Political parties in India misunderstand Indian Muslims. I was born and brought up in the city of Agra which has a sizeable Muslim population. I want to highlight a couple of points; so-called secular political parties misunderstand the Muslim community and their aspirations. Second, it is true that a considerable chunk of Muslim voters is anti-BJP (for historical reasons that are well known).
What does the national party like Congress get wrong? They think that Indian Muslims care about India’s relationship with Pakistan. No, they don’t. Indian Muslims care about security, inclusiveness, and prosperity. Congress has over the years stopped short of taking a hard stance against Pak sponsored terrorism. Indira was the last Congress leader who was unapologetic about taking Pak to the task.
In the last 30-40 years, opposition parties have missed the plot. They thought it would offend the Muslim population. Not true! Minorities care about jobs. They care about the same issues as the majority. Most Muslims don’t condone Triple Talaq or Polygamy. In fact, minuscule fringe among Muslims follow these abhorrent practices. But Congress, SP, RJD, etc. feel that supporting BJP in bringing a punitive law against these would antagonize Muslim voters. Again, not true. Muslim women and most of the men want them to go away. Such primitive practices bring disgrace to an entire religion according to people I know.
I won’t say BJP is against triple talaq out of the goodness of their heart. They want to create a constituency among Muslim women. A lot of Muslim women support BJP, so do young Muslim voters. We saw the impact during UP assembly elections. While opposition cried about EVM tampering, there was a surge in Muslim support for Modi. Modi is a generational leader. Minority though apprehensive about BJP (Yogi etc.), they admire Modi.
I hope opposition parties stop disrespecting Muslims by misjudging their patriotism. All they care about are inclusiveness, security, and prosperity.