Contextualising the current Lok Sabha election in Kargil

By – Anwar A. Tsarpa

After concluding the counting process of the current Lok Sabha election in Ladakh, I was on the way to home from Degree college Kargil where the election counting process held. I took a sharing taxi towards home that had heated debate over the election result. Two people were overwhelmingly criticising the religious organisations for “repeatedly betraying” the people. We saw such disillusionment and distress among many other people in the region. Is this true that the religious organisations have betrayed the people? Or, this is handiwork of any third party to disappoint the people from religious organisations?

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Before answering the above two questions we must admit that we are doing three major mistakes in this political scenario. Firstly, we are looking all religious organisations with a single lens. We are not judging, how they are different from each other in their goals, ideologies, strategies and performance. We are judgemental in marking them on grade scale. Without looking at their contributions and objectives we are putting all in a single basket. All apples are not same. Some would generate more revenue than others depending on their quality. By putting all in a single basket we are undermining their efforts.

Secondly, while choosing the electoral candidate we are focusing on relationship, affiliations, personal interests and prejudice instead of agendas to fulfil. We are not aware of our political motives to fulfil by the potential candidate, once he gets successful in the election. In this particular election sentiments like Buddhist Vs Muslim, IKMT Vs ISK, Broqpa Vs Balti, Balti Vs Purki and many such affiliations were allegedly provoked in political rallies and speeches.

Instead of judging which side is using these unfair terms and means for political goals, the people are choosing candidates with prejudice. We all have ascribed an identity to ourselves that are prioritised over political agendas, moral principles and individual capabilities of candidates.

Thirdly, we are neglecting the basic fundamentals of Islam. In Islam principles comes first than majority. People are neglecting the fundamental principles of Islam while casting the vote. According to some Islamic prominent jurists casting vote is a “Faraiz” (obligation) like other Faraiz in Islam. While choosing the right candidate to cast vote one must admit the witness of God, and follow the principles of justice. While choosing candidate we must follow the principles of seniority, impartiality, ability, truthfulness, no nepotism etc.

Let’s come to the first question. To know whether the religious organisations are betraying people we must analyse and judge their decisions. Are their decisions in favour of the mass or they are benefitting some external agencies? Because, if you have closely analysed last few elections and particularly this election, you must have smelled handiwork of some external agencies infiltrating in Ladakh and particularly Kargil.

Their agenda, as some experts observed from their activities, is to weaken the religious organisations. To disappoint the people from religious organisations. Because religious organisations are the only powerful authorities that have the decision-making power in the region. With the existence of these organisations the external agencies would not be able to put forward their cultural, economic and political goals.

If an individual or an organisation whose decisions and actions are resulting in disappointment of people over religious organisations you must admit that he/they are playing in hand of an external agency. If the discord between religious organisations thwarted Kargil from electing a united candidate, that in turn resulted in disappointment of mass over them, it means the external agencies are successful in their goals. The religious organisations knowingly or unknowingly strengthening an external front who would erode their acceptance in the region.

Sometimes people wrongly compare Kargil with other districts and regions which is not right. Because agencies have already got huge hands in setting their puppet regimes in those regions while Kargil has thwarted them from doing so. It means people in Kargil are more aware than people in other regions. And you must continue this legacy of awareness to next level instead of losing them.

In the concluding words I would suggest not to put all individuals and organisations in a single basket. Judge who is right and wrong or who is at least better than its alternative. Focus on agenda-based politics rather than affiliations and prejudice. Don’t let the external agencies to erode your sovereignty or to take your part of decision.

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Principles should be base to choose MP – Sheikh Anwar Hussain

 

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In the name of God, the most beneficent, the most merciful. All the praise is for him. Blessings and peace upon the household of the prophet (saw) and his followers. Dear believers, men and women, the youth of the Ladakh region greetings to you all. We all gripped in the crisis of the election because of not able to unite the religious organisations over a single candidate. If they had united over a common candidate, we might not have to face all these problems. But unfortunately, two candidates came into the fray. Both the two organisations and some small organisations are campaigning in favour of one and against another.

In this regard, I want to deliver advice to you. I am offering this message from a nook of Qom, because of being a part of this society. Please listen to it and if you find it valid accept it otherwise throw it out.

Dear, we are forced to accept from among two candidates – Sajjad Kaksari and Asgar Karbalai. What should we do? Should we decide on based on the organisation or basis of principles? This is a matter of great examination for all of us.

I site you an example. If the government ask us to appoint a principal for a school from among many youths in the area, knowingly or unknowingly people would choose either of these two options in taking this decision: Amanathdary (Truthfulness) or Khayanat (betrayal). If the people of the area are truthful, no dispute will arise over the decision. They would say that the best, talented, and suitable should appoint as principal and there is no need for prolonged arguments. But if they are politically or materially motivated, they would get into a conflict of region, caste or religion and would appoint a less qualified person. Is this betrayal or truthful with the future of the children in the area? This is like chopping one’s legs with an axe. This is spoiling the future of children.

If one says that a new face is required, youth is needed, it is a betrayal. What should be the criteria? Aged or youth, Sheikh or Syed, minority or minority or quality matters? There is a particular requirement for the post of principal; so, one who possesses these requirements should appoint on the vacancy. That would be the best decision for the future of children.

Similarly, if appoint a CEC, for which the people have no direct right to appoint but appoint by the councillors, should nominate the best qualified from among themselves. There is development in areas, even in non-Muslim countries like Europe because of electing representatives with a principle. Principles should be the criteria rather than, age, region, party or something else. If followed principles in the appointment, then only justice is made with this particular post.

If I say in other words, I would say that this election is not between two individuals or between IKMT or ISK. This is a matter to decide the future of our region. Some say that because of two candidates in Kargil the seat would slip out of their hands. You should not concern only for Kargil but for the whole region. You should concern the entire country or state as the whole. Now you are not choosing a CEC or MLA but a Member of Parliament. This is a representative of the whole region not of a particular organisation, region, Sout, Karchay, Shakar Chiktan etc. This is not a matter to dispute based on region or Leh or Kargil. Even our intellect says that the best person from the area should appoint for the welfare of the whole region.

We should appoint the best person who would represent the Ladakh region among other around 500 MPs in the parliament. We may have someone more qualified, senior from them. But now in this current scenario, we have to choose the best from among these two. Above region, religion, caste and party, our decision should guide by intellect, mind and principles. For this decision, you have to forget all those bitter tastes and discords, if you have with the best person from among these four MP candidates in the fray.

I site you another example. To become an MP, one must possess some experiences. He should be a councillor, MLA and then an MP. He should go step by step. This is stupidity to bring youth to parliament who have zero experience of politics. I am not aimed to defame or weaken a particular candidate. Giving suggestions and gaining experience on the ground are two different things. It needs experience. Reverberating, what can do and what not in Urdu and English words would only examine well once get into the field. Thus, there is no question of aged vs youth, IKMT vs ISK, Congress vs NC etc. You shall cast your vote for the best-qualified person for this particular post. God willing, we would not fall in a loss.

How much experience and capability our MP should have who would be on the field with the most experienced politicians from all over India. He would serve the region, State and the whole country. Is it right to handover an aeroplane to a truck driver no matter how good he is in his truck driving. These two things are two different things. A person from one field cannot handle in another field.

The message delivered by Sheikh Anwar Hussain Sharafuddin is translated by Ladakh Express team with due permission from the speaker.

…ایک کہانی اتحاد کی

DiscoverUnity

کہانی تب شروع ہوتی ہے جب اسلامیہ اسکول میں اسلامیہ اسکول اور امام خمینی میموریل ٹرسٹ کے اتحاد کے نام پر ایک بھونچال آتا ہے اور اسلامیہ سکول کے نیے صدر جناب ناظر المہدی صاحب کا انتخاب جناب سید جمال الدین صاحب کو ہٹا کر ہوتا ہے جو اُس وقت اتحاد کرنے کے لیے سب سے پیش پیش ہوتے ہیں اور اس حد تک کامیاب بھی ہو جاتے ہیں کہ دونوں فریقوں میں لگ بھگ اتحاد کا سلسلہ آخری مرحلے میں ہوتا ہے۔
صدر بننے کے بعد جناب ناظر المہدی صاحب آہستہ آہستہ سحر ٹی وی پر نشر ہونے والے جلسہ و جلوس میں خاصکر(مطلب خاصکر) نظر آنے لگ جاتے ہیں۔ تبھی کرگل میں ایک انقلاب آ جاتا ہے اور لوگ علم جناب حضرت عباس ّ کی محبت میں پلکیں بچھایے انتظار میں لگ جاتے ہیں۔ اس دوران پتہ چلتا ہے کہ اس علم کے لانے میں سب سے بڑا کردار جناب سجاد کاکسری صاحب کا رہا ہے۔ لوگوں کا جزبہ ایمانی دیکھ کے فلک بھی رشک کرنے لگتا ہے اور علم کی زیارت سے سب ہی اپنے دلوں میں ٹھنڈک محسوس کرتے ہیں۔
آہستہ آہستہ بات پرانی ہو جاتی ہے۔
تھوڑے عرصے بعد جناب شیخ ناظر المہدی صاحب سکردو چلو کا نعرہ بلند کرتے ہیں اور اسکی رہنمایی جناب سجاد کاکسری صاحب کے حوالے کی جاتی ہے۔ بہت کوششیں کی جاتی ہیں پر یہ نعرہ انکے خواہشوں کے بر خلاف ٹھنڈی پڑ جاتی ہے کیونکہ اس نعرے میں کرگل کے با شعور عوام کو کوی فایدہ نظر نہیں آ رہا ہوتا ہے۔
اسی اثنا میں کرگل میں ڈیویژنل سٹیٹس کا مسعلہ آ جاتا ہے اور پھر سے کرگلی عوام کی رگوں میں خون دوڑ جاتا ہے۔ ہر کوی چاہے وہ عام ہو یا خاص مذہبی و سیاسی جماعتوں کو ایک ہونے کہ صلاح دیتے ہیں اور الللہ کے کرم سے ایک کمیٹی بنتی ہے جس کا نام جے ار سی (JRC) رکھا جاتا ہے اور سب ایک سٹیج پر جمع ہو جاتے ہیں۔ پوری امت کرگل ملکر ایسی آواز بلند کرتے ہیں کہ ہندوستانی ایوان ہلا کر رکھ دیتے ہیں اور کامیابی سے ہمکنار ہوتے ہیں۔ الحمد الللہ
کچھ عرصے بعد ایم پی کا الیکشن ہونا ہوتا ہے اور سارے لوگ اسی خواب غفلت میں پڑے رہتے ہیں کہ اس بار تو ہم متحد ہیں اور ایک کینڈیڈیٹ کو کھڑا کر کے ہم بازی مار لیں گے۔ کرگل کے سارے عوام جے ار سی (Joint Resistance Committee ) سے اُمیدیں لگاے ہوے ہوتے ہیں کہ اج یا کل یہ ملکر ایک میٹنگ کریں گے کہ اچانک سیاست کو طلاق دینے والے اپنی مرضی سے سیاسی جماعتوں کو طلب کر کے ایک تجویز پیش کرتے ہیں کہ اپ سب ملکر کسی کینڈیڈیٹ کا نام دیں تاکہ اتحاد قایم ہو سکے؟ ؟؟
یہ ایک سوچی سمجھی چال ہوتی ہے کیونکہ ان کو بھی معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ ایسا نا ممکن ہے کہ سبھی سیاسی جماعتیں ملکر کسی ایک کے نام پر سر تسلیم خم کر دیں۔
پھر مذہبی جماعتوں کو بلایا جاتا ہے۔ جس میں دو ہی نام رکھے جاتے ہیں کیونکہ دوسری جماعتیں ملکر اسلامیہ اسکول اور امام خمینی میموریل ٹرسٹ کے حوالے کر دیتے ہیں کہ اپ ہی ایک ایک نام تجویز کریں تاکہ کینڈیڈیٹ کو چنے میں آسانی ہو اور اتحاد قایم ہو سکے۔
جو دو نام رکھے جاتے ہیں وہ ہیں جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب اور جناب سجاد کاکسری صاحب (جو اجکل سجاد کاکسری سے سجاد کرگلی کہلوانا زیادہ پسند کرتے ہیں)
کسی کو انکے نام پر اعتراض نہیں ہوتا اور ان دونوں کے نام پر دوسروں سے راے لی جاتی ہے (یا کہیں ووٹنگ کی جاتی ہے) اور جناب اضغر علی کربلای کو زیادہ ووٹ مل جاتے ہیں۔
”یا اللہ یہ کیا ہو گیا پانسہ تو الٹا پڑ گیا”
جب ووٹ زیادہ مل جاتے ہیں تو اعتراضات شروع ہو جاتے ہیں اور میٹنگ برخاست کر کے اگلے دن پھر سے سیاسی و مذہبی جماعتوں کو بلایا جاتا ہے جس میں ایک تنظیم کو دروازے سے ہی واپس لوٹایا جاتا ہے۔(والللہ اعلم)
اسلامیہ اسکول اور کچھ جماعتیں اس بات پر اڑ جاتے ہیں کہ جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب نہ ہو باقی چاہے جو بھی ہو۔ کوی بھی ہو چل جاے گا (بیوقوف ہو، جاہل ہو، ان پڑھ ہو، گنوار ہو، کام آتا ہو یہ نہ آتا ہو، چلو کوی بسیجی ہو، امام خمینی میموریل ٹرسٹ کا ہو، چاہے ایک فیصد بھی تجربہ نہ ہو، کچھ بھی ہو، کچھ سروکار نہیں کیونکہ ہمیں ایم پی جتا کر لہہ والوں کو دکھانا ہے) (الللہ کی پناہ)
اس بات کو سمجھانے کی کوشش میں کہ ہمیں صرف ایک ایم پی نہیں بلکہ ایک ایسے شخص کو بھیجنا چاہیے جو کرگل کی نمایندگی کر سکے، ایوان میں کرگل کے غیور عوام کی عکاسی کر سکے، تھک ہار کر امام خمینی میموریل ٹرسٹ راضی ہو جاتی ہے اور جناب شیخ بشیر صاحب کے ساتھ یہ پیغام ارسال کرتی ہے کہ جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب کا نام واپس لے لیا گیا ہے اور جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب کا نام واپس لے کے اس بات کی مہلت صرف صبح نو بجے تک مانگتی ہے کہ کسی دوسرے شخص کو کہ جو اس کرسی کے لیے قابل ہو کو چنا جا سکے۔ کیونکہ امام خمینی میموریل ٹرسٹ کا موقف بلکل صاف رہتا ہے کہ نمایندہ ایسا ہو جو کرگلی عوام کا سر جھکنے نہ دے۔ پر اتحاد کے اڑ میں اپنی سیاسی روٹیاں سیکنے کی کوشش میں جو لگے تھے انہیں یہ بات نا گوار گزرتی ہے کہ امام خمینی میموریل ٹرسٹ نے جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب کا نام واپس لے لیا اور اتحاد ہونے کے امکانات وسیع ہو گیے۔
ہڑ بڑی میں ان سب لوگوں و جماعتوں کے جزبات، جو یہ چاہتے تھے کہ اتحاد ہو، کو بالاے طاق رکھ کر دوسرے ہی دن جناب سجاد کاکسری صاحب کو نامزد کیا جاتا ہے۔
پھر اج تک نہ اتحاد کی بات کرتے ہیں اور جو چاہتے تھے کہ اتحاد ہو انکا سامنا بھی نہیں کرتے۔ اپنے صدر و کینڈیڈیٹ کو لے کے میٹنگ میں وہ اتے ہیں جنکا دل صاف ہوتا ہے اور وہ جناب شیخ رجای صاحب اور جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب ہوتے ہیں۔ شاید وہ جانتے تھے کہ اگر کسی نتیجے پر نہیں پہنچتے تو زیادہ سے زیادہ قرعہ لگایا جایے گا اور وہ الللہ پر توکل کر کے آ جاتے ہیں۔
افسوس صد افسوس کہ پھر بھی اج کچھ لوگ کہتے ہیں کہ شیخ بشیر صاحب اور جناب اضغر علی کربلای صاحب اتحاد کے حق میں نہیں۔
جناب شیخ ناظر المہدی صاحب اس صدر کو ہٹا کے آیے تھے جو اتحاد کے خواہاں تھے اور اج کچھ لوگ جناب شیخ ناظر المہدی صاحب سے امید کر رہے ہیں کہ وہ اتحاد کریں گے
الللہ کی پناہ

 

The article is written by a Kargili who want to be anonymous. The article is published with a pure intention to keep an account of the developments in the region. Ladakh Express entertains write-up from writers. You can send us your piece on ladakhexpress[@]gmail.com

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?

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.

Divisional Status for Ladakh: A Boon or a Curse?

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In a decision, that called “hasty” by many, the government recently granted divisional status to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir with “headquarter in Leh”; decided to review later after massive protest from Kargil. The move that departs Ladakh in administrative and revenue affairs from the Kashmir valley came only after a month when the Governor of the State Satya Pal Malik announced a cluster university in the region, in Buddhist dominated district Leh. This Leh centric decisions in the period of Modi government is perceived as “discriminative” by the Muslim dominated Kargil district.

Many thinkers and political analysts have seen this move as a political stand to garner vote bank in the region. Ladakh had embraced the BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections by electing their MP from the party. However, due to unfulfillment of the demands by the BJP, the former MP Thupstan Chhewang resigned recently. For the BJP, who potentially would be successful to garner majority of Assembly as well as Lok Sabha seats in Jammu region, Ladakh would prove to be a deciding factor. Thus, this hasty decision is seen as an attempt to appease Ladakhi people for election to secure two MLA seats and the MP seat. However, the discriminative approach has bringing the two communities as well as districts of Ladakh against each other, contrary to their unfathomable history of coexistence.

The recent “discriminative” move to grand both the developments to Leh has been added to the past grievances. It is a widely spread notion among people in Kargil that government have always discriminated them relatively against Leh where the headquarters of BSNL, passport office, airport, jail, etc have been established. The powerful organisation in Kargil Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (IKMT) in a press conference observed disappointment on the decision, describing the grant of divisional status and cluster university “lollipop”. Another prominent leader from Kargil and former MLC Syed Ahmed Rizvi declared the decision “unjust” and appealed the governor to review the decision. Urging all organisations in Kargil to unite over the issue, he questioned the behaviour of the govt, saying, Is not Kargil part of India? In a video message he showed concern over spoiling peace in the region due to “unjust and discriminative” approach, that he said, “tang aa’mad ta jung aamad” (frustration leads to war).

People in Kargil are smearing with fear that they have to face consequences of having headquarter in Leh. Before 1977 when Kargil was not formed a separate district, people had to relied on Leh even for preparation of a small document. Ahmed Rizvi has concerned that they have to up-down from Leh to Kargil for even small issues if Leh is made the headquarter. Another shade over fate of Kargil is that the new headquarter in Leh (220 km) is farther than the existing one in Kashmir (205 km). That is why, IKMT suggested to decide the location for headquarter themselves at local level in a joint conversation with leaders from Leh. Some leaders including the former MLA Asgar Karbalai had suggested a rotational headquarter: Leh for winter, as Leh have connectivity in winter and Kargil for summer due to its proximity with Kashmir as well as Zanskar. Now, the disputed decision has perceived as a betrayal by the Modi government.

The demand for Central University was a joint effort of student associations of both the districts. But from the day first there was a murmuring speculation from Kargil side over the location to establish the university. It was also because of the past experiences of “discrimination” by the government. Nonetheless, the demand for Divisional Status was initiated by the Kargil district that had later supported by the LAHDC Leh in December last year.

The divisional status is also seen as a “step forward” to the largest demand of Union Territory (UT) status by the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh in its press release. The discomfort would further intense in case of granting UT status which is strongly opposed by almost all major groups in Kargil.

The communal discord fuelling by the discriminative approach could be sensed from the confrontational argument between the leaders of the two districts. Recently, exchange of harsh words took place between social and religious leaders of both the communities. The Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) from Leh had labelled the religious organisations in Kargil “political” instead of religious. It had retaliated with striking response from the later.

Potentially a co-incidence, this discriminative move was accompanied with soaring Kargil led demand for opening of Kargil-Skardo road. Apart from economic and cultural benefits attached to the road, this demand could be seen as a rise of ethnic-identity against state-nationalism. A public speaker in Delhi had once said that Balti people in both side of the border (India and Pakistan) are loyal to the state. In the whole state of J&K also the people of Kargil are seen as patriotic and loyal to state who had assisted the Indian army to cross the Zoji Pass in 1971 war with Pakistan. However, the alienation of Muslim majority Kargil has also eroding their loyalty for state.

Hasty decisions for political interest would yield grave concern for peace. The discriminative approach has been fuelling communal discord and eroding the communal harmony in the region. It also pushes the people at the border to stand against the state.

 

By: Anwar Ali Tsarpa

Research Scholar at Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia.

Uneven phenomenon in Kargil: Who is responsible?

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Its always suggested to keep dangerous things like knife, matches box, poison, etc away from children. Because they don’t know the correct use of that; as a result, could cause damage or loss. Similarly, some things are instructed to keep away from adults as well, if they are not aware of its correct use. One among those things need to take concern in case of both adults and children is smart phones. In Kargil it seems that many of the adults are not aware of mobile’s correct use; as a result, we are facing one incident per week on an average.

Recently we saw some one filmed a guy alleging him of stealing things in Kargil house at Jammu. Similarly, we had a heated unnecessary debate over wearing pants by girls. In the past few years also, some novice activists alleged gross negligence, nepotism and favouritisms in recruitments. Over them we had crossed all lines in shaming and blaming each other on social media platforms. We did not even refrain from sharing sex video on WhatsApp.

We have twin problem of “sharing” and “blaming”.

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I would ask, is our sharing and heated debate on social media the solution? We have shared so many videos and assassinated many characters. Now they are not able to enjoy a dignified life freely in the society. We have leaved them to die every day in their own eyes and of others. Have not you heart the tradition that “Honor of a believer is greater than that of Holy Kabba”. Because of wrong use of smart phones we have received such a huge loss and damage. In blaming game we alleged gross negligence in General line teachers, recruitment of VLW seats; vigilance over 80 officials etc etc.

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The question arises here is “Who is responsible? When it comes to responsibility people accuse each other like fight among a mother and daughter-in-law. Some accuse government servicemen, some political leaders and some pointed towards two religious organisations of the district. Truth is that all are naked in this bathroom; but still accusing each other naked. We curse the thief on social media but don’t bother to understand what structural conditions forced him to adopt this business. We curse those taking bribe but neglect those who give. We lamented the one who created the porn video but ignored those who circulated the video and spoiled the belief of hundreds. We hate those who loot or illegally confiscate other’s right but leave those who give respect and status to those wicked people.

In this blaming game speakers are breaking podiums, writers are breaking the pen. Among them some have developed an innovative way of livelihood. File RTI under the Right to Information Act, threaten people, make pressure and loot what they have as booty. I leave this on the people to decide whether this is corruption or something else?

Only blaming game would not lead us to the solution. We have to put our thinking caps to know that why the community which had zero First Investigation Report (FIR) in police station throughout the year has been reporting such cases of moral harassment, sexual cases, corruption and other similar problems. I remember the famous saying of Imam Ali (a.s.) which says that “Who’s desires are prolonged his deeds will be bad.” Our problems of corruption and stealing could have various causes but, in my opinion, this is also a fundamental cause. The community who loved simple life style, patience and used to spent life in love, affection and dignity despite of numerous harsh geographical and climate challenges has now a long list of desires. All of us need a government job, a huge bungalow, luxurious vehicle, tour to Jammu city in winter, education for children in a metro city, expensive clothing, exclusive mobile phone etc etc. If this prolonged list fulfils with straight path, its fine otherwise people search for alternatives.

Everyone, especially those extending shoulders to fight against the problems in the society must understand that, the blaming and accusing game leads to Takfiriat. Those who were accusing both Muawiya and Ali a.s. gave birth to the Khawarij who leads to extremism. Similarly, those who were accusing the failures of Ottoman Empire gave birth to Wahhabism. Thus, proves that blaming game of the statuesque without an alternative plan leads to takfirism.

At the end, I would say that even in the reign of infallible Imam’s if people’s desires are prolonged, they leave Imam and attend the palace of Ameer e Sham to gain gold and silver coins.

By: Anwar Ali Tsarpa

Kargil to Silmo photo story

Here are some beautiful scenes I have seen through the lens of my camera this summer. I clicked them randomly while I was on reporting to Silmo village. I don’t remember the name of these villages. Name them if you know. Mention the image No. and type down name of the village in comment. Photo credit: Anwar Ali Tsarpa

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Only this picture is in Wakha, clicked on another day.

LAHDC Kargil Election: An Overview

By Anwar Ali Tsarpa

31 August was quite sunny. On the desert like Kurbathang I could feel the heat a bit more. We had the huge black mountain of Naktul on our left and the Ringmospang on the front. On a little distance river Suru, flowing aggressively. It was indeed, the day of lifting curtains. But not of people’s deeds, but the results of the much-awaited fourth Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil’s election.

Candidates were roaming around. Their throbbing heart does not allow them to be seated for a longer time. People were greeting and wishing them for best. For all those greetings, unwantedly they had to keep their face smiling. 99 were in fray for 26 seats. Comprised of 23 candidates Congress topping the contenders with 23, followed by local party PDP and Independents 21 each, National Conference had 20 and BJP 15. Major share fell into the kitty of National Conference with 10 seats. In- fighting dragged Congress to 8, PDP and BJP got 2 and one respectively. 5 Independents remained firm with 5 seats.

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However, Congress gains the larger share of total votes with 17782 votes, NC remained second with 16688 votes, PDP gains 8495, BJP 2172 independent candidates collectively gains 12037 votes from among 66059 votes casted. Individually, Kacho Mohammad Feroz of INC from Pashkum constituency got highest number of vote 1681. For 83844 registered voters 258 polling stations had established. But the results infused disappointment among many people due to fractured mandate.

This election was different from many past elections due to various reasons. Firstly, sixty-two, relatively young candidates took part for the first time in the LAHDCK elections. Secondly, political analysers have observed that people are shifting towards agenda-based politics from traditional party or organisational based politics. As a result, according to political analysts, bogus votes remained negligible. Shift from traditional to agenda-based politics could be supported from the fact that three polling booths in Trespone constituency boycotted the elections citing their unheard prolonged issues of underdeveloped road, lack of fresh drinking water and lack of proper health facilities. Similarly, Tumail Colony in Pashkum constituency also had boycotted polls in the first half. When I contact them they said their agendas remained unheard.

Congress District President Nasir Munshi said that, choice of voters, unlike in the past elections, are unpredictable. Earlier the people were loyal and obedient to their party, but now their preferences are unpredictable. Similarly, PDP district president Kacho Gulzar also admitted that there is a major shift in the behaviour of the voters.

On the polling day, I got the opportunity to tour in all the three regions to some extent. Staring from Minjee I visited Gound Minjee, Minjee (both male and female), Goma Minjee, Gramthang, Trespone, Gondmangal Pore, Tambis, Kanoor, Tumail Colony, Pashkum, Akchamal, Poyen, Hardas, Chuliskamboo, Goma Kargil, Balti Bazar, Indoor Stadium, Girls Hr. Sec in Kargil town, and Baroo (male and female). On the counting day also, I was to observe the counting process since morning till the end. I observed that people from Drass sector are more passionate in whole election process. The first three constituency counted were from Drass sector. When I reached early in the morning hundreds of vehicles and people from Drass were anxiously waiting for the results outside polytechnic college building, where the counting process held. In the counting room also, they had sign of discomfort and eagerness in their behaviour.

Contrary to Drass sector, people from Zanskar were seemingly less interested in the results. They were so calm in the counting room that we could feel their respiratory process. People from other constituencies were moderately passionate for the results. However, people from Karchay, especially from Trespone, Lankerchey and G.M. Pore were relatively more passionate in the counting room as well as on the polling booth than the people from other constituencies but less than Drass sector.

In the morning, on next day of the results, they were seen in shape of fanatic mob, with huge queue of vehicles, escorting their winner candidates to respective constituencies. However, people from other constituencies were also involved in similar activities but were less passionate.

 

Government Formation

Due to frequent change in government in the past five years public wanted to get a single party in power. Prior to the election, in a random public interview, many respondents had maintained that they want a single party in power to form a “strong administration”. The political parties also and obviously wanted to get a single party in power. Haji Hanifa Jan had said that based on his past experience only a strong administration will be fruitful for development of Kargil. That is possible only if a single party comes into power with majority of seats in the council. Similarly, Munshi Nasir also had hoped to get 15 plus seats in the council to form a strong administration. But after the results people again seems to be disappointed due to fractured mandate.

In the current situation of fractured mandate, a strong government is possible only if the two largest parties form alliance. Before the elections both Haji Hanifa Jan and Rasool Nagvi of National Conference had wished to form government with the Congress. To form government with the independent candidates is “fruitless and loss for the district”, what Rasool Nagvi termed as “black-mailing”. He had urged the public to “not vote independent candidates” who initiates blackmailing. But unfortunately, we could not smell any efforts from their side to form government with the major parties, in order to form a strong government.

The article was first appeared in the weekly Voice of Ladakh on 7 September 2018.

اپولدنما اور شوکپہ – تحریر انور علی ژھر پا

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یوں تو کرگل کے ہر گاﺅں کی اپنی ایک منفرد کہانی ہے۔ کچھ حقائق پر مبنی اور کچھ جزبات کی دین ہے۔ لیکن سچائی سے بڑی حد تک ہم آہنگ ضرور ہے ۔ امتداد زمانہ کے ساتھ اگر چہ تاریخی حقائق متاثر ہوئی ہے تاہم اصلیت کسی نہ کسی شکل اب بھی باقی اور موجود ہے۔اور شعوری اورلاشعوری طور لوگوں کو اپنی طرف جلب کررہی ہے ۔ ایسی ہی ایک کہانی شُک چیک نامی گاﺅں کی ہے جو کرگل خاص سے تقریبا15 کلومیٹر کی دوری پر لیہ کرگل شاہراہ پر واکھانالہ کے دائیں کنارے واقع ہے۔ شک چیک کے لوگوں کو اس گاﺅ ں میں موجودصنوبرکے درخت ( شکپہ)سے ایک دلی لگاﺅ ہے کیونکہ یہ اُن کے پردادا کی یادگار ہے۔ جس نے ان کے گاﺅں کو پہلی بار آباد کیا تھا۔

راقم کاجب اسسٹنٹ ٹورسٹ آفسرمحمد عیسی سے  ایک رسمی ملاقات کے دوران انکے گاﺅں کے متعلق گفتگو کی تو ذیل کی کہانی سامنے آئی۔ بہت پہلے کی بات ہے کہ پشکم میں ایک شخص اپو لدنما کے نام سے رہا کرتا تھا۔ ایک دن وہ اپنے مویشیوں کو دیکھنے سکمبو کے پہاڑی میں چڑھا جہاں اُنہیں ایک صنوبر کادرخت( شکپہ) کا چھوٹا سا پودا ملا۔ اُنہوں نے پودے کو اپنے پرس میں سنبھال کرلے آیا اور نیچے اُترتے اُترتے آج کی شک چیک نامی جگہ کے پاس پہنچی۔ اونچاِئی سے اُنہوں نے اس پودے کو لگانے کا ایک موزون جگہ تلاش کیا تو وہی جگہ پایا جہاں آج پیڑ موجود ہے۔ اُس وقت یہ جگہ جھاڑیوں سے گھیرا ہوا تھا۔ اُنہوں نے پودے کو زمین کے حوالے کرتے ہوئے یہ ارادہ کیا کہ اگر یہ پودا ایک پیڑ کی شکل لے لیتا ہے تو وہ اس جگہ کو آباد کرے گا۔ جب چند سال بعد اپو لدنما اُس جگہ پر واپس پہنچاتو پایا کہ وہ پیڑآس پاس کی جھاڑیوں سے بھی بڑی ہو چکی ہے ۔ لہذا اُنہوں نے اس جگہ کو آباد کیا۔

آج جہاں یہ پیڑ اپولدنما کی نویں نسال کی دیدار پر نازاں ہیں وہیں اپولدنما کی نویں پشت اس درخت کو بابرکت تصورکرتے ہوئے اس سے مستفید ہونے کے ساتھ اسکی آبیاری اور نگرانی میں منہمک ہے۔ اپو لدنما کے صاحب زادے اپو سونمژھیرنگ تھا جن کے بیٹے سونم علی اور اس طرح غلام علی تھا۔ غلام علی کے پانچ بیٹے تھے جن میں سے ایک نصیب علی چھاتی تھنگ میں منتقل ہوئی، دوسرا بیٹا فوکار کے فُو نامی علاقے میں آباد ہوا اور تیسرا کرامبا نامی علاقے میں منتقل ہوا۔ باقی دو، کہا جاتا ہے کہ شک چیک میں ہی آباد ہوے۔ آج ایک خاندان کو حاجی یوسف علی کے نام سے جانا جاتا ہے جو دریا کے اس پار لوچوم میں آباد ہے۔ دوسرا محمد ابراہیم شک چیک میں ہی آباد رہے۔ جن کے اولاد آج بھی شک چیک میں ہی مقیم ہے۔ آج شک چیک میں تقریبا 19 گھرانے آباد ہےں جو سب اپو لدنما کی ہی نسل سے ہے۔

IMG-20180617-WA0005

صنوبر یعنی شکپہ درخت کے پاس کچھ مختلف اقسام کے پتھر نصب کیا ہواہے جنہیں کہا جاتا ہے کہ اپو لدنما نے ہی جمع کر کے نصب کیا تھا اور اُس خاص جگہ کو لدنمی تھویور کے نام سے جانا جاتا ہے۔ کہا جاتا ہے کہ پہلے جب لوگوں کے پاس گھڑی نہیں ہوا کرتا تھا تو لدنمی تھویور کو وقت کی شناخت کے لئے بھی استعمال کیا جاتا تھا۔ ان پتھروں پر سورج طلوع ہونے پر لوگ اپنے مال مویشیوں کو پانی پلانے لیتے تھے اورغروب ہونے پر مویشوں کو جمع کرتے تھے، نیز اس کے سائے کو دیکھ کر دوپہر کے وقت کااندازہ لگاتے تھے۔مقامی لوگوں نے سرکار سے اُس شکپہ کو تحفظ دینے کی مانگ بھی کی تھی اور تاریخی درخت سرکار کی جانب سے عملی اقدام کی اب بھی منتظر ہے۔

 

Note: The article was first appeared in the Voice of Ladakh, Volume:6 | Issue:14, on 21, June 2018.