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Friday, February 8, 2008

Obnoxious pandering

21 Dec 2007, 0010 hrs IST,

If the desired doesn't come on a platter, divide. The simple way. Threat to part, communalise the most secular aspects of life, inflame and see the results resting on a couch till the final hour arrives. That's the Jinnah theory, propounded by the non-practising Muslim, who created and led a frenzy resulting in our motherland's Partition. Whatever he would have been before his calculated steps towards becoming Qaid-e-Azam should be weighed against the fact that his creation, Pakistan, has been singularly responsible for an unprecedented bloodbath of Hindus post-1947. If a pre-Partition Congress agreed to Jinnah's theory of Partition to have Nehru realise his wish to unfurl the Tricolor on the ramparts of the Red Fort, the post-Partition Congress is creating the same Jinnah model with politics dividing the national spirit and violating the Constitution. The proposal to have a separate fifteen per cent quota in the 11th Five Year Plan for minorities (read Muslims) is the most sinister kind of an action that makes us look a semi-theocratic despotic state. In fact, its content and import is so embarrassingly pampering, aimed at soliciting votes of a particular community that patriotic and reasonable Indian Muslims should stand up and say no to this farce that is bound to further ghettoize them. The UPA government says the separate communal award is necessary for minorities as they are a weaker section, hence, need extra support. But has the Constitution given any clear indication about who shall be deemed as minorities in India? The truth is that a dithering and desolate UPA government has brought this proposal only for the Muslims keeping the general elections in mind that may be announced soon. Even otherwise who forms a minority and where is obfuscated in the law, yet to be defined clearly. Recently, the Allahabad High Court gave a judgment saying Muslims are not a minority in UP and, later, the Punjab High Court said that Sikhs do not form a minority in Punjab. By the same yardstick, can we say Muslims are a minority in J&K? The way the government has tried to placate a particular religious group bodes ill for the social fabric and polity of the nation. If the extra financial provisions are not just for the Muslims, how shall the government decide about the minority status of any applicant that may come before its various ministries for availing the benefits of this obnoxious provision? Shall it accept Hindus as minorities in J&K, Mizoram or Meghalaya? Has it followed this line of action anytime in the last sixty years with regard to the formation of minority commissions in such states? Secondly, do the deserving weaker sections of Indian society need to be determined only on the communal basis? What about the weaker sections amongst tribals, scheduled castes and women? A ruling coalition that is headed and remote-controlled by a Christian person of foreign origin should have been doubly cautious not to bruise the national secular fabric using the state instrument, which is expected see all the citizens without any discrimination as per the constitutional principles. On the contrary, this coalition, run by so-called secular minority leaders has been making assaults on Hindu icons, symbols of faith and signature posts of their collective memory ad nauseam as if hurting Hindus doesn't make an iota of a difference. Keep on counting – increasing Haj subsidy but silence on Kailas Yatra, special reservations in government jobs for Muslims (in Andhra, though it was struck down later by the Supreme Court), special reservation to Muslims in Aligarh University, special financial corporations for Muslims, special educational scholarships for non-Hindu minorities (read Muslims), honouring Husain by a central university in the presence of the Vice-President though criminal cases are pending against him for depicting Hindu goddesses as nudes, slow on Afjzal's hanging and keeping the file on him in abeyance in Home Ministry. It pays to be a non-Hindu in this Hindustan! The merchants of vote banks forget that nowhere on this earth extraordinary support has ever helped a community unless there is an inner urge in its members to acquire new knowledge. The myth of Muslim backwardness falls flat before the fact that in most of the areas their talent is well recognized and their growth outshines any other community.
If Bollywood has become a Khanwood and industry, media, politics, ruling elite show an extraordinary presence of Muslims at every top level, it shows that they were nowhere discriminated against and rose to dizzy heights from humble beginnings as naturally as any other Hindu would do. In fact, the weaker sections of the Hindu society suffer more because of this Muslim appeasement policy. The share that would otherwise go to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes actually gets diverted to Muslim vote-bank nurture plans. Secondly, what have the great Muslims themselves done to help their community grow? Except a few examples, there is hardly a concerted effort by Muslim leaders to start centres of excellence and help propel engines of growth and liberalism amongst the co-religionists. One has to see Urdu papers and some special reports in certain secular newspapers showing the angst and frustration of common Muslims against their so-called leaders' callous and utterly corrupt behaviour. No Haj committee in India is free from serious corruption charges leveled against high-profile Muslim leaders and chairpersons of such committees and even relatives and brothers of the man who attacked Parliament and earned sympathies of secular human right activists are fighting with each other over the booty collected in the name of protecting Afzal's interests! Can you give one example of any Islamic country, which has shown a free atmosphere and brilliance in the fields of art, culture, music, science, and literature or egalitarian democratic values? Arab poetry and literature was globally recognised in the pre-Islamic period and so were their advancements in science and arts. All that they can show today as a mark of Islamic pride are the museums depicting wartime hardware and Jihadi achievements. Excellence, brilliance and growth belong to those who show a focused perseverance in a liberal atmosphere of unhindered freedom emanating from the strength of a civilisation. Ask Shah Rukh or Azim Premji. The taxpayer's money should be spent without any favour or discrimination, that's the credo of a Hindu-majority nation. It's only in Muslim-majority areas that just the reverse gets applied. Are the ugly Indians of vote-bank politics trying to convert the seat of governance itself? Those who vow to Islamise society and feel pride in their gun-culture have got blood on their hands and rust in their minds. India is not only a hub centre of the flowering of Muslim talent, it also provides a platform for experiments, innovations and unshackling oneself from fossilised ideas. The reason for it is quite obvious. But Mullahdom abhors all that. Hence a Sania is forced to apologise for something that was hardly offensive to the religious icon. And a Tasleema is forced to leave her homeland. These Mullahs have never asked a terrorist to apologise for giving a bad name to their religion or misusing mosques. The other point that should be pondered upon by Muslims is about the criterion that makes them demand minority status. In fact, more than ninety per cent of them are originally converted from Hinduism, same race, same blood, same ancestors, same attire, same language, land and culture. Merely a change in the way of worship can’t be the sole criteria of minority status. The only minorities in India are Jews and Parsis. They never demanded a special status, never asked for reservation yet produced the best of stalwarts in various fields. Tata, Godrej, Field Marshall Manekshaw and Gen. Jacob are just a few examples. When Parsis were offered reservation during the making of our Constitution, they politely refused and said India has offered them shelter when they were prosecuted in their own homeland by Muslims, and they promised to live here like sugar in a pot of milk. That's enough, sir, they said. And they proved their words too. It’s time we should unburden the nation from this minority-majority syndrome. Let the Indian identity over ride all other identities. Every Indian, belonging to any faith, belongs to a proud and confident Indian majority. Is that not enough?

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