Pulwama attack: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s epic takedown of Imran Khan

Often called a 'Muslim leader', Owaisi has given the Pakistani PM and Pakistan's terror outfits the strongest political response from India yet. His words hold lessons for us Indians too.

 |  4-minute read |   25-02-2019
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In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February, an assault so brutal, it left India in shock and politicians bickering over fixing accountability, it was Pakistan that seemed to have succeeded in bringing to the fore the fault lines that divide our country.

Indians fought Indians on Twitter and heated television debates ensued over who was a greater nationalist and who a true patriot.

Kashmiri students came under attack in various parts of the country, forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remind people that “India’s fight was for Kashmir and not against Kashmiris”.  

At a time like this, it was All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who spoke in the voice of unison like no politician has since India lost 40 of its Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

owiais-690_022519120704.jpgAIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has given Imran Khan a lesson in India secularism. (Source: Reuters)

Right after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a customary show of wily behaviour, said that he was ready to act against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) if India provided actionable evidence against the terror outfit and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar, Owaisi called out Khan’s bluff — without mincing any words.

Owaisi gave it back to Khan point by point.

In response to Imran Khan’s recent advice to PM Modi that India must give peace a chance, Owaisi has asked the Pakistani Prime Minister to drop his mask of innocence.

“We would like to tell Pakistan PM [Imran Khan] don't give that message to India which you want to by sitting before a TV camera. You started this, it wasn't a first attack. There was Pathankot, Uri and now Pulwama. We would like to tell Pakistan PM to drop his mask of innocence,” Owaisi said at a rally in Mumbai.

Owaisi also hit out at the JeM, which has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. He said that a disciple of the holy Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, would never kill a person.

“I would like to tell the outfit that killed our 40 men and claimed its responsibility, you're not Jaish-e-Mohammed, you are Jaish-e-Shaitan... It is not Laskhar-e-Taiba, it is Lashkar-e-Shaitan,” Owaisi said.

But the most important point that Owaisi made — though directed at Pakistan — is a lesson that all Indians need to remind themselves of.

In response to a recent remark from Imran Khan that raised questions over how minorities are treated in India, Owaisi said that Pakistan should not worry about Indian Muslims — as they are here by choice after refusing Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s proposition to move in 1947.

Owaisi said, “One of the ministers from Pakistan had said that they will stop the prayer bells from ringing in temples of India but I want to tell him that he doesn't know India. Till Muslims of this country are alive, Azaan will sound from mosques and bells will ring in temples. This is the beauty of our country which the neighbouring country sees because of jealousy. People in this country live as one and when it will come to the country we all will be together.”

It is this message of togetherness that needs to be reiterated loud and clear, not just to the world, but to all Indians who are actively participating in ‘otherisation’ in the name of ideologies, castes and religions.

The soldiers who died on February 14 and those who are guarding the borders even as this is being written are Indian soldiers — they come from all regions and religions.

While differences of opinions can and must exist, differences should not permanently divide us.

Owaisi is often called a 'Muslim leader'. It is true that he draws his votes largely from the Muslim community, and it is also for this reason that Owaisi taking on Imran Khan directly means a great deal to India’s bruised soul in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

The Indian Constitution is the book that binds us all. It is the book that allows both Modi and Owaisi the right to stake claim to all political posts. In contrast, as Owaisi has reminded Imran Khan that non-Muslims cannot become PMs in Pakistan — such is the state of minority rights in the neighbouring country.

What Owaisi has indeed tried to tell Khan is that India’s internal matters will not become Pakistan’s scoring points.

While it may seem sad to many that a Muslim leader has to speak up unequivocally for the Muslims of the country as the so-called ‘seculars’ and ‘pseudo-seculars’ think of votes, Owaisi’s remarks are not being made on behalf of Muslims — they are indeed being made on behalf of Indians.

India’s unity has been its strength. By showing Imran Khan the mirror of his country's reality, Owaisi has shown what Indian secularism was built on.

We hope Khan will get the message.

We hope all Indians will get the message too.

Also read: What this attack on Karachi Bakery reveals about our new 'patriotism'

Writer

Vandana Vandana @vandana5

Author is assistant editor DailyO.

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