Carry on Mr Owaisi, you are a genuine secular leader

published on January 13, 2013

The way the system works here, it is difficult to think Akbaruddin Owaisi will be ever be punished for uttering those hateful words, laments Tarun Vijay

Finally, Akbaruddin Owaisi, the fragrance of whose wisdom has so far been confined to the city that had seen the violent rise of Razakars before Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ordered General J N Chaudhry to abort the Nizam of Hyderabad’s dreams of joining Pakistan, has succeeded in getting his share of national fame.

The usual sirens of secularism and the noise factories of peace, candlelight marchers and harmony providers with their ‘punish Varun (Gandhi)’ and ‘hang (Narendra) Modi’ missions are silent on Owaisi’s hate-play. In fact, they must be rejoicing that a new baby has arrived to join their exclusive secular ranks. Celebrate!!

At a time when the Hindu organisations are busy washing their dirty linen in public and others are busy settling kitchen matters, it is obvious that the headlines will focus on some semi-literate and ill-informed small-town noise-makers. Owaisi forgot how Sardar Patel, the ideal of Narendra Modi [ Images ], silenced the treacherous Razakars in one swift move and all those bravehearts were found running to their nearest safe-holes.

He also doesn’t know that hate politics is taking its toll on mostly Muslims the world over as more Muslims are being killed by Muslims than anyone else. He should use his abilities to save at least his hapless and forlorn Muslims in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Palestine.

The false pride in theological extremism doesn’t help. It hasn’t helped anyone belonging to any colour or shade. See how boastful Tikka Khan was about Islamic power. And how the Islamised forces surrendered before us on December 16, 1971. It is pluralism and a healthy attitude of tolerance, nay, acceptance of the other viewpoint as honourable and true that makes a nation move ahead and society progress. Wherever blind opposition to the other viewpoint has prevailed, it has brought only darkness and barbarism of the middle ages.

Owaisi must address the issues of backwardness, girls’ education and empowerment and illiteracy in his community. That should be his first priority rather than befooling his people with fake bravado that means nothing at the ground level. The savage demolishers never achieve any purpose. In spite of demolishing Buddha at Bamiyan, the teachings of Buddha remain as relevant and alive as ever but the Taliban [ Images ] have been dustbinned by every civil country.

So has been our history that made Iqbal (I am sure Owaisi has never heard his name) to say — Kuch Baat Hai Ki Hasti Mit tee Nahin hamaari, there is something unique in us that we have survived all the vicissitudes of time, and he declared Ram as the Imam-e-Hind. The demolishers have vanished but we have still kept alive the thousands of years-old traditions in our homes and are always on the path of victory and peace and not on the path of homicide and fratricidal wars.

For the last several centuries, only members of the Hindu community and other faiths born in India [ Images ] have continuously faced the savagery of either foreign invaders or of alienated minds. More than three thousand Hindu temples were destroyed and mosques built on the sites of destroyed temples, including in Kashi, Ayodhya and Mathura and the Qutub Minar — which in fact is the Quwwatul en Islam mosque, (the power of Islam) — as is declared by an information board put up there by the Archaeological Survey of India.Â

The books secular writers wrote mentioned Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna and Indian freedom-fighters in derogatory terms. Spreading Hindu philosophy is contemptuously called ‘forced Hinduisation’ but those who convert Hindus to their faith through various deceitful means are welcomed as freedom providers from the bondage of castiesm and backwardness.

The entire northeast saw the rise of extreme Christianity that advocated separation from India and supported violent insurgent groups like the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah and others. But the seculars saw in it a movement of indigenous peoples’ struggle and a brave campaign to civilise the local population. Any incident that brought Hindus under the sword of the assaulters was simply ignored with an insult it didn’t deserve, or the blame of Hindu slaughter was put on the shoulders of Hindu leaders alone.

When Kashmir [ Images ] saw the world’s most horrendous exodus of Hindus, the honourable secular writers, with all the seriousness they could muster, wrote that it was a drama enacted at the direction of then governor Jagmohan to badnaam (give a bad name) to Muslims.

Those jihadis facing murder charges for killing Indian Air Force personnel and their children are respectfully invited to participate in chat shows of objective TV channels and their pictures are displayed on the frontpages of the secular print media, along with the anti-India diatribe coming out of their mouths.Â

But when Chakma Buddhists and Reang Hindus are forced to leave their home and hearth, from Mizoram and Nagaland, these are simply treated as unmentionable incidents.

Godhra, oh Godhra! It was declared that it was a crime committed by Hindus and their leaders — that kar sevaks ‘orchestrated’ the burning of 59 Hindu women, children and the old, ‘to create an atmosphere for the killing Muslims’. Remember those reports of the seculars? They may tell lies, white lies and lies of all colours to support their arguments. Like the Ahmedabad [ Images ] — pregnant Muslim woman burnt alive by Hindus story. And their ilk can do no wrong.

The man who sort of justified the gruesome genocide of three thousand Sikhs by saying, ‘when a big tree falls, the earth shakes’, is awarded the Bharat Ratna. The other man who showed through his world acclaimed acumen that Hindus and Muslims can develop together and achieve the highest rate of growth is given the ‘most hated person of the century award’ by seculars, just because he belongs to the Hindu family.

Almost every second round-about in New Delhi [ Images ] have illegally built dargahs. And soon all such dargahs turn into mosques, against, as far as Islamic scholars tell me, the strict dictates of Islam. You will even find them at the main gate of the Election Commission, the defence ministry, airports and outside Parliament.

And they run secular businesses from their dargahs — xerox, STD-ISD services, fax, and several other offices of their children and friends are located there. The garden around them in the round-about is maintained by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation. They get power supply and all the facilities provided by the government.

Just touch them or demand their relocation and you will be roasted alive by the secular TV channels on their prime time shows and declared as the most rabid anti-Muslim.

So much is the pressure from such secular media houses that nationalist parties, when in power, express an enthusiasm to demolish hundreds of pavement temples in order to show they are not communal. One such huge temple was demolished just opposite my former office in Jhandewala in New Delhi during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s [ Images ] rule.

So pavement dargahs can’t be touched even if the public is inconvenienced, the law is broken and traffic is affected. But the bridge that Rama built, Ram Sethu [ Images ], can be destroyed to make way for ships.

Seculars have suggested putting up an ‘all-faith centre’ at the Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya to increase the levels of mutual love, harmony and understanding. It simply means allowing Muslims and Christians to pray at a site of Hindu faith.

But when a small Bhagyalaksmi temple, an old creation, is found to be situated at Charminar, which is not a religious structure, in a city that also belongs to Mr Owaisi, it is suggested that the temple be shifted.

‘Why on earth should this small, ugly-looking temple be situated close to a structure much revered by Muslims,’ asked a secular writer.

Now, this temple and the “structure much revered by the Muslims” are not considered as one which may increase levels of mutual love!

So carry on Mr Owaisi. The way the system works here, it is difficult to think you will be ever be punished for uttering those hateful words. Even if you get a symbolic reprimand, that is going to further increase your stature as a genuine secular leader.

(Tarun Vijay is a member of the Rajya Sabha; member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs; national spokesperson of the BJP; and honorary director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation )

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