Which is more important for Indian Muslims – religion or country?
It is unfair that the Indian muslim is forced to make this choice
Let me give you an analogy. I LOVE my mother. She has gone through a lot to bring me into this world and to keep me alive since. I also love my country. I feel that our constitution is awesome. I understand that the nation has also spent a lot of resources on me and I owe it something back.
Now, what if someone asks me to choose between my mother and my country? I am not going to answer that either is more important than the other. The question just doesn’t make sense. My mother is my mother, and my country is my country. Why should I have to choose between them? Is my mother going to turn anti-national tomorrow and try to blow up the nation? Of course I will do my best to stop her, get her arrested or whatever. On the other hand, is my country going to try to kill her illegally? I am definitely going to do whatever I can to stop that.
I don’t become a bad son in the first case. And I don’t become a bad citizen in the second. I am just doing the right thing. I am pretty sure that everyone here would do the same. Does that make us any less of a son/daughter and any less Indian?
There are multiple things that are important to everyone : culture, family, language, nation, religion… Of all these things, why does only the Indian muslim have to prove that they choose their nation over their religion?
Let us look at what the average Indian muslim does. Well, they remain Indian, remain muslim, vote, pay taxes and do their religious stuff. Where is the conflict? How does a muslim praying and fasting harm India in any way? Suppose that a muslim tells you that they consider their religion as the most important thing in their life because they are aiming for eternal afterlife in heaven. Why would you read from it that they don’t love their country enough? They just said that attaining heaven is more important to them than their families, their language or anything material. Did you ask them what their idea of nation in religion is? I know many muslims who consider that patriotism is an important part of religious duty. If they consider religion to be above everything and nationalism as part of their religiousness, how does that become a bad thing?
Now, there are terrorists who claim to work in the name of Islam. Most Indian muslims do not support them. Not being a terrorist and not supporting terrorists should be enough for anyone. Why the cries that all Muslims need to publicly condemn terrorism? There are also fringe Hindu groups in the nation going around doing bad things claiming to work in the name of Hinduism. Shouldn’t the same logic apply to them?
Of course, if the nation unnecessarily forces Muslims to do something that they consider against their religion, they are going to resist. This isn’t something specific to Muslims. Any group with an identity will resist what they consider as the state encroaching upon their customs. When Hindi was being forced on the south Indian states, there was an agitation against the idea. Does it make south Indians anti-national? If some nutty government tomorrow decides to make beef the national food of India, won’t the Hindus resist it? It doesn’t matter how long something has been in place. If it is unnecessary and against the sentiments of a community, it needs to be changed. A good example would be to look at how there have been recent efforts to removeThanksgiving as a national holiday in the United States.
When making any legislation, make sure that it is necessary. If so, it doesn’t matter what religions and communities think about it.Forcing people to do unnecessary things only to prove that their nationalism is above their religiosity simply doesn’t make sense.