Parliamentary elections are round the corner. The Election Commission is all set to announce a final date for holding elections in 543 Lok Sabha seats. Though dates are yet to be announced, the campaigning seems to be in full swing months before the arrival of D date.
Meanwhile, like always, the question of launching or supporting exclusive Muslim political parties is cropping up once again among Muslims across the nation.
Are Muslim political parties panacea for the community’s ills in India?
A large number of Muslims in the country believe that a strong political party of the community is needed to raise their issues, lead them on the path of prosperity and guide them on important issues confronting them.
For several decades this has been the topic of discussion among Muslim intelligentsia, politicians, community leadership and even ulama or clergy.
A community that looks lost due to the absence of any strong leadership, has been hoping that a political party of the community on the lines of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will be able to serve the interests of the community as the BSP is doing for Dalits.
Launched by Kanshi Ram in eighties, BSP has become an indispensable part of the Indian political landscape. For around two decades it is one of the two strongest political forces in UP, the largest state in India and its support has become crucial for political fortunes of one alliance or the other in New Delhi.
Many community intellectuals believe that a strong political party of the community on the lines of BSP will serve the community’s purpose the best.
They believe the way BSP has tried to safeguard the interests of marginalized Dalit community across the country, a Muslim political party may replicate it for the Muslims.
Image: Indian Muslims offer prayers during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, at the Taj Mahal monument in Agra, India, on November 7, 2011. (AP)