Visible Muslim, Invisible Citizen: Understanding Islam in Indian Democracy
Author: Salman Khurshid
Reviewed by: Kingshuk Chatterjee
Available at: Rupa Publications, 161, B-4, Ground Floor, Gulmohar House, Yusuf Sarai Community Centre, New Delhi – 110049 Rs 595. https://www.amazon.in/
The citizenship rights of Indian Muslims are eroding rapidly (Sep 20, 2019, The Telegraph)
For the past five years, Indian Muslims have had it rough. People have been dragged from their homes and lynched on suspicion of eating beef; others have been brutally manhandled and even killed if they happened to be dairy farmers carrying cattle for animal husbandry, not slaughter; yet others have allegedly been beaten up for wearing the skullcap and forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’; attempts have been made to prevent rapists of a child (who happened to be a Muslim) from being brought to book; the bill on instant triple talaq was voted through without much meaningful debate in Parliament; some also suspect that the dubious constitutional act of the dismemberment of Jammu and Kashmir was widely welcomed by a large section of the people simply because its primary target happens to be Kashmiri Muslims.
These are bad times to be a Muslim, if particularly either your name, or your attire, or your practice of your faith identify you as such. As the author suggests, the citizenship rights of Indian Muslims are eroding rapidly, as mistreating them gains a kind of respectability and political immunity under the present dispensation for the first time since 1947.
The book by the veteran Congress politician, Salman Khurshid, attempts to deal with the challenge of being a Muslim in India in these troubled times. He touches upon all the things that such a book should deal with — Partition, contribution of Indian Muslims to Indian society and culture, the galaxy of Muslim public figures in politics and other walks of life, the Babri Masjid, the Sachar committee, the mob-lynchings of the last five years, the glare of suspicion that a Muslim is repeatedly subjected to and the never-ending need for a Muslim to prove his loyalty before the ‘naturally-loyal’ Hindu.…