Muslimizing India

Arshid Malik

 Barely five minutes after the Supreme Court of India had dismissed Yaqoob Memon’s final petition and had stuck with the verdict of “hanging him by the neck till death”, Yaqoob was woken up by prison guards. His first question to them was about the verdict. Two hours later he was dead.

“Hung by the neck till death”, and he was a Muslim. There was utter commotion the next day over the extraordinary hearing of the Supreme Court which took place in the dead of the night and the eventual execution of Yaqub Memon. The social media was pouring outrage over the “murder” of Memon while “astute” pieces about the fall of Indian Judiciary were carried by newspapers across the country. There were televised debates about the “ghettoization of Muslims” in India which had been deeply punctuated by the rejection of Memon’s mercy plea and his hanging thereof. It was not exactly the Indian Muslims who spate fire over the execution but the whole country was out there speaking up for Muslims. Quite considerable time has passed since Memon’s execution and India and its judiciary stand “cursed” by those who believe in deliverability but does this “curse” mean anything at all. Will the Indian judiciary change its stance on people who attack the very core of its “existence”? Will it start taking a softer stance on people who hurt the country or its interests? The qualitative answer is no. It is a matter of national security and why would the country and its legal system care to spare those who “attack it”, be it Muslims or Hindus. The argument however changes here. There are hundreds of instances where Hindus of the country have violated security and democratic protocols and they have been spared all along. I do not need to quote from recent history here for we can smell the rot almost everywhere. So is India biased towards Muslims of the country? Yes it is and it has every right to.

The very foundation of India, the sovereign, secular democratic republic, is Hindu Rashtra? Hinduism is at the core of all that India is about. It all started back when Muslim leaders from undivided India raised their voice and efforts for a separate state for Muslims of the country. Our leaders were more anguished over not having been allotted potential berths in the newly formed political system of the country than with the essential welfare of Muslims. What happened is a political reality which has been somehow altogether rejected by Muslims who stayed behind, or rather chose to stay behind in India hoping it would be counted in as “patriotism”. Why some Muslims chose to stay back in India did not actually carry weight for the political elite of the pre and post partition India. What mattered was that a separate state, a dominion, had been created for Muslims known by the name of Pakistan and it was not obscuring anyone’s vision. Therefore the most logical understanding of post-partition politics among the Indian political elite was and has been that Muslims “belong” to Pakistan but since the country, India, owes its origins to a secular, socialistic and democratic value system they decided to let Muslims stay over and gave them their rights. But at the base of all this, however secular the country could grow up to be, there is a deep sense of distrust and resentment inside India’s core towards Muslims and Muslims need to understand this as does the rest of India which cares to speak up for Muslims. In a nutshell, Muslimizing India sounds too ostentatious.


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