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‘Shining India’ Continues To Persecute Muslims

‘Shining India’ Continues To Persecute Muslims Despite Their Glorious Contributions

Sabir Shah

After killing and beating its Muslim compatriots and then throwing ink on Khursheed Kasuri’s Indian book-launch ceremony organiser in Mumbai a few days back, the fascist Shiv Sena has now attacked the offices of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India for hosting the Pakistan Cricket Board (BCB) chief Shahryar Khan for a meeting to discuss the resumption of bilateral fixtures, besides having threatened Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar on Monday to leave the country instead of adjudicating the ongoing South Africa-India series that is being played under the aegis of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Though the United Nations and the West have silently watched the Indian regimes and their fundamentalist suppress the 172 million Muslims by using every possible method, one hopes the ICC will protest loudly and lodge its reservations with New Delhi and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Since the 1947 partition, the fundamentalist Hindu mindset continues to afflict atrocities on the hapless Muslim minority, which currently faces a situation that seems to be getting worse than what has been encountered by the “untouchables” or “Dalits” for many centuries—-a story full of immense sorrow and grief.

Basically, the incumbent Narendra Modi government, Shiv Sena or other Indian Hindu extremist political and religious parties have failed to acknowledge the unforgettable and magnificent contribution of Muslims to nearly every sphere of life.

According to the Indian census of 2011, while the share of Muslims in the population had risen from 13.4 percent in 2001 to 14.2 percent with some border states showing a high increase, Hindus comprised 78.35 percent of the total population of 1.21 billion, compared with 80.45 percent of the total population in 2001.

Islam thus happens to be the second-largest religion in India with about 172 million adherents, and their population in the world’s biggest “democracy” is third after their numbers in Indonesia and Pakistan!

In 2001, out of a 1.03 billion population, little over 827 million (80.5 per cent) had returned themselves as followers of Hindu religion, 138 million (13.4 per cent) as Muslims or the followers of Islam, 24 million (2.3 per cent) as Christians, 19 million (1.9 per cent) as Sikh, 8 million (0.80 per cent) as Buddhists and 4 million (0.4 per cent) are Jains.

It is not that the Indian ruling elite is not aware of the plight of Muslims.

Islam first came to the western coast of India with Arab traders as early as the 7th century AD to coastal Malabar and Gujarat regions and it was about 1,400 years ago in 629 AD that Malik Ibn-e-Dinar (died 648 AD) had built the Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kerala. An inscription in Arabi-Malayalam language on the gate of the masjid gives the date as 5 Hijri. The mosque is thought to be first in India and probably one of the oldest shrines in the world. It is said that there burns an oil lamp which is believed to be more than a 1,000 years old. People of all faith bring oil for the lamp as offering, underlining its secular standing in Kerala.

“The Times of India” writes in its May 31, 2015 edition: “In a gesture that could resonate with the minority community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the centuries-old Cheraman Juma Masjid, India’s oldest Muslim shrine, when he visits Kerala in July or August. The Juma Masjid is said to have been built by Malik Bin Dinar, a contemporary of Cheraman Perumal, the ruler of Kodungalur and adjoining parts of Malabar, who subsequently converted to Islam.”

This ‘noble’ gesture by Modi is nothing but sham hypocrisy, as the subsequent atrocities on Muslims reveal.

The key Indian newspaper had further maintained that “a 1,000 year old lamp burns inside this first Indian mosque believed to be one of the oldest shrines in the world. People from all faiths bring oil for the lamp as offering.”

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964) had penned down on pages 218 and 225 of his 1946 book “The Discovery of India” that the impact of the invaders from the north-west and of Islam on India had been considerable.

“It had pointed out and shone up the abuses that had crept into Hindu society – the petrification of caste, untouchability, exclusiveness carried to fantastic lengths. The idea of the brotherhood of Islam and the theoretical equality of its adherents made a powerful appeal especially to those in the Hindu fold who were denied any semblance of equal treatment.”

But alas, these were mere words!

It is also a matter of public record that in 2005, the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had commissioned the “Sachar Committee” to prepare a report on the socio-economic and educational situation of India’s Muslims.

 The report had revealed significant prejudice against Muslims in the employment sector, noting that Muslims made up only 2.5 percent of the bureaucracy, even though they constituted almost 14 per cent of the population.

 But despite findings such as these, successive Indian governments have been deaf and dumb to this issue. Indians keep forgetting that Dr Sir Allama Iqbal had written Tarana-e-Hind (Sare Jahan se Accha Hindustan hamara), one of the most enduring patriotic poems of Indian Sub-continent.

 This poem is recognised by the Indians as a national anthem of opposition to the British Rule in India.

 Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who lived most of his life in Mumbai, had brought a revolutionary change in the Indian legal system drafted by the British rulers.

 As the story goes, the phrase “hang till death” was inserted after Jinnah had made a convict escape a death penalty.

 In a case where a pre-independence freedom fighter was ordered to be hanged by the British Judiciary, Jinnah had come to his rescue.

 On punishment day when his client’s head was put in the rope and the lever was pulled, he commanded the authorities to immediately stop the hanging. He stated that his alive client had served his punishment because the penalty was “To Be Hanged,” and the requirements had been fully met since there was no mention of death in the sentence.

 Since then, by the order of the Queen, the British Charter changed the language to “To Be Hanged Till Death” under common law.

 This incident was an eye-opener for the British monarchy, which till then had thought that India was a land of subservient puppets which did not have the courage to challenge its laws and actions.

 Here follow the names, portfolios and contributions rendered by some of the most notable Indian Muslims:

 Three of India’s Presidents (Zakir Hussain, Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed and Dr Abul Kalam) have been Muslims.

 The sitting Indian Vice President Muhammad Hamid Ansari is a follower of Islam and country’s four Chief Justices (Mohammad Hidayatullah, Mirza Hameedullah Baig, Aziz Mushabbar Ahmadi and Altamas Kabir) have also been Muslims.

 It is noteworthy that Justice Fathima Beevi was the first female judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of India (1989).

In the Indian Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif had served as country’s Chief of Air Staff between 1978 and 1981.

After retirement, he had also served as Governor of Maharashtra State between 1982 and 1985, and later as the Indian ambassador to France. He was the first and only Indian Muslim to become the head of the Indian Air Force or of any Indian armed force.

The current Aligarh University Vice Chancellor Lt General (R) Zameerud Din Shah (elder brother of famous Bollywood actor Naseerud Din Shah) had served as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Personnel & Systems).

General Shah had made it to the top post after beating two other short-listed candidates — Noor Mohammad, who retired as the Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority, and Syed Khalid Rizvi, a retired additional Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh.

Another Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain was the Military Secretary of the Indian Army.

According to NDTV, General Ata had commanded an Army Corps in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir too. He is the son of Major General Syed Mehdi Hasnain of Indian Army.

A peek into history shows that when Major General Anis Ahmad Khan of Indian Army had opted to migrate to Pakistan in the mid-1950s, the hardliners in India had questioned the loyalty of all Muslims in uniform.

On the contrary, Pakistanis were magnanimous when the country’s first-ever Law and Labour Minister Jogendra Nath Mandal had migrated to India after submitting his resignation to the then Premier Liaquat Ali Khan, citing the anti-Hindu bias of the Pakistani administration as the key reason.

The Indian Army has till date had more than half a dozen Muslim major generals as well.

A few Indian chief election commissioners, state chief ministers, scientists, physicists and gastroenterologists etc are also Muslims.

Research conducted by the Jang Group and Geo Television Network reveals that the revenues of Bollywood, the face of “Shining India” are expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2016 and its gross receipts have almost tripled since 2004.

In 2014, a globally-acknowledged American magazine “Forbes” had written: “Amidst all the glamour and dazzle of Hollywood, people often forget about the world’s other movie capital – India. Firmly established in Mumbai, which was formerly known as Bombay (hence the Bollywood nickname), the Indian film industry is expected to grow to Rs138 billion by 2014 – that’s almost $2.28 billion.

“The numbers are certainly impressive—in terms of the number of films produced each year, Bollywood is firmly on top of the pile with 1,602 in 2012 alone. The US churned out 476 films that year while the Chinese managed 745. In the same year, Hollywood sold 1.36 billion tickets compared to Bollywood’s whopping 2.6 billion. Indian films can’t match Hollywood in box office revenue, however. U.S. films grossed nearly $10.8 billion in 2012 compared to India’s meager $1.6 billion. People in India don’t tend to mind all those numbers though, they just want to watch films, something that can’t be disputed with nearly 2.7 billion cinema admissions in 2013!”

And this fabulous success was neither an overnight accomplishment, nor could it have been achieved without the contribution of innumerable Muslim actors, actresses, directors, singers, producers, music composers and lyricists etc.

The most notable Muslims who have served Bollywood for decades include the likes of Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan, a living legend of Hindi cinema), Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Amir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, A R Kardar, Mahboob Khan, K Asif and Kamal Amrohi, Shakeel Badayuni, Sahir Ludhianvi, Naushad Ali, Hasrat Jaipuri (born Iqbal Hussain), Majrooh Sultanpuri (born as Asrar ul Hassan Khan, A. R. Rehman, Jigar Moradabadi (born Ali Sikandar), late villain Amjad Khan, comedian Kader Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Madhubala (Mumtaz Jehan Dehalvi), Nargis (born Fatima Rashid), Waheeda Rahman, Saira Bano, Shabana Azmi, Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh, Meena Kumari (born Mahjabeen Bano), Zeenat Aman, late Parveen Babi, Feroze Khan, Divya Bharti (also known as Sana Nadiadwala after marriage to Sajid Nadiawala), Kaifi Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Irfan Khan and Emran Hashmi etc.

A lot of Muslims in India are world-renowned industrialists, contributing significantly to the country’s economy that has a nominal GDP of $2.182 trillion and a Purchasing Power Parity GDP of $8.027 trillion.

These include tycoons like Abdur Rehman (Vice-Chairman of Dubai based ETA Star Group, Chancellor of B S Abdur Rahman University, founder of Buhari Group, Chairman – Buharia Holding (P) Ltd, Chennai, Chairman – ABR Enterprises (P) Ltd, Chennai, Chairman – West Asia Maritime Ltd, Chennai, Chairman – West Asia Exports & Imports Pvt Ltd, Chennai, Chairman – East Coast Constructions & Industries (P) Ltd, Chennai, Chairman – Sethu Investments Pvt Ltd, Chennai), Azim Premjee (Chairman of Wipro Limited. As of March 2015, the company had 158,217 employees servicing over 900 of the Fortune 1,000 corporations with a presence in 67 countries. Its Market Capitalization was approximately $ 35 Billion, making it one of India’s largest publicly traded companies and seventh largest IT Services firm in the World), Yousaf Ali (According to the recent Forbes Listing, he is currently the 24th wealthiest Indian and the 737th richest in the world, with a personal wealth of $3.7 billion. Yousaf is the Managing Director of Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group of companies, which has an annual turnover of US $5.5 billion globally) and Yousaf Khawaja Hamied (Chairman Cipla Group of Mumbai. As of September 2014, his group’s total Market Capitalization was$8 billion approximately, making it India’s 42nd largest publicly traded company by market value), the Ansari family of Mumbai (owners of Mumbai’s famous Mid Day newspaper for 72 years till 2010. The founder of this business family was Abdul Hamid Ansari, who wrote and published the Urdu weekly Inquilab. He was a Congressman who joined the Muslim League, as did most of Bombay’s Muslims. Abdul Hamid Ansari’s son Khalid founded Sportsweek, India’s largest sports weekly, and then the afternoon newspaper Mid Day), Habil Khorakiwala (this scion of the Dawoodi Bohra family owns a famous Indian pharmaceutical company Wockhard).

By the way, a former Pakistani Governor General and country’s first Finance Minister Malik Ghulam Muhammad once had a partnership with a famous Indian industrial giant, the Mahindra Group. The partnership was called Mahindra & Mohammed, and its business was to make the very successful World War II car, the Willys Jeep. The firm Ghulam Muhammad gave up was renamed Mahindra & Mahindra, and is today one of the largest vehicle manufacturers by production in India and the largest manufacturer of tractors across the world with Market Capitalization resting at $12.4 billion and sales of $11.61 billion in May 2015, according to Forbes magazine.

Talking about prominent Indian Muslim sportsmen and sportswomen, professional Tennis player Sania Mirza was named among the “33 women who made India proud” by the “Economic Times” in 2010.

Currently ranked World Number One in Women’s Doubles, Sania was also was named one of the “50 heroes of Asia” by the Time magazine in October 2005.

Messrs Zafar Iqbal and Danish Mujtaba have had the honour of leading Indian Hockey teams over the years.

In 1935, Mirza Nasiruddin Masud was appointed the vice-captain’s position in the All India Team captained by the legendary Dhyan Chand. He became Maulana Azad’s private secretary in 1948. Upon Azad’s death Nehru created the position of Adviser on Physical Education and Recreation for Masud, and in 1959 appointed him Consul General responsible for Muscat and Oman, the Emirates, and Bahrain.

In 1961 Masud was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia, a post he held till 1964.

 Later, Prime Minister Shastri had appointed Mirza Nasiruddin Masud as Secretary of the Central Waqf Board which managed trusts for Muslims. The chairman, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, to whom Masud reported, had gone on to become the President of India.

Meanwhile, Saba Anjum had captained Indian women hockey team.  Coming to Cricket, numerous Muslims have led the Indian sides. These include Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, his son Mansoor Ali Khan Patudi, Ghulam Ahmed, and Muhammad Azharauddin.

Muhammad Nisar Hussain was the first man to take a wicket for India in 1932, and was the fastest pre-war bowler India had produced. He holds the record of bowling very first ball in test for India too.

 The first-ever 1932 Indian side that toured England also had other Muslims like Dr Jahengir Khan and brothers, Syed Nazeer Ali and Syed Wazir Ali.

Other famous Indian Muslim cricketers include Syed Abid Ali, Syed Mushtaq Ali, Emir Elahi (played for India and Pakistan both), Gul Muhammad (played for India and Pakistan both), Abdul Hafeez Kardar (played for India and Pakistan both), Salim Durrani, Dilawar Hussain, Jamshed Irani, Farrukh Engineer, Rashid Ghulam Mohammed Patel, Syed Kirmani, Abbas Ali Baig, Syed Saba Karim, Mohammad Kaif, Wasim Jaffar and Zaheer Khan etc.

Among Indian Muslim scientists, late President Dr Abdul Kalam stands taller than all others. He was the brain behind “Agni,” the indigenously developed 17-meter long and 75-tonne multiple stage missile with a payload of 1,000 kilogram.

But India respects nothing it seems.

 It earns a major chunk of its tourism-related revenues by advertising the Moghul monuments and had yet BJP had demolished the Emperor Zaheerud Din Babur-built Babri Masjid in early 1990s.

 The travel and tourism industry contributed a total of $113.2 billion to GDP in India in 2013, meaning thereby that this amount was equivalent to about six per cent to Indian GDP and had provided jobs to 22 million people that year. In 2013, there were 6.85 million international tourist arrivals in India.

 In August 2014, as the Times of India had reported in its August 8, 2014 edition, the historic Taj Mahal in Agra had alone earned Rs218.4 million, mostly in entrance fees.

 The Agra Fort, a distant second to the Taj, was Rs 10.22 crore in that fiscal, Indian Tourism Minister Shripad Yesso Naik had told the Indian Senate.

 Delhi’s Qutab Minar, a red sandstone tower, came in at third with Rs 101.6 million, Emperor Humayun’s tomb was fourth with Rs 71.2 million and the Red Fort was fifth with Rs 61.5 million revenues.

 Then, India also houses the shrines of some of the world’s most revered Muslim saints like Hazrat Moinud Din Chishti Ajmeri, Hazrat Qutbud Din Bakhtiar Kaki, Haji Ali, Hazrat Nizamud Din Aulia and Hazrat Saleem Chishti etc., which are the major source of millions of dollars revenues every year for the country’s Religious tourism industry.

 Research further shows that there was widespread violence against the Muslims in Hyderabad city in 1948, as an aftermath of the police action (officially known as Operation Polo) and Jawarlal Nehru had formed a committee to investigate the brutalities meted out to Muslims, but the findings of the “Sundarlal Report” were never made public.

 According to A.G. Noorani’s book “Of a massacre untold,” an estimated 50-200,000 Muslims are believed to have been killed in Hyderabad in the afore-mentioned incident soon after partition.

 The November 27, 2008 edition of the prestigious Time magazine states: “The roots of Muslim rage run deep in India, nourished by a long-held sense of injustice over what many Indian Muslims believe is institutionalised discrimination against the country’s largest minority group. The disparities between Muslims, who make up 13.4% of the population, and India’s Hindus, who hover at around 80%, are striking. There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking, Muslim Indians have shorter life spans, worse health, lower literacy levels and lower-paying jobs. Add to that toxic brew the lingering resentment over 2002’s anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat. The riots, instigated by Hindu nationalists, killed some 2,000 people, most of them Muslims.” Courtesy The News

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