M J Akbar, a journalist turned politician has spoken the “Truth”. “Kashmiris have to be kept as hostages for the safety of Muslims in “Secular” India”!
Before one comments on the assertions of Mr. Akbar, let us examine if India is really a “Secular” State. This fact can be straight away ascertained from the Constitution of the Republic. The concerned part of the constitution which deals with religion, Article 25 is reproduced below:
25. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
1. Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.
2. Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law:-
(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.
Explanation I:- The wearing and carrying of Kirpans shall be deemed to be included in profession of the Sikh religion.
Explanation II:- In sub-clause (b) of clause reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.
The most important question is how the State has constitutionally empowered itself to throw open religious institutions of “Hindu” character only unless it was sure that it would always be a “Hindu” State? Apart from this, the State itself uses Hindu customs and rituals for starting various official functions. Hinduism is overtly and covertly reflected in all institutions and the actions of the State especially of those at the helm right now!
Till the last government set up, the discrimination of Muslims was more or less a covert operation. There were few overt incidents like the demolition of the Babri Masjid. However, the new State set up is brazenly anti-Muslim in most of its actions. They are simply an extension of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS whose founder Golwalkar was rabidly anti-Muslim. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also known as Shri Guruji. Golwalkar was the supreme leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, He wrote, “Bunch of thoughts” and “We, or Our Nationhood Defined”. Narendra Modi has written a biographical profile of Golwalkar in his book, “Jyotipunj”. He considers Golwalkar to be one of his inspirations. According to Rajeshwar Dayal, the Chief Secretary of the United Provinces in 1947-48, Golwalkar had planned to carry out a Pogrom of Muslims. Golwalkar in his book writes about non-Hindus : “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and language, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture ... In a word they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizens' rights.” RSS is now giving practical shape to these ideas of Golwalkar through their nominee, Narendra Modi.
There is a certain class of Muslims in India who by their actions and speech try to be proverbially “More loyal than the King”! They have probably not seen the report about the state of their fellow Muslims. The most authentic report has been given by Rajinder Sachar. He says in his report that the Muslims in India are in a condition worse than even the Dalits, the lowest caste among Hindus. A paragraph about the report given in Wikipedia is reproduced: “The report showed the growing social and economic insecurity that had been imposed on Muslims since independence sixty years earlier. It found that the Muslim population, estimated at over 138 million in 2001, was under-represented in the civil service, police, military and in politics. Muslims were more likely to be poor, illiterate, unhealthy and to have trouble with the law than other Indians. Muslims were accused of being against the Indian state, of being terrorists, and politicians who tried to help them risked being accused of "appeasing" them”.
One need not recollect the story of Kashmiris as it is universally known. They are in no way related to the happenings in the sub-continent except by being accidentally dragged into the Hindu-Muslim divide of the sub-continent at the time of the partition by the manipulation of the British and some Indian leaders. However, in view of their history, their right to self-determination has been accepted not only by the Indian leaders at the time of the partition but by the whole world through various resolutions, declarations and actions of the UN Security Council.
Connecting this with the fate of Muslims in India is the most ridiculous thing and a virtual blackmail indulged in by these so called “Muslim” supporters of Modi! It is really unfortunate that a person who was earlier a staunch supporter of the rights of Kashmiris has now turned against them and is advocating their retention even against their will for the pseudo-secular image of India to safeguard the future of the Muslim minority. There cannot be worse commentary than this for the world’s so called largest democratic and “secular” republic!