NEW DELHI: With Muslims polarizing in favour of religious outfits in Assam and Kerala elections, a key author of Sachar report has sounded the alarm that mainstream parties have to step in to check the “unfortunate” trend.
The community’s gravitation towards Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam and Muslim League in Kerala was so complete that the parties notched up their highest tallies, emerging key players in state assemblies. All India United Democratic Front is even eyeing the lead opposition’s slot.
Abusaleh Shariff, who was part of the Sachar panel which ranked Muslims at par with dalits in backwardness, called the electoral development “unfortunate”. He said the community veered towards religious parties owing to lack of representation in mainstream platforms. “This makes them vulnerable to religious rhetoric,” he said.
The Muslims-for-Muslim-parties trend raised eyebrows because it happened in states where demographics make religious politics a sustainable enterprise. Assam has 30% of the community while Kerala has around 25%. That they are concentrated in select districts makes them crucial to winnability and appealing to leaders who want to launch religious platforms.
Shariff said, “We want Muslims to go to normal schools and not madrassas, but now the same is happening in politics. They have to be part of mainstream parties and the latter too have to be more inclusive — give them tickets and pay attention to their welfare agenda to check the unfortunate drift.” He said there could not be room for religion in public place.
While the secular credentials of Congress and Left traditionally polled a chunk of community votes, the 2011 results surprised observers to ask if it was a trend.
West Bengal, however, bucked the wave with Trinamool Congress raking in the community’s backing. The West Bengal result is seen as welcome relief.
The political class, however, feels that too much focus on Kerala and Assam could be misleading because the potential is higher among mainstream parties to have broad-based support.
Bihar, too, has high Muslim population but Nitish Kumar’s success last year in singlehandedly weaning them away from Lalu Prasad is seen as evidence of this belief. “Mamata Banerjee follows the same strategy. It is healthy,” a leader said.
The community’s gravitation towards Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF in Assam and Muslim League in Kerala was so complete that the parties notched up their highest tallies, emerging key players in state assemblies.
Does the above come as a surprise to any Indian realist? It has long been said that Muslims are merely using “secularist” parties like Congress as useful idiots as long as they are in a minority. Once Muslims achieve a critical mass in any area, they will sweep them aside with contempt and rally behind purely Muslim fundamentalist parties. This has already begun to happen in Assam and Kerala.
Once in a majority, Muslims would have use neither for Hindu secularists nor for the constitution. Secularism-loving Muslims is a species that exists only in the fertile imagination of Hindu zombies who follow blindly the two idiots, Gandhi and Nehru. Congress jokers are going to be cured of their secularim fetish pretty soon.