Kashif Ahmad Khan | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—While the Congress is accusing the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and its leader Asaduddin Owaisi for helping the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) by fielding its candidates in Bihar assembly elections, social and political activities have hailed the impressive performance of the AIMIM that won five assembly seats in Muslim dominated Seemanchal region of the state.
Hailing the stunning performance of AIMIM, former Chairman of Delhi Minority Commission Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan said that AIMIM’s impressive victory in Bihar is a nail in coffin of those trying for disenfrachisement and political marginalization of India’s Muslims.
Expressing his displeasure over Congress describing AIMIM as “vote cutters”, he said, “It is easy to throw such comments. Do they have monopoly over the Muslim voters? Don’t others have a right to contest the election? The so-called secular and left parties have marginalized Muslim political voices and if anyone raises our voice in Parliament, how one can term them B team of BJP. What did such parties do for us? If Muslims have been kept away from mainstream politics, it is the strategy of BJP”.
He considers the victory of AIMIM as an attempt to end the marginalization of Muslims and opined, “There should be some voices that can raise Muslim issues in state assemblies and the Parliament”.
Lashing out at Congress and other secular parties, Dr. Khan stated, “The disunity of secular parties is the major reason for BJP’s victory, not the AIMIM. They talk about secularism and Gandhi ideology but contest election against each other; if they were united BJP won’t be able to win. So, to blame Owaisi for enabling BJP’s victory is nothing but the frustration of secular parties. If Owaisi’s party has contested the election, it is his Constitutional right and a fitting reply to secular parties that if you don’t raise our issues, there are others too who would raise the Muslim voice in state assemblies and the Parliament”.
Dr. Khan tweeted, “Majlis debut in Bihar is a nail in the coffin of the planned disenfranchisement and political marginalization of Muslims. Congrats Owaisi for helping create a new Bihar and possibly a new India”.
Lucknow-based senior advocate Zafaryab Jilani, who has been associated with Babri Masjid Action Committee, said that Muslims always supported the Congress due to which it enjoyed power at the Centre and in may states. But it didn nothing for the Muslims. Muslims are still supporting the Congress in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and even in Kerala because there is better alternate for the Musdlims in these states. “As Muslims found a better alternative in AIMIM in Bihar, they voted for it”, he said. Adding that “in a democracy every one has a right to fight elections”.
Echoing the views of Jilani, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat (AIMMM) President Navaid Hamid opined, “The Indian Constitution has given right to every individual to form a political party and to contest elections. The fascist forces, which are becoming stronger day by day, are questioning the secular parties and others opposed to their fascist ideologies. But the Bihar election has indicated that a time has come when the secular parties need to review their policies towards the Muslim voters and introspect why the Muslims are turning away from them”.
Veteran journalist and Christian activist John Dayal told India Tomorrow, “In a democracy we cannot stop any party from taking part luck in elections. AIMIM is mainly focusing on Muslim votes. Wherever it would contest the election in any part of the country, would secure only those particular votes. Therefore, its objective is to increase the bargaining power”.
“So, if AIMIM is cutting into the votes of some parties, it’s their misfortune. I think in a democracy, it is unfair to condemn any party as the ‘vote cutter’. I would not call it a B team of BJP because it would prevent Muslim youths’ aspirations who think that there is no alternate for Muslims in politics. Any person, who votes for Owaisi, will not vote for Congress, RJD, Left, or JDU. Owaisi may not be anti-Hindu but Hindus are resistant to him”, he said.
Former IPS officer, activist and politician SR Darapuri considers AIMIM’s victory in Bihar as achievement for Owaisi but also sees it as counter-productive.
“Community and caste-based politics are always counter-productive. Muslim should rethink in forming the alliances and must understand that BJP can be defeated through democratic forces, not through counter-communalism. In the longer run, the emergence of AIMIM will strengthen the BJP”, Darapuri opined.