Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Khalid Omar Siddiqi
Recently it was stated in our discussions that Indian Muslim women have not
done very well in politics. There are no Muslim counterparts to Sonia
Gandhi, Mayavati, Jaylalita, Mamta Bannerjee, Sushma Swaraj and others. This
is all true. But can you name a country where the Prime Minister is a woman
as well as three of the other four most important ministries (Home, Defense,
Foreign Affairs but not Finance) are also headed by women?
The correct answer is not some where in Western Europe or
a Muslim Country in our own neighborhood. Believe it or not, the right
the world that an elected national government is almost totally dominated by
female politicians and administrators.
In my opinion, this Government of
Wajid, is doing an excellent job right now. Many Muslim countries as well as
other nations can learn a lot from this poor nation of teeming millions. The
country is at peace, both internally and externally, as well as has a
respectable 6.5% rate of economic growth.
Courtesy:Muslim Indian News Letter:March 13,2011
Monday March 14, 2011 09:14:46 AM, ummid.com Staff Reporter
"Maharashtra State Urdu Academy would be organising a glittering function at YB Chavan Auditorium near Mantralaya in Mumbai March 14 to give away its annual literary awards", declares Academy Secretary Qasim Imam in the advertisements that appeared in all the Urdu dailies March 13.
"The ceremony will be presided over by Minister of Minority Department and Awkaf Arif Naseem Khand and
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will grace the occasion as Chief Guest", it added.
The advertisements also state that the annual awards pending since 2004 and till 2008 will be given away in today's ceremony.
The list of the awardees released by the Academy includes names of around hundred Urdu scholars, writers, researchers, historians and journalists. They will be given away special citations and cash prizes in today's ceremony.
According to the sources, the awards were pending since 2004 due to the infighting and political upmanship, and today's award giving ceremony has also become possible by hectic backdoor lobbying. It is also alleged that some of the names in the list are of those, who do not deserve but are being honored because of their proximity with politicians and the current Academy office bearers.
Interestingly, irregularities are being complained in the distribution of invitation cards also. On one side, there are community bigwigs and dignitaries who complain they are not invited, some awardees say they have not received any formal invitation from the Academy and came to know about their nominations for the awards only through newspapers.
Meanwhile, the Academy is totally silent on when and how it will declare the annual awards from 2009 onwards.
PTI – Sun, Mar 13, 2011 12:28 PM IST
New Delhi, March 13 (PTI) Senior BJP leader L K Advani today said that he felt the demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992 had "badly dented" the credibility of his party.
Recalling a newspaper article he had written a fortnight after the demolition, he said that while describing the genesis of evolution of Ayodhya movement, he had said that the day the disputed structure was pulled down was the saddest day of his life.
In the latest post on his blog, Advani said that some colleagues had criticised him for that statement saying, "Why he was being apologetic about the development?"
Advani said he had replied, "I am not at all apologetic. Indeed, I am proud of my association with the Ayodhya movement. But I am extremely sad that our party's credibility has been badly dented by the happenings of December 6."
He recalled that he had written in his article that organisations involved in the movement could be faulted for not being able to judge the impatience of the people participating in it.
1414 March 11 00:53 GMT
By Alastair Lawson
previously undiscovered diaries have been found by an author based in the UK which show the intense relationship between Queen Victoria and the Indian man employed to be her teacher.The diaries have been used by London-based author Shrabani Basu to update her book Victoria and Abdul - which tells the story of the queen's close relationship with a tall and handsome Indian Muslim called Abdul Karim.The diaries add weight to suggestions that the queen was arguably far closer to Mr Karim than she was to John Brown - the Scottish servant who befriended her after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert in 1861.They show that when the young Muslim was contemplating throwing in his job, soon after his employment started, because it was too "menial", the queen successfully begged him not to go.Closest friend'
Mr Karim was just 24 when he arrived in
England from Agra to wait at table during Queen 's golden jubilee in 1887 - four years after Mr Brown's death. He was given to her as a "gift from Victoria ". India
Click to play
Within a year, the young Muslim was established as a powerful figure in court, becoming the queen's teacher - or munshi - and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs.
Mr Karim was to have a profound influence on Queen Victoria's life - like Mr Brown becoming one of her closest confidants - but unlike him, was promoted well beyond servant status.
"In letters to him over the years between his arrival in the UK and her death in 1901, the queen signed letters to him as 'your loving mother' and 'your closest friend'," author Shrabani Basu told the BBC.
"On some occasions, she even signed off her letters with a flurry of kisses - a highly unusual thing to do at that time.
"It was unquestionably a passionate relationship - a relationship which I think operated on many different layers in addition to the mother-and-son ties between a young Indian man and a woman who at the time was over 60 years old."
Ms Basu hints that it is unlikely that the pair were ever lovers - although they did set tongues wagging by spending a quiet night alone in the same highland cottage where earlier she and John Brown used to stay.
Prince Albert died, famously said that he was her husband, close friend, father and mother," Ms Basu said. "I think it's likely that Abdul Karim fulfilled a similar role." Victoria
"The elderly queen specifically gave this instruction, even though she knew it would provoke intense opposition from her family and household," Ms Basu said.
"If the royal household hated Brown, it absolutely abhorred Abdul Karim."
During his service with the queen, Mr Karim was bestowed with many honours as the royal party travelled around
Europe meeting monarchs and prime ministers.
He taught her how to write in Urdu and Hindi, introduced her to curry - which became a daily item on the royal menu - and eventually became her highly decorated secretary.
I am so very fond of him. He is so good and gentle and understanding... and is a real comfort to me”
Queen Victoria talking about Abdul Karim
He and his wife were given residences on all of the main royal estates in the
UK and land in . He was allowed to carry a sword and wear his medals in court - and was permitted to bring family members from India India to . England
"Mr Karim's father even got away with being the first person to smoke a hookah [water-pipe] in
, despite the queen's aversion to smoking," Ms Basu said. Windsor Castle
"The queen's munshi was named in court circulars, given the best positions at operas and banquets, allowed to play billiards in all the royal palaces and had a private horse carriage and footman."
That Mr Karim inspired the empress of
could be seen not just by her newfound love of curry. Her eagerness to learn Urdu and Hindi because of his teaching was so strong that she even learned to write in both languages - and gave him a signed photo written in Urdu. India
She also used his briefings on political developments in
India at the turn of the 19th Century to berate successive viceroys, her representatives in - much to their displeasure - on measures they could have taken to reduce communal tensions. India
"At a time when the
British empire was at its height, a young Muslim occupied a central position of influence over its sovereign," Ms Basu said.
"It was a relationship that sent shockwaves through the royal court and was arguably a relationship far more scandalous than her much reported friendship with Mr Brown."
On meeting Queen Victoria for the first time: "I was somewhat nervous at the approach of the Great Empress... I presented nazars (gifts) by exposing, in the palms of my hands, a gold mohar (coin) which Her Majesty touched and remitted as is the Indian custom."
Quoting a letter written by Queen
imploring him not to resign: "I shall be very sorry to part with you for I like and respect you, but I hope you will remain till the end of this year or the beginning of the next that I may learn enough Hindustani from you to speak a little." Victoria
On 'good fortune': "Some Indian jugglers happened to be in Nice while Her Majesty was there. When Her Majesty came to hear of them she sent a request to have them brought before her to exhibit their tricks. The Queen was highly amused and delighted - and the honour which was given to these poor jugglers must have made them happy for life."
Such was the level of ill-feeling he generated that barely a few hours after the queen's funeral, her son Edward VII unceremoniously sacked Abdul Karim.
In addition, he ordered that all records of their relationship - kept at Mr Karim's homes in
India and the - should be destroyed. UK
But remarkable detective work by Ms Basu in India and Pakistan unearthed Mr Karim's diaries - kept by surviving family members since his death in 1909 - which detail his 10 years in London between Queen Victoria's golden and diamond jubilees.
The diaries and other correspondence were taken back to India by Mr Karim and his nephew, Abdul Rashid, after their dismissal and were in turn sneaked out of
India to 40 years later when his family migrated during the violence at the time of partition. Pakistan
A surviving family member in
India read about Ms Basu's book in a local newspaper and told her that the diaries were being kept by another branch of the family in , which she duly tracked down. Karachi
"I was fortunate enough to have unearthed a truly remarkable love story," Ms Basu reflected.
Shrabani Basu's updated book, Victoria and Abdul, is published by the History Press.
My soul finds rest in God alone;
My salvation comes from him;
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken;
By Brig Samson
While the choir of Catholic Nuns and Seminarians sang this Psalm of Prophet David in a slow chant, the casket of the slain minister draped in national colours slowly moved towards the alter. The mood inside the church was sad and sombre reflecting the misery that we Pakistanis go through each day inasmuch as the denial that cocoons us. The presence or absence thereof of the diversity of congregation in the church reflected both the empathy and fissures in our society and the insensitive obliviousness we live in day after day.
A tryst with Jinnah and living up to the traditions of
to produce one outstanding Pakistani Christian after another, I was overtaken by emotions. Clement Shahbaz Bhatti was a Pakistani who envisioned Jinnah’s Faisalabad and remained an ardent human rights activist for over two decades in the best traditions of pacifists and non violent social prime movers. He was a diehard Pakistani who happened to belong to a fringe minority of political activist who believed in the human dignity of equality, justice and law, his home turf both in terms of Pakistani nationalism and Christian values. Having risen from the ranks of a fringe community that lives in social exclusion, he was much above the social inbreeding that plagues fringed deprived groups and rose as a symbol of human dignity. In the past 25 years, he brought hope to bonded labour, kiln workers, child labourers and destitute, irrespective of religion; a devotion that earned him a prized appointment in the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Pakistan
He never was a politician who could construe two wrongs to make a right. To accomplish his mission, it was his decision fatale and inevitable that he someday walk into the mainstream politics as a lamb amongst wolves. His objective was to carve the best out of the worst.
Heading a nationwide movement of All Parties Minorities
, he chose Benazir Bhutto as closest to his ideals. As destiny would have it, he was pre ordained to meet the same fate at the hands of similar intolerance and intrigue amidst the throes of a party that no longer lived by that spirit. Many friends requested him on security grounds to reject the ministerial portfolio offered to him in the new cabinet. Yet he made that fateful decision despite knowing that he was a Lamb marked for slaughter. Alliance
The speech of the Prime Minister was well short of pertraying the true mood of the nation. It also reflected his helplessness and sense of drift. His frequent reference to protection of MINORITIES was a slur and poor reflection of his knowledge of Pakistani society envisioned by Jinnah; a nation he had been elected and selected to lead. His demeanour suggested his innate perception that minorities indeed are extra terrestrial aliens. Rehman Malik’s stare at the dead body says it all.
Glimpse ahead and I saw Chaduary Shujjat Hussain of PMLQ wiping his eyes. Politics aside, at least this gentleman had the moral courage to be there on every occasion when Christians were grieved; enough to bust the dam in me. I wept as much for Shahbaz as for the plight that
was headed in. The foreign dignitaries outnumbered the government functionaries and politicians. Missing were all political bigwigs who chose to stay away for fear of branding or political apathy. For them it did not matter that Clement Shahbaz Bhatti represented the conscience of the nation and not the infidel Christian branded as such by the extremist who killed him or those who refuse to sympathise his death. Leaders after all are a disposable commodity. Pakistan
Bhatti was a soft and honest face of
. Internationally, he earned Pakistan a good name to the extent that the Canadian Government sent a special ministerial delegation to join his family in mourning. He was someone the world wanted to see in Pakistan . He was soft spoken, clear and persuasive. At every function of the Christian community I attend with him, he always emphasised Pakistan Pakistan our Country, Jinnah our Leader and readiness to sacrifice his life for the vision of Jinnah’s . Pakistan
I had a first glimpse of him in 1992, when he was interviewed in GHQ for a ministerial post. His idealism was enough to convince the military panel that he was not one who would play second fiddle to a dictator. They viewed him as too young, immature and emotional; traits that are anathema to dictators and that were to endear him to Benazir and many parliamentarians of
When Gojra was gutted, he spent many a night at the compound of the local church tediously working through the political differences of PPP and PMLN, to secure the safety and compensation of his people. Throughout his tenure, he had to contend with a political minefield of PPP versus PMLN, sadly a time when most crimes against Christians were committed in
Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, and Kasur. Sialkot
Indeed, he had no security, a fact he had disclosed to his inner circles including me. When I questioned him three days before his death, he replied, “God is my Shepherd”. Despite being a Federal Minister, he slept his nights out at different places to evade his assassins. The government despite threats was reluctant to give him a house in the minister’s enclave. He went to the extent of calling Rehman Malik a liar over a question that a bullet proof vehicle has already been provided to him. While the blood was still oozing out of his wounds, the Interior Minister went on the floor of the Parliament to announce that there was no security lapse. It was all a déjà vu.
His funeral was a mass of emotions and the world saw it. The singing of the National Anthem during the High Mass must have embarrassed many Pakistanis and could serve an elixir to awake them from their slumber and denial. His memorial was a manifestation of grief, love of
and sadly, political bigotry. Pakistan
The entire controversy over Blasphemy Laws was created with a purpose to coalesce the forces of extremism. The Private Bill of Sherry Rehman was not consulted with minority leaders. There never was a committee headed by Bhatti to review the law. In a press conference at Holiday Inn he distanced himself from the Committee and Sherry Rehman’s Bill and clarified that the minority communities were not looking for amendments. They simply wanted justice and rule of law. The media rather that grab the occasion for reconciliation never gave it the publicity it merited. Meanwhile, at one hand the government continued to fuel the issue and on the other deny it. There never was an explicit clarification tantamount to deliberate negligence.
Tough times lie ahead for sane, patriotic and charismatic political leaders of
. Assassination of national leaders will continue as will the widening of fissures, economic deprivation and rise in violence. It is time that the silent majority of Pakistan wakes up to the challenge. If they do not, Pakistan will continue the road to self destruction. Pakistan should be an eye opener. Libya
Patients Lie on Cardboard in Hallways in Overcrowded Hospitals
BY RUSSELL GOLDMAN
March 14, 2011 Japan
For many Japanese searching for loved ones killed in Friday's quake and tsunami, the search ends with a walk among the bodies of the dead, laid out in orderly rows in
makeshift morgues popping up along the country's northeast coast.
alt="PHOTO Futaba Kosei Hospital patients who might have been exposed to radiation are carried into the compound of Fukushima Gender Equality Centre in Nihonmatsu in Fukushima Prefecture" title=""
onerror="this.src='http://a.abcnews.com/images/International/ap_futaba_kosei_hospital_dm_110314_mn.jpg" v:shapes="ap_futaba_kosei_hospital_dm_110314_mn.jpg">Daisuke Tomita/The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Photo
In Ishinomaki, a coastal city some 30 miles north of
in hard-hit Miyagi Prefecture, the hospital's morgue is too small to handle the ever growing number of dead. Sendai
The city's municipal gymnasium houses the dead. There are now more than 1,000 arranged in rows on the hard wood floors, just enough room between each body for relatives to walk among them, searching the faces for those they lost.
The bodies are not refrigerated or cooled on ice and can remain there only briefly, said Masaaki Abe, a spokesman for the Red Cross at
. Ishinomaki Hospital
funeral homes volunteered to provide traditional Shinto rites to the dead, donating white shrouds and cremating the bodies.
"But there are too many of them for burning now," said Abe. "They must be buried quickly. This is much faster."
Officially the death toll is almost 1,900, but the Miyagi police chief has said 10,000 people are estimated to have died in his area.
There are so many dead that officials are asking other parts of
to send them body bags and coffins since the supply in this area is quickly being exhausted. Japan
As the dead are laid out the floors of public buildings, so too are the living.
The hospital in Ishinomaki is overrun with the homeless and infirm. Red Cross workers triage the steady stream of patients and displaced persons.
The building's large atrium is filled with the sick and elderly, sitting and sleeping on cardboard slabs.
The exhausted staff say they are overwhelmed.
Many of the tens of thousands rendered homeless by the tsunami have sought shelter in hospitals and government buildings.
Sendai, the seat of , the corridors of the Prefecture Office, a building akin to a state capitol, have become shelter for the homeless. Miyagi Prefecture
They sleep on opened cardboard boxes, warmed by blankets distributed by the Red Cross.
A large room inside the office has been converted into a war room. Teams assigned to handle restoring water, electricity, sanitation, and public order gather around tables with maps splayed out in front of them.
Posted on Mar 14, 2011 at 12:41pm IST
Chennai: In a major triumph for the ‘Rahul brigade’, the Congress has allocated nine seats for the April 13 Assembly election to the Youth Congress and has set aside the Erode constituency for the youth wing president M Yuvaraja. The allocation of seats by the parent body as per the wishlist of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi has put the youngsters on cloud nine, as many aspirants are aged less than 30 and entered politics only last year through elections for the youth wing.
The decision on the seat-sharing came after two days of hectic discussions among the Congress top brass. According to highly placed sources, Yuvaraja would contest from Erode, while Vijay Ilanchezhiyan, one of the general secretaries of the Tamil Nadu Youth Congress and son of three-time MP A Jayamohan -- who died last year in a road accident -- would fight from Ambur. Youth Congress vice-president Varadarajan would try his luck from
Madurai, while Arthanari would stand from and Mahendran from Peravurani in Thanjavur district. Salem
A rising star in YC, the only woman to be selected in the ‘talent hunt’ held by Rahul, Jyothimani would fight the polls from Karur. Another young woman Gayathri would fight it out from a seat in
. Also, the name of Rajesh, a prominent YC functionary, is doing the rounds for the Arcot seat. Coimbatore
Sources said YC might even get one or two more seats, if there are any left over after the party elders are given their fill of seats. “Still many things are not clear. We are hopeful of at least one more seat,” an office-bearer said.
Interestingly, there had been resistance initially from ‘many quarters’ to allotting 10 seats to the YC. “It was suggested that they be given less as they had just entered politics. Rahul, in keeping with his vision for the growth of YC, however, asked that his list of YC candidates be cleared,” the leader said.
In addition, the Mahila wing and the Seva Dal are understood to have been given two seats each.
The decision regarding seat allotment for different party groups of LDF was done on 14 March 2011.
The names of candidates for these seats will be declared later.
LDF will have separate meetings with JSS leader KR Gowri Amma regarding the seat allocation.
Kerala Congress P.C Thomas Group has declared candidates in 2 seats. At Kothamangalam Zacharia Thomas will participate and in
Surendran Pillai will be participating in election. Trivandrum
CPI-M will have 93 seats ; CPI will get 27 seats ; RSP will get 4 seats ; NCP will get 4 seats ; Kerala Congress 3 seats ; Janada dal JD (S) 4 seats ; INL 3 seats ; Congress (S) will get 1 seat.
There is slight or no chance for V.S Achuthanandan of Communist party to stand in Niyamasabha Elections in 2011.
LDF District Committees submitted the list of recommended candidates to various constituencies in Kerala.
At Kuttanad Nationalist Congress Party will stand in elections.
Current LDF Minister M.Vijayakumar and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has not got any seat in this election.
The LDF ministers who got selected for standing in elections in Kerala Legislative assembly are Thomas Isaac, G.Sudhakaran, M A Baby, P.K Gurudasan,S.Sharma, A. K Balan.
LDF is conducting secret meeetigs with various alliances and offering them seats.
Gowri Amma who is now in Congress has demanded 5 seats.
LDF is trying to solve issues with Gowri Amma and make her join LDF.
The CPM candidates list for Palakkad, Alappuzha constituencies have been submitted to the Party.
There is less chance for V.S Achuthanandan to be given any seats in 2011 elections.
In Kuttanad LDF seat will be offered to Thomas Chandy of NCP.
There are many corruptions of Communist Party that were revealed recently and this has currently a bad impression on them.
There are many Controversies caused by Congress leaders such as Kunjalikutty in Ice Cream parlour case and Balakrishna Pillai in Edamalayar case.
Pinarayi Vijayan is not being offered seat in this election because of the SNC Lavalin case.
M.V Jayarajan will be given the Dharmadam constituency.
Mattannur constituency will be given to LDF Candidate E.P Jayarajan.
Payyannur constituency will be for LDF Candidate C.Krishnan.
Thaliparambu constituency will given to C.K.P Padmanabhan.
M Prakashan will be in Kalyasseri and E.K Narayanan in Thalassery.
In Koothuparambu the LDF Candidate will be A.M Shamseer and in Azhikode constituency N.Sukanya will be given seat.
At Parassala the LDF Communist Party will allow Anavur Nagappan to stand in the elections.
At Nemam constituency the LDF candidate will be V. Shivankutty and in Varkala Shailaja Beegum and Bindu Umman are in the list.
G. Stephen is in the LDF Candidate list for Kattakkada. At Vamanapuram Koliyakkode Krishnan Nair and in Vattiyoorkavu Cheriyan Philip will stand.
At Neyyattinkara the candidate will be
S. Lawrence who will be CPM Independent candidate.
At Kazhakuttom C.Ajayakumar and in Attingal B.Sathyan will be the LDF Candidats for the 2011 Niyamasabha election.
At Guruvayoor in Thrissur the CPM Candidate will be probably K.V Abdul Khader. In Chelakkara K.Radhakrishnan will be the candidate for LDF.
Thrissur District's LDF Candidates
Manalur - Murali Perinelli
Puthukkadu - Prof. Raveendranath
Chalakkudy - B.D Devassya
Kundamkulam - Babu M Palisseri
Vadakkanchery - A.C Moitheen
At Kottayam constituency V.N Vasavan will be candidate for Communist party.
In Changanassery Raveendranath will be given seat. Suresh Kurup will be probably given Ettumanur seat. At Poonjar Alphonse Kannanthanam will be given seat.At Puthuppally constituency K.M Radhakrishnan who is the CPM Area Secretary will stand in elections. The congress candidate in Puthuppally will be OOmmen Chandy.
NT Bureau,Tues,15 March
The DMK and the Congress today formally exchanged the list of 63 constituencies to be fought by the national party in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
The list, approved by the Tamilnadu Congress Committee and the DMK leadership, was exchanged at the Anna Arivalayam by TNCC president K V Thangkabalu and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
It is said that the list would be released formally after it was approved by the Congress high command in
It is also said that the candidates to be fielded on behalf of the Congress have also been finalised. The list, according to sources, includes the names of Dr E S S Raman (Tiruttani), Victory Mohan (Poonamallee), former Congress leader D Sudarsanam's son Amarnath (Avadi), Mano (Royapuram), Adhi Johnson (Thiru Vi Ka Nagar), Sai Lakshmi (Anna Nagar), Dr Chellakumar (T Nagar), Karate Thiyagarajan (Mylapore), Gayathri Devi (Alandur) and Yasodha (Sriperumbudur).
After much delay and dillydallying, the stalemate over identifying seats between the DMK and Congress ended on Sunday with the negotiating teams of both parties coming to an amicable settlement at Anna Arivalayam.
Tamilnadu Congress Committee president K V Thangkabalu said his party would release its list of 63 constituencies soon. The talks, according to reports, had resumed on Sunday night after consultations earlier in the day between the ruling party and the PMK to resolve differences over choice of seats to be ceded to the Congress.
The DMK team led by its treasurer and Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin held discussions for more than an hour at the DMK headquarters with the five-member committee of the Congress, which included Union Ministers P Chidambaram and G K Vasan.
Sources in both parties revealed that there were differences between DMK and Congress over two seats. 'However, everything has been sorted out now and an amicable settlement has been arrived at,' they added.
Meanwhile, the list of DMK candidates will be out on Wednesday, party chief Karunanidhi said on Monday.
Meanwhile, the list of DMK candidates will be out on Wednesday, party chief Karunanidhi said on Monday.