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Saturday, November 04, 2006

No Azaan in Gujarat villages: Muslims turned second class citizens

In Hindustan Times, the lead story 'Gujrat Muslims give up rights, buy truce', Neelesh Mishra writes about the villages where Muslims were allowed to return after riots but have to live on harsh terms. [Published on November 4, page 1]

This is a disturbing news. 'In a few months, it will be five years since Shakil Bhai last heard the call of the muezzin from the mosque by the village pond...

...the four minarets of the mosque were smashed in riots and the dargah also damaged. Dargah has since been repaired but mosque remains without a head'.

In many villages Muslims have given up 'azaan', in others they can't openly sell meat and must observe their festivals as low-key affairs. Mani Bhai Patel, a resident of the village says, 'The Muslims mind their business, we mind ours, No fighting but we don't often go towards their houses'.

So much has been written about Gujarat in the last five years. But this is a terrifying scenario. It can be wreak havoc on the psyche of any community if they have to live under such terms--not allowed azaan or the temple bells.

But nothing could be worse for our social fabric than such detachment where communities stop going towards areas inhabited by the 'other'. No use blaming Gujarat, Gujaratis and Government. The problem exists everywhere and we need to address it urgently. 

What shall all of us do to de-communalise the society ? What kind of small steps we can take in our individual capacities to reduce tension and enhance interaction between communities that to could lead to harmony ? 

[The photograph is symbolic though this is also a mosque in the same state]


How do we know said...

Adnan, I had a BIG fight with someone at the dinner table today - on the same subject - does Hinduism need an RSS, or does an RSS need Hinduism? Does a religion really need crutches to survive? And these are religions which have survived at least 2 millenia without our help, thank you!

What you have said in this article is SOOOO What i want to say.. to allow someone to speak on behalf of your religion, to allow someone to divide you on religious grounds, and to not speak out against it.. is a bigger crime than going out and trying to instigate people against another religion.
In trying to malign another religion as "they", we are working against something that we do not understand, but by letting someone speak on behalf of our religion, we betray our own faith and allow someone to bring it to the streets like a prostitute, when faith should be kept at home like the wife and the lady of the house.

Pakistan was not made by the Muslim leaders who did speak up - it was made by the silent majority that did NOT speak up when it should have. And today, we see the same thing repeated - unless EVERYONE, and i mean, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, stands up and refuses to let anyone use the word "Religion" on a public platform of any kind, we are moving towards a second abyss in half a century, and this one, like the one before it, is an abyss of our own making.

HP said...
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Anonymous said...

Sometimes even i as a muslim wonder how the people of other religion must be feeling when at the dawn, so early in the morning the loud speakers start blaring out the Muezzin's Azaan. As per the tenets of islam, azaan is to be simply called out and there is no need for any kind of loudspeakers or any other aids.

and in todays time , where everyone has a watch, alarm clocks i dont think there is any need for the azaan to be called out on the loudspeaker. for the God fearing the fear of Allah alone is enough to stir him out of his place and go for the prayers. and for the ignorant , the loudest of the loudspeaker cant make him bow in front of Allah.

So as a principle, we muslims dont actually require a lodspeaker for prayers.

From : Shuja R. Kidwai

Anonymous said...
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