“Stop listening to claims that Act 355 is a backdoor to the implementation of hudud in Malaysia.
“At least three articles of the Federal Constitution need to be amended to implement hudud, this would surely be difficult,” PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang told the Dewan Rakyat today…
We must uphold the Federal Constitution. Whatever we do. The Federal Constitution must be supreme
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has denied PKR vicecan provide-president Rafizi Ramli’s claim that an individual close to the Islamist party had received 1MDB funds.
In dismissing the allegation, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan told the Pandan lawmaker to file a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if he has evidence.
“He (Rafizi) has to ask the person who received the funds, PAS has not received any such funds.maybe Abdul Hadi Awang bank account PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said he can provide his bank account numbers
Malaysia’s politics of fear: Both right-wing and ‘secular’ parties have unleashed a vicious cycle of extremism
Looks like Paandi Kutty not to table the bill has been caught by the very same trap that he had laid! When the Opposition wanted to discuss the DoJ suit on the 1MDB assets, the learned Speaker quickly disallowed it on the grounds that any discussion would be sub judice. So now he has to follow the precedent that he himself set for Parliament. On the other hand, everything could be part of a huge scam. Being the son of a former prime minister or deputy hardly ensures that the son cannot be a con artist. We have at least 2 such characters walking around right now.
History has its own serendipities. On 6th December 1948, exactly 44 years before the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Constituent Assembly, which drafted our Constitution, was in the throes of a heated discussion on the question of secularism and the new Republic. While there was unanimity that India would not be a theocratic state, and that secularism did not imply contempt or marginalisation of religion, Loknath Mishra, a member of the Constituent Assembly from Orissa (who later, in the 1990s, became Governor of Assam) warned that a “secular state is a slippery phrase, a device to bypass the ancient culture of the land … justice demands that the ancient faith and culture of the land should be given a fair deal if not restored to its legitimate place after a thousand years of suppression”.
In their infinite wisdom, the founding fathers of our Constitution allayed Mishra’s fears, and resolved that India would be a country where all faiths would be respected, while the state itself would be secular. This ideological clarity was based on pragmatic grounds. Hindus and Muslims, and other minorities, don’t live in separately demarcated geographical areas. Nor are the minorities, especially Muslims, in insignificant numbers. They constitute over 14% of the population and live cheek by jowl with other religious communities across the country.
Even the much smaller Christian community, not more than 2% of the population, is cumulatively more than the entire population of Hungary and Greece put together. Co-existence, and respect for each other’s faith, is therefore an imperative and not an option for India.
But this ideology-based pragmatism is being tested today, not because the ideology or the pragmatism has become irrelevant, but because electoral calculations have created cynical expediencies on all sides of the political spectrum. Some political parties that reflexively genuflect before the altar of secularism have blatantly used Muslims as a vote bank in order to win elections, but done very little to address the real needs of the community. And parties like BJP have assiduously worked to consolidate a Hindu vote in opposition to the Muslims, while privileging divisiveness over governance.
What we are seeing is a vicious cycle. Because BJP and even more so its ultra-right affiliates openly espouse a Hindu India, it heightens fears among Muslims. And this fear psychosis in turn prompts some parties to specifically target the Muslim vote, without which they cannot win.
This was evident in recent UP elections. BJP, in a transparent attempt to consolidate the majority vote, proclaimed that Hindus were being discriminated against in the matter of land for cremation grounds and electricity supply for festivals like Diwali. Not a single Muslim was given the BJP ticket. In contrast, parties like BSP, which has worked to empower Dalits, went overboard in giving nearly a hundred tickets to Muslims to stitch a winning combine, triggering a reverse Hindu consolidation.
Excess fosters excess. When in 1985 the Congress party, then in power at the Centre, succumbed, in a perhaps well-intentioned but hasty move, to Islamic hardliners and overruled through Parliament the Supreme Court’s decision for the payment of alimony to Shah Bano, a mother of five children divorced by her husband, it fuelled accusations of Muslim appeasement.
Such accusations then made BJP point an accusatory finger to even needed interventions for the uplift of Muslims. Fears that Hindus were being marginalised were played up without factual basis. More recently, artificially simulated campaigns like ghar wapsi and love jihad were launched. In the ensuing turbulence sane voices – both among Hindus and Muslims – were sidelined, while extremists grabbed the headlines.
If India is to survive as a nation, the time has come for such insanity to stop. Indian politics badly needs a return to balance and statesmanship. Inclusion not exclusion, and hope not fear needs to guide our political class. If politicians do not understand this, the only hope is that, ultimately, the people of India will.
The Rama temple issue, and the unnecessary politics over the singing of the Vande Mataram or the Surya Namaskar, will only go that far if, as latest statistics reveal, only some one lakh jobs were created in eight key non-farm sectors from April to September last year – including, shockingly, only 12,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector – even as farmers continue to commit suicide in droves due to rampant agrarian distress.
Ordinary Indians want good governance, jobs and economic development, an end to endemic social instability, and peace and security in their lives. If given a chance they will, beyond the machinations of clever politicians, vote in the long run for someone who promises these ends, and not for those who only use them as cannon fodder to win elections. Secularism will then not be the ‘slippery slope’ that Loknath Mishra cautioned us about, but a firm foundation for a mature and truly democratic republic.
After Chief Justice of India JS Khehar proposed an out-of-court mediation effort for the Ram temple dispute, Zafaryab Jilani, convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC), spoke with Rohit E David on why he thinks mediation will not work, why a speedy court verdict is needed and charges against LK Advani and MM Joshi in the temple demolition case:
Why are you opposed to the CJI’s proposal for an out-of-court settlement?
This is an observation made by the Supreme Court. This was made following the statements of Subramanian Swamy. He is not a party in any of the cases so the court told him to go and settle the matter outside the court. Earlier also, out-of-court settlement efforts have been made at the highest level and failed. The Muslims are not willing for an out-of-court settlement. None of the demands made by the other parties are acceptable by us.
Judicially speaking, what are the issues at stake here?
It is a case which originated in 1949 when idols were placed inside the mosque. The idols were put forcibly and an FIR was also lodged. A Hindu person had filed a civil suit seeking that the idols should not be removed. The court had granted that permission. This was the start of the court tussle. Nirmohi Akhara also filed a suit in 1959. This akhara is that body which has been doing puja on that platform in the outer portion of the mosque. Thereafter, Muslims also filed a case in 1961 that the surrounding area belonged to them. All these cases were kept together. In 1989, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) filed another suit. Allahabad high court passed an order in 1989 that all the suits in this matter be transferred to the high court. Meanwhile, the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. All the cases continued in the high court.
On September 30, 2010, a judgment was given by three judges of the Allahabad high court that the property be divided in three parts – one portion to be given to Muslims, one to Ram Lalla and one to Nirmohi Akhara. The judges further observed that a leading portion be given to Ram Lalla, since the deity stands there. Against this, cases are pending in the Supreme Court.
Why do you feel LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti should face criminal conspiracy charges?
They are already facing trial in one case. Crime 198 named LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and others for communal speeches before the demolition. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court. More than 50 witnesses have already been examined in this case. Crime 197 deals with actual demolition of the mosque by kar sevaks. In that case the CBI court in 2001 had observed that proceedings be dropped against them. The court said that the nature of allegations against them is the same as in crime 198. Against this CBI has filed an appeal in the high court.
After high court dismissed the appeal, CBI has gone to the Supreme Court. After formation of NDA government in 2014, we saw that CBI has been under the influence of central government and it may withdraw the appeal or get it dismissed. We have also filed a review petition. LK Advani, MM Joshi have been made accused by CBI and charges should not be dropped against them. They are liable to be prosecuted and punished.
Do you feel that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath will pursue the Ayodhya case through Sunni Waqf Board?
Sunni Waqf Board is a corporate body created by an act of Parliament. It is not the department of the government. The state government is not directly in control of that body. Yogi cannot pursue this case because he is not an officer of this board.
Yogi has cleared 20 acres land for Ramayana museum in Ayodhya. Your views?
Yogi has not given this land. It was given by the earlier government. Yogi has nothing to do with it. There is no problem in having a museum. Museum already exists there for more than 20 years.
With Yogi’s anointment as UP CM, do you think it signals BJP’s return to a Hindutva strategy?
BJP is a Hindutva party itself. There is nothing new. Yogi has been elected by BJP, nothing more.
Do you feel BJP is moving towards plans to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya?
Yes, it has been BJP’s agenda for so many years now. They had demolished the mosque for this purpose. No government can afford to violate the order of the Supreme Court. We have been demanding that proceedings be expedited.