After the partition of India, Pakistan, on the West and the East of India, decided to be an Islamic republic, while India maintained itself as a secular state where Muslims were welcome to remain, despite having voted in large numbers for the formation of Pakistan in a 1947 referendum. Writes Ashlyn Davis
In a now-viral 30-second video clip, a local leader of the All India Trinamool [Grassroots] Congress (TMC), Sheikh Alam, can be heard calling upon his Muslim followers to unite for the cause of creating four Pakistans out of India.
TMC is a political party that is prominent in the Indian state of West Bengal. The party is notorious for pandering to its Muslim voting bloc. With the state holding elections this week, the TMC leader, reflecting the ideology of his party, campaigned on Muslim identity, unity and brotherhood. “We are 30 percent and they are 70 percent. They (BJP) will come to power with the support of 70 percent; they should be ashamed. If our Muslim population moves to one side, then we can create 4 new Pakistans. Where will 70 per cent of the population go?”
After the partition of India, Pakistan, on the West and the East of India, decided to be an Islamic republic, while India maintained itself as a secular state where Muslims were welcome to remain, despite having voted in large numbers for the formation of Pakistan in a 1947 referendum.
Independent secular India has had numerous Muslim politicians and ministers, who were directly, and at times indirectly, voted into power by the people of India.
However, it was a shock for the secular Indians when several of their Muslim politicians exposed Islamic supremacist attitudes and assumptions, and were unabashed about doing so. Despite enjoying two terms as the Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari asserted that Muslims were unsafe in India and that secularism had “almost disappeared” from the Indian government’s vocabulary.
One would wonder why Mohammad Hamid Ansari, whose diplomatic career spreads across decades, never leveled such strong allegations against the Indian government when the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Hindus was being orchestrated in Kashmir in the late 1980s and early 1990s, right under the nose of the then-Home Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed hailed from Kashmir, the very Kashmir that has given India another seasoned politician, Mehmooba Mufti. Having served as the Chief Minister of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti infamously declared that she wouldn’t raise the Indian flag until the separate flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was restored, after the BJP government in the central government abrogated Articles 370 and 35A in August 2019, which provided for special status for Jammu and Kashmir. There is no concept of separate flags for different states in India; hence it is only fair that Jammu and Kashmir should stand under the National flag. Supreme Court advocate Vineet Jindal observed that Mufti’s demand insinuated that Jammu and Kashmir was not a part of the Indian Union, but a separate entity.
Mufti’s remarks may have sounded outrageous to some, but the Hindus are accustomed to being verbally abused by Islamist politicians of Mufti’s ilk, who sometimes have even called for their slaughter publicly. Back in 2013, Akbaruddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) party delivered an incendiary speech declaring that if the police were diverted for fifteen minutes “we 30 crores (Muslims) will finish 100 crore Hindus,” that is, 300 million Muslims will finish one billion Hindus. It was not some one-off slip of the tongue; the politician from Hyderabad boastfully repeated his provocative speech while addressing a rally during the 2019 general elections.
On the other hand, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi, Amanatullah Khan, has reportedly helped over 300 Rohingya Muslim infiltrators to illegally settle in the Madanpur Khadar region. The Aam Aadmi Party legislator was spotted leading the anti-Hindu riots in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar last year. These riots claimed numerous Hindu lives and caused untold damage to private and public property. Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma was brutally murdered during these riots. The charge sheet filed by Delhi Police accuses Tahir Hussain, another prominent leader of AAP, of being a major conspirator in this gruesome murder.
With the kind of secularism India professes, it becomes very easy for any Islamist to rant against the Hindus and gain influence in any part of India that has a dominant Muslim population. During the outbreak of the global pandemic, a 24-year-old Muslim cleric from Bengal, Abbas Siddiqui, was captured on camera addressing his followers and praying to Allah to kill 50 crore (500 million) Indians by Corona.
Within a year, Siddiqui rose to significant political prominence and now helms the Indian Secular Front (ISF) party. He will be calling the shots in West Bengal’s administration if the ruling government led by the TMC loses power in the upcoming elections and the BJP doesn’t gain enough seats to form the government.
While speaking to Pakistani journalist Maleeha Hamid Sidiqqui, the present mayor of the state capital, TMC leader Firhad Hakim, allegedly referred to a Muslim-dominated area of Kolkata as “Mini Pakistan.” Hakim drew some major flak from all directions for this remark. Though he vehemently denies the accusations, the denial does little to salvage his image.