The election of the President of Indian Republic is scheduled to be held in the next two months and some Muslim citizens of the Republic want a Muslim to be the President this time. They are also proposing some names for this. One Urdu daily in its May 27 issue has published a report saying that a large number of its readers are in favour of a Muslim President. On the other hand, the political parties as well as the individuals, who always look for benefiting from the sensitivities of Muslims, are giving warm welcome to this “wish” of Muslims. All this appears to be very pleasant. It is as if all the problems of Muslims would be solved once a Muslim comes to hold the Presidential chair: they would get political power; discrimination being practised in the various fields of national life would come to an end; they would get proportionate representation in government jobs; periodic attacks on their family laws by administration and judiciary would stop; and above all the chain of arrests and detentions of Muslim youth on fabricated charges of terrorism would also come to a halt; those who have been arrested would be released; the families that have been ruined would be rehabilitated.
History of Muslim Presidents
And this pleasant misapprehension is despite the 64-year experience bears witness to this failure. The tone of some of the uninformed reflects that if a Muslim is elected President, this would be the first case while earlier three Muslims have already graced this Constitutional post. But what did they do as Muslim? They did nothing at all. In 1967, twenty years after Independence, first of all this post was given to a renowned personality like Dr. Zakir Hussain, who had earlier in 1950s submitted a memorandum signed by lakhs of persons to the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad for the welfare of Urdu. But when he himself came to hold this post, he could realise the fact that the President is powerless in such affairs. He would remember this campaign of his with utter wistfulness and longing. Then Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed came in 1974. He might have proved of some use in getting some petty work of Muslims done with his personal interest. But he did not do any great work for which he could have been remembered. Dr. Abul Kalam was elected President in 2002. He had never any interest in Muslims and their issues. In his opinions he was closer to Sangh circles.
Have we made a decision
Then why these simpleton Muslims are longing for a Muslim President? And for that matter why only a Muslim President? Has the case of Central Muslim ministers any different? Rather the fact remains that a Muslim on a considerable government post does not do anything for his community; he fears, save and except those who are blessed by Allah. Even judges and magistrates maintain cautiousness that they would be dubbed communal and opposition would start crying if they pronounced judgements in favour Muslim parties, though on merit. Yes, there are of course some responsible Muslims who prove of some use to Muslim citizens, saving their skin. However, the cumulative record is not good. The record of Muslim personages gracing the chair of President of the Republic is not quite good. Muslim President is meant to please simpleton Muslims inside the country and for show in the Muslim world. Then why these sentimental Muslims are raising voices in this regard? It means that we Indian Muslims have made a decision that despite bitter experience we would not give up sentimentalism, would not come out of the fools’ paradise, would continue to be the soft target of cunning politicians and would be pleased with pebbles. And most often Urdu newspapers, instead of training the Muslim thinking, encourage their sentimentalism
28/05/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf