Interview with Mujtaba Farooq, President of Welfare Party of India
18 May, 2011
Mujtaba Farooq is a man in a hurry. After working selflessly in Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for last several decades, first as its Maharashtra state amir (president) and then a powerful secretary in its central office (markaz) in New Delhi, he was made the President of JIH backed newly launched political Party Welfare Party of India. Right now he is busy crisscrossing different parts of India trying to establish his nascent party’s chapters in different states of India. He sounds very confident while talking to Khabrein.Info editor Syed Ubaidur Rahman about the viability and success of his political party in the days to come. Read the excerpts
USP of Welfare Party of India!
Our aim is justice for all. We want to undertake serious efforts to give justice to people with dignity. Other political parties are exploiting the nation and its poor people. We will work for the welfare of those and provide them justice.
While other political parties are exploiting the developmental projects for their own personal interest, we will do everything to ensure that every penny is accounted for and benefits of the huge welfare projects reach to the intended beneficiaries and not to politicians and bureaucrats.
But all political parties make similar claims!
Yes they all make Himalayan claims. But we know as to how much they want to implement their promises. All such promises are to be forgotten and to deceive common people whom they use to fill their coffers.
Be it the Congress or the BJP or any other political party, they never intend to fulfill their promises. Take for example Commonwealth Games or even larger scam like 2G scam where even PMO complicity in multi-billion dollar scam is being talked about. Besides many top UPA leaders are under scanner for their involvement in the scam. Wait for some more time and see other scams being unearthed. If these politicians are allowed to run the country, they will it all.
Inflation is rapidly rising and it is becoming difficult for even middle class to keep pace with the fast pace of inflation. Poor people are the worst hit and there is no one to take care of them and work for their welfare. We will ensure that the poors’ interests are taken care of and someone is there to talk about them.
Your major concern is for Muslims. But there are already organizations like Indian Union Muslim League, Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen and AIUDF. Where is the slot left for you?
We have talked to these parties and we have assured them of our full cooperation. But their areas are very limited. Majlis is limited to Hyderabad, Muslim League is limited to North Kerala and we have a whole lot of Andhra Pradesh and the rest of Kerala besides Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where no formidable such force exist. So we have a big area to expand and no such restraint.
In Maharashtra where Muslims live in substantial numbers there are not many who talk of Muslims or other backward castes’ interest. It is a big challenge and we have accepted it.
So you are talking of coordinating with Muslim League, AIUDF and MIM in the long run!
Yes we have promised to co-ordinate with them and have done that in the past. We supported All India United Democratic Forum (AIUDF) previously Assam United Democratic Front in its initial days and helped Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi in launching the party that in this assembly election won 18 assembly seats in the state. We also supported Muslim League in Kerala in this just concluded elections.
But Jamaat supported Muslim League on merely 5 seats while supported the Communists on 120 seats. So you opposed them more?
We don’t really go for alliance with parties but support them on seats by seats and we did what we thought was better.
But communist leaders are saying that alliance with Jamaat harmed their cause!
I am not sure if it harmed anyone’s chances instead it helped them do better than expected. No one thought that they will win as many as 68 seats.
But in Malabar area where Muslims are majority they hardly got any seat. If you had any support base there it would have won them a couple of seats there!
Communist parties agree that alliance with Jamaat helped them tide over the ant-incumbency factor. Commentators may say whatever they deem fit, but the truth is that they did a lot better merely with our support. Without it they could have performed not that brilliantly. Between them and their victory there was a margin of just two, three seats.
Jamaat being a fringe organization among Muslims, association of WPI with it is definitely a minus point. What is your take?
Jamaat is among a handful of organizations that have very extensive work and infrastructure across the country. We have dedicated cadre who don’t have monetary benefits as their sole aim. For them human welfare comes first and they are ready to make sacrifices for the welfare of people. Tell us any party that has cadre like us? I am not sure if you can come up with more than one or two organizations with extensive cadre base like us.
So association with Jamaat is a plus point for your organization!
We are not part of the Jamaat. Nonetheless the proximity of some of our people with Jamaat is certainly a plus point as it gives us access to their local resources, their cadre and a stage that may help us reach out to other people.
Those people are saying that our proximity with the Jamaat is a problem are ones who are in Milli politics and who are seeing their political hopes being dashed by the launch of a pan India political Muslim organization that also has the interest of millions of backward communities at the core of their heart.
How Jamaat can be a liability for us when we have ready resources in different areas including a vibrant organization like JIH’s youth wing Solidarity Youth Movement that has been in the forefront of many an agitation against anti-people agendas of government in Kerala.
So do you see your organization producing some results in a decade or two?
In today’s politics talking of a decade or two is a very long time. We think that within a few years time we will be giving results and winning seats in state assemblies and even Parliament. We are working hard in those areas where we can have chances.