Rahul Gandhi, Congress and Muslim leadership
OT, July 22, 2012 19:06 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is right to say that there is no minority leader of Maulana Azad’s stature in the party. While addressing the party youth, he said: “Name five (Muslim) leaders who have pan-India presence today.”
Who is to be blamed for this: the Congress or the Muslims? It is not only the Muslim community that today is running short of pan-India leader. Name one leader who has national appeal across India.
Rahul Gandhi must appreciate the Muslim for accepting Mahatma Gandhi as their leader just before and after Independence. But it is another story that Muslims have been used as ATM by political parties counting on ‘Vote Bank’ generated whenever the election is held. And Rahul should appreciate that Muslims have been loyal to the ‘secular’ Congress for so long.
However, in the last two decade the mood changed with Muslim voters in different states opting for lesser evils. Despite all the changes, by and large, the support of Muslim was well recorded and the Congress party has remained in power due to their support.
Ignoring more than many riots held allegedly during the Congress, the Muslims continue to look upon the oldest political party as their savior. But a lot changed after December 6, 1992 when the historical mosque was demolished in Uttar Pradesh.
Muslim voters changed their strategies and thus Mulayam and Lalu emerged as two strong leaders in Bihar and UP. They survived in the politics with full backing from Muslim and thus MY combination took birth. With the rise of regional parties in many states the crisis of national level leadership could be easily felt. Also, the emergence of coalition politics brought an end to pan-Indian leadership.
Besides, many parties, including the Congress started willingly backing venal politicians, who don’t have a mass base among the Muslims. They did it so as these paper leaders don’t revolt against the party. Also, they are not in a position to fight for Muslim rights once they are elected to Parliament.
So the problem lies with the Congress. If Rahul Gandhi is really serious and wants to see emergence of pan-Indian Muslim leader then he should start backing honest politicians. And there is no dearth of such leaders. Hope things may change in coming years. With young Gandhi being at the helm of affair in the Congress, will India be able to see Muslim leader of pan-India appeal?
(The author is based in Jeddah and works for an insurance Company. Born in Lucknow and brought up in Jaunpur Uttar Pradesh, the author has LL.B degree from Lucknow University. His letters have been published in Arab News, Saudi Gazette and in Kuwait Times.)
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Okhla Times.
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