M.K.Gandhi’s views and movements are popular over the world. Seen as an inspiration, he earns a special place in the hearts of many as a charismatic leader who led by principles of simplicity and non-violence. But not many are aware of the role played by Islamic teachings in shaping up the man.

Gandhi drew inspirations from the glorious Quran, the blessed life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that of his companions. Of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he said in an interview with ‘Young India’ (September 23, 1924) –  “I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life.”

Writing in ‘Harijan’ (issue dated 27-07-1937), Gandhi advised his fellow Congressmen on leading a life of simplicity in this fashion:

“I cannot present before you the examples of Sri Ram Chandr and Sri Krishn as they are not personalities recognized by history. I cannot help but present to you names of Abu Bakar (ra) and Umar (ra). They were leaders of a vast empire, yet they lived a life of austerity.”

An even lesser famous quote is the observation of Gandhi about the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (r.a). Gandhi said “The best thing to happen to India would be to be reigned by a dictator as just and upright as Umar, (ra).”

Why did a non-violent exponent of Gandhi’s stature regard the rule of such a man as the ‘best thing’?

The answer lies in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and that of his companions…

Recently, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa called on the State Police to invoke the Karnataka Control of Organized Crimes Act, 2005. A laudable move indeed, if it facilitates peace in the region. The concern is that big ‘if’.

Although KCOCA came into effect from January 2002, no cases have been booked under this act as the rules necessary to make the law effective have not been framed. The State Home Ministry has already come out with a statement that they will be working on the little additions and subtractions in the Act and try to implement it within couple of months.

The Act, as its title would suggest, is meant for the control of ‘organized crimes’. The tenure of our Chief Minister so far, has witnessed a number of them. Some went on to hit the headlines of news channels at National and international levels. That the pub attack episode in Mangalore was an organized crime was for everyone to see.

The attack on Churches across the state a few months ago, one has to say, was also organized. Incidents of the so called moral police taking young boys and girls to task every now and then in various parts of the state, is also part of the organized scheme of things. It would be interesting to know how our CM looks at these incidents under the light of the Act and what steps he takes regarding them.

Reading between the lines the intention of the State cabinet to implement the Act, one gets the impression that it is more inclined towards curbing terrorism in the state. It is in fact quite evident, if the posts on the Home Minister’s blog are to be believed. Whether the above mentioned incidents come under the umbrella of terrorism as far as the state government is concerned, is another question. The Opposition at the centre, which happens to be the ruling one here, has always pressed on the need to re-implement POTA. The POTA was used to torture hundreds of innocent citizens based on baseless suspicions of them being linked with terrorism.

Most of us talk about terrorism in terms of ‘Islamic Terrorism’ and more recently ‘Hindu Terrorism’, but why do we rule out the possibility of a ‘Political Terrorism’? There is every chance that bomb blasts could be carried out by the activists of a particular party in order to show its rival party in negative light – that the ruling party has not been able to contain the terror attacks. Why don’t we think of the possible terrorists clad in neta attire?

One of the many features of the KCOCA is that the investigation officer can go about arresting the suspects without a warrant. We certainly do not approve of terrorism and would love to see the culprits behind the bars. But the last thing people expect is to be tortured by the authorities for no fault of theirs. One can imagine what is in store if the Act is invoked and in what way it would be used by the authorities concerned.

One only hopes that the KCOCA, if invoked, helps in dealing with ‘organized crimes’ rather than turning out to be Karnataka’s version of the POTA.

(This write up has been published in http://www.daijiworld.com – news website.

Link: http://www.daijiworld.com/chan/exclusive_arch.asp?ex_id=1056

Every year on the 12th Rabbiyul Awwal of the Islamic calendar, a fair chunk of the Muslim populace takes to the streets as part of the Milad un Nabi celebrations as an expression of their ‘love’ for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

One wonders how apt it is to shout slogans and ‘celebrate’ the birthday of the beloved Prophet (pbuh) for a day and then turn away from his teachings for the rest of the year? In some cases, on the very day of the Milad, many Muslims are so damn engrossed in their ‘celebrations’ that they even miss out on offering the obligatory Salaah (namaz) as the call for prayer is given at the mosque. The real way to express one’s love for the Prophet (pbuh) is to implement his teachings in one’s life, the way of his sunnah. Or else, it is nothing but hypocracy to claim to be an ‘aashiq – e – nabi’ and then disregard his blessed path. Making vocal claims of the Prophet’s (pbuh) ‘slavery’ on one hand, and engrossed in lying, fraud, impatience, hatred, back-biting, disobedience of Allah, and various other tenets taught by the Prophet (pbuh) on the other…simply doesn’t make sense.