'Indian Muslims need to be democratized…'
A coterie of Indian Muslims in public life simulates the so-called Hindu political secularists to prop up itself as a devoted follower of secularism, but when the former has to speak against the Islamic radicals it remains curiously silent. The Islamic radicals opposed the restoration of ancient Hindu shrines associated with Sri Ram and Sri Krishna which were razed and mosques and idgahs were built on those Hindu holy sites by the Muslim invaders who had ruled under autocratic dynasties for about 700 years in India. These radicals opposed to abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir, abolition of instant triple talaq to Muslim women; and still, they are opposed to the codification of uniform civil code. The radicals, being indigenous citizens of India, blindly cultivate sentiments with the foreign invaders while the so-called Muslim secularists remain tight-lipped. In all these national issues, this group seems on a par with the radicals and have been unmasked time and again. The foolhardy Muslim secularists dared to link the RSS with the Taliban who are playing havoc with the lives of the Afghans, especially their misogynous treatment of the women which poses an extreme threat to humanity before the civilized world. In the Muslim rallies held for civic issues the religious slogan 'norae takdir Allahu Akbar' are chanted which is abhorred in democracy. In India, fatal terror attacks occurred during the rule of so-called secular political parties but this lobby remained silent.
In a democratic, secular India the Government cannot make any give-and-take deal with the Shariat in governance as the Constitution is sovereign in the country. The Muslim secularists, if they truly swear by democracy and secularism, must work among their co-religionists to spread the message that governance issues be kept separate from the prism of religion. Ergo, they have to be democratized and secularized.
On 6th September last, in a press conference, Swati Bidhan Baruah of the Assam State Transgender Welfare Board, blamed the unregistered gay organizations for working for transgender and thus, increasing the number of non-hijra transgender. She even blamed the Christian organizations for hatching a conspiracy of religious conversion in the name of working for transgender. However, in Assam, there is only Rainbow Home of Seven Sisters, a registered shelter home for transgender women, founded by Sr Prema Sowallur; and unregistered NGOs can also work for transgender.
Not all transgender women/females are hijra. To be a hijra, a transgender woman/female must be a sela (disciple) under the guru (preacher) of a hijra-gharanaa culture spanning for centuries. However, authentic historical evidence of Assam having hijra-Gharana culture is not found. Further, to be a transgender woman/female it's not mandatory to undergo sex-change surgery. However, in Assam, owing to deep homophobia-cum-stigma many hidden transgender women/females are being forced to dress like men and even marry girls, who gotten the chance would dress like women.
Only through true and extensive skill development programs for all sections of transgender can reduce the number of hijras, hijra-like-transgender and crimes committed by them which have been increasing day by day. To do it fruitfully, the Government should extend their work to other sections of transgender also viz transgender men, gender-non binary, gender-neutral transgender etc., by including their representatives in the Assam State Transgender Welfare Board. In this regard, on the 2nd of this month, representatives of several organizations submitted a memorandum in the Social Welfare Department, Assam, about which Ms Baruah was silent in the press meet.
Dr Mukul Kr Sarma,
The cow is an animal that defines the economical fabric of our country which is largely agriculture-based. Cows deserve a special day of its own for all the economical baggage it has been carrying for so long. According to a news piece published in Mint, it is economics and not religion that drives ownership of cattle in India. In the same news piece, a figure is provided which is compiled by the erstwhile NSSO and now the NSO which says that all India average of households owning cattle or buffalo is 30 per cent. This goes to prove the economical viability of cows. At a time when cow vigilantism is rampant and its protection is given utmost importance, the Assamese community since unrecorded time has given the cow its due respect. I remember my father telling me that cows were not sold off even if they were ill or old, some farmers also went bankrupt as they spent a large chunk of their rainy day savings on the treatment of cows. Cows apart from enjoying a family member status also was placed on a pedestal equal to God. The Bohag Bihu starts with Goru Bihu that sows cows always come first in the Assamese rural milieu.
The first time MLA Akhil Gogoi has almost neglected this constituency and his people because he is all the time busy with upcoming bye-elections and 2024 parliamentary polls. Last three months he was busy touring Kolkata and Delhi to stitch an alliance with other political parties with Raijor Dol but he has returned empty-handed. In Kolkata, he met Mamata Banerjee to discuss the formation of a Federal Front but Mamata Banerjee advised him to join her party and merge his unregistered Raijor Dol with TMC. In New Delhi, he discussed with Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, Congress in-charge Assam and other senior leaders but they did not take him into confidence. Back in the state after his failed political tour, he is often heard sometimes criticizing and sometimes threatening the APCC office-bearers. Now things have come to such a pass that even the rejected Congress leaders are rejecting Akhil Gogoi's offers like one reject duplicate products in the market. Like his earlier days as a professional protestor when he lacked consistency and clarity, his journey as a politician is without any ideology and principles. The voters of Sivasagar must be cursing themselves for electing a person.
Britain hurts Indians!
'The decision of the British government regarding quarantine and not recognise Covishield is discriminatory'. This was stated by Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringala. India has a larger population than Britain. The fourth and fifth waves of the corona hit Britain. Why did they come? They must have studied it. A third wave is expected in India. Given the current Corona figures, there is no possibility of a third wave in India at present. But care must be taken. There is no resentment in this. Britain should welcome Indians to their country. Because they come from a country that has faced fewer waves than Britain. They have also been vaccinated. As a result, they pose no threat to Britain.
Could Britain have to face a few more waves because of people from India? This is how it is being faked. This is meaningless. What about those coming to India from Britain? Because they have experienced more waves than India. So isn't there a threat to the health of the people of India from them? Britain must answer this. Vaccination has gained momentum in India. This will be in the eyes of some internationally. Therefore, it seems that Indians are being harassed for some unnecessary reasons.
The key is that the Covishield vaccine has been developed in Britain. It is being produced by Serum Institute in Pune (Maharashtra ). So why are they rejecting the vaccine, which is mainly made by them? This should also be disclosed by Britain. Covishield vaccinated Indians are not acceptable to Britain. This means that even though the vaccine is from the UK, it is manufactured in India, so the effectiveness of the vaccine is low. Britain must have felt that way. But this is wrong. Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh has pointed the finger at Britain as racist. That doesn't seem to be the case. Naturally, the matter should not be dragged out by blabbering on. Vaccination and racism are two different things.
RTI fees and other government fees requiring to be paid through postal orders should be revised to rupees fifty uniformly to prevent heavy loss in handling postal orders.
It was only after revelation through an RTI application that the Department of Posts discontinued postal orders in outdated denominations like rupees 1, 2, 5 and 7 because of extremely low sale-figure and high handling cost. According to an RTI response, the handling cost of a postal order was rupees 37.45 to the Department of Posts alone in the year 2011-12. Handling cost for clearing-operation of banks and in concerned public authorities is even extra. It is highly illogical that public-exchequer may bear such extra-ordinary loss in handling postal orders in denominations like rupees 10 and 20. Rather it is time that higher denominations like rupees 100, 200 and 500 may be added to avoid the purchase of demand-drafts in submitting various types of fees.
Government fees below rupees 50 may either be increased or abolished. Or Department of Posts may issue special stamps like there used to be for licences of radio and TV sets for services requiring heavy use of postal orders in lower denominations of rupees 10 and 20. The beginning can be done with introducing RTI stamps where presently heavy use of postal-orders in denominations rupees 10 is there. RTI stamps can be issued in denominations of rupees 2, 10 and 50. Presently copying charges under RTI Act in amounts lower than rupees 10 is not feasible because of the discontinuance of postal orders in denominations of rupees 2.
Cricket is the game of glorious uncertainties, which once again proved when Rajasthan Royals staged one of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) most remarkable jailbreaks on Tuesday. Superb death bowling had earlier given Punjab Kings a chance before Rajasthan Royals almost gift-wrapped the game away with some shoddy fielding, wayward bowling and inexplicable captaincy. Hence, a defeat had looked very much a certainty, with Punjab Kings needing just eight runs off 12 balls and eight wickets in hand. Media and everyone is praising 20 years Covid-19 recovered Karthik Tyagi for the last over but who forget the penultimate over from Mustafizur Rahman yielded only four runs. The odds were still overwhelmingly in favour of Kings entering the final over with the well-set pair of Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran at the crease on 25 and 32 respectively amid a half-century partnership. But Tyagi's one run with two wickets in the last six balls only to help Punjab Kings coach fuming Anil Kumble and skipper K L Rahul is wiping sweat off his forehead. Because it's not wrong to say that Punjab Kings can lose a match from any point, if not then when Rajasthan Royals has forgotten that the cricket's most crucial point 'catches win matches, and K L Rahul was dropped three times during a sloppy fielding display by Royals that allowed him to reach 49 in the end as part of a century stand with Mayank Agarwal. More painful, when it's the Punjab Kings statistical day that included Rahul passing 3,000 runs in the IPL, 2000 runs in the IPL for Agarwal, a maiden IPL five-for from left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh, and late wickets by Mohammed Shami - all of it seems pointless. Because, Royals were able to overcome that due to the brilliance of Mustafizur Rahman and Kartik Tyagi, and Punjab king became completely spoiled in the final moments of play as they tripped spectacularly at the final hurdle, what should have been a cakewalk for Punjab Kings turned out to be a horror tale with Rajasthan Royals sneaking home by two runs. Kudos to the Rajasthan Royals for spectacular victories from the jaws of defeat!
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,