By Soroor Ahmed
It would be up to Asaduddin Owaisi and Lalu Prasad to fight each other out on the issue of RSS funding to former, as charged by the RJD chief, but All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) supremo has certainly exposed his political immaturity by threatening to file defamation suit over latter’s allegations.
Intimidating political rival on this count is simply ridiculous, especially in this era when DNA of the chief minister of Bihar is being questioned. Yet nobody filed defamation suit, knowing fully well that political battle is fought politically and not in the court of law.
In this democracy Barrister Owaisi has every right to counter any allegation, and he has himself levelled several serious charges against his rivals too.
He must understand that defamation suit is usually filed against any media-house if it publishes, broadcasts or telecasts any slanderous and baseless story against anyone and does not apologise for it.
The Bar-at-Law must understand that everything is not decided in the court of law, but in peopleâ€™s court too. On August 16 in Kishanganj he had levelled some more serious charges against Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar and even against BJP and Congress leaders. Have anyone threatened him with filing defamation suit as he did on September 15.
Owaisi has every right to say that not he, but Lalu Prasad has taken money from RSS. The RJD chief would certainly not drag him to court as various more serious charges have been levelled against him in his political career.
If politicians would indulge in filing defamation suit against each other for political utterances the court will be left with no other work, but to deal with them.
By his logic Lalu Prasad too should file a defamation case against Owaisi because the latter accused the former of being â€˜ehsaan framoshâ€™ as he, on his own, came to campaign in Bihar for the latter during 2005 Assembly election. Does he understand what type of â€˜ehsaan is he talking about?
After all Owaisi, not to talk of younger brother, has used many such expressions against many other politicians, including the prime minister. Should all of them now file defamation suit against him?
The truth is that if Owaisi is really the champion of Muslim cause he should file defamation suit against Union minister Giriraj Singh for threatening to push those not voting for BJP to Pakistan; against Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for her Ram-Zadeh, Haram-Zadeh remarks, against Shakshi Maharaj and Gorakhpur BJP MP, Yogi Adityanath, for provocative speeches and abusive languages, which is really unconstitutional and illegal.
Owaisi appears to be extremely panicky. He over-rated himself after a good crowd gathered to listen to him in Kishanganj on August 16 last. But the tone and tenor of his speech as well as strategy drove a huge chunk of Muslims, especially youths, against him.
A month later he seems to be groping for his destination. His party established 87 years ago in 1928 in Hyderabad contested only 20 seats in whole of Telangana in Assembly election held last year. But he has now indicated that AIMIM would contest all the seats in Seemanchal about two dozen though no final decision has yet been taken.
If after 87 years of struggle in Telangana the party could contest only 20 seats, how is it that after his less than 87 minutes speech in Kishanganj he decided to contest in more seats. His party fought in 25 seats in Maharashtra in October last year, but failed to answer as to why AIMIM did not put up any candidate in Jharkhand, where the percentage of Muslim is much higher. If arrest of Muslim youths were the criteria for contesting in Maharashtra, why no such issue was raised after the arrest of youths from Jharkhand?
If Seemanchal is backward so, is Pakur and several other Muslim concentrated pockets of Jharkhand. So is Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Mahboobnagar etc in Telangana. It is because of the widespread poverty and backwardness outside Hyderabad-Secunderabad region that Telangana remained a Naxal bastion for decades. It was on the issue of backwardness that Telangana was carved out from Andhra Pradesh, though his party opposed its creation.
The champion of Muslim cause should advise the community what should be there choice in the rest 220-odd seat if MIM contests in 23 in Semmanchal. Lalu and Nitish are bad, Narendra Modi is unacceptable, Left, NCP and Samajwadi not existing.
What a ridiculous situation he has created. By threatening Lalu with defamation suit and calling him ˜ehsaan framosh’ he has made him strong among Muslims. Those Muslim youths, who were giving patient hearing to Owaisi, have started deserting him.
He must sue all the Urdu newspapers of Bihar as they are filled with articles denouncing his decision to contest. He should sue all those who, in social media, are calling him and his man in Bihar, Akhtar-ul-Iman as BJP agents, Khatar-ul-Iman (Danger to Faith) and Baiman (Dishonest).
But first expel MLA brother Akbaruddin from the party as he is second in command.
Soroor Ahmed is a senior journalist and editor od Bihar Times