Dear Sanjay Raut,
This is with reference to your article (dated 15th April 2015) posted in the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena called Saamna which you happen to be the Executive Editor of. In the article you have called for revoking the right of the Muslim community to vote.
You have also mentioned that this is the only way to put an end to the plight of the Muslim community who has always been treated as a vote bank. And those politicians claiming to be championing the cause of the Muslim community wearing a secular mask will become naked once it I done.
I would first like to tell you very politely that the country where you or I live was founded (yes I would say founded) by a man called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who struggled against the evil of institutional apartheid all his life. First against the white supremacy in South Africa and second against the discrimination meted out to the Indians in their own country. So I see this statement of yours as grossly anti-Gandhian and in fact even disgraceful to everything that Gandhi has always represented.
1) My Question to you is, have you, with this statement actually not tried to kill the idea of the India that Bapu had founded?
Secondly Mr Raut, on 26th of January 1950 (yes the day we celebrate our republic day every year) a document (very sacred document indeed) came into force after being adopted by the erstwhile constituent assembly. The document came to be known as the constitution of India. You may please feel free to refer to the document here (http://india.gov.in/my-government/constitution-india ). Authored by Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar article 326 of the same constitutions says that all citizens of India, up and above a certain age must be allowed to vote.
2) My next question to you is, is your statement not anti-unconstitutional or to say the least are you not out rightly declining the legal sanctity of the constitution of this country?
In another article in Saamna dated 3rd of march 2015 Shiv Sena has said that the division of the country was done on religious lines and that the Muslims who wants a treatment as given to the Marathas should go to Pakistan.
Dear Sanjay Raut I also would very politely like to tell you that the division of this country was done in 1947 seeking a new country for a few Indians. Those who wanted a new motherland went to Pakistan but Mr Raut, those who chose India alone as their motherland remained here. All Muslims of the erstwhile India had the choice of going to Pakistan, but majority, yes I say majority of the Muslims, did not make that choice. India was a motherland to those Muslims then, India is a motherland to those Muslims now. As much a motherland as it is to you or to any other citizen of this country.
We as Indians have heard about the contributions made by freedom fighters like Ashfaq ullah Khan, Badruddin Tyebji and frontier Gandhi. But my third question to you today is not about them but about the ones who laid down their lives for the motherland they chose after the partition.
3) I would like to question you that, by giving this statement, are you not ridiculing the contribution of every single Muslim who died fighting for his motherland starting from Brigadier Mohammad Usman killed in action July 3 1948 to sub Inspector J Siddiah killed in action fighting alleged SIMI operatives April 4th 2015.
I am awaiting a reply from your end and I hope being a journalist you will spare time to read through my letter and do reply. At the same time I would like to tell you that I, as a citizen of independent India not only choose to differ from your point of view about the voting rights of Indian Muslims but also find your views to be highly anti-national.
By: Mohammad Haider