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Friday, January 19, 2018

Law of Karma

The universe can be broadly categorized into Matter and Life. Every piece of matter is created in balance – example; Jupiter, moon and other things are programmed to function precisely, whereas humans are not, they have a choice to manage the balance for themselves.
Physical and metaphysical things follow certain laws; you reap what you sow, for every action, there is a reaction, the physicists say heat lost in one is gained by the other, the accountants say for every debit there is a credit, and there is always a giver for a receiver. In Hindi/Urdu language it is “Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni.” You are welcome to share your sayings in the comments below.
No one will escape this truth; it applies to individuals, communities, and nations.

Let me share a few examples; if you receive flowers, your first response is to thank the giver – then the transaction completes and both the giver and receiver feel good about it. When the giver gives you the flower it creates a social debt and it is offset by a thank you, and if you don’t say thanks, awkwardness looms on both sides creating an imbalance. You can go back and apologize for the delay and restore the balance.
If you curse someone, nothing may happen to the other, but something will happen to you, and you lose your own composure, even if you deny that nothing has happened to you. Without a doubt, your spirit is diminished and your capacity to function is lowered. If you keep piling these it will have an adverse effect on your health and a loss of your positive energy. It is like a warm cup of coffee in cold weather that loses its warmth quietly.
You can apply the rule to any situation and it works except a few situations where the criminal seems to get away with murders. That is not entirely true everyone pays for it one way or the other.  The Iraq war caused nearly a million deaths, 9/11 about 3,000 deaths, Hitler and Stalin caused over 10 million deaths… the list is big.  How do they pay for it, how is justice restored?
The only answer I know is what religions have proposed. All the religions say that God will punish them in a variety of ways –in reality, God does not punish anyone, he, she or it has set up a system of laws that operate in the form of the law of nature.
The Dharmic faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and sometimes Sikhism) believe that you will be born again in the lower form of life and the Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity, Islam),  Bahá’í and other earth-based traditions believe that there is a life after death and everyone’s actions will be accounted for and balanced out.
There is always a way out of it in this life – to repent, to forgive and to apologize. This offers two sets of answers –one is behavior modification and the other is the hope that justice will prevail. Every human seeks justice consciously or subconsciously.
Just remember to seek forgiveness and repent often. Whether it is your patient, doctor, consumer, vendor, boss, employee, contractor, brother, sister, kids or spouse, make a habit of clearing the air frequently. Don’t let the ego hold you down, free yourselves. Seeking forgiveness and forgiveness frees you. Tie the loose ends of life; there is a relief in it.
If you would like to read more about being happy, send an email to speakermikeghouse@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Aziz Ansari - Indian Hollywood Actor Humiliated

He messed with his female fans like most celebrities of all races and religions do. The list of reported ones among Muslims is growing, including religious celebrities like Nauman Ali Khan, Tariq Ramadan and a whole host of them.  He went too far without full conscious consent. Now his career will go down in the tubes.

There is a sense of entitlement among men, most men, that if a woman is with them, they are entitled to her. No matter how vulgar Trump sounded like but he said the truth that women fall all over celebrities and let them do anything to them. Celebrities have only one thing on their mind, to have her in the bed efficiently if they are not long time girlfriends. Friendship and romance are out of question for these guys or girls in some cases.

A friend of mine used to tell, if you do not treat the woman with dignity after the affair, she will get even with you. Maya Angelou had said something profound; the only thing that causes one to get even is disrespect. Ansari's mistake lies in not respecting her apprehensions and stopping when she had asked him to.

Well, there are more in line to be sacrificed. I wish Trump sets an example of resigning respectfully and apologizing to the women. It will boost the change in attitudes of men.

Mike Ghouse
Full Story

Hindu Society in the Mirror of Violence against Dalits

Clearly, the majority of Hindus are people who have evolved along with all others to be conscious of their role in the society. They respect every human, treat others as they would want to be treated, take care of the vulnerable ones and bring humility to the invincible.  They believe in freedom of speech, faith, assembly and protests as a part of civil society. Invariably, they want to live their lives and let others live theirs.

Unfortunately,  there is a minority within the same group mistakenly believes in militant and violent Hinduism, and their low self-esteem causes them to harass, maim, rape, lynch to have that sense of power and control. They are not bad people, but most of them are lost to the virulent politicians. They are however redeemable. 

If we can learn to respect the otherness of the other and accept the uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. This requires an inherent belief that we are all created equal.

We cannot let India go down the tube, these conflicts have to come to an end, and we should not pass our problems on to the next generation.  There is a way out, it is a long process of education for those who have gone astray, and if they can see the benefits of living in harmony, and living their own lives and letting others live theirs – they will come around and then we can focus on prosperity. India has opportunities to be a great nation where every Indian can live his dream in the pursuit of his or her happiness and live without apprehension.

The responsibility to educate and restore dharma (righteousness) falls squarely on the Majority of Hindus as well as the minorities.  Together we have to shape India for better. Each one of us has to ask ourselves, am I a good guy for fellow Indians? If not, what do I need to do?

We will make an effort to continue to bring out the stories of people who live in tensions. 

Mike Ghouse
http://MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com Mike Ghouse

Thanks to Sanjay Kumar for sharing the following information.

Hindu Society in the Mirror of Violence Against Dalits

by Sanjay Kumar


On 20 March 1927, large number of Dalits led by Bhimrao Ambedkar drank water from Chavadar Tank in Mahad, Maharashtra. The act challenged Brahminical caste domination, but was very much within legal rights of Ambedkar and his followers. The then Bombay Legislative Council had thrown open all public utilities to untouchables in 1923 and in January 1924, Mahad Municipality had declared Chavadar a public tank. Dalits however were not spared for asserting their right. Gangs of caste Hindu men pounced upon returning groups of Dalit men, women and children. Unfazed, Ambedkar organized an even bigger gathering of Dalits in the same town on 25 December that did a symbolic burning of Manusmriti.
A gathering of Dalits was attacked again ninety years later in Bhima Koregaon on 1 Jan, 2018. The purpose of gathering this time was not a direct challenge to a caste taboo. Dalits had come to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of a relatively minor battle during the British conquest of India. The British contingent in that battle had a sizeable proportion of Mahar dalit soldiers, a number of whom died fighting the much larger Peshwa army. Dalits of Maharashtra celebrate the day as Shaurya Gatha Divas and gather in large numbers at the site of battle every year in an act of public assertion of their ancestors’ valour against Brahmanical Peshwas. The atmosphere is like a typical rural Indian fair; men, women and children coming from even far away regions for a day long outing. This year the gathering was especially large due to mobilization by Dalit organisations. A number of vehicles that brought them and had explicit Dalit signs like Jai Bheem, or the Buddhist Panchasila insignia were smashed and burnt in the violence.
Even if the context of Dalit gathering at Bheema Koregaon this year was different than at Mahad ninety years ago, the structure of violence against them was same. Whereas Dalits engage in a public event in an open public space, the attack on them is sudden and conspiratorial in nature. Dalits come to a place from far away regions; their attackers are entrenched, both spatially and socially. Ideologically and organizationally Dalits are not prepared even for retaliatory violence. At best they can run away in self defence. The violence and dispersal of Dalits appears to be the sole motive of their attackers. Dalits want to make a public statement, their attackers are organised for hit and run tactic. The attackers do not need to explain themselves, their attack is sufficient in itself because it supposedly carries the writ of a dominant normative order.
Attacks on Dalits are often viewed only from the perspective of violation of their basic rights and dignity. A lot of attention this time has been paid to the political context of Dalit mobilization, and the recent state of their relation with the dominant Maratha caste in the area. Analyses from such perspectives often miss the actual elephant in the room, namely the caste Hindu society to whom their attackers belong, and from whose normative world they derive their justifications. Confronting this elephant is crucial at present.
The public sphere in India, in which Dalits have been trying to assert their dignity has lately come under severe strain due to political successes of Hindutva. Ambedkar could look to the limited but legally entitled public sphere of the colonial regime, and the public sphere of India’s independence movement which had at least some currents critical of the Hindu caste society. He had a number of caste Hindu supporters in Mahad, including the chairman of its Municipal Council, who came out in favour of Mahad satyagrah. The Hindu society now shows little signs of internal reform against superstitions, preposterous religious practices and blatant caste oppression. It has become the ground over which Hindutva political successes are being built.
The majority of caste Hindus showed little hesitation in voting for the party of the Hindutva, whose cow protecting followers only last year had engaged in the barbaric act of beating Dalits in public at Una, and circulated videos of the beatings as an instance of their Hindu pride. The relationship between Hindutva and the Hindu caste society is perhaps the key determinant of the fate of democracy in India.
Ambedkar’s Total Critique of Hindu Society
Ambedkar understood Hindu society through the lens of caste. He underlined the caste character of its spirituality and social life. Even while he considered the Hindu caste system to be primarily a religiously sanctioned system of graded inequality, he was clear about its secular significances. The five cardinal principles of Brahminism according to him included bans on Shudras and Untouchables to arm and educate themselves, hold positions of authority, and own property, and ‘complete subjugation and suppression of women’. Caste hierarchy is antithetical to any notion of equality.
The radical character of Ambedkar’s conception of equality is however little appreciated. With time he moved away from the classical liberal demands of equality within an existing legal system, to a radical politics that aimed to reformulate the social foundations of this very system. This shows also in his appropriation of Buddhism as the most suitable religion for social struggles for equality in the modern era, and a critical engagement with Marxism. His critique of Hindu society unfortunately has been missed by generations of Communists and Socialists, the two strands of radical politics in the country whose programs would have gained immensely from a meaningful engagement with it.
If hierarchy is the organizing principle of caste; caste hierarchy operates through differentiation and division. One consequence of every caste being a unit in a graded hierarchy is that it develops a stake in constituting itself as a separate corporate entity. While the threat to democracy due to caste inequities is immediately obvious, consequences of differentiation and division are little appreciated.
Ambedkar was acutely aware of both of these. His address on the Annihilation of Caste, which incidentally was meant for caste Hindus rather than his untouchable followers, is most clear on this point. According to him, ‘(t)he effect of caste on the ethics of Hindus is simply deplorable. Caste has killed public spirit…. Caste has made public opinion impossible. A Hindu’s public is his caste.’ These characters of caste continue even after its secularization, and can be seen most clearly in the role caste has come to play in electoral politics. The caste roots of Hindu society to an extent also explain the fragility of public sphere in India.
The professional urban middle classes belonging to savarna castes often claim to be the only public of India (the Common Man of RK Laxman cartoons). In reality this ‘public’ too is like a caste. It is very conscious of its boundaries and has no sense of how those outside can be treated as equal. Further, the social life of these sections too is dominated by informal networks in which violations of public rules is common.
 Caste and Hindutva
As is well known Hindutva is a project to develop a political community of Hindus. In a way, Gandhian project also had the same aim. Whereas Gandhi insisted on building this political community on a moral basis of struggle against an unjust colonial rule, and called upon inter community co-existence, Hindutva has no moral claims, and is actually driven by two moral fallacies. One is the severe inferiority complex generated by seeing Hindus as perpetual victims of external aggression, which can be overcome only by retaliation. The second moral fallacy of Hindutva is rabid hatred of Muslims and Christians. This means that it has no place for the value of universal humanism, without which no modern democracy is possible.
 Imperviousness to the calls of universal humanism is common to both Hindutva and caste. This is related to another common characteristic. Caste and Hindutva both consciously articulate themselves as above, or alien to the law. Hindutva does it openly by its claim that the existing liberal secular order of law is against the demands of Hindus. The idea is clear that to realise Hindu Rashtra, Hindus should be ready for all means, including spectacular public violence. For caste, it is the understanding that as a self governed entity it need not follow external rules. Khappanchayats are a clear illustration. In this sense, Dalit mobilisations, whether political, for legal protection, or for re-articulation of self-identity, are actually anti-caste. The main stream media and academia show their casteist prejudice and blindspot by lumping them under the rubric of caste. The third overlap between caste and Hindutva is religion. Both operate with a sense of obvious naturalness to their demands. To the extent that the idea of the self and community for an average Hindu is still largely religious, it helps both caste and Hindutva become effective in everyday life.
Such overlaps however do not mean that caste can be readily incorporated in the political programme of Hindutva. Caste ridden Hindu society is not easily amenable to community wide calls of political nature. Congress achieved it under a basically liberal project that had place for at least a formal critique of caste as part of the reform of Hindu society which needed to be modernized.
Hindutva can not take any anti caste stance due to the centrality of the idea of a Great Hindu civilization/religion in its programme. This explains why for many decades after its initiation it remained confined to savarna castes. The two key events in its growth trajectory were one, when it became the common political sense of savarna castes, and second when it managed to draw in sizeable sections of Shudra and untouchable castes.
The first was achieved when the Congress formula of broad coalitions of social groupings unraveled in the absence charismatic leadership, and savarna castes, which as a block continue to enjoy cultural, economic and bureaucratic hegemony, found that it is unable to counter mobilisations by rural dominant castes. Savarna castes now form the core voter base of Hindutva. Psephologists have known this for more than three decades. In fact sections of savarna castes like Punjabi Hindus of Delhi, have consistently voted overwhelmingly for the Hindutva party for over three generations now, however in the media talk of ‘vote banks’ they are not counted as one.
The success with Shudras and untouchables is the real tour de force of Hindutva, which helped it become a mass movement. This was facilitated by the preponderance of religion in the cultural and community life of Hindus. Hindutva exploited this religiosity through two complementary tactics. RSS affiliated organisations facilitated, encouraged and organized events of mass religiosity.
The Hindutva touch was given by a certain kind of aggressive occupation of public space with a clear lumpen character, which, as is true with all lumpen mobilisations, could be used for spectacular mass violence under the control of a centralized leadership. These organisations also calibrated their programmes by incorporating specific caste centric gods, temples and religious programmes within a Sanskritising narrative. The success of this strategy was based on the continuing hegemony of Brahminical cultural norms at the molecular level, where the penetration of suitable counter narratives, either anti caste Periyarite or Ambedkarite, or the mores of modernisation, was weak. It succeeded most dramatically in the ‘cow belt’ heartland of Northern India.
The re-establishment of old Brahminical ritual based caste hierarchy is not an aim of Hindutva. It does not mind an OBC Prime Minister, a Dalit President, and can not publicly support untouchability. Hindutva is also comfortable with the role caste has come to play in the electoral politics in India. In fact the inherent divisiveness of caste in politics makes it imminently suitable for social engineering under a hegemonic project.
However, it is dead against any anti-caste movement, because that can challenge existing power relations in society, as Bhim Sena is trying to do in Saharanpur. It can incorporate non-Jatav dalit castes in UP, and can hope to manage a Hardik Patel. It can not stand a Rohith Vemula whose anti-caste stand was inspired by a deep and universal conception of human equality, and a Jignesh Mevani who has deftly combined his anti-caste politics with concrete socio-economic demands, through invocation of both asmita and astitava. Their politics is not only anti-Hindutva, but has the potential to knock the bottom out of Hindu caste order.
Hindutva provides a safe haven for all hierarchical caste prejudices, of Savarnas against OBCs and Dalits, and of OBCs against Dalits. A radical Dalit who has courage to stand against all, is its public enemy number one.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Jewish-Muslim romance shaped one of India’s biggest pharma giants

This is a story of Muslim-Jewish romance and it is worth reading and reflecting.  The article “How a Muslim-Jewish romance shaped one of India’s biggest pharma giants” is the courtesy of Dawn News Paper and is appended below with gratitude.  It has all the elements of harmony, and the efforts of individuals to build cohesive societies.
Interfaith romance and marriages have been around for ever, thank God, they have become common in the United States. Nearly 40% of the marriages are interfaith and interracial, and 50% of of Jewish marriages are interfaith.  Our nation will continue to lead the world in accepting the otherness of other religions, cultures, politics and ethnicities and I pray other nations follow us.
To paraphrase Goethe, “Once you are committed to an idea or an act, all sorts of things will occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”  This wisdom has been a source of inspiration to me, somehow I stumble into articles on building cohesive societies in a variety of ways.
This man’s mission is inspiring and what he has done in social and religious pluralism is admirable.  As a Muslim myself, I am deeply committed to building cohesive societies and I will do my share of work in building bridges between the communities, particularly between Jews and Muslims,  Jews and Christians, Hindus and Muslims and Hindus and Abrahamic traditions.
If Muslims and Jews can work on producing a sense of security to Israelis and Justice to the Palestinians, most of the conflicts will fade and solutions emerge. All they have to do is drop their non-nonsensical thoughts they harbor about getting even with the other, showing who has the upper hand, and proving the other to be wrong… and simply focus on looking in the eyes of each others’ children and make a commitment – I will not dump our problems on you, and I will not make life difficult for you when you grow up. I will do all I can to make your life better than we had so you guys can live in harmony. We will work on teaching you to eat, drink, school and play together to create a society we want.  Before 1948, Jews and Muslims were each others sanctuaries and safety nets, we can do it again and create an exemplary world for all humanity to live in harmony.
As we get the funding, we will have a research arm for every faith from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and every one in between. We will be holding training classes in summer for one to be a Pluralist – i.e., one who respects the otherness of others and validates the uniqueness of the other without diminishing his own political, religious, social or cultural tradition.  We have many programs to accomplish that and we invite supporters to run the program in their name.
I hope to go on a tour in the US, listening and talking about building a cohesive America, where we appreciate the otherness of others and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one. Quran guides Muslims to be inclusive and build cohesive societies with pluralism as its foundation, and I hope we can reach out to those few Muslims who did not get that message.
At the center for pluralism we continue to research on all aspects of Pluralism; politics, religion, society and culture.  I have a lot of admiration for interfaith and inter-racial couples for they are setting the new standards of harmony around the world.
Enjoy the article now and let me know if you did.
You can find more articles like this at www.PluralismNews.com a part of the Center for Pluralism.
Thank you.
Mike Ghouse

How a Muslim-Jewish romance shaped one of India’s biggest pharma giants

In 1992, the editor of The Times of India telephoned one of Mumbai’s most prominent businessmen, Yusuf K Hamied. The editor asked Hamied, “as a Muslim leader” his opinion on communal riots that were taking place in the city.
Hamied replied: “Why aren’t you asking me as an Indian Jew? Because my name is Hamied? My mother was Jewish!” His maternal grandparents had perished in the Holocaust.
KA Hamied and Luba Hamied.

Hamied, the chairman of one of India’s largest pharmaceutical firms, Cipla, is the son of an aristocratic Muslim scientist from India and a Jewish Communist from what is now Lithuania.
Defined by his parents’ extraordinary marriage, he unites his father’s scientific skills, business acumen, and Indian patriotism with his mother’s compassion for the less fortunate.
He charges the Western pharmaceutical industry with “holding three billion people in the Third World to ransom by using their monopoly status to charge higher prices,” and has devoted himself to making life-saving inexpensive generic medications for the inhabitants of poorer countries.
Add caption

Yusuf K Hamied: Maker of generic life-saving medications and scourge of the giant multi-national pharmaceutical houses. 
Yusuf’s father: Khwaja Abdul Hamied (1898 - 1972)

Yusuf Hamied’s father, Khwaja Abdul (K.A.) Hamied, was born in Aligarh. His paternal grandfather Khwaja Abdul Ali (1862-1948) traced his lineage through spiritual guides to the Mughal emperors of India back to Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (1403-1490), a great Naqshbandi Sufi in Uzbekistan.
His mother, Masud Jehan Begum (1872-1957), came from the family of Shah Shuja ul-Mulk, the pro-British Amir of Afghanistan (1803-1809 and 1839-1842), whose family fled to India after his assassination in an anti-British uprising. Khwaja Abdul Ali’s uncle was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1819-1898), the great Muslim educational and social reformer.

KA Hamied with his his father, brothers, nieces, and son Yusuf.
The family of KA Hamied
Khwaja Abdul Ali entered the judicial service of the British government in India, but his son KA Hamied passionately opposed “the evils of foreign rule”. When Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement called for a boycott of government-run educational institutions, Hamied organised a strike at his school, Muir Central College. As a result, he was expelled from the university, then arrested when he tried to disrupt graduation ceremonies.
Hamied then returned to Aligarh, where Muslim nationalist leaders founded a new university, Jamia Millia Islamia, which refused government funding. Hamied taught chemistry there. He also supervised the production and sale of khadi, or homespun cloth, which Gandhi had made a central element of Indian nationalism. At his maternal uncle’s home, he first met Gandhi as well as Motilal Nehru and his son Jawaharlal.
KA Hamied was active in Indian Political affairs throughout his life
KA and Luba Hamied with his good friend Zakir Hussain (second from left) who became President of India

While teaching at Jamia, KA Hamied began a lifelong friendship with Zakir Husain, who went on to become the President of India. Hamied and Hussain later left for Germany to pursue graduate studies. Hamied studied with one of the world’s leading chemists, Professor A Rosenheim.
Yusuf’s mother: Luba Derczanska (1903 - 1991)

One day in 1925, Hamied joined some friends on a lake cruise near Berlin. One of the passengers on the boat was a young woman named Luba Derczanska. Luba was born in Wilno in Russian Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) and had come to Berlin to study. From their first meeting, the romance between Abdul Hamied and Luba Derczanska blossomed.
In 1928, Hamied married Luba in Berlin’s only mosque, and the following year they were again married in the Choral Synagogue in Wilno and the marriage was “solemnised” at a Register Office in London.
Luba was active in Communist circles in Berlin, and sought to bring her Indian beau into the movement: the first gift that she ever gave Hamied was a postcard of Lenin and for a time the couple were regulars at party meetings (later in life, Hamied had very strong reservations and concerns about Communism). Hamied was a prominent member of Indian revolutionary circles in India.
Berlin, 1928: KA Hamied and Luba with Maulana Mahommad Ali (trademark crescent on his hat), the leader of the Khilafat Movement.

Their parents were open-minded and welcoming, and the warmth with which Luba’s parents Rubin and Paulina greeted Hamied on his first visit to Wilno was matched by the welcome extended to Luba by Abdul Ali and Masud Jehan when she went to Aligarh.
The Hamieds with Luba’s family in 1929. In the centre are Luba’s brother Zorach and aunt. Zorach Derczanski came to India in 1934. The aunt came to India in 1938 and was joined there in 1946 by her non-Jewish husband Arthur Taenzler, a German flying ace in World War I.

Their son Yusuf was born in Wilno during his parents’ last visit there before the Holocaust. Yusuf is the Arabic form of the Hebrew name Joseph. It was the name of Luba’s grandfather, and hence pleasing to her family, as well as the first name of the Polish president, Józef Piłsudski, and so flattering to the Hamieds’ Polish friends. A month after his birth, Yusuf’s parents took him back to Bombay.
The Hamieds with her Jewish parents and their children – Yusuf and Sophie.

Yusuf and Sophie with their paternal grandmother Masud Jehan Begum, who descended from the family of Amir Shuja ul-Mulk of Afghanistan.

Though Luba was not an observant Jew, her son Yusuf chose to memorialise her in the most active Indian synagogue. He heavily supported the reconstruction of the Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue in Thane.
Shaar Hashamaim Synagogue in Thane.

Religious views

KA Hamied defined himself as an Indian who happened to be a Muslim, and he became openly hostile to the Muslim League. He rejected the notion that Hindus and Muslims were “separate nations” as Muhammad Ali Jinnah argued. Unlike his brothers, who opted for Pakistan, he always hoped for reconciliation in India between Hindus and Muslims.
In a speech to the Inter-Religious Seminar in Delhi on October 18, 1971, KA Hamied said that the “study of religion is my special hobby” and that “the basic attributes of this mysterious power, by whatever name we call it, are the same in all religions.” He said that “an ideal man must be a good man by virtue of his actions in society (and) may belong to any religion so long as he follows the tenets of his religion”.
KA Hamied believed that there should be “no compulsion in religion”.

Hamied always enthusiastically urged a partnership between Jews and Muslims. He loved to talk about Islamic Spain, where Jews and Muslims had joined to create a golden age, and once said that “if the Jews, with their wealth, knowledge and scientific skill and Arabs made a common cause, they would have a strong empire covering West Asia and the entire coast of South Mediterranean”.
He always emphasised that “the Arabs and Israelis should see the necessity of getting out of this whirlpool of Russian and Western power politics” and “sit together at a round table conference away from Western powers to thrash out their differences and carve out a new future based on ancient friendship, alliance and mutual regard”.
The Holocaust

He regularly visited Germany, where he had many friends, as well as business dealings. Once, the Germans mistook him for a Jew and insulted him. He foresaw something far worse than discrimination and insults, and urged his Jewish friends to leave Germany. They insisted that as members of the intellectual élite, they had nothing to worry about.
The horrors of the Holocaust were to touch Hamied and Luba directly. In June 1941, Nazi troops occupied Wilno, and almost immediately began the extermination of the city’s Jews.
Luba’s siblings survived: her brother Zorach was working for Hamied in Bombay, and her Communist sisters had escaped to Moscow before the coming of the Germans.
However, the Nazis murdered her elderly parents who were unable to emigrate. Hamied tried to obtain visas so his in-laws could come to India. The papers finally came through two weeks after the Derczanskis were killed.
Their son Yusuf was very moved when in 2008, during a visit to his birthplace, Vilnius, he went to the Ponary Forest, where German units massacred up to 100,000 people, the great majority of them Jews.
Recently, he commissioned statues of Gandhi and his Lithuanian Jewish disciple Hermann Kallenbach in Vilnius. In honour of his mother, he sponsored a concert there by his life-long friend, the conductor Zubin Mehta.
Yusuf, though focused on the lessons of the Holocaust, does not feel threatened personally as a Jew. He sees anti-Muslim mob violence in Bombay as particularly chilling, since to him it evokes the fear that Indian Muslims may share the same fate as European Jews.
He remembers his father’s stories of Jewish friends who believed that their elevated place in society would protect them, and he says that Indian Muslims who echo this sentiment are as naive as European Jews were.
The Cipla journey

After several years in India, Hamied gained success as a businessman, and in 1935 he founded the Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories or CIPLA. It has since become one of India’s most important pharmaceutical companies.
KA And Yusuf Hamied created a successful multinational pharmaceutical company with a social conscience.

KA Hamied had written in The Times of India on December 11, 1964 that patent law should enforce “compulsory licensing” to other manufacturers to prevent monopolistic predatory pricing.
Later, Yusuf picked up this same battle in the case of the astronomical pricing of AIDS medications by patent holders.
By retro-engineering the first medication and antiretroviral cocktail effective against HIV and AIDS and selling them at a fraction of the price, he helped saved millions of lives.
Yusuf Hamied addressing the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, 1976.

Perhaps with the murders of his own grandparents and six million other Jews in mind, Yusuf has called Big Pharma “global serial killers,” “traders in Death,” and “death profiteers”.
He sees the lack of access to life-saving medication by poor people in the developing world due to cost as a form of “selective genocide in healthcare” driven by Big Pharma’s desire for profits.

This article was originally published on Café Dissensus Magazine and has been reproduced with permission.

Dr John McLeod holds a PhD in Indian history from the University of Toronto, and is Professor of History at the University of Louisville.
Dr Kenneth X. Robbins is a collector and independent scholar. He has curated more than a dozen Indian exhibits and five scholarly conferences.
Dr John McLeod holds a PhD in Indian history from the University of Toronto, and is Professor of History at the University of Louisville.
Dr Kenneth X. Robbins is a collector and independent scholar. He has curated more than a dozen Indian exhibits and five scholarly conferences.
The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kashmir's good story - Muslims adopting Hindu kids and raising them as such

This is a blessed morning two good stories from India, one about Kerala Hindu family adopting a Muslim girl and raising her as a Muslim and getting her married of as a Muslim, and here is Muslims doing the same with Hindu orphans.

We need more of these stories, we need Yogi Aditya Nath and Modi to know that a real Hindu and a real Muslim is compassionate, kind, merciful and good to fellow humans. 

Mike Ghouse

Courtesy of Muslims' Digest

Muslim Residents Of Kashmiri Village Adopt Four Orphaned Hindu Siblings In Accordance With Their Father’s Last Wish

Muslim Residents of Kashmiri Village Adopt Four Orphaned Hindu Siblings According to Their Father’s Last Wish

Considered India’s most volatile zone and the most militarized area in the world, Kashmir recently had a different story to tell, which once again proved that Kashmiri Muslims are among the most compassionate people in the world.
In South Kashmir’s Lewdora village, an entire Muslim neighbourhood has come together and pledged to adopt four orphan Kashmiri Hindu siblings after their mother passed away last week, reports News 18.
Their mother, forty-year-old Baby Kaul died exactly a year after her husband – a struggling contractor – passed away due to diabetes. They left behind two girls aged 15 and 16 and two boys aged 15 and 7, with only a roof over their heads.
When the children’s father had died last year rather abruptly, the villagers had pleaded with Sartaj Madni, a former MLA and uncle of the state’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, to find a job for their mother since the family had no other means of income.
However, as the mother too died a year later, leaving behind four underage children, the villagers decided to take over the responsibility and share the family’s grief.
Hundreds poured in to participate in Kaul’s last rites, and Muslim helped with the cremation, in accordance with Hindu rites. Others were seen ferrying their Hindu relatives and friends to see the last rites, in accordance with Hindu customs.
“This is similar to last year when the husband Maharaj Krishan died. A large number of people have come to mourn this time as well. The villagers, though, are anxious about the children. They have lost both their parents,” said Showkat Ahmad, the Kauls’ neighbour.
The villagers have collected four quintals of rice and pledged to crowd-fund the children’s education, household essentials. “We are not rich but will ensure that they don’t suffer. We will pool our money and fulfil their needs. This is our duty,” said Ahmad. “When the father had passed away, we collected six quintals of rice and Rs. 80,000. We opened two bank accounts in the girls’ names and deposited Rs. 55,000 in it. We furnished their house with the rest. We are willing to do all of it again,” said Mohammad Yousuf, another of the family’s neighbour.
Of the four children, Meenakshi is the eldest. She is a school dropout, while her brother Sushil is in class 9. The other daughter Sapna is also in school, while the youngest is Rohit, who is in Class 3. Rohit is yet to completely understand the tragedy. He goes out to play during the day and returns in the evening to lie down on Naseema’s lap, a sort of foster mother to the children. “I have breastfed these children, along with my own. They call me mother,” she says, a statement backed by the children.
One of the village elders, Abdul Rashid says that just before the father died, he had told Rashid that the children were not to be sent outside Kashmir and were the village’s responsibility if something were to happen to him. “We will ensure that the children live comfortably within what we can provide,” says Rashid.
The three elder siblings too share their father’s thoughts and have said that they don’t want to leave the village, despite their aunt insisting that they accompany here to Jagti camp in Jammu. The aunt, Jigri, claims that she wants the children to stay with her as the villagers cannot take care of them for the rest of their lives.  “At most, the villagers can provide for a few months. For a better future and facilities, the children should come with me. If they don’t want to go to Jammu, let them come with me to Vessu (in Anantnag district near Srinagar). This way, they can continue to follow their Hindu culture and way of life,” said Jigri.