Why isn’t the Muslim community waking up to the realities of the day? In fact, it comes as no big shock that with economic and political dents getting inflicted on the community on a daily basis, offshoots of the severest sorts are staring in the face.
The social ills that are fast creeping in, have got to be countered at every possible level. I would label triple talaq not a religious issue, because its un-Quranic and with that un-Islamic, but more as a social ill that’s crept in, along with other connected disasters. It’s about time the community not just bans triple talaq but goes a step ahead and reaches to out to the victims – that is, the aggrieved women and children who are trying to survive without shelter and support. In fact, each single city of this country should have a group of Muslims reaching out to such victims from an organised platform.
And for the last few years another unsettling reality has been hitting. That of young Muslim men going ‘missing’ or getting detained by the security agencies or sitting languishing in jails and prisons of the country. Questions hit: why are more Muslims jailed? Why is the percentage of the jailed Muslims higher than their overall population – percentage? Are they taking to crime or are they getting dumped in those hell holes by the political mafia of the day? Why isn’t the community not reaching out to the Muslim under-trials in getting bail and then also help them to re-start their lives?
In fact, this brings me to write that there ought to be a 24 hour helpline service cum free legal aid for the victims and their families. During my journalistic travels I’d come across many Muslim families who’d recounted horrifying experiences of cops picking up their sons …detaining them for questioning and the aftermath that followed. Needless to add that these families could not afford any of the legal remedies and with that sat shattered and ruined on every possible front .If only there were free legal aid centres then at least some level of relief could have come their way .Its about time a helpline service should come up and immediately.
And at the rate the community is getting politically battered, counselling centres ought to come up. As I’m keying in, I’m wondering the range of emotions Pehlu Khan’s children must be going through. That hapless man was murdered in front of their eyes, yet they couldn’t do a thing to protect their father. Not just that; with nexus at work, the bunch of murderers seem to be getting political–police protection! Quite obviously, Pehlu Khan’s children must be sitting not just in sorrow but also very angry at the way our system works, where murderers and molesters have every possibility of going scot free if they happen to be politically well–connected! In fact, why just Pehlu Khan’s family.
Ask the riot survivors the range of emotions they go through, as their tormentors sit untouched whilst the victims are subjected to varying levels of disasters as long as they live, rather till they are allowed to live!
The Muslim community is facing another disturbing reality. True, no major rioting and pogrom are taking place but there are those onslaughts on the very identity and this in itself is another upcoming disaster. Tell me why should I be made to sit apologetic about what I eat or wear or render! Why should questions be raised about my name or surname! Why shouldn’t I name my son Taimur! Why shouldn’t I have the confidence to say that, yes, I’m a practising Muslim and love to hear the Azaan and to say the namaaz and to recite Urdu or Persian or Arabic verse!
Yet another upcoming grim development that’s got to be not just faced but also tackled on a war footing is the double speak of the Right -Wing rulers of the day. On one hand, the culprits behind the Babri-Dadri disasters have yet to be nailed and jailed yet there’s sprung up the so called sudden concern for ‘Muslim sisters.’ There seems something or everything amiss each time one hears today’s political rulers mutter or utter sympathy laden words for the Muslim women. Why these synthetic gestures! After all, its these set of rulers who are behind all the communal poisoning and the maar-kaat-dhaars tearing the very fabric of this land.
Why should Yogi Adityanath hold a mass marriage ceremony of Muslim women! Why should other right-wing fanatics call for Muslim women get-togethers to discuss their ‘problems’. These so called ‘gestures’ seem not just bizarre but carry forewarnings of a dangerous kind! Almost akin to the enemy trying to near for yet another round of attack!
Today the situation is far more compounded than ever before. Each single day there is dent on my form or psyche. Be it Uttar Pradesh government’s cancellation of holidays marked for Milad-ul- Nabi( Prophet Muhammad’s birthday) and for the Jamat–ul-Alvida ( last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan ) or the hounding of the Rohingya refugees simply because there’s that Muslim prefix to their very identity or the obstacles put in my way of sending my children to study in a madrasa!
Its about time the Muslim community wakes up from that over- stretched phase of hibernation, settles those creases together with the in-fighting and internal conflicts. And takes stock of the situation and tries to reach out on the various levels. Of course, it wouldn’t be easy, but then, where are the options!