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Congress deals Muslim card

Congress deals Muslim card

Author: Kanchan Gupta
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 29, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/165722/Congress-deals-Muslim-card.html

The Congress clearly treats Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's sentiments with utter contempt. Worse, it makes no effort to keep this a secret. So much for Ms Sonia Gandhi praising him sky high this past week. Why else would the Congress have gone and inked an electoral pact with Ittehad-e-Millat Council in Uttar Pradesh? No, there is no reason for Mr Singh to celebrate his party's alliance with a rank communal organisation which openly preaches Islamic fanaticism in a language not dissimilar to what is heard on tapes containing messages from Ayman al-Zawahiri that Al Jazeera periodically telecasts to keep the jihadi spirit from flagging. For, this is a marriage of convenience, which will be consummated during the Lok Sabha election, and not an extension of the Prime Minister's odious 'Muslims first' policy of appeasement.

The Congress believes that it will be able to consolidate the votes of Muslims by striking a deal with a Muslim organisation headed by a maulana who had openly called for the assassination of Mr George W Bush while the US President was visiting India in March 2006 and offered a reward of Rs 25 crore to anybody who would undertake the 'holy mission'. Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, who appeared at the party office on Thursday to pledge his support to the Congress, now says that the "issue has lost its relevance as Bush is no longer in power". Which only underscores the fact that he saw it as being 'relevant' so long as Mr Bush was in office.

Now, look at the contradiction between the Prime Minister's feelings and his party's deeds. Everybody knows that Mr Singh "deeply loves" Mr Bush, that he rarely, if at all, missed the opportunity to declare that love, although he would do it in the most cravenly maudlin manner. His feelings, it must be presumed, have not diminished with Mr Bush's exit from the White House; honourable men do not disown their friends and benefactors. Yet, the Congress has embraced Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, seemingly unmindful of the fact that he had wanted the man whom Mr Singh so admires and for whom he has nothing but fulsome praise, to be killed.

Of course, Mr Bush is not the only person whom the maulana wanted to be despatched to the other world: He had offered a similar reward to anybody who would murder the Danish cartoonists who had allegedly lampooned Prophet Mohammed in the pages of Jyllands-Posten. Just in case you are curious where the prize money would have come from had someone taken up his offer to kill either Mr Bush or the Danish cartoonists, here is what he said on Thursday: "Rs 25 crore is the sum total of one-rupee contributions from each of the country's Muslims."

The explanation raises certain discomfiting issues. First, are there 25 crore Muslims in India? If yes, then the Census reports are not to be trusted and should be immediately labelled as bogus. Second, is every Muslim in India as blood-thirsty and hateful as this obnoxious maulana? This question must be answered with a resounding no. Third, does he represent the Muslims of India? Obviously he doesn't. Then why is the Congress eager to seek his help in Uttar Pradesh? Because the party thinks Muslims are 'like that only' and can be influenced by peddlers of hate into parting with their votes on polling day. This is how the Congress has manipulated the 'Muslim vote' for six decades; tragically, more often than not Muslims have allowed their vote to be thus manipulated.

The Congress's alliance with Ittehad-e-Millat Council is of a piece with its strategic decision to pander to the community's lowest common denominator by lacing its poll campaign with hate speech meant to rouse communal passions and thus consolidate the 'Muslim vote'. On March 15, the Congress held an election meeting at the ground adjacent to the Jama Masjid in Chandigarh. Ms Mohsina Kidwai, a senior Congress leader, Mr Imran Kidwai, chairman of the AICC's Minorities Cell, and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister of State for Finance and Parliamentary Affairs in the UPA Government and the Congress candidate for Chandigarh parliamentary constituency addressed the meeting, largely attended by Muslims.

And what did Mr Imran Kidwai say in his fire-and-brimstone speech, seeking the votes of Muslims for the Congress? "Arre mujhe to badaa afsos hai yaaron... ki main mufti nahi hoon. Pawan Bhai, main mufti nahin hoon iska mujhe badaa afsos hai, kyunki mufti log hamare yahaan fatwa wohi de sakte hain. Aur agar main mufti hota to sirf ek fatwa deta main. Aur fatwa yeh deta, ki Musalmaan ka BJP ke saath jaana kufr ke baraabar hai... aur main yeh saabit kar sakta hoon... yeh aise hi nahi keh raha hoon main..." (I regret that I am not a mufti... Pawan Bhai, I truly regret I am not a mufti, because a mufti alone can issue a fatwa... Had I been a mufti, I would have issued a fatwa that for Muslims to go with the BJP is similar to going with kafirs.) Pawan Bhai and the other Congress stalwarts nodded their heads approvingly.

The Election Commission of India has in its possession a copy of the CD containing the recording of Mr Imran Kidwai's hate speech. It has also received an official complaint from the BJP, pointing out the gross violation of the law as well as the model code of conduct by the Congress. But it has not so much as lifted its little finger in admonishment, leave alone seek an explanation from the Congress. Nor has the Election Commission found it fit to take note of the CPI(M)'s alliance with Abdul Nasser Madani in Kerala whose People's Democratic Party is a facade for activities that are clearly inimical to communal amity and national unity, and who, the police believe, has active links with Islamist terrorists. Madani, it may be recalled, was accused of masterminding the bombings at Coimbatore on February 14, 1998, in which 46 people - 35 men, 10 women and a child - were killed. Thanks to the DMK Government's secular credentials, the prosecution 'failed' to prove the case and Madani escaped the punishment he so justly deserved.

The Election Commission, however, is greatly exercised over Mr Varun Gandhi's alleged 'communal' remarks in Pilibhit, from where he is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket. In an unprecedented move, it has gone to the extent of asking the BJP to drop Mr Gandhi from the party's list of candidates without even going into the merits of the case or checking the tape of Mr Gandhi's 'hate speech' for authenticity. Such self-righteousness and moral posturing ill suits an Election Commission which has made it a point to gloss over the transgressions of the 'secular' parties while attacking Mr Gandhi for standing up for Hindu rights. By doing so, it has betrayed its bias and diminished its stature. From Election Commission of India it has become the Election Commission of Pilibhit.

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