"All Muslims in this country are either invaders or forcefully converted Hindustani; they have been living at our mercy, they should live peacefully, but in vain, I think understanding is not in their blood & restlessness is the reason for it. I pray Allah to grant them serenity. You study the old map of India & you will know that Kashmir was there when Islam was not born."
I came across this comment on a post on facebook. It reveals the thinking of those who claim that the Muslims of India have no right on this country and are being tolerated here due to the mercy of the Hindus. It denies them the right of being a full-fledged citizen of India because the Muslims are ' either invaders or forcefully converted Hindustani. 'None of the Muslims today is either an 'invader 'or 'forcefully 'converted to Islam. A few might have the unrecognisable blood of the invaders running in their veins and the rest are the descendants of the Hindus converted as Muslims. But how does being a possible descendant of the invaders who came here centuries ago and made India their home make them an outsider, a non -Indian? And how does being the descendants of the Hindus who were forcibly converted to Islam deprive them of their right on India? The fact that their ancestors were forcibly converted to Islam makes them deserving of more understanding and sympathy. Neither the conversion of their forefathers nor some of them being indistinguishable descendants of the 'invaders 'deprives them of being full-fledged citizens of the country. Religion of a person cannot be a legitimate ground for denying citizenship to its people by a country.
Mahatma Gandhi's thinking on the subject was morally and constitutionally sound. He wrote in the Harijan of August 9 ,1942 "Hindustan belongs to all those who are born and bred here and who have no other country to look to. Therefore, it belongs to Parsis... to Indian Christians, Muslims, and other non-Hindus as much as to Hindus."
All civilized countries of the world grant citizenship to their permanent citizens and their children. Most even grant citizenship to the children of even foreigners born on their soil .They also grant citizenship to foreigners who fulfil certain conditions. Millions of Indians have become citizens of different countries. Many of them hold important political posts in the U.S. and U.K. No civilized country denies citizenship to its permanent inhabitants on the basis of their religion nor relegates them to the status of second class citizens.
The Hindus and Muslims of India living in the same area have a common blood. A DNA test would show that they are genetically related. A Hindu and Muslim of Maharashtra or Gujarat will share more genes with one another than a Maharashtrian or Gujarati Hindu with a Hindu from Kerala or Tamil Nadu. The claim that the Hindus and Muslims of India do not have the same and equal claim on India is as unjust and objectionable as the claim that the Brahmins and the other upper castes are superior to the so called lower castes and the depressed classes.
Genetically, Indians are very different. Most Hindus and Muslims have nothing common with the dark skinned Adivasis living in Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha , A.P., Maharashtra and M.P .though genetically the Hindus and Muslims are very similar .The same is true of the Indians living in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland , Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya. They are genetically related to the Burmese, Tibetans and the Chinese and not to the Maharashtrians or Gujaratis.
The claim that the Muslims and Christians have less right on India as their motherland is as obnoxious as the claim that Sawarnas were superior to the rest in caste hierarchy, and that some of the Indians were untouchable. Despite its inhumanity, the poisonous idea prevailed for centuries and is not yet dead despite vigorous and determined opposition. A determined and vigorous opposition to the hate campaign against the minorities is desperately needed if India is not to be pushed to a civil war.