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Majority report

Majority report

Author: BN Sharma
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: October 4, 2003

From the tone and tenor of Mr M Ratan's letter 'Missing the point' (September 11), it seems he has donned the mantle of an apologist for the minorities. Poverty and development -the subjects he keeps bringing up-are not germane to the issue. For, there is no dichotomy between religion and development; even so, he should read what Mr G Parthasarathy has to say in his article, "Pakistan: Guns and poses" (September 11). A prominent Pakistani in a South Asian capital told Mr Parthasarathy that his country would have no problem in retarding India's economic progress-it has many friends in India itself to help it achieve this goal. The recent serial blasts in Mumbai are just the tip of the iceberg in a deep-rooted conspiracy amongst a section of 'alienated' Indian Muslims trained in Pakistan's terror factories to wreak havoc on our financial capital and derail our economy.

Dubbing the VHP as an extremist and bigoted organisation has also become the favourite pastime of so-called moderates. This is normally done without quoting even one word from Mr Praveen Togadia's speeches which is offensive to Muslims. Regarding the temple, it is a waste of time trying to persuade those who refuse to see with their eyes wide open, even after the Archaeological Survey of India's latest finds. Hindus have never indulged in competitive communalism. From the 1919 Khilafat Movement through Partition till today, it is the minority which has had its way, challenging even the Constitution and the Supreme Court.

Let there, however, be no illusions. The two-nation theory is dead. India will always remain one nation. Those who don't share this view are free to make a choice between what they call Dar-ul-Harb and Dar-ul-Islam (Pakistan). Certainly, the loyalty to nation of all Indian Muslims cannot be questioned. But can we deny there are pockets in society which shelter ISI moles and that all these are from one community?

Mr Ratan's observation that India is a predominantly Hindu nation may not hold true for long. According to a study on the 'Religious Demography of India' by the Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai, the Hindu population in the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, will shrink to 55 per cent by 2050. Add to this 20 million Bangladeshi infiltrators in India. In another 10 years, the subcontinent will become a Dar-ul-Islam, and our third generation could very well be born in a Muslim theocratic state.

We should believe in communal harmony but this has to be a bipartisan effort. In his book, India: the Siege Within, MJ Akbar has said: "India has remained a secular state because nine out of ten Hindus don't believe in violence against the minorities". By contrast, MRA Beg says in Muslim Dilemma in India: "Neither the Koran nor Mohammed advocated humanism or even coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. This also explains why no country, in which Muslims are in a majority, can have a secular constitution and why practising Muslim can be a humanist". In fact, it seems what Muslims expect is that all Hindus should be humanists while they remain communal (page 112).

Muslims are in greater need of Mr Ratan's sermons. For starters, let them show their sincerity by forgoing their claim to the Ram Janma-bhoomi. According to intellectuals in their own community, the construction of a mosque on the ruins of a temple is un-Islamic and no namaz can be offered there. Why then is the Hindu demand considered unjustified? There is enough infantility dressed up as secular politics in India.

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