When MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was arrested for making inflammatory speeches in Adilabad and Nizamabad, it was deemed as a natural consequence of breaking the law (Sec 121). But even neutral Muslim groups saw the application of law as selective. The MIM’s politics has always revolved around “you and us” speeches which ruling parties hitherto had mostly ignored. With the arrest of older brother and MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi in a 2005 assault case, however, the word vendetta has gathered steam. Even Congress leaders are saying chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is out to prove a personal point by digging up old cases against the Owaisis and putting them behind bars. Besides, other MIM leaders such as Ahmed Pasha Qadri, Virasat Rasool Khan, Afsar Khan, Mumtaz Khan, Ahmed Balala, Muazzam Khan are also facing cases now.
A senior Congress MP says that Kiran Kumar is actually contributing to Muslim radicalisation through the tactless arrests. “As a CM, his contribution is zero. Now his sole contribution is that he is bringing in MIM as a force in Telangana districts. The rural Muslim voter sees the arrests as a strong anti-minority signal,” say worried Congress leaders. The feeling among the masses is that anyone who splits with the Congress, be it Jagan or the Owaisis, is instantly targeted. Asaduddin, who painted Kiran Kumar as saffron on the Bhagyalakshmi temple issue, has also famously said, “Kiran Kumar Reddy was my friend. Jaganmohan Reddy is my friend.”
Political analyst and senior journalist T. Ravi says that since Jagan is emerging as a champion of the minorities, the Congress is actually whipping up majority communalism with these arrests. “After the regional card and caste card, the Congress is playing the religion card with the Owaisi arrests,” he feels. How good politics that will be, time will tell.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
I don't know, what Mr. Owasi understands about his Hindu counterpart, to his faith. I know that Muslims are important, but I don't know, anything, a lot more. The Muslim is religious, and the Hindu is too, but that doesn't mean, that the Hindu or Muslim, know a great deal, or a little, about what the meaning of the term 'God' is. I can say, that perhaps, God has not given his existence the name, 'God'.
Whatever the reason that speech definitely invited an arrest.
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