The S-word ‘Secularism’ was added to the Preamble of Indian Constitution by the 42nd Amendment 1976. Secularism in India means equal treatment of all religions by the state. And the secular behavior of the state has led India to be widely recognized as a country with ‘unity in diversity’. A country with diverse culture, ethnicity , language and religion.
Unfortunately, lately there is a sudden increase in the number of cases where Indian Muslims have been harassed, attacked, injured and sometimes lynched by mob too. Muslims are expected to prove their patriotism and nationalism each time they are asked to do so. But the question is“Why does an Indian individual has to pass the acid test and prove his patriotism just because he belongs to a particular religion?” and the other question posed is “Where does a common Indian citizen gets the certificate of being a ‘Patriotic Muslim’ ?”
Why do we forget that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India extended his service to the nation till his last breath. He took part in Indian Independence Struggle aged just 16. Badruddin Tyabji was the first Muslim president of Indian National Congress . Syed Mohammad Sharfuddin, a true patriot supported Gandhiji during the Salt Satyagraha. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – ‘ The Frontier Gandhi ‘ was one of the major reasons behind the Britishers leaving India. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan had said ‘Islam is the religion of tolerance’ and himself had proved that patriotism is a religion itself. These were just a few great Muslim names involved in India’s freedom struggle. These names have one thing in common that is their religion of patriotism. Not only men but Muslim women like Begum Hazrat Mahal too had done their bit for the nation’s independence. The Begum of Awadh had played a major role during India’s War of Independence in 1857 .
Muslims have continued to be patriotic even after independence, the best cited example is of ex President APJ Abdul Kalam , the Missile Man of India. Anything said about him is less than the praise he deserves. Currently India’s youngest IPS officer, Safin Hasan is a Muslim too. Each year the topper list of Civil Services Examination includes Muslim names like for example Athar Aamir Khan and Junaid Ahmed. The valor and sacrifice of Indian soldiers like Aurangzeb Khan, Nazir Wani and SHO Feroz Dar can never be forgotten . Indian business tycoon Azim Premji’s name includes among world’s top philanthropists.
All the names mentioned till now have extended their service to India in some form and there are many other Indian Muslims who continue to live as common law abiding citizens. But even after this, India’s largest religious minority community has been frequently subjected to violent attacks . Any wrongdoer should be punished and any common citizen shall be allowed to live peacefully irrespective of their religion, ethnicity and caste. Communal harmony strives to create goodwill and harmony among different communities and in a country like India communal harmony is the most important feature for peaceful co-existence of different communities and for ‘National Integration’ .
Moreover , Indian Muslims are the ones who kiss their motherland five times a day in ‘sajda’ while offering namaz and have immense love for their country just like any other citizen of the country. Hence , it is time for everyone to understand that the wrongdoers shall be punished irrespective of their religion.