Why is Syed Shahabuddin writing to Modi?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am reproducing it in full since it contains very important issues that MJ Akbar has placed before the Nation.

    Of late, there has been many TV debates and commentaries on the need for harmony amongst the peoples of India, This has been more so owing to the fateful day when the Mazjid was demolished at Ayodhya.

    It remains interesting as to why Syed Shahbuddin, who is one of the leading lights of the group that was outraged at the demolition, has written to Modi, who some feel symbolises the riots that happened in Gujarat consequent to the demolition and the torching of the kar sevaks in the train at Godra.

    It is also true that Gujarat has the highest number of Muslim policemen in their cadre than other States of India and there was this report in CCN IBN last night which showed how the Muslim entrepreneurs have bounced back and one of them a staunch anti Modi entrepreneur who now sells BMWs was shown singing paeans to Modi.

    Has India moved on and there is a groundswell to ensure that there is communal harmony and progress there of or is it merely a facade?


    Why is Syed Shahabuddin writing to Modi?

    MJ Akbar

    One swallow, famously, does not make a summer, but when an ideological bird peeps out from the bush, it is time to check the thermometer for possible signs of climate change. Nor was this bird plumed in saffron. When more than three decades ago Syed Shahabuddin left a commendable career in the Indian Foreign Service to enter politics, he chose an attire in Islamic green. That hue has not changed. So when he writes a letter to Narendra Modi, the one contemporary politician Muslims love to hate, it is news.

    Which is more relevant: the letter, or the controversy that ensued? No-brainer. Protest is a familiar story; the communication is new. In any case, the "clarification" that Shahabuddin issued was about the letterhead, not the letter. He merely acknowledged that he should not have used institutional notepaper; he did not deny the contents.

    What did he say? "Muslim voters see some signs of change in your attitude," Shahabuddin wrote to Modi, noting the special attention that Modi had been paying to Muslim voters on the eve of the Gujarat assembly polls. Then followed a 10-point demarche demanding apology, compensation and justice as the last mile towards absolution.

    Two significant points emerge. A recognised leader from the radical spectrum of Indian Muslim politics has publicly accepted, for the first time, that Modi is stretching a hand towards Muslims instead of giving them the finger. The demarche confirms that as far as Shahabuddin is concerned the relationship with Modi has moved from non-negotiable to negotiable.

    Sir James Bevan, the British high commissioner who called on Modi in October to signal a truce after a decade of hostility, should be pleased. This is precisely what he was trying to suggest.

    Why is Modi's reach slowly seeping into demographic regions once considered beyond the pale? He has three assets that cut across traditional political parameters. He is synonymous with decisive governance at a time when people are tired of dither and confusion. Indian voters want soft power in Bollywood, not Delhi. (If Mrs Indira Gandhi were seeking re-election today, she would win 400 seats.) Second, Modi is not tainted by accusations of personal corruption despite his excellent working equation with industrialists. Third, the young believe that he will give them jobs. Shahabuddin ends his letter with mention of development, education and employment for Muslims.

    Why is he writing to Modi about employment rather than to Dr Manmohan Singh? Muslims helped elect Dr Singh, not Modi. But they have waited eight years for Congress to deliver on jobs and got nothing apart from that meaningless promise of reservations which was such a staple of election speeches written for Rahul Gandhi during this year's UP campaign. The percentage of Muslims employed by the Gujarat government, in contrast, is close to the population share of the community in the state. There are, in addition, private sector jobs to choose from. Gujarat also has more Muslim constables in police stations than any other state. This is the kind of decision which boosts confidence; and no one needs reassurance more than Muslims in Gujarat who went through hell ten years ago.

    Were it not for those riots, Shahabuddin just might have urged Muslims to vote for Modi by this time. The riots remain Modi's Achilles' heel, and he recognises this dangerous vulnerability. India wants a leader who can deliver jobs, price stability and 10% growth, but none of these is possible without social peace. As long as Modi cannot convince Muslims that they will be safe under his watch, he will only be a claimant to the throne, not an occupant. His task is set.

    Is it impossible? Congress ruled Delhi in 1984 when police looked the other way while around 5,000 Sikhs were massacred by mobs in the capital. The count across the country was much higher. Congress leaders who led the mobs and held back the police were rewarded with high office, which continues to this day; and Delhi's magnificent police still cannot frame a convincing case to send Sajjan Kumar to jail. In comparison, the judicial process in Gujarat has sent some of the guilty to prison. But Sikhs have moved on.

    As the proverb about the swallow indicates, nature is a cycle of seasons. Political nature is seasonal as well. In 1992, 20 years ago this week, Muslim anger soared when Congress slept while the Babri mosque was being demolished, and snored through the subsequent riots. In 2004, Muslims mobilised to ensure a Congress victory; and gave it a second chance in 2009. Today's mood seems more reminiscent of 1967, when Muslims spurned Congress and shifted to third parties even though there was no clear alternative anchor.

    Any thaw demands the sunshine of spring. There is certainly a spring in Modi's step, but he needs much more warmth to melt the Muslim mood.

    Why is Syed Shahabuddin writing to Modi? by The Siege Within : MJ Akbar's blog-The Times Of India

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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    An almost revolution

    Swapan Dasgupta

    Those of us who watched the last remaining dome of the Babri shrine collapse in a haze of red smoke at 4.45 pm on December 6, 1992, amid the exhilaration of a frenzied crowd, were fully conscious that we were witnessing something momentous.

    To those who had fuelled a movement that had both galvanised and polarised India as never before, the demolition was akin to the storming of the Bastille—possibly heralding the collapse of the ancient regime and the dawn of a new age. That night, sweets were distributed by people celebrating the liberation of Ram lalla from 364 years of bondage and indignity.

    To the liberal intelligentsia that had resolutely opposed mass mobilisation in the name of faith, the sound of euphoric kar sevaks was akin to the stomping jackboots from a relatively more recent, but equally troubled, chapter of European history. When they assembled in Delhi the following morning with placards proclaiming “sharam se kaho mein Hindu hoon”, they angrily lamented a perfidious assault on the very foundations of the Indian republic.

    Both sides of this great Indian rift were united on one point: life after that fateful December 6 would never be the same again. For months thereafter as riots and explosions scarred many cities, this seemed a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Twenty years later, the hastily written obituaries of the republic seem rash and premature. Ayodhya was certainly an important landmark of independent India, perhaps as momentous as the Emergency, the Mandal report or the liberalisation Budget of 1991. But was it more than that? Did the Ayodhya years lead to a rupture with the past?

    The definitive answer must wait a few more decades. For the moment, Ayodhya remains an almost revolution, a turning point in history when (to borrow AJP Taylor’s imagery) history refused to turn. History is not an abstraction that follows pre-determined scientific laws: it is about human behaviour. In December 1992, the emotional temperature was high enough for the country to become delirious with both rage and anticipation. Why did this apparently pre-revolutionary mood recede and why did India limp back to normalcy?

    The answers are at best convoluted. The agitation to build a grand temple honouring Ram’s exact birthplace at the site of a mosque built by a Mughal general in 1528, was only partially religious. Had the movement been driven by blind faith alone, it would have not only have endured but become even more passionate which it clearly did not. Nor was it shaped by a frenzied desire to right the wrongs of history. Had that been the case, many more Ayodhyas would have mushroomed across India.

    In hindsight, the Ayodhya agitation appears strongly reactive: as an antidote to movements that sought to either dismember India (Khalistani and Kashmiri separatism) or fracture it into sectional compartments (Muslim assertiveness over the Shah Bano judgment and VP Singh’s Mandal move). In rallying round a proposed temple, it sought to create a pan-Hindu identity that would serve as both a vote bank and basis of nationhood. Both these endeavours have registered patchy success.

    There were subsidiary currents as well. The most notable (and possibly most enduring) of these was the movement’s robust questioning of the dominant Nehruvian view of secularism. The Ayodhya stir didn’t receive any significant support from the traditional centres of intellectual activity. Yet, a galaxy of establishment figures ranging from retired bureaucrats and generals to writers such as V S Naipaul, Nirad Chaudhury and Girilal Jain saw the movement as a great ‘awakening’. Ironically, for a movement that projected a distinctly pre-modern exterior, the intellectual impulses that guided its politics were more contemporary. Inherent to the movement was a desire to discard the ‘differentiated nationality’ that governed India’s official secularism and replace it with an idea of common citizenship that would do away with ‘minorityism’.

    Ayodhya no longer agitates India as passionately as it did 20 years ago. There is all-round agreement that the property dispute can fester indefinitely in the Supreme Court. But there is something deeply symbolic about the heavily-fortified makeshift temple that sprang up 20 years ago that serves as a reminder that the last word on the subject is yet to be said

    An almost revolution by Right & Wrong : Swapan Dasgupta's blog-The Times Of India
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    It is pertinent that if the demolition of the Babri Mazjid was given drive purely because of religious reasons, then there would have been such demolitions all over India. But it did not happen so.

    Therefore, was it because of religious spontaneity or was it driven by a growing latent revulsion towards the Govt's policy of doling out unequal sops to appease (as some felt) under the guise of secularism merely with an eye on the vote bank?

    It is a truism that after Dec 6, there came this genie of secularism vs pseudo secularism.

    Has the divide gone deeper or is it merely a game of political hop scotch/ shuffle board?

    Will Indians forget the past and move on and build a better future or will it be mired down and sink in the bog of their own creation?
     
  4. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    It was revulsion at giving unequal sops to muslims that caused the demolition, though the active disputes date back to later 18th century.

    Pseudo secularism is real. Why else would "secular" historians like Romila Thapar have opposed excavation at Ayodhya? Why the condition that 50% of labour must be muslims? If proof was needed that the mosque was built after demolition of Ram temple, it was apparent for all to see. Still Romilas deny it. Why? Why? Why?

    Cong has always played vote bank politics. Why else would MMS declare that muslims have the first right on national resources? Why? Who will care to clarify, if it can be clarified at all?

    What drove Mulayam to exhort govt to speak on behalf of muslims of Burma?
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is these which rile up the people, including the Muslims.

    I know Muslims who are quite upset at the way the issue is used for political reasons and not for any religious cause.


    MMS was beleaguered by his failing policies and so he spoke like an illiterate. I am sure he was doing it at the bidding of the powers that be. He is too educated to come out talking like the average bumpkin that politicians tend to be.

    I am not aware if Mulayam has spoken about the Rohingyas, but if he has done it, it is because of people like him who are more concerned about the ballot box than the poverty and lawlessness that is there that India is in such a divisive state, where we are neither here nor there.

    Let us be Indians for a change.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  6. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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  7. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Why did Sahabuddin write to Modi or why people like MJ Akbar are endorsing Modi is very clear from the fact that Modi has emerged the strongest Hindutva leader who is unbiased in his approach and is truly secular. he has delivered what a CM is supposed to deliver, development, jobs, equality and corruption free government.
    Muslims voted for Mulayan in UP and now they have realised their foolishness as that state is witnessing communal riots every month. their is no development and no equality in any of those so called secular party ruled states.
    The strong wave in favour of Modi has made muslim clergy sit up and take note that if they are seen as being against Modi and do not vote for him, they will be side tracked by normal muslim population who wants development, jobs and equality more than caste based considerations. So for the first time we have situation in India wherein the muslim is not likely to follow the dictates of these maulvies and want to vote of their own free will.
    This will reduce the clout of these maulvies and make them irrelevent to politics besides finishing off their clout over their vote bank. It is due to this fear that these anti Modi muslims clergy is being forced to rethink their stand and somehow find a middle ground to remain relevent in national politics.
    Regarding the two major demands of Syed Sahabuddin in his letter to Modi, They are actually no demands, Modi has openly stated that if he is guilty of helping rioters than he does not want apology instead he shud be hanged. Congreee did not make any such statement. They apologised for sikh riots and all was forgotten and no one ever got justice for the murders they committed.
    The second demand by Sahabuddin was that Modi show remorse for riots. Modi has done that many times. he has always said that every life is important and loss of even one life is regrettable.
    It is time for muslim clergy to join mainstream and support Modi as even if muslims do not vote for Modi, the Hindus will vote in such large numbers that for the first time in our independent history, muslims will become irrelevent and Hindu majority will assert itself and show to the world that Hindus still decide the future of this nation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  8. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    There seems to be some realisation outside Gujarat that Modi might be a player on the national scene, hence this overture by Syed Shahabuddin.

    OTOH why this begging of special favours for Muslims ? Muslims are backward in states like UP and Bihar where people are dirt poor across the board, not just Muslims. And in states like Kerala or Andhra, Muslims are equal or better off than Hindus. Muslims have historically been the ruling class unlike SC Hindus and have had a powerful voice to split colonial India into two, so why this need for special status. Many states in India had Muslims princes with Hindu populace with plenty of rich/noblemen. Educationl institutions such as Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim University for Muslims etc. Then why this feeling that they are still not getting enough. Why some Muslims (have seen tweets on Twitter and Facebook posts) identify more with Muslims in other countries than their own fellow Indians.
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Because the Muslims feel Islam is under siege.

    It is also a fact that older the religion, less is the fervour since the infirmities have surfaced and a via media accepted.

    That is so with Hinduism and now Christianity is on that path.

    Islam is a new religion comparatively.

    The blood of the youth is always hot and bubbling!

    Therefore, one must be understanding and not go ballistic!
     
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  10. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well i see it differently modi is proped but some muslims who were once supporters congress and others becasue they are doing on behalf of high command . supporting modi would gave rise to rift withing NDA and also other parties which were earlier within NDA but now out of NDA would remain out of NDA becuase of loosing muslim votes in case modi is made PM candidate by BJP . this would help congress as vote would remain divided.
     
  11. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    A riot, instigated by muslims, makes islam threatened?

    So we must forgive the hot and boiling blood of muslims? Why is it boiling in the first place. Other bloods too can boil.

    Please do not preach this dharma for dhimmies.
     
  12. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't take sides and don't defend or offend anyone.If yo will take side you might be labeled as Anti-secular or Right-Wing.If you offend then your Religion will be blamed as offender and NOT you. If you defend you will be labeled as defensive and NOT your Religion. At last Nothing will be left in the Argument.it will be just you, your religion and the label. People seldom see "The Argument" they see who is arguing behind it...
     
  13. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, I like to tell something here, THE CONGRESS IS MISLEADING ALL THE MUSLIMS IN INDIA ABOUT THE GODRA RIOT AND MODI'S involvement in it.

    People must realize about this wrong info by the congress to gain votes.

    It is congress who are communal and not BJP........

    whenever election comes who starts rising the communal fight and comment or shout about religion...... it is congress.....

    Only during the time of elections they talk about GODRA and BABRI MASJID.....

    Why don't the congress talk about ANTI-SIKH RIOTS and INDRA GANDHI's and her congress party direct involvement in it.....
     
  14. Joji

    Joji Regular Member

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    In Breaking India, by Rajiv Malhotra, in Chapter 14 - India: A Left -Wing Frontier, Romila Thapar is highlighted by the author. Her role in emphasizing India's fragmentation. I didnt get any pdf version of the book otherwise I would posted here the content heading Romila Thapar. If get a chance read that than you will get your answer of the question why?why?why?
     
  15. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Please do. I am eager to know why she and other leftist "historians" opposed excavation at Ayodhya. Please reply to why, why, why. Was it fear that their carefully constructed "history" would be damaged.
     

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