Minority Politics!


Irtif Lone

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Sedition has taken a new high since Afridi hit those two winning sixes in the last over of an Asia cup Match. And 67- students of Kashmiri origin studying in Meerut University were suspended and booked under charges of sedition and thrown out of the university hostel in the middle of the night for cheering for team Pakistan in the arch rival clash. It attracted a lot of media and public attention with strong reactions from many international newspapers. Almost everybody except some jingoistic patriots condemned the sedition charges and the action taken by university authorities.

Among many people who spoke or wrote about the issue, I particularly remember a tweet by Javed Akhter. A well known lyricist and co-writer of a famous Bollywood movie, Sholay. He tweeted, “Why the suspension of those 67 Kashmiri students who cheered Pakistan is revoked. They should be rusticated and sent back to Kashmir.”

Well, a lot has been written about the irrational decision of charging the students with sedition but that’s not the point I want to make here. What came to my mind after reading the particular tweet was, “more loyal than the king”. He has somehow has become the face of Indian Muslims, and represents them on various talk shows. But then what forced him to post such a tweet on the micro blogging site. Was it anyway such a big deal that he would have to go public with such kind of remark, which had already received a lot of criticism from all around? Or was this a part of him proving his national identity? That only he can answer better.

But one thing that has become a fact of the world and in particular India is that you can say anything if you do not belong to Muslim population, a minority in India. And one necessarily does not have to be a staunch Muslim, a Muslim name is enough. For every member of this particular community has to think a hundred times before saying anything. If somehow Arvind Kejriwal had been a Muslim, he long back would have been charged with sedition and waging war against the state of India and would have been spending time at some infamous prison rather than preparing for the 2014- Lok Sabha elections.

Kashmir has been the centre of conflict for long now, and the people have been called seditious and many have been booked for waging the war against Indian state, irrespective of their juvenility. It’s not about the commoner alone, even the top notch political class trying to strengthening the Indian rule in the state have to prove their credentials of being Indians every now and then. But here, the point in not about Kashmir, or the Muslims of Kashmir.

Muslims in India have not been given their due and most of these minority population lives in deprived conditions. And this usually comes to fore during the elections when various political parties come up with new theories and corollaries to attract these voters.

Problem is not only with these parties alone who try to fool people beyond the accepted wisdom but with the people who fall in trap. The minority has not been able to come under a single umbrella of any single party which could have been formed through consensus, which would have given them a say in the parliament through proper representation. And that in turn would have given them the freedom to express their thoughts.


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