Wednesday, August 28, 2013

AUG 26 Yes, the BJP Muslim votes -- Arvind Lavakare 




August 26, 2013

THE BJP Election Campaign Committee’s latest decision to target 272+ with the help of Muslim votes in the 2014 polls is not the illusory phantasm it may seem to the layman... For, behind that dream is a reality that’s been long hidden from the public at large. Behind that dream is the RSS' Muslim wing, Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) which has been engaging Muslims for more than the past 10 years. It is the only Muslim organisation related to the RSS.with which he has been associated since 1959. The MRM was the brainchild of Indresh Kumar, an engineering graduate from the Punjab University who, instead of taking up a job, decided to serve the nation through the RSS. As reported in the 25th December 2011 edition of IBTL digital news portal, MRM’s Coordinator, Mohammad Afzal, said that MRM is active in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India and Muslim youth is joining it in large numbers. He said that Muslim elders have had prejudices against RSS and it's not easy to convince them but the youth understands the need to be together else external powers will dominate India. Afzal said, "We're reaching out to Muslim youth. New generation understands today's reality and we've been successful in making them understand that Congress and other so-called secular parties have betrayed the Muslim community for all these years and that BJP and RSS do not pose any threat to them." Some two years ago, MRM was known to have over 200 districts spanning over 27 States of India having thousands of Muslims associated with it. The MRM is an organisation of nationalist Muslims with a motive to bring them in the national mainstream. In late 2011, MRM had organised a big gathering at Jantar Mantar in which over 10,000 Muslims had gathered. It was an event which was blacked out by the mainstream media. Afzal admitted to IBTL that he has had to answer questions posed by the Muslim youth on the allegations against Narendra Modi for the Godhra riots and against Indresh Kumar for the Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express terror attacks. He said that there has been a false malafide propaganda against RSS. Indresh, he said, was extremely popular among Muslims but an attempt was made to frame him. Afzal revealed that they've been in touch with Devbandi and Barelwi Maulanas and they expect Muslims to vote for the BJP in large numbers this time. In fact, the above cited IBTL article reported that the RSS ran several programmes in the Muslim majority areas of Western Uttar Pradesh in November 2011.The organization is reportedly in touch with several marlines and other influential Muslims in the region. If all this seems surreal, what is really unbelievable is that the RMM is said to have recently submitted a petition to the President of India advocating the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution bearing some eight lakh signatures --- all of Muslims! Here, truly, is where some RTI activist must jump in to ascertain the truth. Apart from the potential of the RMM to take the BJP to its magical target, there’s the evidence of what the BJP must have perceived to have done for the Muslim community in Gujarat and the warm reciprocity of that community. The 2010 civic elections in Gujarat showed this clearly. Out of 247 Muslim candidates fielded by BJP, 118 were victorious. And 31 of them in municipalities while the rest in zilla panchayat and taluka (tehsil or sub-divisional) panchayats. It was for the first time that BJP fielded Muslim candidates in the state and achieved a grand success by causing a major breach in the Congress fortress as Muslims were so far considered as a natural ally to the Congress in the state with two party systems. Earlier, Muslims did not vote for BJP because of the latter's ideological position on various issues including Barbie Masjid and its pro-Hindutva stance on everything. But the Muslims supporting BJP in the October 2010 zilla panchayat and municipal elections threw all theories about them to the wind. As an example, the Congress could not win even a single seat in Muslim pockets of Virago in Gandhi agar district while three Muslim BJP candidates won the polls. BJP also bagged two seats from Godhra's Muslim pocket. Moiz Badeliwala and Sayeed Khan Pathan-two Muslim BJP workers-contesting as independents won from hundred per cent Muslim ward of Western Godhra. Another evidence is that in the Gujarat State Assembly elections of 2012, the Modi-led BJP won between 25 per cent to 14 per cent of the votes, highlighted by the fact that it won 12 of the 19 constituencies where the Muslims were the predominant community. How and why those mini-miracles occurred over two years is a different subject. The truth is that they did happen. And can happen again in 2014. Yes, it can with the BJP’s newly found energy and will.

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