Muslim Leadership is looking for a Magic Wand
Date: Friday, 10th April 2017
A time when the recent unexpected mandate of UP have left the twenty per cent Muslim politically irrelevant. The political leadership of Muslim Community seems in the trap of confusion. There is extreme form of disintegration among them. Thus Muslim community is looking for a new dawn to shine on their fate.
The above observation was found while sitting in the brain storming session called by All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawrat (An apex body working for last 53 years for political and social empowerment of Muslims) for the purpose of exploring the roadmap for 2019 General Election and what should be the strategy for social and political empowerment of Muslims of India, in the light of recent UP state election.
The four hour long session was joined by five eminent Muslim Member of Parliament, four representatives of three Muslim Political Parties and one representative of a renowned religious organization.
But the pity is that in this brainstorming session participants could not arrive at any final strategy rather a high level such meeting is scheduled for first week of July to discuss the issue further and arrive at a conclusion.
The nature of discussion among the participants reveals that Muslim leadership is facing extreme crisis of organization and unity. It was known from the internal sources of Mushawrat that total 26 personalities were invited for the meeting of which 13 were Muslim MPs. Mushawrat claims that few Muslim organizations have stopped MPs from participating in the meeting, this is one of the reason for dismal attendance of the MPs in the meeting.
During the meeting two approaches were discussed for the political empowerment of Muslims of India.
One of the approach suggested that there should be coalition with non-BJP parties, they should be taken into confidence and we should negotiate the appropriate number of political participation of Muslims with them. The other approach was in favour of the opinion that Muslims should strive to from their own political party of National stature for meaningful intervention in the political diaspora of the country.
It is quite evident that the participants belonging to Non-BJP parties were in support of the first approach while the representatives of Muslim Political Parties were advocating the second approach.
Let us analyze the situation by taking a sample of opinion from both the group.
One of the eminent Congress Leader, Mr.K Rahman Khan was of the opinion that at the time of the division of the country no particular strategy was formulated for Muslims who stayed in India. While in democracy, there is no future of any community without strong Political presence.
Mulana Azad was such a great personality who could do something, if he could have taken a call on this issue something could have come out and Muslims could have their own political strategy but unfortunately it is yet a dream to become a reality.
Jamat e Islami Hind was well equipped for this task but it had kept itself aloof from the political diaspora of India for decades. Still the need for a robust strategy remains intact.
It also strange to see that 20 crore Muslims of the country have not set their priorities till date. They are ignorant of the fact that out of the confronted issues like Muslim Personal Law, Babri Masjid and deteriorating Social and political Situations of Muslims etc. what should be on priority and who will fix the same.
We are trying to integrate all the Muslim MPs of the country for last 20 years but yet not succeeded in our attempts. On the contrary, Dalit MPs (from whatever forum they belong) are associated with each other for the collective welfare of the Dalit community.
Right from the very beginning Muslims have not formulated any objective for themselves; our approach towards the community has been more individualistic and less collective. Majority of our leaders are puppet in the hands of their own ego. Conversely, the spirit of sacrifice is well nit in the fabric of RSS who did not accepted the formula of divided India and its liberal constitution because the basis of division was religion, thus they claim, if Pakistan had a Muslim government then why can’t India be a Hindu Nation.
According to Mr.Rahman, at present it is dire need to join hands with non-BJP parties and a clear cut strategy and priority needs to be set for Muslims which can easily fit in their agenda. Our first priority should be to safeguard the constitution and in doing so all likeminded parties and people should come forward, because there is a continuous effort to demolish our constitution. Currently, the biggest problem before us is to safeguard our constitution; issues related to secularism, Muslim personal Law and Babri Masjid are relatively less intensive. He also said that most of Muslim MPs are not well aware of the issues related to Muslim Civil Law and other social issues. Thus, it is also important to make them aware about these issues.
Another MP from Congress, Mr. Hussain Dilwai who was having thoughts similar to Mr. Rahman Khan. He opined that analysis of present day situation is required because the present day government is not led by Vajpai but by Fascist forces. I am a congressed Muslim, if we keep on talking about only Muslims and Muslims then nothing is going to change in a country like India. Muslim political parties alone cannot provide any solution. We have to work with other political parties to formulate a strategy for Muslims. He added. He further emphasized that it is not appropriate to think that there was no benefit of Sacchar Committee. The fact is that its suggestions have been implemented and Muslims got the benefit of the same. Later on, he was asked by the other participants that what are those benefits, in reply, he did not come out with a clear cut answer.
Mumtaz Sangmatha of Trinmul Congress, accepted the fact that Muslims are treated as just vote banks by most of the political parties but the solution does not lie in the formation of a separate Muslim Political Party, because in reaction Non-Muslim votes will be polarized which will be equally bad for both of us. Muslims do not give due importance to critical issues particularly education. She opined that there is a lack of awareness about schemes for minorities and other general schemes of government among the Muslims and therefore Muslims do not get the benefit of the same. Such issues need immediate attention. In her opinion, if Muslims will be educationally and economically empowered then political parties will not treat them as mare source of vote bank rather they will give due importance to them and take interest to address the genuine issues of Muslims. Another Trinimul Congress MP Mr. S Ali talked on the same line and said that it is difficult to think about a separate political party for Muslims but one of the important tasks that we all should do is to unite our community and join hands with other secular parties to progress in the political diasporas of the country.
On the contrary to above approach, the parties who supported the second approach of having a separate political party of Muslims included Indian Union Muslim League, Indian National League, Peace Party of India, All India Mujlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen, AIUDF, Welfare party of India, Muslim Majlis-UP and Rashtriye Ulema Council.
E.T Mohammad Basheer was in the opinion that Muslims must have a separate Political Party and in this regard, Indian Union Muslim League is the burning example. While talking to Chowthi Duniya he said that today, Muslim League is such a political reality in India which cannot be denied. We cannot think of Political representation of Muslim in Kerala without its presence. In the past, LDF or UDF have formed the government in Kerela, number of times in coalition with Indian Union Muslim League. The political importance of Indian Union Muslim League can be seen from this example that it has formed coalition government with UPA at the center and at that time late E Ahmad was the minister.
As far as the claim of Mr. Basheer about Indian Union Muslim League is concerned it holds apt for the politics of Kerala but the party could not establish itself in other states of India like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Bihar and Delhi in spite of number of efforts.
Dr. Ayoob of Peace Party supported the argument given by Mr.Basheer and said that in the mid-term election of 2010 Peace Party gained more votes than Congress and SP in the pockets of Dumariyaganj and Lakimpur. In 2012, four MLAs of Peace party were elected. But in 2017 elections of UP it lost and could not win a single seat because of the division of Muslim votes between SP and BSP. Dr. Ayoob added that same on the pattern of SP and BSP who concentrate on the interest of Yadavs and Dalits, we too should focus on our interest and establish our politics. And tragedy is that rather concentrating on our participation in government and politics we are following the foot prints of other political parties. We have to change this attitude. Even though it is an undeniable fact that if SP and BSP would have fought elections together, the results of UP state elections would have been different.
Dr.Ayyob also expressed his concern that those who understand the importance of Allah and Rasool could not understand the importance of their vote while other communist parties sincerely understand the importance of their votes. According to Dr.Ayoob our experience of seventy years, tells us that general political parties do not provide any the solution to the problems of Muslims. Muslims should form a consortium of different Muslim Political Parties present in all the states of India. In his opinion such type of consortium will keep all the Muslim Political Parties united for the common cause of Muslims and at the time of election united efforts can be taken with due consent of all. And where there is no presence of any Muslim Political Party, any secular party can be supported be it congress SP, BSP depending on the political situation of the area.
Dr.Ayoob was in favour of social, educational and economic empowerment of Muslims but he added that mere empowerment of Muslim in the above field will not fulfill the political needs of the community and therefore political empowerment of Muslims is possible only when they have their own Political Party.
National President of Indian National League Prof.Mohammad Suleman was also in favour of having a separate Political Party for Muslims, because in his opinion, Non-BJP parties have been exploiting the Muslims. Muslims should enter into the political arena of the country with their own party, when and how this will be done, that needs to be worked out with collective efforts. He also mentioned that in places where Muslim Population is less than 15%, Muslims should vote for a single Non-BJP parties with due consultation of all.
President of Welfare Party of India Dr.Q.R Ilyas was is the opinion that Muslims of India are in need of such a Political party who not only talks about Muslims and other Minorities but also work for the welfare of the weaker section of the society and for that very purpose Welfare Party of India was formed a few years ago. The idea of separate party for Muslims in a country like India is hard to be accepted and get political success and it is also inappropriate to think so. Therefore it requires a political experience which should be constructive, healthy and objective in nature. He added.
In Toto, Majority of the participants were in the opinion of joining hands with other secular parties.
Mr.Anis Ansari was in the opinion that Muslims should negotiate their agenda with other political parties including BJP for their political existence, for this purpose they must have their own political forum. In the current scenario, Sufism and Bhakti Movement are playing a vital role in national integration and therefore Muslims should also pounder over it.
The meeting was organized by Mushawart National President Mr. Navid Hamid with support of Vice-president Maulana Asgher Ali Imam Mehdi, and General Secretary Mr. Mujtaba Farooque.
Now, Let us see that what will be the fate of the Muslim community who is now the victim of confusion. It is also noticed that this meeting lack the representation from most other religious organization and sects like Jamiat e Ulema Hind and All India Milli Council etc. There were no representation from Shai and Bohra Community.
Here the point to be mentioned is that after the present result of UP State election, the process of dialogue and negotiation has been started among the Muslim Circles to a bit of extent, in different states. Recently such a brain storming session was also held in Bihar. Milli Council is also going to organize such meeting which is scheduled on 18th April in New Delhi
Let us wait and watch that whether the confused Muslim Political Leadership after getting a jerk in the UP state election will formulate a sound strategy or not, and if the same is formulated then what will be its shape?
Artilce by: A.U Asif (Editor)
Translated Article: Chowthi Duniya, New Delhi. Translated By: Syed Taheer Ahmad