Don’t take Muslims too seriously



There is a thing or two about the government’s approach towards Muslims that is worrisome. One of them is that the government sometimes takes Muslims too seriously!

Take for instance the UPA government’s somewhat anxious efforts to streamline madrassa education, a system of education which is not just largely informal but its curriculum is also often viewed as irrelevant.When they started off centuries ago, madrassas were crucial for education. They still are. In many of these, Hindus and Muslims study together.

But my question is, does the government consult Muslims whenever it intends to raise taxes? Did the government bother to discuss the community’s leaders before making a last-minute hike in Haj fares last week? No and rightly so.

Global fuel prices are going up. Air-India is bleeding. So a hike in Haj fares was just the right thing to do because it was simply unavoidable. And thank God, the government did not wait to consult the clerics, even though some people are not happy about having to pay more. (The timing is what most people are complaining, the hike having come at a time when most people were ready to fly out on the pilgrimage.) Sure, we always want things to stay cheap, from our potatoes to petrol prices.

If something is urgent and politically expedient, then the government just goes ahead and does it. So, why does the government want to consult Muslim leaders of all hues before setting up a much-needed Central Madrassa Education Board? This lack of decisiveness has harmed the community.

The second worrisome aspect of the government’s approach to Muslim affairs is its peddling of smartly-dressed package of only notional reforms as opposed to substantive reforms.

Arjun Singh, the previous education minister, had taken two key but cosmetic initiatives to mainstream the country’s madrassa education.

The minority education division of the Human Resource Development Ministry, which oversees education, during Singh’s tenure, had approved a recommendation that now makes madrassa certificates recognised by state madrassa boards equivalent to CBSE certificates for job purposes.

A madrassa certificate made equivalent to that of the CBSE may appear to be tempting enough, but in reality, this will only accentuate relative inequalities between the two systems of school education.

Let’s look at the pitfalls. A CBSE-equivalent certificate will now enable a madrassa student to apply for jobs and higher education, opening a whole new world for them. But think for a moment. While this may make them eligible to apply for jobs, it will not necessarily make them eligible to get the jobs. The need is to make these students go-getters, not just also-rans.

The government has recast its madrassa education programme, ‘Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrassas (2008-09)’, to “provide linkages with the National Institute of Open Schooling” with an allocation of Rs 325 crore, which may be taken up to Rs 625 crore.

However, unless followed up with “uniform curriculum” and “substantive reforms”, real benefits will continue to elude students of India’s 1 lakh-odd madrassas.

“Will this make these students capable of appreciating modern subjects?” asks Arshad Alam, religious education expert and sociologist at Jamia Millia Islamia.

A majority of India’s madrassas are azad madaris, ones that teach purely theological education and, most importantly, are privately funded. Those run by state madrasa boards teach a bit of modern subjects.

Clerics often argue that the number of Muslim students attending azad madaris is very small. They promptly quote the Sachar Committee’s finding that no more than just 4 per cent of Muslim children in the school-going age attend such institutions. So, their stand is, leave the kids alone.

One can understand the government shying away from interfering with the religious curriculum of these privately funded madrassas, but what keeps the government from being bullish about substantive reform in public-funded madrassas?

Many students from azad madaris appear as private candidates in publicly-funded madrassas and are usually passed. That is a common practice. But these students do not have a modicum of knowledge of any modern subject.

Standardisation of the madrassa curriculum is critical. An equivalent certificate could make students “eligible” to apply for jobs, but will not ensure they get the job in a competitive environment unless curriculum is modernised.

I started off this essay by saying that the government sometimes takes Muslims too seriously. And when you tend to take things more seriously, you make mountains out of mole hills. That is precisely why current minister for education, Kapil Sibal, has taken unsure steps to set up a Central Madrassa Education Board and set up a panel of community leaders to discuss its merits and demerits. This will only delay the process. My tip to the minister: go ahead and do it. The clerics will fall in line. We can have an ideal mix of religious and secular subjects.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 4.05 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
  • S Singh

    I would recommend closing down Madrasa. In its place, let us build world calss schools, hire good teachers and pay them well, and do create great sudents – Muslim, Hindu whatever.

    Let the religiuous education or orientation be handled at home by parents and elders.

    [Reply]

    indian Reply:

    Are you joking buddy, closing down all madarsa and open “World class school”, How many world class school can u open by closing 1 lakh madarsa, may be just one. The budget of madarsa is peanuts and students from the lowest level of society attend these. and you suggest to make world class school for these pupil, where will you get the money, who will fund it where the people have no money to support their meals.

    BTW what do you mean by world class school, have never seen any world class school in India. Or u mean the school with AC classess and AC buses

    [Reply]

    S Singh Reply:

    Yes,it will be expensive. May be a two step process- convert them to standard government schools with the normal syllabi; with select few as world class schools..

    Looks like you have your tongue in cheek when you say there are no world class cshools in India. We have quite alot of good schools, colleges, technical institutes, reserach centers, medical institutes. Obviously we need more.

    Muslim Educational Society in the South, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chinmaya Mission, Catholic Sisters etc in the private sector and Centarl Schools Board all have good schools.

    Madrasas stand as a symbol of separation, backwardness, ignorance, illiteracy; and to some (non-Muslims) a symbol of fear and as a pottential terrorist breeding center. Shutting these down, I think, will facilitate the mainstreaming as well as furthering education.

    [Reply]

    S Reply:

    Hi S Singh,

    Religious education is important……so madarsaas will continue no matter what.The point is just as Children from other religion learn about their religion ,muslim students also learn about islam , Arabic. They are providing a service…& till requirement for that service is their they will work.

    Second many children are at madarsaas because their parents can not afford to feed them….they send them to madarsaas so their children can learn something & may become an Imama or something also they are taken care off.

    Second if Gov. really provided schools, even nominal schools….& education which can be used for earning a living…children will automatically go to those schools.

    Even if i go to a normal public school, as a muslim i should have knowledge of Arabic(Quran) & Islam. So they have a pourpose…….

    There will be many parents who want their children to become an Imam(Like Pandit), or Hafiz(who has memorized the whole Quran). Who are we to decide for them?????

    I also know someone who is going to school in India’s best scool in Delhi….but who is also going to a madrsaa to become an Hafiz(Who has memorized the Quran).Is their any thing wrong with that………..

    And about Madarssa standing as a symbol……………..It’s a symbol for those who see it as a symbol…..i really can not help in it any way.

    Madarsaa is an Arabic word for School

    S Reply:

    “Our syllabus is similar to the secondary level syllabus… only 200 marks for Arabic are extra. So I think there is no problem in admitting (non-Muslim) children to our Madrassa,” said Sohrab Hussain, the President of the West Bengal Board of Madrassa Education.
    A non-Muslim teacher at the Madrassa said all students are being treated equally.

    “There is no differentiation between Hindus and Muslims. We walk, talk, eat and sit together. Everyone stays in harmony,” said Rupashi Biswas, a student of the Arizillapur Siddiquia High Madrassa.

    Madrassas in West Bengal are trying to become secular and are also providing vocational training to students.

    Madrasas in West Bengal are attracting an increasing number of Hindu students with the shift in focus from Islamist education to science and technology. Hindu students now outnumber Muslims in four madrasas of the state.These include Kasba MM High Madrasa in Uttar Dinajpur district, Ekmukha Safiabad High Madrasa in Cooch Behar district, Orgram Chatuspalli High Madrasa at Burdwan district and Chandrakona Islamia High Madrasa at West Midnapore district.

    “The percentage of Hindu students vary from 57 percent to 64 percent in these institutes, which stand out as proof that madrasas (Islamic seminaries) and secularism are not anachronistic,” West Bengal Board of Madrasah Education president Sohrab Hussain told IANS here Monday.

    He said 618 out of the 1,077 students in Kasba, 554 out of 868 students at Orgram, 201 out of 312 at Chandrakona and 290 out of total 480 students at Ekmukha are Hindus.

    “Muslims are a minority in all these districts,” Hussain said.

    Denying that madrasas impart only Islamist education, he said the institutes lay more stress on modern subjects.

    “It’s a misconception that our students only learn Islam-related subjects at madrasas. Time is changing and so are we. Now, we lay more stress on science and technology than religion.

    “Already 42 madrasas have computer laboratories; we will increase the number by another 100 labs in 2009. Over 100 madrasas offer vocational training in not only tailoring but even mobile applications technology,” Hussain said.

    He said an increasing number of Hindu students were choosing madrasas over other schools because madrasas had more credibility.

    “Madrasas have been successful in winning the confidence of students and guardians. Mostly first generation learners from backward classes come to study here as they know they won’t be looked down upon. Besides, madrasa certificates are at par with other national-level examinations,” said Hussain.

    There are 506 madrasas in West Bengal and 52 more will come up by the end of 2009. Overall, 17 percent of the students and 11 percent of the teachers in these institutions are non-Muslims.

    “All students are treated equally… there is no religious bias in the madrasas. Even the syllabus of the madrasas are no different from the Madhyamik – the state secondary examinations.

    “The only difference is our students have to sit for a 100-mark extra paper on Arabic and Islamic studies, which in a way is good for Hindu students too. They can learn a new language at the same time,” Hussain said.

    Golum Mustafa, headmaster of Kasba madrasa, said all students study and play together irrespective of their religion.

    “If anyone asks me why Hindu students study at madrasas, I ask them, ‘Why not?’ Be it school or madrasa – they are meant for imparting education. There are many Hindu students who passed out from Kasba and are well-established in life,” Mustafa said on phone.

    Bibhas Chandra Ghorui, a Hindu assistant teacher at Chandrakona, echoed Mustafa.

    “There are seven schools within one km of this madrasa. But still people send their wards here, mostly because of affordability. One has to pay Rs.375 at general schools while the fees at the madrasa is only Rs.110.

    “As for religious tolerance, if a Muslim student can study Baishnav Padavali – a Hindu religious hymns – then why can’t a Hindu student study Islam or Arabic?” Ghorui said on phone.

    Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said the Government wants Madrassa institutions should impart professional training along with religious teachings for Muslim youths’ empowerment.

    Sibal, however, has also stated that that the ministry would not interfere with the religious teachings in madrassas.

    “It will be part of the 100-day agenda. When I talk about restructuring education, we will not interfere with the religious teaching in madrassas. But at the same time, the aim will be to empower Muslim youth,” Sibal said.

    According to Sibal, the objective is to ensure that when Muslim youth come out of schools, they get job opportunities. “We will ensure that they have skills and they are equipped with the kind of education that enables them to be part of the mainstream.”

    The Government has already decided to value madrassa qualification at par with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to enable Muslim students to get Central government jobs.

    However, this benefit will be available for those madrassas that are affiliated to the State madrassa boards existing in 10 States.

    Abdul Khaleeq Madrasi, pro-vice chancellor of the prestigious (what is prestigious about it?)) Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband town of western Uttar Pradesh, is opposed to such reforms.

    “Why is he (Sibal) trying to interfere in the education pattern of the madrassas? We will not support such a proposal,” Madrasi told IANS.

    Madrasi maintains that only one percent of Muslim children in India study in seminaries and after the education is over they are able to get reasonable jobs. He feels that instead of “interfering” in the education pattern of the madrassas the “government should try to establish more schools for the community”.

    Tahir Alam, a teacher at the Mazahir Uloom madrassa in Amroha city of Uttar Pradesh, says madrassas are meant for religious education and “introducing such reforms will kill the very purpose of madrassas”.

    Welcoming Sibal’s proposal is Arshad Alam, assistant professor at the centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia university here. However, he feels that modern education would “add to the burden of already overburdened madrassa students”.

    Alam, who has done his PhD on Indian madrassas, has given a call for an extensive debate on the issue. He said: “Reforms like this should be widely debated within the Muslim community, particularly involving the Ulama (religious leaders).”

    According to Alam, the best way to increase employment opportunities for Muslims would be to set up more government schools and vocational institutions in Muslim areas rather than concentrate on madrassas where only a fraction of Muslims study.

    Imtiaz Alam, a teacher in the Maualan Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad and a product of a madrassa in Lucknow, has also welcomed it. He said the step “will help to bring the madrassa student to the mainstream”.

    Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan termed it as “good news”.

    “This will change the future of Muslim children. Earlier too there were attempts to introduce such reforms, but I fail to understand the reasons for the opposition by the madrassa authorities,” Khan told IANS.

    Mufti Mohammad Yasin, a government school teacher in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh, said it would help bring in modern education to the seminaries. “Since this is an era of modern technology, modern education is necessary alongside religious education and such reforms will be of great help.”

    According to a senior official in the HRD ministry, Sibal is “determined” to introduce reforms in the madrassas.

    Madrassas in India are mostly run with donations from the Muslim community, although some receive foreign donations as well.

    There is no exact survey on the number of madrassas in the country. However, renowned columnist Yoginder Sikand in his book, “Bastion of the Believers: Madrassas and Islamic Education in India”, has put the figures at 30,000-40,000. This is around the figure put out by a survey conducted by the Hamdard Education Foundation.

    A few madrassas are also affiliated to state governments like in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam. These madrassas draw salaries and collect grants from their respective governments. More than 90 percent of the seminaries are run by the funds collected from Muslims.

    The Quran and Islamic law form the basic component of the education imparted at madrassas, though some provide modern education as well. Passouts from the seminaries get jobs in accordance with the degree they obtain. Mostly the products of madrassas get the job of an imam in a mosque, earning a meagre salary of Rs.3,000-3,500.

    Link From where this article has been taken………..

    http://palashkatha.mywebdunia.com/2009/10/12/marxist_way_of_branding_madrasa_terror_hubs_isolating_sc_students_and_hatching_eggs_of_communalism_as_six_education_reform_bills_in_pipeline_sibal_to_reform_madrasa_1255287060001.html

    [Reply]

    Anil Kumar Reply:

    I have read success story of one medersah here and there but fact is overwhelming number of them contribute nothign to manistream education and employability of their talibs..

    Ashish Reply:

    Hmmm… interesting guy, Palash Biswas. He thinks the Dalai Lama is a CIA- Mossad agent .. for starters…

    S Reply:

    Hi,

    i also don’t agree with all his stuff….i came across his article on Google…thought it might shine some light on the topic we are discussing.

    Amogh Reply:

    Hi,
    I guess Madarsaahs will go away with the time may be 10 or 15 years as India’s economic develpment increases and reaches to Rural india. Its already showing.. The study shows .. Muslims which are slightly better of poorest ( but still poor) .. are opting for Jindi medium scholls than Urdu medium simply becuase greater propects of job and integrating with the masses. I have so many muslim friends & I completed my education in 6 different cities in India and I never came acorss a muslim guy who is madarssah educated.. My Mumbai muslim friends even don’t know .. where are such schools ? their family always insisted normal main stream schooling and this is penetrating in India.. Today Mumbai municipal schools have urdu medium .. nobody takes it ,, I found out personally.

  • Raju Kurien

    Why would government even want to consider recommendations or even have a central board?

    Obviously, these should be monitored for any illegal activities and hateful course content; but the administration of these should be left to theMuslim committees.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Raju Kurien
    I am afraid I am not for a hands-off approach.
    Curriculum at primary and secondary levels should be streamlined and made of a uniform standard; local variations owing to regional/ linguistic needs is okay but, leaving these kids to the devices of the barely literate maulvis is continuing to create a bunch of dysfunctional adolescents and adults.
    Once you enforce uniform secular curriculum and force the closure of Madrassas with an accompanying massive investment in delivery of universal primary education, you will not need to monitor anything for illegal activities or hateful course content.
    I know this will put some Maulvis and Ulemas and so on out of business. Better that than the thousands being raised for sacrifice at the altar of identity politics.

    [Reply]

    S Reply:

    Hi,

    People should be more afraid of what is taught at RSS schools all over India.

    They are more numerous, well organized, a central controlling agency(RSS) .

    And they have seeped into every corner of Indian society.

    Also as they have a much better chance of succeeding.

    [Reply]

    saleh Reply:

    Oh really, and what is it that is taught at RSS schools that people should fear? I was with the RSS for five years and they spoke of nothing but patriotism for the country. I am sure that is a bad thing according to you.
    On the other hand madarssas teach voilence and jihad to young children. This is a fact that has been proven time and again. Most of the Madarssas in India are funded by the Saudis and teach Wahabi Islam which is not so pretty. Hence for you to say that RSS is threatning and madarssas are cool, sounds like you have an agenda.
    You should go and visit an RSS shakha someday, they wont care for what religion you profess as long as you are not an India hater, quite contrary to the Islamists who say that Vande Mataram cannot be sung by Muslims.

    [Reply]

  • Ashish

    Secularism, by definition, excludes a state role in religious affairs and a religious role in statecraft.
    I do not want the state money to be used to fund religious education, not even 15 minutes per month.
    If it is a Madrassa, let there be no government funding.
    I am all for extending free education (world class? Well, why not try?) to everyone in the country. Nutrition, health and education will build our future generation and the government’s primary task should be to focus on those. But, not a line of scriptures should be taught using public money.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @Ashish

    Tax money is flowing into this under various grant schemes. There is an Education Guaranty Scheme; there is an Alternative Innovative Education (figure out what is alternative and what is innovative) Scheme, there is a Sarva Siksha Abhayan program, all funneling moneyy to madrasas. My understanding is that many madrasas get 3000 rs per student from the government. Most of the madrasas, as you know, do only “Dini Talim” (religious education). In fact many as a part of their foundational policy stay away from “Duniyabi Talim” (worldly education and do not teach Maths and science..

    It is estimated that almost 4000 crore rupees come from foreign contributions through FERA provisions for madrasas, mosques, and related social services.

    Many Madrasas are sort of “owned” by Mullahs or committees, and in many cases most of the money is diverted by them for their personal use.

    Tax money is used for another appeasement strategy, not contributing to nations growth.. And recently Union HRD announced that madrasa matrivculation is equivalent to the CBSE certificate..figure it out..

    Oh, by the way, 11500 madrrasas exist in 12 of the border states; a 40% increase in the last 5 years. Yesterday’s (10/26/09) Dawn newspaper has an editorial “Tackling Extremism”. It talks about how Muslim extremists from UK have penetrated Pakistan Madrasas brainwashing the kids to be foot soldiers for Jehad. There is no reason to doubt their presence in Indian Madrasas too. So, we are not just funding religuious education only; but our own destruction also.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Gopi
    I have mentioned this before many times on this blog.. the debate in Pakistani media (mainstream as well as blogosphere) is far more introspective about the state of their education and particularly about Madrassas than in India.
    Alternative Innovative Education… this is almost Orwellian; isn’t there no innovation possible and isn’t there supposed to be no alternative to..???
    MHRD has done its bit to promote “equal outcome” by ensuring equivalence of a Madrassa education with a CBSE board certificate. Now, Salman Khurshid will ask for reservations in the Private sector for “disadvantaged no more” sections of the population.
    Fear not, Zia. The Congress government has always kept Muslim interests paramount. Who says the horse needs to run to win the race?

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    Muslims should not be taken seriously -There is weight in what Zia says. I can tell you from my personal experience there is no such animal as a “muslim leadership” that is accepted by muslims in India. No one bothers about these so called religious leaders and one comes to know they are “leaders” only from the press. The Govt. should just push through an agenda, educational and otherwise, it feels is good for the muslims & trust me – it will be accepted without any fuss.
    Even issues like a common personal law can easily be passed without any problem.

    I see a lot of the readers here being agitated by islamic terrorism. But really, I dont think there has been any terror strike in India this year (or am i mistaken). And thats saying something for a country having the 2nd largest muslim population and sharing a border with several muslim countries.

    This is besides the point but i would also like to mention that indian muslims contribute in a major way to bringing in much needed forex to india.

    Coming to bangladeshi infiltration the onus is entirely in the govt. to stop it. Please dont blame indian muslims for this also.

    Anil Kumar Reply:

    Please make govt’s job easier by not hiding tbangaldeshis among muslim locality and by not making huge issue out of it ..
    I agree with yoour views on non monolythic nature of muslim leadership.. Congressis know that but it’s not in their interest if muslims become amorphous that’s why they keep sending signals to consolildate under one umbrella so that it becomes easier for them to indulge into appeasement gimmics

    syed Reply:

    @Anil kumar
    I dont know if indian muslims have a laid down policy of hiding bangladeshis in their localities. However i know for a fact that a lot of hindus (and muslims like me) have no problems in having kamwalis who may be bangladeshis(they never say they are bangladeshis) or indian bengalis(they all speak bengali).

    Maybe it might be easier to stop immigration of bangladeshis in the first place as opposed to tracing and deporting them..

    Ashish Reply:

    @Syed,
    1. Re’ Bangladeshi Muslims and their supporters, please read the following link:
    http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/2004/16-31Dec04-Print-Edition/163112200433.htm
    All immigration, whether from Mexico to US or Bangladesh to India happens aided and abetted by already existing support network among those that crossed over earlier. That is a well known fact. This found mention in Zia’s post on the North East as well. I had posted an article from IE which referred to a groundswell of resentment amongst some local Muslims against the immigrant Muslims; of course, many Muslim intellectuals in Assam, raised the usual “muslims are all victimized” kind of slogans, which ensures that Muslims are in perpetual flux regarding even their self interest.

    2. Isn’t lack of terrorist strikes is something we should take for granted in a civilized country? Methinks, it has a lot to do with the much delayed kick in the posterior administered to the Gandhi family retainer called Shivraj Patil. Even conceding that anyone will look good compared to him, PC is doing a good job.

    3. I think the Cong government has always proved that it has the Muslim interests at heart. Agreed? So, have patience. More Madrassas are coming, which will churn out better Muslims and world citizens. THey will be so good, that my grandchildren will study in them.

    Pankaj Reply:

    @ Ashish

    your grandchildern whould have been converted to Islam by then.

    Ashish Reply:

    @Pankaj,
    Probably my children :-) at least the younger one, all of 5 years claims a 4 year old Muslim boyfriend!

  • abdullah

    Schools for poors are aplenty and more infrastructure should be provided to them. I think religious teaching can be handled in home, no need in schools so why create gurukul and madarsa?

    govt needs such madarsa or religious inst. to create divison in the society. One of my friend is running a madarsa in UP, yes in azamgarh, not a terrorist one. Now, he says he pays from his pocket 12 000 a month for the expenses. It is now recognised by central govt under minortiy status and alloted a certain budget under certain scheme.

    I dont understand all these terminologies. However, what education he gives, is purely theological, and says our muslim community needs education. yes they need, but why this coran and hadees, because I guess it is cheap.

    I agree with the author. And I will emphasize for no religious teaching in schools.

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    I think the state has a responsibility to provide, scientific education, with emphasis, on critical thinking, something that no religious institution will provide, by definition. I think education should be completely free of all “isms”. be it religion or nationalism, because both are indoctrinations, and stops people from thinking freely.

    No madarsa education or RSS shishu mandirs. No religion in school , no courses on astrology and other BS, no suryanamaskar, and no need for vande mataram and other overtly patriotic symbols/songs in schools. The only role a school should play is imparting scientific understanding and critical thinking and promote a dissident culture.

    [Reply]

    S Singh Reply:

    Mr Bobby

    Agree with most of the statements.

    However, “madrasa” education is protected under the minorities rights provision. No government has the guts to make a statement, for once and for all, all schools should follow certain syllabus.

    It is a joke that tax payer money is spent on religious education. As you said, government should not get involved in any religious education; they should not fund those schools.

    However, I do believe some level of civic responsibilities and a dedication to the country should be cultivated in schools. A morning pledge of allegiance to the nation, or an offer of thanks to the military and police , or something like that should be there. As long as other countries require passports, I do not want our children grow up as rootless citizens of an ideal world, I do want them as Indian citizens who are quite comfortable with the world.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Are RSS shishu mandir getting funded by Govt ?

    Are any other Hindu religious schools funded by the govt ?

    saleh Reply:

    No they are not!

    Anil Reply:

    We need more muslims like you and Jia in this country

    [Reply]

    S Reply:

    I don’t disagree with you…………But Gov. also funds

    many Sikh Minority Institutions
    many Jain Minority Institutions
    many Parsi Minority Institutions
    many Christian Minority Institutions
    many Buddhist Minority Institutions

    So what’s the big deal….muslims are the largest minority in this country , muslims also pay taxes & are the citizens of this country.

    So when people don’t have a problem…….with a Sikh, Jain, Buddhist ,christian ………They should not have a problem with muslism either.

    Second…..it’s not that only muslisms are getting any preferential treatment……..
    Also there are is money which is also being spend on purley HIndu Religous stuff(I do not have a problem with that, i believe Gov. should look after every religion)

    India is a very religious country……..it goes for every Religion..Hinduism, Islam , Sikhism etc….
    Our secularism is based on our own history………it defination of secularism is different from French Secularism & American Secularism.

    Our secularism is much closer to American one but there are some diff.

    Instead Gov. should focus it’s money on building more schools……which will benefit every one.
    Religious education can be privately funded or had at the local mosque.

    [Reply]

    S Singh Reply:

    Mr S

    Government does not fund any religious learning schools for any other sect other than Muslims/Madrasas. They fund normal private aided schools that teach normal curriculam.

    Govt is not funding any Hindu religious stuff, neither Christian, nor Sikh, nor Jain.

    In fact Govt is taking money from rich Temples like Tirupati and diverting it to minority appeasement like Muslim education. As you know, there was a lot of controversy about this in AP.

    I agree with you that religious education should be funded by mosque (why do you even need a separate religious education… have you seen Hindu or Christian students going to separate religious education school other than the normal school).

    There will be a breaking point when majority will just not tolerate these types of appeasement government is doing like the funding of purely religious madrasas. And this tipping point will result in violence.

    Nobody will have any objection in building more schools that teach children science, maths, languages (not Arabic!)

    [Reply]

    S Reply:

    In fact Govt is taking money from rich Temples like Tirupati and diverting it to minority appeasement like Muslim education. As you know, there was a lot of controversy about this in

    …..I don’t know were you get your facts from….

    AP Gov. taking money from a temple & giving it to Muslims………I am sorry but this is nothing but RSS stuff….i am surprised you subscribe to this.

    Also the minority institution that Gov. Funds tech CBSE or State Board Syllabus…….I don’t know of any Gov. Funded institution which does not have formal education………

    There are plenty of Sikh Minority institution which are partially funded by Gov. which also teach Gurmukhi(or Punjabi…i am not sure)& Sikh religion .

    They have rules regarding dress etc based on Sikh Religion……..Also learning of Gurmukni (or punjabi) is compulsory .

    Nothing wrong with all this……..Gov. does this for every one.

    S Singh Reply:

    @S

    Govt does not give money to any religious school other than to Madrasas. Madrasas (religious – Dini Talim and “scientific” Duniyabi Tabi) get government money; and money come from multiple progarms.. Yes, that is how our secular democracy works! No other purely religious institutuions receive government aid. Part of the reason amy be there are no “religious” schools similar to Madrasa for others. They may be smarter; or according to Muslims dumber for not ahving religious training schools.

    And, by the way, teaching Punjabii is a whole lot different fom teaching Arabic. Arabic is not an Indian language.Gurunukhi is an Indian language too. And there is nothing wrong in a school requiring a dress code.

    And there is a lot wrong in a secular country wjen special favour is given to one religious sect. It builds up a tension that will erput at some time in future,. like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    S Reply:

    i am not asking for teaching of Arabic……..I know Arabic is not an Indian language.

    Muslims did not invent these schools to take money from the Gov….They have always existed since the time of Islam…….

    Hindus, Sikhs , Jains…do not have similar institution.It’s not the fault of Muslims.

    Second i am not even asking Gov. to Fund purely religious schools…but partially find those that also teach syllabus of CBSE or state boards………

    only 1% muslim students go to madarssas ……..And the kind of nonsense i hear against them …..is not fair……….Fact is i have i never been to one………….

    There are 3 links for you at the bottom…please check it out.

    saleh Reply:

    While that is true, it is also true that these madarssas are the biggest centers of recruiting terrorists worldwide. I have yet to hear of Buddhist, Christian or Jain terrorist centers.

    [Reply]

  • K

    “We can have an ideal mix of religious and secular subjects.” …..I am curious – are the two mutually exclusive ?

    Tells a lot about the perceptions !!

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @K
    ahem.. now that you mention it :-)

    [Reply]

    Shoeb K Reply:

    Hey S

    Hindus must be joining Madrasas now because Govt decision to make Madrasa certificate equivalent to CBSE.

    So, why would they join a CBSE school and work hard if they can join Madrasa and be slothful and coast away and get a CBSE without the diligent work needed for the CBSE from other tough schools.

    As Ashish said “horse does not have to run to win the race”.

    I for one, am ashamed at what our leaders and Maulavis are doing to reinforce the walls to make us Muslims permanently backward; and of course government is giving all the help because they get the vote bank.

    It is a shame all around. I would have thought Zia would advocate for shutting down these!

    [Reply]

    Anil Kumar Reply:

    I would not have minded had they only given them CBSe degree and still tradition of comeptetive exams had continued in India.. but going by Sibal’s noise he even is hell bent on comppromising the sanctity of entrance exams now he wants the CBSe board an that wud mean even medrsah board’s performance to be taken into account for admission to iits..

    So they are not only giving medersah students who are bereft of mainstream education CWSE degrre they are also providing them entree into professional isntitutions..

    This seems ot be larger sinister plan

    Ashish Reply:

    @Shoeb K,
    all my Muslim friends tell me I am wasting my time commenting here; I keep coming back for the infrequent pleasures of running into Syed or you or Mirza.. as also Gopi Thomas and fellow bigot SKS…
    In my family (Hindu, Bengali, Brahmin; largely devout, not counting me :-) ).. and when I mean family, I mean really “दूर दूर तक “.. in the real extended family sense, if we had any idiot who professed an ambition to become a Pujari after finishing his CBSE, he would get thrashed; man, no kidding! And, to be fair to all the Muslims commenting here, I do not think anyone of you would want a career as a Muezzin or a Imam for your near and dear ones.
    So, why wish for a career for your co-religionists which you would not want for one of your own?
    In Delhi, a car driver gets paid between 7K to 10K. Why would someone want to become a Imam getting paid Rs 3 to 3.5K and basically get trapped for life? Unless of course, he has been brainwashed into believing that this is a stairway to heaven?
    Ask for education- same as everyone gets, ask to share common space… how else will prejudices break down? .. If religious education is essential, get it from your father or grandfather..
    Spend the time not wasted learning Arabic in doing some maths (yeah, okay so I am biased!).. for heaven’s sake man, get a move on.. let our next generation thank us for leaving them a legacy of “post-religious” society

    S Reply:

    Many are over there because of their circumstances & not because of their choice.Parents can not feed them, there are no schools nearby, or no teachers at those schools. Better then sitting at home.

    Secondly there will always be people who choose to become Pandit, Imam, etc. Can you & me stop them in any way, or is it even our right to say any think…..Money is not every thing.

    S Reply:

    It’s only the poor who become Imam & Pandit……….Is it not a shame?????

    S Reply:

    Are you for real…………..Nobody is forcing anyone at the point of gun……….

    People are intelligent enough to know what’s good for them. If Gov. provides better schools people will move towards them……nobody is stopping them

    Also have you ever considered this option…….That after studying in madarssa a student can get admission in college study further become integrated in society………Just because they are not like you…they don’t become less intelligent……….Purley racist comment.

    Religious leaders of muslims are opposing this CBSE stuff & you are supporting them??????

    Muslim middle class is supporitng this move as it will allow students to study secualr subjects.

    This is only for schools.CBSE equivalence …….

    Now for getting admission in College & University …….They will follow the same rules as all other students follow…How they cope & study further after securing Admission it’s their headache.

    What’s wrong with this…….????? You have people who are more integrated ….have chance to earn a descent living…..What’s wrong with this……..????

    Only 1 % of muslim students are going to madarssa……do you know that.???????????

    Religious Leaders are opposing this CBSE equivalence & Muslim middle class is supporting this.

    I do not know why you are opposing this CBES equivalence…..Admission to college will still be base on merit…and madarssa students are not going to get any preferential treatment .

    S Reply:

    Hi,

    They are going because there are no schools over there………..read all my comments if possible.

  • Sam

    Muslims have proven that religion can inspire them again and again to kill Kaffirs (or even fellow muslims)..

    http://www.genocidebangladesh.org/

    3 million killed and you are saying the violent elements should not be taken seriously ??

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Look at the students killed in Dhaka univ..
    See how many hindus are killed and how many muslims are killed.

    http://muktadhara.net/dumassacre.htm

    [Reply]

  • Anil

    “In many of these, Hindus and Muslims study together.” Should have read “In very insignificant few of them Hindus and Muslims study together.”

    Government should altogether stop subsidizing Haj. And all self and Quran respecting Muslims should support this since prophet has clearly asked them not to do Haj on someone else’s money. As it stands today 87% non-Muslims are paying for the religious pilgrimage of Muslims. In no secular society this kind of nonsense is tolerated in name of secularism.

    I fully believe if government lets go this nonsense they will have to do some real work for the upliftment of Muslims. In presence of these kind of token communal gestures GOI need not do anything else. All the leaders just have4 to show up in Haj house during annual pilgrimage wear skullcap and somehow Muslims get assured with.

    For upliftment of everybody for upliftment of India and for the sake of secularism this Haj subsidy nonsense must stop.

    I also believe GOI is fooling Muslims since if not for govt control private airlines would jump in and Haj fare would not escalate thanks to private airlines competitions. As of today GOI has monopoly and it charges higher fare and subsidizes. So although non-muslim’s tax dime goes into subsidizing into haz but it doesn’t real subsidizes anything anyway so why continue with this charade and murder secular ethos of India.

    IN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN THERE IS NO PROVISION OF GOVT SUBSIDY FOR HAZ. BUT IN SECULAR INDIA WE PROVIDE HAZ SUBSIDY.

    *********************BINGO**************
    “The second worrisome aspect of the government’s approach to Muslim affairs is its peddling of smartly-dressed package of only notional reforms as opposed to substantive reforms.”
    This is why a allegedly presumably blood-thirsty (reasons facts about Gujarat be damned though) Gujarat govt has made sure that Muslims of Gujarat are most prosperous in India even more prosperous than non-Muslims of Gujarat. Govt of India and Muslim population should take cure from this sand stop responding to communal tokenism indulged under secularism umbrella. As long as you demand Haz subsidy like nonsensical and non religious dare I say unislamic gestures from govt you will get nothing else.
    ********************BINGO****************

    “A majority of India’s madrassas are azad madaris, ones that teach purely theological education and, most importantly, are privately funded. Those run by state madrasa boards teach a bit of modern subjects.”

    Wrong again at least in Bihar overwhelming majority of Medrassah are state funded and their teachers get salary equivalent to mainstream education teachers. Alas no such luck for Sanskrit school teachers though. But anyway that’s another debate.

    ************************
    I started off this essay by saying that the government sometimes takes Muslims too seriously. And when you tend to take things more seriously, you make mountains out of mole hills. That is precisely why current minister for education, Kapil Sibal, has taken unsure steps to set up a Central Madrassa Education Board and set up a panel of community leaders to discuss its merits and demerits. This will only delay the process. My tip to the minister: go ahead and do it. The clerics will fall in line. We can have an ideal mix of religious and secular subjects.
    *********************

    Again you bingoed.

    Fact is even Nehru went ahead and brought the reform in Hindu code of law and people fell in line but same Nehru could not muster courage to bring the reform in Muslim personal law.
    Rajeev Gandhi the erstwhile youth messiah too bowed before Maulavi in Shah Bano episode so a feeble attempt at reform by Supreme Court was grounded by parliament. Every $hit you see today in Indian politics follows from one single act of Shah-bano episode. Rajeev Gandhi after finding how he had irked Hindus went ahead opened Ram mandir lock and allowed Shila poojan. Not only that he even started his political campaign from Ayodhaya claiming he will herald Ram -Rajya. HE sounded like Praveen Togadia in those days. That’s how the communalism of congress wrapped in pseudo-secularism a came forth in Indian politics.

    BUT JIya you are expecting too much from these near illiterate coterie around Rahul Gandhi who control congress now. Reminds me of the latest episode of religions bigots threatening the life of a Hindu couple who came from same gotra. Panchayat gave open fatwa for their life and none of these youth icon coterie of Rahul baba who comes from Haryana could muster enough courage to even censure that fatwa let alone take the panchayat to task for that.

    We have new set of political legacy claimants masquerading as youth liberal icons with modern philosphy. Fact is these individual are chip of the same old block. Just because it’s season of generational change in their family politics business we keep hearing youth icon and bla bla and sadly like an idiot on drug Indian media keeps falling for that. I have seen it all in Rajeev Gandhi episode and again am witnessing history being repeating in Rahul baba’s episode.

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    Are muslims is asking for the haj subsidy to continue? I do not think so. But if it is there they would be very stupid not to avail of it no?

    [Reply]

    Raju Kurien Reply:

    I think Syed is right. There was a survey in which amjority of the Muslims did not want the subsidy.

    Obviously, no government (may be except BJP) will cut it off! That is our secularism. MAy be teh way to cut it off is by otehr citizens filing acse against the government for travel to Vatican or Syria or Jerusalem or Hindus from Kanyakumari to travel to Badrinath.

    Congress Govt is the gutless government, the champion appeasor, even worse than CPM or Mayawati party!

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    I dont see whats the big deal about having a subsidy? Most muslims are poor in India, and Haj pilgrimage is an important aspect of their faith, i guess. So why should not the government subsidize Haj travel?

    S Singh Reply:

    Mr Bobby

    You said Govt Should not be in teaching religion (Madrasas). How is this (paying for religious travel) different?

    In that case, should nt Govt pay to a poor Christian Catholic to go to Vatican or a poor Hindu to go to Benrares?

    Is there even a legal aspect for govt to use tax payer money for s partuicular religion’s need? (I hope lawyers on this forum can answer this)

    What is secular? Is it preferential treatment or unique treatment to one religion that is not available to the followers of otehr religions?

    I hope Congress Govt stops these appeasement policies. Only in India these types of stupid things will happen because politicians are looking for the last 10 votes.

    Anil Kumar Reply:

    Seclar govt should not be in the business of faciliataing one’s faith based duties.> secular govt should only be only concerned with its people’s socio economic condition..

    Moreover why shoudl I a non-muslim pay for a muslim’s haz..

    I have nothign to do with haz in fact islam has ordained hell on me due to my non-muslim status so it becomes all the more difficult for to fund the religious duty of adherent of such doctrine…..

    Tell me what’s in it for me other than advancement of the concept of my hell abode.

    Bobby Reply:

    Dear S Singh,

    My point is not as much about giving subsidies as it is about the irrelevance of the issue. It should be a non-issue. From what I have read its a small amount. Moreover, the people who oppose it do not do so because of any sense of fairness; on the contrary its just another issue to beat Indian Muslims with.

    I do not know what is or is not the requirement of Islam. However if it so happens that it is an essential part of their faith, then I do not see any problem in GoI giving such subsidies, since most muslims are poor in India. Its not something I would have a headache over.

    Education is different. Its not a matter of secular society or communal society, its about developing intelligent free thinking citizens.

    Ashish Reply:

    @Syed
    :-) agreed..
    actually this Haj subsidy is another way Government fools the Muslims and subsidizes the national airlines.. the tax-payer subsidizes, not the Muslims so much but Air India.
    Every one is happy, except the poor tax payer; we are in a minority anyway ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    I think we should extend the concept of Haj subsidy and provide it to all minorities regardless of faith.
    The minorities should include:
    Buddhists: for traveling upto Nepal border..
    Jains: a little unsure, but pick some place in India
    Parsis: Iran (not forcing them to undertake this pilgrimmage, you understand…only if they want to!)
    Christians: the vatican

    and, the most important,
    a one way ticket to all Marxists to either Norh Korea or Cuba; nope, China is not pure enough. And no, claiming that Marxism originated in the London public libraries will not wash.

    Anil Kumar Reply:

    Yes muslims ask that.. they go up in arms the moment someone talks about discontinuing this haz subsidy.

    If not then Muslims leaders should hold a press conference and implore govt of idnia to stop this subsidy.. I am sure they will heed to thsi call.. They indulge into this tokenism because muslims respond to it

    [Reply]

    Anil Kumar Reply:

    Ashish, Andhra govt has already started funding Jerusalem trip of Christians..

    As for Hidnu well forget about subsidy they are not allowed to have their own abode in their own country in Amarnath..

    S Reply:

    I agree with you………if it’s their it should be done away with……..but it’s a myth Gov. subsides anything.(this is how i feel)

    Everyone who goes to Hajj know it at least 4-5 months before departure .So their tickets when done through Gov. are booked are booked well in advance.

    also there are large number of group bookings..too …more discounts………….

    Approximatley a little over 1 lakh people go to Hajj from India & come back.So tell me which airline will miss the chance of confirmed booking of 1lakh tickets year after year…………

    Just tell me …you book a flight 4-5 months in advance ….does not the Airline gives you discount?????

    Gov. should have bring out a tender.for this….money still being paid by the people going to Hajj ..Gov. is only arranging the stuff, which is the Gov. job.

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    By the way how much is this subsidy worth anyway, in money terms. Does anyone know?
    Methinks it is pure tokenism & the sooner it is removed the better. At least one issue for muslim bashing would be eliminated.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Anil Kumar
    My suggestion was made with firmly tongue in cheek.. see my comment about the Parsis.
    Yeah, Vatican was too generous.. Bethlehem is good as a cheaper and probably more emotive option.
    Why should Hindus be subsidised? They are a majority in India, for the time being anyway. And, like Jains and Buddhists, we can’t really travel to phoren land for pilgrimmage.. (Bali, anyone? I promise to spend at least 15 minutes in 15 days in a temple, if someone funds my pilgrimmage to Bali)
    I am serious about funding a trip for “commies to Cuba”; but, this must be a one way ticket.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Syed,
    All you ever wanted to know on Haj subsidy..
    http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/15092002/1509200242.htm

    looks like not a lot of money.. compared with the total GOI budget.

    [Reply]

    S Reply:

    Thanks for the link…………..

    So why all this fuss about 144 crore………i believe even this should be done away with……

    as a central rule of going to Hajj is that you should be financially & physically capable.

    It’s a subsidy nobody wants but Gov. still gives.

    Also the amount of 144 Cr makes me think …is it really that bug an amount that creates such a big dust storm .

  • syed

    @ Ashish,
    1) reg-Bangladeshi Muslims-Unfortunately here also the self styled local leaders of muslims are beeing heeded to as opposed to the feelings of grassroot local Muslims.
    2) Terrorist strikes- You are right, thats something we should take for granted BUT on this forum I feel compelled to state again and again that I am more patriotic than the king. PC is indeed doing a good job, but we should always keep in mind that good intelligence is the key to anti terrorism & not overwhelming police or military presence.
    3) There is lots of perceived impressions about any community that all indians have. The congress is simply pandering to those perceptions as regards muslims.

    [Reply]

  • Raj Kurien

    We get back to the proverbial question – do all these money spent, all the ral and state government programs, all the energy spent by the multiple IAS/bureaucracy set up for Muslims welfare, all the different finnacing and funding schemes etc etc – have these resulted in any dent in the backwardness of Muslism? If not, why not? Or if it is only marginal, can we afford to continue to spend this enormous amount of money and energy for ever?

    The total “face time”, press time, political time, intelligentsia time spent on the Muslim issue must be more than time spent on plans for all the majority and other minorities combined, let alone the money part.

    How long can Muslims stay “out” without taking personal responsibility? How much more tax money will be spent a d how long? So far It looks like an investment with engative returns.

    We are spending huge sums. Is there a better way to spend it? Is there a better delivery scheme?Should communities be given money direct?

    I believe we will still be talking about Madrasas and Muslim backwardness 10 years from now, or even 50 years from now.

    May be there is something inherently wrong in their approach..because they have the same problems – lack of education, responsibility and leadership etc – in all the countries, whether Muslim majority or not;so it is not just an India centric issue. Is it too much population growth, too much Quran, or inability to sepaarte from rigid religious teachings and modern education/globalization neds.. Why are we even talking about Madrasas? Is there an equivalent in othert groups? Can they be shut down or converted to normal schools?

    Syed says lot of change is possible, government should just go and do it. Will politicians have courage? Or will politicians continue to make sure Muslims remain in an abyss which their religious leaders have ascribed for them.

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    @Raj Kurien
    Talking of figures, i would like to know exactly how much, in money terms, is the amount of subsidy spent on muslims. I am quite sure it is extremely extremely low. All that is being indulged in is tokenism. I just checked up the haj subsidy amount and this is what I found ….
    http://indianmuslims.in/haj-subsidy-anyone/

    Just Rs.225 crores! And check what this para says….

    ……..the BJP led government did not abolish the Haj subisidy in its 6 years of power because that would deprive its core Muslim-bashing constituency one of the favourite issues? Even Muslim leaders such as Syed Shahabuddin (not that Siwan hoodlum, but the ex-diplomat) has been demanding for 20 years that the Indian government should do away with the so-called Haj subsidy……

    I think this explains itself…

    Ditto for all other schemes involving muslims.

    [Reply]

  • S

    Minority does not mean Muslims,

    If you forget it also includes………..

    Sikhs
    Christians
    Jains
    Buddhist
    Parsi.
    Anglo Indians ………Many more……………

    So when any scheme is launched for minorities it’s for every minority…not just for Muslims.

    [Reply]

  • Pankaj

    I think Islamization of India has started! (Thanks to Gandhi – Nehru and Congress!)

    Demographic changes in many indian states (growing muslim population), culture tilt towards islam, political support to Islam/muslims (Hajj , madraas funding etc) is happening right now.

    In coming decades, Islam will penerate Indian society socially and the politically…..and Zia is saying “don’ t take muslims seriously”.

    When mulsims will be in majoriy they will make life of non-muslims hell. what happned in Kashimir is a perfect example and Hindus fail to learn.

    I dont understand, if muslim majority nations can be “Islamic states” why can’t hindu majority nation be “Hindu Rashtra”.

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    @Pankaj
    personally I have no issues if india declares itself a hindu rashtra, if it feels that it can do better than what pakistan did when it morphed into an islamic rashtra.
    reg demographic changes in India, the ball is upto the Indian state to take steps against infiltration & population growth. As i have mentioned before, whats stopping the govt from implementing a very strong incentive based family planning scheme. Say a cash award of 50000 to every person undergoing a sterilization. As muslims are economically poorer, they will be more attracted to the scheme.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    How about disincentives like..

    if 3 rd kid, then that kid will not be given a “reservation seat..”
    or if the parent is state govt employee, not more pay increases..

    something like that ..

    In this system, the govt does not need to come up with the money

    [Reply]

    Syed Reply:

    @Sam
    1) 3rd kid disincentive will not work for muslims as they hold only about 2% of govt jobs & have no reservation. Most are self employed.
    2) The incentive scheme will more than enough pay itself back through savings on the amount of resources which would have been spent on the extra births.

    Pankaj Reply:

    syed,

    u r stupid or trying to cover up by giving example of Pakistan.

    Pakistan is a failed state, there is no doubt about that, but it is only “one ” of more than 50 islamic states in the world.

    Why not compare with Malaysia, Saudi, Indonesia etc. will u call all “Islamic states” as failed state?

    Indian Govt wont take harsh steps… bcoz they will loose muslim vote bank.

    50000 for sterlization? WTF!!! Why shud Hindu tax payers pay for setlization of muslims!

    [Reply]

    Syed Reply:

    @Pankaj
    Why should I bother trying to cover up and for what?

    I consider all states goverrned by any religion as failed states (including Nepal earlier hindu rashtra) because a state governed on the basis or religion just cannot give equal justice to all its citizens and is bound to fail in the long run.

    If the Indian govt. is not taking harsh steps its not my fault.

    Will only muslims be sterilized, dont hindus reproduce and require sterliization?

    SKS Mumbai Reply:

    @Syed
    The Rs 200 was a Typo, it should have read 3200. (My fingers know how to make the right errors, bigotry in veins)
    Incidentally, in year 2000, MEA in a statement in parliament in response to a question about whether other religions also get subsidies for foreign pilgrimage
    stated : NO
    Rs 3200 per pax is a number given by MEA sometime in 2005 and this money is paid to some body named Kumayon nigam or such some stuff. Further in 2008, Mr Mukherjee made a statement that total pilgrims in 2007 were 664 and total expense was less than Rs 60 lacs.
    If you are careful then all the statements by MEA in parliament use the words expenses or cost, not subsidy when discussing Mansarovar.
    But on Haz, they do make distinctions for e.g. 2008, they reported MEA expenditure of about Rs 22 crs and subsidy of Rs 367 crs. However, the figure for subsidy was provisional. I haven’t managed the latest status but till 3rd quarter of 2007-08, all the Haz subsidy amounts reported since 2001 were shown as provisionals awaiting approval.

    The 20,000 figure you have referred to is indeed a subsidy but paid by Govt of Gujarat for only Gujarat based pilgrims. I don’t know when they started but at least till 2001, it was not there, because then they were giving some personal kit worth Rs 2500/pax. Of course by now we have 4 or 5 more states who have either announced or been paying some amount as subsidy. Latest ones are AP and Karnataka, but I am not sure if they have already started. In AP, YSR announced this after they had started a subsidy for Christians visiting bethlehem.
    You might also come across some news claiming some 1000 people availed this in Gujarat but as per MEA 2007 the number was 664, in 2008, Chinese claimed they were busy with olympics and can’t allow any one.

    In any case, these numbers are of limited relevance. My point was about the data.

    Now your questions about Proof of Pampering.
    In case you noted, the operative word in the standard hindu bigot dictionary is Appeasement and that holds.

    The premise that Appeasement or pampering charges would hold only when Muslims occupied more than 13 %Govt jobs is based on the EQUAL OUTCOME theory. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. To prove discrimination in Govt employments or educational instis you would have to show that success rate for Muslim candidates aspiring for some job/admission were worse that of others. Unfortunately again, this does not hold as per the Legendary SACHAR report. Sachar did assess the conversion rates to test the discrimination theory and he compared the % of candidates selected vs % called for interviews. This was done for UPSC, State PSCs and IIMs as well. The success rate between written test and eventual selection was also checked wherever available on religious lines. Although this can’t be an indicator of discrimination for obvious reasons, the data also did not support the discrimination theory.
    For the ratio of selected vs called for interview, Muslims did as well, and in some cases better than the overall average.
    So the difference was basically at the level of aspirants itself, I.e. % of Muslim applicants at written test level was way below their share in population. So at the most you can call the access as the culprit. Access to schools or similar stuff. But then that is not the whole story, the story also had reluctance to enroll in secular schools for lack of religious component in the curriculum. Sachar also made a statement that only 4% muslims go to Madarsa but some Muslim intellectuals have questioned his basis. If you have not read Sachar, you might find it useful for its informational value and reach a conclusion on that basis alone, not on what Sachar concludes.

    It is very easy to make statements that one has to be blind not to see the discrimination against Muslims, but easier to forget that discrimination exists at all places and on a variety of denominators and if we have to find reasons for our own failures then what can be better than laying the blame on discrimination and lack of opportunities/access. In my case I am sure that by now I would have been CEO of at least a Fortune 500 , if not 50, company, if I were born to wealthy white christian parents in New York and if you say I am wrong then you must are either a bigot or a racist of some kind.

    EQUAL OUTCOME guarantee is not some fiction created by bigots like us but, one of the demands made by some Muslims (don’t ask me %) and noted by Sachar in his report.

    While you are right in principle that these are decisions made by the state and they can change it if they want. But that does not work in democracies.

    Please think: Why does Ram Vilas Paswan consider it necessary to fight for quotas everywhere when he wanted SC/ST votes but when he needs Muslim votes, he takes Bin Laden look alike with him for campaigning?

    You can cite any number of Muslims like yourself, who in principle don’t want these, but the voices we get to hear are not those. It is Shahbano, the Burqa, the Haj, Danish cartoons, protests against Israel and George Bush that we get to hear more often and more loudly. You or many Muslims in Assam might not be too keen on Bangladeshi immigrants but, it was Jamat-e-Islami which filed a case seeking imposition of IMDT act all over India.

    It is very good to have brotherly feelings for human beings all over the universe, especially if they are from your religion.
    Self interest, at least here on earth can be preserved by self alone, for hereafter It must be God.

    I apologize if something I said has hurt or offended you, that was not the intent at least not while responding to you Syed.

    Sam Reply:

    maybe if muslims spend their money on education things will be different.

    govt should stop the haj subsidy and spend that money for opening new schools..

    S Reply:

    Nice…………why can’t we allow have a discussion like this………….

    S Reply:

    all

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @SKS

    Good analysis.

    Pimps siphon the money out of prostitutes who are pampered.

    Now I know, in spite of being a Christian, why I do not run a Fortune 500 co. Must be because I am a brown Christian (well, I am very wheatish!)..

    And Mrs Indra Nooyi became CEO of Pepsi bcause her father Krishnamoorthy is a Brahmin who cunningly helped to appropriate the sugar fields of the dalits (where the hell this word came from..we do not have this in Kerala…) for Pepsi..She did her undergraduate degree at Madras Christian college, an outpost of the imperialist US.. And just imagine, if only Fahthima Sheikh had all the privileges and advantages Indra had, she could have become CEO of IBM…How many opportunities destroyed by these Brahmins.. (I am still on the lookout for these guys in Kerala; have not found any yet)

    Coming to Sachar Report ..Shafeeq Rahman, the esteemed statistician who runs all analysis for IndiaStat.Com says ” this is a report that was issued by the order of the ruling party and this party has the long history of crocodile tears for Muslims. It may well be a political gimmick to create a sense of fear and inferiority among Muslims by political party in power in view of the Muslim vote bank. Further, most of the facts of this study is prepared by Sample Survey Reports; and not by Census Reports . In Survey reports any one can prepare the sample and predict according to its will” .

    Hey, who cares whether it is Survey Report or Census Report? This is India. “saare jagan se..”
    Didn’t Congress Govt give 1000 crore rupees more this year (almost double of last year) for developing this oppressed group? Now you know the term “the report is worth its weight in gold”

    Ram Ram.. (Oh no, I cannot utter this, secularists are coming, secularists are coming)

    sanjeev Reply:

    @ syed

    I know some states which have state (official) religions and are peforming quite well in terms of development. Denmark, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Argentina, some cantons of switzerland, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Finland, England,

    And many Islamic countries. But there is difference between other religions as official religions and Islam. Islam prescribe every thing…sharia etc wheras other religions are not political movement and ideology as Islam is.

    So please don’t impose failure of islam on other civilized religions.

    Curiously case of Nepal is interesting. They have some power hungry people mislead by ideology of Mao Zedong (just like naxals in india). Hindus were not killing civilians in Nepal for making nepal a true hindu rashtra.

    syed Reply:

    @pankaj
    I think you are confusing issues. Having an Ofiicial religion is different from having a secular polity. In the contest of western countries what they mean by an official religion is simply that it i the religion pracised by the majority of the people of the country. As opposed to the official religion, the entire set of laws of those country are secular and each individual is equal to the other irrespective of religion. Further the official religion does not get any special funds from the government or any help in any manner whatsoever.

  • SKS Mumbai

    Facts on Haz subsidy
    Please refrain from quoting statistics from dubious sources. You have RTI, go and find out the actual info.

    Just a few facts:
    How much is paid by Haz pilgrims for their air fare? Rs. 12000, (roughly a month ago it was increased to Rs 16000.

    What do they get in return for Rs 12000? Air travel from some 15 odd destinations (incl. places like Patna, Srinagar etc.) to one of what are known as Hub airports and from there to Jeddah and back to their origination point i.e. One of those 15 centers (spoke airports). Remember this is not a no frills, low cost service. Go and figure, how much is the air fare for Mumbai-Patna on a full service carrier, even if you book as much in advance as you can!

    Concept of direct chartering by Haz Committee without involving the national carrier was tried at some point of time, but abandoned due to the cost and complexities. Aircrafts used for Haz are taken on lease by the national carriers on a wet basis in the peak season. During Haz, these aircrafts have no backhaul, i.e. fly empty on one leg of trip. In some years, aircraft for Haz were provide by cancelling the scheduled services, which I am sure did a lot for promoting the Brand equity of Air India.

    The subsidy required in a particular year is also dependent upon the ATF prices prevailing in that year. The subsidy paid by GOI in 2006, 07, 08 ranges between Rs 600 crs to Rs 700 crores. Also remember, that this does not take into account the administrative cost of the airlines, which is maintaining a dedicated department for Haz operations. I also doubt that there is any concept of recovering the cost of dedicated Haz terminals maintained by Airports. These are exclusive terminals operational during Haz season alone.
    (Incidentally, SA govt. has privatized the Haz Terminal at Medinah airport on Built-Operate-Transfer Basis to a company owned by Binladin Group)

    Air India and Indian have been requesting Govt.. to allow scheduled operators to compete for this business, (not exactly a monopoly scheming to protect its turf)

    A PIL was filed against Haz subsidy by some Hindutva Bigots who received a tight slap on their face, when told that GoI also provides subsidies for Hindu Pilgrims travelling to Mansarovar in Tibet. The subsidy is Rs. 200 per pilgrim.

    Some sense of the overall economics can be made by looking at the User Development Fee (UDF) charged at the privately managed airports for e. g. It is Rs 260/pax at Bengaluru for departing domestic passenger and Rs. 1070 for international passengers. Remember these charges did not exist before April 2008 and are paid by all the departing passengers for recovering a part of the investment in Common facilities (not dedicated terminals). See what Privatization does to the poor!

    Let me clarify, this is not an argument against Haz subsidy but only a reminder that if you quote statistics, use some worthy sources. Secondly, as Ashish demanded, as a truly secular state, this generosity be shown to followers of other religions also, whether it is Hindus, Christians, Leftists, Maoists, Sikhs, Buddhists.

    I, for one, am more than willing to pay some surcharge or tax, if it is used exclusively for the benefit of two of the religions mentioned above, provided the subsidy is for One way ticket only. Once this is done, supporters of imperialist forces, like me, can focus all our energies on subjugating and oppressing the poor muslims and low caste hindus.

    @Ashish/Gopi, fellow bigots, imperialists and evil capitalists::
    Take it as a warning, if we don’t do this now, we will be swept away by the forces of Revolution.

    Time to Act is. Now.
    Hey Mogambo

    [Reply]

    Syed Reply:

    @SKS
    I can also spend time & come up with different figures on the subsidy but that’s besides the point.

    If you read my earlier posts i have already said that that haj subsidy should be abolished. period.

    The ball is with the Indian state & persons like me have no say in the matter.

    And by the way, I understand that the subsidy for hindus going to Mansarovar is Rs. 20,000 per person & not Rs. 200. PLease do not take statistics from dubious sources.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Ahmedabad/Mansarovar-yatra-lures-Gujaratis/articleshow/4586243.cms

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    this is more recent phenomenon.
    Probably intented to show that after all these years Hindus are getting something.

    This also should be abolished.
    The numbers will be far far higher for Haj than Manasorovar..

    Also there is a huge difference.
    why should the country pay for supporting a religious apartheied policy of Saudi ?
    (only muslims can step into Mecca/Medinah)..
    Anyone can visit Manas sarovar.

    There is a huge difference.
    If a hindu wants to go to visit Mecca/Medina, they are not allowed by Saudi and the muslim world…

    [Reply]

    S Reply:

    hi,

    It’s not Hindus are not allowed..no other religious person is allowed.This rule has not been established by Saudi Arabia.it’s been there since Islam came……….it was not made to offend you or anybody……..

    Also a TOI report came…….an army officer with his colleague went to temple ….the second Army Officer was a muslim……….They went to temple…….then someprirest saw his name on his dress & asked him to leave……….?????????????????

    Right wing Guys love APJ Abdul Kalam,but he will also be not allowed in that temple….I am not naming the temple.it’s a very famous temple in the south…you would know

    Also you are very much invited to visit a mosque anywhere……anytime………..& if some one says ….a Hindu or non-muslim is not allowed…just tell remind him Prophet allowed ….& encouraged muslim to let non-muslims come to the mosque if they want.

    S Reply:

    Hi Sam…….a correction,

    i just searched for the reason for those rules………..i can at best say there are rule which do not allow non-muslims to enter Mecca & Medina………..but i am not sure they are based on any Islamic teching or rule of Gov………

    So…i take back my words….”This rule has not been established by Saudi Arabi.it’s been there cince Islam came……” I take them as i am not sure about their reason……………..it could be Islamic law(There are many diff in Islamic law) or law of Gov…

    Well rest of my comment …..i stand by it.

  • Syed

    Haj subsidy, shah bano (which was pampering of the muslim male at the expense of the muslim female), multiple marriages (again pampering of the muslim male) et al is not pampering of muslims per se & any intelligent person will understand this. It is just tokenism & nothing more.

    In my view mulsims can only qualify to be called pampered if the ratio of their employment in the government is more than their ratio in the population. In other words if muslims hold more than 13% (hope figure is correct) of govt jobs, then they qualify to be called pampered. However in reality they hold only around 2-3% of govt jobs.

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    good point.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    different communities have different inclinations historically..
    they are involved in different parts of the economy.
    In pre partition India, muslims held more jobs than their population percentage in UP and other areas.
    Most of them left and the rest of muslim community is probably not into govt jobs.

    Govt jobs should not the only metric.

    Our neighboring countries do not even give Diwali as a Holiday.
    No Diwali dinner by the top politicians, while hindus bend over backwards to give Iftar parties..

    [Reply]

  • Syed

    @Zia,
    I think your next article should be about giving the true picture on the great “Pampering of Indian Muslims” which everyone has heard about and believes to be true.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @Anil @Ashish @Raju @Syed @Bobby

    Anil – you brought up some good points. I would like to build on them and touch on the comments of others too.

    My fellow keralite Dr (Sreemathy) Padmaja Nair has done an excellent reserach publication for UK Institute for International Development on Madrasas in India, “The State of Madrasas in India” – historical background, sectarian rivalries, politics, trends etc .(idd/bham.ac.uk/reserach ; ISBN 0704426684). She has done an in depth analysis,and I recommend this to people who has an interest in this subject.

    Zia says “Madrasas were crucial when thy started centuries ago. They still are…..” Are they still crucial?
    “most of them area Azadi, where the focus is on theology”… Is it really theology or rot Quran recital/learning?

    It is a hogwash or only a partial truth when people say Madrasas are the only educational institution poor Muslims have in many of the neighborhoods. So many new Madrasas have come up in the last ten years; especially in the border areas/states. It has sprung up on the eastern UP-Nepal border from Janipur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Deoria, Sidharth Nagar. It has mushroomed in the Pakistani and Bengla Deshi border. Many of these are rumored to be funded by Saudi Arabia, Pakistani ISI/Dawood. As ususal, our government will be the last one to know and be prepared!

    Anyway, Zia is proposing a reasonable recommendation that Govt should not ask the religious leaders, but simply go ahead and standardize/affiliate the Madrasas unilaterally. Others, including yours truly, are recommending a complete shut down or a total hands off (even Bobby suggests a hands-off by govt) — that a secular government does not have any role in funding the religious only teaching institutes.

    Anil pointed to the fault lines drawn even when Pandiit Nehru with all his popularity could not cross. With Sibil’s proposals, battle lines have already been drawn. Mullas and Maulavis will never allow the government to touch their serfdoms. Mullahs are promoting sectarian rivalries between various sects – Deobandi, Barelvi, Hanafi, Shafi, Aht-e-Hadith etc They are whipping hatred against each other; as well as to compete for who is the most hateful against other Indians. For them, this has become a must for money raising, especially from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.

    Symbolic package or pampering or whatever, significant money and concessions are given for Madrasas ( and beyond Madrasas). The CBSE equivalency (???) will open up college admissions; The National Minority Development and Finance Corporation will give student loans at 3% (while others have to pay 13% for loans from standard banks and finnacial institutions). However, although 3% is a small interest, Muslims would like a Sharia compliant financial product; Muslim leaders already had several meetings with Pranab Mukherjee about Islamic Banking; one meeting just three days ago. Syed, here comes another pampering for you! .

    The Congress Central Govt has increased the minority religion (read Muslim) development funding by 75%, from 1100 Crore rupees last year to 1900 Crore rupees this year.

    However, it is not just Congress! Marxists in West Bengal are doing the same thing. They boosted the Muslim funding significantly this year because they lost badly in the local elections last year in Muslim high percentage areas. So, they incrreased the Department of Minority Development and Madrasa Education funding from 110 crore rupees in 2008 to 524 Crore rupees in 2009., or four times. Majority of the funding will go to upgrading 200 State Madrasas and curriculam update for private Madrasas. By comparison, the planned outlay for the whole higher education (colleges) rose to only 149 crores in 2009 from 118.5 crores in 2008 (covering 400 colleges). The budget for high school education went from 800 crores to 1093 crores (covering 50,000 high schools). Figure it out!

    Are we in a race to the bottom? Ashish put it well – you dont have to run to win the race.

    The planned Govt endorsing/affiliation/ official tecognition will further support isolationism and keep them segregated (providing a permanent vote block?). Govt affiliation should be done only if curriculums can be changed and modernized. The secularists, (Bobby excluded) in their anxiety to hold on to Muslim community are going out to aim a blow at the very secular structure of the constituition by keeping Madrasas as they are (with money accepted). One would not think that there could be a love between the religious fanatics and those who believe they are intellectiuals of the liberal, left persuation; but in India there is! They find themselves in an extraordinary role because nothing motivates them more than their passionate loarthing of India.

    The deadly combination – Mulla fanaticism and self preservation, ruling party appeasement (pamper, soft /symbolic targets?), and liberal/secularists claim on Muslims – will further isolate and marginalize the Muslim community

    I do agree with Anil’s reading on Gujrat. At the end of the day, as he said, Muslims in Gujrat will be more prosperous and integrated than Muslims in other parts of India. The latest statistics show that Muslims have alreday started relocating to Gujrat in large numbers from the northern states. They are moving to obtain the abundant, better paying jobs that are being created in Gujrat that their home states of UP and Bihar are not able to create. And there is one real, non symbolic, feeding the family opportunity! (please no comments on the progrom and Modi; we will do that another day/time)

    [Reply]

    S Singh Reply:

    @Thomas

    As a business executive, I am used to select projects basedd on the most probable and best outcome, as well as the widest utility.

    Education, poverty etc are not limited to one community or one region., although some communities and some regions have more than others. Wouldnt it be better if a pile of money and resources are allocated to bring up people below certain thresholds i? That, I believe, will eliminate this “us vs them” , plus facilitate the upliftment of the whole society faster, without leaving anybody out. We can do, for efefctive implementation, one region at a time; ie UP this year, followed by Bihar next yeare tc. Any other scheme, I believe, will only result in the “race to the bottom” as you articulated.

    [Reply]

    Raju Kurien Reply:

    Thomas,

    Zia also says “we can have an ideal mix of religious and secular subjects”. Why would tax payer fund (a specific) eligious instruction?

    Apart from all this nonsense; the sheer amount of money and effort that are expended seems like going to a “black hole”. These expenditures have been happening for long, may be not at the 2009 level, but dfinitely at a high rate and pace. And every year we are talking about the same thing – backwardness, illiteracy, exclusivity, separation, alienation — my foot!

    May be Muslims should come up with three to five meaningful plans where money can be specifically allocated for targeted goals. Simultaneously, they should also work on removing mainstreaming obstacles. People like Syed should take leadership in convincing the youngsters about shunting madrasas, keeping the religious madrasas out of govt support, definitive quantifiable result producing programs etc.

    [Reply]

  • Bobby

    I would like to clarify my position on non-religious education.

    Firstly, what I said was not from a secular or communal perspective, but rather from the point of view of the student, who I think has a right to a scientific and rational education, which no religiously affiliated school can provide. Be it madarssas, RSS shishu mandirs, ramakrishna missions or other hindu organizations and/or christian missionary school.

    I think no religious body should be allowed in mainstream teaching. They can have their weekend schools where they can teach about their religious values or something like that, but mainstream education has to be an independent affair.

    So my position on this issue is much stronger. I feel that when it comes to children, till now the govt position is that the parents have a right to teach their kids in which ever school the want , be it religious schools or public schools.

    I think once we think from the perspective of the children, then the situation is different. I feel that every child has a right to a scientific education, which is non religious and rational.

    However I do not think that the Madarssas are a threat to national security even remotely, at least in India. They would be less of a threat than say RSS run indoctrination centers, where future rioters get brainwashed, and citizens are produced with a fantasy in their minds of some mythic akhand-bharat streching from burma to afghanistan (or the arctic region depending how much brainwashed one has bee!), or are taught to be “ultra patriotic”

    So my position is not based on a secular/communal perspective, nor on the issue of security.

    [Reply]

    Shoeb K Reply:

    Bobby:

    There is nothing wrong in a RamaKrishna Mission or St Josephs School (or for that matter a Madrasa –then it will not be Madrasa!) educating children using the prescribed standardized(such as CBSI) syllabus and getting government aid (I do not know much about who gets aid and who does not get) as long as they do not teach/indoctrinate religious stuff. It can be government schools (as you imply, I guess), or private schools that are run by individuals, corporations, or religious/charity organizations.

    As far as I know, madaris are the only ones who focus exclusively on religion. I studied in St Josephs School and Vivekanada College; I was not subjected to any subjects other than the standard science, language, math, social sciences syllabi.

    Madaris that teach only religion (Azadi and Dini Talim variety) have become a threat to the world. The role of madraris in Pakistani and Afghani terrorism, including the cross-border terrorism against India is well known. Somebody on this blog documented about the penetration of UK Muslim terrorists in Pakistani madaris. While I hope Indian Madaris will be free from terrorists, I do not count on it. Part of my reason is based on the ambivalence of Deobandis, that we do not need jehadism here, but it is OK in Pakistan and Afghanistan and other select places.

    And who is for “Akhan Bharath” ? Has any organization asked for it or working towards that? Why would anybody, even a Muslim (leave alone Hindus), want a Pakistan and a Bengla Desh to be appropriated to his country, unless he has a self-destructive suicidal trend? What do they bring to the table other than lots of poor, illiterate people including lot of jehadis (and lot of madaris!)

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Do not blame just muslims.

    they can ask anything they want.

    it is upto to the majority community to agree to it or not to agree to it.

    when hindus are asked to just bend a little bit, they will crawl.

    so they are also to be blamed..

    things should have been set right after independance.
    now it is too hard and too big of a problem.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @ Bobby
    Ramakrishna Mission run schools produce the BEST results in West Bengal,, single digit rankers in IIT-JEE,, RK Mission schools in Rahara and Narendrapur were partcularly well known.
    no, I never studied there..
    Don’t start equating Madrassas with RK Mission schools.

    [Reply]

  • Bobby

    Dear Ashish,

    Like on many other topics, we can agree to disagree. Nobody is comparing Madarsas to Ramakrishna mission. Nor does it matter whether students from RKM do well in written competetive exams. I am sure, even madarsas, with sufficient infrastrcture, who can afford good teachers, can also churn out IIT toppers, if good students join there in the first place. Also several Christian missionary schools do produce good students.

    I have problems when religious organizations, start teaching kids in schools as a principle, because at some level they introduce nonsense, and propagate their religious/spiritual BS.

    For instance, I was just checking a website of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith.

    This is what the prosectus of the website says:

    “Our Motto” (Quoting Swami Vivekanada)
    ……. What we want are western science coupled with vedanta, bhramacharya as the guiding motto…….

    Then the prospectus had a section on the education part. One part was titled:

    “Religious and value education”

    ……”The students are made acquainted with the essential ideas of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna”……..”In the vidyapith, students find themselves in an atmosphere where moral and religious traits of character grow imperceptebly ”

    Then there is a section on prayer; On how there are morning and evening prayers to “help inculcate good values in life” and chanting of vedic hyms and reading holy books and such c r a p.

    So all in all the same old BS in some form or another.

    Some of the publications of the institute are:

    (1)Vivekananda Katha O Galpa – A supplementary reader in Bengali (classes VI & VII)
    (2)Vivekananda Ki Laghu Kathaein – A supplementary reader in Hindi (classes VI & VII)
    (3)Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada and Swami Vivekananda – A publication in Santhali

    Basically hindu myths and s h i t t y ideas like vedanta. I wonder what happens if some kid says in class that I think Mr Ramakrishna suffered from epilliptic seizures, and not visions of mother Kali?

    Where is the scientific temperament being inculcated?

    Then the web page also had some “section on the life of ramakrishna, his wife and his disciple vivekanada.

    This described the usual mumbo jumbo of how Ramakrishna sat in the kali temple and some rays came from kali’s idol and he fell unconscious, and how “he had reached the highest state of realization in which he saw God in all beings”……. duh!

    I could go on about the BS it says in the section on sarada devi, but its not necessary.

    Clearly these regressive values and false, unscietific ideas are not what a modern kid should read and inculcate.

    Anyways, we all have our separate opinions, but I personally think its best that kids are not exposed to such nonsense at an early age.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Is RKM, RSS Shishu mandirs getting govt subsidy ?

    Is there any jihadist from those schools ?

    Only madrassah take govt subsidy and produce useless people for building a new and progressive society..
    Then those koran brain washed people try to blow up secular societies..

    [Reply]

    Shoeb K Reply:

    Bobby

    The RKM and “St” Schools do not teach religious subjects like Madaris do. I stiudied in St Josephs and Vivekanada College; I never had to attend a single religious class.

    By the way, it was totally uncalled for ridiculing Vedanta or Swami Vivekanada. Well, you are in India; so you can say anything you want.

    I do not think Madraris students will get into IIT and similar high end institutes, even if all the “ifs” are addressed. W e have an education deficit, a big reason for that being our own Umma, as you yourself can observe all over the Islamic world. The education deficit – in quantity and quality – will not be filled neither in India nor in other Islamic countries for many many years to come, if at all it happens; which is quite unlikely under our current scenarios. It has nothing to do with India government policies or any other Islamic mcountry policies.

    You mentioned that you do not think Indian Madaris will not be connected with terrorism unlike madaris in other countries. Can you please articulate how you arrived at that conclusion?

    I am not that optimistic. The Deobandi fatwa (which they did not issue until the middle of the last year) against terrorism was vague and not unequivocally criticizing Islamic Jihadism. In fact, they did not even use the word Jihadism They left many terms for interpretation; such as ‘innocent” “circumstance’ etc . Their main positioning was on linkage, how unjust it is to label all Muslims as terrorists , while others are not labelled that way (implying unjust things are sufficient reasons for jihad). As you may know, Maulana Fazal Rahman, the leader of Pakistan’s ultra hardline Jamait Ulema-e- Islam visited Darul Uloom just two months ago. This was after Darul Uloom diotanced itself from Pakistani Deobandis when the terrorist attacks started in Afghanistanm and Pakistan four eyars ago. As you may know, Deobandi Darul uloom’s syllabus on Jihad (it will be simply unbelievable for our non-Muslim friends to know that Madaris have syllabus for Jihad!) is absed on Hedaya (and not on Quran). Hedaya is rigid set of rules and reasoning for jihad,, far ‘tougfher” than Quran, and not used in any teaching program in any other Madrasas other than in Deobandi Madaris of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and affiliated ones. I, for one, is concerned about its syllabus, its “luminant” alumni, its proximity to the goonda and terrorist center f Azamgarh (Dawood ibrahim, Salim and many nunderworld goondas are from Azamgarh). I pray that I am wrong. I will definitely be interested where your optiimism is coming regarding the decoupling of terrorism from Indian madaris while Pakistani, Afghani,a nd other madaris, especially Deobandis, have produced ‘world class” terrorists.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    WOW.

    They have a class on Jihad ?

    What are its syllabus and course contents ?

    what is the homework like ?

    I read the fatwa from Deoband and it was really vague.
    it has to define who is a terrorist, what acts are terrorism and who is an innocent.

    Without clear definitions of those, it is just not worth the importance some people want it to be..

    [Reply]

    Shoeb K Reply:

    @ Sam

    Yes; Darul uloom has Jihad in its syllabi! Well, do not get excited – it does not teach suicide bombing (that will be there when they upgrade the syllabus and curriculam)

    Well, on the serious note, it talks about approach to other religions, believer vs infidels etc, right stuff/context for jihad etc . You can say it is a combination of your “yoga” (except the physical yoga) (just imagine there were Jehadi centers all over the world instead of Yoga centers!).

    Deobandis are the only one following the “tough” text book (Heyda), even Wahabis do not follow that.

    Ashish Reply:

    @Bobby,
    I am frankly not in a positon to debate Vedanta and stuff with you.. whether it is **** or not.. not competent enough.
    I am an atheist, but, I do not deny the role religion played in my early upbringing and inculcating values. I come from a deeply religious family. I studied in free government schools in Calcutta and Delhi and in both places, the morning prayer was part of the ritual (stand in line.. shift from one foot to another.. glad it is over.. now, get back to class).
    In the Delhi school, we did the same prayer “Om Tamasa ma jyotirgamaya..” every day. In Calcutta, we did a song a day in junior classes.. it would as likley be Vande Mataram, or Saare Jahaan Se Achchha or Dhana Dhanye Pushpe Bhara (extolling the virtues of Bengal)..
    I have never studied in a Christian MIssionary school; but, I am sure a lot of folks on this blog have. I am again very curious to know if anyone of them felt they were being indoctrinated. Xaviers Cal/ Xaviers Chennai/ Stephens Delhi… Xaviers Delhi.. c’mon guys.., anyone?
    As for the curriculum in RK Mission that gets your goat:
    (1)Vivekananda Katha O Galpa – A supplementary reader in Bengali (classes VI & VII)
    (2)Vivekananda Ki Laghu Kathaein – A supplementary reader in Hindi (classes VI & VII)
    (3)Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada and Swami Vivekananda – A publication in Santhali
    I do not think you know much about Vivekananda or Ramakrishna for that matter. Ramakrishna, was barely literate. He did not propagate a religion; he did not establish an order or a cult. He propagated home truths about how a man should conduct himself in dometic life. He left no published work; his discussions with his disciples have been collected and scribed by many; there is a definitive version by, if my memory serves me right, by one Achintya Kumar Sengupta (also available in translation). To the best of my knowledge and belief (and I am no expert), there is not a word he has ever said which is denigrating any religion. Ditto, Swami Vievekananda.
    This is the first time I have ever seen anyone, ask for Vivekananda or Ramakrishna’s teachings to be purged from curriculum. Is there anyone else in this country asking for this? I am really very very curious.
    The Ramakrishna mission is egalitarian, devotes itself to charity and education and judging by some of the products of the system of education that I have had the honour of knowing, should be proud of its contribution to society.
    All religions rely on imagery and mythmaking to make a point. Even if Ramakrishna had epileptic seizures, it did not produce jehadi foot soldiers. It produced people and continues to produce those that would be an asset to any society. So, maybe that currciulum is all right, and your curriculum (and I am really curious at this stage at the breadth of your education that allows you to comment on such a lot of subjects) needs re-visiting.
    Back to Vedanta; please find someone else on this forum to explain why Vedanta is all BS.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    Dear Bobby

    Belief is one thing; but insulting is a totally different thing. It looks like you are taking the Jeev Twins (your term) place since they are not here.. Bad, bad, bad…

    Swami Vivekananda did a marvelous thing to awaken a despirited and demoralized people through his clarion call “Uthishtitha! Jagratha! Prapyavaren Nibhodita!” . He is rrespected across the world (I just did a Google hit, there are 1.5 million references today, after 110 years of his death). He was agreat man who accomplished quite a lot in his brief 39 years.

    It is really unfortunate to drag him in the madrasa discussion. He is far above madrasas and temples and churches.

    Disagree; but do not insult, especially those people (like Swami Vivekanada) who have lot of people who respect him. Disagree with Vedanta or whatever, present your arguments; but please do not insult.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    I foregot to mention references for Osama Bin Laden – he has 7.6 million; the times we live in!.

    [Reply]

    S Singh Reply:

    Mr Bobby

    Earlier in the blog you stated that there is nothing wrong in government funding the Haj travel for Mulslims because Mecca is an important place and visit there an important part of their faith. I find this starnge coming from a secularist.

    Here you are ridiculing Sri Rama Krishna and Swami Vivekananda, whom many people revere as a part of their spiritual life..

    Do not get it! I

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    @ SKS
    Equal outcome:

    Sorry I was not able to respond earlier due to time issues as currently I am a single parent to 2 very active children.

    The figures given here are only indicative as I have not had had time to get them .Feel free to put the exact figures.
    Though I have not read the sachar report, I take your word as regards recruitment to what is called Group A services in the Central Government ie. that there is no discrimination on the basis of religion. I think you can more or less assume the same for Group B services. However what’s of relevance is that officers belonging to Group A & B services constitute just 1% or so of the total strength of the government. The meat is in group C & D ie. clerks, drivers, carpenters, peons, plumbers, sweepers etc. who comprise 99% of the govt. staff. Here also that muslims comprise 2%of the total staff. This is one segment which has not been examined by Sachar. I wonder why?

    The mode of recruitment of grade C & D staff varies with departments and governemtns (Central & State). Broadly you can classify it as:
    1) Through a written exam followed/not followed by an interview.
    2) Through direct interview (common).
    3) Persons are employed on a “temporary basis” and then quietly regularized later (quite common)
    4) Appointments by politicians and top bureaucrats (very common especially in state governments).
    I would also like to add that its been my personal experience that muslim drivers/trades people are better in their work than hindus (have to figure it out why). So on these grounds only you would expect them to at least exceed 2% but that’s not so.
    Why? In my view the reasons are:

    a) Religious discrimination – while our polity is secular, a secular person is rare.
    b) A lot of appointees are through political & bureaucratic contact – (Check recent police recruitment scam in UP). Very few muslims have such contacts.
    c) Money- A lot of posts are sold to the highest bidder-Muslims have a problem here also as economically they are at the bottom.
    d) Written exams papers are routinely leaked and sold to people who have contacts and money.
    So cut out muslims here also. Incidentally this is a very common racket. Scams which do come to light are not even the tip of the iceberg & as everyone is on the take.

    Muslims hold about 2% of government posts. Based on the equal outcome theory they should be holding 13 % ie a shortfall of 11%.
    So how much are muslim losing in the process?
    Taking a figure of say Rs. 500,000 crores (give or take a couple of lac crores) as the annual total spent by Central and State Govt. on employees salaries and wages, muslims are losing Rs. 55,000 crores per year. And we are not even talking of other perks such as free housing, free family medical etc. etc.
    Now THAT’S a figure I would call pamper worthy. How does this compare with haj subsidy of Rs. 200 crores (OK, make it 500 crores) on which you are having heart attacks.

    So what can be done?

    1) We should examine whether issues highlighted at points (a-d) can be eliminated. Can it be done -My conclusion – NO.
    2) If we cannot eliminate these issues then in the fitness of things I feel that posts in grade C & D in the government should be reserved on the basis of ratio of population (howls of protest doth I hear?). Grade C & D are not decision making posts and anyone with even a basic level of intelligence can do justice to them. The outlay of the government on salaries and wages is collected from all of us a through taxes without discrimination. All of us pay income tax, sales tax, excise, various cesses etc. etc. In all fairnees it should also come back to all of us in the same manner. Will the govt do this – NO
    3) If religion based reservation is not possible then at the very least India should have the honesty to declare that that all govt jobs will go to the majority community as indeed is the de facto position, give or take a couple of percentage points. Then, we can finally give a decent burial to the issue of pampering of Indian muslims. Will it be done – My conclusion – NO, because India loses its moral high ground vis a vis other countries.

    So SKS congratulations, you are having the cake and eating it too! First of all you are getting 55000+ crores annual pamper subsidy (I would like to call it subsidy as everyone knows how much work is there in the govt). On top of that you accuse muslims of being pampered. Seems like a classical case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    And hey, don’t worry, you have not hurt me at all. That’s your style of expression and taken in good spirit.

    [Reply]

    indian Reply:

    Very nice analysis and well presented. You are very true when you say Muslims are underrepresented in C and D category jobs. In north you will find lot of Muslim truck or jeep driver, but corresponding ratio of drivers in government job is around 1 %. Most of the private mechanics are Muslims but you rarely find any mechanic in government job!!

    Bobby Reply:

    Dear S Singh,

    It does not contradict any secular principles. For Instance , Sikhs are allowed to keep beards and a turban, unlike others in the army and even other places, where it would have been disallowed as a rule. This is not against secularism. Same here.

    Any civilized state/society should help minorities/ poor/ un-empowered people to live a life of dignity and happiness.
    My point was simply that if it is the case that a Haj trip is mandatory on every muslim, then given the fact that most muslims are poor in India, a civilized state ,as I want India to be, should help them in this.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    It is not mandatory, if they are taking money from the govt.

    Where in the Koran it says, that they can take a Kuffar govt’s money to make this trip ?

    So now the govt should also find 4 girls for every man to marry ?
    (make it a 6 yr old girl for a 54yr old man to marry, as Mohd did)…

    Bobby Reply:

    The problem with the idea of having reservations based only on economic status is that it misses the key point that poverty can be of the cultural kind as well. This is definetly true for instance among various castes.

    This is an interesting interview of “Dr. P. Radhakrishan” in Rediff:
    http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2009/oct/12/slide-show-1-brahmins-dominate-all-modern-professions.htm

    As he stresses,

    “You cannot condemn a hard working person because of his background; all the same, it is important to note that his achievements in life are certainly linked to his cultural capital. Only the privileged class has cultural capital.”

    Another interesting point he makes:

    “As early as the 1880s, the British administration had reported that a poor Brahmin cannot be compared to a poor untouchable for the simple reason that the poverty of a Brahmin is only economic, but the poverty of an untouchable is both economic and cultural.”

    This is the key point that proponents of “economic reservations only” miss.

    One can argue that this is not true for the case of muslims, because muslims were the rulers of India for centuries before the british, unlike the untouchables and/or dalits. However, it should be recognized that most of the muslims today are converts of lower caste hindus. In fact its interesting that people who have done well, as for instance Sir Syed, Jinnah , A.R. Rehman and also Azim Premji are all upper caste converts.

    So its not right to just talk of “economic reservations”. We are excluding important issues from the consideration.

    Shoeb K Reply:

    Wouldn’t the disadvantaged dalit be included if economic base is the consideration? (Obviosuly, if he is rich, he can pay into many private educational institutions and would not want a seat in govt instituitions).

    If cultural depravity is the reason, how is that deficiency going to be reduced by reservation? Wouldnt it be further deepened because of the reality that one is not smart enough or capable enough; nevertheless got into an institution just because of religion or caste? Wouldnt thet economic based scheme be more of a leveler because there is no other categorization in that grouping?
    Economic based system will advance more people faster; ina ddition , it will take into account the ups and downs families will have in their lives, and is the most effective leveler, as well as a better cerator of national wealth.

    If cultural deficieny is the issue, who will decide that cultural equality has been accomplished and the group acn be taken out? Or, will thsi continue in perpetuity?

    Any other basis other tahn economic criteria creates situations like teh Gujjars agitating to eb included in the bottom, “uncultured” group. And our vote bank oriented politicians will be more than eager to accommodate them and make them uncultured.

    So, when does a group get taken out? Can the government include new groups in?

    Are there some groups who are good at education and others who are not? For example, why are Muslims generally low on the education curve all across teh world, including in the Islamic Countries? is it because of a different cultural focus (war oriented society, nomadic life, or a cultural disdain against learning, or a religious misinterpretation as to what learning is). I read somewhere that Morocco had only five doctors and ten engineers as recentlly as early 1960s.

    Keeping caste/religion based reservations will only perpetuate and cement the divisions and animosities. We have done it for 60 years; far longer than the original creators intended and anticipated. There is no meaning in continuing the same thing that has not resulted in a major impact in poverty reduction , or as you said making them “cultured” or more importantly, accepting/grading them into the cultuer club. I believe it is time to try newer methods and approaches.

    / ebcause perception

    Sam Reply:

    >
    >However, it should be recognized that most of the muslims today are converts of lower caste hindus

    if muslims want reservations, what is stopping them from coming back to their fore fathers religion of Hindu and getting them ?

    One has to remember that most of the original conversions to islam were done under sword or economic oppression (like jizya) or just to get along with the muslim invaders (almost all the top jobs under muslim kings were “reserved” for muslims)..

    Sam Reply:

    some interesting reading

    http://www.apostatesofislam.com/alternate_main.htm

  • Bobby

    Ashish,

    Firstly I have not denigrated either vivekanada or ramakrishna personally. They were kind people, with sense of fairness and empathy towards the poor, which I respect. However I firmly believe their views, especially religious and spiritual, is nonsense and I will say so. I think every religious philosophy is BS and false.

    For example Gandhi was a very great man; but even he had his share of nonsensical views on religion and bhramacharya. So even though I have great regard for him as a human being, his idiotic views I will criticize, and I hope they are never introduced into school.

    @Shoeb,

    I dont think madarasas have any big role in promoting terrorism. Hardly one percent of the madrassas in south asia would be involved in any manner in promoting terrorism. Osama Bin Laden, and most of the attackers on 9/11 were western-educated, so was the “american taliban”. Of course there will be some special madarsas who are used as jihad factories, but those would be constructed for specially this reason, as a political tool. Most madarasas would be simply bad schools.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Bobby,
    you just confirmed my suspicion that you have only learnt about Ramakrishna or Vivekananda through hurried internet searches..
    I am getting really curious about your level and source of education now.. care to level with us?

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    Dear Ashish,

    My knowledge of Ramakrishna and vivekananda, is from so to speak colloquial sources. Living in kolkata during my teens, most of my neighbours were bengali hindus, who all had big respect for both these guys, and would tell their stories quite a few times.

    While no doubt they were good human beings, I am not in awe of either of them. For that reason alone, I would be the last person to waste time surfing about them or their lives in the internet, because, arrogant as it may sound, I dont think there is anything in particular I have to learn from either of them.

    My level of education is irrelevant, but since you asked, I am currently a postdoc in High Energy Physics…(age 30, just in case you are interested in that info as well.)

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Bobby,
    wasn’t asking about the degrees.. sorry if it came out that way..
    I was just curious about a breadth of education that seems to be able to comment on anything and everything..
    High energy physics.. so perhaps Capra is more your scene; and no, it is not a sarcastic comment. I stopped my physics with Feynmann :-)
    And, dude, learning does not stop and it does not/ should not be limited to only the point of view that you agree with. It is easy to be dismissive about a whole body of work that moves millions but before you dismiss anything, at least spend some time researching why or what those millions see in it.
    Ramakrishna’s teachings and Vivekananda’s vision to build institutions which focus on what he felt were the biggest problems of his time (and frankly, have they changed significantly in the last 100 years?), namely education, character building, health.. are laudable. After generations of their passing away, Ramakrishna mission still endures, prospers and serves the people. Much before “social sector” became a fashionable term, Vivekananda put the focus on it. Read some more; don’t let the saffron robe fool you. He was a man to whom focus on alleviation of poverty, illiteracy, character building .. was key. Please understand, RK Mission does not focus on religious education, nor does it have a political message. No sloganeering, no political arm-wrestling for space, no angling for grants..
    If you were a little more accepting, you will notice that many of their high performance schools like in Purulia and Deoghar are not traditional centres for education. These are very backward, tribal belts where these monks have gone and set up world class schools. And, no, Bobby, they do not have a conversion agenda. Most of the monks are extremely well educated (in conventional disciplines), the teachers in these schools are probably worth 20 times what they get paid should they care to look outside..
    I know of someone who passed out of IITK CSE (AIR 2 when he joined) and he works in Belur Math as a computer teacher.. I know how much his batchmates make today.
    Disagree with reasons, sure. Go ahead, it’s a democracy. But, juxtaposing Madrassas with RK Mission purely to score debating points is not right.

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @Ashish

    I had an occasion to listen to Swami Renga Natha Ananda, when he was the President of the Mission; it was a profound, change causing speech.

    Swami Vivekanada, in a sense, initiated Kerala’s social progress more than a century ago. One would find it difficult o believe now; Kerala Hindus had the worst form of caste/untouchability/”pollution” system than any other part of India at that time. There were rules of distance (a lower caste person should walk xx ft behind), sight (untouchable should not be in the sight, and if so will be punished) etc etc. Dr Palpu, a lower caste physician practising in Banaglore (because he could not practise in Kerala), visted Swami Vivekanada and Sister Nivedita, explained the situation, and requested Swami Vivekanada to visit Kerala (Malbar – Travancore). Swamiji visited, witnessed the mistreatment, and at the end of his visit, in 1897, made the famous speech”Kerala (Malabar) is a lunatic asylum, Malabaris are all lunatics and they are to be treated with derison by every race in India until they mend their manners and stop these evil and wicked customs”.

    He instructed Dr Palpu that locally brewed social movements with local ledaership are needed for tarnsforming a society; and several movements started in Kerala after swamiji’s visit and speech, including a leading one , Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham (SNDP). All these movements had tremendous impact to transform the society, resulting in widespread education, womens involvement, political involvement,rights awareness etc.

    All these led to several social and political “firsts” in India to happen in Kerala. One of the most important one was the opening of Temples to all castes in early 1930, with the “Temple Entry Proclamation” by the King of Travancore. Kerala was the first region to do so.

    Ashish Reply:

    @Gopi,
    thank you; that was really touching.
    It also told me how little I know about Kerala and its recent history.
    To most Bengalis, the South India chapter in Vivekananda’s life opened and closed with his meditating in Kanyakumari.. thanks, for making me really curious now.

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @Ashish

    Thanks. Swamiji’s Kanyakumari trip was at thet tail end of his Kerala trip (secularists can say after seeding the Socialist ethos in Kerala!) .

    Have you been to Kanyakumari and Vivekananda Rock? If not, be there for sunset and sunrise. No wonder, Swamiji got his real motivation there.

    Also, you can see a red foot imprint on the rock ; the legend being that Sati/Parvathi in the advanced stages of her “thapas” there; she stood on one foot for days and nights leaving a blood imprint.. Another piece for you Hindwata guys… hahaha

    “Atmano Mokshartham Jagatharthiya”

    Uthishtita! Jagratha ! Prapavaryen Nibhodita!

    Looks like not all is lost. Your IIT friend working at the mission, I am sure, is just one of the many!

    I

    Ashish Reply:

    @Gopi,
    Let me hasten to clarify, not my IIT friend.. friend of friends; I did not go to IITK.
    I have not been to Kanyakumari either; will remember your advice if I do.

    BTW, I actually looked up Ramakrishna MIssion on the web; and on the “About Ramakrishna Order” even the word Hindu is not mentioned. They make some points which are worth repeating here:
    “Basic Features
    · The ideology of the Ramakrishna Order is traditional in spirit yet modern in outlook, essentially spiritual and also practical in everyday life and universal suited to all irrespective of region or religion

    · Emphasizes on the essential divinity all beings

    · Believes that every religion is essentially true and if followed sincerely can lead to realization of the Supreme Ideal

    · Believes that service to fellow beings is service to God since each being is God’s manifestation and this service is not piety as commonly understood”

    http://www.sriramakrishna.org/rkmoveintro.php

    Vivekananda, what little I have read of him, was a true renaissance man. He had zero patience with bigotry, meaningless rituals and superstition. What is incredible though, is how amazingly modern Ramakrishna’s thoughts were in many respects.

    Bobby Reply:

    @Ashish and Gopi,

    This discussion is really a side track, but nevertheless, I have some final points to make since i think you are not understanding my position.

    I have never said that the RKM is involved in conversion, because I do not consider it a big deal if they did. Right to preach, practice and propagate one’s religion is a fundamental right the constitution gives to every Indian citizen.

    My point is that any religious/spiritual organization at some level propogates psuedo-science which may sound good, but at the end of the day really restricts the growth of the individual. For instance lets look at the points that Ashish mentions he saw at the website of the RKM.

    I have a problem with each of the points that is mentioned.

    · Emphasizes on the essential divinity all beings
    ——————————————————————————-

    There is no such thing as an “essential divinity of beings”. We are not divine, we are merely creatures evolved out of other animals, which are now extinct, and we know this through fossil records, which are being discovered at regular intervals. Innumerable evidence now exists as to how modern man and really all life has evolved from non-life. This truth is far more beautiful and amazing than any ideas that vedanta or any other non-truths tell us.

    · Believes that every religion is essentially true and if followed sincerely can lead to realization of the Supreme Ideal
    ————————————————————————–

    Again from current scientific understanding , this is nonsense. Every religion is not true, in fact every religion is WRONG. Religion was the attempt of prehistoric and “pre-scientific” man to understand the world around him. Now we know through “modern experimental science”, how the world works, and there is no other way of knowing except by experimenting. Not by going into a samadhi.

    Today there is a much better understanding of how mystics of the past, may have had those experiences. One theory is that they undergo “epiliptic seizures in the brain”. People today study, what happens when people meditate etc. Please go through the works of Dr V. S. Ramachandran. You can watch his programmes on Youtube. Just click the name. He is one of the world experts on Neurobiology.

    · Believes that service to fellow beings is service to God since each being is God’s manifestation and this service is not piety as commonly understood”
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Service to fellow humans is a good thing, but the rest is bad. The thing that should be taught in school is that though most people in the world beleive in God, but there is NO proof of any such GOD, and that service to mankind is an evolutionary trait which evolved in man at some point of time. Crucial point: you dont need to believe in God “to love your neighbour”. We possess those faculties by merely being human. Again, one can read the work of Richard Dawkins or many others on this issue.

    This is what should be taught at school. The truths that modern science has taught us, not the “man is divine” mumo-jumbo.

    I hope I was able to clarify my position. This is not an attack on Ramakrishna or Vivekananda. They believed what they believed at their time, but modern science has brought in a new perspective as to how to understand the universe.
    And I firmly believe that its the birth right of every child to get this knowledge.

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @Ashish @Bobby

    “Om Purnamadh purnamidham purnat purnamudachaye
    Purnasya Purnamadaya purnamevashishyate”

    (That (………….) is full (perfect). This (………) is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness; all that remains is fullness ).. an Indian scientist/thinker from 3000 BC (to be secualr, I keep the source anonymous)

    Well, science is moving at a slow pace; sometimes discovering, and many times rediscovering; philosophy is moving at a different speed; man’s eternal search yet at another speed. Recent subatomic reserach has proven all matter is interconnected/entangled in a simple/single unified mesh..Did some people sit on the banks of Indus milleniums ago and discuss the theory of entanglement?

    An atom was supposed to be just in one place until recently. Rationalists ridiculed when a simpleton guy said “I saw this Sufi saint in Ajmer” when somebody else saw the same Sufi in Hyderabad at the same time – How can it be?. Now comes the theory, (re)discovered by scientists in Denver few years ago that an atom/matter can be at multiple places at the same time.

    We can discuss these and other things, including Hiesenberg & Schrodinger’s kernel idea, and esoteric subjects like String theory, Subatomic matter etc at a later time. And the fourth war of Panipat too.

    Dawkins (“The Greatest Show on Earth”)have some important things to say (God is not dead, because he was never alive); Karen Armstrong (“Th eCase for God” )has some equally important things to say (God beyond God). We will discuss these another time, another day.

    But what I want to narrate is an incident in GuruDev Tagore’s life. This is an incident that changed GuruDev; and had a great impact on my own understanding and development.

    As you all know GuruDev was from a very rich family. He had a lavish houseboat which he used to float in the Hoogly river. He did most of his writing during ceratin seasons in his houseboat. He used to think and write late into the night. One evening, he was writing very late into the night. The drapes were drawn down on all the windows so that the candle light stayed inside. Gurudev felt sleepy and decided to go out on the deck for some fresh air.

    He saw an amazing sight (for the first time in his life). It was full moon; so he could see the whole river and beyond. The Hoogly water was shining like silver; and the trees and plants and the sand on the banks were basking in the bright moonlight. GuruDev was just dazed. Then he started thinking – that he shut down the drapes of his boat so that the “little” light (candle light) could not go out; preventing the “big light” from coming in.

    Many a time we guard our puny little light preventing the deep and broad “big light” coming inside..

    Gurudev’s best books, including Gitanjali, were written after this revelation.

    Now back to madrasas! hahahah

    Bobby Reply:

    @Ashish and Gopi,

    I happened to look at the webpage that Ashish linked. He forgot to add two more points that appear on that page, apart from the other three he mentioned:

    (1)Believes that an ideal personality will combine the practice of Jnana, Bhakti, Yoga and Karma

    (2)Believes in the avatarahood of Sri Ramakrishna

    Now combined with the other three that Ashish mentioned, this makes the ideology of the Ramakrishna order completely religious and irrational. A good reason to not allow it to brainwash kids.

    @Gopi.

    ““I saw this Sufi saint in Ajmer” when somebody else saw the same Sufi in Hyderabad at the same time – How can it be?. Now comes the theory, (re)discovered by scientists in Denver few years ago that an atom/matter can be at multiple places at the same time.”

    Clearly you have no clue of the topic that you are commenting on. Its always a good idea to not discuss things one has no clue about. You are sounding as crackpotish as Baba Ramdev does when he comments on methods to “cure homosexuality”.

    Ashish Reply:

    @ Bobby,
    I did not forget; it was deliberate, the omission. Because I knew you would love it and take advantage of Zia’s hospitality to run a parallel blog on “atheism: the cure to all ills”.
    Funny, I am having to defend a religious movement here; not a corner I usually find myself in, let me assure you.
    Okay, so, for one last time.
    Jnana: Knowledge
    Bhakti: Devotion
    Yoga: Meditation (well, loosely)
    Karma: Work
    - what is the problem with any of these words? You do not think these are nice components to a personality? (I am in a particularly nice mood today; or else the question would be worded differently :-) )
    - In addition to the other 3 points .. okay so, let’s see them
    All religion is WRONG; no Bobby, they are not wrong. They are just POVs. To me a God is just the fifth level of Maslow’s pyramid. A religion or a philosophy or spiritualism is one of many ways of explaining and guiding our relationship with people and to relate to the wider world around us.
    You are absolutely right; you do not need any God to be good (actually you don’t need God to be bad either) But, what you need is reinforcement of certain ideals. In much younger days, my smart alec answer to the question “are you married?” was always, “Yes, to some principles”.
    As an engineer (a disgrace to the institute that suffered my presence for 4 years), I understand the tendency to reduce the world to a set of equations and formulae. It does not quite work like that. Science explains many things but is still inadequate for things that are beyond explanations. And, in fact I would rather science stayed out of those. For instance, reducing love to a play of phermones… ugh.
    To sum up, I may not need God; to pray to or need his thoughts to keep me from straying. But, I can readily accommodate/ co-exist with another point of view. So long as that point of view is not aggressively proclaiming supremacy or monopoly rights.
    You seem to think that religion and liberal thoughts and a questioning attitude can not co-exist. Also, atheism or rationalism, as practiced by many are as intolerant and uni-dimensional as any “time stops, now” medieval belief system that exist today. We are discussing a value system that says, “to work for the service of mankind is true religion”.. and follows that up with creating institutions that are creating model citizens with not a whiff of scandal or allegations of intolerance or bigotry. This supposedly HIndu religious order does not even mention the word Hindu once and goes on to proclaim that all religions are a way of attaining the supreme ideal. So, what’s your objection? That someone even dares to have an ideal?
    So, okay, shut them down. Nothing in this country surprises me any more.

  • SKS Mumbai

    Dear Shoeb
    I have to say your doubts about what is taught THERE are unfounded.
    I also had doubts about this ambuguity, till I came across some online stuff approximately 11 months ago.

    Guess, what would be the response to a question (or fatwa) on these lines
    “What does the holy Quran say regarding the terrorists who in the name of Islam are spreading terror and killing innocent people and also waging a war against our own country. How should they be treated? What should the general muslims do if they have any information on such kind of people.

    The answer is illuminating and online

    Take another one: After detailed study I have realized that it is obligatory for us to make efforts to establish our law on earth, but given our current status, I am finding it difficult what to do?

    The online answer reflects a moderate point of view saying there are some CPs (what lawyers call as conditions precedent) which need to be fulfilled first.

    Check them out when you have time, I don’t think it will take too much time, with evil western search engines operating.

    [Reply]

    Shoeb K Reply:

    Thanks, SKS.

    Dont they sound like secularists and liberals? Man, it is scary. Gopi mentioned about the deadly combination of Mullahs and liberals’ ownership of us; it looks like uloom guys are taking classes from the liberals/secularists.

    They are good at “if”s “buts” “however” ” depending on”…. almost looks like they took a course under Prof Bobby!

    (it is hilarious they have a fatwa library; jihad syllabus; progress indeed !) The scary part is that 65% of the stupid madaris is affiliated with these guys!

    I do hear about the evil cretaors of the evil serach engines on the rare Fridays when my mother pushes me to the mosque. They are obsessed with America (liberals!) The most compassionate and merciful ones (hahahah!) are full of anger and hatred; I have never heard the mention of “Sabr” from these stupid people’s mouth!

    I do think Sibil is good; and he has good intentions (may be even opposed to the party position); but he cannot save the system..

    [Reply]

  • S Singh

    @Shoeb @ SKS @ Thomas

    It will be interesting what Pakistan does to its madrasas after the army exercise currently underway. The media, and I think, to a great extent the public , is blaming the Deobandi madrasas and the government’s lapse in monitoring/regulating them.

    Many on this blog say Indian madrasas education is different from Pakistani madrasa program. Is it based on specific reserach/study?

    Has GOI compared the programs? Or, will we find ourselves in a situation where these madrasa graduates are hurling bombs in our streets?

    Will Sibil’s proposal ensure there is adequate “inspections and controls” so that these do not end up like Pakistani madrasas?

    [Reply]

  • Raju Kurien

    Jehadism/Terrorism update —

    1)Pakistani Canadian arrested in Chicago onn a plot to do monkey n bnusiness in India. FBI got info on his contacts/handlers etc
    2) An Imam is shot and killed in a FBI/Islamic group shootout in Detroit — the Imam’s objective was to establish an Islamic State in US.
    3) A jihadist update from “mild” Indonesia :

    “”Jeans banned for Aech (Indonesia) women: Muslim women in a district in Aech province will be forbidden to wear tight pants or jeans under a regulation that will go into effect in January. Officials in West Aceh district sid the Sharia police, who are charged with enforcing Islamic law, will shred any offensive clothing and require women to change into government-issued skirts. The district has already ordered 70,000 skirts of various sizes. Last month, Aceh province’s parliament passed an Islamic penal code that will subject adulterers to death by stoning”

    Sam’s warnings are not off the mark.

    [Reply]

    S Singh Reply:

    Sam

    These are all frightening. Raju noted how Indonesia is implementing crazy Sharia in one of their provinces – stoning to death, no pants/jeans for women etc.

    All the “foots on the ground” in the crisis happening in Pakisatn are the Deobandi Madrasa students. I know many on this blog and the secularists say our madrasas are different. Are they? They are also studying the same Book. As Shoeb abd SKS mentioned they even ahve a syllabus on Jihad.

    Sam, do you have any info on what type of central government monitoring is there for our madrasas?

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    do you have any info on what type of central government monitoring is there for our madrasas ?

    –do not know anything about it ..

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    In general these are observations by many people.

    Koran clearly says to wage jihad, kill kuffars (after giving them the option of paying jizya, or converting to islam)…stone adulterers…

    all these are very clear.
    There is no ambigiuty in Koran.

    So that is why Saudi implements them.

    the bigger trend in islam, is to think that they already have all the answers in Koran.
    They will be good muslims if only they read the koran fully and implement it.

    So that is what is happening all over the world.
    like stoning to death is being done in Iran, nigeria, sudan, now indonesia.

    http://www.apostatesofislam.com/media/stoning.htm

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Google on the net and you will find many videos of “islam in action”..

    people in india would be fools to believe that muslims in india will be different or their madrassahs are different.

    the end result will be same, as koran is gods word and the nothing can be changed.
    if they want to change, those muslims are killed under apostasy crime.

  • SKS Mumbai

    @Syed
    Good to know you have taken all I said in good spirit.
    I must apologize for giving you some wrong ideas by my writings. Equal Outcome Guarantees are not what I claimed the status to be. I was saying it is something being demanded by some and when I said that I presumed you would also agree with me that Equal Outcome. Guarantees are an unfair premise. But the way you have computed Rs 55K crores as kitty being enjoyed by us makes me doubt my original premise. If that is the case, you may ignore whatever follows from here: because I see no point in discussing obstacles to Equal Outcome society.
    (That discussion can be held with the Process, Raw Material and Inspection heads of any MANUFACTURING FACILITY or alternatively with Babus from North Korea and Cuba)

    1. If I read you right, you are saying give Muslims reservations in Group C and D jobs (did u mean at least C and D? ). By that theory, reservations should be restricted below the graduate and post graduate level admissions? In other words at the level which is sufficient to give you eligibility for C and D jobs ? FYI, reservations in educational institutions go beyond that and similarly for jobs they go on to decide the in-house promotions as well and our founding fathers had valid reasons for doing so. . Yet after 60 years, as our LIBOSECIs will tell you, reservation has yet not managed to, as much as make a minor dent on the vice like grip our Bramhin-Bania combine have enjoyed for centuries. Our LIBOSECIs agree that reservation has not done enough in 60 years but somehow believe that expanding it further and perpetuating it for some more centuries would do the trick.

    2. Without missing your point about your numbers not being precise, I still have to clarify that 2% is merely a number with great Brand value and so everything can be sold under 2%.
    So FYI, Sachar did go to C and D jobs and a lot more. Barring those states who failed to provide data (incidentally most of them under secular dispensation) Sachar compiled some results for all category jobs.
    Some results
    Muslim % share in Judiciary 7.8%, All Reported Government Employment (Excludes PSUs) 4.9%, All PSUs 7.2%

    Although nowhere near the 13% benchmark, these are still 2-4 times the Highly profitable 2%. ( Incidentally one of the worst areas was RBI and PSU Banks, where they made only 2.2% although these account for 15 % of the total Govt Jobs. I deliberately picked this one.)

    But then why get into such mundane details, for A Roys and Libosecis of the kind 2% is highest selling and most profitable brand and you can’t blame the followers retracing the path of trail blazers. Although, Ms Roy is quite honest about this and says in as many words that she can’t afford precision (except when it comes to her royalties, 58 burnt alive and 163 killed in 26/11)
    3. Your description of the auction process for Jobs and the power that Babus and politicos hold in terms of gifting jobs makes me realize how out of touch I’m with ground realities. Because, what I remember from younger days, when my father worked with state PWD, things changed for the worse from 90s onwards, It wasn’t that easy to give jobs just like that partly because very few jobs were being created. May be some things did improve after that also. If you think government jobs are decided thru leaked papers and bribes only, then I have nothing to say. Because even Sachar jee realized that manipulating the results at written test level was not easy. What you suggest about leaked papers can’t be true for more than a handful of aspirants.

    BTW, the bribe system that I knew had evolved deferred payment and If you will Shariah complaint methods. A limited upfront amount gets you in and you can pay the balance in annual installments without interest. So much so that a minister actually refunded the unamortised amount to the family of a gentleman who died soon after getting what he wanted. But I can understand that such facilities might not be available for low Yield Jobs.

    BTW you have any idea what % of Muslims are from OBC category ( yeah the animal we thought never walked is also entitled for reservations)?

    Notwithstanding my basic problem with your Rs. 55,000 crores entitlement, which you rightly say is paid for by all of us, I would like you to consider this:

    Are all of us paying the GOVT?
    Among those who pay, are they paying equal amounts ? Do/can we have a rule that Muslims pay 13% based on their share in population? (Some pay more some less so to add up to 13%) ? If yes, then I agree that Muslims must get 13% reservation and will at least give my vote to that party which promises 13% tax and 13% reservation.

    But, Govt’s don’t do that and rightly so. So when collecting taxes they don’t ask your religion but ask your earnings and that is fair and Just. So even if reservation is the only panacea for all our ills, let the Eligibility be determined on the basis of economic status. But then no Muslims leader or Liboseci will ask for that, not at cost of doing away with caste/religion based reservation in any case.

    To go back to the PAMPERING part, as I said earlier, the word is Appeasement and it is different.
    In any case, you are barking up the wrong tree if you think reservations in Govt Jobs can help, because over the last 15-20 years, the number of jobs created in govt has generally been pathetically low except for once in a blue moon schemes like that of Police in UP.

    At a broader level, Syed, reservations on any basis other than economic has wider implications.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @syed, @Sks

    SKS brings an excellent analytic perspective.

    The key issue is how best we can achieve developmentw here we bring more and more into the workforce through meaningful growth. As SKS said, government employment is not a panacea; in fact, for our long term growth, we should decrease the growth of government.

    If at all we have reservation, the only common denominator that will work for all, and create a prosperous society faster, is the economics based reservation, as SKS indicated.. In the absence of that, and with the proliferation of other factors, pretty soon we will hear need reservations based on language (that Hindi is the majority language and they should not get any consideration vs Naga language). It will be a race to the bottom..

    Sachar committe report has a basic statistical flaw. It is based on sampling report; not census report. As econometricians and statisticians would attest, crucial policy decisions cannot and should not be made based on sampling reports because of its inherent structural weaknesses. (that is not to deny there is no backwardness among Muslims)

    Looking at India as a whole, for all communities, one thing seems obvious – that large states have failed miserably in human development, whetehr Hindus or Muslims. Compare UP/Bihar/MP to Punjab, Kerala, TN etc. Unfortunately, 50% of the Muslims live in UP, Bihar, and West Bengal. The Hindus in these states (may be except WB), if at all, may be only marginally better than Muslims in these states. 300 lakh Muslims (almost as much the population of Kerala) live in the tri-city areas of Allhabad, Lucknow, Aligarh.

    So, instead of a pan-India initiative, which will fail because of the size and scope, it is better we focus on the “target rich” areas. All progress when the region develops(as has been shown by the social metrics of Muslims in Tamil NAau, kerala, and Karnataka.).

    I would recommend a public-private -community partnership scheme in select target areas .
    I bet government can persuade large Muslim owned enterprises like Cipla, Patel Brothers, Mirza Tanners etc to open training/job generating plants in select locations. Govt will invest 75%, with a target job creation objective. It meed not be retsricted to Muslim owned companies; it can be any institution who will make an emotional investmnet. Similarly, successful communities like Lababys, Rowthers etc can be encouraged to start/help to structure family businesses in these areas. With the lion share of investment coming from tehe government, these socially conscious groups may be interested in starting ventures if the local community will wholeheartedly join them.

    In the absence of any innovative scheme, and the lack of guts from our appeasing governments and political parties, no meaningful change will happen; and Muslims (in the Northern states, especially in the four state area) will remain backward. The whole madrasa scheme (religion only) should be scarpped as a part of this new initiative.

    No amount of governments pending, by itself, will not solve any problem.

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/10/somalia-islamic-supremacists-murder-christian-woman-for-refusing-to-wear-veil.html

    This is common all over the world.
    (not just talibunnies imposing those laws..
    all muslims once, they are in majority have to do this..

    guess where they are getting this inspiration from ?)

    [Reply]

  • Sam
  • Sam

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/10/toronto-imam-who-prayed-for-destruction-of-infidels-says-that-only-misunderstanders-of-islam-would-t.html

    Imam Rageah used a prayer last week that, in part, said “Allah destroy them from within themselves, and do not allow them to raise their heads in destroying Islam.” And in another part of he asked Allah to “damn the infidels.”

    Right. Destroy them, damn them, but don’t hate them. Got it.

    Imam Rageah on Friday said in a brief interview that in both references he was not literally meaning “destroy” but rather to confound or weaken those that would infringe on their rights.

    In last week’s address, he used the word “kuffar” repeatedly, a word some say is highly derogatory of non-Muslims, especially Christians and Jews….

    But on Friday, Imam Rageah said the word is mentioned more than 500 times in the Koran and it would make no sense for Allah to have used a word repeatedly that was so offensive.

    “The word has more than one meaning,” he said. “It’s not always negative but it can be negative. Now if the suggestion is, ‘Why don’t we avoid the word,’ that’s an excellent suggestion. But until this issue was raised we didn’t think people found the word insulting.”

    Nonsense. In the Koran, it is always negative. To dismiss this by saying that Allah would not have used an offensive word is simply to demand that non-Muslims accept Islamic perspectives and norms. And that is, of course, what this is all about.

    [Reply]

  • Syed

    @SKS,
    Your posts (and Ashish’s & Gopis) make for good reading!

    First of all I am one person who doesn’t give a ratass about religion (any religion). This leads to perennial arguments with my wife (whenever she is in India) who wants our children to at least learn the basics. My stand is that this should be left to their free will when they grow up. So far I have managed to have my way & just a couple more years…….

    Coming to the post, you’ve got too fixed on just one point made by me – ie. religion based job reservation. That’s just one point I’ve made as part of the wider discussion, basically to further the debate & personally I am not in favour of it. Religion should be left in the house. The issue which we are dealing with is the appeasement of muslims (tokenism is NOT appeasement).

    Regarding figures you are right, I am not in a position to get into mundane details like figures as I am singularly un updated on everything.

    Working in Lucknow & having frequent Govt. interactions has given me some insight into its working. Contrary to the perception that Govt. jobs are not available I do see people being absorbed on a regular basis, its not so much a flood as a steady trickle (Only the big recruitments make news!) & comprises those with connections and money, they themselves admit it proudly. Flaunting one’s connections works here more than at other places. And yes, answer sheets are not fixed (too complicated?) but the paper leakage industry is bullish. Don’t know whether there are sharia compliant instruments, have to check.

    Your logic of “to each in the ratio of his tax payments” has a circular reasoning. In other words if a poor muslim is appointed to the government he would pay more tax as his salary increases & so the ratio changes.

    Coming back to appeasement /pampering as I see it, there is not too much of a difference between both. Shah Bano/multiple marriages is appeasement/pampering of the muslim male at the expense of the muslim female. In other words from an overall community standpoint there is no appeasement or pampering.

    I would like to know any specific issues you have on muslim appeasement so we can move ahead.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @syed

    I see appeasement and pampering differently. In one (appeasement), the appeasor (?) expects something physical in return – in this case, votes and temporary loyalty, protecting the vote bank till the next election etc. The appeasor does not take into account the larger societal value, he is interested only in a transactional, for the moment benefit. . In the other (pampering), there are no expectations – may be love, lust, fondness, etc.

    What we have is a large, complex issue – how do we develop 400 million people out of dismal conditions and create and maintain an environment where decent livelihood can be sustained. GOI is spending enormous amount of money; but with a very low ROI (and may be even negative ROI because of “vote bank only” intent.). So, we have to have a better mousetrap (you may have read about Sethu SethuNarayan’s (CDDP) innovation about a better mousetrap for the Irula tribe rat catchers of AP and its positive outcomes!) .

    What initiatives/innovation will create a model for sustainable livelihood? In Muslim-specific scenario, are there “best practices” from Kerala Muslims that can be deployed in , say, Lucknow or Allahabad? Are there things that could be targeted at women? How do we bring downn the fertility rate etc etc Lucknow-Allahabad-Aligarh houses 150 lakh Muslims. It is a “marketer’s delight” – the whole target all concentarted in a small area. Part of the backwardness obviously is due to UPs backwardness itself. Syed, you being in Lucknow, what would you suggest to create a meaningful life for most (hindu, Muslim)of the impoverished in Lucknow?

    .

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    A hindu can be sent to prison, if convicted for polygamy.
    A muslim male will be applauded for following his religion for the same thing.

    How can you say there is no appeasement, when muslim male is free to marry across the religions ?

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Sam,
    will you be personally appeased if allowed to marry 4 times? I for one will be petrified..

    Appeasement is not the word you are looking for; it is pampering of a regressive constituency of Muslim males that, rightly or wrongly the GOI thinks is electorally powerful.

    I doubt a Muslim man will be applauded per se… not everywhere, that’s for sure. Funnily, in Pakisan, you will be socially ostracized for marrying more than once.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    The appeasement is not necessarily at a personal level.

    It is more along the lines of
    “my koran/religion lets me do it.
    so you have to give me the right.
    if you dont let me have that right, then you are oppressing islam.
    then there will be no peace.
    we can declare jihad when islam is oppressed””

    this goes on and on..

    that is the appeasement angle.
    a secular society bowing in front of Koran and behaving spinelessly..

  • SKS Mumbai

    @Gopi
    @Syed

    Gopi, You are right that a lot of Sachar analysis is based on date collected through sample survey, but on some aspects he had access to very large samples probably close to census level exercise. For e.g. On total jobs with Govt deptts and PSUs, the total date he had was of the order of 12 millions out of a total universe of about 18 millions. Similarly on success rates at UPSC/SSC exams also he had the substantial date, therefore the % share of Muslims in Govt Jobs etc as I mentioned earlier are likely to be fairly close to the actual figure. In any case I doubt that he would have erred on the side of inflating muslim shares ! No no I am not suggesting motives, it is just that the missing data largely pertained to those states which have been under more secular administration.

    What you mention about localized policies was realized by Sachar also and he did suggest that disaggregated data at district or smaller levels should be used for policy formulation. Not surprisingly the difference between Muslims and other categories were sharper in the Hindi belt as compared to relatively more developed states.

    But all this has limited relevance. Even if Reservations is provided in Govt Jobs, it won’t make any material difference. It will change only when economic objectives take precedence over identity and evidence of changing priorities, if visible, are more in the opposite direction.

    Identity is important, Syed Bhai (I note that ur individual position is different), but if that becomes the prime driver in every sphere education, language, economics and so on then the results should not surprise anyone.
    If your identity is threatened because you have to be clean shaved or have to wear full length trousers at work, then fine, we will revert with a suitable date for pursuing further discussions on the subject. It is all very easy to ask why should an employer have problems with my beard or with my cap, but not so easy for the man sitting on the other side of the table., whether rightly or wrongly has little relevance. If there are people who want to claim that these problems don’t exist or that Hindus also apply tilaks, well thanks for the Information, I will keep that in mind in future.
    You can either keep on inviting Muslim NRIs or ME delegations to lobby with GOI for establishment of Islamic banks or walk in the bank next door. If you chose the former then, we are pleased to inform you that establishment of an Islamic Bank is under active consideration and an in-principle decision has been taken by our Govt to invest 11% equity and we are currently engaged in formulating the regulatory framework and subject to receipt of timely approvals the bank will be functional in NEAR FUTURE. (Don’t take it as my criticism of Islamic banking, not that I will avoid criticizing it when I want to). The reason I keep on bringing banks in the debate is the scale of its involvement. Whether as a student, a customer, a vendor or as an employee in many of the organized sector companies, interest bearing debt is an unavoidable part of the present day economic activity.

    A Fatwa declaring that dealing with Banks (or fin sector as a whole) is not un islamic (find some way to do it) might have made larger no of people happy than the anti terror fatwa did.

    Syed Bhai one doubt, I did not understand your point about what you described as circular logic regarding taxes. Do elaborate when convenient.

    Something OFF the Subject, I came across some stuff today and thought it fit to share, just to show, the more things change the more they remain the same. This is a remark made by Severus Sebokht (a Mesopotamian bishop), in 662AD concerning the arabic (or Indo Arabic) numeral system;

    Quote; I will omit all discussion of the science of the Indians, … , of their subtle discoveries in astronomy, discoveries that are more ingenious than those of the Greeks and the Babylonians, and of their valuable methods of calculation which surpass description. I wish only to say that this computation is done by means of nine signs. If those who believe, because they Speak GREEK, that they have arrived at the Limits of Science, would read the Indian texts, they would be convinced, even if a little late in the day, that there are others who know something of value”

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/10/somali-women-flogged-for-not-wearing-socks.html

    Hooded Al-Shabaab gunmen rounded up 50 women on Wednesday from Mogadishu’s Bakara market for not wearing the veil that is required for women under some interpretations of Islamic law,

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    “It will change only when economic objectives take precedence over identity”

    Well said SKS, but do not worry its going in exactly the direction you want it to. Already “economic objectives”are taking over every single identity, both professional and social.

    For instance if you read this article;
    “http://www.indiatogether.org/2009/oct/psa-mmm.htm”,
    you will know how its already taking over the identity of journalists as “journalists”, its also taking precedence over national identity, and social bonds. You will see more of it in the future, so do not worry, things are going just in the direction you want it to.

    [Reply]

    SKS Mumbai Reply:

    @syed
    Well it is slightly difficult, because what goes in the name of muslim leadership is the ulemas or some of the MPs. Many of these MPs are selected from Muslim dominated constituencies and the issues they are normally taking up in Public or in parliament revolve around identity. Of course the issues of economic development are also raised as regularly and as emphatically, as the LIBOSECIs do about Kashmiri Pundits.

    You may not have come across people talking about Islamic banking, but you can check the number of believers who seek Deoband’ advice on these types of issues. Some samples ( will be visiting the website in near future to come up with newer ones, till then pl bear the repetitions) :

    Q: Is it OK to work in a non Islamic bank
    A: Yes, as long as you are a peon or a watchman, any higher and you will be a sinner!
    Q: Is it ok to work in a software company whose projects are for Banks? A: No find another project or company.
    Q: I have been offered MBA admission in australia but will need to take education loan, is it ok?
    A: See whether MBA is really necessary, isn’t there some other option that will meet your needs? If no then see if you can do it without loan, if you can’t do even that, then it is Ok to take a loan but search for one where you don’t have to pay interest!
    Q: I am working for some company which has a Provident Fund scheme, in which a part of my salary goes. But the money is invested in interest bearing papers is it ok?
    A: not really but what you can do is that the interest amount may be donated in charity. (On this one there was another angle about using that money for jakat, don’t remember the answer though)

    Now, I am fine if you want to call these exceptions (too many though), but don’t forget that the context of the questions and the use of Internet do not reflect some deprived families. Such questions being asked, in itself is quite interesting the answers illuminating)

    The bodies at the forefront of pushing Islamic banking are not political and religious alone but represent a broader grouping. Let me also explain that equity participation by Govt or Govt owned bodies in such a bank will make this even better than Haj subsidy for bigots like me. Why? The Bank will employ some kind of in-house panel for design/approval of Shariah complaint products/transactions. Now any guess what will be the qualification criteria for serving that panel?

    Identity
    The reason, I added that Identity is important tag line, was to preempt charges of forcing assimilation (or hinduisation) in the garb of integration. To my horror, I learnt recently, that I also belong to what is classified as SHUDRAS by Hindu Scriptures. Why the Horror? Well, I happen to be a Kayastha and read a few days back that when British sought Vidyasagar’ opinion on granting us admission for Sanskrit classes, they were told that per se Kayasthas are Shudras but looking at their overall educational achievements (??) they may be taken provided religious texts are excluded from their scope. So I started doing some research on why were we not given reservation. I found, some Kayastha groups have campaigned for our inclusion in OBC, albeit without much success. Then I read about some scriptural ambiguity of Kayastha’s position then something called SAT shudras, which was apparently much better that plain Shudras, but still shudra from Bramhins point of view. Someone claimed Kayastha’s managed to improve their position by speaking the language of RULERS, learning Urdu during Moghul Raj and english during British raj. So the bottom line is that Bramhins consider us among Shudras while the Shudras and more importantly, the Govts. consider us as a forward caste so ineligible for reservation. What takes the cake though is that MUSLIM KAYASTHAs are given reservation in at least one state! How is it that the original low caste of Kayasthas who continued as Hindus transformed into forward castes (legally ) but the same people when converted to Islam to escape the oppressive caste system continue to be eligible for reservation even today? Whatever, I have decided I can’t take it anymore, either give us reservation or pass a law which will make calling us Shudras or OBC as a criminal offense, you see it is a question of my Identity!! I might even seek an amendment in Hindu Scriptures. Interestingly, we are not the only examples, there are others also, originally classified as Shudra who do not get reservation.
    (Syed Bhai, most of this part was not aimed at you, as you would see some similarities with your case of Hindus treating you as Muslim and Sunni Muslims treating you as non- muslim.)

    About the circular logic of taxes that you explained later, it is precisely what I was asking. If we are taxed on the basis of our economic capacity alone, then
    the benefits like reservation should also be given on the basis of LACK of economic capacity alone.

    Appeasement is also defined as to pacify or attempt to pacify one by granting concessions, often at the expense of principle. In the political context, the response of British Govt towards Hitler in the earlier days is one of the most popular uses of appeasement.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @SKS,
    Horror..
    Now we know why Amartya Sen (And Subhash Chandra Bose) turned out the way he did… making common cause with Muslims.. :-)
    Honestly, this is the first time I have heard of the Kayasthas in either Bengal or Bihar being backward castes; again I am no expert. The first time my innocence with regards caste was shattered was when I went to spend 4 years in the Hindi heartland for my graduation.
    Where on earth did you dig this up from?

    [Reply]

  • syed

    @SKS, Gopi
    Islamic banking & identity

    Gopi- you’ve raised some good issues. Will post tomorrow.

    SKS-
    Islamic banking – What the Indian govt is doing is being repeated by Islamic countries throughout the world ie. Pandering to the wishes of the mullas (they are NOT leaders). In the last general elections in Pakistan I recall the religious parties got just 2% of the public vote. There is no reason to believe the position will be different in India. So why does the govt behave as it does. Go figure.
    In my interactions with many muslims not even one has expressed any desire for Islamic banking, in fact that’s a non issue. Anyway the more things change, the more they remain the same. The issuance or non issuance of a fatwa will not change the position in any appreciable manner- muslims do not bother with such things, haven’t you noticed. They will continue banking as before, the only difference being that more ammunition will be given to the “muslims are being pampered” brigade.

    Reg circular reasoning – Assume for a minute that muslims hold all govt jobs. Now they are earning 500,000 crores yearly (yes the good old figure) & will automatically they pay more by way of various taxes. Hence if govt jobs are reserved in the ratio of the amount of taxes paid community wise, muslims will qualify for more govt jobs. Get it.

    Reg identity- You’ve made an important statement ie. Identity is important – this is indeed important to me and I have been trying to find exactly what I am. In fact my wife had advised me earlier, only half in jest to place an advt. in the lost & found column when I finally found myself . We slot each other in fixed identities. So if I call someone a panju or a ghati you would immediately have an image in mind.
    But in my case just consider- I am a shia muslim (hindus consider us muslims, other muslims consider us non muslims), my sister is married to a non muslim, I am more or less an atheist (did not learn even namaaz in childhood – bad sectors in my religion genes I suppose), dual nationality (Indian & Australian) & will have no problems if my daughter settles down with some new sort of guy (Japanese maybe?), makes life interesting no. So what do I call myself?
    But boss, phir bhi dil hai Hindustani.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @ Syed,
    Amen to that…

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @Syed

    Kerala has already started/going tos tart Islamic Banking. These guys met Pranab last week (their third meeting) to start an all-India basis.

    Now you know and I know it wont benefit anybody, it is another “madrasa” ..But it will happen. It will tick off others as another give away and appeasement. And the story continues.

    The danger is that at some point all these result in a trigger point where the majority feel like entrapped and minority is taking advantage; that is what precisely happened in Sri Lanka; Sinhalese (majority) felt they were getting smothered by the minority. Rest is hoistory.

    Our politicians and this (mostly) sunni zealots better beware of this.

    [Reply]

  • Ashish

    @ Bobby,
    this is the result of the alternative innovative method of schooling to which RK MIssion will be compared … and found wanting
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/10/marriage_saudi_arabiastyle_1.asp

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    Dear Ashish,

    In life we always try and compete with the best, and not with people who are worse off, so whats the point of this comparison with SA always???

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    I have not been able to find references to the education system in North Korea; that’s why

    [Reply]

  • syed

    @sam
    Appeasement & multiple marriages

    Personally I have not met any polygamous muslim & thats saying a lot. Ashish gave me a good laugh with his word “petrified”

    Now I know why people become become jehadis – get them 4 wives & they prefer death to life. :) :)

    But seriously, the law exists more on paper & no one would be really affected if it was removed.

    I recall reading somewhere that hindus are more polygamous than muslims in India, which just goes on to prove that if one really wants to be polygamous, law or the absence thereof is not going to stop them.

    [Reply]

  • Gopi Thomas

    @Bobby @Syed @SKS

    A recent survey in the US reported the social and inclusive schemes like affirmative action have not made much dent in blacks’ lives there. In fact they attribute the movement against (hispanic) immigrants to the fear of the majority that these immigarnts will be “free loaders” taking advantage of the liberal policies and programs.

    Charles Murray’s “Bell Curve” discusses the implication of the difference in intelligence, genes, environment, ethnic differences etc. His atttack on the welfare state and its policies were criticized as racist at that time; however, the concensus in the social science circles is rapidly converging to Murray’s view. He laterw ent on to write “The Underclas revisited’, “A plan to keep the welfare state”.
    He was questioning the appeasement vs real need vs right solutions.

    I agree with SKS (and I think Syed is saying the same thing ) that policies and programs, views and approaches should be changed. I agree with him on the “identity” push currently underway and its impacts. I am witnessing that in my own state; how the identity police is undermining the gains Muslims have made in that state. They are eager to take and make it a level playing field, like the UP Muslims. That is the only way the Most Benevolent and Compassionate will accept them!

    Syed, I do agree with you that most of the policies are to please the Mullahs or the loudest groups. But politicians being politicians, how would one go about enacting meaningful programs without Mullahs whining “Islam in danger”. I really believe that “religious” only Madrasas are bad for Muslims and the country. Islam being Islam, and the concepts of Dar Ul Islam, Dar ul Harb, Ummah etc being fundamental to their daily lives, I just wouldnt buy the argument our Madrasa are different from “their” madrasas.

    The question on madrasas and all these other regressional stuff is, who will bell the cat? Only courageous Muslims can do this – they, in conjunction with a nation-loving politicial leader/party who does not care about vote banks and the next election. Or it will come through a majority/minority bloodbath that will be caused by some trigger point in the future. Initiatives like “Islamic Banking”, while it does not do any hoot to anybody (except five Mullahs), will be another deposit making the trigger point a little more closer.

    [Reply]

  • http://shamaparveen87.blogspot.com shama parveen

    Makin madrassa education equivalent to CBSE is surely no panacea for making the students competent in this ever increasing competitive world.The rat race is simply too much.Having a degree simply does not make him able to face interviews and make him eligible for jobs in true sense.The govt. should rather take the initiative to revamp the curriculum rather than granting a weak system an equivalency of world class system. And obviously there’s nothing wrong in carrying on with studying theology along with modern education. Being “religiously modern” never hurts actually.

    [Reply]

  • syed

    Just one example in which the Govt did not take muslims seriously & nothing happened-
    The recent court ruling decriminalising homosexuality.

    All mullas worth their salt went on overdrive, in the community & on TV against the ruling and requesting the GOI to pass suitable legislation. For once the govt did not buck down, & see, did anything happen.

    The mullas are good only as self appointed community spokesmen on TV & papers where they are projected as leaders. They are also aware that when push comes to shove they will just not be able to muster up support & so do not follow up with any issue.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    well remove polygamy for muslims and we will see mollahs in super overdrive

    that islam is in danger.
    islam is oppressed
    india is darul harb.
    jihad is justified..

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    I think the Congress GoI of the late 80’s tried to run with fundamentalists of both Hindus and Muslims. They first did Injustice to Shah Bano and then to “counter that”, so to say, allowed hindus to worship in the disputed area of the Babri Masjid.

    As a soceity we have been pandering to the worst elements; be it banning Salman Rushdie’s book or banning a play on Nathu Ram Godse or banning books on Shivaji, as well as allowing the ill-treatement of such a reputed painter as Hussain.

    So this is not restricted to pandering just Muslim fundamentalists, in fact I think it can be argued that one see more of it towards the hindu fundamentalist. The major difference, one has to understand, is that unlike the Muslim fundamentalist who is and will always be insignificant at the political level, due to their numbers, the Hindu fundamentalists have been in power and are still very important political players, and so are far more dangerous.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    Cowasjee has an interesting op-ed in todays Dawn touching this. He talks about how these Mullas have been strengthened ever since Jinnah was sidelined. He says Pakistan needs a new mindset and a moern day Kemal Pasha Ata Turk. He also says the Muslims and the world itself would have been better off if the south Asian and Middle East countries had not declared themselves Islamic.

    Lifting the ban on homosexuality is an OK example; a feeble start. In a way it is a good strategy to pick low hanging fruits like this to desensitize.

    (todays Dawn also has an inteersting editorial on how “moderate Muslimso” contributed to the havoc happening there)

    [Reply]

  • Bobby

    Its amazing how “people belonging to the most tolerant faith” go to the most nutty websites and come up with generalizations and opinions about muslims.
    Its like going to a mental asylum and claiming that all men are mad!

    I wonder why they never go to websites like: “pakteahouse”, “southasian weblog” blogs on Dawn, or personal blogs like “windmills of my mind”… to get progressive opinion, but then that would not serve the purpose …would it!

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    Bobby

    If only that is true. The fatwas and answers of Dar Ul Uloom are followed by a large (indeed very large) number of Muslims.

    And a good number of tese followers become terrorists in AfPak. The Indian turn will be sooner than later.

    Muslims do ask these type of questions SKS mentioned, and follow the answers provided by Deobandis.. The tragedy is that, even in a state like Kerala where Muslims are significantly better educated than Muslims in other parts of india, I see these questions being asked in the “ask the expert” section of Muslim owned dailies like Madhyamam and Tejas. And the answers are pretty close to what Deobandis provide on their online site.

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Bobby
    Yep; the Pakistani Muslim blogs are far more progressive than the Indian Muslim blogs. Other than Indianmuslim.in.. (now looks like defunct, sadly), the rest are hardly remarkable except in the way Gopi and SKS point out.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    those “progressive” blogs are all relative.
    are they actively working on removing blasphemy, hudood or stoning laws in pakistan ?
    are they working on making pakistan secular (so a hindu can become president) ??

    dont get confused with islam’s relativism..

    just because some one is speaking the truth, does not mean they re “far out or nutty”

    it is like a kid saying emperor has no clothes…
    someone is speaking the truth…

    they are always welcome to condemn the articles or show a better argument than calling them nutty…

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    “those “progressive” blogs are all relative.
    are they actively working on removing blasphemy, hudood or stoning laws in pakistan ?
    are they working on making pakistan secular (so a hindu can become president) ??”

    The answer is yes.

  • Shiuli Mukherji

    Well so whats the conclusion?
    Is it still NATO ( No action talk only). Coming to think of it, there had been some very inteligent and witty remarks on this forum, regarding the treatment of minority clan. The question is if the minority which is a majority to an extent thinks that with the so called negligible aids, there clan is the target of discrimination, then why don’t you people put your foot down and say- WE ARE INDIANS We will not stand discrimination on just religious basis.

    The crux of the matter is which ever govt comes in, plays the tune with some reform and WE THE PEOPLE dance to it!

    [Reply]

  • syed

    @SKS

    Bobby was spot on. The sample questions on Islamic banking posted by you are par for the course, after all what do you expect on a deobandi website – a discussion on the merits of pornography ?

    I think this debate on Islamic banking is going out of hand. I can understand issues concerning muslim veils/beards because these are extremely conspicuous and, it can be argued, an overloud assertion of one’s religion, but for heaven’s sake, a person should be left free to decide how he invests his own money (or what one eats for that matter).

    Coming to demands for Islamic banking, while common muslims (at least in the north) are happy as anyone else with the interest they get, it is understandable that mullas or other groups will try for Islamic banking. But this has never been a big issue among muslims politically or otherwise. See, pressure groups will always try for such things, in a similar manner to different castes trying for reservation status (and as you wishing for one).

    Personally I feel the govt role should be restricted to being an enabler- All it should do it should clear legal issues relating to Islamic banking and leave it to private players to enter the scene if they so feel (hope you would not call that appeasement).

    [Reply]

  • SKS Mumbai

    @syed
    Discussion on Islamic banking overboard? Really, how are we to see the Govt taking equity positions in an institution which will give jobs on the basis of theological know-how? How about paying Zakat on the Govt’s share of Profit from the Bank? Wonderful indeed?
    Do I hear, it is a decision made by Govt of Kerala and Muslims have nothing to do it? Secular State and Private Religion? Indeed. Just that some are more secular than others and some are less private than others.
    If that in itself was not great enough, we also brand those questioning these as bigot now wonderful.

    I really love your suggestion that instead of visiting the notorious websites I should be looking at those where progressive muslims are to be found and I am convinced that If all the bigots of my type started following your advice, all will be fine and everybody will live happily thereafter. But the problem is neither we will stop going there nor will the problems disappear. This is the ROOT Cause theory.

    Let us get real Syed, I and many of my ilk had no reason to be interested in knowing what muslims were talking about or why their socioeconomic status is what it is. Neither some spiritual vacuum in our lives that we are trying to fill by visiting deoband site nor is it a search for ultimate truth nor for that matter something to regulate and guide ALL spheres of our miserable lives. Till 12 months ago, I didn’t have reasons to even know Geeta forget understanding and interpretation so why this interest in Quran and not Bible?

    Well it is the lack of those intellectual faculties and language skills which allow to see equality in perversity of treating Madarsas and education boards as Equals or to see Secularism in Haz Subsidies (and Mansarovar subsidies). It is also Lack of Imagination which allows imaginative people to invent historical or not so historical ROOT Causes after every terror attack.

    But sadly, these skills can’t be acquired by every tom dick and Harry. So when a terror attack happens I try to see what the Terrorists themselves have to say. Hope it makes it easier for you to understand why I go where I go.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    islamic banks should not be allowed.
    if allowed only knowledge of koran will be required to get a job there…

    how can that be a prerequisite for understaning the banking operations ?

    [Reply]

  • syed

    @SKS
    In any mature democracy there will always be pressure groups lobbying with the govt for for various concessions (for example in the Union Budget have u ever wondered why the govt increases taxes, apparently randomly, on some things, say toothpastes & decreases it on fridges- lobbies). As long as they lobby peacefully through democratic can anyone have a problem? So I have no problems if muslims lobby for Islamic banking, its their right under a functioning democratic dispensation. THAT is what I meant by saying it is understandable for mullas to lobby for Islamic banking.

    HAving said that, at the end of the day it is upto the govet. to decide to accede or otherwise to the request. In this context also I have given my opinion for what it counts – The govt. should just set up a regulatory framework (which will not cost it money or will entail employiong muslims) & leave the rest to private players who would be guided solely by the profit motive. Savvy

    [Reply]

  • SKS Mumbai

    @Syed
    You have missed the point. I was specifically talking about Govt’s ownership in these banks, in case you didn’t note Kerala Government has already decided to establish a bank with 11% equity stake. I do find it a bit strange when you say discussion on this topic has gone overboard. I do not recollect any mainstream channel question GOK’s decision till now.

    We will see about regulatory framework when RBI comes out with it.

    Democracy alone is not much of an argument. If democratic lobbying can be used to curry exclusive favors for religious groups (any one Hindu. Muslim whatever) at the cost of other stake holders, then we need to ask a basic question about democracy. How should democracies respond to their subversion through democratic and nonviolent means? Is that a far fetched scenario?

    [Reply]

  • syed

    @SKS
    Well if you talk about principles, I agree with you, a secular state should not support such activities. But in the ultimate analysis I do not blame muslims but the govt. for this decision. As i have said, in a democracy, people will ask for the moon. You have told me the problems you have regarding your identity. I do not think anyone will grudge it if you take up the issue with the govt. for resolution.

    However if you quantify the amount (maybe max 100 cr one time for 11% stake) & a chance of employment for say 5-10 muslims, I would categorise it as less than tokenism. About being overboard, I meant in the post because i find it a small issue.

    I agree, there should be certain checks & balances in a secular democracy to ensure it remains truly secular but then ultimtely it is up to the govt. & again we are back to para 1. People will always ask for more. ……

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @SKS @Syed

    Syed does have a point; people will ask for moon, govt should have the discipline to reject/choose. The political class wants to appease; the issue is how we can get the political class to be disciplined..

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Gopi, how we can get the political class to be disciplined??
    Now THAT’S asking for the moon :-)

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    why can’t muslim pressure groups ask for secularism and take up initiatives for the greater good of society ?

    what is stopping them ?

    why they only have to ask for their own communities selfish needs ?

    why cant they lead by showing sacrifice and understanding with their fellow citizens ?
    (or is it too much to ask from muslims,??)

    [Reply]

    Paritosh Reply:

    as i said that this community is like a cockroach. useless in the first place but can create only havoc and problems. after 62 years of independence , the Muslim community has repeatedly proved that it is nothing but a burden for the nation.they have reiterated this by calling “Vande Mataram” unIslamic. these undeserving and worthless bunch of people gets every benefit from the damn Indian government , only for vote bank whereas the natives/Hindus have to pay for that.

    [Reply]

    syed Reply:

    Muslim politicians such as Arif Mohammad Khan have always been extremely secular in both their talk & action but the govt. never ever listens to him. They always give more importance to the extremists & even the press gives more publicity to the religious right. Why?

    [Reply]

    Ashish Reply:

    @Syed,
    I could be facetious and say one of two things:
    1. It is just to introduce excitement in our wretched and colourless lives
    2. Dog bites man; no news. Man bites dog, front page of HT!

    But, I know and probably you know too, it is just acknowledging the sheer numbers.
    To quote from Nov 5 editorial in HT
    “To engage with the Jamiat — which commands the allegiance of a significant number of Muslims in India whether one likes it or not — is not to support it but to seek a corridor for dialogue and, ultimately, seek the body to join the mainstream by way of ushering social reforms.”
    The key is in the acknowledgement of the wide support that the Jamiat has. I disagree of course that PC and the UPA government has any social reform agenda in mind. It is just cynical electoral politcs.
    The Open Magazine put it well:
    “Competitive Conservatism

    The Maulana Mahmood Madani faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) has done itself no favours at its recent national conference. Even as Home Minister P Chidamabaram in his address to the conference lauded the resolution passed last year by the JUH against terrorism, the conference itself began with a call for all Muslim women to wear the burkha and went on to pass a resolution against the singing of Vande Mataram. …..
    Notwithstanding the ‘nationalist’ credentials of the organisation—……—the resolutions will only provide fodder for critics within and outside the community. The JUH has always been marked with the deep conservatism of the Deoband school, …. The resolutions then have to be seen as measures to consolidate the conservative flock that comprises the JUH. The danger is that this can easily lead to an escalation where each faction assumes more and more conservative positions. It’s a path rife with danger and can do little to help the community. Already, it is clear that the conference’s call for implementing the Sachar Committee report will be lost in the ensuing din.”

    Now, what is a poor newspaperman to do? Zia Haq traveled to Deoband to cover what you claim are a bunch of useless people, not worth giving any importance to. But, they make news, don’t they? Khurshid Alam Khan or Arif Md Khan do not. Even if they do, they are pushed to some inside page.
    Like you, Syed, I also have a suggestion to Zia on a topic he should blog about. Much closer “home” than Deoband and much less “Strategic” than what Bush did or did not.
    Zia, will you please go to Batla House area behind Jamia Milia Islamia and tell us about this “foreign country” in the heart of Delhi. Let’s see if you have it in you to look honestly inwards.

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @ashish @ syed

    Syed, u r right – How do we get people like Arif Khan be the leader, role model??

    Ya, Ashish, it is a foreign country there in that part. And it is not a friendly country!

  • Shiuli Mukherji

    Hello Mr.Zia,
    A question to you, with the current Fatwa against the “Vande Mataram “ song , and the kind of reactions and vibes coming just around the anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai attack. What is your reading?

    [Reply]

  • SKS Mumbai

    @Syed/Gopi
    Hmm, Syed Bhai, I seem to be consistently giving you the wrong ideas about my views.

    For starters, I have no problem with my identity, I thought the sarcasm implied in my comment was evident. Nevertheless, let me reiterate I neither want any reservation for Kayasthas, nor any amendment in Hindu Scriptures.

    But there was an important question there which I restate: How is that Hindu Kayasthas have moved from Shudra category to a position where they don’t qualify for reservation, but Muslim Kayasthas still need it?

    About the democratic lobbying, the simple fact of the matter is that some group claiming to be representing Muslims sought exclusive favors for Muslims and the politician in his infinite wisdom granted it. For a moment, leave aside the question of who is to blamed, but isn’t the end result simple Appeasement?

    That being so, to be offended when someone claims that muslims are appeased is really difficult to understand. More importantly, if someone raises these questions, the whole Mainstream media and LIBOSECIs will declare him communal.

    Moreover to say that blame lies with politcos alone is not correct, remember it is not a one way street, give and take is an underlying assumption here, although I agree that larger blame lies with the appeaser and that is always the case with any appeasement.

    [Reply]

    Gopi Thomas Reply:

    @SKS @ Syed

    SKS, you are right in the sense that both parties are involved — ie oin order for teh appeasement to happen, there is an appeasee and an appeasor.

    I can relate to Syed’s argument, that people will always ask for more; unlless they are altruistic and care for the welfare of teh larger community.

    Here I need Syed’s insight – With the “believer – nonbeliever divide” in the Book; is it even possible for teh deeply religious to reject an “appeasement” and insist that everybody be covered by these? My question is whether the religious Muslim will be going against teh “Book” if he advocates for “universal” help/programs.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    If 4 wifes is not an appeasement to muslim male’s hyper sexual needs what is it ?

    So are the muslims groups going to ask for Jizya now in India ?
    (isn’t it in Koran, so what is stopping them now ?)

    [Reply]

  • Shiuli Mukherji

    Ashish nice write up. But it seems that Mr.Zia is eluding a dialogue on the question asked to him. This more or less emphasises the tag line he has used for this blog.

    Media people and Journalists are talking about credibility and biased free opinions, but how can that be plausible? Coz religion does play an important role in each one of our lives. It may be the dress code but finally you need to come out wearing some kind of a dress to address the society.

    “We Will Always Remain Brothers” the slogan may be repeated time and again, but it sounds elusive with the constant acts that keep on coming to the surface. NO matter Our Faith could be as flexible to accommodate other’s, but there has to be an understanding from all.

    Certain degree of conservativeness needs to be maintained for proper functioning of the secular society. And it should not be at mercy of either political parties whims or the fads of any religion institutions.

    [Reply]

  • syed

    @ gopi, SKS See, muslim politicians such as Arif Mohammad Khan have always been secular in words and action. But somehow they are never given importance either by the govt. or by the press. When the JEH can raise the issue of vande mataram apparently without any reason it makes headline news in the press. However the views of secular muslims is just not covered. As far as the influence amongst muslims goes, both the secular & extremists count for the same – nothing. Then why this imprtance only for the extremists?

    SKS, as regards your issue about the backwardness of muslim Kayasthas – This applies to the whole mulsim community & not only to muslim Kayasthas. One important reason can be the fact that many more hindu girls work outside the house than do muslim girls which makes a big economic difference.

    And by the way I think I have been vindicated when I had said that’s there are large scale irregularities in the recruitment process for jobs- Mammta has fired all the chairman of the RRB (though this is a cosmetic exercise & the rot is prevalent through & through).

    @GOpi- For religious Muslim will be going against the book for “universal” help/programs – I don’t think there are straight answers. The muslim community is so heterogeneous. Some sects/schools would not have any problems & some would definitely have issues.

    [Reply]

  • Akash

    I think what the government is taking the right step. A slow and cautious approach is required in this case. The muslim religious bodies (like any other religious body) are extremely sensitive and may in fact respond aggressively to anything that is imposed upon them. If the goal is to reform the madrasas, its best that the reforms are done from within the muslim community. Muslims very well know positives and negatives of madrasas, the board formed by the government will will surely take the right steps in due time.
    Reforms can not be forcefully imposed especially when it is related to religious matters. The reforms need to come from within the community for it to have a long lasting effect.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.4networking.biz/members/view.htm?UserID=42440 Kevin

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.google.com/ Windy Slaight

    This a little bit funny. I found your site via search engine a few moment ago, and luckily, this is the only information I was looking for the last hours.

    [Reply]

  • http://bowlingforcongress.org/waring site

    Very interesting and amusing subject. I read with great pleasure. In fact, since it funnels the sound right down your ear canal, you’ll often hear your conversations better on this, than you would out of the phone.

    [Reply]

  • abhi

    Yes congress will be succesful in Manipur and Goa and that will be the glory.
    Congress supporters have already started putting excuses for loss in UP. The fact is that UP is make or break for UPA. if in UP congress doesn’t come at even second position, Rahul’s image will be dented beyong repair. This poll is semifinal for loksabha poll in 2014 and not winning in any major state (UK, Punjab and UP) should make UPA realise that their days are over.

    [Reply]

  • Javed

    hey dumba88 seeing a lot of muck from you for the army chief lately. Pls kindly care to explain – if both of them are of high integrity and are men in charge of their respective areas – then who else has the power to do mischief?? dont you think this is serious & bad reflection on the govt?

    [Reply]

  • Javed

    very informative article in comparision with shallow unresearched edits on this subject from HT itself

    [Reply]

  • (Dr.) B.N. Anand

    Yes, it was indeed a pleasure to go through this article as a matter of fact. But it’s accuracy has been challenged by one of the fellow blogger who disputes about what the author says about Gen. Bikram Singh being related to the PM. The author needs to clarify it.
    BNA

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Do we see ominous sign of Civillian-Military fight? Will we see a coup one day when like of Laloo and Sonia will be hauled up in military court? Just thinking loud…

    [Reply]

  • Kumars1

    The politicians and bereaucrats have a chip on their shoulder and an inferiority complex where army men are concerned. Therefore these scumbags never miss an oppurtunity to humiliate army people. They humiliated upright heroes like General Thimayya and Field Marshal Manekshaw among others. They praise Bin Laden as ‘Osamaji’. The megalomaniac Krishna Menon, defence minister under Nehru, used to call the Army Chief for 4am meetings for silly reasons. He and Nehru caused the army’s defeat in 1962 by their shoddy mishandling.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    UPA II has faux passed all its governance in the last 3 years.It has abdicated its responsibility in 2G scam CWG scam Adarsh Scam and now the army chief age problem.PM is statue in PMs house.He is not taking any action himself but doing all his talks by promptings by sonia.DM is under sonia.The issue of age of COAS is a issue which should have solved by PM himself but as he didnot took any decision huimself it is made muddy.Now SC would have to say whatever it likes but damage has been done 2 army and govt.

    [Reply]

  • Kulwinder Singh

    If the correct date of birth of Gen V K Singh is May 10,1951 as contended by the Law Ministry as well as the general himself, Gen VK Singh was most probably not eligible, being under age for appearing in the NDA Exam in 1965. UPSC Need to examine the issue and clarify. It appears that wrong date was entered in the application form for NDA with the aim to make him eligible for the exam.”

    It should be clarified as to the age limits criteria for entry into the NDA in 1965, i.e., if the DOB (Year) is claimed to be 1951, did this date come within limits? If not then the General is probably guilty of entering the army by fraudulent means. Was the DOB not compared with the Matriculation Certificate by the UPSC ? If not the UPSC officials should also be punished U/S 120-B IPC. We have to to first check this out.

    [Reply]

  • Bullysangha

    Having been placed in the situation where his integrity was in question Gen VKS did the right thing. However, I do believe that he should never have allowed the previous COAS to browbeat him in accepting a wrong DOB. His written acceptance will be the negative factor.
    Sangha

    [Reply]

  • http://scientiash.blogspot.com/ ER. SHRUTI MALIK

    This is the major point to concern. There are so many holes in Indian System. I am completely agree with your point. Our leading organizations have the employees who have educated from such a universities that has no recognition in the world. If our IITs or IIMs passed out are there in this organisation then the face of the India would be something else. Our students are using their talent to serve other countries. If our brilliant mind and talented product live here only, we would not need to export technical things. How to stop these guys that they do not leave their country who has made them in such a position that they are serving others.

    [Reply]

  • http://thepoliticalopportunist.blogspot.in/ abhishek sharma

    Chappell has already been vindicated when he boasted before the Indian tour of Australia that he can demystify the great Indian batting.

    If we look at ourselves, we can call Indian as a sub human civilization at best.
    Compare Indian population and the Nobel prize winner.
    Compare Indian population and Olympics gold medals.
    Indian yearly population growth is equal the total population of Australia.

    There are so many facts to prove that Chappell is absolutely right.
    The problem is not only with what we are taught by parents but it is one aspect of problem. Indian enlightenment never happened and all we gained was due to Western rule. Hindu revivalism also happened due to British rule otherwise Indians would have continued with Sati and child sacrifice.

    It is time for Indians to change their mentality if they want to be the actual super power that they dream about.

    http://thepoliticalopportunist.blogspot.in/2012/03/religiousterrorism-drugs-without.html

    [Reply]

  • Abu Ahmed

    Make the children sleep in a separate room since very early years – that will inculcate in them the confidence to handle situations on their own.

    [Reply]

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WH4VQ5LEB4I7TE2YNDXG5AWAH4 Khagaraj

    If the homosexuals give up their ‘ in your face’ attitude and missionary kind proselytizing,they would be pretty nice guys.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/BootLadyTeri23 Teri Horne

    Re: The rising number of rapes.

    Are the numbers rising, or is it that women feel more confident in REPORTING sexual assaults? If it’s the latter, while still horrible they were attacked, it’s a sign of a progressing society.

    What happens in the bedrooms of consenting adults should not be legislated by governments or religions. If you want to live in a free and equal society, you have to learn tolerance.

    [Reply]

  • Abu Ahmed

    Educational advancement and economic progress would make our society tolerant and humane in time. Its good that the courts have pushed the envelope so some extent.

    [Reply]

  • Establisher

    Na, Indians dont treat white people as anything, you are not a bone of contention at all.Average Indian family in the US – 88,000 Dollars.Average neaderthal family – 35,000/year.To date a white man is like cultural suicide for an Indian, to marry a White girl !!!.Wow, Moms gonna commit suicide.Aryans dont worship anyone but themselves and we dont let whites or blacks into our circle.Nice try though.

    [Reply]

  • ABCI

    I am a proud ABCI/coconut who is ashamed of my Indian roots because PIO’s especially those of NI origin are the most racist people on the planet. Go to any country with an PIO population and you will be shocked at the way they talk about people of SI or African origin – just check out the comments by Sameer for example. Also in Fiji and African countries the PIO’s segregate themselves from the locals and are hated. In western countries thy lick the asses of white people but treat blacks and other dark skinned asians/PIO’s like ****.
    Oh and to the commenter Sameer, I live in Sydney and can tell you that most Indian students are racist Punjabi’s including those that ran back home to their mummies.

    [Reply]

  • ABCI

    I live in Sydney and can tell you that most Indian students are racist Punjabi’s including those that ran back home to their mummies.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Babu-Rudeboy/100000323244832 Babu Rudeboy

    Yes Indians are most certainly racist. Gora and habshee and mooslims oh my! Most likely rooted in the self loathing stemming from the Raj as well as the EVIL varna (caste system).

    [Reply]

  • BlackFemaleExpat_Hyderabad

    “Most black people in America are ghetto” – of course we are Arnoldelango. And it’s not at all racist to believe we are, Sir.

    [Reply]

  • BlackFemaleExpat_Hyderabad

    Really? So movies excuse my being treated like a ***** even when my dress and behaviour are conservative and platonic?

    [Reply]

  • newsx

    Dude, there was no racism until India was invaded by Europeans. Due to them, we lost self respect for ourselves and our culture. We are racist now unfortunately, but it is because of Europeans.

    [Reply]

  • hell

    Periyar Maniammai University in Thanjavur-Tamil Nadu where they discriminate students from Kerala and other states.The staff treat students as slave because they are from other state and want to study.They don’t teach in this university and students just sit free.No proper examination system at all.University is just minting money don’t even care about the students. Many students have left Periyar Maniammai university when it was dilisted becauz of the torture they faced for being an other state student in everything.Periyar Maniammai University is worst university.Never should a student from Kerala dare to enter this palce.they don’t speak english but tamil and if some speaks engl tey laugh.Total a village where only students from village come and study, never join PERIYAR MANIAMMAI UNIVERSITY and spoil your life as we did in two years MBA department from kerala

    [Reply]