By Md. Aariz Imam
Upliftment of socio-economic condition of Muslims while seen as contingent on affirmative political intervention, actually needs to follow a basic revival therapy of ORS, the identification of ‘Opportunity’, pooling of ‘Resources’ and acquisition of ‘Skills’, where ironically it is not the establishment but the community that has to initiate action.
Here is my 8 step model involved in upliftment of socio-economic condition of Muslims.
1. Socio -Economic condition of Muslims can be uplifted by ‘political intervention’. The Muslim question in India is political in nature and can only be addressed by affirmative actions through constitutional, legislative and executive means. All efforts towards political resuscitation of Muslims must lead to a guaranteed political intervention.
2. Political intervention can be made only after attaining decisive role in ‘political power’. Political power would automatically raise the community to a bargaining position. Negotiation there onwards, for the purpose of political alliance or by a pressure group could be carried out from an equal pedestal.
3. Attaining Political power requires a strong and popular ‘political narrative’. No politics is possible without a popular discourse. We have to develop, evolve, nourish and propagate an idea based on constitutional principles and community aspirations. To give orientation to such a discourse we have to revisit our past, contextualise our present-day reality and envision the future based on justice, liberty, equality and equity.
4. A strong and popular political narrative requires ‘scholars and intellectuals’ with expertise in social sciences who can write history, sociology, anthropology and political science from our perspective, prepare our charter of demand and give shape to our political discourse. We need a whole new world view to reimagine our position in a democratic country.
5. No scholars are born in isolation. To produce such scholars and intellectuals we need our own ‘institutions of excellence’ which specialise in history, law, journalism, economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, theology, philosophy, religious studies, liberal and fine arts.
6. To produce such institutions of excellence we must look at the need for institution building as a necessary and long pending ‘opportunity’ towards community development. It is increasingly being observed that the young and impressionable minds among the muslim community are instead spending their youth criticizing and complaining about their condition. Identifying our marginalization as a potential opportunity would help us organize and scale up our differential efforts.
7. To explore this opportunity we must ‘pool resources’, as institutions that we aspire to build as part of a structured fight for gaining equitable political rights would need huge sums of money. We have to build many such Institutions of excellence that will give birth to Muslim intellectuals.
8. To pool resources and to set up and run such an institution we must have the necessary ‘market oriented technical, interpersonal and business skills’. The learned amongst the youth must use their competitive advantage and prepare a bench strength of skilled manpower who can man these institutions. Sadly, the majority of the learned youth find in the marginalization of the community, an opportunity of a personal kind.
It is often seen that even the most honest efforts towards community development are bogged down by the prospect of government apathy. However, as we have seen above the role of establishment even if adversarial in nature comes a long way down the line, much later after we have revived the Muslim body polity through an ORS solution.