Muslims are considered ‘Kirayedaars’ in India, claims Azam Khan

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan on Monday claimed that Muslims in present-day India are considered “tenants.”

Khan, while responding to a question on election dates clashing with the Muslim festival of Ramzan, told ANI: “There were days when RSS used to say we will make Muslims second class citizens. Now we say that we are ‘Kirayedaars’ (tenants).”

“Changing dates of the election won’t be good. But if election commission would have taken note of this thing before announcing the date, it would have been proved that election commission does not think and work like political parties and treat everyone equally. Ramzan is the most important festival for the Muslim community,” he added.

Khan also accused the Centre of garnering votes in the name of the air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) last month.

“There are many strikes carried out by previous governments. But no one talked about it. It is the first time that votes are being sought in the name of strikes. They are counting votes on the lives of soldiers. The borders, heads, blood, and uniforms (of soldiers) are being compromised and politicized for political benefits,” he said.

“Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not contesting elections in India but they are contesting the election in Pakistan. This is the first time that politics is being done on the martyrdom of our jawans. This should not happen,” Khan added.

With regards to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, Khan claimed that there are many Ram temples in Ayodhya, but the exact ‘janmabhoomi’ or birthplace of Lord Ram is not clear.

“From Muslim’s side there is only one representative, while there are many people from the other side including Sri Sri Ravishankar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) etc. How is it a balanced panel of mediation? Masjid side is helpless, they have no option but to surrender,” he added.

On Friday, the Supreme Court referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for court-appointed and monitored mediation and expressed the view that the proceedings should be conducted with “utmost confidentiality” to ensure its success.

After taking note of the submissions made by the parties concerned, the bench constituted a three-member committee which would be chaired by retired top court judge Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla. The panel would have Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu as members.

In its order, the bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, said that the mediation proceedings will be held in Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and the state government will provide the mediators with all facilities.