In ‘PM Modi’, Muslim clerics repose guarded faith, seek secular leader

Chowdhury believes that the BJP’s responsibility has “increased both in the State and at the Centre”.

Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | Published:May 19, 2014 2:55 am

Reactions of state’s Muslim leaders to the ascendancy of Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi appear to be riding on a “hope” but not without some reservations.

Several leaders, speaking to this correspondent, expressed their view on the BJP’s “chance” to make use of the “responsibility” that the people of the country have vested on it by giving the political party a clear majority, seen for the first time in three decades.

“The Modi government should ensure that there is no change in the fundamentals of the Indian Constitution,” said Imam of Nakhoda Masjid, Maulana Shafique Qasmi. He, however, cautioned the government against sticking “to its agenda of Hindutva”. “(If that happens) we will have to look for legal ways to defend that,” he said, while asserting that “the people have given the BJP a chance and it was their responsibility to use it well”, a view also shared by Siddiqullah Chowdhury, prominent Muslim leader and general secretary of Jamiat Ulama-E-Hind.

Chowdhury believes that the BJP’s responsibility has “increased both in the State and at the Centre”.

“They have to prove now that they are truly a secular party which they had been claiming. If issues like Ram Mandir are raked up again, they would lose their credibility. The new government should also look into the minorities’ demand for reservations and security if they want to sustain their reign for another term,” Chowdhury said.

There are some, however, who see the BJP’s win and its performance in the state as “shocking” and attribute it to the “betrayal” by a number of smaller parties. Not mincing words, Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan Masjid, Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati, said: “People like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal have betrayed the Muslims. They were agents of Narendra Modi in disguise. A large number of Muslims, too, voted for him. Now let us see what he (Modi) does for the Muslims.”

On the other hand, some leaders attribute the BJP’s success to “a joint effort of its organisational strength, influence of the intellectuals and the monetary support of several multi-national companies”.

“Some of the strongest MNCs across the globe wanted Modi to become the PM and had backed him fiercely.

We can now hope that the Modi government would live up to all the assurances of development, peace and secularism,” said Md Nooruddin, president, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

And while the ruling party in the state, Trinamool Congress, did come up with flying colours, winning 34 of the 42 parliamentary seats in the state, Nooruddin said he believes “the outstanding result is because of the widespread manipulation in terms of booth capturing and rigging”.

“If they think they can retain this with the help of muscle power, they need to rethink. The result was better also because the Left Front failed to correctly analyse why people had abandoned them.

“The success of the BJP (which won two seats and clocked a significant number of votes in most of the constituencies) here is because many people were fed up with the TMC and were looking for an alternative which they found in the BJP,” Nooruddin said.

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  1. A
    Alani Adana
    May 21, 2014 at 9:02 am
    well i suggest you to go and fight in Rome
    1. A
      Arun Kumar
      May 19, 2014 at 7:47 am
      Nothing special needs to be done for Muslims. This is not a commercial bargain. Modi must ensure all round development looking at the last citizen of India as a citizen without the colour of caste or religion as we do in the armed forces.
      1. P
        Prasad Durga
        May 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm
        No community needs to worry. Modi will all communities as Indians first.
        1. H
          May 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm
          One nation, one law. Everyone is equal. One can not have a previlage status either provided by the governement or the religion. Please stick to the manifesto.
          1. K
            May 19, 2014 at 6:33 am
            My own views:The Muslim community never wanted to see Modi as PM, irrespective of his urances that he works for 125 Crore Indians. The fear has been mostly created by pseudo secular parties like congress, SP, BSP, AAP, CPI, CPI-M etc. Its high time, we should leave the baggage behind and united to take on the poverty, under development and corruption.I think the Muslim community also need to adapt to Modern era.The consution also require continuous amendments to accommodate new era challenges that could not be visualized 60 years ago. Several rules date back to 1800 or so. So systematic cleansing of the legal framework also required.However, I am sure that Modi will not alter fundamental spirit of the consution.
            1. M
              May 19, 2014 at 9:44 am
              People who called Modi communal and abused him publicly now seeks Modi does well for community? not voting muslims showed their intent and hate with Modi but, unaffected by that, Modi will show them what character he was and how he was good for all, how he did not have intent alike to them....however on personal note; muslim should improve themself, without looking for bulls like reservations which divided the India on caste and religion based politics....
              1. P
                May 20, 2014 at 1:01 am
                In the 21st century, secularism and separation of church and state is not a matter of concern for any single nation. It should be a matter of concern for every nation. Secularism is a poorly defined concept. Separation of church and state is better defined. Those of us who insist on separation of church and state in India must demand separation of church and state in every country of the world, How about a secular democracy in stan, Iran, and Egypt. Nice thought! Isn't it?
                1. P
                  May 21, 2014 at 11:37 am
                  Minority's demand for security, Yes. But reservations, No. Modi is already on record and has said it so many times. 'Appeat of none'.
                  1. S
                    May 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm
                    Muslims or for that matter any Indian, should first ask him/herself what he/she is doing for the country... The PMO does not need to do anything for the Muslims in particular, aren't they Indians? If yes, then the question should be , what would the PMO do for India. This idiosyncratic atude of what will my caste/community get has to be rooted out..
                    1. C
                      Counselor Shripad
                      May 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm
                      ...Modi is a m leader..some willbelieve in him now or some is only a question of time....The detailed analysis is not in public domain so far...but grossly, one can say that, If Varanasi Muslims have voted for Modi, as without which Modi would not have got so much lead - there could be other areas also where Muslim have voted for BJP/Modi....
                      1. D
                        May 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm
                        Why talk to Mullahs to represent Muslim Community? Why don't we talk to prominent Muslims leaders in Business, Education, Arts, Sciences-- they are true representations who are worried more about their well being than just the Religion!! Can you imagine talking to other Religious Leaders for the success of Modi-- of course not, it will be considered COMMUNAL!!!!
                        1. W
                          May 22, 2014 at 2:18 am
                          Point well taken, that's all the Indian Muslims want, to be treated and judged as other Indians, especially the majority. Please do not mistake their wants as wanting something special. Just simple equality of opportunity and the same facilities of education, housing, jobs that they are being denied, and taken for granted by others, like you.
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