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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Lalu's attitude to Muslims

By Iqbal Ahmad Khan

The Milli Gazette Online

Gaya (Bihar): Since Muslim votes play a decisive role in elections in India, all big and small Muslim leaders try to show their importance and influence in their respective areas and constituencies for the political parties they belong at the time of elections. Keeping in view the attitude and the past experience with political parties regarding their support to Muslims and their interests and after analysing the ground realities, it becomes clear that they can influence Muslim voters in favour of a political party or its candidates. The problems of Muslims can be solved with the help of government. It is however a pity that these Muslim leaders for the sake of their own selfish interests ask Muslims to cast their votes in favour of their own favourite political parties or their candidates and as a result of it political credibility of Muslim community is adversely affected. 

In the recently concluded Assembly elections in Bihar, Muslim leaders without judging the past record of the RJD and the government of providing any benefit to Muslims appealed Muslims to vote for the RJD and Lalu Prasad Yadav. It is a pity that before the elections these leaders were never seen raising the problems of Muslims. They neither remember the atrocities let loose on Muslims during Lalu Yadav’s rule nor they have courage to ask him as to how much his government has fulfilled the promises made to Muslims at the time of last elections. It may be remembered that Lalu had promised to implement the recommendations of Bhagalpur Riots Inquiry Commission and to punish the guilty, the man who has made the report of Bannerji Inquiry Commission on Gujarat riots as election issue, has forgotten his promise of punishing the perpetrators of Bhagalpur riots. The accused are still roaming free.

Lalu who is shedding tears for the victims of Gujarat riots remained a silent spectator of the massacre of innocent Muslims in the nearby areas of Sher Ghati as Domarya, Giridih and Imam Ganj. He did not even feel the necessity of meeting and consoling the survivors of those brutally killed in Sher Ghati. Some Muslims of these areas shifted to other places.

In a show of devotion and sympathy to the ulama of Sadiqpur, Lalu Yadav had promised them that he would try to get them possession of the landed properties of their forefathers taken over by the government. But he did not fulfil his promise and the properties of their forefathers are still under government occupation. Similarly, the promise made by him to free the 13 acres of land of the orphanage of Muslim Girls in Gaya from illegal encroachments proved to be a false promise. He promised to get the possession of the land of the orphanage to it and get a boundary erected. But in spite of repeated reminders of the orphanage authorities the said land is still under illegal occupation. Despite the court’s verdict in favour of the orphanage the land is under the illegal occupation of unsocial elements with political clout. The income of the orphanage has declined because it is not getting the proceeds from the sale of crops of the land and as a result the orphanage is not able to accommodate more orphans. 

There are also many examples of Lalu’s such attitude and behaviour towards Muslims but it is unfortunate that Muslim leaders without deriving any conclusion from previous conduct made appeals to Muslims in favour of Lalu for their own selfish interests.

Keeping in view the critical times through which Muslim community is passing in the country, such attitude of Muslim leaders does not bode well for the bright future of Muslim community.
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