Introspection on Deoband Declaration
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
It is imperative to see that even some hard core BJP sevaks are speaking about organizing debate on mutual understanding among Hindus and Muslims in India after the Anti-Terrorism Deoband Conference on 25 February. It is also appreciable that national and international media both print and electronic are taking the 'Deoband Declaration' with the same letter and spirit that the issue actually deserved.
The discussions on various web sites and TV talks where a few participants have understably put their views honestly are encouraging. Some of the arguments like what more the Darul Uloom can do while countering terrorism and why Deoband was organizing the conference this late in some newspapers and web blogs have also been repeated in the conference itself by the speakers and enshrined in the 'Deoband Declaration', where this writer was present as participant as well as a member while preparing the declaration.
What disturbing common peace loving Muslims of India is why the mainstream media or for that matter socio-political analysts in general are not asking write wing Hindu political parties— Shiv Sena, BJP and extremist organizations like VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal to introspect honestly about their role in the national integration and communal harmony in India. Why a debate is not being conducted to precisely define what exactly terrorism is? If the activities of ULFA, Maoist, Naxalite and LTTE come under the universal definition of terrorism, if yes, then why a word 'Muslim' is prefixed while describing some terrorists and others are just known by the organizations they belong to?
Very recently Tamilnadu police have unfolded a terrorist plot of Privar activists and arrested three persons-- S Ravi Pandian (42), S Kumar (28} and V Narayana Sharma (26), all Sangh Parivar activists, for bomb blasts in the bus stop and RSS office at Tenkasi, a busy town in Tirunelveli District of Tamilnadu, where at least six persons were killed. The list is long from Nanded, Jhalna, Nagpur to Jama Masjid Delhi, Malegaon and Makkah Masjid Hyderabad where write wing political interest is suspect to be behind blasts and fair, transparent investigation is awaited.
While making a trustworthy peaceful society police has a vital role to play but unfortunately it is here India is in making gulf between communities. At a Mumbai flyover a school boy was caught for rough driving, the police officer asks for driving license and when he had the license in hand where a Muslim name was inscribed in it he gores over the boy saying 'kidar ko bomb phorna hain' (where are you going to drop the bomb)? The boy angrily responses what rubbish are you talking about sir? The officer replies 'saly pher itna speed se keyu bhaga raha hain?' (Bullshit (sic) then why are you driving this fast?)
We all must abide by the law and make our policing physically transparent to punish all the criminals whosoever or whatever political party or organization he may belong to and protect all innocent peoples from the least humiliation, was also one of the clear and underlined messages that Deoband declaration wanted to convey to the world. It is the execution of justice which ensures trust of a person on the constitution of a country and the trust leads to love and longing with the nation. You cannot create patriot, they are born out of longing and belong to the system from within, argues the scholars at the Deoband conference.
Maulana Arshad Madni, Dean in Darul Uloom Deoband went a little far and demanded to the government of India for visible equal justice for all. He said "either you declare India a Hindu Rashtra or give all citizens equal justice" he claimed injustice has gradually crossed all limit.
Let us unite to work to instill trust in us and begin every investigation from an equal point without being pre-occupied by one sided notions, is the voice in Muslims streets. Some times real culprits are moving around freely and instead innocents are behind the bar for no wrong of their own, fueling further terror causes.
The theme of the Deoband conference is 'terrorism' is deplorable, unacceptable in any form whatsoever, anywhere in the world; and it belongs to no religion. Terrorism is no body's monopoly— Mahatma Gandhi, two Indian Prime Ministers, Srilankan President, two US presidents were assassinated by terrorists, not Muslims, thus the idea 'every Muslims may not be terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim' is sic and factually wrong.
(Author M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is editor of Eastern Crescent, a Deoband alumnus and director of Mumbai based Markazul Ma'arif Education and Research Centre. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)