March 17th, 2016
Image Source: etemaaddaily
Owaisi had come out and said he would never say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, which has indirectly resulted in the expulsion of his party’s MLA in Maharashtra. The jury is out and it is up to all Indians to decide if patriotism and nationalism could be gauged by slogans. Let us not get into that right now, let us look into how and why non-sensical and irrelevant speeches of him occupy the public space for debates and the repercussions of it.
Today Owaisi for many has become synonymous with the minority Muslim community much to the angst of many Muslims themselves. Whoever thinks Owaisi is the voice of Indian Muslims, they are both right and wrong.
Why are they right?
Right because of the fact that he is a Lok Sabha member elected by the people and the constituency where he won from are largely Muslim voters, people who voted for him are partly responsible for the loose cannons he seems to unleash at will. The voters of his constituency should answer, why such a polarising and narrow-minded politician continues to win? If he is indeed representatives of the Muslims, how effective and how vocal has he been of the issues which Muslims face today i.e poverty, lack of education, access to health care, access to credit facilities, insurance and a whole lot of things which one could detail from the Sachar Committee report (A report which detailed the dire social and economic conditions of Indian Muslims). Has there been any positive developments on these issues due to his intervention? Highly doubtful.
Why are they wrong?
Owaisi has repeatedly tried to place himself as a face of Muslims in various states only to get dumped by the very voters he had tried to woo with symbolism and passionate speeches. It is overwhelmingly true that Owaisi has been rejected by Muslims in many states the recent one being Bihar.
What really matters to Indian Muslims?
A simple survey among Muslims would reveal, the most pressing issues they face is literacy, poor education, independence of women, health care. It is not “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. It is a dangerous precedent which Owaisi has set where he seems to be highjacking the Muslim voice for his personal benefits only to fuel the distrust between communities. A distrust which has only been harmful to both the communities who are living their lives in harmony.
Robbing of a community’s voice
Owaisi is a parliamentarian who India does not need and especially for Indian Muslims. Despite garnering only a few percentage of the Muslim vote, he continues to become the face of the Indian Muslims much to the wish of headline thirsty media. The Indian Muslims already are in the midst of a perception crisis, it is up to Indian Muslims of Owaisi’s constituency to set that perception right through the ballot box. It has become quite evident that Owaisi has only harmed or worsened that perception than bettering it.
Don’t fall into the trap of polarisation
Indian Hindus and Muslims are potential victims of loose cannons who claim to represent their representative community. They should not fall into the trap of accusing each other of their loose cannons, that would exactly what the loose cannon politicians want. stick together and purge them out by raising your voice, by voting for the candidate who would genuinely represent people’s needs and aspirations.
The Logical Take
Let politics be fought based on issues that affect us on a daily basis, roads, railways, electricity and many more. The more the politics of irrelevance occupies the public debate, the slower our pace of development. It is on this note, I would say we could do away with politicians like Owaisi who has done his big part in keeping the public debate away from the issues that matter besides harming the communal harmony of the country and in harming the perception of Indian Muslims among other communities.