Opinion : Bihar sets the trend
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
This trend shows that the electorate has moved away from identity politics and anti-Muslim hysteria of Parliament elections. Not that the BJP did not try to recreate its familiar magic by demonising Muslims.
Amit Shah, who is a past master at divisive, hate-driven politics, tried his old tricks like making insinuations about the “enemy”. In Raxaul, on the Indo-Nepalese border, he spread the canard that the area was a hotbed of “terrorism.”
He tried to subtly suggest that the Muslim population in Champaran (from where Gandhiji launched the freedom struggle) was involved in terrorism, while the fact is that not a single person from the area has been accused of terrorism, much less involved in a court case regarding it. And, naturally, there is no question of any terrorism outside Shah’s conspiratorial mind.
Given as he is to such thinking, he said if BJP lost in Bihar, Pakistan would rejoice. This again is a veiled reference to Indian Muslims, as all through the 2002 anti-Muslim killings in Gujarat the top BJP leadership in and outside government was saying they had taught Pakistan and Mian Musharraf (General Musharraf) a lesson. How come?
The Sangh and its offshoots like BJP and Bajrang Dal have developed their own language. If Babu Bajrangi, who was accused of mass murder of Muslims, tells you something about “Pakistan”, he means Muslim areas like Juhapura in Ahmedabad. This is common language between them. It is not clear which Pakistan Shah was talking about.
BJP did everything to communalise the situation, and failed, unlike in Gujarat and UP. Even the Prime Minister twice tried to demonise Muslims and unleash a conflict between Muslims on one side and OBCs, Mahadalits and Dalits on the other. He said on two consecutive days in Buxar and Betiah that Lalu-Nitish would “steal” their reservation and pass it on to a community. Everybody knows, of course, which community he was referring to.
Often people have wondered whether the PM had breached his constitutional oath by trying to create enmity among communities. When nothing worked, they brought in the fail-safe, fool-proof cow in the last phase, breaching the electoral code.
Biharis are praiseworthy for they have seen through this vicious mischief, all of which was based on demonisation of a sizeable part of the population. There should be no surprise. After all, this is the land where Buddha got his enlightenment, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka had their empires that ruled up to Kabul and Kandahar, happened to be the home of Khuda Bakhsh Khan, Mazharul Haque and Rajendra Prasad. Even the JP movement that threw up Nitish and Lalu began there. Bihar has the potential to lead. It is a trend-setter. Has always been
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam is an erudite Islamic Economist and Social Scientist. He has been associated with Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) as its Chairman for over 25 years now. Dr. Manzoor Alam, a Ph.D. in Economics from Aligarh Muslim University, has held various high-ranking positions in many international organizations such as Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Associate Professor Deptt. of Islamic Economics, University of Imam Mohammad-bin-Saud, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Chief Coordinator for the Translation of Meaning of the Holy Quran in different languages of the world at King Fahd Holy Quran Printing Complex, Madinah Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia; Chief Representative of International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM) in India; Member of the General Committee of the IDB Scholarship Program for Muslim Communities in Non-Member Countries, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, K.S.A.; Consultant of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, USA in India; Founder Member of International Islamic Charitable Organisation, Kuwait; and Member, Steering Committee, Istanbul Talks, Civil Solidarity Platform, Istanbul, Turkey.
Dr. Manzoor Alam holds membership on the board of many international journals as well. He is Member of the Advisory Board of MEDAD, published from the KSA; Member of the International Advisory Board of American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, published from the USA; and Member of the Advisory Board of Awqaf, published from Kuwait. In India, apart from being Chairman of Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), Dr. Manzoor Alam is ably guiding the Indian Muslim community with his vast experience by serving in different capacities such as General Secretary, All India Milli Council, New Delhi; President, Indo-Arab Economic Cooperation Forum, New Delhi; President, Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists, New Delhi; and Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Under his stewardship, Dr. Manzoor Alam has successfully transformed the Institute of Objective Studies to being India’s foremost, pioneering and only organization in the country engaged in generating knowledge in Islamic Perspective, Educational development of Indian Muslims, Research, holding Conferences, seminars and workshops on vital issues, Publications and Advocacy for Muslims and other weaker sections’ causes.
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*Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC NEWS.