MP's letter glare on Narendra Modi's ‘affection’ for Muslims
Former Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar Ansari in an open letter on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the BJP to woo the poor among
the minority community, asking if the move was aimed at “pitting Muslims against one another”.
Ansari, who heads the apolitical All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz that champions the cause of the deprived sections among Muslims, criticised Modi’s diktat to the party at the recently concluded BJP national executive in Hyderabad to reach out to “deprived sections other than Hindus” and take out “Sneh Yatras” (march to show affection) in solidarity with the “pasmandas (backwards)” who have been beneficiaries of the government’s welfare schemes.
Ansari, a former leader of the JDU that is the ruling ally of the BJP in Bihar, questioned the real intention of Modi’s government and party while highlighting how during the past eight years Muslims in general and backward Muslims in particular have been politically and economically boycotted.
“Has the sudden move to take out ‘Sneh Yatra’ for Pasmanda society something to (do) with vote-bank politics? Isn’t it aimed at pitting Muslims against one another?” Ansari asked in the letter, stressing that deprived sections among Muslims needed “sammaan (equality and dignity)” and not “sneh (affection)”.
“What’s the point in taking out a ‘Sneh Yatra’ if hate statements and bulldozers also go on?” he asked, pointing out that most Muslims killed during mob lynchings by cow vigilantes belong to deprived sections.
Ansari specifically drew attention to the hate mongering against Muslims and Modi’s silence on it.
“Didn’t Home Minister Amit Shah ji call upon the people, at the time of the Delhi Assembly elections when a peaceful movement of Muslim women against NRC and CAA was also going on, to ‘press the button in such a way that Shaheen Bagh gets electric shock’?” Ansari wrote.
He flagged Modi’s comment that the CAA protesters could be identified by their dress. “Prime Minister, does it suit a person of as high a stature as you to say that you recognise people by their sartorial preferences?” Ansari asked in the letter.
“When Muslims did not come under provocation, aren’t their prayers now being disrupted, aren’t their mosques being attacked and isn’t blasphemy against their Prophet being committed?” he asked, stressing how the Prime Minister had “not spoken a single word against it till date”.
Ansari and the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz have long been raising their voice against religion-based discrimination in providing reservation benefits and demanding that many castes among Muslims and Christians be recognised as Scheduled Castes.
In the letter, Ansari underlined how even the Sachar Committee and the Ranganath Mishra Commission had made such a recommendation.
“Will you (Modi) end this religion-based discrimination by increasing the quota of Schedule Caste?” Ansari asked, calling for a caste-based census to “know the exact population and socio-economic status of the Pasmandas and Dalits of all religions”.