India

Modi’s Acceptance among Gujarati Muslims: Compromise or Compulsion?

Shahnawaz Alam for BeyondHeadlines

It is absurd to notice on a television debate, a semi literate Gujarati entrepreneur challenging an IAS officer and present vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, University about his knowledge of Indian Muslims and their political orientation.

The distinction made by Mr. Jung was quite comprehensible that the Muslims across the country cast their votes distinctively.  And also his speculations of loss of Muslim votes if Modi is projected as a prime ministerial candidate for forthcoming 2014 general elections by BJP.

Though it is contentious whether 20-25% of Muslims of India would vote for BJP irked by Congress, its misgovernance and flurry of corruption charges.  And what percent of Muslim voters would curtail in case of Modi’s projection as prime ministerial candidate.  It is premature to indulge in statistics without a thorough research on ground level.  Nonetheless it does not implicate at all that someone would have no space for his personal speculations in order to simplify his or her discourse.

Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

It was baffling and irritating to see the over reaction from a Gujarat based Muslim entrepreneur. He reacted so violently to Mr. Jung’s remark that someone watching the debate could easily visualize “Moditva” teaching and inspirations inside that gentle man, by just closing eyes for an instance.

Mr. Jung was sharing his experiences, what he had come across discussing with the different section of the society on various platforms about Modi. He did not hesitate to reveal the fact of the matter of the acceptance of Narendra Modi in middle class.  He was deliberately avoiding the contentious but the truth of his acceptance in Hindu middle class, and that is not the case by large even in Hindu community in fact. In addition to that he added beneath the reality of Modi’s unacceptability among the various section of the society.

This was what provoked that gentle man Mr. Zafar Sareshwala to challenge intelligence of Mr. Jung and his understanding about Indian Muslims.  He did not even bother to have a proper look over Mr. Jung’s public life profile before awarding him certification of living in an era of about 40 years back. And the way Mr. Jung expressed his fury only with a simple smile which itself ascertains Modi’s fascistic presence over mainstream media and social media too.

Inevitably it is important ot reveal that this is the same gentle man who claimed that he had a change of his heart in 2003 after meeting Modi in London. Sareshwala is a native of Ahmedabad  and belongs to an elite Bohra family. During the 2002 riots, his firm that dealt in shares suffered huge losses. He shifted to London and even tried to prosecute Modi in international courts.

But, when along with Maulana Essa Mansoori of the Islamic World Council, he met Modi, he changed his views on “getting justice for atrocities on Muslims and establishing peace.” Council of Indian Muslims Chairman Munaf Zeena and other Muslim leaders describe Sareshwala as an opportunist and are vehemently opposed to him. After his return from London, he got a dealership for the German automobile manufacturer BMW.

It is really a very thoughtful observation by Mr. Jung that the level of compromise between the Gujarati Muslim entrepreneurs and Modi is distinctively much higher than Muslims of the rest of the country. And he argues his contention with intellectual rumination.

But what these Modi cadres are trained to confront and ruin a healthy discourse on any platform provided, no matter whether it’s on social media or on any broadcast medium. It is really very dangerous in the interest of a democratic country like India. This would certainly lead to a neo-fascism in India. Many scholars contemplate it as a threat to democracy and birth to a fascist upsurge.

It is inevitably important to explore the compulsion or proclaimed compassion of the people like this Mr. Shareshwala.  It clearly implicates here the level of compromise between these pierrots and Modi.

Evidently, the livelihood of Gujarati Muslims is primarily based upon the small entrepreneurship. The devastation and damages done to their businesses during riots and the post riots fearsome has left them with no choices. They don’t even dare to raise voices for their genuine rights, because of the trauma they have had witnessed.

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