HOME | ABOUT US | www.MikeGhouse.net Google Profile | C.V. | Interfaith Speaker | Muslim Speaker |Motivational Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. I wish I could have them all, but will have to live with a few. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com


Monday, December 6, 2010

Ayodhya on 18th Anniversary and democracy

The Babri Masjid controversy has been around since Mid Nineteenth century and after disputes, the right wing political parties demolished the 15th Centutry structure in Ayodhya on December 6th, 1992.

We need to research if this divisive issue was a ploy by the then British Government to keep the Indians divided so they can keep control of the colony.  Now that we are free, we  need to work on finding solutions and not pass the buck to next generation.   
In a Radio talk show in August of 2003, I shared two particular incidences where the Viceroy of India writes to the King of England in 1854 that the Muslims and Hindus have gotten back together and have built the Ram Chabootra (stone bench) symbolizing their unity, if they work together the end of British Empire will come to an end. The Sepoy revolt in 1857 proved another difficulty for the Empire when the Hindus and Muslims demonstrated unity once again despite the attempts to divide them.     

They hit us again in 1871 with the first census of India with the evil intent of showing to Hindus and Muslims about their demographics and frightening each of the other.

Who is wronger, the British for their divisive policies, or the Indians for buying into their ideas of division?

I am happy that finally Indians are waking up to divisive policies, the Indian public rejected the divisiveness of the right wing political parties in the last elections and told them that don’t use religion to your advantage, provide jobs, education, potable water and Sanitation. I hope they continue to do so.

The Allahabad court verdict was received calmly without violence by the right wingers on both sides of the issue. On the 18th Anniversary of the demolition of the 15th Century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya,  today, relative peaceful protest took place, demonstrating once again the maturity of the Indians in absorbing democracy in their veins.

Jai Hind

Mike

 Mike Ghouse runs the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and has dedicated to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress. He is a regular commentator on the TV, Radio and Print media offering pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker, writer and a peace activist. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

# # #

Peaceful protests mark Babri anniversary

HYDERABAD: Protesting against the Allahabad High Court's recent judgment on Babri Masjid, the Old City and other Muslim-majority areas remained completely shut on Monday that marked the 18th anniversary of the demolition of the mosque. Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in many areas and most of the residents decided to stay indoors. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Peaceful-protests-mark-Babri-anniversary/articleshow/7056092.cms

# # #
Dec 6 passes peacefully in Ayodhya

Police arrested 20 followers of the Hindu Mahasabha on Monday when they were proceeding towards the Ram Janambhoomi site to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. This apart, the day passed peacefully in Ayodhya. However, there was apprehension that there could be

trouble because this anniversary was the first after the September 30 Allahabad High Court verdict, trifurcating the plot where the mosque stood.  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Dec-6-passes-peacefully-in-Ayodhya/Article1-635164.aspx
# # #

Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati on Babri Masjid

ALLAHABAD: The name Babri Masjid in itself is wrong in the backdrop of the fact that historical records mention that neither he nor his son Humayun ever visited Ayodhya. This is because emperor Akbar's courtier Abul Fazal Faizi after visiting Ayodhya mentioned the presence of a temple and never spoke about the presence of a mosque also, said Shankaracharya of Badrikashram, Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati while speaking to newspersons here on Saturday.  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/Swami-Swaroopanand-Saraswati-on-Babri-Masjid/articleshow/7044742.cms


# # #

# ##

Ayodhya verdict: ‘destructive’ of constitutional values

New Delhi: Eminent scholar of History Prof. K.M. Shrimali termed the Babri Masjid verdict as “destructive” of constitutional values as it vindicated and legalized the destruction of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
“The mosque was destroyed on December 6, 1992, the spirit of law was demolished on September 30, 2010,” Prof. Shrimali said.
He was speaking at a seminar held on “Save the Constitution: Role of Civil Society”, organized by the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) on Saturday, 4 December. http://twocircles.net/2010dec07/ayodhya_verdict_%E2%80%98destructive%E2%80%99_constitutional_values.html


Digvijay’s latest: Advani helped RSS infiltrate government, media
Accusing the RSS of frequently launching “media propaganda”, Singh said recent reports of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi being on terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s hitlist — attributed to Wikileaks revelations — “need to be verified if this is indeed true”.  “RSS has people everywhere. Advani had even planted RSS men in the media when he was information and broadcasting minister,” Singh said
# # #
Babri anniversary: over 80 activists arrested
More than 80 Hindu Munnani workers were arrested in Chennai when they attempted to hold a demonstration in Chennai without permission, police said. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/babri-anniversary-over-80-activists-arrested/136628-3.html?from=tn
# # #

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dallas Conference on building an inclusive America

 


No American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. The purpose of this conference is to understand the issues and find ways to remove such fears in an open forum and restore the cohesiveness of our society and work towards building a safe and secure America
When: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM on Sunday, December 5, 2010
Where: Unity Church,
6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX
. 75230

PRESS RELEASE | INVITATION
You are invited, details below
No American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. The purpose of this conference is to remove such myths in an open forum and restore the cohesiveness of our society and work towards building a safe and secure America
Since our independence in 1776, we have been tested time and again by various political, economic and religious forces to divide us, however, at the end we have come out strong as one nation. The Civil War, the Great Depression, the World War, Pearl Harbor, Women’s rights, Abortion, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Budget Deficits, Unemployment, 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan War have all been difficult, but we will make it through and sanity will prevail.

The controversy over the Muslim Community Center in New York has unraveled the difficulties Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Wicca and others have endured.

We have come a long way to embrace and accept the otherness of other. However, this year has given rise to yet another temptation; to blame Islam, calling it an evil, evil religion and calling its prophet a false prophet. No American has to live in fear of the other, nor live in anxieties or discomfort.

Religion has been “abused” and “misused” to someone’s advantage, as Americans, are we going to let that happen? No, we can pull ourselves together and not fall for the temptations to divide ourselves.

If we make an effort, goodness will come to our rescue.   Mike Ghouse adds, “As members of diverse family of faiths, we seek to demystify the myths, malice and falsification of our respective faiths. It is time for all of us to gather and understand the Qur’aan, the holy book of Muslims, which has been the subject of attack by a few among us. Indeed, a conference is a positive response to negative sermons delivered from a few pulpits of America this year.”

The Conference puts the Quraan in the hands of panelists made up of Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, Clergy, lay persons, elected officers and the public. The uniqueness of the event is highlighted by facing the “terrifying passages” of Quraan.  For the first time in history, the actual verses  from Quraan will be read directly and explained by panelists made up of Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, Clergy, lay persons and elected officials who have a deep interest in bringing Americans together on common grounds.  The Muslim scholars either affirm their reading or share the additional information right from the very Quraan for further understanding.

It is time now to replace the ill-will with goodwill; no American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. The purpose of this conference is to remove such myths in an open forum in the public and restore the cohesiveness of our society and work towards building a safe and secure America

When: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM on Sunday, December 5, 2010
Where: Unity Church,
6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX
. 75230
Event: Qur’aan Conference in Dallas
Purpose: To demystify the myths about Quraan and Islam
Website:
http://www.quraanconference.com/
Inquiries:
quraanconference@gmail.com
RSVP:
Confirmattendance@gmail.com
Call: Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916
THE EVENT IS FREE


Thank you.
Mike Ghouse for
A COHESIVE AMERICA,
AMERICANS TOGETHER
http://www.quraanconference.com/ 
Documentary – listed at www.QuraanConference.com


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

INDIAN PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2010/11/indian-pledge-of-allegiance.html

INDIAN PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 With the belief that every Indian wants justice to every human being;  rich or poor, connected or not, and demands fair treatment of every one of the 1.1 Billion Indians, we must come to grips with the social and community life to create an exemplary India, that will become a model nation in the world.

We have to give room to the extremists in every section of our communities be it Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Sikh,  Zoroastrian or other, hoping they would recognize the God given space to each one of us and eventually see the benefits of co-existence.

I propose that the parliament of India introduce a bill for every political, cultural and religious organization in India to register with the Home Ministry, state their purpose, list their assets for public scrutiny, list the membership roster to be updated annually. Include a modified version of the 7 items into Indian Penal Code, and make it in to the law to punish the violators of the law.

Patriotism should be defined in terms of what you do to uplift the hopes of people, in terms of education to all, jobs to as many as we can in each successive year, home for every human,  and a better life style to every Indian.

Every public office holder from the Peon to the President of India, and every one in between must take this pledge and live by it. Violation should disqualify him or her from holding the public office. Let it be monitored publicly.

1. I pledge allegiance to India, the nation that stands for liberty and justice for all.

2. I pledge that I honor and treat every Indian with "full" dignity.

3. I pledge that all individuals would be treated on par.

4. I pledge that I will treat all religions with equal respect, equal access and equal treatment.

5. I pledge that I will oppose any act that treats any Indian less than myself.

6. I Pledge that I will work for a India, where every individual can live with security and aspire for prosperity.

7. I pledge that I will protect, preserve and value every inch of India and every human soul in India

This would be the first step towards ensuring a Just, peaceful and prosperous India, that can sustain its progress and peace.

Jai Hind


Mike M Ghouse
SPEAKER | THINKER | WRITER
http://www.mikeghouse.net/ http://www.mikeghouseforindia.net/
2665 Villa Creek Dr, Suite 206,
Dallas, TX 75234

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hannity Radio Show - Mike Ghouse 11.16.2010

I just interviewed with Sean Hannity on his Radio show 1:30 csT and 12:00 midnight in Bangalore, India.  If full body scanner is geared to certain people, in this case Muslim women, it leads to abuse of the system and those criminals who wear the skirts can escape the scrutiny. They brought up Israel does it, we are not Israel, we are America and we have to lead the world in pluralism and just treatment of every individual. We have to honor the dignity and rights of all humanity and not single out groups. That is morally wrong.
Profiling any group is wrong; we cannot take our nations towards fascism in selecting groups who are suspects. Security of every passenger is the responsibility of the carrier and the nation.  Either do the full bodies scan on every one of them or don’t.
My suggestion is to issue clearance certificates to frequent travelers or whoever travels in advance, so we do not have long lines at the airport.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions to the media and public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Should Christians (and other non-Hindus) beware of yoga?

Courtesy: Dallas Morning News, Texas faith Panel. The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler, caused a stir with a recent column decrying the practice of yoga by Christians.

Mohler seems to be threatened with the popularity of Yoga, a beautiful practice to bring composure to oneself. He is obsessed with the idea that Yoga is a bait to lure his congregation away into “a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a `post-Christian, spiritually polyglot’ reality”, and then he asks, “Should any Christian willingly risk that?” How mistaken can one be? Yoga is not a mutually exclusive practice, nor is it a religion; it is indeed a catalyst in achieving the union of mind and body that is central to all spirituality.

Yoga is neither Christian nor Hindu; it is a beautiful gift that originated in India for the benefit of mankind to function cohesively.  All individuals and nations should give and receive the good without labeling it.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions to the media and public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net  


Friday, October 15, 2010

Harvard donations | Story of gains and losses

Harvard University
 
It is one of the uplifting best stories of the month!
Following the story is another story of Harvard that is in circulation, where Harvard gives birth to Stanford. Good stories.
 
There is something about the minor minorities, they seem to become the biggest contributors in the growth of any nation, they have the drive to serve. That is certainly the case with the Zoroastrians (Parsees) in India, Jews in America.. need to think more to see if this is a valid statement.
 
Mike Ghouse
 
 
Harvard gets biggest international donation in 102 yrs, from Tata Group
 
BOSTON: India's Tata Group has given a whopping $50 million to the prestigious
Harvard Business School here to fund a new academic and residential building on
its campus, the largest gift received by the institute from an international
donor in its 102-year-old history.

The gift comes from Tata Companies, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Tata
Education and Development Trust, the philanthropic entities of the Group.

It comes days after Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of
Mahindra and Mahindra Group, gave USD 10 million to the Humanities Centre at
Harvard. A Harvard alumnus, Mahindra gave the gift, the "largest" in the
Centre's history, in honour of his mother Indira Mahindra.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, attended Harvard's Advanced Management
Programme -- one of three comprehensive leadership programmes offered by the
Harvard Business School's (HBS') Executive Education -- in 1975.

He had also received the School's highest honour, the Alumni Achievement Award,
in 1995.

The School said it will use the USD 50 million gift from the Tata Group to fund
a new academic and residential building on its campus for participants in its
broad portfolio of Executive Education programmes.

HBS hopes to break ground for the building, which will be named Tata Hall, next
spring. It is expected to be open for use by late 2013.

Calling it a privilege and a pleasure to "give back to Harvard a little bit of
what it gave to me," Tata said he hoped the new facility would encourage and
inspire future leaders to take advantage of the executive education offerings at
HBS.

"The Harvard Business School is the preeminent place to be exposed to the
world's best thinking on management and leadership and we are pleased that this
gift will support the School's educational mission to mold the next generation
of global business leaders," Tata said.

Expressing "deep appreciation" for Tata's "generosity," Harvard Business
School's Indian-origin Dean Nitin Nohria said the "historic" gift comes from an
organisation "revered" for its significant economic, civic and philanthropic
impact.

"The Tata Group is widely respected for integrity and innovation, not just in
India -- where it produced both the first indigenous car and the 2,000 dollar
Tata Nano automobile -- but in a variety of business lines across several
continents, from cars to hotels and from tea to information technology," Nohria
said. PTI, Oct 15, 2010, 10.06am IST

Read more: Harvard gets biggest international donation in 102 yrs, from Tata
Group - The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6752185.cms?prtpage=1#ixzz12RbiIvN5

 
# # #

(Be sure to read to the end !)
 

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston , and walked timidly without an appointment in to the Harvard University President's outer office.
 
The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge .
 
'We'd like to see the president,' the man said softly.  'He'll be busy all day,' the secretary snapped. 'We'll wait,' the lady replied.
 
For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away.. They didn't, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted.
 
'Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave,' she said to him!
 
He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, and he detested Gingham dresses and Homespun suits cluttering up his outer  office.
 
The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted to ward the couple.  The lady told him, 'We had a son who attended Harvard for one year.
He loved Harvard.. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.'
 
The president wasn't touched.. He was shocked. 'Madam,' he said, gruffly, 'we can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died.  If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.'
 
'Oh, no,' the lady explained quickly. 'We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.'
 
The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, 'A building! Do you have any earthly
idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.'
 
For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, 'Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?'
 
Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away,traveling to Palo Alto , California where they established the university that bears their name, Stanford University , a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.
 
You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.
 
THIS IS A TRUE STORY By Malcolm Forbes about the founders of the now world renowned STANFORD UNIVERSITY !!
 
People will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.
 

Life is too short for drama & petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, Love truly and forgive quickly.
 


---
Mike Ghouse is a frequent guest at the media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. He is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quran (Koran) Conference in Dallas, an American effort to build cohesive societies

The Conference puts a Quraan in the hands of panelists made up of Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, lay persons, elected officers and the public. It is to demystify the myths about Quraan and Islam. An American effort to build cohesive societies.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct 10, 2010 - DALLAS, TEXAS - The Foundation for Pluralism and the World Muslim Congress have announced a conference on Quraan in Dallas to be held between 3:00 PM and 6 PM on Sunday, December 5, 2010 at the Unity Church of Dallas.  

Representing the organizations, Mike Ghouse adds, "As members of diverse family of faiths, we seek to demystify the myths and falsification of our respective faiths. It is time for all of us to gather and understand the Qur'aan, the holy book of Muslims, which has been the subject of attack by a few among us. Indeed, the conference is a positive response to negative sermons delivered from a few pulpits of America this year."

The uniqueness of the event is highlighted by facing the "terrifying passages" of Quraan.  For the first time in history, the actual verses from Quraan will be read directly and explained by non-Muslim panelists made up of Pastors, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans, Clergy, lay persons and elected officials who have a deep interest in bringing Americans together on common grounds.  The Muslim scholars either affirm their reading or refer to the Quraan for further understanding. It would be indeed a first hand educational experience.

It is time now to replace the ill-will with goodwill; no American has to live in anxieties, discomfort or fear of the other. The purpose of this conference is to remove such myths in an open forum in the public and restore the cohesiveness of our society and work towards building a safe and secure America.  

Bring your children to experience the multi-cultural costumes in a designated room for them.

Refreshments will be served after the event.

THE EVENT IS FREE

Please R.S.V.P. to confirmattendance@gmail.com  
Direct your inquiries to QuraanConference@gmail.com .

For details visit website http://www.quraanconference.com/


Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam and Civil Societies. He heads the Foundation for Pluralism and World Muslim Congress and offers Pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day.  Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

 

Why do our faiths shape some political views, but not others?

Why do our faiths shape some political views, but not others?
10 Members of the Texas Faith Panel respond to the question.

"An element of hypocrisy is embedded in what is conveyed from the pulpit. An excessive emphasis is placed on homosexuality which the scriptures do not "appear" to favor, but that is not the only item that is disfavored. An equally strong punishment is prescribed for adultery and incest which are down played by the clergy as though they don't exist." Mike Ghouse, Foundation for Pluralism.

Full Story at: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/10/texas-faith-why-do-our-faiths.html 

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam and Civil Societies. He heads the Foundation for Pluralism and World Muslim Congress and offers Pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day.  Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Monday, October 4, 2010

SFG on Protests Against (Mahatma) Gandhi

This is one of the biggest surprises of my life, Gandhi stood up for every human without regards to race, religion or any other compartmentalization.
 
I can understand some of the members of the RSS and other Brigades, who hate Gandhi and will denigrate every opportunity they get in privacy, but in public they act like noble men.  I am appalled but open to learn what they have against Gandhi, what statements they are mis-interpreting, it surprised me. He always spoke the truth, some of the statements he made about Conversions and Palestine may not go well with a few, but that is the truth he spoke firmly.
 
In Dallas, the Indo American Friendship Council is spearheading the effort to install Gandhi Statue in Downtown Dallas, and Prasad Thotakura has involved just about every India based organization. It is a participative effort.
 
We just walked the 2nd annual Gandhi Peace Walk on October 2, 2010
 
Thanks for sharing this.
 
Mike Ghouse
 
 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/10/02/BAMM1FN429.DTL

Group says Gandhi racist, plans to protest statue
John Coté

San Francisco Chronicle October 2, 2010

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/10/02/BAMM1FN429.DTL#ixzz11OjXY14L

It doesn't take much to whip up a protest in San Francisco - two
people and a bad idea will do - but Gandhi? Really?

A group billing itself as the Organization for Minorities of India
plans to protest today to demand the removal of the bronze statue of
Mohandas Gandhi that has sat in the plaza behind the Ferry Building
since 1988.

Up until this point, about the only adversity the statue has faced has
been people swiping the trademark circle-rimmed eyeglasses (at least
four times) and the indignity of a roosting seagull or pigeon.

But the group - which says it was formed four years ago to publicize
the oppression of Christians, Buddhists, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs and
other Indian minorities considered to be on the lowest rungs of the
Hindu caste system - says Gandhi was a racist who harbored violent
urges.

"The popular image of Gandhi as an egalitarian pacifist is a myth,"
Bhajan Singh, one of the organizers, said in a statement. "We plan to
challenge that myth by disseminating Gandhi's own words to expose his
racism and sham nonviolence."

The group plans to present Ferry Building management with a demand to
remove the statue and ask for it to be replaced with one of either
Martin Luther King Jr. or low-caste Dalit leader B.R. Ambedkar.

The statue is on port property but is actually under the purview of
the Arts Commission.

"I suppose Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela must have their
critics as well," Arts Commission President P.J. Johnston said. "These
folks are free to lodge their protest, but I doubt that our commission
will move to take down the statue."

Johnston, whose day job is crisis management, added: "I would just say
that in my professional career, I've had no greater honor than having
to defend Gandhi."

- John Coté

Sunday, October 3, 2010

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi's birthday today

Mahatma Gandhi is one of the five humans on the planet who has impacted my life profoundly. He was a messenger of peace; his language nourished reconciliation, and his actions encouraged co-existence. Whether it is the conflict between Hindus or Muslims or with the British Raj, his words mitigated conflicts and directed one's thoughts and actions towards solutions.

He was one of the most powerful leaders we have had in the last two centuries. He did not want anything for himself, nor did he want to control anything or lead any one. All he wanted to do was create a society of mutual respect and co-existence. Every one always wonders how did he get to make people listen to his message of non-violence?

The answer is simple; People knew, he gained nothing from what he did, but instead they gained from his effort. Indeed, those who are un-selfish have invincible moral strength. Nothing frightens them or cows them down. You will find the same commitment and moral strength in Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Confucius, Nanak, Baha'u'llah, Mother Teresa and so many other great souls.

Muhammad is my other mentor who had all the power on the earth during his life time but lived a simple life, and told his own daughter that she ain't going to get a free pass to God, she has to earn it by doing good deeds, i.e., doing things for other's good. Every one of the above teacher's strength lie in one simple thing: Their sense of justice was strong as a mountain and they were absolutely un-selfish.

Mahatma Gandhi's non-Violence movement is a model that will last for centuries to come. Every great teacher listed above has taught the same message over and over again. The idea is that there is a balance of energy in every human, doing bad things deflates that energy and doing good things recoups it. You may have experienced the elated feeling of having a great day, when you helped someone in dire need. Non-Violence is a belief that the tyrant is blessed with the same energy, but is not aware of it and we have to help him realize it after enduring the suffering. Fighting out may bear the result for short run, but in the long run, the fighting and the avenging continues. Whereas the non-violence method of achieving the objective is sustainable, justice ultimately brings lasting peace, and non-violence sustains it, violence disturbs the balance.

I have a special connection with the Mahatma, and am making this disclosure. I have met the Mahatma twice in my dreams; first time was way back in 1971 when the Mahatma, the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University Dr. Narsimaiah and I were talking over a meal and he gave a pat on my back and told me that I have a lot of work to do. Then again in 2005, I saw him smiling at me encouraging me to continue with the work of Pluralism.

My message on this day is watching what you say; does it conflagrate the dialogue, does it make the opposing parties dig in? or does it propel people to work towards solutions. You can apply this formula at your work, home or any situation and see the difference. Be a winner, by making the others a winner too.

Mahatma Gandhi probably would have endorsed my view that, if we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness to each one of seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. That is the mission of the foundation for pluralism.

Today, October 2nd is Mahatma's birthday, may this day make our leaders think, and believe that there is a greater joy in creating peace. Today, also happens to be my late wife Najma's birthday. May she rest in peace.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Islam and Pluralism offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net


From Last year’s Gandhi Walk in Dallas

Gandhi Peace Walk-2009 in Dallas. Mahatma Gandhi is one of my mentors; I look up to him for guidance when a conflict surfaces, I ponder over his solutions. He was a Pluralist, a man who believed every human has the same rights as the other; he respected the otherness of other and accepted different manifestations of religion. Not that it matters to any, but he has been in dream twice, way back in early 70’s and in about 2003. He just pats on my shoulder and says, son you have work to do. I am blessed to receive his blessings. (Next Para)

THIS PHOTO: Suri (Secretary, Niranjan (President elect), Dr. Sharma (India consulate General), Akram (President), Mike, Taiyab (former President) India Association of North Texas
The India Association of North Texas (Dallas) took the initiative and has begun the first of the peace walks and will continue for generations to come. (Next Para)

Here is a press release prior to the event. (Next Para)

For Immediate Release
Contact: Akram Syed, 214-395-3707 president@iant.org
Peace Walk to Mark Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
 

In commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary week, the India Association of North Texas will hold a Gandhi Peace Walk on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at Spring Trail Park 5964 Riverside Dr Irving, 75039.
 

The walk starts at 10:00 AM, the event is free and you are invited to participate and encouraged to bring canned food to donate to local food banks.
 

Mahatma Gandhi is a global non-violence hero and a peace advocate. He witnessed injustices in the pre-independent British-ruled India and decided to liberate and free the people of the subcontinent from the clutches of the imperial rule. He launched the famous non-cooperation movement along with several marches inspiring millions of people which led the British to declare India’s independence and the creation of new states that form the present day South Asia. All this was carried out in a non-violent and peaceful manner. We are proud to remember and salute this legendary messiah of Peace and Non-violence.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Reflections on the Verdict on Babri Masjid

 

Reflections on the Verdict on Babri Masjid Dispute in India 

Mirza A. Beg

 

Dear Mirza,

I am so pleased to read your musings (below) on the subject and compelled to write this, just want you to know that there is whole lot of Muslim who will see the wisdom in your write up and admire it.

 

Please be prepared for the onslaught from a few (just a few Sir) shortsighted Muslims among us,  they will jump at you and all we can do is pray that Allah give us the wisdom to have a vision devoid of emotions but concreted with a dignified space for future generation of Muslims.

 

It is easy to fan the emotions, but difficult to pause, ponder and bring the change we want.

 

Unlike the Cordoba House in New York, which I vigorously supported, for the values of co-existence it was planting in America, a Muslim contribution towards co-existence.  

 

Let me share a thought that is not popular but something we have to munch on.

 

We could not have yielded to the Radical forces of the Hindu right in the past, no one should, and there is no end to placating them.

 

The atmosphere at this moment is good, and I think Muslims should offer that piece of land to the Hindus to build Ram Temple; it will build a lot of goodwill. There are thousands of dilapidated and abandoned Mosques all over the country, particularly in UP where many of those Mosques are half sunk in dirty water with water buffaloes swimming around. We need to focus on them as well. 

 

We will have a moral upper hand for the first time in years by being generous, by giving and by showing the will power to give up… That is the Tyaag of our egos' we can submit and Insha Allah, it will up our psyche.

 

We need to rebuild our self-esteem by giving and by being good people, good humans, and charitable people. God has given us this opportunity we should seriously consider.

I understand the reservations, but I trust the Indian majority who has always followed the dharma of being just and righteous.  Should the RSS and BJP continue to harass Muslims, and if they pick on another issues, then the majority of Hindu population will speak up, as they have always done. I trust our ethos, and our heritage of goodness.

 

Thank you for appealing to the sanity.

 

Mike Ghouse

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Islam and Pluralism offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

 

Reflections on the Verdict on Babri Masjid Dispute in India 

Mirza A. Beg

Friday, October 01, 2010

On Thursday September 30, 2010 India exhaled a collective sigh of relief.  With approximately 200,000, security forces deployed on high alert in north India, a three judge panel of High Court in the Northern Province of Utter Pradesh rendered its verdict on the intractable issue of Babri Masjid (Mosque). This issue has been festering since before the birth of the Indian Republic in,1947 and has claimed thousands of innocent lives in reoccurring riots.

 

The angst-ridden judgment is unsatisfactory to all parties, but it is a relief nevertheless. The court divided the land of the demolished Babri Masjid in the town of Ayodhya in three equal parts. A third to be given to the extremist Hindus who demolished the Masjid, claiming that very spot to be the birth place of the deity Lord Ram; a third to the Hindu sect that had set up a temple in the vicinity and a third to the Muslims who owned the demolished Masjid.   

The court is clear in its verdict, but nebulous in its dubious reasoning. That is its weakness, but it may be its strength as well. It can be seen as a reverse Solomon-like judgment, or a cowardly cop out – part of a loaf for all sides or defeat for all. Perhaps both are correct.

If one believes in the pristine ideal of justice being blind to all except the evidence, the judgment is terrible. But if one calculates the cost of the thousands of innocent lives already lost over the years that never got justice and is also aware of the possibility of many more lives being lost in the ensuing mayhem, one has to think, justice for whom?

Babri Masjid was built about the year 1528, after the first Mughal Emperor Babar conquered the north Indian plains. After three hundred years, in 1853 it was claimed to be the birth place of Lord Ram. About a hundred years later, in 1949 idols of Lord Ram were stealthily placed in the sanctuary of the Babri Masjid. Claims and counter claims were filed in the court. The courts have been loath to decide this intractable case, loaded with emotions and ever lurking danger of wide-spread sectarian strife. It has plagued the body politic of India for the last sixty years, resulting in many riots.

On December 6, 1992, orchestrated by the extremist Hindu political party BJP, a mob tore down the Babri Masjid brick by brick in about six long hours, while the government fidgeted impotently. In spite of being threatened, the press televised parts of the event all over the world. In the immediate aftermath, riots broke out at many places, the worst being in Mumbai. It claimed the lives of over 2,000 innocent people mostly from the minority Muslim community. The BJP succeeded in poisoning the minds of enough people to form a minority government in the next general election.  After more than a decade of many more engineered riots, the Indian electorate had had enough and the secular parties came back to power.

The judges were under pressure to dispose off this intractable cancer. They took a bold step to reach a verdict, albeit flawed.  

 

On purely legal grounds the judgment should have been easy. It is beyond the jurisdiction of a secular court to decide the divinity of Lord Ram or the impossible task of determining the exact spot of his birth more than three thousand years ago. After fifty years of evasion the court took it upon itself to determine if there existed an older temple devoted to Lord Ram before the Babri Masjid was built. The Archaeological Survey of India found no positive evidence. The evidence was unclear to put it mildly.

 

But the image of the deity Lord Ram is very real in the hearts, minds and lives of millions of devout Hindus, an overwhelming majority in India. Religion is a very potent force, easily exploited.  Ordinary decent Hindus do not realize, they have been manipulated, just as other religious communities fall victim to exploitation of their religions. Therefore, it was the political conundrum, an impossible task before the court to adjudicate.

India is a young secular democracy, with more rights for its minorities than many other countries. It is far from perfect. Even older more established democracies fall prey to emotional propaganda in difficult times of economic or political uncertainty. India has a long way to go and most thoughtful Indians from all communities know it.

They know that narrow views of history cast long shadows in many countries and societies, inciting violence and impeding development of civil societies. No place on Earth is occupied by its original inhabitants. Invasion and occupation by successive invaders has been the norm. It has given rise to contested histories by ethnic and religious groups that adhere to a subjective narrative of the beginning of the history to their advantage. India has a long very rich history of rise and fall of great civilizations and empires, going back to about 3,000 BCE. The early narratives of history rest on a plinth that is part myths and legends with sparse records.

In the last two hundred years, the world has come to realize that the domination of the weak by the strong is the root of all wars. The development of multi-ethnic, multi religious democracies is an antidote to an endemic cycle of wars. They have not quite succeeded yet, but they are poised to break that endemic cycle in favor of equality and guaranteed rights to all the inhabitants of a country under a secular constitution.

One hopes that this perceived flawed judgment of the court would lay the deadly conundrum of Babri Masjid to rest. It will give a breathing space and a chance to thoughtful Indians to build a better and more harmonious future and not fall prey to sectarian forces lurking in the shadows of our baser nature.

 

Mirza A. Beg can be reached at mab64@yahoo.com, or http://mirzasmusings.blogspot.com/

---
Mike Ghouse is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. He is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs at http://www.mikeghouse.net/


Reflections on the Verdict on Babri Masjid

Reflections on the Verdict on Babri Masjid Dispute in India 

Mirza A. Beg

 

Dear Mirza,

I am so pleased to read your musings (below) on the subject and compelled to write this, just want you to know that there is whole lot of Muslim who will see the wisdom in your write up and admire it.

 

Please be prepared for the onslaught from a few (just a few Sir) shortsighted Muslims among us,  they will jump at you and all we can do is pray that Allah give us the wisdom to have a vision devoid of emotions but concreted with a dignified space for future generation of Muslims.

 

It is easy to fan the emotions, but difficult to pause, ponder and bring the change we want.

 

Unlike the Cordoba House in New York, which I vigorously supported, for the values of co-existence it was planting in America, a Muslim contribution towards co-existence.  

 

Let me share a thought that is not popular but something we have to munch on.

 

We could not have yielded to the Radical forces of the Hindu right in the past, no one should, and there is no end to placating them.

 

The atmosphere at this moment is good, and I think Muslims should offer that piece of land to the Hindus to build Ram Temple; it will build a lot of goodwill. There are thousands of dilapidated and abandoned Mosques all over the country, particularly in UP where many of those Mosques are half sunk in dirty water with water buffaloes swimming around. We need to focus on them as well. 

 

We will have a moral upper hand for the first time in years by being generous, by giving and by showing the will power to give up… That is the Tyaag of our egos' we can submit and Insha Allah, it will up our psyche.

 

We need to rebuild our self-esteem by giving and by being good people, good humans, and charitable people. God has given us this opportunity we should seriously consider.

I understand the reservations, but I trust the Indian majority who has always followed the dharma of being just and righteous.  Should the RSS and BJP continue to harass Muslims, and if they pick on another issues, then the majority of Hindu population will speak up, as they have always done. I trust our ethos, and our heritage of goodness.

 

Thank you for appealing to the sanity.

 

Mike Ghouse

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Islam and Pluralism offering pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

 

Reflections on the Verdict on Babri Masjid Dispute in India 

Mirza A. Beg

Friday, October 01, 2010

On Thursday September 30, 2010 India exhaled a collective sigh of relief.  With approximately 200,000, security forces deployed on high alert in north India, a three judge panel of High Court in the Northern Province of Utter Pradesh rendered its verdict on the intractable issue of Babri Masjid (Mosque). This issue has been festering since before the birth of the Indian Republic in,1947 and has claimed thousands of innocent lives in reoccurring riots.

 

The angst-ridden judgment is unsatisfactory to all parties, but it is a relief nevertheless. The court divided the land of the demolished Babri Masjid in the town of Ayodhya in three equal parts. A third to be given to the extremist Hindus who demolished the Masjid, claiming that very spot to be the birth place of the deity Lord Ram; a third to the Hindu sect that had set up a temple in the vicinity and a third to the Muslims who owned the demolished Masjid.   

The court is clear in its verdict, but nebulous in its dubious reasoning. That is its weakness, but it may be its strength as well. It can be seen as a reverse Solomon-like judgment, or a cowardly cop out – part of a loaf for all sides or defeat for all. Perhaps both are correct.

If one believes in the pristine ideal of justice being blind to all except the evidence, the judgment is terrible. But if one calculates the cost of the thousands of innocent lives already lost over the years that never got justice and is also aware of the possibility of many more lives being lost in the ensuing mayhem, one has to think, justice for whom?

Babri Masjid was built about the year 1528, after the first Mughal Emperor Babar conquered the north Indian plains. After three hundred years, in 1853 it was claimed to be the birth place of Lord Ram. About a hundred years later, in 1949 idols of Lord Ram were stealthily placed in the sanctuary of the Babri Masjid. Claims and counter claims were filed in the court. The courts have been loath to decide this intractable case, loaded with emotions and ever lurking danger of wide-spread sectarian strife. It has plagued the body politic of India for the last sixty years, resulting in many riots.

On December 6, 1992, orchestrated by the extremist Hindu political party BJP, a mob tore down the Babri Masjid brick by brick in about six long hours, while the government fidgeted impotently. In spite of being threatened, the press televised parts of the event all over the world. In the immediate aftermath, riots broke out at many places, the worst being in Mumbai. It claimed the lives of over 2,000 innocent people mostly from the minority Muslim community. The BJP succeeded in poisoning the minds of enough people to form a minority government in the next general election.  After more than a decade of many more engineered riots, the Indian electorate had had enough and the secular parties came back to power.

The judges were under pressure to dispose off this intractable cancer. They took a bold step to reach a verdict, albeit flawed.  

 

On purely legal grounds the judgment should have been easy. It is beyond the jurisdiction of a secular court to decide the divinity of Lord Ram or the impossible task of determining the exact spot of his birth more than three thousand years ago. After fifty years of evasion the court took it upon itself to determine if there existed an older temple devoted to Lord Ram before the Babri Masjid was built. The Archaeological Survey of India found no positive evidence. The evidence was unclear to put it mildly.

 

But the image of the deity Lord Ram is very real in the hearts, minds and lives of millions of devout Hindus, an overwhelming majority in India. Religion is a very potent force, easily exploited.  Ordinary decent Hindus do not realize, they have been manipulated, just as other religious communities fall victim to exploitation of their religions. Therefore, it was the political conundrum, an impossible task before the court to adjudicate.

India is a young secular democracy, with more rights for its minorities than many other countries. It is far from perfect. Even older more established democracies fall prey to emotional propaganda in difficult times of economic or political uncertainty. India has a long way to go and most thoughtful Indians from all communities know it.

They know that narrow views of history cast long shadows in many countries and societies, inciting violence and impeding development of civil societies. No place on Earth is occupied by its original inhabitants. Invasion and occupation by successive invaders has been the norm. It has given rise to contested histories by ethnic and religious groups that adhere to a subjective narrative of the beginning of the history to their advantage. India has a long very rich history of rise and fall of great civilizations and empires, going back to about 3,000 BCE. The early narratives of history rest on a plinth that is part myths and legends with sparse records.

In the last two hundred years, the world has come to realize that the domination of the weak by the strong is the root of all wars. The development of multi-ethnic, multi religious democracies is an antidote to an endemic cycle of wars. They have not quite succeeded yet, but they are poised to break that endemic cycle in favor of equality and guaranteed rights to all the inhabitants of a country under a secular constitution.

One hopes that this perceived flawed judgment of the court would lay the deadly conundrum of Babri Masjid to rest. It will give a breathing space and a chance to thoughtful Indians to build a better and more harmonious future and not fall prey to sectarian forces lurking in the shadows of our baser nature.

 

Mirza A. Beg can be reached at mab64@yahoo.com, or http://mirzasmusings.blogspot.com/