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Indian Muslims won’t lose religion by saying ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, we have bigger battles

We must build educational institutions like Christians and better our economic condition without waiting for charity.

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In his first speech after the 2019 Lok Sabha election results, PM Modi said minorities have been living in “imaginary fear” and that the new MPs must win their trust now.

So, what were Indian politicians doing for the last seven decades? Obviously, taking Muslims for granted. And we let them. We were made to shuttle between parties, labelled as victims and “appeased” (as the BJP likes to call it).

Today, the community ranks low on most social indicators in spite of the so-called appeasement.

It’s time for Indian Muslims to do a quick introspection and correct what needs to be corrected. We must lend ourselves a hand and not wait for charity. We shouldn’t be victims anymore. I know it is easier said than done, but if we don’t do it now, then the damage will be irreversible.

And for that, we need to be in positions of power in the economy and ensure good education for our children – these must be our priority.

Indian Muslims must stop reacting to every little silly thing being done to provoke us. When we get provoked, it is the biggest win for those who are out to defame us as a community.

Also read: Are Indian Muslims more religious than other communities?

Institutions in state of disarray

The Sachar Committee report has been a reference point to highlight the woes of Indian Muslims. Years have passed, and not much has changed.

Some secular state governments went on an overdrive to facilitate madrassas/Urdu teachers, and increased the salary of imams. Mamata Banerjee’s government in West Bengal even promised land for Imams to build houses. Has this helped on the ground? I don’t think so. A particular section has been patronised to keep them happy, while ordinary Muslims still languish in poverty and illiteracy.

Waqfs – charitable Islamic endowments – are a treasure, but their conditions are known to all. Waqf properties across India are estimated at over Rs 10 lakh crore. Could this not be used for welfare schemes and upliftment of society? And, why are people with dubious credentials headings Waqf boards? Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for this mess as well?

Christians have set up world-class educational institutions in India. Everyone wants to send their children to these schools or colleges. How many have we set up?

Our Prophet has said that what you seek for yourself, you should seek for your brethren too.

So, what has the Muslim leadership been doing in India for all these decades? Local satraps, who only did politics and distributed freebies as and when needed, played the communal card for their own advantage, and the outcome is there for all to see.

It’s again unfortunate to see that in spite of so many success stories of Muslims in India, in all walks of life, no one stands up or even if they do, they are quick to apologise and make up. So, who do we blame – our heroes or ourselves?

Also read: Their silence is not helping Indian Muslims – they must speak up and be heard

Time to give up Sachar Committee crutches

We must always remember that it was Sunil Dutt who had sent in his resignation when the Babri Masjid was demolished and Mumbai was burning because of communal riots. There were many so-called Muslim leaders in Parliament at that time, but they kept clinging to their chair. Mayawati resigned from the Rajya Sabha in 2018 because she felt her voice was being muzzled and she wasn’t allowed to talk about Dalits. How many ministers, MPs or MLAs have resigned to take up our cause?

So, who will stand up for Muslims when our own people in positions of strength won’t? Why blame the outsiders when the insiders are cooling their heels?

Muslims in India are a strength to the nation. We are no less loyal to the nation than anyone else. This is a nation where Muslims and Hindus have lived in peace and harmony since time immemorial and no ideology can dislodge that shared history. Let’s take it upon ourselves to get our act together, be educated and economically sound so that we can lead by example.

It’s also high time we gave our maulanas the economic and social strength they rightly deserve. The clergy, without being aware of the progress that is taking place in the world, will not be able to guide the community.

Any community that feels victimised or oppressed needs to take ownership of their own solutions and reforms. If we don’t, then issues like triple talaq will be politicised at the cost of our own self-respect. Indian Muslims could have solved the triple talaq issue on their own, but we chose to serve it to the world on a platter.

Time to give up the crutches of the Sachar Committee and take the onus and move forward.

Also read: One in two Indian Muslims fears being falsely accused in terrorism cases, finds study

Constitution, not charity

The leaders of the supposedly secular parties who would be there to greet Muslims outside an Eidgaah to wish us on Eid have disappeared, so have the Iftar parties.

Now, we have Mamata Banerjee planning minority lunchrooms in schools. A chief minister has to be equal or else it will lay a foundation of hatred. Muslims should, for the good of future generations, reject these overtures.

We should also note that our Hindu brethren in positions of power are extremely helpful if one goes to them. There are more BPL Muslims getting government houses in Uttar Pradesh than before.

PM Modi’s assurance of Sabka Vishwas is comforting, but it needs to trickle down to the officials and politicians on ground. Even when we approach officials in Uttar Pradesh for basic permissions or extensions for our business, we are told that we should lie low as chief minister Yogi Adityanath is not in favour of the industry – the meat exporting industry. The bureaucracy is then over-cautious with their pens and files. What is legal and allowed by the Constitution should not be hampered, especially when it’s the biggest export of the biggest state of the country. But once again, we do not know that if these are actually the CM’s instructions or just a misuse of his name.

Also read: Indian Constitution doesn’t call Muslims a minority, who turned them into one?

Look at bigger picture

Every liberal is talking about the Modi–Amit Shah-RSS agenda, but what was the agenda that made no one comment on Narasimha Rao who said if Muslims want to stay in the gutter, then let them?

No one speaks out, but everyone is a sympathiser and would rather tweet about it.

We have to reform ourselves. Let us not allow people to misuse our lack of education for their gains. We will not lose our religion if we say: Bharat mata ki jai. There are bigger issues to resolve – like schools, primary health, water crisis, infant mortality, etc.

The Prophet has always said that we must correct our self before correcting others. Are we doing this?

As they say, a snake that does not shed its skin has to die.

The author is the spokesperson for All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association. Views are personal.

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  1. No doubt, this article states the realistic facts and does bring forth the main problems plaguing the Muslims of India, lack of education and economic backwardness. As said by the writer, Muslims indeed have to get their act together and aim for more educated and economically stable community.

  2. Hmmm.. So intimidated poor Muslims should chant some goddess personification nonsense so your meat export can keep chugging along in Hindu Rashtra . Par for the course I guess. ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ is good enough for most us Sir, but get this loud and clear. No citizen under the Indian constitution is under any obligation to chant or say anything to prove their patriotism, except oaths before a constitutional authority. And certainly not to dance to the tune of intimating lynch mob wielding demagogues. Constitutional values are not open to malleability by malleable muslims either and frankly its not a question of muslimhood, its a question of fabric of nationhood.

    • Weltergeist, As a Muslim I grew up with the majority community, it might sound like that old clique but they were my best friends. I did not face discrimination from them only friendship, help and advice. Their homes were similar to mine they were good god fearing people just like us Muslims and sometimes better people.
      But as a minority community what are we to do? The majority community overwhelmingly has voted for the fascism, they were perfectly aware of what they voted for, they voted for the decisive politics of the RSS, they voted despite the lynchings AND most voted because of it, they voted to put us in our place as second class citizens, the economy their own well being and welfare was not a consideration.
      Terrible atrocities are happening in Kashmir, it is the people there who who rebel, it’s no longer from across the border, the militants there are being wiped out, as you put it in your post exterminated, but it takes 350,000 army and security forces to manage this insurgency. Kashmir is the most militarised place on earth, in an effort to keep a once docile people down.
      There are vast tracts of India where the writ of our government does not run and is controlled by the Maoists this is even a greater security threat.
      But you are right, The Indian Muslim in mainland India who resorts to militancy will be exterminated and for sure thousands will be, but then he will be exterminated fighting for his self respect, rather then be massacred in a riot.
      Surely you are not suggesting, we sit on our hands and do nothing, we wait meekly in our own country as second class citizens, until the majority choose to become more liberal like yourself, we wait for Democrats like yourself to educate the masses and liberate us Muslims from tyranny a few generations down the road??
      This insidious ideology of Golwalker and Savakar has permeated deep into the fabric of Indian society and thinking, into most of our institutions, it has gone too far, the electoral process will not bring the change.

  3. Muslim, stand up for your rights. Do not be meek and accept injustice. Do not live in fear amongst the shadows. It is about time a more militant Muslim emerged, , we are part of the soil of India and it’s better to die in glory than be humiliated.
    The Indian Muslim nation should awake, just a the BJP polarises the majority, our community now bands together. Not afraid of those who have gathered around united by hatred of us, not afraid of those who beat and lynch us, not afraid but happy with the though of our future victory, for we have a more powerful ideology in Islam. Our faith in the almighty will liberate our honour and in the process make us not fear death but rather welcome it with joy.
    There is no future or life or purpose for the present Muslim youth to waste unemployed and unburnished not to shine in use , we must gather under the holy book revealed by the messenger and fight those who seek to humiliate us. For it by our beliefs and the example of the martyrs, we embrace our fellow Muslim brothers and In brotherhood come together in the struggle and with the power of the almighty in our veins we will be invincible.

    • More militant? You are falling exactly into the trap that #ChanakyaRashtra is laying for you. All militants will be exterminated. I speak as an atheist patriot.

  4. The reasons that had lead to partition of India in 1947 still exist. Unless Indian Muslims start believing that India is their ancestors’ country and they should love the Indian culture rather than try to look and behave Arabic, the feeling that Muslims are a separate nation would continue to exist in India and keep Muslims in boxes labelled as other Indians. A part of this problem is the way the Quran is taught to Muslim children and the way Muslims are segregated in politics.

  5. 1. This is a thought-provoking article. In context of what the author says, two questions come to my mind. (a) Why should Muslims in our country use religion for electoral politics? (b) Why can’t they identify with the majority on issues of poverty or democratic rights? 2. Is it not a fact that so-called intellectuals in Indian Muslim communities have very little influence on Muslim masses? Further, I say that the secular credentials of many leaders of Muslim communities in different States, particularly Hindi speaking States, are suspect. 3. One more observation is that the leaders of the Muslim community in our country, most of whom are active in Congress or above regional parties, wish to ensure that the vast majority of poor Muslims, particularly women, are never exposed to modern secular education and to democratic practices. 4. Incidental observation: leaders of Congress (and regional parties like SP, BSP Trinamool Congress, RJD JD(S), NCP and the Communists), who all claim to be opposed to the fundamentalist BJP, have still not shown willingness and courage to oppose the fundamentalists in Indian Muslim community. This fact, I suppose, is one major reason why the educated middle class in our country has moved closer to BJP. Those who are unhappy with fast rise of BJP must not overlook the shift of votes of the educated citizen-voters to BJP and if they do so they will be trusted neither by the Hindus nor Muslims.

  6. If Muslims slow or reverse their population growth, it will solve most of their problems. It will (a) reduce poverty in Muslims and (b) calm down Hindus who are worried about Muslims growing from 8.9% of population in 1947 to 15% in 2011. Learn from Bangladesh, which has brought down its population growth, mainly because its women now work and earn (in textile factories).

    If I was PM, I would promise Muslims reservation in police, army education, jobs, protection from cow vigilantes, etc but ask them to promise me one thing: bring down their population growth. Ideally come back to 10-12% of population.

    • Are you for real?
      Bangladesh has sent 60 million or 6 crores citizens to India. West Bengal and Assam are filled with Bangladeshis.

  7. Indian leftists have brainwashed people into believing that people should depend on the state for their living.

  8. The fault lies 100% with the media who ferret out maulvis with beards to spout controversial statements all for higher TRPs. Saying Bharat Mata ki Jai is not anti Islamic. Except at election rallies of PM Modi how many times do we shout that slogan? To me slowing GDP, high unemployment, farmer distress, NPAs of PSBs, corruption in every day Life are far more important matters. I have dozens of close friends who are Muslims and I am distressed to watch them squirm every time the topic comes up. They are all upright law abiding patriotic citizens who deserve respect. Self restraint by the TV channels will go a long way alleviating this problem.

  9. In order to gain acceptance Muslims could start by allaying fears of others on their breeding rates and by adopting two child norm.

  10. The question is the spirit and the spontaneity with which something is said. Whether it is BMKJ, Jai Shree Ram or Vande Mataram. Each community is bound together by common codes and observances. It cannot, should not be compelled to say or do something which it finds offensive. In Xinjiang, the authorities compel Uighur Muslims to drink, eat pork, not grow a beard or keep the Roza. A majority must be unsure of itself, insecure if it has to stamp its authority on a minoritythat is going about its life peacefully.

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