THE ABSURDITY OF BEING AN INDIAN

Posted by: Maloy Krishna Dhar on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I avoid writing on politics. However, the sordid drama staged by A. R. Antulay in the Parliament provokes average Indians to ponder if we are living in a single nation, one country and one entity. The Indian National Congress, far from exhibiting dignity, behaved as faggots of treachery. All faggots end up in ashes. Hope Congress understands the latent inflammatory elements in common Indian psyche. No more lullaby please. We want positive secularism and nationalism. Days of compromise are gone. We, the tentative and absurd common Indians, are angry.


In July I read an interesting item by R. Prasannan with Dnyanesh Jathar, Lalita Iyer, Ajay Uprety & Nandini Oza (The Week, July 29, 2008) and others, which might have been education for many, but not for me. Celebrated and calibrated journalist Seema Chisti wrote a 3 part article in Indian Express in October 2008 recounting how very large numbers of Muslims were rotting in Indian jails as compared to very little Hindus and others. It did not force our tears out. Obviously we have not also been impressed by Sachar tears, which were more like Rudali lamentations than reflective of real ground situation.

This is not the space to debate with the good souls who shed tears either on payment or out of misplaced deductions from recorded histories. History is written, never objectively and it awaits discovery of truth from the garbage put together by the assumed research buffs. Truth is not in the writing. Truth is there like the glaring Hiranmay (Sun) to be discovered after removing the glares of punditry.

Latika Gupta wrote an excellent article in Economic & Political Weekly (February 9, 2008) titled, ‘Growing up Hindu and Muslim: How Early Does it Happen’. Her thesis is authentic, when she says the lessons of division are taught in the schools. It continues in adult days as well. My friend Dr. Benkin, a US scholar is of the view that Hindu-Muslim civilisational conflict has entered the third phase-conquest & consolidation, separation, and preparation for the final separation.

It is not that these recent input made me a tentative and absurd Indian.

Truth had dawned before me in 1947, at a port town called Bhairab in East Pakistan where my Monorama didi (Manorama Wilson) was raped by the vandals inside our residential campus. It came to me from Maulana Sarafat Ali, our Urdu teacher in the junior section of the High School.

Since 1947 I have been feeling absurd and tentative being an Indian. Maulana Saraft Ali had pronounced pointing at me and four other Hindu boys in a class of 40 (class VI) that we Hindus were different from they Muslims. They went to mosque, we to temples; they spoke Urdu, Arabic and Persian. Bengali was imposed by the Hindus. They ate beef, we worshipped cows; they keep beard, we kept chutia tuft on head etc, etc. I had returned from school with great pains in accompaniment of Muslim friends, who consoled me that the Maulana was not correct. We Bengalis were one and the same.

I was born in India and in the growing up process I was told in the accompaniment of streams of blood, hillocks of human carcasses that I had ceased to be an Indian. I had the honour of being a young Pakistani, in my homeland and amidst the bounty of nature we were endowed with. Finally the message that we were not welcome in the holy land of Pakistan was delivered with multiple attacks on our trains we took for a new India. Somehow, we were able to land in the new India which was as foreign to us as was the Albion. It is not the misery, penury and utter humiliation of being treated with slightly better dignity than tailless simians devastated us. The identity that I was an Indian had to be obtained from a pompous officer after producing our train and air tickets humiliated me. That officer remarked sarcastically-was I a refugee! I had proudly replies that I was an Indian. But I had to produce that stamped paper for my school admission and UPSC examination. I was assured that I was an Indian only when I entered a covenanted service at the pleasure of the President of India. Nonetheless, we were hated in the old India we escaped; we were not yet welcome Bangals in the holy tract of Ghati-land; West Bengal.

As we sedimented gradually, and started rooting in the new India given to us by the inheritors to the collapsed Empire, we learnt that our India had not completed the convulsions of partition. We were Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain and Buddhist, Dalit and OBC etc Indians. We were further divided into linguistic groups and later smaller ethnic and linguistic groups asserted their identity and we were again presented with the spectra of multiple divisions in what we were united amidst underlying oneness and diversity.

Fine. As long as the monolith of one party rule was there the many Indias were artificially fused without complete obliteration of the seams of separation. With gradual rise of regionalism, parochialism, casteism, and religious fundamentalism we woke up to the realities of being divided from within and without. We were threatened with Tribal separatism, regional spasms for better identity and rights, severe tectonic convulsion inside the so called fused entity- Secular India.

We became many Hindus, defending our respective caste boundaries and enlarging the borders ruthlessly in the name of justice and equity so far denied by the dominating Hindu castes. As threatened social creatures we witnessed our boundaries closing around us and even the dearest friends and colleagues treated us as “They” versus “We” in the name of equalization of the historic injustices. We were presented with the spasms of ethnic unrest and desire of the ethnic minorities to redraw the geopolitical boundary of India.

Fine. We, the Indians understood the latent dynamics of the changes and tried reluctantly to accept the reality that we many Indias were never united as one India; we were many India’s glued together by quantum residue of varieties of freedom movements left by the partition. We continued to suffer from the illusion that we were one India-irrespective of our diverse inlaid identities.

Chronic suffering often cause molecular changes in the physical, chemical as well as societal chromosomal adjustment leading to new realities which are better accepted as new-realities. We have started grudgingly accepting the facts of ingrained diversities. Some of us realise that the Dalits, considered through eons as no better than gutter insects and universal pollutants are also fellow Indians. Most of us still cling to the Gita and Manusmriti and scores of others scriptures enunciated as the perfect social order for perpetuating upper caste supremacy.

The Other Backward Classes are still considered as mythological Trishanku-hung uncertainly between the upper castes divided into molecular segments of Brahmin, Kashtriya, Vaishya and Shudra and the untouchable Dalits. The OBCs are land owners, cattle-rich and have the benefit of both brain and brawn. But they are the nowhere people. Upper castes still abhor them and they in turn maintain same hatred for the Dalits like their upper caste social counterparts diagnosed for centuries. Social empowerments of these outer-Hindu communities are yet to take roots in Indian psyche, though some of us have woken up to the post-V. P. Singh realities what Rabindranath Tagore had said “Oh my unfortunate country, you would be equalized with those whom you have insulted for centuries.” It is unlikely that Indians would share the dream of Tagore. They did not accept what Mahatma Gandhi preached vainly from 1920 to till he was gunned down by an assassin.

While we stand divided on the caste front we have not yet accepted across the country the cries of woes and pains of the ethnic tribal, and the people living in the fringes of the country. To many Indians the Northeast is still an “outer India” and hinterland tribal India is “excluded India.” We do not understand these multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and multi-ethnic tribal who had once ruled over the vast tract of remote areas and hill preserves. Creation of tribal states has not solved the problems. Very few of us realise what pains the Hindu Meiteis of Manipur and what inspires Hindu Ahoms to take up arms. We have not yet made attempts to understand what makes the tribal and rural deprived people to take up arms in the name of Mao and wage war against the country. We consign all these to the governmental bin of law and order and refuse to understand why our own people are turning against us.

This absurdity is so endemic that the governing tools, totally identified with the chronically rotten governing principles borrowed from the British Empire, consider these peripheral Indians as the “enemy of the nation.” How can a conscious Indian, who has seen the wider India from in and outside accept this absurdity? How can one exit continually as an absurd Indian, in conflict with the societal and governmental systems?

While these pains haunt us with no end to the horror-dream of bursting of the seams of the country to the point of architecturing the final collapse, another historic ghost has come alive and keeps giving shiver that the bad days are here again. Hindu protagonists count the days of bad dream with the repeat desecration and destruction of the Somnath Temple by Muslim raiders, which was perpetuated by the occupation of India by consecutive Muslim raiders and rulers. Foreign invasion was not new to the Indians. But this time around came not only foreign armies and rulers. They brought in a new civilization, new Faith and new cultural values that refused to “synthesize in the same body” (Ek dehe holo leen-by Tagore). The conflict situations prevailing for long period in history often lead to some degree of adjustment, not assimilation. The same thing happened in India too where linguistic, cultural and societal transference of particles took place that was applauded by some historians as evidences of assimilation. This myth was busted after the Third Civilisational Force and superior military power replaced the remnants of the Mughal power.

The period of decline in history often signify the rise of some tertiary forces; the same happened as Hindu potentates started asserting their politico-military identity taking advantage of the bankruptcy of the Mughals. Some Muslim potentates also followed the same path. But the period of flux from 1757 to 1857 had started crystallizing a few new realities: consolidation of British Power, total decline of Muslim political and military power and beginning of the period of Hindu assertion and gradual growth of pan-Hindu and pan-Indian nationalism.

All scholars, Hindu, Muslim, and European assert that 1857 was the beginning of another conflict situation between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims. Sans their military and political power the Muslims realised that in a Hindu majority country they had to tread very cautiously to preserve their Islamic cultural, religious, linguistic and social identity. Nearly eight century old cohabitation had established some tentative bridges between the Hindus and the Muslims. However, British assertion demolished all those bridges and the rulers of the past realised that they had ruled only through the power of weapons and not through superior knowledge based political, economic and cultural tools. Both Hindus and Muslims realised that they had been living together separately for nearly 900 years.

Like the Indian untouchables the Muslims were kept at stellar distance by the purist Hindus; the Muslims having embarked on aggressive conversion with the help of the Sufi saints, spears, swords and economic stranglehold. Helpless communities under superior military occupation, especially against an alien civilization, opt for two courses of action: merge with the new invaders or shy away from them by shutting all doors and windows. While some ruling families, professionals, soldiers of opportunity, as the universal rule is, collaborated with the invading power for limited survival and motives of gain the general people maintained total distances. A good number of the Kshtriya, Shudras (kayasthas and other middle category Hindus) collaborated with the Mohammedans. The vast majority of the Brahmins, huge intermediary classes and the rural people either raised a stiff curtain or fought lost/won battles or submitted to the soldiers, Sufi saints and other preachers.

The systematic destruction of temples, plunder of temple valuables, forcible ravishing of women and reversal of status from owner to slaves had turned the Hindu society virtually hostile to the emissaries of the new civilization; totally antithesis to Indian and Hindu values. They were different in culture, dress code, religion, language and all social practices. A new civilization clashed with the eons old Indian civilization which never disagreed to assimilate all outer elements. The Muslims believed only one way of assimilation; in stellar terms-assimilation of the Black Hole. These differences were not only emphasized by the Mullahs but even a leader of the stature of Mohammad Ali Jinnah proclaimed several times in public utterances that We and They were separate in every respects; separation-total separation alone could assure security of the Muslims in divided India.

Obviously Jinnah and his folks barring a microscopic “nationalist” Muslims like Ansari, Azad and Kidwai etc had joined the chorus without giving any consideration that partition-total separation would not solve the problems of the residual Indian Muslims; who, for various reasons would continue to be minority in majority Hindu India. Jinnah had abandoned over 2 crores Indian Muslims and flew to Karachi to rule over his fiefdom. What he left for India and Pakistan was a bloodied legacy of hatred, unfinished agenda and unfathomable religious bigotry.

The two civilisational forces never merged-they lived together separately since the first Muslim rulers started exercising political-military powers. They were as separate as vast segment of the Indian population lived separately from the so called upper caste Hindus. In case a Muslim visitor dropping in he was offered a ‘reserved hukka’, cups and utensils specially maintained in outer quarters for the ‘mlechh’ Muslims. The lower caste Hindus very rarely dared to visit the caste Hindu villages. As late as 1994 I had the misfortune of witnessing in a village in the capital of India (Bhartal-next to posh Dwarka) separate ‘panghats’-wells and ponds for the for the Jats and Brahmins and the scheduled castes-ornamentally called chamars. I would not invite city dwelling Indians to visit the hinterland of Bihar, UP and other caste ridden states, where caste politics has overshadowed constitutional politics.

I had the fortune of visiting certain prohibited areas in UP and Bihar during my service tenure and experiencing the humiliating question by Thakur and Brahmin families in hushed voice if I were a Muslim, Chamar or Kurmi or Koiri. My ingenious officers passed me as Turmeric-a Kayasth- used in all seasonings-raj darbar to office desk and war field. Only after careful vetting I was allowed to enter the reception room of a veteran Brahmin landlord-politician to share a cup of tea; hopefully in the family utensils.

The bitterness of living in India with the bitter test in heart and test-buds as an irrelevant and absurd creature still haunts us. I happen to live under continuous threats and pricks from people like Laloo, Mulayam and Mayawati on the one hand and by my Brahmin-Thakur compatriots on the other. Most Muslims call me chameleon. Luckily I am treated as Turmeric- a Kayasth-acceptable for any curries.

Indians of all shades of caste and community need to wake up and ponder what glue keeps us together. Nationalism has been defined in various manners-like blind men describing an elephant. The most realistic description is that religion does not make a nation. Language does not. Culture and continued historical faiths and bondages do tend to coagulate diverse people into an entity nearly resembling a nation. If economic common interest and common security concern and defences are added to these ingredients the soul of nationhood starts taking shape. Finally a governing system that works in totality and is capable of proving total protection to the peoples inhabiting such a compact geographical and historical entity, the concept of nationhood crystalises. Races, ethnic diversities, linguistic varieties and religious and cultural kaleidoscope do not hinder such coalescence.

Formation of a strong national identity is like the formation of a cosmic planetary body. Varieties of physical and chemical properties spin and coalesce to make a planetary body. Similarly the Indian nation was born out of similar process. However, one particular ingredient having spun for centuries declined to coalesce. The fear of this minority element later invented a Separate Nationality-Muslim Nationalism. I was taught this lesson in the accompaniment of several slaps by my Urdu teacher at a school in East Pakistan. Over decades I had forgotten the slaps and the lesson. I had rooted new faith in one single nationalism in India-Indian nationalism and not Hindu and Muslim nationalism. However, certain developments since 1980 had shaken that faith. Now it appears we are again many nations and many Indias.

We had nearly forgotten slogans like “nada e takvir-Allahu Akbar”, “ladke lenge Pakistan.” However, the muted slogan of “Hum Hindu nahin hain” and “Raj karega Khalsa” and “Kahlistan Zindabad” started reverberating from some segments of Sikh society and Sikh Diaspora. What had woken up the mummy of Sikh nationalism has been explained by politicians and pundits. I have, as an intelligence operator in the Punjab, also explained some perceptions in my books. But the real adrenalin that reinvigorated the mummy was political and religious fundamentalist rivalry between power hungry Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal. They simply exploited the religious chauvinism of a priest of Dam Dami Taksal, an extremist Sikh seminary. The Diaspora was assisted by Pakistan to fan the fire and finally the ISI took charge of the secessionist movement. While operating in the Punjab I always wondered what made the Sikhs rise up demanding separate nationhood. The horror rising of the mummy has been neutralized but not completely buried. In Pakistan the Sikh grave diggers are still waiting for opportunity to strike.

What surprised us most were the efforts of some Hindu fanatics to dig the graveyards of history and right the wrongs done centuries ago by the Muslim rulers. Mosques and temples, churches and synagogues are usually destroyed by the invaders. The Muslim invaders specially destroyed religious temples of other faiths to strike two points: the ruling king, a protector of religion and himself God incarnate was not able to protect his people and religion and intolerance against other religions and their religious places are embedded in certain interpretations of the Quran. Somnath Temple was the first major victim outside the Hindu kingdoms of Sind and Afghanistan. The first temple of Somnath is said to have existed before the beginning of the Common Era. The second temple, built by the Yadava kings of Vallabhi in Gujarat, replaced the first one on the same site around 649. In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple. The Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone.

In 1024, Mahmud Ghazni raided the temple from across the Thar Desert. Ghazni believed that the pre-Islam goddess Manat was the focus of Somnath Temple. Turko-Persian chronicles a major poet of the eastern Islamic world, Farrukhi Sistani, who claims that he accompanied Mahmud to Somanath, provides a fascinating explanation for the breaking of the idol. He tells us that the name Somnat (as it was often written in Persian) is actually Su-manat, the place of Manat. From the Qur’an it is learnt that Lat and Uzza two goddesses were destroyed, but Manat was believed to have been secreted away to Gujarat and installed in a place of worship. According to some descriptions, Manat was an iconic block of black stone; a part of the Kabba Stone, the form was perhaps similar to a lingam. This story hovers over many of the Turko-Persian accounts, some taking it seriously, others being less emphatic and insisting instead that the icon was of a Hindu deity. Certain German and British authors also described the Somnath Lingam as the part of the black meteorite that was vandalized by tribal Arabs and Mohammad had later got it installed in the reconstructed Kabba, in which, he was assisted by Greek and Indian artisans. A part of the stone was brought to India. This probably explains the zeal with which the Gazhnivids and Delhi Sultans destroyed it repeatedly. History supports that Mahmood Gazhni and other Sultans had sent reports to the Caliph soon after destruction of the temple and received ‘saropa robes’ from the protector of Islam.

Besides this semi-historical accounts chronicled by the Persian, German and British authors it is recognised by several Muslim authors that most of the important mosques and historical edifices were constructed on the ruins of Hindu palaces, temples and mausoleums. Sardar Patel got reconstructed the 7th temple of Somanth and Muslims in Karachi rioted on the occasion of its inauguration.

Europe had successfully fought back the Islamic invaders and almost uprooted their religious edifices. But they could not undo the Muslim footsteps in the Balkans, parts of Greece and other Eurasian countries. History has witnessed the rebirth of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Such fresh birth pangs are taking place in China, Southern Thailand, the Philippines, and southern Asian fringes of Russia. History is a never ending process. Who knows what’s in its womb?

Political activists are not radiologists. They cannot predict what is in the mummy box and graveyards of history. So, when the BJP and the Sangh Parivar went ahead at the wee hours of decline of the Indian National Congress to dig up history by demolishing the Babri Masjid, little did they know that the raging jihad in Afghanistan had defeated the mighty USSR and Pakistan was already fuelling insurgency in Punjab, preparing for a prolonged proxy war in Kashmir and perching the flag of Islamic jihad on Indian soil. The fools that they were had demolished the mosque not to rewrite history but to create a new conflict situation for which India was not all prepared. Fools in politics are more dangerous than bulls in China shop. Hindus forget that they did not have in the ranks of their kings the class called Knight Templers, who defied the Muslim invaders till the last men, for preserving the Christian political presence in Jerusalem. A people who do not know how to unite and defend to the last drop of blood should not dare rewriting history by cowardly actions of demolishing mosques, churches and places of worship of non-Hindu people. Societal strength grows out of social unity, equal mission, equal resolve, and equality in everything; as enunciated in the Vedas. A people divide so much from within should wake up that equality is the pre-requisite qualification for nationhood.

However, the dividing lines are more pronounced in the case of social strata that divide the ‘majority’ Hindus and ‘minority’ Muslims. The endless borders of separateness start from living quarters. The Muslim invaders had settled down in well defended camps where non-Muslims were not welcome, except utility personnel. It tricked down to representation in the Kotwalis and army, mostly manned by Muslims. Hindus were given chance much later, say grandfather of Jawaharlal Nehru, was the Kotwal of Delhi during the last days of the Mughal rule.

The process of raising fences was expanded to education health care, control on supply system etc. Muslim boys went to madrassas, while the Hindu children converged to ‘Tol’ system of Sanskrit education or some sort of secular education that had become broad based only after the Christian Missionaries in Bengal, Madras and Bombay presidencies introduced secular education on the pattern of western education system. The British were also in need of Indian education in Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit and vernacular (say Bengali) to acquaint themselves with the language, culture and crafts of business transaction with the “Natives.”

Jinnah in several speeches and communications had emphasized on the differences between the Hindus in language (Urdu=Muslim; Vernacular-Hindi= North Indian Hindus and other Hindus). Dress differences were emphasized eloquently, which do not require elaboration. Personal appearance differed poignantly. Though in certain provinces the Hindu converts to Islam continued practicing traditional ways of life. As a child growing up in Eastern Bengal, I was told eating chicken, chicken eggs, garlic, onion and other food items was un-Hindu. Visiting a Muslim home was prohibited (I never bothered and tested chicken and eggs in Muslim homes to the delight of my soul). Similarly, it is recalled that, some rabid Muslim League pioneers had forced a few weavers to eat beef and declared that with that holy act they had become Muslims. The Hindus totally boycotted them. On this count both Hindus and Muslims were equally responsible for firming up the boundaries of social divide. Jinnah had simply pointed this out and asked world leaders to accept the realities.

Documentation is ample to prove that the Hindus by and large welcomed the British as a deliverer from “Yavan” Muslim rule. Nearly 800 years of occupation had exasperated the Hindus and the British arrival, to large section of conscious Hindus, was act of God delivering them from the ‘Yavanas.’ Christianity found more acceptability as it did not insist on 100% changes in cultural, civilisational and social practices. A converted Christian might had or had not eaten beef, but he continued to be a part and parcel of his eons old civilisational practices. A Michael Madhusudan Dutt, a product of Derozio School of renaissance, might have been an aberration but later he too sang in praise of motherland India and its cultural values. The underlying sense of ‘final freedom’ from ‘Yavan’ occupation was reflected in the pioneering novels of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya-mainly Ananda Math (the fountain of Bande Mataram) and Devi Chowdurani etc. Obviously, Bande Mataram is just like a red rag to the Muslims of India. They say that Indian Hindus, to proclaim that it is a composite nation, should bury Bande Mataram, the mantra that inspired lakhs to sacrifice their lives. The fundamentals varying so wildly and widely cannot even be unified by Quantum or Universal Theory of oneness. We versus They is likely to haunt India till such time the term ‘They” is forgotten and erased from the canvas of history’s memory. Is that possible?

These differences ultimately sprouted the seeds of “Hindu Nationalism” and much later the latent “Muslim” nationalism flourished in parallels leading to Muslim refusal to join the Hindu Party Indian National Congress. The Aligarh Movement symbolized Muslim Nationalism which later flourished as Indian Muslim League. The history of the League and its culmination as the sole Muslim party under Jinnah and partition of India is as tectonic a development as the sinking of the old stars of Indian nationalist movement with the death of Lokmanya Tilak and rise of the triumvirate of Gandhi, Nehrus and Patel. Several authentic history books, besides the partisan ones written by Congresites, Communists and British lackeys are available in the market. (If the readers want to read this author they have wait for his book Living Together Separately due in mid 2009).

With this brief backgrounder one wonders why sections of the Indian Muslims should still feel deprived in a land where constitutionally, legally, politically, economically and socially they are equal partners! There is not much space here to dissect the Muslim minority psyche. The minority communities, all over the world, suffer from acute sense of insecurity and strive for autonomy and protection. Minorityism often leads to secessionist tendencies. In recent times we have witnessed this in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, East Timor and tectonic forces of Islamic separatism are haunting South Thailand, the Philippines, Chinese Xinjiang, Russian Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan etc. Surrounded by jihadi milieu in its west and simmering jihadi zealots in Bangladesh Indian Muslims groomed with the feed of hatred and separatism cannot remain unaffected. The bitterest tongue lashing I received from an important Muslim leader in 1993 in Mumbai after the serial bomb blats staged by the ISI and Dawood Inbrahim read like this: ‘You Hindus are out to finish the minority Muslims. We are not safe in India. We want to get back our Muslim homeland.’ In those days of frayed tempers and communal polarization (nothing new to Mumbai) I digested the dig.

But how can any Indian, irrespective of religion, digest the utterances on the floor of the Parliament, by A. R. Antulay, the Second Jinnah of India, casting grave doubt on the martyrdom of a valiant police officer, who, incidentally, was the first to unearth a Hindu terror group. History says that in 1920 Jinnah was harassed and booed by the supporters of Gandhi and Nehru and he was told in no uncertain words that he was not the one to lead the Congress and the Nation. Muslim League’s separatism inherited from Shah Waliullah, Sir Sayyid Ahmad etc and encouraged by the British was given a fresh lease of life by Jinnah. He wanted his own crown and complete separate identity for the Muslims. But what happened to Antulay? BY no imagination he can expect to steal the Crown of India from the Nehru-Gandhi family. Even the majority of Muslims, barring the fanatics in Milli Council and Wahhabi, Salafi separatists would accept Antulay even as their representative. The CROWN is not for this hybrid son of Ratnagiri.

A.R. Antulay (courtesy Indian Express)

A.R. Antulay (courtesy Indian Express)

History cannot be rewritten. But, what Abdul Rahman Antulay, s/o Hafiz Abdul Gafoor and Zohrabi wants for himself and the Muslim community? Sonia Gandhi at best can offer him a more lucrative portfolio. But how are the Indian Muslim benefited by this outburst. What is the similarity between him and Jinnah? None but one minor common strain. If some Konkani stories are to be believed ANANTH KARANDIKAR a Maharashtrian Hindu from Konkan had married a Muslim girl. It is not clear whether he converted to Islam or not. The children born out of this wedlock were referred to as children of Anthu (pet name of Ananth). Children in Marathi translates to “mulay”. Thus Anthu’s children got the name Antulay. Antulay has something in common with Jinnah; his forefathers were Gujarati Hindus. Beyond that where are the similarities? What crown can be offered to him? The same crown was claimed by Sahabuddin, the Foreign Service officer. They all faded away with dreams of Muslim Inying dia. Muslim India is abad dream, Mr. Antulay. You are implying what Jinnah said openly, you are reflecting the separatist elements who ant to regain the Taj-e-Hind through Jihad.

By these wild allegations Antulay has confirmed my fear: I continue to be a tentative and absurd Indian, who has to seek answer to questions: am I an Indian? Or am I still living in an alien country where some day some Hitler, some Jinnah, some Zia would turn up and claim my homeland. This has happened to my Kashmiri brethren. In Independent India, during the rule of Indian National Congress the pundits were killed, raped and were driven out of their own homeland. What is the relevance of the INC? Nothing. It should be renamed Indian Minority Congress (IMC). I fear some day this IMC leaders would force me out of this Tentative India and banish me to nowhere land. I feel so absurd. I wait for another exodus. Where to? No one answers.

Those Indians, who do not live under the Blackstone of ignorance and are not smeared by colours of politics, should know that Antulay is neither a madcap nor an insane greedy blackmailing politician. If our media has not looked deep into the conspiracy and have not spelt it out, I do, as I am not bound by the limitations of CC (code of conduct) prescribed by the government and imposed by the media on themselves for better TRP. I am a disrepute madcap, and I want to voice the concerns of millions of ABSURD INDIANS.

What did Antulay say on the floor of the symbol of sovereignty of India? To refresh your memory I quote from Indian Express, since I have no access to Parliamentary records, “Somebody who knew both the ends, sent him (Karkare) in the wrong direction otherwise why should he have gone to Cama hospital? He should have gone to Taj, Oberoi or Nariman House. He went to such a place where there was nothing compared to what was happening in these three places. He went to the Cama hospital on the basis of a phone call. Who is that person who made the phone call? This should be probed….Karkare found that there are non-Muslims involved in acts of terrorism… Any person going to the roots of Terror has always been the target… Superficially speaking, they (the terrorists) had no reason to kill Karkare. Whether he (Karkare) was a victim of terrorism or terrorism plus something, I do not know…I can’t say who killed him,” Antulay said. “I leave it you. But you remember what all was said against the poor man. He was an upright officer. I know a bandh call was given against him before he was killed… who was responsible for sending him (Karkare) in the wrong direction… somebody wanted him to be killed… why all three (Karkare, Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar) went together is beyond my comprehension.”

Antulay was openly supported by RJD, SP, BSP and JDU Muslim MPs. Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, Maulana Khalid Rasheed, who heads Firangi Mahal, Naib Imam of Eidgah Aishbagh and head of the Islamic Centre of India Maulana Khalid Rashid and Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid questioned opposition to Antulay’s calls for probe. “What’s the harm in a probe? It’s important to clarify all the doubts which anyone may have over his death. If everything was in the right place, then why is BJP opposing the move?” Similarly Laloo was caught on TV saying ‘what is wrong in a probe?’ Only for one more vote, Mr. Laloo!

These voices found support from various parts in Pakistan. Pakistani media and legislative assemblies warmly greeted the Muslim leader from India. In India too, the All India Milli Council, Jamait-e-Islami and other organizations clapped Antulay’s courage. Those who bother to care and know (hope IB does) special prayers were said for Antulay in important mosques and monajat were kept for the success of his mission. If the Mumbai tragedy had brought about rare unity in the total spectrum of Indian psyche and silence of sadness, the purity of our sacrifices were jolted by the second Jinnah of India-A. R. Antulay by echoing what even Pakistan had not dared to utter. Way did Antulay behave like this?

Let us examine: 1. Congress orchestrated the show through Antulay to send positive message to J&K Muslims that the Party was open to probing Hindu terrorism, (possible, Congress is capable of playing Indian Minority Congress role on political stage) 2. Antulay was asked by “some people” from outside India to bail out Pakistan and Dawood (no proof-but as rumour mills spin in Mumbai, Ratnagiri and other places this one Konkani was never hostile to the Karachi based Konkani Kaskar) 3.The bad guys in Mumbai say that big amount was deposited to an offshore account of this Konkani Muslim for satisfying and providing elbow room to Pakistan and Dawood.) It is known that Pakistani media had fully exploited the volte face of Antulay and thereafter, Zardari & co flip-flopped their statements, 4. Internal Muslim leaders had forced him (no proof). But several Muslim MPs, religious leaders, except the Deoband stalwarts and Jamait-ul-Ulema-e-Hind, came out in support of Antulay. Others who did not come out supported him through rumour mills that he was more courageous than the VC of Jamia Milia who had promised monetary support to the Indian Mujahideen terrorists involved in the Jamia Nagar terror action. Even Laloo, known for his loo-se mouth had found virtue in Antulay’s Jinnah like pronouncement from the seat of Indian democracy.

Antulay is not alone. After the Union Home Minister pronounced establishment of Federal Investigating Agency, strengthening of the Internal Security Act several Muslim leaders howled like marsh-jackals in unified chorus that these were directed against the Muslims. Some good-Samaritan journos, as generous as they are with their other good things of life, joined the chorus that the Muslims are made to suffer indignity and discrimination in everyday matters of life. Some demanded Muslim way of governance in India. Earlier the same folks of jackals had sung chorus against signing of the 1.2.3 nuclear agreement. Why? This was directed against Pakistan and Iran.

If the Indian Muslims are so concerned about India’s nuclear superiority against the Muslim homeland Pakistan should not they just board a couple of special trains, plains and ship and land at the holy land, which was promised to them by historical Jinnah and now they have another messiah in A. R. Antulay to lead them. Let us make way for them. We need not promote and protect the friends of Pakistan on Indian soil. Indian Muslims are supposed to be first concerned with India’s welfare and not that Pakistan and Iran. If they defy this elemental ingredient of nationhood, I. as an Absurd Indian would contribute all my life’s savings for their Ziarat to the Promised Land.

Is there any difference between what Antulay and ilk implies through their hedged statements and the wall writing at Chaman on Pakistan-Afghanistan border? Very little. See for yourself:

The wall artist essentially says: The Dream Of United India Is About To Shatter (Source: Roznama Express, Pakistan, December 19, 2008). I, at least, do not find difference. Our Chamans (gardens) are more colourful.

The wall artist essentially says: The Dream Of United India Is About To Shatter (Source: Roznama Express, Pakistan, December 19, 2008). I, at least, do not find difference. Our Chamans (gardens) are more colourful.

If democracy allows strident communally biased statements by a minister of the government, let us discard that democracy and turn to…To whom? Some say army. I do not agree. Let us turn to the people and request them through door to door campaign that they should defeat the Indian Minority Congress (IMC); Indian National Congress’s (INC) epitaph having been written by Jinnahs like Antulay and his cohorts in and outside India. Let us have one slogan: defeat the enemies of the country.

Politicians are notorious for multi-speak. But Antulay, the Mohammad, did not go to the mountain, the Mountain, Congress High Command, came to him, tried to hedge, twist and finally decided to put a veil on the matter by shameless charade of diplomatic parliamentary shenanigan. Why did Sonia Gandhi, so vocal on everything that is Hindu-tainted did not speak up? Why that cover-up-lawyer turned spokesman tried to bluff the Absurd Indians?

We, Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, do not want to live more as tentative and Absurd Indians. If you are leading the Indian National Congress, the National Congress bequeathed to us by illustrious leaders, please do not convert it to Indian Minority Congress. Perhaps you are aware that the ancestor of the Nehru-Gandhi family Motilal and Jawaharlal perilously believed that Congress represented all the Muslims of India and the Muslim League and Jinnah were imposters. They were disillusioned when at the final stand Jinnah asserted that Muslim League alone had the right to represent the Indian Muslims. He had forced the issue. Jinnah had won; Nehru’s was a pyrrhic victory. He had few loyal Muslims with him but the Indian Muslims stayed away from the Congress till they realised that to stay in Hindu majority India they required temporary political umbrellas. They shifted shores like desert sands-Congress, SP. RJD, BSP etc, etc. Now, perhaps you are aware some Muslim stalwarts are on the verge of starting an All India level political party, outside the Congress/Left protected Jurassic AIML of Kerala. Please listen to the footsteps of the tectonic changes. Antulay has sounded the bugle.

” We, Tentative and Absurd Indians should not be pushed further, lest we are forced to push the INC to the graveyard of history and compose the final requiem. I would leave this honourable duty to the peoples of India.”

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