On Saturday, Krishnan and I attended the Q&A session on “Swadeshi Muslims” with Mr. Rajiv Malhotra at INTACH. This event was hosted by the Srijan Foundation. We attended because we find Mr. Rajiv Malhotra as a sane voice speaking about issues that matter to India without the rhetoric or vitriol that our paid media, pseudo seculars and politicians use. It was also an opportunity to meet the great man.
It was an absorbing session with interesting background information and well thought out views. There was no verbal lynching of Muslims nor was there hyperbole about Hindus. I wish there can be civil debates and discussions of this nature all over the country. It will not fit into the agenda of those who are using the Hindu-Muslim fault line to breakup India and to serve their own ambitions of power. But it will do a world of good for the Mango people !!
A gist of the thoughts that were shared by Mr. Rajiv Malhotra –
- Islam needs a reform movement similar to the Christian reform movement – to free itself from the clutches of the Mullahs, Muftis and Imams.
- Education is key. Majority of the Muslim population in India is getting ghettoised and remains uneducated and poor, thereby making the Mullah powerful. The Mullahs are the quintessential middlemen.
- In India, Muslim women will lead the change. My two bits here – Hopefully the government stays its course on Triple Talaq and other issues. We cannot have sharia courts and anything that is outside of the constitution. The Mullahs and other powers that are will try and hijack the agenda of freeing Muslim women and educating them.
- Support efforts of people like Imam Tawhidi who are trying to re-interpret Islam. Apparently Imam Tawhidi is not being given a visa to come to India. We also need moderate, intellectual Indian Muslim voices to speak up. Bollywood Khans are just not helping the cause …. they can be positive influencers if they choose to be.
Mr. Rajiv Malhotra’s book “The Grand Narrative” will carry a segment on Swadeshi Muslims and this Q&A was based on his talk on Swadeshi Muslims.
I have two suggestions to integrate the Muslim and other non-Hindu communities into the mainstream.
- We must have the Kendriya Vidyalaya type schools ONLY. No school can have morning prayers from the Bible only or Koran only or Gita only. Those schools need to be labeled as religious schools. All schools following the CBSE or ICSE or state board syllabus will have to be delinked from religious identity. Convents push the Bible and Christianity – why? And remember, no terrorist or fundamentalist ever came out of the Kendriya Vidyalayas !!!
- Make Military service compulsory for all. The armed forces clear out all misconceptions and put the country first. Everyone needs a dose of that. Remember the recent “bakwaas” by Owaisi when he asked about how many Muslims serve in the armed forces and was told clearly that the armed forces have Indians, period.
Hoping for Mr. Rajiv Malhotra’s grand narrative to take hold and for India to remain the bastion of true inclusive living.
Jai Hind. Jai Hind ki Sena.