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Published in the 16-30 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

REJOINDERS

Answer me!

The Milli Gazette Online 

Indian Muslim media has started crying itself hoarse over 'secularism' and 'human rights', now that Indian politics is being overwhelmed by right-wing Hindu nationalism. But can anyone tell me what exactly Islam or Muslims have contributed to the concept of secularism? Muslims only believe in their religion and are least interested in other faiths or religious beliefs. In fact, Muslims are always keen to demean other faiths. If you people are such great believers in secularism, why are you so vehemently against a uniform civil code?

As for human rights, how does Islam justify its humiliating treatment and subjugation of women? Aren't they humans? Even the idea of equality for men and women has all Islamic clerics howling that it is an attack on their religious freedoms. 

No women Imams, no family planning, no court Talaq, no lifting of ban on 'Satanic Verses', no grant of citizenship to Taslima Nasreen, no scrapping article 370 (specifically because the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir is affected).......
When the Imam of Jama Masjid had the temerity to insult Shabana Aazmi, none of you came out on the streets to teach him a lesson. Your admirable arguements about freedom of speech went 'mute' like a TV set when there were attacks on theatres showing 'Gadar'. The biggest secularist among you, Mr Maqbool Fida Hussain, who had bravely made some 'secular' paintings of Saraswati, quietly withdrew his film 'Meenaxi' from theatres when there was just a hint of trouble from 'secular' Islamic youth over some scene in it. All you 'secular' Muslims do not feel the need to denounce such fanatics. You pious worshippers of Allah are more concerned about American actions in Iraq...

Tell me the name of one Muslim organisation which has taken public pride in the achievements of APJ Abdul Kalam, Azim Premji, Aamir Khan, Shabana Aazmi, Salman Rushdie, Irfan Pathan, Sania Mirza or other Indian Muslims who have done the country proud? Or do you all believe that by representing India, a 'Qafir' nation, they have betrayed their faith?

I am a Hindu from India who was never a member of either RSS or BJP. I have never identified with their brand of politics. But I am sure my views would invite such allegations from your readers. 

I just hope you publish my letter and readers of the Milli Gazette find it important enough to comment upon.

Sanjeev Patwardhan
sanjeev_43_rr@yahoo.com

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