Questioning Muslims’ loyalty – by Mohammed Ayoob

On two films, past and present, and the Indian Muslims’ loyalty
Reviews of the recently released film, Mulk , remind me of the 1974 classic,Garam Hava , in which the late Balraj Sahni excelled himself in the role of Salim Mirza. Both films deal with the question of the loyalty of Indian Muslims and their place in the country.
Garam Hava , which was set in Agra in the immediate aftermath of Partition, focussed on the forced eviction of Salim Mirza from his ancestral home as a consequence of his brother’s migration to Pakistan. Mulk is set in present day Varanasi. Murad (actor Rishi Kapoor) is victimised and his loyalty questioned because one of his nephews becomes a terrorist. The larger question that both films raise is the same: Can Indian Muslims ever be loyal to the country or must they face mistrust and hostility merely because of their religion? The knee-jerk answer to this is that terrorism has no religion and acts of individuals should not tarnish the image of an entire community. But this is not enough. Here are three irrefutable parts of evidence that show that the loyalty of Indian Muslims should be beyond doubt. The writer is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Michigan State University
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