Understanding Hindutva: Answers To Atal Bihari Vajpayee [PART 4]
By Saif Khan:
In a piece titled ‘The Sangh is my Soul’, AB Vajpayee wrote, “They [Muslims and Christians] can follow the faith of their own conviction. No one can object to it. We [Hindus] worship trees, animals, stones and what not. We have hundreds of ways of worshipping God. They can go where they want. But this country must be looked upon as the Motherland for them. They must have a feeling of patriotism for this country. But the Islamic division of the world into ‘Darul Islam’ and ‘Darul Harb’ comes into the way. Islam has yet to learn the art of existing and flourishing in a country where Muslims are in a minority. They cannot convert the whole of India to Islam. After all, they have to live here. So they have to recognise this fact. And today it has become a matter of grave concern and deep thinking in the Muslim countries because Quran offers no guidance in this regard. It only talks of killing kafirs or converting them to Islam. But they cannot do it always and everywhere. How can they do it where they are in a minority? If they try to do it, a major clash will take place and only the members of the minority will be killed. But Muslims themselves have to change this state of affairs. We cannot change it for them. Congress has not correctly understood the Muslim problem. They continue to carry on their policy of appeasement. But to what effect ? The Muslims of this country can be treated in three ways. One is ‘tiraskar’ which means if they will not themselves change, leave them alone, reject them as out compatriots. Second is ‘puruskar’ which is appeasement, i.e. bribe them to behave, which is being done by the Congress and others of their ilk. The third way is ‘parishkar’ meaning to change them, that is, restore them to the mainstream by providing them sanskaras. We want to change them by offering them the right sanskaras. Their religion will not be changed. They can follow their own religion. Mecca can continue to be holy for the Muslims but India should be holier than the holy for them. You can go to a mosque and offer namaz, you can keep the roza. We have no problem. But if you have to choose between Mecca or Islam and India you must choose India. All the Muslims should have this feeling. We will live and die only for this country.”
First we need to realize that the terms Darul Islam and Darul Harb are greatly misunderstood. The term Darul Islam is used in the Quran to depict heaven and it literally means an ‘Abode of Peace’. Scholars use the term ‘Darul Islam’ to describe those places or nations where Muslims are given the freedom to freely practise their religion. The term ‘Darul Harb’ literally means an ‘Abode of War’ and is used to describe those places or countries which have declared war on the Muslims. The two terms have got nothing to do with what is generally contemplated by critics of Islam. Muslims aren’t commanded to turn every country into a Muslim-majority nation nor is any country an ‘Abode of War’ ie ‘Darul Harb’ merely because it doesn’t happen to be a Muslim majority. In fact, there are other terms like ‘Darul Aman’ and ‘Darul Ahad’ which are used to illustrate the conditions prevailing at those places where Muslims have religious freedom and at the same time happen to have treaties or friendly relations with people belonging to other faiths.
Secondly, it’s totally wrong to state that the Quran instructs Muslims only to kill Non Muslims or to convert them. Yes, the Quran does contain a number of problematic passages including the two famous Verses of the Sword mentioned in Surah Tauba which, if not understood in their entirety and historical background, could lead and at times, do lead to radicalized Mullahs exalting people to kill disbelievers but one can point out to endless number of Quranic verses which promote religious freedom, co-existence and tolerance. The Quran states in Chapter 2, Verse 256, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Chapter 22, Verse 67 states, “We have appointed for every community ways of worship to observe. Let them not dispute with you on this matter” and Chapter 109, Verse 4, says, “To you your religion, to me mine.”
The question of taking initiatives to ‘Indianize’ Muslims is an erroneous one. It’s been centuries since the Muslims along with other immigrants like the Jews, Zoroastrians, Christians etc started coming and settling in India. They are now a part of India’s DNA. When it comes to assessing the loyalty and patriotism of Indians Muslims, we don’t need to worry much since the Muslims have a religious obligation to be faithful to their associates as commanded in the Quran irrespective of their religion. When the Holy Prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina, a verse was revealed to him which set forth the relationship which was to be maintained between the Muslims of Mecca and Medina and the Jews of Medina.
Chapter 8, Verse 72 of the Quran states, “Those who have believed and migrated [Muslims] and struggled for God’s cause with their possessions and persons, and those who have given refuge and help [Jews of Medina] are the friends and protector of one another. But as for those who have to come to believe without having migrated [Muslims of Mecca], you [Muslims of Medina] are in no way responsible for their protection until they migrate. If they seek your [Muslims of Medina] help in the matter of religion, it is incumbent on you to help them [Muslims of Mecca], except against a people with whom you have a pact [Jews of Medina].” This verse clearly puts out the priority for Muslims. Muslims are not allowed to go out of the way and support a Muslim majority country against their own country since they have a pact with the people of the nation in which they are living.
Islam has institutionalized patriotism and loyalty within Muslims. Furthermore, the Quran states in Chapter 17, Verse 34, “And fulfill every pact, you will be held accountable with regard to the pacts.” The constitution of Medina which was the brainchild of Prophet Muhammad declared the Muslims, Jews and Tribes of Yathrib as one community to the exclusion of all men. These religious principles and anecdotes clearly prove that there is no reason to suspect the loyalty of Muslims living in India. Another point which needs to be made over here is in relation to the Sachar Committee findings which tore apart the common stereotypes existing about Muslims in India. The Committee’s report stated that the Muslim community as a whole had never indulged in anti-national activities. The findings of the Sachar Committee also proved that no appeasement of the Muslims had taken place over the years. If it had so happened, Muslims would not have been in such a terrible socio-economic state.
How to wipe out Islamic Terror – Subramanian Swamy
The Guru of Hate – Ramachandra Guha
Conceptualizing Hindutva Fascism – Ram Puniyani
The Sangh is in my Soul – AB Vajpayee
We or Our Nationhood Defined – MS Golwalkar
Bunch of Thoughts – MS Golwalkar
Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist – Mani Shankar Aiyar
Bible (King James Version)
Quran (Translation by Maulana Wahiuddin Khan)
Rig Veda (Translation by Ralph TH Griffith)
Bal Thackeray – India Today (1984)
Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? – VD Savarkar
Technical Session (India Today Conclave) – Narendra Modi, Dgvijay Singh & Farooq Abdullah
Gujarat Gaurav Yatra (2002 – Rallies)