Tactical Voting Strategy for Indian Muslims

I am reluctant to question the wisdom of a great thinker like Syed Shahabuddin on the tactical voting strategy of Indian Muslims. Yet, hesitatingly I submit the following counter views.

I feel that Indian Muslim political scientists should undertake a more elaborate and deep searching studies not only on the quantity of political representation but more importantly on the quality of the Muslim political leadership. There is a big dichotomy here.

We may achieve the quantity of say 10 to 15% Muslim members of Parliament but what would be the outcome if 90% of them are naam-ke-vaastey Muslims, bearing Muslim names but strictly following the dictates of their non-Muslim masters (at times woefully atheistic and/or parochially fanatical) and would be willing to sell their conscience to hold on to their seats after spending or bribing a few lakhs/crores to win the elections, expecting to reap financial gain out of their positions.

Syed Shahabuddin says, “Muslim legislators (and Parliament members) will be under pressure to raise matters of Muslim interest and projects, their feelings and aspiration.” One of the greatest tragedies that caused so much of communal tension, deaths, violence and destruction was the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. It happened during the reign of the so-called Muslim appeasing party, Congress. I am unable to recollect statistics on the number of Muslim ministers and Parliament members in 1992. My question is: did any (based on the principle of Islam first) Muslim minister/parliamentarian resign in protest against this terrorist evil that was covertly supported by the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao? Why didn’t they do it? Because, toeing the party line, appeasing their party bosses, continuing to avail financial advantages was much more important than the priorities of the Ummah.

If only the Muslim parliamentarians, had regardless of party affiliations resigned en masse, they would have created a powerful new political awakening and a positive revival.  

A few years back in the Tamil Nadu state legislative assembly, a bill was introduced to prevent religious conversion by the AIADMK Government. To the surprise of the entire Muslim population of Tamil Nadu, the most forceful speech supporting the bill was given by the sole Muslim minister, K. Raja Mohamed. He shamelessly demonstrated his absolute loyalty to his political mentor and proudly displayed his weak iman. His friends know that he is regularly present for Eid prayers. It is true that many Muslim politicians of his ilk behave like chameleons in order to be in the good books of their earthly bosses.

Now the issue is: what is the point of having a greater number of Muslim parliamentarians and legislators if they do not have strong Islamic convictions, but are ready to sell their iman for a trifle worldly gain.

As well we have a fewer of them who are bold enough to forcefully and effectively present the true grievances of the Muslim Ummah, within and without the Houses, prepared to fight and die for the community that reposed its trust in them. Hence I beg to differ from the views of Syed Shahabuddin.

PA Mohamed Ameen

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2012 on page no. 2

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