By Special Correspondent
CHICAGO / OHIO (United States):‘I don’t blame only BJP what is happening in India today. This mindset has been made over the last several years. This has been going in UP from hundred years against Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits. Prejudices against Muslims were built up over the years. But the positive thing about India is that the majority of its people are still good and secular, said Padma Bhushan Moosa Raza in his presidential speech while addressing American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI)’s 29th annual convention at Renaissance Center in Columbus Ohio.
Though the situations of minorities have changed drastically in the last few years, but there’s still a chance that decency and rule of law will prevail because of Indian ethos and values, he added.
The need of the hour is unity, we have to unite all those who have been oppressed and marginalized, said the ex-bureaucrat who was conferred with ‘Pride of India’ award by AFMI.
Delegates from USA and Canada attended the meet.
A fascist movement is on the rise in India, minorities and Dalits are undergoing all types of atrocities in name of cow protection, love jihad Ghar Wapsi etc. In fact India didn’t learn anything from western countries, we have a responsibility to set them on right path, said Dr.Tajuddin Ahmed (cardiologist) to the gatherings .
Unfolding the hypocrisy of Indian government Dr. Ahmed said Indian government is depriving its people from protein but exporting beef all over the world and become number one or two largest beef exporter in the world.
‘My family was in India when Gandhi was killed but how many temples were destroyed in the aftermath of his killing ? Not a single one, but when Indira Gandhi was killed what happened with Sikhs! Thousands of Sikhs were killed and burnt alive. Whereas in comparison to Mahatma Gandhi Indira was a very small figure. This is not the India of my dream. India has changed’ said Sikh leader Prof. Balwant Singh Hansra.
Merely giving the rights in written form (constitution) doesn’t mean that you have got those rights. Indians have got the rights only in written while practically they have no rights. Minorities are being killed and those who are supposed to protect you are committing atrocities on you this is happening everywhere in India, he said.
Children’s’ rights are being violated, communal and ethnic violence is common. India is not safe as it was. We should get united to fight for our rights. Not by gun but by our united efforts. We Sikhs, Muslims, Dalits Christians and like minded justice loving Hindus are in fact the majority in India and if we will unite we can definitely bring a change, he added.
Throwing lights on current challenges to the Indian minorities and their solutions prof. Imtiazuddin said ‘we need to overcome the problems. There are phases in the life of any community and nation past present and future. ‘Past’ we can’t change it’s there, ‘present’ we need to have a realistic assessment of what are the challenges, we should not overreact to feel overwhelmed , we should not ignore them to feel complacent and ‘future’ will require certain amount of strategic thinking and action plans’.
We need to have different strategies; one strategy is obviously building the characters, integrity and inner strength of our own community. What will solve the problem is ‘to have a real assessment challenges and our own strength and see whether our strength is enough to overcome those challenges or we need additional help, if we work hard it’s possible’ he added.
These are very unusual times and unusual times call for unusual solutions, unusual way of thinking, way of working, and if we can’t change our way of thinking and working we can’t solve the problems said, Rashid Salam ex-president of AFMI.
Advising different Muslim organizations working in US for the empowerment of Indian Muslims he said ‘special times require special deals and acts, we have common cause so we should come together and channelize our resources’.
There is a mob, frenzy of hatred and revenge which has engulfed India. This polarization has created a reign of fear and terror. This has damaged the soft image of India of nonviolence, Gandhi and Taj Mahal to mob lynching, cow vigilante and rampant violence, said Dr.M.Khutb Uddin who was also the moderator of the event.
He paraphrased Abraham Lincoln that ‘a house divided against itself, cannot stand.
Prof. Ms Angana Chatterjee of University of California highlighted the terrible situation of Indian Muslims in current scenario. She said intimidations, threats; mob lynching has become rampant in the country. Cow vigilantes are terrorizing Muslims and Dalits on daily basis, said Ms Chatterjee in another function organised by OHIO chapter of AFMI.
This year’s theme was “Contributions of Indian Muslims to Islamic World Heritage. Several speakers addressed on various aspects ranging from art, music, literature, medicine, poetry, cuisine and architecture, etc.