WHENEVER elections are round the corner, the cacophony on Muslim votes begins in the media. All the leaders are supposed to be running after Muslims, trying to appease them, woo them and eventually get them to vote en bloc for their parties, however minor their vote share is. For instance, a national daily reported a few days ago that the Congress MP Rahul Gandhi would start his campaign in Bihar, with wooing Muslims. There is absolutely no reason why the place he is starting his campaign, Katihar, should be associated with Muslims. It is just an orchestrated headline kick. Another national daily claimed that all the political parties are banking on popular Muslim leaders for votes. Muslims in Bihar form about 16 per cent of the population according to the 2001 census. It seems as if whichever way the 80 per cent majority votes, only those will win who get the Muslim’s 16-17 per cent support. There is some serious arithmetic problem there.
It is actually not arithmetic. It is a phenomenon called Islamic lobbying. A funny bandwagon effect. People who go under various labels as ‘senior journalists’ ‘political analysts’ ‘sociology scholars’ ‘academicians’ ‘former diplomats’ and of course politicians work as part of this lobby. While in the US, lobbying is an accepted and legal profession, in India it is done by other means. Here it also takes the virulent form of pro-Pakistan, pro-Arabs, anti-Hindu. In fact the last would be the pre-requisite for the first.
How else can one explain the huge swathe of space in newspapers and greater number of hours spent on discussing Pakistan? Why does the insipid announcement by the India baiter Musharraf that he is joining politics elicit such rushes of response here? So much so that senior journalists zip across continents for an interview with him, which are telecast multiple times? Does it have any news relevance or worthiness?
These things happen because some source is funding such voices in India. In an interesting book The Arab Lobby on this subject, Mitchell Bard discusses how the Arab lobby in the US manipulates, arm twists and blackmails the government, the colleges and schools and the media. Bard’s case is proved prima facie by the fact that though the government, the media and the public are in the know that Saudi Arabia is the fountain head of terror funding, that country is the biggest ally of the US in the region. The book reveals how senior officials in the government and even the Presidents receive huge donations from Arab sources. Universities get huge grants to open Islamic study courses and also start branch centres in Arab countries. The Organiser has carried detailed review of the book as it is an eye-opener.
Similar is the story here. There is enough evidence to prove that terrorism in India is entirely sponsored by Pakistan. And yet, right from our Prime Minister downward, everyone is calling Pakistan a ‘victim’ of terror and not the primary perpetrator.
The Centre declares its secular credentials every day. And yet, only the fully Central Government funded ‘minority’ (read Muslim) universities get all the pampering. The Aligarh Muslim University has opened branches in Kerala, Bihar and West Bengal, as if there are no good universities there. The lands have been given to them free and are being provided with all the necessary funds. These are all being promoted as Muslim-centric institutions. AMU has a certain political colour and connotation and sponsoring it could only mean one thing – pleasing a group of people.
Even when the Ayodhya verdict came, while the average Muslim seemed happy enough, the so-called secularists and the usual Muslim lobbyists were fuming at the ‘injustice’ meted out to that community.
At the remotest indication of any kind of tie up with Israel, the foreign affairs experts fret and fume and tell us that our good friends Arabs, who are giving us all the oil, would be upset. It is a surprise that nobody points to them in public that America is the great ally of Israel and also of Saudi Arabia.
When the US doles out billions of dollars and arms and armaments to Pakistan, India does not raise hell. Issues that are considered delicate to the sensitivities of the Muslim clergy and leaders are not highlighted in the media. The latest is the incident involving the chopping off of the hand of a professor in Kerala, who got a double whammy, in being sacked from job. The secular media has played down the incident, except for basic reporting, not running any level of informed discussion on it. One can imagine what the scene would have been if instead of the Islamic group, it was a Hindu group.
The situation can be remedied only if the citizens wake up to this menace of lobbying that suppresses and rakes up issue on cue from sources most likely outside our land. It can be corrected if as conscious and conscientious people we point out these aberrations as and when we see them, to alert others. That it needs to be tackled is beyond doubt.