Minority report in the Indian Sub-continent

Category: Asia, Life & Society Topics: Hindus Channel: Opinion Views: 8081
8081

Many Indian Hindus often present a very rosy picture about Indian democracy and secularism, while stereotyping its neighbors Bangladesh and Pakistan negatively. They blame Muslims for the partition of India and the communal riots that rock India almost on a regular basis. Commenting about communalism, in a Bangladeshi website, Shetubondhon, an Indian observed: "The situation is probably similar in Bangladesh. Only difference is, both in Pakistan and India, leaders (Jinnah and Nehru) assured the minorities of equal rights, but did not fulfill it. Bangladesh does not have any such obligations. It is a country created for some Bengalis, transformed itself into a country for some Bengali Muslims, in which minorities are encouraged to migrate to India." 

Let me make some observations here. For centuries, Bangladesh has been an oasis of peaceful coexistence between various religious communities. (Ref: Bangladesher Itihas by Prof. Sirajul Islam, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka (1993)) This is especially true since the time of (Muslim ruler) Ikhtiyaruddin Bakhtiyar Khilji (1201 C.E.), until about early 20th century of the British colonization.[1] The British tried to foment communalism through her Euro-centric historians and their students, many of whom were Hindus. Then there were economic and sociopolitical changes that the British Raj gradually imposed, which further alienated its Muslim subjects. Land ownership was transferred; taxation and usurious loans totally broke the backbone of Muslim Bengalis. Through a criminally-intent periodization of Indian history, Muslims were portrayed as outsiders and that the Muslim period, in contrast to English colonization, was a horrific one. Hindus were taught to think ill of Muslims. This criminal policy was a successful one to divide the Indian people. And in the end, we settled for Pakistan and India. 

But even before that there were people like A.K. Fazlul Haq, Abul Hashim, Col. Shah Nawaz Khan and Hussain Shahid Suhrawardi who at various times had worked with fellow Hindus Subash Chandra Bose and Sharat Chandra Bose towards a unified dream in Bengal (where Muslims comprised a majority). Even Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the All-India Muslim League, who is blamed by Hindus for dividing India, gave his blessing to Sharat-Suhrawardi formula for an undivided Bengal, so that Bengali-speaking Muslims and Hindus can live together. If all these people were communalistic such a unified stand could not have been dreamed of. But most Hindu leaders, outside the Bose brothers, were not as forthcoming. There were too many Ballav Bhai Patels, Savarkars and the like on the other side. Their arrogance, their big-brother like attitude, their desire to control everything, and discrimination of Muslims were more to be blamed for the emergence of Pakistan. In fact, Jinnah was more secular than any of the Indian Hindu leaders. 

In post-partitioned India, Mowlana Abul Kalam Azad, a past president of Indian National Congress, would be sidelined and given a less important ministry. And many qualified Indian Muslims never went too far in their careers. (Even in his last years, Syed Mujtaba Ali, a very prominent writer and educationist, had to settle for Bangladesh, because he was sidelined in Tagore's Shanti Niketan.) Yes, India, in her 56-year history, can boast of placing three Muslims into the post of President, a symbolic position in a parliamentary democracy, but that, too, was more for politics than anything else. This (appointment of Muslims) is often cited as a sign of Muslim appeasement or pluralism in India. But the reality is quite different. India cannot obliterate the fact that most of the relatives of these past Muslim Presidents had to leave India and settle in Pakistan for they felt insecure as minorities living in so-called secular India.[2] Many minorities who could afford to leave India have often opted to settle outside. So, the picture is not all that rosy in India. As long as Indian democracy does not elect a minority Muslim (by people's direct vote) as her Premier, with real authority, arguably, her secularism is not quite so strong. It is more like hogwash, used for political expediency. 

In India Muslims are portrayed as villains, outsiders and plunderers. In their xenophobia, Indian Hindus forget that Muslims made India their home and that they are the beneficiaries of monuments, civil systems, highways, and social structures that were put in place by enlightened Muslim rulers. Muslims led the Freedom Movement against the British Raj decades before Hindus came to the scene. Who can deny the fact that M.K. Gandhi enjoyed mass support among Muslims and benefited from the visionary work of many Muslim leaders such as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan ("Frontier Gandhi"), Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, and Rafi Ahmad Kidwai? Then, why this mass hysteria against Muslims in India? 

As Prof. Mushirul Hasan has pointed out, prejudices against minorities require a process of collective myth-making by which one community defines its attitudes to the other. He says, "The need or search for a common enemy to fight against then takes shape. Similar to Hitler's fabrication of Jews as the 'demon' race, the Hindutwavadis have singled out Muslims as the absolute evil. In fact, hostility to Muslims and Islam has always been central to their political logic, including the RSS's brand of nationalism, right from the beginning. All out efforts are thus made to rationalize such myths and on the other hand mythicize reason, logic and rational understanding of social issues. The ultimate aim of all such nefarious notions, designs etc. is to force a new agenda of restructuring the existing socio-political system on the basis of 'Hindu nationalism'. An expression of one such 'social engineering is the attempt to distort history and general language-text books to project a pro-Hindu-mythology education and on the other hand, attempt to brazenly cultivate anti-Muslim sentiments."[3] (Legacy of a Divided Nation, by Mushirul Hasan, Oxford University Press, 1997) 

Here are some myths that Indian Hindus often present (Ref: Mushirul Hasan): 

1. Successive Governments Pampered and Appeased The Muslim Community" 

State Class 1 Services
Muslims were 3.3% by the 1980s

2. High Courts 

Out of 310 judges as on Jan. 4.1980, 14 were Muslims.
(Samples are based on 13 States, with Muslim population of 14.39%)

All-Indian-Services 

In decision making posts in these services, Muslim representation was as follows:
Total Muslims Percentage
Indian Administrative 2.14 (as on January 1984)
Indian Police Service 3.00 (as on January 1983)

Industry 

Among the country's top industrial houses, not one is owned or controlled by a Muslim. 

Muslims are predominantly in the handicraft sector as skilled artisans. A countrywide survey, which covered 31 districts, from 12 States indicate that out of 12.68 lakh (i.e., 1.268 MM) artisans employed in the Sector, 51.89 percent were Muslims. But Muslim ownership accounted for only 4.4 percent. In terms of financial assistance, Muslim borrowers were 4.3 percent, and the volume of loans paid out to them was 2.02 percent. The total financial sector disbursed only 3.76 percent differential interest rate credit to Muslims. 

Education 

According to the survey of the Planning Commission, 1987-88, the average literacy rate among Muslims was 42 per cent, which is less than the national average of 52.11 percent. In the case of women, 11 per cent Muslim women were literate compared to the national average of 39.42 per cent. Figures for the period 1980-81, indicate that the educational status of this community is that (1) only 4 per cent appeared in Class X (Board of Secondary Education) Examination in 8 States, out of the total that appeared for the examinations, and (2) there were only 3.4 percent Muslims in Graduate Engineering and 3.44 percent in Medical Schools. 

Armed Services 

In his book, "Muslims in Free India", Moin Shakir reveals that at the time of the Partition, the representation of Muslims in the armed forces, was 32% but today it stands at a mere 2%.
[4]

On the issue of Muslim appeasement by Indian governments, Prof. Hasan states, "A large majority of the Muslims -- nearly 71 per cent -- live in rural areas, and are mostly landless laborers, small and marginal farmers, artisans, craftsmen and shopkeepers. Their social stratification and class interests are more or less the same as those of other people in the countryside. More than half of the Muslim urban population lives below the poverty line, compared to about 35 per cent of Hindus. 

Out of nearly 76 million, more than 35 million live below the poverty line. The rest are self-employed. Many fewer urban Muslims work for a regular wage or salary than members of other religious groups. In most areas the Muslim share in public and private employment is small. 

In Kerala, Muslims had a comparatively higher literacy rate, yet they were far behind others, sharing the endemic problem of their co-religionist as a whole. The Mappilas, for example, held only between a quarter and half of the percentage of positions in government departments, proportionate to their share of the population." (Op. Cit.) 

1. Myth: Religious minorities are allowed to run educational institutions with no interference from the government. 

Fact: All religious communities, including Hindus, are allowed to and do operate educational institutions relatively free of government control and to offer religious education to co-religionists in such institutions. To illustrate, there is also the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) like the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and several other educational institutions which are linked to religious bodies and denominations, such as Arya Samaj or Sanathan Dharma, or those linked with Christian, Sikh and other minorities. 

2. Myth: Concessions to Muslims through "persistent official reluctance to enact a Uniform Civil Code. 

Fact: The issue of the Uniform Civil Code today has been greatly communalized. Hindu revivalists are clamoring for it on the grounds that the minorities enjoy certain privileges under their personal laws while Hindus do not. What they conveniently overlook is the fact that propertied Hindus are not subject to any national code. Instead they enjoy certain special privileges, which caters to only their interests, viz. the benefits under Hindu Undivided Family/Co-Parcenary Property concept. Not only is this a privilege restricted to Hindus, women are denied equal rights within the Undivided Hindu Family. None among the Hindutwavadis have come forwards to proclaim that these features militate against Article 44 of the Constitution. Moreover, legal prohibition does not deter Hindu (or other non-Muslims) men from taking on more than one wife, deserting the wives (without bothering about divorce), defaulting on alimony and child maintenance. Demanding dowry, and indulging in similarly unlawful behavior, e.g. the practice of 'maitri karar' (friendship agreement). 

Furthermore, many Hindu revivalists who otherwise champion the cause of Uniform Civil Code fought bitterly against the efforts to make anti-sati legislation more effective following the Roop Kanwar tragedy in 1987. They claim that the State has no right to interfere with Hindu faith and tradition. Ultimately the point being stressed is that the Civil Code should be common and uniform for all citizens. A Civil Code however would mean not only the abandonment of the Muslim Personal Law but also such laws mentioned above, i.e. the Hindu Undivided Family Act. This means that equal rights and justice will have to be granted to women in all matters of inheritance and other areas. 

Second given the highly pluralistic constitutional framework of our country interrogation of Personal Laws including Hindu Law should proceed not in terms of "appeasement" but in terms of gross violation of norms of gender justice. "Any political party condemning "appeasement" ought to present the nation its own agenda of reform which retains cultural identity while removing the denial of rights arising from tradition. In the absence of any agenda mass mobilization could only cruelly disrupt communal harmony." (Upendra Baxi, Times of India, 1.1.93) 

3. Myth: Equality of opportunity for the Muslims 

Fact: Prof. Hasan writes, "The government machinery has been either hostile or lackadaisical in responding to individual and collective efforts to redress the inequities and imbalances in private and public sectors. In May 1983 Indira Gandhi emphasised her commitment to the secular ideal. The India of our dreams, she wrote, can survive only if Muslims and other minorities can live in absolute safety and confidence. 

Acting at the behest of some Muslim members of Parliament and the Jamiyat-al-ulama, she issued guidelines on better job opportunities for Muslims, but the central and state governments ignored her directive. Individual appeals to industrialists to recruit Muslim graduates fell on deaf ears. Such was Badruddin Tyabji's experience as Aligarh University's vice-chancellor. He discovered, as have others since, the small proportion of Muslims in large-scale industry or business. 

Not a single Muslim figured among the 50 industrial houses up till 1985. Muslim industrialists owned only 4 units in a group of 2,832 industrial enterprises, each with sales of Rs 50 million and above. In the smaller industrial sector, they owned about 14,000 units out of a total of 600,000 of which 2,000 belonged to the 'small' category with a limited capital outlay. 

In general, Muslim access to government-sponsored welfare projects was limited. For example, up till 1985 Muslims in the lower and middle income groups received 2.86 per cent of houses allotted by the state governments and only 6.9 per cent of licenses for 'Fair Price' shops. Muslim artisans received only 9.15 per cent of the benefits extended by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. Only 301 out of the 10,450 units under the KVIC program belonged to Muslims, and only 45 out of 5,846 artisans who gained subsidies for purchasing tools and equipments were Muslims; as were only 99 out of 74,000 who secured other financial benefits. 

Muslims accounted for 3 per cent of the sums advanced and 3.4 per cent of the recipients of loans for small industry and agriculture in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000, and less than 6 percent in the Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000 category. They accounted for 3 percent of recipients and 1 per cent of sums advanced in the higher bracket of Rs 200,000 to Rs 1 million. The GSC thought that the poorer Muslims should have benefited most from the differential rate of interest and composite loan schemes, which were meant for lower income groups, but this did not happen. 

Many writers emphatically believe that discriminatory practices contributed to Muslims being the hewers of wood and drawers of water. 'Equality of opportunity guaranteed by the Constitution,' Shahabuddin commented, 'has largely proved to be a mirage in practice. Muslim India suffers from discrimination in access to public employment, to higher education or to career promotion opportunities, to public credit, to industrial and trade licensing.'"[5] 

In today's India, historical revisionism to further polarize majority Hindus against Muslims has official BJP sanction. That is why in recent days, we are not too surprised to see the ugly side of massacre of Muslims in India. Gujarat (a state with only 9% Muslim population) was neither the first, nor will it be the last of its kind. Kashmir problem remains an unsolved problem for the last 56 years. Hindu India would not solve the problem, hoping foolishly that the problem would simply go away. Unfortunately, problems of this nature never die. They simmer, even when the flame can't be seen from above. One after another mosques are vandalized in India. The Hindu fascists are on a roll to demolish many more mosques, trying to make the land pure for Hindus only. No effective measure has been taken that encourages Muslims towards greater participation in Indian national life.

Let me also state that it would be dishonest if someone were to deny that there were no religiously motivated killings in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Like almost any other place in this globe, Bangladesh and Pakistan have their share of such crimes. They probably have more now than before, say, some two decades ago. The situation in India and other parts of the world where Muslims are victimized is obviously not helping to rein on the situation.

What however, sets Bangladesh apart is the fact that unlike the criminal state government(s) in Guajarat now (or in Assam in the late '70s), her government never had any policy in which its various branches were used to victimize minorities. (See the recently released 70-page long HRW report on Gujarat.) The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees equal rights and opportunities to all its citizens, irrespective of religion. (See Articles below, for instance:)

27. Equality before law.

All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.

28. Discrimination on grounds of religion, etc. 

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race caste, sex or place of birth. 

(2) Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life. 

(3) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to any place of public entertainment or resort, or admission to any educational institution. 

(4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making special provision in favor of women or children or for the advancement of any backward section of citizens. 

29. Equality of opportunity in public employment. 

(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in respect of employment or office in the service of the Republic. 

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office in the service of the Republic. 

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from - 

(a) making special provision in favor of any backward section of citizens for the purpose of securing their adequate representation in the service of the Republic; 

(b) giving effect to any law which makes provision for reserving appointments relating to any religious or denominational institution to persons of that religion or denomination; 

(c) reserving for members of one sex any class of employment or office on the ground that it is considered by its nature to be unsuited to members of the opposite sex. 

Notwithstanding such lofty principles, enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh, the fact remains many well-to-do minorities leave the country. But such a practice is common everywhere, even in India. Minorities never feel too secure anywhere, esp. when they feel government machineries are not protective of them. That is why in Indian states like Gujarat with a smaller proportion of Muslims (esp., in districts with less than 20% Muslim population), Muslims are easy targets of violence in contrast to states with higher % of Muslims. And when you have fascists and religious bigots like Narendra Modi and Advani in power (on the top of this low percentage representation), one can well imagine, how terrifying the situation gets! Even here in the USA, despite all the high-sounding rights and liberality, freedom and opportunities, in the post-9/11 era, many a Muslim families have decided to leave America. Truly, we can have all the laws enshrined in our constitution that guarantee many rights, but at the end, it is how people feel about their application that is what counts. 

Contrary to false assertion of the Indian lady (quoted earlier), Bangladesh is no worse a hell for minorities than is India or Burma. I pray and hope that the demon of communalism will one day go away from our subcontinent, and we shall all be living a peaceful life, something that was typical of Bengal in post-Khilji period until the British colonizers came. And (probably) of all these independent states in the Indian sub-continent, Bangladesh is uniquely placed to become the torchbearer in this path. After all, the spirit of the universal brotherhood of man has been succinctly emphasized in the following folksong of Bangladesh: "Nanan boron gaabhiray tor ekoi boron doodh, /Jagat Bharamiya, dekhlam ekoi maayer poot." [The cow's skin may take many hues but its milk is white everywhere, / All men and women are offspring of the same Mother Eve]. 

Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at [email protected]


Notes: 

[1] Before the Muslim rule in Bengal, there was a period marked by extermination and persecution of Buddhists by Hindus, as a result of which many Bengali Buddhists migrated elsewhere, esp. to Sri Lanka, where they now form the majority. 

[2] For example, the siblings and other relatives of two of the late Indian Muslim Presidents, Dr Zakir Hussein and Mr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, migrated to Pakistan during the lifetimes of Zakir Hussein and Ali Ahmed, respectively. 

[3] Excerpted from Legacy of a Divided Nation, by Mushirul Hasan, Oxford University Press, 1997. 

[4] See, also, Radiance, the Delhi-based English weekly; Muslim India, edited by Syed Shahabuddin; and Aijazuddin Ahmad's studies reveal how most Muslims, chiefly in UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bengal, remain on the lowest rung of the ladder according to the basic indicators of socio-economic development. 

[5] Mushirul Hasan, op. cit.


  Category: Asia, Life & Society
  Topics: Hindus  Channel: Opinion
Views: 8081

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Older Comments:
OMESH FROM INDIA said:
Because the article is biased.
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SAHIL FROM INDIA said:
This doesnt give the complete picture. We muslims are responisble for our condition no other is responsible
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AKBAR KHAN TO ROMESH FROM CANADA said:
Sure Romesh it's quite simple. to Quote what you said:

"why Islam attracts the bottom of the barrel -- the criminals (prisoners) and low-class strata of every society? and why not educated, professional and high class individuals?:

Answer: Firstly, all the criminals, prisoner, and low-caste people who live in poverty, or commit crimes, find Islam as the answer for them, the true salvation, the only way in which they may find peace for themselves in their hearts, that their lives in the hereafter will be better b/c of Allah (SWA) promises Muslims that everything is forgivable, except to die in a state of shirk, or commit suicide would be clear exemptions or being blessed by the bounty of Allah's mercy.

On the point of profesional, and high class individuals, they convert to Islam in huge numbers. Please refer to comment number 21016 by Nausheen, in which her comment was directly addressed to you. I guess you didn't bother to READ the comments of previous posters, and rather continued your rambling Brahmim nonsense.

Allama Muhammaad Iqbal, a Brahmim whose ancestors converted to Islam, was accused by Hindu Brahmin's as being a sellout to their caste, but you know what Iqbal said to these "brothers" of his who accused him of selling out? He then wrote Naya Shiwala, in which Iqbal shows Hindu Brahmins that they need to wake up and get in touch with reality, the way Iqbal's Brahmin Ancestor's did and found ISLAM - deen Al-haq!

Sach key dun tujh say Brahmin, ger tu bura na maanay.
- The rest you can read the urdu in Naya Shiwala.


Inta Fahamt?

Wassalaam.
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ROMESH CHANDER FROM US said:
Reply to Z. Babu:

All I am asking for is help from muslim in solving Hindus' caste problem -- Please convert all low-caste Hindus to Islam en-masse; obviouslu Hindus have not been able to solve their problems. Obviously, they are more useful to Allah than to Lord Krishna. After all, muslims have been quite successful in converting low-caste Hindus and not high-class Hindus.

Muslims have been also quite successful in converting prisoners/criminals in UK/US.

Did anybody in islam ever asked themselves -- why Islam attracts the bottom of the barrel -- the criminals (prisoners) and low-class strata of every society? and why not educated, professional and high class individuals? I would like to know the answer. And don't give me the christian answer -- Jesus (or substitute Allah) loves everybody.
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Z.BABU FROM INDIA said:
Romesh Chandran,
I won't believe all Hindus are like that. But your comments are proof against yourself and those who share the same mindset with you, to see how much hatred you guys have against Muslims and your attitude towrds "low-caste". Hindus and Muslims have co-existed for centuries. But that's not because of the guys like you or your leaders. It was based on human instinct of justice. If you blame some Muslim rulers to be unfair, you think before those Muslim kings Hindus were hugging and kissing each other? Read the history to see how Ashoka killed fellow Hindus left and right finally convertd to Budhism. Were all Hindu kings fair to Muslims? Forget about the past are Hindutva ( not Hindu ) propogandits let Muslims live? Then you are concerned why Muslims don't leave India? Well, I think if you are uncomfortable you should leave India and let others live.
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SAMEENA FROM US/INDIA said:
Hatred of Muslims and other minorities is about diverting the anger of the low-caste Indian masses away from their high-caste oppressors and onto defenseless Muslims and Christians. This whole Hindu revivalism with its emphasis on not vegetarianism (low-caste hindus usually eat meat) is a clever upper-caste strategy aimed at diluting and delaying the progress of low-castes. When India gained its independence, the idea was to create an egalitarian and casteless society, but half a century later, that dream has yet to be realised and the Indian masses are seething. Diversionary tactics may work in the short term but unless concrete steps like universal education, equal housing etc, are taken, India's upper-caste elite is in for a very rude awakening in this century.

Romesh, how much intellectual ability does a person need to believe in a religion where cow shit and piss are considered purifying agents? Even today, Brahmins smear shit to purify temples. How much intelligence does it need to practice a religion that is filled with the same nonsense we used to find in pre-historic faiths--- Romesh, you might wanna look up the cave paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet from 30,000 yrs ago to see how outdated Hindu ideas are.
THe fact is Hinduism is everything to everybody. The flip side of being everything is that it is nothing. It is a faith that has a lot of ritualistic mumbo-jumbo like horoscopes etc. but no coherent ideology.
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SHOAIB FROM UAE said:
Well there are no Hindu terrorists 'coz India is ruled by terrorists. This is so sad, forget religion, cleanliness is not even there. No personal hygiene, if you don't follow Islam... Hello Science is also there :)

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MERAJ FROM INDIA said:
I think this is report is a dated and largely irrelevant if seen it in the light of progress being made by the younger Muslim generation in India. Though, much more needs to be achieved in terms of education and awareness, I think we have come a long way from partition. Even though we have a Hindu nationalist government today, I think it has come to terms with realizing that it cannot take 170 Million Muslim Indians for granted.
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AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Romesh Chander...just a few words for you. It is quite the opposite...poor and rejected idol-worshippers of India are enlightening themselves as they discover the truth and reason...guidance for their lives and the betterment of their eternal life in heaven when they REVERT to Islam. It is your misconception into believing that because they are uneducated, they do not deserve to be treated humanely. That is quite sad

As you have clearly shown that you have no regard for the human suffering of the majority of hte people in your nation, I'd like to congratulate you on actually admitting that. Now I invite you to see the truth about Islam. Read about Kalki Avatar in the book of Vedas, and how this coming messenger is the description of As-Sadiq - Muhammad (Sal-Allahu alaiyhi wa salam) You will find that this beautiful man is described in detail...being born in Arabia, having a diet comprised of olives and dates...his mother's name will be Sumaana(means peace, and his father's name will be Vishnubhagat(which means slave of God)...both those names mean the same thing as Aaminah, and Abdullah, the parents of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW). He is even mentioned by his very name - 'his name will be Muhammad' and he will spread peace throughout the world.

I do pray that you will come to know that we are all from the same seed...we sprung out into many nations and our belief in the one true God (Allah) deteriorated into association and disbelief... as humanity forgot and began to disobey God's commandments. With patience and perserverance, many Hindu's of India who revert to Islam do come to find the path back towards God, Masha'Allah!

It'll be nice to hear from you again chap...I'll wait for your response.
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NAUSHEEN FROM INDIA said:
Reply to Romesh Chandra's comment:
"It also means that that Islam is attractive only
to uneducated masses and not to the educated
people, professionals, and intellectuals."

Pls dont forget that Islam is THE FASTEST growing
religion of the world. The education level is not
as low as in India for the developed countries.
people are converting to Islam all over the
world.
Consider the following prominenet converts to
Islam:
# Cat Stevens British rock musician or Yusuf
Islam
# Muhammad Ali - boxer
# Matthew Saad Muhammad - world champion boxer
(formerly Matt Franklin)
# Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - basketball player
# Queen Noor - American-born queen of Jordan
during reign of the late King Hussein I

# Maryam Jameelah - Jewish American essayist and
poet. Formerly Margaret Marcus.

# Daniel Moore - Anglo-American poet

# Muhammad Marmaduke (William) Pickthall - author
and Quran translator

# Michael Wolfe - author, journalist
# Aminah Assilmi - Denver area broadcast
journalist; now director of the International
Union of Muslim Women (former Baptist)

# Jemima Goldsmith - daughter of British
billionaire Sir James, who married Imran Khan.
Changed name to Haiqa Khan.
# Shaikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson

And many more.

btw, how many of the likes of above have accepted
'hinduism' as their new faith :p ?

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ROMESH CHANDER FROM US said:
Comment on post by Akbar Khan:

As you allege, low-caste Hindus are converting to Islam in large numbers. I don't think, they are converting to Islam in the numbers Hindus would like. Actually, Hindus would like that all low-caste Hindus should convert to Islam en-masse; this will solve a very serious problem that Hindusism has and has been unable to solve on its own; muslim help shall be highly appreciated.

It also means that that Islam is attractive only to uneducated masses and not to the educated people, professionals, and intellectuals. Hindus prefer quality over quantity.
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AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Hey Shylesh, why is it that low caste Hindu's are reverting to Islam in monumental numbers? Why is it that the Brahman Hindu's subjugate the lower caste Hindu's and force them to live in subhuman conditions, and are treated like trash by these upper class, "educated" Brahmans? Let me ask you something, when did you decide to call yourself a Hindu, before or after the partition? Now before you answer that question, let me remind you and your kind, that there were many different types of idol-worshippers in India...jainists, buddhists, tamils, followers of bhagvat gita, bhagvata purana, the Ramayuna, Rig Veda, the Upanashids, and so on and so on. So where does the word Hindu exist in any of these religious texts that people in India refer to? IT DOES NOT...so when I ask you where did these brahman's come from...the present day brahmans in India today are a group of thugs who made a deal with the British and took seize of hte nation, subjugating the lower castes and stating that they are somehow inferior. This happens in India regularly among the idol-worshippers in India RIGHT NOW, so don't sit there with your happy self and talk to everyone about India being secular and free.....that's a load of nonsense and anyone with a little bit of intellect will see that the Mughals after Akbar that is, contributed a great deal to the life and culture of India as a whole! The most recent plunderers I can think of are these outcast Brahman so called "intellectuals" who came from the North and took a bribe from the previous British colonialists.

Don't talk to me about Hindu Brahmans not fighting in the name of their religion and for secularity. That is a common refutation by people like yourself always talking about what's wrong with Muslims, but fail to see how "secular" Hindu govt. accuse Muslims in Uttar Pradesh of producing too many babies and are looking to make it a crime to do so. You are a reject if you think India is secular. 'nuff said.
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SHYLESH FROM INDIA said:
I think that this site content is created by "lads" who are unaware of the pre partition era.

Everybody in this world knows who is secular and who isn't.


Why Pakistan pokes it's nose into internal affairs of India when it can't handle it's own provinces properly. Whole world knows how muhaajirs are treated and infact why they are named muhajirs.

Why a hindu girl married to a muslim or viceversa gets immediately converted to islam? Can't she preach her own religion ? This example is enough to prove the secular minds of Hindus where a couple can follow individual religion of their own. Need any bigger example?

Don't give examples of Taj Mahal....I can give 1000 examples of these Moghal emporers who for the sake of spread of ISLAM, destroyed the ancient monuments and built mosques ! It's our tolerance level that still a mosque is existing with Kashi Vishwanath temple ! Don't we know Mahmood Gazni who invaded 17 times and on every invasion he destroyed and looted Somnath temple !

Do you know why Hinduism still stands in this world even after more than 400 years of islamic fundumentalists to paint it into green? The reason is we are secular...

Last but not the least...There is Muslim terrorist, but you will not find a Hindu terrorist fighting for the cause of religion !!

This proof is enough for our secular mentality !
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SHUJA FROM TORONTO, CANADA said:
The contribution of Muslims to India was the greatest among all. When Babur entered into the country, according to Jawahar Lal's Freedom at Midnight, India was more like a dark country, grapes were unknown, and irrigation system was non-existent. No postal system, until Sher Shah Suri created one. Lamps were used of some very ancient period. India was in complete mess between the fighting rajas and kings. Hindusim was non-existent until Muslims had invented and given the name "Hindu". Before, it was Jains, Marwaris, Rajputs etc..... First time in history, the whole region became one under the Muslims rulers. When British arrived, India was already the largest producer of Iron and Steel before British destroyed everything.

After having said, Muslims have to blame themselves what they are today in India. We are away from the basic teachings of Islam. We don't believe in giving dawa. Don't believe in civic and political participation. Remember, if less than 1% of Muslims can control whole of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Burma, then how come today 20% of Muslims are being humiliated every minute. And that same thing applies to Pakistan as well. Unless, Muslims are prepared to contribute into the moral, economical and political built up of the country, nothing will change. We should not expect Hindus to be kind to us, because to me it is nothing more than insult. We have ruled them for 1000 years. We were the leaders and masters of the world. We need to think in those lines. Our children should be brought up in that way. Rich Muslims spend millions of rupees lavishly, instead of contributing meaningfully. Our religious junta are completely outdated. Brothers and Sisters, you want change, please change ourselves first. Open your hearts. Love others. Contribute. Participate. Open welfare centres, hospitals, and connect with millions of good Hindus. Shuja
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ABU BAKR FROM UK said:
I generally agree with the content of the article,indeed it is often forgotten that Muslim rule in India provided an effective centralised administrative system and legislative structure that effectively forged a unique culture that effects all strata of Muslim and Hindu society in the subcontinent to this day, prior to Muslim rule the subcontinent had been disunified and separated into warring states, (e.g the Rajput states of Delhi and Qannauj) indeed the 'Ancient Indian' scientific knowledge had long been forgotten as Indian-Hindu culture had stagnated under the rigours of the caste system prior to the introduction of Islam into the region.
The British in destroying what remained of Mughal rule disrupted the relations between minorities in the subcontinent, especially after the 1857 rising, using their infamous 'divide and conquer' policies that led to the inevitability of partition and the eventual rise of polarised Hindu extremism as seen in the form of the current BJP government in India.
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NURAINI FROM MALAYSIA said:
I'm not sure what to say... As far as I know, as someone interested in reading ancient history as a pastime, the Mughal empire was not one of the most excellent examples of Muslim rule in Islamic history. Certain periods of their rule may have brought good things, but then there were quite a few rulers who were cruel and oppressive. However I agree that past events should not be the basis of such horrible hatred and cruelty the Hindus today display to their fellow Muslim citizens - after all, the fault of the kings and politicians cannot be placed on the shoulders of the layperson, and the sins of the fathers are not borne by the children.
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RAHIM FROM CANADA said:
I visited India last year with my husband I was totally disappointed to see the how much hatred the Hindus have for muslims. It seems that they have to understand what democracy means. Every where we went (in south India) there are safron flags and new temples built loud music etc you could feel the hatred in the atomosphere. For whatever reason whoever wants to bring democracy in middle east must try to make the democratic countries like India to understand the meaning of democracy.
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AMIT FROM INDIA said:
On the flip side, their(Mughals) contribution to the administrative system of India was nil. The masabdari system evolved by Aurangzed destroyed the finances of the states and plunged what was once the richest country in 1650 to a state of penury in 1775.

The Mughal rulers never bothered to spend more on Scientific education - which is the sole reason why Ancient Indian science and technology fell behind the west, when once Indian science was ahead of the known world. They only spent millions on shero-shayri and lavish mujras. Still do.

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MOHD. UVAIS QURESHI FROM INDIA. said:
Assalam O Alaikum,
I am happy to read that world knows what is happen in India with Muslims.
We all Muslims are brothers of each other, we all should help each other.
My message for all muslims is that be yourself so strong, rich & powerful that there is no bodu who can finger out on you.
To get this position you have to prayer daily five times, follow the path which our Prophet told us. Today in world there are many countries where muslims are not happy, Remember the day when in whole world there are the only power of muslims rule. Today we forget our duties. Be a true muslim & help each other.
Allah Hafiz.
M. Uvais
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RAZA FROM PAKISATN said:
The article talks about a well-ignored reality. I am from Pakistan. We donot "want their monuments so bad". I met many Hindus from India and have had open discussions. They still lament the partition (not just the old-age people rather young boys in their early twenties!), and somehow "want to revert the situation". They really need to get over it and accept the reality. By the way ... The author "differentiated between hindu and muslim" because this is what is going on in India since 1947. Should we bury our head in sand and say "all is well"? The author did pointed out our short-comings too.

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MUJTABA ALI FROM USA said:
I agree with the writer, but recent statistics are needed to compare with 20 year old stats.
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ROMESH CHANDER FROM US said:
If the situation is so bad for Indian muslims in Hindu India, then why have Indian muslims not left India for pakistan (WHICH IS IS AN iSLAMIC COUNTRY AND FOLLOWS SHARIA TO A GREAT EXTENT) or Bengladesh; after all, almost all the hindus in Pakistan have left Pakistan (or have converted), and probably the rest will leave in a few years (OR WILL CONVERT), simply because Pakistani muslims made life of Pakistani hindus unbearable. As a comparison, population of Indian muslims is still rapidly increasing.
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PRADEEP KUMAR FROM INDIA said:
The author relies on selecting pieces of history without giving any thought on the sequence of events, which led to its emergence. How, unlike Pakistan that was created by a communal agenda, India , which embraced seperation between state and religion in 1947, slowly moved towards becoming a theocratic state. Many of you are aware of the shah bano case where the supreme court ruling was superseded by congress Rajiv Gandhi governmentto appease islamic fundamentalists. At that juncture many educated and middle class Indians started wondering the intolerance and women opressing ingredients inherent in Islam whic is so powerful that it can bend the will of a secular government. They also wondered that even Muslims who have are Indians by birth, unlike migrants, stressed on putting religion before their indianness.
BJP has not come just like. It has been a slow, gradual and reflective transformation, which is still happening, towards understanding the world views of their muslim indian fellows by 'a not so caring about religion'hindus. Sadly, it will continue, and articles, like yours, which is completely unritical and communal, will fuel this agenda further. After all you are the best friend of BJP.
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SAMEENA FROM INDIA said:
Great thinking Paranoid...your comments are indeed hard hitting but nailing on the bulls eye!

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AHMED FROM UK said:
It never failes to amaze me how low Hindus will go to justify their terror against minorities in India. The simple fact is that Hindus are largely intolerant and want a Hindu fundamentalist state devoid of minorities.
Hindu fables about forced conversion are even more amusing given that the majority of Muslims are the descendents of converts who left the satanic caste system which still rules India. If Hindu fanatics and terrorists dont straighten themselves out, an Idi Amin style removal from Muslim countries should be initiated. Lets see how they like a taste of their medicine.
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KHAN FROM INDIA said:
I am Indian and agree with the writer. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/431766.cms
Muslims are getting targeted by Hindus. There are rape cases and Murders in Jhabua district of Madhya Paradesh in India and no body knows. BJP and its associats are making plan to demoslish Mosques all over India.
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HAMDAN ALMAS FROM US said:
Wonderful Article, Loved it. There are truths like these which never maketo the public. thanks Dr.Sidduiqui for illuminating this untold story.
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PARANOID FROM INDIA said:
A very good effort there by Dr Habib, but does it really matter? Bereft of any conclusions and way out, such articles are a dime a dozen!
The Myths are meant to be propagated and believed, for they serve someone's vested interests. The blame for 150 million Muslims apathy lies squarely with subsequently Pakistani leaderships who played right into the hands of RSS communalists. If Musharraf agrees to abide by LOC and does Peace Treaty, a thousand innocent lives in kashmir get wasted on the alter of idiotic politics. Yasser Arafat recently declared to abide by the agreement reached between him, Clinton and Ehud Barak 4 yrs ago...but Alas..there is no Clinton and no Barak. Idiotic and foolish politics and a hundred palestinians have died since second intifada.

Yes! Muslims are shabbily treated but a part of the blame lies on their own shoulders. On the shoulders of those whom they thought to be their leaders...mostly the leaders have sold them out for fake currencies.

It's in Hindus and RSS interest to project Muslims as traitors and terrorists despite the fact that not a single Indian Muslim is ever caught fighting in either Kashmir or Afghnistan, but then, what's in Indian Muslims interest??

Where is the strategy, the interest groups, the social organisations working towards assimilation and shattering RSS generated myths? Had it not been for excellent coverage of Gujrat riots by Hindu owned Star TV network, thousands more might have died before we might have seen it's third page coverage in Arab/Islamic world media.

Muslims of India stand alone, just as they stand alone in Chechnya, Palestine, Bosnia or Iraq. World is too busy to take notice. If an indigenous strategy isn't developed and developed fast to effectively counter the fascist amongst the largely moderate Hindu population, the future for Indian Muslims is Guantanamo.

Anyways, Read another Myth Breaking Article:
http://www.guidedones.com/issues/regions/India/charges20.htm
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G.R. FROM MEXICO said:
In India Muslims are portrayed as villains, outsiders and plunderers. In their xenophobia, Indian Hindus forget that Muslims made India their home (through murder and conquest) and that they are the beneficiaries of monuments, civil systems, highways, and social structures that were put in place by enlightened Muslim rulers. (all of which were in place before muslim rule and all were far improved after british rule, maybe they should be letting the brits back in according to this logic) Muslims led the Freedom Movement against the British Raj decades before Hindus came to the scene. Who can deny the fact that M.K. Gandhi enjoyed mass support among Muslims (they saw their chance to gain power, it had nothing to do with peace) and benefited from the visionary work of many Muslim leaders such as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan ("Frontier Gandhi"), Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, and Rafi Ahmad Kidwai? Then, why this mass hysteria against Muslims in India? (i can think of a hundred reasons)

the author of this is obviously islamocentric.
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SAMYA FROM USA said:
Being a Bengali, a south-east history major in college, and an active human rights activist, I can only stongly disagree with this article. The protrayl of the peace-loving Muslim rulers and the Islamic community is repeatedly refuted by these rulers themselves in their court diaries (Ref. 'The Story of Civilization- Vol 1 - Our Oriental Heritage' by Will Durant), not to mention evidence of numerous mosques in the sub-continent built out of the ruins of demolished Hindu temples.

And as for Pakistan and Bangladesh, who also agreed to "preserve their minority population" how is it that Pakistan, where Hindus were 12% i 1947 are less than 1% now, and Bangladesh, with 35% Hindus in 1947 has less than 9% now? And India, with 8% Muslim population in 1947, has 13% now. Aren't persecuted populations supposed to descrease or thrive?
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RABIA FROM PAKISTAN said:
I think the basic problem is people like the writer, who diffrentiate between hindu and muslim and forget that we are all humans. its people like this due to whom people are still dieing in kashmir. i am a pakistani muslim, and really, if you want thier monuments so bad, go live in india, we left it, and now its their right. and may be you should look at something from both sides before you point fingers..
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R. ASHRAF FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
i am completely for this article. India as the 'world's largest democracy' should understand that minorities ought to be protected. In democracy there is a law, a commitment to neutrality and justice. In the case of Gujarat we have seen state sponsored terrorism in total connivance of the Hindu police. How shocking! This is only one example. There are 30,000 schools who indoctrinate hatred and venom among students aganst the Muslims.This is going on since independence of the country. What one cannot understand is why there is so much hatred against a people who gave or added such a magnificent civilisation to India. India was enriched with beauty. Beauty in the form of art,architecture,literature,language,poetry,music and even cuisine. Downtrodden Hindus were saved by caste-ridden Hindu Brahmins. The Bjp is the octupus with its tentacles the Hindutva,RSS,bajrang dal,VHP. The most terrifying thing is the wealthy Hindus living abroad have and are totally financing this hate-crazed,violence preaching organization which openly preaches murder and shows most apallingly an image of non-violence and tolerance especially to the west. These financiers are the real murderers and should be hounded out and stopped.
This is the first step. Secondly as it was already mentioned sanctions should be imposed on this fascist regime. Thirdly a very strong leadership for the Muslims in India should be born.It is appalling that there is not one leader strong enough to challenge this fascism. Sadly there are Muslims themselves who are secretly conniving with the BJP for their own personal profits. The BJP are also exploiting the Shiah-Sunni difference. Their very recent 'accomplishment' is their cordial overtures to Israel. The world must do something about this rather serious situation before this area of the sub-continent is engulfed into an inferno of hate killings or another Bosnia. Lastly what is difficult to comprehend is that why are so many right-minded Hindus not doing anything
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HALIM AZIZ FROM MALAYSIA said:
everywhere in the world, muslims are on the run and taken over by christians, judism, hindus and communist, ironically muslims were their protectors at the time of muslim empire at its height.evil will triumph if good is not carefull!
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ANSARUDDIN RAHIMI FROM THE BAHAMAS said:
dr.Habib Siddiqui has indeed truly projected about the Indian Muslims and their problems and their past and present state of reality. He must be commended for this article.
It is very sad that Muslims and Muslim rulers are portrayed as out siders.
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AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Vajpayee's very own ruling party in India is an offspring of a Hindu terrorist group with deep ties to radical Brahmin fundamentalists whose sole wish is to exterminate the Muslim population and terrorize them until they are either murdered, or are forced to fight against them in self defense. Vajpayee's BJP is also in bed with the RSS, a right wing Hindu terrorist organization, of which Vajpayee himself is still a member of, even though he leads the country.

I am not saying that the government of Pakistan is to blame here at all for anything, but for the world media to single handidly accuse Pakistan of sharing nuclear information with Iran and Norht Korea, and say it's wrong, while India shares nuclear information with Israel, is nothing more than a double standard and a selective policy that udnermines the rights of Muslim nations to defend themselves. Dictatorships, military rulers, have no place in Muslim nations, but that does not mean that India and Israel, and Russia, and North Korea, and the United States governments shoudl not be scrutinized for sharing nuclear information wiht others.

When people like Guruji Golwalkar of the RSS say things like, 'minority communites cannot become citizens of India, and can only remain as honoured guests," I want to show the world that of the 200 million+ Muslims in India, Vajpayee's closest friends and buddies think that Muslims of India are not even citizens!! If you people of the world want to demonize Islam by believing that all Muslims are terrorists, then maybe you should realize that the world is not black and white...there are a million shades of grey. Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Tamil terrorists also exist in the world. How about a quick fact for everyone.....question...where do most suicide bombings happen in the world?

Answer: Sri Lanka.

Peace out y'all
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HAMID FROM USA said:
Finaly an article on iviews.com that shows the real picture of India. Media loves to bash Pakistan but ignors the racism of India and Hindus. Great article!
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