The political Situation in the Country and the Future of Muslims

By: Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef*       

The official pompous inauguration of Rama Janma bhoomi on the debris of Babri Masjid took place on August 5.2020 at Ayodhya. It was not a simple insident but it determines the future of Muslims in India. The RSS Brigade, with full involvement of the Indian government, the national media, which has become now a full-fledged part of government machinery , joined the celebration with full pride. At the same time, the Congress and other small secular parties also threw secular robes and  put on saffron and tried to make their voters think that they are also true Hindus. The communal elements in the media, continuously   tried to say  that this country has now become  a Hindu Rashtra and Muslims here will have to live according to the will of the majority. A glimpse of which is seen in the picture of some bearded Muslim youth, attached to the Minority youth wing of the Congress shared on social media. Who, wearing Kurtas and topis (scalp cap)were reciting Hanumana Chaleesa (A religious mantra, part of the famous Hindu mythological epic Ramayana) as they themselves are acknowledging this bitter fact now. Only Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMM and the Communist Party of India opposed the use of  the government budget and of government machinery  for this fanfare . Are the people of the Left now the only hope ,who can confront the fascist forces? This question needs to be seriously pondered upon. The rest of the so called Muslim leadership and Muslim organizations have consistently proved through their attitudes and actions that they have lost any relevance in current scenario.

The BJP and the Sangh Parivar have now completely changed the political scenario of the country. This is not the country that was built by Gandhiji and Jawahar Lal Nehru. It has now changed completely. Obviously, all this did not happen suddenly. Nehru once said that “majority communalism is more dangerous”. If was there any minority extremism, then it  shifted to new country with the establishment of Pakistan. But, the communal atmosphere that emerged in response to Muslim demand of Pakistan, was used here by communal forces in the  favour of their agenda in order to  cornering reamaning Muslims in the country. In the beginning, Gandhi and Nehru’s great personalities kept this majority communalism in check. But after their demise, it became unrestrained and no one was there to stop it through the seven past decades .

It is to be noted that there is a clear difference between Hindu religion and Hinduttva. Of the six classical philosophical schools of Hinduism, Hindutva ideology does not belong to any of the schools. The true tolerant spirit of Hindu religion is utterly contradict to  this fascist ideology. It is basically an ideology of Hindu nationalism and is inspired by German fascism. However, it is a different matter that no Shankaracharya or priest of any big Hindu monastery, can dare to oppose it now.

When India got freedom  the real political power of the country was in the hands of the Congress, but today the situation has changed radically. The Congress is marginalized in the country’s politics and the Hindu communal force has become the real political force now .Ram mandir movement plaid an important role for their political rise. So a brief word on this issue is also due.

Leftist historians and some Muslim leaders try to make it appear that the Babri mosque dispute was created by the British only. But this is half-truth. The fact is that this conflict had its roots even in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There were many clashes and riots between local Muslims and the Hindu Baraagees (priests)of Ayodhya. For a long time, Muslims used to offer only Friday prayers. People from other cities also used to come and perform Friday Namaz there. However, it remained a local and regional issue until 1943. This issue was raised at the national level in 1948 during the tenure of Sampurnanand, the first Hinduttva leaning chief minister of UP, when some people broke into the mosque at night, and placed the statues there. Ultimately, Muslims were barred from entering the mosque and worshiping. Later, the Faizabad district court locked the premise. What happened after that is now a dark chapter of Indian history; that the Congress first opened the locks of the mosque, done a  Shila Niyas on the site and deprived the Muslims entering  into it and praying.

And, in the nineties, the BJP launched a campaign for the Ram Mandir. L.K Advani launched a  chariot yatra full of religious frenzy and hatred towards Muslim minority. In 1992 Babri Masjid was demolished by the violent Hindu mob, protected by central and state governments alike. Then, by sidelining Advani & Co., BJP has made Narendra Modi its face as an iron man. Who had earned the status of Hindu hero in the aftermath of  2002 Gujarat riots against Muslims.

The RSS preachers used to go to the villages and distribute audios and videos of the Gujarat riots, showing scenes of the massacre of Muslims, saying that here is a man who can control the rioter Muslims and teach them a lesson. In addition, in the educated classes in English, Hindi and other local languages there has been (and continue to be) a regular as well as systematic propaganda for the Ram Temple, Hindu history, the supposed  great Aryan civilization ,that had been sowing the seeds of hatred and bigotry against the Islamic era in India and against the Islamic civilization itself. Hindu intellectuals including Rajive Malhotra, Pushpindra, Dr. Meenakshi Jain, Francois Goche, Prof. B B. Lal, Ram vadam, Neelish and Abhejit  Shawad et ell using the platforms created by RSS family, played a major role in this vicious propaganda all over the country. Along with the continuous image assassination of Aurangzeb, Tipu Sultan Babar and other Muslim rulers. Islam and the Prophet of Islam(PBUH) have also been attacked. Meanwhile conservative Muslims have been unrealistic completely and not realizing the ground realities throughout this period. They were engaged in sectarian squabbles as usual. Furthermore, no Muslim political organization has acted with foresight. Rather, the political leaders who were considered to be the real leaders, but in the guise of leaders, were the hostage of time and acted as pure opportunists. In just a decade, the political vacuum created by the Congress,  was to be filled by the B.J.P who has emerged as the only political alternative in the country.

Muslims have not been able to grasp this rapidly changing landscape of the country, and have been trapped one after the other in the snarl of sectarian petty issues. In contrast to it they did not exercise foresight on issues of national importance be it  the Ram Mandir issue or the Shah Bano  case of divorce. In all of them, narrow minded Ulema and community leadership with no insight, continued to make noise about protection of  Sharia. Resulting that the shrewd communal forces ,used all these issues as a fodder for their fascist propaganda. And they kept instilling in the minds of the Hindu majority that, look here are Muslims who do not accept any word of reason. The opportunity for strong propaganda against Islam and Muslims was unfortunately provided by us ourselves. This could have been avoided to some extent, if a pragmatic approach had been taken about the Babri mosque, Shah Bano talaq case etc. These issues should have been resolved amicably among themselves.

However, now the paradigm shift has taken place in the country. Politically, you can understand the political implications of this shift that there were at least 110 pockets in the country where the Muslim vote was considered to be in a decisive position as a proportion of the population. Now the BJP has proved that Muslims have not been effective in any of such pockets. In fact, they no longer have a vote bank. The Congress and other so-called secular parties, who were in disillusion  that they need at least 20 per cent Muslim votes to win and run the government. Yet, the BJP has broken this myth. Now it is openly saying that it does not need Muslim votes and it can win the majority and run the government without Muslim votes. And despite the declining economy, it won in 2019 by a larger majority than ever before. It never hid its agenda. Issues regarding Triple Talaq, construction of Ram temple in place of Babri Masjid, removing  Article 370 from Kashmir etc, were all in its political manifesto and yet people voted for it by a majority. This means that a lot has changed in this country. So in this changed situation we have to change our strategy to coup with the times.

*Research Associate with Centre for Promotion of Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims of India

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