Posts Tagged ‘Hindus’

Exclusion of Muslims By Dr. J. S. Bandukwala

September 2, 2008

Exclusion of Muslims

 

 

By J. S. Bandukwala

The Prophet of Islam was aware of India, once remarking that there is a fragrant breeze coming from India. Islam reached India almost immediately after his passing away in 632. The long Western coast had trade links with the Arabs, much before the arrival of Islam. The Islamic injunction of fair and honest trading, impressed the local people. Many Arabs settled down in Kerala, marrying local women. Shia Sufis converted many Brahmins and Rajputs in Gujarat. Four hundred years later, invaders came from Central Asia. They were followed by Sufi Syeds from Arab lands, escaping persecution from the Abbasid Caliphs. The most prominent was Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti (1142 – 1236), preaching love of God , combined with equality, brotherhood and concern for the poor. Millions, particularly from the lowest strata of society, responded to his teachings, and that of other Sufis such as Khwaja Bande Nawaz in the South, Nizamuddin Aulia and Baba Farid in the North. The Guru Granth Sahib extensively refers to Baba Farid. The foundation stone of the Golden temple was laid by Mia Mir. Sufism had a tremendous influence on the Bhakti movement, producing such spiritual figures as Guru Nanak, Kabir and Mirabai. Today the Muslim population in South Asia is about 500 million. That is about one third of the world Muslim population. Almost all these Muslims have forefathers of local origin, who converted to Islam. A miniscule are of non South Asian origin. The discrimination against Muslims is rooted primarily in this conversion, mostly from Dalit and backward classes. Six hundred years of Muslim rule widened this gulf. The religious policies of Muslim rulers ranged from the most liberal Akbar to his ultra orthodox great grand son Aurangzeb. Frequently Muslim kings fought Hindu rulers, such as Maharana Pratap and Shivaji. In due course these kingly wars were viewed as religious wars between Muslims and Hindus, widening the communal divide. This historical twist fails to notice that Shivaji’s general was a Muslim, while the Mughal general was a Hindu. But perhaps the most vital factor was the upper caste resentment at the large scale conversion of lower castes into Islam. This is the genesis of the communal hatred we see today.

As the Mughal Empire weakened, Muslims comprised a small elite of Nawabs and zamindars. There was no middle class. Most Muslims were economically and socially backward. Conversion to Islam gave them a sense of equality and identity within a larger Muslim world. But it had no effect on their living standards. Islam was superimposed on the caste structure. The Hindu dhobi became a Muslim dhobi. But he still remained a dhobi. The caste structure of Hinduism became the jamaats of Muslims. Marriage was strictly within the jamaats. Often even burial grounds were on jamaat lines. This was against a basic feature of Islam that all Muslims were brothers, as witnessed in the marriage of the Prophet’s cousin Zainab with Zayd, a former slave.

The rise of the British saw Muslim elite lose political power. In their resentment they turned their back on anything Western, particularly the English language and science. They clung to a shadowy world of Persian language and culture, and to a princely lifestyle, they could no longer afford. A total lack of vision can be gauzed by their refusal to accept a British offer to open an English medium college. They demanded a Persian medium college. Around this time the British offered Hindus a Sanskrit college. They declined asking for an English medium college. Note the sharp contrasts in their responses. The 1857 mutiny ended Muslim rule. The British, replacing the Mughals, were especially harsh on the Muslims, who reacted by withdrawing further into their shell. Any attempt at an English education was strongly opposed and even declared as un-islamic. The great Sir Syed Ahmed, the founder of Aligarh was vilified and offered a garland of shoes. On the other hand Hindus responded most enthusiastically to Western education. Within a few decades there was a marked contrast between widespread Muslim poverty and decay, and a vibrant Hindu middle class. This Hindu awakening found expression in the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885. But the Muslims largely kept aloof. Sir Syed Ahmed was wary of antagonizing the British. His focus was only on the uplift of the community, and that required building bridges with foreign rulers. The religious divide soon became a political divide, with the partition of Bengal in 1905. Hindus opposed it strongly. Muslims favoured it, reflecting the nature of East Bengal, with Hindu zamindars and Muslim landless. After the First World War, Hindu aspirations for self government were turned down by the British. Resentment, led to harsh measures culminating in the Jalianwala Baug tragedy. This brought Mahatma Gandhi into the national limelight. Sadly this coincided with the British deposing the last Turkish Sultan, who as Khalifa was also the nominal head of the Muslim world. Indian Muslims reacted most strongly to this loss. The khilafat movement was born. Gandhiji sensed an emotional issue that would bring Muslims into the national mainstream. He offered Congress support for Khilafat. The result was a deluge of orthodox maulanas into the Congress, and the exit of its principal liberal figure Jinnah. The later was bitter about his eclipse from national politics. This bitterness contributed years later to the partition of the country. Equally important, Muslim leadership passed into the hands of maulanas, and it has largely remained so ever since. The khilafat movement died within a few years. But the damage had been done. Religion and politics were mixed in a deadly concoction. Moplah riots in Kerala followed, leading to the birth of the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS. Inspite of Gandhiji’s attempts to project Sarva Dharma Sadbhav, the two communities drifted apart. The end result was partition, with frightening brutalities and a migration of millions across the borders.

Gandhiji’s assassination and Nehru’s stress on science and humanism cooled the communal fires. But this social peace lasted barely fifteen years. With Nehru’s death, and the constant irritants of Pakistan and Kashmir, the Hindu Muslim divide widened once again. Electoral politics, vital to a democracy, was also the incentive to inflame communal passions. Caste politics with the coming of Mandal, threatened the BJP hold on its Hindu vote bank. In response the Ayodhaya movement was launched. The last twenty five years have been most difficult for Indian Muslims. They are under a constant physical threat and mental stress.

The situation is particularly grim in a state like Gujarat that has become a laboratory of Hindutva. My own house has been attacked four times, the last time in 2002 it was completely destroyed. My daughter and I just escaped certain death. I have been in prison three times. Post Godhra saw an elected Government sponsor the mass killings of Muslims. This had never happened before in free India. The poison goes beyond Narendra Modi. For years the Gujarati language media, would carry provocative articles against Muslims. Repeated requests to the Press Council to stop this yellow journalism had no effect. Gujarati intellectuals would write long articles on the need to civilize the barbarian trends in the Muslim community. This author made numerous public appeals to persuade top Gujarati religious figures to express remorse for the horrors of 2002, in particular the rape and killing of Muslim women using trishuls, while shouting Jai Shri Ram. There has been no response. Honestly I have often wondered what has happened to this society that once produced a Mahatma.

Politically Muslims have no voice in Gujarat. Although the Muslim population in Gujarat is about 10 %, the communal polarization is so deep that it is impossible for a Muslim to win a significant election. With the rise of Hindutva, Gujarat has not elected any Muslim to the Lok Sabha, nor has there been a Muslim Minister in Gujarat. Since the coming to power of Narendra Modi, most Muslim officers have been sidelined. In national perspective, the hatred shown by the Gujarat BJP towards Muslims has poisoned relations between Muslims and the saffron party. All over the country, Muslims tend to vote strategically such that the BJP loses. This has been exploited by other parties to avoid doing anything substantial for Muslims, other than talk about protecting them from the BJP. The Islamophobia of the BJP has hurt Muslims tremendously. It also puts a brake on BJP winning elections. More important it damages the democratic basis of our
country.

The situation could have been rectified substantially if the lower judiciary in Gujarat had been just and fair. Sadly case and after case against those accused in the post Godhra riots were thrown out, due to a deliberate sloppy police investigation, combined with Public Prosecutors appointed from the VHP. Even so notorious a person as Babu Bajrangi, who in a TV sting operation confessed to having slashed the pregnant Kauserbanu, to kill both the unborn and the mother, was granted bail by a High Court Judge. Later this same Judge was appointed on the Nanavati Commission to examine the causes of the riots. How can we have any faith in such a Judge? On the other hand the draconian POTA law was applied on about 270 people in Gujarat. Of these 269 were Muslims. Those arrested for the Sabarmati train burning, are languishing in jail for the past six years. The Government case is so weak, that it deliberately delays bringing it before a Court of law. Since the expiry of this law, the Gujarat Government has passed another POTA type Bill, which has not so far been signed by the President. It is called GUJCOC. It allows any confession made before the police as admissible before a Court of law. With the strong anti Muslim bias of the police force, one can well imagine the third degree methods that will be used to force any confession desired by the authorities. I just hope the President withholds his consent to this Bill.

The recent Ahmedabad blasts have been tragic. In Islam terrorism is strongly condemned in Surahs 5, 6, 17 and 25 of the Quran. Life is given by the Creator and it is sacred and no individual has a right, to take it away, except in the course of justice. To kill an innocent is a sin that will deserve double punishment from Allah. Tragically many victims of 2002 are filled with burning revenge. I urge these youth to look for justice in the majesty of Allah. But they must never hurt innocents.

History tends to divide. Geography forces us to unite. 150 million Muslims are spread over every state, district and taluka of this country. There is no alternative but to live in communal harmony with our 800 million Hindu brothers. Muslims must play their part in making a success of the idea of India. After all which country in the world can claim a Father of the Nation who laid his life for its minorities? Muslims must realize that all Hindus are not supporters of the RSS. India is secular because of these Hindus. We must do everything possible to win their goodwill. Without diluting our roots in Islam, we must make adjustments in our world view and our own life styles. One sad aspect is the decline in Sufi beliefs among Muslims. Sufism enabled a reconciliation of different philosophical and religious tenets in India. It brought Muslims closer to Hindus. Under increasing threat from Hindutva, Muslims have sought to reassert their distinct identity in appearance. They are also moving away from Sufism. In the process they are distancing themselves from those non RSS Hindus, whose friendship is essential for their own welfare. This may damage secularism in the country, and ultimately hurt the Muslims of India.

Muslims must emulate the gentler, warmer and nobler nature of the Holy Prophet: his integrity, his simplicity, his laughter with children, and his concern for women, the old and the sick. Somehow we have drifted away from the life of the Prophet. A society is judged by how it treats its women. Muslim men have not realized the psychological damage the practice of triple talaq does to women. It is a sword that hangs over every woman. The Quran refers to talaq in (2,226 / 232) and also (65, 1/ 7), with the clear stipulation that the process be spread over a period of about four months. This is to prevent any misuse by anger or pettiness. There is no mention at all of instant triple talaq. The Quran directs the husband to treat his divorced wife with dignity, honour and kindness. Horribly women are divorced on the telephone, or in a drunken state, or for not cooking the right type of meal. Tragically it is considered valid by our Muftis.

 


This is wrong in religion. It is also against all the tenets of human rights, and we must condemn the same. Similarly polygamy is mentioned in the Quran (4, 3) wherein a man is allowed to marry up to four wives. But it stipulates that they must all be treated just and fair. The very next sentence says that even if you try to be just, you will not be able to do so. This implies monogamy is the rule in Islam. Polygamy is permitted only under extreme conditions. In Islam a child is conceived when an egg meets the sperm. Allah gives it a soul. Hence Islam treats abortion as murder. But coitus interruptus was sanctioned by the Prophet. This method just stops the egg meeting the sperm. Then why do we oppose family planning, when it does the same work?

Hindutva has led to the impossibility of Muslims finding residential accommodation in most Hindu areas. This is very true of Gujarat. Strangely it is also true in cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai. The result is a ghettoisation, with Muslims forced to live in highly congested areas, with poor water supply, drainage disposal, bad roads and equally shabby public transport. I would urge Muslims not to complain. They should plan and develop their own areas such that essential facilities are provided. If necessary use community funds. Trees must be planted and properly watered. Cleanliness must be maintained. They must learn to use their electoral power to secure these rights. As an example the Juhapura locality in Ahmedabad has about 3 lakh Muslims, most of them migrants from riot prone parts of the city. Juhapura had no banks, as it was classified as a ‘negative rating’ by bureaucrats. We fought this issue for years, up to the level of the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the RBI. Friendly members of Parliament were persuaded to ask questions on the subject. Finally we succeeded.

Quality education is the highest priority of Muslims. That implies stress on English, Maths and Science. There has been a sharp rise in the number of Muslim students attending schools and college. Our focus must be on professional courses, such as engineering, management and medicine. That is the only way the Muslim community can come out of its present miserable state. I am totally against any form of reservation, which is ultimately a crutch that hurts the sound healthy evolution of a society. I am horrified at the mad rush for ‘backwardness’, and I pray my community avoids that pitfall.

At this stage it is best that Muslims stay away from power politics. The experience of the last sixty years is that Muslim leaders, who join political parties, do gain at a personal level. We have had Muslim Presidents, Vice Presidents, Cabinet Ministers and Governors. Sadly they are so scared of being branded communal that they just completely avoid the community. Muslims must treat the vote as a sacred power, and use it wisely and hopefully for the best candidate. That requires that the BJP come out of its hate Muslim politics. Hopefully that day will dawn. That will be the highest tribute they can pay to Gandhi who laid his life so we can usher in the idea of India.

Embedded comments on IndianMuslims.in Blog:

June 3, 2008

Embedded comments on IndianMuslims.in Blog:

 

Sudie on June 2nd, 2008 2:33 pm

Mr Ghulam Mohammad

 

We had a MK Gandhi arriving 80 Years earlier through grassroot support before someone started screaming “Change”….this frail man said “Quit India” and moved masses before there was a CNN. Of course as far as you may be concerned he was a fake Indian also, as much as the entire Indian democracy and constitution.

 

[You stole my words. If you recall Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had settled in South Africa, founded an ashram around his creed of non-violence. British colonialists, always looking ways and means to pacify their Indian colony, right from the days of the first Indian Mutiny, chose Gandhi as a pacifier, organised his transformation from a European dude to an Indian ‘fakeer’, managed his homecoming in a big way, by getting Mohammed Ali Jinnah, (another British choice to further orderly political affairs in restless India – Jinnah never took to the street – once a lawyer always a lawyer.) to organise a grand reception in Bombay. The rest is history. GM]

 

 

I guess being genuine as per you is a prerogative of Muslim rule – the one that we see under the Taliban and under Aurangzeb.

 

[Sudie should focus on the current discussion on India, its democracy and its current ethnic divide between Hindus and Muslims and the extreme alternatives of Hindu or Muslim Raj. By meandering over space and time — citing Taliban and Aurangzeb — he is running away from serious discussion. He has every right to ask what will be the future shape of a Muslim state, organised and run like a modern state or a repeat of the old story. But using pent up fury to overtake his common sense; he is not contributing to a very serious and productive discussion.]

 

Let me assure you that the very fact that people like you can make statements like this under the guise of “Freedom of Speech” is proof enough that we at least respect democracy, if not, have implemented it.

 

[There is no doubt India of today has a great show of ‘freedom of speech’. Muslim news and views is always papered over and thrown in waste basket. Read last week’s Indian Express interview of Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendera Modi. He is seething at the very use of the word Muslim by the IE interviewer:

 

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/317409.html

 

•While B S Yeddyurappa did acknowledge your role, he also inducted a Muslim minister into the Karnataka cabinet. Should other BJP governments follow suit?

 

Our party has leaders from all sections of society.

 

•But five BJP states don’t have Muslim representation. Should Gujarat have a minister from the Muslim community?

 

It is time you stopped seeing people in terms of Hindus and Muslims. Let Indians live as Indians.

 

[For Modi, Muslims should be acknowledged as Muslims only for killing — so they can be wiped out from Indian soil. GM]

 

•How does one deal with social tensions arising out of caste-based privileges?

 

I come from a backward community, so I would not like to comment on this. But the pie must be expanded by inclusive growth so as to enable everyone to have their share.

 

•Would that include the Muslims as well?

 

This is a stupid question. Does developmental work differentiate between a Hindu and a Muslim?

 

•Does Gujarat need a healing touch after the post-Godhra riots?

 

The cases are in the Supreme Court and then there is a commission constituted for them. It won’t be proper for me to say anything that might affect the cases one way or the other. Also, why this obsession with this Hindu-Muslim thing? Didn’t our party take the initiative for a Muslim president?

 

[For one Muslim nominal  ceremonial president, how many Muslim lives will become free for arrests, torture, kill? How many Muslim communities will be strangled to die in their poverty and lack of economic opportunities? Is this a fair tradeoff and who is to judge on that. A known Muslim-baiter like Modi! GM]

 

Another current example of ‘freedom of speech’ in India that Sudie is so proud about:

 

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/080602/world/india_media_times_gujarat_sedition_1

 

Times of India faces sedition charges from police

 

Mon Jun 2, 7:07 AM

 

AHMEDABAD (AFP) – The Times of India said Monday it is facing sedition charges from the police for allegedly questioning the competence of a senior officer in volatile Gujarat state.

 

Editor Bharat Desai and a senior reporter with the Ahmedabad edition have been charged along with a photographer for the Gujarat Samachar newspaper, the Times told AFP.

 

The leading English-language broadsheet was seeking legal advice after being informed of the charges, although they had “not yet got copies of the charges filed against Desai and (Prashant) Dayal,” a journalist said, asking not to be named.

 

Ahmedabad police declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

 

The charges, which include criminal conspiracy, stem from a series of investigative reports questioning the alleged links of new Ahmedabad police chief O.P. Mathur with a mafia don and his ability to guarantee security in the city.

 

Mathur was appointed to the job just last month in Ahmedabad, the western state’s commercial capital, which is reported to figure high on the hit-list of several Islamic rebel groups.

“As a leading responsible newspaper, it was our duty to highlight the past of the man who is the new commissioner,” Desai told NDTV news channel.

 

The daily wrote on its front-page Monday that “the reports essentially were a scrutiny of the track record of the top cop in view of the challenge posed by terrorists.”

 

Hundreds of journalists and rights activists protested Monday outside Mathur’s office, chanting slogans against attempts to “muzzle the media.”

 

“This is a conspiracy against freedom of the press and we want that everyone across the country speaks up against this,” said Rathin Das, a senior journalist with the rival Hindustan Times.

 

Rights activist Cedric Prakash said the charges were “symbolic of the fascist mindset of an administration which does not care about the constitutional rights of its citizens, especially freedom of speech and expression.”

 

Gujarat, ruled by Hindu nationalists, witnessed widespread rioting in 2002 when mainly Hindu mobs rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods killing at least 2,000 Muslims.

 

The rioting followed a fire in a train carriage that killed 59 Hindu pilgrims.]

 

 

 

 

 

If your perception of justice to Muslims is about Feudal lords enjoying harems, exploiting poor peasants and seeking Jehad; I guess India then will never be your country.

 

[This harangue is not worth responding to.Feudalism worked across religions.]

 

India wants to be a where hard work, perseverance pays.

[Hard work, intelligence, merit are all tools

of exclusion by the previllaged classes. Welfare states have other more humane inclusive criteria to sustain a peaceful and harmonious society.]

Yes, we have our problems – a multi-cultural, poverty stricken population but we are moving in the right direction with our eyes towards the stars. Where as you seem to be focused on past g(l)ory of “Muslim” Rule revisiting India.

 

[About the past glory: Note this quote from Lord Macaulay’s speech in British Parliament:

 

“I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country ….”

 

Can Sudie compare India of the past with India of the present? Lord Macaulay had traveled in India, in the aftermath of Mughal rule.]

 

I will be interested to know what as per you is genuine secularism. Saudi Arabia, Taliban, Pakistan or Iran perhaps?? Of course the success of “fake” muslim professionals coming from middle classes (and not feudal landowners) under this “fake” democracy is not a factor worth considering.

 

 

Muslims should think and vote regional – By Ghulam Muhammed

June 1, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

 

 

Muslims should think and vote regional

 

By Ghulam Muhammed

 

Karnataka election victory of BJP has started a media frenzy to predict the imminent doom of Indian National Congress. All sorts of calculations are projected to nail the point that Congress is sure to lose the next Lok Sabha elections and BJP and its allies will form the next government at the center.

 

The whole scenario points to regionalization of Indian politics. The national stature of Indian National Congress has been declining since the demolition of Babri Masjid and the Muslim voters’ rejection of Congress as their true friend and ally, in confrontation with Hindutva and RSS forces. Like Congress, Indian Muslims too had an all India presence and this factor had immensely benefited Congress to maintain its national presence and relevance. With each election after the imposition of PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh team on Congress and the nation, the all India presence is being challenged not by BJP as clear alternative, but more regional parties. States have realized that Congress and/or any other National party, is seriously handicapped in being responsive to the genuine needs of one or other state, while it has to look to other states clamouring for similar sops. The resulting deadlock, or indefinite postponement of vital decisions so crucial to individual states, damages the credibility or bona fide of the national party.

 

When a Raj Thackeray comes out with sons of the soil demand, mere platitude about national integrity would not suffice. The rat race in on! Some states have already got cozy niche in Central government, while others are waiting their turn as the next change of coalition equation.

 

Under such circumstance, Indian Muslims too should think regional. They should identify themselves with local strong groups, rather than the political parties with national ambitions, especially those with Brahminical leadership — like Congress, BJP or CPM.

 

The current TMM campaign to get old Nawab Masjid in Vellore Fort, open for prayers, shows how Congress being a national party, had to play divisive communal politics of the worst kind when ASI under central jurisdiction, finds it convenient to allow a temple and a church to be handed over to their respective group while refusing the same yardstick of justice for Muslims. The injustice is so glaring that Congress leadership just cannot defend its communal policy with any degree of reasonable excuses. This is a case of high crime of communal discrimination against Muslims. However, Congress worry is not confined to only Tamil Nadu. It is apprehensive that if it gives in now to the just Muslim demands in Tamil Nadu, that would become precedent all over India. Being a national party it cannot afford to lose its bigger constituency of Hindu communalists, while ‘appeasing’ the Muslims in Tamil Nadu. It is time, therefore, for Muslims to relieve the Congress of this onerous duty to be just and appear to appease the Muslims, and shift their votes to regional parties, with whom they can be in a better position to bargain. Let Muslims and Congress not be emotional about such a parting of the way; as it is in the best interest of the nation, that the straitjacket of pseudo-secularism that Congress is wearing, should no longer force it to deny justice and fair-play to the Muslims.

 

Muslims however, should be very very vigilant that they keep out of the dragnet of Brahmin formations. Each and every political grouping, if dominated by the high-caste, like even BSP should be summarily rejected. Muslims should only cooperate with OBC and Dalits and SC/ST, to the complete exclusion of the criminal gang of exploiters, that will not relinquish their stranglehold on levers of power and pelf, unless they are clearly, publicly identifies and ostracized, just as they themselves ostracized the Dalits and the Malechas.

 

Muslim organisations, like Jamiatul Ulama, Jamaat e Islami, Mushawarat, Milli Council together with regional Muslim organisations should openly go regional. The Delhi based Muslim organisations should be humble enough to cooperate and even accept the leadership of regional Muslim organisations, especially from South and East. They should together come out with their favorites in each state, right from the very beginning of the campaigns that are now in full swing.

 

The first order of priority is not to think that Congress is our only saviour. All Brahmins think alike. If Congress has its Babri, BJP has its Gujarat, CPM has its Nandigram. All such crimes should be punished at the ballot box and better take care of the ballot box rigging too.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS POSTED ON ‘INDIAN MUSLIM’ BLOGSITE

May 31, 2008

 

COMMENTS POSTED ON ‘INDIAN MUSLIM’ BLOGSITE:

 

Saturday, May 31, 2008

 

There is serious flaw in not considering within proper context, Maulana Maududi’s verdict on Muslims that remained back in India, after an ‘Islamic state’ is formed where their religion and their Islamic way of life was to be protected from the kind of discriminations that were the starting point of the demand for a separate state/province for Muslims.

 

MM was responding to a question, the notorious kind that journalists invariably ask, more for argument and less for information. MM’s sarcastic line of argument should not be interpreted to mean that he ‘advocates’ or ‘prefers’ harsh treatment of Indian Muslims by their new ‘Hindu’ rulers. He possibly was encouraging them to appreciate the quality of religious and social life they will enjoy in the new Islamic state of Pakistan and at the same time scaring them of the dire consequences of remaining back in ‘Hindu’ India. He was all for Muslims to migrate in the best tradition of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).

 

At that stage, neither MM not Maulana Israr Ahmed, could have imagined that India, at least legally as per its constitution, would not become a Hindu religious state; even though in practice it already had become a Brahmin dominated state. Religious freedom to some extant was available to Indian Muslims in British rule too. But the thought of British handing effective power to highly communalised Brahmin rulers of independent India, was naturally nightmarish to practically all Muslims across the board, in terms of new religious/political changes in the country.

 

In the event, even though India is still highly communalised, its legal system, its constitutional safeguards to a large extent, give Indian Muslims a fair chance to rise up and even govern the country, if they can play the political game according to the new rules of the game. If a US or Israel can organise and manage a peaceful ‘regime change’ without firing a single shot; who has stopped the Muslims to get their due in their own land.

 

The problem with Muslims and especially with the Indian Muslim in the context of present discussion is that they just do not have what it takes to assume the role of the leader of the nation or nations. A shift of focus from the clamouring about immediate bread and butter issues to the higher level of resolve to help humanity at large could possibly bring in much better results. Islam at this juncture has so much positive to contribute to the world, that it will be a big mistake if we the Muslims should squander our energy and intellectual assets to fight internecine one-upmanship.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

Indian Muslims <http://indianmuslim.in&gt; 

 

Maulana Maududi’s Terrifying Vision for Indian Muslims

 

Posted: 30 May 2008 06:49 PM CDT

 

Maulana Maududi’s estranged disciple and Tanzeem-e-Islami chief Dr. Israr Ahmed appearing on the Jawabdeh program of GEO television in 2005 made some startling remarks about Indian Muslims. According to a published report of the program in the liberal Daily Times he reportedly said the following:

 

 In an Islamic state non-Muslims would be second-class citizens. He said if India decided after that to declare all Muslims second-class citizens then that would be right too. He said Muslims had fought in India on the claim that they were a different nation. There was no harm if India considered its Muslims a separate nation.[1] 

 

Dr. Israr Ahmed’s lack of concern for the protection of the rights of India’s Muslims is hardly surprising when looked through the prism of the views of his mentor Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi. Both were comfortable with a possible political scenario in India where the nation’s Muslims were reduced to second class citizens.

 

In the often cited Munir Commission report Maulana Maududi emphatically said in reply to a query that he will have no problem if Indian Muslims were treated on par with the Malechas or “untouchables.”  He was asked the question, “If we have this form of Islamic government in Pakistan, will you permit the Hindus to base their constitution on the basis of their religion?” He reportedly replied, “I should have no objection even if the Muslims of India are treated in that form of Government as shudras and malishes and Manu’s laws are applied to them, depriving them of all share in the Government and the rights of a citizen. In fact, such a state of affairs already exists in India.”[2]

 

But the venerable Maulana later on denied making such a statement. In a letter to Dr. Nejatullah Siddiqi, he wrote:

 

There is a fair amount of distortion in things attributed to me in Munir Report. Actually, I did not say that Manu’s Dharma Shastra be introduced in India, and that I would concur with the treatment of Muslims as Mleccas and Shudras. In fact these were [Justice Muhammad] Munir Sahib’s own remarks which he attributed to me. His question was: “If you want an Islamic government, would you then agree if a Hindu government is formed in India, where Manu’s Dharma Shastra would be introduced.” What I had told him [Justice Munir] was that it is up to Hindus to decide what they wanted to do and what they did not want to do. They will not ask us what form of system they would establish. Our task is to work according to our belief and faith wherever we have the option. As to India , there the Hindus will do whatever they want to whether we agree with them or not.”

 

Despite the denial there are at least two other instances where the Maulana made known his contempt for Indian Muslims?  A booklet titled Jamaat-e-Islami Ki Dawat contains a speech made by Maulana Maududi on May 10, 1947. In it he says:

 

It appears now certain that the country will be partitioned. One portion of India will be given to the Muslim majority and the other will be controlled by the non-Muslims. In the first part (Pakistan) we shall mobilize public opinion to base Pakistan’s constitution on the Islamic laws. In the other part we will be in a minority and you (Hindus) will be in a majority. We would request you to study the lives and teachings of Ramchandra, Krishnaji, Buddha, Guru Nanak and other sages. Please study the Vedas, Puranas, Shastras and other books. And if you cull out any divine guidance from these, we would request you to base your constitution on this guidance. We would request you to treat us exactly on the lines of the teachings of your religions. We would raise no objections. [3]

 

Further evidence of Maulana Maududi’s disdain for Indian Muslims is evident from his following answer to a question regarding the permissibility of a Pakistani male citizen marrying an Indian Muslim female:

 

Answer: As far as I know the Quran’s derivative is that there can be no relations of inheritance and marriage between the residents of Darul Islam and Darul Kufr…From now on there should be no marital relations between Indian and Pakistani Muslims.”[4]

 

This shows that the Maulana not only disregarded the plight of Indian Muslims but also considered them unequal to Pakistani Muslims.

 

It is the good fortune of Indian Muslims that the founding fathers and the present rulers of   India did not heed the calls of Maulana Maududi or an Israr Ahmed. As it is the nation’s imperfect democracy has relegated the community to the most backward status. One can only imagine what would have been the scenario if a theocracy was imposed upon them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-10-2005_pg3_3

 

[2] Report of the Court of Inquiry …to Enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953. (Lahore: Superintendent of Government Printing, 1954), p.228. Cited in Dr. Omar Khalidi’s ‘Between Muslim Nationalists and Nationalist Muslims: Mawdudi’s Thoughts on Indian Muslims. (New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies, 2004)

 

[3] Cited in S.E.Hasnain’s Indian Muslims: Challenges & Opportunities (Bombay: Lalvani Publishing House, 1968) pp.51-52.

 

[4] Mahnama Tarjumanul Quran, September 1951. Cited in Khalid Waheed Falahi’s Hindustan Mein Zaat Paat Aur Musalman.  p. 357.