Asim Kumar Mitra
This year also on the day of Eid Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal attended the congregation of Eid Namaaz organised at Red Road of Kolkata and she performed Namaaz there. Political observers have stamped this as a ‘political gimmick’, but she does not bother. This is her system of reaching out the Muslim mass and creates an atmosphere of sympathy for her. But Muslim leaders never forget to miss the opportunity to abuse her publicly. This year also they did the same thing.
Eid Namaaz was conducted by Kari Fazlur Rahman. Just after the Namaaz was over Fazlur Rahman started vomiting venom against Mamata saying ‘she is liar’ as she did not implement the recommendations of Justice Sachar Commission report. But she claims that she had implemented 100 per cent of Sachar Commission recommendations. Within 12 months of assuming power she had declared in front of such Eid congregation that she had already fulfilled 90 per cent of the promises committed to the Muslim mass. Kari Fazlur Rahman said that these were all white lies.
He further said that last year, when we met the chief minister after the Eid, we had submitted a charter of ten demands. Rahman alleged that majority of those demands has yet to be fulfilled.
This year, in this function chief minister was accompanied by TMC member of Rajya Sabha, Sultan Ahmed and minister for Fire Fighting Javed Khan. Sultan Ahmed “As Fazlur Saheb is strictly a Kolkattan and seldom he visits suburbs and villages, he has no idea whatsoever of the tremendous development taken place in the countryside”.
The unfulfilled demands of Muslims are: a) chief minister agreed to include all Muslims under OBC category has not been done. b) Reservation for Muslims in the field of employment and education has not been implemented. c) Many new cities like Rajarhat have come up where Muslims wanted 25 per cent accommodation reserved for them as the land for those new cities had been taken from Muslims. Although government agreed to this it had been ignored. d) Although promised no Muslim organisation got recornition. e) Kolkata Corporation had promised to build 5, ooo new flats for Muslims that had also been ignored.
Fazlur Rahman complained that people under the category of OBC has been enjoying special allowance, but Muslims are not entitled to that. Sultan Ahmed countered his argument and said, “It is a fact that 80 per cent of the Muslims in this state has already been registered under OBC category. Even those who are joining in the government services 10 per cent of those are Muslims”.
Fazlur Rahman further threatened chief minister Mamata Banerjee : “Do not forget that in the recently held Panchayat election many TMC supporters were killed in sporadic violence and clashes. Among the killed 70 per cent belonged to Muslim community. The chief minister should not forget that it has been for us that has won this election and has been running the Government. If we withdraw she will be nowhere. Earlier we have submitted our charter of demands. Today, again we have handed over a new copy of our old demands. She should not forget that there has been a limit to our patience”.
In fact almost all political parties of India are concerned with sentiments of Muslim community as they have emerged as the biggest player in the political power game with their “block voting power”. A recent report of the Government quoted to have said : “unemployment among Muslims is going down, marking an encouraging trend to gladden the champions of inclusive growth”.
The unemployment rate for the Muslim community declined from 2.3 per cent in 2004-05 to 1.9 per cent in 2009-10 in rural areas and from 4.1 per cent to 3.2 per cent in urban areas. However, a vast majority of Muslims in both rural and urban areas are not part of the the organised workforce compared to other religious groups. In contrast, Hindus had a stable unemployment rate of 1.5 per cent rural areas during the five-year period while it fell from 4.4 per cent to 3.4 per cent in urban India. Another important statistics should be mentioned here as this will give a hint of how Muslim hegemony is working in India. The report says, employment of Muslims in Central Government organisations has increased by more than 3 per cent in the five years from 6.93 per cent in 2006-07 to 10.18 per cent in 2010-11.
Curiously enough Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi called on BJP to connect with the minority community, saying that if around 25 per cent of minority voters had supported the saffron party in his state, the same could be possible in other parts of the country. Times of India (Kolkata edition) wrote on August 19, 2013: “In a move that is bound to see his critics level the charge of political opportunism, Modi told in a BJP meeting at New Delhi on Sunday that as many as 100-odd Muslim councilors had won in the Gujarat local body elections on BJP tickets. This was due to BJP’s efforts to reach out to poor and backward Muslims,” he said.
Now, there is no denying of the fact that Narendra Modi has successfully broken the myth of “Muslim Block Votes”. It is the sincere and truthful service that has been rendered to the poor and backward people would pay a good dividend. Modi said, ‘This is true with Muslims also”. Nevertheless the world-wide fight between “good Muslims” and “true Muslims” is still going on.