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Congress' Muslim appeasement: Is it working?
Muslim appeasement has been at the heart of Congress' vote bank politics almost from independence. As the elections became more and more competitive with BJP and regional parties gaining ground and other political parties like the CPM, Samajwadi Party under Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD under Lalu Prasad Yadav, JDU under Nitish Kumar, TMC under Mamta Bannerjee and BSP under Mayawati adopting the same strategy, the Congress began to loose its hold on power.

This desperation led to greater and greater attempts at wooing Muslims which led to the following (not necessarily is chronological order): Equating Hindu Terrorism of Abhinav Bharat with Muslim Terrorism of Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Forming the Sachchar Committee to recommend upliftment of Muslims and implementing some of its recommendations.

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Pursuing Narendra Modi for the Gujrat Riots of 2002 while ignoring the burning of Hindu Karsevaks in a train compartment at Godhara. Pursuing the Ishraat Jahan fake encounter case while remaining silent on thousands of other fake encounters by police of different states against Punjab militants, Naxals, Mumbai underworld etc.

Digvijay Singh claiming that the Batala House encounter in Delhi was a fake encounter. Sushil Kumar Shinde, our honorable Home Minister, advising police not to harass Muslim youths implying it is all right to harass Hindu youths. Repeatedly trying to provide reservation to Muslims in contravention of the constitution. Mr. Kharge, Chief Minister of Karnataka, announced grants for poor Muslim women for getting married, leaving it to Hindu organizations to provide aid to poor Hindu girls for their marriage.

After the communal disturbance in a village near Bharatpur, Rajasthan, the Congress Government under Gehlot suspended the SP and DM. Some Hindus are in jail pending trial while the Muslims are roaming free. The Communal Violence Bill with its draconian provisions for Hindus literally breaks the straw on the camels back.

I may have missed out a few other instances of Muslim appeasement. Is the strategy working? I believe it is not working. The strategy is having a polarizing effect on the Hindu's that is more polarizing than Narendra Modi's speeches. More and more Hindu's are voting for the BJP. It is also giving an opportunity to the Sangh Parivar and BJP to attempt to polarize the electorate on communal lines knowing fulyl well that if they succeed, 87% Hindus will always prevail over 12% Muslims.

I recently asked a BJP supporter of Alwar what he thought of the local Congress MP? He acknowledged that the MP had brought laudable development to Alwar, five railway over bridges, excellent roads, locating two paramilitary facilities, introducing a double-decker AC train between Jaipur, Alwar and Delhi and planning to extend Delhi Metro up to Alwar. He is also considered honest and approachable. But he says that while meeting people, the MP is more cordial and sympathetic to Muslims.< /p>

Times have changed. 33% of the electorate is below 35 and the percentage is increasing. Instances of inter religion and inter caste marriages are on the rise. The youth want value based, clean politics and equal opportunities. That has been clearly demonstrated by the recent election results. Congress fielded 18 Muslim candidates in the recent Rajasthan elections, many of them in constituencies with sizeable Muslim population. Not one of them won. BJP fielded 4. Two of them won.

In a democracy majority will rule. If the electorate is polarized on religious lines, the Sangh will prevail. If Congress wants to remain relevant to Indian politics, it must immediately withdraw the Communal Violence Bill. The Congress may even consider supporting the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. After all, if Jerusalem can be holy to Jews and Christians, Mecca can be holy to Muslims; Gaya can be holy to Buddhists; why can't Ayodhya be holy to Hindus.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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