Communal Hormony

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Communal Hormony

  1. 1. Press Trust of India Posted online: Monday , December 31, 2007 at 12:00:00 Updated: Sunday , December 30, 2007 at 11:04:36 Faizabad, December 30 The security of Hanuman Garhi and Nageshwarnath temples and the railway station, which are located close to the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid complex in Ayodhya, will be upgraded on par with the dispute structure. Efforts are on, Inspector General of Police A K Jain said on Sunday. “A special security force would be constituted to protect Allahabad High Court, its bench in Lucknow and some other courts in Uttar Pradesh.” Jain, who was in Faizabad today to review security situation in the district, said the charge of the police out posts would be handed over to young sub-Inspectors and every police station would have an intelligence officer. He said strict instruction had been given to all senior police officers of the zone to maintain communal harmony. “In case of communal tension, SSPs and SPs will be held responsible as strict instructions have been given to them to remain vigilant.” Jain, who also heads the newly formed Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), claimed there were no naxalite movements. “We don’t have any threat from naxalite as it is confined to hamlets of some district,” he said. People in Ayodhya crave for peace on Babri Masjid demolition Ayodhya, Dec 6 (ANI): Residents in Ayodhya today craved for peace as the town observed the 15th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on Thursday. Hindus said they are still scared and believed a court decision on the case could spark off riots again.
  2. 2. "The court will take decision in favour of either party, which is dangerous for the peace and unity here. We want to maintain peace and communal harmony in the city," said Nand Kishore Mishra. The Muslim community blamed politicians for disturbing communal harmony. "There is no tension between both communities here. It is all because of politicians. We are the same as before," said Mehandi Hasan. Muslim organisations observe the day as a "Black Day" while fundamentalist Hindu organisations celebrate it as "Victory Day". The demolition of the 16th century mosque on December 6, 1992, triggered off nationwide communal riots that took a heavy toll of human life. The ramifications of that movement are still being felt. Senior BJP leader L K Advani is among those accused of inciting communal passions by making inflammatory statements. After razing the Babri mosque, Hindu activists put up a makeshift temple at the site that they contend is the birthplace of God Ram. (ANI) - AY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007 Communal Harmony Earn $$ with WidgetBucks Though this is a bit older news, I want to share this with everyone whoever reads this blog. There may be somebody especially. readers from Kerala (India), who might have read this news earlier. A true example for communal Harmony - "Muslims Donate Land to Construct Hindu Temple" A Muslim mosque committee and a Muslim family member in the Peruvalloor panchayat in Malappuram district in Kerala has provided their land to reconstruct a centuries old temple that too just 50 meters away from a mosque. Continue to read
  3. 3. here - (Thanks ANI) This sets a great example to all worldwide. I wish Ayodhya issue should also be resolved in such a manner without harming innocent people. (I am gonna add some interesting/constructive news related to the content in this blog from now on. Any feedback is always welcome.) POSTE D BY SINDHU AT FRIDAY, NOVEM B ER 16, 20 07 SADHU TO HOST &#39ROZA IFTAR&#39 IN AYODHYA Lucknow, Sep 30 (IANS) A sadhu in Ayodhya has decided to host a &#39Roza Iftar&#39 party for the local Muslims for paving the path for communal harmony in the otherwise communally sensitive ancient Hindu temple town. Both Hindus and Muslims will join in the Iftar in large numbers to prove Ayodhya&#39s local residents believe in communal harmony, the sadhu said, pointedly adding, &#39It is only the outsiders who create trouble in this town of peace-loving people.&#39 This is after a gap of four years that a Hindu priest is hosting an Iftar party at Ayodhya. Head priest, Mohant Gyan Das of Hanuman Garhi, Ayodhya&#39s oldest temple, had for the first time organized an &#39Iftar&#39 party in 1983. Now another well-known Sadhu, Mahant Jugal Kishore Saran Shastri, has issued invitations for a grand &#39Iftar&#39 on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Well-known Muslim religious leader and internationally known Shia cleric, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, has been invited as the chief guest. Prominent among others who have agreed to attend the &#39Iftar&#39 are Christian priest Anand John, Sikh leader Gurcharan Jeet Singh, Magsaysay award winner and convenor of National Alliance for People&#39s Movement Sandeep Pandey. &#39All prominent Muslim leaders of Ayodhya-Faizabad region and mahants and priests of all the temples in Ayodhya will join the &#39Iftar&#39 to build a new harmonious atmosphere in this ancient town of Ram, who believed, practiced and promoted peace, truth and harmony among people,&#39 Mahant Shastri told IANS over telephone from Ayodhya. When asked if his initiative would be welcomed by local sadhus, Mahant Sharstri said, &#39I am confident that majority of the sadhus at Ayodhya - except those directly associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - would participate in the event.&#39
  4. 4. Earlier, in 2003 Mahant Gyan Das&#39s similar effort to host an Iftar was rejected by some sadhus here. Mahant Shastri said, &#39The common people of Ayodhya have already responded positively to it and they too will join the occasion in a big way.&#39 He went on to add, &#39Both Hindus and Muslims will participate in large numbers to prove that the local residents of Ayodhya believe in communal harmony.&#39 &#39It is only the outsiders who create trouble in this town of peace-loving people.&#39 This entry was posted on Sunday, September 30th, 2007 at 4:25 am and is filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Leave a Reply BABRI MASJID DEMOLITION ANNIVERSARY By TMO | December 13, 2007 By Nilofar Suhrawardy, MMNS NEW DELHI – Fifteenth anniversary of Babari Masjid’s demolition last week (December 6) was marked by a mixed reaction across the country. While several Muslim groups held demonstrations demanding reconstruction of the mosque, a few Hindu organizations celebrated the day as their victory. The issue dominated the proceedings in
  5. 5. the Parliament, while the people in Ayodhya, where the mosque stood, expressed their desire for peace. With the demolition having led to communal clashes across the country, tight security was maintained particularly in communally sensitive areas. No untoward incidents were reported from any part of the country. The common people in Ayodhya seem fed up with the way politicians continue to exploit the issue. In their opinion, a permanent solution may help normalcy return to their lives. “We are eager for peace. On any untoward incident, the minority are moved to safer places from here,” Mohammed Jameel, a resident of Ayodhya said. “There should be an end to arson, curfew and road blockages, which affects our daily lives,” was the general opinion. Though the Ayodhya-issue is rated to have created a strong communal divide between Hindus and Muslims, the locals here think otherwise. Despite her husband being killed in post-demolition riots, Anwari said: “I cannot even think of leaving the place. Outsiders killed my husband… but it was the support extended by the local people that I am surviving with my five children today.” “I hope a solution is reached soon, so that further untoward incidents are averted,” she said. There is also the apprehension that a court decision may spark off riots again. “The court will take decision in favor of either party, which is dangerous for the peace and unity here. We want to maintain peace and communal harmony in the city,” Nand Kishore Mishra said. Blaming only the politicians for creating tension, M. Hasan said: “There is no tension between both communities here. It is all because of politicians. We are the same as before.” Ruckus was created in the Parliament on the issue in both the Houses. Before the two Houses met at 11 AM (IST), legislators belonging to left parties, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) had gathered outside the main gate of Parliament. Shouting slogans, demanding punishment for demolishers of Babari Masjid, they held English and Urdu banners, which read: “Hang the murderers of democracy” and “Punish the guilty of Babari Masjid’s demolition.” Both the Houses witnessed acrimonious scenes as soon as they met in the morning, leading to repeated adjournments. In the Lok Sabha, SP legislators stormed the well of the House seeking punishment of those responsible for demolition of Babari Masjid. Countering them, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members shouted slogans and tried raising the Nandigram issue. Joining the din, Congress legislators demanded action against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had recently justified killing of a Muslim man in a fake gun battle, which subsequently led to arrest of a senior police officer.
  6. 6. With the House drowned in the din, at first Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned it till noon. When the same drama continued at noon, he adjourned it till 2:00 PM (IST). Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha, where SP legislators Shahid Siddiqui and Abu Azmi demanded immediate submission of the Liberhans Commission inquiry report, set up in 1993 to probe the mosque demolition. Though the uproar continued when the two Houses met at 2:00 PM (IST), business was transacted before they were adjourned for the day. While All India Babari Masjid Re-building Committee (AIBRC) and All-India Muslim Unity Front (AIMUF) held a demonstration in Delhi demanding reconstruction of the mosque, the activists of Shiva Sena celebrated the day as “Vijay Divas” (victory day). Both these groups held demonstrations close to each other at Jantar Mantar. When Shiv Sainiks marched directly towards the demonstration-place of AIBRC and AIMUF, both the groups shouted slogans. The war of words soon turned into clash between them leading to five people being injured. With there being only a few policemen, additional force was rushed to the spot to control the clash. Police resorted to lath charge (use of sticks) to disperse the crowd. Both the organizations resumed their meetings after a little while. Down south, in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), over 1,200 members of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) staged a demonstration demanding rebuilding of the mosque. Wearing black shirts, the activists raised slogans against the demolition and sought arrests of those responsible. Tight security was observed, with special vigil maintained, and no untoward incident was reported from the area. The Muslim-majority areas of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) observed a shut down to mark the occasion. Observing the day as “black day,” the old city and the commercial hub around Charminar and Makkah Masjid wore a deserted look, with black flags pitched on rooftops and on streets. A group clash broke out between members of two communities when demonstrators tried forcing closure of shops in Medak. A clash was averted in Lucknow (UP), as over 20 activists of Hindu Mahasabha were detained when they tried disrupting a meeting of Muslim leaders. Addressing a meeting in Kolkata (West Bengal), marking the 15th anniversary of Babri Masjid’s demolition, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat accused the then Narsimha Rao government of having “tacitly” allowed it. Karat said: “Narasimha Rao government tacitly allowed the demolition of Babari Masjid. 20,000 paramilitary forces which were deployed at Ayodhya and Faizabad were given instruction not to act when the mosque was demolished on this day in 1992.” Blaming BJP for communally exploiting the crisis to reap electoral gains from the demolition, he said: “Babari Mosque demolition is a turning point and the Sangh Parivar is still reaping the consequences.”
  7. 7. STRUGGLE IS OVER HISTORY, NOT BRICK AND MORTAR Dr. N.S. Rajaram (mathematician, linguist and historian) The Ayodhya dispute The Ayodhya dispute is over four hundred and fifty years old. It came to head on December 6, 1992 with the demolition of the structure known as the Babri Masjid (Babar's Mosque) by Hindu activists. This event has been seen as marking a watershed in modern Indian history. Some like the British writer V.S. Naipaul see it as an event marking the birth of a new historical awareness on the part of the Hindus; while others, calling themselves the 'Secular Forces' — actually little more than a motely mix of Leftist academics and politicians, and right-wing Muslim leaders and the clergy — see it as the beginning of the transformation of India into a Hindu theocratic state. I see Ayodhya as the symbol of the emergence of the Indian Civilization — more specifically, the Hindu Civilization — from the grip of alien imperialistic forces and their surrogates that have tried to hold on to their privileged positions by suppressing the legitimate national and cultural aspirations of the Hindus. In this they have tried whitewashing the record of vandalism by Medieval Islamic rulers. This is what brought together this seemingly ‘modern’ and 'Westernized' Leftist intellectuals and right wing Islamists with their roots firmly in Medieval history and tradition. Koenraad Elst calls this whitewashing of history 'Negationism', more particularly 'Jihad Negationism'. Negationism: Accepting the Islamic version of history The present volume is only peripherally about Negationism. It is in the main a concise summary of the latest evidence on the Temple-Mosque controversy based on the primary sources including recent archaeological finds. I found it necessary to prepare this volume because there is still much confusion in the minds of many Indians about the existence of a Rama temple and its destruction by Babar in 1528. Many educated Indians still believe that there are some doubts about the historical question; many honestly believe that no temple was ever destroyed by Babar because he was tolerant towards the Hindus.
  8. 8. (Towards the end, I have included a brief discussion of Babar’s famous work Baburnama to give an idea of what he was really like.) This view, while a tribute to the effectiveness of negationist propaganda, is not a true representation of facts. In reality there can no doubt about either the existence or the destruction of a Rama temple by Babar at Rama Janmabhumi. What 'controversy' there is, is a modern concoction, the result of a massive disinformation campaign by 'Secularist' scholars, politicians and a large segment of the English language press. What is more important is that this happens to be part of a larger agenda of denying altogether the destruction of any Hindu temples by Muslim rulers — a step towards whitewashing the record of Islam in India. This is what Elst has called Negationism in his remarkable book Negationism In India: Concealing the Record of Islam. The reader will be the best judge of the facts upon reading the material presented in this volume. A point that I wish to emphasize: any effort aimed at understanding the history leading up to the Ayodhya demolition must be careful not to view the events of December 6, 1992 in isolation, ignoring the thousand year history leading up to it. This would cause one to lose sight of the single most important historical theme in India today: the ongoing struggle between the two versions of history — the nationalistic and the imperialistic. Those calling themselves 'Secularists' in the Ayodhya dispute are representatives of defunct imperialisms — the Islamic and the European. What they fear most is the loss of their privileges following the rise of nationalism. This is the real battle over Ayodhya The negationist version of Indian history means accepting the Islamic view of history — to wit, that the history of any place begins with its Muslim takeover; nothing that happened before is of any account. This is how Muslims view the history of all the conquered lands — from Egypt to Iran and even Pakistan. They have been defeated in their purpose to impose this version of history on India also. The struggle over Ayodhya is but a facet of this larger struggle. This is best understood by recognizing that there are really two Ayodhya disputes. The first is over the right of possession to the site known since time immemorial as Rama Janmabhumi. The second is over the version of history to be imposed on the
  9. 9. people of India today. The beneficiaries of defunct imperialisms — Islamic and the Eurocentric — are using the first dispute as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from their real concern; their real concern is the unraveling of an imperialistic version of history highly advantageous to themselves. As surrogates of past imperialistic movements, they have also been its main beneficiaries. Once the true history comes to the fore, it will mean the end of their privileged existence. To achieve their goal, the agents (or surrogates) of imperialisms have found it necessary to preserve and protect their (negationist) version of history. No imperialism can succeed unless the subject people are made to forget their history. This is what Islam did to Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Afghanistan; this is what Christianity did to Europe and the Americas; and this is what Mao also did to China, and later Tibet. And this is what the Secularists would like to see happen in India also. Destruction of history is the goal of every imperialism. Speaking of imperialisms and their specially crafted language, more specifically Islam, Sita Ram Goel observes: ... every language of imperialism divides human history into two sharply separated periods — an age of darkness which prevailed before the birth of an incomparable person, and an age of light which followed thereafter. The entire past history of every nation preceding the age of darkness is painted so black that nothing in which the nation can take pride is left unscathed. [This 'incomparable person' is Prophet Muhammad in the case of Islam, and Karl Marx in the case of the Secularists. So it is essentially a personality cult. Such cults were built around ‘incomparable persons’ Stalin and Mao also.] The Secularists see India's indigenous Hindu Civilization as the dark force whose entire history should be blackened beyond redemption and ultimately effaced, to be replaced by its own Age of Secular Light. The first step is to coin a derogatory term for it — 'Hindu Communalism' (or Kaffir Communalism). They see India as an impure land plagued by pluralistic Hinduism that awaits Secularist cleansing. This is the Secularist version of the Islamic concept of Dar-ul-Harb and Dar-ul-Islam. Their version of the Ayodhya dispute which seeks to erase a thousand years of history leading up to December 6, 1992 is part of this enterprise.
  10. 10. End to Negationism This again highlights the two Ayodhya disputes: the first ancient and historical, the second recent and ideological. To understand the second — the 'real dispute' so to speak — we must perforce study the first. To this end, I will present here the essential facts of history relating to the Ayodhya dispute. Once these are understood, readers will be in a better position to appreciate the real struggle that Ayodhya represents. I recognize that much of what I have written here will make for unpalatable reading for many Muslims. But history is history, whether we like it or not. Also, no one is asking for revenge or retribution for past crimes. Nor has anyone the right to object to another's belief, as long as that belief remains personal. All one is asking is that Negationism must stop, so a true history can come to the fore. Above all, we cannot expect the Hindus to accept the Islamic view of history — that their civilization had engulfed India in a Dark Age to which light came only with the arrival of Islamic invaders. Nor can Muslims expect the Hindus to accept their version that nothing that happened at Ayodhya before the arrival of Babar is of any account, let alone their theology that there was no history before the arrival of Islam. This is in the interests of all concerned — not just the Hindus. Communal harmony in India is an unattainable goal as long as one side keeps insisting on whitewashing its own record, while blaming the victims for all the problems. And the victims of such propaganda will never rest content until they feel their case has been justly treated. Here is where the Secularists have done immense harm to the cause of communal harmony in the name of 'secularism' — whitewashing Jihad Negationism, while heaping abuse and blame on the victims. This is not a new or recent development. Within four years of Indian independence and the Partition, the late K.M. Munshi had warned Nehru of the dangers of this less than honest stand on secularism. In a now famous and remarkably prophetic letter, Munshi, one of the foremost constitutional lawyers of the day wrote Nehru:
  11. 11. In its [i.e. secularism's] name, again, politicians adopt a strange attitude which, while it condones the susceptibilities, religious and social of the minorities, it is too ready to brand similar susceptibilities in the majority community as communalistic and reactionary. How secularism sometimes becomes allergic to Hinduism will be apparent from certain episodes relating to the reconstruction of Somnath Temple. These unfortunate postures have been creating a sense of frustration in the majority community. If, however, the misuse of this word 'secularism' continues, ... if, every time there is an inter-communal conflict, the majority is blamed regardless of the merits of the question, ..., the springs of traditional tolerance will dry up. While the majority exercises patience and tolerance, the minorities should adjust themselves to the majority. Otherwise the future is uncertain and an explosion cannot be avoided. (Emphasis added.) Prophetic indeed, written forty years before the explosion at Ayodhya! And this has gone on for nearly fifty years. It looks as though nothing has been learnt by the Secularists and their allies. The politicians too keep on promising the impossible to the Muslims in the hope of garnering their votes. If this goes on much longer, more explosions like Ayodhya become all but inevitable. The result of this has been most unfortunate; it has turned the traditionally tolerant Hindus into a majority community with a persecuted minority complex — making them believe that they are second-class citizens in their own country. (This has now been aggravated by the aggressive behavior of Christian missionaries caught in a millennium frenzy.) This is a dangerous development that bodes ill for the minority community, and for the country at large. In this the culprit is Jihad Negationism, and the suspicion and hatred that it breeds. What are we to do about it? In this regard, one can learn a valuable lesson by looking at European history. The record of Christianity in Europe and the Americas is no less blood- soaked than the record of Islam in India. But there are no 'Crusade Negationists' or
  12. 12. 'Inquisition Negationists' in Europe comparable to the Jihad Negationists in India. This has allowed communal harmony to prevail in Europe. The lessons for India are clear, she must come to terms with her history. A similar situation prevailed in the United States over the question of slavery. There was no shortage of negationists who argued that slavery was a natural law that contained much good. But Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest men of modern times, would have none of it. He told Americans to face up to their history: Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. ... No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation. Truer words were never spoken. Its message is clear: for peace and harmony to prevail in India, Negationism must end. Indian history must be freed from the shackles of its imperial surrogates acting in the name of 'secularism'. It is time now to look at the Ayodhya dispute against the background of this brand of 'secularism' and the conduct of its votaries. From correspondents in Uttar Pradesh, India, 05:00 PM IST A sadhu in Ayodhya has decided to host a 'Roza Iftar' party for the local Muslims for paving the path for communal harmony in the otherwise communally sensitive ancient Hindu temple town. Both Hindus and Muslims will join in the Iftar in large numbers to prove Ayodhya's local residents believe in communal harmony, the sadhu said, pointedly adding, 'It is only the outsiders who create trouble in this town of peace-loving people.' This is after a gap of four years that a Hindu priest is hosting an Iftar party at Ayodhya. Head priest, Mohant Gyan Das of Hanuman Garhi, Ayodhya's oldest temple, had for the first time organized an 'Iftar' party in 1983. Now another well-known Sadhu, Mahant Jugal Kishore Saran Shastri, has issued invitations for a grand 'Iftar' on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Well-known Muslim religious leader and internationally known Shia cleric, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, has been invited as the chief guest. Prominent among others who have agreed to attend the 'Iftar' are Christian priest Anand John, Sikh leader Gurcharan Jeet Singh, Magsaysay award winner and convenor of National Alliance for People's Movement Sandeep Pandey.
  13. 13. 'All prominent Muslim leaders of Ayodhya-Faizabad region and mahants and priests of all the temples in Ayodhya will join the 'Iftar' to build a new harmonious atmosphere in this ancient town of Ram, who believed, practiced and promoted peace, truth and harmony among people,' Mahant Shastri told IANS over telephone from Ayodhya. When asked if his initiative would be welcomed by local sadhus, Mahant Sharstri said, 'I am confident that majority of the sadhus at Ayodhya - except those directly associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - would participate in the event.' Earlier, in 2003 Mahant Gyan Das's similar effort to host an Iftar was rejected by some sadhus here. Mahant Shastri said, 'The common people of Ayodhya have already responded positively to it and they too will join the occasion in a big way.' He went on to add, 'Both Hindus and Muslims will participate in large numbers to prove that the local residents of Ayodhya believe in communal harmony.' 'It is only the outsiders who create trouble in this town of peace-loving people.' RAMA : A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE From: mikeghouse@aol.com Subject: Rama : A Muslim Perspective Personal note: I sincerely debated about writing this piece. Should I compromise and let things go, as I may turn a few Muslims and a few Hindus off. But I beleive, that is the mistake most of us make; afraid to speak up. No body wants to lose one's social connections or get chewed out by a few. A wise man said once, when you speak without compromising, God is with you. Speaking up for creating better societies is the right thing and should not be compromised. If the world has to change for better, we have to make that happen. I am willing to lose my friends and my groups but not willing to compromise the integrity and openess of my faith. Rama : A Muslim perspective. As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, faith is in the heart of the believer. There is a consistent theme in Qur'aan of looking the world from a pluralistic point of view. Qur'aan, Al-Hujurat, Sura 49:13 " O mankind, we have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah know and is aware of everything." For a moment forget about religion and look at the day to day situation. Whenever there is a conflict in an office, party or elsewhere, there is always one wise person who will straighten things up. Just as water finds its own level, people will figure out a balance.
  14. 14. God has sent 124,000 messengers to every tribe, nation or community. The 124,000 number is a number to rerpesent everything, and for us to include any one who has brought a message of peace to the society. God also speaks through Krishna in Bhagvad Gita that whenever there is adharma, some one will bring the dharma back to you. We will find similar message in every revered book, that is God's wisdom emerging in different places at different times. The Name Krishna or Rama is not specified in Qur'aan, so are the 123,976 other names. Does that mean the 123, 976 did not exist? or was left open deliberately so we can use our judgement. Islam means peace! Peace means absence of conflict and a sense of living in harmony. Prophet Muhammed set the model for peace making earlier on in his life when he removed the conflict and forged cooperation between the competing Quraish tribes to lift the sacred stone called Aswad, in a piece of cloth by involving every party in peace making. That is what Islam means, reducing conflicts, and creating peace. God has given us all the resources to keep that Meezan ( Sura Rahman) the balance around us. Now, it behoves the Muslims of India at their own free will to accept Ram as another prophet of God whom we revere. Muslims do not have to place an idol of Ram, as they do not do with Jesus's image or Prophet Muhammad's image. It is just acceptance of Ram, as the peace maker. By doing this we fulfill the primary role of a Muslim, the peace maker, being a catalyst to reduce conflicts between the communities. I am sure Hindu's do not have a problem accepting Prophet Muhammad as one of their own Gurus. Whether they accept it or not is not the issue, the question is, are we willing to be the peace makers and create inclusive societies and fulfil God's vision of knowing each other and living in harmony. I support Firzo Bakht Ahmed's piece below. Faith and reason don't go together, it is what you believe. Hindu's believe Lord Rama was human manifestation of God himself and that is their belief. We have to respect every belief, as the author has rightly quoted, to you is your faith and to me is mine. Such is the freedom available in all religions, we just have to learn to free ourselves from shackles put on us by traditions. Mike Ghouse www.WorldMuslimCongress.com www.FoundationforPluralism.com www.MikeGhouse.net To Muslims, Ram is their Imam-e- Hind IANS Firoz Bakht Ahmed September 20, 2007
  15. 15. On behalf of all Muslims who believe in reason and sanity, I declare that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) affidavit (since withdrawn) questioning the existence of Hindu god Ram was vitriolic, scathing, unfortunate and blasphemous - not just to Hindus but to all those who cherish ourpluralistic cultural heritage. How can a government decide the veracity of a figure like Ram? He Ram ke wajood pe Hindostan ko naaz/Ahl-e-nazar samajhtey hein usko Imam-e-Hind! Iqbal, the poet of the East, has written a wonderful and moving poem on the authenticity of the existence of Ram. Logic and science have their say but not in matters of faith. In a nation where religion percolates to all levels of culture, secularism and modernity, themes like Ram, Mohammed, Mary and Moses are all interwoven within the existence of the people. A denial can drive people into a frenzy. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar rightly puts it, one cannot dismiss Sri Ram as a mythological character just because a lot of miracles were reported in his life and there are no scientific evidences to prove them. There were unproven miracles in the lives of the religious figures of every faith. Just because we can't prove the parting of the Red Sea, we can't say that Moses was a fictitious figure. Just because there were miracles in the lives of Jesus, Moses and Mohammed, you cannot call them mythical figures. Historical evidence of most of the eminent religious figures would be difficult to find. Nevertheless, the authenticity of Ram's reality cannot be doubted, as most legends and myths have their roots in real incidents and actual happenings of religious figures. So far as Ram is concerned, there are numerous places in India and Sri Lanka closely linked to his life including Ayodhya, Janakpuri, Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram. The whole debate about whether or not Lord Ram existed or not is redundant. Even if he did not exist, this is not going to diminish his importance because he actually exists in the hearts of not only Hindus but also Muslims. According to Islam, 120,000 messengers were sent to the earth. According to Muslim belief, Ram not only exists but also is part of the community's religious legacy. Nearly a billion Hindus believe that Ramayana happened and that Ram existed. If there is no archaeological evidence to this effect, it is something for ASI to keep in their records, not for a secular government to pronounce from rooftops. To a Muslim it is a surprise that it is only the Hindu groups that have taken umbrage at this affidavit. The average Hindu is by and large silent. In contrast Muslims would have risen en masse in protest against such blasphemy. Ram is entrenched deeply in the minds of a vast majority of people of all faiths, including Muslims of Indonesia. Ram is the MaryadaPurushottam to all irrespective of caste, creed or faith. Questioning a largely tolerant and pluralistic people to provide proof that their god actually exists is driving them to aggression. The weakness lies here with the Congress party, which time and again has failed to handle sensitive issues pertaining to faith. However, the Congress was able to salvage some ground by withdrawing from the Supreme Court the offending affidavit
  16. 16. questioning the existence of Ram. But the secular credentials of this government have been sacrificed. The author is a commentator on social, educational and religious issues and the great-nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He can be reached on firozbakht @rediffmail.com Enjoyed this post? Recommend it to Others Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! Tags: rama, islam, muslim, hindu, pluralism, prophet Preserving Communal Harmony India is the land of multifaceted landscapes. Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Parse, Judaism as well as other isms are very much a part of the landscape. It is a multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-cultural society. Even though Hinduism is the religion of the majority in India, but some 20 percent of the total population in India follows different other believes. Muslims are the second largest community after Hindus and followed by Sikhism and others. The various elements of the Indian community have emerged as a single united entity that is known as India. It is very much like the Indonesian community that is varied and heterogeneous. It is not surprising that Indian community also faces problems that any other heterogeneous society is facing. So even though Indians are known to be tolerant and respectful to others, communal hiccups are, however, phenomena that cannot be missed since the beginning of India’s independence. It was in the early 1940s that a proponent of a Hindu rightwing movement, Hindu Mahasabha, proposed a two nations theory for India, a Hindustan for the Hindus and Pakistan for the Muslims. The theory was later re-packaged and proposed by M.A. Jinnah of the Muslim League in the mid 1940s and was finally approved by the British Government for the creation of the modern day India and Pakistan. The Indian Partition of August 1947 was the biggest mistake of history in which thousands or even millions of innocent lives fell victim to the greed and lust for power of a few individuals. The Partition bore witness to the worst communal history in the 20th century. Religious affiliations have put the Indian people in a very difficult situation in which conscience was lost and they were left to the options of to kill or to be killed. Indian Partition of 1947 was the blackest chapter in the history of the Indian sub- continent. Moving on into the independent India, the traits of communal disharmony is very much apparent as well as communal harmony in Indian society in which several large scales of communal clashes occurred and have left thousands of innocent lives killed in the name of religion. Politics have left many of these innocent lives to suffer. In the 1980s India witnessed Hindu – Sikh communal violence in which thousands of innocent souls departed. A larger scale of communal violence had flared up in the early 1990s when Hindu activists claimed that at the very site of a mosque in Ayodhya built by
  17. 17. a Muslim ruler, Babar, was once the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram. Thus they had to destroy the old mosque to make way of a temple construction. Politicians from the rightwing Hindu nationalist group took advantage of this situation and ignited the anger and religious sentiments of the majority community who then targeted the Indian Muslims and branded them as the invaders of the Hindu civilization that must be expelled. The violence in Ayodhya spread as far as Mumbai in Maharashtra. Every one thought that the Ayodhya tragedy in the 1990s was to be the last communal violence ever to have occurred in the modern day India. However, India was shocked by a seemingly choreographed communal violence in 2002 in Gujarat in which an angry mob ransacked and killed thousands of innocent people after a freak train accident had killed some 50 kar sevaks (Hindu pilgrims) in a fire that burnt the coach of a train in Godra, Gujarat. The communal violence that erupted after this train incident was seen by many as a choreographed and sponsored violence by certain political group as a strategy to win the support of the people, a similar scenario that was used in the 1990s of Ayodhya violence. In last week of October 2005, during the busy days of a Hindu festival of Diwali and an approaching day of Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, series of bomb blasts rocked the Capital in which more than 50 innocent people have been killed and several others have been injured. Luckily, no communal flare up arose from this incident. Yesterday evening, another series of bomb blast rocked the very city of Hinduism: Varanasi. 12 people have been reportedly killed and several others have been injured. This attack on the heartland of Hinduism is a clear sign by certain individuals or groups to ignite some communal sentiments of the majority communities for some personal or political gain, a grim reminder of the 1990s Ayodhya violence. The governments, both in New Delhi and the state government of Uttar Pradesh, have quickly condemned the attack as an irresponsible act of terror and appealed to the people to remain calm and cautious. Security has been beefed up throughout the country and an appeal to maintain communal harmony has come from different quarters. It is now the need of the hour to keep vigil and cautious toward any provocative actions by certain groups or individuals who want to break the tradition of harmony and tolerance that long has been practiced in India. The communal violence that occurred in the earlier periods must be taken as hard lessons that need to be remembered and avoided in the future. Democratic tradition in India has long been entrenched in the society and such kind of provocation should not let the conscience of the people to be replaced by anger and sentiments that are destructive. Preserving communal harmony in a heterogeneous society is an important key to build a strong and powerful society. Falling victim to communal disharmony and intolerance will only lead to destruction and disintegration.

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