I was pleasantly surprised yesterday with the protests against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s speech. The Jantar Mantar was crowded by people, cutting across party and ideological divides. Everywhere the eye could see, there was a sea of Indians madly waving the Tricolour. Speakers on the stage castigated Amanatullah and his communal, divisive brand of politics. The site was reverberating with loud slogans declaring ‘No ISIS in India’, ‘No politics on national security’, ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. News channels were carrying news items denouncing Amanatullah’s verbal assault on democratically elected national government. Kejriwal had issued statements distancing himself from Amanatullah’s speech and AAP had served a show cause notice on Amanatullah. Amidst all the uproar, Amanatullah had issued an unconditional apology and offered to quit politics. Unfortunately, none of this happened. Ashutosh from AAP alleged that the video was doctored, News channels either blacked out this news or played a muted version of the clip, AAPtards said that Amanatullah made sense and that Modi government was suppressing free speech and thus one more day passed in the life of India.
For those of you who feel that the issue is Amanatullah Khan’s outburst against Modi, ‘Haramkhor Modi sarkar’ to be exact, you are mistaken. Amanatullah Khan ‘s speech was in effect a call to arms to all Muslims to rise against the ‘oppressive policies’ of Modi government. In the clip, Amanatullah Khan is clearly seen exhorting Muslims to picket Home Minister’s residence, everytime an ‘innocent’ Muslim is picked up by the Police. The ‘innocent’ Muslim in this case is the Deobandi cleric, Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi who was arrested last month for his fiery sermons in support of the Caliphate and instigating youth for anti-national activities. Incidentally, some of ISIS recruits in the country are believed to have arranged his speeches for the group. In one speech, the Mufti, whose cause has now been taken up by Amanatullah Khan, is heard exhorting Muslims to go to war when attacked. This is not the first time Amanatullah Khan has courted controversy. In the past, He was involved in the Jamia Nagar drama in July 2014, when he had put up posters accusing Congress’s Muslim MLAs of trying to prop up a BJP government. The posters asked Muslims to gherao their houses for joining hands with enemies of the Qaum. Amanatullah Khan has also supported the ‘Batla Encounter is fake’ brigade. In fact, it was even alleged that Amanatullah Khan himself was hand-in-glove with the Indian Mujahiddeen, given his vocal support for IM operatives held by the police.
This is certainly not the first instance of a politician from a mainstream party hobnobbing with religious extremists. Unfortunately, it is always the nation that has to pay a heavy price. However, what is strange is the regularity with which such events are propping up these days. Be it Trinamool in West Bengal, or AAP in Punjab or Samajwadi Party in UP, politicians are doing everything possible to ensure electoral victory, whatever be the cost. Amanatullah’s support to the jailed Deoband cleric must be seen in this light. Incidentally the Islamic school at Deoband, situated 100 Kms from the national capital, has ever since its inception been a bastion of Wahabi thought in the Indian sub-continent. In the past, it has produced such progressive Fatwas such as Divorce being applicable upon utterance of Talaq thrice even if the wife is not present, or the Fatwa on banning photography as it is Unislamic, or the one banning Salman Rushdie from coming to India. In fact, there has been concern even in the UK that Deobandis were taking over Mosques and imposing their hardline interpretation of Islam. And even though the Seminary has from time to time come out and spoken against Terrorism, the fact is that many terrorists have taken inspiration from Deobandi philosophy in executing their nefarious plans.
Ever since Modi’s landslide victory in 2014, there has been a growing tendency among Indian politicians to paint all issues as either Pro or Anti Modi. This helps in bursting Modi’s Development balloon and creates multiple challenges for government to struggle with. While this political strategy might have its merits and demerits, it surely will havegrave consequences for the nation. Modi may be the Prime Minister of India now or for another 5, 10 or 15 years, but our nation is eternal. By allying with radical and undesirable elements, politicians are seeking to show Modi down. This strategy may work well in the short run, but our power-hungry politicians must realize that they are putting the existence of the country in great peril. As Indira Gandhi discovered at a great personal cost, Terrorists don’t always make great partners!