Asaduddin Owaisi has tossed his topi (cap) into a Bihar choosing ring after dithering for a month. But Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM)’s prospects in Bihar’s Seemanchal belt are dour notwithstanding a scarcely high commission of Muslim electorate in a 25 open seats Owaisi is eyeing in a back region.
MIM’s awaiting is equally grave in West Bengal with a Muslim race of scarcely 27 percent – a top after JK and Assam – where MIM is severely deliberation contesting open polls subsequent year. Owaisi’s celebration hold a initial open convene in Kolkata on 6 Sep to exam a waters.
So a indecisive doubt is: Why MIM’s check prospects are so gloomy in both Bihar and Bengal given another Muslim party, All India Democratic United Front (AIUDF) led by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, is doing so good in Assam?
The reason is utterly simple: Muslims feel flattering protected in Bihar and Bengal and therefore are doubtful to group to a Muslim party. But in Assam, sequence massacres and a foreigners’ emanate unresolved like a sword over Bengali-speaking Muslims’ heads, done them spin to AIUDF for protection.
Unfortunately for Owaisi, Bihar’s Muslims have not been subjected to orderly assault opposite Muslims on a large scale after a 1989 Bhagalpur riots. A integrate of years later, Muslims were targeted in Sitamarhi though a scale of assault was not allied with Bhagalpur. And after a Babri Masjid demolition, casualties in Lalu Prasad-ruled Bihar (24) were reduction than in West Bengal (32) where a challenging Jyoti Basu was during a helm.
Since afterwards there have been occasionally community incidents in Bihar claiming a few lives now and then. But a horrors of Bhagalpur or Sitamarhi have not been revisited.
Similarly, West Bengal — that Owaisi seems to be eyeing — is probably riot-free given 1964 to a good service of Bengali and Urdu-speaking Muslims. The post-Babri Masjid dispersion came as a startle though a wounds have healed since there have been no recurrences.
In contrariety to Bihar and Bengal, Assam’s Muslims have been frequently subjected to assault even after a horrific killings in Nellie, Chowlkhowa, Mukalmua and Gohpur in 1983. There were pogroms opposite Muslims in 1993, 1994, 2008 and 2012. Besides a outrageous series of Muslim casualties, assault resulted in banishment on a large scale though a supervision did small for survivors vital for years in service camps.
The hazard of detain and deportation to Bangladesh worsened Muslim fears in Assam. Little consternation that AIUDF done a electoral entrance in 2006 shortly after a scrapping of a Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act that was like a legal defense for Muslims opposite nuisance and harm by a state.
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In a 2006 open polls in Assam, AIUDF won usually 10 seats in a 126-strong legislature. In 2009, a celebration won a initial Lok Sabha seat. In 2011, AIUDF emerged as a second largest celebration in a Assam legislative open with 18 MLAs winning some-more seats than a BJP, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodo People’s Front. And final year, a series of AIUDF MPs increasing to 3 from one. Its prospects in Assam elections subsequent year are bright.
As things stand, Muslims are doubtful to opinion en masse for MIM nonetheless they comment for 70 percent of a race in Kishangunj and contain 40 percent of a race of Kathiar, Purnea and Araria that make adult a Seemanchal segment Owaisi has zeroed in on apparently since of a eremite composition.
Significantly, AIUDF has been perplexing to fish in West Bengal waters contesting panchayat and open polls after consolidating a position in Assam. But it has cut a contemptible figure in unbroken elections. The same predestine awaits MIM in Bihar and West Bengal I’m afraid.
SNM Abdi is a Firstpost columnist and former Deputy Editor of Outlook.