The Candid Eye

December 6, 2009

Anjumans deprive Muslim women of microcredit

Recently SA Aiyar’s article appeared on TOI, which clearly says microcredit to Musim women are hampered by Anjumans.

The government seeks inclusive growth and access to credit. The Sachar Committee is dismayed by the relatively low access of Muslims to bank credit. Yet, neither the government, Sachar Committee members nor intellectuals are raising an outcry against a massive drive to deny millions of Muslim women access to microcredit. This is driven not by Hindu extremists but by Muslim anjumans (community organisations) in Karnataka. Thus, a community complaining of credit deprivation is itself destroying credit to millions of Muslims — because the anjumans are male bastions and the poor borrowers are women.

Ramesh Bellamkonda heads BSS Microfinance, the worst hit of several microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Karnataka. He says BSS has provided microcredit for two years in Kolar, three-and-a-half in Mysore, and eight in Ramanagaram, enjoying excellent relations with its Muslim borrowers and virtually 100% repayment. Today, repayment is down to almost zero, because of non-repayment directives by the anjumans and their goons, who threaten and even assault BSS staff. Muslims constitute a substantial proportion of borrowers, so the anjuman directives can bankrupt entire MFIs, affecting other community borrowers too.


Their eyes reveal everything!!

Their eyes reveal everything!!

Other Karnataka MFIs in several towns face the same problem, and have been obliged to halt lending to Muslims. It is a triumph for the most reactionary Muslims, and a tragedy for Muslim women denied empowerment through finance.

Some other MFIs say that the problem is not just Islamic. In some areas, including Kolar, so many MFIs have started operations that poor women can get multiple micro-credit loans, and so accumulate big debts that they cannot repay. The economic slowdown after October 2008 also affected repayment capability. However, these explanations for loan default are partial at best, since Hindu and Christian borrowers continue to have a good repayment record.

The anjumans say interest on loans is un-Islamic, and so borrowers need not repay, and no further microloans should be given to Muslims. Really? Then why don’t the anjumans demand that banks stop lending to Muslim businessmen like Azim Premji of Wipro, Khorakiwala of Wockhardt, Hamied of Cipla, film producers and stars like Shah Rukh Khan, and hundreds of Muslim businessmen dominating the leather and footwear industry? Why don’t the anjumans send goons to prevent Muslim millionaires from repaying their much larger loans with interest?

Because the anjumans will not take on moneyed males, only poor women. They don’t like female empowerment through micro-credit, and so use the bogus rhetoric of Islamic finance to promote their gender agenda. Possibly, they also hope that violence can persuade the government to provide a loan waiver, as happened to farm loans.

The gender aspect comes through clearly in one anjuman’s explanation for banning microfinance: it says a female borrower rode pillion on the motor-cycle of a BSS agent. Such male chauvinism is outrageous. In contravention of basic freedoms under the law and Constitution, the anjumans claim the right to control the behaviour of any Muslim woman, and the authority to punish all Muslim female borrowers ignoring their illegal directives.


Oppressed muslim women

Oppressed muslim women

It matters not at all to the anjumans that the pioneer of microcredit is a Muslim, Mohammed Yunus, who has won the Nobel Peace prize for his work. It matters not that microcredit has made Muslim Bangladesh world famous. Mohammed Yunus has a far better claim to championing poor Muslim women than any anjuman.

It’s worth recalling Yunus’ reaction to the government waiver of farm loans last year. He said that if there was serious distress among farmers, the government should give the distressed farmers enough money to repay their loans. But repayment discipline must be maintained, so that the entire credit system remained healthy and responsible.

This would be a reasonable approach in Karnataka. But none of Yunus’ sentiments matter to the male chauvinists in the anjumans. And, sad to say, politicians do not want to take on anjumans that they view as vote banks. Hence, the Karnataka anjumans have gained credibility, and the non-repayment virus may spread to other states, shutting Muslim women out of the microcredit revolution sweeping India.

The need of the hour is for Muslim leaders and intellectuals to speak out on this issue. Industrialists like Premji, Hamied and Khokariwala must speak out. So should film stars like Shabana Azmi and Shah Rukh Khan. So should Muslim intellectuals from universities, and even vice president Hamid Ansari.

They should expose as bogus the claim of anjumans to be protecting Muslims from MFIs. Rather, the anjumans are depriving Muslim women of the empowerment that Mohammed Yunus pioneered. They are oppressors, not saviours of Muslim women.


September 25, 2009

South India: Lashkar’s next terror target

Filed under: Islam,Jihad,Terrorism — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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Central intelligence agencies have picked up intercepts that militants groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba have come up with a new plan to target cities in the south of India.

The intercepts have been picked up on the basis of the movement of some cadres from Kerala and Karnataka in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Intelligence Bureau sources told that it is clear that these men were sent in from the southern states so that they could be trained in order to carry out strikes in this part of the country. The cops have also been intimated and asked to keep a thorough vigil to ensure that LeT cadres do not regroup in the south. The Lashkar leadership is interested in regrouping in the south, the IB says.

This is the reason that is the modules down south are directly connected to the Gulf modules which are a major money spinner for the militant groups.

Why South is important?

It is now a confirmed that many southern modules carried out the serial blasts in the country. Following the blasts there was a major crackdown on the cadres and sleeper cells. Even the interrogation of various terrorists revealed that the southern module carried out the blasts.

Mysore place

Mysore palace

The most important factor that came out during the interrogation was that the entire southern module was directly linked to the Gulf module. However, the recent crackdown has had a disastrous effect on the Lashkar’s plans. Sources say that the south modules were being majorly financed by the Gulf module.

Kerala - Backwater area

Kerala - Backwater area

IB sources say that the main link between the southern and the Gulf modules was Sarfaraz Nawaz. He was primarily in charge of money transfer and was doing so until he was apprehended with the help of the Research and Analysis Wing and brought down to Bengaluru.

The IB says that the link between the Gulf modules and the southern modules has almost snapped following the recent spate of arrests. The biggest concern for the Lashkar was that the monetary link was snapped.

Kanyakumari - Thiruvalluvar statue

Kanyakumari - Thiruvalluvar statue

Prior to the arrests, modules in the Gulf were able to send in several crores of rupees into India and this was coordinated by the members of the southern module. However now, the monetary transcation has come down drastically and hence it is becoming difficult for these groups to operate the modules.

In the next phase of the plan, the Lashkar aims at rebuilding the southern module. Not only does the Lashkar need men in the south to carry on monetary transactions, but also wants the cadres to undertake recruitment on a largescale. The recruitment, according to security agencies, will help them undertake operations both in the Kashmir valley as well the rest of the country.

July 10, 2009

Violence in Mysore – Construction of Mosque on a temple land?

Filed under: India,Islam,Jihad — thecandideye @ 6:29 AM
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Came across this disturbing news  in CNN-IBN about the violence in Mysore over the temple land dispute..

Communal clashes have been reported to have occurred in Mysore and three people are believed to have died.
One of the dead reportedly includes a 15-year-old who was shot at. Curfew has been imposed in the Udayagiri and Mandi areas and the situation in surrounding areas too is said to be tense.
A large police presence is reported at the site of the incidence. Police fired in the air and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse crowds.
Police claim the situation is under control but Mahadevapura main road continues to be blocked by protestors.
The clashes are reportedly over attempts to build a mosque on a disputed piece of land. In fact, two years ago a group had tried to build a mosque on this site but the Huliyamma temple trust had questioned it in court.
On Wednesday night, the mosque officials tried to resume construction but the carcass of a pig was found in the area inciting fresh violence.
CNN-IBN contacted the Karnataka Chief Minister’s office. In a statement, the CM’s office said, “It was unexpected, it is now under control. The clashes started at 8.30 am today. School and Colleges have been closed in parts of Mysore. Media is prevented from entering troubled areas. Section 144 has been imposed.”

Related post

Jihad Violence in Mysore

April 13, 2009

Jihadi Violence in Mysore!!

Jihadi groups attacked 4 Temples and atleast 450 Houses of Hindus following the arrest of two Jihadi Romeos. Jihadis unleashed terror against Hindus and burnt their houses here following the arrest of two Jihadi youth based on the complaints of locals.You can read more on this here & here. As usual our secular media are silence about this issue.Will they keep quiet if Churces/Mosques are attacked?Will Bharkha Dutt,Sagarika Ghose,Rajdeep Sardesai et all who claim themselves as secularists,care to take notice of these Jihadi violence.Will Arundhati Roy say anything against this?Will Ambika Soni,Sonia,Puppet mohan singh and congress walas condemn these acts and come down heavily on Muslims?Are Hindus second class citizens in India??

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