January 18, 2014

Another Magazine Becomes Necessary

Marabuvazhi, Edition 1, January 2014

Some news hogs all attention while a lot goes unnoticed. There are 200 nations in this beautiful world but only twenty nations get importance in news world. India has thirty states. Some three or five states dominate the news space. Though there are over forty political parties, only seven or eight parties have their say in media. The interests and intentions of industrialists define the content of news. Moot, pointless news reach the masses everyday without fail. In these times when media plays an expansive role in the constructive development of human society, we see a need to increase our efforts. Today, here, a friendly arm stretches towards honest journalists.
Social change is not going to come from targeting individuals or focusing on isolated events. Complications are deepening everyday. Corruption remains unrelenting. Press freedom is repeatedly harmed. Onus is on everyone to come out of pettiness and to preserve humanity. Escapism is not an option. Globalization is throwing open new challenges everyday and is eagerly smacking its lips. Media grows in number, but news pertaining to SC, ST, MBC, BC, and minority sections continue to be overlooked.
Enemies keep ambushing from unseen corridors and without doubt taste success as well. Media standard is going down. Sixty six years of freedom has taught us to ask for more. Quest and search continues. Nation has advanced in many areas, but benefits have not reached equally or easily to all sections. Inclusive growth still remains a target. A large population is kept on the edges.
Twenty percent upper class retain wealth and power. Another twenty percent appease them and eke out a living under their shadows. Others are trampled. This is the ground reality. Let us try to change it. God will provide strength. People will extend support.

October 07, 2013


Part 2 of the speech given by writer A.M. Rasool Mohideen

Editorials are not addressing the issue of inclusive growth. There are many families in Tamilnadu where no member has ever landed a government job. There are also families where four members are working in government offices. Periyar marched for reservation. Now four generations have grown. Husband, wife, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law are earning handsome salaries. Another family belonging to the same caste ekes out a living from herding. 65 years have passed. Alternate ideas should emerge.
We receive 80 private TV channels for which we are having to pay 150 rupees per month. But there is visible dearth of ideas. It seems difficult to watch for 10 minutes. Perarignar Anna considered his evening meetings as university classes. It is important to spread news. A person cannot read 200 magazines.
Discussion forums are essential. Unfortunately, politics enters the movement when election approaches. Someone infiltrates and hijacks the forum towards one side. Neutral discussion becomes the casualty.
It is important to have invisible members. There were countless secret members for the revolution championed by Periyar.
We form a halo around each head. He is junior to me. There is divide between journalists working in English medium and Tamil medium. When we reject someone, we will be equally rejected.
Students studying in institutions run by Tamilians and backward section stand divided. They hang around as different groups within the campus based on whether they got merit seats or donation seats, or they came through the trust, students from English medium schools and Tamil medium schools, students belonging to MBC or marginalized sections. The social revolution introduced by Periyar has not materialized in practice. Educated people form more groups.
An English newspaper was bankrupt and was about to be closed. Jamaal Mohammed Rauthar donated 10000 rupees. Its value today is 100 crore rupees. An alternate, competent English newspaper has not yet emerged in Tamilnadu. There are many media experts and rich people. But a competent newspaper has not come up.
Newspapers coming out of Tamilnadu do not advocate severe punishment for the guilty. Journalists should support strong punishment for criminals.
When government spends 100 rupees, 15 rupees reaches the hands of actual beneficiary. Politicians, bureaucrats, middlemen eat away 85 rupees. What is the way to correct this.
450 lakh crore rupees of black money is stashed abroad and remains useless. Give support to bring this out.
Neighboring country spends two lakh crore rupees annually for military. Our country spends two lakh crore rupees. Agents are causing ruckus. SAARC should be leveraged to bring peace in the subcontinent. This will put an end to fishermen problem and bring solution to Yalpanam issue as well.
Son becomes MP when a minister passes away. Dynasty continues. A person with no merit becomes MP, while journalists with all qualifications and knowledge pay silent watch. This is a tragedy. Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley are intellectuals. But we did not make use of them.
120 MLAs and 220 MPs decide the fate of the people. Parliament can be conducted in Chennai. All that is needed is a hall with seating capacity of 750. Sacredness need not be attributed to a building. A MP removes paper from the hands of Honorable Narayanaswamy and tears it apart. We, Tamilians, did not feel outraged.
P. Chidambaram is occupying a very high position. Tamilians are not proud of him. We belittle him as a Congressman or a Chettiar. Subramania Swamy won MP seat with the support of Madurai people. But he was not used for the upliftment of Tamil society. He was labeled as a Brahmin. We failed to recognize Dayanithi Maran.
New rich people have emerged in recent times from MBC, BC and Dalit sections. Income tax list shall be monitored. Tamilnadu has developed in 65 years. Youngsters from Andhra, Bihar descend on Chennai considering it as Dubai. Many officers in the nerve centers in Delhi are from Tamil soil. It is the job of journalist to make use of meritorious people. Let us be open to new ideas.

September 30, 2013


Part 1 of the speech given by writer A.M. Rasool Mohideen.

Our words are important. Arrangement for voice recording shows the interest among the audience. We should arrive at accurate measurement on ourselves. This will spare us troubles. My words are as noteworthy as the words of Hon’ble Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherji, the Chief Minister or the Governor. A journalist will not be disgraced after reaching this standard. He should have self respect. That is the cornerstone of Periyar EVR's teachings.
Thiruvalluvar goes a step further and lays down the principle of life. 'Nerunal ulanoruvan inrillai' ( Thirukkural 336). People come and go. The world moves on with this pride. Grasping this reality will save us from ego. This mentality should be our target. Journalism is a difficult field. Situation was same even in the times of Gandhiji and Nehruji. The history of journalism in England also presents us a history of service. This is in fact swimming against the tide.
Some have seen success, some have seen money and some have held the world under their sway. Many have sacrificed and many have devoted their all. Palestine writer Edward Said puts this in apt words. "I have chosen the politics of loss". Professor Marx cited these words in a tribute article written during the demise of Edward Said.
 Zho Lipo, a Chinese poet, has given a guideline. "A writer should not write sitting cosy in a closed room. It will create grave, unpardonable mistakes". Prophet of Islam says in the same spirit. Learning and teaching should go hand in hand. It is inappropriate to say that I will only preach, give commands and offer suggestions.
Journalist should simultaneously learn and teach. One should not become complacent after joining a big news organization.
An event was organized in Coimbatore to acknowledge the contributions of six people to the society. Swami Dayananda Saraswathi presided over the function. Five experts gracefully accepted the appreciation. But editor of a newspaper went on narrating his history. He revealed the relation he enjoyed with the Prime Minister. Spiritual maturity or social conscience was not reflected in his words. The journalist did not understand the theme of the event.
A journalist should grasp the expectations and then express his opinions. Growth and fall of journalism, achievements and failures, should be expressed in correct proportions.
One should enter journalism with proper mindset. Twenty years back, Tughlak ran articles on career guidance. It framed guidelines for journalism. A person entering journalism should possess a house, vehicle and money to spend. He should not expect livelihood from journalism. Otherwise he will become a traitor and burden to the field. I am in this field from 1969. I know length and breadth of this field.
A journalist should not reveal secrets. Specific incidents can be shared with people who meet certain standards. A journalist will meet people of different nature routinely and should be conscious of what he says.
A journalist becomes privy to many secrets. This is a sacred mission. It is our complete faith that this is the best way to serve humanity. But we should have the confidence, mental clarity and expertise for this. This is a penance. We should have this in the back our mind even while conversing with wife or even while sleeping. I have come to save this world. I will do what Jesus Christ and Prophet did. I will continue from where Gandhiji and Periyar left. This should be our heartbeat.
Such people will succeed. Their success will be known only to them and to those who benefited from them. It is a secret understanding. He has helped residents of a poor locality. He has supported an educational mission. He anchored an union struggle. He put a Chief Minister in their place. But these things should not be disclosed. That is the rule of the game. Journalism is more powerful than an atom bomb, faster than poison and more subtle than nano technology.
You are not alone. You are part of a big universe and you represent it. You can give course correction to America. You can divide Russia into six pieces. You can bring down a government. You can threaten a Prime Minister. All this is possible. Condition is that you should be wholeheartedly dedicated to this field. You should not have doubts. They pay me less. This should not be in your mind.


September 24, 2013

Discussion on editorials

A discussion on the role played by media was conducted in Chitandripet, Chennai, on 25th August. Please hear the speeches below.

Translation of the speech will be posted in this blog shortly.

July 27, 2013

Man Seeks Perfection

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan speech
Published in Muslim Murasu, July 2013

Prophet (s.a.w.s) said, “addunya khuliqat lakum wa antum khuliqtum lil aakhira”. The world is created for human beings and human beings are created for the hereafter.
Allah has put in place principle of conversion in this world. Initially an object will be in crude form. It goes through a process to become a significant thing. It applies for everything. Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen. Glass is formed from silica sand. One converts into another.
This principle should be employed to understand the Quran. Let us re-read the Hadith. “Heaven is created for you and you are created for heaven”.
Man is a profound creation. He desires a perfect world. This desire is deeply etched in every human mind. In truth, he is in search of heaven. But he, by mistake, falls for car, bungalow, money, fame, political power and strength.
He forsakes them after attaining them. This is not what I wanted. He realizes only after attaining them that they don’t provide fulfillment.
Man is the seeking animal and heaven is his quest. Every child is born with immense potential. Every day, nearly one and half lakh people pass away. Average life span is seventy years. Heaven is not merely a matter of faith. It is what explains human life.
A radio program starts with the comment ‘wonderful morning’. Only man can utter such aesthetic words. He should not stop with them. Enjoying morning beauty is very minimal utilization of his potential.
We read of corruption, murder and robbery in newspapers. Man demands a world free of corruption and evil. He expects good things.
Surah Nisa, 4, verse 69 – ‘wa hasuna ulaika rafeeqaa’. They are amazing friends. One can get good friends in heaven. Man wants a world free of accident or threat. He expects peace of mind from conversation. He hates being cheated. He desires such a world.
Everything is created in pair. We have got the desire. Its other half is heaven.
Surah Baqara, 2, verse 32 – ‘laa ilmalana illa maa allamtana’. Angels only know what was taught to them. Man acquires wisdom. Surah Zaariyaat, 51, verse 56 – ‘wama khalaqtul jinna wal insa illa liya’budoon’.
Knowledge of angels is provided by God. Man attains Maarifat (enlightenment) through his knowledge, thinking and hard work. Allah will select such people and make them enter heaven.
Maarifat is a world in itself. Its example is a tree inside a seed. Good word is compared to a tree.
Surah Ibrahim, 14, verse 24 – ‘kalimatan tayyibatan kashajaratin tayyibatin’. It is a tree whose root is firmly fixed and its branches reach the heaven.
Surah Qamar, 54, verse 55 – ‘fee maq’adi sidqin inda maleekin muqtadirin’. They will be seated in the presence of the All Powerful. That is a seat of truth. They would have found and realized the truth.
Heaven is reward for pure ones. Surah Taha, 20, verse 76 – ‘zaalika jazaau man tazakkaa’. Heaven is the reward for those who purify themselves. Pure character and wisdom will grow like a seed. Purity grows and spreads. Such people will make discoveries everyday and will be beneficial. Their thoughts will be fruitful.
Ayisha (rali) said, “kaana rasoolullahi yazkurullaha alaa kulli aayaanihi’. Prophet will be in Zikr all the time. Every experience will trigger his mind and open sluice gates of wisdom. Zikr is not mere recitation of Subhanallah or Alhamdulillah.
Water does not come from tap. Tap is a receiving point. Organs in our body cannot be useful on their own. Eye receives light from Allah. Lungs received oxygen from Allah. God helps seventy eight organs in our body to work fine. Man dies when the supply is stopped. A person unaware of the hereafter will underestimate the blessings of God. Seeker of heaven is in slumber and neglect.
Surah Dahr, 76, verse 27 – ‘yuhibboonal aajilata wayazaroona waraa’ahum yawman shaqeelaa’. They love the fleeting life and put away behind them a hard day. Surah Saaffaat, 37, verse 61 –‘limishli haazaa falya’malil aamiloon’. Let those who strive, strive for the hereafter. Spend your potential for heaven. Make yourself a deserving candidate.
Man desires perfection. This world is full of imperfections. This world can’t satisfy him. We should not celebrate birth day. We can celebrate death day everyday. This can be our last day. Understand the urgency.

Living With Water And Dates

Weekly speech at Tableeghi Markaz, Tolichowki, Hyderabad
Published in Muslim Murasu, July 2013

Firm faith is essential to practice religion in our day to day activities. People who lack in faith cannot do good deeds. Allah illustrates its importance throughout the entire Quran.
Surah Ala Imra, 3, verse 154 – ‘qul innal amra kullahu lillahi’. God disposes all affairs.
Surah Maaida, 5, verse 19 – ‘yakhluqu maa yashaau’. Allah creates what He desires.
Surah Baqara, 2, verse 212 – ‘yarzuqu manyashaau bigairi hisaab’. Allah bestows without measure on whom He pleases.
Surah Haj, 22, verse 14 – ‘innallaha yaf’alu maa yureed’. Allah does what He wishes.
Surah Nahl, 16, verse 93 – ‘yudillu manyashaau wayahdi manyashaau’. He leaves straying whom He pleases and He guides whom He pleases.
We have to work and build the faith that will propel good actions.
Surah Baqara, 2, verse 259 – ‘qaala a’lamu annallaha alaa kulli shaiyin qadeer’. I have learnt that Allah has power over all things.
Prophet Uzair was once passing through a hamlet that was in utter ruins. A question crossed his mind as to how God will bring it to life after this condition. Allah made him die. He thought that he was asleep only for a day or a part of a day. He was asked to see his food that was kept intact, but his donkey had completely decomposed. Its bones were again brought together and the donkey was brought alive. Now he understood the power of God.
Prophet Ibrahim questioned about dead people. Surah Baqara, 2, verse 260 – ‘rabbi arinee kaifa tuhyil mawtaa’. My Lord! Show me how you give life to the dead. ‘qaala awalam toomin’. Don’t you believe it. He replied, ‘qaala balaa walaakin liyatmainna qalbee’. I do believe, but I need satisfaction.
He was asked to domesticate four birds, kill them, mix their meet and put them on four hills. Now call by their names and they will fly and come to you alive.
Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail both desired to fulfill the sacrifice. But the knife did not cut. Even our desires are under the sway of Allah’s desires.
Surah Dahr, 76, verse 30 – ‘wamaa tashaaoona illa anyashaa allahu’. You will not wish except as God wishes. Prophet worked hard to build faith among his companions. They understood the ideology.
Prophet prayed for complete faith. ‘inni as’aluka imaanan qaamilaa’. Only unwavering faith can breath religion into our life. It is duty on each of us to pray for firm belief.
Salaat, fasting and Haj are not sufficient. Entire life should be spent in the remembrance of Allah.
Traveling in those days in desert terrain was extremely difficult. Abu Rahana (rali) came home at night from his journey. He wanted to pray two Raqaat. Fajr dawned by the time he ended his prayer.
Sahabas asked directly from the treasure of Allah. Their prayers helped. It was easy for them to sacrifice and suffer. Numerous wounds were found on the body of a Sahaba while dressing his corpse.
Allah’s promises are for those who have perfected their faith. Surah Baqara, 2, verse 208 – ‘udkhuloo fissilmi qaaffa’. Enter into Islam whole-heartedly.
Prophet said, ‘Thirty, thirty days have passed without anything to eat in my house or Bilal’s house’. Ayisha (rali) said, “We saw first crescent, second crescent , third crescent. There was no cooking in any of the houses of Prophet. We lived with water and dates”.
Surah Kahf, 18, verse 6 – ‘fala’allaka baakhiun nafsaka’. Prophet worked extremely hard. It looked he may destruct himself.