Islamic Indian Nationalism

Mumbai is part of India. Lebanon is not'.

The profound understanding that Sir Winston Churchill showed in 1899 in regard to ground-level realities relating to Islam during his time, is not being shown by the meek, mean and mendacious political mandarins in authority in the UPA Government in New Delhi. I cannot help allowing Sir Winston Churchill to speak for himself:

'How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of property exists wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.' (River War-I Edition-Volume II-Pages 248-250, Longman's Green and Co, London 1899).

Soon after the Mumbai Blasts, like Newton's First Law of Motion and Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the Imam of Jumma Masjid in New Delhi came out with a profoundly well-founded(!) statement: 'The RSS. and the VHP are responsible for the Mumbai blasts'. This was the calculated response from this noted Muslim cleric. The other Muslims and Muslim organizations of India were not so much concerned about it. If only Mumbai had been a city in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon or Turkey, all the Muslims in India would have organized a national bandh against the atrocities in that city. Unfortunately Mumbai is located in a condemned land called India – the land of the infidels or 'kafirs'. The UPA Government in its blood-thirsty hunt for minority votes, would only view all this with secular(!) disdain and contempt.

It is again secularly fascinating to note that riotous protests erupted soon after Muslim prayers in Kashmir Valley, several parts of Uttar Pradesh (under the Islamic Rule(!) of Mulayam Singh Yadav), and Hyderabad (under the Seventh Day Adventist Government of Y. Samuel R. Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh(!)) – not for the killings in Mumbai city but for the Israeli Bombing of Lebanon.

I would like to ask the UPA Government this highly communal question: If all the members of the RSS and VHP were to launch an agitation on the streets of Mumbai condemning the bomb blasts, will they all not be arrested and booked under innumerable Acts and Rules on fictitious charges? Will the unlimited secular leeway given to all the agitating Muslims with Himalayan political will and enthusiasm be given to the protesters of the RSS and the VHP also?

How do I react to all these terrible things taking place in India today? All the peace-loving citizens of India who believe in a civil society have to cry out in collective anguish in this manner: 'The sense of frustration that comes to us, the sinking of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit that comes to us, the sense of loneliness that comes to us, the sense of helplessness that comes to us, the sense of hopelessness that comes to us and when we see our ideals being thrown overboard and life taking a different course'. I earnestly hope that perhaps this period will pass soon enough, perhaps this period will end soon enough and we may yet see the light of day. When I was in such an agitated mood of mind, I found a new elixir in the following lines of immortal poetry:

'When injustice becomes greater than we are
When injustice becomes swifter than we are
When injustice becomes stronger than we are
Help us not to tire
Where injustice becomes so great
That we shrink at its glance
Help us not to despair
Where injustice invades us
In our days and nights
In our startled waking and in our dreams
In our hopes and our curses
Help us not to forget ourselves.'

Even as I was reassuring myself and gathering my renewed moral strength to resist the multipronged forces working against our national destiny, I happened to read an inspiring article by a Muslim officer belonging to the Indian Police Service called Asif Jalal. In my view, all the patriotic and nationalist Muslims in India should take their instructions from his declared philosophy and outlook so clearly presented in his article entitled 'Terrorism is a battle within the Muslim community'.

According to his article, most of the Muslims in India are law-abiding citizens. He declares with inherent conviction that India has the most modern, peaceful and forward-looking Muslim community in the world. Yet, with all this comfortable background, he comes out with his anguished finding which should herald a dangerous signal to the Government of India and all the State Governments. To quote his exact words in this context:

'After a series of blasts ripping through different cities of India and its religious places, however, it is now clear that Indian Muslim youths, however small in number, are working in India as foot-soldiers of international terrorist organizations. They still may not be fighting with the ranks of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, or in Iraq or Palestine, but doubtless some of them are colluding with the global jehadis in the latter's mission to weaken and destabilize India.'

No one can dispute the fact that the response of the Muslim intelligentsia and the Muslim community in general to the terrorist challenge has so far been only lukewarm if not indifferent. A few Muslim organizations do no doubt issue soulless statements in a formal manner from time to time and that is the end of the story. When Islamic terrorists openly declare that they derive their enthusiasm and legitimacy for acts of terrorism from the tenets of their faith, the peace-loving Muslims of India cannot choose to remain indifferent between the fire brigade and the fire. They have to come out openly, through their categorical thought, word and deed that they do not approve of these acts of barbarous terrorism. Unless they do so, they too stand the risk of being suspected as Fifth Columnists and Traitors.

The nation as a whole owes a debt of gratitude to this patriotic Muslim Officer, Asif Jalal, for boldly declaring to his co-religionists: 'An act of terrorism, even one perpetrated by Kashmiri militants or the ISI, throws peace and communal harmony out of gear across the country. It makes a Muslim's Indian-ness less credible in the eyes of many. A situation where boys born and brought up in UP and Bihar plant explosives in temples and trains would certainly script a terrible destiny for over 140 million Indian Muslims.' I would have been happier if he had also not lost sight of the destiny of the remaining billions of non-Muslims in India at the end of this meaningful sentence.

I would request all the peace-loving Muslims in India to view terrorism as a battle within the Muslim community, a struggle between the life instinct of the many and the death wish of a handful of lunatics. Every Muslim has justification to fight and win this battle for the good of many of his co-religionists, and for the larger interest of India as a whole, responding to the call of duty defined in the Quran: 'You are the best community that has ever been brought into being for the sake of mankind. You enjoin what is right and fair and you forbid what is wrong and unfair (3:110)'.  


More by :  V. Sundaram

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