India and its Muslims

Published: March 22, 2013

The writer is a consulting editor with The Statesman and writes widely for several newspapers in India

It is not just interesting but very significant that at least three persons, of whom two are relative strangers, sent me an article that has recently appeared in Pakistan’s Daily Times. Written by Tufail Ahmad on “Democracy and Indian Muslims” (March 16), it argues how India is the “best Muslim country today”. The article is clearly inspired by Bollywood cine idol Shahrukh Khan’s signed article where he talks of discrimination, and Pakistan’s extremist Hafiz Saeed’s invitation to him and other Indian Muslims to come and live in Pakistan.

The writer, who lives in Washington, goes on to list the “complete political and religious liberty” enjoyed by Indian Muslims in the form of a “free legislative environment”. The article makes some interesting points about the state of affairs in Pakistan and its “discriminatory Constitution”, wondering why any Indian Muslim would leave India for Pakistan. It points out that effectively, India is a “Western country”, with its multi-party system, individualism, liberty, a free press and rule of law.

It is an obnoxious article as it is based on fallacies and half-baked sentiments with little to no attempt by the writer to explore the realities. First of all, India is not a Muslim country; it is a secular, socialist and democratic republic. This, alone, establishes the fallacy of such comparisons. The article seeks to make this connection between Indian and Pakistani Muslims that might have been true for the generation that went through the agonies of Partition, but is certainly not true for those who have lived in Pakistan as a sovereign country for decades now, and for Indian Muslims, who stayed back and never took the opportunities available to them during 1947 and a few years after, to move to the new nation. As an Indian Muslim born and brought up post-Partition, this connection is offensive, as we live in a country that is different, a milieu that is distinct, and an environment that makes for different experiences and thoughts. There is no hankering for Pakistan, no “we are the same people” balderdash, with Indian Muslims being Indian, and Pakistani Muslims being citizens of their country.

Underlying this argument of Muslim “nations”, is a genre of communalism that draws its inspiration from such comparisons. It looks upon the larger polity of democracy to basically suggest that Indian Muslims should be happy where they are, and not look at Pakistan as an option. It, therefore, feeds into the communal rhetoric of right-wing forces who seek to brand Muslims in India as “Pakistanis” and “anti-nationals”. It does not even try and recognise that Indian Muslims looks upon the Pakistani Muslim as a foreigner. There are some divided families, but here, too, the ties are becoming weaker with passing generations.

It is also amazing how easily South Asians living in the US equate democracy, freedom and liberty with the “West”. The best compliment they can give a country is that it is a “Western” nation. India is democratic not because of the British but because its founding fathers took exceptional care not to become a theocratic state with a Constitution that is based on a secular and democratic preamble. It is not a “Western” Constitution but one wedded to the conditions on the ground, considering diversity a strength and turning pluralism into an asset.

So, to the friends who brought the said article to my notice: Indian Muslims are not, and never have been interested in becoming Pakistani citizens. They have never questioned Indian democracy or India’s commitment to secularism, although in recent years, events have shaken their faith in the country they regard as home. It is the communalists of all hues who question this belief and it is this communalism that has to be fought to ensure that secularism is not weakened and India does not become prey to the divisive agenda of right-wing forces. The message that the three friends were sending out clearly was, understand Indian Muslims, how fortunate you are. But then, the “fortunate” barometers for secular Indians are linked inextricably to the success, or otherwise, of Indian democracy and not how Muslim countries in other parts of the world are faring.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2013.

Reader Comments (67)

  • Ameican Desi
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:00AM

    Wonderful piece. Powerful but not ego damaging. Overall rational and constructive analysis in differentiating Indians and Pakistanis. The difference between Indians and Pakistanis is not that of religion but more of thinking. Pakistan keeps blaming India that it never supported the two nation theory while truly it is Pakistan who is neither happy, nor content or even capable to understand the damage done by two nation theory. For most of Pakistanis it is theory set by their forefather Jinnah and Muslim League. What they have failed to ever understand is that the theory was induced and influenced by Britisher’s Divide and Rule policy.
    Anyways, a very brilliant article. Thanks for your wisely chosen words.

    Recommend

  • Thomas
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:20AM

    India is the only country in the world all the sects of muslims can live, have their mosque, worship the way they like, and live and enjoy life?Recommend

  • SM
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:34AM

    Commentators who write for English papers never seem to bother too much with the Urdu press in India. It is no doubt Muslims in India are still seen by some through the prism of the partition. But then, partition is a reality, its history is a reality that well meaning English commentators seems to air brush. But, the story of Indian Muslims will be written by them. They are the authors of their own destiny in a free India. They do need a new story that is past Pakistan, and that was not there until 1971 at all. You must read C.M Naim for a clear understanding about what Muslims think about India, of India. Or else how would you explain a person like Akbar Owasi brandishing his hate language of wiping out a population of 100 cr. just in 15 mins. The idea of foreignness of Muslims at least in the elite is still there, they still think of themselves as some sort of central Asian decedents, and see a idol worshiping Hindu no better than a maggot. Therefore, it does not matter how much people of your kind try to air brush the Pakistan issue or highlight how cruel Hindus are towards Muslims, it is only Muslims who can find a new story for themselves, that is independent of the Pakistan legacy. In the short run, I don’t see that happening, except for some liberal elites, who live in their own cocoon think they know what all Muslims of India think, which they don’t as Akbar Owasi is a clear proof. Until the day there are Muslims demonstrating in India because of what happened to Indians, until that day the ghost of Pakistan will haunt Indian Muslims. I know its hard to hear, but that is the truth.
    Oh btw, on principle, India is a western country in its fundamentals so you may now get over your surprise.

    Recommend

  • MSS
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:36AM

    @Author,”
    It is also amazing how easily South Asians living in the US equate democracy, freedom and liberty with the “West”. The best compliment they can give a country is that it is a “Western” nation. India is democratic not because of the British but because its founding fathers took exceptional care not to become a theocratic state…”
    People of South Asian origin having lived in the West for a significant part of their lives are in a good position to judge their original homelands. When they say a Western country, they mean a country with values practiced in US, Western Europe, Scandinavi, Canada, Autralia and New Zea Land. These are the ony nations where there is liberty, participatory democracy, freedom of speech, freedom to practice religion etc. So when anybody says India is a Western country they simply mean all those factors are at play in India. Does the author know of any African or South American, central Asian countries that match the ‘Western’ countries? It is indeed a compliment to say that India is like a Western country (not in terms of living standards) but all other aspects. India is democractic BECAUSE of the BRITISH. Two biggest founding fathers Nehru and Gandhi were England educated and acquired their foresight to bring in democracy while in England. Before the British induced democracy, India had zero experiene of democracy. Some Mughal emperors were secular some were not. So you are writing words to rewrire history. It is fact that even though Indian secularism and its democracy are at times under stress, quite probable with such a large population, it is the best country for people of different faiths or even without a faith. The concept of apostacy is alien to Indians. If you do a fact by fact comparison you will come to the same inescapable conclusion that India is a great country for people of any religion. How many Muslim countries declare Christmas a national holiday inspite of having a sizeable Christian population? Western countries give recognition to the needs of people from other faiths.
    I would like to know how you would pay a compliment to your mother land?

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:43AM

    Mrs Mustafa, goes on in a tangential argument without any purpose. “Democracy and Indian Muslims” is a very well written piece that argues how Indian democracy gives security to Indian Muslims , more than what many Muslim countries provide, torn as they are in sectarian and other conflicts.

    Recommend

  • thor
    Mar 23, 2013 - 1:03AM

    OK… Tufail Ahmad made couple of mistakes.
    He should have written ..India is arguably the best country for Muslims…instead he wrote
    India that is arguably the best Muslim country today.
    He should have written, India is a ‘modern’ Idea….Instead he wrote India is a ‘western’ country.
    Apart from that,he is bang on.
    I am not aware of any county/religion which do not have its share of fanatics & India’s foundation is strong enough.It will never be impacted by the diatribe of these fanatics.

    Recommend

  • Akash
    Mar 23, 2013 - 1:10AM

    While the article is realistic and to the point, it does try to brush aside some acts of the past…like 89.4% of muslim electorate of undivided India in 1946 voting for the League which promised Pakistan, a homeland for all South Asian muslims. In the eyes of many non-muslims of India, we respect that choice….but we cannot accept that those who voted for Pakistan stayed back. This is the basis for all the mistrust for labelling muslims in India as Pakistani…and it is not unreasonable.

    Recommend

  • MKAIND
    Mar 23, 2013 - 1:30AM

    prejudice and faith discrimination against Muslims does exist in every corner and level in India.

    Recommend

  • Nitish
    Mar 23, 2013 - 3:24AM

    Great and simply superb.Ma’am i wish if only SRK could have read your article before accusing indian democracy

    Recommend

  • Indian Wisdom
    Mar 23, 2013 - 9:34AM

    Its mistake to generalize all Muslims in India as one group. There are distinct groups and sub groups with different cultures and languages. Also Urdu is not the only language of Muslims in India ; it is also Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Bhojpuri, Assamese etc. The sense of integration or alienation from mainstream also varies and depends upon these socio-cultural and economic factors. A tribal Muslim or Muslim from North East is not as integrated into the mainstream (though it could be debated which stream in India is the mainstream????) as are Muslims in North India.
    Bottom line is India is as bad or good for any Indian Muslim as good or Bad it is for any Non Muslim (including Hindus/Sikhs) !!!!!

    You are very right to say “But then, the “fortunate” barometers for secular Indians are linked inextricably to the success, or otherwise, of Indian democracy and not how Muslim countries in other parts of the world are faring.” And the fact is Indian Muslims have also played their role in making Indian Democracy a success (along with other socio-religious groups) and they are equal stakeholders in this success story…………

    Recommend

  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    Mar 23, 2013 - 10:25AM

    Really a true picture. A very truthful article.

    Gulam Rasool”Kuldeep sharma”
    New Delhi

    Recommend

  • AQ Moghal
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:48AM

    In US while working for various professional organizatios I came across many many Indian people and they are quite decent. Even in outsourcing teams that I’ve worked with (which are based in India) didn’t see many Muslim people. Not many Muslim professionals from India which is odd for the country with over 150 million Muslims. Is that true that Muslims in Indian army are less than 3%? I hope what you said in your note above is based on all facts and if it is, it must show to the outside world. What we see is the human rights violations in Kashmir and mass killing of Muslim people in Gujrat few years ago.

    Recommend

  • jssidhoo
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:54AM

    ” Indian Muslims are not, and never have been interested in becoming Pakistani citizens. They have never questioned Indian democracy or India’s commitment to secularism, although in recent years, events have shaken their faith in the country they regard as home.” A honest assessment of the situation .

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:00PM

    I am an Indian Muslim and have always longed to become a Pakistani. Sick and Tired of racism and prejudice that we encounter by hindus everyday in india.

    Recommend

  • F
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:06PM

    Please read the Urdu press and go to Aligarh, Deoband,, Hyderabad, Lucknow, to name just a few places. You will find much empathy and yearning for all things Pakistan. Listen to Naik and Osawi and you will think you are hearing some cleric from Pakistan.

    While Iit is true that the founding fathers took great pains to ensure a secular ethos, the more interesting question is why has pluralism survived and strengthened in India? Why not in Pakistan? Why not Palestine, Egypt, Algeria? All these parts were ruled by Europeans too.

    Recommend

  • AQ Moghal
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:28PM

    Essentially both Indian and Pakistani people are the same both genetically and socially. They also share the common culture and diverse rich history going as far back as Indus valley civilization. India and pakistan today I hope can see what unite both countries and not what divide them. This is not a first time that India was divided or there were wars between one another. I sincerely hope that people of both countries can look beyond religious beliefs and can move forward towards shared prosperity.

    Recommend

  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    Mar 23, 2013 - 12:43PM

    @Saleem
    In which part of India? will you please enlighten us with your super imaginable creative thoughts?
    Remember, Telling lie & spreading hate is Gunah.

    Gulam Rasool”Kuldeep sharma”
    New Delhi

    Recommend

  • Vish
    Mar 23, 2013 - 2:39PM

    @Akash, “like 89.4% of muslim electorate of undivided India in 1946 voting for the League”.
    One must remember that there was no universal franchise in 1946. The ‘Muslim electorate’ was only a part of the Muslim population of India. One of the reasons why a large number of Muslims did not move to Pakistan. Because they never wanted to.

    Recommend

  • Santoshk
    Mar 23, 2013 - 2:42PM

    @Saleem… What happened?? u r sick and tired…. And now you r having suicidal thoughts as well… People in Pakistan are struggling to keep their life and limbs intact.. Hope you read newspapers

    Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Mar 23, 2013 - 2:50PM

    @Saleem:
    I was born in Lahore but now live in UK where I can judge India and Pakistan independently. I can confirm that I would be better off if I had been born in India. I wish I were. You must be be the only muslim in India who wishes to be in Pakistan. I personally don’t think you are an Indian anyway.
    Pakistani muslims are viewed as terrorist sympathisers and are not welcomed in the West.

    Recommend

  • Santoshk
    Mar 23, 2013 - 2:51PM

    @AQ Moghal .. You see what you want to see.. World sees what it is… Muslims as Presidents, Vice Presidents, ministers, film stars, artists, sportsmen proudly representing India… Riots n babri masjids demolition etc. are there but we do have a mechanism to learn from mistakes.. Which sadly Pakistan dsnt seem to have

    Recommend

  • RK
    Mar 23, 2013 - 4:37PM

    Having lived together for about one thousand years, under Slave dynasty, MUGHALS,
    Sikh dynasty and The British, the Division was of Land not people. But now brokers have taken over to ensure that People will forget that are from the same stock.But blood surges in the veins to remind the people what is their heritage. who they are, and Inshaallah,soon Kabir and Raskhan shall again wake us from this nightmare of divides. Amen

    Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 23, 2013 - 4:49PM

    India is big country and there were lot of indian muslims did not even knew there will be pakistan that story told me one immigrant family in karachi and most of these peoples migrated for bussnis oppurtonuties only to have good job and better life in new land they knew peoples in this new country were not educated and peoples living in south india still dont know where pakistan is and what Urdu is???

    Recommend

  • External Hand
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:20PM

    @Akash who says – “but we cannot accept that those who voted for Pakistan stayed back. This is the basis for all the mistrust for labelling muslims in India as Pakistani…and it is not unreasonable.”

    Help me understand your jump in logic here. A large majority of Muslims in the 1940s voted for Pakistan. Therefore you mistrust today’s Muslims.

    Use your brain.

    Recommend

  • stevenson
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:27PM

    @Iqbal: I don’t think you’re really Pakistani because I too am born in Lahore and no Lahori would want to be known as Indian unless they are Muhajirs. What you forget is that Pakistanis love their soil, espcially native Pakistanis and don’t consider themselves Sri Lanka, or Bangladeshi or Indian or any other Asian. We are proud to be Pakistani thank you very much because it our home and soil. In the UK, Pakistanis most of whom are Kashmiri prefer to be called Pakistani for the simple reason that we think Pakistanis are better looking and different. Ask any Pakistani in the West. You may call this shallow but it is what it is.

    Recommend

  • Hold your horses
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:31PM

    @AQ Moghal:

    Recruitment policies in India are not discriminatory. Muslims need to show interest and then qualify for army jobs. How come Sikhs contribution is disproportionately high. That’s coz they qualify.

    Recommend

  • Hold your horses
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:34PM

    @Saleem:

    Good for you. Pls immigrate and live happily ever after.

    Recommend

  • amit
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:37PM

    Well.. both right and left parties in India are responsible for dividing India. It is false to say just right wing are divisive in India. Its just not true.

    Recommend

  • karma
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:47PM

    Author: thought provoking article, even though it is confused.

    1. India is westernized:
    You say “it is a secular, socialist and democratic republic” and yet you say
    ” It is not a “Western” Constitution but one wedded to the conditions on the ground”

    Democracy is a western philosophy (Greece), republic is a western philosophy (Greek- Roman ), Socialism is a western philosophy (French), secularism (Greek-Roman). So, India’s preamble draws all its inspiration from four western ideologies, yet one can’t call India a ‘westernised’ nation??

    India was a feudal bad land before the formation of Indian republic. Even today the feudal underpinnings haven’t gone away. But, it is trying.

    2. Indian muslim faith in India is unshakable.

    You say “in recent years, events have shaken their faith in the country they regard as home.”

    On the contrary, past couple of decades have reinforced the faith of Indian minorities in the self-correcting nature of Indian system. Consider Just there factors:
    – Folks who were virulently communal were forced to moderate for lack of support.
    – A decade that had least number of communal conflagration
    – Census that indicated substantial growth in minority percentage since independence

    By and large these ‘events’ have reinforced Indian muslim faith, instead of shaking it. Occasional cribs of blabber mouthed idiots like Shah-Rukh Khan (who is beneficiary extraordinaire of Indian system) doesn’t mean most muslim folks have any doubts about their prospects in India.

    Recommend

  • Another North Indian
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:49PM

    “First of all, India is not a Muslim country; it is a secular, socialist and democratic republic.”

    In acknowledging this fallacy, do we acknowledge that if a country is secular, socialist, and democratic, it cannot be a Muslim country? Hopefully not. Tufail’s argument was that with such a large number of Muslims living in India, India has a right to speak for Muslims as much as many other countries which act as sole ‘spokesmen’ for Muslims.

    Overall a good article but unnecessarily antagonistic toward Tufail Ahmed who pointed out the truth that India is much better country for Muslims to live in than many if not all Muslim-majority countries themselves.

    Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 23, 2013 - 6:26PM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    and peoples living in south india still dont know where pakistan is and what Urdu is???

    Just Google ‘Indian Mujahideen’ and ‘Bhatkal’.

    Don’t project your ignorance on South India, please.

    Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 23, 2013 - 6:57PM

    @Saleem:
    What else can we expect from a impersonater. Dont u pakistanis have nothing better to do.

    Recommend

  • Joakim
    Mar 23, 2013 - 7:15PM

    I never understood what does “Indian Muslim” mean. “Muslim” is not an identity, but simply a religious following which can be changed and, which is not even native to the Indian subcontinent.

    An identity can only be one which is native, ethnic, unique and unchangeable to oneself. So, what is the true NATIVE IDENTITY of these “Indian Muslims”?!!!!

    Recommend

  • Shiv
    Mar 23, 2013 - 7:40PM

    It is treacherous for the Muslims to ask for a country and then stay on in India. Isn’t it shameless too that you should stay on on other others property when you got your share?

    Recommend

  • Akash
    Mar 23, 2013 - 8:50PM

    @External Hand : “Help me understand your jump in logic here. A large majority of Muslims in the 1940s voted for Pakistan. Therefore you mistrust today’s Muslims. Use your brain.”

    Yeah, that VERY majority who voted in 1940s “to create and to move” to Pakistan…stayed back with families..who root conveniently for “secular India” now. It would’ve been a fair thing if they had moved OR hadn’t created a homeland. What is the guarantee that the current ones won’t ask for another partition if someone somewhere pulled down another unused mosque? Be realistic even if it means using less brain.

    @Vish : “One must remember that there was no universal franchise in 1946.”
    It was 15%, limited to educated, tax paying, upper class/caste individuals. But the masses were the easiest and were the first to get influenced and swayed by emotions, hopes and dreams sold at barelvi madrasas. Participation of the massed would’ve given close to 100% support for the league. (btw, the current Indian government has only 14% vote share of the entire Indian population)

    Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 23, 2013 - 9:53PM

    @Saleem: ” … I am an Indian Muslim and have always longed to become a Pakistani. Sick and Tired of racism and prejudice that we encounter by hindus everyday in india. … “

    May your tribe grow. Hyper exponentially.

    Recommend

  • Vish
    Mar 23, 2013 - 10:00PM

    @Akash “the masses were the easiest and were the first to get influenced and swayed by emotions, hopes and dreams sold at barelvi madrasas. Participation of the massed would’ve given close to 100% support for the league. (btw, the current Indian government has only 14% vote share of the entire Indian population)”.
    Nope. Its always the ‘educated’ who get swayed first and stay swayed. The masses are too busy earning their livelihoods. ‘Uneducated’ masses are not as easily swayed as the ‘educated’. If all were allowed to vote in 1946 the vote share in favour of partition would be about 14 %, like that of the present Indian government.

    Recommend

  • Genesis
    Mar 23, 2013 - 10:10PM

    @Santoshk:
    In a recent list of 100 top rich people in India count the number of Muslims and believe me there are quite a few.You call that discrimination.they are what they are because they worked for it and it is possible in India.

    Recommend

  • sabila khan
    Mar 23, 2013 - 10:18PM

    as shabana azmi put it indian democracy has been unfair to muslims they are bottom of the pile some say even the new dalits. to give just one example there are thousands of pakistani doctors in UK but very few indian muslim doctors. the pain fact is indian muslims face prejudice and discrimination in every field in India.

    Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2013 - 10:48PM

    madam has special place in her heart for pak..i guess.

    Recommend

  • Truthbetold
    Mar 23, 2013 - 10:55PM

    @Akash:

    ” In the eyes of many non-muslims of India, we respect that choice….but we cannot accept that those who voted for Pakistan stayed back. This is the basis for all the mistrust for labelling muslims in India as Pakistani…and it is not unreasonable.”

    You are making many erroneous conclusions. The “mistrust for labeling Muslims” is not based solely on the partition and that they stayed back. The fundamental issue has been that a large section of the Indian Muslims have been aggressive in their dealings with the Hindu community and have been very insensitive to the feelings of the non-Muslim communities. Indeed, most Muslims totally deny that there has ever been mass destruction of temples, killing of millions of Hindus and enslaving the women by barbaric Muslim invaders. Of course, the present day Muslims are not responsible for what their ancestors did, but they do have responsibility of accepting and acknowledging the ill-doing of their ancestors and seek atonement, which they have refused to do.

    While a vast majority of Indian Muslims are patriotic Indians, there is a significant section that does consider itself as Pakistanis such as in places in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad.

    Also important to note is that, in many communal incidents, such as Ghodra and Gujarat, there have been strong provocations by the Muslims.

    Recommend

  • Shiv
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:21PM

    @MKAIND:
    Yeah, we are not as large hearted as the Muslims. The Muslims love other religions and Kaffirs are a very respected people in Islamistan!

    Recommend

  • Shiv
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:26PM

    While the Muslims slaughter their minorities, the Hindus are expected to be generous to the Muslims. While the Muslims point out how they are at the bottom of the ladder in India, they forget that the Indian Muslims are in a much better shape than the Pakistani non Muslims. And while the Indian Muslims raise their voices shamelessly for their demands in a secular society, they butcher minorities where they are in a majority. So shameless!

    Recommend

  • ruby
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:31PM

    Nice article. People are picking on the writer about her complaints on semantics in Tufail Ahmed’s article. But her getting offended is fair and nice to know. If secular Hindus take offence when people call India Hindu country, then the author’s sentiments are also fair. Both this article and Ahmed’s article are nice and make different points about India.

    To combine a point from both the articles, India will get a Muslim PM when Indian muslim politicans imagine themselves are leaders of all Indians and not just muslims. If some Indian politician took offence like the author did for calling India a Muslim country, then the day is coming.

    Recommend

  • JSM
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:36PM

    @Saleem:
    What is stopping you. Why d’ont you go?

    Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 23, 2013 - 11:54PM

    @MKAIND:

    prejudice and faith discrimination against Muslims does exist in every corner and level in India.

    Let us do a small experiment. Let us ask Hazras, Shias, Ismailis, Doudi Bohras and Ahmadis in Pakistan about prejudice and discrimination.

    And then ask the same groups in India the same question.

    Recommend

  • DareDevil
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:26AM

    @stevenson:
    yeah you are always right when you are steve-sonRecommend

  • Akash
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:48AM

    @Vish: “Nope. Its always the ‘educated’ who get swayed first and stay swayed. The masses are too busy earning their livelihoods. ‘Uneducated’ masses are not as easily swayed as the ‘educated’.”

    See, this is the fundamental point of difference. Unfortunately, your observation is not supported by historical facts. One may disagree with partition, but it is a legitimate Mass movement of a large section of muslims to live a life of religious and cultural security. This is why ordinary muslims even in the far away Madras presidency took out processions and voted all the 28 seats to League in 1946…chanting “Pakistan ka matlab kya hain…La’illahi Il’Allah”….revolutions can be planned by elites….but without mass support it will fail. The plain thing is these gullible got carried away…but when it was time to migrate…they realized the enormity of what they had done and wherever possible, stayed back. They will forever be mistrusted by non-muslim Indians and understandably so.

    Recommend

  • DareDevil
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:56AM

    @sabila khan:
    being an engineering student let me to tell you how selection procedure goes in India.
    1) you must be HSC passed
    2) you have to fill forms for medical/engg entrance exams which is conducted every year. you will get your admit card for the entrance exam irrespective of hindu, muslim, sikh, christian, girl,boy if you have filled your form correctly.
    3) then you have to appear in exam whr u hav to answer the which are objective-type in nature and for every wrong answer 0.25 marks will be deducted.
    4) then u hav to tick your answers in OMR(Optical Mark Recognition) answer sheet with blue/black pen.
    5) these OMR sheets are checked by computers not by any human( FYI computers do not recognize hindu, muslim, sikh, christian, girl,boy )
    6) then merit list are made on numbers provided by computers and result are announced on the website of exam-holder.
    7) according to their ranks,students are called for the counseling where they choose their respective branch.
    so the moral of the story in India unlike pakistan, students are not selected on religion basis but on merit basis. if you are enough talented no one is going to stop you there.Recommend

  • Prerna
    Mar 24, 2013 - 1:11AM

    @MSS: The concept of apostacy is alien to Indians

    Dictionary definition of Apostasy – abandonment of one’s religious faith, party, a cause, etc.

    Perhaps you are referring to something else here,and have misspelt the word.

    India is democractic BECAUSE of the BRITISH.

    Since the British were so good at implementing/inculcating democratic principles,it is indeed a wonder that democracy has failed to take root in almost all its former colonies.

    Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 24, 2013 - 1:57AM

    @Gulam Rasool “Kuldeep sharma”: What an irony – I used to be Gulam Rasool.

    Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 24, 2013 - 4:54AM

    @sabila khan:

    Sabila get out of the well you are living in.

    Indian Physicians, Muslims, Hindus and otherwise, prefer the United States. Much better. This is why you will not see too many Indian Physicians (“Doctors”) as NHS employees in the UK.

    Cheers.

    Recommend

  • Faltu Indians
    Mar 24, 2013 - 5:08AM

    The presence of indions on this forum or on ET shows their obsession and complex with Pakistanis.

    Recommend

  • Nitish
    Mar 24, 2013 - 9:27AM

    @ruby: India can accept sikh pm, christian pm …but muslim PM ..Huh dream on

    Recommend

  • Mar 24, 2013 - 11:04AM

    bangladesh is a good example for pakistan to look into themselves

    Recommend

  • Mar 24, 2013 - 11:04AM

    Hindus in pak are in danger and ET doesnt report this

    Recommend

  • Nitish
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:34PM

    Whether you like it or not ET moderator to publish it..but yes muslim PM will not be acceptable to us at any cost..author should know it and keep it in mind.This would lead to another revolution inside india…thats all i want to say.

    Recommend

  • sure?
    Mar 24, 2013 - 1:23PM

    @sabila khan: “as shabana azmi put it indian democracy has been unfair to muslims “

    She did not say any such thing. One out of context statement from her interview with Karan Thapar is misrepresented. You can google and hear the whoel interview. You can also see Javed Akhtar (Shabana’s husband’s) interview to Wajahat Khan of Dawn News.

    Recommend

  • mango man
    Mar 24, 2013 - 3:02PM

    At the time of partition, there were 150 million Muslims in undivided India. After partition, 60 million moved to Pak while 90 million stayed back. So much for the two-nation theory that was sold around. The two-nation theory does not have any legs to stand on.

    Recommend

  • Vish
    Mar 24, 2013 - 4:17PM

    @Akash ” Unfortunately, your observation is not supported by historical facts.”. Not true. The historical fact is that all Muslims were not allowed to vote. All 28 seats that Muslim League in Madras were won on the basis of a small minority of Muslims who were allowed to vote. Mostly ‘educated’ and taken up or swayed by Islamic zeal. There is no record of who were these ‘ordinary’ Muslims who took out processions. Were they the uneducated masses (not allowed to vote) or were they again the same minority who voted. About 100 million Muslims in 1946, a majority who did not live in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Lucknow, Karachi never voted. So where are these ‘historical facts’. Again it is always the so called ‘educated’ who get swayed. The uneducated are too close to their roots and too involved in eking out a living to have time for such distractions.

    Recommend

  • Akash
    Mar 24, 2013 - 7:08PM

    @Vish: “Mostly ‘educated’ and taken up or swayed by Islamic zeal. The uneducated are too close to their roots and too involved in eking out a living to have time for such distractions.”

    I’m sorry to say that your grasp on not just British Indian history but also general mass/mob/people psychology is very dismal. Your arguments are those of a dogmatic liberal…afraid of viewing events objectively. I suppose you believe that on the “Direct Action day” called by League in Calcutta that killed 5000 people in a single day was carried out by Muslim college professors, lawyers, doctors, civil servants and the other elite. Or was the Moplah rebellion (of 1921) in Kerala carried out by Muslim upper class? As an individual, I understand your good intentions in trying not to blame the very community who are suffering across three nations in south asia today. But sometimes Truth has to be seen and told and taken in plainly. It is only then we learn from our past, make remedies and create a better future for one and all. Trying to hide it will only make us go in circles. Thank you.

    Recommend

  • Vish
    Mar 24, 2013 - 8:01PM

    @Akash, Seriously this has nothing to do with any community or being a dogmatic liberal. What must be borne in mind is that a majority of the ‘uneducated’ masses had no say in the formation of Pakistan nor were any details explained to them. Everyone knows who led Direct Action Day and created conducive conditions for it. Are there any figures of how many people actually rioted and what were their profiles? Were the rioters common uneducated folk or goons hired to do a job? No answer. So we can only speculate. Again about the Moplah rebellion do let me know if there is any study on the profiles of rioters. Do bear in mind that literacy rates in Kerala were higher even then. Education is no barrier to fanaticism. I will end with a personal anecdote. In the 1992-93 Mumbai riots my father owned a business in a majority Muslim locality, most of the residents being economically backward. None of them troubled my father and even advised him to stay safe by keeping the shop shut for a few days till matters cooled down. His shop was never looted by locals or destroyed. All the neighbours were common folk more concerned with their livelihood. My grasp on British Indian history or mob psychology may not be good my friend, but I do know my grassroots.

    Recommend

  • Akash
    Mar 24, 2013 - 9:03PM

    @Vish: “Are there any figures of how many people actually rioted and what were their profiles? Were the rioters common uneducated folk or goons hired to do a job? No answer. So we can only speculate. Again about the Moplah rebellion do let me know if there is any study on the profiles of rioters.”

    It is only when someone questions or denies recorded evidence, one realizes where they are coming from. A simple wiki-pedia search will give you the figures and the general profiles of the rioters. Please read it with an open mind. It has nothing to do with your 1992 experience.

    I realize now that the real danger to south asian future is not just from fundamentalists alone but apologists like you as well….the reason being both distort the past to justify their personal beliefs and perception…..and will go to any extent to cling to it. Be open minded, my friend. Good luck and have a nice day!

    Recommend

  • Does not matter
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:07PM

    @Saleem:
    What is stopping you? Get married to a cousin of yours in Pakistan and apply for Pakistani citizenship. I am sure they will be happy to give you the honor of being a proud Pakistani citizen.Just take care of few things though. Make sure you go to the mosque where they have people of your own sect and type of Islam you follow. Also make sure your sect is not the one being targeted by other sect as your wish to become a Pakistani could be short lived. Then get some habit of being called Mohazir for the rest of your life as you will not easily be accepted.Other than that, i am sure you will do great.

    Recommend

  • Vish
    Mar 24, 2013 - 11:10PM

    @Akash, Even if one considers wiki-pedia to be the real thing (considering one doesn’t know who writes them), none of them provides definite answers. As for dangers to South Asia (why the American terminology, I know only India) from fundamentalists and apologists, India has been through 5000+ years and survived and will still be around for the next 5000 years at least. So do sleep well.

    Recommend

  • Deb
    May 1, 2013 - 6:36PM

    @Akash and @Vish

    It might appear strange that I feel you both are right and wrong at the same time but
    helping each other to arrive at the truth which as in most cases in life lies somewhere in between.

    @Vish

    Your 1992-93 experience is nothing short of inspiring and yes India will survive despite Indians. India is a miracle, has always been so.

    Recommend

  • Genesis
    May 19, 2013 - 4:49PM

    @Saleem:
    If so should make the effort to emigrate.Good luck/

    Recommend

More in Opinion