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THE OTHER VIEW
BSP-BJP coalition need not worry Muslims
|Finally the BSP-BJP combine is in power in Uttar Pradesh. It is after around two months long deliberations, pressures and threats of survival of the Vajpayee government that brought together this rag tag coalition of half partners and half foes.
The relations between the BJP and the BSP cannot be described as that of love-hate relationship. It is unadulterated mutual hate. The only thing that has brought them together is the much abused law of enemyís enemy is friend. Looming fear of Mulayam Singh Yadav has brought them together, Mayawati due to her personal enmity with the Samajwadi Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and the BJP for his secularist image and the fear that he may destroy political careers of BJP bigwigs like LK Advani, Joshi and Bharati by opening cases against them.
They now look for the local candidate and his secular credentials. The falling stature of Muslim leaders in Samajwadi Party has reduced the grip of party on Muslim voters. Azam Khan and his likes are now lost in the glamorous presence of Amar Singh.
But there is no reason to panic. Though Mulayam Singh Yadav has not been able to form his government in the state despite emerging the largest single party in the state and getting around half more seats than the BSPís 98 tally, there is still no reason to panic. In fact Muslim leadership is itself responsible (though it cannot be said with certainty as there are not much people heeding its voice) for the large number of Muslim votes Mayawati attracted. Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and Milli Council - the organizations which are now regretting for appealing Muslims to vote BSP- had got over mesmerized by the BSPís secular overtures and had made frantic appeals to Muslims to vote for the BSP. Their appeal might have to do with the increasing realization of the Muslims that Mulayam Singh Yadav has not gone beyond lip services for the Muslim community in the state. The ever increasing marginalization of Muslims in his party has intrigued Muslims for long.
There has been widespread speculation and fear among Muslims that ĎMaulanaí Mulayam has destroyed Muslim leadership in his party that used to be in the forefront earlier. Now there is no leader in the party except Mulayam and Amar Singh. Though no one should question their secular credential, this was the main thing that has not been possible for Muslims to swallow. And gone are the days when Muslims used to vote merely on Mulayamís name. They now look for the local candidate and his secular credentials. The falling stature of Muslim leaders in Samajwadi Party has reduced the grip of party on Muslim voters. Azam Khan and his likes are now lost in the glamorous presence of Amar Singh.
And it will be amazing for many people to know that all the Muslim MLAs in the BSP are not merely Maya men. Quite a few of them have strong religious backgrounds and are active for the welfare of the community. So excommunication fatwas against them are not going to work. And that is also of no use. This correspondent knows if not all but quite a few of these BSP MLAs who have been doing something substantial for the community, from spending money on legal cases on different riots around the state to establishing educational institutions.
While writing a story on Meerut riots this correspondent had an opportunity to meet the person who is paying for all the legal expenses of Meerut riots. These cases are being fought in Allahabad High Court, Supreme Court as well as in local courts. And behold this gentleman never told me about this secret. It was the man who is in the forefront and fighting all the cases who said that he is not bearing the expenses. All expenses are borne by this man. This gentleman is now a BSP MLA.
The other and the most important fact that should be kept in mind is that Mayawati will be in government as long as she is able to implement her agenda. For her, continuance of her government is not important but the implementation of her agenda. If she has come to power it is to implement her Dalit agenda. And it has been seen that whenever Mayawati occupies the chair she is entirely on her own. Her low political credibility has never worried Mayawati and she is not scared of political instability.
Though it may look that Mayawati has grouped with the BJP for a long inning, it should never be believed. Political pundits are not ready to give this coalition more time than from six moths to one year. Unlike BJP, Mayawati is not scared of elections. Instead, frequent elections are welcome.
Though the BJP is projecting that the new live-in relationship is for a long period, it should not be taken on its face value. When Dalits and OBC (BSP-SP) government failed due to the infighting despite having almost similar causes, how can Dalits and Manuwadis live together. This is destined to die a natural death. It was social pressure that ripped apart the BSP-BJP coalition both in 1995 and 1997. Oppressors and oppressed cannot live together for very long. They are bound to start fighting between Dalits and upper caste people. Dalits will try to get plum posts, inspectors in every thana, kotwal in city and commissioner in the commissionorate. It happened last time and it is bound to happen again. And the BJP and its vote bank will not take it kindly. Because the person who will be dislodged from these posts and transferred to insignificant posts will certainly be high caste Hindu, BJPís vote bank.
And the BJPís sleeping with its arch enemy will not do any good to the Party. There are fractions in the party who are openly trying to revolt against the central leadership. The upper caste people have already started looking towards the Congress as an alternative. It is on the basis of the BJP rebels in the state that Mulayam Singh has not lost hope of forming the government in the state as yet. BSP has no such fear. Dalits who are with her will never leave her. Muslims may also not leave her altogether. And so she will continue to play hide and seek with the power.
Quite reassuring is the fact that all political pundits are unanimous over one point. And it is more worrisome for the BJP than the BJP-BSP alliance for Muslims. They say the BJPís alliance with the BSP will be a death knell for it. Mayawati will prove to be a doomsday messenger for the Hindutva brigade.
It should be kept in mind that Mayawati will never allow the BJP leaders to pursue their agenda. They are bound to be checked by her. Meanwhile why donít ask Muslim ministers who have been given plum posts in the coalition government to do something for the community. Everyone does so. Why Muslim ministers cannot do something for their community. Donít annoy them with excommunication threat.
And please donít annoy Mayawati too. Instead assure her that you are with her and that Muslims will vote for her in greater numbers the next time when the state goes to polls. Ask her to destroys the BJP. She is made up of the stuff that can accomplish this job. The only requirement is votes for her.
Į SU Rahman