Published On:02 August 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

IMO EXCLUSIVE: Formed on Batla House Encounter issue, Ulema Council minting money on poll tickets distribution

[We are bringing this exclusive report by our Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh) Mohammad Shahid Parvez exposing Ulema Council, a party formed in Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh) over the emotive issue of Batla House 'fake' encounter in which some youths from Azamgarh were killed by Delhi Police personnel. In this encounter a Delhi Police Inspector was also killed. The Ulema Council instead of making all out efforts in getting justice done to the victims' families started dabbling in politics and unsuccessfully fought last state assembly elections. The shameful part of this entire episode was that the Ulema Council also started making money by distributing party tickets to candidates to fight elections. The Ulema Council charged Rs. 50,000 from some candidates, while from some other candidates it charged Rs. 1 lakh. The IndianMuslimObserver.com is pleased to highlight such stories in the hope that misdeeds of so-called Muslim leaders espousing the cause of community welfare be completely exposed so that Muslims also see the real face of their representatives and accordingly take action whether to elect or reject them at the hustings. The IndianMuslimObserver.com is committed to highlight more such stories in future too and will try to bring out more reports about Muslim-run parties aiming to have their share of the electoral pie. The IndianMuslimObserver.com firmly believes that Muslim-run parties instead of working for the larger cause of community mostly act as spoilsport and end up playing the role of middlemen in the corridors of power. The Muslim community should be beware of such parties and avoid electing them in various elections. -- Danish Ahmad Khan, Founder-Executive Editor, IndianMuslimObserver.com]

By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Lucknow: Come elections and Muslims become one of the most sought-after commodities in the poll market. Parties of different hue try to excel each other in shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the community to get its sympathy and vote. Even a number of Muslim outfits play with the emotional issues of the community only to serve their vested interests. Peace Party, Qaumi Ekta Party, Welfare Party, Ulema Council to name only a few have declared their intention to contest the coming Assembly elections in the state. Of these the Peace party does not consider itself to be a Muslim outfit though its chief Dr. Ayyub is a Muslim. While, Qaumi Ekta Party and Welfare Party are new to the poll arena. The Ulema Council, the oldest of them all, has the experience of contesting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the past though without any success.

Founded by some Azamgarh Muslims led by Maulana Aamir Rashadi on emotional and sensitive issue of the Batla House encounter in which some youths of the district were killed and some others were either arrested or are missing, the council got overwhelming support of the Muslims in the region who think the innocent youths were targeted to malign the community. Expectations were high as the people thought that ulema coming to lead from the front were a good omen for the community. But the hopes were belied sooner than expected. Clashes of ego, faulty strategy and individual interest of its leaders resulted in rift in the council and erosion of its popularity in the area. The council contested the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat without a proper strategy resulting in division of Muslim votes and victory of BJP which had never won the seat in the past. Its founder vice president Dr. Javed, a renowned orthropaedic surgeon of the district who was the council candidate on the seat later resigned allegedly over differences with the council chief Rashadi.

Similarly in the last local bodies’ elections alleged corrupt practices resorted to by the council and arrogant attitude of its leaders forced another of its vice president Maulana Abdul Rahim of Madarsa Riyazul Uloom Guraini in Jaunpur to resign. Says the Maulana ‘Maine council join kiya ulema ke naam par lekin bahut talkh tajarbe ke baad istefa de diya.(I joined the council thinking it to be ulemas body but after some bitter experiences I resigned.’ On persistent queries to elaborate his bitter experiences the Maulana did not oblige saying ‘Hum khanqahi log hain hamne council chhor diya ab hum uske bare me baat nahi karna chahte.’(We are religious people and I have now left the council therefore I do not want to talk about it.’)

However, sources close to the Maulana said that he resigned following the differences with the council chief Rashadi over selection of candidates and changing them arbitrarily in the midst of campaigning in the elections to the zila parishad. The council took money from prospective candidates and fielded them as its nominee but replaced several of them midway in the campaigning because it got more money from the other aspirant, the sources said. Endorsing the statement Tabrez Alam, himself a candidate of the election from a constituency in Shahganj in Jaunpur district and ditched by the council, told the Indian Muslim Observer that he was made a nominee of the council on payment of Rs.50,000 and had started campaign along with some local council leaders. However in the midway of the campaign, I was shocked to know that one of my rivals who paid Rs.1 lakh to the council was made its nominee. Both the Muslim candidates lost to a Yadav with Tabrez securing second position. Tabrez says, “Had not the council ditched me at the last moment I would have won.” Though after much protest by Tabrez and his supporters the council returned his Rs.50,000 but the defeat of both the Muslim candidates due to greed and vested interest of the council dented its image in the area. Similar cases of changing candidates at the last moment were also reported from other areas, including Mahul in Azamgarh.

It is a general feeling in the area that the Ulema Council has failed in its commitment to fight for the cause of the Muslim community in a proper way. Says Kahful Wara of a village near Phulpur, in Azamgarh, “vested interest and larger than life egos of the council leaders have done more harm than good to the community.” He goes on, “it is disgusting that every leader of the community starts with a vow to fight for the cause of the community but ends up serving only himself. That is the reason”, he adds’ we (Muslims) have failed to present a united leadership.”

Commenting on the performance of the council, a former student union leader of Shibli College Azamgarh speaking on condition of anonymity said “except for collecting funds and holding some rallies and demonstrations the council has done nothing for the community. Besides the council’s failure in garnering the support of ulema and leaders outside the district coupled with some rash decisions by its leadership has eroded the credibility of the council.’ However, Anwar Azmi though agrees with the corruption in the council defends it saying that gherao of thanas and demonstrations by the council saved many Muslims from police harassment. Maulana Rashadi could not be contacted for his comment on telephone even after repeated attempts.

Undaunted by such charges which have become talk of the town in Azamgarh and the adjoining Jaunpur districts, the council has reportedly decided to contest all the Assembly seats in the forthcoming UP elections. If it does so without first setting its house in order and a proper planning, including tie-up with like-minded parties, it’s rash decision is most likely to serve only the anti-Muslim forces.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). Earlier, he worked as former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow.He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on August 02, 2011. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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