By TCN Staff Reporter,
Hyderabad: Breaking his silence for the first time on the alleged hate speech controversy of his brother and legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi, Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi addressed a mammoth gathering of MIM supporters last night at Tandur town 125 km away from Hyderabad.
MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was widely condemned for his remarks in a speech in December which can cause enmity between Hindus and Muslims. MP Asad Owaisi had so far not commented on this issue.
All the MIM elected legislators and high profile religious leaders from all the factions turned up for the meeting as a show of support and unity under the banner of United Muslim Action Committee. The venue of the meeting, main Eidgah of Tandur was packed to its limits by local Muslims.
(from L to R) D. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbaruddin Owaisi in Sept 2011. [TCN file photo]
MIM president, who was the last speaker of the meeting, titled Halat-e-Hazera(current affairs) in the very beginning of his speech, threw a bomb shell by targeting his critics and said ‘Humare pe ilzam lagate ke hum jazbati taqreer kartein, Haan bilkul jazbati taqreer karte kyounke hum ‘zindah qaum’ ki nomayandagi karte ‘gongoun’ ki nahi’ (We have been accused of giving emotional speeches, yes for sure we give passionate speeches because we represent an alive community not deaf people).
Asaduddin Owaisi, who is generally very vocal in news channel debate rooms on Muslim issues, was absent from media sight after the controversy of his brother, Akabruddin Owaisi’s speech broke out.
Clarifying his absence in media he said, “News rooms now a days has become court rooms, where journalists are giving judgments. They always ask you question saying that you are answerable to your community. We thought rather than joining this semi court rooms we should directly approach our community to present our case.”
Senior Owaisi, in his speech on occasions, targeted ruling Congress government by presenting the alleged losses which Congress government has caused to the state. He then got back to the burning issue of hate speech. He said that Indians, it seems, have double standards in evaluating hate speeches. Right wing Hindu extremists are involved in numerous incidents of hate speeches against Muslims and they get away easily and when his brother countered them, MIM became group of ISI agents and his brother is being termed as LeT operative, he said.
Echoing the tunes of his younger brother which got him into trouble, senior Owaisi didn’t let lose the chance to annoy his brother’s critics by referring some parts of his brother’s controversial speech in his own speech. He tried being comical, indirectly, by referring to the beef feasting and BJP supporters burning themselves according to Hindu tradition in jealousy.
Taking a dig at BJP on its demand to ban Majlis, MIM president said if political parties are started to be getting banned for their character and ethics, then BJP will be the first in the nation to get outlawed. He gave the example of how BJP and Sangh activists stand accused in major terror strikes in the nation, including Mecca Masjid blast and Samjhauta Express blast.
Mentioning several times in his speech that the matter of his brother’s speech is now sub-judice so he will not get into the debate on the content of the speech, but added that no political party has right to judge the secular credentials of MIM.
He gave the example of Telangana all party meeting, where the MIM delegation had a ‘backward caste’ Hindu, while the delegation of other seven political parties of the state only consisted of higher caste Hindus, not a single Dalit let alone a Muslim, was given an opportunity in the ‘secular parties,’ he alleged. He said no political party in Andhra Pradesh can claim to be a true secular one.
MIM president said his party is not afraid of any one and they respect the rule of law, he said his brother will face the law of the land and they are not among people who will get into hiding due to some threats. Senior Owaisi was clearly referring to a local BJP leader who announced bounty on Akbar’s head in a live TV debate.
Owaisi, in his speech, also constantly made fun of YouTube and its use. Even when In-charge Police Officer of the venue tried to stop Asaduddin Owaisi as the permitted time was 10.30 pm, he joked, with microphone on, five minutes are still left in my YouTube.
Asaduddin Owaisi, in his furious political speech, indirectly challenged the ruling Congress government to arrest his brother and face the consequences. Senior Owaisi who asked the youngsters in the crowd to live a life of Ghazi (fighter) and die like a shaheed (martyr) but also advised them to maintain peace and not to take law into their hands.