A vendor sells footwear and door mats at Fancy Bazaar in Guwahati, Assam | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
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Indian Muslims are in a state of despair after the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ayodhya on 5 August 2020. But this despondency is nothing new — they have been haunted by such depressive anxiety for a long time; now they are just trying to come to terms with what many in the community perceive to be their altered standing in India.

For the last three hundred years, ordinary Muslims in the sub-continent have hurtled from one disaster to another. So much so that a morbid melancholia was stylised as a cultural trope, and victimhood became their favourite dope. Ideally, the Independence of India should have enthused them with a new vigour like it did every other Indian. But the self-inflicted injury of Partition kept them in a daze for many years. A secular and democratic polity did handhold them as they limped back to normality. But soon they relapsed into the same narrative that had earlier also brought them grief. Identity was the new shibboleth. Identitarianism, insofar as it privileges community over individual, conflicts with democracy and, eventually, harms the minority.

There was some inevitability about this recidivism. Superficially, separatism was a political ideology. Deep down it emerged from a particular interpretation of Islam — the power theology. Religious politics, being embedded into the mainstream religious discourse, spread wide as modern politics brought more and more people in its ambit. But, are Muslims a monolith that this narrative had to inevitably seep into their common consciousness?


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The self-inflicted harm

Although the colonial construct of India might not be totally unfounded, Scottish historian James Mill’s religious periodisation of the ancient and medieval India as Hindu and Muslim, but the subsequent period not Christian but British, is problematic since not all Hindus and all Muslims belonged to the ruling class during the eponymously named periods. According to Zia Barni, a prominent medieval historian, the new rulers’ contempt for everything Indian was so deep-seated that the Indian converts to Islam were loathed as low-born and were kept outside the sphere of power.

Many centuries later, this attitude is still visible in how Muslims who take pride in their foreign lineage remain disdainful of their indigenous co-religionists. Not surprisingly, most of the Muslim upper castes are of foreign origin, and nearly all the Muslim lower castes are of Indian origin. The Ashraf-Ajlaf dichotomy, beset as it is with many methodological and analytical problems, is mainly indicative of exogenous-indigenous binary among Indian Muslims.

Since Indian Muslims, as Muslims, never had much power, it would be wrong to say that they lost any. The ruling class had a preponderance of foreigners. They were Turks, Persians, Afghans and Arabs whose religion was Islam. In the transition from medieval to modern, and from feudalism to capitalism, most of them fell by the wayside. Still, in the new order, they could have had a proportionate share. But they went for the easier option of dividing the country. The remaining Muslims, in the remaining part of India, sheltered by a democratic and secular Constitution, did have an opportunity to make their own mark. If they haven’t, some introspection is in order. They should ask themselves whether they, like their compatriots, undertook socio-religious reforms, and dotted the country with institutions of modern learning instead of religious seminaries. If the answer is in the negative, they have a lot of catching up to do.

That said, let’s see whether Indian Muslims are better or worse off than in the past.


Also read: Covid an excuse to push Indian Muslims out of informal sector jobs. Apartheid the next step


Indian Muslims post-Independence

Today, they are far more numerous than ever. There are a much higher number of mosques, madrasas and maulvis, and a much greater display of religious symbolism in dress and appearance than ever. There has actually been an intensification of Islamic religiosity in the public sphere.

As for the worldly matters, today’s Muslim is better fed, better clothed, better educated, and most well-off in history. What an ordinary Muslim has to eat and wear today was unimaginable for her ancestors at any time in the past. At the same time, a stable secular and democratic polity, free from turbulence and internecine conflicts of the past, has made life more secure for everyone, including Muslims.

Coming to politics, since much has happened in the interface between religion and politics, today’s ordinary Muslim is the most empowered Muslim ever. She is an equal citizen, fully enfranchised, who votes, and gets voted to from Panchayat to Parliament. Never in history, and rarely in a Muslim country, have these taken-for-granted entitlements been hers.

The improvements in life and dignity of Muslims is a blessing of modernity. Everyone, irrespective of religion, partakes of it. However, this wouldn’t be possible if Muslims were not extended systemic equality by the Constitution. And, how the Constitution works is largely determined by the cultural ethos of India, which does not allow ill-will towards a people because of their faith.


Also read: Foolish to think Hindus who voted Modi twice will shift due to threat to Muslim citizenship


Loss of religious supremacy

So, even though Muslims are better off than earlier, what’s the reason for their frustration about not remaining so powerful as they were in the mythical past? They haven’t lost anything, neither has Islam. However, the theology of supremacism has been neutralised. Other people became equal to them, which theologians, steeped in the idea of supremacism, could not tolerate.

The narrative of loss emanates from an outdated theology, which lacks the conceptual tools to make sense of a world beyond the binary of Darul Islam and Darul Harb — that is, the lands already conquered and the ones yet to be conquered. In this narrative, the profession of faith and observance of rituals do not suffice unless the believer has a monopoly over political power. Poet Allama Iqbal said, “Mullah Ko Jo Hai Hind Mein Sajde Ki Ijazat; Nadan Ye Samajhta Hai Ke Islam Hai Azad” — a Muslim free to observe rituals wrongly thinks that Islam is free. One wonders what Iqbal actually wanted.

It’s true that Islam is no longer the politically dominant religion. But neither is any other religion, including Hinduism, which, in theological terms, does not present itself as the maker and arbiter of India’s politics. Hindutva is an ethno-nationalist movement, which very avowedly anchors itself in nationalism, not in religion. Muslims, on the other hand, continue to think of politics in terms of religion because of the lack of reform.

And so, much like it doesn’t mean a loss of power for the followers of Hinduism and Christianity or any other religion, it doesn’t mean one for Muslims either. Most of the major religions have been secularised. For the ordinary people, transition from religion to secularism is a progress, not a loss.

A narrative is a story one weaves to inhabit as a character. Indian Muslims wove a false narrative, and immured themselves into it. There could be another. The one of India’s rise. They would be indispensable to the plot if they could rewrite their story.

Najmul Hoda is an IPS officer. Views are personal.

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97 Comments Share Your Views

97 COMMENTS

  1. Very beautifully written. But how do we implement it and make it popular opinion?
    We need to teach critical thinking to masses. We need to spread sufi kalam widely. We need to implement business mindedness and preserve individuality. Communal mindset is dangerous. People see things what they wish to see, and ignore that which doesn’t fit in their preconceived narrative. Self introspection is much needed.
    Muslim supremacy is arrogance! and jahiliya. Be humble! Humility is better for the heart seeking God.
    When your heart takes more pride in Aurangzeb than in Rumi. Know that your heart has the spiritual disease of arrogance.

  2. Najmul Hoda, this is addressed to you. You should read what I tell you.

    There is a hadith, “Islam dominates and is not dominated”. This means that eventually, Islam will dominate, even though it is apparently in a weak state “politically”. Though the myopic hindus might appreciate your article, shower glowing accolades upon it, it only is a validation of your argument in a specific demography, at best. A demography, which is not exactly renowned for its intellect.

    Islam is the only religion or ideology whose adherents are actively challenging the status quo. The muslims are actively mounting assaults on the edifice of disbelief, you just need to look around. Muslims have one thing which no other people in the world have, that of perseverance and persistence upon this Path despite all odds. We are characterised by the indefatigable conviction in the Promise of Allaah, that He will make His Religion Supreme.

    Muslims might not wield the latest weapons and might lack the media and propaganda machinery. But at this point in time, their hearts are brimming with the vigour and vitality of eemaan. If you could just flick the pages of history, you would find that this is not the first time that the Muslims have been “written off” and Islam considered a “spent force”. The destruction of a many of history’s mightiest forces have come at the hands of Muslims.

    Islam will make a comeback. Despite your regurgitations of dead analyses.

  3. Contempt of court is inhibiting tool.
    Criticism of judges for their decisions should not attract contempt proceedings however personal criticism should be treated as contempt.
    Muslims and Christians had been at helm of power even when they were in minority. Thinks have changed because of democratic governance. For sake of country no one should feel aggrieved as there are enough provisions in system for redressal.

  4. Admirable effort by the writer to instill some realism in his fellow community members. He could have strengthened his arguments. First, that among the 57 odd muslim majority countries people therein are not happy and they keep fighting among themselves or with other muslim countries. Second, only the sultans and ayatollahs and their loyal mullahs are happy to rule over their gulams with tacit support from the western powers. Even the Pakistanis are not happy and are deeply sizzling in their own hate of India. So, what of muslims in India ? They are unhappy because each one of them is a psychiatric case – they are not respected anywhere outside India and they are seen with suspicion within. If they want to be happy, then they should go back to their roots – yes, their original Hindu fold and begin their journey of enlightenment and happiness here. Best.

    • Wow. So ghar wapasi will make a Muslim enlightened and happy. How are the Hindus doing? All of them are enlightened and happy. Stop smoking weed and come out of the cave you are living since you were born.

    • If the Taliban can survive 40 years of utter poverty & still come out victorious against two superpowers why can’t the Indian Muslims who love Allah & his messenger to the death? pic.twitter.com/At8iOLuLxT

      • Sure. But in the process, stop crying about being victims and stop your victimhood narrative. Come out openly and say that you will fight for islamization of every inch of this world like how Taliban did. Why to keep lying and show double standards in public.

  5. Imagine the trajectory of Indian Muslims if only their first, undivided, and natural loyalty were to the rise of India.
    Alas, it is not so.
    And so, they and the nation is paying the price.

  6. Thansk Najmul Hoda for this excellent article. Let us keep our fingers crossed that the Muslims of India pay heed. The greatest danger is that the Retirees Club of India will launch a strike against you and your ideas. Reitred Judges, retired IAS/IPS officers, retired Academics, Journalists who stop getting Published are part of this club which is very aggressive

    • Muslims of Hind should understand that the Establishment has a Hindu mob that is lined up against them. People who say they R Muslims R being fired, investigated & shut down. Muslims in J&K are actually demonized like Jews were in Nazi Germany The stark implication is genocide

      • The Hindus in Kashmir are the ones driven out. Why have you cut your tongue when this fact is the elephant in the room.

      • What has Islam given to Hindus in Pakistan, why their population reduced from 28% to 1% is it natural growth. . Muslims are worst in treatment of other religion. You should thank Hindus that they did not make Hindu India, despite two sides of Islamic states. Hindus have faced conversion even in India by PFI in Kerala and other states and also by people like Zakir Naik. This should be banned and made blasphemous in India and hang them, no we have not done that. Every mosque in India were hiding Islamist and only in corona times we could know that there were many foreigners hiding to spread radical Islam in India.

  7. SHAMEFULLY LOWBROW AND AGENDA-DRIVEN BOOTLICKING

    1. Which past regime treated Muslims any worse than Hindus? The only possible answers would be Hindu rulers and the British bent on divide-and-rule.

    Saying the current government is better than either authoritative rulers is no high praise.

    Simply allowing Muslims to survive and not actively persecuting them is not a favour/”blessing” afforded to the community.

    2. The population of the world in general has increased exponentially. Hence Indian Muslim numbers have proportionally gone up, and so have Hindu numbers. This article is full of such selective half-truths.

    3. How is Hindutva an ethnic nationalist movement? Which ethnicity is it serving? Its very basis is religion.

    • you are not sane, just looking at one sided view. What has Islam given to Hindus in Pakistan, why their population reduced from 28% to 1% is it natural growth. . Muslims are worst in treatment of other religion. You should thank Hindus that they did not make Hindu India, despite two sides of Islamic states. Hindus have faced conversion even in India by PFI in Kerala and other states and also by people like Zakir Naik. This should be banned and made blasphemous in India and hang them, no we have not done that. Every mosque in India were hiding Islamist and only in corona times we could know that there were many foreigners hiding to spread radical Islam in India.
      One sane Muslim writing good positive thinks you calling him names which you deserve

  8. Muslims have the right to abolish temples but others cannot demolish one mosque.
    Muslims have the right to draw nude pictures of Hindu Goddesses in the name of art but others have no such right.
    Muslims can burn people inside a train but others have no right to retaliate.
    Muslims want Madrasah education only but they demand to have secular jobs.
    Muslims want secularism but want to have separate personal law.
    Muslims have the right to terrorise Hindus and kill innocent people but they cannot be arrested for their crimes.
    Muslims have the right to change demographic composition of every non-Muslim countries but others have no such rights.

    • Imagine the trajectory of Indian Muslims if only their first, undivided, and natural loyalty were to the rise of India.
      Alas, it is not so.
      And so, they and the nation is paying the price.

    • Well put!

      It’s time such double standards were put to rest!

      Their keenness – or otherwise – to join the Indian mainstream would (and could) be tested by their views on the Common Civil Code.

  9. It’s my first time I read a Article on The Print which is clean and unbiased.
    May be I missed many Article by just thinking that The Print publishes only Hinduphobic Articles.

    Thanks real secular team of The Print

  10. One RSS leader once told me that when they go to the villages to seek votes they always carry a video with them. I asked, “Mohan Bhagawat’s?” He said, “No, Owaisi’s, in which he says he will never chant Bharat Mata ki Jai even if a knife is put at his throat.” He smiled, “Hindus then forget their economic woes and rush to the booth to vote for us”.

  11. You’ve been reading the wrong books my friend. You have this idea that the muslims are playing victim but the reality is that only a politically motivated minority is. The majority does not care what so called Muslim leaders do, this can be seen by the MLA’s the the muslim minority parties win.

    What we actually need freedom from is the mindset that targets the muslims in everything and the ‘Us and them’ separating attitude from the people in power, and also from the foolish media who somewhere agree to the paid media by writing such articles.

    Every Indian must be looked as and treated as a good or bad indian irrespective of the religion. The moment you call in their religion, you start to separate and no longer support the essence of India.

    • Actually the writer pointed on accurately on how you guys behave. I can give you various examples, you guys never took India as your country, you guys refuse to chant bharat mata ki jay, you guys always put your religion on top of your nation first, you guys have commuted many terrorism activities and when you got trashed… You play victim, you guys will always take the opportunities to belittle Hindus and demand for a shariah law and when you got slammed as usual play victim. This is not just India but throughout the world.

  12. Absolute ridiculous. The writer being a well educated and well placed senior govt functionaries what he did for his community for its upliftment? Just to ridiculing who are already facing the worst crisis of their existence in Independent India.
    These kind of officers just to get counted in the good book of their masters abuses the community. Did not see any comment for the Muslim people who are falsely fabricated in the false case. Does not see any comment on the wrong doing of majority against minority.
    You being well educated what you did for the Muslim society upliftment? Sorry it does not come in your domain…..
    These kind of ppl know how to use ladder to reach upstairs. History is full of this kind of people.
    Very easy to throw the stone by standing from bank…

  13. Mughal age is not coming anytime soon – Muzlims better face reality realty that Hindos are no longer their slaves. Those who aren’t ready with Hindo political domination and want Sharia- there is always Pakistan for you.

    • Are you the governor of India to send indian muslim to Pakistan mark your work i have your written statement I will see you in court if necessary

      Additional high court lawyer

      • No ,but if indian muslim don’t come out of their obbssesion with their religon,& dont stop being an intolerant,insecure,hypocrite, arsonist, then the majority of this country will tallke care that they’ll are not send to Pakistan,but straight to heaven to their god,who promised them virgins for this monstrosity.

  14. “Not surprisingly, most of the Muslim upper castes are of foreign origin, and nearly all the Muslim lower castes are of Indian origin. ”

    By this logic even Brahmins are foreigners to India albeit the Aryans came in approximately 2500-3000 years ago and eventually mixed with the local population.

    Everyone is a migrant into this vast subcontinent.

  15. ThePrint claimed to be doing real Journalism and asked people for donations to sustain. Very soon they have realised they won’t survive without licking RSS boots. Islam and Muslims will stay and grow wherever they are. Hinduism is only in India and Nepal which will be wiped out in not more than 100 years. Time will change and change it will. In Sha Allah

    • There are 10 million Jews against 1800 million Muslims. For every Jew, there are 180 Muslims. But does the number matter? Hardly. Jews call the shots today and they will continue to do so in the next thousand years.

    • @qmir exactly this same mentality which makes me hate muslims. You gonna wipe us out? REALLY? We wearing bangles? We will wipe you out before that. Inshallah. Like we did in the Punjab/Haryana /HP during partition. 40% population of muslims became less than 1%. 3000 mosques are lying vacant. Used as stables for cows and buffaloes. Go and check

    • First save your own sorry ass in Syria palestine iraq iran yemen bosnia Uigher Myanmar-Burma libya afghanistan porkistan Middle east etc, & stop begging world in name of humanity for same. Your lot is an insecure,intolerant, rabid dog who more then often bites their own,for their version of “what is correct”, rest assured rest of aane non-muslim world is not so stupid as you assume us to be,if we can give respect & talk peace ,we can also taki it back & reply in the language you understand best,i.e wars, gujrat 2002,delhi etc.

  16. This opinion was meant for Muslims ,but how many of them will read ,Agree and draw a lesson from here itself remain a question. In comments here one can see lot of Hindus but no Muslim at all. One of other major problem of Muslim society which haven’t been talked here is they never listen to any criticism and never try to reform themselves . And left and secular political parties are always ready to shield them from criticism and defend them which never nudge them to think about their problems and reform their society. Example is massive pushback against triple talaq bill.

  17. This is the best advise indian Muslim’s can follow , and not to look former others to be part of inclusion but initiate the process of inclusiveness . The best example is Abdul kalam , why he is adored by all Indians as their own . Give it a go

  18. I just hate 2 things only and these are the only reasons to support Hindutva for me.
    First, canon law (Darul Islam and Darul Harb) about which is hypocritical for other religious followers.
    And the last is I have seen many videos of Muslims and Christian converting other religious poor and lower-middle-class people into their religion by giving them money and other stuff.

  19. ”The Indian Muslims”! You sir have done that no one in history could have done. Bundle us all into one ball. On the contrary we are as diverse in ethinicity as we are in our ideologies. You have put the burden of proof on our heads, like we have an obligation to show our allegiance to our country. Sorry, but we don’t have to. Some of us have failed to march with the changing time but I assure you that most of us are still on the right track. What needs to change immediately, is the xenophobic mindset of those in power.

    Well phrased article.

    • The ones in power came due to a particular mindset among the voters. You should introspect the reasons why the voters have voted them to power and then try to convince the voters to change the mindset.

  20. Seriously,
    This is the worst written piece.
    I lost interest in the article five minutes into reading it. Reason: language.
    Why does writing has to be like that. Unnecessarily complex and usage of uncommon words to show off.
    So what happened to reader friendly language where the intention is to convey the message rather than writers vocabulary.
    So …

    • i agree with you on the language part. We are taught to write a reader-friendly stories as journos. I would reserve my opinion on the content for now

  21. Very well balance article. Unfortunately, the media in general and western media in particular that promote hate India campaign will never acknowledge this.

  22. I am not given to commenting on any article / post but the brilliance & the rationality of the article compels me to break my self -imposed restrain! Awesome article , which should be welcomed by all sane minded people. Kudos to the author!

  23. Gutter level trash.
    So Muslims are supposed to feel grateful?Is this what’s he’s saying? CAA-NRC is supposed to make them feel secure and good?
    Does Modi who oversaw 2002 Gujarat riots inspire trust in their community?
    BJP entirely abandoned muslim electorate, what does that say to Muslims who feeling their voting rights became useless became disillusioned with current Govt hence riots
    Author seems to blame poverty, lower education levels, unemployment among Muslims as their own making.
    What is this increased religiousity? Were Muslims secular before?More mosques means more religiousity
    These same problems also plague SC,ST people so they’re useless too?
    I don’t understand if this is ignorance or mockery.
    Author seems to insinuate Muslims to keep quite and keep their heads down since they can’t change their fate anyways.Shame really, an IPS too.
    Is this the umbrella of different opinions that Shekar Gupta speaks of?If this trash counts as diversity in opinion then it’s not journalism it’s a cesspool.

  24. This is a powerful way to think. What are the consequences for Muslims if they adopt this mode? They will propel forward in education and business. They will establish an ethos of non-defensiveness and openness. They will inevitably move the gravity of Indian nationhood to make it even more Muslim. As it is, the world over, Indian Muslims are viewed as the least radical and most cosmopolitan of Muslims and as organically connected to Hindus and Buddhists. This approach would multiply that by a thousand. The core of this discussion is respect for the individual. For individual liberty and individual choice – not group identitarianism, which is fundamentally based in denial of human freedom. This is also the unmistakable trend in human progress.

  25. the low class muslims who were forceably converted by the outside foriegners should go back to their true roots in Hinduism…..this way they can feel that they no longer are victim and create a better future for the youinger generations……Many of the foriegn Afghan or Turkish invasions foceably converted but never took care of the Indian hindus who converted. they was heavy imperail attitude and even to this day in Pakistan Mahajirs are considered low and not real pakistani muslims. they came from Hindu forefathers and should go back to their real roots.

  26. The Mullahs and Pundits have left no stone unturned to reduce religion into complex symbols, rituals and pretensions.The British were clever enough to understand that playing one religion against the other would give lasting dividends. Debates on Hindus and Muslims as two warring factions continues to dominate our TV news programme.Give me a break- move on…the world is talking about AI and how it might make human beings redundant!

    Najmul’s insightful and refreshing piece helps us to rethink our Indianness … where we are headed…
    Let us not forget Kabir who said God lives neither in the mosque nor in the temple. God is love and peace.
    The stratagem of the British in pitching one religion against the other must be undone -we must also dispel the darkness in our history books written with the purpose of keeping us enslaved for all future. The veneer of the politico-religious propaganda must be seen through.
    Kudos to the writer for initiating a new discourse in this direction.

  27. The Sachar committee and its finding laid bare the discrimination faced by Muslims. In the last six years, there have been lynchings of Muslims all over the country. In Delhi, the police was seen colluding with the rioters. Since you are an IPS officer, please tell me how many rioters have been sentenced for their crimes in the last 50 years. The housing discrimination is so bad in this country that Muslims are forced into ghettoes. A Muslim CRPF officer’s house was burnt down in Delhi. Another retired Muslim police officer’s house was burnt and he had to escape after the riots. The author should remember his identity will be reduced to his religious identity in India no matter what he does.

    To end, I would like to ask the author which cave does he live in, which is so cut off from reality?

  28. At 200 million and counting, they are a very large population. The community has to have a certain sense of shame every time they call themselves a minority. They are so large, they owe it to the rest of the country to pull up their chin straps and get a move on. If a community this large is left behind, the nation is left behind. Unfortunately there is a lack of leadership.

  29. “Shut up and live” is main objective of this article. IAS officer might lack awareness about Indian Muslims. Generally, Muslims love their country, people, life. Yes, our country is heaven by the grace of God. It is the right time to keep religion out of politics. Let’s wish to see the election for actual development, actual reforms. Let’s wish to have criminal free legislators. Let’s wish to have minimum education for legislation. Let’s more article be printed on reform, innovation.

  30. Religion is so complex-the Mullahs and Pandits have left no stone unturned in making it a tool in the hands of the ruler and thereby perpetuating their own nuisance value.
    I have not come across a piece so emphatic and insightful on the subject– helping us penetrate the veneer of the politico-religious construct! Nazmul Hoda has certainly initiated a soulful discourse!
    It was the British who ensured that even after exiting, the Hindus and Muslims would be baying for each other’s blood!
    Give me a break-talking about our religions when the world is obsessed with Artificial Intelligence-human beings have to fight off redundancy…
    Religion is reduced into temporal rituals and as Kabir had helped us realise, God dwelt neither in a mosque nor in any temple.!i God is love in its purest form, whilst religion is a contraption meant to prevent human beings from following spiritualism, the path of love and peace!
    The strategem of keeping a territory torn by inane and regressive ideas sown by the British must be undone by clearing our thoughts. This piece helps us to rethink our Indianness and make choices afresh-of dispelling darkness from within the history books1

  31. To the author, this is a well articulated piece and a geniune call for a community’s progress.. in their progress lies the solution to many problems plaguing them.
    India will automatically prosper. No sense of false victimhood and Govt support can feed for far too long. Change .. Accept this beautiful word and move forward.

  32. The unfortunate part is ordinary Muslims prefer the mullahs and maulvis rather than voices of sanity as this article articulates. The most unfortunate thing to happen to the Muslim community in India is that they listen to and get (miss)guided by the rabble-rousing street smart politicians masquerading as leaders of the community.

  33. Dear Sir
    Thanks for a very clear insightful and analytical essay which does hit the nail on its head. Your piece resonates so much with what I personally have felt and been frustrated about for the longest period of time, which is why does the community which is the 2nd biggest majority in our country actually has to always so beseeched and so full of this victim mindset. What is it leads them to collectively have so low self esteem that any perceived attack on them needs to be responded with brute force veiled in a victim mindset. The indian muslims, do need real introspection and hopefully an objective open mind will show them that this country is as much , neither more nor less, theirs as of any other numerous religious, social grouping which have existed from time immemorial in india.
    Finally a word for the Editorial team– bravo and kudos for allowing this POV to come out on to your platform. It does gladdens the heart to know that you are actually closer to secular ethos of the country then most of your reporting seems to suggest. This is not a back handed complement as I do admit that I come to your site exactly for the alternate viewpoint you espouse to keep my sense of balance and independence intact while being bombarded with the other viewpoint on most other new sites and channels

  34. Unfortunately author’s voice is an exception not the norm.

    Reality is Indian Arabs really believe their ancestors are turks, arabs, Afghans, mongols but Indian.

    This is the reason 95 percent of Indian Arabs voted for Muslim league to create Pakistan. Though they stayed back but this is still the overwhelming sentiment in this community.

    With history as witness and recent riots in Delhi Bengaluru the only consistent prediction that can be made is India is at the crossroads of partition again like 47.

    This community will flex its muscle create mayhem denigrate your aastha portray you’re gods nude but when you tweet back they burn Down this country and it’s citizens because they are Muslim first.

    With population bill, UCC and minority redefinition in the pipeline this breaking India mentality and actions will be on full display.

    AMU, JNU, JMI, Bengal, Hyderabad , Bhopal, Mumbai are the hotspots where the veneer will be off and aam aadmi will see with clarity.

    The only option then left would be to book one way ticket in samjhauta express for Indian Arabs.

  35. I simply wish safety for him & his family wherever he lives as he has forgotten Akhlaq who was not eating beef & killed coz muslim & the journalist who was assaulted coz he looked muslim sporting beard , Najmul pacifism is great but don’t burry head in sand.

  36. Thaught provoking. But strongly disagree with the author giving a clean chit to Hindutvadis. Hindutva is not an ethno-nationalist project. It is a project to establish a religious supremacist, majoritarian society. Nationalism is the trope they use to mislead the gullible. Even there they talk about ‘Hindu’ nationalism, not ‘Indian’ nationalism. I suspect his holding a Govt job has compromised his assessment of Hindutva. I repeat, I largely agree with the rest of the article.

  37. Yes…It is time the Muslims of India, come out of their cry baby, victim hood mindset….One thing should be clear to them, they are as important to this country as any other citizen of this country…No special privileges can and should be bestowed on them….Yes there will be political differences between them and other citizens…but political differences does not mean enmity….does not mean that they are going to be kept aside….they have to fight, get themselves heard, educate themselves, like anybody else to make a mark…..The writer here has by and large hit the nail on the head…..

    • A very brief and telling comment from Shri Kannan Unni summing up the excellent article of Najmul Hoda. I would like to call upon all my Muslim brothers and sisters to simply cast off this garb of victimhood that you have been given by political Islam. Religion is only one part of your identity – common to only your family and your community, that is to say, in the private spaces. To relate yourself to the outside world, religion is neither necessary nor appropriate. Our relationship – of Indians of all religions with one another – us or should be shaped by our common culture our common civilizational values all of which is subsumed under that much maligned word Hindutva. Let’s be secure in our unity and celebrate our differences. Thank you Najmul Hoda thank you Kannan Unni.

    • So wonderful article sir. Every Muslim should read this article. Request the editor to publish it in Hindi and Urdu version in all prominent publications. Very insightful and useful thoughts.

  38. Wonderful article. Read each word carefully – I found the whole piece so positive and nationalistic. God bless you Mr. Najmal Hoda.

  39. Amazing list, Shailesh. Beautifully sums up the expectations an average Indian has – even hardcore Hindus, will find this reasonable.

  40. Firstly, kudos to the writer, for having dwelt upon, observed, analysed, and made a rather bold — incisive, yet considerate– statement on an issue that most people in the public sphere (either, of the establishment, or otherwise) insist upon handling with kid gloves, often ‘unseeing’ the metaphorical elephant in the room.

    Anybody that has an interest in the political dynamics of the sub continent, and specifically India, will benefit from this articulation, and see through the false narratives (of course, some would call them ‘alternative’ narratives, but hey, we ARE addressing the elephant in the room, remember?) consciously built in the popular media, popular with the politically inclined youth.

    And as tempting as it might be for the ‘intelligentsia’ from certain quarters of the self-centered (yet self-agnostic / unaware) fourth estate to write this piece off as a ‘self-serving refrain of a government servant, who’d like to ingratiate herself to her masters’, they owe it to themselves to perhaps begin by actually doing what they often ask ‘others’ to do— to see things with an open mind.

    Lastly, kudos to the editorial team at The Print, for having been accommodating enough to a viewpoint that strikes at the very heart of the standpoint they seem to hold so very often…it takes gumption to accord space to a differing viewpoint, let alone a divergent one. I for one, might just, just, be finally interested enough to go in for that subscription now…

    • The last paragraph of your comment deserves applause – the last line is something I might follow too if The Print editorial team chooses objectivity over agenda.

  41. This is one of the most forward looking advisory to the ordinary Muslims of India.The Indian Muslims are the most fortunate among other Muslims of the Islamic Nations.They enjoy all the fundamental freedoms including a secular democracy with untramelled voting rights.If only they could move away from their archaic inbreeding religious practices like the Madrasa education,identity exclusivity,and the Mullah-Moulavi indoctrination,and join the mainstream of modern education and active participation in the social,economic and political spheres as secular Indian citizens.their future in India would be no less than the Hindus and other non-Muslims in India.

  42. Where are you sitting this? From Mars or Nirvana? Your country practically practising culling and suppression of minorities and low caste yet you Indian Hindus preach of a model country for the world. You can’t even treat your woman with respect. The Indians are bloody hypocrital spin doctors, I give you that

    • Pakistani have committed genocide on all minority communities..since 1947.. Their population is less than 1% which was 23% before. Many muslim countries have suppressed ,committed atrocities on the rights of minorities from ages.

    • @Anil Maheshwari, Well said…Though the constitution gives us equal rights, practically Muslims have always faced bias..
      The author has down played the prejudice and isolation an ordinary Muslim has to face in every day life… The rise of Hindutva is based on alienating and instilling hate against muslims.. Its very much evident last 2 years..
      How can the author ignore this and blame Muslims for playing victimhood

      • You may say last six years were bad for Muslims. But what about the last sixty six years where Muslims were pampered by all political parties? Muslims are always obsessed with religion. And in every western countries, Muslims commit more crimes than any other immigrant community.

    • It’s surprising a paki is blabbering abt equal rights here when their own ummah in 53 strong united countries do just opposite of the same, you muslims have given so many terrorist organization to this world then even the no. Of “caste” we hindus have, talking abt history pls read what pak muslim”brave” army did in bangladesh after doing genocide of 3million+ Bengalis & raping 3lakh+ women, & doing post WW2 biggest millitary surrender.women are treated as 2nd class slave in your cult, & 1 man has amany as he is carrying money in purse,so yeah look at your own burnt home.

  43. Insightful article, well done Najmul Hoda…Muslims need introspection to realize their power and potential…more power to self realization.

  44. Very doable

    1) To reduce POPULATION

    2) To embrace education

    3) To accept that religion is for self peace and science for every day life.

    4) It is not possible to create INDIA into a ISLAMIC STATE.

    5) HINDUS ARE NOT INTERESTED IN CONVERSIONS.

    6) HINDUS WILL NEVER WISH OTHERS CHANGE THEIR RELIGION .

    7) NO MORE RIOTS . IF YOU THINK SOMEONE HAS HURT YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. GO TO COURT.

    • There is no consolation for Muslims whose ancestors did not succumb to the Muslim League’s fears and fantasies (in 1947), which seem to be slowly spinning their way into the orbit of Indian reality again. Muslims, despite having chosen to stay on in their homeland, have been made to suffer from a feeling of guilt. They stand deceived.
      Muslims are equal citizens who chose to remain in India at the time of Partition, done on the basis of religion in 1947. Why are they asked to carry the burden of Partition or to prove their patriotism? Why be they made answerable for what Saudi or Pakistan or any other country do? Is Indian secularism defined by how other nations treat their citizens?
      The challenge is not just for the Indian Muslim, it is for the entire country. Fringe elements among the majority community treating the minority community as pariah are out and have not been contained by the present political dispensation as a democratic state, committed to the welfare of the society, should have done. However, the minority community’s elites too seem to have failed to see the elephant in the room.

      • What kind of mindset you are having. Who were the people who started riots in Bangalore just for a social media post. Who were the people who started Delhi riots, even not sparing the police, who were the people who misbehaved with nurses taking care of them when they suffering from COVID. And you again started playing victim card for them. That is what the writer stated here.

      • Yes, they are equal citizens, not super citizens or above other citizens. This situation has come about due to their belief of being super citizens and the politicians pandering to it. The back lash has just started.

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