India That Is Bharat
That this fellow Vastanvi is not being allowed to head Darul Uloom of Deoband is good news. For secular Satiricus shudders to think how this sinful fellow would vitiate the pristine purity of this illustrious institution of secular India. In fact, the two cardinal sins of which he is guilty are more than enough to condemn him. The first is that he is an educated reformist. That is unthinkable for a Mullah. And secondly, he praised Narendra Modi. This was unpardonable, even though he later wisely recanted, thus saving himself from sullying the shining name of Darul Uloom.
Unfortunately, alas, there are infidels who indulge in this impiety. In fact, Satiricus is deeply distressed to see that sometimes even sterling secularists may have closed, communal minds. Look at what a certain well-known columnist wrote not long ago: “The Darul Uloom in Deoband is jehad central. It inspired the barbarous Taliban to practise a version of Islam in which women could be stoned to death for learning to read, and its religious ideology inspired Osama bin Laden to believe that terrosim was some kind of grotesque holy war.”
The place “looked as if a bit of Saudi Arabia had broken off and landed in Uttar Pradesh,” and the young men inside “only spoke Arabic”.
This is crass communal calumny, and it has provoked Satiricus to rise in defence. For starters, the comment quoted above is a malicious distortion of a magnificent truth, for it makes it appear as if the inspiration provided by Deoband to Taliban and Osama & Co. for their ‘holy war’ was ‘grotesque’. This is grossly anti-secular and would surely invite the rigours of an anti-blasphemy law when (not if) India that is Bharat becomes India that is Dar–ul-Islam via Darul Uloom.
That Darul Uloom is devoutly developing such an ‘incredible India’ need not be explained to anyone worth his secular salt. Unfortunately, newspapering being an illiterate profession, as Shaw said (and ignorant as well, as Shaw forgot to say), Satiricus must point out that Darul Uloom’s contribution to the cause of ‘holy jehad’ has even been recognised in Pakistan, where a dozen Islamic scholars came together to write a whole book learnedly explaining how the hardware of jehad was supported by the ‘software’ manufactured in Deoband.
That a software so intensely Islamic must need be Arabic in all ways goes without saying. So Satiricus says there is nothing strange in the place looking like a precious piece of Saudi Arabia. For instance, if the men manning the Darul can speak only Arabic, what does that show? It only shows the linguistic lengths to which Darul’s devotion and dedication go even to the Quranic quintessence of Islam. For Hadith No. 5751 (Mishkat, Vol. 3) reports the Prophet as saying “Love the Arabs for three reasons—because (1) I am an Arab, (2) the Holy Koran is in Arabic, and (3) the tongue of the dwellers of Paradise shall also be Arabic.” Again, Ornaments XLIII, 1-4 says, “By the clear book, behold, we have made it an Arabic Koran; happily you will understand.” So it is quite clear to secular Satiricus that when the Indian Muslims in Darul Uloom speak only Arabic without letting their Islam be sullied by knowledge of any Indian language (let alone communal Sanskrit), they are just being more Arab than the Arabs.
Unfortunately and apparently the late Anwar Shaikh, internationally reputed scholar of Islam as well as Arabic, was not as sensible a secularist as Satiricus, for he wrote, when the Prophet says the Koran has been delivered in Arabic so that “you” must understand it, the non-Arabs, especially the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Bangladeshis who have lost all sense of national honour owing to a long period of political humiliation, buttress their psychological degradation by pretending that in this sense “you” mean the Umma, that is, the international community of Muslims. The stark truth is that when this verse was “revealed” there was no Umma but the Arab Muslims. But who needs the stark truth? We need the secular truth.
They say it takes all sorts to make the world. Satiricus quite agrees. Take judges. Satiricus never suspected that these grave eminences have a sense of humour. Look at the supreme joke the Supreme Court made not long back. Lamenting that “everyone wants to loot this country”, a bench of Justices of the Supreme Court observed, “The only way to rid the country of corruption is to hang a few of them from the lamp post.”
Now, now, Your Honours! Jokes are always welcome, but do august personages like you have to be so intemperate in your language? Satiricus is distressed to see that these generally gentle gentlemen became so anti-national as to poke fun at our national pastime.
Levity apart, their Honours might point out to Satiricus that this was what Pt. Nehru had himself wanted. He had said I would want every corrupt person to be hanged by a tree. Did that happen? It didn’t. Why? Because we don’t have enough trees.