Opinion | Changing Tactics of Demand Politics by Muslims – News18

Written By: Arshia Malik
Last Updated: March 26, 2024, 22:14 IST
New Delhi, India
Muslims should not only be withdrawing from their specific demand politics, but demand things essential for every Indian citizen, regardless of caste, creed and identity. (Image: AP/File)
Demand politics by Indian Muslims is the political strategy where Indian Muslims advocate for their rights, representation, and protection against perceived discrimination and projected marginalisation. This approach involves demanding equal opportunities in areas such as employment, education, housing, and political power. So basically, demand politics involves advocating for specific rights and representation based on identity. Syed Zubair Ahmad, editor of Muslim Mirror, published an article, “Should Indian Muslims withdraw from ‘demand politics’?” a few days ago. In the article Maulana Maududi, the Jamaat-e-Islami ideologue, has been invoked by the editor, claiming that he asked Muslims to withdraw from political rivalry for a decade post-Partition to prevent the polarisation of Hindu masses against Muslims.
Quoting Maududi is not a problem, even the late Tarek Fatah quoted the Jamaat ideologue while making a case against the concept of an Islamic State, which his studies showed was not part of the core message that the Prophet gave to early Muslims in his lifetime. In his book, Chasing the Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, Maududi’s writings have been used to argue against an Islamic State or separate homeland, because according to Islamists, the whole of India is for Muslims. Syed Zubair attempted to exonerate the man behind the two-nation theory, and it was a tad difficult for me to believe Maududi advocated Muslims giving up their ‘demand politics’. Syed Zubair’s obscurantism is further revealed in the article, as he keeps referring to the “unprecedented surge in majoritarian politics fuelled by the ideology of Hindutva” — his words.
I wonder why the cultural resurgence of Hindus or Bharat is seen as a threat to the 20 crore Muslim minority in India, protected by the Constitution and the secular ethos of India since Independence, despite the bloody Partition of Bharat into East and West Pakistan. Hamid Dalwai, the angry young secularist from Maharashtra, a rationalist, and a humanist, often said Hindu communalism was a reaction to Muslim communalism. If Muslim communalism is rectified, the Hindus will revert to their tolerant and secular behaviour. Did the Muslims not think that wearing their religion on their sleeves all the time would eventually elicit a response from most Hindus once they learned about the invasions and conquests by Islamic invaders? Did the agenda groups and vulture activists with their funding from anti-India forces not think that this in-your-face Islamism for a century would not be copied by the Hindus? Do the intellectual activists ever reprimand the “we were once rulers” mindset of their ummah, videos of which go viral almost every week?
The advent of technology and social media enabled the majority of Hindus to make connections between events and recognise patterns of bad behaviour among Muslims. Yet in the article, Syed Zubair’s entire rationale is that it is okay for Muslims to be bigots towards the majority, but the Hindu way of life cannot be expressed, because it would encroach on the personal space of Muslims. The recent incident of Muslim youth thrashing a Hindu shopkeeper for playing the Hanuman Chalisa aloud during the azaan is one such incident in a series of micro and macro aggressions, bigotry, and intolerant behaviour by radicals and extremists in the 20-crore minority population of Indian Muslims.
The usual tactics of twisting the statements of the RSS ideologues, which were an outreach to build bridges in an interfaith attempt, is normal for vulture activists or agenda groups, who are funded by anti-India forces for the disinformation warfare in India. Syed Zubair writes that the Hindus need the scapegoat of Muslims and that this continuous reiteration of India being incomplete without Muslims is a Hindu upper-caste agenda to promote casteism. Syed Zubair conveniently forgets that the caste system has existed amongst Muslims too, since 632 AD when the first rightly-guided Caliph Abu Bakr in his speech laid the claim that only the Meccan Arabs to succeed the Prophet, going against the core message of Islam — everyone regardless of race, creed, gender, or status was equal. The Ashraf elite, of the Indian subcontinent, try to trace their lineage to those Meccan Arabs, clearly practising a casteist or dhimmi attitude towards the indigenous converts of Bharat/Hind — the Pasmandas.
That ordinary Hindus do not have a threat from extremist Muslims has been repeated ad nauseam throughout the dishonest piece, never once mentioning the internal insurgency of the PFI cadres against the Indian state, the Kashmiri secessionist groups trying for a merger with Pakistan, the sar tan se juda crowd baying for the blood of ‘blasphemers’ or the cases of Muslim men entrapping Hindu women, or the scores of Muslim perpetrators committing gruesome crimes on Hindu families, solely because of their religious identity. Construction of the Ram Mandir was an abomination for the agenda activists while the demand for more waqf land, more madrasas/mosques, or retaining the academic bastions that created the idea of Pakistan is the ‘demand politics’ of Muslims. Religious symbolism in parliamentary proceedings is seen as an affront while it is okay if the Muslims bring in religious motifs in every sphere of public life.
Documentation of illegals, streamlining of madrasas to upgrade to 21st-century curricula, creating a database on sleeper cells of al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba or Kashmiri hybrid terrorists, bringing in reforms to Muslim Personal Laws and the UCC is seen as the exclusion of Muslims from the political mainstream, as well as their marginalisation and persecution. At the end of the article, Syed Zubair gives the solution of an ideological movement to the traditional “demand politics” as if the Wahabi and Salafi ideas that destroyed entire regions in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent weren’t enough. He also advocates a self-supporting system, providing a smokescreen for the intifada ecosystem that already exists in the form of journalists, fact-checkers, columnists, academicians, activists, influencers, and the civil society comprising of Left-liberal jamaat, and the useful idiots from Hindu heritage.
The former intellectualises terror and provides cover fire for crimes, violence, bigotry, and intolerance from the Muslim side. Of course, Syed Zubair uses the politically correct terminology of self-reflection, introspection, ethics, moral standards, accountability, leadership, blah, blah, etc in his piece, which colours it up as a progressive one. But it is another example of obscurantism, which Hamid Dalwai, the 20th-century Indian rationalist and stalwart of objectivity and critical thinking recognised among the Indian Muslims in the 1970s and called them out for it. This penchant to mislead gullible Hindus and browbeat the silent rational majority within the Muslim community is what has kept some sections of 20 crore Muslims backward and useful for agenda activists, the ulema and the politicians and, hence, no bridges were built in the last 70-plus years post-Independence. At least, now a start can be made if the truth is acknowledged, and self-introspection becomes a norm in a critical-thinking culture.
Muslims should not only be withdrawing from their specific demand politics, but demand things essential for every citizen of India, regardless of caste, creed, and identity. Not everything has to revolve around Islam and the Muslimness of individuals. Demand politics and constant participation in the ‘Oppression Olympics’ will not change the circumstances of many ordinary Muslim families under the grip of fanatics, extremists, and radicals. The gruesome murder of the two children in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh by a Muslim barber this week, with no prior animosity, is an indicator.
(The author is a writer and an educationist from Srinagar. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect News18’s views)


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