Opinions

India: Muslims are unsafe under BJP rule

All along I’d been hearing of the destroying powers of the RSS-BJP, but didn’t quite realize the extent they could go to, to cause divisions in the Muslim community. Inflict all possible damage on a community which is anyway going through crisis times. Yes, today the Muslims of the country are battling on every possible front. Their very survival is getting tougher day by day, their very identity is at stake.

It wouldn’t be amiss to point out that ever since the Right-Wing government came centre-stage, it seems focusing on the very destruction of the Muslim community in every possible way.

First they tried to kill and hound a large percentage of Muslims during riots and clashes, made to take place or ‘manufactured’ in Muslim-dominated pockets; where the Hindutva brigades looted their properties and hounded entire families. The cops were either a party to the looting or stood like mute spectators.

Then they tried to break very backbone of the Muslim community by coming in way of their livelihoods – after all, the lynching of Muslims by gau rakshaks on the beef-alibi and the sealing of slaughter houses was nothing short of sabotaging livelihoods of many Muslims in the meat trade. Mind you, till date the Hindutva killers are not arrested… free to go roaming around to lynch many more Muslims.

Then, came the whole issue of triple talaq and the sudden ‘concern’ for their Muslim sisters! This issue of triple talaq was played up to such an extent on all possible screens, big and small, that silly discussions on talaq-talaq-talaq held sway for hours! All efforts and all possible thrust by the Right Wing rulers of the day to portray Muslims as a barbaric lot who need to be settled! Mind you, all this propaganda against the Muslim community has a certain pattern to it, with a certain agenda to destroy their very identity.

I’m once again emphasising that triple-talaq is absolutely un-Islamic. It’s one of those social ills that have crept in, more along the strain of other social ills like dowry deaths or the hounding of Hindu widows in Vrindavan or Varanasi … And regarding all the hype to Shah Bano’s case, let me quote Danial Latifi on the crucial ‘why’ he had decided to take up the controversial Shah Bano case. I’m quoting him from an earlier published interview he gave me: "I found Shah Bano to be an over smart woman who took full mileage out of the case. Why I took up her case? It was not as though I who opted to fight for her…I was simply watching the proceedings of this case with a whole galaxy of lawyers, including the then chief justice of India, Justice Chandrachud. It was then, whilst her case was being argued by a junior lawyer, that the chief justice intervened and asked me, why don’t you, as a senior lawyer, fight for her. So I had no choice but to fight for her." Latifi had made it very clear that Shah Bano had got her due maintenance on the basis and "strength of Quran's provisions." As he'd detailed to me, "First of all, despite the contrary belief, marriage is a very serious business in Islam. Coming to the chapter on talaq, it is this chapter that lays down all the details including the procedure for talaq and the importance given to the arbitration aspect and, of course, the maintenance aspect. The fact is that triple talaq is un-Quranic . In fact, one particular line from the Quran - wa lil mutallaqati mata’un bil ma’roof; haqqan ‘alal mutaqqin (unto the divorced woman, a provision that is reasonable, is obligatory, an obligation for the righteous) - is enough to provide her status and a decent maintenance. And whilst fighting for the Shah Bano case I quoted this line and the minute I showed this line to the chief justice he said that line was enough to get her due, her maintenance. So Shah Bano got her due maintenance on the strength of Quran's provisions."

THE REAL AND ACTUAL ISSUES CONFRONTING THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY

If the BJP-RSS would have been even genuine in their concern for the Muslim men and women, there’d be no rioting and there’d be no rapes of Muslim women during the rioting. Each time a riot is ‘made’ to occur, the worst affected is the minority community, definitely the women and children. Each rioting and pogrom carries offshoots of various hues - the aftermath of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 has been so severe that till date Muslims of Gujarat are too petrified to speak out against the Right-Wing’s top brass who were behind that pogrom.

Also, why are more and more young Muslim men going ‘missing’ or getting detained by the security agencies or languishing in jails of the country? During my travels I’d come across many Muslim families who’d recounted horrifying experiences of cops picking up their sons …detaining them for questioning and the aftermath that followed. Several of these families could not even afford legal remedies.

Why is my identity getting dented day after day! Why shouldn’t I have the confidence to say that, yes, I’m a practising Muslim and love to hear the Azaan and to say the namaaz and to recite Urdu or Persian or Arabic verse! Why are all those notions and myths heaped on the madrasas which teach and reach to thousands of children?

Each single day, there is dent on my form or psyche. Be it Uttar Pradesh government’s cancellation of holidays marked for Milad-un-Nabi (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday) and for the Jum’at-ul-Wida (last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan) or the very tags thrown at madrasas. Why did Yogi Adityanath’s government cancel these holidays?

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Today its become fashionable to blast Islam and its followers. Myths and a whole bunch of misconceptions are in circulation; in fact, made to circulate to paint the Muslim community in all those dark shades.

I have nil expectations from this Right-Wing government of the day to settle any of these wrongs against a hapless minority community. Several of the BJP’s men and women have openly abused Muslims and even their faith, yet no action was taken against them! They sit smugly in the corridors of power, though they ought to have been jailed for their gutter language and divisive tactics.

Even the National Commission for Minorities is headed by the former national general secretary of BJP Minority Morcha, Ghayrul Hasan Rizvi. He is the current  chairman of the NCM. Also, two of the four panel members of the NCM are affiliated to the BJP: Sunil Sanghi was convener of Anya Bhasha Bhashi Cell of Gujarat BJP, while George Kurian is vice-president of Kerala BJP.

What good is this commission for the Muslims and also for the other minority communities of this country? The majority of its members were seemingly handpicked by the BJP-RSS. I would call these gimmicks as nothing short of hoodwinking the hapless who are at the mercy of communal politicians hell bent on implementing the set RSS agenda. That is to dent the very identity of the Muslims of the country if not reduce them towards a nothingness of sorts …

Even this latest so called triple-talaq move of showing ‘concern’ for the Muslim ‘sisters’ by the former pracharacks and maha-pracharacks turned political rulers of the country, seems nothing short of a well-planned strategy to cause rifts and divides and friction within the Muslims families!

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