Why do Muslims have such a high population growth rate? Why do not they favor uniform civil code? What about the rights of Muslim women in India? Why Triple Talaq? Questions are many, that are being fired by ‘Virat’ social media warriors and then these are easily picked by ‘Pseudo’ liberals, not to answer these but to counter-question them. They use the ‘Muslim’ word/world for their own agenda and that revamps the hateful questions from form to another – Why are many Indian Muslims seen as untouchable? Why Government is oppressing Muslims? But amidst all this ruckus of downright nonsensical questions, one thing that is irrefutable about the Muslims in India that they love India and India loves them. While wandering on Quora, I found a question gleaming on my timeline “What problems are Muslims facing in India?”, considering it another idiotic ‘agenda-driven’ audit, I was about to move on and then I saw this answer by a Muslim boy who revealed his ‘real’ problems in India and it touched my heart.
The ‘Real’ problems of Muslims in India
Much has been said about ‘Secular Fabric’ theories in India, newspapers have inked reams of paper, we have a long list of politicians who are thriving on ‘secularism’ and the intellectual society that is showering hypothetical cynicism in our society; I believe most of them make their ‘invaluable’ opinions sitting in their air-conditioned rooms without going through a grassroots’ survey. The secularism written on a piece of paper, shouted in TV debates is far aloof from the secularism practiced in reality. Secularism is something new, but ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb‘ is an age-old tradition being followed by Hindus and Muslims with an unwavering fidelity. Secularist hullabaloo dwells in TV debates and political spheres but ‘the real secularism’ lives in INDIA, in our hearts, in our veins. There are some who sneer and cough in the times of rising intolerance and agenda-driven hatred, but here are many who know to smile in every milieu.
Yes! Being a Muslim I face many problems in India!
In School: Friends waited for me to snatch my tiff-in box for delicious Biryani and Kababs. I faced problems when all of them visited me at home on EID. I felt bad when I was spared from punishments during Ramzan. It was troublesome to visit each and everyone’s home on Diwali and other festivals.
In college: I again faced problems when my roommate in hostel made arrangements for me to offer Namaz. I got very angry when my college professor gave me enough liberty for attendance just to make sure I am offering my prayers on Fridays.
In office: During Ramzan, I faced problems being a muslim in India because every other individual wanted to offer me Iftar. Surprisingly, they even remembered my Namaz timings. I faced problems when my manager reduced my work load during those days and threw an Iftar party with people of every religion sitting beside me.
Here, Mokarram Iqbal tells how he have been lucky to live in a society that treats everyone equal regardless of their religious beliefs, while putting his experiences forward he opines it is the ‘Education‘ that makes the difference not the religion.
I don’t think I ever faced any problem regarding of my religious links rather I have been blessed and cared for being a follower of Islam in India. May be this is because my upbringing was in very favorable and great society. The major concern as if I can see is the “lack of education in the Muslim masses” that’s why they feel insecure to the majority masses. I lived 18 years of my precious life in a colony where we are only Muslim family and we are hell respected . I have got great friends who are not from my religion. I never got a single call of feeling problematic and insecure inside. In Ramzan when we were at fast, none of our teachers would even make us stand for punishment, this is not because they were afraid that we are Muslims but because they respect us. The major problem is the conventional approach of Indian Muslim society. May be in many parts of India any injustice is done to Islamic population but that doesn’t apply to general masses. Education stature of Indian Muslims must be enhanced and every problem will vanish. “I always feel safe and happy in India because I know I am living in the security of 100 million of Indian who follow Hinduism , Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity.”
And while everyone was putting their sentiments forward, here comes a #BrutallyHonest answer from Abdullah Al Faruque who evinces – Yes, Muslims in India are facing many problems that might or might not be associated with other religions. There are all kinds of problems Muslims face in India. Some of these “problems” may be across religions and culture while some may be community specific. But they are there. Muslims do not face any problem in India which is a lie. A big lie! The first step towards solving a problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Denial does not help.
High population growth rate: There are many reasons for this. Lack of family planning, overall economic backwardness, unwillingness to use contraception (due to the perceived “evil” nature of contraceptives and accepting high birth rates as gift from God), lack of awareness and ignorance among Muslim women, marriage at young age (especially females) etc. are among the major reasons. And this has hampered the Muslims more than any other community. The Muslim community must look within and not be intimidated/antagonized by such elements and lose track of the problem. There has been a good decline in the fertility rate of Muslims in India and the trend must continue. The xenophobia among some non-Muslims related to this is absurd though! Analyzing the whole problem will nullify any misplaced notion on this issue which is generally fueled by propaganda.
Gender inequality: Although this is a problem which is present across religions and cultures in India, Indian Muslims have the worst record for this. The reasons are high percentage of Muslims in agrarian and “physical labour focused” sectors, over-dependence on clergy in personal matters like marriage and divorce, marrying off girls at a young age, discouraging higher education among women (due to the age old “Indian” fear of not being able to find a groom) etc. It is absolutely incumbent for Muslim women to lead from the front in this regard. The victims have to make the loudest noise. And I am glad to say that it has already started in India. It won’t be eradicated completely in even the next 5–10 years but such change is seldom achieved in a haste.
Religious conservatism and intolerance: There…. I said it! I would like Indian Muslims to look at this issue rationally. I’m not going to quote verses here but will try to discuss this issue with nothing but logic. The main claim that fuels Islamic conservatism is that Islam is for eternity and it is perfect. OK! Let’s try and make sense of this. If the religion is for eternity, then it has to re-align itself with changing times to be conducive for progress. Change and progress are realities which only fools will deny. The modern world is radically different from what it was in the 7th century. We now know many things about the world which have never been mentioned explicitly in any of the religious texts.
“There are many other problems that Indian Muslims face but, in my opinion, these are the major ones. Most of the unmentioned problems here (poverty, illiteracy, political exploitation etc.) are common (both in size and scale) across the board which just proves my point of how Indian Muslims have integrated with the Indian culture now. Also, I think I must add that this answer might come across as pessimistic and rude to many but the question was about “problems that Indian Muslims face” and not how I party with my non-Muslim friends which of course I do and enjoy a lot,” further he says concluding his most rational reply in the thread.
When we talk about intolerance, paid-rioters, agenda-driven politics and TRP-thirsy media, we often ignore the fact that not all the fingers are same. Beliefs do not make anyone good or bad, every religion, be it Hinduism or Islam, has it’s own set of fanatic theories and blood-thirsty clerics, call them parasites who thrive on other’s blood and money. A rational approach is the need of hour, rules and verses were written in other times, if they are relevant in present times, follow them, if not – flout them.
Also read: A MADRASA THAT TEACHES SANSKRIT TO MUSLIMS
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