Satiricus is deeply distressed to see that sometimes even sterling secularists may have closed, communal minds. Look at what a certain well-known columnist recently wrote??The Darul Uloom in Deoband is jehad central. It inspired the barbarous Taliban to practise a version of Islam in which women could be stoned to death for learning to read, and its religious ideology inspired Osama bin Laden to believe that terrorism was some kind of grotesque holy war.?
The place ?looked as if a bit of Saudi Arabia had broken off and landed in Uttar Pradesh,? and the young men inside ?only spoke Arabic?. And this was the place, the otherwise very secular columnist wailed, that the Congress Party's?Crown Prince? used as his launch-pad for his election campaign in Uttar Pradesh. This is crass communal calumny, and it has provoked secular Satiricus to again rise in defence of righteous Rahulji. For starters, the comment quoted above is a malicious distortion of a magnificent truth, for it makes it appear as if the inspiration provided by Deoband to Taliban, Osama & Co. for their ?holy war? was ?grotesque?. This is grossly anti-secular and would surely invite the rigours of an anti-blasphemy law when (not if) India that is Bharat becomes India that is Dar-ul Islam via Darul Uloom.
That Darul Uloom is devoutly developing such an ?incredible India? need not be explained to any ?active? Congress leader worth his secular salt. Unfortunately, newspapering being an illiterate profession, as Shaw said (and ignorant as well, as Shaw forgot to say), Satiricus must point out that Darul Uloom'sadmirable contribution to the cause of ?holy jehad? has even been recognised in Pakistan, where not long back a dozen Islamic scholars came together to write a whole book learnedly explaining how the hardware of jehad was supported by the ?software? manufactured in Deoband.
That a software so intensely Islamic must need be Arabic in all ways goes without saying. So Satiricus says there is nothing strange in the place looking like a precious piece of Saudi Arabia. For instance, if the men manning the Darul can speak only Arabic what does that show? It only shows the linguistic lengths to which Darul's devotion and dedication go even to the Quranic quintessence of Islam. For Hadith No. 5751(Mishkat,Vol. 3) reports the Prophet as saying: ?Love the Arabs for three reasons?because (1) I am an Arab, (2) the Holy Koran is in Arabic, and (3) the tongue of the dwellers of Paradise shall also be Arabic.? Again, Ornaments XLIII, 1-4 says, ?by the clear book, behold, we have made it an Arabic Koran; haply you will understand.? So it is quite clear to secular Satiricus that when the Indian Muslims in Darul Uloom speak only Arabic without letting their Islam be sullied by knowledge of any Indian language (let alone communal Sankrit), they are just being more Arab than the Arabs.
Unfortunately and apparently the late Anwar Shaikh, internationally reputed scholar of Islam as well as Arabic, was not as sensible a secularist as Satiricus, for he wrote, when the Prophet says the Koran has been delivered in Arabic so that ?you? must understand it, ?the non-Arabs, especially the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Bangladeshis who have lost all sense of national honour owing to a long period of political humiliation, buttress their psychological degradation by pretending that in this sense ?you? means the Umma, that is, the international community of Muslims. The stark truth is that when this verse was ?revealed? there was no Umma but the Arab Muslims.
Satiricus is sure Rahulji would reject this wretched effort on the part of that exiled Pakistani to divide Arabs and Indians. At the same time Satiricus is sadly aware that despite the determination of Darul Uloom India is still short of a Dar-ul Islam, as can be seen from the fact that Indian Hindus can still pray and worship their own gods in their own temples and even at home. In this respect the Arabs have recently provided Indians an admirable lead. For the other day the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat reported that the Saudi Arab police recently caught some Hindus conducting a prayer inside a home. The police immediately stopped this abominable anti-Islamic activity and drove the Hindus away. See? This signal step in the service of secularism is yet to be taken in India.
But of course it is not seemly for Satiricus to be so overly eager, no? He must trust the crown prince of the secular dynasty to take active steps to correct the sorry situation. For what is an active Congress leader for, if not for preventing the demolition of the crumbling edifice of Indian secularism? So, it was very much in the fitness of things that he put an Islamic skull cap on his head and launched his party'selection campaign by declaring in so many words that the Congress party is not secular, only the Nehru-Gandhi family is. That being so, it is obviously for the family to actively fight the secular battle on all fronts.
For instance, the irritant that is the Supreme Court needs to be firmly handled. It may even need the Shah Bano type surgery. What else can cure it of its childish churlishness in directing that the quota bill for reservation for Dalit Muslim, Dalit Christians et al on the basis of a census that is 75 years old cannot be a determining factor. This is ridiculous. For if the disputed structure of hundreds of years ago could be converted into a living symbol for the Congress-led UPA'ssecularism, why can'ta census of less than a hundred years be useful for the Doctrine of Dalitism? The height (or depth) of it all was that the Supreme Court cited a US case to caution against quotas.
Oh, my! Globalisation against the grocer is okay, even welcome, but do we secularists want globalisation of justice for communalists posing as Hindus?
(The writer can be contacted at D-402, Veena Sargam, Sector No. 11, Mahavir Nagar, Near Osho Hotel Dahanukar Wadi, Kandivali (West), Mumbai-400 067.)