Harbour Line and Mumbai Shantata Samiti
Director: Shaina Anand
Duration: 01:12:40; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 167.865; Saturation: 0.041; Lightness: 0.159; Volume: 0.243; Cuts per Minute: 0.647; Words per Minute: 114.592
Summary: A train ride from Bandra to Masjid Bundar on the Harbour line. The sun is setting and the city's Central Line passes through the trading spine of the island city. Godaams and warehouses with shipping containers dot the skyline. The train halts at Masjid Bundar.
We are now in the office of ICHRL (India Centre for Human Rights and Law.) Some members from the Dongri Mohalla Comittee are meeting to have a discussion. Later at night, Nikhil Anand and Shaina Anand have a long candid conversation with some members from the Mumbai Shantata Samiti, a Mohalla level Peace Committee operating in the Muslim-dominated area around Mohamammed Ali Road, Dongri.
The footage is shot in the train between King's Circle station and Sewri station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai.
The footage is shot in the train between King's Circle station and Sewri station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai.
The footage is shot in the train between King's Circle station and Sewri station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai.
The footage is shot in the train between Sewri station and Cotton Green station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai. The footage captures the Petrochemical Industries on the east side and the residential localities on the west side of the tracks between the two stations.
Announcement - The train arriving on platform number 2 is slow local arriving at ten hours and ten minutes.
The footage is shot in the train between Cotton Green station and Reay Road station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai. The footage captures the nearby warehouses and mills between the two stations from the elevated tracks.
The footage is shot in the train between Reay Road station, Dockyard Road station and Sandhurst Road station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai. The footage captures the residential areas and the freight and goods sheds along the way.
Harbour line, Mumbai
The footage is shot in the train between Sandhurst Road station and Masjid Bunder station on the Harbour line branch of the Central Railways in Mumbai. The footage captures the residential buildings between the two stations. Footage gets cut. In to an office where people are seated.
The clip shows a room at the ICHRL
(India Centre for Human Rights and Law) where peace activists such as Shakeel Ahmed
and Rahul from Nirbhay Bano Andolan
, Jyoti Punwani, etc have gathered for a discussion. Members of Mumbai Shantanta Samiti and other Mohalla Committees are also present. Soon after the discussion begins, journalist Jyoti Punwani requests us not to film the meeting. The camera cuts.
People here in are discussing how to approach different areas for seminars and talks with regard to the ration of Muslims and non-Muslims.
They said they are ready to come whenever they are asked to, and they have the masses with them. So, if we continue with such hard work, God willing, we would have more people joining us; and there are many people with us.
And we need to decide that if we go in parishes for meeting, and if we are going to make a discussion, there should be one or two non-Muslims with us, which we can decide and clear the whole issue.
I mean if you really see here, there is dominance of Islam and the Muslims are more; we need to sort this.
You have raised a good point and we should look into it.
You know, in Dharavi, there isn't much problem in Dharavi because there are contacts of Rashida Mariyam there which includes non-Muslims. And if we take a meeting in Wadala, even there we have more non-Muslims. If our area is Chunabhatti, even there everyone is non-Muslims. But we can add into this, because the work happening in the movement; because of Sri Krishna many Muslims have joined in. But in other works of the movement, there are no Muslims in the movement. Hence, we can balance it out.
As of now if we decide... No, please don't film this.
Nikhil Anand asks people about their reactions to the post 9/11 incidents, and questions them with regard to the theory of the clash of civilisations
, America and its war on Afghanistan.
The Clash of Civilisations
is a theory propounded by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world.
SA: Can we start?
?: Take that one.
SA: Can we sit little closer, so when we talk - in the middle, everyone together.
?: Come closer to him.
NA: Earlier - when all the events that took place after September 11th - I mean two three weeks back when we all met up, together. Many things have happened after that, and many things had happened before that. But if we see it today, September 11th happened approximately five to six weeks back. So, what is the memories of it today and the process, the history that has become of the past five-six weeks? What do you feel about how it has been portrayed and the way in which it is folded out? About US, they are talking of civilisation, about Taliban, and of the innocent Afghan people on whom war has been declared. Let's begin from the point of what we think, our first response on this issue. The point which interested me was that every time they - the US - talked of civilisations, and what they mean is that they are civilised, and the eastern world, the developing world, is not civilised. And this has become a kind of war of civilisation. But the way in which they have declared the war, and the way in which their planes have gone there is very uncivilized. It's not even multi-national - it's out of the UN, it's out of the judicial system, and it's out of the International court of justice. So, this is my first reaction. What you all think about it?
Speaker: You, what you have (?). So, if you look at the history of America, you will find that the freedom actuation started there. They promoted the freedom actuation throughout the world, and gave it a status. Even human rights is something they promoted. In American literature, we find world class writers. But at the moment, we need to see that who is dominating the American society and the American civilisation? At the moment is it dominated by the literate mind, the talented mind associated with the American literature, or is the old human rights civilisers dominating the society there? But we see that the major interest of America is commercial interest, business interest, or marketing interests, or globalisation is what dominates the society there. So, the good elements of the society there, the human elements of the American society, have become subsidiary. Due to this, the problematic topics of the world surrounds the state of America. America dominates the nation's subjects all over the world due to their commercial and colonial interests. The war which is happening in Afghanistan is a part of America's culture and it's policies. In every decade, war must happen in any part of the world which could project America's innovation and technology in the field of military and armaments, the developments and the new inventions to the world communities, world's classes and to the civilisations in the world. Hence, the war that has been declared in Afghanistan is an exhibition - just like we have the commercial exhibitions here in Mumbai, it is an exhibition of America's military armament and power. And we think it's a negative exhibition and it does not highlight the positive points of America, and its downgrading the positive aspects of America. This one point is clear. And as for the Muslim community, and America's thinking, and their theory of clash of civilisations, is what we don't agree. There cannot be clashes in civilisations if there is harmony, co-operation and understanding in civilised societies. Clashes happen in uncivilised societies. If they don't have the maturity yet, they should look back at the world history and see that it was the orients who gave the sense of civilisation to the world. You would find the ethics of civilisation in the orient; here, they will find it here, they should find it here. There is no clash in here. Clashes are for the commercial interests. This is one point.
The speaker discuses the contribution of America in terms of freedom, human rights and literature. He also criticizes its theory of the clash of civilisations
and America for its vested interests in the war itself.
Speaker: And the second point is that the media that has combined Islam along with this Afghan war and terrorism; now they have accepted their mistake and have reduced it, and are not insisting that terrorism is generated by Islam. Now they are not insisting, they have realised what blunder they have committed by saying it. The thing is that wherever injustice is done by a mighty power, the smaller power have to take revenge in such a way which is called terrorism. It is going to happen anywhere, even in future it is going to happen. The mood of terrorism may change, the action of terrorism may change, but it is going to take place. So, the mighty powerful should act with justice towards the smaller powers; that is the only way to stop the terrorism. That is the message given by Islamic teachings. How can Islam generate terrorism? Therefore those who have not understood Islam, they are misplacing these thoughts. However, those who are well educated and have understood the world events and about all these things, their mind is clear about these things. But those Muslims, who are literary or educationally backwards, they have not understood well enough of these events, the multinational events - they may be having some sympathy with the Taliban, may be having sympathy with what the religious leaders inform them. But that is for the time being, it is not always. We must not forget that - what Frontier Gandhi had done along with Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle of India's freedom - we should not forget that. Once upon a time India's boundary was shared with Afghanistan, we should not forget that. Who brought the division among our India, our great India? It is western power which brought the division, which created the boundaries - we should not forget that. Those people, who once upon a time were our friends, our neighbours, good neighbours, now we are making enemies of them. It is for the time being, we think it is for time being. The future generation will bring a good relationship along with Afghan people and other neighbouring people. That is what the youth must understand and work for peace, that is what I think so.
?: If it will remain intact.
The speaker refers to media relating terrorism and Islam. He discusses why terrorism occurs, and expands on moderate Muslims, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as the Frontier Gandhi
, and India's division during its independence.
SA: What is your opinion?
Speaker: What he has said - that it will happen in future. But, I say that such a mighty power has attacked a tiny country which is poor, where there is starvation. So how long will they be able to survive? Like he said, actually civilisation is the human relations, the mutual relations - how to live peacefully, that is civilisation. You can see that the tribes living in the jungle are also civilised. Even they have some rights, some duties. So when they say that the way they live is only civilisation, then that's wrong. African tribes, and the tribes in India also have their own civilisation. Even they have some rights, the neighbours' rights, parents have their rights, children and wives have certain rights; there are some limits to it, and transgressing those is wrong. So when you foist your civilisation upon others, it's totally uncivilised. One should live peacefully with one's own civilisation in one's own way, and others in their way. This should happen. And if they take pride in their might and try to destroy the another, history shows that such super powers have been finished. Like Russia is finished. The world was bipolar, and if America thinks that it is the watchman for the world, watchdog for the world, and things should happen as per it's will, then it's not going to happen. And the other history about Afghanistan is that the geographical situation is such that many powers tried to invade it. In the era when the British had huge states, we used to hear that the sun never sets there - in Great Britain, the sun never sets. Even they when tried to invade Afghanistan - twice they tried, but failed. Russia failed. Even they (America) is going to fail. And what is being said, what America is saying about Islam, as he said - actually in the very beginning Bush had said, 'It's a crusade,' and tried to produce the sentiments which prevailed in the medieval times. This is absolutely wrong.
The speaker refers to the meaning of civilizations, the importance of the location of Afghanistan from geographic perspective, and expresses his objections to the term 'crusade' being used in conjunction with America's actions.
Speaker: Even about Taliban, I think that the Taliban has never attacked any other country. Taliban is defending itself. To keep Taliban and America on an equal level, I think is not justice. They are poor, weak, they don't have arms. So these so called thinkers, or people who call themselves broad-minded, when they condemn America also condemn Taliban and other such things to keep a balance. I don't think that Taliban has committed any sin. What crime have they committed? Look at America's history - Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and where is Fidel Castro from? Cuba, Yugoslavia,where has it not...? Bosnia. Where has it (America) not committed atrocities? It's just a balancing act - such a big hooligan that its one whole generation has passed spreading hooliganism. And just to equate it, they also condemn others, which I think is very wrong. As of now, the situation which is there, the whole world should condemn America. The UNO should raise it's military power against America like taking it in the UN court and pass a verdict on this case, and declare America as a culprit and the nations all over the world should send their troops to fight against America. This is my opinion.
The speaker discusses the Taliban
and criticises America.
Speaker: As per my thinking, Taliban is a victim of global terrorism. Defining terrorism is a long process, whether it is political fallout, economic suppression; there are many factors responsible for terrorism. But if a person is involved in a terrorist activity - say, Bin Laden, they (America) are saying that he has done it, he hasn't confessed himself for committing such work. And people like Bin Laden never lie, if they have done they will confirm it, and if they haven't done they will deny it, they don't take credit for someone else's work. And even if we assume that he has done it, what power or authority does America have to take action against Taliban? I mean, if somebody else has done it, and if they have given him an asylum, a political asylum, who has given the right to them to attack that country and destroy it? And they (America) did not even go to the United Nations. They just send the carbon copy of their decisions to the United Nations that, "we are going to this and that." This is the condition they have made of the United Nation. And this is not an issue of the last one or two days with America's actions against the Taliban; as of now they have spread terror in the whole world. I think it is a very big game plan and Afghanistan is not the only factor. And there are many factors. One is the oil and gas refinery in Uzbekistan. If any country wants to take gas or whatever is there, they have to make a pipeline crossing through Afghanistan. If Afghanistan does not give an access, then no country can take it because there is no sea around, there are no sea port. So, there are these things. And America runs after the oil is a fact known by everyone in the world. Wherever an oil resource is found, they are the first to go there. They even conspired against Israel because they found an oil resource over there, in the Middle East. So they have economic interest, political interest, which they have combined against Muslims and Islam and have polarised the world. They have said a lot - America has said, Tony Blair has said. The western world has said that Islam is a good religion, it is a great religion, it is a great tradition, but this fight is against terrorism. What do they mean by "against terrorism"? Do they believe there is no other terrorist in the world? The people who did the bombings in Oklahoma - if Afghanistan is responsible and that is why you are bombing that place, then Oklahoma was your city - if there were people doing the terrorist activity in that city in America, why don't they bomb it? The fact is they do not want to finish terrorism, they want to increase it. They want to increase it among Muslims so that they can corner the Muslims.
The speaker criticises America for attacking Afghanistan and mentions the importance of Afghanistan in terms of its location.
Speaker: And all this civilisation, 'The Clash of Civilisation,' the book that Huntington wrote - this book which he has written, they want things to happen in such way. There should be a clash between two great civilisations - there should be clash between Christianity and Islam. They will even bring Hinduism in it, if Hinduism takes active part and will succeed. In this way they want to create confusion in the world and the supremacy. I would say that this is the beginning of the end of the supremacy. It may happen that Afghanistan would loose this time, because last time America had supplied them arms for the war. But this time America itself is against Afghanistan, and the other countries with whom Afghanistan was at war, countries with whom America was waging a proxy war through Afghanistan, are not going to supply it arms; they have sealed its boundaries so that they cannot receive anything from elsewhere. It may happen that they loose this war, but this battle which America has started is not going to end, because terrorism begets terrorism. It never happens that when you talk about peace, people won't respond to it with peace; when you talk of truce, people will respond to it with terrorism. If you say to the world that "since you are creating terrorism, hence we will act with you in such a way." It will repel, it will have a negative effect. Then the other big issue is that in India - whatever is happening in Afghanistan, what it has to do with India? What problem is there between the Hindus and the Muslims here? Nothing, there is no problem. Osama Bin Laden is a Muslim, hence there will be some sympathy for him among the Muslims. But a communal atmosphere is being created here. The motive behind this is that there should be unrest here, and wherever America has gone it has tried to spread unrest. If there is no unrest here, or no unrest in Pakistan, the government here would not be able to survive. Both the government - there, Mr. Musharraf and here, America - has done this to end their stability and it will go on doing this. There is nothing new in it. It is a record since past fifty years that it infiltrates the country and endures its anarchy in the name of freedom. This is what it does. And like he said, that the world has become unipolar, there should be a power which keeps check on it (America). That check has ended, it (America) only destroyed it., and is enforcing its policies on the world. Let it do. It is not the nature's law that things be unipolar. The alternate force for this is in the production process. And only till the time it's completed will America survive, after which America has to mend its ways.
The speaker briefly refers to the book, The Clash of Civilisations
by Huntington, and the atmosphere created in India due to the America-Afghanistan war.
Osama Bin Laden
Speaker: All the civilisations which had came in the world had to perish. Greek civilisation, after which there was Roman civilisation, after which it was Islam, and now it is America. It is the saying of God that power keeps on rotating for mankind. I would say that normal peaks are only to be scaled, nobody can stay over them. All the things that go up, have to come down. Even America has to come down, be it today or tomorrow. And what I had said earlier, that it should not be made communal in India. It is our bad luck that the ruling government here is a communal government. Had it been Congress, things would not have come to such a point as they have come today. It is our bad luck. They want to exploit every opportunity - like the community elections are nearing, they want to exploit and win the elections. So the saner-minded population which is there, like the Peace-keeping committee, Mumbai Peace-keeping committee. People need to develop relations on an individual level and in this way we can overcome the challenge of communalism which has been put in front of us by the government and not the public. The general public has certain awareness to an extent, that what America is doing is bad, what it has done in Afghanistan is considered bad. But there are some people who consider Afghanistan, or Bin Laden, or whoever has done it to America, whatever has been done, that it is rightly done. Because there should be someone who could rise and challenge it. There are such people whom we have met, who have the understanding, who are not slaves like the European countries which have become America's slaves. Both India and Pakistan have become slaves of America, and all the other countries who have a vested interest in this have become its slaves. At least some people should make use of the enduring freedom and come out independent. That's all there is.
The speaker criticises the ruling government for creating a communal atmosphere in India, and discusses popular opinions of Osama Bin Laden
Nikhil Anand raises questions regarding internal terrorism and internal repression.
?: Say something. You represent the government, say something.
SA : Yes please, sir.
?: Shaina, this has turned into lectures.
SA : See, now, or we can just generate. Come closer, so...
?: I will talk only if there is discussion happening. If there is no discussion happening I will not talk.
?: Don't make it a speech type.
?: Let him talk
?: We were talking in the discussion spirit. As I was hearing, I was thinking that there are two types of terrorism happening. One type of the terrorism is the internationalised terrorism, whether it is American doing it or International terrorists doing it, or whatever. The other type of terrorism is the internal terrorism which is mostly bred by fundamentalists. We can't say that Bajrang Dal
are not terrorists if they are pulling down a mosque, or that the Taliban
is not fundamentalists if they don't allow the women and children there to study, and don't allow them to work. Hence I think there are two types of forces. The history of US is clear in front of us. But there is an internal repression in terms of the state and in terms of the political parties, so what do we think about that? The reaction to it or such.
Speaker: Bajrang Dal and SIMI, they say is not terrorism. Advaniji
clearly said that they do not have any proof that they (Bajrang Dal) have committed any terrorist activity. It's their job to define terrorist activity, they say it as per their definition. I just read in newspapers, also heard it on television, somebody asked him (Advani) that, they have banned SIMI, and acquitted Bajrang Dal. To which he said that, they do not have any proof against Bajrang Dal being involved any terrorist activity. What is terrorist activity? Is demolishing the Babri Masjid terrorist activity or not? Or whether bursting crackers during Diwali
is terrorist activity?
NA : No. But what do we think as per our definition?
Speaker: As per our definition, it is any activity that endures terror among people.
?: No. See, about SIMI; the Babri Masjid was demolished, and if the Muslim (population) or its youth protest about it, then they become terrorists. If Koran is burned and if there is a protest, the person responsible for burning it is not terrorist. And the religion which is being insulted...
?: The one who protests becomes the terrorist.
? (continuing): ... If it is being mourned, is terrorism. What had SIMI done? Did they demolish a temple, or burn the holy book Gita? Or the Bible? What has SIMI done? Did they break things somewhere? Poor fellows mourn if their religion is being given grief. Other Muslims threaten, they protest because they are the youth, they are zealous and so they are terrorists. Look I, may be people won't agree with me today, but if there is a God, he is going to do justice. If you are a devotee of God but commit atrocities and are unjust to people of another religion, then God will penalise him, if he may not get penalised in this world. He does justice, may be today people don't believe in this, they do not have the fear of God. He is the one that controls this world, he does not let anyone commit atrocities for long. He perishes the one who commits limitless atrocities. There is a saying that, 'The boat of tyranny does not travel far, it quickly drowns.' So, if in our country such injustices keep on happening, and if the human rights of the people are suppressed, it is not going to continue for long.
?: Now, there is a controversy regarding prayers, that one should not ask for blessings. The police now even want to stand in between God and his devotees.
The speaker discusses the bias made in terms of banning SIMI
and Bajrang Dal
, and the label of terrorism applied to anyone who chooses to protest their own religion.
NA: No, that is what I understand. What I think is that the right-wing fundamentalist government, which we have, is very clear in their stand.
?: It's very clear.
NA: We can say that what they are doing is not right.
?: It's not right.
NA: It's not right, but the next step which is not as clear. That the small is never right and the big always commits the mistake, that things should be clear.
?: It's about justice.
NA: Yes, it's about justice.
?: Whether it is big or small.
NA: That is what I am saying. What I am feeling is that the difference is not whether it is big or small, it is that human rights are being violated. In my opinion, even Taliban... A lot had been documented much earlier before the war. My concern is regarding the women and children. There was no status of equality - equality is also a cultural term - as far as children, women and girls being educated. It's my conscious, I am not talking about the conscious of the state.
?: It is like this that. Even we didn't know what has been happening in the Afghan society, and what the Taliban is doing. If they have prohibited women from being educated, it is against Islam. It is against the civilised society, this civilised society which you are going to... You have just referred. It is also against Islam. Islam says that whether it is a man or woman, education is necessary for both of them. (Recites a quote from the Koran) This is hadees
, sayings of the prophet. There is no gender-based discrimination, that women should not be educated. And if they (Taliban) have created such laws over there, then it is wrong; it is against Islam. And if someone does wrong in the name of Islam which is already against Islam, then it becomes more wrong.
?: No actually. What is happening is that whatever is being done over there, the media is not giving a clear picture. It shows the picture in the backdrop of the interests of America.
The panel refers to the right-wing government, and their concern for the women and children in war-affected Afghanistan.
Speaker: Now see, Afghanistan was the biggest producer of opium in the world. Zahir Shah, the one they want to bring - during his rule, his treasury, his (?), was filled by supplying opium throughout the world. The Taliban has banned opium and its cultivation. American government paid them 400 million dollars because America was the biggest market for opium.
?: And they want to bring the same Zahir Shah back.
Speaker: So, the Taliban has done some good things. Even today people say that Afghanistan is the biggest producer of opium, on the contrary the cultivation of opium is completely banned. Why so? Because Islam prohibits intoxication. Liquor, opium, charas
, are things we cannot consume nor can we do business of it. The cultivation of such things in farm, processing it and then selling it, everything is forbidden. In Islamic rule, if anybody does it, he will be hanged till death. So nobody highlighted the good work they (Taliban) did. Secondly, there is so much poverty there; they have fixed their priorities in stages, like they want to educate the boys first then the girls. It is such a nation, or society, or community wherein even the boys have not been educated. Then there you all raise the question of why the girls are not being educated; even the boys there are not educated. So, their first priority is to start giving education to the boys, and gradually when they have the means, and the funds, they will also start educating the girls, they have never said no to it. So, what is being done is that Taliban is being vilified because they are not providing education to the girls. Actually what they said is that, they want to first educate the boys. They have set their priorities - they first want to educate their boys, and then when the will have funds, they will also educate the girls. That is there.
The speaker tries to highlight the Taliban's good deeds, such as the prohibition on the cultivation of opium.
SA: So are you justifying Taliban?
Speaker: No, it is... You tell me. How much funds they have? How are they supposed to administrate? Even here, you can see, that in our country, girls lag behind in education. Boys are leading in terms of education, isn't it? So, the reason for it is that it is a male dominated society. So, can we say that our forefathers in India were also terrorists, or fundamentalists because they only provided the education to their boys, and kept the girls behind.
SA: We say it. Yes, we say it.
Speaker: See, the circumstances, whether the circumstances permit or not...
SA: No, we say that they were terrorist if they made women sit for sati
; if they said that, brahmins
can do this, and kshatriya
cannot do this, especially harijans
can't do this.
Speaker: Absolutely right. What you are saying is right, it is terrorism.
SA: Correct. We cannot defend religion on such dirty issues.
(Cover her, she is saying something)
?: Tell me, in the American constitution, no women an be the president of America. What is it? Why can't they?
SA: There is nothing in the constitution.
NA: No, it is not there in the constitution. They have a lot of socialist discrimination but not in the constitution. The only criteria is that you should be an American, born on the American soil.
?: A woman cannot become the president of United States.
?: I have read that some where, but cannot give you reference of the source as of now, but it is in their constitution.
NA: See, when I was studying there, I studied the civics of their constitution in the class, like we study in civics class here that the President of India should be over thirty-five years of age, must be a citizen of India, must be three-four, not be convicted of any offence. Now after Jayalalitha...
NA: So, even they have (constitution) similar to us. Ours is, what came out during Sonia Gandhi, that they should be a citizen. There it is the qualification that they should be born there, their birth should be there, on the American soil.
?: We cannot challenge that, it is their right.
NA: Yes. But as it is, there is a lot of social discrimination and...
?: There is division among the American society and American government to an extent that they don't know about each other. The American citizens don't even know that whether there is a country called Afghanistan or Taliban in the world, and they don't even know whether it is a province of India or a separate country. So, their general knowledge and awareness is so low. Even an average Indian, who is below our level, who roams in the by lanes , if asked that where is America or who is the president of America, he will be able to answer. But those people won't be able to locate India; Afghanistan is out of question.
The panel discusses the Hindu caste system, the American constitution in relation to Indian constitution, and social discrimination.
Nikhil Anand questions the panel with reference to the need to protest against oppression on the grounds of humanity.
?: So, the discrimination there is more than here, is what I mean to say. Social discrimination, political discrimination, is more than here. Here, at least we can take part in the democracy. There, you cannot fight unless you have billions with you.
NA: For quite a while, when I was working at India centre, here, Iworked mostly on Globalisation. And there is a vast difference in terms of economic situation there. But what I had said earlier regarding, minority-majority, strong and weak - we taught and had met quite a few people, that said America is exploiting us, it is doing this and that, what happens here is according to what they say. They say that before globalisation there was no caste-system, no discrimination, no oppression. Our this mentality, mean those who are weak... We faced a lot of difficulty. No, our houses are not proper and even their houses are not proper. We need to build them both, but, one and two, both of them should happen simultaneously. Wherever it may be, at your place or mine, if there is oppression, then on behalf of humanity, on behalf of humanism, we should have a right to speak.
Speaker: Can I say?
Speaker: I will tell you something about India's role at present in the Afghan war. Why India is backing America, why India is backing? This indicates the ruling class mentality, we call it 'Ghulamana Zehniyat
' in Urdu. This is the mentality of the ruling class. Once you accept the superiority of the opponent, you cannot come over the opponent. Therefore, this ruling class cannot take India to high up. They are mentally incapable. And whenever there is an opportunity to make allegations against Islam, they don't give up that opportunity. That is our feeling. Of course, the ruling class is sympathetic towards the Muslims because they are poor, economically weak, and also they have got the votes. As far as the Islam, I don't know why they are hating Islam. If they understand, they may come to accept the Islam, but they are not willing to understand it. Then probably this is the only way in which they can keep themselves in ruling. I will tell you one thing, just. just you have to give attention to what I am telling, okay?
Speaker: About some thirty years back. You know, some thirty years back, well this Tiananmen Square in China, you remember that?
NA: Yes, in 1989.
Speaker: The youth of the Chinese wanted to (?), some liberations in China. They gather there, at Tiananmen Square, and the ruling class of the Chinese there came to (?). At that time America was dead against China, you got my point? America was dead against China at that time. During this Bhattu's period, The Bhattu secretly made arrangements with Mr. Nixon, the President of America, to visit the China and have some understanding.
?: First Nixon went, and then he went.
The speaker refers to India's stand on the America-Afghanistan war, its ruling government, and to the Tiananmen Square
incident in China.
Speaker: During this thirty year period... At present, you go to America and go to any shop, American shops, you will find Chinese goods in almost all shops, in every city of the America. In thirty years America... China has captured America without invading. They also know that. At present they (America) have developed the nuclear armament, they (China) cannot fight on this nuclear armament. Therefore what they are doing is that they are capturing the country by invading the economy. So the Chinese have captured America. America doesn't show consumer production for world markets; America has got only armament production for the world countries. He wants to sell it. Therefore he takes the war, he invites the war, creates the war, condition of war to sell its armaments. We must understand this. And another point I want to tell you - during these thirty years, when the Chinese were developing their world economy by capturing the American market, we Indians... What we did during these last thirty years? Our ruling class created religious hatred among the citizens, among the nationalists, between Hindus and Muslims, just to get the power. We were all struggling to have maintained the peace and communal harmony, when the ruling class was bent upon creating the communal disturbance just to secure the Hindu votes, for a Hindu party to come in power at the centre. Where we are standing at present? Where we are standing as a matter of globalisation? We have become a mandi
, a market, for the multinational companies. So, I think this youth who are going to have some responsibility in future in India's life, they must destroy, reject this ruling class. They need to rule us. I don't think that there is any political party. Indicate any political party, I indicate all the ruling class; except before Indira, Indira and before that. Afterwards I reject them and I want the youth to reject them. I come forward - The secular Hindu, the secular Hindu must come forward and give opportunity to the millions and millions of Indians to produce for the world market and establish India's leadership over the countries, over the world, what Nehru had established during India's leadership. During Indira's time, what was the prestige of India at that time? What was India's valour in international affairs at that time? Which country are now referring to India for solving their problems? No one cares. We have not solved our own problems. We have forgotten Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, who struggled for the freedom of the country. Who remembers...? (The footage cuts)
The speaker refers to China as an emerging super power after America. He calls attention to the way China has captured the economy of America, and the value of India during the time of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Speaker: The American economic interests - it seems that they are dictating their international policy, weapons policy, arms policy. I have an example in mind, it was in a book I was reading. It's given that Muslims rule most of the countries in the world, the Gulf countries where it (America) has done a lot of bad deeds. But somewhere else, where America was a friend of the Muslim nation was in Indonesia, where there was the dictator Suharto. There it supported the state a lot. But there was a dictator, even there everything was looted.
?: They worked (?) in Malaysia.
NA: In reverse to this, countries in Latin America, the Christian nations, there is the Pope
and he controls most of the things there. There were many priests there, in South America. There the democratic Christian government was thrown out, like in Nicaragua, Chile, Honduras, Argentina, in many countries. So like this...
Speaker: Everywhere America imposes dictatorship and puppet regimes for its own interests. And it is only loose talk. For America, democracy doesn't make any sense. It has not let democracy survive in any country of the world. It did not let democracy survive in Pakistan, in Iran. There was no vested economic interest between Iraq and America. In Algiers, a government which was on the verge of getting elected by full-fledged majority, it (America) stopped the elections mid-way.
?: It established military regime in there.
NA: Yes, approximately five years back.
Speaker: So, they are just for saying purposes - democracy, freedom, human rights, are just words for saying purposes. Behind these, it (America) must be having other policies for which it is doing all this. And we are the one's who become the fools.
?: In the past, after the second world war, whereever America has made invasion; in those, sixty-six million people were killed. Either sixty million or six million.
?: Fifteen to twenty crores of people are killed in total. I mean, directly and indirectly, either being involved, or directly doing things like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Japan alone five crores people had been killed, combining the first and the second world war. The total of people who died in the first and the second world war combined would be approximately fifteen crores. After, that, let's take Afghanistan. There, ten lakh of the total population is maimed, are handicapped people. Educating the girls is fine, but what about those people who are maimed, who don't have a limb, who don't have hands, who don't have legs, some don't have eyes, and so on? Who is responsible for all this? Why nothing is being thought of them?
The panel criticises America in terms of its interference in other nations' politics for economic interest, and refers to the people who lost their lives in the fist and second world war.
Speaker: So all these people of the high society who sit in a high-chair/ arm chair discussion and think of such big things, and try to implement in Afghan society. They find paradox in both these things. So, whatever is happening is propaganda war; more than war it is a propaganda war. And whatever the news is being reported is censored. The brief that pentagon gives to the news channel, only that news will be reported to you. In their TV report, there are scenes taken from the war films. Scenes from war films are taken and showed it on TV stating it is live. So, I don't think that there is any outcome for this. (?)
SA: I have a question regarding the future. It is very evident - we see the control over American media, as you said - that this is the truth, this is happening, we are reporting. (The footage cuts) There is a section of people who are Hindu that feels very bad. If I say that I am an Indian with lots of pride, then in that civilisation, that culture, I would definitely say, ten percent is of Orissa, 10 percent is of Indore, 30 percent is Muslims, in my mind is part of my culture. The music that I listen to...
(I will come back on Monday, please pick up the papers.)
SA: Now what will happen in the future. As a Hindu I can say that the middle class also has this opinion. There are many Hindus who are secular, who do not discriminate, who will let their daughter marry a Muslim husband, but will say that, "they are mad, they will convert you." You know there is always these kinds of of - that even the people who are secular can very quickly go on to that side, especially when the government in your country is also right wing. And so, the opinion is changing. These secular-minded Hindus, many a times say that the voices of Muslims has to become louder, Muslim women have to become louder. We have to see that they condemn the Taliban, they condemn this. We have to see this that the Muslim leaders come forward, and also say that "we are secular Indians." This does happen, I am not saying that this does not happen. And there is also a reason that sometimes even they, in the English language press, make headlines by which you don't see it. But many people feel this, that "yes, we are Hindus,and we keep a check that Bajrang Dal is doing this, what BJP is doing that, this is happening through BJP, this is happening through Sangh Parivaar." But we find the most at the back. So, in their mind, a Muslim voice is still some reaction from the Aligarh University, it is still SIMI's voice and that is extending the prejudice. And now it has been nicely sandwiched, America and Taliban, India and Pakistan, Hindus and Muslims. The divide which is happening between the civilizations, that there is going to be a western thinking world and Islam thinking world. That is what we are seeing, easily. In our thinking, we don't know what will happen in reality; but in our thinking the prejudice is going to happen. So, what is your thoughts of the future? What are your worries? As citizens, as Indian citizens.
?: Our worry is that this (?) is happening till the bottom level in Hindus and Muslims (?). And what I had not seen till date, things I had not seen through out my age, is what I had seen in this year alone.
The speaker discusses the manipulation of news by the pentagon (which apparently briefs the media on what it is to show.) Shaina Anand discusses the possibility of moderate Muslims and secular Hindus from her perspecive as an Indian.
Speaker: In this current (?), what I had not seen in past fifty years is what I see now. That is as of now on peak, but if it goes more than the peak, then society would disintegrate. That is natural. So, we have to see why this has happened. Just now you said that a moderate Muslim has no voice, they do not condemn the Taliban. Secular Muslims do not voice their opinion. Voices of the Muslim women cannot be heard, they are being suppressed. So, what I would say on this is that the voice of moderate Muslim is neither highlighted by the press or the electronic media. There were a few leftist meeting organised in Mumbai. In that, people who are confirmed leftist, confirmed secularist like Javed Anand and Javed Akhtar, even they were not invited, even they were considered non-secularists. They weren't called fundamentalists, but were considered non-secularists and were not invited in the meeting held for Afghanistan's (?). So the mindsets of people have completely changed in here. And this was a point on the agenda of BJP, RSS and other communal forces; since past fifty years they were trying to achieve it. And secular forces (?), all this happened, was bound to happen. A point you said was that there was a period when the world was in economic development, industrial development, weapon development and commercial development. In those times, in India, there was a conflict of Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir. We need to find the forces who were behind it. After that incident our country went backwards.
The speaker refers to the disintegration of society, the voice of the moderate Muslim being suppressed, the non-inclusion of confirmed leftist and secularists in meetings organised in Mumbai, and the need to find the forces behind the conflict of Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir.
The speakers discuss America's targeting of India in order to create conflict within the country. They also explore issues such as the Taliban's lack of opposition to India, and the present increase in communal feeling.
?: (not audible) As of now, the decision for privatisation of five star hotels, which were under government undertaking happened then. So, what has been happening on day to day basis is that the economic condition of our country is going downwards. So what I think after these all perspective is that even India has been targeted. It might be America, because there is no Russia. Secondly, the country which has the maximum influence in the world, as of now, is America. America created the conflict among us, conflict between the Muslims and Hindus, and they...
?: Yes, you are right.
?: We can't even say it's China.
?: No, it is not China.
?: Because China is an emerging super power.
?: No, it is not a work of China. I want to ask you one thing - even you, if you know, frankly say it - Afghanistan, I am not saying that we are supporting Taliban. We are not supporting Taliban. We just want to listen. Since the Taliban came to power, you show me one instance where Taliban have opposed India internationally.
?: Never. The Taliban has never opposed India. On the contrary, traditionally they are the Pathans
, supporters of India. Pathans are the supporters of India. And unnecessarily we are opposing. That is the problem.
?: The thought that arises in the world is that when Russia had attacked Afghanistan, even then India supported Russia, and not Afghanistan, and had opposed America. Today, when America is attacking it (Afghanistan), India is supporting America. So, the thought that arises in Muslims heart is that the Indian government has anti-Muslim policy. Then which ever power or country attacks it (Afghanistan) is not a concern. Both the time, it (India) had changed its policy. People even see it from this perspective, even because of this the communal feeling increases.
NA: But more so, India supported...
?: Afghanistan has supported India.
NA: No, but India supported first, when the Russian happened, the Northern Alliance. I was very young then. As of now I am reading that, India had supported the Northern Alliance a lot, and even now it is supporting the Northern Alliance.
?: Even now they are supporting them.
NA: So that I mean, a bit.
?: Then there was no Northern Alliance. There was only one government. Today there is a Northern Alliance because their base is in the north.
NA: They have gone towards the north.
?: And hence it became Northern Alliance.
NA: No, but Massoud and the others who were there in the government since 1990's.
?: No, only their government was recognised by the Indian government, but did not favour them. The struggle that they did, they were these people - Rabbani, Hikmatiya, Ahmed Shah Massoud - these were the people.
?: Yes, Dostum. These people were in the front in Afghanistan fighting against Russia with the support of America. But when Taliban came - from where did Taliban come, only America knows. Like the issue of Taliban is similar to the issue of Laden. Many people say that they (Taliban) studied in the schools over there (America). They all are orphans. The people who fought and had died in the war against Russia, and the children who were left with no parents were taken and given admissions in schools in Karachi and other countries. And that generation grew up to be Taliban, and were brought in by America as an alternate to Northern Alliance. They were brought in by America, it does not want any kind of stability in Afghanistan. First they fought, as soon as Russia left, they fought amongst them. All the people from the Northern Alliance fought, and kept on fighting. Suddenly Taliban came, in 1994? In 1994, the Taliban came. So, all this isn't happening just like this. There is some great design behind all this happenings, whatever has happened.
Nikhil Anand and the speakers discuss India's support of the Northern Alliance.
Ahmed Shah Massoud
And in reality the country of Taliban, the country of Afghanistan is strategically and geographically more important. On one side is China, emerging super power, now after America, America is as of now done, China is emerging as a super power. It immediately has made a pact with Russia, so that it cannot challenge later on. And India, it is unfortunate for India, our own country that it has enemity with all it's neighbours. Be it Sri Lanka or be it China. The smallest of the country and the largest of the country, it has enemity with all. This opportunity was for India, had it made a pact with China, even India would have been an emerging super power. Both the blocks would have been super power together. But it (India) has enemity with China. And China did not invite India, and instead joined hands with Russia, which is their traditional enemy. If we had such broad mindedness, then India along with it's neighbours together would have become a power. We have such vast geography, such huge human resource. Everything we have, but what we don't have is a heart.
A big heart.
We don't have a big heart.
SA : You haven't said anything yet.
I was listening to all of it.
End it it up. Come on, end up.
SA : Yes, end up. Not fair, not fair.
The speakers are discussing India's relation with it's neighbouring countries.
If communal people, create religious hatred among people, among Indians. The Indians are secular, no need, to work, promote secularism, no need. Basically the Indians are secular people. We are working on secular front also because, some bad elements are creating religious hatred among Indians. That is the problem. The way we see, instead of giving consent to national priority, we are giving priority to maintain the peace in the locality. That is how we have reduce, by thinking national level, we are thinking local level. How to maintain the peace in our locality. That is how we have been reduced. But I don't know, but I hope in the future, the people like you, and like people, or the youth, if they are not communalised. Like the present education ministry are changing the script of education books, text. They are changing, even the history, they are changing the history. What our future students are going to learn history, past history, are one sided. Where there is no elements of Muslims participation in development of the country. There is no mention.
he speaker is speaking about secular Indians and about the hope he has for the future, also he mentions of editing the script of education textbooks by the education ministry.
If you go and ask any Muslim boy, how many Hindus, he remembers or knows, who participated along with Mahatma Gandhi. The Muslim boy can't tell you. In the same way, if you ask a Hindu boy, how many Muslim names he knows, who all stood along with Mahatma Gandhi. I don't think so. Because this fault lies in our educational policy. We must come forward, to tell truth, among this ruling class. To, like my friend said, not to communise further, to the breaking point. No, breaking means we may die. But the future generation, they will fight, they will not, for survival, for maintaining their identity, religious identity, which cannot be compromised. No one in India, no Muslim is going to compromise with their religious identity. This must be understand with them. There is a quick, clear message.
The speaker talks about the effects of editing the scripts of history in education textbooks, and of maintaining religious identity.