How many instances can you cite to prove when an unmitigated evil, a pure perfidy, an unalloyed curse has turned into a blessing, pure and simple?
In the backdrop of the Saffron and not-so-Saffron strategy, aimed at keeping the Muslim minority illiterate so that it may serve as the drawers of water and hewers of coal, it is exhilarating to learn that now Muslims have woken up to the need of education. About two decades ago the seeds of this awakening were sown, particularly in South India. The north continues to remain “the only son of a rich landlord.”
Nobody could ever think the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat would give a severe jolt to the victims and sufferers. Communal riots have had been taking place in our country with clock-like regularity. But what has happened in Gujarat has taken place nowhere. Or may be we are uninformed about that development. After the unsuccessful attempt at the total erasal of Muslims from the soil of Gujarat more and more educational institutions are being set up now. Not only that Muslims are setting up Trusts for philanthropic purposes. They are concentrating on hospitals also.
One thing quite remarkable about this phenomenon is that the victims are honestly – not jokingly or in sarcasm – grateful to the Chief Minister and his foot-soldiers. To quote Mr. Yunus Patel: “I won’t vote for Narendra Modi but I love his government. It is the hostile attitude of the state that has forced the Muslim community to look to education as its only saviour,” the 40-year-old gentleman, who had been once a gambling den operator, said. Now Mr. Yunus has plans to send his daughter to a dental college to be opened by the Bombay Patel Welfare Society in Bharuch. The riots have “fuelled an educational revolution among Muslims here,” he said.
Yes!Not only that. Even the gamblers have turned into the Sir Syeds!
In a 270-word story, Mr. Zeeshan Shaik says in the Hindustan Times (December 6): The Bombay Patel Welfare Society already runs one of Gujarat’s largest Muslim hospitals in Bharuch. The society also runs an English-medium school where over 500 children study, the majority of them Muslims.
“The community has realised that the only way of getting empowered is through education. Reservation or government sops are not going to help unless there is a change in the attitude towards education within the community. Surprisingly, the riots of 2002 acted as a catalyst for this to happen,” said Mohammed Patel, a former MLA and president of the Patel Welfare Society.
Muslim Trusts are also concentrating on improving the literacy rate among women in their community. Muslim female literacy stands at 63.5 per cent, again higher than the national average of 54 per cent. The Mumshi Trust has opened a B.Ed. College, a primary teachers’ college and a science college for girls in Bharuch, all in one year.
Several decades ago, the late Maulana Abul Lais, former President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, and I happened to be in a reception, attended by the late Mr. K.R. Malkani, who was then editing Organiser, the RSS mouthpiece. The responsibility of introduction fell on my shoulders. Introducing the ace journalist, I submitted to the Jamaat chief: Mr. Malkani is our one of the greatest benefactors. After the formality Mr. Malkani asked me: how am I your benefactor? I said: Look!We Muslims are a lousy lot, grossly irresponsible, given to petty pleasures in life, incapable of seeing beyond our nose. You, through your inflammatory writings, have fired our morbid imagination. You have contributed a lot to our awakening. This makes you one of our benefactors.
Now I after every anti-Muslim upheaval, pray not only for peace to the souls of Monje, Savarkar and Golwalkar, but also for a longer life, coupled with robust health, to the Chiefs of RSS, BJP, VHP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and Hindu Mannani.