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Shariff receives flak for his comments on AUDF, IUML electoral success

Thursday May 19, 2011 08:41:40 PM, Staff Reporter

Malegaon: Abusaleh Shariff, one of the members of the Sachar Committee, is receiving flak and criticism from the community and party leaders for his reported comments to a national media on the electoral success of Assom United Democratic Front's (AUDF) and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Assam and Kerala respectively.


"The community relied on the so called mainstream parties for the years. In return what it got? Backwardness and jail for its youths? I think Saleh Shariff should re-analyse the situation. The AUDF and IUML successes may be unfortunate for the Congress and other mainstream parties. But for the community, they are indeed a positive and fortunate development", Kul Jamaati Tanzeem leader Maulana Abdul Hamid Azhari said while speaking to


Terming Abu Saleh Shariff's comments as blatant double standard, Mumbai based educationalist and activist Mubarak Kapdi said, "It is strange that people are objecting the success of AUDF and IUML even though they did not win the elections on any communal or religious agenda."


"Where were these people when a party won the election solely on the religious agenda of Ram Mandir? Why these people did not raise any objection when Trishuldhari sadhus and sadhvis reached the Parliament?" he asked.


Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, editor of the New Delhi based The Milli Gazette too criticized the comments made by Abu Saleh Shariff. Terming the election results positive for the Muslim community, Dr Khan said that it should work as an eye-opener for the mainstream parties that deceived the community for so many years.


Dr. Khan also objected Abu Saleh Shariff's observation on Indian Madrasas.


"Shariff knows well that the Madarsas played very important roles for education of the community as well as for non-Muslims when the government failed in providing the schools in Muslim dominated and other backward areas", he said.


Abu Saleh Shariff's comments have received harsh comments even from abroad. Reacting on his comments, Washington based activist Kaleem Khwaja said, "I wonder why the past electoral successes of Akali Dal a Sikh party, BSP a Dalits' party did not cause a worry in the Congress party."


"Moreover", he added, "Why are the secular parties (Congress, SP, BSP, RJD, Communists) not looking under their noses and see how much they deprived from development Muslim population concentration districts in the states where they have ruled for long with Muslim votes."


AUDF leaders also expressed shock and surprise over the way Shariff has tried to read the post election situation.


"I respect Mr Shariff for his role in the Sachar Comittee. But reading his comments I am forced to say that he does not realise pulse of the Muslim community", AUDF spokesman Burhanuddin Qasmi said while speaking to


"Contrary to what he said, AUDF never identified it as a Muslim party. AUDF has a vast following among non-Muslims and it had also given 40% tickets to the non-Muslim candidates", he added.


Abusaleh Shariff, who was part of the Sachar panel which ranked Muslims at par with dalits in backwardness, while speaking to an English daily, called the electoral development "unfortunate".


He said the community veered towards religious parties owing to lack of representation in mainstream platforms. "This makes them vulnerable to religious rhetoric," he said.


Shariff has also said, "We want Muslims to go to normal schools and not madrassas, but now the same is happening in politics. They have to be part of mainstream parties and the latter too have to be more inclusive — give them tickets and pay attention to their welfare agenda to check the unfortunate drift."





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