Poll outcome endorsement of collective idea of India: Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi

Story by  Rita Farhat Mukand | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 06-06-2024
Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi
Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi


Rita Farhat Mukand

Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi is the grand Son Of Huzoor Sarkaar -E- kalaan, from the line of Semnani who is said to be the descendant of Prophet Muhammad, through his grandson Husayn ibn Ali.  He is also the founder and national president of the All India Ulama Mashaikh Board, an Indian Non-governmental Organisation established with the main purpose of popularizing the message of peace of Islam and ensuring peace and harmony for the country.

Sharing a few of his insights on the Lok Sabha 2024 election which was called a “nail-biting political thriller” by many, this election was unusual for many reasons. 

He shared his thoughts about the outcome of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with Awaz-the-Voice and here are the excerpts of the conversation:

As the founder of AIUMB, you have a great role in nation development with a positive contribution and immerse yourself in good works; we are especially touched by the great outreach of AIUMB in Gaza distributing food packets in the crumbled ruins of the land.  We commend you for the same.

Can you share some thoughts about the just concluded Lok Sabha 2024 election? People expressed it was different from other elections, what do you think?

In my opinion, the election transcended the Hindu-Muslim divide, with voters across the nation making their choices based on their assessments, issues, and needs. No one was thinking about religion when they were voting. It was interesting to see Dalits, Adivasi, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Hindus, and others cast their votes for the betterment of India, rejecting the notion of a different polarized India. I would emphasize this wasn't a polarized vote; rather, it was a collective endorsement of the idea of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi falicitating Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi

What are the particular takebacks from this election?

While the NDA has the majority figures as they did in the last few elections, they did not have the majority magic figure that they had in the past, which made it different. Now they had to go along with the Janata Dal-United and the Telugu Desam Party’s demands.  Not holding a majority holds for the India Alliance which cannot form a government falling shorter than the NDA.   With the BJP having a bigger chunk of votes this time, though not as massive as previously, this election reveals that people voted for the party of their choice highlighted according to their issues and concerns, which proves India has a vibrant democracy and is thriving forward victoriously and this is the positive point about this election.  People came out in hordes to vote and this was a good sign.How do you think Muslims voted? Did they vote in one direction say against the BJP as the popular perception goes?

One cannot say Muslims did not vote for the BJP because there is quite a percentage of Muslims who did vote for the party because of the Modi government’s good governance, perhaps something they received from the government that brought them some benefit where the prime minister struck a chord with them.  This can be said of every government where the people feel happy about something and vote for a particular party.  While there will be problems and issues, the general janta generally look for what good they can get out of a governance and vote accordingly and this is the particular vibe I feel about this election.

Are there any particular concerns Muslims have about the outcome of the election?

We always feel that whatever party is in power should always keep the country’s welfare and development foremost on their minds where they have to work for the country and take everyone along. I could never run down any party or government.  For example, there are a lot of good works established by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi which we should appreciate such as how he took up the matter of corruption to weed it out and provided good schemes for the people.  Then along the way, other problems cropped up such as a section of people got polarized and hate speeches and violence became more pronounced, and this negative outcome caused a large section of voters to be afraid. 

Yes, it did happen that a large section of Muslims did feel let down and their faith in the government was shattered due to the rising polarization and other allaying fears where they did not feel heard.  Despite this, a large section of Muslims in different parts of the country did vote for the BJP, such as in Bihar where they trusted in Nitish Kumar along with the BJP's presence.  During this election, the RJD lost miserably in Bihar and this was due to the duo of Nitish Kumar and the BJP that usually draws a win.  This proves that Muslims are not hooked on to any particular party but are mainly focused on growth and development and look for the progress and well-being of the country.  They desire that everyone lives together in peace, harmony, and progress and are always focused on praising anything good.

Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi

That is very meritorious.  One is curious about the big loss in Ayodhya after the huge investments poured in by both the Center and the state government. Can you shed some light on why?

It’s a reality that the Center and state government accomplished great strides in Ayodhya, but at the ground level, the people reacted against the BJP candidate Lallu Singh who made some controversial statements about the Constitution that in turn united the Dalits and OBCs.  Also, land acquisition is the main issue in Ayodhya along with an anti-incumbency rise against the candidates. The local issues along with a heightened castism triggered reactions that led to the BJP’s loss of Ayodhya.

Since this question is in many minds, let me voice it, “What is the future for Muslims going forward in India, be it any government?  Do you feel they have a bright future in India?

In this election, the people of India voted for India and rejected the idea of a new India of divisions.  They united together for the idea of India in a marvelous way.  Love always wins the battle against the hatred.

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Also, Muslims’ future in India is so bright we as a community envision our country as always full of love, peace, and tolerance. India is the nation of Sufi saints so Indian Muslims never fear.  We are Indians who want the development of the country and want to give our best for the progress of our beloved nation and on this path, we can never go wrong and are confident of the good that will happen.

Rita Farhat Mukand is an independent writer.