Hoisted with its own petard !
Serving the government requires a lot of discipline because it directly benefits the citizen without any prejudice. Having said that, being an army officer is one of the most responsible jobs as one has to protect his/her motherland from the external threat as well as from internal disputes.
Arguing the significant of the north-east, Lt Gen Zameer Udin Shah, the author of The Sarkari Mussalman, writes that this region is strategically significant for India. But the big concern is that a vast section of India’s population is ill-informed about this region. Pointing out the economic segregation of this region, he has stressed upon lack of development of the north-east states. He says that the states are underdeveloped with poor communication. Most importantly, the economic aids, which are given to this region for the development, are diverted to powerful politicians, and owing to this, a large section of citizens are restricted from benefits. There are vested interests keeping insurgency alive, which has increasingly become a profitable business.
Lt Gen Zameer Udin Shah in his book has shared his experience of covering 2002 Gujarat riot on behalf of Indian Army. He was given charge to control the situation. Mr. Shah in this book has raised suspicion over the then Gujarat government. “I observed that when minority-populated localities were surrounded by mobs, the police didn’t fire at the rioters,” he writes. He has further added that roadblocks had been established on rural roads and systematic looting and burning of vehicles of the minority community was in progress.
The Sarkari Mussalman: The Life and Travails of a Soldier Educationist
By Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah
published by: konark publishers
However, it seems that the writer has deliberately avoided the most important portion of Godhra train burning incident, 2002, in which more than 60 people had died in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express, and most importantly, the victims were Hindu pilgrims who were returning from Ayodhya. Hence, it is worth mentioning that the author of this book, who was then an army officer and was given charge to control the situation after Godhra incident, has not written anything about this incident. Even he has not bothered to understand as to what provoked Muslim community that it targeted Hindu pilgrims. If his allegation that Gujarat police didn’t fire at the rioters, who were attacking minority in Godhra, bears testimony to facts? Did he investigate that why same Gujarat and Railway police did not fire on those rioters from the minority community who burned Hindu pilgrims in Sabarmati Express? In this perspective, police have to also work under a perimeter.
When politics is being played in the name of the cow in various universities, the writer has categorically laid emphasis on the sentiments of the majority community. By giving the example of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, who banned the consumption of beef in the late nineteenth century so as not to hurt the religious sentiments of fellow countrymen, the author has exhorted that it is entirely up to the Muslim community to remain relevant and within margins. Shun food which is offensive to the majority.
Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah in his book ‘The Sarkari Mussalman’ has shared his experience of life from being an Army officer to Vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. In this book, the writer seems to be more concerned about the minority community and talked about various reforms in the community. Being a pro-minority person, sometimes he has elaborated half of the story, which only favours minority.
By Ravi Mishra