Democracy, biggest blessing for Indian Muslims: M J Akbar

Hyderabad: India is the only country in the world where Muslims despite being in minority can profoundly claim that they have reaped the fruits of democracy uninterruptedly for the last 60 years, prominent journalist and columnist M J Akbar said here on Tuesday.

Delivering a lecture at Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Akabar spoke at length on different aspects of status of Urdu and Muslims in India.

He said reservation is the right of Muslims. When the other backward and under privileged sections of the society are being offered the reservations, why not the Muslims? he asked.

Muslims nowadays are not willing to accept the so called 'Soft Secularism.' "If you vote out of fear then in turn you will get fear only. You can not expect development in return," he said. He appreciated the West Bengal government for declaring 10 per cent reservations for Muslims and said that Marxist government has done its homework well on this front.

West Bengal government has clearly defined the backwardness and removed the creamy layer from the purview of reservations, he said. If the government is sincere and has strong will then only reservations could be implemented, he added.

Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof K R Iqbal Ahmed, speaking on the topic 'Urdu Media in 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities,' advised young journalists to become the voice of downtrodden and the poor.

Describing Urdu as a sweet language which has the unique ability of mixing with any other language, he said Urdu was never an official language throughout its history. "Yet it enjoys the popularity and the patronage of the masses even today," he added.