India Must Learn Tolerance From Mughals For Peaceful Future
Justice Katju writes that India is plagued with religious bigotry and polarization because of its current political leaders. Here he argues that the only way for India to succeed and be peaceful is to learn from the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s ideals of sulah-e-kul.
The Ibadatkhana Function, along with a Unity dinner, was held on Sunday, the 8th of December, in Chandni Restaurant, Fremont, California at 6 p.m. and went on to well beyond 9 p.m. It was a historical Red Letter Day for the Indian subcontinent, and it was resolved that every year the 8th December will be celebrated as Ibaadatkhana Day.
The Ibadatkhana Movement has been launched by some secular patriotic people to combat the dark forces which have been unleashed in India by its present rulers who, for their narrow political gain, are polarizing Indian society on religious lines, spreading communal hatred and violence, and taking the country dawn a path which can only lead to its disintegration and utter ruin. The Ibadatkhana Movement seeks to put the Indian train, which has been derailed by the present feudal minded neo-fascist rulers, back on the correct tracks and instead take it on the path of suleh-e-kul, that is giving equal respect to all religions, shown by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, which is the only correct path in a region of such tremendous diversity.
The Function had a capacity crowd of over 200 people who attended. I was the keynote speaker, and after me the other speakers were Dr. Jasbir Kang, Mr. Javed Ellahie and Prof. Randolph Langenbach. The moderators were Ritu Jha and Mariam. The Chairman of the Ibadatkhana Foundation, Tasawar Jalali ( [email protected] ), was the Master of Ceremonies, and Naren Singh read out the resolution passed by the House. Santosh Addagulla and Prabakar Karuppiah made many of the arrangements.
This is the resolution that was passed by the House at the end of the event:
As mentioned by me, the national aim of the people of the Indian subcontinent is to transform India (in which I include Pakistan and Bangladesh) from a poor underdeveloped country to a prosperous, highly developed and highly industrialized country. This process will be opposed by some powerful forces whose vested interest lies in keeping India poor and backward. Hence this goal can only be achieved by a historical people’s struggle, and for this, unity among the Indian people is absolutely essential. If we fight with each other on the basis of religion, caste, language, race or region we will never be able to attain our objective, and will remain condemned to massive poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, lack of healthcare and good education etc.
The present rulers of India thrive on communal hatred, as their whole politics is based on that. Moreover, they have no inkling how to resolve the terrible economic crisis which has gripped the country, with GDP growth dipping drastically, manufacturing sector in steep decline, real estate sector in the dumps, massive layoffs in the auto sector, IT sector etc and escalating food and fuel prices. Hence, they seek a scapegoat, which they have found in India’s minorities, just as the Nazis found in the Jews. Lynching of Muslims, hate speeches against them, assaulting them for not saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’ are daily occurrences in India. It is true there was communalism prior to the coming to power of the present rulers in 2014 also, but it was mostly latent and erupted only occasionally. Now, after 2014, it has become open, virulent and continuous. This is bound to lead to disaster, as the Nazi ideology of racial hatred did to Germany
Hence it is Emperor Akbar’s policy of suleh-e-kul, as symbolized by the Ibaadatkhana, is the only correct policy which can lead to India’s prosperity. All patriotic people in the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere should join the Ibaadatkhana Movement. For details contact the Chairman of the Ibaadatkhana Foundation Tasawar Jalali at [email protected] or [email protected].
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.