Two Guise of Lucknow – A Travelogue

By Anwar Ali Tsarpa

It usually happens that most of the planned trips remain mere surreal, and most of trips that took place are unplanned. So, I suggest, plan not just board. In such a sudden tour I reached Lucknow. Dawn was looming. I grabbed an auto to Hussain Gunj; a Muslim dominated area in Old Lucknow. Travelling in an auto at dawn was like sunny day after snowfall where even weak airstream carries small particles of snow, making the day cold. I strolled around to find a cup of tea to keep me warm to fight the morning chill weather. For a milk loaded, deep good quantity tea in Thakur Ganj the chai walla charged only 5 rupees that would have cost at least 10 in Delhi.

I put myself in an autorickshaw to my friend’s place. In a small autorickshaw four people bound to sit in place of three. Four were facing towards us with their back towards the driver; one each on the right and left of the driver. It was ten people in a rickshaw of three. One man, probably new like me in the city dared to speak in satire language, “Bhai’ya chaat khali hai” (Brother the rooftop is empty). Other passengers smiled; driver choose not to respond but starred. Memories of similar cases in Delhi clicked my mind. I was told by a friend, a resident of Batla House in Delhi, that the similar rickshaws in Delhi called the “Grameen Sewa”, and number of mini-buses that runs from Maharani Bagh to Abul Fazal, belongs to Pradhan of the area. Even the Phat Phat Sewa that runs from Jama Masjid to Batla House belongs to a rich man in Old Delhi. The owner has a daily turnover of five-six lakh from all source of income. Even the police “don’t dare to say anything” to them; “when the battery rickshaw banned in Delhi, rickshaw’s belonging to Pradhan were roaming freely”.

People in Lucknow wear dark clothes, sweater, mostly in different shades of grey, blue or brown. Due to harsh winter morning, they cover their head with a muffler from cheek to the upper side, opening face and back side of the head. After emergence of Delhi’s Chief Minister Arwind Kejriwal in politics he is portrayed as the icon man of this fashion, “The Muffler Man”. Women wear a scarf in pink, orange and rarely white.

I was reconnoitering the city of Nawabs. Most of the signboards in Lucknow are in Hindi. Now, most enterprises use both Hindi and English. Sigh Board of government offices is in dual language Hindi and Urdu. Names of some business units are as: Tathagat Yoga, Shri Sai Business, Agarwal Jewellers, Dastar Khan, Radhy Shyam Sweets, Gadha Bandar, Chappan Bhog etc. Lucknow which is considered to be the domicile place of Urdu seems to have disowned the language. The city known for its Nawabi culture and sweet flavour in language are now like a fairytale. Rare sigh boards would find in Urdu and few with Arabic “Al” (the) to articulate that the enterprise belongs to Muslim. Even on many places the combination of “Al” is wrong in grammatical terms.

The walls and pillars in the city are painted with graffiti paintings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses or leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mahatma Gandhi; that I had not observed in my past tours to the city in 2016. On various chowk statue of leaders like Kashiram, Mayawati, Jyotiba Phule, Ambedkar, Nehru, Gandhi, Maharana Pratap etc. are erected. The whole city has hoardings of BJP leaders like Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Yogi Adityanath, Akhilesh Yadav (BSP) etc. Even young youth leaders also have hanged huge hoardings all over the city that gives a peculiar look. One hoarding regarding the Babri Mosque that catches my attention was:

“Chalo Chalo Ayodhya:

Supreme court ka hai samman, Mandir hai is dash ka maan!

Hindu Muslim sab nay mana, Ram Mandir wah’in banana! – Sawpinal Singh”.

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It remembered me the news reports that such hoardings had used in violence ridden Muzaffarnagar to ignite communal discord.

Due to receiving me as an uninvited guest at my friend’s place it took some time to prepare the breakfast. Thus, his father pushed a Hindi paper “Dainik Jagran” towards me. I have not that hold on comprehension in Hindi to read a newspaper. But I could read the headlines. From the front-page story, I came to know that as many as 10 lakh students of the 66 lakh-odd who registered for the Uttar Pradesh Board exams have skipped their papers in the first four days of the cycle, the highest in five years.

After having a roti with desi ghee, I went to ISKCON temple at Shaheed Path, Lucknow. They were celebrating the day (13 February) as the sixth anniversary of Bagwan’s entry on the place. According to the speaker inside, the temple established on the same day in 2013. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), has the responsibility to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English medium. Abhay expound the Vedic conclusion that real freedom means liberation from the miseries of material life: birth, death, old age and disease, a state that can be permanently attained by awakening one’s pure love for God. One of the aims of the temple is to provide free food daily so that no one in the 10 km radius of the temple sleeps hungry.

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Janeshwar Mishra Park falls on the way, operating in Gomti Nagar. The lust green park, lush freshness, water bodies, and silence remind me of summers in home-town Kargil. Claimed to be Asia’s largest park, it is made in memory of late politician Janeshwar Mishra Sharif Bhai from Samajwadi Party.

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Developed with a cost of 168 crores, the park measures around 376 acres. Two large water bodies on the site have been developed with a view to harness migratory birds and provide a haven for birds in winter and summer months through the creation of lagoons and marshy lands. Due to the shift in government from Samajwadi to BJP the site has not fully developed as per the plan. The new government has also neglected the park; as a result, remained deserted from various necessary facilities. Due to unavailability of electric vehicles in such a huge park we were tired.

We landed our bums on the two-wheeler and moved the direction towards Lucknow’s popular “Tunday Kababi” at Kapoor Tala, Ali Ganj for dinner. Tunday Kabab, also known as Buffalo meat galouti kebab is a dish made out of minced meat. It incorporates 160 spices with other ingredients that include finely minced buffalo meat, plain yogurt, garam masala, grated ginger, crushed garlic, ground cardamom, powdered cloves, melted ghee, dried mint, small onions cut into rings, vinegar, sugar, lime. The restaurant embarked in 1905 is famous for serving buffalo meat galouti kebab. The restaurant was discontinued for a period when Yogi Adityanath government had banned buffalo kebabs after a crackdown on “illegal” slaughterhouses.

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In the last week of March 2017, I was in Lucknow to present a research paper at a conference at Shakuntala University. I met my friend’s mom while returning from the conference. She said that “Beta, ab to Yogi ji ka raj hai. Ab to Ladkiyan daer raat tak goom sakte hai. Sab kuch accha hoga ab” (Son, its Yogi’s raj now. Now, ladies would be safe to roam late in the night. Everything will be fine). Today when I met her again, without poking her our last conversation I asked, how the Yogi is doing? She replied: “Kuch mat kaho, boht kharab hai; kuch b nhi badla” (Don’t talk, very disappointing. There is no development at all. Everything is in a mess). Then I reminded her of our last discourse. She immediately took a U-turn: “Beta, itna b kharab nhi hai!” (Son, it’s not that bad!”.

I had a feeling in the evening that I have seen a new image of Lucknow. Both ISCKON temple and Janeshwar Mishra Park are not part of old Lucknow’s Nawabi tahzeeb. During my past trip I had been to British Residency, Hazrat Ganj, Bada Imam Bada, Chota Imam Bada, Rumi Darwaza, Chattar Manzil, Begam Hazrat Mahal Park etc. Many of them are reflections of the Nawabi culture in Lucknow. The statues of freedom fighters on public places are icon of resistance. But at the same time statues and British colonial memorials in the Residency and in a small museum in Zoo are depicted in a heroic style. Is not this absurd and contradictory that both oppressors and the oppressed are in same line? This do not reflect the true face of history.

On the next day, we went to Amina Abad, an old market in Lucknow famous for its chiken embroidered garments. The Bazaar has operated since the time of Nawab of Awadh in the first half of 18th century. Now also, as the day breaks, the Aminabad market glittered with the sequins and colors of silk and muslin. Most customers are women. Beautiful black big eyes are the only part appears outside the Burqa of mostly women in Ameena Abad.

While returning, we gave a visit to Amir-ud-Daula Public Library situated between the lust green trees. The library has a collection of two lakh books on ancient Buddhist, Islamic and Hindu literature reflecting the true Lucknow’s tehzeeb under one roof. The Urdu section is in worse condition without proper order of the books. Termites also finish the dust loaded books. This is not the only place, similarly, Urdu literature in the 350-years-old Anglo-Arabic Secondary school library at Lahori Gate in Delhi is in worst condition.

To do away with tiredness Lucknow’s famous “Sharma Ji ka Chai” at Hazrat Ganj is the best choice. The first stall had installed in 1960; now have various branches in all over Lucknow. People stand even in a long queue to get a cup of tea with a potato loaded Samosa.

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The day was 14 February, the much-hyped Valentine Day. But in Yogi’s Lucknow, my friend, who had seen past Valentines in the city, was surprised over the disappearance of red teddy bears and valentine gifts from the market. We could see the Anti-Romeo Dals (or squads) to “ensure the safety of college-going girls” and “check eve-teasing”. But youth experience of them are like Haddi in Kabab (Bone in Kabab). One joke that roaming around in murmuring voice in the city was that the establishment would say “Na karengay na karna dengay” (Neither I do, nor allow others to do).

At night I choose to stay in the room of one of my friends from Kargil. In a Hindu dominated area, where his college locates, he was refused to rent a room due to his Muslim identity and domicile state, that is Jammu and Kashmir. Finally, he got a small room through a reference. With the fear of sacking from the room, people cook chicken clandestinely, eat in close-door and throw bones in a far place.

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Next day lunch was what I had waited anxiously, “Idrees Biryani”. A mutton Biryani popular in Lucknow. You won’t regret to pay 120 rupees for a quarter-kilo Biryani. My Hindu friend was waiting while I had lunch. Then to take him lunch we went to another popular place called “Bombay Pav Bhaji”.

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I waited for him to finish his food. When I returned from ISCKON temple his sister was astonishingly asking, do Anwar go to temple also? I offered my prayers even at his home. This is the coexistence and understanding of Hindus and Muslims in one part of Lucknow and there are others who permeate hatred on basis of religion. I came back with the question does Lucknow have two different guises: the radical jingoists and the moderate pluralists? Or is the city divided in Old and New Lucknow like the division of India and Bharat?

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My India bleeds

Pulwama Terror Attack

Godhra only vitiated Gujarat. Pulwama has sent bodies all over the country.

This is what happens when you allow a selfish politician to rise to the national level. This was waiting to happen. This is the ultimate way to win an election and bury all the misdeeds of the past 58 months including tons of corruption.

It will be a miracle if this stops at whatever has already transpired.

The mobs are already on the street waiving the tricolor and asking people to shut shops and wage a war against Pakistan. But for how long can shops be kept shut? But for how long can a call for war be made into a cry? Those who seek war are going to become hugely disappointed when one does not materialize.

But nobody is asking the 56″ Modi Sarkar as to how this was allowed to happen, now that all the borders are secured by your forces that are in your control, all the communication is under your control, all the money is in your control, all the security agencies and intelligence agencies are in your control. And you have such eminent people like Ajit Doval as the National Security Advisor.

Just to jog your memory, these were the very same questions that Modi posed to PM Manmohan Singh..

When Intelligence agencies were busy gauging national mood and PM popularity.

A random SUV packed with explosives drove from the side and mingled with a CRPF convoy on the most heavily guarded highway. And rammed into a bus. Killing 44 soldiers.

And India happily accepts the collateral damage to their blind bhakti.

And bay for war, sitting in their comfy perches.

You’re filth, did you know that, morons? Do you also know that both nations are nuclear armed? And that you too will be blown sky high?

Still want war??

Nobody can waltz into a country and cause this much blatant destruction without the presence of an inside hand. Look into your own backyard first. Then point fingers.

Also, stop making this communal. The Commanding officer of the battalion was a Kashmiri Muslim.

Mourn, India. Mourn the pointless butchery of our men in uniform. Blame the disgusting politics being played by the highest offices of the land. And blame the Chief who is too busy giving press interviews and instigatory statements. Preparing for his elusive governorship.

Blame yourselves. For your uninformed unnecessary hate mongering. Your biases. Your islamophobia. Your choices.

Then mourn..

@Rishank Ratan

Graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

کرگل میں ہیراپھیری! زمہ دار کون؟

Kargil Corruption

یہ تو سب نے سنا ہوگا کہ پچھلے سال ڑیر ساری بد نظمی اور بد عنوانیوں کے زیر سائہ ہونے والی جنرل لائن ٹیچرز کے امتحان کا نتیجہ آگیا تھا جس پر بہت سے کرگلی جوان ماتم کر رہے تھے۔ خیر ماتم کرنے والے کرتے ہیں لیکن ناکام امطحانات کے کامیاب لوگ آج شان سے سرکاری ملازم کے خطاب کے ساتھ جی رہے ہیں۔ سال ۲۰۱۷ اپنے آخر میں ہے لیکن یہ سال کرگل کی غریب عوام کو کچھ خاص یادیں دے کر نہیں جا رہا ہے۔ اس سال کی زلزلہ آمیز خبروں میں سب سے پہلے کرگل میں وائرل ہونے والا فحش ویڑیو تھا جس نے سب کے رونگٹے کھڑے کر دئے۔ پھر ویجیلنس کے یم راج کا ۷۰ لوگوں کی فحرست لیکر کرگل پہنچنے کی خبر ملی۔ ان لوگوں پر الزام تھا کہ یہ لوگ ۱۰۰ روپیہ کھاتے میں لیکر ناشتہ ہزار روپئے  کا کھاتے ہیں جسکا اندازہ عوام کو بھی اُن کے عالیشان مکان گاڑیوں اور جموں و کشمیر میں موجود انکی زمینوں اور مکانوں سے ہو جاتا ہے۔ کرگل میں یہ نئی بات تو نہیں ہے لیکن پھر بھی اس خبر سے ہنگامہ بہت ہوا کہ حال میں ہوئے وی ایل ڑبلیو کے امتحان میں اسامیوں کو کرگل کے چند صاحب مقام لوگوں کے عزیز اور اقربائ کے درمیان بطور تبرک تقسیم کر دیا گیا ہے۔

اب سب سے بڑا سوال یہ ہے کہ ان سب کا زمہ دار کون ہے؟

جہان زمہ داری کی بات آتی ہے ٹھیک ساس بہو کے جھگڑے کی طرح ہر کوئی ایک دوسرے پر الزام دھرتا ہوا نظر آتا ہے۔ کسی کی نظر میں ساکاری ملازم چور میں تو کسی کی نگاہ میں سیاسی لیڑر اور کسی کی نظر میں کرگل کے دونوں مزہبی ادارے زمہ دار ہیں۔ حقیقت تو یہ ہے کہ اس حمام میں سبھی ننگے ہیں جو ایک دوسرے کو ننگا کہہ رہے ہیں۔ ہم سماج کے رشوت خوروں کو تو کوستے ہیں مگر رشوت دینے والوں کو کچھ نہیں کہتے۔ فحش ویڑیو بنانے والوں پر لعنت کرتے ہیں مگر اس ویڑیو کو چرا کر جا بہ جا نشر کرنے والوں کو بھول جاتے ہیں۔ ہم لوگوں کو لوٹ کر مال جمع کرنے والوں کو تو گالیاں دے کر نکل جاتے ہیں مگر سماج میں ان لٹیروں کا احترام کرنے والے اور عزت دینے والوں کو فراموش کر دیتے ہیں۔ اور پھر آخر میں ہمارے جوان ان سب کا ٹھیکرا آئے کے ایم ٹی اور آئی ایس کے سر پھوڑتے ہیں۔ شاید کچھ لوگوں کو گمان ہے کہ یہ دونوں ادارے آسمان سے نازل ہوئے ہیں یا پھر اقوام متحدہ کی جانب سے مامور کئے گئے ہیں۔ ان سب کے درمیان ہم یہ بھول جاتے ہیں کہ ان اداروں کے کام کرنے والے، ان اداروں کو چلانے والے، اور حمایت کرنے والے سب کے سب ہم اور آپ میں سے کسی نہ کسی کے والد، چاچا، تایا، بھائی یا پھر دوست ضرور ہیں۔ اب اگر اسی طرح ایک دوسرے کو ننگا کہنے اور کوسنے کا سلسلہ جاری رہا تو بہت جلد اس حمام کی دیواریں گر جائیں گی اور اس قوم کے ننگ پنے کو دیکھ کر ساری دنیا منہ پھیر لیگی۔

ان تمام مسائل پر بولنے والے بول رہے ہیں اور لکھنے والے لکھ رہے ہیں۔ مگر اسی درمیاں سننے میں آیا ہے کہ کچھ لوگ روزگار کا ایک نیا اور انوکھا تجربہ کر رہے ہیں کہ آر ٹی آئی لگاو، لوگوں کو ڑرائو، دباو بنائو اور مال کمائو۔ اب میں یہ لوگوں پر چھوڑتا ہوں کہ اس طرح مجبوری کا فائدہ اٹھانے کو رشوت خوری کہیں گے یا کچھ اور۔

صرف قوم کا مرثیہ پڑھنے سے تو کسی مسئلہ کا حل ہونے والا نہیں ہے۔ ہمیں یہ سوچنا پڑے گا کہ آخر زیرو (۰) ایف آئے آر والے معاشرے میں آج رشوت، قتل، عصمت ریزی، فحاشی جیسی بیماریاں جڑ کیون پھیلا رہی ہیں۔ مجھے مولا علی کا ایک قول یاد آتا ہے کہ ـ جس کی آرزو لمبی ہوگی اسکا کام بھی خراب ہوگا۔ ہماری بدحالی کی کئی وجوہات ہو سکتے ہیں لیکن میری نظر میں یہ ایک بنیادی وجہ ضرور ہے۔ وہ قنائد پسند، وہ صابر قوم جو اتنی سختیوں کے باوجود نہایت ہی محبت اور وقار کے ساتھ زندگی گزارتی تھی آج اس قوم کی خواہشات کی فہرست بہت طویل ہو گئی ہے۔ ہم سب کو سرکاری نوکری چاہئے، ایک عالیشان مکان چاہئے، چلنے پھرنے کیلئے ایک خوبصورت گاڑی، موسم سرما میں جموں کا سفر، بچوں کو جموں، دہلی، چنڑی گڑھ میں پڑھانا، مہنگے کپڑے اور منفرد موبائل وغیرہ وغیرہ۔ اب یہ تمام چیزیں سیدھے راستے حاصل ہو تو ٹھیک ورنہ دوسری راہیں تلاش کرتے ہیں۔

آخر میں اتنا ہی کہوں گا کہ حکومت امام معصوم کی ہی کیوں نہ ہو اگر انسان ایماندار نہ ہو اور اسکی خواہشات کی فہرست طویل ہو تو دینار اور درہم کی جھنکار سُن کر امام معصوم کو چھوڑ دیتا ہے اور امیر شام کے دربار میں جا پہنچتا ہے۔

تحریر  ۔۔۔ انور علی انور ۔۔۔ ژھرپا

Rabbani’s Character Assassination

After political figures, character assassination is being using as a tool against the people affiliated with masses and movements as it is a commonly used technique to derail every mass movement. You may have heart about Rahul Gandhi whose character has been distorted and portrayed as a failed leader by the biased media. In a similar incident prominent religious scholar Molana Zaki Baqiri was also targeted by manipulating his Majlis videos.

Once again a charismatic leader has been targeted by character assassination attempt. Various videos have been produced against prominent youth Leader Feroz Ahmed Rabbani over which he has been labelled for denouncing Islamic values. It comes almost on the same day on which the “Unity Conference” was organised by All Kargil (Ladakh) Students’ Association Delhi (AKSAD), which was directed by Rabbani.

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The Unity Conference had irked many stake holders in Kargil who are benefitting from polarisation in the society. With the help of these videos three targets are aimed: (1) to humiliate and defame the architect of the “Unity Conference” so that no one in future would dare to take such a step; (2) to underestimate the effectiveness of the conference by highlighting an alternative issue; (3) to nip an emerging youth leader in the bud.

In one video the voice has been dubbed over an old video of Rabbani in which he is portrayed as saying that “the two organisations in Kargil are responsible for every problem in the society; and all must unite to annihilate the two organisations”. This is what he never said in his decade long journey of social and religious activism. In the Unity Conference also, he clearly declared that the aim of the conference is not to denounce or put to end to any organisation but to minimise the misunderstanding, gap and hatred between the two influential organisations and among common people towards each other.

The second video is a four-years-old video in which Rabbani on the request of children is doing mimicry of some other person. This is what the viewers couldn’t understand anything from the video itself. The names in the video like “Bibi, Boni, Wasi al Hasan” etc are the name of the persons present in the video and there is no resemblance of anything with the fourteen infallibles or any other Islamic values. However, Rabbani himself is apologising for this act if this has hurt anyone’s feelings.

The scene was recorded and the memory card with the video was misplaced and left in Kargil by his younger brother. The same memory card was discovered by one of his relative and started using that. While transferring some other data from the mobile a wicked person from his own village purloined the video and started distributing among his village youth, a month before this incident. Rabbani was informed by some of his friend about the video. At the time fearing unrest due to misconception, Rabbani warned those people not to disseminate the video.

It was on the same day when AKSAD concluded the unity conference in Delhi – the video was deliberately disseminated again. A group of person tried to pressurise all the religious organisations to denounce Rabbani for humiliating religious values. Some organisations felt need to investigate and some announced without investigation. Imam Juma in proper Kargil criticised the video without seeking any verification and clearance from Rabbani himself.

Fearing the escalating unrest between people, Rabbani himself embarked to contact all the organisations and prominent figures in Kargil and also wrote letter to all the organisations. He accepted his irresponsible act and said that it was not a deliberate act to humiliate religious values.

Rabbani has been a charismatic leader, responsible member, AKSUD’s advisor, religious orator with an effective wit, and social activist. He is actively participating and conducting religious congregations and social seminars in Delhi since last eight years. Unfortunately we could see only a single irrationality from him rather than his major contribution to the society.

Most noteworthy is that this incident was an examination of the whole community: Firstly, no one unfortunately dare enough to raise voice against those who stole the video, disseminated that and used it as a coward tool to assassinate his character, which also caused an infamous foment in the society. Secondly, is this the right way to deal with a person whoever committed a mistake, knowingly or unknowingly?

I would caution the whole society that the act of humiliating someone by exposing his personnel life is an unethical trend which would cover all of us one day. Because we all are human being and no one is infallible.

By Anwar Ali Tharpa

मुस्लिम नाटो – साम्राज्यवाद का नया हथियार।

अभिमन्यु कोहर:

ये 2 शब्द “मुस्लिम नाटो” सुन कर शायद आप अचरज में पड़ गए हों की आखिर ये क्या है? अभी 39 मुस्लिम देशों ने मिल कर एक नया सैन्य संगठन बनाया है जिसका नाम है “इस्लामिक अलायन्स टू फाइट अगेंस्ट टेररिज्म” लेकिन उसके उद्देश्यों को जानकर इसे अगर “मुस्लिम नाटो” बोला जाये तो यह गलत नहीं होगा क्योंकि इसका उद्देश्य भी वो ही है जो नाटो का है। यह संगठन भी नाटो की तरह गरीब मुल्कों के शोषण और साम्राज्यवादी नीतियों को आगे बढ़ाने के लिए बनाया गया है। हमारा मानना है कि यह संगठन नाटो से भी ज्यादा खतरनाक साबित होगा अगर यह हकीकत बनता है तो।
हमे इस संगठन के बनने के पीछे की कहानी को समझना थोड़ा जरुरी है। इस संगठन की पहली बार बात 2015 के आखिर में सामने आयी। ज्ञात रहे की 2015 के आखिर तक ये साफ़ हो गया था कि सीरिया में सऊदी अरब समर्थित आतंकवादियों को बुरी हार झेलनी पड़ेगी और दूसरी तरफ यमनी लोगों के साहस के सामने सऊदी सैनिक मैदान छोड़ के भाग रहे थे। तो इस समय सऊदी अरब को बचाये रखने के लिए इस संगठन “मुस्लिम नाटो” की आधारशिला रखी गयी।

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इस संगठन की 3 चीजें बड़ी ही हैरान करने वाली हैं। सबसे पहली यह की ये संगठन आतंकवाद से लड़ने की बात करता है लेकिन आतंकवाद से सबसे बुरी तरह प्रभावित दो देश इराक और सीरिया को इसमें शामिल नहीं किया गया, तो किस तरह से ये आतंकवाद से लड़ने की बात कर रहा है? ईरान को भी इस संगठन में शामिल नहीं किया गया है, इस वजह से यह एक सुन्नी देशों का संगठन नज़र आता है जिसका असली मकसद मुस्लिम देशों को शिया बनाम सुन्नी में बाँटना है। इस संगठन के निर्माण के बाद इसके सदस्य देशों में यह शिया बनाम सुन्नी की लड़ाई अब और भी ज्यादा तेज होगी।
दूसरी बात इस संगठन का हेडक्वार्टर सऊदी अरब की राजधानी रियाद में बनाया गया है और इस संगठन की आर्थिक जरूरतें भी सऊदी अरब द्वारा ही पूरी की जाएँगी। इस बात से यह बात निश्चित है कि जिस सऊदी अरब ने परोक्ष या अपरोक्ष तौर पर दुनिया के ज्यादातर आतंकवादियों को समर्थन दिया, वो ही सऊदी अरब अपनी राजधानी में एक संगठन का हेडक्वार्टर बना के अब उन्हीं आतंकवादियों से लड़ने की बात कर रहा है जिन्हें उसने खुद पाला पोसा है। बाकि सदस्य देशों का इस संगठन के उद्देश्यों और नीतियों पर कंट्रोल न के बराबर होगा जिन परिस्थितियों में और जिन तरीकों से इसका निर्माण हो रहा है।
तीसरा अहम बिंदु ये है कि पूर्व पाकिस्तानी आर्मी चीफ रिटायर्ड जनरल राहिल शरीफ को इस संगठन का पहला कमांडर नियुक्त किया गया है, यह बात हज़म नहीं होती कि लश्कर ए तैयबा, जैश ए मोहम्मद और हिज़्बुल मुजाहिदीन जैसे आतंकवादी संगठनों को बनाने वाली पाकिस्तानी आर्मी का पूर्व चीफ अब आतंकवादियों के खिलाफ लड़ाई का नेतृत्व करेगा। जिस पाकिस्तानी सेना की मुम्बई हमले में संलिप्तता थी, उस पाकिस्तानी सेना का पूर्व चीफ आतंकवाद से लड़ने की बात करे तो यह बात असम्भव लगती है।
यह संगठन आतंकियों के खिलाफ लड़ने वाला संगठन प्रतीत ना हो कर बल्कि एक आतंकवादियों का समर्थन करने वाला संगठन प्रतीत हो रहा है। यह संगठन सऊदी अरब की वहाबी नीतियों की पूर्ति के लिए बनाया हुआ संगठन मात्र है।

Why Kargil must have a centre for UGC-NET exam?

Taxis charge ₨ 700-800 for one side from Kargil to Srinagar while buses charge ₨ 400. Most of the students choose to travel by bus because they can’t effort an expensive journey. It goes around ₨ 2000 after calculating the both side travel, food and accommodation charges. I came to know that four buses are leaving for Srinagar from Kargil on 9th of July 2016 in which most of the passengers were students going to appear in the UGC-NET paper scheduled on 10th of July.

Kargil

I was one among the students who were going to appear in the paper. Before dawn we proceed towards Srinagar. After travelling 190 KMs, passing through the rough, dangerous and road from among the high mountains of Zojila Pass, in the chill weather of morning we reached at Sunamarg at around 11:00 AM. Whenever we set to travel via Zojila Pass we use to say a warm good-bye to our family members. On the way till Sunamark my fellow travellers received call once in an hour from their family members. These calls were because of the fear of the dangerous route to Srinagar. Unfortunately after reaching to Sunamark we came to know that Srinagar city is on strike, demonstrating against the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani and his two associates.

We had planned to take the breakfast at Kangan as we like the food quality there. Because of the strike Police doesn’t allowed the vehicles to proceed towards Srinagar. We entered a Kashmiri restaurant at Sunamark to have breakfast. The restaurant Wala lied that because of strike all the restaurants in Sunamarg don’t serve bread; so we had no choice other than eating rice in the morning which is not a routine in Ladakh and Kashmir. Since then we anxiously waited to through the road till 5:00 PM in the afternoon. Suddenly there was a rumour that the UGC-NET paper has been postponed. A guy told that due to poor network he had received only the half text of a message regarding the postponement of the exam. After receiving the whole message his phone got switched off due to low battery; but before showing it to anyone else. This created more curiosity among the students to know the actual information.

I took the guy to the tourist Bungalow and charged his phone, than only the students came to know that the exam has been postponed and the next date to inform on a future date. When the students came to know about this, three of the four buses, many small commercial vehicles and private vehicles set back to Kargil as hundreds of those students were going for the same exam. Passing again through the rough and high mountain passes we reached back to home at mid-night in a tired and very poor condition.

Some students who had travelled a day before to Srinagar faced more problem than us. When I contacted some of them I came to know that they had no food to eat due to strike in the valley. Some of the vehicles carrying students were attacked on the way by the stone-pelting. This is not the only trouble Kargili peoples, especially student’s face but there are uncountable concerns to raise here. But this time I am only focusing on the UGC-NET issue. The students have been demanded many times to the concerned authorities to establish a separate exam centre in Kargil for UGC-NET and other such exams. After travelling such a long journeys how we can expect a student to face a competitive exam? Why a student should risk his life to achieve one of his fundamental rights? Is not this a structural injustice, discrimination and humiliation of citizens in a democracy? If yes, than this issue should be solved before conducting the next exam.

By Anwar Ali Tharpa

Why I shield DC Kargil?

Since last few days, the wattsapp groups and other social media pages are flooded with comments regarding the “hot topic” of general line teachers’ recruitment. Some comments seem logical while some of them lacking in logic. Few of them write in a diplomatic and soft way while others write in a straight forward and striking way; some even use abusive languages.

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Why I shield DC Kargil?

It’s true that in the exam there were some “gross negligence” from the administration side. Yes there were only 40-50 supervisors to look after 7000 applicants. The examinees used mobile phones, and mass cheating was also happened during the exam. There was no proper sanitation system, drinking water facility and other basic needs. Amid all these the DC Kargil allegedly used “abusive language” on loud speaker.

But despite of all these I rationally do defend the DC Kargil. The first mistake we are doing in examining this GLT exam is comparison with UGC and other state and national level exams. Keep this on weighing scale with the other same exams in the past. The DC removed the interview and conducted a written test. In order to avoid any type of paper out, he arranged full security for the paper. In addition he kept all the 7000 students at a same place so that he could self supervise the exam. Keeping all applicants at one place was also “wrong” for some, but it was a positive effort from his side. However, taking bribe was almost avoided in this exam which is also an achievement of the DC. The only and only loophole in selection process was “mass cheating”, while the other problems have no direct link with the selection process. As a result of mass cheating many applicants from same families have been selected. In mass cheating the students are more responsible as they did such a cheap act. Nonetheless, while criticising all these we should not forget that we are under the regime of “four under-matriculations”. We can’t expect anything more fairly in this regime.

All the above could be a reason behind appreciation by religious organisations like IKMT. Some argue that IKMT had no need to say this at such a critical movement. But this is just a difference of opinion. IKMT may think that appreciating DC for his efforts is necessary at such a time when the whole district is against him.

On the other hand it’s also appreciable that the youth are taking serious action against the “mass negligence” at the exam. This is a precursor of growing intellectuality in the region. In the mean while it’s noteworthy that they should possess a cat eye rather than a rat eye. Rat eyes always show you the front side only.

Second, the students as being the first educated intellectual of the district should come with a panacea to come out from this trap of “unfair recruitments”. I mean, they are ought to propose a way to conduct a fair and standard way of entrance exams.

By Anwar Ali Czarpa

 

It’s Now or Never, Kargil!

After much speculation the ‘improbable’ list of General Line Teacher selection in Kargil has been declaredby the District Subordinate Service Recruitment Board (DSSRB) Kargil on January 14, 2016. It put in dizzy almost the entire population who were under the impression that the list will never see the light of day owing to all the unfair means witnessed during the examination like, mass copying, use of mobile phones, group discussion, moving from one place to another and so on which took place during the examination in public guise.

Teacher Exam 1
Applicants can see sitting for the Exam at Khri Sultan Cho Stadium at Byamathang Kargil

To cut a long story short, the screening test was attended by 7000 applicants (combined both morning and afternoon shift) in a mega sitting arrangement typical to that of a community “mela” or fair with no proper sitting arrangement to sit and no temporary shelter to protect the sunlight, and with the absence of drinking water and sanitation facilities. Moreover, the candidates were asked to sit straight in a line alongside a rope and instructed to keep a seven feet gap between each other which was literally measured by a measuring tape,with no other signs of demarcation to mark out the rows or seating place resulting in a fury and noise among the candidates. To add to that only 23 supervisors and equal number of assistant supervisors were there to supervise more than 4000 candidates at a time. Despite all this the examination went on which was proof enough to doubt at the sanctity of the examination.

To put the record straight here, immediately after the test on the same day, the Youth Action Committee Kargil rallied strong protest against the administration terming the screening testas highly ‘unacceptable’ and ‘objectionable’ and blamed the administration for miserably failing in conducting a “free and fair” screening test while demanded for its cancellation and re-examination in such a way that would do justice to all the candidates equally. The candidates consistently continued their protest until a week. Several Kargil Students’ Unions wrote letters to the authorities expressing their dissent with the way in which the screening test was conducted. But the response from the authorities was lukewarm.

Despite all this the Deputy Commissioner Kargil, also the chairman of DSSRB,while pretending to be ignorant termed the entire episode of selection process as“completely transparent and fair”. Although in an interview at All India Radio Kargil he reportedly said that “some disgruntled elements were found indulged in mass copying but the administration will take care of them”. This confession andthe examination taking place in an unjustly manner in full day light at Khree Sultan Choo Sports Stadium, Beamathang was somethingwhich nobody can shy away from.

Even after the selection list came out, apart from the above facts, the allegation of nepotism and favoritism start ushering from across the board with some reasonable facts to support their claims. Some of them being, for instance, siblings scoring equal number of high marks in written examination who happen to sit alongside each other during the examination and the highest probability of selected candidates were those who were in same line either next to or parallel to each other.The question papers were neither signed by the invigilator nor did it have any official stamp. Also few candidates have applied in reserved categories more than one and so on.

However, in the entire episode the scariest part is the silence of the people, both the candidates who appeared and the general public, which makes them equally responsible in this crime.Apparently some ofthe candidates who were found shouting slogans soon after the examination about the “unfair” examination are now dead silent only because the person him/herself got selected or a relative or friend is selected. This hypocrisy is saddening to say the least. Much more depressing and upsetting is the general attitude of the people who carry the same old traditional attitude that ‘nothing is going to happen’. Although most of them believe that everything went wrong in the selection process but they don’t want to raise a voice or resist against this kind of injustice.

The only positive light is coming from a group of young people lately. A group named Youth Action Committee (YAC) wrote to the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to intervene in the matter. Following that the All India Kargil Students’ Union (AIKSU) with the support of Kargil Students Union in Jammu, Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar and Zanskar Union, in a letter circulated on social media, has decided to “challenge the case in the Court of law through a writ petition”. The students ’ unions are reportedly appealing the Court to hold an inquiry in the whole matter and take a decision which is suited in the best interest of the candidates. This is a welcome step at least against the administration and the rulers which has the attitude of getting away with everything and anything which they feel like. It is hoped thatall the progressive forces in and outside the district would come together and fight against this kind of injustice to seek justice and prevent such things from happening again in future.

This is the time to challenge the thugs of power. The question really is what are we waiting for? Who are we afraid of?Remember Kargil, it’s now or never.

Written by a Kargili student at Delhi.

The author provided the article to Ladakh Express with the condition of anonymity. Ladakh Express is not responsible for the views of the writer.

Alternative way to integrate religious organisations in Kargil

By Anwar Ali Czarpa

IMG_5356Due to clear sky in Kargil sometimes it happens that the Eid moon become visible in the day time. The Eid than is called “Toe-Eid”, the Mid Day Eid. This Eid is considered to be more elated, celebrating and enjoying as it bring the news of Eid very early.

It was just like a Toe-Eid among the Kargilites especially among the youth, when we came to know that the clerics from Karcha have been took an initiative to mediate talks for integration between the two influential prominent organisations of Kargil. Like toe-Eid it was also more elated as the representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Mehdavipur also encouraged the effort for integration. The prominent well-wisher and representative of Ayatollah Sistani, Molana Qalbi Sadiq from Lucknow also urged the two organisations to cooperate in integrating the two groups.

The letter wrote from the office of Ayatollah Mehadavipur worked as a green traffic light after which the student’s organisations, beginning by AKSUD, wrote series of letters to the chairman of both the organisations urging to integrate “for the welfare of the society”. This reflects the quest of the people to integrate the two religious Idaras. In the mean while people from Kargil to Delhi and youth studying in different nooks of the country are keen to look for the outcome of this historical effort. To remember this in history I would like to name this initiative as “KARCHA PEACE INITIATIVE”.

WHAT KIND OF SOLUTION IS NEEDED?

For the same cause many initiatives have been taken in past also ‘but failed’. The major reasons for the failure were non-cooperation from the disputants and lack of planning from the mediators. In most of the cases one party asked for a “zero sum game”, which obviously would lead to failure of the negotiation. What we needed here is a “win-win solution” for the problem, in which both the party would remain in satisfaction. Both the parties have to compromise on some issues for which Ayatollah Mehdavipur also urged to “cooperate”. If I am not wrong, “cooperate” in the letter means not to come in the talks only, but to make a decision for integration by looking for the greater benefit.

Till date, what happens in the talks doesn’t seem to move towards a positive resolution of the conflict. The Islamia School Kargil (ISK) asked the other party to hand-over all the Muttahhary schools, pay the amount of Qatilgah and Jama Masjid Kargil and to dissolve the whole IKMT with all its major branches. Fortunately IKMT was ready to accept the prolonged list of conditions except dissolution, but on the condition that ISK along with the clerics from IKMT should conduct election for all its posts which have not being done since 1992. This only condition is not being accepted by the other side. In this condition it seems that this effort is also going in vain.

Another solution which I would suggest here is to make a referendum. An open election for all the necessary post of an organisation should do by open the voting right to all the members of both the organisations. The newly elected executives would than own both the organisation under the banner of ISK or by any new name. I think ISK shouldn’t be any problem to anyone as it has the status of central organisation in all Kargil, formed with the consent of whole Kargil.

WHERE IS THE EPICENTRE OF THE CONFLICT?

Everyone knows that both the organisations have no difference remained in beliefs. Both believe in Islamic fundamentals, fourteen infallibles and the Islamic revolution. Both conduct same events with same goal, same banners and same posters with same slogans. It means that the problem is not in ideology or belief. So the problem would be in ‘conflict of interest’. But the question is conflict of interest to whom? It would be so early to pronounce this. In case the situation remains the same or worse than a piece must be needed to pen on these factors also.

I would like to quote an example cited by the prominent cleric Sheikh Anwar. Sheikh said, Kargil is just like a boat and we all are on the boat. In personal antagonism if we all make whole in the boat we all will drown. So the only solution is to get unite and save the boat.

So along with the mediation team another role is for the youth to whom the future belongs to. They should urge both the organisations to integrate for greater benefit of the society rather than remain in group for benefit of few. Along with the organisations the youths should urge all those for integration who are creating hurdle in the way of mediation and integration. Some may thwart this resolution just because of personnel deceitful interest.

If the region really wants to condole Imam of the time, Mehdi (a.s.) on this coming Chehlum of Imam Hussain (a.s.) than everyone should play their own part to bring towards a resolution to the prolonged conflict in the region which is resulting in the backwardness of the region.

Anwar Ali Czarpa is a student of Peace and Conflict Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. He is also a pass out of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

“Ladakh” : Is it only “Land of Lamas”?

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Whenever one hears the word “Ladakh”, why is that the term brings only an image of the “Land of Lamas” to the minds of most people, when the fact is that Ladakh is far more ethnically and religiously diverse?  A perception in part of the Ladakh has gathered over the years, that in creating an image of Ladakh to the outside world, the Ladakh region has been conveniently allowed to be culturally hijacked by its better known part, which we all know as Leh, to the extent that Ladakh is now being alternatively known as “Leh, Ladakh,” ignoring its other equal half – Kargil.

Allowing Ladakh to be called and identified with Leh is no problem, if one wants only one particular religion to dominate and define the overall character of Ladakh. But it indeed becomes a problem if that region is multi cultural and multi religious and by allowing it to be seen associated with one particular religion it becomes an affront to secular values of our country that celebrates unity in diversity.

After the trauma of partition that divided thousands of families in Baltistan part of Ladakh Wazarat, the newly formed Ladakh sub region of the state of Jammu & Kashmir that comprised of Leh & Kargil, should have been moulded into a new identity of a unified Ladakh; however contrary to that, there is a widespread belief in Kargil that instead of that, what has actually happened over last 6 decades since independence has been a total one sided focus on the development of Leh and almost step motherly treatment towards Kargil.

There is a massive feeling of disappointment in Kargil that this ignorance has sadly happened both from Srinagar as well as from Leh and it continues to happen till this day. More so, most people in Kargil believe that what should have been an even and simultaneous development of both Kargil and Leh since independence has instead turned into a systemic and comparatively spectacular economic and cultural growth of Buddhist Leh over and at the cost of Shia Muslim Kargil.

Unlike western part of the former Ladakh Wazarat, which was predominantly Shia / Noorbakshi, the Eastern part of the Ladakh Wazarat was predominantly Buddhist following a Ladakhi version of Tibetan Buddhism, with Leh as its largest city. Partially due to the efforts of the people of Leh themselves and partly boosted by increasing national and international interest in Leh because of closure of Chinese controlled Tibet after 1950s, which drove thousands of people from all over the world with a desire to study Tibetan Buddhism towards Leh instead, the Leh region virtually witnessed a “Buddhist tourism boom”. And deservedly, Leh region saw massive tourist infrastructure development. The Indo-China war of 60s and loss of Aksai Chin of Leh to China further attracted special attention of our central government and army towards developing Leh, which further gave an impetus to infrastructural and communicational development of Leh region.

While happy at the economic development of Leh, the people of Kargil started to feel that they were being left behind in the race to modernity and rapid economic growth, which was happening in other parts of J&K but had barely touched Kargil. Over the years, Leh developed at a fast rate and carved such an image of Ladakh in the minds of outside visitors that the name of the Ladakh region got synonymous with Leh or rather “Buddhist Leh”. Kargil just remained an unknown one night stopover for tourists, who would go to Leh from Srinagar via Kargil.

Kargil literally vied for attention from Srinagar for its share of economic development, which was largely ignored. A perception started developing in Leh that perhaps their Muslim faith and their adherence to Shia sect was the reason of discrimination from Srinagar and Leh. While Srinagar continued to refuse paying attention to the developmental woes of Kargil, the Leh unfortunately also seemed oblivious to the economic backwardness of Kargil and unwilling to share the fruits of economic development brought by tourism with Kargil.

Things were however soon to change for the awakening of the people of Kargil, when two events happened, one far away from Kargil and another at its door steps, which literally transformed the social and intellect paradigm of the Kargil region and its people.  That will be dealt in the 3rd and concluding part of this 3 part article.

Siddharatha Garoo, a native of Kashmir valley, who lives in Delhi and has interest in Central Asian region, writes a three part series on Ladakh region, which is the largest part of Jammu & Kashmir state and yet remains under the shadows of more dominant regions of Jammu and Kashmir valley. However in his article, he focuses on the less discussed inter-regional lopsided developmental and cultural attention paid to its Buddhist dominated Leh verses Muslim dominated Kargil.

Siddharatha is a graduate of Columbia University, New York as well as Harvard, Cambridge and Delhi University. He can be contacted at sgaroo@gmail.com.