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Shahi Imam appeals for support to Congress - Some Questions to Imam & Sonia Gandhi
Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Bukhari in a press conference on April 4th announced his support or rather appealed Muslim community’s support to Congress, TMC and RJD. Question is whether a religious head should openly declare support to a particular party. According to Constitution, voters should not be influenced by any method including religious sentiments. But can we hold it against Imam Bukhari?

I watched the entire press conference on TV. I feel Bukhari's appeal to Muslim community is technically not wrong. Any community, group or civil society organization has a right to appeal people to vote a party or individual either conditional or un-conditional, for the betterment of the people they represent.

However, I want to ask some questions to Sahi Imam!

1) During his conference Shahi Imam said that he is appealing to the Muslim Community so that secular votes shouldn’t be divided. My question to Imam is, who he thinks secular? Is Muslim community (to whom he represent) secular? If yes, then is Hindu community communal? There are Hindu outfits who are communal and so are there a few Muslim organizations, including Muslim terrorist organizations. But to give a call for unity in the name of secularism - can it be an act of secularism in itself? If tomorrow VHP appeals all Hindus to vote for a certain party, would you call it also secular? Or because Hindu name is mentioned hence it would be communal?

2) When one calls for a support to a particular party in the name of a religion, there should be a minimum viable promise from the party about the work they will undertake for uplifting of that community. Did Congress, even in its current tenure, did much to bring the poorer Muslims to the mainstream? Or did the Imam get carried away by the undue pampering of the Congress Party Chief?

It’s also an open secret that Sahi Imam did this appeal on request/persuasion by Sonia Gandhi.

Thus I want to ask some questions to Sonia Gandhi too.

1) Are you conceding that your government has so bad record, so as to win election; you need religious leaders support and appeal? If you mix religion with politics, are you not walking on the communal lines too?

2) You were claiming that Modi’s anointment would make society divided and polarized. Now who’s polarizing? Modi still today in Bolangir election rally talked about development, growth, corruption etc. Why did you have to include a religious leader and call for voting under the 'Muslim' banner? Are you not confident of your development politics that your son Rahul Gandhi talks about?

3) It is very clear that BJP is not going get Muslim votes in any way. However, the Imam's call had brought things to a state, where Hindu votes now stand a chance to get polarised. Your 'cheap' tricks gave way for people like Amit Shah to now openly flaunt their mindset and throw provocative statements around. If things escalate in any case (there are no dearth of people from either side to indulge in provocation) who would be responsible?

4) You have already admitted lot of time that polarization helps BJP as well. Then why you intentionally wanted it? Do you feel that you would be completely wiped out in coming general election as NDA and other (3rd front/4th front) parties are likely to do well where as Congress is bearing the burnt. Do you want to get some ground at the cost of SP, BSP, JDU, Left etc?

Finally, I think both the Congress and Sahi Imam should be more sensible in public. Contesting election on communally polarized environment is never good for any democracy. What a tyranny, the person accused of making polarization communally is talking of development, growth, economy. However, the self-claimed secular party is now using communal card.

May good sense prevail on Sonia Gandhi and the Congress, and they don't get engage in such dangerous tactic? This way they can’t stop NDA, rather damage the secular fabric of the country!

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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