Unwanted political shrillness
The nation unfortunately has to squander away tonnes of newsprint and a number of hours on television channels on the unwarranted and totally undesirable comments made by the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi. In fact, the acrimonious debate that followed the controversial remarks by the Member of Parliament has ultimately served the purpose of the person
The nation unfortunately has to squander away tonnes of newsprint and a number of hours on television channels on the unwarranted and totally undesirable comments made by the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi. In fact, the acrimonious debate that followed the controversial remarks by the Member of Parliament has ultimately served the purpose of the person who made such irresponsible remarks.
The MIM leader known for his erudite comprehension made such explosive comments in a bid to reap publicity for his political mission to expand to the national politics. Obviously, political parties joined the chorus of political shrillness, each in accordance with its calculated strategies. The end result: pepped up emotions at the cost of peace and tranquility.
The MIM chief is correct when he argues that the Constitution of India does not mandate anyone to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai. But, as distinguished poet Javed Akhtar said in his farewell speech in parliament, the Constitution also does not ask him to wear a sherwani and a cap; the Constitution certainly mandates every Indian to be loyal to India’s sovereignty. One can express his or her patriotism in the manner he or she deems it fit.
But, a deliberate statement that he will not chant such a slogan unnecessarily creates an impression of expression of disloyalty to the nation. Indians do not recite the National Anthem every day. For that, none would brand them unpatriotic. But, anyone who makes a statement that he or she will not recite National Anthem will be considered by the people as anti-national. Therefore, the controversial remarks are undesirable.
One may or may not chant a particular slogan. But, an assertion that one is against chanting it is reprehensible. Such comments would only provide political fodder to the adversaries. Perhaps, that may be the intention as everybody loves a polarised polity. The MIM leader has a grand plan to expand his party beyond Hyderabad. Barring Kerala, Assam and Hyderabad, Muslim vote primarily rallies behind secular parties.
Owaisi sees an apt opportunity in this to catapult MIM from that of a Mohalla party to a national party. Despite bitter experience in recent Bihar elections, Owaisi has stakes in the ensuing Assembly polls, especially in Uttar Pradesh. This shrewd politician is, therefore, on a dual strategy of appealing to his constituency of electorate by belligerently responding to the controversial statements of some Sangh Parivar leaders and triggering debate through his own controversial statements.
The latest remarks are only part of this publicity mission. The Congress which had a decade-long deal with MIM suddenly sees as objectionable the politics of Owaisi. This is because of the nervousness in the party over the possibility of MIM cutting into its Muslim minority vote. The reactions of Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) etc., are also stemming out of similar fears over Owaisi’s national political mission.
The parties which long enjoyed the strategic voting in the face of BJP’s offensive are obviously jittery. Neither the nation as a whole nor the Muslims of India, in particular, benefit from this hullabaloo. Protracted wrangling over this controversy would only hurt the democratic and secular fabric of India.