08/05/2009

The Voices coming from Rajhastan

And now the Gujjars are also threatening that if they are not categorized as scheduled tribe and not given reservation, they will become muslims or christians. Right now these voices are coming from Rajasthan where Gujjar community people are running a movement since a while. Two years back their movement turned violent, upon stopping trains and removing rail tracks, it had got lot of fame in north india because thousands of train and bus travellers were struck here and there for many many days. State of Rajasthan in north western india is a desert state. Most of its population comprises tribals. Biggest and strongest tribe is Meena, who got the category of scheduled tribe. Gujjars numbered second, but in Rajasthan they are not recognized as tribe. Gujjar is a backward class and present in many states of north India. Some muslims living in those regions are also called Gujjars. Gujjar leaders say that they are fed up of this respectless life and except "do or die" they don't have any other way. In this regard, in a place Patoli (Doosa), which was centre of Gujjar agitation two years back, two Gujjar leaders Vikram and Budh Ram told Indian Express (2nd May) that being fed up of social discrimination, we are thinking of leaving our religion to embrace Islam or Christianity.

Five types of Reaction
This threat of the Gujjars of Rajasthan will be seen differently in different circles. Where there will be concern to "that group" which any how wants to keep all non-muslims and non-christians in "Hindu" fold, the same way the general "Hindu" groups will also be worried. Where as Government and political groups will say it’s just a political threat or pressure. Where simple and common muslims will be just happy, the same time informed muslims will be upset that the beleif in Islam, which is a big wealth and asset of a man's life, targeted with how informal behaviour. And these all five reactions are quite natural. Informed muslims grief is valid because this informality is shown since a long time for the great blessing like Islam. In independent India this was started by Dr Ambedkar, who gave this threat of changing religion, in case of the social demands of dalit groups not being fulfilled, their religion could have been Islam too.
In the beginning of 80's, after Meenakshipuram incidents, these voices were coming from many parts of the country. Thus the case of Rajasthan Gujjars doesn't seem any different from that. Means if they get respectable position in Hindu society, there won't be any need to change the religion.

Note a difference
But a difference can be noted in the news of Rajasthan. Budh Ram Gujjar told explaining his intention, "Upon embracing Islam or Christianity no matter our demands are fulfilled or not, our life will be surely better than the existing situation. Political leaders won't be able to ignore us." This point is worth focusing for reviewers. Gujjar leaders of Rajasthan notice the social equality and respectable life of muslims, see the respect for christian community in the societ which it has got due to public welfare activities. And in hindu society as experiment for their own position practically passing through. That means they realize that in the common society they should also get the respectable position and needs of their life be fulfilled. At this stage nothing more can be expected from them. Now it is the responsibility of the propogators of Islam that they make contacts with the educated and sincere individuals of Gujjar community and inform them that respectable life in this world is just a small amount of the blessings and rewards of Islam. Otherwise benefit of Islam is much further, and wealth of belief is the biggest asset of the universe, which is beneficial even after this life in the eternal life here after.
07/05/09 khabar-o-nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Ibrahim Shaikh

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