BJP completed 2 years at the Centre recently. As the NDA government celebrated its second anniversary with great enthusiasm, by placing dull-page ads on newspapers, detractors and the Opposition lost no chance to flay Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not walking the talk. Meanwhile, BJP’s spokespersons were busy giving out the statistics of success to the masses, flaunting the achievement of the NDA government.
Among all these cacophony, there emerged a surprising element of the BJP. Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, the Muslim faces of an otherwise saffron party have said minorities in India are no longer anti-Modi.
The statement comes right after the party’s win in assembly polls in Assam and Jammu & Kashmir pointing to the factor that Muslims, who are in large numbers in both states, have supported BJP due to its developmental agenda.
Modi’s critics say that the BJP is not supportive of Muslims, and that the community is not safe under his government. Detractors cry hoarse that the NDA government has done no significant job for the Muslim minorities.
But how far are these allegations true? Do they really hold any water?
It’s true that post-Godhra incident, Muslims were totally against Modi. But his “Sabka sath, sabka vikas” motto is slowly but surely winning the hearts of Muslims across the country. The motto has surely appealed to the Muslim community.
A good example of Modi’s increasing fandom among the minorities is his first Urdu biography, Narendrabhai Modi — Farsh Se Arsh Tak (Narendrabhai Modi – From the ground to the sky), authored by Dr Jasim Mohammad. The author, who is a fan of Modi, has written the book in Urdu so that Muslim readers will get to know the other facet of the PM, his goodness. Dr Mohammad believes his book will clear a lot of misunderstanding that the minorities might nurse in their hearts.
Dr Mohammad’s organization Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis has decided to institute a scholarship in the name of the PM. It will award the Narendra Modi scholarship to economically backward Muslim students studying in Class 12 standard or pursuing graduation. To begin with, it will be disbursed to 10 deserving students.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, a Muslim farmer, Raees Ahmad, gave away his eight-acre land for holding a rally for Modi. Raees, true to his name, refused to take any compensation for his fields that had full crops.
Such stories show how the Modi-phobia among Muslims is slowly dispersing. Sometimes, some wounds take time to heal, and with Modi’s development agenda, the Muslims in India are seeing a face of Modi that they had earlier refused to look at.