Reading between the lines, are Muslim organizations in India changing their stance towards Narendra Modi (just in case he does end up becoming a more important person in the lives of Indians, beyond Gujarat)?
Are Muslims finally able to see through the ill-effects of vote bank politics, that most political parties of India have catered to them as minorities, ever since Independence?
For too long, the “Muslim victimhood” sentiment has been projected and propagated by political parties and their leaders for vested interest. Likewise, the fire of the post- Godhra riots of 2002, has been carefully kept burning with periodic fueling by these Modi-haters including the overtly partisan Indian print and news media.
The fact, as per the Parliamentary statement of the former Congress Union Minister of State for Home, that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots does not quite reveal a picture of Muslim genocide or pogrom as Modi-haters have tried to paint. Similarly, the fact that “126 persons were killed in police firing, of which 77 were Hindus”, according to the National Minorities Commission Chairman, John Joseph, also does not bear testimony to an alleged religiously biased police force, supposingly rendered inactive by orders of the CM to ‘let Hindus vent their anger’, as accused by so called whistleblower supercop, Sanjeev Bhatt. Investigations and court cases are still going on, but nefarious designs of bogus activists and vindictive opponents are getting exposed, eroding the credibility of the anti-Modi brigade.
In the meantime in Gujarat, Muslims are reported to be drifting towards Modi and his party. “A stage has now been reached where the development oriented initiatives of Narendra Modi are drawing the Muslim community towards the party“, claimed Babi Sama, who is the first Muslim woman to be elected on BJP ticket in the Municipal corporation elections in 2010. Muslims have increasingly voted in favour of BJP in those Gujarat elections as they also did in Bihar, a BJP alliance ruled state.
Muslims in Gujarat are reportedly joining the mainstream to be part of developmental politics, overcoming the years of anti-Modi rhetorics heaped upon them. And the message is spreading beyond Gujarat. The acknowledgement came earlier from former Deoband chief Vastanvi (though he had to pay a price for that).
Perhaps now others are also recognizing that nurturing the perceived victimhood image, hankering for privileges or heeding to appeasement policies has done more harm to the Muslim community over the decades. Just as a reform in education is needed so also is a reform in mental attitude.
A demand for apology from Modi for a alleged crime that is still sub judice may thus actually be an face-saving attempt of cozying up.
Moradabad: Ahead of UP elections next year, Sunni Sufi Muslims have come under an umbrella to back reforms in madarsa system of education. The group which claims to have support of over 80 per cent of Muslims in India oppose deoband system of education calling it regressive.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was on a token fast for peace and harmony in Dwarka in Gujarat on Monday and over thousand kilometers away in Moradabad in west UP, a section of Muslims coming together to make themselves heard. What’s the connection between the two?
Sunni Sufi Muslims have come under an umbrella to back reforms in madarsa system of education. All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board, which claims to have support of over 80 per cent of Muslims in India oppose deoband system of education calling it regressive.
President All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board said, “Sufi Muslims can conditionally accept Narendra Modi. If he says what happened was a mistake and would never happen again. Anybody who is ready to apologise, we will be soft on them.”
Deoband’s chief cleric Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi was the last prominent Muslim who dared to come out in praise of Modi and he had to pay a heavy price, being forced to retract his statement, the over lakh Sufi Sunni Muslims who gathered here are aware of just how difficult it is to position themselves as in a liberal sense.
Ulema and Mashaikh Board say that the Sunni Sufi Muslims form nearly 80 per cent of the total Muslim population of India. Renouncing the deoband system of madarsa education as regressive, the Sufis say that wahabis in India promote views that poison young Muslim minds.
Distancing themselves from the hardliners within the community, the group with a sizeable support of Muslims favours reforms in madarsas.
With an attempt to redefine the agenda for Muslims, and the road ahead, this gathering with its eye on UP elections next year made it clear they cannot be treated as a single block of vote bank anymore.