Chennai, Prof . Dr Rameeza, A. Rasheed: After the victory of BJP in the recent Lok Sabha election all the political analysts are talking about the consolidation of the Hindu votes and fragmentation of minority votes resulting in the massive victory of the BJP . To a certain extent it is true . It is because of the congress led government’s dismal failure to control inflation, corruption and unemployment, the middle class among the Hindus decided to vote for the NDA alliance since they wanted India to become free from a non performing government .
Plight of the minorities particularly the Muslims in the current political scenario in India
They hoped, change of regime might usher in era of change for better India . Even the secular Hindus voted for BJP this time in spite of knowing about their communal agenda thinking, in a country like India which has survived so far on secular principles, the BJP will not be able to push it’s communal agenda if they want to rule India for few decades .The youth of all religious groups thought , the BJP would accelerate growth with employment since they are projecting themselves as corporate sector’s darling and by all means achieve development .
The huge flow of funds from the business class enabled the BJP to organise the most expensive and high technology poll campaign unknown in the political history of India .Their campaign managers made full use of the social media .They promised sun and moon and paradise to Indians if they are chosen to rule the nation with majority. The youth were naturally drawn towards them since, the congress which is the main national party could not compete with BJP with the organisation skill and effective poll campaign strategy .Moreover their past record in governance and serious corruption charges became big obstacles in convincing the voters .
Making full use of the congress party’s weaknesses, the BJP not only could draw the support of the their traditional voters but also, the new voters from Dalit and backward classes who by then were fed up with the empty promises and performance of their community leaders who they have all these decades. For the youth Modi looked like a messiah sent from Above with magical wand to save this nation. It is stated by political analysts that ,even considerable number of minority votes went to BJP because , no serious attempt was taken by their community leaders to guide their members regarding the proper use of their franchise to protect their rights . In other words, there was no attempt to consolidate their votes against communal forces . The attempts by some secular parties to form a third front miserably failed. The Congress party was busy with it’s ego and group clashes at the state level, and continued it’s top down approach in selection of the candidates and bent upon projection of Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate in an indirect manner . The senior leaders who could foresee the election results refrained from contesting the election.
Muslims are now afraid of their future position in India , because, the government which is now ruling India seems to be a Modi government and not BJP or NDA government .Ever since Amit Shah became the president of BJP even the party has become Modi’s party . Both of them consult RSS high command frequently on several matters concerning government matters , although the BJP had been shouting at the top of roof about the extra constitutional authority ( Madam Sonia Gandhi) exercising power in taking policy decisions, when the UPA government was ruling the nation. What do the Muslims are supposed to infer from the dead silence of the highly talkative PM ,Modi over the Sangh Parivar member’s provocative statements against the Muslim community day in day out and over the various assaults on Muslims resulting even in loss of lives and homes under the slogan of love jihad especially in Utter Predesh ? Some hard core Hindutva believers have started making a number of provocative statements which are anti Muslims boldly and arrogantly ever since the BJP came to power and they are not controlled by their high command.
Modi is here to rule for the next five years and may rule even for 10 years if he succeeds in further polarisation of different communities and consolidation of the majority community. What is the agenda of Muslim political leaders to guarantee dignified living for the Indian Muslims? The representation of Muslims in this Lok Sabha is the lowest since the first general election of 1952. The 16th Lok Sabha will have just 24 Muslim MPs, down from 30 in the 15th. That translates to 4.4% of the strength of the House. Are they not worried about the dwindling of parliamentary representation of Muslims ? Are they going to remain in deep coma forever?
We have observed that the Ulemas are busy giving their opinion on Sharia courts rights , divorce matters , hijab matters and superiority of Madarasa education over modern education and using Fatwa as a tool to exercise supremacy over the Muslim community. When a hectic election campaign with a clear agenda on polarising the Indian communities and consolidation of the majority community was being implemented with do or die vigor, the Muslim political leaders were sleeping and never demonstrated any interest in consolidation of minority votes by joining together and discussing with other minority leaders about forming an effective strategy for protecting their rights.
.Several fringe groups with local Muslim leaders joined together in the past to agitate against the screening of some cinemas , protesting against an American cartoon or against the delivery of lectures by some scholars or writers whom they don’t like. But they had taken very little efforts to create social, political, legal and economic awareness among Muslims in general and the youth in particular. Women empowerment had never been in their agenda. Rather it is a forbidden topic to them. Hence, the Muslim voters were left unguided and they voted as they liked without any serious consideration about the effect of their choice of the candidates.
.What is the use of screaming in the electronic media during news time regarding the various cases of attacks on Muslims and the love Jihad accusation now? The only gain the Muslims got now, is the demolition of a myth called the “Muslim vote bank” Soon the Modi Government is going to complete 100 days in power. Already the media is pointing out day in out about their the execution of their Hindutva agenda contrary to Modi’s poll promises The silence of a very articulative PM over the anti Muslim statements and activities of some members of the Sang Pariwar convey a strong message regarding the position of Muslims in the coming years..In India so far the Muslims have lived in a safe environment due to the dominance of secular forces in the political scenario. Now the non secular forces are gaining ground. How will the minority community leaders face the challenges which will soon become serious?
The Congress party at present seems to be happy to take rest from governing this nation. For their leaders their ego cashes are important and there is no next level leader after Sonia to lead the party. At the states level there are more leaders than field level workers The party has lost connectivity with their traditional and neutral voters . Rahul Gandhi is not a leader with charisma and leadership skill. He is an idealist and his political experiments may yield results after twenty years. Hence the congress party should start analysing about the blunders they have committed so far and take honest efforts to identify credible leaders with practical and political wisdom to take up the leadership positions instead of clinging to Gandhi –Nehru family. The burden now lies on the secular forces to consolidate themselves as a pressure groups to help every citizen of India to live with dignity and liberty in the coming years. They should also start using the social media to guide young men and women in the proper use of their votes.. Even the various communist parties divided over petty issues should strengthen their ideologies by merging together. The Muslim leaders should take efforts to give political awareness to their community members particularly, the youth and women . political leaders like Najma Heptulla , the Minority Affairs Minister should be taken to task for making irresponsible statements . If the minorities have to live with dignity and enjoy peaceful coexistence in India , it is time for all the secular forces to work together with a clear agenda to fight communal forces. [Source: TCN]
(Prof. Rameeza A. Rasheed is Chennai-based author and gives lecture on women empowerment.)