Muslim fundamentalists isolate and demonise moderate Muslims by fiercely attacking them for their liberal views. This is done to tighten their stranglehold over the Muslim community. Few, if any, Muslim leaders or organizations dare to come to the rescue of moderates because of the deep-rooted apprehension that they too would be targeted as paid agents of “Hindu communalists”. Further, “secularists” exaggerate non-issues to spread hatred for Hindu nationalists to create and accentuate fear psychosis among the minorities.
A terrorised Muslim community always fearful of a perceived threat from the majority, they believe, will help them create and perpetuate vote banks. Islamists and “secularists” are on the same page. They reinforce the siege mentality amongst Muslims for their petty partisan interests. A case in point is the totally unnecessary and manufactured controversy over the observations made by Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, the Proctor of the Deoband-based Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, who had to quit office within a fortnight of his taking over simply because he committed the “sin” of publicly admitting that minorities in Gujarat didn’t face any discrimination in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. Since demonising Modi is on the top of the Islamists and “secular-liberal” crowd’s agenda, the Maulana was bombarded with condemnation for “exonerating” Modi in the Gujarat riots-a thing the Maulana didn’t do in the first place. In fact, as a Muslim fed on the manufactured theory that Chief Minister Narendra Modi abetted bloodletting that followed the Godhra carnage in 2002 and presumably conscious of the price he would have to pay for committing the “sin” of appreciating Modi’s good governance, the Deoband Chief refrained from giving a clean chit to the Chief Minister. He had, on the other hand, asserted that riots in Gujarat were a blemish for India and all culprits should be punished. However, militant Islamists tagged on to the Deoband Chief’s sane advice to the Muslims that the issue was eight years old and the community should move forward. Urdu (read Muslim) Press was full of stories against the Maulana from the day he was elected to the prestigious office. They ran stories suggesting that Vastanvi defeated his rival in the election to the office of Proctor with “Gujarat money” and that he was an outsider not trained in Deobandi traditions – presumably Jehad.
All hell broke out over what the “secular-liberal” media projected as “arguably the most significant endorsement of Narendra Modi by the head of the conservative Muslim seminary”. Rabidly communal Muslim leaders and self-styled representatives of the community condemned the newly elected Proctor for praising Modi’s good governance – a fact recognised even by his worst critics and independent forums. The hate-mongers who are never tired of quoting Sachar Committee report on the status of Muslims conveniently forgot that the said committee had observed that on all social and economic parameters Muslims of Gujarat were ahead of their counterparts in other states, including Communist-ruled West Bengal and Congress-ruled Maharashtra. Mualana Mohammud Madani, President of the Jamait-e-Hind, the self-styled spokesperson of militant Islam Syed Ahmed Bhukhari of Delhi Jama Masjid and former Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission kamaal Farooqui vied with each other to train their guns on the Maulana. Under fire from the Islamists, the Deoband chief failed to take a principled stand against slander. He took a U-turn and thundered, “I will not forgive Narendra Modi, Allah will not forgive Modi and the common man will not forgive Modi”. The man who is running 100-odd “modern” madrasas in the state and had in his interview to The Times of India stated that he experienced no discrimination from the Government, lost his nerve. He went full blast against the Chief Minister saying, “We will take revenge on Modi. We will pray to Allah for this”. Discovering that eating his own words didn’t satisfy his detractors, Maulana tendered a public apology for hurting Muslim sentiments. Eventually, the Maulana announced that he would submit his resignation to the Shoora – the Supreme Governing Body – in its meeting in February. One no longer empathize with the Maulana for his discomfiture. He only deserves pity for his lack of guts and the courage of conviction.
Another disturbing trend is the increasing penetration of the Church in organs of the state. Intelligence agencies have gathered credible evidence about the Church funding and supporting Naxals and several other terrorist outfits operating in north-east. Yet nothing concrete has been done to check-mate the Church. Its penetration in the political and administrative wings is also well known. Questions are now being raised about the growing influence of the Church even in matters judicial. Perhaps for the first time in the judicial history of India, the apex court last week suo moto amended the reasons for sentencing Dara Singh to life imprisonment and expunged part of its verdict on conversions. The case pertains to the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons who were burnt to death while asleep in 1999. The Church launched a campaign against parts of the verdict delivered by a two-judge bench. Last week the Bench suo moto expunged parts of its own judgment. Instead of its earlier view that the crime was driven by passion to “teach” Staines a lesson for converting poor tribals to his religion, the Bench now says a lapse of 12 years was the reason for its agreeing with the Orissa High Court decision to award life sentence to Dara Singh. Further, the Bench deleted the paragraph that read thus: “It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone’s belief by way of use of force, provocation, conversion, incitement or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other”. This paragraph has been replaced with the following, “There is no justification for interfering in someone’s religious belief by any means”.
Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) that launched a campaign against the verdict has in a statement placed on record its deep appreciation for Chief Justice of India S.H.Kapadia and his brother judges for setting the record in “right perspective”. The CJI was not on the Bench that heard the case and expunged parts of its own verdict. It is, therefore, intriguing why the GCIC had expressed gratitude to the CJI. The question that is being asked in legal circles is that what, if any, role the CJI played in the expunction of certain parts of the judgment. There was nothing wrong in the original verdict that said there was no justification for conversions on the flawed premise that one religion is better than the other. Nor was there any justification for removing the para that said Dara Singh wanted to punish the missionary. After all, the convict had no personal grudge or dispute with the missionary. It is also well known that the length of a trial in a murder case is generally not considered a mitigating factor in the punishment for a capital offence. The sequence of events leaves one with the disturbing impression that the apex court replaced the two paras that the Church thought would hurt its mission of harvesting Indian souls. Another disturbing dimension is the role Sonia Gandhi might have played to help the Church.