Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Failure of Ulema and Indian Muslim leaders: Mere words, Little action on the ground

Currently, the Urdu papers are full of statements of Ulema ranging from Maulana Anzar Shah to Jama Masjid Imam Ahmad Bukhari on the issue of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.

There are demands  that she should not be allowed to stay in India because she hasn't apologised for her writings.

Also, illogical statements that better not be quoted here, fill the newspaper columns. Who should she ask for pardon?

She is an atheist [not a Muslim] and has announced it many times. Outs is a democracy. If any Maulana Sahab has any objection to what she has written, they should avoid issuing statements and behaving like street politicians.

The Ulema are educated enough. They can read her books, find what particular lines are obscene or offensive to any community and then go to the court and under particular sections of IPC, get case registered against her.

Hurting religious sentiments is a serious crime in IPC. Let the courts decide. But nobody takes the route. By wasting energies and surcharging atmosphere on such issues, they unnecessarily create problems for common Muslims and the image of intolerant community only gets strengthened. 

Why always make emotional appeals that don't lead us anywhere? This makes the job of non-Muslim secularists too difficult [to convince others or take a stand]. Strangely, are the Muslim leaders [ncluding Ulema].

They rarely make any effort to do to secure interests of community through legal and constitutional ways but would simply cry and shout, always demanding  from government. And in process instilling the sense of persecution among Muslims. Why don't you act?

Muslim leaders should take legal action, rather than holding protests 

The statements are emotional and sharp but when it comes to legwork, they are simply not interested. Take the case of Narendra Modi. Entire Indian Muslim leadership including clergymen who make strong-worded statements and the MPs, MLAs never made efforts to get criminal cases registered against him.

If they felt Modi allowed the genocide, they could have got him booked. It was not that tough. It could be done in any court in any other state in India. Prosecution may not be easy but FIR registration is not that tough.

There were evidences. Tehelka tapes are there. Testimonies can at least point towards complicit or conspiracy. Former officers like Harsh Mander and retired ADG B Sreekumar are just few of the officers who can testify about the collusion of administration and orders from the top.

If not murder, at least case of section 120 (B) or other similar sections of Indian Penal Code could be registered. When police station doesn't register case, the court can be approached and directly private complaint can be filed [through Istighasa].

But is anybody interested? Nobody says that a verdict may come immediately but at least, a legal process can create serious problems for such politicians. Even prosecution could be remote possibility but the tongues worked, not brains.

Even after Narendra Modi's speeches during the recent poll campaign, the election commission says that nobody has complained as yet.* Now why these Maulana Sahiban don't do that. And if they can't they should not always complain inaction by government.

Will Centre and Courts always take cognizance suo-moto?

Will Muslims not do anything except beating their chests?

Either this leadership should take these issues properly and take them to their logical end. If they can't do it, they should simply shut up. It is better for secular Indian set up that will anyhow deal with the grievances, sooner or later, but at least then the atmosphere will not be vitiated.

Let us only focus on development and introspect what is wrong will us. Muslim women's literac rate was 1.49% in Firozpur Jhirka and below 3% in entire Mewat region, that is close to Delhi. What a shame!

And we have seen that it is Teesta Setalwad, Harsh Mander and many others who will fight for victims of violence, in much better way than the Muslim leaders. (*Late development: Again Teesta Setalvad approched the EC that has now issued notice)