Thursday, September 3, 2015

Aurangzeb the Mogul King, was he a tyrant?

Bhagvad Gita’s wisdom “Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility” turned my life around, when the awakening came, it was strengthened by what my Mother had said,” You alone are responsible for your actions (peace of mind), and for that, she said you’ve to question everything that is dished out to you. She dared, I am your mother and want the best for you, but when it is about the society you should find the truth on your own, including rejecting what I would say. She then concluded, truth sets you free from anger and ill-will. So her litmus test for truth is removal of hate, anger and prejudices in you. 
So, I am set out to find more about Aurangzeb, I read three different articles and the links are provided below. What I had read in the past was derogatory about Aurangzeb and I had concluded that he was a bigot, which I regret, as I am seeing a different picture of him now.  I want to understand the whole truth about Aurangzeb and remove my ill-will towards him if it were unjust.  I do not want to allow falsity make home in my heart. 

The first time, I have heard positive things about Aurangzeb were from Professor Shakil Samdani of Aligarh Muslim University.  He and I spoke at Asim Siddqui Memorial college in Badaun, and during our drive from Aligarh to Badaun, we had good conversation and was taken back to hear positive things about Aurangzeb, that he did not harass Hindus as was given to understand. 


Unless we question everything, we will be blinded by our hate and politics. Aurangzeb is perceived as a tyrant, even though to be fair to him, many Hindu's cite his land grants to the Temples, Gurdwaras, the multi-faith Members in his governance, earning a living by writing and selling copies of Quran, and not using the public funds for his own.  However, he was surrounded by his Chamchas who did not dare tell him when he was wrong. 

In June this year, I wrote a piece on pulling down the confederate flag as it represented a sad part of our (American) history, and a few days later it was pulled down. Now, the name of the street in New Delhi meets a similar fate, Aurangzeb Road is changed to Abdul Kalam Road. Wrongfully or rightfully Aurangzeb represented a symbol of cruelty to fellow Indians who are Hindus.

We the Indians have collectively bonded with hate for the tyrants from the past, we had many rulers who were tyrants, but somehow, a few kings are remembered with intense dislike, two of them were Aurangzeb and Ghazni. They have been symbols of friction between Hindus and Muslims and have been invoked in communal riots. Of course, you will find at least two Kings in every religion who were tyrants towards their subjects whether they were Hindus or Buddhists.

A few Muslims and Hindus may disagree with me, and that I welcome it as a part of learning to respect the otherness of others in a democratic set up. I believe Muslims are sick and tired of being blamed for the acts of Aurangzeb; they are blamed as if they committed the crimes!  Even if I were a grandson of Aurangzeb, should I be harassed for his acts? Should your parents be persecuted for your acts? Aurangzeb was for himself, like all other Kings be it Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist or other kings and he does not represent a Muslim in a democracy.

I hope this is a catalytic event to rename the road from Aurangzeb to Abdul Kalam does well for the Hindu and Muslim psyche. I pray that those few Hindus who carried the burden find Mukti from it, and Muslims have nothing to lose from it.  

However, not the moderate majority of Hindus, but the extreme right wing among them needs to question if what has been told to them makes sense. Is there a joy in destroying things that bear Muslim names for them? Does Hinduism teach this? What is next? Is the RSS hell bent on messing up with our history, do they represent the values of Hinduism? Is Hinduism Hijacked? I know the feeling, the moderate Muslims are still fighting the tiny puny group of extremists among us, now the Hindus have that fight on their hands. Do they believe in live and let live or live with hatred for Muslims. Hinduism does not teach anything they are practicing. 


It would be bad for India, if the extremists among Hindus want a pound of flesh, and want to turn our history upside down.   My friend Dr. Zafar Iqbal pointed out in a conversation that Aurangzeb would not give in to the British, so the British resorted to divide and rule and figured out a way to place a wedge between Hindus and Muslims by writing falsities about Aurangzeb. 

I know the pattern well. In my Radio show on the issue of Ayodhya way back in 2003, I quoted a letter of India’s Governor General from the India Gazette in 1853 – he wrote to the bloody King in England that the Muslims and Hindus have built a Ram Chabootra and have started getting along again, if these groups joined, that spells the end of British Raj! (http://mikeghouse.net/Aboutus/Dallas-Observer-on-MikeGhouse.htm )

  
However, together as Indian Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhist and others, we need to preserve our heritage and faithfully guard our history. We must remove the hate for each other and live like equals - that is the right dharma. 

Let this change of name bring relief to our Hindu friends and remove apprehension for Muslims, that they can live freely without being blamed for Aurangzeb and no more griping and no more flipping the world upside down. Let’s get it over and move forward. 

Articles worth reading:


2. Was Aurangzeb really a bigot and tormentor of Hindus? A fair assessment by Hindu Scholars : http://caravandaily.com/portal/so-was-aurangzeb-really-a-bigot-and-tormentor-of-hindus-2/

3. Why we should oppose Aurangzebing of Aurangzeb
http://thewire.in/2015/08/30/why-we-should-oppose-the-aurangzebing-of-aurangzeb-9549/

4. Delhi was inspired by history and not bigotry




Mike Ghouse is a motivational speaker committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His information is in 63 links a www.MikeGhouse.netand his exclusive writings are at TheGhousediary.com 

Mike Ghouse speech in Boston at AFMI's 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary conference

My speech in Boston at AFMI’s 25th Silver Jubilee Celebrations.
Its’ a two part speech, first was pluralistic greetings and the second was the motivational uplifting talk.  I appreciate Mr. Frank Islam for making this possible, thank you Frank.    

Pluralism Greetings

How many of you agree that you see problems between husband and wife, parents and kids, families, friends, communities, societies and nations?
 What is the single biggest reason for that?
We don’t know each other!

And whatever we learn about the others are myths, in case of communities we paint all Muslims as one person as if all Muslims will do exactly the same…. all Hindus are behaving the same, or Jews should not be trusted… None of this is factual.   And this myth building is the singular cause for the problems and distrust we encounter every day.
What do we need to do about changing this?  Let’s take 2 minutes to do the first thing first – Greetings.

God is the biggest psychologist out there, when he created religions for different people in different corners of the world, he figured how to break the myths and create harmony.

Have you been to a neighborhood, where you feel apprehensive walking there by yourselves? Guess what the other person feels the same way. Have you experienced saying a simple “Hi” will change the dynamics?
How many of you have experienced that?

Indeed, when you say Namaste to that stranger, what you are saying is hey man don’t run, we could be in peace. Namaste in its broadest meaning is let the good in you connect with the good in me.  The Abrahimic faiths use the words Shalom, Salaam and peace.

When I say Salaam, Shalom or peace to you, what I am saying is May God shower peace on you, and when you respond back, you are also saying may your be soaked in peace. 

The greetings contains three elements;
1. Acknowledging the stranger
2. A desire to connect
3. Possible friendship.

When we are drenched in peace, then when we talk, act, think, it should give birth to peace.

I hope we realize the greetings as an ice breaker and a connector. 

Let me greet all of you in at least 9 different religious greetings, you are welcome to repeat after me quietly, loudly or you simply don’t have to if you are not ready for it.

American - Aho piva (Cheyenne)
Baha'i - Allah-u-Abha 
Buddhist - Buddha Namo
Christian - Peace to you
Hindu - Namaste
Jain - Jai Jinendra
Jewish - Shalom
Muslim - Salaam
Sikh - Satsri Akaal
Wicca - blessed be...  Hail to Mother Earth 
Zoroastrian - Hamazor Hama Asho bed
 
Thank you

 
Uplifting Motivational talk.

Let’s talk for a few minutes about building cohesive societies, that is societies where no human has to feel tense, alienated, apprehensive or fearful of others.

God says he has created all of us from one single couple; a metaphor to mean we all had a common beginning. 
Then he says he made us in to different tribes, communities and nations and by extension, different religions.

Guess what, he created each one of us to be unique beings with our own thumb print, eye print, DNA and even taste buds. 

Like a mother knows her children well, the creator knows us well.  He also says that he could have created all of us alike but chose to make us unique individuals.  I am sure the police appreciate that!

You know God could have opened a factory, and specified that all men should be 6’ tall, 2” long noses, 34” long arms… and women to weigh 100 pounds with standard statistics… and produced 7 billion of us out exactly to the precise specifications… but he chose to make us different. 

That uniqueness gives birth to conflict… being a mother, being a God, he knows his creation well.

He offers the solutions! The best ones among you are those who learn about each other.

Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of the otherness of others. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others, and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Indeed that is the definition of pluralism.
Imagine Dr. Suhaib Siddiqi decides take us on a bus tour to Martha’s vineyards,  when all of us sit in the bus with the idea of making the trip,  one of the things that our driver will make sure is that all the ten tires have equal air in them to ensure a safe journey. Don’t you all feel comfortable?

Now imagine each tire to represent a religious, racial or an economic group… and let’s say three tires have low air in it….and the 7 others are doing well.


Can the 7 tires tell the three tires this, “Hey look you Muslim tire, Black tire or Dalit tire, we have worked hard to reach this level, we are not going to give you a hand out, you have to fill up yourselves and act as equal? 

How many of you are familiar with that dialogue?

Can the tires fill themselves up, if they could have, they would have, since they are handicapped we have to give them a hand to bring them onto a level playing field, by lifting others, all of us are lifted and the Bus Journey becomes safe and surer than before. All of us benefit from it.

How many of you want to be those lifters?

Now let me ask some of such lifters to stand up as I call their name – Dr. Nakadar – what a great man he is, AFMI was his concept and his idea, and the group together has uplifted so many children adding the prosperity of India, adding a new consumer in the middle class market and giving a boost to the producer of Goods. 

May I ask Frank and Debbie Islam to rise?
Frank is another blessed rich man, whom God has blessed the ability to make big money and a bigger heart to uplift more people and add to the prosperity of India.  Do you remember Muhammad Ali, Frank is like him in so many ways, he is bold, and takes up the challenge and meets it.  He is our champion!
Bill Gates is one rich man who led the way in changing the world who donated bulk of his wealth to uplift the world. Did you know, the more millionaires he made out of his employees the richer he got.  He is a great role model.

Dr Suhaib Siddiqi, Akram Syed, Frank Islam, Syed Ali Rizvi, Mitha, Naved Syed, Mike Ghouse, Dr. Nagama



Can I ask some of the Uplifters to join us in standing up… Dr. Sardar Aziz, Mr. Ali Quraishi, Dr. Samia and Mustafa Raheem, Dr. Mohamed Ameer Rana, Dr. Iqbal Ahmed, Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Naved Syed, Akram Syed



What Dr. Nakadar, Frank Islam  and these men and women and many of you have done is amazing!  You are blessed to enjoy the fruits of your charity while you are alive, what a joy it is.

Now, I ask each one of you who has donated a Dollar or more to uplift others to please stand up.

Let’s give a big round of applause to all these men and women!

When I was president of the North Texas Cricket Association, I went to a gentleman to host a dinner for our group, he said it would cost $18/person, and I asked him to do for $15 and 3 per person would be his contribution… I did not even complete the sentence, he screamed at me… No charity, I have worked hard to earn this money, I am not going to give charity to any one… 

This is true story, three months from then, he was in a road accident and the fence board went thru his face and died on the spot. When I heard that… my instant response was not good… then I held myself and prayed for him.  What happened after that? His partners robbed his wealth, his kids squandered the money… he did not get a chance to enjoy the life and his money went to waste.  There are many stories like that.

Mani Rahman, my friend in Dallas passed away three weeks ago, a day before I left to Washington; he insisted we have lunch together….  He agreed to join and contribute towards my work after three years!  However he was a rich man and had a will and his money will not go to waste.  He donated generously to different events.

The last one Mani donated was $250 to produce a video on Pluralism in Islam, he got to see the video a month before he passed away in Costa Rica and sent me a text that this is the kind of work he wants to support.  I am glad he saw the fruits of his donation.

How many of you lost a friend or family member in the last year? Did they leave a will?  Please consider buying a life insurance and donating a big part of it towards uplifting deserving Children thru AFMI and other foundations.  Insha Allah, I will write an article on this topic, as I had promised to my late friend Mani Rahman, who was an Insurance agent. I wrote a tribute to him.  This is another way of continuing your good work. First you enjoy while you are alive, and then your soul will be blessed for years to come.

Friends, if you have the money, you are a blessed one, your kids don’t need your money, they will make a heck of a lot more than you….  Uplift others. Donate the money to your favorite Charity including AFMI.

Tomorrow when you wake up, you will thank God for doing the right thing.

God bless America, God bless India and God bless each one of us
Say Amen!
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism, Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon for others will be out soon, and has published over 3000 articles on the subjects. He is producing a full feature film " Sacred" and it is about changing perceptions about Muslims and Muslims adopting the non-violent principles in dealing with conflicts. He has appeared over 100 times on Fox News with Sean Hannity and on syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mike Ghouse honored, he is Dr. Mike Ghouse now

Mike Ghouse honored | TheGhousediary.com 

The Grace International Seminary awarded the Doctor of Divinity to Mike Ghouse – an honorary Doctorate for his work on Pluralism. Thanks to Dr. Karen Hollie-Thibodeuax the Chancellor the Seminary, and Bishop Thibodeuax and Mark Hernandez for facilitating this happening.


Mike is considered an authority on Pluralism. Pluralism is a brand new discipline in the academic world and is yet to be taught as a subject. The course material would be unique, as it will focus on its effect on different aspects of life in building cohesive societies, societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. Mike defines pluralism as simply an attitude respecting the otherness of others, and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of his creation. 

Mike has a dream, a dream that one day in our life time; we all will wake up to a cohesive world, where no human has to live in tension, apprehension or fear of the other, nor should one feel alienated. Indeed, that was the dream of all the spiritual masters of the world, and that is what the creator wants; all pieces of his creation to function coherently. 
Our founding fathers believed, “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” And that dream was refreshed by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mike is a Pluralist to the core, and believes that if we can respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of  the 7 billion humans on the planet earth.  Most of the problems in the world exists because what we learn about others is negative and build myths about the other.

Mike believes the solutions likes in a simple “knowing each other”, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of a different point of view.
Mike has a national presence on TV, Radio,Print and the Internet Media. Mike has appeared in over 100 shows with Sean Hannity on Fox News and over 50 times on nationally syndicated radio shows.  Fox News, Syndicated Radio shows, Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, and a variety of News Papers here and abroad for giving him a strong National and local presence. 

He has  written nearly 3000 articles, and bulk of them are published in Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, New Age Islam, Op-ed News , Arab Daily News, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, and several other News papers and periodicals around the world. Of the 2800, 1000+ were on Islam, 1000+ on Pluralism and the rest were on politics, India, Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Motivational and other topics.

Currently Mike is working on  making a film based on a compelling true story of building a cohesive America, and writing a book on human rights - "Standing up for others"- standing up from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between.

Please watch the 10 Minutes trailer of the documentary in making
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXsTo4VYh8

Mike is appreciated around the world; indeed, he has over 10 Million views of his profile at Google and 15 Million on his website.
 https://plus.google.com/108969690090944956820/about

God has blessed him with an aptitude for mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill in everything he does,  that is think, talk and act, and he has been a life time volunteer, and it is a joy to maintain a healthy balance between earning a living and serving the public.

As they say, Pluralism runs in his veins.  The Grace International Seminary awarded the Doctor of Divinity – an honorary Doctorate for my work on Pluralism. Thanks to Dr. Karen Hollie-Thibodeuax the Chancellor the Seminary, and Bishop Thibodeuax and Mark Hernandez my buddy for facilitating this happening.

You can Google - Pluralism Speaker
The old profile - http://www.mikeghouse.net/InterfaithSpeaker_MikeGhouse.asp


These pictures were taken from  cell phone, professional pictures will be added later on.
 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Sermon in Cambridge, MA by Dr. Aslam Abdullah

FRIDAY SERMON IN CAMBRIDGE, MA | www.TheGhouseDiary.com 

What an inspirational sermon! Dr. Aslam Abdullah’s sermon had a universal message, meaning, whether you are Muslim or not, you would appreciate its content. He talked about the principle items Prophet Muhammad talked about in his last sermon –and had asked his followers to hang on to; equality of humankind, respect for women, non discrimination based on race or color of the skin, being just to fellow humans, accountability of one’s actions, and no one will bear others burden,  human rights, taking care of the neighbors and all of that stuffed with mercy and kindness.

He questioned, why none of the 56 Muslim majority nations have not incorporated those principles in their constitution, and yet call themselves Islamic? Then he said the declaration of human rights by the United Nations in 1948 and our constitution have those principles embedded in them.

I will ask him to at least write down the outline of his sermon if not, the whole sermon. It is worth listening to. The audience was in awe!  Rarely do people hear practical sermons that can change their lives in relation to fellow human beings.  The rationality and universality of Islam he talks is appealing.

This is the kind of sermon people want  to hear, it will open up the minds and truly understand the purpose of Islam or any religion for that matter – to create cohesive societies where no one has to live in fear of the other based on justice and mercy. 

We have to take care of our life here on earth and be just to it, life is an Amana ( trust) God has endowed us with, and we cannot sacrifice it for the Akhira (hereafter). Our problem is we fail to live a life for the sake of hereafter that is wrong. We have to be just to both.

The sermon and the discussions following that gave me a lot of hope and strength to my belief that a majority of people are moderates; they want to get along with all and live their lives and let others live theirs.  One of these days, we will do a survey of sermons as to which one’s were most remembered and what appealed to them. I bet with prejudice that sermons that respect all of humanity would be the most valued ones.

Dr. Aslam Abdullah, myself and several others are in Boston for the AFMI (American Federation of Muslims from India) Conference. Dr. Suhaib Siddiqi is our host and drove us to the Cambridge Mosque, one of the oldest Mosques, with us were Dr. Razia Ahmed, Dr. Iqbal Ahmed and Dr. Marryam Ahmed. We had some good discussions while driving back and forth and having the lunch.
I missed much of the sermon as we had parking issues, we had dropped Dr. Abdullah and and our friends at the mosque and went to park the car a mile plus away.  Dr. Suhaib Siddiqi is another enlightened Muslim that faces problems now and then.  After the sermon, he went to talk to the organizer of the mosque about the parking issue we had, the guy at the parking lot was rude, he did not allow us to park the car, even for the sermon giver, and we had only 1o minutes to start the sermon.  While he was sharing it, that rude man came and nearly shouted at him that he was a not a Muslim and is a hypocrite and the organizer should not listen to him... ... what?

What a shame, a few Muslims really push God aside and become God for the minute and pass judgments about others, a right only God has, it is time to push the right but new understanding in Islam - that is to declare any one less than a Muslim is a great sin of shirk- associating with God or usurping God's power. I demand any Muslim who declares other Muslim a Kafir to produce the contract from God that he was appointed as God's deputy, assistant or associate, if not, they need not talk.  Takfiriyat is wrong and must be rejected, it is an idea whose time has come - more at http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2015/05/shia-sunni-takfiris-not-acceptable.html


Dr. Aslam Abdullah and I think and write alike on most of the issues. It was a joy for me to hear him for the first time.  I follow him on facebook for a number of years but today was he first day I actually met him. I have given similar sermons at the Unitarian Universalist Churches all over Dallas area, by the way, I fit in the mould of UU, as Islam is similar to me to create a world of harmony and peace.

Before I moved to Washington DC, I had planned on delivering Friday Sermons and have written several Sermons (need to find where they are) based on the following write ups:
1. Connecting with the Prophet 
-


Articles on Quranic verses at www.Quraantoday.com
Civic  Islam at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com
Sharia – www.ShariaLaws.com



Mike Ghouse is a motivational speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at www.MikeGhouse.net and most of his writings are at www.TheGhouseDiary.com

Monday, August 24, 2015

President Carter - American Muslims send their best wishes to President Carter

American Muslims send their best wishes to President Carter | This was released on 8/21 as a press release:

We send our respectful wishes to President Carter and pray for his speedy recovery. We also pray and wish him a longer life, and hope he can witness the fruition of his work that he started for lasting peace in the Middle East. He is a genuine peace maker and a blessing to the world – and the true earner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

http://news.yahoo.com/jimmy-carter-discuss-cancer-diagnosis-publicly-084102065.html

On August 20, 2015 - President Jimmy Carter announced that his cancer has spread to his brain and doctors in Atlanta found four "very small spots" of melanoma. Carter, who turns 91 in October, started receiving radiation yesterday.
Carter is one of the presidents who remained active with the American people building homes for the poor through the Habitat for Humanity. He was instrumental in eradication of debilitating diseases in Africa like the guinea worm. The President traveled around the world monitoring democratic process taking roots, and watching the genuine voting process.
He is the most gracious man; he kept smiling and dedicated his life for humanity. May God bless him a long life, and let the humanity benefit from his good work.
American Muslim Institution, a pro-active voice for American Muslims.www.AmericanMuslimInstitution.org

Added from News:
ATLANTA  (Reuters) After announcing that cancer had spread to his brain, former President Jimmy Carter had to teach an extra Bible class at his rural Georgia church on Sunday (Aug. 23) to accommodate well wishers.
Carter, 90, a lifelong Baptist and church deacon, has taught Sunday school for decades, and the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, is used to a throng.
The church’s website asks people to line up before 9 a.m., and attend an orientation before the 10 a.m. class.
The theme of the lesson was love, Carter told the 300 people who filled the church’s sanctuary, after briefly alluding to his health.
“We are studying the most important aspect of Christianity,” he said, and read from the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Matthew: “I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
He mentioned his conflict resolution work, including the Camp David peace agreement and negotiating a nuclear program with North Korea, and said mediation can help resolve any conflict, be it between two countries or two people.
A smiling, comfortable-looking Carter, in a dark jacket and a bolo tie, spoke from the floor at the front of the room.
Carter taught a second Bible class before returning to the church sanctuary to pose for photos with people for more than a half an hour.
Pictures on the Atlanta Journal Constitution and on social media showed dozens of people lining up outside the church in the rural town of Plains, where Carter lives with his wife Rosalynn. One held a fan with Carter’s photograph on it.
The first person lined up at midnight, local television reported.
Due to the security detail for the former president, everyone was searched going into the church.
Carter began radiation treatment for his cancer on Thursday (Aug. 20), a week after announcing he had undergone surgery to remove a tumor from his liver.
Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981 and became active in humanitarian causes and monitoring elections after leaving office. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
(Reporting  by Mike Cooper and Fiona Ortiz.)
-----------Mike Ghouse

Friday, August 14, 2015

India’s Thaali on her 69th Anniversary of Freedom.

Happy Independence day to Indians | MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com


My dear Fellow Indians, 


As we proudly celebrate the 69th anniversary of our independence, we must have a full Thaali in front of us to know our motherland sufficiently. It must have every ingredient in it from khatta, meetha, peekha, teekha, khara, patla, gada, sukha, kuchcha and kadva.

Thaali is a balanced plated meal with every ingredient in it; Sour, Sweet, saltless, tasteless, hot, liquidy, pasty, dry, wet and bitter respectively as the words in Hindi-Urdu or Urdu-Hindi translate it.

What does that mean? It simply means we have to live with good, bad and the ugly in each one of us in different proportions.

First, let’s deal with the good.  Like all of you, I am proud of my motherland India, and my homeland America, both are God’s own countries, let me tell you why.

We are a full representation of the universe. As a nation we are made up of Adivasis, Atheists, Bahais, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Sikhs, Tribal’s, Zoroastrians and every possible grouping.
 
Our Motherland is represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many; and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names.

We are proud of our nation, it’s a beacon of freedom to the third world, where people mind their own business and live their own lives with free will.

We have to be grateful to our founding fathers, each one of them for going to jail and getting beat up, but worked for creating a better world for us.

Every day when I open my blog about India, I salute their utterly unselfish valor. I am not listing their names deliberately, as I don’t want to miss any, there were so many of them, but I request you to write the names that come to your mind in the comment section below, by next year, I hope we will have a complete list to work from. Believe me, I can write the names, I have passed my IAS and I know my India well. 



After the independence, we were blessed with a visionary leader Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru for nurturing and delivering a pluralistic India to our generation (born after independence). Dr. Ambedkar gave us a solid constitution that will carry us far out into the next millennium; Maulana Abul Kalam Azad laid a great foundation for education with the IIT’s that India is cherishing now. Sardar Patel, the iron man kept the nation together.  I shudder at the thought of so many other nations that have gone haywire. Despite Gandhi being shot by an extremist, we did not run amuck, and did not go the wrong way; thanks to Nehru and Patel for saving the nation and putting it on the right path.  The two legged balanced path of social cohesion and economic prosperity.  I salute all the four and others who have shaped India.

Please remember this cycle; Nehru sought help from America to upgrade the steel plants and our infrastructure, at that time, the Americans thought we were not capable of handling the new technology.  That is when the Soviet Union jumped in and became a partner in our progress. When the Union broke, America was ready to accept India as equal partner and here we are today. Prime Ministers Morarji Desai, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh have delivered a capitalistic, ready to flourish India to Prime Minister Modi.

Modi gave a lot of hope for change and I hope we realize that, however, his eerie silence on issues is tearing the social cohesion apart, causing the nation to be a one legged nation.  We cannot be blind to it, we must acknowledge it, and all of us must join together and ask him to restore the social dharma back again. If Modi speaks, people will listen. He needs to speak tough and take us back to  “live and let live” philosophy of India.

My request to Modi is to watch for the chumchas, those who assure him that everything is alright, but everything is not alright, true followers will tell him like it is and not let him fall in to the abyss.

If you are a genuine supporter of Modi, become his critic, tolerate criticism from others, and help him fix the problems rather than bulldoze them or remain silent. Demand the release of Teesta Salvad, a great patriot of India. I would praise Modi, if he stops his chumchas from shutting a critical voice of the nation. I will guarantee you this, without the voices of Teesta, democracy will be the loser and our freedom would be the victim.  Remember Emergency rule?

We must commit ourselves to genuinely free ourselves from pettiness, free ourselves from our prejudices towards fellow beings, free ourselves from treating a fellow Indian less than ourselves and we must certainly shelve the arrogance that God favors us and not others. 

We must also commit to defend the freedom of others, we must cherish the otherness of others and let everyone freely breath, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever suits them, and crush the thoughts of forcing others to behave the way we want them to behave. No one shall be a slave in free India.
An Indian is an Indian is an Indian, period.

For over 5000 years, India has been a beacon of pluralism - it has embraced Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism to include in the array of the indigenous religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.  
We may want to consciously start thinking and acting as one people, one people within a nation and a community and one people globally.

Our combined philosophies believe in one world; Hinduism describes the world as Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum, the whole world is one family, the idea of Ek Onkar (one) in Sikhism, and idea of one family that we are all created from the same couple as Quran puts it and Jesus embraced every one regardless of who any one is... similar philosophies are grounded in all our religions.  

A few don't follow their own heritage and resort to thievery, loot, murder, terrorism, rioting, rapes, infanticide and other evils that destroy the fabric of the society,  but a majority of every group goes about their own way, living their life with struggles and ease and don't even bother others. We should build upon the 99% of population and not on the less than 1% that does not follow any principles.
On this day, and every day from here forward, make a pledge to yourselves to talk about in terms of us Indians - and not Malyalee, Gujarati, Bengali.... or Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaee. Don't expect others to jump and say the same, give them the time and if you are consistent for at least a year, you will see others emulating you.


Indian democracy is a shining example to the world, where the people have peacefully transferred the powers.
 

Through the years we have expressed the highest degree of maturity on handling extreme situations; the more divergent opinions we hear, the larger our heart grows, the bigger our embrace would be and we can cushion more differences. Let’s continue to honor the concept that there is always another side to the story, as finding the truth is our own responsibility. I am proud of my heritage and am proud to be an Indian-American.


Click and enjoy:
 

Jai Hind



Mike Ghouse
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/

Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist,  TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Happy birthday to Pakistan | Happy Independence day

Happy Independence day to all the Pakistanis | TheGhousediary.com
67 Years ago today, Pakistan was born. Indeed it was created out of the British India on August 14, 1947 and then on the next day, August 15, 1947, India celebrated her independence.   



As a Muslim Pluralist, I have always worked on the concept that we all belong to the same family born from Adam and Eve, and that God has chosen for each one of us to be born in a different communities, nations, religions and races.   

Back in 1993 (to 2000), I started a Newspaper called Asian News, with a page dedicated to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

In 1996, I started Asian News Radio, the first commercial radio in Dallas which continues today as Fun Asia Radio.  After 2000, I did different programs, and one of them was during the month of August, every morning 7-8 AM from the 1st through the 15th of the month.    

Each day my team shared a different aspect of the subcontinent from the cultural, geographic, ethnic, cuisine, clothing, cultural, singing to politics to national heroes of all the three nations, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with identical history. I had a great team to do the full hour of program with Sandhya doing shehar ka chakkar, Tamim doing one thing, Gayathri focusing on literature and Najma playing the songs.

What remains nostalgic to me was August 14th and 15th – on those two days, I took live calls asking Indians to sing the Pakistani national songs on Pakistan Day, and it was amazing so many Indians had learned the songs, and vice versa happened on the 15th, our Pakistani friends sang Indian national songs. What a joy it was to hear the goodwill sprouting from the lips of fellow Subcontinentians. 

The Partition was difficult and intense - with people moving from one land to the other and vice versa, perhaps it was the greatest human migration in a single month ever. Of course it came with massive suffering - people killing and butchering each other on both sides. Unless we both learn to acknowledge that the suffering and infliction of misery was mutual, we will continue to harbor ill-will and die with it.

I urge my fellow Subcontinentians, whether they are Pakistani-Americans, Indian Americans, or Bangladeshi Americans to acknowledge the suffering but never reduce or discount other's suffering, and please do not inject ill-will in the hearts of your children towards the other. Some of our kids may buy our baggage and continue to hold ill-will even here in America, but most kids reject our hatred for the other. I had to work hard with my Son when was mistreated by the Pakistan kids in the mall, I am glad he does not hold any bias towards Pakistani people despite the treatment he got. Some people will live with hate and ill-will until they die and never receive the true freedom.  Its time we do the right thing. 

On my part, I am blessed to have so many friends in all spheres of life including Pakistanis, I am a life member of the Pakistani Society of North Texas, and almost joined the Pakistan American Association of Texas before I moved to Washington. I also run the Dallas Pakistanis yahoogroups for the last 14 years, with nearly 1000 members, it has been the only reliable source of information for the community. Now, there are other groups and glad to see them all thrive.  

Thank God for blessing with a firm belief that we are all from Adam and Eve, and that I have no barrier between me and another human. No barrier at all. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asserted that no human is superior to the other in his last sermon, and I believe in it whole heartedly. 

The most important thing is listening - I have listened to the tragic stories from several of my Pakistani friends the torture and butchery they withstood during the partition, and have heard first hand from many of my Indian friends how their sisters and mothers were raped in front of them... The story is same on both sides, man becomes animal in distress, religions does not matter to the beast in those moments of insecurity. 

On this independence day, may I ask you to acknowledge the atrocities Indians have committed on you, and forgive them. You will find Mukti, Nijaat, Nirvana and salvation in it. When our hearts are filled with goodwill, everything is possible.

May I also ask you to stand up for every Pakistani, no matter what faith, race or class he or she belongs to.  If you have friends from Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Parsee, Jewish, Shia, Ahmadi, Ismaili, Bohra and other communities, call them and wish them Azaadi Mubarak, and let them know that you care about them, as well as willing to defend their God given right to be who they are. Don't worry if others don't do it, its your own conscience you have to honor. Just do it and if you have the time, please write to me the goodness you felt in you.

Please see the movie "Bajrang Bhaijan" -it is a beautiful movie about a Pakistan girl lost in India and how she was brought back to Pakistan by an Indian who had nothing to do with Muslims. Here is my review http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2015/08/bajrangi-bhaijan-oscar-contending-movie.html 

I wish a very happy independence day to both the Pakistani and Indian friends. As an Indian, I will write and if possible speak some where about India. 


Pakistan Paindabad !

Please check about what I am doing in Washington now.  - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-personal-note-about-my-work-in.html

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links atwww.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.comand 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.