AUTHOR AND ACADEMIC URGES COMMUNITY TO WAKE UP TO NEW POLITICAL REALITIES AND ENGAGE BJP
NEW DELHI — ‘Narendra Modi’s victory is a welcome development. Now, for the first time in independent India, Muslims are able to see the ‘stark political realities that otherwise have been hidden by the secular hypocrisy of the Congress’, said Prof Rashid Shaz while addressing a group of students on the side-lines of a debate at the Aligarh Muslim University.
Prof Shaz, an internationally acclaimed author known for his reformist writings on Islam and formerly President of the Milli Parliament, is probably the first Muslim heavy-weight who has openly asked the Muslim Indians to welcome and adjust to the new political reality.
Prof Shaz said: “The Nehruvian secularism was a mirage; an unending trail of false hopes and hallow promises. It created a fear psychosis among Muslims. The Congress demonized ‘the political other’, posing itself as the protector of Muslims – a promise that it never kept. From communal riots to the illegal ban on Muslim organizations and from arbitrary arrest of Muslim youths to the refusal of their demand for a judicial probe of Batla House encounter, the Congress displayed a ruthless insensitivity towards Muslims. Now, that dark era of pseudo-secularism is over.
“The new political reality may look even more depressing to many of us, but at least we are able to see today where we really stand. Those who believe in the protection of the Congress and its ilk should know that they are no more in a position to defend us, but those who believe in Allah Almighty should know that He is all-powerful and hence no need to despair.”
He said that one of the most positive aspects of the “new political development is the fall of ungodly Muslim clergy who worked as middle-men between the Muslim masses and the ruling elite. They were the Congress satellites constantly beaming message of fear and false hopes.”
“With long flowing beards and empty rhetoric they made us belief as if without the support of their Congressite masters, Islam had no future in India. They are the criminals of Islam, working for their political masters yet posing to be true to their faith. Now in the new situation the Muslims have got an opportunity to build a direct bridge with a party that has no obfuscating mullahs and no middlemen,” said the scholar.
“The BJP does not feel shy away from declaring what it stands for. And this is the first pre-requite of a true dialogue. Modi’s recent remarks that in his victory he sees the victory of 1.25 billion Indians and that he wants to create a 21st century India, are all indicative of the fact that he is open to a meaningful dialogue with Muslims. He wants to consolidate what he has achieved through hard work and determination. He has been sending feelers for mending, rather improving his relations with India’s 250 million strong Muslims. But are Muslim leaders ready for a meaningful dialogue?”, he asked.
Prof Shaz claimed that those accustomed to receiving only a pat from the Congress may find it difficult to enter into a bridge-building dialogue on equal footing with the BJP. “But this is the only way to survive and prosper. I believe, it’s a God-sent opportunity,” said Dr Shaz. “There is no need to be apprehensive. The new rulers too are human. They have a human heart. There is no reason then, that we cannot reach out to them. Today,we Muslim Indians may find ourselves in a crisis, but never mind, a crisis is always full of new opportunities. It is on us how we make use of the new situation.”