Apprehensions among Muslims on election result, appear cautious

By M Reyaz,,

New Delhi/Kolkata: The Modi-Tsunami that has led BJP cross the magical figure on its own for the first time is being seen with apprehension and caution. Many people TCN talked to sounded worried that “things may get worse” with Narendra Modi at the helm.

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Shabbir Azam, a resident of South Kolkata, said, “With BJP Government at the center things will change for sure, particularly for the minority.” He, however, appeared cautioned and added that in states like West Bengal regional powers are still strong and “hopefully they will be able to counter the communal forces.”

Lok Sabha Election 2014: Muzaffarpur

Saiam Hasan, who hails from Varanasi and is a radio professional, elaborated that the society appeared so polarized and communally vitiated that today you are suspected as anti-national if are against Modi. “Many of my childhood friends smirk that Muslims are against development and not supporting Modi,” he said.

Gufran Khan from Faizabad was more optimistic. “BJP may have swept the election, but it got only 31.2% of total votes (NDA-38.7%) , while the rest have gone to others. It is a reflection of the fact that Indian society is largely secular,” he said.

Saiful Islam from Siwan says that its not just the BJP, but he is more worried of “larger interference” of the RSS in matters of social-life that would “communally vitiate” the environment.

Dr Mohammad Sajjad, Assistant Professor of History at the Aligarh Muslim University and author of Muslim Politics in Bihar: Changing Contours, observed that the Muslim voters were “strategically turned redundant.” He said that by consolidating their vote-base in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, and parts of Uttar Pradesh, they will try to make Muslim votes irrelevant in future, or at least work towards it. “Bipolar politics is always capable of rendering irrelevant the groups like MY, etc,” he told TCN in a telephonic conversation.

He also questioned the wisdom of the Muslim leadership playing into the hands of the so called secular-parties that in reverse “led to larger consolidation of Hindu voters.”

Giving the example of Bihar, where Muslims post-March suddenly decided to rally behind “convicted and discredited” Lalu Prasad Yadav that in turn helped the BJP as Hindus consolidated around the BJP-LJP alliance. “Even Dalits and Ati-Pichhda (Extremely backward communities) deserted JDU only after they saw that Muslims have shifted,” he pointed out.

Asked if he finds any basis in the fear that Modi led government may reverse some of the welfare-schemes initiated by the UPA government, particularly the minorities, Dr Sajjad sounded cautioned. “They may, but they won’t,” he said. “It’s too early to say, but he may even implement some of these schemes in an attempt to win over the Muslims,” he observed.

Natisha Mallick, a Delhi based Photographer is more optimistic. “Let’s just hope for the best and looking at Sensex today and the value of rupees, I hope it stays that way with a stronger economy.” And now that he is finally the PM let’s see all about his development model” she said, adding “. Fingers crossed that we don’t get thrown out of our houses though.”

Ayaz Mohammad, a Chennai based HR Consultant, added that one may not agree with Modi’s ideology, but “it is certain that in next six months India’s economy will improve,” pointing that the economists are already hoping that the GDP may cross 8% mark in a year or so.

The rise of Modi to a large degree has been attributed to the army of his supporters on social-media, who often turn vitriolic against those who oppose him. 25 year old Asbah Farooqui, who works for a multinational company and is very active on social media, said in a lighter vein, “I am ready for a good fight (on social media) for the next 5 years, although there is a high possibility that the feeling might fade away! ”

Muslim leaders hope BJP will focus on economic development