Basant Rath (for Info only, not official)

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Basant Rath

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    ...She taught us history and creative writing. Today, I am no longer young and you are no more a story. I’m a believer and you are a faith. Of the lovers. Of the dreamers. Of the faithful. Of this world and the beyond. Please don’t get me wrong. You are a faith, not a religion. You have never been one. In body and in spirit. When the emperor was alive and when his brute son chained him to the lonely sight of your silhouette in the dying light of a tropical sun and when he died the death of a lover, painful and slow. You are not Muslim. Exactly the way Urdu, the language of Ghalib, Manto and Nusrat, is not Muslim. You don’t belong to a Mughal emperor any more. You belong to the clan of men and women in love. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 26, 2017, 12:55 a.m.

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    ...Does the protection of cow override the fundamental rights of Dalits and Muslims as the citizens of this nation? From Jhajjar to Jharkhand, from Dadri to Latehar and from Una to Alwar, a reign of terror in the name of cow protection has spread in some states in the country. Irrespective of the veracity of the claims – real, rumoured or WhatsApped – of the criminal mobs bent on taking law into their politically protected hands, the moment an Akhlaq in Dadri or a Naeem in Shobhapur is justified in dettol-sanitised TV studios, the cause for lynching becomes arbitrary. Any alleged harm to the cause of cow protection has suddenly become reason enough to justify street-level mafia-style instant justice at the hands of a mob baying for human blood and bones. No proof needs to be provided and no legal procedures to be followed. ...

    Indian Express on June 27, 2017, 12:29 a.m.

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    ...Does the protection of cow override the fundamental rights of Dalits and Muslims as the citizens of this nation? From Jhajjar to Jharkhand, from Dadri to Latehar and from Una to Alwar, a reign of terror in the name of cow protection has spread in some states in the country. Irrespective of the veracity of the claims – real, rumoured or WhatsApped – of the criminal mobs bent on taking law into their politically protected hands, the moment an Akhlaq in Dadri or a Naeem in Shobhapur is justified in dettol-sanitised TV studios, the cause for lynching becomes arbitrary. Any alleged harm to the cause of cow protection has suddenly become reason enough to justify street-level mafia-style instant justice at the hands of a mob baying for human blood and bones. No proof needs to be provided and no legal procedures to be followed. ...

    Indian Express on June 27, 2017, 12:29 a.m.

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    ...Irom Sharmila. Express photo by Oinam Anand. India’s democracy, with all its problems and polemics, owes you a huge thanks. You are an inspiration. You are a hero to millions of students of democracy and believers in the might of a human being who is willing to sacrifice everything for a worthy cause. You are my hero. You will always be my Iron Lady. A number can’t define your name. Election results can’t define your political contribution. And they should not. They won’t. Heroes don’t come from a school of political arithmetic. In the history of human civilisation, written or otherwise, heroes never had it easy. No matter how great their causes, notwithstanding their personal sacrifices. Jesus of Nazareth left this planet on a cross, bleeding real blood and breathing real breath, after soldiers hammered nails into his body. Prophet Muhammad left earth after living a life of insults, insinuations and daily tribulations. Martin Luther King Jr. left after a single .30-06 bullet fired by an assassin felled him. ...

    Indian Express on March 29, 2017, 12:04 a.m.