Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inter-Religious Marriages: Recipe for Disaster?

I was contemplating elongating this mini-break into a proper, week's blog holiday but a comment on my post about Rizwan-Ur Rehman's death demands a post.

Thiagan says:

Non muslim girls marrying muslims are doomed to be a disaster. My objections:

> the girls will be invariably from affluent families and the husband can not afford to maintain her earlier lifestyle
> the girls brought up in liberal circumstances can not adjust to the suffocating surroundings for women in Islam
> in Islam marriage is a contract and can be terminated by the husband by uttering triple talaaq; in Pakistan Hindu girls are regularly abducted, forcibly converted and married off to muslims. Six months later, they are abandoned and they become destitutes. The status of women in Islam is worse beyond imagination.
> I can not accept a teacher marrying his own student; it is against professional ethics.
> the boy has brought dishonour to the family and he should be killed to protect the honour of the family. This is in accordance with shariaat.
> Ram Madhav earlier quoted the instance of a UP senior IAS officer married to a muslim lady. Their son died and there was virtually a war whether to cremate or to bury.
> Culturally they are poles apart and the marriage will never work
> there is a definite attempt by muslim boys to lure Hindu/Christian girls to marriage; it is an effort to increase the market share
> Betty Mohamed, an American lady, married an Iranian doctor and after seven years, she was persuaded to go to Iran with the daughter; the husband became a fanatic and started imposing Arab customs on them. She escaped to USA after great difficulty and she has written a book, ”Not Without My Daughter”. It is favourite present when any American girl marries a muslim. It is also filmed
> muslim girls can cope up with marriage because they brainwashed from birth
> US state department has issued a booklet advising American women against marrying muslims
> This is a very relevant concern of every parent and I wish the media should not make circus of it
What is your response?



Thiagan, I am interested in knowing how and why Rizwan died. I don't think that was entirely because he was Muslim. If you have been following the issue you may have also heard about Manoj and Dolly being hounded by the Kolkata police, following requests from Dolly's father. Both are Hindu and yet being harassed.

> the girls will be invariably from affluent families and the husband can not afford to maintain her earlier lifestyle
Many girls marry into less affluent households. When they do it out of choice they are also knowingly choosing the change in lifestyle. Right now my husband's parents cannot afford the luxuries they heaped on their children until very recently. Does that mean I shouldn't have married him?

> the girls brought up in liberal circumstances can not adjust to the suffocating surroundings for women in Islam
Islam is not suffocating. I have Muslim friends, men and women, and to them their religion is a way of life and comfortable at that. Provided you are not a fanatic, or marrying one, it should not be such a barrier. If it is, then the claustrophobia is usually apparent well before the marriage.

> in Islam marriage is a contract and can be terminated by the husband by uttering triple talaaq; in Pakistan Hindu girls are regularly abducted, forcibly converted and married off to muslims. Six months later, they are abandoned and they become destitutes. The status of women in Islam is worse beyond imagination.
I can only suppose you have not heard of Hindu windows in Benaras or dowry deaths in Hindu communities, to name but two atrocities which seem to occur most often in my supposedly open religion. I like being Hindu because it gives me a great deal of (religious) elbow-space, but I am not blind to its potential for abuse -- in this it is no different from any other world faith, including Buddhism and Zoroastroanism.

The triple talaaq is grossly misused, but that does not mean that every Muslim man (or even every other or every third) divorces his wife on a whim. At least, in my experience, that has not been so.

> I can not accept a teacher marrying his own student; it is against professional ethics.
I agree with you on this. As I pointed out in my post, from some accounts Rizwan seems to have been less than Mr. Perfect.

> the boy has brought dishonour to the family and he should be killed to protect the honour of the family. This is in accordance with shariaat.
I'm not sure I understand this point. Are you suggesting that Muslims killed Rizwan because of his marriage outside the community?

> Ram Madhav earlier quoted the instance of a UP senior IAS officer married to a muslim lady. Their son died and there was virtually a war whether to cremate or to bury.
It is very important, in such a marriage, to know what faith (if any) the children are to follow. If the husband and wife do not work it out before they bring up a child, such tragedies will occur. That's just being practical.

> Culturally they are poles apart and the marriage will never work
I know of at least one such marriage which has worked very well and two others which are working right now. Personally. There must be so many more out there.

> there is a definite attempt by muslim boys to lure Hindu/Christian girls to marriage; it is an effort to increase the market share
I have to laugh at this one, I'm afraid. I don't know what kind of Muslim boys you meet, but most of my Muslim (male) friends are actually very wary of relationships with non-Muslims because of the family problems they will have to face. I'm not saying that they have never entered into relationships with non-Muslim girls, but it was not planned. I'm sorry, I'm still laughing at this point.

Give us girls some credit. We know when we are wanted for ourselves, you know.

> Betty Mohamed, an American lady, married an Iranian doctor and after seven years, she was persuaded to go to Iran with the daughter; the husband became a fanatic and started imposing Arab customs on them. She escaped to USA after great difficulty and she has written a book, ”Not Without My Daughter”. It is favourite present when any American girl marries a muslim. It is also filmed
I've heard of it. I can only repeat, I have not met any such Muslim men. I'm sure there are such fanatics all around me, but that does not mean that my friends who are not fanatics should be have to be ostracised as well. You think it out, is that fair?

> muslim girls can cope up with marriage because they brainwashed from birth
Brainwashed into what exactly? My oldest friend, someone I have known for the last thirteen years, is Muslim. Her four older sisters are all independent working women who have made very good marriages, have nice husbands and are great mothers. Did I mention that all the sisters are practising doctors? If that is brainwashing I could do with some of that.

> US state department has issued a booklet advising American women against marrying muslims
You need to check your facts about this.

> This is a very relevant concern of every parent and I wish the media should not make circus of it.
It is regrettable that some sections of the media is blurring the lines, I agree. Our focus here should be on finding out why the Kolkata Police cannot be questioned upon their dubious behaviour and why the investigation into the death of Rizwan-Ur Rehman is being hidden under a smokescreen. Our focus is not really on whether he and Priyanka Todi should have got married. It's none of your business or mine and I applaud you for recognising that.

23 comments:

umarah said...

hey ur post made me delurker.i m a muslim from pakistan n i m really happy to say that u put ut point of views really nicely.well done.i hope muslims will have better impression in future too.alot of ppl including muslims have really distorted ideas regarding islam n ppl like u or may be me can show ppl the other side of the picture.bravo.

Mona said...

brilliant answers to everything.
i can't really add anything except that the talaq thing is wrong in my opinion. that would take away from the importance of marriage in islam. these are well-known and well accepted statements that God and his Prophet made:
marriage is half of your faith.
divorce is the most hated thing by God.
keeping this in mind, the presumption that in islam divorce can be obtained by uttering a single word thrice is illogical. as far as i know, there are prerequisites and conditions that apply. you have to consult society elders, religious leaders to solve problems in your marriage before you even consider divorce and if you do, talaq has to be declared in three different situations, with witnesses present and only after every effort in making the marriage has been exhausted.
this is my view and i claim to be no shariah scholar. i feel like the world phenomenon of male superiority tends to color the interpretation of islam and gives men a false sense of power, one that is not validated by islam. this is again my opinion only and i'm sure i'm going to offend some sensibilities but here it is anyways.

Mona said...

sorry for hogging your comment space.

Squiggles Mom said...

These marriages probably need more work because of all the barriers family and society create but recipe for disaster they are not. Well done Sue for standing up to some ridiculous statements!

Thiagan said...

18/10/07

Mona

It is true that the Book says divorce is the most hated thing by God. Why then, in all his wisdom, he did not prescribe a more difficult and complicated procedure. He could have made it sacred like in Hinduism or in Christianity, till death do us part. This is taaquia.

Mona said...

thiagan, regarding your comment, i'd like to remind you again that i'm no shariah scholar, i like to think that islam gives me the freedom to interpret my religion in a way that appeases not just my heart but also my logic.
the way i see this is that it is stressed enough in islam that you MUST do everything you can to make your marriage work. that is understood and the responsibiity of the two adults involved.
but also, i think, that in this case you have wiggle room. if you're just totally unhappy in your marriage, then talaq (from the man) and qula (from the woman) are viable options.
this is ofcourse with the presumption that the man and the women understand that importance of marriage, and the steps to make it last and that divorce shouldn't be considered except as the very last option.
this is my opinion on the subject. i don't know what the religius leaders say or believe. i hope that answers your question satisfactorily.

Thiagan said...

18/10/07

Thiagan says

1) I do not know the case of Dolly; I can not say anything about it. Rizwan’s death is either a suicide or an accident. A CID report says that he was desperately trying to reach the other woman; who was not available or refused to respond. The area is an accident prone area; 180 deaths during the current year and 220 last year. The body was there at 10.30 AM and no idiot will kill some one and leave the body at such a busy hour. The murder theory is floated to make some money from Tody and secularist media is blowing it because of the muslim content.
2) Life style change is the least of the difficulties and compounded with religion change, this becomes explosive.
3) Islam is suffocating for women. Islam treats women as dirt. It rejects gender equality. For eg. Women, Koraan says: “men have a degree (of advantage) over them” 2:228 ; that the witness of woman is worth half of that of man 2:282; that women inherit half of their male siblings, 4:11-12; that a man can marry two or three or four women 4:3; that if a women becomes captive in a war, her Muslim master is allowed to rape her 33:50; that if a woman is not totally submissive to her husband she will enter Hell 66:10; that women are “tilth” for their husbands (to cultivate them) 2:223; that men are in charge of women, as if women were imbeciles or minors who could not take care of themselves; that they must be obedient to their husbands or be admonished (verbally abused), banished from the bed (psychologically abused) and beaten (physically abused) 4:34. Let the muslims improve the status of women in Islam, then we can consider inter religious marriages. Real life is different from the reel life; it is more cruel, uncaring and unsparing. Your friends are not the right examples and constitute the minority. I will cite an example. Dar al Uloom, Deoband is a well known Islamic learning centre. It is rated as Al Azar of India and is comparable to Harward Law School in Islamic law. They have a separate department for issuing fatwas and it is said they have issued more than three lacs fatwas. The fatwas are collated and are published and I am quoting from the 23rd edition. Here is a case referred to them:

• Case No.407: Niamat Khan gave triple talaaq to his wife Gabro in a drunken state. Later he repented and on the advice of others agreed to take back his wife. As the woman had been divorced and had not married another man, she was married to Mangal Khan on the condition that he would divorce her immediately after marriage. But after the marriage Mangal Khan delayed the divorce and ultimately refused to divorce. The lady did not want to be the wife of Mangal Khan. Now the question arises whether the divorce given earlier by Niamat Khan is valid; whether Mangla Khan’s marriage is valid or not and what is the refusal of the lady to join Mangal Khan mean. The lady has not joined Mangal Khan and she had not cohabited with him. What is way so that she may be separated or divorced?

Let us see what the Supreme Court of Islamic jurisprudence say. I give the reply verbatim
• Fatwa: Niamat Khan’s triple talaaq in the first instance has become effective and he cannot marry her again without halalah.(purification ceremony). His intention for restitution of marriage has no meaning. Mangal Khan stands properly married. Unless he cohabits with her and divorces her and the period of iddad passes, Niamat Khan can not marry her legitimately. Suppose Mangal Khan divorces her without sexual intercourse with her she will not become halal for Niamat Khan. Mangal Khan’s statement that he will divorce her after a few days does not effect a divorce. The woman’s statement she does not want to be Mangal Khan’s wife, after she has married him, is nonsense. It does not make any difference to the marriage. And a married woman retains no right to live separately after she has married. She can not get away from her husband without divorce nor marry another man. The only way for Niamat Khan to marry her is that Mangal Khan cohabits with her and divorce her. Please note that this not the fatwa of some cleric. This also the law of the land and is enforced in courts. The courts have particularly held that remarriage shall not create a presumption of validity; there must be proof of the intermediate marriage and that marriage having been consummated, if the husband divorced the wife, repented and wanted to remarry. If the procedure is not adopted, the children born subsequently will be illegitimate. See Mulla’s Principles of Mohammedan Law, 18th edition by M.Hidayathulla and others 1977 Sec.257 and 336 pp.286, 354. Hidayathulla was the Chief Justice of India. The mistake was made by the husband and why the wife should pay for it? What is this purification all about? Do you think it is sane. Why should other girls get into this mess. If you want, I will give you more horror stories.

4) It is true that all muslims do not resort to triple talaaq but my submission is why, when it is provided in the system, the other girls should get into it? Your reference to Hindu widows in Benaras and dowry deaths are social problems and can be and are being addressed with legal solutions and by creating awareness. In Islam it is theological and can never be changed. In South, girls do not commit suicide; that is old fashion. Now they go the police and jail the groom and the inlaws. For example you will find Koraan permits wife beating and in Pakistan 40% of the women admitted in the hospital are victims of domestic violence.
5) Regarding Rizwan, he hails from a poor family and from what I find, he wanted to enrich himself by marrying a rich Hindu girl. He was first intimate with one Ms.Poumpy Roy and discarded her in favour of richer Priyanka. The CID theory is he was trying to contact her before his death to dissuade her from informing Tody about his affair with her and Roy remaining elusive, he became distraught and committed suicide. In short he is a bounty hunter.
6) I said Rizwan has brought dishonour to Tody’s family and Tody gets the right to have him killed. This is called honour killing and it is permitted in shariaat and is widely practised in Pakistan. I am not admitting that Tody did it.
7) I think you are talking about premarital agreement. Again my submission is why get into the mess at all.
8) Please go to the website of FrontPage magazine and you will find many stories of western women getting married to muslims; they living on her earnings for a few years; give two children and escape to the native country. Some times they resurface with another younger wife.
9) Girls at the age 20-25 are emotionally vulnerable and when deliberate attempts are made, they fall into the trap. Priyanaka is the case in point and in an earlier case a rich Sindhi girl ran away with a muslim boy in Bhopal; in fact in that house both the sons have married Hindu girls. I am for educating the girls of the dangers of marrying muslims and avoiding any friendship with them.
10) Again your friends are the wrong quotes. They are liberated; I am talking about the families like Rizwanur and they pose the threat to others.
11) Tody has a right to be concerned and the Police officers finding that he was a bounty hunter, warned him of the consequences. I do not find police guilty. It is the media which is creating hype because he is a muslim and they require material for their 24 hours channel.
12) I will ask Sue one question. Suppose a hindu boy and a muslim girl had married in a muslim country, what would have happened. They would have killed him. In fact there is a legal ban on muslim girls marrying outsiders. They are deemed apostates and death is the punishment. Islam treats its minorities shabbily; why Hindu India, Christian West and Buddhist China should treat them differently. Secularism is not a one way traffic.
13) Above all Islam permits four wives; what is the guarantee Rizwan will remain wedded to her. Do not be fooled by the argument that Hindus also commit bigamy. For hindus, it is an offence punishable under law. For muslims it is legally permitted and there is no relief.

Shobana said...

Irrespective of religion many marriages have gone awry, when both or one spouse do not try to work the marriage. My best friend, a Hindu converted to Islam to marry her now hubby and 2 yrs after marriage, they have a beautiful baby girl. I asked similar q's to her about the marriage and she doesn't think it is suffocating. It is just that there are many cultural beliefs....even hindu's have many such beliefs and we don't think they are suffocating. Or does anyone? I personally feel that when you are born and brought up in one religion and then marry into another, it could be hard until you settle into that rhythm. It happens even when we marry intercaste. Getting accustomed into the family and their practices. So, I think it is unfair to say Islam/Christianity/Hindu or any other religion is unfair to the different genders.

DotMom said...

tagged

DotMom said...

thiagan,
you go off on a tangent. I find the comment - "Let the muslims improve the status of women in Islam, then we can consider inter religious marriages." very disturbing. especialy after you rant about how islam treats women as dirt. here you are treating adults as dirt. Every adult has the right to make a choice and face its due consequences. You cannot "ban" inter-anything marriages. Any contract entered by two consenting adults is valid.

sue, kudos to you for standing up to this troll.

Sue said...

Umrah -- Delurk more often, sister. :)

Mona -- To me, the whole concept of talaq was based in a society where the elders had the last word and therefore could impose arbitration before dissolution of marriage. You see, all religions have so many loopholes, it is unrealistic not to expect to have them exploited. That does not mean all the practitioners of the religion are exploitative. I think we both agree on that.

(And don't aplogise, I welcome all comments.)

Shobana -- Actually, most religions are pretty patriarchal, if you read the texts (I need that Tamil Punkster for the actual references here). But this bias is not as binding as the patrirchal interpretations we have imposed on them later.

Having said that, I also think every major religion that I can think of gives plenty of room for men as well as women, if only they know where to look for it. (So yes, I actually agree with you!)

DotMom -- Yes, I have a big problem with anybody telling adults what and what not to do. It starts off with simple guidelines and then ends up dictating the food you eat, the air you breathe, the people you talk to...

Sue said...

Thiagan --

1. I go about a lot, travel quite a bit and meet a lot of people from various social levels. I would rather see any religion from these perspectives than that of a sensationalised media story of two individuals.

2. I do not think you or I have the right or the qualifications to decide who should live and who should die.

3. I repeat: I am not interested in whether Priyanka Todi and Rizwan-Ur Rehman should have got married or not. I just want to find out who thought they were above the law and could kill him. His death was not a suicide, from the evidence so far. You do not seem to have been following the latest developments of the case.

Anansi said...

who's the fundamentalist here? thiagan, you need a serious reality check!

Thiagan said...

21/10/07

umarah

What is the story of Mukthar Bi and the book "In the name of honour"?

dotman

Why it is disturbing when I say Islam should improve the status of its women, before they think of inter religious marriages? You are, obviously, against gender equality; that is understandable. Please note that abuse is not argument and assertion is not proof. You reply to my comment point by point with evidence. That will be better.

Sue

I have told you only 2% of the dark side of Islam. You want some more.

Beq said...

Someone throw a banana at this lunatic. Or get him to have some sex. Next he'll be telling us that the Koran allows you to go for a picnic only if the women in the group have half the amount food that the men do.
I quake at his threat to disclose the other 98% of the "dark" doings of Islam.
Thiagan, man, get a life. And don't hate. Neither are as difficult as you may think.

The Marauder's Map said...

Dear Thiagan, I don't think you have met too many liberal Muslims or have any idea that they exist. From what I can see, your ideas on Islam and its practices are culled mainly from sensationalist books such as 'Not Without My Daughter'. My name is Shrabonti Bagchi, I am happily married to one Rumman Ahmed (though I often threaten to divorce him because he spends too much time in the bathroom) and we have a nine-month-old daughter. You could address any questions you have on inter-religious marriages -- the real ones, mind you, not the hypothetical ones you're on about -- and I would be happy to answer your queries. Thank you.

The Marauder's Map said...

Sorry, I meant news-making, not hypothetical. I think you are assuming every inter-religious marriage ends in disaster, and makes the headlines.

Oh, and I do think you assume too much about any non-Muslim marrying a Muslim. For instance, you obviously haven't heard of the Special Marriage Act which removes the necessity of having a nikaah and conversion, unless you choose to. So where does the question of triple talaaq etc come in?

Also, you assume 'the girls will be invariably from affluent families and the husband can not afford to maintain her earlier lifestyle'. I gather you've never met a Muslim who's doing well professionally. Again, I advice you to widen your world-view before making solemn judgments like the ones you've made.

Thiagan said...

25/10/07

Thiagan says

Beq

You are the rager boy and you can see your photo in website of freedomfaith.org of Ali Sina.

The marauder’s map

I have al last found someone sensible to argue and she is not getting angry, starts shouting and using abusive language. For the first lot, I pose three questions:

1) Who is a liberal muslim? I will rate one as liberal subject to four conditions.
> one who agrees and treats that all religions are equal. Rig Veda says “Let truth come to us from all sides”. Saint Tyagaraja, 200 years before, sang: “ Great men are there on all sides of the world. Salutations to them all”. The song is sung, as one of his nine gems, in Tivaiyaru every year by all the carnatic musicians as their homage to the saint.
> one who believes and practises gender equality
> one who accepts the national policies eg. single child norm
> one who agrees to eschew any ideas of global domination and universal imposition of shariaat

2) Why there has been no reformers in Islam during the last 1200 years? Do not tell me that it does not need reforms? That is a lie. See the fatwa quoted above and it is insane. Hinduism has produced many, the last being Mahathma Gandhi. The reason is the mind in Islam has been closed and sealed by a gentleman called Mohammed. Is it true or not?

3) Why muslim countries world over can not evolve have sustained democracy, genuine pluralism and peaceful co existence. See the neighbours; they started as secular states and became theocratic after a few years. I fault the theology as being inconsistent with a democratic ethos. Do not quote Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey; Turkey remains secular because of the army; the other two are inching towards theocracy

Let us stop with the three and come to other things later. Madam, I wish you have a long and prosperous married life.

Sue said...

Beq -- I agree with the 'no hate' bit. Have seen a fair amount of mindless hate in my own life and it only made everybody unhappy.

Shrabonti -- I keep telling T that his view is too narrow, but I don't think he even reads our replies.

Thiagan -- You really are judgemental, aren't you? Beq is the most laidback person I know, barring none. Yet, because he tells you to relax you declare him 'rager boy', whatever that means.

I repeat: I AM NOT INTERESTED IN WHETHER THESE TWO INDIVIDUALS SHOULD HAVE GOT MARRIED OR NOT. I want to know who thinks he can kill a man with impunity, for reasons of personal hatred, and not get punished. You and I both seem to think that Rizwan was killed -- I do not like to think that the killer will get away because of his political or police connections. If such a thing is acceptable to you I must say that I find your ethics unsound.

I do not like the focus of my post being hijacked like this and I suggest you take your Muslims-are-evil diabatre elsewhere. Shrabonti can leave you an email id here if she likes but all further off-topic comments will be deleted.

Thiagan said...

26/10/07

Sue says: "You and I seem to think that Rizwan was killed."

Thiagan says: I have never said that Rizwan was killed and that too at the instance of Tody. I always said that it is either suicide or accident. Tody produced the other woman Ms.Roy to Priyanka and she decided to walk out of the marriage. Desperate Rizwan wanted to talk to her and when she refused, he probably committed suicide. This is what SMS messages at the last moment indicate. Where is the evidence to prove Tody arranged the killing and no idiot will kill someone and dump the body at a busy location at 10.30 AM.

Thiagan said...

02/12/07

Thiagan says:

The issue appears to have been resolved in my favour. CBI has come to conclusion that it was suicide in the case of Rizwanur; it might have been accident also. I cited three arguments in favour of suicide/accident:
> it was a busy locality and no one will kill someone and lay the body there at a busy hour of 10.30 AM
> the place is accident prone and perhaps the busiest unmanned and unauthorized pedestrian crossing of railway tracks
> Tody has got his daughter back, convinced her of the earlier affairs of Rizwanur and she also decided to walk out of the marriage. He has no reason to get involved with a wastrel any longer.

I consider that I have clearly established that (a) non muslim girls marrying muslims will end up in disaster; (b) the status of women in Islam is condemnable (c) media circus is motivated by its inherent hatred for Hindus and the need to have some matter for their 24 hour coverage; (d) the outrage of the secularist scoundrels can be understood because of the muslim content; (e) the media outburst has only brought bad publicity for the other lady, who is said to have been later married; (f) Islam treats its minorities shabbily and when in minority, they will demand secularism, Sachar commission etc, and this is unacceptable; (g) Islamic jingoism with attendant violence is incompatible to any flourishing plural and democratic society; (h) Islam is inherently violent and the verses and a literalist interpretation make them worse; (i) Islam cannot be reformed, since its mind has been sealed 1200 years back; (j) Islam can not enforce gender equality, since the theology underlying the religion rejects it; (k) muslims saying otherwise are actually fooling the others; and (l) multi cultural society is not functional if there is a muslim component.

I read somewhere else Bengalis are prejudiced against Marwaris because of their wealth and hence so much of anti Tody write ups and mention of money power and class differences. Tody came to Kolkatta as a poor man and built an empire by hard work, perseverance and intelligence; he should be hailed as a success story and not envied upon. The south will look upon him this way only, like Narayanamurthy.

Murali Ravi said...

well,

i dont agree to T on all issues, but the others have to address these 2

1. Why dont the muslim men convert to hinduism when they marry a hindu girl, who is it that only the hindu has to convert and you see very rare instances of hindu boys marrying muslim girls.

2. It is definetely true that muslims demand secularism in countires where they are a minority, but in countries where they are a majority they treat others like crap, in Saudi, you are jailed for even carrying a copy of the ramayan.

Sue said...

Murali Ravi --

1. Conversion is a mutually taken decision by the two people who decide to get married. Not my business whether the boy or girl coverts or if neither do.

2. Why should I care what people in other country do? I do not understand this line of thought. To me Indian Muslims are Indians first. Why should I ever let external happenings in foreign countries influence my decisions here in my free, secular and democratic country? What is the point of India if not to allow room for all religions?