Lokayat: Coming Programs

Dear friends,
Here are what we are planning in the coming days.

1. Rally against PMT bus fare hike

    Date:     October 4, Saturday
    Time:     3 pm to 5 pm
    Route: From Deccan Gymkhana Bus Stop to PMPML Headoffice, Swargate via Tilak Road.
(Please see attached pmpfare.pdf )

2.                                               CONFLUENCE

    a festival of songs, film and seminar celebrating the spirit of Id and Dussehra
   
    Date: October 11, Saturday:
    Time: 6 pm
    Venue: Sneh Sadan, Near Narayan Peth Police Chowky, Sadashiv Peth, Pune.
                                                SABRANGRAS
                   a program of classical songs celebrating secular Indian culture
                                   featuring poetry and bhajans related to
                                                  Gandhi and Kabir
                                          by Amarendra Dhaneshwar,
                       a renowned singer in the Gwalior Gharana from Mumbai

   Date: October 12, Sunday
   Time: 6 pm
   Venue:  Lokayat Hall, Third Floor,
                Opp, Syndicate Bank, Near Nal Stop, Law College Road, Pune.
                            Film Screening: NASEEM
                    Duration; 120 minutes                Language: Hindi

Synopsis:

Naseem means the morning breeze. It's the name of a young girl who lives with her family in Bombay. The year is 1992. This was a year when India, as a nation, went through traumatic times. A mosque was demolished and the riots, slaughter and savagery that followed have left wounds that will take years to heal. Naseem is the private story of a young girl and her grandfather in those terrible times.

    Date: 13 October, Monday

    Time: Evening (most probably from 5 pm or 6 pm)

     Venue: Azam Campus (Most probably Assembly Hall of the campus, to be finalised)

               SEMINAR: Religious Violence: Threat to democracy

     Main Speakers:      Ram Puniyani,    Allwyn D'Souza (both from Mumbai)

Note: We're trying to make this seminar a joint seminar of various progressive groups in Pune.

Do come for this important festival. The secular fabric is being deliberately torn apart, and all of us are silent. We need to join hands, otherwise we will be left divided and broken, with our identities as Hindus / Muslims / Christians / North Indian / South Indian … and not as citizens of this country. All others except for upper caste Hindus will become second grade citizens, and this will also dehumanise the upper caste Hindus too!

Do read the two articles attached, sent to me by Prashant Bhushan from Delhi. One feels like crying for our crying, but we must fight back our tears and resolve to fight… We need to fight, but let us begin by celebrating the spirit of unity in diversity that has always been there in this country for ages, best symbolised by sages like Kabir and Lal Ded…

in solidarity,


Our website http://www.lokayat.org.in
Our blog      http://pune-lokayat.blogspot.com

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उन्हें माफ करना मुश्ताक

नवीन कुमार

आज कई महीने बाद मुश्ताक का फोन आया है। उसका पहला वाक्य था, क्या मैं आतंकवादी लगता हूं। उसका लहजा इतना तल्ख है कि मैं सहम जाता हूं। मेरी जुबान जम जाती है। वह बिना मेरे बोलने का इंतजार किए कहता चला जाता है। …तुमलोग हमें खत्म क्यों नहीं कर देते। यह लड़ाई किसके खिलाफ है। कुछ लोगों के खिलाफ या फिर पूरी एक कौम के खिलाफ।… वह रोने लगता है। मुश्ताक रो रहा है। भरोसा नहीं होता। उसे मैं पिछले 18 साल से जानता हूं। तब से जब हम पांचवीं में थे। उसके बारे में मशहूर था कि वो अब्बू के मरने पर भी नहीं रो सकता। वह मुश्ताक रो रहा है। 

दो दिन पहले ही दिल्ली के बटला हाउस इलाके में मुठभेड़ हुई है। यह ख़बर देखते ही देखते राजधानी के हर गली-कूचे-चौराहे पर पसर गई है। मुश्ताक सॉफ्टवेयर इंजीनियर है। वह नोएडा में एक मल्टीनेशनल कंपनी के दफ्तर में काम करता है। है नहीं था। आज उसे दफ्तर में घुसते हुए रोक दिया गया। मैनेजमेंट ने उसे कुछ दिनों तक न आने को कहा है। यह कुछ दिन कितना लंबा होगा उसे नहीं मालूम। उसके दफ्तरी दोस्तों में से ज्यादातर ने उससे किनारा कर लिया है। मुश्ताक हिचकी ले रहा है। मैं सन्न हूं। 

मुश्ताक पटना वापस लौट रहा है। मैं स्टेशन पर उससे मिलने आया हूं। वह बुरी तरह से बिखरा हुआ है। टूटा हुआ। वह मेरी नजरों में भरोसे की थाह लेना चाह रहा है। पूछता है यह मुल्क हमारा होकर भी हमारा क्यों नहीं लगता। मैं उसे रुकने को नहीं कह पाता। वह खुद ही कहता चला जाता है। रुक कर क्या होगा। तुम्हें सोच भी नहीं सकते हमपर क्या बीत रही है। अंदाजा भी नहीं हो सकता तुम्हारे नाम की वजह से दफ्तर के दरवाजे पर रोक दिए जाने की टीस। कलेजा फट जाता है।  

मुश्ताक सवाल नहीं कर रहा है। हथौड़े मार रहा है। हमारी लोकतांत्रिक चेतना पर। सामाजिक सरोकारों पर। कोई नहीं पूछता कि अगर पुलिस को पता था कि आतंकवादी एक खास मकान के खास फ्लैट में छिपे बैठे हैं उन्हें जिंदा पकड़ने की कोशिश क्यों नहीं हुई। उनके खिलाफ सबूत क्या हैं। आतंकवाद के नाम पर वो किसी को भी उठा सकते हैं। किसी को भी मार सकते हैं। कहा जा रहा है वो अपना पाप छिपाए रखने के लिए ऊंची तालीम ले रहे हैं। एक पुलिसवाला पूरी बेशर्मी से कहता है सैफ दिखने में बहुत स्मार्ट है, उसकी कई महिला मित्र हैं। जैसे यह कोई बहुत बड़ा अपराध हो। 

जैसे भरोसे की मीनारें ध्वस्त होती जा रही हैं। बटला हाउस की मुठभेड़ सिर्फ एक घटना नहीं है। कानून और मान्यताओं के बीच फैला एक ऐसा रेगिस्तान है जिसपर अविश्वास की नागफनी का एक भयावह जंगल उग रहा है। ट्रेन खुलने वाली है। मुश्ताक अपने पर्स से निकालकर मेरा विजिटिंग कार्ट फाड़ रहा है। कहता है, क्या पता किसी एनकाउंटर में कब मार दिया जाऊं और वो तुम्हें भी कठघरे में खड़ा कर दें। वह कसकर मेरा हाथ पकड़ लेता है। लगता है उसकी आत्मीयता की तपिश मुझे पिघला देगी। ट्रेन सरकने लगती है। दरकती जा रही है विश्वास की दीवार।

नवीन कुमार

सी-17, डीडीए फ्लैट्स

फेज-1, कटवारिया सराय

नई दिल्ली-110016

फोन – 9868525121

Navin Kumar 
Associate Sr. Producer  
Star News 
C-17, DDA Flats, Phase-I 
Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi-110016 
Contact: +91-9868525121
 

28 सितंबर 2008

मैं नवीन कुमार का लेख पढ़कर रोया, केवल मुश्ताक पर नहीं वरन् मेरे अपने मुल्क की हालत पर। क्या यह वही भारत है जिसकी खातिर शहीद भगत सिंह फांसी के तख्ते पर झूल गये थे? तुम्हीं बताओ मुश्ताक, अगर उनका सपना ऐसे भारत का नहीं था तो वैसा भारत बनाने की लड़ाई कौन लड़ेगा? क्या इस लड़ाई में तुम शामिल नहीं होगे? यह मुल्क उतना ही तुम्हारा है जितना मेरा – दरअसल, तुम्हारा ज्यादा चूंकि मैं तो जिंदगी के आखिरी पड़ाव (उम्र 68 साल) में हूँ। तुमने तो अभी इस मुल्क में लंबा जीना है। लौट आओ वापस पटना से – भारत को एक बार फिर शहीद भगत सिंह के सपनों वाला और हम सबका खूबसूरत मुल्क बनाने की जंग लड़ने के लिए लौट आओ। तुम्हारे बिना यह लड़ाई अधूरी रहेगी, जीती भी नहीं जा सकेगी। आज है भी 28 सितंबर – उनका जन्म दिवस। हमें आज ही अपने पुराने संकल्प को ताजा करना है – तुमको भी।

  • डॉ. अनिल सद्गोपाल

    भोपाल

    ईमेल – anilsadgopal@yahoo.com 

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    why bias against Jamia Nagar

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    The Times of India -Breaking news, views. reviews, cricket from across India 

    Why a bias against Jamia Nagar?

    29 Sep 2008, 0310 hrs IST,  

    Rakhshanda Jalil 
     

    Living in the Jamia neighbourhood has always been tough. The incidents of last week, being dubbed the Battle of Batla House by the press, will only make it tougher. Biases, I suspect, will get sharper; discrimination more covert; and the gloves, I fear, will be off. A few years ago when I moved from Gulmohar Park, a tony locality in South Delhi, to the Jamia neighbourhood, little was I to know that I would be changing not merely a postal address and a landline telephone number but virtually exchanging one way of life for another.  
     
    The first rude shock came when I arranged my daughter's birthday party at our home. I sent detailed directions along with hand-made cards. My daughter, then nine, came home in tears because most of her friends had said they couldn't come. Perplexed by this sudden about-face, I called all the mommies only to be told by most that they wouldn't be able to come there. Gulmohar Park ki baat alag thi; Jamia side ka hame koi idea nahi hai. (It was different in Gulmohar Park; we have no idea about the Jamia side.) I persevered by offering to draw maps, even volunteering to picking the kids from the nearest big landmark, the Holy Family Hospital. Yet, attendance slumped hugely from previous years. Thereafter, I learnt my lesson by organizing all such events at a conveniently located McDonalds.  
     
    That Delhi is ridiculously snobbish about addresses is a well-known fact. But I have seen another colour creep into harmless idiosyncrasy when I disclose where I live. There is an imperceptible change. Some wonder aloud, Oh, isn't it far? Others look blank, Jamia? Okhla? As in Industrial Area? Still others walk away, wanting to have very little to do with someone who lives out there. And out there where I live, several basic amenities are missing, that others in other parts of the city take for granted. Pizza boys from the nearby Dominos outlet in New Friends Colony do not venture out there. You can go blue in the face arguing that Jamia Nagar is closer to NFC as the crow flies than the most far-flung pocket of Sukhdev Vihar, but they stick to their rule! Nor will dry cleaners who promise free home delivery to the furthest block in Maharani Bagh come to your doorstep. The same applies to an assortment of chemists, florists and grocers. Believe me, I have argued, pleaded and threatened. Nothing works. They won't go out there!  
     
    When I decided to spend less time commuting and move closer to my place of work, the Jamia Millia Islamia, I spent ten tortuous months looking for a house in nearby New Friends Colony, Sukhdev Vihar, and Sarita Vihar. Perfectly decent people in their perfectly middle-class drawing rooms froze us off when they saw our business card or heard our name. Others reneged on deals worked out through property dealers saying they wanted vegetarian tenants! So, while a great many Muslims no doubt prefer to live in the Muslim-dominated neighbourhoods of Shaheen Bagh, Ghaffar Manzil, Noor Nagar, Zakir Nagar, Batla House, Abul Fazal Enclave et al for reasons of security, many, I suspect, do so because they are left with no choice. They come in droves to live in some of these over-congested ill-equipped localities that are no better than urban slums because landlords in mixed neighbourhoods look upon them with suspicion and mistrust.  
     
    And what do the civic authorities do to tackle the chaos that unspools from these densely-packed warrens? They turn a blind eye. They drop an invisible cordon sanitaire between here and out there, thus, for all practical purposes demarcating civil administration into two clearly-defined spaces: one neatly labelled organized, the other falling under the clamorous category of unorganized. Other epithets can be used for these two categories: authorized/unauthorized, clean/filthy, orderly/chaotic, spacious/cramped, cared for/uncared for, and so on.  
     
    In the case of the outer fringes of Zakir Nagar that skirt the A Block of New Friends Colony, this contrast is especially stark: pockets of abysmal neglect exist cheek-by-jowl with oases of privilege. Yet it seldom causes so much as a raised eyebrow let alone any real degree of concern or introspection, either among the duly elected peoples representatives or on the part of the bureaucrats who head our civic bodies.  
     
    While all of Delhi has a population of 11.72% Muslims, the Jamia Nagar neighbourhood is almost 98% Muslim; the Okhla ward alone has a population of 1,25,935. For this large body of people, there are branches of only three nationalized banks; the area having been declared a Red Area, i.e. populated by defaulters, few private banks even dream of venturing out here. The 8km radius bogey for school admissions (mandated by the Delhi High Court) applies far more rigorously here than elsewhere, the mere address being enough to invoke the rulebook. There is no functioning MCD dispensary; local doctors refer all emergency cases to the nearby Holy Family Hospital (the nearest Government hospital is several km away). There are no Mother Dairy or Safal outlets (franchised by the Delhi Government and ubiquitous all over the city for their moderately priced fruits, vegetables and assorted perishables) for this sprawling area; a small booth vending milk products has been installed on the Jamia campus a few months ago on the vice-chancellor's personal initiative but that can barely cater to the students from nearby hostels. There are no Fair Price Shops, no government-funded training institutes to provide vocational training or any sort of facility to absorb the huge mass of school dropouts. In certain colonies such as Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal there is no drinking water; people buy water just as they would buy vegetables or groceries. Every morning you can see rickshaw pullers do a brisk business selling water of dubious vintage by the can-full.  
     
    What is happening in the Jamia neighbourhood can provide several useful lessons in urban morphology: (a) No community can take everything upon itself; it cannot be the provider and user of civic amenities, be it schools, universities, hospitals, ration shops, roads, electricity, water, group housing, sewage disposal or what-have-you; (b) While one cannot reverse the process of ghettoisation, one can certainly do much to integrate those who live in communally-charged ghettoes; and (c) If one fails or is seen to fail at all attempts at integration, one is creating conditions of urban unrest that have the potential to spill over.

     

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