Published On:03 January 2021
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Tamil Nadu polls: Muslim DMK allies in Catch 22 situation as Owaisi invited for Jan 6 conference

By Danish Ahmad Khan

It seems that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s political fortunes are on the rise ever since his party won 5 seats in the 2020 Bihar assembly elections. The AIMIM superemo who was considered to be a rabid rabble rouser and political pariah till recently, is now finding many takers and his communal brand of politics finding greater acceptability among the secular parties than before.

After all, what would one say when a formidable regional party like DMK is getting jittery even as vulnerable Muslims continue to fall for Owaisi’s Machiavellian politics which has only so far benefited the Hindu ruling right wing BJP at the Centre under Narendra Modi’s leadership. A report published recently in the widely read magazine ‘The Week’ said that political parties are bracing up for the state assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and an unnerved DMK has even invited Asaduddin Owaisi to attend the party’s conference being held at the YMCA ground in Chennai on January 6. The party’s decision to lay the red carpet for Owaisi has clearly upset its Muslim allies, and they are finding themselves in a Catch 22 situation.

D. Masthan, DMK minorities welfare wing secretary, has however said that Owaisi hasn’t been invited for the conference despite the raging controversy on social media with a video of Masthan, along with a few other Muslim representatives of the DMK minority wing, and AIMIM’s state president Vakkil Ahamed going viral. The Week reported that Masthan and Ahamed had recently visited Hyderabad for inviting Owaisi for the conference in Chennai. Even the viral video showed Owaisi talking over phone about DMK’s invitation in the presence of Masthan and others.

Masthan however issued a statement strongly refuting any such invitation to Owaisi. The statement said: “We have not invited Owaisi for the meeting. We have not extended invitation to any Muslim parties, which are not part of our alliance.”

The Muslim parties in Tamil Nadu have not taken kindly to Owaisi party’s rise in the Bihar elections and strongly criticized him for splitting the opposition votes. They have even accused Owaisi of being a BJP agent and call him the “B Team” of the BJP.

Owaisi’s entry into the Tamil Nadu politics is being seen as yet another orchestrated move by the Hindutva agents to divide and spread chaos amongst the Muslims in the state. Tamil-speaking Muslims are strongly opposing Owaisi, while Urdu-speaking Muslims have hinted that they are going to stand by Owaisi’s AIMIM. This has pitted Muslim alliance partners of DMK against the Dravidian party itself. The move is being seen as an attempt to bring down the morale of the Muslim cadres in the DMK as well as of other Muslim parties in the alliance.

DMK had earlier allied with a state Muslim political outfit IUML during past elections. The IUML is generally not considered to be a fundamentalist party by majority Hindus of the state as it has happily embraced the Dravidian ideologies. Owaisi’s party AIMIM on the other hand doesn’t have a base in Tamil Nadu and is largely considered to a party of Urdu heartland Hyderabad with a patently fundamentalist streak.

So far, Muslims in Tamil Nadu are religiously polarized. However, with the entry of Owaisi in the state polls fray, a political polarization of Muslims is looming large. It is feared that a division of Muslim votes in favour of Owaisi is going to be detrimental to their own interests. It’s true that Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM has been successfully winning elections in Hyderabad, but hasn’t been able to extend its reach in other parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and win seats in several Muslim-dominated constituencies in these Telugu speaking states or do something worthwhile for the welfare of Muslims in his own state. The time has now come for Tamil Nadu Muslims to stay united and not fall prey to the likes of communal politician like Owaisi.

[Danish Ahmad Khan is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at indianmuslimobserver@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on January 03, 2021. Filed under , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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