Asim Kumar Mitra
OVER the last few years, the former land and land reforms minister of West Bengal and member of central committee of CPM Haji Abdur Rezzak Mollah had convincingly established his rebellious character not only in the party but among the people at large. Utter peculiarity in this matter was that even after boasting of as a staunch disciplined if not regimented party, the CPM had been tolerating his apparently anti party activities. Why? It is a common perception among the knowledgeable persons that he has been asked to build up such a rebellious image for himself so that he can serve the purpose smoothly. But unfortunately for them the cat has been out of the bag now.
Only a few months ago, when Mollah was preparing for his pilgrimage to Haj, a lot of hue and cry was there in the party. But nothing has happened although religion has been a taboo for them. Mollah had openly declared that no power on earth could stop him from going to Mecca as it was his personal right to follow Islamic rituals. Then he argued that he had visited almost all the renowned temples including Tirupati (Tirumala), Viswanath (Varanasi), Kalighat (Kolkata) and Jagannath (Puri) and no party leader had ever said a word against that. Then why his Haj trip was being criticised?
The only answer to these questions was that he has been planted in the field of religion to win over the Muslim sentiment as they have deserted CPM in the last Assembly election for which they have been dislodged from the seat of power in the State. The fact remained that the CPM was feeling the urgent need of repairing the relationship with the Muslims as the Panchayat election is round the corner. Hence Mollah declared that Left Front government made a blunder by not recognising Sachar Committee report.
In this regard, the recent report of a Kolkata-based daily would be an eye opener. It said: “May the merciful shower his blessings on you” — the message doesn’t come from a cleric. This is Haji Abdur Rezzak Mollah speaking at a seminar organised on the Minorities Rights Day. His Muslim identity prevailed over his self, as CPM State committee member, which is why the former land and land reforms minister chose to stay away from the two-day party State committee meeting that ended on 18.12.12.
Dressed in a white kurta and pyjama instead of his usual dhoti, Mollah strained himself to build a bridge between Islam and primitive communism. Paying tribute to Quran Sharif and the Nabis (religious gurus). Mollah explained how they introduced the practice of Zakat and Fitr to provide economic support to the downtrodden. In a bid to prevent his detractors from calling him a partisan Muslim, Mollah made a reference to Swami Vivekananda to aim at the ideal — a Hindu brain with Muslim brawns.
While upholding the rights of the minorities particularly Muslims, the former minister who is still with the CPM, decimated the party’s observation on the Muslim Personal Law. “The Muslim Personal Law is recognition of the rights of minorities. If someone says that it gives the right to a Muslim to have more than one wife, I will tell them try having more wives and face the music in family.” Mollah said, listless of the CPM’s calling it a draconian act.
Feeling let down for not being able to make it to the CPM State secretariat, Mollah has started championing the cause of identity politics, dragging himself to a position where he might fall prey to his religious identity. “Every party has a Muslim leader, but there is no leader of the Muslims,” the former minister said, possibly eyeing on the 30 per cent odd Muslim population in West Bengal that doesn’t have its own leader.
The perception about Mollah is that he is an outspoken leader, but not a communal leader. The CPM with a definite plan wanted to remove this tag of secularism from the name of Mollah as they want to win over the antagonised Muslims in their favour. So if one closely watches the movement of Mollah from going to Haj and after coming back attending the Minorities Day meeting and addressing them, one could easily follow the motive behind it.
Since its birth communists have been very close to Muslims and it is a known fact that they had helped Muslims in all possible way to create Pakistan. That legacy is still prevailing.
The CPM has deputed their most trusted leader Hajji Abdur Rezzak Mollah. The tailpiece of the above news is he closeted himself into an hour-long meeting with another Muslim leader Siddiqullah Chowdhury of the PDCI & Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, hinting at building up a third platform with Muslims and Dalits. When the reporter of a daily newspaper wrote that the secret meeting with Chowdhury has raised eyebrows among the CPM bosses in Alimuddin Street (head quarters of CPM) who had given this rebel leader a long rope, the secret motive of the CPM was vindicated. On the other hand Siddiqullah Chowdhury held that Mollah was not happy with the CPM and was eyeing a third platform.