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Stranger than factions

Singh has always portrayed the Muslim community as ‘terrorists’ and has ensured that its voices for equality and justice are silenced, writes Syed Ubaidur Rahman.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2009 23:06 IST

Will Indian Muslims forgive and forget Kalyan Singh? This is a question that everyone is asking at a time when he has been roped in by none other than the self-proclaimed messiah of Indian Muslims, Mulayam Singh Yadav. Not many moons ago Kalyan Singh was Yadav’s worst enemy. Whatever happened?

Many Muslims are calling Mulayam a traitor. The man who considers himself as one of the country’s foremost card-holding secularists is now trying to shield the man who once took pride in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Back then, Kalyan Singh had given an undertaking in the Supreme Court that no harm would come to the 16th century mosque.

Now the same man is assisting the ‘pillar of secularism’ to defeat communal forces. Kalyan went on record to take responsibility for the demolition for which he resigned as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

During the course of an interview, Kalyan Singh had once said, “The day we decided that the Ram temple would be built, it was clearly understood that the disputed structure [Babri Mosque] will have to go. And it needed to go.” He added: “It lent a great sense of pride and was not a matter of shame at all when this was done — exactly 464 years after Mughal emperor Babur had ordered his army commander to pull down the Ram temple and erect the Babri mosque.”

Singh has always portrayed the Muslim community as ‘terrorists’ and has ensured that its voices for equality and justice are silenced. “Show me one Hindu who has been involved in the ongoing terrorism in the country. Not only were there terrorists from the community, but even those providing shelter to Pakistani terrorists were also Muslims,” adding, “That is why I do not believe in the oft-repeated theory that terrorists have no religion or caste.”

Till date, he has raised objections to all moves that have aimed to improve the socio-economic conditions of Muslims

in India. Opposing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s proposed 15-point programme for the uplift of Muslims in the wake of the Sachar Committee report, Kalyan Singh said, “If the package had included all sections of the poor irrespective of caste or creed, I would have happily accepted it. But such a move is aimed simply at garnering Muslim votes and will end up in
yet another partition of the country. And we will not allow that to happen at any cost.”

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s support to Singh discredits the former in the long run. Several leaders from the Samajwadi Party (SP), including top Muslim leaders like Azam Khan and Shafiqur Rahman Barq, have already expressed their displeasure over the decision. Mohammad Azam Khan, who has stood by Yadav through thick and thin, said, “The whole world knows that Kalyan was instrumental in the mosque’s demolition. I’m absolutely shocked and surprised at the decision to absolve him.”

Saleem Sherwani of the SP said, “This is the biggest bluff that Mulayam Singh is trying to pull off, the whole world knows that he was one of those responsible for the demolition.” What is much more astounding than Kalyan Singh coming to the ‘secular’ fold is Mulayam Singh Yadav agreeing to have the ex-BJP leader on board. For a few caste votes, he has lost his and his party’s brand and soul.

Syed Ubaidur Rahman is the editor of Khabrein.Info