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Mainstream, VOL L, No 21, May 12, 2012

Isolating Muslims from Mainstream Banking

Friday 18 May 2012



The write up, ‘India needs Islamic banking for Inclusive Growth...: , by H. Abdur Raqeeb (Mainstream, Vol L, No 9, April 28, 2012) tries to cover up well-organised nefarious designs of Islamists in India in using banking as part of their agenda to advance the cause of ‘pan-Islamism’. These forces are committed to ensuring the hegemony of militant Islam or Wahabi Islam in India . The success of the secular nature of Indian polity and society is something they cannot swallow. The nature of Indian society, its demography and the huge Muslim population are the factors responsible for the success of Indian secularism. Of course, Indian secularism has
its share of contradictions and shortcomings, between at its worst it is better than any system proposed by the Islamists. Despite their best efforts, the Islamists have not been able to run down or dismantle this secular regime by suggesting on alternate model to Indian Muslims, who have already learnt a bitter lesson in history after the formation of Pakistan. The shrewd strategists that they are, the Islamists, who are responsible for the deplorable condition of Indian Muslims, do not want to loosen their held over the masses and will consider a banking system running in the name of Islam in India as a huge victory. The campaign for Islamic banking in the county forms an important element of their mission in India. Among other things, through this they want to control Muslim money, which will help them keep the Muslims backward and at their beck and command. The introduction of an Islamic banking system in India will not only be suicidal for Indian Muslims but also a decisive blow to Indian secularism.

The rhetoric of Islamic banking in India ignores the core issue that it cannot thrive in a country without the participation of non-Muslims, for the simple reason that Muslims are the poorest community, and by themselves cannot provide the basis for any banking system. The advocates of Islamic banking in India have no answer to the basic question why non-Muslims would be interested in anything Islamic? In the past, various models of the so-called Islamic banking have always been exploited by Muslim political parties and its beneficiaries have simply been the dishonest faces of Muslim polity. The baseline certainly is that no venture based purely on religious foundations or ambitions can be successful, overriding all other aspects of feasibility.

Since the ultimate aim of Islamic banking in India is to isolate Muslims from participating in mainstream banking, which is dominated by non-Muslims, Muslim community will stand to lose out on the fruits of the Indian banking system. The new campaign for Islamic banking will only end up putting the UPA Government in a Catch 22 situation and strengthening communal Hindu forces.

Delhi 110031 Qudsia Iqbal Hashmi

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