26 Apr 2012
[In Reply to a Facebook Post]
Absolutely, Mr Shamsudeen Abdulrahim, Muslim's human rights are as sacrosanct as anybody else's. And all of us, good Hindus and good Muslims must - and often do - fight for this. But this in a democratic polity calls for constitutionalism.
On a personal note, though, I dare say that often we make the mistake of mixing up purely secular affairs with religion and view ordinary everyday temporal issues through a religious prism.
In selecting a principal or teacher for a Muslim managed school do we strictly assess the merit of the teacher or get driven also by his faith? In electing our leader to the Parliament do we strictly assess his legal, debating and PR skills or get carried away by his 'namazi' and 'haji' tags? When we elect the chairman of our housing society do we identify the civic affairs expert, an architect or at least an officer of the municipality - or opt for the most pious Muslim?
I am even tempted to question the efficacy and advisability of the practice of inaugurating our non-religious meetings like a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a credit cooperative society meeting with Quirat [Quranic reading]. Yes, I object no less to the rendering of the Saraswati vandana or bhajan. Indeed, I have raised objection to inauguration of government building with the bhoomi-poojan. But we as the minority ought to lead by example.
By mixing up the religious aspects in purely secular affairs we lose the goodwill that would often accrue to us in our endeavors.
I propose that Muslims strictly avoid religious practices at secular and temporal forums in their own larger interest. And I believe that in the long run this will pay them significantly. Would you like to opine?