by Muhammad Adeeb M.P. (R.S)
Prior to the recent Parliamentary Elections, a wide-ranging restiveness and unrest, among the ranks of Muslim leadership were very much evident. Every Tom, Dick and Harry was heard screaming from one roof top or the other, that the prime mission of the whole Muslim Community was to stop BJP, from coming into power, at any cost. The overconfident Muslim leadership raised slogans, against Narendra Modi, at the highest pitch. The whole situation had become quite gloomy. One may not be quite sure that the community heeded to their slogan mongering or not and whether it took the self-styled religious and social leaders seriously or not, but as a counter effect, the majority community got a clear message and very cleverly closed their ranks, across barriers of castes and groups to be united en masse. The resultant outcome was unfortunate enough, as the mindless approach (read: the folly of the so-called leadership) had miserably failed and the Muslim masses got split in sheer disgust, and then followed an aimless exercise of desperate voting. On the other side of the fence, Hindus joined hands to blow up the balloon of BJP, out of all proportions and voted for the instalment of Modi Sarkar, en bloc.
The strategy of Muslim leadership had backfired, very badly and the counteraction of the fascist forces — now unified — had worked well. The final outcome (read: the logical end-result) of the foolish exercise, was that BJP enjoyed a cake walk, romping home to an absolute majority, on its own, for the first time, in its history of sixty two years (including Jana Sangh years). The Sangh Pariwar, very rightly aired thankful messages and very generously, extended the credit of their unexpected victory to the ‘great’ Muslim leaders, who had very stupidly, made their task easy. In most constituencies — specially, where Muslims were in good number and Muslim enthusiasts had outnumbered the Hindu aspirants — the BJP had not to struggle for winning at the hustings — leave alone a real fighting — instead, the party had smoothly walked on the ramp, like a fashion show. And Muslims, who love to nap and snore in air castles, found themselves in a desert, with no oasis in sight and no path to go, in any direction, around. It was quite natural and no one was to be blamed, except the community, itself and its brainless, splintered leadership — without an iota of foresightedness. It’s shameful on all counts, the community leaders claim to be the inheritors of stalwarts, like Maulana Azad, Sheikh-ul-Hind and Maulana Madani, who had predicted various events, a quarter century earlier than their occurrence. No doubt they could foresee beyond precincts of time, into future, while present leaders — despite their claims of all intellectual approach and ‘religious’ enlightenment — are unable to see even beyond the walls of their own houses and ghettos of their speechless followers.
All said and done, now Modi Sarkar is a reality (it may be harsh for some, but soothing for many.) Narendra Modi has ascended the throne of Hindustan, as the new Prime Minister. His grand victory, though evident, in advance, yet astonishing, opened all eyes in India and abroad, equally.
The events have taken their natural course. Modi is in, everybody else is out. This is not a BJP Government, it’s a Modi Sarkar. Among Muslims, all hypocrites and opportunists, as per their fate, are at the receiving end. They have seen their political strategy (if it exists at all) being nose-dived. But, such people never lose hope, in fact, they always have hopes against hope. In all circumstances, they have a one point programme — to serve their interests alone and for that to be near the throne, by any means, in any case and at any cost. Now, in the changed scenario, their apprehensions have crossed all boundaries. That’s, why, they are queuing up to prostrate at the thresholds of the new lord, they are anxious and ambitious to gain access to the palace of power, as hurriedly, as possible and to assure the newly crowned king of not only their support, but their all out services to be placed, at his pleasure. And in this mad race of loyalty, to the new rulers, they are stampeding each other, to prove themselves, more loyal than the king, himself.
Ironically, these time-servers have realised that the new BJP regime has to stay, not for a five year term, but for at least two consecutive tenures. Hence, an unconditional surrender and a shameless, open offer to be sold or even auctioned, and that too, without any interest, shown by the prospective buyer. They are displayed for sale, without any willing taker. Most of the heads of the Muslim organisations and institutions — religious, social and political — are desperately stepping over shoulders of each other in the marathon race for greed and lust.
Evidently, this is an unsolicited and uncalled for exercise, as BJP, being equipped with a cosy strength in Lok Sabha and Modi, being firmly in saddles of the horse of power, need no support — leave Muslims’ alone — from any quarter, outside their fold (not even moral or symbolic), as RSS is very much there, at their back for all patronage and guidance.
Making things worse than ever for themselves, Muslims, during the recent elections, have lost all their vigour, vitality and even the whims of their vote bank or being a deciding force. BJP has conquered the fort of Delhi, without their support, to say more correctly, despite their loud opposition. In this vicious process, they have lost their bargaining power at least for coming years. In the light of these hard facts, their leaders’ offer of support or solidarity for the new regime is worthless. Although, insiders claim that at least a few Muslim factions, out of will or desperation, did vote for BJP, yet, even this act has no value now, and their votes — even if cast in BJP’s favour — are not supposed to have made any difference, in view of the overwhelming and all round support, the party has enjoyed.
Now, a question arises; what message, these (non) leaders, without any virtual following, wish to convey and to whom? And who is going to purchase their loyalties — perhaps no one. Needless to say that these irrelevant and purposeless efforts are meant to lose, whatever grace or weightage is still left, with these organisations, if any.
Prime Minister Modi, during his poll campaign had raised several issues and indicated to some of his intentions, regarding minorities and particularly Muslims. But, quite expectedly, after his coronation, any of the practical initiatives, concerned with his pronounced charter, is still awaited. Nobody is there to remind him of what he had professed to. With no courage to see straight into the eyes of the new lords, the abovementioned, self-styled Muslim leaders are over-ambitious, in competing with each other, while exhibiting their meaningless enthusiasm, for offering themselves, to the new master, as sheep and goats. Is it a sign of any sort of sanity or political maturity? At best, it can be termed as sheer greediness and fear for survival. This is like committing fault after fault and folly after folly. What does all this depict—perhaps nothing, but the fateful failure of the ‘esteemed’ Muslim leadership.
Most probably, they have forgotten that Muslims are also Indian citizens, bestowed with all constitutional rights and that they are not supposed to beg for anything or to live on mercy of others, for a peaceful existence. If anybody dares to show any partiality and resorts to the shameful effort of depriving the Muslims of their democratic rights, then the community should not sit idle and rise to the occasion to assert for justice, equality and all other opportunities, available to Indian citizenry.
Modiji has time and again insisted in so many words, in his election speeches that he did not represent any particular group or faction and that he was the humble servant of 125 crore Indians and that nobody should be afraid of him. Let’s ask, who is afraid of him? No doubt, Muslims are still anguished over events, like Gujarat riots and they have every right to express their displeasure and discontentment. But, certainly, they are not afraid of any one. Why should they be? Now, if Modiji, sincerely desires to see Muslims in peace, leading a respectable, normal life, then, he should honestly endeavour for proving his neutrality first and consequently solve their genuine problems and rectify the mistakes, committed by earlier governments.
The Muslim Community on its part, must have watched and waited at least for some time, to observe, what the intentions of the new custodians were. But, hardly one month passed, after the installation of the new team of rulers and community’s leaders began to rush for winning favours and availing opportunities to serve their vested interests. However, these are the so-called leaders, with little or no following and the leaderless and hapless Muslim masses have nothing to do with it.
Nobody should forget that India is not Gujarat. Whatever, happened in that state, cannot be repeated in the whole country. But, Muslims’ justified grudge is that Modiji, being at the helm of affairs, must have done needful to stop the carnage there. Unfortunately he did not perform his fundamental duties, as a ruler (Rajdharma), well, for which he was reprimanded by a person not less than Atal Behari Vajpayee, the (then) Prime Minister of the country. He was even in favour of his removal, but, the (then) Home Minister, Lal Krishan Advani intervened and defended Modi, for which he was rewarded badly, after a decade or so. Muslims’ grievances, in relation to the Gujarat happenings, are still fresh and nothing has really been done, so far, to heal their wounds.
Now, against this backdrop, the present attitude of the leaders of various factions of Muslims, seems to be senseless, whose limitless flattery is sending wrong messages, constantly. Even, esteemed institutions, like Jamia Millia Islamia and India Islamic Cultural Centre, have extended generous invitations to Prime Minister Modi and his durbaris, in all humility. Jamia Millia Islamia, founded by stalwarts like, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Hakim Ajmal Khan, is a prestigious seat of learning, purely academic and apolitical and similarly, Islamic Centre is solely a social (non-political) organisation, aimed at promoting Muslim culture and strengthening communal harmony. It must have no business in seeking favour of the new political powers, except serving the vested interests of the group, controlling it. Jamia Millia, compromising with its lofty ideals, has already honoured Modi’s Muslim factotum, from Gujarat, who is camping in Delhi, in order to garner support for his master.
And on the other hand, a few instances; ‘the hero’ of Muzaffar Nagar riots has been awarded with a ministerial berth. The Prime Minister has picked up, Ajit Doval, the notorious (former) IB officer — responsible for scheming the arrest of innocent Muslim youth, without any crime of theirs and putting them behind bars, for years — as his National Security Adviser. Beyond that, the former U.P. Home Secretary, under Kalyan Singh, at the time of Babri Masjid demolition, has been appointed as Principal Secretary and that too, through an ordinance, making fun of the law of the land. Now, it goes, without saying, that with such dubious backgrounds, how these highly placed officials would act and what advices, would they offer to the Prime Minister, particularly on minority affairs. Apparently, these acts are the irrefutable proof of the dual scales of the new government. They say something, but, do something else. This contradictory attitude and these indifferent practices speak on their own.
Nevertheless, the irony of the situation is that the self-styled Muslim leadership, very cunningly conniving these obvious harsh realities, seem to be in a great hurry, to win favours from the new regime, at any cost and as far as the interests of the community are concerned, they have buried them in various graveyards, long ago. They are patient in ignoring their innocent (read: stupid) followers and impatient in serving their own interests and for that, they are ready to make any sacrifice, particularly the sacrifice of their declared principles and all values, which their elders fought for, and even staked their lives for various causes. They have shut their eyes, not to see anything, sans protection and promotion of their own self and of their kith and kin. That’s all. But, they are ignorant of the law of nature; if they would shun their followers, on whose basis, they bargain, at various levels, then, one day, they would themselves be discarded. After all, no leader can survive without his followers. And on the other hand, the community would give birth to new leaders, sooner or later. That’s also the law of nature.
A new (real) Muslim leadership is bound to emerge from the ashes, which would have guts to warn the new powers in place, to be cautious. If Muslims are allowed to lead a normal, peaceful life, they would not oppose any one, for the sake of opposition, only. But, if someone – whosoever, he may be — would dare disturb their life and stoop to the level of snatching their democratic rights, then they would prove that they are all capable of protecting their constitutional rights — to lead a peaceful life and protect their cultural and religious identity — through lawful means.
The communal forces are still on prowl and the latest example is the brutal murder of a young Muslim I.T. professional in Pune, whose only crime was that he sported a beard and donned a cap, as a mark of his Islamic identity. A communal outfit, allegedly responsible for this heinous crime, known as Hindu Rashtra Sena, is still unreined, though as an eyewash, its chief has been nabbed by the police and dispatched to jail, yet, what would follow, is an open secret. In a shameful manner, the Maharashtra police for several days, restrained from touching the alleged culprit on the flimsy ground that his arrest would invite law and order problems. What a joke! the guardians of law refrain from bringing a known criminal to book, out of the fear that the law breakers would break the law, further. In a country, where even beasts and cattle are protected, in the name of animal welfare, the life of a humanbeing is supposed to be of no worth, merely because, he comes from a particular community.
An eye-opening truth is that, in election — despite a grand victory in the battle of ballot — more than 60% of secular Hindus have not voted for BJP or Modi. They are against the cult of Modi and his particular style of politics. Now, Muslims, should muster courage to tell their secular Hindu brethren, that, following partition of the country, Muslims, as a community, had abandoned lust for power and had agreed to hand over reins of the nation to the majority community. They had realised the hard reality that they were rulers no more, but the new rulers should rule, in accordance with the law of the land, ensuring protection of the rights of all communities, including Muslims.
Paradoxically, the fateful state, the Muslims were in, at the time of the independence of the country, is today, the fate of secular Hindus. They have helplessly handed over the power to the fascists. One wonders, if this country would now be run on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Babasaheb Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia or on the lines of Veer Savarkar and Guru Golvalkar, in order to realise the dreams of the nation and for ‘good days’ to come. This state of affairs does not worry Muslims alone, but all secular Hindus, as well. Now, the only option is unity. The leaders of all secular parties should come together — leaving all past enmities, behind and winning the confidence of all secular minded people, afresh, in order to face the new, harsh realities, in the changed scenario of the Indian polity. This is the only way out, by which, they may be able to build up a pressure group, to keep, at least, some checks and balances, to make the new governing team to stick to the right track. Otherwise, the same practices would persist, which have been in vogue, since independence. What gains, we have made over the last 67 years or so. Merely sweet promises and no action at all. Various rulers have come and gone. They have all played with the sentiments of the people, Muslims in particular.
An ironical example of time-serving is the current attitude of Ram Vilas Paswan, the LJP leader — who kept a distance from BJP for years, simply to establish his secular credentials, particularly in the eyes of Muslims—has joined hands with BJP, for serving his personal interests. He has now, fielded one of his stooges — who is projected as the Muslim face of the party — to intrude into various Muslim organisations and make all shameless efforts to convince Muslims to renounce, all their demands, keep quiet and shrink back to their ghettos, for the years to come. The hidden message is that, in case of a confrontation, with the new ruling lords, they (Muslims) would be ruined, and crushed, not to rise ever. Hence, an unconditional surrender and they should live at the mercy of the new rulers. As per Dr. Iqbal’s perception, ‘these are the Muslims, who can easily make Jews, ashamed’.
Muslims should beware of such black sheep, in the wings, who appear in the guise of well wishers of the community and in fact they are the new avtars of the hypocrites of Medina, in prophet’s time, who posed as Muslims, but were in fact, enemies of Islam. They are out to befool the Muslim masses and on that ploy, be closer to the powers that be, for serving their own interests, at the cost of the very existence of the community.
The new guards have to prove their integrity first and then come up with some concrete steps to solve the problems of the Muslim Community, as confidence building measures. Only, then, they may be able to establish their credibility. The Muslims on their part, should keep patience and maintain sanity, seeing the reason. They have miles to go.