Will Anna back Farooque, president of a clean new political party?
OT, September 14, 2011 IST
Okhla Times News Service/Shahin Bagh
Fed up with the existing corrupt political system, both Anna Hazare and Mujtaba Farooque – from Maharashtra – are on a mission to clean the political system. Anna has made it clear that he won’t join politics, but he is willing to back a clean new party. Will he back Farooque, a businessman turned politician, who is president of the newly formed Welfare Party of India (WPI) that claims to end corruption and has likeminded people in its ranks?
Farooque is not popular as Anna, but like the Gandhian he too has been involved in social service in his hometown Aurangabad. At the young age of 25 he took a plunge into welfare work and since then has tirelessly devoted his energy and wealth for the uplift of the community and downtrodden. A realtor by profession, Farooque is also a politician, educationist and social reformer.
“The purpose of floating the WPI is to fight for the deprived. Also, we will be different from other political parties in many ways,” says Farooque, who has a diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Though he is new to the hustle and bustle of the Indian politics, he has been following the political development for long. Believing strongly in value-based politics, Farooque is clear about the steps the party needs to take to go ahead and be successful.
Launched in April 18, 2011, in New Delhi, the party got a modest response from Muslims in the South. After a few months the Kerala unit was formed. Besides, the party was also able to have some two lakh members in six months in the state, claims Farooque. Now, the party plans to unroll awareness campaigns in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam.
Philanthropist Farooque, who also runs educational institutions and religious schools in his city, says: “The response from Muslims till now has been good. From October onwards we will be starting public rally to popularise the party.” A man of a few words, Farooque has set a target for himself and it is to bring in more devoted and honest cadre to the party fold. Operational from a modest office in Shahin Bagh, the party is looking for sincere youngsters to get foothold in the Okhla locality that has a huge Muslim population.
A brainchild of Jamaat-E-Islami (Hind), the party has been careful not to present itself as a Muslim-exclusive party. It insists that it is a secular party upholding the principles of justice, freedom and equality with a Catholic priest in its ranks. “The party is open for everybody,” says 52-year-old Farooque, who also publishes Urdu daily Asia Express from his hometown and is a member of JEIH.
Leading from the front, Farooque travels throughout the country interacting with new members. Despite his tight schedule, he is able to squeeze time for his six children, including two married daughters and four sons, by visiting Aurangabad once in a month.
At free time, he loves reading books. Maulana Abul Ala Maududi the founder of JEIH is his favourite writer. But after getting into politics, these days he is concentrating on history and other social books so as to learn a few lessons from the past. Currently, a book: Jinnah and Gandhi authored by SK Majumdar, occupies the top place on his reading list.
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