Tuesday 22nd Jan 2019
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Will Minorities Ever Forgive Modi?

Policital Jiggery Pokery

, by MOHAMMAD NAUSHAD KHAN

The negativism attached to Narendra Modi following Gujarat riots haunts him time and again in political and social circles in India and abroad. Any effort by the BJP and/or any of its allies to showcase his ‘achievement’ is countered by those who want to scuttle his political prospects. The big question is: Can Modi ever placate the anger of Muslims? For Muslims, the wounds of Gujarat riots are so deep that no one for sure can say when they would actually heal up and how Muslims can forget the trauma, pain and suffering deeply entrenched in their psyche.

The horror and agony in the aftermath of Gujarat riots might be still fresh in the minds of the victims. It is true that some of them may have forgotten by considering it a nightmare or by simply leaving it aside as a matter of fate and destiny. But is that so simple? The Sadhbhawana mission of Modi was an image makeover exercise and politically motivated. For Modi it is next to impossible to shun his thoughts and take on minority schemes with true intent. Therefore, the image of Modi in the minds of Muslims after Gujarat riots and his hateful statements on minorities on various occasions in and out of Gujarat are less likely to be erased soon.

It is true that there are a handful of people within the Muslim community who out of greed or personal equation or compulsion have either supported Modi or issued statements in his favour but a majority of Muslims are aware of what really the BJP or Narendra Modi have got in their basket for Muslims if we go by the ideological moorings of their parent organisation. In the past, BJP made numerous attempts to bridge gaps with the Muslim community but all in vain, for Muslims are aware of their agenda and know for certain that its move is primarily based on political necessity and is less inclined to mend the tardy and strained equation that exists even today. L K Advani, in the recently concluded National Council meeting, stressed the need to change the equation between minorities and the BJP. He further said, “I believe that the mutual equation between the BJP and the minorities must change. The BJP must take the initiative in this direction by including a ‘Charter of Commitments’ to minorities in its Agenda for Governance and Development.”

The idea of a possible reach out to Muslims appears to be a tactical approach on the face value of a man who led rath yatra. Other fine prints of his message to expand the horizons of the NDA are considered to have been made to outnumber Narendra Modi from the bigger race. Because, any thought of attracting more parties to the NDA fold will ultimately hamper the ambition of Narendra Modi to play any important role in the party. It is yet to be seen as in what context Advani really made this statement, either to consolidate his acceptance or to undermine Modi’s stature at the pan India level.



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