India That Is Bharat
Satiricus is patriotically sure that there is an international conspiracy going on against India. The proof is every global survey on something or the other that includes India. It all started when India got economically reformed (that is, admirably Americanised) and we began to wallow in western wealth. Promptly a survey said India was among the poorest of the world’s poor countries. As these reforms reformed the neighbourhood grocer out of existence and buying packaged dal and rice became the fashion, the World Bank was rude enough to ask the Government of India: How come rich Indians are getting richer while poor Indians are getting poorer?
Since then this abominable international anti-Indianism has reached such disgusting depths that the other day an international “hunger index” was brought out to show that among 70-odd countries of the world whose people have little food to eat, India is among the bottom 15. This is scandalous scurrility. Don’t these silly surveyors know that we have an economist as Prime Minister? Haven’t these ignoble ignoramuses heard of salvation through slogans like “Sonia lao desh bachao”, which bachao-ed this desh so wonderfully well that we can buy six crore cars?
Unfortunately, we Indian ignoramuses are too dense to comprehend the mysteries of macro-economics. We are incapable of understanding that if, today, prices of everything are going through the roof, it is the fault of the roof. Rather, our economist PM still says prices need to be “freed”. Maybe he wants to gift us the pricelessly pricey freedom to starve. Curiously enough, if the globalisation of the economy can mean an Indian going hungry, it can also mean an American going hungry. For Satiricus may believe it or not, “one in six Americans does not have enough food to eat”, as recently reported. What does that mean? Satiricus does not know. He knows neither American globalisation nor Indian macro-economics. He only knows the micro-economics of a midday meal.
History repeats itself. Especially the history of secularism in India that is Bharat. Take Partition. The Partition of India is history. But as the Indian Partition was the ultimate triumph of Indian secularism, the history of its origin, secular separatism, keeps repeating itself. That is why Satiricus thinks some alarmist ignoramuses are quite wrong in perniciously proclaiming that the recent proliferation of Muslim parties in this oh-so-secular country shows Muslim politics going “back” to “square one”. Actually it remains riveted to square one without being frivolously fickle and forging forward to square two.
And as Muslim politics is but an extension of the Muslim religion, it is in the fitness of things that partitions may come and partitions may go (actually even before they come), but secular separatism may go on forever.
Take ‘Vande Mataram’. A full decade before India was partitioned and became partially independent, in 1937 Muslims in the Congress had objected to some lines in this national song, whereupon the Congress executive had proposed with secular alacrity that the “offending” lines should be dropped. The very next year, in 1938, Jinnah had placed a charter of fourteen demands before Gandhi, one of which was to stop singing Vande Mataram. A few short years ago Indian Muslim League leader Banatwala demanded that Muslim students should not be made to sing it. Then came the Muslim Personal Law Board, which issued a fatwa prohibiting students in Muslim schools from singing it.
And now, just the other day, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, called upon Muslims to stay away from Anna Hazare’s movement, because his war cry—Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai—are against Islam. “Islam does not condone the worship of the nation or land. It does not even condone the worship of the mother who nutures a child in her womb for nine months. How can Muslims then join his stir? I have advised them to stay away from it,” Bukhari had said.
So there you are. Lord Rama said, “Mother and motherland are higher than heaven.” Then what is wrong with bowing to them? But according to Messrs Banatwala and Bukhari, a Muslim cannot bow to anybody except Allah.
The moral of the story—actually there are two morals: Moral no. 1: “For a Muslim a corrupt fellow-Muslim is better than an honest fellow-Hindu. (A close Muslim associate of Mahatma had once clearly declared that according to Islam even a sinful Muslim was higher than a Hindu Mahatma.) Moral no. 2: The Islamic history of Indian secularism can safely go on repeating itself without fear of a horrid Hindu end to it.