Focus

Akbaruddin Owaisi

Akbaruddin Owaisi delivered a fiery speech a month ago in Nirmal town of A.P.'s Adilabad district. He is an MLA and leader of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimin (MIM) in the A.P. Assembly. Some people took umbrage to his speech and filed cases against him in various courts. But it were the TV channels and some newspapers which took the matter to such a high pitch that it became a national issue. The police finally arrested him and he is now incarcerated in an Adilabad prison despite the fact that he is suffering from various ailments and has a bullet lodged in his thigh. As we know, conditions in Indian jails are notoriously harsh and callous about sick inmates and take them to a proper hospital only when they are in a very serious condition. Akbaruddin is not one who will run away from the police and courts. He was already getting medical treatment abroad and had dutifully returned home when summons were issued against him. He could have been easily granted bail after the arrest but was taken 200 kms away in a vehicle and lodged in a primitive prison, ostensibly to teach him and his party a lesson. His major sin is that MIM has abandoned the ruling Congress after a long coalition partnership and is toying with the idea of joining hands with rebel Jagan Reddy.

What Akbaruddin has said is basically not wrong or incorrect. Who does not know that police consistently plays a partisan role against Muslims before, during and after riots? Who does not know the A.P. police which fired at and killed Muslims protesting against Makkah Masjid blast and then falsely implicated the victim community in the blast cases? Who does not know that Babri demolishers have not been to jail for a single day and may never be punished; instead they are planning to come back to power at the Centre with the butcher of Gujarat as their leader? Who does not know that temples are springing up inside or adjacent to the walls of Muslim monuments across the country - the latest being the illegal temple next to Hyderabad's landmark Charminar which ("temple") is being protected by the A.P. government and police? Who does not know that the culprits who organised and executed the December 1992 and January 1993 riots in Bombay with active police participation were never punished while the retaliators against those same riots were hunted down all over the world and excessively punished? Who does not know that perpetrators of the Nellie massacre were never punished, instead went on to rule Assam? Who does not know that the uniformed killers of Hashimpura & Maliana instead of being punished got promotions and yet the U.P. administrations have lied to the courts all these years that they are untraceable?  Who does not know that names of Indresh Kumar and Togadia are mentioned in the chargesheets of Malegaon and Ajmer blasts but they have not been even questioned while thousands of innocent Muslim boys were falsely implicated in fake terror cases actually perpetrated by saffron terrorists.

The list is very long but Muslims are supposed to keep on bearing all this with a grin - aren't we after all second class citizens. Here only Togadias, Singhals, Adityanaths, Katiyars, Rithambaras, Uma Bhartis, Thackerays and hundreds others of their ilk have the full freedom and protection to spit fire against Muslims but it is a grave crime if Akbaruddin emulates them though not with the similar venom and hate at the disposal of the saffronites who have never been punished for their hate speeches and actions.

The purpose of the saffron fire and Akbaruddin tirade is the same: communal polarisation and cornering a political votebank. But Akbaruddin forgot that for all practical purposes he belongs to a second class citizenry in free India. Akbaruddin was basically speaking against this flagrant discrimination in a democratic India. But he forgot that India is a democracy for Hindus only. If he deluded himself into thinking that he too enjoyed equal rights in secular India, he will have to cool his heels in a filthy jail cell while saffron spitfires roam around under official security provided by the State. This is the crude, unembellished fact, dear TV anchors and newspaper editors!

Akbarurddin and Indian Muslims are fighting for equal rights. The day we too are equally and justly treated, no Akbaruddin will resort to that language which annoyed you so much. Let India introspect and see where and how it let down its minorities, dalits, adivasis and all the marginalised and poor sections who are yet to enjoy freedom and justice in free India. With sincere soul-searching, the answer of this question will be found: why the likes of Akbaruddin resort to what is termed as "hate speech". We do not support it but we do understand the compelling reasons for it and wish the people sitting up there in the ivory towers of power and "mainstream" media too understood it.

Zafarul-Islam Khan

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2013 on page no. 1

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus