Sushma Pachpaur, Virag Pachpaur, Shehnaz Afzal and Mohammed Afzal (editors): Rashtriya Pariprekshya mein Bharatiya Muslim (Hindi), My Hindustan, 270 pp, Rs 150.00
This book has been written with the concerted efforts of various intellectuals to spread the message of brotherhood and prosperity, particularly regarding the nation'swelfare, patriotism, welfare of the society and equality of all religions among the people of India. This is the first attempt at bringing out a book that tries to convey that among the Muslims of India the fear of communalism has been inculcated by the so-called secularists and political leaders whose sole aim has been to win votes. Thus vote-bank politics have created unnecessary apprehensions among the minds of Hindus and Muslims as a result of which the Indian Muslim finds himself alienated from the rest of the Indian society.
This book is a compilation of views expressed over time on Muslim-related issues by social workers and intellectuals like Swami Ramtirth, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar apart from the founder of the Rashtirya Swayamsevak Sangh, Dr Hedgewar, and right till the present Sarsanghchalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan. These articles not only clarify their views but also remove the misconceptions spread by selfish political leaders in order to pamper their vested interests. By including views of Muslim leaders on volatile subjects like terrorism, reservation, secularism, peace, nationalism, ban on cow slaughter, etc. we get a glimpse of the issues agitating the Hindu mind and also the Muslim mind besides providing solutions to alleviate their mutual fears.
This book is divided into Hindi and English sections with Part I devoted to Hindi articles and Part II to English writings. S. Afzal and M. Afzal have clarified in the beginning itself that the Muslim society is today divided into four groups ? the Maulvis and Ulemas, the extremists, the peace-loving middle class and the unemployed and uneducated poor who constitutes the majority of the Muslim population. They say that it was the Western nations which showed Prophet Mohammed in poor light and who did give the sword to the Muslims but kept them away from the pen. ?When Mughal ruler Shahjahan was building the Taj Mahal, then England was busy establishing the Oxford University. The prime cause for the rise of British empire and decline of Mughal rule was that the sword which came in the hands of the Muslims during Mughal rule was snatched away by the British as a result of which the Muslims got drowned in the darkness of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy.?
This book reveals through various articles that the British worked on two fonts: to the Hindus they said that India was never a one nation but a conglomerate of various ethnic identities and that it was they who attempted to transform it into one nation; upon the Muslims they impressed that they were once the rulers of this vast land and its people from whom they ?inherited the Empire? and thus encouraged the Muslims to look upon themselves as the ruling class and the Hindus with contempt. It has been felt by many Muslims that intellectuals like Sir Sayyed Ahmed played a crucial role in widening the gap between the Muslims and Hindus, and the seeds for which were sown by the British.
A new picture is emerging among the Muslims ?who link up their future with the future of this country?. On the other hand, the image of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ?as a diehard, fundamentalist? organisation by the Press and politicians alike in their attempts to misguide the minorities are showing the inherent openness in its ideology of Hindutva. This book is expected to show the path to brotherhood and unity among the Hindus and Muslims, says the editor.
(My Hindustan, 670 Gali Nal Badan, Kashmere Gate, Delhi-110006.)