"The Mosque will never go. Take this from just one humble member of the 15 Crore of Indian Muslims. Babri Masjid has become the symbol of their freedom in India. Until they rebuild Babri Masjid at its own place, Muslims will not rest…. There can be no barter of our right to reclaim what is due to us. Shahin Saheb has every right to pursue his one-sided effort to denigrate and demonise Muslims and exhort them to accept what is on the table. But Sultan Shahin does not represent the consensus of the overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims", says Ghulam Muhammed
"Merely condemning the miscreants who demolished the ex-mosque and abusing them and vowing “Masjid wahin banayenge” will not serve any purpose. It doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea to get pathologically fixated on the demolition of an ex-mosque, which was actually a functioning temple at the time of demolition, and forgetting that we have tens of thousands of functioning mosques and madrasas all over the country and are building new ones all the time. The miscreants who demolished the ex-mosque claimed to be votaries of Hindutva but were not only anti-social, and anti-national but actually anti-Hindu: they gave Hinduism a bad name, sullied its image of peaceful demeanour and non-violence and tolerance built over several millennia and indeed made homeless Hazrat Ramchandra who, I understand, is now living in a tent, bereft of a roof over his head," says Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com
Dear Ghulam Muhammed Saheb,
I had a very disturbed sleep last night. Yours was the last letter I read before going to bed. Your implied threat of a thousand-year-war to retrieve the Babri Masjid site and build a mosque right there kept coming back to me in a variety of nightmare scenarios. I may not represent the consensus of the overwhelming numbers of the Muslim community, but I am not sure that you do either; at least I am hoping that you don’t. I believe it is in our interest as a community and as a nation that we do not allow this cancer to fester and that we try to solve it.
Merely condemning the miscreants who demolished the ex-mosque and abusing them and vowing “Masjid wahin banayenge” will not serve any purpose. It doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea to get pathologically fixated on the demolition of an ex-mosque, which was actually a functioning temple at the time of demolition, and forgetting that we have tens of thousands of functioning mosques and madrasas all over the country and are building new ones all the time.
The miscreants who demolished the ex-mosque claimed to be votaries of Hindutva but were not only anti-social, and anti-national but actually anti-Hindu: they gave Hinduism a bad name, sullied its image of peaceful demeanour and non-violence and tolerance built over several millennia and indeed made homeless Hazrat Ramchandra who, I understand, is now living in a tent, bereft of a roof over his head.
In any case, to many Muslims the image of idol-worship in a mosque-like building and indeed a 400- year old former mosque was more outrageous than its demolition. We must, however, try and move ahead. We cannot remain stuck in the Babri quagmire. One Karbala, and one Muharram is more than enough.
There is a bright side to the picture of Muslim life in India too. Indeed a very bright side. Where else in the Muslim world, for instance, we can live our life in accordance with the Muslim Personal law? Do any of the so-called democracies allow that? Former President Abdul Kalam and Shah Rukh Khan are perhaps the two most universally acclaimed and respected individuals in the whole country. Well, there are a million examples like that, but you need a positive vision to notice that. There are problems and injustices too, of course, and we must certainly fight that and we are indeed doing that along with many of our Hindu brethren, but please don’t overlook the larger perspective.
You have overturned my request for keeping the larger perspective in view to mean something entirely different. You want me to join the grievance-mongering brigade. To a certain extent, and within limits, highlighting the legitimate grievances of a community is a necessary act. It is the virtue of a democracy that it allows that. But that is not all we should be doing. You all are doing that so well in any case. Do highlighting grievances and protesting alone, however, solve any problems? Should our focus not be on solving problems, resolving conflicts, rather than merely highlighting them and expressing anger and frustration at their non-resolution? Don’t we need to move ahead? Can we solve our problems, merely condemning miscreants, complaining against the authorities, clamouring for justice?
I must thank you, however, for at least one thing I have gained from your kind letter. I was merely blaming radical Islamists for brainwashing our kids. I now have a better appreciation of why some of our youth may be going astray and taking recourse to terrorism. If the elders in the community, who are supposed to have more experience and understanding of life can be so angry, so negative, so obsessed with the downside of life as a Muslim in India, so utterly oblivious of the bright side, how can one really blame the youth, who are traditionally more animated and adventurous. Youthful bravado, I am told is one of the motivations behind acts of terrorism.
But how does one explain and reconcile with the adults and senior citizens of a community going nuts, blind to anything but the darkness they see and the gloom they experience all around. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, I understand, psychologists call it. But I find it difficult to believe, despite your claims that my entire community must be suffering from this sort of chronic anxiety disorder. I think it is the leaders of the community, our intellectuals who need to get cured from their OCDs and at least refrain from spreading it. Don’t throw our youth in the dark abyss of depression and frustration in which they become liable to develop a destructive or suicidal outlook.
Ghulam Muhammed Saheb, you present a terrifying vision of what is going to happen to us and to the country. More terrifying than Maulana Maudoodi’s vision for the Muslims of India! May God invest you and the likes of you with some sense or at least prove you wrong. Please don’t misguide our youth with your distorted vision and twisted ideas. They are the hope of the community and the country. Do help and defend those accused of terrorism; they are merely accused so far and deserve the best defence in a court of law. But don’t behave as if every Muslim youth has become an accused or is already detained or is going to be killed in a false encounter or detained wrongfully. Try to calm their fears, if any, and give them positive examples. Please don’t scuttle the possibility of our country producing more Abdul Kalams and Shah Rukh Khans.
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 19:45:16 +0530 [07:45PM IST]
From: Ghulam Muhammed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Sultan Shahin <Editor@newageislam.com>
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
EMBEDDED COMMENTS TO MR. SULTAN SHAHIN'S INTRODUCTORY REMAIRKS:
Muslim Penchant for spinning state-sponsored conspiracies: Will it turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy?
But do we ever come across a word of gratitude, even gratitude expressed to God, for what "in practice already had become a Brahmin-dominated state" to have not gone the Pakistan way or the Islamic way?
There is any number of voices during the last 60 years that have lauded the fact that thanks of leaders like Nehru, India has not gone over the barrel. If Mr. Sultan Shahin just wants to raise a hue and cry, he is certainly exaggerating. However, all such praise for the 'secularism' which in the hands of a communalised polity infiltrating and virtually ruling the country, Muslim have every right to raise their voices to project their 'grievances' and in that if they exaggerate, which they do not, then they have every right to even exaggerate, so long as they are not being responded to in a constructive and positive manner by the ruling oligarchs..
Do those Muslims fighting for their cause, no matter how legitimate even remember and remind the common Muslims of the larger perspective? Do we even hear our intellectuals, barring a few, of course, even restrain themselves in the language they use for their perpetual grievance-mongering?
The larger perspective is that if the British and Indian National Congress has not come to terms on partition, the total Muslim population of undivided India would have been to the tune of 500 million or about 30% of the total population or even more. That larger picture had to be projected to point out the perfidy behind dividing the Muslim population in three parts while merely 3% Brahmins/Suvarnas/ Aryans, have managed to fool the rest of the non-Muslims and ruling the country with a concocted majority. While that majority, like the force of gravity, is gradually and certainly disintegrating, Muslims have yet to get the larger perspective of how their presence in the nation and in the subcontinent, should regain their weightage.
Do we ever wonder what would be our situation if we were living as a religious minority in an Islamic state?
Since the oil boom of 70's millions of Indians, in the same ratios of Muslims to non-Muslims, namely 10% Muslims and 90% non-Muslims have been living in the Islamic states the Arabian Gulf and enjoying a comparably better standard of living than that of India. They have not been given citizenship rights, as they are guest workers; but even now after a second generation has taken over, none of those immigrant Indians would like to come back to India. In some areas, Indians are more than the Arab Muslim natives. As Arab Gulf countries are not bothered about their image outside, they do not respond to the false propaganda, spread by Islamophobes that Indians are being discriminated in Islamic countries.
Islamic countries have a millennium long history of coexisting and thriving with other communities in their midst. That cannot be denied by motivated propaganda by vested interest during the current phase of demonisation of Muslims and Islam, by the hired hands of US/UK/Israel.
Do we ever move our lips or lift our little finger in support of the religious minorities living in Islamic states next door? Well, what to support them, we have hounded out the one Muslim lady who dared to speak for them in Bangladesh? There are so many Hindus and even Hindu ladies who fight for our causes in this country: would we like the Indian system to hound them out of the country and of course, not get any refuge anywhere else, certainly not in a Muslim country? …
The constitution of India grants us freedom of religion, while local governments are illegally preventing Muslims to build Masjids to accommodate their burgeoning populations, especially in urbanised areas. Instead, the communal forces are systematically targeting older mosques and Idgahs to deprive Muslims of not only their religious places, but in fact, targeting their religious places for the real estate that is now become a sin quo non of the neo riche conditions of some communities. All our awkaf properties are being eaten up by state agencies and their proxies, to deprive Muslims of their legitimate heritage and right to property. Will Mr. Shahin consider voicing against this anti-Muslim state policy as exaggerating the grievances and not thanking the state? What kind of slave existence he wants us to adopt to pander to the corrupted rule of the so-called secular liberator of India.
We have tens of thousands of mosques and madrasas running throughout the length and breadth of this country, but one of our mosques, a dilapidated and disused one, was demolished by people who were characterised by the Supreme Court as miscreants, and we blew that into an issue of our religious freedom in the country.
It is surprising that Mr. Shahin has not a single word for 'the miscreants' who virtually unleashed a fascist revolution in India, by demolition of Babri Masjid. He keeps harping on Muslim thanklessness, Muslim exaggerations, Muslim obduracy, without contrasting it with the Hindutva aggression. Can there be any greater proof of his bias and prejudice against his own Muslim community. Is he on some contract to target his own community in the hope some personal reward. Is he a well wisher of Muslims or a well wisher of the Fascist Hindutva?
We have still not solved that problem and allowed it to fester, to our nation's detriment.
The onus of solving the problem is in the hands of the same government that had helped the Fascists in demolition of Babri Masjid. We want justice from our own state, our own judiciary, and our own people. Why can't Mr. Shahin instead of addressing the victims to forgive and forget, not condemning and asks for justice for Muslims. Or is that the way of the secularists to prove their secularism by appeasing the fascists.
Do our intellectuals take time off fighting the system and tell us it is not in our interest to allow a cancer to grow.
It is easy for Mr. Shahin to call the Muslim factor, as cancer, while having no guts to call a spade a spade by calling for the destroying the cancer of Hindutva fascism. His own credibility is on the line.
The mosque is gone.
The Mosque will never go. Take this from just one humble member of the 15 Crore of Indian Muslims. Babri Masjid has become the symbol of their freedom in India. Until they rebuild Babri Masjid at its own place, Muslims will not rest.
We apparently don't worship bricks and soil. Bricks too are gone in any case. Why can't we initiate an amicable solution, as it would be in our own interest too? We need a plot of land to pray, we can pray anywhere in the area. Why do we need to blow it out of all proportion, make it such a big issue, when the country – the system - is allowing us to have as many mosques and madrasas as we wish?
There can be no barter of our right to reclaim what is due to us. Shahin Saheb has every right to pursue his one-sided effort to denigrate and demonise Muslims and exhort them to accept what is on the table. But Sultan Shahin does not represent the consensus of the overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims.
An analysis by Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com
"What crime has the Indian state committed to be reviled so? Or, the Indian system (Nizam), which would presumably include the constitution? Well, it did not declare itself a Hindu state as Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the founder-ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami and the mentor of SIMI, advised it to do and treat Muslims and other religious minorities as second class citizens. Had it done so, it would not be accused today of hatching conspiracies against the rights of the minorities."
If India was not declared a Hindu State, by no stretch of mind, one can say that was to appease or humour or secure the Muslims.
Pandit Nehru is on record saying Majority communalism is worst than Minority communalism. Nehruji was fending off competition from Hindu Mahasabha and Hindu extremists within his own Congress fold. His distaste for Hindu fundamentalists is well-known. (Compare and contrast this with Nehruji's warm associations with the 'fundamentalist' Muslim Ulema of Deoband who were against partitioning of India.)
Besides as a student of history, Nehruji was aware that India cannot be ruled in peace unless all its various diversities are accommodated. The unrest that we see making havoc in the land is the result of not fully adhering to Nehruji's visionary Idea of India.
Those who are still for Hindu Raj as the Ideal for India' should have taken appropriate lessons, when Nepal, the only Hindu state in the world, turned republic and the Hindu King was sent packing abroad, after a democratic election.
So Mr. Shahin's strenuous efforts to convince Indian Muslims that they should thank their stars for at least being allowed to live in their own land, even if as the neo-shudars, is bound to go over the head of an overwhelming majority of Muslims. And if this is self-fulfilling prophecy; then let it be.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai