Over 120 Muslims have been elected as MLAs in the recent Assembly elections.
The five states that went to polls included Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
It was an election to elect 822 members of legislative assemblies [MLAs] in these states.
India has around 14-15% Muslim population. However, three of these states that went to poll had a much higher percent.
Assam has around 37% Muslims, West Bengal has 29% and Kerala has 27%. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have nearly 6% each.
Even in this backdrop, the figure of Muslims elected is not too less, though it should have been higher. Two of these states have 'Muslim parties' too.
Kerala has Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Assam has Badruddin Ajmal's AUDF. Also, SDPI, AIMIM, INL and IUML had contested in Tamil Nadu and other places.
There are 56 Muslims elected to WB Assembly [294 member house] on this occasion. In West Bengal, Muslims supported Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. Also, they voted for Congress and Communists [Left] at a few places.
In Assam, 29 Muslims have been elected [out of a total 126 members in the house]. Muslim MLAs from Congress and AUDF have won. Also, one Muslim candidate of the BJP has also been elected in the State, this time.
30 Muslim MLAs have been elected in Kerala. In Kerala, Muslim vote was divided between Left and UDF. Though UDF lost, there are Congress and Indian Union Muslim League MLAs apart from LDF.
IUML sent 18 MLAs to Assembly including 16 Muslims and two non-Muslims. The strength of Kerala Assembly is 140.
Muslim candidates have won in Tamil Nadu and also Puducherry. In Tamil Nadu, winners include from DMK, AIADMK and IUML. Strength of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Assemblies is 232 and 30 respectively.
The number of elected Muslim MLAs isn't too low
Frankly, the figure is not bad, specially, when it was felt that Muslim representation may have gone down even more. The fact is that if an MLA works hard, takes interest in area's problems, raises the voice about constituency, he/she can do a lot.
The legislator has ample powers to make a lot of difference. Through his leadership, funds, voice in house and on the streets, the legislator can get popular and bring positive change in lives. Can't some of the MLAs do it?
Did 70 Muslims MLAs in UP Assembly make any difference?
Once again 'numbers' alone don't make a big difference. In UP, Samajwadi Party's 65-odd MLAs have made little difference in the lives of ordinary Muslims.
Most of them have remained silent, didn't take up issues of education and health, or even the points in the SP's manifesto. Clearly, Muslims need good leadership.
MLAs ought to be leaders, on the ground, they must act as social leaders. And not just MLAs of Muslims but command respect from people of all sections because of their work, to become true leader.
Else, this talk of numbers is just useless.
Source: Website of 'An Indian Muslim'.