By Syed Ali Mujtaba
Indian Muslims are at cross roads. Indian Muslims need to make strategies how it can share power to protect its interests. So what needs to be done to achieve any such goal?
Their best bet is the formation of a political party at the national level. Under such political outfit Muslims can converge and do some serious electoral arithmetic exercise and produce a block of at least 15 MPs.
Once, such Muslim block of MPs is created it can always be in a bargaining position to protect their interests and can work for their progress. Such political outfit can always be in power by aligning with whichever party rules the country.
An example of Lok Janshakti Party is before us. This political outfit has always shared political power with government in power and has held cabinet portfolios even it represents a consequence number of electorates. If LJP can do it, what is stopping Muslims to form a strategy of their own?
Since 1947 Muslims have flocked under banner of so called secular parties. They have forfeited their pan Indian political identity and have split into regional identities. They have lived under the hope that with secular parties like Congress and regional parties will protect them from the anti-Muslim forces. They also hoped community protection may create a climate of trust and their economic well being can flourish.
However, the current situation in the country has given enough indications Muslims in India are unsafe. So far Muslims have seen their fate aligning with the secular party and now they are seeing their future in the current wave of Hindutva in this country.
In today’s situation Muslims are defenseless community in their own country. In such situation it being hotly debated what Muslims should be doing to protect their interests.
Some feel the time has come when Muslims should make choices. The choice is to either to rely on some or other secular parties or to live in a political climate where there id day in and day out anti-Muslim rhetoric. Either to live in a climate of insecurity or to become the captain of their own ship and master of their destiny and to steer the ship in the choppy waters of the country.
Muslims have always been a law abiding and peace loving citizens. They have adopted defensive postures because they feared any communal regimentation from their side can incur backlash from the majority community.
However, the current turmoil in the country that centering on them makes it clear that Muslims are most vulnerable community in today’s India. The government, the court and secular parties have failed to protect them. In such situation the dilemma is what to do?
It is clear that the kind of politics would decide the future of the Muslims in the country. If that being the case Muslims have to decide whether they want power sharing in the political system or they may like to suffer catching the tails of the political parties.
Its time Muslims may unite under one banner and milk the electoral cow of the country. If somehow they can produce a substantial block of MPs under one leader, only then their future can be redeemed.
In the current situation All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader, Salauddin Owasi is the only Muslim leader who is heard speaking for the Muslim interests. Now imagine if he had a backing for more than 15 MPs, what could be the impact on the politics of the country. Muslim India it’s time to ponder…..
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a jpurnalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org