Friday, January 18, 2013

'Muslim Patrol' vigilantes force London women to cover up


'Muslim Patrol' vigilantes force London women to cover upLONDON: An Islamic vigilante group has been confronting people in a London suburb askingwomen to cover up and to give up alcohol claiming they were living an 'unclean life', prompting authorities to clamp down.

The men, who operate hooded calling themselves 'Muslim Patrol', have uploaded videos of their exploits on the YouTube, the Daily Mail reported.

The three-minute video labelled 'The Truth About Saturday Night' has caused a stir online and shows the men walking London's streets and forcing a passerby to put a can of lager away, telling him they are the Muslim Patrol and that alcohol is a 'forbidden evil'.

They are also seen telling a group of women 'they need to forbid themselves from dressing like this and exposing themselves outside the mosque', the report said.

Scotland Yard says it is investigating the case. Muslim groups have, however, condemned them for their hard-line views and approach.

"We live in the UK and we are governed by UK law, there should be no mob rule. If people are involved in this behaviour then it is worrying but it is an isolated incident", Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organisation which campaigns for a peaceful co-existence among communities, said.

The Modi I have known

Courtesy:-India Today

Uday Mahurkar

A  day before the Gujarat poll result, Narendra Modi presided over his Cabinet meeting to discuss some government schemes with colleagues. He was his normal self, seemingly unaffected by the euphoria created by exit poll surveys just two days before. His ministers were not surprised. For they are by now used to Modi's "work is worship" style.

Within Modi's tough exterior resides a cool, calm and sensitive loner, who even pens poetry once a while. Modi has no real friends. Perhaps work is his only true friend. He often feels hurt when faced with negative reactions. When I went to interview him in the aftermath of his 2002 victory, I saw tears in his eyes as he told me: "Why has the media seen me only through one prism? I have maintained the highest form of integrity in Indian public life. Unfortunately, the media never appreciated me for this. Why?"

Modi's sensitivity is at best illustrated by some of his initiatives in the health sector. When I went to the state government-run U.N. Mehta Heart Institute recently to do a story on health issues, I was surprised to find a brand new building rivaling that of the privately-run Apollo. A senior health officer told me Modi had increased the budget of the hospital-where heart surgeries for students and below poverty line families are performed for free-from Rs.1 crore to Rs.60 crore in the past decade. In one of its wards, I found seven school children between the ages of 8 and 12, who had undergone free open heart surgeries under a government scheme that treats school-going students, poor or rich, for free, in state-run hospitals.

Twelve-year-old Nikunj Solanki, the son of a poor daily wager from Anand, recovering from surgery and lying on the bed with his chest sewn up, couldn't praise Modi enough as he said: "I owe my life to Modi. I am a Modi fan." His mother Manjulaben nodded in appreciation. No wonder then that the demand for Modi's re-election doesn't come from the corporate or middle class alone, but also from Gujarat's lower classes.

He has the vision to identify a revolutionary idea and take it ahead, braving all odds. The Jyotirgram Yojana, which has now ensured 24-hour, three-phase domestic power to all of Gujarat's 18,000 villages, is a shining example of this resolve. In 2003, when an expert gave Modi the idea of delinking the agriculture power feeder by laying a separate feeder line for domestic supply in every village, so that the latter could be free from power cuts, the CM at once picked up the idea.

It meant laying a mindboggling 90,000 km of separate power lines in the state, and faced stiff opposition from power officials who called it unfeasible. One such official, who is now a Modi admirer, told me: "Hats off to him. He did it despite adverse pressure from the bureaucracy." The same bureaucracy now admires him for systems he has devised for speedy deliverance of his schemes.

For Modi, every day is the same. He gets up at 5.30 am, goes through his chores before doing cyclic yoga that he learnt from the Vivekananda Kendra at Kanyakumari. After reading newspapers and talking to his information director, he takes a bath and is at the table for breakfast between 9.30 and 10, when he starts returning phone calls. Once his day starts, it can go on till late evening with an odd meeting being held even at 9 pm. Hard work and Modi go well together.