Your position on the issue (of empowerment of the powerless) will certainly be the first test of your slogan of “Sab ka saath, sab ka vikaas”. And of course “sab ka vikaas” cannot be possible unless everyone feels secure and safe under your government. Till everyone does not feel safe you cannot hope for “Sab ka Saath”.
By Dr. Javed Jamil
Dear Prime-Minister Designate Mr. Modi
In the post-election period, so far you have conducted yourself with dignity and magnanimity. The awe of the responsibility seems to have had a sobering effect on your demeanour and speech. You have sounded humble and responsible with a deep sense of duty towards the nation. You have so far also not said anything which will further compound the fears the minorities appeared to harbour if NDA under your leadership comes to power. If you have a clearer view of Raj Dharma than in 2002 when you had claimed its knowledge on being reminded by Vajpayee, you can certainly hope to enhance your popularity even among those who did not vote for you. If you fail, even those who shouted “Modi Modi” during your campaign will have second thoughts.
You have vowed to work for the poor. Hopefully, the “poor” includes all those Indians who are powerless irrespective of their religion, caste or region. Thanks to the historic triumph of BJP under your powerful leadership, the political empowerment of minorities has become the first casualty. The BJP parliamentary party has a single minority member from Sikh community; NDA has a Muslim in addition. 2 out of 335 do not even make 1 percent for minorities that form around 20 pc of the population. With the passage of time, Rajya Sabha too can be expected to have a decreasing percentage of Muslims and other parties unless your party takes an extraordinary step of nominating a large number of them. This is indeed a sad commentary on India’s democratic system, which has constantly failed to give adequate representation to all the sections of society. What is sadder is the fact that this is being justified by your party in the name of “not giving tickets on the ground of religion and caste”. The truth is that it is not the question of giving but denying on the ground of religion which is hunting the Muslim community in the country. If the deprived Hindu sections like SCs and OBCs get the preferences while the deprived Muslims are neglected, it becomes a case of denying on the ground of religion. If this is what the Constitution implies or is thus interpreted, there is an urgent need to rethink. Your position on the issue will certainly be the first test of your slogan of “Sab ka saath, sab ka vikaas”. And of course “sab ka vikaas” cannot be possible unless everyone feels secure and safe under your government. Till everyone does not feel safe you cannot hope for “Sab ka Saath”.
Your assertion on working for the poor will be another challenge. Who knows it better than you that the single-minded support of the corporate has been one of the biggest if not the biggest factor in your stupendous win. The corporate found the “welfare economics” of the emerging leadership pf UPA and the “aam aadmi” approach of AAP as unacceptable and chose you and your party as the only one deserving support. If you start doing more than simply talking about the poor, the corporate India will fume with anger. Can you cope with their disfavour is a big question. Time will tell the answer. The nation is waiting to see how you control the inflation and bring cheers on the faces of the poor.
Muslims of India are bound to be apprehensive considering the ideology your party has and considering your past record. The onus is on you and not on them to reduce these apprehensions. They will wait and watch, and will react accordingly. Hopefully, you prove their apprehensions wrong and after 5 years you can claim “Sab ka saath, sab ka vikaas”.
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. He can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org or 91-8130340339