Letters from Readers
Further thoughts on Partition
I am writing in response to the cover story in the August 2019 issue of Khabar, pertaining to the partition of India in 1947, and in response to your editorial (and other letters) in the following issues. The cover story highlighted attempts that were made by several prominent personalities in Indian politics prior to the partition of India. Partition took effect on the demand of the Muslims of India for a homeland in the subcontinent, on the ground that the Muslims of India were a nation, separate from the nation of the Hindus of India. The Muslims of India had a genuine fear that they could not live peacefully with the Hindus of India in a united India after the end of British rule in India. The present turmoil in Kashmir and the misery of the people of Kashmir, caused by the crackdown which has been imposed in Kashmir by the Indian government, bear testimony to the justification of that fear.
With respect to your editorial, I more than agree with your observation that the way forward to the solution is a plebiscite or referendum. In fact, a plebiscite is a reasonable means to the solution, legitimate and workable. More importantly, it was agreed upon by India and Pakistan as the proper way to determine whether Kashmir should belong to India or Pakistan. Also, I agree with your observation that the abrogation of Article 370, which gives special privilege to the people of Kashmir, was carried out sneakily. The abrogation was initiated at the behest of the Governor of Kashmir, who is an instrument of the Indian Government, not a true representative of the people of Kashmir. The abrogation could be carried out only with the consent of the people of Kashmir, which was obviously ignored.
With respect to a letter you published, I would say that the writer’s approach to the subject matter is highly biased, based on faulty premises, which cannot be sustained. For instance, there is no justification for the assumption that “a neutral plebiscite cannot take place because Pakistan is interested in usurping this land and has no real interest in the self determination of Kashmiri people,” as he says, and that “if there ever were a plebiscite, the entire process would have been hijacked at gun point, and we would never know the true wishes of the Kashmiri people.” Similarly, with respect to Article 370, there is no justification for the assumption that “(Article 370 was meant to be temporary), until a Plebiscite could take place (which was never going to happen).”
Emphasize the president’s good points
I am very offended by an article in the November magazine against President Trump [refers to “The Uppity Immigrant,” an interview with Suketu Metha about his book, This Land Is Our Land]. I felt it was very biased. An individual opinion was rather blown up instigating hate against President Trump. I would like to have the president’s good points also emphasized. I feel like we have overcome the racial days and the racism Indians faced in every business, stores, hotels, etc.
Indians are facing an extreme shortage in hospitality, gas stations, restaurants, and other businesses. We do have Indians working in skilled positions as well as unskilled positions, and they are very comfortable making a living and were admitted “legally.” They are paying taxes and would be eligible for retirement benefits. The Spanish community is also enjoying the same benefits as any American.
The president is against people immigrating and taking over available jobs and benefiting from freebies. Yes, he is doing what every leader should be doing for his country. The subject could fill pages, discussing where your article is right and so is my message. Please, no more biased news.
[Editor’s Note: The article referred to above was not presented as news, but as thought-provoking opinions by a prominent Indian-American author. As our disclaimer states, opinions expressed are those of individual writers. Khabar is a features magazine, not a news publication.]
Weighing in on the Ayodhya decision
Khabar’s cover story in its December 2019 issue captures much of the political debate surrounding the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict.
Here, Sadhguru’s practical take is worth mentioning. Whose legacy should we preserve for future generations, Lord Ram’s or Babur’s? Sadhguru explains that Babur, descendant of tyrants like Genghis Khan and Taimur Lang, was a tyrant of the worst kind. His empire was built on killing, looting, destroying, and desecrating. Guru Nanak lived during his time and said, “A Messenger of Death has come. In any town he went—kill all the men, burn the town, capture the women and children.” The legacy of Babur should be erased from this country in every way. And today’s Muslims should not associate with the atrocity that was Babur. Babur killed in the name of religion, which gave him a new level of authority that Genghis Khan did not have, because Genghis Khan did not use religion for conquest. So Babur building mosques is not out of devotion but an establishment of power. Babur was not a devout Muslim by any standards. He used religion at his convenience to impact wherever he went.
Ram, on the other hand, never said, “I am a Hindu,” but his actions speak. He invaded Lanka for his wife and when he left, leave alone prisoners, he did not take a dime’s worth of loot. Ram represents our culture as an icon of stability, balance, peacefulness, and justice. During India’s freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi referred to Ram Rajya to mean a well-administered, just state, and for that, Sadhguru concludes, we need Ram.
One point should be made about the Supreme Court’s judgment. The judges noted that the 1992 destruction of the mosque was wrong. In the eyes of the law, that point may be valid. But, on the 6th of December 1992, if that structure, built in Babur’s name, had not been broken, how would the archaeologists have determined if there was a temple or a mosque underneath? Archaeological research done after the fact revealed the remains of a temple underneath, and it largely forms the evidence on which the Supreme Court made its decision. It would perhaps have been impossible to do a survey under a built mosque.
Some reactions to the verdict are ironical. While they console one side, they forget that this is a victory for a billion followers. Ayodhya is no less than Mecca, a cause for which many Hindus fought and sacrificed their lives in the last 150 years. They did not snatch their right to the birthplace of Ram. They were handed a decision by the highest court of the land. But after the judgment, some appealed to Hindus to hide their happiness and to Muslims to hide their anger. Why promote such unnatural behavior? If there is Hindu-Muslim bhaichara (brotherhood), then why fight a 150-year-old long case? One side has won on the basis of facts and not swords, and they have a right be jubilant. So the pretense of telling them not to celebrate is unreasonable and wrong.
Preparing for the verdict was one of the biggest law-and-order challenges for the Uttar Pradesh government, and their preparation resulted in a peaceful aftermath to the judgment. The stable central government’s response also gave the public assurance after the verdict. Hindu and Muslim leaders met with each other and talked about peace, unity and the future. If today the country has a stable government, strong administration, and competent faith leaders, should Indians not expect the same efficiency from the judiciary?
What’s on YOUR mind?
We welcome original, unpublished letters from our readers. You could either respond to a specific article in Khabar or write about issues relevant to our community. Letters may be edited for length and other considerations. Longer submissions by readers may be considered for the “My Turn” column.
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Note: Views expressed in the Letters section do not necessarily represent those of the publication.
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