From ruling class to underclass

Updated 27 February 2017
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From ruling class to underclass

Six hundred and sixty six years separate the ascension of a victorious Mohammed Ghori to the throne of Delhi in 1192 and the banishment by the British of the defeated and decrepit Bahadur Shah Zafar to Rangoon in 1858. The curtains had closed upon Muslim rule in India, marking the beginning of the descent that has seen the erstwhile rulers sink from the top to the bottom of the pyramid.
To find ways to reverse this slide, we must understand the reasons for this loss of power and privilege. The first thing that one must understand about the advent of Muslim power in India is that it was not about religion but about conquest and empire. Muslim conquerors from the north came to India not with the purpose to proselytize, but with the mission to rule. The waxing and waning of power and empire is a common theme that runs through history and across geographies. Muslim rule in India too has to be understood in terms of the rise and fall of dynasties. The emergence of British power in India was both a cause (among many others) and a consequence of the demise of the Mughal dynasty. Muslims ruled as long as they possessed competitive advantage. They had superior skills, not only in warfare, but also in governance. The industrial revolution turned the tide in favor of the West. The British came to India with superiority in arms, military organization and competence in governance. They had a clear competitive advantage over those they displaced.
If the loss of competitive advantage lies at the root of the loss of power, regaining competitive advantage must be the route to empowerment. At the core of the quest for competitive advantage lie educational empowerment, technological advancement and the creation of skills that the market values. Thought leadership must provide the springboard for action. Muslim thought leaders must come together and try to assemble an agenda for empowerment that would determine a roadmap for regeneration and revival through the building of competitive advantages. Can an educational institution or a foundation take the initiative to host a think-tank of Muslim thought leaders in an effort to develop an implementable action program within the constitutional, economic and political ambit of our nation?


Syrian civil war

Updated 18 April 2017
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Syrian civil war

Since it broke out six years ago, the disastrous war in Syria has claimed about 400,000 lives, with the victims being more civilians than fighters. Of the civilians, the most affected are women and children. Peace is shattered in and around Syria only to safeguard the most selfish monster in the world: Bashar Assad.
According to a UNICEF report, grave violations against Syrian children during the war have been recorded. The children in Syria are not only maimed and killed as a result of bombings but also forcefully recruited to be part of the conflict. Children as young as 7 years old are pushed into the front line as fighters, suicide bombers and executioners! The actual figures of those injured, dead and forcefully-recruited children are far higher than in the UNICEF report.
The innocent children “used” in the conflict have had the right to blossom, the right to enjoy life and the right to be on a play-ground torn from them. They have been deprived of the right to education and, according to UNICEF, nearly two million children have been forced to stop their education with one-third of school buildings rendered inoperative due to destruction.
With their often physically crippled parents, the children have to be the sole bread-winners in nearly 75 percent of Syrian households. Unwillingly, the children are forced to serve as garbage collectors, hairdressers and cleaners. Keeping aside what Assad gets out of this war, the beneficiaries of the war are weapon manufacturers who may well be dubbed parasites living on the blood of innocents.
Assad, the inhuman butcher of humanity, does not care what the world says, opines, suggests and warns about the catastrophic war in Syria. More than the ruinous acts of Assad, Russia and Iran, it shocks, grieves and pains to see that the world and the Muslim world has done nothing to stop the butcher of this century from his brutal and barbaric destruction of his own nation and his own people.