25 January, 2015


If Muslim children are compelled to sing SARASWATI VANDANA they will be withdrawn from municipal, government and such private schools that so force them, most will give up education, some will land at MADARSAS.
It is these policies of discrimination, humiliation and oppression that facilitate the Islamists’ drive to fan terrorism. And who can fault them, then?
What business do you then have to blame Muslims for dropping out of schools, or patronizing Madarsas - or even for tolerating in their midst terrorists that opt to fight injustice with violence?
Mindless force by state cannot be fought by a small minority democratically and peaceably. Specially when its judiciary has been substantially communalized. [Notice how every criminal of the ruling dispensation accused of murder, encounters, extortions, woman chasing etc are being cleansed of their sins by a compliant judiciary.]
What options then are left to Muslims - unless you really want them to accept subjugation. That, I hope, is not going to happen anytime soon. Not till men like me are alive. I will certainly oppose the Vandana at all costs.
One may ask, is it wrong for school children to sing praises to God? Yes, for one how can you force God on children? You are already depriving them of their free choice between faith and atheism. You are sniffing out all inquiry. You are indeed forcing creation upon evolution, superstition upon science, faith upon reason. And me rationalist is clearly agitated, as must be Nehru and Roy, if they could.
And which God, anyway?Whose God? Why not the Islamic God then? After all there are far more believers of Allah than of Saraswati globally. Or, more fairly, why not the Gods of all faiths equally?
These are the same forces that ignored the Muslim assertion of ‘SareJahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara’ and questioned their patriotism for their reservations against VandeMataram. Another round begins.
The deafening silence of the Sarkari Muslims – Najma, Naqvi, Akbar, Nawaz, Shazia, Sareshwala… and their ilk – is understandable. But what about our secular media?Higher judiciary?Human Rights Activists?Scientific organizations?
Men like me chose to stay in India and serve it, despite options that the so-called PravasiBharatis’ would envy. Is this how our nation rewards us for our sacrifices? With ingratitude, betrayal and oppression?
Left to them, ordinarily most Indian Muslims feel fairly comfortable with Namaste, Jai Ramjiki, Saraswati and Lakhsmi. And, for India, its sovereignty and constitution, its earlier secular values - and for the good of its Hindus, most Muslims would be willing to make enormous sacrifices. But when their core values -and their faith - are violated and they are forced to make such choices, they would choose the way most Hindus would: in favour of dignity and faith. When people are so forced there would – indeed, must – be resistance.
If a non-practicing, rationalist Muslim like me feels so agitated, imagine the anguish and anger of the believing, pious, Muslim? Why, does he not have equal rights to his faith? Can he not remain both a practicing Muslim and a patriotic non-Hindu Indian?
To defend his rights I, and millions of secular Hindus and Muslims will fight - to the end of our lives.
Indian rulers of today, you choose whether we should focus our energies on constructive nation building - to fight poverty, disease and corruption - or to fight your senseless and retrograde mis-governance?

Pray do not further separate India’s Hindus and Muslims, its majority and minorities, its believers and non-believers. Please.

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