I had posted this recently on my Facebook page :
” Burqa, sharia, madarsas and maulanas, and religious bigots ( in all religions ) must be suppressed, and anti-beef laws in India abolished, if the country is to progress.
Some people say there should be freedom to wear burqa or not. I do not agree. Too much liberty is also bad. No liberty should be given to continue feudal and backward practices. Wearing burqa, which is a feudal practice, should be forcibly suppressed, as the great leader Mustafa Kemal did in Turkey in the 1920s, or as France has done recently.
Some people say I will lose my Muslim followers for expressing such views against Muslim practices,, and anger my Hindu followers for speaking against ban of cow slaughter.
My answer is that I am not in politics, I do not have any desire to please Muslims ( or Hindus ), and do not seek their votes.
I will say what I regard to be in the national interest, whether that pleases or displeases anyone. 2+2 will remain 4, whether it gladdens or hurts anyone. ”.
Many people asked me to elaborate and clarify what I meant. I am therefore doing so here.
The main enemy of India today is the feudal mindsets of our people, and feudal customs and practices, which are keeping our people backward and poor. All patriotic Indians must attack these and help in their destruction, so as to create an India which is modern and prosperous, with all our people having a high standard of living and decent lives.
There were some reforms in Hindu society due to the struggles led by progressive thinkers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, etc progressive writers like Sharad Chandra Chattopadhyaya and Kazi Nazrul Islam, etc, and the post Independence law reforms in India, e.g.abolition of most of the old, non statutory Hindu law, and its replacement by Parliamentary statutes like the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 ( which for the first time provided for divorce among Hindus, monogamy, etc ), the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 ( which for the first time gave daughters too a share in the father’s property on his death ) etc.
But except for the efforts of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to give modern education to Muslim youth, there were hardly any social reforms among Muslims, and one reason for this was the tight hold and grip which the reactionary, feudal minded, Muslim clerics ( maulanas ) kept on the minds of the Muslim masses. The consequence has been that the average Muslim has remained more backward and poor than the average Hindu ( as the Justice Sachar Committee Report said ).
For example, the maulanas opposed tooth and nail any reform of the outdated, feudal sharia law, e.g. the practice of triple talaq, nikah halaala, polygamy, etc. Many say that these barbaric practices are rare among Muslims. But then why should they be legally permitted at all ?
Sharia law must be totally abolished. That is because law reflects social conditions in a society at a particular stage of its historical development. How can we
have in the 21st century a law made in Arabia in the 7th century when society has completely changed in these 1400 years ? Can we have Manusmriti, written
perhaps 2000 years ago, today ? Can we have punishments like stoning a woman to death for adultery, or chopping off a thief’s limbs for committing theft ?
When the Indian Supreme Court gave the Shahbano verdict which said that a Muslim male must give maintenance to his divorced wife ( which is the law everywhere in the world ) a vast majority of Muslims, led by the maulanas, raised such a hue and cry that sharia was in danger, that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, fearing loss of the Muslim vote bank, got the judgment nullified by an act of Parliament.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which is dominated by reactionary maulanas, opposed abolition of triple talaq tooth and nail in the Supreme Court, until the Court itself in Shayara Bano vs Union of India declared the practice illegal
When I was a Judge in the Indian Supreme Court a case came before a bench of which I was a member pertaining to an incident in Odisha. The facts were that a Muslim husband, aged about 34 years, one day in a drunken state said triple talaq to his 32 year old wife in a room in his house. At that time no one else was present in the room, and the couple told no one about the incident, and kept living together with their 4 small children.
However, about a month after the incident, the wife inadvertantly told a friend about it. That friend in turn told it to her own friends, and the latter to their own friends, and thus the news kept circulating until ultimately the matter reached the ears of the local maulana, who declared that the couple, being divorced, could not live together until the wife performs nikaah halaala.
Consequently a mob of frenzied and furious Muslims reached the couple’s house, and demanded they live separately as they were no longer husband and wife. No heed was paid to the couple’s fervent plea as to what would happen to their small children if they were made to separate. It was only police intervention which saved the situation from becoming nasty.
When the matter came before my bench in the Supreme Court I said that it was no one’s business whether the couple lived together or not, and they could not be forced to physically separate, or the wife undergo the barbaric nikaah halaala. I also ordered the police to arrest those trying to interfere with the couple’s
Similarly, we must abolish laws against cow slaughter or eating beef. Almost the whole world eats beef, e.g. America, Europe, Africa, most countries in Asia other than India, like China, Arab countries, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc, and even in some states in India like Kerala, Goa, the North Eastern states, etc. Are beef eaters all wicked people, and orthodox Hindus alone sadhu-sants ?
Moreover how can a cow be ‘gomata’ ? Can an animal be a mother of a human being ? Is that not nonsense to say ? I regard a cow to be just another animal, like a horse or a dog. Some people say a cow is a mother because it gives us milk to drink. But humans also drink the milk of goats, buffaloes, camels, yaks, deer, etc. Are these all to be regarded as mothers and venerated ?
Our national aim must be to create a prosperous, highly modern, highly industrialised India, in which all our people get decent lives, but that can only be achieved through a mighty, historical, people’s Revolution.
However, before every actual Revolution there is always a long ideological Revolution, in which the weapons used are not swords, guns or bombs, but ideas. For example, before the great French Revolution of 1789 there was a long period of ideological struggle led by great thinkers like Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot and the French Encyclopedists who fiercely attacked the feudal system and religious bigotry.
India is presently passing through a period of ideological Revolution, and the actual Revolution is still a long way off. In this period ( which may last 10-15 years or so ), the patriotic, enlightened section of our society must launch a fierce ideological attack on feudal ideas and practices like casteism, communalism, superstitions, etc and patiently spread scientific, rational ideas among the masses.
No doubt this will not be easy, and patriots doing so will often be mocked, jeered, ridiculed, taunted, abused, and sometimes even physically assaulted.
It is relatively easy to change the physical environment, like constructing a building, bridge or road. It is 10 times more difficult to change the feudal mindsets of people, the majority of whom will fiercely resist change in their casteist or communal opinions.
Nevertheless, our patriots must do their sacred duty to the country, undaunted by all odds, and unaffected by the thought that they might not see the day of success in their lifetime ( e.g. a person like me, who is 78 years old )