Kolkata– Talking on a topic that revolves around radicalism, fundamentalism and Islamophobia, the renowned poet and lyricist Javed Akthar on Friday said that there is no divide between an average Hindu and an average Muslim in their way of thinking and living, and the whole idea of division on religious grounds is imposed upon the society.
“An average Muslim is just like an average Hindu. Every community would have its own sets of benign bisects that would enable them to like their own language, religion or community more than the others,” Akthar said at a session on Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
“But an average Muslim would never want to kill someone because he is from a different religion just like an average Hindu won’t,” he stressed.
He also pointed out the striking similarity between Hindu and Muslim community shows how they are actually one.
“Even marriage ceremonies have so many similarities, except for the concept of ‘nikah’ and ‘fera’. The tragedy of Partition took place in Bengal and Punjab where everything about the inhabitants was so similar in spite of being from two different religions,” he said.
Blaming the communalist powers for creating the divide, Akthar said the common man survives and flourishes in harmony while the communalist survives in chaos.
“The communalists will always try to keep you in a war-zone. How can he be your well wisher?”
The poet also said radicalisation and Islamophobia are like a cycle where the rise of one helps in the increase of the other.
“The radicalisation and Islamophobia are parallel. They feed each other. The more the radicalisation, the more is Islamophobia. It is like a cycle. Also there isn’t much difference between extremism and terrorism. Extremism is mental terrorism and terrorism is extremist in action,” he said.
Talking about the rise in mistrust against the Muslims around the world, Akthar said, “The tragedy is the minority community is identified by the worst person of the community while the majority community is identified by the best person among them”.
“Would anyone in his wildest imagination, identify India’s large Hindu community with Nathuram Godse. Obviously not. But the 17-18 crore Muslims in India are sometimes identified with Dawood Ibrahim. This is the example of radicalisation and stereotypes,” he added.