By Dr. Javed Jamil
Owaisi was dead right when he said that “rather than rigging EVMs they have rigged the Hindu Minds”. Modi’s victory is not the defeat of Opposition, Congress, Gatbandhan or anyone; it is the victory of communalism over secularism. Had the elections been held before Pulwama, the results would have been different. They knew it. Pulwama gave Modi an opportunity to change the narrative. Despite numerous reports in the world media about the failure of Balakot strikes in achieving its objectives, Modi kept roaring, “hum ne unke ghar meN ghuskar unheN maara” and the Indian TV channels kept “proving” the “efficacy” of the strikes. This was enough for the Hindu psyche which tends to think Pakistan and Indian Muslims as an extension of each other. The Opposition had no option. Neither could they accept what Modi was claiming nor could openly counter his claims.
All those who believe in Secularism are in a state of disbelief. But Muslims appear to be most worried. They need not. During last few years, they preferred not to react to the various incidents that were hurting them fearing that their reaction would help BJP. They were hoping that the elections would result in the change of the guards. But this time round they have to revise their strategy. They need to resort to political aggression against the wrong policies. But this has to be done with wisdom. Political aggression does not mean a direct confrontation; it means playing proactive role on all the national issues and to try to attract others in their fight. India’s social and political structure is such that the country cannot afford to sideline Muslims for long. For more than a year I have been arguing that India does not have any majority. Politically speaking, India has five minorities each comprising around 15-23 per cent of the population. These are: Hindutvavadis, secular upper caste Hindus, Dalits. OBCs and religious minorities. Muslims have to launch peace offensive involving all the rest including Hindutvavadis. If they can develop working relations with at least three groups, their political alienation can be reversed. With each group, they have to find the common issues. At the same time, if the Modi Government indulges in any misadventures on communal front, they should not shy away from opposing it through all possible means within the parameters of the Constitution.
The only problem is that Modi will again have the trump card in his hands. Again, in 2023 or 2024 he may find another reason to launch another “Surgical Strike” and the people will forget again his failures on other fronts. This is a big dilemma. The Opposition has to plan in advance a counter strategy. Otherwise, all their efforts will fail again.
It is surprising that despite NDA winning around 350 seats, 25 Muslims have made it to the Parliament. Almost all of them must be having almost similar worries. They have to sit together at the earliest to chart out short as well as long term strategy and they have to make it sure that they meet at least once a month to debate the relevant issues.