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Monday, November 09, 2009 09:48:22 AM, Aleem Faizee,

Abu Asim Azmi (Left)

Mehmood Madani

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Lo, along with a vast majority of people in his constituency, we too had enormous faith in Abu Asim Azmi and expectations from him. Years of struggle in politics and despite failing to win elections for himself, responsible for transforming many 'nobodys' into 'successful mass leaders'. Defeat after defeat, yet remaining totally unruffled and ready to fight back in every coming election. After the defeat he tasted in April 2009 Parliamentary elections, actually, even his closest aids were asking, Saheb, how many times? Yes, even he must have been counting along with his aids. And, finally he gave the answer by winning recently held elections for Maharashtra assembly.


On the expected lines, Muslims in Maharashtra were going gaga over his election victory. They were overwhelmed by the thought that after a very long time a strong Muslim voice would be heard in the Maharashtra assembly. The Muslim issues that were earlier limited and confined to 'unnoticed' and 'totally ignored' lawns of Azad Maidan in Mumbai would be raised right in front of those at the helm of affairs in the power corridors. Khwaja Yunus who was mercilessly murdered reportedly in police custody and whose mention was a fovourite for Abu Asim Azami would now get a mention during the assembly sessions. The misuse of wakf properties that Abu Asim Azmi  so vociferously raised very often would now be part of his list of discussion in the assembly. The detention of Muslim youths by the police that Abu Asim Azmi was so fond of mentioning every now and then would now figure in his priority list. And, Abu Asim Azmi with fellow Muslim MLAs would give forceful mention in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly about the insufficient colleges, schools and educational institutions in Muslim localities.


The list of the expectations that the community had from Abu Asim Azmi goes on and on. For, he had always projected himself, not as a leader of a particular locality but always as a state leader. Very concerned about the issues every Muslim individual is facing in the state. In fact, the way he had helped them at various occasions and at the time of crisis in the past, he had every right to project himself as such.


The dreams, however, shattered when people came to know that the first thing Abu Asim Azmi raised is not what they had expected from him. But, totally uncalled for, it is the language he intends to take the oath in. People who had expected him to ask from the government security, education, and bread and butter were shocked to see him asking for the proceedings of the house in Hindi. 'Give me the proceedings of the house in Hindi", the media quoted him as saying.




Are the issue so important Mr. Azmi that you thought to raise even before spending a day in the house? Don't you know that there are instances in the past when MLAs had taken the oath in languages other than Marathi? And, along with Marathi, the proceedings of the house can be available in other language also?


Agreed, language is important and as an Indian National you have every right to chose one, let alone choosing Hindi, the national language. But, why rake controversies by issuing such statements? Don't you realise that by issuing such statements you are only helping none but the saffron parties desperately hunting for an issue after the humiliating defeat they tasted in the assembly elections. Moreover, your untimely overture is only giving your detractors a chance to give credence to the allegations that you are actually hand-in-glow with the likes of Thackerays and Togadias. The likes who deliberately raise such issues to divert the attention from the real issues and deny the constitutional rights to the Muslims and other minorities? No Mr. Azmi. This is not why you have been elected to the Maharashtra Assembly.


Ironically, at the time when we were searching for the ways to come out of the situation arisen out of Azmi's inappropriate gambit, came yet another shocker. This time it was from the Jamiatul Ulema faction led by Mehmood Madani who incidentally is also a member of the upper house of the Parliament. More ill-timed than Abu Asim Azmi's, Jamiatul Ulema in the resolutions passed during its convention held at Deoband unnecessarily touched the almost dead issue of forceful singing of Vande Mataram. A very effective platform once formed to look into the controversies unfortunately is continuously exploited to create one nowadays.


On the expected lines, the resolution created the stir all over the country and the forces that were keeping low - first after they were exposed by the slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare and later after they tasted defeats in the parliamentary and assembly elections - immediately found an opportunity to revive themselves. Consequently, they are going all out to polarize the people on the communal lines and demonise the Muslim community. Today Mehmood Madani is offering clarifications. But he seems to be having absolutely no idea (or intention???) to repair the damage done to the communal infrastructure of the country. As a matter of fact, one cannot expect more from a person who failed in keeping the unity of his own organisation intact.


The case with Abu Asim Azim, however, is totally different. There still has no time lost for him. Monday November 09, 2009 would be his first day in the Maharashtra assembly. The country has enough of the Thackerays and Togadias. It cannot afford a Muslim Thackeray or a Muslim Togadia. Can we hope for the birth of a new Abu Asim Azmi?










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