For Muslims, UPA-2 is just the opposite of UPA-1

By Shakeel Ahmad,

UPA-1 brought hope to Muslims in many different ways, some of which turned realities while some others were put to the wheel of progress. Except in the home ministry, the ray of hope seemed like radiating all around. The willingness to bring out Sachar committee report, Ranganath Misra commission report, Fatmi committee report thus facilitating broader discussions resulted in many positive outcomes. The fruits were more evident in the areas of educational empowerment compared to vital areas such as finance. Scholarships to minority students, a notable increase in the allocation of funds to Muslim institutions like AMU and MANUU, JMI, Osmania and there by starting brand new regional centres of AMU, MANUU etc were just a few examples.

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But the current UPA-2 govt seems to be focussing on correcting the “mistakes” of UPA-1, or balancing the previous actions by blocking the efforts, slowing down of the actions, thus damaging the interests of Muslims.

RTE being launched turned out to be a platform to control the Muslim minority educational institutions in the garb of guaranteeing the right to education to every citizen. The Indian constitution guarantees, rights to the minorities to establish and manage their own educational institutions, so the act appears like a hidden mechanism to bring about structured damage to these institutions.

Another such attempt damaging the interests of Muslims is the 4.5% reservation within the OBC quota for minorities. This ploy is not only an attempt to divide the Muslim community as backward and forward [OBC and non-OBC], Pasmanda and Sharminda, Ajlaf and Ashraf; but also pits the community against the OBC with whom Muslims had largely found common platforms and interests for quite long.

The chemistry that worked between OBC Hindus and Muslims was the reason behind elimination of Congress from Bihar, Jharkhand, and UP, as evident from the rise of leaders like Lalu, Mulayam, Nitish and Mayawati. So, unless this Chemistry gets polluted, disturbed, or outright disintegrated, Congress cannot recover its lost ground in the Hindi belt. Politics is known to be a dirty game which does not care for the benefits to its subjects and instead does all it could to serve the interests of its masters, even at the cost of human life.

We have seen this during the partition holocaust, twice [1947 ad 1971], during the post-Mandal era of mobilizing Hindu masses against Muslims in the name of Ram [ yet another correction strategy deployed], and during the massacres of Muslims in Bhagalpur, Meerut, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Gujarat.

Each time when divisive policies were implemented, Muslims alone suffered huge losses, directly, or indirectly, in short-term [when hardly-hit] or long-term [through slow-poisoning], because they are the softest of targets to aim at in India. Like the ‘mandir ka ghanta, jo bhee aata hai, baja ke chala jaata hai’

The intelligence agencies were randomly used for the planned picking of educated Muslim youth and now the latest presidential consent to the cow-slaughter bill comes as another fatal blow to the Muslim psyche.

Why are all the laws that can be misused to torture and demoralize the Muslims, carry the onus of proving the guilt on the accused? Seven years imprisonment for cow-slaughter; not only for slaughtering, but trading of cows for this purpose! And, once booked for this crime, you have to prove that you are not guilty. How on earth can one prove his innocence if he is in possession of a cow!

What is the incentive for UPA-2 to be pursuing this “correctional” policy?
Beyond UPA-1, the Congress found the political environment ripe for the launch of its Yuvraj, so that he could become the much-awaited Samrat. Right when the yuvraj was becoming the youth icon of India, expected to sail smoothly through to the Samratdom, with the support of Muslims who are ready to forgive his ancestor’s sins, Anna Hazare punctured all his hopes, thus the entire air of Aam Aadmi’s hope got blown over.

It was amply clear that the sail would no longer be even, and all the hard ground of UP tilled over the last decade would not be fertile any more. A new strategy has to be weaved, through a quicker route, after all how long should the yuvraj wait! Any damage to the soft-target, the Muslim punching bag, brings easy support from RSS and the saffron brigade. If RSS support could bring the crowning glory to Rajiv Gandhi the easy way, why should the yuvraj not take the same straight route?

During the first year of UPA-2, we saw a softening of Congress stand towards the Modi brigade; later, we witnessed congress joining hands with BJP in the parliament on more than one occasion, latest being the derailment of Lokpal bill. But, this won’t be enough to satisfy the RSS. Unless some structured long-term damage is done to the Muslims, the support of RSS cannot be ensured.

That is precisely the reason why the Congress strategists are planning something just opposite of what they were doing during UPA-1. This certainly meant keeping a safe distance from perceived sympathizers of Muslims, like Lalu, Maya, and Mulayam. Having assured of the Muslim support during UPA-1, they are confident that Muslims won’t be able to read into their new designs.

Now, if you see Anna Hazare on the other side of the political circus, shedding his anti-Congress garb away or diluting it, don’t get surprised.
UPA-2 is just the opposite of what the UPA-1 was, so where are the Muslim strategists; are they too busy grabbing the AIMMM posts, Hyderabad mayor ship, blaming some lame duck of the community, or just awaiting for a messiah?