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The 'secular' leadership of Muslims under the thumb of Vajpayee
By Muhammad Ahmad Kazmi

It is generally said that since people’s memory is short, politicians very often succeed in aggrandizing themselves by changing their colours. This is partly correct also. But this is also wrong to think that the masses forget the activities of politicians. They also know that this section of society is very expert in changing its colours. That is why, because of hatred towards politicians, people considered it better in some parts of the country to elect members of third sex as MLA and mayor.

In every section of society some self-styled leaders are always prepared to barter their conscience. Such people are the loved-ones of governments and are the necessity and helplessness of each other. Government wants that people should be under the impression that government is the representative body of all people. These self-styled leaders are also busy in pursuing their own self-interests. They are not prepared to believe that only God is the bread-giver and not the individual or the group temporarily occupying the chair of government. Commenting about such persons someone said that in a society some people are ‘Rajpoots’ i.e., sons (poots) of those who rule (raj).

Because of being the capital, Delhi has always a plethora of such people. These days one gentleman among Muslims never misses an opportunity, in order to increase his political importance, in expressing his proximity to the Prime Minister. People may recall that he is the same person who started his life by fulfilling the responsibility of hospitality by serving tea to customers at his stall in the walled city. Thereafter, under the patronage of a foreign embassy, he organized some religio-political conferences and set up a printing press. Subsequently, in the company of some politicians, he started reviewing the country’s politics. Before installation of V.P. Singh government, he played an important role in advising and writing the election manifesto of his Janata party.

After demolition of Babri Masjid in December 1992, Muslims of the country started hating Narasimha Rao. Obviously, this was the time when Narasimha Rao was in need of some self-styled leaders through whom he could whitewash his dirty face. This gentleman tried his best but Muslims did not vote for Congress as a result of which National Front government was formed. Under the prime ministerships of Dave Gowda and I.K. Gujral, way was cleared for BJP. Rao’s personal astrologer, Pundit N.K. Sharma and this self-styled leader of Muslims, who was ever keen to project his political importance, frequently represented or rather exhibited bearded Muslims in Rao’s court. He took the then home minister, S.B. Chavan to Bareilly, Ajmer Sharif and many other places where government is sympathetic towards Muslims. But Muslims so much hated Congress and Narasimha Rao that when effort was made to take Rao inside Bareilly ‘dargah’, some conscientious and sincere people opposed it and he was sent back after showing black flags. This clearly proved that despite best efforts to gain popularity among Muslims through its agents, common people hate congress and its governments.

In any case this gentleman continued his efforts to further his self-made importance. He was never ashamed and continued pleading Narasimha Rao’s sincerity and innocence, showering excessive praise on him. He remained with Roa till the fall of his government. Shortly thereafter, when he realized that the Congress is not going to come back to power and that Vajpayee has formed a coalition government by dint of his political prudence wherein all opportunists have found a place and chance, he was quick to change his colours. This self-style leader of Muslims succeeded in selling his importance to the Vajpayee government which appointed him as chairman of the National Minorities Development and Financial Corporation. Vajpayee considered rewarding gratefulness so essential that he did not give any importance to the views of a lady colleague of his cabinet whose contention was that the head of National Minorities Development & Financial Corporation should be a person who is educated and expert in economic affairs. Or at least the person chosen to head this institution should have some experience and training in banking and economic affairs.

No one has till date heard anything as to what this gentleman has done for the minorities. Now he has become a yes-man of Vajpayee to such an extent that when the opposition parties in Parliament demanded in December resignation’s by three ministers accused in the Babri Masjid’s demolition in Ayodhya, the minister of state, Shah Nawaz Hussain while participating in the discussion, tried to exonerate the Bharatiya Janata Party for the demolition of Babri Masjid. He sent full text of his speech, along with a letter signed by him, to editors of Urdu newspapers with a request to publish it. During the days of Narasimha Rao, BJP was fully responsible for demolition of Babri Masjid and now only Congress Party is responsible for its demolition, though it is a fact that both these parties have harmed Muslims. But some self-styled leaders, keen to project their political image and claiming leadership of Muslims, have been proving both the parties as innocent as well as criminal at different times. When this gentleman was appointed chairman of National Ministries Development & Financial Corporation, one gentleman had said at that time that government is giving importance to spineless Muslims. In response this prominent leader of BJP had said that it was the helplessness of his party because Muslims with spines do not joint his party.

Muslims should clearly decide as to how long will such people be regarded as ‘Muslim leaders’? It is true that now-a-days every reasonable person wants to avoid the dirty life of politics but is it proper that just any person whatsoever should usurp the leadership of Muslims and pursue his personal interests? The reason for the absence of any proper leader of Muslims is, inter alia, that when the government and official means of communication give importance to this type of people, there is little or no scope for suitable persons. But at the same time we should not forget that in today’s world when revolutionary changes are taking place in the fields of communications there are various means for expressing our views and at least we should not be silent spectators when simple people claim leadership roles. (Translated from Urdu)
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