India, Ignore The Same Old Routine On Islamophobia; Think How We Can Avoid Tablighi Jamaat-Like Disasters
For victimology experts, outrage is the new intellectualism, whining is the new research, and perpetrators are the new victims
Even before the full extent of the role of Tablighi Jamaat in spreading COVID-19 across India could be assessed, the usual suspects were campaigning against Islamophobia.
For victimology experts, outrage is the new intellectualism, whining is the new research, and perpetrators are the new victims.
Osama bin Laden loved cats. Al-Baghdadi was an austere religious scholar. Burhan Wani was an innocent teenage headmaster’s son. Women rubbishing secular state for sharia, praising stonepelting hijabis are “Jamia sheroes”.
Those spewing hate against mushrikun (polytheists) and but-parast (idol-worshippers) are just exercising their constitutional rights, and the polytheists and idol-worshippers who do not love them even so, are Islamophobic.
Interestingly, those who accuse the government of using Tablighi Jamaat to divert the attention are themselves using the narrative of Islamophobia to stop tough questions from being asked.
The real question are:
- The super-spreading was just out of ignorance, or is there a link to Jamaat’s core ideology?
- What is the motivation behind the shocking acts of spitting out of buses, spitting on healthcare workers, harassing nurses etc?
- Why didn’t they come out for testing, and the National Security Adviser had to be flown in at 2 am? Why couldn’t the normal law and order machinery take care of it?
- In a country with a long history of being victimised in the name of Islam, where’s the line between a rational fear of Islam, and Islamophobia?
- How can India save itself from being victimised by the same ideology again and again?
From various reports, the following conclusions emerge:
Second, Tablighi Jamaat is a fundamentalist, supremacist organisation which promotes Arab-centrism, puritanism, discourages mingling with local culture, and is in principle, against diversity and pluralism (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5)
India has learnt nothing from history
Why, despite unparalleled affluence and historically lowest rates of unemployment, multiculturalism today is struggling in the West? Why the push-back against diversity in the most liberal of countries? What prompted a powerful leader to quip ‘liberalism is obsolete’?
The answer is simple — diversity isn’t an asset in itself, it has to be well-managed to become an asset.
For multiculturalism and pluralism to survive, those who go against these values need to be punished.
Multiculturalism cannot be inclusive to supremacism. Tolerance cannot survive if it’s tolerant towards the intolerant.
Unlike what some scholars say, India doesn’t need to placate any group as a ‘thank-you’ for diversity. Centuries before whose birth India was diverse and plural, such groups can’t be keystone species of India’s diversity.
Instead, those with a long history of imperialism and conquest need to demonstrate dissociation with the supremacist ideas behind historical Hindu persecution.
Surprisingly, the countries that have a relatively negligible history of being victimised by radical Islamism are unapologetic in their pushback.
Poland, a country that historically has had far more challenges with Christianity, now considers radical Islam its number one threat. “This war of civilisation is just a fact,” is how one famous Polish leader describes it.
UK, a country which gave the Muslims separate electorate in the colonies, today, doesn’t even recognise the niqah.
The president of United States, a country which supplied machine guns to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, today openly calls it ‘radical Islamic terrorism’.
France doesn’t give citizenship rights to even third, fourth generation of the Muslims from its colonies in northern Africa, and recently, the liberal poster-boy Emmanuel Macron said "political Islam" has no place in France and vowed an "unrelenting fight against Islamist terrorism”.
Compared to this, PM Modi has not once used the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ or ‘political Islam’.
Indians either have a selective amnesia regarding Partition, or want to escape its reality.
Even the historians want to portray partition not as a historical event, but a fuzzy emotional scene in a movie where no one’s right, no one’s wrong — it’s all about feelings, not facts.
When it comes to the history — Indians are inferior, effeminate, passive people meant to be subjugated by a superior masculine race, and when it comes to taking responsibility for the historical crimes, this superior masculine race is suddenly the victim.
What can India do now?
India will have to gather the courage to protect itself notwithstanding.
First step should be to correct the discriminatory and perverted model of secularism that treats unequals as equals.
If India wants to keep alive the values of tolerance and pluralism hailed by the leaders of the national movement as the core of Indian civilisation, then it should institutionalise the rewards and punishments for the same.
The Indian model of secularism should be cognisant of the long history of Christian and Islamic imperialism, Hindu persecution, and alert against the ideas that fuelled it.
It must be a constitutional obligation on the government to protect the Indic civilisational values.
The principle of exceptions to the fundamental rights in recognition of the historical injustices is already recognised by the Constitution.
As one scholar said, Indian civilization is not just a khichri of ethnicons. It’s more like a banyan tree where a variety of organisms found shelter. And for this diversity to exist, the tree has to be protected.
Any groups, foreign or Indian, shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from India’s respect for plurality and tolerance if they themselves don’t profess the same values.
Organisations with explicit or implicit goals of converting the world to one religion/one identity of god shouldn’t be allowed to function in India.
Indians can’t keep complaining if they do not set clear expectations and boundaries.
World is not a Bollywood movie where the sacrifices of a chaste wife ultimately make the deviant husband realise his mistakes.
Secondly, the Indian state currently curtails freedom of religion of Indic groups selectively, whereas Christians and Muslims have special rights.
The result is that Hindus are effectively financing those who call for exterminating Hindus and Hinduism. This obscenity must end.
The concept of minority rights originated in the countries where historically, the majority was aggressive, and minorities (for example, Jews) were oppressed.
This is not the case in India. If it were, the Catholic Church, with less than 5 per cent of the population, wouldn't be the largest private land holder in the country.
Indian minority rights are a euphemism for continuation of the special privileges of past conquerors who consider it beneath them to be ruled by filthy pagans in a democracy. Minority rights are nothing but a compensation for their services in ‘civilising’ India.
This is simply unacceptable.
There is no compulsion for anyone to believe in the ideals of the Indian national movement or decolonisation, nor any hate against those who don’t.
The thing is, India cannot remain stuck entertaining them forever and ever, when these matters have already been decided upon.
Seventy years ago, India decided to end the British Raj, and those who believed in its superiority and were attached to it, like Anglo Indians, also trickled out.
So, the likes of Sharjeel Imam are free to call Jinnah a hero and Gandhi the greatest fascist of the 20th century for ‘Ram Rajya'.
But the fact of the matter is, those who agreed with Jinnah already got what they wanted. Others who agree with him are also free to go, but Gandhi’s Ram Rajya isn’t on the negotiating table in India.
Thirdly, the Indian state needs to enact a law against cultural appropriation of Indic thought by the groups and ideologies that, simultaneously, preach for its extinction.
It is absolutely vulgar that the Christian missionaries who call Hindus evil polytheists, boast about breaking idols of Hindu deities by stomping on them, ask their followers to punch Hindus in the face, call Hindu temples “satan strongholds” are allowed to fool others with idols of Jesus with tilak and rudraksh, wear saffron robes, imitate Hindu temple architecture and texts - Jesus Gayatri Mantra, Jesus yoga, etc.
Decades ago, the stalwarts of Indian national movement, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekanand, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, B R Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, etc. warned us against the aggressive, bullying, intolerant nature of Christian and Islamic imperialism.
The choice is ours, whether we stand up for ourselves, or be shamed into silence.
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