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2002: Indian Muslim Statements
For Latest Indian Muslim Statements click here
Indian Muslim Statements during 2001 click here
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MUSLIMS INTELLECTUAL GROUP OF INDIA

Time to rethink

Pune, April 12, 2002
: The pot of communal violence fire continues to burn in Gujarat, with the single point agenda of the Hindu fundamentalists to keep it burning rather then let it simmer down. At the same time one is pained to read the irresponsible and unwise statements being made by some self-interest Muslim politicians. Instead of maintaining and observing restraint at an difficult and crucial time, these few insignificant Muslim politicians will only aggravate the situation and make life further more miserable for the Muslims, not only in Gujarat but in entire India.

Lately, the Maharshtra State Minorities Commission Chairman, M.A. Khandwani, slammed the Akola police in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and the state administration, in what he stated was their failure in handling the riot-rocked city. Well, it is easier said than done. The truth however is contrary to what Mr. Khandwani has stated. In fact, had not the district police chief of Akola Mr. Devan Bharti acted swiftly and taken drastic and timely action, the situation would have turned for worst and reactions could have erupted in all over the state. And after Gujarat, it could have been the turn of the Muslims in Maharasthra to face the music to the tunes of Hindu fundamentalists, particularly from the militant Shiv Sena.

Instead of appreciating the police and the state administration, Mr. Khandwani, a politician of course, was trying to fuel unnecessary fire, which was totally unwarranted at this stage. Maharashtra still upholds its image as the best administered state of India. The Maharashtra Police too maintains the reputation of being a no-nonsense and impartial police force in the country. One or two incidents of bias by few abnormal police officers, does not necessarily mean that the entire state police machinery is biased and is against the Muslims, not so at least in Maharashtra. History has proved that irrespective of change in state governments, police officers like S. Ramamurthy, Ranjeet Singh Sharma, K.K. Kashyap, M.N. Singh, Julio Reibero, Ajit Singh Samara and many others have acted tough against Hindu fundamentalists and others formenting trouble.

Mr. Khandwani, should first set and devote his energy for the problems facing the Muslim community, particularly his priority should be Gujarat, where violence continue unabated for more than a month.

How many Muslim politicians have visited the relief camps in Gujarat ? How many Muslim politicians made statements highlighting the plight of the Muslims in Gujarat ? What have they done to reach the people and the central government to generate funds for the rehabilitation of the riot affected Muslims ? How much relief material they have collected ? There are and there will be no answers to these questions either from Mr. Khandwani or others.

We totally agree with the observation of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan of the Islamic Centre of Delhi that Minority communalism is a result of incompetent leadership and he adds that pre-independence, Muslim politics was problem based; not it is opportunity based. Well said Maulana. To quote another intellectual Professor Imitaz Ahmed of the Jawaharlal Nehru University of Delhi, he says, that organizations like Muslim Personal Law Board and Babri Masjid Action Committee, exploit sentiments and speak on behalf of the entire community.

The we have people like Professor J.S. Bandukwala of M.S. University Baroda, a riot victim, and Syed Bhai of the Muslim Satyashodak Mandal, Pune, who dont want a Mosque at Ayodhya and say that the Muslim community should handover the site to Hindus. Professor Bandukwala stated on the Television networks during the riots that he is proud that his daughter will marry a Hindu, and the founder of the Muslim Satyashodak Mandal, Hamid Dalwai was cremated rather than buried as per his wishes. Where do we go from here on this community matters ?

There is now a wide spread opinion amongst the Muslims in India that the Ayodhya issue should be kept out of the preview of the fundamentalists and politicians from both the communities and that the issue should be left to be handled to the abilities of the intellectuals, but the billion dollar question is whether the politicians will ever allow this to happen ?

And then look how the Indian Muslims are even being ignored by their own people in the Islamic world. No one is worried about the fate of the Muslims here. Not the Arabs nore the 57 Muslim countries that are members of the Organization of Islamic Countries. The countries are only interested at the moment about the Palestinians and the few hundred Palestinians that are killed and wounded. None are interested in the thousands of mass killings of Muslims in India or the thousands that are severally wounded.

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia ordered urgent humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people and also ordered US$ 820,000 to be sent immediately to families of 155 Palestinians killed by Israelis. And, US$ 600 millions as aid to construct houses destroyed by Israelis. And not a single dollar aid to the thousands of Muslims that were killed or for construction of houses that were destroyed by Hindu fundamentalists in fire. Not even a word of sympathy.

There is a lesson for the Muslims of India to learn before it is too late. They have to wake up from their slumbers. They have to fight their own battle alone. That is the bottom line.

It is most unfortunate that while the Indian Muslims have received drubbing and bashing from its own community politicians, it has been the Hindu politicians so far who have been doing all the talking and fighting the Central and state government for the cause of the Muslims. What a shame.

In the final analysis, the call of the day is to shun the opportunist so-called Muslim leaders. It is time to unite and rally and contribute by all means and methods for the cause of the riot affected people in Gujarat. The Muslim politicians are better advised to refrain from making provocative statements that will harm the community.

Sd/- Shahid Raza Burney
Coordinator,
Muslims Intellectual Group of India, Pune
D/3, Amar Classic, Hadapsar, Pune - 411028 - Phone 020-6815678
email: editor303@hotmail.com
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