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Monday, January 25, 2016

An Pluralist’s Republic Day Message To Indian Americans

I am proud of the pluralistic ethos of my motherland, India and my homeland,
America. It is a pleasure to call both the nations, “God’s own countries.” Let me explain why, and make a few suggestions that you can act upon as an individual to sustain the pluralistic ethos of India. Let’s do our bit in restoring dharma, the righteous living.

Our nations, Democratic Republic of India and the United States of America are microcosmic representations of the universe we inhabit. We are blessed geographically with a range of topography from deserts to fertile lands, from mountains to the shining sea and the flat lands to valleys. Seasons wise, we enjoy all the four full seasons – winter, spring, summer and the fall. Indeed, we are blessed to be represented by every race, ethnicity and religion.
My interest as a social scientist is in sustaining the pluralistic ethos of India and America, which are threatened by a few short-sighted, but powerful rabble rousers among us.
Pluralistic ethos simply means, living our life and letting others live theirs. It is accepting the God given uniqueness to each one of us. No matter what language we speak, how we look, what we eat, drink, wear, or how we worship the creator, we will accept each other’s uniqueness as legitimate, and then respect the otherness of others. You are who you are, and I am who I am.
Hinduism talks about Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum, an idea that we are all part of one family despite our differences. Islam, Judaism and Christianity talk about having a common father and mother; Adam and Eve and we are an extended family. Sikhism blends us all under Wahe Guru and the Baha’i faith wraps all of us as many paths but one source, similarly Jainism, Buddhism, Tribalism and other traditions have richly contributed to the idea of cohesive societies.
Cohesive Societies are communities where people mind their own business, live their own lives and let others live theirs, but yet, work together as one composite unit.
Every Indian and American has a need to feel that he or she is a part of the society, rejection will certainly create problems.As an example of cohesiveness, look at our own bodies, we are made up of several items like heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, liver, anus, mouth, nose, ears etc. No part can claim that his role is the most important one. Indeed, there was a battle once when the organs were arguing about their role in normal functioning of human body. The Anus claimed that he was the most important organ in the body, the other organs laughed and ridiculed him, and to show them, he decided to assert his claim and shuts down for two days causing unbelievable misery and havoc! Frustrated with the pain, the other organs acknowledged his importance, and rightfully called him an ass hole but begged him to start functioning, so others can function normally. A cohesive society is when all of us function together for common good.
Prime Minister Modi had surprised the nation with his inclusionary statement made on November 1, 2014. As a Pluralist, I whole heartedly welcomed that statement and congratulated him for taking that step. He said, “The BJP should be like a bouquet so that every Indian felt there was a flower in it that he or she could identify with. “And, “A poor and illiterate person living in a slum should think, ‘Yes, there is a flower for me in this bouquet’.
At this precise juncture in our history, the Dalits do not feel like a flower in the bouquet. I do invoke the Prime Minister to act on his talk, and create an environment of inclusion. Unless he gets his party men to believe in what he has said, his leadership will remain a mere talk. A few rogue elements from his party are hell bent on throwing his bouquet into gutter; and his legacy is on the line.
Modi can finish his term as another promiser and talker, or become the doer. The choice is clearly his, and he alone is the driver of his legacy. All he has to do is give a 3-minute speech on each major incident like Rape, farmers Suicide, Dalit Suicide, homicide of writers, and witch-hunting for beef and murder of Akhlaq, to assure the people that he does believe in the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum, and that he will not tolerate any Indian making the life of another Indian miserable. That is all it takes for Ram’s sake. We are losing the ideal of live and let live, and PM Modi can restore it far more effectively than any one in India at this time.
As Indian Americans, most of us have cherished the values of America and have become Americanized. Being American is respecting and believing in the rights of others, and being American is to value others life liberty and pursuit of their happiness; being American is letting each faith member practice his or her faith, and build his or her place of worship; and being American is NOT drawing sadistic pleasure by denying others rights. Unfortunately, we have a few in both nations who have not imbued the great values of these nations, and it is our duty, and responsibility of each one of us to the be pracharaks of American values.
The idea of Liberty is I don’t agree with you, but I’ll fight for your rights. Yes, if we the Indian Americans can truly call ourselves Americans, we have to speak up.
Suggested actions for the organizations and individuals
We have to have the following actions in building a cohesive India, where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, and feel included in every sphere of life.
1. Today, on this Republic Day, let India’s flag be hoisted together with fellow Indians who are Adivasis, Atheists, Bahá’ís, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Sikhs, Tribal, Zoroastrians and every Indian representation. Let no Indian representation be left out. Reach out and bring them together at the Red Fort, and let them all proudly hoist our Tiranga, then go ahead and give them a hug, it will speak million words of our good intentions. It will generate the spirit of sab ka saath on a social basis.
2. The Indian American Organizations can do the same, invite Indians of all hues to come together, and celebrate the Republic Day in the spirit of India. If your heart is dirty and a sewer runs through it, the people can see through you, and not come, clean it up, they will come. I will be happy to make the calls to those who are unwilling for the sake of India.
3. Acknowledge that we see God as one, none and many; and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names, and as Indians, we should not be biased towards any one.
4. Today, proclaim that India is God’s own country, and is represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. Announce that we are Adivasis, Native Americans, Atheists, Baha’is, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, and Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Pagans, Shinto, Sikhs, , Wicca, Zoroastrians and every possible grouping out there on God’s earth. We are Brown, Black, White, and Yellow and come in all the colors nature has produced us.
5. Aspire for an India that the world can emulate; and not the other way around. India is a pluralistic democracy where everyone can eat, drink, wear or believe whatever he or she wants to in his or her pursuit of happiness.
6. Announce that from this day forward, every Indian will have equal access to education, employment, housing, business loans, and entrepreneurial opportunities and if anyone is denied that opportunity, you will step up and stand up against the violators.
7. Every Indian wants justice and demands a fair treatment of every one of the 1.31 billion Indians; rich or poor, connected or not, we must come to grips with the social and community life to create an exemplary India that will become a model nation in the world. Create an Equal Opportunity Commission based on US Model. Ask not what others will do, ask yourselves, are you capable of being a good Samaritan?
You can institute a pledge that every public office holder from the Peon to the President of India and everyone in between must take and live by it. Violation should disqualify him or her from holding the public office. Let it be monitored publicly.
As Indians we can that pledge to both India and America on the Republic Day:
1. I pledge allegiance to India, one nation that stands for liberty and justice for all.
2. I pledge that I honor and treat every Indian with “full” dignity.
3. I pledge that all individuals would be treated on par.
4. I pledge that I will treat all religions with equal respect, equal access and equal treatment.
5. I pledge that I will oppose any act that treats any Indian less than me.
6. I Pledge that I will work for an India, where every individual can live with security and aspire for prosperity.
7. I pledge that I will protect, preserve and value every inch of India and every human soul in India

This would be the first step towards ensuring a just, peaceful and prosperous India that can sustain its progress and peace. If you can do it, then you can expect others to do it.
I love my India.
Jai Hind.

Mike Ghouse

Interfaith Dialogue for Beginners - Monotheists v Polytheists

Beginner’s Interfaith Dialogue – monotheist v polytheists

I will be writing a series of short dialogues that take place between individuals when they meet for the first time. Mind you, these are individuals who are committed to learn and obviously stumble. The purpose of this for each one of to become capable of relating with fellow humans no matter what race, region or religion they belong to, as we have to work together. 

John: It’s nice to meet you Mr. Singh, we are all monotheistic faiths, and we have so much in common!  (John is a Christian meeting a Sikh for the first time and had a little knowledge about Sikhism).

Mike:  C’mon John, what would you say if he were a Hindu?
John: Don’t Hindus worship many Gods?

Mike: Yes, Hindus worship different manifestations of God, but they believe in one ultimate Creator. They simply see the creator represented by different aspects of life, and you see it all wrapped in one.

John: Polytheists?  (He did not sound pleased with the word)
Mike: Why is it wrong? As humans we believe in NO God, ONE God and Multiple forms of God, does God change because we believe differently? It is just our belief.

John: How do I deal with them then?.
Mike: Just like another human; respectfully.  So what if he believes in many God’s. No one’s faith is certified to be the ultimate truth (by others). As a Muslim my faith works for me, as your faith should work for you, and a Hindu’s faith works for him. Faith is a not a product to measure its worthiness, because it is a belief.

John, part of the learning is – we treat all humans as equals, when we do that, we are expressing humility, any sense of superiority amounts to arrogance, which without doubt creates conflicts.  Religion is about bringing peace to each one of us from within, and with others. 

For that, we have to learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. 

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Interfaith Language (Shouting v Chanting)

Interfaith Language | http://FoundationforPluralism.blogspot.com
As a Pluralist (i.e., respecting the otherness of others) my ears are trained to be sensitive. In one of hte discussion we had going, a Professor wrote, “Thousands of them (Hindus) are "roaming" along the banks of the Ganges in Kashi/Gaya (India) shouting "Hare-Ram! Hare Ram!"

My response?
Dear Professor, I would prefer, “Chanting Hare Ram, Hare Ram” to the phrase “shouting Hare-Ram! Hare Ram!" Likewise, I would prefer Chanting Allahu Akbar rather than shouting Allahu Akbar.

We have do the best we can in choosing the words that would not hurt others. Words can change one’s attitude towards you.
Mike Ghouse

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Genuine Interfaith Dialogue

Genuine Interfaith Dialogue | FoundationforPluralism.blogspot.com

In a Genuine interfaith dialogue, we respect the otherness of others and never claim our faith to be superior to the other as it amounts to arrogance. Religion is about humility that builds bridges between peoples and the communities, and not about arrogance which kills relationships and breeds conflicts.

One of the key things about genuine interfaith dialogue is to develop the ability to see the beauty in other faiths, without having the anxiety to flaunt yours as the best. If we were selling religion like used cars, we have to put others down to make ours look better.

But religion is not a business, it is a system to help an individual achieve his or her own peace within, and peace with what surrounds; life and matter.

When my daughter was going to the Baptist Church, I mentioned to her that if the Pastor decides to denigrate other faiths in his sermons, don't be gullible to buy it. She came back with a powerful response, "Dad, if the Pastor tells all religions are equal or beautiful, why would people go to his congregation?" He has to tell the people that others are not worthy.

Is religion a business? Is one's income tied to the number of congregants? Ultimately what difference does it make if you believe in God the Christian way, Muslim, Hindu or any other way?  God loves his creation, all of his creation, and if he does not, then why do we need a God like that?

Over the years, I have heard different versions of the following sentences uttered by Imams, Rabbis, Pastors, Pundits and clergy from other faiths. "No other faith offers this connection with God" - "Only _______ offers salvation" - "Our faith is based on science", " _____ is a very logical faith", "No other faith gives a purpose in life like our _______ faith, "  Every time I hear that, I cringe. Why are they duping their congregants?   I make quick notes and invariably ask the clergy, if they were aware that other faiths also offer the same ideals, here they are....  they walk away, or double down on it. 

A few have said to me, look, if people want to believe in my claims, let them. I reminded them that it borders on dishonesty,  as a religious person, doesn't he owe the truth to his congregants?  

I hope a day will come when more of us can speak about other religions honestly and sincerely.  That is, for a Jew to speak about Christianity as a Christian would speak and vice-versa, a Hindu to speak about Islam as a Muslim would speak and vice versa, and for a Sunni Muslim to speak about Shia, as a Shia would speak about his tradition.  We should have the integrity to articulate other people’s faith honestly, or have the common sense to believe that others faiths must be equally good for them to follow.    

You are who you are, and I am who I am. 
I can never be like you, nor can you ever be like me,
Your faith is as dear to you, as my faith is dear to me.
I like my faith as you like yours, but...

 I will never claim my faith is superior, as it generates conflict, and religion is not about conflict, it is about removal of apprehension and bringing peace.

As I study the beauty of all faiths, I pick things here and there to share.  Here is a chapter from Quran,  called Kafirun,  which has the similar language as the above four lines, and I am hoping to hear from my fellow religionists to share something like this from their tradition. No religion is superior to the other, period! Here it is - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/07/sura-kafirun-un-believers.html

You will find a handful of religious people, who are honest enough to acknowledge the beauty of other faiths, without worrying that their faiths will become less valuable, or others may criticize you.
Again, I am blessed to have written up about every faith tradition; you can Google search the following:

  1. Atheist Mike Ghouse
  2. Bahai Mike Ghouse
  3. Buddhist Mike Ghouse
  4. Christian Mike Ghouse
  5. Hindu Mike Ghouse
  6. Jain Mike Ghouse
  7. Jewish Mike Ghouse
  8. Native American Mike Ghouse
  9. Pagan Mike Ghouse
  10. Sikh Mike Ghouse
  11. Wicca Mike Ghouse
  12. Zoroastrian Mike Ghouse
You can also Google Search
  1. Name of (most major) a Festival Mike Ghouse

God has blessed me with the ability to stand up for every one, and I have to complete compiling the list, meanwhile, you can check these out.
  1. Standing up for Atheists - http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/04/speaking-up-for-atheists.html
  2. Standing up for Christians - http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/01/standing-with-christians.html
  3. Standing up for Hindus - http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/04/standing-with-hindus.html
  4. Standing up for Jews - http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/02/standing-up-with-jews.html
  5. Standing up for Sikhs - http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/08/standing-up-for-sikhs.html
  6. Standing up GLBT - http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/05/standing-up-for-gays-and-lesbians.html
  7. Standing up for Immigrants - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrjU0KULv-Y
  8. Standing up for others - to be completed. 
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, and a speaker on PluralismInterfaithIslampolitics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net for his writings at TheGhousediary.com and several blogs listed there in. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hindus and Muslims Celebrate Unity in Assam, India.

Hindu Muslim Unity in Assam | Foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com

How do we change the world?

If each one of us promotes the good stories, goodness will dominate the search engines, and gives hope to the people, it is as simple as that. It does not mean we have to be blind to bad things, it simply means acknowledge and fix the cancer, instead of letting the cancer tear the society apart. Let the good stories be told repeatedly.    

Somewhere in a meeting I sat down with two of my Washington friends, Razi Raziuddin and Tariq Farooqui Saheban and enjoyed their stories about how integrated and the beautiful relationships they had with Hindu families around them. I have heard similar stories from my Hindu friends in Dallas.  I think it is time for each one of us to write our stories, one short story at a time.  and I will be happy to share it at 
Foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com and or MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com. I need the ready story in word file to post it. You can create your own blog as well.

We need to tell our stories, the good stories giving hope to people.

The following story was shared by my friend Yogi Sikand, whom I admire for his pluralist credentials.

The story opened up several windows of beautiful things for me, but right now, I will share two small things from Bangalore.  I am not sure, if it is still the case, but growing up, the "Karga" festival in Bangalore, a procession of some 20-25 floats of Hindu deities starts from the Mastan Wali Dargah, and concludes at a temple in Chamrajpet ( I'll verify and correct this information).  I have no idea how long the tradition is, but it was there some 40 years ago.

My Dadi (Paternal Grandmother) became a widow when the influenza hit India around 1915-1917, much of my family was wiped out; indeed that was an international epidemic then. She used to tell us that you go bury one, and by the time they returned home they had another one to take.

I am writing a note about her as a part of the interfaith story, where people of different faiths work together without a sense of barrier or difference.

She abandoned her agricultural land and moved from a tiny village called Irgampalli, where my Grandfather, her husband was a Patel (Chief).  She walked 12 miles placing my Dad in a basket over her head and carried my aunt on her side as no transportation was available then.

She made it to Chintamani, and raised her two kids living in her brother’s house. She did not want any help, or a ‘burden’ on others for her fate.  She took charge of her own life by making flower garlands and taking care of my father and my aunt with the money earned. Then they moved to Yelahanka with the marriage of my aunt, and she continued her work, and her flower garlands decked the floats of Hindu deities on the Karga procession.

She was a Muslim and had no qualms about decorating Hindu deities. By the way my Grandfather’s brother is supposedly a saint, and they conduct annual “Urs” all evening festivities by his mausoleum.

The flowers used were Jasmine, also known as Moghra, and that sentimentalism caused me to name my daughter "Jasmina" and she is very much a proud independent woman. I am proud of my Dadi, my aunt, my mother, my sister and my daughter; I am a blessed guy to be influenced by these fiercely independent women. These women have no bias towards fellow humans. My Grandmother was an independent woman nearly 100 years ago. She was a proud woman. 

Share your story.....

Mike Ghouse

Pluralist in my heart, soul and spirit.
What is a pluralist? Check www.Foundationforpluralism.com
# # #  

In times of rising intolerance, Hajo in Assam shows the right way forward

By TwoCircles.net, Staff Reporter
Guwahati: The occasion of Magh Bihu is a cause for celebrations across Assam, but for the people of the state, it is also an opportunity to express their endeavour of living in peace and harmony with all communities. The procession rally in Hajo was a heartwarming case in point.
Hajo is the home of Powa Mecca, one of Islam’s most sacred sites in India and Hayagriva Madhava Temple, another holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists.
On Saturday, people take part in the procession rally from Powa Mecca to the Hayagriva Madhava Temple. Painuruddin Ahmed, Khadim of Powa Mecca and Siva Prasad Sarma, head priest of Hayagriva Madhava Temple exchanged flags and started the procession.
“It has been a special occasion for all of us. We the people of Hajo gleefully and proudly take part in the procession to send a message across the globe about the communal harmony and brotherhood. Though the world today has witnessed an increase of intolerance among each other in the name of religion, we still belief in that harmony and humanity. We should shun violence and follow God’s teaching on peace,” said Painuruddin Ahmed after the procession.
It is said that Powa Mecca was constructed from the soil brought from the city of Mecca. Standing atop the Garurachal Hill, it has the tomb of Pir Giasuddin Auliya, who was the pioneer of Islam in this part of the world. It was built by Sujauddin Mohammed Shah in 1657 AD.
Meanwhile, Hayagriva Madhava Temple is situated on the Monikut hill. The present temple structure was constructed by the King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583.
CS Lama, head priestess of the Guwahati Buddha Vihar also took part in the rally.
The locals say that they feel proud to be a part of this unique event.
“I always feel proud with Hajo. When the whole country was in tensed after the demolition of Babri Masjid, the people of Hajo got united to set an example for the rest of the country. I have never come across any kind of incident of such communal hatred in this area,” Amarendra Deka, a television journalist with Pratidin Times, told TwoCicrles.net.
People from different communities visit Powa Mecca and Hayagriva Madhava Temple on the normal days as well.
Siva Prasad Sarma, head priest of Hayagriva Madhava Temple said that this place is unique in the country for being a supreme example of communal harmony.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

10 Beautiful Stories of Communal Harmony That Restored Our Faith in Humanity. And Our Country.

Communal harmony should not be mistaken for Pluralism.   Pluralism simply means respecting the otherness of others, here they have gone beyond and accepted the otherness of others as a part of them.

Mike Ghouse

Beautiful Stories of Communal Harmony That Restored Our Faith in Humanity

By Tanaya SinghIs there communal disharmony in our country today? If yes, are the instances rare common? Are Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians capable of living in peace together like they have done for centuries in India? Or will they be divided by mischievous and malignant elements in society, much like the British divided and ruled India for years?

We had to look around very little in order to find beautiful examples of religious harmony in India today. Where people from different faiths come together in the spirit of humanity, celebrating India’s diversity and rich heritage of tolerance. Here are 10 examples of friendship, love and selflessness by people of different allegiances towards those from other backgrounds than theirs. They are bound to restore your faith in humanity and your country.

1. When Hindus and Muslims Shared Some Moments of Grief Together

Source: Wikimedia 
Hindu and Muslim residents of Sendhwa town in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh came together to cremate 75-old-year Sitaram who had no family member left behind. People from both the communities attended his funeral ceremony and cremated him with full honour.

2. When Muslims Paid Respect to a Hindu Martyr

Picture for representation only. Source: Wikimedia
A mosque in the Malappuram city of Kerala continues with the tradition of celebrating an 18th century Hindu martyr even today. His name was Kunhelu and he is a respected legendary figure. It is believed that Kunhelu lost his life along with 43 Muslim warriors in a battle, when the then ruler of Kozhikode attacked Malabar, about 290 years ago. Kunhelu belonged to the goldsmith community and he joined his Muslim friends in the war which started over an issue of tax collection. Every year, a group of Muslims gather at the Valiyangadi Jumma masjid to pay homage to the martyr who is buried at the mosque. The descendants of Kunhelu are also invited during prayer meetings.

3. When Hindus and Sikhs Helped Repair a Mosque

Picture for representation only. Source: Wikimedia
People from the Sikh and Hindu communities helped repair an old mosque in Nathowal village near Ludhiana. They also took care of more than 65 percent of the repair expenses. The project cost was around Rs. 25 lakh, of which Rs. 15 lakh was contributed by Sikhs and Hindus. The three communities live in peace in this village. Muslims and Hindus contribute to the gurudwara work as well. A resident of the village informed The Times of India that they celebrate all festivals like Diwali, Dusshera, Rakhi, Eid, and Gurupurab together.

4. When Hindus Helped a Muslim Couple Deliver a Baby

Picture for representation only. Source: Wikimedia
27-year-old Ilayaz Shaikh was taking his pregnant wife to the hospital in a taxi in Mumbai. But Noor Jahan went into labour midway and, to the couple’s shock, the cab driver asked them to leave as he did not want her to deliver the baby in his car. Spotting a Ganesha temple at a distance, the couple walked towards it and were helped by a group of women who created a makeshift delivery room in the temple. They helped in the successful delivery of a baby boy. To commemorate this gesture and the fateful day, Noor Jahan named her son Ganesh.

5. When a Muslim Man Performed His Friend’s Last Rites Following All Hindu Rituals

When Santosh Singh lost his life to a terminal disease, his friend Razzak Khan Tikari, a Muslim, performed his last rites following all Hindu rituals. He set a very touching example of how religion can never be a barrier when it comes to true friendship. Razzak is a resident of Chhattisgarh, and he had been friends with Santosh for many years. Santosh and his family were not very well off. After Santosh’s death, Razzak also helped his friend’s wife financially.

6. When Ganesh Chaturthi and Bakra-Eid Were Celebrated in the Same Pandal

Source: Facebook 
During the celebration of Bakra-Eid this year, many Muslim devotees in Mumbai were seen performing their prayers inside a Ganpati pandal. How did this happen? When members of the Seva Sangh Ganeshotsav Mandal in Colaba saw that the Madrassa Rahamatiya Talimul Quran mosque could not accommodate all the devotees who had turned up to offer their prayers, they invited them to the pandal meant for Ganesha Chaturthi celebration so they could pray in peace.

7. Beyond Caste and Religion, the Inmates of a Jail Fast for Ramzan Together

Photo: Flickr
To show solidarity with their Muslim friends, all inmates of Ludhiana jail decided to fast during Ramzan. Muslim inmates in the jail celebrated Diwali and Gurupurab with the Hindu and Sikh inmates in the same spirit.

8. When a Muslim Decided to translate the Hanuman Chalisa into Urdu

Source: Flickr
Abid Alvi, a Muslim youth, has translated the Hindu prayer, Hanuman Chalisa, into Urdu with the view that it will unite the two communities as they will understand each other’s culture and beliefs better. A resident of Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, Abid took three months to complete the translation. He wishes that Urdu books should be converted to Hindi and vice versa.

9. And a Hindu Man Decided to Write Prophet Muhammad’s Biography – in Marwari

Rajeev Sharma read about Prophet Muhammad and was impressed by his teachings. So he wrote a book about him in Marwari, a regional language of Rajasthan. The 112-page-long book called “Paigambar ro Paigaam” talks about the life of Prophet Muhammad. The book is available for free on Sharma’s e-library, which has a collection of over 300 books. It can be downloaded here.

10. And Finally, This Muslim Performer Who Sings Kirtans

Source: YouTube
Shaikh Riyazoddin Abdul Gani, better known as ‘Rajubaba Kirtankar’, is seen singing Meera Bhajans while balancing a water-filled pot on his head. This 73-year-old from Beed city in Maharashtra was fascinated by Hinduism when he was a child and used to sit outside temples to learn kirtans. Eventually he was accepted by Hindus in the temple, and started singing there. On realising that people were falling asleep during kirtans, he decided to give them a twist with a dancing-singing routine. He used to sing while bringing water from the river, and that gave him the idea of adding a pot to the performance. A few months back he also gave a performance at the Spic Macay festival of IIT-Bombay.
- See more at: http://www.thebetterindia.com/37927/communal-harmony-in-india/#sthash.bbYOjnq8.dpuf


It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of love, harmony and peace. That is the only way of saving the world and ourselves.
(Sufi Inayat Khan)