CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

“Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex” - Karl Marx

OPINION


Asaduddin Owaisi: An 'Exasperating Opponent' For Right,Left, And Centre


The enigma of Asaduddin Owaisi on the rise in recent years has, after he won five seats in the Seemanchal area of Bihar, acquired a new salience.

Speculation now centres on how he might fare in West Bengal where the Muslim population is estimated to be 30 percent which is the backbone of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s support. Since the Muslim is presumed to be Owaisi’s hunting ground too, will the Muslim vote be confused?

If Amit Shah had not made it his life’s mission to oust or substantially diminish Trinamool and “Didi”, Muslims may well have risked a breach in their absolute support for Mamata Banerjee. In current circumstances, any bid by Owaisi to fish for a small catch, just enough to open an account in West Bengal, will expose him to the slur that he is a “vote katua”, a vote divider which is what parties, particularly the Congress, like to cast him as.

This allegation of communalism against Owaisi, helps the Congress sustain the delusion that it is still with the secular line up. The Congress does not like the refrain: Congress and the BJP, tweedledum and tweedledee. It must of course be admitted that there are differences between the two ruling class, corporate supported parties.

Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijay Singh may, admittedly, drink a liter of cow’s urine everyday but his drinking habits do not come into conflict with the secularism a handful of Congressmen swore by in the days of yore.

It is an article of faith with connoisseurs that the non dairy yield from a jet black cow is comparable to “Amrit” or nectar. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala, who declared Rahul Gandhi a “janeudhari” Brahmin during the Gujarat Assembly elections, would have had the electronic media riveted on the cow shed in Rahul’s bungalow had he gifted him with two black cows. Surjewala held the gift back presumably because he may have had the foresight that Rahul would eventually have to move to Wayanad in Kerala where the cow is otherwise contemplated.

To fast forward the narrative, there were no cow vigilantes, no lynchings in the name of the cow, no bar on Love Jihad. The Congress can never be blamed for inaugurating such trends. The charge against them is different: extreme cowardice. When these shameful events happen, the Congress instead of going for the opposition jugular, just shuts up – in case taking sides results in a loss of Hindu vote. Little wonder, the “B Team of the BJP” is a label which has stuck on the Congress.

Take the latest fusillade Amit Shah has directed at the “Gupkar gang” for international conspiracy. The tepid response by Surjewala says nothing. Why does the Congress not come out with a clear stand on article 370?

Sheikh bhi khush rahey
Shaitaan bhi naraaz na ho
(Keep the agents of God and of Satan equally happy.)

How can the Congress point fingers at Owaisi’s “pro BJP stand” when it reduced senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to tears during the 2019 elections. “Even district committees of the Congress do not invite me to address rallies.”

This is the pincer in which Owaisi holds the Congress. He taunts the Muslims: “Your consistent support to the Congress has brought you down to the level described in the 2005 Sachar Committee report.” Since then “your condition has become worse.”

The thrust of Owaisi’s argument is that Muslims have been tricked into supporting “pseudo secular” parties like the Congress, and caste parties in UP, Bihar etcetera.

The Muslims have been frightened into supporting these parties. The ogre they have been frightened by is, obviously, the RSS-BJP. Owaisi’s argument is that the so called secular parties seek Muslim support not to defeat the BJP (they are separately incapable of defeating it), but to enlarge their power base, a delusion at best, and end up doing nothing for the Muslims.

With a population of 200 million or 14% of the total population there are 27 Muslims in a Parliament of 543. The ratio in the state assemblies is even more embarrassing. Owaisi’s argument is simple: seven seats in Telangana, two in Maharashtra and now five in Bihar adds upto fourteen seats. Supposing Muslims pick up an average of even one seat in 28 states and 8 union territories, the figure 36 will not look so negligible.

The electoral weakness of Indian Muslims is precisely this: though substantial in an overall sense, they are scattered all over. Quite ironically Covid 19, by linking schools, colleges, businesses, international conferences by the magic of virtual reality will come into play: Members of Assemblies can be in instantaneous contact.

The danger, ofcourse, is that the growth of a Muslim entity will help accelerate Hindu consolidation. How does one obviate that emergency? By allowing the Muslim vote to habitually occupy frayed mattresses in parties like the Congress which are in fatal decline?

The durability of Owaisi in public life denotes the failure of all political parties to paint him in lurid, communal colours, much as they tried. Such a moment did offer itself in 2013 when his younger, much more fire brand brother, Akbaruddin Owaisi made a provocative reference to police support for the violence against Muslims. “Remove the police for 15 minutes and let’s see.” The speech smacked of a sort of Muslim macho, causing the media to go into convulsions.

Since then Akbaruddin has clearly been kept on a short leash. Asaduddin, a barrister, a restrained and skilful speaker, once a medium pacer for the South zone cricket team, and one who anchors his political stance unerringly to the Constitution is an uncommon phenomenon in public life.

For right, left and centre, Asaduddin is the exasperating opponent who does not deviate from good manners, logic, the Constitution and, woe of woes, happens to be a Muslim. Well, if he has such qualities of heart and mind, why will sensible non Muslims not turn to him some day?

 

OPINION

  • River in a 'Court of Law' - Legal issues pertaining to its personality
  • Syria: A Testament To International Moral Bankruptcy
  • When the State Sought to Muzzle Privacy, U-Turn Now Only to Accommodate SC Verdict
  • The Bull in A China Shop Wrecks Indian Economy
  • When Buddha Looks The Other Way: The Plight Of The Rohingya
  • A Fatal Blow to The Judiciary
  • The Dramatic Rise in Wealth Inequality
  • Wild And Baseless Speculations of Crisis in the CPI(M)
  • Budget 2018: Fantabulous Schemes With Not A Paisa Earmarked
  • Kasganj: Sankalp Foundation and the Politics of Hate
  • PM Modi Sounds the Election Bugle: Congress and Hindutva the Agenda for 2019 Polls
  • The US Game Plan in Syria
  • Both Nehru and Patel Were the Need of the Hour in 1947-48
  • The Battle of the Two Begums of Bangladesh
  • Why Bangladesh Matters
  • Kejriwal's Apology is Not What the Media Claims
  • Arrest of a '5-minute Dalits' Proves Why SC/ST Act Dilution Will Grossly Impact Real Dalits
  • The Dalits and the Law
  • Winners May Be Losers In Karnataka's Catch 22 Endgame
  • Jinnah and the BJP
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (Nov 14 1889- May 27, 1964): We Still Live In A House That Nehru Built
  • Implications of Trump-Kim Summit: Nuclear Pays!
  • Thomas Reuters Foundation Survey: Measuring Safety, Generating Outrage
  • ROADMAP TO A CEASEFIRE: AFGN - PAK
  • What Are People Voting for?
  • Foreign Policy: A Double Whammy Awaits India
  • Changing Discourse
  • Assam: The Mythology of "Immigrants"
  • Imran Time is Here
  • 71 Years on, Forsty Relations Countinue
  • To Stop Climate Change, We Need to Open Bordera
  • Make Use of Bid to Postpone Provincial Elections
  • Cringing and Fuddled at 71
  • Ensuring Strident Voice Will Not Become Majority Voice
  • Nehru, Vajpayee and Modi
  • Religious Bias Okayed
  • The Oslo Accords: A Bloody Legacy of Betrayal
  • Crushing the Campus
  • Three Stories And Task of The Office Of Missing Person
  • Drama Over Indo-Pak Meeting
  • An ill Wind
  • Symbolic Actions Alone Are Insufficient For Long Term Change To Occur
  • If Democracy Subverts Itself
  • Returning Land to Civilians is a Promise That Needs Follow Up
  • Democracy In Crisis: What we Know and What we Don't
  • Reparations Office Can Bind The Nations Together
  • Implementation Challenges Facing The Ayushman Bharat Program
  • Subverting the Central Bank
  • Under the Yoke of New-Imperialism: A Fake War of Patriotism and Treason
  • India Joins the Club
  • The Third Phase
  • President is Best Situated to Resolve Political Crisis
  • No Country for Adventure: Challenges Extreme Sports Athletes Face in India
  • Setting A Perilous Political Precedent
  • What Rahul and Modi can do in the Next Four Months
  • Finding a Win-Win Solution to Break the Deadlock
  • Temple in the Age of Colliders
  • Four Parameters of a Political Solution at This Time
  • Resolve National Question With President's Support
  • Decapitating the Leadership
  • Four Takeaways From the 2018 Election
  • Science of Words
  • The Ace up Modi's Sleeve
  • The Government Must Not Deny The TNA
  • The Prolonged Wait For Justice And For Political Leadership
  • Endgame in Afghanistan
  • Pluralist Ethos is More Relevant to National Identity
  • A Concerned Citizen's Points For Inclusion in The Manifesto of Political Parties
  • In My Own Voice: Circle of Unreason
  • RBI To The Rescue of Modi Government - It's Election Time!
  • Say No to War
  • A terrifying Fallout
  • The Type of Leadership The Country Needs
  • Death Wish as Nationalism
  • Politics on Kashmir Need Not be About Optics Alone
  • Why an Urban Job Guarantee Scheme is Not a Bad Idea
  • National Security: The New in 'New Normal'
  • Re-Promulgating an Ordinance is a Fraud on the Constitution
  • Elections 2019: India at a Crossroads
  • Peace and Inclusive Development
  • NYAY Providing Basic Income Fulfills the Vision of Mahatma Gandhi and Changed Election Narrative Based on Basic Issues
  • Advani Should Blame Himself For Promoting Modi
  • Kashmir: Tracing the Degeneration of Mainstream Politics
  • Elections and the Issue of Civil Liberties
  • Jumlanomics:Chronicles of a Post-Truth Bharat
  • BJP: Hiding Failures, Targeting Nehru
  • A Mayawati Moment
  • Godse is a Synonym of Hindu Nationalism, Agenda of the RSS Combine!
  • Development Beyond Numbers
  • A Rational Approach to Countering Extremist Violence is Needed
  • In My Own Voice: Is This the Sprit of Democracy?
  • Prevention is The Best Migration Cure
  • The Rise of Hate
  • The Right Mantras for India's Change
  • Coming Home - Where Family Overpowers All
  • Easter Sunday Bombing Used to Create a Major Rift in Sri Lankan Society
  • Hacking Humanity
  • Environmental Rule of Law in India
  • Peace is a Word That West Has Taken From Afghans
  • Trump's War Games
  • Modi & States
  • Who is an 'Outsider' in West Bengal?
  • China on Maps
  • 19th Amendment Will Correct Itself at End of President's Current Term
  • Authoritarianism and the Crisis of Public Ethics in India
  • Presidential Candidate The People Want
  • Has India's Kashmir Cape Given Pakistan Reason for War?
  • Icons and Ideology of Religious Nationalism
  • Why NRC in Assam May Create Another Kashmir
  • Campaign to Abolish the Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka is a Red Herring
  • As US Tries to Isolate Iran, China Steps In
  • Of Hindi and Hierarchy
  • Why Sri Lankan Elections May Bring Far Reaching Change
  • What US Policy Tells Us About India's Growing 'Friendship' With It
  • Gandhian Philosophy is a Critique of Modernity and Power
  • Inner Party Democracy is Just as Important as Funding
  • India's Foreign Policy Has Dug Itself a Deep Hole
  • 'Broken Promises' and Politics of Hate': Is Political Autonomy The Way Forward For J&K?
  • The Ninth Betrayal: America Has Let Down Khurd, Yet Again
  • Who Benefits From The WhatsApp Hacking Case?: Pertinent Question Left Unanswered
  • State Elections Results Expose "Limits" of BJP's Nationalist Agenda
  • "Religious Belief" vs. "Rule of Law": Did SC's Ayodhya Verdict Legalise Building of a Theocratic State?
  • What Does Trump's "New Refugee Ban" Mean for America's Immigrants?
  • India Must Change Course as Rajapaksas Return on Sinhala Buddhist Wave
  • The Supreme Court's First Judgment Without an Author
  • Geopolitics in South Asia Renders Millions Stateless
  • "Shakespeare's Vision of the Improbale" Unfolds: Is Modi Today's Macbeth?
  • Sri Lanka Under Rajapaksa: Finding Areas of Mutual Agreement
  • "The Game of Religion is Played by Men": Women Speak From the Margins of Ayodhya Dispute
  • Telangana Ecounter- Failure of Local Police Poses Grave Danger to Democracy
  • The Changing Nature of War and Diplomacy
  • Sri Lanka: Government's Cooperation A "Temporary Phenomenon"?
  • The Role of Corruption in This Season of Revolts
  • New Citizenship Law to a "Brazenly Divisive Agenda"
  • Youth Agitation Against CAA Brings a Historic Generational Shift
  • "Digital Authoritarianism": With Internet Shutdowns Normalised, the Digital Space is Democracy's New Battleground
  • Sri Lanka: The Challenge of Development Amidst Devolution of Power
  • The Political Divides that Split India
  • 'Never Again': Echoes of Nazi Crimes Remain Alive 75 Years After Auschwitz
  • "Legacy of Mutual Suspicion" Plagues Opponents of the Modi Regime
  • "Toxic" India Sliding into an Environmental Abyss
  • Manufacturing Hate: From Anurag Thakur's 'Shoot the Traitors' to Pistol-Bearing Youth's 'Yeh lo Azaadi!'
  • Kejriwal Isn't Communal, But His Desire Not to be Seen Anti-Hindu May Prove Self-Defeating
  • Religion States Won't Oppose US-Taliban Deal
  • Lessons From Pathogens: Coronavirus, A wake Up Call?
  • The Geopolitics of the Covid 19 Pandemic
  • Cold War Begins As Nations Fued Over Coronavirus
  • India Fights Coronavirus...With Scriptures, Morals and Police
  • The Burden of COVID 19
  • Do Israeli Settelemnts in Occupies West Bank Constitute a War Crime ?
  • The Global Debate on COVID-19 Lockdown: Listen to Divergent Scientific Voices or Risk Manipulation by Big Businesses?
  • Sri Lanka's Easter Bombings And The Demand For Justice
  • How India Can Solve the "Catch-22 Situation" of Allowing Migrant Workers to Return Home
  • The Time for Universal Basic Income Has Arrived
  • COVID-19 Crisis Exposes Fatal Weaknesses of 'Strong' Leaders
  • The Pandemic Has Taught Us the Importance of Maintaining an Ecological Balance, Will we Remember IT?
  • The Muslim Elite Has Let Down the Muslim Poor
  • "There is Nothing Nationalist or Non-Nationalist in Reporting"
  • Why WHO Took 3 Months to Declare a Global Pandemic
  • A Political Lockdown That Silences Voices
  • The 'Relief Package' of Online Education May End up "Institutionalising Drop Outs"
  • Can Democracy Survive the Coronavirus?
  • As China Ups the Ante, This is What India Must do...
  • Tackling Racism With Compassionate Reporting-CNN Leads The Way
  • Sri Lanka: Pluralism In Governance Required In The Absence of Parliament
  • Idia's Tactical Non-Solutions To China's Incursions in Ladakh
  • "At The Brink of A New Cold War": Sino-US Ties at a Crossroads
  • In Light of Rising Conservatism, Can The Personal be Political Again?
  • India-China: The Complete Breakdown of Trust, How and Why
  • Rethinking Development After Covid-19
  • The Pandemic Must Transform Our Agriculture
  • Treacherous Road to Make Manu History
  • The 'American Way of War' Is Built On A Foundation of Racism
  • Covid -19 And The Crisis of Education-An Insight
  • Governments That Preach Non-Violence Must Lead By Example
  • New Status of Hagia Sophia Signals The Death Of Secularism
  • Covid 19 and Furthering of Sectarian Agenda in Education
  • Biden's "Conventional" Approach vs Trump's "Whimsical" Handling of Foreign Policy
  • Why Arguments Against Reservation are Flawed
  • Curfew Welcomes One Year of Abrogations in Kashmir
  • Ayodha: What is BJP's Motive For Holding Ram Temple Ceremony Amid Pandemic?
  • New Education Policies of India And Pakistan Will Further Divide, Within and Without
  • Does India's Handling of China Make Sense?
  • Return of the Rajapaksas in Sri Lanka
  • An Independent Supreme Court Is a Must for Democracy
  • Does Rule of Law Trump Tide of Public Opinion?
  • UAE-Israel Deal Accelerating Fragmentation of West Asian Politics
  • Congress And Its "Unprecedented Political Challenge""
  • Does The 20th Amendment Threaten Pluralism in Sri Lanka?
  • Digital Hate, Now A Profitable Commodity
  • Rising Cases, Unemployment: Is India Ignoring Fears Stoked by the Pandemic?
  • Surging Pandemic, Slumping Economy - And the Crisis of Democracy
  • Anxious Leader, Passive Citizens and "Criminalised" Governance
  • Parliamentary Session Merely A "Notice Board" For Government Decisions?
  • The Collapse of Democratic Institutions Under Majoritarian Rule
  • Mughal MUseum Rekindles Question of India's "Slavery""
  • Babri Masjid Demolition Case: Court Ignored Findings of Liberhan Commission
  • As Politics of Hate Takes Over, The Biggest Casualty is Compassion
  • Hathras: The Last Opportunity to Reflect
  • India Joining Ranks of Illiberal Democracies
  • Rising Uncertainties May Lead to Election Chaos in The us
  • 'Secularism': A Dirty Word
  • Is Bihar Tired of Nitish Kumar Rule?
  • In Crisis: India Now A 'Pale Shadow of Former Self'
  • Economy VS. People: Differences Between US and China's Response to Covid-19
  • Trupm is Gone But Trumpian Populism Lives on
  • Bihar's Silent Voters: Explaining the BJP-JDU Alliance
  • How Many X-Factors Can an Election Take? Many, it Seems
  • Objectivity and Fascism
  • Is The Saudi Kingdom Moving Towards Recognising Israel?
  • Asaduddin Owaisi: An 'Exasperating Opponent' For Right,Left, And Centre
  • 'Do Not Trifle With the Peasantry'
  • Is Modi's Popularity on the Decline?
  • Farmer's Agitation: A Spoke in The Wheel For BJP's Hindutva Strategy?
  • Maleeha Lodhi
  • A DYSFUNCTIONAL PARLIAMENT: POLITICAL COMPETITION LEADING TO THE DEMISE OF DISCUSSION AND DEBATE
  • Shaheen Bagh and the Farmers Protests, the Urban and the Rural
  • WILL US RUSSIA ESCALATE MILITARY TENSIONS?
  • A CASE OF ‘TOO MUCH’ OR TOO LITTLE DEMOCRACY?
  • MODI REGIME’S VISION FOR MEDIA INVOLVES TOTAL ALIGNMENT
  • FASCISM REARS ITS HEAD, A NEW THREAT FOR THE BIDEN PRESIDENCY
  • RIGHT TO PROTEST: PUBLIC MEETINGS A “TRADITION OF OUR NATIONAL LIFE”
  •