The Calcutta Quran Petition: The Poster Case of 1986

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by arnabmit, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2012
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    Reference book: The Calcutta Quran Petition, Compiled and edited by SITA RAM GOEL Published by Voice of India

    Never knew about this event. Very interesting. :scared1:




    In July 1986, a significant judgement on some articles of the Quran was pronounced by Z.S. Lohat, metropolitan magistrate of Delhi . As most of these articles figure in the Calcutta (Kolkata) Quran Petition of Chandmal Chopra, we thought it relevant to reproduce the pamphlet in which the articles were cited. Operative portion of the judgement is also being reproduced in order to give a glimpse of the arguments for and against.

    The poster had been published on behalf of the Hindu Raksha Dal, Delhi , by its President , Indra Sain Sharma, and Secretary, Rajkumar Arya. Both of them had been arrested under Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code. These are the same sections which were invoked by Chandmal Chopra in his petition for prohibiting publication of the Quran.

    The publishers of the poster had cited 24 articles of the Quran under the caption: “ Why riots (Hindu-Muslim) take place in the country ( India )”. The publishers further argued that these articles command the believers (Muslims) to fight against followers of other faiths; and as long as these articles are not removed (from the Quran), riots in the country can not be prevented”.

    This case acquired considerable publicity when it came before the Court because Indra Sain Sharma happened to be Vice-president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha at that time. The prosecution seemed to be convinced that it had caught a big fish. But the Magistrate thought otherwise. He found that the Prosecution had failed to provide sufficient grounds such as could enable him to frame charges. He discharged both the accused with the observation that “ With due regard to the holy book of ‘Quran’, a close perusal of the ‘aayats (articles)’ shows that the same are harmful and teach hatred, and are likely to create
    disturbances between Mohammedans on one hand and remaining communities on the other”.

    The poster was printed in Hindi. The articles it cited were taken verbatim from an authentic edition of the Quran published by an orthodox Muslim organisation, Maktaba al-Hannat of Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. The edition provides the Arabic text of the Quran together with Hindi and English translations in parallel columns. We are reproducing the English translation of the ayats (articles).



    English Translation of the pamphlet typed in Hindi. Some articles of the Quran command the believers (Muslims) to fight against followers of other faiths :
    1. When the sacred months have passed, slay the idolators wherever ye find them, and take them (captive) and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor due, then leave their way, Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful. (Surah 9, ayat 5)
    2. O ye who believe! the idolators only are unclean...( 9.28)
    3. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. ( 4.101)
    4. O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you and let them find harshness in you...( 9.123)
    5. Lo! Those who disbelieve our revelations, we shall expose them to the fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise ( 4.56)
    6. O ye who believe! Choose not your father nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Who so of you taketh them for friends such are wrongdoers. (9.23)
    7. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. (9.37)
    8. O ye who believe! Choose not for friends People of the Book and of the disbelievers. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers. (5.57)
    9. Accursed, they will be found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter. ( 33.61)
    10. Lo! Ye (idolators) and that which ye worship beside Allah are fuel of hell. Thereunto ye will come. ( 21.98)
    11. And who doth greater wrong than he who is reminded of the revelations of his Lord, then turneth from them. Lo! We shall requite the guilty. (32.22)
    12. Allah promiseth you much booty that ye will capture. ( 48.20)
    13. Now enjoy what ye have won as lawful and good. (8.69)
    14. O Prophet ! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end. (66.9)
    15. But verily We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste an awful doom and verily We shall requite (?) them the worst of what they used to do. (41.27)
    16. That is the reward of Allah’s enemies : the Fire. Therein is their immortal home, payment for as much as they denied Our revelations. ( 41.28)
    17. Lo ! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs. They shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and
    be slain...( 9.111)
    18. Allah promiseth hypocrites, both men and women , and the disbelievers fire of hell for their abode. It will suffice them. Allah curseth them and theirs is lasting
    19. O prophet ! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred steadfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve because they ( the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.(8.65)
    20. O ye who believe ! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo !
    Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (5.51)
    21. Fight against such of those who have been given the scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His
    messenger and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low. ( 9.29)
    22. Therefore, We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork. (5.14)
    23. They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah. If they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose not friend nor helper from among them. (4.89)
    24. Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.(9.14)

    “ There are numerous (other) ayats of the same sort. Here we have cited only twenty-four ayats. Obviously, these ayats carry commandments which promote enmity, ill-will, hatred, deception, fraud, strife, robbery and murder. That is why riots take place between Muslims and non-Muslims, in this country as well as ( the rest of ) the world.”

    “ In the above –mentioned twenty-four ayats of the Quran, Musalmans are commanded to fight against followers of other faiths. So long as these ayats are not removed ( from the Quran ), riots in the country can not be prevented.”



    “ I have heard learned APP( Assistant Public Prosecutor) for the state and counsel of the accused and have gone through the relevant record on the file. The main thrust of the Prosecution is that the above words in the disputed poster tend to create communal disharmony and ( the comment) is an act with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feeling of a particular class of citizens of India and is an attempt to insult the religion or the religion belief of the said class. It is also submitted that ‘Ayats’ in the form published in the poster are not available or are the distorted version of the same...“ There is a dispute that the 24 ‘ ayats’ published in the poster have not been taken from the ‘Quran Majeed’ translated by mahammedan writer. It is found that they are reproduced in the same form as are translated in the said ‘Quran majeed’. In my opinion the writer by writing the above words has expressed his opinion or suggestion and at the most it can be branded as a fair criticism of what is contained in the holy book of Mohammedans. By no stretch of imagination the opinion expressed by the writer that unless these ‘ Ayats’ are removed from holy book of ‘Quran majeed’ there will be no hope of stopping the communal disturbances in different parts of india, can be said to promote and attempt to promote feeling of enmity or hatred between different classes of citizens of India. In my opinion it s a sort of suggestion to the readers or at the most a fair criticism and by publishing such suggestion or criticism, the writer or publisher has not in any way outraged or attempted to outrage the religious feelings of Mohammedan community nor it tends to create communal disharmony or hatred between two classes. With due regard to the holy book of ‘Quran majeed’, a close perusal of the ‘Aytes’ shows that the same are harmful and teach hatred and are likely to create differences between Mohammedans on one hand and the remaining communities on the other. “ I have personally compared the disputed ‘ Ayats’ with ‘Quran Majeed’ translated in Hindi with notes by one Mohd. Farookh Khan and have found that most of the ‘ Ayats’ have been reproduced in the poster in its original form as is available in the ‘Quran Majeed’...

    “The close reading of all the ‘Ayats’ published in the poster and read from the book do not in any way give different meaning nor suggest anything that the same were published with malicious intention. Therefore, I do not agree with the contention of the learned APP that ‘ayats’ Nos. 2, 5,9,11 and 19 and 22 are either not available in ‘Quran Majeed’ or they are distorted version of the said ‘Ayats”... “ In view of the above discussion, I am therefore of the view that there is no prima facie case against the accused as offences alleged against the accused do not fall prima facie within the four corners of Sections 153-A/295-A and hence both of the accused are discharged.“dated 31st july, 1986

    Sd/ Z.S. Lohat
    Metropolitan Magistrate of Delhi
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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