India Needs Ideology Of Universal Toleration
It was Emperor Akbar’s policy of giving equal respect to all religions which enabled the Mughal Empire to last so long, and it is the only foundation on which India can survive, writes Justice Katju.
A meeting of the core group of the Ibadatkhana Movement set up in the Bay Area of California under the leadership of Tasawar Jalali, Chairman, Ibadatkhana Foundation was held on Sunday.
The purpose was to combat the evil communal forces which have taken over the government of India. The agenda was to prepare for the Ibadatkhana Function to be held on 8th December in Chandni Restaurant, Fremont.
The Ibadatkhana Movement is of historical importance for the Indian subcontinent. It could not be started in India as presently there is no effective freedom left in India, which has fallen in the grip of reactionary, fascist forces. So it has been started in the freer atmosphere of America, but it will spread soon to the Indian subcontinent too.
The ideology which the Ibadatkhana Movement stands for and propagates is the principle of suleh-e-kul or universal toleration and equal respect to all religions, propounded by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, and of democratic freedoms, which is the only correct policy which can hold a country with such tremendous diversity as India together, and take it forward.
This is in contrast to the brand of ‘Hindutva’ practiced and propagated by the present reactionary neo-fascist rulers of India, which stands for spreading religious hatred (to get votes), oppression and atrocities on minorities, ‘saffronisation’ of all institutions in India, and suppression of freedom of speech and the media, a path which is leading India to utter ruin.
It is deeply regrettable that a large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs) in America have shamelessly aligned themselves to the evil communal forces which are ruling India since 2014. Many RSS ‘shakhas’ have reportedly been started by NRIs in America after the BJP came to power in India, which shows that people who came to this modern country have not got rid of their feudal mental baggage and reactionary communal mindsets.
Ibadatkhana was the House of Worship built in Fatehpur Sikri by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar (1542-1605), where people of different faiths met and amicably debated about the good points in their religions, and what contribution they have made to mankind. This was at a time when people in Europe were massacring each other in the name of religion. Emperor Akbar was thus 200 years ahead of his time.
It was his policy of giving equal respect to all religions which enabled the Mughal Empire to last so long, and it is the only foundation on which India can survive.
We of the Ibadatkhana Movement appeal to all genuine patriots of India to join us in this sacred mission of destroying the Bhasmasur which has taken over India, and setting the country again on the correct path shown by Emperor Akbar.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.