Muslims face discrimination in India: Shabana Azmi
Bangalore, Aug 17: "Indian democracy is unfair to Muslims", said Bollywood actor and former MP Shabana Azmi. She said this in 'Devil's Advocate' show of CNN-IBN TV channel hosted by Karan Thapar. She said that though Muslims are safer in India than in other parts of the world because they have a stake and space in Indian democracy, Indian democracy is unfair to Muslims.
Shabana said, "I think there is not enough understanding of the fact that in a democracy how you treat the security of the minority must be a very important part for the success of a democracy. You can't only make token gestures and actually let them be in the state that they are as the Rajinder Sachar Committee report shows. So what happened is token gestures are made but real issues are never addressed."
Shabana Azmi said that despite India's secular nature Muslims are discriminated here. She said she couldn't buy a house in Mumbai because she was a Muslim. "I wanted to buy a flat in Bombay and it wasn't given to me because I was a Muslim and I read the same about Saif (Ali Khan). Now, I mean, if Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi cannot get a flat in Bombay because they are Muslims, then what are we talking about?"
Questioned about the Kashmir violence having a wider communal ramification elsewhere in the country at present, she said, "That's why I am so distressed over what is happening in Kashmir. For heaven's sake it should be brought to a stop and it should have been brought to a stop right when they started that nonsense."
But she agreed that it was the responsibility of the Muslim leadership to change the image of their community. "I don't think that the Muslim leadership has bothered to clear the air about what Islam actually is."