Better Back to Bukhara? A Take on: No Invite for PM Modi?

By Asma Anjum Khan for,

The phone was ringing. Absorbed in my daily dose of ,’noisy news of Indian TV channels’ I chirped, Hello, Shivani! Long time?

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What do you think of this shahi Imam… everyone is talking about.

In the din of shrill voices of the News Nazis, added with my daughter’s playful shouts, I couldn’t make out and replied, Hey, Shivani, don’t talk about Shahi Tukde, it’s irresistible!

Why you want to avoid talking about your Shahi Imam?

Her tone seemed not merged in the sugary syrup used to soak Shahi Tukde. Her voice felt to be unfamiliar.

Now it struck a bell. I knew it was yet another, that “For Whom the Bell Tolls” moment, for me.

She was saying! Shahi Imam!

Discussing Shahi Imam always reminds me of Shahi Tukde, Shahi Kofte and of course, Aalu Bukhara!

Will Indian Muslims condemn this scum bag called Shahi , something? I am waiting for your answers.

Shivani had not finished yet. Trying not to show how offended I felt, at her rant; I laughed aloud.

Oh, he. Yes, please send him to the North Pole .

And shut off.

Women are often accused of changing their mind, any moment.

Why not send him Better Back to Bukhara? I wondered. Don’t we rusticate children from schools, who happen to do repeated mischief?

I called up a friend, a senior journalist. What I heard from him, made me feel further flabbergasted.

What is wrong in that? He can invite anyone he wants. He has Human Rights.

Left without any options, I now took up the cudgels.

Beginning with the beginning I don’t think I need to give you any detailed summary of this man’s commotions spread over the last many years.

Here is a brief flip flop chart of his fatwas for voting. This flip flopping is a family tradition of theirs.

Abdullah Bukhari: 1977: Vote For Janata Dal

Abdullah Bukhari: 1980: Vote for Congress


Imam Bukhari: 2004: Vote for BJP

2007: Against Samajwadi Party.

2012: Vote for Samajwadi Party.

I am proud of my people who have always seen to it that, the candidate, sponsored by Shahi Imam, loses; without fail.

When his son in law was denied a minister’s post by Mulayam Singh, he starts feeling that Samajwadi Party is not doing justice to the Muslims. Now what did he achieve by this invite termed as Anti India Invite [ These days, even if you sneeze with your own white money ,it becomes anti-India. Be careful, dear Folksies.]

Why didn’t he invite the head of the states of say another Muslim country such as Indonesia, Malaysia?

But how would he have got the mileage without our good neighbor’s name Pakistan? It would be impossible to stir a hornet’s nest without taking the name of our eternal friendly foe. Because for us Indian Muslims, nothing seems worse than being called a Pakistani. All nightmarish. We grow up listening to this and feel dismayed each time the insinuation is made. By the way even our new PM had invited Nawaz Shariff sahib, PM of Pakistan for his swearing in ceremony, but forgot the Shahi Imam altogether. The old guy is now sulking for that omission, perhaps.

Those who talk about human rights of Shahi Imam must take note that through this invite he is playing yet another game of his lowly politics. In one go he has got what he wanted: Free Publicity which our biased and divisive media gladly provided him in ample amounts. In one go he made us all Indian Muslims stand in the dock, one more time and feeling guilty ,confused, embarrassed and angry we began issuing denials. But have such denials ever served their purpose?


They only meant, they gave us another opportunity to condemn something, one more time, more, yet more and another one more time.

Why am I held accountable for the Shahi’ Imam’s dangerous stupidity? He is not my leader, he is not my imam. And what is this hereditary Imaamat anyway?

Who has given him the right to anoint his son as his successor? Hasn’t the title Shahi been abolished in 1947 when India got freedom and with it all such titles came to an end? An Imam is a leader; and a leader is entitled to lead prayers. But today this term imam is used only in the context of leading prayers in a mosque. Islam is free from Papal-hood or the institution of a Brahman performing all the religious rites for you. A Muslim is free to perform all his religious rituals on his own.

Why is this Shahi Imam, allowed to play mischief, again and again and again? Is imaamat his ancestral property? What had happened when this Shahi was asked a tough question about the illegal constructions around Jama Masjid, in Delhi?

Caption for the video: Our man Shahi Imam is not just a man of words but also lots of action. See him fight all around him, enveloped among his body guards.

He is playing a very dangerous game of his lowly politics one more time and we have to watch it haplessly.

Why do Political Parties go to him, begging for votes?

But the real blame lies with our grand political parties who never feel ashamed of going to beg for Muslim votes to him. I have no clue who told them that the key to our votes lies with him? Never seen a greater lie than this. This Shahi Imam has been fattened on the patronage of these political parties.

Let’s question Congress ,BJP, Samajwadi Party first before condemning him. Stop going to him [ It’s a waste of your money, anyway] and why ask us to condemn him? Did we ask you to issue a condemnation when one of the Swamis, Bapus or Fathers from other camps commits the same Harakiri?

Stop asking us to condemn. It has ceased to be our favorite Common Collective Ummah sport.

“Sagacious Indians would not hold common Indian Muslims, accountable, for the worst foolishness of this Shahi Imam”.

This so called Royal Priest claims he didn’t send the invite to PM Modi because he has never tried to reach out to Muslims.

Read it as, PM Modi never tried to reach out to Shahi Bukharis.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this man is sulking. Clearly. He didn’t get the leftover crumbs from the BJP table. Hence all this hullabaloo. Throw some at him and he will be back to issuing his support for BJP under PM Modi in the next general elections .This Imam is craving for attention. Don’t feed the monster.

Shahi Imam to say the least is the perfect bogeyman for the right wingers; he serves them well and they too serve him well.

I do not know if Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff has accepted the invite yet.

If not then, I guess the Imam e Shahi should rope in Madhuri Dixit for the anointing ceremony. I am sure Nawaz would come calling!

On a parting note, twisting words of Bertolt Brecht addressing Germany, I say this,

O, Shahi Imam,

Hearing the speeches that ring from your house, one laughs,

But whoever sees you, reaches for his knife.


(Asma Anjum Khan is Assistant Professor of English in Maharashtra. Follow her @saysanjum]