Dr Ravindra Agrawal from Saharanpur
“…Gujarat samajh rakha hai…, 4 per cent Musalman hain vahan; yahan 42 per cent hain,…….yahan Modi ki boti chhoti-chhoti kat denge” (…he thinks it is Gujarat, Muslims are only 4 per cent there; but here we are 42 per cent; here Modi will be chopped into pieces).
This is just one portion of the hate speech delivered by Congress candidate from Saharanpur, Imran Masood recently. Some other portions of his speech, equally provocative and extremely communal in nature, are being displayed in different sections of the media, including social sites and news channels. After this speech, Imran stands fully exposed as a communal Muslim leader.
The unearthing of the video, in which he makes scatting attack on BJP’s Prime Minister candidate Narendra Modi, is tip of the real mentality of some fundamentalists in this region. It gets more serious when one finds that Darul Uloom Deoband, the premier Islamic institution acting as a guiding force behind the Muslims not only in India but also abroad, has not uttered even a single word condemning this speech or the mentality. All factions of the clerics here have gone into silent mode after the episode.
Prior to this episode, Imran Masood was known in the region as a ‘secular leader’ and he enjoyed the support in all communities including the Hindus. Fact is that this video pushes us back into the British era, when Mohammad Ali Jinnah threatened the nation of Direct Action with the backing of the then British government. On March 29, when Deoband’s Judicial Magistrate sent Imran to 14 day judicial custody on the charges of provocative speech, the same day in the evening Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked the people of Saharanpur to vote for Imran Masood at a rally organised there.
There are arguments that this and the other videos are about six month old when Imran was in Samajwadi Party. It is understood that when Imran delivered this speech at Talheri Bujurg village near Deoband, the border district Muzaffarnagar was burning in the fire of severest communal riots. It is evident from this video how the leaders of ruling Samajwadi Party were then fueling communal tension in this already tensed area by delivering such hate speeches. Intrestingly, state’s Akhilesh government was then blaming the BJP leaders for the riots and even put some of the leaders behind the bars imposing NSA. It shows that the cases against the BJP leaders were false and the riot instigators were actually the SP leaders.
It is important to mention here that the Congress, which blamed the SP for Muzaffarnagar riots without taking any action from the Centre, borrowed Imran Masood as a candidate from the same SP, created controversy by a hate speech. Not only this, Rahul Gandhi found sufficient time to canvass for him even when he was in judicial custody. Rahul Gandhi, however, said he did not like using such harsh language but he completely remained silent on the divisive and communal mentality of his party candidate.
There are many other questions, which arise from Imran’s hate video surfaced in 2-3 parts. The important question is if any community’s population is 42 per cent in a particular area, can they get the licence to chop others into pieces? In second part of the video Imran was shown saying that Muslims would not act as salve of the upper castes, read Thakurs. The question is whether for petty political gains can one divide the society in the name of religion or castes? Whether defeat in an election can be termed as slavery of the winner (BSP candidate Jagdish Rana had won from this constituency in 2009)? Whether the Congress is again playing divisive politics in the country when it clearly sees a defeat in forthcoming elections?
After this speech Imran Masood may be panelised with more than three years of jail term under Section 153A, 295A, 504, 506, IPC 3(1), 10 SC&ST Act and 125 of Peoples Representation Act 1951, under which he has been sent to judicial custody, now he is clearly a tainted candidate. If he gets jail punishment from a competent court, he will be illegible for contesting election. Rahul Gandhi had last year himself torn away the copy of the Ordinance, which was to be promulgated by UPA-II revoking the check on tainted political leaders. How can Rahul Gandhi now accept the candidate, who is wholly unfit on his own parameters? After the said videos, how the election scenario of Saharanpur changed dramatically can be assessed only by one incident. Sanjay Garg, presently a BSP leader with a strong Congress background, had, prior to this video episode, announced willingness to join Congress on March 29 rally. But after this viscous episode, he refused to join the Congress and is not ready to accept Imran’s leadership.
Who will politically gain or lose after this episode will be determined only by the election results. But one thing is clear that, in the words of a local senior journalist who does not want to be named, ‘in the struggle of capturing local Muslim leadership, Imran has defeated his uncle and
political guru Rashid Masood who is now in jail for his involvement in Medical College Admission scam.
The Congress seems to be supporting Imran even after this episode
because it feels that it has found the substitute of SP leader Azam Khan in Western UP.
One more fact which needs introspection by all countrymen is that Jinnah was patronised by the then rulers, the Britishers, and now this mentality is being patronised by the present rulers, the Congress. What does the Congress want in the country—another Partition or more communal riots by patronising such elements?
(The writer is a senior Journalist and was in Saharanpur when this hate speech surfaced and Congress vice president addressed a rally in support of Imran Masood)
Communal politician-Imran Masood
In the league of hate speeches, one more attack from Uttar Pradesh. Congress candidate from Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat, Imran Masood, spread hate dialect for BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. His communal polarisation did get him the support of orthodox Muslims, but unfortunately didn’t able to sustain the ideology of Islamic scholars and intellectualists. Being followers of Islam, scholars disagree with the facts. State Government and Election Commision ordered his arrest under various Sections of the IPC. Badar Kazmi, zonal vice-president, All India Muslim Majlis and Dr Nazrool Islam, city’s leading doctor and social activist termed the speech as offence and the arrest as a lawful act.
Still, while addressing the rally in Saharanpur, Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi clarified the comments made by his party's candidate from Saharanpur and said, “We want to engage in politics of love. We'll defeat anger with love.”
Masood had been in the news for his communal and provocative speeches since he became MLA. Here are some of the instancess noted in the past:
n Though, he won Assembly election from Muzaffarabad in 2007 on Congress symbole with his separatist and anti-communal ideology.
n While he was member of Saharanpur Municipal Corporation, he ordered attack on Hindu members in the meeting in which one Hindu member died.
n His attempt voilated the law & order in Saharanpur for several days.
n In 2012, due to his orthodox ideology his uncle and Former Union Minister, Rasheed Masood left Samajwadi Party.
n He contested the election against Dr Dharm Singh Saini from Nakud seat, Saharanpur but this time doesn’t work out.
n This defeat made him to join Samajwadi Party and he left Congress.
n In 2014, SP Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav withdrew his name as candidate and offered the seat to his cousin, Shahzan Masood.