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Banladesh awards G. M. Sayed for voicing Bangladesh

Sindh – Karachi : Bangladesh’s government has decided to confer Bangladesh National Award to Sindh nationalist leader late G. M. Sayed, late Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizinjo from Balochistan, [the poet of Sindhi language, Late Sheikh Ayaz from Sindh, who strongly opposed the military operation and as a president of Sukkur Bar Association he passed a resolution against the brutal military operation and genocide of Bangalis due to it he put behind the bars. During his imprisonment (May 1971 to January 1972)  in Sukkur Jail, he wrote his “Jail Diary”. He had also  behind the bars from 1965 to 1968 due to his revolutionary poetry in military dictator Ayoub Khan era . In later years it  becomes a piece of Sindhi revolutionary literature.],   Baadshah Khan, Abdus Samad Achakzai, Khair Bakhsh Marri, Ahmad Saleem, Tahira Muzhar, Zafar Malik and Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan are among the 40 Pakistanis who were chosen for the award.

G. M. Sayed was the first leader in west Pakistan who had dare to strongly condemned and opposed the genocide of Bangladeshis in 1970 by Pakistani security forces during darkest times of dictatorship. The authoritarian authorities of that time decided to give punishment to G. M. Sayed, therefore,  they put G. M. Sayed under house arrest and his house was declared a sub-jail. He had been detained without trial until his death. He was declared “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International.

G.M. Syed mainly advocated for non-violence, democracy, secularism (Separation of religion from the state), national self-determination, unity among all south Asian nations and states, social and economic equality for all. Long live the struggle of Saeen G. M. Syed for the religious harmony, unity among all south Asian nations and states towards universal peace.

Now Bangladesh selected G.M. Sayed and several other individuals from various countries to award them with its highest civilian decoration.‎

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For more details : Examiner.com

The mote in our eyes, the wool in our ears – Ayaz Amir

Excerpt :-

… But to the fair, politicians can also be their own worst enemies. Look at the furore over fake degrees, which amounts to the manufacturing of a wholly unnecessary crisis, as if there weren’t enough real problems meriting our attention.

Fake degrees was an issue which should have been addressed at the time of Musharraf’s assemblies. He allowed an entire army of maulvis to contest the 2002 elections knowing that the academic-cum-religious degrees with which they were armed were little better than the paper they were written on. Even otherwise a cottage industry sprang up to cater to the needs of budding legislators in need of false degrees.

This issue was brought before the higher courts but they sat on it and passed no judgment. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry became CJ (at Musharraf’s hands, let us not forget) way back in 2006. Shouldn’t he have woken up to this mischief then? One reason why the holy fathers of the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal stayed in line for much of Musharraf’s tenure was because of this particular skeleton rattling in their cupboards. ..

To read full article >>- THE NEWS

Courtesy:  http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=248424

History misrepresented

Dr Manzur Ejaz

The path we chose sixty years ago has brought us to where we are today. The violent and dark forces of history idealised and imposed through our textbooks could well be responsible for cultivating the minds of suicide bombers. It may seem rather abstract and presumptive to claim that the state has promoted a culture of hatred and violence by including warriors and invaders as heroes, and excluding real indigenous thinkers and anti-fundamentalism intellectuals in the educational curriculum. Therefore, the rise of religious fundamentalism, as embodied by the Jama’at-e Islami and the Taliban among others, should be examined objectively.

Continue reading History misrepresented

Humour and religion – Dr Manzur Ejaz

WICHAAR

The Chinese and other Far-Eastern immigrant communities are the only ones who have been completely reticent about religious matters. Their organisations may voice concerns about civil rights or national but they rarely react if Buddhism or other religions of that area are mocked.

Finally, American-Hindus have caught up with other religious communities in being extremely protective of their symbolic and figurative presentation in the western media. While Muslims from the Indian sub-continent have led the pack, other religious communities have their own ways of reacting to their perceived image in the media.

Hindu religious groups have been protesting over a soon-to-be-released comedy film The Love Guru. They object to the presentation of Hinduism in a comical way.

The ‘love guru’ is a comic character who helps others with their love-life. Hindus have claimed that their religion has been slighted because the character is shown in traditional Indian yogi attire and is shown to have been trained in Hindu institutions.

The producers of the film deny such allegations claiming that the love guru is a humorous character, not representing any religion. However, Hindu organisations rebut with the argument that whenever an Indian has to be ridiculed in American media, the character is shown in a sari or dhoti. And so is the case with the love guru.

Hindu fundamentalist organisations have been on the rise in the US in tandem with the ascendancy of Bhartia Janta Party (BJP) and its parent outfit Rastriya Sevak Singh (RSS). Many human rights organisations, specifically representing minority religions in India, have been alleging that the US-based branches of BJP and RSS have been providing most of the funding for extremist causes resulting in Muslim massacres in Gujarat.

Human rights organisations have also been demanding that the US government investigate this matter but the Bush administration has largely ignored such pleas.

As a matter of fact, these organisations have been extremely quiet about their business. Such a strategy has allowed them to remain in the good books of the American public; the Muslims, on the other hand, have been disadvantaged because of their high profile concerns.

Incidentally, Sikhs have had their own share of extremist agendas. Besides their universal demand of wearing a turban and carrying a mini-sword, they have been fighting on other issues as well, some of them termed trivial. A few years back an issue arose in North American gurdwaras over whether langar could be served on chairs or not.

The traditionalists objected to the use of chairs as a violation of Gurus’ path while the modernists argued that old people could not sit on the floor mats because of health reasons. Several people were killed in gurdwaras in Canada and the US over this controversy. It is not clear how the issue was ultimately resolved.

Religious communities from the sub-continent are notorious for being too defensive when it comes to religion. However, the majority of religious communities from the US and Europe are not immune to this either. The only difference is that they are perhaps more subtle in these matters. Despite being much more tolerant over the mixing of humour and religion, they characterise attacks on Christianity as attacks on anti-western civilisation. The Jews too often make references to anti-Semitism.

Amazingly, the Chinese and other Far Eastern immigrant communities are the only ones who have been completely reticent about religious matters. Their organisations may voice concerns about civil rights or national but they rarely react if Buddhism or other religions of that area are mocked.

Probably, this is because religion is rarely used as a political tool in their region. One seldom hears about communal or sectarian riots in China, Japan or other Far Eastern nations notwithstanding the suppression of a few cults here and there.

One can hypothesise that the Chinese, Japanese and other countries of that region have out-grown the sub-continent and other Asian countries because of their liberal religious lifestyle.

On the other hand, the rise of religious fundamentalism in almost every religious community in the sub-continent, the West, and the Middle East has hampered socio-economic growth. The rise of religious fundamentalism in these areas is surely a symptom of some serious underlying social problem.

The writer can be reached at manzurejaz@yahoo.com

June 28th, 2008

Courtesy – http://www.wichaar.com/news/152/ARTICLE/6473/2008-06-28.html