Muslims of Azamgarh: who are they, what are they?




By Razi Raziuddin

The district of Azamgarh has been much in the news at present, mostly with terror and violence-related events and episodes. Earlier, Azamgarh had been in the news for its scholars, its poets, its freedom fighters, and its institutions and religious seminaries.

These days it has become fashionable, especially with the media, to relate Muslim fundamentalism related pro-activism (in the North and Western India) with Azamgarh. It seems that all roads of illegalities, be it a hawala/money scam or a bombing episode elsewhere, are connected with the district of Azamgarh.

These too many references to an obscure eastern UP’s mediocre district and its Muslims naturally draws curiosity and urge to know as to why this particular district has attracted the news media and the Law & Order agencies’ interests so much.

I am a native son of Azamgarh, born and brought up to adulthood in my hometown. Since three decades I live in USA, but I remain fully connected with the place, and on informational and emotional level I have never been away from my home town. Therefore, I genuinely believe that I am fully aware of Azamgarh’s each and every significant development of the last fifty plus years.

So let me construct a composite sketch of Azamgarh and its Muslims—in a manner which provides the curious populace some clues and impressions for its Muslims to be so much in the lime-light.




Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy, Photo by Afzal Usmani

On the canvas, geographically and demographically; it is a large district of eastern U.P. with a roughly 30% Muslim population. This Muslim population is segmented into three living zones; majority in its villages, a significant portion in its four-five big Tehseel-town bazaars, and the rest huge population in the city mohallas. Majority of its Muslims claim to be converts from Kshatriyas/ Rajputs around the period spanning from Jahangir to Aurangzeb. Among the rest, are those who associate themselves as Ansaris, Syeds, Qureshis and Idreesis. The overwhelming dominant segment of the Muslim society belongs to this majority Rajput converts. Majority of these are from the farming background, from small land owners to middle level landlords.

Azamgarh Muslims’ modern anthropological story runs in two parts- late 19th to mid 20th century, and post-independence to the present time.

First part

In the first part of the story, post 1857-1957, the area witnessed resurgence in Islamic revivalism, but with a clear mark of reform and community-cum-nationalistic aspirations. Many religious and non-religious intellectuals became visible in this process of renaissance, the tallest among them the personality of Maulana Shibli Nomani. His close association with Aligarh Movement and Sir Syed became instrumental in infusing the spirit of modern education, and later on his stewardship of Nadwatul Uloom became the central character which laid the groundwork for Azamgarh Muslims to embrace the signature campaign of Shibli Nomani; educational aspirations in occidental as well as oriental learning and full participation in the national freedom movement. Following in his footsteps many other joined him at Nadwa, while others embraced Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. In a decade’s time Shibli National College was founded, which became the center of modern secular education for Muslims in the eastern district of UP. Along side and around the same period, Darul Musannefin came into existence, becoming the intellectual center of Islamic and literary scholars surrounding Shibli, and his illustrious disciple, Syed Sulaiman Nadwi.

Then in the mid 20s-30s an influential seminary, Al-Islah was established by Shibli’s cousin, Maulana Abdul Hameed Farahi. In fact these three centers became the inspiration and magnet for higher learning for a much broader group of Muslim population from even other regions. These centers became the “Feeder Institutions” from where thousands and thousands of Muslim youths from Azamgarh went to join Aligarh, Jamia Millia, Allahabad and Lucknow universities. Within three decades, from 30s to 50s, two generations of educated Muslims from Azamgarh came out from these various universities, seminaries and colleges as lawyers, teachers, doctors, ulemas, literary scholars in huge numbers.

These newly empowered youths loaded with tools of modern as well as oriental education spread around everywhere including in Azamgarh. The district felt their presence in almost every arena; in courts, in schools, on streets, in hospitals. These personalities and institutions also inculcated in them a character of nationalistic connectiveness. The impact of frequent visits of Maulana Azad , Nehru and other prominent political and religious leaders’ stays at Shibli Academy/ Darul Musannefin have had huge impact on the psyche of the Muslims of Azamgarh. Soon the region became a solid nationalist Muslim corridor, and its Muslim population empowered with the tools of modern and mainstream discourses. This period witnessed the growth of many schools, including few for girls, many seminaries, Shibli College became the largest supplier of school teachers (for Bombay’s Anjuman-e-Islam and Anjuman-e-Khairul Islam run schools), lawyers, and science graduates. Bombay also became a familiar and friendly place for those who were less educated and less fortunate in Azamgarh, to try their luck. A huge number flocked to Bombay, Malegaon, Nasik, and Bhiwandi for job and for establishing small businesses. So this period was a mix of a community’s ascendance to all kind of mobility. Still Azamgarh and its Azmis were more or less confined into islands, pockets and with mediocre level of earnings and with simpler livings.




Shibli College, Photo by Razi Raziuddin

Second part
This first part of the story is quite remarkable, inspirational, and a kind of role-model for many to follow. “Second Part” of Azamgarh’s story is about growth, expansion, economic and political assertion and of fame. The Azamgarh and Azmis in this part-two of the story are divided into three distinct categories- in category one are those whose fathers and families were educated and had jobs either in Azamgarh or elsewhere, and whose children mostly are educated and in professional jobs; in category two are those (educated as well un-educated) who went to Bombay area in huge numbers and then from there landed in the Gulf region, but who still retained close bases/connections with Azmis of the Bombay region; and in category three are those Azmis who are either in Azamgarh’s various Madrassas, in schools/ colleges, or idle sitting at homes getting sustenance from the gulf money.

The combinatorial or cumulative outcome of this last three decades of the second and third generation of Azmis is the enormous amount of wealth and resources that it has accumulated from all directions; from the West, from the Middle-East, and from the Bombay region. It has been popularly said that no other region in the entire North-Eastern India has any Muslim region/populace which is so much empowered with three most critical ingredients of affluence and confidence; modern education, religious education, and wealth. This empowered affluence can be visible observed in Azamgarh’s Muslim dominated areas, in its Muslim-dominated bazaars and villages, which are flooded with madrassas, masajid, schools, shopping bazaars. Whole new planned housing developments have come up with hundreds of up-scaled houses; Muslims are running three private hospitals with total bead strength in the range of 100 or more, dozens of MD doctors and shopping complexes. Very few other Muslim regions can claim to run so many large residential seminaries/ Madrassas, such as the famed Al-Falah, Al-Islah, and Jamiat-ur-Rishaad.




Jama Masjid of Azamgarh, Photo by Razi Raziuddin

There is no doubt that at present there are strong corridors and channels in Bombay, Delhi, Middle-East which have a lot of Azmis, who earn a lot of money, and which finds its way in Azamgarh, and which sustains Azamgarh’s businesses, real estates, its madrassas, its schools and what not. It is also this period which has produced some bad apples, criminals like Abu Salem, aggressive politicians like Abu Aasim, un-regulated money transfer schemes like hawala. So it is this part of the Azamgarh story which catches enormous attention.

In this saga and journey of an entire community towards an upward mobility, two other characteristics remain prominently consistent; the secular culture of Azamgarh, Azmi Muslims and their relationship with the Azmi Hindus, and least level of migration to, and affiliation with Pakistan. Azmi Muslims are perhaps one of the most nationalistic, socialist-oriented, secular Muslims in the country. It is, therefore, disturbing to find that certain quarters in the country, media, socio-political organization labeling the district as “soft” on nationalism, or have sympathies with fundamentalism.

----
Razi Raziuddin is a Medical Scientist by profession. A native of Azamgarh, educated at Shibli National College, Aligarh Muslim University (B.S. & M.S.), Banaras Hindu University (Ph.D.), he has been living in the USA since 1980.

Comments

Azamgarh

Razi,
It seems like a vicious circle.
If blasts in Bangalore, Gujrat
and Delhi point to something..
it is that its work of Islamists
of India, and not Pakistani ISI.

It does not mean that all Muslims
are terrorists, but it sure means
that MODERATE Muslims are keeping
quiet about extremist elements in
their own community. If every one
of those investigations lead us to
one or another Muslim organization,
we DO NEED TO TAKE STOCK.

Two years
ago, European journalists were saying
India should be a role model for the
rest of the Muslims in world. Why?
Because at that time, even though we
had exodus of Kashmiri Hindus & Sikhs,
we still had had no Bomb Blasts which
could lead to Indian Muslims. But now
its a different story. All roads lead
to us. We need introspection on this!

Azamgarh

It is a very well written article. It portrays the real and just picture of Azamgarh, its Muslim populace and their relationship with Hindu population, and their secular nature. Unfortunately, in recent past, the deteriorating law and order situation in the country has criminally affected the region. It is really sad, instead of economic and social development, the people of this peace loving district are caught in this grim situation.

Pravez, why we people just

Pravez, why we people just blame law and order?? Is that different for you people or you just want to change it??

Is it not Muslim who are doing this?

This is really unfortunate that we just blame law; Afjal got caught and that is also low issue is it not?

Till we people will not say we are wrong ... wherever we are .. .nothing is gonna change. either live in Australia, America and SA...

answer

your comments sir, are so out of line I wonder that you made the right choice by hihding under "ANONYMOUS". I strongly believe that in Inida there has been a democracy since 1947. But let's be honest with each other there has never been a real democracy in India, killing of Muslims, innocent or guilty is quite rampent, some times with the help of State officials (Gujarat) destroying muslim places fo worship (Babri Mosque) and the list goes on.
In my opinion the writer who was an Indian Muslim from Azamgarh wrote honestly the plight os muslims in India, let's face this Hinduism is more violent then any "ism" presntly known to mankind, the hidu society is based upon "Division of society" so how can they reform a country filled with filth like that.

We filthy people gave away

We filthy people gave away part out Country for Muslims and if they chose not to leave it is not our fault.

You are saying Muslims are

You are saying Muslims are discriminated against in India. Let us assume for a moment that is true. If we believe in Jinnah's two nation theory and the fact that Pakistan was formed on the basis of religion, what is wrong with this discrimination? There are no Hindus left in Pakistan. So why should any Muslims be left behind in India. The logic is really that simple.

On the other hand, you have Abdul Kalams and Azim Premjis in this country. If the rest of the mass have not been able to progress, its because of their insistence on following their own rules which alienates them further. The Indian Mujahedin fools could be thinking that every blast gives them revenge but they dont realise that these make the condition of their families, brothers and co-religionists much worse with every passing day.

To Mr. Vineet

Dear Vineet, I think you have studied or read the indian history and moreover the history behind the partition. You have said that "Why should any muslim be left behind in India" your logic is the same that why any hindu be left in India during the hundreds of years of ruling of India by muslims.. from turkish to mughals and still the muslims living in India are dignified. Yes, I accept that some are not correct but the same lies with your religion as well. See the gujarat carnage and the demolition of babri mosque, have you ever heard of hindu muslim hatred before that demolition?? Answer me dear, you can directly write me on khantahir@in.com and i will entertain your query and quest for knowledge.
One more thing, Pakistan was only made for the muslims and only for those muslims who wish to go there and there is a clause in our constitution; it is that, when muslims will reach to a contributing 20% of india's population, they can demand a new state, and we are around 300 million in this country and even then we are quite because we dont want any more partitions, it is you who want to live away from us , live away from a rich culture and heritage.
Grow up man and i am really feeling sorry for your parents that they have brought up a sick child... may allah grant you serenity.
Take Care

which constitution are you talking of

"there is a clause in our constitution; it is that, when muslims will reach to a contributing 20% of india's population, they can demand a new state"- Tahir Ahmad Khan - give that constitutional clause.

Most of MUSLIMS who supported demand for PAKISTAN were from were present states of UP and BIHAR but they did not migrate to Pakistan in 1947. It is NOT too late even now if MUSLIMS feel that they are not getting justice in India. Go to PAKISTAN and have justice "PREDATOR delivered" at your door step. Any takers???

"have you ever heard of hindu muslim hatred before that demolition??"

The only MUSLIM MAJORITY state in India- Kashmir drove out the "minuscule minority of Hindus" before demolition of BABRI. Same could not be done anywhere else in India because MUSLIMS were in minority

Dr. Raziuddin, thank you for

Dr. Raziuddin, thank you for contributing this interesting article. In this day and age when news is a snippet or a 10 second flash, very few people take time to understand the genesis of conflicts that inflict the multi-cultural fabric of our country. On the other hand there are few venues that provide a balanced outlook to the fast developing stories. I am glad this website is a forum for reasoned voice.
Rather than playing a blame game and branding people of a specific district in a negative light, I sincerely hope that we take this opportunity (recent bombings) to start a sincere dialog about the state of our minorities and their alienation and ghettoization in last two decades. Unless we don't achieve harmony and respect among various faiths and cultures, we will be far from civilized and cultured. All our economic growth and progress will be futile until we open our hearts and minds to celebrate the diversity of our nation.Thank you again and hope you will continue to contribute to this forum.

Muslims of Azamgarh - Who are they? What are they?

A very informative article on Azamgarh. But there are still many unanswered questions.

The Azmis might have been the “the most nationalistic, secular, socially oriented” Muslims of India, but what have they got in return? They are now the new face of Demonisation of Indian Muslims for the fight against terror campaign. WHY? Because these are the Young, educated professionals who hold a lot of promise to better the conditions of the educationally backward largest Minority of Secular India - “empowered with three most critical ingredients of affluence and confidence, modern education, religious education and wealth”.

I am intrigued as to how any field where Muslims start to excel or better themselves in secular India- whether it is civil services or business or now professional education-gets targeted and destroyed so that they do not flourish.

First the communal riots targeted the flourishing businesses and now the fight against terror seems to taint the upcoming Muslim educated professionals' names within 24 hours of a heineous crime against humanity.I am baffled as to how our investigating agencies are able to so efficiently pin-point and kill these expert "masterminds"within 24 hours of a blast and are yet unable to solve a horrible crime like the Arushi murder case, so many months after it was committed.

The question which should be asked by the Nationalists today, whether Azmis or Non-Azmis, is WHY the Nation allows a 50 yrs + old PROVED perpetrator of crime against humanity , Narendra Modi, to hold the Chief Ministership of a State, while two 20yrs+ olds Atif and Sajid, the ALLEGED masterminds of the same intensity of crime, get a lonely grave in the heart of Nizamuddin.

Why Azamgarh

The fast financial growth of muslims of Azamgarh and the region was always etching in the eyes of RSS. They tried many times to curb it by riots (Republic Day episode at Shibli College in 2000, MAU riots in the recent past and as recent as last month allowing the the Carvan of infamous Aditya Nath Yogi from heart of the city which even doesn't fall in the rout of his destination which was in the outskirts of the city). But as we all know, Azamgarh is not a business city for muslims so does not get affected much financially with riots. To frame them in anti-national activities will be the best solution to control the flow of money from abroad specially from middle east which is the epicenter of the growth of muslims of Azamgarh. From last few years Azamgarh was focusing on education and and specially in professional education. A lot of youth moved to Delhi and other parts of the country to join some professional institute to get a professional degree. Jamia Nagar was soft center as it was giving them a feeling of home as culturally Jamia Nagar is no different than Azamgarh.

One very important aspect is totally ignored. BJP does not have a significant political presence in Azamgarh. During the last By-election of Azamgarh Lok Sabha vacated by the removal of Mr. Ramakant Yadav from BSP and later his joining the BJP and contesting the same seat as a BJP candidate against Mr. Akbar Ahmad Dumpy gave a political boost to BJP in Azamgarh area. During the campaign notorious Aditya Nath Yogi, MP from Gorakhpur visted Azamgarh and very openly made a promise to start from Azamgarh and make UP as Gujrat. His recent visit and triggering a riot was another signal for the Azamgarh to get ready to become an epicenter of transformation of UP into Gujarat.

Targeting muslim professional started some time back from Maharashtra when students of Sir Grant Medical College (J.J. Hospital) were framed. They fought the case and back in business but of course a lot of resources and energy is lost in the process.

Series of events have raised many un-answered questions which can only be answered if a Judicial/Parliamentary inquiry commission is setup to inquiry into all the recent Bomb-Blasts and corresponding arrests made by police and ATS.

Muslims of Azamgarh need some review

I really appreciate write up by brother Razi. It was much needed at this moment.

With rising communal tensions in due after serial bomb blast and suspicious linkages between SIMI with terrorist organziations, the suspicion about foreign inflow sources was bound to occur. Since Azamgarh is having considerable source of foreign inflow through NRIs, it was obvious that the investigating agencies will sqeeze the account holders receiving funds from abroad.

In current sitation, it is needed that Muslims of Azamgarh get interacted with Government agencies and fully cooperate them in all sort of investigation with air discussion with other community members. Need not to be panic and show equal concern over terrorists attacks. Let all investigations complete peacefully and all doubts / suspicions should be erased.

I do also belong to Azamgarh and hoep that Insha Allah the true believers with gentle characters will be respected by the nation with pride. Insha Allah

Really don't know what these

Really don't know what these people needs but they are not Muslim nor Hindu. They are the virus and remedy needs to be find by we people.

I really appreciate what you wrote but really have to say that Muslims in India are really Anti-Muslim; have you seen Kashmir I cannot believe to see the Pak. flag everywhere??

They are happy to accept Pak. flag but not Jaan gan Man.

I'm from Delhi and we think twice to go at Jamma Majid are. Why ? It is not individual who makes such horror impact in our mind but infect the community and few percentage only are different like you, who understand the basics.

World knows that educated Muslims are getting involved in such things now . I can understand a bit from those point of view who don't have enough money to eat, can go in terror but having educated people involved in sept 11 attack , bomb blast in India ... is not just exceptional.

Muslim always try to be different from others that is the problem with them.

Either we support by schooling... college or whatsoever, they will think the same - Kill others. I think that is what the Kuran told Muslim who learn madrassa or I should say madness; sorry no offense to individual but think the way who struggle with this.

Why we like to live abroad because we got freedom and security?

Oxford dictionary would soon change the meaning of Muslim

Muslim = Kill Human being.

To conclude with less

To conclude with less dexterity and with incidental meaning to any heinous event may subjugate to change in a Muslim meaning to kill somebody. If intellectuals like you have given chance to change meaning for different communities in the past history then I am very much firm on my view that Oxford dictionary would have scraped to of no use. It might have changed the full meaning of European Christians, as evident from the past history about the bloodshed which this planet had ever witnessed. It would have changed the name of Hitler as Jew Killer, Marx as Muslim killer – who wrote books to un God who believes in and slaughtered million Muslims ,and so on….
Irony is, current situation is always mapped to Muslims, off course I am not denying their involvement in these dreadful activities labeled as a "Terrorism".
I would like to stress on distinction between Islam and Muslims, the Terrorism witnessed by the globe is very natural law of nature towards human beings to rebel against suppression of ages or to deter any aggression. The faction in Muslims community who have adopted this wrong path of Terrorism is very much natural and cumulative effect, irrespective of which religion/belief they belong. There is no relation between Islam and Terror as well with Holy Quran. All religious books have some stuffs of war and fight which cannot be linked to current situation.

Islam is an age old absolute and unchallenged ideology under which nations got framed, sovereignties defined, geographies marked, subjects addressed and so covering all the aspects of governance and way of life to build peace and prosperity across the globe. Comparing Islam and Democracy or secularism is like comparing institution and its subjects.
Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together in Arab for centuries without any 'terrorism' evil and democracies until Hitler eroded Jews.
Muslim hated Godless Communism because it has strong basis of Ideological differences and funnily Dialect Materialism got extinct from globe whereas Islam gained deep rooted universal brotherhood.
'Terrorism' is nothing to do with Islam it is an offshoot of American international polity starting from proxy war in Afghanistan against Soviet to 'Greedy war for Oil' in Iraq, unfortunately all this happened to Muslims countries and so they are victim. To deter the victimization 'Terrorism' begins which is very natural process, not a new phenomenon, as happened in past histories across the globe. It is not greed, lust, anger or anything done for Kingdom of God. It is very sure once the root causes honestly got eliminated 'Terrorism' will also vanish.
Frankly speaking, in retrospection if we see the case 'India', during the time of Independence Muslim who have not migrated to Pakistan have witnesses lot of communal hatred and since then the suppression starts. Is this the point to proof Muslims sacrifices for the cause of freedom or the freedom which attained is remarkable for them. None of the Data from Indian Government's Statistics shows that Muslims are well addressed throughout the nation since independence. Further, if you see the history of Indian Riots all and full sufferers are Muslims. Before 1989 when you have no "Kashmir Issue and Terrorism" there are huge number of riots this community have tasted since Independence and during the mighty regime of congress.
I am not advocating terrorism as a solution but trying to point out the cumulative erosions happened which resulted this current situation. Need of the hour is not to make new Laws to punish the Muslims but to reform the Muslim community with greater participation of government and majority community. This is a time to build harmony among minorities and to establish their proper representation in all walks of life and in government offices as well. Muslim stalwarts should come up democratically and fight peacefully for the cause of community and their issue. If it would have done since Independence then I believe this situation have never reached, alas.., this is another story …. Lack of leadership and representation—unguided community with least government attention, though they represent 10-15% of the population and a largest minority.
Indeed, it is a question of second largest population of the globe, not any outfit or group.

azamgarh

If Ravanana was a Hindu that doesn t mean all of Hindus are devils or if Advani/RITHAMBARA flares communal divide resulting in destruction of life property and masjid means all hindus mens and womens are communal,In the same sense if at all muslims(suspects) are involved thats the personality to be questioned not the whole community.The media as well as politicians and security establishments from the time of crime starts to point finger at muslim community but when blasts happen at mosques all over Maharashtra and Hyderabad not a finger is raised nor Hindu community blamed for it.The riots in orrissa , karnataka and kasargod are all Hindus to be blamed let true sense prevail we are humans who errs but if a certain community is pressured beyond a point it is not good for the community and for the state in which it resides.Let us stop blaming each other and unite to fight the disease which has stick to us.lets make our future bright rather than dowse it with kerosene and emflamed it.

IS THERE ANYTHING LIKE TERRORISM

What is terrorism and where is it.
Is it , what happening in Iraq of afghanistan against the occupants or whats in Philistine against the American supported Israel (occupants), or what is happening in Kashmir as a return of the indian mukti vahini and later the 1971 war (which is totally a political issue between two countries including three regions jammu, kashmir and laddakh) which has no resemblance in Quran , really you will not find the word kashmir or iraq or philistine in the Quran as far as I know.
Or it is what is done by a group in India before election (bomb blast, riots etc) to aggregate the vote of majority of the population telling them that they are in danger what was done by the kings like rana pratap and shivaji to save there rajpaat, the deshbhakti and desh ke dushman natak.(In fact the indian history books are full praises of Akbar against whom the so called national hero rana pratap fought)
I don't know where but I read that 4 or 5 culprits of the parliament attack were not even circumcised.Why no investigations are done on it. and that is why I think the sentenced guy is not hanged.
After independence and creation of pakistan it has became a fashion which I also have gone through that any muslim standing in front of a hindu is a pakistani even if he or his forefathers have never gone there.
Any muslim born in india has to prove through out his life that he is not a traitor and any hindu born in india be nathuram or his descendants has no need to prove that he is not a deshbankht.
Actually there is nothing like terrorism ,we have a habit to immetate america and thats what we are doing.
only one incident the mumbai bomb blast which were done to take the revenge of 92-93 and our govt has indirectly justified them by not sentencing a single judgment against those who were blamed in the FIR'S and the SHRI KRISHNA MISSION. has been proved to be done by a group of muslim.
Before we started sweet negotiations with pakistan it was better, even if a dog died in our street we would blame pakistan and ISI but know it seem it is agreed that we will blame and kill some muslims here don't worry we will not take your name anywhere.
Good understanding between two govts.

It is unfortunate we are

It is unfortunate we are having this discussion in this day and age. I am a Hindu and cannot claim to know what it feels like to be a Muslim in India but I can relate to them as I am a minority where I live.

I think the division of Country by British for a religion did not do us any favors, it only divided us further and those wounds are still fresh. First we need to distinguish between Pakistanis and Muslims in India. I don't think all Muslims around the world form this giant brotherhood. Arabians, Turkish, Pakistan, India all of them have a Muslim population but they are different just like all Christians and Hindus around the World are not same.

Secondly, I think VHP and its affiliates are as anti India as SIMI and other extremist Muslim organizations. Loyalty to country goes beyond religion and any organization that preaches hate in the name of religion or anything cannot be good for a country.

Thirdly, political parties are to blame. They want this division and play this game of treating Hindus and Muslims as vote bank and sadly we play right into it.

I see so many comments here itself that they are so skewed one way or the other that all polity is lost and there is not a civil discussion. There are 150 million Muslims in India and they are Indians same as me.

Having said all this growing up even though I did not have any extreme view for or against Muslims but we all grew up with such anti-Pakistan view (as I am sure kids there grow up with anti-India view). How can we have such venomous relationship when we are all son of same soil? About Indian Muslims as I said I did not have any extreme view but my perception went south due to certain things:

1) There was always us and them, why? I am sure it is not a simple answer but it was always like that.
2) We were always scared of going into "Muslim area". Why? Was it fear mongering, was it something for real? I am not sure. I equate it to White people fearful of going into black areas in USA and Europe. It may just be minorities tend to stick together as some psychological thing and that scares majority and starts a vicious circle.
3) I myself saw some people in Muslim area flying Pakistani flag and supporting Pakistan during Cricket matches and that hurt me. Maybe it was few hundred people but it changed perception for the whole community.
4) For years political parties appeased Muslims for votes and that alienated majority Hindus who are fragmented and do not tend to vote in big blocks like minorities. For years this discontent simmered and BJP moved in to create a new Hindu vote bank.
5) I do think a major achievement would be to help spread economic growth and education among the Muslim population to help them uplift.

Remember India is unique:

Which Muslim country has had a non-Muslim president or for that matter country with Minority Muslim population has had a Muslim president? Muslims gave their live for India as much as Hindus did.

If we need to move forward we all need to be one and be India. Fight extremists no matter what religion they belong to. Not give our prejudices to the next generation so they do not carry the same burden and can have better relationships. Start seeing a Human before we see Hindu or Muslim.

To me both Akbar and Rana Pratap are part of India history. They were Kings and they fought and that is what they did in old days. Hindu and Muslim did no matter. Humayun was driven from India by another Muslim and Akbar's general was a Hindu.

Either we can live together and stop extremism or destroy ourselves.

There is no us and them. All there is, is WE.

this was really a good

this was really a good article written by mr.razi. now a days it's very important to write some article showing about azamgarh and specially for muslims of that place.............i do also belong to Azamgarh and hope that Insha Allah the true believers with gentle characters will be respected by the nation with pride. Insha Allah

AZAMGARH the land of Scholars not of Terrorists!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Azamngarh has beenregarded as the land of terrorism from the past few years by some people..... the the thing here is that how anyone can say Azamgarh a place of terrorism?????? who is a terrorist?
" A terrorist is One who leads an armed group that kills civilians as a means of POLITICAL INTIMIDATION".As if we talked about those students who were shot dead by the ATS in Delhi without any proof can not be said that they were terrorists. Firstly the ATS was not hanving any proof against them..... and as SUPREME COURT of INDIA ( the apex body) has clearly said that " NO PREVENTIVE DETENTION WITHOUT EFFICIENT PROOF" then where was this law at the time of the encounter of the students in delhi......... This law is also for the civilians of Azamgarh.......... In India the rule of law is prevailing..... the people of Azamgarh are following the law which is the duty of the civilians....... but the sanction should be legitimate.............. As Azamgarh have produced many World Famous Personalities like Poet KAIFI AZMI, actress SHABANA AZMI,SHIBLI NOAMANI etc.......etc.... Nobody looks the positive things of Azamgarh they are only try to find DEMERITS from the MERITS...... don't forget these personalities...... Don't hurt us please....... because this is the hurt in the HEART that will not readily be forgotten....... the only thing which i want to say is this that Azamgarh have produced many famous personalities who have contributed a lot to this world......... and at the time when Azamgarh was in news then no political personalities involved then in this matter except Mr. ARJUN SINGH.....just also look on thee....... if anyone will try to find demerits from the merits can never succeed in his work.... and a situation and at a point he will thinh that he was and is wrong.........

Azamgarh

Dr. Raziuddin article is an absolutely balanced article. Pakistan was created for Nawabs,Jaagirdars and waderas on the pretext of a separate country for Muslims. Actually, it was a fradulant game played by some politician for their vested interset. The best new name for Pakistan could be Nawabistan.
Religious/ regional / cast & creed based sentiments are shortlived. U.P. is among the most backward state of India? We should work to uplift the face of UP in India. We are busy in washing our dirty linen in public. We are focusing on petty issues. We are penny wise pound foolish. How long do we need to involve in Mandir / Masjid politics? We have to come out these old aged, hollow and rotten slogans. We have to built our own destiny. We should concentrate on building good schools and training centres for our kids. We should prepare our kids to face the competitive world. We have already wasted our enough time in blame games.

i just wanted to comment on

i just wanted to comment on the recent election that was won by ramakant yadav of the bjp - he is now the mp from azamgarh. a most unfortunate development. but what must be remembered is that the margin of his victory exactly equals the number of votes garnered by the Ulema Council. It is very important for all those interested in the welfare of azamgarh citizens to ponder over the politics and ideology of many who belong to the Ulema Council and the kind of polarization that it has contributed to - Yogi Adityanath is certainly more responsible for this but is the Ulema Council type of politics completely innocent?

Every muslim is a terrorist

Every muslim is a terrorist regardless and no treatment can be coonsidered too harsh for any terroris.

Why NOT commence industry in AZAMGARH ??

Why does the AZAMGARH MUSLIMS have to go to MUMBAI, DELHI, BANGALORE etc for employment if they are so rich due to their employment in GULF Countries??? Why don’t they start industries in AZAMGARH so that people from rest of the country come to AZAMGARH seeking job??? OR better- Why does the GULF "MUSLIM" Countries NOT give citizenship rights to Indian Muslims- after all UMMAH etc should favour MUSLIMS????

A few innocent being killed by POLICE in anti-terror operations has to be accepted as TERRORIST kill "innocent" in thousands- POOR INNOCENT going about their LIFE are killed by Terrorist- so death of 10-15 MUSLIMS suspected to be involved in terrorism has to be accepted. Thank your stars that The PREDATORs are not “home delivering mass death” as it is happening in AFPAK???? Thank your stars that you are all in India when you could have been in AFPAK

Masss massacre of muslims is

Masss massacre of muslims is the only way to bring peace on earth.Muslims whether they are educated or illitrate including these sallu,sharukh or amir are all having very hostile attitutude towards non muslims and are not ready for any change.If we want to bring change we need to kill radical muslim communities in chunks.so that we can force muslims to accept change

Dear Rishi, please go on ..

Dear Rishi, please go on .. who is stopping you? I suggest you start the massacre from, maybe Afghanistan?????