Thursday, 18 July 2013




The disturbing thing is what I call the secular blackmail by the secular parties. If you don’t vote us, the BJP will come to power. The results are:
1) Having secured their votes on a negative note, the secular parties take Muslims for granted doing absolutely nothing to solve their problems
2) Instead of instilling confidence in the Muslims, this only creates further fears in a community already engulfed in ‘Bechara Musalman’ siege mentality
3) The secular parties go scot-free on are not forced to declare their policies on the communal problems which need solutions

It is foolish to believe that the rise of the BJP is because the Indians suddenly turned into extremist Hindus. Saeed Naqvi, one of India’s senior political commentators, once noted that two Prime Ministers of India, Narsimnha Rao of the Congress and Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the BJP completed full terms in the office without enthusiastic Muslim support.

Can Muslims of India afford to remain completely aloof from the national position? This translates into a simple question. Should Muslim engage with the BJP?

Many secular commentators have written on why Muslim should not vote for the BJP. But none has explained precisely why Muslims should only vote for the secular parties, even when the BJP is willing to engage, or at least, politically, started to reach out to the Muslims.

Let me take the point first by giving a little example. I come from Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, which has one of the largest percentage of Muslim population in Maharashtra. For years, the Congress, for whom the Muslims voted (so did the others) had a simple formula, to engage in secular blackmail. If you don’t vote us, the Shiv Sena will come to power (and throw you in the Arabian sea???)

That was enough to scare Muslims. Not any more. Sometimes in mid-nineties, the Muslims became smart. It started in a small fishing village. They simply called Shiv Sena and handed them a list of things they wanted to be done. Shiv Sena, realizing that there was no way they could ever win by disturbing prevailing communal amity in the region, took that as a golden chance and made a deal. They got votes they wanted, Muslim areas got their share of development they wanted. Other villages followed too.

Vital lessons were learnt by:
1) Congress, which now realizes that Muslims cannot be taken for granted
2) Shiv Sena, which now realizes how much it pays to carry all sections of society with them and more importantly by Muslims, that they have options available and they are not there to be taken for granted by any one.

Secondly, this secular blackmail creates a sense of fear in the Muslims, specially when the writing is clear on the wall that Congress under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership is no match to the BJP-led NDA. And most importantly, the only secular cause the secular parties seem to have is to bash the BJP. There is absolutely no initiatives from them to solve the communal problems, they don’t talk about solutions at all, they talk about only problems.

It is not my point that the Muslims should vote for the BJP in masses. But they should keep their options open. They should try to seek solutions rather than concentrating only on problems. The BJP needs Muslims to become a true national party; the Muslims need the BJP so that they get share in national power structure. Both have no option but to engage with each other. I would like to tease both of them to sing following verse to each other:
Aa mera haath tham, bahut ho gaya nasha
Yaron ne mei pila di, bahut tere naam pe
(Come hold me by the hand, for I am overcome by wine
That friends have made me drink in your name)

1 comment:

  1. Aapne sacchai likhi hai aur mein chahta hoon ki haar muslman is baat ko sahi dhang se soche. Haam eik doosre ka saath dekar hi aage barh payenge.