People are very much worried on the situation of Hyderabad. One needs to understand critically as what is happening in Hyderabad? Are the prevailing conditions due to spread of communalism, dirty politics, and political games of all the parties or anything else? There is a need also to look back and understand the previous political conditions as well as the sufferings of the common people of Hyderabad especially Muslims.
In brief the situation of Hyderabad reflects the political conditions of Andhra Pradesh. These conditions are the indication of some major changes in the Andhra Pradesh politics. The supremos of all the political parties started their political yatras to protect their vote bank from others. These yatras have to be understood in proper sense; it has nothing to do with the people. But it shows that the leaders are themselves in trouble. Let us understand each political party and their actions one by one. First of all after the death of Rajshekhar Reddy, Jagan Reddy taking up ‘Odarpu Yatra’ (console tour) and later declaring a new political party (YSRCP), Chandrababu Naidu touring the state on the name of, “Vastunna Mee Kosam” (I am coming for you), KCR’s political campaign, then intensifying of communal hatred for the last one year by the Hindu Vahini in the city, Bhagyalakshmi temple and Charminar issue and finally Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) role and last but not the least the conditions of Muslims.
One should not forget that it was during the tenure of Rajshekhar Reddy, that hundreds of innocent youths were picked up, illegally detained and inhumanly tortured. His government never apologized for its discrimination against Muslims and no politician dared to question the target of Muslims by his police. The Muslim youths and their families who suffered the torture better know who was with them in their bad times. Also one should not forget that it was during his period itself that a Muslim family was burnt to death by the Hindutva forces in Vatoli and till date justice has not been done to their family. And a Pharmacy student Ayesha Meera was murdered brutally in the hostel by the mafia gang who were involved in human trafficking. Even to this family no justice has been done till date. The members of these two families allege that it was their curse that Rajshekhar Reddy died such death and the same will also happen to the politicians whom they approached for justice and were kicked out of their offices.
After the death of his father, Jagan Reddy wanted to become Chief Minister, and to show his political power he started the so called ‘Odarpu Yatra’ (Console tour). When he was denied the CM post, he declared his own political party. Though there are serious corruption charges against him, still his family members are campaigning for him to gain votes and innocent people are being made fools for their political gains.
Among various issues Chandrababu Naidu felt lost and in greed of gaining back power he started Padyatra, “Vastunna Mee Kosam” (I am coming for you). Let us not forget that it was in his tenure that farmers suffered tremendously as he concentrated only on making Hyderabad city, the Hi-tech city and shifted all the government offices from old city to newer areas. Till date he has not apologized to Muslims for his support to a party that has a role in the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat. Now he speaks of giving reservations to Muslims if he comes to power. But there is nominal presence of Muslims in his party. One should also need to remember that it was in his tenure that Muslims were killed in the name of encounters. Why did he form a special cell comprising of encounter specialists and anti-Muslim police officers to spy on Muslims? During his period itself nexus developed between Gujarat and Hyderabad police. Why was he silent on it? Why were the Muslim youths arrested and handed over to Gujarat police on the false allegations of killing Haren Pandya? When hundreds of Muslim youths were illegally detained, tortured and arrested on the name of investigation of Makkah Masjid blast in the year 2007, why did he refuse to raise voice against the atrocities towards Muslims in the Assembly? The Muslim leaders of his party are the witnesses. Raja Singh and Srinivas Rao are his party councilors who perpetrate violence in the city. Why Naidu did not take any action against them? Why did Chandrababu Naidu remained silent on the brutal rape and murder of a Muslim student Ayesha Meera in Vijayawada? Instead of providing relief to her parents he used them in campaign during 2009 elections. Muslims need to question on the secular claims of Chandrababu Naidu. In what way he claims to be secular?
Coming to KCR, he is a big political gambler, he knows well where to jump at what time and whom to blame when. On the name of Telangana he is ditching innocent people. The condition is that whoever questions him is seen as anti-Telanganite. Though on one side he speaks of giving 12% reservation to Muslims after the formation of Telangana, in practice he is opposite of what he claims. It was he and the TJAC responsible for the defeat of a Muslim candidate at Mahboobnagar. It was KCR and his party members responsible for the defeat of MLC seat in Hyderabad to a senior member of his party only because he is a Muslim. He allied with a communal party on the name of unity for Telangana. The communal forces became strong only after the movement for separate Telangana started and TRS is responsible for this. A number of attacks took place on Muslims during these three years period of Telangana movement. The real faces of Hindutva minded and communal people who were wearing the masks of secularism are exposed in the process of Telangana movement. The TRS party though looks serious of achieving Telangana statehood, is not such. Therefore, it has announced that it would be taking part in the coming elections with the reason that political power is increased else Telangana statehood cannot be achieved. In fact the intentions of KCR are something else! However we can guarantee that even after it increases its strength in power politics, still the condition of Telangana will be the same, the innocent people will be ditched again and again in various ways, lot more innocent people will die and the people who are interested in politics will be gaining power on the name of Telangana.
Coming to the recent conditions that are prevailing in the Hyderabad; The Bhagyalakshmi temple that is situated adjacent to the heritage site Charminar is being expanded year by year on the name of renovation on the occasion of Deepawali festival. It is a known fact that a small stone was kept at the corner of a pillar to protect it from damage by the moving vehicles, in due course the stone was developed into a worshipping stone and came to be first known as Maisamma temple, and slowly the Marwari community living around this area grabbed and named it as Bhagyalakshmi temple. But the historical facts say that the first floor of Charminar is a Masjid and the second floor is a Madarsa. But after the formation of Andhra Pradesh, the first and second floors were ceased. At that time Muslims were under suppression due to Police Action due to which no one raised their voice against the move of the government. In the present conditions, if one looks at it in broader sense, this issue is not at all a religious issue. In the rules of Archeological department it is clearly mentioned that no construction can take place in and around 100 meters of any heritage site. With this it is clear that any construction should not take place near Charminar because that may pose threat to the heritage site. In fact, to show off their religious supremacy over the state, the political parties created the present conditions but overall it could be said that it is Hindutva hegemony. If the state, the police and the citizens are really concerned of the city, its culture, peace and harmony, then this should not become a religious or a political issue. In the larger interest of the state and its citizens the illegal construction should be removed and the monument should be protected.
For Hyderabad politicians and the ruling class this issue is not a new one. The politicians who suddenly stood for the protection of the monument, where were they when the expansion is happening for the last few decades, why did they not speak or take any action since then, what is the reason that suddenly they realized that this monument should be protected at any cost? One should understand this in political terms. For these political leaders, it is neither the love for religion, nor the love for heritage monument; it is purely for their political benefits. The people of Andhra Pradesh especially Hyderabadis very well know that whenever there was a need to change the Chief Minister, communal violence was created and it is always the political parties who instigated it. One such example is during Channa Reddy’s tenure.
The Muslim political party that has taken sudden stand and named P.V. Narsimha Rao and Kiran Reddy as communal, and also that Chandrababu Naidu has not done anything and killed Muslims in encounters, then why does it not mention what happened during the tenure of Rajshekhar Reddy? When it speaks of chances of it going with Jagan Reddy, will the Muslims accept this decision? If the Muslim party is really concerned with the Muslims and their welfare, then it should also understand that no ally can take place with the party or the people who are communal and deeply corrupted. MIM’s taking back its support to the state & central government is a big drama. Why did it not take the same decision when Babri Masjid was demolished; when hundreds of Muslim youths were illegally detained and tortured; when a Muslim family was burnt to death alive?
The decision of the Muslim Front is also shocking to the common Muslims. The person who is such deeply corrupted, can the Muslims ally with him at any point of time? Such a tragedy for the Muslims! The Muslims have become helpless and worried with the kind of politics that are being played and their human and civil rights suppressed. The common Muslims have always suffered due to the dirty politics of their leaders. Even when there is stronghold of Muslim leaders in Hyderabad, still hundreds of Muslim youths are picked up, put in jails and many have disappeared. Muslims have suffered due to almost all the parties, whether it maybe Congress, TDP, BJP, TRS or MIM. Their condition has not improved inspite of their leaders in power. Therefore, there is a need to understand the dirty politics of our leaders and do not make our memory short and when these leaders come to beg for our votes, we should be able to question them and make answerable for their actions and make them realize that we are not just vote bank for them.
Kaneez Fathima is Jt. Secretary, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad