By Vijay Darda | 13-03-2017
There is an explosion in a train at Shajapur, Madhya Pradesh, and the blast trail links the incident to Lucknow. A young man named Saifullah is found to be the mastermind of the blast and is later killed in an encounter. Police wanted to hand over the body to his family but the youth’s father Mohammad Sartaj refused to accept it. He says, “He who could not be loyal to the country, how could he be my son?”
I do not remember any such event when a terrorist’s father refused to accept the body because the son was a terrorist. In the Kashmir valley of our own country, a large crowd of stone throwers gather to save the militants when security personnel chase them. Under these circumstances the message of Mohammad Sartaj is very important. This incident of giving priority to the country than the son is a poignant story, reflective of human emotion. One cannot even imagine that Mohammed Sartaj did not love his son! Every father loves his son. Sartaj too loved his son and that is why he was trying every possible method to bring him on the right track.
Just imagine how horrific an experience it would be for a father to know that his son was a terrorist. There is no greater crime in the world than sedition and Saifullah committed that crime. In such a situation, what Mohammed Sartaj decided is something all of us should be proud of. Union home minister Rajnath Singh said that the whole Lok Sabha was proud of Sartaj’s decision.
Personally, I believe that Sartaj has really proven himself as a Sartaj. His decision will force not only the minority community but also the majority community to take a fresh look at their perspective. In discussions people say that every Muslim is not a terrorist. This is true. How can we assume the mindset of some people to be the mindset of the entire community? Some people also question why every terrorist is a Muslim? These are the words of logic and slander, but the reality is that at this time a large section of the majority community looks upon Muslim community with suspicion. If you take a closer look around then you will find that this view is visible everywhere. Hopefully, Mohammed Sartaj’s decision will put an end to this view.
So, the question arises how this view was created? It seems that political leaders and religious fanatics have played an important role in this. The manner in which the Hindu-Muslim issues were raised for the polarisation of votes in Uttar Pradesh elections is not in the interest of the country at all. If the ruling class begins to behave like this to capture power, then isn’t it unfortunate that such kind of wrong message is being sent out? The country will have to pay a heavy price for the sin our politicians are committing by resorting to the issue of temple-mosque, and by talking the language of ‘Smashan’ and ‘Kabrastan’.
Though there is no doubt that the attitude towards the Muslims has been influenced by the international conditions that have only added fuel to the fire. Though we blame Pakistan also, but I am always surprised at how the other country is able to have its way within our country. Why youths among us have strayed from the right path? This is a serious issue and our politicians should think seriously on this because they have messed up the atmosphere with their pronouncements.
I especially want to emphasise that the entire Indian society needs to change its attitude. Just as Hindus are patriots, in the same way Muslims are also patriots. How can anyone raise question about their patriotism? You look at the freedom movement. Muslims rubbed shoulders with Hindus in their fight for independence. Asafaq Ullah, the kingpin of Kakori conspiracy, the non-violent leader of the war of independence against the British in the North-West Frontier Province Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt’s lawyer Asaf Ali, one of the founders of the Gadar Party Abdul Hafiz Mohammad Barkatullah, Syed Hassan Imam who ran Khilafat movement in Bihar and led the civil disobedience movement, and how can we forget Badruddin Tyabji, the first Muslim president of Congress?
The ‘Muthya’ movement, which was based on collecting a handful of grain from every house for the freedom struggle, was led by Gafoor Ahmed Ajaji, a Muslim. Leave aside new generation, many elders may not be aware of the fact that Bakht Khan Rohilla had wrested Delhi from the British in the Revolution of 1857. From June to September 1857 under his leadership the revolutionaries were occupying Delhi. These revolutionaries were Hindus, Muslims and also Sikhs and Christians. How can the contribution of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Saifuddin Kichloo, Maulana Mazharul Haq be forgotten? Religious leader Maulana Abdul Aziz’s disciple Syed Ahmed Shahid went to Afghanistan to form a government of India in exile so that the British could be banished. Maulana Mehmood Hassan alias Shakhul Hind launched a ‘Reshmi Rumal’ campaign against the British. He sought help from the Khalifa of Turkey for revolt against the British in India. The British had sent him to Malta Island. When he came to Mumbai after serving the sentence, Gandhiji himself came to welcome him.
I’m mentioning only a few names here. There is such a long list. Do you know that thousands of Muslims are working in Indian intelligence agencies? Lakhs of Muslims are working in Army and paramilitary forces. None of them can be questioned on patriotism, then why is the society going in the direction of isolation? Why ordinary Muslims are looked upon with suspicion. Can you categorise APJ Abdul Kalam into Muslims and Hindus? You cannot categorise him. Actually there is a need to change this perspective. And yes, the leaders of Muslim society also have to take initiative for this. It takes two to make a clap!
Before I conclude…
The results of Uttar Pradesh Assembly election have proved that the charisma of Narendra Modi has remained intact. His leadership and Amit Shah’s skillful strategy have made the BJP triumphant in UP. The victory of BJP in Deoband and other Muslim-dominated areas have proved that the people have risen above religion and caste to repose this incredible trust. It is clear that the huge victory has entrusted Narendra Modi with a greater responsibility. Greetings also to Congress leadership for victory in Punjab and emerging as the largest party in Goa and Manipur but they need to engage in deep self-introspection.