‘Sell your vote to those who promise education, especially to girls’

Veteran journalist M.J. Akbar has questioned the minority status of Muslims, saying they had ruled India for decades and Brahmins were a bigger minority. He called upon Muslims to unshackle themselves from the “politics of fear” and adopt the “politics of development.”

Muslims had become a minority when their hands turned to the government for help and not to Allah. And it was true that though Muslims were in a minority, they had ruled India for centuries. Muslims constituted roughly 20 per cent of the population during the time of eminent saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer in the 12th century, and even now they accounted for the same percentage.

Mr. Akbar said, “The word ‘minority’ is not associated with numbers but with power.” Brahmins did not consider themselves a minority. Only Dalits should be considered a minority as they had never ruled the country.

He was speaking on Sunday at the fifth annual convention of Muslim Writers Academy, only one of its kind for Gujarat-based Muslim writers and journalists.

The former Congress MP said it was time for the community to introspect. The need of the hour was to change the attitude and mindset. “Changing attitude and mindset is not easy but when the time demands a change, a change should be ushered in, for power flows not from a sword but power flows from education.”

Muslims should start regaining their self-confidence and shed the “politics of begging.” “Indian Muslims should consider themselves fortunate since India is a democratic country and communities here are empowered.”

Muslims should not just cast their votes but sell them. “Sell it to the bidder who promises education and especially to that bidder who promises education to the girls,” he said.

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