Faizan Mustafa (for Info only, not official)

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Faizan Mustafa

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    ...Businesses, civil society and, indeed, every citizen of India has a stake in this important process, which will see roughly Rs 21.47 lakh crore allocated among important causes. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government face a myriad of difficult choices, including exactly how much will be spent on infrastructure, hospitals, programmes to help the rural poor, policies to improve education, or those to clean up the environment. The budget process is complex, and much care will be taken to ensure that choices work coherently to create a stronger, more prosperous nation. We can have confidence that there will be many well-deserving beneficiaries among the new and existing programmes that receive funding. ...

    TOI on Dec. 8, 2017, 2 a.m.

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    ...And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms,” Friedrich Nietzsche once said. India is a secular country where religion still occupies centre-stage. It is often said that the political structure of secularism is irrelevant and out of place in societies like India where religions are “totalising” in nature. So, Yogi Adityanath is probably right in saying that the “word secular is the biggest lie told since Independence”. He has every right to say so because in his first speech as CM, he announced a Rs 1 lakh subsidy for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, though his party, the BJP, has been opposing the Haj subsidy. India’s failure in erecting a wall of separation between religion and state — like in the US — was the first blunder of our republic. Secularism is understood to be at the core of modernity. A mahant becoming a chief minister proves its failure in India. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 27, 2017, 12:33 a.m.

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    ...It is a sin to support the college. May God damn the founder! And if this college (MAO College which in 1920 was converted into Aligarh Muslim University) has been founded, it must be demolished and its founder and his supporters thrown out of the fold of Islam,” declared the Imam of Mecca in his fatwa against Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. On the 200th birth anniversary of this great educationist and social reformer, particularly in the context of the current wave of aggressive nationalism, an effort should be made to understand his vision of India. Was Sir Syed indeed the father of the two-nation theory or was he merely advocating modern ideas of multiculturalism and differentiated citizenship? It is erroneously believed by some historians that the Hindu-Muslim divide in India was the by-product of the two-nation theory which supposedly had its origin in Sir Syed’s ideology. “Nationalism” as a consciously-held idea was a 20th century phenomenon even in Europe, from where it was imported to India. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 17, 2017, 1:10 a.m.

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    ...Will an order for the payment of compensation for the repair of religious places be contrary to Article 27 of the Constitution, which prohibits the state from imposing any religious tax and the imposition of any tax whose proceeds are used for the maintenance of any particular religion? These questions become pertinent in the wake of a decision of the new Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, on August 28. In the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, as many as 567 religious places including mosques, dargahs, khankahs etc. were either desecrated, damaged or destroyed. On February 8, 2012, the Gujarat High Court ordered the state government to get these religious places repaired and reimburse their owners/managers if they had already got them repaired. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 31, 2017, 12:30 a.m.

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    ...The right to privacy is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. But then the right to “due process” too was not there and, in fact, was dropped by the framers of the Constitution. In India, people have the right to life, but fake encounters and mob lynching happen. In spite of the right to free speech, publications feel compelled to withdraw articles critical of government or corporates. There is a right to equality but discrimination is still rampant. When the mention of fundamental rights in the Constitution is not able to ensure their full implementation on ground, one wonders what will happen if privacy is not recognised as a fundamental right. In such a situation, citizens may not have protection against surveillance and even profiling by the state, the state could target those who speak against it, even voting preferences may be influenced, telephone tapping could be routinely resorted to and our mails intercepted. This is indeed a terrifying prospect. ...

    Indian Express on July 24, 2017, 3:27 a.m.

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    ...The judgment in the triple divorce matter may be delivered soon. There were some interesting questions from the bench. A question that was not answered with sufficient clarity was how can triple divorce be sinful yet legal. The distinction between “law” and “morality” is taught in the first semester of LLB. The distinction between “what law ought to be” and “what law is” is well known. The Indian Constitution’s Preamble pertains to the realm of “ought to be”, its main part pertains to “what the law is”. Take the example of adultery. In India men are punished for adultery but women are not. Is adultery not an example of something sinful yet legal in most Western countries? Similarly, homosexuality or same sex marriages may be considered by many to be sinful but they are legal in a number of jurisdictions. The concept of “sin” draws on blind beliefs based on morality and no court can make something pious if a religious sect considers it sinful. ...

    Indian Express on July 10, 2017, 12:02 a.m.

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    ...A man issued a matrimonial advertisement seeking an extremely beautiful bride who should be tall, highly educated and from a reputed family. North Indians will be preferred, girls from the North-East and South India need not respond, it said. Hundreds of profiles were received, but he married someone who had not even responded and was an illiterate, ugly-looking, short and poor girl, whose father was from the North-East and mother from Madras. A PIL is filed in the apex court, challenging the constitutionality of this marriage with prayers for the annulment of a marriage which was based on the arbitrary and instant decision of this man. The PIL seeks the declaration of such marriages as a punishable crime. The triple divorce case challenging its constitutionality is somewhat similar to the above situation, particularly in terms of the remedy being sought. The concept of constitutionality is intimately related to state action. The constitutionality of a law can be tested only on two grounds. First, on the issue of the competence of the legislature. ...

    Indian Express on May 11, 2017, 12:10 a.m.

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    ...The 50 per cent cap on reservation is a judicial innovation and is not mentioned in the Constitution. Ninety per cent of Telangana’s population is SC/ST and OBC; so, the 50 per cent limit is irrational in the state’s case. Since two five-judge benches and one seven-judge bench of the Hyderabad High Court had struck down reservation for Muslims earlier, the state government is keen to get its new reservation law inserted in Schedule Nine, which, as the law stands today, gives some protection against, but not complete immunity from, judicial review. ...

    Indian Express on April 22, 2017, 12:52 a.m.