Skip to main content

As secular parties fail to fight injustice, BJP vigorously moves to make inroads among Muslim voters

By Abhay Kumar* 
The BJP’s successful methods of winning the elections have often been its ability to achieve anti-Muslim polarisation. No one argues here that these time-tested formulas have been abandoned, yet the saffron party has undertaken several steps to attract the minority community. Ahead of the General Elections 2024, the BJP has sped up its efforts to woo Muslim voters.
The major reason for this is the compulsion of Indian democracy. The BJP and its parental body the RSS understand the concrete reality that the Muslim community is not only “a minority” but also the second-largest community in the country. The Muslim population in India is estimated at 20 crores, three times more than the British population that ruled over the world for centuries.
The BJP and the RSS are pragmatic organisations. They do not mind taking a few steps back from their ideology if it suits their interests. While they do want to keep their hardcore supporters pleased with their anti-Muslim agendas, at the same time they have launched vigorous campaigns to make inroads among the Muslim voters.
However, the saffron outfits are fully aware of the fact that making inroads into Muslims is not easy. The reason is simple: how could the politics of anti-Muslim polarisation sit together with the campaigns to win the sympathy of Muslim voters? How could the acts of insulting a marginalised community and rubbing salt into their wounds go along with a kind gesture of reaching out to the community? The BJP and the RSS are not ignorant of these structural contradictions.
That is why the saffron outfits are using multiple strategies. They are sometimes contradictory to Hindutva ideology, yet the saffron forces are ready to make a compromise. Projecting Atal Bihar Vajpayee as the “liberal” face of the hardcore RSS and his Muslim outreach programme are an example of this.
Traditionally, Muslims have supported secular and social justice parties and voted against communal forces. But the saffron outfits are not disheartened by these historical realities. The BJP and the RSS have received feedback that they are losing ground. The saffron parties are desperate to compensate for the loss by bringing Muslims to their fold.
Note that wooing Muslims is not the only way the BJP is trying to recover lost ground. But certainly, it is one of the important strategies. The saffron outfits are desperate not to lose power at any cost.
Electoral democracy is a game of numbers. The Muslim voters influence dozens of parliamentary constituencies. In many areas, their population is over 20 per cent. As the electoral competition is getting tough, every vote counts. The think tank(s)  within the BJP and the RSS, therefore, have decided to manage Muslim voters effectively.
The RSS and the BJP’s primary target is to win Muslim support. But they know very well that the community is unlikely to give support overwhelmingly because of their ideology. Thus, the saffron forces are trying to at least bring to their folds a small section of the Muslim elite. The upward sections of the Muslim community have often been hungry for power and position. For them, fulfilling their self-interest is more important than the community’s interests. They have always been quick to adapt to the changing situation.
A good number of businessmen, religious leaders, journalists and university professors have already become the BJP and RSS supporters. Sometimes they support the saffron outfits openly and sometimes covertly. As a result, colleges, universities and cultural bodies where Muslims are in good numbers, are fast turning into the saffron hang-out.
But the BJP and the RSS are careful not to give space to the genuine leaders of the Muslim community. The saffron organisations are trying to further marginalise the community by upgrading the status of a small section of spineless elites.
The BJP and the RSS are aware of the fact that the alienation of Muslims has become so insurmountable that the incorporation of a section of saffron-donning Muslim elites cannot address it. As a next level of strategy, the saffron forces are busy creating confusion among Muslims. Attempts are being made to spread the propaganda that secular parties should alone be blamed for the backwardness of the Muslim community.
By solely blaming the secular parties, the saffron parties are trying to divide Muslim votes and make them less effective. Earlier, the BJP supported dummy Muslim candidates during the elections to further facilitate the division of Muslim votes and such a strategy would continue.
The propaganda machine of the RSS and the BJP have become more active. Half-truths and lies are being spread among Muslims. The target is either to get their support for the saffron party or ensure that they become more alienated from secular parties.
The Pasmanda debate has been appropriated by the Hindutva forces. It is being used to widen fissures among Muslims on caste and gender lines. While the BJP and the RSS are trying to unite Hindus on religious lines, they are dividing Muslims on the Pasmanda and Ashraf fault lines. Social hierarchy indeed exists among Hindus as well as Muslims,  Hindutva propaganda is only interested in taking up the issue of social hierarchy among Muslims. That is why the BJP and the RSS politicised the triple talaq issue but they do not touch the question of the subordination of Hindu women.
By doing so, the real interest of the saffron outfits is not to wage a struggle for equality among the minority community but to discredit the genuine community leadership and demonise secular parties.
Secular parties have indeed failed to do justice to the Muslim community when they were in power. But Hindutva propaganda is hiding the bitter truth that the condition of the Muslim community has quickly worsened under the BJP rules. In the last nine and a half years, the Muslim community has felt more alienated and insecure than they felt ever in the recent past.
Despite its claims, the BJP has not launched any concrete scheme for Muslims nor has it given many tickets to Muslims in assembly and parliamentary elections. The Hindutva turn in Indian politics has made the utterance of the Muslim issue a political sin. Even the secular parties are increasingly playing the soft Hindutva card.
Indeed, the BJP and the RSS are less interested in showing proper pictures to the Muslim community, rather they are solely blaming the secular parties for the backwardness of Muslims to get their votes. Such negative trends should be taken note of by the secular forces if they are serious about defeating communalism and upholding democracy.
---
*Independent journalist,  has taught political science at NCWEB Centres of Delhi University; is PhD (Modern History),
Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Source: Sabrang India


 +91 9868660402

Comments

TRENDING

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

- हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे*  15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

Only 15% businesses provide employees real-time sustainability dashboards: Study

Kyndryl in collaboration with Microsoft has released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data. A Kyndryl note: *** Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft , today released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm , finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

Violent incidents in Haldwani: CPDRS on dubious role of Uttarakhand government

By DN Rath  Center for Democratic Rights and Secularism (CPDRS) unequivocally condemns the dubious role of Uttarakhand Government and its administration in the incidents that happened in Haldwani of Nanital district of the state.

Tamil Nadu brahmins are at cross roads, their future scenario remains uncertain

By NS Venkataraman*  For over 70 years now, brahmin community in Tamil Nadu have been abused, insulted and even physically attacked on some occasions by those who claimed that they were part of the so called dravidian movement. However, brahmin community silently and helplessly ducked under pressure and showed no signs of resistance or fight back.

Ethiopian ruling classes, political masters in West have their hands soaked in blood

By Harsh Thakor  Over two hundred were killed in recent weeks in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara region. After peace-talks between the Oromo Liberation Army and the Ethiopian government did not materialise tensions are escalating in the Oromia region. Earlier, on November 22, least 25 civilians were massacred in a government aerial drone strike, in Chawaka districts of the Buno Bedelle zone. This incident took place only two days after a fierce battle arose between the OLA and governmental troops in the Sulula Fincha district of the Horro Guduru Wollega zone.

Soviet army crossed rarely transcended barriers in Leningrad to overpower Nazis

By Harsh Thakor  St Petersburg -- previously Leningrad -- has been commemorating the 80th anniversary of its complete liberation from the Nazis and the conclusion of one of the most brutal sieges in history. 80 years ago, a spectacular turn of events in Leningrad played major role in shaping the destiny or determining the path of the Great Patriotic War.

Regretful: Kapil Dev retired not leaving Indian cricket with integrity he upheld

By Harsh Thakor  Kapil Dev scaled heights as an entertainer and a player upholding the spirit of the game almost unparalleled in his era. In his time he was cricket’s ultimate mascot of sportsmanship On his day Kapil could dazzle in all departments to turn the tempo of game in the manner of a Tsunami breaking in. He radiated r energy, at a level rarely scaled in his era on a cricket field. Few ever blended aggression with artistry so comprehenisively. Although fast medium, he could be as daunting with the ball as the very best, with his crafty outswinger, offcutter, slower ball and ball that kicked from a good length. Inspite of bowling on docile tracks on the subcontinent, Kapil had 434 scalps, with virtually no assistance. I can never forget how he obtained pace and movement on flat pancakes, trapping the great Vivian Richards in Front or getting Geoff Boycott or Zaheer Abbas caught behind. No paceman carried the workload of his team’s bowling attack on his shoulders in his eras muc

Landlords' armed bandits launched merciless attack in Brazil but face resistance

By Harsh Thakor  Armed bandits called the “zero invasion movement” comprising of landowners, gunmen and police marched into   Bahia with support from the PM [Military Police]. On January 21st, indigenous Maria de Fátima Muniz, known as Nega Pataxó, shaman of the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe people, was shot dead in the Caramuru Catarina Paraguassu Indigenous Land and chief Nailton Muniz was seriously injured by gunshots, as were others indigenous people during an attack by the notorious  paramilitary group.

Landslide early warning system: Odisha Govt, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham collaborate

By Divya Saini  In a strategic move to mitigate the impact of landslides during storms, the Odisha government in collaboration with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is gearing up to establish a user-friendly Landslide Early Warning System (EWS) in Gajapati district. This initiative aims to provide advanced information, especially regarding landslides caused by disturbances in the natural stability of a slope.