Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi*
We generally expect most of our religious, social and educational work be done by ulama. We consider them incapable on the other hand! We generally do not support them, instead criticize them in most cases. Aren't these, kind of contradictions within us?
What our modern educated class is doing right now?
A man from Hindu Sena has written a letter to the home ministry dated 29 July 2019, which is viral now, demanding a complete ban on the Qur'an citing security concern for India! We may agree or disagree with Mr Azam Khan but Jauhar University is an educational institution, an asset for India, which is being targeted and may be severely harmed. NRC issue in Assam, Talaq Bill, RTI amendment bill, UAPA amendment bill, citizenship amendment bill, new education policy of India, and many such issues on which our non-ulama intellectuals who are graduated from some of the Muslim established universities with objective as "science in one hand and the Qur'an in other" could lead the poor Muslim masses socially as well as politically. Generally they aren't in the scene. Or there are some who again blame "mullas" are not allowing them to work or they have issues with being Muslims!
Harassment of Muslim youths in the name of love jehad, lynching in the name of cows and now brutality and killing for jai sri Ram. Muslims are feeling clueless and youths are psychologically getting affected. Lack of confidence is apparent. Some even started to hide their Muslim names. Some began to curse their being Muslims!
Aren't these issues better to be addressed by those who are educated, well of and more knowledgeable about the modern world order? Or aren't these all issues serious enough to work on them? What have we done individually to at least light a single candle to do our part?
Assam, Bihar and part of WB are severely affected by floods right now. Why mainly organizations led by ulama are on relief and humanitarian work? Aren't these our work too? Or aren't those suffering human beings not enough human to help them in calamities?
The polygamy case and Muslim inheritance case will come in the Supreme Court, sooner or later, just as follow up to talaq cases, on the basis of gender justice and equality before the law in reference to article 14 and 15 of Indian Constitution.
Should ulama deal with all these alone and can they probably do it? Why not there are a group of able Muslim lawyers, experts who understand Islam as well as modern laws vis-a-vis international laws still not ready from modern educated Muslims in India who should help the community in these issues? How many law colleges have we established so far? Why the legal battles of all Muslim youths who are innocent but arrested under terror charges be fought by ulama led organizations like Jamiat etc in the courts? Why a Muslim need to hire a non-Muslim lawyer to better fight his case in the courts?
One Dr Zafar Mahmood can give us dozen plus successful UPSC candidates each year. Why not many Zafar Mahmood? Why couldn't we produce a bunch of good journalists from within our community? Why not even a single strong media house owned by a Muslim in India? Our representations in arm and police forces are very low. Have we seriously done anything about it? Do those teach in universities and colleges ever speak about all these things in their classes? Some do, most do not.
Have we ever counted how many schools, colleges are established by those who are working with religious organizations or ulama and how many by those who blame ulama for everything? Ulama established madaris and makatib in each nook and corner of the country for religious education, why couldn't we do so by establishing schools and colleges for modern education of Muslims in India?
What contribution are we all offering to the community for it's social, educational and economic development having being posted in prestigious and handsomely paid positions in India and abroad following our education?
Let's ask our inner human honestly, have we seriously responded to the aims and objectives of the founders of AMU and JMI etc.?
I am sure, some of course did respond but is or was it enough? Why can't the north Indian Muslims with same resources available make an educational revolution like that of South Indian ones? Why there is no very visible division between ulama and non-ulama in the southern part of India?
I do feel the questions above are bit direct and too many. May be not so easy reading for some of my friends here. However, I dare to put them in public to bring some of you with me in my self-introspection.
Today we the Muslim Indians are surely not in a position to remain divided anymore and keep blaming each other. We need to work hard together with Muslims as well as all fellow citizens to save our country from destruction and the future of our own children as Muslim Indians.
*Editor: Eastern Crescent, Mumbai