Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kejriwal tactics, lessons for Indian Muslims - By Ghulam Muhammed

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Kejriwal tactics, lessons for Indian Muslims

The entire Indian community that Kejriwal is supposed to be representing as far as corruption in government ranks is concerned, was/is helpless in addressing the problem of how to make the Government accountable to their demands, especially when colossal amounts of public money were so ruthlessly siphoned off without any fear of reprisal from any law authority. Kejriwal first tried with Anna Hazare a dharna demanding Jan Lokpal bill. Entire political class questioned the locus standi of Kejriwal and Anna to dictate a law, which is supposed to be the monopoly of elected legislative bodies. Politicians openly asked that instead of disturbing peace on the streets, the protestors should try electoral route and come into assemblies and Parliament and then form their own cherished laws. While Anna dithered given his age, Kejriwal took the challenge and resolved to fight Delhi Assembly elections. Public across the board were so fed up with the corrupt politicians, that Kejriwal automatically received overwhelming response and unexpectedly secured 28 seats in assembly and later got to form the government.

Kejriwal’s step by step progress towards political empowerment to root out corruption found a common strain of sympathy in across the board voters, regardless of all vote bank politics of caste-ism, religion, class, regionalism, economic strata.

Here is a firsthand lesson for Muslims who are tired of protesting for past 65 years begging Congress to give them equal status as citizens of the nation, without any malicious discrimination on the ground of their religion. Sixty five years down the line, there is hardly any hope that the criminals in political oligarchy have any inclination to give even a minimum space for Muslims. We should have reached the point of frustration --- the Kejriwal moment of despair --- when we should collectively try to come forward as a united political force to cleanse the criminal system. We choose all those communal candidates that are the kingpin of the overt and covert communal and anti-Muslim movement as our target and see to it that they are not elected. This is most feasible and legal way to defeat our enemies through tactical and at times negative voting to help cleanse the system of the corrupt as well as communal. Kejriwal is at the moment not in a position to change or expand his party’s agenda to include communalism to its mission to root out corruption. We will have to do this job ourselves, though with cooperation with other sympathizing political groups. Muslim vote bank does have great leverage in a vast number of constituencies, where even with give and take arrangements, Muslims can first see that their enemies are not elected. To counter both Congress and BJP, we may join hands with other clean and non-communal leadership to see that targeted candidates are not elected. They say there are nine ways to skin a cat. When we cannot get our adversaries on communal charges, we may switch to corruption eradication mode to get the same results.

Like Kejriwal, let Muslim chose a small area for intense mobilization of their voters. A success in that small laboratory will give them further courage to expand their area of operation. Muslim political initiatives will be ruthlessly opposed by the targeted groups, just as Kejriwal is facing today. All political parties are ganging on him and his party, as all of them are neck deep in corruption. Muslim will have to be prepared for similar  challenge. Better to be prepared for a political challenge than to die helplessly in Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar.

Let social media be our communication medium to congregate like-minded activists to proceed to form our strategy and tactics. There is no alternative for us except to stand on our own two feet and meet the challenge.  We would be thankful to Kejriwal to have shown a way out of a half a century old logjam.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

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