Muslim communalism is on the rise not only in J&K but also in other parts of the country. Buoyed by the electoral success of the nascent Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), several Muslim political outfits and clerics of UP last week floated a political party?People'sDemocratic Front (PDF). Explaining the rationale behind the launching of the rabidly communal outfit, the president of the Front and noted Shia cleric, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad accused various (read ?secular?) political parties of treating the community as their vote bank over the years but did little for their uplift. This is precisely what the BJP had been saying since its Jana Sangh days. The ?secular? parties have all along exploited Muslim sentiments on marginal issues like Urdu and disputed structure while failing to deal with their bread and butter issues. These parties hardly did anything concrete in terms of providing modern education to Muslim children and youth or ameliorating the lot of Muslim women. The secularists have a vested interest in keeping the Muslims under developed, poor and semi-literate so that they can exploit them for their partisan ends. The questions the likes of Maulana Jawwad, must answer is: why did they allow themselves to be treated a vote bank? Why did they resort to ?strategic voting? to serve the narrow partisan ends of ?secular? parties? And why did they acquiesce in the ?secularists? dirty game of demonizing nationalist outfits and paint them as anti-Muslim? Isn'tit a fact that the so-called leaders of the community are equally responsible for misleading Muslims for petty personal gains that enabled them to masquerade as ?saviours? of the community?
Political parties that projected themselves as champions of Muslim causes and indulged in Hindu-bashing to prove their credentials as ?secular? must bear the consequences of their cynical strategies. Their pandering to what they called ?minority sentiments? has generated genies?rabidly communal outfits like AUDF and PDF. The kind of minorityism the ?secularists? indulged in for electoral gains was bound to lead to polarisation of the society on communal lines that is good neither for the health of the nation nor the polity. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mulayam Singh Yadav, who acquiesced in the antics of one of his ministers, Haji Yakoob Qureshi, who had the audacity to offer Rs 51 crore prize for the head of the Danish cartoonists for lampooned the Prophet, is now at the receiving end. The lawless minister is now targeting his mentor and castigating the latter for his utter failure to ?protect Muslim interests? (whatever that may mean). No one will be surprised if Haji deserts Samajwadi Party to join the newly formed PDF in which he would feel more comfortable. After all, Haji is a defector from BSP?another casteist party that claims to be ?secular?.
The founders of the PDF have made no secret of their objective namely to capture power by mobilising Muslims and arriving at electoral arrangements with ?secular? parties. Jawwad announced that the party would field its candidates in the next assembly elections in 147 Muslim dominated constituencies. His calculations are that if seven percent Yadavs and 12 per cent dalits could capture power in UP, how come 22 per cent Muslims in the state can'tcome to power with the help of ?friendly? parties. It is a scary scenario for the Hindus who constitute a majority but are hopelessly divided because of their failure to transcend caste identities. Self-serving leaders and ?secularists? have done their worst to deepen the caste divides to garner votes. On the other side of the spectrum, most, nay all, ?secular? parties will line up for an electoral arrangement with the rabidly communal Muslim outfit if the latter succeeds in keeping its flock together. It is no secret that CPM that claims to be a ?fundamentally secular? outfit had all along encouraged infiltration from Bangladesh as it treats illegal migrants as its potential vote bank. In the recent Kerala Assembly elections, the comrades aligned with fundamentalist outfits like Jamaat-e-Islami (that was declared extremist by the earlier LDF Government) to make inroads into the Indian Muslim League vote bank. CPM remains unphazed and has shown no remorse for encouraging Muslim fundamentalism. In fact, it is gloating over the fact that LDF captured 13 of 21 seats in the Muslim dominated constituencies against four seats it won five years ago.
The Congress party is no better. It can go to any length to win back Muslims to its fold. It has taken a series of steps to appease the community at the cost of national good. Amendment to the Foreigners? Act specifically for Assam to protect Bangaldeshi infiltrators, declaring public funded AMU as a minority institution, reservations for Muslims in educational institutions at the national level and in services in Andhra Pradesh?that were struck down by courts?to mention only a few?are its acts of commission. Another instance of pandering to Muslim appeasement is the J&K Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad'sdisgusting statement blaming the BJP workers for attack on them by Musharraf's?freedom fighters?. Have the people in J&K no right to protest against selective killings of Hindus by jehadis? The Congress Government'sweak policy is responsible for the massacre of Hindus in Doda. It is part of the anti-Indian elements? evil designs to cleanse the state of all Hindus and is a replay of the ethnic cleansing of the Valley in 1989 when Kashmiri Pundits were forced out of their homes and hearths by the ?freedom fighters?. Nationalist forces shouldn'ttake it lying down. A nation-wide stir to highlight the plight of Hindus in J&K is the need of the hour. Let another S.P. Mukherjee arise to shake the nation of its slumber and make the country aware of the threats to India'ssecurity and integrity from terrorists of all varieties?Pak-sponsored and homegrown.
Even as the situation in J&K is grave, the Congress party'sally in the state is demanding troop reduction, withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and self-rule in J&K. PDP that was in power in the state with Congress support and is now supporting the Congress Government stands exposed. Its commitment to national unity and integrity is skin-deep. It is playing the Muslim card to the hilt. Its stance and activities have encouraged separatist elements that are now demanding more and more autonomy. J&K Congress in a recent statement accused the PDP of having an ?unholy nexus? with militants and alleged that there were three serving ministers in the Congress-led Government (What a confession!) who continued to indulge in anti-national activities even after taking oath as Ministers. What prevents Azad to sack these ?anti-national? ministers barring his insatiable hunger to stick on to power? The Central Government must come out with a clear statement repudiating the demand for de-induction of armed forces in J&K. Yes, to peace in J&K but a resounding no to the peace of the graveyard. New Delhi must assert with the full might of the State to send across a strong message?India want to live in peace but will not compromise with its territorial integrity and national unity. Zero tolerance for Muslim appeasement should be the national resolve.