“Leaders” should learn from the people by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (May 08, 2014)

Quite often an occasion arises in public life when even good leaders lose contact with public mood and do things that drive them further away from the people. At the time of partition of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was so exasperated that he said a point had reached in his political career where he had to decide whether he wanted to lead the people or be led by them. The third course, that of ignoring the people, would further isolate him.

Today, we see a similar gap between the ideas and strategies of leaders of some Muslim organisations and common Muslims of India. While common Muslims are confirmed that the “BJP-Modi wave” is the creation of corporate media and big business, leaders of several Muslim organisations have been misled by the media disinformation campaign.

The more lamentable fact is that these so-called leaders have started believing the propaganda by RSS workers assigned to work among Muslims. They have started believing that there is no difference between the BJP and Congress. This confusion is sure to benefit the fascist group. However, there is the hope that common Muslims are far more intelligent than these leaders. Common Muslims can easily distinguish between grey and black, while these leaders fail to make any distinction between shades of evil. This has been possibly the greatest casualty of the disinformation campaign unleashed by the media.

The Muslim organisations referred to above have issued an appeal to Muslim voters to vote for parties other than the BJP and Congress, which means limiting voters’ choice to regional parties only. That hardly seems to be a realistic or practical idea. It also shows that both parties are the same, which is not the case. Supposing limiting one’s choice to regional parties hurts the prospects of one of the national parties, which party one would like to protect more than the other.

The position of “leaders” here seems to be in sharp dissonance with the Muslim public mood. That makes these leaders’ prescriptions all the more untenable. This is exactly the dissonance between the leader and the led that stalwarts like Maulana Azad dreaded and every leader worth the name should dread.

Thank God, the people know better than their self-proclaimed leaders.


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