Firoz Bakht Ahmed
every election, it has been proved that all Muslim leadership are power-brokers
indulging in pernicious vote-bank manipulation, then acquiring state patronage
themselves and leaving ordinary Muslims to the mercy of God.
announcing the creation of 100 madrasas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made
it clear that there are no walls between the Muslim community and the BJP-RSS.
The PM’s message to the community is to modernise and while remaining rooted.
“Ek hath mein Quran, ek mein computer” (Quran in one hand and computer in the
other), he said. Earlier, the PM also expressed his concern for the Muslims
being used as a vote bank, stalling their progress.
changes have been underway in our educational curriculum. Religious instruction
across all faiths cannot stay isolated from this transformation. In 1996, the
first BJP-led government under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee talked of
combining the ideals of Vedanta and Islam. I have held the view that it is
important to continuously engage with the BJP and Sangh to build a bridge of
bitterness which our leaders have allowed to grow between the two sister
communities and the immeasurable suffering it has led to, could have been
easily avoided. Now, if the Muslim leadership wants to engage, it should be
without any preconditions.
Muslim leadership has lost both its voice and utility. Nothing has changed
since Independence and Muslims continue to be seen with a begging bowl. During
every election, it has been proved that all of them are power-brokers indulging
in pernicious vote-bank manipulation, then acquiring state patronage themselves
and leaving ordinary Muslims to the mercy of God. In terms of electoral
politics, the biggest mistake committed by most in the Muslim community has
been the diatribe against the BJP, particularly during elections, exhorting people
from the community to vote to keep the BJP out. By doing so, they not only
communalise the scenario but also help unite the majority Hindu vote.
mindset has rendered the 170-odd million Muslim community at a crossroads.
Muslims have also observed in the recent election that the “Mahagathbandhan” of
the so-called secular brigade too has miserably failed as its sole purpose was
not development but to pull the rug from under Modi’s feet. After the result,
even when the votes of the “Mahagathbandhan” and Congress in UP were added
together, they could not overcome the BJP candidate’s tally.
Modi magic worked and 10 to 20 per cent or more votes were polled for the BJP
in UP alone and 36 constituencies with substantial Muslim presence were won by
the NDA-BJP. In East Delhi, which has about 20 per cent Muslim electorate,
Gautam Gambhir polled 57,000 votes in Zakir Nagar ward where the number of
Muslim electorate is 3.10 Lakh. Is the Muslim paradigm shifting?
had stated in his speech in Parliament that he wanted to provide justice to the
exploited Muslim community, it was welcomed as well as treated with suspicion.
Even in 2014, Muslims got to know their political mandate had been rendered
futile. Rather than wasting their vote, they should try once at least to
consolidate behind the BJP and see if their genuine issues are addressed.
voters have to shift their perspective from treating the BJP as politically
untouchable. They must keep in mind which party and candidate can fulfil their
aspirations. At the same time, while Modi believes in making India, some of his
MPs and other supporters seem to believe in breaking India through their
vitriolic remarks. The lynching of Muslims, which is going on unabated, must
stop and those indulging in it must be given exemplary punishment.
have voted for the Congress for six decades, they must in the next election,
vote en block for the BJP and see the change.
of the recent mandate for the Muslim community is to distance itself from the
rabble-rousing leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi and Azam Khan. This will pave the
way for them to enter the political mainstream and reap the benefits that
ensue. They should not harp on reservations and raise emotive issues.
Assimilation is the watchword for the Muslim community.
Firoz Bakht Ahmed is chancellor, Maulana Azad
National Urdu University, Hyderabad
Source: The Indian Express