Well, all of a sudden we have assumed nation is more important than religion. Politically correct statement is I am first an Indian, then a Bengali and then blah blah…Since when did we have a universally accepted prioritization of identities. I see nothing wrong if someone thinks Ummah is more important than country of birth. After all country of birth is accident, while you do have control over the faith you choose or not choose- atleast I have…Religious affiliation and patriotism are both vague concepts (both serving as opium for masses)…I am not champion the muslim cause but just voicing my lack of enthusiasm for defining my life based on such vague and un-thought through abstractions like religion and patriotism
While the first reaction was to post my reply withing the thread of comments, on second thoughts I felt that my reply warranted a posting of its own.
Shivaji’s argument is well-articulated. It bases itself on the cynicism many educated people feel towards both religion as well as patriotism. And as he points out being born in a particular country is an accident—–but then so is being born as a member of a faith.
But Shivaji, just like you have the ability to change your religion, so do you have the ability to renounce your country.
But once you do, you have to GO ELSEWHERE.
(Whether someone else will accept you as their “own” is a separate issue).
One of the fundamental axioms of breathing India’s air is to swear allegiance to its flag—–if you utilize the nation’s resources it is not necessary for you to want to give your life for the country(that’s pure jingoistic hokum) but it is contingent upon you *not* to work against its interests and its people.
And Madrasas, the ones that propound the radical brand of Saudi-funded Islamic teachings, instruct you to do precisely the opposite of that——–work against the concept of India.
Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (d. 966): (Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani, La Risala (Epitre sur les elements du dogme et de la loi de l’Islam selon le rite malikite.) Translated from Arabic by Leon Bercher. 5th ed. Algiers, 1960, p. 165.)
Jihad is a precept of Divine institution… We Malikis [one of four schools of Muslim jurisprudence] maintain it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah, except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax (jizya), short of which war will be declared against them…
Now this is the kind of stuff that is taught in Madrasas. Now these interpretations of Islam were made in the medieval age when the world was a much rougher place, it was either kill or get killed and the concept of a nation-state was even vaguer than it is today. In that historical context, the statement above does not seem quite so outrageous.
However the teachers in the Madrasas have been given an agenda by their Saudi paymasters. Take these edicts out of their historical context and imprint them on the minds of unquestioning impressionable children so that they grow up accepting these anachronisms as reality. Once that happens, their life becomes devoted to “waging war” against the country whose resources they use.
So here’s the deal. If you feel you don’t like India then fine. Just go elsewhere. Go to Pakistan. Go to Saudi Arabia. Now they might not accept you there (Mohajirs are still not integrated with the mainstream in Pakistan) but that’s not India’s problem. Saudi Arabia might not give you a visa———-because to them you are a migrant (they believe in their country even if you don’t believe in yours)….they want you to establish the land of Islam in India …not come to Saudi Arabia and take jobs away from the sons of the soil.
However if you choose to stay in India, because noone else will take you, then you cannot work against the country. You have to swear allegiance to its people. Even the ones that do not follow your religion. It’s that simple.
What I cannot accept are people like Jeelani of the Hurriyat Conference who support terrorists against India, speak against India whenever he gets a forum to and yet send their kids to Indian institutions because the education they get here will be better than what they would get in Pakistan. That’s opportunism plain and simple.
Let me repeat. You are free to be a devout Muslim. You can be a devout Christian. You can even try to convery others by non-violent means. But if your religious aim is to get me to pay Jizya or to make my wife a widow…..then brother we do have a problem.
Educated Muslims, even the most devout, understand exactly what I am saying. They agree. I remember having a conversation with a Muslim friend from Mumbai who said that the concept of supporting Pakistan during an Indo-Pak game is just as repugnant to him, his family and friends as it is to all of us.
Before I get flamed on this, patriotism is not about supporting India in cricket or crying at the end of “Border” but the reason I mention this statement is because ordinary Indians, who are also Muslims, do not ascribe to the “Dar-ul-Harb” concept.
It’s not a surprise when I find “secularists” , most of whom have wet dreams about Marx, support this pan-Islamic concept because communists too do not accept the concept of a country—–many of them supported China when we fought them in the 60s.
Now again you are free to support China when it attacks India—-but then you have to renounce your Indian citizenship and go to China and be Chinese.
But these jholawallahs know that life is better for them if they stay in India and work for China than actually going to China and finding their civil liberties severely curtailed and landing up, jhola and all, in a gulag.
Being born in a country is an accident. Just as being born to a particular set of parents. Yet children are expected to look after their parents (show allegiance to the family) [Now Shivaji can oppose that and call it a “vague concept” because after all a family is just an abstraction of the nation) to which I have nothing to say.]
However you can bely that expectation and “hate” your parents, refuse to look after them, kick them out of the house when they need you………..hell you can even sue them.
But is it right to sue them with their own money? Kick them out of their own house?
If it is not, then why is it okay to be unpatriotic while staying in the very nation you work against?