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Communal polarization in Trimbak City over Shri Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is harmful to the social fabric

By Irfan Engineer The city of Trimbak, which is also taluka or block headquarters, has recently courted media-manufactured and politically patronised controversy where there was none. Media is gaining TRPs, and a certain political party is gaining an advantage from political polarization at the cost of the Muslim community. The community is once again being demonized, and there is a threat of arrest of some Muslim youth for no plausible offence committed by them. They merely followed an age-old tradition on 13th May 2023 of fanning dhoop (fumes from incense in a container) in the direction of the Shri Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple from its northern gate temple and carrying chadar cloth sheets (a cloth sheet that is normally offered at sufi dargahs to the pir buried) on their heads on the day of annual urs (death anniversary of a sufi saint). The Shri Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in the country. There is a notice on the gate that non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. A section of the Media proclaimed that Muslim youth residents of the town tried to enter the temple. The youth are seen in the videos, repeatedly played by the electronic media, near the northern gate of the temple with the chadar on their heads and later returning. That act was declared by the media as an attempt to forcibly enter the temple and desecrate it. The hyperactive section of the media also extracted a statement from one of the priests of the temple demanding that the motives of the Muslim youth on “attempting to enter” (not forcibly enter) the temple should be investigated. Where is Trimbak? Trimbak, is about 28 km from Nashik. Nashik City is the district headquarters, and it is itself a temple town and one of the 4 cities which holds the Kumbha Mela once every 12 years. The origin of the sacred Godavari River is near Trimbak. Who built the Kusavarta Kunda? Shrimant Sardar Raosaheb Parnerkar, Fadnavis of Indore State, built the Kusavarta kunda (sacred pond) in the temple premises, which is the source of…

How Indians view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

How Indians view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Justice Markandey Katju For several days the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has been going on. We in India have seen on YouTube rockets being fired by Hamas, which are often intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome, and the demolition of buildings in Gaza by the Israeli Air Force. What do Indians think about all this ? About 80% Indians are Hindus, and about 16% are Muslims. Almost all Hindus, including the so called ‘intellectuals’ among them ( academics, mediapersons, professionals like lawyers and doctors, writers, etc ) support Israel in this conflict, and almost all Indian Muslims support the Palestinians. Only the so called ‘liberals’ among the Hindus support the Palestinians, but these would be hardly 5% of all Hindus. The rest believe all Muslims everywhere in the world to be trouble makers and terrorists. This is because despite the Indian Constitution calling India a secular country, the truth is it is highly communal. Most Hindus are communal, and so are most Muslims.   This I can say from personal knowledge. When I am with my own relatives, and they are sure no Muslim is around, they often spout venom against Muslims, who are perceived as fanatics and anti-national. When a Muslim is lynched in India most Hindus are indifferent, and some even happy. One terrorist less ! In fact it is because most Hindus are communal that the BJP, which claims to represent the Hindus, won the parliamentary elections in India in 2014 and 2019, and came to power. Thereafter polarisation of Indian society on religious lines has grown exponentially. No doubt the recent farmers agitation in India cut through caste and religious lines, and the ongoing pandemic has been a reverse to the BJP which is being blamed by the people for not properly handling it. But these are temporary phenomena. Once they are over, the country will again revert to the old status. The truth is that secularism is a feature of industrial society, as in North America and Europe, but India is still semi-feudal, and most people here are strongly religious. The religious divide…

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

Indian and Pakistani Muslims are farzi ( fake ) Muslims

By Justice Markandey Katju I often tell Muslims of India and Pakistan that they are mostly fake Muslims, whereas  I am a real Muslim ( despite being an atheist ). That is because most Muslims in our subcontinent do not follow three  basic principles of the great Prophet, which I follow : (1) Islam and the Prophet said all men are equal. In fact that is the main reason why Islam spread in large parts of the world, from Spain to Indonesia, as it gave social emancipation to the suppressed sections of society. Many people say that Islam spread at the point of the sword. But which Arab army went to Indonesia, Malaysia or parts of southern Thailand or Philippines where most people converted to Islam ? The truth is that only 5% conversions to Islam were forcible, 95% were voluntary, and that was because a fundamental tenet of Islam was equality. In particular, the suppressed sections in society, e.g. dalits in India, got social emancipation through Islam. But what is the practical reality in the Indian subcontinent ? Most Indian Muslims practice the caste system ( though they deny it ), which is directly against Islam. See my post ‘Caste among Indian Muslims’ on my blog Satyam Bruyat See also these articles : Caste system among South Asian Muslims Please also see this video (2) The great Prophet said “For knowledge go even to China“, which means seek scientific and rational knowledge everywhere. But most Indian and Pakistani Muslims do not go to China ( i.e. do not seek knowledge ) but go to maulanas ( religious clerics ) as they  are under the grip of maulanas, who preach reactionary, feudal, and stupid ideas, and they do not seek rational and scientific knowledge. There were no maulanas at the time of the Prophet. These reactionary feudal frauds have subsequently come into existence, and their whole aim is to prevent Muslims from acquiring rational and scientific knowledge. (3) Islam came as a great liberating force in the world. But today, as it is practised,  it has…


Pakistani ( and Indian ) Muslims are fake Muslims ? Asks Justice Katju

Islam spread in large parts of the world because of its great message of equality, and the social emancipation it gave to the suppressed sections of society. But Muslims in our subcontinent mostly practice the caste system, which represents inequality, and is directly contrary to what the great Prophet taught.

SATYAM BRUYAT - Justice Katju

SATYAM BRUYAT : Muslims should introspect

By Justice Markandey Katju, former judge, Supreme Court of India There have been demonstrations against French President Macron in Mumbai, Bhopal, Aligarh, Hyderabad, Srinagar and other Indian cities. These fools who are demonstrating do not realise they are playing into the hands of those who wish to paint all Muslims as fanatics and terrorists, which will further increase attack on innocent Muslims by right wing Hindu radicals. In none of these demonstrations was there any condemnation of those bigots who beheaded Samuel Paty in Paris, and three persons in a church in Nice. All the vituperations and invectives were against insult to the ‘Shaan’ ( honour ) of the Prophet. I had in an earlier article titled ‘Muslims should learn how to ignore’ published in said that Muslims should not be so touchy and should not have such a short fuse. Cartoons have been made of Jesus Christ depicting him as gay. Lord Rama, who is venerated by most Hindus, has often been ridiculed by some Tamilian leaders and criticised for his treatment of Sita and Shambhook, but no one was beheaded for this. So Muslims should ignore many things which they regard offensive, instead of creating a brouhaha and ruckus over them. If they don’t like cartoons of Prophet Muhammad they need not make them or look at them, but how can they object to others doing so, particularly in a liberal country like France where there is freedom of expression under French law? But my appeal fell on deaf ears. In Pakistan there have been many demonstrations against Macron, but not one against the skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs and medicines, or against the mounting unemployment, which are causing terrible misery to the masses. Both Turkey and Pakistan are in a deep economic recession, with their leaders having no inkling how to resolve the crises. So Erdogan and Imran Khan, to divert attention from these real problems facing the people, take resort to gimmicks like converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque or writing a letter to the OIC. I would not be surprised if the Muslim clerics who…