16 May, 2021

A Coloured Scheme Of Things

Kerala’s IUML, known to be moderate, finds itself on the recieving end of fake news and BJP rhetoric

Old Ties
Congress ally IUML wave flags rooting for Rahul in Wayanad
Photograph by PTI
A Coloured Scheme Of Things
  • Rahul Gandhi’s ­nomination from Wayanad has brought attention upon an old Cong ally, the IUML
  • Top BJP leaders have used campaign rhetoric to paint the IUML, known to be a ­moderate party, communal


The year is 1962. The Indo-­China conflict was at its peak. Muh­ammad Ismail, the foun­der of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), received a letter from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It was in response to Ismail’s offer to send his son Mian Khan to join the armed forces to fight the war against China. Nehru politely declined and instead suggested in the letter that the crisis was going to be prolonged and that his son could ­instead ‘find some work connected with the war effort in Madras’.

This was a different age in Indian politics. And the answer to why the footnote from history has had to be exhumed lies in the stepping up of election rhetoric in the country to vitriolic levels. The IUML’s ‘secular character’ and...

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