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Friday, April 13, 2012

Great Indian Heroes: Do Muslims have a place in RSS' vision of India?

Sometime back I went to a friend's place and saw a calendar on the wall. The friend saw me looking at it and sheepishly said that someone in his family had brought it.

"You know I don't have a Sangh [RSS] link", he tried to explain. Of course, there was no need for him to explain or feel embarrassed over it.

But the calendar was interesting. It shows great Indian figures over the ages in a Saffron background.

In this map, there are many personalities about whom there can not be any dispute about their contribution to the country.

There are some exceptions though but the remaining ones are heroes for all of us, Indians, irrespective of our religious affiliations or caste & creed.

One positive thing was that the list had Sikh, Buddhist, Jain* and [even] Parsi heroes. The Hindutva brotherhood has in the last couple of decades tried to co-opt Sikhs and Buddhists, but they still remain wary of Christians and Muslims.

There was no Muslim featured though. Isn't that strange! If Mughal kings like Akbar, who had even started a new religion Din-e-Ilahi is not secular enough or Shah Jehan for building the monument that is pride of the country, there is still no dearth of Muslim heroes.

Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled and his sons executed by British. Tipu Sultan was the king who fought the British and was ditched by both Muslim and Hindu powers--Marathas and Nizam, else the imperialists may not have succeeded in India.

In 20th century, we have had great freedom fighters, poets, writers and apart from them, the Muslim musicians--from Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan to Ustad Bismillah Khan who kept the legacy of classical Hindustani music alive in this country.

Ashfaqullah, Abdul Hamid, Kalam don't qualify?

If Ashfaqullah Khan is forgotten, there is a name that can never be contested by RSS also. Havildar Abdul Hamid, the army man who showed exemplary courage in the 1965 war against Pakistan, blowing up Patton tanks, and laying down his life in the line of duty.

If Abdul Hamid or martyrs like Brigadier Usman, whose bravery ensured that Kashmir, in the troubled times, remained an Indian territory, are not fit enough, then who is? APJ Abdul Kalam, a thinker, scientist, people's president and the father of Indian missile programme, isn't he worthy enough?

Still, its good to see the Akhand Bharat vision getting more inclusive. There have been great generals and superb soldiers but the selection of, Field Marshal late Sam Manekshaw, that represents the Zoroastrians, is indeed interesting.

Is it that you could do great service to the nation but if you are a Muslim or Christian, you can't be considered a 'hero'. Of course, everybody has the right to select their heroes. But the calendar represents the inherent apathy towards the two major religious minorities.

Why not Gandhi?
The Heroes in the Calendar 'Parakrami Bharat; Vijayi Bharat'

Among the ancient personalities whose photographs and names are shown in the calendar, are kings like Vikramaditya, Chandragupta Maurya, Rajaraja Chola,  Maharana Pratap, Harshwardhan and even Ashoka, who had embraced Buddhism after Kalinga war.

Of course, an important personality that has been ignored is Dr BR Ambedkar. It couldn't be oversight. After all, the personalities representing different eras, and different regions, have been selected after quite an exercise.


Among freedom fighters the names of Rani Laxmi Bai, Chandrashekhar Azad, Tatya Tope, Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Remaining figures include Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, the great Sikh ruler, apart from Shivaji, Hemachandra, Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Shyamji Krishna Verma, Subhas Chandra Bose, Ahilya Bai Holkar, Krishnadev Rai, Harihar Bukka [founders of the Vijayanagar empire], VD Sawarkar, Pulkesi, Sardar Patel et al.

Subhas Chandra Bose was not a Hindu Hero alone,  he was a hero for all Indians. Whenever Jhansi queen Laxmi Bai's name is taken, her close confidante Ghouse's name is also remembered. He hadn't hesitated to turn canons to target mosque when British took refuge there.

Yes, Sankaracharya, Chanakya, the staunch communist Bhagat Singh, who had rejected religion, figures in the list of great Indians. But can someone complain? After all, perhaps, the most well-known Hindu of all times, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, doesn't figure in this list either.

[*Lala Lajpat Rai had a Jain lineage though it is not mentioned generally] 

17 comments:

dnsh said...

hmm..finally someone has locked horns with the mighty RSS!

Anonymous said...

The whole idea of these Hindutva fascism rests on opposition of Muslims (and now Christians).

I also had a similar experience / observation while visiting schools in the interior parts of Gujarat. Apart from the striking absence of Muslims from the posters, there was also a striking absence of Muslim teachers and students in the school located in a reasonably Muslim populated area. But then, it was Gujarat - the laboratory of the great devil himself.

These blind followers of this fascist group would be surprised to know the dubious history of this group in the freedom movement. Ironically, their adopted poster boy had banned them for murdering Gandhiji. Of course they wouldn't know.

urdudaaN said...

The good thing about these anti-social and anti-national forces is that they don't try to hide it. They have lived up well to their capacity.
It is better not to burden this RSS/BJP nationalistic menace with sense & sensibility.

Siddharth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

lol you are judging something just by a calendar , how intellectual of you.

I attend daily shakha and we speak very highly of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Ashaf ullah khan and have read various lectures of Gandhi ji ,a programme was organized yesterday to pay tribute to Dr. Ambedkar in Nagpur...........

Siddharth

indscribe said...

Thanks Dnsh, Anon, Urdudaan....

And of course, Siddharth (Anon) for your comments.

Mohammaed said...

Salam Alikim Thanks for amazing article, Also if you allow me to share a nice website its include a lot of new articles a bout Islam http://www.islammercy.com

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha...imagine you speaking all this about a calendar but have you heard of CBSE history text books in curriculum where representation is lopsided??

Anonymous said...

??? what happened...my comment where i provided a suggested reading is edited to remove suggested reading?? the website is http://kaipullai.com...or you only allow sites like islammercy.com?? i dont know the policy though!

Ibu Sanjeeb Garg said...

The more I read ur blog the more I am stunned.

Brother u are much above a Hindu or a Muslim u are a true Indian.

This nation needs people like you.Everymorning I wake up see your blog and smile .."Yes India has a hope".

Saw your article in THE HINDU today it was classic amazing.

As for those who dont know history Shivaji's naval command was in the hand of a Muslim.The Zamorin of Calicut was so convinced of the seafaring poweress of his Muslims subjects that he decreed each household must bring up atleast one Muslim son.

Not to speak of Akbar ,Shahjahan,ZianulAbadin,Deoband in the 40-50's,Azad who said Muslims must make India their homeland because Islam is a brotherhood and not a nationhood,Zakir Hussain..

The list goes on and on .And in my own personal vision of an Akhand Bharat holding very much my HIndutva idelogue in pedestal ..I would like to add one more Muslim name ...yours brother cause in some small way u are giving hope to this nation.

Something this country desperately needs noe more than ever

jatin bhatnagar said...

did you forget that the person responsible for division of india great md.jinna is also a muslim, the man who attacked on parliament is also a muslim mr.afzal guru, and the list is endless

jatin bhatnagar

indscribe said...

Mr Jatin Bhatnagar,

Your comment truly mirrors your mind and feelings. You can't naturally see the sacrifices of Ashfaqullah or Abdul Hamid, nor the great deeds of Abdul Kalam.

You may even eulogise Godses. Your comment proves that education doesn't necessarily improve a human being or broaden his vision.

More saddening is that you carry a surname, 'Bhatnagar'. Once the illustrious Kayasthas and today....

Unfortunately this blind hate has already harmed your community a lot and this nation as well.

My sincere advice to you is that you should read Hindu religious scriptures, if you are a Hindu, and purify your heart, mind and eyes.

The world would look beautiful. Such hate would not help not any. Not even this country.

If you can't do a positive thing for society or cant spread a good message, at least don't spoil the atmosphere.

Still, best wishes.


jatin bhatnagar said...

dear i also had some good muslims friends but they never told me like that their religion is best. i also admire dr.a.p.j. abdul kalam and he is a real bharatratan but their are many bad people in your community also as they are in every community. every commumnity had good and bad people but nobody blames like you.

Anonymous said...

To writer,
Ekatmata Stotram has lot of names inlcude Gandhi. Of course it is not complete. It is idiotic to assume that thousands of years of heroes can be included in a poster.

The stotram itself has 35 verses and at the end it says it cannot fit all of them and concludes paying homage to all of them.

jatin bhatnagar said...

dear, you know that there is good and bad people in every community but the first comment i made is due to see this post only. in this post you people criticised RSS but for your kind information i want to tell you that RSS also had numoreous muslim sawayamsevaks. also when Dr.A.P.J Abdul kalam becomes our president BJP played a major role in it and almost everyone knows that BJP is commanded by RSS also the spokeperson of BJP is Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who is also a muslim also many muslims gave vote to BJP which shows that RSS is not muslim anti.

Anonymous said...

hey jatin bhatnagar,

It has been a trend off late for "secular" hindus as well as the minorities to seal RSS as the problem makers.

dear author,
use ur logic. Tomorrow if in the USA,occurs 10 bomb blasts , and they find out that it is the hindus who are behind it, would they not term the entire hindu community as terrorist?? come on people may say not all hindus are terrorists, but there will be a fear or hatred for that particular community.

The reality is that those people who have terrorised are 99.9% muslims. there has not been just 10 blasts but 100s or 1000s and numerous riots. Wouldn't a common Hindu or Chritstian look at any muslim with a doubt??
IT IS THE MINORITY IN UR COMMUNITY WHO ARE CAUSING TROUBLES.
People like u should educate youth in ur community to rise above ur allah and quoran.They have to keep their religion at home and step outside.

I also see, u have deep sympathies for the members in ur commmunity.

I think the damage in relationship is beyond repair (atleast in this generation).
The truth is , deep inside most or the majority of Hindus literally have hatred towards muslims.

Saying so, i am in no political organisation nor am i member of any organisation.

--vighnesh

Anonymous said...

First time here. Looks like you guys are trying Javed-salim javed screenplay about how nice muslims are (lonely benovelent cows) and how bad RSS guys are. But if you guys come out of your muslim brainwashed mentality and see the light, you will see RSS does respect heroes not fake ones(Akbar, Shah jahan , Babar, tippu and others mentioned are ghastly osamas of from history with their deeds still can be seen in india . ). Also, RSS grandly/instantly accepts any muslim that with correct intentions. They just don't fall for stupid screenplays. They are defined by the idea of india, which is essentially hindu(definition btw includes indian muslims practicing separate religion not hinduism).Anybody with eyes can see what is happening in Pak and beyond where india is just Bollywood with completely separated from the idea of india. You stupids want to eventually get entire india the paki way, so why blame RSS guys as anti muslim/christians? Learn what RSS says and practices from its literature and not paid/baised news. Read the real "Bunch of Thoughts" not review by some a**hole.Take it and read it and see if that is anti muslim/christian?

there is no honesty in your blog..just another form soft propaganda. All the stories of hindus raising muslim girls marrying off to muslims are good, but there are RSS guys who did that..would that change your mind?? no..you are a hater will always remain one..hypocracy aside.(pardon my speeling..don't have time to spell check)

PS: RSS regards MK Gandhi as a real great soul and did not kill him. At least have the courage to write facts.