Recently, articles – one through Harsh Mander and a reaction through Ramachandra Guha – discussed the location of Muslims in Indian polity. Mander’s article appears to emanate from the concept that took preserve at some point of the current Gujarat Assembly elections that the Congress celebration turned into keeping off Muslims in its campaign.
Mander is essential for the Congress celebration and a Dalit leader who told Muslims: “By all means, are available big numbers to our rallies. But don’t come together with your skullcaps and burqas.” Guha is vital of Mander for no longer greedy the religious orthodoxy in the back of the burqa, which liberals ought to criticise.
At the center of the 2 articles is also the important thing argument whether secular political parties just like the Congress are following inside the footsteps of the Bharatiya Janata Party in pushing Muslims to the margins of Indian politics. Also at discussion is whether Muslims can produce a pacesetter like Sadiq Khan, the Muslim mayor of London. Or, better nevertheless, can the Indian polity nurture and deliver such leaders like Sadiq and Barack Obama?
After the 1857 struggle, wherein Muslims and Hindus fought collectively against the British, it need to had been a logical next step for the two communities to live in peace. But, the Muslim management, besieged by the concept of getting misplaced the Mughal power, moved on to the Khilafat movement and abandoned the liberty war in favor of Pakistan. After Independence, the Hindu management too determined to deal with Muslims as minorities – as someone who wished assist. Political parties created minority wings and boxed them in in place of accepting them as identical residents.
This politics of boxing Muslims into separate enclaves of minds became furthered through a chain of riots and quota politics, in addition to by means of Islamic clerics. While Hindus – both of secular and Hindutva varieties – separated Muslims from the mainstream, Islamic clerics crammed the management hole created after the middle class of Muslims left for Pakistan. Secular leaders – from Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and Akhilesh Yadav – have courted Islamic clerics and, contradicting their own socialist imaginative and prescient, bolstered the clerical impact on Muslims.
The oil boom of the 1970s and onwards inside the Arab world had effects on Muslims: Islamic clerics amassed budget from Saudis and promoted the orthodox Wahhabi Islam; and, Muslim workers getting back from West Asia started viewing Indian Islam as insufficient.
In her e-book ‘Mothering a Muslim’, Nazia Erum charges an Indian Muslim as announcing: “Muslims coming back from Saudi Arabia ‘talk about Islam to us as though they were teaching non-Muslims!'” This system pushed the burqa, which changed into barely everywhere some a long time ago, to occupy a valuable vicinity in Indian towns.
“While a burqa may not be a weapon, in a symbolic experience it’s far comparable to a Trishul (trident). It represents the maximum reactionary, antediluvian components of the religion,” Guha says. Sometimes clothes are thoughts, now not simply clothes. The burqa does no longer involve desire. It may be a preference simplest if someone who wears the burqa has also the selection not to wear it.
For example, if Shobha De were to wear a burqa, it’ll be her choice. But, for an extensive range of Muslim ladies, burqa enslaves minds. Ideas associated with burqa subjugate Muslim women. Guha is right that liberal writers ought to question Muslim orthodoxies.
Insofar as Guha is responding to the failure of liberal writers to mission Muslim orthodoxies, Mander’s analysis remains intact. Mander is addressing simplest a thing of the Hindu-Muslim trouble in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new India. He is right whilst he says Muslims are “trendy castaways” and experience they are “politically untouchable”; or large events remember them as “a taboo.” This singling out of Muslims flows into society from the Hindutva politics fostered via BJP and exclusive sectarian groups aligned with the RSS.
This writer these days regarded two films on social media. In one, a collection of Hindu youths prevent an antique Muslim man and pressure him to shout Jai Shri Ram. In the alternative, Hindu youths prevent a bus, pull out an aged Muslim man and ask why there is a Pakistani flag on the returned of the bus. He says he would not even recognize approximately it. The aged man and his mother are abused inside the crassest language. He is then asked to walk over the flag, which is not even Pakistani. He is ordered to shout anti-Pakistan slogans. In both the movies, those Muslims are identified by their caps and beards.
And that is in which Guha is incorrect and Mander is proper. Guha ignores the truth that hatred can unmarry out groups by means of their dress. Hatred brews in a sure sort of political cultures cultivated by using a certain sort of political events and spiritual companies and their leaders.
The burqa’s function in subjugating Muslim ladies ought to be criticised, however, skullcap and beard are traditional characteristics of piety among Muslims in India. Irrespective of nonsecular association, humans will put on a sure kind of dress which is included with the aid of present-day democracies as a proper to religion.
Mander’s statement that “open expressions of hatred and bigotry towards Muslims have turn out to be the new ordinary” and Muslim parents inform their youngsters not to “respond with ‘salam Alaikum’ while we cellphone you in a teach” is actual. Cow vigilantes recently attacked Muslim youths in trains, having identified them by using their get dressed. Muslim guys were attacked for being Muslim. In this 12 months’ examination, the CBSE has required examinees to write down their names on answer sheets, causing worry among Muslim kids on whether or not they may lose marks because of their names.
The BJP is the usage of Hindutva to divide Indians between Muslims and Hindus, just like secular parties used caste and a distorted exercise of secularism to divide Indians. BJP says it desires to deal with all people as Indian, but it also has units of tooth: one to consume and the opposite to show.
“The BJP has become the primary ruling birthday party since Independence without a single Muslim MP within the Lok Sabha,” writes Mander. This is a point also raised by Aakar Patel, that BJP doesn’t have an unmarried Muslim MLA in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
Let’s name this phenomenon the Gujarat version of politics, wherein nationalism will become exclusionary, slogans of Jai Shri Ram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai are raised to frighten Muslims on motive, tiranga yatras (tricolor marches) are taken out to foment anti-Muslim politics, political events deny tickets to Muslims etc.
Both Mander and Guha have legitimate arguments, the former addressing the present day political context and the latter having arrived on the view possibly from the realisation that it’s miles the distorted liberal practices – the case of Shah Bano, dating of clerics like Imam Bukhari to Tauqeer Raza Khan, ban on The Satanic Verses – that gave start to the rise of Hindutva.