The Home Of Indian Muslims Has Always Been India, And Will Always Be India


By Promod Puri

As the thought of writing this piece cropped up, I was reminded of an old Hindi film song penned by Sahir Ludhianvi: “jayen toh jayen kahan, samje-ga kaun yahan, dard bare dil ki zuban, jayen toh jayen kahan…”.

Translation: “Where! Where shall we go, who would understand here, the cries from the minds full of pains.”

And that is precisely the plight of Muslims in India. “Go to Pakistan,” “send them to Pakistan,” are the xenophobic cracks that are often being hurled against them by the neo-nationalistic extreme Hindu fanatics. And most of the Hindu population is apathetic to these recurring taunts.

Jayen toh jayen kahan,” where shall the Indian Muslims go?

From generation to generation, the land of their birth, rooted in the soils of the nation, breathing its air and dust from coast to coast, from the Himalayas to the tip of Kanyakumari, the 138 million-community has been made to feel that they do not belong to India. The very land to which it has contributed immensely over the centuries in every walks of its life. Its feelings and emotions lie in the nation’s struggles and achievements.

“Prove your ancestry here,” and “show your papers” is the coming up legalities Muslims in India would be facing in the corrupt bureaucratic setup fired by the bigoted government of Bhartiya Janata Party. That has substantial backing from the rest of its extended family, aka as “Parivar.”

Yes, they have the “papers” scattered and entrenched all over the country.

Their ‘papers’ are in the words of Kabir, Ghalib, Alma Iqbal, and, more recently, in the poetry of Sahir Ludhianvi and Javed Akhtar. Their ‘papers’ are in the eternal voices of Mohammad Rafi, gazals of Begum Akhtar, and many more. Their papers are in the music of Naushad Ali, Khyamm, and A.R. Rehman, in the Shanai of Bismilla khan, in the classical voice of Bade Ghulam Ali khan, in the Tabla beats of Ustad Zakir Ali khan. They are in the talents and dialogues of Muhammed Yusuf Khan alias Dalip Kumar, Mehboob Khan’s “Mother India” Nargis Dutt, in the versatilities of Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan.

The papers reflect in the sword of Tipu Sultan, Param Vir Chakra martyr Havildar Abdul Hamid, flying in the fierce shots of Sania Mirza, and in the philanthropist industrialist Azim Premji.

“You’re asking for papers?” They are framed in the marble beauty of the Taj Mahal, in the sacred shrines of Ajmer Sharif, in the sprawling complex of Jama Masjid.

The ‘papers’ are in the patriotic and intellectual sentiments of ex-presidents of India: Zakir Husain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahamed, and APJ Abdul Kalam.

The certification papers government is demanding are being carried by the students and the faculty on the secular campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University. They are in the mammoth rallies all over the country, and in Shaheen Bagh, the epicenter of peaceful protests. This is where the national Tricolor of India is proudly hosted by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and others in the spirit of “Hum Hindusthani.”



  1. The country is passing through an enigma. Why and where should they go? People will stay where they belong. They are sons and daughters of India. India can’t disown them. ‘They say so’, is half a lie. There is natural justice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A nice write-up. It is a completely preposterous statement for anyone to make against anyone “Go to Pakistan”. I also do not buy the hollow statements like “Gau Raksha” and then leave them, including one’s parents and elderly’ to rot in some old age home or the roads. However, where has this notion had come from that Indian Muslims would not have papers to prove their citizenship. All citizens are supposed to have some kind of proof or other. The papers would(if at all) be checked equally for all communities. In fact, in this melee, the biggest losers would be Hindus(including my parents and elders of the family) and Sikhs, who migrated from Pakistan and Bangladesh at the time of partition of the country. They surely do not have papers. That was the last large migration. 1971 migration, from Bangladesh to India was a temporary one, and people should have returned back to their country after the creation of Bangladesh. The people who stayed back actually created major ethnic troubles for Asam. Indian Muslims are as much Indians as much any other community. These kinds of rumor-mongering and shenanigans by politicians are understood, but when educated lot start doing similar things, it becomes worrisome. More than anyone else the so-called Muslim leaders and community leaders are taking full advantage of the situation, to strengthen their own positions. Nietzsche once stated, “All the things we believe in, at any time, reflect not truth but someone else’s power over us”. Awaiting your response on this aspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading the article, and taking the time to express your views based on the existing realities in India. My observation could be different as I don’t reside in the country. But my views are from the humanitarian aspect irrespective of religious affiliations of people. It is the poor who will suffer the most under the corrupt and perhaps the racist bureaucratic setup when they would be asked to prove their credentials to be the citizens.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a matter of perception. The wordings of the CAA are discriminatory, and practicality of the NRC can be subjected to discrimination.


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