The Uttar Pradesh booked a newly-elected municipal corporator in Aligarh Musharraf Husain for taking his oath in Urdu with the “malicious intent of outraging religious sentiment”.
Not only was he booked, he was also beaten and assaulted by BJP councilors after he took oath in Urdu. A complaint was filed against Husain, who is a BSP corporator by BJP corporator Pushpendra Kumar in the Banna Devi police station.
Pushpendra Kumar alleged that because Husain took his oath in Urdu, “a possibility of breakdown of law and order”. He also said that all the other members took their oath in Hindi, so by taking the oath in Urdu, they hurt the religious sentiments of other people present there.
The police registered a case against Mr. Husain under section 295 A of the IPC (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
What Husain said
“This case is clearly an instance of political vendetta and bullying. They want to communalise even Urdu which is symbolic of our syncretic culture. Urdu is not related to any religious. So my taking oath in Urdu does not provoke or hurt anyone’s religious feelings,” Husain told The Hindu.
He further said that India being a secular democracy cannot make it illegal to take oath in Urdu. He showed the rulebook and said that there are 22 official languages in the constitution and an oath can be taken in any of the language. Urdu is one of the official language. Hindi and Urdu are the official languages of Uttar Pradesh.
According to Jitendra, the Inspector of the police station, charges against Husain are “non-bailable” and he can be arrested again. He said that after Husain took the oath in Urdu, BJP and BSP supporters engaged in quarrels and fights and hence, the police had to step in and take action.
The Logical Indian Take
Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharati in 2014 took oath in Sanskrit. Nobody made a hue and cry over that. That is also not the point. The point is, when did language become religious? Why did the BJP members beat him up for taking the oath in Urdu, more so when it is not illegal? How can a language hurt somebody’s religious sentiments?