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Let down by SP, BSP, UP’s Pasmanda Muslims look towards BJP

NewsLet down by SP, BSP, UP’s Pasmanda Muslims look towards BJP

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) began collaborating with the Pasmanda community earlier, keeping the 2024 Lok Sabha election in mind. The Pasmanda group makes up over 85% of Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP, which has been active since 2014, has goals to improve the economic condition of the Pasmanda Muslim population. Several Pasmanda community members claim that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) have never given them the credit they deserve.
The term Pasmanda refers to the “community of Muslim individuals who have fallen behind,” specifically the shudra (backward) and ati-shudra (Dalit) castes. It was originally used in 1998 by Ali Anwar Ansari, who founded Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz. This term is mostly used by the Muslim association in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and other regions of India. Pasmanda includes more than 45 communities such as Saifi (Lohar-Badai), Mansoori (Dhunia), Kasgar (Kumhar), Raeen (Kunjre), Gujar (Kisan), Ghosi (Pashu Vyapar), Jogi (Bhiksha), Siddiqui (Manihar) and so on.
Speaking about why the Pasmanda community is important in the upcoming political sphere, Gyanendra Shukla, a political analyst from Uttar Pradesh told The Sunday Guardian, “Pasmanda Muslims belonging to Ajlaf and Arzal are widely dominated by upper-class Muslim nobles. Since BJP has given a lot of benefits to Muslim women, now the party has been aiming to increase the vote share in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Pasmanda community is widely dominated in Eastern and Middle UP regions. If BJP can win the votes of the Pasmanda community, it can make almost 50% of the difference in the polls. However, it is yet to see how the upcoming UP Municipal polls will work for BJP as the party has plans to give tickets to the members of the Pasmanda community.”
When the BJP won Rampur and Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypolls, once considered as stronghold of SP, the results concluded that the majority of Pasmanda Muslims are offering support to BJP. Presently, Danish Azad Ansari and Javed Ansari are appointed as state minister and Chairman of the UP Board of Madrasa Education. However, other parties have also been targeting the Pasmanda community as The Muslim vote influences 72 assemblies and 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh. Being subjected as a “vote bank” in many party politics, the Pasmanda community has been seeing some hopes with the BJP. However, some community members have stated that giving authority to the Ansari community may prove futile.
“People do not trust SP and BSP, however, giving authority to the Ansari community will not work. The people of the Ansari community have received a lot of benefits unlike other communities like Pawaria or Saifi. As the members of the Ansari community are now little educated and are aware of the opportunities and schemes, they do not consider uplifting other communities and the demands of the Pasmanda Muslims get neglected,” a senior member from Pasmanda Muslim Samaj told The Sunday Guardian.
Several demands of the Pasmanda Muslim community always go unheard such as the Implementation of the Karpuri Thakur formula, the necessary development of small-scale industries due to the loss of employment as a result of industrialization, reservation of Dalit Muslims as per Sec 341, 80% of the budget allocated should be spent for the development of minorities focussing on educational, social and economic development of the Pasmanda Muslims. Appropriate policies must be considered for the Pasmanda Muslims who have lost their ancestral business. The government must provide the Pasmanda community with industrial, technical, and vocational training after they lost their business and fell behind in marketing. Waqf properties worth trillions of dollars are also idle. The improvement of Pasmanda Muslims should be the goal of using waqf properties, which are worth trillions of rupees to Muslims. Due to the free rations, housing, and public restrooms provided to Pasmanda Muslim society, which continues to support the BJP in huge numbers, a special action plan should be developed for their improvement. The National President of Pasmanda Samaj, Anees Mansoori, blamed Congress for devoiding the community members of economic development. “Under the conspiracy of the then-Congress, members from the Pasmanda community didn’t acquire government jobs. It is essential to understand how Congress has weakened the Pasmanda community. A seven-member Sachar Committee led by former judge Justice Rajinder Sachar was established to investigate the plight of the Pasmanda Muslims under PM Manmohan Singh’s administration. The social, economic, and educational standing of the Pasmanda Muslims had been requested to be studied by this committee. On November 30, 2006, the report was made, which concludes that the position of Pasmanda Muslims is worse than that of Dalits,” Anees Mansoori said.
The Vice President of All India Pasmanda Mahaz Haji Nesar Ahmed told this paper, “If BJP gives SC reservation to Ajlaf and Arzal community, then the whole problem will be solved.”
Speaking about uplifting the Pasmanda community, a BJP member told this paper, “There is no politics here. The party has been working with the Pasmanda community before and is currently, studying the areas where the Pasmanda community is weakened. The vision of PM Narendra Modi is to give equal rights to all. If the demand seems justifiable, the BJP will support and give rights to the community.”
An open letter, roughly translated from Hindi, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz states, “The term Pasmanda doesn’t support any particular religion or caste. Pasmanda Mahaz was established in 1998. Pasmanda Muslims fight for respect and do not want to be taken for granted. Pasmanda Muslims do not fight casteism but are demanded to be treated with the same respect as everyone else.” The BJP held a Pasmanda Muslim meeting at the state level and is currently preparing to hold similar meetings at all civic bodies ahead of the 2024 LS election. About 85% of Muslims are from the Pasmanda community. Due to a presidential order issued on August 10, 1950, following independence, the Pasmanda community have been subjected to discrimination in government employment. The Pasmanda community’s members were the targets of countless atrocities following independence; as a result, they are now regarded as being unprivileged, backward, and devoid of many rights.

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