By Arun Lakshman
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 4 (IANS) Popular award winning Malayalam film director Kamaludeen, popularly known as Kamal, opined that education has uplifted the Muslim community, which has largely led to the tolerance and patience of the community even in the extremely adverse conditions in which they are moving ahead.
Kamal who turns 63 later this month in a career that began in 1986, has by now directed over 40 films and has bagged four national and numerous state awards.
Presently, the chairman of the state run Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, Kamal said he is a Muslim and a proud Indian. They have been living in this country for generations and don’t have any contact with Pakistan or Afghanistan.
“After Independence, the policies of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in promoting educational institutions like Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia University has led to educating Muslims in large numbers leading to a revolution in the community,” said Kamal.
Kamal said that education is the tool for liberation and added that Muslim youngsters are doing extremely well in education. He gave the examples of even Muslim girls cracking major competitive examinations in the country including the civil services, IIT, NEET and other such exams.
Another feature of his community, according to him, is the manner in which Muslim youths from here toiled hard in West Asia and added that the first thing these Muslims youths have done was educating their children in the best way. He said that the results are there for everyone to see.
He however pointed out that after the ascendency of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, the Muslims in the country are a worried lot but are tolerant enough not to be drawn into communal strife.
Turning critical, the noted director said that there was a period when the Muslim clergy had prevented members of the community from learning English.
“Such a foolish attitude of the clergy had led to the backwardness of the community,” said Kamal.
He pointed out that the Muslim community can take credit for major contributions in the fields of music, art and films and cited the examples of Mohammed Rafi, Dilip Kumar and the present dominance of the three Khans in Bollywood.
“Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Allah Rakha Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain and other prominent members of the North Indian Gharanas had created waves in the musical sphere of the country,” said Kamal.
The veteran film director however said that Hindu zealots were trying to usurp the rich contributions of the Muslim community to the society.
Placing faith in the youth, Kamal said that in all societies it was the youth who are the harbingers of change and lamented that in present day India under Modi several youths who agitated against the CAA and the NRC had criminal charges foisted on them.
He claimed that even the courts seem to have been forced into submission and said that setting free leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in the Babri Masjid demolition case is a clear indicator in this regard.
“The Indian Constitution is very powerful and Muslims and Dalits are looking at the Constitution to safeguard their rights,” said Kamal.