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 are being given the same status as regular schools affiliated to accredited secondary education boards. As a result, certificates issued by 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 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.