Madani and Indian secularism(Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal)
Madani and Indian secularism
On 01 August, the month of Indian Independence, a politico-religious leader Abdul Nasser Madani, 42, was released from Coimbatore jail where spent 3390 days of lonely life without legal sanction and without any trial. He was arrested about a decade back and put in jail first in Kerala, then shifted to Coimbatore jail in Tamil Nadu on charges if involvement in the 1998 Coimbatore serial blasts case and It could be great day for the supporters and religious followers of Madani, an orator in Malayalam and who is admired for his flowery speeches.
A photograph of him taken when coming out of the Coimbatore Central Prison in a van after the special court cleared him of all charges in the 1998 serial blasts case released simultaneously by the print media in India shows how happy he is at being cleared off all charges. He thanked God for giving him justice. The special Judge K. Uthirapathy held that all the five charges against Madani had not been proved and freed him. Madani had allegedly supplied high grade explosives used in the blast. However, the charges against both of them fell through. Besides Madani, seven others were acquitted.
Coming soon after the release of an innocent Indian Muslim doctor Mohammed Haneef implicated in a blast case in Australia, the release of Madani also acquires significance. A couple of days back the verdict of Mumbai bomb case was announced when Hindi actor Sanjay was remanded to 6 years of imprisonment. And it was expected that case of Madani might be influenced by that and he would be punished too. May be the Haneef verdict might have assured the special judge of righteousness of the Madani case too. And the judge without budging the pressure groups delivered the bold verdict.
Nearly for a decade the bearded Madani has been branded a terrorist though he did not supply weapon and counsel for the Coimbatore blast. It has become a practice in Tamil Nadu, in police stations, to insult a Muslim with a beard saying that he should also be sent to Coimbatore jail, meaning to shut him near Madani. In fact a bearded Muslim has been under serious threat not only in Tamil Nadu or Kerala but in the entire country. Judge K. Uthirapathy has indeed has delivered a bold verdict under circumstances that a Hindu film actor was convicted by Bombay Court and Madani could also be punished. Possible, there could have been a lot pressure on the judge to deliver a verdict that does not tarnish the “national prestige” of India. That Muslims are terrorists where as Hindus are not. The judge has in fact revised the verdict given by the anti-Islamic forces in India against Madani after they failed to kill him in a blast at his place in Kerala. These forces say that the release of Madani could have terrific consequences for the country. And Madani should be jailed permanently or killed.
It is known that the Muslims both bearded and clean-shaven are under serious threat in India. It is said that India is a incredible country, may be because, the innocent Muslims are punished and terrorized in jails for decades without trials or any legal backing, while those anti-Islamic terrorists who attempted to murder Madani and others (Madani lost his leg in this terrorist attack) are still roaming about freely saying that it is their country and they are patriots!
Muslims in India should be grateful to Madani for his active involvement in defending Muslims and Islam when a decade ago the anti-Islamic forces were on the rampage threatening their very existence.Basically a religious priest, he floated in Islamic service Organization and, when it was outlawed by Indian government on pressure from opposite camp, he dismantled it to start a political outfit with help of Hindus.Then came the attempt to kill him and implicate him in 1998 Coimbatore blast. Clearly there has been a conspiracy against Madani and, unless he is cautious, he might yet again find himself in dark cells.
Unfortunately, the Constitution of 'democratic' India does not provide for punishment of governments when they commit crimes against individuals. State-sponsored terrorism has been thriving because of that.Though the verdict could be an indirect indictment on governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as Central government for the wrongful confinement and mental torture of Madani, nothing could probably be done to punish the rulers and their associate4s. But the state governments as well as the Central government must sufficiently compensate for their inhuman treatment of Madani, wrongfully confined in jails and tortured, with financial help.
The verdict is incredibly significant because Madani could also have been punished with a view to appeasing the anti-Muslim sentiments prevailing across the country, thanks to the dirty religious politics being played in India. True, Madani has already suffered inhuman punishment meted out to him by the governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala for nearly a decade in jail without committing any crime. Therefore, the judgment in the case of Madani, sufficiently terrorized by all concerned and unconcerned people, may offer a sense of security for the Muslims in the country, besides giving justice for Madani himself. One hopes, the Coimbatore verdict would pave way for free and peaceful life for Muslims in the country as well.
DR.ABDUL RUFF Colachal