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241-247 vol. 21 Nos. 1-7 January-July 2003 

New beginning,
renewed commitment

Forgetting or ignoring events and issues is an inseparable part of human experience. This age-old habit leaves both negative and positive imprints on human life. Humans have been as accurate in recording history of technology and science as they have been clever in distorting their own history. As Prof Roscoe, an anthropologist, said "we are looking beyond the nuclear age but we still possess stone age brains."

In contemporary India this problem has acquired a frighteningly extreme nature, so much so that in future no community, group or caste will be able to study history with accuracy and authenticity. It might even be difficult to know tomorrow who was foe and who was friend, or which creed or faith one belonged to. 

Private as well as State-sponsored efforts for "rectifying" history, "restructuring" past events and continuous manufacture of new myths, have endangered history itself. Many of our problems today are a result of this deliberate falsification which has poisoned many an innocent brain. 

Muslim Indians, who enjoy even shorter memories, seem to be the worst victims of this phenomenon. Every political and social tremor, of whatever intensity, leaves them shattered and disillusioned. Every new catastrophe and hype makes them forget even their recent past. 

In such an atmosphere of continuous tinkering with history, past and present, studying real history and analysing it will be a very difficult task for our coming generations.

Syed Shahabuddin made a dedicated effort in this direction through Muslim India with his limited resources and meagre help from a community which does not cease to cry media bias and demand a Muslim presence, especially in the English-language media. When after 20 years of continuous publication, he was forced to suspend Muslim India last December, the whole community claimed it was "shocked" but none came forward to carry the burden. Although we are still struggling with the Milli Gazette, we did not think twice when Syed Shahabuddin approached us if we would like to continue the journal after its closure last December. 

We believe that such a publication must not be allowed to die. It chronicles our present and preserves important raw material which soon will vanish under the onslaught of the falsification of history and short Muslim memory.
We felt the consequence of its closure during the last seven months when constant queries from around the world by researchers and journalists looking for basic material and data on Muslim Indians were becoming increasingly difficult to address in the absence of Muslim India.

Stepping into the shoes of a great leader, diplomat, politician and analyst was not easy and we realise that we will never be able to replicate his dedication, experience and sharp intellect. Where we lack we will try to compensate by offering the best possible documentation from all possible sources, national as well as international. We have also translated material from Urdu which remains the prime source of information on the Muslim Indian but remains largely out of bound of scholars and researchers. We will also introduce material from Hindi publications in our future issues.

We hope that our constant endeavour will ensure that a whole range of subjects which touch upon the lives of Muslim Indians and other minorities and weaker sections is constantly monitored and covered both by publishing serious articles, papers and reports and by offering selected documentation from a wide range of national and international sources under convenient headings so that the user is able to use them easily.

And here we are with our first issue which combines the issues of the months of January-to July 2003. The next issue (August-September) will also be a combined one. Thereafter, all issues, insha Allah, will be monthly. We did not want to leave a gap in the journal's documentation of all that affects and matters to the Muslim Indian. 

Muslim India shall objectively reproduce material for the benefit of researchers and scholars. Omitted parts, marked by three dots (…), mean that they were repetitions, peripheral, irrelevant or unrelated to the main issue in the view of our editorial staff. 

Our main focus will remain the Muslim Indian community, but we will also document events and issues related to other minorities, i.e., Dalits, Sikhs, Christians etc as we firmly believe that minority problems and human rights issues are interconnected.

Zafarul-Islam Khan

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The Milli Gazette, Indian Muslims' Leading English Newspaper


Last updated 01 August 2003

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