I told , its hard to be true Liberals in India……and I blame Nehru & esp. MN Roy for this misconstrued notion of Secularism….I thought of MN Roy as a Radical “free-thinker” , until 2013 when arguing with YLH (Yaseer Latif Hamdani – the great Pakistani “Secular” Jinnah apologist) on comments section of ET Pakistan. I was introduced to Roy’s encomiums about Jinnah & his paeans to Islamic science & his description of Arab conquerors of Iran as harbingers of Reason.
This was the same MN Roy who was otherwise deeply critical of Hinduism & Christianity , critical of European Imperialism and Vedic Aryan invasions, even bravely equating BG to Fascism ; But he had also written the “Historical Role of Islam” – the encomium that still remains unintelligible to me .That was when I was 20 , and one could sense skewed perception of the Indian Left.
Today , while the Leftists (like DN Jha) dub Gandhi and early Socialists like Tilak & Bose “Hindu Nationalists” for being superstitious Hindus & not Atheists like Ambedkar , Roy etc. ; on the other hand there are so-called Leftist works like “Secular & Nationalistic Jinnah” by JNU prof Dr. Ajeet Jawed . And here I am forced to question : Was Jinnah a counterpart to Nehru or Savarkar ? And what are the definitions of Secularism and Communalism ?
After that one can see that stupidity everywhere , even sometime back a Secular Liberal (an ex-Hindu) was arguing in defence of AIMIM ,describing AIMIM as merely a “social-reformer” group or “Muslim Rights group” , but was opposed to calling it a Right-wing Muslim group. I emphatically agree when it is said that AIMIM & RSS CANNOT be seen ‘equally-venomous” , since the Majority Communalism and Minority Communalism cannot be equated – the former is a greater threat than the latter. But can they still be given diametrically different treatment ?
These pseudo-Seculars have actually twisted the meaning of Secularism beyond recognition . Today , we can say that we are opposed to Hindutva but we cannot still say that we are defending Secularism (bcz we are expected to not just remain blind but also be supportive of other communalisms and see them as only reactions to the major communalism – not entirely wrong argument but not entirely correct too).
One can say that as Muslims are cornered more , the Indian Left is going to become more loony . This was also one of the myriad reasons , that I personally was strongly opposed to Yakub Memon’s hanging , esp. as Hindu fanatics like Maya & co. are set free. I can thus understand that why many Indian Muslims , even the Left-Liberal ones & esp. those who have actually been wronged by Hindu fanaticism (not just of RSS but Hindu majority as a whole), feel at times strongly defensive of their society and feel indignant by the Hindu majority….But then just as we commiserate with the Kashmiri Muslims stone-pelters and understand their rage against Indians & Hindus , then we must understand that why a significant number of KPs or Pak Hindus support BJP , in light of Liberal Left’s loony-ism ; afterall it is social injustice and the concomitant apathy that has pushed even the latter into communalism , just as in the case of former (if one goes by the arguments by this section of Liberal Left , given for the rise of Muslim Right).
Fiinally we must realise that global & local Islamophobia has not just harmed “minority ” muslims but it has stymied any attempt at criticism of Islam & Muslim communalism at par with Hinduism & Christianity or Hindus and Christians.Thus , it has also harmed non-Muslim minorities of many Muslim-majority nations. This makes destruction of “Islamophobia” or even “Hindutva” even more imperative .
In fact ,the biggest beneficiaries of Islamophobia and oppression of “minority” muslims (like in India) are communal Muslims and majoritarian muslims (like those in Pak) , who are as much multifaceted and motley like their Hindu and Christian counterparts are. They need not be just AK-47 holding Talibanis or Jamaat-type conservatives , just as communal Hindus need not be even RSS-type chaddis or even remotely conservative tilakdhari Hindus (they all look like us). And now the question follows : How to fight anti-Muslim hate and Muslim communalism simultaneously ?