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  Asia-Pacific
India’s Heritage-Acceptance and Harmony
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Though in 16th century itself the great Mughal Akbar, by marrying Jodhabai proved to the world that India is a country of common traditions and composite culture. Prior to this, his father emperor Humayun also gave the same message to the world when he used to get the rakhi tied (wrist band) on his wrist by Karmavati as a symbol of Raksha Bandhan between brother and sister. Later, famous poets like Rahim, Jayasi and Raskhan etc. also demonstrated India’s communal harmony by dedicating poems to the Hindu deities. But the colonial powers couldn’t digest this golden legacy of our country. Notwithstanding the attempts of these colonial powers to divide us on religious lines so as to strengthen their rule, sgreat brave Indians like Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan and later upto Ashfaqullah by openly challenging the British rule, proved that we are one and will remain one.

These foreign powers albeit succeeded in 1947 by dividing us on religious lines. Undoubtedly, there were such communal powers during this period which in a way helped the British to divide the nation. But this so called communal division also taught us many such lessons based on which we have successfully thwarted all those attempts and conspiracies in the last 6 decades which tried to attack our communal harmony. Certainly, India is a victim of terrorism since last three decades. In fact, this terrorism is the legacy of our independence. While the communal ideology took away from us the greatest saint Mahatma Gandhi, during the same period millions of Hindus and Muslims were killed by each other in the name of religion. The trend of growth and strengthening of communal powers is still continuing. On the lines of formation of Pakistan, a new demand for Khalistan raised. In this movement too, communal powers were very active. The terrorists related to the Sikh community killed thousands of non-Sikhs during 1980s. During this period too, whichever Sikh leader spoke against the demand of Khalistan and in favour of united India, he had to face the wrath of terrorists and ultimately the end of this violent movement witnessed Operation Blue star, assassinations of the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Harcharan Singh Longewal and the then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh etc. But despite this huge tremor, our Unity and the feeling of being Indians is still intact.

Kashmir is an integral part of our country. It is popularly termed as ‘paradise’ on Earth. But anti-Indians don’t like the peace and composite culture of Kashmir. Consequently, sometimes in the name of independence of Kashmir and sometimes in the name of its merger with Pakistan, continuous attempts are made to create disturbance there. While Kashmiri Pundits were forced to leave their homeland, many Kashmiri Muslim leaders were also killed who followed the line of Indian constitution. Pakistan has always supported the secessionism in Kashmir in the name of religion. At international stage too, Pakistan has repeatedly asserted that it will continue its ‘moral’ and ‘political’ support to the Kashmir movement. Despite the support Pakistan is getting from inside Kashmir as well as from outside, it is still an integral part of our country and Kashmiriyat is a part of our great Indian culture.

In 1999, the Pakistan army tried to enter and capture the strategic areas of Kargil and Dras in Kashmir. This infiltration was also supported by the Kashmir-based terrorist organisations. But our Indian army, which is composed of the people of all religions, swiftly crushed the infiltration attempt. By feeling defeated by the weapon of our Unity, Tolerance and Communal Harmony, these terrorists started targeting the religious places of India. They attacked Raghunath Temple in Jammu, Akshardham Temple in Gujarat, Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi & also many religious festivities. We Indians very well understood the aims and objectives of these terrorists and repeatedly responded them by our unity, tolerance and brotherhood.

Being jealous of the power of our unity, terrorists attacked the temple of our democracy, the Parliament. It was a direct challenge to our honour and self-respect. The nation was shocked once again. Indian army once again came out of its barracks so as to give a befitting reply to the activities being conducted from across the border. But our government refrained from attacking as it would have fulfilled the wishes of the terrorists. After that, many such terrorist strikes were carried out as in Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Sharif and Jaipur which allegedly had the involvement of internal forces. On the height of it, many officers of Indian army and so called ‘saints’, their followers and some so called ‘Indian cultural nationalist organisations’ were involved in these attacks. These are the same powers which can’t see us Indians united. Despite the presence of some such negative forces in every religion, we can proudly say that majority of our society has never let them succeed in their unholy objectives. Rather, with every such attempt on our unity, history tells us, we have become more united and organised.

Our unity and integrity was once again demonstrated clearly when after 26/11 attack on Mumbai, the Muslims of Mumbai refused to bury the bodies of the terrorists in any graveyard in Mumbai. While a large number of obituaries were held in the memory of the martyrs of 26/11, the Muslims of Mumbai organised a long peace march which went through the places of attacks. Even though the terrorists use the name of religion to legitimise their activities, but the majority of Indian society has understood that terrorism is neither Hindu, nor Muslim, Sikh & Christian. Terrorism is terrorism. Any person involved in terrorist activities, degrades and maligns his own religion and also humanity. While terrorism makes us aware of their purposes, it also teaches us that our unity, tolerance, brotherhood and communal harmony are the only effective response to it. This is our legacy and will remain our identity in future. Any inhuman force in the world can’t challenge our Indianness, forget about terrorism.



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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