Two years on, Mumbai is marginalizing Muslims

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Yusuf, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It has happened. I guess it had to. Perhaps, it happened a few months or a few years ago. Perhaps, it was always there, but swept under the carpet. Society’s dirty secret is finally out — everybody knows about it but nobody talks about it. Ten days ago, I received a call from a Muslim friend. She sounded a little concerned. Her anxiety had to do with her nephew’s admission into one of Mumbai’s better colleges. His marks were good, his conduct exemplary. He had been a prefect at school and participated in several extracurricular activities. I asked what the hitch was. She sounded almost embarrassed as she said, “Well, we are Muslims and that seems to be the problem in a lot of colleges.”

    I was shocked. “Are you sure that’s what it is?’ I said, not prepared to believe it was the situation in some of the ‘progressive’ South Mumbai educational institutions. My friend went on to narrate how her nephew had been subjected to blatant discrimination during interviews and told upfront that it was his surname that came in the way. She apologized again for the ‘trouble’ she was putting me through. She added, “If the boy was not as bright, I would have told him to forget it, and do something else. But he is keen to study science and make a mark for himself — he has always been a good student. If he doesn’t get into a recognized college, his career is as good as over.”

    I made a couple of calls to friendly neighbourhood college principals and asked whether they were really screening students on the basis of religion. One of them denied it; the other sheepishly admitted that such a directive was in place, but on an informal level. “We don’t want trouble,’’ the principal added virtuously. When i asked him to specify what sort of trouble a young man like my friend’s nephew could possibly cause, the principal replied, “These days, you never know. How can you trust these people?” What do you mean by ‘these people’? I persisted. The principal whispered, “Leave it. Don’t make me spell it out. In any case, we don’t have a vacancy.” I called up another college. The person was enthusiastic and polite, saying their list was still open and the student I was recommending, definitely qualified etc. Then i was asked for the name. As soon as i mentioned it, his voice changed. ‘Let me crosscheck with the clerk. I think I made a mistake. So sorry, admissions were closed yesterday.” Finally, I spoke to a lady who heard me out and said, “Send the boy to me tomorrow morning. I’ll see what I can do.” This story has a happy ending — the boy got in.

    But that’s because his aunt was in a position to make a few calls on his behalf. There are thousands like him in Mumbai and across India, who are up against an invisible wall, unable to move forward, determined not to look backwards, but stymied all the way. When I met the young man and his family, they had tears of gratitude in their eyes. The point is: I didn’t do them a favour. And neither did the college. He was entitled to receive the same access and treatment on the basis of merit alone. Any college should have held its doors open for him. Especially as the colleges he had applied to were in Mumbai and not some backward town in the back of beyond. I felt intensely sad, as I accepted a box of mithai from his emotional relatives. It was as if they had crossed an impossible hurdle when it was just a routine matter of showing your marksheet, paying the fees and getting in. Will this boy ever forget the humiliation? Can his family forget the frustrating days when college after college turned them away on some pretext or the other? Perhaps this experience will toughen the lad and make him excel. Perhaps not. It is the ‘not’ that is worrying. Nearly every known privilege that a non-Muslim counterpart can and does take for granted, is denied to him in what was once a liberal, cosmopolitan city with great colleges and outstanding leaders in every field. Today, those temples of education are practicing a nasty version of religious profiling which is going to lead to major problems if it goes unchecked.

    There is no getting away from the current polarization. I used to kid myself that some of my Muslim friends were being ‘paranoid’ when they talked about ‘the problem’ (as we had dubbed it). That ‘problem’ pretty much covered everything — from getting a job to finding accommodation. At the time (post- 26/11), we believed it was a passing phase that would disappear once everything ‘settled down’. Except that nobody quite knew what was meant to settle down or whether it would ever happen. But we consoled ourselves, saying sensitivities at the time were running high -- people were angry and afraid. More than that, people were confused. Two years down the line, there are no alibis, no screens to hide behind. Positions have obviously hardened to such a degree that now city colleges have begun to follow their own quota system and turn down eligible students because they are Muslims. We are a few weeks away from the anniversary of one of the most devastating and tragic events that ripped the city apart. No, we cannot and must not forget what happened. That awful attack was the work of hardcore terrorists. What we are doing may be much worse — we are killing the spirit of innocents. The latter crime may have far more lethal repercussions!
    Two years on, Mumbai is marginalizing Muslims : India : Shobhaa De : TOI Blogs
     
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  3. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^^^^

    I think the blogger is probably overreacting. Shoba De has a very good talent to put mirch masala in every topic. A socialite has nothing to do but comment on the society problems which they never live in. It may be a that few minor incidents existed but i personally know many muslims in mumbai and have never ever heard any complaints from them.

    People from different parts of the country in mumbai are being targetted. North Indians for eg. In the rest of the country we may see other types of discrimination. Some days back there was show on Travel and Living. A female from the eastern part of the country just while talking about something else said that most Indian's do call us "Chini" , "Kancha" etc . Tell me honestly guys havent you not once heard a racial slang in any Chinese outlets where these people usually work ?? Is this not discrimination ??? But why havent they made a fuss out of it ??

    Most colleges with religious background, meaning some Hindu colleges some muslim colleges and some christian colleges do have seats/quota especially for people of their religion. Even some schools do so. So basically a guy who gets better marks that others still will be on the waiting list than the person who get admissions on quota. This is ironically true when it comes to the disgusting Caste System which is a curse in India.

    The endless list of discrimination in India goes on. Just for some minor incidents we must not create a huge fuss of it. Times are changing and the next generation of youth are much more intelligent and practical in this world. So lets adjust to what the current scenario is coz everyone is facing discrimination in some way or the other. We know that the future is bright for us.
     
  4. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think that There is NO HARM OR SHAME in saying that ALL this is TRUE. This is what I have been saying for some time now in this forum.
    The worst part of Hindu Muslim tension has been A SILENT hatred in the minds of hindus. And resultant Ghettoisation of Muslims.

    This topic was covered in detail by a TV channel IBN recently .It covered the story of how EDUCATED and Professional Muslims were being treated in Urban India.

    There are many millions of Hindus who Strongly believe that Muslims are being appeased .This has led to this hatred.

    This hatred must be removed. How can we do it is That this country has to decide.
     
  5. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Only Talking about that report.

    ^^ yea i have seen that IBN report where Reporter was trying to put words into landlords mouth on all three places. Please see that report again and then do write a balanced comment.

    I am a vegetarian and i was living with a high cast Hindu Kerala couple in Sydney. If someone ask me that will you share your apartment again with a non vegetarian couple again then i will say trahimam.... trahimam......I will always check before ranting my apartment and kitchen to someone if he is vegetarian or not. You may call me hypocrite or bias but this how i am. My friends were very good meat eaters and alcohol drinkers but were not able to convince me to eat the same on many occasions. I am telling you this to understand how believes can dictate so called rationalities.

    There is no hate in my heart for my friends most of them are Sikh and few Muslims no Hindu.
     
  6. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    It is really shameful if an average Muslim student is facing difficulties in getting education that he deserves.

    There is a need to scrutinize and correct the admission process. Phones from wannabes like Shobha De is not the solution, if this incident is real.

    Or the purpose of the article was to only show how well connected a socialite she is?
     
  7. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its Deja-vu of what happened in US after 9/11, i hope it doesn't escalate.
     
  8. keshtopatel

    keshtopatel Regular Member

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    In Maharashtra more Biharis that are taking a hit from Maratha lobbies than muslims - Shobha is known for her antics to those who know her.

    Did not Saif Ali Khan say he could not find an apartment in Mumbai due to discrimination - and then retracked his words.

    Muslim Appeasement is so rampant among Indians, those who are chartered towards Mecca with Tax payers subsidy, something no other country does, not even Pakistan. And yet, we hear all the time the same rhetoric - Muslims marginalised.

    While India has 300 millon peope living on 2$ a day, there is no hue and cry, but when a single muslim is killed a la Rizwan (kolkutta) CBI gets kicked in.

    Please stop this Natakbazi.
    It does not pay to be sugar quoted and be politically correct. Call a spade a spade time has come.
     
  9. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    The north-Indian stuff was just to propagate MNS as a leader of marathi manoos for votes and nothing else, once they have established they don't do anything other than breaking window panes and damaging public property.
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Actually I was living in denial about such things happening in india till recently when a friend odds mine wanted to build a house. It was a predominately hindu area and the people around the area did not give NOC and tried all possible means to make sure my friend does not make his house. It was only after the neighbors got to know who they were and their background did the construction actually go through but not before the police providing protection for some time. All this in Bangalore which used to be far removed from any communal tension.
     
  11. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    I think the problem is constantly associating a bunch of people with the "Community" image. Neither the majority of mainstream Hindus not the Muslim community is at fault at this. The simple solution for the Muslim community from this is: stop considering working as a community based on faith and rather do it individually. For example, we Buddhists, the Parsis and the Jews who are well below 10% quota that is a requirement to be classified as Minorities in India constitutionally, don't do it as "Buddhists" or as "Zoroastrians" or as "Jews"; we work as say "Mr. Tshering Denzongpa" "Mr. Phintso Gyatse", "Mr. Danyal Shatniel" or "Mr. Ardeshir Tyabji" etc etc.

    I think I understand why the mainstream Hindu majority gets angry and considers appeasement. It is simply because the media blows the so-called discrimination OUT-OF PROPORTION and some attention-seekers take its advantage. These attention seekers are people like Shobha De and Arundhati Roy.. the so-called intellectuals who are a problem for the Indian society rather than a solution. Technically anyone below 10% national population is a minority and Muslim Community has crossed that. This is known to most mainstream Hindus that I speak to and despite this crossing-of-requirements, the reservations and other privileges continue for the Muslim community because politicians want their votes as "Muslim Community", not "as Indian citizens" and therefore don't put a stop to reservation and other privileges that Muslims receive even though they aren't a minority anymore.

    What adds fuel to this fire is political parties. For example, no one is rushing to get the "Hindu Community's votes" in specific; yes not even BJP otherwise All the 83% Hindus and other Dharmic communities would hands down vote for BJP and Congress would have been history. When say a person for example a Mr. Ajay Sharma goes for voting, he votes as Mr. Ajay Sharma not as a mainstream Hindu. This is what I am prescribing for the Muslim community to do.

    I speak here with frank openness and think that Muslims alone hold the key to stopping this alleged discrimination. It is by working as individuals rather than a community. Refuse to accept some Muslim "board" to represent you at government level and rather interact with politicians directly. Because these so-called boards use activities to show a VERY WRONG image of Muslims and though this grants the entire Muslim community some concession in a particular situation, however it angers the rest of the people because they have to undergo through the strict procedures to attain the same thing what the Muslim community gets through in a much easier manner. This bias creates such a situation.

    What's worse; situations like the massacre of Kashmiri pandits and sikhs in 1989, the Deganga riots, the Miraj riots, etc antagonizes the Muslim image as a whole. Why I mentioned Kashmir here is because while Godhra got a lot of coverage from the media, the general Hindu/Sikh voice of what happened in 89 was ignored by the politicians to again gain the "boards" favour.

    I am trying to say that these Muslim "authorities" and "caretakers" are the ones doing more harm to Muslim image than non-Muslims' alleged "Islamophobia". Their hatred is not blind and is coming out because of some reason that they are irritated with. USA, UK, Russia and most of Europe are not Hindus; still they are also irritated at Muslims in general. If dear members of ALL communities including Muslim members here take a note of the situation, you will see that I am talking the right thing.
     
  12. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    The first 3 para was enough to understand the topic. Educational Institutions are meant to churn out people into finer citizens, and when these type of discrimination stems out from the same place, what else can we except? There should be strict punishments awarded for discrimination, any kind of. And as for people subjected to it, they should stand up.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The shunning of muslims in education institute or my friend not getting an NOC is not related to anyone being appeased and the others being angry at it. It is more related to muslims being viewed with the eyes of suspicion because of the current situation all over the world and india.
     

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