Intro: BJP-led Rajasthan government is the latest to face the Muslims resentment on introduction of Surya Namaskar in schools.
Muslim organisations are up in arms at the recent decision of the Rajasthan government to introduce Surya Namaskar in schools. In the recent past also Muslim clerics of Madhya Pradesh reacted against Shivraj government’s decision to introduce Surya Namaskar in schools. The three clerics of Bhopal had issued fatwa against Shivraj government’s decision to introduce Surya Namaskar on the ground that Islam does not allow Surya Namaskar in schools. The clerics Mohammad Abdul Kalam Kasmi, Raees Ahmed Khan Kasmi and Mufti Sayyed Babbar Hussain Nadvi and Sayyed Mushtaq Ali Naqvi termed the Surya Namaskar unholy.
Whenever the BJP-led governments have introduced Surya Namaskar in Schools, Muslims have been prompt in opposing it. The Muslims clerics have termed Surya Namaskar un-Islamic and idolatrous. BJP-led Rajasthan government is the latest to face the Muslims resentment on introduction of Surya Namaskar. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), in its meeting, asked the Rajasthan government to revert its decision as it was against Islam and encroachment on their religious freedom. Abdul Rahim Qureshi, General Secretary of AIMPLB, termed Surya Namaskar as un-Islamic by equating it with idol-worship prohibited in Islam.
The question that arises and must be asked from the Muslim clerics is that, have the Hindus ever asked Muslims to stop their Namaz? The Muslims deliberately accuse nationalist organisations-RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal being fanatic and fascist on the ground that Muslims are being forced to do Surya Namaskar.
Muslim clerics still live in the Mughal era and it’s for this reason that they continue to raise hue and cry and oppose anything and everything which is associated with Hindu sentiments and peaceful traditions. In Kanpur, Sunni Muslim clerics had posed six questions to RSS leader Indresh Kumar but the Sunni Muslims have never clarified their stand against the activities of Sunni dominated IS and al-Qaeda. Forget Clerics, even ordinary Muslims have not registered their strongest protests against IS for carrying out the genocide against the non-Muslims.
Muslim organisations have not only protested the Surya Namaskar but also the beef ban by the Maharashtra government. Those who oppose the ban argue that government or law can’t decide what they should eat. But people who oppose the beef ban forget that Muslim countries do not allow the consumption of Pork in their own countries as religious sentiments strongly forbid the sale or consumption of pork; Why not Indian Muslims accept the ban on sale and consumption of beef meat then.
In Delhi, Jamia Millia Islamia University mourned the lynching of an alleged Muslim Bangladeshi rapist by the Nagas. Jamia Millia Islamia held demonstrations to register their protests. But the same Jamia Islamia did not protest the killing of blogger Avijit Roy, a prominent voice against religious intolerance in Islam, by the fanatic and fascist forces of Islam in Bangladesh because this blogger happened to be a Hindu-atheist. In a recent interview, Aamir Khan supported freedom of speech and expression. He was defending his movie PK, which had run into a controversy. But we have never ever heard Aamir asking the Indian government to lift the ban on the satanic verses. Should the freedom of speech be limited to Aamir’s movies and not for reading anything which one likes to read?
Those who oppose nationalist government and cultural organisations which draw inspiration from our glorious past are undermining whatever is Indian and are dividing the social and cultural unity of the country. These divisive forces are carrying the same agenda that led to the division and creation of Pakistan. Just as Pakistan, even after 67 years India has not been able to come to terms with the growing stature of India in world affairs, similarly these divisive forces in India, have yet to come to terms that the rule of Arab invaders that ended long time back.
Manoj Sharma (The writer is a senior columnist)