My father used to sing this couplet
Na sambhloge to mitt jaoge ai hindostaan walo
Tumhari dastan tak bhi na hogi dastaanon mein
Watan Ki Fikar Kar Nadan! Musibat Ane Wali Hai
Teri Barbadiyon Ke Mashware Hain Asmanon Mein
( Be watchful, lest you get wiped out- O Indians
Your story won’t even be there among the tales
Oh, dumb worry about the nation, for the trouble is about to come
There are whispers of your annihilation in the skies.)
Dr. Alama Iqbal
The above lines were written by Dr. Alama Iqbal who also gifted to us one of the best patriotic songs written about India..Saare Jahan se achha. How much an Indian at heart was he, can be debated if we see his work in the light of the fact that he was one of the leaders who spearheaded the partition of India for the formation of Pakistan, a thorn that will continue to bleed India for ages to come. To begin with I would say, Partition was the biggest tragedy thrust upon the people of India by scheming British and the power hungry leaders and perhaps a dreamy poet got swayed by their machinations of a “holy land” because such things exist only in the dreams of the poets. It solved nothing, but increased the problems manifold for the people living on both sides of the line dividing the two nations that were one before.
If you go across the border, you can’t even believe that you are in a foreign country, which is constantly at war with us. You will refuse to trust the one who tells you that you are in a country whose leaders are busy spreading lies and hatred among its people against India. It’s a country whose, every policy, every action is inimical to the interest of the mother nation, has been so ever since its creation. Whose leaders have consistently worked to create a wedge between the people of the two nations who have the same roots, same DNA, same cultural heritage, same customs, language and anything that defines a human race. We are indeed blood brothers and sisters, such that an outsider cannot tell us apart unless we tell him that we belong to two different, warring nations.
Understandably, the above lines were written by one who believed at least at the time when he wrote these inspiring lines, that he was a proud Indian as were his fellow brothers and sisters irrespective of whether they were Hindus, Muslims, Christians or apostates. Alma Iqbal whose own ancestry could be traced to Kashmiri Hindus, from the above expression, if it was a truthful expression of his feelings, was very proud of his roots. Like the majority of Kashmiri Muslims, Iqbal’s ancestors, coming as they did from a Kashmiri Brahman gotra Sapru, had converted from Shaivite Hinduism to Islam. But if we start tracking that down, then we will find that 99% of the Muslims in India are the descendants of Hindu ancestors and if all of them could be proud of their lineage, then we should be the happiest, people in the world living in harmony despite or beliefs and faiths.
Jai Siya Ram
Narendra Damodar Das Modi on 5th of August 2020, has done something which his predecessors neither had the guts, nor the will to do. He hasn’t done it for garnering votes. There’s no dearth of his supporters as of now, there’s none on the horizon who can threaten to usurp the throne he is sitting on. None has the ability or Charisma. It’s not about vote bank politics, but it’s about reclaiming lost heritage. He has done every Indian, who is proud of his heritage, proud and I do not see it as an act to antagonize Muslims but yes, I see it as a slap on the face of pseudo-seculars who have been carrying out a clandestine, concerted effort ever since independence of India from the British, to undermine Hinduism.
The job by them has been carried on and on for the last seventy years with such acumen that the disillusioned younger generations today view expression of Hinduism as bigotry while similar exhibitionism of Christianity, Islamism and even Sikhism is not criticized or questioned. Taking advantage of the weakness of the Hindus to assert their religious preference over others, the Christians have been spreading Christianity through their time tested camouflaged missionary missions, and Muslims have been increasing their number by rapid procreation, taking full advantage of their Marriage Manual that has all the right guidelines about how to do it. Hindus have lived with the invaders for millennia and absorbed them. We as one race have survived the massacres, loots, systematic pogrom, rapes, kidnappings, forced conversions and plunder and all attempts by people of other faiths to annihilate us. We also survived two hundred years of blood sucking by Britishers, but we are still, still around.
Getting back to Dr. Iqbal’s image of India as Saare Jahaan Se Achha, he says
yūnān o misr o ruumā sab miT ga.e jahāñ se
ab tak magar hai baaqī nām-o-nishāñ hamārā
kuchh baat hai ki hastī miTtī nahīñ hamārī
sadiyoñ rahā hai dushman daur-e-zamāñ hamārā.
(The great civilizations of Yunan (Greece), Misr (Egypt) and Rumma ( Roman) have got wiped out from the face of the earth, but still we are around. There is something in us that our existence cannot be wiped, although since ages the whole world has been our enemy. He further says:-
Majhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhana
Hindi hain ham watan hai Hindostan hamara
(Our religion doesn’t teach us enmity with one another. We are Hindi and our nation is Hindostan), I don’t know which “religion” he meant when he wrote this piece but I think, he did not limit his thought within the narrow precincts of codified religions but he meant the religion of peaceful co-existence and brotherhood. Sadly, all religions speak of universal peace but the whole trouble in this world is because of the narrow-minded outlook of their followers.
He wrote this poem in 1904. Thought of division of India was not even in the wildest dreams of the people and I bet there were none, who would have supported such a call, but it was on his speech in 1930 that the two-nation theory was formed and the seeds of division of the nation were sown. It is said that by the time he delivered the public address at Allahabad as the president of the Muslim League in 1930, a fear psychosis shared by many Muslims, that India’s Hindu-majority population would crowd out Muslim heritage, culture and political influence had over come him and many other Muslim leaders. Iqbal opined that there could be no peace in the country unless Muslims got their own, separate nation in the north-western part of undivided India. Though he died in 1938 without realizing his dream, but his idea led to the formation of a separate nation. He is still remembered as the main architect of idea of Pakistan, a separate nation for the Muslims and his birth anniversary is commemorated as a holiday. And the nation of piety that he help create is anything but pious. It is the rougest state, that because of its adherence to fanatic ideology of exclusive brotherhood, has done nothing besides, creating zealots who spew hatred and brainwash youth to commit crime in the name of misplaced belief in rewards after death for martyrdom for cause of religion. I read somewhere that he was very unhappy with Rabindranath Tagore being chosen for the Nobel Prize over him. Whatever might have been the reason for his change of heart, the personal emotions and ambitions can’t be, shouldn’t be the forces that fire, define, nationalism in an individual, nor a collective motive other than patriotism should get precedence in a section of society.
The founding fathers of this country wisely, chose to declare it as a secular state in the constitution, but they didn’t forget the cultural past of the country. The original manuscript of the Indian Constitution contained many pictures from Hindu scriptures adorning its pages, but today even an oblique reference to our cultural past is seen as an attempt of Bhagwakarn of the national identity. Icons, songs, images and stories which should be seen proudly as heritage have become contentious issue. A section of Muslim community even voices objection against singing of our national song “Vande Matram” which literally means bowing to the mother, which in this case stands for Mother India. Beyond the literal meaning of any text, especially that of the religious screeds, is the spectrum of inference, where one is supposed use his/intelligence to understand the essence, the right message, but if that sense of deciding between right and wrong is blurred then none can help. The justification given to this imprecation is that Islam, doesn’t permit bowing to anyone but Allah. Rudyard Kipling said that- “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” If you can see, God in your mother, you won’t mind bowing to her. Hindu salute “Namaste” means, I bow to the divine element in you as Hinduism believes that there is an element of God in everything. Tujh mein Ram, Mujh mein Ram, Sab mein Ram samaya. Sab se karle pyar jagat mein koyi nahin hai praya. ( There’s God in me, there’s God in you, there’s God in everyone. Love everyone, as no one is an alien). How can there be enmity if we think so? I learnt from my long association with the Chinese that in their culture Nation holds the highest spot in hierarchy of respect and duty. It is not a matter of dispute, when the choice is to be made between the individuals and the nation. That’s why I found them very strongly nationalistic. We may vow to boycott everything Chinese, but we must adopt this adage of theirs.
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