Friday, January 21, 2011

March Forward - Not Backwards

The controversy generated by hardliners ulemas of Deoband against the statement of the new Vice Chancellor of the Seminary that Muslims were prospering under Narinder Modis's regime in Gujarat is unnecessary and retrograde.Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi is a highly learned man of letters in Islamic studies with a liberal outlook which is the essence of Islam. If we continue to look backwards and ignore the present realities of life we will remain isolated and backwards. There is no denying the fact that Muslims in Gujarat are more prosperous and educated than Muslims in other parts of the country, a fact admitted by Gujarati Muslims openly. Nitish Kumar in Bihar is following the same path and earning goodwill and praise of every one. No doubt the events that followed Godhra carnage have left many deep scars but we have to move on.

Unfortunately, India has a long history of communal carnages at the hands of foreign raiders, Mughal emperors like Aurangzeb, partition in 1947, massacre of Sikhs in 1984 to quote a few facts. But sanity follows after some time and people march forward. We have Aurangzeb Road in Delhi, Refugees of 1947 have become the rulers and a vast majority of Sikhs are members of Congress party. We should not hesitate to praise a man for his good work. The fundamentalist approach will create and widen the walls in a multicultural society of which we are proud and appreciated throught the world for ages. Let us hope and pray that Maulana Vastanvi leads the community towards a liberal, tolerant and progressive society.

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