Sanjay Raut, Muslims Thank You for Your Concern

Published: April 13, 2015 17:37 IST

(Mohd Asim is Senior News Editor, NDTV 24x7)

So the Shiv Sena is deeply concerned about the well-being of Muslims in India. And the party has an instant solution for all that plagues the community: strip Muslims of their voting rights.

"In elections, some want a Muslim candidate, while others don't. Muslims will not be on the path of development if their numerical strength continues to be misused by political parties. Muslims have no future in this country if there is going to be petty politics over their voting power... Balasaheb Thackeray had made a demand that Muslims should be stripped of their voting right. This is an appropriate demand... The mask of secularists will come off if Muslims are disenfranchised..." Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut wrote in the party mouthpiece Saamna on Sunday.

Raut's 'final solution' has caused much consternation among political parties and common citizens, including Muslims. For argument's sake, I am ready  to believe that Mr Raut actually means well for his Muslim brethren of India. But I have a question, Mr Raut. Why must your largesse and good intentions be confined to only Muslims? They are only one of the disadvantaged groups in this country.

So let's expand the must-be-disenfranchised list so that Mr Raut is not charged with minority appeasement. Every political party swears by farmers. They all have made 'kachche promises' of 'achche din' to the poor kisan. But nothing has changed. Farmers remain the largest votebank in this country. And just like Muslims, they too have been exploited by netas for political gains. But no good has come the farmers' way. By Mr Raut's logic, we must blame votebank politics for the farmers' lot? Problem is the vote. Solution? Disenfranchise farmers. And every farmer will be crooning "mere desh ki dharti sona ugle..."

Then there are the SCs/STs, the Dalits. Whether or not they do anything for them, all politicians make desperate bids for their votes. This country could have been saved from the curse of the caste politics, only if Dr Ambedkar had Bal Thackeray's foresight - right, Mr Raut?

What about the wretched of the earth? The slum-dwellers, the poor, the migrant labourers. They are just being exploited for votes, Mr Raut would agree. They all just clog our cities because politicians want their votes. All their miseries are result of the canny neta fooling them into casting a vote. Imagine if they don't have a vote, they will all be hunky dory wherever they get to sleep - under the "gaon ka peepal ka ped" or a city flyover.

May be denying the Kashmiri Pandits voting rights will help resettle them in their homeland. All these years the "rehabilitation of Pandits" has been just a political slogan. What say, Mr Raut?

Not to forget, innumerable riot victims since independence. They have only got political platitudes all these years and no justice. And they belong to all communities, castes, regions. All because they have a damn vote. Take that away and justice will flow.

Charity begins at home, goes the old saying. So disenfranchise the Marathi Manoos first. After all, the Maratha parties, led by the Shiv Sena, have just taken the poor Marathis for a ride without doing little to better their lives.

And let's be preemptive in our planning. Politicians have just started to look at the Armed Forces as a votebank. Disenfranchise the faujis, before politics takes its toll and worsens the lot of our brave and women.

The whole of Northeast straight away needs to give up their vote. They have only got the worst of politics.

Voila! Mr Raut's logic, or rather the lack of it, has solved this country's problems. Time to celebrate with vada pavs. I am sure the large-hearted Thackerays will arrange for that.

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