Muhammad is Allah’s messenger, and a mortal human being. Hence he is only
an intermediary, which is also the claim made by his votaries. Some sentimental
Hindus may have no objection to count him as a saint. But there is no question
of his being included in the category of Hindu Gods.
is considered as the Son of God. But according to Christian belief, he
presented himself as a martyr for the sake of humanity. No Hindu God is
known to have suffered as a martyr. On the contrary, Hindu Gods are known
to have protected their devotees and eliminated evil people with might
and force. Hence there is no scope for Jesus being counted among Hindu
entertains the notion that it is the only true religion, and that all other
religions are anti-God. This notion is not true. Moreover, Islam says that
God cannot be reached except through the mediation of Muhammad. On the
other hand, according to Hinduism God is accessible to all human beings
who follow the path of truthfulness and goodness. Moreover, Hinduism does
not command its followers to struggle for spreading the faith in a particular
everything in Islam is bad, nor are all Muslims bad. It cannot also be
maintained that all Muslims are necessarily good. Elements of intolerance
that have got built into Islam, may be explained as due to certain historico-geographical
circumstances - for instance, Jihad and conquest of non-Muslims. Similarly,
some of its social injunctions may have arisen in past contingencies, and
look like injustices in the present situation. But so long as Muslims refuse
to renounce practices like Jihãd and Talãq, and regard them
as enjoined by their religion, they will continue to carry the tag of ‘bad
Muslims are very well aware of their Indian ancestry. But now that they
consider themselves as Muslims, there should be no objection to that on
any ground. Secondly, we should take into account the extraordinary circumstances
under which they got converted. They should be left to live as they are.
How on earth can the Muslims get reconverted to Hinduism in view of the
Hindu VarNa-Jãti system?
is a proven fact that the British were the first to make political capital
out of Hindu-Muslim differences. The Congress at that time felt compelled
to make some concessions to Muslims in order to remove their fears due
to their situation as a minority. Unfortunately, subsequent political leaders
with the exception of Sardar Patel, converted their ‘minority situation’
into a ‘Minority Status’. And sure enough, Muslim leaders, having tasted
special privileges, have brought pressures on the Government to placate
the Muslims and resisted all attempts at national integration. The Hindu
Brahmin class has also to share the blame for creating a class of Untouchables,
and thus preventing the formation of a merit-based society. So unless sincere
efforts are made towards establishment of a National Identity, Muslims,
like other weak or strong communities, will continue to look at themselves
as a distinct group.
that Muslims as a whole consider the BJP as Kafirs is perhaps an exaggeration.
It is true, however, that Muslims as well as other Hindu vested interests
have done great harm to the BJP by presenting it as a political party whose
sole aim is to attack Muslims and oust them from India in due course of
time. Thanks to the Congress version of Secularism, this concept has been
devalued both politically and ethically. The small cultural differences
between Hindus and Muslims have been widened and made to look as irreconcilable
political and religious differences. The ruling parties have been thriving
on this artificially created barrier.
mystics are the best humanitarians. Looking at the lives and literature
of Sufi poets, they do not appear to be particularly anti-Hindu or pro-Islam.
As regards Shah Waliullah and the Sufis of Bijapur, my guess is that they
became fanatics due to loss of status as rulers. The religious fanaticism
of the Bijapur Sultans and their persecution of Hindus is a documented
fact. It is quite possible that some sufis-in-the-making might have lent
their literary talents to the Sultans presumably under coercion.
Muslim theologians and politicians have forced a ghetto mentality on Indian
Muslims by instilling fear of traditional Hindus in their already insecure
minds. But as of now this artificial separation is getting erased. And
dispassionate and patriotic efforts by Hindu and Muslim politicians and
intellectuals should be able to bring the two communities together in positively
the Islamic doctrine of Jihãd, there is no such thing as a disputed
site. But Muslims could have looked at it (Ayodhya) in a secular context.
The point about Ayodhya is not that it is not a place of worship
for Muslims, but that it is a place of tremendous significance for Hindus.