Jyeshth Krishna 2, Vik Samvat 2071. Yugabda 5116: May 16, 2014


MY EXPERIMENT WITH RSS - by Mohammad Azeemullah


1. FESTIVALS: Ganga Dussehra falls on Jyeshta Shukla 10 (8th June this year) and is also known as Gangavataran which means 'the descent of the the Ganga'. It is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and is commemorated as the day when Ganga was descended to the Earth to accomplish her mission to purge the cursed souls of Bhagiratha's ancestors. Before coming to the Earth, the Ganga was residing in Kamandal of Lord Brahma and along with her brought the purity of heaven to the Earth.

On Ganga Dussehra devotees worship Ganga and take bath in the river. Taking bath in Ganges and offering charity or Dan-Punya on Ganga Dussehra day is considered highly auspicious. It is believed that holy dip in Ganga can purge all type of sins. --top

2. OBAMA CONGRATULATES MODI; INVITES HIM TO VISIT US: U.S. President Barack Obama on 16th May congratulated prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the BJP's historic victory and invited him to visit the US.        
“The President invited Narendra Modi to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time to further strengthen our bilateral relationship,” the White House said following the maiden telephonic conversation between the two leaders.
During the call, Mr. Obama felicitated Mr. Modi on the BJP’s success in Bharat’s historic election.
Many other world leaders including Heads of states viz Pak PM Nawaz Sharif, Bangladesh PM Shiekh Hasina and Jamaat – e – Islami ameer Makbul Ahamad also congratulated him. --top

3. VIVEK JYOTI – SV 150 CONCLUDING PROGRAM IN UK: “Let us read Swamiji’s life in depth, understand him and then follow his teachings.” said Swami Dayatamandaji (Chair person of SV150 UK) as he addressed the concluding function of SV150 called Vivek Jyoti. Vivek Jyoti, the official concluding function of SV150 UK was held on Sunday 13th April 2014 in Laxminarayan Mandir, Birmingham. Madhava Turumella, Vice President of Hindu Forum of Britain welcomed important leaders of the main umbrella bodies of Hindus i.e. Hindu Forum of Britain, National Council of Hindu Temples and Hindu Forum of Europe.
The 2 hour event had a variety of performances which included a classical dance-song narrative on Swamiji’s life by a talented group from Manchester, Swamiji’s Chicago speech presented by a 4 year old girl named Payal Jain, an interactive panel discussion on “What would Vivekananda Say” etc.
The chief guest was Bob Blackman MP, the Chair Person of All Party Parliamentarian group APPG for British Hindus who lauded the cultural values of Hindus and their contributions to the UK. The community can no longer be ignored or sidelined, he emphasised.
In the concluding speech, Dr Ram Vaidya (Sanskrit Scholar) explained the true meaning of education as given by Vivekananda. All round character building education was the need of the hour which would remove tensions, violence and greed in the society. --top

4. SARSANGHACHALAK ADVISES WOMEN STRENGTHEN FAMILIES, LEAD THE SOCIETY: Underlining the important place, participation and role of women in family system, RSS Sarsanghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat categorically stated that only women can strengthen the family roots.
Interacting with a group of women representatives of various social organisations and NGOs at Reshambagh recently, he called upon them to play a more vital role in this direction. He expected them to take the initiative and play a decisive role in the decision making process in the family as the family draws its strength with the active participation of its women members. Shri Bhagwat said that the RSS wanted women to be self-reliant and assume the leadership of the society. There was an express need to inculcate good moral values amongst the family members. For this, it was imperative for the women to imbibe those values and actively transmit them to their children. He emphasised that in Bharat the honour of women was held very high since the hoary past. Even today we relate rivers, land, etc with womanhood. These are our life values. Today, we witness a devaluation of such high moral values, which calls for proper awakening and education of the menfolk.--top

5. SUCCESSFUL ASTRA TEST GIVES BOOST TO AIR MISSILE TECHNOLOGY:  Bharat on 4th May finally tested its first indigenous air-to-air missile 'Astra' from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet, marking a significant turning point in the decade-long tortuous developmental saga of the complex beyond visual range (BVR) weapon.
The test-firing of the sleek BVR missile over the Arabian Sea off Goa is the first concrete step after several false starts and technical glitches like a defective aerodynamic configuration since the project was first sanctioned in March 2004 at an initial cost of Rs 955 crore.
Astra is to initially have a 44-km range with "high single-shot kill probability", while its Mark-II version will be able to hit enemy aircraft over 100 km away.
"Astra's successful launch from the Sukhoi-30MKI is a major step in missile-aircraft integration. This will be followed by missile launch against an actual target shortly. “said DRDO chief Avinash Chander. Only a few countries like the US, Russia, France and Israel have managed to develop BVR missiles till now. --top

6. 3RD AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL HINDU CONFERENCE was held on 26-27 April at Parramatta, New South Wales. The conference attendees included Hindu organizations, temples Hindu associations and other community organisations.  In addition, representatives from the Buddhist and Sikh community also attended the conference.  The chief guest of the conference was Hon. Phillip Ruddock MP, the chief Government Whip of the Australian Government while several other local govt dignitaries, Bhupinder Chhibber representing the Shadow minister for citizenship and Multiculturalism and Swami Vigyananand, International Co- ordinator and Joint Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Bharat also participated in the conference. The theme of the conference was ‘Serving Australia Serving Community’.
The conference began with the welcome to the land by Respected Aborginal Elder Mr Brian Freeman, Wiradjuri Tradition and lighting of the lamp.  Various sessions included discussions on topics like “Australian Hindus serving at the forefront of serving the community”, ‘temples serving the community’, ‘Role played by Hindu organisations and associations in serving society’, ‘Youth development and shaping future leaders’.  --top

7. INAUGURATION OF SI REHABILITATION PROJECT IN UTTARAKHAND: “Development of a family, society or country starts with an empowered woman. Women are the engines for development,” said Shri Shyam Parande, International Coordinator of Sewa International while addressing a gathering of women farmers in Chandrapuri, Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand. This was the first gathering of women drawn from 10 villages along the river Mandakini in Kedarnath valley that experienced the worst kind of disaster less than a year earlier.
A brief on the agriculture in those particular villages was presented by Shri Kailash Goswami, a Best Farmer awardee, who narrated his efforts in to be a successful farmer.
Shri Bhajjan Singh Khatri, a local social worker with rich experience in this region, narrated that it will be the initiative of the locals who would bring in development and people from outside can only guide or help. Bara Devi, President of the Federation of the Self Help Groups in that area with 191 SHGs under it helping more than 3500 women, that women in the state are in need of support and guidance in the field of agriculture and would surely benefit out of this program.  
Quality Seeds were distributed to the villagers free of cost at the end of the program. Sewa International has also started three Computer training centres in Chandrapuri, Guptakashi and Ukhimath to train the youth and all the three centres is attracting good number of youth.--top

8. 5th ITGF at SINGAPORE: Vivekanand Seva Sangh (VSS) Singapore is a registered non profit organization to practice and promote ‘Universal Brotherhood’.  Indian traditional Games Festival ITGF is one of the various activities of VSS with an aim to preserve traditional Bharatiya games by re introducing them to new generation of Bharatiya youth. This is usually celebrated around New Year day - Baisakhi day.  ITGF provides opportunities to create integration and harmony by bringing people together, provides opportunities for families to come together and play outdoor games like Kabaddi, kho kho etc, and generate interest among non Bharatiya people from Singapore in Bharatiya ganes and culture.
This year, ITGF was inaugurated on 27th April by Shri Bajranglal ji – Secretary VSS while Shri Inder jit Singh was the guest of honour.  Various individual and group games like Gilli danda, lemon spoon, kabaddi, kho kho, lagori, skipping rope  were demonstrated and played by various players and teams. In all, over 500 players took part in about 50 matches. The festival has become an annula feature now after it was started in 2010. 

9. GBE: RATAN TATA RECEIVES ONE OF UK'S TOP CIVILIAN HONOURS: Tata group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has become the first Bharatiya since independence to receive the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), one of the highest civilian honours of the UK. Tata was presented the GBE by British High Commissioner to Bharat Sir James Bevan on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
"Mr Tata has been awarded an honorary GBE, one of the highest civilian honours conferred by the UK, in recognition of his services to UK-Bharat relations, inward investment to the UK and philanthropy," the British High Commission said in a statement.
Commenting on the honour, Bevan said: "Ratan Tata's leadership, vision and integrity will remain the gold standard for generations of aspirational British and Indian business people."
Queen Elizabeth II had conferred on Tata the honorary award of Knight Commander of the Order of British Empire (KBE) in 2009.
Under his leadership the UK benefited from significant inward investment from Tata companies. Tata are now the largest manufacturing employer in the UK.--top

10. COMTRUST EYE CAMP AT PULPALLY: Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission ay Wynad in the remote hilly areas of North Keral has been in the field of eye care for the last 10 years in collaboration with the Comtrust Eye care Society, Kozhikode.  On 2nd June 2013, the refurbished Eye Clinic was formally opened in a new form by the Hon. Minister Kum.PK Jayalakshmi.     The funding agency is Sewa International, USA.  On 1st May 2014, Comtrust Eye Care Hospital in cooperation with the Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Muttil and SNDP Youth Movement conducted an eye camp at Sree Narayana Balavihar, Pulpally.       
The Camp was inaugurated by SNDP Youth Movement President Shri Jaijulal Sthuthikkat after a welcome speech by Secretary Shri Saji Kodikkulath. 264 patients attended the camp in which 37 referred for cataract surgery. Spectacles prescribed for 128 persons and 10 were given other treatments.--top

11. BHARAT TO DIGITIZE SCRIPTS: Thousands of significant Sanskrit and Hindi manuscripts including ancient Bharatiya erotic literature written on palm leaves kept in University of the Punjab in Lahore and University of Dhaka will soon be digitized by Bharat.
Director of National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) Prafulla Mishra said NMM will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran Culture House (ICH), New Delhi, for the digitization work. ICH has already been digitizing Persian and Arabian manuscripts in Lahore and Dhaka.
"After the MoU with NMM, it will also start scanning Sanskrit and Hindi texts on our behalf. We have already completed preliminary discussions with the cultural body," Mishra said.
Mishra said there were around 9,500 Sanskrit and Hindi scripts in Punjab University, the largest and oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan established in 1882. The collection includes around 2,000 palm leaf writings. Besides Hindi and Sanskrit, the stock includes texts in Prakrit, Telugu, Sharada, Tamil, and Nandinagari languages.
The over 90-year-old Dhaka University too has over 10,000 such texts. Some of these scripts are over 1,000-year-old while many others are of pre-independence era, Mishra said.
The NMM director said the repository of knowledge in the two varsities will be of great help to researchers. "Once scanned these texts can be made available online so that research scholars can access them," he said. The CD forms of the texts would be preserved at the National Archives of Bharat. From various parts of the country and abroad, NMM has so far digitized 35 lakh manuscripts of over 1.50 crore pages.--top

12. YOGA BENDS THE TRENDS IN KENYA: Yoga has grown increasingly popular among the poorest neighbourhoods in the capital city of Nairobi thanks to Paige Elenson and her partner Baron Baptiste, two American yoga teachers who established the not-for-profit organisation Africa Yoga Project in 2007.
Their goal was to create job opportunities and empower youth in impoverished areas of Nairobi. The two teachers raised $10,000 to found the organisation and train 40 Kenyan yoga instructors. Today, 72 instructors are working in poor areas of Kenya, including at schools and prisons.
Margaret Njeri is one of the teachers. She was an acrobat before starting the yoga-training programme. The young mother says earning a living as an acrobat was not easy. She sometimes even had to turn to petty crime to survive. She is now paid $100 a month to teach five classes a week in prisons, schools and other parts of the city. The rest of the time, Njeri teaches private classes to round up her salary. Thanks to yoga, she is now able to support herself and her one-year-old daughter.
Instructor Samson Muhalia, 53, says yoga has a positive impact on people. "What I really like in yoga is that it brings people together and teaches them how live together. It makes people share and discuss."--top

13. 17 BHARATIYA UNIVERSITIES AMONG ASIA’S TOP 300:  Seventeen Bharatiya universities have made it to the Asia Pacific rankings of ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) this year compared to 11 last year. Ranking agency QS released the rankings, which include Asia's top 300 universities, in association with non-profit organisation The Indian Centre for Assessment & Accreditation (ICAA) in New Delhi on May 8th. Six Bharatiya institutes have made an entry to the list. Banaras Hindu University, Panjab University, Manipal University, Amity University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, and the Indian Institute of Information Technology made it to the Asia rankings for the first time this year.
As in the previous editions of the rankings, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) led the way. IIT Delhi held on to its 38th position like last year, ahead of IIT Bombay which was placed at 41. Five other IITs featured in the top 100, led by Kanpur and Madras just outside the top 50 at 52 and 53, respectively.--top

14. HINDUS OPEN GRAND BHARATIYA- STYLE TEMPLE IN GUYANA: The Hindu Society of Berbice opened the multi-million-dollar Shri Krishna Mandir with a grand ceremony on 16th April at Gay Park, Greater New Amsterdam, Berbice in Guyana. The temple The edifice, which models the rare designs of Hindu places of worship in Southern Bharat, is a rarity among architectural designs in these parts of the world. President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar were present as were thousands of Hindus from across Guyana. President Ramotar congratulated the Hindu Society for erecting the new structure. He said that he had to come “because of my deep appreciation of this religion and for its contributions made to the country in many, many ways.” Others spoke at the occasion were Hindu activist Mrs. Chandrowtie Maraj and Swami Aksharanandji. .--top

15. WORLD'S FIRST KABADDI LEAGUE LAUNCHED IN BHARAT: Kabaddi got a major facelift on 6th May with the launch of the World Kabaddi League, a personal venture headed by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The league is all set for inauguration in mid-June at Thyagaraj Sports Complex at New Delhi.
The league follows the Formula 1 touring sports format and will be played across four continents starting from August to December. The official website of the World Kabaddi League (www.worldkabaddileague.net) was launched by Badal and Pargat Singh, sports administrator and Olympian. "In the northern region of the Indian sub-continent, kabaddi is an extremely popular sport and the last four kabaddi World Cups held in India bear testimony to this," Badal said.
"In its current form, the league will be played across four continents with access to nearly 200 kabaddi clubs across the world. For kabaddi, I believe this is just the beginning," he said.--top

16. 2 BHARATIYA AMERICAN WOMEN NAMED ‘CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE’: Two Bharatiya American women namely Manjusha P. Kulkarni and Ranjana Patel have been named as Champions of Change within the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community for their efforts to promote President Barack Obama’s controversial Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legislation.
The purpose of the program is to honor and recognize ordinary individuals who work to promote widespread change and reform in their own respective areas of the country.
Kulkarni is the Director of the South Asian Network (SAN),  a community-based organization in Southern California that is “dedicated to advancing the health, empowerment and solidarity of persons of South Asian origin,” according to the White House. Patel is the Program Manager of the Asian Health Coalition’s partnership consortium, which works towards education, outreach, and enrollment for underserved AAPI communities across the state of Illinois. --top

17. BHARAT HOME TO 54 OF WORLD’S LARGEST, MOST POWERFUL PUBLIC COMPANIES: Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) leads the pack of 54 Bharatiya companies in Forbes’ annual list of the world’s 2000 largest and most powerful public companies, with Chinese companies occupying the top three slots on the list.
The Forbes ‘Global 2000′ is a comprehensive list of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenues, profits, assets and market value.
The US retains its dominance as the country with the most Global 2000 companies at 564. Japan trails the US with 225 companies in aggregate. Bharat is home to 54 of the world’s biggest companies.
Reliance Industries is ranked 135 on the list with a market value of 50.9 billion dollars and 72.8 billion dollars in sales as on May 2014. It is followed by State Bank of India which is ranked 155 and has a 23.6 billion dollars market value. --top

18. PIO BECOMES DEAN OF TOP US LAW SCHOOL: A Bharatiya-American expert in comparative constitutional law, Sujit Choudhry, has been named dean of a top law school, University of California, Berkeley. In a statement, the University of California Berkeley executive vice chancellor and Provost Claude Steele called Mr Choudhry a “brilliant scholar, professor, and mentor,” who would inspire and lead with “big ideas” during a time of rapid change in the legal profession. The Bharatiya American called the Berkeley Law deanship the opportunity of a lifetime.--top

19. TIBETANS VOTE FOR FIRST TIME: Beginning a new chapter in the country's poll history, Tibetan residents in the hill town of Dharmshala in Himachal Pradesh participated in the democratic process for the first time on 7th May to elect a member of parliament. As many as 217 Tibetans had enrolled themselves as voters for the Kangra parliamentary seat.
"I am happy to have voted in Indian general elections today. It was an opportunity as well as a learning experience for me. However, my Tibetan roots and the quest for free Tibet will not change. My next target is to get an Indian passport. It shouldn't be hard now," said Lobsang Wangyal (44), a prominent Tibetan activist. "My voice will now have power and value." Officials said 150 Tibetans voted at various polling stations. --top

20. KEDARNATH SHRINE REOPENS FOR DEVOTEES: Sacred portals of the Kedarnath temple were reopened to devotees amid elaborate rituals about a year after the Himalayan shrine was marred by flash floods that had left hundreds of people dead and many others stranded.
Chief priest of the shrine (Rawal) Bhima Shankar Ling presided over the rituals on 4th May as its gates were opened amid chanting of Vedic hymns, Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee CEO V D Singh told PTI over phone.
About 1,252 devotees including eight foreign nationals visited the shrine on the opening day, he said. It is the first 'Char Dham' yatra after last year's calamity. --top

 21. BHARATIYAS MAKE UP UK’S HIGHLY SKILLED: A new report that analyses Britain global population has found that Bharatiyas tend to cluster in the highest skilled professions in the country.
The UK’s Policy Exchange think tank presents a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the country – Bharatiyas, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans and Black Caribbeans – as part of its A Portrait of Modern Britain handbook released this week.
It also found that the Bharatiya community was the most dispersed all over the UK with most other ethnic minority communities predominantly living in three main cities of London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Also, Bharatiyas stood out for their tendency to cluster in the highest skilled professions.
“Almost all minority groups, except the Indian community, have unemployment rates double the national average... 24 per cent of Pakistani men are taxi drivers and half of all Bangladeshi men work in restaurants. In contrast 43 per cent of Indians work in the highest skilled professions,” the report found.--top

22. BHARATIYAS, ASIANS FAST BECOMING POLITICALLY RELEVANT IN US: They are also quickly reaching the critical mass needed to be politically relevant, says the report from the Centre for American Progress and AAPI Data on how the growth of this group will affect a variety of key policy areas from immigration and education to healthcare and the environment.
With the Bharatiya-American population shooting up 76 per cent in the first 12 years of the 21st century, Bharatiya-Americans numbering 3.34 million are already the third largest Asian community in the US, after people from China and the Philippines.
The top six groups — Chinese, Filipino, Bharatiya Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese — account for 85 per cent of all residents, the report noted.
Chinese are still by far the largest group of Asian-American population with 4.1 million (22 per cent), Filipinos come next with 3.59 million (19 per cent) followed by Bharatiyas with 3.34 million (18 per cent) in the third place. The largest concentration of Bharatiya -Americans is in three States — California (19 per cent), New York (12 per cent) and New Jersey (10 per cent). Hindus (51 per cent) are in majority among Bharatiya-Americans, followed by Christians (18 per cent), Muslims (10 per cent), Sikhs (5 per cent), Jains (2 per cent) and Buddhists (1 per cent).--top

23. SI APPEAL PAKISTAN: A below average rainfall and a dry winter in Tharparakar District, Thar desert Sindh Pakistan has resulted in the starvation death of 140 children and left more than a million people suffering.
Sewa International’s partner organization Harey Rama Foundation of Pakistan is working to provide disaster relief to the affected residents with a long term plan to rehabilitate affected families. Your donations will provide immediate help to the victims and help reduce their suffering. For more info pl visit www.sewausa.org --top

24. GURKHA JAWAN KILLS ULTRA IN HAND-TO-HAND FIGHT: Displaying raw courage and nerves of steel, a 23-year-old braveheart of the Bharatiya Army, part of the Gurkha Regiment, eliminated heavily armed infiltrator in a hand to hand combat along the Line of Control in Poonch in the wee hours of 10th May. Another infiltrator was killed by the ambush near Baghialdhara nallah along the LoC in Poonch.
One Bharatiya solider was injured in the fierce gunbattle. As per to sources, "Based on hard intelligence inputs, ambush parties were deployed along the LoC in Poonch sector when movement of a group of militants was noticed on night vision devices around 2.30 am.
During the operation, Rifleman Prem Bahadur Roka Magar of Gurkha Regiment displayed nerves of steel as he grabbed an AK-47 of another Pak trained infiltrator and tried to overpower him. In the melee he dropped his own weapon and escaped unhurt.As they were grappling with each other in a hilly terrain the two were segregated due to free fall in the nearby nallah. Running for safety the infiltrator was finally neutralised by the courageous soldier with the help of live grenade, official sources said.--top

25. IIT-GUWAHATI AMONG TOP 100 YOUNG VARSITIES: IIT-Guwahati has made it to the top 100 list of the world's dynamic young universities - the only Bharatiya entry at 87th place.
In the ranking given by The Times Higher Education, East Asian institutions lead the 100 Under 50, with universities from South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore claiming top-five positions. The 100 Under 50 is designed to be dynamic and forward-looking so only universities founded in 1964 or later are listed. --top

26. PUNJAB-BORN COUNCILLOR BECOMES MAYOR IN BRITAIN: A Punjab-born Councillor has been elected as mayor in Erewash ward in Britain's Derbyshire, a media report said.
The Conservative Party's Councillor for Wilsthorpe, Kewal Singh Athwal, became the first Erewash mayor to be elected by a casting vote at a meeting at Long Eaton Town Hall in Derbyshire. .
Athwal is the first mayor from an ethnic minority group to hold the position.--top

27. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Saumitra Gokhale, samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned to USA after his pravas to Australia and New Zealand. Visitors: Dr. Bhishm Agnihotri, Smt and Shri Ramesh Shah, Jagdish Sewhani, Sanjay Tripathi, Gokul Kunnath – USA. Prof Azad Kaushik – Canada, Ashwin – Mauritius Ravi Srivasta – Nigeria, Dr. Shailendra Singh – Ghana.--top

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Hinduism is not bound up with a creed or a book, a prophet or a founder, but is persistent search for truth on the basis of a continuously renewed experience. Hinduism is human thought about God in continuous evolution. - Dr.Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan --top
Mohammad Azeemullah
This is the election time. A lot has been written about Narendra Modi and the BJP. A lot has also been said about the Congress and other secular parties.
From the point of view of Muslims, both parties have been painted in black and white terms.
Modi, if he becomes the next Prime Minister of India, will turn the country into Gujarat subjugating Muslims. Then Congress and other secular parties, being protector, will emancipate them from the devil.
Thus, Muslims seem confused and are dangling like pendulum from fear to hope and so on.
I do not endorse a particular party. Let it be upon Muslim voters to decide. However, I would like to narrate my direct experience with the RSS and its affiliate institutions.
I grew up in the background of communal violence. Being a Muslim, I used to feel that I am being targeted for my religion in India.
Media further accentuated my fear by bringing live the violence against Muslims to me...Bhagalpur, Mumbai, Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar...endless, to name a few.
The fear multiplied many folds within me. I began to view all those individuals and organizations responsible for engineering riots as hunters seeing me as their next prey.
Truly, I began to view "instigators" of violence differently...being killers and only killers. I had no option but to live in India. I could not fly. I could not escape. I accepted fear as my destiny.
The time passed by.
One evening, I received a letter of appointment from Durga Prasad Baljeet Singh College in the district of Bulandshahar. I had applied for a job at various places after having qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) for lectureship.
My joy knew no bound. I always looked forward to future.
The next day, I visited the college. The campus truly impressed me: the physical facilities, the ambience and overall discipline were up to the mark. I decided to join, though I hesitated initially.
The college was situated on the bank of the river Ganga, in a town known as Anoopshaher. The location of the institution was symbolic - to provide modern education in the environment of spiritual liveliness.
I began to work hard. At the same time, I also carried the fear of insecurity as I was the only Muslim in the institution. Moreover, the management belonged to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the organization about which I had heard that it was anti-Muslim.
I was given free accommodation in the college campus. Every night I slept, I thought if any communal violence would start, I would be the first to be targeted, yet I lived.
Soon, I befriended many. The most notable ones among them were Shri Acharyaji, a lecturer of Sanskrit and a scholar in Hinduism and KC Gaur, a lecturer in Education.
We often shared the same dining hall, the same food, the same joke and the same laughter. We often played together, watched movie and had innumerable interactions every day.
The fear which I had carried for so long about certain organizations and certain individuals being 'killers' began to evaporate.
The principal of the college, Dr Dhal, after having seen my performance, said: "Mr Azeem, you have a good future here".
Within weeks, my perception about people coming from other communities changed. None of what I had feared all along ever nagged or troubled me. In fact, I began to feel more secure both physically and financially. I felt I had a rebirth.
Soon, I was elevated to be a member of the management in allotment of flats to the teachers in the college. Next my family joined me, and I began to live happily.
That was truly my first interaction with the majority community. For the first time, I realized how brotherly feeling they carried toward their fellow-workers. My religion never came in my way to ever obstruct communications with them. Surprisingly, it became an advantage to me. Being the only one from the minority community, I was shown much affection and care compared to others.
For better financial opportunities, I travelled to Libya on leave from the college. I still miss the college, the campus and the people there. I wish I have that life back to me.
Much of what creates 'fear' in individuals results from gap in communication between the two individuals and between the two communities.
We should rely on our first-hand experience before coming to a conclusion about certain individuals or organizations. My impression to paint everyone as a 'killer' was absolutely wrong.(Times of India May 7, 2014)--top

Shri Vishwa Niketan Delhi