Why is this blog titled anindianmuslim.com?

When I started blogging in 2005, I was not too serious about the blog and wrote down my observations in a few lines or posted Urdu couplets apart from keeping record of important happenings.

I occasionally put up trivial info too. This blog was initially named 'Mindspeak' and its address [URL] didn't have the word 'Muslim'. Its domain was www.indscribe.blogspot.com which is still the alternative URL to reach this blog.

Today many ask me why do I focus on my religious identity. Frankly, I never wanted to wear my religious identity on my sleeve. However, when I started this blog it was almost the same time when there was a sudden pressure on 'moderate' Muslims to speak up.

Either it was fundamentalism or controversies ranging from 'fatwas' to Taslima Nasrin's writings, it had become a sort of norm to say that Muslims don't speak up. Even 'secular' writers patronisingly wrote in their columns that Muslims need to 'come out' and speak.

Unfortunately, electronic media, particularly, the news readers and anchors including certain opinionated reporters, repeated this charge. They rarely tried to go to Muslim street in order to directly get the opinion of Muslims.

They preferred Imam Bukhari or say Haji Yaqub's speeches, which fetched them TRPs and without speaking to ordinary Muslim, readily stated that the moderate voice was non-existent. Probably it suited a lot of people.

The sophisticated ones said that Muslims should come out and express themselves. Muslims voluntarily took out processions on a host of issues including rallies against MF Husain but such photographs never got published.

The positive events and gestures were ignored, perhaps, because they didn't make news. For electronic media, Chamman Miyan's protest never mattered. Muslims, like others, are also busy in their daily lives, eking out livelihood, just like others.

How many have time to plan rallies and protests. The fallacy was spread as if all Muslims think alike.The truth is that Muslims are not as monolithic as they are thought of in large sections of society.

The ordinary Muslim was never asked and as a result his voice was not aired. It was mainly because Muslims lacked PR skills and couldn't 'arrange' proper protests, demonstrations or candle-light vigils.

I had my opinion on Haj subsidy like millions of other Muslims who oppose it and consider it unfair. I have my opinion on communalism of both Hindus and Muslims, on Vande Mataram or on Kashmir and a host of other issues.

Likewise others too have diverse opinions but we are never asked.

So I said it as a Muslim, as an Indian Muslim. There are innumerable Indian Muslims like me and they have their own views. Someone might feel that I should be more moderate while another person may feel that I am being too liberal or trying to be politically correct. 

But these are my views. And I had to speak. Muslims are not robots who think and act in a same way. Some perhaps want to know what a Muslim feels. Either it's about the so-called patriotism test on cricket, on Terrorism, on Hindu-Muslim relations or on fatwas, I have had my take on a host of issues.

I keep getting lot of hate mails. Earlier the comments were not moderated but I realised that it was impossible to deal with hate-filled comments. Right now, I have over 3,500 comments that I haven't published. So comment moderation was put into effect.

I have been asked by visitors in comments and emails that why this blog is named 'anindianmuslim.com', though here also India comes first and Muslim comes later. And here lies the irony.

When you are silent, you are expected to speak as a MuslimAnd when you speak up, you are asked that why are you wearing your religion on your sleeve. So friends, that's the reason this blog is named anindianmuslim.com.

Of course, one can't satisfy everyone. I am a humanist and try to be impartial in my writings. However, it is not about religion or Indian Muslims all the time. This blog is in its seventh year now. From social issues to movie reviews and sports, I write whatever is close to my heart.

I thought that it had been a long time and there is nothing wrong if I clarified why this blog that doesn't solely focus on Indian Muslims, has the particular URL and blog title. Thanks friends and visitors for bearing me.