WHERE ARE THE LEADERS?

To train or to entertain

The dilemma of the modern corporate enter-trainerOne of my friends who is a corporate trainer/teacher/facilitator, wrote to me on Teacher’s Day and talked about how the nature of training/teaching has changed.Observation: attitudes of students have changed…Guru is not...

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Is Islam a religion of peace?

Question:    How can we say that Islam is a religion of peace when it advocates all kinds of violence and its believers engage in violence in many places in the world?Answer:       This type of question is very common in...

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To beard or not to beard

It is very interesting to note the judgement regarding the Muslim IAF officer who claimed that keeping a beard is his religious obligation. The Indian Express reported that the ruling given was, “Emphasising the need to “maintain discipline” in the Indian Air Force...

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Fact is stranger than fiction

I discovered a new word: Mitron. It means, ‘A large group of unsuspecting people about to be hit by something they will take a long time to recover from.’ Ironically it comes from the Hindi word – Mitron (Mitr = friend. Mitron = of friends). I believe we are in a...

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Anesthetized anarchy

We, in India, are living in a state of anesthetized anarchy. We seem to have lost it in more ways than one. In the days of the sabretooth tiger mankind needed to be totally in touch with reality if it wished to avoid being the tiger's next meal. Since we made the STT...

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Money, money, money

Money problems are not money problems, even when they are money problems.   Dire Straits’ famous song has some very politically incorrect lyrics but the refrain, ‘Money for nothing and the chicks for free’ sums up the situation of black marketeers and owners before...

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Building a Winning Team

Extract from ‘An Entrepreneur’s Diary’ Finally a word about people skills; the ability to build and run high performance teams. This is what spells the difference between commercial success and failure. No matter how skilled and talented an entrepreneur may be, no...

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On being ‘Trumped’

Whew! Finally, the charade is over. Donald Trump is now the President of the United States of America. What does that mean? It means that Simpsons prediction came true:...

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Close Encounters of the Terminal Kind

Ralph Chaplin said: “Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie, but rather mourn the apathetic throng, the coward and the meek who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong but dare not speak.”A friend asked me for my opinion about the Bhopal ‘encounter’ which...

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If I advised the AIMPLB

Okay! So, you are laughing. Good! I love to make people happy and after all we all have our right to fantasize. The question I asked myself was, ‘If I were to be invited to advise the AIMPLB at this rather heated moment, what would I say?’ Key word? IF. Please don’t...

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When the voiceless get a voice

If there’s one overwhelming sign that numbers mean nothing and organization means everything, it is the plight of Dalits and Muslims in India. Dalits and Muslims are officially 17% and 13% of the population. That means that together one in three Indians is a ‘Dalim’ –...

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Advice to a young friend going to university

Five things to keep in mind:1.      Always be thankful. It is true that we succeed by our own efforts but it is good to remember that some of them were made standing on someone else’s shoulders.  And they helped us when they...

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Rethinking education – Critical need of the hour

I am writing this to share my anguish at what we are doing in the name of schooling. By ‘we’, I mean educators and the education system in the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia, South Africa and most of Africa, state schools in UK and America. That is more than 60% of the global population of school-going children. Those that don’t fit the picture that I have drawn below are to be congratulated. I hope everyone else can come on par so that one day very soon, this paper will be read as an interesting piece on how bad things used to be.

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Stopping radicalization through the barrel of a gun

One of my friends sent me this article and asked for my opinion.http://www.firstpost.com/india/we-are-losing-kashmir-to-islam-ten-ways-to-counter-radicalisation-in-india-2997302.htmlMy answer: Actually what this guy proposes is quite tame. See what some others...

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Dealing with a political problem called ISIS

This is truly one of the saddest pictures that I have ever seen. You can see how she is holding back her tears. What have we adults done to our children?I defend Islam. Not those who call themselves Muslim but go against Islam.ISIS is a political problem. Not a...

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Accepting Freedom

Many years ago, I wrote a piece which I posted on my blog called, ‘Same Chairs, Different Bottoms’. Here it is for those who may not have read it. It is necessarily full of Indian (and Hindi) idiom which is not translatable so I apologize to those who don’t understand...

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Turkey – 2016 Coup aftermath

The coup in Turkey failed and democracy was saved. The president Tayyip Erdogan got a real vote of confidence where ordinary people from all walks of life came out in support of his call to defeat the coup and Allahﷻhelped them. Subsequently a state of emergency has...

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Democracy in practice

slavery.

Today as I write this (July 18, 2016) a coup happened in Turkey but the people defeated it. So democracy apparently has more meaning in Turkey than it had in Egypt. But now what? And what really is the position of democracy in the Muslim world?

A brief, even cursory look at the history of Muslim rule shows that after a brief period in the Khilafa Rashida where the first two Khulafa were ‘elected’ by a group of leaders, in the period of the third Khalifa fault lines appeared and it all fell apart leading to his assassination and the installing of the fourth by force. That was contested and resulted in a huge amount of entirely preventable bloodshed and the nature of Khilafa changed from elected leadership (not in our conventional sense but still elected) to hereditary kingship which became the norm and remained that way until 1923 when the institution of Khilafa itself was abolished; the instrument of it ironically being a Turk, Kemal Pasha a.k.a. Ataturk. We had good and bad kings, called ‘Khulafa’ in this entire period but not a single one was ever elected. They were all hereditary monarchs, until even the title of Khalifa was abolished and the Ottoman Khilafa was dismembered and the pieces distributed to loyal allies of the Western powers who destroyed the Khilafa and who were content to be called Malik (king) instead of Khalifa. The Ottoman kings also used the term ‘Sultan’ and not ‘Khalifa’ though the institution was still called the Khilafa.

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