By Mohd Manzoor Alam
The speed with which UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is losing support among Muslims indicates that a second term in office for him will be difficult, if not impossible, writes Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam.
To many Muslims in Uttar Pradesh the return of Samajwadi Party to power earlier this year was like return of hope in a dismal situation. Within the span of a few months that hope has turned out to be an illusion. After a spate of riots in the state in June-July, all hopes of Muslims for a secure, prosperous future lie shattered.
What is most galling to Muslims is that they have been stabbed in the back by secular parties, not BJP, which they have rightly denied the opportunity to come into power and stab them from the position of power. If Muslims are unsafe in SP-ruled UP and Congress-ruled Assam and Rajasthan, whom are they going to trust with their vote next time?
Although Bihar is ruled by an NDA coalition which, because of the prominent position of BJP in it, looks like a saffron dispensation. However, the fact remains that neither Nitish Kumar nor his party are generally seen as anti-secular. Even then, his first term in office was inaugurated with the killing of seven Muslims in East Champaran district’s Chirayya block.
Nitish’s second term has been sullied by the killing of ten Muslims in Forbesganj and in nearby areas by policemen. Nitish has behaved all along as if nothing has happened, as if the lives of those people did not matter, as if the killers had done no wrong. All this because the victims happened to be mere Muslims.
Like Narendra Modi of Gujarat, Nitish Kumar of Bihar is labouring under the illusion that they can drown the voices of the victims calling for justice in a louder noise about “development.” Like Modi he thinks he is succeeding in his effort.
Coming back to UP, what is obtaining there is no less than a betrayal of trust of Muslims in Samajwai Party.
The erosion of trust of Muslims in SP is so fast that it is a record. Today the situation is so bad that Muslims are saying they would rather not think of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s promise of 18 percent share for them in government jobs. The refrain today is, “We need physical security and justice, first.”
As far as a second term in office for Akhilesh Yadav, Muslims are no longer sure whether they want the same uncertainty to visit them again.