By Nadeem Qadir;
India, the world’s largest democracy, is going through a phase which many in that country say was never anticipated and is a stress especially in developments surrounding the CAA and NRC.
The major stress is of course the threat on the historic bonding of faiths and classes that makes India stand out beautifully. We are worried if that beauty will fade away following comments made by some responsible leaders.
The latest was by Yogi Adityanath , of course a very controversial right-wing politician, but I would like to believe in some matters there was no reason to create controversies which carries great risks.
He blamed Muslims for the 1947 partition of the Indian sub-continent which gave birth to Muslim-majority Pakistan and a majority-Hindu state of India.
“They (Muslims) should have opposed partition, which led to the formation of Pakistan,” he told the BBC in an interview.
India was one, but Pakistan had East and West wings 2,204 kilometers away from each other.
Those in the east are the Bengalis, who fought a war to become independent in 1971 from Pakistan based on “secular” principles which was enshrined in Bangladesh’s constitution.
It is unfair to bracket Muslims only for the partition of the Indian sub-continent, but it was Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Jawaharar Nehru who were responsible for the unpopular decision.
It was because both wanted to be the prime ministers and the easy way was the creation of a Muslim-and Hindu-majority states of Pakistan and India.
If there is hate against Hindus then it does not exist in Bangladesh, the former East Pakistan. Few stray incidents are not communal, but linked to issues like property or family matters.
Pakistan is altogether a different story and it too should stop its anti-Hindu stands. The Pakistani soldiers raided our home in 1971 saying “you are traitors. You are Hindus and agents of India.”
My mother showed them few inscriptions from the holy Quran hanging in that room which confused the Pakistani captain.
All religions lived in harmony and as one family even after partition, which divided many families to their great anger.
I still have uncles, cousins of my late mother, living in India with contribution to its economy. How our family till to date hate this partition. Our visits to both the countries are frequent and also include tourism and shopping.
The families like ours grew up in a mixed-religion atmosphere. Missionary schools, Hindu teachers and celebrations of all religious festivals from Puja, Christmas to Eid. We enjoy the festivities keeping aside our religious identities.
Thus the NRC or CAA and comments made by Adityanath, who is the chief minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh with nearly a quarter of India’s 200 million Muslims living there, only sparks bad communal feelings.
He is also a top leader in the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 47-year-old chief minister is a leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and demands more responsible comments.
Aryadha is known for making controversial comments mainly targeting Muslims, but I guess he must remember that breeding hate of any kind is unwelcome by all faiths, except for the few hardliners, and serves no purpose.
At a time when Bangladesh and India is enjoying the best of ties with many asking for easier immigration to visit each other country, his comments can only dent such aspirations and can overshadow government efforts.
The controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) keeping Muslims out of citizenship privileges dampens the humanity that India has shown over the years with many Bangladeshis seeking asylum there. One of them is the feminist writer Taslima Nasreen.
During the 1971 war refugees belonging to all the faiths had taken shelter in India. What would have happened to Muslims if the CAA was in force then in the current state?
My Muslim relatives and friends are more patriotic than I find many in Bangladesh and they always defend India to their maximum ability. Such comments shame them and hurt the patriotic feelings.
Let us forget the past decisions of our forefather to make the region a beautiful place to live all of us together as premier Modi said in his post-election speech ‘ Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’.
Otherwise he is not only hurting communal harmony, but undermining his leaders announced commitment.
That slogan, while covering the 2019 elections, made me think India will usher in a new era of peace and harmony. I still believe Modi will honour his words as I am a friend of that country and hold it in very high esteem.
Adityanath heads an important Hindu temple — a place of peace, love and togetherness.
I have been to join puja in temples, Christmas masses in Churches, Pagodas for Buddhist prayers and almost equally to mosques as all faiths preach love and peace.
Many ask me if I was a Hindu because one, I have a pony tail, two, wear bangles trademarks of Hindu or Sikh faiths and three, my name is ANTU. My answer is always “I am a human being who seeks love and peace.”
Let us work to build a world of human beings, not one of religious walls and hatred. Mr. Yogi Adityanath, are you listening?