Photo: DNA RNA
Photo: DNA RNA

The 16th Lok Sabha elections are underway. Whenever one feels that the fatigue of electioneering is setting in, something new turns up to revive the depleting interest.

The Samajwadi Party has always positioned itself as the secular party. The ‘secular’ word has a different meaning altogether in the context in which our politicians use it. The word secular has come to mean a pro Muslim party. In other words, a party that indulges in the minority appeasement.

The SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has earned the sobriquet of Mullah Mulayam. Not because he has done something phenomenally good for the marginalised and underprivileged Muslims, but because he has mastered the art of wearing Islamic skull caps at regular intervals and posing for the shutterbugs.

After the Samajwadi Party assumed power in Uttar Pradesh, the frequent communal clashes between the two major communities have become a norm rather than an exception. The Muzaffarnagar riots of last year made the whole country sit up and take notice. Since the Samajwadi Party is secular and the riots were taking place under a secular regime, the death toll or the rehabilitation of the victims did not matter and escaped harsh scrutiny.

That said, nothing can take away from the fact that the so-called well-wisher of the Muslim community Mulayam Singh could not prevent the bloodbath under his chief minister son Akhilesh Yadav’s watch.

When the leader Abu Azmi belonging to such a party proclaims that the Muslims who do not vote for the Samajwadi Party are not true Muslims, the irony dies one thousand deaths. What has any religion got to do with politics and political parties? Every citizen of India is an Indian first. A political leader like Abu Azmi cannot issue the certificate of true or false Muslims on the basis of one’s political affiliation.

Many a time one invariably comes across observation like the Muslim community does not have a good leader to guide the community properly and raise issues concerning it to the powers that be. It is not that the political parties are averse to the idea of having Muslim leaders in their ranks and files. But the problem is a Muslim leader remains just a Muslim leader. He or she always fails to separate himself or herself from his or her religion while asking for votes.

The recent example is Shazia Ilmi of the Aam Aadmi Party who was caught on camera asking for votes in the name of religion in the ongoing election.

Abu Azmi has gone a step further and like a self-proclaimed religious head, he has started issuing certificates stating true Muslim or fake Muslim. The same Abu Azmi had courted controversy recently and was in the news for his remarks against women having premarital sex.

If Muslims heed Abu Azmi’s calls and vote for his party, they will be the biggest losers. As a leader he does not have any pro development vision. On the contrary, his bankruptcy of ideas is so phenomenal that he is resorting to true-Muslim-false-Muslim trap to garner votes for his party. Nothing can be more foolish than this undemocratic thought process of Abu Azmi. The need of the hour is not communal rhetorics but calmer heads full of ideas that can put the community on the path to development. But alas the leaders like Abu Azmi do all the damage by expressing ideas that smack of ancient mind sets and manage to take the whole community backward instead of forward.

Such leaders deserve punishment and the best punishment is by rejecting this time warped thinking hook, line and sinker so that before issuing certificates in such reckless manner, they will think twice.