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Safar\Rabi-Ul-Awwal 1424 H
May 2003
Volume 16-05 No : 197
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Bukhari's Mysterious Hobnobbing with the BJP
What's the Taste of Salty Coffee?


Bukhari's Mysterious Hobnobbing with the BJP

Bukhari has though ancestral claim over the Jama Masjid conferred by a royal firman from the mosque's builder, emperor Shah Jehan, he has lost grip over the people in the area


By A Staff Writer

New Delhi:Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari’s hobnobbing with the BJP, at a time when four states including Delhi are going to polls in October, is confounding Muslims. Loud-mouthed Bukhari, known for his empty rhetoric, has behaved erratically during the last few months. His recent meeting with Defence Minister George Fernandes and Jaya Jaitley set tongues wagging in the capital. Bukhari has been seen openly humiliating Dalit and Congress leaders at a time when his target should have been communal and fascist forces.

Bukhari is prone to be used by divergent political groups at crucial junctures for dispersal of Muslim votes. He seems to be playing into the hands of BJP this time when the Muslim votes need to be consolidated around secular choices in the forthcoming elections in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

The recent meeting with Fernandes and Jaitley was apparently at the behest of Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee. It was arranged in Bukhari’s residence, ‘Jannat Nishan’ adjacent to the Jama Masjid soon after he returned from an unscheduled trip to Hajj.

Even otherwise, Bukhari has been known to indulge into political mumbo jumbo and mislead Muslims through his Friday sermons which are highly politicised.

Bukhari has followed a policy of currying favour with politicians in power for himself while sacrificing the cause of the community. He has been maintaining active contacts with the BJP dispensation at the Centre through Qari Miyan Mohammad Mazhari, currently the chairman of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, a central government body with nearly Rs. 500 crore of funds at its disposal.

Bukhari recently invited Maulvi Umar Farooq, the leader of the separatist Hurriyet Conference of Jammu and Kashmir and provided him the pulpit to address Muslims on Friday. Young Umar Farooq’s incantation from the pulpit were neither in the interest of Muslims nor did they conform to the nation’s unity and integrity.

While Bukhari is never known to have done any social work in the squalid surroundings of the Jama Masjid, his Juma sermons have lowered the image of Muslims in the estimation of non-Muslims who see Indian Muslims in the light of Bukhari’s irresponsible statements. Bukhari, has though ancestral claim over the Jama Masjid conferred by a royal firman from the mosque’s builder, emperor Shah Jehan, he has lost grip over the people in the area. During the last elections to the Delhi Assembly, JD(S) candidate, Shoeb Iqbal won the assembly seat despite Bukhari’s opposition to his candidature.

Bukhari had arranged glitzy posters against Shoeb Iqbal in the entire Ballimaran constituency.

He even suddenly floated Adam Sena, a decade ago which fizzled out soon. With no cadre building, the Sena only provided the Hindutva forces and the media, a handle to counter-balance it against rabidly communal and fascist sanghs and senas operating in the national capital. Adam Sena was merely a paper tiger and vanished from Delhi’s firmament soon, but not before providing the Shiv Sena a firm base and justification. Shiv Sena has since then progressed by leaps and bounds.

Another person actively engaged in causing a split in Muslim votes is Maulana Mahmood Madani, general secretary of the Jamiatul Ulema headed by his father and former Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Maulana Asad Madani. Mahmood and Jamiat are clearly eyeing the Rajya Sabha seat which was conventionally offered to Asad Madni, but has been denied for the last decade during which Congress has been in Opposition. Mahmood Madni and Ahmed Bukhari have for the last some months acted in unison and floated the idea of a separate Muslim party, an idea that will directly help the Hindutva forces and will invalidate the efficacy of Muslim votes. Muslims have realised that their situation is not the one akin to Dalits. Formation of a Muslim political party would only allow the BJP and the Sangh Parivar of counter-polarising the votes of Hindus in the crucial states of Indo-Gangetic plains. It will allow them to kick up a chimera of another Partition. In a campaign that is totally in their self-interest and in the interest of the Sangh Parivar by default, the duo had been alienating the Muslim masses from secular forces. They recently invited veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh and Dalit leader Udit Raj to a rally on the Ramlila Grounds in Delhi and openly humiliated them for ‘having done nothing to safeguard secularism’.

There have been similar efforts in Uttar Pradesh too. A few Muslim hotheads have floated Parcham Party in Aligarh even as former education minister Dr. Masood who was expelled from BSP in 1995 has been carrying on a Loktantrik Party which also targets at taking away Muslim votes from the Secular block and eventually help the BJP. The dominant impression gaining ground is that all such outfits are covertly sustained and nourished by the BJP to neutralise the Muslim votes in the key state of Uttar Pradesh where a lot of Muslim ‘leaders’ are up for sale and bargaining. In the run up to next elections in the four states, these ‘leaders’ are to be watched. While Dr. Masood or Parcham party could be small and local fries, Madni and Bukhari who have teamed up for the temporary gains, have a larger nuisance value due to their being holed up at Delhi where media focus is sharper. This lends them greater opportunity to confuse the Muslim electorate on a larger geographical area.

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What's the Taste of Salty Coffee?

He met her at a party. She was so outstanding. while he was so normal, nobody paid attention to him. At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him, she was surprised, but being polite, she promised.

They sat in a nice coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything, she felt uncomfortable, she thought, please, let me go home.. suddenly he asked the waiter: “would you please give me some salt? I’d like to put it in my coffee.” Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red, but, still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it. She asked him curiously: why you have this hobby?

He replied: “when I was a little boy, I was living near the sea, I liked playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea , just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, I always think of my childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there”. While saying that tears filled his eyes. She was deeply touched. A man who can express his homesickness, he must be a man who loves home, cares about home, has responsibility of home.. Then she also started to speak, spoke about her faraway hometown, her childhood, her family. That was a really nice talk, also a beautiful beginning of their story.

She found that actually he was a man who meets all her demands; he had tolerance, was kind hearted, warm, careful. Then the story was just like every beautiful love story, the princess married to the prince, then they were living the happy life... And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some salt in the coffee, as she knew that’s the way he liked it. After 40 years, he passed away, left her a letter which said: “My dearest, please forgive me, forgive my whole life lie. This was the only lie I said to you the salty coffee. Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time, actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt It was hard for me to change so I just went ahead. I never thought that could be the start of our communication! I tried to tell you the truth many times in my life, but I was too afraid to do that, as I have promised not to lie to you for anything.. Now I’m dying, so I tell you the truth: I don’t like the salty coffee, what a strange bad taste.. But I have had the salty coffee for my whole life! Since I knew you, I never feel sorry for anything I do for you. Having you with me is my biggest happiness for my whole life. If I can live for the second time, still want to know you and have you for my whole life, even though I have to drink the salty coffee again”.

Her tears made the letter totally wet. Someday, someone asked her: what’s the taste of salty coffee? It’s sweet. She replied.

Contributed by Banur Nageshrao,
the writer can be reached at:
bnageshrao@hotmail.com

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