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Two-Nation Theory Is Islamic In Origin; Even Nordics And Europeans Are Now Saying So

Author: R Jagannathan
Publication: Swarajyamag.com
Date: May 9, 2022
URL:      https://swarajyamag.com/politics/two-nation-theory-is-islamic-in-origin-even-nordics-and-europeans-are-now-saying-so

If the top democracies in Scandinavia, who top all freedom indices, now believe that Muslims live in “parallel societies”, clearly pluralist India and its “communal policies” aren’t the source of this segregation.

Time we said it like it is: the two-nation theory is of Islamic origin.

Europe is gradually discovering what India discovered before its independence: that significant numbers of Muslims and Islamists tend to mark themselves out as a nation within a nation.

Last month, Muslim gangs in Sweden rioted after an anti-immigrant politician Rasmus Paludan announced plans to burn the Quran. The Swedish police said “26 police officers and 14 members of the public had been injured in the violence and that more than 20 vehicles had been damaged or destroyed”.

One can understand Muslims protesting against any intended insult to their holy book, but as Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson observed (see The Guardian report here), “What we saw were no political protests…. Police were attacked with stones and molotov cocktails. It was not a political act, it was a criminal act — an attack on the democracy that many have actually fled to.”

She went further and emphasised that Muslims in Sweden were living in a “parallel society… living in different realities”, adding: “Segregation has been allowed to go so far that we have parallel societies in Sweden… We live in the same country but in completely different realities. We will have to reassess our previous truths and make tough decisions.”

In November 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron made the same point, and more emphatically: “Islamist separatism”, he said, was a danger to France as Muslims held their own religious laws to be above that of the nations they reside in, which “often results in the creation of a counter-society….Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country.” (Read the BBC report here on what Macron said)

In 2018, then German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly admitted that Muslim groups in Germany sometimes lived in ghettos and these are often no-go areas for even the police. In an interview to a German broadcaster, N-TV, she said she wanted zero tolerance on crime, which should include ending these no-go areas, “that’s areas where nobody dares to go….There are such areas and one has to call them by their name and do something about them.”

Muslim ghettoes that are, at least in private, admitted to be no-go zones, exist in Belgium, France, Sweden and Denmark too. Add Germany to that list.

Clearly, there is a problem with Muslim self-segregation in many parts of the world and it is not allegedly “Islamophobic India” that is some kind of exception. If modern European countries with competent police forces, and even the exceptional Nordics, now face a problem with Muslim immigrants who they welcomed with open arms, surely one cannot lay the blame largely on the societies that host these Islamic minorities.

We in India like to blame Hindus, especially Veer Savarkar or the RSS, for the two-nation theory, but we need to re-examine this bogus secular consensus. The problem lies more with Islam and some Muslims who simply do not want to integrate.

If the top democracies in Scandinavia, who top all freedom indices, now believe that Muslims live in “parallel societies”, clearly pluralist India and its “communal policies” aren’t the source of this segregation. This mindset of segregation led us to partition on religious lines, but that has not seen an end to the problem. If Ram Navami processions can be stoned for allegedly moving in “Muslim areas”, clearly invisible no-go zones are being created even in secular India.

Time we said it like it is: the two-nation theory is of Islamic origin.


-Jagannathan is Editorial Director, Swarajya. He tweets at @TheJaggi.
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Author: Alka Dhupkar
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 2, 2022
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/loudspeaker-lessons-for-india-from-a-maharashtra-village/articleshow/91259002.cms

The villagers of Barad have passed a resolution to stop the use of loudspeakers

Barad shows that strong-arm tactics are not needed to curb noise pollution; a simple matter of sitting across a table and discussing can do wonders

Barad is a biggish village in Nanded district of Maharashtra with a population of around 15,000. It is roughly 20km from Nanded city. Over time, the village has prospered and places of worship, among other buildings, have been renovated.

The village has 15 religious places — 12 Hindu temples and a place of worship each for Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. In some neighbourhoods, these religious places are in close proximity. No problem there.

It was only when these places started using loudspeakers to broadcast sermons, aartis and bhajans that the problem started. It became a veritable Tower of Babel — all noise and confusion.

“Since five in the morning, we used to play songs. In some places, one couldn’t hear the other’s songs or for that matter what was played in our temple,” says Suresh Deshmukh, a trustee of the local Hanuman temple.

For days on end, farmer Sharad Kawle’s 80-year-old grandmother couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of the rampant use of loudspeakers in the village.

But all this is in the past now. In charged times like these, Barad stands out as a model of communal harmony. Back in 2018, the villagers unanimously decided to remove loudspeakers from all religious places.

So, what happened in 2018?

According to deputy sarpanch Balasaheb Shankarao Deshmukh, sometime in December 2017, a Ganesh temple was using loudspeakers to broadcast maha aarti and a Buddha vihar nearby was playing religious songs. This went on till late at night.

“Groups from both sides started raising voices against each other, asking that the volume be lowered. Harmony in the village was completely disturbed,” he says. “Somehow we managed to cool tempers, but the tension simmered.”

But this wasn’t the only incident. A local school kept complaining about noise pollution to the Shiva temple trust and others in their area. The students couldn’t concentrate on studies because there was a kind of competition in using loudspeakers till late night and early mornings among all the religions.

The villagers were fed up. Some of them met after the tension escalated between Buddha and Ganpati followers. During a meeting with the local police, they discussed the proposal of removing all loudspeakers.

Thereafter, the villagers held a meeting with all the religious groups separately. Everybody accepted that the use of loudspeakers was a cause for concern and social discord. The religious trusts said if it was mandatory for all religious groups then they would also stop using loudspeakers.

After the consultations, a special gram sabha was called and a unanimous resolution was passed.

The villagers agreed to use sound boxes instead of loudspeakers. The only caveat: the volume of the sound box should be maintained at a pre-mandated level so the sound does not go beyond the walls of the holy place.

The gram panchayat has already installed around 40 small sound boxes for local announcements such as deaths, vaccination or other government programmes.

After the noise, peace

Yogesh Ratnparakhi, who runs Om Sai Coaching Classes in Barad, says, “In my centre, there are around 100 students and I can’t tell you how happy we all are that the loudspeakers have finally stopped. Earlier, students would use unending noise as an excuse not to study. Now, they properly focus on studies.”

Kiran Mahajan, a trustee of Chandra Prabhu Digambar Jain temple, says, “Ours is a private temple that is open to the public. We too had installed a loudspeaker because others installed it too. But after the removal of loudspeakers, we didn’t lose any devotees. Loudspeakers actually don’t matter.”

Sharad Kawle, the farmer, says, “Many of us in this village are followers of the Varkari bhakti movement. I believe that your religious activity should not disturb others. Keep it personal, so we all supported this proposal.”

His views are echoed by Sardar Sattar Khan Pathan of Jama Masjid in Barad. “We respect festivals of all communities. The kind of communal harmony we have maintained would not have been possible with loudspeakers at each religious place in the village.”

According to Vasant Lalme, a trustee of the Shiva temple, loudspeakers are not essential for singing bhajans or kirtans. “Devotion is a very personal feeling. It can be attained without loudspeakers. We have proved it.”

Model village

Deputy sarpanch Deshmukh, however, is disappointed that his village has not been given due recognition for the innovative solution to the menace of unchecked loudspeakers. The village doesn’t encourage the use of loudspeakers even for political rallies, weddings or other celebrations.

In other ways, too, Barad can be touted as a model village. It has received state awards for cleanliness and drinking water distribution management, open defecation-free status, success of ‘tanta mukti’ yojana (a scheme to clear local disputes at the village level) and other achievements.

The village has 20 CCTV cameras, which have helped curb theft, sexual harassment and other crimes. The village has developed a proper watershed system; a dormitory near a rural hospital is a unique feature of the village. It has also built a hostel for girl students, it has a zilla parishad school, multiple anganwadis, among other facilities.

As the noise over the use of loudspeakers at religious places grows louder and various state governments are using strong-arm tactics, perhaps it is Barad’s use of consultation that stands out more than its other achievements.