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Friday, May 08, 2009

Indian Muslims and Patriotism: Cheering for Cricket teams

Just a few days back the Indian Army convoy was attacked in Tamil Nadu by a group of Indian Tamil activists who had felt that the army trucks were on way to Sri Lanka to hand over arms and ammunition to help Sri Lankan army.

It was unprecedented, as it happened on Indian soil. And despite the fact that LTTE is responsible for the assassination of our Prime Minister [Rajiv Gandhi] in the past.

However, did you see any report or any editorial on this issue. Or anybody raising the issue of patriotism or extra-territorial loyalty even in blogosphere? Did anybody question it?

Nobody denies the scale of human suffering in Sri Lanka where thousands are Tamils are caught in the Army's offensive against LTTE. Our heart goes out to them. But there were voices in support of LTTE and even Prabhakaran from our country and even protest against our military.

I have mentioned it in context of an anonymous person's comment on this blog recently:

Babri Masjid was destroyed in 1992. Javed Miandad hit Chetan Sharma for a
last ball six and won a match for Pakistan in 1987. I remember muslims in Bombay
eurpting in wild cheer, celebrating like crazy as if they just won a war.So my
belief in secularism was shaken in 1987. Not in 1992. What is the use of
secularism if that means living together with people who support the enemy who
is killing our soldiers ?

Now see what was my reply was: indscribe said...
I was a kid then and when Javed Miandad hit
the six, I cried so much that my father had to take me out to console me. I was
10 then. However, the next day, when I went to school, I was told by my
classmates that 'you must be happy' and there were sacrcastic remarks.

I didn't owe explanation to anybody. That was a turning point for me also.
I realised that no matter how true I am and how much I try to convince them, I
would never be considered a real patriot and even my generation would be labelled a
Pakistani.

At that age I didn't know these words, but later I stopped discussing
issues like Indo-Pak cricket though my finest friends remain Hindus. I rarely
mention this incident. However, this is the second time I am writing it, first I
mentioned it at the blog Mohalla. You guys get such weird beliefs either due to hearsay or by watching some stupids.

Yes, I am patriot, may be more patriot than you but I don't want
certificate of patriotism. And if you guys always consider us the 'other', what's
the option for guys like us? Tell me. If ever you were born in a Muslim house,
perhaps you would understand this pain.

Meanwhile, I am shortly going to write a post about this sort of
patriotism-meter which you guys seem to have, to check us.Whatever. I still
don't have hatred, yes some bitterness, but you guys seem to have no intention
to try and understand us. Best of Luck.

As the saying goes, Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. The patriotism test is, of course, meant solely for Indian Muslims, even though countless died in 1857 and later in the freedom struggle.

Ashfaquallah got hanged but when a young BJP leader, Varun Gandhi, had the temerity to say that names like 'Karimullah, Mazharullah...' are scary, nobody asked such ungrateful souls about their patriotism. Isn't this man the traitor for daring to speak such abusive language. Mercifully, he didn't say Ashfaqullah in the same breath in the speech. Only an anti-national would find such a name scary.

Would Ashfaqullah Khan's friends Rajendra Lahiri, Ram Prasad Bismil and Thakur Roshan Singh who also died with him, yearning for a free India, ever have dreamt that in independent India, leaders of a mainstream political party will shamelessly support and issue statements in favour of Varun Gandhi who finds names with 'Ullah' surname, 'scary'.

However, no matter what qurbani [sacrifice] one gives for his nation, either it is Captain Hanifuddin or Havildar Abdul Hamid or Brigadier Usman, even their sons and family members would be suspect in the eyes of those who feel that they have the right to judge the patriotism of others just because they were not born in a family that follows their religion.

So much propaganda has been made and falsehoods spread that many believe the lies like Muslims cheering for Pakistani cricket team. In England there was a similar 'Tebbit test' when first-generation Indians and Pakistanis were cheering for their teams against the English team, but tabloids that stirred up a debate and in a few months, it was forgotten.
         Why should we keep proclaiming our patriotism all the time!

I am not going to repeat all the time that I am a patriot. Why should I? All the time Indian Muslims keep doing it, even going against Islamic teachings. Muslim cemeteries refuse to bury terrorists. The lawyer who fights the case is facing boycott from Shia community. 
But why?

The truth is that one has to live with this tragedy of deep hatred, mistrust and lies. I get so many hate mails and though I earlier got unsettled and it affected my personal life, I later got immune to them.

I started moderating comments and now reject extremist comments, both anti-Muslim as well as anti-Hindu, or such comments that have abuses and obscenities.

But sometimes there are comments that don't have any abusive language but are plane accusations. One feels that they deserve a reply. May be they were never told the truth.

Anonymous hate-comments are like Toilet graffiti

But the next day a new person will come to the blog and make another charge, without bothering to read the earlier post. That's why often I have contemplated that I should quit blogging and stay away from it.

Anonymous persons are those who leave graffiti in train toilets. In real life they will be cool persons and often extremely civil, but will write worst things about women and girls, and derive some sort of pleasure from it.

Similarly, blogosphere is a place where anyone can create an identity, and say things which he can't dare to ask me in real life. He doesn't need to put his photo with his comment.

It is this plain hate that has brainwashed many youths. The recent bomb blast in a mosque in Beed in Maharashtra, that again didn't get reported adequately, is a signal.
The three youths who were caught came from poor Marathi families. They told police that they couldn't bear the sight of a mosque in their town! That's why they planned to blew it up with a bomb.
Read the story in Times of India. Whatever, for Indian Muslims, three generations after partition, the ordeal remains. [Girl's photo courtesy, Adil Najam's website Pakistaniat]