FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Relationships are Not the Monopoly of the State and Its Appendages

Photograph Source: irumge – CC BY 2.0

Human for those who labor under the delusion that the curtailment of civil liberties in Kashmir and persecution of minorities in Delhi are “internal” matters: India chose democracy, secularism, and socialism as its goals in 1947.

The first milestone on this road is democracy.

Democracy entails a lot more than merely conducting elections every five years. In substance, democracy is a way of life and a way of thinking.

In a democracy, the majority will prevail, but it is equally incumbent on the majority to respect and defend the legitimate interests and sentiments of minorities and to dispel their apprehensions.

The greatest test of the success of democracy lies in the extent to which its minorities feel secure.

Democracy and secularism in India will remain failed experiments so long as minorities are marginalized and brutalized.

I am not saying this as a Muslim, but as a South Asian and, more so, because I have never reconciled with the communalization of politics.

Muslims are part and parcel of South Asia’s history—past and future, and I am of the firm conviction that every inhabitant of India must be given a sense of participation in the country’s affairs.

In light of the complex political history of India, it becomes all the more important to ensure that the minorities of the country are satisfied with their relationship with mainland India.

It is regrettable that this complex political history has been ignored or left uncared for by the BJP as well as the Congress.

This grave lapse is responsible for breeding extremist national chauvinism, thereby weakening the secular character of the constitution and the country.

Amidst the bedlam and madness in Delhi, several unsung heroes are fighting to protect our common humanity.

From the Hindu man who sacrificed his life saving his six Muslim neighbors from the conflagration that engulfed them, to the Muslims who formed a human chain around a temple to prevent its desecration, humanity hasn’t perished.

Despite the apathy of law enforcement in Delhi and incendiary speeches of head honchos of the Bhajpa, several people have kept themselves away from the despicable influence of communalism.

Communalism and its propagation should be regarded as a serious offense.

Even today, there are people who do not tolerate an outlook that makes a distinction between communities.

Many of us were taught not to discriminate between Hindus and Muslims. We were taught that the life of a Hindu was as sacred to us as that of a Muslim. We were taught that any harm to a Hindu should be prevented at the cost of our lives, for our religion teaches us that it is our duty to defend and help our neighbor. I am proud to see people like the Muslims of Chand Bagh, who chose to protect a Hindu religious site, amidst the inferno.

Stories of Muslims saving Hindus and protecting their religious sites; Hindus warding off frenzied mobs, and giving refuge to endangered Muslims; and Sikhs opening relief camps for the sick, wounded, and vulnerable are manifestations of the indivisibility of the human bond.

People who recognize the inherent dignity of one another and are not swept away by the brutality of the mob are the real heroes. They ensure that the state and its appendages cannot claim monopoly of every human relationship.

 

More articles by:

Nyla Ali Khan is the author of Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman, and the editor of The Parchment of Kashmir. Nyla Ali Khan has also served as an guest editor working on articles from the Jammu and Kashmir region for Oxford University Press (New York), helping to identify, commission, and review articles. She can be reached at nylakhan@aol.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail