Shri Mehmood Madni may have genuine differences with the Congress Party. He is right in asserting that all political parties including the Congress ought not to ask for votes by merely pointing out the misdeeds of Modi. He is also right when he says that political parties must earn their votes by showing positive results. But to say that Congress should not use Modi as a bogey is a great travesty. Does Modi become a bogey because some party uses Modi to garner votes? Or he is a bogey because of his misdeeds of 2002 and thereafter? Or is he a bogey because he is a real threat to the secular-democratic political frame work of the country? Or because he represents the primitive fascist rule of the upper caste that has ruled this country for over three thousand years? Or because NDA led by Modi may be a better agency for the American Imperialism than UPA led by Congress?
Madni Saheb, is the religious and moral leader of a large section of Muslims and also a leader of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind. He has also active politically and is currently a Rajya Sabha member of Rashtriya Lok Dal party. In 2007 Gujarat assembly elections, Jamiat had actively supported the Congress candidates.
We in Gujarat are in the process of building up a nascent political movement as a left alternative to BJP-Congress under the banner of New Socialist Movement (NSM). I was put up as a candidate of NSM from the Shahpur constituency of the Ahmedabad city. NSM and Jan Sangharsh Manch believe in a complete secular democratic polity and we therefore sought for votes for the work done in trade unions, slums including for the rehab of the slum dwellers of the Sabarmati riverfront and against the communal politics of BJP. Jamiat had worked with us throughout the period after riots for the rights and justice of the riot victims and had quite openly supported our struggle for POTA which had resulted in the repeal of POTA.
Yet when it came to electoral alliance, Jamiat stood with Congress and persuaded the Muslims not to give a single vote to NSM. BJP (they believe they are our natural opponents and they are quite right at that) persuaded the voters from the majority community not to vote for NSM. The result was an unique polarisation. While the both the communities voted completely on the communal lines, the Devi Pujak community shifted its votes to Congress.The Muslim candidate of Congress scraped passed the BJP candidate though it had a slightly less percentage of votes in Shahpur! We became a catalyst for sharper polarisation of votes since both BJP and Congress used every trick under their hat to keep their vote banks intact and not allow a third alternative to take birth. The bourgeois secular democracy is indeed a myth.
Yet, we would rather stand by the myth of secular democracy for some more time rather than allow the fascist forces to run over the fragile secular superstructure of the State which is already deeply infiltrated by communal forces. Assuming that after sixty years Mr Madni has come to the realization that Congress has not done much for the minority, it is better late than never. Mr Madni might also like to inform himself that Congress and BJP have not done much for the working people of the majority community either. He should know that the dalits, adivasis, farmers, artisans, ordinary village folks and a multitude of small traders and small businessmen have suffered as much the minorities over and above their caste discrimination.
In Gujarat, the wages of the working class has gone down drastically in the last twelve years of Modi’s rule and every third child is suffering from malnutrition. The issue today is not therefore the per capita of which community is going up; the real question is the sponsoring of Modi to lead BJP by the top most industrial houses of India to usher in the rule of Mussolini. India is a secular-democracy as laid down in the preamble and Article 14 of the Constitution of India which provides for equal protection of law irrespective of class, caste or religion. The urgent issue of the day is to protect this fragile secular-democracy. In this struggle those who say that the Modi-bogey should not be criteria for voting this time, is actually walking over to the side of the neo-fascists.
If in 2007 Madni Saheb thought that the Modi-bogey should be the only criteria to vote for Congress and oppose all left options, BJP has not reformed itself in any manner in the last six years to even be considered as an electoral option.