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TAKING STOCK
MINORITIES IN WONDERLAND

By Rizwan ullah

The mad media always needs a fad. The latest one is the funny pun about wooing one of the proclaimed minorities in this country of social diversities and abounding wonders wonders from the rope tricks to the Taj Mahal, a lone heavyweight lady representing a billion of her countrymen at the Sydney Olympics, a jungle goon holding state governments to ransom and an ex-prime minister convicted in a bribery case while a few others belonging to his tribes sticking to ministerial posts in spite of their being accused of involvement in criminal acts. In the midst of all these wonders is it not surprising that the law of the land takes its course though slowly but certainly and could not be stalled even by a declaration of national emergency? Then it should not be surprising if in the case of the demolition of a Masjid the law of the land and the law of retribution take their courses to lead to the logical conclusion sooner or later.

Is it not surprising that in this wonderland a majority of 85 percent people have been made to believe that a mere 13 percent minority will one day devour or drown them? Is it fool hardly or sheer cowardice? Anyway, it amounts to bluffing ones own people and generating a hysteric psychosis in them, which is already manifesting itself in demolishing and destroying the unprotected shrines and places of worship. Another, more dangerous with far reaching effects, manifestation is the propping up of armed groups in the midst of the civilized society. Whatever be the job presently assigned to them the uncontrolled armed bands will certainly recoil upon their creators or perpetrators in the long run; by that time the present organizers would have completed their stint on this earth just like those whose brains mothered the Frankensteinian ideology and left, but the real harm to their progeny and the society as a whole would have been made.

Coming back to the latest fad, it is surprising that some political leaders are so ignorant of the fact that the right to vote and the use of that right according to ones free will is constitutionally guaranteed, it is neither an act of charity by someone nor a matter of generosity. It may also be reminded for the benefit of all concerned that political parties with the support of about a quarter of voters have been forming governments and this situation is not likely to change substantially in foreseeable future. This fact of political life calls for a balanced approach to all problems confronting the country and the people and problems that arise from time to time, variant perceptions in this regard will in all probability be fallacious.

As for the expectations of Muslims it may be plainly stated that they want only social justice and fair-play in all matters affecting them as citizens of the country and sons of the soil who prostrate five times a day and touch the dust of the land with their foreheads unmatched by any claimant of the faithfulness to the land. After all how can the faith of a person affect his patriotic feelings adversely? China must have much larger number of Buddhists than the population of Muslims in India. Does their belief in Buddhism make them less faithful to China than those believing in other faiths originating in that country? Are they siding with India on any issue that affects Chinese interests as perceived by that country? Are the Buddhist Sinhalis of Sri Lanka more friendly towards the Tamilians of Tamil Nadu on the grounds that the latter belong to the country of origin of the former's faith, that is India?

Once I met a Keralite who was holding a very high position in U.S. administration. He said: I love and like the country of my origin, but I am a loyal citizen of the United States. No one can say that he was a traitor to his country as he made that declaration. Again what would be our opinion about a large number of Indians settled overseas? However love they may be entertaining for India they will never do any thing that harms the interests of their adopted homeland. On the other hand India can not leave its doors wide open for all Indians living elsewhere on the grounds of their belief in a religion of Indian origin.

One may question the patriotism of those Indians on whose education a huge amount of this poor country was spent and then they sought their future overseas. The offspring of the rich have consumed all the money and limited resources to the deprivation of the sons and daughters of the poor who could not afford higher education for their children and after that they flew in search of greener pastures. One may be right in concluding that such persons are not faithful to their motherland and they are fugitives from the society that save its blood to enable them to fly.

In fact it is lamentable ignorance of the society that believes in the leadership of some narrow-minded people who glorify those fugitives as patriots and loyal to the country of their origin and at the same time degrade and spread hatred against those who are still toiling to generate more blood for producing more NRIs, the respectable citizens of India abroad. To say the least, it is the persistence of the past slave mentality. But a day must come when the poor stand up and ask the rich: how and why our funds were vandalized? It may sound like a fairy dream today but there are sure signs to indicate the direction of the events to come: one, growing consciousness among the backward classes about their deprivations and it causes and two, bold decisions of the law courts. These two courses are going to converge someday somewhere on this land. That will be the day of deliverance for all deprived people including the Muslims of the wonderland.
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