The problem with deeming Owaisi as a savior for Indian Muslims

By Lal Khan Pathan

Not only does Nizam Pasha provide sound legal advice to MP Asaduddin Owaisi, but the Delhi-based lawyer also wields a deft pen. Creatively capped off with a maqta (the last two lines of a ghazal containing the poet’s name—see below) from Mirza Ghalib’s evergreen Ghazal, Ah ko Chahiye Ek Umr Asar Hone Tak, the attorney wrote quite the glowing op-ed on the AIMIM party chief for The Indian Express.

Gham-e-hasti ka ‘Asad’ kis se ho juz marg ilaaj
Shamma har rang me jalti hai sahar hone tak
(There is no cure for the sorrow that is your existence, Asad
like a lamp, you are destined to burn in every circumstance until dawn appears)

Though he does raise valid points about the shrinking space for secular politics and its flagbearers. Pre and post-1947, the Indian National Congress (INC) too has a checkered past on pluralism. Pasha does also cite a prominent post-independence Congress Muslim figure’s apprehensions about the INC — just seven years before the partition that further fractured the subcontinent on communal lines. Though not a mass leader and more of an intellectual one, India’s first Education Minister expressed the inability of his party to make their stand clear on secularism.

Echoing those who lambasted the London-educated barrister for being the BJP’s B-team, Pasha too believes that like any other political party, it is merely carving out a political space for itself. That too, after being shunned by regional and national parties alike. Supplemented with some Urdu versification, well-reasoned historical arguments, and a sketch of a hyper-polarized communal landscape courtesy of true, Pasha just stops short of painting Salaar-e-Millat Jr. as a messianic figure for Indian Muslims.

Though after reading the op-ed, one thinks probably that certain verses from Habib Jalib’s nazm titled Musheer (Advisor) would have been more apt. Pakistani poet Habib Jalib reportedly penned this poem after meeting Hafeez Jalandhari who then told the Hoshiarpur, (East) Punjab-born poet about how busy he became after becoming an Advisor to Military Dictator Ayub Khan. Musheer went onto become into a sarcastic take on how the advisor and people help deify a leader.

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Tu Khuda ka noor hai, aql hai shoor hai,
Qaum tere saath hai, tere hi wajood se mulk ke nijaat hain

(You are the light of God, wisdom and knowledge personified
The nation is with you, it is only through your grace, that the nation can be saved

Of course, Owaisi must also his get a fair share of his advice from Mr. Pasha, his lawyer.

Considering the plight of the various Bihari and Bengali, Muslims and those who swore to represent them as per the country’s secular constitution, the MIM might appear as a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yet there is something intrinsically precarious about implying the MIM as a panacea for all the ills of Indian Muslims.

It is one thing for the party to expand its base beyond its traditional bastion of Hyderabad. Though doing so via campaigning to Muslims up North solely based on their present-day vulnerability by complementing the BJP-Sangh’s firebrand rhetoric is problematic. That too, without any track record on the home front or Maharashtra.

Plus, the image of the MIM curated by the cult-personality of the Lincoln’s Inn Barrister at cultural spaces, elite English-speaking circles, Lok Sabha sessions, and media panels projected is a far cry from ground reality. Places like Old City, Chandrayangutta, and Barkas serve as Exhibits A, B, and, C for a sullied track record on development.

Role of Hate speeches

The caste system in Hindus which kept them divided for centuries is now been consolidated into a Hindu vote bank all over the country.

Many many thanks to tireless work of Muslims political and Religious leaders who are are not fully but partly responsible in consolidating caste driven Hindu society behind BJP/RSS .

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Majority of Hate speeches are given in Nukkad corner meeting attended by not even 100/200 people by Muslim leaders but the social media cell of RSS and BJP makes videos of these inflammatory speeches and shared among crores of innocent hindu people.

In last Uttar Pradesh and Bihar election at least 2/3 hate videos speeches are bombarded among the hapless public and according to our sources each speeches reaches around /2/3 crores phone .
Jhoot saw (100 )bar bole vo sach lagne lagti hai
Go on repeating lies 100 times it become truth

Though does Owaisi have the means to project and window-dress his supposed accomplishments in those constituencies during the upcoming elections? If so, can it do so like Modi’s huge PR and IT Cell machinery that has touted the present-day Prime Minister and his famed Gujarat Model from 2002 till the present-day?

If not, Salaar-e-Millat Jr.’s antics are further bringing together what has had a hard time coalescing — the diverse and fragmented that is the Hindu vote bank.

Even if he does not, the Hindu BJP vs. Muslim MIM is enough for both to gain traction.
Hindu fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists both grow together.
For both followers of these folks Jalib’s line below sums up their reverence towards Narendra Modi and Asaduddin Owaisi.

Tu hai mehr-e-subh-e-nau, tere baad raat hai
(You are he light of a new morning, after you there is only night)

And any naysayers of these two figures can be described with the following verse as well.

Bolte jo chand hai, sab yeh shar-pasand hai
(The few who speak out are all trouble makers)

Lal Khan Pathan is a political analyst based in Dubai

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