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Review
India's Muslim Spring
By Hasan Suroor Published by Rupa, Delhi,2014 (pages 200, Rs. 395-)
Apr 2014

Those who are conversant with the history of Hindu Muslim relations would be surprised to learn that there is now a book entitled India's Muslim Spring by Hasan Suroor (Rupa, Delhi, 2014). The title of the book seems to follow the description Arab Spring used by European journalist on the change that occurred in North Africa.  In this book, Suroor writes about the change in outlook that has taken place among the Muslim youth particularly after the demolition of the Babri masjid and 9/11 in America. They are more concerned with matters relating to education, health, housing, gender issues, and employment opportunities rather than in affairs of religion unlike their forefathers.   

Mr. Suroor goes on to suggest that it is now for the government and the majority community to make the best of this opportunity or else the Muslim youth would turn towards thoughts and activities that eventually result in religious fundamentalism. The majority as well as the government has followed an anti-Muslim stance. In the words of the author: a wave of communal (read, anti-Muslim) riots in the 1960's,1970's and 1980's ; wide spread complaints of discrimination in jobs, housing; and increasingly shrill anti-Muslim rhetoric of the RSS and its outfits not only played into the Pakistani propaganda but created a wider perception, especially in the Muslim world, that India was not treating its Muslims well or even constitutionally correctly.  

The forcible demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, was display of Hindu majoritarian might.  The massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 reinforced that perception… Suroor insists that Muslims are not treated fairly and over the years anti-Muslim bias has become institutionalized, with the security establishment particularly hostile to Muslims…. Muslims do not want special treatment.  What they want is to be treated as normal Indian citizens, not punished  just for being Muslim. In this context, Suroor points out that the state of a community's institutions is a good guide to the state of the community itself. Post-independence Indian Muslims have not been able to build institutions sufficiently. The condition of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Milia Islamia is a pointer to this decline and neglect.

It has become a habit with Muslims of all hues to say that they have had a raw deal at the hands of the governments in India since 1947. It is well known that India was divided on the demand of Muslims and particularly those of the United Province, Bihar and Bombay. In this movement for separation, a leading role was played by the intellectuals of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). According to Sir Aga Khan, the sovereign state of Pakistan was born in AMU. On the contrary, Suroor says; Among its most staunch supporters were large land owning families in the Punjab and Sindh.  This is complete nonsense. Justice M. C. Chagla has written that if the Muslims of United Provinces had not insisted on partition there would have been no Pakistan.  Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah had declared that it is the Muslim minority provinces who were responsible for the creation of Pakistan. Should a reader believe Suroor? Or these eminent leaders.

Not long ago, girl students of AMU complained to the Union Ministry of HRD, that they were being denied library facilities. Jamia Milia students did not allow a Muslim Professor from Canada to deliver his lecture. The students of a Muslim Institution in Chennai behaved no differently. Suroor's assertion that there is a sea change in the mind set of the Muslim youth is a tall claim, not supported by facts on the ground. 

When Muslims ruled large parts of India for (1200-1857) they were a minority of around 10 percent. And the barbarities committed on the Hindus are well recorded by Muslim chroniclers. With the advent of British rule, Muslims enjoyed all the benefits of a minority community.  Come 1940, they declared themselves as a NATION and got a separate homeland called Pakistan. What right do they now have on India's resources and Hindu tax payers' money is completely beyond the understanding of the common Hindu! They had become aliens on the night of 14th August, 1947 if we go by what Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote in 1946. It is Nehru who allowed them to stay on in India after conceding Pakistan. What happened on our sub-continent has not been witnessed in any other part of the world.  

Since 2004, UPA government in connivance with the Opposition Party has created an Islamic State within India.  The institutions created and the laws passed for the sake of Muslims have reduced India to a half soverign state.  If Muslims are unhappy, they can migrate to any country of their choice, Mr. Suroor.

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