By Ayub Khan
December 12, 2009
As the Telangana cauldron boils over moves are already afoot to paint the dispute in communal colors and make the region's Muslims the proverbial sacrificial lamb. The mainstream media has been a party in this mis-characterization of the entire Muslim community as opposed to the the separate state. The two most widely repeated allegations are : 1)The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is stridently opposed to the concept of a separate Telangana; 2) Telangana Muslims have not played any role whatsoever in the movement for separate state. However, an analysis of the historical and contemporary trends reveals that both these assertions are incorrect.
Since the amalgamation of the erstwhile Hyderabad state in the Indian union in 1948 and the its subsequent breaking apart in three linguistic states the Muslims of the region have suffered the most. They were resigned to their fate and accepted the new regional configuration. They sought to protect and advance their interests in the existing framework. In this endeavour sections of the leadership sought support in all political and social organizations which appeared to be non-communal.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen once it was revived after a nine year hiatus in 1957 declared itself neutral when the first signs of the Telangana issue began to be observed during the 1960s. The party did send some signals that Muslims could be worse off in a separate state due to the communal character of some of the leaders of the separatist movement.