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Understanding Hindutva: Answers To Atal Bihari Vajpayee [PART 4]

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By Saif Khan:

430497_266003323474985_1801315610_nIn 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.

PART 1 , PART 2 , PART 3

References:

Articles:
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

Books:
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)

Interviews:
Bal Thackeray — India Today (1984)

Pamphlets:
Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? — VD Savarkar

Weblinks:
1995 Supreme Court Judgement
Savarkar’s Message on 59th Birthday
Vajpayee on the eve of Babri Masjid Demolition
Review Petition on Hindutva
Gita
Shiv Mahimna Stotaram

Others:
Technical Session (India Today Conclave) — Narendra Modi, Dgvijay Singh & Farooq Abdullah
Gujarat Gaurav Yatra (2002 – Rallies)

You must be to comment.
  1. Mohd.Errakingal Kutty

    I am a South Indian muslim and what I have observed about why there is apprehension towards Islam especially in the northern part of the country is their ghettoisation. In the north it is very easy to distinguish between Hindu’s and muslims cause muslims tend to gravitate themselves away from the mainstream culture such as using the arabic script to write,heavy usage of persian words in their language etc. Whereas if you go down south barring Hyderabad or even Bengal for that matter you cant even differentiate between anyone.In kerala ,Where Christians and muslims are in more numbers proportionately compared to the other states,religious tension is very low as compared to the northern states.Muslims still wear the traditonal mundu and women wear saris under the burqaa and except for religious traditions all talking and reading is done in Malayalam.Same is observed in Bangladesh which uses the Traditional bengali script to write and keeps arabic limited to religious traditions.Bangladesh too has 15 million hindus and religious tensions do exist but are very low.

    And another point is the Muslim rulers.Started from the invasion of Bin Qasim to the Mughal dynasty , this period is greatly patronized by Northern Muslims and pakistanis.I dont even know why it is termed as Muslim rule.It should not be as they all were foreigners whi just came to India to pillage it.Islam was not accepted by majority of people through forced conversion as many people believe but it was propogated by sufi saints mainly who propogated a message of peace.The rulers preached other wise.If making the foreigners muslim makes northerners and pakistanis patronize them then likewise even the Christians should patronize the British,portuguese and the French etc.The mughals were turks and had they been Indian then their court language wouldnt be Persian or Chughtai.

    The point is that it is more to do with an identity crisis rather than religion that is causing such religious tensions especially in the North.These are my views.

    1. Makarand joshi

      and i think when the identity crisis rises among the people, they have to find and believe the common base that every one of them have. so the common thing of them can be their identity.. but its difficult to compromise with your identity that is become the issue i think..

    2. sg02

      Hindu-Muslim crisis is age old. with “The point is that it is more to do with an identity crisis rather than religion that is causing such religious tensions especially in the North.” you have hit bang on the point. i am from UP (Lucknow). a state where Muslims are being used for cheap vote-bank politics. (yet no improvement in their condition). the problem is identity crisis because of lack of education. there is very much narrow mindedness prevalent here. its not just the religion divide, there’s also the caste divide here. the concept of India as a nation is alien here.
      the reason why you think like this is because the literacy of south is more than north. (therefore intolerance prevalent here. people get instigated by uneducated corrupt politicians without using their own better judgments)
      the people do not wish to understand that inclusive progress is true progress which comes from quality education.
      i have written an article on the the 2014 election frnzie: why is 2014 all about NaMo?
      http://shrutighoshal002.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/why-is-2014-all-about-namo/
      also, i do not think mr. vajpayee has said anything wrong. to be a strong nation there has to be nationalism!
      like Salman Rushdie has there is too much intolerance among people. this will always be a hurdle to any progress.
      and i agree with APJ Abdul Kalam, India needs a leader with a vision, a leader who can say what can i give to the country instead of what can i take? (btw, i am a huge fan of Kalam!)
      i would like to know what you think of my article. 🙂

  2. Karmanye Thadani

    “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.”

    Saif, you have presented a valid interpretation of Islam, but there is a wide gulf between public perceptions of religious identity that shape their attitudes as opposed to what the religion doctrinally advocates. I agree with Mohd. Kutty when he says – “The point is that it is more to do with an identity crisis rather than religion that is causing such religious tensions.” If people were to follow the doctrinal essence oftheir religions, there would be no rapesor thefts either!

  3. sg02

    i read this article today. it is good to hear from people like you. i wish we get insight into more such disputed topics. like i’ve said in my article (http://shrutighoshal002.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/why-is-2014-all-about-namo/ – would like your view on it), i cant believe that no Indian Muslim has any Hindu friends or vice-versa. the people trapped by the politicians and communists are the poor, uneducated ones (on religious or caste basis). i believe the educated people of both sides are above this. there are more serious issues demanding attention. we must come together as one and build India. be tolerant of other people and prosper as a nation. i do read MJ Akbar and Saeed Naqvi. they are just too good! (you being a student of journalism, and media being the torch bearer now, you have a great deal to do.. share some more nice pieces 🙂 ) wish you all the best.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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