Modernization of Indian Muslims
– Veer Savarkar
Just as it is my duty to repeatedly tell the Hindu nation to abandon its silly religious customs, observances and opinions in this age of science, so I will also tell Muslim society, which is an inevitable part of the Hindustani nation, that it should abandon as quickly as possible its troublesome habits as well as religious fanaticism for its own good—not as a favour to the Hindus, not because the Hindus are scared of your religious aggression, but because these practices are a blot on your humanity, and especially because you will be crushed in the age of science if you cling on to an outdated culture.
You should abandon the belief that not even a word in the Quran can be questioned because it is the eternal message of God, even as you maintain respect for the Quran. But the norms that seemed attractive to an oppressed but backward people in Arabia at a time of civil strife should not be accepted as eternal; make a habit of sticking to only what is relevant in the modern age.
Also Read : Savarkar’s views on Hindu-Muslim relations
Oh Muslims! Just think what the Europeans reduced you to after they escaped from the clutches of the Bible, to master the sciences that are beneficial for our times. You were pushed out of Spain, you were subjected to massacres, and you were crushed in Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria. Your control over Mughal India was snatched away. They are ruling you in Arabia, Mesopotamia, Iraq and Syria.
Just as our yajnas, prayers, Vedas, holy books, penances, curses could not harm the Europeans, so too will your Quran, martyrdoms, namaz, religious lockets make no difference to them. Just as the maulvis sent armies to war in the belief that the men who fought under the banner of Allah would never lose, so did our pundits peacefully sit back to repeat the name of Rama a million times. But none of this prevented the Europeans. With their advanced weapons, they not only decimated the Muslim armies, but they even toyed with the fallen flag of Allah.
And that is why Mustafa Kemal Ataturk has broken the bonds of all religious laws that have kept the Turkish nation backward. He has borrowed civil law, criminal law and military law from Switzerland, France and Germany, to replace the rules in the Quran. The literal meaning of what is said in the Quran no longer matters. The only question today is what is essential for national advancement in the light of modern science. Turkey can hold its own against Europe l today because Kemal has given primacy to modern science in his nation. If Turkey had remained bound within the covers of the Quran, as it was during the reign of Kemal Sultan or the Khalifa, the Turks would still be licking the boots of the Europeans, as the Indian Muslims are doing today. If they want to advance as the Turks have done, Indian Muslims should abandon the religious fanaticism that has been nurtured over a thousand years, and accept modern science.
Source : Savarkar Part 1 by Vikram Sampath