[Through intimidation and political blackmail, they prepare the bruised, harassed and terrified community to accept political slavery of the so-called secular parties. (Photo: AP)]
Educated, well-off and garrulous section of Indian Muslims harbours a long list of charges and complaints against Muslim leaders and their politics. The more articulate one is the more vociferous he tends in hurling insults at his leadership. Everyone of this section of the community shows great agility in presenting an academic analysis of the situation irrespective of his own knowledge and stature.
Majority of Muslim journalists, on the other hand unfortunately, try to express their intellectual superiority and expertise by using adjectives for their Muslim leaders as ‘the so-called’ and ‘the self-imposed’ to side step their own responsibilities.
Since independence of the country educated, intelligent and opportunistic section of the community has been targeting Muslim leadership notwithstanding the fact that this leadership has emerged and established itself not through sycophancy but through various organisational setups. Political agents feel their positions threatened and feel the favours, bestowed upon them by their masters, slipping away. In order to please their masters and protect their interests these agents start a vicious campaign to defame and present Muslim leaders as ineffective, useless, faulty and blame them for the ills of the community.
After defaming, discrediting and tarnishing the image of Muslim leadership in the eyes of the public this section embarks on sermonising the community on the benefits and favours done to them by Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and the other so called secular leaders like them.
Through intimidation and political blackmail, they prepare the bruised, harassed and terrified community to accept political slavery of the so-called secular parties. Sadly the timid, terrified, battered and marginalised community, facing the ongoing social humiliation since 1947, willingly agrees and offers its neck to bear and pull along the yoke of this slavery.
This section consisting of impudent, chatty and well-off individuals of the community belongs to a class of post-independence ‘political elites’ who owe their birth to the political wombs of so called secular parties. This lot has taken upon itself the task of destroying the auto-emerging and self-made Muslim political organisations and kill off whatever is left in the community in the name of conscience and self-respect. In return this section is rewarded by its political-gods in accordance to its stature and abilities for destroying the respectability and credibility of Muslim leadership in the eyes of Muslim masses.
This lot increases its stature and protects its personal interests by siding with and serving whoever is in power without participating in any political struggle to name. These individuals, like those who once served the British rulers obediently, enjoy the favours of their masters for keeping away their Muslim brethren from democratic political struggle and thus in the name of secularism keep the community divided into various political parties, casts, sects and region.
My personal experience and observation is that this lot is the most dangerous section that exists within Indian Muslims. It does not let them unite at state or central level. When questioned as to who in their view is the leader of Muslims, these political elites have no answer. Never has this coterie been associated with any political group of substance led by a Muslim nor have they ever themselves helped and cooperated with Muslim groups.
I have often asked such individuals, ‘Your criticism and attack on Muslim leadership is fine but have you ever yourself been associated with any party led by a Muslim or have you ever cooperated and helped such a party? If the answer is “yes” then you have every right to criticise and scrutinise these Muslim parties and their leaders. If the answer is “No” then you have done nothing but served all your life those in power in the name of secularism.’
I ask these self appointed political elites of Muslim community to explain, before assuming the right to curse and malign Muslim leadership, as to who in their opinion Muslim leaders are? Are they the political workers with religious appearances? Or are they the Imams and madarsa teachers commonly known as the ‘ulema’ who, as the elections nears, start playing the game of opposing or supporting this party or that party, organise and reactivate their followers on the basis of sectarianism and divide the community? Or do they consider those Muslims as leaders who emerge and come at the forefront after being elected by community organisations using democratic and constitutional means and rights.
Let the Muslim political elites—with all their inhibitions and abhorrence for Muslim organisations whom they do not want to be associated with, whom they hate to work with and have never helped and cooperated with them in any way whatsoever—decide which of the above cited three categories do they regard as Muslim leaders? And if they consider any of the three the real leaders, then they also have to tell us if they have ever helped and cooperated with that class and if they did so then tell us also how and in what manner they perform this duty?
Let it be clear that the days to intimidate and blackmail Muslims with the threats that RSS/BJP would come to power are gone. Hypocrisy of the so called secularism has thoroughly been exposed. Aggressive Hidutva fascism is at its peak and is ruling the country. The prevailing situation demands that Indian Muslims also wake up from their slumber and start to review, scrutinise and take account of their 70 years old political impotence and start taking account of their ineffective tendencies.
[Saleem Peerzada, a retired engineer and former student leader of AMU, is the President of Parcham Party of India. Translated by Urdu Media Monitor.Com from Saleem Peerzada’s Facebook page.]