Tag Archives: muslim

Exploring ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ Through Medieval Sanskrit Narratives: Rahul Govind

In this guest post, RAHUL GOVIND gives us, by way of a review of Audrey Truschke’s book, a glimpse of the world of medieval Sanskrit and what they tell us about ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ identity in their own time.

The Language of History – Audrey Truschke

Why Audrey Truschke’s The Language of History is essential reading for every Indian (and Pakistani and Bangladeshi)

There is the view that the medieval period of Indian history witnessed an all-consuming battle between Hindus (who were native to India) and Muslims (who came to India as conquerors).  This originated as a typical colonial strategy of ‘divide and rule’ in the 19th century, but then transformed into a communal politics that ultimately led to Partition. In India today this very view is becoming a dominant one, where the medieval period is assumed to be nothing but the destruction of an ancient indigenous Sanskritic culture by invading Muslims.

Continue reading Exploring ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ Through Medieval Sanskrit Narratives: Rahul Govind

Separatism of Majority against Kashmir : Anil Chamadia

Guest Post by Anil Chamadia

I am an Indian, but a separatist too. I am hostile against Kashmiri people because I only love my fellow countrymen.

The feeling of separatism among the people of a bordering state is easily identified. But there are two types of separatism. In a state or region like Kashmir and North – Eastern states, separatism is identified in such a way that there is a group or more than one group of people who want to secede from Indian nation and they carry out “actions” to fulfill this desire. They try to galvanize public support through their “actions” and harm government machinery as well. But have we ever identified the separatism that is professed by the majority section of the society?

I belong to a Hindu family of north India. Right from the beginning, a separatist feeling against Kashmir has been cultivated within me. A survey can be conducted in entire north India to know how a relationship with Kashmir has been nurtured among the people of this region during their childhood. If I ask 100 children, they all know Kashmir only through the materials available in media. I want to repeat the story how I was introduced to Kashmir. I was born in the early years of 1960s.  While going to school or returning back, I was told that Kashmir has a separate flag which is different from Indian tricolour. Like prime minister of India, it also has a prime minister. There is a separate section in Indian Constitution for it and Muslims are in majority there. Since Pakistan follows Islam, therefore loyalty of Kashmir people is also doubtful. Continue reading Separatism of Majority against Kashmir : Anil Chamadia

My elections days, 2015: Sivamohan Sumathy


campaigning, exciting, tense, nervous, delirium-invested, holding training sessions on the verendah for the immediate neighbouhood, as nobody but appa had voted in any previous presidential election, strangely agreeing with appa on politics for once, passing on all the wild gossip about the mr family, nightmare riddled pre election nights, sleeplessness, inducing drinking, exhilarating, liberating, cautionary, educating vasuki’s children about the elections ( they are keenly interested), near addiction to fb and quarellling with totally unknown friends on it, while another plethora of unknown persons writing in to befriend me, baila sessions, holding candle lit vigils for assassinated journalists, being connected to the universe on election night through thiru, who was on every tweet, every note, every social bleep, planning, writing, tasking for the future, doubts, setting off crackers, taking to singing, questions, pondering profound political questions on the nature of the state, reforms or revolution, gramsci’s historic bloc, not stopping at paradigm shift as most liberal commentators have done with this over used and abused term, not bothering with muslim bashing in europe over charlie whatever, in fact, just a wee bit short of visionary.

no paradigm shift,
no revolution, it is toward …….

they cut the jak tree down in our backyard,
the day after elections.
the parrots displaced again.

पड़ोसी और अजनबी

पड़ोसी कब पड़ोसी न रह कर अजनबी बन जाता है ? या वह हमेशा ही एक अजनबी रहता है जिस पर मौक़ा मिलते ही हमला करने में ज़रा हिचक नहीं होती ? हम अपना पड़ोस चुनते कैसे हैं? क्या पड़ोस मात्र एक भौगोलिक अवधारणा है? क्या जो भौगोलिक दृष्टि से हमारे करीब है, वही हमारा पड़ोसी होगा? पड़ोस चुनना क्या हमारे बस में नहीं? क्या पड़ोस कुछकुछ धर्म या भारतीय जाति की तरह है जिसके साथ जीवन भर जीने को हम बाध्य हैं? क्या पड़ोस का अर्थ हमेशा आत्मीयता ही है? क्या पड़ोस का मतलब एक दूसरे का ख़याल रखना,आड़े वक्त एक दूसरे के काम आना ही है? या यह रिश्ता अक्सर उदासीनता का होता है , जिसमें हमें दरअसल अपने पड़ोसी में दिलचस्पी नहीं होती? क्या इस उदासीनता के हिंसा में बदल जाने के लिए कोई भी कारण काफी हो सकता है? यह प्रश्न जितना शहर के सन्दर्भ में प्रासंगिक है उतना ही भारतीय गाँव के सन्दर्भ में भी पूछे जाने योग्य है. एक बार फिर, मुज़फ्फरनगर के गाँव में हुई हिंसा के बाद, पड़ोस के मायने पर बात करना ज़रूरी हो उठा है. Continue reading पड़ोसी और अजनबी

पाकिस्तानी गाली नहीं है : अपूर्वानंद

लखनऊ के बारहवीं कक्षा के एक छात्र आदित्य ठाकुर ने हाल में विदेश मंत्रालय के सचिव को हाल में  एक पत्र लिखकर तकलीफ जताई  है कि भारत का संचार तंत्र , विशेषकर टेलिविज़न पड़ोसी मुल्कों के खिलाफ नफरत का प्रचार करता है. आदित्य ने यह पत्र ‘इंडिया न्यूज़’ नामक  टी. वी. चैनल  के एक कार्यक्रम से दुखी होकर लिखना तय किया. कार्यक्रम पाकिस्तान में पोलियो की बीमारी की समस्या पर केंद्रित था. ऊपरी तौर पर एक गंभीर मसले पर चर्चा करने के लिए बनाए इस कार्यक्रम का शीर्षक था, ‘लंगड़ा पाकिस्तान’. आदित्य ने लिखा है पूरा  कार्यक्रम  पाकिस्तान के बारे में प्रचलित ‘स्टीरियोटाइप’, उसके प्रति अपमानजनक  और सनसनीखेज प्रसंगों से भरा पड़ा था.रिपोर्ट लगातार पाकिस्तान को ‘दुनिया को तबाह करने के सपने देखने वाला’ कह कर संबोधित कर रही थी. ‘बम का क्या करोगे पाकिस्तान , खाओगे?’ और ‘दो बूँद से मत डरो पाकिस्तान’ जैसे संवादों से कार्यक्रम की पाकिस्तान के प्रति घृणा जाहिर थी. Continue reading पाकिस्तानी गाली नहीं है : अपूर्वानंद

Of Shared Spaces and Experiences in Gujarat: Ayesha Khan

This is a guest post by Ayesha Khan

The other day, my brother dug out an old DD animation film on unity in diversity – Ek Titli, Anek Titli… We replayed it umpteen times in a fit of summer nostalgia, until we got all the lines correct. We  ignored the political subtext.  But only until it rebounded starkly on us, with the wails of  a baby that had newly come in to the family. The little one foisted on us the first ponderous responsibility – finding him a name.

The family brief for me, aunt to a six day old nephew, and equally to childhood pal Vandana, who is soon-to-be aunt to a niece in US,  was to think up  names resonating a core Indian-ness, the Muslimness, the TamBram-ness (in Vandana’s case), with a universal appeal and encapsulating  everything that is pious, lucky and great.

Continue reading Of Shared Spaces and Experiences in Gujarat: Ayesha Khan

Muslim Madrasa Modernisation

A rather animated debate is on among different sections of the Muslims as also among the civil and the uncivil society in India about the Madrasa, their importance, the role they play and the need to make them more modern, thereby converting them into institutes that are more relevant to the contemporary requirements of both the Muslims and the market. The former is openly stated while the latter is rarely articulated.

Before proceeding with an exploration of some of these concerns and to try to understand the trigger behind the proselytising zeal to modernise the madrasa, let us understand the institution of the madrasa itself. Continue reading Muslim Madrasa Modernisation

On Being Muslim: Shahrukh Alam

Guest post by SHAHRUKH ALAM

This afternoon, I saw on TV, the ticker advertising a Special Feature. The programme was going to be aired later in the day and was called “Young, Educated Killers”.  And for the next few seconds, I wondered who the title might be referring to: not the ‘encounter specialists’, surely? The economists who frame policies for the new, resurgent India, perhaps? People on the National Disaster Management Commission, possibly? Or since it was of topical interest, The Board of Directors for Lehman Brothers? Or even Patent attorneys for multinational Pharmaceutical companies? But then the visuals came on and I have to admit I was most embarrassed at having thought such dark thoughts about the aforementioned good people. Continue reading On Being Muslim: Shahrukh Alam