Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Archive for March 2nd, 2009

Indian Muslims hurt and incite Pakistanis: Rabia Alavi

Posted by jagoindia on March 2, 2009


The Problem With Indian Muslims: Rabia Alavi

1 March 2009, Khaleej Times
I try to steer away from the politics of India-Pakistan debates, partly for the reason that even though I am a Pakistani, half of my extended family is Indian, and they were part of the value system that taught me the rights and wrongs of life as I was growing up.

But I also refuse to indulge in these discussions where eventually you find yourself taking sides, because I cannot do away with a country that has much in common with mine – historical roots, cultural similarities and a language that is widely spoken and understood by the people of both countries, to name just a few.

Unfortunately, in the two years that I was watching my son grow out of diapers, a new generation of Indians has emerged — a generation that has forced me to take sides, albeit unwillingly. And while this generation has nothing to do with age, sadly, it does with creed. Yes, I direct my complaint towards Indian Muslims — a part of the Indian society that should be bound to Pakistan by ties of a common religion, to say the least.

Why have Indian Muslims, most whom seem well-educated and demonstrate sound judgment on all other matters under the sun, suddenly lose sight of their bearings (and manners) when it comes to attacking all things Pakistani, be it the country’s politics, culture, food or fashion. Why are they hell-bent on defying common sense when it comes to writing off a whole country as being a terrorist hub?

What used to be friendly bantering during India versus Pakistan cricket matches is not so friendly any more. What were merely funny punches about Lollywood’s efforts to imitate Bollywood are also beginning to hurt. These may be trivial examples, but the bottom line is, there seem to be serious efforts on the part of the Indian Muslims to hurt and incite Pakistanis into making emotional outbursts. They can then go about saying what an intolerant bunch those Pakistanis are.

Indian Muslims may rant and rave about what emotional fools Pakistanis are, or how they lack tolerance for other cultures or religions, while Indian Muslims get by quite amicably as a minority of 13.4 per cent (officially) in a country that is predominantly Hindu.

But let’s not forget that if it were not for Partition, this sweeping judgment would target them too. And while we are on the subject of tolerance, I must add that Indian Muslims can often not even bring themselves to be polite to their Pakistani counterparts. One has to wonder if this is just cold-shouldering of a people they dislike, or outright hatred that makes them not want to even look at their Pakistani counterparts.

Pakistanis might be more emotionally-charged when it comes to attacks on their country’s sovereignty and what not. But given the state of things in their country — a government that cannot prevent foreign attacks on its soil, a society that is practically illiterate and willing to believe just about anything that insurgents, liberals or the government want them to believe, and an economy on the verge of collapse – can you blame them?

Pakistanis don’t have answers to many of the questions that Indians, or anyone else, for that matter, ask ?of them. But don’t Indians know ?that already?

Why ask the Pakistanis, if not to hurt, and convince them that they are part of a failed nation. Even those Pakistanis who are resilient enough not to have given up on their country in these worrisome times are faced with constant reminders by their Indian brethren that they lack a future back in their country.

But why do Indian Muslims trouble themselves with Pakistan’s worries anyway? Don’t they have enough of their own? Need I remind them how uncomfortable their minority status is for them? Are they not second-class citizens in their own country? Are they not troubled by the countless assaults on the country’s minorities, the destruction of Babri Masjid or the slaughter of Muslims in Gujarat? Don’t they worry about the Modis and Sadhvi Pragyas of their country?

Understandably, actions committed in the name if all Indians are not actually condoned by any secular Indians, no matter what religion. In fact, they are a shame for those who see India’s secularism as a respect for all religions. But is India really that secular? This might not be the right piece to debate that question. But it certainly seems that the reason why Indian Muslims are on the constant lookout for one mistake that we Pakistanis make so they can pounce on us and cry ‘foul’ is that they are insecure. Not only does that put them on the defensive, to the extent of being paranoid, it also makes them shun a people who they could have been close to, had the circumstances been different.

And this is no thanks to the Indian media, which prides itself for being liberal and open-minded, oh, and supportive of the minorities.

Again, debating whether it is as all-embracing of the actions of minorities as it claims to be might be a question to be answered on another forum. I do wonder though why Indian Muslims have to be an extra bit smarter, a little bit more qualified, and a bit more Indian to ensure that their country is behind them at all times.

Let me not digress from my real concern in my hurry to find plausible explanations for the otherwise (excuse the word) spiteful attitude of many Indian Muslims towards their Pakistani counterparts. And that is a persistent worry that the bad side is winning in this battle of hearts.

And by that I mean those with vested interests, namely the people in power in both India and Pakistan who have always tried to drive a wedge between the people of the two countries.

When people like me, who grew up with such a fine mix of Indians and Pakistanis that I did not know the difference between the two, has to end up throwing her weight to a particular side, we are definitely losing. And it is up to us to decide if we want to give up on friends, family and relationships built over long periods of time only because they belong to the other side of the border.

Rabia Alavi is a Dubai-based writer. Reach her at rabiaalavi@hotmail.com

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