Muslim Vice-president in India (DR.ABDUL RUFF Colachal)
A Muslim Vice-president in India
Leave alone now the description of President and Vice-president of India as being senior and junior rubber-stamps in New Delhi, as India has got its new set of these posts filled recently.For those who in India and abroad were worried and trumpeted around and cried out at the top of their voices about India having a Muslim President when Dr.Kalam was in Rashtrapati Bhawan (RB), definitely, another Muslim reaching the Vice-Presidential Hyderabad House as Indian Vice-President could cause intolerable pains. But for those Muslims who got nothing but insult and injury under Kalam’s Presidency, the new Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari's entry may not generate any special enthusiasm either; they might be worried that by keeping Muslims in key posts, India would cause further agony for the Muslims, as the Lucknow nude parading of Muslim women towards the end of Kalam’s tenure showed. These hapless Muslims are aware of the past when neither their governments nor their own “Muslim” leaders, used by the majority politicians, brought nothing to them, not even feeble hopes. Their main concern would be to escape the jail-cum-torture traps laid by the government agencies to entrap them as “potential, suspected or suspected” terrorists.
The new Vice-President of India, Ansari, a former academician, diplomat and `Chairman of the Minority commission, a nominee of the ruling UPA plus the Leftists, will be the 13th Vice-President of India, has been "elected" on 10-08-07 by the Parliament of India. With close family connections with the Congress Party, (He is the grand nephew of Ahmad Ansari, who was president of the Indian National Congress in 1927) he is expected to perform well as he will also be the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Ansari hails from Ghazipur in U.P, the state that can claim credit for “disarming” the Indian Muslim womanhood.. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1984. He was co-chairman of the India-U.K. Round Table. He was also a member of the National Security Advisory Board and was heading the National Minorities Commission till now. These qualifications would restrain Ansari not to strain himself too much for the cause of the pathetic Muslims in the country and instead focus on his own further upward movement and his own proteges and close friends. Like Kalam, Ansari would also worry too much about “national image and interests" than the lives of people, particularly the Muslims. He would even avoid remembering the fact that it is because of his religion he reached the present position and has a responsibility to wards the well-being of Muslims.
Ansari was pitted against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee, Najma Heptulla, and the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) candidate, Rasheed Masood. Ms. Heptullah, a former Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha who counts Congress MPs among her friends, was banking on nothing more than self-inflated hope when she sought support across party lines. During the presidential election campaign, the NDA pulled out all the stops to discredit the UPA-Left candidate, Pratibha Patil. In the contest for the vice-presidency, it had no case to make while appealing for votes from across the political divide. Ansari’s victory was a foregone conclusion, considering the arithmetic of the polls in which the ruling UPA-Left combine, along with the BSP the ruling party of UP, Hamid Ansari, the common candidate of the United Progressive Alliance and the Left parties, was on Friday declared elected as the country’s new Vice-President. In a triangular contest, Mr. Ansari scored a comfortable victory securing 455 out of the 762 votes polled. BSP had the support of 425 members. But Mr. Ansari notched up an impressive victory by bagging 455 votes, though he needed only 377 votes for emerging a clear winner.
Indian Muslims who are political party figures suffer from a dangerous chronic disorder: they have to pretend to be loyal to the party first and foremost failing which they would be replaced by others and suppress their loyalty, if any, towards the Muslims.These Muslims seek the support of Muslims in order to get a proper hold in the party and use them as mere vote bank. They cannot and never fight for the genuine and legitimate cause of fellow Muslims, fearing backlash from the party and the feeling shameful about their Muslim identity. So Ansari, the Muslim Vice-President, had no words about his real promoter, the Muslims, as he assumed "power". Ansari said he was delighted with the election result. “I realize that the responsibility entrusted to me is important and I will discharge my duties to the best of my abilities. My victory is also the result of excellent teamwork,” he said. President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office to Ansari on 12 August at a ceremony at RB.
In a country where the parliamentarians themselves don’t know how to cast a vote, 10 votes were declared invalid in this Vice-presidential poll. The substantive job of the Vice-President, aside from backing up the head of state, is to chair the Rajya Sabha — with amiability, objectivity, even-handedness, and, whenever required, a firm hand. As Vice-President he is expected to be known for his professional and personal integrity and for his reasoned and principled opinions, especially on West Asia but also on what it takes to maintain national unity and social harmony.In conducting the proceedings of the Upper House, Mr. Ansari has a sporting chance of winning cooperation from the opposition benches as well.
Like the President, Ansari has also been selected by considering the art of pretensions he is capable of performing effectively. Common people don't have to expect any thing from them. They behave irresponsibly towards the common folk forming the chunk of the voters. Let alone the Muslims in the country. Just as their predecessors Kalam and Shekhawat who also did nothing memorable, the new set would also complete their terms happily enjoying the privileges attached to the posts. Of course the competition for the "high posts" in undeniable as the desire to reach there make a few top politicians and others to behave well in anticipation of consideration for one of these posts. Any non-instant rubber-stamps are not competent for these posts. Ansari would make all efforts to stay in power at all costs.
I happened to visit Aligarh Muslim University when Ansari was the Vice-Chancellor there. The university had some student problem then and the main administrative block was barred for all except for officers. As I was coming out of the Jama mosque inside the campus, a few students blocked me suspiciously, thinking that I was an agent of central government and/or the VC. Some-how I managed to convince them that I am as much innocent as they themselves are. I could imagine the vicious atmosphere of the campus under Ansari. Now as new Vice-President, obviously, no one would be allowed to enter "his office-cum-residence" at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, particularly the Muslims, and the so-called “suspected terrorists” with whatever serious problems they may have. Even Kalam thinking that his becoming Indian President owed to his “great patriotism” and “missile culture” when actually so many scientists with better credentials were available in India and abroad. The fact remains that the BJP-Congress power game brought a Muslim to that post in the name of Kalam. As a tried out officer in various capacities including the Minorities Commission where he only represented the government views--and not of the minorities, he could even be dangerous to Muslims if they expect anything from him in terms of share in nation's advancement.
Ansari has sworn as the 13 the Vice president of India. One could get the impression when Home Secretary, while reading out an Election Commission warrant, inadvertently addressed Vice-President Hamid Ansari as President. Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury were the late comers, but caught every body's attention when they entered the Ashoka Hall together. The analysts in New Delhi could not make out any thing from these incidents. Both posts of President and Vice-President are purely ceremonial and purely for Constitutional reason. Vice-President has less "responsibilities" than the President though Vice-president chairs the sessions of Upper house of Parliament, Rajya Shaba. Practically neither the President nor her Vice has any worth while role to play in Indian politics when the prime minister takes every major decision, while these tow personalities just decorate the spaces provided by the Indian Constitution.
Every leader helps his People except the Muslims. Even Muslim leaders serving political parties in India focus only on the Muslim vote-bank because that makes them advance their narrow interests too. Kalam was never allowed to think himself as a Muslim and hence he ignored them intentionally.Dr.Ansari has to ensure security and dignity of Muslims as a top priority. He has to remove the "terrorists" tag from the Muslims. But he might prefer not to remember the fact that he has reached the his present position chiefly because he is a Muslim, but the media and government of India should keep reminding him of that so that the Muslims in India might also get the benefits of Ansari being the Vice-president. This service of the government-cum-media is vital as Ansari would be only interested in re-election or promotion to Presidency and might logically behave like a junior rubber-stamp. Even Muslims would think as a junior rubber stamp Ansari could not help them in any significant way. That way he seems to be safe. After all he is also an Indian politician in some way! Majority of Indian Muslims would say: "Please rule as you like and enjoy as you prefer, only don't bother about us. We would be grateful to the rulers if they don't trap us and torture or kill by branding us as the so-called "potential", "suspected"or real "terrorists" and keep us indefinitely behind the bars!"
DR.ABDUL RUFF Colachal