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Are We Alive?
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman

We have been criticizing every government for not doing any thing for Ayodhya case. We have been accusing every political party for the demolition of a historical mosque, that was being claimed to be close to the heart of 200 million strong Muslim population of the country.

Every so-called ‘leader’ of the Muslim community, (there is no need of naming names as it is obvious) has claimed credit for Babri cause without doing anything for the issue that has divided us and united the forces that are opposed to our very existence in the country. A leading Muslim leader claimed while talking to this writer that a senior journalist attached with a leading English daily once told him that had he been born in his community, the whole community would have washed his feet and drank that water. Claims apart, have we done anything?

Words and actions reflect the life and vigor of a community. Mere claims have done nothing but only damaged the community’s credibility in the eyes of our fellow countrymen. Everyone who has ever been attached to court cases where Muslims have been a party as a community like Meerut and Maliana riot cases or Babri case itself, has come to know where Muslims actually stand. They fail to respond to court summons and even if ever appear for the cases, they are always unprepared for the task they are facing.

Recently a leading Muslim lawyer in the Supreme Court told this correspondent that he is now tired of defending Muslim cases in courts, as they do nothing and leave everything on him. He did not appear for an important hearing of the Commission probing Babri Masjid demolition where he had to question a prominent Babri accused like Giri Raj Kishore. He looked tired and cheated by people of his own community.

We seem to be interested only in covering up our shortcomings and lack of action. We always hear announcements of new and newer committees on Babri Masjid but fail to see any action being taken by such committees. Recently we again heard that Muslim Personal Law Board has formed yet another committee on the incident when VHP leaders entered the makeshift structure on the site of Babri Masjid. They have done nothing so far. It was just months ago when these very leaders had announced another committee on Ayodhya. Would these people please stand up and inform the community what they have done for the last so many months on the issue.

It is more than three months when the temple troops led by Ashok Singhal and Giri Raj Kishore entered the makeshift structure breaking every law, but we remain just shouting from the top of our mouths that we will reconstruct the Masjid on the same place. Now the greatest optimist will be forced to say that the Muslim community will do nothing to get justice on an important issue like Babri Masjid. We have so far failed to file even a contempt of court case that could have been filed with least effort. The VHP leaders’ action makes a fitting case for contempt of court as Supreme Court has ordered that no person can enter that makeshift structure except the lone pujari who takes care of puja in that structure. A contempt case was later filed by a few Hindu brethren, represented again by a Hindu lawyer.

Even Muslim Personal Law Board, the so-called largest amalgam of Muslim organizations in the country, will not file any defamation case against the accused, despite having a whole legal cell on Babri. There are precedents that the Supreme Court has initiated contempt cases against Babri culprits. Kalyan Singh, a former UP chief minister was awarded one day imprisonment and fine for failing to fulfill his promise of saving the Babri Masjid in the court. It was a suo moto defamation case initiated by the apex court, but it is not always supposed to take suo moto actions whenever anyone defies its orders. We will have to stand and do it ourselves.

These are small things. There are some even bigger things that need to be taken care of as an alive community. The people who are demolishing our mosques and killing us in riots across the country are not sparing even their own people. The latest news of embracing Buddhism by thousands of Dalit Hindus gives enough indication of discontentment brewing in their own community. There were several leading Christian leaders present in the function organized for conversion. It is reported that Christian leaders were in touch with the organizers of the program ever since they made their program public. Did even a single leader from Muslims bother to approach these Dalit leaders just to empathize with them? It was a great opportunity lost to reach out to our downtrodden brethren of the country.

If we have to live as an alive community in the country, we will have to fight for our right place in the country and prove our worth. Merely complaining as has become our habit for the past fifty three years will do no good to us. It will help perpetuate our decline and drive us into abyss and oblivion.

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