Call it vote bank politics or appeasement politics, ever since Narendra Modi has come to power as the Prime Minister of India, with a share in the majority seats in the Parliament, things could have gotten heated up between the religions in India, it is also common assumption of the people, that Narendra Modi isn’t going to do anything specifically for the Muslim population residing in India. Technically, why should he? They are just a minority in this country. Everyone knows that India cannot be a safe haven for minorities. (Sarcasm to the highest degree possible)
One may say that you cannot clap with just one hand. (Tali ek haath se nahi bajti) There is no denying that provocation has come from both the sides in the past. From the Hindu majority population as well as the Muslim minority population. However, there is also no denying that, in the incidents of the Muzaffarnagar Riots and the incident in Trilokpuri which sparked a riot amongst the Hindu and Muslim population in East Delhi; there hasn’t been a national outcry over the whole RSS making defamatory statements throughout the year, especially with the statement of asking people to take down the idols of Sai Baba because he was born a Muslim.
What made the headlines was in fact the fact that the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid did not invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the anointment ceremony of his successor. The Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, invited many Indian and foreign leaders for the anointment ceremony of his successor, but left out Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Shahi Imam has announced his son as a successor.
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid
The Shahi Imam has even invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by stating he had personal relationships with the same. Stating that he cannot ‘relate’ to Prime Minister Modi, Bukhari also said that Modi never made an attempt to reach out. Justifying the decision of not inviting Modi, Bukhari claimed that it is not a personal fight and also went on to say that Modi does not like the “us” and “we” do not like him. According to Bukhari, Modi has never tried to reach out to the Muslims and kept the Muslims at a distance. Modi has not done anything for Indian Muslims even after coming to power. “Indian Muslims have not forgiven him for the 2002 Gujarat riots, referring to the 2002 communal clashes in Gujarat in which around 1,000 Muslims were killed.”- was said by the Imam on 30th October on why Modi was not invited to his son’s anointment.
I don’t know for you guys, but this seems provocation enough forthe people of the country. They have voted en mass for our now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. By denying an invitation to the Prime Minister of India and extending it to the Prime Mister of Pakistan, what message is the Shahi Imam trying to send out to the current government? What is the stand taken by the Indian Muslims over this fact?
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in New Delhi also faced the wrath of Muslim leaders across the country for his snub to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board member, Kamal Farooqi has been quoted as saying that Bukhari’s act will give the entire Muslim community a bad name. A media report quoted Farooqi who slammed the Shahi Imam of India’s largest mosque and said it was not a “personal function”. Showing their support to the PM, the Muslim leaders also claimed that Bukhari does not represent the entire community.
If indeed it was a public function, why wasn’t the Prime Mister of India called? Is it really what it seems? I know I don’t speak for the entire Indian Muslim population, but the actions of the Shahi Imam were wrong to say the least. The anointment function is one of prestige, pride and one worth the grandeur. It is for the official appointment of a caretaker of the mosque, that to the largest mosque in India. So why wasn’t the Prime Minister made a part of it?
Provocations aside, I agree with the Imam, when he says that Naredra Modi hasn’t done anything for the Muslim population. However, he is in been in power of all of 6 months. Even if he wanted to do anything, implementation alone takes ages. The Prime Minister never has, or probably never will reach out to the Muslim Population. But is it reason enough? Not only have senior BJP leaders condoned the action, so have some Muslim people across the country. Others are too full of fear to speak against the, oh! so innocent action.
This makes the tensions between the current government and the Muslim population very evident. Even though Narendra Modi has come to power, but can he win the hearts of the Indian Muslim population? Will he ever reach out to them?