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JAIPUR(PTI): Despite many provocations and allegations that cast doubt on their patriotism, Muslims do feel at home in India, says former Union Minister Salman Khurshid.
“Muslims have played an important role in the Indian history they play one in the modern India too. And I think we were as a society and as a family looking at addressing these things till such time when some people decided to question it as appeasement, unfair discrimination and as leaning towards somebody for votes etc, even then Muslims do feel at home in India,” Khurshid said at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.
The Congress leader accompanied by his wife Louise Khurshid was here to launch his new book titled “At Home in India: The Muslim Saga”.
“People think that Hindus and Muslims are two different segments of society. A minority or the majority. This is not true. This book is about all of us being one family and not just by way of a platitude but because it’s a shared concern and many of the things that Muslims see or have been subjected to perhaps are not even known among other members of the family,” he said.
He cited the Sachar Committe report constituted in 2005 as the “first official authentic version of the circumstances since independence which have been inflicted upon Muslims and how this could be addressed.”
“My claim here is that this is not true, but if it is not true it must be understood by every Indian that and whatever needs to be done is the responsibility of every Indian and not of Muslims themselves. Perhaps strategically it may be more productive to have other people than Muslims speak for them. This is the secret of what we can do in this society and therefore I have written this book,” he added.
Khurshid, clarified that its was his personal opinion and people were free to be objective, fair minded and secular to judge it.
“The world itself today is under attack but secular in the broader sense. I use the word liberal for secular. I think secular is only one part of the entire picture of what is liberal,” he said.
The former minister’s book covers a wide span from late century to the present and brings out the pivotal roles played by a galaxy of distinguished Indian Muslims.
The 61-year-old author who has previously penned the books “Beyond Terrorism: New Hope for Kashmir” and a play “Sons of Babur” describes in this book the origins of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Milia Islamia
University and how several of their alumni had became part of freedom movement.