It may not be wrong to say that many of us are victims of promises made by politicians. They pull wool over our eyes with their tempting promises for their political gains and later leave us high and dry.

Whenever elections approach, there opens a sluice gate of promises from the leader’s mouth. Though it doesn’t make any positive change in our lives, our drains get choked because of the unseasonal rains and make our lives more miserable. They dry up as soon as the elections are over leaving us in the lurch.

And, this has become our habit that when we are disappointed with one political party, we chase another one counting on the promises made by it and pull on our with our lives for some more years.

Take the example of the previous government at the Centre. The ruling party leaders had made countless promises to the Muslim voters. Hearing them talk thus we, Muslims started began believing that we would also live a fearless life. Our youth would also climb the ladders of development with their compatriots and lead a healthy life.

The government had promised reservations for Muslims given reservations in education and government jobs. But we were kept waiting but the time of honouring their promises never came.

When we got tired of waiting, we decided to meet our Supreme Leader to ask him about the fate of the promises made to us.

When we went to his office, he seemed to be happy to see us like a like a lover waiting to see his beloved. We too smiled with happiness but the spell of happiness was short lived. As our supreme leader began talking it was like cold water being poured on us. “Today is a big day in my life,” said the Supreme Leader. “India has become a big economic power in the world. Sensex has crossed the 25,000 mark.” We thought, “this is the problem with us. India is developing and we Muslims are still backward.”

When we told him the reason for our visit, he addressed us as if he was delivering a speech to a crowd of not less than 5 lakh people. “Our government is working for the welfare of each and every section of society.” As he was delivering his speech, his secretaries were piling up files of lies on the table.

He continued his speech behind the mount of files: “We are committed to delivering the fruits of development to everybody. That’s why we have widened the roads and opened expressways and also running so many superfast trains and metro trains. Still, if the fruits of development are not reaching them we will not hesitate to develop more airports so that the fruits of development could be delivered on the roofs of their houses.”

When we interrupted and asked him about the promises he had made to the Muslims, he said from behind the files: “We are looking into the matter and will certainly find a solution for the problems of Muslims.”

We returned home thinking when the Supreme Leader has promised he would certainly keep his words.

When many months had elapsed, we visited his office again to enquire about the progress. He said, “the government is conducting a survey to ascertain the extent of social and educational problems faced by minorities. After the completion of the survey, the government will take action.”

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We thought that the government should be given some time. When it has not done anything in the past sixty years and is determined to take action now it will take some time.

When we got the news that the survey has been done and the report was submitted to the government, we met him again.

This time our Supreme Leader informed us that the government wanted to conduct a survey of Army and Police to ascertain the strength of Muslims in the armed forces. We were very glad. We thought, “the presence of Muslims in Army and Police is very important. If they are recruited in the armed forces they will also get the chance to defend the community We thanked the Supreme Leader.

When we were informed through our source that the survey regarding Army and Police had also been done, we asked him, “Sir, the time has come. Give Muslims the legitimate reservation.”

“Why the Muslim students fail in the subjects of Science and Maths in exams? A survey should also be conducted on this issue also. When this survey is done we will fulfill all the demands made to the Muslim,” he said with a meaningful smile. This time we were very angry but we controlled our emotions and returned home.

Little by little, the weeks rolled into months and months into years. But the dawn that we had been waiting for never came and the clouds bearing droplets of prosperity showered everywhere except our roofs and we remained in the same condition as we had been earlier.

In the meantime, the government at the Centre took refuge into the pages of history, to be remembered only by political pundits and scholars.

Meanwhile, in our State, a regional party launched a campaign for the creation of a new State on the ground that the people of the larger part had exploited those from the smaller part of the State. Muslims also joined in this struggle as the leader of the new state to be, promised Muslims a share in the growth and development of the new state.

After a prolonged struggle the new State came into being. Celebrations were everywhere.

With the creation of a new State, new avenues were opened for the people. And as the people left for the other state vacant posts in various government departments were filled. But again unfortunately, we were sidelined and forgotten in the new State.

And again after a year, we met our Leader-in-Chief to remind about the promises he had made to Muslims. There was a festive mood at the Leader-in-Chief‘s residence. To our surprise, there were many Muslims also enjoying tea, coffee and samosas and cakes served freely to everyone.

An army of camera-toting journalists and other scribes was swarming the sprawling lawn of the house. There we met one of our friend journalists who informed us that the Leader-in-Chief was going to make a statement about the Muslim reservation.

Lo and behold! The leader was wearing a skullcap.

Assalaam Alaikum, he greeted the gathering. We were blown away. We were happy that he recognised us, his Muslim voters.

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The Leader-in-Chief waved everybody to be silent and a pin drop silence prevailed. We were all ears.

“Friends! After a long battle finally we got Independence from the oppressive people last year,” he said. “And now our state, the youngest State is on the path of becoming not only a developed but a world class State.” (His speech was punctuated by slogan shouting from his supporters including us. Long live Leader! Opposition down, down!).

“Our State is home to several castes and communities,” he continued. “But the Muslims of the State are in pathetic condition. Since we got independence from the British, several governments came and went but they never cared about the Muslim minorities though they captured power promising their welfare.”

“But in this new State, this kind of injustice won’t be done. Therefore, to end years of injustice, our government has decided to give them 30 per cent reservation in education and government jobs so that they can perform to the best of their abilities in their respective fields and play a role in the growth of the State.” (Again we all shouted Long live Leader! Opposition down, down!).

While he was speaking, a minister standing beside him protested, “Sir, their population in the State is only 15 per cent. How can you give them a quota more than their population?”

“I know, I know. I know more than you about this fact,” pat came the answer from the Leader-in-Chief. He said, “If we do not find Muslim men and women filling the positions in government offices and seats in colleges, we will import the people of the community from other States.”

We were on cloud nine. We thought the hard work of years was bearing fruit now. We congratulated each other and also thanked the Leader-in-Chief for his courage and big-hearted announcement.

After this event, no action pertaining to this announcement was taken. Whenever we approached officials, they would only say,” no order in this regard has come, when we receive the order we will tell you.”

On the other hand, the State government’s recruitment process continued unabated. While applying for jobs we quoted the Leader-in-Chief’s announcement with date and venue and paper clippings attached, officials would give a roar of laughter, and say, “Go and ask him. We do not know about it.”

Gradually, all positions were filled and again we were given a raw deal. As in the past, we were cheated again.

Days flew by and our new State grew in leaps and bounds and it led all States in the country in development from villages to urban areas and we watched all these happening standing at the margins.

Unfortunately, the facilities that we had in the past were also lost in the new regime. The expectations we had from the new State and the government turned sour. Our cup of patience was brimming with anger and gloom.

Our condition was like that of a person, who though deserted by the beloved still approaches the same person with a hope of being accepted even after knowing that the answer will be negative.

Once again we decided to question our Leader for giving us false hopes and playing with our emotions.

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There was a huge crowd of people who had gathered to express their gratitude to their beloved leader for fulfilling their aspirations.

There were farmers, fishermen, milkmen, dairy farmers, and aged people, among many, many others. We were surprised to see our barber there. He told us that the State government reduced the barber shop electricity tariff from Rs 5 per unit to Rs 2 and also gave loans on a very nominal interest. Also, there were Imams of mosques who were given Rs 1,000 and Rs. 200 worth clothes during the month of Ramzan and a promise of monthly emoluments, and there were many other people who had benefitted from the schemes of the State government.

In such a crowd of well-wishers, we were the only odd men out. All were laughing and savoring the moment and enjoying the goodies served there. We were glum and dejected.

Soon the Leader-in-Chief emerged amid sloganeering by his followers and visitors. He was simply at home as if all were his friends. He was overwhelmed by the response of people.

Meanwhile, some old women started worshiping him and sang hymns in praise of him, while others tried to do palabhishekam (bath with milk) as he had raised their old-age pensions, extended financial help to pregnant women etc.

We also waved our hands and tried shake hands with him but his supporters, who had sensed our anger, pushed us to the corner of the lawn. When we tried to move a little forward to be close to him, the policemen on duty grabbed us by the scruff of our neck and pushed us aside warning,” don’t budge an inch otherwise we will beat you.”

Soon, a series of speeches were made by the representatives in praise of the Leader. They all sang hosannas of the Leader for giving them what no previous governments had provided in Independent India. Even the Imams of mosques thanked the Leader and asked the Muslims to vote for the Leader’s party.

“Friends!,” the Leader started speaking. “I am overwhelmed by your support and love. (His speech was interrupted by slogan shouting from people. Long live Leader in Chief! Opposition down, down!). He made many promises for future if he was voted to power again.

The Leader-in-Chief spoke for more than half-an-hour but there was no mention of Muslim reservation in his speech this time. He spoke about farm loans, pensions and many other things but not what we wanted to hear. All of us were extremely dejected.

Some of us lost control and started shouting incoherently only to be thrown out by the Leader’s supporters. Amid sloganeering, the Leader announced the dissolution of the State Assembly and thus slamming the door on us for any hope.

At last, disappointed and dejected we turned to go back when from the crowd emerged a senior man with grey hair but sharp eyes. His personality was speaking volumes about his sagacity and rich experiences. He said, “O Muslims! Go home. You are seeking something that you can never get. Giving reservation means giving a share in power. And nobody wants to share power with you.” #KhabarLive

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A senior journalist having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe in various positions. A multi-lingual personality with desk multi-tasking skills. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. Ahssanuddin's work is driven by his desire to create clarity, connection, and a shared sense of purpose through the power of the written word. His background as an writer informs his approach to writing. Years of analyzing text and building news means that adapting to a reporting voice, tone, and unique needs comes as second nature.