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Islam and Politics ( 24 March 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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UP Elections: Sowed Someone Else, Reaped Someone Else?

By Syed Mansoor Agha

(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Bureau)

The Uttar Pradesh elections have been the subject matter of most of our journalistic columns for the last two months. With due respect, I would request my journalist friends to wait a while, introspect their thinking and accessibility with the election results to know where the fault has occurred. A part of my analysis is that Urdu columns are running with the intellectual waves, personal desires and expectations rather than facts. We work with the flight of imagination so much that we turn journalism into poetry. More or less we all are the same. 

In spite of the ongoing electoral bustle, when I preferred some other themes, some of my respected readers complained about my writing on the educational movement, sectarian differences leading to extremism and Uniform civil code. However, this was not the accidental preference. If the politics is the name of empowerment and participation in the system of our country, the primary concern of our strategies should be the campaign to create the environment of promoting education, reforming moral behaviour and serving the human being regardless of religion and sect. we should not waste our energy in the complicated business of elevating Yadavs, Mayawati or someone else off and on to the rank of leadership. On the contrary to that, we should focus on educating our children, eradicating extremism in thoughts, actions and promoting mutual respect, tolerance and balance in case of differences. It is better for us. But sadly we have been divided into hundreds of sections and complaining that we have been ignored.

UP Election Results

The people were thunderstruck by the UP election results. This is the outcome of the political, social and intellectual process that has been running for a long period and was developed during and after the Freedom movement. We should acknowledge that majority of Hindus are not intrinsically sectarian. However, the politics over the last hundred years and some of our wrong attitudes have created some doubts into their hearts. Had the Hindu community been sectarian, there would not have been the crowd of Hindu women in the chambers of those people doing the business of taweez. It is noticeable that just as they bow down to their goddess, so too they do in front of the Sufi shrines. If we assess the whole part of their life, we will find that their traditions and customs show their faithful temperament and superstitions. One aspect of this temperament is that while selecting the political preferences, the grievances of road, bread, cloth, house, hospital and school are ignored whereas the slogans of temple, mosque, graveyard, cemetery, Hindu, Muslim and religion are used to achieve their political ambitions.     

Perhaps having figured out this old weakness of the national temperament, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi took off his suits and tie and hanged them on the hanger. He wore dhoti, took the Lathi in hand and adopted the form like fakirs. Strange as it was, the people were attracted towards him. He influenced the people with his political maturity. One of our leaders eased his work by giving him the title of ‘Mahatma’. In return, he considered Muhammad Ali Jinnah as ‘Qaed-E-Azam’ the great leader. Consequently the objective of independence movement was turned from ‘Indians’ into the war between Hindus and rights of Muslims and their empowerment.  

We are not safe from this weakness. Mr. Gandhi had sensed this weakness of Muslims and succeeded in gaining their sympathy by provoking their emotions for such an issue that had nothing to do with India in any part of history. Our elders participating in the caliphate movement might not sense it that the European invasion against the Ottoman caliphate would not be stopped by their holding conference or marching on the Indian streets. What a political wisdom had he have? He became such a national leader with no membership of congress, but after all no decision could be made without him. The division of the country was also decided; which led to concentration on Hindus, division of Muslims and worsening the existing sectarian environment. The fire of dispute was ignited so much that thousands of people were killed. The leadership of the national politics was not so innocent that had no idea of it in advance. 

There is no need to explain. In short we got freedom from the British rule but not from the political, social scene and background that divided the India into two nations. The country got divided. The sectarian flame was ignited so much that it did not cease even after drinking the blood of thousands of people. We the people of India had been promised equal treatment, justice and secular government. But sadly after the independence, the individuals who took over the reins of the government continued to be influenced by the temperament of religious hatred and intolerance. Its first witness appeared in Ayodhya in the midnight of 22-23 December 1949, when the idols were placed in a historical mosque. Although the Prime Minister wrote a letter to the CM of the state Govind Ballabh Pant, who was a prominent leader of Congress, he could not get him ready for removing the idols. The Minister of Home Affairs supported Ballabh Pant and thus the situation turned so much that Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru also kept quite.

During the first parliamentary election in 1952, though the Congress had some small parties, it had great influence and respect among the people. Despite that, the appointment of candidate was based on caste, sect and religion. It admits that such prejudices existed even when the nation got independence from the British oppression. Undoubtedly the constitutional assembly gave us an ideal constitution consisting of protection of human rights and enlightened thought. But what to say, the leaders who took over the reins of leadership, taking the oath of constitution, favoured the justification of Hindu partiality. The denial of reservation for the non-Hindu SC and ST is a tragic example. There is no religion of poverty and illiteracy, but the Congress gave it the religious colour.

In 1970s when the Congress broke and Indira Gandhi selected for her party the election symbol of “Cow and Calf”, what was it? Which kind of mentality was utilised for gaining political interests?  Her successor Rajiv Gandhi got higher leap than her. On the one hand he expressed his sympathy towards the minority with regard to the issue of Shah Bano, and on the other hand, he got the locked mosque of Ayodhya opened. After that, which kind of political game was played for oppressing over the minority? Remember the massacres taking place in Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur, Nellie (Assam), Moradabad and on 6th December 1992. Thus every ruler one after another incited the Hindu sectarianism in UP. The seeds that were sown before the rise of BJP, the results of this election poll are their fruits.

Muslims should not be disheartened by this behaviour. Remember the Blue Star operation (June 1984), assassination of Indira Gandhi, genocide of Sikhs in 1984 and military attacks over the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib which are unforgettable crimes. If even the Sikhs living in minority and overseeing our borders in a great number are unsafe in this country, then what would be the case with Muslims? It is reported that many Sikhs of the Punjab insurgency are still in prison and have no one to ask their whereabouts.

I recalled these events, so that those who are worried about the UP election results 2017 remember that this success is not only because of the activities made by BJP and Modi, but the former rulers have also played a major role in it. Mr. Modi has reaped the crop that was sown by someone else who would claim of being secular.

The question, however, remains unanswered; what are our roles with regard to counterparts of the country and how much effect have it laid on this result? Leave it. If Owaisi had not participated in this election, how many Muslim candidates would have won it? It is worth mentioning that how much impact of moral and ethical values of Islam have we laid on our neighbours? Why the victory flag of BJP got hurled in the Muslim majority cities such as Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Saharanpur, Bijnaur etc? Why the local residents are not satisfied with the Muslim majority population?

It is also considerable that those which are the fortress of our religion, what influences of Islamic values and ethics have they established in their surroundings? What is the situation in Deoband well known for Darul Uloom? Who won from there? Whose flag was hurled in Lucknow, the centre of Nadwa? What happened in Varanasi, where a very big Madrasa of Ahle Hadees is situated? Why did the BJP win in Bareilly Sharif? Now if we count those cities of Ulema and Mashaikh where non-Muslims also live in a large number but they have no big influence over the society, we will need an office to complete our counting.

Is this not regrettable that the BJP wins in the Muslim majority circles? The question is not about the political influence of Ulema and Muslim institutions, but about their Islamic behaviour and religious senses. Despite teaching and learning Islamic education, why are the people of Madrasa incapable of removing misunderstandings existing among their non-Muslim brothers of the country by their moral actions? Why through them the common opinions are not joyful for the people of Islam? There are indeed some shortcomings that we, being the people of the Quran and claimants of the faith, are degraded? It is indeed necessary to analyze the external situations but we should not forget to introspect ourselves as well.


By the untraditional representations, I do not intend to dishearten, criticize or degrade anyone, but want to draw their attention towards self-introspection and selection of the right path. In these lines one aspect has been indicated, while there are many other aspects needed to be taken into consideration. Apparently, these results show the victory of BJP or Modi. But in fact, due to the flaws in our socially Islamic role and politically this is the defeat of the fraudulent ideology that has shouted chant of secularism but betrayed the basic requirements of the secularism “Justice for all”. Today if they have gone out of power we would say “there is no cure for self-created problem”

Final Talk

Finally, it is not the first incident of history when the nation is intellectually and practically in the grip of the extremely anti-ideology. This is not worse than the victory of Hulagu in 1258, defeat of the caliphate Mu'tasim Billah and the fall of Baghdad. This is also not worse than 1857 when the Muslim rule was lost and the British killed them. This is also not worse than victory of Bush over Kabul and Iraq. We have fought against thousands of disasters. If we work intelligently and turn towards the holy Quran, the situation will do change and it will open a door of improvement for the country as well as the community.

(Source: Roznama Akhbar-e-Mashriq, New Delhi 16)