By: V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
August 21, 2006
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"Mumbai is part of India. Lebanon is not".
The profound understanding
that Sir Winston Churchill showed in 1899 in regard to ground-level
realities relating to Islam during his time, is not being shown by the
meek, mean and mendacious political mandarins in authority in the UPA
Government in New Delhi. I cannot help allowing Sir Winston Churchill to
speak for himself: "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays
on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a
man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The
effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly
systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of
property exists wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A
degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the
next of its dignity and sanctity. Individual Muslims may show splendid
qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social
development of those who follow it." (River War-I Edition-Volume II-Pages
248-250, Longman's Green and Co, London 1899).
Soon after the Mumbai Blasts, like Newton's First Law of Motion and
Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the Imam of Jumma Masjid in New Delhi
came out with a profoundly well-founded(!) statement: "The RSS. and the
VHP are responsible for the Mumbai blasts". This was the calculated
response from this noted Muslim cleric. The other Muslims and Muslim
organizations of India were not so much concerned about it. If only Mumbai
had been a city in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon
or Turkey, all the Muslims in India would have organized a national bandh
against the atrocities in that city. Unfortunately Mumbai is located in a
condemned land called India-the land of the infidels or "kafirs". The UPA
Government in its blood-thirsty hunt for minority votes, would only view
all this with secular(!) disdain and contempt.
It is again secularly fascinating to note that riotous protests erupted
soon after Muslim prayers in Kashmir Valley, several parts of Uttar
Pradesh (under the Islamic Rule(!) of Mulayam Singh Yadav), and Hyderabad
(under the Seventh Day Adventist Government of Y. Samuel R. Reddy, the
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh(!))-not for the killings in Mumbai city
but for the Israeli Bombing of Lebanon.
I would like to ask the UPA Government this highly communal question: If
all the members of the RSS and VHP were to launch an agitation on the
streets of Mumbai condemning the bomb blasts, will they all not be
arrested and booked under innumerable Acts and Rules on fictitious
charges? Will the unlimited secular leeway given to all the agitating
Muslims with Himalayan political will and enthusiasm be given to the
protesters of the RSS and the VHP also?
How do I react to all these terrible things taking place in India today?
All the peace-loving citizens of India who believe in a civil society have
to cry out in collective anguish in this manner: "The sense of frustration
that comes to us, the sinking of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit
that comes to us, the sense of loneliness that comes to us, the sense of
helplessness that comes to us, the sense of hopelessness that comes to us
and when we see our ideals being thrown overboard and life taking a
different course". I earnestly hope that perhaps this period will pass
soon enough, perhaps this period will end soon enough and we may yet see
the light of day. When I was in such an agitated mood of mind, I found a
new elixir in the following lines of immortal poetry:
"When injustice becomes greater than we are
When injustice becomes swifter than we are
When injustice becomes stronger than we are
Help us not to tire
Where injustice becomes so great
That we shrink at its glance
Help us not to despair
Where injustice invades us
In our days and nights
In our startled waking and in our dreams
In our hopes and our curses
Help us not to forget ourselves."
Even as I was reassuring myself and gathering my renewed moral strength to
resist the multipronged forces working against our national destiny, I
happened to read an inspiring article by a Muslim officer belonging to the
Indian Police Service called Asif Jalal. In my view, all the patriotic and
nationalist Muslims in India should take their instructions from his
declared philosophy and outlook so clearly presented in his article
entitled "Terrorism is a battle within the Muslim community".
According to his article, most of the Muslims in India are law-abiding
citizens. He declares with inherent conviction that India has the most
modern, peaceful and forward-looking Muslim community in the world. Yet,
with all this comfortable background, he comes out with his anguished
finding which should herald a dangerous signal to the Government of India
and all the State Governments. To quote his exact words in this context:
"After a series of blasts ripping through different cities of India and
its religious places, however, it is now clear that Indian Muslim youths,
however small in number, are working in India as foot-soldiers of
international terrorist organizations. They still may not be fighting with
the ranks of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, or in Iraq or Palestine, but
doubtless some of them are colluding with the global jehadis in the
latter's mission to weaken and destabilized India."
No one can dispute the fact that the response of the Muslim intelligentsia
and the Muslim community in general to the terrorist challenge has so far
been only lukewarm if not indifferent. A few Muslim organizations do no
doubt issue soulless statements in a formal manner from time to time and
that is the end of the story. When Islamic terrorists openly declare that
they derive their enthusiasm and legitimacy for acts of terrorism from the
tenets of their faith, the peace-loving Muslims of India cannot choose to
remain indifferent between the fire brigade and the fire. They have to
come out openly, through their categorical thought, word and deed that
they do not approve of these acts of barbarous terrorism. Unless they do
so, they too stand the risk of being suspected as Fifth Columnists and
Traitors. The nation as a whole owes a debt of gratitude to this patriotic
Muslim Officer, Asif Jalal, for boldly declaring to his co-religionists:
"An act of terrorism, even one perpetrated by Kashmiri militants or the
ISI, throws peace and communal harmony out of gear across the country. It
makes a Muslim's Indian-ness less credible in the eyes of many. A
situation where boys born and brought up in UP and Bihar plant explosives
in temples and trains would certainly script a terrible destiny for over
140 million Indian Muslims." I would have been happier if he had also not
lost sight of the destiny of the remaining billions of non-Muslims in
India at the end of this meaningful sentence.
I would request all the peace-loving Muslims in India to view terrorism as
a battle within the Muslim community, a struggle between the life instinct
of the many and the death wish of a handful of lunatics. Every Muslim has
justification to fight and win this battle for the good of many of his
co-religionists, and for the larger interest of India as a whole,
responding to the call of duty defined in the Quran: "You are the best
community that has ever been brought into being for the sake of mankind.
You enjoin what is right and fair and you forbid what is wrong and unfair
V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
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Previous articles by:
V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
Training "prospective" harvesters of souls
Heralding the second freedom movement
ASI and planned death of history
Haven for abetted Evangelism on stilts
Are Kashmiri Pundits abandoned dregs?
Nehruism, communism and secularism!
Forgotten prophet of Indian nationalism
Dark Side of Christian History
The Da Vinci tsunami
Enmity of State-Sponsored Quota Raj
Is Sonia above law?
Heroic pseudo-secular much ado about..
Lurid drama of proselytism post 1947
"Convert! Migrate! Or Perish!"
All articles by:
V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.