Elegy of Ummat-e Marhooma
Reproduced below is a letter from Syed Shahabuddin, Editor of Muslim India. It speaks volumes about the state of our community today. We speak, rather scream, a lot but when it comes to action, to spend an hour or a rupee, we are seen nowhere. We spend tens of lakhs on marriages and walima ceremonies, buy or build houses worth tens of lakhs or even crores, send our children for education in most expensive schools and colleges, get medical attention in best medical facilities where even simple procedures cost a lakh or two… Yet we find it too much to donate even ten or twenty rupees for a milli cause or to buy a magazine striving to speak for us, the community.
Muslim India made and recorded history. It would still be around if it had only ten thousand paid subscriptions. But for all the name and fame of the magazine and its illustrious editor, it perhaps never had more than a thousand paying subscribers while it could easily have a million subscribers in a community of 160 million Muslims. The same applies to all our community initiatives. Look at the state of mosques, madrasas and even community-run schools, orphanages, charitable clinics… They speak volumes about an uncaring community.
These are not the traits of a living, conscious and responsible group. We keep breast-beating that the mainstream media ignores or even distorts our news but when attempts are made from within the community to address this problem, no support is seen or felt for such ventures. This is the fate of all our English-language publications including this newspaper (MG).
Let our community realise that if we have a media problem, it can be addressed only by sons of the community as shown by our brothers in Kerala. Other papers and media have either no interest in our affairs or have an agenda to distort our news and issues in order to marginalise our existence and stifle our voice about the country’s policies and issues. If we do not realise this fact, our publications will keep disappearing and soon there will be no one ready to take a chance to speak for us.