Look at the Darkness, giving birth to the Sun – Gujarat

Gujarat will soon face elections, Though this is not a matter that should lead to much conjecture, as the other political powers wane more and more, and people in the state consider the ruling government to have made Gujarat a prosperous state, it does raise issues. The opinion about the Muslims in Gujarat will make a decisive difference. Will it polarise views sharply enough, especially within the non- Muslim voting sector, which is what matters, as the Muslims so far abstain from taking an active part in the State’s politics, to make the ruling party’s and more importantly ‘Hindutva of the 2002’ variety take a permanent backseat in the state?

Meanwhile, what do the Muslims themselves want now and what are they trying to do about it? What should they do? Muslims are not monolithic anymore than the others and they could try not only voting but contesting as members of different parties and not just of the Congress. This would break a great breach open for them into progress in Gujarat. Ghettoisation must be fought against more actively, and land acquired for the increasing population needs to be distributed equally somehow (despite the known difficulty that land is not sold to them), improved education must be the main focus, the fight for justice must continue as well as the growth of business, industry, employment and wealth generation. Fortunately, on all these fronts except that of land, ghettoisation and politics there seems to be much progress. The recognition that one has to come out of the Muslim mentality of being only victims, as seen in Sagarika Ghose’s TV show is a welcome one. Time’s wheel rolls on and one mustn’t be too much caught up in the past if change for the better is to come.

If one considers Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’, principles and problematics of justice are defined totally in relation to perfectly just institutions though the norms or right behaviour in moral and political contexts remain variable. I feel that the needs and demands of a just society ploughshare the common aim of identifying just institutions and just rules, but here in Gujarat and some other states in India we see a blatant departure from this though there can be serious differences between the principles of justice that have stood the test of time and the society that runs to achieve political gains and mileages.

On a Meta-analytical front, one must not view the problem of Gujarat much talked of here and elsewhere as only as Hindus and Muslims, without looking at its inherent structure. The real structure is that if a religious community that is majority in a certain geographical area, in a place and space and time, takes the virulent strains in its teachings as excuse to use force towards the minority in its vicinity such things as happened in Gujarat and elsewhere too in the country and the world will occur and (when twenty-seven or may be more ongoing conflicts exist in the world) have occurred before and now and heretofore. The pogroms against Jews, the present Israel-Palestine issue, the invasion by the US of Iraq after 9/11, Hindu and Christian persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir, and the cruel Crusades etc., etc., – not to mention the new politics led democratic, fascist and communist outrages against the non-adherents are all examples that show us that the roots of almost all conflicts lie in human nature and the disintegration is in the wrong interpretation of texts or violent texts and in not being able to see the larger picture of humanity or that love, peace, selflessness and compassion that are absolutely essential cornerstones of survival. Education in its true perspectives can bring about a big change. As can what Kahlil Gibran said long ago, if made a prophecy to be held on to steadfastly, in one of his parables of peace, referring to mankind’s chequered past and present:

“Look at the Darkness, giving birth to the Sun.”

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