We are guided and dictated more by religion than anything else in the world. Marx called religion ‘the opium of the masses’. Religion prescribes to us how to live life and what to do and what not to do in our earthly life. It is a world view which tries to answer the fundamental questions of life and its purposes, and also the relationship of an individual with other co-religious individuals per se as well as the relationship of an individual inter se with an individual of other religion. As per one study, we are shaped more by religion than by education.
Fundamental Islamist is a religious wave which aims and works to impose the tenets of Islam over the whole world, i.e. Islamization of the world. In India, the purpose of this fundamentalism is the Islamization of India, i.e. to change the Indian secularism of Jai-Hind to Ghajwa Ai-Hind. Interestingly, Muslims have a sizeable population in India. India homes 10.9% of the total Muslim population of the world and is the 3rd largest Muslim country in the world, with 20.7 crores of Muslims living in India. As per the 2011 Census, Muslims are 14.2% of the total population of India, with a ten-year growth percentage of 24.6% (2001 to 2011) with a literacy rate of 57.9%, which is way low of the national average of 64.8%. The main sects of Muslims are Sunni, Shia, Bohra, Khojas, Sufis, Ahmdiyas and Quranists.
Indian Muslims are led by mostly the clergy class and the religious influencers of the Islamic religion in India. As per their belief system, Islam as an idea is a world-view which decides each and every step of human life from birth to death as given in the Holy Quran. The life of any Muslim is to be lived as dictated by the tenets of the Holy Quran. Strangely, these tenets are left to the interpretation of the Mullas and Maulvis, who tweak and twist the scriptures as per their convenience.
In his life, the individual Muslim is bound by religious laws known as Sharia-law, which is derived primarily from the holy Quran and which is above the laws of a nation like the Constitution or the prevailing secular laws. It also prescribes the relationship between a Muslim and other non-Muslims and how and what kind of political and social relationship a Muslim can have per se as well as his inter se relationship with fellows of other religions. There is nothing wrong with spreading, propagating and preaching the tenets of the religion. Even the Constitution of India gives these rights to each and every citizen to have his religious belief and even propagate it. But the basic problem stems when your religion says that not only is your religion superior, but it also enjoins a believer to not only spread Islam but fight and convert any non-Muslim (Kafir) to Islam by use of force. When this becomes your fundamental duty to convert by force, it breeds trouble.
In India and elsewhere, the clergy class, which controls and dictates the Muslim society, feels threatened by modernisation and westernisation. So in this clash of civilisations, the primordial affiliations are over-stressed by this class to ward off modernisation’s impact on the Muslim society. Further, the creation of other religions’ phobia also helps control intra-religion tensions and division.
A child who happens to be born in a Muslim family is a Muslim first. When a Muslim child is born, he is groomed to defend his religion and ensure that all infidels and non-believers also follow his religion or else perish. One of the core-focus of his parenting is making him a Muslim. A Muslim Child at a very early age is exposed to Madrasa-education. This upbringing is strengthened by Madrasa’s education and close-knit family pressure. This Madrasa is way away from modern, scientific and rational thinking and education. The only exposure a child gets is his Islamic religion which confines his cognitive thinking to just the tenets of Islam and bereaves him of any other perspective. He is groomed and cultured in such a fashion that he does not ‘live and let live’ lives but is ready to sacrifice his life for the cause he is indoctrinated. Instead of being a rationalist, he turns out to be a fundamentalist.
This conscious upbringing in a hate-other environment and ‘we’ versus ‘they’ capture the subconscious mind of a young child. He is habituated to thinking in a particular way. So, his prime loyalty is his loyalty to Islam which supersedes his loyalty to the nation. Bubbling with Islamist fervour, he becomes a tool in the hands of a manipulative religious leader. Now, he is a hatred-monger who just needs a spark that is so easy to show! He takes up stones just to see why other religion-people are celebrating their own religion in their own way, since how it can be possible as there can only be one religion which is Islam, and it is his religious duty to curb any non-Islamic activity. The only probable act he can do is to pick up a stone and throw it at the religious procession of the infidels. A Stone-Pelter is born. This is the true psychological makeup of a Stone-Pelter. It has nothing to do with Hindu or Buddhist, or Jain religion. It is happening in Spain, France, Germany and many western and developed countries. The value he cultivates in himself is of Darul-Islam, Jehad, and even being a Fidayyin.
Islamic Fundamentalism in India
Islamic fundamentalism is a global phenomenon. It is not a new phenomenon but has been there since the birth of Islam. This movement of Islamic fundamentalism aims to revive and reform Islam and return to the original principles of Islam as given in the Quran, Hadith, and Sunnah. If it had been just a reformist movement, things would have been simple and normal. The problem arises when Islamic fundamentalism seeks to eliminate anything which is non-Islamic. The dangerous part of this philosophy is that it enjoins upon the Islamist believer to convert all the other non-believers to Islam by force, violence and might.
Historically, India has seen the wrath of Muslim invaders right from the inception of Islam. Muhammad Bin Qasim (672 CE) was the first Muslim general to invade India, attacking Sindh. Since thereafter, India has witnessed many attacks which are led by Islamic religious bigots targeted against the native population with a religious duty to convert them to Islam. India witnessed plunders, loots, and destruction of Hindu-Jain-Buddhist-Sikh temples and places of learning by these bigots who wanted to destroy the Indian culture and impose Islamic culture.
During the freedom struggle, the mainstream nationalist leadership succumbed to the Muslim appeasement wherein the Khilafat Movement was supported. Khilafat was a communal movement and was against the secular fabric of the nationalist movement. After this movement, the majority of Muslims remained in contradiction to the nationalist movement.
They collaborated with the colonial powers and were playing in their hands. The acceptance of partition on religious lines was a historical blunder wound which can never be healed by any lessons of secularism. India witnessed mayhem at the hands of Islamist fundamentalists during the bloodshed of partition, where more than 1 million people were killed.
Even after independence, there were no efforts to modernise or secularise the Muslims through national education. The literacy rate of Muslims in India is low by all standards. In India, we have not seen the emergence of any educated middle class of Muslims who can lead the Muslim society. It is non-existent. Also, there has not been any kind of leftist or liberal movement in Indian Muslim society. There only champions are the clergy class. Even the smallest of events is projected as a communal event.
The role played by the so-called ‘intellectuals’, ‘liberals’ or ‘the seculars’ have also aggravated the situation. Instead of calling a spade a spade, they remain conspicuously silent on these evils of Muslim society. They defend and protect the ills of Muslim society in the name of minority rights. They also create a majority phobia so as to perpetuate their hold on Muslims.
The war begins in the individual’s mind, so it is to be fought in his mind only. It is a time to bring fundamental changes to the way Muslims are groomed through Madrasa education and modernise their cognitive aspects in tune with the values of India.