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Indian and Chines soldiers

Peaceful end to Doklam standoff

They jostled, threw stones, and issued threats against each other but not even a single shot was fired. Asia’s two nuclear neighbors, India and China, managed their border dispute well and in a responsible manner.

Though China indulged in a lot of sabre-rattling to force India to withdraw, India exercised commendable restraint and persisted with its opposition to China’s efforts to unilaterally redraw the borders. China, of late, has been trying to grab its neighbors’ lands and seas through flexing its military muscle. The decline of the United States as a predominant power in this hitherto unipolar world has also emboldened China to act in a macho manner to expand its territory.

India and China, though fall under the category of developing countries, spend a large amount of money on defense. India procured nuclear weapons and spending billions of dollars on importing conventional weapons. All this money could be better utilized to bring about improvement in the lives of the people who are leading squalid lives in the numerous slums spread all across the country. It is also a fact that China is years ahead in technology, industrialization, and military modernization and fares far better than India in many developmental parameters. It, therefore, appears to be not ready to put all its achievements at stake and go for an avoidable war with India. Even India, with its teeming millions leading squalid lives and rampant corruption and misgovernance plaguing its society, is not in a position to wage a war against a formidable force such as China. India, though it boasts of maintaining a vast standing army, is not able to tackle its north-western neighbor, Pakistan, which is making it bleed through a thousand cuts by sponsoring cross-border terrorism. Against this backdrop, it would be over ambitious on India’s part if it feels that it can achieve something by escalating a conflict situation with China.

The Doklam episode should make people and nations realize the fact that in this age of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and ultra-connected globalized world no one can act irresponsibly. The spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons created a situation, where it is impossible to wage a war without suffering collateral damage. Humanity survived the first and second world wars mostly because there was no wide spread possession of nuclear weapons and the US, which was the only country to possess a nuclear weapon during the Second World War, emerged victorious by using it against Japan. Now the situation, however, is entirely different. The nuclear proliferation and falling of these weapons in the hands of the rogue nations such as North Korea and Pakistan has made this world certainly more precarious. It is highly unlikely that the humanity will survive if a Third World War breaks out.
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One more reason behind India and China settling their dispute through diplomatic channels appears to be economic. China has a strong manufacturing base and the people in India prefer Chinese products owing to their inexpensive nature. Even India is trying to build a robust manufacturing base in the expectation that it would provide employment opportunities to its teeming millions. The geographical proximity of these two Asian neighbors made them inextricably intertwined with each other both politically and economically and therefore, are not in a position to go to a war.

There are hot heads on both sides of the borders who indulged in a lot of warmongering but their attempts to unleash a nationalistic hysteria to trigger a war was finally overwhelmed by sensible measures taken by the conciliationists. Let us all hope that the peace will prevail all along India’s border for a long time if not perpetually.

Narendra Modi says ‘Islam is great’. Will Muslims rally behind him?

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Islam is great. Well, who do you think made this statement? It is none other than Narendra Modi. Most of the Muslims in India feel that Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, is an enemy of Islam and Muslims. Perhaps that is the reason why Muslims vote against BJP en masse. They strongly feel that Modi is responsible for Gujarat riots, in which a majority of the victims were Muslims.

And the so-called secular parties, especially the Congress and the Communists, use this Modi’s anti-Muslim image as a stick to beat him frequently. The agenda-driven media exploits Modi’s anti-Muslim image to give even small insignificant events a communal tinge and blow them out of proportion with an intention to reinforce the image. The media and the left liberals have been making ceaseless efforts to stigmatize Modi and project India as an intolerant nation. All this ‘Muslims hate Modi’ campaign is in spite of the fact that Modi has never been on record speaking a single sentence against Muslims or Islam.

Narendra Modi says ‘Islam is great’. Will Muslims rally behind him? Click To Tweet

However, the speech Prime Minister Modi delivered at the World Sufi Conference surprised many, especially Muslims. He, in fact, spoke like a ‘Maulana’ and showered a profusion of praise on Allah and his Prophet, Islam, Sufism, and Muslims. In an essence, his message was ‘Islam is great and it stands for peace’. The audience frequently broke into rapturous applause appreciating Modi’s words. Modi, to reach out to Muslim leaders from different countries, spoke in English.

Here are some of the top quotes from Modi’s speech, which sounded like music to the ears of Sufi theologians present at the venue.

At a time when the dark shadow of violence is becoming longer, you are the ‘Noor’  or the light of hope. When young laughter is silenced by guns on the streets, you are the voice that heals.
When we recall the ninety-nine names of Allah, none of them stand for violence. He is both Rahman and Rahim.
You represent the rich diversity of the Islamic civilization that stands on the solid bedrock of a great religion.
In the words of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, of all the worships, the worship that pleases the Almighty God the most is the grant of relief to the humble and the oppressed.
The ideals of Islam have always rejected the forces of terrorism and extremism.

The moot point is did Modi speak all these words from the bottom of his heart? I am skeptical. One of the reasons behind his conciliatory speech, which showered an abundance of praise on Islam and Muslims, especially Sufism, is he aims to disarm all his critics, who are hell bent on raising the bogey of intolerance for an eternity with an intention to discredit him and his government.

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The World Sufi Forum, organized by the All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), seeks to find a constructive way to spread the Islamic message of peace and tolerance as a counterpoint to the ever-rising global Islamic extremism. Their goal sounds great and if the goal really materializes the future generations will be the biggest beneficiaries. However, the ordinary people, who are well aware of the bloody history of Islamism and the ceaseless terror attacks carried out by the Islamists, are skeptical about the success of such initiatives. The world community, which is very much concerned about the mushrooming of Islamic extremist organizations whose motive is to turn the entire world into a ‘Darul Islam’ and impose the draconian ‘Sharia’, takes all these Sufi initiatives and Modi’s speeches with a pinch of salt.

But Modi’s conciliatory speeches may have a positive impact on the Muslim community. Because the community has always been appreciative of praise and symbolism. Maybe that is the reason behind Hindu politicians showing overenthusiasm for wearing skull caps and throwing lavish ‘Iftar’ feasts to win over the Muslim vote bank. So, at last, Modi appears to have learnt how to deal with the Muslim electorate. The only thing that is left for Modi is sporting a skull cap and claiming himself to be the messiah of Muslims in India. Looking at the direction in which Modi is moving, the day is not far way when we will be able to see Modi sporting a skull cap.

JNU episode brings the rift in Indian media to the fore.

The JNU incident created a deep divide among Indians. People who have nationalist tendencies have strongly condemned the incident and the people who favor Communists and Jihadists have strongly supported the traitors in the name of freedom of expression.

If there is one institution that got intensely affected by the JNU crisis, it is the media. The incident brought to light the deep divisions within the media fraternity in a never-before manner, and their fight for one-upmanship became very much perceptible for everyone who follows the media industry closely. There are some newspapers and television channels which are working overtime in defending the JNU traitors. NDTV, Aaj Tak and ABP News are at the vanguard of this pro-JNU and anti-India propaganda. However, a section of the media like Times Now, Zee News and NewsX took a nationalist stance and completely exposed the traitors, for which they received appreciation from all the right thinking Indians.

When the JNU anti-India slogans came to light, some channels like NDTV did not even air the footage and tried their level best to conceal the incident.  Their extreme discomfort in discussing the issue was very much perceptible to all the media watchers, who closely follow and analyze their behavior. After the incident became an issue and the union government started its crackdown on the traitors, these channels were desperately trying to divert the attention from the JNU issue. After a bunch of hooligan lawyers, who were infuriated by the blatant and blood-boiling anti-India slogans, attacked some scribes at the Patiala House Court, they quickly latched on to the opportunity and made every effort to divert the attention from the JNU treachery on to the lawyer’s hooliganism. All the celeb journos took to the streets and tried to raise a hue and cry over the issue.

The actions of the lawyers can’t be condoned irrespective of the intensity of the provocation. however, the behavior of the journos was not consistent either. Most of the attacks that happen against the media occur in Uttar Pradesh. Jagendra Singh, a freelance journalist from UP,  was set ablaze by the goons sent by a minister in the Samajwadi Party government. His death did not cause any uproar just because the political party involved is considered to be ‘secular’ and the victim was a non-celeb journo from the Hindi media. So it is very clear that the celeb journos take to streets only when they want to set their agenda or manipulate the narrative in their favor.

They even tried to portray Kanhaiya Kumar, one of the main accused in the JNU sedition case,  as a boy from a poor family. Now they are even trying to save Umar Khalid, the main conspirator who organized the entire treacherous programme, by portraying him as an innocent Muslim. However, in spite of their best efforts, their hit-job did not succeed.

Channels like Times Now, Zee News, News X and India News took the lead in exposing the anti-national forces and kept the people of the country constantly and continuously updated. They even ran debates with political observers, condemning the traitorous sloganeering. They thoroughly exposed the Communists and the Islamists and the nefarious nexus between them.

Channels like NDTV, Aaj Tak, ABP News, and The Telegraph newspaper, which spend most of their time in supporting Communists and Islamists could not digest the good work of their rivals like Times Now and Zee News. What has bothered the Jihadophile channels the most was the very fact that their nationalist rivals started running away with the TRP ratings. The right thinking Indians, who felt disgusted with the anti-India sloganeering and the efforts to defend the traitors, tilted towards the channels like Times Now and Zee News. This was like rubbing salt into their wounds. So they had forgotten all their professional ethics and started launching personal attacks against their rivals.

There is a very important thing we the right thinking Indians must realize. The journos like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Rana Ayub always harp on freedom of expression. But they themselves are intolerant of freedom of expression. They want the entire media to gang up against the Indian state and support the JNU traitors. For many decades, Indian media behaved like a mercenary hired by the Congress Party. They concealed the truth and propagated the narratives that suit their nefarious agenda. When there is a change of heart in a section of the media, they are not able to digest the change and started mounting personal attacks against their rivals.

The main problem these channels are facing is their ever-dwindling TRP ratings. People fully understood their nefarious designs and rebuffed them completely. The latest prime-time viewership figures released by BARC clearly show that channels like NDTV have no other option but to close down. The latest figures make us feel surprised how the Jihadophile channels like NDTV are able to survive in spite of having minuscule viewership base. Now the moot question is who is financing these commercially unviable channels?

So the JNU incident brought about a welcome change in the Indian media industry, which is otherwise known for its mercenary like behavior to carry out a hit-job against certain political parties and ideologies. However, it appears that a section of the media has shed its bias and started thinking objectively. This change may prove to be beneficial to the nation in the long term.