New Delhi: A leader who’s built his entire career on the politics of animosity, false victimhood spread through aggressive communal slogans; he is now, with the help of his powerful friends in media, trying to swivel into a smiling secular statesman. Question remains whether this will be successful, or will people see through this charade?

Within the last few decades, Indian Muslims have made the same mistake repeatedly by choosing the wrong leaders. Because of the narrative aided by powerful media spinners, Indian Muslims have been made to feel that only those who wear burqas or a skull cap can be trusted to respect their wants and needs. They are now putting their faith on an autocratic English-speaking megalomaniac who preaches empty lessons on democracy but knows nothing beyond self-interest. He is just another poster-boy for hypocrisy who panders to the insecurity created among the Muslims. The Muslims in India have always made this error in typecasting of their faith in such leaders which have increased a perception of alienation, while other communities continue to treat elements like Owaisi as the fringe rather than mainstream. A good example is how Mr. Modi admonished Sadhvi Pragya Thakur after her controversial statements.

Let us now break into this enigma of divisive politics of Asaduddin Owaisi:

After the delimitation of constituencies in 2008 and Vikarabad, Tandur and Chevella got excluded from the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat, Asaduddin’s party only won those seats because he could communalize the Muslim population which was at 65 per cent.

So, how does the Owaisi brother try to maintain the unwavering support of the Muslims? They do so by creating a fabricated enemy among those who like Indian Muslim love this country. Their speeches have created this artificial fear and paranoia in a few within the Muslim community making them a ready fodder for violent protests.

Akbaruddin Owaisi is particularly notorious for communal hate speeches:

1.      In 2007, he had threatened to behead Tasleema Nasreen.

2.      In 2011 he addressed our former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao with words like katil (murderer), darinda (monster), beimaan (dishonest), dhokebaaz (cheat), and chor (thief) and that he would have killed Rao himself if he were alive.

3.      In 2012 he said, "Where all did Ram's mother go wandering and where did she give birth to him?".

4.      In 2012, he said, "What is this new name Bhagyalakshmi, never heard of her. The Bhagya also shakes and Lakshmi also falls down."

5.      He also said, “25 crore Muslims would need just 15 minutes without the police to show 100 crore Hindus who is more powerful.”

He is a repeat offender who works inciting people to indulge in violence. Even after all this, they are still able to convince a few Muslims that AIMIM will save them from the clutches of this imaginary enemy. He fuels their raw passion and keeps the communal tension alive.

However, all their promises for development are empty. They have convinced the people of old Hyderabad that they are safe and living in peace all due to AIMIM but they live in almost inhumane conditions with rare water supply, electricity and poor condition of sanitation and roads. While the new city is beaming with development, the old city is being pushed further down the junction. If we follow any of Owaisi’s campaign videos, we can see him pleading for votes in the dingy streets in return of false emancipation that he promises them.

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Owaisi brothers have also openly expressed their support to terrorist Yakub Memon, when he was hanged. While they have condemned ISIS, Asaduddin had promised legal help to the three Hyderabad youth who were arrested for being a part of ISIS, just a few years ago. Rumour has it that Hyderabad has become a shelter for the illegal Rohingyas who have allegedly found refuge under the Owaisi brothers.

Asaduddin Owaisi’s defence to those who criticize his Islamist politics is that they have rejected the two-nation theory of Jinnah and are proud Muslims of India. However, he contradicts this statement when he asks for special privileges for being a Muslim in India. He always labels his brand of politics as secular and those who are pro-India as bigots.

Even during this recent agitation, we have seen Asaduddin inciting violence and creating unnecessary paranoia among the people. When the country is cooling down a little from these violent protests against the CAA, leaders like Asaduddin are continuously stoking and igniting fear among citizens. Despite the government repeatedly trying to calm the situation down by busting the myths around CAA, perhaps it is leaders like Asaduddin who under the garbs of secularism, satisfy their personal agendas through the suffering of the common man.

I hope that the Indian Muslims can truly see through this man and his brand of politics before it’s too late. 

About Abhinav Khare

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News Network and also the host of a daily show named Deep Dive with AK. He has a lifetime collection of books and gadgets and has already pinged more than hundred cities around the globe. 

He is a tech entrepreneur, who is passionate about policy, technology, economy and philosophy from ancient India. He earned an MS Engineering from the ETH Zurich and an MBA Finance from the London Business School.