Politics at the cost of Muslims by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (SEPTEMBER 19, 2012)

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam wonders whether India’s political parties have reached a silent consensus to conduct politics over the corpses of Muslims.

Recently, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav talked to one of the English dailies published from the national capital. It was generally about party issues and a little about governance. Akhilesh talked at length about these things. Then came the hard question: why there were so many anti-Muslim riots in Uttar Pradesh in his tenure? Akhilesh came up with the shortest answer: there will be no such riots in future.

This seemingly reassuring statement from the chief minister had some people wondering whether the riots so far had been allowed by the government. Already there is a tacit understanding among people that no riot would occur if the chief minister of a state does not want it. However, within the next few days another anti-Muslim riot was staged in Masuri, Ghaziabad, right under the nose of the highest authority of the country. As usual, six Muslims were shot dead by the police.

The massacre took place in the context of desecration of the holy Quran and a protest demonstration against it. It proved that the UP CM is not a man to be trusted, or his word to be taken seriously. Alternately, he may not have made a false promise, but he is not competent enough to enforce his will. Both ways he is unreliable.

The largest number of anti-Muslim riots have occurred in Uttar Pradesh within a span of a few months of SP government. In one count the number is 21, six of them being quite serious. In none of them the government machinery has responded adequately. In Pratapgarh, rioters were indulging in violence in the presence of district magistrate, superintendent of police and a posse of armed constabulary.

Not a single political party has bothered to raise its voice against this orgy of violence. Whether its UPA or NDA, Left, Right, or Centre, everybody is silent, looking the other way as Muslims are killed. Everybody is said to be thinking of a possible alignment with Mulayam, and UPA is already allied to Mulayam’s party. Nobody likes to annoy an ally, or a future ally.

On paper, all this looks fine for our political parties, which seem to have reached a consensus to play politics at the cost of Muslims. The “secular” parties, too, love to play this game. Mulayam’s SP is seen by all parties to be enjoying an advantageous position.

However, for SP the picture is not as rosy as our politicians have deluded themselves into believing. Mulayam is Mulayam because of Muslims. If he or Akhilesh do not stop this game of Muslim killing, this could be the last time SP would be in power in UP. Once they lose in UP, there will be no politics of Third and Fourth Front around Mulayam. The sooner they realise this truth, the better.

As far as the other parties are concerned, the only advice I offer them is that they remain true to the Constitution. In the long run, playing politics at the cost of Muslims is in nobody’s best interests.


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