By Raza Hasnain Naqvi
He has often been called the Majority in a Minority. He has been painstakingly courted and wooed during the election season. He seems to be the M in that famous equation E = MC2, where E may stand for Election (in India).
That M is simply the Muslim (in India). Ignore the M from any political equation in India and all relative theories begin to fall flat.
Comprising 14 percent population of a vibrant India, the Indian Muslim community over a period of time has begun to understand that it has influence in the country. The Indian Muslim knows now why Very Very Important People who exist only on TV and newspapers for him, can suddenly decide to make an appearance in his humble, garbage-ridden locality, whenever any elections are announced.
Amused and dazed
He finds the fact amusing now. Earlier, he would look dumbstruck when all these VVIPs would wave hands at him from their vehicle on the road and sometimes, even get down and shake hands with him. They would do a Namaste to him and his entourage would shout slogans in support of that VVIPs party. He would be in a daze for a few days.
Now, the political and emotional scale has tilted a bit. The demeanour and attitude of the Indian Muslim, especially during any election in recent times, is on open display in long lines outside the polling booths on voting day. Press photographers and TV crews know that if the camera is turned towards them, most of them won’t hesitate to smile and flash their Voter-ID cards, even Muslim women.
Watch and calculate
With the Great Indian Election carnival now in full swing, he is more astute. He watches the political candidates and media silently as they debate vehemently about his existence. He has started thinking for himself.
He has even started framing questions that he has the courage to ask any election candidate of Lok Sabha Polls 2014, who comes to his locality with folded hands. He wants to hear certain answers, apart from poll promises, that would make him understand the intention and sincerity of any political party or Independent candidate.
Jobs, housing, education are not just idle words on a party manifesto for the Indian Muslim. These are words that seem to come to life and dance energetically in front of his eyes. He repeats these words to himself daily, discusses them with his family and even his relatives. He wants to convey earnestly, even animatedly, that if these words are important enough for the political party to put it in writing for sincere results soon enough, then he is ready.
He is ready to press that blue button on the electronic voting machine next to the requested party symbol. He is ready to grant his valuable vote to those who care for his ignored existence. He is ready to do all this confidently because he feels valuable now.
He may have fallen by the wayside earlier, but he has got up and dusted himself. He wants to make his presence felt. It is now the age that saw the rise of the valuable Indian Muslim.
Parting Question: Don’t you think that if more Muslims in India are encouraged and supported without any doled out financial benefits, they can begin to compete on their own steam and contribute their might towards a brighter India?
Raza likes to share snippets of his life experiences and observations through his writings. This blogpost is the Day-8 post of his 15-day trial of daily blogging. Besides his social media footprints on twitter, facebook, instagram and Google+, he can also be reached on his email: bylineraza[at]gmail[dot]com
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