Asaduddin Owaisi | Manisha Mondal/ThePrint
Asaduddin Owaisi | Manisha Mondal/ThePrint
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Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led bhoomi pujan for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya got over on 5 August, the person whose comment became the talk of the town was Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. Just before the bhoomi pujan, the president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen had tweeted: “#BabriMasjid thi, hai aur rahegi inshallah #BabriZindaHai”.

Owaisi gave various statements on PM Modi’s speech, but it was his Babri Masjid remark that really found favour with Muslim organisations all over India as well as several clerics.

Throughout his political career, Asaduddin Owaisi has always tried to position himself as a leader of Indian Muslims, but never before has his statement elicited such a support from the community. The AIMIM chief posted the tweet on the morning of 5 August. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) also clarified its stand on the statement.


Also read: Bhoomipujan 2020 is like Balakot 2019, the surgical strike that washes all sins


Owaisi got complete support

When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the temple on 9 November 2019, there was no such response from Indian Muslims. If the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had not turned the bhoomi pujan on 5 August and the construction of the temple into a high-profile political event, Muslims may not have reacted the way they did. But when there is an opportunity to reap electoral dividends, how could the BJP let it go?

So, on 5 August, about 17 crore Muslims of India found their voice in Owaisi. The political and social consequences of such a reaction from India’s minority will be far-reaching.

The RSS-BJP, or PM Modi himself, cannot deny what has been recorded in history. Pick any newspaper dated 7 December 1992 and you will see all front-page headline saying the same thing — that kar sevaks destroyed the Babri Masjid. India Today, a weekly magazine, featured a cover on the demolition, calling it “a nation’s shame”.

Even if the BJP and Sangh tried to, they will not be able to erase this dark chapter from India’s history. The country’s future generations will continue to ask why the Babri Masjid was demolished. Were Hindus able to present proof of the existence of a Ram temple or was the claim staked merely in the name of faith?


Also read: In supporting Ram Mandir, Congress is bowing low for temporary success, says Kerala MP


Congress’s dilly-dallying, Muslims at crossroads

After Owaisi’s statement, the process of brainstorming has started in the Muslim community. Muslims, who had once again started looking at the Congress with some expectations, were shocked by the statement of several party leaders, including Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, congratulating people for the Ram Mandir and calling its bhoomi pujan a historic event. The party’s former president Rahul Gandhi had been able to gain some popularity among the Muslim youth in recent times by being a rare leader who stood up to the RSS’ might and called it and BJP out on their communal, divisive agenda. But the statements made by Congress leaders on 5 August have scarred that image.

Muslim leaders of the Congress wanted the party not to say anything openly about this. It was just a one-day event that would have come and gone. Silence would have overshadowed the entire event. But the Congress did not delay in walking the path that the BJP wanted it to, with its leaders one after other issuing statements to win the hearts of Hindus. Soon, leaders such as Digvijaya Singh started justifying the Congress’ stand.

This has put Indian Muslims at the crossroads. For them, the Congress and the BJP are two sides of the same coin. They now see a saffron claw in the Congress’ flag. Owaisi’s AIMIM can benefit from this and strengthen its base in other parts of India by positioning itself as a Muslim party. The Congress may continue to label Owaisi “an agent of the BJP”, it’s unlikely to stick with Muslims anymore now.

For Owaisi, the sequence of events before and after the 5 August bhoomi pujan ceremony can prove to be favourable with the first test coming up in the Bihar assembly election, in which the AIMIM has decided to contest on all 243 seats. Of course, this will impact the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) the most and benefit the incumbent Janata Dal (United)-BJP coalition. But the game has been spoiled. The price of the BJP’s political effort to marginalise India’s Muslims will be paid by this game where regional parties want to checkmate each other.


Also read: Idea of India wasn’t demolished at Ayodhya. That happened in our ‘liberal’ homes


So what should Muslims do?

For now, there are no such opportunities for Muslims through which they can become a source of political power or compulsion for any party. There is no harm in going with Owaisi’s AIMIM or any other party, but the risk factor is high. It is a fact that Right-wing political parties have been benefiting from Owaisi’s political activities. Owaisi, too, has not been able to turn AIMIM into a national party. The current situation may bring him an opportunity, but he cannot establish his cadre in West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh so soon.

Muslims are fed up with the Congress. They taught the Congress a lesson for its role in opening the locks of the Babri Masjid and now when the community was on the verge of forgiving it for that act, the statements of Congress leaders on the bhoomi pujan have left them completely disappointed. Muslims are left with no choice but to join hands with regional parties. The choice of aligning with the Congress if forced to choose between the lesser of the two evils will always be there, anyway.

Overall, siding with any party will always be a dilemma for India’s Muslims, but until the community plays politics like a game, it will continue to hunt them. There was a time when Muslims had tried to give shape to Bahujan politics in Uttar Pradesh by joining hands with Dalits, but the way Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati continued to run the government with the support of the BJP, the possibilities of a Dalit-Muslim unity diminished over time.

Apart from the political solution, there are social solutions too. First and foremost, Muslims should desert the turncoats altogether. Then, they must start educating their kids on religious affairs. They should also emphasise on their children learning another language apart from English and Urdu-Hindi. Affluent members from the Muslim community should open schools with non-Muslim names on a large scale. Some people have taken an initiative in this direction but a lot needs to be done. Clerics and Muslim NGOs should chalk out areas and find out all those households where children are not getting any education. Once they have done so, they should make arrangements for their education.

The author is a senior journalist and political analyst. Views are personal. 

This article has been translated from Hindi. Read the original here.

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51 Comments Share Your Views

51 COMMENTS

  1. The writer should know that this Owaisi he is highlighting,nay supporting is the torch bearer of the ideology of Kasim Rizvi and Razakars of the Hyderabad kingdom and these Razakars had perpetrated untold crimes against the Hindus in the erstwhile Hyderabad kingdom,even now he wins from Hyderabad only because the electorate there is 65% Muslims,and the ‘ secular’ Muslim vote always goes to a Muslim when they are in a majority,for eg in Malapurram Kerala IUML always wins,if Muslims vote according to religion and its called secularism then I feelHindus voting for Hindus should also be secularism, and the Babri Masjid was built over a temple has been proven by the ASI by Muslim archeologist KK Mohammed , even then you are cribbing over the SC decision and about Hindus celebrating the Bhumipujan Why should they not do it, your entire article reeks of Islamic bemoaning,while no tears are shed when Hagia Sophia a Christian Church is appropriated and made a mosque, double standards, double standards

  2. Print media is red comrades and they don’t understand rajakars, first they should realise and understand the people’s sentents, alka,sithram, all reds, wake up all secular hindus

  3. Who is this owaisi guy and what can he and his ilk do to INDIA .Barking like a dog at night does he think he can do anything to us . We are a civilized nation and by nature not violent but that does not mean we will take anything lying down any more . So rajakar idiot stay calm and don’t provoke the peace loving people of India . Go back to the museum you belong

  4. How is it that Muslims yearn for a Secular Polity only in India.They never ask for Secularism in Muslim majority countries.In fact the Indian Muslim is the most privileged among all the Pan Muslim countries.Here they enjoy all the fundamental rights unlike the Islamic countries of the world.They enjoy the fruits of a vibrant Democracy with a substantial vote bank.If they use the franchise rights wisely,they would be a significant factor in influencing policies of the Government.They should stop being cocooned in their Mullah led religious concerns and join the mainstream of modern education and enlightened citizenship practices.In fact,if they are rational in their outlook,they should welcome the Uniform Civil Code which gives every Indian a level playing field.

  5. “Indian Muslims” must first be Indian and then Muslim! The concept of worldwide Muslim unity is utter nonsense, as proven time and again. There is no commonality between Indian and any other Muslims with each other or amongsf them. There is no glue once the “jihadi” principle (?) is omitted and peace shows its head. It is time Indian Muslims acknowledge their cultural heritage and stop thinking that they are not converts and have somehow immigrated from Arabia or Turkey or Persia!.

  6. Muslims should educate their children. The term religious education is an oxymoron. I am shocked when not even one religiously educated mullah ( or a Pandit for that matter) discusses the work of David Reich. I long for the day when Mullahs in their Friday sermons would explain how man when he first came out of Africa found his first halting place in Arabian peninsula. It was no accident that first script was invented in Mesopotamia, the first city Ur (the city of Abraham’s tribe) was in that peninsula and the first written epic of Gilgamesh was from that area.I long for the day when in Friday sermons the mullah’s explain how consciousness is substrate independent. How Homo sapiens is the vehicle that evolved to be the seat of consciousness, the consciousness that we call Adam .Adam i.e consciousness is substrate independent. is the essence. Unfortunately so called religiously educated persons would dub a person kafir the moment he started talking about the evolution of Homo sapiens. Proceeding to explain the importance of Arabia in the evolution of man in a Friday sermon can not even be imagined. What is dubbed as religious education is only a training in bigotry.

  7. Kashi Hum Aayenge, Belpatra wahin chadhayenge

    Tum Jitne babri banaoge, hum utne gir aayenge.

    Krishan Kanhaiya hum aayenge, Ghar wahin basayenge.

  8. To the social solutions prescribed at end of the article for salvation of Indian Muslims one could add that Muslims should enhance their acceptability into the larger society. For this to happen the perception about them, which is now largely a mix of apprehension and hostility, has to change. Muslims should adopt birth control measures just like other communities and, may be, stop the on-your-face religious attire and dress normally

  9. Attaching too much importance to what Owaisi says ot reacting to his anti-hindu statements is not required. He needs to be ignored and spared of any publicicity on social media.

  10. Attaching too much importance to what Owaisi says ot reacting to his anti-hindu statements is not required. He needs to be ignored and spared of any publicicity on social media. No further comments.

  11. the emphasis on religious education and cleric gives away the author’s true mindset. This is why we can never have genuine harmony within islamic and non-islamic communities

  12. It must be understood that Muslims in other parts of the country such as Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and UP etc do not see, and will not see, Muslims of Hyderabad (their presence elsewhere in Telangana and AP is not significant) led (?) by Owaisi as ‘Muslims’ who should lead them or, even attempt to ‘educate’ them on being true ‘Muslims’. Owaisi’s AIMIM will be “All India” in name only ( just like the ‘All India’ Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which, despite its title, is completely UNKNOWN outside Tamil Nadu.). Even some success in Bihar cannot change this fundamental truth.

  13. Universal support in the Islamic society across the world over the conversion of Hagia Sophia – the Byzantine era church, a splendid one – into a mosque and restarting of prayers by Erdogan speaks volumes about adherence to progressive values. On one hand, they repeatedly claim that it is strictly forbidden in Islam to convert the religious places of others into mosques and on the other they celebrate the conversion of Hagia Sophia brazenly. Mr. Owaisi’s statement regarding Hagia Sophia unmasked the regressive fundamentalist in him. Given a chance, we can be pretty sure that he would wish to convert all Hindu/Buddhist religious structures to Islamic ones.

  14. Do we still need political parties supporting and patronizing traditional religions in a world where Liberal humanism is flourishing and enriching lives of countless westerners?
    Marx correctly said that religion(faith in God or such sort) is an opium for the mass. Politicians exploit it for their political gains. Muslims or any religious groups should rather keep to themselves and themselves only. We should follow European secularism instead of American secularism. That will solve most of the problems regarding religions.

  15. I think Muslims will be better served by Owaisi then the so-called “Seculars” who promised them “Jannat” but then gave them “JAHANNUM”. If there can be a full-fledged, unapologetic Hindu Party, then why not a Muslim party? We all know the answer – Because it will disrupt the voting calculations of “Seculars”. Owaisi the most consistent anti-HINDUTVA and can never cross over to the BJP. He can rake the issues dear to the Muslims in the parliament much more efficiently. Muslims make up neary 15% of India’s population but no political party gave them even 5% of the tickets. Then, why should they settle for squats. Owaisi will also bound to the compulsion of not alienating his Hindu constituents because without them none his MPs can get elected. Also, He’ll be a way better upgrade over Rahul Gandhi. He has regular attendance in the Parliament and also he is very active on all causes.

  16. I am sure Owasi will lead muslim community to its self destruction like his forefathers did to muslims of Andhra Pradesh.

  17. neither bjp rss represent all hindus nor owaisis represents all muslims. both rss and owaissi complement each other. the fact is a vast majority of muslims believe in the democratic set up and have always chosen to align with mainstream parties in spite of being betrayed all along. a broad unity of muslims, dalits , and most backward , if not under the present political alternatives , a new one will be the ideal alternative. advent of majoritarian narrative is nothing but a reinforcement of hard savarna control , increased one and even now they control the entire economy, politcal , juridical and cultural sphere. but the bhoomi pujan and the open reference to 500 years has set the cat out of the bag. it is a definitive move towards a majoritarian hindu rashtra. the next decade will see the muslims being marginalised from everywhere and even those vast majority of dalits who have a similar treatment and the full scale demand for privatisation using pandemic as an opportunity will kill affirmative action without being pushed through in the hard way but covertly. already the gains made in the last 70 yeasrs have been compromised. we are going to witness social unrest which will be oppressed in the name of new india. the owaisis and rss bjp and its member organisation supported by media and even the judiciary to hasten this process

    • ” the fact is a vast majority of muslims believe in the democratic set up”

      Good Joke chandrasekaran. Thanks. What do you have to say about Mopla uprising and your forefathers running away throwing their lungi? did Moplas also believed in democratic set up?

  18. Let’s understand

    1) Pakistan and Bangladesh have nearly wiped out HINDUS through rape , MURDER and conversion

    2) Kashmir one part of JAMMU/ KASHMIR/LADAKH were HINDUS were in minority . Ethnic cleansing of HINDUS was carried out.

    3) continually praying and during sermons constantly being told that anybody not believing in their GOD will burn in hell is creating a situation all over the world where they feel that everyone is AGAINST them.

    4) Where ever they are in majority they start attacking each other .

    5) NO interest in education and science if it is in variance with religious beliefs.

    6) HINDUS ARE NOT INTERESTED IN CONVERSIONS. BUT WILL NOT ACCEPT CONVERSIONS BY USE OF FAKE NARRATIVE AND THREATS.

    7) It’s in India’s interest to reduce population. And bring population growth to a similar plateau among all religions equally.

  19. Good advise. Let Muslim follow it. So we have riots like pre-partition era. With Hindus under BJP & not wimpy Nehru, near civil war will only end in Muslims leaving India for good, like Rohingyas leaving Mainmar.

  20. ‘Nearly 30 crore Muslims’ This shows that right wing politicians who were getting concerned over Muslim population growth rate were not wrong after all. Is this is a veiled threat on the majority community?

    • They got scared and changed it to 17 crore now. But we know what was originally published.

      Why would you let this blatantly communal person who’s issuing veiled threats write for your website?

    • HUM DO, HAMARE PACCHEES!

      “Demographic aggression” it is called and is found in all countries where Muslims are not in a majority.

  21. Once a mosque always a mosque says Owaisi. But can we then say once a church always a church ?
    Let Owaisi question Turkey why the church Hagia Sophia built in 700 AD was converted to a mosque just a few weeks ago ?

  22. After decades of sucking, Congress gets the kick-in-the ,… at the first sign of discomfort. It looks these people will never learn. Nothing needs to justify their fundamentalist ideology nor aggression. Gandhiji tried to placate three important groups during national movement so they would join the freedom fight which did not happen. These groups, eventually became the biggest beneficiaries post independence, still are pushing their devisive agenda.

  23. Ask Owaisi to look beyond the date of demolition of the structure, what was existing before this structure — his philosophy is simple, the community has taken their share of the country and built up their own nation, now the fully adult nation has become the concubine of China; that is a different matter; now the people have left for Pakistan in 1947 or so, have left some of their own, with the clear instructions that, you guys should multiply our numbers, by hook or crook and ensure that you create a a strong base in this country, so that when the time arrives take over this country also; I would not have any objection to this policy or also the implementation of the same, take over the nation but will these guys be able to hold it with them; NO, very soon, they will stoop before the machinations of countries like China and become slaves again; Had they managed to create a jannat in Pakistan, it would be altogether an another proposition;but what do they have to show there? the message is clear, if the country goes their way, it will soon disappear into oblivion —- they have leaders like Imran or the military officials who care least about the people of the country; it is high time that people like Owaisi and others realise the fact and enjoy what they are having already — the freedom; he is so wise that he comments that Modiji is the PM of all religions, because India is a Secular Nation; True, does this apply to Modiji alone? not to anybody else? Further, owaisi said Modiji and the congress idiots and others too, said that Modiji should not attend functions related to Hindu Temples; if that is the case, are leaders of other religions not visiting the places of their Own Gods? why our PM be stopped from visiting the temple he revers and the God he believes in, totally? kuch tho bolta hai, this Owaisi; TRS leader should wake up and realise the fact that Owaisi and his ilk are like the Old Man in the Sindbad Story — who climbs upon Sindbad’s shoulders and never get down… btw, where was this guy when the mosque in the premises of the state secretariat was brought down? any deal with TRS party and its leaders? We should request our PM to do what it was done in Turkey — Church converted into a Mosque; we should emulate that Turkey, and make everything related to Hindus and Hindus alone; I think there is nothing wrong about it;

  24. “Then, they must start educating their kids on religious affairs”
    They already do, in their madrassas.

    In fact, Hindus prefer education in schools rather than religious institutions which is probably why the Hindus are more socio-economically developed than Muslims in India.

  25. Specious arguments by Mr. Kirmani.
    The Indian Muslim community’s reaction to the two momentous occasions – Ram Janmabhoomi bhoomi-pujan and conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque by Erdogan – once again laid bare the hypocrisy and double standards prevailing.
    If Mr. Owaisi’s logic of a mosque being a mosque forever is indeed to be taken seriously then the same stand must be taken on all religious structures, be they mosque or temple or church. To oppose the Ram Temple but support the conversion of Hagia Sophia – which originally was the apex church of Eastern Roman empire – into a mosque, simply shows the hollowness of Mr. Owaisi’s convictions. If he had been firm in his conviction that places of worship must not be toyed with, he would have unequivocally condemned the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Instead he wholeheartedly supported the regressive move and openly expressed his admiration for Mr. Erdogan for doing so. Speaks volumes about him and his thoughts on “secularism”.

    • for your kind information, the hagia sophia was purchased by sultan mahammed fatih after he conquered the Constantinople from the Christians, it was not forcibly converted to mosque

  26. So your day starts with ideas to checkmate Hindus instead of voting for development. Though all of these worthies said that they will accept the court decision, once the verdict is not in their favour, they are back to their original ideologies which is decimate others who is not a Muslim. You all want parties who can pamper to your whims but not deal with all citizens in equal manner. Basically, minorities should have first right to everything. Ok sir, any political party following that principle will vanish.

  27. I have never understood these Secularists. Why Owaisi who has always been a Muslim Fanatic been given so much freedom to say what ever he wants, where as in a Hindu Country you expect the community to do the Bhumi pujan whit out any noice just to appease a community. Why there is always a threat that all Muslims are against the Temple, where as no Hindu has had issues over the New Masjid Construction. This is Pure Hypocrisy and not Journalism. That’s the reason you see the Youngsters hate people like you who always Justify Mr. Owaisi and against what ever Mr. Modi says.

  28. YUSUF KIRMANI
    You are entitled to your views but this attitude hurts Indian Muslims the most. If Congress has to survive, it has to be practical. Opposing Bhoomi poojan does not help anyone, certainly not the Muslims. Owaisee is also right, the dark history of illegal demolition cannot be erased easily, for that secular forces have to survive.

  29. Muslims of India got a country for themselves in 1947.
    Why do they want more of India?
    Will they rest only when all other communities of India have been wiped out?

  30. The sorry plight of Indian muslims has been brought about by voting for regional parties like SP/Mayawati/RJD. Voting for another regional party like Owaisi is only going to benefit the BJP due to counter polarisation. No way can Owaisi hope to win in any non-Muslim majority seat. If Muslims keep voting for Owaisi, they will only be replacing one regional party with another. They will continue to have no voice in national politics.

    RG having Muslim support in North India is rubbish. If he did, the Congress would have come second in many seats in UP-Bihar-W. Bengal in 2019. The congress got large Muslim support in only one state in 2019 – Kerala. And that support allowed them to sweep the state. If Muslims want the BJP replaced, they have only one realistic party they can support – the Congress. Supporting Owaisi/AAP/Mayawati/SP is all a waste of votes.

  31. Indian Arabs have shown there true face once again.

    There are 30000 community centers built over mandirs which are Unislamic as per the tribal religion.

    Secondly any prayers offered is not kabool by tribal religion.

    Thirdly all these community centers were built by turks mongols irani who are not of the soil.

    If the Indian Arabs want to celebrate ghazi ghouri taimur babar Aurangzeb abdali then they are for rude awakening.

    Bharat is going to be long slow bumpy ride for these Arabs.

    These Indian Arabs should check asi report by bb lal and kk muhammad before saying it was a community center and it will remain community center.

  32. DEMOLITION OF BABRI MASJID JUSTIFIED SEPERATION OF PAKISTAN. NOW INDIAN MUSLIMS HAVE TO JOIN POLITICALLY TO VOICE THEIR OPNION.

    • You got it the other way around. The creation of Pakistan justified the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Anyway, what are you complaining about. Thousands of temples destroyed and just one mosque that too after a thousand years. This should have been done in 1947.

    • Non Muslims were discriminated during partition. They had only one country to choose whereas Muslims were given two countries to choose which one they want to live in… Islam came to India through invaders. the role models and leaders of non-Muslims and Muslims are quite opposite. if they want separate state , our leaders should’ve made sure all Muslims left India to make sure no more civil-war like situation in future.. that was a big blunder.
      the so called religion of peace consider their religion is fist and foremost than anything else. they glorify laden, they glorify bagdadi they glorify saddam…
      look at Pakistan who hide laden for years.

  33. The author wrote “So, on 5 August, nearly 30 crore Muslims of India found their voice in Owaisi.” Are there 30 crore Muslims in India? If India’s population is 135 crore, that makes it 22.2%. Have Muslims grown from 8.9% in 1951 to 22.2% now?

  34. The writer should assume the leadership of his community and persuade them to give up the possession of Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and the Mosque adjacent to Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura. Ram Mandir is going to be built as per judgment of the Apex Court delivered after hearing exhaustive arguments, not by the dictat of a president like Erdogan who converted Church/museum into Mosque.

  35. Since Yusuf you are a Muslim, you do not have open mind but leaning Muslim way.If ,muslims are still worrying about Babri there is more musjid’s to be torn down in India.You can dance all you can but Hindu rashtra completion is coming. JAI HIND.

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