February 2016 News
India Will Be Betraying Muslims If It Abandons Kashmir: Akbar3 February 2016
The Indian Express
Jaipur: The Indo-Pak conflict wasn't rooted in Geography but in ideology, BJP leader MJ Akbar said here Wednesday. 'India cannot abandon Kashmir precisely because it has Muslims the Muslim is an equal citizen of India the day you abandon Kashmir, you betray me. We are not a two nation theory We are a one nation theory, ' he said during a session at the Counter Terrorism Conference here. The BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member also stoked the intolerance debate again, saying India was the only country that allowed 'audible' equality of all faiths in practice and those who talked about leaving the country should go and see if they could hear the Azaan in Washington. 'Secularism is a French word that (as it is) doesn't apply to India. It either means separation of Church and State or the Marxist definition of elimination of religion. 'In India, all religions are equal not just in law but in society and in practice. My country is the only one where you hear the Azaan before dawn, followed by Hanuman temple bells, the Guru Granth Sahib and church bells. Nowhere elsewill you get all thisaudible,' he said. 'Those who talk about leaving the country I challenge them to go hear the Azaan in Washington and then do a definitive report on the subject, ' Akbar added. Talking about the Islamic State's perceived geographic dominance designs, Akbar said Islam in itself had never been a sufficient factor for political unity of Islamic nations or there wouldn't have been 22 Arabic countries. 'Since 1918, the sense of loss is deepest where there's been a memory of power. And so the major theatre of conflict has been concentrated in the remnants of the Mughal empire and the Ottoman empire. At the heart of it is the romance of regression (and) the inability of many Muslim societies to come to terms with the modern world. 'Interestingly, the two principal countries of the Mughal and the Ottoman empires - India and Turkey - opted for modernity,' he said.