Indian Muslims may find inspiration in Egypt

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ajtr, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Indian Muslims may find inspiration in Egypt

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    Muslims in Mumbai, India, rallying for anti-government demonstrators in the Middle East, must find means to protest for equality in their own country.


    The parallel between the conditions of the Muslims of India and those of Mubarak's Egypt is far-fetched in that India is a functioning, stable democracy that guarantees basic freedoms to its masses - the very opposite of Mubarak's regime. If so, why did many Muslim Indians watch events in Egypt unfold with a personal interest?

    India is home to 160 million Muslims, the third-largest such concentration within a state's boundaries (after Indonesia and Pakistan). As in many developing countries, where ethnic minorities tend to perform relatively poorly in post-colonial environments, India's Muslims declined from a middle-tier economic position at the time of the country's independence in 1947 to the bottom of the ladder over the subsequent six decades.

    The reason for their decline is the same as for ethnic minorities in peer countries (including, by the way, Christians in Egypt) - discrimination by the state (acknowledged, in India's case, even in official reports) started the process. This included undue police harassment, discrimination in hiring for government jobs and reduced allocations of development funds for Muslim-majority areas. This was followed by social stigmatization that is political, cultural and economic. It led ultimately to the formation of ghetto societies from which Muslim Indians have been largely unable to escape (again, a fact acknowledged in Indian government reports).

    Mostly, ethnic discrimination is a feature of authoritarian societies. That discrimination against Muslims occurred in democratic India is remarkable, a denial of justice on the tacit grounds that - though citizens - they are subject to different rules. Despite repeated efforts by Muslims to participate in civil society as citizens of the Indian state - high voter-turnout rates in elections, investing their meager resources in education - the reality is that Muslims have failed to progress socioeconomically and to gain either a civic identity or political power within the context of a secular, democratic state. Instead, they are identified in the average Indian mind as those favoring a theocratic state, a position from which they are unable to gather any momentum to escape the ghetto.

    Some of the outcomes, as anthropologist Thomas Hansen notes, are that the "majority of young Muslims who receive a higher education do so from private and community-based institutions throughout the country. Muslims are severely underrepresented in the military, police and in the civil service, and their involvement in formal institutions of credit, insurance, and so on is the lowest in India. Apart from small, wealthy and well-defined elites, most Muslims in India work for other Muslims and sell their services and goods to other Muslims in a semi-formal or informal economy."

    Egypt's Jan. 25 revolution provides Muslim Indians with a methodology, as it were, of overcoming discrimination - peaceful, public protest by oppressed citizens of all ages and genders - that was never seen among Muslim populations in the post-colonial world. At issue is whether the Egyptian method offers a way out of their current state. Just as the cry of "Allahu akbar" (God is great) was a cry for justice in Egypt, not an appeal to give up lives for a theocratic state (as journalist Robert Fisk has noted), can Muslims of India find their own cries that identify them as Muslim Indians demonstrating for justice? If they can find their own way of protest, will it work when other civic options - participation in elections, for example - did not?

    We see strong reasons for optimism. Just as Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution spurred its largest Arab neighbor, the events of Egypt - the Muslim world's cultural heartbeat - are an example to Muslims everywhere. To an extent that cannot be understated, the "sickness" of Egypt during the time of Mubarak helped legitimize, in the Muslim Indian mind, the lie that he was being told by those around him: that Islam and democracy were incompatible. Authoritarian Muslim societies like Mubarak's Egypt allowed India's rulers to ignore the declining state of its Muslims with the false argument that Muslims did not know how to prosper in a free society. These lies are now exposed.

    The ferment among Muslim Indians now is the stirring of those reassured about their true worth. If it leads to action that forces the state to respond positively, official discrimination could finally be overturned. If so, Muslims finally might be allowed to enjoy the freedom of equal opportunity so far denied to them. The country, as a whole, will benefit, and all India's citizens will rejoice at this new empowerment.

    Rafiq Dossani is a senior research scholar at the Shorenstein-Asia Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. Contact The Chronicle at SFGate.com/chronicle/submissions/#1.



    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/05/INUS1HQGEN.DTL#ixzz1FrLG8vL9
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
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  3. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    They should protest against the dinosaurs sitting in places like Deoband. People like Vastanvi should be getting such support.
     
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  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    No, they won't.

    First off, how does the author surmise that 160 million Indian muslims "are watching the developments in the middle-East with a 'personal interest'"? Where is his evidence? In the absence of that, this crucial element around which he bases his fictitious argument collapses.

    Secondly, I don't care what any report has to say, but the Muslim indifference toward extricating themselves out of their circumstances, is as much to blame as government apathy, economic discrimination, etc. for their backwardness. Their social taboos, high fertility rate, diminished focus on education (Almost two-thirds of Muslims in the Arab world are illiterate and among them three-fourths of women are illiterate as of 2010) especially among the girl child, etc. are as much to blame for their lack of social cohesion as anything else. It is not that muslims don't want to integrate, it is that they are held back, in many cases even more than government apathy, by their own social structures and practices.

    Thirdly, a widespread, broad-based revolution of any kind in India impossible. Unless it is united by underlying political or economic considerations, such as corruption or inflation, and then too, it will always be for reform of, not for a toppling of the system. That underlying grievance may exist among muslims, and a broad-based muslim revolt could be organized by the Darul Uloom or other such institutions, but the fact that the revolt will have a political centre means that it will always be easier to have it cajoled.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    what a nonsensical article.

    quite frankly muslims (or anyone) in India care about putting food on the table and not what is happening half way across the world.
     
  6. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    BS article. Indian muslims are much more happy than other muslims and arabs elsewhere.

    Besides the arab world protests is against government corruptions and mismanagement. But yes Kashmiri muslims and separatist may get inspiration.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Indian Muslims were interested in the happenings of Egypt, not because of their conditions in India, but because Muslims the world over are interested in each other's happenings.

    Many Muslims are tired of hearing that they belong to an obscurantist religion that brooks no democracy and is autocratic and that it encourages autocratic governance (as is seen all over the world).

    Egypt showcased that Muslims are alive to democracy and that religion is not the be all and end all of their existence in a modern world.

    Hence, the Indian Muslim was interested in the happening in Egypt.

    The Indian Muslims declined from a middle-tier economic position at the time of the country's independence in 1947 to the bottom of the ladder over the subsequent six decades not because of any discrimination, but because most of the upper and middle class Muslims migrated to Pakistan. Thus, a vacuum in the economic balance occurred. It was the artisans and the lower strata amongst the Muslim who were left behind in India, since they were possible apprehensive in leaving their established professions for the unknown and untested pastures in the Paradise called Pakistan. They were not ready to take on the challenge of the unknown, having been living and experiencing the hardships of having no avenues open for upward social and economic mobility, being the unlettered segment of the Indian population.

    The reason for their decline is the NOT the same as for ethnic minorities in peer countries (including, by the way, Christians in Egypt) - discrimination by the state (acknowledged, in India's case, even in official reports) and this is a canard. The official reports are basically political documents with an agenda. If the Muslims were discriminated, how is it that the Christians have found their rightful place in government offices and positions. The Muslims have reservations as also their own minority educational system beyond the purview of the Govt. Christians too have their own minority educational system but they do not enjoy the advantage the Muslims have - reservations - and yet the Christians continue to be noticeable in every segment of society and in high places too! Therefore, it is a canard to suggest that there has been a systematic discrimination towards Muslims.

    It is no secret that the Muslims, in not so far in the past, did not realise the importance in having economical viability of their families and instead were interested in having 'number of working hands' and that ensured that the children were deprived of education, clothing and nutrition since the numbers produced were economically not viable on the meagre income. In fact, this was the Indian mindset, cutting across religions and one of the reasons for the poverty that India is known for.

    It is no secret that the lower strata of society, be they from any religion, are prone to petty thefts, goonda gardi , and for all types of crimes. Therefore, to believe that there will be no police surveillance on such groups is mere whining to justify wrong doing in the name of harassment and discrimination.

    There is no discrimination in hiring for government jobs as a system. This again is pathetic whimpering trying to evoke sympathy and give credence to the whine. Be the individual from any religion, is it feasible to dole out jobs and employed the ill equipped. If one has no education, is it possible that the person is given a job? It is simple as that.

    There is no ground in a secular country to give favourable treatment to any community or areas where communities are in a majority. Notwithstanding, Muslim areas have been given favourable treatment and it is for them to have utilised it to their advantage, which they have not.

    The stigmatisation politically, economically and even culturally is not because of a deliberate effort, it is because the 'ghetto' mentality and desire not to mingle with the society at large. If one does not identify with the people one cohabits with, then isolation is but obvious, more so, if the community is economically and socially not reckonable. The Govt has not given the community their ghettos. It is their own choice. So, why blame the Govt?

    The contention that discrimination against Muslims occurred in democratic India is remarkable, a denial of justice on the tacit grounds that - though citizens - they are subject to different rules is ridiculous and so is the contention that despite repeated efforts by Muslims to participate in civil society as citizens of the Indian state - high voter-turnout rates in elections, investing their meagre resources in education - the reality is that Muslims have failed to progress socioeconomically and to gain either a civic identity or political power within the context of a secular, democratic state.

    It is the Muslims who demand separate rules for them (as is so evident from the tone of this article). They have their own laws governing their societal life. Their demand has even caused the Constitution of India to be amended (Shah Bano case). Has this privilege been extended of amending the Constitution been extended to the Christians or Parsis?

    Is a high voter turnout a raison d'etre for special treatment? How ridiculous can one be? Is it not the right that they are exercising their democratic right? And what has voter turnout to do with it becoming the yardsticks for sops and favoured treatment? Who says the Muslims alone invest their meagre resources for education. In fact, today, most Indians, of all strata are investing a large part of their income to their children's education. It is for their own benefit that they do so.

    If the Muslims are identified in the average Indian mind as those favouring a theocratic state, a position from which they are unable to gather any momentum to escape the ghetto, it is because there is no discernible movement towards moving out of the ghetto and intermingling with the general society and instead gravitating to the dictates of the clergy. In comparison, how many of the other communities are in the grip of their clergy?

    Hansen may opine that the majority of young Muslims who receive a higher education do so from private and community-based institutions throughout the country and that they are severely underrepresented in the military, police and in the civil service, and their involvement in formal institutions of credit, insurance, and so on is the lowest in India. It is obvious if the education they were getting earlier were substandard for the modern world, they would get marginalised. Today, the Muslims are yearning and obtaining quality education that is profession oriented and not religious oriented. They are entering the govt services in vast number. One cannot keep a good man down as the saying goes! The Biblical dictum comes to mind - As Ye sows, so shall Ye reap! The Muslims are now reaping the fruits of their professional and real world education and not find solace in religion oriented education that is useless in the modern world. The topper in the last IAS examination was a Kashmiri Muslim and Kashmir has an appealingly inefficient schooling system!!

    The articles are totally misplaced and cleverly contrived.

    These type of self pity and whines is what ruins the Muslim psyche to step out with boldness and confidence and which they are capable of and instead wallow in self pity to await a Government handout.
     
  8. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Muslims in INDIA enjoy the most freedom than any Muslim across the world enjoys in his or her country. They are well educated and rich enough to know what staaying in INDIA is like and enjoying the buzz of unity in INDIA. One example of INDIAN MUSLIMS enjoying the red carpet in INDIA is the GREAT BOLLYWOOD. This is enough to that Musilms in INDIA are happy to be INDIA rather than any other place.
     
  9. jatkshatriya

    jatkshatriya Regular Member

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    First of all..Indian Muslims enjoy much more rights than even in many muslim countries...........secondly whoever wrote this article is **** .Such articles make people wonder wat is the point of giving reservations on religious basis.
     
  10. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    @atzr i think you should give same view for pakistan

    the worst life is in pakistan

    pakistan is like an hell on earth
     

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