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India’s Muslims

Discussion in 'Internal Affairs' started by VCheng, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    A good article for discussion here:

    http://www.economist.com/news/asia/...-anxious-about-its-future-uncertain-community

    India’s Muslims
    An uncertain community
    India’s biggest minority grows anxious about its future

    [​IMG]

    FOR a community of 172m, almost 15% of the population, Muslims at first glance appear oddly absent from the pages of India’s newspapers. In fact, they crop up a lot, but not by name. Instead, reporters coyly refer to “a certain community”. The clumsy circumlocution is a way of avoiding any hint of stoking sectarian unrest. The aim is understandable in a country that was born amid ferocious communal clashes and which has suffered all too many reprises. But the dainty phrase also hints at something else. Since India’s independence in 1947, the estrangement of Muslims has slowly grown.

    India’s Muslims have not, it is true, been officially persecuted, hounded into exile or systematically targeted by terrorists, as have minorities in other parts of the subcontinent, such as the Ahmadi sect in Pakistan. But although violence against them has been only sporadic, they have struggled in other ways. In 2006 a hefty report detailed Muslims’ growing disadvantages. It found that very few army officers were Muslim; their share in the higher ranks of the police was “minuscule”. Muslims were in general poorer, more prone to sex discrimination and less literate than the general population (see chart). At postgraduate level in elite universities, Muslims were a scant 2% of students.

    [​IMG]
    A decade later, with most of the committee’s recommendations quietly shelved, those numbers are unlikely to have improved. Indeed, since the landslide election win by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014, some gaps have widened. There are fewer Muslim ministers now in the national government—just two out of 75—than at any time since independence, even though the Muslim share of the population has grown.

    India remains a secular country, yet some laws proposed by the BJP bear a disturbingly sectarian tint. One bill would allow immigrants from nearby countries who happen to be Hindu, Sikh, Christian or Buddhist to apply for citizenship, while specifically barring Muslims. Another would retroactively block any legal challenge to past seizures of property from people deemed Pakistani “enemies”, even if their descendants have nothing to do with Pakistan and are Indian citizens. Courts have repeatedly ruled in favour of such claimants—all of them Muslim—but their families could now be stripped of any rights in perpetuity.

    Far more than such legislative slights, what frightens ordinary Muslims is the government’s silence in the face of starker assaults. A year ago many were shocked when a mob in a village near Delhi, the capital, beat to death a Muslim father of three on mere suspicion that he had eaten beef. Earlier this month, after one of his alleged killers died of disease while in police custody, a BJP minister attended the suspect’s funeral, at which the casket was draped, like a hero’s, with the Indian flag.

    Earlier this month, too, newspapers reported a disturbing discrepancy between the fates of two men arrested for allegedly spreading religiously insulting material via social media. One of the men, a member of a right-wing Hindu group in the BJP-run state of Madhya Pradesh, was quickly released from custody after the customary beating. The arresting officers have been charged with assault; their superiors up to the district level transferred. In the other case, in the state of Jharkhand, a Muslim villager was arrested for posting pictures implying he had slaughtered a cow. Police claimed he died of encephalitis following his arrest. A court-ordered autopsy revealed he had been beaten to death. To date, no police officers have been charged.

    The BJP’s handling of a popular uprising in India’s only Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, has also raised Muslim concern. Four months into the unrest, in which dozens of civilians have been killed and hundreds injured, with continuous curfews and strikes keeping schools and shops closed, the government still refuses to talk to any but the most supine local politicians. “You don’t understand,” snaps a cabinet minister, “It’s a violent movement to build an Islamic theocracy. No democracy can tolerate that.”

    [​IMG]
    Omair Ahmad, a writer on Muslim affairs, scoffs at this. The problem, he says, is that Indian governments insist on treating Kashmir as a “Muslim issue” when the real question is one of democratic representation. Yet most Indian Muslims tend to toe the official line, either from a desire to appear loyal or because they genuinely feel only a faint bond with Kashmir.

    The fact is that India’s Muslims are divided, not only between dominant Sunnis and a large Shia minority but also between starkly different social classes and regions: a Muslim in Bengal is likely to share no language and few traditions with a co-religionist far to the south in steamy Kerala. The divisions may soon get deeper. Both India’s supreme court and the national law commission, a state body charged with legal reform, are deliberating whether laws governing such things as divorce and inheritance should remain different for different religious groups, or should be harmonised in a uniform national code, as the constitution urges. Spotting another “Muslim issue”, past governments have let conservative clerics control family law. As a result India, unlike most Muslim-majority countries, still allows men to divorce simply by pronouncing the word three times.

    The BJP, however, is calling for sweeping reform, with Narendra Modi, the prime minister, painting the issue as a straightforward question of women’s rights. Much as many Muslims heartily agree that change is long overdue, suspicions linger that the BJP’s aim is less to generate reform than to spark inevitable protests by Muslim conservatives, so uniting Hindus in opposition to Muslim “backwardness”.

    This question may play out in elections this winter in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, nearly 40m of whose 200m people are Muslim. The state has witnessed repeated communal clashes since the destruction by Hindu activists, in 1992, of a medieval mosque said to have been built over an ancient temple marking the birthplace of Rama, a Hindu deity. Many expect the BJP to play the “Muslim card” in an effort to rally Hindu votes.

    There is hope: a similar ploy flopped last year in the neighbouring state of Bihar. Whatever the outcome, India’s Muslims feel increasingly like spectators in their own land. “They called it a secular state, which is why many who had a choice at partition wanted to stay here,” says Saeed Naqvi, a journalist whose recent book, “Being the Other”, chronicles the growing alienation of India’s Muslims. “But what really happened was that we seamlessly glided from British Raj to Hindu Raj.”

    From the print edition: Asia
     
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  2. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

  3. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    There is a counter-narrative to the above too, unfortunately, following the footsteps of the 'affirmative action' in US, anyone laying out a contrarian viewpoint, does so, at extreme risk of being labelled a 'bigot' and an 'extremist Hindu'.

    Is it not yesterday only that 08 SIMI members escaped a Bhopal prison, a proscribed and legally recognised terror group that has advocated violence on religious lines, and today there are calls already demanding judicial probe and action for 'cold blooded murder'? An act wherein members of terror group involved in waging war against India have been eliminated, instead of being hailed as a service to the nation, is being used to further inflame these very passions?

    While an act of inciting mob violence for political gains has been used above to brand the nation as being insensitive to the Muslims in India, as also malign the present government, why is it that this incident wherein Muslims were killed for being members of a terror network, is not getting a similar treatment?

    Is it not a time for the media to give a balanced view that it is indeed the acts of a few Muslim community members, who have been largely and perhaps invariably responsible for this 'ant-Islam' feeling which they accuse all of harbouring? After all, who in their day to day life, looks at the neighbour as being either a Hindu or a Muslim?

    And is it not an irony that in India, where Muslims enjoy the maximum protection and freedom (if you compare with the Muslim Countries as also West), they still feel 'insecure'?

    Would it, perhaps, be more apt to call this a result of the policy of 'ghettoisation' as directed by JL Nehru despite strong opposition of VB Patel over the issue in the aftermath of the partition?


    Disclaimer: The views are expressed in order to have a civil debate on need for strengthening India as a nation state on the principles enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution of India & should not be construed as an attempt to inflame/bait members.


    @PARIKRAMA @nair

    request keep an eye. a very thorny post here by me, hence moderate please.
     
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  4. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    They should blame themselves and short sighted political parties .
    AB Vajpayee and Advani was Congressmen but what made them to left that political party and to create a political party with a majority leniency.
    BJP had only two seats in 1984 but now they have absolute majority in LK .
    What made our citizens to change our political scenario?

    During UPAs ule and UDF rule in Kerala ,we have had an artificial spiking of real estate business in Kerala .
    Common man couldnt even buy a single piece of land without excess loss.
    But after the change of rule in centre and state situatiins directly reversed.
    I have heard some stories about some members from that community that mysteriously become rich within one year .
    Fact is common people sre watching this each and every cases .
     
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  5. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Muslim problems, which were listed in this article (% in jail, rate of crime, rate of unemployment, poverty, hunger etc etc) are largely down to 2 things: lack of education, and lack of family planning. If the Muslim community began cutting down on the amount of children per family, and brought it down to a manageable average like say 2 at the most, and made modern education a priority, rather than insisting on sending kids to Madrassas, then much of this wouldn't be an issue.

    As for the whole fake narrative on how J&K was handled having anything to do w/ the fact it's Muslim majority, that is what happens when part of India seriously attempts to breakaway, you can ask any Sikh or North-Easterner (there are a small percentage of Muslims in NE but mainly Buddhist, Christian and Hindus) how brutally their separatist movements were put down. This is the fate of any separatist movement, regardless of religion.
     
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  6. Pundrick

    Pundrick Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    It is all about flexibility offered by the religion, in the 7th century Islam used to be very flexible and with the entry of Sufism the religion spread in major part of India. The people who choose Islam were mostly the oppressed ***** class, other tribal people, some from middle class family,etc so if the majority of Muslims suffer from poverty & illiteracy then we will have to see their past as well.

    With the time Hinduism actually got little flexible with abolition of Sati, Widow remarriage, Modern education, some religious practice were stopped and all this changes brought under British rules and backed by many Hindu leader did helped Hindus a lot. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan also tried his best but he always felt strong protest from some of the hardliner, even today I see some mullahs discriminating their own people, if they choose an English, Hindi or any other medium language school for their children.

    It is all about flexibility offered by the religion, Islam used to be one of the so called "Lucrative" religion for people in 11-12th century then it was occupied by some Maulvis.

    But good thing is, there is a growing trend in Muslims as well to send their child for standard education, Inshallah the situation will change.
     
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  7. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Angel or Devil? Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Magnificent article and a topic to dicuss.. @VCheng - Thank you for opening this topic..


    Am adding this para here as well
    I can relate one experience of mine in this case.. The influx of BD folks who followed Islam into Assam. Fortunately or unfortunately i have seen two disastrous and stark things in my state
    1. The original Muslim folks who had resided in Assam are even now a class of people who are well educated, sober, well mannered, tolerant and always propagate the unity of Muslim with all religion people especially Hindu
      • Significantly these folks are more of middle class and above and are accomplished in terms of education, white collared jobs and business where their reputation is known for generations
      • These folks also hate the growing ethnic divide that has come due to change in demographic means and numbers and suddenly they wish to portray themselves as "Indian Original Muslims" - a image which they wish to protect and showcase saying they are very different from immigrants
      • Politically their lineage is not secular parties like Congress always.. they have voted parties like AGP (asom gana Parishad) and even BJP in last election.. For them key issue is development and a better life. A significant effort to protect their identity and differentiation.
      • Most of the folks in this category dont give triple talaq over phone and like to do things as per law of land (courts)
      • Significantly this class of people does not like working in Middle East and only a small percentage of this category actually goes out. For them working in Assam or in India is their first priority.
    2. The second category of Muslims in my state is from people who had migrated to Assam
      • Now migration legally post 1971 is acceptable and they have tried to med ways to become a part of normal culture of Assam/india
      • The migration never stopped and infact in 80s and 90s a significant illegal migration happened in lower Assam (Assam gets divided in upper Assam a place dominated from Ahom timeline and more hindu dominated portions with mix of Indian Original Muslims + lower Assam - in and around Guwahati where there is a migration of people from other places resettled here.)
      • This category of people actually were illegal and were granted amnesty, citizenship and used purely for votebank politics by a political party - Congress.
      • They have occupied large tracts of lands first illegally and later legalised under the patronage scheme of political parties whom they support and thus were given a new identity
      • They are significantly less educated, in fact education is least priority for them.., They are more of blue collared workers, right from rickshaw pullers to small odd jobs. Their livelihood is more of dependency to make a amount for the day to day living
      • Due to less educated, less exposed to Indian culture, they are more radical in nature, follow old customs, thinkings propagated via blind and old leaders of the people.. For them the religion is everything above the course of a human, state and country.
      • Due to this, this group tends to follow odd customs including triple talaq in front of a qazi, multiple wives, polygamy rampant, population explosion with no support to their kins but still increasing the population and most importantly and perhaps very dangerous trend of marking their territories.
      • Their marking includes identifying their dominated communities with flags, posters and continuous preachings of their religious leaders, their agendas being always polarised and their future understanding is a need to be fighting for a identity.
      • Unfortunately most Assamese folks of all religions tend to avoid and hate them bcz of their significant radicalised view and thus they tend to get more marginalised.
      • On top, Political parties and their leaders exploit them with such fear mongerings and preaching them wrong things of carving their identity for their future kins.
      • Bcz of political party patronage, this group has more indian government identification documents then even say a normal indian citizen like me will have at any point of time.. all approved and given by political party for their vote banks.
      • Its said and often proved that their political leaders and religious leaders propagate more population explosion in order to control the state from within and make a better future for their own people.


    When folks tend to see this face of a religion/community, there seems to be a backlash.. perhaps the decision makers had such experiences to back up such a recommendation of allowing other groups but not Muslims.

    Sadly i had been in baroda as well as in Hyd and i hav seen more of Indian original Muslims" then the one who shifted here from say BD. Of course you will see rotten apples everyplace.. But education, access to a better life, communal harmony and secular values tend to make such a community citizens of India over saying their religious identity to identify themselves.

    This is a problem .. epic one really.. The communal harmony by radical elements in every religion needs to be condemned, checked and justice must be given by court of law to all parties. Beef and suspects getting killed in custody due to them belonging to minority is not a healthy sign for any country. This needs to be addressed and for that secular tolerance must be preached right from school education level of young minds..

    This is where education institute comes into place where the class of 30 students must have representation from all religion to give them a feel and understanding right from young days.. An example.. i am from kendriya Vidyalaya background. friends were from different religion, economic categories and different part of the country. Result i was more open to all such differentials in terms of language, caste , creed, religion and most importantly i learned that respecting their sensitivities is not very dangerous, alarming or an issue for me..

    I cant say the same for other schools but seems KV or Central school tends to favour such a change and ideology. (i wont comment on course material off course)

    Now enter the era of digital platform and such a communal hatred or radical views get fanned pretty quick and over many places.. the result is further marginalization of this community and flaming the radicalized views further. The result is its no more Indian first but rather religion first which gets preached and signified for survival.

    The blame is also for politcial parties who had exploited this issue for their own survival. After almost 70 years of independence, its a shame that we are still bothered about religion first but not nation first...


    Nice POV. What if the insecurity complex results into a movement for survival and finally an identity crisis where the citizens lose the country first identity and resort to religion first identity.

    In peak of Godhra time, i had been in Gujarat and seen the reality. My friends who were Muslims also were there.. and i can openly say Media did the dishonorable thing of making a mockery of truth. Yes there were issues bit not by what media propagated.. The result was a mad fear psychosis.. Ram Mandir, Mumbai riots, Godhra, all are basically events.. significant events which has caused a scarred mentality to a particular community.. On top every election, this faultline gets played up by political parties and Media uses this demographic divide for their own "TRPs"

    result is even after enjoying the most of liberties, the community does nt see them and feel always the danger of survival and mark in society..

    Sadly Ambedkar and Patel views and actions could have bought out a better India.. Its past now.. But for the future, its important that such self centered acts must be stopped and a community must see whats their role in the country over their survival and saving religion for showcasing their community.

    ++
    Apologies if my views seems a bit harsh.. just gave an opinion.. not a conclusive one.. but a abstractive one of course..
     
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  8. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Also, may I add that it is beyond idiotic to suggest that giving priority to Hindu & Sikh refugees is communal. There are two countries which were carved out of India in the name of Islam (though BD has become secular since leaving Pak) one on each flank. And there are countless Muslim countries in this world as well, but there is really only one place for Hindus (and Sikhs) to go, India is essentially a bigger Israel in that sense.

    If any Hindu or Sikh anywhere in the world is in trouble, they must be able to retain the option of coming to India. Add to that the fact that Hindus especially and Sikhs aren't exactly safe in Pak, and to an extent in AFG and BD, so it's really common sense that Hindu and Sikh refugees would get priority to come to India. In fact they (with proper vetting) should have a fast tracked process for citizenship that begins upon arrival.
     
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  9. stephen cohen

    stephen cohen Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The Obsession with Babri Masjid has brought about this Schism between Hindus and Muslims

    AND above all led to the growth of BJP

    What was the need to be so OBSESSED with Babri Masjid

    Hindus were asking for ONLY ONE Historical Wrong to be corrected

    But Muslim Ego is too Big

    SO now they have to tolerate MODI
     
  10. seiko

    seiko VETERAN FULL MEMBER

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    The same can be asked back to you? why obsessed with Ram Mandir when Hinduism teaches god resides everywhere?

    Also Modi came to power not because of Ram Mandir but for his well promotional activities of development of Gujarat and people were fed up with the government.. If it was the case why BJP failed miserably in UP when they put love jihad as their political campaign..
     
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  11. nair

    nair Die hard Romeo Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    I think his point was some thing different... before babri demolition bjp had only 2 seats in LS....
     
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  12. Darth Marr

    Darth Marr Captain FULL MEMBER

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    The blame is on themselves to buy into the scare mongering of the political parties. Their religious ideology does not help either, as strict adherence to their ideology usually means being intolerant towards other religions.
     
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  13. stephen cohen

    stephen cohen Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    No ; Many Millions of Hindus do not agree with you

    Every body knows and agrees that Thousands of temples were demolished by Islamic kings

    But we want ONLY ONE place back

    BJP became a BIG party only because of This Muslim stubbornness

    Secondly Godhra Train incident Happened because BECAUSE of Ram Mandir

    Now When Modi realised that he had become infamous because of riots he focussed on development
    and hence Rest of India accepted him

    But Ram Mandir issue DID Not disappear

    And One thing led to another

    Babri Masjid demolition led to Terrorism AND that led to BJP's growth

    Congress Party started its Muslim Appeasement policies because Muslims blame Congress for Babri demolition

    This appeasement FURTHER led to BJP's growth and Today the Muslims have to see Modi

    But the ORIGIN of Hindu Muslim Divide in India started from this Obsession with Babri Masjid
     
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  14. T-123456

    T-123456 2nd Lieutant THINKER

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    What what what?
    I didnt know that you had ''Sharia Law'' in India,conservative clerics control family law?
    Do you have different laws for evey minority?
    So how was and is India secular?
     
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  15. Grevion

    Grevion Think Tank TROLL ELITE MEMBER

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    In India the exact definition of secularism is - 'the appeasement of minorities'.
    That's why the word we used to describe our seculars is 'sickulars'.
     
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