Shinde & Parameshwara's minority appeasement
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who was found making the 'Hindu terror' remark causing a massive controversy earlier this year, found himself again at the receiving end recently by asking the state governments not to wrongfully detain Muslims youths on charges of terror.
On Sunday, Karnataka state chief of the party G Parameshwara said it is okay if minorities do not repay loans taken from government sources. He said the minorities agency should sanction huge sums and asked it not to bother even if those amounts were not repaid. "It's part of the development process," he said.
How long will we continue to treat the minorities as political guinea pigs?
In 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a session of the National Development Council that Muslims should have the first claim on resources so that they get proper shares of development.
Do these remarks reflect any constructive thought? What has religion to do with law, loans or allocation of resources? Why do these leaders encourage negative forces in the society by speaking in favour of bending laws and fraudulence practices?
But the bigger question is: How long do we continue to treat the minority sections as political guinea pigs?
Rahul Gandhi blasts BJP, but why is he silent over his own partymen?
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP during his recent tour of Gujarat, saying the opposition party practised politics that divide the Hindus from the Muslims. But before taking on the opposition on this issue each time, he forgets the pro-minority preaching which is being done by his own partymen. How long can the Congress afford to practise soft communalism under the veil of Nehruvian secularism?
The Congress's problem is that it has lost its minority votes to regional parties and now, influential Muslim clerics have also taken the initiative of swinging the votes away from it, for they have been left dissatisfied with the shallow promises over the last 60-odd years.
Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, one of those breakaway factions of the Congress, tried to appease the Muslim clerics by planning monthly allowances for them to get an easier access to their following till the judiciary stepped in.
The Muslim clerics themselves are also not convinced by the state government's philanthropy, just like the Samajwadi Party government's decision to clampdown on a religious rally in the face of the VHP's over-hyped rally in Ayodhya, which also failed to break much ice. It is not a wise act today to treat the minorities as a stagnant-minded votebank who just flock together to prefer the leader who dons a white cap.
Right-wing communalism rose because of the secularists' ploy
The right-wing camp has preached majoritarian litics because the so-called secular forces played the minority card all throughout to win electoral battles. It is, therefore, futile to accuse the right-wing politicians for the communal polarisation right away for they could not have thrived had the secularists cared not to play the communal card in Indian politics, in a softer way.
The likes of Mulayam Singh Yadavs, Lalu Prasads, Nitish Kumars, Mayawatis and Mamata Banerjees have imitated the politics of the grand-old party to corner itself on their respective turfs but yet play a convenient game of compromise with it to keep the 'communal' BJP at bay.
The silver-lining is that this paradox is past its heydays now. Whenever a beleaguered Congress-led UPA government makes overtures at the Muslims today, the case of Narendra Modi becomes stronger, not as a right-wing communal leader as many believe, but as the symbol of a new India where uniform development is preferred over useless secularism.
Shindes and Parameshwaras help Narendra Modi's cause
The biggest reason behind the rise of Modi's popularity is that the traditional politics of minority appeasement has run out of steam today. The Shindes and Parameshwars can still continue with their desperate acts to embarrass the Congress and the nation, but it is a universal conclusion that just like Hindutva politics, minority appeasement is also a fruitless political venture today.