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What about 80 pc of Gujarat Muslims, Mr. Modi!

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Rabble rousing and oratory don’t help for long

By Dr Javed Jamil

Modi and his team has met in Delhi to chalk out a strategy to bring Muslims, at least some of them, into its fold. They are planning to bring a “Muslim Vision Document” of their own, as if it will be a replacement of my “Muslim Vision of India” document. Modi has told the gathering that 20-25 pc of Muslims in Gujarat voted for BJP. He forgot to tell that even if his figures are assumed accurate, 75-80 pc did not vote for him. And this is despite the fact that he has been ruling the state for more than a decade. And of course, he has no time to tell why they did not vote for him. Why a Chief Minister could not win their confidence even after such a long rule?

Rising from media debate on his Independence Day address, which he must be rejoicing because media attention is what he relishes, he is trying to prove to Muslims that he has an agenda for them too. The curious part though is that Muslims are more eager to know his hidden agenda rather than the agenda that BJP will bring in its Muslim Vision document.

I am one of those who believe that agreements can be struck not only with allies but also with enemies. There may come a day when Muslims may think of opening a serious dialogue with the forces of Hindutva. That day will come when these forces will redefine “Hindutva” right, as an ideology based on the principles of Hindu Dharam and not as one that revolves around hatred for Muslims and everything that is linked to Muslims – from Islam to Pakistan. Any such serious dialogue can begin only when no elections are round the corner and must focus on finding the common grounds like social vices, economic disparity, corruption, family values and purity in public life.

But this is the Election time. And at this time whatever comes from the horse’s mouth cannot be taken seriously. I have always firmly believed that whole in case of ordinary mortals, our friends and relatives, we must look at their positives rather than negatives, in case of the ideologies, systems and leaders, we must focus more on their negatives and choose one that has minimum and least offensive demerits. And whatever the positives that BJP may try to project, the truth remains that its negatives will outweigh its negatives. This is true for the very ideology on which it has positioned itself but also its leadership.

Modi may be a big orator. So are most of the BJP leaders. Political leaders of almost all other parties including UPA are nowhere in comparison. But they must understand that oratory without substance and the truth of intent is nothing more than demagoguery and rabble rousing. Rabble rousers may earn cheers from the audience but not the long terms commitment which comes only after words are converted into actions that benefit the whole nation rather than certain sections.

When it comes to actions though, unfortunately no political party or group seems to be much concerned about them. They seem to be concerned only about votes and notes and as notes come only from certain sections of the populace, the votes are often forgotten immediately after they are cast. Then onwards, it is only the notes that matter.

There were two speeches that the Media focused on the Independence Day. Unfortunately for the whole nation, both lacked in substance and merit. There was hardly anything except perhaps the Food Security Bill that could attract attention. With elections around, people expected some big solid steps that would change the lives of the deprived and the marginalized. Nothing much was audible to that effect. And of course, Muslims were conveniently forgotten. As Always.

[Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com or 91-8130340339]
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