Veteran Congress MLA Roshan Baig lashing out at fellow Congress party leaders comes at a time when stability is crucial within the ruling coalition in Karnataka. Baig, who accused former CM Siddaramaiah of ‘splitting Lingayats’, holding him and KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao responsible for the Congress’ ‘flop show’ in the exit polls, has brought the debate around religion and politics back into the spotlight. Especially with Mr Baig saying that people must ‘adjust’ to the new dispensation. Should more emphasis be laid on the representation of minorities during the rise of the BJP? Is India’s democracy still poised on secularism debates? Or is it time we moved past religious symbolism, its role in politics and the endless vitriol it invites? Opinion-makers tell DC why it’s time religion took a backseat in politics
As India is a diverse nation representation based on religion, caste and community is as important as the ability to deliver. People of all identities need to be represented in our parliament and legislative assembly. They must be accessible and be able to deliver too.
Today, Dalits and Adivasis get representation on the basis of reservation. But as far as women, minorities, transgenders and the poor are concerned they have little representation If we look at Muslims, they have the lowest number of MPs ever today.
Senior Congress leader, Roshan Baig revolted against his party as it promised representation to all sections of society, but gave only one ticket to a Muslim in all the 28 assembly constituencies,which is unfortunate. If Rizwan Arshad, the Bengaluru Central MP candidate, loses the poll against sitting MP, PC Mohan, the entire state of Karnataka may not have a single Muslim MP. This is a serious problem.
People like Roshan Baig are the voices of their community and when he says we need to adjust to the new dispensation , that is, the BJP, it is very unfortunate, because it is a party founded on discrimination against Muslims. Who is Mr. Baig to ask the community to “adjust?” The representatives of a community must understand its pain instead of thrusting their ideology on it.
One section that continues to remain unrepresented are the poor of this country. How many poor MLAs and MPs do we have? None. Representatives of the Communist Party were once poor, but politics has become such that if one is poor he or she cannot enter it anymore.
— The author is an advocate...