A Manifesto for Muslims

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The community should use the IAC as a springboard for greater social involvement

Suspect action Muslims were wary of Kejriwal and Co because of IAC’s alleged right-wing links
Suspect action Muslims were wary of Kejriwal and Co because of IAC’s alleged right-wing links
Photos: AFP
Ajaz Ashraf, Senior j
Ajaz Ashraf, Senior journalist

IT IS about time Muslims overcame their fear of the BJP to rethink their attitude towards India Against Corruption (IAC), from which they have largely kept away. In hitching themselves to the IAC bandwagon, they can reap significant gains. For one, they can shatter the perception that they back issues pertaining exclusively to them. They can hope to carve out a space for themselves in the IAC, extending beyond token representation, which is their fate in most political parties. They can also inspire it to focus the spotlight on the menace of corruption afflicting the management of waqf properties.

Media analyses, to a great extent, have influenced the Muslim’s outlook towards the IAC. Just about every analysis invariably takes into account the electoral impact of the IAC on the Congress and the BJP. But the analysts have changed their tone and tenor over the past one year. Earlier, they, particularly those who are secular, broadly left-of-centre, of whom I too consider myself one, projected the IAC as a ram the saffron brigade was deliberately nurturing to batter the Congress.

Citing the slogan of Vande Mataram raised from the IAC platform, the analysts argued that it demonstrated the outfit’s insensitivity towards Muslims for whom deification is taboo. Glossed over were the equally thunderous cries of Inquilab Zindabad at protest sites. For a Baba Ramdev present on the IAC platform, there was also a Medha Patkar jostling for space. An incipient movement, in search of its moorings, usually attracts participants subscribing to a bewildering medley of ideologies. In demanding the IAC wear an ideological straitjacket, the analysts didn’t factor the sheer implausibility of sifting those owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar from the rest, and then peremptorily turning them away.

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