What would cut through the veins of millions of people and hurt them if fingers were not so bluntly pointed at glaring facts that probably could be true if we decided to ponder over certain ideas for a while?
That hot butter knife would be religious sentiments. This entirety of religion is based on the creation of humans for solace, direction, fantasy and mostly a moral compass that would hold people together and put life into ascertaining dictum. The chances of facing a severe backlash fall when one starts to gauge the irrational and erratic part of the so-called dictum set by the religions. You fight over it, you preach it, you kill for it, you love it, in the end, it’s all a tangled chaotic mess.
Take a seat back and try to see the point just as a point, that advocate Nupur Sharma, a BJP leader, a DU and LSE law graduate opined in the middle of a talk show which has hurtled the internal politics issue of India to the International forefront to such an extent, that the Islamic nations are asking for an answer for the so-called blasphemy.
She raised a question on legality and moral conscience of the prophet by questioning his contentious marriage with his third-youngest wife Aisha (Āʾisha bint Abī Bakr), whom he married, when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old [7:62:64], as backed by Sahih Bukhari, considered one of the most authentic retellers of Mohammed’s life and time among all Ahadith (plural of a Hadith).
Here’s the catch, Was Nupur’s statement of accusing him of being a paedophile scathing, or did it burn holes into the fabrics of international ties as the question became a TV debate remark rather than being an intellectual tea time living room discussion? Criticism of Islam’s prophet is marked as an important part, making Wikipedia, one of the largest free online encyclopedias, create a separate section for the topic. It’s not the first time that such questions have been raised, nor is it going to be the last time.
What went down the drain for Nupur, is her timing and socioeconomic situation. The comments made so far reflect the deep religious polarization that the country has been witnessing over the past few years. Hate speech and attacks against Muslims have risen sharply since the BJP came to power in 2014. So even if the question raised by Nupur has to be entertained, it would burn holes or bullets down our throats, if they are asked in the places that it shouldn’t be. Because the leaders of the very same party have openly called out for genocide in the name of purification, changing the narrative of history in books and mass media, would be a few examples that bury down the genuineness of the question raised.
There’s too much at stake since Qatar has demanded a public apology, though they have welcomed the decision to suspend Nupur. India’s trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE, stands at $87 billion in 2020-21. The ground-breaking ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi in 2018, attended by Prime minister Modi was termed an example of the growing ties between India and the region.
While Delhi’s relations with Tehran have been lukewarm over the past few years, the controversy could overshadow Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian’s upcoming visit to India and the controversy could overshadow some of India’s recent successes.
But at the end of the day, we are neither backing the one who is being oppressive nor are we upholding the certain ideas or practices but merely asking you to question, are we being blind in the name of faith? Are we beyond the limits of repair and understanding, to understand and deconstruct without getting hurt?
It’s high time we question what we believe in if it makes us thirsty for one another’s blood, irrespective of the colours and hymns one adorns.