By Dr Abdul Ruff,
How come Muslims in Delhi state, who have all along been supporters of Congress party, ensuring it came to power for three consecutive terms, have suddenly switched sides towards the new Aam Aadmi Party?
Answer is very simple. Muslims, like other communities in Delhi, have come to appreciate the concern the AAP has for common people and the good work done by the AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal both as a new government and before and after that.
They knew the national parties Congress and BJP for years now but they see AAP as the only sincere party that would serve the common people of Delhi, including Muslims with concerns and commitments. BJP and Congress parties promoted VIP culture in Indian capital and AAP has already made the common people a special status by providing them with privileges they had never known hitherto.
Arvind Kejriwal has become the only hope left for the common people among Muslims as well and they trust him. The trust of people in a leader is very important.
During the poll campaign days, Muslims in fact, like others, waited for Kejriwal to arrive their localities to address them. At the Muslim dominated Saheen Bagh in Okhla, for instance, Arvind Kejriwal was expected to arrive at 3.30 pm. Local leaders keep busy engaging the audience as it swells in size gradually. The now famous Aam Aadmi caps clearly outnumber skull caps. At 6.30 pm, there’s still no news on the arrival of Kejriwal. The venue, a narrow, long stretch of road was getting filled up fast. The balconies and rooftops of houses on one side of the road are nearly full. It’s 8.30 pm. There’s still no sign of Kejriwal. But the venue was packed to the brim. The AAP convenor finally arrives at close to 9.30 pm and the waiting crowd bursts into lusty applause.
Something has changed here between December 2013 and February 2015. In 2013, they treated the AAP with some suspicion, though its candidate, Irfanullah Khan, stood second by securing 23, 459 votes. That is no more the case now. The community backs AAP whole-heartedly.
Kejriwal reminds one of former Tamil Nadu CM MGR, an actor turned politicians, for whose arrival people used to wait for up to 24 hours. The waiting crowd in Delhi and the air of expectancy reveal that the AAP has gained considerable ground. The ability of the AAP to hold its own against the Narendra Modi-led turbo-charged campaign of the BJP in the national capital has convinced the community that they have a strong alternative to the Congress now.
Holding Congress responsible for the social, economic and educational backwardness of the Muslim community, a food technology graduate from Aligarh Muslim University sarcastically says, “Sachar committee and Ranganath Mishra commission reports tell the community what it has got from Congress as reward of loyalty.” Dr Tanweer Fazal, who teaches who teaches at Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), predicted that in many of the constituencies, Muslims would vote for the AAP. “In the last election, the community did not know if the AAP could defeat the BJP, but this time it is slightly different. Certainly, they will get benefit in some of the constituencies,” he observed. Yes, something has changed in the last one year. The Muslim community has changed itself.
The Congress party, like other so-called secular parties, uses pathetic looking and really poor Muslims as their vote bank and wants to make political capital of the sense of insecurity among the members of the Muslim community all over India and it pretends to be the chief protector of the Muslims and other minorities. But all this is only fool Muslims and steal their valuable votes to form cabinets to serve the rich and corporates
How did Congress betray the Muslims on the Babri Mosque issue is known to the world as Hindus in the party have tacit communication on Muslim issues and act accordingly!
Congress and allies have exploited the weak disposition of Muslims thus far.
Muslims now look with high hopes look to AAP to help them overcome difficulties and lead them to join national mainstream to live with dignity.