Wind of Change: Women Quazis

Afroz Begum and Jahan Ara from Rajasthan became the first women qazis in the country after two year training from Islamic centre in Mumbai. Hena Zaheer and Maria Fazal became first women qazis in Uttar Pradesh.  Although some conservative religious clerics have opposed women qazis as they consider this as a work of men only but women qazis have got support from Darul-Uloom Deoband and All India Sunni Ulema Council.

These women qazis can act as wind of change in muslim community and work for the protection of women rights. They can play important role in cases of education, health, skill development, inheritance, triple talaq, domestic abuse etc which in general is lopsided in the favour of men today by the interpretation done by male qazis. Women qazis can work in the direction of more liberal interpretation of Quran and other religious text to provide equal rights to women and make the society more inclusive. Many women groups  on Muslim community are fighting for Uniform Civil Code (UCC), these women qazis can work to build consensus in the community. Also, the liberal interpretation done by women qazis would provide benign character to the religion and act as bulwark against the narrow extremist interpretation of Islam which is used by extremists and terrorists to justify their illegal action.

Afroz Begum, Jahan Ara, Hena Zaheer and Maria Fazal are the beginning of a start which could bring progressive changes in the Muslim community to provide equal rights to women.

Thank God! Patiala Court happened.

Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNUSU president who was arrested under sedition charges for indulging in anti-national activities was attacked by lawyers in Patiala court. Not once but twice ! They are alleged to have the patronage of ruling party hence there was no strict action against them.

Today Supreme court stands vindicated on its judgement when it termed NJAC unconstitutional. Patiala court incident gives the glimpse of what could happen if political class have interference in selection of judges. If politicians have the say in the selections of judges and then certainly likes of Patiala court would be compensated for their services. The thoughts of such unruly unprofessional lawyers been promoted in judiciary is unimaginable and very depressing.

Government is the largest litigant in the courts today. NJAC would have made executive and judiciary work in close coordination. Just imagine if both colluded what would happen! Rule of law, equality of law, justice system all would go for a toss.

When NJAC was termed unconstitutional I had my own reservations against the judgement. It felt like judiciary overstepped its mandate and encroached the space of legislature. US and UK have overwhelming say of executive in the selection of the judges. So why cannot such a system be successful in India? Then Patiala court incident gave the answer. Those countries have not seen the 42nd Amendment, Keshavnanda Bharti Case, Emergency and louts of Patiala court. India has its unique socio-political history and it has to chart its own course.

Thank God! Patiala Court happened.

Are Anti-India Slogans in JNU justifiable ?

The slogans which were raised in JNU campus on 9th of February were distasteful and cannot be approved in any circumstances. Even Delhi HC in Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail case commented

” The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some students of JNU who organised and participated in that programme cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. I consider this as a kind of infection from which such students are suffering which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic.”

Discussion, debate and advocacy of any issue, however obnoxious it may be, is permitted as per the freedoms granted by our constitution. But support of such ideologies would be promoting sociopathic tendencies in the society. It is very discouraging to the families of soldiers who are dying on the front lines and then see a terrorist been adorned and glamourized. Judgement of Supreme Court of India is been questioned when due process of law is been followed. Afzal Guru was tried as per the law of the land. Questioning the sanctity of the courts of India is not justified. The same SC opened its gate in the middle of the night to hear the petition of Yakub Memon before execution. Tunda is been set free by the court in spite of grave charges levelled against him by the investigative agencies.

Today this issue has taken a totally a different direction. People who should have been questioned, interrogated and should be apologetic have become even more belligerent. Many TV channels and newspaper have diverted the whole discussion to the question of freedom of speech, validity of sedition law in today’s time, veracity of JNU videos, suppression by ruling government, freedom in universities and extreme nationalism. Political parties have taken this issue to target central government instead of condemning anti-India activities organised in the university ultimately compromising the security of the nation and possibly damaging India’s case over J&K in international forums.

Various parties have twisted the issue to suit their objectives. Incidents have been cherry picked to suit their agenda by both the forces of right and left, no one is clean.

Was anti-India slogans raised were correct? Certainly No.

Was such a strict action under sedition law necessary? Maybe not. Police should have authenticated the veracity of videos surfaced first and then should have proceeded.

Was Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest justified? That is for the court to decide. It should not be decided in some TV channels or by some journalists who certainly have their biases. Kanhaiya is the president of the JNUSU and he was aware of the event and he was also present at the venue. Primafacie he is a suspect, so it isn’t a surprise that police arrested him.

Was Patiala court incident correct? No! The lawyers at the Patiala courts who attacked Kanhiya are hooligans. They are same as the people who shouted anti-India slogans in JNU. They are the two sides of same coin. Extreme versions of right and left ideologies.

Are Patiala court lawyers nationalists? No! they are louts. But certain TV channels and newspapers are using this incident to divert attention from the critical issue of promotion of separatism in Indian universities. They are representing them as the nationalists and then terming the feeling of proudness when we call ourselves Indian or anything which make us feel Indian as extreme nationalism and make an average Indian apologetic for no reason.

Indian justice system may be slow but it takes due care that no innocent is wrongfully convicted. So when a terrorist convicted by the SC is glorified it really baffles us. No one supports violence. No average Indian stands with Patiala court louts. But at the same time no Indian can tolerate bad mouthing of India.

“Bharat tere tukde honge, insha allah allah”, “India Go Back”, “Kitne Afzal maaroge,  har ghar se afzal niklega.

These slogans are not characteristics of a saneful discussion or debate rather a promotion of sociopathic tendencies in society which needs to be rectified. Delhi HC has rightly commented in the Kanhiya bail judgement

Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.