India is a sovereign and a Republic democracy. India got its independence from British in 1947 and chose to become a secular country and chose the path of humanity over sectarianism and is considered as a vibrant and throbbing democracy. Our neighbour, Pakistan, on the other hand, became a Muslim majority country and is somewhat a rigged and managed democracy. Ever since the partition both the countries are still fighting over outstanding issues and it mainly involves the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
India is a land where Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and many communities live peacefully and cordially and want India’s prosperity and betterment and their heart bleeds for India. But, certain individuals and groups will always cry foul and invariably play the victim card over and over and over again. One individual which comes to mind is All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and elected Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi. Owaisi claims to be the voice of downtrodden, marginalised, poor and neglected Muslim community and in the garb of secularism will make inflammatory statements against majority community (read: Hindus) and will always harp on being the real victim and will leave no opportunity to criticise and question India’s secular fabric. Owaisi will not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, will have a problem singing Vande Mataram, oppose Surya Namaskar and every other custom and ritual which is remotely Indian.
The Muslim community in India forms around 20% of the population, which is over 20 crore i.e. roughly the total population of Pakistan and for the last 70 years Muslims have been given a raw deal and one particular party always treated them as a vote bank rather than dignified human beings. What ails Muslim community? There are a plethora of reasons and the biggest reason is clerics, self-styled Muslim scholars who in the garb of Muslim empowerment have been the biggest enemies of their own people.
Owaisi despite being well read and educated (has a law degree from overseas) is part of an archaic and misogynistic organisation like All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), who are anti-women and anti-reform and support practices like instant triple talaq, which have ransacked and ruined lives of so many Muslim sisters and mothers. You can question the government on issues like lynching, riots, political murders but you don’t have right to instigate communities on religious lines, spewing venom against elected prime minister just to boost your ego and hatred for some political entities.
We all know about the dreaded and face of global terror Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and his ideology. Saeed has been the mastermind of many terror attacks on Indian soil and in the valley and many innocent lives have been lost by this dreaded fundamentalist and terrorist. India has been gunning for this Islamist preacher for quite a while but is unable to capture him due to political compulsions. Owaisi very rarely speaks about Indian soldiers being martyred on LoC and he has a lot to say and this includes opposition of triple talaq being criminalised.
The idea of India was based on being a secular and unified country and yes we have bazillion problems, but people like Owaisi will always try to play the communal Hindu-Muslim card to keep his party afloat. The modern Muslim wants jobs, development, employment, shelter and is not bothered by propaganda such as Islam is in danger. Islam is a very pious religion and talks about equality, unity, and brotherhood and Indian Muslim is a proud Indian and its time Owaisi understands that and becomes part of the mainstream rather than being a fringe player. It is the same India which has elected Owaisi to the Parliament and that counts for something.
Post Script: Hafiz Saeed might contest Pakistan’s general election which are due later in the year and who knows he might win. If that happens terror will be legitimised, and India then will be looking at the possibility of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind being Pakistan’s lawmaker and then both Owaisi and Saeed could be part of a joint committee on how to tackle terrorism.