Cause for Congress Concern
India That Is Bharat
Satiricus read in the papers last week that some members of the Indian Union Muslim League were going to break away from it and form a new party. Now Satiricus is not secular enough to understand why these particular Muslims are not in league with the Muslim League, but if this break means a breakdown and conquest weakening of the secular Gods and blessed with the first right on India’s assets, this is a serious cause for Congress concern. In fact, in Satiricus’s considered opinion, it would be a regrettable repetition of history, the history of what happened in 2006, the year the Muslim League celebrated its 100th birthday. For it was reported in the papers on December 30, 2006 that exactly a century after the formation of the Muslim League on December 30, 1906, the Congress had become worried about the weakening of what was left of it in India, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
Actually, when Independence fell on our secular heads like a tonne of bricks, the then Congress leaders had thoughtlessly thought that the Muslim League had no place in independent India; but wiser, saner and secular second thoughts had later so thoroughly prevailed that “the Congress today desperately wants the Muslim League to survive”, to quote the then press report. Ah, me! How things change—and how the more things change the more they remain the same. Satiricus recalls that only a few short years ago the secular Congress had publicly certified that the Muslim League of secular India was a secular party. That certificate was meant to shore up secularism through an enhanced existence of the esteemed Muslims in league. Unfortunately and apparently, this devise did not ensure strong secularism through a strong Muslim League. Rather, this bulwark of Indian secularism was developing debility. This was the worry. For, as a minister of the Government of secular India had so wisely said, “Weakening of the Indian Union Muslim League is not good for the Congress and the country.” The IUML, the then press reports said, was “fast losing ground” to ‘Muslim groups’ that have been described as “radical”.
Now here Satiricus feels flummoxed. For, as he recalls, the Muslim League started with demanding separate representation for Muslims and ended up demanding a separate state for Muslims; and in the very next year of this separate state for Muslims coming into being, the Indian remnant of the Muslim League started demanding separate representation for Muslims. Then what is the difference between the old and the new League? Is not the abbreviated Muslim League faithfully following in the footsteps of the original Muslim League? And if it is, why does it have to hide its light under a bushel, especially when it has splendid secularist support from the party in power? How splendid this support is can be easily seen from the fact that the Muslim League is a partner in the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the centre, and its one and only Member of Parliament is a Minister of the Government of secular India. Does this not mean continuing to be Muslim Leaguers is paying the Muslims more or less the same.