Muslims not Influenced by Clerics

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Recently many political leaders of all hues reached out to Muslim clerics in Delhi, Lucknow, and Bangalore etc. with tall promises of helping the cause of the Muslim community in general and clerics themselves in particular. 

There is general impression in the media as well as in political circles that Muslim clerics yield great influence on Muslim community and that they follow them like sheep herd. 

This is an utterly wrong impression and an insult to the intellectuals of the community. Unfortunately in electronic media, bearded Mullahs are generally invited to express their views on the issues, whether political, social or religious, concerning Muslim community. Muslim intellectuals are not supposed to increase their TRP since it is believed that intellectuals have no respect in their community and only Mullahs and Maulvis have influence in the community. 

About a week back, a Delhi-based scholar and journalist, Syed Ubaidur Rahman, posted an article on Sify.com website in which he wrote about the conspiracy of some political parties of exploiting Shia-Sunni, Barelvi-Deobandi, and Deobandi-Ahle Hadith divide by reaching to clerics of different sects with different promises to protect their interests, mainly personal but outwardly religious. 

However, such efforts have utterly failed. 

Mr. Rahman explained that “it must be kept in mind that Muslims don’t follow their religious leaders and clergy blindly. It might have been true a couple of decades ago, but not now anymore. Education has brought much needed change among the community across the country. There is no denying the fact that in the last one decade the Muslim community has changed a lot. Illiteracy that was visible across the nation, more so in the north Indian states of Bihar, UP, West Bengal, and Assam; seems to have changed for the good. This welcome change is visible almost everywhere in North India.” 

Mr. Rahman gave an example of a gentleman winning the MLA seat from a Delhi constituency in which a Maulana, opposed to the gentleman, is supposed to have great influence. Mr. Rahman is of the opinion that Muslims vote whoever they believe will be able to serve them the best and not the one who is supported by clerics. He also thinks that “Muslims are not a homogenous community in India and their issues in different parts of the country may be different, but they are not going to play in the hands of the people who want to create differences among them and make them fight with each other. They may be voting for different parties in different parts of the country, but they know that their unity will help them prosper, while division will make them weaker and deprived in the days to come. They stand united for the nation”.

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