This is not the view of the Indian Muslims. They quote Scripture to the effect that a community must change itself to rise up. One aspect of this involves making mutually beneficial agreements with other communities. Successful Muslim countries may make non-Muslims feel safe and able to enjoy the fruit of their enterprise and initiative because this benefits all the people of the country. Non-Muslim countries, similarly, may make Muslims feel safe and confident that they can rise by hard work and enterprise.
By contrast, hysterical or histrionic behavior can't make the country safe for anybody. It is a nuisance simply. Consider the trajectory of Gandhian politics in the Indian sub-continent. Yes, it got rid of the British minority but it did not make any other minority safe save by that minorities own efforts. But even the Parsis, being better placed to do so, emigrated en masse.
Samar takes a different view.
My friend was one of those Indians who proudly waved the flag, sang the anthem and believed there were – despite its obvious infirmities – few better places on earth to raise his daughter. The first shock to a lifetime of patriotism was delivered this year by a child who taunted his six-year-old.Hindus get taunted as Kaffirs who will inherit Hell fire. They are not taunted as terrorists unless they are mistaken for Muslims. Why? Samar may not know this, but there's a lot of Islamic terrorism in the globe today. It gets reported on TV. A kid may watch TV and ask 'who are those bad people? Why are they killing innocents?' The answer, I'm afraid, is that these terrorists believe they are advancing the Islamic cause. Television News Channels, not the kids' parents, has caused the child to equate Islam with terrorism.
You are a Muslim and a terrorist, said the child, who was unlikely to have understood what a terrorist was. But children only parrot their parents, so it was obvious where these accusations came from. Many Muslims, especially in North India, will tell you taunts like these are not new. At some point, they have had to endure the tired but hurtful trope of Muslim, Pakistani, terrorist. But these encounters were largely regarded as exceptions and tolerated because their country and its large majority of Hindus embraced the idea of a diverse, secular India – or at least so we thought.
Why? It is because Islamic terrorists and their 'overground' networks don't believe that India should remain as it is. They want a 'Caliphate'. They think kaffirs should be killed or enslaved. They also think Indian Islam should be 'purified'. They don't recognize it as properly Islamic.
Now, people like my friend cannot recognize their country.
Friends and neighbours are radicalised, buying wholesale into the idea of one nation, one leader, one culture and a host of other imaginary unities, designed to exclude other histories, realities and identities.What idea should they buy into instead? That India is many nations? It has many Prime Ministers and Presidents? If so, why should young Muslims not fight for a Caliphate or seek to ethnically cleanse their neighborhoods?
Samar may think that India ought not to exist. But it does exist. Perhaps he should emigrate to some other country where there are many cultures and many Presidents. But no such country can be found on the face of the earth.
This is a time when India threatens to universalise the chaos, prejudice and injustice that currently characterizes the drive to prove citizenship in Assam. As the government builds its first giant detention camp – as large as seven football fields, we hear – it is apparent that the bogey of the Bangladeshi is a thinly veiled witch hunt against Indian Muslims.How? Either a person comes from Bangladesh or she does not. Most countries enforce immigration laws. Where can Samar emigrate to such that his sensibilities will not be offended by the sight of detention camps for illegal migrants?
Fear grows every day among minorities about what is and what is coming.Why? It so happens that the country I live in has been detaining and removing Hindus who illegally overstayed their Visas for as long as I have been alive. Yet I feel no fear that the same thing will happen to me. Why? It is because I can prove my legal right to reside here.
Why does Samar think that Indian Muslims are stupider and more ignorant that I am? Why does he say that a Tamil Muslim is afraid of being deported to Bangladesh? Is he utterly mad?
In daily life, caution is a common leitmotif: many North Indian Muslims I know tell their children to avoid packing meat when leaving home – who knows where a mob may coalesce and pronounce judgement on the content of their lunch boxes.Many Christians that I know tell their kids to avoid packing pork in their lunch boxes because if the school they attend is majority Muslim, they may have their heads kicked in.
For the first time in his life, my friend says, he sees no future in his once beloved country.Millions of non-Muslims saw no future in their beloved India and migrated.
In his neighbourhood in Kanpur, a former industrial city with a now-devastated economy, the talk among anyone who has money is to flee.This is as true of Hindus as Muslims. But we know why Kanpur turned to shit. Governments need to pursue sensible economic policies.
Eight families, he tells me, got together, identified a town in Canada as their new home and moved.Good for them! Lots of Hindus are trying to migrate to Canada. They do well there.
In my friend’s state of Uttar Pradesh, a state that leads every other in hate crimes against minorities over the past decade, Muslims have been particularly affected by a host of central and state policies, from demonetisation to the shutting of slaughterhouses. Businesses have collapsed, the chief minister is a militant Hindu nationalist, his administration is seen to be openly pro-Hindu and those in authority feel empowered to flaunt prejudice, as a Hindu college principal recently did, standing at the gates with a stick, which he waved at young women covered in burkhas, demanding they remove the garment.Canada, by contrast, has tried to ban the burqa a couple of times and will probably succeed soon enough. Interestingly, Canadian Governments tend to be pro-Canadian, not pro-Muslim. Something similar happens in all other countries. They favor their own majority community. Uttar Pradesh is a Hindu majority state. Samar may find it very strange that it is now led by a 'militant Hindu' as opposed to a Muslim. He may also scratch his head at the spectacle of a world-wide upsurge in Islamophobia. No doubt, he thinks it is because of some malady peculiar to non-Muslims which causes them, for no reason at all, to view Muslims with suspicion.
But this same 'anti-Muslim narrative' can be found in China and America and Europe. No doubt, Samar thinks, this is all Modi's fault.
As overt discrimination against Muslims gathers pace, their growing depression at the state of affairs and a declining willingness to see them as equal citizens is more evident across India’s great northern plains, the cow-belt so to say, than the rest of India, but a general inclination to accept an anti-Muslim narrative is apparent in most states.
It has been all too easy for the radicalised Hindu mind to accept the tripe that they, the majority, were discriminated against over the centuries and their concerns made subservient to the minority’s.Manmohan Singh, as Prime Minister, said in 2006- ' We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably the fruits of development. These must have the first claim on resources," he said in his address at the 52nd meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) here.
Of course, he was lying. What he meant was 'henceforth the dynasty and its cronies must have first claim on the Nation's resources'. Still, his actual words are on the record. The Samajwadi parties, too, were so busy competing for the Muslim vote that they neglected the majority community. That's why the BJP was able to come to power in the 'cow-belt'.
The carefully constructed canards of historic bias and the partiality of post-independence secularism towards minorities are plainly without basis.These canards were carefully constructed by politicians serving one or other of the various vote-bank based dynastic parties- not that the Commies were any better.
If there were any truth to the allegations of generational oppression against Hindus – now propagated through billions of WhatsApp forwards as the incontrovertible truth – Muslims would not still be a minority, languishing on the lowest rungs of India’s economy, society and polity.No. They would be a majority- as they have become in parts of West Bengal and Assam. But this has led to a reaction in favor of the BJP. Who would have predicted that ex-Communists would vote for Modi & Shah so as to be saved from the violence of Mamta's goons? Her own nephew- a junior Doctor- spoke against her policy of letting Muslim hooligans beat up hospital staff.
The truth is not just relative in new India’s post-truth world of fake news and myth, it verges on fantasy, and, so, it is easy to weaponise every absurdity offered about India’s minorities, especially Muslims.Samar and his ilk have been trying to weaponise fake news and myths about the RSS and the BJP for decades now. What good has it done them?
From the far, dark fringes of social media, ideas once regarded as lunacy – or close to it – have witnessed the light of legitimacy: vedic planes, love jihad, ghar wapsi, cow rights, support for criminals based on religion.Samar may not like to admit it but the fact is that 'Vedic planes' were a feature of some Congress politicians' rhetoric. The Communist Government of West Bengal drove a Muslim teacher to suicide because the target of his supposed 'love jihad' was a girl from a wealthy Hindu family with solid connections to the nomenklatura. Mahatma Gandhi himself gave his imprimatur to Arya Samaj 'shuddi' ceremonies in Kerala after the Moplah riots. Why is 'ghar wapsi' bad if sponsored by the BJP but good if done under the auspices of the Mahatma? Cow rights are enshrined in the Directive Principles of the Constitution. Support for criminals based on religion is a feature of Mamata's regime. 50 prominent Muslims from Kolkatta have written an open letter to her asking her to crack down on Muslim criminals and to give sensitivity training to Muslim youth.
Emboldened by leaders willing to support the lynch mob, biased administrators willing to manipulate the law, courts willing to subvert the Constitution and compliant or complicit media, the once – and still – insecure, radicalised Hindu believes his time has come.Hindus in U.P and Bihar became radicalised in 1917 when they went on a rampage and succeeded in ending cow slaughter. The India that became independent saw ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the cow-belt. In the Sixties, the Custodian of Enemy Property made life very difficult for the few Muslims who retained some ancestral wealth. Peak political Hinduism was represented by Lal Bahadur Shastri and Gulzarilal Nanda. Indira Gandhi, in the Eighties, revived it. She made the Jan Sangh look like pussycats. The Congress Seva Dal, under Jagdish Tytler, organized a pogrom on a scale that has never been surpassed. Rajiv Gandhi was projected as Lord Ram. V.P Singh who tried to jail Advani to take the wind out of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was brought down- much to the relief of the Corporates whom he was pursuing for tax evasion- by 'Secular' parties.
This is not to say all Hindus are radicalised.Why does Samar not mention 'Hindu terrorism'? Rahul Baba spoke of it, to the Americans, as a great thereat to India- as per Wikileaks. A Hindu nun was arrested for giving her 'gold motor-bicycle' to some supposed terrorists. Why is Samar silent on this? The answer, I suppose, is that nobody believes there were any Hindu terrorists. The accused nun won a parliamentary election against the Congress leader who put her behind bars because voters believed she was innocent.
Telling stupid lies won't bring down the BJP. Still, I hope Samar gets paid a little money for writing this shite.
But the question is not how many are aghast that fellow citizens are judged by their identity, appearance, food habits and that a mob – online or real – could decide their fate. The question is how many are willing to be resist the subversion of justice and the Constitution and the roiling tide of majoritarianism.Why stop there? Why not ask how many are willing to resist the subversion of Social Democracy by the Fascist forces of Neo-liberalism as orchestrated by the Elders of Zion and the Lizard People of Planet X?
The people of Hong Kong acted rationally against a real, not an imaginary, danger. They did not want to be extradited to China and sent to a Gulag because of something they posted on Facebook.
Hong Kong, a city with fewer people than Bangalore, sent out more people to protest a proposal against liberty than all of India could muster for Kashmir – a metaphor for the subjugation of Muslims – where liberty was locked up.
What happens in the Kashmir Valley represents no threat to the liberty of anyone who does not live there. We want terrorists to be killed. We don't want stone pelters to get money for trying to wound our troops. J&K was a metaphor for the subjugation of non Muslims to corrupt and incompetent Muslim dynasties. The Valley can't be a metaphor for Indian Muslims because they are nowhere in the majority and can't do ethnic cleansing in the same manner.
Currently, there are too few prepared to serve as bulwarks, too few willing to go against their leaders and too few willing to challenge the ideology of the era and stand against the mob.There are also too few who will come out onto the streets to protest against the subversion of Humanity by Lizard People from Planet X.
Very true! Hope can't come from hearing about successes scored by Indian scientists or entrepreneurs or soldiers or administrators. Hope can only come from listening to some Brahman teenager who made a speech about Mahatma Gandhi. Why? Making speeches about Mahatma Gandhi- something which even I did at School- is what will make the country great- great at being utterly shite, that is.
Hope can only come if India hears from more Hindus like Ayush Chaturvedi, the teenager from the prime minister’s constituency of Varanasi.
Hope there obviously is, buried somewhere in this vast land, because until last week who had heard of Chaturvedi?But who will remember him next week?
He is the young man who stood up at a school event and declared there was no Hindu bigger than Gandhi, but the Mahatma’s “Hey Ram” did not scare any community because it was a symbol of secular India.Actually, it was what the guy said when he was shot. If I get shot, I'll probably go 'Jeez!', not coz I'm Christian but because that's the normal verbal reflex around these parts.
Samar may think getting shot is a symbol of secular India. Others may think it was the violence and arson unleashed upon the Chitpavan community in places like Pune, by Congress goons, which was the hallmark of Indian secularism.
Said Chaturvedi: “Kaun kehta hain ki main aandhi ke saath hoon? Godse ke daur mein, main Gandhi ke saath hoon.”This line is from an Urdu poem by Imran Pratapgarhi- a Congress politician who failed to get elected earlier this year. Being a Muslim, it may be that people said he might be on the side of the 'storm'- i.e. ISIS type radicalism. But he denies the charge. At this time of suicide bombers and assassins, he says he is on the side of Gandhi. The trouble is Gandhi was a supporter of 'Khilafat'.
“Who says I am with the storm? In a time of Godse, I am with Gandhi.”
Imran Pratapgarhi, despite having received a valuable award from the previous SP regime, stood for election as a devotee of the Gandhi dynasty. Perhaps, Chaturvedi- a Brahman- hopes to follow in the footsteps of this poet. He may resent the fact that his constituency- which has a very high percentage of Brahmans- is represented by the 'low caste' Modi.
What does it mean for a Hindu to say he lives in the times of Godse? Godse was hanged by Hindus. People of his sub-caste were subjected to arson and assault. No doubt, many Indians- especially Congress ministers- were relieved that Gandhi was dead. But that did not mean the cult of the assassin gained traction in India. The thing was self-defeating- but that had been obvious right from the start. Swindling people, not getting hanged by the neck, was the proper way to do politics. But swindling people was not enough. One also needed to sermonize in an incontinent and contentless manner. Ayush Chaturvedi seems to have got the sermonizing down pat. What is scary about his speech is its ignorance. He thinks Gandhi was in India when he was thrown off a train by a British guy. Gandhi got revenge by throwing the Brits out of India. Chaturvedi quotes Louis Fischer as saying, that the Britisher wouldn't have thrown Gandhi off the train if he'd known what it would lead to. The trouble with this story is that it didn't happen. A South African threw Gandhi off a train in South Africa. After the Boer war- in which Gandhi had served the British- the defeated Boers forced the Indians to pay a poll-tax and carry a Pass. Gandhi did not win the South African struggle. A General Strike forced Smuts to compromise. Gandhi let Smuts off the hook. His stupidity caused an avenue of emigration for desperate Indians to be closed. Gokhale himself was aware that Smuts had hoodwinked Gandhi. He warned his colleagues against an uncritical acceptance of Gandhi's crack-pot ideas.
Chaturvedi seems to believe that Gandhi's Ahimsa drove the Brits out of India. This is quite false. Japanese aggression sounded the death knell for European imperialism in South and South East Asia. Clement Atlee- a great friend of India- said that Gandhi's 'Quit India' movement had a 'minimal' effect. The Naval ratings Mutiny, on the other hand- which was economic in nature- concentrated minds in Whitehall. But, Wavell had already said that India was ungovernable and made plans to evacuate the European population. This had nothing to do with Gandhi. The weapon of 'non violence' was always useless no matter who used it. After the 1962 Chinese invasion, India stopped bleating about Ahimsa.
Ayush says 'It does not matter if there is no God. What matters is dreams'. Sadly, dreams don't matter either no matter how wet they get. The trouble with Gandhi is that though he talked a lot about God, his cult was essentially godless and meretriciously political. It is a shame that kids are still being taught nonsense and are being forced to parrot it on Independence day. They will go through life believing in fairy tales and, very sadly, end up writing shite of Samar's sort.
Imran Pratapgarhi was given a 'Yash Bharat' award in 2016 by Akhilesh Yadav. The prize money was 11 lakh Rupees plus a monthly stipend of Rs 50,000 per month. But Imran was Muslim. Ayush can hope for no similar munificence from some future State Government. Tokenism is a one way street.