Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mosques in India

We Indian Muslims are a bit coward. Not shy, just plain coward.
We refuse to demand our rights here.
We know the rationale of that.
Some Muslims, nearly a century ago, demanded a separate Muslim state and got it.
Now that was indeed peculiar because all Muslims could not have gone to that state and did not go.
Also not everyone was eager to go there.
The Muslims who did not go to the new state belonged to India.
This was known during the freedom movement. There were enough Muslims with the main stream freedom movement. At the political level we know many organizations that had Muslims and were fighting for freedom sans partition.
Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind is only one example.
The question is that why are the inheritors of the mantle of those Muslims so timid as to ask for their rights in India?
Why do they fear that they will be labelled communal the moment they open their respective mouths to demand their rights as Muslims?
Why is that you have to club your demands with other minorities of India?
Did you secretly support the idea of partition? This can not be because you were not there at that time.
So why this cowardice?
Shouldn't those who do not deliver your rights to you be more scared of being blamed of injustice than you for demanding your rights?
Why have you relegated yourself to second class citizenship?
Remember fear of death is one of those attributes of man that were disliked by beloved Prophet (PBUH), together with love of this world.

Yours truly celebrated Eif-ul-Fitr at his home in a village. One of the bad news received during the Ramadan was that in a nearby village the majority community people took away the Fadha-il-e-A'amal and other books from a platform ascribed for Prayers by Muslims. It was merely a Musallah - not a proper Mosque. Police and some officers of administration came there but only to maintain the so called hold of the majority community - not to address the problem of the aggrieved minority community. Moreover people from a nearby village told these miscreants that it is strange that you can not control just a few house holds in your village - meaning thereby the minority. "In our village we have the largest number of Muslims in the area and they can do nothing", they asserted. This is true. The latter village as got twenty percent Muslims. And they have not been allowed to built a Mosque. Once few people started the construction of  a mosque and a single boy from the majority community came and demolished it. A Maktab had been started earlier and the majority community insisted that send your children to the common government primary school - no Islamic education separately. Twenty percent population is a lot and at the election time it becomes relevant. One of the candidates, from majority community and having a big family with enough healthy and able bodied ,  for Village Headship supported the idea of Mosque. This lead to so much of tension and sudden surge of police and administration that Muslim community thought it better not to press for the demand of a Mosque. So much for the secularism of India. Yours truly knows this for the story is from my own village. Many years ago there was a constant struggle to get the village cemetery boundary constructed. The majority community will just not allow the construction - a show of raw force. The village cemetery now has a boundary. How? Well the village has fallen within the boundary of Greater Noida and the Chief Minister in the immediate past, Ms Mayawati, had express instructions for the boundary constructions both of Muslims cemeteries as well as Hindu cremation grounds.

Then there is the story of a third village that is constantly under the gaze of yours truly. Some Muslim youth from this village had made a Musallah in their village and started Praying with Jama-'at. Miscreants came one day and burned Fadha-il-e-A'amal and the Prayers mats. Police arrived in due course and soon a case was made against the youth who had started the Musallah - no word against the perpetrators of fire and fear amongst the worshipers. The police post did not accept the report filed by Muslims nor the corresponding Police Station. More than that many of the Muslims have been scared and a statement to the effect that really do not want to pray has been extracted from them. Free country.

All this is happening in the state of UP where Akhilesh Yadav reins as the Chief Minister and many people from the majority community taunt Muslims by saying that this is their government.