Our Idea of India

We the students of History, in strong terms condemn the authoritarian abuse of the basic human rights and civil liberties that is being carried out in the name of nationalism. As students of History we hold the idea of critical spirit in high esteem and refrain from categorizing the dynamic ideas of nation, nationalism and patriotism in narrow criteria limited by the understanding and the benefit of one section of the population. We enquire into the possibilities of understanding a single concept through various diverse aspects and in the process we, more often than not, contradict ourselves and when we do, we don’t stop, we work towards a solution, this ‘working towards a solution in our opinion reflects the idea that we call India.

A political miracle, India, for us is reflected in dialectic interaction of various strands of thought. It is this privilege of being able to disagree with the powerful is what is under threat due to authoritarian acts of arresting a student leader, stifling critical voices and maiming our beloved democracy. Self-criticism is one of the major elements that push the human race forward and it is this right that is being denied to us. We condemn this act and we struggle towards a society where self-criticism and debate is appreciated and upheld. We work towards what Constitution of India has promised to us. For us the Indian Nation is manifestation of dialogue and debate on every aspect, it is only through this spirit of dialogue and debate that a diverse country like India has come into being and has survived. We uphold the idea of India, We struggle for its survival. It is the Rule of Law based on Justice that we struggle for not Rule of Fear.

Ibn Khaldun: The Father of Historiography

Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Khaldūn al-Ḥaḍramī better known as Ibn Khaldun was a Muslim Arab historian and thinker born in Tunis, Tunisia on 1st Ramadan 732 AH i.e. 27 May 1332.  The fourteenth century scholar is considered as the founding father of various fields of social sciences which include historiography, sociology, demography and economics. He is recognised to be the greatest amongst the historiographers of all times and across borders; and has none but Vico who can be considered as his equal.

ibnu-shaldun

Ibn Khaldun was a Yemenite Arab by descent and traces his ancestry to Hadramawt, Yemen. Through genealogy provided by Ibn Hazem he traces his lineage to Wail ibn Hajr who was a companion of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and amongst the oldest Arab tribes of Yemen.  His forefather Khaldun as a part of Arab conquest went to Al-Andalus (Spain) and subsequently settled there with his family. The family of Ibn Khaldun had held various high offices in Seville but had migrated to Tunisia after the fall of Seville as a part of Reconquista. Thereafter his family in Tunisia held important offices and in this family with a rich history of politics and scholars Ibn Khaldun was born.

Ibn Khaldun at a very young age dived into the vast ocean of knowledge. His initial studies were under his father. As he belonged to an upper class family he got an opportunity of getting educated by some of the finest teacher of the Maghreb of that age. He studied and memorized the Qur’an, Arabic linguistics, Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Hadīth, Sharia (Law), rhetoric and poetry and received certificate in all of them. He also studied logic, mathematics and philosophy and the works of Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ar-Razi and At-Tusi.  The great scholar continued his studies till the age of 17 when a great intercontinental plague spreading from Samarqand to Mauritania also hit Tunisia due to which he lost his parents. At this point of time Ibn Khaldun started his political career.

In the tumultuous political condition of Maghreb, Ibn Khaldun had highly unstable political career. He constantly had to switch sides in order to secure his position from downfall. Therefore in his political life with the rise and fall of various power groups he sometimes moved up to important offices while at other times he faced down fall but this helped him to get a deeper insight of the politics and the rise and fall of dynasties and empire and the civilisation as a whole. He began his political life with a humble post at the court of Tunis. Thereafter he held various post at Fez, Granada, again at Tunisia and spent his last years in Eygpt holding various positions and serving sixth time as a Malikite Qadi at the time of his death.

It was in 1375 tired from the political alliances Ibn Khaldun found solitude to devote himself to scholastic work in the remote locality of Qalat ibn Salamah in present day Algeria. Here away from other preoccupation he wrote his magnum opus Al Muqaddimah (Prolegomena) which is an introduction to his work on universal history (i.e. Kitab al Ibar) but is in itself considered an independent work. In this brilliant work he discussed the historical method which he believed to be necessary before working on the project of universal history.  Ibn Khaldun considered history as a science which isn’t separate from other sciences like economics, sociology, politics and theology which shouldn’t be mixed with superstition and was against the uncritical acceptance of data.

In regard to the historical method Ibn Khaldun makes following points in Al Muqaddimah :

  1. History is a science.
  2. History has a content and the historian should account for it.
  3. The historian should account for the elements that gather to make the human history.
  4. He should also work according to the laws of history.
  5. History is a philosophical science.
  6. History is composed of news about the days, states and the previous centuries. It is a theory, an analysis and justification about the creatures and their principles, and a science of how the incidents happen and their reasons.
  7. Myths have nothing to do with history and should be refuted.
  8. To build strong historical records, the historian should rely on necessary rules for the truth comparison.

In Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Charles Issawi and Oliver Leaman writes regarding Ibn Khaldun’s approach: “He analysed in detail the sources of error in historical writings, in particular partisanship, overconfidence in sources, failure to understand what is intended, a mistaken belief in the truth, the inability to place an event in its real context, the desire to gain the favour of those in high rank, exaggeration, and what he regarded as the most important of all, ignorance of the laws governing the transformation of human society.”

Arnold J Toynbee, an English historian described Ibn Khaldun’s Al Muqaddimah as “a philosophy of history which is undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever yet been created by any mind in any time or place.”

Ibn khaldun also created a new science ‘Ilm al-Umran’ i.e. science of culture and in his book he also gave his concept of asabiyyah i.e. social cohesion. According to this concept the cohesion spontaneously arises amongst the tribes or small kinship group which can be intensified by religious ideology and caries the group to the power but has within itself seeds of its own downfall which maybe psychological, sociological, economic or political and is thus replaced by another group with stronger cohesion. Therefore is also considered founding father of sociology. History according to him was an endless cycle of rise and fall of societies, of flowering and decay.

Ibn Khaldun continued his scholastic work in Eygpt too, both as a professor at Quamḥiyyah College and as a Malikite Qadi. During his stay at Eygpt, being sent on campaign Ibn Khaldun met Timur in 1400 CE and wrote on certain topics of history for him. In 1406 CE, Ibn Khaldun died in Cairo, Eygpt and was buried in cemetery outside Bab al-Nasr. Ibn Khaldun being the father of historiography with no equals in this science indeed stands unrivalled in the field.

Penning a ‘New’ Past: Revival or Reinterpretation ?

‘As the Muslims came to India, they brought with them, nothing, but, a barbaric rule; their brutal armies plundered the whole of the countryside, killed innocent people indiscriminately, spilled blood on every street, vandalised  and burned to ashes every living city and village; desecrated the worship places of every other religion, faith and school of thought, and committed a hell lot of atrocities, adopted the most oppressive form of rule possible, and all the other things they did were for no good damn reason.’

This is the image of the medieval India which dominated by the Muslim rule has been created by various forms of art and literature like books, articles, dramas, movies and TV serials and every other thing you can get your hands or eyes on. Although all these forms are indeed deadly, the worst I think are the three latter ones, for they use the medium of images which leave a lasting effect on the viewer’s mind. In most of the shows such as ‘Dharti Ka Veer Yodha-Prithviraj Chauhan’, ‘Veer Shivaji’, ‘Bharat ka Veer Putr- Maharana Pratap’ or ‘Jodha Akbar’ such an image is portrayed of the Muslim rulers that one cannot imagine of anything more brutal and atrocious than these Medieval Indian Rulers. They are shown as sinister, full of brutality, oppressing innocents, and assaulting women. On the other hand are their counterparts, who are pure, ideal for everything, who just can’t make any mistake; the flag bearers of peace and justice.

 Penning a ‘New’ Past: Revival or Reinterpretation ?

In this course to demonize the medieval Indian history, one of their favourites is the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He is seen as an oppressive, intolerant ruler; who held extremely orthodox religious views, with no sense and interest in culture and demolished the temples. Now let us take the account of the facts. Large number of Non-Muslims were there in Aurangzeb’s court as officials and advisors. To be true, there were more Non-Muslims in his court than in Akbar’s; who according to the popular belief is considered a tolerant ruler. He demolished temples, yes he did, but not for religious purpose, but for political ones. The temple were not only the places of worship, they were also used for various socio-political purposes. The temples were used to discuss the political matter, plan strategies; the ones used for this purpose were demolished. Aurangzeb noted, that in Islamic Shariah temple discretion wasn’t permitted, He wrote in 1659 CE: “According to the Shariah [Islamic law], and the exalted creed, it has been established that ancient temples should not be torn down.”  If some temples were demolished in military campaign then many others were built and funded by the state. State made donations for temples and maths; donations were also made in the name of Brahaman priests of which still the records survive. These include the farmans of Emperor Aurangzeb from the temples of Mahakaleshwara, Ujjain, Balaji Temple, Chitrakut, Umanand Temple, Gauhati and many others. These farmans were issued between 1659 CE to 1685 CE.

In ‘Islam and Indian Culture’, Mr BN Pande refers to a farman issued by Emperor Aurangzeb on 5th Ramdan, 1071 AH. In this, 178 bighas of land was allotted to Jangams (a Shaivaite sect). It reads “… under the order of the Emperor to the effect that 178 bighas of land in pargana Banaras is allotted to Jangams to help in their maintenance. ……. so they may utilise it and may pray for the continued existence of the kingdom of the Emperor.”

Another land-grant to a Hindu religious teacher in 1098 AH by the Emperor Aurangzeb is mentioned by Mr Pande in the same book. It says “…. two plots of land measuring 58 dira ….. are lying vacant without any building and belong to Bait-ul-mal we have, therefore, granted the same to Ramjivan Gosain and his son as inam…. he should remain engaged in contemplation of God and continue to offer prayer…”

So, taking in account the facts, we realise what the actual scenario had been.

What is happening today is like penning down an altogether NEW PAST, the one which never actually existed. It isn’t revival – it is reinterpretation, the one which serves selfish interests thus revealing the foul mentality. The hour is in need to shatter the false image, so that people may get to know the realities and don’t see the other community with suspicion and hatred, allowing the society to exist in peace.

‘In this unending fabric of history, one yarn appears black and the other red, stained in ink and blood. This weaves nothing, but sad tales. . . .’

– See more at: http://www.itihaskekarigar.com/2015/11/08/penning-a-new-past-revival-or-reinterpretation/#sthash.hJL3ECnl.dpuf

A short historical perspective of Kashmir issue

 

 

The Britishers  which ruled in India more than 100 years. There were some states Kashmir was among one of them. Basically it was a property or gift was given by British government to the maharaja Gulab singh as he provided better services to the British government and helped them in the first Anglo-Sikh war of 1846, he was rewarded  the state of Jammu and Kashmir by paying rupees of 75 lakhs according to the treaty of Lahore. The British government put some conditions before maharaja  Gulab singh that he had to pay certain kinds  of services such as  goats, shawls, wool etc and he could not signed any treaty with the foreign without the informing the British government. So, he became the hereditary Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir state. His successors ruled till 1947 and its last maharaja Hari singh. People were not happy with with the despotic and aristocratic rule of maharajas.They did not have rights and liberties but they had also to pay certain kinds of services without returns. It was under the leadership of sheikh Muhammad Abdullaha, the people started opposing the maharajas rule and demanding democracy, self-determination and freedom. It was in 1947 the India was partitioned, one Pakistan became free in 14, august 1947 and India that is Bharat became free in 15, august 1947 A.D. It was a provision in the independence act of 1947 that princely states had the option to join either India or Pakistan or remained independent .The Maharaja of Kashmir wanted to remain independent. He did not want to join India or Pakistan, but it is very controversial issue as some of the scholar has opinion that he wanted to join the Pakistan dominion based on the fact majority of the population was Muslim.it was according to the census of 1941  the Muslim population in Jammu and Kashmir was 77 percent, 20 percent were Hindus and 03 percent were Sikhs and Buddhists. Kashmir issue was basically territorial as well as  Ethnic  conflict between India and Pakistan  as well as  china is also involving as china demanded the Aksai chin and Shaksan valley. Kashmir was invaded by Pashtu tribesmen on 20 October, 1947  which were supported by Pakistani government and aided by them. The condition of valley deteriorated. It was maharaja Hari Singh who send Sheikh Muhammad Abdullaha to the centre to ask India for help against these tribals. India sent   his forces to the valley to remove tribalsmen from Kashmir valley. It was on 26,0ctober 1947 Kashmir became the integral part of India but there is also controversy that the instrument of accession was not permanent as it was provisional, conditional and temporary. Even the people of Kashmir demanded for. They were not given the right of self-determination. They were not treated according to the provision of Indian independence act that princely states had the option to join either India or Pakistan or remained independent. Their wishes, wills, rights, liberties were curtail which were the basic human rights but this can be counter on the fact there is no unanimous decision among the people of Kashmir. Some demanded to remain independent, some wanted to join Pakistan and some wanted to remain with India. so, Jammu and Kashmir became the water-melon for India, China and Pakistan as they want to eat it by cut into pieces as China was cut into pieces by European powers in the 20th century.

SUFISM IN INDIA

Sufism is the spirit of religion and aims at a direct communion with the Absolute power. It is defined as the inner mystical dimension of Islam. In the words of Prof. Khaliq Ahmad Nizami: “Tasawwuf is the spirit of religion and morality as well as the upliftment of Imaan (belief). In a developmental process these three help build up the human personality. To build up the personality the great sufis have worked hard.” (Translated from Tareekh e Mashaikh e Chisht).

 

With its great objectives and approaches Sufism became the most popular and influential school of thought of Islam and Humanity.

 

Sufi culture in India became prominent during Delhi Sultanate. Sufism though being a spiritual Islamic movement entered the socio cultural dimensions and established a Sufi culture in India. This culture attracted the whole nation through its universal approach of human fellowship and brotherhood. It led its impact on the faculties of language, literature, music, painting, architecture etc.

 

Tolerance has always been its main identity and because of which it succeeded in creating harmony and trust between people of different religions, to quote Prof. Jamal Khwaja: “The best commentary on tolerance and functional secularism of medieval India is provided by the growth of a common and composite culture reflected in the regional languages, architecture, painting, music, dress, entertainments, amusements, proverbs, folklores, and folk religions of India.”(Khuda Bakhsh Lectures, Indian and Islamic).

 

The Sufi culture in India flourished with the Sufi orders being introduced as Chishtie, Quadri, Suharwardi, Firdausi etc. The Sufi culture has been a thing of great interest in India. Dohas, Pahelis, Kahmakarnis, of Amir Khusrau, Ghazals of Mir Dard, Mirza Mazhar Janjan, Bedam Shah Warsi, Shah Qayyam Asdaque, Nazish Sahsarami, Maikash Akbarabadi etc and the prose works of Banda Nawaz Gesudaraz, Hasan Sajzi, Shah Waliullah, Maulana Fakhruddin etc are the unforgettable assets of Sufi literature.

 

The institution of Khanquah has always been the important component in the understanding of Sufi culture. It has been the centre of moral teachings for centuries. It imparts Islamic learning, Sufi teachings and universal human brotherhood.

 

The Sufi culture has always been a source of human integration. Even today in a state of spiritual crisis the majority of Indians have a deep love and regard for humanity and it is the impact of Sufi culture that is deep rooted in the Indian society. Today when the world is going through painful crisis of human and moral values and India is suffering from the curse of communalism and terrorism, the re-establishment of Sufi culture is acutely needed.

 

Creation of Israel

The history of Israel has important landmark in the history of the world. It was the birth place of Hebrew language and Ibrahimic religions. It contains the sacred sites of Muslims, Jews and Christians. The location of Israel state is on the site of Ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. According to Islamic traditions the Jews were given the territory of Palestine by God under their messenger Hazarat Musahha A.S. but after a while they disobeyed their messenger and started to run away from Palestine to the different parts of the world, very few stayed back. Palestine was under Jews till the 3rd century B.C, and after 3rd century BC it was under Christianity as the Jews were driven out by Romans  and later by Muslims, it also remained under the Ottoman Empire till 1919. It  was in the late 19th century that the Jews started the Zionism movement demanding a separate homeland for Jews, that is Palestine which God had promised them. They had no permanent territory in the world and they were driven out from Germany, Russia, France and other countries because of the high anti sematic spirit of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The problem with the Palestine was that it was inhabited by Muslims mostly, Jews and Christianity in small numbers before the Zionism movement. It was since late nineteen century Jews started to  migrate to Palestine and their numbers increase till the first world war.  As the  second world war broke-out, Britain asked Jews for help against Germany, Italy and Ottoman empire. The Jews promised Britain to help them. Britain had also asked help from Arabs and the Arabs also started to help the Britain because whole Arabian Peninsula was under the rule of Ottoman empire whose dominance Arabs wanted to overthrow.

Britain promised territory of Palestine to both Arabs and in separate secret treaties. Arabs were also promised that they would be free from Ottomans and separate Arab state would be created and the Jews were promised separate Jewish state in Palestine after the war. It was in 1917 that the foreign minister of Britain, Arthur Balfour announced that separate homeland for Jews would be created after the war. It was after the war in 1919 in the Paris peace conference that the delegates of Arabs and Jews were invited to participate. Here Arabs demanded the whole of Palestine otherwise none and the Jewish delegates demanded to take first which would be given to them

From 1919 till 1939 there was increase in the Jewish population in Palestine as they were driven out by Nazis in large numbers, this created social and economic problems for the Palestinian people. It was in 1937 that Britain appointed Peel Commission to solve this issue. It recommended the division of Palestine into two; one part was to be given to Arabs and the other to the Jews but this was rejected by Arabs. It was in 1939, Britain decided that within 10 years Palestine would be given to Arabs and the Jewish population in Palestine would be limited to 10,000 but this was rejected by Jews.

Britain had become weak in the second world war and referred to USA this issue of the fate of Palestinian territory .It was after the second world war in 1946 that the president of USA pressurized Britain to allow 100,000 Jews to live in Palestine. USA referred this case to UNO which was controlled by USA itself. Finally, USA decided to create the separate Jewish state of Israel in Palestine in 1948. The creation of Israel, as we can say that its foundation was laid by Britain and finally completed by USA.

Feminism and its Journey through time

“We cannot all succeed if half of us are held back”.

The word ‘Feminism’ seems to refer to an intense awareness of ones identity as a woman and interest in feminine problems. ​ Charles Fourier​ , a ​Utopian Socialist​ and French philosopher, is credited with having coined the word “feminisme” in 1837.

Feminism encompasses a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve ​equal​ political, economic, cultural, personal, and social ​ rights for women​ . This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates the rights and equality of women.

According to Janet Richards,

“The essence of Feminism has a strong fundamental case intended to mean only that there are excellent reasons for thinking that women suffer from systematic social injustice because of their sex, the proposition is to be regarded as constituting feminism”​ .

Feminism is a​ movement​,that translates to a group working to accomplish specific goals. Those goals are ​ social and political change​ ­implying that one must be engaged with the government and law, as well as social practices and beliefs. And implicit to these goals is access to sufficient information to enable women to make responsible choices.

Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be one of the main forces behind major historical changes for women’s rights, particularly in the West, where they are near­universally credited with having achieved ​women’s suffrage, ​gender neutrality in English​ , ​reproductive rights​  for women (including access to ​contraceptives​ and ​abortion​), and the right to enter into contracts and own property​ .

The history of the modern western feminist movements is divided into three “waves”. Each wave dealt with different aspects of the same feminist issues

First­wave feminism​  was a period of activity during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. In the UK and US, it focused on the promotion of equal contract, marriage, parenting, and property rights for women. By the end of the nineteenth century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women’s ​ suffrage​ ,though some feminists were active in campaigning for women’s sexual, ​ reproductive​ , and economic rights as well

This first phase of feminism in India was initiated by men to uproot the ​social evils​  of ​ sati​  (widow immolation), to allow widow remarriage, to forbid child marriage, and to reduce illiteracy, as well as to regulate the age of consent and to ensure property rights through legal intervention. In addition to this, some upper caste Hindu women rejected constraints they faced under Brahminical traditions. However, efforts for improving the status of women in Indian society were somewhat thwarted by the late nineteenth century, as nationalist movements emerged in India. These movements resisted ‘colonial interventions in gender relations’ particularly in the areas of family relations. In the mid to late nineteenth century, there was a national form of resistance to any colonial efforts made to ‘modernise’ the Hindu family. This included the Age of Consent controversy that erupted after the government tried to raise the age of marriage for women. Several Indian states were ruled by women during British colonial advance including ​ Jhansi​  (​ Rani Laxmibai​ ), ​ Kittur​  (​ Rani Chennama​ ), ​ Bhopal​  (Quidisa Begum) and Punjab​  (​ Jind Kaur​ ).

Second­wave feminists see women’s cultural and political inequalities as inextricably linked and encourage women to understand aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized and as reflecting ​ sexist​  power structures. The feminist activist and author ​ Carol Hanisch​  coined the slogan “The Personal is Political”, which became synonymous with the second wave. The 1920s was a new era for Indian women and is defined as ‘feminism’ that was responsible for the creation of localised women’s associations. These associations emphasised women’s education issues, developed livelihood strategies for working­class women, and also organised national level women’s associations such as the All India Women’s Conference. AIWC was closely affiliated with the Indian National Congress. Under the leadership of ​ Mahatma Gandhi​ , it worked within the nationalist and anti­colonialist freedom movements.

Women’s participation in the struggle for freedom developed their critical consciousness about their role and rights in ​ independent India​ . This resulted in the introduction of the franchise and civic rights of women in the Indian constitution. There was provision for women’s upliftment through ​ affirmative action​ , maternal health and child care provision equal pay for equal work etc. The state adopted a patronising role towards women. For example, India’s constitution states that women are a “weaker section” of the population, and therefore need assistance to function as equals. Thus women in India did not have to struggle for basic rights as did women in the West. However, the utopia ended soon when the social and cultural ideologies and structures failed to honour the newly acquired concepts of fundamental rights and democracy.

Third­wave feminism arose as a response to the perceived failures and backlash against initiatives and movement created by second wave of feminism during the 1960s to 1980s, and realization that woman are of, many colours, ethnicities, nationalists, religions and cultural background. The third wave embraces sees diversity and change. In this wave there is no all­encompassing single feminist idea. Third wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave’s “ essentialists’’ definition of feminity, which often assumed a female identity and overemphasized the experiences of upper­middle class white woman. Third wave ideology focusses on more post­structuralism interpretation of gender and sexuality. Third wave theory usually incorporates elements of queer theory; antiracism and woman­of­color consciousness; womanism; girl power; post­colonial; postmodernism; transnationalism; eco­feminism; individualist feminism; new feminist theory, transgender politics, and a rejection of the gender binary.

In India, post independence feminists began to redefine the extent to which women were allowed to engage in the workforce. Feminists in the 1970s challenged the inequalities that had been established and fought to reverse them. These inequalities included unequal wages for women, relegation of women to ‘unskilled’ spheres of work, and restricting women as a reserve army for labour. In other words, the feminists’ aim was to abolish the free service of women who were essentially being used as cheap capital. Feminist class­consciousness also came into focus in the 1970s, with feminists recognising the inequalities not just between men and women but also within power structures such as caste, tribe, language, religion, region, class etc. This also posed as a challenge for feminists while shaping their overreaching campaigns as there had to be a focus within efforts to ensure that fulfilling the demands of one group would not create further inequalities for another. Now, in the early twenty­first century, the focus of the Indian feminist movement has gone beyond treating women as useful members of society and a right to parity, but also having the power to decide the course of their personal lives and the right of self­determination.

In conclusion, the study shows feminism is a struggle for equality of women. The agonistic definition of feminism sees it as the struggle against all forms of patriarchal and sexiest aggression.

Hindutva, Communal Violence and State: An analysis

The idea here Is to understand how communal violence has nothing to do with religious principles and is a manifestation of religious identity in militant form. The recent issues and instances like that of Ghar wapsi, Love Jihad are means of bringing the religious identity of the majority and minority  to the forefront and manipulating it to serve political purposes.  And subtly the political and economic ends are served by means of such manipulation.

We can take the example of coercion of Christian Tribals to sell their land which threatened  sec 170 (B) of the Land Revenue Act which prevents  the buying of Tribal land by a non-tribals. Along with this VHP campaigners forced gram sabhas in more than 35 villages to not allow any Christian Missionary to function, they also forced all Christian schools in the area to not call the clergy as Father but as an “acharya”. These acts are a part of a larger attempt of homogenization of minorities. This fundamentally challenges the notion of Unity in Diversity that India is so proud of.

Another very important feature of communal violence is its incidence near and around any important elections, which translates into polarized voters and a political setup based on identities and not issues, we can take the example of western UP, where PUCL(People’s Union for Civil Liberties)  members had travelled extensively and brought out a report on the shared  experience of the yearlong communal violence that took place in western UP prior to the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. The Muzzafarnagar riots in 2013 and the Sahranpur riots in 2014 showed how farming communities which had stood firm on the single identity as farmers bargaining nationally for the interest of farmers, a movement built by leaders like Charan Singh and Mahendra Singh Tikait, which shook Governments through their non-violent protest politics, could be split on religious lines. The brutality of Rape and Murders accompanied by loot, arson and damaging of property of the minority community, leading to displacement of large sections of the people still lay unaddressed. Although several FIRs were filed however, the investigation was slow. The State Government to had been insensitive with the situation and shut the relief camps, pushing victims out of any State security. Such carnage in places like Muzaffarnagaar where religious identities were not at the forefront, shows how political manipulation plays the role in making them the only identity of the people.

The issue is not just of minority community but the problem is also there for the majority community whose life and choices the hindutva forces are trying to control in unconstitutional ways. The entire episode of Love Jehad was one more means of interfering with choices of individuals along with controlling women’s sexuality and fertility. The slogan of Love Jehad was the best way to consolidate the hindu community against the Muslims. Moral policing is also on the rise due to the loosening control of such forces over women and their choices. Both love jehad and the Ram Sene or Khaps are a part of this phenomena.

This point can be better explained with Ayesha Jalal’s argument where she says secularism-communalism divide in India’s political discourse is a false dichotomy. It is majoritarianism that needs to be contested by taking a firm stand on minority rights and federalism as intrinsic features of India’s democracy. This highlights another point of Majoritarianism not just outside of Hindutva but also inside it.

Government and its role in controlling communal carnage forms another important stepping stone in understanding the trajectory of communal violence in India. There have been innumerable instances where administration and the communalised police forces remain mute spectators to the unleashing of violence against a particular community.

Jawaharlal Nehru said: “Muslim communalism is much worse and stronger than Hindu communalism. But Muslim communalism cannot dominate Indian society and introduce fascism. That only Hindu communalism can.” We cannot agree more, indeed it is fundamentalism of any kind that needs to challenged and overcome.

5 Considerations Before Starting a Business

For many, starting a business is the professional dream of a lifetime. While thousands of businesses are launched every day, history shows a pretty high failure rate. Yet, despite the odds, the vast majority of business owners would rather risk potential failure than never take the leap.

business-start-upFive considerations to help you position your new business on firmer financial footing.

1. Bolster your financial health. You may have the personal wherewithal to start a business, but can you afford to make the transition given your level of debt as well as savings? Set a threshold for the minimum amount of money in the bank that you are not willing to go below. This number will be different for each person, but the important thing to take away is that you think about what this number means to you and save it in advance. It’s important to build up and maintain this “healthy” reserve or cushion to allow you to manage the lean months or the periods of uncertain cash flow. If you find that you are approaching your “bottom-line” number, this is where discipline must override passion. Step back, take a hard look at your situation, and see what’s working and what’s not.

2. Get over the “fear factor.” Change is frightening for most of us. It’s only natural and appropriate to worry about the possibility of failure, jeopardizing your financial security, or reneging on your obligations to others. But sometimes we get so caught up in what we stand to lose that we forget to consider all that we stand to gain. And, we forget that we are driving the timetable and parameters for making this change.

3. Keep your personal and business wallets separate. The old adage that business and pleasure don’t mix also holds true when it comes to your business’ finances. Set up separate accounts for your business, and consult with a knowledgeable tax professional to understand what costs are deductible. If you start recording and keeping receipts of deductible expenses from the beginning, it can help avoid major problems in the future, such as liability for additional taxes or penalties. And, don’t stop talking to a financial professional throughout the process of building your new business as it can help you feel more confident that you are managing your personal finances wisely while you begin your business.

4. Work on your business, not just in your business. When you are surrounded by your own business day in and day out, it’s important to take a step back and make sure you are handling all aspects of the business. Sometimes entrepreneurs are so focused on their product or service, that they may overlook their business’ finances. But it’s important to handle your business finances with intent. That is, handling your finances in an organized — not haphazard — way.

5. Remember that not all money is created equal. You need to know when and how to raise capital, and how to wisely put your money to work on things that adds value. You should be spending as much time researching.  Money is a tool. Make sure you understand how to use it.

 

“Why are there forty million poor people in America?”

In the 1950s King told his fiancée Coretta Scott, “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic.” Such views were not simply a product of youth, and he continued to believe accordingly. In a 1965 talk to the Negro American Labor Council (often overlooked, King had strong and important relationships with the labor movement), King bluntly observed, “there must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism. “   A year later he explained that solving the “economic problem of the Negro” would involve “billions of dollars.” You can’t end slums, he added, without “profit . . . be[ing] taken out of the slums. But if you do that, “you’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground . . . You are messing with captains of Industry.” To do this would be tread “in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.”

 

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In August, 1967 King delivered one of his more important addresses to the SCLC Convention. Titled, “Where Do We Go From Here” (and the basis of a book with the same title), he showed that his analysis had moved beyond race in the South to class and capitalism nationally:

I want to say to you as I move to my conclusion, as we talk about “Where do we go from here,” that we honestly face the fact that the Movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s market place. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, “Who owns the oil?” You begin to ask the question, “Who owns the iron ore?” You begin to ask the question, “Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two thirds water?” These are questions that must be asked.

After the Civil and Voting Rights Acts went into effect after 1965 and the southern apartheid regime was finally being dismantled, King’s focus on inequality and the economy changed his standing in America and would become his undoing (see Poor People’s Movement below) as liberals, who’d supported him when he was seeking inclusion in the American system for Blacks in the South, now began to abandon him when he spoke of the greater problem of material injustice for Blacks and  inequality for all poor people all over America. The Civil Rights campaigns sought jobs along with justice, but never challenged the structure of capitalism; rather they sought to include 15 million or so Blacks in the American economy—as investors, workers, and consumers. But King’s rejection of capitalism, along with his global notoriety as a Nobel Peace Prize winner and his popularity among the poor, made him a threat to all segments of the ruling elite, not just southern politicians and bigots.

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