When the Union minister for minority affairs, K. Rehman Khan, announced last November a move to set up five central universities across the country where 50% of the seats would be reserved for the minorities, it quickly became an inter-communal debate, with various BJP functionaries in Karnataka joining the fray.
Ahead of assembly elections in Karnataka, the move also served to add to the stereotype.
Mohamed Shareef, writing in Deccan Herald, helps break it somewhat:
“Some people of Mysore, under the influence of vested interests, have demanded a separate university for the community and that it has to be named ‘Tipu University’. The very idea of a separate university for Muslims is not acceptable because Muslims do not have any separate identity in this country.
“All Indians, whether you are a Muslim or a Christian, belong to the one and the same common identity and heritage. Foreign religions have been accepted and respected in this country because of the secular and broadminded attitude of the Hindu majority.
“In one way all Indians are Hindus because Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life.
“Different cultures and ceremonies certainly add colour and vibrancy to our social fabric but the over-emphasis of the diversity is useful only from a tourist point of view. The more diversity we can boast of, the more tourists we can attract. Apart from these utilitarian points of view, the religious sentiments of the people of any nation has to be accommodated in the broader interests of national unity and national identity.
“We do not run separate trains for Muslims and Christians because the function of a train is to transport people and not to express religious identities. Similarly a university is a place to receive education and to conduct research and it is not a forum for expressing religious views. We do not have a separate physics teacher for Muslims because the learning of physics follows only one method of science as followed all over the world by the scientific community.
“It is high time we kept our religious sentiments away from the mainstream of the civil society. “
Read the full article: Is there a Hindu or Muslim train?
Also read: Should a University be named after Tipu Sultan?
Tipu Sultan and the truth about 3,000 Brahmins
CHURUMURI POLL: Tipu Sultan vs Kempe Gowda?
Mohamed Shareef well said. Migrants should always abide and respect native relegion and should not dominate using vote powers.
1.Establishing a university with special privileges to a a “Specific” community is against the principle of secularism.
2. Supposedly if some one wants to establish a secular university , why name it as “Tipu universty” . Tipu was a barbaric fanatic , Osama , hitler , stalin ..
It is the typical hare brained scheme of Congress party to divide the electorate and keep a muslim vote bank.
Sadly, BJP falls in to the trap by projecting itself as a ‘Hindu party’ and talking of nonsensical issues like Ram Mandir etc. The true secularism is when a party can go beyond identity of citizens and only talk about policies that are based on welfare of all citizens. Weaker citizens being need to be given some assistance purely based on their economic or physical disabilities (not based on caste, religion etc).
There is not a single party which is willing to do this in India. Even AAP seems to be turning pseudo secular. Sad state of affairs.
Well our PM wanted minorities to get first right on all resources and our minority minister (who through his bank fleeced minorities) wants universities and even courts for minorities. When the top brass are willing to do anything for votes, the opinion of the likes of Mohammed Shareef is unortunately in a minority
I dont really understand why this entry is posted under Hindutva, Moditva etc.. What Mohomed Shereef says is the truth. Is the Banaras Hindu University only for Hindus or the Aligarh Muslim university only for Muslims?
Mohamed Shareef is spot on with his views and so is Indu Ramesh. We do have universities with the name Hindu and Muslim in them, which are inclusive. If the name Tipu is controversial, best to drop it. Don’t know what Mohan means by referring to the minorities as “migrants!”
Shareef Saab, please take a bow. But I know who is chuckling in a glee of vindication — Dr. Swamy!
We need more people like Mr.Shareef from the muslim community..a true patriot and a proud son of Bharat mata !!
On a different note Minister Rehman Khan is being investigated for defrauding the Wakf Board..the complainant is none other than another Muslim ex minister..Dr.Mumtaz Ali Khan another true patriot and sane muslim.
At least it is good to know that there are few sensible people among us like Mr. Shareef. But aaj kal sharafat nahi chalti… the so-called seculars will stifle his voice.
It is not only Dr. Swamy all of us here are happy with Shareef’s column,
I am a atheist, but my wife is a believer.
A few years back we made a tour of North, and visited Fatehpur Sikri. We saw the tomb of Salim Chisti. Our guide told that people pray to the sufi saint by offering a prayer and tying threads on the window. My wife did it. I didn’t go in, but was observing that majority of those who were offering prayers there were Hindus.
Faith has no boundary, no limit, no rational. It is a fear of the unknown that pushes all ‘faithful’ towards a faith. Some folks misuse such fear & insecurity – and codify some beliefs. Thus comes a religion.
In reality all religions are the same – i.e. unquestioning, unswerving, irrational belief.
It doesn’t matter if you go to Thirupati, Kashi, Ullal or Ajmer or even Mecca. What is running in the heads of of those who offer prayers there is the same – an expectation of better life by bribing (praying/offering) a perceived superior power.
In other words – fear of the unknown.
Is it any surprise then that politicians exploit this fear?
Truly, very well said. No question abt that:-)