Friday, 27 October 2006

Muslim appeasement a myth?

The Indian Express has got figures given to the high level committee on the social, educational and economic status of Muslims headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar. It only confirms what is common knowledge - that Muslims are poorly underrepresented in the job market. Few would deny or dispute these findings.
But this is going to provide yet another opportunity by the left-liberals to rubbish the criticism about appeasement of Muslims.
It has already started. The Express report quotes `a senior member of the Sachar committee' as saying "if this data is any kind of a benchmark, this not only nails the myth of appeasement, it also shows that the politics of batting for Muslims is limited to providing security and safety, and it has been unable to go beyond simply protecting their civil right to life."
So that old line is back - if Muslims were being appeased, could their socio-economic status be so pathetic?
I have always found this line specious, at best. In a post titled Hum to anything karega posted on 5 March 2005, I had cited several instances of ridiculous sops in the name of making Muslims feel less alienated. (
To recap,

# The Mulayam Singh Yadav government declaring Friday a half day in UP schools to enable Muslim students to offer Friday prayers. Way back in the 1980s one government in Kerala had done something similar. Yadav was compelled to retract the step.

# The subsidy for Haj (which is not given in the most Islamic of Islamic nations)

# The Muslim Women's Bill

# The banning of Satanic Verses

The list could go on. If this isn't appeasement, what is?
Sure, the condition of economically backward Muslims is as bad as many from the scheduled castes and tribes. But that is because successive governments have focused on providing meaningless pacifiers and offering lip sympathy to the community. More often than not, these concessions are more to pander to communal parties and leaders who have a vested interest in keeping their community backward. So Muslims have been the victims of tokenism, instead of genuine efforts to improve their lot.
But that cannot airbrush the above-mentioned concessions away from the picture. These do fall into the definition of appeasement and there's no getting away from that.
Isn't it time for liberal Muslims to stand up and say, stop these stupid sops and help the community prosper? Isn't it time for them to protest every time any government gives in to the retrograde demands of the Muslim clergy and other self-serving politicians and refuse such token gestures? The burden of breaking `the myth of appeasement' lies with the Muslim community.

1 comment:

Alam said...

I Think liberal mulsim is much maligned animal. Firstly if he/she is liberal he/she will side with liberal (mostly called left and psuedo secular).Secondly he/she is probably too well off/comfortable to feel the plight of common muslims.

It is the normal muslim(less liberal and even hardline conservative - but poor), who is large in number, that needs to rise up, claim its rights and take its due.....

unrepresentative sections (either secular - educated middle class or religiously -educated Mullahs) can never fight the case of the common muslims