Wednesday, 03 September 2014 | JS Rajput

Picking up a boy from the roadside, Chanakya could mould him into a Chandragupta. We need Chanakyas in our educational system; the Chandraguptas will be found thereafter. For this to happen, the system of education must reform


S Radhakrishnan, the philosopher-statesman was an unparalleled scholar of religions. He was a world teacher who had studied Indian philosophy and the scriptures so thoroughly that everyone was reverentially impressed. His addresses in Oxford and Birmingham, in Manchester and Liverpool, brought this observation from an Oxford daily: “Though the Indian preacher had the marvellous power to weave a magic web of thought, imagination and language, the real greatness of his sermon resides in some indefinable spiritual quality which arrests attention, moves the heart and lifts us in to an ampler air.”

According to Radhakrishnan, philosophy, a great instrument of liberal education, aims at “elevating man above worldliness, of making him superior to circumstances, of liberating his spirit from the thralldom of material things… If properly pursued, it arms us against failure, sorrow and calamity, boredom and discouragement. It may not perhaps prepare us for success if we mean by it accumulation of material wealth. But it helps us to love those aims and ideals, the things beyond all price, on which the generality of men who aim at success do not set their hearts. To form men is the object of philosophy.”

One could safely state it is also the objective of the philosophy of education, or, in still terms, it is the objective of the entire process of teaching and learning, the education. Recall Swami Vivekananda who used to say: “Man-making is my mission! Every civilisation, every country has produced luminaries and great persons, but that alone does not guarantee the greatness of that country or civilisation. The fate and future of every country is decided by how great, accomplished, acculturated and illuminated are the common people of that country. They decide, and determine their own fate! Functional democracies, even with rampant inadequacies, have repeatedly established this.”

And who prepares committed, dexterous, determined, morally strong and ethically emancipated generations? The teacher. That is why the entire humanity respects most the teacher from amongst them. India celebrates it on September 5 every year. Globally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization celebrates it on October 5 each year. It is customary to remember one’s teachers, reflect the role of teachers in lives of individual and the nation, in nurturing of human values, democratic values and establishing the criticality of morality in human life. The role articulation of the teacher in different civilisations has indicates a symphony of perception that is philosophically consistent and similar, if not the same, in principle.

In actual practice, it changes everywhere depending upon the changes in the world outside the institutional boundaries. Our philosophy tells us that permanence belongs to eternity alone and unceasing change is the rule of life. Traditionally, the teacher has been the observer of the change; he analysed change in the specific context, and guided the society in accepting the one that fitted in its dynamic advancement and cultural context, rejecting the rest, that may be relevant elsewhere but not everywhere. The new impactors of change have directly reached every home and hearth. Is the role of teacher has been restricted only to the classroom and coaching institutions with a single point objective of preparing the learner to score highest marks in the ensuing board examination?

In the current context, one finds considerable contrast and confusion that prevail in the system of education as to what do we expect from teachers. Take two examples: Ragging in the well-known Scindia School Gwalior that has sent a bright young boy in the state of coma. There would be some formalities, some action and activity but eventually no one would get exemplary punishment. Three children were found dead in Maharashtra, and it is widely believed that their death was a consequence of an environment of terror in the school and the thrashing that the low-scoring students were regularly awarded by the teachers.

A Minister of a State has already justified thrashing in schools — what is wrong in it? Every day, one gets a couple of reports on corporal punishment inflicted on young children resulting in serious injuries to young ones. And not every classroom could be put under watch. If a public school, with no lack of resources, just cannot care to prevent ragging in spite of the strict directives of the Supreme Court, the work culture must be seriously, and sickeningly, deficient in certain aspects. How could the management be unaware of the obnoxious practice? How could another school permit corporal punishment on regular basis and not take the responsibility of the tragic loss of three lives?

While there are innumerable instances that disappoint, there are islands of hope, created by the teachers visible throughout the country. These repose our faith in the future of India. In India practically every teacher teaches in a multi-religious class and knows how important it is to let every child know how precious he/she is to him.

In a school in Srinagar, around 1947-1948, young Som Nath Saraf came to school after about two weeks. “Where were you, Som”, asked the maulavi sahib. The feeble response from the young child, “My mother expired”, brought maulavi sahib to his seat. He lifted him in his arms and said: “Now onwards, I am your mother.” It transformed the life of SN Saraf, who rose to great heights in education, retired as the Chief of Education in the Planning Commission, and made significant contribution to ‘Values in Education’.

Every person could enumerate instances that glorify the teacher as the transformer of the individual fortunes.  Picking up a boy from the roadside, Chanakya could mould him into a Chandragupta. Teachers’ Day is the time to realise how teachers of today can revitalise the fight against corruption and erosion of values all around. They have to prepare men and women of courage, confidence and character. 2014 is the year of hope, of dreams being fulfilled, of the nation marching ahead in unison to greater heights. Success would primarily depend on how teachers accept the challenge. Only teachers in schools and colleges can strengthen social cohesion and religious amity, the two basic pillars on which India shall progress ahead.


Surprise is a tactic, not a strategy



August 21, 2014 02:47 IST

Modi has mystified, misled and surprised Pakistan, even giving the impression that he still regards the country as an enemy to defeat, not as a neighbour he wishes to resolve issues with


In March this year, members of the Pakistani establishment laid out the red carpet for an unusual visitor. The gentleman, who will not be named, was an envoy of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an overseas supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and was said to be carrying a message from Narendra Modi. As a result, the visitor was hosted to lunch by the Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and the Foreign Office India desk, met with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s key adviser Tariq Fatemi, and was even invited to the Army General Headquarters.

The message he carried was simple: that once elected, the BJP government would pursue talks and push business engagement with Pakistan. He indicated that an invitation would be sent shortly after Mr. Modi took over, to set the ball rolling. There was, however, a rider. If there was a terror attack, said the RSS envoy, one like Mumbai 26/11 that could be traced back to Pakistan, their hands would be tied. A counter-attack on some part of Pakistan-controlled territory would be inevitable.

Buoyant relations 

Despite the rough rider, Pakistan’s leadership was pleased by the reach out. There are many reasons why Pakistan’s elite and military establishment, the two constituencies that decide policy on India, looked favourably towards Mr. Modi’s win. To begin with, a BJP government has proven easier to deal with in the past, and less worried about ‘domestic opinion’ and a tough opposition than the Congress has been. After all, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was able to invite General Pervez Musharraf to the Agra summit less than two years after the two countries fought the Kargil war, when Pakistan’s stock was at its lowest in India. Second, the BJP government was able to ‘deliver’ more than the Congress did. Much in the way the Indian establishment has found it easier to get concrete outcomes from Pakistan’s military rulers, Pakistan’s establishment believes that ‘right-wingers’ deliver what moderates in India are unable to do. Finally, while they may not openly admit to it, Pakistan’s establishment welcomes Mr. Modi and the BJP as it helps keep its own constituencies in check with fears of a right-wing ‘Hindu nationalist’ government next door.

Mr.. Modi was as good as the envoy’s word, and, within a day of winning the elections, had proffered the invitation to all SAARC neighbours. The invitation went down in Indian history, and became a part of global parlance, for the boldness of the move and the all-round praise it received. Many were surprised but everyone lauded the initiative calling it a masterstroke, a strategy with vision.

The Prime Minister’s subsequent talks with Mr. Sharif, while short, made for good optics in both countries, especially given the follow-up letters between the two Prime Ministers and the gifts that were exchanged: a sari and a shawl for their mothers. Relations were so buoyant that when an Indian journalist appeared in Islamabad and wanted to know what the reaction to Mr. Modi’s visit to Pakistan would be, officials were convinced that he too was an envoy carrying a message from the Indian Prime Minister. The journalist, V.P. Vaidik, didn’t just get to meet all of Pakistan’s top leadership; he was even cleared to meet with 26/11 mastermind, a man on America’s most-wanted list, Hafiz Saeed. Access to Mr. Saeed, as any Pakistani journalist would tell you, is strictly monitored by the Inter-Services Intelligence itself, and any visit to his home in Lahore would need the highest security clearance. Even if the Pakistani government was mystified by his mission, they were too delighted by the prospect of Mr. Modi’s visit to say so.

Mr.. Modi continued to surprise Pakistan’s government, but in a good way, for the next two months. He had chosen not to react when the Indian mission in Herat was attacked just before Mr. Sharif’s visit, despite indicators that the ISI-backed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was behind it. When he visited Srinagar in July, he didn’t mention ceasefire violations along the Line of Control during his address to jawans. And his government didn’t react when, at a press conference, Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit ruled out prosecuting LeT founder Mr. Saeed for the Mumbai attacks on the basis of India’s evidence. Instead, diplomats and officials worked hard at bilateral proposals between the two countries. Trade concessions were on the anvil, selling much-needed power to Pakistan was a deliverable, and LNG and fuel pipelines were being discussed.

It wasn’t just the Pakistan government that was surprised; most in the Indian government and many of Mr. Modi’s supporters were also surprised that the tough-talking prime ministerial candidate had now been replaced by the subcontinental leader who spoke of defeating the common enemy of poverty, and of rejecting talk of “killing and dying.” The Prime Minister’s strategy was taking shape, and his attention on the neighbourhood was giving it focus. In the past three months, Mr. Modi and his External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have spent more time visiting and speaking about the region than perhaps any previous government has. Mr. Modi travelled to Bhutan and Nepal, while also sending Ms Swaraj to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. In the next few months, she will also visit Sri Lanka. Mr. Modi is expected to meet with Mr. Sharif once again in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Therefore, when it was announced that the Foreign Secretaries would meet in Islamabad on August 25, it seemed in line with Mr. Modi’s grander strategy of squiring a new future for the entire neighbourhood, one that would be launched at the SAARC summit in November in Kathmandu.

Cancelling talks

As a result, the decision to cancel those talks over the Pakistan High Commissioner’s talks with Hurriyat leaders has raised a very big question mark over more than just those talks. If the Foreign Secretaries were meeting to lay the ground for the Modi-Sharif talks in New York next month, does that mean the Prime Ministers will not meet? Have the trade deals and the energy plans discussed so far, not to mention the entire peace process, been cancelled? Will three months of visible strategy, and all the meetings and attempts to reach out in the months preceding the elections be overturned by this decision? Should Bangladesh and Nepal, who have critical bilateral agreements with India on land, power and water, due to be cleared in the next few months, worry about a similarly abrupt reversal in decisions? Finally, which is the version of Mr. Modi’s foreign policy vision that is the real template for the world to engage with?

“Mystify, mislead and surprise the enemy,” wrote Chinese warrior Sun Tzu in The Art of War. With his move, Mr. Modi has certainly done all three, even giving the impression that he still regards Pakistan as an enemy to defeat and not as a neighbour he wishes to resolve issues with. Sun Tzu may have other things to say about a policy that mystifies and confounds everyone else as well. Surprise in such cases can at best only be a tactic in foreign policy, not a long-term strategy.



Smriti Irani’s political ascent is not cosmetic


Tufail Ahmad
August 15, 2014



Union HRD minister Smriti Irani is in the news again. But as our chaiwallah-turned-prime minister unfurled the national flag from the Red Fort on August 15, it is relevant for critics to bear in mind that Indian democracy was designed to engineer the rise of the common man. Indian lawmakers who rise from humble origins may not possess college degrees and might not be intellectually equipped to answer brainy questions from journalists educated at the universities of Delhi and Yale.

Democracy rose through 5th-4th centuries BC when the Athenians revolted against their tyrants and established their own rule, but as a system of government it was soon lost. Through the 16th and 19th centuries, a movement of democratic ideas known as Enlightenment flourished in Europe, giving birth to the American and French revolutions. In his book Revolution of the Mind, Jonathan Israel observes that the Enlightenment was “quintessentially defined by its insistence on full freedom of thought, expression, and the Press, and by identifying democracy as the best form of government”.

The architects of the Indian Republic — Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and BR Ambedkar — were “greatly influenced by the ideas associated with the age of Enlightenment in Europe,” noted the then prime minister, Manmohan Singh, at Oxford in 2005. The architects wrote an array of rights and freedoms into the Constitution, which is birthing a new species of Indians; Smriti Irani is their type. It is the sheer beauty of democracy that Indians from below are rising. Smriti, who sold cosmetics at Janpath and whose mother was a housekeeper at the Taj Mansingh Hotel, spoke as a political scientist: “My message is that a girl selling cosmetics can become a Cabinet minister in this country.”

If you studied politics, that sentence could have come from the 19th century French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, who grasped American democracy in profound ways. “We the people,” the opening words of the Indian Constitution are borrowed from the US Constitution. When Ambedkar’s team wrote the Constitution, it created a new country out of the Enlightenment ideas. On May 20, Modi, arriving for the first time, bowed before Parliament and spoke: “It is the power of our Constitution that a poor person belonging to a poor and deprived family is standing here today. This is the power of our Constitution and hallmark of our democratic elections.”

As democracy matures, it strikes at the hereditary sources of power. In future, Indian democracy will propel milkmen, drivers and mechanics to power frequently; they will make mistakes and might not differentiate a degree from a certificate. India’s tainted political class needs to treat them with humility and respect their life’s journeys through which they overcome inherited handicaps to become the wheels of the Republic. At the India Today Woman Summit 2014, Smriti reiterated her oath to uphold the Constitution. Birthed by Indian democracy, the former cosmetics girl is freedom’s daughter.Smriti Irani

If Smriti erred in her affidavits, it was a legal mistake and can be dealt with by the courts — or by our large hearts. The media is haranguing her because she belongs to the opposite political camp, is telegenic  and speaks fluent English. A debate centred on degrees obscures her achievements. The television series she acted in are worth PhDs in sociology. Her life’s trajectory through the rigours of politics is inspiring. It is time a British university handed her an honourary doctorate in recognition of her life’s experience as an actress and lawmaker.

India has entered a transformative moment: Its democracy is engendering multiple turning points in the life of the aam aadmi. Indian democracy’s first half century nurtured institutions of governance, the next half will cement the aam aadmi’s sovereignty over its political institutions.

Tufail Ahmad is director of the South Asia Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington DC

Threat of Radical Islam

Balbir Punj

Published: 09th August 2014 06:00 AM


Islamic radicalism is on rise the world over, and India is no exception. The riots of Muzaffarnagar and Moradabad are still fresh in our minds. Last Tuesday, newspapers carried reports from Meerut of kidnappings of girls, forcibly marrying them to Muslim youngsters, their conversion and turning them into victims of human trafficking in order to enlist them in Islamist jihad in the Gulf region with the lure of jobs in Dubai.

And yet another report appeared last Thursday on newspapers about the conversion and marriage of a minor Hindu girl belonging to Loni in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh to a 24-year-Muslim boy. As usual, the police was reluctant to act in the beginning. The dailies from the national capital exposed a part of the conspiracy in a detailed report from Meerut.

In Sarawa village (Meerut), an FIR has been registered after a Hindu part-time teacher of a madarsa was abducted from her residence, held captive in Mustafa colony, Muzaffarnagar, for days, repeatedly raped, then forcible converted, married and locked up along with many other girls similarly. The girl alleged that all this was a part of the operation to take the hapless girls first to Pakistan and then to Dubai to be enrolled in the Islamist rebel groups marauding Syria and Iraq.

The “secular media” and the communalised administration, rather than investigating the substance of the grave allegations by the affected girl, have been busy picking holes in the victim’s version to dilute the seriousness of the sordid incident.

The Uttar Pradesh police, in order to rubbish the victim’s story, said they did not find any Hindu girls in forced confinement when they raided Sultania madarsa. Do you seriously expect the criminals to leave any evidence intact after the details of the crime have become public?

The chain of events in the victim’s words is: “When Ramzan started, again they started trapping me. I was taken to a madarsa in Hapur on July 23 where I was gangraped and got pregnant. They did an ultrasound and got me operated on. I was taken to another madarsa in Muzaffarnagar on July 30 where an old woman would beat me up and feed me cow meat. There were other girls too… They made someone else sign on an affidavit that claimed I had become Muslim and changed my name to Jannat. They got a cleric who gave the girls a book called Aapki Amanat Aapki Seva, written by one Kalam Siddiqui. It was about Hindu girls converting to Islam.”

In last year’s Muzaffarnagar riots the trigger was provided when a Hindu schoolgoing girl was molested by someone in a community’s stronghold area while passing through it. How could several Hindu girls—as newspaper reports say based on a statement by the victim who managed to escape and get back home—be pushed into such a situation and trafficked to join Islamist militants in faraway Gulf countries?

The long-time suspicion of a well-planned conspiracy to utilise “Love jihad” as a terrorist weapon against this country has now surfaced with all its ugly face. Earlier, there were some reports of this nature from Kerala and Hyderabad but no effective action was taken by the state police under the influence of the Congress/ Marxists-led governments as the case may be under their appeasement policy.

Even now, days after the event all that the UP administration has done is a mere police step of arresting some of the accused and being on the look out for others. There is a total refusal to look at the core of the problem. As expected, the UP government is not reading the riot act to the madarsa people who have made this girl and others detained along with her to sign affidavits to get a legal cover for their activities.

For the UP government it is merely a case of abduction and rape. The forcible conversions, etc. are not crimes in its eye. How can it be otherwise when the party running this government has a history of kowtowing to Muslim orthodoxy and ignoring forcible conversions?

The state government refuses to perceive the larger picture of what is happening in its own backyard, let alone in the rest of the globe. Recruitment for the international jihadi campaign through a combination of allurements, ideological brainwashing and abductions if the other two do not work, marrying abducted girls to Muslims and then forcibly converting them to give a legal cover to their detention in select places, brainwashing to believe in the jihadist violence, etc. is evident if the administration is prepared to look beyond its nose.

Only a few days ago a noted Muslim cleric right in Lucknow openly called for preparing a five lakh strong “army” of Sunni Muslim youngsters from India to join the international jihad to be supported by Saudi Arabia. Days have passed, nothing has been done to stop such appeals.

The man who has made such an appeal remains free and not even an FIR has been slapped against him, whereas even an obscene photo posted on the social network can under our laws get you into a prison. This cleric’s appeal was made in the open. In fact by making this appeal he was daring the state or testing the waters on how far the establishment would go while the local jihadis were conspiring and implementing plans to drag their community wholesale into a foreign-inspired and funded war that is against India as well.

Uttar Pradesh is not alone. Other so-called secular party-led governments are no less guilty. In Maharashtra it has come out in the open that several Muslim young men have gone abroad and joined the jihadi warmakers in Iraq.

Has the Maharashtra government done anything since the report about many persons from Thane joining the Iraqi rebels? Nothing.

Even if the states run by self-styled secular governments refuse to act when the international context clearly link such incidents to a global threat to non-Muslim (and even among Muslim, to non-Sunni) governments, can the Centre merely watch from the sidelines?

Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Shamli—the list of spots where riots are engineered by the jihadi elements go on lengthening even as moves to build an ideological wave in favour of jihad within India as much as within the Gulf, north African and even European countries, in Russia and China and elsewhere are on.

Latest is the ISI-sponsored use of the Rohingya refugee Muslims from Burma in India to spread both ideology and organise terror modules. A national action plan against this renewed jihadi threat needs to be designed and implemented.

The author is national vice president, BJP.


धर्म निरपेक्षता बनाम सर्वधर्म समभाव

Umesh Upadhyay
कॉंग्रेस के वरिष्ठ नेता ए के एंटोनी की हिम्मत की दाद देनी चाहिए कि उन्होने माना कि सेकुलरवाद को लेकर कॉंग्रेस को अपना रास्ता ठीक करने की ज़रूरत है। उन्होने कहा कि लोग समझते हैं कि कॉंग्रेस एक तरफ बहुत झुक गई है। बात सही और खरी है। वैसे ये तो उसी दिन साफ हो गया था जिस दिन तत्कालीन प्रधानमंत्री डा मनमोहन सिंह ने कहा था कि “देश के संसाधनों पर पहला हक़ अल्पसंख्यकों का है।“ मगर देर आयद दुरुस्त आयद। अब भी अगर कॉंग्रेस बेबाकी से इसकी परख करेगी तो ये पार्टी के साथ साथ देश के लिए भी अच्छा होगा। कॉंग्रेस देश की बड़ी पार्टी है। उसकी सोच और चिंतन में विकृति देश के लिए घातक है। इसलिए एंटोनी का ये बयान महत्वपूर्ण है।
दरससल “धर्म निरपेक्षता” शब्द ही सही नहीं है। पश्चिमी देशों में चर्च को राज्य और शासन से अलग करने के संदर्भ में “सेकुलरवाद” की सोच आई। मगर उसे “धर्मनिरपेक्ष” कहकर पश्चिम प्रेरित भारतीय बुद्धिजीवियों ने उसका अनर्थ ही कर डाला। जिसकी व्याख्या राजनेताओं ने अवसर के अनुसार अल्पसंख्यकों को भरमाने के लिए की। और यह वोट की राजनीति का एक बड़ा औज़ार बन गया। जिसने इस शब्द या सोच पर बहस की बात की उसे “सांप्रदायिक” लेबल चिपकाकर एक तरह से बहिष्कृत कर दिया गया। नेहरुवादियों और वामपंथी बुद्धिजीवियों ने ऐसी सोच रखने वालों को देश के अकादमिक, सांस्कृतिक और चिंतन-मनन के सभी उपक्रमों से बाहर रखने में कोई कोर कसर नहीं छोड़ी। जीवित व्यक्तियों की बात तो अलग इन लोगों ने देश के संत कवियों और साहित्यकारों का भी वर्गीकरण कर दिया। और इनके अनुसार कबीर सेकुलरवादी और तुलसी सांप्रदायिक हो गए !! भारतीय मनीषा में ऐसी सोच कभी नहीं रही। राजनीतिक और अकादमिक अश्पृश्यता का ये खेल खूब चला। लेकिन इसकी परिणति हुई 2014 के चुनाव में जबकि देश ने इन सबको नकार दिया।
जिस देश की परम्पराएँ, शिक्षा-संस्कार, नैतिक मूल्य, समाज व्यवहार, सांस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम और यहाँ तक कि लोगों की दिनचर्या धर्म से प्रेरित होती हो; जो देश दुनिया के ज़्यादातर धर्मों का जनक हो; जहां अन्तरिक्ष में रॉकेट छोड़ने से पहले नारियल तोड़ा जाता हो यानि तकरीबन सब कुछ धर्म आधारित हो वहाँ राजनीति और राजकाज क्या धर्म से निरपेक्ष हो सकता है? इस सोच और शब्द ने हमारे जीवन और व्यवहार में एक तरह का दोहरापन पैदा कर दिया है। एक तरफ धर्म में गहरी आस्था और दूसरी तरफ उन सब संस्कारों और रिवाजों को आडंबर मानने का उपक्रम जो धार्मिक अस्थाओं से पैदा होते हैं।
आप माने या न माने भारत में खुली सोच, बहुलवादी विचारों को मान्यता, लोकतान्त्रिकता – ये सब बहुसंख्यक हिन्दू विचार, जीवन शैली और तात्विक दर्शन से ही निकलते है। ये देखना ज़रूरी है कि क्या हिन्दू सोच में धर्म पूजा पद्यति का प्रतीक है? नहीं, यह जीवन दर्शन और मूल्यों का प्रतीक हैं। गीता में कृष्ण अर्जुन को एक योद्धा का धर्म समझाते हैं न कि पूजापाठ का तरीका। गांधी ने इसे सही पहचाना था। सोचने की बात है कि जब वे रामराज्य की बात करते थे क्या वह बहुसंख्यकों का शासन चाहते थे? इसलिए भारत में धर्म से अलग न तो कुछ ,न हो सकता है। क्योंकि धर्म का मतलब है जीवन शैली। इसलिए यहाँ सबकुछ धार्मिक है। पूजा पद्यतियों को धर्म से अलग कर के देखने की ज़रूरत है।
और अगर आप सहूलियत के लिए मौटे मौटे तौर पर धर्म को भी हिन्दू, इस्लाम और ईसाईयत के नज़रिये से देखना ही चाहते है तो भी धर्म निरपेक्षता एक सही विचार नहीं। इसकी जगह होना चाहिए “सर्व धर्म सम भाव” यानि राजा का कर्तव्य या धर्म है कि वे अलग अलग मजहबों में यकीन करने वाले नागरिकों को एक समान भाव से देखे। इसके आधार पर किसी की साथ कोई भेदभाव न हो। सबको समान अवसर मिलें। कोई ईश्वर को किस रूप में देखता है और पूजता है, इसके आधार पर सरकार उससे अलग व्यवहार न करें।
सोचिए, अल्पसंख्यकों को सिर्फ और सिर्फ एक इकठ्ठा वोट समूह मानकर सबसे बड़ा छल और धोखा तो उनके साथ ही किया गया। सिर्फ कॉंग्रेस ही नहीं, सेकुलरवादी तमगा लगाए अनेक दलों ने ऐसा ही किया। अल्पसंख्यकों खासकर मुसलमानों को एक तरफ तो एक झुनझुना दिखाया जाता रहा और दूसरी तरफ उन्हें डराया जाता रहा। “हमें वोट दो नहीं तो……….. (मोदी) आ जाएगा।“ इसका ताज़ा उदाहरण हैं महाराष्ट्र सरकार द्वारा मुसलमानों को आरक्षण का झुनझुना। सब जानते हैं कि देश के कानून और संविधान के अनुसार ये नहीं हो सकता। मगर हर दल दूसरे से ज़्यादा धरम निरपेक्ष दिखने के लिए एक और ज़्यादा से ज़्यादा झुका दिखना चाहता है। एंटोनी की राय इसलिए बहुत महत्वपूर्ण है।
ज़रूरत है कि इस पर देश में एक खुली और बेबाक बहस हो। हमें पश्चिम से ली गई बनावटी धर्म निरपेक्षता चाहिए या सहज और स्वाभाविक तौर पर हमारी सोच में बसा विचार- सर्व धर्म समभाव – यानि सबके साथ समान व्यवहार। सबको आगे बढ्ने के समान अवसर। तरक्की सबके साथ और इसमें सबका साथ और सहभागिता। संसाधनों पर किसी का पहला हक़ नहीं बल्कि साझा हक़। चूंकि कॉंग्रेस के एक अल्पसंख्यक नेता ने ये बात कही है तो इस पर बहस हो भी सकती है। नहीं तो अबतक ना जाने कितना हो हल्ला हो गया होता। कॉंग्रेस से इसकी शुरुआत होगी यह भी उचित है क्योंकि देश भर में 44 सीटें मिलने के बाद उसे आत्मविश्लेषण की बेहद ज़रूरत है।

उमेश उपाध्याय
2 जुलाई 14

Vietnam wants India to ‘rise quickly’ in region

Concerned over China’s assertiveness, Vietnam wants India to ‘rise quickly’ in region

Quy said there was not much clarity in the Obama administration. “That is why we want India should rise quickly. We have great expectations from India,” he said.

PTI | May 10, 2014, 07.33 PM IST


Concerned over China’s assertiveness, Vietnam wants India to ‘rise quickly’ in region

In this Sunday May 4, 2014 image made from video released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese coast guard vessel, right, fires water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel off the coast of Vietnam. (AP Photo)

MELBOURNE: Concerned over China’s assertiveness in the South China sea, Vietnam wants India to “rise quickly” in the region.

“We are deeply concerned by Chinese assertiveness in the South China sea. The Chinese navy is acting without provocation. These decisions seem to be taken by the Chinese leadership at the highest level,” said Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, president of Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV).

Quy said there was not much clarity in the Obama administration. “That is why we want India should rise quickly. We have great expectations from India,” he said.

The remarks were made at a round table meeting of DAV held here on Saturday.

DAV is said to carry out strategic research in international relations and foreign policy, as well as serve as a think-tank for foreign policy for the ministry of foreign affairs, the party and the state.

The meeting was held for the delegates to share information with Australian scholars around regional security issues such as US-China relations, maritime issues in the Indo pacific region and discuss more broadly Australia’s engagement with Asia.

Reacting to DAV president’s comment, Australia-India Institute inaugural director Amitabh Mattoo said: “Chinese assertiveness is bordering on aggressiveness and there seems to be a pattern to Chinese Maritime behaviour.”

Clearly, Beijing believes that its time has come and it wants to exercise hegemony over the whole region. But this behaviour is short sighted and counter productive, he said.

Mattoo said China was losing the trust of its neighbours and losing all friends.

“Outside North Korea and Pakistan, there is not even one state that is not concerned by Chinese foreign policy behaviour,” he added.

The murder of linguistic history — II


Read any textbook for children and you will be told that the word ‘Urdu’ means ‘military camp’ or ‘cantonment’ in Turkish.

While the word Ordo — from which comes the English word ‘horde’ — does, indeed, mean ‘military camp’ in Turkish, this is not the only name for the ancestor of the language we now call Urdu. Indeed, the oldest name for this common ancestor of both present-day Urdu and Hindi was Hindi, Hindvi and sometimes Hindui.

…. The term ‘Hindi’ was not used only for the ancestor of modern Hindi and Urdu. It was used vaguely by Persian writers for all languages of India (Hind).

By Dr Tariq Rahman

Published: July 23, 2011


The writer is Distinguished National Professor Emeritus of Linguistic History tariq.rahman@tribune.com.pk

Read any textbook for children and you will be told that the word ‘Urdu’ means ‘military camp’ or ‘cantonment’ in Turkish. The inference will be that Urdu is a military language (lashkari zuban). This is explained further in some books by the supposition that Urdu was born in the Mughal military camps, where soldiers speaking different languages came together for martial purposes.211064-DrTariqRahmanNew-1310828381-158-640x480

While the word Ordo — from which comes the English word ‘horde’ — does, indeed, mean ‘military camp’ in Turkish, this is not the only name for the ancestor of the language we now call Urdu. Indeed, the oldest name for this common ancestor of both present-day Urdu and Hindi was Hindi, Hindvi and sometimes Hindui. For those who want to know the details of this should read chapter two of my book From Hindi to Urdu: A social and Political History (OUP, 2011). For others, let me give an outline of what schoolchildren are never told.

The term ‘Hindi’ was not used only for the ancestor of modern Hindi and Urdu. It was used vaguely by Persian writers for all languages of India (Hind). Even today, the census of India uses it in two ways: First, for Sanskritised Hindi, which is the modern, Sanskritised form of Khari Boli, patronised officially in India. And, secondly, for all the area-bound varieties (dialects) of the Hindi belt such as Awadhi, Braj, Bhasha, Bhojpuri etc.

So, after reading many sources, it emerges that the ancestor of Urdu and Hindi was called by the following names: Hindi, Hindvi (13th-19th century); Dehlavi (13th-14th c.); Gujri (15th c.); Dakhani (15th-18th c.); Indostan (17th c.); Moors (18th c.); Rekhta (18th-19th c.); Hindustani (18th-20th c.).

The term Urdu to refer to this language was first used, at least in existing written records, in 1780 by poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi (1750-1824). Before Mushafi, the term Zuban-e-Urdu-e-Mualla (the language of the Exalted City) was used for the Persianised language of the Mughal capitals Agra and Delhi.

Later the term was shortened to only ‘Urdu’. Let us also remember that the word ‘Urdu’ in the Persian sources of India did not mean ‘military camp’ but only ‘city,’ and generally the capital city of the empire. Its origin is not military but urban; not soldiering but urbanisation and sophistication; not the battlefield but the hustle and bustle of life, especially life in the courts of kings.

All living languages pick up new words just as we have witnessed with English words — brake, accelerator, clutch, thermometer etc — becoming a part of all our languages. In the same way, all the varieties of a large language stretching all the way from Peshawar to Behar picked up Persian, Arabic and some Turkish words when the Turkish, Pathans and Iranian soldiers, merchants, holy men, scholars, poets, adventurers and bureaucrats came to India. It is my guess that some variety around Delhi (Khari Boli) picked up more such words than others and was taken by the functionaries of the state to Gujrat, Deccan, the urban centres of Awadh and other areas. It is this language which was called by the different names given above. We know about these names because scholars used them. Amir Khusrau (1253-1325) did not call all languages ‘Hindi’. He mentions Sindhi, Lahori (Punjabi), Kashmiri and nine other languages but mentions Hindi as the language around Delhi since ancient times. Abul Fazal, writing in 1590, mentions many languages, including one of Delhi.

The terms ‘Indostan’ and ‘Moors’ were used by Englishmen in India. English traveller Edward Terry, who came to India in 1615, called it the popular language of the Mughal Empire. And popular it must have been because in Kuniguram, Waziristan, Bayazid Ansari (1526-1574) wrote a religious book called Khairul Bayan around 1560 in four languages: Arabic, Persian, Afghan (Pashto) and Hindi. This ‘Hindi’ is written in the Perso-Arabic script and can be understood by anyone who can understand Urdu and Hindi.

The term ‘Moors’ was used by Englishman and one called George Hadley wrote a grammar of it in 1772. But both these terms went out of fashion and the British commonly used the term ‘Hindustani’ for the language which they wrote in the Devanagari, Perso-Arabic and the Roman (English) scripts. Indeed, the army even had a newspaper for soldiers and also orders were given to soldiers in the Roman script.

Similarly the terms ‘Gujri’, ‘Dakhini’ and ‘Rekhta’ went out of fashion by the late 18th century. Hindustani was recorded in British census reports and used by Englishmen in India but disappeared after 1947 as Urdu and Hindi took its place.

Nowadays we use the term ‘Urdu’ for Persianised Khari Boli written in the Perso-Arabic script and Hindi for Sanskritised Khari Boli written in the Devanagari script.

But when we give the false history of the name of ‘Urdu’ from Turkish and call it a military language, we are not only just plain wrong, but also divisive and anti-peace. Instead, let us teach our children that, despite this name, Urdu does not have a military origin.

In India, as Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, one of the greatest scholars of Urdu literature, points out, this myth creates a feeling of guilt in the Urdu-speaking community. That is why Syed Sulaiman Nadvi wanted the name Urdu, which is the latest name for this language, to be abandoned even in 1939 when he wanted the Muslims and Hindus to unite to obtain freedom.

But the name cannot be abandoned now. It is invested with the emotion and love of about two centuries. What is possible is that people should be told that the ancestor of present-day Urdu and Hindi was one and it had many names. That, for at least five hundred years, this ancestor was mostly called ‘Hindi’— even when it was also called Dehlavi, Gujri, Dakhini, Rekhta etc — and that the Persianisation and Sanskritisation of it occurred during the 18th and the 19th centuries respectively.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2011.