Tag Archives: Gujrat

Open discrimination:Ahmedabad,Gujrat shopping mall charged entry fee from Muslims

10 Aug

Ahmedabad: 9th Aug 2013

Source: TOI1098428_444649272315341_723547050_n

Indian Muslims are facing deep discrimination in Modi’s Gujrat where even shopping mall are treating Muslims indiscriminately. On the occasion of Eid-ul Fitr 2013,Shopping Mall charged special entry fee from Muslim youths who came to mall for shopping.

A trip in the celebratory spirit ofEid turned out to be an experience in discrimination for many Muslims in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. The Himalaya Mall, among the five biggest malls in Ahmedabad, on Friday announced a fee of Rs 20 from visitors from the minority community, to be returned to them only if they bought anything from the mall, and retained if they didn’t.
Many felt it was discrimination against a specific group on Eid when footfalls at the mall peaked.

“The security personnel were being selective. We saw people walking past without paying any fee. When we asked the security guards, they said that they have orders to follow and asked us to pay up. We’re shocked,” said Saiyad Shaikh, a resident of Delhi Chakla, who had come to the mall with his family.

Iliyas Ansari, who stays in Shahpur, said, “We’re willing to pay entry fee provided the mall charges it from everybody. Why discriminate against just one community?”

Deepa Bhatnagar, manager (operations) of Himalaya Mall, told TOI that it was a routine move to check visitors on a busy day. “We had employed the same mechanism in the past to keep troublemakers out. We are planning to charge entry fee during the coming festive season including Diwali. The fee is being returned if any purchase is made, so the entry is practically free,” she said.

Mall officials said that against a routine daily footfall of around 10,000, Friday saw a surge in the numbers to around 30,000. About the selective demand of entry fee, she said the administration had decided to exclude women and senior citizens only. “There was no attempt to exclude anybody or charge specific persons. And, Rs 20 is hardly a deterrent,” she said.

However, this correspondent observed a distinct pattern in which entry was allowed. Youth from specific age groups of the minority community were being scrutinized and asked to pay the fee while whereas women and many others were allowed to walk in without being charged.

Mall officials said last year during Eid they saw two group clashes inside the mall and a glass wall was broken. On Friday, the number of security personnel was increased and a team of policemen was deployed inside as well as outside the mall as authorities did not want any “trouble”.

Any discrimination on the basis of religion is unconstitutional and should not be tolerated. Such communal profiling shows that a deep divide persists in Gujarat, notwithstanding chief minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sadbhavana’ mission.




Deobandi Virus Capturing Gujrat Muslims

5 Aug

Moderates Fight To Hold Turf In Gujarat

Saeed Khan | TNN  5th Aug 2008

Ahmedabad: An intense power struggle is going on between the moderate and the hardline Muslim groups for control of the sizable Sunni population in Gujarat that accounts for nearly 90% of the five million Muslims in the state.
   Since the 2002 Gujarat riots the more radical Deobandis, who are flush with funds, are winning over turf from the moderate Barelvis. Not only more mosques are coming under the control of the Deobandis, but this orthodox school of Islam is also finding ready converts among youth coming from liberal and educated Muslim backgrounds.
   Apart from running madrassas, mainstream educational institutions have been the special focus for the Deobandis. While this power struggle is a pan-India phenomenon, it has assumed serious dimensions in Gujarat in the last six years. Recent clashes between the two groups in Surat, Kalol, Prantij, Himmatnagar and other towns and cities across Gujarat have only underlined this conflict.
   The tolerant Barelvis, who are okay with worship in dargahs, have even put up notice boards outside scores of mosques in Gujarat banning the entry of the Tablighi Jamaat, the missionary wing of the Deoband school of Islam which preaches a puritanical interpretation of Quran.
   The oldest Deobandi madrassa in Gujarat at Dabhel near Surat is over 100 years old and this explains why south Gujarat is supposedly a stronghold of the radicals. While the Deobandis have moved in a big way into other parts of Gujarat, stiff resistance is coming from the Barelvis from Saurashtra.
   Kadar Salot, president of the Rajkot Saher Sunni Muslim Juna Masjid Trust, says: ‘‘The Tablighis want friction in society while people of Rajkot do not want any trouble. This is the reason several mosques in Rajkot have banned their entry.’’ 

   Chairman of Porbandar Markaz-e-AhleSunnat Barkat-e-Raza Dar-ul-Ulum Abdul Sattar Hamdani says, ‘‘to keep Deobandis at a distance, the trustees of the mosques may have resorted to pasting of notices.’’

A signboard in front of a mosque in Rajkot tells hardliners to stay away

Bridges Across Faiths

28 Jul

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bridges Across Faiths

Second Editorial: Peace in mysticism – The Daily Times – Lahore, Pakistan
Sunday, July 20, 2008

A meeting organised by the University of Gujrat to discuss the topic of “Resurgence of Sufism as a Universal Movement for Peace and Development” on Friday came to the natural conclusion that mysticism removed barriers of hard faith and led to peace which is the translated meaning of Islam.

However, the same day a TV channel discussed Sufism and found fault with the great mystics of the past in their claims of direct communication with God.

In these days of punishing orthodoxy, the stock of mysticism is low. Anyone inclined to follow the path of our saints can be killed, as shown by the murderous ongoing clashes in the Khyber Agency.

Mysticism is an internal phenomenon which can’t even be expressed but it permeates our culture through poetry.

It loosens the hold of the orthodox clergy and brings people together without their agency in an atmosphere of festivity at the various melas.

The world outside is becoming aware of this trend in Islam and is reaching out to it simply because the orthodox clergy will not communicate except through jihad.

So we should constantly reassert our Sufi heritage and build bridges across faiths.

[Picture: University of Gujrat and World Punjabi Congress on Saturday organized a Mehfil-e-Mushaira (Poetry reading) to entertain the Indian delegation and national participants of the International Conference “Resurgence of Sufism as a Universal Movement for Peace & Development” at Hafiz Hayat Campus, UOG. Internationally renowned poet, Anwar Masood presided over the event.]

Hailing the Indian Judiciary: Bilkis Bano gets justice in Gujarat genocide case

21 Jan

Bilkis VillageBilkis Bano, one of the faces of the horrors of Gujarat genocide, ultimately got justice on Friday.The brave woman was six-months pregnant when she was gang-raped, saw her eight family members slaughtered and her own 3-1/2 year old child killed by a bloodthirsty mob in Narendra Modi’s Holy Land of Hindutva.

Six years later, a Mumbai Sessions court held 13 of the 20 accused in the case, guilty of rioting, murders and rapes, letting seven others including a doctor couple that fudged evidence, for lack of evidence.

Justice UD Salvi’s landmark judgment will go a long way in healing the wounds of the riot victims, who had lost all hopes from a Rogue State (Gujarat), where administration, police and sections of lawyers colluded to shield the accused.

For riot-scarred Bilquees Bano, it has been an excruciatingly long fight for justice. At least, 20 times she changed her residence but remained committed to her pledge to get justice in her own country.

The court decision has again strengthened the belief of Indians, especially minorities in this great Nation, its democracy, its judiciary and its age-old values. And reinforces out belief why Indian Muslims even after such major carnages, have

We must Salute the Indian judiciary. Public Prosecutor RK Shah did a great job in presenting the case. We can’t forget how the head of the team of government lawyers, Arvind Pandya, was shamelessly caught confessing on camera in a sting operation that he was saving the killers.

Supreme Court had shifted the case from Gujarat, after reports of harassment of the victims and witnesses apart from attempts to tamper evidences and delays in the case proceedings. The CBI also conduced the investigation in a fair manner.

The NGOs, Teesta Setalwad for her rigorous testimony, social activists like Huma Naqvi and umpteen others who stood by Bilkees Bano, played a great role in this fight for justice through financial, legal and emotional support to her.

The quantum of judgment would be known next week. Now all of us can hope that victims of Naroda Patiya massacre, Best Bakery Case, Sardarpura killings and the murders in Gulbarg Society will also get justice.

It is a big judgment in the context that such verdicts go a long way towards sending the signal to the poor victims that despite all odds, there is a sytem in place in this country that can get you justice though the road may be hard and long.

Bilquis Bano’s son may grow up to the stories of atrocities in Gujarat but I am sure he will be proud of his country and his mother. Of thinking that his mother fought this case, hundreds of others with no kinship came along, and this country and its courts gave his family, Justice.

Salaam Bilquis!

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