THE CITIZEN INTERVIEW | 19 APRIL, 2017
'Indian Muslims Brought in A New Concept to Islamic Jurisprudence, That of A State of Peace That is Now Under Threat'
NEW DELHI: Navaid Hamid, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, a conglomerate of 16 minority organisations, in an interview to The Citizen expressed deep concern about the current environment and the consequences of a politics that is vitiating the State of Peace. He is the 7th President of the 50 year old organisation.
Q. Do you feel that today the environment is becoming increasingly hostile to the minorities?
A. We need the current government to bring out a paper to inform people on which occasion Muslims have acted against India, or against the interests of India. It is absurd. The current leadership that has all information about internal security, including the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh who have publicly accepted that Indian Muslims have not supported the Islamic State/ But even when a fringe of 20 odd youth have got radicalised by the IS propaganda, their parents have contacted the authorities and asked them to guide the young people towards the right path. This is an absurd allegation.
Q. Lets go back a little, the Indian Muslim has been accused of being pro-Pakistan. How true is that?
A.Interesting. I request the Modi government to bring out a list of spies who have worked for Pakistan since 1947 till date.
LK Advani as the Deputy Prime Minister had accused madarsas of being terror hotbeds. When he was confronted about this in Parliament, he had assured the members he would bring out a white paper but he did not.
Q. What about this term of ‘appeasement’ of Muslims by the non-BJP parties?
A. The BJP is harvesting what the so called secular parties have seeded in the past 65 years. Ironically, the secular parties have converted the idea of the democracy of India into a majoritarian democracy silently, quietly. A community that was 30 per cent in the public services in 1947, 29 per cent in 1951 has come down to a representation of around 3 per cent today.
More than 80 Muslim concentrated parliamentary constituencies have been reserved for SC/ST, and the constituencies where the Dalit population is high have been notified as general constitutencies.
(gives more examples) This charge of appeasement is only to mislead the common, innocent masses and justify something that does not exist on the ground.
The first anti-Muslim bias was exposed by the Sachar committee of the West Bengal Left government by the extraordinarly low percentage of Muslims in public jobs.
We need a third white paper on the charge of appeasement of Muslims by secular parties.
Q. These parties clearly just made statements without doing anything for the people on the ground?
The secular parties were following soft-Hindutva policies. They did nothing to safeguard the secular fabric of the nation, forget Muslims. It started with Indira Gandhi when she had encouraged Dr Karan Singh to hold a Virat Hindu Sammelan at the Boat Club lawns (near India Gate, Delhi). It all started from there. And went downhill from there.
Q. So now is India moving towards a Hindu rashtra?
A.After coming to power in Delhi the government is working to remove the Muslim community from all spheres of public life.
Q. How is that even possible?
A. They have refused to give tickets to the Muslims in the state elections. From Himachal Pradesh to Andhra Pradesh you will not find any Muslim MP in the Lok Sabha. Except for two from Bihar, and that too from the Congress and Lokjanshakti party.
In 2011 I cautioned the Prime Minister then that the number of Muslims would come down to single digit numbers, and that would be the saddest day for Indian democracy. This is happening now. If this situation continues into the next elections, Muslims would lose hope in the democratic process. That will not only be the saddest part of Indian democracy, but also a failure of India as a nation. And the consequences would be unimaginable. If a Muslim is not in the legislatures, what will it mean?
Q. Do you see any hope?
A, We are moving towards an era where the possibilities of confrontation between different sections of Indian society will increase which would endanger peace and tranquillity in the country.
Q. People justify a Hindu rashtra by saying that Muslims in a majority move towards an Islamic nation?
A. Might be a 100-200 people who dream about an Islamic state. It is not practical, and absurd in the Indian context. When the so called responsible people publicly argue for a Hindu rashtra they fail to understand that they are playing with fire.
India needs to understand at this juncture of political churning, that the majority of Indian Muslims who have rejected the idea of Jinnah’s Pakistan and remained like a solid rock behind Gandhi, Nehru, Azad, Madani, did so as they shared the strong belief that India would be a nation for all.
Please recall that for hundreds of years students of Islamic jurisprudence had only known two concepts of the state, the Islamic state and the anti-Islamic state. It was a gift by the Indian Muslim clergy to Islamic jurisprudence that they gave an idea of a third concept of a nation to the world and that was the State of Peace. This idea had charmed an overwhelming number of Indian Muslims who became part of the Independence struggle, and elected to stay and live in India as the State of Peace. They rejected Jinnah’s divisive agenda.
We need to understand that this concept has given a moment of pride to the Muslims to work with full zeal and commitment to make India a strong nation, and contribute whatever they can for this. The proponents of a Hindu rashtra fail to understand that this is a divisive agenda, and actually represents what can be roughly described as Sangh mooted Jinnah politics of the 21st century.
Q. What is the most worrisome consequence in your view, of this today?
A. We need to understand that political Islam gives clear directions to the Muslim community at large as to what responsibilites they have in an Islamic state, and in an anti-Islamic state. If India is declared a Hindu rashtra, it will no longer be a State of Peace. And I fear that many then will guided by the basic principles of political Islam as to what they need to do to counter this, they will be free then to migrate or to counter the anti- state. And please be assured that Muslims are not going to migrate anywhere. And no country is going to accept them, including Pakistan as we had worked against the idea of Pakistan, and a two nation theory. Also remember if Indian Muslims had supported Jinnah the demography of South Asia would have been different.
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