Author: Shahid R. Siddiqi

Can America Get Away With Murder?

The Murder On the crispy afternoon of January 27, in crowded downtown Lahore, a guy who later identified himself as Raymond Davis, a technical advisor at the US Consulate, Lahore, created a furor by fatally shooting two young motorcyclists riding ahead of his car. He fired 9 bullets from his Beretta with deadly accuracy of a trained marksman, belying the geeky description that he gave about the nature of his job. He fired five bullets through his windshield and pumped four bullets into the boys as they lay on the ground breathing their last as he existed from his...

Read More

Today We Are All Seditious!

When Mohandas Gandhi, the god-father of India who will be revered as the leading light of its freedom movement by the present and future generations of Indians, was arrested by the British colonialists for his role in exhorting the people to rise against the British rulers and charged with sedition in 1922 in Ahmadabad, he pleaded guilty. He told the judge: “I have no desire whatsoever to conceal from this court that to preach disaffection towards the existing system of government has become almost a passion with me…”. “Sedition”, said Gandhi, “in law is a deliberate crime” but it...

Read More

Hindutva: A Story of Hate and Terror

Muslims are a suspect community in India and, in some states more than others, are increasingly becoming targets of scorn and terrorism at the hands of radical and fundamentalist Hindu outfits. What lies at the root of this is a fundamental change in the outlook of a segment of Hindus towards non-Hindus and minorities. They call this doctrine of hate and terror, ‘Hindutva’. In an election related petition before the Bombay High Court the appellants contended that an appeal to vote for Hindutva amounted to an appeal to vote on grounds of religion and therefore is a corrupt practice...

Read More

Insurgency Movements in India

Insurgencies do not emerge in a vacuum. Their underlying root causes are invariably to be found in political, socio-economic, or religious domains; their nature and scope depending upon the nature of the grievances, motivations and demands of the people. India has had its share of insurgencies. In all, an estimated 30 armed insurgency movements are sweeping across the country, reflecting an acute sense of alienation on the part of the people involved. Broadly, these can be divided into movements for political rights (e.g. Assam, Kashmir and Khalistan [Punjab]), movements for social and economic justice (e.g. Maoist [Naxalite] and north-eastern states), and religious grounds (e.g. Laddakh). These causes overlap at times. Wikipedia lists 16 belligerent groups and 68 major organization as terrorist groups in India, which include: nine in the northeast (Seven Sisters), four in the center & the east (including Maoist/Naxalites), seventeen in the west (Sikh separatist groups), and 38 in the northwest (Kashmir). Political Causes By the very nature of its population mix, one that began evolving thousands of years ago with waves of migrants pouring in from adjoining lands at different periods in history, South Asia has never been a homogenous society. The multiplicity of races, ethnicities, tribes, religions, and languages led to the creation of hundreds of sovereign entities all over the subcontinent ruled by tribal and religious leaders and conquerors of all sorts. Like Europe...

Read More

Pakistan, Zardari & The Military

‘A deal has been reached’ say the insiders in Islamabad. After a week of intense brinkmanship by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership, dramatic developments resulting from Supreme Court proceedings and sensational media coverage, the impending demise of the government was almost a foregone conclusion. The body language of a nervous prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, indicated he was bracing for the change, even through a military coup. But after a meeting with the army chief on September 27, the president and the prime minister breathed a sigh of relief. The army chief told them he had no intentions of taking extra-constitutional measures against their government. Pakistan’s political set up had been pulled back from the brink. General Kayani, Pakistan’s army chief, despite the military’s discontent with the government’s performance, provided it space to move on and save the country from sinking deep into a political chaos. A statement issued by the president’s office after the meeting said that they had agreed “to protect the democratic process and to resolve all issues in accordance with the constitution.” This affirmation of support was badly needed by the government to show that the military stood by it. The New York Times reported: “The Pakistani military, angered by the inept handling of the country’s devastating floods and alarmed by a collapse of the economy, is pushing for a shake-up of the...

Read More

Living on the Edge

Of late, the Muslim community in the US has been living on the edge. Targets of “growing tide of fear and intolerance”, as the Islamic Society of North America puts it, Muslims are at a loss to deal with the outburst of hostility they now experience in their daily lives.

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest