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Posts Tagged ‘Islam in India’

The Dawn: An unposted letter to PM Singh

September 23, 2012 3 comments

An ‘open’ letter by a Pakistani reporter to MMS created a huge debate in Pakistan – with more than 1100 comments. A 2ndlook at the letter.

 

Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to you and your government for considering over 900 Pakistani Hindu citizens eligible for Indian nationality. It is a great gesture indeed for the Hindus who once lived in Pakistan. I understand that Hindus remain your government’s first priority because many in your government identify with them;

Mr Singh, we all do appreciate your humanitarian policies and would urge you to expedite the citizenship process of Pakistani Hindus, however, I find it my duty to inform you that people who profess other religions in Pakistan are equally deprived of peace and should be given an opportunity to seek asylum in India. Why is this move focused towards Hindus? Don’t you think that the Indian government, while at it, should chalk out a strategic plan to cater to Pakistanis — irrespective of caste and religion — whose lives are threatened within the boundaries of Pakistan?

Various members of the Indian government are corresponding with you on the status of Hindus who migrated to India to seek shelter. One of them is Laxmikanta Chawla who, amongst many other points, stated that, “Since the Pakistani government has failed to protect its minorities from frequent atrocities so the Indian government needs to look after them.”

via An unposted letter to PM Singh | DAWN.COM.

Dear Faiza – You must understand the agreement that we have with the leaders (past) of your nation – which binds (and separates) our people together. The recognized leaders of Indian-Muslims demanded that they needed a separate country for themselves.

They got it.

All Indian Muslims who felt that they had a better future in Pakistan went to Pakistan. Any Indian Muslims still in India, who are unhappy with treatment of Muslims in India are welcome to go to Pakistan.

Indian Muslims in Pakistan have to manage their past, present and future. They demanded that right – and that was given to them. Indians Hindus who could not leave Pakistan earlier – and who are leaving now, have a right of residence in India.

There is no choice in this.

This is the agreement that binds (and separates) us. An agreement that our grandfathers made – and we have to honor it.

I do hope you now understand why the Indian government cannot start ‘treating dejected Pakistanis on equal footing as Hindus.’

If you can get your Pakistani Brothers and Sisters to withdraw their demand for Pakistan – and liquidate the country of Pakistan, the agreement will stand null and void.

All those Muslims and Christians who trusted India – have our solemn promise that we will do our best for them as Indians – which we have done.

However, if there is any disagreement on this point …

Muslims can go to Pakistan.

Christians can emigrate to Australia, UK, Canada, USA. These countries have an implicit policy of allowing Indian Christians to emigrate to these countries.

I still want to direct your attention towards the hundreds of Hazaras who are executed every day in broad daylight on the streets of Pakistan. I wanted to ask if you could lend a helping hand to the countless Christians who live in fear of being arrested or murdered for committing blasphemy in the country. The scores of civilian dying in the north-western side of Pakistan because of militancy and drone strikes could also avail your assistance, that is, if you plan to offer any; You must also realise that Christians, and even Muslims are not exactly ‘at peace’ in this country either.

You and a few representatives of the Indian government must also have a rendezvous with Ahmadis to understand how they face religious persecution in every aspect of their lives. I insist you meet with Pakistanis who are desperate to bring about a positive change in the society and see how they are threatened and harassed in ways that are unfathomable by many.

Dear Faiza – I hope you understand that I am elected by the people of India – and not by Hazaras, Christians,  of Pakistan. So, I have  no reason to think, to worry, about the people of Pakistan. I also do not need to realize any of the things that you want me to realize.

Or to offer any assistance to Pakistani citizens.

I think that all problems that Pakistanis have with Pakistan, must be addressed to the Government of Pakistan.

I am sure you would know all the details about political asylum but will reiterate that it is not easy for all Pakistanis to seek asylum in countries such as United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia as many of them do not have the resources to do the same. India remains the only hope for many people who can reach the country via Attari with minimum resources.

I don’t know what would I have done if was given an option to move to India. Perhaps, I would have moved but this is a question that will remain unanswered unless your government starts treating dejected Pakistanis on equal footing as Hindus.

Dear Faiza – With my limited understanding of asylum seekers, it may be better for Pakistanis to wait – and get their chance in United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia.

These countries are either much bigger than India – or have a population density that is lesser than India.

They also offer, by popular agreement, better ‘opportunities’ than India. India is a poor choice – even if you are making it first choice in the ‘second’ class.

Going by what Chawla said I must request you to not be so harsh on our government which is currently embroiled in a conflict with the superior judiciary and has other important tasks at hand rather than safeguarding the interest of the very people for which it was elected. It is important that you understand that the government of Pakistan is not only unable to look after its minorities but is also incapable of catering to the heavy majority and ensuring their safety.

Mr Singh, this might not be news to you but every life which is snubbed out in a militant or violent attack in Pakistan pushes the progress made by the handful of Pakistanis who believe in mutual respect for peace, life and religious diversity, a hundred steps back.

Dear Faiza – The Indian Government dealing with the Pakistani Government is not directed to make life difficult for the people of Pakistan. All that we demand of the Pakistani nation is that they fulfill their obligation of one nation to any another.

On any other issue you must take up the matter with your own government.

Mr Singh, many Pakistanis will refuse to openly admit this but most of us would like to be considered eligible for Indian nationality. The reason behind our desire to move is extremely simple. It is because India since 1947 has grown as a nation, an economy and a country. Despite of the poverty and other related issues, we all see India as a progressive society and in a very positive light. We all want to live in a country which is ruled by secular politicians where fascist elements are given minimum representation in the parliament; a country where people can coexist or at least consider this ideology a welcoming thought.

It is indeed with a heavy heart that I leave Pakistan today in search of a safer country — a place where I can express myself freely without being threatened and flagged as a heretic.

En route to a strange country, crossing the all too familiar roads of Karachi, I saw a poster featuring Jinnah with a small line stating “Pakistan needs you”. Mr Singh, never before did I feel such fierce emotion. The words struck me and for the first time in my life, made me realise that we all have failed Jinnah and the Pakistan he envisioned.

Like many others before and after me, I am running for safer pastures where my life will be valued and respected, leaving my fellow countrymen behind to fight with the demons that dictate the order of the day in Pakistan, my home.

Dear Faiza – The father of our nation was clear about one thing. Be the change that you want to see in others.

If there is anything that you like about India, Indians, or for that matter of any other culture, be the change that you want to see. You cannot solve the problems in Pakistan by coming to India.

To all those Indians who are leaving India, my advice is the same. You cannot fix India by leaving India.

That said, if any Indian who cannot stay in India and fix India, my advice is – leave. Go. And build a life in a country, culture, nation, people of your choice. Our best wishes go with you.

But, we have one request – Forget about us.

Not my place or position to give advice to Pakistanis – but if you pushing me, I will repeat the above advice.

You caught your Kasab but what about the numerous Kasabs who are ready to wipe out the entire population of Pakistan by flagging them as infidels, anti-Islam, pro-India, US puppets and just plain secular? What about us who continue to strive for a change, however, feel helpless at the hands of the radical elements freely roaming around in Pakistan? Is there any solace for us?

If you seek solace or advice you must go to the West – United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia. You can try France, Spain also. The Vatican is also a good place. They have centuries of practice in giving solace and advice.

The fact that it has never helped anybody is another matter. But they are seeking to save souls. They are free with advice and give solace.

Indian Muslims – The Changing Debate?

December 4, 2010 2 comments
Most Indian Muslims can see that religious freedom in India exceeds that of even Muslim countries. (Cartoon courtesy-www.koothanallurmuslims.com). Click for larger image.

Most Indian Muslims can see that religious freedom in India exceeds that of even Muslim countries. The idea of world Islamic identity is mix of paranoia and mythology. (Cartoon courtesy-www.koothanallurmuslims.com). Click for larger image.

There is no other country in the world with such breathtaking plurality at the highest level of leadership.

Consider Britain: only Protestant (not Catholic) Christians can be monarch. The law of blasphemy protects only Christian citizens in the United Kingdom. In Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, minorities (including, in Pakistan, even Muslim Ahmadis) have restricted rights. Unlike burqa-banning western democracies such as France and Belgium, Indian secularism does not separate church and state. It allows them to swim together in a common if sometimes chaotic pool.

Fundamentalists dislike the concept of liberal Islam flourishing in the syncretic soil of India. Indian Muslims, however, remain rooted in a Vedic civilisational ethic that has celebrated our religious plurality for over 3,000 years. Despite al-Qaida’s and the ISI’s concerted recruitment efforts, Indian Muslims except renegades from the Students Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahideen have consistently spurned the call to jihad.

India’s innate respect for all religions, which does great credit to its silent Hindu majority, has historically made the country the refuge-of-last-resort for all faiths: Jews, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists. (read more via Educate, Don’t Appease – The Times of India).

Indian Muslim

Caught between liberal-progressive-apologist Hindus, opportunistic politicians, Indian Muslims, are less understood and poorly served by their own leadership. Quite a few things that 2ndlook has said about Indian Muslims are reflected in this article linked and extracted above. Importantly, it is is written by a Muslim.

Missteps

There are a few missteps that the author makes. For one, the Uniform Civil Code. भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, the Indic political system, does not approve of a Uniform Civil Code. In fact, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantrahas no State-mandated laws on marriage and sex. That is a matter for communities to decide for themselves.

Good to see the changing debate.

Deoband talks of Kashmir

October 26, 2010 7 comments
Maybe the the fighting is more important than the cause ... (Cartoon courtesy - The Banglaore Mirror; Posted On Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 07:03:08 PM)

Maybe the the fighting is more important than the cause ... (Cartoon courtesy - The Banglaore Mirror; Posted On Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 07:03:08 PM)

This is the first time JuH has taken up the Kashmir issue. The resolution stressed, “We don’t consider interests of the Kashmiri people to be separate from the interests of Indian Muslims.” It also called all like-minded people and organisations to campaign for peace and justice in Kashmir and “thwart enemy forces bent upon disintegration of Kashmir”.

When asked why were they silent so long, All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s Kamal Farooqui said, “Muslims were not comfortable talking about Kashmir for fear of getting branded and harassment by police and intelligence agencies.”

Asked about the prospect of resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said, “The country is in a reconciliatory mood, be it on J&K or Ayodhya. So, reconciliation within the Indian Constitution is the way out. An overwhelming section of Kashmiris want it, too. Which stupid person would want to go with Pakistan?” (Via : Jammu & Kashmir’s future with India: Deoband – The Times of India).

Deoband on Kashmir.

Deoband speaks out for Kashmiri Muslims – a part of the larger set of Indian Muslims. The Deobandis think that only a ‘stupid person would want to go with Pakistan’.

India needs to be clear headed. Religion is at home; you are an Indian everywhere. Problems with this? You know what to do ... (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Published on September 15, 2010; courtesy - http://bamulahija.wordpress.com)

India needs to be clear headed. Religion is at home; you are an Indian everywhere. Problems with this? You know what to do ... (Cartoon by Kirtish Bhatt; Published on September 15, 2010; courtesy - http://bamulahija.wordpress.com)

Deoband is also tasking the Indian State with the removal of AFSPA, human rights abuses and compensation for those killed in Kashmiri violence.

Is this Deobandi approach cutting ice with the secessionist-azaadi fighters? The TOI report does not think so?

Without my tongue getting cut-off

This discussion provokes some really basic questions from Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters.

Freedom from what? The economic burden of India on Kashmir? Can Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters prove how India ‘burdens’ Kashmir? Right now, Rest of India subsidizes Kashmir. Is it forced conversions from Islam by a ‘Hindu’ Indian State?

Are there attempts to change the demographic profile of Kashmir by ‘Hindu’ migration into Kashmir? Self-rule to do what? How is Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters rule going to be different from the past and the present?

What will you do

If Kashmir  indeed ‘suffered’ from rigged elections, has the Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi fighters polity been a part of the solution? Or do they think that it is the responsibility of a ‘Hindu’ India to deliver ‘perfection’ to the Kashmiris? Is it that Kashmiris have a right to make ‘demands’ and it is the job of the ‘Hindu’ Indian State to ‘meet’ these demands?

Immi-grunts

This is a lot like many ‘desi‘ Indians who migrate, believing that they can expect ‘superior’ systems in the West? All that these ‘desi‘  ‘immi-grunts’ have to then do is take ‘advantage’ of opportunities in the West! Is it surprising that these ‘desi‘ Indian  ‘immi-grunts’ hit ‘glass-ceilings’, encounter ‘racism’?

Nation-building is a tough job – and someone’s gotta to do it! You can’t ‘escape from backward’ India to the ‘forward’ West. Not without becoming second-class citizens. The Indian ‘immi-grunt’ has seen some level of acceptance – after India itself achieved some modicum of success.

Probably the Kashmir problem has been aggravated by Pakistan to coincide with Obama's visit! (cartoon courtesy - ahram.org).

Probably the Kashmir problem has been aggravated by Pakistan to coincide with Obama's visit! (cartoon courtesy - ahram.org).

Worth their weight in salt

If Kashmiri terrorists believe they are capable administrators, let them win an election, and prove their administrative capacity. Let them demonstrate that it is Rest of India which is hobbling Kashmir?

Do the ‘freedom’ fighters’ of Kashmir believe that by shouting azaadi they will get ‘freedom’! Freedom to impose their Wahabbi-Sunni-Shariat ‘vision’ on Indians?

Some 75 years ago, Indians could prove to the British rulers and to the world, that the British Empire was a burden on Indians.

While Indians were engaged in this epic struggle, some Indian Muslims could also make out a case (to the British) for a separate Indian Muslim Homeland. They called it Pakistan. Maybe Pakistan needs these ‘superior’ Kashmiris. Why not prove your superiority?

The template of terrorism was first used to break up the Ottoman Empire. (Cartoon - TN Ninan; Courtesy - Mumbai Mirror;   Posted On Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 07:27:00 PM).

The template of terrorism was first used to break up the Ottoman Empire. (Cartoon - TN Ninan; Courtesy - Mumbai Mirror; Posted On Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 07:27:00 PM).

Options and futures

Maybe it is time that India offered some real simple choices to these Kashmiri secessionist-azaadi  leaders. No more demands. No more negotiations.

One - Simply integrate into India. Fight and win elections. Work with the Indian Election Commission to ensure a clean election. Make a difference in Kashmir.

Two - Many decades ago, Kashmiris thought that an ideal location for a base for their freedom ‘struggle’ was the UK. May be they can live in PoK, or Pakistan. Why ever not in Saudi Arabia? Or, they can live in ‘Yumm-rika’ – like Ajmal Kasab wants! I say, anyone who will have them. It may be time for these leaders to see the world.

Three - If not two of the above choices, these leaders must get the third option – Indian jails await you. It is the worst of the three options for everyone – including the Indian State.

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