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A weakening bloc
Free Fall
The influence of Muslim clerics, who once dominated political and social life in their community, is eroding at a very fast pace; their voice becoming feebler with each passing day. Syed Khurram Raza examines why this is the case

The critical question is this: has the arrival of the AAP begun the process of churning among Muslims? With the advent of Arvind Kejriwal’s brand of non-conformist and anti-identity politics, suddenly there is a fizz. “I believe intellectuals of the Muslim community should take a cue from the AAP and come forward to lead the community. There is a dire need for some movement or churning within the community and in this process young people should come forward,’’ states Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who sees in this nascent political movement a blow to the aspirations of corrupt elite who have done nothing for the community except to use innocents as cannon fodder.

According to Firoz Bakht Ahmed, the AAP is different from other parties in that it faithfully eschews a religions credo – any religious credo. “It certainly represents a change from the Congress which has done nothing except to indulge in vote bank politics in the name of protecting minorities since 1947 and the RSS-inspired BJP which remains the fountainhead of majority communalism. The AAP does not talk of sectarian politics and focuses only on issues that reflect the aspirations of the common people.’’ There is little doubt then that AAP is turning into a viable option as far as the Muslim voters are concerned.

In addition, and perhaps far more importantly, Kejriwal looks the most likely candidate to take on Modi and the rising Hindutva influence, if the recent poll surveys are anything to go by. With political pundits predicting a serious drubbing for Congress in General Elections which is a few months away, the newly-emerging AAP offers itself as a far more robust alternative to a Congress besieged under a slew of corruption charges and an inflation which it has been unable to control and generally found to be fumbling against the Gujarat strongman.

Zafar Agha echoes the same concern “There is an urgent need to build Muslim leadership and for this they need churning within the community because only then can Muslims progress”. It makes sense. The way things are going, the clerics may have no option but to change their ways.

Syed Khurram Raza
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