Bharat Mata ki Jai row: Why AIMIM MLAs cut a lonely figure in the Assembly

Pathan said that chanting the slogan was a matter of choice and was not binding.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Published: March 17, 2016 4:26 am
Waris Pathan, Owaisi, bharat mata ki jai, AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi, Bharat Mata ki Jai, Maharasthra Assembly, AIMIM MLA suspended, Hail India slogan, Assembly suspends AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel (Left) and Waris Pathan (Right)

Imtiyaz Jaleel and Waris Pathan were a lonely duo on the floor of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, with the BJP-Shiv Sena as well as the Congress-NCP isolating the AIMIM legislators.

The Congress-NCP is critical of the AIMIM as it lost the support of a section of the Muslim community to the party.

On the other hand, the BJP-Shiv Sena, which actually benefited from the division of votes, views the AIMIM as an ideological opponent.

Meanwhile, the AIMIM, which rode high on the back of increasing political assertion by the Muslim youth, is now facing a reality check. It has started facing questions from young Muslims who are getting disillusioned.

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“Tell me of one agitation or one issue that the AIMIM has raised in the Maharashtra Assembly in the last 18 months that can positively affect the lives of Muslims in this state. They had such a good platform. I would not want them to disappear, but I feel that the party has now reached its potential and stagnated,” said Mohammed Irfan, a resident of Byculla.

The entry of the AIMIM in the 2014 Assembly elections forced a rethink in the Congress and the NCP on how they viewed Muslims and the issues of the community. The AIMIM fed off the growing feeling of political disempowerment among the Muslim community.

Till 1985, Muslims were elected from rural and mixed-population areas such as Shrivardhan, Ratnagiri, Amalner, Ramtek, Kamptee, Jalna, Khed, Basmath, Akole, Akkalkot, Parbhani, Beed, Omerga, Partur, Pathri and, in one instance, Bhavani Peth in Pune.

However, since 1990, records show that it was more likely for a Muslim candidate to be assured of a victory only when he contested from a Muslim-dominated constituency. Of the nine Muslim MLAs elected in 2014, eight won from Muslim-dominated constituencies. The only exception was the NCP’s Hasan Mushrif, who won from Kagal in Western Maharashtra.

The fear that the presence of a Muslim candidate would polarise the constituency, leading to consolidation of non-Muslim votes, meant that only 45 Muslim candidates were fielded by the five main political parties in the 2014 Assembly elections.

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  1. S
    Mar 17, 2016 at 5:30 am
    its not appropriate to suspend a legislatures on such a petty issue... is it again a criteria for nationalism ?? A casual interpretation of Bharat Mata ki Jai, roughly translates to ‘Long Live Indian motherland!’ However, this slogan has somehow been appropriated by the Hindu ‘right’ who have subtly mixed it with religion. For RSS and all its affiliated organization, ‘Bharat Mata’ is not just their motherland but a deity who deserves to be worshipped. If this context is taken into account, then Bharat Mata ki Jai is a slogan which gets easily equated with religious salutation towards Mother India (considered as a deity here). And theological principles of Islam prohibits Muslims from worshiping anyone else apart from Allah.
    1. A
      Mar 17, 2016 at 11:46 am
      I was surprised to see in Google image that Bharat Mata is a HINDU GODDESS with Lion on her side. How can non-hindus say, Bharat Mata Ki Jai ???????
      1. A
        Mar 17, 2016 at 3:09 am
        India is a country and not MOTHER. There is no logic in all the parties asking an elected representative to say that he "INDIA THE MOTHER I PRAISE". This is BULLYING. INDIA THE MOTHER I PRAISE slogan sounds good when used against the British by the freedom fighters which excluded RSS, but not good in independent India.
        1. Chandrashekhar Deshpande
          Mar 17, 2016 at 2:51 am
          It is very unfortunate to see the condition of Muslim Youth who may be intent to have better life, better achievments in life but moat of them are following people like Owaisi of AIMIM.It is surprised to note why Muslim parents do not teach their pupil to follow the path of Late justice MC Chagala, or Of ex- Presient or even the way laid down by Javed Akhatar. Mullas and Maulavies backed by so called secularist have ruined the Muslim at large. Basically every one wants that Muslim as a voter must remain in Gheto and should not make any progress economically or mentally. If Muslim Youth thinks ratinality then the DUKANS OF THESE LEADERS WILL BE SHUT DOWN.
          1. D
            Mar 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm
            theses Congressi agents who are Hired by their master Rahul-Sonia do not care about INDIA - they are used to stan Jinda abad and God bless USA, without their help and money from congress they could not have been able to opperess Muslim and keep them at lowest end for 60 years and claim they represent muslim and their intrest !
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