How Muslims are being made sacrificial lambs politically

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It has always been a complaint that where the Muslim population is more, their population is shifted through the delimitation exercise to marginalize the Muslim community of its electoral strength. This exercise is done through a delimitation commission almost once in ten years to block Muslim representation in the Parliament and state legislators in India.

Apart from the shift of the population, the constituencies that have a Muslim majority population are typically reserved for the Hindu Dalits to marginalize the Muslim representation. As a result, such a constituency can never elect a Muslim even if they are in the majority because there is no Dalit among the Muslims in India.

When Muslims are unable to become, MLAs and MPs then their voices are snuffed out from the political process in the country. These are clever games played against Muslims in the name of democracy in India. It is no guess that those playing such games are having Hindu majoritarian mindset in India.

According to the Census report, the population of Muslims in Gopalganj (Bihar) is more than 17 percent, while Dalits here are only around 12 percent but this seat has been reserved for Dalits.

Similar is the case of Karimganj (Telengana) where Muslims are 56 percent and Dalits are 12 percent, the seat is reserved for Dalits.

The Nagina seat in Bijnor (UP) has 43.04% Muslims, while the number of Dalits is only 21%, this seat is reserved for the Dalits.

In Bulandshahr (UP), the population of Muslims is two percent more than Dalits, but this is a Dalit-reserved seat.

The same is the case of Kutch and Ahmedabad West constituencies which are Muslim majority seats in Gujarat but reserved for the Dalits.

Bihar’s Gopalganj, Telangana’s Karimganj, UP’s Nagina and Bulandshahr, Gujarat’s Kutch, and Ahmedabad West are examples of 6 reserved seats for Dalits that have a Muslim majority.

The idea of reserving Muslim-dominated seats in the Dalit category is a clever game being played by those in power. As a result, a large number of Muslims cannot reach the Parliament or the state Legislature.

On the contrary, in the constituencies where the population of Dalits is more, they are put in the unreserved category. These constituencies are Aurangabad in Bihar and Rae Bareli in UP.  Aurangabad has the largest number of Dalits but this seat is unreserved. Similarly, Rae Bareli has 30 percent Dalit population but it is an unreserved seat.  Incidentally, this seat is a pocket borough of the Gandhi family and at present, Sonia Gandhi is elected from this seat as a Lok Sabah MP.

The Justice Rajendra Sachar Committee constituted by the Central Government in 2005 and later the report of the Ranganath Mishra Committee has recommended that electoral seats for Muslims recommended to be reserved to increase their presence in states and central legislature. It was also recommended that in the seats where Dalit-Tribals and Muslims are in the majority, such seats should be reserved for them. The Sachar Committee had also instructed to reserve Muslim majority seats in the SC category through the delimitation election exercise. However, even after many years of the Sachar Committee report’s recommendations, the situation remains unchanged on the ground.

There are 9 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, Assam, and Bihar where the Muslim population is more than 50 percent but these seats are not reserved for Muslims.

In the draft of the delimitation issued in Assam, the delimitation commission is being accused of neglecting the Muslim majority seats. The Muslim community says that if the delamination is implemented, then the political representation of Muslims in the state will come down significantly. The population of Muslims in Assam is more than 33 but there is little representation of the Muslims in the legislature.

In Jammu and Kashmir, recently, the delimitation commission recommended reserving 2 seats for the Kashmiri Pandits.  There is no reservation for Muslims on similar grounds.  The delimitation exercise done in Jammu Kashmir is done to give supremacy to Hindu dominated region of Jammu over Muslim dominated region of Kashmir.

The most startling thing is that the Delimitation commission is a decision that cannot be challenged in a court of law. It is clearly written in section 10(2) of the Delimitation Act that the decision of the commission will be final. No court can arbitrate the decision of the commission and that is binding.

In this context, it would be apt to about the Muslims being rudderless in India. Since independence, Muslim leaders who can voice the aspirations of the Muslim community are not allowed to grow in India. They have been asked to do managerial activities like fetching Muslim votes for the political parties but do not speak on behalf of their community. It is left to the Hindu leadership to speak on behalf of the Muslims. In this context, Mulayam Singh Yadav in UP and Lalu Prasad Yadav in Bihar came to the center stage of politics as they spoke on behalf of the Muslims of India.

As such Muslim leadership was not nurtured among the secular elite of the country. It was rather handed over to the Muslim clerics whose job is to do vote farming of the Muslims and in lieu of getting protection from the ruling government.

This vocabulary got changed by the BJP which invented the 80 vs 20 formula, where Muslim votes do not matter at all in the electoral politics of India.  In the BJP’s world view, Muslims or its leadership have no political space in the country. The BJP can run the states and the country on the basis of an 80 vs 20 formula sans Muslims. The BJP can only tolerate Muslims as intermediaries who can fetch votes at the local level without asking for any plum positions.

The BJP has been successful in the marginalization of the old Muslim elite, cultivated by the Congress since independence. It’s by sideling the Muslim elite, the BJP  saw to it that there is no one left among the Muslims to negotiate or even to engage with them on behalf of the Muslim community.

Meanwhile, the BJP prop up the BC, OBC, Mahadalit, and Dalit converts from Hindu to Muslim community and called them Pasmanda Muslims.  The saffron party is shedding crocodile tears for their underdevelopment blaming the Muslim upper caste for pocketing all the benefits given by the state to the Muslims

While they are playing this vote game with the Muslims the BJP has not done the same with the Hindu community. They have not tinkered with the Hindu upper caste elites for the sake of the development of the lower caste group of the Hindu community.  This is a hypocritical game played in India and there is no opposition to such mechanization of power politics.

In other words, the BJP seeks that there is no conservation between the Hindu religious faith and Islamic faith ever takes place. For all these reasons, a grand bargain or even a thawing of relations between Muslims and the BJP appears to be implausible. In such cases, it is harder for Muslims to get adjusted to the new 80 vs 20 political paradigm

The symptoms are obvious that democracy will be only for the majority community in India where Muslims will not be treated as equal citizens. In such an eventuality, what will be the status of Muslims’ future in India?  Muslims in India need to realize that what is gone on their back is a sinister design to get them permanently marginalized in their own country.

All these things stand, Muslims in India should be prepared to respond to such happenings. But it appears that the Muslim community is in deep slumber dreaming of its glorious past and harping on composite culture. It’s high time Muslims should take stock of the situation and make preparation to handle their future ahead or be prepared for the worst.


Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

courtesy Muslim Mirror

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Disclaimer: How Muslims are being made sacrificial lambs politically - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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