Syed Ali Mujtaba
Chennai: Indian Muslims have to make choices for the injustices committed to them repeatedly in the length and breadth of the country, said Zia U Salam, the celebrated author of “Being Muslim in Hindu India” here in the city.
The much-acclaimed book is a compendium of the news that is coming out on an almost daily basis in the media against of the atrocities committed against the Muslims committed by the Hindu zealots during the BJP rule in the country.
‘Anyone who follows the news knows that the Muslims of India are under siege,’ said the author to the audience who had gathered in large numbers to hear his speech.
The author minces no words in saying that in the present time, Muslims are facing the gravest challenge to their identity in India.
‘The definition of a secular India enshrined in the Constitution is being trampled day in and day out under the BJP rule,’ the author said.
“To be a Muslim in India today is to live with the reality of daily stigmatization and ever-increasing threats of violence and the very idea of existence,” he said in an attempt to highlight the woes of Muslims living in India.
“In several places, Muslims are expected to abide by the preferences of the majority community, at others, they might be killed on mere suspicion of cow slaughter, or much worse, just because they ‘look’ Muslim. There are attacks on their attire, language, and culture,” the author goes on with his litany of woes against the targeted hate crimes committed against Muslims in India.
The author laments at what has gone wrong with our polity and society in recent years. Starting from a denial of tickets to Muslim candidates by political parties or missing names from electoral rolls, there is a systematic attempt to wipe out their history of existence in India. The complete passages of the history of medieval India are expunged from the history books as if the period from 1206 to 1857 existed in a vacuum, the author said.
The author made a specific reference to the Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi in 2020, where for the first time Muslim women sat in protest with the Constitution in one hand and the holy Quran in the other. The author lauded the brave attempt of the Muslim Women and hinted that it’s time for Muslims to come out in the open to democratic protest against the injustices going on against them.
In the question and answer session, a comment was made that among the four choices before the Muslims, executive, judiciary, media, and civil society, Muslims have little hope with the first two, and the civil society and the media particularly, social media can be of any help to the Muslims in India. These two platforms are very powerful mediums and Muslims should rally around them and try to organize public opinion against the atrocities committed against the Muslims.
The talk delivered by the author of “Being Muslim in Hindu India” was an honest and impassioned cry for attention towards the plight of Muslims in contemporary India. The best part of the author’s talk was, that there was a pin drop of silence when the author enumerated the grim realities of the atrocities committed against Muslims in India.
The entire lecture of Zia U Salam can be summed up in two lines: “Na Sambloge tao Mit jayoge aie Musalmano, thumhare dastan tak bhi na gee, dastanoo mein ( If you don’t get alert, oh Muslims, your story will not be there in the Hinstory on India).
Talk on the plight of Muslims in India left a huge impact on the audience and his message left a food for thought on those present there.