Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ind Muslims-Atlanta 03-02-06

Indian Muslims of Atlanta

Mirza A. Beg
February 6, 2003

Voice of India, Atlanta GA. USA

Muslims of Atlanta from India, as others from India have an umbilical relation with India. They have left India mostly for economic reasons, but India remains a part of them

All of us need 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, Sikh, Parsee and Jewish. India is many languages and thousands of dialects.

India is a much older melting pot than America. One can 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 Atlanta 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".

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. They are Gujrati Muslims and Tamil Muslims. There are Urdu, Hindi, Assami, Bengali, Panjabi, Oriya, Telgu and Malyali speaking Muslims.

There are Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Ismaili, Bohra, Meman and Khoja Muslims in Atlanta area. 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 at least officially the scourge of Untouchability has been abolished and has made considerable progress socially.

So to write about Muslims from India is like writing about any other people from India. Many of them have acquired American citizenship; others have permanent residence status, and many visiting on a plethora of visas.

Muslims from India have come of age in the last thirty years or so. They have put roots in the red soil of Atlanta. 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 and learn what is good in this new land.

There are many Masjids (Mosques) in Atlanta 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.

Practically all Muslims in Atlanta 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 their motherland.

The blood of untold generations from India harkens them back to India that they carry in their hearts.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at

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