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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Arfa Khanum, India's star Journalist visits Washington, DC

Arfa is one of the star journalists of India visiting the United States for professional meetings as well as sharing her story with fellow Indians across the country. The meet & greet luncheon in Washington, DC was organized by Kaleem and Tahoora Khawaja of the Association of Indian Muslims of America.

Image may contain: 11 people, including Arfa Khanum, Meena Diwan and Saleem Kidwai, people smiling, people standing, suit and outdoor

Ms. Arfa Khanum Sherwani is one of the Indian journalists who is deeply committed to your freedom. Indeed, if you recall the 70’s, it's the journalists who saved India from fascism, some of them even went to Jail to protect our freedoms.
Right now, the Indian public is looking for a few more saviors who can speak boldly against the dictatorial tendencies. Thank God, a new breed of freedom fighters are emerging from the wire and other online news portals.

Democracy, that is your right to elect the representatives from among you to protect your interests- that is your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The strength of Democracy hinges on four important legs: press, legislature, judiciary, and administration.

Arfa is fulfilling her dharma dutifully. The more critical you are of the government, the more patriotic you are. If you resort to chamchagiri, you are encouraging the politicians to keep doing the same thing and sink the nation. You've got to keep them on their toes; they work for us.
She urged Muslims to integrate into the society fully, and be a part of the Indian story and not apart from it. Here is an article I wrote several years ago, that reflects some of the conversations and a panacea to the current situation the Muslims are struggling with.

Are Muslims a part of the society? The same story holds good for India  http://worldmuslimcongress.org/are-muslims-a-part-of-the-american-story/

She articulated a few bold points; not only the education of girls is the key to bringing a positive change, but giving her the freedom to pursue her career is important, a woman should not be taught to be a gold digger and a submissive wife, but an independent woman who chooses how she lives her life and live her full potential.

Of course, many good ideas were floated about adopting a school in your hometown, establishing a scholarship and mentoring programs for at least a few journalists each year.
A weak Modi will be re-elected in 2019, allaying the fears about changing the constitution and pulling the right to be free. If freedom is not preserved, it will lead to the collapse of the social structure causing chaos.

RSS and Congress are two mindsets rather than two parties.

One ideology is based on the perceived fear that their way of life will be lost with freedom in the society, hence the need to dictate others how to live, what they eat, wear, believe and whom they marry - all to have a false sense of security.

Whereas, the other mindset is tethered to a firm belief in Vasudhaiva kutumbukum and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each Indian. They are secure under their skin.

So, what are our choices? Who do we support? Voting is a personal choice, an individual votes out of his or her own free will. All we can do is offer the knowledge - which party will bring peace to the communities, removes the fear of each other and brings people together for the common good.

Goodness is inherent in human, each one of us wants to get along with others, and we are the happiest, that is the natural state of mind when all of us help each other and get along. A few among us lose track of it, and resort to doing things that go against their nature, we have a responsibility to spread the knowledge of goodness.

Mike Ghouse is the founder and executive director of the Center for Pluralism committed to building cohesive societies, where no fellow human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other.

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