Indian Muslims May Be Trapped Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea On Election Day

by
Sameera Ehteram
Muslims in India seem to be trapped between choosing the Indian National Congress, which has done nothing for them, and the Bharatiya Janata Party, a political force they have a hard time trusting.

Indian Elections 2014

Those opposed to Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan, says India’s prominent Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh.

BJP is the forerunner in the 2014 elections and have a pretty solid chance of winning. Therefore, such advice from its leaders is rather troubling, especially for Muslims

Singh, on the other hand, tried to clarify his statement. "I meant to say that those opposing Narendra Modi are doing so at the behest of Pakistan. They are pro-Pakistan people and need not stay in India."

Sounds like the same thing from where we stand Mr. Singh.

Such words have been criticized in the media. The Indian Express, for example, feels that leaders must prove that they do not choose between religion and development as and when it suits them.

The paper worries that "it will be difficult to contain these violent energies" of the "hate-mongering fringe" if the BJP forms a government.

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Another controversial statement was issued by Praveen Togadia, president of India's Vishwa Hindu Parishad party. At a rally, he implied that people from the Islamic faith should not be allowed to buy property in Hindu areas; "Bring pressure on the government to enact laws where Muslims cannot purchase property in Hindu areas," were his exact words.

India is a Hindu-majority country where Muslims account for 13 percent of the population and play a critical role in the electoral outcomes of at least 100 of the 543 parliamentary seats.

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The Muslims in India are generally wary of the BJP and deeply suspicious of Modi because of the riots a decade ago in his home state of Gujarat while he was chief minister. The violence resulted in Hindu mobs killing more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims. And with statements like the one issued by Mr. Togadia, the Muslims seemingly have little other choice apart from the BJP and Congress and it would be interesting to see which way their votes sway.  

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However, with the party that is favorite to win the elections ready to brand any Muslim that doesn’t vote for them a traitor, one wonders the attitude its leaders will have towards those that exercise their democratic right to choose someone else.

Should these treacherous Muslims perhaps book their tickets for Pakistan? After all, the politicians most likely to be voted in by the rest of India have little tolerance for their choices, which is tragic as these followers of Islam have as much love for India as their Hindu, Sikh and Christian countrymen.  

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