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Indian Press (13 Sep 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Shattered Dreams: On Trump's Crack Down On Undocumented Immigration: New Age Islam’s selection, 13 September 2017

New Age Islam Edit Bureau

 

September 13, 2017

 

Embrace the Rohingya

By Deepak K Singh

Why Jharkhand’s anti-conversion bill is against Constitution and not necessary

By Harsh Mander

The right to murder? Violence against anyone dubbed ‘anti-national’ is being legitimised and endorsed

By Sagarika Ghose

India Rejects Un Human Rights Chief’s Criticism

Daily Pioneer

Can India’s coastal cities survive an Irma-type storm?

Hindustan Times

Lessons from Swamiji

Asian Age

RSS Had No Role In Hyderabad’s Liberation

By Mohan Guruswamy

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/indian-press/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/shattered-dreams--on-trump-s-crack-down-on-undocumented-immigration--new-age-islam’s-selection,-13-september-2017/d/112507

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Shattered Dreams: On Trump's Crack Down On Undocumented Immigration

The Hindu

Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. now face the possibility of losing their jobs, driver’s licences and university seats and even of being deported to a country that was not their home. The looming legal limbo for this sizeable cohort, which includes around 8,000 Indian nationals, is a direct result of President Donald Trump’s decision on September 5 to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. This is a major Obama-era executive action designed to protect those who arrived in the U.S. as children accompanying their undocumented migrant parents. The logic of the Obama administration was that so long as such childhood arrivals integrated lawfully and productively into American society, not committing any crimes, paying their taxes and being upstanding members of the broader community, there could be no reasonable argument to uproot their lives and send them to their parents’ country of origin. Now Mr. Trump has turned that logic on its head in an apparent effort to deliver on his campaign promise to crack down on all forms of undocumented immigration. While he previously appeared sympathetic toward DACA, Mr. Trump has effectively passed the buck to Congress by calling on it to come up with legislation for a lasting solution to the problem “through the lawful democratic process”. No new applications are being processed. Existing beneficiaries requiring renewal of permits for a further two-year period have until March 5, 2018 to get it done.

Beyond that deadline, their continuance in the U.S. would require lawmakers to come up with a bill similar to the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a legislative proposal that went beyond piecemeal benefits, granting its recipients residency and setting out a path to citizenship. Such a bill, encapsulating widely acceptable principles underpinning a path to citizenship for deserving migrants, has eluded Capitol Hill for decades. During Barack Obama’s presidency, the comprehensive immigration reform package proposed by the Gang of Eight bipartisan Senators came close to resolving this gaping hole in the immigration policy. Had it been passed, the 11 million undocumented workers in the U.S. may have found a modicum of solace in the knowledge that one day they could emerge from the shadows into the mainstream. Painful questions surrounding visa issues, including the political soft target that the H-1B visa is, could have been laid to rest and this would have, for example, fostered a climate of greater predictability for manpower planning at tech companies. Yet that bill never did pass into law, owing to the partisan bickering that Americans have come to despise of their representatives in Washington. Given the hostile political climate and bitter polarisation of the U.S. electorate along party lines, there is a real risk that short-term point-scoring on specific aspects of immigration reform could trump the need for a more robust, sustainable remedy.

thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/shattered-dreams-on-trumps-crack-down-on-undocumented-immigration/article19672183.ece

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Embrace the Rohingya

By Deepak K Singh

Both morally and legally, India cannot deport refugees facing a grave threat in Myanmar.

The recent statement by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju that the Indian government will detect and deport the Rohingya back to Myanmar marks a low in India’s otherwise long-recognised impeccable track record in hosting asylum-seekers. His subsequent clarification that he merely wanted them “pushed back” — not thrown into the ocean or shot — further belies India’s image as a benevolent host. While such assurances from the minister might have come as a huge relief to the 40,000-odd beleaguered Rohingya currently in India, it does not portend well for an aspiring “major power”.

Rijiju’s wrath against all “illegal immigrants” — including 14,000 Rohingya who have been issued valid registration certificates by the UNHCR, New Delhi — is sought to be justified on the grounds that they are “susceptible” to recruitment by “terror” groups, and that they “not only infringe on the rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges”. Also, the junior minister forcefully argued that the Rohingya must be deported “to ensure the demographic pattern of India is not disturbed”. The minister’s avowed threat to do so notwithstanding, any proposal to deport them would not only be legally untenable and morally indefensible but also politically inexpedient.

The choice of the expression — “illegal immigrants” over “refugees” — by Rijiju appears deliberate and also in sync with the BJP’s long-held ideological stance on immigrants: They are illegal immigrants if Muslims and refugees when Hindus. For example, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, whereby all groups of persecuted non-Muslim minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from neighbouring countries would be more than welcome to their “natural home”, clearly illustrates this bias towards Muslims.

What makes the purported deportation of the Rohingya from India legally untenable is that the Indian government, like any other in the world, is bound by customary international law to respect the principle of non-refoulement. No government, as per this law, can forcibly push back asylum-seekers to the country they have fled to escape violence, as it might endanger their very survival. Not being a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol is no excuse to abdicate India’s responsibility to provide much-needed succour to people under duress and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

India has for too long abstained from being a party to the 1951 international convention, despite the fact that the context has dramatically changed in the aftermath of the recent refugee crisis in Europe. Whether or not India chooses to ratify the 1951 convention, there are several Supreme Court verdicts which disallow the Indian government from arbitrarily and summarily deporting refugees from its territory. The courts in India have traditionally upheld the rights of refugees facing deportation or forced eviction in different contexts by taking recourse to what is called the “canon of construction” or a “shadow of refugee law”. For example, the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution has been so interpreted by the SC that it can be extended to anyone living in India irrespective of her nationality.

The apex court is scheduled to hear a petition on the Rohingya issue on September 18. It is unlikely to deviate from its own precedent.

On a moral plane, the Indian government can hardly hope to defend its stand given the fact that the Rohingya face an imminent threat to their lives in the wake of the ongoing “ethnic-cleansing” drives in the Rakhine State, Myanmar. The flight of nearly 3,00,000 Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh is a testimony to the wretchedness of their condition. Various reports — by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch etc — point to the Rohingya undergoing gross human rights violations at the hands of Myanmar’s armed forces in the name of counter-insurgency operations. These suggest a genocide. Such operations are being carried out under the rubric of “Lockdown Zones” and “Clearance Operations”. Penny Green, a professor of law at Queen Mary University, London, concluded after a 12-month long investigation in the Rakhine State that since October 9, 2016, “the Rohingya are facing a terrifying new phase in the genocide: Mass killings, rapes, village clearings and the razing of whole communities, committed with impunity by the Myanmar military and security forces”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to underplay the impending refugee crisis by choosing instead to express solidarity with Myanmar’s “extremist concerns” on his maiden visit there could only be described as politically naïve. This is further evidenced by India’s refusal to sign the subsequent “Bali Declaration” which unequivocally condemned the unfolding refugee crisis in the Rakhine State. The preference for a studied silence by Asia’s most experienced democracy in the wake of a fast deteriorating humanitarian crisis does not bode well for the future of human rights in the region. It might only embolden the Myanmarese security forces to further intensify the crackdown on the hapless Rohingya. Further, this was clearly not the moment for PM Modi to give priority to trade ties with Naypyidaw in order to counter the growing Chinese influence in Myanmar. It is time India rises to the occasion by transcending the politics of pragmatism and embraces the Rohingya refugees.

indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rohingya-muslim-myanmar-banglades-india-cannot-deport-refugees-kiren-rijiju-4840679/

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Why Jharkhand’s anti-conversion bill is against Constitution and not necessary

By Harsh Mander

Jharkhand’s Religious Freedom Bill, 2017, primarily targets Christians, and goes against the freedom of religious belief in India’s Constitution

It is a difficult time to be a part of the minority community in India today with threats of various sorts coming from different quarters. But a new assault on them is the approval by the Jharkhand Cabinet of a stringent anti-conversion law, titled in characteristic double-speak, as the Religious Freedom Bill, 2017. It contains stiff jail sentences and fines for converting people through “allurement” or “coercion”.

A day before this Cabinet decision, residents of Jharkhand awoke to front-page advertisements with pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, and a toxic quote attributed to him attacking conversions by Christian missionaries. As a columnist wrote in an online publication, the words were pulled out of context and distorted. Gandhi must not be appropriated by an ideology that is violently opposed to all he stood far: An India with full religious freedom and equal rights. And it is intensely worrying that taxpayers’ money is used to foment hatred against a segment of people of the state.

Christians constitute a small 4.3% of the population of Jharkhand. The same tribal family may have adherents of the animist Sarna faith (comprising nearly 13% of the population), Christians and persons who identify themselves as Hindus. Left to themselves, tribal families and communities live with peace with this diversity of faith practices. But the propaganda of the Right-wing, now backed by the state government, aggravated by the draconian anti-conversion law, will tear apart these families and communities.

The proposed anti-conversion law in Jharkhand has fostered enormous disquiet among Christians everywhere in India. The ultra Right-wing regards Islam and Christianity to be a “foreign” religion, and therefore requires its adherents to respect “Hindu” culture and practices. But to advance its political juggernaut objectives, it has built alliances with Christian community leaders in some parts of India, such as Kerala and north-eastern states. However, particularly in large tribal states of central India like Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the political strategy of choice has been to target, defame and intimidate Christians, with violence against their shrines, priests, nuns and women, and with laws that criminalise conversions to Christianity.

But it must be stressed that Jharkhand will not be the first government to pass an anti-conversion law if this is voted for by the state assembly. Anti-conversion laws were passed in Orissa in 1967 under a Swatantra Party government; in Madhya Pradesh in 1968 under the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal coalition (which included the Jan Sangh); and in Gujarat in 2003 and Chhattisgarh in 2006 under BJP governments. The Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu passed the law in 2002 but repealed it in two years after its passage in 2004. The only Congress government to pass such a law was in Himachal Pradesh in 2006. Rajasthan passed an anti-conversion law in 2006, but the governor refused to sign the law. Arunachal Pradesh passed such a law in 1978 under the People’s Party of Arunachal, but it was never enforced as rules have not been framed to date.

Members of the Constituent Assembly took great care to uphold the freedom of religious belief in India’s Constitution. After extended debate, it decided that this freedom should not just be to practise and profess one’s faith, but also to propagate it. KM Munshi declared that “under freedom of speech which the Constitution guarantees, it will be open to any religious community to persuade other people to join their faith”.

However, organisations like the RSS never reconciled to this fundamental guarantee of the Constitution. They rail against the “menace” of Christian conversions allegedly funded by big foreign money. It matters little that the facts don’t bear out their claims. Christians constituted 2.5% of India’s population in 1981, and 2.3% in 1991, 2001 and 2011. If large-scale conversions were indeed occurring, their numbers would have swelled. This sustained misinformation has resulted in profound and sometimes violent schisms between Christian and other tribal people.

In this divisive competition for the religious allegiance of India’s poorest and most vulnerable people, marked by stridency and hate, it is important to recall the gentle counsel of one of the world’s tallest public figures, the Dalai Lama: “It does not matter which God you worship, or even if you worship no God. What is important is to be a compassionate human being”.

hindustantimes.com/columns/why-jharkhand-s-anti-conversion-bill-is-against-constitution-and-not-necessary/story-FIhGsnxuqIItvniVAoiLQO.html

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The right to murder? Violence against anyone dubbed ‘anti-national’ is being legitimised and endorsed

By Sagarika Ghose

September 13, 2017, 2:00 AM IST Sagarika Ghose

The gunning down of journalist Gauri Lankesh is yet another bullet in the heart of those who value free thought in India. Gauri’s murderers remain unknown, some pointing to a Naxal link, others like her own lawyer alleging that ‘Hindu terror units’ took her life.

When it comes to allegations about ‘saffron terror’, not since Nathuram Godse has a Hindutva-inspired assassin openly taken authorship of his act of murder. While Islamist or Maoist extremists generally claim responsibility for their killings, ‘saffron terror’ has been suspected in several cases like recently in the murders of rationalists Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Pansare, arrests have been made but there haven’t been any convictions.

We don’t know who killed Gauri, but we do know who is celebrating. Those on social media jubilant at Gauri’s slaying describe themselves as proud Hindu nationalists, people who Gauri described as her greatest enemy. In fact, Hindu nationalism seeks a new enemy every day.

If Gauri had been alive and expressed her views for example on how India should not deport Rohingya Muslims, she would surely have been screamed at by furious ‘nationalist’ television anchors and branded as a traitor, anti-national jihadist and Naxalite. The fever pitch of TRP-driven accusations often builds to such a crescendo that the individual against whom prime time fingers are pointed ends up becoming public enemy No 1, the equivalent of a criminal who is publicly paraded on TV every night with a metaphorically blackened humiliated face even as a gladiatorial mob on social media howls for her blood.

Violent minds, violent language and violent speech beget violent acts. In an atmosphere where violence is legitimised, endorsed and even seen as a ticket to creating an electoral constituency, the actual act of murder of an ‘anti-national’ only becomes part of a ‘war’. The so-called ‘just war’ against those who insist on the right not to be Hindu nationalists, to be atheist and rationalist, or to criticise superstitions, or to eat beef, to wear mini-skirts, to be homosexual, to attack government policy on Jammu & Kashmir, or to speak in support of JNU students.

The toxic divide between ‘nationalists’ and ‘traitors’ is deeply worrying. Gauri had strong ideas, she spoke out against Hindutva politics, attacked caste discrimination, pushed for Naxals to abandon the gun and argued passionately for sexual liberation of women. In a conservative regional milieu, her voice may have been offensive to some but instead of mounting counterarguments, someone decided her voice had to be forever silenced.

Her killers may have used a gun but don’t we see a symbolic gun pointed at the heads of student activists like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid in the manner they are publicly vilified? Doesn’t the gun loom large when hit lists are circulated, naming women journalists and activists as next targets after Gauri? The cult of violence is breeding faster than the aedes aegypti mosquito and infecting many with the fever of blood lust against those they disagree with.

Particularly violent language is directed at the media. Ministers can label media as ‘presstitutes’, a BJP MP can call for a noted author to be tied to a jeep, noxious foul-mouthed abusers get strength and even legitimacy from the fact that they are ‘followed’ by our top political leadership. Journalists have been threatened, intimidated and murdered before, especially in far flung areas where telling the truth means risking all. But today, are attacks against journalists being endorsed by the ruling party when it issues only perfunctory condemnations of Gauri’s murder, instead of a ringing declaration that attacks on media persons will not be tolerated?

When the government itself takes pride in an anti-media stance, when certain journalists are boycotted by ruling party ministers, when critical journalists are censored and labelled ‘news traders’ by the political leadership, when lawyers who beat up female reporters are not censured, then is the government itself creating an environment encouraging violence against the press?

Too much religious ideology in politics inevitably creates violence in society. Those rulers who practice ‘soft Islamism’ or ‘soft Hindutva’ open the gate for more radical extremists to gain legitimacy. The divide between Hindus and Muslims is being catastrophically sharpened today, with every new issue like azaan, or beef ban or Vande Mataram or even the so-called competing claims of shamshans and kabristans becoming a tacit political signal for violent goons to take over the argument and physically attack the targets of their rage.

‘Shout don’t shoot’ is supposed to be the mantra of democracy, but when democracy becomes entwined with irrational religious ideology then shout becomes tacit permission to shoot, all norms of parliamentary democracy brushed aside by those empowered by blind faith.

In a recent interaction former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said that open-mindedness is a crucial pre-requisite for high growth economies that rely on the service sector. The manner in which Gauri’s death is being legitimised as just punishment for traitors shows that far from open-mindedness, those who dare to think differently are seen as natural targets for assassination.

If we as a society don’t speak up now, there will be more deaths, and each ‘anti-national’ murder will be celebrated more noisily than ever. As TV anchors unleash deadly calls to metaphorically eliminate the enemy, the legitimacy of violence will become widespread. That’s why, strict exemplary action must be taken against those who celebrate violence because they are just as culpable as Gauri’s killers.

blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/bloody-mary/the-right-to-murder-violence-against-anyone-dubbed-anti-national-is-being-legitimised-and-endorsed/

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India Rejects Un Human Rights Chief’s Criticism

Daily Pioneer

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 | PTI | Geneva

India on Tuesday strongly rejected the criticism by the UN Human Rights chief over its handling of Rohingya Muslim refugees, human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir and observation relating to the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh, saying it was ‘perplexed’ at the remarks.

UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, in his comments at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, had criticised India on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas as well as on religious intolerance and threat to rights activists.

In a strong reaction, India said it was surprised that individual incidents are being ‘extrapolated’ to suggest a broader societal situation.

“We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions,” Ambassador Rajiv K Chander said.

Chander, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Geneva, made the statement in response to Hussein’s comments.

Rejecting the observations by Hussein, Chander said, “Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”

Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges, he said, adding that enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion.

Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates.

India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on September 5 had said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.

“It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights,” Chander said.

He said a more informed view would have not only recognised this aspect but also noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection.

dailypioneer.com/world/india-rejects-un-human-rights-chiefs-criticism.html

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Can India’s coastal cities survive an Irma-type storm?

Hindustan Times

Planning for climate resilience would need to start from the time of locating the infrastructure facilities. For instance, infrastructure for solid waste management, especially landfills, have to be located keeping in mind the projected sea level rise. Similarly, planning for climate resilience would mean ensuring water supply channels have back-ups for extreme weather events.

The battering Hurricane Irma, an extremely powerful tropical cyclone, has been giving to the US, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Martin, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas and Cuba should be a wake-up call for India. This is because the country too much to lose if an Irma-type storm hits the 7,517 km-long densely populated coastline. Along with the human cost of such a catastrophe (remember the cyclones in Orissa, cyclone Hudhud and the tsunami?), the coastline also houses a web of infrastructure, including transport and freight networks, road and rail corridors, industrial zones and parks, maritime and port facilities, petroleum industries and refineries. Then there are new projects such as the NDA government’s Sagarmala Programme. Under the Programme, there will be an investment of approximately Rs 8 lakh crore in 415 projects, which includes several ports.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5) has warned that due to climate change extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and stronger. The events would hit coastal life and property even harder when their impacts get combined with the sea level rise that climate change is causing.

To save lives and infrastructure, Indian cities have to build resilience so that they can withstand such natural shocks, which, as several studies have pointed out, are expected to increase, thanks to frequent and intense heavy precipitation over most regions. But building resilience, as Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, writes in a blog, is not a sprint or even a marathon. It’s a relay race.

According to a policy brief by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the main challenges for incorporating climate resilience into coastal infrastructure starts with the non-availability of fine-resolution data such as sea level measurement and variation in precipitation. Such location-specific information – within the larger picture of how climate change is affecting or will affect the Indian coast – can help planners and administrators to build in climate resilience.

Planning for climate resilience would need to start from the time of locating the infrastructure facilities. For instance, infrastructure for solid waste management, especially landfills, have to be located keeping in mind the projected sea level rise. Similarly, planning for climate resilience would mean ensuring water supply channels have back-ups for extreme weather events.

Critically, building climate resilience also requires buy-in from the political class, since it requires coordination among multiple stakeholders. But at the moment we don’t hear too many politicians losing their sleep over the challenge of climate-protecting their constituents.

hindustantimes.com/editorials/can-india-s-coastal-cities-survive-an-irma-type-storm/story-IgN1R7yy3DljSZSoUC0sFI.html

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Lessons from Swamiji

Asian Age

At the 1893 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda was practically received as a rock star for the message he gave.

Sep 13, 2017, 12:27 am IST

Swami Vivekananda is not a part of the traditional RSS iconography. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has latched on to the famous Hindu ascetic, apparently in a political gesture, seeking to transmit the Hindu man of action image to young Hindus. This appears a part of a broader effort to incorporate certain extolled figures of our anti-colonial movement into the amended version of the Hindutva pantheon as prominent Hindutva votaries were absent from the protracted anti-British struggle.

The acclaimed swami was not linked to any party but was seen by his contemporaries — including the agnostic Jawaharlal Nehru — as a patriotic holy man, who conveyed to the world the idea of the spiritual unity of India and Indians, although they practised many faiths.

At the 1893 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda was practically received as a rock star for the message he gave. He said: “As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea; so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though they appear, all lead to Thee.” This was during a time when colonial rulers sought to divide the ruled on religious lines.

On Monday, 124 years after Swamiji’s Chicago address, Congress president Sonia Gandhi sought to stress this aspect when she spoke of his message of the oneness of all religions and the unity of Indians, subtly hinting that Mr Modi does not practise what Vivekananda preached. The PM addressed a youth gathering on the occasion too, but focused equally on Vivekananda and RSS icon Deendayal Upadhyay.

asianage.com/opinion/edit/130917/lessons-from-swamiji.html

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RSS Had No Role In Hyderabad’s Liberation

By Mohan Guruswamy

The BJP’s only power base is in the old city of Hyderabad, which is the political domain of the MIM, its mortal enemy.

It is ironical that the RSS, which never allowed the tricolour to be hoisted on Hegdewar Bhavan, its Nagpur headquarters, wants to celebrate the hoisting of the tricolour in Hyderabad on September 17, 1948 as Liberation Day. On the eve of Independence, the RSS mouthpiece Organiser wrote: “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the tricolour but it never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country”. The tricolour went up Hegdewar Bhavan only on January 26, 2001 when three young men belonging to the Rashtrapremi Yuva Dal forcibly hoisted the national flag at Nagpur.

The truth of the matter is that the RSS never took part even in the Quit India Movement of 1942. It made an abortive attempt to inveigle itself in the 1942 movement in the 1990s when it began to peddle a tale about the young Atal Behari Vajpayee’s participation in Quit India activities in Bateshwar. It ended with egg on its face when Frontline published young Mr Vajpayee’s confessional statement where he excluded himself from the events, affirming that he was a mere onlooker.

Apart from Hyderabad, J&K and Junagadh did not accede to the newly-independent India in August 1947. J&K did so only on October 26, 1947 when Pakistani raiders began knocking on the gates of Srinagar. The Nawab of Junagadh actually acceded to Pakistan, but a popular upsurge forced him to flee to Pakistan and the referendum of September 15, 1947 ratified the accession. But the RSS never celebrates Kashmir’s accession on October 26 and Junagadh’s on September 15 as Liberation Days. It wants to celebrate Hyderabad’s accession on September 17, 1948, in which it had no role, just as it tries to appropriate a role in the nationalist movement.

At the time of India’s Independence, Hyderabad was the largest Indian princely state in terms of population and GNP. Its territory of 82,698 sq. miles was more than that of England and Scotland together. The 1941 census estimated its population was 16.34 million, over 85 per cent of who were Hindus and with Muslims accounting for about 12 per cent. It was also a multilingual state consisting of peoples speaking Telugu (48.2 per cent), Marathi (26.4 per cent), Kannada (12.3 per cent) and Urdu (10.3 per cent). It was a Muslim-dominated state and its vast Hindu majority was generally excluded from government. It was a mirror image of J&K, which was a Hindu-dominated fiefdom.

Hyderabad had its Hindu nobility, and a couple of them even rose to become Prime Ministers. Maharaja Chandulal was Prime Minister from 1833 to 1844 during the rule of Sikandar Jah. Sir Kishen Pershad was Prime Minister 1902-12. Nevertheless, it was a government of Muslims and by Muslims. Records of 1911 show that 70 per cent of the police, 55 per cent of the Army and 26 per cent of the public administration were Muslims. In 1941, a report on the civil service revealed that of 1,765 officers, 1,268 were Muslims, 421 were Hindus, and 121 others, presumably British, Christians, Parsis and Sikhs. Of the officials drawing a pay between Rs 600-1,200 per month, 59 were Muslims, 38 were “others”, and a mere five were Hindus. The Nizam and his nobles, mostly Muslims, owned 40 per cent of the total land in the kingdom.

The BJP’s only power base is in the old city of Hyderabad, which is the political domain of the Majlis-e-Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen (MIM), its mortal enemy. The nature of its power here is best symbolised by how it managed to inflict a temple on the southeast corner of Charminar, where it still grows like a fungus right under the nose of Charminar police station.

The first stirrings of political activity in the Asaf Jah kingdom began in 1927 when the MIM was formed to unite various Islamic sects for “the solution of their problems within the principle of Islam”; and to protect the economic, social and educational interests of Muslims. They presumably were affected by the happenings in Turkey and the direction the Khilafat movement took in India when it allied with the Congress and joined the nationalist movement in 1920. The MIM soon became a movement to establish an Islamic state in Hyderabad.

In 1933 an association of mulkis, or local-born Hindus and Muslims called the Nizam’s Subjects League, was formed as a reaction to the continued domination of gair-mulkis, mostly Muslim and Hindu Kayasthas from what is now UP, in the government. This was soon to be known as the Mulki League. It was the Mulki League that first mooted the idea of a “responsible” government in Hyderabad.

In 1937, the Mulki League split between the more radical elements, mostly Hindus, and the more status quo inclined. This led to the formation of the Hyderabad Peoples Convention in 1937, a prelude to the establishment of the Hyderabad State Congress next year. With this, the movement for political and constitutional reform picked up momentum. The RSS did not exist in Hyderabad even on paper. The Hindu nationalist rump was of the Hindu Mahasabha, and mostly confined to Marathawada.

The Hyderabad State Congress agitation coincided with a parallel agitation led by the Arya Samaj and Hindu Mahasabha of V.D. Savarkar on Hindu civil rights. To a large extent the interests of the Congress and Hindu organisations coincided. This put them squarely against the Majlis, now led by Bahadur Yar Jung, who was also founder of Anjuman-i-Tabligh-i-Islam, a proselytising Muslim organisation whose prime activity was the conversion of Hindus.

Bahadur Yar Jung was a charismatic figure who became popular among Muslims and had the ear of the Nizam, Osman Ali Khan. Bahadur Yar Jung summed up his goal very succinctly: “The Majlis policy is to keep the sovereignty of His Exalted Highness intact and to prevent Hindus from establishing supremacy over Muslims.”

The leadership of the Congress took more nationalist overtones after the arrival of Swami Ramanand Tirtha  on the scene. Tirtha hailed from Gulbarga and as a young man became a sadhu. He became president of the Hyderabad Congress in 1946 and attracted around him several young men who rose to prominence in Independent India. Foremost among these was P.V. Narasimha Rao, and others were former CMs Shankarrao Chavan,  Veerendra Patil and Marri Channa Reddy.

While the Congress was gaining strength, the Communists were also active in Telugu-speaking areas. They captured the Andhra Mahasabha, formed in 1921 to represent the interests of Telugu-speaking people in 1942. Unlike the Hyderabad Congress, which launched a movement for democratic rights to run parallel to the Quit India movement, the Communists joined hands with Majlis to support the Nizam, who was being a faithful ally of the British.

Accession brought in its wake the changes that were sought ever since political activity began in the state. The Muslim elite soon found themselves marginalised and many migrated to Pakistan. Others like Ali Yavar Jung  made a smooth transition into the new order. A new bureaucratic elite was quickly installed even as the Communist insurrection was being quelled. The Muslim feudal regime was replaced by a government which enjoyed the people’s mandate. The RSS had nothing to do with this.

asianage.com/opinion/oped/130917/rss-had-no-role-in-hyderabads-liberation.html

URL: http://newageislam.com/indian-press/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/shattered-dreams--on-trump-s-crack-down-on-undocumented-immigration--new-age-islam’s-selection,-13-september-2017/d/112507




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