Love Jihad: Struggle for Love

Jihad, an Arabic word in its pure essence defines, the ‘struggle’ in the path of a praiseworthy cause.

In Islamic scripts, and the Holy book ‘Quran’, it’s often referred to as a ‘Strife’ in the path of God, with different shades of meanings attached to it. In few Sufi and pious circles, Jihad is referred to as struggle of spiritual and moral cleansing of inner impulses.
Thus in different contexts, the meaning differs, however with one central and common meaning depicting – ‘Struggle’

In the modern era, this word ‘Jihad’ is commonly used to induce criminal mindset among those who are young and vulnerable, in the name of War thus inciting hatred and actions which are further treated as Islamic Terrorism. It is used at many other places too, with different references,and with adverse connotations.
But since our topic for today is not Hate, we will not be further discussing the same, instead we would only focus on the brighter aspect of it, which is ‘Love’, our topic for today and forever.


Love, the eternal feeling of, Respect, Understanding and Togetherness should be one place where all our efforts should go in, to inculcate it amongst ourselves, our near and dear ones, and the future generations. This sounds good, isn’t it? But is that easy to do, the way it sounds?
The answer uniformly would be a ‘No’, considering the fact that we belong to a nation which is so diverse in terms of its varied cultures, languages, religions, castes, color, which though we are extremely proud of, has its own nuances of maintaining this diversity, the way it has done it all this while. Love marriages are still considered a Taboo, and if the couple in love, have different caste or religion, then it’s an even bigger problem.

Though we have become a modernized society, with greater Technological and Architectural advances, our mindset is still backwards. We have low acceptance, of growth we need to make morally to grow up as a socially mature society.
We are so immersed in our self obsessed, caste-based, religion-based false pride, that we don’t let any form of Love bloom, especially where the bar is diversity in terms of caste, religion, color and what not.

Even the highly civilised, influential and intellectual of the families, are hesitant in accepting out-of-caste relationships in their families. Out-of-religion relationships are not considered even an option there. Few of them though accept it, but that’s for name sake, after a lot of struggle from the couple who have to yearn to earn every bit of happiness they would have deserved without asking, if the case would have been otherwise.

This lack of acceptance, acknowledgement is what makes the couple in love, to take actions in their hands, based on the level of maturity and experience their young age leads to, which are wildly adverse in their own ways. Few of them choose to flee, which further follows threats from family members, not-so stronger ones choose to go with family decisions and let go of their love, to continue their journey of life with their parents choices. In worst cases, few choose to END their lives, without any hope of any acceptance, support, guidance from anywhere. Even worst are the cases which induce heinous crimes like Honour-killings. And the list can go on, if we want to elaborate it further.

Why these young people have to chose to let go of their love or/and their life??
All of these happens, just to satisfy the hunger of self-obsessive ego of caste, religion and status of few folks for whom their stature in the society is more important than the pain of losing a family member, who was once dearly ‘loved’.
Why these young ones have to ‘struggle’ so much to acquire acceptance of something which comes naturally to Humans, the feeling of Love and Togetherness? Of all the struggles of life, this one is the most ‘real’ and ‘painstaking’ one which stays and continues till the life stays.
To parents and guardians, just think about it, if you go ahead and remove the caste/religion based reservations from the prevalent criteria of choosing your dear ones life partners, or let them be free
to choose whoever they want to love and get married to, for the rest of their lives and all of these, with your support, guidance and blessings. How wonderful would it be?
Let them make their life choices, and you would notice how simpler and happier the lives be.

However, expecting the above, in a larger scale, with the social acceptance is something which is still a distant reality, and thus the struggle needs to continue.
If this ‘struggle’ is, what it takes to bring the change we all want to foresee in the world to follow the path of Love
If this ‘struggle’ is, what world calls ‘LOVE JIHAD’, So be it.


Is Religion that important? Isn’t Love enough?

With the recent changes in the domestic World, Be it in the political Arena OR in the approach towards Modernity(OR Western Culture, you may call it), there has been quite a lot of aspirations and at the same time, ambiguity related to the future.
We, the present generations of this Country have got choices to make. Its the first time, that WE, have this freedom, to decide and nurture what Our future world will be. Its indeed a big responsibility.
The times are changing, and the change is US. We need to be the positive change, the vibrant energy which can drive the nation to a world of happiness, liberty and humanism. And the special power need to fuel this change is what we already have, LOVE.
The nation is spread among people with orthodox approaches, self-contained bureaucrats, who have a single concern, i.e. to evolve hate out of hatred, on the basis of caste, religion, region. We can cite out a number of examples, where religious differences are twisted, broken, and then show-cased in a new face, just to attain popularity, to gain political benefits, and ultimately the power to control millions.
Who are they? Who gave them this power?
The only answer one can trace down to is, They are humans like us, and its We who gave them this power.
Now the question lies, WHY? Why we turn blind to see what ahead of us, why we are stepping into a jive, which is impossible to come out of.
Well, the answer we can still drill down to is, its because of Our belief system, the machinery which is fitted into our brains which behaves like blinders, which makes us behave, the way we are expected to. And this belief system is imposed on us, through a term called ‘Religion’.
What is Religion? Have you ever tried to conceptualize, from where this term came, OR what was the reason for which, it actually came into existence. I can guarantee, that you would say ‘NO, NEVER’.
[Infosys CEO – Mr. Vishal Sikka says ‘We Indians are good at doing, what we are told to do’. He isn’t wrong either.]
RELIGION, the term difficult to define, however has numerous definitions across the world , by numerous philosophers.
The religious Leader Dalai Lama says,
   ‘This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’
One of the greatest leaders of modernization, Abraham Lincoln said,
   ‘When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.’
The most successful social reformist of India, B.R. Ambedkar said,
   ‘I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.’
These sayings were not individualistic views, they were to make us think, to make us question what we have been following till this time.
Religions were created by us, humans, to have faith, hope, trust in GOD, the omnipresent, Super power who created this world.
However, traditions, culture, practices came along, and with this came competition, comparison, difference of views and beliefs, as imposed by several religious leaders, world saw, time and again .
And this led to clashes, violence in the name of religion, contests in proving which religion is better, than the other. This only brought HATE, and the soul purpose of its creation was lost somewhere.
Most of you, might agree, to me, on several points being discussed here, But when it comes to take a stand, many of you might take a step back.
The culprit again is Our belief system, We seem to give precedence to things taught to us, then our own thoughts.
A Hindu guy OR his family, might seem liberal to accept guy’s Muslim friends, as his companions during his early days of life, School, College, Work, but when it comes to choosing bride for the same son, they would select Girl from the same religion, same caste.
Same goes with Muslim families OR other religions as well.
The reason being, difference in religion, culture, belief, and what GOD we bend to.
Why is that? What makes Humans different from each Other? Their physical OR their mental attributes? Did GOD made the differences?
NO, Every human being was/is created with same set of features, Equal, in all sense.
So, Isn’t Love, Understanding, Care, Trust enough to cater the requirements, One needs to look into the prospective bride OR groom?
Does her/his religion affect the relation you are going to have with that human being, with whom, you are going to spend your entire life with? It doesn’t.
The time has come, that we get ahead of this Old belief system, disapprove wrong beliefs, practices, and appreciate people for their actions, for what they actually are, irrespective of religion.
Choice of religion is a voluntary decision, and everyone has the freedom to follow practices they want to follow.
Same should be the case with Choosing your life partner, Everyone should have the freedom to choose their partners, irrespective of which faith they are into.
Inter-faith couples can be the fore-runners of the modern world, who will be free of hatred, who will respect all the religions, the symbols of Unity and peace, and who can lead this country ahead , free of regionalism, bureaucracy, chaos, and uncertainty.
As we conclude, We can say, Religion is there to spread Love, peace, harmony among Humans. Its soul purpose is to keep Humans as Humans. If it doesn’t, then its not a religion.
‘Love is the pillar on which Life stands, the walls are the RELIGION’
Keep Loving, Caring…and thinking.
Best of Luck.
Ajaz Ahmed

Dilemma Drama Denial (The 3Ds)

The post title itself speaks a lot about the post.
The 3Ds of my life has so much to say that rather explaining then briefly would cost me 3 pages
It’s been a while for me posting blog, so thought process and conversion to a blog post might differ than my previous blogs.

The 3Ds are the 3 stages of an event which occurred to me and a number of other people of my generation whom I may not know.
The event has been a life-changing till now, and its consequences will be a life-changing too.
However I won’t be discussing the event here, but the wider perspectives for now.

If you are a guy and of the same generation whom I belong, (I am 24 years old, FYI) and reading this, then you would surely admit and agree to what I may express here.
So the stages, goes like this:

Stage 1: Dilemma



LIFE: Life is a gift/bitch.
Life, sometimes has so much to give to you, that you would surely get confused, what to take and what to leave. It gives you chances with choices, and its completely on your luck and wit, what you choose out of it.
Life gives you work, love, responsibilities, freedom, and name it, what not.
The whole confusion in choosing between things is what I call ‘Dilemma’.

In our case, if we talk professionally, it would be Dilemma:
To choose the right job,
To choose the right profile,
To choose to stay in the Job or not,
In knowing what’s best for your career.

And so on.
Each choice has it pros and cons and it depends on us, whether we let pros to take over or the cons. This makes the Dilemma more gross and striking in nature.
The problem with this stage is:

We do not know what to do, though we have lot to do

Stage 2: Dramadrama

Of course, the choice you make once, you have to withstand with them, though you like them later or not. The commitment, responsibilities, comes with choices, and so the dependability.
The swift change of life dramatically is an output.
It is in this stage, that the drama starts. We act, we appear to like what we are doing, believe that we might seem to become good at it.
We enact a different personality within us, to show that we actually like what we are doing, and it was the objective we eventually had it, and so it turned out to be. This different personality curbs the original ‘US’, the things in which we could have been very good at, we never tried.

Drama gives a false representation of our outer self and it may last for a period of time and may appear to come out bright.
But it can never last forever. We just seem to fool ourselves.
As it has been said, ‘Do, what you like..Like, what you do..

The problem is we try doing the second thing ignoring the first. As a result, the things don’t turn out as it should have been.
A person can’t be good at anything ever, if he doesn’t like what he does.

Thus the dramatic turns in life, is what keeps us roaming and searching for what actually we want from life.
Drama can be a direct result of our bad choices, or lack of good chances.
The problem with this stage is :

‘ We do, without knowing why we are doing it’

Stage 3: Denialdenial

This stage is what decides the progress of life of any human being – Denial.
The timing and the exact moment of ‘Denial’ is what is important.

Denial as you know means ‘Rejection’, ‘Refusal’ of the choices which we made during the first stage. It requires lots of guts and self-realization to Deny. And earlier you realize, earlier you would be able to find your life’s set path.
For some people, this realization process is very short and precise, adding to which is their Risk-taking capability.
These are the people who get the taste of Success first, and are the brave ones too.
Examples are many: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Narayan Murthy.

While still there are people, who don’t realize their motives, qualities as fast, or even if they realize, they do not accept it, or they do not have the courage enough to accept it and take the corresponding related risks. It comes with maturity.

Denial is the most important of all the three stages, as it is the deciding phase which predicts and presumes the real future one is going to have.
Denial is one side of coin, whose other side is Acceptance. Acceptance lacks courage, though is a safest thing to do, when you don’t have choices. Denial and Acceptance are two opposite sides; still they go hand in hand, during various phases of life.
You just have to be sure, when you need to Deny and when you need to Accept.

There is no problem with this stage, ‘We just have to be mature enough in selecting things for us’

Thus, we can conclude that the above 3Ds are responsible for our likely livelihood and our life’s progress. They are the deciding phases.

Life, daily gives you options and depending on your selections, your path is weaved. These selections could be wrong or correct most of the times, but as early you realize it, as early you can jump onto your correct path.

“Life is a test, it asks you questions, answering all is impossible, you might be wrong in few ones, but your ultimate result always is calculated on your willingness to answer them, may it be correct or incorrect.”

You may have all the wisdom to think from your mind, your heart (more importantly) and decide what’s best for you.
Be fearless. Best of luck.

Last, but not the least, A very Happy New Year (belated)

Take care.
Ajaz Ahmed

‘Time and tide waits for none’

Time rushes past so swiftly, as swift is the sand in your closed palm. Its been more than six months from the instance where we all departed from our college, holding our provisional certificates in our hand, promising each and everyone of our friends, teachers and other known presence, that no matter however the situation may be, we all will remain in touch and consistently be in communication. This altogether was done as a pledge I suppose. The departing friends were calm, serene and had a feeling of sadness in their eyes, because everyone knew that the life we spent here was enriched, crafted and glamoured by our unity and the completeness it followed, by having precious moments to share and enjoy. But the real battle with life was waiting for each one of us.

After grad, some had a pre-planned decision of going for higher studies like MCA, MBA. Some went agreeing to their parents’ decisions. However there were still some who had aspiring motives for continuing there studies, but due to lack of better chances, they decided to lead their ways differently. Some went on to give them a second chance to get their ambitions fulfilled, we serve them our best wishes for their venture and preparation. However there were also some who went inside the professional arena, looking for the jobs of their interest or rather that, that depends on the qualification they posess.I,also belonged to the latter group,and have decided the fate to be bestowed upon me,will undergo circumstances whichever may I need to face.The struggle for each one of us, was well reasonable and hectic at the same time, may it be getting admissions into desired courses, arranging fees amount etc. Or looking for a deserving job. There was hardwork and continuous pressure,and so the result was fruitful.

“Do you have it in you?”- My SSB Experience

Chest no. 1 was it that they used to call me, my name was almost lost during those 5 days of my SSB(Service Selection Board) interview.
Starting from the form filling of CDSE, I remember that I was never serious about joining the Defence services. I still remember the day when Sandeep(My class fellow a dear friend) was filling up the form and asked me to fill it up too..He himself brought the form and gave it to me. The same unseriousness was with the exam, We just went to the examination venue, without having any preparation for it.Exam was on 14th February, spoiling the awaited plans for that day. My exam centre was at Lodhi Road, which coincided with some of my friends.
We all gave the exam blindly but thankfully and fortunately the exam wasn’t tough at all, it just required a little bit of common sense and logical thinking. After it, we all were busy in our Practicals, Exams and our lives. The time went on, and we simply forgot about it. Now, was the result time, I didn’t even know the Result date and the site where to know it from. Once again my friends helped me. It was in June 2010, on checking the result, I found only me and my brother cleared the exam from all the friends, who applied. This was ironical in many respects. Little later in few days. we got the call letter too, from UPSC, instigating the venue, date, terms and conditions, of the SSB interview.

Our venue was in Bangalore and the date we had to reach there, was 23rd of AUGUST by 3:00 pm. Excited as were we, we waited anxiously, booked the tickets, arranged the necessary requirements as predicted in the call letter, and reported the Bangalore City Railway Station, on the desired date and time. It was then, that Our trip towards astonishing and surprising standard of life began. There were around 94 aspirants in our batch waiting for their luck and hardwork to ripen. At the scheduled time, We all were in the bus, a bus of ‘Indian Army’, and in few minutes, we have entered the Selection centre South, Bangalore.
The day of reporting wasn’t included in the SSB interview 5-days’ Schedule. It was just to fill up some forms, which included, a PIQ form, a TA form, etc. and allocation of barracks to the candidates. We were eight fellows in a barrack. Then comes the first day.

24th Aug
It was the screening day. We have to report at 6:00 am, so everyone woke up at 4:00 am, to get ready.The screening included a series of tests which decides whether you are required for next 4 days to assess your qualities or you are sent back the very first day. The tests included : an intelligence test, a PPT(Picture Perception Test), a narration, and a GD(Group Discussion) on the stories made by Group fellas to converge onto a single general consensus. The way it went for me, I thought I would be screened out. The result was shocking, the guys who we felt had a better chance were screened out. only three in our roommates, and 59 in all 94 were selected. rest were sent back the very first day. This was the thing, which was not pleasing. You can’t be sure of your selection at any cost.
The chest numbers were re-given to all 59 candidates. Being the youngest, I was given Chest No. 1. Rooms were re-allocated, and so we had new roommates for once more. The day ended in a confusion, I was asking myself what went wrong with others that they weren’t selected, and what went right for me, that I got selected.

25th Aug
It was a psychological test day. There was a booklet given and a series of tests, were there, to check out the state of mind, level of thinking, reaction to situations. The tests included An aptitude test, SRT(Situation Reaction Test), WAT(Word Association Test), Story Writing, etc.
The same day after the tests were over, many of us were called for the interviews, usually the candidates are called in sequence but interview may not be done in sequence necessarily. First 10 candidates were called for the interview and it was taken individually at different places and in random order. Mine was 17 SSB(Indian Army Board), some had interviews in 12 SSB(Indian Navy Board), thus IO(Interviewing Officers) were also different.

26th Aug
Now it was an Outdoor Task day, where we had Group tasks. Firstly, we had a Group Discussion on a topic chosen by us from the topics given by GTO(Group Task Officer) among the members of each group particularly. There were 6 groups each containing 9-10 candidates, and each group had there own GTOs.
In GD,first we got the topic ‘What is the biggest problem faced by India today among Corruption, Global Warming, and Terrorism?’
and the second topic ‘In current Education System student are facing extreme pressure from there peer students, or teachers or parents?’
After this, We had Military Planning test. There was a sitution given with a no. of problems occuring simultaneously, and you have to find solutions to those problems within the specified time limit and with the resources supplied.
Then there was GT(Group Task) where a series of obstacles are there, which a group has to cross with a set of materials and a set of rules.
Then there was a Lecturette where each of the candidates had to speak on a chosen topic for 2:30 minutes infront of his group members.
Then there was a Half Group Task, where group was further divided into two, and each one has to perform the task same as GT.
Then comes the most interesting part ‘The Snake Race’, I would prefer you find it yourself what it basically is ;-).
Then comes the IO(Individual Obstacles test) which was a test of your physical agileness, strength and your confidence, thinking. There were 10 obstacles to cross individually in 2:30 minutes. Each obstacle specifies a given no. of points.

While some groups had the GT going on, some had there interviews.

27th Aug
The final Group tasks include CT(Command Task) where each individual has to command his two chosen group members while performing a task. It is done to check his leadership quality and participation.

28th Aug
Now comes the Conference day, the day deciding the fate of all the candidates. This day all the three, the Psychologist, the IO, the GTO, sit together to decide who is in, who is out. If all three say Yes, then only the candidate is recommended. The thing they look for in a candidate is OLQ(Officer Like Qualities), and what qualities are those are still hidden in many aspects to the real world. The Conference has a formal procedure where each candidate in their Chest sequence, has to meet all the three testers simultaneously.

Then the results,(the result may come good or bad, but the anxiety before it is always same 🙂 ). In our Batch N-CSE/68999 only 7 were recommended for the medical test, rest had to leave the same day. I was in the rest, so could not tell much about the medical tests, but I know, those tests are secondary, the prime focus is always towards getting RECOMMENDED, and the first step towards becoming an Officer of Indian Army.

Though I didn’t get selected and I know I never had so much preparations or confidence towards joining Armed Forces, I will never forget those days. Those 5 days though sent us back unsuccessful, but we didn’t returned empty-handed, We had a exciting, cheerful and inspiring experience, which would help us all our lives, it changed the way we think and execute our plans, how we talk, walk and be in groups, it changed the beliefs and our way of living.
I am thankful to my friends, Our Indian Armed Forces, and their selection centres to rekindle the dead spirits in me. The age limit is 23 for the Indian Army, and I am 21, so, I do have 2 years more to try again. And I will not miss the chances now, anyhow…. 🙂

One statement of the wall posters of our barracks that still roams in mind every now and then and will always do is –

“DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU?” -Indian Army

I can’t say about you, but in my point of view if you are above 18, you are just an adult, and if you want to be a MAN, then join Indian Army.

Take care.


What you want, and what you need…

There is a short prayer which motivates me a lot , and I think I should share it with you.
Have a look:

I asked Him to give me strength
He gave me difficulties…
To increase up my courage.

I asked Him to give me intelligence
He gave me problems…
To solve them.

I asked Him to give me prosperity
He gave me wisdom…
To work on..and succed.

I asked Him to give me love
He gave me miserable people…
To help them.

I asked Him to give me valour
He gave me complications…
To overcome them.

I asked Him to give me the boon
He gave me chance…
To acquire it.

I never got.. what I wanted…
But I always got.. what I needed…’

The ultimate truth.. there is a very large difference between what all you want, and what all you need. So, if we can understand this difference, life will be more simpler and lovable then it seems to be..

Do have a thought for sure… B-)

Take care…