How do the Muslims look at the Forbesganj Killings of 3 June 2011:
1. Pro-Corporate, anti-peasant killings by the state?, This is happening elsewhere in India as well, regardless of which party (Leftist, Centrist, Rightist) is ruling there. Hardly any Muslim organization has spoken against such killings or forceful eviction of the tribal peasantry across India.
2. Anti Muslim killings by a regime of Bihar co-ruled by the BJP?,
3. Anti Pasmanda killings by the government led by a backward caste Nitish Kumar?
Some of the informed middle class of Muslims have reacted against the issue in a manner as if the upper caste Muslims (Ashraf) don't need to speak against it because the third of the above questions has been given greatest possible attention. Probably because of this, those who demanded/ asked Ali Anwar Ansari Ansari [of the JD-U and of the Pasmanda Mahaz], to resign, they did not direct the same question to Parween Amanullah (Minister in Nitish Cabinet) and daughter of Syed Shahabuddin of the Muslim India fame. They expressed no outrage against the silence (or at best ritualistic lip service; even this lip service has been extracted from them by those journalists who cared to fathom their prejudice against the victimizations and aspirations of the Pasmanda Muslims) of the organizations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Imarat-e-Shariah, All India Muslim Majlis Mashaweraat, All India Milli Council, Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami-e-Hind, Idara-e-Shariah....
They did not lament the ilks of Fatmi, Jabir Husain, Mehboob Ali Qaisar, Dr Shakil Ahmad, Maulana Asrraul Haq Qasmi. None of them have visited Forbesganj. Rahul Gandhi can find time to visit Bhatta-Parsaul but not Forbesganj.
Is it because there is no election in Bihar in near future?
May be Ali Anwar Ansari is silent in order to get a personal favour from Nitish for the second term in the Rajya Sabha, but why are the people, who will stand benefitted from speaking against the NDA regime of Bihar, are silent? Let it also be added that reliable post poll surveys of Bihar Assembly elections tell us that in the 2005 the Pasmanda had gone over to the NDA as Nitish was forthright in assuring some of the demands of the Pasmanda, whereas Laloo remained circumspect. In 2010 even the Ashraf (Upper caste Muslims) also moved over to the NDA.
One of the probable reasons of the silence of the Ashraf is that in the relevant Panchayats of Forbesganj, relatively larger number of [Pasmanda] Muslim Mukhiyas has been elected, for the fact that there are reservations for the two groups of the backward castes.
Most of the Ashraf (including my close relatives and friends; who are using filthiest possible languages against one opportunist Pasmanda leader, Ali Anwar Ansari, and they are calling me on phone, flooding my mailbox,....) have started re-singing the eulogy of Laloo. They conveniently forget the fact that, in 1996, at Bethani Tola (Bhojpur), Muslims of Churihar caste were killed and Laloo's govt remained as callous as Nitish is in Forbesganj. But none of these admirers of Laloo condemned it. They don't even remember it now. Incidentally, the then DM of Bhojpur was Mr Amir Subhani. Incidentally again, one of the killed was a child named Amir; he was named so by his parents inspired with the IAS topper Amir Subhani. If I am not wrong, none of the Urdu dailies wrote against the Bethani Tola massacre with this perspective. None of these outspoken middle class of upper caste Muslims spoke against the silence. They were enjoying (or hoping to enjoy) various favours like VC-ship, Chairman-ship, besides the positions of MLA, MLC, MP, Ministership,....And the rest were deriving/ expecting vicarious pleasure from the good offices of more fortunate favourites of Laloo.
What is gradually becoming clear from this episode is that the Ashraf are trying to project and bring back Laloo as their saviour. That is why Laloo is looking at the development with a criminal silence. Otherwise he would have become vocal and assertive to regain his lost constituency of the Muslims. In this scheme, however, there is one small impediment: one of the terribly brutal police-man is named Suneel Kumar Yadav, who has been, quite selectively, suspended, and other policemen are still at large. The more chilling details have been given by Ashok Yadav & Khalid Anis Ansari in their essay published on the countercurrents.org [ www.countercurrents.org/ansari230611.htm ]
I think (and hope) the Forbesganj killings of 3 June 2011 have exposed and therefore should redefine the various facets of the "Muslim" politics.
Let some good come out of the evil of selective flogging of an opportunist Pasmanda leader by the Ashraf. And of course, the well meaning pro democracy citizens of India need to carve out stronger, more united solidarity of the poor hapless people who are sought to be evicted, dispossessed, displaced and even liquidated in order to award undue favours to the Corporates.
AMU has written a good piece about Pasmanda Muslims! But there many if and buts in the story written by him. Dr Sajjad must know that how a body of pasmanda Muslims came into existence? For the first time in the country, the formation of the organisation of backward and dalit Muslims, named as Pasmanda came into existence in Bihar by JD(U) MP Ali Anwar. Anwar and his organisation have devided the Muslim on caste and creed line, resulting into weakening say of Muslim community against its united consoloidation and unity. Anwar, for serving his enlightened self-interest in politics, has formed Pasmanda body and ultimately devided the Muslims, who have now no greater say in either in politics and other development measures for minority community , particularly in Bihar. Now the Pasmanda body has also splits and many more groups have come up to protest the manouvereing of Ali anwar. Notwithstanding , initially Pasmanda body was formed under the instigation of Nitis Kumar to Ali anwar. This move gave good result to Nitis alliances in the last two successive assembly and Lok sabha elections- muslims vote were devided on caste , creed and backward and forward line, resulting into non-impact of Muslims greater say in politics and government. In this way Nitis and Anwar played a great trick to marginalise Muslims of Bihar.In this game communal BJP had also greater say in deviding Muslims by spliting them into forward, backward, dalit Muslims lines. Such move was on by Anwar at the time of Laloo rule-but Laloo did not entertained the ideas of Anwar. Anwar joined anti.-Laloo forces in the form of Nitis and Anwar and Nitis succeeded in spliting Muslim community. great harm has been done to the Muslim as a whole1 Now Ali anwar wants his second term in Rajya sabha and keeping mum on Araria incident-but other Pasmanda Muslims sopke viciferously against brutal Araria firing, killing four Muslims. Araria village firing seems to be entire creation of Deputy CM Sushil kumar Modi and his BJP men. Intrestingly, compensations to victims in all police firing in the state are paid just police firings, Nitis govt ordered judicial enquiry and had made it clear that any compensation will be paid after the report of the commission, Sushil Modi is said to be instrumental in not allowing compensations to Muslim victims. All these things perhaps put Ali anwar in jittery and what to talk of visiting Araria village, Anwar is keeping mum to brighten his political prospects. Anwar's high-handedness in Pasmanda body has also split the organisation and muslims appear more and more devided.
K K Singh, journalist, retired as chief reporter, Times of India