Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rajab / Shaban 1423 H
October 2002
Volume 15-10 No:190

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Editorial


Uncover the Mysterious Hands
To Retain the Gulf


Uncover the Mysterious Hands

Dead men tell no tale. The highly condemnable and dastardly attack on innocent devotees in Swaminarayan temple in Akshardham in Gandhinagar would have left no scope for mystery, had the perpetrators been captured alive. This not being the case, and there being no convictions for crimes of the similar nature committed in the past, clearly targeted at provoking popular fury and indignation, it appears militants or mischief-makers, of whatever hue they might be, are working round -the- clock to lit the communal fuse. That the temple attack did not result in recurrence of the gory aftermath like Godhra, is surely a sign that administrators in Gujarat have wisened enough after the three -month long mayhem in the Western state. One hopes the perpetrators of the temple outrage, other than those who were killed, would be brought to justice through the due process of law.

It is worth considering that long after the Godhra carnage, the evidences available so far point to several loopholes in the case. While Forensic Laboratory accounts discount the theory of fire being the handiwork of a mob attacking from outside, the police eye-witnesses have proved that they are far from being sound, several of them denying their presence in the vicinity of the crime. Taken together with legal flip-flops in the case related to the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chhitisinghpora in the Kashmir Valley on the eve of the arrival of then United States President Bill Clinton and the drama of the abortive hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane earlier this year - following which a young Indian Airlines employee died mysteriously - these instances call for much caution and deeper inquest to uncover the hands that ignite the fuse. At least in the Chhitisinghpora incident, the police high-handedness in shooting down innocent villagers was clear. And all this was to prove the culpability of terrorists in the crime.

It perhaps needs no wisdom to understand that the terrorists are least expected to wear their identity on their persons. More so in situations where they are supposedly on an avenging mission. Presumptuous statements based on hints of their identity-linked symbols by the politicians, therefore, constitute only clever by half attempt to trigger a process of ‘retributive justice’ by the lumpen elements and substituting the due process of law. One should not also miss the timing of the Akshardham outrage, on the eve of arrival of US under-secretary of State, Christiana Rocca. The nation will be spared of much mayhem if only politicians refrain from arrogating to themselves the right to prosecute individuals and communities.

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To Retain the Gulf

Given Kerala's political scenario, it could be said with confidence that the Gulf-earning is going to be the economic mainstay of a sizeable chunk of Keralites in general, and Kerala Muslims in particular, for some time in the foreseeable future. A study by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) in Trivandrum (carried by this journal in its August issue), points to certain factors that are likely to alter the fortunes of nearly 15 lakh Keralites in the Gulf. Kerala may witness socio-political turmoil and economic crisis if this vital source of livelihood for its citizens were to be curtailed or closed altogether. The Muslims who constitute as much as half of the NRK (Non-Resident Keralite) population need to devote considerable thought as the state employment scenario is highly competitive and skills and enterprise for modern business have just not taken roots in the community.

The CDS study points out that the infrastructure building phase of the Gulf economy is over. The skills needed for future maintenance and development of secondary and tertiary industries and trade and commerce would require skilled hands and innovative heads. Kerala produces them in fewer numbers. As many as 80 per cent of the Keralites in the Gulf are unskilled. While automation in the industry is making the human resources redundant, the info-tech era is likely to shift work to where the human resources are, rather than invite the foreign workers within its shores. Consequently, overall dependence on human hands and intelligence is set to decrease. But there are other factors too which threaten prospects of several potential job-seekers in future. Arabisation of workforce and a gradual policy to bring about a demographic balance between various nationalities are also fraught with risk of cutting down employment opportunities for Keralites and Indians.

All these call for enhancing the skill levels of Keralite workers and drastic modification in educational curriculum whereby all future graduates possess skills needed by the market and industry. It is therefore naturally imperative that dictates of the market are heard in rapt attention.

On another level, the community could also think of tapping the vast IT business potential from its worksites based within Kerala. It is an easier option given Kerala's natural and historical proximity to the Gulf. Emerging sectors such as tourism, native medicine and health too should engage the youth's attention for business opportunities. Unless urgent steps are initiated, the Keralite Muslims would find their prospects doomed.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments View from the Other Side Muslim Perspectives
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