Women’s voices from Atali – Dr. Sandhya Mhatre and Neha Dabhade

(Secular Perspective, September 16-30, 2015) A fact finding team consisting of Adv. Irfan Engineer and these writers, visited the riot torn village of Atali and dwelled into the causes, contentions and nuanced positions of different stakeholders, after two bouts of violence on 25th May and 1st July 2015 in the village. The 150 odd Muslim families in Atali have fled for their lives after two … Continue reading Women’s voices from Atali – Dr. Sandhya Mhatre and Neha Dabhade

Capital punishment brings out the worst basal instincts of a society – Irfan Engineer

The march of history has been from more brutal and violent societies to more humane, inclusive and less violent societies; and from authoritarian to democratic states. The objective of punishment awarded by the society to the delinquents and non-conformists too evolved from that of retribution to deterrence and reformation of the delinquent. According to “Rational Choice Theory”, objective of any punishment should be deterrence rather … Continue reading Capital punishment brings out the worst basal instincts of a society – Irfan Engineer

Undermining National Institutions to Create Regimented Minds – Irfan Engineer

The students of FTII are agitated over appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as President Chair of the Governing Council of the Institute. About 150 students pursuing various courses at the FTII are on an indefinite strike against the patent political appointment because of Chauhan’s affiliation with the BJP. When we google Chauhan, all the information we get is that he acted in films like Andaaz (2203), … Continue reading Undermining National Institutions to Create Regimented Minds – Irfan Engineer

Whose Development? – Irfan Engineer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi often tells his audience that he is working for the development of 1.25 billion Indians. The sub-text is that he would work for development of all Indian regardless of their religion, caste, ethnicity, and regardless of their accident of birth and their cultural heritage. The idea is noble and needs to be fully supported. However, if we apply a bit of … Continue reading Whose Development? – Irfan Engineer

Fatwas and Muslim Women – Irfan Engineer

    The Supreme Court on 7th July 2014 ruled that fatwas had no legal sanctity and the defiance of fatwas would not have civil or criminal consequences as it had no place in independent India under our constitutional scheme. Though the Apex Court did not injunct Islamic religious authorities like the Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, Dar-ul-Qaza or Nizam-e-Qaza from issuing fatwa as issuance of fatwas per se … Continue reading Fatwas and Muslim Women – Irfan Engineer

Challenges before the nation – Irfan Engineer

India, it is said is the largest democracy in the world. India has done well, compared to its South Asian neighbours in sustaining democracy for 67 years despite its rich cultural diversity. Diversity often triggers off competing claims by various interest and religio-cultural groups on the national resources. Democratic state proved to be better suited to mediate the competing claims of various classes, castes, ethnicities, … Continue reading Challenges before the nation – Irfan Engineer

Contours of Secularism – Irfan Engineer

Triumphant and victorious in the 16th general elections for the Lok Sabha, the Hindu nationalists are attributing their victory as rejection of secularism by the Indian electorate. Modi in one of his election campaign speeches came up with a new definition of secularism – “India First”. BJP in its election manifesto explains that “India First simply means nurturing and protecting all the elements, which India is … Continue reading Contours of Secularism – Irfan Engineer

Assam Violence – Irfan Engineer

      What is happening in Assam should shame humanity and Indian democracy. Official figures of dead in Kokrajhar and Baksa Dist. (Assam) is 32. Citizens were fired upon and killed on 1st May and 2nd May for their voting choice. Unofficial sources say number of dead toll may be even higher as 31 persons are still missing and not accounted for. The 16th General election for … Continue reading Assam Violence – Irfan Engineer

Has Modi moderated? – Irfan Engineer

      Ashutosh Varshney in his article in Indian Express (Modi the Moderate) writes that “Modi may not have Vajpayee’s style but, substantively, his campaign over the last few months shows roughly similar traits.” Varshney gives instances of Modi paying tribute to Maulana Azad in one of his election speeches; stitching alliances with the dalit parties, including with those who fought against him and … Continue reading Has Modi moderated? – Irfan Engineer

Communal Violence in 2013: Part – II – Irfan Engineer

In the previous article, we examined the trends in riots and the all India statistics of communal riots provided by the Union Govt. We also described some of the communal riots in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. In this article, we now propose to describe some riots in J&K, UP, MP, Bihar and Assam. Kishtwar, J&K On 9th August after the Eid-ul Fitr prayers, there was sudden … Continue reading Communal Violence in 2013: Part – II – Irfan Engineer