25/05/2009

Muslim Representation

Since some time the representation of Muslims in power and their befitting partnership is a matter which is being raised by the muslims, and many political parties have also given importance to this feeling of the muslims. Even though, some political parties due to their habit and a preplanned scheme have uttered rude remarks against this favouritism of muslims and declared this line of thought and action as an attitude which divides the society, even then all the political parties which believe in religious tolerance, have not only accepted but also have also expressed their desire to provide muslims, representation and befitting partnership in power, so much so that the other political band strongly felt it's need which had earlier opposed it from the bottom of their heart. Therefore the political parties have given the tickets to muslims too, earlier also they had put forward muslim candidates, but this time they paid special attention to it. This was so because in muslims this thought is gaining strength that they are being overlooked by the political parties. They need their votes but are not interested in solving their problems. Their was a time when muslims were considered as the friend of Congress and the Congress also felt that the muslims were their's. This is the reason why muslims were regarded as the Congress vote bank. But the policies of the Congress created a displeasure amongst the muslims. Some other parties took advantage of this situation, like in Bengal it was the communists, Lalu Yadav in Bihar, in Uttar Pradesh Mulayam Singh and Mayawati and Telugu Desham in South. But this strategy did not prove fruitful because the conditions of muslims did not change as a result of which the muslims felt that they should make their own party. This time too this experiment was carried out in several places.

As far as the matter of muslim nomination in the councils of power is concerned, even after sixty years of independence their nominees have not been elected to the council of law makers, neither in the Centre nor in the state assemblies. The situation is same even this time, rather the condition is even worse than the 2004 elections. In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, collectively 36 muslim candidates were successful but this time their number is only 29 and from some states there are no representatives. According to Government records, muslims constitute 13.4% of the total population and this is a minority group which is a myth. The reality is, according to the numerical strength, if any religious group is number one then it is the muslims. But their percentage in population is shown as 13.4%. Even if we consider this then the number of their representatives in Lok Sabha should be more than 70, but it is only 29. According to population, Uttar Pradesh is the biggest state with muslim percentage more than 18%. Here the number of Lok Sabha Constituencies is 80. In respect to this their number should be more than 15 but only 7 muslim candidates were successful from here. In West Bengal, the muslim population percentage is 28% and total seats are 42 but only 6 muslims were elected, whereas at least 15 candidates should have been elected. In Kerala too, more or less the percentage is the same but only 3 muslim candidates got elected. An interesting fact this time was that not a single muslim won on the ticket of either Rashtriya Janta Dal or Samajwadi Party. In 1980, maximum number of muslims got elected. At that time they had 48 representative in the Lok Sabha but after that this number went on decreasing.
25/05/09 Editorial by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Asma Anjum Siddiqui

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