With full backing of pseudo-secular politicians and many in westward looking media, Islamists began cocking a snook at law agencies to test how far they can stretch democracy and rule of law
Malda is a symptom, not the problem. It is near culmination of a huge problem lurking over us flowing from the so-called ‘secular’ narrative that was aptly called ‘psuedo-secular’ by BJP’s senior leader Lal Krishna Advani. Culmination could see another round of exodus of Hindus – first small business people followed by common village folks on hand-to-mouth existence in areas like Malda. Resulting in creation of Muslim dominated Islamist areas that would be geographically Bharateeya but stand-alone Islamic republics living off taxpayers money under benign eyes of politicians of the likes of Mamta Banerjee and Lalu Prasad etc.
There are sober voices within BJP and Left who point out that Malda is a border district of Bangladesh and hub of smuggling, poppy and that Malda is engineered by these elements abetted by highly opportunist TMC politics. There is definitely a grain of truth in this. But, this is partial truth. Can one imagine such an anti-national criminal lobby mobilising and inciting 1.5 lac odd people in a town of hardly 2.5-3 lac anywhere else in Bharat? What drives such crowds in Purnia and now in Jehanabad. Not criminals and smugglers surely.
If you widen your view you find similar incidents taking place in UK and Europe. There have been more and more viciously articulated demands for Shariat in UK. I read today that Muslims are taking out marches to demand separate state in Norway. We have seen this segregation and violence around ghettos in Belgium with such areas being openly referred as ‘Belgistan’. France, much fear, is going to succumb to such forces through exploitation of democracy and rule of law in coming years, though they are putting up a belated fight now. I am not referring to incidents of molestations during New Year celebrations in different parts of Europe.
Global liberal-secular lobby tried to close its eyes to this emerging scenario till 9/11. Then on, it tried to put onus on society and government to end ‘isolation’ of minorities and ‘Islamophobia’, rather than addressing the core cause—abetment of ‘persecution’ complex and a misplaced belief of proponents of a fascist philosophy that believes in annihilation/defeat of all faiths and overpowering the world with the ‘final word’ by any means.
What is it that makes some Muslims believe in persecution by every non-Muslim majority country they stay in? Are Muslim clerics such wonderfully gifted orators? Or is it sustained partial interpretation of Quran that makes them believe firmly in Darul-Islam? Why are reformists Muslims unable to convey a better interpretation of Quran, Hadis and Shariah to these gullible masses?
If we leave aside wider scenario and look at Bharat, our political system since Khilafat movement rewarded obscurantist Muslim Leaders at the cost of progressive Muslim leaders. The violent Moplah action in Kerala didn’t open eyes of the Congress. Partition of the nation didn’t halt this thought. Nehru’s self-congratulatory brand of Secularism perpetrated this idea. Indira Gandhi strengthened this stream of thought further. Then on, Muslims became only a vote bank to be remembered only before elections, given cheap religious hand-outs rather than way out of their
Muslims living under benign Marixst rule for thirty years never progressed economically or socially as many reliable studies found out. They latched on to TMC that has gone beyond the standard secular template and encouraged even more obscurantist elements like Salaries to Muezzins from taxpayers money. Muslims clerics are now emboldened with grand self-image of arbitrators of Islamic faith due to undue importance given to them.
Progressive and moderate Muslims slowly lost their importance from the time of Maulana Azad. Any one daring to take courage and talk against this orthodoxy was stamped as traitor, sitting in laps of Hindus. Now, they are simply ridiculed as ‘Sanghis, just as Maulana Azad was labelled a show piece’.
Many people thought that election of Narendra Modi on development plank and rejection of ‘secular’ political forces would put these groups on defensive and make them see reason. But, alas it was ill-founded. Fear of irrelevance has made them more vicious. Hence, attacks on Modi, BJP and RSS in search of easily exploitable vote bank.
Fear of loss of 6 decades or privileged living off tax payers money has made self-congratulatory network of left-secular intellectuals to come out in hoards against the present government. They haven’t had grace even to accept an elected PM as Bharat’s PM. With full backing of pseudo-secular politicians and many in westward looking media, Islamists began cocking a snook at law agencies to test how far they can stretch democracy and rule of law. New ideas were invented to defame Hindus and create a fear psychosis in minorities. But, it didn’t stop there.
To digress a little, Kashmir was a logical culmination of Hindus turning into minority being thrown out of their homes. It was classic demonstration of testing ‘laboratory secularism’ on field. Whole of Bharateeya sub-continent is proof of this thesis.
After this, one can see a pattern in testing waters against strength of rule of law. It is not a coincidence that most of violent incidents took place in Congress or other pseudo-secular parties ruled states. Mischief mongers knew that they could get away with violence with conniving nod of rulers. This model was tested in Hyderabad (trying to block renovation of Bhagyalaxmi temple adjacent to Charminar), Mumbai (Raza Academy led riots against police), Kerala (joint demand in assembly for release of famed terrorist Madani, killing of RSS volunteers, ban on midday meals during Ramadan, refusal to unveil statue of famed Malayalee poet in Mallapuram), followed by Karnataka (killing of RSS volunteers, violence against protestors of Tipu Sultan jayanti), Malda, Purnia and now Jehanabad. Bowing to extremists by Left in case of Taslima Nasreen is old hat now. If not within Bharat, causes can be imported from abroad.
Bharat is not the first to see this urge to dominate a society once population of Muslims crosses 20-25% in a region. We have seen this in Africa, and now in Europe etc. It is a demonstration to the ‘liberal’ ‘secular’ parties about their vote bank prowess.
These self-proclaimed leaders of Muslim community, abetted by pseudo-secular politicians keep poor Muslims under their thumb who fear ostracisation within community under pressure from Muslim clerics, further relegating the reformist voices.
Unless our democracy rejects such extreme elements, there is no chance for Bharat to survive as a secular country. Secularism is guaranteed by Hindu culture with respect for all religions since eons even before this word was inserted in 1976 in the Constitution. People must reject such pseudo-secular forces and embrace moderate elements within minorities as their own and support them. Only then can we overcome this looming catastrophe.
There is still time. I hope good people will rise and stop this macabre game of appeasement at the cost of nation’s unity. This ‘communalising’ and ‘polarising’ games are being played to discredit agenda of development that attracted youth irrespective of caste or creed to Narendra Modi. One cannot keep mum for the fear that development agenda is being hijacked.
Ratan Sharda (The writer is senior columnist)