Will Modi magic work on Muslims in 2014?

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi showed his interest in reaching out to “backward Muslims” for achieving a dreamy figure of 272+ seats. It immediately fuelled the debate among the politically correct masses whether he will be able to woo Muslims or not. The answer is a simple ‘No’.

Muslims have never voted for BJP in any parliamentary elections. Be it 1998 or 1999, the projection of an able leader like Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also not enough for them. And to dream that Modi will give their thinking a 360 degree angle is a distant thought.

While Modi may be infamous among the Muslims after the 2002 Gujrat riots, but it would not be correct to believe that the whole community is anti Modi, or his projection as the PM candidate will be the reason behind BJP’s defeat in 2014 elections. For that matter, Sikhs do vote for Congress and after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Congress has come to power twice in Punjab. In Delhi too Congress has been able to garner votes even after the case being pending since years in the court.

However, in the rest of the country, anti-Modi brigade which includes media too, has aggressively campaigned against Modi and tried to demonise him. The Muslims who haven’t experienced Gujarat themselves get to hear about Modi through news channels that are by and large anti- Modi. So for them to develop a positive opinion about Modi is almost impossible.

Gujarati Muslims compare the communal situation in Gujarat with the rest of the country and they find that Gujarat is the best place for Muslims to do their business in India. It’s almost impossible to find Muslims who left Gujarat for a ‘safer’ abode on account of riots. Muslims’ confidence in Modi is increasing day by day because they have experienced his rule.

Well, a good percentage of Muslims in Gujarat voted for Modi in the last assembly elections because they benefitted from Modi’s policies. Moreover, there has been not a single riot in Gujarat in the last 11 years.

So, it is quite possible that in the upcoming general elections, Muslims outside Gujarat may not vote for the BJP.

Unless of course Gujarati Muslim supporters of Modi fan out across the country and counter the propaganda against Modi by giving a comparison of condition of Muslims on all development parameters of various states with Gujarat. Then, he may garner Muslim vote bank.

The Hindu nationalist leader may also address convention of Muslims in a couple of states. Moreover, Shias are likely to vote for BJP as the community has higher education level than Sunni. They also feel persecuted by Sunnis in India and Pakistan. Every week dozens of Shias are blown up in Pakistan and Indian Sunni Muslims do not raise their voice against it.

But by and large Muslims in India will vote against Modi due to their distrust.

Some people are still lingering on the choice of candidate by BJP. Why should BJP find another man? Muslims never voted for BJP anyway. BJP can win by consolidating Hindu votes by projecting himself as the ‘development man’.

Modi has plans for the party to approach poor Muslim as they would contribute largely to the vote bank. All he wants is not even a single section of the society should be left untouched by the election campaign. Every single vote is important.

As far as 2014 is concerned, Muslims by and large are going to stay away from Modi. But Modi is not bothered. Although he said that BJP should seek Muslim votes, he did not really mean it. He has made that statement to project that he is not a communal man and this may help him woo votes of those Hindus who are under the impression of the development work carried out in Gujarat, but do not like his anti-Muslim pitch.

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