By Kulsum Mustafa,
Periodic news about a move to show the door to two senior national Muslim leaders and former ministers of BJP – Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Uttar Pradesh) and Shahnawaz Hussain (Bihar) turn out to be nothing but mere speculation. The two had been ‘strategically’ inducted into the saffron party, not by the BJP but by the parent RSS. Removing them now after they have spent years in the BJP is almost unthinkable and against the strategy.
As for Husain and Naqvi, after spending over two decades in the party there is no political life for them outside the BJP. The so-called secular parties like the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party cannot afford to touch them even with a barge pole.
It was Vishwa Hindu Parishad senior leader and former Member of Parliament, Ram Vilas Vedanti who kicked up the issue. Known for his strong anti-Muslim views, he suggested that the two ‘show boys” from the minority community be shown the door. According to him they have proved to be a big hurdle to Hindus accepting the party whole-heartedly.
Vedanti suggested this as the BJP evaluated the party’s poor performance in the general elections held in the country in May 2009. The VHP leader felt that the expulsion would be greatly welcomed by the majority community as it would lead to the ‘purification of the party’. Vedanti is said to have substantiated his views by saying that the BJP’s very formation was meant to protect the rights of the Hindus and the presence of Muslim members proved to be a big hindrance to attaining this goal.
A great supporter of Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi, who whipped up an anti-Muslim hysteria, Vedanti said that Varun’s wings were clipped at the instance of these Muslim leaders in the party. Vedanti has demanded the resignation of party president Rajnath Singh for his lack of support to the Hindu cause. He demanded that Gandhi be given charge of BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
He said BJP will get mass support if it openly declares that it will ensure the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya not due to any court order but because it is the will and the wish of the Hindu majority in the country.
But though many may have shared Vendanti’s views none would speak out considering that a strong and concentrated move is on by the BJP to garner the support of the Muslims towards the BJP.
Rashtriya Muslim Manch (RMM) – an outfit set up in Delhi under the guidance of senior Hindu leader Indrish – has been especially created for the purpose. Headed by Mohammed Afzal, it is housed at the residence of senior BJP leader and ex-Union minister Satyanarain Jatiya. Former Central Haj committee chairman Tanvir Ahmed is a member of this body. The sole purpose of RMM is to project a good face of the BJP among the Muslims.
RSS only makes the obvious more clear. If Naqvi and Husain need the BJP, the BJP needs them even more.