Do advocacy work, Ali Anwar tells Indian Muslims in the US

By Kashif-ul-Huda,,

Boston: Ali Anwar Ansari, a Member of Parliament (MP) of India, encouraged Indian Muslims living in the United States to take part in advocacy work using modern methodologies. He said, “Spoken from the United States your voice will carry more weight.” He was speaking at a function organized by the Boston chapter of advocacy group Indian Muslims Council-USA (IMC-USA) on Sunday.

“In India, Muslims are losing political representation,” said Mr. Ansari. He explained, in the present Lok Sabha, only 30 Muslim MPs are there, which is a reduction from 39 Muslims in the last Lok Sabha. Out of 543 Lok Sabha seats, 119 are reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC). Since Muslims are excluded from SC list by the Presidential Order of 1950, this is a major source of Muslim political disenfranchisement. Similarly, 1050 Assembly constituencies are reserved and out of bound for Muslims.

Though there are many Muslims who have the same historical and social background as Dalit Hindus but these Dalit Muslims have been excluded from getting the benefits provided for the SCs.

Ali Anwar who became Rajya Sabha MP in 2006 also shed light on his march from journalism to launching a movement for the benefit of Dalit Muslims. He along with others founded All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz to champion the cause of Dalit Muslims whom he calls “Pasmanda” or downtrodden.

During the well-attended program, Ali Anwar explained his opposition to Women’s Reservation Bill and support to the Central Madrasa Board Bill.

He also said that we have to look within our own community and see how we can reform ourselves. Problems of casteism exist among Muslims that we must recognize and reform. “The work of reform is not for one day, but needs to be done on a regular basis,” said Mr. Ansari.

He asked the audience members to use their professional training and intellectual capacity in solving problems of Muslims in India.

He ended his speech by encouraging Indian Muslims living in the United States to play a bigger role in helping the Muslims of India. “Muslims always do politics of emotions though politics require brain and not heart.”

President of Boston chapter of IMC-USA Seema Salim and Dr. Omar Khalidi also spoke on the occasion.

Mr. Ansari was in the United States to participate in United Nations General Assembly session in New York. On Saturday, he attended another IMC event organized by its Maryland-Virginia chapter in Silver Spring, Maryland.



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