This is the essential logic of Hizbul Mujahidin and the other freedom fighters (in Kashmir and elsewhere). Power flows out of the barrel of a gun etc.
Thing is, this can (will) go on forever. We do not envisage the Valley people ever reconciling with Indians in Jammu and elsewhere. Too much blood has already been spilled.
If we include Kashmir in the MENA sphere it seems to be the fate of the Ummah to face down this daily ugliness in their lives with no end in sight. The health problems (physical as well as mental) of staying in a war zone are well documented. It seems the best place for a muslim (except for a few city states) is to be as far away as possible from the muslim heartlands. ……. Militants killed two local officials and another man in Indian Kashmir before issuing a warning to Kashmiris against voting this week in the country’s election, according to police and residents. The militants targeted two village council chiefs in separate attacks late on Monday in Pulwana district, south of the main city of Srinagar, a senior police officer said.
“Three people including two village heads were killed by local militants active in the area and the attack is aimed to keep the voters away from polling,” AG Mir, the inspector general of police, said. “The attackers belong to the local militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen, they were two in number and we have identified them,” Mir said.
Police were hunting for the attackers, who entered the home of one village head and shot him dead in the Tral area of Pulwana district. They killed another senior village official and his 24-year-old son about an hour later in the same area.
Separatists have called for a boycott of the general election, which ends next month. Hardline Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi and his party are expected to take power after a decade of Congress party rule.
Posters warning residents of punishment if they went to the polls appeared early on Tuesday morning in the Tral area where the attacks happened, according to residents.
Voting in India’s only Muslim-majority state of Kashmir and Jammu is being staggered because of tight security. The Kashmir constituency, which includes Pulwana district, votes on Thursday.
The warnings, which say they are from the region’s biggest rebel group, the Hizbul Mujahideen, were posted outside mosques and in the main bazaar of Tral town. “Be warned, voting for tyrants will entail punishment,” the posters say.
The rebels say in the posters that they have been compelled to change their “freedom movement” strategy from “defensive” to “offensive” mode.
A local resident, who did not want to give his name, told AFP that “about four armed rebels appeared on Sunday in the main bazaar of Tral threatening people to dissociate themselves from those fighting (in) the elections”.
In a similar attack on 17 April, a village council head was shot dead elsewhere in the Himalayan region, which is disputed between India and Pakistan.
At least a dozen council members have been killed by suspected rebels since elections were held in 2010 for the region’s panchayat or village councils.
The scriptures famously refer to the soul-awakening impact of sickness, old age, and death on the young, impressionable prince Siddhartha Gautama. There is no command that we know of which forbids graven images of the Lord. The tattoo (below) does not look disrespectful, but we defer to the faithful on that account.
This event should be viewed as part and parcel of the learning process for faith-led communities around the world as they scramble to secure their own pure (infidel-free) fiefdoms. The initial spark (usually lit by Islam envy) eventually becomes a raging fire that consumes the believer, non-believer and the dis-believer alike. Blasphemy and apostasy are used by opportunists to terrorize the innocent. The road to Hell is indeed paved with good sentiments (hurting others’ religious feelings).
……. A British tourist is to be deported from Sri Lanka because of a tattoo of Buddha on her arm.
Sri Lankan police said Naomi Coleman, 37, was arrested at Bandaranaike international airport in the capital, Colombo, after she arrived from India.
A police spokesman said she was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings” after the tattoo of Buddha seated on a lotus flower was spotted on her right arm.
Buddhism is the religion of the country’s majority ethnic Sinhalese, and Buddhist tattoos are seen as culturally insensitive.
Coleman appeared before a magistrate who ordered her deportation. The spokesman said she was being held at an immigration detention centre and would be removed “very soon – it could be tomorrow or the day after tomorrow”.
This is the true face of secularism as practiced in India. If the majority community gets its constituent groups working together for a common purpose (the spirit of Hindutva so to speak) it is ipso facto bad. If the minorities do the same thing, this is an unqualified good.
There is no sense of striving for a common bond of citizenship which rises above these petty differences for fighting against the evils of poverty, corruption, malnutrition,….
The most disappointing thing about this is the Aam Aadmi Party was supposed to be a party with a difference (also Shazia Ilmi is a highly qualified woman who should know better than to spout nonsense). If you tarnish your brand in this manner, why should the common citizen vote for you?
Days before the crucial fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi has landed into a controversy because of her alleged “Muslims ought to be communal this time” remark.
The party distanced itself from her remark and said she should not have said it.
“Muslims are very secular. Muslims ought to be more communal. (They) do not vote for their own. (AAP leader) Arvind Kejriwal is your own. I say, it is enough of secularism,” Ilmi, who contested the Lok Sabha polls from Ghaziabad earlier in the month, is seen saying in the video.
“Here helping the Congress win, there someone else. Please do not be so secular. Muslims are secular. They will continue to vote for others. Other parties don’t do such things?” she said.
It is a short 1.19 minute video clip, apparently a sting operation, where Ilmi is seen talking to Muslims. The video, believed to be shot in Mumbai, where she had gone for campaigning for AAP’s South Mumbai candidate Mira Sanyal, shows Ilmi talking with her head covered with a dupatta. Mumbai goes to polls on April 24.
Ilmi, a member of AAP’s national executive, is seen further saying “agree, this is controversial, but this is important” in reaction to a person sitting next to her who said “we are afraid, we have to vote”.
Dr Asif wrote this a couple of years ago and it was published earlier in http://www.viewpointonline.net/. OK, the family was never that cheerful and happy and most of the house was pretty much a hovel even in the good old days, but hey, its a story…
Our story is heartbreaking, but worth listening to, if you have time, sir. You see us in rags, fearful of rats, and disheveled living in this dungeon, the dingy basement of our own house, and you may think that we were always like this. But that’s not the case, sir. Ours used to be a house, bright and airy, with sprawling lawns, old trees, exotic plants, and vines climbing over the marble pillars of our front porch that overlooked a fountain and a pond filled with colorful fish. At midday when the sun was high, a rainbow appeared on the sheath of mist by the fountain. The house had many sections, each lived-in by a distinct family having a unique trait, yet the living was harmonious and filled with laughter: Children running about playing hide and seek among the evergreens; birds chirping in the foliage of the fruit laden trees, and peacocks dancing with their plumes open, like bouquets placed over a carpet of green, the pasture–crisscrossed by a bubbly stream, carrying water pure and sweet; and on the horizon towered a mountain chain, their snowy peaks glimmered like gold in the rays of the setting sun. An old banyan tree stood at the entrance of the house, and from its branches hung, like a woman’s curls, twirly threads–their tips touching the ground; and it was around its trunk where all the family members used to get together from time to time. We used to have guests from all over the world; and some would like our place so much, they would choose to stay and become permanent residents of our home. The food was plenty, the fields were fertile, and we thought things would go on forever in the same way. But as you know, sir: Nothing remains the same. Some dispute arose among the family members: nothing so great which couldn’t have been solved if we’d all wanted to–after all we’d lived together for centuries. Needless to say, the family quarrel got out of hand; and lets not get into details, sir, for they are messy details, really messy. To cut it short: The house was divided. We got to keep the east and the west flank of the house, and our cousins got the center with the banyan tree in the middle. We were not used to this kind of fragmented existence, but we knew there was no chance of ever going back to live like one unified family again. We felt insecure in our new living arrangement, and so we hired a Chowkidar. This nice looking fellow with resolute eyes, a rifle on his shoulder, and a smile under his stiff mustache–for us was hard to tell if it was a genuine or a fake one–reassured us about our security, and we gave him a generous sized quarter, one in each flank of the house, to lodge. We fed him the best of foods, clothed him in an expensive uniform, and gave him the top salary. But sir, there was something about him which always made us uncomfortable and doubtful about his intentions. We began to feel that he may not do much to protect us in the time of need. We were right, sir: He got fat and lazy, and many a times we found him snoring at night when he should have been up keeping a watch. In the end, it’s all our mistake, sir. We let the matter go unnoticed for a long time. Of course, in due time we found out that the chowkidar had been planning to control all the affairs of the house right from the beginning, from the very time we hired him. It was too late by then. To keep his grip on the house, he started inventing all kinds of stories. For example, he threatened us by telling us how the neighbors, the ones with the banyan tree, had been planning to attack us and take over our house. Sir, in reality, the neighbors had been busy dealing with their own problems. They had no interest in taking over our crumbling building, which over time needed some serious maintenance work. One day, during the monsoon, the east flank was flooded after a heavy downpour, and the chowkidar, instead of saving our family members, actually killed the ones trying to swim to safety. We were all told to shut up and mind our own business, sir. Scared to death, we knew at the time that things would only get worse. It was then that a realization hit us: We had lost our say in matters pertaining to the upkeep of our house. The Chowkidar meanwhile devised all kinds of schemes to make sure he’d continue to keep us hostage to his way of looking at things: to see our existence as an ongoing fight against the neighbors; and he convinced us to see this fight as a Jihad. In the absence of any alternative, many of the hostage owners, that is us, sir, got brainwashed over time. We forgot our identity; and now sir, we live in this dark and damp basement of our own house, infested with cockroaches, rats, ticks, dust mites and molds of all kinds. Our chowkidar has confiscated all the rooms of the house in the upper stories. They are beautiful rooms, sir, with large windows that open into the surrounding lawns, with views of snowy peaks and lush valleys. You will agree, sir, thinking requires plenty of fresh air and oxygen; and due to lack of both, we the owners have stopped thinking a long time ago. To tell you the truth, sir, most of us now just simply believe whatever comes out of the lips of the chowkidar. The sad part is, sir, that we fully well know that the air we live and breath has been deteriorating for a long time. Many of us feel the pressure on our chests; we feel suffocated, choked. When we complain about this to our master, the chowkidar, telling him that our lives have been getting more and more difficult with each passing day, we are told: “You people are destined for a very big role in this world; and this has been divinely ordained and foretold; your reward is in the next world.” When we tell him that before we fulfill that divine role, we need simple stuff, such as clean water, electricity, basic repairs, oil in the creaky door-hinges, pest control and an inlet for fresh air, he tells us: “The house–which is now his, for we, the real owners, live within its basement–is a Fortress.” Lounging on a luxurious sofa, which once belonged to our great grandfather, and smoking a pipe which smells of expensive, imported tobacco, he says: “Get up, fight and be prepared to give your life for the noble cause of defending your house. He says: “Great people die for glory; they make the ultimate sacrifice; they don’t care if they are annihilated for a noble cause—Let us protect this Fortress.” And then taking a puff and blowing all the smoke on our faces he narrows his eyes, twirls his mustache and says: “You complain of bad air, lack of clean water and fresh food and electricity, and pests roaming all around–these are all part of a Test–a divine Test!” Sir, for how long this test will last?
Just for a change of pace, here is what our Japanese friends are in to these days…
First the submarine (Sindhurakhshak) exploded killing 18 sailors. Next another sub (Sindhuratna) caught fire and two more sailors were lost. Admiral DK Joshi assumed moral responsibility and resigned. Now the ripples have extended to appointment of the new admiral as well.
Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha has resigned as Robin Dhowan has been promoted ahead of him. Such events fall in the rarest of rare category- General AS Vaidya became Army chief in 1983 ahead of Lieutenant general SK Sinha, and Air Chief Marshal SK Mehra became IAF chief by superseding Air Marshal MM Singh
The government, on Monday, approved the “voluntary retirement” of Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, who had put in his papers after Admiral Robin Dhowan superseded him to become Navy chief last week, even as the Army commanders’ conference kicked off amid uncertainty over its own line of succession.
The Navy is now headed for a reshuffle in its top brass, with the two crucial posts of vice-chief and WNC (Western Naval Command) chief becoming vacant. The force’s line of succession, of course, has also gone for a complete toss, with present National Defence College commandant Vice Admiral Sunil Lamba now slated to succeed Admiral Dhowan as the Navy chief in May 2016.
The defence ministry felt that Vice Admiral Sinha had to take his share of the blame for the recent string of warship mishaps under the WNC. This came after Admiral D K Joshi owned “moral responsibility”for the accidents and quit as the Navy chief on February 26 — a resignation which was accepted by the MoD with unseemly haste.
But the MOD’s junking of the seniority principle has sparked some concern in military circles because successive governments have almost always stuck to it in appointing service chiefs. The chain of seniority in Indian military is considered virtually sacrosanct, with supersession being exceptionally rare.
Message of peace: Baha’u’llah, the 19th-century founder of the Baha’i faith- “Consort with all religions with amity and concord, that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of God,” reads the inscription. “Beware lest amidst men the flame of foolish ignorance overpowers you.”
Messenger of peace: Did an Ayatollah actually call for peaceful co-existence with the Bahais in Iran? We are a bit confused about the indirect messaging (Bahai World News Service mentions the Church of England leaders praising Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani for his courage).
If true, this can be a small but significant step towards the launching of a powerful (non-violent) revolution in the Middle East and North Africa. Peaceful co-existence can also be a good principle for the South Asians to follow.
News from Iran has given me tremendous hope and optimism for peace between Iranians, regardless of faith and ethnicity. Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a prominent imam and scholar, has taken a stand for coexistence with the country’s Baha’i minority. He has reminded us that Islam is a religion of peace that recognises diversity of every kind as part of God’s design for his creation. And it all came in the form of a gift – one which I am proud to endorse.
For many, Iran is synonymous with persecution and oppression. Iran’s authorities routinely target ethnic and religious minorities, human rights activists, journalists and intellectuals. And the case of the Baha’is is emblematic of these broader violations.
The Baha’is are Iran’s largest religious minority with 300,000 followers. For decades they have been arbitrarily detained, denied education and livelihood, harassed, vilified in the media, and executed. Hundreds were killed after the 1979 revolution. More than 130 Baha’is are currently in prison on false charges. Seven former leaders are serving 20-year jail terms, just for tending to the basic needs of their community. Baha’is have no legal protection as a minority because their faith is not recognised under the constitution.
Such a violent backdrop makes Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani’s gift all the more remarkable. A trained calligrapher and painter, the ayatollah has produced a large illuminated work of art featuring passages from the writings of Baha’u’llah, the 19th-century founder of the Baha’i faith.
Although I believe Islam is the religion chosen by God, I cannot reject such words.
The ayatollah offered his gift as a “symbolic action to serve as a reminder of the importance of valuing human beings, of peaceful coexistence, of cooperation and mutual support, and avoidance of hatred, enmity and blind religious prejudice”. He has a long history of supporting peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians and Jews, including with illuminated calligraphic versions of the Qur’an, the Torah, the psalms, the New Testament, and the Book of Ezra.
Issori, North Waziristan (for detailed map of disturbed territories see below). A breathtakingly beautiful land being polluted by actions of ugly foreigners (and foolish locals).
Death comes via drones or bullets: “We have been caught between the earth and the skies,” says Sadat, who has rented a house for his grandparents in Bannu and struggles to set up a transport business there. “The Americans kill us by firing from the skies and men with ugly faces (militants) have made our lives miserable on the ground.”
Aam aadmi at the mercy of ruthless beasts: Young Taliban militants pulled him out of his shop and dragged him across the road. “Amriki jasoosi, Ameriki Jasoosi (American spy, American spy),” Sadat remembers the militants shouting as they dragged his friend. “Two of them held his arms and the other two his legs, and tied explosives around the whole body while my friend was screaming.” The tribesmen, including Deen Wali’s family members, gathered around but nobody dared to stop the Taliban militants. “The militants walked backwards, moving away from Deen Wali, and pushed the remote button. The explosives detonated, shredding him. His flesh and body parts flew everywhere.” The militants left the scene in a convoy of vehicles leaving behind the clouds of dust, despair and helplessness. . The temperature of hell is this warm:The tribesmen relate that every Waziristani keeps anti-depressant tablets in their pockets. Sadat takes his grandmother Bi Jan for psychiatric treatment every week.
The local clerics, whose influence has steadily grown over the years, played on the religious sentiments of the tribesmen, calling on them to host these “mujahideen” out of a sense of brotherhood. Others, who were less idealistic, were lured with money. So the tribesmen welcomed these war-battered and defeated warriors and offered them shelter, believing that they would soon disappear back into the war-torn land of Afghanistan. But the hordes kept coming, first a trickle, then a flood.
Everyday there was a fresh convoy of militants of different castes, creeds and colour. Low key and ‘quiet’, tall and athletic, Al Qaeda militants of Morrocan, Egyptian, Algerian and Sudanese origin. The round-faced, flat-nosed and ruthless Uzbeks; the fair-skinned Chechens. The short Uighur Chinese with their thin scraggly beards. Muslim converts from America, Germany and France known collectively as the ‘Gora Taliban’. Thousands of local jihadis joined their ranks, distinct because of their appearance and inability to speak Pushto, these were the long-haired and short-tempered Punjabi Taliban.
The temporary shelters the militants sought soon turned into entrenched sanctuaries as they allied with local commanders Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Siraj Uddin Haqqani. After forming the Tehrik-i- Taliban, thousands of fighters turned this tribal belt into the world’s most dangerous labyrinth, threatening peace inside Pakistan with suicide attacks and in Afghanistan by fighting US and Nato forces.
We have now counted more than a hundred articles (national, international) as to why Narendra Modi should not come to power (and we mostly agree with those justifications).
However the extent to which the liberal crowd will avert their gaze to prevent an immodest look at the injustices committed against Sikhs in 1984 is something truly shameful. Has a single person even suffered one day in prison for his crimes? Why have the top people (and they are well known) gone scot-free? How is this dereliction of duty possible in a modern nation where the wheels of justice, even if slow, must turn eventually in favor of the victims? It is already 30 years past, how long must the victims endure the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune?
Now we have insults adding to injury- clean chits being issued on behalf of monsters by unworthy people. The hand of the liberals are getting stained by virtue of their acts of omission. Speak now or forever remain silent!!!
Akali Dal today staged a protest outside Congress headquarters here against its Amritsar Lok Sabha candidate Amarinder Singh’s alleged remarks on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
Scores of Akali activists reached the Congress office at 24, Akbar Road, holding placards and raised anti-Congress slogans and clashed with police, which had erected barricades to stop them. As the protesters refused to budge, police resorted to use of water cannon to disperse them.
In his recent remarks to a private channel Singh had said that he believed Congress leader Jagdish Tytler played no role in fuelling the violence in 1984 that left hundreds of Sikhs dead.
Usually politicians are a friendly lot cutting across party lines. On public platforms they may huff and puff (and even come to blows) they mostly get along very well. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s admiration for Indira Gandhi was legendary (Indira is India and India is Indira). In turn the communists had great respect for Vajpayee, especially as the left and right joined hands for a brief while during the genocide of Bangladeshi Hindus during partition II.
However if a Modi govt comes such traditions may be a thing of the past. Modi has faced the wrath of the entire Congress machinery for a decade, because they predicted (correctly) that this was one danger-man that can scuttle the chances of the “natural ruling party.” So how will the response be in turn?
Our suspicion is they will not unleash the sword against Sonia (bahu) and the prince or even the princess. Indians are in their way touchy about these things and people still remain fond of Indira and her brood.
But the son-in-law is a different kettle of fish. He is a (non-royal) outsider and is a soft target. We suspect that people will not mind as much, especially the millions who have had to walk through airport security and observe that while all the VIPs who are allowed to pass unmolested are titled (Prime Minister etc.), there is only one (untitled) man specifically mentioned by name: Robert Vadra. …… Notwithstanding BJP’s assertion that there will be no witch-hunt if it comes to power, Uma Bharati has said that Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra will be in jail if NDA comes to power.
Bharati also alleged that Vadra had made money by breaking all the norms.
“Just because he is the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, all the Congress ruled state governments are afraid of him. Union ministers were also under pressure from him. He has made money by breaking all the norms,” she charged here on Sunday night.
“Although my party gets annoyed with me, when the power will be in my hand, I will send ‘jamaibabu’ to jail,” Bharati said.
Modi has said recently that there will be no witch-hunt if the BJP comes to power.
The critics were luke-warm but our friends who saw the movie (across age group) liked it very much. This is also great news since newbie director Abhishek Varman has succeeded in his first attempt, OTOH Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt will prolong the stranglehold of dynasties in Bollywood (we still wish them well).
…… In spite of the IPL fever, this film has been declared the biggest hit of 2014 so far. Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted about the film’s success,”#2States all set to cross $ 1 million mark in USA-Canada in opng wknd itself. BIGGEST OPENER of 2014 there. Excellent!”
Writer Chetan Bhagat who was in an ecstatic mood also took to Twitter to post, “Kudos @abhivarman and his entire team | 2 States Emerges Biggest Hit Of 2014. 2 States opening wknd ~Rs40cr, similar to 3 Idiots opening wknd! Only this time, with debut director, upcoming actors! Miracles do happen.”
The film raked in around Rs.12 crore on its opening day in the country (India). According to sources, the first day collection for the entertainer, directed by first-timer Abhishek Varman, is Rs. 12.42 cr net. The movie was released in nearly 2,400 screens worldwide. In India, “2 States” released in over 2,000 screens and internationally, it released in close to 350 screens in 30 countries.
……Alia Bhatt too could not hide her excitement post the film’s release, considering her last film Highway did not fare too well at the Box Office. She tweeted, ” Thank you all for all the love !!!!!! Soo overwhelmed with the response to #2states !!! We do this for you and just you .. Thank you #1love……. …… Review (no spoiler):Pretty Tam Brahm ‘ponnu’ plus ‘hatta katta’ Punjabi munda equals to match made in heaven? If you go by ’2 States’, yes, but getting to it is long and arduous. The film sets out to be a solid, emotionally satisfying rom com, and goes well for a bit but then turns into a too-stretched-out ‘jhagda’ between the two sets of North-South parents. And the romance gets short shrift.
It’s the meet–the-parents aspect of the plot, based on Chetan Bhagat’s autobiographical novel of the same name, that becomes too much: just why are parents in this day and age so fiercely opposed to the union of ‘chicken’ and ‘sambhar’? Mr Malhotra (Ronit Roy) drinks and is obnoxious. Mrs Malhotra (Amrita Singh) feels that Ananya has ‘phansaaoed’ their ‘gora chitta ladka’. The truth is that Ananya is more ‘gori’ and ‘chitti’ than their sonny boy, and holds down an equally well-paying job. So what’s the problem?
When the going is good, both Kapoor and Bhatt, she more than he, rise above the film’s flaws. He has a few good moments. But Alia Bhatt is a surprise. She leaves behind her earlier films, and gets into her character: she may not be an authentic ‘Southie’ in terms of body language, but she is all girl, easy and fresh and natural.
It’s nice to see Bollywood attempting to create a contemporary young couple. I liked the way they proceed without fuss into that most modern of compacts — of attraction that leads to conjugation, minus coyness.