Call a spade a spade

September 17, 2010 at 3:02 am 8 comments

The CNN-IBN   telecasted a program on the 16th September ‘Because my name is Khan’.The Copra sting operation had revealed that the Muslims are discriminated against when it comes to renting out houses to them-‘Urban India shutting the doors to Muslims’, ‘Metros suffering from Muslim phobia’ et al. There is too much of an exaggeration. When it comes to discrimination in renting out houses Hindus, Muslims, Christians are all victims of discrimination at some point or other. After all in this vast country with its teeming billions one can pick what one wants to project and make it look that the Muslims alone are discriminated against. This is far from the true. But given the population breakup ration the proportion of discrimination against the Muslims in actual numbers may be less-compared to the other communities. This is because of the population spread and of the ownership pattern. So one can pick and chose and find what one wants to find. This is unscientific like the Sachar survey.

Now to comment on the cobra sting-:It must be granted that Muslims themselves prefer to live in their own ghettos. If there is so much of discrimination against them where are the Muslim film personalities living? Everyone cannot get land, house of one’s choice. But let us face the reality

First it must be conceded that a house owner is free to sell/not to sell, rent/ not to rent his land or house.One cannot immediately conclude that it is discrimination against a community.The reasons for refusal to Muslims are varied. When Sadhvi Pragya motor bike was sold to someone and that bike was involved in serial blast incident look at the harassment and torture inflicted on Pragya. Similarly we must concede that most of the terrorists are Muslims and what happens if one rents out one’s house and some terrorists occupy it or frequent it? Will not the owner  also be put to harassment?

Second- even non-vegetarian Hindus and Christians find it difficult at times to get houses and doors are shut at times. But they understand the problem. No one cries foul that it is discrimination. The sentiments –both social and religious of the owner must be also respected.

Third- Muslims do not rent their houses to Hindus even Christians. This from my own experience I can vouch. They like to live among their own. This is not an offence.

Fourth I like to narrate my own experience. I had rented my upstairs when I lived in Chennai to Salim(name changed). He agreed on a whole lot of things-like not parking his car within the compound during the day ,with a month’s notice he would quit etc. Salim unfortunately did not abide with any of conditions in the agreement. Payment was not a problem. But when I decided to sell the house Salim refused to quit in spite of giving him two months notice. He point blank told me to go to court. I even tried looking out for a house for Salim but could not tell the prospective leasers that he was reliable. Would anyone point a finger at me and accuse me of being anti Muslim?

There was a high-rise structure of 16 flats on the same street where I lived and when we wanted to rent  one of the flats for a niece of ours the answer was that the 16 flats will be given only to Muslims. Though it took time for occupancy the vacant ones remain closed for a long time.

So it is not true that Muslims alone are discriminated against. They discriminate others. Vegetarians will not like to rent out their houses to non vegetarians. This is understandable. It is not the religion but the social customs and eating habits. For example: opposite my house were a couple of Muslims houses and when they purchase fish the vendor cleans and cuts it outside their gates. The crows pick up the waste and flies all over the place looking for a safe perch to eat! When this was pointed out to the Muslim neighbors and suggested that they get the fish cleaned within their compounds and see that the waste is put in a plastic bag and discarded, they were simply furious and did not heed. These may be simple things but which cause a lot of ill feeling.

For one of the feasts the goat is slaughtered and the blood smeared on the compound posts. This surely is unhygienic, revolting and offends the religious sentiments of others It is not true that Muslims alone are discriminated against in Metros. It is question of habits and a phobia which the Muslims suffer also. It is not as though only the Muslims have religious sentiments which cannot/ should not be hurt; the others too have religious practices and sentiments which need to be respected. It is natural that they protect themselves from being hurt. What is wrong in this?

After all Indians cannot be blamed-The separatist mindset is Islamic-did the Muslim leaders  not want a separate land of their own for the simple reason that they found it impossible to integrated with the Hindu population? So now why this great hue and cry that Metros shut the door at the Muslims. They rejected this very country and got a part of it. Now to forced themselves on others and seek the acceptance of the others to their kind of eating habits and social and religious customs is not fair. The electronic media cannot make it look that the Muslims are the victims of discrimination. The Muslims are equally to be blames for they too discriminate the Hindus and Christians. One must learn to call a spade a spade. The media must be balanced in telecasting such views and resist the temptation of giving a one sided picture.

‘The doors shut on the Muslims’: is the sob story but when the Kashmiri pundits were driven out of their homes and hearths what did it indicate-just indiscrimination or a mind set of intolerance. Where the media was then and even now the Kashmiri pundits are refugees in their own county. How is it justifiable? Why this ultra sensitivity when it comes to Muslims and their hurt sentiments. But stoic silence when Hindus are driven out of their own? What kind of mindset does it reflect?

Finally individual freedom is a Constitution right – to whom one rents/not rent one’s house is one’s individual freedom and it shall upheld. Call this what you may like-one has one own likes and dislikes based not on just a make-believe world or on appeasement policy but on reality and experience. One cannot barter it away to join the bandwagon of pseudo-secularists or for the sake of appeasement. Is it an offence? The media needs to be vigilant and not fall a prey of discrimination on the basis of religion to which it is often a perpetrator.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja

Vadodara.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Udayan  |  September 17, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Respected Madame

    I can not agree more to what you have stated .

    It is right that Muslims are predominantly Non Vegiterians and obviously those who religiously are with Pure Veg Food eating have reservations in renting hosuses to Non Vegies even if they are Punajabi , Sikhs and even Bangali
    Last week I was in Ahmedabad hunting for a rented flat for a young Architect who happened to be a Punjabi. Many of the owners clearly said that they will not rent the flats to people eating Non Veg Food or those who cook or bring Non Veg Food from outside .

    I feel owners were totally justified as they have their own sensibilities and it needs to be honoured.

    At the same time I know many Muslim families they live happyly in Predominantly Hundu localities.

    What is important that all should endouver to avoid formation og Ghettos .

    Singapore is multi Cultural , Multi Lingual and multi religious country . Administration in Singapore ensures that whenever a New High Rise residential coplexes are made, flats are alloted according to Population Mix of their country. As a result there is perpetual peace, harmony and no one tries to dominate others as there are no Ghetos and each religious minority leaves in Harmony with others

    There is no point in blowing the issue out of proportion — but all the E- Media are busy keeping such petty issues alive merely to catch Eye Balls and improving their TRP.

    There still would be a handfull people looking for every opportunity to remain in Limelight at any cost. They should be ignored by Print & E media and should not offer platform to blow their Trumpet to distrub peace & harmony so much required in our society

    Reply
  • 2. Sita  |  September 17, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Ma’am, rightly said. Another point is the timing of this so-caled sting. -just before the Rama-janmabhoomi /Babri masjid verdict,is what makes the whole thing suspicious to me.
    Further the Media folks think that the common Middle-class people forget and can be hoodwinked;but don’t realise that there is more awareness now, in this age of Internet,than the media /Politicians wishes us to have.

    Reply
  • 3. Udayan Patel  |  September 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Respected Ms Hilda Raja

    Though it may appear to be slightly off the subject I am taking liberty of copy pasting contents of my mail sent to friends this morning.

    QUOTE

    Friends

    Lots of ignorance prevails amongst us even in litrate people of India .

    Issue of Kashmir is burning ever since we got the independence

    We all are wondering what is the solution ahead.?

    Inept handling of this issue by Jawaharlal Nehru and Congress regime has led country to a very difficult situation for current leaders to handle..

    Post 1980 — I G & R.G also utterly mis- managed, merely to have their political gains which were futile.

    Governor than in J& K Mr.Jagmohan was so frustrated that he had to write an open letter to R G – PM in the news paper and he was unceremoniously removed resulting in to further cheaos

    His version in the Book written by him titled ” My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir ” worth going through and is highlys intresting one .

    Be that as it may — Question in everybody’s mind is now what next ?????

    It is expected that those at the helm of affairs at Delhi and J & K must handle the matter now onwards adroitly keeping India’s Unity intrest & constitution Supreme.

    Govt in any case should not dilute the morale of Armed Forces by repelling the special act to restore peace by taking action against those indulging in violance.

    If it comes to ignore person like Gilani and others so be it. Such people do not need to be given any importance who are openly defying India’s Constitution and threatening to further provoke & incite the youth in to Stone Pelting, violance & Unrest in the valley.

    Article 370 was a temp one as was assuresed by Nehru in the parliament — what is the status now ?

    We should not forget that Late Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was imprisoned in Kashmir and died in Jail simply because he opposed Artcle 370. He strongly objected to two constitutions, two Vazir E Alam two flags merely to accomodate Muslimsof Kashmir.

    If only Sardar Patel’s advise and counsel had prevailed on Nehru Issue could have been satteled by us and our Army without referring the issue to UN specially when almost all the agressors from Pakistan were retreating. We could have also won back other half of Kashmir now called POK . Unfortunately Nehrujee was too short sighted and had no vision though he claimed to be a stalwart in Intl Politics.

    By gones are by gones

    Why can’t Govt take a concrete step at this stage ? What is the plight of Kashmiri Pandits ? It was shamful that no govt. in Power– Congress / BJP’s / Devgoda/ IK Gujrals– all have totally failed to address the problems of Pandits who had no alternative but to stay in Tents for years.

    We the citizens of other states have also shown lukeworm or rather not responded by rehabilating Pandits and give them honourable life in peace until they can return back to their homes in the valley.But we all allowed them to get lurched in miserable life. Even To-Day Govt in Delhi is not giving them their due.

    Just ask any Sindhi or Sikh what they have gone through when they were ousted from Pakistan and had to struggle & strive for rehabilating themselves again from the scratch ??

    It’s high time that we all should take active interset atleast to understand the gravity of situation and problems and sensitise the issue as best as we can by indulging in to serious introspection and healthy debate to impress upon the think Tank at MEA / North Block & South Block , Home Ministry Defence Minstry and who ever matters .

    Udayan Patel

    Following pragraphs gives details of history of Kashmir prior to 1947

    Kashmir, if literally translated, means land desiccated from water: “ka” (the water) and shimeera (to desiccate). Tradition says that Kashmir was originally a lake that was drained by the great saint of ancient India Kashyap. It was included in the empire of Ashoka Maurya who is credited with the foundation of the city of Srinagar around the year 250 BC.

    During this period Buddhism spread in Kashmir and flourished under the Kushans. During the reign of Kanishka, the third Buddhist council took place in Kashmir which has been attested by the 7th century Chinese traveler Hien Tsang. But Hinduism held its sway in the region. The 7th Century AD witnessed the establishment of a dynasty called the Karkota whose foundation stone was laid by Durlabhavarrdhana. The most famous ruler of this dynasty was Lalitaditya Muktapid who built the world famous sun temple (Martand) in Kashmir. The Karkotas were supplanted by the Utpalas in 855 AD. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Avanti-verman. He recovered Kashmir from utter political and economic disorder into which Kashmir had fallen during the rule of his predecessors. Didda, a Gupta widowed queen, ruled Kashmir until 1003 AD when the Lohara dynasty took over. Didda was a very unscrupulous and willful lady and led a very immoral life. But in spite of these drawbacks, she ruled the valley with firm hands.

    The last Hindu ruler of Kashmir was Udyan Dev. His chief Queen Kota Rani was the de facto ruler of the kingdom. She was a very brave lady, shrewd and an able ruler. With her death in 1339 the Hindu rule in Kashmir came to an end and thus was established the Muslim rule in Kashmir under Sultan Shamas-ud-din whose dynasty ruled the valley for 222 years. The greatest ruler of this dynasty was undoubtedly Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin. Under his rule Kashmir was culturally and politically at its zenith. The kingdom was annexed into the Mughal Empire in 1586 and thus was extinguished the freedom of Kashmir.

    In 1757 Kashmir came under the control of Ahmed Shah Durrani, the Afghan who invaded India many times. In 1819 Kashmir was annexed by Ranjit Singh and made a part of his Sikh empire. The two Anglo-Sikh wars fought between the Sikhs and Ranjit Singh resulted in the complete extinction of the Sikh sovereignty in Kashmir. The British gave away Kashmir to Ghulab Singh for the sum of 75 lakhs of rupees under the Treaty of Amritsar. This entitled Ghulab Singh to have his complete sway over the dominion. He extended his territory by annexing Ladakh. Ghulab Singh died in 1857 and was replaced by Rambir Singh (1857-1885). Two other Marajahs, Partab Singh (1885-1925) and Hari Singh ruled in succession. Maharaja Sir Hari Singh ascended the throne in 1925. He continued to govern the state till 1950. In 1932 Kashmir’s first political party – All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference was formed by Sheik Abdullah The party was later renamed the National Conference in 1939 and continues to be a major political party in Kashmir today.

    UNQUOTE

    I fervently hope that readers on this blog will react postively by contributing their bit

    Udayan Patel

    Reply
    • 4. hilda raja  |  September 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      Udayan Patel please adhere to only comments on what I write in my blog.The last one on Kashmir makes it look as though it is your blog on an entirely different subject.I don’t think it is fair to the readers and to me if you bring in some other subject and ask for comments from readers.So please don’t resort to such in future.At the same time I do understand your concern on Kashmir.My ‘calling a spade a spade’ seem to have gone out of focus.I am very unhappy by this your intervention.

      Reply
  • 5. rent  |  September 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    something is wrong here….or soemthing is missing

    Reply
    • 6. hilda raja  |  September 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      Rent-Yes as you have rightly pointed out something was wrong and something amiss-please read my reply to Udayan and you will understand.

      Reply
  • 7. Sid  |  September 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Yes, agree fully.

    Reply
  • 8. Shreya  |  September 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    It’s sad how in India, favoritism to Muslims has become the definition of secularism and any talks about other religions, especially Hinduism is perceived as communal.

    Reply

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