‘Pasmanda’ Muslims are the ones Victimized by BJP

  • Dr. Udit Raj

Bharatiya Janata Party is openly indulging in ‘Pasmanda’ politics (‘Pasmanda Muslims’ - referring to the victimized Muslims since ages who now stand aggrieved). I wonder if that principle, that slogan that ‘BJP does not do politics on the basis of caste and religion’, vanished into thin air! As a matter of fact, BJP does indulge in such politics, but neither accepts it nor assumes any answerability. By the time the opposition seek answers from them, a new issue arises - like people will forget unemployment and inflation due to the Uniform Civil Code. Other parties even keep giving clarifications. Encouraged by the BJP’s success in a few Muslim-dominated areas in the recent local elections in Uttar Pradesh, it has started to take note and blabber about ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims. A total of 395 Muslim candidates were also given tickets. Out of which 61 candidates have won. In this way, 15 percent have achieved success, which in no way, is sure to happen in the Lok Sabha elections too. What remains to be seen now is who is causing more harm to ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims! The social and intellectual capital of ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims is as negligible as that of Dalits and backward classes among Hindus. The intellectual and social capital of the upper caste Muslim is like that of the upper caste Hindu. This is the basic reason for their lagging behind. They could not get the government benefits like Dalits and tribals.

Who is mob lynched mercilessly? ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims are the ones who trade in cattle and are at the receiving end of the wrath of the protectors of the cow. If the so-called upper caste Muslims are in the beef business, they are wholesalers in cities, where there is no insecurity. The Ashraf Muslims are seen to be the owners of slaughter houses. Big slaughter houses are under the control of Vaishya community. They are ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims who have to go from village-to-village and street-to-street to collect animals, load them in vehicles and sell them. If they come across a cow vigilante on the way, it is they who become a victim of his wrath. Fake police cases are registered against them and they become victims of extortion and lathi-charge.

If BJP has endeared ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims, then why did it not give even a single ticket to a Muslim in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections last year? According to their population, around 60 tickets should have been given. Is there any answer to this? Even in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, not a single Muslim was given ticket. Apart from this, there are many other dimensions of empowerment, but nothing concrete has been done even there. How many of them have been ever posted as Chief Secretary, DG Police, Board Chairman and other welfare posts like Professor, Vice Chancellor, Advisor etc.? And surprisingly it is so, when there is no dearth of qualified candidates. Same is the situation of Dalits and backward people. There are about 1000 universities, in some of which they can be made VCs.

BJP leaders openly talk about economic boycott of Muslims and who is more affected than a ‘Pasmanda’? Who is the bangle seller? Who sells vegetables on a cart? They even get beaten up. Some active workers of BJP made a public appeal not to buy vegetables from them and end all financial relations. ‘Pasmanda’ is the most affected by this.

Many rights and facilities have been abolished since 2014. Maulana Azad Scholarship, which was available for higher education, was abolished by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. With privatization, ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims and Dalits and backward classes were shown the way out. Hatred has become so deep-rooted that Muslims who used to live in a mixed population happily, sold their houses and lands to settle in their own community. The gap among people of the mixed population in India has increased rapidly since 2014 and is still increasing. Upper caste Muslims are living comfortably in mixed rich colonies.

‘The goat which is to be slaughtered is fed and fattened.’ Now after 9 years, ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims are being remembered simply to gain power. High and low, backward and upper castes are found among Muslims. The dominant customs and traditions of a country have an impact on the minorities as well. There is no caste in Islam, but the Muslims of India are influenced by the Hindu society or it can be said that they have converted. Let us assume that BJP has suddenly got to endear them, then nothing has gone wrong even now. Their upliftment can be started instantly. Lakhs of posts are lying vacant in the government, give them a chance to serve. Send them to Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council. Tickets should be given to them in the elections of Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha. They should be included in the Council of Ministers. They should be included in Section 341 of the Constitution so that they can get the benefits of reservation. There are numerous opportunities where they can be given participation. They can only be empowered by walking the talk.

(The author is the National Chairman of the Unorganized Workers and Employees Congress, All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste/Tribe Organizations and National Spokesperson of the Congress)