More on Ummid : International l National Regional l Politics Sports Religion l History l Culture l Education



Looking for the Muslim MP

Monday May 18, 2009, Christophe Jaffrelot, Indian Express





Mehmood Madni Addressing the press after visiting Malegaon that was rocked by a bomb blast on September 29, 2008 two days before Eid Al Fitr


Related Articles

Inquilab 1857 to Sacchar Report-Nothing has changed for Indian Muslims: Leaving behind the dark memories of the renewed terror and trauma for the Muslims in India... Read Full

‘Advising Restraint, work for the Revival of the Community’: We should advise the Indian Muslims for observing total restraint so that the Anti-Muslim forces ...Read Full

'Give the Indian Muslims ten years of

peace': True, the Government initiatives, schemes and policies take time and if they are related to Muslims they take...Read Full


Success Stories

"I believed, nobody could stop me this time", says Sufiyah Faruquie who not only successfully cracked the UPSC exams but also stood top in the list of the 31 Muslims who made their way...Read Full

"No Muslim child in India to be left behind for education”:  Presently I work as a Scientific Officer in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India, since 1998. My contribution is in the research and...Read Full

Mumbai Muslim girl takes Urdu route to IAS: Sarah Rizvi has done her bit to issue a blow to the stereotype of the Muslim woman, moderately educated and socially subjugated, ensconced...Read Full

From Amroha To The Moon:THE ENTRANCE to Chaugori Mohalla, a small Muslim locality in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha town, abou...Read Full

Madrasa student cracks UPSC: At a time when eyebrows are being raised on the kind of education being imparted in Madrasas across the country, a Maulana from the Darul-Uloom....Read Full

The Success Mantra : Honesty top in the list: In the first ever one-o-one interview after the results, Qaiser spoke in length exclusively with ummid.com about his success mantra.....Read Full

A Trip to Globe on Handcart:

There are few in this world who are recognized by the good deeds. Bhavarlalji Jain, of course,  is one among the coveted few....Read Full


Related Article

Choosing the Coalition Leader-Is it Devil and the Deep Sea Choice?: The country is waiting the results of 15th Loksabha elections with bated breath, (13th May 2009).  It is becoming clear that no.....Read Full

Exit polls suggest India heading for weak coalition

Mysteries of the Muslim mood

Thanks to Varun, Pilibhit is a house divided

Shadows of Violence Cling to Indian Politician

Afraid of Third Front

India's all-important Muslim vote

Indian Muslims and the 2009 Elections

Sikhs fought their own battle, Muslims want others to do so

Alienated Generation

Aman Ki Talaash Mein

Except in 1980, when the percentage of Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha — 9 per cent — was roughly equivalent to the percentage of Muslims in the Indian population — 11.4 per cent according to the 1981 census — this minority has always been under-represented in Parliament. The gap increased in the late ’80s, to fall to about 5 per cent in the ’90s, the decade when the BJP remained the first party in the Lok Sabha for quite some time; it then increased slightly in 1999 and 2004 thanks to the good performance of parties which had nominated a large number of Muslim candidates, mainly the BSP and the SP. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, Muslim MPs represent 6.4 per cent of the total MPs while Muslims represent 13.4 per cent of the Indian population, according to the 2001 census.

The situation may not be very different this time if we go by the candidate lists. There are a very high number of Muslim candidates in the fray: the fates of about 780 are becoming clear as you read this. This figure reflects the will to take part in the political process of the world’s largest democracy, a will also reflected in the usually high turn-out of Muslim voters that retain faith in the electoral process, even, and especially, post-Ayodhya. But in most of the states — including Muslim-majority J&K — the percentage of Muslim candidates is far below the percentage of Muslims in the general population. In Assam, where Muslims represent 30 per cent of the population, they are 19 per cent; in UP, where Muslims are 18.5 per cent, they are 11 per cent of candidates; a similar proportion in Bihar strive to represent a state where Muslims are 16.5 per cent of the population. The only significant exception is Maharashtra.

More importantly, in most of the states, a majority of Muslim candidates are independents. In Maharashtra, precisely 52 per cent contest as independents; in Gujarat and MP, 54 per cent; in Haryana, 66 per cent; in Rajasthan, 80 per cent! These reflect the reluctance of the parties — especially national parties — to nominate Muslim candidates. If one does not expect the BJP to behave otherwise (the party has nominated only 5 Muslims this time) the Congress has never paid so little attention to Muslims, if that is judged by the percentage of its candidates that is Muslim.

Excluding in J&K, less than 30 Muslims have been given Congress tickets this time — an appallingly low number — and interestingly, none in Maharashtra. Similarly, the communists do not make much room for Muslim candidates, not in West Bengal, with half a dozen candidates, nor in Kerala, where there are only a couple of Muslim candidates on the lists of the CPI and the CPM. The only national party giving prominence to Muslim candidates is the BSP. In UP, its stronghold, the BSP has actually nominated more Muslim candidates than its rival, the SP (13 against 12). Mulayam Singh Yadav might lose sections of the Muslim vote to the BSP anyway because of the entry of Kalyan Singh in the party.

In Maharashtra, too, the BSP is the party which has given more tickets to Muslim candidates than any other party, including the SP (9 against 6). Similarly, in Karnataka and in Kerala; in the latter it has given more tickets to Muslim candidates than the communists and the Muslim League! It is possible that the BSP aims to become the new political channel of expression for Muslims by reconstituting the old UP Congress coalition of Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims. This would certainly be a significant development if it enables Muslim communities to remain part of the institutional framework, defusing centrifugal forces which could take the form of a “Muslim party” or even extra-constitutional modes of action. To ensure political voice is even more important at a time when this minority is discriminated against in the labour and housing markets, as has become evident from recent surveys. One thing to look at in the results is whether the BSP has a chance at being this voice.


The writer is at CERI, Sciences Po, Paris and has co-edited ‘Rise of the plebeian? The changing face of Indian legislative assemblies’. This article was co-written with Virginie Dutoya, Radhika Kanchana and Gayatri Rathore.

















                                                        Home | Top of the page      



  Comment on this article


E-mail Address:
Write here...






Ummid.com: Home | Contact Us | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | About Us | Feedback

Ummid Business: Advertise with us | Careers | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and condition mentioned.