Opinion

Mr Mohan Bhagwat, Our Fundamental Rights As Muslims Is Not A Privilege, Favour, Or Charity From Anyone

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has claimed that Muslims in India are the “most content in the world”, because India, whose “inherent nature was Hindu”, had created a safe space for the members of the minority community, and the constitution ensured space for all. The latter is true while the former is a joke and this very organisation is tirelessly working to deny those constitutional rights. The likes of whom are not new to such double entendre statements.

Right from basking in the glory of a mythical past to downplaying GDP figures, ridiculing world-renowned economists, and defining new standards of measuring economic prosperity – a few of the numerous comical claims.

A rebuttal was not even warranted given the farcical nature of the claim. However, a major chunk of the populace believes their statements as the gospel truth.

Muslims don’t need third-party spokespersons or validation from anyone, not at least from those who are grudgingly guilty of betraying the freedom struggle, yet ironically tag themselves as “nationalists.”

Firstly, this land belongs to the Muslims and other minorities as much as the Hindus. A fundamental change in theological beliefs and practices- which is a personal choice, does not discredit our roots and rights or make anyone less Indian. Our fundamental rights as Muslims and Christians are not a privilege, favour, or charity from anyone. We are not at anyone’s mercy or goodwill, rather inherit these rights by virtue of our birth, history with the land and its freedom struggle, our lineage, contribution to the culture, and subsequent assimilation.

The SC, STs, and OBCs are the major benefactors of the reservation system, in the constitution. The right-wing considers these reserved categories as “Hindu” – which is another touchy subject of debate. That consideration, propagation, and appropriation are at least limited to garner Dalit votes and misuse them as cannon fodder in riots.

In March 2005, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had constituted a seven-member High-Level Committee headed by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar to study the social, economic, and educational condition of Muslims in India. The committee submitted its report in 2006, revealing the miserable state of the Muslims, way below the SC, ST in some verticals.

The post-independence state of the Muslims projected in the Sachar Committee Report dispels the myth of minority appeasement or privilege. Despite being 14% of the population, Muslims are grossly underrepresented in all spectrums without any reservations. Yet, a fabricated “Muslim privilege narrative” is regurgitated to keep up the anti-Muslim sentiment in the gullible masses.  

Unfortunately, Muslims are caught in between the upper-caste resentment with reservations and the Dalit assertion of rights. Far from being a Messiah, pseudo-secular political parties have only abused the Muslim vote, deceitfully deteriorating the socio-economic state of the community – the Sachar Committee Report is a glorious testimony of their achievement.

How then is a Muslim privileged in any way? In contrast, they are dehumanized and oppressed day in and day out. Lynching, anti-Muslim pogroms, discrimination in jobs, calls of boycotting Muslim business, refusal to let-out houses or selling properties, witch-hunt, fabricated cases, hounding of Muslim celebrities and the list goes on. Worse of all – the double-edged sword – CAA-NRC, only designed to harass the community.

As if the wound inflicted with the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the genocide that followed was not enough, the highest court exonerated all the conspirators – rubbing salt into the wound. All culprits of 1993 Bombay blasts were executed, despite key findings by the Sri Krishna Commission, not a single culprit brought to book for the genocide of 1,500 people in the anti-Muslim genocide in Bombay.

People still have the audacity to claim Indian Muslims are privileged and happy? How appalling!

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