For centuries, India has seen a number of Islamic invasions. Starting from 712 AD by Arab Muhammad bin Qasim, the Bharatavarsh has seen a lot of attacks from Islamists in Persia, Turkey, and Afghanistan. The successive invasions have resulted in mass killings, mass rapes, and uncountable numbers of religious conversions. Invaders forcefully converted the Hindu population into Islam and enlarged their religious base in India. The current Muslims of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India are mostly converted ones and their original belief is Sanatan Dharma.
BJP’s strategy to gain the support
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Hyderabad to attend Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive meeting. In the meeting, the PM asked party workers to reach out to minorities like Pasmanda Muslims to expand the BJP’s presence in Telangana. The PM asked their party workers to analyze the impact of the government’s policies on the upliftment of backward Muslims called Pasmandas.
It is believed that in the recent by-poll election in Azamgarh and UP’s Assembly elections 2022, the Pasmanda Muslims have voted for BJP in large numbers. The benefits of pro-people schemes have greatly impacted the backward Muslims and they are voting BJP in large numbers. Considering the situation, PM Modi has asked their party workers to engage with the community and expand its party base.
Who Are Pasmanda Muslims
Pasmanda, the term was first used in 1998 by the former Rajya Sabha MP, Ali Anwar Ansari. Pasmanda’s literal meaning is left behind and the term is used to connote all the Muslim population in India who are historically socially and economically backward.
The Muslim community is divided into mainly three categories – the Ashrafs, the Ajlafs, and the Arzals. The Ashrafs are the noble and elite caste in Muslims and they are considered the direct descendants of Muslims from Arabs, Persia, Turkey, and Afghanistan. The main castes involved in this category are Syeds, Sheikhs, Mughals, and Pathans. On the other hand, Ajlafs and Arzals are two of the lowest caste in Muslims and they are called the Pasmand Muslims.
Pasmanda Muslims are mainly the Hindu population who were forcefully converted to Islam. They comprise about 85% of the total Muslim population in India and are engaged in ‘lower’ activities like scavenging, butchering, weaving, or tailoring. Due to their profession, the elite Muslims have traditionally discriminated against these groups and have declined to give them equal status in the Muslim community. The hard caste discrimination against Muslims is attributed to the historical incidents of forced conversions. Originally, Pasmandas were the followers of Sanatan Dharma.
When the Islamic invasion started in India, the first brunt of the attack was faced by the common population. The common people of the Hindu community faced mass killings, rape, and conversions at the hand of invading forces. With the sole purpose of Ummah which is a borderless spread of Islam, the invading forces forced common Hindus to convert to their religion. Those who refused were beheaded and the rest were converted to Islam. Further, the converted people lived their life under the shadow of upper caste Muslims and these people were never given equal status under the realm of Islam.
The social discrimination of Pasmandas has already created resentment against the elite Muslims. Considering the degenerative status of Pasmanda Muslims and the social stratification in Islam, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has already launched various social outreach programs to ensure the Gharwapsi of Pasmandas. Further, the launch of an outreach program by the BJP will ensure the Gharwapsi of 85% of the Muslims.
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