“We are proud of our MLAs as Taslima Nasrin needs the harshest punishment for her writings against Islam. The next time she comes to Hyderabad, we will implement the fatwa [of death] against her,” thundered Akbaruddin Owaisi, the MIM floor leader in the Assembly. “We are Muslims first and MLAs next.”, He said.

Well, assuming the old city in Hyderabad is still part of India, such utterances and fatwas (wtf!) serve no other practical purpose than sell more books for a below average writer like Taslima Nasrin, but the media celebrated it like the Lakme India fashion week.The recent bombings in Hyderabad has prompted some knee jerk portals (which cater to the same “Lakme India”-“Muslims marry four times” crowd )to term the city “Terror capital of India”. This if anything, is far from reality.

Hyderabad, as a recent article pointed out, is a city with a very high muslim population – almost half. Given this, the amount of communal tension in the city is nothing compared to the hot beds of Gujrat, Maharashtra and some northern states. Rather it stands as an example of a unique cultural matrix, with no major incidents of rioting in the past decade. Even before, during riots, the toll was very low (every life is valuable) compared to the orchestrated genocides in India’s saffronised cities. Here a word of caution is that “Ghettoisation” which happened in Ahemedabad and Mumbai – muslims sticking to muslim areas and vice versa, was always in place in Hyderabad, thereby reducing the toll and collateral damage in case of flare ups. But atleast for the time being Hyderabad is not the Terror Capital of India, Gujarat can hold the trophy for some time more.

Praveen Swami has an excellent leader page article in the days Hindu, he looks at Hyderabad’s Majlis movement and the extremist undercurrents among muslims in the city. An unmissable article which examines the historical (recent) evolution of muslim fundamentalism in Hyderabad. Such accounts help us to understand the city’s tensions without resorting to sound bytes. Excerpts,

In 1947, Rizvi unleashed his forces in support of the Nizam’s claims to independence. Thousands – both Hindus and Muslims opposed to Osman Ali Khan – were killed before the Indian Army swept into the State in September 1948. Within five days, Hyderabad capitulated. While the Nizam became the titular head of state, Rizvi was captured and imprisoned. He was finally expelled to Pakistan in 1957.

In the 1960s, there were riots in eight out of ten years in Hyderabad. After 1978, the trend towards communal violence took a turn for the worse. Except for the period 1986-89, riots took place virtually every year between 1978 and 1993, often many times in the same year.” Majlis leaders had the resources to defend the city’s Muslims – and slowly became their sole spokespersons.

And breaks a popular myth,

Hyderabad Muslims have done much better than their Lucknow counterparts. Their success however has led not to a reduction but an increase in communal tensions, partly through a strengthening of the Majlis. The relative economic betterment of Muslims is not a cause of increased tensions. An absence of symbiotic linkages is. The two communities do not constitute a web of interdependence

If the Hindu rule in Hyderabad is sickening, you got to check out the state of Hindu rule in Nagaland, where the “Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim“(GPRN) runs a parallel government, with an executive, Parliament, Budget and a Judicial process

Over the past 10 years of peace negotiations between the NSCN(I-M) and the Government of India, the Naga underground outfit has done everything it could do to prove to New Delhi that it is the GPRN, the parallel government, whose writ runs in Naga-inhabited areas.

It was on August 14, 1947, that the Naga National Council (NNC), led by the legendary Naga leader Angami Zapfu Phizo, declared Naga independence and informed the GOI and the United Nations about it. In spite of the independence declaration it was decided by the NNC that the machinery set up to run a parallel government should not be put into motion as it was apprehended that the setting up of a parallel government might lead to violence and that the Nagas would lose the “sympathy” of Mahatma Gandhi.

I’ll keep Manipur, Assam, J&K and Nepal for the next week 🙂