Muslim hardliner, Owaisi known for controversial remarks and outright fundamentalism has come up with yet another divisive statement openly prompting Muslims to vote in a bloc. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) supremo and Hyderabad Member of Parliament, Owaisi was addressing a rally in Maharashtra when he made these controversial remarks. He made an open appeal to the Muslim community to vote only for Muslim candidates.
Owaisi raked up the Hapur lynching incident and tried his best to misuse the tragic incident for inciting communal passions with political ends in mind. He went on to conclude that in light of the Hapur lynching incident that cultural merging is not possible in this country. In an attempt to provoke the minds that he was addressing, the fanatic leader asked them to remember his words that there will be no cultural merging as the ideas of cultural merging are only fit for the books. This is an indirect indication to the Muslim society to remain aloof from the mainstream and not participate in nation building. In the garb of Muslim rights, Owaisi and his ilk are sowing the seeds of social discord, separatism, anti-nationalism and even secessionism.
He further exhorted the Muslim audience to be not teary eyed but waken their conscience to be bold and fearless. Given the passion and the intent with his speech was made, one is frightened at what Owaisi actually meant by being “bold and fearless”. He further urged Muslims to vote only for Muslims in order to keep “secularism” alive. This is a classical illustration how secularism has been misconceptualized and misrepresented in India for ages. Muslim appeasement and even extremism have been portrayed as the only way to be secular in India and even in the present case, Owaisi projected Muslim polarisation into a vote bank as inherently secular. In fact as per the definition of secularism that we are compelled to follow in India, going overboard with minority rights in general and Muslim rights in particular are the only way to be secular. However, the fact is that such practices are totally antithetical to the idea of secularism. Owaisi then reiterated that in order to be keep secularism alive, Muslims must fight for themselves. They should become a political power and vote en masse for their candidate.
In a self-goal, the AIMIM chief ended up criticising those who play politics over issue of secularism and accused them of being hypocrites. Owaisi stated, “Those people who talk about secularism are the biggest bandits. They are biggest hypocrites who have been using Muslims for the last 70 years. They have kept us in terror.” Owaisi himself seems to have forgotten that he belongs to the very same tribe of pseudo-secularist which talks big about Muslim rights but in reality only uses them for political gains. This must be taken as an incidental confession on part of Owaisi of his modus operandi.
It is outrageous how Owaisi is provoking the Muslims to leave the mainstream and live like a closed society. There is a clear attempt to cut them off from the mainstream in order to alienate them. This speech by Owaisi is actually detrimental to national unity. Remember, even during the British era, it was the idea of separate communal electorates which sowed the seeds of partition and ultimately led to the eventual partition of India. Owaisi’s attempts to polarise the Muslims in today’s times is very much similar to the idea of communal electorate back then. It is clear that the pseudo-seculars are drawing battlelines in order to take the advantage of polarisation before the BJP plays its cards. It is shocking how a man gets away with making the most communal of statements with a mala fide intention. In fact, it was even passed off as an attempt to revive “secularism”. It’s now for the BJP to realise the gravity of situation and counter the process of Muslim polarisation. In fact, the government should make sure that Owaisi or anyone for that matter is not able to provoke the Muslim community like this in the future. No one can be allowed to take social harmony lightly and compromise with national security for political purposes.