Justice Markandey Katju-
A meeting of the preparatory committee for the Ibadatkhana Function ( see my article ‘ The Ibadatkhana Movement ‘ online ) was held on Tuesday, 12th November at Mirchi Restaurant, Fremont, California. It was decided that the Ibadatkhana Function will be held on 8th December at a suitable venue. Several decisions of a practical nature were taken in the meeting.
Speaking in the meeting I said that the Ibadatkhana Movement, started in the Bay Area of California, USA, and which will later spread to India, was of historical importance for the Indian subcontinent, for the following reasons :
1. Our national aim must be to uplift India from the ranks of the underdeveloped countries and bring it into the ranks of the developed, highly industrialized countries. Unless we do that, we will remain condemned to massive poverty, record and rising unemployment, appalling child malnourishment, widespread farmers distress, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for our masses, omnipresent filthy environment, etc.
2. To achieve this goal requires a mighty, united struggle by our people, for we have powerful adversaries who will oppose it tooth and nail. Hence unity of our people is absolutely vital for us at this juncture of our nation’s history, for if we are divided and fight with each other, we will never achieve our objective.
3. The present government of India is in the hands of people whose Hindutva ideology goes against the very nature and identity of India as a country of great diversity ( see my article ‘What is India’ online in which I have explained that India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America, with 92-93% of its citizens whose ancestors came from outside India, mainly from the north west ).
4. The ideology propagated by the Ibadatkhana Movement ( see my article ‘The historical importance of the Ibadatkhana Movement’ published in indicanews.com ) is the ideology directly contrary to that of the present rulers of India. Whereas the latter are propagating a brand of ‘Hindutva’ which stands for domination of the Hindu majority over the minorities in India, treating the latter as second rate citizens and terrorizing them, spreading religious hatred, ‘saffronisation’ of all institutions and suppression of freedom of speech and the media, the former stands for genuine secularism and democracy and equal respect to all religions, following the doctrine of ‘suleh-e-kul’ propagated by the great Emperor Akbar ( see my article ‘ Emperor Akbar, the real Father of the Indian Nation ‘ on my blog Satyam Bruyat ). The present rulers have by their feudal communal ideology caused great damage to India by trying to tear apart its social fabric by polarizing society, thus taking the country towards a dreadful abyss.
On the other hand, the Ibadatkhana Movement seeks to reverse this trend, restore India’s true nature and identity, and put India back again on its rails, and on the path to progress.
5. India is today standing at a crossroad in its 5000 year old known history. Indians must now decide which path to take, the path leading to its destruction being pursued by its present rulers, or the path of the Ibadatkhana Movement which alone can lead to prosperity.
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.]