Vote bank politics! Really?

By Sharique N Siddiquie | Last Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 13:43
 
Sharique N Siddiquie
Common Man
 

Yet another serial blast and that too in Mumbai! Like every other time, the government announced compensations, police is suspecting the hand of LeT and other terror groups, media is speculating the hand of Indian Mujahideen amidst talks about the much hyped ‘spirit’ of Mumbai.
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I mean isn’t it ironical to call the ‘lack of choice’ as their ‘spirit’?
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The politics over the blast is in full flow, with government finding it difficult to defend itself and opposition leaving no stones unturned in highlighting government’s failure in controlling the law and order situation, calling it a ‘policy failure’ rather than an ‘intelligence failure’. That too, like every other time!
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Amidst these oft repeated happenings, the opposition yet again attributed the blasts to weak anti-terror laws calling the repealing of POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) as an act of minority appeasement and vote bank politics.
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Nothing new in that also, but if you think about such attributions closely, it makes you feel disgusted about the way our political leaders think of the minorities, especially if you are the one belonging to the community.
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My outburst is not unjustified. There is a deep-rooted sense of insult preceding this very public rebuttal of the charges against the minorities.
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The first allegation is that the Congress repealed anti-terror POTA as an exercise of minority appeasement and vote bank politics. This, in itself is an insult to the patriotic minorities of this country.
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The allegation suggests that an anti- terror law was repealed to appease the minorities as if they are the one who were affected by it. Isn’t it an allegation of being terrorists on the whole community? I am not a terrorist and I find it utterly disgusting and humiliating.
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Moving on, the right wing often suggests that the ‘Madarsas’ are breeding grounds of terror. Isn’t it demeaning for a certain kind of educational institution to be branded as ‘terror school’. Generally people have no idea what these Madarsas teach, but since it is an Islamic educational institution, so it is easy to associate it with terror.
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Madarsas are run with the contribution of the community where poor kids, often those who couldn’t afford a formal education go. I am not denying the fact that there might be some Madarsas promoting hardliner ideology, but not all.
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The point is, rather than alleging that all Madarsas impart ‘terror teachings’, the government can bring them under its purview by constituting a Madarsa Board. This way they will also be eligible for government grants and also the allegations of being ‘terror school’ will be wiped off. But I am sure even this move, if it happens, will bring brick-bats from the right-wingers as another example of minority appeasement.
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Coming back to the terror point, it is almost a ‘sin’ if anyone supports an alleged Islamic terrorist, as we saw in Batla House encounter when Digvijay Singh doubted the whole exercise on his Azamgarh visit. But when it comes to saffron terror, it is okay to say that since it’s a Congress government at the Centre so these are all false allegations. Point to notice- the Aseemanand confessions.
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I am not saying that what Digvijay said was right or wrong, but the point is, if investigations are on then we must not form an opinion about an alleged ‘terrorist’, let alone a whole community. Also, an act of terror has no colour. Neither ‘Green’ nor ‘Saffron’.
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Any act of terror and any loss of innocent life are equally condemnable and this should not be linked with any particular community.
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And finally, saying that Congress is a ‘pro-minority’ party is nothing more than an insult to the sensibilities of the minorities.
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If we count merely the historical facts, the Congress’ claim of being a minority friendly party stands exposed.
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When idols of ‘Ram Lala’ were first placed inside the Babri Masjid premises, there was Congress government at the Centre with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at the helm.
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When the ‘Shilanyas’ of the Ram Mandir took place, again Congress was in power with Rajiv Gandhi as the PM.
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When Babri Masjid was demolished by the Kar Sevaks, it was again a Congress government at the Centre with PV Narasimha Rao heading it.
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The count doesn’t stop here. Be it Bhagalpur riots in 1989 or 1993 Bombay riots, it again the Congress government in the power. Yes, one of the exceptions is the 2002 post Godhra riots.
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But India continues to be a secular country. Not because we have great leaders or efficient bureaucrats, but for one simple fact that the 80 percent populace of this country, ‘the Hindus’ are by and large secular people.
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This is the reason why minorities in India still have all the liberties and opportunities. The significance of a secular majority community can easily be ascertained if you look at the condition of minorities in our neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Sri Lanka.
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So, as a member of the minority community, I expect everyone not to associate the minority community with the terrorists. A terrorist is just a terrorist. He doesn’t belong to any community, just like when a bomb explodes, it kills everyone irrespective of his or her religious beliefs.



First Published: Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 13:43

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