A counter-productive move?
‘HOLIDAY POLITICS’ is likely to prove counter productive for Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Last week, the Chief Minister, under the pressure of Shia cleric and People’s Democratic Front chairman Maulana Kalbe Jawad, accepted the demand for State holiday on 13th Rajab (August 8) on the occasion of birthday of Shia community’s first Imam and fourth caliph of Islam Ali Ibne Abu Talib.
The Chief Minister’s decision has kicked up a row in the Shia community. While every leader of the community is trying to take credit for the announcement of holiday, the rival sectarian group has been gearing up to demand more holiday concession from the Chief Minister. Anti-Jawad group represented by the All-India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has been trying to take credit on the issue.
During the last week’s meeting held with the Chief Minister, Naib Imam Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed, in a memorandum, pleaded for holidays on birthdays of all four caliphs — Hazrat Abu Bakra, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Usman and Hazrat Ali. He said that the government sanction holidays on the occasion birthdays of the first and the fourth caliphs. Rasheed said that it had been long pending demand of Sunnis.
Thus, acceptance of demand of the ‘minority within the minority’ is bound to create a difficult political situation for the Samajwadi Party. Vice-president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Shia cleric Dr Kalbe Sadiq, welcoming the Chief Minister’s announcement, has decided to felicitate the chief minister on behalf of the Shia community.
“Thus, instead of quietly welcoming the announcement,” as a prominent Shia clergy put it, “the claims and counter claims within the community has given sectarian colour to the issue.”
Though there is no opposition to Yadav’s announcement, there might be similar kinds of demands every now and then. The State Government cannot concede to such demands. It is learnt that UP United Democratic Front (UPUDF) of Delhi Jama Masjid Imam is also likely to take up the issue.