The reshuffle of Abbas Naqvi and Modi
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offers a “chadar” to Dargah Ajmer Sharif on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. – Chronicle of Goa
There have been some such quick and dramatic setbacks in a political leader’s fortunes in recent times, such as the one that happened to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi between his condescending speech at the World Economic Forum in late January and the plight of India. in April. and May with the Covid-19. In the WEF speech, he said: “In a country which is home to 18% of the world’s population, this country has saved mankind from a great catastrophe by effectively containing the crown.”
The Prime Minister’s remarks were aimed at the international media for their earlier reports “that there would be a tsunami of corona infections in India … that 700 to 800 million Indians would be infected … two million Indians would die”. The WEF’s remarks came back to haunt Narendra Modi faster than he could imagine. In April, the “humanity” he arrogantly claimed to have saved “from a great catastrophe” was in a “living hell” as the pandemic turned into an “apocalypse” under his watch. Arundhati Ray called Narendra Modi’s leadership the ongoing “crimes against humanity” pandemic. Many around the world who have watched the Indian pandemic on video footage and followed it in graphic media reports agreed.
The political fortunes of the Indian Prime Minister have never been so gloomy as at the end of May. He desperately needed to shift the nation’s focus from the pandemic to politics, confident it would put him back in control again. He brooded over the cabinet reshuffle for a moment, raising expectations in people’s minds as he waited for the opportune moment to put politics back in the spotlight. He announced this when signs emerged that the country had turned the page with the pandemic. He included enough drama in the reshuffle to get the media to work overtime. Media that only talked about the pandemic leading up to the reshuffle only talked about the reshuffle once it happened.
There was enough in the mega reshuffle to let the pandemic take a back seat. There was a Machiavellian plot in the reshuffle that caught the nation’s attention, the attempt to shift responsibility for the mismanagement of the pandemic from the Prime Minister and BJP to ministers. Twelve ministers were sacked, including seven cabinet members, including Health Minister Dr Harsha Vardhan and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as the fellows.
The reshuffle expanded the ministry from 52 to 78 to accommodate a wide range of “castes, gender and demographics” to fit the BJP’s new slogan of “sab ka vikas” or development of all. The new ministry therefore included 12 ministers of listed castes from eight states; eight ministers of listed tribes from eight states and 27 ministers of other backward classes from 15 states. The share of women in the ministry was increased from five to 12. The reshuffle therefore included 47 ministers from outside the upper castes and wealthy groups.
The reshuffle immediately achieved its immediate objective. This has diverted the nation’s attention from the pandemic to politics, the prime minister’s natural strong suit. The reshuffle also included another equally important BJP goal of maintaining the people’s interest in politics for a longer period. This shaped the BJP’s strategy for the state assembly elections in 2022, 2023 and 2024 and the all-important national elections in 2024. The reshuffle motto “sab ka vikas” made this clear. . The reshuffle was also intended to address the damage that the apocalyptic nature of the pandemic has done to the image of the BJP and the Prime Minister that had to be overcome in order for both to return to power for a third consecutive term in 2024.
Indian media and their political analysts, however, have been silent on one minister among the 78 ministers whose inclusion appeared to be an allusion in the context of the 2024 election, although the BJP has said nothing at all linking this fact. in the elections of 2024. The minister was Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who was again entrusted with the charge of minority affairs, this time with the ministerial rank, it did not matter. His inclusion was incredible, despite his allusion in the context of the 2024 elections. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, by the mere fact of a place in the new ministry, was the “lone prowler” to represent 213 million of his fellow Muslims, a number which makes India the country with the third largest number of Muslims, after Indonesia and Pakistan.
The history of India is another reason that made the inclusion of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the reshuffle incredible. Anyone with any knowledge of Indian history would know that it was from New Delhi from where Narendra Modi now rules that Muslim rulers have ruled India for 650 years. The Muslim rulers of the Delhi Sultanate and the Emperors of the Great Mughal Dynasty brought both glory and glory to India. Are not the Taj Mahal built by Emperor Shahjahan and India synonymous? These Muslim rulers and the British who followed them, in the meantime, transformed India from a myth and an amalgamation of geographic units into the modern state it is today with aspirations to become. a regional power and an important factor on the world political scene.
The reshuffle also seemed to sideline at one point in history the contributions of great Muslims to India’s development such as those of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad of the Indian National Congress and Indian Presidents, Dr Zakir Hossain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. and Dr APJ Abul Kalam. It was surreal that the latest Indian government reshuffle rejected Muslim contributions to India’s past, present and future and ignored the consequences. It would, of course, be for history as it unfolds that would determine the consequences of rejecting Indian Muslims as an appendage to India’s past, present and future.
The inclusion of Mukhtar Ansar Naqi in the reshuffle as the ‘lone prowler’ of Indian Muslims could nonetheless be the BJP’s message to the 79.8% of India’s Hindu population that the Muslim card would play an important role in national elections of 2024 and that he would hold today’s Indian Muslims responsible for the alleged guilt of their ancestors. The Prime Minister may have been the architect of this allusion because he wants to unite Hindu India in a monolith to create on unfounded historical premises, the Hindu rashtra of Indian mythology to bring it its greatest political triumph.
The Hindutva ideology on which the BJP would like to build Hindu rashtra has too many intrinsic contradictions, however. The allusion to the Muslim card in the cabinet reshuffle would not even erase these contradictions, let alone overcome them. The 966.3 million Hindu Indians or 79.8% of Indians are divided over the creation of Hindu Rashtra. The BJP and its supporters would like it but the other parts of Indian Hindus want a democratic and secular India. The conflict towards which the BJP inadvertently pushes India on Hindu rashtra would therefore be between the Hindus. Muslims would suffer more as a result of this conflict but it would be the future of India on which this conflict unfolds and not the future of Muslims who are cornered and besieged and will remain so as long as the BJP ruled India.
Post Scriptum : Pakistani designer Muhammad Ali Jinnah had to take responsibility for shattering India with the infamous two-nation theory. Narendra Modi is establishing that this was never his theory by the longest run of the imagination.
Mr. Serajul Islam is a retired career ambassador.