Two recent incidents including the murder of a minor Muslim girl in a police station in Lakhimpur Kheri and the firing on Muslim villagers in Bihar's Forbesganj has exposed the so-called Muslim leadership.
Bihar has no dearth of Muslim leaders ranging from NCP's Tariq Anwar to Congress' Shakil Ahmad and Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, who represents Kishanganj constituency in the Parliament. All of them remained silent though they represent opposition parties in the state.
Had they taken to streets or at least spoken on the issue, it would have raised their stature and their parties would also have got benefited. One could understand the predicament of JDU's Muslim leader or BJP's Shahnawaz Khan who also hails form Bihar, but who stopped the Muslim MPs, MLAs, MLCs et al.
Politicians love to politicise issues, even non-issues. So what stopped Ghani Khan Chaudhary's politican successor, Mausam Benazir Noor, the young MP from neighbouring West Bengal, to take up the issue. In fact, no Muslim leader in the country worth his salt felt for the victims.
It was Ram Vilas Paswan who went to Delhi and staged a 'dharna', then apprised the Prime Minister about the issue and also asked Rahul Gandhi to visit Araria district to take a stock of the situation. Still, the Muslim leadership kept mum.
While Mahesh Bhatt went to Patna to urge Nitish Kumar to take action and later also reached Delhi, Muslim politicians' shameless silence showed their character. Muslim leaders in Delhi also didn't speak on the issue. Had it not been Paswan, Bhatt, a few activists and websites, particularly, http://www.twocircles.net/, the issue wouldn't have reached as far.
I am sorry to say but Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi has been a letdown. The elderly politician puts all energy in writing columns in Urdu papers rather than roaring in the parliament, if not on the streets. The Muslim social groups and other organisations were also indifferent.
In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, a minor Muslim girl* was allegedly killed on the premises of police station. Though elections are drawing nearer and UP has seen a spurt in launch of new Muslim parties, there was absolute silence.
Jamat-e-Islami's Welfare Party, Dr Ayub's Peace Party, Ulema Council and other similar groups seemed to have forgotten even issuing statements. Even when most of the politicial parties and leaders [including BJP's firebrand leaders] had visited Lakhimpur Kheri, not a single delegation from any of these 'Muslim' parties visited the victim's family.
So what stopped them? Simply, they are not concerned. I don't go by the argument that many parties are propped up to divide the so-called Muslim vote. It is a mystery why none of these parties or leaders speak up when there is dire need for them to do so.
In the past also, we have seen that either it is on ideological ground or on the street, it is not the Muslim leaders who have taken up the cause of Muslims. So why this need for a Muslim leadership. It is a dangerous concept. We know as we have suffered it.
Time and again, Muslim voters have been cheated due to these so-called Muslim politicians. If there is a Muslim leadership, there should also be a Hindu leadership for Hindus. What is important that Muslim citizens understand that they must play an active part in the society and raise issues, not concerning Muslims alone, but others also.
With almost 60 Muslim MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, lot of issues pertaining to the community should have been redressed and resolved easily, but the reality is that this doesn't happen. In the last six decades Muslim electorate has been through all and must wisen up now.
Just that Congress can't keep Muslims hostage by instilling the sense of BJP, these Muslim politicians should also be dumped as they are simply wasting their positions. It is always better to send pro-active non-Muslim leaders to legislatures.
Call me a cynic or whatever, that's the truth. If there are any exceptions, please tell me. Meanwhile, the moral is that Muslim voters should better avoid voting for such politicians, who just have Muslim-sounding names, as in reality they have neither vision nor voice.
[* The girl who was found dead in police station in Lakhimpur belonged to a Muslim family. Her name was Razia though in order to protect her identity, section of media persons changed the name to Sonam as she was a minor]