Najmuddin Ahmad Farooqi, Lucknow  :

The concern for number of schools of thought and the differences between each one of those baffles the Indian Muslims(IM) today more than ever. History is the witness that testifies this age old problem of human behaviour ( like love and betrayal ) found in every community and religion. So therefore merely condemning or glorifying the social and humanitarian service of a particular community wouldn't serve any purpose. We must learn from others as to how they succeed and grow inspite of their internal differences. The fact of the matter is IM don't lack skills and knowledge but they are not the best at highlighting or in showcasing their achievements. My focus in the following paragraphs is about the material success of other communities inspite of the internal rifts and divisions and also presence of orthodoxy and extremism in other faiths.


Israel is acknowledged today as the most developed modern secular progressive nation and the Jews for having considerable impact on the world economy and they are also known for business acumen intellect military potential and their influence on great world powers :
•Population of Israel : 10 Million approx
•Jews : 7 Million approx  ( 70% )
•Arab Muslims : 2 Million approx ( 20% )
•Other ethnic minorities : 1 million approx ( 10% )

•Significantly in 2020 the Jewish fertility rate was 3.27 while the overall Arab fertility rate was 2.82 and the Muslim fertility rate was 2.99.

•The number of Israeli Jewish births in 2021 (141,250) was 76% higher than in 1995 (80,400), while the number of Israeli Arab births in 2020 (43,806) was 20% higher than 1995 (36,500), as reported by Central Bureau of Statistics Govt. of Israel. In 2022 Israel’s Jewish fertility rate exceeded its Muslim fertility rate. Indeed, Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is higher than that of almost all the Arab countries. The growth in Israel’s Jewish fertility rate is due to their attitude towards raising children as well as decline in number of abortions.

Certain other important features of Israel
•There are over 400 mosques in Israel.
•In 2015, the Israeli government approved a 10-15 billion NIS budget (about 2.6-4 billion USD) for a five-year plan to develop the Arab sector in Israel.
•Muslims are highly involved in Israeli academia, with some 26,000 Muslim students enrolled in Israeli academic institutions. In 2014, about 21 percent of the undergraduate students were studying in the prestigious Israel Institute of Technology.
•Muslims also serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
•Each year the Jerusalem municipality decorates the streets of the city in celebration of Muslim holiday of Ramadan, and hosts dozens of festivities and events for the public.
•Muslim employees can take days off work during Ramadan and working conditions are tailored to their needs while fasting during the month.
Among seven million Jews in Israel most of the secular and progressive Jews live in Tel Aviv and approx two hundred thousand ( two lacs ) are the 'ultra orthodox' Jews ( also called Haredi ) live in Jerusalem, is a world apart. There is a deep divide between these two sects. Rejecting the secularists and materialist the ultra orthodox live according to ancient religious principles focusing on the essentials of 'Torah'.

a. The right wing organisations continue to lament post Mrs Indira Gandhi assassination in 1984 riots killing nearly 2700 Sikhs mainly in Delhi. Of course this is as strongly condemnable as any other human tragedy. But unfortunately on the contrary the same groups commemorate the culprits responsible for the massacre of Muslims during 2002 Gujarat riots or elsewhere. Even they being fully aware to the killings in the ratio of approx 8 : 2 the thirst of hate and vengeance of the goons doesn't quench and they brazenly give calls from public fora for Muslim genocide as and when convenient to them. During the uprising of Khalistan movement in mid eighties and nineties the terrorists in Punjab killed more than twenty thousand people among them majority was innocent Hindu civilians, 2000+ security personnel, number of government dignitaries and a sitting CM of Punjab was also assassinated. Besides this thousands of Hindu families fled from Punjab. The highest religious body passed a resolution in 1973, known as Anandpur Sahib resolution declaring them a separate religious entity. Now question arises why do they not invite the wrath of extremist Hindu groups ?, the answer to this is :
•Sikhs are not a party to Partition
•Micro minority less than 2%
•Never invaded nor ruled India
•Number of similarities with majority community in socio cultural economic and religious affairs.
•Genetically they are the best in salesmanship
•Taking them on board is more tactical than humanitarian.

b. During British rule when Vedic education was on decline, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj and Swami Shraddhanand pioneered to establish Vedic Gurukuls in 1886. Adding up of all the 'Sanskrit Pathshala' (Sanskrit school) vocational gurukuls and the Vedic gurukuls, there are well over 100,000 Gurukuls across India.
•According to a conservative estimate number of students study in Gurukuls including Vidya Bharti, Saraswati Shishu Mandir etc, is 150000×200 = 3 crore. This figure is proportionately 3% of Hindu population approx one billion ( I have taken 200 students per Gurukul ).

In mid 19th century Darul uloom Deoband, late 19th century Darul uloom Nadwa & Sultanul Madaris Jamia e Sultania were established for imparting Islamic teachings to Muslims. The period and the purpose of foundation of Vedic Gurukuls and Islamic seminaries have a striking resemblance. The reason of beginning of Vedic Gurukuls was a decline in Dharmik education due to the influence of Christian missionaries under British rule. The reason of emergence of Islamic seminaries in the same period was exactly the same. In a way the apprehension of Muslims in this respect was more justifiable as they being in minority.

There shouldn't be slightest of doubt in anybody's mind that the purpose of founding Islamic seminaries was for spreading hate, anti national activities or to denigrate or denouncing the Sanatan Dharm or for that matter any other faiths or to converting people of other faiths to Islam. On the contrary these internationally acclaimed prestigious institutions played pivotal role in Freedom movement. According to Ministry of Minorities affairs total number of recognised Madarsa in the country is approx 20000 × 200 = 4000000 proportionately comes to 2% population of IM ( I have taken 200 students per Madarsa ).

In today's time the importance of SM is absolute but it is also ironical that in absence of a control by a regulatory authority its credibility has become untenable. The estimated number of Fake, False, Spam, doctored or unverified exaggerated messages are flooded and according to a conservative estimate together these constitute nearly 90%. Looking to the bias reported by mainstream media the role and responsibility of SM to maintain high standards of reporting becomes imperative. I have been regularly writing and requesting in the past and reiterating yet again please screen out, analyse, verify or if need be investigate a message before forwarding it. We also need to contemplate about the messages such as videos uploaded on SM by any tom dick harry denigrating denouncing and showing a mirror as if IM are a rotten lot. Our own colleagues are doing a bigger disservice keep on forwarding the rubbish repeatedly. However IM need not be ashamed nor get embarrassed rather they should rise to the occasion and move on.

Sometime back I have posted a text message in respect to the number of Educational institutions and Universities established by IM. It was illustrated with necessary details that in proportion to the population of all other minorities living in India, the numbers of educational institutions established by IM is highest. Later on the text with some addition was published in number of Urdu newspapers and English news portals.

There are a large number of National, state and District level Organisations NGO's and individuals among the IM working hard for the welfare and upliftment growth and development of the community. Definitely there is a positive change in the perspective of IM and that is a good sign for future growth of the youth. Much has been done and much more has to be done. I don't say that the IM has attained a perfection, instead I believe there is always a room for improvement. Physical health sanitation Education are the key areas for development and growth of any society. Contrary to the number of educational institutions the per capita income of IM is lowest among all. The economy can't boost on the basis of charities and zakat funding. We need to have a district level network to coordinate with district administration for utilisation of various central and state government schemes and scholarships. Attention is also required to identify the grey areas in our societal behaviour and to rectify them accordingly. Overcoming those shortcomings will certainly bring about a change of hearts of the Hindu majority in particular, mainly from socio political standpoint. Instead of lamenting on the internal differences and finding faults and failures in the community, best is to give one's own contribution in the service to the society. Be magnanimous to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of others.

IM were always there in national mainstream and I am optimistic their participation will increase day by day. There are job opportunities more in corporate and private sector. However due to limitations in finding a job, self employment, entrepreneurship and small businesses start ups are the better choices. The key to success is perseverance, patience and hard work with a positive frame of mind. In a diverse society the desire for living a dignified life can be fulfilled with mutual love and respect and taking care of the sentiments and sensitivities of others. Communal harmony is paramount for enduring peace and tranquility.