Jinnah and the Rohingyas

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

A number of ill-informed articles have appeared in the national press recently which have taken a rather strange line:   Jinnah is responsible for the plight of Rohingyas in Burma. Jinnah – who died in 1948- is supposed to be responsible for the plight of Burmese Muslims in 2015 because in 1948 the Muslims of Arakan i.e. Burma appealed to him to help them secede (the Mayu region) from Burma and join East Pakistan.  Jinnah refused stating that such an event would be tantamount to interference in Burmese affairs. He further advised the Burmese Muslims to work for their rights as citizens of Burma.  Rohingyas as such constituted a very small percentage of the Burmese population and the idea that they could claim territory on that basis was preposterous. Ultimately a number of Rohingyas did move to the then East Pakistan – now Bangladesh.  Jinnah had given a personal assurance to General Aung San (father of Aung San Suu Kyi) that he was not a supporter of the secessionist plan. (See Pages 96-97 of the book “Muslims of Burma” by Moshe Yegar) Should Jinnah or subsequent rulers have gone to war to annex part of Burma where in any event there were no contiguous Muslim regions?  Such a move would unjustified morally, ethically, legally and practically.

The contradictions of Jinnah’s critics are remarkable. On the one hand they accuse Jinnah of “annexing” Kalat (even though no princely state in the subcontinent was allowed to go independent), though it must be said to their “credit” that they have never raised a voice against the genocide of Hyderabadi Muslims in 1948 by the Dominion of India during Operation Polo.  Nevertheless they would have wanted Jinnah to invade Burma and take over a part of its territory through war. And because Jinnah refused to go to war with Burma to annex parts of it to East Pakistan, “he is responsible for the plight of Rohingya today”. The best case that Rohingyas have today is that they were, they are and they will be the natives of Burma – and that was the advice the Quaid-e-Azam gave them.  Pakistan in any event has no moral claim to speak for Rohingyas given the absolute hash of things we have made vis a vis our own religious minorities.  The case of Rohingyas does not lie in saying that they are Bengalis or Pakistanis or what have you. The case of Rohingyas is that they are citizens of Burma- a right denied to them by the Citizenship Act of 1982. This rhetoric therefore by certain sections is counterproductive because it shows that Arakan Muslims never wanted to be part of Burma. Citizenship is very different from nationalism.  Nations can straddle states and boundaries.  Citizenship however is the social compact between the state and the individual.  Muslims of Burma want to be citizens of Burma (as they were advised by Jinnah in 1948).  90 million Muslims with 60 million living in contiguous units of a subcontinent under multiple tiers of sovereignty asking for a homeland is very different from a small minority of less than a million staking claim to separatism.

  • tajender
  • tajender

    The Observer says:
    June 18, 2015 at 9:50 pm
    Tajender ‘beleive i fkd many of them.’ And later ‘yeh maheena asaram ko yaad kijiye aur toba keejiye gunaho se’

    Budhe kuthe ulle de phatte,

    observer,kamasutra is the only undisputed gift which india has given to world.on yoga there are many claims.i propagated this art to nice looking girls of beyrouth.why u are upset.ravi is happy.majumdar silent.maggu has the right to be angry.

  • Amar Prabhu

    Majumdar, Why was the beloved Quaid so inordinately thoughtful of the Muslims in the majority regions when he himself was not one such, and the Muslims in these regions themselves rejected his commiseration up until 1946?

  • Majumdar

    Mere Prabhu,
    .
    Our beloved Qaid was a lawyer and he was drafted in by Muslims of the Muslim majority region such as Mirza Dard and Allama Iqbal (as well as Muslims of the minority regions) to fight for their cause and as a good lawyer, he did the best that he cud for his clients.
    .
    Regards

  • tajender

    to fight for their cause and as a good lawyer, he did the best that he cud for his clients.
    .
    very right no one can disagree.his personality and character was also good.zoinist and imperialist divide every country they go.lebnon bosnia,yugoslvia now iraq and syria.pakistan too was devided.kurdistan was devided and given to three countries.division and loot was the natural end of brhmn-british loot of india.
    romain i hope u will agree with me here.

  • Bin Ismail

    Majumdar Bhai :
    .
    A slight typo : it’s “Abdur Raheem Dard”.
    .
    Regards
    Bin Ismail

  • Majumdar

    Bin Ismail bhai,
    .
    Tks. Looks like I gave the dude an undeserved promotion.
    .
    Regards

  • Amar Prabhu

    Majumdar Saab, So according to your fascinating logic our beloved Quaid was acting as a lawyer of an Ahmedi Mullah and a pan islamic poet while ignoring the popularly based political parties from the Muslims majority provinces who rejected his services.
    .
    I am not sure even YLH would agree with your fantastic loony views constructed no doubt over years of experience in the blogosphere and with a liberal dose of home made hashish and LSD.

  • Majumdar

    Mere Prabhu,
    .
    You misunderstand me. His clients were the subcontinents Muslims, not AR Dard or Allama Iqbal who merely acted as couriers for the qaum.
    .
    Hashish? LSD? Good Lord, sir. I dont even touch booze or cigs! YLH who has met me in person can testify to that.
    .
    Regards

  • Mohan

    Majumdar,
    ‘ sir. I dont even touch booze or cigs! ‘
    And I was always under the impression that you are a normal person. 🙂

  • Mohan

    Majumdar,
    ‘Our beloved Qaid was a lawyer and he was drafted in by Muslims of the Muslim majority region such as Mirza Dard and Allama Iqbal (as well as Muslims of the minority regions) to fight for their cause and as a good lawyer, he did the best that he cud for his clients.’

    You have correctly analysed the role of Our beloved Qaid in formation of Pakistan.

  • Amar Prabhu

    Majumdar Saab, So the “couriers for the quam” were an Ahmadi Mullah and a pan islamic poet (who were themselves at loggerhead) and NOT the Muslim majority political parties such as the Unionists and KPP.
    .
    If not LSD you must be on ecstasy or birth control pills.

  • Majumdar

    Mere Prabhu,
    .
    Our beloved Qaid accepted the brief from the aforementioned gentlemen sometimes in 1933 or 1934, not too sure, maybe the resident historian YLH Pai can set the dates right. Presumably, our Qaid wud have assumed them to be the true representatives of the qaum.
    .
    Regards

  • Majumdar

    Mohan bhai,
    .
    Lahol bila Kuwwat- whatever gave you the impression that I was a normal guy (apart from maybe voting for ModiGee last May). Mere Prabhu has worked me out right, altho he mistakenly attributes it to consumption of LSD, ecstasy or birth control pills.
    .
    Regards

  • Paul

    In 1930s, Jinnah appointed himself the ‘lawyer’ for Mullahs and Pan-Islamists of Punjab at their invitation.

    In 1946, Muslims of Balochistan, Muslims of Pakhtoonkhwa, Muslims of Sindh, Muslims of Punjab, and Muslims of Bangladesh appointed the lawyer for Mullahs and Pan-Islamists of Punjab from a non-Muslim region as their ruler.

    In 1971, Bangladesh is separated with a genoncide.

    In 2015, Sindhi, Baloch, Muhajir Muslim leaders, and non-Islamist Pakhtoonkhwa leaders are declared traitors to Pakistan.

    And this is all for secular reasons.

  • Paul

    And Muslims of non-Muslim majority regions of India who were supposed to destroy India if the ‘legal judgement’ did not go the way of the ‘lawyer’ are told to be and are to be accepted by non-Muslim Indians loyal to India.

  • tajender

    In 1971, Bangladesh is separated with a genoncide

    reverse is true this is simply propagada.

  • Majumdar

    In 1930s, Jinnah appointed himself the ‘lawyer’ for Mullahs and Pan-Islamists of Punjab at their invitation.
    .
    Dont be silly, Paul. No can appoint himself a lawyer for anyone. He can only accept a brief which must come from the client, which is what our Qaid did.
    .
    In 1946, Muslims of Balochistan, Muslims of Pakhtoonkhwa, Muslims of Sindh, Muslims of Punjab, and Muslims of Bangladesh appointed the lawyer from a non-Muslim region as their ruler.
    .
    Ab miya biwi raazi, toh kya karega kaazi.
    .
    Regards

  • tajender
  • tajender
  • Paul

    ‘Our Qaid’ accepted the brief from Mullahs and Pan-Islamists of Muslim-majority areas. Muslims of Muslim-majority areas appointed this ‘lawyer’ from non-Muslim majority areas as their ‘ruler’.

    Pakistan immediately became, is, and will always remain the secular paradise of Mullahs and Pan-Islamists with Punjabis as permanent rulers over all.

    The only fly in the ointment in this secular paradize of mullahs and pan-Islamists was that Ahmadi mullahs and their progeny, for all their completely Punjabi instincts, were not recognized as real Muslim Mullahs. Hence the angst for secularism.

  • Majumdar

    Paul,
    .
    Assume you are a lawyer who has been retained by a client who has a dispute with his brother over his late father’s estate. You get him a fair share of his inheritance. Now does that give you any right to how your client utilises his money?
    .
    Now go back to our beloved Qaid’s example. He was appointed as a lawyer for his client and he gave them the best deal that he cud (a moth eaten Pakiland). Of course unlike you (the hypothetical lawyer, that is) he got a right ( in form of ONE vote) too as to what was to be done with Pakiland (make it secular, islamist or something in between). Needless to say he lost the vote on 9/11 of 1948 (for obvious reasons), altho my friend Yasser Pai wud still give him a 100 odd million votes if he cud.
    .
    Regards

  • Paul

    Majumdar

    Now look at Jinnah with Rohingya eyes.

    This Muslim from non-Muslim land fought with zeal for Pakistan and became Pakistan’s ruler. What gave him a right to reject Rohingyas from non-Muslim land who wanted to join the same Pakistan when Burma was still part of India when he was ‘accepting brief’ from mullahs and pan-Islamists?

  • Majumdar

    Paul,
    .
    Does a lawyer have to accept any brief which comes to him. We should ask a lawyer, Yasser perhaps? Burma was part of India in 1946? I thought it ceased to be since 1935?
    .
    Regards

  • Paul

    Jinnah was accpting his ‘brief’ from mullahs and pan-Islamists of Punjab much before 1946 when Burma was still part of India.

    Did the lawyer-ruler Jinnah ask his ‘clients’, mullahs and pan-Isamists of Punjab, about whether to help Rohingyas in joining Pakistan as they desired, or did he take his own decision?

  • Majumdar

    Paul,
    .
    Our Qaid accepted a brief from representatives of IMs in 1934 when as you astutely observe, Burma was very much a part of India. But I hope you will accept my humble submission that you cant appoint yourself someone’s lawyer suo-moto (to use a favourite expression of the one eyed former CJ of the SC of Pakiland), you can only accept someone’s brief, when approached. Now did the Rohingyas ever approach him to take up their brief prior to 1935. And if so, was our Qaid under any obligation to take up their brief?
    .
    Regards

  • Paul

    Majumdar

    Our Qaid accepted a brief from mullahs and pan-Islamists of Punjab and used Muslims of ALL India to threaten to destroy India if ‘legal judgement’ did not go in his favour. Did he have any moral obligations to the Muslims of non-Muslim areas whom he used in his ‘legal case’ in accepting brief from mullahs and Islamists of Punjab?

    Second, When this lawyer became ruler of Pakistan, did he still remain only a ‘lawyer’ to accept and reject briefs as he wanted or was he now part of the same Islamist and mullah clientele whose case he represented?

  • Majumdar

    Paul,
    .
    Of course he did. And he exercised his moral duty. He warned them at the outset that the creation of Pakiland may result in their martyrdom (ie the Muslims of the non-Muslim areas) and once Pakiland became a realty, he gave them two options- to migrate to Pakiland or if they chose to stay back become loyal citizens of the new state. Sage advice, if you ask me.
    .
    Regards

  • Paul

    Martyrdom was a democratic option, but the same option of being part of Pakistan was denied to Rohingyas only because Burma separated just when the lawyer was accepting his brief from mullahs and pan-Islamists of Punjab.

    This was only a lawyer making lawyerly decisions all throughout?

  • Paul

    If this man was merely a lawyer making lawyerly decisions from begining to end then is it any wonder he has given birth to Punjabis accused of mastering the art of the selfish nuance? Secularism from selfish nuance will the first in Pakistan when it arrives.

  • Paul

    One more correction. According to what someone called selfish Punjabi nuanced view, Jinnah did not accept a brief from representatives of IMs in 1934. In 1934, he accepted a brief from mullahs and pan-Islamists of Punjab, Sind, Balochistan, Bengal, and Pakhtoonkhwa since he had no other support there.

  • Majumdar

    Paul,
    .
    If this man was merely a lawyer……
    .
    You may find it difficult to believe but our Qaid was not Superman, Spiderman, Hulk and Captain America rolled into one. There was only so much he cud have done. He had only enuff bandwidth to take up the case of Indian Muslims…..
    .
    Regards

  • PMA

    Majumdar: It is so uncharacteristic of you to enter into a lengthy debate, and even that argumentatively circular. If Jinnah was just a ‘hired lawyer’ as suggested by Peter and Paul, then what was our beloved Gandhi? A paid peon? Why to grant a lawyer from one side pleading for his case the status of a demigod, and the one from the other side just a ‘hired hand’. Do you see the irony here. I have always seen you as a fair person. Why are you jeopardizing your well earned reputation.

  • Majumdar

    PMA sb,
    .
    then what was our beloved Gandhi? A paid peon?
    .
    Far worse than that, sir. A crook, crank and charlatan of the worst order….
    .
    Regards

  • Paul

    Jinnah as a ‘lawyer’ who was ‘hired’ in 1930s by mullahs and pan-Islamists of Punjab, Sind, Balochistan, Bengal, and Pakhtoonkhwa since he had no other followers in those areas is the best case his secular followers have made for him. Jinnah ‘fought his legal case’ by threatening to destroy India with the help of Muslims in the rest of India if he received an ‘unfavorable legal judgement’ from the British. Then once he became the ruler of Pakistan, by advising ‘martyrdom of living in a hostile India’ to Indian Muslims who were asked to destroy India on his behalf as he ‘fought his legal case’ for mullah and pan Islamist ‘clients’ of Punjab, Sind, Balochistan, Bengal, and Pakhtoonkhwa.

  • Amar Prabhu

    Yes Paul, that is the best case our dear friend Majumdar Saheb has made for our beloved Quaid, with help from our intellectual friends like Bin Ismail. I am not sure this is the case our Pakistani nationalist friends like PMA will like it though but that is life, you take what you can get.

  • timely

    Worshipping Jinnah is a distraction so as to avoid talking about the fact that islam is unavoidably ending in fascism everywhere.

    How great was Jinnah, how much more intelligent and humane than all these evil hindus put together (these evil hindus from whom his grandfather had escaped by making the “brilliant” and “divine” decision of joining hands with the agents of “wonderful” arabic islam)….and so on.

    Wait now for more violence by “peace-loving” muslims to take “revenge” for the “injuries” inflicted upon them by all these evil non-muslims.

    A religion in the name of a fascistic god concept can only be so.

  • Parliament certified Muslim

    @ HistoryBluff (June 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm)
    .

    By 1947, the group had formed an army and had approached President Jinnah of newly-formed Pakistan to incorporate northern Arakan into a part of the country that would later form Bangladesh. Experts believe that it was this action that led to eventual problems between the Rohingya and the Burmese government, who saw the group as untrustworthy.

    .
    In spite of the fact that Hazrat Allama Iqbal had prophetically pronounced :
    .
    Cheen o Arab hamara Hindostan hamara “, which means, “China and Arabia (Saudia + Yemen) belongs to us and India (including the neighboring contiguous territory of Burma) also belongs to us”, Kafir-e-Azam Jinnah did absolutely nothing for the fulfillment of this golden prophecy. On the contrary, he let go of the Hindu-majority states of British India as well as Muslim-majority Burma. He thus let go of the vast territory ranging from the Himalayas to Manchuria. He did all this against the explicit will and instructions of Hazrat Allama Iqbal. This is all Jinnah’s fault.

  • Mohan
  • PMA

    Certified: Secular is the best system for religious minorities to flourish. But what is your beef with Iqbal? Did he ever say that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani was an imposter? Did he say that Qadianis were non-Muslim? Why are you so much against Iqbal?

  • Bin Ismail

    @ Parliament certified Muslim (June 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm)
    .

    ” Cheen o Arab hamara Hindostan hamara “, which means, “China and Arabia (Saudia + Yemen) belongs to us and India (including the neighboring contiguous territory of Burma) also belongs to us”, Kafir-e-Azam Jinnah did absolutely nothing for the fulfillment of this golden prophecy.

    I’m not sure Iqbal meant what you appear to be implying. The next line of this couplet incidentally reads: Muslim hain hum watan hai sara jahan hamara. I wouldn’t suspect that Iqbal envisioned an expansion of Pakistan to global limits, engulfing all seven continents. Don’t you think you’re being a bit unfair to the late poet? I fully appreciate that you are indeed a Parliament-certified “Muslim”. Your unique licence, however, does not give you the anti-poetic licence to attribute such fantastic ideas to the dead poet. I think what Iqbal simply meant, and what he was able to gracefully put forth, was that a Muslim should be loyal to whichever country he resides in. This idea, I’m afraid, in spite of not being perfectly in line with your “certified” wisdom, which presumably comes with your certified religious identity, does seem to make some sense.
    .

    On the contrary, he let go of the Hindu-majority states of British India as well as Muslim-majority Burma.

    How could Jinnah “let go” of something he never claimed, let alone had? Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan included neither the Hindu-majority states of British India, nor any territory of British Burma. “Pakistan”, to Jinnah, simply meant the Muslim-majority states of British India.
    .

    He thus let go of the vast territory ranging from the Himalayas to Manchuria. He did all this against the explicit will and instructions of Hazrat Allama Iqbal. This is all Jinnah’s fault.

    Are you Sir, in any way suggesting that “the vast territory ranging from the Himalayas to Manchuria” somehow fell under the category of the Muslim-majority states of British India?
    .
    Regards

  • R. Bhawani Prasad

    Mr. Hamdani:

    I gave my opinion of Jinnah’s statements and actions and you responded, not with a logical discussion based on facts but with an ad hominem attack.

    You said I have a small mind, high testosterone, I make ridiculous comments, unable to look at facts impartially”, you attributed opinions to me which I have never held ( that Pakistanis are bastards and can go to hell – I never saw all Pakistanis in this light nor do I think Indians are superior) etc.

    In a court of law, a judge would bar ad hominem attacks right away and would ask counsel to stick to facts. Why are you unable to do so ? Did you play hooky during the introductory classes in your Law College ?

    You wrote that my opinions must be based on “something very deep rooted.” You are absolutely right. I do have a deep-rooted belief that statements and actions should go together and that a politician like Jinnah should be judged on the consequences of his actions. These consequences are well known -primarily destruction of the Hindu and Sikh community in West and East Pakistan within 4 months of the creation of the Islamic Paradise of Pakistan. Perhaps one may argue that Jinnah had no kind feelings for Hindus and Sikhs so he should not be judged on the fact of kafirs. OK, we will accept that. But he also caused serious problems for Muslims – occupation of Sind by Mohajirs is just one example.

  • R. Bhawani Prasad

    Correction: In the penultimate line of my just posted comment, I meant to write “so he should not be judged on the FATE of kafirs”.

    Regards.

  • Arzu

    One another fact which comes out explicitly is ” the moment some Pakistani goes against popular islamist figure or narrative(read iqbal) the other accuses him of being a qadiani…”
    Their isn’t any difference between a local mullah and a USA based paki.. 🙂

  • vish

    Uprooted from Mumbai after the 1992-93 riots, thousands of Muslim families found safety in Mumbra on the city’s outskirts. Visiting it over a few days, Basharat Peer discovered islands of progress amid large seas of neglect in the township that nine lakh people call home

    On a recent afternoon, after a two-hour drive out of Mumbai, I followed a highway hugging the low hills of Mumbra, north-east of the city, near the Thane creek. As the road forked downhill, hundreds of grimy, teetering buildings stacked like tattered books in a neglected public library were the first glimpse intimation of Mumbra, India’s largest Muslim ghetto. Despite the heat, young boys played cricket in a clearing by a graveyard. A chaotic medley of vehicles choked the main street leading into the Kausa area of the ghetto.

    Mumbra expanded with great velocity in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The Bombay riots of December 1992, which overwhelmingly killed Bombay Muslims, and the retaliatory bomb blasts in January 1993 by the Muslim underworld, reconfigured the social geography of the city. Bombay Muslims from riot-hit areas sought safety in numbers and found it in Mumbra, where Muslims from the Konkani coast had a long-standing presence. Through a combination of the desire for safety among Muslims, the relatively cheaper price of apartments, and continued rural-urban migration, Mumbra’s population grew 20 times from about 45,000 before the 1992 riots to more than 9,00,000 in the 2011 Census — possibly one of the fastest expansions of an urban area in India.

    “Not Bombay, a village”

    Assadullah Khan, an electrical engineer in his late 40s, was among the first groups of people who moved to Mumbra from Mumbai after the 1992-1993 violence. Mr. Khan was living in Kannua Nagar in the suburb of Vikhroli, a mixed neighbourhood, where Hindus and a smaller number of Muslims lived together without incident. Mr. Khan, who also gave part-time tuitions to students, was the only Muslim in his building. After the riots, most of his Muslim neighbours began to migrate to areas with a heavier concentration of their co-religionists. Mr. Khan was weighing his options.

    A female neighbour warned him. “You should leave now,” she said. “Things are going to get worse.” He moved his wife and children to his in-laws’ house overnight. “A little later, I sold my apartment for much less than it would fetch on the market,” Mr. Khan told me. The market for distress sales was booming.

    Mr. Khan found shelter in his brother-in-law’s apartment in Mumbra. “We then bought an apartment of our own and have lived here since,” he said. Thousands followed him, from Bhandup, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar, Behram Baug, and Walkeshwar. Uprooted from the charred geography of the city, they converted a semi-rural backwater into a promised land.

    The Maharashtra and central governments, which had watched impassively through the riots, left the migrants to their own devices, but Mumbra grew. Power and water supply was feeble. There was little public infrastructure. The crisis provided a business opportunity for Mumbra builders; they set out to build illegal and substandard apartment blocks, which were (and still are) a lot cheaper by Mumbai standards. In the early 90s, an illegally built two-bedroom apartment in Mumbra would sell for around Rs. 2 lakh. “Most of the buildings are illegal,” a builder told me. “Today, an illegally built three bedroom costs Rs. 8-10 lakh. If I built that legally, it would cost Rs. 25-30 lakh.” Mumbra is a mixture of middle, lower-middle, and working class Muslims, but the majority are from the lower-middle and working classes. “Most people here couldn’t afford the legal market prices,” he said.

    The poor building quality exacted a terrible cost in 2013 when a building collapse killed more than 70 people. It did not deter new arrivals. Rafiuddin Khan, a retired teacher in his 70s, lived most of his life in a tenement near Mohammad Ali Road — one of the oldest Muslim majority areas in Mumbai. “Our area was safe but I was tired of living with a growing family in two rooms,” he said. He sold his chawl; it fetched enough money to buy an apartment in a Mumbra apartment block. “It is a lot more space than we had in Bombay,” he said. He paused for a while, as if reimagining the vistas of his earlier life in the middle of the bustling metropolis. The ease of travel and the proximity to major public hospitals, schools, and colleges was missing in Mumbra. A journey to the city in a sardined local train took about an hour and half. “It is not Bombay, it is a village.”

    Desire for upward mobility

    The signs of aspiration are seen in the names of apartment blocks: Shimla Park, M.M. Valley, and Wafa Park. The impatience with the status quo and the desire for upward mobility screams from roadside billboards advertising the achievements of Mumbra boys and girls in coaching classes and private schools. A higher secondary level school, Al Hidayah School, has advertised with a collage of smiling student photographs and the percentages of their Senior Secondary School marks. There was pride in that data: Out of 24 students, 9 have secured above 75 per cent and 14 between 60 per cent and 70 per cent. Meanwhile, Shoeb Junior College simply said: 89.16 per cent success.

    “When we moved here, we clearly felt the absence of things we were used to in the city,” said Mr. Khan, the engineer. The ghetto had a few government schools, which were abysmally overcrowded and lacked infrastructure. Mr. Khan gave up engineering and set up a tuition centre, Unique Classes. When an old Sikh family, which had run a private high school in Mumbra decided to sell the school, Mr. Khan bought it, renaming it Assadullah Khan English High School and Junior College. It already has 1,400 students. “We are trying to fill the gaps ourselves,” he said. Despite having around a million residents, the Maharashtra government has not set up a single public college in Mumbra.

    Beyond the doors of the ghetto, a Mumbra address often carries a degree of prejudice and suspicion. A lawyer spoke of trying to buy an Idea Internet dongle at a Thane shop and being turned away; an Urdu publisher spoke of waiting months to get a landline and broadband connection from BSNL. A few weeks ago, a private school in Panvel, a suburb 24 kilometres from Mumbra, decided to ban admissions of students from the ghetto, claiming that they behave badly. Waris Pathan, the Byculla area legislator from Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, led a protest against the school administration, which eventually revoked its decision.

    Neglect and discrimination

    One evening, I met Nazim Qazi, a sanitation officer with Thane Municipality. Before moving to Mumbra, when his wife, a schoolteacher, got a job in the area, he lived in Andheri and Thane, working as a freelance Hindi journalist, writing about cinema and the underworld — the two great Bombay themes. He gave it up for a more stable income at Thane Municipality.

    Mr. Qazi lived in a relatively spacious, meticulously neat two-bedroom apartment with his wife, son, and two daughters. He saw certain benefits in living in Mumbra. “Women can walk around anytime and nobody will bother them. We have been here since 1999 and we sleep in peace, without any fear of riots or disturbances.” He loved hearing the azaan, the call for prayer, five times a day. “It has been easy to raise my children with Muslim values here,” he said.

    As we spoke, Shehzad Faisal Qazi, his 20-year-old son, who has a mechanical engineering degree from Anjuman-I-Islam College, a minority institution in Panvel, joined us. A fashionable young man with rimless glasses, Mr. Faisal had recently returned from Coimbatore, where he and his college mates had won several top positions in a Go-Kart design competition. They were trying to patent an anti-skid mechanism for cars. He was about to leave for New Delhi to take classes for the Indian Administrative Services examination.

    Along with the strivings, a sense of neglect and discrimination pervades Mumbra, which does not have a single public hospital. The nearest public hospitals are in Kalua and Thane. Several clinics and rudimentary private hospitals have come up. Mumbra goes without electricity for at least six hours everyday. “We are No. 1 in load-shedding,” Mr. Qazi laughed. “But things are a lot better compared to even five years ago.”

    The evidence of incremental progress was visible in Mumbra. Some streets had been paved with tar. State Bank of India, HDFC, and Bank of Maharashtra had opened branches or ATMs. A Domino’s Pizza outlet opened last year. The absence of banking facilities or companies denying home delivery of products has, for years, been the standard attitude towards India’s Muslim ghettoes. Barely an hour from the Indian Parliament, the Okhla Muslim ghetto in New Delhi did not have a single bank despite a population of several lakh. Two years ago, Jammu and Kashmir Bank opened a branch in Zakir Nagar. Juhapura, the Ahmedabad ghetto, whose population doubled after the 2002 riots, still does not get piped water or gas, and remains excluded from Ahmedabad’s vaunted public transport network.

    Run-ins with police

    Mumbra also lives with a hostile relationship with the police. It was home to Ishrat Jahan, who was killed along with three other men by the Gujarat police. The Central Bureau of Investigation later described the killings as a “fake encounter”. Taunts of being a safe house for terrorists are often thrown at Mumbra. Last March, several hundered policemen raided Mumbra one and a half hours after midnight. A video recorded by a local journalist shows scores of men being paraded through dark streets by the police, bundled into police vans, and held for hours in Mumbra police station. Around 80 people, including young students, poets and old men were arrested. The police claimed to be looking for two petty thieves wanted for chain-snatching.

    One afternoon, I met Ishrat Jahan’s family in Mumbra. They continue to litigate and fight the everyday battles of existence on the periphery. Ishrat’s sister Musarat Jahan recently completed her B.A. in Psychology through a correspondence course, but her mother, Shamima Kausar, is too scarred to let her step out and seek work. “I can’t trust the world anymore,” said Ms. Kausar. Yet, there are bills to pay. Ishrat’s brother Anwar Iqbal used to do odd jobs to support the family. Initially, he was denied employment because he was Ishrat’s brother, but he persisted and found work at a BPO in Thane. “It is an American company,” said Ms. Jahan. “He doesn’t make calls, he does data entry.”

  • tajender

    He did all this against the explicit will and instructions of Hazrat Allama Iqbal. This is all Jinnah’s fault

    jinnah was advocate of raja mahmoodabad.shia landlord of uttar pardesh and bengalees wanted pakistan.
    division and liberation of india was decided by zoinist churchillin 1905.india was systemacally looted by british-brhmn nexus.both outsiders.every year they were killing 2 million indians as per records.so in 50 yrs of rule mascared arourd 100 million indians.when physical holding nation became expensive they wanted to leave and their agents and traitors rule ,so that ,their economic interest is safe.
    gandhi was biggest their agent recruited lacs of indians who died fighting for occupiers.gandhi was man who introduced religion in politics.british and zoinists hyped him.sant was homosexual and used to sleep naked with many ladies.his non voilence was an apeal ,not attack british.mopalah movement was against imposition of heavy taxation on peasants supported by general hidu muslims victims.mopalah are muslim not arabs.99%are local convert.lacs were mascared after movement.nairs and brhmns were muscle of british empire.

    british left india to high caste hindus ,who looted india more than britishers.britishers built institution they even destroyed instutions in zeal of loot.one day rain converted our shanghai mumbai into swimming pool.in sports guam and bangladesh defeat us easily.in science we are nowhere.infosys bring work from america at high price sulets to indians at starving price, makes money.
    even in up brhmns are not allowing muslims to live in their societies..

  • Mohan

    Minority matters
    Asif Aqeel

    One year after a landmark Supreme Court judgment asking the government to protect religious minorities, there has been little progress on its implementation

    One year ago, on June 19, 2014, former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani gave a landmark judgment asking the government to protect the rights of Pakistan’s religious minorities.

    He ordered the government to implement seven steps:

    1. Constitute a task force at a federal level to develop a strategy for promoting religious tolerance

    2. Develop appropriate curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education that promote religious harmony and tolerance

    3. Curb hate speech in social media

    4. Constitute a national council for minorities

    5. Establish a special police force to protect the worship places of minorities

    6. Enforce the 5 percent minority quota in government jobs

    7. Prompt action, including registration of a criminal case, whenever constitutional rights of religious minorities are violated or their worship places are desecrated

    The judgment also bound the Supreme Court to continuously pursue the implementation of the judgment by saying that “the office shall open a separate file to be placed before a three member bench” to ensure that “this judgment is given effect to in letter and spirit”, and that it may also “entertain complaints/petitions relatable to violation of fundamental rights of minorities in the country.”

    The National Action Plan devised after the Army Public School massacre in Peshawar addressed the protection of religious minorities without taking into consideration this judgment. One year later, the federal government has not taken any measures to constitute a “task force” to deal with religious intolerance.

    According to the Express Tribune, the Punjab higher education department informed the SC bench hearing under this case last December that a committee had been constituted that had given seven recommendations on curriculum reforms. The SC bench was told that “myopic interpretation” of religion would be taken out of the curriculum and students will be encouraged to learn Islam’s “spirit of pluralism”. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a Member of National Assembly (MNA), says several meetings had taken place in this regards for far.

    The federal government revived the National Commission for Religious Minorities through a notification. The commission is headed by Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani says the commission cannot perform because its members “do not know about the issues faced by religious minorities”.

    “NADRA advertised 328 jobs for religious minorities but so far no hiring has taken place”
    – See more at: http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/minority-matters/#sthash.XsTB4cIN.iBZKxqQb.dpuf

  • tajender

    रूस के राष्ट्रपति ब्लादिमीर पुतिन को जब बताया गया कि भारत के प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने योग के लिए अलग से मंत्रालय शुरू किया है तो उनका पहला सवाल था, क्या मोदी स्वयं योग करते हैं? योग के लिए अलग से मंत्रालय पर संदेह जताते हुए पुतिन ने कहा कि आखिर हर कोई यह क्यों करेगा? उन्होंने हैरानी जताई कि क्या जो व्यक्ति दुनियाभर में योग का प्रसार करना चाहता है, वह स्वयं योग करता है?

  • haider
  • tajender