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Thursday, April 10, 2008

When Burqa gets Saffron Band: BJP and Muslims

The photo shows a veiled woman who has also got the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha's band tied around her head.

Just around 10 years ago it was extremely tough to find Muslims in BJP. Those who joined the BJP were looked down upon in the Muslim society.

A few years after demolition of Babri Masjid, particulary after 1995-96 Muslims slowly started getting into the party. Atal Behari Vajpayee, who had been forgotten, came back to the centre-stage so that the party could get more acceptability.

Many Muslim politicians joined it either due to lack of opportunity to rise in Congress or because they felt BJP is a much better option than Congress which had only exploited Muslims for half-a-century.

And when the party failed to prove its majority in parliament after a 13 day government, it again projected Vajpayee as a Mukhauta. More Muslims joined the party. Once aggressively anti-minorityism, the party also formed Alpasankhyak Morchas (minority wings) in all states.

And after the second failed attempt in 1998 when the NDA government lost by one vote, the attempts to reach out to Muslims also intensified. Remember the days when a group of Urdu poets was singing paens of BJP and Vajpayee.

Iftaars were organised. The days were gone when BJP had either a Sikandar Bakht or Arif Baig. Now it had so many Muslim leaders that in states there were fights over posts of Minority Commission, Waqf Board and Urdu Academies among BJP's Muslim politicians.

The anti-Muslim rhetoric was almost a thing of past. But still BJP never evoked the feeling of trust among Muslim masses. Their worst fears came true during the Gujarat carnage when the 'mascot' came off.

A couple of years down the line, many more Muslims have joined the party in the states at the karyakarta (worker) level.The RSS is almost ready to open its doors to the Muslims. Now you don't need to search for Muslims in any BJP meet.

In fact, 'daadhis', 'topis' and also 'burqas' have become common. Many Muslim workers say that Gujrat was an exception, after all, Congress didn't do anything during the Mumbai riots and the Ahmedabad riots of 1979 and all major riots in North India were during Congress regimes in the 80s, 70s and 60s.

Is it a convincing argumen. Only time will tell. But one thing is sure. BJP that was once a openly communal party, has understood the realities of modern India and almost become what the Congress was during the first decade after partition, when it was the sole personality of Jawaharlal Nehru that kept it from becoming a hardline right-wing party.

The BJP has shown crass opportunism by trying to get Muslims in its fold. Who can forget the promises of lakh of jobs for Urdu teachers by Vajpayee and other sops? In a pluralistic society like ours, it is unhealthy for a group of population to treat a party as pariah and for a national party to treat the Indian Muslims, who number more than 150 million, aloof.

There is definitely quite a lot wrong with its 'niyat' about Muslims. Didn't Rajnath Singh say that if the party came to power it will scrap all the pro-Muslim schemes of UPA (United Progressive Alliance). The party is still unsure how to deal with Muslims. It doesn't want to become a second Congress and lose its core Hindutva constituency.

The choice is for the BJP.

[Photo: It shows a Muslim woman in burqa with a Saffron band in the BJP's Sankalp Rally in Patna, Bihar]


Ye manzilen !! said...

What a confusing time for a bunch of people...

urdudaaN said...

Muslims are 'confused' first, 'masses' next.

If you want to know what they are going to do in the next decade, just look at what they are opposing today.

Anser Azim said...

I think every Muslim should learn and know the history of these organizations like BJP, Shiva Sena, RSS, Bajrang Dal and like minded forces as a part of their school curriculum in a respectful way. And then decide what is good for them. One burqa clad woman does not speak for the mindset of the masses. Good Education is the main factor that is what is missing from these followers!!! Let's make a list of who is who in Indian politics and their ideals in Urdu and other languages. And let the men, women and children read them after they finish their 5th grade as part of Islamic and Indian history, like we memorized abre-rahmat. We all should know the truth about our leaders wheather Hindu or Muslim.
Nice work janabe aali keep it up. I enjoy redaing your column.

anser azim, chicago

nikhil bhardwan said...

its a pity
that educated muslims still see bjp as a demon i'm not saying its pro muslim
but atleast they arent hipocrites like the congress
god bless you all

Anonymous said...


mohammad said...

bjp is still an evil according to muslims in india.they didnt miss any oppurtunity to abuse muslims.they never supported any thing good for muslims.BJP is a the most communal and hipocratic party the country has ever seen

Anonymous said...

"While the Hindu Mahasabha continued to function as the political front of Hindu communalism in 1920s and 1930s, the real leadership of the Hindutva spectrum of parties,groups and individuals passed into the hands of RSS after it was set up in 1925.
RSS set the agenda of Hindutva based on its highly exclusivist,
minority-hating ideology!". When SP Mukherjee started Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951,it became the
'political arm of RSS'. The VHP
(set upin1964)becamethe'religious
arm of RSS!"In 1980, Vajpayee renamed the Jan Sangh as "Bharathiya Janata Party'(BJP)!"In 1984 LS polls BJP gets only two seats! Making use of Ram Janmabhoomi Temple at Ayodhya ,BJP builds up its strength.In the 1989 LS polls it makes substantial gain.
With its support from outside, National Front leader,VPSingh forms
the govt.On 25th September,1990, Advanni launches Ayodhya Rath Yatra' and leaves behind a trail of communal clashes throughout the route!On the 28th day Lalu Prasad yadav, CM of Bihar arrests him at Samastipur! Anon BJP withdraws support to VP Singh Govt. and it falls.Chandrasekar succeeds him. there was a mid term poll in 1991,Narasimha Rao of Congress firms a minority govt. and it lasts for five years with numerous scams.
In 1996, LS polls BJP forms a Govt. that lasts just 13 days! Deva Gowda and Gujral follow Vajpayeeas PMs.In 1998 mid term poll NDA govt is formed with Vajpayee as PM. Jaya lalithaa topples it after 13months!
In 1999 polls again Vajpayee forms govt.it lasts five years.In 2004 elections BJP was routed largely due to Advani and Modi combine's Hindutva pogrom.Atalji wanted to get rid of Modi but Advani saved him and let down Atalji!Once out of power under advani's direction BJP has a long list of failed attempts to dislodge UPA govt.Now Advani hopes to become the PM and for that he is resorting to all sorts of gimmicks.Youthful voters are more inclined to safeguard the interests 0f the youth rather than annoint the oldies.

Anonymous said...

I dont believe in these photos. Nowdays no Muslim can trust in BJP.
How can they Forget Gujarath and other communal riots.
As u told it will be the aim of geting benefits like Waqf board or some other minority boards, those who joined in BJP.

Anonymous said...

@Anser Azim,

Laughable!! RSS/Bajarang Dal have learn't the techniques from Muslims and you want to learn from them? I guarantee you..you won;t find anything new!! Its all taught magnified and indoctrinated via your Madarasas!!!

Please read the book "Bunch of Thoughts" by MS Golwalkar, 2nd chief of RSS. You will learn certainly a great deal(not what you are expecting though..).

Good luck!