Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Don’t worry. It’s all in the name of religion

The recent construction of an illegal mosque in Delhi is symptomatic of the crass politics of minorityism played by the Congress which is desperate to win Muslim votes.

The nonchalance with which the MLA of Delhi’s Matia Mahal constituency, Mr Shoaib Iqbal, went about raising a mosque at Subhash Park on the pretext that that was the exact spot where an ancient mosque existed is both shocking and not-so-shocking at the same time.

The incident is shocking because the construction of the mosque on land that belonged to North Delhi Municipality and had been leased to Delhi Metro, went on for days but the administration did nothing. It was only after the other locals objected did the Delhi Government intervene and finally a court order was issued to halt the construction. However, by then a massive wall for the proposed mosque had already been built.

On the other hand, the incident is not so shocking because this is what is to be expected from our Government under Congress rule. The entire system bends backwards to please one community to the exclusion of all others in what is drummed up as secularism in India. And hence, some clerics of the community ask the Government to prevent author Salman Rushdie from visiting India, and the Government works to keep him out. Similarly, Muslim leaders in Hyderabad manhandle another famous author Tasleema Nasreen for her writings and the Government gets her to leave the country as well but does not punish the perpetrators.

Worse still, in Muslim majority Jammu & Kashmir, residents of the State have been thrown out lock, stock and barrel because they are Hindus. But the Congress-led Union Government that is supposed to protect the basic rights of every citizen does not even talk about this exodus. On the other hand, the 2002 violence in Gujarat remains a talking point for the Centre even when its alleged victims want to get on with their lives and forget the past.

In Kerala, where the Muslim League is a partner of the Congress-led United Front State Government, the former gets to appoint five Ministers as against its quota of four and then goes about communalising the State’s education system much to the collective shock of the other communities. This forced the two major Hindu communities in Kerala, the Nairs and the Ezhavas, to come together and oppose such appeasement politics. Even the Christian party, Kerala Congress, is disturbed.

The Congress in its eagerness to monopolise the Muslim vote-bank has gone all out not just by bending backwards but also genuflect before that community. Consequently, communalism now threatens to divide this country.

The Prime Minister has said on record that minorities (read Muslims) will be given first priority on development funds. His colleague had sought to institute a Muslim-only-quota within the OBC quota but could not implement it due to the intervention of the Supreme Court.

Across the country, Islamic religious schools or madrasas are being given the same status as regular schools affiliated to accredited secondary education boards. As a result, certificates issued by madrasas will now have the same value as that of accredited schools even though the former are usually not registered and do not teach secular subjects.

To make matters worse, the Congress is now proposing a separate Muslim banking system where there will be no interest rates. If this proposal is implemented, soon enough India will have two economies in one country. One economy where interest rates will be determined by a central bank and all activities will be governed by the RBI’s laws and regulation, and a second economy over which the Government will have no control.

Already, there are two sets of rules as far as family laws are concerned. For instance, while polygamy is considered criminal for the rest of the country, it is legal for Muslims. Similarly, with respect to family planning, Muslim couples are allowed multiple children while non-Muslims are penalised for having more than two.

Thus, the Congress is pushing the country towards a duality. A dual state that allows a Hindu minority community in one part of the country, to be thrown out on the one hand, while encouraging the pampering of Muslim minorities; a State wherein a majority of children will learn English, some regional languages, modern science and humanities while a minority of children will learn Arabic and some Islamic religious texts.

Self-styled secularists in the Congress seem to be unconcerned if this division leads to political consequences. Even the carrying out of a death sentence handed down to the terrorist who attacked Parliament has been stopped keeping in mind ‘communal considerations’.

This very cleft-foot attitude of some political parties is encouraging the separatist forces as well. In Tamil Nadu, the ‘Tamil Eelam’ demand has raised its ugly head once again. Yet, the hanging of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers is being resisted on grounds of regionalism. The DMK supremo may have been prevented from going overboard with his ‘Tamil Eelam’ demand when he sought to inaugurate a conference of Tamil separatists, but it was only at the last minute.

In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress regime has thrown all caution to the wind in promoting Muslim irredentism by giving pensions to Muslim clerics, according official status to madrasas etc. In Uttar Pradesh, the country’s largest State, the party in power is totally subservient to the Muslim orthodoxy that wants no change in family laws applicable to their community only. Other pseudo-secular parties are only making the situation worse by competing among themselves to placate such communal irredentism.

What one recently witnessed at Subhash Park in Delhi was inevitable in such a circumstance, where one community is encouraged to believe that it can get away with separatist demands to demarcate themselves away from the majority of the country’s culture, ethos and even the economy.

Otherwise Mr Iqbal would not have dared to begin an illegal construction on Government land and then get his men to turn it into a prayer ground while the authorities shut their eyes to his flagrant violation of the law of the land. This is the second such incident in the nation’s capital after the Jangpura land grab and mosque construction case.

There is more than symbolism in this: It is now clear that the communal challenge to the country’s authority has reached the national capital itself.

Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/52094-don%E2%80%99t-worry-it%E2%80%99s-all-in-the-name-of-religion.html

Saturday, July 28, 2012

SC to examine Bengali Assam migrants’ plea

Terming as “extraordinary” the situation of Bengali-Hindu migrants in Assam, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a plea to grant refugee status to them.

“We are not underestimating your concerns, considering the current situation in the state... we understand it is not an ordinary issue,” said a Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi.

M N Krishnamani and Pinky Anand, counsel for the petitioner, NGOs Swajan and Bimolangshu Roy Foundation, told the court that more than two lakh immigrants in Assam have been denied benefit of the proviso to Section 2 of the Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950, which bars Foreigners’ Tribunal from deporting from Assam persons “who on account of civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances in area forming part of Pakistan has been displaced from and has left his place of residence in such area and who has been subsequently residing in Assam”.

“Moreover, it is not a problem afflicting only Assam. Some other eastern and north-eastern states are also affected by this,” the counsel added.

The Bench said the petitioner should also implead these states and come back to the court for redressal after two weeks.

The court had initially asked the petitioner’s counsel to approach the High Court for a “more effective consideration” but they argued that citing a recent High Court order, the authorities were pushing out most of the migrants without granting them the benefit of the proviso.

“The present dispensation in the state has resorted to targeting both genuine citizens and also the ‘displaced persons’ belonging to the Bengali-Hindu community in Assam. These persons... are being apprehended and pushed back to no-man’s land along the Indo-Bangladesh border and left to die there,” the petition said.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sc-to-examine-bengali-assam-migrants-plea/980487/

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Plea to seal borders

- BTC, Absu seek to check influx

The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and All Bodo Students Union (Absu) today called for sealing of borders to check entry of illegal migrants from Bangladesh into Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) through Dhubri district.

They said influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh was the key reason for the ongoing unrest that has left 32 dead and over a lakh displaced.

BTC chief and Bodo People’s Front (BPF) president Hagrama Mohilary told reporters here, “We have reports of people from Bangladesh crossing the Brahmaputra into Dhubri and then intruding into Kokrajhar. We have urged the sealing of the Kokrajhar and Dhubri border.”

“The original Muslim people here are industrious and coexisting peacefully for many years. There was no disturbance before. But local Muslims have informed that people from outside, including those from the neighbouring country, are instigating the local people and creating trouble,” he claimed.

While condemning the violence, Sultan Alam, the president of the All BTC Minority Students Union, told The Telegraph, “We are also against influx of Bangladeshis and will help the authorities check it. But if influx is on then what is the BSF doing? What is the government doing? We demand that those involved in the violence be taken to task and the case be handed over to the CBI to find out who exactly is involved in the rioting.”

Absu president Pramode Boro said, “We fear illegal migrants from Bangladesh and thechar areas are entering Kokrajhar and Chirang districts to create a volatile situation.”

He demanded sealing of the Dhubri-Kokrajhar and Chirang-Bongaigaon borders till normalcy returns.

Those following developments in the BTAD termed the demands as quite significant.

They said the unrest was to a large extent the result of identity assertion by suspected Bangladeshi migrants, who feel stripped of their economic and political aspirations within the BTAD while nursing strong feelings of being the dominant group in the political space outside BTAD.

The Absu also rued Dispur’s failure to protect and rescue people hit by the violence.

Lakendra Brahma, 85, a retired PWD employee of Baukabangi village, who has taken shelter in a relief camp, recalled that there were just a few Muslim villages when he was young and how their numbers have grown in recent times. “There were hardly any Bangladeshi migrants when we were young but over the years the demography has changed. Today we are the minority with nowhere to go,” he said.

Asked about the reason for the change, he said people have started selling land to new settlers and many have left the villages for greener pastures. “We Bodos, Rajbongshis and Nath Jugis are feeling threatened by this influx. Our identity and rights are threatened.”

Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120725/jsp/frontpage/story_15768789.jsp#.UA_gomES0oN

Monday, July 23, 2012

Army moves in to Kokrajhar to put an end to the Bodo-Muslim clashes there

The Indian army has moved in to the district of Kokrajhar in Assam, where a total of 12 people has been killed so far in the clashes between Bengali Muslim immigrants and the Bodo tribals.

The riots were triggered by the attack on two Muslim student leaders, believed to be perpetrated by the Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT). The leaders are currently admitted to a local hospital in critical condition. Four BLT cadres were lynched by the Muslims later in the village of Joypur, in retaliation to the attack on the student leaders.

Mohibul Islam of the All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) and Abdul Siddique Sheikh of All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) were seriously injured when a group of assailants attacked them with light machine guns last week, near the village of Magurmari. The leaders are currently undergoing treatment at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

The next day, four BLT cadres, identified as Nip Goyari, Pradip Bodo, Jamin Goyari and Jonson Bodo were lynched by a Muslim gang near the Kokrajhar city. Several of the motorcycles and other possessions belonging to the Bodos were destroyed by the Bengali mobs in the southern portions of the Kokrajhar district on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, the Muslim dominated villages of Duramara and Narabari were attacked by Bodo militiamen, resulting in the death of two Muslims. The Assam government has announced a compensation of $4,000 for those who were killed in the riots, while a compensation of around $900 will be given to those who were injured. Local sources said that 6 villages were destroyed in the clashes and more than 7,000 people had to flee their homes.

The Bodo are the largest tribal group in Assam, numbering some 1,500,000 people. More than 90% of the Bodo are Hindu, while most of the remainder is Christian, according to the 2001 Indian Census. Although formerly dominated by the Hindus and Christians, the number of Muslims in the Kokrajhar district has increased significantly as a result of immigration from the neighbouring districts, as well as from Bangladesh. As per the 2001 Census, more than 20% of the district population is Muslim, and the Tehsil of Bhowraguri is having a Muslim majority.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saudi Arabia warns non-Muslims: Respect Ramzan or else ...

Saudi authorities warned non-Muslim expatriates on Friday, the first day of Ramzan, not to eat, drink, or smoke in public until the end of the Muslim holy month's sunrise-to-sunset fast or face expulsion. 

The interior ministry of the oil-rich kingdom called on expatriates to "show consideration for feelings of Muslims" and "preserve the sacred Islamic rituals." Otherwise, a ministry statement said, Saudi authorities will cancel violators' work contracts and expel them. 

Saudi Arabia's population of 27 million includes some 8 million expatriates, including Asians, Arabs, and westerners, according to government figures. 

The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom is the home of Islam's holiest sites. The warning - which is issued at the beginning of Ramzan every year - serve as a reminder that the western-allied monarchy must answer to a strict religious establishment that holds de facto veto power over many of its policies. 

With challenges to the established order growing bolder from a population nearly half of which is under 30, Saudi Arabia has recently made some moves to show moderation. It is sending female athletes to the Olympics for the first time this year. King Abdullah has promised to allow women to run and vote in municipal elections in 2015. He also has tried to rein in the country's feared morality police. 

But Saudi rights advocate Waleed Aboul Khair believes that while such moves give impression that the grip of hardliners has eased, "when you look around, nothing has changed and suppression has not changed." He is facing trial for "tarnishing the kingdom's reputation," mostly by his political activism for women's rights and other issues. 

Warnings or no warnings, he says, "expatriates are always at risk of expulsion for the least offence in the kingdom." 

The prince newly appointed to handle most aspects of law enforcement is known as a strict adherent to religious rules. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was governor of the holy city of Mecca before becoming interior minister. 

Saudi Arabia is wary of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings that has toppled longtime authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and neighboring Yemen. 

It followed a carrot-and-stick strategy to contain unrest by pledging around $120 billion for the kingdom's lower income groups. It has heavily cracked down on protests, especially in eastern regions dominated by Shias demanding greater rights, and is steering a middle course between conservatives and reformers among the Sunni majority.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-Arabia-warns-non-Muslims-Respect-Ramzan-or-else--/articleshow/15056739.cms?intenttarget=no

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Love Jihad, Conversions, and counterfeit currency for destroying Kerala

By P.D. Shelvaraj

Indian intelligence agencies have got hold of a blueprint about foreign separatist groups’ plans to alienate Muslims from the mainstream society of Kerala and to make them pawns in their hands. The first agenda of this blueprint is to alienate a minimum of 5% of the SC/ST backward communities in Kerala, which make up about 9% of total Hindu population, joining them to the Muslim community, and initiating them into terrorist activities. Systematic introduction of counterfeit currency to destroy the economic system of Kerala, conversion by taking advantage of poverty, conversion by feigning love and subsequently marriage, etc., are the ways in which this secret agenda is being carried out. From 2006 till date, about 6000 people have converted in Kerala. More than half of those converted are young women. Around 100 to 180 young women are converting every month in Kerala. – After reading this report, if you feel like looking at a section of Muslims with extreme hatred, then you too are fit to be in the same line as those of the separatists. One should approach this blueprint of destruction of Kerala’s peace and harmony with equanimity.

Overview of the report: 

Of late, a discreet file reached the special desk of the Home Ministry in New Delhi. The file contained intelligence information about the circulation of counterfeit currencies by migrant workers from other states in Kerala, infiltration of people with separatist thinking into the mainstream society and into politics, maoist training camps in forests, foreign aids received by various religious organizations, conversions, etc.

The section titled “Foreign aid to various religious organizations and conversions,” starts with the information leaked to the intelligence agencies. The leaked report says, “The minority Muslims in Kerala should take the help of Hindus to achieve their rights.” The report then elaborates as follows starting with the statistics about the population growth in Kerala for the last 50 years:

Muslims were 17% of the total population in Kerala in 1961. It became 24.6 in 2001. According to the census in 2012, it has become 27%. Even after this tremendous population growth in the last 50 years, Muslims are still unable to achieve what is rightfully theirs. It is here that taking the help of Hindus comes into picture. Out of the 55% Hindus in Kerala, about 9% belongs to the backward communities of SC and ST. Out of these at least 5% should be alienated from the Hindu society and made pro-Muslim. When that happens, with the support of 32%(27+5) population of Kerala, Muslims will be able to prove their strength in Kerala.

After a thorough investigation by the investigative agencies on the lines of this leaked report, shocking facts have come to surface.

Terrorist groups have already infiltrated and firmly established their roots inside these communities that were supposed to be “alienated.” These communities are closer to Muslims and Christians instead of being close to Hindus! The upper caste Hindus do not raise their hands in support of these communities and have abandoned them completely.

The above report also states that the number of Hindus and Christians is dwindling in Kerala. In 1961, Hindus constituted 60% of the population and have now decreased to 55%. The Christian population which was 22% at that time has reduced to 19% now. One of the main reasons that is being held responsible for this is that even after converting to Christianity, they choose to maintain their Hindu identity in order to avail all the facilities meted out to them.

There is a secret plan underway to instigate the Muslim community into separatist tendencies and this is also being achieved through the sizeable presence of muslim migrant workers from other states, says the report. These migrant workers number around 14 lakhs and their number is enough to decide 14 MLAs in the Kerala assembly. More than half of these workers are Bengalis and majority of these are Bangladeshi muslims who have illegally migrated to India. They have become a part and parcel of Kerala.

Construction workers in the beginning, they have now have become domestic helps too! As such, their health problems too have reached the dining tables of a Malayalee. This is a big problem indeed, but what is more disturbing is the fact that the participation of these workers in various illegal and criminal acts. The workers from Bangladesh make up the majority of those who are arrested in the counterfeit currency cases that have become a regular feature in Kerala now. The counterfeit currencies printed in Pakistan are smuggled into Bhaarat through Bangladesh by the Pakistani spy agency ISI. According to the report received by the Home Department, it is due to the circulation of counterfeit currency in such large numbers that the cost of one cent of land in Karunagappaly recently rose to around one crore. Most of purchases are carried out as benami land deals by unknown persons. In spite of this serious situation, Kerala police has failed to extract much information about these migrant workers, the reason being that these workers come under the Labour Department and Labour Department has insufficient resources to identify and document information about these 14 lakh workers!

District wise conversion statistics:

The shocking part of the report unfolds now, the statistics of the ongoing conversions in Kerala. Since January 2009 till March of this year, 3902 people have converted in Kerala. Out of these 3812 people have converted to Islam! Those converted to Christianity are 79. Only 8 people have converted to Hinduism. Out of the 3902 who have converted to Islam, 1596 are young women!! Even though financial help in the face of poverty is one of the reasons for conversion, majority of these conversions are through the love net.

During this period, the number of people who have converted in the Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital, is 92. Out of these, 48 Hindus have converted to Christianity within the city limits. 3 Hindus converted to Islam. Out of the 48 that have converted to Christianity, 13 are young Hindu women. The 3 Hindus who have converted to Islam are also young women! The conversion to Islam is in large numbers in the outskirts of the city and villages. 40 Hindus have converted to Islam in the villages in Thiruvananthapuram, out of which 13 are young women. Only one Christian has converted to Islam.

In Kasargod district, 28 Hindus and 3 Christians, a total of 31 people are documented to have converted to Islam. Out of the 28 Hindus, 3 are young women.

The least reported conversions are from Kottayam and Wayanad districts. From 2009 to 2012, only one person has converted, a Christian converted to Islam. In Wayanad only one conversion, that of a Hindu woman to Christianity has been reported during this period.

The majority of the conversions (2137) reported are from Malappuram district. 1786 Hindus have converted to Islam. 349 Christians have also converted to Islam. It is unclear whether all those who converted basically belong to Malappuram or not. People from outside Malappuram district are also brought for conversion in the Islamic conversion centre functioning in Malappuram and to continue further study of Islam. Out of those converted, 851 are young women again.

A total of 26 people converted in Kollam district, out of which 9 are Hindus including one woman have converted to Islam. 9 Hindus have converted to Christianity including a woman. Total Hindus who converted were 18 in number. 6 Muslims have converted to Christianity including 4 women. One Muslim woman and a Christian woman have converted to Hinduism in Kollam.

In Kozhikode, 1269 people including 495 young women have converted to Islam. Out of those converted to Islam, 1006 are Hindus including 384 young women and 263 are Christians including 111 young women.

In Pathanamthitta, 20 people including 13 young women have converted. Out of these, 9 converted from Hinduism to Christianity, 3 Hindus converted to Islam, 3 Muslims became Hindus, and 3 Christians became Muslims. During this period, in Pathanamthitta, one Muslim has converted to Christianity and one Christian converted to Hinduism.

Out of the 8 people who converted in Idukki district, 7 are young women. 4 Hindus including 3 young women converted to Christianity whereas one young Hindu woman converted to Islam. One Muslim woman converted to Christianity whereas another one converted to Hinduism. Those converted during this period in Idukki district include one Christian woman.

In Ernakulam district, all the conversions since 2009 are entirely into the Muslim community. One Christian woman and a Hindu youth embraced Islam within the city limits. In the outskirts of the city, 5 Hindus including a young woman converted to Islam whereas 6 Christians including one woman became Muslims.

The above statistics are over a period of 2-1/4 years starting from 2009. If we take into account the conversions since 2006, the numbers would double. 6129 people have converted in Kerala since 2006 - Community wise, Brahmins 25, Nairs 700, Izhavas 1228, Christians 1132, Vishwakarma 395, SC 1376, other Hindus 1273.

“Love Jihad”:

If we take into account those cases that have not been reported, the numbers would rise further. The inference from this report is that on an average 100 to 180 conversions are taking place among young women in Kerala every month. A sizeable amount is that of those who converted to Islam after “love” marriages, part of the now infamous “Love Jihad.” The report also points to some of the reported cases of “Love Jihad” and subsequent marriages that had caused a tremendous uproar in the society. The report especially mentions that cases of the following young women that had taken the Kerala society by storm, i.e., that of Keertana (21) from Palakkad Engineering College, Vaidehi Nair (22) of Palakkad Victoria who committed suicide, Premalatha (20) of the Palakkad Shrikrushnapuram College, Vishnupriya (19) a nurse from Kottayam, Reshma (21) from Royal ITC Irinjalakkuda, Seethalakshmi (21) TTC student, Rajani (22) who committed suicide, MBA students Mithula and Bino Jacob from St. John’s Pathanamthitta. The whereabouts and the present status of those who converted thus is unknown so far.

The report that the Kerala Police submitted to the high court suggests that around 2500 girls have fallen into the trap of “Love Jihad” since the year 2005. (But an affidavit stating exactly the opposite was submitted by the Government of Kerala later in the high court. This led to the official stand that “Love Jihad” is nonexistent. As of now, this report establishes the fact that “Love Jihad” was operational in Kerala and that it is still continuing!)

The report further states that “Love Jihad” continues unabated by equally targeting the upper caste families of Hindus and prosperous Christian families in Kerala. Professional colleges and technical institutes are the chosen arena for this. The first target of these separatists is economically weak Muslim boys who have got admission in these same institutions. These boys are given facilities akin to the Muslim boys from prosperous families. They are lured into this by giving them monetary help for their education. The next step of these separatists is to instigate these boys to organize various cultural activities and give away prizes to non-Muslim girls in order to lure them. Those who are attracted are given opportunity to be in close contact with Muslim girls. After these initial preparations, the plot for the “holy war” of love is put into action - the report states.

The separatists do not hesitate ask for help from criminals belonging to the Hindu or Christian communities in this. An infamous goonda from Ernakulam is a witness to 10 such marriages. The people who have thus declared their support to “Love Jihad” include Abdul Jabbar alias Verghese Joseph who was killed in Kashmir by the Indian Army and Mani who was the accomplice of Abdul Nasar Madani in jail.

The report also states that these separatists can go to any extent to convert these girls who have been trapped in the love net. A case in Thiruvananthapuram is such an example. A girl from a prosperous family eloped with their Muslim driver. When they were caught by the Police, the driver confessed that he was “married and had children.” When the girl was asked about living with such a person, the answer given by the girl was shocking: “I am going to convert. He will be able to marry me definitely after I convert.”

This answer was the result of powerful brainwashing. Non-muslims leading an isolated life are also the targets for conversion and the separatists work very hard to achieve this, says the report. There are organizations exclusively working towards successfully conducting these “holy” love marriages. The report explicitly mentions the various Islamic councils active in Kerala that working towards converting others. One of the councils converts from 500 to 700 people every year. Those wishing to convert should come and stay in the conversion centres for studying Islam. Certificates are issued after that. They are also given memberships of the Mahallu committees in their home towns to work in close association with them.

Statistics of conversions by an Islamic council in Malabar are elaborated in the report. Those who converted to Islam in 2007 were 627 including 441 Hindus and 186 Christians. 885 people in 2008 – 727 Hindus, 158 Christians. 674 in 2009 – 566 Hindus and 108 Christians. 664 in 2010 – 566 Hindus and 98 Christians. 393 in 2011 – 305 Hindus and 88 Christians. Young women constitute a majority of those who convert. In a raid at such a conversion centre in 2008, 17 people who were staying there for getting converted were arrested.

Along with luring non-Muslims, separatists are alert about not letting Muslim women talk to the youth from other communities, the report says with examples. The “Moral Police” active Malabar is an example of this. Recently, a policeman was a victim of cruel beating by this “Moral Police” when he committed the crime of talking to one of his Muslim ex-students (a girl) whom he met on the way. Within minutes of his conversation, the “Moral Police” arrived on swift bikes and asked him his name and beat him black and blue – says the report.

Moderate and Secular Muslims silenced:

Individual Muslims or organizations that are either secular or moderate are also targets of these separatists and they are either brought on to their side or silenced regarding all this and the separatists can go to any extent to achieve this. Such Muslims are harassed and made the target of the media by accusing them in various ways. They are also harassed by registering false complaints against them in Police stations and courts. Afraid of this, many moderate Muslim leaders are forced to work on the same platforms as the separatist leaders. About 10% of the members of the organizations like DYFI and Youth Congress is constituted by these separatist leaders who have infiltrated into these organizations – the report points out. In certain isolated cases, these individuals or organizations are forced to maintain silence because of the threat from these 10% separatists. The separatists also try to prevent Muslim women from working in Hindu families as housemaids.

According to the Indian constitution, an Indian citizen has the right to believe in any religion that he chooses. Consequently, converting from one religion to another is not a crime in India. But since majority of these conversions are happening only in one direction, this raises suspicion about these conversions – says the report. Why is it that the reverse does not happen? Only 8 Muslim women have married non-Muslims via “love marriages” since 2008. The reports exclusively points to the fact that these separatists, the creators of “Love Jihad,” have a definite discreet plan to isolate the Muslim community from the mainstream Kerala society and that we should be alert against these tendencies.

Note: Copies of this weekly magazine were purchased in lots by Muslims and destroyed within hours of it reaching the newsstands all over Kerala! Only very few copies were available the next day.

(Translated from Kalaa Kaumudi Weekly (Malayalam) dated June 10, 2012 published from Thiruvananthapuram)

Source: http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HkPage.aspx?PAGEID=16183&SKIN=C

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A strong and stable Pakistan is not in India's best interests

If you have been following the debate over the resumption of talks with Pakistan, then you will be startled by the kinds of arguments that are put forward by the proponents of dialogue. If, on the other hand, you are a hack of long standing like me, then you’ve probably heard it all before. I know I have heard versions of the same argument being recycled year after year, decade after decade.

Here is a small sample of what you’re probably hearing – and a short explanation about why it makes very little sense.

One: A strong and stable Pakistan is in India’s best interests.

This argument is as old as the hills. The underlying assumption is that were Pakistan to break up, thousands of mad militants would attack India. There is a tiny grain of truth to this view so I will not dismiss it out of hand but consider the opposite view.

In 1971, Pakistan broke up. Half of the country actually seceded and became Bangladesh. The immediate consequence of this weak and enfeebled Pakistan was two decades of peace. Throughout the 70s and the 80s, we had very little trouble from Islamabad. Plus, with East Pakistan gone, funding for rebels in Nagaland and Mizoram dried up. Consequently, both problems were solved and the insurgencies ended.

If Pakistan were to break up, if Sindh or Baluchistan seceded, there is no way this could do India any harm. Rather Pakistan would be so obsessed with its own problems that we would have a degree of peace.

Further, the real threat to India is not from freelance jihadis. They are quite happy killing other Pakistanis. The threat to us comes from organized terror planned by state and semi-state actors. Such forces are at their peak when Pakistan is strong and stable.

Two: We must strengthen Pakistani moderates.

Have you ever heard a Pakistani intellectual appear on Indian TV and say, “We must strengthen Indian secular forces because otherwise the Sangh Parivar will gain in strength?”

Me neither.

So why do we feel obliged to take sides in Pakistan’s internal disputes? The truth is that we have fought with Pakistan no matter which party has been in power. Benazir Bhutto began the Kashmir insurgency when she was Prime Minister. Kargil happened when Nawaz Sharif was Prime Minister. The Parliament attack took place on General Musharraf’s watch. Asif Zardari was President during 26/11.

Bitter experience has demonstrated that when it comes to India, there are no moderates and extremists in Pakistan. At some stage or the other, every political party plays the anti-India card to win support.

Three: It is only through talks that we can find a meeting ground.

Anybody who has spoken to Pakistani officials will tell you that they have only two concerns. First of all, they want us to give them more river water. And secondly, they want control of Kashmir. Some Indian officials argue that even the demand for Kashmir is related to the Pakistani desire to get more river water.

For talks between India and Pakistan to get anywhere, we have to be willing to make concessions on either or both of these issues. But the truth is that Indian public opinion will not allow any government to compromise on either of these issues.

On river water we think that we are being more than fair to Pakistan and no farmer will agree to release more water to Pakistan. In fact, there is a growing demand within India to abrogate the Indus Waters Treaty (in which case Pakistan is finished) as a counter to terrorism.

On Kashmir, it is clear that Indian public opinion will not agree to any kind of concession aimed at pleasing Pakistan. Nobody will agree to give up an inch of Kashmir. Equally, there is no public support for the concept of joint sovereignty or a soft border which allows terrorists to come and go at will.

Given that the Indian positions are so inflexible, no talks can ever succeed. This is why all summits – whether in Lahore or in Agra – end up achieving nothing.

Four: We can end terrorism through dialogue.

We have been discussing this for over a decade now and despite many attempts at a dialogue including talk of a joint mechanism to fight terror, the situation on the ground has hardly changed.

The Pakistanis claim that any evidence we provide is inadequate. When we argue to the contrary, they say that their courts are free and so the government can do nothing if the likes of Hafiz Sayeed are let off. (It is another matter that every terrorist the Americans want arrested is quickly handed over to them for extraordinary rendition.)

When we respond that we are not looking for criminal convictions, that all we seek is a crackdown on terror organizations that are openly targeting India, the Pakistanis have a new explanation ready.

They say: what can we do? We are suffering from the same malaise! Large parts of our territory are beyond our control. We would like to help but our government does not have the power to rein in the terrorists.

Which takes us back to square one: if they are not going to act against terrorists then why are we wasting time talking to them?

Five: The way forward is people-to-people contacts.

This is the one part of the classic candles-on-the-Wagah-border formulation that I actually have no problems with. Pakistanis are fed on the belief that Muslims are mistreated in India and that we have no successful minorities.

India can only gain if more Pakistanis come here and see the truth and recognize that our secular society has flourished while their Islamist society has destroyed their country. Any educated Pakistani who visits today’s India goes back impressed.

Plus, there is India’s soft power. Why do all Pakistanis long to see Bollywood movies? Why do so many Pakistanis dream of making it big in the Indian entertainment business? Why is it such a big deal when no Pakistanis are picked for an Indian cricket league? Would Indian players have cared if they were not asked to play for a Pakistani league?

The problem is that the Pakistani establishment recognizes the strengths of India’s open, secular society. It is quite happy sending the same 100 Punjabis over every year to talk peace at the India International Centre and at Neemrana. But it has no desire to allow Indian popular culture a free reign in Pakistan. And it sees no merit in allowing more Pakistanis a taste of the real India.

So, the next time you hear these hoary old clichés being tossed around, be a little skeptical. Experience has taught us that they do not amount to very much. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Narendra Modi and the Muslim votebank

Virendra Parekh

Before, if ever, Narendra Modi becomes India’s prime minister, he will have to break the stranglehold of the Muslim votebank on Indian politics. His sadbhavna yatras (goodwill missions) to win the confidence of Muslims are good as far as they go. However, even hundreds of such yatras will not take him even an inch closer to the throne of Delhi. Hindus, and Hindus alone, can propel him to power at the Centre, if they choose to. For BJP’s central leadership, Narendra Modi poses a dilemma: he is viewed as a great asset and also as a great liability. Modi’s popularity crossed the borders of Gujarat long ago. He emerged as a national leader on the back of resolute leadership, efficient administration and a clean image. He enjoys a good deal of support from the RSS, which in BJP is a trump card.

With ears close to the ground, easy accessibility and a sound track record of delivering on promises, Modi has acquired a measure of credibility and charisma which none of the BJP’s central leaders possess. Shivraj Singh Chauhan of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh have also earned popularity on similar strengths, but neither appears to be keen, as of now, to play a leading role at the Centre. Modi is a different case. BJP bigwigs cannot ignore him or his ambitions.

However, if Modi is selected to command BJP forces in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, many BJP leaders will have to forget their ambitions and rein in their lust for power. The pull of such lust should not be underestimated.

These leaders want Modi to campaign for the party, not only in Gujarat, but also in other states where his presence can make a difference, while expecting him to confine his own ambitions to Gujarat. Modi is unwilling to oblige them, unless he could augment his own political capital by campaigning outside Gujarat. He wants to be the commander, not a foot soldier. This subtle tug of war is slowly becoming visible and will emerge out in the open by the time of the Lok Sabha election.

It is equally certain that if BJP selects Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, it will have to forget not only about the few (if any) Muslim votes it gets, but also about allies who are mortally scared of annoying Muslim votebanks. Therein lies the rub. Barring the Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena, all other parties in the NDA are enamoured of the ‘secular’ label. The hypocrisy of leaders like Nitish Kumar is infuriating. By insisting that the NDA candidate for prime minister must have a ‘secular’ image, he is playing to the green gallery while trying to keep a powerful rival off the field. The ploy is too transparent to be missed, but, unfortunately, it threatens to work.

Muslims are naturally amused to watch the game. In their view, their security (actually, political clout) lies in keeping out of power any party or leader who enjoys any credibility - real or fake - among the Hindus. And if Hindu leaders can articulate that position for them in as many words, so much the better.  

This is a decisive moment, not just for the BJP or NDA, but for Hindu society. The modern Hindu intelligentsia has failed to grasp a basic fact: clout, influence, power or authority is central to human relations. Power that is not exercised eventually wears off and vanishes. Hindu intellectuals rarely examine any issue, development or trend in terms of Hindu influence or power. For most of them, such an exercise is weird and anti-secular if not anti-national. They think it is beneath them to indulge in it. Hindu society has paid, and continues to pay, a heavy price for this failure of its intelligentsia.

In the post-independence period, Hindus have never asserted primacy of their civilisational identity at the political level. They have never claimed to be the essential national society, the fulcrum of the polity around which every institution and organization must arrange itself. In contrast, Muslims realize the centrality of power in relations with non-Muslims. They can and do use their votes as an effective political weapon. I do not criticize Muslims for doing so, just as I do not applaud Hindus for neglecting power equations in post-independence India.   

Hence it is that Hindus have become political orphans in the only country they can call their own. Hence it is they are still maligned for Gujarat riots ten years after the event, while the original provocation (burning alive of 59 Hindus by a Muslim mob without any provocation) is all but forgotten. Hence it is that heartrending tales of Kashmiri pundits, who have suffered far greater atrocities for much longer, hardly ever evokes any sympathy at all from any political party - not even the BJP. Hence it is that Hindus can speak as Dalits, Adivasis, Jats, Yadavs, Kurmis, Lingayats, Reddys, Vanniars and Nairs, but not as Hindus. Hence it is that 12 per cent Muslims, without uttering a word, can frighten mighty Hindu politicians into rejecting anyone with Hindu credentials...

In the pre-independence period, a con game was played in the name of nationalism. Only that party, that leader was national (and could speak for the whole country) which was not opposed by the Muslim League. In this reckoning, the Congress was an organization of Hindu banias, but the Communist Party of India was a national organization. After independence, the same game is played in the name of secularism. Only that party, that leader, that programme or proposal is secular which is not opposed by Muslims. The name has changed, participants have changed, but the game remains unchanged. And so does its objective: to keep the Hindus on the defensive. 

How history repeats itself! Congress is now saying about BJP whatever Jinnah used to say about Congress in 1940s: that it is a party of Hindu banias, that Muslims can never expect justice from it, that if it ever came to power then Muslims will have to fear for their lives and so on. Again the object is the same: to use Muslims as political pawns to delegitimize and checkmate nationalist sentiments.

Narendra Modi has the power to break this game. Without a single Muslim vote, without making any special or specific gesture to Muslims, he has swept assembly elections, not once, but twice, in Gujarat. He has demonstrated that if Hindus stand solidly behind any leader, he does not have to flatter Muslims. This is why he is regarded as a mortal enemy by most Muslims, all brokers of Muslim votes, and all parties hankering after the Muslim votebank.

If Modi can replicate at the national level what he has done in Gujarat, it will decisively break the stranglehold of Muslim votebanks on Indian politics, breathe a new self-confidence in Hindu society and force a rethink among Hindu politicians in non-BJP parties. Muslims will become just one of the many groups in Indian politics and thus join the national mainstream.

Whether Modi is interested in attempting this feat, whether BJP will give him an opportunity to make such an attempt is, of course, another matter. His sadbhavna yatras have aroused speculation that he, too, may be craving acceptability among circles that want BJP to shed every trace of Hinduness. As to BJP, it does not deserve a single Hindu vote as of now as a party of Hindu nationalism. But that does not affect the position outlined in the earlier passages.

If the BJP really regards itself as a party of Indian nationalism, it should distance itself from those hankering after the 12 per cent votebank and announce Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reappraisal of the role of Sufis working as Missionaries of Islam

R.K. Ohri, IPS (Retd)

For centuries the Sufi creed and Sufi music have been tom-tomed as great symbols of spiritualism and promoters of peace and harmony between the Hindus and the Muslims. The cleverly marketed concept of Sufi spiritualism has been unquestioningly accepted as the hallmark of Hindu-Muslim unity. It is time we studied the history of Sufis, tried to track the narrative of their coming to India and analyzed their explicit missionary role in promoting conversions to Islam. More importantly, it needs to be assessed how did the Sufis conduct themselves during reckless killings and plunders by the Muslim invaders? Did they object to the senseless mass killings and try to prevent unremitting plunder of Hindu temples and innocent masses? Did the Sufis ever object to the capture of helpless men and women as slaves and the use of the latter as objects of carnal pleasure? These are some of the questions to which answers have to be found by every genuine student of Indian history.

Prominent Sufis in India
Most Sufis came to India either accompanying the invading armies of Islamic marauders, or followed in the wake of the sweeping conquests made by the soldiers of Islam. At least the following four famous Sufis accompanied the Muslim armies which repetitively invaded India to attack the Hindu rulers, seize their kingdoms and riches and took recourse to extensive slaughtering of the commoners. Almost all Sufi masters were silent spectators to the murderous mayhem and reckless plunder of temples ands cities by the marauding hordes across the sub-continent. Taking advantage of the fact that the Hindu masses are deeply steeped in spiritual tradition and mysticism, the Sufis used their mystic paradigm for applying sort of a healing balm on the defeated, bedegralled and traumatized commoners with a view to converting them to the religion of the victors. The following well-known Sufi masters came to India along with the invading Muslim armies which repetitively invaded India in wave after wave:

1. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer had accompanied the army of Shihabuddin Ghori and finally settled down at Ajmer in the year 1233 A.D.
2. Khawaja Qutubuddin came to Delhi in the year 1236 in the train of Shihabuddin Ghori and stayed on to further the cause of Islam.
3. Sheikh Faridudin came to Pattan (now in Pakistan) in the year 1265.
4. Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya of Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin came to Delhi in the year 1335 accompanying a contingent of the Muslim Invaders.
Additionally, the famous Sufi Shihabuddin Suhrawardy of Baghdad was brought to India for carrying out the missionary work of conversions by Bahauddin Zakariya of Multan several decades after the Hindu ruler had been defeated and the kingdom laid waste after repetitive plunder and manslaughter. Like all Sufi masters, his main task was to apply the balm of spiritual unity on the traumatized Hindu population and then gradually persuade them to convert to Islam. Not a single Sufi, the so-called mystic saints, ever objected to the ongoing senseless manslaughter and reckless plunder, or to the destruction neither of temples, nor for that matter to the ghoulish enslavement of the so-called infidel men and women for sale in the bazaars of Ghazni and Baghdad. Operating from the sidelines of spiritualism they even participated in the nitty-gritty of governance to help the Muslim rulers consolidate their authority in the strife torn country. And significantly, their participation in the affairs of the State was not conditional upon the Muslim rulers acting in a just and even handed manner. On the contrary, the Sufis invariably tried to help the Sultans in following the path shown by the Prophet and the Shariah.

Sufis were practicing Muslims and not even Secular
Another important objective of the spiritual and mystic preaching of the Sufi masters was to blunt the edge of Hindu resistance and prevent them from taking up arms to defend their hearth and home, their motherland and their faith, through the façade of peace and religious harmony. The Naqashbandi Sufis had very close relations with Jahangir and Aurangzeb. The well known Sufi Saint of Punjab, Ahmad Sirhindi (Mujadid) of the Naqashbandi order (1564-1634) held that the execution of the Sikh leader Guru Arjun Dev by Jehangir was a great Islamic victory. He believed and openly proclaimed that Islam and Hinduism were antithesis of each other and therefore could not co-exist. Even the Chishti Sufi, Miyan Mir, who had been a friend of Guru Arjun Dev, later on turned his back on the Sikh Guru when the latter was arrested by Jahangir and sent for execution.

It may be recalled that the great Sufi master of the eleventh century, Al Qushairi (A.D.1072) had unambiguously declared that there was no discord between the aims of the Sufi ‘haqiqa’ and the aims of the Sharia. The definition given by Al Hujwiri should be able to quell any doubt about the commitment of Sufis in upholding the supremacy of the Islamic faith over all other religions. That dogma has been the key component of the philosophy of Sufism not only in India, but across the world - from India to Hispania (i.e., the Spain). The great Sufi master, Al Hujwiri, laid down the golden rule that the words “there is no god save Allah” are the ultimate Truth and the words “Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah” are the indisputable Law for all Sufis. In other words, the Sufism and the ulema represent the same two aspects of the Islamic faith which are universally accepted and obeyed by all Muslims. By definition therefore Sufi masters could be no exception. The renowned ninth century Sufi master, Al Junaid, also known as “the Sheikh of the Way”, and widely revered as the spiritual ancestor of Sufi faith, had categorically proclaimed that for Sufis “All the mystic paths are barred, except to him who followeth in the footsteps of the Messenger (i.e., Prophet Muhammad) [Source: Martin Lings, What is Sufism, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1975, p.101].

Sufis and Muslim Laws
As pointed out by Reynold A. Nicholson in the Preface to the famous tome, ‘Kashaf al Mahjub’ (Taj & Co., Delhi, 1982). “No Sufis, not even those who have attained the highest degree of holiness, are exempt from the obligation of obeying the religious law”. In fact, the famous tome, ‘Kashaf al Mahjub’ written by Ali bin Al-Hujwiri, who was also known as Data Ganj Baksh, was widely regarded as the grammar of Sufi thought and practice. Most Sufis have invariably drawn on the contents of this Treatise for preaching the Sufi thought (also known as Sufi sisals). As already stated, on page 140 of Kashaf al Mahjub Al Hujwiri loudly proclaims that “the words there is no God save Allah are Truth, and the words Muhammed is the Apostle of Allah” are the indisputable Law.

Sufism leaves no scope for Hinduism
K.A. Nizami in his celebrated book, The Life and Times of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (Idarah-I Adabiyat-i-Delhi, Delhi) has stated that the Auliya openly used to say that “what the ulama seek to achieve through speech, we achieve by our behavior.” The Auliya was a firm believer in the need for unquestioned obedience of every Muslim, every Sufi, to the dictates of the ulema. According to K.A. Nizami, another Sufi saint Jamal Qiwamu’d-din wrote that though he had been associated with the Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya for years, “but never did he find him missing a single sunnat …… ” .The well known authority on Sufism, S.A.A. Rizvi has recorded in his book, ‘A History of Sufism in India’ that Nizamuddin Auliya used to unhesitatingly accept enormous gifts given to him by Khusraw Barwar which implied that the Auliya was unconcerned with the source of the gift, provided it was paid in cash. Yet the Auliya was a firm believer in the need for a Muslim’s unquestioned loyalty and obedience to the ulema. As reiterated by K.A. Nizami, Auliya used to preach that the unbeliever is the doomed denizen of Hell. In his khutba he would leave no one in doubt that Allah has created Paradise for the Believers and Hell for the infidels “in order to repay the wicked for what they have done”. It has been categorically stated on page 161 in the famous treatise, Fawaid al-Fuad, translated by Bruce B. Lawrence (Paulist Press, New York, 1992) that the Auliya confirmed on the authority of the great Islamic jurist, Imam Abu Hanifa, that the perdition of the unbelievers is certain and that Hell is the only abode for them, even if they agreed to confess total loyalty to Allah on the Day of Judgment.

Sufis against Hindus
In the above mentioned treatise on Sufi philosophy, Fuwaid al-Fuad, a very interesting instance of enslaving the kaffir Hindus for monetary gain has been cited which shows how another Sufi, Shayakh Ali Sijzi, provided financial assistance to one of his dervishes to participate in the lucrative slave trade. He had advised the dervish that he should take “these slaves to Ghazni, where the potential for profit is still greater”. And it was confirmed by Nizamuddin Auliya that “the Dervish obeyed”. Obviously therefore, neither spiritual ethics and nor justice to all, including the infidels, were the strong points of Sufi saints.

If the narrative of the preaching and acts of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer are taken as indication of his religious philosophy and deeds, he emerges as a Sufi master who nursed a deep hatred against the infidel Hindus and showed utter contempt for their religious beliefs. As elaborated by S.S.A. Rizvi in ‘A History of Sufism in India, Vol. 1 (Munshiram Manoharlal, 1978, p. 117), there is a reference in the book, Jawahar-i- Faridi, to the fact thatwhen Moinuddin Chishti reached near the Annasagar Lake at Ajmer, where a number of holy shrines of Hindus were located, he slaughtered a cow and cooked a beef kebab at the sacred place surrounded by many temples. It is further claimed in Jawahar-i-Faridi that the Khwaja had dried the 2 holy lakes of Annasagar and Pansela by the magical heat of Islamic spiritual power. He is even stated to have made the idol of the Hindu temple near Annasagar recite the Kalma. The Khwaja had a burning desire to destroy the rule of the brave Rajput king, Prithiviraj Chauhan, so much so that he ascribed the victory of Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain entirely to his own spiritual prowess and declared that “We have seized Pithaura alive and handed him over to the army of Islam”. [Source: Siyar’l Auliya, cited by Rizvi on page 116 of ‘A History of Sufism in India’].

Sufis and Patronage of Muslim Rulers
Throughout the Muslim rule all Sufis enjoyed full confidence, royal favor and patronage of the cruel Muslim rulers. Though foolishly accepted as “secular” by most Hindus seeking spiritual solace after being battered, bruised and marginalized, almost all Sufi saints dogmatically followed the commandments contained in the Quran, the Hadith and Sharia. Historians have recorded that many Sufi saints had accompanied armies of the Muslim invaders to use their spiritual powers in furtherance of Islam’s conquests. Not one of them raised even a little finger to forbid slaughter of the innocents, nor did they question the imposition of jiziya by Muslim rulers. In fact, most of them guided the Muslim rulers in carrying forward their mission of conquest and conversion by furthering their campaigns of plundering the wealth of Hindus, of which many Sufis willingly partook share.

Sufis were not pro-Hindus
It was almost a taboo for Sufis, the so-called saints, to accept a Hindu ascending the throne of any kingdom during the heydays of the Muslim rule. In an example narrated by S.A.A. Rizvi on page 37 of his well researched book, The Wonder That Was India (Vol.II, Rupa & Co, 1993, New Delhi) it is pointed out that when the powerful Bengali warrior, king Ganesha, captured power in Bengal in the year 1415 A.D., Ibrahim Shah Sharqi, attacked his kingdom at the request of outraged ulema and numerous Sufis of Bengal. In the ensuing strife, the leading Sufi of Bengal, Nur Qutb-i-Alam, interceded and secured a political agreement to the benefit of the Muslim community and satisfaction of Sufis. Under dire threat King Ganesha was forced to abdicate his throne in favour of his 12 years old son, Jadu, who was converted to Islam and proclaimed as Sultan Jalaluddin - to the satisfaction of the Sufi masters. Similarly Sultan Ahmed Shah of Gujarat (1411-42), though a practitioner of Sufi philosophy, was a diehard iconoclast who took delight in destroying temples, as stated in the same tome, by S.A.A. Rizvi. The Sultan also used to force the Rajput chieftains to marry their daughters to him so that they would become outcastes in their own community. And the endgame of the Sultan could as well be that perhaps some of the outcaste Rajputs might then opt to become Muslims.

Sufi Philosophy is one-way street
Unfortunately due to relentless colonization of the Hindu mind during 1000 years long oppressive Muslim rule, the Hindu masses till date have failed to realize that the so-called Sufi philosophy of religious harmony is a one-way street. This trend of Hindus praying at tombs and dargahs has been nurtured by the strong undercurrent of belief in spiritualism among Hindu masses, even educated classes. That is the crux of the matter. Deeply steeped in their traditional belief in spirituality and mysticism, the Hindus have developed the custom of visiting dargahs and continue to pray at the tombs of Sufis, no Muslim, nor any Sufi, has ever agreed to worship in a Hindu temple, nor make obeisance before the images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. For them it would be an act of grossest sacrilege and unacceptable violation of the basic tenets of Sufism. That is the truth about the Sufi saints and their philosophy of inter-religious harmony.