Number of Muslim lawmakers in India marginally improves from 23 to 26, with Bengal and UP sending the highest number of Muslim MPs
Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – In the landslide victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the debacle of the opposition parties that the country has witnessed this election, 27 Muslim Parliamentarians have been elected. The figure makes up about 5 per cent of the total population, which is way below the community’s 14 per cent share in the total population. However, this is a far better performance for Muslims leaders in comparison to the last Lok Sabha elections when only 23 Muslim parliamentarians had been elected.
BJP has won 303 seats single-handedly. But not a single Muslim parliamentarian from the saffron party has won. The party had given tickets to 6 Muslims: 3 in Kashmir, 2 in West Bengal, one in Lakshadeep. But none of them won.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) will be sending the most number of Muslim Parliamentarians to the Parliament from West Bengal. Aparupa Poddar alias Afrin Ali (Arambagh), Nusrat Jahan (Basirhat), Khalilur Rahman (Jangipur), Abu Taher Khan (Murshidabad) and Sajida Ahmed (Uluberia) are the Muslim MPs of TMC, who won the LS elections. The state has elected a total of 6 Muslim Parliamentarians; 5 from TMC and one from Congress – Abu Hasem Khan (Maldaha Dakshin).
The Congress in total is sending 4 Muslim MPs to the parliament. Dr Mohammed Jawed won from Bihar’s Kishanganj, Abdul Khaleque from Assam’s Barpeta and Mohammed Sadique from Punjab’s Faridkot on a Congress seat. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party each have 3 Muslims MPs. Kunwar Danish Ali (Amroha), Afzal Ansari (Ghazipur) and Haji Fazlur Rahman (Saharanpur) are the Muslim candidates who won on BSP’s ticket whereas Dr S T Hasan (Moradabad), Azam Khan (Rampur) and Dr Shafiqur Rehman Barq (Sambhal) have been elected on the ticket of the Samajwadi Party.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has won two seats – party chief Asaduddin Owaisi from Hyderabad and Imtiaz Jaleel from Aurangabad. Kerala’s Indian Union Muslim League has won three seats – E T Mohammed Basheer from Pannani, P.K. Kunhalikutty from Malappuram and K Nawaz Kani from Ramanathapuram. National Conference has secured three seats – Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar, Hasnain Masoodi from Anantnag and Mohammad Akbar from Baramulla.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Nationalist Congress Party (LJP) and CPI-M each will be sending a Muslim to the parliament. AIUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal from Dhubri, LJP’s Choudhry Mahbub Ali Kaisar from Khagaria, CPI-M’s A M Ariff and NCP’s Mohammed Faizal from Lakshadweep won the Lok the Sabha elections.
Despite the political representations of Muslims in the parliament increasing marginally, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawrat’s president Navaid Hamid is not much hopeful due to their reluctance to raise Muslim issues in the parliament. He cited the example of Congress MP late Moulana Israrul Haque Qasmi who did not raise the triple talaq issue in the parliament because his party did not allow him to speak on the same.
“It is a matter of good fortune for a community if their representation increases. As 27 Muslims have been elected as MPs, it is expected that they would talk on Muslim issues in the parliament and they would convince their parties to allow them to raise the Muslim issues in the parliament. But the key issue is that after reaching in the parliament, Muslim MPs avoid raising Muslim issues. And often pass the buck on to their parties. I even know of some Muslim MPs who bluntly say that they were not sent to the parliament by Muslims but their parties,” said Hamid.
He said, “It does not matter how many Muslims are in the Parliament but whether they are raising the Muslim issue or not, is a bigger concern. Even if there is only 10 Muslims in the parliament and if they raise Muslim issues unitedly, it will be enough.” However, he maintained that he is still hopeful.
On the insufficient political representation of Muslims in the parliament, he said that India is not democratic in its true sense but it is a majoritarian democracy. “It’s Muslims who are at the receiving end of the majoritarian democracy,” said Hamid.