The Muslim Elite’s Identity Crisis and Ayodhya

via Dr Vijaya Rajiva published on October 3, 2010

Dr.Vijaya Rajiva

It has been a few days since the Allahabad High Court has pronounced its verdict on the Ramajanma Bhoomi case. The exact spot at the site of the former Babri masjid is the birth site of Rama, as Hindus have claimed, since time immemorial. Further, the plot of land is to
be divided among the three litigants, the Sunni Waqf Board, the small Hindu group the Nirmohi Akhara and the larger Hindu group the Nyas. Two Hindu judges and a Muslim judge comprised the 3 member panel that delivered the verdict.

The country has remained calm. There have been no riots or disturbances. The middle class and the aam admi, the everyday Indian of both communities have gone about their daily life as usual. This had been the tradition for centuries until evil and diabolical men instigated the Muslim community as happened in the Direct Action of 1946 which saw the massacre of
hundreds of Hindus in West Bengal and the subsequent communal riots.

The everday Muslims are usually  converts from the indigenous religion of Hinduism. The elite Muslims, especially those from the Punjab who migrated to the newly created state of Pakistan, considered themselves separate from Bharat. Afterall, their leader Mohammed
Ali Jinnah had argued that Muslims and Hindus were two distinct communities with a different religion,culture and way of life. That was the raison de’etre for Pakistan and the British had since 1857, the year of the Mutiny or the first war of Indian Independece (as Indian historians
call it) inititated a policy of divide and rule.

Today, in Pakistan, not only has the Hindu population dwindled from 25 % in 1947 to 2%, they are systema tically discriminated against. Culturally, Hindu names have been removed from streets and natural landmarks.And interestingly, there is an emphasis on Arabisation.
The Pakistani elite consider themselves as descendants of Turks, Arabs and people from Central Asia. And indeed some are.

Babur was from beyond Afghanistan and was both of Turkish and Mongolian descent. The aam admi, the everyday Pakistani continues his daily livelihood without such reflections. As in India,unless instigated, they follow that syncretic Islam which is the unique feature of the
Indian subcontinent.

In the opinion of the present writer the Indian Muslim elite are undergoing an identity crisis, similar to the one that they experienced during the Partition days.Their dismay and disappointment at the High Court verdict can be traced to that. The secular argumentation
is an obfuscation.

Whenever they speak of the importance of the Nation, India, they are referring to a sanitised version with a Westminster style parliamentary democracy, which also has a Constitution that gives them special status as a minority. Hence, the existence of Personal Law for
the minorities and the absence of a Uniform Civil Code.

There is no understanding or interest in Hindu India. Indeed in the discussions on the electronic media and as well the print media, the assumption is that there was no civilised India prior to the adoption of the Indian Constitution. Consequently, the invader Babur’s destruction of the temple at Ayodhya is validated.And the number of Hindu temples destroyed by Muslim
invaders runs into hundreds if not thousands.

If one takes into account that these were  barbaric acts and also that the general Islamic conquest of India was the bloodiest chapter in human history(as observed by Will Durant in his Case for India) it would mean that the shrill criticism of the High Court verdict by the
Muslim elite can be seen in proper perspective.

In addition to their ‘secular fundamentalism’ (phrase coined by senior journalist Swapan Das Gupta to describe the unwillingess to promote co operation among the two communities)
the Muslim elite are unsure now of their identity.

To continue to say that they are Indians does not seem sufficient in their own minds. Can they identify with a Hindu ethos, as seen in the belief that Rama was born in the exact place in Ayodhya which now the High Court has confirmed that it is ? Their assertion that the verdict
was based on faith rather than legalities is ofcourse not true (most have not even read the 10,000 page document!).

What has happened to their comfortable belief that the Babri is a part of India’s history and architectural monuments ? Many probably do not even go regularly to say namaz at any mosque in India. Yet, they tacitly supported the existence of a structure created by an invader.

They have taken refuge in their ‘secular’ identity, aided and encouraged by the camp followers of the JNU school of thought that uses many subterfuges to deny the 5,000 year plus civilisational history of Bharat.

That is no longer enough for the Muslim elite who are experiencing an historic angst. They cannot by their much vaunted secularism justify the destruction of Hindu monuments by invaders, nor can they support the rebuilding of a temple at Ayodhya.

Most likely they do not any longer privately believe in their public pronouncements on the High Court verdict. Witness for instance Zoya Hassan of the JNU saying with a straight face that she is not talking as a Muslim but as a secular modernist when she criticises the verdict.

It is well known that she is a member of the Minorities Commission set up by the Indian government. That is quite alright, and there is no need for her to disown her Muslim allegiance, and assume a mantle of secularism to deny the Hindus their rights, or to recognise the validity
of rebuilding the temple to Rama.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

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