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08 July 2013

Zafar Mahmood’s PPT a deliberate move to legitimize Modi as PM candidate

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By Syed Zubair Ahmad

It has become a common trend for Muslim bureaucrats to become ‘champion’ of a cause of the Muslim community just after retirement from the government job. After giving the best of their time and energy to the government, all of a sudden in the age of retirement they start thinking about the community. One such former bureaucrat is Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood. He was almost unknown to the Muslim community till he retired from Indian Revenue Service as an income tax commissioner and launched an NGO, Zakat Foundation of India. I applaud the work of Zakat Foundation and Zafar Mahmood in the field of education especially for the preparation of Muslim aspirants of civil services. His recent Powerpoint Presentation before Gujarat CM and ‘PM in waiting’ Narendra Modi has raised many eyebrows and cast a web of suspicions about the intention of Zafar Mahmood and the organizers of the program and purpose of the PPT.

The way Zafar Mahmood has tried to present the problems of Muslims before Modi while projecting himself as the representative of the Muslim community and considering Modi as incoming prime minister of the country, is itself a matter of grave concern.

Before going to Gujarat to attend the Young Indian Leaders Conclave in Ahmedabad on 29th June, Zafar Mahmood had declared he is going to ‘challenge Narendra Modi and BJP in his bastion’. Clearly Dr Zafar Mahmood must have assumed himself as the representative of Muslim community and Modi as the future prime minister of India. After giving his PPT before Modi he said that he went to Modi like Moses went to Pharaoh and also advised those who objected to his meeting with Modi that they should first watch his PPT before criticizing.

Before analyzing the PPT, which he has uploaded on his website, one may question about the timing and intention of his presentation. Parliamentary elections are due next year and Modi is being projected as PM by the BJP, so the propaganda machinery of Modi and the poll strategists of BJP are desperately trying to woo at least a section of Muslims. Recently the BJP had organized ‘Muslim Development Convention’ in Delhi with the help of some Muslims who have no base in the community. So the timing and intention of Zafar Mahmood’s PPT is very important.

Justifying his meeting with Modi, Dr Zafar Mahmood explained that before going to meet Modi he consulted 35 persons from different segments of society including media, and only after getting satisfied he decided to meet Modi and give his PPT before Gujarat CM. I don’t know whom he consulted about his meeting but the most important question is: did Zafar Mahmood try to ask some questions to himself? Does Zafar Mahmood think that Modi is unaware of the points raised in his PPT about Muslims? Undoubtedly, Modi has more data regarding the economic and political backwardness/development of Muslims in Gujarat and in the country. Modi belongs to the very dedicated cadre of RSS. How come an ex bureaucrat like Zafar Mahmood can use one of the most shrewd and cunning politicians like Modi who used leaders like Advani and sidelined him. How can Zafar Mahmood outsmart the pupils of Chanakya?

The PPT was presented by Zafar Mahmood at the conclave organized by Citizens for Accountable Governance on the topic of “How Government and Business can change to provide Indian youth with the opportunities they deserve” in Ahmedabad on 29th June. The 30-minute PPT made in the presence of Modi is more about seeking help and blessings of Modi than telling him the hard truths about injustice with Muslims in Gujarat and elsewhere. The topic of his talk had nothing to do with the problems of Muslim community but by putting the problems of Muslim community in a cajoling way before Modi, Zafar Mahmood has provided some sort of legitimacy to the prime ministerial candidature of Modi.

Challenging or Begging

In his PPT, there is nothing like to ‘challenge’ Modi or BJP. The tone and text of the PPT sound more pampering and begging than challenging. Unlike Moses who invited Pharaoh to Islam, Zafar Mahmood went to Modi with a begging bowl.

Starting the PPT, Zafar Mahmood appeals to the audience: “I would humbly suggest that we rise in silence for a minute in honour of the departed souls in Kedarnath & surrounding areas’. Next he tells about the current position of BJP in Lok Sabha (116 seats) against the Congress (206 seats). Then he says that Muslims are the second largest majority of the country but BJP continues to ignore this section of the society. Citing some articles posted on the website of BJP, Zafar Mahmood highlights the hateful philosophy of Hindutva ideology towards Muslims like Uniform Civil Code etc. and appeals to BJP to change its stand.

Here is an ex bureaucrat who is appealing to Modi to change his Hindutva ideology… What a joke!

In next few slides Zafar Mahmood discusses the management of Waqf properties including the creation of Indian Waqf Service etc at length as per the recommendations of Sachar Committee. He then appeals to Modi: “BJP should introduce a Resolution in Parliament for creation of Indian Waqf Service.”

Then Zafar Mahmood highlights the Constitutional Order of 1950, which excluded Muslims & Christians from getting the benefits of reservations like Scheduled Castes. He says both Sachar Committee & Mishra Commission have strongly recommended that the definition of Scheduled Caste should be made religion-neutral. Then the ‘representative’ of the Muslim community appeals to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate: ‘BJP should submit a memorandum to the President supporting it and asking for it. Also, introduce Resolution in parliament.”

In slide No 50 Zafar Mahmood ‘informs’ Modi: “In Ahmedabad Dhorajinagar and Citizen Nagar 200 victim families of 2002 riots have been rehabilitated with the help of local Muslim philanthropists. Both these areas are at the foothill of a one-kilometer long and ?fty feet high heap of trash dumped there from all over the city.” Then he appeals to Modi: ‘It would be great that you visit Citizen Nagar & Dhorajinagar’.

Zafar Mahmood then talks about Introduction of Interest-free finance in banking sector and Implementation of the recommendations of Raghuram Rajan Committee on financial sector reforms (Planning Commission), and then as earlier seeks Modi’s help on these issues also.

Then there is poetry of Iqbal and at the end a verse of Holy Quran. ‘All-Glorified is He in Whose Hand is the absolute dominion of all things, and to Him we will be taken back’ (Holy Quran 36.83).

Zafar Mahmood remained silent on some major issues

Only once in the 65 page PPT, Zafar Mahmood mentions Gujarat riots 2002 to say that around 200 victims have been rehabilitated by the community philanthropists but they are living in a dumping ground and there is no facility of government. In entire PPT, he didn’t utter a word about the compensation and rehabilitation of thousands of victims, he didn’t talk about justice to them.

Even when the hands of Modi and his colleagues have been found behind several fake encounters of Muslims including the young girl Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat, Zafar Mahmood doesn’t utter a word on this issue.

Today’s major issue confronting the Muslim community across the country is false cases of terrorism against Muslim youths and their illegal incarceration in jails both in Gujarat and elsewhere. Zafar Mahmood remains silent on this issue too.

While both Sachar and Ranganath committees have recommended 10% reservation for Muslims at national level, this is not an issue for Zafar Mahmood to present in the PPT.

What use of talk with a remorseless sinner

Before meeting Modi, Zafar Mahmood should have asked Modi if he has a sense of remorse and repent for those who were killed on his behest. Did Modi ever try to meet any victim of post Godhra riots including Zakia Jafri?

I (along with 200 million Muslims) am sure that there will be no change in the perception of Modi about Muslims, because Modi is not a simple human being, he is a personification of Satan. Both Adam and Satan committed mistakes, Adam realized his fault and bowed down before God and regretted and thus was forgiven by God, but Satan didn’t realize his mistake, rather tried to justify his mistake just like Modi does.

[The writer is Edtor of Musim Mirror. He can be contacted at smzubairahmad@gmail.com]

1 comment:

  1. PITY ON ZAFAR MEHMOOD. SHOW HIM THE FACE OF QUTUBUDDIN ANSARI AND OTHERS LIKE HIM WHO SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF MODI AND HIS BRIGADE.

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