Ziya Us Salam is one of the most renowned personalities in the India media. Owing it the credibility of his work, he has been associated with ‘The Hindu’ for over 17 years and is now working with ‘The Frontline’ as their Editor. His love for writing knows no bounds, as he recently published his book “Till Talaq Do Us Part: Understanding Talaq, Triple Talaq and Khula” and received a great response from the audience base. In a very up close interview with QNA India, Mr. Ziya talked about the different perceptions people have of Indian Media, the Indian youths, and the religious differences that still persists. Read on.
Please tell about your views on the religious differences, India undoubtedly fails to amaze the world with.
Ziya Us Salam: The punchline for Indian tourism, Incredible India, sums it up beautifully. When we talk of religious differences, I wouldd rather talk of assimilation. I will give you a couple of examples. First: At a distance of around 70 kms from Delhi in Hapur you will find a Shiva dhaba. On the face of it, it is just another dhaba that dot our highways. However, if you look closer, this popular eatery accommodates a mosque! There are prayer mats laid out and provision for wuzu too. All this at a place named after a principal Hindu deity.
Second. In Rampur, around 200 km from Delhi, there is a medieval temple of Aurangzeb’s era. All residents around it are Muslims but the temple has stood safe even during Partition and 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid.
Do you think that Indian media is still doing the job that they are entitled to? Or is it just the yellow journalism that has become a trend?
Ziya Us Salam: I don’t think it is fair to paint the entire media with the same brush. Where major media houses have taken leave of established principles of journalism, many startups and some age old newspapers are bravely sticking their neck out.
Tell us about your work ethics and also about the culture The Hindu has?
Ziya Us Salam: The Hindu is family to me. I have been here for close to two decades. I won’t want to change that. It has been an exhilarating and fulfilling journey. Personally, two things stand out for me: integrity and an ability to toil away for long hours.
Do you see the Indian youth as a driving force in the upcoming future? Or are they just another train derailed from the tracks of success – Especially the Kashmiri Youths?
Ziya Us Salam: It is insensitive to say our Kashmiri youths have gone astray. Kashmir is ours, so are Kashmiris.
Coming to the first part of your question, youth has to be the driving force but the fundamentals are all provided by the previous generation.
What is your take on the Indian political system?
Ziya Us Salam: The first-past-the-past system tends to make a mockery of the sentiments of a majority of Indians. The majority ends up paying the price for the folly of the minority.
What was your inspiration behind writing this book?
Ziya Us Salam: I had observed both an overcurrent of aggressive Hindutva and an undercurrent of silent churning in the world of Indian Muslims. However, the book came about with the idea of taking the lid off the politics of Hindutva which segregates Indians on the basis of religion and caste. The same philosophy is far removed from Hinduism and the idea of India.