ENSUING ELECTIONS IN FIVE STATES
Many a political parties are showing their true colours as the elections in five states are drawing closer. The clamour to appease the Muslim community is growing louder. The 41-year old kid whose erudition is confined to comic books wants to increase the religion based reservation in govt service and education to 9 per cent out of the quota for the Hindu backward communities. Time and again it was emphasised that the religion based reservation is unconstitutional but the deaf do not hear and the blind do not see. Their reply is that it is for a court of law to decide the constitutional position. So they are going ahead with the new lollipops for this community which has been reduced to the status of a mere vote bank and are back to square One after the voting process is completed.
Salman Rushdie resurrected
The Muslim community had lost sight of Salman Rushdie, writer of Satanic Verses, for many years both in India and abroad. The fatwa issued against the writer for insulting the Islamic Prophet (PBUH) was lying in limbo. Salman came to India in between many times but the Fatwa condemning him to death was as good as forgotten by both the Ulema or the Islamic clergy and the Umma or the common man among the faithful. It was like being in good old Lucknow where a practising Muslim went to a mosque to pray and wayward Muslim went to a bar to have an alcoholic drink. On completion of their jobs they came out on the road, exchanged greetings and went their way peacefully. No Islamic battle cries and no cursing or using abusive language at all. Life was fine with or without the much married man called Salman Rushdie.
Now in 2012 there is a sudden clamour to stop Rushdie from coming to India. The Deoband Seminary of Islam has said in no uncertain terms that Rushdie's visa must be cancelled. The same Seminary had been quiet all these years. They even modernised their thought process by inviting Swami Ramdev Maharaj and listening to his Ved Pravachans. Absolutely fine, I suppose. However, the ensuing elections have motivated them to assert their Islamic entity and raise the hue and cry over his visit. I guess it is Sonia Gandhi’s Congress party that fuels this tendency among a section of the people by appeasement of the Muslim community.
A Union minister of the Trinamool Congress has also suddenly woken up to the likely presence of Rushdie at Jaipur to participate in a literary meet at the end of this month. People of letters would assemble in Jaipur for a literary chat. Rushdie, being one of them, would be attending. If the Maulanas who gave a call to stop Rushdie from entering India, wish to contribute to the literary deliberations, they would be welcome, I suppose.
Right now it is not men of letters who clamour. It is men of politics in the garb of men of religion who wish to embarrass the organisers of the literary meet by raising a non-issue. A political analyst is of the opinion that it is the Trinamool that wishes to give a jolt to the Congress by asking it to cancel Rushdie’s visa. If the Congress govt cancels the visa it would let down itself internationally. If it does not, the fundamentalists would get an opportunity to announce that anti-Islamic forces are being encouraged by the Congress led govt and thus the century old party may lose some Muslim votes. If that happens that would be a good thing for the whole nation as the communal policy of political party concerned would be gone forever.
It is a ripe time to cut the fundamentalists in the garb of secularists to size and restore what is called a democracy that sides with no religion but governs impartially as per the will of the People and is always for the People.
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