By Harshit Jain:
A lot of noise and media hype was created recently about the speech of Vice President, Hamid Ansari. He spoke at the inauguration of the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat Golden Jubilee in Delhi. At the inauguration, he talked about the problems of exclusion and discrimination minorities face. He said these issues have to be corrected by the State and reminded the Government the promise of “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas” it had made. Opposition and media cursed the Government again, but nobody was interested in the big picture, and the issues raised by Mr. Vice President. Nobody thought about the identity, security, education and empowerment of not only Muslims but of the complete nation.
I think to solve any problem you need to look back into history and analyse how and why it originated. Only then we will be able to look for solutions that would ensure that history is not repeated. So, the question here is how did the community, which ruled the Indian sub-continent for than 600 years, become so impoverished. According to Sachar Committee, the status of Indian Muslims is below the conditions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The Nawabs were known globally for their luxurious lives. But the scenario changed after the revolt of 1857. The last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Jafar was made the titular head behind which the forces rallied. The aftermath of this revolt was disastrous, especially for the Muslim community. The British felt that Muslims were responsible for the uprising and for vengeance, plundered the community areas, seized their properties and wealth, and also hanged many. Those who favored the Britishers were rewarded, especially those who did not want Muslims to rule once again over the country. Many Muslim soldiers and officials were removed from the army and other government services. Thereafter through a series of new policies, the British tried to weaken further the community by discouraging modern education for Muslims. This led to the alienation of Muslims from the mainstream and left only a minuscule representation of them in various fields at the national level.
After independence, not much has changed. In fact, the radical elements have only become stronger. Most of the policies are not implemented effectively, and common people do not get real benefits. We need to look for new policies and reforms for the betterment of the community. All political parties need to work with true commitment instead of playing ‘secular’ card politics for increasing their vote bank. We have to build confidence in the community so that fear can be eliminated. Events like Dadri do no good for the majority or any other group but only harm the country as a whole. The solution is we need to fill the gap created by British and bring the community closer to the mainstream. Also, Muslim leaders and representatives need to work honestly for the upliftment and education of the community. And if we all work together we can progress unitedly and achieve “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas“.