During my current trip (03 Oct. - 10 Nov. 2017), Bhagalpur was on our itinerary and I had a determination to meet with Professor Ramji Singh. A founder of Gandhian studies at Bhagalpur University and a former member of the Lok Sabha in the 70’s, Prof. Ramji Singh was at the forefront of the JP’s movement for Total Revolution, an inspiration to our generation of students.
On the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of nonviolence and peace, we left Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) following the news that 58 people were massacred in Las Vegas, Arizona, USA, by a white gunman from the 32nd floor of a hotel. He sprayed bullets on a massive crowd of 20,000 people watching a concert. There were 400 and up injured. The casualties will likely go up. President Trump addressed the nation and consoled the Americans.
"There will be no lasting peace on earth unless we learn not merely to tolerate but even to respect the other faiths as our own". - Mohandas K. Gandhi.
On 31 August 2017, after nearly sixteen months, a judicial court in the district of Gaya, delivered a judgment holding Rocky Yaday, a young son of former legislator-parents, guilty of murdering another young motorist on the road. The fault of the assassinated man was that he reportedly overtook the Land Rover Rocky was riding along with the two more accomplices.
Knowledgeable people having their fingers on the pulse of Bihar will not dispute that lawlessness in the State took a quantum jump since 1990 when Lalu Yadav became the Chief Minister marking the end of a corrupt Congress party regime under Jagannath Mishra.
Is the Bihar coalition government in trouble? Are Lalu’s clan members seriously enmeshed in corruption scandals with him? Is Narendra Modi, the head of the federal government, wrecking political vendetta on his arch opponent? Is the BJP salivating to come to power even if it means embracing a betrayer?
It shouldn’t take a social scientist to know that the cases of mob violence reported from different parts of India are manifestations of a crude combination of lawlessness, crime and assertion of group identities.
Ramazan is a month-long period of day-time fasting and prayer for the Muslims worldwide that commemorates the first revelation of the holy Quran to their prophet Muhammad. This annual observance is regarded by the practicing Muslims as one of the five pillars of Islam. During this period Muslims are obligated to be kind, generous and truthful. They must refrain from hurting others (except in self-defence), emancipate themselves spiritually and reflect on the sufferings of others.
With 64.75 per cent Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) candidates for Class XII failing; and a 42-year old father of two belonging to the scheduled caste counterfeiting his way to the top of the Arts stream 2017 results, the Biharis do have a grim realization that their State is at an advanced stage of decay in education.
A respectable Muslim commentator described 'Triple Talaq' as “the instant divorce Muslim men are permitted under Sharia law to sever marital relationships by merely uttering the words 'talaq talaq talaq' or by email, WhatsApp, postal mail or a phone call.”
On Monday, 17 April 2017, a familiar Bollywood singer, Sonu Nigam, created a flutter by his tweeter post: He complained against the “religiousness” forced on him by the loud 'azaan' (the call to prayer) over the amplified speakers coming out of the nearby mosque.
The groundswell of support for the BJP was unmistakable in the state elections held in February, 2017 that secured 325 of the total 403 seats in the U.P. Vidhan Sabha. In the neighboring Uttarakhand, the BJP captured an astounding 57 of the 70 assembly constituencies. This phenomenon could certainly be read as an extension of the support the BJP enjoyed during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when it bagged 73 of 80 seats in U.P.
I have personal recollections of Shri Syed Shahabuddin (SS) who passed away on 4 March 2017. As a curious M.Phil. student of International Studies on the JNU (New Delhi) campus, I had a few occasions to engage with him. The year was 1979; the Janata Party was basking in the glory of its victory in 1977; Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the foreign minister and had reportedly persuaded SS to give up his lucrative Foreign Service for politics.