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Analysis Reveals Political Manifestoes Lack Clear Vision for Muslims

New Delhi, May 23: A comparative analysis of political parties’ election manifestos for Lok Sabha Elections 2024 highlights a significant gap: the absence of a clear vision and roadmap catering to the hopes and dreams of the Muslim community.

Conducted by Mohamed Inam, Ideator at Dialogue4Change, the analysis titled “Political Parties’ Manifestoes for Lok Sabha Elections 2024 and Indian Muslims” delves into the political landscape for Indian Muslims and explores what the future holds for them. Inam presented his findings at the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind headquarters on May 18.

Inam argues that the primary issue plaguing Muslim politics in India is the lack of a clear political vision, while “sectarian forces aim to isolate Muslims.” He emphasizes the necessity of integrating Muslims into the mainstream with full force.

The analysis notes that the Muslim community has faced systematic discrimination, economic deprivation, and exclusion, pushing them into the shadows for far too long. According to Inam, the manifestoes of political parties serve as a litmus test of their commitment to inclusivity and social justice.

Despite their significant presence in 720 assembly constituencies and over 150 Lok Sabha segments across 125 districts, Muslims in India have not enjoyed democratic representation or inclusion in government employment and decision-making processes proportionate to their population.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the analysis points out, remains silent on issues facing minorities, assuming that its broader vision of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (Together with All, Development for All) will inherently address Muslim welfare. However, the absence of specific initiatives for minorities is a concern.

Inam also critiques the manifestoes of secular parties, noting that while they claim to support secularism, they fail to provide a comprehensive vision for inclusive development. These parties often hesitate to openly support Muslims, fearing backlash, which further alienates the community from mainstream politics.

Key elements missing from the manifestoes, according to Inam, include concrete plans for holistic development, long-term strategies, specific timeframes for implementation, and robust plans for affirmative action. These omissions make it difficult to measure progress and hold leaders accountable.

Affirmative action is crucial to addressing socio-economic disparities faced by Muslims, but manifestoes lack robust plans in this regard. Political participation and engagement are essential for Muslim representation and inclusion in decision-making processes, yet these are not adequately addressed.

Many Muslim-majority areas suffer from neglect and lack basic amenities and infrastructure. Manifestoes do not address these injustices, leaving these communities behind. There is a need for targeted interventions and investments to ensure equitable development and improve quality of life in these areas.

The analysis also discusses the invisibilisation of Muslims from the political process, highlighting that Muslims are often left out of political initiatives and electoral campaigns. This exclusion means their voices are not heard, and their issues are not addressed in the democratic process.

Moreover, the paper points out that the exploitation of Muslim caste identity for political gain further divides the community, making it harder for them to work towards common goals. Politicians often take Muslims for granted, ignoring their needs for short-term political gains.

Inam expresses concern over the use of anti-Muslim rhetoric by politicians, which increases discrimination against Muslims and heightens their sense of vulnerability.

Empowering Indian Muslims is not only morally right but also crucial for the country’s economy, suggests Inam. He calls for a shift towards more inclusive and fair political strategies to ensure justice and equitable development for the Muslim community.

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