India

Secularism: A Politics of Convenience

Shahnawaz Alam for BeyondHeadlines

In the midst of political storm in Bihar especially JDU parting ways with BJP, Mr. Safirul Hussain National president of Rashtriya Jan Jangran Morcha accused Nitish as an opportunist.

Speaking to reporters here in Patna Mr. Hussain questioned that how can Nitish become secular overnight with only expressing an opposing view over Narendra Modi. He additionally informed that Nitish Kumar had no problem to stay in coalition under the leadership of Advani in 2009. “This move is aimed to woo Muslim voters in Bihar”, accused Mr. Gulam Rabbani, advocate, Patna high Court.

Narendra_Modi_and_Nitish_Kumar“JDU top leadership termed it as an internal matter of BJP when Gujarat Chief Minister was anointed as Chairman to election Campaign Committee for BJP. Then how this internal matter caused the separation? Here it can be clearly observed the ambiguity  and no clear stand surfaced in JDU itself”, added Mr. Rabbani.

Nitish Kumar in 1992 joined hands with BJP when he formed Samta Party with Sharad Yadav, parting away from Laloo. This was the time when he set his political agenda to come parallel to Laloo and he realized he needed to use BJP for this purpose. Apparently, now his purpose is achieved and he has reached the heights he had aimed to. Eventually BJP is now of no use to him and so is the reason he decided to sever the coalition.

“Nitish is also accused to betray one of the founder members of his party, George Fernandese. Nitish kumar now aims to use Bihari Muslims and I have no idea where he would through Bihari Muslims after serving his purpose”, Accused Meera Yadav, Spokesperson, Rashtriya Jan Jagran Morcha.

Interestingly, Nitish Kumar was Union Railway Minister when Sabarmati Express incident happened in Godhra on February 27, 2002. Ramvilas Paswan immediately resigned as a Union Minister whereas Nitish chose to remain close to power. He did not even constitute any Railway committee into probe the incident. Here the question arises when Railway Ministry is directed to probe into all the accidents which cause damage to railway property and public life, why Nitish kumar did not constitute any committee to probe into the matter.

The bigger question here arises that why Muslims in India, particularly in Bihar are politically vulnerable despite of their significant population share of around 18 percent. Muslims in India have been continuously used as vote banks by all self acclaimed secular parties, contrary to the Muslim voter’s loyalty towards so called secular parties their socio-political condition is aggravated with time. The irony is that no conciliatory major is taken to uplift Muslim’s socio-political conditional in India. Justice Sachchar Committee report and Rangnathnathan Mishra reports clearly resembles the plight of Indian Muslims.

What has actually enticed Nitish to focus on Muslim vote bank is Laloo’s fifteen years of successful rule only because of the Muslim support. Laloo had no development agenda at all throughout his regime. But Laloo was successful doing the social experiments which kept him at top for fifteen years.

Laloo stopped Advani’s Rath in Samastipur, Bihar in the year 1990, consequently Muslims outnumbered to vote for Laloo. Similar is the trick applied by Nitish Kumar to allure Muslim voters in Bihar.

“By now the Muslims have gradually changed their attitude and endeavor to root out their political crisis and trying to come in the mainstream of Indian polity. Hence it is not going to be easy for any of the so called secular political parties to gain Muslim votes in bulk in future”, said Mr. Hussain.

“Now the Muslims have witnessed a change in their political conscience. They have realized that all the so called secular parties in India have exploited them for their political gains”, said Ms. Meera.

The assertion of Mr. Hussain in vehemently supported by Meera Yadav, Ashok Singh, Ziyaul Quamar, Chandrma Chaudhary and Arshad Ahmad Khan.

(The author is media student and can be contacted on shahnawazkhan.jmi@gmail.com)

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