Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink, said some poet. Well, Muslims, Muslims, everywhere, not a drop of secularism, says Satiricus. Or is that just vapid versifying on this pen-pusher'spart? On second (and saner) thoughts, it does seem this Hindu ignoramus has missed the whole point about secularism?which is that Muslim and secular are interchangeable terms, as they mean exactly the same thing. He thought they are as different as chalk is from cheese, when actually the difference between the two is the same as between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Equipped with this enlightenment, Satiricus now rejoices that one progressive government has chalked out a regular plan for the progress of secularism in the country. Spelling it out in suitable officialese, Congress President Sonia Gandhi declared a couple of weeks ago that the forthcoming Eleventh Plan would ?identify areas of special inputs for the progress of Muslims, because the ?development level? of Muslims is ?a matter of concern?.
Well, now, Satiricus finds it hard to believe that after more than half a century as citizens of this secular swarga, Muslims should remain as underdeveloped as to cause concern. In all probability this must have happened due to the dastardly designs of those communal cusses called ?Hindus?. So, significantly and symbolically enough, Sonia said so while opening an ?India Islamic Cultural Centre? in the Capital.
Satiricus recalls that during a visit to a Muslim country as Prime Minister her husband (Rajiv Gandhi) had publicly said, India'shistory was a Muslim history. So in a way it would have been more fitting for this centre that Sonia opened to be named not India Islamic Culture Centre, but India'sIslamic Cultural Centre. The name apart, Satiricus takes it for granted that this centre would be devoted to the development of India'sIslamic culture into India'ssecular culture. Actually, recent developments show that this development is already taking place in many secular quarters, Congress and non-Congress, public and private, political and even economic. Look at a list for last one year. Mulayam, secularist par excellence, has proposed to fund and takeover the running of 11,000 madrasas in Uttar Pradesh. On the Indo-Nepal border there is such an ?exponential growth? in the number of thousands of madrasas that already exist, that it is came for concern, says the chief of the Border Security Force.
In Mumbai two new Islamic television channels have been started to propagate the ?true Islamic perspective? on current issues?as determined by madrasa-educated Deobandi Ulemas. In New Delhi, despite the Government saying Muslims (as well as Christians) cannot be included in the Scheduled Caste category, the All-India Muslim OBC Organisation has demanded that all backward Muslim communities be included in the OBC list for reservation.
In fact organisation after Muslim organisation has been joining the growing chorus for a share in the OBC quota. Imam Bukhari of Jama Masjid, Delhi, had led a delegation to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions for Muslims. Only a month later Maulana Madani, chief of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema met the PM with the same demand?and happily reported that the Prime Minister sounded ?positive?. A little earlier another prominent Muslim organisation, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, had met him to stress reservation, in addition to which other Muslim organisations like the Jamaat-e-Hind and All India Milli Council have put forth the same demand.
Back in Uttar Pradesh, the People'sDemocratic Front, the new conglomerate of Muslim leaders in the State, kicked off its election campaign with quotes from Quran lifted almost verbatim: ?Now there are only two political options in the State?one belonging to the Shaitan, which includes the SP and BSP, while the other belongs to Allah. Now turndown any benefit from the present government of Shaitan and vote for the rule of Allah.? PDF general secretary added: ?All Muslims should take oath and become 60 per cent in UP from their present population of 30 per cent.? Now, with all this politics so actively promoting secularism, how can economies lag behind!
So in Ahmedabad they are making the Sensex Shariat-positive. A Muslim stockbroker has founded an investment company that shows Muslims how to invest in shares without the guilt of having committed a sin.
And now as a sort of public support for this private enterprise, the Reserve Bank of India is itself thinking of going Islamic. For a committee headed by RBI Chief General Manager is ?studying the possibilities of instruments of Islamic banking.? That a Muslim professor has himself expressed doubts about how any type of banking can be Islamic only shows that his fellow-Muslims cannot bank on him and the Reserve Bank should have reservations about him.
And finally, an education foundation funded by the Government of India and headed by the Minority Affairs Ministry proposes to set up two universities on the lines of the Aligarh Muslim University, one in the North-East, and the other in the East, either in Bihar or in West Bengal,?at a cost of one thousand crore rupees. To round off this list, Satiricus may say that on other levels too secularism is developing in the country from top to bottom?from Kashmir at the top to Hyderabad in the bottom. In Jammu and Kashmir a Pakistan-based terrorist outfit is ordering women not to use cell phones and not to go to public parks, while in Hyderabad they are going to name a street after Ayatollah Khomeini, who used school-children as gun-fodder on the front in his war with another Muslim country.
So, Soniaji? Does secularism really need any further development?