Is state responsible for discrimination against Muslims in India?

Our Vice President Hamid Ansari has stirred up Hornet’s nest by asking state to correct discrimination against muslims.

I write this article as a secular or a sickular, who is sick of all these political leaders taking pot shots at the Muslim

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community in India.

Since my childhood days, I have never seen a Hindu dominated area with a house of Muslims. I am sure, Hindus are not to be blamed for this. Unfortunately, our leaders are.

One of my seniors in college, who was unable to find a decent home for his family in the posh localities of a metro city because Muslims were not easily accepted in these locations.

We all know the reason for this discrimination.

The shortest way for any leader to be a part of national news today is to speak 2-3 controversial lines against Muslims.

Let me explain this further. India does not have a dearth of leaders suffering from attention deficiency problem. We have leaders who will do anything to everything for being a part of the “Breaking News”. Frankly speaking, I have no issues with these leaders wanting to be in limelight in lieu for some cheap publicity. Half of them get elected just to say “Cheese” on TV.

My issue is the way how they present themselves, when asked about an issue about Muslims of country. One controversial comment from them. The nation goes crazy after that.

Twitter starts trending with hashtag of leader’s name, tv news discussions start with leader’s comments. This cheap publicity gimmick pays off quicker than the paid publicity.

This is the easiest route to fame and success. How else would anyone know where in country does our leader exist? From nobody to somebody, journey is smooth and swift.

Earlier what was discussed in closed circles is now spoken openly, shamelessly and blatantly. Suddenly, we have turned in to a nation deriving sadistic pleasure by cornering a religion.

Here are some of the recent controversial comments against Muslims:

“Till Muslims are used as vote-banks, they have no future. This is why Bal Thackeray had demanded that Muslims’ voting rights be taken away. This was right. The day voting rights of Muslims are taken away, the façe of people who claim to be ‘secular’ will be exposed,” – Mr Raut, Leader Shiv Sena.

“Muslims and Christians to undergo sterilization (nasbandi) so that they can’t increase their numbers.”” – Sadhvi Deva Thakur.

And then there are series of controversial comments by sadivis, sadhus, etc, etc.

The easier way to glory if not good work but controversy. With Hindutava being flavor of season, you only got to be a part of Muslim bashing to let the media give you full attention.

As someone said any publicity (bad/good) is Good Publicity.

The implications of this publicity are for everyone to see. Youth from majority take confidence from comments of their leaders. They find the process of discriminating of a community to be their birth right.

Gujarat riots, Babri Masjid, Mumbai riots are few examples of what speeches of our leaders were capable of delivering.

Earlier, Muslims would protest against all these statements but today they find themselves cornered against a majority that is talking of ghar waapsi. Secularism is not the mood of nation.

The last time I picked up an argument with one of my fellow mango man (an educated guy working in a MNC). This was his argument to support recent barrage of statements against Muslims:

  1. Look what Muslims are doing to the world? Then I am made to listen to examples of ISIS, Jihad, etc, etc.
  2. They should have stayed back in Pakistan. This is Hindustan, a country of Hindus. I am sure Pakistan cannot give them a better life, when Pakistan itself is so hell-bent on self-destruction.
  3. How can Muslim demand rights as minority in a country, when the countries where they are majority does not give them equal rights?
  4. Check the population growth of Muslims
  5. They are the ones responsible for all terrorist attacks
  6. Blah-2

First and foremost, ISIS does not represent Muslims from a sane world. As per recent surveys, average Muslim despise ISIS as much as you and me. Secondly, how can we brand a whole religion a terrorist religion based on the mentality of few?

While the majority has played a role in discriminating minorities, Muslim leaders have fared no better.

Muslims as a community live in ghettos. Living conditions of Muslims in these areas is always the worse in a city. For years, they have been at receiving end of their Mullahs. These religion leaders have been used as puppets by political parties ruling their area.

Instead of asking for better education, healthcare, suitable living conditions for community, the so called religious leaders have only taken community backward by issuing irrelevant fatwas. They pledge their loyalty to a party and ask rest of community to do the same.

Every time I walk into a Muslim dominated area in a city. I meet the same bad living conditions. The majority of them still live in poverty. Why can’t their so called “great leaders” go and demand government to improve their living conditions? Rather than beat their chest on irrelevant issues.

An improved lifestyle is what will pull them out of their misery.

Lastly, why do we have so much reluctance in giving house on rent to Muslims? Are we not differentiating with them? Isn’t this a form of racism?

We shout at pitch of our voice, when Australians or Americans discriminate with us. How about we show a little empathy?

Imagine, if you are a NRI living in USA. A local leader in his pursuit to gather some white votes gives statements like

“We have to do population control of Indians (Hindus or Sikhs)

“We should not rent out our place to Hindus or Sikhs”

Every time a statement is made targeting their community, they feel humiliated and gutted. As a country, we have progressed too far from being so regressive.

At the end of day, our country aspires to be USA, Australia or any of those countries where law of land looks equally at everyone (atleast this is what i am made to think by white dominated media in these countries 🙂 ).

Time to stop harassing people based on religion. One or two lone wolves from minority do not define the community. How state can stop this discrimination is a question state can answer better than me.

Better living conditions, stopping politicization of minority related issues, harsh punishment for those involved in riots are some of steps state can take to let everyone coexist peacefully.

The state, its leaders, leaders of minorities and us. We all have created together an unhealthy environment for all religions to coexist in peace and harmony.

Hamid Ansari might not be right as Vice President of this country to speak about a minority related issue but as a Muslim, he has made a fair point.

  • The “sickular” Mango Man

Author: The Mango Man

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