This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by AL-saba Binyamin. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The AIMIM Hasn’t “Eaten Into Votes”, They’ve Given People An Alternative

More from AL-saba Binyamin

It seems that AIMIMs victory in Bihar is indigestible to many. It should not be as political parties’ existence relies only on elections.

The AIMIMs five seats in Bihar are, so far, their biggest achievement outside Telangana. Like other political parties, its candidates and volunteers gave their best to win in Bihar. Eventually, the result of the election came and the participants got the payoff for their hard work.

Now, if there is any debate, it should be on the performances of each party instead of “who is secular?” and “who is communal?” because everyone is naked in the bathroom. People already knew this when they were casting their valuable votes.

The AIMIM is a political party and has all the rights to contest election in India unless the Election Commission disqualifies it from this process. The party is facing an allegation that it has proven to be a vote slasher for the “secular parties” and resulted in communal parties winning the election. Even if this claim is true, no law stops them from participating in the election.

Asaduddin Owaisi is not accountable to anyone for this. Should a party not be given access to elections on mere allegations of being a vote slasher? If it is so, then the LJP in Bihar should be the first one punished as it claims a healthy proportion of vote share of the JDU.

Refuting The Propaganda At Work

asaduddin owaisi
Owaisi has been able to capture peoples attention because mainstream “secular” parties have not been able to deliver any change.

Indeed, AIMIM relies heavily on Muslims in terms of candidature and vote bank which makes secular parties critical and sometimes abusive against them. These parties must introspect for a reality check as many of them are already representing different castes. For instance, the single largest party of Bihar, the RJD, represents mainly Yadavs.

It is not wrong if parties are representatives of different sections because that is how regional parties have evolved in India. These parties became the carrier of regional demands to the Centre, which prevented India from a further nightmare of a partition and kept it intact.

It is also true that AIMIM had placed its candidates in the constituencies with a sizeable Muslim population. As far as election strategy is concerned, it is the smartest way to win the election. It is very common for political parties to do this. This why PM Modi travelled from Gujarat to Varanasi and Rahul Gandhi had to move to Wayanad, Kerala.

But the good thing about the AIMIM is that it has not declared itself a party exclusively for Muslims and is in alliance with secular parties too. Its candidates do not make hate speeches against Hindus while contesting from Muslim dominated constituencies, neither do they appeal for votes exclusively from Muslims. Unlike the BJP leaders, they are not heard threatening non-Muslims for the consequences of their victory. What secular parties should do is to accept AIMIM as a friend, not a foe.

A Wrong Comparison

Owaisi is often misnomered as Jinnah by his political rivals, which is absurd. The reason Jinnah is disliked by India is the partition, and perhaps for no other reason. Owaisi, on the other hand, is just trying to empower Muslims politically so that they can demand their socio-economic dues, which secular parties have failed to deliver.

A justifiable comparison of him should be with Bhimrao Ambedkar, whom Owaisi himself admires. Like Ambedkar, he is also a part of subaltern voices in India. As reports suggest, Dalits and Muslims are among the most marginalised communities. Their voices should not be marginalised. For this, if they are looking for a leader in Owaisi, people should welcome it. And if Owaisi fails to meet their expectations they will certainly find someone else.

Of Course, He Is Not A Messiah

Firstly, not all Muslims hold and support the view that Owaisi is a Messiah for their community. A Messiah, though, is above elections and political power to perform his duties. But if a section believes him to be so it is because of his fearless attack in speeches over the BJP and RSS, whom many Muslims consider an enemy.

They believe there is someone in the Parliament who is most vocal about Muslims’ demands, who dares to tear apart a bill not in favour of them. This attitude of his is so promising that people are convinced. And no wonder his party’s reach is increasing day by day.

It should be clear that he, like others, is a pure politician. Any claim of Messiah, either by him or any of his party members is mere propaganda. By the way, he never made any such declarations.

Finally Karma

If so-called secular parties envy Owaisi for his incremental but noticeable growth then it is karma because to overcome majoritarian politics they neglected the aspirations of minorities and gave a chance to them to find a possible alternative.

You must be to comment.

More from AL-saba Binyamin

Similar Posts

By Umer Wani

By Sujeet Kumar

By Ritwik Trivedi

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below