Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Indian Muslim's letter to Congress leadership: "I am not a BJP supporter but I am glad to see Congress' defeat in Lok Sabha election"


I am not a BJP supporter and there is hardly any chance that I would ever be in future but the rout of Congress in Lok Sabha election 2014, has given me satisfaction.

I find strange that some of my Muslim friends were gloomy at the Congress' loss. I have always found this mental slavery as nauseating. I would have understood had they been disappointed with the performance of non-Congress, non-BJP parties.

Or if you are die-hard anti-BJP man, the stellar performance of the party [and NDA] may have been disappointing for you. But sadness at Congress' defeat is just not understandable to me.

The reasons are here:


1. Congress is the party that can get away with 'massacres' and 'genocides' without even a whimper. Imagine, how more than 50 Muslims were killed in Assam recently, and it was no issue for the 'secular' party. Within three days, it was all forgotten, buried.

There was no demand to sack Tarun Gogoi, who now offers his resignation for poor performance in election! Just over a year ago, there was similar massacre in Bodoland in Assam. Which other party would have been able to skirt it so easily? Congress did, and nobody, not even media, questions it.


2. Congress does hardly anything in terms of welfare measures or preferential treatment for Muslims, yet gives the impression, that it has 'appeased' Muslims for ages. It doesn't even deny this false charge, because it suits it and helps it gain sympathy of minorities and their votes.

Where in India are Muslims appeased? Are they in government jobs or private sector? Riots, encounters, killings, continue unabated and yet the minorities are appeased. Wonderful strategy.


3. All the parties talk about Gujarat riots [2002] and then it goes back to Congress' failure in handling the anti-Sikh massacre [riots] of 1984. But how conveniently, Congress forgets all the riots during its regime until recently [Assam].

The riots of Meerut, Moradabad, Bhagalpur, Ferozabad, are history. But what about 1992-93 Mumbai riots, when in two separate rounds, more than 2,000 people were killed. That is recent history, much after 1984. Isn't it? Sudhakar Rao Naik was Chief Minister of Maharashtra then.

Yet, Congress that always promised to implement the Sri Krishna Commission report, never honoured the promise. Prosecution sanctions were not given even in cases against police constables who had opened fire on innocent Muslims, let alone officials.

Congress and its bureaucracy was always intent to saving the killers of Mumbai riots, and other riots. There was never firm action. Had the Congress acted against BJP and Shiv Sena's men involved in riots, history would have been different. But it remained soft and today, it is almost finished.


4. After its defeat in late 90s, it realised that it had lost Dalits, Tribals and Muslims, its core vote.

In 2004, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government lost, Congress again came back to power.

The justice Rajinder Sachar panel was appointed to submit its report over the socio-economic condition of minorities.

The panel's report clearly showed, how much disadvantaged Muslims have been, and how their representation is low, in jobs.

But for the next ten years, it didn't do anything. The party perhaps felt that it would invite 'majority backlash', which has come anyhow. How it feels, Sonia ji, Rahul ji?


5. In the last ten years, Indian Muslims suffered the worst. There were indiscriminate arrests, fake encounters, branding in the name of terror. It was repeatedly revealed in reports that Congress-ruled Maharashtra led in atrocities on Muslims.

Azamgarh was defamed during Congress rule. BJP was not in power, either in UP or at the Centre. But Congress did nothing to erase the perception or take action against those who used such words. Its police, special cell, and agencies, went on with their actions.

Yet, the genuine demand for a judicial probe in Batla House encounter, was turned down. We don't ask you to speak or act for us but we expected you to be at least transparent. You did nothing. In fact, in cases against right-wing extremists too, there was slackness, as you feared 'backlash'.

Bureaucrats fed you and you believed it, more so, because that was your intent too. Have a nice time, you deserve it. When the trends were coming and it showed 50-55 seats, I wished you would go to less than 50. It happened.


6. Either in Dhule or in Gopalgarh, Muslims were shot in the chests and head. All these were acts of unprovoked firing. The police were controlled by your government in both states then. But as always, Rajasthan and Maharashtra chief ministers did their best to hush up these incidents.

There is no end to such cases if one starts compiling. The problem is that the mindset is such that atrocities under Congress rule were ignored. Congress was not questioned [even by media]. It may seem harsh but it is the truth that Congress' secularism was flawed, yes.

It lowered the bar and still gave the impression that it was appeasing minorities, though it did the opposite. Just barely a month ago, in Maharashtra's Mumbra, excessive police action took place, and there was no action by Prithvi Raj Chouhan government. Citizens are rid off the arrogant self-styled champions of minorities, great.


7. There is tremendous talk of 'appeasement' but whenever there was a case of 'hate speech', Congress governments had a selective approach. Muslim leaders like Owaisi and Imran Masood were booked and jailed and it was a welcome move. But Pravin Togadia was never arrested.

In Maharashtra, after much pressure and media intervention, a case was registered. But the police didn't arrest him. You let down the words like 'secularism', 'justice', and 'law'. You pandered to them and they are having the last laugh, now


8. Muslims and Christians among Dalits, Tribals [SCs, STs] can't get benefit of reservation. It is not a law passed by parliament that can make such a distinction that certain communities or religious groups alone are entitled to reservation, while the rest are not.

The discriminatory distinction was made possible by 'secular' Congress through the backdoor entry. They had brought a Presidential ordinance to ensure that the backward Muslims or Christians don't get the benefits of reservation. They have succeeded in it for over 60 years. Despite protests, there has never been a slight attempt to undo the historic injustice.


9. Whether you like it nor not, the BJP has an ideology. Congress doesn't seem to have any ideology. All these years, when BJP targeted it for 'appeasement', Congress did little to spread its ideology or tell its people, or cadre, why secularism is important.

On the other hand, in states, RSS kept expanding. Wherever BJP formed government, the dozens of RSS' institutions in diverse fields, expanded. They got land and all possible help. Today, they are running colleges, hostels, orphanages, doing social work.

In process, its workers and sympathisers also got financially independent. Naturally, they had the freedom to spread ideology while they had no worries about doing something else to earn money. What was Congress doing? Its ground workers have nothing to do except 'kaam karwane ke liye paisa lena, playing the role of middle-men, the euphemism for bribe, for survival.


10. Congress attacked the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), quite often. Its leaders even blamed the Sangh for its cadre's involvement in extremist acts. Definitely, lot of people were arrested. If Congress wished it could have banned the Sangh long back.

It didn't. When people belonging to banned groups are arrested, no one questions or asks if they are indeed member of that group or have a membership receipt. In the case of Sangh, the defence was always that the person may have been a worker but had left us and we keep no record.

Who taught this strategy to them and how you believed it, innocently. Either it had no evidence or it lacked the will. Digvijay Singh was most vocal and said that he had record, but why these records weren't used? Had Congress acted tough, the Sangh wouldn't have grown so powerful. Today, the Congress may have realised the RSS' strength.


The Congress often said that if BJP came to power, it will be bad for minorities, especially, Muslims. This is unjustified and only aimed at keeping minorities at the Congress' side.

In 1977, Muslims like the rest of India, voted against Congress. Earlier, SVD governments had come to power in many states. In later years, non-Congress governments became the norm in many states. NDA came to power at the Centre.

In states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Muslims have been living in BJP rule, without riots, and in a much better situation than in Congress-ruled Maharashtra or Assam. Muslims are no cowards who would tremble at anyone's name.

It is a democracy and citizens have the right to change the government. If India decided to throw you out of power and vote the BJP, then this is also a welcome mandate. Muslims have no fear or apprehension, after having suffered innumerable riots in Congress-regimes as well as BJP and other regimes in the past.


12. The list of damage done by Congress to Muslims is long. The Congress in UP, after independence, acted with vengeance against Muslims. It is the only state in India, where despite being an official language, Urdu medium schools can't be opened. 

This is violation of the universal right of a child to be able to study in his mother tongue, and a question of principle and rights. As a result, poor Muslim families who can't afford educating kids in private schools, have no option but to send their children to madarsas.

The law hasn't been changed, despite protests for decades. More than 10 lakh signatures were collected, loaded in truck and taken to Delhi, long back by Zakir Husain. Still, nothing happened. Muslims abandoned Congress in UP-Bihar, and later in the rest of India, wherever there was a third option.


Initially, I thought, it should be titled as 'Letter to Rahul Gandhi (or Sonia Gandhi), but later I realised that perhaps it is all futile. For ten years, they run the government but couldn't honour the basic promises like implementation of Sachar panel report, then what's the point of expecting it from them.

If an ordinary Muslim wants to talk to Congress, there is no option. Other parties and their leaders are on Twitter and Facebook. But not Rahul Gandhi. People don't even have the satisfaction that they have at least conveyed their concern or sent their suggestions.

If you try Congress' in-house portal, Khirki, then also there is no response. I don't know if Rahul Gandhi has ever visited any ordinary Muslim's household to talk about his aspirations and expectations. So-called 'elite' leaders like Salman Khurshid or others like Ahmad Patel are considered 'Muslim leaders'.

Numerous delegations met Congress leaders and PM Manmohan Singh about indiscriminate arrests of Muslim youths, about false terror cases, about inquiry in Batla House, and other issues, but there was never any action.

This blog has been running for almost a decade now. On this blog earlier too, I criticised Congress more often. As there was expectation from it. There was perhaps a feeling that it will ever take some corrective measures.

But Congress couldn't listen and understand. It is this party that has treated Muslims and many other sections of the country, like dirt. No wonder, Muslims voted for AAP and other parties, wherever they had an option.

In Delhi, in all seats, AAP emerged second. One would probably be a fool to imagine or hope that Congress will learn. In fact, it will just hope that five years later, people would give it a chance again. But that is plain wishful thinking.

May 17, 2014

[This blogger has neither been a BJP supporter, nor a Congress supporter. For those who are neither for one party or the other, we will keep voting for non-Congress, non-BJP parties. For you, it may be 'wasted votes', but that's my choice, in principle, always]