The Inquilabi Leftist cabal doesn’t let up. Social media campaigns, Islamist-leaning news portals and media houses publish reams and reams on how the Indian Muslims are oppressed, how the current government is hell-bent on the genocide of Muslims, how Islam is in danger of being wiped out, and so on and so forth. Incidents such as lynchings of beef smugglers, or students in colleges, university campuses, or trains are projected as huge statistics and often the murky details of the crime selectively twisted to ensure the “Hindu” perpetrators are the only detail emerging out of the investigation.
What is this Oppression Olympics? It is actually an academic term described as a contest within groups to assert who is more authentic, more oppressed and thus more correct — the idea being that if Indian Muslims are proven to win the gold medal in the Oppression Olympics they will win the commanding spot for demanding change, for visibility and allocation resources. The important point of exactly what change they are demanding is almost always concealed in the rhetoric — a separate system of law (Sharia) which won’t be confined to just believers but non-Muslims too. Since most mainstream media, politics and social influence is postmodernist and practice cultural relativism, there is an inevitability of believing the most marginalised in a room, on a platform or in a country.
This narrative of the Oppression Olympics of Indian Muslims has been perfected since the 1990s, ever since the Babri Masjid was demolished and an Indic resurgence was recognised and acknowledged, rendering the Indian Muslim vote bank ineffective. There was no effort whatsoever to introspect as a community or as the largest minority in India with the legacy of the Partition still hanging over our heads. Instead of condemning the increasing Islamic terror across the world throughout the 90s, especially its spillover into Kashmir through Pak-ISI sponsored secessionist-Islamist insurgency, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Kashmiri Pandits, and secular, liberal agnostic Muslims; the cabal actually recruited Inquilabi Leftists, useful idiots from the Indian liberal intellectuals and polished an apologist narrative of the Islamist political agendas.
It has been more than three decades now since the Oppression Olympics of Indian Muslims was driven into the minds of the common people. It didn’t stop at victimhood but added Hindu hatred, glorifying terrorists, labelling counter-terrorism measures of the Indian state as fascist, and blocking all efforts to reform the regressive elements in the social, cultural and political aspects of Islam. Today the Oppression Olympics of Indian Muslims has known faces — Rana Ayyub, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Sharjeel Usmani, Umar Khalid, and others. Add to the cabal the anti-India Washington Post, the Hinduphobic New York Times, left-leaning Universities across continents, the Intifada factory of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jamaat-e-Islami with its armed wings such as the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, al-Qaeda, etc and we have the international community convinced that Kashmir really is occupied and that Indian Muslims were about to be sent to concentration camps.
That the ‘conflict entrepreneurs’ of Kashmir — a motley group of writers, academics, civil servants, bureaucrats, journalists, media personalities and the ever-slimy NRK (non-resident Kashmiri) business tycoons helped in this image of the Indian state, the Indian government and the Indian majority people is an open secret such as the Stand With Kashmir organisation. Helped by the useful idiots of the Indian intellectual circles, they infiltrated international mainstream media, entertainment industry, publishing houses and even campuses with the Oppression Olympics of Indian Muslims’ sob story and have now become gatekeepers of the narrative – not allowing a single dissenting voice to expose their deception.
Stating the truth that India is a safe haven not just for practising Muslims but for lapsed ones too – the agnostic, the atheist and the cultural Muslims dents their agenda. The whole cabal gets mobilised in denouncing the dissenting voices as Sanghis (a derogatory term for right-leaning Hindus) or saffronists or ‘Modi bhakts’, or paid Indian agents. The names keep getting creative every passing year. People like me who are living proof of the ‘idea of India’ became ideological refugees in their own country, losing their right to live and earn in their native place because the Intifada factory decided that they were nationalist voices and needed to be silenced, threatened, coerced, intimidated and in many cases killed.
Our heroes such as APJ Abdul Kalam, Hamid Dalwai, Arif Mohammad Khan, Muslim women police officers, Muslim origin military personnel, jet fighter and commercial pilots, celebrities, scientists, heretic writers, and nationalist voices are an anathema to this Oppression Olympics cabal. Because there is a well-oiled system in place for their types, it becomes easy to dismiss us Indians because we are not the “right kind of Muslims”. Scores and scores of Indian Muslims who read the Gita, take life’s lessons from Swami Vivekananda, or the Sadh Guru, dress up their kids as Krishna or Hanuman on Indian festivals, celebrate Holi and Diwali with equal fervour and are completely assimilated into the ethos of Hind/Indic civilisation do not even figure in the cabal’s statistics or descriptions or arguments.
This keeping of the Indian Muslims in the “forever victimhood” state is a dangerous agenda. Gatekeepers of this kind of narrative are not concerned about the future of Muslims, or in encouraging their progress into more open-minded attitudes regarding other religions, cultures and practices. Anyone from the Muslim background doing this is either a “Sarkari Musalmaan” or a “heretic” whose armed wings then render him or her ‘wajib ul- qatl’ (justified for murder). The Muslim World committed intellectual suicide in the 12th century when it allowed the Asharite way of thinking to dominate (text over reasoning) instead of the Mutazalite (reasoning over text). The cabal ensures this suicide is prolonged.
This is the Golden Age of Islam, the digital age with its Internet is doing for the Muslims what the Gutenberg printing press did for the West. Now it is easy to confirm dubious Hadiths, sift superstition from spirituality, take mullahs to task, hold preachers recruiting child soldiers into account, speak up against honour killings, FGM, triple talaq, muta and halala marriages, polygamy, discrimination in alimony and domestic violence, etc. It is increasingly safer to doubt, be sceptical of religious explanations and lead a heretic life with no fear of blasphemy laws or retribution and for Indian Muslims, it is possible because it is Hind/India/Bharat.
(Arshia Malik is a Delhi-based writer, blogger and social commentator.)
[Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by various authors and forum participants on this website are personal.]