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Showing posts from November, 2009

Comments on Shorish Kashmiri's 1946 interview of Mowlana Abul Kalam Azad - the case of Pakistan and India

[Note: After posting my comments, I was told that the entire interview was a hoax and not a real one. That explains why the purported predictions of the Mowlana was made to appear so perfect, almost unbelievable. Still I shall leave the original posting for the time being. So the posting below still is based on before-the-fact kind of information, i.e., assuming that there was such an interview.] Recently my attention was drawn to an interview with the Mowlana Abul Kalam Azad that was conducted by journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. It was a time when the Cabinet Mission was holding its proceedings in Delhi and Simla. In that interview the Mowlana is credited with the prediction for dismemberment of Pakistan and even the military rule there. I have been an avid reader of Mowlana's writing for many years. Many of my essays on Islam, esp. my short commentary of Surah al-Fatiha: The Meaning behind the Beginning of the Beginning - ha

The Real Story behind the Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is the most observed holiday in the USA, which is celebrated by people of all races, colors, ethnicities and even religions. It is a day in which family members gather to eat turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. According to some estimates, nearly 40 million turkeys are eaten over this long weekend. Thanksgiving holiday falls on the last Thursday of November. There is even a White House event in which the President pardons a turkey on Wednesday. That lucky turkey gets to live — and fly first class to Disneyland, where it is grand marshal in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Unfortunately, another nameless bird gets slaughtered in his place. Of course, many would find something wrong with this concept, which sounds like “A Tale of Two Cities!” The turkey-pardoning is supposed to be a long-running national tradition, but it officially only dates back to George H. W. Bush and 1989. Like every other major popular celebration in our world, Thanksgiving has its history, and i

Comments on the Bombay carnage of last year

The Bombay (I hate to use Hindutvadi terms) carnage poses so many unanswered questions that we truly are puzzled by the motives and its players, direct or indirect. Early reports suggested that the terrorists consumed haram before going in, and even included uncircumcised guys - these are surely not the pictures that emerge for the so-called Islamist terrorists. We heard the same stories about some of the perpetrators of the 9/11 who drank wine and had visited strip bars where lap dances were performed on some of them by strippers, before their "Godly" mission. And yet mysteriously a Qur'an is left behind in the rental car of one hijacker before he flies, and even a last will! He even quarrels for the right to park in the parking lot of the airport with another traveler - as if to be known or remembered. Why would someone do things like that to attract so much attention unto himself before carrying out his so secretive mission? An explanation that "criminals always l

Oprah Winfrey - The TV Talk Show Queen

One of the hot topics from the USA this past week has been: Oprah Winfrey’s bombshell like announcement that she is calling it quits to her most successful TV program after 25 years in 2011. When she started the program back in September of 1986, no one imagined this black and fat lady to last more than a week. But against all odds, she not only proved all her critics wrong but also made billions while being a successful host and entertainer on small screen TV. In that process, she created millions of fans who regularly tuned into her program and even wished that they were sitting in front of her when the show aired. She also gave millions away to her audience. For the spectacular launch of the show's 19th season, nearly 300 deserving audience members received brand-new cars. No TV talk show host has ever done anything close to that kind of publicity stance. The magic with Oprah all began back in 1973. As a 19-year old young girl at the time, Oprah got her television start coveri

Further comments about Mujib Era (1972-75)

There are many Bangladeshis today that blame Sk. Mujibur Rahman for the famine of 1974 that killed thousands of poor Bangladeshis. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the CIA covert plan to harm popularity of Sk. Mujib's govt. in the post-liberation period. In a well-researched PBS TV documentary program - Food as a weapon of War - we learn about US government's role in bringing down the popularity of Sk. Mujib by diverting wheat-carrying ships away from the ports in Bangladesh, which triggered the famine of 1974. Nor should we forget that with the winding up of UNROB (United Nations Relief Organization in Bangladesh) operations in December 31 of 1973, already the process for economic crisis was set in order. As a result of this man-made famine, scripted by Henry Kissinger of the USA govt., many poor people died of starvation and did not have the kaffons (burial shrouds) to bury them with. History bears testimony to the fact that the USA and some other countries, including Chi

The Supreme Court Verdict - Bangabandhu Murder Case

It was so wonderful to learn about the long awaited judgment on the Bangabandhu murder case. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh unanimously upheld an earlier judgment that found all those 12 rogue officers of the armed forces guilty of the worst crime in the history of Bangladesh. Unless some miracles happen, these criminals will be hanged for the murder of Sk. Mujib and his family members on August 15, 1975. However, not all the guilty criminals are behind the bars in Bangladesh now. Only five murderers are behind the bar. They are: Lt Col (sacked) Syed Faruque Rahman, Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Lt Col (retd) Muhiuddin Ahmed (Artillery), Maj (retd) AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer) and Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda. One - Maj. Aziz Pasha - died in Zimbabwe some years ago. Six criminals are absconding and are rumored to be hiding in Africa and other places. They are: Lt Col (dismissed) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (relieved) Shariful Haque Dalim, Lt Col (retd) Nur Chowdhury, Lt Col

How committed is Bangladesh Government about boosting the Corruption Perception Index?

Nothing could be more gratifying for a government which finds itself being perceived positively in matters of fighting corruption. An improved perception can attract foreign investment. Bangladesh is one of those countries which has been able to drastically improve her corruption perception index. This year she improved her ranking to 139 out of 180 countries. She was 147th last year. Bangladesh scored 2.4 on a 0-10 scale rating (with lower numbers signifying more corruption perception), a number still below the 3.0 - cutoff value for the top 100 and bottom 80 countries, meaning corruption is still rampant. But compared to how Bangladesh began with a score of 0.3 points nearly a decade ago, it is definitely a good achievement. Nor should we forget that the country was placed at the bottom of the list for the fifth successive years from 2001 to 2005 (during the BNP rule). In recent months, after the Mahajote came to power, the government has taken some positive measures that are boun

Recommendation for a new book on the Rohingyas of Burma

The Rohingya people of Arakan are the worst sufferers of human rights violations in the 21st century, and yet very little is known about their suffering in the outside world. The all powerful media rarely mentions them, as if the Rohingyas are the forgotten people of our time. Greedy about trade relations with the culprit SPDC regime, now ruling Burma (Myanmar), her neighbors have chosen to ignore the plight of these unfortunate human beings, who must now choose between living in hell in a place called the Arakan state of Burma and a life of an unwanted, illegal refugee outside Burma. They must brave the trigger happy NASAKA guards to cross the borders and enter illegal territories, sometimes in boats but most of the time on feet. In that process of exodus, they may die of hunger and thirst or end up in jails of their refuge. In the last few years alone, thousands have embraced that unfortunate fate of extinction. And yet, the world conscious has not gotten the better of this tragedy t

Informed comments of a reader on my article on free market capitalism

Hermann wrote in the Asian Tribune: Your article is well timed. Most of the people who are rich and comfortable in life want no law or regulation when it comes to fleecing public of their savings. Yet, the same greedy lot wants other criminal laws well applied and strengthened. These are the people who want more police and defense mechanisms to keep the innocent civilians from voicing dissatisfaction. The notion that people should be allowed freedom to trade in share market is a myth. Even a well educated resourceful person cannot fully grasp the market forces to make an intelligent investment. The media gives such a bang about money made in the stock market but they never visit the other side to show the losers. For every dollar one make, another has to loose. The stock market is an unregulated gamble like the lottery tickets. At least lotteries are well regulated, but stock market is not. That is why time and again we find fraudsters doing insider trading and siphoning billions of

Is Free Market Capitalism Failing?

Is free market capitalism failing? Do we need a new economic system? Twenty years ago when the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Cold War ended, the mere suggestion that something was wrong with capitalism might have sounded preposterous, absurd, and almost insane. Back then we saw the collapse of the mighty Soviet Union and perceived the end of socialism when mother Russia itself dumped its trademark ideology, opting instead for free market capitalism. Come to think of those changes, surely those were no small matters! It appeared that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 might have been the crushing victory for free-market capitalism. And yet people today are questioning the merit of capitalism, even in its own cradle. A new BBC World Service global poll, surveying 29,033 adult citizens (living in major urban areas) across 27 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pak

Comments on a SAAG article on supposedly US-Myanmar relationship

My attention has been drawn to an article: UNITED STATES: DRAMATIC POLITICAL REACH-OUT TO MYANMAR, A STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE, published in a website for the South Asian Strategy Group by one of its analysts Subhash Kapila (http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers35%5Cpaper3470.html). The group claims to be a non-profit and non-commercial think tank, with a declared objective to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding. It does not mention who pays for the group. However, a close look at its many publications make it amply clear that it is possibly a front for the RAW, working towards Indo-centric strategies to influence the decision makers, strategic planners, academics and the media in South Asia and the world at large. As such, anything published from the SAAG ought to be taken with much caution. Idealism has never been important to India and many such hegemonic powers of our time.

Comments on my previous article relating to Fort Hood violence

Soon after publication of my article on "Is America on a Wrong Track?", New Age, November 11, 2009, a reader, long known for his despicable cultural alienated attitude towards anything Islamic or Muslim wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper with a copy to me. In that he equated the act of the shooter in the Fort Hoot, TX army camp with criminal activities of suicide bombers of the Taliban. He, like his past observations, drew inappropriate and flawed conclusions by confusing symptoms with causes. My editorial piece far from going after the symptoms of the violence, now widespread especially amongst the members of the Armed Forces of the USA, pointed out the root cause, which is the never-ending war that was unleashed by former President George W. Bush. War is stressful and can lead to PTSD, or more correctly, post-war disorder. No Muslim takes the loss or killing of life lightly since the Qur'an could not have been more explicit on this matter when some 14 centur

American Economy, Election and Endless Wars

Is America on a wrong track? Is the Obama administration failing to fulfill people’s aspirations and expectations? In Wednesday, Oct. 28, a 26-year-old soldier from Fort Carson, Colorado set to return to Afghanistan intentionally shot himself in the shoulder to avoid deployment. On Nov. 5, a 39-year-old army psychiatrist, who had faced repeated harassment for his ethnicity and faith from his fellow soldiers, shot dead 13 people at the "Soldier Readiness Center" in Fort Hood, Texas, military base. He was opposed to the war and upset about his impending deployment to Afghanistan. This tragedy once again shows how the very individuals that are trained to help victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are themselves losing their own mental balance. Suicide and killings amongst returning soldiers from their duties in Iraq and Afghanistan are at an all time high now. Researchers report that the rate of PTSD and other mental difficulties tied to war may be as high as 35%. O

My interview with the Energy & Power: Delayed Decision Stimulates Energy Sector Corruption

My interview with Mollah Amzad Hossain, Editor of the Energy & Power magazine, vol. 7, issue 9, Nov. 2, 2009 (http://www.ep-bd.com/news.php?id=373) can be read below: Too many things are seemingly wrong with Bangladesh’s energy sector. Bangladesh lacks the right people in right place to making the right decision at the right time. It has failed not only to attract its skilled expatriates to return and take the mantle of leadership but also to retain its talented workforce. Outside the mediocrity in the technical and administrative leadership and lack of human resources and infrastructure, corruption is another dynamics that has a caustic and crippling effect on anything that it comes across, thereby adversely hindering the development initiative and smooth functioning of the energy sector. Many investors are compelled to bribe so that they can soften the attitude of bureaucrats and expedite matters in their favor. In that process often times it is the undeserving vendor that is ch