Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Am Muslims India 03-07-15

Yearnings of American Muslims from India

Mirza A. Beg
Written, July 15, 2003
The Muslim Observer, Volume 5, Issue30, July 28,2003

Muslims from India, as other communities from India in this country have an umbilical attachment with India. They have left India mostly for economic reasons, but they carry India in their hearts.

A multi ethnic and multi cultural society such as India is like a symphony when it works well as the oft-repeated phrase, "unity in diversity" suggests. One needs to appreciate that the chorus of India will not be in harmony if the Muslim or any other voice from the great cultural fabric of India is neglected or silenced. This is true of any nationality but it is even more valid for India, which has more diversity than any other people on Earth.

India is Aryan, Dravidian, Semitic, Mongol and Aborigine (Cols, Bhils and Santhals). India is Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Parsee (Zorostrian), Jewish and Animistic. India is many languages and thousands of dialects. All inhabitants of India are historical immigrants, except perhaps for the Aborigines; even they come from some where to a land probably devoid of human habitation.

India is a much older melting pot than America. One may say it was the original melting pot. India is at its best when it celebrates this rich fabric to comfort itself and its children. India was tolerant long before it was fashionable to be tolerant. However unfortunately that great heritage is under sever stress these days.

Muslims in the United States hail from practically every linguistic, ethnic and racial groups of India. Their yearnings are the same, to live in freedom; freedom of thought with safety of life while contributing to the society.

They suffer when India suffers. They suffer even more when the suffering is inflicted, by some sons of India who refuse the rights granted by nature and the constitution, to the other sons of India. When some believe that "All Indians are equal, but some are more equal than others", especially in the last couple of decades when narrow minded fascistic parties have taken power in some State Governments as well as the Central Government. These parties are trying to substitute crass majoritarianism in place of constitutional democracy under the law.

Indian Muslims speak the same language of culture and religion that was welded in the sub-continent long before the idea of modern India took shape. There are Urdu, Hindi, Assami, Bengali, Panjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Telgu, Tamil and Malyali speaking Muslims.

There are Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Ismaili, Bohra, Meman, Khoja and Qadiani Muslims in the United States. Just as there are Catholic Christians and many denominations of Protestants from India. There are Brahmin, Kshatrya, Vashya and Shudra Hindus, and many casts and sub-casts in between. To the credit and farsightedness of our founding fathers in India, at least officially the scourge of "Untouchability" for those considered outcasts has been abolished. Though it regularly raises its ugly head resulting in massacre of untouchables but India has made considerable progress socially in recognizing their rights.

Muslims from India have come of age in the last thirty years or so. They have put roots in the richly textured American soil. A whole new generation has been born and raised in the US. They try to impart their religious and cultural values with roots in India, to the up-coming generation, as they grow learn and adopt what is good in this new land they call home.

Over the years many Masjids (Mosques) have sprung up to fulfil their spiritual needs just as there are many Hindu Temples and religious centers. The Mosques are centers for religious sustenance while one is busy pursuit of temporal gains and happiness.

Almost all Muslims living in this country have loved ones in India with whom they are in regular contact. They visit India as often as they can. Most families send remittances to families, friends and charities in India. It is their way of helping loved one's and to repay in some small measure the debt of gratitude they owe to the land of their birth.

The calamity that has befallen the Muslims in Gujarat at the hands of government sponsored pogroms will not deter the enlightened Hindus, Muslims, Christians and all other ethnic and religious communities of India. They simply have to redouble their efforts to defeat the forces of darkness and help realize the potential greatness of India. The blood of countless generations from India harkens Muslims as all Indians back to India that they carry in their hearts.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted by email at

No comments: