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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 5

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 5: The Origin and Spread of Islam in India

Continued from here.

Masood Alam Falahi

(Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com)

[Part 5 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India')]

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At a time when in India, as in many other parts of the world, social hierarchy, inequality and oppression were at their peak, with a large section of humanity, such as the Indian Shudras, being treated as worse than animals in the name of religion, the Prophet Muhammad began his mission in Arabia. The core of his message was the oneness of God. 'Say: "He is Allah, [the] One', the Quran exhorts the Prophet to announce to the world. Another central aspect of the divine message the Prophet was commissioned to preach was the oneness and ontological equality of all human beings. Thus, the Quran declares, 'O mankind! We created you from a single [pair] of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other [not that you may despise each other]. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is [he who is] the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted [with all things]' (49: 13). The Prophet very explicitly announced, 'An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor has a non-Arab any superiority over an Arab. Nor has a black man any superiority over a white man or a white man over a black man except by the criterion of God consciousness (taqwa). All of you are from Adam, and Adam is from dust.' This message of social equality is a central pillar of the Islamic dawah or missionary call. It was, undoubtedly, one of the major factors for the powerful attraction that Islam exercised and for its rapid spread, in a matter of just a few years, across the Arabian peninsula and beyond.

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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 4

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 4: Early Anti-Aryan Movements in India

Continued from here.

Masood Alam Falahi

(Translated From Urdu by Yoginder Sikand, for NewAgeIslam.com)

[Part 4 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India')]

~

It is a law of nature that when oppression reaches its zenith, people begin to rise up in revolt. Oppressed people raise their voice and protest, refusing to accept their conditions. Yet, there is no guarantee that their revolutionary stirrings will necessarily succeed. This is precisely what happened in the case of numerous revolutionary movements that emerged against Brahminism in the early period of Indian history. The Shudras and a large section of the Vaishyas were, from the very beginning, victims of the oppression of the Brahmins and, therefore, harboured deep resentment against them. The Kshatriyas had entered into an alliance with the Brahmins, patronising the latter in return for the religious sanction they received from them for their rule. Yet, a large section of the Kshatriyas became increasingly resentful of Brahminical hegemony and despotism. This was reflected, for instance, in the emergence of powerful anti-Brahminical movements led by Mahavir and Gautam Buddha, both of them scions of ruling Kshatriya clans.

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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 3

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 3: The Impact of the Aryan Invasion of India

Continued from here.

Masood Alam Falahi

(Translated From Urdu by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com)

(Part 3 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India'))

~

[Translator's Note: This is a translation of Dr. Faridi's Introduction to Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India'), Ideal Foundation, Mumbai, 2009, pp. 32-35. For the sake of brevity, I have deleted some lines that I did not find directly relevant. I have sought to present the spirit of the text and, hence, have not made a literal translation throughout -Yoginder Sikand, NewAgeIslan.com]

 Definition of Caste

According to sociologists, caste refers to a social system characterised by hierarchically-ordered divisions based on birth. In such a system, there is a strict limit to one's choice of occupations, which is, theoretically, inherited over the generations. There are also strict rules that govern and restrict commensality, marriage and other forms of social intercourse between the different castes. At the same time, each caste is interdependent on the other castes for various services. A caste-based society is contrasted with a class-based one, in which, at least in theory, people's status depends on achievement, rather than birth.

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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 2

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 2: Indian Muslim Society in the Shadow of Casteism

Continued from here.

(Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand, for NewAgeIslam.com)

(Part 2 of Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India'))

[Translator's Note: This is a translation of Dr. Faridi's Introduction to Masood Alam Falahi's Urdu book Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India') [Ideal Foundation, Mumbai, 2009, pp. 32-35. For the sake of brevity, I have deleted some lines that I did not find directly relevant. I have sought to present the spirit of the text and, hence, have not made a literal translation throughout - Yoginder Sikand, NewAgeIslan.com]

~

Indian Muslim Society in the Shadow of Casteism

By Dr. Fazlur Rahman Faridi

[Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand, for NewAgeIslam.com]

When I received the first instalment of a series of articles by my dear brother Masood Alam Falahi for publication in Zindagi-e Nau I had no idea that these articles would, in the future, take the form of a voluminous book. As successive instalments began being published in the journal, it dawned on me that this series represented an in-depth analysis of a painful and dark side of the history of the Muslims of India.

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Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 1

 

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 1: The domination of 'high' caste Muslims that parallels the Hindu case

Masood Alam Falahi

[Translator's Note: Very little has been written on the existence of caste and caste-based discrimination among the Indian Muslims. 'Upper' caste Muslims, who, although a very small minority among the Indian Muslims, generally deny the existence of caste and caste-based discrimination in the larger Muslim community by arguing that these have no sanction in Islam. However, although these do not have legitimacy in the Quran, their reality cannot be denied. Nor too can the legitimacy that these have sought to be given by numerous supposedly leading Indian Islamic scholars be ignored.

In 2007, Masood Alam Falahi, a graduate of a madrasa and then a 27 year-old M.Phil. student at Delhi University, wrote a voluminous, almost 600-page, Urdu book titled Hindustan Mai Zat-Pat Aur Musalman ('Casteism Among Muslims in India'). Weaving together insights from fieldwork and key writings by influential Indian Muslim scholars, including Muslim clerics on the subject of caste, the book is a pioneering study of caste-based discrimination among the Indian Muslims and of the continued domination of 'high' caste Muslims that parallels, in remarkable ways, the Hindu case.

Realising the importance of this pioneering book, I have begun translating key portions of it, which I plan to send out as articles once every few days. Once the translation is complete I hope to publish it as a book.

This instalment is a translation of the first thirty pages of the book titled 'Why I Have Written This Book'. ~ Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com]

~

Why I Have Written This Book

By Masood Alam Falahi

[Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com]

O humankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted (Quran 49: 13)

There are two things that, if they are found among people, take them to the level of infidelity: one is to consider others to be low-born [...] (Saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad contained in the Sahih Muslim)

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Alienation, consciousness and assertion: an interpretation of Oriya Dalit narrative

by Raj Kumar

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to discuss the historical context of the emergence of a new literary genre called "Oriya Dalit literature" which reflected the growing identity, awareness and consciousness of the Oriya Dalits during the colonial period and post-independence days. Although there was no literary genre distinctively known as "Dalit literature" during the pre-independence in Orissa, an examination of some literary works written by the Dalit intellectuals as well as the upper caste progressive writers indicate that the oppression, agony and anger of the Dalit masses is reflected in their writings. An attempt has been made in this paper to analyze the nature of literary representation of Dalit problems and the emerging consciousness in the writings of selected Dalit scholars. In view of the distinct socio-political background of Orissa in India, it seems appropriate as well as befitting to compare and contrast the sensibilities articulated in Oriya Dalit literature with that contained in other protest literature available in India and abroad.

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Police an impediment to security

Asian Human Rights Commission Statement


There is no doubt that security to life and property is a fundamental right of every Indian. It is equally the duty of the state to protect it. The safety of a nation is directly proportionate to the collective notion of security of every citizen of that country. The single largest entity that is directly and immediately responsible for the security of the people in India, like in any other country, is the local police. However in India, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is of the opinion that it is this very executive organ of the state that forms the single largest impediment to the security of the country. 

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