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Muslim population in Uttar Pradesh and sorry state of their voting pattern

In this election of 2017, that is to take place 70 years since independence, we should also think for how long will we continue outsourcing our representation to others? Is it only us who should continue carrying the burden of this virtue ...

Monday February 13, 2017 1:32 AM, Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, Urdu Media Monitor

Muslim votes
[The story of Kaiserganj of Bahraich is even more bizarre. Muslim population there is 45 percent but in the 2012 elections more than half of the voters did not turn up to cast their votes.]

Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections are at our doors. This time round the Muslim community has to fulfil its constitutional and social responsibility. It has therefore to be prepared for this obligation.

According to the census report, in Kairana Muslims count 63% of the total population. Yet in 16 of the elections held since 1957 this constituency the Muslim community has had only their five MLAs elected. Even in the polling of 2012 the community was not able to elect its own representative because all the votes got divided between the candidates of two secular parties of the province.

It happened because the sensible and senior members of the Muslim community did not pay any attention to the seriousness of the situation. They made no effort and spent no time to unite the community and form a consensus and thus let their votes devalued. In the mid-term poll of 2014 the situation got improved. Let’s hope that in the 2017 election they will fulfil their milli and constitutional obligation with full sense of responsibility.

Events in Moradabad’s Thakurdwara  were almost similar where Muslims constitute 52 percent of the population of the area, yet out of 17 elections only six times has the community been able to elect its own representatives. Even in the elections of 2012 we refused to come out of our slumber. In the mid-term election of 2014, however, the situation got improved. From this we should learn a lasting lesson.

In the constituency of Sahibabad District of Ghaziabad our population is 50 percent. Yet we fail to exercise our constitutional right. For God’s sake wake up. Do some brain storming, discuss the issue and come to a consensus.

The story of Kaiserganj of Bahraich is even more bizarre. Muslim population there is 45 percent but in the 2012 elections more than half of the voters did not turn up to cast their votes.

O my dear brothers! why are you defeating your own goal? This time round your votes cast must be 100 percent. The influential and sensible people in all of their constituencies should sit together and give a call for unity.

Similar is the sad tale in Saharanpur. There too Muslim strength is 45 percent but disinterest and irresponsible attitude has marred their vision. Everyone in the state will have to wake up and remain vigilant.

In four of the constituencies in Meerut—Meerut city, Meerut Cantt, Meerut South and Sardhana— milli vote is 45 percent but nowhere there these voters try to understand the importance of their milli interests. In all of these constituencies milli vote is more than one third of the total. If these milli voters get united then from all of the four constituencies it will be their candidates who will win. Please play your role, be active and strive to build a consensus. Surely it will bear good fruits.

In Bijnor city, Noorpur of Bijnor District, Kanpur, Bareilly city, Bareilly Cantt, Bhojipura, Aonla, Shahjahanpur and Firozabad everywhere there Muslim population is from one fourth to three fourth of the total. Don’t forget the booty belongs to the one who dares forward and fetches it.

Let’s now look at the capital. Lo and behold! Here the darkness prevails more than like the shade under the lamp. The whole district has a Muslim population of more than one fourth but here a Muslim representative is rarely seen while in each constituency every fourth representative should be a Muslim. Remember this warning of Allama Iqbal

چاہے تو بدل ڈالے ہیئت چمنستاں کی
یہ ہستیء بینا ہے ‘ دانا ہے‘ توانا ہے

This lot if it wills, can change the entire face of the garden
(because) it is the-knowing, wise, and powerful

Let’s continue our analysis. In the east of the state in Gainsari and Utraula (both in District Balrampur) Muslim population is 45 percent. Men and women of the Muslim community should strive to get their right there.

In the neighbouring District of Faizabad  there is Radoli constituency. There too Muslim votes are one third but representation is nil. For the people of Radoli the moment to act has arrived.

Let’s now turn to Govind Nagar constituency of District Kanpur, Fazilnagar seat of District Kushinagar, Bansi seat of Siddharth Nagar, Katra Bazar of Gonda as well as Banaras north, Banaras Cantt and Banaras South where the Muslim community should immediately start working so that in the coming election they may get back their lost dignity.

This is gratifying to note that in the elections of 2012  the Muslim community displayed an exemplary unity on the seats of Budhana and Meerpur in Muzaffarnagar, Bilal in District Badaun, Dumariyaganj of Siddhartha Nagar and Chandpur of District Bijnor for which they must be complimented.

However, on the other hand in Meerut Cantt despite one third of the population being Muslims never has there been a Muslim representative from this constituency.

Despite one third Muslim population in Bithari Chainpur (District Bareilly), Bilaspur (District Rampur), Deoband, Barkhera (District Pilibhit), Mehdawal (Sant Kabir Nagar), Biswanathpu(Partapgarh), Chaproli (Gonda), Sheikhupur(Badaun), Lucknow East and Mahasi (Behraich), in 2012 elections neither any Muslim candidate won nor anyone was even number second. In Radoli in spite of one third Muslim population, a Muslim candidate lost by few votes.

Therefore, Muslims should immediately act upon Iqbal’s advice: Jumbish se zindagi jahan ki (On motion all this world’s life hangs).

In addition, we should also remember that Muslim candidates who came victorious in the last election should not be complacent because during these five years there have been lot of changes in voters list in UP. Therefore this to make their victory certain this time as well they will need to work hard even more.

If we follow this route we can bring the political trend in the country on the right track. We need to avoid indulging in unnecessary and time wasting exercises. For example for the mental torture of Muslims a TV channel has imported a bizarre human being from Canada. This man has been blurting out nonsensical and absurd statements and in one way or other has been hurting the feelings of Muslims. This act of his is a clear violation of Article 51 A (e) and legal action is extremely necessary against him and the TV channel. But during the election we should keep our focus on the larger picture of Muslims and try avoiding the daily complexities and should only strive for long the term welfare of the community.

In this election of 2017, that is to take place 70 years since independence, we should also think for how long will we continue outsourcing our representation to others? Is it only us who should continue carrying the burden of this virtue while through Sachar Committee report and in the following incidents we have learnt that our rights have continuously been trampled upon? Let’s not be unmindful of the intrigues of creating turmoil within the community. Let’s resolve that we will not let us being used as puppets of the plotters. We have to bring pleasant change to suit our community. We are mature people. We have to reclaim the position guaranteed to us by the constitution. Good note that unity is being sought through Yoga in the country. Surely Namaz also brings unity.

In a democratic country, for 70 years, if a religious minority continues to be represented in the country’s parliament and state assemblies by people belonging to other communities then this is a commentary on the sad state of affairs of the democracy therein. This is not democracy but cultivation of a slavish mentality in a community. Let’s move forward and let’s adopt constituency wise line of action.

[Dr Zafar Mahmood, a retired bureacurate, is President, Zakat Foundation of India. He was OSD for Sachar  Committee. Translated by Urdu Media Monitor from Rozanama Sahara, 9 February 2017]



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