Abusaleh Shariff, one of the members of the Sachar Committee, is
receiving flak and criticism from the community and party leaders
for his reported comments to a national media on the electoral
success of Assom United Democratic Front's (AUDF)
and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Assam and Kerala
"The community relied on the so
called mainstream parties for the years. In return what it got?
Backwardness and jail for its youths? I think Saleh Shariff should
re-analyse the situation. The AUDF and IUML successes may be
unfortunate for the Congress and other mainstream parties. But for
the community, they are indeed a positive and fortunate development",
Kul Jamaati Tanzeem leader Maulana Abdul
Hamid Azhari said while speaking to ummid.com.
Terming Abu Saleh Shariff's
comments as blatant double standard, Mumbai based educationalist
and activist Mubarak Kapdi said, "It is strange that people are
objecting the success of AUDF and IUML even though they did not
win the elections on any communal or religious agenda."
"Where were these people when a
party won the election solely on the religious agenda of Ram
Mandir? Why these people did not raise any objection when
Trishuldhari sadhus and sadhvis reached the Parliament?" he asked.
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, editor of the
New Delhi based The Milli Gazette too criticized the
comments made by Abu Saleh Shariff. Terming the election results
positive for the Muslim community, Dr Khan said that it should
work as an eye-opener for the mainstream parties that deceived the
community for so many years.
Dr. Khan also objected Abu Saleh
Shariff's observation on Indian Madrasas.
"Shariff knows well that the
Madarsas played very important roles for education of the
community as well as for non-Muslims when the government
failed in providing the schools in Muslim dominated and other
backward areas", he said.
Abu Saleh Shariff's comments have
received harsh comments even from abroad. Reacting on his comments,
Washington based activist Kaleem Khwaja said, "I wonder why the past electoral
successes of Akali Dal a Sikh party, BSP a Dalits' party did not
cause a worry in the Congress party."
"Moreover", he added, "Why are the secular
parties (Congress, SP, BSP, RJD, Communists) not looking under
their noses and see how much they deprived from development Muslim
population concentration districts in the states where they have
ruled for long with Muslim votes."
AUDF leaders also expressed shock
and surprise over the way Shariff has tried to read the post election
"I respect Mr Shariff for his role
in the Sachar Comittee. But reading his comments I am forced to
say that he does not realise pulse of the Muslim community", AUDF
spokesman Burhanuddin Qasmi said while speaking to ummid.com.
"Contrary to what he said, AUDF
never identified it as a Muslim party. AUDF has a vast following
among non-Muslims and it had also given 40% tickets to the
non-Muslim candidates", he added.
Abusaleh Shariff, who was part of
the Sachar panel which ranked Muslims at par with dalits in
backwardness, while speaking to an English daily, called the
electoral development "unfortunate".
He said the community veered towards
religious parties owing to lack of representation in mainstream
platforms. "This makes them vulnerable to religious rhetoric," he
Shariff has also said, "We want
Muslims to go to normal schools and not madrassas, but now the
same is happening in politics. They have to be part of mainstream
parties and the latter too have to be more inclusive — give them
tickets and pay attention to their welfare agenda to check the