Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Too much of good is not so good


There are people who say too much of a good thing is not good. Satiricus disagrees. For he knows at least one thing that is so good that we can never have enough of it, forget too much. It is Indian secularism. And progressive Satiricus is happy to see that our progressive powers that be think the same way. For turn where you will, and you hear or see the word Islamic. First, it is Islamic banks. If it is not Islamic banks, it is Islamic courts. If it is not Islamic courts, it is an Islamic university. What better proof could there be of our progressives' progress towards Indo-Islamic secularism?

Unfortunately, we live in a less than perfect world, where not everybody can be as progressive as Satiricus. Rather, the RSS wretches are regrettably regressive, and, alas, the editor of this very journal seems to be one of them. For he has written a long editorial, which he opens with the absurd observation that it is secular absurdity on the UPA government’s part to announce the setting up of Islamic banks in secular India.

Now Satiricus never had much to do with banks, as he could generally bank upon his pockets to accommodate what he had, but he has been told that in Islamic banking no interest is charged, nor any interest given. And how does this mesh with an Indian economy progressing towards Americanisation via globalisation? Satiricus does not know, but the international economist who is our apparent Prime Minister, may.

For turn where you will, and you hear or see the word Islamic. First, it is Islamic banks. If it is not Islamic banks, it is Islamic courts. If it is not Islamic courts, it is an Islamic university. What better proof could there be of our progressives' progress towards Indo-Islamic secularism?

And if, as reported, Finance Minister Chidambaram has directed the Reserve Bank of India to study the feasibility of setting up an Islamic bank, it must be because an Islamic bank is better than a merely Indian bank. And why is it better? Why, because it is Islamic. Even this ignoramus knows that in secular India everything Islamic is axiomatically good, while everything Hindu is automatically bad. Rather, everything bad is automatically Hindu. For instance, when Nehru’s pseudo-socialism plunged the Indian economy down into the dumps, its pitiful plight was described as the Hindu rate of growth. See?

After reading a book titled Hindu Economics, written by a former vice-chancellor of a university, Satiricus had come to believe that Hindu economics was economics of prosperity, not of poverty, as enunciated by our ancients right from Shukra Niti. But then, it seems that between Shukracharya and secularists the choice is actually between acceptable Islamic indigence and horrid Hindu abundance.

Anyway, if Islamic banks are good for secular India, Islamic courts are better. But here again are all people as sensible enough as Satiricus to understand this simple, secular fact? Alas, no. On the other hand, a communal cuss has actually petitioned the Supreme Court nonsensically alleging that Islamic courts being set up almost all over the country pose a challenge to the country’s judicial system, and so should be immediately dissolved. Citing the fatwa issued by the Dar-ul-Uloom in the Imrana case he claimed that the mullahs had hijacked the whole issue and prevented the law of the land from taking its course. And what did the Supreme Court do with this pernicious petition that represented the horrendous Hindu height of communalism? Did it have the secular sagacity to know that between the Shariat Court and the Supreme Court it is the Shariat court that is, or at least should be, supreme in secular India? Alas, no. On the contrary, with obnoxious obtuseness the Supreme Court actually took serious note of the petition and issued notices to the Government of India, the Muslim Personal Law Board, Dar-ul-Uloom, as also to the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Delhi.

Satiricus is suitably shocked. On the other hand, he is also not a little happy. On the one hand he is aghast at the anti-secularism of the Supreme Court, but on the other he is joyful that Islamic courts have already proliferated so widely in India in the teeth of the law of the land. He now eagerly awaits the day when India that is Bharat that is damnable Dar-ul-Harab flowers into delightful Dar-ul-Islam, so that we have Islamic courts everywhere, the Supreme Court is replaced by a Supreme Shariat Court, and if there is an occasion when Satiricus asks for justice, he will get not only justice, but Islamic justice. And of course there can be no doubt that nothing can be more just than Islamic justice. At least not in Satiricus's secular mind.

But then, even among secularists there are doubting Thomases, even denigrating Thomases, such as, believe it or not, our oh-so-secular Indian Express. Take, for instance, its editorial of October 2, 2000 on the justice system in Saudi Arabia, the holy home of Islam. It said, “Late last week yet another Indian met with a fate worse than death: a public beheading in a region near Riyadh. This was the punishment meted out to him under Saudi Arabian law for murdering a Saudi Arabian...” Adding that such penalties are “routinely awarded” for a variety of crimes ranging from murder to “apostasy” (disbelief in Islam), the editorial concludes with saying, “According to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.” By this token, Saudi Arabia’s “constant recourse” to beheading is “nothing but justice beheaded”.

Since then, needless to say, Satiricus has been in a blue funk. What will happen to him if (or when) Indian justice becomes just as just as Arab justice? Will he be beheaded for murder on the charge of a reader of this column that the said column bored him to death? Satiricus's only defence would be that being a journalist he is illiterate, uneducated, and has not had the benefit of Islamic education at the first Islamic university being set up in secular India in its ‘secularest’ part—Kashmir.


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At 10/17/2005 09:00:00 AM, Anonymous darkstorm said...

Well, Can we have Islamic courts handing out Islamic sentences to Muslim criminals. Like chopping off hands for theft, stone to death for adultery, and beheading for alcoholism/drug consumption. After all, we are secular , arent we.


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