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Muslims silent but very tactical in Uttar Pradesh could upset BJP

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Muslims, Muslim voters, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabhas polls, Bharatiya Janata Party, SP-BSP alliance, Kashmir militants, Ali aur Bajrangbali, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

Lucknow: A silent community is said to be a dangerous community and the silence of Muslim voters in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh could upset the BJP apple-cart.

Muslim in Uttar Pradesh, for the first time, refused to be provoked into a religious discourse which could have led to polarization on religious lines.

 

Muslims, Muslim voters, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabhas polls, Bharatiya Janata Party, SP-BSP alliance, Kashmir militants, Ali aur Bajrangbali, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

 

The community resorted to tactical voting in the true sense of the term, and it is this that has given a surge to the SP-BSP alliance.

“Our top priority was to ensure the defeat of the BJP and we knew that the party would make all possible efforts to provoke us. More than a year ago, we convinced the clerics not to react to any statement because this would ultimately go against us. We cited the instance of 2014 and then 2017 where polarization of votes on communal lines had helped BJP get an overwhelming majority,” said a scholar from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who spoke on condition of anonymity.

 

Muslims, Muslim voters, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabhas polls, Bharatiya Janata Party, SP-BSP alliance, Kashmir militants, Ali aur Bajrangbali, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

 

The AMU, incidentally, has been the hotbed of controversy in the past five years — be it its minority status, the Jinnah portrait or alleged links of students with Kashmir militants.

The Muslims, apparently, have understood that in a communally surcharged atmosphere, they would end up getting completely marginalized.

 

Muslims, Muslim voters, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabhas polls, Bharatiya Janata Party, SP-BSP alliance, Kashmir militants, Ali aur Bajrangbali, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

 

“In 2014, not a single Muslim was elected to the Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. This complete obliteration of Muslims who form about 20 per cent of the population was shocking, to put it rather mildly. In this election and then in 2017, the BJP proved that it could win elections and form governments without making even a token gesture towards Muslim and this set the community thinking,” said Ramesh Dixit, a retired professor of Political Science in Lucknow University.

The Muslims, according to their own admission, have “stopped making mistakes”.

 

Silence of Muslim voters in ongoing LS polls in UP could upset BJP:

 

“In the ongoing election, the community has resorted to tactical voting. We have voted for candidates who are closer to defeating the BJP. In Saharanpur, Muslims went up to the Congress candidate Imran Masood and apologized for not voting for him. They told him that the SP-BSP alliance candidate is better placed and we want to defeat the BJP so we are going with him,” said Javed Siddiqui, a student in Saharanpur.

In Varanasi, Textile Minister Smriti Irani pumped in resources. The Deendayal Hastakala Sankul was set up to facilitate trade for artisans and weavers. But that has not helped because weavers claim that demonetization has left them jobless.

 

Muslims, Muslim voters, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabhas polls, Bharatiya Janata Party, SP-BSP alliance, Kashmir militants, Ali aur Bajrangbali, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

 

“After notebandi, we have lost business. There are no buyers and most of us are without work,” said Rafiq Ahmad, a weaver in Madanpura area.

In Lucknow, Shias-earlier known as BJP supporters-also did not go with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this time. They are upset with Yogi Adityanath’s “Ali aur Bajrangbali’ chant and says that the Chief Minister has been mocking at their religion.

A seat-to-seat analysis in Uttar Pradesh clearly shows that Muslims have supported the SP-BSP in a large number of constituencies and have gone with the Congress in constituencies where its candidate was strong.

 

Muslims, Muslim voters, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabhas polls, Bharatiya Janata Party, SP-BSP alliance, Kashmir militants, Ali aur Bajrangbali, Uttar Pradesh, Politics news

 

“The SP-BSP alliance has the support of Yadavs and Jatavs and along with Muslims they emerge as a winning combination. The main issue is to defeat the BJP first,” Javed explained.

He admitted that several Muslims had reservations about voting for the BSP which now seems to be a potential ally of the BJP.

“But our main issue was to defeat the BJP. We can deal with the BSP later,” Javed added.

 

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Death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose ,75-year-old mystery from Russian angle.

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The mystery of what happened to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and how did he die continues to persist, even 75 years after he supposedly perished in an air crash in Taipei. Even though Justice MK Mukherjee, who was the one-man commission to inquire about the ultimate fate of Netaji, reported (in 2005) that he did not die in the so-called air crash, the commission could not conclude about his ultimate fate.

Lately Netaji’s grand-nephew Surya Kumar Bose and grand-niece Madhuri Bose have raised an objection to Justice Mukherjee’s report and vociferously declared that Netaji had perished in the air crash. The declaration comes even as Bengali commercial movies on Gumnami Baba hit the screen last year. Gumnami Baba, a so-called holy man lived in Faizabad (the twin city of Ayodhya) from the 1960s onward till 1987 when he died. Gumnami Baba lived in isolation and he had a handful of disciples who believed that he was Netaji living incognito.

Three years ago, a commission set up by the UP government to figure out who Gumnami Baba was, submitted its report. Though the report is kept under wraps, many feel that Gumnami Baba was put up by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to confuse matters. Then IB director BN Mallik (who served in the high office for two decades) was close to Nehru. He put up various holy men at various places to masquerade as Netaji in a political move that could benefit Nehru.

At that time there were rumours that Netaji was in hiding in the USSR. It was feared that he could land in India and his presence would destabilise the political set-up in the country. Gumnami and other babas would in that case stand up and make their own claims to confuse matters. Gumnami Baba proved to be the most everlasting of all the holy man set-up. Others like Shaulmari baba who lived in an ashram close to Farakka, was discovered to be a displaced person from Dhaka.

Iqbal Chand Malhotra, a documentary filmmaker and researcher from Delhi is of the firm belief that with the Second World War ending in favour of the Allied Forces, Netaji made his escape. He did not escape from Saigon on board a Japanese bomber that is supposed to have crashed in Taipei (which is the general belief among those who believe that Netaji survived) but on a German submarine from Singapore that carried him to Vladivostok.

From here, Subhas Bose made his way to inland USSR. The submarine, which contained gold and precious stones, then sailed to Tokyo. According to Malhotra, the submarine was part of the ‘Monsun grupe’ that was deployed in south-east Asia courtesy the Germans.

The 33rd flotilla was based in Penang and had 34 German U boats and 7 Italian transport submarines. But it continued operations even after the Germans surrendered in May 1945. The gold and precious stones had been picked up from Penang in Malaysia which had fallen to the Japanese. They had been processed at a refinery and much of it comprised donations by Indians to fight the British.

What happened to Netaji after he disembarked at Vladivostok cannot be said with precision. However, Purabi Roy, an Indian researcher who spent long years in Russia, came to know about a document in the archives of GRU (an intelligence agency) in Padolsk near Moscow that refers to a meeting between Joseph Stalin and his three aides (Vyacheslav Molotov, Andrey Vyschinsky and Yakov Malik) in October 1946 where they were discussing ‘where to keep Chandra Bose.’

The document was seen by Major General Aleksander Kolesnikov who had been befriended by Roy and sent to the archive. The archive is only accessible to Russian citizens and therefore Roy (although she knows Russian) could not go in.

In 1998, when the MK Mukherjee inquiry commission on Netaji went to Moscow to record evidence, Kolesnikov then serving in Istanbul and did not appear before it. Therefore his findings shared with Purabi Roy could not be taken cognizance of.

However, two decades later in 2016, Kolesnikov appeared in a documentary produced by the aforementioned Iqbal Malhotra where he mentioned about the document he found in GRU archives where Stalin and his aides were discussing on what to do with Bose. This lead has however not been seriously pursued by the Indian government.

Incidentally, when documents relating to Netaji were declassified in 2016, a file tumbled out which showed that Subhas Bose had broadcast three times from overseas between December 26, 1945, and February 1946. The broadcasts were caught by an IB station in Governor’s House Calcutta and Netaji promised that he would come back and that freedom was close at hand.

But Netaji never turned up and no confirmed information surfaced about him again. But the declassified files had a note addressed by the Viceroy of India to the British PM asking about the policy about Bose. On October 25, 1945, the British PM convened a meeting where it was decided to allow Subhas Bose to ‘remain where he was.’

Speculation is that Stalin may have kept Netaji alive as a force which could be deployed against Nehru and other leaders who he considered as British agents. But Stalin died in 1953 and the new leaders of the Soviet Union having made up with Nehru dispatched Netaji to Siberia, per the rumours.

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