Saturday, September 8, 2012

Legal Justice for Gujarat Victims, the need of Hour and our responsibility

Assalaamu Alaykum (Peace be upon you)
Hope you would spend 5 minutes to read through entire Post, . Thanks for ur patience. Forward to your friends on Facebook etc if you share the concern. And Make dua.

Quotes to start with :)
"The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life."
Prophet (saw) said, "The believers, in their love, mutual kindness, and close ties, are like one body; when any part complains, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever." [Muslim],

Over 2,500 victims, close to 5,000 police complaints, nearly 2,000 of these complaints committed to trial courts, a police force that delayed filing FIRs, fudged records and even threatened witnesses, a government machinery so biased it would not mind all these cases falling through, and an environment so thick with fear that the Supreme Court had to devise a special witness protection programme, the first of its kind in the country. 

While the world celebrates a remarkable judgment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre, in which a member of legislative assembly has been sentenced to 28 years in jail, it is not short of a miracle that anybody, forget a powerful politician, is being handed down a punishment for Gujarat riots. It is never easy to prove guilt in riots cases because every case involves a large number of people. 

And then, if the administration, overtly or covertly, sides with the accused, the task becomes so much more difficult. You have the examples of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, where the big fish were never caught, and 1989 riots of Bhagalpur, where the victims never had any real closure. 

Unlike the ‘84 riots or the Bhagalpur Tragedy, in Gujarat, justice has begun to mark its presence because of people like Teesta.

Teesta and her consistent efforts have helped me gain justice,” says Shakila Ansari who lost seven family members including her husband, mother and sister in Ahmedabad. 
At times, I have got tired and wanted to give up, but she was the one who inspired me. It is because of her that we have got justice and our faith in this country and judicial system has been renewed,” weeps Shakila. 

For Teesta, it is the steadfastness of the survivors and the courage of the witnesses that keep her going. “Yes, sometimes the battle does get lonely,” she says. “But then I cannot just give up.Three rickshaw pullers from Aligarh donated their daily earnings to our struggle. It was the most precious contribution that CJP has received. Individuals like these inspire me to do my job,” she adds.

We all have been hearing on media, how relentless efforts of Civil Activists led by Teesta and co, has been instrumental in a significant judgment, which will hopefully serve as deterrent for the future riot mongers.  M. J. Akbar, author of “Riot After Riot” and editorial director of India Today, says “This is the first time that India’s judicial system has actually worked to hold people accountable for rioting. In the past, the guilty never got punished.
"The political calculus behind stoking sectarian clashes — long a staple for winning elections here — has fundamentally changed," political analysts say.
It's because of relentless efforts of Human Rights Orgnz (  CJP etc) that we are hearing not so easy good news on TVs. (We know how right-wing is powerful in terms of money and Politics).
This reminds me how, muslims used to win wars during Prophet (pbuh) times, despite their numbers being fractions that of enemies.
Difference is that today Allah has used brave Non-muslims to win a war for us, due to virtually absence of Muslim Leadership and role..
See further here 
Hindus fight to get justice for Muslims in Gujarat riots: The Great untold story of secular India 

 If we were to witness how activists led through a path full laden with thorns , hostile opposition, False allegations/Slandering, Test of patience and risk of breaking down / or instant bowing down to Political / psychological pressure, threat to Life, defamation & humiliation, certainly we would stop complaining of what we don't have and hopefully contribute more to society than what we do currently.

Go anywhere in India, the respect  CJP founder Teesta Setalvad's name commands, is unbelievable. People have seen her act, speak and passionately fight for Muslims.
In FIMA, Kuwait  Prize distributions Event . (Read further FIMA Honors Eminent Indian Personalities  )
Senior Lawyer of the Gujarat High Court, Suhel Tirmizi, memorized Judiciary’s attitude and the question once asked by a judge to him about his and his NGO’s intention of money making by appearing for the victims. He replied the judge that vultures make profit out of the dead bodies. He told that many of his friends left him alone after 2002 when he started appearing for victims. 
He dedicated his award to Teesta, who suffered of banishment and lots of defamation & humiliation. He described principles and inspiration he and his team has by quoting from Holy Quran in which explains ‘ Killing of a an innocent man is like killing the entire mankind, and saving an innocent man is like saving entire man kind’ and further he said the struggles they had is simple when compared to the suffering had by Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) and His companions. 

Know about Teesta and her husband Javed's contributions to almost all riots in India, 

"Everyone in our group is superb but it is still very, very isolating. You get lambasted with falsehoods. It would be hugely strengthening if there was a larger community to sustain the fight. One knows there are good people everywhere who are really appreciating what you are doing, but very few want to take on the system themselves and get into trouble. But you can only take on a system when you engage with it, and when you engage with the system, you risk yourself the most. The system works to tire you out; not give you justice. If you have grit and are lucky, you survive. If you are not lucky, you won’t."

The episode that happened in Assam recently, where millions of dollars poured in from abroad to rehabilate refugees, but on ground We see no Hope Nor results, It just proves that
More than Assistance in form of food and shelter, there is a greater need to ensure Peace in the region which is where LEGAL Justice and the need to maintain Human Rights institutions comes into picture.
If Muslims were to invest more in legal Justice, leaving No Stone Unturned to ensure Communal Forces are booked to Justice, certainly a day will come, when 
Muslims will be the Power holders in the country, where corruption and communalism will be absent inshallah.

Today with Naroda Patiya Justice, we are exprected to see some +ve  impacts on Muslims society
  • An avg muslim have a greater sense of safety and faith in Judicial system than he had before
  • This has ensured that Muslims don't need to feel alienated any more, and they can secure justice by engaging with the system, instead of fighting the system itself ( taking law in hands)
  • Post 2002, majority of Muslim community had no idea how to fight this battle. On every front, it is mostly the non-Muslim leadership that has guided the path towards justice. This experience will certainly inculcate leadership qualities among muslim youths
  • This judgment is a fitting tribute to to sense of justice and fair play, cherished ideals of brave IPS officers and activists, and the enormous sacrifices all have made in the line of duty, when most right-thinking people could not go beyond wringing hands and clutching heads in abject despair. This experience will certainly inculcate qualities of Sabr , Faith in AlMighty among muslim youths.
    Allah says 
     "The patience shown for the cause of Allah, however, is not a source of distress, but a great cause of pleasure and happiness"
  • Today Muslims are virtually absent in the very fields, which are needed for ensuring safety and Justice like IPS, Police, Activists, Management, Law.  This experience will certainly motivate muslim youths to  improve upon in terms of leadership, choices in education and profession,  where it matters most for them for bringing +ve change in Society. We should see more muslims joining IPS, Journalists, RTI (Right to Information), Law , Charity Orgnz etc in addition to engg and Doctors.
Last but not the least, Muslims now realise where there investment of money and time matters most. In the past avg Muslim invested too much building careers for the children, constructing houses, competiting in trade/possesions etc. But that investment got miserably crumbled, whenever riots occured, becoz muslims lacked unity / strategy to handle sudden outbursts of riots.
Today the need of the hour is to invest in security / safety and plan for survival in the worst of times. Such incidents which happened in Gujarat, are certainly replicable elsewhere in the country particularly where Muslims lack leadership and unity. There is a need for muslims to start investing time and money in those areas which matters the most in emergencies. First and foremost is the Islamic envrionment, where 
  • Each muslim neighbour or relative meets and address each other's concerns on a regular basis, works collectively to sort the problems. This sense of unity prevents  Communal forces to take advantage of disunity of muslims. 
  • Each muslim maintains good relationships with non-muslim neighbors . History is evident that during riots, the most thing which helped is the refuge given by non-muslim neighbors, when muslims needed shelter.
  • Each muslim regularly contributes money ( Voluntary sadaqa) and time in Social Causes like building/maintaining infrastructures of safety & rehabilitation like Charity Organisations or Human Rights Commissions etc, helping brilliant poor students in pursuing Higher education, Helping victims to fight legal case unto end, Helping widows and Orphans for their genuine concerns, helping unemployed to seek Job or helping them to start small business, Opening for Poors schools, hospitals, social welfare programs etc.
Having said all above, if each one of us atleast try to add an extra responsibilty to our tasks which helps Social cause, Inshallah day will come soon, when Muslims would Inshallah become the most patient, respectable and successful community in India and elsewhere, and Inshallah this will ensure communal leaders like Modi are booked by way of struggle for justice . We need to ensure orgns like  CJP thrive in toughest times, and there is also a need that Muslims open up 
such orgns in every state besides Gujarat and Maharashtra.

While we know, that in this world, none of us would like to serve free of cost or reduced price specifically for the cause of people who are not from our family or faith, but
here we must appreciate the sincere efforts of  CJP which has worked really hard to attract like minded dozens of non-Muslim top lawyers who appeared for the victim-survivors in the Supreme Court pro bono (professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service.). Its a fact that several moneyed Muslim organisations and individuals have stayed away from supporting  CJP for the simple reason that its not a Muslim organisation, despite the fact their major recipients of service are poor and helpless Muslim victims. Had it not been the effort / outreach of  CJP to seek help from United Nations, this organisation would have crumbled becoz of financial and political pressures.

If we hope to have active participation/Leadership of significant # of muslims in this Legal battle, inshallah we can witness Justice before BJP led by MODI (aspires to) come to power in 2014 , however if we lose this opportunity , it might just get too late for us.:(
How can Muslims as potential activists, approach these issues of social injustice?
  • God has appointed human beings as His stewards, duty bound to struggle to maintain the balance in the Universe; to establish justice and harmony within themselves, and between all humans and the rest of creation.
  • And to reverse discord, and challenge injustice and inequality, each human being has to cultivate and harvest a charitable disposition.
  • And so self-less charity and a sense of service should be ready to mobilize the Muslim community to respond to those who are suffering the world over.
In responding to the local and global situation, a Muslim is exhorted towards charitable behavior to his brethren in need.

He who sleeps on a full stomach whilst his neighbor goes hungry is not one of us.” (Saying of Prophet  pbuh)
Islam, through the actions of zakah and sadaqah, emphasizes the duty of charity for the sake of the poor, and the indebted, and also for orphans, etc.....
Allah says  "They ask thee how much they are to spend (in charity); Say: "What is beyond your needs." Thus doth Allah make clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may reflect.- NOBLE QURAN 2:219Prophet ( pbuh ) said, "Give Sadaqah (Charity) without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity."  (Tirmidhi #1887)

With this, I wanted to request each one of you to consider contributing something to  CJP , (adding a feather in its Cap), a non-profit orgn having an approved FCRA account (Foreign Contribution  Regulation Act) in India. 
if someone in good position ( as Lawyer / Activist etc), can join CJP Team, and share some tasks out of overloaded CJP Team, that would be the highest form of charity.

USA Residents
If you are in USA, you are given convenience to 
pay cheques to US non-profit organization "Prayas Inc" at address "1814 Wilmar Drive, Quincy, IL 62301, USA
while mentioning in memo section of the cheque "moneys be sent to Citizens for Justice and Peace", and get  receipts for tax exempt donations.
if you've an intention to contribute, please do so. best method would be send Cash or Cheque by Stamped Post or use your BillPay option in Bank, to send cheques where you won't need a stamp. Above is screenshot for what to fill in BillPay Option.
see Prayas activities Prayas Inc USA

Folks having Indian Bank 
You can also donate directly to CJP here CJP donate

Please look at the latest CJP newsletter in this link,
CJP Newsletter Sep 2012 citing achivements & Pending Cases
If interested in sharing the cause across like-minded citizens. Download & print below and distribute it for awareness and seeking contributions.

Some Quotes on gratitude to favors done by others on us.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said 
“He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi). 
“Whoever does you a favor, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him” 

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