Asaduddin Owaisi is yet to recover from the Ayodhya verdict. In his latest statement, Owaisi went all out against the verdict and cried hoarse on the alleged favouritism meted out to the Hindu side. He also openly and contemptuously declared that he wanted his ‘masjid’ back, as he posted his interview with Outlook on his Twitter account –
I want my masjid back. https://t.co/S3gOvF7q95
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) November 15, 2019
In an interview with the Outlook magazine, Owaisi mentioned that he will oppose anything that is against ‘India’s constitution and pluralism.’ To quote him, “For me, the Constitution is supreme and it gives me the right to disagree respectfully with any SC judgment. I will oppose anything that is against the Constitution.”
He further added, “Our fight was not for a piece of land. It was to ensure that my legal rights are realised. The SC [Supreme Court] also categorically said that no temple was demolished to construct a mosque. I want my masjid back.”
For those unaware, in a historic verdict pronounced on November 9th, the constitutional bench of the honourable Supreme Court declared the verdict in favour of the Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas, and allotted the entire disputed site to the representatives of the Ram Janmbhoomi complex. At the same time, however, the Supreme Court, invoking Article 142, also allotted an alternate land of 5 acres to the Muslim side, represented by Sunni Waqf Board, allowing them to build a mosque anywhere in Ayodhya.
Coincidentally, hours after the Ayodhya verdict, it was Owaisi who felt the most devastated of all with this verdict. Accusing the Supreme Court of being partisan, he wailed, “Those who demolished Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, today Supreme Court is permitting the same people to create a trust and begin work. In the 1,045 page judgement, the Supreme Court has mentioned that the demolition of the mosque is against the law. If the Babri Masjid was not demolished what would have the judgment been? So the Supreme Court is supreme but not infallible.”
The Supreme Court had observed through ASI’s archaeological report that the underlying remains did not belong to an Islamic structure. However, Owaisi completely disregards the ASI findings and the Court’s observation and goes on to insinuate that the Court would not have passed such a judgement if the mosque was not demolished.
Now, of all people, Asaduddin Owaisi claims to fight for India’s constitution and pluralism. He also mocked the ASI findings, especially the one that was propounded by ex Regional Director of ASI, KK Muhammed. To quote an excerpt from the interview, “The court categorically said that they cannot solely rely on travellers’ catalogues and reports. They also said there was no structure of a temple and that no temple was destroyed. All these claims by people like (archaeologist) K.K. Muhammed have been thrown to the winds. His theory has been trashed.”
A simple question for Mr. Owaisi, may we know what kind of pluralism allows for a mosque, but gives no space to a temple? To announce that the findings of KK Muhammed are nothing reeks of a deep contempt towards the native culture, which cannot be pluralism in any form imaginable. KK Muhammad had led an excavation of the disputed site in 2003, and had proclaimed that the excavations hinted towards a former Hindu structure, which was demolished to make way for the controversial Babri Masjid. Countless attempts were made to suppress his voice, including threats of suspension, but KK Muhammed maintained his stance above everything else, holding the national interests supreme.
As such, Asaduddin Owaisi claims to fight against anything that is against ‘India’s Constitution and pluralism’, only by going against the Supreme Court verdict and inciting one community against another. However, this is not the first case where he has said so, nor this is going to be his last. The very man who claims to fight for ‘India’s Constitution’ was shamelessly backing the regressive practice of Triple Talaq a couple of months ago. Owaisi also created a ruckus over the NIA Amendment Bill, for which he was roasted by Home Minister Amit Shah, as he asked him to develop the habit of listening. To quote him, “Sunne ki bhi aadat daliye Owaisi Sahab, iss tarah se nahi chalega (Make it a habit to listen as well, Mr Owaisi, it will not work like this)”.
However, in the case of Asaduddin Owaisi, it seems that indeed, old habits die hard. He is the same man who openly threatened of forceful conversions in a public rally addressed in Hyderabad only last year. To quote him, “Muslim man’s beard was shaved off. Those who did it, I am telling them & their fathers, even if you slit our throat, we’ll be Muslims. We’ll convert you to Islam & will make you keep the beard.” As such, his claims of fighting for pluralism is nothing but a mere eyewash.
To be fair, Asaduddin Owaisi is an ambitious man. His interview with Outlook clearly reveals his affinity for radical Islamism, and it comes as no surprise if he attempts to be another Qasim Rizvi. After all, what’s wrong in daydreaming?