Suddenly, questions are being asked whether Indian Muslims are going the way of Pakistani youth. There are fears that what has started as a trickle with four Mumbai boys could turn into a “flood’’ if not nipped in the bud immediately. The Biju Janata Dal leader Jay Panda rightly reminded us of the Pakistani experience pointing out how “their youth got involved in jihadist activities, later on they came back and started hunting their own country’’.
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NB: Mr Sultan Shahin's final para observes: The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi had vociferously supported Muslims having double loyalties, extra-territorial loyalties to an Islamic Khilafat, the Ottoman Empire, then based in Turkey. Now that Gandhiji's party is not in power, maybe the government will put its foot down and say that those who are loyal to al-Baghdadi's Khilafat will no longer be Indian citizens..
This is a red herring typical of political commentary today. First, a link is made between Mahatma Gandhi and the contemporary Congress, attributing the sins of the latter to the politics of the former. This is a gratuitous swipe at Gandhi, which many commentators today feel obliged to make, to prove some point or the other to their readers or the powers that be. Then an attempt is made to show that the problem arises from 'extra-territorial loyalty' - forgetting that the numerous NRI's and PIO's from the USA who campaigned for the BJP also have extra-territorial loyalty. While I am glad that Mr Shahin has drawn attention to this display of fanaticism by the Deobandi ulema, he seems to forget that the problem is not religious loyalty, but fanaticism and the instigation of violence.
What loyalty? Does it follow that people who owe allegiance to a religion whose holy places are outside India are automatically suspect? This is the rhetoric of religious nationalism, which has already caused much confusion and hatred. Would it make things any better if people with intra-teritorial loyalty joined para-military outfits and engaged in violence in the name of the Nation? How would that make it any better? The Maulana's fault is not that he confesses 'extra-territorial loyalty'. His fault is that he is instigating his fellow Muslims to indulge in violence. The problem, Mr Shahin, is violence and the instigation of violence. It is non-violence, above all else, that Gandhi stood for, and our steadfast refusal to confront this truth leads to pointless and dangerous arguments such as this - Dilip
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