Kerala muslim impregnates daughter, arrested

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 29, 2013, DHNS:

Police arrested a middle-aged man for raping and getting his daughter pregnant. The girl, who gave birth to a baby girl last week, is said to be safe with her mother.

Jamal Hameed, 40, who now lives in Thrissur, was arrested last Thursday following a complaint lodged by his wife. His friend, Abdul Khadar, was also arrested in connection with the case.

Police said Hameed had been abusing his daughter from his first wife for nearly a year and a half. As his he learnt about her pregnancy, he moved the family from Farook in Kozhikode to Thrissur.

He told his wife that the girl had a tumour in her abdomen and, as the pregnancy advanced, he further misled her by saying he was taking her to Kasargod to remove the tumour, while the girl was actually taken to Hyderabad to secretly give birth to the baby. Hameed then gave the newborn to his friend Abdul Khadar. Since Hameed did not contact his wife, she lodged a complaint with the police.

Is Vishwaroopam caught in political chessboard?


 By Ranganaathan
Chennai witnessed protests by TMMK-Muslim during the 2nd Week of September 2012 .  The protests were directed at the US Embassy and against the Movie produced in USA.  The protests continued for few days, on 19th September 2012 it turned violence, the protests were organized by TMMK & 20 other Muslim outfits including Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi  whose leader is an MP & close to UPA Chairperson through DMK Supremo.
TN political situation is witnessing a change, recently PMK –An OBC party, started a movement to consolidate the OBC’s in the state.
The ‘Political Chanakya’  of DMK  has chance of losing his traditional voters to ADMK, other parties due family feuds & corruption issue. VCK as a party is also fast losing its credibility due to violent protests, attacks  & highly critical comments on other communities.
Enter Vishwaroopam,  movie based on Af-Pak, obviously portraying Jihad.  Kamalhassan has scripted, Directed & Acted in the movie.  All seemed to be well till he planned to preview the movie through DTH in India,  few hours before it hit the cinema.  The Cinema owners in TN, who have always been organized very well opposed the DTH preview.  There was also news that DTH providers could not effectively market the movie.  At last Kamal Hassan decided to release the movie on 23rd Jan 2013, in TN all through theatres & DTH simulataneously.   At this juncture another Muslim outfit called Tamilnadu Thouheed Jamat (TNJT) & other groups protested against portraying of Muslims as terrorists in the Movie,  submitted petition to ban the movie.  The TN Govt.  banned the movie for 15 days, after which most of us have been following the news about Vishwaroopam, huge amount of support from all sides for KamalHassan.  As usual the TN Govt. led by Jayalalitha has been at the receiving end from the film industry, opposition parties & general public.  The usual rhetoric of JJ being arrogant, rumors of her banning the movie due to Kamal’s statement on PC, that Kamal had promised TV rights to Jaya TV, later sealed the deal with Vijay TV & more.
Media, Celebrities & prominent citizens have come down heavily on JJ, with all sort of remarks which we always hear when she is the CM.
Now there are two possibilities, First –Lift the ban.
All the media, Film industry and Rights folks will be happy.  Movie will be screened,  Muslim outfits will protest & mostly turn violent.  Police may have to use force to control the riots/mobs, which in turn to more virulent campaign & may become a Law & Order issue. Don’t be surprised if the same protests are synchronized across India.  JJ losses vote bank, LS
Second possibility, continue with the ban, keep the protestors at bay, but the whole film industry, media & Rights folk will keep hollering of their ‘Artisitic’ Rights being suppressed.
Both the possibilities will not be favorable for Jayalalitha.  Either way she gets the end of the stick.
Who can script such an episode?   If anyone in India can, it can be one & Only ‘Political Chanakya’ .
VCK is part of DMK alliance with Cong in UPA.  VCK instigates the Muslim Organizations,  this is a double edged sword for JJ. Have to handle with care.
Ban the movie –All of our activists, Film industry, common man blame JJ of being arrogant, stifling democracy.
Screen the movie- JJ can be dismissed for Law & order, action against minority groups & loss of Vote bank during LS 2014.
Kamal Hassan is enacting the script very well, after he is ‘Ulaga Nayagan’.

Have The Muslims Ignored Kabir?

27 Jan 2013 | By VBRAWAT


As the ‘Humanise India’ journey started from Kabirchaura, there were some uncomfortable questions which we so far have often ignored and sidelined. The stories that we had heard in our childhood and still promoted are that when Kabir died there was a big dispute between the Hindus and Muslims on his ‘religious’ identity. The Muslims wanted to bury him and the Hindus wanted to cremate him. This is the supreme irony that we are told that when the issue did not resolve, Kabir’s body turned to flowers, which both the Hindus and Muslims divided among them and cremated according to their beliefs.

“Is it possible that a body changes to flowers after death,” asks the Muttawali of the ‘Mazar’of Kabir at Magahar?

While ‘secularists’ may like to present the picture of the Kabir Samadhi Sthal at Magahar as a complete photo-op of pluralism and cultural syncretism in India where Mosque and temple stand together in absolute harmony, the things are not as simple as they are being made out. A contrast is visible when you visit the ‘Hindu Samadhi’ of Kabir and compare it with the ‘Mazar’ adjacent to it. The latter is suffering in the absence of support from the government and others. In fact, the ArcheologicalSurvey of India had demolished a large portion of it but the discrimination between the two is perfect and absolute.

One of my curiosities about Kabir has been about his birth and acceptability among his people. I go to Muttawali Shabir Hussein who is quietly sitting in front of the place where according to him Kabir was buried. He claims to belong to a family where Kabir had stayed and his forefathers served his Mazar with great devotion. Shabir Hussein is a disappointed person today. “We talk of secularism, Hindu Muslim brotherhood but where is it? Why are people not giving this place their due?” He knows that every year there are so many festivities and huge funds come for the celebration of Kabir Mahotsav but not a single penny is spent on developing the mosque.

The Kabir math has Hindu literature and all his ‘Dohas’ are there but at the Mazar of Kabir, not a single sentence or preaching of Kabir is written. A few things are mentioned in Arabic and I ask Shabir Hussein as to what he thinks about the whole process and deification of Kabir now.

His only concern is that the government and people have not respected him despite the fact Kabir was buried at the place he sits. He had devoted his life and his father too had for the service of ‘Sahib’. Your complaint may be true with Hindus but why don’t Muslims come here and respect Kabir, I ask? “Muslims believe in ‘tawarikh’ and the Hindus have so much distorted things about Kabir that no Muslim is ready to accept him,” he says.

“How can a Muslim accept a person whose ‘parents’ are not known. Sometimes, it is said that he was born to a Brahmin widow… at others something else. When history is distorted, there is no chance of acceptability of a person in the community and hence Kabir seems to have become victim of this. He spoke against superstition and supreme irony is that he has been made a miracle man today.”

(One of the mythical depictions of Kabir’s birth; Courtesy:

The mosque adjacent to the Samadhisthal does not portray anything of Kabir as according to the Muttawali Shabir Hussein, Kabir was not a social reformer but a ‘Wali’. He does not want to remember Kabir as a social reformer. “How could he write so many things when he was illiterate,” asked the Muttawali. And he has his own arguments when I said how he felt about Kabir saying, “Kankar pathar jori ke masjid layi banay, taa chadhi mullah bang de kya bahro huo khuday.”

Shabir is unimpressed with this and asks if he indeed said this. “Are the temples not made of kankar and pathar?” but I countered him about the noise that the mullahs make. Shabir Hussein feels that all this was created later and is actually distorted version of things in the name of Kabir. He reiterates his views that kabir was a great ‘wali’ and ‘elderly’ man who has miraculous powers.

While I agreed to many things that Shabir Hussein said, I felt he is sandwiched between the Hindu secularists and his own community. The Muslims are not ready to accept the reformist Kabir at all apart from his issues related to ‘birth’ and ‘khari khari’. I told Shabir Hussein that it would have been great to see Muslims coming to Kabir but that is not happening. He was a Julaha, a weaver and born in that community and spoke against social evil but the community has not accepted him as he did not harp on that identity.

Is it important for Muslims to know about the identity of a person to respect or revere them? Why have Muslims not owned him even if Kabir talked about universal brotherhood and was against all forms of discrimination? It is also true that with the Deobandi ideology growing among the Islamic sects, the idea of Mazar is being presented as non-Islamic and hence it is the struggle of being ‘pragmatist’ as well as being part of Islam? This internal dynamism has forced him not to make Kabir as a reformer but as a ‘wali’ which not acceptable to everybody.

It is true that Kabir’s Hinduisation process is complete at the moment. The statue of Kabir that former chief minister Ms Mayawati inaugurated is decorated with a white ‘tikka’ on his forehead. Now various statues of Kabir have moar pankh (peacock feather) on his forehead like Krishna. In the Hindu Kabir Sthal there are numerous quotes and literature being added. Kabir Mahotsava is being organized every year. Of course, the Hindus can be blamed for being selective and denying Kabir his identity in relations to Muslims.

(Saint Kabir depicted with a peacock feather; Courtesy:

Now, claims are also being made that he was a Buddhist as many of his preaching are quite close to Buddha’s ideals of nonviolence and international brotherhood. The Kabir’s mazar is languishing because of neglect both from the Muslims-Hindus as well as secularists who mythicize his death into a ‘secular miracle’.

It is ironical that in today’s conflicting times when we have hatred all around and when we should have respected Kabir’s preachings and bold sayings, his ‘claimants’ want to convert him to mythological figure and make money out of him.

It is meaningless to label him as a Wali and not a social reformer. Shabir Hussein deserves listening but he also needs to change his mind-set to bring Muslims to great ideals of Kabir. You cannot disown a person just because you do not know his whereabouts.

We respect Kabir not because he was a Hindu or a Muslim but a human being who preached love and affection and had the courage to speak against all forms of oppression without any hesitation. It needs a lot of courage and conviction to be so, and Kabir is India’s shining example of humanist heritage and it is our duty to revive his great legacy and take it to the people.

Muslims, Hindus, secularists, atheists, humanists – all will gain from  understanding Kabir who was hated by the fundamentalists of all kinds but none could not challenge his authority as he remained down to earth, closely associated with the masses.

Such legendary icons cannot be confined to the narrow confines of their birth-based identities. Humanity gains from their knowledge and work. It is sad that we are still dividing Kabir on those narrow lines which he opposed though out his life and relating him to myths and miracles against which he stood tall. It is time that people of India own Kabir and follow his high traditions of mutual love and rejection of extremists ideologies.

(Saint Kabir depicted like a Hindu deity; Courtesy:

Sri T.R. Mahalingam Concert

Sri T.R. Mahalingam – Flute
Smt Dwaram Mangathayaru – Violin
Sri Mannargudi Easwaran – Mridangam
Sri Harishankar – Kanjira
Sri Pudukottai Mahadevan – Morsing

His students: Sri L. Sundaram (I think) and Sri N. Ramani are behind him.

This is believed to be a recording of Sri T.R. Mahalingam’s last concert on Dec. 31, 1985

part 1

part 2

T R Mahalingam – God at One’s Fingertips – a profile by Anita Nair

It is early in the day; early in the year 1986.

I stand outside a house in a suburb of Chennai. A nondescript house that resembles the houses on either side in its very faded ordinariness. There is a metal gate. I feel a sudden shiver of anxiety as I open the gate and step in.

I reach for the calling bell. It rings once. There is no response. I wait for a few minutes and ring again.

I continue to wait. After a long while, someone opens the door and through a crack between wood and wall peers.

“Is he here?” I ask.

“How did you know he is here?” the girl asks me.

“The magazine said I would find him here,” I say.

“He is not well. He doesn’t meet people anymore,” she opens the door a further fraction of an inch.

The day is already warm. I feel sweat pop up on my forehead. I can’t give up now, I think.

“I won’t take long,” I say. “I promise. I will go away the moment he is tired and wants to rest…”

“I don’t know. I have to ask him,” she says.


He is hunched on his bed, plump cushions piled around him, elbows leaning on bare steel table in front as he nurses a drink and chews disinterestedly on a soggy pappad. At 9 in the morning, T R Mahalingam, 60, Flute Mali, as he is known and revered, is bleary eyed and uncommunicative.

“I am not interested in awards and fame.” He says abruptly. (Fans and musicians shrugged resignedly when Mali returned the Padma Bhushan awarded to him recently; they have become inured to the genius’ eccentricities.)

His face softens slyly as his niece comes into the room. “Let me have another drink.” He wheedles.

She refuses and he becomes momentarily garrulous. “I am naturally inclined towards philosophy and such things like awards hardly count. I don’t know if the award is for my musical merit or something else. Anyway I don’t care at all.”

He lapses into a moody silence and suddenly pulls at his sleeve to show a surgical scar on his upper arm – a fall had smashed the bone and it had to be grafted. “It’s going to take six months to heal.” He says laconically. It gives him another excuse not to play.

It has become legendary, the way Mali plays truant at his concerts. Later his chief disciple Sundaram explains, “Mali says he sees god within five minutes of playing – he thinks it is meaningless to continue after that and stops.

“Though it is not always for such divine reasons that he plays hooky.’ admits Sundaram. “He is an egotist. At the Krishna Gana Sabha concert, on New Year’s eve, he was upset because Yagnaraman, the secretary, said in his welcome speech that he hoped Mali would play for four hours and usher in the New Year.” (That time, Mali played a flawless Anandabhairavi, then gave the mridangist a crash course in tala techniques, finally withdrew into himself and wrecked the evening.)

Mali does not care to talk about it. Why the 14 year absence from the Music scene in Madras? “I was just away from the Madras scene.” He says impatiently. Then why this sudden and prolonged visit to Madras? (Living in the US for the last fourteen years, Mali is in the habit of visiting his hometown once in three or four years). Mali shakes his head morosely. “He couldn’t take the cold.” puts in Sundaram. “He will be going to the US to see his wife, but he will come back, in six months.”

Mali becomes suddenly animated, talking about state of the art music. “Carnatic music has become commercialised and unethical.” Says the man who is reputed to be the highest paid Carnatic musician today. (Krishna Gana Sabha is reported to have paid him Rs.10,000 – and Rs.2,000 in expenses – for wrecking their New Year’s eve concert; ten years back, Mali turned down an AIR offer of Rs.40,000 because the producer seemed pleased that he had got Palghat Mani Iyer for the accompaniment.) “The lack of creativity, and a rigorous set of rules for rendering concerts, have affected the popularity of music. And these jugal bandhis – they claim to bring about national integration. That,” he spits out, “is plain impossible.”

He lies back, exhausted. “He has not been well for three days,” says the niece. From the bed, Mali rambles tiredly, “Once I start, I can’t stop, but once I stop, I don’t touch a drop again.”


Twenty one years ago, I sought a foothold in journalism. A certain impatience had begun to gnaw within me in the university years and so in my last year, I decided to get my foot in the door of any newspaper/ magazine that would have me…

If I had heard of Tom Wolfe then, I would have aspired to have been him; taking Madras in a white suit and a homburg. But I was quite happy to have instated Harry Miller as my deacon of journalism. And a lesson learnt was be-where-the action-is.

Unlike the bigger newspapers then in Chennai who asked for a postgraduate degree and some experience perhaps, the city magazine ASIDE didn’t mind that I was technically a college drop out. They let me cut my non fiction teeth on stories big and small. I very seldom said no to any assignments offered to me.

What I lacked in experience, I made up with enthusiasm. In retrospect I assume it must have been that combination of my inexperience, enthusiasm and an unwillingness to relinquish a lead until I was virtually shaken off that must have prompted them to ask me to trace, and if he would be willing, interview this famous and difficult recluse.

All I had was a door number and a street name in the suburb of Ambattur. Somewhere in me I knew that this could be chasing an ephemera. Firstly, he could refuse to see me. I didn’t have an introduction or an appointment; I wasn’t a seasoned journalist or a well known critic, someone who could discuss the foibles of the artistic world or the intricacies of a raga or even evaluate a performance. But I was armoured with what seems to me now a heartbreaking wide eyed naiveté. No one had ever said no to me before. So why would he?

And an inner resilience that told me: well, he could refuse to meet me, so what? It wasn’t personal. I would just go back home then…But I wouldn’t know until I had tried.

Later that afternoon when I called the editor to tell her that I had met the recluse and would file my story in a day or two, I heard the surprise in her voice. It was then I realized that it was a coup of sorts.

A few months after the magazine ran the story, he died and they ran the story again. It was his last interview. And one he had liked very much the editor said. He had called the magazine to register his appreciation.

Ever so often, I think of that brush with Flute Mali. What I came away with that morning was to later fashion my own understanding of artistic integrity. Of finding that perfect balance with one’s art. An instinctive understanding where you know at that point in time, you have been at your best. Thereafter what does it matter how the world perceives you or your art?

UPA’s Fertiliser scam involves Alagiri. Will he be sacked by PM?

Sack Alagiri: Jaya

FRIDAY, 25 JANUARY 2013 00:37


After the 2G scam, coalgate and Commonwealth Games scam, it is the turn of fertiliser scam which has come to haunt the UPA Government. The main protagonist of the Rs1,000-crore scam is MK Alagiri, Union Fertilisers Minister and son of M Karunanidhi, the DMK chief.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday demanded the immediate sacking of Alagiri from the Union Cabinet on charges of a fertiliser scam worth Rs1,000 crore. She also wanted a CBI inquiry into the scam in which fertiliser manufacturers have made a windfall in the sale of nutrient-based fertilisers by exploiting farmers across the country.

In a statement released to the media, Jayalalithaa pointed out that the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) scheme introduced in April 2010 by the UPA Government has only helped the fertiliser manufacturers to make huge profits at the cost of poor farmers.

She said though the Minister of State Srikant Jena had written to Alagiri last year itself, that fertiliser manufacturers were making Rs5,000 on every tonne of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and Rs6,000 on every tonne of muriate of potash sold in the country, the latter just ignored the letter.

This resulted in farmers being forced to pay exorbitant prices for DAP and muriate of potash, both imported fertilisers. Jayalalithaa has put Alagiri in a tight spot by recounting a media report in which the Union Minister told reporters to go and ask the Prime Minister when he was asked about the unviability of NBS scheme.

Jayalalithaa reminded the Prime Minister that she had written to him in June 2012 itself about the difficulties faced by the farmers because of the NBS scheme. “The introduction of the NBS scheme by the Government of India from 1st April, 2010, coupled with an unreliable supply of fertilisers to the State is indeed threatening to deprive our farmers of their basic means of sustenance and livelihood. With the introduction of the NBS policy, liberty has been given to the manufacturers/importers of chemical fertilisers to fix the Maximum Retail Price on their cost of production/import. Since then, these fertiliser companies have been hiking the retail price at will, causing extreme hardship to farmers. Consequently, the prices of various fertilisers have gone up two to three times after the introduction of the NBS policy. The increase has been particularly steep since April, 2012. To cite a few examples, between April 17, 2012, and June 18, 2012, the MRP of a 50 kg bag of DAP and MOP marketed by Indian Potash Limited has increased from Rs910 to Rs1,200, and Rs680 to Rs840 respectively. The rate of a 50 kg bag of DAP (IPL) has gone up to Rs1,200 from Rs486.20 (an increase of 247%), a 50 kg bag of MOP (IPL) now costs Rs840 as against Rs231.66 (an increase of 363%), the rate of a 50 kg bag of complex 10:26:26 (IFFCO) has increased to Rs1,110 from Rs374.24 (an increase of 297%) and the rate of a 50 kg bag of complex 20:20:0:13 (Greenstar) has increased to Rs858.76 from Rs327.40 (an increase of 262%) since 2010,” Jayalalithaa has written in the letter dated June 26, 2012 to the Prime Minister.

She had pointed out that, the Department of Fertilisers, GOI, reduced the subsidy for 2012-2013 for DAP to Rs14,350 per tonne from Rs19,763 per tonne fixed in 2011, and for MOP to Rs14,400 per tonne as against Rs16,054 per tonne. I understand that the Department of Fertiliser has also proposed a hike of another 10 per cent in urea prices and has also planned to cut subsidies further on the pretext of subsidising bio-fertilisers. Faced with a steep price rise and having to digest a sharp reduction in subsidy, our farmers have been hit hard in terms of economic returns from farming. I have tried to mitigate the blow delivered by the Central Government and protect our farmers’ interests by waiving the levy of 4 per cent VAT on the sale of fertilisers,” she wrote.

Jayalalithaa had also wanted the Union Government to withdraw the NBS policy and reintroduce the fixed MRP policy for all fertilisers. “Otherwise a situation will emerge wherein farming will become absolutely unremunerative, resulting in large tracts of land being left uncultivated,” she had said .

Kattumannarkoil Kannan, a farmer from Cuddalore district, said farmers were forced to cough up high prices for DAP and MOP. “The sad fact was that these fertilisers disappeared from the market when they were needed badly. The Union Government failed miserably in making these faertilisers available to the farmers,” he said.

Alagiri has been in the news recently many times, all for unpleasant reasons. His son Durai Dayanidhi was on the run following his role in illegal quarrying of granites and marbles in Madurai district. Dayanidhi had to go underground to save himself from a non-bailable warrant issued against him by a Madurai magistrate. But the Madras High Court came to his help by allowing an anticipatory bail petition though with conditions. Alagiri also lost the race for the control of the DMK with father Karunanidhi openly announcing that Stalin, his second son, would be his successor.