Here’s what Muslim countries did in response to the spread of the coronavirus. (1) On March 5, 2020, Saudi Arabia locked down the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site. The unprecedented move came a day after the kingdom suspended the year round Umrah pilgrimage. (2) On March 23, Saudi Arabia declared a 21-day nationwide curfew, banning prayers in mosques across the 99.99 per cent Islamic country. (3) On April 2, the Saudis took the drastic step of imposing a 24-hour curfew in the cities of Mecca and Medina. Result: Saudi citizens did not protest or riot.
Chechnya, Russia’s Muslim-majority republic, declared that anyone who violated the coronavirus quarantine and infected others should be punished with death. Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, said on March 15: “If you ask me, anyone who creates this problem for himself should be killed. Not only does he get sick, (but he also infects) his family, his sisters, brothers, neighbours.” Result: Chechens did not protest or riot.
Turkey, once the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, quarantined pilgrims returning from Mecca for 14 days. As many as 10,330 people who returned from the Umrah pilgrimage were taken into isolation on March 15. (5) Result: Turks did not protest or riot.
In contrast to the stern actions taken in Islamic countries, in Hindu majority India, Muslims who resisted quarantine and self-isolation measures are being treated like spoilt little children by the Indian government. Across India, radical Muslims of the Tablighi Jamaat ignored official notices against large gatherings, invited foreign Muslims from coronavirus infected countries, spat at doctors and healthcare workers, urinated in the halls of isolation wards, defecated in beds, and exposed their genitals to female nursing staff. (6) (7) (8)
It was pathetic watching police and officials plead with these bio-jihadis to listen instead of treating them like terrorists. The legendary softness of the Indian state was in stark display. Worse, Muslim coronavirus patients discharged from a Chennai hospital were seen raising the index finger to the sky, the ominous Islamic gesture popularised by the Islamic State. (9) Instead of thanking the doctors, nurses and officials who risk their lives daily while treating such patients, the members of the Tabhligi Jamaat were literally giving the finger to the Indian nation.
When the crimes of the Tabhligi Jamaat could no longer be hidden by the left-liberal media, Muslims across the country went into victimhood mode. They became defiant, saying they would not accept bans on congregating in mosques because in their warped view only Allah can decide when a Muslim will die. While the citizens of Saudi Arabia, “the custodian of the two holy mosques”, have absolutely no problem obeying their government, Indian Muslims are resisting their government’s quarantine orders.
Mindset of the Indian Muslim
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, jurist and chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, was among the foremost Indian intellectuals of the pre-Partition era. Like Veer Savarkar he developed an accurate understanding of the Muslim mind. He offers the best explanation why a section of Indian Muslims is perpetually in civil disobedience mode: “Among the tenets, one that calls for notice is the tenet of Islam which says that in a country which is not under Muslim rule, wherever there is a conflict between Muslim law and the law of the land, the former must prevail over the latter, and a Muslim will be justified in obeying the Muslim law and defying the law of the land.” (10)
The belief that they have religious sanction to defy a non-Islamic government is the reason why some Muslims burn trains and destroy public property as a form of protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. This is why they resist polio vaccination. This is why they chase away census officials.
Arguing for the complete exchange of populations, Ambedkar wrote in his book ‘Pakistan or the Partition of India’: “How far will Muslims obey the authority of a government manned and controlled by the Hindus? The answer to this question need not call for much inquiry. To the Muslims a Hindu is a kaffir. A kaffir is not worthy of respect. He is low-born and without status. That is why a country which is ruled by a kaffir is Dar-ul-Harb (a country that is at war with Islam) to a Musalman. Given this, no further evidence seems to be necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu government. The basic feelings of deference and sympathy, which predispose persons to obey the authority of government, do not simply exist. But if proof is wanted, there is no dearth of it. It is so abundant that the problem is what to tender and what to omit.” (11)
Another tenet that operates against nation states such as India is that Islam does not recognise territorial affinities. Its affinities are social and religious and therefore extraterritorial. “This is the basis of Pan-Islamism,” writes Ambedkar. “It is this which leads every Musalman in India to say that he is a Muslim first and Indian afterwards. It is this sentiment which explains why the Indian Muslim has taken so small a part in the advancement of India but has spent himself to exhaustion by taking up the cause of Muslim countries and why Muslim countries occupy the first place and India occupies a second place in his thoughts.”
Ambedkar adds that a key defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. “To the Muslim ubi panis ibi patria (where there is bread, there is my country) is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India.” (12)
The problem with many Indian Muslims is they see themselves not as a community within the Indian nation state but as a nation within a nation. This means Muslims are working independently of – and not in cooperation with – the other communities. Their sense of victimhood is solely due to the fact that they find it unbearable to live as normal citizens in Hindu majority India. Ambedkar explains: “A (group of) people who, notwithstanding their differences accept a common destiny for themselves as well as for their opponents, are a community. A (group of)people who are not only different from the rest but who refuse to accept for themselves the same destiny which others do, are a nation.” (13)
It is the non-acceptance of a common destiny which alone can explain why the Muslims feel they are a nation. Or as Muslim League leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah said, Indian Muslims are “a nation within a nation”. This seems to be a phenomenon that Indian Muslims have exported to the West – where they are creating “nations within nations”. (14)
According to Ambedkar, if the Muslim view of themselves as a different nation persists, “it cannot but have the effect of rending the State in fragments”. The Dalit politician said this in 1941 – six years before India was divided.
Far from rendering obedience to Hindus, the Muslims seem to be ready to challenge them. In 1926 there arose a controversy as to who had really won the third battle of Panipat, fought in 1761. It was contended for the Muslims that it was a great victory for them because the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali had 100,000 soldiers while the Marathas had 400,000 to 600,000 troops. The Hindus replied that it was a victory to them because it stemmed the tide of Muslim invasions.
The fact is that the Maratha army at Panipat had between 45,000 and 60,000 fighting troops against Abdali’s 100,000 Afghans. (15) The Marathas were so sure of victory, they had allowed more than 200,000 non-combatants (women, children and the aged) to accompany their army; these were pilgrims who had tagged along and were planning to take a dip in the Ganga after the anticipated Maratha victory. Weighed down by this unwieldy mass of humanity, the Maratha army lost its mobility. But it is also a fact that the Marathas took down a large number of Afghan soldiers with them. This massive loss of life deterred the Afghans from ever entering India. Within a decade, the Maratha army was back in the north, retaking the lost territories and punishing those who had betrayed them at Panipat.
Anyway, such wild claims are common among Muslim politicians in India. For instance, Akbaruddin Owaisi once said, “Remove the police for 15 minutes, we will finish off 100 crore Hindus.” (16) Similarly, the Pakistan Army has claimed on separate occasions that one Pakistani soldier is equal to 10, six and three Indians soldiers. The ratio keeps declining in step with Pakistani defeats in wars against India.
Ambedkar writes that the Indian Muslims were not prepared to admit defeat at the hands of Hindus, and claimed they would always prove superior to the Hindus. To prove the eternal superiority of Muslims over Hindus, it was proposed by one Maulana Akbar Shah Khan of Najibabad (in Uttar Pradesh) in all seriousness, that the Hindus and Muslims should fight, under test conditions, a fourth battle on the same fateful plain of Panipat.
The Maulana accordingly issued a challenge to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in the following terms: “If you Malaviyaji, are making efforts to falsify the result at Panipat, I shall show you an easy and an excellent way (of testing it). Use your well-known influence and induce the British Government to permit the fourth battle of Panipat to be fought without hindrance from the authorities. I am ready to provide. . . .a comparative test of the valour and fighting spirit of the Hindus and the Musalmans. . . .As there are seven crores of Musalmans in India, I shall arrive on a fixed date on the plain of Panipat with 700 Musalmans representing the seven crores of Muslims in India and as there are 22 crores of Hindus I allow you to come with 2,200 Hindus. The proper thing is not to use cannon, machine guns or bombs: only swords and javelins and spears, bows and arrows and daggers should be used. If you cannot accept the post of generalissimo of the Hindu host, you may give it to any descendant of Sadashivrao or Vishwasrao so that their scions may have an opportunity to avenge the defeat of their ancestors in 1761. But any way do come as a spectator; for on seeing the result of this battle you will have to change your views, and I hope there will be then an end of the present discord and fighting in the country. . . .In conclusion I beg to add that among the 700 men that I shall bring there will be no Pathans or Afghans as you are mortally afraid of them. So, I shall bring with me only Indian Musalmans of good family who are staunch adherents of Shariat.” (17)
In a manifesto on Hindu-Muslim relations issued in 1928, Khwaja Hasan Nizami, an Indian Sufi ‘saint’ of the Chishti Islamic order, declared: “Musalmans are separate from Hindus; they cannot unite with the Hindus. After bloody wars the Musalmans conquered India, and the English took India from them. The Musalmans are one united nation and they alone will be masters of India. They will never give up their individuality. They have ruled India for hundreds of years, and hence they have a prescriptive right over the country. The Hindus are a minor community in the world. They are never free from internecine quarrels; they believe in Gandhi and worship the cow; they are polluted by taking other people’s water. The Hindus do not care for self-government; they have no time to spare for it; let them go on with their internal squabbles. What capacity have they for ruling over men? The Musalmans did rule, and the Musalmans will rule.” (18)
Then was Maulana Azad Sobhani, a Pan-Islamist cleric from Kanpur and a member of the All India Khilafat Conference, who in his 1939 speech at Sylhet revealed the mindset of the Indian Muslim cleric: “If there is any eminent leader in India who is in favour of driving out the English from this country, then I am that leader. Despite this I want that there should be no fight with the English on behalf of the Muslim League. Our big fight is with the 22 crore (220 million) of our Hindu enemies, who constitute the majority. Only 4 1/2 crore (45 million) Englishmen have practically swallowed the whole world by becoming powerful. And if these 22 crore Hindus who are equally advanced in learning, intelligence and wealth as in numbers, if they become powerful, then these Hindus will swallow Muslim India and gradually even Egypt, Turkey, Kabul, Mecca, Medina and other Muslim principalities….” (19)
Believe it or not, Sobhani’s biggest fear was Ramrajya: “The English are gradually becoming weak. . . .they will go away from India in the near future. So, if we do not fight the greatest enemies of Islam, the Hindus, from now on and make them weak, then they will not only establish Ramrajya in India but also gradually spread all over the world. It depends on the 9 crore (90 million) Indian Muslims either to strengthen or to weaken them (the Hindus). So, it is the essential duly of every devout Muslim to fight on by joining the Muslim League so that the Hindus may not be established here, and a Muslim rule may be established in India as soon as the English depart.”
He concluded by saying that “the Muslim world is never safe in the hands of 22 crores of Hindu enemies”.
It was in the backdrop of such hateful speeches by Muslim leadership and recurring religious riots that Ambedkar forcefully argued for India’s Partition and the complete transfer of Indian Muslims to the new state of Pakistan and the exodus of Hindus from Pakistan to India. He wrote: “Hindus and Muslims live in separate worlds of their own….Wherever they live, they live apart. Every town, every village has its Hindu quarters and Muslim quarters, which are quite separate from each other. There is no common continuous cycle of participation. They meet to trade, or they meet to murder. They do not meet to befriend one another. When there is no call to trade or when there is no call to murder, they cease to meet. When there is peace, the Hindu quarters and the Muslim quarters appear like two alien settlements. The moment war is declared, the settlements become armed camps. The periods of peace and the periods of war are brief. But the interval is one of continuous tension. What can mass contact do against such barriers? It cannot even get over on the other side of the barrier, much less can it produce organic unity.” (20)
As the Muslim population inches towards the 25 per cent mark, where it was in the 1940s when the demands for Pakistan became loudest, there are renewed calls for a second Partition. “India has 20-25 crore Muslims….I dare the Indian government to show guts and give a separate country, like Pakistan, to Indian Muslims. Then you can declare India a Hindu Rashtra,” said Ajay Verma of the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress Party. (21) Calls for a second partition will only get shriller and more common as Muslims, Christians, leftists, seculars and the Congress-led opposition find common ground against Hindus.
The seculars are such cowards that they do not want to take on the jihadi bully but instead their plan is to appease him. Appeasement will be counterproductive just like during the freedom struggle when the Congress led India down the slippery slope to partition. As Ambedkar warned, “The second thing the Congress has failed to realise is the policy of concession has increased Muslim aggressiveness, and what is worse, Muslims interpret these concessions as a sign of defeatism on the part of the Hindus and the absence of the will to resist. This policy of appeasement will involve the Hindus in the same fearful situation in which the Allies found themselves as a result of the policy of appeasement which they adopted towards Hitler.” (22)
The Indian soft state has repeatedly failed its law-abiding citizens. The jihadis of the 1940s were mostly poor and illiterate; today’s modern jihadis have the entire mass of left-liberals and seculars behind them. They do not shy from weakening and destroying the nation state from within so that their ultimate wet dream of the Islamic reconquest of India can happen.
India must strengthen the police and paramilitary forces with enough manpower and equipment to prevent, stop and eliminate people from burning down trains and public property. Civil disobedience is perfectly fine against an illegal colonial government; it cannot be used against a government of the Hindus who are the indigenous people of the country. Those who don’t like Hindu majority India can follow the footsteps of their grandfathers. Considering the pampering they receive in India – and the dystopian state of their cherished homeland – chances are they won’t be rushing for the door. The destiny of Indian Muslims is intertwined with that of India. They should forget about being a separate nation and stop being the special community with “the first claim on resources”. (23) Because when you burn trains, destroy public property and spit on doctors with the intention to infect them with a deadly virus, you are nothing but anarchists. This will backfire because frankly Hindus are running out of patience.
10. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part III
11. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part III
12. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part V
13. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part V
15. Panipat, https://panipat.gov.in/third-battle/
17. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part III
18. Times of India, 14-3-1928, “Through Indian Eyes”
19. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part I; original published in Bengali in Anand Bazar Patrika
20. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XII, Part V
22. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India, Chapter XI
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Rakesh is a globally cited defence analyst. His work has been published by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi; US Air Force Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies, Alabama; Russia Beyond, Moscow; Hindustan Times, New Delhi; Business Today, New Delhi; Financial Express, New Delhi; BusinessWorld Magazine, New Delhi; Swarajya Magazine, Bangalore; Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, Warsaw; Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, among others.
As well as having contributed for a research paper for the US Air Force, he has been cited by leading organisations, including the US Army War College, Pennsylvania; US Naval PG School, California; Johns Hopkins SAIS, Washington DC; Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC; Rutgers University, New Jersey; Institute of International and Strategic Relations, Paris; Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy, Berlin; Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk; Institute for Defense Analyses, Virginia; International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC; Stimson Centre, Washington DC; Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia; Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington DC; and BBC.
His articles have been quoted extensively by national and international defence journals and in books on diplomacy, counter-terrorism, warfare, and development of the global south.