By Ubair Ul Hameed
Navaid Hamid, president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM)— the umbrella body of over a dozen leading Muslim organizations in India— has said that Muslims of the country are not afraid of anyone.
Fear and Muslims are two opposites; Muslims of India are tolerating everything to prevent further deterioration of the social and political atmosphere in the country,” he said, adding that people who think Muslims can be threatened and terrorized were deluded.
“Muslims who lost their family members to lynching, parents who lost their children… were they afraid? No! They were not… it implies that fear and Muslims can’t go together,” he added.
While talking about the recent developments in the country before the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Hamid said that people of the country including Muslims are aware of the ‘vicious agenda’ of the ruling BJP, and they are ready for it.
“People who believe in the unity and Constitution of India are worried and concerned about the future,” he said, adding that the ‘vicious and poisonous’ campaigns and propaganda run by the right-wing parties for votes are in full swing. The Majlis President said that these campaigns were being run to hide the government’s incompetence during the second wave of the Corona Virus. “The voters are not fools; I’m hopeful that the citizens of Uttar Pradesh will vote responsibly,” he added.
While talking to Muslim Mirror, Mr. Hamid said that he feels that BJP’s agenda to polarize the masses will fail.
On being asked about the Muslim votes in Uttar Pradesh and the role of mainstream parties including the Indian National Congress (INC), Samajwadi Party (SP), and, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mr. Hamid said that responding to circumstances is an important part of electoral politics and things have to be said with relevance to time. “We’re a failed democracy… when I say a failed democracy it means that democracy has been degraded to a majoritarian concept, it has now lost its essence in the country,” he said, adding that Muslims have put always their trust in ‘secular parties’ in the nation’s interest. “Muslims haven’t voted on the religious bases in the past that’s been the reason behind parties like Muslim League and Muslim Majlis failure in electoral politics,” he stated.
“As far as Hindutva is concerned, it’s nothing new,” Mr. Navaid said, adding that some people argue that ‘secular parties are responsible for it. “While I partially agree with the statement, I’ve my disagreements too… Muslim leaders in these secular parties had ‘weak bases’ and they couldn’t feel the pain of the community,” he added.
“Muslims who represented the community in these political parties are responsible for the ‘destruction’ and not only the secular parties…if these leaders spoke for the issues of the Muslims, advocated the Muslim cause, and warned the secular parties about the consequences of a majoritarian democracy then secular parties wouldn’t ignore our issues like they are doing currently,” Mr. Hamid said.
He added that Muslim leaders could’ve spoken constitutionally for Muslim issues but they didn’t, “The Muslim MPs and MLAs garnered Muslim votes, lived lavish lives and now we’ve come to a stage when nobody talks about the Muslims,” he stated.
Mr. Hamid added that the Muslim representatives who’ve been elected presently have no listeners to their voices and they’re afraid of speaking the truth to the power.
“As far as electoral politics are concerned, Muslims of Uttar Pradesh, without anyone’s appeals, will vote not only for the concerns of the state but also in the nation’s interest”, he said, adding that an example of which was seen in the recent West Bengal elections.
On being asked about the role of Muslim organizations in the country and the accusations which say that these organizations are silent on Muslims issues, Mr. Navaid said that it’s unfair to say that the Muslim organizations are silent. “Mediums of expressions have changed, there was a time when press releases would do the job, and now social media has taken over. Nobody is silent… Is Jamiat-e-Ulama silent? Is Jamat-e-Islami silent? No! They’ve done exemplary work and continue doing so. Likewise, Mushawarat is working for the interests of the Muslims of the country,” The Majlis president said.
“Due to the Coronavirus, ways of protest and expression have changed across the globe, online protests are the new norm now, Muslim organizations are no behind…we’ve organized webinars, online programs in the regard,” he said.
The Mushawarat President also said that there’s been a positive change in the attitude of Muslims in the country. “During the anti-CAA demonstrations across the country, Muslim youth and Muslim women were on the forefront,” he said, adding that they were fully supported by Muslim organizations across the country.