Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Memories


Memories, originally uploaded by firoze shakir photographerno1.

Aftab (Persian: آفتاب ) (means sun in Persian)

memories
through your pictures
on our souls you freeze
touching an eternity
we call peace
dreams
bound to
a golden fleece
billowing blowing
like cool breeze

dedicated to aftab..

Sitting on the Grave of a House

the burning fire of fate
calamity doom
they did douse
all lost with
the supreme maker
they have no grouse
sitting on the grave
of what was once their house
the sleeping children
buried under the debris
who will rouse
a woman searching for
her missing spouse

Dedicated to the CM of Maharashtra who came saw the tragedy and has promised that the State machinery will help the homeless and the needy..

A Ruined Man Profile in Pain

This was a readymade Tshirt manufacturing unit -the machines the fabrics , the raw material, the stocks all burned down at Behrampada Bandra East.. what you are seeing is the profile of a ruined man..there is nothing left just hardcore raw pain..facing gloom and a future of despair.
Most of these small scale units are not even insured , they buy electricity illegally from touts and it is perhaps a short circuit overloading that caused the unprecedented disastrous fire..

And one man Richard Higgins aka Yorrik felt this pain, before I could write the text on this post..does pain need words for translation...

".but it is a very moving image and i am glad you took these.

all the best my friend, to everyone there or at least the very basics " yorrik

The Accursed Basiji of Iran

Feared Basij militia has deep history in Iranian conflict

By Samira Simone
CNN
edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/06/22/iran.basij.militia...

They may wear a uniform, or ordinary street clothes. Their numbers are unclear. They rush the streets with brute strength.

They are the Basij, Iran's volunteer paramilitary group that for more than a week has cracked down on the thousands of protesters in the bloody aftermath of the Islamic republic's disputed presidential election.

Amateur video shows members of the Basij, wearing plain shirts and pants and wielding clubs and hoses, dispersing protesters and beating a handful of Iranians at a time.

"The Basij militia forces tried to break up the demonstrations using batons, electric shock and water cannons," a student in Tehran, whose name was withheld for his safety, told CNN's Don Lemon on Sunday. The student said he was injured at a protest by the feared militia.

Monday's demonstrators dismissed a warning from the Revolutionary Guard that people who "disturb the peace and stand up to security forces" would be met with a strong response. "The guardians of the Islamic revolution and the courageous Basiji together with the security forces are following the orders of the supreme leader and following him unquestioningly," the Guard said, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Video Watch protesters clash with Basij militia »

While the Basij -- the word means "mobilization" in the Farsi language -- is often described by outsiders as shadowy and mysterious, Iranians have had run-ins with the militia for three decades.

The Basij was established in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who famously declared that Iran could never be destroyed with a 20-million-man militia. Khomeini, who ushered in the Islamic revolution that ousted Iran's ruling shah 30 years ago, felt that his country suffered from Western influences that the shah embraced.

He created the Basij as a popular auxiliary arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a military unit under the direct control of Iran's supreme leader, to defend the principles of the movement.
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The group, at least at first, was made up of men either too old or young to serve in the Revolutionary Guard. Until now, they were perhaps best known for the "human wave" attacks during the Iran-Iraq war that reportedly cleared out minefields for the professional military. Many of the Basij reportedly received plastic keys to wear around their necks like dog tags, marking their entry to "paradise" when they died in martyrdom.

"Basij members made up with zeal what they lacked in military professionalism," said Michael Eisenstadt, a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Military and Security Studies Program.

After the Iran-Iraq war, the Basij returned to its role as an internal security force to enforce Islamic morality. While Iran in recent years has claimed more than 12 million in the ranks of the group, Middle East experts put the figure closer to 300,000 -- though they concede it's difficult to quantify a sprawling militia that has full-time and reservist cadres.

The militia is known to recruit members from rural and urban areas and to organize mainly at mosques around Tehran and other major cities. Video Watch report on Basij militia »

"Through the mosques, they have funds, ideological and political indoctrination and military training," said Ali Alfoneh, a fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute who has researched the relationship between Iranian civilians and the Revolutionary Guard.

The Basij has had a growing role since 2003, when it was beefed up as a first line of defense amid suspicions of a possible U.S.-led invasion, Eisenstadt said

"I think cannon fodder is a fair way to characterize them," said Eisenstadt, who noted the militia seems to emerge during the initial moments of an uprising as the Revolutionary Guard and law enforcement forces organized their reaction. See timeline of events in Iran »

While experts say there is a hardline ideological core to Basij, its members, who often come from lower-class backgrounds, are attracted to the perks that the Basij (and its superior agency, the Revolutionary Guard) has to offer: a little cash, a seat at a university and a bit of authority.

"Not every single one is devout, not every single one is ready to kill," said Alfoneh, a native of Iran.

The Basij noticeably took the lead in crowd control last week when tens of thousands of Iranian demonstrators spilled into the streets of Tehran to protest the presidential election. Iran's election authority declared hardline incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner of the presidential race, sparking outrage in supporters of popular opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi.

"The first people who were really available were the Basij," Eisenstadt told CNN. "There are Basij bases throughout the city and beyond, and they were able to respond quickly."

As the government got a handle on the massive demonstrations in recent days, the Basij remains present and vigilant in the aftermath of the June 12 election.

Badi Badiozamani, an Iran analyst, has sifted through scores of amateur video from the frontlines of the protests. Dozens of those clips show Basij members, wearing black shirts and pants or plainclothes with camouflaged vests, detaining young men outside their homes as their mothers and sisters scream in the background.

One clip shows a young man whose head is hooded in a dark cloth, squatting behind a car, while another man is shown face down with his hands tied behind his back.

"We saw that these forces took the detained person out into the alley, and into an unmarked car," Badiozamani said. "Today I saw again Basijis grab a young man, put him on a unmarked motorcycle and take him away."

Burqa - My Birthright

"Burqas not welcome in France ", says Sarkozy .
This is the heading of the Times of India Mumbai front page dated 23 June 2009..

Some Excerpts..
Says Sarkozy "The burqa is not a religious sign,it is a sign of subservience and a sign of debasement- I want to say it solemnly "he said.
"It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic"

"In our country , we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen,cut off from all social life , deprived of all identity."Sarkozy said.



To President Sarkozy from Marziya


says the little one
burqa my birthright
why it gives Sarkozy
the strong man of France
a shuddering fright
at the very mention of the burqa
he gets uptight
his mind in hysterical flight
or is it because he is
French and he is white
racial profiling souls to spite
undemocratic irresponsible words
from a leader of his height
c'est dommage ..
religious fires hate ignite
ban the burqa
in your country
but please stay quiet
dont make statements
against Islam
derogatory
racist
and not right

ps
I am a Francophile some of my best friends are French my French teacher at the Alliance Francaise in Mumbai Dhanraj Mahal was Alain Ficat..early 70s..

Behrampada RP Construction

These are the channels on which the structures of Behramada are built reaching five floors , no pillars no plinth , no foundation....dangerous living precarious living - survival on the edge,,

Another Bleeding Brick In The Wall

This is the four or sometimes five tiered structures built without pillars or foundation, this is known in local parlance as channel or RP..itis bricks and iron channels , the staircase is inside a makeshift narrow iron one..a single person can come up or go down..this is Behrampada Bandra East..the largest slum predominantly Muslim,living on the edge..precarious survival of lesser mortals.The structures hug each other cheek and jowl..

The Bandra East Railway Station is close by where this incident took place..this is area is dense with over spilling humanity barrow by lanes completely choked and congested a nallah runs on the road..

NEDA SOLTANI LIVES IN THE HEART OF IRAN

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neda_Soltani

Neda Agha-Soltan (Persian: ندا آقا سلطان - Nedā Āġā-Soltān; b 1982 - d June 20, 2009)[2][3] was an Iranian woman whose killing, during the 2009 Iranian election protests, was captured on video by bystanders.[4] The graphic videos were posted on the Internet, and her name quickly became a rallying cry for the opposition.[4] Neda means "voice" or "calling" in Persian, and she has been referred to as the "voice of Iran" and "a symbol of pro-democracy protesters battering the Islamic regime" in the world.[5][6][7][2] Her last name has also been spelled as Soltani in some media reports.[8]

Circumstances of death

On June 20, 2009, Neda, a philosophy student[9], was sitting in her car in traffic on Kargar Avenue in the city of Tehran[4], near the Amir-Abad area, accompanied by her music teacher. Having gotten out of the car because of the excessive heat, she was allegedly targeted and shot in the chest by plainclothes Basij paramilitaries who were attempting to subdue a protest march.[10] Undated amateur videos depicting Neda collapsing to the ground, being tended to, and apparently dying, were uploaded to Facebook and YouTube[4], and spread across the internet virally.

The videos were accompanied by a message from a doctor, allegedly a frontline physician during the Iran-Iraq war, who claimed to have been present during the incident:

At 19:05 June 20th Place: Kargar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father [SIC, later identified as her music teacher] watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."[11]

Neda was taken to a morgue outside Tehran, where her family agreed to the removal of her organs for transplanting to medical patients. Her body was buried at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran. Iranian authorities had allegedly set aside empty graves for those killed during the protests.[12]

Discussions about Neda on Twitter, using a hashtag of #neda became one of the "'trending topics'" by the end of the day on June 20, 2009.[4] The authenticity of the videos, the location of the incident, and the identity of the alleged killer have not yet been independently confirmed by the mainstream media. Neda's death was not reported by the state-controlled Iranian media, but was reported by international media. CNN has shown the video multiple times, both with and without censoring of the blood as it poured out of her mouth and nose.

Sources have variously identified Neda as a 16-year old and a 26 or 27-year old.[13] She is almost uniformly identified as a university student.[13] The authenticity of a portrait of her that has been used for many news stories is unknown. The Guardian has stated that Neda worked part-time at a travel agency.[14]

There are two videos depicting Neda's death; one shows Neda collapsing to the ground, apparently still conscious. The second shows Neda only after she appears to lose consciousness and begins to bleed heavily.

The first video appears to have been recorded using a mobile phone.[15] The cameraman approaches a group of people huddled together in front of a parked car at the side of the street. As he moves closer, Neda can be seen collapsing to the pavement with a large bloodstain at her feet. Two men, one initially assumed to be her father, but later confirmed to be her music teacher, are seen trying to revive her; as seconds pass, her eyes roll to one side and she appears to lose consciousness. Blood begins to pour from her nose and mouth, and screams are heard.

At this point in time, the second video begins.[16] The cameraman approaches Neda and the two men; the camera passes over them and centers on Neda's face; her stare is blank and she is bleeding profusely from her nose and mouth. Loud screaming can be heard.

The man next to Neda can apparently be heard speaking in the first video, saying her name;

"Neda, don't be afraid. Neda, don't be afraid. [obscured by others yelling] Neda, stay with me. Neda stay with me!"

A third video appeared which purportedly shows Neda at the protest march, before her death.[17]

On 22 June, 2009, Iranian presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi, who are contesting the validity of the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called upon Iranian citizens to commemorate Agha-Soltan.[18] Karroubi announced his appeal on Facebook, asking demonstrators to gather in the center of of the Iranian capital at 4:00 pm local time.[18]

Twitter entries announced that Neda Soltani was buried at the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, denied a funeral by government authorities.[18] The refusal of the government to allow a funeral was also alleged by a family acquaintance.[19] The Iranian government has issued a ban on collective prayers in mosques for Agha-Soltan in the aftermath of the incident.[20]

Time magazine and other news sources[21] have speculated that due to the widespread attention given to Neda's story by social media networks and mainstream news organizations, she is already being hailed as a martyr. There is also speculation that the Shi'ite cycle of mourning on the third, seventh and 40th day after a person's death may give the protests sustained momentum, in similar fashion to the Iranian Revolution, where each commemoration of a demonstrator's death sparked renewed protests, resulting in more deaths, feeding a cycle that eventually resulted in the overthrowing of Iran's monarchy.[22]

TRIBUTE TO NEDA SOLTANI ON YOU TUBE


On 22 June, 2009, Iranian presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi, who are contesting the validity of the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called upon Iranian citizens to commemorate Agha-Soltan.[18] Karroubi announced his appeal on Facebook, asking demonstrators to gather in the center of of the Iranian capital at 4:00 pm local time.[18]

Twitter entries announced that Neda Soltani was buried at the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, denied a funeral by government authorities.[18] The refusal of the government to allow a funeral was also alleged by a family acquaintance.[19] The Iranian government has issued a ban on collective prayers in mosques for Agha-Soltan in the aftermath of the incident.[20]

Time magazine and other news sources[21] have speculated that due to the widespread attention given to Neda's story by social media networks and mainstream news organizations, she is already being hailed as a martyr. There is also speculation that the Shi'ite cycle of mourning on the third, seventh and 40th day after a person's death may give the protests sustained momentum, in similar fashion to the Iranian Revolution, where each commemoration of a demonstrator's death sparked renewed protests, resulting in more deaths, feeding a cycle that eventually resulted in the overthrowing of Iran's monarchy.[22]

Behrampada Weeps ! As the Rest of the World Sleeps

I shot several frames of this structure it kept beckoning me ..the sounds of silence, the party was over no hustle bustle .. no cacophony of Muslim women fighting with each other as to will put clothes on the clothesline, no fighting for tap water, no fighting for the communal toilet.., these rooms don't have attached toilets ..friends that were foes have become friends again a bit too late at the end of the day..

Allah Will Provide - Behrampada Bandra East

This was her house , her children have gone out to scrounge for relief aid, she was sad but had come to terms with her fate, she did not curse herself , nor did she blame God for this horrendous calamity..

Every bit of her belongings charred forever only hope remains unscathed ..yes she told me Allah will Provide..

Stairway to Heaven- Behrampada Bandra East

From the ground floor this ladder went up the fourth floor sometimes the fifth floor , now when the fire struck, imagine their plight , families lived as tenants on the top floor , the landlord on the bottom floor, or in some cases the industrial units were on the ground floor the land lords on the top floor..
Now imagine running out from these houses where only one man can move out of the lane , the other man has to wait till the first man crosses..this was a calamity of negligence .

The fire was allegedly a short circuit, there were touts who sold illegal electricity..to the industrial units..I am told ..the fire started at the Makrani Lane ..as I entered inside there was fire that had not yet died down..

The Mumbai Police cadres were taking the survey of the houses and the people, bedsheets , utensils were being offered as relief by various Muslim institutions , the Jamatis were in great strength here with a medical camp as the denizens of this area were Sunnis..predominantly.. mostly migrants from Uttar Pradesh.

The Maharashtra Cheif Minister had visited the disaster area and offered relief..his detractors say it is all a political gimmick to garner votes for the assembly elections..so beneath the layer of this disaster there is a power struggle too, everyone wants to take credit ..I gathered this from the talk all around.,

The Bhangar guys were having a field day buying the iron , the burnt machinery and other stuff..the homeless selling off their junk to feed hungry mouths..it is a very sad day for this community of deprived souls..

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