Is the Samajwadi Party (SP) really serious about the empowerment of Muslims or is the SP always trying to preserve their vote bank in Uttar Pradesh in the name of the welfare of the Muslims? This is the biggest question before the Muslim community today, and the answer to that question is desired from the lowest to the highest strata of the Muslim community. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress keep on telling the Muslims that the SP is not working for the development of the Muslim community. Even the Imam of Jama Masjid and close ally of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Abdullah Bukhari, raised questions on the attitude of the SP Government. In such a situation it has become a necessity for the SP to make some reasonable ‘tom tomming’ in the name of the interests of the Muslims, so that their Muslim oriented politics does not get adversely affected. On the one hand, the SP Government – to please the Muslim community – speaks about withdrawing cases against Muslim youth who have been arrested on charges of terrorism while on the other hand, in court, it denies taking any such decisions. The SP is making one more effort to make the Muslims happy. The party is trying to raise its voice to give reservation to Muslims in Government services. The SP wants to fulfil its objectives by pressurising the Central Government to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and the Ranganath Mishra Commission.
The SP is trying to create problems for the Central Government which is already facing a lot of trouble on the issue of reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, by bringing up the issue of Muslim reservation in Government services. The party can initiate this by passing a proposal in the State Legislative Assembly for giving reservation to Muslims and then send it to the Centre for further consideration. However, it is worth mentioning that the SP was raising its voice for giving Muslims 18 per cent reservation at the time of the Legislative Assembly election of the State and after coming to power, senior leader of the party Azam Khan is continuously putting pressure on his party for its implementation.
If the SP passes a proposal in the State Legislative Assembly as per their promises made in their election manifesto and sends it to the Centre for consideration, then it will be difficult for the Central Government to avoid the situation. Informed sources in the party are saying that the SP has officially started to make a draft on the subject of Muslim reservation. By doing this, the SP would go one step ahead on the path of fulfilling its promise in its election manifesto and in the bargain it will succeed in putting a lot of pressure on the Centre on this issue. The SP would then say that if all the parties could unite for giving reservation in promotion to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes then why can’t they do so on the issue of Muslim reservation. By raising this issue the SP is trying to hit two targets simultaneously with a single arrow. The first target is that it can speed up its fight for the Muslims and the second target is that this step would automatically dilute the intensity of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes reservation.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is renowned for being the ‘Messiah’ of Muslims. The way in which the SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav has described the condition of Muslims as worse than the Dalits on the basis of the Sachar Committee report points to a decisive fight developing. It gives a clear indication that the issue of Muslim reservation won’t remain merely a manifesto promise. The SP Government has already made a survey in all the districts of the State about the economic condition of the Muslims. They are seriously discussing bringing Muslims into the development process of the State and to provide them with more and more benefits from the various schemes run by the Central Government. The SP is disappointed at the way in which ‘loot’ has been carried out in the Central Government schemes for poor Muslims. It has been said that this loot is a result of poor implementation by the Central Government in the schemes for the development of Muslims. In the Muslim majority areas, enough money is being pumped in for multi-sectoral development programmes but the amount is not reaching the final beneficiaries. Physical checking is not carried out in this matter. The Central Government has allotted 250 crore rupees for establishing an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Saharanpur from which half the allotted money has already been spent, but the Central Minority Welfare Ministry does not have any records for the money spent. But the fact is that not even a single brick has been cemented so far. Going by this incident, it is easy to imagine what happens in the entire State. If we take a closer look at the data of the money sanctioned under the multi-sectoral development plans at the national level, Uttar Pradesh has been sanctioned 12761.48 lakhs rupees by the Central Government for 2012-2013 but not even a single penny has been spent so far.
Ironically, the responsibility of distribution of compensation to the victims of riots in Uttar Pradesh has been handed over by the State Government to those very people who were responsible for the riots. Both the SP and the Central Government are busy in the politics of appeasement.
It would not be incorrect to call the SP double faced. On the one hand, it is opposing the reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes while on the other it is advocating reservation for the Muslims. The SP has been clearly opposing the issue of reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in both the houses of Parliament and in the State Assembly as well. Ram Gopal Yadav even says that the party will soon contact other parties with an ideology similar to that of the SP for speeding up the opposition of reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He also said people have come out on the streets to oppose this issue, and all the parties should judge the tenor of the people from this incident. He added that no country or society will accept that those who are inferior rule over those who are superior.
Actually, the SP does not hesitate to stoop down to any level to make the Muslims happy. So efforts are being made by SP to wipe away the blemishes of the riots that happened in took place in the State over the last few months. On the issue of the law and order system in Uttar Pradesh, Ram Gopal Yadav says that those people who tried to disturb the peaceful environment in the State, the people know their faces. The riots which happened in the State were all done in a very systematic and planned manner. But the fact is that whoever tries to make a fool of the law would get into trouble and end up in jail, irrespective of whether they belong to the SP or to some other party. Ram Gopal Yadav has been found advocating the development of all classes of people along with suggesting that the Government should take up this issue as a priority. But ironically, the responsibility of distribution of compensation to the victims of riots in Uttar Pradesh has been handed over by the State Government to those very people who were responsible for the riots. Both the SP and the Central Government are busy in the politics of appeasement. This brand of politics was seen at the National Executive meeting of the SP held in Kolkata a few months ago, where Mulayam Singh Yadav expressed deep concern at the condition of the Muslims and berated the Congress and the Central Government for this condition. Continuing with this same brand of politics, the SP has taken some significant steps and in doing so, crossed all limits. Keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections and to strengthen the Muslim vote bank, the SP has even said that they would make full efforts to implement the 15 point programme of the Central Government for the welfare of the Muslims and try to provide maximum benefits to the community. Some time ago, Health Minister Ahmad Hasan in the Akhilesh Government gave a statement that the SP Government believes that the ban on the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is unnecessary. In the current tenure of the SP Government, no objectionable activities from SIMI have come to the forefront. So the State Government has not put a ban on SIMI in the State. The SP Government is of the belief that during the tenure of the Mayawati Government, many innocent Muslims were lured in the name of SIMI. The Centre put a ban on SIMI and the Mayawati Government, during its tenure, always kept writing to the Central Government that the ban on SIMI was prevalent in the State as well. But the SP Government is not going to do any such thing. The SP is not at all worried that in the process of pleasing the Muslims they are actually creating a sense of animosity among the public. The Bharatiya Janata Party is protesting strongly against this. The State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Laxmikant Bajpai says that Mulayam Singh Yadav is dreaming of becoming the Prime Minister of the country, so he is distributing Government wealth in an unorganised manner. The police is also hesitating to catch criminals because of the type of politics practised by the State Government whereas the Court is continuously giving orders for investigation. Mulayam Singh Yadav is trying to divide the State among the Hindus and the Muslims to get the throne of the Prime Minister but the Bharatiya Janata Party will make sure that this dream of the SP is never fulfilled.