In a response to an article in the Indian Express (Ideas Page, 21st of March) titled “Let’s be frank on Secularism”, written by Mr. Faizan Mustafa, VC of NALSAR Hyderabad (https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/narendra-modi-govt-6324468), his premise of making a proposal after advocating all medievalist and status-quoist policies and absolutely no interference by the State in the affairs of the Muslims living in India in his previous articles, he has chosen to voice the views harboured by people like the famous MP of Hyderabad, Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi, who also follow the same hue and cry from the pseudo-secularist leaders that ‘Islam is under threat’.
Fortunately Mr. Mustafa has chosen to speak after diabolically twisting the annals to suit his narrow view of the world, where possibly Islam is under attack, yet this author would like to draw his attention to certain facts, which are very shallow in their appeal, and somewhere are the reason why the Islamic community has not progressed in India over the years.
This author would like to bring up the rise and demise of one of the famous leaders of independence movement, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the noble founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, it is a well known fact, that he started out as a compassionate and secularist during his initial years of leading the public. With time and repeated attacks from his own community, and certainly anti-modernists like Mr. Owaisi and Mr. Mustafa, who would have certainly pushed people like Baba Farid and Rumi to the gallows for being against the Shariat, were successful enough in transforming a modernist such as Mr. Syed Ahmed Khan into a radical.
Now, if we go back to 1946-1948 years, when the two nation theory assumed a reality and two republics were born, the republic know as India, was a Nehruvian Secularist republic, which certainly did not acknowledge any state religion and religion was allowed to work distinctly from the state. No wonder it was a great idea, and it obviously became a mockery of the constitution. The Nehruvian Secularism in its application became a viral attack on Article 14, Article 15 and Article 16 whereby the law became a means to not only appease the minorities, but also began as a matter of policy a means to give effect to ‘minority majoritarianism’.
This, I am sure, cannot be perceived by Mr. Mustafa, along with the fact that India and Pakistan were created out of the need to create two nations based on the fact acknowledged by Jinnah, and accepted by Muslims, that Hindus & Muslims cannot stay together. This fact was, and till this day, despite years of Nehruvian Secularism being in force, sees wide acceptance in the Muslim community as well, and with the rise of BJP to power, the voices demanding more share for the Hindus as a collective identity in the affairs of the nation, since this is the only land for them, a new story has shared the stage.
“Hindus are under threat”
It is stated by Mr. Mustafa that the above is a farce cry, but it is not very surprising when there are instances of minority majoritarianism rising to such an extent that Hindus have been dealt with force for a very human act such as falling in love with a Muslim daughter, or simply disbelieving what the Koran has to say! Yet, the population increase if tallied with the growth to that of an average Hindu family, or even Sikh or Christian for that matter, is slower and the Muslims have more number of children, and their populations are increasing at the fastest levels, and perhaps, their polarisation is so grave that we have seen what happened in Delhi recently, that they perhaps, unite to threaten the majority community, and by simply rejecting the authority of the state and imposing the supremacy of the Koran & Shariat all over! There have been videos of Mullahs giving provocative speeches, it is unfortunately a threat anywhere. While Mr. Mustafa says there have been orchestrated killings of Muslims, this author feels, that he needs a revisit of the times when Muslims used to harass Hindus, and the Police wasn’t interested in writing FIRs nor did the people care enough to react, because the majority Hindus yes, let us confront it that by and large the Muslims are barbarian in their approach to other humans, and are violent.
Not being remotely polarised, but as a simple Hindu, I do feel that yes, Hinduism is under threat.
Nehruvian Secularism or Mussalmaan Majoritarianism
Today, a government that has the en-bloc support of the majority community, not because they hate the Muslims, but because the community reposed faith in the Congress for years, and walked with them for years, only to see how the society blindly led to materialism and consumerism will begin falling out, while another community which is allowed to live with their own self-administered laws, was totally beyond state vigil, to the extent that their exist pockets where the administration and police can’t enter, or any law which their Imams or Mullahs declare is against their interests, they will ensure that they do all within their means to threaten the majority, and will only vote for the party that actually delivers to their needs in the form of guilt parenting/ minority appeasement/ minority majoritarianism.
Indians are essentially religious people
The above argument holds true to an extent which I feel Mr. Mustafa has carefully chosen to ignore since he is one of those highly educated ‘Pakka Mussalmaan’ himself, and instead of progressive and unifying aims, he chooses to disseminate views which are utterly medievalist and spread paranoia, while Hindus or Christians or Atheists or Sikhs or Muslims for that matter, yes people depend on their faith, why else would Marx describe “Religion is opium to masses”!
The Hindu Rashtra which already exists:
Dear Mr. Mustafa, your allegation that the state machinery has tilted to serve one community is purely fictitious, I would request you to please get out of your huge office, and visit the District Hospital in Ayodhya and Godhra, you will be amazed to see that the majority staff is all from the Majority Community, and all the patients from the minority communities are treated with equal zeal and respect as the ones from majority community are! The Hindu Rashtra, it existed on paper as well since the original Preamble did not read the term “Secular” in it, but the 42nd amendment added it, despite which, we don’t need either the Separation Model (US & France) or the jurisdiction model as well (Pakistan & Israel). The model in experiment in India, is “Individualist Secularism”.
In the modern Hindu Rashtra, where Nehru was the first Prime Minister, the Hindus as a community were subjected to the Hindu Code Bill, which is till date a reality. The Individualist Secularism is in contrast to the Communitarian bargaining and control as seen in Islam, and other Abrahamic religions, which was never the feature of the Hindu way of life. Hinduism in its attempt has promoted more nuclear families and has also favoured individualist tendencies from times immemorial, as a consequence today as well, collectively or individually, no Hindu says, that in the modern Hindu Rashtra, no Musim or Christian is allowed to stay, or even ask for rights! Mr. Mustafa has a perception based on paranoia and spreading paranoia possibly on the basis of the virtual Hindu Rashtra which is only found on Facebook. The all inclusive Hindu Rashtra, which cherishes Gandhi as well as Godse, has individualist freedom, where people even have the freedom to say that Jinnah or Afzal Guru was a hero! Sadly, the individualist culture isn’t even under attack, the people are simply asserting their Hindu identity, in a zeal to feel certain amount of respect and regard from the years of communitarian minority majoritarianism which became the official policy in India. If Mr. Mustafa would carry a magnifying glass to survey every individual Hindu, he will find there is more diversity in the Hindu community by and large, as compared to the identifiable minority communities.
The Individualist Secular, simply stands and says, why are Muslims under the garb of minority trying to dictate/ impose the policies and everything else, when nobody is imposing anything upon them! When the Hindus desire a Uniform Civil Code, why the Muslims don’t and when there are Hindus in support of CAA, there are also against it! This is the Individualist Hindu Rashtra, while Muslims are simply against the CAA, not even one would say that it is not against the Muslims at all!
I would request Mr. Mustafa to instead spreading fear about a tilt, pursue the cause of renaissance in Islam, and promote more individualism in Islam than absurd and medievalist communitarianism, which will prove a boulder in the path of development and growth of India as a nation, which despite being a Hindu Rashtra of sorts, ordains only one citizenship based on anything except religious identity! Islam needs a renaissance.
It is very well that Mr. Mustafa acknowledged that Indian soil is perhaps the only territory for Hindus, but failed to acknowledge that no Hindu asked or even attempted to throw or push out the Muslims living in India, in fact the modern populations are moving towards inter-faith marriages, which are against the Shariat, and Mr. Mustafa may have a problem with it?
The RSS views Muslims as Indian citizens, and nobody ever says that Hindus must kill or persecute Muslims, rather it is more about inclusivity and mainstreaming them, not about any kind of a Hindu Rashtra as defined by Mr. Mustafa, because Hindus too are fed up of a lot of things Islam as a community has said, or has to say!