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Mainstream, Vol XLV, No 51

Defend the Legitimate Interests of Every Downtrodden Segment

Tuesday 11 December 2007, by Syed Shahabuddin



Broadly agreeing with Shri Chaturanan Mishra’s analysis of the current political situation in the country (Mainstream, November 3, 2007), I support his call for the formation of a united secular front including the Left and the mobilisation of all the marginalised and disempowered people in their struggle for social justice in pursuit of their human, constitutional and legal rights.

Shri Mishra correctly finds the bourgeoisie, whether in the Congress or the BJP, are united in many ways including a soft approach towards Hindu nationalism whose fascist face is Modi. Unfortunately, in the coming Assembly elections in Gujarat, fearing a Hindu ’backlash’, the Congress has decided once again to adopt a pale saffron approach joining hands with the dissidents in the BJP camp rather than with the secular forces. It has also decided against making any effort to win the electoral and psychological support of the anguished and apprehensive Muslim community, because it takes their support for granted.

As I have argued in the past in your columns, the Left has to recognise the plural and segmented character of the Indian society and take up the legitimate interests and aspirations of each downtrodden segment. The Muslims, according to the Arjun Sengupta Report, are over-represented among the poor and the vulnerable, with 84.5 per cent falling in the four lowest expenditure levels, below the top two levels keeping company with SCs/STs (87.5 per cent) and non-Muslim OBCs (79.9 per cent).

Syed Shahabuddin
- D-250 Abul Fazal Enclave (President,
- Jamia Nagar All India Muslim
- New Delhi 110 025 Majlis-e-Mushawarat)

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