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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Modi teams up with Twitter to launch new service

This is good, however we have to remain focused on building a cohesive India, where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.

Mike Ghouse

Modi teams up with Twitter to launch new service
Ansuya Harjani | @Ansuya_H |  http://www.cnbc.com/id/102532443

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has teamed up with Twitter to launch a new service that allows government officials to send tweets via SMS in a move to boost e-governance in the world's largest democracy.

The service called Twitter Samvad – which means dialogue in Hindi – was unveiled by CEO Dick Costolo and Modi late Tuesday in New Delhi and is part of the government's Digital India program to transform the nation into a digitally empowered society.

A social media aficionado, Modi is known for his active presence on Twitter, amassing 10.9 million followers since joining the microblogging site in 2009. He is the second most followed politician behind U.S. President Barack Obama.

By enabling tweets to be sent out as an SMS, any Indian with a mobile device, with or without a data plan, is able to receive messages from political leaders and government bodies. Mobile users can activate the service through a missed call to an assigned phone number.

"People who sign up will receive a set of curated Tweets based on the highest engagement throughout the day to stay up-to-date with real-time information about government-related news, policies and activities," Twitter said.

Read MoreCramer: Twitter flies higher for the long haul

"And you can use Twitter Samvad during emergency situations to receive live updates from government bodies, such as time-sensitive information and details about rescue efforts," it said.
So far, a total of 16 political leaders and ministries are linked up to Twitter Samvad. Modi was the first leader to kick off the service.

Twitter Samvad is built on the technology of ZipDial, a Bangalore-based mobile marketing and analytics company that Twitter acquired in January.

Political parties including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and theIndian National Congress partnered with Twitter and ZipDial to offer a similar service during 2014's general election to make their Twitter accounts accessible to all mobile users in India.

More recently, some local news outlets offered SMS tweets during the presentation of the government's annual budget on February 28.

Twitter's service of SMS tweets activated by a missed call is currently only available in India although the company is looking to roll out the service in other emerging markets.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I Will Go to Any Extent For Protection of Minority: Home Minister Rajnath Singh

This is a welcome talk from the Home Minister and I hope he reiterates this addressing the nation. The whole nation needs to listen to him and subscribe to it, and hold him accountable for it as well.

Many  of the lines are pretty much my lines written heretofore, that is how you build safe, secure and cohesive societies where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.

This is one of the best statements he has made, ""I want to tell the whole country, even through law and order is a state subject, I will do everything for the protection of minority. I will go to any extent for this. I say this in the name of god," and hope he means business.

Mike Ghouse

Pledging full protection to minorities, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today questioned the practice of conversions and advocated a debate on the need for an anti-conversion law.

He also wanted to know whether people cannot be served without indulging in conversions.

"There are sometimes rumours and controversies about 'Ghar Wapsi' and conversions. Why should there by any conversion at all?

"In other countries it is the minorities which ask for anti-conversion law. Here, we are only saying that there should be an anti-conversion law. There should be debate over it. We must think on bringing anti-conversion law. I humbly request all of you to think over it," Singh said.

He was addressing a conference of state minority commissions which was attended by representatives of various minority communities.

The Home Minister's remarks on conversions assume significance in the midst of controversy over anti-conversion campaign undertaken by Hindutva organisations and comments by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat regarding Mother Teresa.

"Why can't we serve the people without doing conversion. Those who want to serve the people should do so without engaged with conversion. Can't we find a solution to the problem.

"The issue was even raised in Parliament. Many people said government should do something about it. But I think society also has a role. Society too has responsibility. Can't we live without respecting each other's faith. What is the necessity of conversion. Can't a religion survive without involving in conversion," he said.

The Home Minister said he would like to request all state governments to take strongest possible action for the protection of minorities.

"I want to tell the whole country, even through law and order is a state subject, I will do everything for the protection of minority. I will go to any extent for this. I say this in the name of god," he said.

The Home Minister also raised the issue of fear among certain sections about possible demographic change in the country and said the basic character of the country should not be allowed to change.

"If we go to the US and try to hurt the identity of that country, will they accept it? Why do we want to change their identity? There should not be any such attempt. How can a country like India allow changes in its demographic profile and character? Let India's character remain the same," he said.

Singh alleged that the sense of insecurity among the minorities prevailed during the rule of Congress-led UPA.

"If anyone can end the sense of insecurity among the minorities, it is the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. We have to turn the sense of insecurity into a sense of security. For a government or a Home Minister, ending insecurity of minorities is the biggest challenge," he said.

The Home Minister expressed concern over the conflict between communities and said the trend should be stopped and the tendency to establish supremacy by one community over another should come to an end.

"Why do we fight with each other? It is very unfortunate. A dog bites a dog but why cannot a human keep himself away from any fight. Is there any need to establish supremacy over someone else. I believe god is one and people call him by different names.

"While preaching our respective religion, can't we live with brotherhood. Why do we have to engage in conversion. What is the need. Conversion cannot be anyone's goal. Let all people preach respective religion and live peacefully. Many people may not agree with what I am saying. You may have a different opinion and I respect that," he said.

Singh said India is the only country where people of all religions are found. "The Parsi community had to leave their own land Iran. They are living in India with peace, prosperity and dignity for ages," he said.

A documentation on Jews has suggested that India is the only country where the community does not face any persecution. The oldest church in the world is in India. It is not in the US or in Europe, it is in Kerala, he said.

Singh said India is a country which respects all religions and believes in peaceful existence. Here all 72 sects of Islam live peacefully.

The Home Minister also said that no one can question the patriotism of minorities, even though some of them may feel alienated.

Singh said government is committed to give facilities to the minorities and to take up developmental projects for their welfare in the country.

"Some people may feel alienated. People may feel that proper development of the community is not taking place. For that we have to take appropriate action," he said.

Addressing the conference, Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla said the Government is committed to address the issue of backwardness, both economic and educational, among the minorities.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said there is a need to change the mindset so as to remove the cause of distrust and fear among different communities.

Maintaining that secularism was too serious an issue to be left to the government alone, he said the civil society must take the initiative to build trust.

Minister of State for Minorities Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to the welfare of all minorities.

He said that security, prosperity and education of minorities are important issues before the Government.

Naqvi assured that there would be proper utilisation of funds earmarked for minorities' welfare and that any pilferage would be plugged.

Chairman of the National Minorities Commission Naseem Ahmed said it is the Commissions' endeavour to protect the constitutional, legal and civil rights of the notified minorities.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Service by India Consulate Houston and its affiliates.

This is an appeal to a sense of fairness in all of us.  We are too quick to complain when things don’t work out smoothly, that probably happens 2 or 3 times out of 100 good things that happen to us.

No matter who it is, whether it is you, me or the consulate, we do serve a majority of our constituents, customers or clients well, but rarely do people appreciate it, but they are too quick to gripe when a few things don't go well.

It’s time to change this imbalance in the equation, and let us start now.  Next time you get better than average service; appreciate the giver, that's the right thing to do, we are not doing a favor to them, but doing ourselves a favor; for every good we receive we get indebted, and until we give the good to others, the burden remains on us and gratitude brings release!  

Of the thousands of people that India Consulate in Houston and its affiliates serve, I'm sure there will be at least 2 to 3 who walk out unhappy, part of it could be the personalities but bulk of it is documentation. We have to handle it with the goal of solution and not frustration.  

It was such good experience visiting them today! 

It was good to see a reflection of Americanism in the The CKGS Team, the company that processes the visa applications. Their unstated attitude was, thank God you are here, because of serving customers like you, we have a job and serving you is a way of thanking you. What a positive attitude!

If you are not happy, please share it in the most polite manner, remember you and I don’t like people who gripe, but do like if they make that into a suggestion or a solution. Let’s do the same.

In behalf of Dallas Indians, and Aligarh Muslim University, I thank his Excellency Hon. Parvathaneni Harish for offering great leadership to his staff and the affiliates CKGS for the caring service.  I dealt with Monika, Prashant, Lewin and Leo and just could not thank them enough for the simple but pleasant attitude they dealt with. 

Consulate General of India in Houston - http://www.cgihouston.org/
Visa and other services provider
Information about India at : http://MikeGhouseforIndia.Blogspot.com

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Thank you


Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
(214) 325-1916 text/talk


Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest 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 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Urdu Language Opportunities in Dallas

Urdu Language Opportunities | Website: www.UrduHindi.net 

There was a time when High School kids took German, French or Latin as an optional language to learn, then Spanish became popular, and with the amount of business we do in China, a lot of people went for Chinese. My own daughter took German, which is lost as it is not practiced by her in her daily life. I wish Urdu was an option then, she and my son could have talked with me  and my family in Urdu and enjoyed the Bollywood films without straining to read the text at the bottom.

Now there is a new option emerging for schools, colleges and business field; Urdu.

Urdu-Hindi together is the 2nd most understood and spoken language in the world.  I would call it Urdu or Hindi to mean both, the entire Hindi or Urdu Vocabulary is embedded in each other’s dictionary. Many a poetry books carry a poem in 3 scripts; English (called Roman), Devanagari (Sanskrit) and Urdu (Farsi) to make it easy for those who don’t know the two indigenous scripts. Nearly a Billion people speak Urdu-Hindi. 


If you or your kids have to take an optional language, consider Urdu. Good efforts were made by communities and Hindi is being taught in many schools and colleges now. As India will become the 3rd largest economy, and still retains its 2nd spot in population, and in collaboration with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it will become 2nd largest economy within a few decades. It is time to lay the foundation and get our kids and us ready to see a day when Urdu-Hindi will become a language of necessity to conduct business, a large amount of business and communications.

Thanks to the Bollywood films, many in South East Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa are learning the words and phrases. The other day a Guatemalan Taxi driver surprised me on my way to Love Field, he was playing Fun Asia Radio, and was throwing many phrases at me, that was impressive. My late wife watched Lagaan in a hotel in Costa Rica, and one of my Algerian friends started humming  "Mera tujh se hai pehle ka naata koi" she said that the film ran for a full month and they had to stand in the line to get the ticket. 

The Chief Editor for Saudi Gazette writes quite a lot about India and Pakistan, he went to school in Karachi and speaks Urdu fluently. There is a Jewish business man in Fort Worth, he speaks broken Urdu.  The owner of a Thai Restaurant sings and explains the whole meaning of Baharo Phool Barsao, Mera Mehboob Aaya hai." We walked into New York Deli on Frankford, owned by a Russian, the moment he saw my wife in Sari, he started Raj Kapooring,  "mera Joota hai Japani and repeating Lal topi Roosi, Lal topi Roosi, Lal topi Roosi...". Some one from Ghana has seen Gunga Jumna 10 times! 

In Cancun a road side grill sells Tandoori Chicken as Tandoori Chicken, he was calling me, "Aao, Aao, Tandoori Chicken Khao"  Ah, get this, my daughter in laws father is Malaysian in oil business, he tell me he was in Siberia, the lonely deserted cold place - there was an Indian Restaurant among some five others, that's right, one in five people on the earth are Desi's. This language Urdu-Hindi has great potential for our kids and grand kids. If you have experienced some such things, please write in the comments section below. 

Additionally, if you learn the Urdu Script, it would be easy to learn Arabic Language with so much business we conduct, and will conduct,  this would be an asset to our kids or even ourselves.

There was yet another time, just some 30 years ago, we did not have a direct flight from Dallas to any one of the South Asian Nations, today we have plenty of airlines flying to those destinations everyday, and it will continue to increase. This language Urdu will take a prominent spot on the world stage, and it is time that we the Americans of Native and Desi heritage not miss the boat.

Indeed, almost all of the Bollywood films carry the common language understood by a vast majority of the people of Subcontinent. However politics creeps in and reduces the language’s reach. It particularly happens  when the news segment hits the airwaves, Hindi gets heavily Sanskritized or Urdu gets Farsi-ized reducing the number of people who can understand either in full. Even me, who has a good working knowledge (writing, reading and speaking) in both the scripts, find it difficult to watch the Sanskritized Hindi or Farsi-ized Urdu. News is not a big part of our lives, just skip the news part and you will be fine, and connect with anyone and any where in the subcontinent. 

You can go to India or Pakistan and even cities in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and speak the generic language, the language of the Bollywood Films, and you will be able to communicate to a larger segment of the population anywhere in the world.

If you sing Hindi songs professionally you have to learn pronouncing the words properly and almost all of the singers and actors in Bollywood (world's largest film industry) learn the language of Urdu. 

If you have the option to choose a foreign language in the school, Urdu  is an attractive choice and a good business asset. Urdu will make a big come back.

The leaders who are taking this initiative forward are: Mr. Amin Tirmizi, Mrs. Talmeez Fatima Burni, Mr. Like Ali Khan, 
Dr. Akbar Haider and Dr. Amer Suleman.  I have taken the tiny responsibility of administrative support.     

I am developing this article as a survey to see how many kids and adults have an interest in joining the Urdu classes. A lot of benefits are offered right now as an incentive for kids.

I urge my Urdu-Hindi friends to write a sentence or a few words to be quoted in the article that we will publish in a News paper. Let it be no more than 50 words.

On my part, my tiny contribution to the vast Urdu-Hindi literature would be through a brand new stream of poetry that focuses on Pluralism, 
and we have already conducted several Mushaera-Sammelans on the topic and hope to continue them.

Last year, Dr. Amer Suleman of the Urdu Ghar fame experimented with his kids,  on Father's Day, he asked them to speak to him in Urdu and learn at least 25 words as his Father's Day gift, and they did, and my son did it too. We had sent that note to all the Desis' on my lists.

Through America Together Foundation, we are hoping to see the need for starting classes in Urdu language affiliated with established schools and colleges, and if we have enough members of the community wanting it, we can start soon.  Are you ready?

At America Together Foundation, our Mission is to educate, entertain and invoke critical thinking in creating a cohesive environment to work, socialize and function effectively.  

Please write your notes and interest in the comment section or click this link to write your comment - http://urduhindinet.blogspot.com/2015/03/urdu-language-opportunities.html#comment-form

Thanks to Milton Roy for sharing this information

Urdu Couplets are elixir for brain, learning prevent dementia

You don't have to believe this, but it is research done by Doctor Uttam Kumar. Urdu Couplets are elixir for brain; learning the language helps prevent dementia.

A recent study by the Center for Bio-Medical Researches (CBMR), Lucknow, suggests that reading Urdu passages helps in brain development. Learning Urdu also has a role in delaying the onset of dementia, besides helping children with learning disabilities. The work, which has made it to the recent edition of international journal 'Neuroscience Letters'.

Urdu is the deepest language and therefore reading it involves more areas of the brain, which is good for mental health," said Kumar adding, "Urdu has two more advantages over others — visual complexity of letters and direction of writing."
Please read the business opportunities for Urdu - Mike Ghouse

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse
email: UrduHindinet@gmail.com  

A Gandhian Insight Into Muslim Mind – Aijaz Zaka Syed

Site: http://MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com 
Llink: http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-gandhian-insight-into-muslim-mind.html

A good thoughtful piece. I am with the writer, when he concludes, "All said and done, the Partition is a reality. What really matters today is what India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can do to ensure that their future is better than their past." and "If the subcontinent’s tragedy can be summed up in one word, it’s this: Selfishness.

Our problem, meaning the the right wingers among us are stuck up with the past, they need to let it go. Here is a good story for them. Naked woman on the man's back.

Mike Ghouse

# # # 

Aijaz Zaka Syed is an award winning journalist and commentator on Middle East and South Asian affairs. For feedback, write to aijaz.syed@hotmail.com. Follow him on twitter.com/aijazzakasyed

The Partition of the subcontinent saw history's biggest migration and marked unprecedented bloodshed and chaos on both sides.
The Partition of the subcontinent saw history’s biggest migration and marked unprecedented bloodshed and chaos on both sides.
If the subcontinent’s tragedy can be summed up in one word, it’s this: Selfishness. Almost every fabled giant is exposed to have the feet of clay. Tunnel vision defined those troubled times. A little magnanimity by leaders on either side would have perhaps averted the all-consuming madness that marked the eventual parting of ways after nearly a thousand year of co-existence.  What’s more, the violent split in 1947 continues to eclipse the region even today as the nuclear neighbors remain locked in a perpetual duel
Who was really responsible for the Partition? Jinnah and his Muslim League, the Congress led by Nehru and Patel or the retreating British? Could the catastrophic carnage that followed the violent separation have been averted if the leaders on both sides had demonstrated greater maturity and flexibility?
Did the Quaid-e-Azam, as he came to be known, really want a homeland for Muslims or was the demand merely a bargaining chip to protect the future of the ‘qaum’?
These are questions that have been visited and revisited ad infinitum by South Asian and international scholars and historians since 1947.
Yet the questions and the larger issues that they raise about the troubled legacy of the Partition and its continuing shadow over the present and future of the region remain as riveting as ever. And when they are raised and addressed by the grandson of Gandhi, the man who successfully steered the freedom movement and had been at the heart of all the action, they lead to a book as fascinating as ‘Understanding the Muslim Mind’. I cannot thank my friend enough who gifted this invaluable book by Rajmohan Gandhi, originally published in 1986 by Roli Books and later by Penguin and the State University of New York Press.
As the author puts it, this is a personal quest to understand the Hindu-Muslim question, “which has broken hopes, hearts and India’s unity”, and an exercise undertaken with the hope that it might “inform us of times when the other side too was large-hearted, and of other times when our side also was small-minded.”
He chooses an unusual approach to explore the psyche of the South Asian Muslim and the larger question of Hindu-Muslim relations. ‘Understanding the Muslim Mind’ examines the lives of eight Muslim leaders and intellectuals who did not merely leave an indelible imprint on their followers, they have been responsible for the way things have turned out for the region, at least for its nearly 600 million Muslims.
Gandhi aptly begins his pen sketches with Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan (1817-1898), perhaps the earliest and most influential of political and social reformers in India and the pioneer of the Aligarh movement. Although a firm believer in Hindu-Muslim amity, Sir Sayyid opposed the Congress in its nascent stage, fearing as Jinnah and others did later that it would lead to a majoritarian polity. No wonder many in the Pakistan movement identified with Sir Sayyid.
Next in the spotlight is the legacy of the incomparable Muhammad Iqbal (1876-1938), seen by many as the ideological architect of Pakistan although the poet philosopher did not believe in the concept of nation state or man-made borders. A passionate believer in pan-Islamism, he died long before the idea of Pakistan acquired a distinct, tangible shape.
However, the bard who sang the soul-stirring ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara’ did in 1930 talk of a single Muslim state comprising the Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan. Gandhi devotes considerable time and space to Iqbal and rightly so. The poet’s influence on Muslims of the subcontinent and beyond remains formidable.
Also judiciously handled are Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), the champion of the Khilafat movement and Hindu-Muslim unity, Bengal tiger Fazlul Haq (1873-1962), Congress leader and India’s first education minister Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958), Pakistan’s first premier Liaqat Ali Khan (1895-1951) and the educationist responsible for the success of Jamia Millia Islamia and later Indian president Zakir Hussain (1877-1969).
However, it is Jinnah who remains at the center-stage throughout the book even when other dramatis personae are being profiled. The founder of Pakistan is dealt with in exhaustive detail offering interesting insight into his strong personality, leadership and existential struggle for the idea of Pakistan that eventually became a reality against great odds and at a colossal cost.
Interestingly, what is common among the eight luminaries is the fact that they had all been great believers in India’s syncretic heritage and diversity. At least, they began as such. Sir Sayyid, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, described by Sir Hamilton Gibb as the first modernist institution in the Islamic world, who would describe Hindus and Muslims as the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is India, had come to despair of their peaceful coexistence in his twilight years.
Mohammed Ali Jauhar, who had been among the first leaders to welcome and embrace Gandhi on his return from South Africa and who travelled the length and breadth of the country with the Mahatma as part of the freedom struggle and Khilafat movement that saw Hindu-Muslim amity at its peak, died a bitter man far away from India, in Jerusalem.
Even Jinnah, the man routinely panned as the architect of the Partition, had been, in the words of Sarojini Naidu, the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. Indeed, he had been the tallest leader of the Congress before Gandhi arrived on the scene. However, with the exception of Azad and Zakir Hussain, nearly all of them abandoned their hope and faith in the common destiny of Hindus and Muslims.
Poet philosopher Mohammed Iqbal (left) and Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Poet philosopher Mohammed Iqbal (left) and Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The question is why. The answer, not simple or straight by any means, stares you in the face throughout the eminently readable book. Rajmohan Gandhi blames the arrogance and partisanship of the Congress, over and covert exploitation of religion and the increasing insecurity of the Muslims in addition to personality clashes between leaders like Gandhi and Jinnah for the conflict and eventual rift.  He cites the “ungenerous” attitude of the Congress to accommodate and share power with Muslim League in provinces in 1937 and inflexibility of Jinnah as the defining turning point that paved the way for the Partition.
Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel
Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel
A liberal like Nehru, later the first prime minister of India, refused to accept even two Muslims in the coalition eventually forcing the League out and strengthening its demand for Pakistan.
To be fair to Gandhi, he does not shy away from shining the light on the failings of the Congress leadership, including his own grandfather, that drove Jinnah out of the Congress and alienated a significant population of Muslims, including their top leaders like Mohammad Ali.
“In May 1937, when it was plain that Congress had scored huge victories, Jinnah sent a private verbal message to Gandhi; the communication urged Gandhi to take the lead in forging ‘Hindu-Muslim unity,” writes the Mahatma’s grandson, suggesting that Jinnah  had in mind a Congress-League settlement involving, among other things, power-sharing. In response, the Mahatma wrote: “I wish I could do something but I am utterly helpless. My faith in unity is bright as ever; only I see no daylight…”
Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi and author of 'Understanding the Muslim Mind'
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi and author of ‘Understanding the Muslim Mind’
Understanding Muslim mind
The author goes on to note that “it is the view of many scholars and public figures alike that the Congress’s failure in 1937 to share power with the League turned the ‘qaum’ in the direction of Pakistan. Pyarelal, Gandhi’s secretary and biographer, calls it a ‘tactical error of the first magnitude.’”
He quotes veteran journalist Frank Moraes who noted that “had the Congress handled the League more tactfully after the 1937 elections, Pakistan might never have come into being.” Penderel Moon, a Briton who served the ICS before and after Independence, describes the Congress’s failure to cooperate with the League in 1937 as the ‘prime cause for the creation of Pakistan’.
He is equally forthright in assessing the Muslim leadership and its many flaws and narrowness of the vision. He notes with amusement how Muslim leaders remained obsessed with the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire when it was being rejected by Turkey’s new leadership like Mustafa Kemal.  Or how in demanding and settling for a ‘moth-eaten’ Pakistan, the League leadership which claimed to speak on behalf of the subcontinent’s Muslims ignored the fate of the vast population of Muslims left behind in India, accounting for more than 40 percent.
Indeed, as one has argued before, Indian Muslims have been the biggest losers in this battle of egos and game of one-upmanship between great men.
If the subcontinent’s tragedy can be summed up in one word, it’s this: Selfishness. Almost every fabled giant is exposed to have the feet of clay. Tunnel vision was the characteristic of the time. A little magnanimity by leaders on either side would have perhaps averted the all-consuming madness that marked the eventual parting of ways after nearly a thousand year of co-existence.  What’s more, the violent split in 1947 continues to eclipse the region even today as the nuclear neighbors remain locked in a perpetual duel.
All said and done, the Partition is a reality. What really matters today is what India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can do to ensure that their future is better than their past.
Citing the Congress-League tussle and the convenient use of religion and religious discourse that led to the split, Gandhi calls for a ‘national idiom’ to be developed in India, to tolerate the other man’s beliefs and convictions. The advice is indeed valid for both India and Pakistan, beset by rising intolerance.
The same should apply to the India-Pakistan equation as well. Today, more than ever, the neighbors need to listen to each other and be more tolerant of each other’s perspective. They need to learn from history, not remain handcuffed to it forever.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bobby Jindal's attitude towards his heritage is a serious problem

Blog: MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com 

His statement, 
"My parents came to America to be Americans and not Indian-Americans"  has been difficult statement to swallow. Yes, this is our country and our home, and there is no doubt that we have to be fully integrated with the society. 

Raj kapoor's song "Jeena yahan, marna yahan, es ke siwa jana kahan" is appropriately plying in the background,  and it feels good.  Indeed, when the end comes, we will be buried or cremated  here for eternity... but our identity will always be Indian-American, just as all others have theirs, nothing to be ashamed of but rather to be proud of, that is our heritage.
The man who disowns his own identity, the man who does not want to be called an Indian American will do anything for a gain, and possibly sell the nation. I question his integrity.

This nation has come a long way in realizing the full meaning of our immortal declaration "that all men are created equal". It took us some 150 years to include women in the "equal" and then another 50 years to add African Americans in the equation as equals.

When Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley became the first non-white, 2nd generation Americans as Governors of their respective states, that immortal declarations saw another major mile stone. That our origin or color did not matter any more. As an Indian American, I saluted America, this is the nation made up of achievable dreams. There was a time, I wanted to run for Congress, and there was a time I almost made it to be an American Ambassador.

When Barack Obama was predicted to win the presidential elections, I cried with joy on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 and wrote about it at 7:45 AM right after listening to NPR that morning. And later on that evening, I saw the entire world crying with joy. Obama's election gave hopes to the whole humanity that America is the ultimate nation of goodness and a role model for the world, that your color or origins did not matter, what you can do for the country matters. 

When Jindal made that statement, I felt,  he shattered the America I was witnessing become a God's own country where "all men were created equal".  and I have said a few bad words about him, which I have taken down now, it was not like me in the first place, but thanks to the kind and generous friends like  Kishore, Matthew, Piyush, Mirza and Ahmed in particular who wrote to me and helped me restore the dharma. I appreciate that and thank them for the same. 

When I said, Jindal was shattering the America that I was admiring, I loudly wondered,  If this man were to become president, would he send Holi and Diwali Greetings to Indian-Americans? Would he greet Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, and Jains on their festivities?

Will he destroy the pluralistic ethos of America?  Well, I have a feeling that he would attempt, but our foundation is rock solid, and men like him will come and go. America will only get better and not the other way around. The extremists among Republicans will fall apart in the primaries as we have witnessed in last several elections,  and a half way decent guy will get nominated to compete with a Democratic nominee. At that time, whoever appears to be a moderate will have a broader appeal and will earn the confidence of Americans at large.

If he goes to any international meeting anywhere on the earth, invariably he will be asked if he is Indian, he got himself into trouble, he has to respond to this  "My Parents came to America to be Americans and not Indian-Americans" every where and earn the disgust of the average human, unless he is a right winger himself.

May be if he comes to Dallas - we should hold placards saying "Bobby Jindal, don't ditch your heritage, you are an Indian-American." Jindal Cartoons 

He still has a chance to be a good guy, not for political gains but to be a good human being,  and sincerely apologize to all of us Indian-Americans and call himself a proud Indian American.

God bless America.

Thank you


Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation 
(214) 325-1916 text/talk

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on PluralismIslamIndiaIsrael-PalestinePolitics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" to be released on 9/11 and a documentary "Americans together" for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest 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 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

Letter to the Editor, Khabar Magazine
Pages 12- 13
March 2015

Gov. Bobby Jindal sparks heated debate on identity

In the editorial, your statement “But then, for Jindal to suggest that one must also go on to disown their native roots, heritage, and culture is a slap on the face for both Indian and American sensibilities” is right on the money. “Bobby” Piyush Jindal, a fundamentalist Christian convert, has now become the extremist of the Republican Party and is planning to run for the 2016 Presidential nomination. What the Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul said about religious converts applies to Bobby Jindal: “To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say ‘my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn’t matter’.”

Bobby Jindal is associated with and taking cue from Bryan Fischer and David Lane of the hate group American Family Association (AFA). These people and AFA were the primary sponsors of Jindal’s event “Response” in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on January 30, 2015.

On his radio program, Bryan Fischer recommended that the United States adopt an immigration policy based upon the Bible, meaning that all immigrants must convert to Christianity and completely leave behind their native practices, beliefs, culture, and language. David Lane is a Christian-nation absolutist who believes America was founded by and for Christians and demands that politicians make the Bible a primary textbook in public schools. The American Family Association’s chief spokesperson believes the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections do not apply to non-Christians.

At the rally in Baton Rouge, Jindal declared “Our God wins.” In the February 27, 2009 interview with Morley Safer on the CBS News 60 Minutes program, both Bobby and his wife, Supriya, protested against Safer calling them Indian-Americans. Bobby was so insistent that he is American now and not Indian-American that Safer voiced over in the interview that “this oyster- and crawfish-eating Louisianan tends to downplay his ethnic background.”

Shashi Tharoor, the Congress MP, recently wrote that “at his Indian-American fundraising events, Bobby is careful to downplay his extreme positions and play up his heritage, a heritage that plays little part in his appeal to the Louisiana electorate. Indian-Americans, by and large, accept this as the price of political success in white America. But Bobby has never supported a single Indian issue; he refused to join the India Caucus when he was a Congressman at Capitol Hill, and is conspicuously absent from any event with a visiting Indian leader. It is as if he wants to forget he is Indian, and would like voters to forget it, too.”

Bobby Jindal was invited to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Madison Square Garden event in New York last September. He sent his regrets and did not attend. Even South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who is very careful not to expose her Indian heritage, attended this event and followed it up with a visit to India with a South Carolina business delegation. Bobby Jindal missed a great chance to establish business relations between India and the State of Louisiana.

The comments and behavior of Jindal reflect his state of mind and his inferiority complex. I believe Bobby Jindal is a poor role model for Indian-Americans to follow. They should stay away from him and not support any of his political endeavors.

Gautam Shah
Simpsonville, South Carolina

Your recent editorial on Gov. Jindal’s comments was overly one-sided and misleading. There was no need to take offense at one man’s comments on his own ethnic heritage, even if he is a politician. Or, in this case, especially if he is a politician !!   ... ... ... ...  The Governor and his parents made a conscious choice not to reflect his Indian heritage and that is a decision which should be respected, even if we find it incomprehensible as first or second generation Indian-Americans. We should not be so ultra-sensitive as a community and take one man’s comments as a reflection on ourselves.
S. M. John

by email
Editor’s Response:
Your point is valid…in the case of a private person as opposed to a public official. Jindal, on the other hand, is a public official of high stature whose lifestyle choices are fair game for media scrutiny.

In Jindal’s case, how he lives out or omits his Indian identity and heritage is  even more fair game considering he has benefited immensely from fundraisers organized by Indian-Americans, which he actively courted.

Regarding your assertion that he “did not say that other Indian-Americans should cease hyphenating their cultural/ethnic identity”—he did indeed use his high public office to stigmatize, in an international forum, those of us who choose to live hyphenated lives. He doesn’t have to literally say so; the inference of his public proclamation is that by being hyphenated Americans we are somehow inferior Americans. 

India's daughter, an educational documentary banned in India - Shame on India's political leadership, not India

Note to those who are concerned about their honor or their country's honor. Please read the whole damn thing and defend the victims of rape rather than the rapists, work on changing the ugly culture than blaming film.

Note to those who are concerned about their honor or their country's honor. Please read the whole damn thing and defend the victims of rape rather than the rapists, work on changing the ugly culture than blaming and banning the film. 

India's Daughter is an educational documentary about  the ugly mindset of rapists, the filthy misogynists who defend the rapists rather than the victims, and the good majority of Indians who stood up against such atrocities giving hopes to women in India and held rallies.

The Government of India has banned showing of this documentary. The entire nation of India is outraged at this, except of course the right wingers, who are care about image of India rather than the suffering of the victims. Shame on those attitudes. 

Venakaiah Naidu, a minister in the current government says, the documentary is made to defame India. To hell with such fame,  he has no qualms with the suffering of the woman, but concerned about the fame. We the people make India, and not the other way around. 

 The Home Minister  (~ Homeland Security) says he is hurt with the documentary. Were  you not hurt when Damini was raped? You rather have women raped and not reported than being called rape capital of the world. Shame on  you for your messed up thinking.  You really should resign in shame.

The rapist and his defense lawyers have said  "the woman should not have resisted the rape", "it is our culture "  "why was she out at 9 PM"  Blaming the victim?  I have been wanting to write for the last three days since I watched the documentary... but could not get my anger out. 

 The NDTV ( New Delhi TV) in protest kept their screen with this simple message, a powerful message to send to the nation. 

One of the interviewees said it right- the protest and the film brought a major paradigm change in the public - shift the blame to rapist from the victim.
It took me two days to gather up myself to write about this, as you read the statements and watch some of the video links you'll be outraged too.  Before I touch upon the history of misogyny prevalent through out the history of mankind and by societies regardless of the nation, race, religion or social status, let me go to India first, the current outrage.

For full report, video links please visit

Thank you

Mike Ghouse, President
America Together Foundation
(Foundation for Pluralism)
Dallas | Washington
(214) 325-1916 text/talk
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on PluralismIslamIndia,Israel-PalestinePolitics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film ” Sacred” to be released on 9/11 and a documentary “Americans together” for a July 4 release.  He is a frequent guest 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 63 links atwww.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com – Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.