The hate in Gujarat – cause and effect?
Recently there has been a flood of articles demonizing Narendra Modi – the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The main thrust of such articles is that the Chief Minister Modi and the Gujarat government stood by when the Muslims were being killed in the aftermath of Godhra train episode where 58 Hindu pilgrims were burnt to death. . "A climate of hate prevails in Gujarat today" – many have written. But hardly ever any mention is made of massacre at Godhra or at Akshardham temple.
Hate does no body good. If hate does prevail in Gujarat today, it is indeed a serious social malady. This malady becomes even more serious since Gujarat is just one limb of the body called India. If proper measures are not taken it is quite likely that it might spread to other parts of the nation too.
For an effective and permanent cure of a disease we must also know how it came to be in the first place. In the long run, it is better to cure the cause than just the symptoms.
There are two ways of contracting a disease. It can either be hereditary from within or it can be inflicted from without. Early history and philosophy of India gives no proof of any genes of hate in its body politic or religion. When the first Muslims came to India – that happened to be in Gujarat -- they were well received and given land and grants to build their mosques and preach Islam. Muslims were not the only ones to come to India. The same is true of everyone else – the early Christians, the Jews, the Parsis (hounded by Muslims from their ancestral homes in Iran) -- to name a few -- who came and found safe haven in India and have lived peacefully to this day. Legend has it that the followers of Caliph Ali had expressed desire to be given a safe passage to India before they were massacred at Karbala. This has been the reputation of India of the yore.
Then how this malady of hate crept in Gujarat (or India)?
There is a well-known principle "there is no effect without a cause."
The Islamic invasions of India "were not undertaken merely out of lust for loot or conquest," Ambedkar observed in his book Pakistan or Partition of India. Had they just done that and went back, all would have been forgotten. The main purpose of Islamic invasions was to "purge the land of Hind from the filth of infidelity" and establish "the religion of Islam in the whole land."
For the sources of hate one should look into not only the demolition of Somnath temple in Gujarat, but all over India and the accompanying massacres and plunder. An estimate of the number of Hindu temples demolished, the women raped, the wealth plundered, the Hindus massacred can easily be made from the records left to posterity by the Muslim invaders themselves. Hindus were in no position to record their own massacres.
What was the cause of this?
This was explained to Muhammad bin Kasim, commander of the Islamic army sent to conquer Sind and Hind by Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq who had sponsored his expedition:
"But the way of granting pardon prescribed by law is different from the one adopted by you… The Great God says in the Koran: ‘O true believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads.’ The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed." The infidel was not to be pardoned.
The rape of Hindu did not stop with bin Kasim – it continued for over a millenium. The Islamic rape and plunder of India is unparalleled in the annals of world history.
"The Mohamedan Conquest of India, is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within." Will Durant went on to observe in his The Story of Civilization.
The argument is given – "these were centuries ago, how can the Muslims of today be held responsible for the acts of their ancestors?" The argument is both right and fallacious. It is true that these acts were carried out centuries ago but it is fallacious that they were ancestors of modern day Muslims of India. Muslims of India regard these invaders and plunderers as their ancestors which they actually are not. The Muslims of India today are culpable for these acts of Muslims from without because they see no wrong in them and seek their glory in such acts of vandalism. Otherwise what would prevent them from handing over all the monuments built over or from demolition of Hindu monuments and declare them villains of history, not heroes? Such acts should be an object of shame, not pride of any civilization.
Not only that, the attitude still prevails. Burning of Hindu pilgrims at Godhra and killing of Hindu devotees at Akshardham Temple are its latest manifestation in Gujarat. Such acts are not limited to India alone. Blasting away two millennia old irreplaceable Buddhist statues, carved on the mountainside in Bamiyan, is another example. What happened to almost entire non-Muslim population of Pakistan in 1947 and what is going on in Kashmir today and the fate of Hindus there is another issue? Space prevents us from going into those details.
And what even erudite and politically responsible Muslims think of Hindus as kafir was illustrated by Maulana Mohammad Ali, Co-president of Khilafat Movement (with Gandhiji) when he said that in "However pure Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman, even though he be without character." It was not mere slip of the tongue. He repeated it later also.
History testifies that under Muslim rule Hindu was reduced to abject penury and destitution. For centuries, Hindu was looked upon as an object of hate and derision. Sultan Alauddin Khilji had issued orders that "the Hindus shall not be allowed to posses more than what is required for a bare subsistence."
Let alone apologizing, Muslims of India see all these demolitions, massacres and plunders as the glory of Islam while proclaiming it to be a religion of peace. They see no contradiction in this. This behavior is nothing more than rubbing salt in festering wound.
Unfortunately, civilizations have long memory. No self-respecting individual, let alone civilization can survive in ignominy of perpetual insult and humiliation, and as object of hate.