January 29th, 2010

SS sweatshirt

Republic Day, vision and a heavy wallet ...

Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind or JIH. Jai Hind. These words were playing around in my head as I sat in the auditorium listening to the speeches. What attracted my senses was how the letters J, I and H were spread out in these words. Moreover, the co-relation could not have surfaced at a better time than the celebration of India’s 61st Republic Day conducted by Kerala Islamic Group, Kuwait or KIG Kuwait; a subsidiary of the parent organization JIH.


The thing that has attracted me to this body over the years is not their organizational principles, over which a lot of debates and criticisms is an ongoing melee  with other organizations like Kuwait Kerala Islahi Center or KKIC (a subsidiary of the Mujahid group) or the Sunni group; or their cadre strength. Frankly, I have never taken the effort to sift through their organizational reading materials. It is their work towards achieving the simplest Islamic principle that Islam is a way of life and should encompass all that has drawn me to them instead. Hard core secularists would disagree with me here – state separate from the faith - and it is not my intention to spark a debate on this. Of course, how can one engage in a dialogue if we’re not willing to open ourselves to differences in opinion?


When some of the factions, in the long run, end up confining charitable services and Islamic teachings within the Muslim community, JIH in my opinion try and reach out to people regardless of caste, creed, region, religion, etc. especially in their humanitarian aids. Their massive venture Vision 2016 is a small step in this regard on a national scale.


I may begin to sound like an ardent follower of JIH where everything they do is right and the others wrong. No. I attend functions conducted by any and all.


Among the speakers, one Mr. John Mathew (I think) said that the primary reason for the many banes in the Indian society today is the accumulation of wealth among a few like Ambani’s, Tata’s, Birla’s, etc. and corruption on an unprecedented level. I couldn’t agree with him any more than that. But I cannot be without having this thought too – we easily point fingers at the big banners. That is easy. As an individual are we doing anything to prevent this accumulation? As an individual are we keeping aside a portion of our earnings and wealth for the grander cause of uplifting the downtrodden? No. When it comes to money we just can’t seem to find our wallets.


Unity in diversity is an oft repeated statement when describing India’s pluralistic nature. Today when the attention was drawn to 2 examples to show the wonder of that statement, I was truly in awe. Europe is a continent where countries are separated by the barrier of language. Poland for Polish, Germany for German, France for French, etc. But going by the same yardstick we do not see a union among the Arab nations. They all speak the same language and yet are divided. Considering this single and simple parameter and seeing India as a united country I cannot but say that I was proud to be an Indian.


Never imagined the 61st Republic Day would bring about such feelings for my country where many a times it has been negative due to the corrupt system and the likes in place. And as a proud Indian I feel I have a duty to my fellow countrymen. And I thank God for having used KIG to open up such a forum.