This morning broke with two messages about Muslims in India. The first was Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s article in the Times of India and the other was a WhatsApp message. Both reveal an acute concern of non-Muslims about the backwardness of Muslims in India and the problems engendered by that backwardness.
Aiyar’s article is an open letter to Asaduddin Owaisi who recently lamented the pathetic condition of Indian Muslims vis-à-vis education. Aiyar rightly argues that the Muslims must help themselves in this matter as the Christians did long ago. “Instead of depending on the state,” Aiyar writes, “Christians have long created their own educational institutions of excellence.” Even today, when Ram Raj is enforcing itself on the nation, Christian educational institutions remain in high demand among non-Christians. “Hindus and Muslims pull all possible strings to get into them,” says Aiyar.
The Muslim community in India is capable of running their own educational institutions like the Christians. There are a few institutions of eminence like the Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia, and Osmania. Aiyar also mentions the good work done by Kerala’s Muslim Educational Society which runs many schools and colleges efficiently.
Why can’t the Muslims in India use their abundant wealth lying in the Waqf Boards as well as the generosity of the country’s affluent Muslims who are generous with their zakat donations for setting up good modern schools and colleges instead of primitive madrasas? Why not start with 200 top-class schools right away, Aiyar asks.
I’m with Aiyar heart and soul in this. Religions in India spend a lot of money on absurd things like ostentatious places of worship and propaganda. Why not spend that money on educating the children of the believers?
The WhatsApp message that came in a cliquish group to which I happen to belong raises concerns about the controversial love jihad that is apparently converting a lot of non-Muslims in Kerala using trickery and fraudulence. The message has chilling statistics too. I checked the veracity of the message and found that much of the statistics was exaggerated and was rejected long ago by the National Investigation Agency. Nevertheless, love jihad is a reality. Unsuspecting young girls fall prey to the traps laid by certain malevolent forces with strong religious backing. Many such girls end up in terrorist groups like the IS.
The first thing that the Muslims should stop is this fraudulence if they wish to bring any sort of progress and development to their community. Bring education instead. Too much religion is of no use to anyone. It has never done any good at any time to any people. History can show you that without any doubt. Religion is like any other intoxicant: good within limits and toxic beyond the limits.