Muslims and Elections in India


Muslims and Elections in India

Come elections at any level -Panchayat to Parliament, and the media gets busy in projecting the contest between Muslims and the rest. They start churning out ‘Expert Analyses’ one after the other to show various imaginary scenarios where in the Muslim voters will decide the fate of contesting candidates (parties).

 
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Muslims and Elections in India

Come elections at any level -Panchayat to Parliament, and the media gets busy in projecting the contest between Muslims and the rest. They start churning out ‘Expert Analyses’ one after the other to show various imaginary scenarios where in the Muslim voters will decide the fate of contesting candidates (parties).

To add to the misfortune of Muslims on these occasions, they spring out a couple of Clerics and professional ‘Muslim leaders’ who, with their predetermined views behave as if they hold a license to speak on behalf of the whole community.

However in the meantime, if a sincere voice is heard either from a Cleric or any other Muslim highlighting the weakness in the claims of a political party (most of the time) or other high priests protecting Muslims, he/ she is branded as playing into the hands of ‘communal elements’. This in turn gives more ammunition to the media to get their 24×7 package into operation.

It is very painful to see this over hyped media game, which directly insults the self-respect and intelligence of a Muslim-voter or non voter alike.

First of all, who on earth digs into the ballot boxes that contain the votes cast on the principle of ‘Secret Ballot’?

If the ballot is secret – which is definitely a fact knowing the ever improving supervision of our Election Commission, then what is the source of their facts and figures? The so called ‘Opinion Polls’ and ‘Exit Poll’ figures have failed a number of times. These people think that the Muslims by and large are a bunch of unintelligent people  who vote en-mass in favour of a candidate whose qualification as a law maker has been decided by others.

They forget that Muslims are present in almost all political parties and have their own brand image of parties throughout the country. The numbers may vary, which is the case with any other religious denomination.

On the other hand, Muslims too are conscious politically at the individual level. Then why do media institutions keep the pot boiling? Can any media mogul answer this question?

This harms not only to Muslims but also results in creation of ‘Vote Banks’, which by now has become a nuisance for Indian democracy.

Merits, honesty and integrity of a candidate are taking the back seat election after election and the Nation is passing into the deep pit of corruption. In the present election heat, there is only one political party which is free from this malice and this party is in its infancy and contesting only for the Delhi Assembly elections. Time only will show whether they stick to their guns and agenda or image.

The most painful scene is seen in the ongoing so called “NaMo” wave. A very reputed Muslim Cleric had to vacate his rector ship of a prestigious Muslim institution for making an observation about the conditions of Muslims in Gujrat. Yet another is facing the music now for stating the facts that the so called savior of Muslims is creating a fear psychosis among Muslims in the name of Narendra Modi.

As far as the situation on the ground is concerned, the facts remain that few brave hearts have taken the Gujrat carnage into courts where the numerous cases are taking place while one of Modi’s Ministers has been convicted for her involvement in the post Godhra riots.

So if the Executive side of governance has failed in it’s “Raj Dharma’, the judiciary will see to it that those responsible knowingly or unknowingly face the music. Similarly, the courts have made the Gujrat government to come out with a time bound program for the work long pending on the rehabilitation of the victims of the holocaust. In any case, this carnage has rightly been called the black spot in the polity of independent India and condemned the world over.

The other side of the story is more fascinating. On one side Modi is keeping a discrete silence on any controversy and rather is busy in projecting his own brand of ‘inclusive development’; his second in command is busy in playing the usual policy in Uttar Pradesh, which is going to have a pan India effect.

Thus, in the end if he wins his battle, it would be on the basis of consolidation of votes of a section of Indian society in his favour and if he loses then the reason would be that the Muslims voted en-mass for his competitors. The Muslims will be the losers on both accounts.

It is this dilemma, which the Muslims face all the time. A factual situation in post Independence India as far as the backwardness of Muslims is concerned lies elsewhere. None of the ‘Show Boys’ of Muslims in any political party has done any worthwhile effort in improving their development indices.

They all occupy their position of power by virtue of being Muslims baring a few and have their own world. The need of the hour is for the emergence of sincere leaders who organize them as a formidable political entity ala the other Dalit groups. Only a politically and socially awakened Muslim community carrying their battle on their own shoulders to seek their rights granted by the constitution and through constitutional means will solve their problems. No piggy backing is going to solve their problems.

In the meantime they should not be scared of the communal phobia. Modi as a PM, if at all he becomes, will be PM of India and not a PM of a section of India.

Jay Prakash Chaukse, who writes a regular column titled ‘Parde ke Peeche’ in Dainik Bhaskar has written in his recently published column that those who wanted to teach a lesson to their neighboring country were the first to start ‘Samjhota Express’ while in power. What he wants to say is that responsibility of governance is one thing and playing on sentiments is another.

Therefore the minorities should vote as usual by choosing the merits of a candidate rather than any tag. Let the media experts keep on playing their game in the meantime.

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