Deen (Faith) Bachao Conferene – Does it help the Community?
Paper No. 6361
Paper No. 6361 Dated 28-Mar-2018
by R. Upadhyay
Of late, some of the leaders of the Muslim community and particularly the radical Islamists are found to be more and more restive and have taken it upon themselves to oppose any move of the government to reform the system for the general good of the community. Whether it is a proposal for modernising madrassa education or reforming the oppressive Sharia laws against women, many of them have taken it as an interference in their religious affairs.
They are now campaigning for “Deen(faith) Bachao Conference”(Conference for saving Deen) proposed to be organised by Imarat-e-Shariah(House of Islamic Laws) in Patna on April 15 under the banner of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
Imarat-e-Shariah is an outfit of Deobandi Islamist movement meant to impose Shariah laws on the community. Similarly, the AIMPLB was also established by Deobandi Ulema in 1973 when the then government on the recommendation of a committee of Islamic scholars called for certain reforms in Muslim Personal Laws.
The proposed conference looks to be a ploy of radical Islamists to challenge the women of the community who have been opposing those portions of laws that go against equality of the women. It is also against the move of the government to modernise madrassa education to be in conformity with what is taught in the mainstream schools. In fact the AIMPLB is planning to establish more and more Sharia Courts throughout the country to debar the community from taking their disputes to the mainstream legal system of the country.
Those fundamentalists who have grabbed the leadership in the community, instead of sensitising the community towards the issues related to their overall advancement particularly in the field of education, health care and economic development - are encouraging them towards madrassa education of medieval era which hardly has any space in the changing economic profile of the country. Although separate personal laws based on religion is against the principle of secular democracy, Islamists in India while inciting the community against any reform seek to continue their theocratic overlord ship over them’.
One Lochan Madan filed a PIL seeking an immediate dissolution of all Islamic and Sharia Courts in India which are posing a challenge to the Indian judicial system. On this, the Supreme Court observed that “there is no place for a parallel system of justice. The bench headed by Justice Ruma Pal ruled that fatwas have no locus standi in a secular nation and that every citizen will have to follow the law as laid down in the Constitution of India”.
But the Islamist priestly class under the banner of AIMPLB while ignoring the observation of Supreme Court is again trying to mobilise the masses to create a situation like mid- eighties of last century when they put pressure on the government and succeeded in neutralising a Supreme Court verdict in Shahbano case through a constitutional amendment. Now when Supreme Court declared triple Talaq void and subsequently a Bill against triple talaq was passed by Lok Sabha though yet to be passed by Rajya Sabha, the Islamists, apprehensive of losing their theological hegemony over the community are now aggressively agitating against the Bill.
The attitude of AIMPLB indicates its deep rooted conservative patriarchal approach based on religio-cultural tradition of the Arab world in the name of Islam to justify their centuries old subjugation of women by misinterpreting the Islamic laws. This self-acclaimed representative body of Muslim society in India is least bothered either about the verdict of Supreme Court or about the diversity and heterogeneity of Indian Muslims and is found determined to undermine the right to equality for women.
Sharia was compiled a couple of centuries after the death of Prophet Mohammad by the then dominant patriarchal Islamist establishment when the medieval socio-cultural ethos was prevailing over Islamic scriptures. This was the reason why many Muslim countries subsequently reviewed the Sharia laws for reform. Today the Muslim women in India are also conscious of the global socio-cultural ethos which is based on human reasoning. So much so, Muslim women organizations have now raised their voice for reform of the anti-women Sharia laws- particularly polygamy and instant triple talaq.
Ironically, the post-colonial Muslim leadership in India hardly made any sincere attempt to bring about reforms in Muslim Personal Laws. Even an attempt of the Union Cabinet in 1963 in forming a committee of Muslim scholars was negatived by the Islamist radicals who considered it as an interference and an infringement of the religious rights of Muslims. They are not even ready to understand that a larger section of their women population have already launched a movement against their medieval subjugation in the name of religion and are getting support also by liberal sections of the community.
This is the reason that despite being a second largest religious majority in the country, Indian Muslims have failed to play any assertive role in the developmental march of the country even after over seven decades of independence as their future is still held hostage by their religious leaders. These leaders don’t allow them to think beyond mosque and madrassa though there is no reference of either of them in Quran. Similarly, there is no tradition of priesthood or even monasticism in Islam but after the end of Muslim rule in the sub-continent some Islamic scholars transformed the madrassa and mosque as monasteries of Islam, promoted priestly class known as Ulema, Mullhas and Maulana for whom the end of Muslim rule in the sub-continent became unbearable. They then launched an institutionalized Muslim separatist movement by founding Darul Uloom Deoband in 1866 which gradually emerged as the epicentre of Islamic conservatism.
On the issues of gender equality and Islamic reforms when the radical Islamists from AIMPLB failed to counter the tough theological challenge in TV debates, they took a confrontational path against the government by taking a subversive stand that the court or the government should not intervene in the matter relating to faith. They are not ready to understand that unlike their jubilation over three decades old Shahbano case when the Muslim masses blindly followed their dictates and progressive Muslims also maintained silence, today a sizeable section of Indian Muslims celebrated their defeat in Saira Bano case. But in absence of any aggressive challenge by the progressive section in the community, the Islamists are able to prolong their movement through one of exclusivism, intolerance, gender inequality and discrimination.....'
Muslims are nearly 18 crores in India but still they have no voice in Indian Politics.Psedu Seculars whom they supoorted all these years areonly interested in their Votes for last 70 years and Have done nothung for Muslims.After all it is Maulana Mulayam who moved in Dozers on Riot affected Muslim Refugees Camps . Still Muslims Vote Congress ,Mulayam ,Maya,Lalu like Parties .
They don't look at BJP nor BJP too has forgotten Muslims .
In the final Analysis Muslims in Indjia have been forgotten by the Political Parties.Also Muslims too themseleves forgotten their upliftment .
Unfortunately now even Christians too have started to walk on foot prints of Mulism .Christian Fthers are regukalry issuing Fatwas to defeat Modi in name of Christianity . Sooner or latter Christians to will be like Muslims uncared ones.
Muslims can quote rightfuly numerous inatances and sufferings and riots in India but Christain Fathers have no such complaint to make against Hindus .
Once Majority stops taking interest of certain Communities hen those neglected Communities soonare reduced to poverty ,neglect and are unloved .
Such type of hate agenda on part of Religious Communities harms more the smaller communities.Due to huge numbers Majrity can absorb the negative effects of Religious strife but Minorities are always at serious disadvantage.