Home Indian Muslim What does Muslim reaction to Vastanwi’s controversial statements mean?

What does Muslim reaction to Vastanwi’s controversial statements mean?

By Syed Zeeshan Ahmed

Common Muslims’ strong reactions from across the country, to the clean chit given to the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi by Maulana Ghulam Muhammed Vastanwi, the newly appointed Darul Uloom Deoband’s vice chancellor, has multi layered implications.

Firstly, it has indicated that the collective conscience of the community is very much alive and not dead. An individual might succumb to the pressure of the rulers for his/her vested interests but the community members collectively will not allow him/her to sacrifice the interest of the community.

The reactions- ranging from students of Darul Uloom Deoband gathering courage to force Maulana Vastanwi to stop his speech mid-way within the seminary’s campus to the intellectuals and Muslim activists in Gujarat-indicate that they can compel one towards right direction in case one conducts in a way intended to cause harm to the collective interests of the community.

Secondly, the reaction of Indian Muslim in the country and the world over Vastanwi’s comments has further restricted political space for Modi. With the entire community rejecting the cleric’s praise of Modi, has made it clear that the BJP leader is not acceptable to the Muslim masses which has further reduced Modi to the status of a pariah. BJP’s political allies dependent on Muslim votes, like Nitish Kumar, would ensure to keep Modi away from their respective states during elections. These developments will also ensure that Modi is kept away from BJP’s national politics and his ambition to become Prime Minister in the event of NDA winning the majority of seats in any future elections, is not realized because of the BJP allies opposing his candidature.

Thirdly, it has exposed the well-to-do Muslims of Gujarat, who are eager to patch-up with Narendra Modi in spite of the fact that there is no cooperation from him in giving justice to the victims of 2002 riots. This support to Modi mostly comes from those rich and ambitious Muslims who don’t want to see his bad track record of human rights violation and who just concern themselves with the business and investments which Modi’s state policies facilitates.

But in the process, the class of rich Gujarati Muslims is doing great disservice to the Muslims of the state by reduce them to the status of second class citizens of this country, a long-pending dream of the Sangh Parivar.