Another hate filled discourse was smelt in the air when the BJP leaders Tejaswi Surya and Anant Kumar Hegde wrote to the BBMP, the Bangalore’s municipality office to not allow any road of Bangalore be named after Muslim patriots. They wrote that there is no dearth for Non-Muslim patriots who contributed for this country, so why look for Muslim patriots? That’s how their minds are filled with communal glitches.
It appears that the BJP leaders’ nationalism is flawed, lopsided and completely void of love for the nation’s people. Every now and then the BJP leaders give lengthy Bhaashan – sermons of ‘Hindu Rashtra and Rashtravaad’, by saying ‘Nation First and Religion Next’. But these communal minds who don’t want to see Muslim names in the streets of Bangalore are speaking contrary to what they profess. They wrote letter to Manjunath Prasad, the Commissioner of the BBMP, after learning that the streets in Padrayanapura area are to be named after Muslim patriots. Padrayanapura has certain areas where the Muslims are in great numbers. So, as a sign of their love for the nation and their community leaders, it is natural to name the streets where they live with the names that are dear to them. If they don’t name their streets in India with the names of their Indian patriots, should they name the streets of Pakistan or Bangladesh with them?
The Muslims who migrated to Pakistan during the 1947 partition made their choices to become Pakistanis. And the Muslims who remained in India wanted to live and die in India, instead of living in a country that has majority Muslims. They even preferred to fight the Pakistanis during the 1965 war, and now these young BJP leaders who have no idea of the love of Indian Muslims’ love for India commenting about their identities is simply outrageous.
Indian Muslims are both Indians and Muslims at the same time. They have their local culture and traditions too attached to them very dearly. No matter what the hatemongers work against them, we will never hate our lands and our culture. India is ours too. And our identities are pinned with our nation. We never objected to naming any street with the names of Hindu or Christian leaders. In fact, Shivajinagar in Bangalore is an area where the majority of Muslims living there love to be associated with their area’s name. They never wanted to change the name of Shivajinagar, just because it has the name of a Hindu Maratha ruler. There are many such areas such as Basavangudi, Frazer Town, Russel Market, Tannery Road and others where the Muslims live in huge numbers. We have never had any problem with living in places with such names. What’s the problem in naming the streets with Muslim names when even members from our community have contributed in the Indian army, bureaucracy, art and literature? Where’s your slogan ‘Nation First’ gone?
Under such a time when Yogi Adityanath is too eager to change the names of cities such as Allahabad and Hyderabad, just because they have the arabic and persian words in it, I have a question to Tejaswi and Anant Kumar. Are you still going to call yourself a Hindu, since the word ‘Hindu’ itself was given by the Arabs and the Persians in the 8th century C.E? The word ‘Hindu’ is an arabized word of the word ‘Sindu’. This was said by the historians and later reiterated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his book ‘Discovery of India’. Even the actor turned politician of Tamilnadu, Kamal Haasan recently said that the word ‘Hindu’ is not native to India, but was given by the Mughals and later endorsed by the British. I challenge Tajaswi and Anant kumar to give up the word given by the Arabs. Let them search in the complete Vedas for the word Hindu. They will never be able to find it since the Vedas were written between 1,500 – 1,200 BC. And there is no book written in India before the 8th century that denotes the people of India or the Indian religion with the words Hindu and Hinduism respectively. I’m sure that Tejaswi and Anant Kumar will never give up the arabized word ‘Hindu’; for there can be no ‘Hindutva’, ‘Hinduism’ or ‘Hindu Rashtra’ without the word ‘Hindu’, a word given by the arabs and the persians.
Muslims have lived in India since the past 1400 years. And the majority of Indian Muslims today are the decendants of the Aryans and the Dravidians who embraced Islam over the centuries. The first masjids built in India were the Cheraman Perumal Jumma Masjid of Kerala, and the Juni or Barwada masjid in Gujarat that were built in 628 CE and circa 620 CE respectively. The language Arabic is no more a foreign language since it has been in use in India even before the advent of Islam, as the arab traders had business relations with the Indians then. Even the Hindi language originated in the 7th century C.E. Historians will teach that well to the BJP leaders if they want to seek knowledge. And the Muslims have no problem with names of Tamil origin or Hindi origin, since all languages are from God; and they are signs of God. So we have no hatred for the streets named after names of members from the Non-Muslim communities. By the way, there can be Muslims with the names such as Yuvan Shankar Raja, Manivannan, Kamala, Adiyar, Periyardasan and so on. All these are names of Hindu converts to Islam. On second thoughts, why don’t we name the street after the late Dr. Periyardasan? Just asking.
– Writer: Umar Shariff