Mahatma Gandhi once wrote, “Every Hindu is a coward and every Muslim is a bully.”
Regular readers of Gates of Vienna know of our continuing interest in India’s position on the front lines of the Great Jihad. Fortunately, the amount of intelligent and literate reporting in English emerging from India is almost limitless, so the alert blogger will never lack for material.
For non-Muslim Indians, the problem of militant Islamism asserts itself virtually every day. In News Today of South India, V. Sundaram writes:
|As a historian, I am overawed by the scrupulous concern for fidelity to facts shown by many Muslim historians during the last 1000 years. Nowhere have they tried to hide the fact that they came to establish Quwwatul Islam, which means the might of Islam, in India. What is notable is that various deeds of comprehensive brutality relating to desecration of temples were recorded by the Sultans themselves or by their Court Chroniclers.|
|These desecrations had a cruelly vicarious side to them. For, there is no record or mention anywhere that the idol of the presiding deity was removed and handed over to the priest concerned for taking it away to another temple. In fact, in many cases, there are gleeful references that the idol was destroyed and its broken pieces were placed below the entrance of the Mosque, so that they could be trampled upon by those who came for their ‘Ibadat’.|
The assertiveness of the Muslim minority in India, like its counterpart in Europe, is driven by demographics. In an article in Organiser last year, Dr. D.P. Sharma wrote:
|Many European nations including Britain, France and Spain are facing separation threats from minority groups. Minorities are no more silent groups; they have gone to the extent of adopting terrorist means to achieve their separatist aim. Many nations on the globe are badly disturbed by these minority groups. So, a disproportionate population growth of any minority community above the national average is not in the interest of any nation, particularly when the minority community has a political ideology which is antithetical to democratic values, as we find with the Muslim fundamentalist groups, no matter where they are.|
|Muslims in India are the largest minority group with a population larger than the Muslim population in Pakistan or Bangladesh. They are very united and reactive. They are an influential pressure group and they know the art of extracting the maximum benefits from the government. The growth rate of Muslims exceeds by 10 per cent over the growth rate of Hindus and it was even more during the previous decades.|
|Hamid Dalwai, an angry, young crusader against communalism, has candidly written on this issue. He writes:|
|“All Muslim leaders unanimously complain that injustice is done to Muslims in India. However, they have a strange definition of injustice. They suggest, indirectly no doubt, that the very fact that India has a Hindu majority is in itself a great injustice to Muslims… A professor from Aligarh University was quite frank about this. He said: ‘Hindus cannot keep us permanently in a minority… This country will eventually be swept by an Islamic tide.’ The professor was quite forthright in expressing his views. There are other leaders of Indian Muslims who say the same thing although they couch it in clever phrases. They say, ‘Our religion does not permit family planning. Grant us the freedom to practise our religion’.”|
|The Urdu newspaper Radiance, commenting on the report of the last Census in India, said, “In the last ten years the Muslim population in India has increased by 4 per cent more than the Hindus. Therefore, Muslims need not despair about their future,” (Muslim Politics in India, p. 63/6.)|
|He further says that according to the Muslims, the only solution to their problems “is the establishment of an Islamic State in India. The Jammat-e-Islami has already a programme to achieve this objective. And if they fail to achieve it, then they would seek to establish within the sovereign State of India a sovereign Islamic society. This idea of a State within a State and society within society, appeals to them…the Majalis-e-Mashawarat has demanded that the Indian Parliament should have no power to legislate in matters concerning Indian Muslims. Salahuddin Owesi publicly suggested, ‘There should be a separate Muslim State within each state of India’,” (ibid, p.64).|
It is clear that the Hindus and Sikhs of India face the same daunting task as do the Europeans. The Muslim minority in India is comparable to that of the Netherlands, and has had centuries to entrench its postion.
This throws into greater relief the recent discussions between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concerning issues in which the United States and India have a common interest.