Skip to main content

Need to ponder why non-Muslim electorate get united, victory of BJP candidate means the utter neglect of Muslim areas

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
The ghost of the ex-Vice President, Hamid Ansari rant will follow the Muslim community for a long time. The biggest tragedy for Indian Muslims is that they have lost their faith in their leadership. At the time of leaving the Vice Presidential post, the way, Hamid Ansari let down not only the Muslim community but the entire Diaspora of Indian ecumenism and equanimity, it was appalling and awful for all those who cater to the voice of sanity.
The way Ansari toed the tone of intolerance and the tenure of the rudderless Muslim leadership, he lost his credibility with all those toeing the voices of reason.
Uttering such venomous views will be harmful for the already beleaguered Muslim community. Truth is that this kind of Muslim leadership has lost both its voice and utility. Indian Muslims have been victim to an irresponsible leadership which is bent on keeping the community in subjugation by concentrating on emotionally sensitive issues as was done by Ansari.

Rudderless Muslim Leadership

These so-called Muslim representatives have ruined their followers emotionally, socially and educationally. Has anyone heard an iota of grudge from the Sikh, Christian or Parsi communities against their leaders? Never! Why? They are sincere not only to their community but even people outside it. More often then, not ours are interested in feathering their own nests owing to their ambitions solely materialist. s are being pushed to the dark bottomless hell of ignorance owing to the obscurantist attitude of their netas who think they are accountable to none.
In this ghettoized situation emerged the churlish political middlemen as interlocutors for communities picking on sensational issues that would apparently tighten their stranglehold on the people they pretend to represent by diverting the attention from real bread and butter issues. Shah Bano, Babri Masjid, Taslima Nasreen, Salman Rushdie etc are not the real issues. Bearing on the real problems of the Muslims. Utter educational backwardness in women’s education, social stagnation, communalization of the police force and absence from the mainstream were never addressed by these self-appointed interlocutors with the same emphasis as the Babri Masjid, Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasreen.
This leadership has completely failed to understand the aspirations of the youth aiming for excellence for an enlightened future. A desire to compete rather than grovel and grope for quotas and special favours, passion for the modern education, questioning the clergy and coming out of the veil, are now some of the altered ground realities for the Muslim youth who have all been disillusioned by the likes of Ghulam Nabis, Najma Heptullas, Ahmed Patels, Salman Khurshids etc.
During every election, it has been proved that all of them are power-brokers indulging in pernicious vote-bank manipulations acquiring state patronage themselves and subjecting and finally leaving the community at the mercy of God.They have harmed the cause of the community by haranguing to defeat the BJP candidate by voting for the “secular” candidate. 
In the process, non-Muslim electorate get united and the ultimate win of the BJP candidate means the utter neglect of Muslims’ areas (which should not be as after victor all voters are to be treated equally). It doesn’t happen and the BJP candidate become revengeful — it’s human nature. Muslims must understand that in politics, nobody is untouchable but they vote for the Congress or the so called secular parties as if it were mentioned in the holy Quran!
Afflicted by utter educational backwardness, the administrative apathy and political expediency, the Muslim community in India has been cajoled by almost all the politicians but mostly by the ones from their own fold. These opportunist leaders have been crying hoarse merely indulging in lip-service both inside the parliament as well as outside it.
This is not all; battered by the populist rhetoric and provocative militancy of its myopic and ill- educated clerics and shallow youth, the country’s second majority (not minority!) stands at cross roads. Even the ones from the clergy are indulging in petty mindedness characterized by an extremely narrow and irresponsible outlook completely out of tune with the existing reality. Such leaders are not seriously interested in dealing with the genuine problems of the community. 
It can be seen that Muslim leaders, clerics and even petty politicians are becoming richer and richer day by say while the people they represent, are languishing in their ghettos and their institutions like the medium schools, madrasas, khanqahs, maktabs etc, have all been reduced to obscure dungeons firstly by the blatant neglect on the part of community and secondly owing to the communalist fringe in the administration. For the last 65 years they have been exploited by the politicians of various hues views.

Ansari toed intolerance harangue

It appeared that Ansari toed the line of the inebriated intolerance regiment. Both, the remark that he was concerned about the apprehensions of insecurity amongst segments of our citizen body, particularly Dalits, Muslims and Christians as well as the timing, were incorrect.
Nobody would buy Hamid’s harangue that Muslims are scared in today’s ambience as this community isn’t scared of anyone including the RSS, BJP, Shiv Sena or VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) or anyone else except Allah. May be Hamid Ansari was scared that he might not get a third term, as a President and hence the invective.
The greatest harm that Hamid Ansari has done to the Muslim community is that in the echelons of power, now nobody would trust Muslims. It is a beautiful culture of India that there has been a Muslim President or Vice President after the independence to bear witness to India’s thorough secular credentials. By the way, this doesn’t mean that the author believes in the Hindu-Muslim bogey. It must not be the Hindutva card, Muslim card or Dalit card but the one and only one — India card.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi did give him a fitting reply stating that after retirement fro the post he went back to his roots, meaning Islamic roots! This is incorrect as Islamic roots are not what were exhibited by Hamid Ansari. In fact, in the light of his immature remarks, Ansari was seen as a communalist, like the Owaisis, the Ghulam Nabi Azads, the Azam Khans and others of the same ilk. Truth is that Islamic roots are also all encompassing — just like the pluralistic essence of Hindutva, if interpreted rightly.
Ansari, who takes pride in his family tradition of being the scion of freedom fighters and of his association with the Congress party, should have known that it was Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who when advised by Sadar Patel at the time of Partition on August 13, 1947 that Pakistan was going to be declared as the Islamic sovereign republic, it was time to declare India a Hindu nation, Nehru refused. He told Patel that India was like a bouquet in which people from different faiths came together emanating a fragrance that spoke of her secular credentials. Ansari must have taken a leaf or two from Nehru.
As Ansari’s tone and tenure was unjustified and ill timed, its impact results in the backlash like what happened in the case of Kafil Ahmed, the doctor who was punished for getting two cylinders from his own account to save the lives of some children in the ill fated Gorkhpur hospital. Rather than being rewarded, he was punished. Rather than seeing what task he has accomplished, he was judged by who he was!

Creaking doors may close on Muslims

People like Hamid Ansari, Owaisi etc, are too responsible for this apart from the communalists in the Sangh. All this while, especially the last three years of his life, Ansari must have tried to build bridges even with the fringe right winged leaders like Praveen Togaria, Sakshi Maharaj, Giriraj Singh, Vinay Katihar etc using his influence as the Vice President in the right direction. He has also put a full stop on the uplift of people like SY Qureshi, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, Arif Mohammed Khan etc as potential Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates!
Now, no wonder, whatever creaking doors were opened upon Muslims might be slammed upon him only owing to the unripe statements of Ansari. People may not now trust the Muslims anymore, thinking that they are like Ansari.
While Ansari has been in the office for two terms, he never uttered anything as offensive this one. When he saw his term nearing an end and that an impossible third term was denied him, he became a disciple of Owaisi. Muslims in India are not afraid of Modi government but of the opportunistic Muslim leaders like Hamid Ansari.
For centuries on Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians of India have shared in common customs on the occasions of birth, death and marriages. They should realize that the centuries old tolerant milieu of India is the creation of the Hindu sages in ancient times, which predates the arrival of Muslims and the birth of Sikhism in India.
---
*Columnist and educator, grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Comments

TRENDING

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

'First time' since 1970s poverty up 10%, consumer spending down 4%: GoI survey

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for the Government of India (GoI), a new official survey, carried out in 207-18, has reportedly said that average consumer spending in India fell by more than 4% the previous six years "primarily driven by slackening rural demand." The survey, "Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, carried out by the National Statistical Office (NSO), says that money spent per person in a month fell by 3.7% from Rs 1,501 in 2011-12 to Rs 1,446 in 2017-18.

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

By Rajiv Shah
It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.

National award winning film 'Hellaro' co-produced by three chartered accountants

By Our Representative
“Hellaro”, a Gujarati feature film produced by Saarthi Productions in association with Harfanmaula Films (Ahmedabad) was declared as the Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards which was conferred by the Government of India. The film also won the Special Jury Award for the Best Actress to all the 13 actresses of the film.
Ashish Patel produced the movie, which has been co-produced three co-producers, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta and Mit Jani, all of whom, interestingly, started their filmmaking journey after becoming Chartered Accountants in 2012.
“Hellaro” is directed by Abhishek Shah, who has been working in Gujarati theatre since the past 17 years as writer, director and actor and has received numerous awards for his plays. He has also worked as a casting director for 12 films.
“Hellaro” is a period drama based in Kutch and has been co-written by Abhishek Shah and Prateek Gupta. Gupta previously received the Best Debut Director Award, along with Mit Jan…