A Replica of Pre-Independence Islamism

Asaduddin  Owaisi, president of All India Majlish-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM)  who has of late gained national audience is now trying his luck in  BIHAR Assembly election in the four districts where Muslims are the  deciding factor.

His  religion based representative politics for Muslims in secular India  and controversial statement that “everyone is born a Muslim and  then he is converted to other religions” might have satisfied the  Islamists lobby within Indian Muslim society but such politics is  apparently a repeat of the separatist politics of Jinnah. Instead of  advancing the cause of people’s interest, his politics exclusively  for the Muslims reminds the people of Pakistan Movement.

Suffering  from the delusion of the DNA of his party rooted to the  pre-Independence Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen which believed that  “the ruler throne (Nizam) is the symbol of the political and  cultural rights of the Muslim community .... and this status must  continue forever”( party politics in Andhra Pradesh by Vadakattu  Hanumantha Rao, 1983, page 163) and also in the turbulent and  communal politics of the country in general and in the former  Princely State of Hyderabad in particular, Owaisi is still carrying  the baggage of his parent organisation which “proclaimed Muslims as  the monarchs of Deccan with Nizam as only the symbolic expression of  their political sovereignty” (State Government and Politics –  Andhra Pradesh by Reddy and Sharma, 1979, page 392). He is therefore;  now found trying to replicate the pre-Independence politics of  Muslimism the concept for the Muslims, of the Muslims and by the  Muslims in other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar  Pradesh by arousing the sense of communal discrimination and anxiety  among the youths of the community with provocative politics.

The  AIMIM was not having any presence beyond Hyderabad but after winning  two seats in last Maharashtra election, impressive success in  Aurangabad Municipal election and causing defeat of the Congress in  recently concluded Bengaluru Municipal election, Owaisi is found to  make some dent in north Indian states particularly in Bihar and Uttar  Pradesh. Encouraged with his Kishanganj rally in Bihar he is  presumably ambitious to expand his party to all India level.

With  just only one seat in parliament, two Assembly seats in Maharashtra  Assembly and a few seats in Telangana, he is trying to consolidate  the Muslim votes in favour of AIMIM as done by Jinnah in  consolidating the Muslims behind All India Muslim League and  succeeded in creation of a separate Muslim country. Owaisi however  does not bother that his communal endeavour and politics exclusively  for the Muslims in secular India will be detrimental to national  interest in general and to the Muslims in particular. His success in  splitting the Muslim votes in last Maharashtra Assembly Election and  Municipal elections in Aurangabad as well as Bengaluru might have  prompted him to re-play the similar game in ensuing Bihar Assembly  Election and next year in UP and West Bengal but he does not realise  that it will revive the Pre-Independence gap of communal mistrust  between the two major religious communities.

Some  Muslim youths may applaud “Owaisi Brothers are Musssalmanon ka  Modi”  (http://muslimmirror.com/eng/are-owaisi-brothers-leading-muslims-in-the-r...)  but the AIMIM leader must understand that Indian Muslims are not his  inherited property.

Owaisis  have inherited the confrontational politics of MIM led by Kasim Rizvi  with Government of India. For Rizvi the Princely State of Hyderabad  was a political reality which he was not ready to sacrifice for the  idea of India. Accordingly, he had recruited a large number of  Razakars that had created a reign of terror against the non-Muslims.  He had even threatened the Government of India during one of his  talks with V.P.Menon, the then Secretary in the Ministry of States in  Delhi saying “if government of India insisted on a plebiscite, the  final arbiter could only be the sword”.(Integration of the Indian  States by V.P. Menon, page 334). Similarly in one of his Jehadi  speeches as published in press, he asserted: “The day is not far  off when the waves of the Bay of Bengal will be washing the feet of  our sovereign”. He further declared that “he would plant the Asaf  Jahi flag on the Red Fort in Delhi”. (Ibid. Page 352). However, the  sword of Rizvi failed to defend the merger of the Princely State of  Hyderabad with India on September 17, 1948 after Police Action by  Government of India. The MIM was proscribed and Rizvi had to cool his  hill in the jail. He was released only in 1957 when he gave an  undertaking to migrate to Pakistan within forty-eight hours of his  release.

At  the time of his departure to Pakistan, Rizvi gifted the MIM to Wahid  Owaisi, the grandfather of Asaduddin Owaisi. Accepting such a gift  from Rizvi proves the Islamist mindset of Owaisi family

Although  the anti-BJP forces are accusing Owaisi as a ‘Cat among secular  pigeons’ and view him as a challenge to the ‘secular’ parties  but they forget that his politics of hard-minority-ism (Read Muslim)  is born out only of the soft-minority politics of the so called  secular parties which have never allowed the community to merge in  the socio-political mainstream of the country.

Today  by aligning with certain regional or national party the Muslims are  found relevant in making or breaking government formation in State or  Centre but due to their dispersed population throughout the country  and the arithmetic of the electoral politics, they will be further  alienated from the mainstream politics if they support Owaisi.

A  few Muslim controlled parties like All India United Democratic Front  of Mawlana Ajmal in Assam, Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala and  Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference of Mufty Mohammad  Syed and Abdullah family respectively in Jammu and Kashmir might have  achieved some success in their respective states but they too had an  alliance with some ruling parties to prove their political relevance.  Similarly, so long the AIMIM was the alliance partner of the Congress  in Hyderabad; it had proved its existence in the state of united  Andhra Pradesh. But in the last couple of years particularly after  breaking its alliance with Congress Party the AIMIM is behaving like  a replica of the pre-Independence All India Muslim League under the  patronage of British colonial power by formulating religion based  political strategy and provoking the community over their imaginary  discrimination in secular India.

Tufail  Ahmad, a British journalist of Indian origin born in West Champaran  district of Bihar and presently Director of South Asia Studies  Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI),  Washington DC in an article entitled “Jinnah of modern India”  published in new Indian Express.com  (http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Jinnah-of-Modern-India/2015/02/0...)  has complemented Owaisi as “Jinnah of modern India” who had  demanded separate territory for Muslims and Owaisi is demanding  separate quota for Muslims in government jobs and educational  institutions. Overlooking the fact that the OBC Muslims are already  enjoying the benefit of reservation, Owaisi is demanding quota for  all the followers of Islam which is similar to the initial quota  politics of Jinnah that had aggravated the communalisation of the  Islamic society.

History  has proved that the politics of Jinnah, Nizam and Rizvi only brought  humiliation to the Indian Muslims. Had Jinnah not been obsessed to  Muslimism or Nizam depended on Islamist Rizvi, the Indian Muslims  would not have suffered from the demoralisation they had after  partition and the Police Action in Hyderabad. Unfortunately, the  AIMIM also carried forward the communal legacy of the  pre-Independence Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) which was  “regarded as remarkably aggressive and a violent face of Muslim  militancy as it organized the Razakars to defend the independence of  this Muslim State with Indian Union”.

Therefore,  the AIMIM is also known as “an Islamic, fundamentalist,  secessionist, communal political party in India that was founded by  the radicals among the Muslim population of Andhra Pradesh and the  Muslim dominated areas of Hyderabad though it has units in some parts  of Karnataka and Maharashtra” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia).  The sole objective behind this Islamist character of the party has  been to blackmail the ruling establishment in Andhra Pradesh for the  self seeking interest.

How  far Owaisi politics for the Muslims, by the Muslims and of the  Muslims will succeed in a secular democratic country only time will  say but immediate fall out of such separatist politics is only  widening the prevailing gap of mistrust between the two major  religious communities which is neither in the interest of the  community nor of the country.

Owaisi  entry in Bihar election might have alarmed the caste-ist parties but  it is more a challenge to the Muslim voters of the state to prove  whether they want the return of Jinnah politics or a democratic  politics. The only remedy which lies with the Muslims of Bihar is to  isolate the Islamist politics of Owaisi

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