Baya-Hindi journal brought out special issue on famour Dalit writer Prof. Tulsi Ram , it carried my short memoir also.
Colonialism and Indian Indenture ship during 19th Century
Indian arrival and Indian deliverance
While attending some programmes on August 1, 2011, and around, in connection with ‘Emancipation Day’ celebrations, which came this year with the declaration of year 2011 by UNO, as ‘year of the African Descent people’, I remembered participating in various functions/seminars on the occasion of ‘Indian Arrival Day’ in Trinidad & Tobago on and around May 30, 2011. In one of the international conferences on the theme of ‘South Asian Diaspora’ organized to mark the occasion at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus, during May 31—June 4, 2011, I presented a paper also on V S Naipaul. Yet going through the background of the two events, something did disturb me. African background people, who were brought here in Trinidad as slaves from many parts of Africa, never celebrate their ‘Arrival’ in Trinidad or in many other countries of the world, whereas people of Indian descent celebrate Indian Arrival day, not only in T&T, but in nearby Guyana and Suriname; also in Mauritius and Fiji, far away, may be in some other countries too. One reason could be that there may not be any record of slaves being brought to Trinidad and many more countries of the world. Though the exact date of slavery is also difficult to identify, yet generally slave trade is on record from 1440 AD onwards in many European countries. It took almost four hundred years hard and harsh struggles to get slavery abolished, including many revolts like those of Bussa in Barbados, Cuffy in Guyana, Sam Sharpe in Jamaica and the Haitian Revolution of 1795-1804.
In Europe, while France under the Jacobins as First republic abolished slavery as early as in 1794, later reinstated by Napoleon in 1804, but finally abolished in 1848; Britain did it in 1834/38, USA under Abraham Lincoln abolished it in 1863; in Tibet, slavery could be abolished only after Dalai Lama left and Chinese Communist Government abolished it after 1949, ironically Arab countries are the last to abolish slavery, thus Saudi Arabia, Oman, Niger, UAE etc. abolished slavery only in sixties and Mauritania is the last country to abolish slavery as late as in 1981. Even if there could be a record of Black/African arrival in different countries, I doubt that they will ever be willing to ‘celebrate’ their ‘arrival’ as ‘slaves’!
The question which disturbs me is: Is the Indian arrival in these countries as ‘indentured labor’ during 1834-1923, an occasion for ‘celebration’? The conditions of ‘indentured labor’ in most of these countries were more like that of semi-slavery and Indian descent people everywhere went through most cruel sufferings at the hands of sugar planters and colonial authorities of the time. Let us have a look at this phenomenon of Indian arrival in various countries.
Emancipation and Indentureship
As the emancipation act was promulgated from August 1, 1834, giving six years of a time called ‘apprenticeship’, meaning transition period for clear emancipation from slavery. On August 1,1834 Governor of Trinidad addressed few elderly Africans to mark the occasion at Government house, there were slogans raising—‘no six years, no six years’ and within four years, Trinidad became, in fact, the first British colony to be completely emancipated from slavery, other colonies followed. Although as per Trinidad historian Bridget Brereton, none of the 20,656 slaves emancipated, was given any compensation to start new life, whereas slave owners were given massive state funding.
As the emancipation act came into existence and thousands of slaves of African descent became free, large numbers of them refused to work at their ex masters, mostly sugar planters, in many countries, colonized by British, French, Dutch and Spain and Portugal. In Caribbean region itself, Trinidad, Demerara(part of Guyana now), Jamaica etc were British colonies, French Guyana, Martinique, Guadalupe etc were French colonies, Dutch Guiana, now Suriname were Dutch colonies—all having sugar planters, now facing the lack of labor. Under the circumstances, India being a huge British colony with immense population, European colonialists looked towards Indian labor, then given name of ‘Indentured labor’.
Govt. of India built this monument in memory of 19th Century Indian indentured labor as late as in Jan.2011
They took off from these sea shores at Calcutta(Madras and Bombay too)
British colonial Government in India made certain rules called Colonial Emigration Acts V and XXXII of 1837 regarding ‘indentured’ conditions. Five years was the minimum term of indentured labor, after which a laborer could return to India at his or her own expense. To earn a return ticket, he or she was to perform ten years indentured labor. Regulations differed somewhat in different countries. Though on paper some safeguards were created, in practice these were never followed, the real conditions of the indentured laborers were just close to the conditions of ex slaves. The masters and their agents used to treat them in most cruel manner, beating-thrashing in blue for little things, raping their women, making women work in most advanced pregnancies, sometime births taking place on work sites, making women work even if the new born or grown child died same morning.
Because of these cruelties, indentured laborers in Mauritius use to commit suicide from a particular hillock, which got the name of ‘suicide hill’, now turned into a monument. Hundreds of indentured Indian labor committed suicide by jumping down from this hill during the period, when indentured labor act was in force. The condition was no better in Fiji, though it may have been slightly less cruel in Caribbean countries. The first emigration from British India started to Mauritius as early as 1834, immediately after the abolition of slavery act was promulgated on August 1, 1834.
A photo of Negro slaves from Mauritius Archives
First ship Atlas from Calcutta, brought Indian labor to the shores of Mauritius on November 2, 1834. And till 1923, even after the indentured labor system was abolished from 1920 onwards, Mauritius received the maximum number of Indian indentured labor from the ports of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. A total of 453,063 Indians landed in Mauritius, during 1834-1923, maximum in any part of the world.
Indian Indentured labour in Mauritus-1870
Compulsory Neck wearing of Indentured labour-Mauritius-Folk Museum, Mahatma Gandhi Institute
Photographs of indentured labour at arrival in Mauritius-
Details of first batch of indentured labour in Mauritius-Folk Museum
Guyana and Trinidad
The second largest contingent of Indian indentured labor went to now called Guyana from 1838 to 1916. First ship Hesperus with Indian labor arrived in Demerara on May 5, 1838 and total of 238,909 Indians arrived in ships. Trinidad & Tobago was the third country to receive large numbers of Indian labor from May 30, 1845 onwards and here 147,596 Indians came as per Sat Balkaran Singh. First ship to arrive in Trinidad was FatelRazack from Calcutta, a total of 154 ships undertook 320 voyages from Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, to bring Indian indentured labour up to 1917. Out of these only 20 per cent or so, went back to India after indentured system was abolished.
Replica of first Indian ship Hesperus reaching Guyana 5th May 1838
Indian indentured labour in Trinidad &Tobago-Port of Spain City Museum collection
1903 ship Circe bringing Indians to Trinidad & Tobago
South Africa and other countries
South Africa also started receiving Indian labor, mostly Muslims from Gujarat 1860 onwards. Here the first ship Truro with Indian labor arrived from Madras on 16th November 1860. South Africa received 152,184 Indian laborers in indentured act period. French and Dutch colonizers also made agreements with British Indian Government to recruit Indian indentured labour with similar agreements as issued by British colonizers. Thus French colonialists recruited Indian indentured labor for French Guyana, Martinique, Guadalupe etc. Dutch colonizers got Indian indentured labor for Dutch Guyana, now named Suriname from 1873, the first ship LalaRookh from India arrived here on 5th June 1873 and a total on 34,304 Indians arrived here till 1916.
Baba-Mai symbolic statue in memory of Indian indentured labour in Paramaribo-Suriname
Ist Indian ship LallaRookh memorial complex Paramaribo-Suriname
Fiji under British regime was the last to recruit Indian indentured labor, where the first ship Leonidas arrived on 14th May 1879 and it got 60, 995 Indians till 1917. Other countries to receive Indian indentured laborin this period were, Jamaica-36, 412, East Africa, including Kenya and Uganda-32000, mostly Sikhs from Punjab, for building Uganda-Kenya rail link; Reunion-26, 507, Seychlles-6315, St Vincent-2472, St Kitts-337, St Lucia-4350, Grenada 3200 etc. A total of nearly 1.2 million or 12 lakh Indians travelled to different parts of the world during this period. In all countries, Indian indentured labor went through hell, a lot of sufferings and Indian newspapers reported about these cruelties on Indian labor.
Indian indentured labour records in National Archives-Suva-Fiji
Role of Mahatma Gandhi
Since Mahatma Gandhi was invited in South Africa as a lawyer to defend the rights of Indian business men there, the other countries also came into focus. In 1909, Mahatma Gandhi spent few days in Mauritius on his way back to India through sea journey. Dr Mani Lal, a young advocate, who was later, married to the daughter of Dr Mehta, a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, was sent to Mauritius in 1907. Dr Mani Lal started a paper, Hindustani, from Mauritius in Gujarati and English, Hindi replaced Gujarati soon. Mani Lal spent few years till 1910 in Mauritius and defended Indians rights. Later Dr Mani Lal played a similar role in Fiji, where he went in 1912; he was treated very harshly by British colonial authorities in Fiji and was made to leave the country in 1920.
Mahatma Gandhi visit in Mauritius-1909-Folk Museum collection
Dr. Mani Lal statue in Port Louise-Mauritius
Documentation of Indentureship
Sufferings of Indian indentured labor are well documented in the creative Hindi literature of Mauritius and Fiji. AbhimanyuAnat is most celebrated Hindi writer of Mauritius and he through his many novelslike LalPasina( Red Sweat), the introduction of its French translation was written by French Noble Laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, depicted the horrible sufferings faced by Indian indentured labour at the hands of Sugar planters, mostly Europeans and their Indian agents, colonial police and other officials. Same way Joginder Singh Kanwal in his novels like Savera and Karvat depicted the hardships and struggles of Fiji Indian labour. MunshiRehman Khan, writing in Hindi and Urdu, did it for Suriname Indian labor.
Unfortunately Trinidad and Guyana Indian descent people lost their languages as well and their sufferings in these countries were depicted in English language much later, when their second or third generation became well versed in the language. Peter Jailall from Guyana wrote about Indian indentured labor’s sufferings in his English poetry collection of recent times under the title Sacrifice-Poems on the Indian Arrival in Guyana. V S Naipaul did not focus much on Indian indentured labor’s sufferings in Trinidad & Tobago, though he was born and brought up there, but had references to the sufferings in his classic novel-A House for MrBiswas.
In India also people like C F Andrews, who visited almost all countries, where Indian labour migrated, at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi, BenarsidasChaturvedi, Hindi writer and journalist, Lakshman Singh, husband of celebrated Hindi writer SubhadraKumariChauhan and member of All India Congress Committee (AICC) wrote plays like Coolie in Hindi, basing on Indian laborers sufferings in Fiji, the play was immediately proscribed by British authorities. Tota Ram Shandilya , who returned from Fiji, wrote My Twenty One Years in Fiji, in Hindi, which is translated in English and now an important reference book in Fiji. In these countries freedom struggles against British colonialism started, which were mostly close to Indian National Congress in India, like movement by Shiv SagarRamgoolam in Mauritius, who became the first Prime Minister of independent Mauritius.
DrCheddiJagan was one of the most important organizers and leaders of freedom struggle in British Guiana as leader of People’s Progressive Party, a party with Marxist ideas. In Kenya, Comrade Makhan Singh, a Communist, fought alongside Jomo Kenyatta and his other colleagues for the freedom of Kenya. Monuments of struggles by Indian indentured laborers, along with other communities are found in many countries. In Guyana, where Hesperus, first vessel from Calcutta brought 156 souls on 5th May 1838, out of 170 boarded, 14 died on the way by sickness and drowning.
Dr.CheddiJagan life in pictures in Guyana-Dr.CheddiJagan Research Centre Georgetown
Author with son of legendryDr.CheddiJagan, Dentist Dr.CheddiJagan Junior, senior Dr.Jagan was also dentist.
Author with Donald Ramoutar, PPP Candidate for President Election-November-2011(Elected)-Dr.CheddiJagan Comrade
There have been conflicts, rebellions in 1872, 1903 and 1912, 1913, 1924. Walter Rodney, one of the brilliant radical scholars of Guyana, depicted the conditions of Indians and other countries indentured labor emigration to Guyana in books like Lakshmi out of India and History of the Guyanese Working People. Rodney was assassinated in the young age on 13th June 1980 and Guyana national archives are now named after him. In Trinidad & Tobago, massacre of Jahazis, as the East Indian indentured labor were called, as they came on ships, took place in 1884 at the time of holy Eid.
CLR James, the radical Marxist scholar-writer of Trinidad & Tobago had focused upon Black and east Indian indentured labor conditions in his writings and during March 1970 Black Power movement in Trinidad, there were banners and calls for Indo-African unity, though some people tried to scare Indians with rumors that Blacks would attack East Indians, to counter it Black Power movement took a massive march in Caroni sugar plantation area and home of large number of Indians, who did not join the march, but showed warm hospitality to the marchers, thus frustrating the designs of those, who wanted to turn this most progressive movement as a Black-Indian conflict.
Need for Monuments
Strangely Trinidad & Tobago has no monument in memory of Black and Indian sufferings in the country, whereas neighboring Caribbean countries-Guyana and Suriname has number of monuments for both communities’ sufferings in their countries. In Suriname there is a monument in memory of 16 Indians and Indonesian indentured labor, who was martyred at sugar factory site, struggling for better wages and living conditions. At suicide hill site in Mauritius, now stands a grand monument in memory of those poor indentured laborers, which died due to the worst cruelties inflicted upon them by colonial authorities and sugar barons. In Fiji, workers struggled in February 1920, even after the abolition of indentured labor system and Fijian authorities in revengeful manner crushed workers strike and forced Dr Mani Lal out of the country.
Monument in memory of 16 Indian and Indonesian indentured martyrs and other wounded labourers at sugar factory Marienburg struggle on 30th July, 1902-Suriname
Slave Route Monument-the hillock behind from where Indian indentured labour committed suicides due to turtures.The heritage site inaugurated by Mauritius President on 1st February 2009.
Struggles in these countries and pressure by the national movement in India in favor of this struggling migrated Indian labor, British Government had to finally abolish ‘indentured labor’ system in 1917, through legislation to this effect, as they had to do in case of slavery in 1834/38. Indentures system was also given lease/transition till the end of 1919 and from 1st January 1920, indentured Indian labor system came to a complete stop. So 1 January 1920 was hailed as Deliverance day, as was end of slavery was hailed as Emancipation Day by Africans.
Irony is this that Indians in these countries never focused upon Deliverance Day, which is much more historic day of their life, particularly of present generation people of Indian descent in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname and Fiji, than so called Indian Arrival Day, which is the day to mark the beginning of untold sufferings, deceit, as most of Indians recruited for this scheme of indentured labor, were recruited by agents by telling all kinds of lies, like they are being taken to the countries of goldmines and they will become rich with gold, once they are there, or lies like Mauritius is a country of Ramayana character Marich, trapping innocent but poor, needy Indian rural folk into their trap of prolonged suffering for them.
In fact the day to celebrate in these countries is 1st January uniformly as ‘Deliverance Day’, but what they celebrate is not their deliverance, but their semi slavery status. And by pomp of word ‘Arrival’, they unwittingly give signs of the colonial mindset, as only colonialists had this pleasure of celebrating arrival in colonies, like that of Columbus, Vasco de Gama kind of Spanish colonialists, who became instruments of future colonial conquers in the world of Africa, Asia and smaller countries of Latin/South America, Caribbean! Indians by their arrivals in these countries had got only sufferings for themselves and prosperity for their masters, like ex black slaves suffered.
Another sad part of this whole anti-slavery and anti-indentured system movements and freedom from these, is that the integration between East (wrong term, given by colonialists) Indians and Blacks have not taken place at the level, it was desirable. Blacks and Indians both communities were brought to these far off countries by colonial masters. Technically they were free to go back to their root countries after their emancipation/deliverance, some Indians returned to their bitter experiences back home, where rather than being welcomed, they were treated with much contempt and misbehavior due to caste system and orthodox beliefs of crossing impure ‘kala
pani’(black waters of the sea) , so many had to get back to their indentured countries.
Blacks had a more tragic past; their connection to their roots was completely lost due to centuries’ gap in between. Blacks even lost the memory of the place from where they came! Under the circumstances both communities became the naturalized citizens of these countries along with small communities of natives like Amerindians and in the process they all became nationals of new nations after freedom from colonialism.
It would have been natural for these nationals to merge and mingle with each other through inter racial marriages, bringing into existence the new community of mixed race communities, which did not happen. Such was the cultural resistance to such efforts that first feature film-‘Wan Pipel’(One People) by Pim de la Parra, made in Suriname in 1976, brings this reality into focus. In the film Hindi speaking Indian descent girl Rubia dares to fall in love with black Surinamese Roy, she is out casted and harassed by her family, while Roy, who was in love with Dutch white girl in Holland, while studying, and was supposed to go back to Holland to complete his studies; as he came only to see her dying mother, decides to stay back with Rubia. Roy’s father is as opposed to this relation, as are Rubia’s family. After more than three decades of this film, conditions have not changed much. Even the East Indian descent actress, who played this role, was harassed in Suriname and had to shift to Holland!
In Trinidad & Tobago, there is a black statue in Siparia town Catholic church, which is claimed as ‘DivinaPastora’ by Catholics and they believe the statue coming from neighboring Venezuela, but Hindus claim here it to be ‘Sipareeki Mai’, a folk image, which later day Hindu religious fundamentalists distorted it to as ‘Durga’ or ‘Kali’! Chinese Buddhists claim it to be Chinese girl statue, while some believe in the myth of Kampuchean priests bringing it from Kampuchea! The good part of it is that though the statue is part of a Church, Hindus visit the statue for worship or offerings on every Friday, with happy arrangements with Church, though some sectarian trends among Hindus in Trinidad try to whip up ‘Temple’ phenomenon here, like that in ‘Ayodhya-Babri Masjid’ dispute in India. But they cannot whip up hysteria like India; in Trinidad & Tobago, as many Christian and Muslims priests and commoners are of Indian descent and they generally live in harmony here in Trinidad.
La DivinaPastora or Sipareeki Mai in Catholic Church in Siparia-T&T, some relate it to 17th Century Madras temple tradition-Guardian archives
In fact the Siparia formula can be very useful for resolving Babri Masjid site dispute as well, where Hindus with faith in Lord Rama, can be allowed to visit the site once in a week, like in Siparia church site with mutual trust among both Hindu and Muslim faiths. Hindus and Christians of East Indian descent claim Jahazy revolt of 1884 in Trinidad, as part of Indian tradition and not just Muslim revolt, it is called ‘JallianwalaBagh’ of Trinidad here, though the numbers of killings in state attack were nowhere near JallianwalaBagh in Amritsar, where on 13th April, 1919, hundreds of people were shot dead by the notorious General Dyer’s forces, while attending a peaceful protest meeting.
Interesting part of indentured labour immigration to different countries is that in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname and Fiji; large number of people went from east Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar, though some from Bengal and south India also went. In South Africa and East Africa, more people from Gujarat and Punjab and South India went. Later in the early twentieth century, Punjabis went as free labour to USA, Canada and UK. While only Mauritius has been able to preserve its Indian demographic and cultural structure, most of the other countries of the Indian Diaspora are now getting mixed and mingled with other Diasporas in terms of language use. Mauritius is still able to preserve Indian languages—Bhojpuri, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Urdu, where a full-fledged department of Indian languages functions in the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, as part of University of Mauritius to teach these languages, apart from Sanskrit. South Indian temples exist as much as other temples in Mauritius and Fiji.
Thiruvallavar bust in Moka-Mauritius
Sikh Gurdwara in Fiji-Lautoka-
Biggest Tamil Temple in Nadi-Fiji
Fiji and Suriname are able to preserve Hindi as a common language of all people of Indian descent, but other countries have mostly lost the existence of Indian languages in public life and these may be just surviving in some homes and some religious gatherings. Though large number of Indian indentured laborers returned to India after completion of their term, but more than that stayed back and now after three generations are more, they have become most prosperous in these countries.
Indian Arrival Day
The celebration of Indian Arrival day started in these countries, after Indian descent people became prosperous and started sharing political power as part of ruling classes. Mauritius, from the very beginning had Indian descent people in political power. After Shiv SagarRamgoolam, Dr. AneroodJugannath and Dr. Naveen ChanderRamgoolam(son of Shiv SagarRamgoolam) are sharing power, though being in different parties. In Trinidad & Tobago, after BasdeoPandey remained Prime Minister in 1997 period, now Kamla Prasad Bissesar of Indian descent is Prime Minister since 2010. In Guyana Dr. CheddiJagan , a Marxist of Indian descent had been most popular leader of the country, remaining Prime Minister and President for many years. Bharat Jagdeo of Indian descent, from CheddiJagan’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) remained President of the country since last almost a dozen years and his successor is again of Indian descent, Donald Ramoutar of the same party,who won the elections held in November, 2011. In Fiji, MahendraChaudhary from Rohtak background family was the fourth Prime Minister of the country for short period. Suriname also had Indian descent Presidents of the country like Fred RamduttMisier during 1982-88 and Ramsewak Shankar during 1988-90. Jules Ajodhia had been Vice President during 1991 and 2000-2005, while PretaapRadhakishun remained Vice President during 1996-2000, RamdinSarjue remained Vice President during 2005-2010. Surinamese Vice President is equal to Prime Minister’s position and chairs the Cabinet meetings; the post was created after the abolition of Prime Minister’s post in 1987. PretaapRadhakaishun remained Prime Minister of Suriname, the only Indian descent person to hold the post, for a brief period during 1986-87. However it was in JaggernathLachmon, a former speaker of National Assembly or Parliament with 50 members, Suriname had a strong leader of Indian descent people, whose statue finds a pride place in Independent square of Paramaribo, capital of Suriname. New Zealand had its Governor General AnandSatyanand from Indo-Fijian background. There have been ministers in many countries from Indian descent people in South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Tanzania, Zambia etc.
Since Indian descent people after becoming prosperous and part of ruling classes, holding political power, it has created a sense of suspicion in other communities in these countries, particularly when this event of Indian arrival is not marked as somber event and celebrated with certain sobriety, with remembrance of the past sufferings gone through by Indian indentured labor in these place, a century or more ago. At most of the places the event is celebrated with pomp and show, like a happy festival, which is supported by Indian Government official as part of their official diplomatic duties in many ways. When Africans celebrate Emancipation day, they bring into focus the horrible days of slavery through films, exhibitions, lectures, songs and make it an event to remember their ancestors for their sacrifices for the prosperity of present generation; but Indian arrival day rarely focuses upon the sufferings gone through by their ancestors, except in some seminar papers; sadly present generation does not have much knowledge about these suffering of their ancestors, they are too much engrossed in the pleasures of consumerism brought by the prosperity.
It is only after Emancipation and freedom from colonial yoke, that some of the Africans have prospered, but not all. So are with Indian descent people in these countries, some or little more of them, than Africans have prospered in these countries, but only after Deliverance and not before. So Indian descent people in these countries need to learn from history and review their days of celebrations. It is 1st January as ‘Deliverance day, which should be celebrated in all these countries, like ‘Emancipation day’. Arrival day may be marked, like a day of penitence, by way of fasting, in memory of sufferings of those ancestors, who suffered during their Indentured labor bondage period!
…………………………………………………………………………………………………ChamanLal is Retired Professor & Former Chairperson at the Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
Some more photographs
Makhan Singh with minister Etching Oneko, President Jomo Kenyatta and Vice President OgingaOdinga of independent Kenya
Bhagat Singh picture displayed in AryaSamajschool Suva-Fiji
Bhagat Singh photograph in AryaSamaj HQ in Port Louis-Mauritius
Statue in independence square Paramaribo-Suriname of powerful Indian descent leader-JegannathLachoman
Author with BasdeoPandey, former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
PotulluRamulu statue in Andhra Sabha temple Mauritius
Mahatma Gandhi statue in Port of Spain-T&T
It was perhaps early morning of 20th July 1979. I was a JNU student, but the night before I stayed at a IIT Hostel near JNU,in a friend K Sainath’s room to spend time with a common political friend from Punjab. (के साईनाथ did his PhD from IIT and joined some company in Andhra Pradesh, his family is political family, but I lost touch with him since years, so many lost people have been found on face book, I wish I could find Sainath also!) As usual slept late in hot summer night, but I got up early to go back to my hostel in JNU to get ready for the day. Times of India had come and I made a cursory look-on front page itself, there was shocking news of Pirthipal Randhawa’s assassination at Ludhiana. I woke up Sainath and then our friend, who is now no more alive. All three were speechless, had a brief talk, as our friend was also to leave for Punjab early in wake of this shocking development. After reaching JNU, I had planned some protest, met activists of various progressive student groups-PSO-Progressive Student Organisation, a proto form of today’s AISA, SFI, RSC-Radical Student Centre, AISF etc. Started a signature campaign, on which got signatures from all eminent faculty members like Late Bipan Chandra, Romila Thapar, Late Krishna Bhardwaj, Prabhat and Utsa Patnaik, late GP Deshpande, Manager Pandey and many more. Almost all student activists of those days-Sita Ram Yechuri, DP Tripathy, both remained JNUSU Presidents, other activists etc. signed demanding strict action against murderers. More than five hundred signatures were collected, the memorandum was published in EPW in letters column, but without any name. The same or earlier issue of EPW carried now renowned Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan report from Punjab. My piece was published by Frontier and Dinman(Hindi, edited by Raghuvir Sahay). I have lost signed copy of memorandum and also Dinman/Frontier issues, but EPW copies I could recover from its archives . We held many protest meetings in JNU and Delhi University, including demonstrations. PUDR also condemned the murder at that time. Pirthipal Randhawa had just come out of Punjab Students Union(PSU) as his studentship in PAU was over, though he was just 27 at that time. He was being drafted into Association for Democratic Rights as its founder General Secretary later, when this vilest act from Akali patronised goons took place. AFDR was formed later in the same year and Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi, now AAP MP was given the task, which Randhawa was supposed to perform. Dr. Gandhi performed that task as competently as was expected from Pirthipal and made AFDR a well known organisation throughout the country in its first few years of formation. Incidentally two members from Punjab in this Parliament learnt their politics under the leadership of Pirthipal Randhawa as part of PSU in those days. Prem Singh Chandumajra, now an Akali MP and an ex minister was also PSU activist in Randhawa’s leadership. He was the elected President of Punjabi University Students Union from PSU. Irony is that even he does not raise the demand for restoration of Punjabi University Patiala’s student union elections banned since 1983!
Pirthipal Randhawa became immensely popular among Punjab students in the wake of 1972 Moga students agitation against killing of some students at the hands of police who were demanding closure of Regal cinema there. No other student leader has acquired such popularity later or before him in Punjab. He was soft spoken but firm leader, he was taken in handcuffs to then Punjab chief minister Giani Zail Singh for negotiations, he refused to talk in such humiliating condition, his handcuffs were removed and talks were held in proper manner.
I have been corrected here by Baljit Balli, who was President of PSU, with Randhawa as General Secretary, both worked together for 7-8 years before passing on baton to next generation of activists-Sukhdev Patwari, Malwinder Mali, Jaspal Jassi etc.Balli has corrected me further about Randhawa’s sketch made by Imroz. In fact he had come to JNU and stayed with me in 305 Periyar hostel in August 1979 to get the portrait and we both together had gone to Imroz and met Amrita Pritam first. Imroz gave us the portrait in one or two days, which Balli got printed from a press in old Delhi and he took many, may be hundreds copy in poster format to Punjab. If it is so, then many old activists now in late age like mine, may be having the IMroz made sketch, pl. click it on your camera or mobile and share it on social sites. Balli told it was his first and last mmet him eeting with Imroz, but I have met him later as well, in fact in recent years as well at Navyug farm annual Lohri meet at Delhi, he is now 80+, but as cheerful and gentle as earlier.
I remember him fondly this day, I had few occasions to meet him at Ludhiana and Bathinda, while participated in huge protest march on 7th October 1972 at Ludhiana in those days in solidarity as writer/teacher activist. I was approached by PSU to get a portrait of Pirthipal from eminent artist Imroz, whose house at Hauz Khas was damn near. I approached him with Amrita Pritam also present, had little interaction with her earlier also with a photograph of Pirthipal, he happily agreed to make a portrait in a princely sum of 200/ rupees, neither very high nor low in 1979. He gave me that pencil sketch duly framed and I handed it over to PSU. It presented Pirthi in very soft form, while PSU people wished to have more tougher posture. Sukhdev Patwari, Malwinder Mali and Baljit Balli had taken over the leadership of PSU in post Randhawa time. Perhaps all three came at different occasions to address protest meetings organised by me in Delhi at JNU, DU and some other place. I was active at that time in PUDR in Delhi.
Irony with that portrait was that after three decades it was back to me from some Punjabi University Patiala PSU activists for repairing the damage water has done to portrait and the artists told it could not be repaired, so returned and the portrait was lost. I don’t know if some PSU activist has kept even the mobile or camera click also of that portrait as it was not a digital age yet!
Revolutionary Punjabi poet Pash, who knew Pirthipal closely wrote a tribute in a poem, which is printed on this photograph of Randhawa. Ironically I got the news of Pash’s assassination in somewhat similar circumstances later in March 1988. I was at Rohatk on 23rd March 1988 for a lecture on Bhagat Singh and stayed at my poet-teacher friends-Manmohan and Shubha. On the morning of 24th March I wished to leave the home without waking them up as train was early morning. On railway station, my purse was picked up and I had to return to them for getting some bucks for fare! While I entered their home, Times of India of the day was lying and had usual cursory look, which again had front page story of ‘Punjabi poet Avtar Singh Pash assassinated’. Same shock and speechlessness in three persons!
Punjab Students Union(PSU), Randhawa and Pash were all true admirers and followers of Bhagat Singh and his thought and tried to carry forward his radical ideas in contemporary Punjab. The murder of Randhawa in 1979, in some years led to PSU’s downfall and rise of Bhindrawale’s rightist Khalistani terrorist movement in Punjab and radical movement in PSU , as well as their mentor political ML groups split into many factions. An emerging leftist option was defeated by rightist rise. The conditions are now much worse. A rightist force led by a man, who is shaped in Bhindrawale style-abusive, aggressive, crude and threatening, is holding state power, as in Germany Hitler held and the leftist-progressive-liberal forces are in disarray, AAP like liberal progressive looking groups are also riding rightist bandwagon in cover of populism and shedding off all progressive forces inside AAP, rather crudely and arrogantly! Pirthipal Randhawa like young leaders are the crying need of Indian society today, who could appeal masses by their gentle yet firm and principled personality!
Jagjit Singh Anand-symbol of progressive journalism in Punjab
On 2nd June 2013, Jagjit Singh Anand completed 50 years as editor of Punjabi daily ‘Nawan Zamana’ published from Jalandhar, perhaps few have achieved this feet. Two years later, on 19th June 2015, Anand passed away as editor at the age of 93 years plus.
Anand was born on 28th December 1921 in a well known family of that time in district Amritsar. His father Headmaster Mehtab Singh was well known Sikh scholar. His elder brother Pritam Singh Safeer was well known Punjabi poet and retired judge of Delhi High court, who predeceased him. Anand’s sister was married to first Professor of Punjabi at Panjab University Chandigarh-Dr. Surinder Singh Kohli.
Anand went to Lahore for higher education, where his active political-social life began. He joined All India Student Federation (AISF), student front of Communist party of India. Seeing his interest in journalism, party involved him in its pre independence Urdu weekly journal ‘Jang-e-Azadi’. After partition, CPI brought its Urdu weekly ‘Naya Zamana’ from Jalandhar in 1952 and Anand was associated with its editing team. Gurbux Singh Preetlari and Tikaram Sukhan were its celebrated editors at that time. CPI converted Naya Zamana into Punjabi daily ‘Nawan Zamana’, as Urdu was losing its readership after partition. Arjan Singh Gadgaj and Surjan Zirvi remained its editors. Jagjit Singh Anand became its editor in June 1963 and continued till his last day. After Communist Party of India split in 1964, Harkishan Singh Surjit and Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri went with Communist Party of India (Marxist), whereas Avtar Singh Malhotra, Satya Pal Dang and Jagjit Singh Anand remained with CPI. ‘Nawan Zamana’ remained as CPI daily, though later its ownership was transferred to Arjan Singh Gadgaj Trust. CPI(M) tried with its weeklies and now is bringing out ‘Desh Sewak’ Punjabi daily from Chandigarh.
Though ‘Nawan Zamana’ remained broadly a CPI daily, it was liberal in offering its platform to almost every stream of left and progressive thought. As many factions of CPI(ML) did not have any daily of their own, ‘Nawan Zamana’ kept on publishing their views occasionally. In last few years, though it has been losing readership, its Sunday magazine (Aitvarta), has become quite popular among Punjabis settled abroad in UK, USA, Canada and Australia, as well as among Punjabi literary circles in India.
Jagjit Singh Anand became member of Rajya Sabha from 1974 to 1980, during CPI’s warm relationship with Congress party. Anand was one of CPI’s vocal and enlightened voices in Indian parliament and raised many pertinent issues of Punjab. During Khalistani movement in Punjab, Nawan Zamana was stringent critic of this movement and Anand faced death threats as well and was provided security. He did not deter from his stand and Nawan Zamana was the fearless voice of leftists and rationality in that decade.
Apart from his journalism and political career, Jagjit Singh Anand was a prominent literary figure of Punjab. He enriched Punjabi language and literature through his original writings as well as translations. His Punjabi translation of Vanda Vasilueska’s classic Russian novel ‘Rainbow’ as ‘Satrangi Peengh’ has been most popular among Punjabi readers. He translated Rajni Pam Dutt’s classic book ‘India Today’ in Punjabi, Murasaki’s classic Japanese novel-‘Genji’s story’ for Sahitya Akademi. He translated Fuchik’s Czeck classic ‘Notes from Gallows’ and many more books. Punjab Govt conferred him with Shiromani Award in 1973 for his writings and journalism. His original writings in Punjabi include his literary autobiography published by Punjabi University Patiala, memoirs like ‘Sujh da Safar’, Chete di Changer chon’, ‘Communist lehar de ang sang’, Cheta chog chuge’ etc. Through his translations, he set the standards of making translation look like original so that Punjabi readers could enjoy it like their own language flavour. He never used obscure words and always made Punjabi language a treat for the mind.
Anand’s wife Urmila Anand, daughter of Gurbux Singh Preetlari predeceased him, he was bed ridden for few years and has loss of memory. He was admitted to hospital few days before his passing away. He leaves behind-Sukirat and Suangna- his son and daughter. His death was mourned in Pakistan literary and civil society circles also. He will be remembered for his contribution to Punjabi language literature and culture, to make it more rational and humanist.
# Memorial meeting for Jagjit Singh Anand at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall, Jalandhar on 5th July, Sunday at 11 am.
+ Chaman Lal is retired Professor from JNU, New Delhi, also remained sub editor of ‘Jansatta’, sister Hindi daily of ‘Indian Express’.
- H.no. 1098/2, Sector 39-B, Chandigarh
Professor (Retd.), JNU, New Delhi
Ex-Coordinator-Centre for Comparative Literature
Centre for Punjabi, Language, Literature and Culture
Ex-Professor-In Charge CUP Library
|Former Professor & Chairperson, Centre of Indian Languages, JNU, New Delhi
Former Visiting Professor on Hindi Chair, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, Trinidad
Former Reader & Head, Dept. of Hindi, Punjabi University, Patiala (Punjab)
Former Reader in Hindi Translation, GNDU, Amritsar
Editor, Bhagat Singh’s Documents in book collections
50+ books in Hindi, Punjab and English, translation of books in Urdu, Marathi
Books on Bhagat Singh and Indian revolutionary freedom struggle
On Indian Dalit Literature
On Punjabi revolutionary poet Paash
Books on Literary Criticism in Hindi, Punjabi and English
1. NationalSahityaAkademi award for Translation of Pash
2. Shiromani Hindi Sahitkar(Punjab Govt.)
3.National Award onSurjitPatar’sHindi Translation by Central Hindi Directorate
Prof.Chaman Lal (Retd.) Date 2nd July, 2015
Professor (Retd.), JNU, New Delhi
Former Coordinator-Centre for Comparative Literature
Centre for Punjabi, Language, Literature and Culture
Former Professor-In Charge CUP Library
Railway Minister Sh. Suresh Prabhu
Subject: Torturous journey in Indian Railways: For your attention
I have been reading in newspapers and watching in electronic media that Indian Railways have improved a lot and you are a competent minister making journey in Indian Railways a comfortable one. But the ground reality is something different, which you can see from my experience, which is not experience of a common passenger, whose experiences are much worse than mine. I take myself to be somewhat privileged passenger, who could afford to spend more money on my travel than much bigger number of passengers could afford to.
I was invited by a forum in Kanpur to speak on a book release function on 10th May 2015 at Kanpur. Since I wished to visit Mirzapur also to see Shaheed Smark there, I requested organisers to book my return ticket via Mirzapur. They sent me three tickets (Copy attached)-1.Ambala Cantt to Kanpur on Unchahar Express on 9th May. 2. Kanpur to Mirzapur on 11th May and from 3.Mirzapur to New Delhi on 12th May.
My troubles started from Ambala Cant. itself. Unchahar express reached two hours late at Ambala Cant. and became four hours late by the time it reached Kanpur next morning on 10th May at 9 am, while scheduled time was 5 am.
Next day my train to Mirzapur from Kanpur was Jat Murri express at 12.50 pm, scheduled to arrive at Mirzapur by 17.33 pm. This train was delayed for many hours and I had to leave it and travelled by ordinary bus from Kanpur to Allahabad in scorching heat for seven long hours. No refund was given to my organisers for booking this ticket.
My third train’s journey was the worst. Mahananda Express was to depart from Mirzapur at 7.10 am on 12th May. I met Lala Lajpat Rai memorial library and Shaheed Udyan office bearers on 11th late night and they arranged hotel stay for me in Mirzapur,but when I reached Mirzapur station on 12th morning, to my shock the train was cancelled. Worse still, there was no alternative arrangement for reserved seat book passengers in any other train, though these were many. I had to stay for another day at Mirzapur and could get only Magadh Express ticket for 13th May night that too in first class AC. This train was to depart at 23.10 pm, but it was delayed for four hours and I had to spend hot night on platform without any higher class waiting room, despite having first class ac ticket for it. Worse still it became more than six hours late by the time it reached New Delhi. Not only that my organisers got any refund for the cancelled train, I had to pay from my own pocket additional first AC charges for no fault of mine.
If this is the ‘Achhe Din’ of Indian Railways under your charge then I wonder what the meaning of ‘Bure Din’ is!
I don’t hope to get any attention to this letter, yet mailing/posting on social network for public awareness.
|Former Professor & Chairperson, Centre of Indian Languages, JNU, New Delhi
Former Visiting Professor on Hindi Chair, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, Trinidad
Former Reader & Head, Dept. of Hindi, Punjabi University, Patiala (Punjab)
Former Reader in Hindi Translation, GNDU, Amritsar
Editor, Bhagat Singh’s Documents in book collections
50+ books in Hindi, Punjab and English, translation of books in Urdu, Marathi
Books on Bhagat Singh and Indian revolutionary freedom struggle
On Indian Dalit Literature
On Punjabi revolutionary poet Paash
Books on Literary Criticism in Hindi, Punjabi and English
1. NationalSahityaAkademi award for Translation of Pash
2. Shiromani Hindi Sahitkar(Punjab Govt.)
3.National Award onSurjitPatar’sHindi Translation by Central Hindi Directorate
It was about 5 am on 26th June 1975,when I was woke up by a police party at a friend’s house roof top at Bathinda. We kept chatting till 2 am or so in a hot June night,while watching stars in the sky. We had our rooftop floor bedding,I had come to Bathinda straight from my school,where I was teaching those days after summer vacations began,rather late that year around 22 or 23rd June. My friend,son of a police officer himself was radical political activist. Police party came to arrest him,but took me also along! We both had no idea,however when we were being taken to police station,newspaper hawkers were shouting…emergency lag gay is…Aaj Ka Akhbaar…so we understood! On the way a middle aged thin weak man being taken to police st.was shouting Indira Gandhi murdabad…emergency murdabad…Later on we found at police station,he was CPM activist Milkhi Ram. At police st.,we found well known radical left activist Ved Gupta was already there. After few hours we four were taken to a magistrate court,where we were remanded to judicial custody for few weeks and sent to Bathinda jail. Much later we found out we were charged /151-threat to peace with a cooked up story. This was a bailable ordinary offence,but when bail was applied,first rejected then one lakh rupee guarantee asked,reduced by session judge to 20 thousand. Our case was being pleaded by Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha family kin Nardev Singh(now no more),well known advocate of Bathinda those days. Meanwhile after 5th July lot many more people were brought to jail,many of my school teacher activist colleagues,other activists from mass organisations,some Akalis,few Jansanghis,little CPM,more radicals or Naxalites,as they were and are called.One old aged Akali activist Lakha Singh, a simple innocent peasant became our good friend. He would ask questions like whether in Socialism, there is no marriage institution and all children are common parentage?! Atmosphere in jail became interesting. 64 persons each in two opposite barracks meant only for 32 with cemented beds and jail blankets. Four common latrines. Slowly players took to Volleyball,I got regular books,mostly novels from Public library Rampura Phul. Notable big shots in B class ex ministers Balwant Singh& Balramji Tandon(now Chhatisgarh Governor). After two months,we got bail,my friend went underground(passed away few years ago), I did not go home and went only after two days. In the meantime,the relative,who gave bail bonds,was picked by police. So my family took me to his shop in Bathinda for surrendering before police. The relative in fear of my escape in night,locked me from outside! When next day went to police station,police had arrested my namesake,while not getting me! He was a Jansanghis, another Jansanghis leader Nand Singh goldsmith was also brought. This time they put four of us in DIR case,a draconian law,non bailable. I asked to free my namesake, as now I as under their custody, but he was not let free, as I was not be arrested, but when got trapped, no escape! This time I was given a RSS or Jansanghis tag,as others were,so back to jail after two days,completed seven months,before finally coming out on 27th January 1976! In between got transferred to Patiala jail for ear surgery,where Tohra,Prem Singh Chandumajra( then PSU radical activist, later Akali minister and now MP), Chandershekhar- ex Prime minister were detained. Could spend few days in Rajendera hospital for surgery but with handcuffs on and police guarding,still some friends could meet.
Gurbachan Jagat,,later Lt. Governor of North East state was Bathinda SSP,with image of liberal,perhaps close to CPM leader Harkishan Surjit. When District Govt.Teachers Union then President Jagmohan Kaushal met him about my release,as I was teachers Union activist,but not member of any political party,he expressed helplessness in releasing me! Emergency detention delayed my admission to JNU for two years. In 1975,I was telegraphic ally called for admission interview for first batch admission in PhD in Hindi,bail was not granted. In 1976,got selected for admission,but mine& Vijay Shankar Chaudhary,both denied admission due to police report!In 1975,eminent journalist Mohan Ram was denied due to same reason. in 1976 MPhil entrance test Udai Prakash, first 1975 batch PhD student and now celebrated Hindi writer of Mohan Das fame met me and became good friend. Later in 1977 attended his marriage and shifted to room no 305 in Periyar hostel occupied by him. We three were emergency victims in matter of admission in JNU. All three were offered admission in March 1977,after Indira defeat. Vijay Chaudhary availed, Mohan Ram decided not to join and I took admission in new batch afresh in July 1977!
When I joined JNU New Delhi as student, I was weighing just about 46 kg. or so. In Periyar hostel, where I lived in room no. 305, there was History student Shakeel living on ground floor. He had good health and taught me some exercises, some of which could be yoga exercises as well. These exercises were meant to improve my digestion and increase hunger,which I had very little. It may have taken more than than 2-3 years to improve my weight to 55 kg or so. (Now I weigh 72 kg, which is five kg. more than healthy weight, though according to BMS this is normal weight for 5′.8″ height).Incidentally Shakeel met me again in Bombay during 1982-83 stay, when he was struggling in film world as assistant director. Since then no news of him, if any friend has his address, please let me know.
Walking became a habit during my stay in Punjabi University Patiala and during 2002-4 in Ramdev yoga publicity phenomenon, I also got attracted and learnt few more yoga postures to add to my existing exercise patterns.In fact some of the exercises were repeat of school days morning exercises. While long sitting made my shoulders freeze, then after getting injections, learnt few more exercises to keep shoulders fit.Some neck exercises were taught by my friend Swarajbir at one time.
I had never been to Gym before I went to University of West Indies in 2011, where I joined Gym too, which I repeated in Central University of Punjab at Bathinda during year 2014.
Yoga exercises are good,but these are not the only health exercises. There is amalgamation of various types of exercises required for particular needs of body at given time or as recommended by doctors, health instructors.Even Namaz posture is also healthy posture for body and helps improve belly health.which I perform every morning for few minuets!
So making a fetish of Yoga is totally uncalled for and people should opt for and mix many kinds of physical exercises for good health.And the pleasurable sports-even desi ones-Gilli(Gulli)-Danda.Pithu, Ball throwing etc. Volleyball, Football, Hockey, Badminton, any sports with rigorous physical movement!
When certain Hindutva forces try to say that Surya Namaskar is not religious and it is just an exercise or even whole Yoga is just exercise. First they tell lies-all yoga postures are explained in certain religious rituals attached, one may look even Baba Ramdev;s book, who is clinging overboard to say that ‘yoga has no relations with religion’, where every yoga posture is related to ‘Om’ and other kinds of Sanskrit religious slokas. They try to say that Namaz posture is also yogic posture like Vajrasan. Then why don’t they tell the Hindus to perform Namaz like Muslims, since it is health posture as Yoga is.For me all exercises are health exercises without any religious nonsense and these exercises are not just Yoga,but amalgamation of many kinds of exercises,whether coming from west or east. When I consulted yoga books to know about the postures which I myself do after learning from friends or social media,, I found that I perform different forms of Pranayama-Anulom, Vilom,Kapalbhati, Bhrmari, Bhrasari Pranayam etc. I also do Shavasan, Vajrasan, Sukhasan, some sort of Tarasan etc. Not that all people approve of Yoga. My elder Padamshri Doctor friend, well known eye surgeon and now Aam Aadmi Party activist Dr. Daljit Singh, who fought this Lok Sabha election from Amritsar seat, who himself is nearly 80+ years and still works more than 12 hours a day made light of yoga by saying that it is ‘just legs play(Aiwen lattan jian mari janian’)’! He advised long walk as the best exercise.
In fact UN without knowing the implications, made a foolish decision to declare a particular day as ‘Yoga day’, which appeased Hindutva fascist forces in India and rest assured no country is going to perform this day as official yoga day. Canadian Govt. tried and had to beat hasty retreat with people opposing it tooth and nail. Only Indian Embassies/High Commissions in 200+ countries will spend billions of unaccounted money to please the Moditva govt. in Delhi by half an hour or one hour hypocritical show of yoga performance in some hotel/convention hall etc. Meanwhile the worst part of this forced yoga is to torture school children of India, who are on summer vacations in scorching heat conditions and are forced to go to school on Sunday vacation day. This is worst kind of fascism and no health concern!
So stop nonsense of so called forced Yoga day and let people be made aware of need to perform exercises including walking, jogging, sports and others! Moditva should learn from Jawaharlal Nehru who performed even most difficult Yoga Shirshan, but without making public nonsense of it as is being done by Modi,who has nothing substantive for peoples life but show business of whatever kind to be fool them by wasting billions of public money! He wishes to surpass Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister, but from where he will get the intellectual competence of Nehru, even in matters of Yoga!
Like Qadian as headquarter of Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, Rauza Sharif is another monumental site in Sirhind-Punjab, where even President of Afghanistan and other dignatories from Islamic world visit on Urs. I visited this historic place in mid April this year and sharing its photographs on my face book page. Wikipedia link is given for the introduction to the monument.
Rauza Sharif or Dargah of Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi (popularly known as Mujaddid, Alf-Isfani)  is situated on the Sirhind–Bassi Pathana Road at a small distance to the north of Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib. Sheikh Ahmed Farooqi lived at this place during the times ofAkbar and Jahangir from 1563 to 1624.
The Urs celebration (death anniversary) of the Mujadid are held here for more than 300 years and are largely attended by Muslims from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia,Bangladesh and other Muslim countries.
There are a number of other tombs in the compound mostly of the members of Shaikh Ahmad’s house. The mausoleum is a fine building made of bricks partly overlaid with stone and marble. Close to it there is the mausoleum of Rati-ud-Din, an ancestor of the Mujadid. Not far here are the rauzas of Mujaddid’s sons Khawaja Muhammad Sadiq and Khwaja Muhammad Masum. The rauza of latter is some times called rauza chini on account of its excellent mosaic work. In its premises are many other graves of the members of the house of the said reformer and some members of the ruling family of Kabul. There is a grand mosque with a basement and a small tank for performing ablution before the prayers. The shrine has since been taken over by Government of India as a historic monument and regular employees have been kept here for its maintenance, up keep and care.
Other nearby Tombs
Other tombs situated around Sirhind city are:
Tomb of Ustad and Shagird
There are two tombs situated at a distance of about one kilometre west of Rauza Sharif in village Talanian, these are commonly known as the tombs of Ustad Syad Khan (master mason) and Shagird (apprentice mason). It is said that these buildings were constructed by them during their lifetime, some times in the 16th century. The tombs separated from each other by a distance of about 200 metres, are fair examples of contemporary architectural skill, including glazed ornamentation. The design of two are identical but there are few differences in minor details. The building of Ustad’s tomb has been protected under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964.
Tomb of Mir-I-Miran
This tomb is situated 5 kilometre north to the Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind and is connected by a link road. The tomb of Mir-I-Miran is the only important building of stone in Sirhind. It is believed that Mir-I-Miran was a great saint of the place to whomBahlol Lodhi’s daughter were married. Another important old monument in the vicinity of Mir-I-Miran’s tomb is a tank called Bibi sar, meaning Lady’s Tank. It is said that this tank was constructed by Bahlol’s daughter after the death of her husband. According to another tradition the tank was constructed by Sultan Sikander Lodhi in the name of his sister, wife of Mir-I-Miran. Sultan Bahlol was crowned at Sirhind, he would therefore regard it as a fortunate place for himself and the area was given in Jagir by Sultan Lodhi to a holy man, together with his daughter’s hand. After the Saints death, the present tomb was built by Bahlol Lodhi and known as tomb of Mir-I-Miran.
- [dead link]
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/10170/Shaykh-Ahmad-Sirhindi
- “The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Chandigarh Stories”. Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- Memories of a town known as Sirhind
- “Medieval Perod”. Punjabrevenue.nic.in. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
On 4th April this year, while visiting Ghuman village in Gurdaspur district of Punjab for Marathi Sahitya Sammelan and for Sant Namdev monuments, we were able to visit Qadian town, very close to Ghuman. Jatin Desai brom Mumbai and Bhiminder Singh from Patiala were with me. We visited the beautiful sites of Ahmadiya religious sect-the main mosque, guest house and the Graveyard.
Ahmadiyas are the worst persecuted community these days in the world. Incidentally all the worse persecuted communities are from Islamic background, many of these-Shias and others are victims of internecine war and not targetted by the state or government in particular! Muslim community is the worst sufferer of terrorism as well in the world, yet some Hindutavites and other fundamentalists always try to attack them., without having an iota of sympathy for the sufferings of common Muslims, the worst sufferers from their own and from outsiders! Since I myself have little study of Ahmadiyas, I am putting here wikipedia link and the photographs link on my face book page, which I clicked on my camers.:
The details below are from Wikipedia page. Eminent Ahmadiyas in Pakistan were-one of founders of Pakistan-Sir Zafruallah KhanChaudhary, ABDUs sALAM-nOBEL pRIZE WINNER
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Changes must be reviewed before being displayed on this page.show/hide details
“Ahmadi” redirects here. For the surname, see Ahmadi (surname). For other uses, see Ahmadi (disambiguation).
The White Minaret with the Ahmadiyya Flag in Qadian, India. For Ahmadi Muslims, the two symbolise the advent of the Promised Messiah
Part of a series on:
Beliefs and Practices
Five Pillars of Islam Six articles of faith Quran Sunnah Hadith
Prophethood Jesus Jihad Evolution
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Prophecies Claims Writings
The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam
Jesus in India Noor-ul-Haq
Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth
Victory of Islam Malfoozat
Tafseer-e-Kabeer Haqā’iq al-Furqān
Successors of the Messiah:
I II III IV V
Jalsa Salana Mosques Jamia MTA
Persecution Ahmadiyya by country
Ahmadiyya and other faiths List of Ahmadis
Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
Category Portal icon Ahmadiyya portal
v t e
Ahmadiyya (/ɑːməˈdiʲə/; officially the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at; Arabic: الجماعة الإسلامية الأحمدية, transliterated: al-Jamā’ah al-Islāmiyyah al-Aḥmadiyyah) is an Islamic religious movement founded in British India near the end of the 19th century. It originated with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have fulfilled the prophecies of the world’s reformer during the end times, who was to herald the eschaton as predicted in the traditions of various world religions and bring about the final triumph of Islam as per Islamic prophecy. He claimed that he was the Mujaddid (divine reformer) of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by Muslims. The adherents of the Ahmadiyya movement are referred to as Ahmadi Muslims or simply Ahmadis.
Ahmadi thought emphasizes the belief that Islam is the final dispensation for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring to it its true essence and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Ahmadiyya adherents believe that Ahmad appeared in the likeness of Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice, and peace. They believe that upon divine guidance he divested Islam of fanatical and innovative beliefs and practices by championing what is, in their view, Islam’s true and essential teachings as practised by Muhammad and the early Islamic community. Thus, Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the movement on 23 March 1889 and termed it the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, sometimes translated as Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Since his death, the community has been led by a number of Caliphs and has expanded to over 200 countries and territories of the world. The Ahmadis were among the earliest Muslim communities to arrive in Britain and other Western countries. Currently, the community is led by its Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and is officially estimated to number between 10 and 20 million worldwide.
The population is almost entirely contained in the single, highly organized and united movement. In this sense there is only one major branch. However, in the early history of the community, a number of Ahmadis broke away over the nature of Ahmad’s prophethood and succession and formed the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement which today represents a small fraction of all Ahmadis. Some Ahmadiyya-specific beliefs have been thought of as opposed to contemporary mainstream Islamic thought since the movement’s birth, and some Ahmadis have subsequently faced persecution. Most orthodox Muslims have denounced Ahmadis as kafirs or heretics, and mainstream Islam generally considers them to be non-Muslims.
1 Origin of name
2 Summary of beliefs
3 Articles of faith
3.1 Unity of God
3.5 Day of Judgement
3.6 Divine decree
4 Five pillars
5 Distinct teachings
5.1 Second Coming
5.2 Seal of Prophets
5.4 Religion and science
6.1 First Caliphate
6.2 Second Caliphate
6.3 Third Caliphate
6.4 Fourth Caliphate
6.5 Fifth Caliphate
8 Organisational structure
8.1 The Caliph
8.2 The Consultative Council
8.3 The Headquarters
8.5 Auxiliary organisations
8.6 The Community
8.7 Annual events
9.6 Saudi Arabia
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Origin of name
The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in 1889, but the name Ahmadiyya was not adopted until about a decade later. In a manifesto dated 4 November 1900, Ahmad explained that the name did not refer to himself but to Ahmad, the alternative name of Muhammad. According to him, “Muhammad”, which means “the most praised one”, refers to the glorious destiny, majesty and power of the prophet, who adopted the name from about the time of the Hegira; but “Ahmad”, an Arabic elative form which means “highly praised” and also “comforter”, stands for the beauty of his sermons, for the qualities of tenderness, gentleness, humility, love and mercy displayed by Muhammad, and for the peace that he was destined to establish in the world through his teachings. According to Ahmad, these names thus refer to two aspects or phases of Islam, and in later times it was the latter aspect that commanded greater attention. The myriad distinguishing names adopted by various sects and schools of thought in Islam, he thus considered as innovations, for the Prophet of Islam had only these two names. Accordingly, in Ahmad’s view, this was the reason that the Old Testament prophesied a Messenger “like unto Moses”, which referred to Mohammad, while according to the Quran, Jesus foretold a messenger named Ahmad.[Quran 61:6] Ahmad also called it the Ahmadiyya madhab (school of thought within Islam):
اور جائز ہے کہ اِس کو احمدی مذہب کے مسلمان کے نام سے بھی پکاریں – And it is permissible that this [community] also be referred to as ‘Muslims of the Aḥmadī way (madhhab).
Summary of beliefs
Ahmadi beliefs are more aligned with the Sunni tradition, than they are with the Shi’a tradition, such as The Five Pillars of Islam and The Six articles of Islamic Faith. Likewise, Ahmadis accept the Quran as their holy text, face the Kaaba during prayer, practice the Sunnah (practices and habits of Muhammad) and accept the authority of Hadiths (reported sayings of and stories about Muhammad). These are the central beliefs constituting Ahmadi Muslim thought. The distinguishing feature of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is their belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, as prophesied by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Summarising his claim, Ahmad writes:
The task for which God has appointed me is that I should remove the malaise that afflicts the relationship between God and His creatures and restore the relationship of love and sincerity between them. Through the proclamation of truth and by putting an end to religious conflicts, I should bring about peace and manifest the Divine verities that have become hidden from the eyes of the world. I am called upon to demonstrate spirituality which lies buried under egoistic darkness. It is for me to demonstrate by practice, and not by words alone, the Divine powers which penetrate into a human being and are manifested through prayer or attention. Above all, it is my task to re-establish in people’s hearts the eternal plant of the pure and shining Unity of God which is free from every impurity of polytheism, and which has now completely disappeared. All this will be accomplished, not through my power, but through the power of the Almighty God, Who is the God of heaven and earth.
In keeping with this, he believed his object was to defend and propagate Islam globally through peaceful means, to revive the forgotten Islamic values of peace, forgiveness and sympathy for all mankind, and to establish peace in the world through the teachings of Islam. He believed that his message had special relevance for the Western world, which, he believed, had descended into materialism.
Ahmadi teachings state that the founders of all the major world religions had divine origins. God was working towards the establishment of Islam as the final religion, because it was the most complete and included all the previous teachings of other religion (but they believe that all other religions have gone astray in their present form). The completion and consummation of the development of religion came about with the coming of Muhammad; and that the perfection of the ‘manifestation’ of Muhammad’s prophethood and of the conveyance of his message was destined to occur with the coming of the Mahdi. Thus, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community regard Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the “Promised One” of all religions fulfilling eschatological prophecies found in the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions, as well as Zoroastrianism, the Indian religions, Native American traditions and others. Ahmadi Muslims believe that Ahmad was divinely commissioned as a true reflection of Muhammad’s prophethood to establish the unity of God and to remind mankind of their duties towards God and God’s creation. Summarising the Islamic faith, Ahmad writes:
There are only two complete parts of faith. One is to love God and the other is to love mankind to such a degree that you consider the suffering and the trials and tribulations of others as your own and that you pray for them.
The Ahmadiyya faith claims to represent the latter-day revival of the religion of Islam. Overseas Ahmadiyya missionary activities started at an organised level as early as 1913 (for example, the UK mission in Putney, London). For many modern nations of the world, the Ahmadiyya movement was their first contact with the proclaimants from the Muslim world. The Ahmadiyya movement is considered by some historians as one of the precursors to the African-American Civil Rights Movement in America. According to some experts, Ahmadiyya were “arguably the most influential community in African-American Islam” until the 1950s. Today, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has one of the most active missionary programs in the world. It is particularly large in Africa. In post colonial era, the Community is credited for much of the spread of Islam in the continent.
Articles of faith
Ahmadi Muslims subscribe to the same beliefs as the majority of Muslims, but with a difference of opinion on the meaning of Khatam an-Nabiyyin. The six articles of faith are identical to those believed in by Sunni Muslims, and are based on traditions of Muhammad:
Unity of God
Main article: Tawhid
The Shahada, outside the Mahmood Mosque in Zurich, proclaiming the oneness of God
Ahmadi Muslims firmly believe in the absolute Unity of God. Acknowledgement of this principle is the most important and the cardinal principle of Islam as interpreted by the Community. All other Islamic beliefs spring from this belief. The belief in the Unity of God is thought to influence a person’s life in all its aspects and is believed to have much wider meaning and deeper applications. For example, elaborating on the Oneness of God, the Quranic verse “There is no all-encompassing power except God” is believed to negate all forms of fear with the exception of the fear of God. It instils a sense of complete dependence on God and that every good emanates from Him. In general, the belief in unity of God is thought to liberate believers from all forms of carnal passions, slavery and perceptions of earthly imprisonment. The founder of the Community writes:
The Unity of God is a light which illumines the heart only after the negation of all deities, whether they belong to the inner world or the outer world. It permeates every particle of man’s being. How can this be acquired without the aid of God and His Messenger? The duty of man is only to bring death upon his ego and turn his back to devilish pride. He should not boast of his having been reared in the cradle of knowledge but should consider himself as if he were merely an ignorant person, and occupy himself in supplications. Then the light of Unity will descend upon him from God and will bestow new life upon Him.
It is further believed that the Islamic concept of Oneness of God inculcates the realization of the Oneness of the human species and thus removes all impediments in this regard. The diversity of all human races, ethnicities and colours are considered worthy of acceptance. Moreover, it is thought that a belief in the Unity of God creates a sense of absolute harmony between the Creator and the creation. It is understood that there can be no contradiction between the word of God and work of God.
Islam recognises God as the fountain-head of all excellences, free from all imperfection as understood by the Community. God is recognised as a Living God who manifests himself everywhere and listens to the prayers of his servants. Distinctively, however, Ahmadi Muslims recognise that the attributes of God are eternal. On account of this, Ahmadi teachings propound the view that God communicates with mankind as he did before.
Main article: Islamic view of angels
The belief in angels is fundamental to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. They are spiritual beings created by God to obey him and implement his commandments. Unlike human beings, angels have no free will and cannot act independently. Under God’s command, they bring revelations to the Prophets, bring punishment on the Prophets’ enemies, glorify God with his praise, and keep records of human beings’ deeds. Angels are not visible to the physical eye. Yet, according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, they do sometimes appear to man in one form or another. This appearance, however, is not physical but a spiritual manifestation. Ahmadi Muslims regards angels as celestial beings who have their own entity as persons. The major role they play is the transmission of messages from God to human beings. According to the Quran, the entire material universe as well as the religious universe is governed by some spiritual powers, which are referred to as angels. Whatever they do is in complete submission to the Will of God and the design that he created for things. According to Islam, as interpreted by Ahmadi Muslims, they cannot deviate from the set course or functions allocated to them, or from the overall plan of things made by God.
Main article: Islamic holy books
Some of the many Quran translations by Ahmadi translators at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair
For Ahmadi Muslims, the third article in Islam is concerned with the belief in all the divine scriptures as revealed by God to his Prophets. This includes, the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms, the scrolls of Abraham, and the Quran. Before the advent of Islam, the history of religion is understood as a series of dispensations where each messenger brought teachings suitable for the time and place. Thus, at the time of their inception, the divine teachings sent by God concurred in their fundamentals, with the exception of minor details that were chosen to complement the time and place. With the exception of the Quran, it is believed that the divine scriptures are susceptible to human interpolation. Islam recognises that God sent his prophets to every nation and isolated communities of the world. Thus, according to the Ahmadi teachings, books outside of the Abrahamic tradition, such as the Vedas and Avesta are too considered as of being divine origin. Among the recognised books, the Community believes that the Quran is the final divine scripture revealed by God to mankind. The teachings of the Quran are considered timeless.
Main articles: Prophets in Islam, Prophethood (Ahmadiyya) and Khatam an-Nabiyyin
According to the Ahmadi Muslim view, the fourth article of faith in Islam is concerned with the belief in all divine prophets sent by God. Ahmadi Muslims believe that when the world is filled with unrighteousness and immorality, or when a specific part of the world displays these attributes, or when the followers of a certain law (religion) become corrupt or incorporate corrupted teachings into the faith, thus making the faith obsolete or in need of a Divine Sustainer, then a Prophet of God is sent to re-establish His Divine Will. Aside from the belief in all prophets in the Quran and the Old Testament, the Community also regards Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius as prophets.
According to the Ahmadiyya belief, the technical Islamic terms “warner” (natheer), “prophet” (nabi), “messenger” (rasul) and “envoy” (mursal) are synonymous in meaning. However, there are two kinds of prophethood as understood by the Community: Law-bearing prophets, who bring a new law and dispensation, such as Moses (given the Torah) and Muhammad (given the Quran); and non-law-bearing prophets, who appear within a given dispensation such as Jeremiah, Jesus and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Adam is regarded as the first human with whom God spoke with and revealed to him his divine will and thus the first prophet but is not regarded as the first human on earth by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, contrary to mainstream Islamic, Jewish and Christian beliefs. This view is based on the Quran itself, according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Ahmadis believe Muhammad to be the final law-bearing prophet but teach the continuity of prophethood.
Day of Judgement
Main article: Qiyamat
The fifth article of faith relates to the Day of Judgment. According to the Ahmadis, after belief in one God, belief in the Day of Judgement is the most emphasized doctrine mentioned in the Quran. According to Ahmadi Muslim beliefs, the entire universe will come to an end on the Day of Judgment, a position also taken by all other Islamic sects and schools of thought. The dead will be resurrected and accounts will be taken of their deeds. People with good records will enter into Heaven while those with bad records will be thrown into Hell. Hell is understood by Ahmadiyya as a temporary abode lasting an extremely long time and not everlasting, much like in mainstream Judaism and the views taken by Islamic scholars of antiquity such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Arabi. It is thought to be like a hospital, where souls are cleansed of their sins, and this view based on the Quran and Hadith.
Main articles: Qadar and Taqdir
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that divine decree controls the eventual outcome of all actions in this universe. Within the boundaries of divine decree, man is given free will to choose the course. Ahmadi Muslims believe that they will be judged on the basis of their intentions and deeds on the Day of Judgment. Ahmadis believe that science is the study of the acts of God and religion is the study of the word of God and the two cannot possibly contradict each other. They believe that Adam, the prophet, was simply the first Prophet and not the first human on earth, as understood by them being in the Quran. Ahmadi Muslims do believe in the theory of biological evolution, albeit guided by God.
Though many Ahmadi Muslims perform Hajj, they are not technically permitted by Saudi law.
Main article: Five pillars of Islam
The Pillars of Islam (arkan al-Islam; also arkan ad-din , “pillars of religion”) are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all Ahmadi Muslims. The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are (1) the shahadah (creed), (2) daily prayers (salat), (3) almsgiving (zakah), (4) fasting during Ramadan and (5) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime. Ahmadi Muslims agree with both Shia and Sunni sects on the essential details for the performance of these acts. However, In Pakistan Ahmadi Muslims are prohibited by law, and to some extent in other Muslim countries by persecution, from self-identifying as Muslims. This creates some level of difficulty in performing the obligatory acts. Although, Ahmadi Muslims from some countries do perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, they are not technically allowed under Saudi law.
Although the Five Pillars of Islam and the six articles of belief of Ahmadi Muslims are identical to those of mainstream Sunni Muslims and central to Ahmadi belief, distinct Ahmadiyya beliefs include the following:
Contrary to mainstream Islamic belief, Ahmadi Muslims believe that Jesus was crucified and survived the four hours on the cross. He was later revived from a swoon in the tomb. Ahmadis believe that Jesus died in Kashmir of old age whilst seeking the Lost Tribes of Israel. Jesus’ remains are believed to be entombed in Kashmir under the name Yuz Asaf. In particular, it is believed that the biblical and the Islamic prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus were metaphorical in nature and not literal, and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad fulfilled in his person these prophecies and the second advent of Jesus. Ahmadi Muslims also believe that the “Promised Messiah” and the “Imam Mahdi” are the same person, and that it is through his teachings, influence and prayers and those of his followers that Islam will defeat the Anti-Christ or Dajjal in a period similar to the period of time it took for nascent Christianity to rise (see also: Ahmadiyya relationship with Christianity) and that the Dajjal’s power will slowly fade away, heralding the prophecised final victory of Islam and the age of peace.
The White Minaret in Qadian, India. For Ahmadi Muslims, it symbolises the descent of the Promised Messiah
Seal of Prophets
See also: Khatam an-Nabiyyin and Prophethood (Ahmadiyya)
Although Ahmadi Muslims believe that the Quran is the final message of God for mankind, they also believe that God continues to communicate with his chosen individuals in the same way he is believed to have done in the past. All of God’s attributes are eternal. In particular, Ahmadi Muslims believes that Muhammad brought prophethood to perfection and was the last law-bearing prophet and the apex of humankind’s spiritual evolution. New prophets can come, but they must be completely subordinate to Muhammad and will not be able to exceed him in excellence nor alter his teaching or bring any new law or religion. They are also thought of as reflections of Muhammad rather than independently made into Prophets, like the Prophets of antiquity.
Main article: Ahmadiyya view on Jihad
According to Ahmadi Muslim belief, Jihad can be divided into three categories: Jihad al-Akbar (Greater Jihad) is that against the self and refers to striving against one’s low desires such as anger, lust and hatred; Jihad al-Kabīr (Great Jihad) refers to the peaceful propagation of Islam, with special emphasis on spreading the true message of Islam by the pen; Jihad al-Asghar (Smaller Jihad) is only for self-defence under situations of extreme religious persecution whilst not being able to follow one’s fundamental religious beliefs, and even then only under the direct instruction of the Caliph. Ahmadi Muslims point out that as per Islamic prophecy, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad rendered Jihad in its military form as inapplicable in the present age as Islam, as a religion, is not being attacked militarily but through literature and other media, and therefore the response should be likewise. They believe that the answer of hate should be given by love. Concerning terrorism, the fourth Caliph of the Community writes:
As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government.
Religion and science
See also: Ahmadiyya views on evolution
Ahmadi Muslims believe that there cannot be a conflict between the word of God and the work of God, and thus religion and science must work in harmony with each other. With particular reference to this relationship, the second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community states that in order to understand God’s revelation, it is necessary to study His work, and in order to realize the significance of His work, it is necessary to study His word. According to the Nobel laureate, Abdus Salam, a devout Ahmadi Muslim, 750 verses of the Quran (almost one eighth of the book) exhort believers to study Nature, to reflect, to make the best use of reason in their search for the ultimate and to make the acquiring of knowledge and scientific comprehension part of the community ‘s life.
Other distinct beliefs include:
That no verse of the Quran abrogates or cancels another verse. All Quranic verses have equal validity, in keeping with their emphasis on the “unsurpassable beauty and unquestionable validity of the Qur’ān”. The harmonization of apparently incompatible rulings is resolved through their juridical deflation in Ahmadī fiqh, so that a ruling (considered to have applicability only to the specific situation for which it was revealed), is effective not because it was revealed last, but because it is most suited to the situation at hand.
That the history of religion is cyclic and is renewed every seven millennia. The present cycle from the time of the Biblical Adam is split into seven epochs or ages, parallel to the seven days of the week, with periods for light and darkness. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad appeared as the promised Messiah at the sixth epoch heralding the seventh and final age of mankind, as a day in the estimation of God is like a thousand years of man’s reckoning.[Quran 22:47] According to Ghulam Ahmad, just as the sixth day of the week is reserved for Jumu’ah (congregational prayers), likewise his age is destined for a global assembling of mankind in which the world is to unite under one universal religion: Islam.
1882 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (without publicity) claims to be the Mujaddid of the fourteenth Islamic century
1889 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad establishes the Ahmadiyya Muslim movement
1890 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announces his claim to ‘The Promised Messiah’ and ‘The Imam Mahdi’ of the Latter days
1908 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad dies in Lahore. Hakeem Noor-ud-Din is elected as the First Caliph
1914 Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad is elected as the Second Caliph
1947 Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad migrates to Lahore, Pakistan
1948 Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad establishes the city of Rabwah as the new headquarters of the Community
1965 Mirza Nasir Ahmad is elected as the Third Caliph
1982 Mirza Tahir Ahmad is elected as the Fourth Caliph
1984 Mirza Tahir Ahmad migrates to London, England, moving the headquarters to London
2003 Mirza Masroor Ahmad is elected as the Fifth Caliph
Main article: Timeline of Ahmadiyya history
Formally, the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community begins when Mirza Ghulam Ahmad took the oath of allegiance from a number of his companions at a home in ludhiana, India on March 23, 1889. However, the history can be taken back to the early life Ahmad, when he reportedly started receiving revelations concerning his future, but also as far back as the traditions of various world religions. At the end of the 19th century, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian proclaimed himself to be the “Centennial Reformer of Islam” (Mujaddid), metaphorical second coming of Jesus and the Mahdi (guided one) awaited by the Muslims and obtained a considerable number of followers especially within the United Provinces, the Punjab and Sindh. He and his followers claim that his advent was foretold by Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, and also by many other religious scriptures of the world. Ahmadiyya emerged in India as a movement within Islam, also in response to the Christian and Arya Samaj missionary activity that was widespread in the 19th century.
After the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Hakeem Noor-ud-Din was unanimously elected as his first successor and Caliph of the Community. Within the stretch of his Caliphate, a period which lasted six years, he oversaw a satisfactory English translation of the Quran, the establishment of the first Ahmadiyya Muslim mission in England and the introduction of various newspapers and magazines of the Community. As a result of growing financial requirements of the Community, he set up an official treasury. Most notably, however, he dealt with internal dissensions, when a number high-ranking office bearers of the Ahmadiyya Council disagreed with some of the administrative concepts and the authority of the Caliph.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Flag, first designed during the Second Caliphate
Soon after the death of the first caliph, Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad was elected as the second caliph, in accordance with the will of his predecessor. However, a faction led by Maulana Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din strongly opposed his succession and refused to accept him as the next caliph, which soon led to the formation of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. This was due to certain doctrinal differences they held with the caliph such as the nature of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s prophethood and succession. It has also been theorised that a clash of personalities with that of the dissenters and the caliph himself, who had a relatively poor academic background, also played a role. However, the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement, which settled in Lahore, has had relatively little success and has failed to attract a sizeable following. In the history of the Community, this event is referred to as ‘The Split’ and is sometimes alluded to a prophecy of the founder.
Elected at a young age, Mahmood Ahmad’s Caliphate spanned a period of almost 52 years. He established the organisational structure of the Community and directed extensive missionary activity outside the subcontinent of India. Several weeks following his election, delegates from all over India were invited to discuss about propagation of Islam. Two decades later, Mahmood Ahmad launched a twofold scheme for the establishment of foreign missions and the moral upbringing of Ahmadi Muslims. The Tehrik-e-Jedid and Waqf-e-Jedid or the ‘new scheme’ and the ‘new dedication’ respectively, initially seen as a spiritual battle against the oppressors of the Ahmadi Muslims, called upon members of the Community to dedicate their time and money for the sake of their faith. In time the scheme produced a vast amount of literature in defence of Islam in general and the Ahmadiyya beliefs in particular. The funds were also spent on the training and dispatching of Ahmadi missionaries outside the Indian sub-continent.
During his time, missions were established in 46 countries, mosques were constructed in many foreign countries and the Quran published in several major languages of the world. Although the Community continued to expand in the course of succeeding Caliphates, sometimes at a faster pace, the second caliph is credited for much of its inception. Ahmad wrote many written works, the most significant of which is the ten volume commentary of the Quran.
Elected on 8 November 1965, Mirza Nasir Ahmad succeeded as the third Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Started by his predecessor, he is credited with the expansion of the missionary work, particularly in Africa, and is seen as having shown great leadership and guidance to the Community during the period when the National Assembly of Pakistan declared the Community as a non-Muslim minority. Nusrat Jahan Scheme, a scheme dedicated to serving parts of Africa by running numerous medical clinics and schools was one of the many outcomes of his 1970 tour of West Africa, regarded as the first ever visit to the continent made by an Ahmadi Caliph. During his visit for the foundation stone ceremony of the Basharat Mosque, the first mosque in modern Spain, he coined the popular Ahmadiyya motto: Love for all, Hatred for None.
Mirza Nasir Ahmad established the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation in honour of his predecessor, oversaw the compilations of dialogues and sayings of the founder of the Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and also directed the complete collection of the dreams, visions and verbal revelations claimed to have been received by the founder.
Baitur Rehman Mosque near Washington, D.C is one of several mosques inaugurated by the fourth caliph
Mirza Tahir Ahmad was elected as the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on June 10, 1982, a day after the death of his predecessor. Following the Ordinance XX that was promulgated by the government of Pakistan in 1984, which rendered the Caliph unable to perform his duties and put the very institution in jeopardy, Ahmad left Pakistan and migrated to London, England, moving the headquarters of the Community to Fazl Mosque, the first mosque in London. For Ahmadi Muslims, the migration marked a new era in the history of the Community. Ahmad launched the first Muslim satellite television network, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya; instituted the Waqfe Nau Scheme, a program to dedicate Ahmadi Muslim children for the services of the Community; and inaugurated various funds for humanitarian causes such as the Maryum Shaadi Fund, the Syedna Bilal Fund, for victims of persecution, and the disaster relief charity Humanity First.
To the Community, Ahmad is noted for his regular Question & Answer Sessions he held in multiple languages with people of various faiths, professions and cultural backgrounds. However, Ahmad also wrote many books – the most significant of which include Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues, Murder in the name of Allah, Absolute Justice, Kindness and Kinship, Gulf Crisis and The New World Order and his magnum opus Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth.
Following the death of the fourth Caliph, the Electoral College for the first time in the history of the Community convened in the western city of London, after which Mirza Masroor Ahmad was elected as the fifth and current Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. In his effort to promote his message of peace and facilitate service to humanity, Ahmad travels globally meeting heads of state, holding peace conferences, and exhibiting Islamic solutions to world problems. In response to ongoing conflicts, Ahmad has sent letters to world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth and Pope Francis. Being the spiritual head of millions of Ahmadi Muslims residing in over 200 countries and territories of the world, Ahmad travels globally, teaching, conveying and maintaining correspondence with communities of believers and individuals, expounding principles of the Islamic faith.
See also: Ahmadiyya by country
As of 2013 the community has been established in 204 countries and territories of the world with concentrations in South Asia, West Africa, East Africa and Indonesia. The community is a minority Muslim sect in almost every country of the world. On the other hand, it has spread to most countries of the world. In some countries, it is practically illegal to be an Ahmadi Muslim. Together, these factors make it difficult to estimate the Ahmadiyya population for both the community itself as well as independent organizations. For this reason, the community gives a figure of “tens of millions”; however, most independent sources variously estimate the population to be at least 10 to 20 million worldwide, thereby representing around 1% of the world’s Muslim population. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, the Ahmadiyya movement is the fastest growing sect within Islam as of the early 21st century. It is estimated that the country with the largest Ahmadiyya population is Pakistan, with an estimated 4 million Ahmadi Muslims. The population is almost entirely contained in the single, organized and united movement, headed by the Caliph. The other is the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, which represents less than 0.2% of the total Ahmadiyya population.
Main article: Khalifatul Masih
Baitul Futuh Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Europe. The Caliph’s Friday Sermon is televised live throughout the world, via MTA TV
Ahmadi Muslims believe that the Ahmadiyya caliphate is the resumption of the Rightly Guided Caliphate. This is believed to have been re-established with the appearance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad whom Ahmadis believe was the promised Messiah and Mahdi. Ahmadi Muslims maintain that in accordance with Quranic verses (such as [Quran 24:55]) and numerous Hadith on the issue, Khilāfah or the Caliphate can only be established by God Himself and is a divine blessing given to those who believe and work righteousness and uphold the unity of God. Therefore, any movement to establish the Caliphate centred around human endeavours alone is bound to fail, particularly when the condition of the people diverges from the precepts of prophethood and they are as a result disunited, their inability to elect a caliph caused fundamentally by the lack of righteousness in them. It is believed that through visions, dreams and spiritual guidance, God instils into the hearts and minds of the believers of whom to elect. No campaigning, speeches or speculation of any kind are permitted. Thus the caliph is designated neither necessarily by right (i.e. the rightful or competent one in the eyes of the people) nor merely by election but primarily by God.
According to Ahmadiyya thought, it is not essential for a caliph to be the head of a state, rather the spiritual and religious significance of the Caliphate is emphasised. It is above all a spiritual office, with the purpose to uphold, strengthen, spread the teachings of Islam and maintain the high spiritual and moral standards within the global community established by Muhammad. If a caliph does happen to bear governmental authority as a head of state, it is incidental and subsidiary in relation to his overall function as a caliph. The caliph is also referred to by Ahmadi Muslims as Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of the Faithful). The current and fifth caliph is Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The Consultative Council
The Majlis-ash-Shura or the Consultative Council, in terms of sanctity, is the highest ranking institution within the Community after the Caliphate. This advisory body meets formally at least once a year. At the international level, the council is presided over by the caliph. Its main purpose is to advise the caliph on important matters such as finance, projects, education and other issues relating to members of the Community. The caliph may comment, issue instructions, announce his decisions on the proposals during the course of the proceedings or may postpone the matter under further reflection. However, in most cases the caliph accepts the advice given by the majority. At the national level, the council is presided over by the ʾAmīr (National President). At the conclusion of the proceedings, the recommendations are sent to the caliph for approval which he may accept, reject or partially accept.
The Fazl Mosque, the first mosque in London, represents the current world headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The principal headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the city, town or place where the caliph resides. As such, since the forced exile of the fourth caliph from Pakistan in 1984, the official headquarters of the Community has been based in London, England. Although the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina are acknowledged to be more sacred, Qadian is considered to be the spiritual headquarters of the Community. It is believed, and prophecised, that in the future, the Ahmadiyya Caliphate will once again return to Qadian, the birthplace of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. However, the Ahmadiyya city of Rabwah in Pakistan, since its founding on 20 September 1948 by the second caliph, after the Indian partition, coordinates majority of the organisation’s activity around the world. In particular, the city is responsible for, but not exclusively, the two central bodies of the Community; Central Ahmadiyya Council and the Council for ‘The New Scheme’. Another, but much smaller body, the Council for ‘New Dedication’ , is also active. All central bodies work under the directive of the caliph.
Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya or the Central Ahmadiyya Council, first set up by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1906, is today responsible for organising the Community activities in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; whereas the Anjuman Tehrik-i-Jadid or the Council for ‘The New Scheme’, first set up by the second caliph, is responsible for missions outside the Indian subcontinent. Each council is further divided into further directorates, such as the Department of Financial Affairs, the Department of Publications, the Department of Education, the Department of External Affairs, and the Department of Foreign Missions among others. Under the latter council, the Community has built over 15,000 mosques, over 500 schools, over 30 hospitals and translated the Quran into over 70 languages. The Anjuman Waqf-i-Jadid or the Council for ‘The New Dedication’ , also initiated by the second caliph, is responsible for training and coordinating religious teachers in rural communities around the world.
Pakistani campus of the Ahmadiyya University in Rabwah
Of all religious institutions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Jāmi’ah al-Ahmadīyya, sometimes translated as Ahmadiyya University of Theology and Languages, is particularly notable. It is an international Islamic seminary and educational institute with several campuses throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Founded in 1906 as a section in Madrassa Talim ul Islam (later Talim-ul-Islam College) by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, it is the main centre of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for Islamic learning and the training of missionaries. Graduates may be appointed by the Caliph either as missionaries of the Community (often called Murrabi, Imam, or Mawlana) or as Qadis or Muftis of the Community with a specialisation in matters of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence). Some Jamia alumni have also become Islamic historians. As of 2008, there are over 1,300 graduates of the University working as missionaries throughout the world.
There are five organisations auxiliary to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Each organisation is responsible for the spiritual and moral training of their members. The Lajna Ima’illah is the largest of all the organisations and consists of female members above the age of 15; Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya is for male members between the ages of 15 and 40; Majlis Ansarullah is for male members above the age of 40; Nasiratul Ahmadiyya is for girls between the ages of 7 and 15; and Atfalul Ahmadiyya is for boys between the ages of 7 and 15.
The International Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is divided into National Communities, each with its National Headquarters. Each National Community is further divided into Regional Communities, which is again partitioned into Local Communities. In many cases, each Local Community will have its own mosque, centre or a mission house. The Amīr, or the National President, though overseen by the central bodies of the Community, directs the National Amila or the National Executive Body which consists of national secretaries such as the General Secretary, Secretary for Finance, Secretary for Preaching, Secretary for moral Training, Secretary for Education, among others. This layout is replicated at regional and local levels with each of their own President and Executive Bodies.
The Ahmadiyya Flag and the German flags at the 2009 German Annual Convention
Unlike the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha also celebrated by Ahmadi Muslims, there are several functions observed by Ahmadis though not regarded as religious holidays. As such, functions are not considered equally obligatory nor is it necessary to celebrate them on the day normally set for celebration. The most important religious function of the Community is Jalsa Salana or the Annual Convention, first initiated by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is the formal annual gathering of the Community, for the purpose of increasing one’s religious knowledge and the promotion of harmony, friendship, and solidarity within members of the Community. Other functions include “Life of the Holy Prophet Day”, “Promised Messiah Day”, “Promised Reformer Day” and “Caliphate Day”.
Main article: Persecution of Ahmadiyya
An official Ahmadi website claims there are tens of millions of members, but the number of Ahmadis have variously been put at 10 million to 20 million. The Ahmadis are active translators of the Quran and proselytizers for the faith; converts to Islam in many parts of the world first discover Islam through the Ahmadis. However, in many Islamic countries the Ahmadis have been defined as heretics and non-Muslim and subjected to persecution and often systematic oppression.
Main article: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, fundamentalist Islamic groups have demanded that Ahmadiyyas be “officially” declared to be kafirs (infidels). Ahmadiyyas have become a persecuted group, targeted via protests and acts of violence. According to Amnesty International, followers have been subject to “house arrest”, and several have been killed. In late 2003, several large violent marches, led by Moulana Moahmud Hossain Mumtazi, were directed to occupy an Ahmadiyya mosque. In 2004, all Ahmadiyya publications were banned.
India has a significant Ahmadiyya population. Most Ahmadis in India live in Kerala, Rajasthan, Odisha, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and a few in Punjab in the area of Qadian.
Indian law regards Ahmadis as Muslims. A landmark ruling by the Kerala High Court on 8 December 1970 in the case of Shihabuddin Imbichi Koya Thangal vs K.P. Ahammed Koya, citation A.I.R. 1971 Ker 206 upheld their legal status as Muslims. In this case, the court ruled that Ahmadis are Muslims and that they cannot be declared apostates by other Muslim sects because they hold true to the two fundamental beliefs of Islam: that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad was a servant and messenger of God.
There are hence no legal restrictions on the religious activities of Ahmadis in India and Ahmadis are free to practice their religion and call themselves Muslims. However, there is some discrimination against Ahmadis in India from fellow Muslims of other sects. Specifically, the Islamic University of India and Darul Uloom Deoband have declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. Ahmadis are also not permitted by Muslim leaders of the other sects to sit on the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an independent body of Islamic religious leaders that the Indian government recognises as representatives of Indian Muslims.
In February 2012 the Andhra Pradesh Wakf Board took a series of unprecedented decisions and asked the Qazis in the state not to perform Nikah for those belonging to Ahmadiyya community.
See also: Ahmadiyya in Indonesia
Ahmadiyya had existed before Proclamation of Indonesian Independence. However, Ahmadiyya as a controversial religious minority in Indonesia has only risen sharply in the 2000s with a rise of Islamic fundamentalism. In 2008, many Muslims in Indonesia protested against the Ahmadiyya movement. With large demonstrations, these religious conservatives put pressure on the government to monitor and harass the Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia.
Public opinion in Indonesia is split into two major views on how Ahmadiyya should be treated:
Majority of Muslims throughout Indonesia hold that it should be banned outright on the basis that Ahmadiyah rejected the central tenet of Islam that Muhammad is the last messenger of God; furthermore, Ahmadis should not use Islam as their banner but should constitute their own recognised religion in order to ensure their freedom of religion in Indonesia
Some minorities including Ahmadis and numerous non-governmental organisations hold that Ahmadiyya should be free to act and say as it pleases under the banner of Islam in keeping with the Constitutional right of freedom of religion.
In June 2008, a law was passed to curtail “proselytising” by Ahmadiyya members. An Ahmadiyya mosque was burned. Human rights groups objected to the restrictions on religious freedom. On 6 February 2011 some Ahmadiyya members were killed at Pandeglang, Banten province.
In the past few years there has been an increase in attacks on religious freedom, including incidents of physical abuse, preventing groups from performing prayers, and burning their mosques. Data from the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace show 17, 18, and 64 incidents for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010 respectively. Although the data cover persecution of all religions, the recent persecution of Ahmadis is significant and severe, followed by persecution of Christians and persecution of other Islamic sects who claim to be “genuine/pure/fundamentalist Muslims”.
As of 2011, the sect faces widespread calls for a total “ban” in Indonesia. On 6 February 2011, hundreds of mainstream Muslims surrounded an Ahmadiyya household and beat three people to death. Footage of the bludgeoning of their naked bodies – while policeman looked on – was posted on the internet and subsequently broadcast on international media.
See also: Ordinance XX
The Shahada, the basic creed of Islam and of Ahmadi Muslims being erased by Pakistani police
Approximately 2–5 million Ahmadis live in Pakistan and it is the home to the largest population of Ahmadis in the world. It is the only state to have officially declared the Ahmadis to be non-Muslims as they do not regard the Prophet Muhammad to be the final prophet; and their freedom of religion has been curtailed by a series of ordinances, acts and constitutional amendments. In 1974, Pakistan’s parliament adopted a law declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims; the country’s constitution was amended to define a Muslim “as a person who believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad”. In 1984, General Zia-ul-Haq, the then military ruler of Pakistan, issued Ordinance XX. The ordinance, which was supposed to prevent “anti-Islamic activities”, forbids Ahmadis to call themselves Muslim or to “pose as Muslims”. This means that they are not allowed to profess the Islamic creed publicly or call their places of worship mosques. Ahmadis in Pakistan are also barred by law from worshipping in non-Ahmadi mosques or public prayer rooms, performing the Muslim call to prayer, using the traditional Islamic greeting in public, publicly quoting from the Quran, preaching in public, seeking converts, or producing, publishing, and disseminating their religious materials. These acts are punishable by imprisonment of up to three years. In applying for a passport or a national ID card, all Pakistanis are required to sign an oath declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be an impostor prophet and all Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. The word “Muslim” was erased from the gravestone of the Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist Abdus Salam, because he was an Ahmadi.
As a result of the cultural implications of the laws and constitutional amendments regarding Ahmadis in Pakistan, persecution and hate-related incidents are constantly reported from different parts of the country. Ahmadis have been the target of many attacks led by various religious groups. All religious seminaries and madrasas in Pakistan belonging to different sects of Islam have prescribed essential reading materials specifically targeted at refuting Ahmadiyya beliefs.
In a 2005 survey in Pakistan, pupils in private schools of Pakistan expressed their opinions on religious tolerance in the country. The figures assembled in the study reflect that even in the educated classes of Pakistan, Ahmadis are considered to be the least deserving minority in terms of equal opportunities and civil rights. In the same study, the teachers in these elite schools showed an even lower amount of tolerance towards Ahmadis than their pupils. Ahmadis are harassed by certain schools, universities and teachers in Pakistan’s Punjab province. The harassment includes social boycott, expulsions, threats and violence against Ahmadi students by extremist students, teachers and principals of the majority sect.
28 May 2010 saw the worst single incident of violence against Ahmadis to date (see May 2010 attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore), when several members of an extremist religious group (allegedly Tehrik-i-Taliban Punjab) entered two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore and opened fire; three of them later detonated themselves. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 86 people and injured well over 100. The members were gathered in the mosques attending Friday services. In response to the attacks, Pakistan minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti visited the Ahmadi community.
Main article: Ahmadiyya in Palestine
Ahmadis were reported to be persecuted in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in 2010. In 2010, Mohammed Sharif Ouda, head of the Ahmadi community in Israel, told Arutz Sheva radio that the Palestinian Authority is “encouraging the cold-blooded murder of Ahmadis” by failing to take concrete action to protect the community.
Ahmadis are persecuted in Saudi Arabia continuously. On 24 January 2007, Human Rights Watch sent an open letter to the Saudi king King Abdullah asking him to cease religious persecution of the Ahmadi faith in Saudi Arabia. Two letters were sent in November 2006 and February 2007 asking him to remove the travel ban on critics of the Saudi government. Human Rights Watch has not yet indicated whether they have received any response to these letters.
Under Saudi religious law, Ahmadis, along with non-Muslims, are forbidden from entering Mecca, which restricts their ability to perform the mandatory Hajj pilgrimage.
All Central Universities have been forced to adopt Gov.in mail accounts,closing individual Universities mail accounts. This has not only worsened the email systems of Universities,it has crudely made the Universities as Central Govt. Departments of MHRD! Thanks to the Modi appointed Headmistress Smriti Irani,who treats Vice Chancellors as her class monitors and orders them alike in Central Universities VC meetings! MHRD Secretary has been made their chief monitor and UGC chairman his assistant monitor! So much of the ‘Achhe Din’ of autonomy of Universities in one year of Moditva regime! State Universities are already functioning as appendage to Chief Minister offices and the private universities..one does not how many…are given freedom to loot&squeeze! Scientific Education…hahahaha…for Smriti Irani..a TV entertainment show of her pet profession..now especially brought to destroy Nehruvian-Maulana Azad-Humanyu Kabir giant intellectuals ideas of enlightened education! Single act for all Central Universities,choice based credit system,proposed inter transfer of faculty in all central universities and not yet brought to light,but sure to come inter-transfer of VC’s in central universities are meant to reduce universities to school/college level to be directly controlled from ministry-these are the designs of pygmies to demolish Giants! Condition of 13 new Central Universities established in 2009 by single act of Parliament is much worse, nearly 150 faculty posts were given to each University, but on average 40-50 posts were filled and most of the time on contractual basis without any vacation throughout the year in most of the Universities. They are forced to do all clerical work as well and any reference to association/union of faculty, staff or students cant even be talked in whispers!. Younger faculty is forced to worked from 9 to 5.30 pm with bio-metric attendance .Sad part is resistance is coming only from DU,that too on specific issues and not on the total design!JNU will be the biggest target of attack,but whether its ‘Noisy March on…March on…post dinner meetings&Marches,which are yet to be born,would be able to stop the silent but much more effective March/trampling on of Iranis? Not so easy to say in JNU typical style-Oh Yes!Fascists can produce pygmies only and not giants,beautifully portrayed by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator……and the Nehruvian education beneficiary Manmohan Singh prostrates before Nehru enemy uno Modi on Nehru’s death anniversary! Respect to Nehru or insult!?