Muslims, was the "PC" Card

J.B. Sharma JSHARMA at Hermes.GC.PeachNet.EDU
Sun Dec 10 11:09:49 UTC 1995

Frank Conlon wrote :

Many of these people have shared with me their experiences of personal 
humiliation and discrimination at the hands of the "majority"--and at the 
hands of the Congress-dominated "secular state".  And one or two have 
read a bit about American history, and recognize that the ironic 
similarities of the ideas about "mixed loyalties" and "breeding like 
bunnies" applied to them when compared to the racist and nativist ideas 
that some white protestant Americans have routinely applied to immigrants 
from Ireland, from Southern and Eastern Europe, from Mexico, from the "third 
world", and, of course to African-Americans.  

Hate and fear and discrimination do not exist in abstract, reified 
conditions--their reality can only be refracted in the thoughts and 
actions of individual human beings.  It is unavoidable, and it is 
necessary, that we discourse about "Hindus" and "Muslims" etc., but that 
ought not be the only perspective we keep in our vision.

Frank F. Conlon

 What you say is true, and there is no doubt that the Hindu 
"majority" has inmical views of the Muslim "minority" which leads in 
instances of discrimination in everyday life. However there is still 
enough of a semblance of civility that life goes on for most people 
of all religious persuasions as usual in India and there are no 
permanent population displacements.

 On the other side of the coin in ALL of the Muslim majority areas 
of the subcontinent (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kashmir) the minorities 
(mostly Hindus) have been harrased, molested, and just plain 
driven out by terror. This is ethnic cleansing, and is in progress as 
we speak. Three hundred thousand Kashmiri Pandits have been driven 
out of their homes with little hope of ever returning. These are 
folks who have undergone a heroic struggle since the 1400's to 
preserve their ancient culture against virulent onslaught of Turkish 
despots. In 1971, millions of terrified Hindus streamed into India 
when special army units marked the Hindu homes with spray paint to be 
identified for unspeakable atrocity.

 So, on one had the Hindu polity discriminates against Muslims. At 
the same time it allows for Muslims to participate in Government, 
Industry, Academia, Military, Judiciary etc at the highest levels. On 
the other hand Muslim polity on the sub-continent has simply driven 
away the minority the choice "convert, flee or die". This has been 
going on for centuries. Is is any wonder that the once healthy 
minority populations in Pakistan and the Kashmir valley are now 0.5% 
and rapidly shrinking in Bangladesh ? The minority population in 
India is stable and increasing. Does all of this say anything to us ? 

 So I do agree, we must not keep only one perspective in our vision 
of the sub-continent. 

J.B. Sharma


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