Thursday, July 14, 2016


Unravelling the Mahatma – IPDFPrintE-mail
Gandhi’s prescriptions for Hindus living with Muslims in their midst
Prime Minister Modi immediately after returning to India after his tour of African nations chaired a high level meeting with some members of his cabinet, the PMO and the National Security Adviser to take stock of the latest bout of jihadi violence in Srinagar. The nation does not know what they discussed, what was their analysis of the violence and what is going to be the plan of action; the only salient thing made public by the Prime Minister was exhorting the army and para-military forces in the Kashmir valley to observe restraint. America and its extended arm of foreign policy, the United Nations, and of course Gandhi, could not have put it better.
On his visit to South Africa, Modi made the theatrical journey “retracing” as he said, the “Mahatma’s mahatma-making journey” by train. Of course, Modi did not go so far as to get someone to throw him off the train as the first history-making step in the making of the Mahatma, but Modi did say the train journey was akin to a pilgrimage. I would have ignored the Mahatma theatrics as Modi’s persistent foible except that the Prime Minister chose to go public with only one statement on the jihadi violence in Kashmir soon after he returned with Gandhi magic still misting his eyes – advising the army to show restraint and to ensure that no “innocent civilian” faced hardship because of army action. This Modispeak is Gandhispeak par excellence and I am enraged on two grounds: I do not like Hindu political leaders thrusting the Gandhicoffin on the shoulders of the Hindu nation and I strongly condemn any adverse remark by the Prime Minister or any Minister even implying that our men and women in uniform must battle terrorists and insurgents with hands tied behind their backs which is precisely what “restraint” means.
So I will begin this series of unravelling the Mahatma with Gandhi’s outrageous prescriptions for Hindus when faced by jihad. This is necessary because not only did the Mahatma have arrogant and insulting views about the character of our men in uniform but also to demonstrate how the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland is closely linked to the army and para-military forces in the Kashmir Valley. I will quote Modi’s Mahatma only from the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi which I have reproduced abundantly in my book Eclipse of the Hindu Nation: Gandhi and his Freedom Struggle, NAPL, 2009.
Political sagacity versus political blindness culminating in genocide of Hindus
Let me begin by quoting Savarkar who had no illusions about the Muslim League and about Muslims generally. Readers are requested to bear Savarkar’s prophetic and farsighted words in mind to understand why I reject Gandhi’s politics totally and reject too Modi’s persistent efforts to resurrect Gandhi in the nation’s turbulent political arena. Had Gandhi restricted himself to khadi, temple-entry for untouchables, cleaning latrines, promoting Hindi, and devoted his life in the service of Hindu society like Madanmohan Malaviya, Thakkar Bapa, Acharya Vinobha Bhave, Ghanshyamdas Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj, without seizing control of the Indian National Congress and the political movement in its entirety, I would have no objections to the Mahatma; butGandhi’s manic control of the polity of the times vivisected the Hindu nation and caused irreparable harm to the re-scripting of Hindu-Muslim relations and the nature of post-independence Indian polity.
The political expositions of both Tilak and Aurobindo failed to address the question of how Hindus could undertake all-round rejuvenation of their society, religion and nation without state power and with colonial structures and separatist Muslims in their midst. Savarkar however confronted the issue frontally and in his Presidential address at the 21st session of the Hindu Mahasabha in Kolkata in 1935, stated his apprehensions bluntly and with startling foresight –
No realist can be blind to the probability that the extra-territorial designs and the secret urge goading on the Moslems to transform India into a Moslem State may at any time confront the Hindusthani State even under self-government either with a Civil War or treacherous overtures to alien invaders by the Moslems. Then again there is every likelihood that there will ever continue at least for a century to come a danger of fanatical riots, the scramble for services, Legislative seats, weightages out of proportion to their population on the part of the Moslem minority and consequently a constant danger threatening internal peace.
This was Savarkar in 1935. Now let us see how Gandhi responded to jihad and jihadis and his generous advice to Hindu victims of jihad. Gandhi had four broad prescriptions for dealing with Islam, Muslims and jihad:
1. Muslim good conduct is predicated on Hindu generosity, self-sacrifice and willingness to suffer pain.
2.       Hindus must die in large numbers as proof of non-violence, their willingness to suffer pain and death and their commitment to the Congress Creed which will not pick up arms against jihad which threatened their women, their way of life and vivisection of their janmabhumi or the Hindu Nation
3.       Hindu women threatened with rape, conversion and other vile acts of jihad must bite their tongues and commit suicide.
4.                   No Congress government, no Indian government must call in the military when Jihaids unleash violence against Hindus and in situations of “communal riots” which is polite for Muslim violence.
And this is Gandhi’s prescription for government which in essence is liberal Christian political doctrine, a doctrine into which he had been indoctrinated in all those years in London and South Africa when the dominant influence on Gandhi was Christian missionaries of all hues.
Hindusthan belongs to all those who are born and bred here and who have no other country to look to. Therefore it belongs to Parsis, Beni-Israels, to Indian Christians, Muslims, and other non-Hindus as much as to HindusFree India will be no Hindu-rajit will be Indian raj based not on the majority of any religious sect or community but on the representatives of the whole people without distinction of religion.I can conceive a mixed majority putting the Hindus in a minority. Religion is a personal matter which should have no place in politics.
Gandhi was actually propagating a political theory of Hindus as religious minorities in their own homeland! When Hindus are weak and politically disempowered or when Muslims enjoy active state support, the first targets are Hindu festivals. Muslims attacked Ganesh Puja processions and festivities in 1893 which caused Lokmanya Tilak and Aurobindo to begin the process of Hinduising the Indian National Congress which was still in the thrall of white British citizens, rich and influential Parsees and politically ambitious Hindus who were members of the Viceroy’s Council. Muslim proclivity to attack Hindu processions remained intact when on July 1, 1946, jihadis unleashed violence in Ahmedabad on Ashad Sud orrath-yatra. Morarji Desai, as Minister for Home and Revenue in the Government of Bombay, called in the army to contain the violence and Gandhio in typical, dismissive, contemptuous and belittling style not only demeaned the army but asked Morarji Desai to die in the flames of communal violence instead of calling in the army. Gandhi referes to Indian soldiers as “monkeys” and like Prime Minister Modi advised “restraint” to the army and told Morarji Desai that he would not mind if our soldiers died because they chose to exercise restraint.
I was somewhat alarmed on hearing about the incidents at Ahmedabad. I was aware of the Rathyatra day. They must have anticipated a skirmish. Why did the police not take precautionary measures? Does not the police now belong to the people? Why did they not seek the people’s cooperation before hand? Our real defense force ought to be the people. Why call the military for such tasks? The people ought to have been forewarned that they would not get the help of the military. The State too may not rule with the help of the military. This could not be. Now realize your mistake and start afresh.Withdraw the military if you can. If you find it risky to withdraw the military immediately let them do policing. They may not carry rifles, and if they carry bayonets these should be used sparingly. Don’t mind if a few have to die. They have been trained to act like monkeys. Under your administration they should cease to be monkeys and become human beings. Think about all this. Don’t do anything only because I am saying it. Do what you are convinced about. Remember one thing, viz., the [British] Government’s rule will take deeper root the more use you make of the military. Till now it has only been shaken, it may soon entrench itself securely. Well, “a word is enough for the wise”.
“Mathatma Gandhi said that the outbreak of communal riots in Ahemedabad had pained him deeply and he had told Mr. Morarji Desai, Bombay’s Home Minister, who had come to see him before his departure for Ahmedabad, that he, (Mr. Desai) must go to meet the flames under the sole protection of God, not that of the police and military. If need be, he must perish in the flames in the attempt to quell them as the late Mr. Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi had done.”
Terrorism has no religion, all Muslims are not terrorists and Hindus must choose to die but not fight back
Gandhi at different times in his life, in different circumstances has said he knew the Jains better than the Jains, he knew the Rajputs better than the Rajputs knew themselves, he knew the women of Bengal better than the women knew themselves, and if we go by what Gandhi is saying when the country was burning in the fire lit by Muslim League’s call for Direct Action, Gandhi knew Islam and the Koran better than the Muslims knew their religion.
I can never subscribe to the view that because certain members of a particular community have indulged in inhuman acts, therefore the whole community may be condemned outright and put beyond the pale. The Muslim League may call Hindus names and declare India to be Dar-ul-Harb, where the law of jehad operates and all Muslims who co-operate with the Congress are Quislings fit only to be exterminated.But we must not cease to aspire, in spite of this wild talk, to befriend all Mussalmans and hold them fast as prisoners of our love. It would be a present possibility if Hindus in their lakhs offered themselves to be cut to pieces without retaliation or anger in their hearts. The Muslim Leaguers have today raised the slogan that ten crores of Indian Muslims are in danger of being submerged and swept out of existence unless they constitute themselves into a separate State. I call that slogan scare-mongering pure and simple. It is nonsense to say that any people can permanently crush or swamp out of existence one fourth of its population, which the Mussalmans are in India. But I would have no hesitation in conceding the demand of Pakistan if I could be convinced of its righteousness or that it is good for Islam. But I am firmly convinced that the Pakistan demand as put forth by the Muslim League is un-Islamic and I have not hesitated to call it sinful. Islam stands for the unity and brotherhood of mankind, not for disrupting the oneness of the human family. Therefore, those who want to divide India into possibly warring groups are enemies alike of India and Islam.
Women of Bengal should commit suicide and more Gandhi fairy-tale about non-violence
Gandhiji advised the women in East Bengal to commit suicide by poison or some other means to avoid dishonour. Yesterday he told the women to suffocate themselves or to bite their tongues to end their lives. But two doctors, B. C. Roy of Calcutta and Sushila Nayyar, had informed him that such means of suicide were impossible. The only way known to medicine for instant selfimmolation was a strong dose of poison. If this was so, he, the speaker, would advise everyone running the risk of dishonour to take poison before submission to dishonour. He had, however, heard from those given to yogic practices that it was possible by some yogic practice to end life. He would try to inquire. His was not an idle idea. He meant all he had said.
“The tragedy is not that so many Muslims have gone mad, but that so many Hindus in East Bengal have been witnesses to these things. If every Hindu in East Bengal had been done to death, I would not have minded it. Do you know what the Rajputs did? They killed their womenfolk when they issued forth to sacrifice themselves on the battlefield. The surviving ones immolated themselves by mounting the funeral pyre before the fortress fell rather than allow themselves to be captured and dishonoured. There is nothing courageous in thousands of Mussalmans killing out a handful of Hindus in their midst, but that the Hindus should have degraded themselves by such cowardice, i.e., being witness to abduction and rape, forcible conversion and forcible marriage of their womenfolk, is heartrending.”
More Gandhian gobbledygook
Notwithstanding the fact that what Gandhi was seeing in Bengal was naked jihad, he told the Hindus of Bengal not to retaliate by picking up arms against the Muslims because the Muslims had assured Gandhi that they wanted peace and also that Islam did not permit abduction of women or forcible conversion; the inference being that if some Muslim League politician told Gandhi something to get him out of Bengal, Gandhi expected the Hindus of Bengal to trust the Muslim League or else trust Gandhi’s faith in the Muslim League and his interpretation of Islam. Historically there has always been a small section among the Muslim community which has condemned jihad and jihadi violence but that has never deterred Muslim terrorists from their mission to transform Hindu India from dar-ul harb to dar-ul Islam. Gandhi admits here he “did not worship idols.”
The Hindus, said Gandhiji, might say: did not the Muslims start the troubles? He wanted them not to succumb to the temptation for retort but to think of their own duty and say firmly that whatever happened they would not fight. He wanted to tell them that the Muslims who were with him in the course of the day had assured him that they wanted peace.
I have heard nothing but condemnation of these acts from Shaheed Suhrawardy downwards since I have come here. Words of condemnation may tickle your ears, but they are no consolation to the unfortunate women whose houses have been laid desolate or who have been abducted, forcibly converted and forcibly married. What a shame for Hindus, what a disgrace for Islam! He had heard of forcible conversions, forcible feeding of beef, abductions and forcible marriages, not to talk about murders, arson and loot.They had broken idols. The Muslims did not worship them nor did he. But why should they interfere with those who wished to worship them? These incidents are a blot on the name of Islam. He said: I have studied the Koran. The very word Islam means peace. The Muslim greeting ‘Salam Alaikum’ is the same for all, whether Hindus or Muslims or any other. Nowhere does Islam allow such things as had happened in Noakhali and Tippera. Shaheed Saheb and all the Ministers and League leaders who met me in Calcutta have condemned such acts unequivocally.
As Hindus and the Hindu Nation burned, Gandhi continues to ask Hindus to die in the hundreds
Gandhi goes to Bengal only in the last week of October 1946, three months after Direct Action and only long after the fires of jihad had burned down Hindus and their homes. He traveled across Bengal allegedly to end communal riots and in one such talk to relief workers in Chaumuhani, he had this to say:
I know the women of Bengal better than probably the Bengalis do. Today they feel crushed and helpless. The sacrifice of myself and my companions would at least teach them the art of dying with self-respect. It might open, too, the eyes of the oppressors and melt their hearts. I do not say that the moment my eyes are closed theirs will open. But that will be the ultimate result I have not the slightest doubt. If ahimsa disappears, Hindu Dharma disappears.
Question: How can we create a sense of security and self-confidence?
Gandhiji: By learning to die bravely. Let us turn our wrath against ourselves. I am not interested in getting the police substituted by the military or the Muslim police by the Hindu police. They are broken reeds.
Q: To whom should we appeal—the Congress, the League or the British Government?
Gandhiji: To none of these. Appeal to yourselves, therefore to God.
Relief workers: We are men—made of flesh and blood. We need some material support.
Gandhiji: Then appeal to your own flesh and blood. Purify it of all dross.
A woman worker: What is your idea of rehabilitation?
Gandhiji: Not to send them to Assam and West Bengal but to infuse courage in them so that they are not afraid to stay in their original homes.
Q: How is that possible?
Gandhiji: You must stay in their midst and say to them: ‘We shall die to the last person before a hair of your head is injured.’ Then you will produce heroines in East Bengal.
Worker: That was once our idea too.
Gandhiji: I do not mind if each and every one of the 500 families in your area is done to death. Here you are 20 per cent of the population. In Bihar, the Muslims constitute only 14 per cent.
Prime Minister Modi, Hindus are not prepared to roll over and die to strengthen the myth of Gandhi’s Mahatmahood which rested on Hindu powerlessness. The country’s government must either deal ruthlessly with all threats to Hindus, Hindu temples and the Hindu way of life or be prepared to see the rise of the Hindu kshatriya in defence of the Hindu Nation. (To be continued)
Radha Rajan,
14th July, 2016.


My experiment with RSS

This is the election time. A lot has been written about Narendra Modi and the BJP. A lot has also been said about the Congress and other secular parties. 

From the point of view of Muslims, both parties have been painted in black and white terms. 

Modi, if he becomes the next Prime Minister of India, will turn the country into Gujarat subjugating Muslims. Then Congress and other secular parties, being protector, will emancipate them from the devil. 

Thus, Muslims seem confused and are dangling like pendulum from fear to hope and so on. 

I do not endorse a particular party. Let it be upon Muslim voters to decide. However, I would like to narrate my direct experience with the RSS and its affiliate institutions. 

I grew up in the background of communal violence. Being a Muslim, I used to feel that I am being targeted for my religion in India. 

Media further accentuated my fear by bringing live the violence against Muslims to me...Bhagalpur, Mumbai, Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar...endless, to name a few. 

The fear multiplied many folds within me. I began to view all those individuals and organizations responsible for engineering riots as hunters seeing me as their next prey. 

Truly, I began to view "instigators" of violence differently...being killers and only killers. I had no option but to live in India. I could not fly. I could not escape. I accepted fear as my destiny. 

The time passed by. 

One evening, I received a letter of appointment from Durga Prasad Baljeet Singh College in the district of Bulandshahar. I had applied for a job at various places after having qualified the National Eligibility Test (NET) for lectureship. 

My joy knew no bound. I always looked forward to future. 

The next day, I visited the college. The campus truly impressed me: the physical facilities, the ambience and overall discipline were up to the mark. I decided to join, though I hesitated initially.

The college was situated on the bank of the river Ganga, in a town known as Anoopshaher. The location of the institution was symbolic - to provide modern education in the environment of spiritual liveliness. 

I began to work hard. At the same time, I also carried the fear of insecurity as I was the only Muslim in the institution. Moreover, the management belonged to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the organization about which I had heard that it was anti-Muslim. 

I was given free accommodation in the college campus. Every night I slept, I thought if any communal violence would start, I would be the first to be targeted, yet I lived. 

Soon, I befriended many. The most notable ones among them were Shri Acharyaji, a lecturer of Sanskrit and a scholar in Hinduism and KC Gaur, a lecturer in Education. 

We often shared the same dining hall, the same food, the same joke and the same laughter. We often played together, watched movie and had innumerable interactions every day. 

The fear which I had carried for so long about certain organizations and certain individuals being 'killers' began to evaporate. 

The principal of the college, Dr Dhal, after having seen my performance, said: "Mr Azeem, you have a good future here". 

Within weeks, my perception about people coming from other communities changed. None of what I had feared all along ever nagged or troubled me. In fact, I began to feel more secure both physically and financially. I felt I had a rebirth. 

Soon, I was elevated to be a member of the management in allotment of flats to the teachers in the college. Next my family joined me, and I began to live happily. 

That was truly my first interaction with the majority community. For the first time, I realized how brotherly feeling they carried toward their fellow-workers. My religion never came in my way to ever obstruct communications with them. Surprisingly, it became an advantage to me. Being the only one from the minority community, I was shown much affection and care compared to others. 

For better financial opportunities, I travelled to Libya on leave from the college. I still miss the college, the campus and the people there. I wish I have that life back to me. 

Much of what creates 'fear' in individuals results from gap in communication between the two individuals and between the two communities. 

We should rely on our first-hand experience before coming to a conclusion about certain individuals or organizations. My impression to paint everyone as a 'killer' was absolutely wrong.


I am an opinion writer to The Tripoli Post. I have been serving the weekly newspaper since 2008. I have written extensively about Libya, its people and culture. With more than fifty articles to my credit, as an Indian, I have made valuable contributions to the field of journalism in Libya. I had my Master Degree in English from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. I was awarded Gold Medal in 2002 for standing first in M.A.(Education) from Aligarh Muslim University. In 2003, I qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) for lectureship, conducted by University Grants Commission, India. I joined Durga Prasad Baljeet Singh (Post Graduate) College in the district of Bulandshar, Utter Pradesh where I had the opportunity to work both as a Lecturer and as Head of the Department of Education. Currently I am working in Libya as a Lecturer(English) at the College of Education, University of Al-Merghib, Zliten. I carry liberal values both toward religion and politics. My interests range from comparative religion to international politics. Zliten Libya

Sunday, July 10, 2016



My first visit to an RSS event changed my perception about RSS

A few days back, I got a chance to attend a function organised by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Delhi state. I have attended many events organized by BJP, but I never attended any RSS event before this event. The event was organised in an open ground, a part of which was covered with tents for the event.
The swayamsewaks performed activities which they learnt in their 20 days long training Camp. It was to be followed by a speech by Shri Rameshwar, a Senior official of the RSS. When Shri Rameshwar stood to speak, a strong wind started blowing. The tent was tied to iron pillars from all sides, but due to pressure of the wind, it started shaking like leaves of a tree. All the pillars attached to the stage were also shaking. This all happened very fast. Even trained event managers couldn’t handle it easily and most of these swayamsewaks there were all untrained youngsters! The scene, for once, scared me so much that I thought of running away from the pandal.
The stage from which the main speaker was speaking was shaking like anything due to strong winds. I was pretty sure that the speaker will abort his speech and move from the venue. Who would want to stake his life for an event? What happened in next few seconds, changed my views for RSS forever. When the wind became strong, swayamsevaks quickly took positions. Those sitting beside poles, grabbed them strongly. They also untied all the tents from poles so that the wind pressure is minimized. Around 20-25 swayamsewaks ran towards the stage and grabbed each pole strongly to ensure that the stage doesn’t shake anymore. 6-7 swayamsewaks were holding each pole attached to the stage and made sure the events runs smoothly. Though the tent must have been of some tent-wallah, but his men were nowhere in sight. Swayamsewaks were holding each pillar of the widespread tent and ensured smooth functioning of the event. This everything happened within a couple of minutes.
But I must admit that the most astonishing thing that amazed me was the behavior of the speaker. The stage was shaking like a boat in a river, even one of the pillars of stage’s roof came out, which could even have caused his death, but he was as calm as if nothing had happened. Neither here was no sign of any fear on his face nor his words suggested so. He spoke for full 40 minutes as he was scheduled to, that too without even once mentioning the strong storm blowing there. The way by which these young swayamsewaks managed everything and ensured smooth concluding of the event, it was absolutely breath-taking. 2-3 swayamsewaks were tied to each of the pillar. Some even climbed on the pillars to ensure that they didn’t move any further. One senior swayamsewak, who was standing behind the main speaker on stage, was continuously looking towards the roof to ensure that the speaker isn’t harmed in case the iron pillar of the roof falls. He was on the stage which in itself was shaking badly due to strong winds and was held by 20-25 swayamsewaks who were holding the pillars of stage. Speaker put his faith on the karyakartas behind him while that karyakarta put his faith on the young swayamsenaks holding stage. What a bold statement of mutual trust it was!
While there was lots of turbulence, the main speaker stated that Sangh is an organisation which builds humans. I had heard this line many times but that day I actually realized what type of individuals Sangh creates. Speaker was a big RSS official. I am sure he won’t be knowing many of those who were holding the stage personally but he posed his full trust on their shoulders without even thinking twice. It was like putting his life in their hands.
May be this is the character-building that I have heard many RSS guys talking about. I shared here what I felt. These small things, in my opinion, make this organisation such a great one. We should attend RSS programs before forming opinions about the organization. I am sure you will like their dedication.
My best wishes to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.


Jack Ma

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Ma.
Jack Ma
Jack Ma 2008.jpg
Jack Ma, 2008 at World Economic Forum
Native name马云 / Mǎ Yún
Born10 September 1964 (age 51)
HangzhouZhejiang, China
Alma materHangzhou Normal University,Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)[1]
OccupationFounder and Chairman ofAlibaba Group
Net worthIncrease US$23.3 billion (May 2016)[2]
Spouse(s)张瑛 / Zhāng Yīng
Ma Yun
Simplified Chinese马云
Traditional Chinese馬雲
Jack Ma or Ma Yun (Chinese马云Mandarin pronunciation: [mà y̌n]; born September 10, 1964)[3] is a Chinese business magnate and philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of successful Internet-based businesses. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ma was born in HangzhouZhejiang ProvinceChina. At an early age, Ma developed a desire to learn English, so he rode his bicycle each morning to a nearby hotel to converse with foreigners. He would guide them around the city for free to practice and improve his English.[4] He did this for nine years. He became pen pals with one of these foreigners, and she nicknamed him "Jack", because his real Chinese name was too difficult to pronounce.
Later in his youth, and although he failed the university entrance exam three times,[5] Ma attended Hangzhou Teacher's Institute[6] (currently known as Hangzhou Normal University) and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English. While at school, Ma was elected student chairman.[4][4] He became a lecturer in English and International Trade at theHangzhou Dianzi University and later enrolled at Beijing-based Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), graduating in 2006.[1]


Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected. " I went for a job with the police; they said, 'you're no good,'" Ma told Rose. "I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy ..."[7]
In 1994, Ma heard about the Internet. In early 1995, he went to the US and with his friends' help he got introduced to the Internet. During his first encounter he searched the word "beer". Although he found information related to beer from many countries, he was surprised to find none from China. Further, he tried to search for general information about China and again was surprised to find none. So he and his friend created an "ugly" website related to China.[8] Within five hours of creating the website he had received emails from some Chinese wishing to know about him. This is when Ma realized that the Internet had something great to offer. In April 1995, Ma, his wife and a friend collected $20,000 and started an Internet company. Their company was dedicated to creating websites for companies. He named their company "China Yellow Pages." Within three years, his company had made 5,000,000 Chinese Yuan which was equivalent to US$800,000.
Ma began building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. He has said that "the day we got connected to the Web, I invited friends and TV people over to my house," and on a very slow dial-up connection, "we waited three and a half hours and got half a page.... We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved (to my house guests that) the Internet existed."[9] (At a conference in 2010, Ma revealed that he has never actually written a line of code nor made one sale to a customer. He acquired a computer for the first time at the age of 33.[10])
From 1998 to 1999, Ma headed an information technology company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. In 1999, he quit and returned to Hangzhou with his team to found Alibaba, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site in his apartment with a group of 17 friends.[11] He started a new round of venture development with 500,000 yuan.
In October 1999 and January 2000, Alibaba twice won a total of a $25 million international venture capital investment. The program was expected to improve the domestic e-commerce market and perfect an e-commerce platform for Chinese enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to address World Trade Organization (WTO) challenges. Ma wanted to improve the global e-commerce system and from 2003 he founded Taobao MarketplaceAlipay, Ali Mama and Lynx. After the rapid rise of Taobao, eBay offered to purchase the company. However, Ma rejected their offer, instead garnering support from Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with a $1 billion investment.
In September 2014 it was reported Alibaba was raising over $25 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.[12] Alibaba became one of the most valuable tech companies in the world after raising $25 billion, the largest initial public offering in US financial history. Ma now serves as executive chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries:, Taobao MarketplaceTmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,, and Alipay.
In November 2012, Alibaba's online transaction volume exceeded one trillion yuan. Ma was thus labeled "trillion Hou", meaning literally "Trillion Yuan Marquis" in Chinese.[citation needed]
Ma has often been invited to lecture at universities such as the Wharton School at the University of PennsylvaniaMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyHarvard University, and Peking University.[13]
As of 2016, Jack Ma is the owner of Château de Sours in Bordeaux, Chateau Guerry in Côtes de Bourg and Château Perenne in Blaye, Côtes de Bordeaux. [14]


In 2004, Ma was chosen by China Central Television and its viewers as one of the "Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year".[15]
In 2005, Ma was selected by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader"[15] and was named one of the "25 Most Powerful Business people in Asia" byFortune magazine. He was selected by Businessweek as a "Businessperson of the Year"[16] in 2007 and one of the 30 "World’s Best CEOs" by Barron's in 2008.[17]
In May 2009, Ma was listed by Time in its Time 100 list of the world’s 100 most influential people. In reporting Ma’s accomplishments, Adi Ignatius, former Time senior editor and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, noted that "the Chinese Internet entrepreneur is soft-spoken and elflike — and he speaks really good English" and remarked that "Alibaba and Ma's consumer-auction website,, did so well that in 2006, eBay shut down its own site in China."[18] In 2014, he was again included in the list.[citation needed] He was also chosen as one of China's Most Powerful People by BusinessWeek,[19] and one of the Top 10 Most Respected Entrepreneurs in China by Forbes China in 2009. Ma received the 2009 CCTV Economic Person of the Year: Business Leaders of the Decade Award.
In 2010, Ma was selected by Forbes Asia as one of Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy for his contribution to disaster relief and poverty.[20]
In 2011 it was announced that one of his companies had gained control of Alipay, formerly a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, so as to "comply with Chinese law governing payment companies in order to secure a license to continue operating Alipay.[21] Numerous analysts reported that Ma sold Alipay to himself below market value without notifying the board of Alibaba Group or the other major owners Yahoo and Softbank, while Ma stated that Alibaba Group's board of directors were aware of the transaction. The ownership dispute was resolved by Alibaba Group, Yahoo! and Softbank in July 2011.[22]
Ma was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in November 2013.[23]
Ma is a board member of Japan’s SoftBank and China’s Huayi Brothers Media Corporation. He became a trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s China program in 2009 and joined its global board of directors in April 2010. In 2013, he became chairman of the board for The Nature Conservancy's China Program; this was one day after he stepped down from Alibaba as company CEO.[24][25] Ma is the first Chinese citizen to serve on The Nature Conservancy’s board.
In 2014 he was ranked as the 30th most powerful person in the world in an annual ranking published by Forbes.[26]
In 2015 he was honoured with the Entrepreneur of the Year award at The Asian Awards.[27]


In 2007, in response to worldwide criticism of the practice of killing sharks for their fins, Ma announced that he and his family had "sworn off shark fin soup now and forever." Ma has stated that moment created a newfound interest in environmentalism that would shape his future ethos. In January 2009, Alibaba Group revised its listing policy and banned the sale of shark fin products on all of its e-commerce platforms.[28]
At the annual shareholders meeting in May 2009, Ma encouraged those in attendance to take action by starting businesses to cope with the economic downturn rather than waiting for government or business to help them. He reminded everyone that the great fortunes of the world were made by people who saw opportunities that others didn't, and he noted that the aftermath of the recent global recession would be no different in terms of exposing new ways of doing business.
At the annual general meeting of shareholders for in May 2010, Ma announced Alibaba Group would begin in 2010 to earmark 0.3% of annual revenue to environmental protection, particularly on water and air quality improvement projects. Of the future of Alibaba, he has said that "our challenge is to help more people to make healthy money, 'sustainable money,' money that is not only good for themselves but also good for the society. That's the transformation we are aiming to make."[29]
In 2015 Ma made his first purchase of conservation land outside China when he bought a 28,100-acre property named Brandon Park in Paul Smiths, New York, inAdirondack Park for $23 million.[30]

Personal Life[edit]

Jack Ma is married to Zhang Ying.[31] They have a son and a daughter.[32]
Ma met his wife when they were studying at Hangzhou Normal University.[32] They married shortly after graduating in the late 1980s. Both began working as teachers.[32]
According to Ma and his assistant, Ma had been studying and practicing Chen-style Tai Chi Chuan in Hangzhou for some time when in 2009 he began studying with Wáng Xī'an. In 2011, Ma hired several tournament-winning Tai Chi players to teach at Alibaba. Wang, Jet Li, and Ma teach regular classes at Alibaba, at which attendance by employees is mandatory. Ma's vision, according to his assistant, is that one day people will remember him as a Tai Chi master foremost, rather than solely as the founder of China's largest internet company and online shopping website.[33]