In the wake of the Delhi riots (Feb. 23-25, 2020), tension or mistrust between the Hindus and the Muslims was bound to rise. At the same time, however, scores of people on both sides were willing to throw themselves into the charged atmosphere to calm the situation. The need of the hour is to salute them on behalf of the nation, bring them together and empower them for the sake of peace and harmony in the community and the country.
Many learned people have been quick to draw parallels between the riots of Feb 2020 and the anti-Sikh pogrom of Oct 1984. The comparison may appear to be ludicrous. However, observers with perspective and experience cannot be stopped from making relative assessments of the two tragic incidents. Both of them took place in the national capital of Delhi.
Do the Biharis (along with other Purvanchalis) really matter in the Delhi Elections to be held on 8 February 2020? Can they tip the electoral balance? What will be the overall result? Here is a brief outline of the electoral scene.
It’s a matter of great pride for the people of Bihar that Jagat Prakash Nadda, a former resident of Patna has taken over the reins of the leadership of the national ruling (political) party, the BJP. An alumnus of Patna University, he actively participated in the 1974 Bihar movement. It’s there, he first honed in on his leadership abilities.
At least two of the Nitish’s hand-picked functionaries of the Janata Dal (U) -- Pawan Varma and Prashant Kishor -- sought to publicly embarrass their boss by questioning his support to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The two might have liked Nitish to distance himself and the party from the BJP or flip to the other side to defeat the agenda of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Being an important functionary of the JD(U) party wherein he knows he was installed as the Vice-President (with a heavy-hand arbitrarily without following inner-party democratic process), Prashant Kishor (b. 1977) may speak up on behalf of the PARTY, but not on behalf of the GOVERNMENT.
The BJP government under the leadership of Narendra Modi, in its second term, has taken a number of steps in quick succession affecting the Muslims: abrogation of Triple Talaq, alteration in the status of Kashmir, and then the National Citizens’ Registry (NCR) and Citizens Amendment Act (CAA). The Supreme Court judgement on a long-pending Ayodhya Masjid case fell in between and that is also taken as an anti-Muslim event.
In order to dispel the fear of the Muslims that the BJP government at the center is out to disenfranchise them, take away their rights and possibly expel them from India, the Hindus will have to engage them in a dialogue with the best of intentions.
On Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birthday (2 Oct 2019), the Hamilton Interfaith Group (HIFG), organized an interfaith prayer meeting at the City Hall, Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) to pay tribute to that messenger of Peace.
As the world celebrates Mohandas Gandhi’s 150th anniversary on 2 October 2019, let’s take a look in part at what is going on around the world -- particularly in the region closer to India and beyond.
If an honest debate is initiated in the public domain and we wish to be a sincere learner of history and political developments, we should refrain from hastily jumping to a conclusion and let the facts, their interpretation and arguments flow on all sides. References to sources and quotes are fine.
As Bihar was recovering from the news cycle of mob lynching, triple talaq and JD(U)’s ambivalence on Article 370 and 35A, disturbing new reports on Lalu’s family feud surfaced.
Happy to be back to my guest column with the PatnaDaily. My last write up had appeared on 6 December 2018, wherein I had paid tribute to Dr Rajendra Prasad.