Can the countries from this part of Asia walk in the footsteps of Ireland?
Mera azm itna bulund hae, Parae sholon se dar nahin.
Mujhe dar hae tu atish e gul se hae, Ye kahin chaman ko jala na dein
(my confidence in self is strong, I’m unafraid of foreign flames
I’m scared those sparks may ignite, that in the blossom’s bosom lay )
— Shakeel Badayuni’s couplet which was very dear to Salman Taseer who was assassinated by Islamists
Know Meilana, a 44-year-old ethnic Chinese Buddhist from Indonesia, whose conviction under Indonesia’s controversial blasphemy laws, caused an uproar in the country, merely few months ago. The only ‘offence’ registered against her was that this woman from Sumatra had merely complained about ‘the volume of adzan or call to prayer, from her local mosque’. Her complaint was considered ‘blasphemous’ and even triggered an anti-Chinese riot in which several Buddhist temples were burnt.
(Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/time-dump-blasphemy-laws)
The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP will honour its legislators accused of inciting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar at a rally to be addressed by Narendra Modi in Agra on Thursday.
The BJP’s legislators in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, were jailed in September after the stringent National Security Act was imposed on them for their alleged role in the Muzaffarnagar riots…Mr Som, accused of uploading a video on his Facebook wall which reportedly sparked communal tension in the area, was arrested in Meerut on September 21. He is also facing allegations of having made inflammatory speeches.Mr Rana was arrested from Lucknow on September 20 for his alleged role in stoking the violence which left over 60 people dead and rendered more than 40,000 homeless.
It was a gathering not much reported outside the Hindutva laboratory. After their humiliating defeat at the hustings at the centre (Year 2004) it was the first meeting of its kind which witnessed coming together of many stalwarts of the Sangh Parivar to felicitate one among them. One could see all the big names of the Parivar hierarchy— the ex deputy PM L.K.Advani, Narendra Modi and the likes of Togadias and Singhals, and a galaxy of saffron robed sadhus. The programme held in Ahmedabad to felicitate Prof Keka Shastry, VHP leader and a well-known writers’ entering the centenary year seemed an ideal occasion for them to air their views in Gujarat.
Continue reading Rose Petals for Terrorists, Saropas for Hatemongers
Text of article by BEENA SARWAR
Reproduced from Viewpoint, January 14, Issue 33; courtesy South Asia Citizens’ Web
“There are no less than 24 groups as of now supporting Qadri on FB and 1 against what he did, that says it all.”
So went a tweet from a fellow Pakistani early morning on Jan 5, the day after the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab who took a courageous stand against religious extremists in Pakistan.
Continue reading Taking Back Pakistan: Beena Sarwar
Guest post by UROOJ ZIA
Images aired earlier this month where lawyers and other citizens in Pakistan were seen garlanding and felicitating the murderer of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer might have made those involved look tasteless and crude, but their acts were far from shocking. All his faults aside, Taseer had stood up for a Christian woman who had been accused of blasphemy and sentenced to death by a district and sessions (lower) court. He was killed because he had referred to the blasphemy statutes as ‘black laws’ which are abused at will, and had called for reform. As such, Taseer was killed because he had stood up, albeit in a roundabout way, for secularism and basic humanity. Continue reading The dirty ‘S’ word in Pakistan: Urooj Zia
From Kafila archives:
If blasphemy is an attempt to speak truth to power, bigotry is the reverse: an attempt by power to instrumentalize truth. [Mahmood Mamdani]
See also: Citizens for Democracy
Statement from the NEW SOCIALIST INITIATIVE, Delhi
History is said to be made when humanity has tried to break asunder forces of unreason, irrationality, bigotry, intolerance and reaction which keep reappearing in newer forms in its onward journey. But what can one say when it tries to do the exact opposite, or prefer to go back on the path undertaken.
Pakistan, a country of 170 millions, stands at a similar juncture today. Continue reading Justice for Aasia Bibi; Speedy Trial of Salman Taseer’s Killers: New Socialist Initiative, Delhi
What a moment it is, what a moment it must be. Ordinary people on the streets of Lahore on Sunday, countless thousands of them, have forced the Pakistani government to re-instate the deposed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. What a moment of hope in a country the rest of the world believes is about to ‘implode’. What a resurrection of yourself, Mian Sa’ab, who will now remember how unpopular you were when Mush had ousted you!
Here’s an extremely illuminating account of what happened in Lahore, an anonymous account circulating on some mailing lists. This is apart from some excellent citizen reportage on Twitter by Pakistanis.
The Army, the Presidency, the Americans and the Prime Minister, were all ready to throw peanuts at Nawaz Sharif. The assessment was that 500 will reach constitution avenue (read Salman Taseer). In Pindi, we had halwa puri at a friends house today. A PPP friend who knew my passion for the CJ, at 11-00 am said, looking at me, “Yar Imran, there is a bigger long march in my house than in Lahore.” A PML N friend told me from Lahore, “Punjabis dont get out in the face of danda. The long march will fail.” Continue reading ‘Lahoris woke up and joined their son’