Senior Journalist Ziya Us Salam Launches Controversial Book  “Being Muslim in Hindu India”

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Senior Journalist Ziya Us Salam Launches Controversial Book “Being Muslim in Hindu India”

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New Delhi: Renowned journalist and author Ziya Us Salam unveiled his controversial book, “Being Muslim in Hindu India,” at the India Islamic Cultural Center in New Delhi on January 9. The Associate Editor of The Hindu addressed the gathering, acknowledging that some consider him brave for writing about the challenges faced by Muslims in India, highlighting the need for such discussions in the current climate.

Ziya Us Salam explained the book’s focal point, shedding light on the pervasive issue of Muslims being perceived solely as community representatives, facing threats to their lives, safety concerns in mosques and madrasas, and constant scrutiny of their lifestyle choices. The book aims to address these challenges and provide answers to the queries raised.

During the event, RJD leader and MP Manoj Kumar expressed concern after reading the book, stating that it was a sad occasion rather than a joyous one. He highlighted the unsettling nature of the book’s title, emphasizing the absence of interrogation in it. The leader commended the Prime Minister for revealing the true faces behind masks, expressing his worry about the erosion of India’s secular fabric.

Noted author and journalist John Dayal stressed the urgent need to curb the aggressive spread of Islamophobia, emphasizing its potential threat to the core essence of being Indian. He pointed out the state’s sponsorship of this phenomenon and its infiltration into various facets of society, projecting a prolonged battle to eradicate this “virus.”

Historian Prof. Syed Irfan Habib observed that individuals responsible for the current divisive climate existed a decade ago but have become more visible and aggressive. He highlighted the shift from subtle occurrences of mutual respect to overt displays of hatred and othering, transforming medieval history into conflict zones.

Nidhi Razdan, former executive editor of NDTV, moderated the conversation, recalling her father’s teachings about secularism and the importance of respecting all religions. She acknowledged that errors occur but emphasized the need to take pride in India’s secular heritage.

The prevailing sentiment among speakers was that deep-rooted hatred would take decades to subside, even if the political landscape changes. The book, “Being Muslim in Hindu India,” presents a critical compilation of challenges faced by Indian Muslims during the BJP/NDA rule, shedding light on communal rhetoric across political parties. The author calls for sincere efforts toward secularism, criticizing parties like the Congress and AAP for their lack of commitment to these principles.