History’s ghetto – (Geneva Camp, Dhaka)

My recent piece for the The Friday Times – about the bitterness and destitution in a Dhaka camp for Biharis

It was almost by accident that I visited the Mohammadpur Geneva camp in Dhaka – one of the largest settlements housing thousands of stranded Biharis in Bangladesh. On my last visit to Dhaka, my guide Ronny offered the possibility of getting the best bihari kebabs in town. He told me that his house was near the place and I could meet him somewhere close.

This was an extraordinary afternoon when the receding sun was converting the sky into a field of unimaginable colours that artists can only aspire to create through their limited palettes. Dhaka, the noisy, overcrowded megapolis can be enchanting at times, especially during late springtime when the Krishnochura trees (the Flame of the Forest) bloom all over with their fiery flowers. I almost cancelled the trip thinking that a walk in the park might be a better alternative to the usual South Asian gluttony. Quite soon, I arrived at the meeting point having rationalised my proclivity for indulgence.

Little did I know that the meeting point was nowhere but at the doorstep of Dhaka’s underbelly, the easy to ignore Bihari camp. Not until I had reached there had I realised how the wounds of 1971 were festering for hundreds and thousands of men, women and children who have waited for all these years to attain identity and citizenship of Pakistan. As if it were a curse, the Pakistani state soon forgot about their existence as its ethnic politics dominated the policy commitments of Bhutto. And for the Bangladeshis these were the “traitors” who continued to wave Pakistani flags when the vast majority of East Pakistanis revolted against the excesses and the might of Pakistan army following the infamous and mischievous army action of 1971.

In a few minutes I had all but forgotten about the famous Mustaqeem kebabs and parathas and forced Ronny to take me inside the camp. Very soon I realised I did not need any Bangla-speaking guide as the ghetto was Urdu speaking, and portraits of Pakistani leaders and flags could still be spotted despite the passage of three and a half decades. Ronny knew the locals and found his younger friends, child workers and idle youth who took charge of our little tour.

Shamed by guilt and excited by the real experience, I wandered the smelly, open-drained and dark streets of the ghetto. I have frequented other slums but this one was special for it reeked of the contemporary elite politics, bloodshed and cold inhumanity that Pakistanis are shy of confronting. The living conditions would put any half-concerned South Asian to shame. The homes for most of the families comprised tiny little rooms, with all the belongings and large families concentrated in the inner space. No proper toilets and water supply – as if civilization had taken a backseat here.

The tragedy of these stateless people was immense and of an in-your-face variety. Such moments can only be experienced – readings and theorisations rarely help. Mohammadpur is just one of the 116 camps all over Bangladesh set up immediately after the Liberation War of 1971, euphemistically referred to as the “Fall of Dhaka” in our textbooks. How did all this happen?

Not unlike much of the mess afflicting the region, the Partition of India in 1947 witnessed large-scale communal riots and thousands of Muslims from Bihar, West Bengal and other provinces arrived in what was known then as East Pakistan. The refugee settlements, reminiscent of Karachi, were inward looking monocultural spaces, a little away from the Bengalis. In the complex political economy of a united Pakistan, “Biharis,” by now a composite term for the non-Bengali Pakistanis in East Pakistan, became the object of Bengali ire based on common perceptions that the state gave them a preferential treatment. It is estimated that by 1971, over 1.5 million such non-Bengalis, ‘Biharis,’ were present in East Pakistan.

In 1971, the Biharis were a torn community. The Pakistan army, sensing this divide, apparently recruited some Biharis to fight the rebellious Bengalis. Whether they supported the Pakistan army or not, many Biharis remained neutral in 1971, shy of taking sides with their local brethren.

Thus the schism widened in those tumultuous years leading to the sub-human ghettoisation of the wretched children of a lesser God. After the war in 1971, the International Community for the Red Cross intervened and found out that most Biharis wanted to migrate to the truncated Pakistan. Over half a million registered “Urdu-speaking” Pakistanis found a voice at the high level Simla pact of July 1972 and later an agreement was reached in 1973 between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh on this issue. As per the agreement, the Bengali prisoners were released and sent to Bangladesh. However, not all Urdu-speaking Pakistanis were repatriated to Pakistan. Even today hundreds of thousands live in Bangladesh in camps as non-citizens.

So Mohammadpur turned out to be an encircled little inferno located next to fairly well-to-do neighbourhoods and commercial areas. Human spirit however knows how to counter the forces of nature and history. Inside the camp, little Bihars had been recreated with the memories and longings that the migrants are well known for. The cuisine, the sweets and eateries were all preparing and selling the Bihar delights: Pua, prepared from a mixture of powdered rice, milk, ghee, and honey, Pittha (steamed powdered rice mix), Khaja (a sweet delicacy); and Ladoos, Kala Jamun, and so many others that have escaped my memory.

Handicrafts and automobile repairs were common professions. As I peeped into the dingy rooms – homes and workshops rolled into one – women and men were busy working on brightly coloured saris. Many youth find this their ordained profession. There were also places for recreation: snooker, carom boards and tea stalls. We stopped at a tea stall and sipped the milky tea with lots of sugar served with anarasas (sweet round-shaped snacks). For some reason many people had gathered there and my Pakistani status was now well-known. Details of Pakistan, Karachi and lost relatives were recounted with much passion. The tea stall owner, Ahmad’s brother, had escaped to Pakistan but Ahmad never heard from him for years. Sometimes these situations land you in a zone where words are empty and meaningless; and perhaps listening becomes the best mode of communication.

We got up and reached another side of the slum packed with Urdu-wallahs. There is obviously a hint of racism when the Biharis are mentioned in the mainstream parlance in Bangladesh. The older generation complains more than the younger ones, who by their situation are better integrated and bilingual. At a carom club, the young men tell me they like Pakistan but do not wish to go there. “This is our country and our home, we are Bangladeshis.” Others nodded and chuckled at the remark. Free of the baggage, the younger generations are far more ready to become Bangladeshis.

Probably this is the reason that civic activism has earned voting rights for those born after 1971. The court ruled in 2008 that “the refugees who were minors in 1971 or born after the independence of Bangladesh are citizens of Bangladesh,” after years of legal wrangling and ideological debates in the country. However, those who were adults in 1971 were not covered.

The warmth for a Pakistani was more palpable among the elderly. I was treated with much affection in their houses. Yes, I did visit them as well, trying hard to disguise my shock at what constituted “housing.” But the conversations were fun-filled and hearty. Mirza Saheb from Muzaffarnagar related the stories of how he migrated as a child with his family after communal riots of 1947 nearly destroyed them. Respect for Jinnah and the idea of Pakistan also filtered through the discussions. But then there were witty lines and little anecdotes as well on how some Pakistanis were half or quarter Pakistanis. The full status could only be earned if you are not a Bihari!

Education is a casualty. In part this is a result of marginalisation from the state services and in most cases a simple case of poverty where family-based work for money is more important than the luxuries of schooling. Stories of discrimination were also related as to how difficult it was get a job when you were from a stateless camp.

Arif, a rickshaw-puller, narrated the woes of getting registered as a rickshaw-wallah without an identity card. He had bribed his way through and somehow used the black economy to remain employed. His wife, Nazia, a cheerful and attractive woman, insisted that I should have tea. I stayed longer. The family watched a lot of TV, especially the Indian soaps as they were in Hindi/Urdu and thus accessible. In fact, most homes had TV sets fixed on the walls – the fruits of globalisation quite evident and pluck-able.

I was concerned about Ronny, my companion, who stayed with me throughout. He later confessed that he did not approve of such treatment of the Biharis and in fact many people of his generation were appalled at this. Ronny also made his fondness for the Pakistani cricket team and beautiful girls quite clear, relating how he had a little internet romance with a girl in Karachi. But she was married before he could muster the finances and courage to actually visit Pakistan. Now he was married to another Bangladeshi-Kuwaiti girl whom he also met on the internet after the stymied Pakistan love-chapter.

Ronny’s banter lightened my inner turmoil. Another dose of escapism was offered by the tender and delicious kebabs that we devoured at the end of the camp visit. And I can say for sure that these were the best Bihari kebabs I had tasted. As we finished our late dinner, I noted how a newly constructed glitzy apartment tower overlooked us and the Geneva camp.

There is a Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee, the courts have issued rulings and the politicians in Pakistan religiously issue statements each year bemoaning the plight of the stranded Pakistanis. True, many Biharis would not return but those who want to might just die dreaming of a homeland that never will be. In South Asia we have made a royal mess of things – first the Partiton, the violence against Bangaldeshis and our refusal to admit that we were wrong; and then such insensitivity to those who are trapped between conflicting histories and ideologies.

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  • http://rezwanul.blogspot.com Rezwan

    Its sad that these people had to bear the miseries of such life. Their only crime is that they kept their hopes of Pakistan alive. But their nation repaid by forgetting them.

    Till this year there was no national ID card. They are not detained in the camp, but free to do any work (I have seen them in different professions). There are virtually little resentment or discrimination against them. So it is easy to integrate. Their ground reality is that they will have to find ways to integrate, now or later to put them out of their miseries. Because Pakistan will never take them back.

  • http://sidhusaaheb.blogspot.com Sidhusaaheb

    Some how, although it probably isn’t fact, one tends to feel as if people practise more hatred in our part of the world, on some basis or the other, than anywhere else.

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Pakistan: Still ignoring the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Pakistan: Still ignoring the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh

  • Vandana

    There case is a prime example of the dislocation,confusion of identities and loss of homeland that was caused by the events of 1947 for the people of the sub continent. What is the true and exact identity of a person? Is it best described by his/her nationality, religion,racial,ethnic,geographical roots or language? Those who migrated to Pakistan from various parts of undivided India continue to feel that “otherness”in their new homes and the stateless Biharis are in the most unfortunate position as they are ethnically and linguistically so rooted to the area of Bihar(India) but live in Bangladesh as that was where they migrated due to religious identity but then surrounded by the linguistically different Bengalis made their desire known to live in far away Pakistan….so ultimately who are they? They have lived their lives in a terrible limbo and paid a heavy price for that.Compared to them those who were born in Bangladesh find their home and heart belonging to Bangladesh.
    Pakistan can be blamed for not taking them but I wonder what purpose would it serve now if Paksiatn agrees to take them.The elder generation might feel they have come home(but miht find some resentment against them in their new home) but what about the younger ones.Won’t it be a dislocation and uprootment for them? The cycle of loss of identities will just continue if these people now migrate to Pakistan.

  • http://www.anindianmuslim.com Indscribe

    It’s so saddening that one feelsl uncomortable even reading about them, let alone watching their misery. How generations are made to suffer, it is one of the worst aspects of the recent history of the sub-continent.

    Raza bhai, have you read Abdus Samad’s famous Urdu novel ‘Do Gaz Zameen’.

  • http://TheZardaripuzzle Muhammad Usman

    Dear Raza, you have done excellent reporting. I have been there several times but I didn’t dare to go near those camps due to shame and helpness and I am sure these History’s ghettos will not be forgotten, it will be always remembered as a shameful act of callous people who were in Pakistan and did nothing and say few pity words to Pakistani who were Stateless in Bangladesh for over 37 years and when Pakistanis were told the tragic story of injustice and to take action, they gave lame excuses with such insensitivity to those who are trapped between conflicting histories and ideologies.
    We could have made a difference if we had considered ourselves above race, ethnicity or religion. Are we not answerable for our actions and inaction to ourselves and to Allah Almighty?
    After independence of Bangladesh the flood gates of oppression opened wider, many thousands more Biharis were killed, all of their homes and businesses were confiscated, they were fired from their jobs, their bank accounts seized, their children expelled from schools and all Urdu medium schools were closed.This was in complete contrivance to. UNESCO Charter to respect other community language. .The irony is that UNESCO resolution was drafted by Bangladesh to recognize the right of all language to survive
    Pakistani once more had to seek refuge. International Red Cross created camps to save them from total annihilation. Most did not want to live in Bangladesh after the battering they had received. So half a million chose to leave for, what was left of their country, Pakistan.

    Pakistan only accepted about one third of this population for repatriation. These Stateless people who are not recognized as citizens of Pakistan because Pakistan amended its citizenship act by ordinance to deny nationality of the remaining Stranded Pakistanis. Pakistan’s denial of nationality was without a reason, retroactive, and without due process of law. This has never been challenged in a Pakistani court of law but is patently unconstitutional and illegal. The right to the citizenship of a state is a basic human right to which Bangladesh and Pakistan both are signatories and both have violated numerous national laws and international conventions in the treatment of this group. These stranded Pakistanis are not guilty of or even charged with any offence in either country. There was a silence support of Pakistani population to governmental action without a shadow of shame disgrace and embracement.
    When I talked to my friends ex-Pakistani but now Bangladeshi, intoxicated with power without a feeling of shame or guilt and excited to take avenge from Bihari. There is obviously a hint of racism when the Biharis are mentioned in the mainstream jargon in Bangladesh.
    After seeing the free world, those Bangladeshi friends have change of heart and now openly confessed that they did not approve of such treatment of the Biharis and in fact many people of new generation were appalled and disgusted. This change of heart has effect on the government thinking and now all insensitivity to those who are trapped between conflicting histories and ideologies are being teared down and the stranded Pakistanis are being granted citizenship.
    But in Pakistan , we still refuse to admit that we were wrong as Rezwan is happy as Stranded Pakistani were not kept in jail, and are free to work and he thinks there is no resentment or discrimination against them. So it should be easy for them to integrate. This is ground reality but what about our miseries and shame. As the comments goes we practice more hatred. Sooner than later we will at the receiving end ourselves for our neglect and sins. When the Pakistanis were in power, they arrested, terrorized and killed Bengalis without trial. The Bengalis called it genocide. Now the Bengalis were in power and they were using exactly the same methods and they call it justice.
    What is our excuse? We don’t belong to the generation who witness it. For some strange reason Pakistanis don’t like history. They don’t write it; they don’t read it; and they don’t learn lessons from it. If they have done it, they would have not allowed their leaders to make such mistakes; they themselves would have been more alert whenever the country was sent in the wrong direction by those holding the reins of power. For this reason alone it may be a good idea to reflect a little on the past and apologies who suffer in last 36 years. Those unfortunate stranded Pakistani hopes that nearly four decades of life as a stateless has finally come to an end after getting Bangladesh citizenship. They will have the right to vote, government jobs, medical care, education, land ownership and foreign travel.
    All this is happening without Pakistan support.

  • Rizvan Ali

    I read this piece in the TFT also. The last sentence deals with the mess that has been made in South Asia starting with Partition etc. I am curious to know whether, in that sentence, the phrase “we were wrong” refers to all South Asians collectively or to Pakistanis only.

  • Vandana

    I think the royal mess started with the partition Rizvan.People all over had to make new homes in locales they did not really belong to.Pakistan seperated as a homeland for Muslims but only a small percentage went there so what does that make Indian Muslims?It is a mess that we are all paying the price for. A nation as diverse as the undivided India should never have been hacked on basis of religious alliances.But it was and now we all are prisoners of our own mistakes.Three nations have emerged but peace has eluded all three.There is a lesson in that for all of us.

  • Dastagir

    Indeed, it was “Paradise Lost” ! Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 was the last attempt to save United India from the avoidable man-made disaster.

    Basically a loose center, and residual powers with the states (Sarkaria Commission i.e. ) was the right strategy for the United States of India. But fears (real & imaginary); brandishing of swords / pistols / the threat of civil dis-obedience, mass movement, non-violent non-co-operation, social boycott (mobocracy i.e.), etc. vitiated the atmosphere. This is a long story, i can claim to say a few words on it having devoted 15 years exclusively on it. I say this much : India’s freedom struggle against the British, as it ripened, eventually became a battle-ground between Hindus & Muslims. Freedom took a back-seat. The Hindu position was (Gandhi ji’s world-view and he had his own reasons for it) that more imporant than getting political freedom from the British (India became free for the most part in 1935 itself after the Govt. of India Act 1935 came into existence); was : How to rid India of its “Muslim” influence. How to bring about a new hindu consciousness / symbology, totally free of Muslim influences. In short, a new world-view.. a revived total Hindu world-view. In United India, that was difficult. Hence partition (Gandhiji said : (on 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan) : “But this is worst THAN partition”). Muslims (for their part) wanted to evolve and develop an area based on their world-view. Hindus ( People NOT muslims, i.e…. Ambedkar was forced by Gandhi ji to agree including Harijans (Untouchables / Dalits), as part and parcel of the “Hindu Pie”… Gandhiji knew he could not match the intellectual stature of Ambedkar so he sought Tagore’s help.. He came from Bengal to pursuade Ambedkar ! End result : Poona Pact., wherein reservations for Dalits (Harijans.. as Gandhi ji called.. for root of the word please research.. it means… kids who do not know who his/her father is… Hence., Ambedkar protested over it and coined the word “Dalit”). Reservations / Quotas were agreed upon. In other words, reservations (jobs/benefits etc), were a price to given to Dalits, to KEEP them within the Hindu Fold.

    So it was all very messy. Main reason was the fear communities had for each other… that one will engulf the other. Of course, being in power Britain played a dirty role widening communal divides…. It encouraged RSS and Hindu Maha Sabha (Madan Mohan Malaviya)… and right-wing elements within Muslims… side-lining SANE voices among both communities.

    Bhulabhai Desai was the Leader of Congress in the Central Assembly (Indian Parliament, i.e.). He tried to keep India united until the end… Nobody remembers him today… There is only a road in Mumbai (Bombay) after him. Maulana Azad was the only person (stumbling block) in the way of the Partition Roller-coaster., driven by Gandhi ji and Sardar Patel. (Read Ayesha Jalal’s book… and a dozen others on subject… analyse what really happened). FEAR led to this man-made disaster. RIOTS that were unleashed by the RSS (Gurmukhteshwar etc), that shook India. Symbolic acts / statements of the Sikhs etc… In short., an ugly social environment. There was no time to reflect soberly. Britain PREPONED partition of India from 1948 to the summer of 1947… WHY ?

    Partition (and the rivers of blood and tears that followed) was the price Indians were made to pay for asking Britain to leave. Britain played divide and rule; and the people themselves had a narrow world-view. Lack of education / awareness coupled with poverty. An environment of fear fuelled by rumours… Gandhi ji wanted to re-build India’s consciousness according to his world-view (which he presumed… and rightly presumed as the “Hindu World-view”). By Hindu World-view., he meant… something that is totally free of Muslim/Islamic symbolism !

    60 years hence, in 2008., it all looks so naive… so childish… and so stupid. Hindu Pani.. Muslim Pani… at railway stations… Sikhs brandishing swords… the killings.. the murders.. the rapes.. the tears… the police looking side-ways… official media nobody trusts… To this date, Police and Public are alienated. Why ? Police remained “The State”.. (as they were during British Rule). Alienated from the populace.

    Its a long story… a very painful one… it was primarily a man-made disaster. Of course, each party justified it with its own logic… but in the main…. United States of India would have been a great proposition. The full potential of the country was eternally damaged. In a United States of India, there would be no Taliban or RSS. The middle-ground (sane voices)… would have taken root… leading to more progress.. more light… more sanity.. and more peace.

  • Vandana

    Gandhi ji and Patel’s “roller coaster”of partition was amply partenerd by Jinnah and his band too.Your comment would have been good to read but for the blatant blame heaping on to one side.Gandhi’s views on remodelling India post partition, were toxic as per you but what did Jinnah do?He dumped his life long secularity to plump for a Muslim state.In this blame game all are equally guilty and your comment does not reflect that.

  • Dastagir

    Vandana : Very true.. Gandhi ji and Patel’s roller coaster of partition, amply partnered by Jinnah led to this man-made disaster. Who is more to blame ? History will bare truths. Maybe people themselves are bad with character flaws.

  • Vandana

    It does not matter who is to blame more.Things happened that led to 1947.The question is where do the three countries go from here.Do we continue as three bitter foes,as uneasy neighbours or do we make a loose federation of three seperate nations?People have to answer this one.half of Bangladesh is pouring into India on a daily basis insearch of jobs ( and these are Muslims) so one must question this whole structure that exists today.Plainly religious identity as a base for country is no longer enough for the ordinary citizen of Bangladesh.he needs job and bread.How to improve living conditions of all three countries should be the aim.Jo hua 1947 mein cannnot be undone but maybe we can improve things for future generations.

  • Dastagir

    WHAT CAN NOW BE DONE ? In today’s newspaper I read about killings in Pakistan – then i read about Watoli Village, Bhainsa, Andhra Pradesh (bordering Maharashtra); where 6 Indians, i.e. Rahman Khan, a Tailor by profession, his wife and 4 kids were burnt alive by a Hindu Mob. (Durga procession and throwing Gulal on Friday Congregation in a mosque led to communal strife last week). There were 30 Houses in Watoli Village. 29 families had left for Bhainsa. Rahman Khan believed in secularism.. in the humanism of “man”.. in the ability of the Constitution of India., and the State.. and paid for his folly with his life. RSS goons entered the house… stuffed their mouths and tied their hands and burnt 6 Indians (Muslims) alive.. They locked the door from outside. Gujarat Experiment had entered Andhra Pradesh. After reading it, felt horrible, not to use stronger language.

    Ideally, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh must become one entity / country / confederation whatever… A loose center, (finance / defence / telecommunications) with residual powers vested in the States / Provinces (Sarkaria Commission, i.e.). Only that will bring peace to the Sub-continent. Partition of India was an option that was tried, but failed to provide a solution. Infact it aggravated the situation.

    Unfortunately, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh do NOT have the leadership., to sell this idea to their public and merge the 3 countries (artificial creations) into 1. If there can be Mergers in the Corporate Sector, why cant it be done, as all 3 countries are failing (or atleast under-performing). Merger of 3 into 1 would bring in economies of scale. Social Cohesion – and the Idea of “India” would be strengthened. United States of India would become a dominant power on the world-stage.

    Pakistan is crumbling.. Bangladesh is imploding.. and India is being pushed by RSS to the brink. What right have fanatics (of any persuasion) got, to kill innocent people ? Murder cannot be allowed in the name of religion. Unfortunately, in case of mob-violence, the law is totally ineffective. Post 1947, we have witnessed thousands of riots… some names come to mind.. Ahmedabad 1969.. Bhagalpur.. Aligarh riots.. Hashimpura UP (The State.. i.e. the Police (PAC) kills 100+ muslim youth in cold blood.. Muradabad (Police-Muslim Riots).. Nellie Massacre.. Mumbai pogrom / genocide 1993 (Post Babri Masjid Demolition).. Ahmedabad (Post Godhra pogrom / genocide 2002).. the false encounters (Sohrabuddin.. an engineer in Mumbai.. a girl student from Mumbai). Vanzara Mindset has entered the Policeman’s consciousness. With politicians like Modi and policeman like Vanzara, how can law and order remain IMPARTIAL.

    Once the IMPARTIALITY of the administration is compromised, merit is thrown to the winds. Merit is gone…

    India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have to merge into 1 nation. Only that will bring in peace. Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Christian-Parsis… are more aware today than 1947. Religion should be in the personal domain. The State should be secular… and treat all its citizens as equals (and tax them at standard rate). This is an academic suggestion.. However, ground reality is ugly. Watola Village, Bhainsa, Andhra Pradesh is the reality of today.. 13 October 2008.

    Millions will die in genocides in India. RSS has decided to go in for ethnic cleansing of Indian Muslims. (One dead is one less). It took RSS, 80 years (1926-2008) to heat things up to a level they are today. Incite Hindu Youth to rape / kill and burn alive the Muslim… and consider it as a Service to Mother India.

    RSS dreams of an age of flying chariots… an India where only Hindus reside.. the caste system strengthened.. A mindset contrary to the spirit of the indian constitution… but the indian constitution today is a creation on paper. It is very weak on the ground. It does NOT apply in the State of Guajrat. Banks, Govt. Offices, residences of Govt. Officials portray Hindu Dieties… Raj Bhavans, Official Residences in Secular India have small temples on their premises.. That is in stark contrast to India’s “academic” secular status.

    Everyone must have the freedom to profess his religion and love its symbolism… however fanatics (of any religion) have no right to kill / burn alive.. innocent Indians.. and fellow citizens (who pray in a different way)..

  • Vandana

    Isn’t it strange that when the one nation went three seperate ways the violence has increased.In India you can blame the RSS(some real and some imagined) for the violence,but who is killing in Pakistan? Its muslim against muslim there.Makes one wonder how much of the problem is due to religion and how much about getting a bigger share of the economic pie.When survival is at stake then the ‘other’becomes an easy target.
    America initiated the breaking of Iraq but as things worsened it became Iraqi Shia aginst Sunni,Muslim against Christian,Arab against Kurd. No religion in the world can curb these animal instincts that prevail when survival is threatened and man is pushed against a wall.And there are always politicians and other opportunist happy to encourage the mayhem on for personal gains/goals.
    BTW spare a thought for Kasmiri Pandits and Godhra train victims also.One wrong does not make another right but one sidedness damages too.Especially if we are dreaming about a secular,united states of India.
    Also will Pakistani Muslims who have forged an identity over 61 years as citizens of an Islamic state want to merge into a secular entity? Indian muslims would but I doubt the others would want to cede the control of religious state to a secular one.
    And if RSS dreams of flying on chariots there are those who work towards turning India into a Dar -ul-Islam and those who want vatican to rule(American baptists money is playing havoc with demographics).There are enough zealots of all shades to keep the sub continent boiling for the forseeable future.

  • Dastagir

    Hatred in all its shades is bad, condemnable and despicable. Period. The point is : who is capable of “more” hatred. Its a quantifying thought. Amratya Sen had rightly said : “Who will benefit from these riots… Think… That will help identify the real perpetrators”. I dont want to take sides., but from the logical view-point, for the sake of argument… what are Indian Muslims getting… if they commit mass-murder ? Nothing. Infact their position will get weakened. However ELECTIONS are around the corner.. Shalinyas and Rath Yatra fetched it 150+ seats (from 2). That Yatra brought the BJP into power at the Center. Now it rules 6 states! Hindutva alone will not sell… so it will mix “insecurity” (created by blasts/ riots)… and sell itself as the PROTECTOR… Its a very ugly strategy. It will bring BJP into power., but it will destroy India (long-term). RSS is the largest terrorist organisation in the world. The dirty work it is doing… must be researched. Novels written.. movies made.. seminars held.. If anyone has time., read the RSS literature., read dainik sanatan prabhat published from maharashtra (www.sanatan.org); read http://www.hindujagruti.org.

    Fanatics of all hues and shades are bad… BUT… no christian / muslim communal organisation has the reach / depth / resources of RSS ! It is the ability to create nuisance.. RSS tops in that.

    Can that be stopped ? No. Beneath every Khaki Trouser / Pantaloon [Policeman], there is a Khaki Shorts / Chaddi [RSS-wallah]. The RSS hate-virus has permeated the Hindu Psyche. It will not rest until RSS takes hindus on a suicide ride and turns India into Afghanistan-II. It is Hindus like Nehru and Sarojini Naidu that BUILT / MADE India what it is today.

    There were riots in Dhule, Maharashtra… Dhule-TV spread false news that Hindu girls were gang-raped by Muslim men… and that led to riots. Throwing beef in temples / garlanding Gandhiji’s statue at night with beef pieces / throwing pork in mosques… / throwing Gulaal on Namazis in Mosque/ Playing songs during friday prayers (in front of the mosque) / stories that hindu girls were abducted and raped /… false literature/ false hatred… these are old RSS tactics.

    RSS men are being trained manufacturing Bombs ! (Sometimes by ex-servicemen). Research into this.. the reality of Malegaon Blasts.. Nanded Blasts.. Parbhani Blasts.. how RSS men were caught making bombs in Kanpur.. They are making bombs., wearing green kurta and skull caps and planting bombs… and seeing their good deed on TV. Within minutes., muslims are blamed ! and lo.. the real perpetrator never gets caught.

    RSS is doing the dirty work in India. Muslims have nothing to gain from blasts / riots. They are the poorest community in India bothered about bread and butter issues. What do they gain by these blasts/riots ? Nothing. However., RSS has a MOTIVE… It can come to power. Elections are around… so the motive is clear. This cat and mouse game must end. If The Govt. of the Day wants to save India (and the IDEA of India., which is sound), it must act and save India from RSS.

    Freedom of 100 people has to be curbed. They must be placed under home-arrest. Togadia / Singhal / Bal Thackerey / Raj Thackerey / provocative speakers / swamis / mullahs / bishops… must all rest within the confines of their homes.. .and not allowed to make provocative speeches / writings. Hate speech and false hate reporting (as happened in Dhule TV last week) must invite capital punishment.

    If the Govt. cannot do it (for fear of losing Hindu votes) it is betraying the Idea of India. Every Hindu is Not RSS. The dirty work RSS is doing must be exposed to the avg. Hindu. There has to be open talk. RSS and hate speech must be banned. Same goes for any Mullah or Bishop. No one must be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere.

    6 muslims were burnt alive in Vatoli village, Bhainsa, Adilabad.. .and please note… the media reported : A family of 6 Hindus burnt alive ! Is this reporting ? This is incitement to murder.

    80 yrs of hard work by RSS has corrupted the Hindu Mind. 60 years of fanatic views has tainted the Pakistani Mind. I do not know what to say of the Bangladeshi mind… These people will NOT come together for the common-good of all. There is ego involved. There is beauty-contest mindset. Who will be No. 1. Why should i be no. 2 ?

    I see genocides / ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India very clearly. I see a total break-down of order in Pakistan (ethnic strife/ crime / murder)… I see food riots in Bangladesh. That is their destiny… Thats why the British did what they did. India, Pak and Bangla are paying the price for their audacity asking Britain to leave…

    Today we cannot mend.. cannot patch things up. The divide is too wide. The tearing too brutal.

  • Vandana

    I see India breaking not along communal lines but regional lines.South breaking away from north etc……
    Give some credit to an average Hindu.If it takes an organisation like RSS 60 years to get BJP into power in 6 out of 30 states then it says something about Hindus who number about 800 million in this country.
    No matter how you put it and how you intellectualise it with data and incident details,your post betrays an undercurrent of that thinking that blights the thinking of all people in the sub continent.Everyone can think only along the lines of their community…you,I the guy next door.I am not blaming you but pointing out that the inability to think from the other’s perspective is absent in our make up.It is this which is exploited by SIMI,RSS,Al-Qaeda and every other party on this land.

  • ray

    Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don’t you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘Jahane Rumi’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run http://www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

    Cheers,

  • Arohan

    well @dastagir the girl ishrat jahan from mumbai was killed along with terrorists and lashkar a toiba claimed that she was their activist

    as far as RSS is concerned they demand that all Indians should think of themselves as Indians first and anything later. is it too much to ask for?
    and if three countries are to be united then why insist on a loose center why not a strong center?

  • sophia

    Disgusting even to think about the inhuman torture, killing, raping, burning the Pakistanis did to Bangladeshis. It is only shameful for Pakistani government not to repatriate its Biharee people in their country.
    Bangladesh is a small country with over population and are burdened with millions of Biharee people occupying the camps.

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  • nooralam

    urdu spoken at bangladesh dhaka camp 1971 to 2011

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