Issues

An Open Letter to Every Indian

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By Dr. Javed Akhtar

What is more necessary: mental or physical happiness in life?. In my opinion, a majority of people will opt for the first choice which, unfortunately, is rapidly declining. The desire for physical pleasure is increasing by every passing day and this is visible in the shape of two, three or even four mobile phones dangling in many people’s pockets. Many cars are parked on lawns and streets, people own more than one flat but are such people happier today as compared to their earlier life some thirty or forty years ago? If somebody says, yes, he is the greatest lier.

A disease has inflicted such people’s minds which makes them yearn for making huge earning in shortest of time. This disease has become an epidemic.

As a result, both forms of happiness, mental and physical are disappearing fast though it may be said that mental happiness has totally disappeared from our lives.

It is obvious that to grab more money, one has to take political shelter as someone said that that politics is the best tool to become rich in shortest time. There are so many scams amounting to ill-gotten money to the tune of thousands of crores.

The situation in terms of belief in God, communal harmony and peaceful co-existence is going from bad to worse.

The worst condition is that of the second biggest majority, commonly known as “minority” which for the last 65 years after independence has been only counting the declining numbers of Muslim MPs and MLAs. At the time of every election they count how many Muslims are given tickets by this or that party but these naïve people are unable to calculate what difference does it make. Certainly, not any. If a winning candidate is sure of getting the ticket for a second time, its enough in his eyes. There are many examples but we leave them for lack of space. I do not remember if any MP or MLA had resigned at the time of Babri Masjid demolition or at the time of opening of the Israeli Embassy in Delhi.

Muslim leaders, Muslim officers in Police or other agencies become a source of misery and misfortune for Muslims. When I met a very senior Muslim leader of the ruling party at the Centre after the Batla House encounter and  expressed to him my concern as to how one of the deceased, Chota Sajid, had received all the shots on top of his head, whether this was done by a helicopter or from a hole in ceiling on top of that floor or by a robotic gun, or by a laser-guided bullet which can change the angular direction as desired?... After a while, this Muslim leader replied that during the encounter this boy was lying flat on the ground with his eyes closed and was pointing his skull towards the police party and firing. I was surprised by this answer but it suddenly dawned on me that I was talking to a loyal Muslim minister. Later, when I met a senior person of the same ministry and asked the same question, the man was intelligent enough to keep quiet with a sarcastic smile on his face.

This cringing policy of Muslim ministers and officers is an additional misery for the Muslim community. This might anger some people but kindly incorporate your heart with your mind to consider what I have said.

Muslim youth interested in modern education are harassed. They are “terror masterminds”. They are arrested on fake grounds on the basis of mobile numbers. All his Muslim friends become suspect and placed under strong surveillance but his Hindu friends, whose mobile numbers are also saved in his phone are lucky as they will never be enquired about or interrogated. The arrested youth will be accused of keeping Jihad literature, of keeping books about Osama ben Laden that he was surfing certain websites, that he was having the cell number of such and such person in his diary. Judgment is pronounced by the media from day one, stories are concocted and the whole situation is falcified. After arrest, such youth are incarcerated in various jails across various states.

Justice delayed is justice denied is found only on paper these days. Somebody like Himayat Baig is convicted. He was fortunate enough to appeal in the higher court and he was fortunate enough to purchase some time before being hanged.

Media and agencies which were very sure about his photograph in the CCTV footage now say the man in the video is a different person. It is said that he has confessed and that he can recognise the place where the blast took place.

Isn’t it a fact that the accused had “confessed”, be it the accused in  Makkah Masjid, Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif or Samjhauta Express. And all had recognised the sites of the blasts. I have a personal experience of a false FIR against me.

On the top is the diversity of top Muslim leaders. I am talking about those who claim that they are not directly attached with politics but after getting a suitable position everything is fine in their eyes.

 Finally, I want to clarify that I have a lot of respect for courts because judiciary still remains the best institution in our country.
I am addressing this to all Indians, not to “Hindus” or “Muslims”. Hindus are our brothers. Many of them are fighting for our cause and there are innumerable Hindu friends whom I like and love. Therefore, let no one try to muddy my statement with unfounded claims. This will frustrate the whole purpose of my writing.

Therefore, I make a strong appeal on behalf of WMELA to have a broader dialogue between sensible people of various communities to try to rectify the whole situation in order to create a conducive atmosphere for every citizen of India to ensure peace and harmony which are needed for the country’s progress. We must avoid maligning religions and communities. I do not have any readymade method and mechanism. Let us put our heads together to chart a new course.

We have made enough progress in terms of education and material well-being but we are miles away from the required peace and tranquillity.

I invite all to come forward to consider all bad things in totality without attaching a religious, caste or creed tag on it.

Times is running out. If we fail in this duty we will be creating a generation which will not have any relationship with humanity and will not be afraid of Police, Law or courts frustrating our dreams to become a world super-power. If we fail to take note now, soon we will have to deploy a policeman for every person which is neither possible nor viable. Anarchy will rule the roost.

Jinhen naaz hai hind per wo kahan hain?

The writer is president of the Azamgarh-based Association for Welfare Medical, Educational & Legal Assistance (AMWELA). He may be contacted on 09415839506 / amwela09@yahoo.in.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2013 on page no. 2

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