Religion is a private not public matter.


How feeble must be a God who needs the help of politicians, militants and priests? Yet we arrogant human fools persevere in our efforts to save God.


Every one talks about rights, and it's true that within a democracy each individual is promised certain rights, by the State. However these rights are not absolute, for they are linked to upholding responsibilities and they are granted on the condition that they do not trample over the rights of other citizens, society at large and the State. Does the State not have rights or responsibilities, other than appeasement?


Politicians see everyone either as an enemy or as a tool, and when priests and ideologists turn politicians they make everything worse even destructive.

Now children are being used by these forces in the pursuit of imposing their radical ideology on others. This includes Muslims demanding that schoolgirls attend schools in full hijab, and Hindus reacting by insisting that children where saffron scarves and shawls.


Slogan shouting and calls of 'Allah O Akbar' and 'Jai Shri Ram' rend the air, and education per se has been thrown into the gutter. If people do not accept the rules of secular institutions paid for by taxpayer money, then they are free to leave or not attend those places of education, work or government.


The best way to gain control is to never lose it. Governments and society have foolishly bent over unreasonably backwards to accommodate and appease various political constituents. It is human nature that what begins as a privilege soon became a right and inevitably trouble.

 

As to the current 'hijab' agitation, investigations have revealed that there are insidious forces trying to enflame India by driving a wedge between communities.


On students being denied admission into the premises of schools for failure to wear specified uniforms, Muslim leaders have approached the High court complaining that their religious duties were being infringed upon.


When the litigants were asked to substantiate this claim none could be found in the Koran, They quickly changed tack to claim, Article 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion). Article 25 however restricts the freedom as long as it does not impinge on the rights or others.


Based on past experiences in almost every country where the authorities adopted appeasement policies, the results have been socially regressive and often violent. This is because it is not a move for religious freedom but an act of aggression.


What then has been the standard playbook of Jihadi forces once preferential treatment in clothing and practices is permitted?


The worldwide trend after the hijab demand is accepted, higher levels of aggression begin to take place sequentially as follows;


1. "We need a chance to offer Namaz in secular schools.' (The next demand which is already being pushed)

2. 'We need a separate place to offer Namaz.'

3. 'Halal counter should be separate in the school/college canteen where only Halal food must be served.'

4. 'There should be exemption from class and studies during their prayer time.'

5. 'Why is Sunday a holiday? Give us a break on Friday.'

6. 'There are chapters of Krishna, Buddha and Ram in the syllabus, we cannot call them God, so they are not needed at all, they must be removed.'

7. 'Why is there a school holiday in April and May? Give in our Ramadan month.'


The aggressive cycle never eases.

Wherever Muslims become the majority, non Muslims are persecuted, harassed and tormented. Anyone can be accused of blasphemy and then even murder will be justified.

These acts will take Muslims back 1400 years dragging many other Indians back with them. Can this be permitted?


 

Unfortunately, radical Muslims quoting the Koran claim, that Islam sanctions societal violence, with every Muslim having religious sanctity to murder anyone who they believe is not Muslim, or not good enough Muslim or a Muslim who intends to leave Islam.


Such thinking has no place in any modern, pluralistic, secular society. Thankfully many progressive Muslims are secular, respectful and patriotic.


I like the way the matter was summed up by my Muslim friend Mustafa, "We have been secular, pluralistic Indians for 10,000 years. Being a Muslim for 1400 years does not change that fact. India and Indians comes first then comes my religion and fellow Muslims"


Unlike in the past, the majority of Hindus are growing angry and hence becoming more aggressive in their choice of words. Opposition parties want a communal conflict (the bloodier the better from their point of view) to take place so as to discredit the Indian government and India itself. So far the Indian government and judicial system have handled the matter adroitly and peacefully, with calmness and maturity.


It is a lose-lose situation for radical Muslims. If they lose the case they would stand exposed. If they win the legal battle, their aggressive conduct will force the government to quickly push for India adopting the long pending demand for a Uniform Civil Code. The UCC will naturally receive wide national support that will compel Indian government and institutions to treat Muslims just like every other Indian, with no special rights, privileges and benefits which they currently enjoy.


Religious fanatics of all faiths have to realise that,

India will not change for them. They have to fit in or accept that they will become misfits.

As a misfit, they are likely to be, educationally, socially, politically and economically left behind.


Could this explain why under their present political and religious leadership, the majority Sunni Muslim population in every country particularly in India are the most educationally and economically backward religious community who stagnate at the bottom of the social ladder?


Religion is a private affair and that is where it should remain, in our hearts and minds and in the designated palaces of our worship. It has no place in our educational institutions or in the secular government for organised religion, always trigger conflict, dividing rather than uniting people.


 

At the time of writing this article, the High court has refused to grant permissions for wearing of or display of any religious symbols in educational institutions, and ordered the continuation of use of prescribed uniforms wherever it is the rule.


The Supreme Court did not pay heed to Congress party's top legal luminaries like Kapil Sibal that this matter required the urgent intervention by the Supreme Court.


 

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