Denial of The Fact about Muslim Votes- A Political Discourse
The current election hoopla is soon going to end in surprises by many, much to the chagrin of the current congress regime (which vociferously has been denying any anti-incumbency wave). Almost all the political stalwarts have turned to be quite generous to the Muslims, the largest minority community in this country and have started to castigate the opponents for denying them their true stature which they so deserve. But one comes to a striking question as to what makes the entire electoral legacy to come to the fore and be inclined towards the Muslim population of this country?
The Answer My Friend- Is Blowing In The Wind…
The answer could converge to one line “it is the vote bank politics stupid!” The answer might have hit the right chord towards one and many. Inspite of 66 years of independence, Muslims are still treated as core ‘Vote Banks’ by various political parties. The community has its presence all over its place and boasts of its achievement to give various presidents and vice-presidents to this nation and political and non-political stalwarts. At 13.4% of the 120 million populace, they can certainly change the fortune of a candidate seeking a parliamentary seat in the 16th Lok Sabha.
During this election season, the community has been a centre of attraction by all and sundry, be it the Congress ( a key beneficiary of the Muslim vote bank till date), the BJP ( the not so lucky party to embark its presence with the minority community), the Samajwadi Party ( the so called “Guardian” of the Muslims in Uttar Pradesh) or for that matter other parties such as TMC , SP , VHP, Shiv Sena etc, almost all the political parties have denied their share of legacy towards the Muslims. It is only in this election melodrama that Muslims have become cynosure of all eyes and are being wooed to garner votes under falsifying promises under their dubious election manifestos. There have been many cases where the lines have been breached and big shots from various political parties have thrown venom against the minority community in their election speeches ( Later on denied that they have been gruesomely ‘Misinterpreted” and it is all ‘False Media Publicity” to tarnish the image of the party).
Vote Banks, Muslims and The Game of Opportunism
Taking recent examples of some of the famous ‘Tongue Slippages” from eminent political honchos, BJP’s Giriraj Singh ‘advised’ Muslims to go to Pakistan if they are not in favor of voting for ‘Almost Certain’ Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, also in the list are hot favorites such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Mr Pravin Tagodia, who went to the extent of telling his Hindu brothers to not allow Muslims to enter their area as they come in singles and clamor in droves later on. Since time immemorial the Congress has been instrumental to allocate the Muslim majority vote towards itself and gain political ground and thus form the Government, and finally ‘forgetting’ the minority community thereafter. The same trick is being played this time too, when Mrs. Sonia Gandhi invited (or rather Instructed) the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid: Syed Ahmed Bhukari and requested for the Muslim votes under different pretext, the message was loud and clear, that this time too Congress needs support from the Muslim fraternity to defeat the ‘Non-Secular’ forces which want to castigate the Hindu-Muslim unity of this country.
Not so lagging behind is the AAP, the new baby on the block, with an emergent and quick learning leaders like “Shazia Ilmi” who advised her Muslim brothers and sisters to be on a level playing ground and thus be “less secular” and take advantage of the changing demographic scenario of this nation. The advice was termed as ‘Personal Views” by a party communiqué and thus in all honestly the party with the difference made a face saving exercise!
It is quite ironical that a nation like India with its multifarious background, political manifestos deep dive into the low level rhetoric of preserving the rights of minorities, which they later never attribute. Considering that we have about 2.3% of Sikh population ,2.3% of Christians ( 24 million in numbers), and about 200 million Dalit population , the majority amongst the Minorities “Muslims” are always targeted as a vote bank and thus made to remember the follies of various political parties against them.
With such election gimmicks, the tone has been set towards major polarization of communities, thanks to the various political masters, their not so ‘Eloquent Speeches” have been taken cognizance of by the electorates. Be it the muzzafarnagar riots or recently ‘aroused’ Assam carnage (where 30 people, considered to be ‘Illegal Bangladeshi Muslim Immigrants”, were killed by the Bodo militants), the typecasting of the community continues.
According to a recent study by Association for democratic Reforms ( ADR), Corruption combined with Growth and Inflation are on the top of the list of the electorate who want a drastic change through the ongoing election process, but still various political parties are all trying to beat the off-beaten trumpet to gain political ground.
In the end what needs to be seen is that after such a humongous political exercise, how the new government at the centre plans to play the inclusive political card rather than that of vote-bank politics. By doing so, it would brighten its stance of gaining political ground year after year and there would be an environment where political numbers would be treated as populace rather than the voting numbers!
By Sanjeev Jaggi
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