Daya Varma


It is only natural that all institutions of a country or the world, all political parties and all women and men of conscience carry a bias which identifies problems not on the basis of their relative relevance but because of identity with self. In the case of India, it is the Muslims who do not qualify for any concern by the political parties including the communist parties, human rights activists, left intellectuals, journalists and above all Muslims themselves.


I was told by a friend that at one time some one  asked a leader of a Communist Party  about their program about Muslims; prompt was the reply “we do not need Muslims, Muslims need us!”. It turned out the answer was wrong. Neither communist parties need Muslims nor Muslims seem to need communist parties. Indeed Muslims have been pushed in such remote corners that they think any demand by them, no matter how legitimate, will elicit the answer “not another Pakistan!”


It is encouraging that in recent months much concern has been shown about the danger of curtailment of civil liberties in general in the wake of Maoist upsurge in certain areas of India. It is discouraging, however, that it is so specific and does not extend to all embracing issue of poverty, deprivation  and discrimination.


The only problem that surfaced from day one of India’s independence is the future status of India’s Muslims, the single largest subset of population deprived of proper jobs, education, and representation in all institutions of India. They have been culturally deprived, their language is becoming history and their role in the building of India is no more worth  recognizing. 


Indeed Muslims are the only community whose status has continually declined over the last sixty-three years. No one goes into Muslim Ghettoes to find out how they live. I just read that four Muslims have been selected in the prestigious Indian Administrative Service Examination with one topping the list. Encouraging but why not at least fifteen? That is the issue. 


Perhaps because the  isolation of Muslims in India cannot be attributed to globalization and neo-liberal policy, they do not matter. Perhaps in some areas like Bihar and UP they make some difference in electoral outcome,    they matter a bit. In the final analysis, however,  all the parties are dominated by  Hindus and all left intellectuals are Hindus;  it is easy to consciously (by RSS and its affiliates) and unconsciously (by all other political formations and left intellectuals)  ignore the question of Muslims who alone make India an unique country. A few individuals cry aloud but does that matter?           

Top - Home