Peeping back into the tunnel of past , I find my self sitting on a chair in the auditorium of JUH ( Jamiat e Ulema e Hind ) in 1992.
This was Dalit Muslim unity Conference organized by leader of JUH, Hazrat Maulana Syed Asad Madni attended by hosts of Dalit leaders including stars like Udit Raj , former junior home minister in Rajiv Gandhi cabinet Ram Lal Rahi, Comrade Gadar, Joseph, and others, gathered from almost all parts of the country.
The participants included Dalit intellectuals writers, politicians, educators and opinion makers .
Muslims were represented by JUH men and office bearers including syed Mahmood Madani and syed Arshad Madani.
As I can remember after long 28 years of the event there was a known non JUH Muslim face in the crowd and that was of prof.Lutfur Rahman, a prominent modern urdu poet of Bhagalpur, Bihar who was also a political activist in the later phase of his life.
The conference discussed almost every scope of of a dalit muslim unity and they tried to say that Muslims and Dalits are both at receiving end and facing brutality and tyranny at the hands of rulers.
There was some kind of consensus over the alliance but Udit Raj, co chairing the conference with Hazrat Maulana Asad Madani, raised a question to silence the JUH leadership on thier claims of togetherness.
Udit Raj candidly said ” what about your stand on 1000 years of your rule where you did nothing to improve the status of Dalits ?
Why you being powerful rulers followed many old practice of exploiting shudrs, Dalits & maha dalits.
Why you never practiced social justice?”
Udit Raj roared ” During these 5000 years of worst exploitation of Dalits, your share is 1000 years, why do you expect us to be part of you as exploited and wronged community.?”
Though the conference adopted an unity resolution but the fissures were evident and the second or follow up conference was never organized.
My friends may question why am I remembering this conference after three decades?
Let me explain
These times are demanding.
Muslim leadership is not coming up to show its worth.
They have thier agenda of gathering wealth and gaining legends .
They are not demonstrating will, wisdom and worth.
A close scrutiny of thier moves and activities makes one to believe that the welfare of the community is nowhere in their minds . They are unfortunate as they lack the basic will of service to the community and country.
All the professed and practiced by the so called muslim leaders, both political and religious, stands to be fake in social scrutiny.
I am not against any individual or institution or organizatin but I have always wondered what makes them to believe that Muslims as a community are thier bonded followers?
Muslm organizations are lying dormant since October last year.
May I remind , we have not heard any thing from Milli leaders since the day Muslim majlis e mushawarat , an umbrella led by Naved Hamid,organised a meeting of clerics, ulema, mashaikh and imams of all hue in the head quarters of JUH just days before Babri verdict of Supreme court.
Community has every right to know what transpired in that meeting and under what circumstances did muslim whole salers declare that muslims will keep silent on the verdict , whatsoever it comes.
Teen talaq bill, panchayet like court verdict and , abbrogation of article 370 of the constitution and such other high handed decisions of the ruling grouping never see real muslim reaction. Reaction of Muslim community was distorted by the clerics and this was certainly done on the dictates of rulers , of course, against considerations.
The elimination of Muslim voice is not a good sign as it creates pent up emotions and these emotions are creating sense of alienation .
This sence of alinetion,some anger and some disappointments is being exploited by certain forces that are bent upon creating chaos. They have taken political route to distrub equations in the society.
This situation must have been avoided by the powers to be .This should have never been the wil of the rulers , if they had opted to keep the community in natioal mainstream . Muslim clergy demonstrated thier willingness to obey the rulers during all these decades. And also showed that they are lords of muslim hearts and brains.
Muslim Community in India lost its voice after independence. A trick was played with them by ruling class. Let me be clear I am not talking about any political party. Here what is referred to, is rulers of all kind representing different national and regional parties.
To them muslims were simple vote banks. They preferred to Talk about concerns of muslim community, speak some good words before every election, show their presece around and neglect thier real issues. They practiced neglect in every sphere.
One glaring example.
Congress government in Delhi led by Sheela Dixit invested several thousand crores in changing the face of Delhi during common wealth games in 2018.No doubt unmatchable developments took place but the fruits of develoment shied away from old Delhi. No development work was ever done in the densly populated areas beyond ITO.
Darya Gunj kept crying for a kinder look but was not addressed while Darya gunj is known as New Delhi 110002 that is next to the first pin code of New Delhi 110001.
Muslims, thier areas, institutuons, culture, language,education every thing is consigned to ICU , not attended and left for the final clinical death.
If Narendra Modi government removed Muslims from the social dialogue and political discourse , it is not worth surprise. Things were during all these decades moving towards this logical stage.
Removing muslims from discourse, ignoring thier basic issues , exerting social pressures upon them, trying to tame them was in regular successions. What BJP RSS government is doing in haste was being done in Congress led governments always slowly. Now Congress grew weak and timid, while BJP is aggressive and chauvinist.
This is a passing phase but times are hard. The very existence of Muslim community in India is in perils. Any old practice is not going to work. Any thought, philosophy or practice emerging from past experiences can never fetch better results. Any out of box solution need to be discussed and agreed upon.
Bihar assembly elections are a halt in the overall exercise.Political alliance of Muslim parties with Dalit dominated ,failed parties might give some image make over to the parties with personality cult and relgoin base but it will not benifit Muslims in Bihar because the community in the state has time and again proved that it has nothing to do with religius politics.
We must admit and appreciate that Muslim community of Bihar is not communal. They believe in inclusive politics and practically secular. Had it not been the case the Muslims of Bihar ,one fifth in state population and having majority numbers in many constituencies , would have much earlier , constituted thier own political party. They always preferred to be with mainstream national or regoinal parties and propelled some to power .Even present rulers JDU and Nitish Kumar have some followings in the community. Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Tejeswi Yadav is not forcefully opposed by Muslims. Even one can find feeble and silent , small support base for Congress .
The considered opinion and practiced behaviour of muslims need to be acknowledged , adored and appreciated by all but I am saddened to see that Muslim parties like All India Majlis e Ittehadul Muslemeen (MIM) and political wing of Popular Front of India (PFI) Social Democratic Party (SDPI) from other states have jumped into the fray totally disregarding the local sentiments, practice and behaviour .
Seemanchal a densly populated Muslim majority area is made main battle ground where 24 assembly seats are reprsented by manistream parties. One was occupied in a recent by-election by Majlis (MIM) .
Political alliances are all targetting muslim votes ie 19.5% votes and among the Hindu voters though one can see a wish for change but Narendra Modi is a brand in many Hindu youth. They never name BJP where they are supposed to. Nitish commands some following. Some say Tejeswi can be better choice but entry of muslim parties from out side is resented every where among members of both community’s.
Ashhar Hashmi founder & muslims awareness movement.