Between Confusion and Clarity by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (OCTOBER 14, 2013)
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam counsels clarity in exercising our right to vote.
The worst threat to our wellbeing is not from the straight harm anti-Muslim groups are inflicting on us in the form of communal riots, but the confusion they are sowing among us. Confusion can be more dangerous than weapons and the wounds they inflict.
Some of the worst confusion has been sought to be created by Narendrabhai Modi and his party. On one hand they are harming Muslims, on the other they are trying to befriend them. Many of them are even talking about protecting “Muslim interests,” which deludes some Muslims into believing that they are their friends.
All this parade of kurta-pyjama-topi-burqa brigade has stopped now and people, thankfully, have begun to think with greater clarity. Now that Modi has failed to provide his blueprint of policies as possible prime minister, people have started drifting away from him slowly.
Modi has not said which policies he will adopt, which policy of the current government he will reject as PM, and which policies of the current government he does not agree with. In short, it is clear that he has no policy. People have started knowing that he cannot be a PM without a clear idea of policy. Many people have no confusion any longer about what Modi and BJP are up to, and they have started drifting away from him.
After the Muzaffarnagar riots Modi’s alleged friendship with Muslims was exposed as his hand-picked man, Amit Shah, was suspected by victims for having replicated the mass violence of Gujarat 2002 in Muzaffarnagar 2013. Muslims now ask why at all Modi sent him to UP. The man, whose friends in rioting have got life sentences, who has come out on bail only on the strength of Ramjethmalani’s pleading excellence, should never have been sent to UP if Modi was a friend of Muslims.
As of today, much of the confusion about Modi-BJP among Muslims has turned into clarity. Now there is as much confusion about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is merely a one-issue party. Politics addresses a multiplicity of issues, not just one. The issue that this party hinges on comes low down on Muslim priorities, the first being security of life, limb, honour and property. This hardly figures anywhere on AAP agenda.
The second Muslim priority is security of livelihood, jobs, work participation. The third priority is participation in political process, governance, power and decision making processes. The fourth is preservation of cultural identity. These do not figure anywhere in AAP agenda.
To worry about corruption one must have all these before one joins a crusade against it. AAP seems to think otherwise. Unless AAP sets its priorities right, we must not be confused about it. It is just going to be a side show. The main battle for the soul of India is to be contested by Congress and BJP. And we must be able to see this point with complete clarity.
Confusion would be disastrous. We must not let go of clarity at any cost.