Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jinnah remains their idol


KR Phanda

In his article, "Jinnah right on Vande Mataram" (September 13), Mr Obaidur Rahman Nadwi quotes Mohammed Ali Jinnah saying that he had objected to the singing of Vande Mataram by Muslims as it was against their religious tenet. He is right and so are other Muslim leaders. But Jinnah was also right when he proposed the exchange of population between India and Pakistan as an integral part of Partition. Jinnah, along with seven other Muslim League leaders, had argued that because of their religion, tradition and history, Muslims could not live peacefully with Hindus in a Dar-ul Harb.

Former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia M Mujeeb wrote in his book, Islamic Influence on Indian Society: "At a party given in the UN General Assembly session in 1949, I had the pleasure of being placed next to the Turkish representative. He looked at my name card and saw that I was a Muslim and at once asked, 'Are there still any Muslims in India?' It is believed that the sub-continent had been divided between Hindus and Muslims with all Muslims on the one side and all Hindus on the other."

From Mr Nadwi's comments, it would seem the fault lies with Muslims who decided to stay in India despite a separate homeland having been created for them. If they agree with Jinnah not to sing Vande Mataram, why did they not migrate to Pakistan where they would have been governed according to the Sharia'h? Having stayed on in India, they are expected to abide by the laws and culture of the land.

It is not good to cry every time there is an effort to integrate Muslims with the mainstream. Muslims want to be treated like a minority, whereas Pakistan and other Islamic countries never take care of their minorities. According to international laws, Muslims cannot claim the right to being called a minority, especially after having got a separate homeland.

Have Indian Muslims ever spared a thought for the Hindus who stayed back in Pakistan? It is well known that both Pakistan and Bangladesh have been cleansed of their Hindus. Muslims are advised to seek safeguards and rights keeping in mind the special concessions that have already been provided to them.

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