India’s Moment of Reckoning

TOPSHOT-INDIA-POLITICS-RIGHTS-UNREST

In 1938, a Nazi law forced German Jews to register their property and assets with the government. In 2001, the Taliban forced all religious minorities in Afghanistan to wear distinctive marks on their clothing to distinguish them from the country’s Muslim majority.

Now, in 2019, the BJP government of India has passed a law which, in effect, will decide whether Indian Muslims are citizens or not on the basis of their religion.

On the face of it, the Citizenship Amendment Act (the “Act”), states that (non-Muslim) illegal migrants who have fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.

When read in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens (the “NRC”), however, the Act threatens to render almost two million Muslims in India (who migrated to Assam from Bangladesh) stateless.

By making religion a condition of citizenship, the Act and the NRC throw the very idea of India as a secular state into question. Will the law apply only to Muslim migrants and their descendants (even if born in India)? Will it be used against those poorer Indian Muslims who have lived in the country since time immemorial but who have no documents to prove their citizenship?

In 2018, Republicans in Georgia threatened to blacklist African-Americans from voting because they could not prove their identity. Will disenfranchisement hang over the heads of Indian Muslims if they cannot show the right kind of documents if any at all?

Historically, citizenship in India (like elsewhere) was acquired by the citizenship belonging to one’s parents (the jus sanguinis or ‘right of blood’ principle) or by naturalization if the person has been resident in India for more twelve years. Descent and residence on Indian territory were sufficient for the sake of claiming Indian citizenship, not religion.

In protest of the law, India has witnessed some of its largest demonstrations in decades with public figures like Ramachandra Guha and Shabana Azmi expressing solidarity with the protestors. The Supreme Court of India has issued notices to the Government of India on petitions challenging the constitutionality of the law.

I hope that these protests are an illustration of the Daoist principle that when things reach one extreme, they revert and start moving back in the opposite direction. Just like we saw with the “wake” movement in the aftermath of Black Lives Matter, the demonstrations in India have the potential to crystallize into a mass-movement that challenges Hindu Nationalism if they are given the right direction and organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hindu Pakistan

Modi with petals

India finally has the dictator it always wanted.

Narendra Modi has won a majority of seats in India’s election and is set to be re-elected as the country’s Prime Minister.[1]

Since coming to power in 2014, Modi’s administration has effectively co-opted the Indian media, judiciary and co-opted under the banner of Hindu Supremacism. Together, they have created a New India of book burnings, student arrests and the slaughter of Muslims, Christians and low-caste Hindus.

As James Crabtree points out in The Billionaire Raj, India’s economy has grown under Modi to become one of the most unequal on earth. Much of the benefits of this growth, Crabtree argues, has accrued to India’s billionaires class and their family run conglomerates (the Ambanis, the Godrej’s and the Birlas) rather than middle-class.

Under Modi, India has become the Hindu Pakistan, an India where Brahmanism (the religious ideology sanctifying caste) and capitalism march hand in hand. The constituents of a fascist society as explained by Jason Stanley in How Fascism Works (i.e. a strong charismatic leader, a romanticized vision of the past, an imagined ‘other’ etc.) were already well underway during the Prime Minister’s first term.

Now, they will be given an opportunity to come to fruition.

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48389130?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cg41ylwvgmyt/narendra-modi&link_location=live-reporting-story

A Tale of Two Indias

Indus Valley

In a recent paper, scientists from the United States, Russia and India, have concluded that the Indus Valley Civilization was the result of a mixing of South Asians and Iranian peoples.

The study also concludes that the group previously known as “Aryan” were in fact pastoral communities from Central Asia which moved south from the steppe into the Indus Valley.

The study examined the DNA of 612 ancient individuals from across Central Asia, Iran and South Asia. This data was then compared with the DNA of 246 distinct groups in South Asia.

The study identified the Ancestral North Indian and the Ancestral South Indian as the result of the mixing and combination of three potential groups of peoples:

  1. The South Asian hunter-gatherers, the indigenous inhabitants of the subcontinent;
  2. The Iranian agriculturalists who migrated into the subcontinent, and;
  3. The Steppe pastoralists who were also migrants into the subcontinent.

The study provided the following outline based on this genetic data:

  1. The Indus Valley Civilization arises through the mixing of South Asians and Iranians;
  2. The “Aryan” civilization arises through the migration of Steppe pastoralists into the Indus Valley around the 2nd millennium BCE;
  3. Some of the Indus Valley moves further south where they mix with more South Asians, creating the Ancestral South Indian population;
  4. In the North, the Steppe pastoralists mix with the remaining Indus Valley population, creating the Ancestral North Indian population.
  5. Subsequent South Asians are a result of mixing between Ancestral North Indians and Ancestral South Indians.

The implication of this is that there was an “Aryan migration” into the subcontinent from the outside and not vice-versa. That suggestion will anger with the Hindu Rights with its inference that their ancestors and ancestral religion (including the Vedas) originated outside of the subcontinent.

This would undermines the Hindu Right’s claims that they are the original inhabitants of India vis-à-vis those following foreign religions. It also suggests that modern South Asians are a mix of what we previously called “Aryan” and “Dravidian,” with no such thing as a “pure race” or “nation” which is basic to Hindutva.

The Hindu Right is already rewriting history books in India. It is already censoring any views and ideas that would suggest India is the creation of anything but the primordial Hindu Nation. This paper will not affect the momentum of that project, but it does throw to the wind some of the theories on which Hindutva rests.

– Thanks to Satdeep, for inspiration across continents 

 

‘Now Just Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World’s Population’ by Paul Buchheit

Last year it was 8 men, then down to 6, and now almost 5.

While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of 06/08/17, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.

Why Do We Let a Few People Shift Great Portions of the World’s Wealth to Themselves?

Most of the super-super-rich are Americans. We the American people created the Internet, developed and funded Artificial Intelligence, and built a massive transportation infrastructure, yet we let just a few individuals take almost all the credit, along with hundreds of billions of dollars.

Defenders of the out-of-control wealth gap insist that all is OK, because, after all, America is a ‘meritocracy’ in which the super-wealthy have ‘earned’ all they have. They heed the words of Warren Buffett: “The genius of the American economy, our emphasis on a meritocracy and a market system and a rule of law has enabled generation after generation to live better than their parents did.”

But it’s not a meritocracy. Children are no longer living better than their parents did. In the eight years since the recession the Wilshire Total Market valuation has more than TRIPLED, rising from a little over $8 trillion to nearly $25 trillion. The great majority of it has gone to the very richest Americans. In 2016 alone, the richest 1% effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves, with nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) coming from the nation’s poorest 90%—the middle and lower classes. That’s over $17,000 in housing and savings per lower-to-middle-class household lost to the super-rich.

A meritocracy? Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos have done little that wouldn’t have happened anyway. ALL modern U.S. technology started with—and to a great extent continues with—our tax dollars and our research institutes and our subsidies to corporations.

Why Do We Let Unqualified Rich People Tell Us How To Live? Especially Bill Gates!

In 1975, at the age of 20, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with high school buddy Paul Allen. At the time Gary Kildall’s CP/M operating system was the industry standard. Even Gates’ company used it. But Kildall was an innovator, not a businessman, and when IBM came calling for an OS for the new IBM PC, his delays drove the big mainframe company to Gates. Even though the newly established Microsoft company couldn’t fill IBM’s needs, Gates and Allen saw an opportunity, and so they hurriedly bought the rights to another local company’s OS — which was based on Kildall’s CP/M system. Kildall wanted to sue, but intellectual property law for software had not yet been established. Kildall was a maker who got taken.

So Bill Gates took from others to become the richest man in the world. And now, because of his great wealth and the meritocracy myth, MANY PEOPLE LOOK TO HIM FOR SOLUTIONS IN VITAL AREAS OF HUMAN NEED, such as education and global food production.

—Gates on Education: He has promoted galvanic skin response monitors to measure the biological reactions of students, and the videotaping of teachers to evaluate their performances. About schools he said, “The best results have come in cities where the mayor is in charge of the school system. So you have one executive, and the school board isn’t as powerful.”

—Gates on Africa: With investments in or deals with Monsanto, Cargill, and Merck, Gates has demonstrated his preference for corporate control over poor countries deemed unable to help themselves. But no problem—according to Gates, “By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.”… continued

Continue to read at Common Dreams

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View the Deleted United Nations Report on Israeli Apartheid

Below are links to the ‘disappeared’, ‘deleted’ and ‘taken down’ United Nations report on Israeli apartheid. The report titled ‘Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid’ was removed from the website of U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (UNESCWA) at the end of last week ‘following pressure from the U.N. Secretary General.’ As well, Rima Khalaf, the head of UNESCWA, resigned ‘after she was asked to withdraw a report her agency published earlier this week that stated Israel is an “apartheid regime.” (mondoweiss.net/2017/03/resigns-refusing-apartheid)

Electronic Intifada has made it available, check it out below
electronicintifada.net

The 75-page report states in the beginning:

‘This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that
dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness
of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence
establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and
practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in
instruments of international law.

‘The analysis in this report rests on the same body of international human rights
law and principles that reject anti-Semitism and other racially discriminatory
ideologies, including: the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965). The report relies for its
definition of apartheid primarily on article II of the International Convention on the
Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973, hereinafter the
Apartheid Convention):

The term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of
racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to…
inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by
one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically
oppressing them.

‘Although the term “apartheid” was originally associated with the specific instance
of South Africa, it now represents a species of crime against humanity under
customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
Court, according to which:

“The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts… committed in the context of an
institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group
over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining
that regime.

‘Against that background, this report reflects the expert consensus that the
prohibition of apartheid is universally applicable and was not rendered moot by
the collapse of apartheid in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia).’

It is outrageous that the report was removed and that the Honorable Rima Khalaf had to resign. Freedom of expression? International Law? Human rights? Integrity of research? Not if it doesn’t suit Israeli Power Holders in the United States.

Photo from: scribd.com

Fauzia
gandholi.wordpress.com

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‘What is happening in Palestine is a genocide and we will not allow anyone to bully us into sanitizing our words.’

Uddari supports the following statement
made by Dream Defenders on August 6, 2016.

dreamdefenders

Dream Defenders Statement
on the Condemnation of M4BL Platform
by Some Pro-Israel Groups

On Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched A Vision for Black Lives, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic.

Their response has made it all the more clear why we stand in solidarity with Palestine and with Black and Brown people around the world fighting for justice.

Those who have previously claimed to be allies of the Black lives matter movement have shown us that they are comfortable with our resistance so long as it fits within particular confines and restrictions. It is convenient to endorse black lives matter when it benefits you. And as long as we stay silent about Israeli apartheid, they will “stand” with Black liberation in the US. Now that our movement has taken a stand against all forms of white supremacy and oppression, Black lives no longer matter. We want no part in this quid pro quo form of politics. True solidarity does not come with strings attached.

We’ve been dealing with this type of hypocrisy with our supposed “allies” for generations. On the American left, there are many wolves in sheeps clothing. You have revealed yourselves. And now that we know who you are, we will not forget.

We remain steadfast in our condemnation of the State of Israel and their illegal occupation of the Palestinian people’s homeland no matter the consequence. Solidarity with Palestine is not a requirement, it is a choice” and is rooted in the basic understanding that the state violence we experience is directly tied to the violence facing Black and Brown communities in Palestine and around the world. While our struggles are not identical, we recognize that we are up against the same systems. What is happening in Palestine is a genocide and we will not allow anyone to bully us into sanitizing our words. In 1948, the State of Israel created a Jewish majority by destroying approximately 500 Palestinian towns and driving over 700,000 Palestinians out of their homeland.  Ethnic cleansing continues today in the form of expulsions, Jewish-only settlements, massive attacks in Gaza and across Palestine, in addition to over 50 Israeli laws that sanction discrimination and apartheid.

As Black and Brown people living in the US, the heart of global empire, we bear a particular responsibility for global liberation. It is our taxpayer dollars that are funding Israeli apartheid and a military industrial complex that is devastating entire peoples and communities throughout the world.  Having an international analysis, means we must call for the divestment of our support of Israeli apartheid and to the wars being waged in Africa, Latin America and throughout the Middle East, just like we are calling for a divestment from the policing of our neighborhoods and incarceration of our people. This is both an ideological and a strategic decision. Resources are needed to advance the Vision for Black Lives platform and there are plenty of resources to be distributed, they are just being spent on waging war against, rather than stabilizing, our peoples.This is why the Dream Defenders believe in Black and Brown solidarity and why we fight for the liberation of Palestine.

We have more work to do now than ever before. In moments like these, we must double down and fight on. Check out A Vision for Black Lives – it is full of information about potential legislative action at the local, state and federal level and campaigns to support our efforts to advance global liberation. Launch a Campaign in support of the Boycott Divest and Sanctions Movement to show the State of Israel that we do not support their oppression of the Palestinian people. If you want to see it for yourself, look to organizations who run delegations with a principled stance that would allow for a real look at the situation on the ground, not a manicured one. Read more about what Black Palestinian solidarity means and looks like here. Do not stay silent. We applaud Jewish organizations like, Jewish Voices for Peace, If Not Now and the Jews of Color Caucus  that have spoken out in this moment in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and have called upon others to do the same.

The Dream Defenders remain committed to a world in which ALL people are free. As Black people fighting for our freedom, we are not thugs and our Palestinian brothers and sisters are not terrorists. For the children who are met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they walk home from school, for the families of those we have lost to police violence, for the communities devastated by economic violence and apartheid walls, we fight. To all those who believe in a world in which all people are free, join us. For those who no longer stand with Black people because of this belief, goodbye. We do not need nor want you in our movement.

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Imagining Ancient India

Mohenjo_Daro_first_look_poster

Written by Randeep Singh

Ashutosh Gowariker recently released his trailer for Mohenjo Daro, an action-adventure set in ancient India’s Indus Valley civilization, c. 2016 BCE.

For years, ancient India has been imagined as Hindu in TV and film. The mythological serials, Ramayan and Mahabharata, set the standard back in the 1980s with their recreation of an imagined Aryan/Vedic/Brahmanic society and culture. The vision of Ancient India as a Hindu India has been constructed with every palace wall, turned with each roll of the chariot and uttered in every Sanskritized syllable in Hindu mythological serials and in semi-historical serials like Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat.

It’s also apparent in films like Mohenjo Daro. True, it looks less like the Mahabharata, but also, unlike the epics, Mohenjo Daro was a historical reality. The Indus was India’s first civilization, declining around 1900 BCE. The Aryans thereafter migrated to the Indus Valley from beyond the Hindu Kush around 1500 BCE, giving India the Vedas, the earliest Hindu religious texts.

Gowariker helps popularize the claim of Hindu Nationalists that the Indus civilization was (in part) an Aryan society and civilization. Whereas the people of the Indus are believed to have been dark-skinned Dravidians, the hero in Mohenjo Daro is a light-eyed Hrithik Roshan with blondish locks and a trident. The statues of the Indus gods are recognizably Hindu, the language Sanskritized and the film features horses, animals not known to the civilization and introduced to India centuries later by the Aryans.

Films like Mohenjo Daro suggest what India was and how we see the past. And like the many mythological and semi-historical TV serials and films before it, Mohenjo Daro is less an attempt at faithfully reconstructing a historical India than imagining a perennially Hindu one.

 

The Censorship of India

 

udta punjab
Written by Randeep Singh

The Bombay High Court has overturned the censor board of India’s decision to make 89 cuts to Udta Punjab, a film about drug abuse among Indian youth. That’s good news for Udta Punjab; so why was it subject to such censorship in the first place?

It’s because India’s Censor Board (i.e. the Central Board of Film Certification) is an arbitrary, paternalistic and repressive tool of government which dates from the colonial era. The first censor boards in India were set up in 1920 to discipline, rear and guide Indians from their naïve, childlike and unruly selves.

Today’s Censor Board continues the colonial tradition of parenting Indians, protecting them from all sorts of realities films. It has grown increasingly conservative since 1991 as a reaction to Westernization and is currently staffed with BJP members and supporters, including its head, Pahlaj Nihalani.

The Udta Punjab controversy has nevertheless brought out Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt and Aamir Khan in support of the film. Online petitions to screen the uncensored version of the film gained tens of thousands of signatures. The Bombay High Court decision too leaves hope that, if censorship of cinema grows in India, so too will resistance.

Support India’s Protesting Authors

sahitya-akademi

Uddari fully supports the protesting Indian authors who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards, and those who have resigned from their posts, to protest the Akedemi’s inaction over the cold-blooded murder of fellow member Dr Malleshappa Kalburgi in August, and at the general escalation of intolerance in Indian society examplified in the recent Dadri incident where an alleged ‘beef-eater’ was lynched by a mob.

As well, Uddari rejects the Modi Government’s attempt to trivialize writers’ valid protest against human rights violations and growing constraints on the freedom of expression as just ‘personal choice’ of individuals.

The courageous authors who have returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards are Punjabi writers Waryam Sandhu, Atamjit, Ajmer Aulakh and Megh Raj Mittar; Malayalam writers K Satchidanandan, Anand, Sarah Joseph, Subhash Chandran, Shashi Despande, and Urdu novelist Rahman Abbas; Hindi writer Uday Prakash, English novelist Nayantara Sahgal, Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi, and ‘Yuva Puraskar’-winning author Aman Sethi. This had begun earlier by six Kannada writers Veeranna Madiwalar, T. Satish Javare Gowda, Sangamesh Menasinakai, Hanumanth Haligeri, Shridevi V Aloor and Chidanand Sali who had returned their awards to put pressure on the administration to take action on the murder of Dr. Kalburgi.

Uddari urges our readers to send messages to relevant authorities such as the Indian embassy in the USA, Consul Generals of India in Vancouver and Toronto, or to Sahitiya Akademi in India to strengthen the the efforts of protesting writers and activists. Here is the contact information.

Sahitiya Akademi
Rabindra Bhavan, 35, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi-110001
Phone: 91-11-23386626/27/28, Fax: 91-11-23382428
Secretary: 91-11-23073002, 23387064 (Direct line)
e-mail : secretary@sahitya-akademi.gov.in

Embassy of India, USA
2107 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 939-7000
Fax: (202) 265-4351
Embassy Hours: 930 AM – 600 PM EST

Consulate General of India, Toronto
Mr. Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General
cgindia@cgitoronto.ca

Consulate General of India, Vancouver
Mr.Rajiv Kumar Chander, Consul General
indiacg@telus.net

kalburgi-surrey-rally
In September, a rally was held in Surrey BC by Taraksheel Sabha to protest the murder of Dr. Kalburgi

Fauzia Rafique
gandholi.wordpress.com
frafique@gmail.com

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‘Children of Peshawar’ a poem by Ashok K. Bhargava 

pashawar

Muzzled flowers
Bullet ridden walls
Blood soaked books
Ask us –
What is this barbaric devastation?
We won’t live for it

Dec 18, 2014
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Sign this petition
candle-lights
Separate Religion from State
Declare Pakistan to be a Secular Democracy

Support this action
awp-logo
Public Meeting in Rawalpindi
Organizing society against the fascist onslaught

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India Bound

india_censored

Written by Randeep Singh

The film Haider was released on October 2, 2014. The film is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to the violent backdrop of Kashmir in the mid-1990s. Among other things, Haider looks at the atrocities of the Indian army. It has become one of the most critically acclaimed films in India this year.

On October 15, 2014, the Allahabad High Court issued notices to, among others, the film’s director, director and actors to respond to a petition. The petition was filed by the Hindu Front for Justice an organization which seeks to restrain the film’s screening on the basis that it insults the sovereignty, integrity and unity of India.

How does a film like Haider endanger the “sovereignty, integrity and unity” of India? Aren’t India’s restrictions on the freedom of expression, such as national security, public order and incitement to violence,  sufficient to deal with problems that may otherwise imperil the “sovereignty, integrity and unity” of India?

The “sovereignty, integrity and unity” limitation on freedom of expression merely enables the Indian power to curb any thought or opinion it deems “anti-national.” And what is more cherished to the Indian nationalist mythology than the idea that India is a benign, secular democracy, a view questioned by Haider?

In its stamping out of ideas, thoughts or opinions, which just may have a ring or truth to them, the Indian state privileges the right of an ambiguous and undefined the “nation” over those of democracy which relies on a free flow of ideas. The result is a narrowing of the Indian mind.

If Haider is restrained from playing in Indian cinemas, the Indian state and its fascist enthusiasts will have again (as they have done before with M.F. Hussain, Deepa Mehta, Sonali Bose, Arundhati Roy, Wendy Doniger) have privileged the rights of the “nation” over those of Indians themselves.

Holier Than Life ‘زندگی سے مقدس تر’ by Fauzia Rafique – Urdu rendition Shamoon Saleem

رمشا مسیح کیس اور بابوسر میں 19 شیعہ مسلمانوں کے قتلِ عام پہ احتجاج کی نظم

زندگی سے مقدس تر

ہاں، آج میں اک مُہر ثبت کرتی ہوں
قرآن کے اک صفحے پر
اس معصوم کے نام کی
جسے کل اسلام کے جانثاروں نے
اس کی توہین کے الزام میں
قتل کیا ہے

میں مہر ثبت کرتی ہوں
ہندوؤں اور ان گنت احمدیوں کی اپنے وطن سے ہجرت کی
اور کل کی خبرمیں سے
ان انیس شیعہ مقتولوں کے ناموں کی
گیارہ برس کی اس بچی کی گرفتاری کی
اور موت تک زدوکوب ہونے والے اس عیسائ جوان کی
جو دونوں ذہن میں کچھ ہلکے تھے، سادہ تھے
مگر دل میں موتیوں سے شفاف تھے

چلو دل کی بات رہنے دو
مگر ذہن کی ہلکی اور سادہ تو میں بھی ہوں

میں اس ورق کو جلاتی نہیں ہوں
میں کتابوں کے ورق جلانے میں یقین نہیں رکھتی
میں اسے پھاڑتی بھی نہیں ہوں
میں بے سود تخریب میں یقین نہیں رکھتی

میں اس پر سیاہ حرفوں میں
مہر ثبت کرتی ہوں، ”قاتل“ کی
ہر اک مقتول کے نام کی سرخی سے

یہ دیکھنے کو کہ
کتاب کے نام پہ کتنے قتلوں کی گنجائش
قاتلوں کی اس کتاب پہ ہے

یا کبھی یہ دیکھ سکنے کو کہ
کس کتاب کے قاتلوں کا جتھہ
بالآخر تمغہ جیتتا ہے
تورات کے نام پر فلسطین میں
قران کے نام پہ پاکستان یاایران میں
انجیل کے نام پر ویتنام میں
یا تریپیتکا کے نام پہ برما میں

ہاں، آج میں اک مہر ثبت کرتی ہوں
قرآن کے اک صفحے پر
اس معصوم کے نام کی
جسے کل اسلام کے جانثاروں نے
اس کی توہین کے الزام میں
قتل کیا ہے

اور اے جاں نثارو
مجھے بےوقوف مت بناؤ
اپنے متشدد مظاہروں سے
کہ تمہیں قتل کا مقدس حق تفویض ہے
کسی بھی کتاب کی تقدیس کی خاطر
کسی بھی نام کی تقدیس کی خاطر
یا کسی بھی شے یاجگہ کی تقدیس کی خاطر

زندگی سے مقدس تر کچھ نہیں ہو سکتا
دل سے مقدس تر کچھ نہیں ہو سکتا
جو دھڑکتا ہے، ایک خوشی بھرے مستقبل کی امید میں
محبت کرتا ہے اور جیتا ہے
ایک پھول، ایک پرندہ،
اک گھاس کا سبز تنکا
وحشیو، تم مجھے اپنے
طیش آور مظاہروں سے بیوقوف مت بناؤ
خود زندگی سے مقدس تر
کچھ نہیں ہوتا

فوزیہ رفیق
ترجمہ: شمعون سلیم

View English original
https://uddari.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/holier-than-life-by-fauzia-rafique/
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‘Yaka Ack-Acks the Drone Rangers’ by Yakhanda

Only certain little girls matter to the English and their BBC. Diverting from the rape of hundreds of English children in BBC studios for decades by ‘Monster DJ’ Sir Jimmy Saville – another OBE, whom Margaret Thatcher deemed “marvelous,” they shower hospital care on one Pakistani girl allegedly shot by turbaned Taliban for demanding the right to education.

England and their NATO allies also finance those retrograde ‘interests’ who shot her – including operatives famed for throwing acid at women for attending university. Their media certainly won’t describe the little girls recently killed by ‘extrajudicial’ US/NATO drones. The over-175 children already ‘droned,’ have no English names.

Then again, it’s October. August signals when most capitalist industrial manufacturers retool for the coming year. September marks when most banks crash. Their October begins by commemorating Genoan mass-murderer Christopher Columbus, and ends in the faux-scary corporate festival of Hallowe’en! Backstage, the world’s biggest war-makers dig their claws into massive chunks of national budgets, including those beyond their borders, even as they’re already shaping 2014 budget requests to the US Congress in February. The actual 2012 US ‘national security’ budget of over $1.3 trillion outstrips the next top-ten altogether: China, England, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India and Brazil.

Accompanying such budgetary maneuvers, menacing headlines usually climax in the North Atlantic, as the last leaves fall, revealing skeleton-stark trees, while people’s anxieties deepen with the coming winter. Their own media rarely ask: why they must, “keep pushing fear on the US taxpayer?”

Domestically, white frenzies about ‘terrorists’ easily echo the old shrieking to rouse Injun-scalping posses, Black-lynching vigilantes, anti-union scabs. The outside world instead sees Hollywood’s hourly TV shows depicting blacks and whites living harmoniously.

Fear of a Black Planet
African-American rapper Tupac Shakur, whose songs still make millions for the US music industry, was born to Black Panther Party cadre. The BPP were once the only US representatives recognized by the Chinese government, at a time when capitalists denied China entry into the UN (until US President Nixon crawled on bended Kissingerial knee to the Middle Kingdom).

Many BPP members, like those of the American Indian Movement, were massacred in the 1960s-70s. Several BPP and AIM members languish in prison – the most famous being Leonard Peltier, Lakota-Sioux defender of the sacred Black Hills (from where the great rivers flow into Canada and the US). Peltier like his revered forebear Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull) was ‘deported’ into a US prison by the Canadian state.

Tupac never saw the new century dawn. He was killed for exceeding the archetypes beloved by music capitalists: of drugs, guns, pimping and nihilism – of drugs that don’t heal, of guns only long enough to shoot your own people, of prostitution that turns men into slave-owners, of a nihilism that cannot grow beyond capitalism.

Tupac’s aunt, famed US political prisoner Assata Shakur, now safe in Cuba, describes herself as “a 20th century escaped slave.” When in prison, a jailer handed her a broom and told her to sweep. Assata refused, saying, “I ain’t no slave.” The jailer then showed her the jailhouse-copy of the US constitution: its 13th Amendment declares US slavery abolished, except in prison! (Yes, when perusing the fine prose of constitutions, always read the last few words!)

Assata’s autobiography also notes: the 1857 US Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision that a black man was two-thirds of a white man, is still blatant in present-day wage differentials: Workers ‘of color’ in Anglo-North America are paid two-thirds what their white counterparts get!

Jailhouse Gold
Black folks usually gain job-skills or advanced education either by joining the military, or going to prison. More than 60% of US prisoners are ‘of color’! The US government’s Federal Prison Industries Corporation exploits labor from prisons, as labor laws don’t apply. Imprisoned workers, often paid just 23 cents an hour, are exposed to toxic materials, without legal recourse, usually making products for the war department. Inmates make “complex parts” for missile systems, battleship anti-aircraft guns, and landmine sweepers, as well as night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms.

Wells Fargo, another bank recently wrist-slapped for bankrupting US municipalities, invests mutual-funds in the three largest profiteering US prison companies. They also spend millions shaping media and lobbying for laws to detain migrants and their families in such prisons!

Most people vote for ‘nobody’ in US elections – a phenomenon cuing poet Gil Scott Heron to note: “Nobody is President!” Yet millions of US citizens with prison records, including one in ten African-Americans, aren’t allowed to vote in US elections.

Regardless who becomes the Drone Ranger next month, the Euro-Amerikan juggernaut keeps blundering onwards. Yet Yaka reminds again of those Jamaican lyrics: “None of them can stop the time!”

yakhanda@yahoo.com

http://www.nation.lk/edition/columns/yak-handa/item/11929-yaka-ack-acks-the-drone-rangers.html
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Ashiq Hussain Mir of BNYF assassinated in Karachi ‏

The killings of Muslim activists and of non-Muslims by Muslim religious extremists continue in Pakistan, inflicting irreparable damage to the movement for reason, equalty and civil rights. The loss to families is heart wrenching. Rest in peace, Shaheed Comrade Ashiq Hussain Mir, your contributions and your sacrifice will take us forward. Uddari

Ashiq Hussain Mir, Central Chairman Baloristan National Youth Front (BNYF) was assassinated in an armed attack by two masked attackers near Zai Hospital in Kemari (Karachi). The attack happened at around 4pm, killing him on the spot.

Ashiq Hussain Mir was a wellknown activist who was also the Chairperson of Free Baba Jan Committee.

His body will be taken to Islamabad through flight from Karachi at 7am (Thursday) and from Islamabad (11am to Skardu) subject to availability of flights.

For more information contact
Qasim (brother of Comrade Ashiq Hussain Shaheed)
0344 2181542

We strongly condemn this cowardly act of dark forces.

Nasir Mansoor
ntufpak@gmail.com
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Candle Light Vigil for Malala Yousufzai – Lahore Wed Oct 10/12

Civil society Vigil for Malala Yousufzai
October 10, 2012
6 pm
Chairing Cross, The Mall, Lahore

Attack on Malala Yousufzai symbolizes the spread of hate, extremism and terrorists forces in our society. These forces are not tolerating any symbol of peace, tolerance and liberal ideals. They are using weapons of hate and destructions on ordinary civilians who are challenging their designs through message of love, peace and liberalism…If these forces are allowed to operate without any check and control they will take away all such ideals and symbols from society. This is the time to convey them that the society is not going to tolerate agendas of hate, destruction and terrorism anymore and also to convey to Malala that she is not alone and society stands and supports her ideals of peace, women empowerment and tolerance, and that we are praying for her life and early recovery…

South Asia Partnership and several other civil society groups are organizing a candle-light vigil tomorrow Wednesday October 10, 2012 at Chairing Cross, The Mall Lahore. Please join us all in this important and collective cause and add your voice in this message of peace and non-violence.

For further information please contact
SAP-Pakistan office
042-35311 701-06
Or
Mohammad Tahseen
0300-8480821
And
Irfan Mufti
0300-8480821

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Help stop the Taliban and other religious extremists
Support the Movement for the Repeal of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws.
You can do the following:

Support & ‘LIKE’ Repeal Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws:
http://www.facebook.com/RepealBlasphemyLaws

Support & ‘LIKE’ Secular Pakistan:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Secular-Pakistan/362810103802175

SIGN the petition to render religion seperate from the state:
http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/the-secretary-general-united-nations-recognize-the-international-day-against-state-religion-5

SIGN the petition to stop extremists from criminalizing blasphemy through United Nations:
http://www.avaaz.org/fr/petition/European_and_international_decision_against_the_criminalization_of_blasphemy/?fHEljbb&pv=1

Contact Uddari
uddari@live.ca
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