England allowed large number of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and some Blacks from its former colonies as immigrants. It always had a very soft corner for the Muslims from the Indian sub-continent so areas in many cities are predominantly Muslims. England also allows Imams from Saudi Arabia to service to these Muslim immigrants. Now Muslims 1.8 million just are 3.5 per cent of UK'spopulation. There are several Muslim organisations asserting their separate cultural identity invoking the traditional democratic and tolerant values of UK. But the London Metro bombings by the home-bred Muslims and the August 9, 2006 terrific conspiracy to blow up air-lines from the UK to America in mid-air, are forcing UK'spolitical parties and government to assess the nature of Islam in general and Muslims in the UK in particular.
British Communities Secretary, Ms Ruth Kelly initiated a lively debate on whether excessive emphasis on multi-culturalism has contributed to Muslim separatism in UK. We, in India, have, no doubt, that it is the perverse interpretation of ?unity in diversity? and cultural and religious freedom etc., in the name of secularism that has been strengthening Muslim separatism and now Christian separatism and the onslaught of both these minorities on Hindus and refusal of Muslims like in the pre-Partition Muslim League days to sing the National Song Vande Mataram. Ms Ruth Kelly observed, ?We must not be censored by political correctness and we cannot tiptoe around the issues??.our ideas and policies should not be based on special treatment for minority ethnic faith communities. That would only exacerbate division rather than help build cohesion?.
In India ?minorities? (Muslims so far but now Christians also) have been demanding special treatment and secularists have been granting as for: Minority Commission, Minority Ministry, Minority Educational Institutions, Minority Finance Corporations, subsidies for Muslim pilgrimage, Haj to Mecca, no tax on church'sprivate enterprises in their properties and now, no foreign policy which would displease Muslims. In the UK, Muslim organisations have explained the Muslim terrorism to be due to the UK joining the USA in the war on terrorism and its actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and UK'sopposition to Iran becoming a nuclear weapons power. Muslims in UK are demanding that the foreign policy of UK should not be what its 98 per cent Christian citizens want but what the 3.5 per cent Muslims dictate. We have been having an exact parallel in India to what UK is being demanded by Muslim residents there.
Faced with increasing militancy and justification of Muslim terrorism in the UK, a survey showed that 53 per cent of Briton'sbelieve that their county faces a Muslim problem and an increasing number of people are beginning to fear Islam as also it followers. The same survey revealed that a large proportion of British Muslims feel no sense of loyalty to England and are prepared to condone or even carry out acts of terrorism. The true but not publicly aired opinion of the over 80 per cent Hindu population in regard to the Muslims in India, cannot be different from what the 96.5 per cent non-Muslim Britons feel about the Muslims among them. However, unlike in England where now at least, politicians openly discuss the Muslim question as a threat to UK'ssecurity, integrity and social cohesion, in India the strident voices especially in print and electronic media are justifying the Muslims? attitude and hold that to be reaction to Hindu fundamentalist trying to marginalise the minority. This is total travesty of the truth.
Before 1947, Muslims in India repudiated their former position of calling themselves a minority and asserted that they are a separate nation. They achieved the Partition of India to carve out Muslim state but they did not go away to the State, Pakistan of their creation. They stayed here and because we in secular India have joint electorates and as the national parties, became weaker and weaker and even a 5 per cent block-vote could mean success or defeat of a candidate and since Muslims vote as a block, there is competitions to please and appease the Muslims. And every party is singing about the minority'spoverty, minority backwardness, minority need for special treatment, minority rights for whatever they claim and so on. England was priding in the greatness of its democratic values, its open society and liberalism. It was prone to blame Hindus rather than the Muslims in India for the communal problem. But now that they are having a taste of what Islam and Muslims means, they are realising the folly of appeasement. Unfortunately, in India because of competition for votes and the decline of patriotism and the valueless education for two-generations of people under Nehruvian socialism and secularism which denigrated Hinduism and ideas of Bharat and dharma, most people are led to believe what the Marxist(and missionary) captured print and electronic media are writing and showering up as Hindu communalism. England may be able to correct its mistakes and a deal up the with Islamist Muslims in that country as traitors, splitters and terrorists deserve to be. But in India under the UPA government, every disintegrating force, which the minority and Marxists are, is having a field day. Most Hindus are now terrorised into silence. The well-to-do among them have given up hope of their freedom and prosperity and are sending their children to the US. The ignorant and the ill-informed are falling prey to the bogus formulations of secularism, freedom too profess, practice and propagate alien religions and so on. Our only hope will be if the US, UK and Russia and other European powers that are threatened by Islamic terrorism do act in concert and defang the jehadi fanatics engaged in global war against kafirs and hordes of Christian missionary enterprises acting militantly to gain converts as they are urged by the Pope and others.
(The author can be contacted at 8, P&T Colony, Karkhana, Secunderabad-500 009.)