Friday, April 27, 2012

Darul Uloom-Deoband’s diktat ends research on Salman Rushdie’s novels

Secularism means no hurt to Islamic sentiments in India

The Preamble to sanctified Constitution declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic along with promising its citizens of justice along with equality, liberty and enterprises to promote fraternity among the citizens of the State.  If any Indian is asked ever whether the aforementioned cardinal principles of India can be challenged, he/she will state the word ‘no’ categorically. Won’t you state the same as well?  

What none does know even if the cardinal principle of secularism can’t be challenged, it can certainly be sacrificed or compromised to pacify Islamists in particular. Prabha Parmar, with post-doctorate fellowship to research in literature, bears testimony to the same; she, owing to the objection of Darul Uloom-Deoband, has been forced to call the research a halt midway. Her greatest crime has been to research on novels of Salman Rushdie – a name that is enough to add salt to the gaping wound of Islamists.

Nevertheless, apart from those of Salman Rushdie, novels of Amitabha Ghosh and Bikram Seth were also in the inventory of researches of Prabha Parmar. But all these justifications and Prabha Parmar’s standpoint that this is not premeditated on her part to lash out any community’s feelings have fallen on deaf ears. Darul Uloom-Deoband has not changed its views and Prabha ji, to steer clear of any disturbance, has appealed to Board of Chaudhary Charan Singh University (Meerut) to change subject of her post-doctorate fellowship.

It is to be noted, Darul Uloom-Deoband criticizing the university’s decision to let anyone research on novels of Salman Rushide warned that they would not allow it to take place.  

Prabha ji was destined to research on “Use of Magic Realism in the major Novels of Salman Rushdie, Amitabha Ghosh and Bikram Seth” and as per latest developments, Chaudhary Charan Singh University has cancelled doctorate fellowship of Prabha Devi.

No ill-feeling must be shown to any religious view and the State as an institution has no relation to any particular religion – this has been the basics of Secularism ever since its first use by George Jacob Halyoake, British writer, in 1851. But in India this definition is changing gradually – it’s more linked to pacify Islamists these days.  How can researches on works of an author assail a religion?

At first, Preamble to the Constitution of India declared the State as sovereign, democratic republic but the 42 nd Amendment in 1976 introduced two more words to it and hence, India, at the moment, happens to be a “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic”.

If audaciousness of Islamists is allowed to go on, without doubt, the next amendment will add new salient features to secularism –no hurt to sentiments of Islamists. And it may happen soon!

Let’s wait for the same. 

(Darul Uloom-Deoband)

(Salman Rushdie)

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