One the other hand I advocate against becoming vote banks, be it Muslim, Hindu, Dalit, Sikh, Christian or others. It is not good for India.
We need to break the stereotyping – that Muslims vote as a block, which is sheer non-sense. Muslims vote for the candidate who is inclusive and cares for them as much as he or she cares for fellow Indians.
The argument that several Members of BJP run on exclusive interests of Hindus is true, but it is not good for India –because they do it, we have to do it logic is wrong. We have to rise above, we have to be better than the exclusive people and show them the right path of inclusiveness. It will take time, what have we done in the last six decades?
Let Muslims run against Advani, Joshi, Modi, Rahul, Kejriwal and others as Indians with a determination to represent every resident – reach them out, even if some Hindu is resentful, reach them, the power of justness and caring is far more powerful than the agenda of duping the public with promises to build temples or mosques.
A handful of Muslims will make a lot of noise, just like a handful of Hindus do, let them. One should be daring and say – I am running as an Indian from this constituency to represent all residents. I am not running as a Muslim. I will be fair and equitable to every citizen. If Muslims, Dalits, Brahmins or others are disadvantaged, I will give attention to their issue, but I will never represent any one community exclusively, as I am an Indian and my public service is for every Indian. From this day forward, if you find me cater to the interests of one community over the other, I will withdraw from public service.
We have lost six decades, let’s take this approach and start getting ready for the next elections – start taking initiative and see how we cannot change an India that cares for every one’s development without tearing into its cohesiveness. We can do it, all of us Indians together.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.