified independently. (AP Photo/SBS/Dateline)PhotoPhoto

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Romance and Culture Police Sunday, Feb 12 2006 

Come Valentine’s Day and there’s the usual violent campaign by hooligans of the Hindu fundamentalist groups against it. They argue that it’s a western practice which corrupts the youths of India. They target shops selling Valentine’s Day Cards and hotels and clubs that organize programs and dinners for those who celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“I Will start my protest from Sunday. I know a shop in my area which sells these Valentine’s Day cards. We are going to storm it on Sunday”,
These are the words of an office bearer of one of the most virulent Hindu fundamentalist parties.
But intolerance of any free association between men and women has always been a key element of Indian orthodoxy. Love marriage is frowned upon because love before marriage is taboo.The following incident illustrates the extent of violent objection to changes in ways of thinking and living of people from the loyal votaries of outdated custom.
On Dec 19, 2005, policewomen assaulted, rounded up and humiliated young women who were found paired with their boyfriends and spending romantic moments with them in a park in the North Indian city of Merut. Three days later, some self-appointed guardians of Hindu culture acting as ‘culture police’ attacked and roughed up more couples in the same park. This time the police accompanied the hooligans and let them do the job for them.The police brutality of pummeling and pulling the hair of women was aired on TVs, triggering nationwide outrage and debate on the matter. Local residents objected to the police high handedness and cruelty. But it didn’t prevent the police from assaulting people on moral grounds again. The second time they escorted hooligans and set them on men and women in the park.
“Immoral activities by boys and girls have to stop. If Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal people are taking action, then it is not wrong,” said a policeman who was at the park.
Public opinion is divided on the issue of courtship, but united against police brutality and the hooliganism of the ‘culture police’ in the matter.
“Why don’t the police take action against people running prostitution rackets in hotels?” said a woman resident of Merut.
“Is falling in love wrong? Who gave the police the right to beat and hit people and misbehave in such a manner,” asked another woman in Meerut.

It’s not two months since the Merut incident, but the ‘culture police’ are at it again at Valentine’s Day. They have to protect culture!


Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

What Is Outsourcing? Friday, Feb 10 2006 

Outsourcing to India has been a major job and income generating opportunity for several Indian IT companies. As the trend increased and the demand for manpower multiplied many youngsters responded to the
opportunity enthusiastically. Many of them left their education and opted for quick buck employment.

I’m not sure how parents view it, but clearly the downside of quick buck is overlooked. Where will they be a few years hence without educational qualification?

I don’t understand these pictures very well. What do they mean?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Arabian Bloggers Monday, Feb 6 2006 

As I was reading a news blog on the Guardian on Hama’s win in the just concluded Palestinian election a link took me to ‘toot‘, a site that culls and presents at one place all popular blogs by Muslim bloggers writing in English and Arabic.

The range and coverage of the topics discussed in those which I tried to have a look at are really impressive. Toot is a beautifully designed site and its language is charming. It can serve as a window to the young, intelligent, sensitive and stylish Arab mind engaging itself with the world and the challenges it throws up to them.

One of the blogs that I’ve read on ‘toot’ is this one and I like it very much. I would like you to read it and discuss the point the author has made in it. My knowledge of the topic is rudimentary, if anything.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

We Are the Cause Sunday, Feb 5 2006 

“The world has come to believe that Islam is what is practiced by Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Zarqawi, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, and others who have presented a distorted image of Islam. We must be honest with ourselves and admit that we are the reason for these drawings. Any harm to the Prophet or Islam is a result of Muslims who have come to reflect the worst image of Islam and certain Arabs who have not conveyed faithfully the life and biography of the Prophet.”

–Muhammad al-Hamadi, writing in the United Arab Emirates’ Al-Ittihad

Link

It’s interesting to see how Arab Press has reacted to the cartoon controversy. The quote above clearly shows that there are some who dare shout that the king has no clothes on him.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

A Good Samaritan Sunday, Feb 5 2006 

A photographer has come under fire in China for his pictures of a man falling off a bicycle.

The man came a spectacular cropper in Xiamen city after his bike hit a pot-hole submerged in rainwater.

But photographer Liu Tao was accused of lying in wait to take his pictures instead of warning people of the danger.

Link (for the photos).

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Next Page »