INDIA: Adding to his party’s list of bizarre demands, Syed Asim Waqar, leader of the Islamic political party All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, has asked all states to appoint Muslims as Deputy Chief Ministers (CM). The Muslim leader has skillfully made this demand just before the Uttar Pradesh State elections, to polarize the electorate.
Waqar asserts that other political parties, such as the secular Congress and the socialist Samajwadi Party, must put forward their views on this issue. Waqar has expressed disappointment in politicians who approach the Muslims for votes but grow apprehensive when Muslims demand a Muslim Deputy CM. He complained that the Muslims were not given the promised 12% representation in 2012, and proclaimed, “We will definitely snatch away the Deputy CM post from them. You will have to make a Muslim the deputy CM of the state.” He also claimed that it’s only a matter of time before political parties agree to give the Deputy CM position to the Muslims. That this democratic post should be reserved for Muslims only is a fanciful idea that abolishes the very principles of democracy and secularism on which India is predicated.
Anyhow, what we must ponder is this: why is it that after 70 years of independence, a Muslim politician wants a special privilege for Muslims in a democratic state? It is not because India has denied them participation in the federal structure.
The Islamic rule in India that lasted for several centuries was marked by large-scale religious conversions and orchestrated mass massacres. When the British decided to leave, the man who became the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, demanded an Islamic country for his people, and his demand was met. Unlike the Hindus, who were forced to leave the Islamic provinces of Pakistan and East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), a large number of Muslims chose not to relocate to Pakistan, and stayed back in India with assurances of safety and equality extended by the leaders who were leading the country at that time.
Muslims in India, from the genesis of its democracy, were appointed to key positions in the government. India’s first-ever Education Minister was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was born in Makkah. He was home-schooled and self-taught. The Indian education system doesn’t recognize these concepts, but cordially extended the education ministry to a Maulana whose proficiency was in Islamic studies, the Quran, the Hadith, and Sharia. He had also learned other contemporary subjects from tutors hired by his parents. This should explain why the Islamic invasion in India has been glorified in school textbooks and invaders been introduced as great emperors.
Eminent Muslim personalities have been voted into the highest office of India, that is, the President’s office, multiple times; Zakir Hussain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, and A. P. J. Abdul Kalam have served as President, and Mohammad Hidayatullah served as acting President for a limited time as well.
Despite Muslims being honored with the title of the First Citizen of India, several political leaders from the community have repeatedly played the victim card. After enjoying two consecutive terms in the capacity of India’s Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari went on record lamenting that Muslims were being victimized in the country, and that there was a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity growing among them. When challenged on a televised interview and requested to substantiate his claim, Hamid Ansari grew angry.
Muslims have had ample representation in state-level politics in India as well. Firhad Hakim, despite receiving a great deal of criticism for allegedly referring to a Muslim-dominated area in Kolkata as “Mini Pakistan,” became mayor of that city in West Bengal. In March 2021, this title was passed on to Khaled Ahmed. After the minority-pandering All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the recent elections, several Muslims were included in the cabinet. There are 32 Muslim Members of the Legislative Assembly in Communist-ruled Kerala, and the newly-elected Tamil Nadu government has adequate representation from the Muslim community as well.
Then what is it that triggers Syed Asim Waqar to demand a default Muslim in the significant position of Deputy CM? Is he trying to work toward Islamic rule in India indirectly by seating Muslims in key positions regardless of their fitness? Is it a jihad through the ranks? A “Ghazwa-e-Hind” of sorts? Waqar hails from the Islamic political party whose leader, Akbaruddin Owaisi, made this communally-charged and highly-condemned statement: “If police are removed for 15 minutes, we (Muslims) will finish 100 crore Hindus,” not once but twice.
Given that the Indian police bows to the respective state governments, how sensible would it be to have a constitutional office reserved solely for a Muslim, with the merit of the minister in question notwithstanding? The unreasonable demands of politicians such as Waqar never end; the more you serve them, the more they crave. This is not unique to the Indian polity. This is a universal trait. Unfortunately, no first-world country is intellectually equipped to put an end to these perpetual demands.