Palestine – Facebook Profile Covers

If you haven’t read this article yet, you should: Ten things you need to know about Gaza and if you haven’t updated your facebook profile cover yet, you should! Its a very small gesture to show your support and solidarity with the innocent people of Gaza who have had their homes taken away from them and their nation reduced to a prison like state.

Show your support – download, use and share these.

In search of the perfect leader

Who is the leader you identify with? Well, let me put the question differently – who do you think is the leader of our nation (let’s be specific about Kashmir here, though the same questions are applicable anywhere under the sun). Was there ever a leader that you thought you’d just give your trust and blindly follow – is there one now?

I read a little, hear a little and sense a lot of emotions — for and against — the men and (few) women that stand tall as leaders – who we want to believe – will pull us through this turmoil – help us get out of this situation. For example, let’s pick the figures in Kashmir’s political arena (in no particular order) – Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mir Waiz Umar Farooq, Yasin MalikMaulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari, Asiya Andrabi .. etc.

We want our leader to be the source of inspiration, of impeccable character – one who could never go wrong. One who would show us the path to the vision he laid out for us (or the vision we saw).

Many of us have found ‘the one’/’the few’ whom they have grown to love and revere as their leaders. These people would do anything the leader would ask (well, almost anything). These people would fight each other, call names and even go to extent of beat each other up lest a word of accusations is put through.

Many of us are lost and still in search of the perfect leader.

But I’d like to ask – a question to myself and to you – does the leader have to be perfect? And obviously the clear answer is NO – he doesn’t have to be – and he can’t. The only problem is that with becoming a public figure whose words and actions can have massive effects – the responsibility that lies on the shoulders of these people is far far greater than we can imagine. There will be rumours which are completely baseless. There will be truth – stark naked – which is not palatable for anyone who supports the leader.

So what should be done? What does one do? Does one just be leaderless and pretend things will take their course – or does one follow blindly and do whatever is being said and muffle the sound of anything that goes against what we’d like to hear?

I don’t know.

But I know, that there can never ever be a perfect man after our dear Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Even the companions'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) of the Prophet  ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) – who learnt directly from him, and who were loved dearly by the Propht and continue to be loved by us even today – they were not perfect.

So perfect leader cannot be sought – its impossible even to imagine a leader today who would stand tall and have nothing to be ashamed of.

So what do we do?

We follow the guidelines laid by the companions'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). We all must remember what UmarraḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said one becoming the caliph:

If I follow the right path, follow me. If I deviate from the right path, correct me so that we are not led astray.

So this is what we are to do – follow the leaders when they are right and correct them when they are wrong. This can only happen if we have an open communication with our leaders  – we are not deaf, dumb and blind – so stop being that. Be informed, and have your say.

Also do understand that we might in our place or our set of opinions not quite agree with a specific policy/statement made by our leaders. Disagreements are normal – you cant expect to be agreements always. But agree to disagree elegantly.

Know that your leaders are answerable to you – and know that you are answerable to the future generations for offering them the world that you created while you did NOTHING, when you should have. And of course you and our so-called leaders have our answerability in the hereafter where no excuses will avail.

The perfect leader cannot be found – nor can a perfect follower be found. But it is in the pursuit of perfection – it is in our failed attempts that we fulfill the purpose of our lives.

Certificate of no sympathy

kashmir

It is hereby to award the Jammu and Kashmir police of not being militant sympathisers. I do understand that the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir said, “We don’t need anyone’s certificate.” but in reality the police gets a certificate each time a ‘militant’ is caught and killed or caught and tried for the militant actions.

But isn’t it natural to think that the JKPolice should sympathise with the ‘militants’ – for militant in Kashmir is everyone who cries for freedom, – an old man who cries for his disappeared child and screams out loud is just as much a militant as a child who runs after the army/police vehicle with a stone in his hand. And these people who have ‘turned’ militants are people who the police men have seen and interacted with in their everyday lives – the kandur’s son (baker’s son), the kid who plays with my child, the old man who used to be dad’s friend and so on.

I cannot imagine what goes in their minds while these men want to serve ‘the government’ and do their jobs while they have to deal with their own brethren. It must be difficult. Very difficult.

What must be even more difficult is to see hatred in the eyes of your very own people – who scorn at you as the ‘pols’ewol’ – the one of their own kind who is after them.

It must be difficult – to catch 12 year olds and label them as militants. But yet, the police is doing their job – and they shall get their certificate.

Since 2008, the Government has detained dozens of children on charges of stone pelting and taking part in separatist protests. Recently the detention of 12-year old Faizan of Srinagar for taking part in anti-Government protests made headlines. A class 6 student, Faizan was charged by police with harsh accusations like ‘waging war against the State’ and ‘attempt to murder.’ http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2012/Sep/1/juvenile-home-is-just-another-jail-39.asp

 

 

Osama gone. Who’s next?

MegaMind

Who's the bad guy?

Now that Osama has been officially declared dead, I wonder who is going to be the next ‘bad guy’.

The fight between good and evil always exist (well the good needs to do a lot of good to itself, and needs a bad guy to bear the brunt of it all). We have seen major BIG bad guys defeated – the soviet communists, then the evil Saddam and  recently the Bad Osama.

Now the bad guys are dead, should we expect peace?

I really doubt it. I am just waiting for the announcement of the next bad guy! Any guesses anyone?

PS:

While we are waiting for the annoucement, why dont you watch MegaMind. Since I just watched it yesterday, I wonder, what would happen if the bad guy becomes the good guy? Or will the ‘good’ guy ever let the ‘bad’ guy become good?

Sakooter or Scooter! That’s the way to go!

I just happened to read this news item in Kashmir Times. It talks of how women in Kashmir have started using scooter as a convenient means of transport and of the acceptance of the idea among the locals.  To me watching a woman drive a scooter is the idea of freedom – beautiful freedom!

Some years back the idea of a woman driving a scooter would certainly not ‘look good’ for whatever reasons. I remember having a discussion with a guy quite some years back my pen-name Sakooter itself. The guy found it funny that I supported hijab and talked of scooter. To me it was weird that people actually have a problem with something as simple as a means of conveyance which saves women a lot of trouble.  There would be some who would even go to the extent of calling it un-Islamic. (Am I raising eye-brows somewhere?) Don’t open your mouth yet.. wait up… didn’t the women in Arabia travel on a camel? Do you see a co-relation?

I would certainly think travelling by a scooter would bring us way closer to morality and Islam.  Weird as it may seem, it avoids the uncomfortable situations in which women put themselves in those overloaded buses where there is hardly place to breathe in.

I would say scooter is certainly the way to go! Yay! Its the sakooter speaking of-course!

SRINAGAR, Apr 30: Sometime back, a Kashmiri girl traveling all alone in public transport would not go down well with the people here, thinking of it as an open invitation to all kinds of trouble. However, one is not too surprised to see the Kashmiri ladies riding two wheelers not only within city but even outskirts. This trend picked up last year, when Jammu and Kashmir Bank announced its special Scooty scheme aimed at providing two wheelers to girl students and working ladies of the valley with a maximum finance of Rs 50,000 to be repaid in 60 monthly installments.
This scheme transformed once a dream Scooty for an ordinary Kashmiri girl into a go-getter. Pinks, blues, whites–available in various colours, designs and makes have made their presence felt in various motor showrooms of Kashmir and proving to be good business source too.
While for the showroom dealers, women scooters are turning out to be a prized revenue source, for young women it is surely a boon.
“Girls riding Scootys is epitomizing a new wave of independent women who do not need her parents or friends to accompany them every time they step out. Initially, though we did not see too many women riding two wheelers out on the roads. But certainly, the number of women scooters in the valley is on an increase,” says Dr Maroofa, a sociologist.
Meanwhile, the girls who are the ‘proud owners’ of  these Scootys feel a sense of liberation from the daily hassles of public transport, eve teasing and in the process save some bucks too.
“In the wake of auto fares, bus fares increasing, possessing a Scooty becomes a blessing. Without having to wait for buses, autos, avoiding unnecessary male attention, I certainly am happier after buying my scooter. I can now travel anywhere I want, anytime with my Scooty,” quips Shazia, a college goer.
For many working ladies, riding Scootys initially meant hitting back by their male colleagues and unusual stares on roads. But even such things are changing now.
“I am in a sales job for a cosmetics company. My job requires a lot of travel with least expenses. Hence buying a scooter was the best available option for me. Earlier, there were a lot of inhibitions, especially the undue comments by male colleagues. I would avoid traveling to far off places alone on my Scooty. But our society, seems to have fairly adjusted with the idea of women traveling alone, in their vehicles- be it a two wheeler or a four wheeler,” says Razia, sales girl.
If owning a scooter is a matter of convenience for women, being a good driver and avoiding scuffles with men are some words of caution by the policewomen for the ladies.
“Although nobody can raise any objection with a female riding a vehicle, but we see a lot of school girls who dot have even driving licenses riding them. It is very essential to be a trained driver first and then enjoy the experience,” adds Fehmeeda, a lady cop.

(Kashmir Times, 30th April 2011)

Save Dal Lake!

I saw little kids scream out loud, “Save Dal Lake!”. What I found most amazing was the fact that adults had stopped shouting out, but the kids just wouldn’t stop. To me the fact that they continued screaming Save Dal Lake was the sweetest and thought provoking incident. Read on.. this is news item from GK. I will inshaAllah post more pics!
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Srinagar, Oct 25: In a first of its kind environmental awareness campaign in the City, kindergarten students Sunday participated in a run for Continue reading

2310 days of illegal imprisonment

Cageprisoners Ltd is a human rights organisation that exists solely to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror.

Just happened to bump into the website. 2310 days of imprisonment — for people who have no crimes proven against them.

It is ironic indeed that the world community watches and does nothing —  have forgotten — to speak the least — the issue of these people who have been detained illegally.  These people have been detained without going through any crime proven to be done by them.

So much for the “democracy” and “human rights” that US stands for!

Political Humour

political humour

This image from http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/bliraqchecklist.htm talks of political humour.

Humour indeed has the ability to say the bitterest truth in a palatable manner.

US went and attacked Iraq. It still continues with its presence in this land to which “it has restored democracy”. I wonder if they still have come up with a reason.. Saddam has gone,.. what is the reason now.

and for those who forgot all about Afghanistan, they still havent disclosed the “evidence” that they couldnt share with the world before the attack.

Tyranny.

and there are so many other questions that were never answered. So many reasons that were never given….