Muslim experts and politicians encouraged the community in a webinar Saturday to come together and consider why the group has been marginalized and has become untouchable in current-day Indian politics.

The All India Majlis Tameer-e-Millat, an organization working on socio-economic causes of Muslims, organized the meeting on “The role of Muslims in the politics of the country.”

Former MP Mohammad Adeeb said today, Muslims have no status in politics.

“Every party is maintaining distance from Muslims because they fear that they would get fewer votes in elections and suffer politically if the Muslims stay close to their party,” he said.

Adeeb said there are 126 seats in which Muslims can play a crucial role in forthcoming provincial elections in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. But every party wants to save itself from Muslims.

Elections in the country’s biggest state are set for later this month.

Voting will be held in seven phases from Feb. 10 to March 7.

Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and belongs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Adityanath is known for his hateful rhetoric against Muslims.

The President of Maulana Azad University, Akhtarul Wasey, said Muslims should think about their present situation.

He said Muslims are as much responsible as others for the state of affairs.

“Muslims should focus more on education and self-employment to move forward,” he said. “Muslims should not run away from politics, but participate openly in it, but they should not think that politics is everything.”

Tasleem Rehmani, President of the Muslim Political Council of India, said: “The biggest thing is that we (Muslims) do not have any data of our own community. We do not even know what our educational, political, social status is. We should make a roadmap by collecting our data so that we can move forward.

“It is important that we then entrust the task of the growth of the community to our youth.”

Senior journalist MA Majid said the biggest issue for Muslims today is that they have to prove their loyalty to the country.

“The reason for this is that Muslim leadership has been destroyed and it is not being allowed to grow,” he said.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.