Saturday, March 24, 2007

Indian Muslims are away from extremist influences because...

[At, Sharique has written 'Why Indian Muslims are away from terrorism' , my comment could not be posted, apparently due to some technical reason despite scores of attempts in separate sittings & I being a member of the group blog. I used different connections, browsers & all sorts of ways but..Now I am posting it here...]

Though there may be injustice to some extent* and often a feeling of persecution, but the nature of our democracy is such that it allows a person or group to give vent to their feelings publicly.

Gujarat carnage aside, it is mainly the failure of Muslim leadership to raise real issues concerning Muslims. Otherwise the Hindu leaders and parties in even states like Tamil Nadu which have barely 5% Muslim votes, have championed the cause of minority and it is not just votes or appeasement alone, which prompts them to do it.

In society, politics, media, there are non-Muslims who speak for Muslims. Otherwise, which group has not faced injustice! * The status of Dalits in Indian society is yet to improve much and tribal populace has suffered most from the apathetic administration. But that's the general problem of a bureaucracy, which is corrupt and insensitive. Muslims do have a much better social status despite their poor financial state.

In Sports, Films, Arts and especially Indian traditional music, Muslim representation is more than their percentage. This shows that complaint of'bias' and 'communalism' doesn't hold much water. Of course, it is a casteist society so there is bound to be a feeling of discrimination experienced by each section, but Indian society is a much better evolved society with an interaction of Hindus and Muslims for over a millennium.

In this democracy you can shout from the rooftop that you have faced bias at any office or any official of any rank has been guilty of partiality. There are a range of commissions where you can complain and media channels and a press that is absolutely free to give your story and tell them your grievances.

And government jobs are not everything. We are lucky to have a great advantage in free media, where if nothing, at least if you are angry, your letter to editor can get published after a few rounds to the office. I mean, dil ka Ghubaar nikalne ke kaii raste maujuud haiN.

If percent of Muslims is not too high in government jobs, there are all other avenues and business. Just an incident, whatever people may term Mulayam Singh Yadav (a majority of politicians and also public servants are guilty of corruption and nepotism) but he dared to fire at the Kar Sewaks.

In the late 80s and early 90s, the Mandir movement was so fierce that despite any amount of lure for Muslim vote no government could have risked that. He did and it kept the faith of many Muslims in the inherent secular nature of this country and the fact that somebody stood for Me and the Mosque despite all odds. And there are always voices of dissent against any totalitarian regime. May be these are some of the reasons.

I think extremism can't come to Indian Muslims because of our democracy that may not be perfect but is still the best in the world in many respects. Our Supreme Court is a great institution and we ought to be proud of it. Yes, Gujarat became a fasicst state but hopefully it would prove to be the last such pogrom. New laws against communal violence and riots are on the cards. Compensation for riot victims and justice will also come steadily.

When you see Harsh Mander, a brilliant person, resigning from IAS just because he was shaken by Gujarat riots, and forming Aman Biradari or Teesta Setalvad fighting for victims of riots, your trust in the values of this country and society enhances tremendously. I don't think there is any cause for Muslims to get infected by any extremism.

If people in failed Muslim countries where even organising demonstrations and rallies is banned or even writing a blog can be dangerous, get extremist I understand but not in India. Here you can be a Muslim of any sect, organise a rally or demo, stage a protest, climb up a tower in Delhi to demand 'that India should help Saddam', as a person had done, and what not. Remember the huge rallies on Caricature Controversy when lakhs poured on streets in India, whether rightly or wrongly, but can they come out in most countries in Gulf? That's why, I guess, a resounding No from Indian Muslims to any form of extremism. Aap logoN ka kyaa khayaal hai?