Monday, January 29, 2007

'Bring down Islam to its Knees?'

Bal Thackeray: Paper Tiger's Meow!

I didn’t know that Islam had ‘knees’ until I heard the roar (or is it a whimper?) of a paper-tiger whose diktat does not extend beyond the walls of Matoshree. A man who is not physically fit to stand up (he delivered the 20-minute speech sitting!) on his knees is talking about the ‘knee’ of the world’s fastest growing religion!

What an irony?

“It is my dream that we would create a Hindustan of the Hindus. Maharashtrians or Punjabis alone cannot fight against Islam. That is why, I appeal to all Hindus to break the linguistic wall around them and come together, so that we can bring Islam in this country down to its knees.”

I want to thank Mr. Thackeray for doing a doctoral diagnosis. The demigod of Shiv Sena has in fact acknowledged the prevalent casteism in his ‘Hindu Hindustan.’ I really appreciate his call for unity. Now that he has diagnosed the disease of casteism that has plagued India for centuries, it becomes obligatory for every Indian to find a remedy.

What he said is only partly true. The remedy, as I shall argue, lies in the ‘knee’ which he wants to bring down. Islam is knee of the Indian nation. Islam spread like a wildfire in the ‘Hindu heartland’ because of its inherent appeal for unity. In Islam Bal Thackeray and Babloo are on the equal pedestal. The only quality that differentiates the two is taqwa, that is, righteousness.

Now compare a rabble-rouser’s outpouring with that of a ‘messenger of mercy to the all nations’. In his last sermon, Prophet Muhammad said, “O people, listen to my words! For I do not know whether we shall meet again… there is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for the white over the black nor for the black over the white except in taqwa (Emphasis added). All mankind is the progeny of Adam and Adam was fashioned out of clay.”

That is the knee of Islam. So Mr. Thackeray, do you really want to bring it down?