Friday, August 29, 2008

Islam and India

aug 29th, 2008

query from a reader. please feel free to post any responses here.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: E Maxwell

I had looked upon your blog for the first time, as an avid student and explorer of both South Asian, i.e. Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jainist cultures and of Islamic cultures in addition.  A lot of it comes from my interest as a zionist supporter of israel, (my paternal grandparents were holocaust survivors and contributed to my strong jewish heritage), and subsequent interest to learn about the clashing cultures in the middle east and nearby areas that affect it.  I noticed your blog had numerous stories and articles comparing the situation and advancement of religious groups in India and was interested in additional perspective.

I noticed you said that in all areas of India where muslims are the majority,  living standards are subpar and the people are backward.  Is that a recent phenomenon or has it always been that way ever since muslims were in India at all?  Would you say it's gotten better of worse as the years progressed?

And perhaps more importantly, is there still some degree of inter religious harmony and peace left in places like Hyderabad where muslim populations are significant?  Are muslims in Hyderabad mostly willing to cooperate with police and authority figures and make sacrifices when necessary to provide security for Hindu neighbors?  And do muslim separatist groups in Hyderabad like Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, the Hyderabad equivalent of Kashmir jiahdists, still hold sway over Muslims in both the Old and New City? 

It's especially odd since at least in modern India there was a tradition of muslims becoming intellectually and culturally advanced in many of the modern day cities.  I mean, in Bijapur, for instance, the rulers for many years were the Adil Shah monarchs who though were aggressive expansionists were also enthusiastic patrons of higher culture and interreligous harmony.  Same for Hyderabad, which was founded by Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, from the Qutb Shah dynasty.  he and his successors were known for being great artists and poets who treated Hindus and Muslims as equals, (not as dhimmis or 2nd class citizens) and encouraged artistic achievement to flourish in Hyderabad.  It seems today the legacy of intellectual figures among India's muslims is gone replaced by fundamentalism and absence of any culture outside of islam.

And of course Jammu and Kashmir, now hopelessly lost to jihadis, was once ruled by open-minded and culturally advanced rulers as well.  But any legacy in Kashmir other than violent jihad and cleansing of hindus is clearly gone forever.

Maybe it's the legacy of rulers of these cities in most recent times, like the Nizam SHahs of Hyderabad in the 1700s, who stopped this cultural and civilizational advancement of muslims in India.  Maybe it's due to Middle Eastern influence like Saudi and Egyptian funded mosques leading to a revival of religious nationalism.

Or maybe it's not as severe as it seems; maybe there are large numbers of muslims who are working for modernization, increased prosperity and religious acceptance.  I know in Hyderabad, for example, 30 percent of Muslims live in the New City and they have much more in common with Hindus there than with groups like Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.  The same for Bijapur, Delhi, Bombay and other cities.

What would you say about the religious and cultural clashes in India?  Is there reason to be optimistic or not really?


Tranquil said...

The holocaust of Hindus by muslim marauders has always been consistently denied by Indians in general.

Only Swami Vivekananda had the courage to speak out the truth about islam without mincing words.Again Swami Vivekananda explicitly pointed out the chicanery of missionaries.

Of course NS Rajaram , Naipaul and jihadwatch site are there now.

Look at America & China.They don't take it lying down.India is not ahimsa soft.It is apathetic- cowardly- dhimmi.

This so called *religious harmony* stands negated as both these ideologies are intrinsically antithetical to Hindus' Vedic Dharmam ( Our Holy Book is Vedas).

There was a 4 or 5 part extensive interview of Swami Dayananda with Jawahar, Editor of Newstoday that was published certain years ago. He had clearly enunciated the subtle covert and overt persecution of Hindus , very much state sponsored too. Including bjp's hadvani & hajpayee( I recall Swamiji had called them " lacking even a vertebra ")

But now I don't find those by googling.

All the mushy , maudlin , cloying tales of (sic) some *nawab or badshah showing some (allegedly) outstanding compassion towards the (allegedly) oppressed voiceless Hindus , * moghal gardens* yadayada are ultrasophistry laden attempts to lull us the dhimmis into living in servitude.

To those barbaric marauders lush greenery and water found in BharathVarsh were hitherto rarely accessible treasures.

Hence you find, even now their penchant for building fountains in glitzy malls in middle east , (fatehpur sikri) etc etc.

No Hindu can buy or own property there.Leave alone settling. But shockingly many of those even own property in India.

Caste and religion based administration has been honed and perfected by atrociously holier- than- thou - untrustworthy indian policymakers and politicians.

As someone observed India is a salad bowl not a melting pot and that shows patently, more so when they live abroad.The only unifying bond is our Raama and Krishnaa.

Indians by and large, hindus very much included carry their negativities like bribery , corruption , nepotism, violation of rules and laws wherever they go.

Many Hindus prefer to work under an Arab boss than a fellow Indian/Hindu in Gulf countries. As they reward you based on your performance ,trustworthiness not your religion.

But the indian boss (most of them) brings in his clannish, parochial prejudices at times turning incredibly vindictive.

My empirical observations.

witan said...

I appreciate your statement, “Our Holy Book is Vedas”
Failure to recognize this, and the substitution of Ramayanam, Mahabharatam, and, particularly the so-called Bhagavat Geeta as our Holy book, is one of the main causes of the weakening of Hindutva (I don't want to call it Hinduism or Hindu "religion", because being a Hindu is much greater than those.) Ramayanam etc. are epics and not scriptures. They cannot be depended as sole sources of knowledge, wisdom, or as guidance actions in day to day life. I wish our spiritual leaders like the Shankaracharyas would persuade the people, and make it possible for them, to read and get a basic understanding of the Vedas and Upanishads; and also make available complete compies of epics like Mahabharatam, not abridged and somewhat misleading texts like the "paperback" mahabharatam in English authored by Rajaji.

Tranquil said...

Witan ,

Thank you!I owe it to Kanchi Paramaacharya.

Lord Krishna Himself in Geetha often says :

" Our Vedas , Our Upanishads say so " very rarely, "I say so".

Nowadays, the books available are so full of politically correct interpolations and subtle distortions.
Thank God, for our Bharatha Desam, nowhere in the entire world , woould you ever get the rare opportunity of listening to LIVE Bhagavatha Sapthaham , Pravachanam authentically done by well learned Vedic Brahmins inside Sacred Temples.

One such person who even takes these to nursery school children of today is from Kerala, Nellicheri.

He is SSSo Good.His Pravachanam is mainly in Malayalam, Tamil, occasionally in English too.His Tamil is far superior to Tamil spoken by today's tamilians. Very articulate in Sanskrit & English too.

I don't know Malayalam.But had no difficulty in understanding His Malayalam.Extremely young , simple and pleasant mannered.

Tranquil said...


You are right.

Veda Vyasar was not happy at all with His Mahabharatham. You would know how He was consoled by Narada Muni and how we are fortunate enough to have got Srimad Bhagavatham thus.

Even there these converters have purloined and come out with Yesu Bhagavatham ! Sometimes I feel this RoL is a tad more dangerous than RoP.

Tranquil said...

Swami Omkarananda (Theni)is also extremely good.

There are many Omkaranandas today.
His elucidation of * Kaivalya Navaneetham * is superb.

On hearing all these, I smite my head with deep regret. Oh God, why did I go to school & college needlessly torturing myself learning nothing at all.