When the whole country is mourning the death of a 23-year-old para-medical student, the hate-speech by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi has stunned the people. In essence, his speech is an endeavour to spread antagonism between Hindus and Muslims so as to disturb the prevalent peace in the country for the political benefit of himself and his party. In a diverse-culture country like ours, one should strictly refrain from saying anything that promotes hatred between religions. It is important for Hindus and Muslims, two important communities of the country, to be imbued with a sense of amity and camaraderie, so that peace and harmony can prevail. Therefore, stern action should be taken against Owaisi for making a hate speech targeting a particular community. For, one cannot believe what one hears when one watches Owaisi’s hate speech on Youtube. I condemn the speech and would like to say that he does not represent any religion in any manner whatsoever. I have never experienced such oppression as portrayed by him. He has done more harm to the community than good by making his speech. After seeing the video of the speech, the only thing that crossed my mind is: Is this man openly supporting Mumbai terror attacks? Is this legal? Can any Indian citizen support and justify a terrorist attack without breaking the law? In fact, the speech by Owaisi is pure poison and objectionable in the extreme. His membership of the Assembly should be ended forthwith and he should be disqualified from contesting all future elections, as he used derogatory words against one particular community. His comments are in violation of the law, the spirit of the Constitution. But it is lamentable to note the deafening silence on part of the Government of India and the behaviour of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, which indicate the warped mindset of the Congress towards minority vote-bank politics. However, it is a matter of comfort that the court has directed the police to register a criminal case against Owaisi so that the judiciary can have the final word on the legality of his vicious remarks. However, the provocative speech of Owaisi and the subsequent reluctance of the law-enforcing authorities to take action against him reinforce the need for police reforms in India. For, it is clear that police action, in such cases, depends on various political considerations.
Here, it is worthwhile having a look at the history of MIM. According to Wikipedia, the Razkars (volunteers), a Muslim paramilitary organisation aimed at sabotaging Hindus in Deccan, were directly linked to the MIM. In total up to 150,000 Razakar soldiers were mobilised to fight against the Indian Union and for the independence of the Hyderabad State against Indian integration and to force its eventual merger into Pakistan. After the integration of the Hyderabad State with India, the MIM was banned in 1948 till 1957. The MIM president and Razakar leader Qasim Rizvi was jailed from 1948 to 1957, and then he was left on the condition to go to Pakistan, where he was granted asylum. Against this backdrop, it may not be entirely surprising that the MIM leader’s hate speech aims at disturbing communal harmony in the country. But such leaders belonging to any religion or community should be dealt with an iron hand. If convicted, they should not be provided any place in our socio-political system. However, the tragedy is that the spineless Congress government in Andhra Pradesh and at the Centre has turned a blind eye to its erstwhile ally MIM’s vicious and provocative fulminations against the majority community due to its vote-bank considerations. The authorities concerned disregarded the fact that the MIM MLA’s hate speech is clearly violative of the law. The Owaisi’s speech is the tip of a small but growing, radical Islamist iceberg. Every effort must be made to halt its progress, otherwise, it will prove to be harmful to national harmony. Here, it is worth mentioning that sometime back the ‘secular’ media had made so much hullabaloo on the speech of Varun Gandhi, which, in reality, was contextual and did not exactly preach hatred against Muslims as a whole. In this background, the questions arise whether the media and the ‘secular’ brigade will pursue the Owaisi’s case with the same amount of vigour and passion that they did in the case of Varun Gandhi; whether the media and the ‘secular’ brigade would write as many editorials, articles, etc., as were written in the case of Varun Gandhi; whether the Election Commission would take the same actions as it did in the case of Varun Gandhi; and finally, whether the ‘secular’ political parties would take up the case with the same zeal and passion as they did in the case of Varun Gandhi. Hypocrisy is at its best. The MIM must know better that the common Muslim does not need these communal and divisive forces to lead them. Instead a visionary and uniting party/leader is badly needed for his/her uplift. Therefore, in the present context, Owaisi’s venomous speech should be a turning point, just as the gang rape in Delhi has turned out to be. He should be punished to ensure that no one repeats such hate-mongering, so that India remains a shining example, where diverse communities and cultures prosper together.