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Course Correction in Jamat-e-Islami Hind

Sunday April 24, 2011 08:41:07 PM, Wasim Ahmad

In response to the write-up on Core Ideology & Current Stances Of Jamā‘at-E-Islami Hind a respected gentleman has observed the following: “What is your core ideology…..? Is course-correction not possible or allowed? Did Jamāt-e-Islami not evolve into a social group after Independence much different from the Jamā‘at in Pakistan? And how simplistic is your suggestion that all our ills will be cured by teaching Arabic to all.” Course correction is important, undoubtedly. I am under the impression, however, that only an incorrect thing needs to be corrected. It leads to one more question, namely, what was wrong in the previous course and why? Also, do the members of the Jamā‘at consider it a correction acknowledging that there was something wrong in the previous course? All these questions might help us more.

In my interactions with some of my friends who are the sympathisers of Jamā‘at I have not been able to clearly figure out if they are acknowledging the correction or not. If the members of the Jamā‘at agree to the idea of course-correction they will have to analyze the core ideology itself and what had gone into the making of it? It will require reviewing the entire literature. Maybe there is something wrong with a significant part of it. The truth never changes, I tend to think. It is not relative. It is absolute and free from self-contradiction. Nothing can influence and alter it, I guess.

Before becoming a “social group” what was the most appropriate adjective or description for the Jamā‘at and why? Why that description and adjective is not suitable anymore? What change has happened in the society now which is new and which has forced this course-correction and which wasn’t called for at the time of the inception of this ideology? What are the possibilities of any future course-corrections? What are the possibilities that emotionalism is gradually giving way to pragmatism? Is it a case of the laws of nature gradually prevailing – the laws which we are used to fighting with?

As regards what is the “core ideology” of this scribe, I would say “NONE”. I subscribe to no “core ideology” out of a “general ideology”. This is because I am most afraid of being selective. I am scared of it because of being under the impression that the “core ideologies” are our bane. We take a “core ideology” out of the entire gamut of beautiful principles of life (Islam) – according to our whims. We start quoting selectively having an inflationary idea of that limited ideology which we are particularly fascinated with. I do not subscribe to any “core ideology” as I cannot afford to postpone a lot for an unknown sunny day to arrive in an obscure futurity. This is because I am already quite late.

The astonishment in “And how simplistic is your suggestion that all our ills will be cured by teaching Arabic to all” is reassuring. Introducing Arabic as an important subject in schools for all Muslim kids is the first significant step in the right direction. It will facilitate a paradigm shift. Arabic comes as a package, in fact. It will do away with the duality of knowledge into ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ and the life into ‘deeni’ and ‘dunyaawi’. All of this will remove the self-doubt of the ‘modern’ educated – leading to excellence in every field of study and life. The ‘traditionally’ educated, on the other hand, will have to revise many of their concepts and stances.

Commenting on the same write-up, another very respectable gentleman has observed: “Talk about solving problems and issues of the Indian Muslims, than wasting our time with your Jamā‘at-e-Islami philosophy and politics.” This observation presupposes that the Jamā‘at is not in the “issues” and it has nothing to do with “solving problems”. I wonder how the two feet tall weeds in the AMU Campus are (rightfully) a subject of discussion but an organization which has a history of many decades is not.

The above observation, however, is symptomatic of our overall atomistic approach. We fail to see the connection of one thing with the other. The interconnectedness of all aspects of our collective life escapes our notice. This interconnectedness is precisely what we need to realize and start seeing – if we want betterment. Unless we do that we will not be able to develop a coherent body of ideas. And we will be contradicting ourselves every now and then – currently a very common phenomenon indeed.





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