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Win elections in the name of Hindutva and then do secular politics: Arfa Khanum of The Wire recommends new political strategy to Opposition

For the likes of Arfa Khanum Sherwani, winning an election and sustaining power is more important than political ideology.

On Sunday (3rd December), The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani batted for compromising ideology for electoral success. During a conversation on Assembly Election results for five states, she suggested it would be fine if a political party compromised on ‘ideological principles’ for electoral success.

While speaking about the matter on Newslaundry, Arfa claimed that the politics of soft Hindutva was evident and asked if it would be fine for the opposition parties to side with Hindutva to win elections.

“This politics of soft Hindutva is evident, and it’s clear that none of us here can agree with it. However, there is also a thought that the influence of Hindutva on Indian politics is so strong that you cannot pursue an idealistic and principled politics without appeasing it a bit,” she was heard saying.

“Once you win the elections, you can engage in secular politics. Is there any strength in this compromise?” she inquired.

While responding to her bizarre theory, ‘journalist’ Atul Chaurasia called it a slippery slope. He pointed out that if political parties side with an ideology and play the Hindutva card, it would not be clear how the stakeholders’ pressure would play out after winning the election.

When Arfa said that the Opposition parties can always play secular politics after winning the elections, Chaurasia said that it would be clear that siding with Hindutva was only for an electoral win. Arfa replied, “But even for any ideology, it is necessary to be in power. If you stay in the opposition, what will you do?”

For the likes of Arfa Khanum Sherwani, winning an election and sustaining power is more important than political ideology. It not only goes against political ethics but also gives an opposite impression of the candidate in the eyes of the voters.

By siding with Hindutva just for the sake of winning elections, which parties like Congress and Aam Aadmi Party do during the election campaigns, these leaders play with the sentiments of Hindus.

Arfa Khanum advised Muslims to appear inclusive

This is not the first time Arfa suggested a switch in ideology to get support. In January 2020, during the anti-CAA protests, she told the protesting Muslims should appear inclusive ‘as part of strategy’.

She said that there is no doubt that when Muslims are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), they are primarily protesting as Muslims. Still, they must appear inclusive to “not lose the battle”.

“You must make these protests as inclusive as possible and make their base bigger. You read your Kalmas and do the Ibadat. The Indian constitution is still present in that manner. But when you come out in the public, you are a Muslim, there is no doubt about it,” she said.

Referring to Islamic chants like “La ilahi lilliah” that were shouted by Muslim protesters even at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who had warned against Muslim identity politics, Arfa said that “an ideal society” would accept such slogans. Still, till then, protesters should try to appear inclusive.

In her cautionary message, Arfa urged the Muslim protesters to avoid exclusive religious slogans during the protests. She emphasized the risk of alienating potential allies from other religions and suggested playing down Muslim identity strategically without compromising ideology.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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