Saturday, May 17, 2014

What do Muslims think of Modi's win?

The dream win for Narendra Modi, according to CNN, will bring a marked change in direction for the world's most populous democracy, a nation whose modern character has been defined by the inclusive, secular and liberal approach of the Congress Party, which has governed for most of the post-independence era.

Muslims to wait and watch for the promised good times
Various sentiments, feelings of insecurity to inclusive nature of Indian democracy is being discussed all over the world - among people, media and particularly muslims! Modi is still being considered as a deeply polarising figure and an unproven commodity on the international stage. However, it is more important to understand what do muslims in India think of Narendra Modi's win. If I take into account or go by what Urdu Press and Media is writing about this win of Modi, then in one sentence I would say that all editorial writers are asking Muslims to wait and watch for the promised good times.

A progressive web magazine says,"Pseudo-secular politicians had been scaring Muslims for long of a saffronised India under Mr. Narendra Modi. Even figures like 22, 000 Muslims will be killed in that scenario were bandied about." But do muslims in India have become politically clever enough to read and understand what the leaders say and actually mean (or act)! According to, a quick survey of Delhi's Urdu Press, the only barometer of Muslim opinion in the country available, reveals  that barring Shahi Imam's statement published in Mr. Aziz Burney's Azizul Hind daily, and the newspaper itself and a few columnists, no Urdu newspaper is engaged in scare-mongering. No dire predictions are being made. All have accepted the verdict of the people and say in a democracy the people's verdict should be always accepted and welcomed as it reflects the collective wisdom of the people. All editorial writers are asking Muslims to wait and watch for the promised good times.   

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara says, "We Respect People's Verdict. It says: "Since popular verdicts are a result of the collective wisdom of the people, they should be welcomed. This is the demand of the democratic principles as well. ... It will be premature to say how the new BJP government will behave, what attitudes it will display, what decisions it will take. .... In any case the government will be given time to reveal its policies and its attitudes. People are looking towards it with fear and expectations."

The editorial in Hamara Samaj bemoans the loss of secular parties and questions who is responsible for the defeat of secular politics in India. It holds secular parties themselves responsible for their loss and says there must be something wrong with them to have suffered such a comprehensive defeat at the hands of parties that are considered fascist.

In his victory speech, Modi said that he would carry every one with him

There are publications that have even taken positive note of PM-designate Modi's remarks in his victory speech that he would carry every one with him. Also, BJP President Rajnath Singh's repeated advice to party workers that no remarks should be made against any community (read Muslims) in victory celebrations has also been displayed prominently.

The foreign media, on the other hand, has reacted from calling Modi a deeply polarizing figure to calling his victory a rejection of Congress policies. The New Republic - an online magazine in the US, has described Modi as a leader known for his economic agenda and his controversial brand of Hinduism. While they positively regard his development policies, they do not seem to be very confident about the social development indicators that he presides on.

The Economic Times has published an article which says, "If comments of some influential clerics are to be believed, the BJP and Narendra Modi have managed to win their votes too". "Muslims have voted for the BJP in many parts of UP after Modi reached out to the community and assured them not to be fearful of a BJP regime. We don't fear him anymore and we are waiting for him to fulfill his promises," says Maulana Kalbe Jawad, the head priest of Lucknow's Shahi Asafi mosque, the country's largest Shia mosque. Maulana Jawad had campaigned against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, which has more than three lakh muslim votes.

To read more on what Urdu Media has to say on Modi's win, click here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

We want to leave good marks on the earth: Design Atelier

The vision statement of a leading New Delhi based Architecture firm, Design Atelier states, "We want to leave good marks on the earth. We want to work with a thoughtful integrity and a contemporary sensibility because we want our buildings to be loved today and to last. We would measure our work by the pleasure of the lives lived in our buildings and projects." The company says, "Our unequivocal focus is to influence the future shape of built environments through design leadership, expert knowledge and service excellence. We have been successfully engaged by major organizations- especially quality oriented corporations for their development projects in Institutional, Hospitality, Housing, Offices, Retail, and Educational sectors".

 Aashish V. Karode and Sushil L. Karer, Principals, Design Atelier
Aashish V. Karode and Sushil L. Karer, Principals, Design Atelier
Design Atelier is a nationally networked Architecture and Urban Design Firm focused on creating distinctive buildings and interiors in five service areas- Architecture, Campus Design, Hospitality, Workplace Design, and Retail Design. The company is based in New Delhi, India.

Design Atelier is also credited for giving major impetus to the green building movement in India. Recently, Chimes building of Gurgaon (developed by Design Atelier) was awarded the "Green Project of the Year" by Construction Week Awards 2013. Chimes building addresses issues of sustainability, sociability, making room for nature and program flexibility and was also awarded LEED/IGBC Gold Rating. 

Chimes building of Gurgaon was awarded LEED/IGBC Gold Rating
Chimes building of Gurgaon was awarded LEED/IGBC Gold Rating
Design Atelier works to create a fusion that employs a basic modern sensibility and local material, art and craft to foster a contemporary architecture firmly anchored in specific local peculiarities and to create dramatic impact. We aim to differentiate each project by a careful orchestration of architectural elements that create a lasting and memorable image.