Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

Updated 11 June 2014

Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

A visiting youth activist from the Indian subcontinent said here on Tuesday that there is a strong feeling of insecurity among the Muslim community in India under the premiership of Narendra Modi.
Aloor Shanavas from Tamil Nadu, a well-known script writer and prominent activist in India, expressed these sentiments to Arab News during his visit to Riyadh.
Shanavas has written six books and directed three film documentaries to highlight the social problems in the country.
The events of 1990s — anti-Muslim violence such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the Mumbai riots, the anti-dalit violence mainly in Kodiyankulam and Thinniyam, and atrocities like burning alive of a Christian priest and his young children — greatly affected Shanavas. He realized the importance of fighting for the cause of minority communities and the oppressed and marginalized people. He became the voice of the voiceless through his writings, speeches and the visual media.
His compilation of poems entitled ‘Thottaakkal,’ dealing with the Gujarat genocide 2002, spread huge shockwaves in the Tamil milieu. Shanawaz has participated in a lot of programs in several TV channels from 2003 to 2006.
After the reports of committees headed by Justice Sachar and Justice Ranganath Misra, whose findings showed that Indian Muslims lagged behind even the Dalits in the fields of employment and power — were released, Shanavas directed and released a full-length documentary ‘Pirappurimi’ (birth right) highlighting the need for special reservation for Muslims. At a function held in Chennai on May 27, 2006 Parithi Ilamvazhudhi, the then Minister for Information released the documentary.
“Our Muslims have still not forgotten the massacre of their brethren in Gujarat for which Modi was largely responsible. Nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed in this genocide,” he said, adding that is the reason they are in a dilemma as to what will become of the community following Modi’s premiership.
However, he added that there can be a change in Modi’s attitude after the premiership. “It is yet to be seen,” he added.
He lamented as to why the voice of this massacre of Muslims in Gujarat was not heard. He stressed that the Muslim lobbying was not as strong as the propaganda for the killers. He said the Indian Muslims youths have a greater role to voice their opinion on matters affecting their community.
Although Modi won the majority of electoral seats in the last elections, only 30 percent of the voters were for him while the remaining 70 percent was against him.
He propagated the idea of Muslims co-existing peacefully with other communities in India. But he insisted that Muslims should be given their share in the government’s allocation of jobs and other facilities entitled for the minority community.
Shanavas has traveled to Sri Lanka, Qatar, Malaysia, Kuwait and Penang and addressed literary and social seminars. On Friday, he is slated to address his community members in a city hotel in the capital.

Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

Updated 15 December 2018

Saudi Arabia ‘racing into the future’ with Formula E

  • A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally
  • “This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

RIYADH: Formula E is one for the books. Attracting fans from all over the world, the mega event — held in the historic Saudi town of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is set to revolutionize motorsports by using only electric race cars. 

Officially known as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the race expects to draw 40,000 attendees, with access not only to the race but also to the Kingdom’s largest ever festival for music, entertainment and cultural activities.

A first for Saudi Arabia and the region, the event’s magnitude reflects the Kingdom’s goal of hosting major events and promoting them domestically and globally.

A milestone was marked as Bandar Alesayi and Ahmed bin Khanen became the first Saudi I-Pace eTrophy racers, sponsored by the General Sports Authority (GSA). 

Both drivers predict increased grassroots support in the Kingdom for youths to train in carting and race-car driving.  

At 1.76 miles long with 21 corners, the track is somewhat tricky for first-time Formula E drivers.

“The system is like Mario Bros when they get the little star and go faster,” said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. The new electric circuit in Saudi Arabia has been hailed as one of the best Formula E tracks.

The three-day event is hosting some of the world’s top singers, including Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias, Amr Diab, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and One Republic, along with DJ EJ. 

“This is unprecedented and fabulous,” one concert-goer said. Another said: “I can’t believe I’m in Saudi Arabia.” 

Outside the venue, Al-Bujairy, one of Ad Diriyah’s historic areas, hosts high-end restaurants, cafes and local designer outlets overlooking the historic district of At-Turaif, which was once home to the Saudi royal family and has newly opened for visitors.

Another area of interest is the Family Zone, with many events and activities to entertain all age groups. Men, women and children are given different driving experiences.

In Ad Diriyah’s Formula E, only one car is allowed per driver instead of two, making pit stops more crucial in terms of timing.  

“Attack mode” gives cars a temporary power boost from 200 to 225 kilowatts, equivalent to 268-302 horsepower. Drivers need to move to a certain area on the track to activate this mode.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that’s being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, driven forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, told Arab News.