A Kejriwal victory will certainly be a boon for the secular forces of the country. He may become the pivot for all the non-Congress parties to form a united front. His loss may mark the end of his political career. For Muslims too, he is the only option in Delhi particularly at places where AAP is in direct fight with BJP. The current indications are that Muslim vote can still be divided in AAP and Congress, but hopefully, on the day of polling, the secular voters of each constituency, including Muslims, will take a determined decision to uprooat communalism in the capital of the nation.
Dr. Javed Jamil
Since his emergence on the political scene, I have had mixed feelings about Arvind Kejriwal. In the initial days, I had a feeling that with the kind of background he has – a banya with bureaucratic upbringing – he might well have soft corners towards the rightist ideology of BJP. It is difficult to say whether he did it out of political compulsions or due to ideological principles but the fact remains that after joining the political battle he has presented himself as a relatively more secular alternative of BJP. With Congress still showing no indications of an early revival, Kejriwal is trying to emerge as a credible alternative for the communal BJP. But in the process, the mistake he seems to be making is that he is trying to position himself as a liberal with centrist or slightly left to the centre approach. There is a clear indication in his statements about a liberal outlook towards moral and social issues.
This is unfortunate that politics in India has totally misunderstood the difference between religion and communalism. Those who claim themselves to be secular tend to ignore the moral, family and social values that religion preaches. The truth on the other hand is that there is no place in India either for communalism or liberal secularism. More than 95 per cent of Indians are firm believers in God and one or the other religion. The overwhelming majority of Indians believe in strict moral and family values. Secularism in India means respect to all religions, not the negation of religion, as in the West. Shanti Bhushan, one of the mentors of Kejriwal and his AAP party, summed up well when he said that the good thing about RSS is its respect of morality but the bad thing is its communal hatred towards Muslims. Bhushan’s statement that day might have had political connections, but some of his remarks were truly candid, which Kejriwal and AAP leaders should appreciate and inculcate if they want to become a true secular alternative in the country.
Having said that, Kejriwal’s AAP remains the only natural choice for the people of Delhi if they want a Delhi less corrupt, less communal and more people-friendly. BJP came to the power in the centre on the corporate and the communal agenda, and it is sincerely pursuing the both. To my mind, its corporate agenda is even more dangerous than its communal agenda, the latter in fact being the cover-up for the second round of privatisation, which Modi has initiated. I have a feeling that Kejriwal has not been talking as much on the corporate nexus this time, as he has been doing in the Lok Sabha elections. He should keep in mind that if he wants to emerge as the leader of the masses at the national level, he will have to counter the corrupt agenda with his all the resources he can command.
The elections in Delhi have been reduced to a straight battle between AAP and BJP, and it is difficult to predict who is going to win. A Kejriwal victory will certainly be a boon for the secular forces of the country. He may become the pivot for all the non-Congress parties to form a united front. His loss may mark the end of his political career. For Muslims too, he is the only option in Delhi particularly at places where AAP is in direct fight with BJP. The current indications are that Muslim vote can still be divided in AAP and Congress, but hopefully, on the day of polling, the secular voters of each constituency, including Muslims, will take a determined decision to uprooat communalism in the capital of the nation.
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 91-8130340339. For his shayri visit http://urduyouthforum.org/shayari/poet-Dr-Javed-Jamil.html