Modi and Muslims usually don’t go well together. The PM’s populist politics is accused of creating and elevating a Hindu majority out of a socially diverse population. This sort of nationalism often led to sidelining of Muslims and fueling communal hatred.
In a twist of the tale, the Muslim community of Gujarat has a different take on Modi’s politics. A group of over 40 minority members joined to support the saffron party and attend Mann Ki Baat Samvad on Sunday morning at Dariyapur, Ahmedabad. Organised by BJP Gujarat Minority Morcha this is their second such gathering in the past 15 days and they will be organising more such events to increase the support base for Modi in their community.
Jainul Abeddin Ansari, Secretary of BJP Gujarat Minority Morcha “ Savno Saath, Savno Vikas; I think Modi Ji has implemented the slogan. Even when it comes to Love Jihad law, it is practised to avoid girls from getting misguided by any other community. It doesn’t target Muslims. It is a rule and we all should abide by it. Our PM visited Sidi Saiyyed ni Jhali, he greeted us on Bakri Eid, isn’t he supporting us?”
Freedom of Religion Act, 2003 amendment Bill seeks to penalise fraudulent religious conversion by marriage or “love jihad”, bringing in stringent provisions against forcible conversion through marriage or allurement.
A member of Minority Morcha Zahid Shaikh calls Modi his Motabhai. He believes whatever the PM does is for the betterment of minorities in the nation. The party which is accused of selling communal hatred in the nation is believed to be ‘Muslim’s saviour’ in Dariyapur. Shaikh, a BJP member since 2019 said, “Congress party never wanted to uplift us, it is Modi Ji who is relentlessly working to give us English medium schools, reduce communal violence and make us feel more secure. India never had as many Muslim IPS, doctors, lawyers, teachers etc as in Modi’s regime. Other political parties are just maligning the leader.”
Minority communities in Dariyapur demand a community hall, English medium schools, public garden and upliftment facility for women. “If the BJP works on these lines then they are bound to win us with a majority in the forthcoming elections.”
Modi’s home ground, Gujarat, is important in the 2022 assembly elections. A defeat in Gujarat can be a big hurdle for Modi, and he knows it well. In the past 2017 elections, BJP couldn’t achieve the 100 seat mark in the 182-seat assembly. Known for his groundwork and strategic planning, winning over minorities seems yet again like Modi’s master plan.
Does groundwork begin?
Shoaib Hanifbhai Shaikh, Secretary of BJP Ahmedabad Minority Morcha credits Modi sarkar as his son could study in Delhi Public School, Ahmedabad. He plans to go door-to-door with fellow members to spread awareness about BJP’s work for the upliftment of minorities. “Amrutam card, Vatsalya Yojna and the vaccination campaign by BJP need to be promoted in our community. Modi Ji is not our dushman, as propagated by Congress. We supported Modi Ji even when he built Ram Mandir at Babri Masjid.”