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Friday, February 02, 2007

Shiv Sena's win in Mumbai BMC elections and Maharashtra Muslims' frustration with Congress

Now that Shiv Sena has taken a lead along with its coalition partner over Congress, NCP and other parties, Muslims in Mumbai would surely be in a reflective mood.

A big section of Muslims would be happy that 'Congress-NCP ka ghuroor, ho gaya chakna-choor'. Such headline we might see in Urdu newspapers on Saturday.

The manner in which Congress government treated Muslims, the majority of Muslim populace was angry.

The midnight swoops and searches, arrests and allegedly biased manner in which Muslims were targeted after Mumbai and Malegaon blasts while the Bajrang Dal activists were allowed to go scot-free, had turned Muslims bitter.

Till last minute it appeared that Muslim vote would be divided. Most were unwilling to vote for Congress as they wanted to teach it a lesson [how many times!].

Some may have changed mind after Thackeray's statements against Islam just a few days back. However, the so-called third front comrising Samajwadi Party, RPI and other small parties, got lot of Muslim votes.

This is evident with the win of SP in half-a-dozen constituencies by afternoon, as per trends. There may be the feeling that Shiv Sena is a known enemy so it's better to have such a party than Congress, which always 'stabs in the back'.

But, Muslims, must realise that they can't be hostage to any political party. They are neither slaves of Congress, nor they need to be afraid of Sena. All parties are equal in this game of stoking communal fire and from Bhagalpur to Gujarat and Bhiwandi, Congress and BJP/Shiv Sena are no different when it comes to communal riots.

Yes, the difference may be in rhetoric. Bal Thackeray speaks unlike Congress-walas who are sophisticated but plan something that hurts more deeply like not letting Muslims get into jobs etc etc. Wouldn't it have been better if Muslims had directly spoken to Shiv Sena-BJP and bargained for something when they really wanted to defeat Congress!

Time is not lost. In the next election Muslims can surely do it. I am no fan of BJP-Shiv Sena. But Maharashtra Congress has failed Muslims badly. It doesn't implement the Sri Krishna Commission Report.

Why not play the game as per rules of the game. When we have to vote, we should do that judiciously. Congressmen are no saints. The 1993 riots did not occur just because of Shiv Sena-BJP but because of the then Congress Chief Minister Sudhakar Rao Naik, who ensured that the police did not intervene and side with the goons.

Let's bargain and vote overwhelmingly for the one who promises to at least listen to us. It is not that the Mumbai residents have voted for Shiv Sena and its anti-Muslim plank. It is the clear division of Muslim votes and lack of tactical voting coupled with the failure of NCP and Congress to do a tie-up, which has resulted in this fractured mandate.

And Muslims knew this would happen but their lack of any strategy has made it look like a 'victory for the anti-Muslim forces' and the 23 lakh Muslims are now sitting on the fence. Haven't Muslim made a fool of themselves when they could have been the king-makers.


Manas said...

Agreed, but as always, easier said than done. How will you reach all the Muslim population over there? Arn't our social networks dismal?

indscribe said...

jee haaN...vahi to masla hai

Raj said...

Its this exact way of thinking of Muslims like you that is responsible for the exploitation of Muslims by Political Parties. Why do You have to view everything from a communal perspective. Why do you say that the BJP is anti Muslim in the first place? just because they are pro hindus in a way??? What do you want-seperate laws community wise....!!??? its people like you that create the divide,, not just Muslims, but Hindus, Christians, Jews like you which can not think of themselves and others as humans first and confirm to the belief that there is a difference between you and other person because you pray to different gods or you speak a different language etc...

Vick said...

Your post reminds me of several local elections in our home town in UP. Where after fighting for days the condidates will withdraw on the night before lection so the Hindu/Muslim dont win. Next day it would be 100% polling done by 3PM. The rush to bring even 90 year olds to polling booths.

Another reason to me to dislike the men made religions.

Diganta said...

You're perfect. In democracy, politics cannot be played with a single party. Look at OBC reservation issue - no political party was daring to go against it because OBC leaders bargained with all major political parties.

How do we know said...

Read again. Did not understand. I protest against being branded a "Vote Bank" - just because of my religion. That sort of cheapness is best left to politicians.

When i vote, i vote for administrative expectations. NO administration can make me a better Muslim. That is upto me. In Voting, the things to ask are - Bijli, Paani, Rozgaar, Inflation, Sadak, understanding of local and national issues, corruption handling. The Indian Voter needs to start thinking of the real reasons why an administration exists. If we want to make the administration accountable, it has to start by preparing the right report card.

There is life beyond one's faith - there are other things that define a person. To limit a person's identity to just his/her faith is ridiculous.
To base his voting decision on the faith allegiance, and then to demand administrative measures on the basis of caste and religion is just plain playing the game that the politicians want you to play.

So you see, I do not understand.

Musings on India said...

thinking like a human being is good advice but when a community has been marginalized and forced into ghettos then talking about first being humans and then about religion sounds a bit rhetorical unfortunately. where are the same voices who ask muslims to think they are humans first when gujarat riots happen or when sikhs are murdered in broad daylight (1984)? what would you do if there is another caste/religion based riots in your town? is ignoring the plight of another community and looking the other way when something bad happens not inhuman???

How do we know said...

Religion based riots happen because we elect religion based governments. Period. If we keep a religion private, and do not allow poticians to play with it, they will not be able to play with it.

Re. the community being "forced" into ghettos. No community can be forced anywhere.
The Hindus and Sikhs that came penniless and traumatised from Pakistan to India and vice versa(The Muslims that went to Pakistan) 50 years ago were the most susceptible to such ghetto-isation.
If they had not made any progress in 50 years, they would have had a valid excuse - they started with 0 assets and a valid excuse for a broken spirit.

But in 50 years, this community on both sides of the border has made so much progress that today, a member of this community heads the respective country - both India and Pakistan.

Every time you try to tell me about a community being forced to be poor, uneducated and steeped in superstition, please also tell me how these 2 communities managed to prosper with exactly the same handicaps.

The Dalits have a baggage - even the current social system in the villages forces them to remain poor. But that is no excuse for them to stay in the villages and stay poor. However, no social setup works against the community that you have mentioned. Within the community, there are sections that are successful businessmen, politicians et al. How is it that these sections have progressed, without help from anyone, and the rest of the sections have not?

Introspection is a bitter pill. Infinitely easier to say "This is an unfair country."

Apologies for the long comment. But this blog does make one very verbose.

Also, since this is the last time that I am here, you just might put up with my rhetoric.

Ahmed said...

We thinkg BJP is an anti Islamic party because - Adwani was giving a speech to his activists to destroy Babri masjid.

Togadiya calls for making India a hindu rashtra and to 'control' muslims in India.he passes irritating comments every now and then about Islam and muslims.He went to an extent that he warned BJP government last time that if it did not win in the court case regarding ram mandir, he would start national wide voilent protests.

Narendra modi caused massacre of innocent muslims showing his incapability of catching the true calprits and his hatred for muslims.

Everyone knows what RSS teaches.In kerala, RSS volanteers are taught that Islam was spread by sword and that Mohammad(saw) used to roam with Quran in one hand and a sword in another and would kill people who dont convert to Islam (very funy).this came out when one of the RSS volanteers converted to Islam.He said that RSS would feed them hatred against Islamic books and this is how he came into contact with Islamic preachings.

Though all political parties are selfish and use communities for their own use, BJP in particular, had a militant policy of attracting Majority and discriminating (not just discriminating but bitterly hating) muslims.(Also see the new post about togadia admiring Hitler and Saddam at Indian muslims)