Communal response to Hamid Ansari’s parting truth
Its history but worth noting that it was at Aurangzeb’s court that his daughter zaibunnisa’s maid servant dropped the mirror of glasses which broke into pieces. The maid servant on the spur of the moment said that
‘’ Aine chini shikst ” . ( the mirror of glass broke). Zaibunnisa instead of venting the ire reacted with another Persian verse “ Ke asbabe khudbini shikhst “ ( the material of seeing oneself is broken )
The incident involving the rhyming expression instead of unleashing fire and fury gives the glimpse of the extent of toleration practised by Aurangzeb’s daughter.
Quoting the incident of Aurangzeb’s daughter does not mean the justification of Aurangzeb’s extremism or fanaticism. Equally, it is significant to note that the history can’t be read and interpreted in the context of the contemporary development. The fact also cannot be disowned that history is also distorted to suit the convenience of the prevailing political dispensation. However, it is not the present subject.
In the recent history, Abraham Lincolns sense of toleration and endurance is interesting to note that there was the bet between two friends that the mirror was to be given to the ugliest man on the way. The mirror was delivered to Abraham Lincolns with the narration that the mirror was to be given to the ugliest person. Lincoln with the strength of courage accepted the mirror with the smiling face.
There was another incident of the toleration by John F Kennedy worth mentioning. Kennedy was alighting in the lift with his wife Jack line who was half backless. The liftman had fixed his questionable gaze over her backless back. Kennedy could understand the lusty attention of the liftman. Without expressing any sense of disturbance he came out of the lift. It was the same Kennedy who bravely tackled the grave Cuba crises threatening the Russian interference.
These incidents are quoted to define the parameters of toleration with the present breed of politicians in our country who miss no opportunity provoking violence making certain section of society loose the sense of tolerance on one pretext or the other. The sense of violence is unleashed born of in toleration directed against the vulnerable section of society. Indian Muslims so to say are the most vulnerable to be targeted and the violence has been experiencing no let up. The anti-Muslim hysteria has gone to such an extent that the mob lynching in the name of cow protection has become the order of the day and poignant tragedy is that the victim is prosecuted and left to suffer all sorts of disaster and ruin.
No insensitive person can remain insensitive to the most vicious campaign of violence.
It is this logic which compelled the former vice president Hamid Ansari to speak on the current climate of intolerance. He touched upon the widespread feeling of insecurity among Muslims. He referred to the rising insecurity among Muslims sparked by a trend of food bans, vigilantism and beef ban lynching. It was Ansari’s interview to Rajya Sabha TV in which Ansari said that Muslims in the country were experiencing a ” feeling of unease “adding” a sense of insecurity is creeping in as result of the dominant mood created by some and resultant intolerance of vigilantism.
Ansari’s expression of concern over the prevailing climate of intolerance against Muslims created all the more flutter. No time was lost in deploring condemning and showing the deep-seated hostility towards Ansari whipping up pseudo nationalism. Those practising the politics of polarisation brought the entire discourse to the level of derogation. Joining the chorus of condemnation and censure was his successor Venkaiah Naidu who while crossing sword with Ansari rejected his expression as the political propaganda. It is not proper and fair on the part of Naidu who was to take oath that time to engineer the political response which was not in consonance with the august office he was to hold. The protest to the difference of opinion is not to be embedded in the political overtones. Truth remains truth not withstanding the hostile reactions.
As this was not enough Modi chose to spell out his own reaction over Ansari’s comments. Prime Minister Modi said that Hamid Ansari remained as an ambassador in the Middle East. He spent a large chunk of time there. He lived in such an atmosphere. He remained as the vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and chairman of Minorities Commission. Modi further added that the last ten years were different as Ansari was within the confines of what he was required to do according to the Constitution . “There may have been some struggle within you but now onwards you won’t have to face this dilemma. You will have a feeling of freedom and you will get an opportunity to work think and talk according to your basic ideology and instinct” Modi said. Modi’s reference to the Middle East, Aligarh Muslim University and the Minorities Commission are oriented to show the Muslim dispensation of Hamid Ansari. Modi despite remaining in public life failed to realize that high profile Muslims many a time do not have Muslim flavour and they have put an excessive liberal face. It can well be illustrated by the fact that M.C.Chchagla always chose to remain M.C.Chchagla. He never pronounced his name as MUHAMMED KARIM CCHAGLA. The chief justice Hidayatullah’s wife remained Pushpa Hidaytullah. MC Chchagla and justice Hidayatullah were cremated as per their wish. Hamid Ansari’s wife also bears the tika on her forehead. High profile Muslim dignitaries never merged with Muslim masses and remained distances away from their community. Modi cannot see beyond his nose and it is sheer narrow mindedness to see the scenario through the Muslim perspective. Modi despite occupying the highest post in the country failed to get rid of narrow-minded and myopic approach.
What is equally significant to note that there is the different response to Indian Muslims and Muslim nations. There is always the friendly card played with the Muslim nations like Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the rest in contrast with the Indian Muslims who are shabbily treated and given a raw deal as they are on the weakest turf. The two yardsticks of treating Muslim nations and Indian Muslims are too evident to be ignored.
Modi also over looked the fact that while doing his job in Muslim nations Hamid Ansari did serve the national interest. Modi also overlooked the fact that Hamid Ansari also remained in United Nation.
What Ansari spoke referring to insecurity of Muslims on one pretext or the other is simple truth and not an outburst. The irony is that in our country truth speaking is not tolerated by the communal forces. What would be the fate of a common Muslim when the former vice president of the country is attacked in the derogatory terms.
Targeting of Muslims in India is a regular phenomenon as those violating the law instead of being booked and punished are rather emboldened in their pernicious act with the absence of accountability.
Ansari’s observations that India is a plural society that for centuries has lived in certain ambience of acceptance which is now under threat is very true but those out to deepen the divide in the society and dangerously polarise it cannot tolerate the truth as their eyes are fixed on the election of 2019. The petty interest of achieving power by hook or crook has superseded the larger national interest in the name of fake and fictitious outburst of nationalism.