Sunday, March 23, 2014

Aligs Aadmi Party

There is a possibility for a 3-way split in the muslim vote in the upcoming general elections. 

Congress is banking on the votes of the loyal generation (post-partition), rural pockets may still vote for Samajwadi Party and other regional outfits, and most recently the Aam Aadmi Party is making its mark in urban areas, with the young people and the liberal minded.

In the last group belongs the elite alumnii of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)- which has historically been the seat of muslim activism and (pan) nationalism (as distinct from muslim feudalism) since its founding in 1875, Wiki refers to AMU as the epi-center of the Pakistan movement.

However the key challenge is for muslims to vote tactically in each constituency, else the BJP wins everywhere.

....Making Muslims a part of the same world as the rest of India has surprisingly endeared a part of the AMU fraternity, both teachers and students, to AAP. Finding AAP's policy 'inclusive' -- Kejriwal has not made many community-specific promises in Aligarh - a number of AMU graduates now settled in the UAE, UK, USA and Europe are campaigning hard online for what they see as the 'new hope'.

On "World of Aligs", one of the largest online communities of AMU alumni, the party's been steadily beginning to become a part of the discussions. In the beginning of March, when BJP workers had attacked the AAP party office in Delhi, Kaleem Kawaja, a US-based AMU graduate had posted, "AAP's intense struggle against BJP can help Muslims."








...
The discussion has now veered around to how the party is making realistic promises like good governance. "Earlier, Muslims followed the promises doled out by traditional parties but Kejriwal is not promising anything to anyone from any faith or community," said Mohsin Raza, a senior surgeon and moderator of "World of Aligs." "His goal is clean governance, which includes Hindus as well as Muslims.

"That's why there is admiration for him because Muslims have understood that parties keep the community in good humour during elections and then forget about them."

In such a scenario, critics point out that Kejriwal has an eye on the Muslim vote bank which is why he has fielded Sabir Rahi, a Muslim from Aligarh, a constituency, which contrary to perception, has more Hindu voters than Muslim. AAP having a Muslim face here is expected to go down well with the community.  

The party has also promised that if elected, it would take up the issue of compensation of riot victims as well as Section 341 of the IPC which deals with punishment for wrongful restraint. In addition, Kejriwal has been making statements like "communalism is a bigger threat than corruption". 
  But Mohibul Haque, assistant professor at AMU feels the main agenda of AAP, which is the fight against corruption, is what draws the intelligentsia, including Muslims, to it.   "AAP is not working on the lines of a secular and communal debate. Their main fight is against corruption, which affects all regardless of their faith and class."
 


regards