these conditions no longer obtain. The Congress has grown weak over
the years; with the arrival of the Janata Dal and its offshoots on
the scene, Muslims have got another option and therefore want to be
wooed rather than treated as clients; and, above all, Hindu
recovery, going back to the eighteenth century, has finally acquired
such power and momentum that it cannot be content to operate in
disguise which is all that was possible under the Congress umbrella.
So they have erected their own institutional arrangements with the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as the base and the BJP, the VHP and
other organizations as its arms.
Thirdly, a series of developments -
the collapse of pan- Arabism, or Arab nationalism, symbolized
currently by the defeat of Saddam Hussain's Iraq; return of Western
powers to the Gulf; disappearance of a rival anti-US power centre in
Moscow; renewed tensions between Sunni- dominated Baghdad and Shia
Iran; failure of the Islamic revolution in Iran to justify itself in
terms of results; and the power struggle in Tehran - must create for
Indian Muslims a psychological situation the like of which they have
not faced. Since the beginning of the decline of the Mughal empire
in the early eighteenth century, a critical point for Indian Islam,
there has existed for them a centre of hope and reference. No such
reference-hope centre exists now.