Tag Archives: Hero

Why St George is a Palestinian hero

By Yolande Knell, BBC News

As England celebrates the day of its patron saint, many Palestinians are gearing up for their own forthcoming celebrations of the figure they also regard as a hero.

A familiar flag flaps in the wind above a Palestinian church in the West Bank village of al-Khadr.

The red cross on a white background has been associated with Saint George since the time of the Crusades.

It is the national flag of England and is also used as an emblem by other countries and cities that have adopted him as their own patron saint.

However, Palestinians have particular reason to display the symbol and revere the early Christian martyr. For them he is a local hero who opposed the persecution of his fellow Christians in the Holy Land.

“We believe he was a great martyr for his faith who defended the Christian faith and values,” says Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna.

“By making sacrifices for his faith he was able to defeat evil. We take St George as a patron for people living here – and as he was born in historic Palestine, we pray to him to remember us and this holy land.”

St George was a Roman soldier during the Third Century AD, when the Emperor Diocletian was in power. It is said that he once lived in al-Khadr near Bethlehem, on land owned by his mother’s family.

While the saint’s father is usually traced back to Cappadocia, an area in modern Turkey, it is believed his mother was Palestinian from Lydda – now Lod, in Israel.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27048219

 

A freedom fighter lost in the pages of history

By Shaikh Israr

KARACHI: Seventy years ago this day, a forgotten freedom fighter was hanged in Sukkur Jail (now Central Jail Sukkur 2) under the British Raj.

Hemu Kalani, originally from Sukkur, was given the option of relaxing his sentence for a simple written apology — but he remained steadfast and unapologetic.

His valour still echoes in the pages of history, his determination, many say, knew no bounds.

Just 18 years old when he was caught red-handed, imprisoned and tortured for attempting to loosen the fixings of the railway track in his hometown in a bid to derail the train which was carrying special troops of the European battalions.

Young Kalani was informed on October 23, 1942 that a train was carrying weapons which would be used against freedom fighters in Sindh. He along with friends decided that the train will not be allowed to go ahead.

Perhaps lost in history, it is still unclear who caught him.

But according to writer Dr Amir Abbas Soomro, a security guard of a biscuit factory near the track caught him and handed him over to the police (information the writer says he gathered from Kalani’s younger brother Tekchand).

Accounts of his story reveal that Kalani asked his friends to run away before being caught by authorities and never disclosed their names despite being tortured mercilessly.

His case was being heard in a Martial Court and his lawyers, Pirzado Abdul Sattar, failed to prove him innocent before the British Raj.

Sattar made an offer to Kalani’s paternal uncle, Dr Manga Ram: If Kalani could sign a written apology, the British would relax his death sentence but Kalani simply refused.

Upon hearing the news his mother, Jethi Bai, rushed to the Sukkur jail and begged her son to accept the terms of the apology.

Kalani refused to apologise for saving his land.

Today, 70 years on it seems the hero of Sindh has been lost in translation.

While India pays homage and celebrates his death anniversary as a sign of resilience, very few are aware of his sacrifices here except a few nationalist parties who take him as a hero.

A post stamp of Kalani’s name was issued by former Indian premier Indira Gandhi in 1983 and several roads, schools and parks have been named after him in different cities of India.

So highly placed is this historical legend that the Indian parliament boasts a statue of Kalani on its premises.

His uncle Dr Manga Ram was also a freedom fighter and Kalani was inspired by his struggle against the British Raj.

According to Kalani’s neighbours, his family migrated to India after the partition of the subcontinent and resided in Chamber Camp, Mumbai. His younger brother, Tekchand, still lives in Mumbai and is 71 now.

At one point in time, Jawaharlal Nehru himself visited Kalani’s family and announced pension for his mother after his death.

Today, Iftikhar Shah possesses the house that once was home to Kalani in old Sukkur.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2013.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/496835/a-freedom-fighter-lost-in-the-pages-of-history/

History & Sindh – Black Mirror – By: Dr Mubarak Ali

Past present: Black mirror

History often helps in analysing the present day issues by reflecting on past events. Generally, this approach is adopted in a society where there is dictatorship, censorship and legal restrictions to express discontent in regard to government policies. The method is effective in creating political consciousness by comparing the present with the consequences of bad governance and disillusionment of the past.

After the independence[?] of Pakistan, the army and the bureaucracy emerged as powerful state institutions. In the absence of a constitution, the two institutions were unaccountable to any authority. Bureaucracy followed in the footsteps of the colonial model, treating people with arrogance and contempt. A strong centre allowed it to rule over the provinces unchecked. The provinces, including the former East Pakistan, greatly suffered because of this.

Sindh chose to raise its voice against the oppressive attitude of the bureaucracy and a strong centre. Despite the grand, national narratives which justified the creation of a new country, Sindh responded by presenting its problems and grievances by citing historical suffering of its people.

During the reign of Shahjahan, Yusuf Mirak, a historian, wrote the book Tarikh-i-Mazhar-i-Shahjahani. The idea was to bring to Shahjahan’s notice the corruption and repressive attitude of the Mughal officials in Sindh. As they were far from the centre, their crimes were neither reported to the emperor nor were they held accountable for their misdeeds.

Mirak minutely described their vices and crimes and how the people [Sindhis] were treated inhumanly by them. He hoped that his endeavours might alleviate the suffering of the people when the emperor took action against errant officials. However, Mirak could not present the book to the emperor but his documentation became a part of history.

When the Persian text of the book was published by Sindhi Adabi Board, its introduction was written by Husamuddin Rashdi who pointed out the cruelty, brutality, arrogance and contempt of the Mughal officials for the common man. Accountable to none, they had fearlessly carried on with their misdeeds.

Today, one can find similarities between those Mughal officials and Pakistani [civil & military] bureaucrats of the present day. In the past Sindh endured the repercussions of maladministration and exploitation in pretty much the same way as the common man today suffers in silence. But one can learn from the past and analyse the present to avoid mistakes.

The history of Sindh shows two types of invaders. The first example is of invaders like the Arabs and the Tarkhans who defeated the local rulers, assumed the status of the ruling classes and treated the local population as inferior. The second type was of invaders like Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali who returned home after looting and plundering. The rulers of Sindh defended the country but sometimes compromised with the invaders. Those who defended it were vanquished and discredited by history, and their role was not recognised.

G. M. Syed in his tract Sindh jo Surma made attempt to rehabilitate them. According to him, Raja Dahir who defended Sindh against the Arabs was a hero while Muhammad Bin Qasim was an agent of the Umayyad imperialism who attacked Sindh to expand the empire and to exploit Sindh’s resources.

Decades later, in 1947, a large number of immigrants arrived from across the border and settled in Sindh. This was seen by Sindhi nationalists as an attempt to endanger the purity of the Sindhi culture. In 1960, agricultural land was generously allotted to army officers and bureaucrats. Throughout the evolving circumstances in Sindh, the philosophy of Syed’s book is the protection and preservation of the rights of Sindhis with the same spirit with which the heroes of the past sacrificed their lives for the honour of their country [Sindh].

Continue reading History & Sindh – Black Mirror – By: Dr Mubarak Ali

On Bhagat Singh, his vision and Jinnah’s support for his struggle

A few days ago, Irfan Habib, a noted researcher and author of TO MAKE THE DEAF HEAR – Ideology and Programme of Bhagat Singh and His Comradessent his thoughtful piece on the legendary Bhagat Singh.

Incidentally, Bhagat Singh was hanged on Pakistan’s Republic Day – March 23 though nine years prior to that – in Lahore – thereby adding another dimension to the symbolism of March 23 for Pakistanis. Bhagat Singh for his principles, struggle for just causes and valour is a shared hero.

I am quoting some of the passages from Habib’s article below. Citing a Tamil newspaper editorial of 1931, Habib writes:

Continue reading On Bhagat Singh, his vision and Jinnah’s support for his struggle

Turkey takes over the Arab Spring

– By Pepe Escobar

Finally. Crystal clear. Someone finally said it – what the whole world, except Washington and Tel Aviv, knows in its collective heart; the recognition of a Palestinian state is “not an option but an obligation”.

It did wonders that the man who said it was Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Cairo, at the Arab League, in front of all Arab foreign ministers and with virtually the whole Arab world glued to satellite networks scrutinizing his every word.

The current Erdogan Arab Spring tour – as it was billed by the Turkish press – comprising Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, has already rocketed him to the status of a geopolitical cross between U2’s Bono and Barcelona’s superstar Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.

Erdogan received a rock/soccer star welcome at Cairo’s airport – complete with “Hero Erdogan” banners brandished by the Muslim Brotherhood. He even addressed the crowd in Arabic (from “Greetings to the Egyptian youth and people, how are you?” to “Peace be upon you”).

Erdogan repeatedly stressed, “Egypt and Turkey are hand-in-hand.” But it’s the subtext that is even more incendiary. While Israel’s former good friends Egypt and Turkey are now hand-in-hand, Israel is left isolated facing a wall. There could not be a more earth-shattering development in the Levant – unheard of since the Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt in 1978.

A model campaigner

Erdogan’s tour is a realpolitik master class. He’s positioning Turkey as the forefront supporter of the Palestinian cause. He’s also positioning Turkey at the core of the Arab Spring – as a supporter and as an inspirational model, even though there have been no full-fledged revolutions so far. He’s emphasizing solid Turkish-Arab unity – for instance planning a strategic cooperation council between Egypt and Turkey.

Plus the whole thing makes good business sense. Erdogan’s caravan includes six ministers and nearly 200 Turkish businessmen – bent on investing heavily all across northern Africa. In Egypt, they may not match the billions of dollars already committed by the House of Saud to the military junta led by Air Marshall Mohammed Tantawi. But in 2010, Turkish trade with the Middle East and North Africa was already at $30 billion, representing 27% of Turkish exports. Over 250 Turkish companies have already invested $1.5 billion in Egypt.

Crucially, Erdogan told Egyptian TV channel Dream, “Do not be wary of secularism. I hope there will be a secular state in Egypt.” Erdogan was subtly referring to Turkey’s secular constitution; and at the same time he was very careful to remind Egyptians that secularism is compatible with Islam.

The current Turkish model is enormously popular among the Egyptian street, featuring a moderate Islamic party (the Justice and Development Party – AKP) in power; a secular constitution; the military – albeit strong – back in the barracks; and an ongoing economic boom (Turkey was the world’s fastest growing economy in the first half of 2001). [1]

This model is not exactly what the regressive House of Saud wants. They would prefer a heavily Islamist government controlled by the most conservative factions of the Muslim Brotherhood. Worse; as far as Libya is concerned, the House of Saud would love to have a friendly emirate, or at least a government peppered with Islamic fundamentalists.

Erdogan also stressed that the “aggressiveness” of Israel “threatens the future of the Israeli people”. That’s music for the Arab street. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Erdogan in Cairo – and confirmed he’ll go ahead with Palestine’s bid to be fully recognized as a state by the United Nations Security Council later this month. ….

Read more → Asia Times

Bhagat Singh Anniversary in Brampton, Canada

Every year the Indo-Canadian Workers Association marks the anniversary of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom at the hands of the British Raj (on March 23, 1931). This year’s commemoration will be held on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He was quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 64-days fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged by British Raj government on 23 March 1931.

The organizers of the event hope many of Indo-Pakistani- Bangladeshi-Canadians will be able to attend to pay the tribute and respect to this great hero of the Indian sub-continent (South Asia).

Russia Weighs What to Do With Lenin’s Body

By C. J. CHIVERS

MOSCOW, Oct. 4 – For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.

Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?

Revisiting a proposal that thwarted Boris N. Yeltsin, who faced down tanks but in his time as president could not persuade Russians to remove the Soviet Union’s founder from his place of honor, a senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin raised the matter last week, saying it was time to bury the man. …

Read more : The New York Times

Salman Taseer Remembered – by Tariq Ali

Mumtaz Hussain Qadri smiled as he surrendered to his colleagues after shooting Salman Taseer, the governor of the Punjab, dead. Many in Pakistan seemed to support his actions; others wondered how he’d managed to get a job as a state bodyguard in the carefully screened Elite Force. Geo TV, the country’s most popular channel, reported, and the report has since been confirmed, that ‘Qadri had been kicked out of Special Branch after being declared a security risk,’ that he ‘had requested that he not be fired on but arrested alive if he managed to kill Taseer’ and that ‘many in Elite Force knew of his plans to kill Salman Taseer.’

Qadri is on his way to becoming a national hero. On his first appearance in court, he was showered with flowers by admiring Islamabad lawyers who have offered to defend him free of charge. On his way back to prison, the police allowed him to address his supporters and wave to the TV cameras. The funeral of his victim was sparsely attended: a couple of thousand mourners at most. A frightened President Zardari and numerous other politicians didn’t show up. A group of mullahs had declared that anyone attending the funeral would be regarded as guilty of blasphemy. No mullah (that includes those on the state payroll) was prepared to lead the funeral prayers. The federal minister for the interior, Rehman Malik, a creature of Zardari’s, has declared that anyone trying to tamper with or amend the blasphemy laws will be dealt with severely. In the New York Times version he said he would shoot any blasphemer himself.

Taseer’s spirited defence of Asiya Bibi, a 45-year-old Punjabi Christian peasant, falsely charged with blasphemy after an argument with two women who accused her of polluting their water by drinking out of the same receptacle, provoked an angry response from religious groups. …

Read more : LRB.co.uk
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n02/tariq-ali/salman-taseer-remembered?%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3ELRB.co.uk

Cheer the assassin! – by Khurram Husain

Cheer on my friends! Cheer on the assassin! Smile and clap your hands, chant odes to the ghazi’s bravery! Go ahead, applaud the darkness that is coming your way, because once it has taken you into its embrace, there’ll be no cheer left in your life.

Hail the assassin as your hero! Lift him up on your shoulders and show his brave deed to your children! Tell them to emulate his example and follow his footsteps! Kiss the ground he walked on! Congregate outside the prison that holds him and shout slogans so he hears your support through the walls. Because soon, the only heroes left in your life will be those with blood on their hands and death in their hearts.

Denounce the fallen governor! Denounce his licentious ways! Mock his speeches and drag his grieving wife and children through the dirt that is in your mind, your eyes! Question his faith: Was he a secret atheist? Fling all manner of filth and dirt on his name and his ways, for soon there’ll be nothing left in your minds, other than the filth of a faithless piety and the dirt of prejudice.

Sanctify the assassin’s bullet! Distill all your hatreds and frustrations into it! Place it on a pedestal and recite psalms of solemn servitude to it! Let it be the one fixed point in your life, your north star by which you navigate yourself towards your destiny! Let its line of travel, from muzzle to victim, be the straight and narrow path you seek to your salvation. May you find your victim one day too, just like the bullet found its. Yes, sanctify the bullet because soon it’ll light the way for you towards that destiny where you hold the knife in your hands and your hapless victim struggles vainly in your clutches.

While you’re at it, make a game out of it all. Clap, laugh and sing songs while the darkness falls all around you. Tell yourself silly little tales of how it’s all for the best because, after all, politicians are corrupt and deserve it all. Let the madness ooze into your puny minds without a struggle, since struggle in the path of what is right can get you killed.

Kiss the pages of the document where the ‘holy’ laws are written. Don’t read them, don’t think about what they say. Don’t ask questions about them, such as what the rules of evidence are under these laws or how the court is supposed to tell the difference between a true and false allegation. No, don’t do any of that, because soon these will be the only laws left in your life.

Do it, my friends! Because there is no ‘silent majority’ any more, only a frightened and confused flock hemmed in by the darkness, trembling at the howling of the hyenas around, huddled together under a vanishing light, barely enduring the great dark absence beyond.

No words will soothe their fears, no courage will call them to action. No strength exists any longer to lift this cowering multitude into the ranks of humanity, no mind’s eye to light the way for them.

So do it! Celebrate all manner of bloodlust because soon there will be nobody left in your life who can call murder by its name.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2011.

Link- http://tribune.com.pk/story/99546/cheer-the-assassin/

Nawabzada Balaach Marri’s 3rd Martyrdom Anniversary in London

Baloch Human Rights Council (UK) and World Sindhi Congress will organise the third martyrdom anniversary on 28 November 2009 to remember and pay tribute to the great Baloch leader and hero Mir Balaach Marri, murdered by Security Forces on 20 Nov, 2007.

Death Anniversary of Nazir Abbasi – A Martyr who gave life for class struggle

By: Khalid Hashmani

August 9th is the Shahadat anniversary of Nazir Abbasi, who gave his life fighting for Sindhi Rights to his last breath. He died for the cause of poor and down-trodden and with the belief that his sacrifice will not be in vain and the coming generations of Sindhis will remain steadfast in the protection and advancement of their rights.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, August 8, 2010

Nazir Abbasi – A legendary Hero of Sindh

by: Khalid Hashmani

During the months of July and August, many in Sindh are celebrating sacrifice of Shaheed Nazir Abbasi as he was last arrested on July 30, 1980 by spy agency, who tortured him, until he died on August 9, 1989. An excellent write-up on him in Sindhi by Hasan Mujtab is accessible at the following link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13595152/shahid-nazir-abbasi

A synopsis on Nazir Abbasi’s life primarily based on that article, written by me, is given below.

One may disagree with some of the aspects of Nazir’s political views, but there is no doubt that he was one of the greatest sons of Sindh. He spent much of his life to seek justice for the poor people of Pakistan and died bravely fighting one of the cruelest dictators of all times.

Let us all salute to Nazir Abbasi’s bravery and pray that God will bestow many more Nazir Abbasi to Sindh, who will fight to bring justice to Sindhis and others!

Continue reading Nazir Abbasi – A legendary Hero of Sindh

A Pakistani makes his country proud. Returns $50,000/- found in hotel room to rightful owner.

“I have a responsibility as a human being, as a Pakistani, a Muslim,” … “I never thought about keeping the money.”

Pakistani hotel cleaner returns $50,000 in cash left behind by forgetful guest

A hotel cleaner who earns just £200 a year has been hailed a national hero in Pakistan after he returned $50,000 in cash left behind by an absent-minded guest.

By Rob Crilly in Islamabad

Essa Khan found the bag of notes stuffed in a safe deposit box while carrying out a routine inspection of a room vacated by a Japanese NGO worker before another guest arrived.

After years of negative publicity from terror strikes and political unrest, politicians have lauded the housekeeper’s honesty as the “real face of Pakistan”.

But Mr Khan told The Daily Telegraph he was simply doing his job.

“I have a responsibility as a human being, as a Pakistani, a Muslim,” he said on Sunday. “I never thought about keeping the money.”

Mr Khan, 50, has worked for the past 20 years at the Gilgit Serena Hotel, which stands amid dramatic scenery at the foot of the Karakoram mountains, in northern Pakistan.

Hotel staff managed to track down the guest, who works for the Japan International Co-operation Agency, and return the money, which was intended to fund a feasibility study into tourism projects in northern Pakistan.

Read more >> Telegraph

Who Is Our Hero : Raja Daher or Muhammad Bin Qasim?

Discussion in Urdu/Hindi

Source –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCkkUYkTEk8&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6jZlD-0Z9g&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPOGUAYBhlg&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qjuYZ95YRk&feature=player_embedded

via – http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?35200-Deen-o-Danish-2nd-May-2010-Our-Real-Hero-Muhammad-Bin-Qasim-or-Raja-Daher