Muslims: Where Do They Belong? by Ooma Tiwari Tariang SignUp
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Opinion Share This Page
Muslims: Where Do They Belong?
by Ooma Tiwari Tariang Bookmark and Share
 

Muslims in India are not a discriminated lot, officially on papers or talking in terms of our Constitution, which grants equality to all. But socially speaking, there is always this slight hitch, which the non-Muslim communities have against them. There is this subtle undercurrent discrimination that they always face being a Muslim. A crime committed? Muslim behind it? We forget the crime and condemn the convict for being a Muslim? Certain areas? Do not go at night! We are warned. Muslim dominated areas you know! Marrying a Muslim? Oh! God! Any father can have sleepless night over it. India and Pakistan match? Muslims? Pro - Pakistan certainly! And if we find nothing wrong than he must be an I.S.I. Agent. And of course if Pakistan honors him than he certainly must be one. Have not we blamed even great flawless personalities like Mr. Dilip Kumar to be one. 

We often term Muslim as religious fanatics and a collective force, who can do any thing even kill in the name of religion and for the sake of safe guarding it. We cite different examples from history on their behavioral pattern and the atrocities they may have committed. But all non-Muslims think in retrospection and introspect that do not we all behave in the same manner, when our religious sentiments are hurt? May be Indian Muslims reacts more strongly and collectively being in minority and perhaps they need to protect their cultural and religious heritage from being swallowed over, by the overwhelming Hindu majority. 

Muslims have ruled us for more then five hundred years, if they were such a fanatical lot would not, most of us be converted Muslims today? And why is it, that they are still a minority in our country? Weren't Great Emperors like Akbar born of the same community, who had far more religious tolerance, than most of our political leaders today who can incite any kind of sacrilege in the name of religion to gain political mileage out of it.

We exemplify saying most of the criminals and convicts are Muslims, condemning them more for being Muslims then for the crimes they have committed. But can we go down to the actual percentage and figures and find out the exact numbers? We may get thoroughly disappointed you know. And the fact of the matter is also that, they are mostly converts. Belonging to the lower strata of society, who had converted to get rid of the caste discrimination they faced and had adhered to the life of crime, due to lack of opportunities they find themselves with. 

It is inherent and inborn to have empathy with the one of your own kind, the bondage can be due to any common link. And religion is certainly one of them. So if an Indian Muslim cheers for Pakistan or any other Muslim country we should take it at face value and ignore it. It's all in a game, and didn't we have great Muslim Patriotic leaders the likes of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who chose to stay in this country rather than go to Pakistan? And what about those entire unknown Muslims population who preferred to stay back in 1947? Didn't they choose this country over Pakistan? And are not Indian Muslims or Mohajeers being targeted, discriminated and even being killed in Pakistan today? 

Muslim political History in India is a very recent one, around thousand years old. They can trace back their ancestors, who came to India and adopted this country as their own and identify with them. For them to have complete belonging to this country may not be fully possible and we should not grudge them that. It is natural to have emotional ties with their other Muslim brethren. They are most of the time torn apart between the country of their adoption and the country of their religious and cultural ties. It's as if they belong here, they belong there and they belong nowhere. It is this internal conflict, they go through as an Indian Muslim.

Hindus of India can sit back and pass value judgment on Muslims cause they do not face any such conflict. Hindu's written history begins here, their Gods and Goddess were born here. History does talk about their migration to India. That was a very long time ago and not a single historical character is known of that period to get identified with. Time and generations of humanity have rubbed of that emotional link for good. Who really cares what happened in the pre-historic era anyway?

The Muslim community has given us the best in many fields. Best of poets, writers, thinkers, philosophers, scientists, and also the best of historical monuments in the world. If one goes back in Time, and look into the history of mankind than this particular community has given us great sensitive humans who have endured the passages of time and remained in our minds and hearts through their writings.... Enlightening our minds... showing the path. Take for instance Khalil Gibran, one of the great philosophers of his times. His philosophy is universal and holds true even today. Ghalib who has enriched poetry as no one else has ever done. Any Indian who listens to his poetical genius today, does not think about him as a Muslim but as poet who belongs to this part of the world. Shahjahan' for his eternal and undiminished love and the great Taj Mahal. Who else in history has ever made such a magnificent token of love for his wife? It is the only monument of its kind. Against the back drop of a clear blue sky it looks' like a pearl.... born in an oyster of sublime love... filtered through the ages from the wide expansive ocean of.' beauty ethereal. And of course Akbar the Great, who never converted his Hindu wives and celebrated Hindu festivals with much revelry. But what about Aurangzeb One might say. He was intolerant and discriminating against the Hindus. Was he? Or has History been tempered with? An individual who was so insightful that he never spend from the royal treasury on his personal day to day expenses, but worked for his living making hats and writing commentaries on the Koran and selling them. Can such an individual behave in the manner he was depicted? Well it is for the historians to find out, but to day we have proof that he built a Hindu temple in Chitrakoot. There is a written "Shahi Nama" to that effect present in the temple as shown in the Star TV news. 

We can exemplify a lot of people from the Muslim community. But the point is not that, we should not condone or condemn any one on the basis of religion alone. Cause good and bad are in all. Apart from all the good they must have brought to India, they may have also committed atrocities, but did not the British also commit? And what are the Hindu hard-liners doing in the country today? Jalianwalabagh tragedy? Who was behind it? Breaking of the Babri Masjid - Who did it? No, Christian, Muslim or Hindu could have done that, but only an evil minded, inexorable butcher for a human being.

We boast that our country is a secular one, we sing laurels of it, year after year, from the Red Fort, declaring to be one. But are we really? Any politician would jump at the first opportunity, to gain political mileage out of any religious scandal. Look at the Staines murder case, while each and every political leader has vociferously threatened the government with resigning or pulling back the support... has anybody done anything ? Anything at all. What a farce they create be-fooling the Public?

December 6th 1992 which changed the Muslim history in India forever will only find a place in the Annals of History... it will be read again and again in the history books... generations after generations... A Masjid was broken... And the Masjid was broken... So the Masjid was broken... It will become only a date to remember for examination. A VERY IMPORTANT DATE! ... Any remedy or redressal? None! Why? No political will certainly! And why should there be? It is dividing people into two large groups. Any politician can come, secure sides, cry injustice ... take advantage of the poor wretched souls... dip in the vote banks... and walk away with major chunk of votes for a booty! 

How much de we really respect our Constitution or the Law of the land? But lets not go into the legal dictum or find legal loopholes. Talk straight from the heart, wasn't it illegal and morally wrong, what happened on that fateful day of the 6th of Dec.? Then why was the full government machinery paralyzed, anaesthetized and immobilized? Can we introspect and answer that question? Well! Well! How can any single leader or party displease the vast Hindu majority? It comes down to only multiplication and subtraction of votes and nothing else! Who really cares whether a Hindu or a Muslim God lives there? And may I ask that driven by passions for their Gods, how many Hindus really did visit the site? Surely I didn't? All self respecting and meditative Hindus should realize that Hinduism is an all-encompassing and eclectic religion. All through the ages it has absorbed in itself new cultures and innovative thoughts. And on that fateful day, it was not a victory that they achieved but, a Black Mark, on the reputation acquired by their seers through the ages, of being one of the most tolerant religion in the world. 

It's so saddening, that in a secular country like ours where great men, the likes of Mahatma Gandhi were born, and who were, the creator of the independent India, we cannot even guarantee a safe and a secure future for an individual. Be it a Muslim or someone from any other minority community. Where leaders with no official standing can twist the arm of the government, create communal disharmony and provoke the public into committing gruesome and sometimes sardonic acts. Remember the stripping down to the under garments in front of Dilip kumars's house! What a fool, followers make of themselves sometimes? And the government- they dare not touch the instigator! Scared and chilled downed to the very spine of our political system. Politics is nothing but a stage for politician, where any play can be staged and applause can be expected from the smothered and constricted minds of the public. Great personalities, whom we have revered and idolized for decades, need protection from the very public that once loved them. So much for staying back in India! Where are we heading? Are we not tearing the secular fabric of our country? Or do we want more Pakistans' to be created out of this country? The wounds of Partition' have yet to heal. Are we prepared for another one? Are we? ... May be we will never learn... And mind you I am not pro-Muslims or pro any community, I am just Pro-human beings. And how about that'? Can anybody understand that? Perhaps' only humans can!  


11-Jan-2001
More by :  Ooma Tiwari Tariang
 
Views: 999
Article Comment
This article is wrong at so many levels that I have to agree with what you say in your bio, "...can show maturity of an eighty year old at times". This writing is ridden with several WTF moments. I don't know where to begin my rant.

1. "May be Indian Muslims reacts more strongly and collectively being in minority and perhaps they need to protect their cultural and religious heritage from being swallowed over, by the overwhelming Hindu majority."

R. That is exactly why Two Nation Theory was put forth and Muslims were free to move over to the other side. Those who chose to stay back have no business being fanatics, and if they are, they must face the consequences, like any religious fanatic, including RSS etc. They are as equal as anyone else.

----

2. "Muslims have ruled us for more then five hundred years, if they were such a fanatical lot would not, most of us be converted Muslims today? And why is it, that they are still a minority in our country?"

R. This is complete BS, reminding me of that fool Zakir Naik and other such apologetics. Anyway, the response to your rhetoric is that most Hindus had firm belief in their faith and culture and chose to stick on to it and didn't succumb, unlike others who converted for social mobility or even sincerely (which I doubt). That is akin to us being Anglophone today. English language was and is seen as the big ticket to success.

----

3. "And the fact of the matter is also that, they are mostly converts. Belonging to the lower strata of society, who had converted to get rid of the caste discrimination they faced and had adhered to the life of crime, due to lack of opportunities they find themselves with. "

R. How does matter if a lower caste Hindu converts or an upper caste Hindu. Once converted they are nothing but Muslims. Your justification is appalling, and casteist. And FYI, *every* Muslim is a convert, either he did or his ancestor did. Understand that first. Your logic shows you know nothing about religions beyond layman’s misinformed knowledge.

----

4. "So if an Indian Muslim cheers for Pakistan or any other Muslim country we should take it at face value and ignore it. It's all in a game"

R. Even I cheer for other teams when India isn't playing but the allegation is they cheer the "enemy" even when they are playing India. By the same token of argument, what is wrong if they feel for fellow Muslims, albeit extremists, who spread terror or even a Pakistani soldier? The fellow Muslim sympathy argument is flawed beyond repair. There is place for those in secular democracies. That is tantamount to betrayal.

----

5. "Muslim political History in India is a very recent one, around thousand years old. They can trace back their ancestors, who came to India and adopted this country as their own and identify with them. For them to have complete belonging to this country may not be fully possible and we should not grudge them that. It is natural to have emotional ties with their other Muslim brethren. They are most of the time torn apart between the country of their adoption and the country of their religious and cultural ties. It's as if they belong here, they belong there and they belong nowhere. It is this internal conflict, they go through as an Indian Muslim."

R. This is complete bull. Indian Muslims are former Hindus (or other Indians) that have converted. There is only a tiny fragment of the Muslim population that has recent and notable foreign element in them (like Nasseruddin Shah and others of Afghan heritage, mapillas of Kerala etc) and the rest has as much of it as the rest of the Indians (Hindus and all) have in them. The DNA studies confirm it. The foreign element argument is again layman’s ignorance and Muslim fanatic’s ploy to establish “supremecy” by denying Indian heritage, similar to Aryan invasion theory planted by Europeans that is so dividing to this day.

----

6a. "But all non-Muslims think in retrospection and introspect that do not we all behave in the same manner, when our religious sentiments are hurt?"

6b. "…create communal disharmony and provoke the public into committing gruesome and sometimes sardonic acts [...] And the government- they dare not touch the instigator! Scared and chilled downed to the very spine of our political system"

R. This is funny. Muslims feel hurt when their sentiments are hurt and hence react. So too Hindus. Then what is wrong with the Staines case or Babri masjid case? Sure, they are illegal and despicable but thats not the point here. Also, Muslim and Christian "converters" regularly hurt Hindu sentiments in the process of their conversion. They even blatantly distribute pamphlets demonizing the Hindu culture, deities etc. So why blame Hindus when they react? Either way, 6b holds good for Muslim fanatics as well so whats the complaint about? Its also funny that you only condemn Hindu reaction.

----

The only points that I agree are the obvious arguments put forth by people in this kind of topics, but I really do agree. Them being about mohajirs and votebank politics.

And although I find your defending someone as notorious as Aurangzeb to be the icing on this “apologetic” cake and can’t fathom why you have to go to such lengths to be pro Muslims, I won’t respond as I am not completely sure on my side of the facts.

In conclusion, you appear to be one of those people who think that religious minority are untouchable (no pun intended) in that their actions are beyond scrutiny, that they must be mothered and given special privilege...basically that anti majority (read Hindus) equates to pro minority (read Muslims and Christians) because your logic in arguing that Hinduism is "all encompassing" is laughable. Every religion that man has ever created claims to be that among others like professing universal brotherhood, love and compassion, coexistence etc. Why don't you point that out to Muslims (or any other minority that you wish to "defend") or the lack there of, and tell them to take it easy?

And oh, if you think I am a Hindu fanatic, no I am not. I am an atheist and freethinker. Because you were being apologetic about Muslims, I had to counter you and that might make me look like an internet Hindu.

PS: If you do choose to respond, I think it'd be better if it’s public, rather than email exchanges.
vinay
03/14/2011
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