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  Global Views
Indian Muslims Efforts to Unite on Secularism
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
An Indian Muslim woman is getting ready for a wedding in India.

India, which has many religions and sects, there are 25 crores Muslims in it. Although the division of India in 1947 was completely based on religion and after the division, Pakistan came into existence as a Muslim country yet it is also true that a big class of Muslims was quite against this religion based on bloody division of India. As an Indian national citizen, they were happy, satisfied and kept themselves away from the process of division. They remained where they were. Consequently even today ,Indian Muslims living in India are the second biggest population in the country.

After the division of India in 1947, most Indian Muslims linked themselves with the Congress party. As this Congress party travelled its entire 62 years political journey from 1885, the year of its foundation to 1947 and fought a decisive war for independence along with people of all religions and sects. So the Congress party was successful to make its recognition as a political organisation and as a party that was a party of all religions and sects. So even after the division of India, the Indian Muslims remained a part of the Congress party. But since 1947 up to now, the Indian Muslims saw many ups and downs. Many political parties allured, attracted and tempted them to the extent that the Muslim society divided itself into many different political organisations. The Muslim society that felt itself once secure in only the Congress party, can be now seen less in Congress and more active in the regional political parties. Obviously the division of Muslim votes in different political parties divided the powers of Muslims in many different parts. As a result, the power of 25 crores Muslims weakened and the biggest minority class became a mere voting bank.

Although since 1947, there had been many communal riots in India and the extremist communal powers many a time tried to harm and show down the Indian Muslims. But the communal riots of 2002 in Gujarat state in India moved the Indian Muslims as well as the people who had secular thoughts. The sorrowful aspect of these riots was not that there was a planned massacre of thousands of Muslims but the main concerning subject was that the Narendra Modi government of Gujarat, instead of protecting the Indian Muslims from the extremist powers from being massacred, itself helped the communal riots. Even today the communal government in Gujarat can be seen poisoning the Muslims and creating an atmosphere of unsafety.

Because of the above sorrowful circumstances, once again the Indian Muslims are trying to organise themselves politically. But this time their unity and unity in 1947 differ. Undoubtedly before 1947, a faction of Indian Muslims united just to establish a Muslim country. That faction succeeded in dividing India and setting up a new Muslim nation, Pakistan. But the present effort of being united is completely based on nationality and secularism in India. This time the aim of being united is to protect their honour, along with the majority and secular people of the mainstream of the country to fight for their rights. This political organisation has been named the United Democratic Front (UDF).

The chief of the UDF is Maulana Ahmed Bukhari the main priest of Shahi Jama Masjid in Delhi, who is known as the party supremo. But the former home minister of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Singh Saini has been appointed its vice president and Rajeev Aggarwal (both are non Muslims) is handling the powers of its General Secretary. In the last days, the writer of this column had a long interview with Mehbood Ahmed, president of the UDF Parliamentary Committee in the capital, Delhi. He got some information about UDF and came to know about the basic principles of this organisation showed that its base was mainly secularity as it is in the Indian setup. According to Mehboob Ahmed, president of the parliament group of the UDF, there are 14 MLA's of it in Assam state in India. In the biggest state of India, Uttar Pradesh, UDF got a big success in city corporation and city council elections in the last days. In spite of being a new political party UDF nominated 33 candidates for city council and city corporation elections. 19 of them were successful. Interesting, among these 19 winners there is a majority of candidates who belong to the Hindu community. Similarly UDF has shown its notable presence in political circle by making 315 municipal counsellors victorious all over UP.

According to Mehmood Ahmed UDF wants to fight for the welfare of Muslims and for the cause of keeping them ignored but it is desirous of doing it with the co-operation of the Hindus that have secular thoughts. The aim of the UDF is neither get rule for the Muslims nor to make the power as a source of income. UDF is in favour of justice for all the religions and sects. UDF claims that the organisation can win 250 seats in Parliament elections and gain power to influence 350 seats. UDF is preparing for coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. To what extent this newly organised political party is favoured by the Indian Muslims, can't be said but because of its secular principles, many non-Muslim persons are joining it. UDF is strongly against the criminals in politics and its talks of not making its candidates with criminal background. To make India a strong nation and to uproot corruption, this organisation is in favour of giving 25% party tickets to the youth.

UDF has basic differences with Jamaat-E-Islami, an extremist organisation and others that have extremist thoughts. It is a condition for persons that join UDF and gives a call for the persons joining it to think above the limited thinking of the class and along with the Muslims work for the welfare of all Indians and humanity. This organisation that is against the policy of colonization of the western countries is although against the conspiracy of America that has made Saddam Hussein near the gallows yet puts more blame on Saddam for the bad conditions of Iraq than putting the blame on America. The time will tell how far this secular organisation succeeds in establishing itself in a political set up. But the coming of this new organisation has upset the political circles in India.



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes in a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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