Monday, March 10, 2014

A BJP- Muslim entente cordiale? By Hasan Suroor - The Hindu, Chennai, INDIA

My comments posted on The Hindu website article: A BJP- Muslim entente cordiale? By Hasan Suroor:

"Modi has realized the current fracturing of the political scenario does not promise his BJP any sign of majority MPs in the next elections and he is desperate to now increase his voter constituency to include misguided fringe Muslims who prize their business and material interests more than their larger community interests.These Muslim activists are now joined by well-meaning Muslim interlocutors who think they can hold a dialog with Modi and get a better deal with him if comes into power. Actually, these simpletons are not aware of the intensity of the RSS inroads into the psyche of the extremist of Hindutva. It is much wiser that Muslims should stop reforming Modi and let Modi remain as the Modi of 2002 Gujarat, so that voters are not fooled by his fraudulent election speeches. The more Modi remains Modi, the better for the fractured ‘secular’ political groupings to unite and defeat Modi. Otherwise, if Modi transmutes into Congress avatar, he will be doubly lethal for Muslims."

from:  Ghulam Muhammed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 13:47 IST

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Opinion » Lead

March 10, 2014
Updated: March 10, 2014 00:07 IST

A BJP-Muslim entente cordiale?

Hasan Suroor
Share  ·   Comment (39)   ·   print   ·   T+  
The threat of communalism is not a mere bogey, and the Muslim ‘sense of alarmism’ does not exist in a vacuum. It may often be exaggerated or fuelled by secular parties to get Muslim votes, but it is real.
In a TV interview last week, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley admitted that the BJP had a Muslim “problem.” “Yes, we have it,” he said, pointing out that there was a “problem both ways.”

“Part of the problem is that they (Muslims) have to understand us and part of the problem is we have to accept it…But I see a huge change in the situation.”

His remarks came on the heels of the party president, Rajnath Singh, offering a slightly puzzling, backdated apology to Muslims while appealing to them to give the BJP a chance in the coming general election.

Then came Mr. Narendra Modi’s “big” speech in Lucknow in which he studiously refrained from raising any contentious issue, choosing instead to direct his fire against Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav. If you didn’t know it was Mr. Modi speaking, it could have been any garrulous politician shopping for voters. Indeed, the party’s hard-core base in Uttar Pradesh may have been disappointed that there was not even a pro forma reference to Ayodhya.
A concern?
So, is something going on here in terms of the BJP’s approach to Muslims? A rethink of its Muslim policy?

On the face of it, all this sounds very much like an all-too-familiar pre-poll tactic to woo Muslim voters, but could it be that these developments reflect a genuine concern within the BJP over its “Muslim problem”?

Has the penny finally dropped that it cannot hope to prosper as a truly national party or effectively govern the country if it continues to exclude 170 million voters on the basis of some ancient feud and old prejudices whose provenance even is not clear to a new generation of Hindus and Muslims?

Mr. Swapan Dasgupta, the party’s resident intellectual, appeared to reflect this concern when he said in a television debate that the fact that Muslims were not with the BJP amounted to its failure to reach out to every segment of society.

“Yes, naturally if it fails to appeal to a certain section of the population it will count as a failure,” he said.

Likewise, Mr. Jaitley acknowledged, albeit with gritted teeth, that the party needed to soften its hard anti-Muslim image or “soften its angularities,” as the interviewer Ms Barkha Dutt put it. Yes, it had “a certain ideological personality” and took “positions” on issues such as the uniform civil code, but while theoretical and ideological beliefs were one thing, practical realities of day-to-day politics were quite another, he suggested.

“Judge us by our record,” he said implying how the party had put the Ramjanambhoomi issue on the back-burner when it was in power.

The BJP believes that it has already won over the Sikhs and sections of the Christian community (nearly half the cabinet ministers in the BJP-led Goa government are Catholics) and Muslims are next on its shopping list. It is convinced that only the “bogey” of communalism raised by “secular’’ parties is keeping Muslims away from it.

The trick, the party believes, is to be able to counter this “bogey” and rid Muslims of their “sense of alarmism,” to quote Mr. Dasgupta.

One wishes it was that simple. The truth is that the threat of communalism is not a mere bogey; and the Muslim “sense of alarmism” does not exist in a vacuum. It may often be exaggerated or fuelled by secular parties to get Muslim votes, but it is real and there is a basis for it. The basis is the history of Sangh Parivar’s Muslim-baiting to the extent of questioning their loyalty to their own country.

So, what is it that, in the words of Mr. Jaitley, the BJP must “accept” and the Muslims must “understand” that would pave the way for the twain to meet?
Notion of supremacy
The notion of Hindu supremacy is so deeply hard-wired into the BJP’s DNA and a part of its “ideological personality” that it will be unrealistic to expect it to transform miraculously into an all-inclusive big tent overnight. For that to happen, it will have to cut itself loose from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), its ideological mentor and, effectively, puppet-master. And that is not possible so long as the old guard — born and bred in RSS culture and dependent on its support — is incharge of the party. It will require a huge generational shift in leadership for the BJP to change and become a truly modern party free from sectarian prejudices.

Meanwhile, what it can do is what, in Britain, the Tory party is doing in relation to its old racist and homophobic attitudes. At its core, it remains largely a party of closet racists, misogynists and homophobes but in practice it is trying desperately hard (and succeeding, to some extent) to reach out to all — ethnic minorities, women and gays.

Who would have thought that one day it would fall to a Tory government to legalise gay marriage, and a Tory Prime Minister would be heard saying that he supported “gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative; I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative,” as Mr. David Cameron did. For a party which, until barely a decade ago, wanted innocuous gay groups to be shut down, legalising gay marriage is akin to crossing the Rubicon.

The BJP needs to do something like this vis-à-vis Muslims — some grand public gesture to make them feel welcoming and wanted, not just merely tolerated. Mr. Jaitley favours fielding more Muslim candidates in elections.

“We must get into the habit of giving tickets to them even if they lose initially,” he said.

That will, of course, help but more than anything else what Muslims really want is to be shown respect rather than being patronised. The problem that Muslims have with the BJP is not that it doesn’t give them an election ticket but that it tends to look down upon them and treat them as outsiders whom it has to tolerate because of political compulsions. This mindset must change.
Bridging the divide
As for what Muslims need to do to bridge the divide, it will require a huge leap of faith for them to embrace a party that, rightly or wrongly, they see as congenitally hostile.

But for starters they should shed their blind anti-BJPism. To some degree that is already happening. 

Disillusioned with secular parties and driven by sheer pragmatism they now have a more open mind when it comes to voting. No longer do they see the BJP as “untouchable,” a process which would have gained greater traction if Gujarat 2002 had not happened. The BJP also alienated many potential Muslim supporters by insisting on nominating Mr. Modi as its prime ministerial candidate in what they see as a calculated attempt to add insult to injury.

But it is still not too late. The Muslim mood is not set in stone and there is still a lot to play for if the BJP really wants their support. For example, a public show of genuine contrition by Mr. Modi for what happened under his watch or a direct appeal by him to Muslims can change the whole climate. The garbled apology issued by Mr. Rajnath Singh may have made a greater impact if it had come from Mr. Modi.

The good news, however, is that amid the fog of mutual distrust and suspicion, both sides have been making tentative moves to break the ice. Perhaps few people know that the RSS, of all things, has a Muslim wing, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, ironically formed the same year as the Gujarat riots with the avowed aim of reaching out to Muslims. It claims to have 10,000 Muslim members nationwide and is said to be engaged in creating a network of sympathetic Muslim clerics.

It is notable that despite initial fears of polarisation along communal lines, the election campaign so far has been mostly secular with developmental concerns trumping mandir-masjid-like issues. With one month still to go, that is a long time in politics but could it be that we are seeing the beginnings of a long-haul journey towards some sort of a BJP-Muslim entente cordiale?

Radicalizing the Hindu term is now complete, if seen the kind of atmosphere we have in government offices, courts, police stations, public transport and even schools. The term secular and republic is a misnomer for our country now. Deities adorn the walls of aforementioned places across our country. How can we expect the minorities and its younger generation to grow and live in such atmosphere?

The shame is on Hindus for the present state of Muslims in India. Ghettoisation is nothing but the atmosphere you guys create towards minorities. The conditions have become so worse now, that alienation of Muslims start from the schools and go up to the judiciary. what happened in Gujarat to Muslims is beyond one's imagination. What a precision BJP and its cadre had on those carnage days! Marking the houses of Muslims by none other than neighbours and arranging to burn them by hiring criminals and anti socials. Is this what Hindus wanted to confide with Muslims then?

Its due to the ghastly caste system in Hinduism, which categorizes people according to their race and religion. Isnt it due to this, dalits and scheduled caste from their own religion suffered thro ages? Isnt this the reason, millions of such people converted to other faiths? What can Muslims expect from such system, where the concept is only to cater the Hinduism.

Relgions and belief is personal and its better leave that way. Dont try to dictate us what reforms and changes to bring in us. There are countless contradictions in Hinduism, which we are not bothered to ask. So why bother us? Instead see what you can do for us in a mannered way. Are Muslim youth who are educated and eligible candidates considered for jobs, opportunities etc..? Any nation's progress is based on its secular values. Remove the religion from schools, public transport, government offices, police stations and courts.

Unless this is eradicated, expect more alienation among communities, uneven growth, regional mindset among states which is already dominating in Tamil Nadu. Before advising Muslims, stop colonizing India in Hindutva style.

from:  Syed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 18:21 IST

Your victimization seems very laughable. All the secular talk is good
for muslims as long as they remain a minority. the moment they turned
majoirty, the real face of the cult knows. Forget about pakistan and
Bangladesh which embarrasses you, atleast remember Kashmir and what
the majority community has done there to minority community.
Unless you modernize and change your attitude nothing is ever going to
change. Sadly For muslims in pakistan and Bangladesh, there are no
excuse for being backward unlike in India.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 17:59 IST

Muslims will never grow out of their conundrum ghettoistic mentality. They are poor illiterate and never grown out of their self borne poverty.Although 67 years had passed after partition still they never accosted India as their own country as they see Pakistan as their own.We have tried every bit to confide in them that hindus are no enemy of muslims but they were unresponsive not reciprocal.Although they eat out of our hands but they never cared t see us as their brothers and sisters rather they exploit us in many spheres. They created a vote bank and started blackmail political parties and many parties fall prey to their machinations.But still BJP never uttered a single word against any muslim.What happened in Godhra not exceptional as Hindu Muslim riots happening in our country also in Gujarat since 1947.The train burning inflamed passion Gujarat riot happened it is a matter of regret that the govt was of BJP.If at that time congress would have the govt will they stopped the riot?

from:  muslim bhagawat
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 17:16 IST

On such a sensible ,meaningful article what's the point in commenting with PRE fixed mind.

The second largest populated country in the world. 102 cr Hindus, 17 cr uslims, & the rest
Christians, PARSIS, sikhs, etc. no where in the world you have this kind of spread. I feel
sorry my Indian Muslim friends making some strange comments.,living in India. Just see our
ex Indian brothers, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.

Question is India needs to progress fast, &youth need to move fast, so we need decisive
honest leadership for all, SABKO SAATH, SABKO VIKAS, we have lost over 60 valuable yrs
,we can't continue to languish in vote bank politics of few leaders, at the cost of whole
country. So. I very much appreciate mr JAITLEYS views &article & thank god for giving 123
cr people of this country a great P.M SHRI MODIJI WHO WILL TAKE EVERYONE FAST

from:  BAPTY.s
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 16:43 IST

Very good analysis. BJP needs to accept Muslims as Hindus as equal citizens of India - that will be the first and the biggest step. A good sign to me, as the author pointed, is that most of the young don't identify with religion - in fact they feel suffocated by it, Hindus or Muslims. I for one do. I believe in equal opportunity and complete freedom for all. I also think cultural diversity is a bliss not a curse. Ours can be a beautiful country with all its diversity or the biggest sectarian hell if taken in the wrong direction. The key is in the hands of the youth. Long live India.

from:  Manish
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 15:35 IST

The Uniform Civil Code is welcomed by progressive Muslims. If your analysis is to bracket all muslims together as one on every issue, as an indivisible "vote bank" so to speak, then you will only have a flawed analysis like this one.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 15:04 IST

If indeed BJP is to be judged on facts, as Jaitley wants, the party will get even fewer votes from Muslims. Treating riot- accused as 'heroes'and skimming over the fact that many Muslims died during the Muzzafarnagar riots speaks more than half-hearted lip sympathy.
The tiger cannot change its spots with a few lines...

from:  B.Banerjee
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 14:27 IST

I am from Malabar region of Kerala where Muslims are in majority.
Being a Hindu, I do not have problem interacting with Muslim friends
and participating in their festivals and other occasions. But what I
felt was that there is always a “limit†, no matter the level of
intimacy or friendship you have, you are not allowed to move beyond
that, especially when religion is the topic. In fact I admire that
strictness and of course we are not supposed to cross our limits. But
for sure, Muslims can never be secular and it is against their own
It is all about MAJORITY. That defines the rules and customs of that
place. If you are in a Hindu dominant area, then Hindu interest are
protected and same theory implies to place with Muslim majority.
On a lighter note, someone has requested below to stop RSS poisoning
children in their Shakhas and Vidya mandir. Hope everyone is aware of
the Madrassa and their teachings that are active in almost all parts
of the country.

from:  Hari
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 14:14 IST

"Modi has realized the current fracturing of the political scenario does not promise his BJP any sign of majority MPs in the next elections and he is desperate to now increase his voter constituency to include misguided fringe Muslims who prize their business and material interests more than their larger community interests.These Muslim activists are now joined by well-meaning Muslim interlocutors who think they can hold a dialog with Modi and get a better deal with him if he comes into power. Actually, these simpletons are not aware of the intensity of the RSS inroads into the psyche of the extremist of Hindutva. It is much wiser that Muslims should stop reforming Modi and let Modi remain as the Modi of 2002 Gujarat, so that voters are not fooled by his fraudulent election speeches. The more Modi remains Modi, the better for the fractured ‘secular’ political groupings to unite and defeat Modi. Otherwise, if Modi transmutes into Congress avatar, he will be doubly lethal for Muslims."

from:  Ghulam Muhammed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 13:47 IST

@S.Ganesh. Will you stop comparing India with other Muslim countries? Indian Muslims have no business with those countries you lament about. Besides how can be there a comparison here, when our constitution is entirely from theirs? We have a constitution which gives us equality, regardless of color, race and religion. But on contrary, what we see in India is a total domination of majority Hindus. whats is the difference between the countries you speak about and India then?

In the Middle East, there is a non Muslim work force of five million specifically from India. do you think, those countries are looking for the religion factor there? The heads of many corporate houses and ministries in Middle East, Malaysia, Brunei etc are Hindus. Stop this comparing now.

The big question we have now is- are Muslims going to vote for BJP and their likes in general elections. Answer is a big NO, considering the sufferings of Muslims in the hands of RSS, BJP and their likes. Hasan Suroor is in a lala land it seems. The RSS ideology itself is for the Hindu puritans. Of lately they have made some modifications in their policies to please the lower caste Hindus. Its a farce to expect Muslims vote for BJP and to be its members. The so called manch is a drama and BJP indeed have hired time to time mercenaries from Muslim community, who dont have any respect in Muslims.

This has been the reason, Muslims have voted for other parties than BJP. For Muslims in India, their safety and livelihood matters most. They are under threat is the feeling now. Its the responsiblity of Hindu majority to include Muslims in this nations growth in all aspects.

from:  Syed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 13:42 IST

A very well balanced article. Appreciate The Hindu for the timing of this publication. The
truth in the statement , 'The threat of communalism is not a mere bogy and Muslim sense of
alarmism does not exist in a vacuum ------is real' is justified, contextually bringing in the
element of misgivings that both the Hindus and the Muslims have been made to experience
by the divisive policies of the Colonial British first and then exploited by the so called secular
parties, Congress leading from the front, whose interests are no more mean than the British.
Kudos to the author for his handling of the very sensitive subject with tact and objectivity. The
bluff of 'secular' forces has been called off and it is time to dispel the misgivings and govern
the country as one Indian community for the welfare and development of all Indians. It is the
best opportunity for BJP to win the elections and demonstrate what true 'secularism ' is all

from:  M.R.Sampath
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 12:54 IST

Kudos to Hasan,

The best possible representation of current situation (of relationships
between BJP and Muslims)and analysis, proposals and possibilities for
and from both sides.

from:  Shyam Tripathi
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 12:34 IST

How will BJP win Muslim confidence? BJP's important decisions are
taken with permission Of RSS. And in RSS only Hindus are admitted(?).
It means in practice, though not on papers, BJP's whole philosophy is
decided by only Hindus. In such a situation how can BJP expect that
Muslims will come under the fold of BJP? Shri Rajnath Singh's apology
is like crocodile's tears. It is for votes. He may decieve some people
by these tears but he cannot fool all. India is country of various
cultures. It has given birth to Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. It has
aborbed Muslims, christians, Parsis in its fold. How can we forget
this? And how communalism solve our bread and butter problem?

Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 12:28 IST

A very good analysis. The most important to Muslims is safety of life for their families, businesses etc. We are seeing day in and day out that during any conflict a well trained mob from RSS take part in burning shops, houses etc. Question is not the apology from Modi but the mind set of BJP/RSS etc. Their mind is full of poison against Muslims in general. It is the attitude which requires being change. How can it be achieve? To my understanding, RSS Parivar MUST stops inculcating children against Muslims in their Shakhas, Vidya Mandir etc. The syllabus of primary schools has to be very secular. Look at CM of BJP ruling states (e.g., Shiv Raj Singh); they are poisoning mind of students by preaching hatred against Muslim.

from:  Aftab Khan
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:49 IST

Hasan Suroor has presented one side of the story. Let us look at the other side. Turn any direction you want - Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan. Can any non-Muslim aspire for the top job of the country? On the other hand, here in India, if you are a non-Hindu, your chances are higher. Naturally, the Indians are proud that they have such a liberal system not available in most countries. What is wrong in taking pride in it?

from:  S.Ganesh
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:44 IST

It is great to see that this parliamentary election would have a deep impact in our
country ecosystem.many parties strive hard to change their ideological stands and
make it accommodative as accordance with time.the one reason behind this move is
India's young population who are far liberal than their ancestors in perspective and
outlook of any issues. But,still, political parties need to understand that appeasement
cannot work before solid proof of development,electoral understand what is
real politics.

from:  Abhishek Saurashtra
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:41 IST

The exclusively Hindu RSS will have the dominant say in a Modi
regime.The affiliate organisations will become hyperactive. Police will
be partisan or go slow. That will be trouble for minorities of all

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:30 IST

At the initial stages of BJP, it depended on Hindutva image and Ramjanma bhoomi issue to increase its MP seats from 2 to above 100. By this issue they had strenghtened their base in Hindi heartland.

After this, to increase their base to form a majority government they had to be inclusive of all sects, regions and communities. That is what differentiates between a regional and national party. So, they now have to appeal to all communities. This is also fuelled by changing mindset of voters towards development.

So, BJP is slowly changing their politics from religion to good and inclusive governance. At the same time they are not afforded to loose their old hindutva base. So, Mr Modi could not directly appeal. But in a dilute and indirect way they are trying to woo muslim voters and change their untouchable view towards BJP.

from:  aditya
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:30 IST

Now that the religious minority are in the driver's seat , it is time that their leaders announced the boycott of the elections. Let the 'Hindus' fight it out among themselves, then we will pick up the choice pieces. Take for instance the fact that the Lucknow seat has become such a hot issue. Are we still ruled in the name of the Mughal Emperors? Is India Without the large Muslim minority an impossibility? in India there would have been no 'Hindu' identity without the presence of the large Muslim minority.. We guys talk of a Muslim vote bank which certain parties were catering to. Maybe we were right. But what about the genetic vote banks, also called 'castes' because of which we are referred to as 'inbred'? The Muslims should boycott the next elections to prove the fact that they do matter.

from:  Gussie Soza
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:20 IST

I do not think the BJP or Narendra Modi should work towards pleasing any particular community. They should work towards all the Indians equally. I have been a minority in my state in India and in a country outside India. The best case scenario for me will always be to be not given any preferential treatment but be treated like everyone else. I think the minorities in India will love to be treated in the same manner as the majority is. Please do not preach the principles of the Congress party which has been dividing India on the basis of religion and other classifications just to create vote banks.

from:  Sachidanand Kabir
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:17 IST

they are not only remembering Muslims during the elections also the
hindus. the mentee should realise that they lost the power in the
centre during 2004 due to their pro hindus activities. by the way
religion should be the choice of the people and not of a nation. If they
dont realise, their skyfall is not far away, remember the nazi party.

Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:12 IST

In India there are never open discussions about Muslims which is
harming Muslims also. Except by politicians anything "Muslim" is not
discussed. In general Hindus avoid speaking about them openly as if
they are 'still' afraid of them & try to avoid them in every way. This
affects employment of Muslims & process of social assimilation.
Rulers-Politicians have exploited this divide since British rule. The
secular politics of vote bank will continue to harm both communities
and not allow improvement in the situation.
Any body is free to comment on issues related to Hindus but never a
word about Muslim community. Why this?
In Muslim countries state religion is Islam. The followers of other
religions have limited/no religious freedom. Christian nations openly
support conversions through missionaries. This is never discussed. Pro
Hindu should not necessarily mean anti Muslim. A person can be good
practicing Hindu as well as Muslim friendly. I like Hema it does not
mean i dislike others.

from:  r. pandya
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 11:00 IST

With All Due respect to Hasan suroor sir i must say that his article
titled 'A BJP-Muslim entente cordiale?' has instilled more hope and
optimism for BJP which has been anti minority form its days of
inception. To be frank Muslim voters have no problem to support Namo if
his party does the following befor3 2014 general election's
1) Construction of educational Institution instead of Grand Ram mandir
2) Namo who was the C.M. of Gujarat in 2002 should place a direct and
sincere apology for his failure to perform his basic law and order
fuction of a state govt.
3) Namo should also break his silence on Reliance Gas scam or atlest he
should state reasons for maintaining silence
I must also remind Mr.Hassan suroor that unlike 2009 election ow for
2014 elections muslims community has many options to vote for this time
we have APP which is the best alternative for BJP & Congress.

Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 10:45 IST

The new generation needs to move on. I don't think older generation can move on but the younger one can with careful considerations. And as far as this election is concerned I think the attempt to communalise this election has been more from the "Secular Parties" rather than BJP. But I think Muslims are still skeptical and they have every right to be so but the logic that BJP is communal and others are not is quickly becoming a farce and the truth is Minorities have been treated as a mere vote bank only.

from:  Praveen
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 10:44 IST

Whatever the author is pointing for BJP to do "Grand gesture" is
something that needs to come from Muslims. So far Muslims are in denial
of the historical atrocities on Hindu population by Muslim invaders.

from:  Chander N
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 10:23 IST

Mr Suroor has based his entire analysis on cherry picked half statements culled from the media. This makes his argument, such as it is, rather stretched.
For example, Rajnath Singh did not issue a "garbled appology". In fact he did not issue an appology at all. he said that IF the BJP had committed any "mistakes" it was "prepared to appologise". It is curious that Mr Suroor while wondering why Muslims remain suspicious of the BJP, and stating that what Muslims need from the BJP is "respect", fails to once mention the fact that the BJP is an ideological party. The core of its ideology is Hindutva, its goal is a Hindu Rashtra. This is premised on the superiority of Hindu culture over other cultures.
Its absolutely unclear what Mr Suroor expects will happen. Does he think the BJP will abandon its ideology?

from:  Tara
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 10:18 IST

It's too late for BJP leaders to awake from slumber as regards its
attitude toward Muslims. What's the guarantee that it's not an election
gimmick? I do not think Muslims (with exception of a few lackeys) can so
easily be duped.

from:  dipendutta
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 10:04 IST

Suroor says the attitude of Muslims is not set in stone. That is precisely what I doubt. The silent majority of Muslims are always going to be suspicious of the average Hindu when it comes to politics & voting. Suroor has written a book of which he had given excerpts in the Hindu sometime ago and I am waiting for the day when, as he has indicated there, the new generation of Muslims will not bother about the baggage of the older Muslims and think beyond religion & politics.

from:  S.Ganesh
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 09:43 IST

Muslim suspicion & animosity towards any Indian who utters the word "Nationalism" stems from the dream that they were once the ruling class (Mughal/Afghan) & were displaced by British & later Hindu democrats. Until they hoist Sharia flag from Red Fort they will always think they are under seige. This is similar to Taliban's frustration despite Pakistan being Islamic state.

from:  VS Iyer
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 09:34 IST

Which Muslim will believe BJP after all the saffronization of school
textbooks, after meticulously planning and pulling down Babri Masjid
cheating the Supreme Court and the Nation with solemn promise. The
height of their claim is, pulling down Babri Masjid was accidental. Are
the Moghuls such weak builders so that their structures will get razed
to the ground on sudden outburst of emotions? A Muslim must be out of
his senses to dig his own grave by supporting BJP.

from:  Syed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 09:26 IST

Yet another example of pseudo-secularists bending over backwards to appear secular and fair. You need to develop a sense of perspective before making such flawed analyses. Muslims are forbidden by their religion to fraternise with "infidels" (their religion has created special words of hate to refer to those of other faiths; what greater proof of intolerance do you need?). It is not the fault of hindus that muslims choose to "ghettoise" themselves and shun secular education. The muslim religion endlessly talks of true gods and false gods as if they hold some kind of universal patent on god. Hinduism makes no such claims. When hindus oppose muslim attempts to impose their beliefs on others, you call that "terrorism". Why don't you do some research on the fate of minority hindus in muslim-dominated countries? That will be exactly the fate of hindus in India too once muslims are in a majority, which can happen very soon, considering their rate of breeding.

from:  Chander
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 09:17 IST

This article is very boring. First, the writer says that BJP looks down on Muslims, but, the same accusation can be thrown at Congress that it looks down on Hindus. "Muslims have the first claim on India's resources", said MMS. Has any BJP leader said that Hindus have the first right ? After getting Pakistan and Bangladesh, what standing Muslims have ? Why they are in India ? Indian media, including this newspaper, always give example of Gujarat riots, but, never mention Godhra train burning. Has any Muslim, ever, said anything against Islamic terrorism ? I know this comment will not be posted, but at least send it to the writer and Congress.

from:  BMehta
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 08:13 IST

No Party that wish to rule the Country like India can have a perpetual question mark in the thought process of any Community, whether religious or cast based. One or two leaders with Muslim sounding name will not meet the central problem the Party faces regarding the Muslim issue.

from:  Abdul Hameed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 07:45 IST

Hasan Suroor would do a world of good to himself and the muslim community if he chose not to boast of the BJP apology to the 2002 riots when the party's Naqvi has clarified it is not to do with the 2002 riots.

Why would one not question the patriotism of a section of muslims if they are hell bent on foisting the black flag on Independence Day and Republic day in Belgaum and parts of Kashmir. Is it not sedition? Does the saner voices of Islam condemn them and issue fatwa against them for disturbing the harmony in this country where the minorities are dealt equally (at times superior) than what their brethren are doing in Pakistan or Bangladesh?

Your solution for BJP to severe ties with RSS is laughable. RSS is the one who feels that the muslims in India are also Hindus in their genetic make-up and calls for them to be treated equally. It is the craving of the muslims for special attention that alienates them from the mainstream.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 06:34 IST

Hats off to Hasan Suroor. This is the sort of 'constructive' articles
one would like to read and hear on this communal-secular divide. It is
true that there is not only a perception issue but also a 'practical'
issue on this aspect. But the truth is there is no 'policy' decision
to be seen to be superior.It is just a case of numbers which gives
this 'problem' a twist. There is gut wrenching or visceral hatred. The
fact that BJP has put the three contentious issues in the back burner
is thanks 'our secular' credentials as voters. That is sufficient. BJP
has realised that India needs development and Muslims have to be a
part of it.The key is education. Why not educational trusts catering
to the poor among the Muslims as a target group for their well
being.Religion has nothing to do with this.Good There is a churning
for a give and take. good for India.Thanks Hasan.

from:  n vijayaraghavan
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 06:32 IST

The author takes a one sided view, while the core beliefs of a party may be extreme, it is what happens on the ground is more important and BJP has in its 5 year rule put aside Ayodhya, Uniform Civil Code etc.
Take for example AIMIM the party in AP, its founders were part of Razakar movement and waged an ugly pogrom for a separate country for Hyderabad, today the party leaders may be silent on those demands.
In that sense BJP is a nationalist party whereas AIMIM is anti national, but reality is different.

from:  Kranti
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 04:50 IST

The tone of the article appears as if Mr.Hasan Suroor wants the
impossible,[at least for the time being],to happen. But the mood in
general, does not look so. For instance what happened to the Sikhs
after Indira Gandhi's assassination, could be called a politically
emotional after math. But what happened in Gujarath for the Muslims,
would have left its deep sores, on account of the long- standing
hostility between one political party and one of the largest religious
sections of the world. Even if Mr.Modi personally and earnestly tries
to mend fences, it would only be viewed as a matter of electoral
convenience. After all every body knows here, that all political
parties paint themselves with fascinating colours for fetching votes
and these colours get bleached fast, once the elections are over and
the winners and losers are fixed. The Muslim population knows pretty
well, that both the so called secularists and sectarians have their
own hidden colours of self aggrandizement.

from:  P.Chandrasekaran.
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 03:03 IST

Thanks for the article which sheds the light on the much needed
understanding between India's muslim population and India's leading
leading representative of the views of Hindu populace. The author says
the party is prejudiced on "the basis of some ancient feud and old
prejudices whose provenance even is not clear to a new generation of
Hindus and Muslims." This is not correct. All cycles of violence
invariably starts off from "recent" provocation. The muslim populace
world over are under immense scrutiny because of radicals within their
community. The muslim populace must also do its bit in promoting
harmony and a sense of belonging by being proactive in rooting out
violence. In fact, although there were muslim invaders, they made
India their home unlike the British Raj who were interested in
"harvesting" India for its wealth. The normal muslim should come out,
defend people of all religions and reclaim their place in a fabric
that genuinely appreciates everyone's role. I am pro BJP.

from:  Jagan
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 01:18 IST

I don't think BJP is seriously interested in changing its image. It has
been bred on anti-Muslim rhetoric. They have read the history with
Saffron eyes. Any discussion of Muslim upliftment irritate them. Even if
they allot some seats to Muslims, it will be in those areas where there
winning chances are rare. Moreover, Muslims does not need the so-called
Muslim leadership as Shahnawaz Hussain and Muqtar Abbas Naqvi.

from:  Ahmed
Posted on: Mar 10, 2014 at 00:51

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