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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

INTERVIEW: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
‘Muslim psychology is to blame others’ 

The current state of Muslims in India is not satisfactory be it economically, politically, educationally, socially and to judge this, eminent scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, talks to Md. Shahid Rafique

Tahir MahoodWhat is the current state of Muslims in India?
The present Muslims are passing through a transitional phase. For the last one hundred years, they have been living under the psychology of blaming others. But now, under the pressure of the present circumstances they have started living under the psychology to blame thyself. To my way of thinking, the unfavourable circumstances of the past served as a ‘shock treatment’ for them. The positive result of this shock treatment appears very heartening indeed. 

According to you, who is responsible for whatever state the Muslims are in today?
I think our incompetent leaders are responsible for all the loss and destruction suffered by the Muslims. These self-styled leaders didn’t encourage the Muslims to take any constructive course. Instead, they made emotional speeches that led them towards the path of clash and confrontation with the majority community. This has made the Muslims lag behind other nations. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan provides the only notable exception in this regard.

Are the Muslims really suffering?
What Muslims have undergone should not be called suffering. For what had happened, was but natural. The Industrial Age has resulted in an economic explosion. Like other communities, Muslims too have greatly benefited from it. As a result, the economic condition of the Muslims today is far better than it was in 1947. However, this betterment has not resulted from any wise planning on their part, rather this is mainly due to the changing conditions of the times.

What should the Muslim population in the country do to better their lot in the coming days?
The only thing the Muslims have to do in future is to totally change their mentality of making ‘protests and demands’. What they should do is abandon their negative way of thinking, adopt a positive way of thinking wholeheartedly, and pay full attention to the field of education and self-construction.

What do you think of the Muslim leadership?
The leadership of the Muslims for the last two hundred years had been totally incompetent .All these leaders were products of reaction , far from being the products of positive thinking. This is the reason why none of these leaders could make any positive contribution in the real sense.

What should the Muslims do to be in the mainstream in all respects educationally, politically, economically?
To my way of thinking, there is only one answer to it. And that is to inculcate a positive thinking among them. Positive thinking will invoke a national spirit, which will in turn encourage them to join the mainstream wholeheartedly.

Current role of government and what should they do in this respect?
The job of the government is administration; to provide the best infrastructure to the country. A government cannot do much for the upliftment of a community in the real sense. That is why, registering complaints or pinning hopes on the government in matters such as these is futile. Muslims will have to work for their construction themselves. 

Have you ever suffered in any way being a Muslim?
I have never experienced any suffering in this country on account of being a Muslim. I regard this complaint as baseless.
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