Comments on Indian Muslim blog:

Friday, March 21, 2008Comments on Indian Muslim blog:India is a free democratic country. Any group of people can form any association and if their aims and objective do not clash with the constitution and/or state policy, can continue to seek and channelise people’s loyalties. Since your blog clearly is titled to address to Indian Muslims, or seek to represent Indian Muslim opinion, you will have to be democratic enough to give full recognizance to the will of the majority of Indian Muslims, who collectively feel, rightly or wrongly, that clerics, or Ulama are more credible and have more moral authority to protect not only the religious interests of the community, but at times of crisis could be relied upon to act selflessly in the name of religion, to unite the people on matters of collective interests. It is a fallback to the western idea of separation between the state and church that seems to have influenced your thinking, when you want to restrict the role of Ulama to only matters of religion and not to the matters of everyday affairs. Ulama have the same one vote like everybody else and their vote in the matters of the Indian state cannot be discriminated on religious or secular grounds. Speaking of Muslim intelligentsia or political leaders, one must realise that there is no Muslim intelligentsia to speak about. Those self-proclaimed Muslim scholars, who project themselves as Muslim intelligentsia, are mostly from the Left liberal stream of thinking, known for their antipathy towards religion per se and they do not command any loyalty or credibility with the Muslim masses. As for the political leaders, who happen to be Muslims, are all sold out to political parties, none of whom are prepared to deal with Muslim concerns with any degree of impartiality? Besides, the political leaders too lack the kind of clout within the community that is available to the Ulama, who whether by default of by their own active efforts or merely their presence in the society at the very grass-roots, command a large following. This fact cannot be denied and should be gracefully acknowledged, with a view to enrich the society with their influences; they should be interacted and brought into the mainstream.All the disabilities pointed out, e.g. lack of economic or expertise in specialized field, lack of proficiency in English language, are the bane of even our political leadership. Even in Parliament, we will find people’s representatives who hardly qualify as ’educated’ or even are able to read or understand English, much less able to talk in English; still the business of state is being run by bureaucrats and India is none the loser on these counts. So why the discrimination against Ulama? Besides, there are very learned and very knowledgeable ulama in our midst that are not getting their due place in the mainstream, just because they are Muslims or they cannot read and write English.It is surprising that comparisons are being made between Muslims clerics with Hindu Sadhus and sants. Hindu Sadhus, sants have altogether different calling. Their brief is not all as encompassing as that of Islam. In Islam, religious and temporal are one. It is sad that on the day of the Id e Milad one has to inform our own Muslim brothers, that the very life of our prophet is ample proof that in Islam, there are no separate areas of religion and politics. Hindus do not and cannot compete with Islamic view of a person’s holistic existence in the world. In fact, those Hindu philosophers who had the opportunity to study Islam had openly praised Islam’s holistic view on human affairs. When Swami Vivekananda spoke of the ideal combination of Brahmin brains and Islamic body, he was acknowledging how ideally Islam has combined the human existence through complete amalgamation of religion and politics as one. Ulama had performed a unique role in Indian history, by doggedly protecting the fundamentals of religious thought and practices, after the fall of Muslim rule. Community should acknowledge their debt. Besides, Indian Muslims should count their blessings that within them the Madarsa institution was in effect the nursery of intelligentsia; an institution supported by the community and not dependant on the state, whether the British colonial not the independent secular state. There are enough signs that Ulama are responding very positively to the new challenges faced by the community and their own institutions and they are already reforming and participating in the mainstream life of the community. Modern secular education is being introduced in Madrasas, practically all over India. With their specialization in knowledge acquisition, they are more akin to Brahmins, who had monopolized knowledge in Hindu society and had assumed the leadership positions, after British colonials left. Ulama as a class are most suited to lead the community, once they have mastered the secular streams of modern day knowledge. With their grounding in Islamic morality and human as well as humane values, they are in much better position to move with the times, than the so-called secular Muslim intelligentsia and political leaders tied up with currently prominent political parties.Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbaighulammuhammed3@gmail.com
http://www.GhulamMuhammed.wordpress.com

#5527

Should Clerics Dominate The Nation’s Muslim Leadership?

Written by Kaleem Kawaja · March 19, 2008 · 275 views
var ipad_url=”http://indianmuslims.in/should-clerics-dominate-the-nations-muslim-leadership/”; var ipad_format=”{small/big}”; var ipad_color=”{color}”;(1 votes, average: 4 out of 5)

 Loading …

March 19, 2008

Whenever I look up the news reports on the issues and problems of the Muslim community, I find that often the Muslim leaders addressing these matters are clerics. The question arises, why is the politics of the Muslim community in India dominated by clerics, many of whom are not even Islamic scholars? Why is the proportion of the community’s leaders from the Muslim intelligentsia so small?Obviously when the topics are religious issues of the Muslim community, for instance interpretation of Sharia laws or Hadeeth or Fatwas or Personal laws or matters dealing with madrasas, the leadership belongs in the hands of the clerics and religious organizations. But when issues are of a non-religious nature, for instance Muslim educational institutions, or reservation for Muslims in educational institutions and jobs, or the need to address the community’s socioeconomic and educational uplift, or the political situation of the community, or the civil liberties, or the situation of Muslim women, the primary leadership role belongs to the Muslim intelligentsia and Muslim political leaders.Firstly, most clerics’ background in subjects like economics, law, sociology and technology is not up to date for today’s issues. Secondly, because of their background, most of the clerics often look at even non-religious issues from a religious perspective. Thirdly, most of them are not very proficient in English language usage and oral communications with modern electronic media journalists. Altogether it reinforces in the minds of the mainstream media and the nation at large a stereotypical image of the entire Muslim community and its mindset as overtly religious. Often the entire politics of the Muslim community is painted as a mirror image of the BJP style religion-oriented politics.The fact that a majority of non-religious issues of the Muslim community are being addressed by clerics has skewed the perspective of the community, and has created a stereotypical picture of the Muslims in the minds of mainstream Indians, the Indian media and the majority Hindu community. The mainstream’s perception is that the Muslim community is obsessed with religion and looks at most issues from a religious angle. Compare that to the Hindu community and you find a stark contrast. The number of mahants, sadhus, and Hindu clerics in the leadership of the Hindu community is rather small. Hindu clerics come in the picture when issues are related to Hindu temples, seminaries, places of pilgrimage or religious trusts. Otherwise most Hindu community leaders are from the intelligentsia and political background. This is true of even the BJP which is a Hindu fundamentalist party.In contrast the Muslim intelligentsia in the country often remains invisible on the core socio-economic-educational-political issues of the community. With their broader and more pluralistic background the intelligentsia has a distinctly different perspective on issues, which should be the dominant perspective on mainstream issues, if the Muslim community wants to claim its due place in today’s resurgent and modernizing India. Often when the media wants an opinion on the issues of the Muslim community, it turns to the clerics. The result is frequent not- well- informed opinions communicated in a manner that creates a stereotypical image of the community. Whereas on the whole despite large number of Muslims being depressed in education and economic status, the community is reasonably vibrant, has a broad perspective, and is trying to move ahead in the nation’s mainstream.I recall that after the demolition of the Babri mosque the Muslim intellegentsia held a well attended conference in New Delhi in 1993 where they pledged to take more active role in the political and socioeconomic affairs of the community. But after a few meetings they stepped back and left a vacuum in the leadership arena at a critical time for the community. The over all foot-dragging of the Muslim intelligentsia to get involved with the affairs of the community at the grassroots level is alienating them from large segments of Muslim masses.Most Muslim intelligentsia comprises of practicing Muslims who have a healthy respect for Islamic scholars and learned clerics. Yet there is a communication gap between these two sections of the community that must be bridged. The need of the hour is not a leadership contest between the intelligentsia and the clerics, but cooperation and utilizing the strengths of both sections. The intelligentsia can guide the clerics on how to present Islamic elements in more acceptable modern jargon. The clergy can assist the intelligentsia with their grassroots contacts at the street level.If we look at the leadership in various Muslim countries or Muslim communities in Western countries, we find that most leaders are from the intelligentsia or political background. Clerics assume leadership role only when issues are of a religious nature. So why should the situation in India be different?  

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Comments on Indian Muslim blog:”

  1. Uravashi Says:

    You are saying India is democratic country. You have written blog on muslim leaders but i am not agree with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: