Missing- Muslim reformist movement

Triple talaq ( men divorcing women saying talaq three times ) is to protect women from being killed by their unsatisfied husbands

Marriage is a contract in which both parties are not physically equal. Male is stronger and female is a weaker sex.
Polygamy as a social practice is not for gratifying men’s lust, but it is a social need.

These are some of the gems of wisdom  bullshit that came out of the top most Muslim law committee  of India representing all sections of Indian Muslims ,  The All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

They were opposing the attempt by the Supreme Court to reform primitive religious personal laws which is still prevalent in India. Actually Muslim personal laws in India are more primitive and anti woman than many of the Islamic countries. Any attempt by activists and authorities to reform it has been facing stiff resistance from the patriarchs who control the religion with iron hands and still want to live in with a skewed gender equation of 8th century Arabia.

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Women shine for India amidst a dismal Olympic performance

The Rio Olympics is almost over. India, the second most populous country in the world, will be coming home with just two medals, one silver and one bronze, unless a medal is won in the last wrestling event on Sunday.

Though India is never known as a great sporting nation, this performance was much poorer than the six medal haul including one gold and two silvers from London, 2012. But the silver lining of Rio 2016 for Indian sports was some sterling performance from women athletes. P V Sindhu won silver in badminton singles and Sakshi Mallik won bronze in 58 kilo gram freestyle wrestling. Dipa Karmarkar, first ever Indian athlete to qualify for Olympic gymnastics missed bronze by a whisker. Another notable performance was that of Lalita Babar, a 10th place finish in the 3000 metre steeplechase.

P V Sindhu (left) and Sakshi Malik

P V Sindhu (left) and Sakshi Malik

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Queer Pride parade of Kerala

Kozhikode (Calicut) hosted the seventh edition of Kerala’s Queer Pride parade on this Friday amidst a riot of colours and music.

May be for the first time in its history a member of Kerala’s legislative assembly, Congress leader V.T Balram inaugurated the Queer parade.

The parade loudly proclaimed the rights of LGBTQ community to live a normal and peaceful life in India, a country were homosexuality is still a criminal act.

The parade also protested Dalit oppression and use of pellet guns in Kashmir.

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At least a rape victim get some justice

He was in some way a celebrity. As a co-director of a popular political satirical film from Bollywood he was regarded highly. Fortunately that did not prevent him from being convicted of raping a research scholar who came to him for help in her research.

A special fast track court on Saturday convicted filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui of raping a research scholar from the United States in Delhi last year. Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain found Farooqui — who had been on bail — guilty under IPC Section 376 (punishment for rape), and ordered that he be taken into judicial custody.
The court will hear arguments on sentencing on August 2. The offence of rape entails a minimum punishment of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life. As of Saturday evening, the detailed conviction order was still awaited.
Farooqui, co-director of the 2010 satirical comedy Peepli (Live), and an exponent of the centuries’ old art of Urdu storytelling called Dastangoi, was accused of raping the 30-year-old research scholar from Columbia University at his home in south Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar on March 28, 2015.


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A petition to stop training in homeopathy !

Most people in India think homeopathy is accepted as science because Government is strongly promoting it.

Students in India who want to become a doctor write a tough entrance exam. Those who get top ranks usually choose  Scientific medicine while those who miss out by a mark or two choose to become a doctor in Ayurveda or Homeopathy. The students and their parents are made to believe that all are valid scientific ways of treatment. Once they become homeopathy doctors they will have to practice and defend homeopathy.


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Indian Church refuses to heed the last wish of a believer

Mary John Akhouri, a Christian Catholic lady died the other day in Mumbai, India. She was 94. Her last wish was to be buried in the premises of a church in which she was baptised at  her native place in Kerala next to her father’s grave.

But when her body was brought for burial the church authorities refused permission. Their objection was she had married a Hindu man.  They said that those who do not follow the Christian way of life will not get buried in the church.

Normally this issue might not have got much publicity,,but for the fact that the lady was the grandmother of a celebrity, the Bollywood film star Priyanka Chopra.

The actress Priyanka Chopra with her granny Mary John Akhouri

The actress Priyanka Chopra with her granny Mary John Akhouri

Church trustee Abraham PV told NDTV, “We could not bury her because after her marriage she lived like a non Christian – like a Hindu. After that she never came back to join us again. If she had given us a petition while she was alive, we would have done everything we could.”

The family was shocked. They insisted she was always a Christian.

 They insist that she was a regular church-goer and had even gone for confession and partaken of the Holy Eucharist just a couple of years ago in the very same church which refused to bury her next to her father, as per her last wish.

No amount of pleading could change the heart of the clergy. The family was about to go back to Mumbai with the body. Hearing their sorry plight, a Bishop arranged for burial at another church some distance away. Thus the funeral happened, not as per the wish of the deceased , but still in a church premise.

But then came a shocker. The kind hearted Bishop was suspended from his duties, allegedly for facilitating the burial.

Then the final twist. Fearing a backlash of bad publicity the church head reinstated the Bishop the very next day.

And still some people will say religions are humane !


12 million Indians had married before 10 years of age

Marrying before getting into double figures in age ?

May sound cruel and absurd. But not at all uncommon in India.

Latest analysis of 2011 census data reveals that 12 million Indians had married before they had reached double figures in age. Also around 120 million Indians had married before reaching the age of 18.

Reuters / Amit Dave


Many in India wrongly believe child marriages mostly happen among Muslim community. The data actually shows  Hindus has an edge over Muslims in child marriages. 84% of under 10 marriages are from among the Hindus (80% of the population) while 11% are from the Muslims (13.5% of population).

Women from urban areas, on average, marry more than two years later than their rural counterparts..

The report also noted that the level of teenage pregnancy and motherhood is nine times higher among women with no education than among women with 12 or more years of education.

As many as 5.4 million (44%) married children under 10 were illiterate–80% of them female–indicating how lower levels of education correlate with early marriage.

A silver lining in these bleak statistics is there is a trend of decrease in child marriages.

As many as 102 million girls (30% of female population) were married before 18 in 2011; the number was 119 million in 2001 (44% of female population), a decrease of 14 percentage points over the decade.

Among boys, 125 million were married before 21 years of age (42% of male population) in 2011; the number was 120 million in 2001 (49% of male population), a decrease of 7 percentage points over the decade.

The legal age for marriage in India is a respectable 18 for girls and 21 for boys. Unfortunately the Muslim personal law gives an exception for girls. They can marry under that law on reaching 15.

From UNICEF India

From UNICEF India

Child marriages are a violation of child rights. It has a negative impact on physical growth, health, mental and emotional development, and education opportunities. It also affects society as a whole since child marriage reinforces a cycle of poverty and perpetuates gender discrimination, illiteracy and malnutrition as well as high infant and maternal mortality rates

According to UNICEF there are many challenges in eliminating child marriages.

There are many causes of child marriage in India and multiple barriers to its elimination. Poverty, weak enforcement of laws, patriarchal social norms intended to ensure family honour are significant factors that increase the risk of girl being married off while still a child. Also, girls from poor households are more likely to marry as children, since marriage becomes a solution to reduce the size of the family. The cost of marriage plays a big role in families sliding further into poverty, and these high costs contribute to girls being forced to marry when other ceremonies are taking place in the family or when older siblings are being married.

India, especially the rural areas, need huge development, both economically and socially, in a much more equitable way, to completely eliminate this curse of child marriage.


Health budget cuts and bureaucratic delays threaten AIDS control program

Doctor, we are not getting the  anti AIDS drugs from government hospital. Can you somehow help?

I was asked this question in my clinic the other day.

Though I was surprised by that question, I was expecting such a situation ever since the Indian government announced big cuts in budgetary allocations for health in December 2014. Situation is becoming bad not only for AIDS program but many other public health programs.

Volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS) pose with HIV/AIDS awareness messages on their faces during a face painting competition ahead of the World AIDS Day in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 29, 2014. World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 every year. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)

Volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS) pose with HIV/AIDS awareness messages on their faces during a face painting competition ahead of the World AIDS Day in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 29, 2014. REUTERS/Ajay Verma

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She drove in with a 30 tonne cargo

People in my conservative town seldom see women drivers , except may be on two wheelers. If they see one, there is always a tendency by men on the road to bully them and pass bad comments on their driving.

The other day they had a huge surprise. They had their eyes jutting out of their sockets in astonishment as a lady drove into our town on a 14 wheel truck with a cargo weighing 30 tonnes ( around 66000 pounds).

She was Yogita Raghuvanshi, the first woman truck driver of India.

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