India has had many prominent leaders who, throughout their significant lives, have put in all the efforts for the betterment of the country. Out of all of them, practicality distinguishes Dr. BR Ambedkar. Not only did he draft the constitution for our great country, but he also played a major role in making it an independent republic. Apart from this, he can be correctly considered as the epitome of equality. With no intentions of becoming a messiah for the country, Babasaheb mostly worked in silence without compromising his ever practical approach.
Apart from being a dynamic leader, he was a critic of the concept of hierarchy in religions. We all know him as the saviour of the oppressed classes of Hinduism, but there is another approach to him we take no notice of, and it is important now more than ever to understand the true Babasaheb.
Hard-hitting Babasaheb had some very critical and hard-hitting views on the principles, teachings, and ideology of Islam. While he accepted Hinduism as its own set of follies, he was also aware of the social evils in the Muslim society of India. In his book ‘Pakistan and the Partition of India’, Babasaheb makes his views on Islam very clear. While some radical Islamists may term it as the imaginary ‘Islamophobia’, he bases his argument on facts and figures.
He was one of the first prominent and unbiased leaders who brought to light the caste system in Islam. He wrote about the dominance of the caste system and untouchability in Islam, which is still very prevalent in the Muslim community. He explained the two main social divisions as Ashraf and Ajlaf. The Ashrafs or the nobles include the foreign descendants and converted Brahmins whereas the Ajlafs or wretches are the lower caste Muslims. In some places, the third denomination of people exists, known as the Arzals, this is the most discriminated community in Islam. No Muslim associates with them and they are not allowed to enter mosques to offer prayers. Not only that, they cannot use the same burial ground as others. Sometimes, they are also treated as untouchables. It is important to note that not all Hindus and Muslims practice the caste system.
Babasaheb also mentions that while Hindu caste practices endogamy, it is not entirely their fault that this practice continues to flourish as Islam also has a big contribution. Both religions have strict rules when it comes to inter-caste and inter-faith marriage. Breaking this ‘law’ grounds for ignominious ejection from the community, especially in rural areas or among the illiterate population. While the situation is improving, it is still very prevalent and frowned upon in many areas and communities.
He clarifies that Hinduism has many social evils, but to perceive that Islam is free of them and more progressive is folly and indeed a surprise for anyone who knows the Muslim sect, especially in India. According to Babasaheb, the social evils in Hindus can be found in Muslims too, but they have something more. Referring to the purdah system in Muslim women, he says that women roaming around on the streets in burqas is one of the most hideous sights one can witness. This segregates Muslim women from others in society, which is detrimental to humanity.
The key concept that Babasaheb highlighted was the antagonist attitude in both religions. He also cleared the narrative of the divisive (Hindu) and binding (Muslim) attitude of the two communities and said that anyone who believes in it is far from the truth. Islam clarifies that there is a distinction between a Muslim and a Non-Muslim. The concept of brotherhood in Islam only extends to the other Muslims and not the entire human race. For other people and communities, it has nothing but contempt and enmity. He was also of the belief that Islam is a system of social self-government which cannot co-exist with the local self-government. He also believed that all the Muslims put their religion before their country. Their only allegiance is to Islam and no one else. Wherever there is a rule of Islam, lies the Muslim’s allegiance which is one of the primary reasons that no Muslim can regard India as his motherland and a Hindu as his kith and kin.
He also gives the example of the Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar, a great Indian but a true Muslim was buried in Jerusalem instead of India.
These thoughts of Babasaheb are widely ignored by today’s intellectuals who keep on harping about how ‘oppressive’ Hinduism is. As we know, he was a practical leader and knew how Muslim invaders massacred other religions during their reign. He was aware of the mistreatment of women in Islam and never approved of it. These factors are important in today’s climate of fake narratives. The country should know what the most dynamic leader said many decades ago still has relevance and exposes the rotten mindset of a Muslim fanatic. The ignorance by the propagandists that only quote Babasaheb to attack Hinduism should know these facts too, but only if Islam was a peaceful religion, someone would question them.
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