Opinion: Muslims Need "Collective Introspection" on Role and Stance in Indian Society

March 17, 2004

Source: Muslim Wake Up!


On March 17, 2004 Muslim Wake Up! ran an article by Arshad Alam, a research scholar at the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural History at the University of Erfurt, Germany, in which he revisits the 2002 Gujarat riots in the face of the upcoming elections in India. He writes, "Two years later, the same party is back in power in Gujarat, and the same Prime Minister is being compared to the visionary Nehru...We...know now that what happened in Gujarat was not a mere retaliation from the Hindus, not a mere Hindu-Muslim riot...The European Union termed the incident an 'ethnic cleansing' of the Muslim minority. The connivance of the police and local politicians is well documented, yet no one has been brought to justice...So what have Indian Muslims learned from the Gujarat Massacre? Perhaps nothing. Their political discourse remains the same two years later, blaming others for their plight and arguing that they are discriminated against in India...But Indian Muslims need to do some collective introspection as well. For fifty years, the religious and political Muslim elite has not shown any interest in the socio-economic betterment of Muslim masses."