In the view of the Karnataka assembly elections due next year the Janata Dal (Secular) held a Muslim Convention in Bangalore. As apparent from its name the convention was organized to woo the Muslim community. It was for the first time that a political party has organized a convention for a certain community. This politically correct move is absolutely incorrect when we see that the fabric of Indian society is secular. Holding of conventions in the name of religion should better be left with the non-political leaders of the respective community. A political party is representative of all communities hence it does not suit to see it practicing discrimination.
The stated aim of the convention among others was creating awareness among Muslims about their underrepresentation in government and various job sectors while at the same time seeking an effective remedy for it.
This initiative was taken by a party which allegedly played politics to defeat a Muslim candidate in the state Legislative Council elections held in June. As of now among the total 26 MLAs from JD(S) there is only one Muslim face.
The issues raised in the Convention by JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda, its state chief H. D. Kumaraswamy and its leader B. Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan are ground realities. Muslims are backward educationally, economically and socially and in proportion to their population have less representation in various sectors. But the professed commitment of the Janata Dal (Secular) towards solving the issues remains doubted. The party has the credit to facilitate 4% reservations for Muslims in Karnataka.
But now everything is not as is being portrayed in the party. Ex-MLC of the party Abdul Azeem who recently quit the party has labelled serious allegations against Kumaraswamy. According to Azeem, Mr. Kumaraswamy and Mr. Zameer conspired to defeat Mr. Saradgi fielded by the Congress in the MLC elections.
Mr. Azeem was very active for the cause of the minorities and the poor section of the society. A former police officer Azeem would immediately consult the respective management authorities whenever there was a communal disturbance. When his tenure as MLC ended this year the JD(S) did not nominate him for the second time. Mr. Azeem has alleged that there is no discipline in the party and that he was continuously ignored by Kumaraswamy who did not like the emergence of a disciplined and honest Muslim leader.
One of the unstated motives of the Muslim Convention was to pacify the anger of the community which did not like Mr. Azeem being replaced by any other candidate. Azeem’s successor Syed Mudeer Aga is not believed to be as active for the cause of the community as was Azeem. Aga, reportedly was nominated only after JD(S) learned that he was trying to contest for assembly polls on a Congress ticket.
Muslims should not be so gullible as to be fooled by promises made in a convention. Kumaraswamy has promised to field 15 to 20 candidates in the next assembly polls which in proportion to Muslims’ 12% population would be less if JD(S) contested on all 224 seats. This, however, will be a decent number provided the Muslim candidates are not fielded in the constituencies where there are little hopes of JD(S) victory.
are not fielded in the constituencies where there are little hopes of JD(S) victory.