Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hindutva forces hell bent on converting Muslims and Christians

Every human should be free to eat, drink, wear and believe whatever the hell he or she wants, and no one should be forced to do otherwise in a free country. It is the freedom that is allowing each one of us to be who we are out of our own volition. At no cost we should let this freedom be compromised.

This is the story of aggressive harassment by extremists among Hindus. Bajrang Dal is becoming to be ISIS or Hindu ISIS of India, when this is allowed, at the very end of the tunnel, no one, yes no one, including Hindus who do not subscribe to their extremism will be affected severely.

I am glad the entire Muslim world is condemning ISIS, they are tarnishing the name of Islam and there is nothing Islamic about them, they are rogues and freaks. Even the Talibans have washed hands off them.  Now, the entire Hindu world has Hindu-ISIS on their hands and I hope they condemn the harassment and threats they pose to fellow Indians.

We should have no problem if Muslims convert to Hinduism or Hindus to Christianity or any combination thereof, even if each group is lured financially to become one. The politicians switch parties for money or election; we change jobs for better money. Why shouldn't people switch for the same money, and meeting their dire needs of food, clothing and a source of income?

For years the extremists among Hindus have attacked Christians for bribing people to convert, and now they are doing the very same thing they accused others of. What Muslims factually or allegedly did in the past, should remain behind 1947. We are a new independent and free India and our story began on August 15, 1947 and we don't want India to be like what we shun.

Now, every Indian is a goddamned Indian regardless of his or her faith, caste, color, social, political or financial status, and we need to stand up against injustice to every Indian. We should rise above pettiness and speak up, before the extremism takes over and we have to regret.

I hope to write my 16th essay about Modi urging him to take the lead and speak up and not be a silent spectator and watch his dream, like the dream of 1.25 billion Indians go down the drain. We want pragati and not religion.

Mike Ghouse 

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Lure of ration cards for food led to Agra 'reconversion'? 

AGRA: A day after a group of around 200 Muslims in Madhunagar slum-cluster here claimed they had "reconverted" to Hinduism, many of them on Tuesday said they were still Muslims, with some admitting that they had joined the RSS and Bajrang Dal-organized 'ghar vapsi' ceremony after being promised ration cards and houses. The saffron outfits, though, rubbished this claim, saying there was no inducement for "reconversion".

Farhan, a slum dweller, said, "If 40 people in saffron scarves come and stand on your head, you will do just as they want." Farhan was among those who had taken part in the puja, washed the feet of Hindu gods and also briefly worn vermillion on his forehead. On Tuesday, though, he said it was all for getting those men in "saffron scarves" off his back.

The re-conversion event was painted as "ghar vapsi" or re-conversion of Muslims who had Hindu ancestry. It was organized by the Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag, an offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang Dal. A 'shuddhikaran hawan' was also performed in the slum.

Bajrang Dal functionary Ajju Chauhan said the re-conversion had indeed taken place, and if the people were denying it, it was out of fear. "All these people have Hindu ancestors. They just did 'ghar vapsi'," he said, adding, "They were not lured by ration cards or houses. They wanted to lead clean lives."

District magistrate Pankaj Kumar and SSP Shalabh Mathur said no one had approached them in connection with the re-conversion event.

READ ALSO: RSS 're-converts' 200 Agra Muslims, says more in line

Ismail, who led the 200-odd Muslims in the event, said he offered namaz on Tuesday after no one from the saffron outfits turned up in their neighbourhood. "We're poor people and anyone can do anything with us. We can't afford to lose our lives over religion and conversion," Ismail said, adding that the promise of ration cards and houses had drawn many people.

"They first threatened to get us to vacate our homes. The land is owned by a Hindu. Later, they said that if we converted, we would get houses and better schooling for children," Ismail said. The women who had posed before cameramen on Monday sappeared withdrawn the day after and would not even allow the kids out to play.

Read this in Hindi: नया मोड़: RSS ने लालच देकर कराया धर्म परिवर्तन?

Malala Satyarthi Day, the two Nobel prize winners of the Subcontinent


Congratulations to Malala and Satyarthi for winning the prestigious Nobel prize.  I was teary about three times listening to her speech.  She gives hope to the communities and Satyarthi gives hope to the children to be children. Malala is God's gift to Pakistan and the Muslim World.

What is included below:

  1. Proclamation by World Muslim Congress & Foundation for Pluralism  
  2. Video Links of the speeches of Malala and Satyarthi
  3. Malala is God's gift to Pakistan and Muslims
  4. Transcript of Malala and Satyarthi speeches
  5. Eight Articles on Malala by Mike 


Malala's speech upon receiving of the Nobel Price

Satyarthi's acceptance speech


Whereas, Malala represents the voices of over 60 Million girls around the world who are deprived of education, and
Whereas, Malala’s commitment to education despite the threats to her life against her is admired,  and
Whereas,  Satyarthi’s call to rescue children from child labor despite the threats is admired, and
Whereas, Satyarthi and Malala give hope to the people of India and Pakistan to bring peace, and stability to the Subcontinent, and

Whereas, Malala is awarded the prestigious international award of the Nobel Prize to the youngest person in the history, and
Whereas, Satyarthi is awarded the prestigious international award for a new category is awarded, and
Now therefore, I , Mike Ghouse, President of the Foundation for Pluralism and World Muslim Congress, in behalf of our trustees and members, do hereby urge the people of India and Pakistan to observe “Malala Satyarthi Day” by talking about them and thinking about how each one of us can contribute towards the well being of the people of the subcontinent.

Malala is God’s gift to Pakistan and to Muslims.

Yes, until recently almost every terror activity was traced to Pakistan. The Pakistanis and Muslims badly needed a star that can change how they were perceived, and here comes Malala breaking all the stereotypes. Yes Muslim girls do stand up and do dare, and demand their right to be educated.  

Every child, teen and an adult has someone or the other he or she looks up to, and wants to-be-like that person and eventually becomes that person.  Indeed, good role models are a key to the success of a civil society.

 I have been studying religious pluralism and civil societies for the last twenty years, and have found a sense of regret among Muslims for the dearth of role models. Invariably they compare themselves with the Jewish community more often than they care to admit.  

At least twice a year, an email makes the rounds showing the innumerable Nobel laureates among the tiny Jewish community versus the negligible numbers among the big Muslim community. It almost appears that they cannot move forward without someone leading them.

Thank God, he gave Malala to Pakistan and the Muslim world; regardless of what the naysers say, Malala has made a huge difference, she is a Muslim and she makes sense. Now Pakistan can brag about her, just as Muslims around the world can brag about her.  We need 5 more Malalas to negate the Baghdadis, Ayman al-Zawahiri.  

I don’t know about you, but I was teary about three times during her speech. She is a hope for Muslims. 

[Malala Yousafzai – Nobel Peace Prize Winner – Speech]
[Malala Yousafzai (July 12, 1997):] Source:
In the name of God the most beneficent, the most merciful who is the God of all mankind. Wherever I go and speak, the only problem I face is that the podium is usually taller than me. So I hope it will be good this time.
I’m feeling honored that I am being chosen as a Nobel laureate and I have been honored with this – this precious award, the Nobel Peace Prize. And I’m proud that I’m the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person who is getting this award. It’s a great honor for me. And I’m also really happy that I’m sharing this award with a person – with a person from India whose name is Kailash Satyarthi and his great work for child’s right, his great work against – against child slavery.
Totally inspires me and I am really happy that there are so many people who are working for children’s right and I’m not alone. And he totally deserved this award.
So I am feeling honored that I’m sharing this award with him (Satyarthi).
He recieved this award and we both are the two Nobel award receivers, one is from Pakistan, one is from India, one believes in Hinduism, one strongly believes in Islam. And it gives a message to people – it gives a message to people of love between Pakistan and India and between – between different religions and we both support each other.
It does not matter what’s the color of your skin, what language do you speak, what religion you believe in. It is that we should all consider each other as human beings and we should respect each other and we should all fight for our rights, for the rights of children, for the rights of women and for the rights of every human being.
First of all, I would like to thank my family, my dear father, my dear mother for their love, for their support. As my father always say, he did not give me something extra, but what he did Dad, he did not clip my wings. So I’m thankful to my father for not clipping my wings, for – for letting me to fly and achieve my goals, for showing to the world that a girl is not supposed to be the – a slave.
A girl has the power to go forward in her life. And she’s not only a mother, she’s not only a sister, she’s not only a wife. But a girl has the – she should have an identity. She should be recognized and she has equal rights as a boy. Even though my brother thinks that they are treated um…um… — that I am treated very well and they are not treated very well. But that’s fine. If it comes – if it’s that – that’s fine.
Um…I would like to share with you how I found out about the Nobel Peace Prize and it’s quite exciting because I was in my chemistry class and we were studying about electrolysis and [inaudible] and the time was, I think 10:15. So the time of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize was gone and before that I was not expecting that I would get this award and when it went to, like, 10:15, I was totally sure that I haven’t won it. But then suddenly one of my teachers came to the class and she called me and she said, “I have something important to tell you.” And I was totally surprised when she told me congratulations, you have won the Nobel Peace Prize and you are sharing it with a – with a great person who is also working for children’s rights. And I – it’s sometimes quite difficult to express your feelings, but I felt really honored.
I felt more powerful and more courageous because this award is not just a piece of metal or a medal that you would wear, or an award that you would keep in your room, but this is really an encouragement for me to go forward and to believe in myself. To know that there are people who are supporting me in this campaign. And we are standing together. We all want to make sure that every child gets quality education. So this is really — this is really something – something great for me.
However, when I found that I have won the Nobel Peace Prize, I decided that I would not leave my school, rather I would finish my school time, I would — I went to physics lesson, I learned, I went to English lessons and it was totally like uh… I considered it as a normal day and I was really happy by the response of my teachers and my fellow students. They were all saying that we are proud of you and uh… I’m really thankful to my school, to my teachers, to my school fellows for their love, for their support and really encouraged me and they’re supporting me. So I’m happy. Even though it’s not going to help me in my tests and exams because it totally depends on my hard work. But, still, I’m really happy that they are supporting me.
[Malala Yousafzai:] Source:
I have got – I have received this award, but this is not the end. This is not the end. This is not the end of this campaign which I have started. I think this is really the beginning and I want to see every child going to school. There are still 57 million children who have not received education, who are still out of the primary schools and I want to see every child going to school and getting – getting education because I have – I have myself suffered through the same situation when I was in swat valley and you all may know that in swat there was Talibanization and because of that no girl was allowed to go to school.
At that time I stood up for my rights and I said I would speak up. I do not wait for someone else. I do not wait for someone else. I had really two options. One was not to speak and wait to be killed. And the second was – and the second was to speak up and then be killed and I chose the second one because at that time there was terrorism, women were not allowed to go outside of their houses because education was totally banned, people were killed. At that time I needed to raise my voice because I wanted to go back to school. I was also one of those girls who could not get education.
I wanted to learn I wanted to learn and be who – who I can be in my future. And I also had dreams. I also had dreams like a normal child has.
I wanted to become a doctor at that time. Now I want to become a politician, a good politician. And when I heard that I can not go to school, I just for a second thought that I would never able become a doctor or I would never be able to be who I want to be in the future and my life would be just getting married at the age of 13 or 14, not going to school, not becoming who I really can be so I decided that – that I will speak up.
So through my story I want to tell other children all around the world that they should stand up for their rights. They should not wait for someone else and their voices are more powerful. Their voices – it would seem that they are weak, but at the time when no one speak, your voice gets so loud that everyone has to listen to it. Everyone has to hear it. So it’s my message to children all around the world that they should stand up for their rights.
And the award that I have received uh…Nobel Peace Prize. I believe that the Nobel Committee, they – they haven’t given this just to me. But this award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard. And I speak for them and I stand up with them and I join them in their campaign, that their voices should be heard and they should be listened and they have rights. They have rights. They have the right to receive quality education. They have the right not to suffer from child labor, not to suffer from child trafficking. They have the right to live a happy life. So I stand up with – with all those children and this award is especially for them. It gives them courage.
At the end, um…I would like to share with you that I had a phone call with honorable Kailash. I cannot pronounce his surname accurately so please I just ask for forgiveness for that. I will just call him Kailash if he wouldn’t mind. So I had a phone call with him right now and we both talked about how important it is that every child goes to school and every child gets quality education and how many issues are there that the children are suffering, but I’m not yet highlighted. So we both decide – we both decided that we will work together for the cause that every child gets quality education and do not suffer from these issues.
Other than that, we also decided that as he’s from India and I’m from Pakistan we will try to build strong relationships between India and Pakistan. And nowadays you know that there is tension on the border and the situation is getting uh…it’s not like as we are expecting, we want Pakistan and India to have good relationships and the tension that is going on is disappointing and I’m really sad because I want both the countries to have dialogue, to have talks about peace, and to – to think about progress, to think about development, rather than fighting with each other. It’s important that both countries focus more on education, focus more on development and progress, which is good for both of them.
So we both decided that um…I requested him that would it be possible that he request His Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join us when we receive the Nobel Peace Prize in December. And I promised him that I would also request the honorable prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, to join us when I get and he gets the Nobel Peace Prize. So, and I myself request the honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and honorable Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, that they both join us when we receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
I really believe in peace. I really believe in tolerance and patience and it is very important for the progress of both countries that they have peace and they have good relationships. This is how they are going to achieve success and this is how they’re going to – they are going to progress.
So it is my humble request and I hope it will be – hope it will be listened.
[Malala Yousafzai:] Source:
At the end, I want to say that I’m really happy for your support.
I used to say that I think I do not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. I still believe that. But I believe that it is not only an award for what I have done but also an encouragement for giving me hope, for giving me the courage to go and continue this campaign, to believe in myself and to know that I’m not alone, there are hundreds and thousands and millions who are supporting me.
So once again, thank you so much to all of you. Thank you.
Malala Yousafzai – Nobel Peace Prize Winner Speech. I really believe in peace. I really believe in tolerance and patience. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.


Here is the full text of Mr Satyarthi's speech as uploaded on the Nobel website.

Let Us Globalise Compassion, and Set Our Children Free

My dear children of the world...

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, dear brother Tom Harkin, brothers and sisters, a and my dear daughter Malala.

From this podium of peace and humanity, I am deeply honoured to recite a mantra from the ancient texts of wisdom, Vedas.

This mantra carries a prayer, an aspiration and a resolve that has the potential to liberate humanity from all man-made crises.

Let's walk together. In the pursuit of global progress, not a single person should be left out or left behind in any corner of the world, from East to West, from South to North.

Let's speak together, let our minds come together! Learning from the experiences of our ancestors, let us together create knowledge for all that benefits all.

I bow to my late parents, to my motherland India, and to the mother earth.

With a warm heart I recall how thousands of times, I have been liberated, each time I have freed a child from slavery. In the first smile of freedom on their beautiful faces, I see the Gods smiling. 

I give the biggest credit of this honour to my movement's Kaalu Kumar, Dhoom Das and Adarsh Kishore from India and Iqbal Masih from Pakistan who made the supreme sacrifice for protecting the freedom and dignity of children. I humbly accept this award on behalf of all such martyrs, my fellow activists across the world and my countrymen.

My journey from the great land of Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak and Mahatma Gandhi; India to Norway is a connect between the two centres of global peace and brotherhood, ancient and modern.

Friends, the Nobel Committee generously invited me to deliver a "lecture." Respectfully, I am unable to do that.

I represent here the sound of silence. The cry of innocence. And, the face of invisibility. I have come here to share the voices and dreams of our children, our children, because they are all our children.

I have looked into their frightened and exhausted eyes. And I have heard their urgent questions:

Twenty years ago, in the foothills of the Himalayas, I met a small, skinny boy. He asked me: "Is the world so poor that it cannot give me a toy and a book, instead of forcing me to take a tool or gun?"

I met with a Sudanese child-soldier who was kidnapped by an extremist militia. As his first training, he was forced to kill his friends and family. He asked me: "What is my fault?"

Twelve years ago, a child-mother from the streets of Colombia - trafficked, raped, enslaved - asked me this: "I have never had a dream. Can my child have one?"

There is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of our children.

The single aim of my life is that every child is:

free to be a child,

free to grow and develop,

free to eat, sleep, see daylight,

free to laugh and cry,

free to play,

free to learn, free to go to school, and above all,

free to dream.

All the great religions tell us to care for children. Jesus said: "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to them." The Holy Quran says: "Kill not your children because of poverty."

I refuse to accept that all the temples and mosques and churches and prayer houses have no place for the dreams of our children.

I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global spending on armies is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms.

I refuse to accept that all the laws and constitutions, and the judges and the police are not able to protect our children.

I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom.


I am privileged to work with many courageous souls who also refuse to accept. We have never given up against any threat and attack, and we will never. Undoubtedly, progress has been made in the last couple of decades. The number of out of school children has been halved. Child mortality and malnutrition has been reduced, and millions of child deaths have been prevented. The number of child labourers in the world has been reduced by a third. Make no mistake, great challenges still remain.

Friends, the biggest crisis knocking on the doors of humanity today is intolerance.

We have utterly failed in imparting an education to our children. An education that gives the meaning and objective of life and a secure future. An education that builds a sense of global citizenship among the young people. I am afraid that the day is not far when the cumulative result of this failure will culminate in unprecedented violence that will be suicidal for humankind.

Yet, young people like Malala, are rising up everywhere and choosing peace over violence, tolerance over extremism, and courage over fear.

Solutions are not found only in the deliberations in conferences and prescriptions from a distance. They lie in small groups and local organisations and individuals, who confront the problem every day, even if they remain unrecognised and unknown to the world.

Eighteen years ago, millions of my brothers and sisters in 103 countries marched across 80,000 kilometres. And, a new international law against child labour was born. We have done this.

You may ask: what can one person do? Let me tell you a story I remember from my childhood: A terrible fire had broken out in the forest. All the animals were running away, including the lion, king of the forest. Suddenly, the lion saw a tiny bird rushing towards the fire. He asked the bird, "what are you doing?" To the lion's surprise, the bird replied "I am on my way to extinguish the fire." He laughed and said, "how can you kill the fire with just one drop of water, in your beak?" The bird was adamant, and said, "But I am doing my bit."

You and I live in the age of rapid globalisation. We are connected through high-speed Internet. We exchange goods and services in a single global market. Each day, thousands of flights connect us to every corner of the globe.

But there is one serious disconnect. It is the lack of compassion. Let us inculcate and transform the individuals' compassion into a global movement. Let us globalise compassion. Not passive compassion, but transformative compassion that leads to justice, equality, and freedom.

Mahatma Gandhi said, "If we are to teach real peace in this world... we shall have to begin with the children." I humbly add, let us unite the world through the compassion for our children.

Whose children are they who stitch footballs, yet have never played with one? They are our children. Whose children are they who mine stones and minerals? They are our children. Whose children are they who harvest cocoa, yet do not know the taste of a chocolate? They are all our children.

Devli was born into intergenerational debt and bonded labour in India. Sitting in my car immediately after her rescue the eight-year-old girl asked: Why did you not come earlier? Her angry question still shakes me - and has the power to shake the world. Her question is for all of us. Why did we not come earlier? What are we waiting for? How many more Devlis will we allow to go without rescue? How many more girls will be abducted, confined and abused? Children, like Devli across the world are questioning our inaction and watching our actions.

We need collective actions with a sense of urgency. Every single minute matters, every single child matters, every single childhood matters.

I challenge the passivity and pessimism surrounding our children. I challenge this culture of silence, this culture of neutrality.

I, therefore, call upon all the governments, intergovernmental agencies, businesses, faith leaders, the civil society, and each one of us, to put an end to all forms of violence against children. Slavery, trafficking, child marriages, child labour, sexual abuse, and illiteracy have no place in any civilised society.
Friends, we can do this.

Governments must make child friendly policies, and invest in education and young people.

Businesses must be more responsible and open to innovative partnerships.

Intergovernmental agencies must work together to accelerate action.

Global civil society must rise above business-as-usual and scattered agendas.

Faith leaders and institutions, and all of us must stand with our children.

We must be bold, we must be ambitious, and we must have the will. We must keep our promises.

Over fifty years ago, on the first day of my school I met a cobbler boy my age sitting at the school gate, polishing shoes. I asked my teachers these questions: "Why is he working outside? Why is he not coming to school with me?" My teachers had no answer. One day, I gathered the courage to ask the boys' father. He said: "Sir, I have never thought about it. We are just born to work." This made me angry. It still makes me angry. I challenged it then, and I am challenging it today.

As a child, I had a vision of tomorrow. That cobbler boy was studying with me in my classroom. Now, that tomorrow has become TODAY. I am TODAY, and you are TODAY. TODAY it is time for every child to have the right to life, the right to freedom, the right to health, the right to education, the right to safety, the right to dignity, the right to equality, and the right to peace.

TODAY, beyond the darkness, I see the smiling faces of our children in the blinking stars. TODAY, in every wave of every ocean, I see our children playing and dancing. TODAY, in every plant, tree, and mountain, I see that little cobbler boy sitting with me in the classroom.

I want you to see and feel this TODAY inside you. My dear sisters and brothers, may I ask you to close your eyes and put your hand close to your heart for a moment?   Can you feel the child inside you? Now, listen to this child. I am sure you can!

Today, I see thousands of Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, and Nelson Mandelas marching forward and calling on us. The boys and girls have joined. I have joined in. We ask you to join too.

Let us democratise knowledge.

Let us universalise justice.

Together, let us globalise compassion, for our children!

I call upon you in this room, and all across the world.

I call for a march from exploitation to education, from poverty to shared prosperity, a march from slavery to liberty, and a march from violence to peace.

Let us march from darkness to light. Let us march from mortality to divinity.

Let us march!  

Eight articles on Malala by Mike

10/09/2012 - Zardari go get the attackers of Malala
Ehsanullah Ehsan, the gangster chief of Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl who wanted to go to school. He shamelessly claims, "We carried out this attack," and adds, “"Anybody who ...

10/12/2012 - Malala, we stand with you and your commitment to education.
The event was organized by Jawed Siddiqi at Subzi Mandi place, the purpose was to stand in support of Malala Yousafzai and send a message to Pakistan that extremism is condemned across the world. The program ...

10/15/2012 - The Ghouse Diary: Standing up for Malala in Dallas, Texas
Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and others from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other Diaspora came together to stand up in solidarity with Malala at FunAsia Center tonight at 8:00 PM.

10/15/2012 - FunAsia brings communities together for Malala
Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and others from USA, Canada, UK, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other Diaspora came together to stand up in solidarity with Malala at FunAsia Richardson on Sunday evening at 8:00 PM

07/30/2013 - Miss Nada Al-Ahdal - a new Malala in the Arab world
Thank God for the display of courage by Nada Al-Ahdal, an eleven year old girl who refused to get married or sold off to some old fart against her will. Thanks to the CNN and western media for bringing Nada Al-Ahdal story to the fore. This is my reactionary note, and I hope the Muslim world wakes up and restores the liberation Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brought to women to be free, to be educated and to determine their own future and be herself.
Full CNN video and my op-ed at:
12/13/2013 Aga Khan and Malala - the Muslim role models
Every child, teen and an adult has someone he or she looks up to, and wants to-be-like that person and eventually becomes one.  Indeed, good role models are a key to the success of a civil society.

10/10/2014  Malala and Dr. Abdus Salam - Two Pakistanis
Malala and Dr. Abdus Salam - two Nobel Prize Laureates in Pakistan. Congratulations Malala,. We are proud of you, you are a role model for Muslims, and I have written a few articles appreciating your work. Muslims badly ...

What if Malala were a Ahmadi Muslim?
I congratulated Malala for winning the Nobel Prize, and reminded her that she is not the first Pakistani to win the Nobel Prize, Dr. Abdus Salam has also won the prize and a great injustice is done to him by depriving him his ...

Thank you

Mike Ghouse

(214) 325-1916 text/talk
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at and his writings are at and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Religious communal Clash in Somnath Over Rs 10

Mike Ghouse 

This is the story of a conflict between two individuals that went out of control over a petty argument.  I refuse to accept that Hinduism or Islam teaches them to hate, heck no, it is the parents, teachers, clergy and politicians, or may be in the reverse order.  

 A friend from Ghana used to tell me a story - that an entire village went violent when a boy kicked the ball far away, the other kid beat him up, and this kids father came and beat the other kid, and it multiplied to the point that the whole village was fighting. At the end of the day no one knew what it was for, but they had joined the fight and had harmed each other.

There is a solutions for this - During the communal riots in Jabalpur (India) in the early sixties, both Muslims and Hindus were killed in the mayhem, as it happens every time. I wish every father in India, America and elsewhere teaches this lesson to his kids. He was crystal clear on his take; He told us the "individuals" are responsible for the bloodshed and not the religions. If we get the guy who started the conflict and punish him for disturbing peace, rather than calling it a religious issue for the communities to jump in and aggravate it further, we would have saved many lives. He would emphasize that you cannot blame the intangible religion and expect justice, we must blame the individuals who caused it and punish them accordingly for disturbing the peace and thus bring a resolution to the conflict by serving justice. He said you cannot annihilate, kill, hang or beat the religion, then why bark at it?

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at

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Patan, Gujarat on a normal day
MUMBAI: Hindus and Muslims fought pitched battles ostensibly over Rs 10 in Patan-Somnath town in Gujarat. A fact finding team found the situation to have been communalised and polarised raising worries that the real perpetrators of the violence might still be at large. The Citizen publishes excerpts from the report:


Patan is a small town in Southern Saurashtra. Patan and Veraval are under a joint municipal body called Patan-Veraval Sanyukta Nagar Palika. Somnath temple in Patan is well known for two reasons – 1) it is one of the Jyotirling of Lord Shiva and therefore auspicious for Hindus, and 2) in 1992 L. K. Advani, the then president of BJP commenced his campaign against Babri Masjid on a rath yatra from this temple town which ultimately led to the demolition of the Masjid in Ayodhya. The Hindu nationalists use Somnath temple as a symbol of “aggression of Muslims” over Hindus as Mohammad Gazni, a Muslim warlord attacked the temple several times for looting its wealth.

Total population of Patan is around 60,000 with Muslim communities constituting roughly about 25-30% of the population. The two major communities that inhabit Patan are the Ghanchi (Muslims) – about 1,000 to 1,200 houses and Koli (Hindu) – about 1,500 to 2,000 houses. Besides the Ghanchis, there are other communities as well. The other Muslim communities are Patnis, Syeds, Pathans, Sheikhs, Memons etc. There are about 14 Muslim Jamats (communities). The Ghanchi and Koli communities are backward educationally and socially. Literacy rates are lower than the national average and dropout rates high. Roughly on 5% of them complete schooling. There aren’t three professionals – lawyers, doctors or engineers in both the communities.

People of Patan live peacefully and share common culture and identity and participate in each other’s functions and festivals. The Hindu Muslim fabric was strong in this town but in the last couple of years the bonds seem to have weakened.

The Ghanchi community leaders told us that the community did not take political stance either way. Both parties – Congress as well as BJP had opened their electoral offices with the help of members of the community to campaign within the community. They gave liberty to their members to vote for any candidate of their choice. However, informally the leaders preferred to ally with the BJP, particularly as the BJP candidate was Jasabhai Barad who was formerly from the Congress. The Ghanchis, in order to get even their routine and easiest work done, have to align with the ruling party without which they have to suffer. Kolis and Ghanchis – both are politically with the BJP.

The Koli community leaders in Gujarat have been asserting and organizing themselves with the objective of increasing their political representation. The dominant community in Gir-Somnath and Junagadh Districts are Kolis. Until recently they were with the Congress. Their strong organization and political assertion led to bagging large number of tickets from the BJP. In the last state assembly election unprecedented number of Koli MLAs had been elected. The Kolis are demanding 95 tickets for their community members and should that happen, they would decide the Chief Minister of Gujarat, however, that does not seem probable.

The BJP for the first time gave a Lok Sabha ticket to a member of the Koli community – Rajesh Chudasama – elected in the 16th general election from Junagadh constituency in which Patan town falls. The renewed assertion Kolis is impacting on their social interactions. Every two or three months, there have been disputes between members of Koli and Ghanchi community over petty issues of payment to a rickshaw drivers etc. with potential of widening the conflict. However, the leaders of both the communities immediately intervened in the past and settled the dispute amicably. Mostly the Ghanchis would be made to pay some minor compensation.

The Incident:

The team did not find material difference in the narration of the incidence of communal violence that had occurred on 25th November 2014 by various people they talked to.

The ASI Babariya was present during the communal incidence on 25th November as the violence broke out near Shiv Police Chowki at about 8.30 am. The Police personnel of the Chowki had just resumed their respective duties when the violence occurred and they were completely unprepared. According to the ASIthere was a dispute about a Rs. 10 currency note belonging to a “Mohammedan” which was claimed by a Koli. According to Yusuf Kachara, Muslim passengers were sitting in an auto rickshaw being driven by a Muslim. A Rs. 10 currency note belonging to Muslim passenger fell down, but was claimed by a Koli. According to Suleman Kapadia, who owns several shops, including a cold drink shop, youth had written his cell number to pass it on to his girl friend for her to call him.

Girls are not allowed to keep cell phones with them so they exchange cell numbers in this way and use someone else’s phone to call. When the currency note was claimed by a member of Koli community, there was heated argument.In the scuffle, the Muslim passenger was hit by a tiffin box.This injured the Muslim youth and his head and started bleeding. Suleman Kapadia further informed the team that the wound was deep and there were three stitches.

The Ghanchi neighbourhood and the Koli neighborhood is separated by Veraval-Una Highway and the Shiv Police Chowki too is situated on the Highway. According to the ASI and all others the team talked to, elders of both the community intervened and separated those fighting. However, after about half an hour, the Kolis from Shanti Nagar reassembled and started pelting stones on Muslim neighbourhood across the highway. We observed the shop facing the road located on the Muslim side had been damaged. ASI further informed the team that the bikes on the road were also burnt.In the attack by Koli youth, one fruit stall, and two refrigerators of cold drink shop owned by Suleman Kapadia were damaged. They looted the chocolates, biscuits and other eatables in the shop. Suleman Kapadia claims that he suffered a loss of about Rs. 4-5 lakhs and has no insurance. One motorbike (pulled out from house by breaking doors) and two fruit stalls and a fruit shop were damaged in the attack led by the Koli youth.

Muslim youth too gathered and retaliated by pelting stones from the roof top. They burnt 8 motorbikes, damaged two fruit stalls and one fruit shop and 10 to 15 Kolis suffered minor injuries while 8-10 Muslims also were injured.

Yusufbhai informed the team that once every 2 – 3 months such scuffles happen over some minor issue or another, including payment of rickshaw fare. Elders of both sides intervene and do not let the violence escalate even if sometimes they have to compensate in order to settle the dispute. However, this time the Muslim youth did not listen to them. Yusufbhai along with the ASI and his team of two constables that were available at the time were trying to keep stone pelting mobs separate. The ASI was injured too as a stone hit him behind his right year causing swelling. Yusufbhai too was injured. The police team of three was hopelessly outnumbered and ill equipped, without even helmets for their protection. Half an hour later, police reinforcements came along with Dy. SP and Mamlatdar and they brought the situation under control. The police had to burst teargas shells near Vadli to disperse the Muslim mob. In the melee, someone snatched a mobile worth Rs. 500/- (five hundred only) of a policeman.

None from any community lodged any complaint with the police pertaining to the incident. Police suomoto registered an FIR. Later, the police arrested 42 Muslims and 14 Koli youth who were still in their custody. The police have charged all the 56 persons, amongst other sections for rioting, with S. 395 of IPC (dacoity) for loss of a mobile of the policeman.Ghanchi community members told the team that police arrested by-standers and innocents who happened to be there during the incident on both sides – Muslims as well as Hindus. The Ghanchi Community was taking care of all the expenses of the Muslims who were arrested and providing them food from a hotel. They also paid the family of the poor among the 42 who were arrested as their earning members were in police custody. The office bearers of the Patan Ghanchi Muslim Samaj were appreciative of the role of the BJP MLA Jasabhai Barad who promptly intervened when the police were arresting large number of Muslims. This stopped the police from being hostile to the community. Jassabhai Barad crossed over to BJP from Congress as he could not get any work done while in his former party. Jassabhai had polled votes from Muslims too.

A Hindu shopkeeper on the Muslim side of the Highway, who was sympathetic to RSS, talked to a team member but did not want to be identified. He derived satisfaction from the police action arresting large numbers of Muslims compared to Hindus.

Shops in the Patan area were closed on the day of the incident. However, the leaders of both the community met and decided to open their shops next day. Hindus were still afraid of opening their shops though Muslim shops had opened. Yusufbhai then called Kanabhai, leader of Koli community to open their shops as well. Similarly, the workers working in the GIDC from both the communities were afraid of getting out of their homes and travel to the GIDC area where factories are situated as they would have to negotiate “hostile” territories. However, here too, the elders of both the communities got together to persuade the workers to come out and go for work.

Findings and observations:

The communal riots in Patan seem to be spontaneous however, the root cause of the riots is continuous communal discourse in media and by communal organizations that is deepening communal consciousness. The Hindu communal forces have considerably succeeded in deepening Hindu communal identity based on “othering” of Muslims who are at best perceived as a problem to be tolerated and from time to time reminded that they are second class citizens living at the sweet will of Hindus.

It is because of this that smallest and most insignificant conflict of daily occurrence takes a communal turn and mobilizes non-Muslims against them. The Patan riots are an excellent example of that. Why should an ordinary dispute over payment of rickshaw fare or anything else become a cause for communal mobilization? The state and civil society both will have to do a lot neutralize these communal feelings, particularly, the “othering” of Muslims. Such propaganda are also an offence under s. 153A of IPC but the section has remained mute witness to offences committed against Muslims in Gujarat and indeed in India without being invoked ever. This time the riots could be easily controlled, but the violence may escalate and may be uncontrollable in future.

As we were tracking through the narrow lanes of Patan, on the surface peace seems to have been restored and everything normal. Women belonging to the Ghanchi community and Koli community were treading on the street together and conversing with each other. Women belonging to both the communities were sitting next to each and hawking fruits and vegetables. However there is a deeper division below the surface and communal divisions are widening with each such incident.

RSS affiliated organizations are active in the area resorting to communal discourse which “others” Muslims. Though the Muslims had voted for the BJP in the last elections, but as the BJP Taluka President SarmanSolanki told the team, they (the BJP) would not change their ideology and Muslims could not be trusted just because they voted for them. Solanki said he personally did not believe in casteism of communalism.

Though the police could control communal violence this time, their post riot action of arresting 42 Muslims and 14 Hindus seems to be arbitrary. We were told that the Muslims in custody were sharing their food with the Hindus. The real culprits may still be free on both sides. Police need to do thorough investigation of the incident and marshal evidence to see that the guilty of violence on both sides are punished as deterrence for future such escalations.

(The report was prepared by the Alliance for Peace and Justice and All India Secular Forum. The fact finding team comprised Irfan Engineer, Rafi Malek, Jagdish Bamaniya)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dev Anand, Gregory Peck and Suraiya

Shared by P. Chanda, unknown

About 3 months ago, I had posted a story about the unrequited love between movie stars Dev Anand and Suraiya. 

As a footnote to that , it might interest some of you to know that Suraiya was a great fan of Gregory Peck (who isn't ?) and harboured a secret girlish desire to met him someday .

It was 1954 , and one evening , the doorbell to Suraiya's house on Marine Drive rang . A tall handsome foreigner was at the door with a bunch of flowers and enquired about Suraiya from her mother who had answered the bell. 

He spent the next two hours there , and Suraiya  was beside herself with joy at her secret desire coming to fruition . Among other things , she showed Greg. her scrapbook full of cuttings from his films. No, Dev Anand wasn't even informed. 

And Dev Anand has himself admitted , in his Autobiography, that when he came to know of Suraiya's fascination for Greg., of how he would try to ape his mannerisms just to impress her . 

They say , he looked like the Hollywood Superstar . We wonder :

( this was taken at the Willingdon Club in South Bombay when the Indian Film Industry gave a reception in honour of the visiting Gregory Peck ).

Well , there is a faint resemblance , just faint. And that may be one reason why Madame was attracted to the debonair Dev in the first place . 

Yes, we understand . A poor man's , sorry woman's Gregory Peck.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

10 Indian Villages That Set A Worthy Example For The Whole Country

this is incredibly good news....

November 12 , 2014
10 Indian Villages That Set A Worthy Example For The Whole Country
Durga M Sengupta
Durga M Sengupta
SW Staff Writer
India, having an agro-based economy, depends the most on its villages for growth.
The gaon always has that distinct nostalgic charm that Indians alone can understand.
Sarson ke khet, tea plantations, mud houses, clean air, charpaai, mitti, star-lit sky;
these are just some of the happy things that we associate with life in an Indian village.

But unfortunately, that feeling is slowly waning. Poverty, lack of education,
lack of sanitation, etc are the first associations that the media paints about Indian
villages for our benefit.

Here's a little fact: Gaons aren't a bad place to live. In fact, some of them are way
better than any metro. And these exemplary examples prove just that

1. Mawlynnong - Asia's cleanest village

Mawlynnong, a small village in Meghalaya, was awarded the prestigious tag of 'Cleanest
Village in Asia' in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. Located at about 90 kms from Shillong,
 the village offers a sky walk for you to take in the beauty as you explore it. According to
 visitors, you cannot find a single cigarette butt/plastic bag lying around there.

2. Punsari - The village with WiFi, CCTVs, AC classrooms and more

Punsari, located in Gujarat, puts most metros to shame. Funded by the Indian government
and the village's own funding model, Punsari is no NRI-blessed zone. The village also boasts
of a mini-bus commute system and various other facilities. Believe it.

3. Hiware Bazar - The village of 60 millionaires

Hiware Bazar, located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, has transformed from
being a place fraught with issues to being possibly the richest village in India. The sole
reason for this fairy-tale change is one man called Popatrao Pawar. He banned all addictive
 substances to minimize expense and encouraged the villagers to invest in rain-water
harvesting, milch cattle, etc.
There are a record 60 millionaires in the village and barely any poor. From 168 Below
Poverty Line families in 1995, Hiware Bazar now has just three. The villagers continue
 to strive to see a day when not one person is poor.

4. Dharnai - First fully solar-powered village

Dharnai, a village in Bihar, beat 30 years of darkness by developing
its own solar-powered system for electricity. With the aid of Greenpeace,
Dharnai declared itself an enery-independent village in July. Students no
long need to limit their studies to the day time, women no longer limit
themselves to stepping out in the day in this village of 2400 residents.
Now if only cities could do
the same, right?

5. Chappar - A village that distributes sweets when a girl is born

Chappar village in Haryana has a woman Sarpanch. But Neelam is no ordinary
Sarpanch. She made it her life's mission to change the attitude of the villagers
towards women, and she succeeded. Not only do the
 women of the village not wear the ghunghat anymore, but despite Haryana
being the state with the lowest girls ratio (an abysmal 877) in this village
 every newborn, regardless of his/her sex,
is welcomed into the world with sweets and festivities.

6. Kokrebellur - A village that really loves its birds

Kokrebellur, a small village in Karnataka, believes in the conservation of nature.
While most other villages consider birds a nuisance because they harm crops,
Kokrebellur boasts of rare species of birds that fly around and don't even mind
humans much. The villagers treat their winged compatriots as family and have
even created an area for wounded birds to rest and heal. Wonderful, isn't it?

7. Ballia - The village that beat arsenic poisoning with an indigenous method 

Ballia village of Uttar Pradesh had an itchy problem to deal with. The water that the
villagers were drinking contained arsenic, which causes serious skin problems and
even physical deformation. What is arsenic, you ask? A harmless element on its own,
but when combined with oxygen or water, it turns toxic.
Ironically, the village faced the problem after the government introduced many hand-pumps
 in the area for easy water access. The level at which the hand-pumps were dug led to
 excessive interaction between arsenic and water. When the villagers realised what had
happened, instead of waiting for the government to act on it, they (physically) fixed
their old wells and went back to an older, safer time. The best part? Even 95-year-old
Dhanikram Verma joined in.

8. Pothanikkad - The village with a 100% literacy rate

Unsurprisingly in Kerala, Pothanikkad village was the first in the country to achieve a
100% literacy rate. Not only does the village boast of city-standard high-schools, but
it also has primary schools and private schools. Guess the number of people the village
 has educated? Well, according to the 2001 census there are 17563 residents living in
the village. The best part is that it answers the question.

9. Bekkinakeri - The village that rid itself of open defecation
by 'greeting' lota-bearers

Bekkinakeri village in Karnataka has redefined the point of wishing someone a
'Good morning'. Frustrated with the practice of open defecation, the village council
 attempted to curb it by requesting people to not do so. When that didn't work, they
stationed themselves early morning near 'popular' defecation sites and wished every
perpetrator a very good morning. The trick worked! Too embarrassed to go on with
their business, the openly defecating population has now stopped the practice completely. 

10. Shani Shingnapur - A village so safe that people don't need doors

Shani Shingnapur, located in Maharashtra, is a village that defies every newspaper
report you have ever read. Touted as the safest village in India, this place is known
for its lack of doors to houses. Not just that, there is no police station in the village.
And no, we are not making this up. 
By the way, Shani Shingnapur has 'broken' another interesting record. The village has
the country's first lockless bank branch (UCO bank) now.

Time to pack your bags for that cross-country village trip?

If you know about more such villages, and/or have visited them,
please do write in.