Friday, 24 October, 2008

Bad language

The other night I was watching a Muslim gentleman being interviewed on TV. Quite typically he said that Muslims were being called terrorists and traitors while their contributions to the country are being forgotten; and that all political parties had cheated the Muslims giving them nothing in return to their votes. He added that the time had come for Muslims to unite in a separate party.

The interview triggered a question: Who is calling Muslims these vile names? 

I cannot deny that there is raving and ranting about ‘all terrorists being Muslims though all Muslims being terrorists’ and ‘the government is being soft on terror only because of Muslim votes’. Yet most of the discussion in media seems to be against such rubbish, not for it. 

Perhaps we’d all be better off if there was no discussion at all, because the more widespread and enduring damage of terror is psychological division. Ignoring the issue partially removes the terrorists’ – or their controllers’ – raison d'ĂȘtre. 

At the least, can’t the Muslim intellectual concede that most people, at least when appearing in media, speak against smearing them? Isn’t he too paying far more attention to a minority (the Muslim-baiters) than it needs? Will the protestors (against smear) continue if unacknowledged? 

Also, when we say that a particular community rebelled, do we, generally, mean a mass movement or do we mean that a few rebels came out of that community, though the vast majority of its members did nothing? Surely, we mean the latter. 

And this is not very unfair considering that the silent majority reap the benefits of rebellion if there are any; and if there are none, do nothing to disassociate themselves from the rebels, either because they don’t want to be branded collaborationists, or because they have better things to do than prove their innocence in ‘crimes’ they didn’t commit.  

Nonetheless, the layman in the majority community does want to hear more from the minority mouthpiece than justification for rebellion. He wants them to at bring a few home truths to the rebels. “Don’t kill, because we suffer the repercussions. Ask yourself what you have done to help yourself before blaming others. Don’t just say your government representation in jobs is disproportionately smaller than your share of the population: Ask why it is worse in the private sector, where, supposedly, merit rules. When you’re about it, look beyond raw population figures and count the number of candidates with minimum qualifications that you put up. Does the picture look so bad when you do that?” 

From the majority community needs to hear these for credibility’s sake. Or we go back to the logic of the Round Table Conferences: Since the Indians cannot sort matters out between themselves, we need to be there to keep them from each other’s throats.  

Finally, when a leader continuously complains about how his community is being marginalised and maligned, what is the solution he suggests? Is he for separation or integration? If he wants out, what is in it for him? Will he create another Pakistan or Israel? 

That is not to suggest that there was any lack of justification for either nation. However, it is to suggest that those about to be rescued should ask why the rescuer is so bothered, more so because he repeatedly insists that he has no personal axe to grind. Or they may find themselves trading one tyranny for another. Not that the new tyrant thinks he’s one; he believes he’s the only person who can keep chaos at bay.


Nirvanesque said...


Good to bring out the differentiation that it has to be the educated muslims who have to tell the rest of their community to comprehend, especially when we had a highly educated Dr President Abdul Kalam who was also the father of our Atomic bomb project. There are many other educated muslims different walks of life who can help in this way. As of now, Indian politicians have been mainly handling this sentiment problem with muslim religious leaders who do not often seem to be the right partners in this discussion.

In the meantime, please check out this article about expat Indians asking the US govt for help.

What would your opinion be on such a move by educated and highly qualified Indians settled abroad? In fact, I did put a comment there referring to your analyses here.

N&P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
N&P said...

Juventus, I suppose I am for anything aginst people like Raj T. Before 'my country, right or wrong' comes 'another man, good or bad'. Even if I am bad, who is he to punish me?

The trouble is that steps involving foreigners, especially white foreigners, back-fire. Modi is banned from visiting the US. He turns it into an insult for all Hindu Gujrat. It is one of the things he supposedly uses to win.

Second, there are underlying, undenible truths which no foreign party with axes to grind will look at. Westernised Indians are blind to these issues. Again, this leads to bad blood and helps the communalist.

Finally, what does he care? Does he care for what 'other' people think? He will probably like to be called names like terrorist. In fact, he's just a rowdy.